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NASCAR

2010 MID-SEASON UPDATE

NASCAR AROUND THE WORLD THE REAL COST OF NASCAR

FAST & FURIOUS

DRIVER FEUDS AND FIGHTS

2010 CUP RACE RECAPS

® homes Swannanoa A Publication of IWANNA, USA LLC

BOB LAWRENCE POWER EQUIPMENT Copyright © IWANNA, USA LLC 2010


2 ~ IWANNA® July 27, 2010

NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

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LOGANO VS. HARVICK:

ACCUSATIONS FLY AT POCONO

Kevin Harvick with wife DeLana (Photo courtesy of Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

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river hostility spilled over onto the tracks at the Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 6.

The conflict was between Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick — and their respective family members. But this wasn’t the first time Logano and Harvick haven’t seen eye to eye. At the Nationwide Series race at Bristol earlier this season in March, Harvick spun Logano as they were battling for fifth. This time, with three laps to go, Harvick and Logano touched going into Turn 3, which caused Logano to spin. Harvick went on to finish fourth,

while Logano wound up 13th. The 20-year-old Joe Gibbs Racing driver didn’t hold back when talking about the incident, which cost him a potential topfive finish. “He let me go in the middle of the straightaway and then decided to dump me in the next turn,” Logano said. “I don’t know what his problem is with me, but it’s probably not his fault,” Logano continued. “His wife wears the firesuit in the family and tells him what to do. It’s probably not his fault.” (Logano was referring to Harvick’s wife, DeLana, who wears a Richard Childress Racing firesuit on pit road during Cup events.)

Photo courtesy of Todd Warshaw/ On lap 200, an incident between Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano created a green-white-checker finish situation and riled tempers after Getty Images for NASCAR the race. Harvick went on to finish fourth, and Logano wound up 13th. (Photo courtesy of NASCAR Media) got us the most mad...If he wants DeLana replied. “It caught me Harvick called it a racing incito fight and wrestle around with off-guard. I was kind of confused. dent but indicated that Logano Kevin, the gate is right over here I didn’t understand why I got had it coming. and they can wrestle outside…I brought into a situation that I “I got into him there going into don’t care how mad he is. I un- wasn’t involved in at all. So at first [Turn] 3 and he just races with not derstand the fact he’s upset. But I wasn’t sure how to take it. giving people any respect and when it comes to doing that right “But the more I thought about not much room,” Harvick said. there, there’s no time or place it, it was a 20-year-old kid who “So, we just wound up getting for it.” was really mad. And you know together. It’s unfortunate, but Logano’s father, Tom, perhaps what? I’ve said things when I that’s the way it goes.” got a little too emotional about was really mad when I was really Logano’s frustration was widethe whole incident, because he young; heck, I say things now — ly known among his crew, hearreportedly shoved a television I’m not going to tell you how old I ing him say over his radio after reporter during the ruckus. He am, but it’s older than 20 — and I the race, “You better be with me had to meet with NASCAR Sprint still say things that are kind of silly here. That’s all I’ve got to say. I’m Cup Series Director John Darby sometimes. So I wasn’t offended going to [expletive] kill him.” afterwards. Apparently, Tom had by it; I was more confused by it.” Instead of just walking away his annual NASCAR credential It’s evident DeLana isn’t offrom the situation, Logano parked pulled for confronting Greg Biffle fended by the situation, as she his car next to #29 in pit road and after a Nationwide race last year, has made the comment a marketmarched right over to Harvick, however he didn’t lose his creden- ing venture for herself. She met giving him a piece of his mind tial this time. with some folks and started sell— shouting and blaming the “There has to be a line in the ing T-shirts on the Kevin Harvick RCR driver for wrecking him. No sand as to how far that [par- Inc. website. The shirts are white punches were thrown, but there ent’s] passion goes,” Darby said. with pink lettering saying,“I wear was plenty of anger to go around. “Sometimes parents aren’t really the firesuit in this family.” Logano had to be restrained by licensed or have permission to get JGR President J.D. Gibbs gave his team and pulled away as the involved in those things.” his opinion on the flare-up and crews began to push and shove. Darby also reported that Losaid he didn’t expect the drivers’ Harvick’s crewmen claimed gano’s conduct for the way he feud to continue. that Logano tried to pin them parked next to Harvick’s car on pit “The whole team was frustratagainst Harvick’s car when he road won’t face any sanctions. ed — they felt like Kevin backed pulled up to them on pit road. DeLana responded afterwards out [of the gas] and went again,” Harvick’s crew chief Gil Martin that she was confused as to why Gibbs said. “We were running so was livid, saying that Logano put Logano chose to drag her into the well…That’s part of life. You’ve his crewmen around Harvick’s car tense situation. got to move on. I think they’ll in danger. “They were showing replays be fine.” “He gassed his car up and tried way after the race was over, and I to pin our guys between the car,” happened to catch the comment,” Martin said.“That’s the thing that


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NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

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NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

4 ~ IWANNA® July 27, 2010

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TEAMMATE RIVALRY:

SCOTT SPEED VS. CASEY MEARS

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t seems as if teammates just have a rough time getting along this season.

Clockwise: 1. Casey Mears (Photo courtesy of NHMS/Laurie Thiboutot), 2. Casey Mears in the No. 83 got into Red Bull Racing teammate Scott Speed in the No. 82, bringing out the third caution during the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway (Photo courtesy of Nascar Media), 3. Scott Speed (Photo courtesy of Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The feud involved two Red Bull drivers, which comes as a double whammy for Red Bull Racing, as the team has been pummeled with a number of issues this season. At the Heluva Good! 400 at Michigan, just before the halfway point, the No. 83 of Casey Mears dove into Scott Speed, sending Speed spinning on lap 99 of the 200lap race. Speed was fuming over

the incident, calling Mears some nasty names over his radio. “I mean really, we’re running like in the very back of the pack and like crap and we’re going to wreck each other? Really?”Speed said over his in-car radio. It looked as if Mears had the low line, therefore sliding into Speed. Mears’ car acquired some damage when he made contact with David Ragan on pit road. Another accident ended the day for him about 20 laps before the end of the race, putting him at 36th. Speed finished the race at 28th. There wasn’t a chance for a rendezvous between drivers, because Mears had already left the track. Mears has driven for two different teams this year, starting the season with Keyed-Up Motorsports, then spending a couple of weeks as the stand-by driver for Denny Hamlin following Hamlin’s knee surgery. He was hired by Red Bull last month when Brian Vickers was diagnosed with blood clots (he is expected to return after this season.) In the past, Mears has driven for Chip Ganassi Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, and Richard Childress Racing. This isn’t the first time Red Bull teammates have bumped

heads. Speed and Brian Vickers had issues with each other in a Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire last year. But they were driving for different teams then. After Michigan’s race, it was very clear Vickers was upset about the mishap, and when asked for an explanation as to why it happened, he responded, “Ugh, IQ level.” “Both of us were struggling, but [Mears] wrecking us like that — I mean is ridiculous,” Speed said. “Whenever you’re at Hendrick [Motorsports] and Richard Childress Racing and then you still don’t have a ride and haven’t done anything there’s no real excuses after that.” Speed is only in his third year of stock-car racing. He’s trying to get a Cup victory for the first time, while Mears in the running for his second. Let’s be frank, Speed’s colorful personality can tick some drivers off. Unfortunately, Mears, who began the season with Key Motorsports after being released from RCR last season, could not be reached for comment. Despite the struggles, Speed said the start of the season looked relatively promising with a top-10

finish at Atlanta and a front row start at Phoenix, but the bottom fell out after a 15th-place finish at Talladega. Since then, Speed has steadily moved up the ladder where finishes are concerned, finishing 20th at Pocono, 18th at Sonoma, 10th at Dayona, and is now 24th in the Cup Series point standings. In an effort to solve some performance problems, Red Bull Racing swapped crew chiefs between the No. 82 and No. 83 before Pocono, which placed Ryan Pemberton with Speed and Jimmy Elledge with Mears. “It was good for our team,” Speed said. “Half the team switched basically and you realize where the weak links are on each team, what everyone likes about each team and communication as well. But we only have two cars here. We are going up against guys that have four or five. And it is especially difficult when you’re switching drivers and plugging people in...it makes it hard to get momentum going.”


NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

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NASCAR DIVERSITY INTERNSHIP PROGRAM ENTERS 11TH YEAR

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Summer interns at Victory Lane Karting. (Photo courtesy of NASCAR Diversity)

wenty three students from across the United States have been selected to participate in the 2010 NASCAR Diversity Internship Program that started June 1st and gives minority college students the opportunity to complete 10-week, paid summer internships within the NASCAR industry.

Since its inception in 2000, interns have gained experience working in marketing, engineering, public relations, licensing, diversity, and public affairs. Participation in the program has led to full-time positions in the industry for a number of past interns. “The NASCAR Diversity Internship Program has introduced hundreds of students from diverse backgrounds to professional opportunities in NASCAR,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR’s managing director of public affairs, who oversees the diversity department. “The program has played an important role in NASCAR’s efforts to attract the best and brightest to our industry.” The program features internships offered by NASCAR offices, sponsors, licensees, teams, tracks, and broadcast partners. In addition to NASCAR and GRAND-AM corporate offices in Daytona Beach, Charlotte, New York, and Los Angeles, the following companies are participating in 2010: Roush Fenway Racing, The SPEED Channel, The 909 Group, International Speedway Corporation (ISC), Daytona International Speedway, Just Marketing International, Catalyst Public Relations, and Octagon. The current intern class began

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their NASCAR experience with an orientation session during the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. The group visited the new NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, the Sam Bass NASCAR Art Gallery, Revolution Racing headquarters, and attended the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman. In addition, the group met with a number of key people in the NASCAR industry including NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew members, drivers, and NASCAR executives. Each year, the internships are available to college sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students across the country. To be eligible, students must be in good standing with their school and community and have a minimum 3.0 grade-point average. In addition to the internship program, NASCAR awards diversity scholarships in tribute to NASCAR legend Wendell Scott, has an attrack diversity mentorship program, and a college tour that visits historically black colleges and universities and Hispanic-serving institutions. by NASCAR MediA


NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

6 ~ IWANNA® July 27, 2010

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Hamlin’s pit crew wins sprint cHallenge

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he JGR pit crew won the 2010 Sprint Pit Crew Challenge on May 19 at Time Warner Cable Arena.

By winning this year, they proved to everyone that they are a team to be reckoned with. This year, Hamlin’s team beat Jeff Burton’s crew to the finish line by 0.442 seconds. “I wanted it so bad for these guys,” Denny Hamlin said. “I wanted them to enjoy their success. I always get all the credit when we win, and this night was about them and it showed how steady and good they are.” Different than other normal pit stops, this competition had each crew start at four separate stations — jackman, front-tire carrier and changer, the rear-tire carrier and changer, and the gasman and catch-can man. The crewmen did their normal duties and then had to run to one end of the arena and together, push their car across the arena floor to the finish line. On the crew was gas man Scott Wood, catch-can man John Eicher, front-tire changer Mike Hicks, front-tire carrier Brandon Pegram, rear-tire changer Jon Sherman, rear-tire carrier Heath Cherry, and jackman Nate Bolling. Because the teams had to push the car across the arena floor, it was best to have a petite person behind the steering wheel. That’s where Hamlin’s girlfriend came into play. Two years ago, Hamlin had been critical of his pit crew, and some changes were The No. 11 crew of Denny Hamlin edges the No. 11 crew of Jeff Burton by 0.442 seconds to win the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman at Time Warner Cable made the week of the crew challenge in order to step up their game. Arena. (Photo courtesy of NASCAR Media) “It’s like a family,” rear tire carrier Heath Cherry said of the crew.“Over the last two years, we’ve gotten stronger and stronger, more confident and more consistent. We take a lot of pride in what we do. We have a good group that works well together and is just a team. We keep that consistency. No one is bigger than the other.” In winning the pit crew challenge, Hamlin’s team got the first choice of pit selection for the All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Hamlin and crew chief Mike Ford both made the decision to take the pit closest to the end of pit road for this reason: during the race, drivers are required to make a pit stop just prior to the final 10-lap segment. The fact that they had first pickings of crew placement didn't hurt in securing the No. 11's final spot. Although the win went to Kurt Busch, Hamlin came in fourth, a nice top-five finish the whole team was proud of.

a look at tHe 2010 inductees

ricHard pettY

(June 28, 1931 - )

(April 29, 1951 - Feb. 18, 2001)

(July 2, 1937 - ) Inducted by: Kyle Petty, son and former Cup racer Achievements: 200 NASCAR Cup wins in 1,185 career starts, including seven championships. Final victory (1992 Pepsi 400) came with President Ronald Reagan in attendance. Seven victories in the Daytona 500.Won 10 races in a row in 1967, the same year he went to Victory Lane 27 times in 46 tries. Did you know? “King Richard” drove for Petty Enterprises nearly all of his career (1958-1992). He ran two seasons for former California Lt. Gov. Mike Curb (1984-85), and had two dirt track starts — both of which he won — in 1970 for Don Robertson.The latter of those starts was at Raleigh — the last NASCAR Cup event contested on dirt.

Junior JoHnson

dale earnHardt

Bill France Jr. (April 4, 1933 - June 4, 2007) Inducted by: Rick Hendrick, NASCAR team owner Achievements: Served as NASCAR president from 1972-2000. Led NASCAR’s transformation from a regional sport to national status, including TV packages that saw every top-tier Cup race televised live for billions of dollars split among NASCAR, tracks, and competitors. Did you know? As a youngster, he sold everything from souvenir programs to sno-cones to race fans while his father promoted races. He’s not really a junior, either. His actual name was William C. France and his father, William H.G. France.

Inducted by: Richard Childress, team owner Achievements: The only driver to match Petty’s seven Cup championships (the first for Rod Osterlund, the other six for Childress). 76 Cup victories, three wins in NASCAR’s All-Star race, four crowns in the International Race of Champion series. Dale Earnhardt Inc. won six NASCAR championships in the Nationwide and Truck divisions, and scored 24 Cup wins before a 2009 merger with Chip Ganassi Racing. Those two dozen victories included the Daytona 500 in which he died and the ensuing race at Rockingham. Did you know? Earnhardt scored his first Cup win on April 1, 1979, less than a year after winning two of three starts in Late Model competition at what is now Fayetteville Motor Speedway.

Bill France sr. (Sept. 26, 1909 - June 7, 1992) Inducted by: John Cassidy, long-time friend Achievements: Helped unite race promoters, drivers, and mechanics to form NASCAR, and was chosen to head the newly-formed organization. Ruled the sport as a benevolent dictator, even to the point of banning those who tried to form a drivers union. Built the sport’s iconic track, Daytona International Speedway, and added Talladega Superspeedway a decade later. Did you know? France once owned Champion Speedway, a third-mile paved oval located on U.S. 301 near Fayetteville Regional Airport.

Inducted by: Winston Kelley, executive director, NASCAR Hall of Fame Achievements: 50 wins as a driver, including the 1960 Daytona 500. Six championships as team owner for Cale Yarborough (197678) and Darrell Waltrip (1981-82, ‘85). Only Petty Enterprises and Hendrick Motorsports have won more races than Johnson’s 132 as a team owner. Portrayed by Jeff Bridges in the 1973 bio-pic “The Last American Hero.” Did you know? After being caught in 1956 at his father’s moonshine still, Johnson served 11 months in a federal prison. He received a pardon in 1986, and now is part owner of Piedmont Distillers, the only legal distiller in North Carolina. by Thomas PoPe, FayeTTeville observer

Dale Earnhardt photo taken by official NASCAR photographer Darryl Moran, Wikipedia.com. All other photos courtesy of nascarmedia.com


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NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

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8 ~ IWANNA® July 27, 2010

NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

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Asheville NAtive proves tAleNt At NAtioNwide series

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wenty one-year old Coleman Pressley is one of the brightest young stars racing in the Southeast.

The Asheville, NC native is a third generation driver, who comes from good stock. His grandfather, Bob Pressley, was one of the best short track racers in the country during his time, collecting many wins throughout the Southeast and two track championships at Hickory Motor Speedway in 1972 and 1974. Coleman’s father, Robert, also

had a solid career with over 200 Cup starts, 10 career Nationwide victories, 2 career Camping World Truck victories, and a track championship at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in 1988. Coleman has been racing his Celebrity’s Hot Dogs late model stock car for five years. He started his late model career running weekly at Hickory and GreenvillePickens, competing against tough competition and learning on the tracks his father and grandfather raced before him. “It’s not just my dad and grandpa that raced at those places,” says Coleman.

Pressley wins Inaugural Banjo Matthews 150

“People like Dale Earnhardt and Max Prestwood raced at those tracks. I am a big history buff with NASCAR so it is really cool that I have won the Bobby Isaac Memorial race at Hickory because Bobby is a former Cup champion and a legend in the sport.” One person who has been involved with Coleman’s career since the beginning is his father. “It’s been very difficult in ways, and very promising in ways,” states Robert Pressley as he describes what it has been like to watch his son progress in his racing career. “Racing is such a big thing in the Pressley family, but we tried to persuade Coleman as a young child to go into baseball or something. We never pushed racing on him but racing is all he has ever talked about since he was three or four years old.” Talking with Coleman Pressley, his love and appreciation of the historical aspect of the sport is evident. However, not only does he know the history of the sport, he can also drive a racecar. Coleman is currently focusing on capturing the championship in the UARA Series, where he is involved in a tight points battle after 10 of 16 events. Coleman has also picked up one victory this year at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, SC. “With UARA you get to go to a new racetrack every week,” says Coleman. “Competition is really second to none in the series as well. If you can win in this series at a track you are not familiar with, then I think it is an easier step to

move on to the next level.” Speaking of moving up to the next level, Coleman has been able to run a handful of Nationwide races this year for R3 Motorsports and JR Motorsports. Coleman is currently looking at his options in the Nationwide Series to see what is available for the remainder of the season on the second tier NASCAR circuit. “There may be a couple more stand alone races with JR Motorsports,” explains Coleman. “That is my first option. Hopefully I will be able to get back in the 23 car some, but right now the focus is to just keep winning races in the late model and build toward 2011.” Coleman made his Nationwide Series debut last year at Iowa Speedway. He ran his first Nationwide Series race of 2010 at Bristol for R3 Motorsports in March, and his dad was atop the spotters stand, coaching his son around the .533 mile oval. “When I saw him go his first lap at Bristol, it was probably a better day than me winning Daytona or Darlington, or anything I have ever done,” says the proud father. “I know that talent wise he has passed me and he is really close to his grandfather, or maybe better than his grandfather.” In addition to being Coleman’s father, Robert Pressley is also the car owner for Coleman’s late model stock. However, Coleman is quick to point out that his dad serves in a much greater capacity on race day. “Dad is the spotter, crew chief, team manager, and

car owner, so he wears a lot of hats at the track,” says Coleman. “More than anything he is a coach. He keeps me grounded and reminds me to take every lap as it comes.” One former Nationwide Series champion who believes Coleman will have an opportunity to race in the Nationwide Series is fellow Asheville native, Jack Ingram. “Coleman should get a shot at it because he is a pretty good driver,” says Ingram. Coleman is humbled and appreciative of the accolade from one of the sport’s legends. “I never remember watching Jack race, but I know everything about him,” states Coleman. “He and my grandpa were fierce rivals on the track, so for him to say a compliment like that is pretty cool. When I was racing at Greenville-Pickens, Jack would go with me every week and give me pointers. It’s cool to have someone like that on your side.” If Coleman Pressley continues to have success as he has had in his few short years racing a late model, there should definitely be bright things in his future. He and his father want to make sure that the right opportunity comes along at the right time, so that he can make the most of it.“I know one thing,” says Robert as he sums up his thoughts on his son.“With the right opportunity, this boy can go a long way.” by Devon HolDer speeD weekly


NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

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IWANNA® July 27, 2010 ~ 9

Johnson’s one slip up cost him 1st place

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The crew of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet perform a green flag pit stop as their driver Jimmie Johnson swapped first place with Kyle Busch throughout Sunday in the Autism Speaks 400. Johnson ended up the lap leader with 225 laps led, but ended up finishing the race in 16th after a speeding penalty on pit road put him a lap down. (Photo courtesy of NASCAR Media)

n Sunday, May 16, Jimmie Johnson lost to Kyle Busch in the Cup race at Dover International Speedway.

As Johnson was leaving the pit stall on Lap 365 of the Autism Speaks 400, he accelerated just a little too quickly. NASCAR officials clocked Johnson as going 40.091 mph on pit road which just so happens to be 5.091 mph over the 35 mph limit. Johnson was penalized for speeding, which was just what Busch needed

in order to win his second race in two days at Dover. It was a rare mistake anyone could have made, but the fourtime champion made it. Johnson had to serve a pass-through penalty as a result of the speeding and ended up having to settle for a 16th-place finish as Busch sailed to his second victory of the season. “It definitely cost us a top-two finish,” said Johnson, who nevertheless had a great run all day, leading a total of eight times for a race-high 225 laps. “I’m frustrated. I think we’ve got to be a little bit more aware of our acceleration of the car off pit road, and how we can get busted there. But outside of that, I can’t say we did anything else wrong all day. We led a bunch of laps, had great pit stops. I mean, across the board it was a great day. I just hate, that at the end, one small mistake knocked us back to a 16th-place finish.” As they drove into the pits, Johnson was in the lead with Busch’s No. 18 Toyota trailing the No. 48 Chevrolet. “The segment I got busted in was right after our pit box,” John-

son said. “When I saw the jack drop for Kyle, I knew I was beat [off pit road] and actually kind of checked up. I didn’t want to get busted on the small segment at the very end. I just kind of let him have it because I felt like I was beat and we needed to be single file coming through [Turns] 1 and 2 on the apron.” “I think Jimmie was just trying to make up a little bit,” Busch’s crew chief Dave Rogers added. “He saw Kyle had closed to his back bumper coming to pit road; he knew our pit crew was pretty strong. I’m sure he was just trying to get all he could get, and just went a little bit too far.” Even with a sour finish, Johnson was a pretty good sport about it all. While answering questions after the race, he blamed no one but himself for the costly mistake. “We had a very good race car... granted, one mistake makes it look like it was a bad day for us — but we had great pit stops, a great race car, andgreatcommunicationbetween Chad Knaus and I. It was a great day for the 48. We just didn’t get the finish we wanted.”


10 ~ IWANNA® July 27, 2010

NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

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2010 MID-SEASON CUP RACE RECAPS: July 10, 2010

July 3, 2010

Reutimann Holds Off Edwards For Chicagoland Win

Harvick Wins Daytona Thriller

David Reutimann held off Carl Edwards in a green-flag run after the final round of pit stops Saturday night and picked up his second career NASCAR Sprint Cup victory in the LifeLock. com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Reutimann, who is expected to re-sign with Michael Waltrip Racing, won for the first time since May 2009, when he went to Victory Lane in the rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. Edwards ran second in an encouraging performance for the beleaguered No. 99 Roush Fenway Ford team. Jeff Gordon finished third, followed by Clint Bowyer and polesitter Jamie McMurray. Kasey Kahne, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, and Paul Menard completed the top 10 in the 19th series race of the season. What was an excellent night for Reutimann, Edwards, and Gordon was a disaster for Cup leader Kevin Harvick and four-time defending series champion Jimmie Johnson. Harvick fought trouble all race long, at one point bringing his No. 29 Chevrolet to the garage to change the fuel pump and fuel pump cable. He lost 16 laps in the process and finished 34th, 16 laps down. Johnson may have had the fastest car — having led the first 92 laps — but he hurt his own cause twice before the race was 150 laps old. On the way to a green-flag stop on Lap 93, Johnson missed the entrance to pit road, and lost the lead to McMurray. He spent the next 40 laps running down the driver of the No. 1 Chevy. Less than two laps after a restart on Lap 136, Johnson spun on the backstretch while running in close quarters with the No. 56 Toyota of Martin Truex Jr. It was impossible to tell, even after multiple replays, whether Truex’s car made slight contact with Johnson’s Chevy or whether Truex simply took the air off Johnson’s spoiler and caused him to lose control. Whatever the case, Johnson restarted 24th on Lap 14, and matters got worse. On Lap 169, Johnson radioed, “Right front flat — I scrubbed the wall a little bit,” and brought his car to pit road for four new tires. He came out of the pits two laps down and ultimately finished 25th, one lap down.

June 27, 2010

Johnson Victorious At New Hampshire Sunday, June 27 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Jimmie Johnson played second fiddle, as he sometimes does, for most of the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 before putting a payback bump-and-run on Kurt Busch. Busch had nudged Johnson aside with seven laps remaining with a bumper-tag finesse. Johnson repaid the favor with just a few laps to go, providing high-end drama to a race that had only four caution flags. Tony Stewart slipped past Busch for second place on the last lap. Busch was third. Jeff Gordon was fourth and NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader Kevin Harvick finished fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Joey Logano, and A. J. Allmendinger. Kyle Busch, one of the leaders and a contender all day, wound up 11th after colliding with Jeff Burton and spinning during one of the late restarts. Burton, who led 89 laps, was a definite factor before the spin. Kyle Busch led 46 laps. Pole winner Juan Pablo Montoya and fellow front-row starter Kasey Kahne led laps before problems sidelined both drivers late in the race. Kahne, who led a race-high 110 laps, lost an engine. Montoya, who led 36 laps, was wrecked by Reed Sorensen. Debris in Turn 3 brought out the first caution at Lap 35. Kahne beat everyone out of the pits, followed by Mark Martin. Montoya quickly advanced from fifth place to second. Kahne pretty much controlled things during this part of the race. Kyle Busch had moved to second, dropping Montoya to third with Burton on his bumper and Gordon running fifth. Sunday’s victory was the 52nd of Johnson’s career and his fifth of this season.

It was a wild one Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway — so wild you had to wonder whether there were going to be any cars running at the finish. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings leader Kevin Harvick won the last race on the track’s current pavement after running up front all night. He managed to dodge the on-track fireworks that littered the Coke Zero 400 Presented by Coca-Cola from start to finish, a race that set a new event record with 18 different leaders and may spark conversation for years. The stage for a green-white-checkered finish was set with one lap to go when two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Sam Hornish Jr., lost control of his Dodge and clipped Kurt Busch, causing a lot of damage to both cars. Harvick’s teammate, Clint Bowyer, was leading on the restart but got tangled up down the backstretch and spun out of contention. It was a tough, tough break for Bowyer, who had appeared to be heading for his first Daytona victory. Kasey Kahne finished second and Jeff Gordon third behind Harvick. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., was fourth after running poorly most of the night. Jeff Burton was fifth after being involved in a multi-car crash that red-flagged the race for 19:34. More than 20 cars were involved in this accident, which had debris scattered for more than half-a-mile on the track. In fact, many of the frontrunners in the race were eliminated, including Juan Pablo Montoya, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Newman, and others. An earlier accident with less than 60 laps remaining knocked another contender out of the race. Kyle Busch was leading when he drifted up across the nose of Montoya, turning Busch’s Toyota into the outside wall and ending his chances. The fact that Earnhardt finished fourth was testament to the fact that many of the fast cars were damaged in the huge wreck. Carl Edwards finished sixth, followed by Kurt Busch, whose Dodge looked like a candidate for the junkyard. Busch was involved in several of the accidents. Rounding out the top 10 were Reed Sorensen, Mike Bliss, and Scott Speed.

June 20, 2010

Johnson Gets Road Course Gift From Ambrose Jimmie Johnson inherited the lead in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway when Marcos Ambrose failed to keep up with the pace car during the final caution of the 110-lap race. Johnson pulled away from Robby Gordon in the final five laps to win the first road-course race of his career. Ambrose had opened a lead of more than two seconds over Johnson when Brad Keselowski spun and stalled in Turn 7 to bring out the seventh caution on Lap 103. Attempting to save fuel during the caution laps, Ambrose lost power and slowed, and Jimmie Joh nson toasts the fans to ebrate his his No. 47 Toyota failed to refire. celToyota/Sav e Mar Infineon Rac Ambrose’s engine finally started, but eway. Court t 350 win at esy of Nasca by then, the first six cars in the running r Media. order had passed him. Consequently, Ambrose restarted seventh with five laps left and was able to recover one position before the finish. Johnson crossed the finish line 3.105 seconds ahead of Gordon and moved up four spots in the standings to second, 140 points behind leader Kevin Harvick, who ran third. Harvick began the day 22 points ahead of Kyle Busch, 47 ahead of Denny Hamlin, and 118 ahead of Kurt Busch. But all three struggled. Kyle Busch finished 39th, Hamlin 34th, and Kurt Busch 32nd. Polesitter Kasey Kahne was fourth, and Jeff Gordon fifth, but the major topic of discussion after the race was Ambrose’s slip up.


iwanna.com

NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

IWANNA速 July 27, 2010 ~ 11


NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

12 ~ IWANNA® July 27, 2010

iwanna.com

MARK MARTIN

HAS ONE THING TO SAY:

I

HE'S HERE TO STAY

f you think Mark Martin is getting a little old for NASCAR, think again.

The 51-year old veteran says he has no intention of changing his plans and that he’ll continue driving Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 5 car in 2011. In fact, he plans to race a Cup car in 2012 with another organization. Martin is in his second full season with Hendrick Motorsports. While at first he was going to scale back to a part-time schedule in 2010, Martin signed a deal last September to drive full-time through 2011,with GoDaddy.com as his sponsor. Since Hendrick is signing Richard Petty Motorsports’ Kasey Kahne to drive the No. 5 car starting in 2012,many people thought Martin might end his full-time

season at the end of this year so Kahne could take over the car in 2011. But that’s definitely not what Martin has planned. “These guys wanted me to drive it for 2012,” Martin said. “I came here [in 2009] and it was a little bit of a stretch to do one full-time season.I gave them three. It’s been the gift of my career. One of my biggest concerns has been who was going to be the successor…I didn’t want to commit to [full-time in 2012] now and so I wanted to make sure Hendrick was set.And they are set in such an incredibly perfect scenario.” Believe it or not, Martin had planned on retiring after the 2006 season, but returned to race parttime in 2007 and 2008 for Ginn Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc.He returned to full-time competition

last year with Hendrick. As far as 2012 and beyond goes, Martin is revved about what’s in store. “I would appreciate it if no one would write anything about me retiring because I’m not going to retire,” Martin said. “I’m going to race in 2012. Don’t even talk about it. I’m racing in 2012. There will be an opportunity for me, I’m sure, that will be exciting and fun and that I people.Three can help people. Three of the best years of my career Hendrick Motorsports has delivered to me and I’m damn grateful for it.” With a total of 40 career Cup victories in 765 starts, Martin admits “there’s nothing else in my life that I can show my passion for and occupy my time that I enjoy as much and I’m any good at.” There is some speculation that in 2012 Martin will go in the direction of co-owning his own team. Photo courtesy of Sam Greenwood/Getty Images for “I have absolutely no idea NASCAR [about 2012] and I won’t be able to answer that question until late next year,” Martin said.“I’m going but I wanted to make sure that two championships with Mark to do whatever I want to, and I’m he considered it because it’s the Martin,” Gustafson said. “That’s not even going to know what I perfect scenario for Kasey Kahne what I’m focused on doing.That’s want to do for a while and I’m not and it’s the perfect scenario for the most important thing to going to know the scenarios that Hendrick Motorsports. He’s in- worry about doing. “My whole goal is to get might be there.” the 5 car on top and be I would appreciate it if no one Martin’s crew chief Alan Gustafson has would write anything about me retiring the marquee team in the sport, [to] win races and complete faith that championships. We have because I’m not going to retire. Martin will be back and a great opportunity with is looking forward to — MARK MARTIN Mark and what Mr. Henworking with him for drick has done with Kasey another full season. credibly talented. He’s incredibly is just going to solidify the team “Mark is as competitive as marketable. His personality will and car for the future.” ever,”Gustafson said.“I don’t think As for Martin’s future, there is Mark Martin gives up anything to fit. And personalities are very important.” still some debate,but it seems as anybody. I think it’s the other way The fact that Kahne is joning though he isn’t going anywhere around.Most of the guys are chasthe No. 5 team is a sure sign they soon. ing him as far as driver ability.” “I’ve been in this sport long Martin is 100 percent confident are doing a great job. Plus, Martin still has some prime chances to enough to know and have the that Kahne will work well with the win for another year to come. confidence that really interesting Hendrick crew and drivers. Gustafson, who has been crew opportunities come up…I’ll ex“Kasey Kahne is the really right fit for this organization,” Martin chief of the No. 5 team since 2005 plore driving and other things as said. “Kasey Kahne was the guy. says, “I’ve got an opportunity to well.I love this sport.I’m going to The timing wasn’t exactly right, win a lot of races and potentially be in this sport for a long time.”


iwanna.com

June 13, 2010

Hamlin Smokes The Competition At Michigan Denny Hamlin sucked the drama right out of Sunday’s Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway — because his car was so vastly superior to the 42 others in the field. Hamlin was more than good enough to win for a career-best fifth time Crew chief this season and for the M his driver D ike Ford sprays 13th time in his career. enny Hamli n after winning the He backed up last week’s H Cream Dip eluva Good! Sour victory at Pocono with s 400 Sund ay. Courtesy of Nascar M his fifth win in the past edia. 10 races. Kasey Kahne was the runner-up, polesitter Kurt Busch ran third, followed by Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart. Jimmie Johnson finished sixth, with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. behind him in seventh. Jeff Burton, Greg Biffle, and Joey Logano completed the top 10. If Hamlin stole the suspense from the race, a debris caution on Lap 182 of 200 threatened to restore it. At that point, Hamlin had a lead of more than nine seconds over Kahne. The caution bunched the field for a restart on Lap 187, but after Kahne dogged Hamlin for the next five laps, Hamlin began to pull away by more than a tenth of a second per lap. All told, Hamlin led 123 laps. Kurt Busch led 60 laps but showed his strength early while Hamlin was moving forward from the seventh starting position.

NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update June 6, 2010

Hamlin Wins Green-White-Checker Finish at Pocono Raceway Denny Hamlin won his fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season Sunday at Pocono Raceway. The 30-year-old driver took the lead from three-time Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish, Jr., and a greenwhite-checker restart set up by a threelap-to-go crash between Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano to win the Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 at Pocono Raceway. Harvick and Logano touched going into Turn 3, causing Logano to spin. Harvick went on to finish fourth, and Logano wound up 13th. A multi-car crash on the backstretch as the field headed for the checkered flag demolished a number of cars, many of which had been contenders. Included were Kasey Kahne, who skidded across the track in front of a wide-open pack sending debris scattering everywhere. Also involved were Greg Biffle, Martin Truex, Jr., Ryan Newman, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Elliott Sadler, and Marcos Ambrose. Logano added a few fireworks to the post-race environment when he had some heated words with Harvick.

IWANNA® July 27, 2010 ~ 13

May 30, 2010

Kurt Busch Edges McMurray For Coca-Cola 600 Victory

Kur t Busch won the Coca-Cola 600 for team owner Roger Penske, spoiling a dream day for rival owner Chip Ganassi Ganassi. Busch crossed the finish line .737 seconds ahead of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing’s Jamie McKurt Busch Murray Murray. ce Cola 600 vi lebrates a his CocaThe victory was ctory, makin g seventh dri Busch’s second of the ver to swee him the p both NASCAR Sp ri season and the 22nd events at C nt Cup Series May harlotte Mo of his career. He is the to way. Court esy of Nasca r Speedseventh driver to win r Media. both Charlotte races during May speedweeks, and his victory prevented Ganassi from winning the IndyCar Series’most prestigious race and NASCAR’s longest on the same day. On Lap 167, Jimmie Johnson slid sideways off Turn 4, tapping the outside wall with the right rear of his No. 48. Johnson’s spin forced Denny Hamlin to take evasive action, damaging the front splitter of the No. 11 Toyota as he rolled through the infield grass. Under caution for Johnson’s spin, Kyle Busch, who came to the pits with the lead, collided with Brad Keselowski on pit road, damaging both cars. Kyle Busch finished third, followed by Mark Martin and David Reutimann. Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Paul Menard, polesitter Ryan Newman, and Matt Kenseth completed the top 10.


NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

14 ~ IWANNA速 July 27, 2010

RK

+/-

DRIVER

1

--

2

iwanna.com

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES STANDINGS PTS

BACK

STARTS

WINS

TOP5

TOP10

DNF

LAPS

LAPS LED

EARNINGS

Kevin Harvick

2745

-

19

2

8

13

0

5685

165

$3,954,046

--

Jeff Gordon

2642

-103

19

0

10

11

2

5783

772

$3,403,143

3

--

Jimmie Johnson

2557

-188

19

5

8

11

4

5527

782

$4,205,450

4

+1

Denny Hamlin

2542

-203

19

5

7

8

0

5782

562

$3,326,008

5

-1

Kurt Busch

2524

-221

19

2

7

11

0

5775

807

$4,413,201

6

--

Kyle Busch

2488

-257

19

2

5

9

1

5703

695

$3,565,763

7

+1

Jeff Burton

2465

-280

19

0

4

9

0

5791

379

$2,947,844

8

-1

Matt Kenseth

2446

-299

19

0

4

8

0

5794

35

$3,100,093

9

--

Tony Stewart

2389

-356

19

0

4

9

1

5772

117

$2,948,536

10

+2

Carl Edwards

2345

-400

19

0

2

8

2

5611

4

$2,907,945

11

-1

Greg Biffle

2292

-453

19

0

2

10

2

5747

126

$2,758,162

12

+2

Clint Bowyer

2286

-459

19

0

2

10

2

5302

129

$2,522,354

Chase for the Championship 13

-2

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2271

-474

19

0

2

6

0

5775

68

$3,005,053

14

-1

Mark Martin

2249

-496

19

0

5

6

3

5676

47

$2,547,488

15

+2

David Reutimann

2190

-555

19

1

4

4

3

5211

64

$2,989,164

NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES STANDINGS

RK

+/-

DRIVER

PTS

BACK

STARTS

WINS

TOP5

TOP10

DNF

LAPS

LAPS LED

EARNINGS

1

--

Brad Keselowski

3042

-

19

3

14

16

0

3503

765

$647,890

2

--

Carl Edwards

2874

-168

19

2

10

15

0

3458

206

$656,340

3

+1

Justin Allgaier

2545

-497

19

1

5

10

2

3477

131

$583,627

4

-1

Kyle Busch

2486

-556

15

7

11

12

1

2820

1009

$700,610

5

--

Kevin Harvick

2434

-608

16

2

8

14

1

2994

249

$594,155

6

--

Paul Menard

2367

-675

19

0

2

9

2

3451

5

$412,050

7

+1

Steve Wallace

2204

-838

19

0

1

8

3

3074

3

$517,792

8

+1

Brendan Gaughan

2127

-915

19

0

3

6

3

3262

8

$536,272

9

-2

Joey Logano

2108

-934

13

1

8

12

0

2477

508

$534,905

10

--

Jason Leffler

2088

-954

19

0

3

6

5

3033

13

$518,182

11

--

Trevor Bayne

2040

-1002

19

0

2

4

4

3195

19

$535,302

12

+1

Brian Scott

1991

-1051

19

0

1

5

2

3310

1

$502,812

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES STANDINGS

RK

+/-

DRIVER

PTS

BACK

STARTS

WINS

TOP5

TOP10

DNF

LAPS

LAPS LED

EARNINGS

1

--

Todd Bodine

1715

-

11

1

9

9

1

1689

180

$311,770

2

--

Aric Almirola

1614

-101

11

2

3

8

1

1637

41

$234,925

3

+2

Johnny Sauter

1519

-196

11

1

4

5

1

1668

105

$228,530

4

--

Timothy Peters

1510

-205

11

1

3

8

2

1603

61

$222,170

5

+1

Mike Skinner

1456

-259

11

0

1

7

1

1706

39

$144,240

6

-3

Ron Hornaday Jr.

1454

-261

11

0

5

6

1

1565

118

$187,560

7

--

Austin Dillon

1434

-281

11

1

3

6

1

1632

225

$199,320

8

+1

Matt Crafton

1418

-297

11

0

3

6

2

1684

11

$154,270

9

-1

David Starr

1390

-325

11

0

0

5

1

1744

3

$137,365

10

+1

Jason White

1369

-346

11

0

1

3

0

1687

13

$144,390

11

-1

Ricky Carmichael

1321

-394

11

0

1

4

3

1578

0

$135,715

12

+1

Mario Gosselin

1197

-518

11

0

0

1

3

1647

1

$124,610


iwanna.com

NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

IS THE CUP SERIES ON THE HORIZON FOR

DANICA PATRICK?

D

anica Patrick resumed her part time NASCAR schedule June 26 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the Nationwide Series.

Ticket sales for the race were up 20 percent compared to last year’s sales. And the likelihood for this reason? Danica. Although the race didn’t start the way she wanted — a Morgan Shepherd bump spun her out, putting her behind six laps into the event — Patrick got what she really needed out of the race. A 30th-place finish couldn’t overshadow the 195 laps she put into her learning curve. She doesn’t need any help with the publicity part — her Daytona debut in February drew the largest audience for a Nationwide race on cable. Joe Mattes, vice president of marketing and licensing at JR Motorsports, says Patrick’s per-capita sales at the Las Vegas race in February were among the strongest of

any driver that weekend. Danica is a star to say the least, however some believe she needs luck as she starts her new career: racing stock cars. In December, she signed a two-year deal with Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s JR Motorsports to drive in the Nationwide Series while maintaining her full-time openwheel schedule. With more than five seasons of IndyCar racing under her belt, Patrick has seen the ups and downs of the sport.She sport. She has one career win (Japan, 2008), and ranked in the top 10 in points within the last three seasons.While seasons.While she has struggled a bit this year, it seems she isn’t shying away from the NASCAR challenge. Stock cars are much heavier and more burdensome when compared to Indy cars. Many drivers have attempted to switch over to NASCAR only to return to IndyCar.The difficulty of switching from one form of racing to another is obvious. “I’m just learning as I go,” Patrick said.“I don’t think it’s anything that you can just digest and learn because you want to in a month or two. It’s just going to take time.” Danica plans on racing 13 events this season.She got off to a rough start in her first three races — at Daytona, California, and Las Vegas — where a mid-race wreck ended her day halfway through the first race and finished 31st and 36th. She then switched over so she could focus on her IndyCar season. Beginning with New Hampshire, Patrick will be driving in one Nationwide race each in June,July,August,and September while continuing her full-time IndyCar commitment. But beginning in October, she’ll drive in the final six Nationwide races. In her agreement with JR Motorsports, she is planning to race

partial-season schedules this season and next. Already many people are trying to guess what the budding driver will do come 2012’s season — whether she’ll go full-time or not. It would be good timing since there’s availability to leave her IndyCar deal. But in order for her to go full-time,critics say Patrick must put in more race time on the tracks. Many people claim that it’s very difficult — even for talented drivers — to commit to only part time in a NASCAR series.The ultimate concern then, is whether Patrick is ready to shake up her career in racing. “I’m starting to realize that this is really challenging, it’s really hard and I need not be so hard on myself and I need to just stay upbeat and take every lap as an improvement from the one before and that’s it, just keep marching forward,”Patrick said in a news conference. “What does she do for the tracks and for the sport? Everything,” said Trip Wheeler, a motorsports marketing consultant. “She’s a story, she’s sexy, she’s unique because she’s a woman — she’s everything a sport needs. Except for the wins.” For now, Jeff Gordon thinks Patrick is on the right track,so to speak, especially if she is thinking big picture with NASCAR. “If eventually she wants to get in the Cup Series, she’s got to basically do full time over here in the Nationwide Series,” Gordon said. “I think that she’s doing the right thing by running the Nationwide Series and getting laps...which will be a big help to get adapted to the Cup Series because our cars are a lot different than what they’re racing out there right now. I don’t think she necessarily has to jump right into the Cup Series anytime soon,but I would imagine that if she’s dabbling in the Nationwide Series, it’s because she would ultimately like to get in the Sprint Cup Series.”

Photo courtesy of NASCAR Media

IWANNA® July 27, 2010 ~ 19

CARL EDWARDS JOINS PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL ON FITNESS, SPORTS, AND NUTRITION

O

Photo courtesy of Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR

n June 23, Carl Edwards joined President Obama’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.

Edwards, along with the other members of the council, was introduced by First Lady Michelle Obama in Washington D.C. “It’s a group that I’m honored to be a part of,” Edwards said. “I look forward to working with the Council, the President, and First Lady to help kids better understand the importance and the fun of being fit and eating well.” In conjunction with the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, President Obama has broadened the scope of the Council, formerly known as the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, to include a focus on healthy eating as well as active lifestyles. On June 21, the President signed an Executive Order outlining the Council’s new emphasis on both good nutrition and physical fitness. The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition is a committee of volunteer citizens who advise the President through the Secretary of Health and Human Services about opportunities to develop accessible, affordable, and sustainable physical activity, fitness, sports, and nutrition programs for all Americans. The Council’s mission is to engage, educate, and empower all Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and good nutrition. The Council will be co-chaired by Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees and three-time Olympian and former U.S. national women’s gymnastics champion Dominique Dawes, and will be made up of Edwards, Dan Barber, Tedy Bruschi, Allyson Felix, Michelle Kwan, Curtis Pride, Donna Richardson Joyner, Dr. Ian Smith, Cornell McClellan, Grant Hill, Billie Jean King, Chris Paul, and Dr. Stephen McDonough. “This year we’re expanding the work of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition to include not just a focus on active lifestyles, but on healthy eating, too,” Mrs. Obama said. “The Council will play an important role in our effort to help combat childhood obesity in this country and I am grateful to the athletes, chefs, doctors, and nutrition experts who are volunteering their time on the Council to help make a difference." “This Council, as I said, is made up of everyone — chefs, doctors, health experts, personal trainers,” Mrs. Obama continued. “We’ve got our Olympic gold medalists. We’ve got a NASCAR driver. We’ve got NBA all-stars, tennis legends. We’ve got it all because we know in the end, kids listen to these heroes in so many ways.”


2010 SPRINT CUP SCHEDULE

DATE 07/25/10 08/01/10 08/08/10 08/15/10 08/21/10 09/09/10 09/11/10 09/19/10 09/26/10 10/03/10 10/10/10 10/16/10 10/24/10 10/31/10 11/07/10 11/14/10 11/21/10

RACE Brickyard 400 Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen Carfax 400 Irwin Tools Night Race Labor Day Classic 500 One Last Race to Make the Chase Sylvania 300 AAA 400 Price Chopper 400 presented by Kraft Foods Pepsi 500 Bank of America 500 TUMS Fast Relief 500 AMP Energy 500 AAA Texas 500 Kobalt Tools 500 Ford 400

VENUE Indianap Pocono Watkins Michigan Bristol M Atlanta Richmond New Ham Dover In Kansas S Auto Cl Charlotte Martinsv Talladeg Texas M Phoenix Homeste


2010

Mid-Year Update Schedules

E polis Motor Speedway Raceway s Glen International n International Speedway Motor Speedway Motor Speedway d International Raceway mpshire Motor Speedway nternational Speedway Speedway lub Speedway e Motor Speedway ville Speedway ga Superspeedway Motor Speedway International Raceway ead-Miami Speedway

TV/START ESPN / 1:00 PM ESPN / 1:00 PM ESPN / 1:00 PM ESPN / 1:00 PM ABC / 7:30 PM ESPN / 7:30 PM ABC / 7:30 PM ESPN / 1:00 PM ESPN / 1:00 PM ESPN / 1:00 PM ESPN / 3:00 PM ABC / 7:30 PM ESPN / 1:00 PM ESPN / 1:00 PM ESPN / 3:00 PM ESPN / 3:00 PM ESPN / 1:00 PM


2010 NATIONWIDE SCHEDULE

DATE 07/31/10 08/07/10 08/14/10 08/20/10 08/29/10 09/04/10 09/10/10 09/25/10 10/02/10 10/09/10 10/15/10 10/23/10 11/06/10 11/13/10 11/20/10

RACE U.S. Cellular 250 Zippo 200 at The Glen Carfax 250 Food City 250 NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge Great Clips 300 Richmond 250 Dover 200 Kansas Lottery 300 CampingWorld.com 300 Dollar General 300 Gateway 250 O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge Wypall 200 powered by Kimberly-Clark Professional Ford 300

VENUE Iowa Speedway Watkins Glen International Michigan International Speedway Bristol Motor Speedway Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (Montre Atlanta Motor Speedway Richmond International Raceway Dover International Speedway Kansas Speedway Auto Club Speedway Charlotte Motor Speedway Gateway International Raceway Texas Motor Speedway Phoenix International Raceway Homestead-Miami Speedway

2010 CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SCHEDULE

DATE 07/31/10 08/07/10 08/14/10 08/18/10 08/27/10 09/03/10 09/18/10 09/25/10 10/23/10 10/30/10 11/05/10 11/12/10 11/19/10

RACE Pocono Mountains 125 Nashville 200 Too Tough To Tame 200 O'Reilly 200 Chicagoland 225 Built Ford Tough 225 presented by the Great Cincinnati Ford Dealers New Hampshire 175 Las Vegas 350 Kroger 200 Mountain Dew 250 fueld by Fred's WinStar World Casino 350K Lucas Oil 150 Ford 200

VENUE Pocono Raceway Nashville Superspeedway Darlington Raceway Bristol Motor Speedway Chicagoland Speedway Kentucky Speedway New Hampshire Motor Speedwa Las Vegas Motor Speedway Martinsville Speedway Talladega Superspeedway Texas Motor Speedway Phoenix International Raceway Homestead-Miami Speedway


y

eal)

ay

TV/START ESPN2 / 7:00 PM ESPN / 1:30 PM ESPN / 1:00 PM ESPN / 7:00 PM ESPN2 / 2:00 PM ESPN2 / 6:30 PM ESPN2 / 7:00 PM ESPN2 / 3:00 PM ESPN2 / 3:00 PM ESPN2 / 4:00 PM ESPN2 / 7:30 PM ESPN2 / 3:00 PM ESPN2 / 12:00 PM ESPN2 / 4:00 PM ESPN2 / 4:00 PM TV/START SPEED / 12:30 PM SPEED / 8:30 PM SPEED / 7:00 PM SPEED / 7:30 PM SPEED / 8:30 PM SPEED / 7:30 PM SPEED / 2:30 PM SPEED / 9:00 PM SPEED / 12:30 PM SPEED / 3:30 PM SPEED / 8:30 PM SPEED / 7:30 PM SPEED / 7:30 PM


20 ~ IWANNA® July 27, 2010

NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

iwanna.com

IT’S TIME FOR A CELEBRATION!

Photo courtesy of NASCAR Media

DRIVER RIVALRY:

BUSCH VS. BURTON

K

yle Busch is really good at making enemies, and not so great at making allies.

Case in point: shortly after his meltdown with teammate Denny Hamlin at the All Star Race, Busch peeved off another driver — Jeff Burton — with only 19 laps remaining in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The entire race gave Busch a number of hurdles to jump over: the crash on pit road, the frontend damage, the two-tire calls and adjustments that helped Busch make up for lost time. By the finish the restart allowed Busch to place in the top three

that surely felt like a victory. “I can’t say we could have asked for a better finish,” Busch said on finishing third.“I don’t know where we should have finished, probably 10th or 12th was what we had. But we made some bold moves on restarts and got up there, and the guys did an awesome job on pit road picking up some spots for me that got me track position.” However Busch’s satisfaction quickly took backseat. As soon as the race ended, Jeff Burton started blaming Busch for a move in the final laps that cut the tire of his No. 31 car, leaving him in 25th place at the finish line. Busch had no idea he had ticked Burton off, that is, until the Richard Childress Racing

driver confronted him on pit road. As Burton pointed the finger and yelled at Busch, crewmen and a NASCAR official had to stand between the two drivers to ward off any physical interaction. Busch, who was confused yet livid with how he was greeted by Burton, said he never even saw the No. 12 car. He later placed blame on a congested pit-road. “I went down the front straightaway and got made three-wide by his teammate Clint Bowyer, and was as tight as I could be on the 33, trying to hold it low, to hold position and not hit anybody,” Busch explained. “Unfortunately, I guess, I don’t know for sure, I made contact with his left-rear [tire] or something. I’m not going to let that diminish our day here. I did the best I could.” But the 42-year-old Burton didn’t seem to believe the 25-yearold Busch. “When he gets over-aggressive and I pay the price, I am not going to tolerate it,” Burton said.“I’m just not going to put up with it. I don’t mind racing with him or mind him being aggressive but I’m not going to be the victim of it.” Burton never led a lap in the race, but he was eighth on that restart and fifth among those that took tires. “We were in the right line to win the race,” Burton said. “Everybody on [fresh] tires was in the outside

line except for whoever was on the outside pole, and our car was fast on short runs. That’s what we needed right there. “It’s just disappointing to work that hard,” he continued. “[Crew chief ] Todd [Berrier] and everybody just did a hell of a job making the car better all night. We were fast on short runs and that’s [why] we were going to get there. It would have been fun to see what we could make happen.” Busch repeated the fact that it was Bowyer who forced it threewide during the final restart. He continued to heat up the situation by saying that Burton should just talk with Bowyer. “It’s the last restart of the race, it’s time to go and you’ve got to make some bold moves,” Busch said. “It wasn’t me that made it three-wide, it was [Burton’s] teammate so why don’t you go have a chat with him? But if I did anything wrong, I would be more than happy to sit with Jeff Burton and talk with him about it and have him point it out on a replay with me. “I don’t know if I touched him or got into him or cut his left-rear tire, but after the race he was just real mad at me, and after the race he said if I don’t show him respect, he’s not going to show me any,” Busch said. Photos courtesy of NASCAR Media

NASCAR has announced dates and sites for its 2010 season-ending championship celebrations. Continuing a new tradition started last year, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will honor its champion at Wynn Las Vegas. This year, the awards ceremony is set for Friday, December 3 and will feature the top 10 drivers in the final series standings. The event will culminate NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week in Las Vegas. In addition, the combined awards banquet for the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will again take place in South Florida at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. The date is November 22, the Monday following Ford Championship Weekend at HomesteadMiami Speedway. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony will again be accompanied by a number of successful ancillary events — the fan-friendly “Victory Lap,” a procession of the top 10 drivers in their race cars, the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards, the Pit Stop Tour, and the NASCAR Street Tour to include stock cars and mobile marketing units placed throughout Las Vegas. In addition, for the secondstraight year, a designated number of fans will be able to attend the ceremony; details on the popular fan element will be announced later this year. WRITTEN BY NASCAR NEWS


NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

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IWANNA® July 27, 2010 ~ 21

GORDON AND JOHNSON:

BEST FRIENDS OR BITTER ENEMIES?

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eff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson: Hendrick Motorspor ts teammates who are amazing drivers and who both are racing for big wins and championships.

So, the question is, can these friends see past their budding rivalry or will they end up in a fullfledged feud? The evidence from past races suggests they are on the right track to becoming enemies. Especially when one of them has dominated the sport the past four years. The friendly rivalry between Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson has been simmering for the last few years and nearly boiled over two weeks in a row at Texas Motor Speedway and at Talladega. The two drivers battled it out for a leading position at Texas, racing each other as if they were bitter rivals. At one point, Johnson nearly pushed Gordon’s car down the

I had a chance to express myself, I kinda did.” “I guess he thought I was being too aggressive," Gordon said. "I don’t know, he just drove into my door. It ended up costing him. When you have a race car like that, you don’t have teammates and friends out there and [you] race hard.” Then at Talladega, a week after Gordon and Johnson made contact on the track at Texas, they wound up tangling again at the Superspeedway. Both drivers talked it out before the race and reportedly had put their problems behind them. However, that lasted no more than a day before things heated back up again. It went like this: Johnson and the other Hendrick drivers left Gordon out in the draft as the four of them worked their way to the front near the end of the race. Then, as Gordon was making a late charge, Johnson

Johnson stated. “We all make mistakes, I am no different. Certainly, that was my fault. I made the The friendly rivalry between Jeff Gordon and Jimmie mistake there.” Gordon believed Johnson Johnson has been simmering for the last few years when he said it was a mistake, although added, “He’s and nearly boiled over two weeks in a row been testing my patience and it’s about reached its straightaway. Gordon, in return, moved down the track, forcing boiling point.” nudged Johnson just enough That boiling point is certainly Gordon onto the apron, ruining to get him loose, which led to a his momentum which left Gordon understandable. Gordon was once side-by-side battle that resulted in in a multicar crash with Jeff Burton the sport’s most dominant driver, contact when Johnson came down winning four championships from and Mike Bliss. on Gordon. The contact dented Finishing 22nd, Gordon was not 1995 to 2001. Co-owner of the No. Johnson’s front fender and nearly happy and immediately voiced his 48 team, Gordon chose Johnson cut his tire. to drive for him in 2002. Little did frustrations. Afterwards Gordon did a little “The 48 [Johnson] is testing he know that the spotlight would Johnson-bashing over his team my patience, I can tell you that,” almost immediately switch over to radio saying, “Four-time is a little Gordon said.“It takes a lot to make the newcomer. upset. He [expects] to be treated Ever since Johnson’s success, me mad, and I’m pissed right now. different than everybody else.” When a car is going that much Gordon has yet to win another After the race, both drivers were faster…I don’t know what it is with championship, winning fewer and admittedly disappointed with how fewer races while Johnson has won me and him right now…” they competed with each other. Johnson took the blame for four championships in a row. “I think we are both pretty Gordon admits that their friendthe accident and was very underfrustrated with how we have been standing as to why Gordon was ship has since suffered. racing each other,” Johnson said. “Jimmie and I are always going so upset. “There were some things today I “I misjudged the closing rate,” to be really good friends, but we wasn’t real pleased with so when

might be better friends 15 or 20 years from now,” Gordon says. “It’s definitely affected our friendship, there’s no doubt about it.” But Gordon doesn’t seem to be backing down because of this rivalry — he’s definitely fast enough to challenge Johnson for wins and

the championship, and he, like everyone else, is clearly tired of seeing Johnson win. With their patience tested, we may just see another fullfledged feud unravel before the season’s over. Photos courtesy of NASCAR Media


NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

22 ~ IWANNA® July 27, 2010

TEAMMATE RIVALRY:

BUSCH VS. HAMLIN AT THE ALL STAR RACE

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yle Busch and D enny Hamlin: teammates with the same ultimate objective — to win, and to win big.

In the final stage of the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor

Speedway with only a couple laps left, a heated misunderstanding began when Busch had a run to the outside of Hamlin entering Turn 2. But Hamlin, the leader, didn’t budge, and the No. 18 car was pinched against the wall. This wall-to-wall contact caused a rub on a tire which blew laps

later, sending Busch into the wall again and knocking one of the best cars out of the $1 millionto-win event. “It surprised me, and I wouldn’t have expected my teammate to race me that way,” Busch said. Reports said that Busch was irate, yelling over the radio about

how he wanted to kill his teammate. Team owner Joe Gibbs tried to negotiate a truce between drivers, but ultimately it didn’t work. Days passed, and Busch still felt his teammate raced him the wrong way. “His perception was, it’s the All-Star Race, it’s every man for himself, and I wasn’t under that impression going into the race,” Busch stated. “That’s why I was surprised at the fact of what happened... If the roles were reversed, I don’t believe I would have done the same thing. That’s just me.” At the other end of the argument, Hamlin believed his actions were completely justified. “Kyle brings this stuff up himself, and he gets mad at the media for asking him questions about his blow-ups and stuff, but he does it to himself,” Hamlin said. “I don’t want to be part of it. Any drama that he wants to create or anything is on him. Anything he says on the radio is on him. All I’m going to say, and I’m going to be done with it, each year I think Kyle’s going to grow out of it, and he just doesn’t. Until he puts it all together, that’s when he’ll become a champion. Right now he just doesn’t have himself all together.” Everyone knows the All-Star

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event is an “every man for himself” kind of race — highstrung and fast with a huge payday to the winner. Jeff Gordon freely gave his opinion on the situation, and said he would have reacted the same way Hamlin had. “I think Denny knew he was coming, and made his car wide, and Kyle was pushing the issue a little bit,” Gordon remarked. "You can’t expect your teammate just to give you that spot, that space there. Certainly not in an All-Star event.” Kevin Harvick didn’t believe Hamlin’s actions on the track were out of line either. “I watched the tape, and didn’t really see anything that happened wrong on Denny’s part,” he said. "It looked like [Busch] really wasn’t even up beside [Hamlin], so it’s pretty tough to lay any blame on the 11 car for doing anything wrong. All he was doing was riding around in his line.” Even the All-Star winner, Kurt Busch, admitted his brother made a mistake. “He’s been running these All-Star Races, and he’s been at 1,000 percent pace every year,” the Kurt said. “It doesn’t take 1,000 percent pace to win it.” Still refusing to apologize, Busch tried to joke about his comments he made over the radio about “killing” Hamlin. “With what? My good looks?,” he joked. “I’m over the Denny Hamlin issue. It’s done, we’re moving forward. We’ve talked about it, and we look forward to the rest of the year and the 600 this weekend.” When asked if he would have done anything differently had the roles been switched, Busch replied, “I do what’s best for Joe Gibbs Racing,” he said, “and that’s to race teammates as teammates should race.” On that, Hamlin replied, “I think when Tony [Stewart] left, I didn’t say that I was going to take over this team or be the leader of this team,” he said. “But somebody’s got to be the leader, [and] it ain’t going to be Kyle.”

Photos courtesy of NASCAR Media


NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

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IWANNA® July 27, 2010 ~ 23

ford drivers hoping for better engine results

reg Biffle arrived at Pocono Raceway on June 6 hoping for some real speed, however he and the rest of his Ford teammates were sadly disappointed — again.

For the second year in a row, Ford’s performance at the Sprint Cup is mediocre when compared to other competing manufacturers. Carl Edwards, who hasn’t won since he led nine victories two years ago, is growing more and more frustrated, and it’s beginning to show. “Here is the deal,” Edwards said. “Roush Fenway and the Ford race cars are not as fast as we need to be right now. Ford as a company is doing great. I feel we can all be proud of Ford as an American company and what they’re producing and the jobs they’re providing — especially the products they’re producing [but] what we need to do is just be faster.” Ford is still getting used to its new FR9 racing engine, and Pocono was proof that mastery of the engine is still a ways off. Only two Fords were on any of the practice or qualifying time sheets, and what was more disheartening was that there was very little consistency in the drivers who were — four different drivers made the top 15s. “We are [slow] — we’re struggling a little bit,” Greg Biffle said.

“We ran good at Charlotte, I think, as a group; so it seems like you see the light at the end of the tunnel and somebody just whacks you with a bat. I thought we’d be better here and I was really optimistic to come here because we’d run good here all the time — but we’re just not that good here [this weekend] and I just don’t know why. We’re in [the hauler] scratching our heads.” It was only a year ago when Ford’s statistics at Pocono were better number-wise and performance-wise. But that was a year ago. Even though Kenseth, Biffle, and Edwards are in Chase-qualified positions, it seems they have their work cut out for them. “People ask me all different ways about that, but the point is we just aren’t fast enough,” Edwards said.“We all know that and yes, it’s very important, I believe, for everyone to stay upbeat and keep working and do the best you can. We can’t let the frustration snowball and make things worse [and] that’s probably one of the toughest things as a human is when things aren’t going well, to keep your head up and press on. The bottom line is we have to be faster and being upbeat is the way to go. Keeping your head down and kicking the gravel isn’t going to do anything.” Biffle seems to be on the same page as far as frustration goes. “It seems a little frustrating because we change stuff on the car and it really doesn’t react,” Biffle said. “It feels like if you’re build-

ing something and the foundation’s out of square — no matter how hard you tr y and how many times you tear it down and re-do it, it’s never going to be right, and it almost feels like that’s what we’re fighting a little bit.” Carl Edwards talks to Jack Roush. (Photo courtesy of Geoff MeanBurke/Getty Images for NASCAR) while, Roush in the new FR9 engine. is determined to get his once-elite more were added at Michigan. Kasey Kahne had a good run “We definitely have the poworganization back on track and er now,” Biffle said.“The power is is confident about the new FR9 with the new FR9 at the Heluva Good! 400 at Michigan Internathere, we just need to work and engine. get the car handling better. If we “The engine is without a flaw tional Speedway. He had never do that we should be able to get — it makes marginally more pow- driven with it before, but still things figured out.” er, it has a very efficient cooling finished second. “We made a huge gain and All that can be said about system, has a very efficient comFord’s future for the 2010 seabustion process, [and] it will get were way better than we have son is that the new engine won’t marginally better fuel economy,” been,” Kahne said. “I thought satisfy until it produces results. Roush said. “[It] is more tolerant we had a really good car and Winning results. of trash on the grill and is stable really good effort by our whole team.” in its valve train.” Greg Biffle said he continues Four of the Ford cars had the new engine at Pocono and nine to see a measurable difference


24 ~ IWANNA® July 27, 2010

NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

HUGE DAY FOR NASCAR WITH HALL OF FAME OPENING

NASCAR Vice Chairman Jim France gives the acceptance speech for his father Bill France Sr.’s induction into the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. (Photo courtesy of NASCAR Media)

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ASCAR’s first Hall of Fame induction ceremony had all the glitz of a Hollywood premiere, only with a blue carpet rolled out for the stars’ trek instead of a red one.

It was a day to honor five men for their accomplishments and contributions to NASCAR: the sanctioning body’s first CEO, Bill France Sr., and his son/successor, Bill Jr.; seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt; Junior Johnson, a great driver and even better team owner; and The King, Richard Petty. Three of them were inducted posthumously, with only Petty and Johnson still here to accept

their personalized, 14-karat white gold rings. Truth is, while nice, they were trinkets in the big scheme of things. On Sunday, it was truly the thought that was worth more. Experience ‘humbling’ With only a couple of exceptions, everyone who stepped up on the Crown Ballroom stage was used to being in the spotlight. They’re accustomed to public speaking, being in front of big crowds, and having microphones and TV cameras shoved in their faces. So it was refreshing to see them, usually so accustomed to the big stage, a bit out their comfort zones for a change. It was an afternoon when even Richard Petty — he of seven titles, 200 wins, and a stack of records that his feathered cowboy hat couldn’t cover — got chills. And that’s exactly how be-

ing part of the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame should have felt. “It’s kind of heavy today,” Petty confessed. “It’s a really, really big deal that NASCAR’s got their own Hall of Fame. I think now we’re as big a league as anybody.” DarrellWaltrip, who introduced Johnson to the crowd, is normally smooth as silk at these sorts of affairs. It was obvious he sensed the magnitude of the moment, as he breezed through his time onstage. A bit later, though, as he joined contemporary team owners Rick Hendrick and Richard Childress for a briefing with reporters, he admitted he was a little overwhelmed by stock-car racing’s red-letter day. Remember, this is a guy who not so long ago took cockiness to new heights; Cale Yarborough didn’t dub him “Jaws” for nothing. But Waltrip, a shoo-in for a spot in the hall in the coming years, also backed up his big mouth with 84 wins, as well as delivering Johnson his fourth, fifth, and sixth crowns as a team owner. “I think today was a humbling experience,” said Waltrip. “It’s about all of us,” he continued. “It’s not about one of us. It’s that all of us have helped NASCAR build something as big as this is — and this is big.” Carolina pride In a different way, this day was also an historic one for North and South Carolina. With Hendrick, one of the nation’s most successful car dealers, leading the campaign, Charlotte beat out four other cities four years ago to become the hall’s home. It shouldn’t have even been a contest. NASCAR wasn’t founded here, but the first race in what’s known today as the Sprint Cup Series was held on a half-mile dirt track a few miles south of the city in 1949. The vast majority of the teams are headquartered within an hour’s drive of the hall’s site in uptown Charlotte, and most of the drivers call the Metrolina region home. But there’s also this: three athletic icons — Petty, Earnhardt, and Michael Jordan — were born and raised in this state. Springfield, MA already had dibs on the Basketball Hall of Fame, so Jordan is

enshrined there. Now, the Carolinas have a place to forever honor their sons and daughters who helped launch and nurture stock car racing. Petty has called the Randolph County community of Level Cross his home his entire life. Earnhardt never strayed more than a few miles from his mill-town upbringings in Kannapolis. Johnson, who won 50 Cup races in a part-time career and six championships with Waltrip and Cale Yarborough, is Wilkes County through and through. ‘Cathedral to speed’ All three are in numerous other racing halls of fame, but those now seem diminished next to the latest and greatest. In comparison, Johnson even called one of the others “a closet.”

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He wasn’t being as derogatory as much as he was telling the truth. This is a 150,000 squarefoot cathedral to speed, and it’s ours. For decades to come, the same ceremony will be repeated here. There’ll be Allisons, Jarretts, Bakers, and others added, a Pearson, a Yarborough. Each of those people will be as overcome by the day as Petty, Johnson, and the others were Sunday. But you never get a second chance to make a first impression. In the case of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, that won’t be necessary. It got done right the first time. BY THOMAS POPE FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER

May 22, 2010

Kurt Busch Surges To All-Star Race Win After storming from fifth place to the lead when teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch tangled on Lap 93 of 100, Kurt Busch survived two late cautions and held off Martin Truex Jr. to win the Sprint All-Star Race for the first time. Joey Logano ran third, followed by Hamlin and Tony Stewart.. Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth, Greg BifKurt Busch fle, and Bobby Lacelebrates winning his fi rst NASCA bonte completed R Sprint All Star Race. Courtesy o the top 10 in the f Nascar M edia non-points NASCAR Sprint Cup race that paid $1,028,309 to the Johnson beside him, followed by Logano and Hamlin. Busch winner. Kurt Busch was well on his way pulled away again, but before the to victory after completing Lap 98 cars got back to the finish line, of 100, but Kyle Busch bounced off Johnson spun across the infield the wall at the end of the tri-oval grass to put the race under yellow and clipped Kasey Kahne’s Ford to for the sixth time. Busch then put cause the fifth caution of the night. the race away in the final two-lap On the restart with two laps to go, dash. Minutes later, he savored the Kurt Busch picked the outside lane win in victory lane. and took the green flag with Jimmie


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NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

IWANNA速 July 27, 2010 ~ 25


26 ~ IWANNA® July 27, 2010

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t seems as though Aric Almirola has found his comfort zone — and it’s with Billy Ballew Motorsports in the Truck Series. Since joining the team midway through the 2009 season, he’s posted 18 top-10 finishes, including a win at Dover on May 14th. As he strives to find a permanent place in the series, Almirola understands that consistency is key. It seems to be helping, since before placing 12th at Texas he had a six-race streak of top-10 finishes. “I think it helps a lot, just knowing you’ve got the same group of guys to work with every single weekend,” Almirola said.“I’m driving the same trucks. We have a few trucks in the rotation and I’ve driven all of them. We continue to build a notebook together. You hear a lot of people talk about that stuff, but it’s really important.” Almirola praises crew chief Richie Wauters for making this connection happen. “Me and Richie have been work-

NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

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Aric AlmirolA found his niche in the truck series

ing together just under a year, and it’s finally gotten to where it’s [comfortable] every weekend. So we’re learning the things I like and we’re incorporating those into the setups before we even leave the shop now. In the beginning of the year, we were showing up at the track and tweaking on things.” All their work together means they now have a larger database on which to make setup decisions. “We have a lot better baseline to go off when we show up at the race track,” Almirola said.“And it shows. Our practices run a lot smoother, and a lot of times, we have really good trucks.” After finishing well in 2009, Almirola experienced another confidence booster — BBM wanted Almirola back on board for 2010. The only missing link was the right sponsor for the team. And that’s where Graceway Pharmaceuticals stepped up. “That kicked us off, right in the right gear, right from the get-go,

over the winter, rather than worrying all winter, are we going to race or we not going to race?”Almirola said.“That was a big boost of confidence, going right into the season, knowing we had a sponsor that supports us and believes in our race team. That was a big key for us.” In his short career racing trucks, Almirola has learned that it if you see an opportunity, you grab at it. “You have to be aggressive, absolutely,” Almirola said.“The trucks are a lot of fun to drive, on restarts, especially. It makes for exciting restarts because we start twowide, and by the time you get to Turn 1, it’s three-wide, and by the time you get to the backstretch, it’s four-wide. That’s really where you can try and make up most of your positions, because for the most part, we get aero-tight just like everybody else. Once you get strung out, it makes it hard to pass, even if you have a better truck.” The race at Iowa allowed the series’schedule to settle into a

pattern, which benefits the team as a whole. “We have to get in that rhythm, because we haven’t really gotten there,” Almirola said. “We’ve been racing a week here, a week there and then we get time off. I think a lot of that goes back to the preparation at the shop. The guys work really hard and our stuff is always ahead of schedule. Almirola adds that the secret’s in the shop — giving credit to the guys who maintain and build the trucks. “It’s been said for a long time, in racing, the race is won at the shop,” Almirola said.“Our guys pay a lot of attention to detail. They do all the little things right. And if you do all the little things right,

it shows up on the race track. I’ve been really happy with the way the season’s gone so far. We’ve run good at times and run just OK at times. I think we’re learning. Every race we go to, we learn more.” Photo courtesy of Sam Greenwood/Getty Images for NASCAR

changes to nationwide series car are here

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he new Nationwide car is making its way into the 2010 season, with drivers both worried and excited about the unexpected outcome of racing the updated vehicles. During the practice session on June 30 before the big Daytona weekend, Braun Racing’s Reed Sorenson led the session with a lap of 188.111 mph in the draft. He was followed by Roush Fenway’s Brian Ickler, Braun’s Jason Leffler, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Joey Logano, and Phoenix Racing’s Ryan Newman. Roush Fenway’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. posted the best average speed over 10 consecutive laps with a speed of 184.964 mph. While the Nationwide Car is similar looking to the Cup car, there are some major differences. Its front and rear body work has changed and the teams do not use bump stops in the shocks. The front splitter is also slightly different as it’s a molded piece into the car instead of being held to the front fender using braces. “We all anticipate a different feel from this new car — we just don’t know what that’s going to feel like,” said Penske Racing’s Brad Keselowski. In light of all these modifications, teams have had to scramble in order to build the new cars in time for the race. One reason the stakes are higher is that the Nationwide chassis must be certified by NASCAR, and the cars will be held to much stricter rules when being inspected. Teams were a bit hesitant to build cars until they were absolutely certain what the new rules package would end up being because there is always the possibility of changes after test runs. Many of the lowerbudgeted teams had to partner up with other organizations to get cars ready. Their other option was to take just one car with them to Daytona. “I’m not worried about it, I’m concerned,” said Jay Robinson Racing driver Kenny Wallace, whose team had only one car for him. Wallace said while it is exciting to be part of something new, it takes about $75,000 to build a car. So even though NASCAR added four hours of practice time to the race weekend, Wallace limited his on-track time. But not all independent teams are restricted to just one vehicle. Braun Racing actually had seven cars for its four teams — a big advantage. There may also be an advantage for the drivers who are relatively new to the sport. Carl Edwards believes the new car will help these less experienced teams and drivers. “Anytime you change something in this sport and anytime something is different or a big change, like that car, I think it gives guys with less experience more equal footing because I don’t have any experience racing that car and the other Cup guys don’t, either,” Edwards said.“It gives them a chance to maybe show their talent, instead of their experience level.”


NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

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IWANNA® July 27, 2010 ~ 27

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Rick’s Picks NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

28 ~ IWANNA® July 27, 2010

Austin Dillon for his first NASCAR win in the Camping World Truck Series. Even though he is Richard Childress’ grandson, he has put in his time and this victory is very deserving. He may still be a little “wet behind the ears” so to speak, but he’ll make a fine edition to the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series one day. Now in closing. Although some people say I can predict the future, I’m here to tell you the 2010 Sprint Cup Championship is still up in the air. I will say that out of the top 12, I believe the first six drivers are in

Rick Jenkins with his Plott Hound, Archie

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an, what a season so far! As I write this article on July 11, 2010, who would have thought Kevin Harvick would be in first place, by 212 points, in front of Jeff Gordon? Jimmie Johnson in third? My stars must not be aligned. By my calculations the driver of the No. 48 Lowes Chevrolet, Jimmie Johnson, should be cruisin’by now just waiting for November to arrive so he can take possession of his fifth NASCAR Championship! But as we have seen lately, things have not gone Jimmie’s way on the track. Can he rebound? Can he win his fifth championship? YOU KNOW HE CAN! It’s his to win! This is just part of the puzzle when it comes to NASCAR. Let’s put the pieces together. Some of the fans of “Rick’s Picks”were a bit upset that I didn’t mention Tony Stewart in my last article. So for you Tony Stewart

fans...here we go. Although Tony does sit ninth in points and over $2 million in race winnings, I still can’t help but think he has not found his“groove”yet. To me he is not as dominant as last year and certainly not as successful as when he piloted the No. 20 Home Depot Car for Joe Gibbs Racing. Maybe being an “owner driver” is taking its toll. Maybe the fun is gone and now it’s work. Maybe he is just being himself. Everybody knows he’s a second half of the season performer. That’s when he really turns on. Just to re-iterate my claim from my last article about Danica Patrick, I would like to say I was right on the money. True, at first TV ratings went up when she entered the NASCAR realm, but the shine is off the diamond and now she is just a chunk of coal. She has not performed well in the big boxy cars of NASCAR and maybe should go back to Indy with her tail tucked between her legs and mark NASCAR off as a good learning experience. What to do with Kasey Kahne. This boy is out of a ride next year. He has signed with Hendrick Motorsports to drive the No. 5 car but

not until 2012. Is Kasey going to take some time off and enjoy bird watching, walk the Appalachian Trail and discover his inner self, or maybe volunteer his time and join the Peace Corps? I THINK NOT. If you don’t think he’ll be in a Hendrick car at the 2011 Daytona 500, then there ain’t a cow in Texas. Rick Hendrick has added another gem to his driving collection, and he is NOT going to let him sit out a year. Mark Martin better be figuring out what he’ll be doing for the 2011 season, and Jr. better step it up a notch or he’ll be “sucking hind tit.” Speaking of Jr., and yes it’s true he has a very large fan base and is a millionaire many times over, but could you please win a race every once in a while? NASCAR needs it! Yes, it’s true you won a controversial win at Daytona in the Nationwide series in the No. 3 Wrangler car, but how about a Sprint Cup win? You’re an Earnhardt...how about driving like one?! I would like to congratulate Asheville’s own Jack Ingram for being a nominee for the 2010 NASCAR’s Hall of Fame. You are very deserving of this honor. Good luck! I would also like to congratulate

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to stay. The bottom six are on a slippery slope. Can Harvick keep the number one spot and win his first Sprint Cup Championship? With Gordon, Johnson, and Kurt Busch nipping at his heels and the experience they bring to the table as being former champions, I believe Harvick’s reign as king of the hill is short-lived. There’s still a lot of racing to do and November is still a long way off. So only time will tell. So until February 2011, keep those cards and letters pouring in, and I’ll keep calling it like I see it.


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NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

Has earnHardt jr.

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seen tHe last of His unlucky streak?

ale Earnhardt Jr. posted seventh place finish at the Heluva Good! 400 Michigan International Speedway — the moment when his luck started turning around. This has been a frustrating season for Earnhardt Jr., to say the least. He started out the season finishing runner-up to Jamie McMurray at Daytona but struggled ever since to find consistency in the developing races. But at Michigan,Earnhardt Jr.outraced Jeff Burton in the final laps by laying hard on the wheel and going low. “I felt like I could hold my own on the bottom in [Turns] 1 and 2 and run around the middle in 3 and 4 and my momentum would keep me ahead of him and it worked,” Earnhardt Jr. said. Earnhardt Jr.didn’t take all the praise for the Michigan finish.He gave crew chief Lance McGrew much praise for keeping his car in pit stop shape. During the race, McGrew called Earnhardt to the pits for tires when a late caution came out. Planning on taking two tires, McGrew made a late call for four.The crew slapped on new ones, giving Earnhardt enough grip to climb into the top 10. “Sometimes they [work] and sometimes they don’t,” Earnhardt Jr. said about the pit strategy. “When the caution comes out, I said,‘Hell, well, guys, y’all had a good car no matter what happens from here.’ Because usually it is a bad deal. It ended up working good for us. “We’re not a team challenging for victories just yet,so top10s for us is the direction we need to go,” Earnhardt Jr. said. Earnhardt Jr. was more excited than fans have seen him in a while. Heading into new courses, Earnhardt Jr. is eager to use this newfound momentum to his advantage and to keep rising in the points race before the Chase. And some say there is ample time for NASCAR’s most popular driver to make up ground. In fact, Earnhardt's lucky streak seems to be gaining momentum.

He placed first at the Nationwide Series' Subway Jalapeno 250 powered by Coca-Cola race at Daytona International Speedway on July 2 while driving his father's No. 3 Wrangler Chevrolet. "It's emotional," he said of his Nationwide win. "I'm proud of myself. I'm proud to have done what I did with this group." The next day,he finished fourth at the Sprint Cup's Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola after many drivers got tied up in a late-race crash. In regards to the July 3 race,(even though he unexpectedly finished in the top-five), Earnhardt Jr. replied, “We’re getting a little bit more lucky than I would like.We’re not running good enough to finish fourth… You don’t want to make the Chase on just pure luck. “We just missed a lot of wrecks and got lucky with the finish,”said Earnhardt Jr.“We didn’t have a car to compete tonight. I just apologize to all the fans.” While he did struggle on the track, Earnhardt Jr. is now 13th in the standings with eight races left before the Chase For The Sprint Cup names its 12 drivers. “I’ll take a fourth tonight after all that we went through,” Earnhardt Jr. said.“We’ve just got to do a better job.We work hard.We’re a good team.We deserve it. “I hope I can bring more of them [wins] to the fans," Earnhardt Jr. said. "You’ve got to have a good car, but with the way these races go at the end, you have got to have a ton of luck, too — make a lot of right calls. It ain’t all about the car at the end sometimes." Earnhardt Jr. has big plans for upcoming races, and plans to perform better, hoping to give his fans something to cheer about. Let’s just hope his luck hasn’t run out.

Photo courtesy of Sam Greenwood/Getty Images for NASCAR


NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

30 ~ IWANNA® July 27, 2010

INTERNATIONAL TRANSPLANTS:

Juan Montoya, a Columbia native, has truly made a name for himself. In 2007, he made Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The 2009 season saw Montoya become the first Latino, first Formula 1 driver, and Indianapolis 500 winner to make the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase for the Cup. But even with all his success, he finds

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Max Papis is from a small village outside of Como, Italy with a population of 1,000. Papis, another former Formula One driver as well as Champ Car driver, has lived in the States now for 10 years, and now calls Charlotte his home, even though he is thousands of miles away from where he was born. living in Mooresville, N.C. has a small town feel, which is a great reminder of home. “It has a special feeling for me,” Papis said. “It reminds me a little bit of when I raced in Monza. That track was 40 minutes from my house, as Charlotte is. It really gives me an extra sense of pride for me and for the crew members who also have family and friends at the track to see them.”

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it difficult to connect with some of the tracks on the NASCAR circuit. “When you don’t have the history behind the place, it’s very hard to say,‘Oh my god, this place is magical,’” he said.

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Born in Tamil Nadu, India, Narain Karthikeyan is now looking to the U.S. for a place he and his wife can call home. “My wife, Pavi, is looking for an apartment in Charlotte near the South Park area,” he said. A former Formula One driver now competing in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series, the Indian native doesn’t have a home track per se. Oxford, England, was Karthikeyan’s home while he was racing in Europe, but today he’s more likely to be staying in a hotel near the racetracks.

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SWEDISH CHAMPION DRIVES NO. 83 Swedish native Mattias Ekström, Red Bull driver and twotime DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) champion, drove the No. 83 Red Bull Racing Toyota in the Cup race at Infineon Raceway. He tested the No. 83 at Virginia International Raceway before Red Bull made the decision to put Ekström in the car instead of Casey Mears. Ekström will become the first Swede to start a Cup race. “It’s no secret that the NASCAR series fascinates me,” Ekström said. “It’s been a long-harbored dream of mine to drive such a car.” Ekström has been a Red Bullbacked driver for the past nine years. He has proven his skill with his first 2010 victory in the second round of the DTM Championship

held in Valencia, Spain. "We were worried about getting him up to speed in a day," said Jay Frye, Red Bull Racing's vice president and general manager. "He was up to speed in an hour — less than an hour. He's a phenomenal talent."

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NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

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NASCAR DAY HAS PROVEN TO HELP THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN ACROSS THE NATION

The projects are aimed at providing an educational experience and helping children live happier, healthier lives.

AR SC N EWS

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IWANNA® July 27, 2010 ~ 31

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On May 21, 2010, the NASCAR industry participated in a celebration slightly different from the one held weekly in Victory Lane. Thousands of NASCAR fans and corporate partners across the country celebrated NASCAR Day and their joint efforts to raise millions of dollars to help children across the country live happier, healthier lives. NASCAR Day is an annual charitable celebration of the NASCAR spirit that enables fans and corporate partners to join together to make a difference in the lives of children. Since it began in 2004, NASCAR Day has raised more than $8 million for charity. “The industry, our official partners, and all the fans have really embraced NASCAR Day,” said Foundation Chairperson Betty Jane France. “We started NASCAR Day to celebrate the spirit of our fans and that spirit is demonstrated through the thousands of dedicated volunteers participating in NASCAR Day events and service projects across the country today.” The NASCAR Foundation is hosting five community service projects across the country today to raise awareness for the people and places affected by this annual fundraiser. Teaming with several official NASCAR partners, the projects are aimed at providing an educational experience and helping children live happier, healthier lives. In addition to the five service projects,The NASCAR Foundation will support several additional charitable efforts directly impacting children across the country with an emphasis on health and education. Kyle and Pattie Petty’s Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, N.C., annually receives NASCAR Day funds to help send critically ill kids to camp free of

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“The industry, our official partners, and all the fans have really embraced NASCAR Day.”

charge. To date, NASCAR Day funds have helped send more than 500 kids to camp. In addition, NASCAR Foundation Board Member Rusty Wallace presented $25,000 on behalf of The NASCAR Foundation to the Girls & Boys Club in Daytona Beach, Fla., to help provide a safe place for children to grow and learn. More than 5,000 young patients at children’s hospitals throughout California received toys as part of the NASCAR Day activities this year. Additional grants are awarded throughout the year to charities within the motorsports family like Speediatrics, racing-themed pediatric units, and more than 50 others. It is not too late to help! Fans can still get their 2010 NASCAR Day lapel pin by making a $5 donation at Office Depot stores and Bass Pro Shops nationwide, by going online to nascar.com/ nascarday or by calling 877.515. GIVE (4483).


32 ~ IWANNA速 July 27, 2010

NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

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NASCAR

------------------------------- A Publication of IWANNA USA, LLC • Copyright © 2010 -------------------------------

IN THIS SECTION:

2010 MID-SEASON UPDATE

In the News... The Real Cost of Nascar 2010’s Race to the Chase

KAHNE'S FUTURE WITH NASCAR IS SET

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hat’s in store for Kasey Kahne after the 2010 season? The debate still goes on, however one thing is sure. His future is set,and he’s excited about where he’s heading. His contract at Richard Petty Motorsports ends after the 2010 season. Kahne is stepping into Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 5 car in 2012, lasting through 2015’s season. “I have a comfort level with Mr.Hendrick,my future teammates, and the culture of the organization,” said Kahne. “For me, it’s the right fit on every level, and I think it gives me a great chance to win races and compete for championships.” This situation is indeed a unique one,for everyone involved. Kahne was already itching to leave

RPM.When talks with Hendrick Motorsports started, interest on both sides began to peak. The deal has been signed,however Kahne has to wait to drive for his new team. The reason? Two words. Mark Martin. Because Martin already signed a contract extension last year, it keeps him in the No. 5 through 2011’s season. “If this opportunity was going to happen, I knew having some unanswered questions would be part of the scenario at this stage,” Kahne acknowledged. “Hendrick Motorsports has a commitment to Mark Martin that they want to fulfill, and that’s important. It’s part of what attracts me to the team.” But the question remains — what is Kahne going to do when the 2011 season begins? Whatever the outcome is,Kahne intends to drive a full Cup schedule next season.

Media reports have formed rumors tying Kahne to a third team at Stewart-Haas Racing since they get their engines and chassis from Hendrick. It would be a plausible choice for Kahne,but as of now,SHR has not said anything about forming a third team with Kahne until he takes over the No. 5. But it does seem to be the best choice for him. It would let Kahne experience being in a Hendrick car without being under the Hendrick ownership. Another subject under debate is whether Kahne’s current Cup sponsor,Budweiser will follow him in his move to Hendrick. What is clear is Kahne’s desire to get a ride for next year quickly, but lucky for him, it’s not his responsibility. In fact, Hendrick himself is responsible for getting Kahne a full-time Sprint Cup ride in 2011 (it’s in his contract), which could

prove to be pretty difficult, even for Hendrick, the top owner in this sport. He has eight championships under his belt along with a number of awards — not to mention some of the best drivers out there have driven his cars. An added difficulty is the fact that every team owner knows that Kahne will be with Hendrick in a little over a year. So who would be willing to put Kahne in a car knowing he’s bound for Hendrick Motorsports? Where will he end up? Who would hire him for just one season? What sponsor will be on the hood? A lot of the details haven’t been released to the public, so it’s quite the guessing game right now. We can all guess where Kahne will race next season. But, much like Kahne himself, we’ll just have to wait and see.


34 ~ IWANNA® July 27, 2010

NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

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2010 MID-SEASON CUP RACE RECAPS: May 1, 2010

Strong Restart Gives Kyle Busch a Richmond Victory

Kyle Busch celebrates with his crew in Victory Lane after winning the Crown Royal Presents the Heath Calhoun 400. Courtesy of Nascar Media.

Frustration continued to dog Jeff Gordon, but on Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway, it was Kyle Busch — not four-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson — who kept Gordon out of Victory Lane. Busch surged past Gordon after a restart with five laps left in the Crown Royal Heath Calhoun 400 and cleared Gordon’s Chevrolet to the outside through Turns 3 and 4. Four laps later, Busch beat Gordon to the finish line by .755 seconds. Kevin Harvick ran third behind Gordon, followed by Jeff Burton and Carl Edwards. Juan Pablo Montoya, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman, Marcos Ambrose, and Johnson completed the top 10. All told, Busch led 226 of 400 laps to Gordon’s 144.

April 25, 2010

May 16, 2010

Kyle Busch Pounces on Johnson’s Mistake, Wins at Dover Kyle Busch took advantage of a rare mistake by Jimmie Johnson to pull away for an easy win Sunday in the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway. Busch, 25, a champion in waiting, and Johnson, a proven one, waged quite a battle on the highbanked, 1-mile track, the lead see-sawing back and forth between them. But when JohnConfetti rains on Kyle Busch after he son was flagged for Auwins the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series speeding while exittional Interna Dover at 400 tism Speaks ing the pits on Lap Speedway. Courtesy of Nascar Media. 363, he was forced to return to pit road and serve a drive-through penalty. By the time Johnson returned to the track, he was one lap down. And Busch was long gone. Jeff Burton finished second by 7.551 seconds. Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, and David Reutimann completed the top five. Johnson led eight times for 225 laps. His 16th-place finish, however, dropped him two spots to fourth in the standings.

Harvick Inches Past McMurray For Talladega Victory

Kevin Harvick ce lebrates winning the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Supe rspeedway, his first victory since the 2007 Daytona 500. Courtesy of Nascar Media

Kevin Harvick timed his breath-taking move perfectly, slipping under reigning Daytona 500 champion and race leader Jamie McMurray at the beginning of the tri-oval to win what was perhaps the most exciting race in the history of NASCAR’s most competitive track. The finish was a close one, .011 of a second. It was pins and needles all the way with a new record for race leaders, 29 drivers led at least one lap. Trailing Harvick and McMurray were Juan Pablo Montoya, Denny Hamlin, Mark Martin, David Ragan, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Mike Bliss, and Carl Edwards. It wound up being a rough day for Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, and Jimmie Johnson. All three were involved in wrecks that took them out of contention.

May 8, 2010

Hamlin Wins SHOWTIME Southern 500

Denny Hamlin celebrates winning the SHOWTIME Southern 500 at Darlington Speedway, his third victory of the season. Courtesy of Nascar Media.

Denny Hamlin won Friday night’s Nationwide Series race and came back Saturday night to win the SHOWTIME Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the 3.66-mile, egg-shaped oval. Hamlin battled Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton throughout the 367-lap race for the top spot. Gordon was coming to pit road but was blocked at the pit road entrance by Tony Stewart and had to make an extra lap costing him valuable track position. Burton was in great shape to give Hamlin a run for his money before running over an air hose on his final pit stop, prompting a pass-through penalty that cost him numerous spots on the restart. Jimmie Johnson had several scrapes before one with AJ Allmendinger sent him to the garage for good shortly after the halfway point of the race. Trailing Hamlin across the finish line was pole winner Jamie McMurray, McMurray who ran with the leaders most of the night. Another strong contender, Kurt Busch, finished third, and Gordon charged back through the field to finish fourth, just ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya. Montoya Dale Earnhardt, Jr., never challenged for the lead although he ran as high as the top 10 at times before winding up 18th.


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NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

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36 ~ IWANNA® July 27, 2010

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urt Busch earned more than $1 million for winning NASCAR’s Sprint All-Star Race.

Kevin Harvick cost Richard Childress a lot more than that Saturday. And yet whatever that lucrative amount may be, Childress surely considers it a wise investment. After all, it may have ensured that the race team which bears his name remains a frontrunner for NASCAR championships the next few years. Childress announced that Harvick has signed a multi-year contract extension. That’s a transaction that will keep the 2007 Daytona 500 winner and the current Sprint Cup point leader off the market and in the fold. With Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer also on the driver roster, RCR has a top-tier trio.

NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

LOCKING UP HARVICK

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A WISE INVESTMENT

And there’s a reason why that’s the case, Harvick said: “We’re positioned as well as we’ve ever been to win the championship.” That’s not all that a driver can ask for; there is that matter of the zeros in the contract, after all. But when a driver’s contract is about to run its course, it’s a critical consideration. No matter what number is on the side of thecar,havingafightingchancetobeNo. 1atseason’s endcantipthescalesinfavorof one team over another. It’s the very reason Kasey Kahne won’t be staying with Richard Petty come 2011, and why Harvick won’t need a change-of-address kit. “ALL THAT” Even if Harvick’s allegiance is bought and paid for — on an installment plan, of course — it’s refreshing to see some loyalty in this cut-throat business.

If it weren’t for Childress and Dale Earnhardt, there’s a chance many racing fans would have never heard of Kevin Harvick. He might still be racing short tracks around Bakersfield, California. T h e y d i d n’ t give him his first ride in NASCAR’s upper divisions, but they ’re the ones who gave him the chance to drive the best equipment in the business, the chance to be a winner, the chance to be a champion. Remember, Earnhardt warned Childress that if he didn’t hire Harvick to drive his NASCAR Nationwide cars, he’d sign him for his own operation. Harvick proved to be“all that”and then some, winning three Nationwide Series events in 2000 in his first year at RCR. Then, one weekend into the 2001 season, Harvick was thrown into unimaginable

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circumstances by Earnhardt’s death in the Daytona 500. A couple of days later, knowing with all his heart that Earnhardt would have wanted the team to forge ahead, Childress picked Harvick to drive the cars built for “The Intimidator.” In only his third star t, Harvick helped mend the hearts of everyone associated with RCR and Earnhardt’s massive legion of fans, nipping Jeff Gordon in a photo finish at Atlanta. “I don’t know of any driver that could have stepped in there under the pressure he did and handle it,” Childress said. SLUMP SURELY OVER There have been plenty of staggering highs and lows throughout Harvick’s tenure at RCR. The ’07 Daytona victory

AMBROSE MADE BAD CALL AT SONOMA

was the biggest, and there was a win at Indianapolis, too. On the flip side, after his triumph at Daytona, Harvick didn’t win again in 2007 — or in ’08 or ’09, for that matter. Last year, his team finished 19th — hardly cause for optimism that Harvick would re-sign if he could find a better deal elsewhere. “But by the end of the year things turned around, and we had the whole winter to think about things, too,” said Harvick, noting that both he and Childress were frustrated by last year’s midsummer implosion. “Everybody came in with a great attitude, and things started to fall into place before Daytona.” “You don’t put a team together and contend for a championship overnight,” Childress said of the importance of resigning Harvick. No, but you can certainly let one get away if a key piece of the puzzle is lost. Childress made sure that didn’t happen, and whatever it cost him, his whole organization is the better for it. Photo courtesy of Sam Greenwood/Getty Images for NASCAR

BY THOMAS POPE FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER

n the closing laps of the Marcos Ambrose led 35 laps and had one of the strongest cars during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway but gave up his track position late Sonoma on June 20th, Marin the race after stopping on the track under caution. cos Ambrose flipped the switch (Photo courtesy of NASCAR Media) — on his No. 47 Toyota engine, and on his chances of winning the restart, finishing sixth while Johnson Johnson. In the first four laps after the the race. won the race. next-to-last restart, Ambrose improved his In an attempt to save fuel, Ambrose It was clear Ambrose was just as shocked gain over the No. 48 from .982 seconds to switched his engine off and on while driv- as everyone else when he tried explaining 1.496 seconds. ers circled the 1.99-mile road course under what exactly happened on the track. Johnson actually admitted he was the final caution with less than seven laps “I had the motor turned off trying to afraid he might not be able to catch up to go. save a bit of fuel and just had trouble get- to Ambrose. Johnson, who was behind Ambrose in ting it fired again — that’s it,” he said to “I think Marcos had a very fast car in the second, was a bit shocked to see Ambrose reporters. short runs,” Johnson said.“I had a try or two suddenly slow down as he was heading up The Australia native is a former two-time at him before that — couldn’t get by him. the hill to Turn 2 on lap 104. V8 Supercar champion in his native country So I’m not sure I would have gotten by him. “Normally guys shut the car off down- and has won twice on road courses in the For sure, it’s the last type of mistake I would hill, coasting to save fuel,” Johnson said. “I Nationwide Series. expect to see. didn’t think at first that he had shut the car “I’m disappointed, but NASCAR calls “You can kind of count on mistakes with off going up the hill [because] that’s just the shots,” Ambrose said. “I was leading the some guys. I just didn’t really think that he the last place you would probably do it. race and I just had trouble getting the mo- would be the one to make a mistake. I was So I thought maybe he ran out of fuel or tor cranked back up a little bit there. I don’t going to push and do what I could [but] to had an electrical problem, you know — think NASCAR should have made that call see the mistake happen as it did was totally something major — because the car just [to put him back], but that’s my opinion only, off the wall. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen came to a stop.” because I lost the race.” that eliminate a guy from winning a race.” NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston Ambrose’s crew chief Frank Kerr tried to It’s without a doubt that Ambrose probsaid, “In this case [Ambrose] did not, in our look on the bright side of things, saying that ably would have won — he just made a bad opinion maintain a reasonable speed, and a driver’s concern is always one of trying to call at at a very bad time. six or seven cars passed him. We looked save on fuel. In his will to stay positive in light of what at the video available to us and we didn’t “Everybody was in the same boat,” happened, Kerr replied, “We’ve actually penalize him [for returning to the head of Kerr said. “If there were three green-white- had good race cars all year, we just haven’t the field after re-firing his car], we made him checkereds, everybody was touch-and-go had the finishes — whether we’re getting go back to where he’d blended in and was [on running out].” wrecked or having mechanical failures. So scored, which was seventh.” In the final run, Ambrose had slowly we’ll just keep plugging away and God And so, Ambrose lined up seventh for but surely been distancing himself from bless him at Watkins Glen.”


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NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

Jeff gordon fuels anger at sonoma

not-so-subtle hint that Gordon should expect payback. “It’s all right,” the MichaelWaltrip Racing driver said. “We’ll get him.” Sadler was happily going for the top 10 when Gordon dumped him with more than 10 laps still to go. “The [expletive] 24!” Sadler said on his

A four car accident on the frontstretch brought out the red flag for 20 minutes during the Toyota/ Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway.

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n June 20, the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma saw many drivers heated and venting over how Jeff Gordon drove on the Infineon Raceway.

Elliot Sadler wasn’t afraid to speak his mind — especially after finishing 17th. “We got taken out by [Jeff ] Gordon and it’s just frustrating,” Sadler said. “This is one of the best tracks for us and one of

the good chances we had this year for a top-10.” Gordon knocked into Truex Jr. which placed him in a location where he then crashed. Truex blamed Gordon for his race ending 44 laps early, because he said he wouldn’t have been in that vulnerable of an area if Gordon hadn't knocked into him. Finishing 42nd, Truex Jr. dropped the

radio after recovering from a spin, which also involved Clint Bowyer — costing both of them a top-10 finish. “He’s been doing that to everybody all [expletive] day,” a crew member told Sadler over the team’s radio. “You make sure Clint knows the [expletive] 24 dumped me,” Sadler said. “It’s a shame,” Sadler added. He took out Martin Truex for no reason. The 33 [of Clint

Jennifer Jo cobb racing and baker curb racing Join forces

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ennifer Jo Cobb Racing and Baker Curb Racing announced their partnership for four Nationwide Series events this year.

Cobb drove the No. 27 Ford Mustang at Daytona on July 2, and will drive at Richmond (September 10) and Charlotte (October 15). As for the Michigan race on August 14, a driver hasn’t been chosen yet since Cobb will compete in the Camping World Truck Series at Darlington. Both organizations felt the need to combine forces because of the next generation race car being featured in the upcoming events. Since each organization is smaller and more independent than others in the series, Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing and Baker Curb Racing plan on making a concerted effort to transition easily into NASCAR’s latest vehicle. The Subway Jalapeño 250 was Cobb’s first Nationwide start at the popular 2.5-mile oval, where she fin-

ished 43rd. In her career, Cobb has three Nationwide starts with a best finish of 30th at Kansas in 2008. She finished 43rd at Homestead in 2004 and Kansas in 2006 after crashing in both events. This season, she is doing much better. With an average finish of 23.2 this season, Cobb has had six top-25 finishes in the Truck Series. “I’m thrilled to be partnering with Baker Curb Racing,” Cobb said. “Their experience will be an asset to our team. We look forward to working with them as we continue to grow and develop as an organization. Combining our efforts will definitely be a win-win situation for our teams.” With 15 years’experience within the Nationwide Series, Baker Curb Racing currently fields the No. 27 and No. 43 Ford Fusions. Aligning with Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing, Baker Curb Racing predicts that their combined forces will strengthen their chances of success with the new car. “Partnering together will be a

Jennifer Jo Cobb

great benefit for Baker Curb Racing and Jennifer Joe Cobb Racing,” said Matt Crews, president of Baker Curb Racing.“Since Jennifer wasn’t going to compete full time in the Nationwide Series, it made sense for us to work together and combine our resources. As independent teams, it’s a challenge for us to compete against some of the larger organizations. This partnership will help both of us come up to speed with the new Nationwide Series car and make us stronger over the course of the season.” Cobb continues, “This is a huge step for our team. I’m very proud of our progression this season and look forward to taking it to the next level." Photo courtesy of Sam Greenwood/ Getty Images for NASCAR

Bowyer] and me were side-by-side and he got 2-for-1 there, so he was just kind of knocking everything out of his way.” There were others who were affected by Gordon’s tirade: Mattias Ekström got hit and Kurt Busch got hit late in the race. As for Gordon, he gladly finished fifth in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, admitting to the fact that he drove with much more force than people expected him to. “I made a lot of guys mad today,” Gordon said.“I certainly owe Martin Truex an apology. He was racing as clean as he could and I was racing with Juan Pablo [Montoya] and I just got in there and took him straight out. “I feel awful about that, but you just had to race so hard. Guys were just running people off the race track and running into the back of each other. It was like racing on a dirt track. I know I made a lot of people mad but I’ll just take it. It tore our race car up and we never had a chance to win the race after that. But we got a topfive, so overall it was a good day.” A good day for him, yes. But for other drivers, it was a frustrating turn of events. Gordon’s contact left Truex Jr. deep in the

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field when the race went back to green. However things didn’t get any better on the restart. Congested contact between drivers inside the top 10 caused a fivecar pileup involving Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Max Papis, Sam Hornish, and Regan Smith. When told that Gordon had apologized, Truex Jr. was not impressed. “Of course he said he didn’t mean it,” he said. “But he did it. I know he’s going to say, ‘Juan was trying to pass me and I was trying to block him.’ I don’t care. Just because he’s trying to pass you, it’s all right for you to spin me out? No. Let him pass you then. I would have let Juan pass me. If it was either get passed or spin out Jeff Gordon, I would have lifted and [gotten] passed.” Being raced hard by a fellow competitor is no excuse, he said, to take out another driver. “That’s the difference between me and him. That’s why I’m here, that’s why he’s out there [on the track] and that’s why I’m pissed off.” Jeff Gordon photo courtesy of Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR. Car crash photo courtesy of NASCAR Media


NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

38 ~ IWANNA® July 27, 2010

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KURT BUSCH

F

SUDDENLY A CONTENDER AFTER CHARLOTTE SWEEP

or the past three years,Kurt Busch has had to play second fiddle to his little brother. How could he not? Kyle Busch, 25, has blistered NASCAR competition at every turn.

Coca-Cola 600. For those two victories, Kurt Busch put almost $1.5 million into the Penske Racing coffers. “I am speechless that we swept both races,”he said Sunday night. Not quite:He described the sweep triggering emotions on par with those of his 2004 championship during his stint with team owner IN THE PAST 2 1/3 Jack Roush. But over the past two weeks, Maybe Kurt Busch, like a lot of Kurt Busch,seven years Kyle’s elder, other people,forgot that Kyle isn’t has reminded us that he is far from the only guy in there who knows over the hill. how to go fast and turn left. On May 22, it was Kurt who OT EFFORT PAYS DIVIDENDS blasted into the lead late in the It’s not been a flawless start Sprint All-Star Race and sped on to victory. On Sunday night at the to Kurt Busch’s fifth season as same Charlotte Motor Speedway, one of Roger Penske’s drivers, Kurt led 252 laps of the 400-lap but the ups have been enough

to offset the lows. On three look-alike tracks — Atlanta, Texas, and Charlotte — he’s finished first, fourth, and first. He’s had third on two of the circuit’s most challenging tracks, Bristol and Darlington. As such, he’s sixth in the standings and is steadily closing the gap between himself and Kevin Harvick, the driver at the top of the heap. The Charlotte fortnight was especially revealing as to the make-up of the Penske team. Even though it was the same track,Busch track, Busch drove to Victory Lane in different Dodges; a challenge that was anything but simple. “This is the fruit of the labor of all the guys on the race team,” said crew chief Steve Addington. “We tested here for two days and did not have a very good test.” Kurt was downright desperate, Addington added, given the fact he’d never finished better than 11th in nine prior 600 tries. “He said,‘Anything,man.I don’t run good at Charlotte. Let’s see what shakes out,’” Addington said.“I kept the guys late, worked them overtime to get the changes (from the all-star ride) into this car. It makes me feel good we were able to do that on two different cars and give him the feel he wants.”

UP NEXT After celebrating today out on Lake Norman — race runner-up Jamie McMurray is dropping by for a few Miller Lites, he said — Kurt and his crew dive head-first

Photo courtesy of Sam Greenwood/Getty Images for NASCAR

into a long, hot summer stretch that includes two trips to both Pocono and Michigan, a pair of road-course shows on opposite sides of the continent, a Crown Jewel-caliber race at Indy, and more. NASCAR’s “regular season” is only half over,with the cutoff point coming Sept. 11 at Richmond, VA. A lot can happen to derail a team between now and then, but there’s nothing to suggest that Kurt Busch’s team is prime to do anything other than keeping the beat going. “I don’t see why not,”Kyle Busch said when asked of his big brother’s championship potential.“They’ve been running well all year long, a lot of successes, and they swept

Charlotte. Steve is doing a good job and Kurt is, too.” Addington wasn’t quite as certain about that —“We’re a long ways from having it figured out” — but neither could he ignore the positive signs about his team’s direction. “As long as we’re getting better, that’s the big key,” he said. “Giving him a better race car is what I come to work for.” There’s no doubt he’s done that the past two weeks.And with Kurt Busch having the comfort level to let Addington prep the cars the way he sees fit,Penske Racing has one heckuva 1-2 combination on its hands. BY THOMAS POPE FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER


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I

NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

IS THE NEW SPOILER

SPOILING JOHNSON’S SEASON?

t seems as though the four-time defending series champion Jimmie Johnson isn’t doing as well as he would like this season. Four-time champ made his way to Dover International Speedway after failing to finish two out of three races,including the race at Darlington where he struggled all night with his No. 48 and was then taken out by A.J. Allmendinger.After winning three of the season’s first five events,Johnson surprisingly went winless for six races, a stretch that left him falling 110 points behind Harvick. Not coincidentally, this downturn happened at the same time the spoiler was implemented on Sprint Cup cars — replacing the rear wing.This new addition is making people wonder whether the new hardware is the culprit for causing No. 48’s struggles. “For us,I can’t say that it’s really changed much,”Johnson said.“I know there’s been some conversation that maybe [Hendrick Motorsports] or the 48 team has had some troubles with the spoiler being on the car, and I can’t say it’s changed much for us,” Johnson said. “You look at the tracks we’ve come through, we al- most won at Texas, at Phoenix we had a great chance of winning.There’s a lot of hope there when you’re sitting i n our position. You’re not where you want to be, but we’re still awfully competitive, and not as worried o r concerned as the headlines may read or some of the speculation that may be out there.” The spoiler, which includes the “shark fin” rising up from the left side of the rear decklid, was speculated to be a“game changer”— thought to create marked differences in the performance of the vehicle. “There is a difference between the spoiler and the wing, but it hasn’t changed the cars as much as I thought it would,”

Greg Biffle said.“It has changed the way they race around each other a little bit and the way the car starts to get loose.I think it turns better on corner-exit, but it is not dramatically different. I would have thought, personally, it would have been a bigger change. Like once the car got out of shape, it wouldn’t be as easy to drive.” It’s difficult to blame the spoiler for affecting Johnson’s performance at Talladega,where he crashed after crossing the nose of Biffle’s car,or at Darlington, where he hit the wall a couple times before Allmendinger lost his brakes and took him out.The DNFs still look odd for a team with such a high winning streak.Comparatively speaking,Johnson failed to finish only one race last season.Add to that the fact that in the past four years he’s only had seven DNFs combined. Sure, Johnson’s results up to now haven’t been bad per say, but the No. 48 team sure has placed the bar high for themselves, so every slip up draws major attention.“It’s not like they’re 23rd,”Jeff Burton said.“They’re still a really,really good race team.” “We’ve been saying this all along,even with the 48 car being on top of its game — stuff doesn’t last forever,” Johnson said. “The garage area gets smarter, teams, drivers, everybody is developing, trying to make their equipment get faster and better. We’re not where we want to be right now.We’re still very competitive,and not at a point that some headlines may read, that we’re not competitive, we’re not in this thing.We’ve got a little work to do, there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s still a lot of racing left, and we’ll be fine.”

AUSTIN DILLON PROVES HIS POTENTIAL IN THE TRUCK SERIES

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ichard Childress Racing returned to the Truck Series this season since quitting in 1999 so they could devote more time to the Nationwide and Sprint programs. RCR returned with Austin Dillon, owner Richard Childress’s grandson. At 20, Dillon is very young with still much to learn. Because he’s essentially a rookie, RCR seemed a little apprehensive going into the season. However, Dillon has been making RCR very happy lately. In fact, on July 11, Dillon scored his first Camping World Truck Series victory, dominating the Lucas Oil 200 at Iowa Speedway. In his 12th Truck start, Dillon, 20, led 187 of 205 laps and beat Johnny Sauter to the finish line by .635 seconds.And before that, on June 4, he finished third at the Texas Motor Speedway. After the Texas race, Dillon was confident and sure of his team — which eventually paid off at Iowa. “I think we’re really starting to show what we’ve got,” said Dillon. “We’ve been fast every weekend, just haven’t had the finishes and this weekend [Texas] finally got the finish that we deserve. I hope we can go to Michigan — I think we’ll have a great truck for there — and do the

IWANNA® July 27, 2010 ~ 39

He actually would have had a higher ranking if he hadn’t suffered from a couple of setbacks at Dover and Charlotte. At Dover he had transmission failure, finishing 21st, and at Charlotte he had a loose lug nut that sent him into the wall, finishing 35th. Austin Dillon with Richard Childress. Photo courH is goal for tesy of Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR future races is to learn from his successful performances at Iowa and The opportunity Dillon has is Texas and hopes that keeps him priceless (and being in the family in the top five. But is this rookie doesn’t hurt either). talented enough to make a run for “I’ve been around this company the title? He is now in the top 10 — forever, since I was a little baby walkranking seventh in points. Not to ing around the shops and stuff,” he mention the fact that the season is said. “I get to see people every day definitely not over yet. that are just excited. It’s like a morale “You never say never and you booster. When anybody runs well at never give up, and I know the trucks RCR everybody in the whole comwe’re bringing to the track are im- plex has just got that little extra skip maculate,” he said. “I feel like if we in their step. And you can definitely keep doing what we’re capable of tell this week after all the good runs doing — running top three, top we’ve had in all of our development four — we might have a shot of programs and everything. It makes getting up there and mixing it up everybody want to make their stuff with those guys.” better.”

Photo courtesy of Sam Greenwood/Getty Images for NASCAR


IN The NeWS... NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

40 ~ IWANNA® July 27, 2010

1. No. 38 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Team Penalized for Infractions at Pocono Raceway

NASCAR has issued penalties, suspensions, and fines to the No. 38 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as a result of the discovery of illegally modified tire valve caps on Travis Kvapil’s No. 38 car prior to Sunday’s race at Pocono Raceway. Front Row Motorsports was served a massive penalty: • Crew chief Steve Lane has been fined $100,000, suspended for the next 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup events, suspended from NASCAR until Sept. 15, and placed on probation until Dec. 31. • Car chief Richard Bourgeois and tire specialist Michael Harrold have also been suspended from the next 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup events, suspended from NASCAR until Sept. 15, and placed on probation until Dec. 31. •The loss of 150 driver points

for Kvapil and 150 owner points from car owner Doug Yates. The team was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-10.7J (unapproved modification to valve stem hardware) of the 2010 NASCAR Rule Book. Team owner Bob Jenkins formally appealed the penalty’s severity. Although he acknowledged the infraction, he also claimed it was unintentional. (Photo courtesy of Sam Greenwood/Getty Images for NASCAR)

2. Dismissal of Mayfield Suit is Official

Jeremy Mayfield, NASCAR driver for his own team Mayfield Motorsports, was suspended from the sport last May for failing a ran-

dom drug test in which he tested positive for methamphetamines. From then on, Mayfield has consistently denied using the drug. In his defense, he argued that he tested positive because of a mix of an over-the-counter allergy medication and the prescription Adderall, that NASCAR’s testing was flawed, and that NASCAR did not follow federal guidelines in its testing methods. On May 18, 2010 Judge Graham Mullen threw out the case, saying that Mayfield had waived his right to pursue any claims against NASCAR twice when he signed documents as a driver as well as an owner to participate in the stock car series. “Plaintiffs thereby waived their right to pursue their claims for defamation, unfair and deceptive trade practices, breach of contract, and negligence,” wrote Mullen in his decision. “Plaintiffs’ claims are hereby dismissed.” Ramsey Poston, a NASCAR spokesman stated “The U.S. District Court’s ruling is a powerful acknowledgement and affirmation of NASCAR’s rulebook and its ability to police the sport.” He continued,“NASCAR has been very clear with its competitors as to its policies and what is expected of them. NASCAR’s comprehensive substance abuse policy, which is among the best and toughest in all of sports, serves the safety of our competitors and fans.” (Photo courtesy of Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

3. Kentucky Speedway Covets a Cup Race

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the claims. The original owners recently opted not to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the case. Smith fully understands the obstacles his track has had in getting a Cup race since the lawsuit. But the good news is that there are prospective plans to expand the track by 50,000 seats to accommodate a Cup race. Little is known of which other SMI track would lose a Cup date. (Photo courtesy of Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

4. Jimmie and Chandra Welcome Baby Girl

Kentucky Speedway’s long wait to get a Cup race looks like it will be extended until at least 2012. Current track owner Bruton Smith, of Speedway Motorsports Inc., purchased the 1.5 mile tri-oval track in 2008 from the original ownership group. While he won’t rule out the possibility of bringing a Cup Race to Kentucky, it doesn’t seem like it’s in the cards anytime soon. “There are so many things that would have to be done to get to that point,” Smith said. One reason NASCAR wouldn’t choose to assign the track a Cup date is because there was a lengthy legal battle with the original owners in 2005. The owners filed an antitrust lawsuit against NASCAR and International Speedway Corp., claiming that NASCAR had conspired to keep the track from getting a Cup race. The U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected

Jimmie Johnson and wife Chandra stand on pit road during the singing of the national anthem at Pocono Raceway. Courtesy of Nascar Media Chandra and Jimmie Johnson welcomed a baby girlWednesday, July 7 at 1:44 p.m. ET in Charlotte, NC. She weighed 6 lbs., 14 oz. and measured 19.5” long. Dad offered that she is absolutely beautiful and affectionately referred to her as“Baby J”before deciding on the name Genevieve Marie Johnson. While commenting that sleep was at a minimum, he is extremely happy about getting to spend time with his girls before leaving for the race weekend.

5. NASCAR’s Braces are Coming Off

No. 14 Old Spice Matterhorn Chevrolet (Tony Stewart) Courtesy of Nascar Media Beginning with the 2011 season, the Sprint Cup car is expected to lose its braces. That’s right, NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton

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claimed a new front valance and splitter combination wouldn’t be in need of the braces which hold the splitter in place. “It will be less utilitarianlooking,” Pemberton said. “It’ll have a little more style in it, and I think people will like that. As we work forward, that’s not the last change. We’re looking on some stuff that actually has to coincide with the manufacturers and their introduction of new cars to sell.” The current design was introduced in 2007 and is now in need of an makeover. Since the Nationwide Series cars had its fair share of upgrades, NASCAR realized the need for adding some oomph to the Cup cars as well. “There’s always a cycle that you go through and you look for changes,” Pemberton said. “We’ve been pretty occupied in the last two years in getting the new Nationwide car up and running. So everybody’s been working on that, knowing that right on the heels of that, we’d be looking at upgrades and upfits to the Sprint Cup Series car.”The Cup car already underwent some changes at the beginning of this year when the rear wing was replaced with the new spoiler. “We did the spoiler this year, and next year, we’ll do the front valance and splitter area, which is from mid-bumper down,” Pemberton said. “It’s a styling change. It’ll give the manufacturers an opportunity to work on getting

some sutble changes to the identity there. It’s just time for an upfit there.” Pemberton claims the new bumper will actually resemble the Nationwide design in some aspects. “It’ll look more similar to that than the way it does today,” Pemberton said. “[It incorporates] the things that we’ve learned in the last two or three years of how to keep things a level playing field for the competitors and the things we’ve learned in the wind tunnel about trying to keep the balance of the car, front to rear.” All these changes could mean that more are on the way — more specifically into 2012 or 2013. “It depends on what people call a full redesign,” Pemberton said.“There are things that you are limited to, but we are looking at some changes. Once again, it has to go hand-in-hand with manufacturers’needs. But I will say this: The things that we have learned over the last 24 months, with working on the Nationwide car, will really allow us to put some more detail and manufacturer identity in it.”

6. No. 48 Team Adds 3 Contingency Awards in Addition to Race Win at Sonoma

Written by Nascar Media The No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team provided the equipment for a strong qualifying effort and the fastest lap to help propel

NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update Jimmie Johnson to Victory Lane at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway.

Jimmie Johnson leads Robby Gordon and Kevin Harvick in the closing laps of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway. Courtesy of Nascar Media With a “Booyah” from the driver seat, the No. 48 Lowe’s team captured the victory as well as the Goodyear Gatorback Fastest Lap of the Race, MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Race, and the Sunoco Diamond Performance awards. The awards are part of the NASCAR Prize Money and Decal Program, also referred to as the contingency program, which provides teams prize money and weekly awards based on performance in several categories. After qualifying second, Johnson turned the fastest lap of the race on the fifth lap with a speed of 91.73 mph to help him take the lead, which he held for the next 20 laps keeping him near the front for the final push. For that effort the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet took home the Goodyear Gatorback Fastest Lap of the Race award, their first of the season. “I think we kind of found our direction early in the weekend,” said Johnson, “Just made small changes and kept making it a little bit better. We led a lot of laps today, which was really nice to do. We had to make some good passes at times. Feel like it was a complete day, complete weekend.” All day long, the No. 48 car relied on its strong power plant and was awarded the team’s third MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Race honor, which is given weekly based on qualifying and finishing position. “It was a great day for the Lowe’s team,” said car chief Ron Malec. “We were good off the

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truck, stuck to our plan and finally got that road-course victory we’ve been searching for. It was such a great effort by every member of the team. Jimmie, the guys in the 24/48 shop, the engine department — everyone has put so much energy in this win it’s pretty cool to have that all come full circle. Earning awards for fastest lap, top engine builder and overall performance really shows what an accomplishment and team effort this was.” As the highest finishing eligible driver, Johnson picked up his fourth Sunoco Diamond Performance award of the year.

what you do.” Labonte says he is exploring his opportunties for the remainder of this season in all three of NASCAR’s national series.

8. Jimmy Fennig Named Crew Chief for Kenseth, No. 17 Team

7. Bobby Labonte Leaves TRG Motorsports

Bobby Labonte. Courtesy of Sam Greenwood/Getty Images for NASCAR Former NASCAR champion Bobby Labonte has terminated his contract with TRG Motorsports. Labonte started 23 Sprint Cup events for owner Kevin Buckler’s TRG organization dating to late last season, but has been unable to crack the top 20 this year and has dropped out of four recent races with mechanical trouble. Labonte says he wants to compete for wins, which he’s not been able to do in the No. 71 Chevrolet. Labonte doesn’t have a single top-10 finish through 16 races, and his highest finish this season is 21st. Labonte was the 2000 Cup Series champion. His last victory was in 2003 with Joe Gibbs Racing. “I’m a racer, first of all,” said Labonte, whose old seat at TRG reportedly will be filled by sportscar racer Andy Lally.“I want to race and I want to win. There is no more special feeling than wining races and being competitive. That’s what you do. Bottom line, that’s

Jimmy Fennig. Courtesy of Sherryl Creekmore/NASCAR Roush Fenway Racing has named Jimmy Fennig as the crew chief for Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 Ford in the Cup Series. Kenseth — who drove Roush Fenway to its first Cup championship in 2003 — is paired with Fennig, who was crew chief on Roush Fenway’s 2004 championship team. “I am very pleased that we have been able to place these two together on the No. 17,” team owner Jack Roush said. “These guys were both instrumental in our back-to-back Cup championships in 2003 and 2004, with Matt driving us to our first Cup championship and Jimmy of course being instrumental in the 2004 championship as the team’s crew chief.We would expect this pairing to yield strong results as both of these guys are extremely talented and among the best in the business at what they do.” Car chief Richie Davis accompanies Fennig on the No. 17. The two have experience working together, as they worked alongside each other in Roush Fenway’s research and development department. Todd Parrott, who had been working as crew chief on the No. 17, will serve as the new R&D manager at Roush Fenway; a position formally held by Fennig. Current No. 17 car chief Charles “Cully” Barraclough will also move over to car chief the R&D program. Fennig has accumulated 27 Cup wins in his career, making him one of the most successful crew chiefs in NASCAR history. He’s worked with drivers Bobby Allison,

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Mark Martin, Dick Trickle, Kurt Busch, and David Ragan. In 2006, Fennig teamed with Kenseth in the Nationwide Series, with the duo racking up four poles, three wins, 15 top-fives, and 18 top-10 finishes in 21 starts. Fennig started in the American Speed Association (ASA) as a crew chief in the mid-1980s, joined Roush Fenway in the fall of 1996, and has been with the organization since then. He has served as crew chief on the No. 6, No. 26, and No. 97 Cup programs, the No. 17 Nationwide Series program, as well as overseeing the R&D program this season. With such a reputable work ethic, we’re sure to see him do well with the No. 17 team.

and I respect NASCAR’s decision,” he said. “I wish to apologize to my wife and family first, to NASCAR, to my fans, and to the various media companies which I work for, including ESPN, Sirius Radio, and Performance Racing Network. LaJoie has also enrolled in substance abuse program.“Guilty as charged,” he added. “It was a stupid thing.” Unlike some people, LaJoie owns up to his mistake, and is moving forward with the incident.

10. No. 34 Nationwide Crew Chief Fined for Rule Violations at Road America Written by Nascar Media

9. Nationwide Crew Member Suspended for Failed Drug Test

Randy LaJoie. Courtesy of Nascar Media Randy LaJoie, Nationwide Series crew member for the No. 18 team, was indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for failing a drug test. On June 11, LaJoie was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book. LaJoie, a spotter for the team, won the 1996 and ‘97 then-Busch Series championships as a driver. He made 350 starts in the series between 1986 and 2006. He also made 44 starts in the Cup Series and seven in the Truck Series. The reason LaJoie took a drug test on June 3 was to obtain a spotter’s license. The test “indicated residue of marijuana,” he said. According to LaJoie, “I take full responsibility for my actions

The reigning Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year was up against Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees, five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant, two-time NBA MVP LeBron James, and three-time MLB National League MVP Albert Pujols.

No. 34 Long John Silver’s Chevrolet. Courtesy of Nascar Media NASCAR announced today that Scott Eggleston, crew chief of the No. 34 team that competes in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has been fined $5,000 as a result of rule violations during this past weekend’s event at Road America. The No. 34 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules) and 20A-5.10.1B(6): (combined thickness of throttle shaft and throttle plate was less than specified thickness) of the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rule Book. The infractions were discovered during opening-day inspection on June 18.

11. Johnson Nominated for Best Male Athlete at 2010 ESPYS

Written by Nascar Media Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was one of five superstar athletes to be nominated for the Best Male Athlete Award at the 2010 ESPYS, on July 14 in Los Angeles.

Jimmie Johnson. Courtesy of Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR Johnson was also one of the Best Driver nominees along with 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Kyle Busch, four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday Jr., 2009 IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti, and six-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher. While NFL player Drew Brees got the title for Best Male Athlete, Jimmie Johnson did receive the award for Best Driver.

12. Pioneer NASCAR Team Owner Raymond Parks Dies

Written by NASCAR Media Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first championship winning owner, passed away in his Atlanta, GA home. He was 96. Parks, a true forefather of the sport, owned the championship winning car in both NASCAR’s first Modified season of 1948 and “Strictly Stock” season of 1949. Both championship-winning cars were driven by Red Byron. Parks’ car won two of the eight races in the inaugural 1949 season of what is now known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series — at historic Martinsville Speedway and the Daytona Beach & Road Course. Born June 5, 1914, Parks’ immense influence on the sport 2009

Talladega April Hall of Fame Raymond Parks and Mike Helton shake hands. Photo courtesy of Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR began well before his championship winning campaigns. The last living member of the groundbreaking 1947 meeting to form NASCAR at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, FL, Parks

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helped shape the future of the sport and its eventual incorporation in 1948. “The NASCAR Community is saddened by the passing of Raymond Parks,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “Raymond was instrumental in the creation of NASCAR as a participant in the historic meeting at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach. He was also our first championship owner. Raymond is a giant in the history of NASCAR and will always be remembered for his dedication to NASCAR.” Parks’ career as a car owner in NASCAR’s premier series was a short, but illustrious, one. In 18 premier series races, his cars totaled two wins, 11 top fives, and 12 top 10s. His roster of drivers includes some of the sport’s alltime greats: Byron, Curtis Turner, and Bob and Fonty Flock. Together with legendary mechanic and fellow Atlantanative Red Vogt, Parks produced equipment capable of dominating the sport in those early days — and becoming NASCAR’s first super team. Parks retired from racing in the mid-1950s, but continued his involvement up until his passing. Last year, Parks donated his championship-winning trophies to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He attended the Hall’s induction ceremony this past May.


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NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

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2010 MID-SEASON CUP RACE RECAPS: April 19, 2010

Hamlin Holds Off Charging Johnson For Victory Denny Hamlin, who had knee surgery recently, held off a hard-charging Jimmie Johnson to win Monday’s Samsung Mobile 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. A multi-car accident just 20 laps from the finish set the stage for the blazing shootout between Hamlin and Johnson. The four-time Sprint Cup champion took on four tires at the finish while Hamlin took only two

and Johnson whittled Hamlin’s lead from three seconds to thousandths of a second. Jeff Gordon, along with other frontrunners, were eliminated in a free-for-all accident on an earlier restart. With Jeff Burton leading at the time, Tony Stewart, Gordon, Carl Edwards, Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jamie McMurray, and Paul Menard wadded up on the frontstretch tri-oval with

every one of them gunning for the front. Hamlin, Johnson and Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch managed to dodge the wreck and wound up capturing the top three spots in the race. Rounding out the top 10 finish positions were Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Martin Truex, Jr., Greg Biffle, and Ryan Newman.

t/finish line crosses the star Denny Hamlin win the kered flag and to take the chec ng Mobile su m Sa s t Cup Serie . NASCAR Sprin dw otor Spee ay 500 at Texas M ia ed M ar sc Courtesy of Na

April 10, 2010

Newman Surprises Everyone at Phoenix Ryan Newman and crew chief Tony Gibson snatched a victory at the Subway Fresh Fit 600 from Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Kyle Busch with a two-tire call under the final Johnson caution. Both Busch and Johnson took four tires on Lap 373, under caution for Scott Riggs’blown tire inTurn 4 one lap earlier. Gordon, who took two tires and left pit road with the lead, spun Ryan Newm his tires on the decisive restart on Lap 377, allowing Newman an celebrates his Subway Fresh Fit 60 0 victory, his to surge into the top spot. After two circuits under green at the first with Stew Haas Racing art. Courtesy of flat one-mile track, Newman crossed the finish line .130 seconds Nascar Med ia ahead of Gordon to win his 14th NASCAR Sprint Cup race and his first since the 2008 Daytona 500. Johnson charged from seventh to third during the green-white-checkered-flag finish. Mark Martin, also on two tires for the final restart, ran fourth, one position ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya. Racing for the first time since his March 31 surgery to repair a torn ACL, Denny Hamlin completed the race in 30th place, two laps down.

March 29, 2010

Hamlin Wins Second Straight At Martinsville

Denny Hamlin celebrate s winning the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500, his second straight victory at Martin sville Speedway. Courtesy of Nascar Me dia

Denny Hamlin plowed through traffic after a greenwhite-checkered-flag restart Monday to post his second straight victory at Martinsville Speedway. On fresh tires, thanks to a pit stop under caution on Lap 493, Hamlin powered past Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, and Jeff Gordon on Lap 507 of 508 after Kenseth and Gordon traded shots earlier on the same lap. Hamlin cleared Gordon’s Chevrolet through Turns 3 and 4 and finished the race .670 seconds ahead of teammate Joey Logano. Gordon finished third after leading the field to the Logano Lap 507 restart. Newman ran fourth and Martin Truex Jr. fifth.


NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

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IWANNA® July 27, 2010 ~ 45

2010 MID-SEASON CUP RACE RECAPS: March 21, 2010

March 7, 2010

Johnson Gets First Win At Bristol, 50th Overall

Kurt Busch Wins Kobalt Tools 500

In a milestone race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Jimmie Johnson once again took the checkered flag for the 50th time in his NASCAR Sprint Cup career in the Food City 500. Busch, who had led 278 laps and restarted fifth after a four-tire call, was bottled up in the inside lane behind Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards and Jimmie John watched in frustration as Johnson son celebra tes winning City 500 at the Food Bristol Mot worked past fourth-place finisher or Speedw career NASC ay, his 50th AR Sprint C up Series vi first at the Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart for ctory and track. Court esy of Nasca r Media the lead. Joey Logano lost three laps because of early tire problems and finished 27th. Despite a pit-road speeding penalty that sent him to the back of the field, Dale Earnhardt Jr. rallied to finish seventh, Mark Martin suffered the most from a 13-car wreck on Lap 341 that scrambled the running order. He finished 35th and dropped nine positions in the series standings.

Kurt Busch took advantage of a strong restart to grab the lead during the second attempt at a greenwhite-checkered-flag restart and crossed the finish line .482 seconds ahead of runner-up Matt Kenseth. Juan Pablo Montoya Montoya, who was closing in on Busch near the end of the regulation 325 laps, finished third but lost his chance to battle Kurt Busch celebrate for the victory when Carl Edwards s in Victory Lane after winning his third NA SCAR Sprint Cup hit Brad Keselowski’s No. 12 Dodge series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. on the frontstretch and sent it flying Courtesy of Nascar Me dia on Lap 323. Before Busch could take the white flag, however, a seven-car pileup in Turn 3 caused the 11th caution of the race and set up the second try at the green-white-checkered. Fourth-place finisher Kasey Kahne led the most laps (144), but his car tightened at the end of the race. Paul Menard ran fifth and AJ Allmendinger sixth. Dale Earnhardt Jr. regained two lost laps during the last two cautions and finished 15th.

Feburary 28, 2010

Johnson Denies Teammate Gordon A Win

e rnout across th n by doing a bu wi s AR hi SC es at NA e br n cele winning th Jimmie Johnso ntstretch after ia or Speedway fro of Nascar Med ot M sy s te ga ur Ve Co s n. La elby America Sh s rie Se p Cu Sprint

Jimmie Johnson played possum most of the day and then turned on the afterburner to pass teammate Jeff Gordon with just 16 laps to go and win the Shelby American NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Gordon led more than 210 laps of the 267-lap event before losing the lead to Johnson, who seemed hellbent to win his fifth NASCAR Sprint

Cup Championship. At the halfway point (133 laps), it was an all Hendrick Chevrolet race with Gordon leading and Johnson second. Kenseth was third in a Roush Ford. Two Childress Chevrolets were running fourth and fifth, Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick. Kyle Busch, the defending race champion, was sixth. Rounding out the top 10 were Tony Stewart, Mark Martin, Kasey Kahne, and Joey Logano. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was 11th.


NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

46 ~ IWANNA® July 27, 2010

1

The Real Co$T of NasCaR eNgiNes:

A legal racing engine can be no larger than 358 cubic inches (5,867 cubic centimeters), limiting the amount of horsepower the engine produces. While racing tracks like the Daytona International Speedway or the Talladega Superspeedway, engines need to be fitted with a restrictor plate to cut airflow to the engine to put a cap on racing speeds. • Most top racing teams build their own engines from scratch. • The total cost of these engines, which take more than 100 hours to build, is anywhere between $45,000 and $80,000. • At Hendrick Motosports, a 95-person engine department builds more than 600 engines every year. • A fully built engine weighs approximately 517 lbs. • A NASCAR team brings a total of three engines to the track each weekend — one in the primary car, one in the back-up car, and one engine as a spare. • To maintain or rebuild an engine costs around $28,000. • On average, the engine as a whole will run only 15 times before being retired. ( S o u r c e : hendrickmotorsports. com/tech_engine_faq. asp?dept=engine&bhcp=1)

2

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TiRes:

• Goodyear is the sole supplier of tires to NASCAR’s top three racing series. • Each and every tire is constructed by hand from layers of rubberized material which are reinforced by rubber-coated steel cables called beads. • Each tire costs between $350 and $450. But racing teams don’t buy their tires. They lease them from Goodyear on race day. Each team is allowed to lease 16 sets of four tires. That’s a maximum of 2,408 tires at a cost of more than $1 million — not counting the additional practice tires the teams also use. That means that each NASCAR Sprint Cup team invests around $20,000 on tires alone for each race.

(Source: nascarspace.com/ nascar/nascar-sprint-cup-rulesinfo/follow-life-nascar-race-tire2992.html)

3

fUel

• The gas the NASCAR race teams use comes from Sunoco, and they give it to them for free! It’s covered under a multiyear contract that makes sure they will have fuel at every track. • According to NASCAR, the amount of fuel used during races is pretty measley when compared to how much fuel is used by Americans every day. On average, Americans use 366 million gallons of gas per day, compared to roughly 135,000 gallons per year for the Sprint Cup Series. • Fuel cost is of minimal concern in comparison with other costs. (Source: sports.espn. go.com/rpm/nascar/cup/ columns/story?columnist=smith_ marty&page=DoorToDoor080326)

sponsorships pay around $2-$6 million for a space on the lower part of the hood, some of the side panels, and the chance for a primary hood spot on lowerprofile races. • Co r p o r a t e s p o n s o r s not only pay for the car, but help cover all of the research, development, and maintenance costs associated with a bigbudget racing team. For example, at Hendrick Motorsports, which employs 500 people, sponsors are estimated to cover 65 to 70 percent of all infrastructure costs. The rest is paid for by race

4

Who Pays The UPkeeP foR The CaR?

One look at a NASCAR Sprint Cup race car and it’s pretty obvious who’s funding this beast of engineering. Their names cover every inch of the car — the hood, the bumper, the doors, everywhere. Behold the NASCAR sponsors, and without them, the sport would not be possible. • These days, funding a single NASCAR team means finding a corporate sponsor who’s willing to pay up $20-25 million or more for a primary sponsorship. • A primary sponsorship gives the corporation full access to advertising on the hood of the car, on the driver’s and pit crew’s uniforms, on the sides of the big rigs that haul the race cars across the country, and most importantly, unrestricted use of the driver and his car for print, radio, and TV ads. • Secondary or associate

oTheR iNTeResTiNg faCToids:

• M a ny Fo r t u n e 5 0 0 companies have recently seen their investment costs rise from a $12-15 million investment less than five years ago to a price that’s nearly double that today.

• Approximately 65-70% of the cost of this infrastructure, along with a team’s other operating expenses, is funded using sponsorship dollars. The rest comes from purse money and endorsements. •The biggest chunk of these overflowing budgets is saved for the construction, maintenance, and upgrades of an entire fleet of race cars. Most championship racing teams keep 14 to 20 cars in racing condition at all times. (Source:auto.howstuffworks. com/auto-racing/nascar/nascarbasics/nascar-race-car-cost1. htm)

WhaT aboUT The dRiveRs? Nascar’s prize moNey decoded The UlTimaTe PayCheCk: We’ve all seen the big check the winner holds up at the end of the race. But where exactly do all those

ToTal cosT of car:

• With all those expensive parts, a pre-CoT NASCAR Sprint Cup race car costs between $125,000 and $150,000.

winnings and other endorsement deals. • Today, primary sponsors pay a staggering $500,000 per race. ( S o u rce : s p o r t s. ya h o o. com/nascar/news?slug=bmnascarmoney070208)

thousands of dollars come from?

W

ell, it actually comes from a couple of different sources. The single biggest source is from the TV station’s rights — Fox, NBC, etc. The rest of the prize money comes from race sponsors. H owe ve r, j u s t b e cause a driver wins the race doesn’t mean they’ll get all of the money the sponsors put into the purse. All of that money is actually divided between the drivers. Shares of the race purse are handed out based on a number of different factors: where a driver finishes, the specific products the team uses, how well the team is doing this season, how well the team did last season, and what type of prize money“plan”the team participates in. That’s right,

NASCAR distributes the money to different teams in different ways under different plans. Hard Facts: • There are 36 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup season, with more than $4 million in prize money for the taking at each race. • The bonus money awards start at around $5,000 and move up from there. • Some races offer drivers a chance at a portion of more than $6 million in prize money. • In the 2009 Sprint Cup Series, Jimmie Johnson had a season total of over $14 million in winnings. • In the 2009 Sprint Cup Series, the 45 top drivers earned more than a million dollars.

(Source:http://auto. howstuffworks.com/autoracing/nascar/nascar-basics/ nascar-prize-money2.htm) • The biggest expenditure for teams — by a very large margin — is payroll. One single-car owner’s payroll is roughly $3.5 million annually — and that doesn’t include the driver or crew chief. (So you can imagine what Hendrick Motorsports’ payroll must be!) (Source: http://auto.howstuffworks. com/auto-racing/nascar/ nascar-basics/nascar-racecar-cost1.htm)


NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

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IWANNA® July 27, 2010 ~ 47

There’s no quesTion ThaT nasCar is one hefTy sporTs indusTry ThaT CosTs a preTTy penny. BuT how muCh money are we really Talking aBouT? here we’ll Break down The real CosT of nasCar — parT By parT, BiT By BiT.

$2 - $6 million

sponsorships

$45,000 to $80,000 engine

4

free

Courtesy of sunoco

fuel

1

3

Total Cost of Car:

Tires

2

$1400 to $1800

$125,000 to $150,000


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NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

IWANNA® July 27, 2010 ~ 48

SucceSSful PeoPle Make SucceSSful TeaMS

B

ehind every good NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team is a successful owner.

Success as an organization only comes through an effective and successful leader. When looking at the men directing some of the top Cup series teams in the garage, you find one thing in common — success. You find not only success with their Cup teams, but success throughout the course of their lives. These owners have found a way to “win” at whatever they set their minds to. Rick Hendrick learned how to build cars and engines from his father on a small farm in Virginia. Mr. Hendrick wasted no time in showcasing his skills, as he set numerous records at a local drag strip at the ripe young age of 14

with a 1931 Chevy that he built on the farm. Only one year later at 15 years old, he won the Virginia division of the Chrysler-Plymouth Troubleshooting Engine Building Contest. Also an athletic standout, Mr. Hendrick turned down the opportunity to play professional baseball to follow an academic opportunity at North Carolina State University where he took part in a workstudy program through Westinghouse Electric Company. It was during this time that Mr. Hendrick’s automotive interests led him to start a used car lot. This used car lot was so successful that a large local dealer named him the general sales manager at only 23. Just two years later, he stepped out on a limb and purchased a suf-

fering Chevrolet dealership in Bennettsville, SC. It was only a matter of time before Mr. Hendrick had turned the dealership around and positioned it as the most profitable dealership in the area. It was this first dealership experience that led to the empire known today as the Hendrick Automotive Group and subsequently Hendrick Motorsports, which has gone on to win nine Cup Series Championships — four with Jeff Gordon, four with Jimmie Johnson, and one with Terry Labonte. Joe Gibbs took quite a different path to Cup Series success, but at the same time, he found success all along the way. Mr. Gibbs graduated high school as the star quarterback, before heading off to San Diego State University to play tight end, offensive guard and linebacker. He began his coaching career at San Diego State after receiving his Bachelor’s degree, while obtaining a Master’s degree from the same university. Mr. Gibbs would go on to coach at a total of four colleges, before moving up to the professional ranks. After serving as an NFL assistant coach for three different teams, Gibbs then got the call to take on the head coaching position for the Washington Redskins. In twelve years as the Redskins head coach, Mr. Gibbs led the team to eight playoff appearances, four NFC championships and three Super Bowl titles. While still coaching the Redskins, Gibbs started his own NASCAR Cup Series team in 1992. He transferred his same principles of hard work and long hours to the racing operation as he did throughout his football career. Mr. Gibbs’ racing team has since captured three Cup Series Championships — two with Tony Stewart and one with Bobby Labonte. Jack Roush found success

Rick Hendrick (Photo courtesy of Jason Smith/Getty Images)

through incredible and innovative engineering. A graduate of Berea College with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Eastern Michigan University with a Master’s degree in Scientific Mathematics, Mr. Roush began working for Ford upon

successful road racing vehicles, before forming his own NASCAR Cup Series team in 1988 with driver Mark Martin. Mr. Roush’s racing team has gone on to claim two Cup Series Championships — one with Kurt Busch and one

RaRely will you find a successful business, company oR oRganization that does not have a successful leadeR. in most cases, you can always look within to find the Reason foR success. the completion of school. Only four years later, he would leave to pursue his own company. Mr. Roush would later work one year for Chrysler before the creation of his own engineering business. At this point in his life, he began drag racing in various series. Throughout his drag racing career, Mr. Roush would sell the performance parts that he developed for his own race cars via the now popular Roush Performance. Mr. Roush’s engineering prowess led to the success of not only his own drag racing, but to those who utilized his parts. Mr. Roush would then partner with a German firm and Ford to create

with Matt Kenseth. Rarely will you find a successful business, company, or organization that does not have a successful leader. In most cases, you can always look within to find the reason for success. Gaining success in NASCAR’s highest level of competition is no easy feat. However, these three men and several others have discovered the formula for success, and this success can be seen throughout their entire lives.

by Dan guffey speeD weekly


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NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

IWANNA® July 27, 2010 ~49

Brian france talks

of change in 2011

R

umor has it that The Chase For The Sprint Cup format could change in the next year. According to NASCAR Chairman Brian France, he laid some very possible changes on the table at Daytona International Speedway July 2.

The Chase began in 2004, and already changes were made just two years later. Currently, drivers’ points get readjusted to 5,000 and get 10 points for each win prior to the start of the 10-race Chase. After that, the points system remains the same to determine the champion. But that could all change, according to France. No specific decisions were spelled out verbatim, but France didn’t rule out the chance of eliminations nor did he say the points system would stay the same. The number of drivers in the Chase was also a topic of discussion. “What we’re talking about is enhancing it in a way that will bring out more of the winning moments, the big moments that happen in sports,” France said. Some drivers have differing points of view on the matter and aren’t looking forward to more change. “I believe that we should keep things as simple as possible,” Carl Edwards said. “We should keep them the same. I think that if you change things over and over, and this is just my opinion, but if you constantly change things, then it makes it harder to believe in and feel comfortable with.” While change could very well be in NASCAR’s near future, France made it clear that those changes may not be as drastic as people think. Putting the Chase aside, NASCAR has been focusing its energy in increasing its fan base. This means the sport is trying to get drivers to show more of their personalities and emotions on the track — in other words, more heated and aggressive driving.

The Nationwide Series could also see its fair share of changes in the 2011 season. France said Cup drivers will be allowed to participate in the Nationwide races, but he wants it to be more like NASCAR’s own version of college football — an opportunity where up and coming drivers can make a name for themselves. “We like Cup drivers racing in the Nationwide Series,” France said. “We need to make sure the stage is not crowded out so much so that we can’t give opportunities to Nationwide young regulars who need that experience. “And you know what? In my discussions with the Sprint Cup drivers, they agree with us. They think just that way, too. The owners certainly agree with us. So there are going to be some things that we can do.” France also touched on NASCAR’s decreased TV ratings and race attendance, the increasing age of their fans, and the use of ethanol. When it came to the decreased

ratings, France explained that many stations were being impacted, noting that both the Olympics and the World Cup were affected the same way. “You do things that are working, but you don’t see [results],” France said.“The answer is because there’s always a number of things that are working against you or for you at any one time. Take this year, we did get the on-track product — we thought the on-track product was pretty good last year. “There was a perception where it wasn’t. Certainly we have a tendency over many years to at some points in time over-regulate the sport for whatever the reason. We obviously dialed that back. But what we also had was we moved start times back out from where more viewers are back to an earlier start time. We knew that would have a short-term impact until our fan base could get a benefit from sort of a centralized start time for most of the events.” France also touched on why NASCAR’s fans are in the older de-

NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France answers questions from the media and gives a mid-season update in the Daytona International Speedway media center on Friday. (Photo courtesy of NASCAR Media)

mographic and what they can do to increase the younger fanbase. “It is a balance on the core fan, which is a little bit certainly older than that, that you want to satisfy your core fan but you have to do the things that are going to make you as attractive as possible,” France said.“That’s social media to us, which is going to be the great opportunity, one of the great opportunities to reach that young demographic. We’ve got some work to do to improve our effort.” When asked about the use of ethanol within NASCAR, he said,“It will be important for us to evolve

the fuel source in the national divisions over time,” France said.“We’ll do that with Sunoco for sure trying to respect and value their set of rights. So we’ll have to put all of that together. “I don’t know what will happen in ’11. We’re working on a lot of things. But what I can tell you is we will have a very slow, very steady, and sometimes with big impact, but steady march towards this sport looking and feeling and acting more green. We believe that to be the right way and we’ll do that without compromising competition.”


50 ~ IWANNA® July 27, 2010

NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

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harvick’s chances are good for cup championship Leading the pack in the standings for the Sprint Cup is Kevin Harvick, but Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin are drivers he’ll have to contend with in order to win the championship.

B

oth Johnson and Hamlin have won five races each this season. How many has Harvick won? Only two. “We have been fortunate to be where we are and, you know, five race wins and five DNFs won’t win a championship.” As of right now, Harvick seems pleased with his consistency rather than his wins. 2010 marks his 10th season at Richard Childress Racing, and Harvick has made the Chase three times since 2004 — his best finishes were placing fourth in both 2006 and 2008. “This is the best opportunity that we’ve ever had to win a championship,” Harvick said. “This is the best opportunity we’ve ever had to prepare for a championship because of where we are in the points…[Not winning] doesn’t irk me at all.” But just because he’s leading in points doesn’t mean he’s in the safe zone quite yet. Once the Chase field is set, Harvick could get knocked back to only fifth in points. That’s because the top 12 drivers will have been re-seeded, and each will start with 5,000 points plus 10 points for every win. That would put Johnson and Hamlin at the top, followed by

brothers Kyle and Kurt Busch, who each have two wins. “For us, the ball is in our hands, and what direction we take it and run with it from here is up to us, so we have plenty of time to prepare for it and hopefully we do a good job as we have done to this point and we can step it up and do what we have to do in the last 10 weeks. “We have run consistently in the top five and when we have had a bad day, we have been right around the top 10. Those are the things that you have to do. And I keep hearing everybody talk about [that] you’ve got to win more races and you’ve got to do this — we’ll win a couple more races and that’s what we have got to do.” However Harvick realizes he’ll have to win in the 10-race Chase to win a Cup title. “You’re going to have to win one or two races in the Chase to be in contention, but you can’t have those disasters,” Harvick said. “We had a 100-point disaster at Martinsville with a brake failure. Obviously you can see the DNFs that the 11 [of Hamlin] and 48 have had.” When you look at the tracks re-

maining before the Chase, Harvick has won at seven of them except for Pocono and Michigan. “I definitely feel we are going to be competitive. The thing I have learned over the years is when you start trying to force the issue, and I learned this lesson the hard way this year at California [in February]. We had not won in a while, tried to force the issue and made a mistake [hitting the wall in the final laps] and cost ourselves a chance to win instead of being patient.” Compared to last year when he entered the Daytona race 27th in the standings, Harvick is feeling a lot more confident. Having confidence in yourself and your team are crucial, but you also have to have confidence in your car. “For me, I just quit asking about

I

what car they are bringing and they have all run pretty good,” Harvick said. “So I’ve just tried to concentrate on what I was doing. “When you follow the year that we have had compared to

what we had last year, you learn not to get greedy,” Harvick said. “I’ve been around this deal long enough to know that we keep running like we are, we’ll win our share of races.

Todd bodine leads The Truck series, for now

t’s obvious Todd Bodine is a happy camper — he is the Camping World Truck Series points leader. Not only that, but on June 4 he won the WinStar World Casino 400k at Texas — again. That race marked his sixth victory at the Texas Motor Speedway. Bodine, who has won 17 Truck races and was the 2006 series champion, had this attitude before the Texas race: “You go there with a little kick in your step knowing that you’ve got the opportunity to win and that you can do it knowing that you’ve had the success in the past there,” said

Bodine.“You can’t be cocky, you can’t be overconfident, because you’ve still got to go do it again, but just the fact we know we’ve been there, we can get around good, we’ve had good trucks, we feel like it’s our house and its ours to go win at.” So what’s his secret? Why has he had so much success on the Texas track? “It’s a fast track,” Bodine continued. “You’ve got to carry a lot of momentum through the corner. The truck’s got to really roll the center of the corner well, and that’s one thing I’ve always concentrated on doing

as a driver is making sure I roll the corner well and being able to get off the corner fast. And I think if there’s anything [to my success] that would be it.” Although he’s in the lead, Bodine is closely trailed by second place Aric Almirola and Johnny Sauter who is in third. The 46-year old has finished no worse than fourth in points in the last five years, but could very easily lose his lead position with the slightest mistake. On the other hand, many critics are confident Todd will win because of the experience he has with the Trucks. “Todd has ‘been there and done that,’ and he probably feels a lot less pressure about it than I do,” Almirola said. “He’s already proven that he can win a championship. I think he has that going for him. We’re really trying to not worry or concentrate on who we’re racing in the points. We’re just racing ourselves. We’ve done the math. We know that we have to run 10th to sixth, if not better, every single weekend. It’s going to be tough all year long, and everybody’s going to have to be on their A game.” “The last four weeks is when it gets really tough,” Bodine said. “I think anybody that hasn’t been in that position, that’s when their toughness is going to show up. I’ve done this battle thing a couple times in Nationwide and now in the Trucks a couple times, so it’s kind of old hat. We don’t worry about it even if it’s time to worry. We just go do the best we can and whatever happens, happens.”


NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

iwanna.com

ran fourth and fifth, respectively, on old tires. Keselowski extended his margin in the standings to 277 points over second-place Edwards, who finished 11th Saturday. Earnhardt did well holding off runner-up Joey Logano and thirdplace finisher Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in a green-white-checkered-flag finish that took the race two laps beyond its scheduled distance of 100 laps. “I was so worried that I wasn’t going to win, ‘cause nothing but a

Dale Earnhardt Jr. celebrates his first NASCAR Nationwide Series win since 2006 on Friday in Daytona International Speedway’s Victory Lane in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Photo courtesy of Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

earnhardt jr.’s last race with legendary no. 3

D

riving the No. 3 Wrangler Chevrolet in honor of his father, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Subway Jalapeño 250 Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway on July 2, breaking a major Nationwide Series drought of almost four long years.

Earnhardt’s emotional victory, the 23rd of Earnhardt’s career, was his first in the series since August 19, 2006, when he took the checkered flag at Michigan. It was his first points win in any of NASCAR’s top three series since June 15, 2008, when Earnhardt captured the Lifelock 400 Sprint Cup race, again at Michigan. Before the race, Earnhardt Jr. said, “We’re bringing back this Wrangler paint scheme because it’s kind of what started his whole

persona as being the tough guy that he was,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “We have a lot of memories of the No. 3 Wrangler car, and I think all my Dad’s fans will get a kick out of seeing it on the track again.” The No. 3 Chevrolet mirrored the Wrangler paint design Earnhardt made famous during his 1981 to 1987 Cup seasons. Earnhardt and Childress won Cup championships in 1986-87 with the Wrangler car. Earnhardt held the top spot through Lap 96, when NASCAR threw a debris caution that set up a two-lap run to the finish. Earnhardt stayed out on old tires, as did seven other contending cars, but Busch, Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Trevor Bayne, and Ryan Newman came to the pits for tires under the yellow. The strategy didn’t work for those drivers, as track position proved more beneficial than fresh rubber. Points leader Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick

win would get it — for everybody,” Earnhardt said. “If we didn’t win, what a waste of time... “I worked hard to try to win, not only for daddy — I’m proud of him going to the Hall of Fame, and he would be proud of this, I’m sure — but just all these fans. I hope they enjoyed this. This is it — no more ‘3’ for me. That’s it.” The No. 3 car has legendary significance, bringing back memories to everyone involved with NASCAR.

IWANNA® July 27, 2010 ~ 51

“It’s emotional,” he said. “I’m proud of myself. I’m proud to have done what I did with this group.” Childress, who won six Cup championships as Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s car owner, told Earnhardt Jr. his father would have been proud. “He just said that daddy would have been happy, real happy,” Earnhardt said. “And who would know better than him?”


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NASCAR 2010 Mid-Season Update

IWANNA速 July 27, 2010 ~ 1


IWANNA's 2010 NASCAR Mid-Season Update