Bud Shootout Changes

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I have been saying how “change is coming, change is coming”!!  Well, here is one more change to digest this season.  The Bud Shootout format has completely changed for 2009.  In the past, the Bud Shootout was defined as the winners of the previous seasons races and the past winners of the Bud Shootout.  Well NASCAR, in their infinite wisdom, has decided that the new format is going to pit the top six in OWNER’S POINTS from each manufacturer plus a wild card car from each manufacturer.  That is a total of 28 cars racing for the money.

Another change to the Bud Shootout is to increase the race length from 70 laps to 75 laps.  That is, the first segment will consist of a 25 lap race with a 10 minute break.  In that break crews can do all the things that can be accompolished in a regular pit stop.  However, no springs, shocks, nor rear end changes  are allowed.  Then a restart and a 50 lap race to the checkered flag!!  Starting positions for the Bud Shootout will be determined by a blind draw as usual.

 

The drivers in the 2009 Bud Shootout are:

Chevy

#48 Jimmie Johnson

#29 Kevin Harvick

#07 Casey Mears

#31 Jeff Burton

#24 Jeff Gordon

#88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

#14 Tony (The Smoker) Stewart  (Chevy Wild Card)

 

Dodge

#9 Kasey Kahne

#12 David Stremme

#2 Kurt Busch

#19 Elliott Sadler

#7 Robby Gordon (Dodge for Shootout)

#44 A.J. Allmendinger (Dodge Wild Card)

 

Ford

#99 Carl Edwards

#16 Greg Bifle

#17 Matt Kenseth

#6 David Ragan

#22 Jamie McMurray

#98 Paul Menard ( Ford Wild Card)

 

Toyota

#11 Denny Hamlin

#20 Joey Logano (formally The Smoker’s ride)

#18 Kyle Busch (TLVW) (the las vegas weasel)

#00 David Reutimann (#44 points)

#83 Brian Vickers

#55 Michael Waltrip ( Toyota Wild Card)

 

Past Winners:

2008 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. …………$215,000.00

2007 Tony Stewart………………….$215,000.00

2006 Denny Hamlin…………………$213,380.00

2005 Jimmie Johnson……………..$219,945.00

2004 Dale Jarrett…………………….$213,000.00

2003 Dale Earnhardt, Jr……………$205,000.00

2002 Tony Stewart…………………..$200,955.00

2001 Tony Stewart…………………..$202,722.00

2000 Dale Jarrett…………………….$115,000.00

 

Interesting Facts:

Five times has the winner of the Bud Shootout gone on to win the Daytona 500, Dale Jarrett (1996 & 2000), Jeff Gordon (1997), Bill Elliott (1987), and Bobby Allison (1982).  Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished second in the 2004 Bud Shootout, won the Daytona 500 the following week (2004).

There were seven drivers who won the Daytona 500 that did not compete in the Bud Shootout the week before.  Those  drivers are Michael Waltrip (2001,2003), Ward Burton (2002),Dale Earnhardt, Sr. (1998), Sterling Marlin (19940, Dale Jarrett (1993), Derrrike Cope (1990) and Richard Petty (1979).  Drivers who did not compete in the Bud Shootout the week before the Daytona 500 have won three of the last four Daytona 500’s!

Commentary:

It is this reporter’s opinion that the change in format rewards only the manufacturer, not the driver for his hard work the previous season!  It is a change that appears to be ill conceived!!  The Bud Shootout, like The All Star Race, was a race for the drivers and the fans.  On first look, the new format for the Bud Shootout appears to be first and foremost a “manufacturer’s race”.  NASCAR needs to come to their senses and change this format back to its origins for the 2010 season!! 

 Your comments on this format change is invited!!!!

REMEMBER , I LOOKED IT UP  SO THAT YOU WOULDN’T HAVE TO!!!!

GO#88!!!

A change is coming!

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A change is coming, a change is coming!!  We have been hearing this on the political campaign trail for oh so long!  Well, this is my 100th post since the birth of this site and change is also coming here as well!!!  My tech people( aka Jason) have added a few new features/widgets to the sidebar that I/we feel will add value to this publication.

 

You will notice that I have added a NASCAR Race Countdown feature.  This will countdown to the next week’s race.  Also it wll list a few interesting items associated with that race (closely look at the background, it’s AMP!!).  The second new addition is the NASCAR Standings widget, which will keep us all up to date of the NASCAR standings.  Lastly, I have added a quotes widget.  It will post various quotes that I feel might be appropriate each week!  I will also, from time to time, have a poll on my web site so that you can cast your vote on certain items that are of interest.  This should make for, maybe, some intersting interaction and discussions!!

 

So as you can see this off season I have had my best people (Jason) working  diligently to try to make this site both informative and very user friendly!!!  That is ultimately my goal.

 

So as you can see, 2009  has brought/is bringing many changes to us, not only in Washington D.C., and in NASCAR, but to my web site as well!  I will not enumerate the changes in D.C., since we have been saturated with the campaign for about the last two years nightly.    

 

I tried to publish all the known changes in the Cup Series on my last post.  I am now going to try to update you on the changes to the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series !

Nationwide Series:

1.   Larry Foyt to drive the #56 MacHill Motorsports entry

2.   Verizon to sponsor the #12 Penske Dodge driver by Justin Allgaier(Penske PR)

3.   Michael Annett full season in the Germain Racing #12 Toyota  (AnnettPR)

3.   Paul Menard drives 16 races in the #98 Yates Ford (Yates PR)

4.   Fastenal sponsors the #2 RCR Chevy driven by Bowyer and Truex

5.   Scott Speed runs some races for Michael Waltrip Racing (nascar.com)

6.   Ruetimann runs four races for Braun racing( Bruan Racing)

7.   Stewart (The Smoker) attempts Daytona in HMS #80 Chevy (HMS PR)

8.   Kerry Earnhardt to run #8 EGR(DEI) in Daytona

9.   Joe Nemechek (Front Row Joe) in NEMCO #78 Chevy

10.  Michael Mc Dowell drives the JTG/Daughtery entry(scenedaily)

11.  Kyle Busch(TLVW)  18 races for JGR (espn.com)

 

 

Truck Series:

1.   Ricky Carmichael drives KHI #4 Monster Energy Chevy (KHI PR)

2.   Max Papis six races for Germain Racing

3.   Kyle Busch(TLVW) in #51 Ballew Racing Toyota (scenedaily)

4.   Mike Wallace drives #71 TRG truck

5.   Johnny Benson moves to #1 Red Horse Racing

 

As is my tradition, I will tie in the picture to my post.  The picture is the 1959 Chevy that Junior Johnson won the 1960 Daytona 500.  That is when, as the story goes, Junior discovered a thing later called “the draft“!!!  His Chevy was so much slower than all the other cars, running by itself.   But when he was out on the track with other cars he could “suck” up  behind them, then pull out and sling-shot past them effortlessly!!!  The next year “change” came to Daytona when everyone  figured out how to “draft”!!!!

 

As always, I looked it up so that you wouldn’t have!

GO#88!!

Got Your Scorecard??

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The Green flag is just 21days, 19 hours, and 31minutes from this writing!!  I will try to give everyone an up to date look at “who is on first”!!  I will try  to list all the changes that have occurred in the off-season.  As I have alluded to before, drivers have switched teams, crew chiefs have changed teams, and there are some sponsors, too, that have swapped teams!!  So before you sit down in your seat for the Bud Shootout, the Duel 150’s or the Daytona 500, get out your pen and paper and take copious notes on the following changes so far!!

 

STARTING NUMERICALLY:

1.   #00 (was #44) David Reutimann drives the MWR Aaron’s Toyota

2.   #07 Casey Mears is in the RCR Jack Daniel’s Chevy

3.   #09 Brad Keseloski/Mike Bliss/Sterling Marlin in the James Finch Chevy

4.   #5 Mark Martin pilots the HMS Kellogg’s Chevy

5.   #7 Robby Gordon Jim Beam switched to Toyota

6.   #8 Aric Almirola driving the EGR Chevy

7.   #12 David Stremme chauffers the Penske Verizon Dodge 

8.   #14 (was #70) Tony Stewart drives SHR Old Spice/Office Depot/ Burger King Chevy (#14 Pics)

9.   #20 has Joey Logano piloting the JGR Home Depot Chevy

10.  #31 Jeff Burton drives the RCR Caterpiller Chevy

11.  #33 has Clint Bowyer driving the RCR General Mills Chevy (new team)

12.  #36 (new team) Scott Riggs is driving for Tommy Baldwin Racing in a Toyota

13.  #39 (was #66) Ryan Newman drives the SHR U.S. Army Chevy

14.  #42 Juan Pablo Montoya in the EGR Target Chevy

15.  #43 Reed Sorenson drives the RPM U.S. Air Force Dodge

16.  #44 A.J. Almendinger drives the RPM  Dodge

17.  #47 (was #44) Marcos Ambrose drives the JTG/Doughtery Toyota (MWR help)

18.  #82 (was #84) Scott Speed drives the Red Bull Toyota

19.  #87 ( new team) Joe Nemechek drives the NEMCO Toyota (scenedaily)(foxsports)

20.  #96 Bobby Labonte drives the HOF Racing Ask.com Ford (Yates help)( points from #38)

21.  #98 Paul Menard drives the Yates Menard’s Ford ( points from #28)

22.  Terry Labonte will try to qualify a car for MSRP (Phil Parsons owned)(scenedaily

23.  David Gilliland out of a ride at Yates

23.  Mike Wallace will attempt to qualify a car for  TRG motorsports (nascar.com)

24.  Ford Motorcraft will sponsor the Wood Bros. for 9 races (fordracing.com)

25. Travis Kvapil only has sponsorship for first 5 races Yates #28 Ford(scenedaily)

26.  Jeremy Mayfield trying to field a new team (espn.com)(foxsports)

27.  Ford to debut a new motor FR9 this season( FoMoCo)

28.  Boris Said is trying to put a Daytona 500 package together (fordracing.com)

29.  2009 Team Chart (Jayski.com)

 

 

As of this writing, these are the changes that have been published.  I hope that this will help you in figuring out, like the old Abbot and Costello routine goes, “who’s on first”!!  For the first couple of races, the Bud Shootout and the Duel 150’s we all will be refering to our notes of “who’s on first”!!!!!!  Not only did some of the drivers switch teams, but some of the sponsors did the same.  So the paint schemes of some of our favoite cars have changed, possibly moved over to another team, and that will cause some confusion intially to all of us!  Keep your notes handy, that will clear up some of the confusion at Daytona.

 

As the picture states, the Daytona 500 is the most anticpated event of the year!  Starting on Thursday with the running of the Duel 150’s, the electricity builds momentum up to the bolt of lightning that strikes on Sunday afternoon, known as the Daytona 500!!  The excitement is building up for me too, once again I will climb up into the Sprint Tower and watch the Duel 150’s, the Camping World Truck race, the Nationwide race, and THE GREAT AMERICAN RACE….the Daytona 500!!!!

AS ALWAYS, I LOOKED IT UP SO THAT YOU WOULDN’T HAVE TO!!!!!

GO #88

Petty’s Legacy-Kyle

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Kyle Petty doesn’t have a Sprint Cup ride so far this season, and he certainly won’t be a part of the Petty- Gillette merger plans for 2009!  Nevertheless, the legacy that Kyle Petty leaves behind is just as monumental as the one that his father, “King Richard” Petty leaves!

 

Kyle Petty’s legacy is born out of tragedy, not triumph!  His son, Adam, died May 12, 2000 (Mother’s Day weekend) from injuries sustained in a crash during practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  Kyle Petty refers to his son’s death as “Adam’s accident”.  Adam was just two months short of his 20th birthday, and was a very young and energetic teenager.  As a driver, Adam was to take the Petty banner into the 21st century under the tutorship of Kyle and his grandfather, “King Richard”.

 

From that devastaing loss of his son came The Victory Junction Gang Camp, which Kyle and his wife Pattie established in Adam’s memory!  Through this camp, which serves children  ages 6-16, Kyle and Pattie have welcomed thousands of children into their extended family.  In actuality, the core of this idea came from Adam prior to his untimely death.  According to Pattie, it was Adam who had discussed the idea of helping out terminally ill children.  This idea from a teenager, obviously a well grounded young man!

 

For reasons too many to list, Victory junction, as a concept, has resonated throughout the NASCAR community and now throughout the corporations sponsoring the NASCAR teams!  The focused commitment of  Kyle and Pattie Petty is a powerful magnet, one that attracts support from NASCAR’s top stars.  Tony Stewart stages a race at his race track, the famed Eldora Speedway, in support of Victory Junction.  That race, Prelude to the Dream, is the who’s who of racing.  Stewart invites the stars of NASCAR, NHRA, and dirt track legends to race each other with all the proceeds going to TheVictory Junction Gang Camp.  This year Stewart donated ONE MILLION DOLLARS  to Victory Junction!  The Jimmie Johnson Foundation donated $600,00.00 for a bowling alley at the camp.  Mike Helton, NASCAR president, auctioned off his prized Harley for Victory Junction.

 

Kyle had announced that another Victory Junction Camp will be built in Kansas City to compliment the facility built in Randelman, N.C.  Even though the economy is slowing, Kyle is still committed to building that facility.  He further boosts that he committed to establishing facilities throughout the USA! 

 

For Kyle, his tenure at Petty Enterprises ended with close of the 2008 season and the merger of Boston Ventures with Petty Enterprises.  He will, however, be remembered for what he has accompolished off the track more than his racing prowess.  While his father excelled in the racing game and IS NASCAR, Kyle has excelled as a human being and humanitarian!!  The vision of his son, Adam, and the drive and desire to make Adam’s dream a reality, is very impressive. 

COMMENTARY:

 

When this reporter reflects on the Petty family and and their contributions to NASCAR  the two men stand out head and shoulders above all their peers for very different reasons.  For Richard Petty, there are no comparisons in his accompolishments of winning races.  He accumulated 200 wins over his storied career.  His closest competitor is “The Siver Fox” David Pearson at 105 victories.

 

On a different stage, Kyle Petty has become a huge fund raiser for many charities, and the founder of The Victory Junction Gang Camp.  He and his wife have brought to fruition Adam’s dream and it has flourished bigger than anyone could have dreamed.  The Victory Junction Gang camp invites these children to attend camp for one week at no charge.  These children are around other children who also suffer from some of the same afflictions and enjoy one week of fun and laughter.  They are able to, at least temporarily, forget about the seriousness of problems and just have fun!!

 

Kyle Petty’s fetes may just out  live anything that his father did on the race track!  As you can tell, this reporter is a huge fan of, and contributor to, The Victory Junction Gang Camp.  After having two grandaughters that lived only a few hours, I have made a commitment to donate each year to this wonderful organization so that children will have a chance to be children.  If you need more information on The Victory Junction Gang Camp go to the link, http://www.victoryjunction.org/ .

 

For those of you who are trying to tie the picture to the post, once again I will help you.  That picture was taken by yours truly at The California Speedway.  It is Adam Petty’s Busch Series car being pushed out on the pit road.

 

AS ALWAYS, I LOOKED IT UP SO THAT YOU WOULDN’T HAVE TO!!!

Auld Lang Syne!

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 THIS WEEKS STORY LINES:

1.   ROBBY GORDON REMAINS IN 3RD @ DAKAR RALL(nascar.com)

2.   2009 BUD SHOOTOUT FORMAT CHANGES:(2009 Bud Shootout)

3.   KESELOWSKI TO RACE SEVEN CUP RACES:(HMS PR)

4.   RUETIMANN TO RUN FULL CUP SEASON:(scene daily)

5.   TESTING AT MANY NON NASCAR SANCTIONED TRACKS:(speedtv)

6.   TIM MCCREADIE INJURED @ CHILI BOWL:(chili bowl.com)

7.   VERIZON BUYS ALLTEL:(AP)

8.   GILLILAND POSSIBLY OUT AT YATES:(scenedaily)

9.   MAX SIEGEL LEAVES DEI:(espn.com)

10.  MIKE SKINNER LOOKING FOR A RIDE(daytona beach news journal)

11.  REGAN SMITH IN #78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVY:(KUSA9NEWS)

12.  YATES AND HALL OF FAME RACING PARTNER UP:(sports business journal)

13.  BOBBY LABAONTE IN THE #96 HOF FORD:(nascar.com)

 

It oftens seems that even before one NASCAR season ends, the teams are already looking forward to the next season.  That is especially true for the non Chasers!!  Fortunately, thanks to one of the shortest off-seasons in professional sports, the wait is just about over ( 29 days,15 hours and 10 minutes from this writing)!!

 

 

You know that song you hear every New Year’s Eve?  You know that one about not forgetting old acquaintences?  Did you ever wonder what that phrase is in the chorus?

 

 

The most common song for most English-speaking people to sing at New Year’s Eve is the old Scottish song “Auld Lang Syne”.  Isn’t it a little bit odd how we sing that song and have no idea just what it means.  Would it be funny if it meant “Old Slow Buick Roadmasters” or something like that????  Actually, a good translation of that phase “auld lang syne” is “times gone by”.  So when we sing this song, we are saying, “We will drink a cup of kindness yet, for times gone by”

 

 

That might be true for the fans of the 2008 Champion.  As for the rest of us, our cups are brimming over with something else!!!!   It is extremely true for this reporter, last year was good but this year will be great!  A new year brings in all the hope and excitement, much like a child opening presents on Christmas morning.  This year is by far no exception.  There are more changes in the garage area than husbands on Elizabeth Taylor’s and Zsa Zsa Gabor’s resume!!!  There are drivers that are changing teams, crew chiefs changing teams, mergers of teams, emerging new teams, sponsors changing teams, and some established teams running a limited schedule.  Many of the teams are still searching and scrambling for that ever elusive sponsorship dollar!  The global recession has had a huge impact on the NASCAR community this off season.

 

 

Most of us don’t want to reminisce about the blown tire, Kyle Busch (aka The Las Vegas Weasel) crashing our favorite driver on the last laps of the race, or a bad pit stop.  Did I mention that we really didn’t want to waste time reflecting on TLVW crashing our favorite driver( read #88 JR) at Richmond and winning the race???????  All those memories are now relegated to the book called HISTORY!  History books are good to read, but the only books that I am intersted in reading regarding NASCAR focus on the future and this season!!!  The only Eve that I am now interested in is February 14, the night before the Daytona 500!!  I have an appointment with the Sprint Cup Tower row 48 seat 6 for the Dual 150’s, Trucks race, Nationwide race and the Daytona 500!!!

 

COMMENTARY:

 

 

As you can see in the story lines listed above, there are tumultuous activities going on in the garage area.  I strongly suggest that you click on to each of the links above and read those articles.  They are a good resource to what is happening this week in NASCAR! There are drivers with new teams, sponsors with new teams, merged operations, and a couple of new race teams all together!!  So get out your scorecard and sharpen up you memory skills, cause I can hear those V8’s starting to get warmed up!! 

This reporter’s New Year’s resolutions:

1. I resolve to be in front of the TV when the green drops each Sunday!

2. I resolve to solidly root for #88 each week and defend him against all detractors, foreign and domestic!

3.  I ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NEVER EVER FORGET TIMES GONE BY!!!!

 

Now if you will go back and look at the picture of the Daytona Speedway above.  Notice the black square of seats just on the upper tight side of the Palm tree.   If you squint your eyes you will see this reporter sitting there waiting for the drop of the green flag for the Daytona 500!!!

 

REMEMBER, I LOOKED IT UP SO THAT YOU WOULDN’T HAVE TO!!!

The End of an Era!

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THIS WEEK’S STORY LINES

1.   IT IS OFFICIAL– PETTY MERGED WITH GEM:(foxsports.com)

2.   ALMENDINGER REPLACES SADLER @ GEM:(espn.com)

3.   LABONTE LOOKING FOR A NEW RIDE:(motorsports soapbox)

4.   WOOD BROS. RUNS A PARTIAL SEASON:(espn.com)

5.   EARNHARDT-GANASSI SCRAMBLES FOR SPONSORS:(racing one)

6.   HMS SUES DEI AND GINN RACING:(SceneDaily)

7.   2009 TENTATIVE TEAM CHART: (jayski.com)

8.   BILL DAVIS SELLS RACE REAMS: (scene daily)

9.   EVERNHAM STILL WANTS A ROLE IN NASCAR:(Charlotte Observer)

The 2009 season will witness an end of an era!!!  On Christmas Eve Petty Enterprises merged with Gilette-Evernham Motorsports.  On the outside that statement really does sound like an earth shaking event, but let us look closer.  Earlier in the 2008 season Richard Petty sold a majority interest in his family business of Petty Enterprises to Boston Ventures.  That is the same Petty Enterprises that his father, legendary NASCAR icon Lee Petty, started in 1949 in NASCAR’s infancy.  The same Petty Enterprises that dominated NASCAR in the 1960’s and early 1970’s.  That is the same Petty Enterprises that produced the “Petty Blue” color scheme on the Plymouths of those glory years.  Richard Petty and NASCAR have been synonymous for the last 50 years!  With this merger, Richard Petty has relinquished his control and influence in Petty Enterprises!!  The details have yet to be made public, but one thing is for sure, the number 43 is now in the Gilette-Evernham Motorsports stable!

 

Speaking of GEM, with this merger just being announce, there are some shake-ups in the driver’s seat there.  It appears that, even after signing a two year contract extenion, Elliot Sadler has been ousted from the #19 Dodge.  A. J. Almendinger is set to replace Sadler in that ride.  It also apears that Reed Sorenson is set to jump into the “newly acquired #43 Dodge GEM Dodge”!!

 

In another sign of the tough times, Bill Davis has sold his racing operations to Triad Racing Development.  The 2009 season for #22 Toyota is still up in the air.  The new owners are trying desparately to secure sponsorship in order to put that car on the track for the 2009 season.  The economic environment is proving to wreak havoc in the NASCAR garage for the 2009 season.  The DEI-Ganassi merger, Earnhardt-Gannasi Racing (EGR) likewise is finding sponsorship a difficult chore.  Even though the new team will be running Chevrolets, they are still “beating the bushes” for sponsorship for their four teams!

 

COMMENTARY:

When this reporter read that Petty Enterprises merged with GEM, it piqued my interest.  When the details come out, it will reveal that Richard Petty will no longer have a stake in his NASCAR racing team.  It appears that the Petty name will remain, but “The King” will not have an owner’s stake in it! 

 

This reporter remembers his one and only conversation with “The King”.  I was about 1987 at the Atlanta airport.  I walked into the restroom in the C concourse “to let out some diet coke”.  As I was standing there a tall slender gentleman walked up next to me.  As I slowly looked to my right I noticed the big hat, sunglasses, and an embroidery of an STP #43 on his hip pocket of his jeans.  Holy Moly, it is Richard Petty!!!  As we washed our hands I engaged him in some conversation.  I first acknowledged how much I loved watching him race!  I then asked him a few questions, which he very gracefully answered.  I then asked him a question that I heard  was true.  I asked “The King”, about his philosphy of signing autographs.  He told me, “Son I will sign autographs til there is nobody left that wants one.  I learned a long time ago that if there is nobody in the stands watching the races, then I don’t make any money! ”

Here I was talking to a NASCAR icon, an American Hero, presumably a wealthy race car owner and businessman.  What really surfaced there was that Richard Petty, Mr. NASCAR, “The King”, was a very humble good ol boy and southern gentleman!!  He was very appreciative that this young airline pilot at the time acknowledged him.  But more importantly, he took time to talk to me, answer my questions and take an interest in what I was asking him.  He wan’t all business!!

 

GOD BLESS YOU RICHARD PETTY!!  THOSE ARE HUGE SHOES THAT YOU LEAVE TO FILL!!

ONCE AGAIN, I LOOKED IT UP SO THAT YOU WOULDN’T HAVE TO!!

IT IS 45 DAYS TILL “GENTLEMEN START YOUR ENGINES”!!!!!!

I WISH YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY AND POSPEROUS NEW YEAR