Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart News

September 30, 2009





HOMESTEAD, Fla. — If Danica Patrick knows what her future after this season holds, she’s not saying. Patrick refused Wednesday to confirm widespread reports that she’s agreed to a three-year extension of her IndyCar contract with Andretti Green Racing.

Asked specifically about the extension, Patrick simply shook her head, not saying a word.

Patrick is considered the biggest draw in the IRL, and her interest in moving to NASCAR has been speculated on numerous times in recent years. She has a close relationship with Tony Stewart, and he has said Patrick will eventually make the jump he did — from IndyCar to stock cars.

“I’m definitely looking at doing some NASCAR stuff,” Patrick said, reaffirming what she’s said often in recent months. “And when we figure out what that is, we’ll announce it. But we haven’t figured it out yet.”

IRL officials have not commented about Patrick’s future.

Patrick was at Homestead-Miami Speedway with several other drivers Wednesday to test for the IndyCar finale Oct. 10. Earlier this season, Patrick insisted she wouldn’t announce anything about her future until after this IRL season concludes. Listen Now

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September 30, 2009




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NASCAR: Is it too much to ask for this plotline to play itself out?

September 30, 2009


The 2009 Chase is shaping up as an all-Hendrick show, but if it stays this close until the end, who cares?

Mark Martin leads Jimmie Johnson by only 10 points after the first two playoff events.

Keep it up, boys. Keep battling each other for that top spot and get to Homestead-Miami Speedway with the title up for grabs.

It’s the closing act Sprint Cup needs after a season of hard times.

This has been a tough year for NASCAR, as it has for the nation. The down economy has left a huge negative impact on the sport.

Attendance is down. Major sponsors left. Auto manufacturers cut back on their support while they regrouped to survive. More than 1,000 employees lost their jobs on NASCAR teams that downsized, merged or ceased to exist.

And let’s not even get into the whole Jeremy Mayfield mess.

So is it too much to ask to enter the last race of a long Sprint Cup season with huge drama, where one position on the track could make the difference in winning or losing the championship?

It’s the Chase scenario we’ve always wanted, but rarely seen. And if it is Martin and Johnson, the storylines are a dream come true for NASCAR. Listen Now

Woody: New Testing Policy Doesn’t Add Up

September 30, 2009


I’m not sure who’s in charge of accounting at NASCAR, but they might want to change the batteries in their calculator. I’m not sure it’s calculating.

NASCAR, which at the end of last season curtailed (but not entirely eliminated) testing as a cost-cutting measure, has announced that it will be permitted next year on an array of certain tracks.

Specifically, teams can do unlimited testing on any NASCAR-sanctioned track that doesn’t host a NASCAR national touring series race.

In other words, teams can spend all the dough they want at certain tracks, but not a cent on others.

Am I missing something here? Teams aren’t allowed to spend a dollar testing at Daytona but they can spend a million testing at Greenville-Pickens.

I don’t get it. A dollar spent is a dollar spent, regardless of WHERE it’s spent. Where’s the savings? Listen Now

Richard Petty Motorsports cuts deal with Saudi Prince

September 30, 2009


The Middle East will gain another presence in major-league U.S. motorsports if the King from North Carolina and a prince from Saudi Arabia complete a commercial pairing. That’s the scenario if part of stock-car legend Richard Petty’s four-car NASCAR team is sold to Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah al-Saud, a member of the Saudi royal family.

On Tuesday, Canadian businessman George Gillett, a primary shareholder in Richard Petty Motorsports, signed a commercial collaboration agreement with al-Saud. Under the agreement, a NASCAR-type track could be built in the Saudi Republic, with the Richard Petty Racing Experience setting up driving schools there.

“The Middle East has immense growth potential [for racing] as fans demand access to more diverse, higher-caliber competition,” Gillett said during a Tuesday announcement. “I’m delighted, enthusiastic and honored to have the opportunity to partner with such a visionary in His Highness Prince Faisal.” Listen Now

DEI superspeedway dominance is a distant memory

September 30, 2009


It is difficult to believe that the late Dale Earnhardt was not around to witness the DEI restrictor plate dominance. When the restrictor plate era began in 1988, Earnhardt won ten races at Daytona and Talladega, and that is not counting the bonus wins in the Bud Shootout or Gatorade Twins. The organization that he assembled continued the superspeedway legacy immediately following his tragic passing in 2001. In fact, Michael Waltrip won the Daytona 500 just moments following the accident.
His son Dale Earnhardt Jr won two out of the next three restrictor plate races of the season. The ascendancy continued in 2002, as DEI captured three out of the four superspeedway races. In 2003, Waltrip confirmed that DEI was unwilling to relinquish their superspeedway dominance with his second Daytona 500 victory. He also won the fall race at Talladega. Earnhardt Jr won the spring race at Talladega, as once again, DEI won three of the four superspeedway races. 
The 2004 season marked the end of the four-year supremacy on NASCAR’s longest tracks. Earnhardt Jr finally won the Daytona 500, as well as the fall race at Talladega. While DEI’s performance was still solid, Hendrick Motorsports was rapidly making gains. In fact, Jeff Gordon won the two restrictor plate races that Earnhardt Jr did not win. From 2001 to 2004, DEI amassed eleven restrictor plate wins in sixteen races. Listen Now

Earnhardt Jr, Harvick could follow same path as Stewart

September 30, 2009


NASCAR is all about trends.  Many in the garage will take the copycat approach.  For example, in the late 1990’s, Joe Gibbs Racing hired Tony Stewart, and the young driver enjoyed one of the most impressive rookie seasons in NASCAR history.  Following Stewart’s emergence was the young gun craze.  He paved the way for other freshmen drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, and Ryan Newman. 

From 2000 to 2006, it was not abnormal to see a rookie driver win races.  A few even contended for the championship, see Johnson in 2002 and Denny Hamlin in 2006.  Prior to 1999, a rookie had not won a race since 1987.  Since Hamlin’s first-year outburst, Juan Pablo Montoya is the only rookie to score a win.  No rookie has even come close to qualifying for the Chase for the Championship. 

Speaking of Montoya and trends; what about the open-wheel/international invasion?  Following Montoya’s entrance into NASCAR, Dario Franchitti, Patrick Carpentier, Jacques Villenueve, and Marcos Ambrose endeavored to become a successful NASCAR driver.  Ambrose is the only one remaining in the sport, and his roots are with off-road racing, not open-wheel.  American open-wheel stars such as A.J. Allmendinger, Sam Hornish Jr and Scott Speed are attempting to master the art of stock car racing.  While Hornish Jr and Allmendinger have displayed perceptible improvement since their rookie campaigns, both drivers are living proof of how daunting the transition is. Listen Now CONTEST: Who Won The 2003 Indy Car Champinship?

September 29, 2009


Win 2 tickets now to “The Indy Car Race” at Homestead Miami Speedway email me at with the correct answer. Winner will be announced Sunday October 3rd on the web site!!!( multiple correct answers will be drawn for.) Radio show from HMS Saturday October 10th. Winners will be on ” The Radio Show” from Homestead Miami Speedway!!!

Keslowski, Hamlin, Kahne, Edwards, Bowyer and Menard Race News

September 29, 2009


Keselowski back in the #25 at Kansas: Brad Keselowski will attempt to make his first Sprint Cup Series start at Kansas Speedway this weekend driving the #25 Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports. The 25-year-old earned a sixth-place finish there in the September 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series event, his only previous start at the 1.5-mile racetrack. In his most recent outing with Hendrick Motorsports, Keselowski started 12th and finished 24th. Keselowski will make his final attempt to qualify Hendrick Motorsports’ #25 Chevy this season on Oct. 17 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

Hamlin in the #37 at Kansas and California: From Kevin Hamlin’s website: “I get the opportunity to drive the #37 Long John Silver’s Cup car starting at Kansas this week, and again next week in California. It’s a really cool deal for Front Row Motorsports owner Bob and Brad Jenkins to let me jump in the car. After testing CoT cars since about day 1 at Earnhardt-Ganassi, it’ll be great to get my first race opportunity. A huge thanks to Tony Raines also, it’s his ride and he had no problem jumping out of the car for two weeks to throw me a bone. I spot for him in the Nationwide races that I don’t drive, and we golf together quite a bit. He says I owe him a year supply of Pro v1 golf balls for helping me out, something I’m happy to oblige to do!”. Listen Now

Martin Still on Top Johnson Right on His Rear Bumper

September 29, 2009


In acknowledging Jimmie Johnson’s close proximity in the standings, Mark Martin subtly reminded the news media that he still leads the Chase for the Sprint Cup until further notice.

And as they distanced themselves some from Juan Pablo Montoya, Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart, that trio made their cases in Sunday’s NASCAR race at Dover, Del., with position gains that further defined the group trying to deny Johnson a record fourth consecutive title. The result is a points gap nearly identical to last year, where 106 separated the top six after two races.

This year that margin separates the top five, and each came away with something to build on as the Chase heads to Kansas Speedway on Sunday.

“It was a pretty good day,” said Montoya, who moved to third with a fourth-place run coming after last week’s third at Loudon, N.H. “We just got a little tight there at the end. Overall, it was good. Another top five, and I had a pretty cool fight there with (Busch).”

Busch, the 2004 inaugural Chase champion, took heart in running a drama-free fifth compared to last week’s sixth-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where he reluctantly pitted early and then hit David Ragan on exit, changing race strategy. Starting 16th on Sunday, his No. 2 Dodge quickly moved into the top 10, led twice for 99 laps and avoided trouble on Dover’s reconfigured pit road. Listen Now

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