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Kyle Busch Confirms Getting the Toyota Call August 31, 2007

Posted by claireblang in Breaking News, NASCAR, Rumors.

I’m here in the garage at California Speedway. If you’re looking for a “say it ain’t so” on the story I talked about on the air yesterday about Toyota is going to Joe Gibbs racing you won’t find it with Kyle Busch. I just left the garage meeting room where Kyle Busch said about Joe Gibbs going with Toyota: “I think that they are going to be just fine. This is a business decision that they felt ah right -and I guess now I gotta talk to five star race car bodies to make me a late model body that is a Camry so I gotta make my changes too.” I asked Kyle if he knew ” They kind of led into the fact that they were definitely looking at that and it was a very good possibility – they never gave the definitive answer whether or not it was going to be true so you know I got the call and you know pretty much was OK with it I mean it’s something more so that the crew chief’s and the engineers and all those guys need to approve on you know us drivers it doesn’t matter what we’re driving especially next year it’s just going to be the motor that is going to be the biggest difference you know the bodies are all pretty much close to being the same.”

Patent and Trademark Office Gets Hendrick Number Request August 28, 2007

Posted by claireblang in NASCAR, Rumors.

I am sitting in my studio in Charlotte, North Carolina and have in my hand the United States Patient and Trademark Office request from Hendrick Motorsports for the use of the #38, #51, #81, #82, #58. The filings from Hendrick Motorsports for these numbers started on July 25th and the #81 was the first, the last number requested was the #38 which was on August 9th. Hendrick Motorsports says that they will not comment on their plans and are not ready to do so – but it’s obvious they are preparing for the various options. CBL

List of numbers requested to NASCAR August 28, 2007

Posted by claireblang in NASCAR, Rumors.

Here’s a TIDBIT: Regarding the use of the numbers by Hendrick Motorsports for use by Dale Junior – I have heard now that NASCAR has received an “informal request” for a list of numbers for Hendrick Motorsports for use asking them to “hold” a list of numbers. Nothing “official” but a list of numbers including #51, 58, 81, 82, #38.

Jacques Villeneuve on the cell – he’s good to go August 28, 2007

Posted by claireblang in NASCAR.
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I spoke to former F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve by cell phone as soon as he got out of the Bill Davis truck he was testing in Chicago Monday and changed into street clothes. “It was fun, I didn’t know what to expect it was definitely a very different (vehicle) than what I have ever driven,” he told me. He also told me he had to remind himself he wasn’t in an open wheel car during the test and could not turn the steering wheel as fast as he wanted to but felt good after the day was over. Villeneuve told me that he wanted to test before making plans find out if he would enjoy driving these vehicles and if could get up to speed and get used to them – but by lunch time during the test at Chicago on Monday he said was feeling good enough to give the go ahead on his side to a move into NASCAR and now just needs to get “everything else around the project ready.” Villeneuve added, “It’s been going well so hopefully it will lead into bigger things.” He also told me about all the months of rumors leading up to his testing a NASCAR truck, “I hope it stops being a rumor very soon,” he said. He told me he has not signed a contract yet – adding that teams knew he could drive race cars but NASCAR is a different ball game and it was important to Bill Davis and to him that he tested first and then moved into contract details of his move into the sport.

#38 was only an informal discussion August 28, 2007

Posted by claireblang in Rumors.

I worked a good part of the day yesterday on the report/rumor about Hendrick Motorsports supposedly asking for #38 from Robert Yates Racing for Dale Earnhardt Junior when he moves to Hendrick Motorsports. TIDBIT: What I was able to find out is that the topic of using the #38 was only “informal conversation” with someone at Robert Yates racing. I would guess Robert. That could range from a phone call to talk in the garage between Robert Yates and someone at Hendrick. Yesterday afternoon, a NASCAR source told me that no official request had come in for the number to them. Jesse Essex from Hendrick Motorsports replied to me by email “A formal announcement will be made when plans are in place. Thank you for the inquiry, but we do not have additional comment at this time.” No confirmation or denial. My guess is that there was informal discussion about this number but it was not to the stage of formally requesting it from NASCAR. It may be one of the numbers they were looking at on a list – they’d have to see if the number(s) are available to even discuss them but that by no means indicates they’d use that particular number. I would guess as they do their research on any of the numbers they are looking into we’ll see more rapid fire stories. I’ll keep you grounded on this as I hear more reality. CBL

The True Real Deal: Your Drivers -When Cameras Are Off August 27, 2007

Posted by claireblang in Drivers.

Check out my quick story- “The True Real Deal: Your Drivers -When Cameras Are Off“, (written in Bristol, TN) over on XM Radio’s Official NASCAR blog. (www.InfieldParking.com/XMRadio– click on blog link).

Tony Eury Jr Status August 25, 2007

Posted by claireblang in Breaking News.

Max Siegel the President of Global Operations for Dale Earnhardt Inc. on #8 Crew Chief Tony Eury Junior’s status which he says will probably be announced at Richmond next weekend. “Tony Junior has expressed an interest to go with Dale Jr all along, it’s not been a secret,” Siegel said. “What we have been trying to do with the whole process is work through what makes sense for everybody involved kind of taking a look at who we have what our resources are. The one thing you can’t get anybody in this camp to disagree with is that everyone is truly interested in the long -term health and success of Dale Earhardt Incorporated. Probably the most, the thing thats the most different about this and probably the most difficult for people that are emotionally involved is people take a lot of pride in this company they are very passionate about it and they really truly care that no matter what they do for themselves that this company goes on to win and be successful. And that’s different I mean people change jobs a lot and often times they just look for the next opportunity so every person at this company that is affected by this change is sitting down trying to figure out how they’re going to be ok and we’re going to be ok.”

DEI to announce at Richmond August 25, 2007

Posted by claireblang in Breaking News.

I’m in the garage at Bristol Motor Speedway. TIDBIT: Max Siegel, the President of Global Operations for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. is behind the US Army Hauler chatting casually and he just said that DEI will announce their plans for the #8 car and a fourth team at Richmond International Raceway next week. He says sponsors are lined up for a fourth team. About their decision/announcement he told me “The fans are going to have a reaction to it and an opinion about what happens which they are very much entitled to and different things motivate different people. What we have to do is we have to get together as a management team and do what we feel is in the best interest of the company to be around, contribute to the sport and give the fans something that they can identify with as well. Regardless of what we do now, or who goes in that car or anything else we understand that it’s going to be you know an emotionally volitale and a difficult situation to deal with. In light of that…you know people should have the freedom to express themselves so what we have to do is prepare ourselves to weather that storm and to win the fans over to make them proud of Dale Earnhardt Incorporated who was what the company was started by – Dale Senior and Theresa Earnhardt and we have 500 employees that come in every week to work hard to make the company what it is. So the more we can get people focused on what the company stands for and all the people that contribute on a weekly basis to the racing community the better off we’ll be.”

AT&T Update August 24, 2007

Posted by claireblang in Breaking News.

Claire B here in the media center at Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch Happy Hour just ended with JJ Yeley the fastest 120.068 mph. Cup cars are on the track now. TIDBIT: NASCAR has sent an e-mail to all of its media partners asking them to refer to the #31 Chevy as the RCR Chevrolet. This after an Aug. 13 appeals court ruling overturned an injunction that had permitted the AT&T logos to replace the Cingular logos on the car since May 19.

Can’t Hide the Feelings: Dale Jr. Moves On From #8 August 24, 2007

Posted by claireblang in Drivers.
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Check out my quick story- “Can’t Hide the Feelings: Dale Jr. Moves On From #8“, (written in Bristol, TN) over on XM Radio’s Official NASCAR blog. (www.InfieldParking.com/XMRadio– click on blog link).