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Dover Racing – Chase Race #2 – NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Weekend! September 25, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Breaking News.
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ATLANTA - MARCH 06:  Mark Martin, driver of th...
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Welcome to Dover. The forecast is part of the conversation this weekend – as is Mark Martin’s age, the chase format, the high banks of Dover, concrete versus asphalt, pit road incidents and what to do to prevent them, and partial schedules for drivers (i.e. Jeff Gordon and would he ever go part time)

Let’s start with the weather: This is one of those weekends that might be affected by rain – but hopefully we’ll be able to make it through without significant delays to the schedule and/or impact on the racing. So let’s start there:

Here’s the latest weather forecast for Dover:

DOVER FORECAST:
Sep 25 Friday
Mainly cloudy. A few peeks of sunshine possible. High near 70F. Winds NE at 10 to 20 mph.
Sep 25 Friday Night
Some passing clouds. Low near 55F. Winds ENE at 10 to 20 mph.
Sep 26 Saturday
Cloudy early with showers for the afternoon hours. High 66F. Winds E at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 50%.
Sep 26 Saturday Night
Cloudy with periods of rain. Low 59F. Winds SE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 90%. Significant rainfall amounts possible.
Sep 27 Sunday
Cloudy with rain in the morning. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the low 60s.

Claire B.’s SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Broadcast Schedule:

Here’s the broadcast schedule for “Dialed In” on Sirius NASCAR Radio and for met this weekend.

Friday, Sept. 25th

“Dialed In” with Claire B. Lang 7-10 EST

Saturday, September 26th
“Dialed In” 2PM-3PM leading into the Dover 200 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race
Also “Dialed In” after the race until 9PM ET

Sunday, September 27th

SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Pre-Race Show
10:15AM-12:15PM ET (Claire B.in Studio)

SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Post Race Show (two full hours after the Sprint Cup Race) – (Claire B. in Victory Lane)

After post race: “Dialed In” with Claire B. Lang until 10:00 p.m. EST

Now what’s going on here in the Media Center at Dover:

BREAKING NEWS: Here in the Media Center today at DIS:

Mark Martin’s Age Continues to be a Topic:

To Brian Vickers: How amazed are you with Mark Martin’s accomplishments this year?“It’s crazy to think about that. It really is. …….. Why is he still doing so good at that age? I think it has less to do with his age and more to do with the fact that he’s still really hungry. If he had won four championships, would he still be able to do it at 50? I think desire has more to do with it than age. He is still real hungry. And what he has, and is a huge advantage over any of us, is he has just as much desire, but he has a lot more experience. I think experience in these cars goes a long way. We don’t have the telemetry. We don’t have the computers telling the crew chief what to do to the car like Formula One does. I think that’s where the experience comes in. Knowing these tracks and understanding these tracks, 500 mile races. It’s easy to say it, even for a young athlete, that you gotta be there at the end of the race to win it, but it’s much harder to do it. Mark is always there at the end of the race. He’s had some problems at the beginning of the season, but most of those, were those his fault? I’m proud of him. I’m impressed. I admire him for what he’s accomplished throughout his entire career, and especially what he’s done this season. I think he’s a huge threat to win the championship. I don’t think his age hurts him whatsoever. I don’t see that as being old, me personally. But I’m not 50 yet. I might change my mind when I get that age. I think most of the time, when a very talented athlete — even a race car driver — gets to be that age, if they’re still in the sport, then they’ve probably had a certain level of success. And with that, they get, ‘Okay, well I’ve already done it. Do I really want to push myself to do it again? I’ve won four championships, or five, or six or seven or whatever.’ They probably lose a little bit of desire. Mark is hungry. You can see it. You can see it even when you talk to him. You can see it on the race track. He’s never won a championship before and he wants it bad. He’s got more experience than anybody and he’s probably in better shape than most of the guys in this garage.

To Mark Martin: ON YOUR DECISION TO SIGN A CONTRACT EXTENSION – COULD YOU JUST TALK A BIT ABOUT WHETHER THERE WAS MUCH SOUL SEARCHING INVOLVED? Mark Martin: “Really things are going really, really well. I’m having the time of my life. It’s a little long-range for my liking but for Hendrick Motorsports planning purposes, sponsorship deals and all those things it made sense to go ahead and make the commitment so they could plan longer term than just a year. I’m definitely having a blast. I’m having the time of my life and I think that’s obvious. So I was comfortable with it.”
Other topics:

PIT ROAD INCIDENTS INCREASING -SOWHAT IS THE FIX?

To Brian Vickers: Would it be safer if NASCAR penalized drivers for hitting crew members or other cars on pit road?
“Well, are they going to make the crew guy run a lap if he jumps out in front of a car? They do it. I think that in the heat of the battle — it’s tough. The last thing I want to do as a driver is hit a crew member — I can assure you. I don’t think there’s a guy out here who wants to hit a crew guy. But, when you pull in your pit box and the crew guys they get up on the wall and they’re anxious and they’re ready to go and their car is a few behind you and they jump out a little bit early and they’re watching this and they’re not paying attention to here — oh, trust me, I’ve had plenty of guys jump out in front of me. And, I’ve had guys that they have a tendency to swing way out of the box. They run around the car about four or five feet out in pit road — they’re not even in their box.”

GORDON SAYS IT DOESN’T MAKE BIZ SENSE FOR HIM TO GO PART TIME
Jeff Gordon says since he has equity in Hendrick Motorsports he doubts he’d do a partial schedule in the future because he doesn’t see where it would make good business sense for HMS. He says if he’d go to Rick Hendrick and tell him he’d like to go to partial schedule that Rick probably would allow it – but it would never be with the intention of coming back one day to a full schedule. It doesn’t look as if this is something he’s considering.

Stewart has not talked with Danica:

Tony Stewart says he has not talked with Danica Patrick since the announcement was made that she was staying in Indy Car and had signed a new contract with Andretti Green Racing – that out of a report in the Indianapolis star.

That’s it for now. More later. I’ve got to get back out in the garage.

Enjoy the day.
Claire B

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Claire B Lang moving to SIRIUS Radio- Dec 1st November 24, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Breaking News, My Show.
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Official logo for Sirius XM Radio, Inc.Image via WikipediaC L A I R E B. M A I L
Tuesday, Monday, November 24,2008 – Charlotte, NC Studio

An note to friends and “Dialed In” listeners:

I wanted to let you know how much I have, over the years, appreciated your friendship, support, loyalty, calls on the air, race rants, observations and the good times we’ve shared over the radio on “Dialed In” on XM. It may be that some of you are now SIRIUS subscribers, that you got the “Best Of” package and can get NASCAR Radio now on XM or that you have been listening every day and are tried and true loyal XM’ers. When I decided to stay at XM back when NASCAR Radio moved to SIRIUS, I thought of you – of how many radios you already had purchased and I stayed. Many of you did too and I’ll never forget your kindness and support during that time.

Many of you moved with me from XM channel 144 to 148 when they moved the show after the merger and I was truly amazed. When they moved me again to channel I43 I figured it would be really tough for you to find the show – but you moved in droves and sought out being a part of “Dialed In” again. I was humbled. I promised that you all would be the first to know what would happen to “Dialed In” when the two services merged. Now, finally I can tell you.

On December 1, 2008, I am going to be moving to SIRIS NASCAR Radio on The “Best of” Channel 128. “Dialed In” will once again, be a part of the line up on Sirius NASCAR Radio. I will be anchoring coverage at the race track, on weekends, doing specials and “insider” coverage as well as doing “Dialed In” during the week. I will be returning to the radio channel that I helped to launch when NASCAR Radio first began. I was so proud of helping launch the initial NASCAR Radio channel and I’m happy to be returning to it now.

“Dialed In with Claire B Lang on Sirius XM” New York City – December 1

I will kick off being a part of SIRIUS NASCAR Radio on Monday, December 1 at the Sirius XM Studios in New York City. I’ll have a special show each night after covering all of the press conferences, parties and insider events that NASCAR will have during Champion’s Week in NYC.

I’ll take you behind the scenes as if you are actually at the events yourself. Plus, I’ll host an exclusive show with the entire Hendrick Championship team, featuring Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus, Rick Hendrick and their entire crew!

My main concern now is that no one tunes into XM Channel 143 on Monday, December 1 looking for “Dialed In” and is disappointed not to find it. We have been moved many times and I worry that some of you may be looking for my New York City Champion’s Week coverage on the channel I have been on the past several weeks.

If you have SIRIUS Make sure to update your radio pre-set to SIRIUS NASCAR Radio channel 128 so you don’t miss one second of the show on December 1. If you have XM and you don’t have “The Best of SIRIUS” on your XM radio, you can get it today by logging onto www.xmradio.com/best or by calling 888-5-SIRIXM (that’s 888-574-7496) right now.

I have been blogging here on Claireblang.com to keep you all posted so be sure to keep up with what is happening with me and the show behind the scenes by logging on here for all of the details!

In closing, It’s hard for me to tell you what you have all meant to me over the years. If you are a regular listener then you know how much you matter to me. I most often travel alone on the road although I have friends on the circuit. But most times I am alone in a studio in a city away from home and when I click on the ISDN broadcast line you are there. You are my friends, my neighborhood and my listeners and you all matter a lot to me. You have shared much with me over the years and I wanted to make sure that you were a part of the latest chapter of my life.

Thanks for everything! I’m lucky to have had listeners like you. I hope to hear from you on Monday, December 1 at 7:00 p.m. EST when I sit down behind the microphone in the Sirius studio in New York City for the very first time to kick off Champions Week coverage.

Many blessings and happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Thank you for your loyal, support and friendship.

Claire B.

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BREAKING NEWS- Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards Probations! August 27, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Breaking News, NASCAR.
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Hey! Well penalties are out on the Kyle Busch – Carl Edwards post race bumping. I thought that I’d post them right away. We’ll definitely talk about this today (4:00 EST) on “Dialed In”

KYLE BUSCH, CARL EDWARDS PLACED ON PROBATION FOR NEXT SIX RACES

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 27, 2008) – NASCAR announced today that it has placed Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards on probation for the next six races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as a result of their on-track incident last Saturday at the conclusion of the race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

——–

Ok talk about it amongst yourselves and either email me at insidercbl@aol.com or join me on “Dialed In” today and we’ll discuss it on air. By the way – what the heck does probation mean? Anything?

Claire B

JD Gibb- transcript- Part 2 August 17, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Breaking News, Controversy, NASCAR, Teams.
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Tony Stewart, driver...Image by Getty Images via Daylife Q: Did Toyota have any knowledge of what happened prior to the dyno test?

Gibbs: “No. We kind of do our own motor program for our Nationwide stuff and our Cup stuff. It’s separate from their stuff.”

Q: Are you furious that you didn’t know about this decision?

Gibbs: “Trust me, I’m sure there’s a whole lot of things that I don’t know and I’m glad, but for the most part with our guys and this team they all understand from the day we started this team in 1991 — racing the 1992 season — we’re going to do things a certain way. If you can’t abide by that, go find somewhere else that you can do it. It’s not worth it for us. Hopefully that’s the history that we have. I think if you look back that’s the way it is. So we’ll deal with this and move on. It’s obviously frustrating for all of us.”

Q: Is this a slap in the face to NASCAR for adding the plate a few weeks ago?

Gibbs: “I think more for the guys — they were just frustrated and wanted to make a point like, ‘Hey, we did it and we’re even farther off than you thought.’ I’m not sure exactly what would go through their minds because again, our guys kind of take pride in winning those engine dynos. That’s the only time you can take all of those manufacturers, lay them out there and say what do you got. For us, to win that it’s kind of like a notch in their belt.”

Q: Who called you last night regarding what happened at the track?

Gibbs: “It was a couple guys from our team.”

Q: Is there a time frame in which you will take some action within the team?

Gibbs: “Yeah. Once we get back tomorrow and kind of sit down and hash through it I think you’ll see something pretty quick from our side.”

Q: Is there any indication that NASCAR will respond with a severe penalties?

Gibbs: “I talked to them (NASCAR). I think in years past they kind of looked at the engine dyno-thing as hit or miss — put it on there. But, now they’re starting to make rules based off that. So, I think that becomes a more important piece in their arsenal as to how they keep the playing field level in their mind, and a tool. I think for them it will be bigger, and I don’t know exactly what. I met with them this morning. I’m sure it will be a pretty big slap.”

Q: Do you believe what people have said that the Toyota ‘advantage’ has become a ‘disadvantage’?

Gibbs: “I think when you go back — kind of what we talked about a few weeks ago — is here’s the box to play in. I think our guys have done a really good job utilizing that. I don’t care if it was GM, Dodge, Ford or Toyota — we invest a lot in that and spend a lot of time on it. And, so we want to make sure we are on an equal playing field. I think there was again some frustration there — that’s a separate issue. A rule is made, decisions are made — okay move on and lets work on what we have now. So, to be able to come out of that dyno and have — and again come up with the best horsepower — that would have been a huge notch for our guys. That was the discouraging part.”

Q: How much power have you gained back since the new tapered spacer?

Gibbs: “I probably won’t get into that. That’s all been hashed out a lot in the past weeks. I’m just kind of more focused on what happened here yesterday. I would say it definitely cuts you back some and we’re always working to get it back — what we lost. We are definitely not where we were — we think we were before. But, I think for us — whether they took anything away or not — we’re always working hard to find more stuff.”

Q: Do you believe NASCAR has put the Toyota teams in this position because they gave Toyota too much initially?

Gibbs: “I think when you look at the big picture you usually go — before we were even involved with Toyota — they had a motor and NASCAR made them redo it to be eligible to run in the Nationwide Series. That all took place. They changed a bunch of stuff. Now here’s a new package. It fit within the ‘box.’ Now, as time goes on — you’re always going to have new (things). GM is going to phase in the RO7 and let the SB2 go away. The problem you have in Nationwide I think — the biggest problem in Nationwide — is financially there are such constraints on what you can do. So, I think for us, here’s a package. So, now you change us and we have to go back and spend more money figuring out how we can get back to where we were. I can see Jack’s (Roush) point. NASCAR says here’s some parts for you to use to build new motors. He’s like, ‘I don’t want to build new motors that costs too much money.’ Which is a valid point. So, you are kind of stuck in between. What you don’t want to do is lose sight of our guys that have invested time, effort and financially. Apart from Toyota have invested a lot in these motors to get them to where they need to be. So, that’s frustrating I think for us and for every owner out there. I’m not going to say, Who’s to blame? That’s just part of life. We’ve been through this for 17 years and sometimes you have bodies getting changed years ago. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen any more. That’s to NASCAR’s credit. We’re not changing bodies every couple years. The motor thing is a big piece and I think NASCAR has a pretty good ‘box’ on it. Our thing is we just want to have a level playing field and go to work and do a better job than the next guy.”

Q: Will you still field two NNS cars the rest of the year? Who could be the crew chiefs for those two cars?

Gibbs: “We are not going to speculate on that. We will definitely field two cars the rest of the year. I’m not sure — there might be a race or two where we don’t have two cars lined-up on our schedule. I’m not sure. Things will go on unchanged for us on the racing side.”

Q: Do the individuals you believe were responsible also work on your Sprint Cup teams?

Gibbs: “No. For what we’re talking about here, it’s pretty much that would be there own decision. It is unrelated to the Cup program. Obviously, we have one engine shop that builds motors for everyone, but it would be unrelated to any

Q: Does this fall on the crew chief no matter who in the organization did this?

Gibbs: “Ultimately it starts with, to me, ownership. It falls on our shoulders and then you’ve got management in place and you’ve got crew chiefs in place. I think everyone has a level of responsibility there and it starts with us. That’s the frustrating part. People know how we operate and this isn’t it. I think the crew chief, yeah, they are responsible for what happens at that car and at that track. If something happens that they don’t know about they should’ve known about it. So, I agree with that.”

Q: Did the drivers have anything to do in this whole issue?

Gibbs: “No, our drivers did not have anything to do with this process here.”

Q:
Did the drivers have anything to do in this whole
issue?

Gibbs: “No, our drivers
did not have anything to do with this process
here.”

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Breaking news blog – Where is Casey Mears Going? August 10, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Breaking News, Drivers, NASCAR.
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Claire B.Log
Covering Watkins Glenn International

Where is Casey Mears Going in ’09? ——-Options as of August 10, 2008

Casey Mears (Driver of the #5 Kellogg’s Carquest Impala SS) addressed reports that he is the top candidate and will take the fourth ride at Richard Childress Racing when he leaves Hendrick Motorsports next season. Today (Sunday) he clarified his current progress on plans for ’09 which seem to be fluctuating as negotiations continue.

Q: WHAT IS THE LATEST ON YOUR SEARCH FOR A NEW TEAM BEGINNING NEXT SEASON?

MEARS: “Just looking. Right now, nothing is done at all, still talking to a couple of different teams trying to get it sorted out. Obviously there is a lot going on and things have been said this week, but nothing is signed. I am still trying to figure out what is going to be the best possible program for myself.

“Just really focused more than anything on this weekend and during the week focused on what is going on with next season. Hopefully, we can get something sorted out soon. Really right now, nothing is happening other than talk with a few different teams. Until we get that sorted out, there is not a whole lot to say.”

Q: DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE GOOD CHOICES?

MEARS: “There are a couple of good teams. I mean, all of them right now are good choices, just depends on how you look at it. What the potential is for the future versus where the teams are right now. There are teams that have room for growth and a lot of potential for the future. There are teams that are ready to go right now. Really, just have got to get sorted through everything right not. Nothing is signed.

“Like I said, I am down the road with a couple of different guys trying to sort things out. Hopefully, soon we can get it nailed down and have answers for everybody.”

Q: DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE A WEEK OR 10 DAYS AWAY FROM HAVING THIS FINALIZED?

MEARS: “I would like to think so, if we can get something sorted out. But then again, it could take another month. It just depends on the details and after we sit down and look at all the details of the agreements and exactly how everything is, no telling how long it can take. Obviously the sooner the better for me if we could just get it sorted out and be able to focus on the remainder of this season; then focus on next year when it comes, would be good.”

Q: DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM DRIVING A CAR AT THE START OF NEXT SEASON THAT DOESN’T HAVE ANY OWNER POINTS?

MEARS: “I wouldn’t be real comfortable with that. Obviously I have to weigh out my options and see how things are. When you compare things, you have to compare teams. If you know you are going with a team that is very capable of making those first five races, then it definitely makes things a little bit easier. If you know you are going with a team that maybe in the past didn’t look like it had as good of a shot to make those races at times, you have to weigh out how all that is. As of right now, it is still pretty wide open. I mean there are some things that look good. Don’t get me wrong. I am excited about some things that are happening but right nothing is signed.

“I have always been one of those guys man, I have always talked about things before they happen or got excited about them before they happen and then have to explain why they didn’t. Until things are signed and done, I really don’t know what exactly is going to happen yet. Some things look good, but right now, there is just not a whole lot to talk about.”

Q: HAVE YOU NARROWED IT TO TWO OR THREE TEAMS OR DO YOU HAVE A NUMBER?

MEARS: “It just depends. At times I was down to one, at times it gets back up to five, it just depends on where those teams are. Where they are with their sponsorship and what they want to do with their current situations. There are a lot of guys that are thinking about doing things different for next season and it might be a month down the road before they know exactly what is going on. There are some guys that are ready to go now. I want to get something done sooner than later. Hopefully we don’t have to deal with talking about this too much longer and we can get something announced soon and go on about our way.”

Enjoy the race – I’ll keep you posted on breaking news.

Centurion Boats at The Glen – Watkins Glen, N.Y.
Sunday | 1 PM | ESPN

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Sad Day- Steve Peterson July 15, 2008

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Hey All: It’s a very sad day for us all – someone you may not know well but who had an important role has passed away. Steve Peterson helped make NASCAR safer and he had the respect of all in the racing community. I’m saddened for his family and am sending prayers on behalf of us all to them.

Claire B.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 15, 2008) – NASCAR Technical Director Steve Peterson, 58, was found deceased today at his home from what appears to be natural causes. Steve began his NASCAR career in January, 1995 and led many of NASCAR’s safety initiatives including development and installation of SAFER Barriers, management and approval of head and neck restraints and improved seat belts, and coordination of the safety features in NASCAR’s new car.

“Steve’s accomplishments to increase driver safety will continue to be a benefit to every NASCAR driver that gets behind the wheel for generations to come,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Steve’s family and friends; he will certainly be missed throughout the NASCAR community.”

NASCAR President, Mike Helton said, “Steve was a tireless worker and passionate about all aspects of safety including the car, the track and the driver. Steve was our R&D effort long before there was a formal one. His accomplishments were recognized in motorsports worldwide.”

Steve worked closely with many recognized national and international motorsports organizations and was the recipient of the 2006 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Motorsports Achievement Award. SAE presents this award to the individual that has shown outstanding leadership or contribution to motorsports over an extended period of time.

In 1982 Steve served as a crew chief for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Mark Martin and had experience as a race team engineer and design engineer. He was an avid go-karter and lifetime member of the World Karting Association. Steve could often be found running laps at local go-kart tracks. A graduate of Western Michigan University, Peterson had more than 25 years of experience in the automotive engineering industry. He lived in Concord, N.C.

Funeral arrangements will be announced later.

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BLOG BREAKING NEWS- Ryan Newmamn July 12, 2008

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Saturday – July 12, 2008
Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet, Illinois
4:37 p.m. EST

Hey: I’ve got so much to tell you and it’s been crazy busy here with a short weekend show. JD and Joe Gibbs are in the deadline room right now – I’ll get back to you later on that. The driver’s meeting is coming up so stay tuned. What about Ryan Newman – is he going to Stewart-Haas Racing? Here’s what he had to say a few min ago.

Penske Racing — Alltel Driver Ryan Newman:

Newman: “In generally I have a career here – I’ve had a career here at Penske Racing and if it works out to move on then I will move on with them but I don’t know the answer yet. I talked to Roger (Penske) a little bit this week – talked to him a little bit last week. Still working on performance – still working on a lot of things – it’s just a matter of when we decide we’re going to move on -when we’re going to said we part ways if that does happen.”

Tony said the ink was dry for a month before he announced it – are you that far along? Have you agreed with somebody already?

Newman: “Are you a month ahead of me? – is that what you are asking? No I haven’t agreed – I told you point blank. I have never lied to you guys I won’t lie to you. I haven’t agreed I don’t know my answer.”

Is driving for Tony’s team an option?

Newman: “Driving for Tony’s team is an option. He has a seat. Obviously you know even you guys have marked me as one of the guys – the lead candidates to get in there so yea it is an option.”

Have you had discussions?

Newman: “Have we had discussions? I’ve had discussions with a lot of people.”

Any of the discussions involving you owning a team?

Newman: “Actually yea. I haven’t decided yet.”

What beats in your heart?

Newman: “The most important thing to me is performance – winning the championship achieving the goals outside of what I’ve done which was a lot of poles and wins and the Dayona 500. There are still a lot of things out there for me to achieve.”

Have you been frustrated – because you should be a winner – you should have been a champion already.

Newman: “Coulda woulda shouda. All things happen for a reason – we’ve been close we just haven’t succeeded in ways and times that we could have or should have but that’s all in the past. Like I said I’m working on working forward I just don’t know my final answer. I have a – b – c – and D – and I don’t have a 50 -50 right now and I don’t really even have phone a friend – I’m just working on a final answer.”

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Happy 4th of July- Big Hendrick Announcement July 4, 2008

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Mark MartinImage via WikipediaHey all! Good morning. God Bless the troops – remember what 4th of July is really about – and God speed their safe return to America if they are serving overseas.

I arrived here in the media center at 8:00 a.m. and there was no one here. I’ts July 4th and I guess everyone figured the garage doesn’t open until 9:00 and it’s a holiday. I wanted to get in early and write you all a note and get some things done before everything starts cooking here.

The big Hendrick driver announcement will be today at 12:30 p.m. (I’ll have an update on the sports nation (Channel 144) during the breaking news update right after 12:30 p.m. – It’s funny – almost everyone in the garage has talked about Mark Martin joining Hendrick Motorsports in the #5 car -in a round about way.

Drivers on Mark Martin – as heard in the garage Thursday, July 3rd. (One day before the announcement):

Aric Almirola:

ARE YOU TRYING TO PULL THE LAST FEW PIECES OF ADVICE OUT OF MARK MARTIN BEFORE HE DOES WHATEVER HE IS GOING TO DO?
“Yeah, but I’ve talked to him about it and he is still the same Mark Martin. He’s going to be at the race track and if anything, it would almost be better because now weekends that I’m in the race car, he’s going to be in the race car too so I can walk over and grab him and speak with him for a second and ask him if his car is doing this or that or whatever. He’s been a big help for me this year with stuff on and off the race track, but I think he’ll be just as much of a help to me for the rest of my career. He’s a phenomenal race car driver and he’s taught me a lot and hopefully he doesn’t stop teaching me.

Dale Earnhardt Jr:

Q. (Question regarding Mark Martin.)
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: They haven’t announced anything yet. Mark’s a great racecar driver. He’s done a great job driving the No. 8 car this year. He’s a veteran that all the guys look up to. He’s a great tutor for the sport, for young guys. I think that anybody that gets a chance to work with him can learn a lot.

Q. (Question regarding retirement and keeping going.)
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: A lot of different reasons. You know, it’s really hard to put it down, I suppose. As tough as the schedule is, it’s pretty hard to just stop and not do nothing or do something else, I suppose.

Jeff Gordon:

Q. Is there still something you could learn from him?
JEFF GORDON: You know, I learn from everybody. But I absolutely will learn from Mark. Mark has amazing patience, but he has amazing drive and commitment. You know, you look at the shape that he’s in. You know, there’s not too many guys – I’m not saying he’s old – I’m just saying not too many guys are out there, you know, or have been out there in the past at his age that are as competitive as he is through all the changes that have gone on through cars, teams, everything else. You know, that to me is one of the many things I admire about him.

Tony Stewart:

Do you think Mark Martin is capable of winning a championship at his age?

“Oh, absolutely. There’s no doubt in my mind. I think eight or 10 years from now he will still be able to win championships. He’s just that competitive. You look at how good of shape he’s in and how good of a job he does at taking care of himself. He’s a guy that could go as long as he really has the desire to go. You’re never going to lose that talent and that ability and as long as he stays healthy like he’s been doing, he realistically could do this for another eight or 10 years if he really wanted to.”

What is inside of an athlete that makes you want to keep doing this forever?

“The fact that you have that never quit attitude. It’s hard to walk away from something. I tried walking away from open wheel racing when I started my contract with Joe (Gibbs) and J.D. (Gibbs) in 1998. I quit running midgets and Sprint cars and that lasted about five months and I was back in a car. It’s hard to stay away when it’s something you spent your whole life and dedicated your whole life to it. It’s hard to just up and stop and do something different. I think it was nice for Mark (Martin) to be able to do a partial schedule this year and catch his breath a little bit. This series takes a lot out of you with all of the obligations and testing and everything that goes along with it. For him to not run the full schedule this year I think has kind of given him enough of a chance to catch his breath and get ready to go full-time again.”

And the race fans called “Dialed In” In droves Thursday to talk about Mark Martins choice. On Wednesday – almost all the fans called with critical comments about not retiring after he said he was going to. Thursday the Mark Martin fans called to support his decision saying that they were the kind of fans that settled their thoughts a little before calling. Here are some of the emails that I received:

EMAIL:

Hey Claire,

On the Mark Martin thing, If I remember correctly, he never said retire. Just cutting back some after all the years of 36 and 37 races.
Besides, if all the so called Mark Martin fans who called in yesterday bitching and complaining about him going to Hendrick, first they should be mad at Jack Roush for not working with him on cutting back, second it’s not even confirmed as of yet that he is going to Hendrick……………..ok so we all know that, that is what’s going to be talked about tomorrow.
Shoot, the man has the right to race where ever and for who ever he wants or will hire him. Any team would be foolish not to hire hime, part time or full time.

Just my 8 cents worth.

Happy 4th to you, be safe and careful in your travels.

Were going racing this weekend……………well all right tomorrow night in the Camping World West at Irwindale. Will keep you posted on the results.

Jack
Hauler Driver
Borneman Motorsports
Send the 8 car

Hey clair i agree (fans should) lay off mark. Go jr. Send the 5 + 88 around

mitch in. Nm

Hey Claire,
Maybe the reason that they are so hard on Mark is because if you listen to some of his interviews, he always say that he loves this team or that team that he is currently on. Fans like drivers to stay with one team for alittle while. It is hard to follow a driver if there only in the car half of the races and they don’t get to see there driver all the time. My personal feeling is that it doesn’t matter. Mark Martin is a great driver either way.

With Tony Stewart it might be alittle different because it Tony decides to change teams there is a real good chance that Home Depot would go with him. Fans would not have to change that much. Maybe only the number.

Lisa in New Jersey

HEY CBL I’M HAPPY FOR MARK MARTIN HE NEEDS TO
DO WHAT MAKES HIMSELF AND FAMILY HAPPY!!
HE WILL GO OUT ON HIS TERMS AND HIS TERMS ONLY!!
SO ADD ME TO THE LAY OFF MARK MARTIN LIST!!

A DALE JR FAN IN N.C.
🙂

I would be so happy to have Mark on any time I could not cheer him on because if he won so did Theresa. That just ticked me off
Go mark
Sent from my iPhone

I’m all for what Mark Martin wants to do……..I just hope he know’s and understands what he “signs on for” since Rick Hendrick’s record shows he dumps drivers when something else better comes along……….”driver beware”.

Sandy from Georgia

Miss Claire,

I just went out to listen to your show.Now what is your opinion. Same as Mark Martin. are you glad that Bret is talking about coming back? or should he just stay retired? Mark said he was done and now he is still out there racing. Is it money or just the drive to drive? I used to like Mark But his flip floping makes me want to puke. Or does money Talk and b.s. walk? Yes i want Bret Back. He is Packer Football. But i think he should just be done and go to the Hall of Fame in 5 years.

Bill A.

Gulfport, Ms.

OK, so here’s the deal…Mark RETIRED, but then said he HAD to stick around for Jack Rousch. Then he had to help younger drivers. Then he could pick whatever he wanted. 26 races per year isn’t part-time, it’s messing up who he is “sharing” with. Eric hasn’t got any better and Regan Smith didn’t either because they never got to race. I remember “retiring” like Rusty – did you hear retire or is it just me? I didn’t pay for any merchandise so that’s not it. I am just sick of Mark doing what Mark wants to do. Who is he helping this time other than himself…
OK, I won’t bug anymore on this, but who didn’t hear retirement? Yeah, it’s his decision and it’s a bad one.

I’ll be back later after the Hendrick announcement with details here. Or, if anyone sneezes in the garage (which opens in ten min) I will let you know.

Happy 4th of July- be safe and enjoy!

Claire B

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BREAKING NEWS: Kerry Earnhardt to Drive Dale Earnhardt Inc. No. 8 Chevy in July Daytona Nationwide Race July 2, 2008

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logo of Nationwide SeriesImage via WikipediaHere’s some news for you to sip with your coffee today – something for K. Earnhardt fans. I’m headed to the airport to fly to Orlando and then Daytona. I’ll catch you from Daytona at 4:00 EST from the XM Chevy Mobile Broadcast Unit. Have a good morning and thanks for all the calls and emails and IM’s – you all are the best!

Here’s the scoop:

For the first time in his career, Kerry Earnhardt, the son of seven-time NASCAR Champion Dale Earnhardt, will drive a Dale Earnhardt Inc. entry in a NASCAR race. Earnhardt will pilot the No. 8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet in the July 4 Daytona 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway.

“I’ve won several races with DEI in an ARCA car, but I’m really looking forward to driving a fast car at Daytona under the DEI umbrella,” Earnhardt said. “I appreciate DEI giving me the opportunity to get back in a car; especially one that I know will be fast and competitive. I love running the speedways (Daytona and Talladega) and can’t wait for the weekend to get here.”

Earnhardt, who currently works at Dale Earnhardt Inc. as a team liaison, will be making his 70th career start in the series, but only his fifth Nationwide start since 2003. He most recently competed regularly in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2006.It will be Earnhardt’s ninth career Nationwide Series start at Daytona International Speedway.

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Felix Sabates Interview on ceasing operations of #40 Team July 2, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Breaking News, Drivers.
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Shot by The Daredevil at Daytona during Speedw...Image via WikipediaNASCAR Sprint Cup Series Team Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced (Tuesday) that due to a lack of sponsorship funding it will cease operation of the team’s No. 40 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Dodge driven by Dario Franchitti beginning this weekend in Daytona.

Felix Sabates told Claire B. Lang on “Dialed In” on XMSN (XM Channel 144) Tuesday evening that a number “in the low 70’s” of employees have been laid off.

CBL: You didn’t have a sponsor – people forget this team was unsponsored:

Sabates: “What happened to us we kind of got hung out to dry by Coors. Coors was with me for almost ten years and they had a management change and the new people come over and told us don’t worry about it – don’t look for a sponsor we’re going to be back with you in 2008, 2009 so we never looked for any sponsors and come October they come and tell us well Coors is going to do something else. They’re going to sponsor the NASCAR Coors pole and this and that so then it was too late (for the 2008 season)…so we have been running all year long without a sponsor.”

CBL: Talk about the options for Dario Franchitti:

Sabates: “Dario had a hard time with it. He made a change from the Indy Racing League to come here. But truth of the matter is he needs more seat time. We gave him an option to go in the Nationwide car because we do have a sponsor for the #40 Nationwide car. He’s going to decide what he’s going to do in the next few days and maybe he’ll be racing in Chicago (Nationwide race July 11)…..I hope he does get in the Nationwide car. He’s a very talented driver and if he gets a few more months under his belt maybe we can get a sponsor for next year and we can go racing next year.

Sabates told CBL on the cost of running the team and how much he’s paid to keep it running: – “It cost you $20 to $21, $22 million dollars to run a competitive team and if you run 15 races and you don’t have any money coming in you have already lost $10 or $11 million dollars.”

Sabates on Dario’s choices: “Chip pretty much told him if he wanted to go to back to Indy that, because it doesn’t cost near as much money there as it does here, and over there Chip is the Rick Hendrick of over here – so he can get a sponsor for an IRL car very easily. So he got his choice – if he wants to drive the Nationwide Car – get some more experience, maybe we’ll get a sponsor for next year or go back to the IRL it’s up to Dario – he has a contract and we intend to honor it.”

Sabates on what he thinks Dario will do: “At the end of the day – I think he will get in the Nationwide car- he needs more seat time anyway.”

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