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Claire B Blog- Martinsville Speedway October 19, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, In The Garage, NASCAR, Trackside.
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An older Wells Fargo branch, located in Berkel...Image via WikipediaBLOG – MartinsvIlle Speedway
Claire B. Lang – Sunday October 19th, 2008

Good Morning and welcome to Martinsville Speedway!

I asked Richard Petty today about the rumored merger talks between Petty Enterprises (Boston Ventures) and Dale Earnhardt Inc. While talks have been going on – it’s just conversation between many teams as they posture their companies and adjust their business plans to include looking at satellite teams or mergers. Here’s Richard’s answer about the possibility of a merger – I’m sure parts of it will be used by others who were taping – but I wanted to give you the full answer to my question to Richard about the possibility of a DEI Petty Enterprises merger:.

CBL: What about the reports of a merger between Petty Enterprises and DEI:

Petty: “You read in the paper that Wachovia and Wells Fargo was trying to get together and everybody else is trying to get together. The Japanese sent a bunch of money to buy a bank in New York. Everybody in the world is talking about this crap. OK and that’s just the trend of the time right now. Yea, we’ll talk to anybody. I’d like to talk to Wells Fargo somebody that’s got a lot of money. I don’t, some of these teams that’s trying to join up they ain’t no better off than we are so we need to get some better help than that.

CBL: That would be wild if two rivals (Earnhardt /Petty) Merged:

Petty “What happens is the way the system is now as far as the economy and also the way the system is with some of the other race teams that’s got satellite teams – here we’re sitting with two teams and some of these guys from the major satellite part is sitting there with eight teams. (It’s) kind of hard to compete with so I think that everybody’s looking at different angels of you know how do you compete with what’s out there right now.”

Petty also said that he would not comment when asked a follow-up by a reporter who asked if DEI needed Petty more than Petty needed DEI.

“Can’t never tell man – liable to be three or four names in there,” Petty added when a reporter followed up by asking if it would be Earnhardt Petty or Petty Earnardt if the merger ever did happen.

The word is that while everyone’s talking to everyone the meetings are more like fact-finding meetings and with a number of players in the garage – not just the two meeting to hammer out a deal.

Drivers Meeting:

Couple of quick notes – the main warning at the driver’s meeting from race director David Hoots was about Martinsville’s pit road: “LET’S LEAVE THE RACING ON THE RACE TRACK AND NOT ON THE PIT ROAD,’ Hoots emphasized. “We all know how small it is,” he added, “It’s been redone it’s nice and smooth – Let’s leave the racing out on the race track.”

There was one question in the driver’s meeting. It was from #48 Crew Chief Chad Knaus:
“Last race here it seemed that you guys opened up the pits kind of late. We were almost all the way through one and two – can you guys push that back?”

David Hoots answered: “Chad’s question is the last race we opened the pit road a little bit late and around one and two – we’ll try to advance it as much as we can but we also look at how the field is spread out and see if it makes sense but we’ll try to take care of that for you.

Pit Road Speed: 30 mph
Caution Car Speed: 35 mph
Pit Road Speed Begins: 110 feet before the first pit box
Pit Road Speed Ends: 75 feet past the last pit box
Minimum Speed: 23.00 seconds

No more questions and we prayed.

I’ll have more coming up – headed into the garage for a few more. I just wanted to get this posted.

Claire B

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BLOG: Kansas Speedway- Victory Junction on “Dialed In”; Paul Newman comments September 27, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season.
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Kyle Petty, driver ...Image by Getty Images via DaylifeBLOG: Kansas Speedway

Claire B. – Saturday, September 27, 2008

Patty Petty Joined “Dialed In” yesterday to talk about the new “Victory Junction Gang Camp” in Kansas (www.victoryjunction.org). Thanks to all the “Dialed In” listeners who called in an pledged to send the camp $148.00 on behalf of those who hang out to listen to the show on Channel 148. That is way cool!

During the conversation, Patty made some interesting comments about Kyle’s future at Petty Enterprises. I asked her about how she helps to cheer Kyle up when things are challenging on the track. That led to a lot of emails and questions from Kyle Petty fans as to exactly what she said – so here’s the transcript.

Patty Petty on “Dialed In” with Claire B Lang
Friday September 26th, – LIVE at Kansas Speedway

CBL: How do you pump Kyle up after a bad day qualifying – You know his family owns the company….he qualifies as best he can, in and out of the car just a little bit. Is a racer at heart – he has other things……but still -.the man still wants to do good in the car.

Patty Petty: “He does he wants to be in a good race car he still does and then that’s the hardest thing is to see him thinking ok well you know the Petty Enterprises situation – this is probably his last race in that car. They want a younger driver and that’s their prerogative and that means you’re going out trying to look for another ride.

CBL: Will he do that you think?

Patty Petty: “He’s trying to get another ride. There’s not really a lot of other rides out there and you know the rides that are open they are wanting these younger drivers and experience – when Kyle came along Junior Johnson wouldn’t talk to you or nobody would until you had ten or fifteen years experience and the tables have turned and it’s not experience it’s youth. It is what it is in our sport. It’s not that I like it because I think he still is a very talented driver a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge that he could offer a team. I wish he could get another ride but you know we’ll see what the Lord has in store for us and ah he closed this door with Petty enterprises and we’ll what the next door is that he has for us to open but in the meantime the most important thing for us to remember is that life is not about us and God did not put us here on earth to make life about ourselves. My husband will tell you that you never looked so tall as when you bend down to help a child and that’s what it is all about.

Robbie Loomis on Kyle Petty’s Future with Petty Enterprises
This (Saturday) morning I went into the garage to find Robbie Loomis Vice President of Racing Operations Robbie Loomis and I asked him about plans for Kyle Petty. He said Kyle has not been released.

Here’s what he told me: “When Kyle started doing TV a couple of years ago – we knew at that time that it was time to look at the future and a younger driver. We had our eye on Chad McCumbee for quite a while. Unfortunately, Petty Enterprises does not have a Nationwide team. Therefore, the only way we can evaluate Chad at the level we feel we need to is by putting him in the situation to have to qualify for these races. There will probably not be any tougher challenge for him or for this team than to be in a situation to have to make the race. We’re going to put (Chad) in and he’ll run five more races this year. Kyle will run at Phoenix and Terry Labonte will run at Talladega and that’s going to give us a fair evaluation as to where we are at for our driver line up for next year.” Loomis told me that Petty is not out by any means. “We are definitely planning to run Kyle in some races next year, Loomis told me. “A lot of that will be depends on and will be decided after we watch Chad in these next(upcoming) races.”

“Dialed In” Listeners pledge money to “Victory Junction Gang Camp”
How amazing is this? I am on the air when Dennis from Missouri calls in to talk to Patty Petty and pledges $148 and challenges listeners who like the show to do the same. It’s amazing how many emails and calls I have received on this. Here are some of them:

Doug in Tennessee:
Claire , Just picked up my load in Atlanta, and it has 5 drops. I receive $50 for each extra drop after the 1st drop on top of what the load normally pays. So, in the spirit of today’s show, and out of respect for the Pettys , I am donating the extra $200 to Victory Junction in the name of XM 148 . thanks for keeping us informed.

The Buchanan’s
Just great show today. MJ and I are off to parents day weekend for our daughter. Our 148 is on its way to VJGC. Gary and Mary Jo Buchanan

Owen on the Road:
I’m gonna match the $148….
Keep rockin Claire B.


Dennis in Missouri and his wife kicked it off

Claire B:
Well, Patty was almost right, I’m a whole lot sweet on you. Ha Ha

My wife is going on the Victory Junction Gang website, and making our donation. I’ll give you the rest of my donation next week at the track.

Your friend in speed
Dennis from Missouri

Victory Junction Gang Donation Mailing Address:

Victory Junction Gang Camp
4500 Adam’s Way
Randleman, NC 27317

What’s amazing to me is the spirit of the race fans and the listeners to “Dialed In”. Patty cracked me up on the show she’s so much fun to have on the air. I hope you were able to listen to it. Remember Dialed in is on a new channel (148) and a new time (3-6 EST daily)


  • On another note it was terribly sad to hear about the passing of Paul Newman. His was one of the great stories of a life well lived. He gave to many, he enjoyed life, he had a great marriage, he was truly decent. I met him several times and interviewed him and he was a guy who turned the spotlight away from himself and didn’t do many appearances because he preferred not to have attention on himself. Not painfully shy – but absolutely ducked from anything that put the spotlight on him.

    On the passing of Paul Newman – this statement was released today by Tony Stewart –
    Statement from Tony Stewart Regarding the Passing of Paul Newman

    “Paul Newman was a phenomenal individual who made a profound impact throughout his life. His acting skills are well-known, but equally impressive was his desire to give back and help those who just didn’t get the same shake out of life that we did.

    “I got to know him through our time helping build Victory Junction Gang Camp and during my handful of races in the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona. We connected as racers, but Paul’s ideas of what we should do for charity is what really resonated with me the most.

    “He set the bar, not only with his giving, but in how he gave. Whether it was through his own line of food products – Newman’s Own – or his work in helping create the Hole in the Wall Camps, Paul did it right, and he did it with class. He’ll be terribly missed.”

    “Paul Newman – a real American hero, an inspiration to me in much that I have attempted in my adult life. Not so much for the parts he played but for the man that he was. He was one of Hollywood’s greatest. He could not only talk the talk on film but more importantly could walk the walk as a private citizen. As a young man he was an American hero who served his country in one of the U.S. Army Air Corps’ most dangerous assignments in western Europe. Additionally, his charitable enterprizes have generated 10’s of millions for the benefit of hundreds of thousands of underpriviledged Americans. He will be never forgotten, may he rest in peace.”

    – Jack Roush on the passing of Paul Newman
    Our thoughts and prayers go out to Paul Newman and his family. Make the most of every minute.

    More later.
    Claire B

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    Blog From the Garage:Richmond International Raceway May 3, 2008

    Posted by claireblang in Breaking News, Drivers.
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    Bobby LabonteImage by sidehike via FlickrI have all your IM’s and emails about what I know about Bobby Labonte and if he’s staying at Petty Enterprises. I came back from the drivers meeting to quickly post this and am returning to the drivers meeting now. Reports earlier today had said he had signed an extension. Talking to him today walking into the drivers meeting it sure doesn’t seem like he has made up his mind where he’s going.

    Labonte Says He Has Not Made A Decision: 5:26 EST Saturday, April 3

    Walking into the driver’s meeting today behind Bobby Labonte there was a chance to catch up with him on contract talks. Associated Press reported today that an unnamed source had said that he had agreed to a contract extension with Petty Enterprises.

    Labonte said that until he says it nothing that is circulated is true. “There’s opportunities in a lot of things right now so I mean you know we’re just trying to weigh some options out and see what’s there.”

    When asked if he had made a decision he said “No…I haven’t – Nothing from me from my mouth has come out to say that I’ve done that -so until then..stay tuned.”

    I gotta run to the drivers meeting. More later. CBL