Garage Chatter: Bristol II

Garage Chatter: Bristol II

Waltrip's position advantageous: Where Michael Waltrip will land next season still seems to be up in the air. While it has been speculated that Waltrip will take over the No. 23 Dodge at Bill Davis Racing, Waltrip is in a fortunate position....

Waltrip's position advantageous: Where Michael Waltrip will land next season still seems to be up in the air. While it has been speculated that Waltrip will take over the No. 23 Dodge at Bill Davis Racing, Waltrip is in a fortunate position. With a bevy of sponsors in his pocket Waltrip comes in fully funded and has a choice of where he wants to drive next year and beyond.

Among the possible sponsors for Waltrip next season are NAPA Auto Parts, Jim Beam and Dominos Pizza.

Waltrip is expected to make an announcement of his plans sometime after September 15th -- which is the deadline for most sponsorship renewals.

Happy News: Nextel Public Relations Rep. Crystal Carraway and her long time boyfriend, No. 48 Lowe's Chevy engine tuner Danny Emerick were engaged over the weekend in Bristol.

Congrats on a long and happy life together!

Evernham announcement expected this weekend: It is anticipated that Ray Evernham Motorsports will announce the signing of Scott Riggs to drive the third Evernham Dodge Cup car starting next season. Valvoline is set to sponsor that car.

Yeley in No. 11 at Fontana: Busch series driver JJ Yeley will pilot the No. 11 Chevy at Joe Gibbs Racing for the California Speedway event Labor Day weekend. Gibbs will cycle drivers Yeley, Terry Labonte and Denny Hamlin in that car through the end of the season.

Jason Leffler was released from his responsibilities in that car a few weeks ago.

Gordon looks to rally this weekend, make Chase: Jeff Gordon needs something good to happen this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. Currently, the four- time champ sits 12th just 58 points out of tenth place.

"Our performances haven't been as bad as our finishes," said Gordon. "We've had several races where we were completely off on our setup, but we've had numerous situations where we ran strong during the event but didn't have the good results to show for it.

"We had a great test at Bristol last week. The track is the same old Bristol -- its fast and it's rough. It wasn't so much a night test, but we ran until 8 p.m. The sun was down, so we were trying to read the conditions and how the track changes. We've been so good during the 'day' race, but not quite as good during the 'night' race. We were trying to learn some things that would help us under the lights."

Sadler also searching for lifeline: Elliott Sadler is another driver that desperately needs a chase for the championship 'lifeline' this weekend at Bristol. Sadler dropped two spots after a wreck at Michigan and sits 66 points out of tenth place.

Disastrous luck the last few weekends has mired Sadler outside of the top ten. If the No. 38 Ford team has any hopes of making the chase they need to build a head of steam this weekend.

"It's no big secret how important these last three races are for our team in regards to making the Chase," Sadler commented. "Last week we had a four race season. This week we have a three race season but unfortunately we've left ourselves a bigger hole than we had going into next week. I said on Sunday after the race, 'that I'm afraid my worst nightmare has come true.' We're almost in a spot where we can't dig ourselves out but this team doesn't believe we're out of this yet. We just know we've got our work cut out for us.

"Right now, I could care less about New Hampshire. It's Bristol, California and Richmond -- that's it. We're going to bring the best stuff we've got these last three races starting with this weekend we're bringing back the car we won the pole and finished second with in the spring. It's hard to say whether you want to be going to Bristol with the situation we're in right now. It's a place where you're forced into a lot of situations that you don't necessarily want to be in. There's absolutely no give and take and anything can happen there so it's a well earned top-five if you can get one."

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Series NASCAR-CUP