Garage Chatter: Charlotte Media Tour

Alltel extends relationship with No. 12 team: Alltel has signed an agreement to remain as primary sponsor on the No. 12 Dodge of Ryan Newman at Penske Racing South through 2008. "Alltel has become synonymous with myself and the ...

Alltel extends relationship with No. 12 team: Alltel has signed an agreement to remain as primary sponsor on the No. 12 Dodge of Ryan Newman at Penske Racing South through 2008.

"Alltel has become synonymous with myself and the #12 Dodge in NASCAR Cup racing," Newman said. "They've been with us since the very beginning of this venture. They have always been very supportive of me, Matt (Borland, crew chief), the entire Alltel team and Penske Racing. Alltel stands by their service with America's only network quality guarantees and I stand by their quality as a sponsor in this series. I'm proud to be associated with Alltel and to have them on the #12 Dodge."

Penske denies Toyota rumors: At a dinner at Penske Racing South on Wednesday night, Walt Czarnecki, Penske Racing LLC President put to bed any rumblings that Penske would switch from Dodge to Toyota in 2007.

Harvick high on Team Red Bull's list: Team Red Bull was the only future Toyota team not to announce their driver line-up in Toyota for 2007. Insiders say that Harvick is high on Team Red Bull's list of drivers to woo. Harvick's contract with Richard Childress Racing is up at the end of 2006. For now, however, Harvick's future beyond 2006 is up in the air.

"We've (Harvick and Childress) kind of agreed to sit down in April and just kind of evaluate where things are," Harvick said. "I'm not going to rush into things and do things I don't want to do. I think right now we are in the same frame of mind about our goals, and our goals are to go out and get the season going out good and make the Chase. All the rest of it, the paper stuff, is something that's not high on the list right now."

Car owner Childress commented that he was pretty certain Toyota would try and punch Harvick's dance card, "They are going to make a run at a lot of drivers, and everyone is aware that Kevin's contract is up. I am sure they are going to make a run at him."

More Team Red Bull: It seemed natural that Robby Gordon, who has a long relationship with Red Bull, would drive for them in 2007. But Gordon, at an event on Tuesday night denied that he would be leaving manufacturer Chevrolet for Toyota.

United States Coast Guard to sponsor 21 RCR Busch ride: Kiss more of your tax dollars goodbye, as the US Coast Guard gears up to sponsor the No. 21 RCR Chevy in the Busch series. Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick will split the driving duties.

Testing at Vegas: Vegas testing is coming up this Monday through Wednesday for Nextel Cup teams. While Daytona is valuable for teams' restrictor plate programs, Vegas is the first down force test where teams will really know what kind of cars they have for the bulk of the season.

Mock racing: The No. 88 Ford and the No. 38 Ford of Robert Yates Racing will conduct a one-day mock race with full pit crews at Carraway Speedway in Asheboro in a couple of weeks. They hope to give Sadler and Jarrett an opportunity to get used to new crew chiefs Tommy Baldwin, Jr. and Slugger Labbe as well as flesh out inconsistencies on pit road before hitting Speedweeks in February.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Kevin Harvick , Robby Gordon , Ryan Newman , Robert Yates , Tommy Baldwin
Teams Richard Childress Racing , Team Penske , Yates Racing