Garage Chatter: New Hampshire

Danica denies NASCAR plans: Danica Patrick's father might want her to run NASCAR but for now the IRL sensation has no plans of moving to closed cockpit stock car racing. Patrick's father visited Chicagoland Speedway last weekend made some comments...

Danica denies NASCAR plans: Danica Patrick's father might want her to run NASCAR but for now the IRL sensation has no plans of moving to closed cockpit stock car racing. Patrick's father visited Chicagoland Speedway last weekend made some comments alleging that his daughter might want to exit the IRL when her contract with Rahal-Letterman Racing expires at the end of the season.

"My priorities haven't changed," Patrick told USA Today. "I still want to be a winning IndyCar driver. If I'm given an opportunity to drive for an IndyCar team and win races, I'm going to do it."

Danica denied the rumors for now but stated if there aren't competitive opportunities in IRL she might take the move into consideration someday.

At the ESPY awards, Patrick also commented to USA Today, "NASCAR is so big, how can you ignore it?"

Bad week for Kenseth: Poor Matt Kenseth. Just days after getting dumped by Jeff Gordon at Chicagoland costing him a win, Kenseth seems to have a target on his head. While driving to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Cup series testing a student driver rammed into Kenseth's rental car.

Montoya wants to get started as soon as possible but there may be a hitch: On the heels of his release from Team McLaren in Formula One, Juan Pablo Montoya wants to start his NASCAR career as soon as possible. Contractual tidbits with his release prevent Ganassi Racing from announcing the exact timetable of Montoya's debut in NASCAR.

Ron Dennis, from Team McLaren commented today that Montoya remains under contract and they have the option to use him if they wish. While it seems more like a negotiating posture to block Montoya's NASCAR debut unless Ganassi Racing buys Montoya out of the contract; the legal ease may hold up his debut which was speculated to be in a Busch and a Cup car at Michigan Speedway in August.

Indy testing: Despite a wash out on Tuesday, NASCAR Nextel Cup series teams were able to get in testing Monday and Wednesday for the upcoming Brickyard 400. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (Morning) and Robby Gordon (Afternoon) were fastest on Monday and rookie Reed Sorenson posted the top time on Wednesday.

Sorenson also had the best cumulative time with a speed of 181.892 mph.

Burton in for Lamar this weekend: Kevin Harvick Incorporated Racing announced this week that Jeff Burton will drive the No. 77 Chevrolet for KHI at New Hampshire. The team is reevaluating Lamar's performance but he will be back in the car next weekend at Martinsville Speedway.

"After reviewing the progress of our team the first half of the season, we felt like the assessment of an experienced driver could only help the development of our team and Burney Lamar," said Harvick. "Burney Lamar will be back in the #77 for the Busch Series event at Martinsville."

Stewart makes second million dollar donation to Victory Junction: The Tony Stewart Foundation announced on Friday their second $1 million donation to the Victory Junction Gang Camp.

"I really admire Kyle and Pattie Petty for the people they are and for the work that they do," said Stewart. "The Victory Junction Gang Camp was their idea, and they've done so much to make it happen. The Tony Stewart Foundation is proud to donate $1 million to the Victory Junction Gang Camp so that Kyle and Pattie can continue to provide incredible experiences to the kids that need it most."

Jeff Burton fastest in practice: paced the field in initial practice for NASCAR Nextel Cup teams at New Hampshire International Speedway with a lap of 129.904 mph. Kyle Busch, Brian Vickers, Kurt Busch and Greg Biffle complete the top five quickest times.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Greg Biffle , Robby Gordon , Kurt Busch , Brian Vickers , Burney Lamar , Reed Sorenson , Danica Patrick , Kyle Busch
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing