Garage Chatter: Pocono II

Craven to make first 2006 NASCAR start: Ricky Craven is back racing NASCAR this weekend at the Martinsville Speedway Busch race. Craven, whose last NASCAR start came in 2005 in the Truck series, is making his debut with the No. 15 FitzBradshaw ...

Craven to make first 2006 NASCAR start: Ricky Craven is back racing NASCAR this weekend at the Martinsville Speedway Busch race. Craven, whose last NASCAR start came in 2005 in the Truck series, is making his debut with the No. 15 FitzBradshaw team.

Craven has two career wins at Martinsville, a Cup series win in 2001 and a Truck series victory last season. Despite dipping into some of NASCAR's other series, Craven still hopes that one day he can return full time to the Cup leagues. His last Nextel Cup series start was in 2004.

I think a lot of moves are going to be made in the series when Silly Season really gets started this fall," Craven said. "I hope [racing at Martinsville] will be the start of my preparation to be in a position to take advantage of some of those opportunities."

Kahne turns quickest lap: Kasey Kahne knocked off the quickest lap during initial practice for Cup teams at Pocono International Raceway. Denny Hamlin, Robby Gordon and Scott Riggs complete the top five times.

Kahne currently leads the circuit with four wins this season, he sits sixth in points.

"I'm sixth in points and feel like we can stay about where we're at," Kahne commented. "We just need to have good races every week and be consistent. It's tight. You make a mistake and you're going to be out of the top 10. It's really close. I'm pretty comfortable with all the tracks we go to anymore. It's just a matter of figuring it out and doing it right that weekend. I really like this track, Indianapolis, Watkins Glen, California, Bristol, Michigan. I'm looking forward to all of them."

Crew chief changes at the 21: Michael "Fatback" McSwain will take over as the crew chief for Ken Schrader's #21 Nextel Cup car. David Hyder will take over Crew Chief duties for Jon Wood's #47 Busch Series car, and Jay Guy, Jon Wood's Busch Series Crew Chief will move to teammate Stacy Compton's #59 Busch Series car.

"Our goal is to improve our performance this year, while giving our drivers and crew chiefs an opportunity to work together in preparation for next year," said Eddie Wood. "We have made a lot of changes this season, including the merger with ST Motorsports' Busch Series teams and the expansion of a driver development program in the Truck Series. We have been playing catch up and wanted to get a jump on next year to see how everyone progresses with these management moves."

Sadler says a lot more going on behind the scenes than you think: Apparently, Elliott Sadler was quite surprised at whose been ringing up his cell phone just days after announcing that he had asked for, and was granted a release from Robert Yates Racing.

"There are a lot more seats open than there are drivers available I think, and that's what caught me off guard this week with some of the phone calls I got," said Sadler. "You don't realize who is looking for drivers and who is not. There are a lot more people stirring the pot underneath than you really think, so it's great to be a driver like this. I'm not in any hurry to try to make a decision."

It has been widely thought that Sadler was in final discussions with Ray Evernham to take over the No. 19 Dodge, a few other offers, however, may have Sadler taking a beat to weigh his options.

Several sources have confirmed that Sadler has had inquiries to his availability from Bill Davis and Roush Racing.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ken Schrader , Robby Gordon , Stacy Compton , Ricky Craven , Jon Wood , Scott Riggs , Kasey Kahne , Robert Yates , Elliott Sadler
Teams Yates Racing