Garage Chatter: Vegas Testing

Edwards fastest: After three days of testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Roush Ford team posted the quickest overall lap with a speed of 170.778 mph. Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Jeff Green and Elliott Sadler complete the...

Edwards fastest: After three days of testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Roush Ford team posted the quickest overall lap with a speed of 170.778 mph. Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Jeff Green and Elliott Sadler complete the top five cumulative speeds.

Park gets new ride: The Whelan Chevy almost ended Steve Park's career a few years ago, but that is not stopping Park. He will once again pilot the No. 31 car in the Busch series for Whelan & Marsh Racing.

"I'm thrilled to announce that I will be back in the #31 Whelen Engineering Monte Carlo for 10 select races during the 2006 Busch season," said Park. "Everyone at Whelen & Marsh Racing has always been so good to me and I am so excited to be back behind the wheel of the Whelen machine."

Veteran PR guy jailed: Chip Williams, President of Williams Company of America was arrested in the parking lot of a Guilford County church where he had arranged over the Internet to meet who he believed to be a 14-year- old girl.

It was a sting operation set-up by the police after a complaint from a 15- year-old girl that Williams had solicited her into a relationship over an Internet chat room when she was 12.

Williams is charged with first-degree sex offense with a child, statutory rape sex offense and solicitation of a child by computer to commit a sex offense. He is being held on $1 million bail in the Guilford County Jail.

LVMS to get costly makeover: Las Vegas Motor Speedway is already one of the splashiest facilities on the Nextel Cup circuit, but owner Bruton Smith wants to make it even better.

Speedway Motorsports plans to spend more than $27 million to renovate the 10-year-old track. They are set to increase the embankment in the turns and create more access for fans to tour the pits.

Construction is set to begin March 13th after the Nextel Cup weekend ends. A new media center will be built as well as more garage stalls and a makeover of the current infield.

Smith hinted that their could be an announcement during the NASCAR Nextel Cup weekend in March about moving a date from a current SMI track to accommodate a second date in Vegas as early as 2007.

Kentucky Speedway can sue: A Judge ruled last week that Kentucky Speedway can move forward with its $400 million anti-trust lawsuit against NASCAR.

The suit alleges that NASCAR conspired with sister company International Speedway Corporation about which tracks are deemed appropriate to host Nextel Cup dates.

"NASCAR maintains that its sanctioning process is pro-competitive and has been a great benefit to the industry including fans, sponsors, drivers, teams and tracks,'' said NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston. "On the other hand, the Kentucky Speedway lawsuit, which is seeking a bid system, would likely provide a short-term financial windfall to NASCAR but would be disastrous to the long-term health of the sport.'"

Texas Motor Speedway shareholders filed a similar suit a few years ago that resulted in TMS acquiring a second Cup date last season.

The odds are in: Vegas oddmakers are busy calculating the odds for the Daytona 500. Despite turning one of the fastest laps at Daytona testing, Elliott Sadler is 25-1 for the win, as is Greg Biffle who is also a media favorite to do well at the season opener.

Perennial favorite Jeff Gordon sits 9-2.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Steve Park , Greg Biffle , Jeff Green , Kasey Kahne , Carl Edwards , Elliott Sadler
Teams Williams