Garage Chatter: Fontana

Sadler disturbed with Ford's performance at Daytona: Elliott Sadler knows he stole an 11th place finish in the Daytona 500 and he's grateful. But, he's more concerned that not one Ford led a lap in the Daytona 500. "I'd like to see them...

Sadler disturbed with Ford's performance at Daytona: Elliott Sadler knows he stole an 11th place finish in the Daytona 500 and he's grateful. But, he's more concerned that not one Ford led a lap in the Daytona 500.

"I'd like to see them confiscate cars and take them to the wind tunnel," said Sadler. "I don't know what we have to do. We have to see what we are doing wrong and close the gap with Hendrick and DEI. It's not a lack of effort at all."

McSwain to call race from couch: Michael "Fatback" McSwain has the perfect seat for the Auto Club 500 in Fontana. His couch. McSwain will undergo back surgery Friday and be unable to crew chief on site for the race Sunday.

Instead Eddie Wood will sit on top of the pit box and McSwain will call the race from his house.

"As soon as we found out Fatback would have to have his surgery this week we started exploring possible options for communication," said team co- owner Eddie Wood. "In the process we discovered between Nextel and Racing Radios we would be able to hook up a line of direct contact between Fatback, Ricky, team engineer Hoyt Overbagh and me. Fatback will be able to monitor the race as it progresses in real time on NASCAR.com."

Stremme in line for 40 ride: With the dirge of veteran Cup racers announcing their retirement it's only natural for people to start speculating who will inherit the No. 40 Dodge of Sterling Marlin when he finally gives up the seat.

If you ask anyone in the Busch garage they will tell you David Stremme is the first in line to grab the ride. Coors, however, has expressed interest in Reed Sorenson. Sorenson is currently too young to represent the beer manufacturer. He doesn't turn 21 until 2007.

Edwards hangs out with Deegan: Cup rising star Carl Edwards headed to California a day early to pal around with X-Games champ Brian Deegan at the Metal Mulisha in Temecula, California Wednesday.

Edwards proved he is just as formidable on two wheels as on four, as the duo spent the afternoon riding motorcycles.

"That was awesome," said Edwards following his ride. "I'm having a blast out here with Brian and the guys. They are amazing; they are so fast it's really incredible to watch."

Edwards will share the favor this weekend when Deegan visits California Speedway to see what it's like to get inside the cockpit of a stock car.

McMurray to drive for autism awareness: Jamie McMurray announced Friday a "Driving Autism Awareness" program that will contribute $42 for every lap McMurray leads this season to the Autism Society of America. In addition, McMurray will sport a "Driving Autism Awareness 2005" paint scheme at Bristol Motor Speedway in April.

"Bristol is a race track you battle all day long, more so than other places," said McMurray. "This is a battle we are fighting and the two just kinda go together."

New impound procedures in place at California: NASCAR will test drive their new impound procedures starting this week at California Speedway. This will be the first time the new post-qualifying impound procedure will be utilized.

The new schedule implements two one hour practice sessions on Friday with no 'happy hour' (final practice). Teams will qualify on Saturday afternoon and have their cars immediately impounded until Sunday morning. The new rule will be used at approximately 19-23 events this season.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Sterling Marlin , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , David Stremme , Elliott Sadler , Reed Sorenson , Brian Deegan