Garage Chatter: Indy

Gordon looking for fifth Brickyard victory: Four-time Cup series champion Jeff Gordon will turn 35 on Friday, and nothing would make a better celebration than grabbing his fifth victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "I think that Indy is more...

Gordon looking for fifth Brickyard victory: Four-time Cup series champion Jeff Gordon will turn 35 on Friday, and nothing would make a better celebration than grabbing his fifth victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"I think that Indy is more of a personal thing for me because I grew up as a kid watching the Indy 500 and going to that race," Gordon said. "Growing up in this area, there's just something about this place. The Brickyard is a big, big event for me.

"My wins here have been some of the most amazing moments of my career. Whether it's your first win or your fourth, a win at the Brickyard is incredible. And I would love to get another one."

Clay Andrews Racing folds: On the heels of David Gilliland's departure to Robert Yates Racing, Clay Andrews Racing has closed doors.

"We put our heart, soul and resources into David Gilliland," said Clay Andrews. "Personally and financially we do not feel it is best to move forward at this time."

"We hope to be back in about three years," continued Andrews. "I have my eye on a young, but very talented driver that I would love to bring back into the Busch Series."

An announcement from Robert Yates Racing was expected this weekend regarding Gilliland being hired to drive the No. 38 Ford, the scheduled press conference, however, was cancelled saying that they needed more time to solidify their plans for 2007.

SportsCenter's high profile coverage begins this weekend: ESPN's more cohesive coverage of NASCAR begins this weekend as SportsCenter will profile Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Intensive analysis and coverage is to gear up for ESPN's broadcast deal with NASCAR which starts in 2007.

Mr. Big gets a hot lap: Chris Noth, Carrie's main love interest on "Sex and the City" will serve as Grand Marshall for the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Noth will take a hot lap with Wally Dallenbach which will air during the pre-race show on "Wally's World".

Second career for Edwards: If the whole NASCAR Cup driver thing doesn't work out Carl Edwards may have a future as a fighter pilot. Edwards flew a fighter jet over the Mojave Desert in conjunction with a promotion for Ford Racing on Thursday.

"They let us fly a lot," said Edwards. "It was really neat. They showed us a lot of things and then they kind of demonstrated how to initiate an air combat maneuver, where you have one guy who is the aggressor and one guy who is the defender. They kind of showed us how to start that and then just let us go at it. They kind of helped you and told you what you needed to do and kept you out of trouble, but essentially you could do whatever you wanted to do. It was pretty crazy."

NASCAR stars on CNN tonight: Michael Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Richard Petty will appear on CNN's Larry King Live Friday night at 9:00pm/eET. They will be joined by the stars of "Talladega Nights", Will Farrell and John C. Reilly

New Cup team: Former Robert Yates Racing general manager Eddie D'Hondt announced on Friday that he and Bill Riley will begin a joint effort next year to field one part-time Cup team and two full time Busch teams. The team will be called Riley/D'Hondt Motorsports.

Riley is the head of Riley Technologies a leader in developing racing technologies. Riley helped NASCAR with the development of the Car of Tomorrow and the Cup races the team will run in 2007 will be the CAT races.

Manufacturer and driver announcements for the new team will be made later this season.

Schrader paces initial practice for Cup teams: Ken Schrader and the No. 21 Woods Brothers Ford paced initial practice for NASCAR Nextel Cup teams at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Robby Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin and Casey Mears complete the top five quickest times.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Ken Schrader , Robby Gordon , Casey Mears , Richard Petty , Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , David Gilliland , Robert Yates , Denny Hamlin
Teams Yates Racing