Garage Chatter: Off-week prior to Indy

ESPN will debut with Indy: NASCAR announced today that ESPN would kick off their coverage of the Cup series with the Brickyard 400 in 2007. The date will move from the first weekend of August to the last weekend of July. The exact date of the race...

ESPN will debut with Indy: NASCAR announced today that ESPN would kick off their coverage of the Cup series with the Brickyard 400 in 2007. The date will move from the first weekend of August to the last weekend of July. The exact date of the race is July 29, 2007.

While the full NASCAR schedule for 2007 has not been revealed, they did confirm earlier this summer that the first New Hampshire date would move to July 1 with the Pepsi 400 at Daytona falling on July 7th.

Unleaded fuel makes debut this weekend: NASCAR will debut the use of unleaded fuel at the Busch series race at Gateway this weekend. In accordance with the Clean Air Act of 1996 - which demands the elimination of leaded gas in certain machinery by 2008 - NASCAR will begin their switchover, which will ultimately be embraced by all of its sanctioned series.

This weekend's switch is part of a test program to eventually get everyone switched over within six months.

Parsons reveals health crisis: NASCAR legend Benny Parsons shared this week that he has been diagnosed with lung cancer. The 1973 NASCAR Cup series champion is most known these days for his work on television and radio.

"Needless to say this was a huge shock," said Parsons. "I've got a great deal of faith in all of my physicians, including Dr. Steven Limenpani, who treated NASCAR car owner Rick Hendrick during his battle with leukemia. I'm determined to pull through this and I appreciate everyone's concerns and prayers during this time. The first thing everyone asks me is, 'are you a smoker?' The answer is that I smoked my last cigarette way back in 1978 and since then I've hated being around smoking. I don't even allow anyone in my foursome to smoke on the golf course."

Ginn buys MB2: Real Estate developer Bobby Ginn has bought MB2 Motorsports. Sterling Marlin and Joe Nemechek will continue as lead drivers at MB2 but the organization hopes to go to a four-car team sooner than later.

"We won't have any major restructuring this year," said Ginn, who purchased the Mooresville, N.C.-based Nextel Cup team from Nelson Bowers. "Our focus will be on next year, when we will strive to become a four-car team."

Jay Frye will remain as the team's chief operating officer.

Congrats Kurt and Eva: Everyone at Motorsport.com would like to extend best wishes to Kurt Busch and Eva Bryan who will be wed this weekend. Much luck to the happy couple.

Gilliland lucky: With the shortage of talent in the Cup series against available seats, looks like one time winner David Gilliland will be the beneficiary. Hearing that he has signed a multi-year deal to drive the No. 38 M&M's Ford at Robert Yates Racing beginning next year.

Elliott Sadler announced at Pocono that he would not be returning to that seat next season.

Gilliland has made one Cup series race, earlier this season at Sonoma, and he has just one career Busch series win.

NASCAR upholds suspension: NASCAR has denied Richard Childress Racing's appeal of a six-week suspension handed out to Kevin Harvick's Busch Series crew chief Shane Wilson.

Inspectors found unapproved aerodynamic modifications and other violations on Harvick's car at Daytona.

Harvick was docked 50 points; team owner Richard Childress lost 50 points; and crew chief Shane Wilson was fined $15,000 and suspended for six races and placed on probation for the rest of the year.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Joe Nemechek , Sterling Marlin , Kurt Busch , Benny Parsons , David Gilliland , Robert Yates , Elliott Sadler
Teams Richard Childress Racing , Yates Racing