Garage Chatter: Richmond II

Stewart hits wall in initial practice: Tony Stewart and the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet were on the track less than five laps for he lost control of his car in a single car spin and smacked the wall. Heavy driver side damage forced the Joe Gibbs...

Stewart hits wall in initial practice: Tony Stewart and the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet were on the track less than five laps for he lost control of his car in a single car spin and smacked the wall.

Heavy driver side damage forced the Joe Gibbs team to resort to their back up car. This is just the fourth time in the last seven and a half years that Stewart has had to resort to a back up vehicle due to a crash in practice. Stewart was uninjured.

"I just got high in (turns) 1 and 2," explained Stewart. "I didn't get way up; I just the right side in the crumbs. Schrader just came over and talked to me and said it looked like it was slow motion. We weren't really going that quick. There was just no grip and being in those marbles, I couldn't keep the back end underneath me."

Martin and company deny involvement at Yates: Mark Martin denied being in discussions with Robert Yates Racing to be purchasing a minority stake in the company that would also put him behind the wheel of the No. 88 Ford. Martin found the whole rumor completely ridiculous.

"You know, next year we're probably gonna see a two-headed man drive the 88," said Martin. "I hope it doesn't come out that I've got two wives next week. I don't know. That's about where that is. There's no serious consideration given from me to that at this point."

Last week at California, Robby Gordon admitted that he and Yates have been negotiating on and off about merging organizations but that no settlement on terms could/or had been reached at this point; making it seem fairly obvious that Yates is still looking for a partnership of some kind to help buoy their struggling teams.

There is still no word who will pilot the No. 88 Ford next season, Stephen Leicht's name has been nixed as a possible candidate. Names still floating in the atmosphere include Paul Menard.

Atwood in, Green out: Brewco Motorsports has fired driver David Green. Casey Atwood will drive the No. 27 entry starting this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. Atwood will serve as the interim replacement; a permanent driver will be named later in the season.

"One of the highlights of Brewco's history was our run at the 2003 Busch Series championship with David Green and our No. 37 TimberWolf team," said Clarence Brewer Jr., team owner and Brewco founder. "We thank David for his commitment to Brewco for the last few years and wish him well for the future."

Atwood who won his first Busch event when he was just a teenager is excited to be back behind the wheel of a Busch ride.

"I'm looking forward to rejoining my teammates at Brewco and representing Kleenex Racing," Atwood said. "I'm excited to be back in the NASCAR Busch Series, especially with the support of a great sponsor like Kimberly-Clark.

"I also have to thank Clarence and Tammy Brewer for their confidence in me both early in my career and now. They have been dedicated to building a top- notch NASCAR program since the beginning, and I'm looking forward to bringing success to them and Kleenex Racing for the rest of 2006."

Martin has no special strategy for this weekend: It is Mark Martin's last full time season in Cup and his last chance to make a bid for that elusive championship that has evaded him throughout his career. Currently, he sits ninth in points with just a 32 point advantage over 11th place Kasey Kahne.

"We're just gonna go racing," said Martin. "We should run really well here this weekend. I like this car. This is my favorite car. We've run good everywhere with it this year and we'll see how it turns out. We're gonna give everything we've got. My team has worked their guts out and we will see what we've got when the race is over."

For Martin there is just no way to approach this weekend any other way than he has his entire career, when pressed for a strategy his was simple, "The same way we have raced for 19 years."

Kyle Busch paces practice: RIR is the next to last impound race of the year, that means just one practice session for NASCAR Nextel Cup teams before Friday night's time trials. Kyle Busch paced final practice with a lap of 125.517 mph followed by Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex, Jr., Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer.

Harvick gets Barenaked: Not only will the Barenaked Ladies be performing at Richmond International Raceway Saturday night; the multi-platinum band will also grace the hood of Kevin Harvick's No. 29 RCR Chevy to promote their new album "Barenaked Ladies and Me" which streets September 12th.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Greg Biffle , Robby Gordon , Casey Atwood , David Green , Kasey Kahne , Martin Truex Jr. , Paul Menard , Clint Bowyer , Robert Yates , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin
Teams Yates Racing