Garage Chatter: Talladega

Earnhardt Jr. to salute father at Talladega: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will run a black No. 8 Chevrolet this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway his teammates Paul Menard and Martin Truex, Jr. will also carry black paint schemes in tribute to the seven...

Earnhardt Jr. to salute father at Talladega: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will run a black No. 8 Chevrolet this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway his teammates Paul Menard and Martin Truex, Jr. will also carry black paint schemes in tribute to the seven time Cup champions induction into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.

"I think this is a great tribute to Dale on such a special weekend," said Teresa Earnhardt, President and CEO of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. "To have all of our sponsors come together with this tribute and want to be a part of it says a lot about the respect they have for Dale's accomplishments."

Earnhardt, Sr. is the winningest driver at Talladega with ten career victories, including his final Cup series win in October of 2000. Saturday would have been Earnhardt's 55th birthday.

Harvick hopeful: Kevin Harvick just wants to win races. He made it clear to the motorsports media at Bristol that he was less interested in winning and more interested in gracing victory lane. With the turn around at Richard Childress Racing this season it gives good lead that Harvick and Childress will be able to come to some sort of advantageous agreement to continue Harvick's career at RCR.

Childress was off on a hunting trip in Africa last weekend and missed Harvick's sweep of the Busch and Cup events at Phoenix. Whatever these two agree on for 2007, one thing is for sure, Harvick's HQ definitely went up a few bars with his steadfast performances last weekend.

Two fans electrocuted at Talladega: Two race fans setting up camping for the race weekend were electrocuted outside the speedway on Monday. Donny Lynn Wright, 42, of Remlap and Keith Alan Stell, 39, of Birmingham died Monday after a flagpole they were trying to erect made contact with a power line.

Witnesses reported that Stell and Wright were trying to anchor the flagpole when a gust of wind sent the pole in the power lines. The two were pronounced dead on the scene.

Gordon miffed: Four time series champ Jeff Gordon seemed a little miffed that Goodyear has not chosen him to be among the drivers that participated in a tire test at Indianapolis earlier this week. It is a tad curious considering Gordon's strong history at the Brickyard

Waltrip concerned about making the race, looking forward to move to Toyota in 2007: Michael Waltrip has to make the show at Talladega on speed and he is slightly concerned.

"I qualified poorly at Daytona," commented Waltrip. "I have to qualify here on speed.hopefully it will be a smooth two laps.I'm confident I can take the Napa car to the front if we make the show.It's my birthday I can't miss the race."

Waltrip is also working on building his shop for Michael Waltrip Incorporated Racing that should be ready in 2007. Currently, they are working out of several different locations and Waltrip is hoping that a more unified effort will help his fledgling Toyota team next season.

Bill Elliott will run five races for MWI this year sponsored by Burger King.

"We've been able to land solid sponsors," said Waltrip. "It's not Toyota, it's their teams that are going about trying to conduct business.It's my business they are just my manufacturing partner.that's the story."

MWI hopes to run two Cup cars and two Busch cars in 2007. Waltrip stated that he already has sponsorship in place for the second Cup team and is just waiting securing a driver to make the announcement.

Waltrip is talking to David Reutimann about running one of his Busch teams full time and is still on the hunt for another driver for the second Busch ride.

"We want to get the driver line up as soon as possible," said Waltrip. "We want to hire the best driver we can get, and not be controversial about it."

Waltrip also stated that he had talked to Dale Jarrett about coming to drive one of his Cup cars. Jarrett's contract at Robert Yates Racing is up at the end of this year. Media reports had surmised that Toyota was after Jarrett, but Waltrip cleared that up and made it clear that Jarrett was a friend and Waltrip approached him, not Toyota.

"We're going to try and get the biggest best guy we can," said Waltrip. "The list was top guys for awhile, then the list was top guys and medium guys and now it's who do you think we can might be a to guy it might not be its just a matter of what we can work out.its more important to my sponsors who we get than it is to Toyota."

Talladega to be repaved after this race: Immediately following the race weekend at Talladega, the 2.66-mile track will be repaved for the first time since 1979. The project is expected to be completed before the fall Chase race weekend.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Michael Waltrip , Kevin Harvick , David Reutimann , Martin Truex Jr. , Paul Menard , Robert Yates
Teams Yates Racing