Garage Chatter: Texas

More football greats set to enter NASCAR: Gale Sayers and Ray Lewis are continuing to move forward on plans to start a NASCAR Nextel Cup series team: S&L Racing. The team will be based in North Carolina. They plan to compete in several NASCAR ...

More football greats set to enter NASCAR: Gale Sayers and Ray Lewis are continuing to move forward on plans to start a NASCAR Nextel Cup series team: S&L Racing. The team will be based in North Carolina.

They plan to compete in several NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races this season and looks to move into Busch and Cup in the future. Lewis and Sayers hope to be able to create opportunities for women and minorities within the NASCAR community.

"Both Ray and I are racing fans," Sayers says. "Also, we both have the same goals and desire to succeed, to win and to help others. With S&L Racing, we will be able to give people a chance to show what they can do at the highest level of sports."

Lewis added, "As a professional athlete and a racing fan, I'm excited to be part owner of a racing team with Gale whose goal is not only to win, but to help give people a chance to be winners. We've been to Daytona and met with NASCAR officials. We got their official blessing, too!"

Hometown race for Hall of Fame Racing: Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach and Texas Instruments all have something in common - they all hail from Texas. This weekend the trio has the chance to try and get some success brewing at Texas Motor Speedway, as driver Tony Raines starts his second race for the team.

"We're excited to be here in Texas," said Aikman. "Roger and I are from Texas and our sponsor is from Texas.Terry Labonte was our driver for the first five races, and did exactly what we thought he would get us solidly in the top-35 in points and get Tony Raines in a solid position to make Tony can focus on what he wants to do. It's his second race and I know he is excited about it, and shaking some of the rust off."

NASCAR at war with Dateline NBC: NASCAR representatives call Dateline NBC's stunt at Martinsville to dig up racists as "outrageous". Apparently, Dateline NBC brought Muslim looking people to Martinsville Speedway to try and gage any anti-muslim sentiment among NASCAR fans.

Dateline NBC defended its motives by stating that they plan to stage a similar event at various locations across the country for a segment about prejudice against Muslims.

Kudos to NASCAR fans for not taking the bait. Apparently fans at Martinsville were nonplussed by Muslim fans at a NASCAR race.

Johnson and Shamu team up: Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Hendrick Chevy will run a Sea World/Shamu paint scheme when we return to Daytona International Speedway in July. Johnson, a giant stuffed Shamu, a baby kangaroo, a boa constrictor and a baby alligator made the announcement with Sea World and Lowe's corporate officials.

"Now, I'll be able to bring Shamu to the beaches of Daytona and hopefully introduce him to Victory Lane," commented Johnson.

Gordon looking for win at Texas: Texas Motor Speedway is one of just four racetracks that four time series champion Jeff Gordon has never won at. He is hoping he can change that statistic this weekend.

"Texas is an important race track for us," Gordon said. "We struggled here last year, and we've been really focused on improving our intermediate track program."I'm actually looking forward to this race -- not because I think we're going to be great, but because we have things that we're really anxious to try that I believe will help us. "We're very curious to see how this weekend goes. I know this race will answer some questions for us and give us an indication if we're going in the right direction."

Sadler back at his favorite track: There would be no place better for Elliott Sadler and the No. 38 Ford team to turn around their season than at Texas Motor Speedway. In 2004, Sadler won his first race of the year at Texas on his way to finishing ninth in the inaugural Chase for the Championship.

After a winless year in 2005 and a lackluster start to this season, Sadler is hoping that TMS gives the 38 Ford a little love.

"I haven't been too shy about how I feel about running at Texas," said Sadler. "It is definitely one of my favorite tracks on the circuit. It is one that we circle on the schedule every year. The fans in Texas are unbelievable. Eddie (Gossage) does a great job here and we always have great crowds, fans that are excited to see us come and race. We're bringing the same car we ran in Atlanta to Texas. We've made some changes to it and feel really excited about our chances this weekend.

"Martinsville was a good run for our team. We feel like we're really coming together. Tommy (Baldwin) and Slugger (Labbe, crew chief #88 Ford) have been working so hard to get our two teams running where they should be, back to running up front every week. Texas is a big weekend for our team. We're back in the top-10, we've got a couple of short track races behind us and we're ready to head to Fort Worth for the race this weekend."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Terry Labonte , Tony Raines , Jimmie Johnson , Elliott Sadler
Teams Hall of Fame Racing