* Wallace, Ganassi announce new teams for 2005 * Sorenson to compete for Raybestos Rookie honors in 2005 NEWS & NOTES Wallace announces new team, sponsors for 2005 ... Rusty Wallace Inc. announced last Friday in Phoenix that Miller High...
* Wallace, Ganassi announce new teams for 2005
* Sorenson to compete for Raybestos Rookie honors in 2005
NEWS & NOTES
Wallace announces new team, sponsors for 2005 ... Rusty Wallace Inc. announced last Friday in Phoenix that Miller High Life and golf ball manufacturer Top Flite will each sponsor the No. 64 Dodge for 17 races in 2005. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers Jeremy Mayfield and Jamie McMurray will make 17 starts each. Wallace, who will drive the No. 64 Dodge at the road-course race in Mexico City, also will continue running the No. 66 Dodge as a part-time team. Smith & Wesson aims for 2005 debut ... Firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson and SKI Motorsports announced last Saturday at Phoenix they would pair up for a part-time schedule in 2005. Chris Lencheski, who was a partner with Innovative Motorsports which competed full-time in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2003 with drivers Kenny Wallace and Shane Hmiel, is the president of SKI Motorsports. No driver or personnel have been announced for the team, which is scheduled to debut at Las Vegas.
Survey Says! NASCAR on Family Feud ... The popular game show will air special NASCAR-themed episodes the week of November 15-19. Drivers representing the sanctioning body's top three national series will pit their NASCAR families of crew chiefs, crew members and family members against each other for the benefit of their favorite charities. The Family Feud lineup includes NASCAR Busch Series drivers David Green (No. 37 Timber Wolf Chevrolet), who will play for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and Kenny Wallace (No. 23 Stacker 2 Chevrolet) who will play for the Autism Society of America. Other drivers include Ward Burton, who will play for The Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation; Sterling Marlin (No. 40 Coor's Light Dodge), who will play for the Boys and Girls Club of Nashville, Tenn.; Casey Mears (No. 41 Target Dodge), who will play for Target House; NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Bill Lester (No. 22 Toyota Tundra Toyota), who will play for the Urban Youth Racing School; Elliott Sadler (No. 38 M&M's Ford), who will play for the Autism Society of America; Kevin Harvick (No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet) and Jeremy Mayfield (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) will play for the Victory Junction Gang Camp.
No Reed in the wind ... Georgia native Reed Sorenson will pilot the No. 41 Discount Tire Co. Dodge for the remaining two NASCAR Busch Series events in 2004 and full-time in 2005 with backing from Discount Tire Co. Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced the sponsorship last Friday in Phoenix. Jamie McMurray gave the No. 41 team its first win in the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix and Sorenson will compete for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors next season. Of the 28 drivers who have made their NASCAR Busch Series debuts in 2004, Sorenson has scored the best finish (13th) at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Aug. 7. Sorenson, who has just three NASCAR Busch Series starts, finished 10th at Memphis and led 47 laps at Atlanta before being caught up in an accident and finishing 29th.
Earnhardt headed to NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown ... In order to gain more driving experience, Kerry Earnhardt has also competed in the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series. After eight races driving the No. 20 NAPA Belts & Hoses Chevrolet for owner Bill McAnally, Earnhardt finished 17th in the point standings resulting in an unexpected benefit. The top-15 drivers in the series were invited to compete in the second annual NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown this week (Nov. 11-13) at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway. Two of the top 15 were unable to attend, and Earnhardt received an invitation to the race. The Toyota All-Star Showdown features the top-15 West Series drivers competing in a 150-lap event against the top-15 drivers from the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series. In addition, the top 40 drivers from the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division compete in a 125-lap race. The Toyota All-Star Showdown will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel Friday at 11 p.m. ET and Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Matt Kenseth (No. 9 Pennzoil Ford) will try to continue the success of Roush Racing at Darlington. Jack Roush leads all owners with 12 wins at the track, eight by Mark Martin and four by Jeff Burton. In nine starts at Darlington, Kenseth has an average finish of 5.0 and has failed to finish in the top 10 only once. Kenseth's lone win at Darlington in the spring, 1999 race, was with car owner Robbie Reiser. ... Mike McLaughlin (No. 25 U.S. Marine Corps Ford) has not competed at Darlington since 2002, but has nine top 10s in 17 starts. ... Jason Keller (No. 22 Miller High Life Ford) has scored seven top-10 finishes in his last eight starts at Darlington.
Greg Biffle (No. 60 Charter Communications Ford) is on a streak of five consecutive top-five finishes. ... Jimmy Spencer (No. 98 Bryan Foods Chevrolet) will attempt his second NASCAR Busch Series start this season at Darlington in a second car owned by Michael Waltrip Racing. ... Denny Hamlin of Chesterfield, Va., will attempt to make his first career NASCAR Busch Series start Saturday in the No. 18 Vigoro/The Home Depot Chevrolet owned by Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin finished 10th in his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Aug. 6. ... Stanton Barrett will team up with DCT Motorsports at Darlington in the No. 36 Chevrolet. DCT crew chief Ricky Pearson is the son of NASCAR legend and 10-time Darlington winner David Pearson. ... Several members of BREWCO Motorsports, including driver David Green and crew chief Jason Ratcliff, were scheduled to parachute in tandem with the U.S. Army Golden Knights on Wednesday at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
"Darlington is tough, no doubt about it. Drivers, especially rookies, are looking for consistency, but that's hard to find at probably the most inconsistent track we run. Every lap is different." -- Derrike Cope (No. 49 Advil Ford).
"Darlington is true racing. The track's got a personality all to itself. All of the skills that it takes to be a good racer are put to the test there. There's no such thing as too much patience, skill and luck when it comes to the Lady in Black." -- Johnny Sauter (No. 27 Kleenex Chevrolet).
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Mark Martin is the undisputed king of Darlington Raceway's fall NASCAR Busch Series event. He has scored a record five wins and four poles since the race's inception in 1983. Martin's first Darlington pole came in 1992 with his first win in the 1993 event. Two poles were back-to-back in 1996 and 1997. All five of his victories have come in succession. The first three were in 1993, 94 and '95 with the last two in 1999 and 2000. Martin scored all his wins in Jack Roush-prepared Fords.
Three of Martin's victories have been extremely close. The 1993 event saw Martin beat runner-up Randy LaJoie by a mere .65 of a second. Johnny Benson had to settle for second place in 1995 as Martin won by a margin of .79 of a second, and Roush teammate Jeff Burton lost by .41 of a second to Martin in 2000.
What: Bi-Lo 200 (Race No. 33 of 34 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Darlington Raceway, Darlington, S.C.
When: 1 p.m. ET, Saturday, Nov. 13.
Track layout: 1.336-mile oval.
Race length: 200 miles/147 laps.
Posted awards: $953,846
TV: NBC, 1 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: Brian Vickers.
2003 Polesitter: Kevin Harvick.
Top 10 in points: 1. Martin Truex Jr. 4,865. 2. Kyle Busch 4,704. 3. Greg Biffle 4,382. 4. Ron Hornaday Jr. 4,025. 5. David Green 3,969. 6. Mike Bliss 3,863. 7. Jason Keller 3,849. 8. Jason Leffler 3,661. 9. Kenny Wallace 3,599. 10. Ashton Lewis Jr. 3,596.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday -- Practice, 9-11:15 a.m.; Qualifying, 1:30 p.m.; Final practice following NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series qualifying (approximately 4:45 p.m.).