A: Maybe getting engines from RCR later this season will help.
A: Earnhardt was running fifth when his engine blew. That's better than 38 other guys were running today.
A: Cars were already coming down pit road when Earnhardt stopped. By that point, it's too late to close pit road.
A: Yes, they have closed helmets.
A: The team should have been told. Must have been a mistake on NASCAR's part.
A: This is a one-race deal for Schrader and BAM Racing.
A: Trust me, it's as frustrating here at Indy as it is on TV. I hope they race clean, but I expect more yellow.
A: It's a Richard Childress Racing car driven by Scott Wimmer.
A: Biffle is under contract with Roush for 2008. He has been very unhappy this season and he will leave Roush at some point, but the question remains when. Roush will not be eager to let him go.
A: If he could, it would. But he can't and won't.
A: Hamlin was penalized for being too fast exiting pit road. He'll have to go to the tail end of the longest line, dropping him from 7th to 41st, a crucial blunder, though he'll have time to make it up. Still, he didn't need this.
A: I love short tracks, too, but this is an amazing scene here at the Brickyard. Wish you could see it in person.
A: That's a good question. But I don't think Junior or is team is trying any harder. I like his chances today.
A: Don't know about DJ and neither do the Toyota people here in the media center.
A: Hi, Scubba Steve! According to the Associated Press, Louisiana International Speedway will cost upwards of $100 million and will open in the fall of 2008. The track will be built on 1,500 acres south of Kentwood, with a 1-mile oval track and a dragstrip. Supposedly, there will be 30 luxury suites and seating for 42,000.
I can tell you categorically that NASCAR won't even look at a track like this until it's fully built out and even then, the odds of it hosting a Cup race are none and none. No offense to the good people of Louisiana, but NASCAR is only looking at two major markets now: New York City and the Pacific Northwest. If NASCAR has no interest in a Cup race at Kentucky Speedway and they don't they darn sure don't have any interest in racing in Kentwood, Louisiana.
A: Good question. There's an old axiom: Speed costs money. How fast do you want to go? Put simply, the more money the teams have, the more they can spend on R&D to make their cars go fast. Besides, there are huge variances in the amount of souvenir money each team makes. Dale Earnhardt Jr. makes tens of millions of dollars from the sale of souvenirs. Kyle Busch, not so much.
A: Welcome. My guess is Dodge will remain affiliated, one way or another.
A: Thanks for the question. NASCAR's Busch Series actually started racing at O'Reilly Raceway Park many years before the Cup boys came to the Brickyard. I think NASCAR wants to maintain that continuity at ORP.
A: I'm hearing the Las Vegas rumors, too, but they are all unofficial at this point.
A: Testify! Dude, I'd love to see more short-track races, but I don't expect it to happen.
A: Welcome to FOX. Sterling has gotten interest, but has not signed a new deal and will not until he resolves the final pay issues with Ginn. Marlin will probably be able to find some opportunities, though I've not heard the Petty name involved. As far as RCR, that team is set with three drivers and unless a fourth primary sponsor can be secured, I don't expect any driver movement at that team.
A: Humidity plays a very small role in engine performance. And in a race, it's the same for all the cars.
A: You guessed correctly. Brian is Brad's older brother.
A: Thanks for the question. I'm assuming the blank spot in the qualifying order is for a car previously entered but withdrawn.
A: A Tom Jensen groupie? Wow, you could be the very first one, Jo! LOL! Seriously, I spoke with DEI President Max Siegel Friday morning, and he said that managers from DEI and Ginn have formed a transition committee to decide basically who stays and who goes now that the teams have combined. I will tell you, I'd be shocked if Jeffrey Earnhardt was released. By all accounts, he is a prodigious talent.
A: That's a great question. My guess is he has a little trace of wistfulness, but I know he's very, very excited about going to Hendrick. Remember, DEI and Ginn have to merge two race teams into one. It may take a while to get all the right people in all the right places. Ultimately, DEI will emerge much stronger, but it may take a little while.
A: Welcome to FOX. Yes, cars can qualify without practice, though NASCAR always tries to get practice in first. Fortunately, the teams are practicing today.
A: Welcome. I'm not certain who is going to sponsor the newly-partnered Yates/Newman/Hass/Lanigan cars next year. They are still working on that. Doug Yates told me Friday he expect Citifinancial to be on the No. 90 Busch car next year, though that deal isn't done, and Citi could still move elsewhere. Yates also said that three-time Champ Car series champ Sebastien Bourdais could end up driving for the team. He could partner with David Gilliland, who just re-signed with the team for 2008.
A: Hello. Kyle Petty is scheduled to be in the No. 45 for the rest of the season, at least. I don't know about his 2008 plans yet.
A: Good question. The four-team policy was put into effect in 2005. I know Richard Childress would like to add a fourth car and so would Ray Evernham.
A: Thanks for the question. They'll practice Saturday morning. But if NASCAR can get qualifying in without practice, they will. The only way the field gets set by points is if qualifying is rained out, not practice.
A: Thanks for the question. The latest I have is that M&M's will not sponsor a car next year, but sister candy Snickers will, but not with Robert Yates. Snickers will not sponsor Sadler next year because of contractual restrictions in place from when Sadler left Yates last year, but could be in play on Kasey Kahne's car. Citifinancial is expected to announce its plans soon and is looking at several drivers, I'm told, including Sadler.
A: Hope you don't mind, but I'm lumping your questions together. I spoke with DEI President Max Siegel this morning at Indy and he told me DEI will have a driver announcement perhaps as soon as two weeks and no later than the end of August. He also told me that DEI will have four fully-funded cars in place for next season, with or without Budweiser. You can read the whole story here. And, yes, I believe the deal will make DEI a lot more attractive to a driver.
A: Great question! Mark Martin will race Hendrick engines this week at Indy and next week at Pocono. From then on, it'll be DEI/RCR engines under the hood of the 01 US Army Chevy.
A: Welcome to The Brickyard and thanks for the question. NASCAR would not allow DEI to sell its owner points in the No. 13, because the only way a team can sell points is if it retains a partnership interest with the selling entity. And with NASCAR capping team size at four cars, DEI was already at its maximum limit, so the No. 13's points simply go away, moving the Wood Brothers/JTG Racing Ford into 35th in owner points.
A: Welcome to FOX! In all honesty, I doubt that even DEI has figured out where everything is going to go yet now that they've acquired Ginn Racing. If nothing else, the Garage Mahal would make a magnificent museum. With DEI moving its engine operations to Salisbury, N.C. in early 2009, there should be plenty of space.
A: Thanks for the question. Where Nemechek ends up is one of the big questions of Silly Season. He's a proven commodity. I just hope he doesn't become a casualty of NASCAR's youth movement. If Furniture Row Racing does indeed add a second car in 2008, Nemechek might be a great fit with Kenny Wallace,
A: Hello! Sterling told my pals at NASCAR Scene that he's waiting for the attorneys to sort out his contract. He says Ginn Racing still owes him money, and if he signs with a new team, he loses what he's owed for the balance of the year so he's trying to have the lawyers work out the details.
A: Great question. Yes, I absolutely believe Aric Almirola was furious when he was yanked out of the JGR Busch car at Milwaukee, and that played a big part in his decision to leave. No one has said that publicly, but he'd have to be superhuman to not be furious after that.
A: Thanks for the questions. Biffle is the real deal, certainly one of the top drivers in the series. The fact that he's won Busch and NCTS titles and was a Cup runner-up is proof of that. I think Aflac will be one of his multiple sponsors in '08, and the fact that he's had a bunch of sponsors is not because he's done anything wrong. In fact, he's great with sponsors. The whole Roush organization got behind last year, and Biffle, like all top-notch racers, wants to win and win now. The subpar performance got him frustrated. As far as what he does after next season, we'll have to wait and see, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him move on to another team.