Stock Car Gazette e-zine for Thursday, 4/23/2009
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E d i t o r ‘ s * N o t e s
Weekend editor Heather and myself, along with Race2Win’s Jeff Holtzclaw, will be on Internet radio this afternoon from 1:00 – 3:00 eastern time for Race2Win Radio. Special guests will be Matt Kenseth’s spotter, Mike Calinoff, Jamie McMurray if his schedule permits, and others.
Check it out at
Stock Car Gazette Columnists Speak Out!
Sprint Cup Driver Carl Edwards Part of Team Attempting to Drive a Ford Fusion Hybrid 1,000 Miles on Single Tank of Gas
by: Mike Irwin
This weekend, the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid is being put to the ultimate fuel-efficiency test. A team of drivers, including NASCAR star Carl Edwards and world-record breaking hypermiler Wayne Gerdes, will attempt to drive more than 1,000 miles on a single tank of gas. Read about it at http://motorsportsnews.net/archives/3461
Talladega Knows No Favorites
by: Mike Irwin
Four former champions make up the top four points positions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings.
For that to continue into next week, the four champions – Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart – must tame the unpredictable Talladega Superspeedway. Read the rest at http://motorsportsnews.net/archives/3473
‘Dega Time! Let’s Go “Real” Racin’ Boys!
by: Mike Irwin
Now it’s time for some real racing, real close, and real fast. This is the race the veteran fans look forward to each year. Talladega is rich in history for some of the most exciting racing of all the tracks. One small mistake out there and, let’s just say, don’t make any mistakes. Read all about it at http://motorsportsnews.net/archives/3480
N A S C A R * S P R I N T * C U P * S E R I E S
Courtesy of Stock Car Gazette subscriber Ed B. – thanks!
Federated re-ups with Schrader
Courtesy of www.FrontStretch.com
Q. What driver once made up two laps under green flag conditions in order to come back and win a Cup race at Talladega?
A. In the Spring of 1985, Bill Elliott won the pole at Talladega at a then-record speed of 209.398 miles an hour. But after leading 25 of the first 36 laps, his seemingly dominant car got sidetracked by an oil leak that forced an unscheduled pit stop for the No. 9 Ford. When Elliott came back out on track, he was just about to be lapped a second time by the leaders — leaving a distance of nearly 5.33 miles to make up to get to the front. Amazingly, his Ford had so much horsepower under the hood (remember, these were the days BEFORE restrictor plates) Elliott made up the entire distance in the matter of 100 laps without the benefit of a single caution. Leading 35 of the final 44 circuits, he breezed to victory for his first win at the superspeedway.
Your ad could be displayed here… very reasonable rates. E-mail Mike@MotorSportsNews.Net
Courtesy of Google Alerts
Driver/owner Tony Stewart is NASCAR lead story so far
Fort Worth Star Telegram – Fort Worth,TX,USA
By ANTHONY ANDRO Business is good for Tony Stewart, who is enjoying a fast start on the track despite the rigors of ownership. Star-Telegram/David Kent …
NASCAR truck driver goes to the extreme when not driving
Kansas City Star – MO,USA
By COLE YOUNG Brian Scott isn’t your typical NASCAR Truck Series driver, but then again Scott isn’t so sure he’s your ordinary guy either. …
Martin’s win will be the most popular of the season
Anderson Independent Mail – Anderson,SC,USA
By Scott Adamson (Contact) There will be a lot more wins and winners during the NASCAR Sprint Cup season, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find one more …
NASCAR’s Silly Season for Crew Chiefs Has Begun
Bleacher Report – San Francisco,CA,USA
by Mason Dunn (Contributor) Silly Season is a term usually used in reference to the announcements or rumors of drivers changing rides and teams changing …
Logano slows down to get lessons from Yarborough – MSNBC Wire …
DARLINGTON, SC (AP) -Before this year, Joey Logano was barely old enough to drive, let alone drive at Darlington Raceway. So it didn’t hurt having one of NASCAR’s all-time greats in Cale Yarborough show him around.
Scott Speed attempts first Cup start at Dega
Rotoworld.com – USA
Scott Speed has seen Talladega three times in his brief stock-car career — twice in ARCA and once in the Camping World Truck Series. …
Courtesy of Insider Racing News
Shake-Up At RCR, Crews Will Swap Places
Richard Childress Racing’s No. 07 Jack Daniel’s crew will become the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil crew, and vice versa, immediately following this weekend’s race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. Crew chief Gil Martin and his crew will move to the No. 29 team with driver Kevin Harvick while Todd Berrier and his crew will take over the No. 07 team with driver Casey Mears. In addition to the crew chiefs, the transition will include car chiefs, engineers, shock specialists, engine tuners, tire specialists, mechanics, transporter drivers and over-the-wall pit crews. Harvick and Mears, who will maintain their race spotters, are currently 16th and 22nd, respectively, in the Sprint Cup Series point standings after eight races. “The decision to interchange the 29 and 07 teams was made to make both programs stronger and more successful,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “Our main objective has always been to have all four of RCR’s teams qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Leslie Replaces Parrott
Hall of Fame Racing said Wednesday that Ben Leslie will replace Todd Parrott as the crew chief of the No. 96 Ford driven by Bobby Labonte in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Leslie, who is the NASCAR field manager for Ford, was crew chief with Yates Racing’s Travis Kvapil before the No. 28 team was shut down after five races this year. Leslie had also been a crew chief at the team now known as Roush Fenway Racing, working with Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Ricky Rudd and Kurt Busch, among other drivers. The Labonte team had gotten off to a quick start and was 10th in points following a fifth-place finish at Las Vegas in the third race of the season. Since then, however, the team has only one finish better than 22nd, and Labonte has fallen to 28th in the standings.
This Week’s Hotpass Drivers
NASCAR “Hotpass” is FREE to all DirecTV customers. Four dedicated driver channels offering viewers multiple camera angles, real-time statistics and audio of the network broadcast augmented by live communication between the drivers and their pit crews will be available for all 36 point-paying races during the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The NASCAR “Hotpass” lineup for the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway is as follows:
DIRECTV Channel 795: Jeff Gordon and the No. 24 DuPont / Pepsi Throwback Challenge team of Hendrick Motorsports
DIRECTV Channel 796: Jimmie Johnson, and the No. 48 Lowe’s / Kobalt Tools Chevrolet team of Hendrick Motorsports
DIRECTV Channel 797: Dale Earnhardt Jr., and the No. 88 National Guard / AMP Energy Chevrolet team of Hendrick Motorsports
DIRECTV Channel 798: Denny Hamlin and the No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota team of Joe Gibbs Racing
Courtesy of Jayski
NEXT RACE: Talladega Race Info/Rundown Page
The Entry List for the Aarons 499 at Talladega Superspeedway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
Not in top 35 of 2009 owners points (which now count after race five):
#09-Brad Keselowski (45/8)
#13-Max Papis (49/2)
#4-Eric McClure (none)
#36-Scott Riggs (39/8)
#41-Jeremy Mayfield (44/8)
#66-Michael McDowell (41/8)
#71-David Gilliland (36/8)
#78-Regan Smith (40/4)
#82-Scott Speed (37/8)
#87-Joe Nemechek (43/8)
withdrawn from the race:
#64-Geoff Bodine (46/8)
In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
the eight who would make it : #’s 71,82,36,66,87,41,09,78
missing the race would be : #’s 13,4
See the full entry list at my Jayski’s Talladega Entry List.(4-20/22-2009)
IMPOUND: the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Supersway is the first IMPOUND race of 2009, there wil five impound races in 2009, both Talladega races [April & Nov], both Richmond races [May & Sept] and Daytona in July. For more info, see my Impounding Info page. http://www.jayski.com/pages/tracks/impounding-rules.htm
Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Talladega:
no changes in who is in and who is out, #71-Gilliland dropped 3 more points behind 35th
32) #98-Menard/Yates: 637, +86
33) #20-Logano/Gibbs: 610, +59
34) #34-Andretti/Earnhart Ganassi: 589, +38
35) #7-Gordon/Robby Gordon: 577, 26 points ahead of 36th
these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
36) #71-Gilliland/TRG: 551, 26 points out of 35th
37) #82-Speed/Red Bull: 475, -102
The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
For the owner points standings, see my Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(4-18-2009)
Yarborough shows Logano around Darlington Raceway: The learning curve in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is steep and on Wednesday at Darlington Raceway class was in session for one of the most heralded rookies in series history. The student, Joey Logano, got a one-on-one tutoring session with one of the most legendary names, not only in Darlington history, but NASCAR history, Cale Yarborough. Yarborough invited Joey into his classroom, in this case a 3,400 pound stock car, and took him for a ride at the track “Too Tough to Tame.” Yarborough is no stranger to Darlington Raceway. The Timmonsville, S.C. native reminisced about sneaking under the fence during his younger days just to catch a glimpse of the action on the track. Sneaking in would eventually pay off, Yarborough would go on to win a record five Southern 500 victories making him the ideal teacher for the young driver looking to break out in NASCAR’s top touring division. “Meeting Cale, spending time with him and listening to his stories about Darlington was by far one of the coolest things I have ever done,” said Logano. “Just getting out on the track and riding with him was such a neat experience. He definitely had me on the edge of my seat a few times, but he also gave me some great tips that I can use when I get back here for the Southern 500.”
“Joey is a great kid who has a ton of talent and potential,” said five-time Southern 500 winner, Yarborough. “I didn’t sugar coat anything, I told him Darlington would be the toughest place he raced all year. I also told him that there is no victory as sweet as winning the Southern 500.” Tickets can be purchased by calling the Darlington Raceway ticket office at 866-459-RACE or online at darlingtonraceway.com.(Darlington Raceway PR)(4-23-2009)
Hendrick drivers win three in a row: #5-Mark Martin’s win last week at Phoenix International Raceway came on the heels of two other Hendrick Motorsports wins — #48-Jimmie Johnson at Martinsville and #24-Jeff Gordon at Texas — and marked the third time Hendrick Motorsports has won three consecutive Cup events with three different drivers. Hendrick, the only team in NASCAR’s modern era to have three different drivers win in three straight races, accomplished the feat in 2007 — with Johnson, Gordon and Casey Mears — and in 1989 — with Darrell Waltrip, Ken Schrader and Geoff Bodine. In 1956, Carl Kiekhaefer’s drivers won three in a row twice. Buck Baker, Speedy Thompson and Herb Thomas contributed to the first streak, while Baker, Jack Smith and Thompson were part of the other.(HMS PR)(4-23-2009)
Pedigree colors make 2009 debut for Busch: Pedigree will make its first of three appearances as primary sponsor of Kyle Busch’s #18 Toyota at Talladega this weekend. The other events at which the Mars Pedigree brand will adorn the #18 this season will be at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September and Phoenix International Raceway in November. The first Pedigree paint scheme of 2009 kicks off the company’s “NASCAR’s Luckiest Dog” contest in which the winner of which will have his or her dog pictured on Busch’s #18 Toyota at the Checker Auto Parts 500k at Phoenix in November.(M&M’s Racing PR)(4-23-2009)
Said’s car catches fire during ALMS race: With only 6 minutes left in the American Le Mans Series sports car race in Long Beach, a GT2 Corvette driven by [part-time Sprint Cup driver] Boris Said burst into flames and filled with smoke. The veteran racer scrambled out of the cockpit and across the track as safety workers sprayed the car with fire extinguishers. Said was not injured. The race was won by Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud.(ESPN/AP)
AND: During an ALMS race on Saturday in Long Beach, Calif., Boris Said’s Corvette burst into flames. He got out, but not before sustaining several second degree burns to his arms and eyes.(Portland Press Herald), watching the video, Said got out of the car and ran to the wall and sat there a few minutes with safety workers looking at him and talking to him, Said got up walked away and waved to the crowd and got in a safety vehicle.
AND Boris Said adds to the legend. Said suffered second- and third-degree burns in a fire during the Long Beach Grand Am race. Get better, buddy, see an image of Said on Marty Smith’s Door to Door column at ESPN
SAID Ride plans: Carter Racing plans to return to the track for the 2009 NASCAR Sprint All Star Race. Boris Said will drive the #08 Dodge for the Sprint Showdown, his second race in the #08 this season. The team is actively searching for sponsorship.(Carter Racing PR)(4-23-2009)
Special look for Newman’s car at Talladega: Ryan Newman’s #39 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy is scheduled to run a Prelude to the Dream/Haas Automation/U.S. Army scheme in the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway.(SHR PR)(4-23-2009)
Dodson injured in car wreck: Former NASCAR Cup crew chief Barry Dodson suffered multiple injuries in an automobile accident on April 10 in Pawley’s Island, S.C. Dodson was taking a test drive at a dealership when he says the car’s accelerator hung. He crashed into two cars on the lot, totaling both, before he struck a steel pole. Dodson suffered neck, shoulder and closed-head injuries and remains under a physician’s care. “The only escape route I had was a busy four-lane highway,” Dodson said. “So I chose to crash into the cars on the lot rather than taking a chance on injuring someone else.” He declined to identify the dealership.(SceneDaily)(4-23-2009)
Different look for #77 at ‘Dega: Sam Hornish Jr. will run a Penske Truck Rental/AAA scheme on his #77 Penske Racing Dodge Charger in the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Hornish earned his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series top-10 finish last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway.(PCR PR)(4-23-2009)
Drivers on CMT Cribs: Martin Truex Jr. will join Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kurt Busch as the featured celebrities on CMT Cribs when the latest episode airs this Saturday, April 25th. Packed with the latest in luxury living, top of the line toys and the wildest whips on the road, this season takes us to new levels of country living. Martin’s segment will focus on his new garage. Be sure to tune into to CMT (Country Music Television) this Saturday, April 25, 2009 at 4:30pm/et/pt and re-air at 7:30pm/et/pt on that same day.(EGR PR)(4-23-2009)
Talladega Rookie Notes: #20-Joey Logano was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the April 18 Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Logano scored a 21st-place finish and claimed top rookie honors for the third consecutive race. Logano leads #82-Scott Speed by 13 points (86-73) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the April 26 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. The late Davey Allison is the only Raybestos Rookie to win the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega. He won the 1987 event by .78 second over Terry Labonte. Allison led the most laps in the race, holding the top spot six times for 108 of the 178 laps (the event was shortened by 10 laps due to darkness). Allison is the only Raybestos Rookie to lead the most laps in the Aaron’s 499 and holds the record for most laps led by a rookie in the spring race at Talladega. Since Allison’s win in 1987, a Raybestos Rookie has finished in the top-five in the Aaron’s 499 just twice: Tony Stewart (fifth in 1999) and Kurt Busch (third in 2001). Only one Raybestos Rookie has won the pole position in 39 previous Aaron’s 499 races at Talladega: Jimmie Johnson (2002). Johnson won the second pole of his career and posted a seventh place finish in the race.(Camp & Assoc./Raybestos PR), see Rookie history, standings, records and more on my 2009 Rookies Page.(4-23-2009) http://www.jayski.com/stats/2009/roty2009.htm
Tickets Still Available for Thursday’s IMHOF Induction Ceremony: Tickets are still available for the 2009 International Motorsports Hall of Fame (IMHOF) Induction Ceremony, Thursday, April 23 at the SPEED Channel Dome in Talladega, Ala. This year’s black-tie optional ceremony begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and the banquet and awards ceremony immediately following. The five inductees being honored are: J.C. Agajanian, Donnie Allison, Jerry Cook, Bud Moore and Raymond Parks. Individual tickets are $125 and a table for eight may be reserved for $1,000. The 2009 ceremony will be held April 23rd more info at talladegasuperspeedway.com.(TSS PR)(4-23-2009)
RCR 40th Anniversary Announcement: Richard Childress Racing has scheduled a press conference for Saturday, April 25, at 9:30am in the infield media center at Talladega Superspeedway. The press conference will kick off RCR’s 40th anniversary celebration that will conclude at the fall races in Talladega, where Childress made his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in 1969 in the track’s inaugural event.(RCR PR)(4-23-2009)
Despite being disrupted by rain for the second day in a row, a NASCAR tire test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is providing Goodyear engineers with valuable information to help ensure against a repeat of last year’s caution-filled Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. “We feel like we’re establishing a very good baseline so that we can walk out of here with a good, solid recommendation for what to bring back in June,” Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of race tire sales, said Tuesday at the track. “The most important thing is we want to make sure we get everything done we need to get done, and that means getting different opinions on different combinations.” Goodyear tested three times last fall and has four Sprint Cup teams in town for the current test, which was extended to today because of the frequent rain. A final shakedown in preparation for the July 26 race is scheduled June 15-16 with about a dozen teams expected to participate. The extra testing is the result of an embarrassing 2008 race in which a record 52 of the 160 laps were run under caution because of rapid and excessive tire wear. NASCAR was forced to throw competition cautions every dozen or so laps out of concerns for driver safety. Stucker said the problem was a tire compound incompatible with the track surface and NASCAR’s new, heavier car — the so-called Car of Tomorrow — that had not previously run at Indy. Instead of the expended rubber working its way into the track, which is intentionally abrasive to provide more tire grip, the particles were so small that they turned to dust and literally floated away. Tires haven’t been a major issue at any of the first eight races this season and Stucker is confident they won’t be at Indy, either. “Three tests here last year and two this year certainly demonstrates we’re taking it seriously,” he said. “Goodyear, the racetrack, NASCAR and all the teams are putting forth the effort to make sure we don’t have anything like that again.”(Indianapolis Star)(4-23-2009)
Will rumors of a Hendrick Motorsports separation of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Eury Jr. ever end? Ever? Ever? Never, as long as there are upstart, cottage-industry Web-sites churning this stuff out, and others linking to it. “There’s absolutely nothing to this,” came an e-mail reply from high-up inside Hendrick, when the latest one was checked. The latest report appears on Jayski.com, picked up from CaptainThunderRacing.com, that meetings were held over the Easter break at Hendrick. Supposedly there was discussion of swapping crew chiefs, with Eury going to Mark Martin, and Alan Gustafson going to Earnhardt, if the two teams’ performances didn’t improve within three races. Here’s how screwy this stuff can get. Right in the middle of the CaptainThunder report, there’s a line, “However, with Martin’s win Saturday night in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix, any switch is now out of the question for the foreseeable future.” Then the report goes right on to say that new deadlines have been set for a possible switch: “If both teams continue to perform poorly, expect a change the week of the All-Star race.” The wackiness warranted a double-check high-up at Hendrick, which brought the firm reply, “Not a shred of truth to any of it.”(ESPN Insider)(4-22-2009)
After much thought, team owner Larry Gunselman has decided to withdraw the #64 Gunselman Motorsports Toyota from this weekend’s Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. Because of the financial demands required to get a competitive restrictor-plate motor for Talladega, Gunselman decided to focus the team’s limited finances and instead put forth their fiscal and physical energy towards the next three races. After this weekend, the Sprint Cup Series visits Richmond, Darlington and Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The unsponsored team already has two engines for those tracks ensuring they will enter those races; but couldn’t afford to rent a plate motor for Talladega. “I hate, and I mean HATE, that we will not be in Talladega this weekend,” Gunselman said. “This wasn’t an easy decision by no means as we were hoping to have some kind of partnership on the car by now through our earlier efforts. I’m disappointed for myself, the team and Geoff Bodine because now he won’t get a chance to compete. Of all the go or go-homers, we are the final one in the standings that would make a race if qualifying rains out. While that’s good, it’s not good enough to take a chance on taking the team to Talladega without the proper motor. This team wants to race and put forth a full-race effort each week. This team is made of racers who want to compete. But, right now, we have to race smart with what we have and that means we can’t race this weekend.” While the team has found limited one-race sponsorships for some races, their goal is to have a multi-race deal in place to ensure they can be competitive. “We were hoping to attract a partner for $25,000 a race so we could be run races from start-to-finish. And, we are still looking to achieve that partnership with the right company right now. That’s what we need to be more competitive. Gunselman Motorsports offers a value that many other teams can’t and our goal right now is to find those companies who want to be part of racing on affordable terms. Here we are trying to save money by not going to Talladega and the hotel is still going to charge us for the three rooms for three nights down there. When we called the Budget Inn to tell them our situation, they basically said we couldn’t get out of them. So, if anyone wants some rooms for this weekend, I know where three are available less than two miles from the track.”(Gunselman Motorsports PR)(4-22-2009)
Courtesy of Racin’ Today
Woody: Danica Would Look Good In Fenders
By Larry Woody | Senior Writer
Question: could a driver who is described as being “sexy and sculpted” find happiness in NASCAR?
I never heard Junior Johnson described that way.
But that’s how Danica Patrick is depicted in … http://www.racintoday.com/archives/2416
Donnie Allison Speeds His Way Into Hall Of Fame
Yarborough To Pace Field at Darlington
Childress To Swap Cup Crew Chiefs
Your ad could be displayed here… very reasonable rates. E-mail Mike@MotorSportsNews.Net
Courtesy of That’s Racin’
Yates, RCR make crew changes
Earnhardt, Mears get probation for skirmish
The Talladega outrage!
P R E S S * R E L E A S E S
Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend of 9 Cents Per Share
CONCORD, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI) (NYSE:TRK) today declared a quarterly cash dividend of 9 cents per share of common stock. The quarterly dividend will be payable on June 26, 2009, to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 29, 2009.
Speedway Motorsports is a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates the following premier facilities: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and Texas Motor Speedway. The Company provides souvenir merchandising services through its SMI Properties subsidiaries and Motorsports Authentics joint venture, and manufactures and distributes smaller-scale, modified racing cars through its 600 Racing subsidiary. The Company also owns Performance Racing Network which broadcasts syndicated motorsports programming to over 715 radio stations nationwide. For more information, visit the Company’s website at www.speedwaymotorsports.com.
Bobby Labonte – Appearances
Ask.com Merchandise Hauler Autograph Session – Saturday, April 25th – Visit the merchandise hauler in the fan zone to learn more.
BEN LESLIE TO SERVE AS CREW CHIEF FOR THE NO. 96 ASK.COM FORD FUSION AND LABONTE
Leslie to take director’s chair for Labonte; Todd Parrot to assist Yates Racing organization
CONCORD, N.C. (April 22, 2009) – Yates Racing today announced Ben Leslie, former crew chief for the No. 28 Yates Racing Ford, will serve as crew chief for Bobby Labonte and the No. 96 Hall of Fame entry for the remainder of the 2009 season. Previous crew chief Todd Parrot will assist the Yates organization as a whole.
“Ben’s experience with Ford Racing is really an asset to our organization,” said Max Jones, co-owner of Yates Racing. “The No. 96 team is fortunate enough to have a Champion driver and a group of experts in the sport. I believe Ben will bring the right changes to this team to help it accomplish some solid finishes this season and climb a few positions in the points.”
Prior to joining Yates Racing, Leslie served as a liaison between Ford Racing and NASCAR managing Ford’s development in all three series. Earlier in his career, Leslie worked with several notable drivers including Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch and Ricky Rudd. In 2001 Leslie led Martin to a second-place finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings, recorded 15 top-10 finishes and a win in the Coke 600.
“I’m looking forward to working with Ben,” said Labonte. “He’s done a lot with Ford Racing specifically and I like that he has experience with many Champion drivers. I’m excited to see what we will do together on the track in the next few weeks.”
Todd Parrot who aided in Labonte’s fifth-place finish in Las Vegas will remain with Yates Racing and assist with both the No. 96 Hall of Fame Racing entry as well as the No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion.
Windstream Teams up with NASCAR Legend Junior Johnson for Windstream Pole Night Activities at Lowe’s Motor Speedway
Legendary driver/owner to make three appearances on behalf of Windstream’s Green Truck Tour, help celebrate 50th running of Coca-Cola 600
MATTHEWS, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Windstream (NYSE: WIN), a high-speed Internet, phone and digital TV provider, announced it has partnered with one of NASCAR’s great pioneers and legendary driver/owner Junior Johnson to kick off the upcoming Windstream Pole Night qualifying race and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway (LMS) this May.
Johnson, a 10-time race and two-time pole winner at LMS (twice as a driver, eight as an owner), will make three Charlotte-area appearances with Windstream’s Green Truck Tour that will culminate with his participation in Windstream Pole Night scheduled for Thursday, May 21.
The 1960 Daytona 500 champion will accompany the Windstream Green Truck Tour to several community stops on Tuesday, May 19, which includes greeting morning commuters at the Pure Mart gas station / McDonald’s in Indian Trail (305/303 Unionville Indian Trail Rd., 6-8 a.m.), followed by visiting race fans outside Concord Mills Mall (4-6 p.m.), where the legend will also participate in a special autograph session.
Consumers and race fans are encouraged to stop by either of these free events to meet Johnson and to pick up a free family four-pack of tickets for Windstream Pole Night. Limit one four-pack of tickets per person while supplies last.
The year’s 50th anniversary of the famous Memorial Day race will kick off with Johnson getting behind the wheel of Windstream’s signature Green Truck and driving the lead Pole Night parade lap, energizing the fans and race qualifying field.
The Green Truck Tour is designed to give back to the local communities that Windstream serves and educate the public about landline safety. The tour, which promotes Windstream’s high-speed Internet, reliable phone and digital TV products and services, runs through November with stops in 14 states. Windstream also is donating $200,000 to eight schools in the company’s service area through its Classroom Connections program. For additional information about the Green Truck Tour and its scheduled stops, visit www.greentrucktour.com.
Helio Castronoves on avoiding jail time for tax evasion and getting back to auto racing
RaceTalkRadio.com Teams Up with V-8 Stockcar Series
(For Immediate Release)
Chicago, IL (April 22, 2009) –In our never ending pursuit of LIFE, LIBERTY, and the support of GREAT RACING; RaceTalkRadio.com announces our newest show “V-8 Radio!” Find out what happens when V-8 stockcars challenge some of the best road courses in the country including Daytona International Speedway, Virginia International Raceway, Road Atlanta and more. “Old NASCAR equipment never dies it is alive and racing in the V-8 Stockcar Series,” said RTR’s Dennis Michelsen. “RaceTalkRadio has established themselves as the leading Internet radio station covering motorsports of all types and we are proud to be associated with RTR,” said Lee Arnold of the V-8 Stock Car Series. Listen every week to V-8 Radio (Wow, I could have had a V-8!) and find out when they are racing at a track near you at V-8 Stockcar.com!
From NASCAR to the Dirt Tracks We Cover It All… Now streaming 24/7!
Saturday Night don’t miss the Orange Blossom Special from Orange Count Speedway!
Join Alan Dietz with all the exciting PASS South action!
Introducing RaceTalkRadio on Your Scanner!
Starting this weekend at Talladega you can listen to your favorite shows or action from the short tracks on your scanner at NASCAR races! Stop by the Racing Electronics trailer for schedule and channel information.
RaceTalkRadio.com ownership combines NASCAR writers Dennis Michelsen and Mike Harper with the creative talents of digital media artist Lori Munro. This unique blend has produced some of the most cutting edge programming in the racing industry! Speed TV’s Bob Dillner and Joe Castello formerly of XM Radio also have made their home at RaceTalkRadio.com. RTR features live racing from America’s short tracks on the weekends! Radio home of the 2008 Snowball Derby!
N A S C A R * N A T I O N W I D E * S E R I E S
Courtesy of Jayski
NEXT RACE: Aaron’s 312, 3:00pm/et, Saturday, April 25, 2009 at Talladega Superspeedway
Entry List: There are 47 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 at Talladega. Some notes:
Mike Wallace is back in the #0 for Johnny Davis;
Mark Green is entered in an #04 Chevy for Johnny Davis;
Jeff Green is back in the #05 for Wayne Day;
Kerry Earnhardt returns to the #31;
Ryan Newman make his series debut for the year in the #33 for KHI;
Bobby Gerhardt is entered in the #75;
The complete list is posted on the Talladega Race Page.(4-20-2009)
Atwood to the hospital: UPDATE: #05-Casey Atwood was transported to a local hospital after a late race accident in Phoenix. He got out of the car under his own power. There are no current reports on his condition.(4-17-2009)
UPDATE: been told that Casey Atwood had a slight concussion and was released from the hospital the same night. He is fine but will not be in the #05 this weekend.(4-22-2009)
MC2 on the #27 at Talladega: MC2 Energy Drink and Beverage Plus Inc. is teaming up in sponsorship with Nationwide Series driver Jason Keller of the #27 Ford and veteran team owner Baker Curb Racing for the Aaron’s 312 at the Talladega Super Speedway.(4-22-2009)
Three teams for Johnny Davis at Talladega: UPDATE: NASCAR Nationwide Series JD Motorsports #01 driver Danny O’Quinn Jr will be sponsored by www.SalonWish.com in the Aaron’s 312 Race at Talladega Super Speedway. Watch for the Pink and Purple Chevy Impala reminding everyone that NASCAR isn’t just for men anymore. Mike Wallace in the #0 with returning sponsor Fishburne Military School. Mark Green will be piloting the #04 www.cash4gold.com/racing car with associate sponsor JGR Hauling Specialist a J. Grady Randolph Gaffney, SC Company.(Hufco Promotion / Johnny Davis PR)(4-21-2009)
UPDATE: After a successful outing the last time they teamed together, Mike Wallace and the Fishburne Military School of Waynesburg, Va. are going to take on Talladega Superspeedway in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Wallace will once again drive the #0 Fishburne Military School Chevy for Johnny Davis Motorsports; their first outing was in the season opener at Daytona Superspeedway. (Mike Wallace PR)(4-22-2009)
Courtesy of The Hot Lap
Brian Vickers OFF TRACK antics…. What has he been up to since he was last in the #32? WELL…check this out!! On top of his driving duties in the #83 Red Bull Toyota, Vickers went skiing in UTAH…went to the Barrett Jackson Auction in Palm Beach, FL…just window shopping! Served as a Guest DJ on KCRW, Southern California’s leading National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate…spent some time in Bristol, CT when he was on an ESPN tour…NASCAR Now, ESPN First Take and ESPN News….Turned some laps in Indy while testing some good ol’ Goodyear tires for NASCAR
CJM Racing transitioned over to Toyota Camry’s during the off-season. The team will bring chassis # 013 to Talladega. # 013 is a brand new superspeedway chassis. This week’s Incredible Hero is an individual that has proven anything is possible. Zach Campbell’s determination and faith have helped him overcome a life changing experience that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Despite a bleak prognosis from the doctors, Zach did walk again with the aid of leg braces. Currently, Zach’s dream to race has become a reality also. He entered into a Pro Truck race at New Smyrna Speedway not too long ago. Zach uses hand brake and throttle controls to maneuver the truck.
Aaron’s Dream Weekend NNS Guests for Talladega-Radio personality Bubba The Love Sponge will be the Grand Marshal for Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 with his son Tyler at his side. Bubba and his daily radio show has a large following throughout terrestrial and satellite radio known as the “Bubba Army” and has strong ties to NASCAR drivers Tony Stewart and David Reutimann. Winner of Aaron’s “Color Your Way To Talladega” coloring contest Rachel Brown from Rustin, LA won an all expenses paid weekend trip to Talladega for her and her family. The nationwide coloring contest is open to children up to age 12 who submit their paint scheme of the Aaron’s Dream Machine racecar. Rachel will be able to see her creation come to life as the Michael Waltrip Racing NNS No. 99 Aaron’s Dream Machine will sport her design.Winner of the Weekend Of Your Dreams sweepstakes, Jack Standbury of Roanoke Rapids, NC will have the honor of waving the green flag Saturday to start the Aaron’s 312. Jack and his wife Diane also enjoy an all expenses paid trip to the speedway.
C A M P I N G * W O R L D * T R U C K * S E R I E S
Courtesy of Jayski
NEXT RACE INFO
O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 – Kansas Speedway, Saturday April 25, 6:00pm Eastern
SPEED/TV: NCWTS Prerace Setup 5:30pm/et; Race 6:00pm/et
Preliminary Entry List: There are 37 trucks listed on the preliminary entry list for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway. Complete entry list is posted on the Kansas Race Page.(4-20-2009)
#21-Chris Fontaine driver, Gun Broker Racing Dodge
#22-Chris Jones driver, Gun Broker Racing Dodge
#47-Marc Mitchell driver, Fast Track II Degreaser Chevy
#51-Brian Ickler, driver Miccosukee Resort Toyota
#63-Ben Stancill, driver Mitler Brothers Ford
#65-JJ Yeley, driver County Building Centers Chevy [changed from #73]
#74-Jennifer Jo Cobb, Price Chopper 400 Dodge
#76-Ryan Hackett, JandRSupply.com Ford
UPDATE: #40-Key Motorsports Chevy has withdrawn (4-20-2009)
UPDATE 2: #32-Chase Austin & Trail Motorsport entry withdrawn due to lack of funding(4-22-2009)
Family-like bond of loyalty, trust keeps Circle Bar & Crawford going: Rick Crawford has made all 301 of his Truck Series starts for one team, but his owner has never seen him race live. How does the combination work? Trust and loyalty….[Tom] Mitchell had run a CART race team for a few years, and even put a Cup car on the track for 18 races between 1985 and ’86 before concentrating on NASCAR’s All-Pro Series. John Kelly was the driver at Mitchell’s Circle Bar Racing team. Kelly’s brother, Robert, was the head engine builder for Crawford, but moved to the Circle Bar team as crew chief for John. The existing relationship between the Kellys and Crawford ended up in Crawford practicing the Circle Bar car for a few laps one weekend. The results turned heads. Mitchell had plans to shut down the team after the 1990 season. He was finished with racing. He had been burned a few times on business deals, and had lost the glow and enjoyment of racing, according to his daughter. Crawford switched to Ford products and purchased some equipment from Mitchell’s team. He had success with it, but he needed more. He needed strong backing with a rock-solid foundation. So he called Mitchell’s office again. He got the secretary. “She shielded my dad from Rick for quite a while, which was her job — to screen things,” said Lisa Mitchell, who handles her father’s media requests now. “And I think at some point that Rick — he’s such a low-key, nice, gentleman-type person and has that personality — it’s almost like he won her over. Once he convinced her he wasn’t a bad guy out to get Tom, she kind of let the doors open a little bit for Dad to interact with Rick.” Crawford’s persistence rekindled Tom Mitchell’s flame….[just a brief excerpt from an article depicting the history surrounding the long-stand relationship between Circle Bar, The Mitchell Family and Rick Crawford] (Read the entire story at nascar.com).(4-22-2009)
Sauter to make first series start at Kansas: Johnny Sauter, driver of the #13 Fun Sand/Rodney Atkins-Curb Records Chevrolet for ThorSport Racing, is set to make his first Camping World Truck Series start at Kansas Speedway. Sauter, however, does have a combined seven career starts at Kansas in Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series competition. He finished 3rd in a Nationwide series race at the track in ’05.(ThorSport Racing PR)(4-22-2009)
Chase Austin was informed in a team meeting this past Tuesday that his Trail Motorsport team’s entry in this Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series “O’Reilly Auto Parts 250″ will be withdrawn due to funding issues. “We had set a deadline of Monday for the Truck to be ready to ‘shake down’ at Rockingham, and that didn’t happen,” said a surprisingly upbeat Austin. “So I knew what we were going to hear in the meeting. I’m really more disappointed for the team than for myself. I really want to race, but the guys in the shop have families to feed, and they need steady work and a steady paycheck” Austin’s future at Trail Motorsport is tenuous at best. “I don’t have a clue what Trail plans to do moving forward; I don’t have a contract at this point. I’ll just keep praying, keep digging and make the most out of any seat time I can get until the right opportunity comes,” says Austin. “And I definitely still believe it will come.”(Chase Austin PR)(4-22-2009)
Courtesy of TruckSeriesToday.Com
Crawford Hanging By A Thread In Top 10
Rick Crawford (No. 14 Circle Bar Truck Corral/International Truck Engine Ford) finds himself in a precarious position.
He sits in the top 10, but barely. Only one point separates him and 11th-place driver Stacy Compton (No. 60 Safe Auto Insurance/Wyler.Com Toyota). In other words, one false move and Crawford could easily be bounced from the top [...]
A R C A (Automobile Racing Club of America)
Courtesy of ARCA
Next ARCA RE/MAX Series Events:
ARCA RE/MAX 250 at Talladega Superspeedway Friday, April 24 LIVE on SPEED at 5:00 PM ET. Event includes Live Timing & Scoring at ARCAracing.com plus live audio of all on-track activity including practice and Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell Thursday as well as the race on Friday.
Michael McDowell will do a guest appearance at the onset of the race at Talladega on the ARCA Racing Network Friday (ARCAracing.com).
Don’t Forget About LIVE Audio Race Coverage in 2009 of All 22 ARCA RE/MAX Series Events. The ARCA Racing Network (ARN) is set to return for a full season of ARCA RE/MAX Series event coverage on Arcaracing.com.
ARCA RE/MAX Series Open Testing – Kentucky Speedway Wednesday, April 29.
Most Popular Driver Award Returns To ARCA RE/MAX Series In 2009!!
Don’t Forget To Vote! Voting for the award will take place exclusively through arcaracing.com’s social networking website, ARCANation.com. Race fans can log onto ARCANation.com to vote for their favorite ARCA RE/MAX Series driver by clicking on the “vote” button at the top of that driver’s ARCA Nation page. All race fans will be permitted to vote once per day for the Most Popular Driver; but votes from fans who are ARCA Nation members count twice as compared to their non-member counterparts, which count once.
Toledo Speedway Season Opener Friday and Saturday April 24/25: ASA weekend, practice Friday, race Saturday. Time Trials at noon Saturday with race following at 2:30 PM. Plus USA Modifieds. Raindate Sunday, April 26 or Toledo open practice.
Toledo Speedway Open Practice Wednesday, April 29 from 5-9 PM.
Flat Rock Speedway Open Practice Wednesday, April 22 from 5-9 PM.
Flat Rock Speedway Season Opener Saturday, April 25: 7-Up Opening Night with Late Models, Street Stocks and Figure-8s.
Old Man Baird Going for Gold at Talladega
Could Become Oldest Stock Car Superspeedway Winner in History
TALLADEGA AL (4-22-09) – Veteran and former ARCA RE/MAX Series champion Bill Baird is 59 years old; but, these days, he’s feeling much sportier.
“Still feel like I’m 40,” Baird said, who will be 60 in July. “Still feel like I’m as good of a driver as I was in my 40s. And the day I feel like I can’t run fast will be the day I won’t show up. I’m not there yet.”
To back that up, Baird finished third at Daytona in 2008. And if he can win the ARCA RE/MAX 250 at Talladega Superspeedway this Friday, he would become the oldest stock car superspeedway winner in history. Currently, that distinction belongs to Iggy Katona, who won at Daytona in 1974 at age 57.
“Out of my career, Daytona and Talladega are two places I haven’t won …… yet. To be the oldest winner at either place would be pretty cool; I wouldn’t mind having that. But, really, just winning here at Talladega or Daytona would be unbelievable enough without the oldest-guy-in-the-world thing.”
Baird is entered in a no. 52 Ken Schrader-owned Saturn Welding Chevrolet. It’s the same car he was running fifth with at Daytona this year before getting caught up in one of the multi-car wrecks. After the car got a new front clip, Baird says the car is better than it was before.
“We tested really good in this car. There’s no doubt in my mind this car is going to race really well. I can tell you this; this is the best car I’ve ever had here. I also feel like our superspeedway program is completely back on track. We sort of went away for awhile, so I feel like we had to get caught back up. We’ve learned a lot over the last couple years – feel like I understand the speedway program more now.”
Baird’s relationship with Schrader goes way back.
“Kenny and I go way, way back. Back to my ASA days. I bought my first asphalt car from Kenny in ’93. Since then, we’ve gotten to know each other and our friendship has just grown from there.”
Schrader was Baird’s car owner when Baird won the 1999 ARCA RE/MAX Series driving championship.
“Kenny’s coming on Friday. He’ll be announcing the race with the SPEED guys. I’m his development driver,” added Baird with a big chuckle.
Baird, despite running up front in the last two superspeedway races at Daytona and Talladega, got caught up in multi-car wrecks in both races.
“My mistake in the last two, I think, is that I was just sitting around riding. This time, if the car wants to go forward, I’m gunna go. I’m not gunna mess around with it. I know the car will do it. The closer we are to the front, the less likely we’re going to get caught up.
“I still have that competitive spirit in me. It’s still there. And I know we’re good enough to win this thing.”
Practice for the ARCA RE/MAX 250 at Talladega is scheduled from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM local Central time Thursday, April 23 followed by Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 5:05 PM. The 48th ARCA RE/MAX 250 is scheduled to roll off just after 4:00 PM local time Friday afternoon, April 24. The race is LIVE on SPEED at 5:00 PM Eastern.
The Ultimate Hunting Experience: Sheltra Motorsports wants to give a race fan an ultimate opportunity to join Patrick Sheltra or Sheltra Motorsports dirt driver Shannon Babb a chance at a paramount moment to hunt with either driver at Patrick Sheltra’s hunting ranch in Dryden, Texas. The best part, all expenses paid! Race fans will have the entire ARCA season to enter the contest with the winner being announced in the ARCA RE/MAX Series finale at Rockingham Speedway in October. Visit HuntingExtravangza.com for more details.
This Is The People’s Car: In an effort to bring race fans closer to the Sheltra Motorsports team, the team is full throttle with their Peoples Car promotion. Race fans will have the opportunity to have their name plastered on the No. 60 Dodge Charger for most of the ARCA RE/MAX Series season. In addition, each time a fan joins the People’s Car their name will be tossed into a drawing for an-all expensed paid trip (minus lodging expenses) to the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series season finale at Rockingham Speedway. The lucky fan will be an honorary member of the Sheltra Motorsports team plus enjoy a few little surprises the team has spiced up for the lucky winner. Stay tuned to PatrickSheltra.com or ThePeoplesCars.com for all the details.
C O L U M N S / C O M M E N T A R I E S
It Was a High Five for Hendricks on Sunday
Time for a Talladega Race
Insider Racing News
It’s Nuts in the Pits
by Brian Watkins
Insider Racing News
Mark Martin Is Racing Towards A Chase Spot, So Who Falls Out?
by Nick Blake
Roush Fenway Saving The Planet
by Jeff Meyer
Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off : Like A Rock — Where Real Racing Still Exists
by Matt McLaughlin
Fanning The Flames : When The Story About The Story Becomes THE Story
by Matt Taliaferro
Ratings May Have Been Down, But PIR Left Little To Complain About
by Tommy Thompson
Frontstretch Fantasy Insider: Picking The ‘Dega Drafting Lane That’s Moving Forward
by Bryan Davis Keith and Mike Neff
The Nascar Insiders
Why Danica Patrick Is Not Coming To NASCAR
It seems as though at a certain point each year, for the past few years anyway, we invariably get into the “will Danica move to NASCAR” debate. In the past she’s been pretty quick to brush the talk aside, but now something has changed.
Musical Crew Chiefs and AJ Flashbacks
by Carol Einarsson
I wonder if having a Toyota Hybrid as a pace car only draws attention to the fuel being used in auto racing. “Yeah, but look how much we saved on the pace car!” It’s conservation, NASCAR-style!
NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Phoenix
Jeff Gordon: Gordon struggled to his worst finish of the year, a 25th in Phoenix, plagued by a number of mishaps, including a lug nut problem that forced an extra pit stop, as well as damage from the Robby Gordon/ Michael Waltrip incident on lap 164.
On Pit Road: Shelby Howard Provides Dividends for ML Motorsports
Shelby Howard of Greenwood, Indiana got the call last month to replace Mark Green in the from ML Motorsports Nascar Nationwide Series #70 Foretravel Motorcoach Chevy.
NASCAR Lives On Twitter
There was a time when the only way to enjoy a NASCAR race was either to attend in person or listen to the MRN radio broadcast. Later that week, the glossy NASCAR magazines and National Speed Sport News would arrive in the mail to fill-in the details of the races and show pictures of the action. My, how times have changed.
T V * L I S T I N G S
Courtesy of Race Fan TV & Race Fans Stockcar Newsletter
http://www.racefantv.com / http://www.nascarnutscanada.com/
THURSDAY, APRIL 23
5:00 P-5:30 ESPN 2 NASCAR Now, HD, L
FRIDAY, APRIL 24
11:30 A-1:30 P SPEED/TSN2 NASCAR Nationwide Series QUALIFYING, Aaron’s 312, Talladega Super speedway, AL, HD, L
2:00 P-3:00 SPEED NASCAR Sprint Cup PRACTICE, Aaron’s 499, Talladega Superspeedway, AL, HD, L
3:30 P-5:00 SPEED NASCAR Sprint Cup FINAL PRACTICE, Aaron’s 499, Talladega Superspeedway, AL, HD, L
5:00 P-5:30 ESPN 2 NASCAR Now, HD, L
5:00 P-7:30 SPEEDARCA RE/MAX Series Talladega ARCA 250, Talladega Superspeedway, AL, L
SATURDAY, APRIL 25
11:00 A-2:00 P SPEED/TSN NASCAR Sprint Cup QUALIFYING, Aaron’s 499, Talladega Superspeedway, AL, HD, L
2:30 P-3:00 ABC/TSN2 NASCAR Nationwide Series COUNTDOWN, Aaron’s 312, Talladega Super speedway, AL, HD, L
3:00 P-6:00 ABC/TSN2 NASCAR Nationwide Series Aaron’s 312, Talladega Superspeedway, AL, HD, L
5:30 P-6:00 SPEED NASCAR Camping World Truck Series SETUP, O’Reilly Auto Parts 250, Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, KS, HD, L
6:00 P-8:30 SPEED NASCAR Camping World Truck Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 250, Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, KS, HD, L
SUNDAY, APRIL 26
10:00 A-11:00 ESPN 2 NASCAR Now, HD, L
11:30 A-1:30 P SPEED NASCAR Race Day. Preview of today’s Aaron’s 499, Talladega Super speedway, HD, L
1:00 P-2:00 FOX/TSN2 NASCAR Sprint Cup PRE-RACE, Aaron’s 499, Talladega Super speedway, AL, HD, L
2:00 P-6:00 FOX/TSN2 NASCAR Sprint Cup Aaron’s 499, Talladega Super speedway, AL, HD, L
8:00 P-9:00 SPEED NASCAR Victory Lane at Aaron’s 499, Talladega Super speedway, HD, SDD, N
9:00 P-10:00 SPEED Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain, HD, L
We do not list all the programming offered by SPEED; for complete listings go to their website, http://www.speedtv.com/schedule/
Always CHECK YOUR LOCAL LISTINGS!
The Stock Car Gazette
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