Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Notes From All Over

Capps Unhurt In Famoso Crash: NHRA Funny Car title contender Ron Capps was uninjured Saturday when a nostalgia Funny Car he was driving went out of control and slammed a concrete barrier at Auto Club Famoso Raceway.

Driving Ron Gaynor's Hard Times Dodge Charger, Capps launched into a spectacular wheelstand as he left the starting line, then slammed back to the ground and veered into the wall. Capps downplayed the crash, saying, “I'm just bummed for Gaynor. He's one of the pioneers in this class, and we wanted to get into the five-second club.”

Capps had run a 6.00 second ET in his previous pass. He trails John Force by 71 points with one race to go in the 2006 Powerade season.

No Appeal Of Curione Penalty: Valvoline Evernham Racing says it will not appeal the $10,000 fine and indefinite suspension handed down yesterday to crewman Craig Curione for pushing Kevin Harvick in the aftermath of last Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Designated Team Owner James Rocco announced the decision, saying, “After a comprehensive internal review of the post-race incident between Kevin Harvick and a member of the No. 10 team, Valvoline Evernham Racing supports NASCAR's decision to indefinitely suspend the involved crew member. We apologize to Kevin and DeLana Harvick, NASCAR, our partners and our fans for this incident. The behavior demonstrated by the involved crewmember was in violation of the Valvoline Evernham Racing Employee Code of Conduct and will not be tolerated. We concur with NASCAR's ruling and will not appeal the suspension or fine.”

Rocco did not say whether Curione will remain with the team.

Wimmer To RCR: Look for Scott Wimmer to run a combined NASCAR Nextel Cup/Busch Series schedule next season for Richard Childress Racing, with sponsorship from Holiday Inn.
Sources close to the team say Wimmer has signed to drive for the team in 2007, with an official announcement to be made at Homestead-Miami Speedway next weekend.

Holiday Inn’s official website currently includes a photo of the #29 Holiday Inn Busch car – driven this season by Jeff Burton – with a “mystery driver” silhouette and the words, "November 19: The Last Race, A Cup Debut, A New Teammate."

Wimmer has reportedly tested for RCR in recent weeks, and has watched at least one recent Nextel Cup race.from atop one of Childress’ transporters. You can check out the Holiday Inn website by clicking HERE.

Borland To Team Red Bull: Despite recent assertions by Penske Racing South President Don Miller that he expects to have crewchiefs Matt Borland and Roy McCauley back in-house next season, sources tell Sirius Speedway that Borland may already have accepted a position with the new Team Red Bull Toyota operation.

In fact, Borland may not be atop Ryan Newman’s pitbox this weekend in Phoenix. If he does not make the trip, he will be replaced by team engineer Mike Nelson.

Rahal Letterman Driver Announcements: Officials of Rahal-Letterman Racing will participate in an Indy Racing League teleconference Thursday at 2 PM Eastern Time, to make what they are calling “a team announcement.”

Rahal-Letterman has two empty racecars at present, in the aftermath of the departures of Danica Patrick – who jumped to Andretti-Green Racing – and Buddy Rice, who appears to be moving to the rival Champ Car World Series.

There has been some speculation that Thursday’s announcement will concern a move to the rival Champ Car World Series, but the press conference has been organized and promoted by the IRL, making such a move unlikely.

And On A Personal Note: Congrats to MRN Radio pit reporter (and amateur rental car stunt driver) Adam Alexander and his wife, Audra, who celebrated the birth of son Kade Ashton Alexander Tuesday afternoon. Kade took his sweet time arriving, but now joins big sister Kyla in the Alexander household. Both baby and mom are doing fine, Dad's a little shaky, as usual.

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