Friday, May 21, 2010

Notes From All-Star Friday

Richard Childress Racing will hold a press conference tomorrow here at Charlotte Motor Speedway to announce the signing of Sprint Cup Series point leader Kevin Harvick to a new, multi-year contract. Both Harvick and the team have said recently that they are close to agreement on a new deal, but sources say no announcement will made concerning 2011 sponsorship for the #29 Chevrolet team.

Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson will race with the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International on Saturday, June 5, the day before the Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway. Johnson will drive for GAINSCO Bob Stallings Racing as a third driver, along with two-time championship winning teammates Alex Gurney and John Fogarty.

Max Papis will qualify for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Showdown tonight, despite a badly bruised foot suffered in a Camping World Truck Series crash at Dover International Speedway last weekend. Papis was injured when his truck suffered a right-front tire failure and impacted the SAFER barrier hard enough to bend Papis’ steering wheel, seat and leg restraints. Papis said that immediately after the crash, he was certain his foot was broken. X-rays revealed only a severe bruise, however, and Papis has been on crutches all week to speed the healing process. He is walking unassisted today, but with a limp.

Tony Raines will drive the #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet this weekend, in place of Johnny Sauter. Sauter was on the early entry list, but Raines, the 1999 Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has been in the car for today’s practice sessions.

Wheaties introduced a special-edition Dale Earnhardt commemorative box today, honoring the career of the seven-time Sprint Cup Series champion on the eve of his induction into the NASCAR Hall Of Fame. Earnhardt becomes the first driver to be featured twice on the iconic orange Wheaties box, after being featured there in 1997 in conjunction with a special Wheaties paint scheme he ran during that year’s All-Star Race. Earnhardt’s children Taylor and Kerry were part of a special unveiling ceremony today here at Charlotte Motor Speedway, along with his former car owner, Richard Childress and RCR driver Clint Bowyer, who will drive a special Wheaties Fuel-sponsored car later this season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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