By Joe Dunn
Last year the big story in Nascar all year was Dale Earnhardt Jr., where he stay with DEI or move to another organization. The speculation ended early when the big announcement came in May that he would drive for Rick Hendrick.
As the 2008 season began all eyes were on Jr. with anticipation of a banner season for Nascar’s most popular driver. But now, halfway through the season, it is Kyle Busch, the young gun ousted my Hendrick to make room for Jr., who is getting all the attention with six wins so far. But the biggest rumor of 2008 involves not Busch, but his teammate, 2 time Champion Tony Stewart, who is not at all happy with the switch to Toyota. With a year left on his contract, Stewart has made it known that a move Should include at least partial ownership.
Chevrolet is serious about wanting Tony back in their product and it has been said that they are willing to ‘buy’ the last year of Stewart’s contract from Joe Gibbs Racing. It is expected that Stewart will make an announcement soon that he will be joining Haas CNC racing as a part owner with Office Depot and Old Spice as his title sponsors. In the second Haas-CNC/ Tony Stewart Chevy will be Ryan Newman with Jack Daniels as the title sponsor. Jack Daniels is rumored available as it appears that UPS will leave Michael Waltrip Racing to join Richard Childress Racing on the 07 car of Clint Bowyer.
Last week Hendrick announced the release of Casey Mears from the 5 car at the end of the season, and then followed that up days later by introducing Mark Martin as Mears’ replacement for 2009. As Martin leaves Dale Earnhardt Incorporated, Martin Truex is unhappy with his equipment and may be looking elsewhere. Is all that just a coincidence, or is it part of the reason that DEI is reported to be “For Sale’? It seems that Teresa Earnhardt has contracted with Bear Sterns of New York to find a buyer for the company.
For those of you who are long time Nascar fans, mark Friday July 18 on you calendar as “Old School Racing” comes to the Motor City Motorplex in Nashville. Some of the greatest drivers of all time have been slated to compete in this long anticipated inaugural event. They include names such as; Harry Gant, Sterling Marlin, Geoff Bodine, Dave Marcis, Jack Ingram, Larry Pollard, James Harvey Hylton, Charlie Glotzbach, Joe Ruttman, Ronnie Thomas, Tommy Houston, and Randy Lajoie. Drivers will be available for autographs between qualifying and race time. Qualifying is scheduled to begin at 6:15 pm and the green flag drops for the Shootout at 8:45 pm
If you cannot make it to Nashville, RacersReunion.com, will bring the July 18th event live to the web with the veteran racing analyst Randy Pemberton in the broadcast booth with many special guest that will bring the fans racing stories that may never be heard again. Fans not attending the event will be able to view it live in it’s entirety along with some special surprises at www.RacersReunion.com
Tickets for the event start at just $15.00 and can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com Track Info: www.musiccitymotorplex.com
By Joe Dunn