After a strenuous two weeks, the Nextel Cup Series has decided to take a break while the Busch Series heads south of the border to Mexico. However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still plenty to talk about. Old adversaries Jack Roush and Ray Evernham are making plans to duke it out next week, while current plans for the Car of Tomorrow may be scrapped. Not quite sure what all that means? Check out this week’s version of In Case You Missed It to find out all the details!
The Coke Series?
According to published reports, Coca-Cola is one of the companies that could take over sponsorship for the current Busch Series next season. Walmart, Samsung, Subway and Allstate Insurance are also other companies believed to have an interest in becoming the series’ title sponsor.
Who’s the Boss?
Over the Weekend
Vickers Records a First
After failing to qualify for the Daytona 500, Brian Vickers returned to the track at California Speedway and recorded a piece of history in his first race of 2007. Vickers brought home his Red Bull Racing Camry in 10th place, marking the first top 10 finish for the newest NASCAR manufacturer, Toyota.
One Heck of a Hit
Reutimann’s wreck at Fontana was one of the hardest hits NASCAR has recorded. Hitting the wall frontfirst in his Domino’s Pizza Toyota with six laps to go, Reutimann spent about 30 minutes in the infield care center at the track before heading home to North Carolina. On Monday, he said he was sore but said he didn’t lose consciousness in the car (despite a frightening in car camera shot that indicated otherwise). Instead, he claimed he only had the wind knocked out of him and would be good to go for Las Vegas and beyond.
Getting Their Day in Court
ESPN is reporting that NASCAR will hold a meeting to hear the appeals of Evernham Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing on March 5-6. Each team is appealing the severity of the penalties they received at Daytona.
Making a Run for the Border
Nine Nextel Cup drivers will be heading to Mexico to run in this weekend’s Busch Series road course race. They include last year’s race winner Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, Dave Blaney, J.J. Yeley, David Gilliland, Greg Biffle, David Ragan, Juan Pablo Montoya and Reutimann, who is recovering from a nasty wreck at Fontana last weekend.
CoT gets a TeSt
Nextel Cup teams took advantage of the off weekend to head to Bristol Motor Speedway for a test of the Car of Tomorrow, which will debut at the track later this month. Jimmie Johnson, Ward Burton, Kasey Kahne, Hamlin and Kevin Harvick were the top five fastest in testing.
Not So Fast, Buddy!
While suspended crew chiefs / team directors Robby Reiser and Kenny Francis were cleared to attend the Car of Tomorrow test at Bristol this week, the welcome wagon wasn’t rolled out for suspended members of Michael Waltrip Racing. David Hyder and Bobby Kennedy still have prime spots in NASCAR’s doghouse, and officials said not to look for them at the track anytime soon. According to John Darby, there is no specific timetable for their suspensions, but “a couple of weeks is obviously nowhere long enough.”
Honoring a Champ
It was announced the Busch Series Nicorette 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be dedicated to the late Benny Parsons. Parsons’ family will be Grand Marshals at the event, to be held March 17, 2007.
Another One Bites the Dust
Texas Motor Speedway announced that they have officially cancelled the IROC race that was supposed to be held at the track April 13th. It is the second race the currently unsponsored series has had to cancel this season.
Almirola Hopes to Get Lucky in Vegas
Joe Gibbs Racing announced that driver Aric Almirola will get his first chance at Nextel Cup Racing in next weekend’s event at Las Vegas. The part-time Busch Series driver will try to make the race driving the No. 80 JGR Chevy.
Is Tomorrow Not That Far Away?
After the Car of Tomorrow test at Bristol, Nextel Cup Director John Darby said that NASCAR is thinking about running the car full-time sooner than expected. “Whether we would expand the COT schedule for 2007 is probably not likely. But could we be all in for 2008? I think that is very possible,” Darby said. The current plan for introducing the new car is 16 of 36 races this year, 26 in 2008, and then full-time in 2009.