NASCAR News for Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Faulty Parts Cause Engine Troubles for Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Concering HMS engine troubles that surfaced in Sunday’s Auto Club 500, ESPN reported on Tuesday that, according to Doug Duchardt, Vice President of Development for Hendrick Motorsports, “both cars had valve train failures that were related to a specific batch of parts from a vendor.” Usually when this happens it is standard practice to toss out any remaining parts from that batch as a precaution against future failures.

Duchardt also mentioned that the offending parts were in all six Hendrick engines (the four Hendrick Motorsports cars and the Nos. 14 and 39 for Stewart-Haas Racing) on Sunday, but that they only caused problems in the Nos. 5 and 88.

“It is always disappointing when something like that happens, but fortunately, it’s a problem we can quickly address and fix,” Duchardt continued. “Our engine team did a great job identifying the root cause, and it shouldn’t affect us moving forward.”

Bad batches of certain parts have lead to large teams suffering mass failures in the past. In 2002, all four Hendrick cars, and the two MB2 Motorsports entries suffered blown engines at Talladega in the EA Sports 500.

Harrah’s to Sponsor No. 44 at Las Vegas

Richard Petty Motorsports announced on Tuesday that the Harrah’s chain of casinos will be the primary sponsor on the No. 44 Dodge for A.J. Allmendinger this weekend in the Shelby 427 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Harrah’s has been involved in NASCAR since 2001, first sponsoring Larry Foyt’s efforts in the Busch Series, then moving up to Cup with him in 2003. Harrah’s has also served as a primary sponsor on Robby Gordon’s No. 7 in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series and sponsored the spring race at Texas Motor Speedway in 2001.

NWTF Colors for Truex at the All-Star Race

Earnhardt Ganassi Racing announced on Tuesday that Martin Truex, Jr. will have the colors of the National Wild Turkey Foundation on his No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet Impala SS during the Sprint All-Star Race.

The NWTF is a non-profit foundation whose aim is to help restore the population of wild turkeys throughout North America.

This is the second time that the NWTF has put their colors on Truex’s No. 1. In 2007, Truex proudly displayed the NWTF silver and red colors. In addition, the NWTF sponsored the No. 86 Ford in the Truck Series for Jason White in 2001.

Carmichael to Race at Atlanta

Ricky Carmichael has driven well in the two races run in the Camping World Truck Series so far. According to, team owner Kevin Harvick is rewarding this by paying out of his own pocket to run Carmichael in the No. 4 Chevrolet at Atlanta on March 7. Monster Energy will still be on the truck, but only because they are contractually obligated to be on the truck whenever Carmichael races.

Originally, this race was not on the schedule for Carmichael. During a post-race interview on FOX, Carmichael even said that his next scheduled race would be at Kansas Speedway on April 25, skipping both Atlanta and Martinsville.

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About Phil Allaway

Phil Allaway
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor. Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as Tony Stewart's Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions.

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