NASCAR News for Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Harvick Wins Rained Delayed Kroger 250

After a door to door battle with Kyle Busch in the closing laps, Kevin Harvick won Monday’s rain delayed Camping World Series event at Martinsville. Harvick and Busch put on quite a show for the faithful fans that made the return visit on Monday, making contact as they battled for the lead with ten laps to go. Busch came out the worst in the incident and tried to use the retaining wall on the backstretch to flatten the damage to his Tundra. However, in the process he passed the pit road commitment line and was penalized by NASCAR; ultimately finishing 17th.

On the final restart of the race, Harvick was able to hold off teammate/employee Ron Hornaday to earn his first career truck series race on a track other than Phoenix International Raceway.

Mike Skinner, Johnny Benson and Rick Crawford rounded out the top five.

New All-Star Format Unveiled

The details of the changes to the All-Star Race have been announced, the highlight being the return of the final ten lap shoot out.

Here is the new format for the 25th running of the Sprint All-Star Race May 16, 2009:

Segment 1 — 50 laps with a mandatory green-flag pit stop on lap 25 at which time teams must pit and take four tires. Following the end of Segment 1, the caution flag will be displayed for an optional pit stop.
Segment 2 — 20 laps with the caution flag displayed at the end of the segment for an optional pit stop.
Segment 3 — 20 laps with a 10-minute break at the end of the segment. Teams may make normal adjustments to their cars during this break. The finishing order after the third segment determines the final starting positions for the final segment.
Segment 4 — 10-lap shootout with only green-flag laps counting.

The driver lineup has not changed. The All-Star event will consist of: race winners from 2008 and 2009, past champions, past All-Star Race winners, the top two finishers from the 40 lap Sprint Showdown and the winner of the Sprint Fan Vote.

Johnson Testifies in Castroneves Case

Jimmie Johnson was the first witness for the defense in Indy Racing League driver Helio Castroneves’ trial for tax evasion. Johnson is a 12 year client of Castroneves’ co-defendant Alan Miller and testified about the reputation of the Michigan based attorney. During his 10 minute testimony, Johnson boasted about Miller’s strong character.

”Alan’s reputation is about honesty,” Johnson said from the witness stand. “His character is second to none. He’s given me great advice.”

If convicted, Miller, Castroneves and Katiucia Castroneves, Helio’s sister and business manager, face up to six years in prison for avoiding paying taxes on $5.5 million earned between 1999 and 2004.

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