June 9, 2009
As a result of Chryler’s bankruptcy filing, Richard Petty Motorsports has laid off nine employees and reduced salaries throughout the team.
RPM is anticipating cutbacks from Dodge, and the team has already said that money has been slow coming from Dodge.
June 7, 2009
Tony Stewart after starting from the rear of the field in a backup car, Tony Stewart drove to the front and then conserved fuel to win the Pocono 500.
Jimmie Johnson was battling Carl Edwards for second when he ran out of fuel and finished seventh.
Top 5: Stewart, Edwards, David Reutimann, Jeff Gordon, and Ryan Newman.
Marcos Ambrose, Jimmie Johnson, Juan Montoya, Jeff Burton, and Sam Hornish Jr rounded out the top 10.
Notables: Greg Biffle (11th), Clint Bowyer (12th), Kasey Kahne (15th), Matt Kenseth (16th), Mark Martin (19th), Kyle Busch (22nd), Kevin Harvick (24th), Dale Earnhardt Jr (27th), Kurt Busch (37th), and Denny Hamlin (38th).
June 4, 2009
NASCAR has announced that starting at this weekend’s race at Pocono Raceway, the first- and second-place cars will line up side by side for restarts.
Brian France said:
We’ve heard the fans loud and clear: ‘double-file restarts — shootout style’ are coming to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. This addition to the race format is good for competition and good for the fans.
Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick praised the decision, saying that it allows lead-lap cars and lap-down cars to race with each other, instead of having to race with competitors on different laps.
The new restart process allows the leader to pick whether they would like the inside or outside restart position.
The free pass will still remain, but going forward, the free pass will occur through the entire race. Previously, there was no free pass inside of 10 laps to go.
Also, lapped cars who chose to stay out will be allowed to pass the pace car and go to the tail of the field in their respective positions to allow the leaders a clean track in front of them on the restart.
June 2, 2009
With General Motors filing for bankruptcy yesterday, Hendrick Motorsports owner, and chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group Rick Hendrick said:
I have an unwavering faith in the company’s leadership team and our government’s commitment to support this reorganization. After all of the efforts of the past several months, it’s unfortunate that bankruptcy has become the only option, but we at Hendrick Automotive Group and Hendrick Motorsports are certain that GM will emerge from this stronger and better equipped to compete than ever before.
He added that service will not be affected at his 27 GM franchises. This includes warranties and parts, he said.
In conclusion, he said:
It has been a great privilege to be a small part of GM’s rich history, and we are looking forward to an even brighter future together.
May 29, 2009
Following the announcement that Tony Eury Jr would no longer be the crew chief for Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 88 Chevy, Dale Earnhardt Jr spoke about the decision and did not seem surprised with the split.
Earnhardt Jr said:
I told Rick that whatever he wanted to do, to do it, and that meant whatever. If he thought I wasn’t able to get the job done, then I would be fine if he wanted to change who was in the seat, if he wanted to change certain particulars on the team — whatever — to not necessarily involve me in it.
Jr finished 40th at last weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway due to an ill-handling car. He said that performance might have sped up Rick Hendrick’s decision.
Jr attempted to explain what he thought the problem might have been. He said:
Most of last year, we ran on right-front bump stops, and we were running good with that. We had studied and learned that. During the middle of the season, Jimmie [Johnson] was trying some different stuff, and he started having some success with it. We started trying it and trying to make it work and trying to learn it, so we could be ready to go to the Chase and not get our butts kicked, and we really kind of got lost trying to develop this other idea of how to set the car up. And we got away from what was working and never really regained that momentum.
Earnhardt Jr maintains that he believe in Tony Jr, and thinks that Eury Jr will be successful again. Jr also said his relationship with Eury Jr is still strong.