Friday, October 15, 2004
Junior appeals on Monday
Auto Racing stories
- Crash doesn't rattle NASCAR rookie
- NASCAR notebook: Lawsuit is considered after wreck injures fans
- Johnson wins 1 for his crew chief
- Johnson steals Daytona thunder
- Auto racing archive
Richie Gilmore, director of competition at Dale Earnhardt Inc., said he and Earnhardt will present the appeal. Gilmore says that if the commission rules against Earnhardt, the team does not plan to appeal to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner, whose decision is final. "I think we decided whatever happens here, we're done with it," Gilmore said Thursday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "Our focus is on the chase right now, and we just need to get back to racing and let this get past us and not let the 25 points bother us if we lose."
The commission is a review board independent of NASCAR. The chairman, George Silbermann, is employed by NASCAR.
Since Silbermann's appointment to chairman in November 1999, the commission has upheld 37 of the 53 appeals it has heard. The commission reduced a penalty 11 times. The commission overturned a NASCAR decision four times. Once, the commission increased a penalty.
Gil Martin is serving as Robby Gordon's co-crew chief with Chris Andrews in a new move this week.
"We just have struggled with our car," Gordon said. "It seems like three weeks in a row we struggled and Richard (Childress, car owner) wanted to put a third opinion in there."
Michael Waltrip also is working with a new crew chief, Pete Rondeau. He replaces Richard Labbe, who will work with Chance 2 Motorsports and Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s team. Labbe had been Waltrip's crew chief the past three seasons.
Ryan Newman beat the track record by almost 2 mph in winning his sixth pole of the season, tying Jeff Gordon for series-high honors.
Newman won the pole Thursday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway for the UAW-GM Quality 500 with a lap of 188.877 mph. He was one of three drivers to eclipse Jimmie Johnson's former track mark of 187.052 mph set in May.
Kasey Kahne starts second after a lap of 187.311 mph. Casey Mears, rookie Scott Riggs and title contender Elliott Sadler complete the top five.
Johnson was the only other title contender to earn a top-10 starting spot. He starts ninth. Series points leader Kurt Busch starts 21st.
Among the title contenders, Mark Martin starts 12th, Jeremy Mayfield starts 13th, Tony Stewart starts 15th, Gordon qualified 23rd, Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified 25th and Matt Kenseth qualified 36th.
Sprint car driver Jimmy Weller III, 18, suffered severe head trauma in a sprint car crash at the dirt track near Lowe's Motor Speedway on Wednesday.
Track officials announced Thursday that Weller's condition was stabilizing and the hemorrhage in his head is dissipating. Weller also suffered hairline fractures of two vertebrae, but they don't require surgery. He remains heavily sedated.