Saturday, September 17, 2005
Vickers' car fails 5 tests
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
LOUDON, N.H. -- NASCAR officials took Brian Vickers' car Friday at New Hampshire International Speedway after it failed inspection five times.
The team forfeited the Nextel Cup car after it was unable to fit all the templates that regulate the car's size and shape.
Vickers went to a backup car and didn't get on the track until late in the day's final practice session. He completed five laps.
Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president for competition, said further penalties are expected. NASCAR has typically fined teams and driver points and money for similar violations.
"This was a brand new body that had never been raced," said Doug Duchardt, vice president of development for the Hendrick team. "We learned of a measurement issue during the inspection process and made attempts to correct it. But, after several tries, we decided to forfeit the car [to NASCAR] and go with our backup."
Kyle Petty skipped practice Friday and wasn't scheduled to be in New Hampshire until tonight. He plans to drive in Sunday's race. Mark Green drove Petty's car Friday and is expected to do so again today.
Richard Petty said the death of Kyle's son, Adam, at this track was a factor in Kyle's absence. Adam died in a crash on May 12, 2000.
Richard Petty admits "it's never easy'' to come to this track.
"You just try to keep it out of your mind as much as possible, but every time you even hear the word 'New Hampshire,' it pops in there,'' he said.
Last weekend's race at Richmond drew lower ratings than last year's race, which also set the field for the championship chase.
Last week's race -- where four-time series champion Jeff Gordon failed to make his way into the chase -- drew a 3.3 household rating. Last year's race drew a 3.5.
Although all five of Roush Racing's cars are in the championship chase, some people questioned how well the teams would work with each other once the title run began. So far, it remains close.
Mark Martin is driving the car this weekend that Kurt Busch drove to victory last weekend at Richmond. Martin is using that car because his team has struggled at times on flat tracks such as New Hampshire.
Richard Childress Racing announced Friday that Kevin Harvick will remain with the team next season. Harvick has a contract through next season but his status was not clear as he questioned his team and the organization the past few weeks.
Rusty Wallace was the fastest in the final practice session with a lap of 130.765 mph. Qualifying is today.
Wallace was followed by Kyle Busch (130.492 mph), Kurt Busch (130.483), Kasey Kahne (130.345) and Tony Stewart (130.309). Greg Biffle was the slowest of the title contenders, ranking 24th among 49 cars with a lap of 128.606 mph.
The Wood Brothers are close to securing a final sponsor for next year. Motorcraft will return as a primary sponsor for a selected number of races, and the Air Force is expected to return as well. A third primary sponsor still is being sought. ... Robert Yates Racing plans to continue its Busch team next season, with Elliott Sadler driving in about 16 races and a young driver -- who has not yet been selected -- participating in another 16 races. ... The Craftsman Truck series races today at New Hampshire. The Busch series is off this weekend.