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As The Crankshaft Turns 2-12-06
Jasper Ends Sponsorship
Jasper Engines and Transmissions will no longer be sponsoring any cars or trucks in NASCAR in 2006. For the past few yeas Jasper was a sponsor on a few different cars and the truck series, most noteworthy was Travis Kvapil in the 77 Dodge Charger owned by Roger Penske with Kodak being the primary sponsor in 2005. Brendan Gaughan was also sponsored by Jasper in the Craftsman Truck Series by the company but it goes away for 2006. Jasper does plan to still supply engines, transmissions and differentials to some of the teams in 2006 including Rusty Wallace's Busch Series team.

Talladega Gets New Look
The legendary Talladega Super Speedway is going to have a new look for the first big race in April for NASCAR. During this winter and easy into 2006 the track, pit road and apron are all going to be resurfaced. The last time the track had a major overhaul of this caliber was back in 1979. Many drivers are looking forward to the new surface and expect to have some exciting races at the track.

Starr, Wimmer and Kvapil New Rides in 2006
David Starr races in the Craftsman Truck Series signed a deal with Red Horse Racing for 2006 to drive the #38 Toyota Tundra pickup. Red Horse Racing is a family owned business owned by Dan Whitt who's son Brandon gave the team its first victory in 2005 at Memphis. Starr who last year had two poles in the Spears Chevy Silverado is looking forward to his new ride for 2006. Starr has an impressive history in the truck series. He has finished in the top seven in the point standings in each of the three years in which he completed a full schedule.

Scott Wimmer is heading over to the Morgan-McClure Race Team with Aero Exhaust as primary sponsor of the Chevrolet Monte Carlo in 2006. Crew Chief Chris Carrier will be on board as well in 2006. Wimmer and the entire Morgan-McClure team are looking to be a contender in the 2006 season.

Craftsman Truck Series Champion of 2003, Travis Kvapil is the new driver of the #32 Tide/Downy Chevrolet Monte Carlo for PPI Motorsports owned by Cal Wells III. Kvapil is replacing Bobby Hamilton Jr who in 44 starts gave the team three top fifteen finishes and thirteen top twenty finishes. Kvapil is making his second full season in the Nextel Cup Series and in 2006 driving for Penske-Jasper Racing where he had to top ten finishes and eighteen to twenty-five finishes. Call Wells III and Kvapil plan to be a team to reckon with in 2006.

Less Impound Races in 2006
NASCAR Official have decided to reduce impound races in 2006 down to five races. The five races are both events at Talladega, both Richmond races and the Pepsi 400 at Daytona. In 2005 NASCAR impounded twenty-one of the thirty-six races before the Chase for the Championship final ten race shoot-out, it was much criticized by drivers and car owners thus the lower amount of impound races in 2006.

Earnhardt Jr Starts Busch Team
Dale Earnhardt Jr has started his own Busch Series Team called, what else, Jr Motorsports which will be based on Mooresville, North Carolina. His primary sponsor will be the US Navy car carrying the #88 on its side panel. Mark McFarland, who drove for Earnhardt's USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series in 2004 will be piloting the new Busch Series endeavor. In 2005 McFarland had ten top five finishes, thirteen top tens and a series leading seven pole awards in the Hooters series. He does have ten Busch Series races coming into the new ride, the most recent was the Ford 300, the final race of 2005 where he qualified eighteenth and finished twentieth. Both Earnhardt Jr and McFarland are looking for some good things to happen in 2005.

Elliot Gets A Ride For Daytona
Veteran racer Bill Elliot, who has won the Daytona 500 two times, has signed a deal to race the #36 Chevy Monte Carlo for MB2 Motorsports for the Budweiser Shoot Out and the Daytona 500. Frank Stoddard will be the crew chief for the veteran driver and if plans work out he will be handling veteran road racer Boris Said in which MB2 Motorsports is working to get sponsor for to run a limited schedule with Said.

Three Cities In The Running
Atlanta, Charlotte and Daytona Beach are all in the running for the official NASCAR Hall of Fame location. NASCAR officials plan to have an announcement hopefully sometime in the first quarter of 2006 with the city of choice.

Terry Labonte Plans For A Farewell Tour
Two time champion Texas Terry Labonte plans to do a ten race schedule for his final year in the Nextel Cup Series. He will compete at a few different track locations in his "Shiftin' Gears...Lone Star Style” farewell tour, the tracks are Texas Motor Speedway, Lowes Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway, Darlington Raceway, Chicagoland Speedway, California Speedway and Kansas Speedway. Also, Labonte plans to race the first five races in the Busch Series for the Hall of Fame racing team owned by Troy Aikman and Roger Starbach and also both road course races at Sonoma and Watkins Glen.

Best Buy Joins With Green
The consumer electronics store Best Buy has signed on the dotted line to sponsor the #66 Haas CNC Racing Team driven by Jeff Green for at least twelve races in the Nextel Cup Series for 2006. There is speculation that Best Buy may sponsor the team for the entire 2006 season, so we shall see.

Baldwin Joins Yates Racing
Veteran crew chief Tommy Baldwin has left Everham Motorsports for Robert Yates Racing to handle Elliot Sadler's #38 team. Elliot Sadler and Baldwin are both looking forward to the 2006 season and hoping to make a bid for the championship.


Waltrip and Jasper Form New Team
Michael Waltrip, President and CEO of Michael Waltrip Racing, Inc., and Doug Bawel, President of Jasper have formed Waltrip-Jasper Racing Company LLC. This will allow Waltrip to race the #51 NAPA Auto Parts sponsored Dodge in 2006. Veteran owner Bill David will supply the cars, engin



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