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Old 06-12-2007, 12:54 PM   #4876
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"BREAKING NEWS"

Labonte replacing Waltrip in No. 55 Toyota
By DAVID POOLE - [email protected]


Terry Labonte, driver of the #44 Kellogg's Chevrolet, waits to qualify for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Pocono 500 on June 9, 2006 at the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.Terry Labonte will drive the No. 55 Toyotas in place of Michael Waltrip for the NASCAR Nextel Cup road course races at Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen, the team announced Tuesday morning.

“It’s not an easy decision for me to remove myself from the car, but I know it is for the betterment of our whole program,” said Waltrip, who has failed to qualify for all but two of this season's Cup races. “I know Terry’s experience and road race savvy will breathe a breath of fresh air into my young team.”

Labonte finished third in last year's race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., where the Cup circuit will race on June 24. He also has six career top-10 finishes at Watkins Glen in New York.

Labonte, who won Cup championships in 1984 and 1996, left full-time competiton after the 2004 season, but drove in 14 races in 2005 and 17 last year. He retired after his 848th Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in November with 22 victories and 361 top-10 finishes, but now will return to try to help Waltrip's struggling three-car team.

“To put Terry in the car is a reflection of the big picture we are trying to establish with this team and I know this will be a spark this team needs,” Waltrip said. “I look forward to watching...and learning more about all the Michael Waltrip Racing cars from a different perspective, exclusively as an owner.”

Waltrip has made only two races this year, finishing 30th in the Daytona 500 and 28th at Dover. Dale Jarrett has made 11 starts, but has failed to qualify for three of the past five races in his Waltrip-owned Toyota. David Reutimann has made nine of 14 race in the team's third car. The best finish in those 22 races has been a 22nd by Jarrett in the Daytona 500.

NAPA, the sponsor on Waltrip's car, signed off on the plan to put Labonte in the No. 55.

“NAPA appreciates and respects Michael’s dedication to move our racing program forward and regain our on-track competitive edge,” said NAPA President Bob Susor. “We thank him for his efforts and dedication to NAPA and welcome the addition of NASCAR champion Terry Labonte to the NAPA family for these road-course events.”



This surprise's me a little bit, because Terry and Mikey have a little bit of a history. If I remember right, Terry chased Mikey around the pits once because Mikey was runnin' off at the mouth and ticked Terry off. Hopefully NAPA wrote out a big check.
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Old 06-12-2007, 02:53 PM   #4877
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Scott how about this one!

Dale Earnhardt Jr.on Wednesday will announce his intent to move to Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in 2008, multiple sources with intimate knowledge of the negotiations told ESPN.com Tuesday on condition of anonymity.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. likely won't be Driver 8 anymore, but will he still pilot the Budweiser Chevrolet?
Hendrick Motorsports declined comment, and e-mails and calls sent to Earnhardt's representation were not returned. A news conference was scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday to officially announce the deal.
Kelley Earnhardt Elledge, who has handled contract negotiations for her brother, declined to comment on the report.

There was some speculation that the wheels are already in motion to plant Earnhardt in the No. 5 now driven by Kyle Busch before season's end, but Dale Earnhardt Inc. president Max Siegel, contacted by phone Tuesday, discounted that scenario, saying Earnhardt would remain in the No. 8 through season's end.


Sources said there are indications that Busch may not finish the year in the No. 5. Busch is under contract with HMS through the end of next season, and Hendrick had been working to sign the 22-year old driver to an extension.


Jeff Dickerson, an attorney for Busch, told ESPN.com that "a lot of things may or may not occur. Out of respect for Hendrick Motorsports, we're not really sure what's going on yet. But we're trying. I don't think anything's changed yet. I cannot tell you that Kyle is out of the No. 5 for 2008."


Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

Dale Earnhardt Jr. got a taste of driving a Hendrick Chevy when he climbed into Kyle Busch's ride for a few laps during the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Meanwhile, one potential scenario would be Casey Mears moving to the No. 5 and Earnhardt moving to the No. 25 currently being driven by Mears.

Earnhardt announced last month he was leaving Dale Earnhardt Inc. at season's end to compete for a more competitive organization.

"Although we haven't had conversations with Kyle Busch, the speculation is correct that he may become available," Siegel told ESPN.com's David Newton. "He's certainly somebody we'd be interested in talking with."

DEI has a short list of top Nextel drivers that it is considering to replace Earnhardt. It's also conceivable that Busch could move over to DEI and replace Earnhardt in the No. 8 car if Busch can get out of his contract at Hendrick, which runs through 2008.

Joe Gibbs Racing and Ginn Racing, both considered contenders to land Earnhardt, said Tuesday they are not part of the press conference. Richard Childress, whose team was also thought to have an opportunity to sign Earnhardt, is out of the country.


It is unknown whether sponsor Budweiser will follow Earnhardt to Hendrick.

Marty Smith and David Newton cover NASCAR for ESPN.com.
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Old 06-12-2007, 03:18 PM   #4878
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Greg: Thanks. I was wondering were Hendrick would make room, scince they can only have 4 teams.
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Old 06-13-2007, 10:15 AM   #4879
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Haven't heard from anyone yet, so I guess they

all arrived at the Nats ok.

Liverc.com is going to be broadcasting the event,

but I don't know what day they will start. If any

of you see anything interesting, post it!

Judi
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Old 06-13-2007, 11:44 AM   #4880
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Cool I was hoping they would cover it!
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Old 06-13-2007, 11:45 AM   #4881
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I am devastated to have to tell you all that

Joe Guerzon, the "FlyinHawaiian" died last night.

We just got a note from Joe, and he ended it by

saying, " I love you guys".

Joe, we love you too.

Judi, Scott and Jason
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Old 06-13-2007, 11:56 AM   #4882
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Wow. Sounds unexpected. My heart goes out to Joes family!
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Old 06-13-2007, 12:04 PM   #4883
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OMG that is so sad....best wishes to his family! So sorry to hear that.
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Old 06-13-2007, 02:30 PM   #4884
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He was just posting 2 days ago...

I feel for his family and friends. Best wishes to them all.
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Old 06-13-2007, 03:02 PM   #4885
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Very sad news. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:09 PM   #4886
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Was he sick or something? Either way very sad news.
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Old 06-13-2007, 05:12 PM   #4887
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AE 14year-old View Post
Was he sick or something? Either way very sad news.

It looks like it was his heart. He was at the gym working out when it happened. That's all we know.

Scott
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:00 PM   #4888
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BEST WISH TO JOES FAMILY
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:04 PM   #4889
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Joe was a very close personal friend of ours. He was in perfect health so this was a total surprise to us when we heard it at the track today. One of my friends talked to Joe on the cell phone when Joe was in the gym parking lot on his way into the gym for his final workout. He did not complain of any abnormalities. From what I hear it was his heart that gave out. I know of no family history. This is truly a sad day.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Heather, his wife and his beautiful young daughter, Meilani.

Joe, you will be missed my friend!
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:35 PM   #4890
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Peter spent quite some time with Joe's wife

and daughter today. He said he will update us with

any arrangements that we will all want to know. Scott

and I will pass that information on to our team guys here.

Joe was a diabetic. In honor of Joe, this might be a good

time to remind people with diabetes, or those of you with

family members with diabetes. There are many "hidden"

dangers

from diabetes. Many we don't know we have until after a tragic

event. Please remind your loved ones to visit their doctor regularly

and always remember what a dangerous disease diabetes is.

Judi and Scott
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