The NASCAR notebook …AVONDALE, Ariz. ó Cross Kasey Kahne’s name off the list of drivers on the move. He said Friday he doesn’t want to break his contract with Richard Petty Motorsports at the end of the season.
“I made a commitment to race with (the team) through 2010, so I’ll do that for sure,” Kahne said. “I told them from the start that if we can get our cars where they are right and competitive with the best teams out here, then I don’t know why I would ever want to move from that company.”
Kahne’s name has popped up recently as a potential free agent, based somewhat on his frustration of not being more consistent in the No. 9 Dodge. Although he heads into Saturday night’s race at Phoenix International Raceway ranked 10th, he has not consistently contended for a championship since joining the team in 2004.
RPM has had several ownership changes since Kahne signed on, transferring from team founder Ray Evernham to partner George Gillett Jr. before its January merger with Petty Enterprises.
EDWARDSAVONDALE, Ariz. ó Carl Edwards has shaken up his pit crew following its costly performance two weeks ago.
Roush-Fenway Racing made changes to Edwards’ crew after a botched front-tire change cost the driver a shot at winning at Texas Motor Speedway.
Edwards’ is at Phoenix International Raceway with new rear-tire changer Brandon Hopkins. Chad Edwards moves to front tire changer from the rear.
Edwards says he’s nervous about using new personnel in Saturday night’s race because “it’s going to be imperative to have great pit stops. It could be pivotal if you have a bad one.”
Edwards estimates he has lost between five and eight races on pit road over his Sprint Cup Series career.
AVONDALE, Ariz. ó AJ Allmendinger has signed a contract to drive for Richard Petty Motorsports through 2010, a deal that ends the constant uncertainty he’s had this season.
RPM officials did not say what car number Allmendinger will drive next year or if the team has sponsorship. He’s been racing this year in RPM’s No. 44 Dodge by piecing together funding from several different companies.
Allmendinger was originally signed to drive the first eight races of this season, and that deal has twice been extended to get him at least to September. Now it appears he’s got a ride for the rest of the year and beyond.
Allmendinger is a former Champ Car star who has flourished this season. He finished third in the season-opening Daytona 500.
BROOKLYN, Mich. ó The Michigan International Speedway plans a $17 million renovation of its terrace suites and media center.
Demolition and construction will begin after the NASCAR race in August. Officials say the track will be ready for the 2010 season.
The plan calls for 30 corporate suites spanning the second floor, including movable walls so suites can be adjusted. The structure’s first floor will house a media, technology and meeting center. There will be rooms for press conferences and team meetings.
The project announced Thursday also calls for modifying pit road and the fire lane and moving the speedway’s fueling station.
The paintings of Salisbury artist Lou Murphy will be on display at the Center for Faith and the Arts April... read more