NASCAR Notebook

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 1, 2011

Associated Press
The NASCAR notebook …
MARTINSVILLE, Va. ó Juan Pablo Montoya said Friday heís heard the rumors that former Formula One teammate Kimi Raikkonen is headed to NASCAR.
Raikkonen is reportedly planning to enter a Truck Series race at Charlotte next month. If he does try NASCAR, heíd follow Montoya, Scott Speed and Nelson Piquet Jr. as the most recent former F1 drivers to move to Americaís most popular motorsports series.
ěThe only thing that I heard is that he was being approved for Charlotte. I donít know if heís even confirmed heís doing it,î Montoya said. ěI think it would be cool if he comes here. Heís a cool guy and I think he would fit right in.î
But Montoya questioned the selection of Charlotte for a debut race.
ěMy first choice wouldnít be Charlotte, to start my first race,î said Montoya, who drove his first stock car in an ARCA race at Talladega.
MARTINSVILLE, Va. ó Kyle Busch said Friday that Joe Gibbs Racing officials determined its two engine issues last weekend were valve-related.
Busch refused to go into detail about how much he knows, but said before practice at Martinsville Speedway that heís pleased JGR was able to diagnosis the problems. Denny Hamlinís engine failed midway through the race at California, and Joey Loganoís team switched his the morning of the event because they didnít think it would last for 400 miles.
ěI know there were some valve issues. I donít want to elaborate too much on it,î Busch said. ěItís something that at least we know what happened and where the source of the problem is. Anytime that you can figure all that out, youíre moving forward.î
JGR has had issues in all five races this season, including Buschís failure at Las Vegas. But he said that problem was ěcatastrophicî and there was nothing left for JGR to dissect.
ěWe already found the source of last weekís issues with both Denny and Joey, so we feel pretty confident that weíre heading in the right direction with that stuff,î Busch said.
Both the engines Sunday were sent to Toyotaís facility in Costa Mesa, Calif., for the manufacturer to take a second glance at the engines.
Hamlin, who goes into Sundayís race at Martinsville as the three-time defending winner, suffered tremendously from the failure last weekend. He finished 39th, and it cost him four spots in the standings. Heís ranked 21st.
The Associated Press
04/01/11 13:08