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Lenox Industrial Tools 300 - Raybestos Rookie Notes

NEWS AND NOTES FROM THE RAYBESTOS® ROOKIE CONTENDERS – NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES

  • Raybestos® Rookie Juan Pablo Montoya won the June 24 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon (Sonoma, Calif.) Raceway. Montoya’s first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup win came in his 17th career start. His best previous finish was fifth at Atlanta earlier this year (race No. 4) and he took Raybestos® Rookie of the Race honors for the eighth time in 16 races this season.
  • Montoya leads David Ragan by 15 points (180-165) in the Raybestos® Rookie standings entering the July 1 LENOX Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway.
  • Montoya led once for seven laps, the first time he has led a NEXTEL Cup race this season. He became the second Raybestos® Rookie to lead in 19 races at Infineon Raceway (Scott Pruett led twice for 10 laps in 2000).
  • Montoya became the first Raybestos® Rookie to win at Infineon Raceway in 19 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races. The best previous finish was ninth, shared by Ryan Newman (2002) and Kenny Irwin (1998).
  • The Toyota/Save Mart 350 was race No. 5 in the Raybestos® Rookie Magnificent Seven program. The Raybestos® Rookie of the Race normally pays $1,500 but that increases to $5,000 at seven designated races throughout the 2007 season. Montoya has captured the extra cash at Las Vegas (race No. 3), Darlington (race No. 11) and Infineon. The next Raybestos® Rookie Magnificent Seven race is the USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland (Joliet, Ill.) Speedway (race No. 19).
  • A Raybestos® Rookie has won at least one race in each of the past three consecutive seasons.
  • Denny Hamlin was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in the 2006 LENOX Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire.
  • DID YOU KNOW? Only two Raybestos® Rookies have scored top-five finishes in 14 previous July races at New Hampshire: Ryan Newman (fifth in 2002) and Kyle Busch (fourth in 2005).
  • DID YOU KNOW? A Raybestos® Rookie has posted a top-10 finish in each of the last SIX consecutive New England 300 races:
    2001: Kevin Harvick, eighth
    2002: Ryan Newman, fifth
    2003: Greg Biffle, 10th
    2004: Kasey Kahne, eighth
    2005: Kyle Busch, fourth
    2006: Denny Hamlin, sixth
  • DID YOU KNOW? Tony Stewart is the only Raybestos® Rookie to lead the most laps in the July race at New Hampshire. Stewart led twice for 118 laps in the 1999 event.
  • The most Raybestos® Rookies to lead the July race at New Hampshire is THREE in 2006:
    ---Reed Sorenson (once for 31 laps)
    ---Clint Bowyer (once for 23 laps)
    ---Denny Hamlin (once for one lap)
  • The best start by a Raybestos® Rookie at New Hampshire is third by Jeff Gordon in 1993.
  • Top-10 finishes by Raybestos® Rookies at New Hampshire (July race):
    1993: Jeff Gordon, seventh
    1993: Bobby Labonte, 10th
    1996: Johnny Benson, ninth
    1999: Tony Stewart, 10th
    2001: Kevin Harvick, eighth
    2002: Ryan Newman, fifth
    2003: Greg Biffle, 10th
    2004: Kasey Kahne, eighth
    2005: Kyle Busch, fourth
  • Raybestos® Rookies who have led a lap at New Hampshire (July race):
    1993: Jeff Gordon (twice for three laps)
    1996: Johnny Benson (once for 17 laps)
    1999: Tony Stewart (twice for 118 laps)
    2001: Kevin Harvick (once for 13 laps)
    2002: Ryan Newman (once for one lap)
    2003: Jamie McMurray (once for 13 laps)
    2006: Reed Sorenson (one for 31 laps)
    2006: Clint Bowyer (one for 23 laps)
    2006: Denny Hamlin (once for one lap)

    RAYBESTOS® ROOKIE HISTORY

  • Ryan Newman holds the all-time Raybestos® Rookie record for most poles (6), most top-fives (14) and most top-10s (22).
  • Denny Hamlin is the only Raybestos® Rookie to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup since the program was created in 2004.
  • Hamlin holds the record for most earnings by a Raybestos® Rookie ($6.6 million in 2006).
  • The record for most wins by a Raybestos® Rookie is three, shared by Tony Stewart (1999) and Jimmie Johnson (2002).
  • A Raybestos® Rookie has posted multiple victories SEVEN times in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup:
    1987: Davey Allison, two
    1999: Tony Stewart, three
    2000: Dale Earnhardt Jr., two
    2001: Kevin Harvick, two
    2002: Jimmie Johnson, three
    2005: Kyle Busch, two
    2006: Denny Hamlin, two
  • More than one Raybestos® Rookie has posted victories in their rookie season only three times: Morgan Shepherd and Ron Bouchard (one each in 1981), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (two) and Matt Kenseth (2000), Jimmie Johnson (three) and Ryan Newman (2002).
  • The way to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championship is to win Raybestos® Rookie of the Year. Since 1979, six Raybestos® Rookie of the Year drivers have gone on to win a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup title: Dale Earnhardt (1979), Rusty Wallace (1984), Alan Kulwicki (1986), Jeff Gordon (1993), Tony Stewart (1999, 2005) and Matt Kenseth (2000).
  • At least one Raybestos® Rookie has won a Bud Pole in each of the last 11 years (1996-2006).
  • The longest streak for a Raybestos® Rookie to be in the top-10 in the NEXTEL Cup Series championship standings during the sport’s modern-era is 60 races (2001 MBNA Platinum 400 through 2002 Ford 400).
    RAYBESTOS® ROOKIE CONTENDER POINT STANDINGS
    DRIVER POINTS
    Juan Pablo Montoya 180
    David Ragan 165
    Paul Menard 105
    David Reutimann 92
    AJ Allmendinger 73 
    Brandon Whitt 2
    
    HIGHEST-FINISHING RAYBESTOS® ROOKIE BY RACE
    EVENT HIGHEST-FINISHING ROOKIE
    Daytona 500 Ragan, fifth
    Auto Club 500 Ragan, 16th 
    UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 Montoya, 22nd 
    Kobalt Tools 500 Montoya, fifth
    Food City 500 Ragan, 26th 
    Goody’s Cool Orange 500 Ragan, 15th 
    Samsung 500 Montoya, eighth 
    Subway Fresh Fit 500 Menard, 25th 
    Aaron’s 499 Ragan, 17th 
    Crown Royal 400 Menard, 16th 
    Dodge Avenger 500 Montoya, 23rd 
    Coca-Cola 600 Montoya, 28th 
    Autism Speaks 400 Ragan, 14th 
    Pocono 500 Montoya, 20th 
    Citizens Bank 400 Menard, 12th 
    Toyota/Save Mart 350 Montoya, FIRST!
    
    The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series is in the midst of a demanding stretch, with races in Michigan, California, New Hampshire and Florida in consecutive weeks. Bill Peters, who drives the transporter for Raybestos Rookie David Ragan, recently took time to discuss this hectic stretch.

    BILL PETERS, TRUCK DRIVER, No. 6 AAA FORD: IS THIS THE MOST CHALLENGING STRETCH OF THE ENTIRE SCHEDULE? “Personally, I think this is the toughest month of the year. You’re in Pocono, Pennsylvania then you go to Michigan and back to Concord all the way to Sonoma and then you drive from one end of the United States all the way to the other to Loudon, New Hampshire. It’s the toughest stretch of the year; I don’t care how you do it. And then you go from Loudon to Daytona, so you’re basically going from west to east and then as south as you can go, other than Homestead. It’s the toughest stretch there is.” YOU DIDN’T GO HOME AFTER THE SONOMA RACE. “We go straight from here to Milwaukee. We’re going to test Tuesday and Wednesday in Milwaukee, leave Wednesday evening and drive straight to Loudon. We have to be there Friday morning at 5 a.m. It’s a total of three weeks this trip, including Michigan, because I was only home for nine hours and I left for out here. It’s a total of three weeks that I’ll be gone this trip and then we’ve just got two shorter trips to Daytona and then to Chicago and then we’ve got a weekend off. That’s the best part about it, waiting for that weekend off [smiles].” HOW DO YOU CALCULATE THE LENGTH OF A TRIP FROM THE SHOP TO THE TRACK? DO YOU TAKE IN CONSIDERATION SUCH FACTORS AS TIRE PROBLEMS? “Not really. What I do is I work it out as a 60 mph average. A lot of these western states are 75 so if you can time a trip out right you’d time it out to 62.5 mile per hour and that gives you a leeway of time for blown tires, DOT inspection or anything like that.” IS THERE ANYTHING THAT ROUSH FENWAY RACING DOES TO HELP YOU DURING THIS STRETCH? “Jimmy [Fennig, crew chief] is a real stickler on getting the truck driver out on time so he has some time. We actually had a whole day here that we didn’t have to do anything. Jimmy is a sticker about ‘You get that truck loaded and you get him out of there as soon possible’ and that helps out a lot. Anytime you have when you’re on the road and you can stay in your motel room for six or seven hours and you’re not moving and you don’t have any responsibilities, that works out a whole lot better. He could have stretched it out to Tuesday, say 10 o’clock, and I still could have made it [to Sonoma] on time, but it still doesn’t help the driver out. Jimmy helps 100 percent.” AT THE END OF THIS STRETCH, DO YOU HAVE A HARD TIME SLEEPING AT HOME? “I don’t have a hard time sleeping at all. I don’t care where it’s at. I could lay down on the sidewalk if I had to. I mean it’s nice. I get to sleep next to my wife and see my kids and all but it doesn’t affect me.” WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU ABOUT THIS JOB? “Not much really. It’s not much different than the other series as far as the truck driver goes. The time away from home has kind of surprised me a little bit. I didn’t expect to do three trips this year that’s going to be away from home for three weeks at a time. But that’s all part of the job. When you sign on a to be a truck driver you sign on, basically, 24-7 for 36 weeks. That’s just the bottom line. As far as any surprises go, maybe in this series the officials are a little bit tighter on truck drivers than they are in the other series, but basically the same in the other two series as it is over here.” COMMENT ON THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A NORMAL TRUCKING JOB AND THIS POSITION. “When you boil it all down there’s not that much difference other than when you’re driving for Joe’s Trucking you’re going from point A to point B and then back to point A. Here you’re going to point B and you’re staying there for three or four days and then you back to point A. Those are the only differences. You’re not turning around like a normal truck driver would and start driving that next morning. We wait around for two or three days and then we have to drive but that’s about the only difference.” HOW MANY TESTING SESSIONS DO YOU GO TO? “I do everything that the No. 6 car does. Everything the No. 6 does I’m with the team, every one. We have a test team that we’re starting to develop right now at Roush Fenway and it’s supposed to be up and running soon which will help a whole bunch when it comes to testing. We won’t have to do near as much testing with our races as what we have in the past. It should be up and running within the next two months or so. As far as Jimmy Fennig is concerned, he wants this rig at every test and every race. He feels comfortable with the parts that are on it and his truck driver and his crew knows where everything is and it just makes it more simple for everybody.” WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF THE JOB? “I’d have to say working with David. David is like a fresh breath of air. He’s a good guy, a good kid. He hasn’t been spoiled yet [smiles].”



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