Wednesday, December 10, 2008

NHRA's Schumacher wins driver balloting

A handful (OK, I know four is not officially a handful, but play along) of quick updates:

Top driver vote goes to NHRA's Schumacher

Just got the release a little while ago that Tony Schumacher has won the 2008 Driver of the Year Award in a really - I mean really - close vote.

Schumacher dominated the National Hot Rod Association's Top Fuel division in historic fashion with an NHRA record-tying 15 victories and the championship this year. He got six votes - including mine - from the 18-member media panel that votes for this award. Three-time defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson got five votes. So did Carl Edwards. Kyle Busch got one vote and Tony Stewart got the other. Schumacher joins John Force and Greg Anderson as the only drag racers to win the award in its 42-year history.

Latest layoffs may signal Petty-GEM merger near

I made some calls Tuesday trying to find out what's really going on with Petty Enterprises. You may have heard by now that the team laid off another 35-40 employees on Monday.

Nobody was saying much Tuesday, but it still appears that a merger with Gillett Evernham Motorsports is the likely outcome, with the No. 43 car running out of that team's stable next season.

Foursome testing Goodyears at Vegas

Carl Edwards, Mark Martin, Brian Vickers and David Stremme are testing tires for Goodyear Wednesday and Thursday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It seems like that would particularly valuable for Martin, who'll get a chance to work with his new team at Hendrick Motorsports, and Stremme, who's taking over in the No. 12 Dodges. With testing banned as of Jan. 1, this will be a chance for Martin and Stremme to at least introduce themselves to the guys they'll be working with in 2009.

Johnny Benson completes 2009 deal

Johnny Benson, the 2008 Truck Series champion, and crew chief Trip Bruce have officially found a home for 2009. They'll race next season for Red Horse Racing as a teammate with David Starr.