The Nextel Cup banquet is up next for the series, being hosted again in New York City at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The awards banquet has gained in popularity in the past few years with added entertainment and other activities for the television audience.
The 2004 banquet is scheduled for December 3 and will be televised the same evening on TNT at 9 p.m. eastern time. The banquet will feature the ten drivers that competed in the “Chase for the Championship” as well as other awards.
The National Association for Minority Race Fans was at Homestead Miami Speedway again this week. The group staged a peaceful demonstration in an attempt to create a safer environment for women and minorities at races throughout NASCAR. The Atlanta based group formed last summer and attempted to protest at Talladega Superspeedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway. The protest at Talladega didn’t get off the ground after protestors tried to move onto Speedway Blvd. They were told the street was too dangerous and were relegated back close to their bus. At Atlanta, heavy rain the day before the event kept the group from their planned activities and not many showed up on race day.
Steve Richman, the founder of the group says the protest went well, even though there were a few racial remarks yelled at the group. The group offered race fans a chance to get a free American flag if they would turn in their confederate flag. Richman says they plan some more of the events next season.
Tony Stewart exited his Home Depot Chevrolet on Sunday with a barrage of accusations to both his crew and NASCAR officials. Stewart was unhappy with NASCAR’s penalty where they said he didn’t maintain a “smooth and consistent” speed on a restart. The penalty took him back to 24th position, he was leading prior to the penalty. He was upset with his crew because he was almost run over by eventual winner Greg Biffle because his car was out of gas on the final restart. Stewart was surrounded by his crew after getting out of his car and kept away from media and fans for a few minutes so he could regroup. He later told reporters, “I don’t build rockets, I just drive, I don’t do fuel mileage, I just drive.” Stewart finished sixth in the point’s standings for the chase.
Rick Hendrick didn’t waste any time shaking up his crews in the Nextel Cup and Busch Grand National. The Hendrick organization will build a new shop to house Brian Vickers in the #25, Terry Labonte in the #44, and Kyle Busch who will take over the driving duties in the #5 car. All three will get new crew chiefs along with changes in the engineering staff. If you want a full rundown of what’s happening, see jayski.com, he has more room and much more knowledge to put forth.
The bizarre happenings the day of the Homestead race with DEI’s director of Motorsports, Steve Hmiel, had everyone up in arms. Hmiel, a longtime spotter for Dale Earnhardt Jr was called to the NASCAR trailer after spotting for his son in the Craftsman truck race. Apparently Hmiel said some things over the radio that NASCAR didn’t like and so the he was escorted out of the track and suspended for the weekend. Earnhardt had to have a spotter brought in, one with plenty of experience though, he spotted for his dad for years before his death.

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