Rain washes out Busch race: Rain washed out Friday night’s Busch Series race at Daytona International Speedway, and NASCAR rescheduled the event for today at 9 a.m., creating a day-night doubleheader of racing. The Nextel Cup event is scheduled for 8 p.m. It could make for a very long day — and 750 miles of racing — for the 21 drivers who were entered in both events. Among those who are scheduled to run both races are two-time defending Pepsi 400 champion Tony Stewart, defending Busch race winner Dale Earnhardt Jr., Daytona 500 winner Kevin Harvick and Hartford native Dave Blaney.
Earnhardt announces adidas deal: Dale Earnhardt Jr. continued to expand his relationships with lifestyle-based products in a Friday announcement of a long-term personal services agreement with sportswear manufacturer adidas. Both Earnhardt and Mark Clinard, business director for motor sports for adidas America, declined to reveal the term of the contract or its financial details. A central component of the agreement is the introduction of a full line of Dale Jr. footwear, apparel and accessories. The company also will design and construct a fire suit and racing shoes for Earnhardt, who will leave Dale Earnhardt Inc. at the end of the season to drive for Hendrick Motorsports. Earnhardt will have significant input into everything adidas designs and markets under his name, but he’ll leave the strategic aspects of his brand expansion to others — specifically his sister and business manager, Kelley Earnhardt Elledge, and JR Motorsports’ vice president of marketing and brand development, Thayer Lavielle. “That’s the way they think,” Earnhardt said. “I think, ‘Cool.’ Not to be a smart aleck, but they have the business avenue that they’re always traveling, and they’re thinking of ways to open up our image and open up our brand to as many people as possible. I think not quite as three-dimensionally as they do.”
No Petty in Daytona race: For the first time since 1965, Daytona will host a Nextel Cup race without a driver named “Petty” in the field. Kyle Petty will continue to work with TNT in the TV broadcast booth, as the scion of another famous racing family, John Andretti, takes his place in the No. 45 Petty Enterprises Dodge.
Tires on auction block: Friday at Daytona, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. unveiled a charitable program that will make used Nextel Cup tires worth more than new ones — 43 of them, at least. Starting at noon Friday, online bidding opened for Goodyear’s “Get There” Charity auction, in which 43 tires signed by 43 different Cup drivers, including Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, were available to the highest bidders. Proceeds from the auction will be donated to the NASCAR Foundation, earmarked for charities selected by the individual drivers. A bar-coding system allows Goodyear to track where, when and by which driver each tire was raced. Tires signed by the drivers will be those they actually used in competition. Each autographed Goodyear Eagle comes with a certificate of authenticity. Online bidding at www.goodyeargarage.com will remain open until 11:59 p.m. July 15. A quick check of early bidding Friday afternoon produced no surprises: Earnhardt Jr.’s tire was the leader at $200, followed by Tony Stewart ($175) and Gordon ($150).
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service