Replacement for Earnhardt? After a press conference announcing the re-signing of Bass Pro Shops to a three-year agreement as primary sponsor for the No. 1 Chevrolet driven by Martin Truex Jr., Dale Earnhardt Inc. president of global operations Max Siegel affirmed that he’d like to fill the ride being vacated by Dale Earnhardt Jr. by late July.

“I think that, in this sport, everybody’s magic date is July or August to really get a good handle on what you’re going to do for the ’08 season,” Siegel said. “So we’ll continue down the same road, kind of taking a look, and I think a lot will start to happen over the next three or four weeks.”

Though Earnhardt has said he’d like to take his familiar No. 8 from DEI to Hendrick Motorsports, his new employer as of 2008, Siegel says the issue isn’t a simple one.

“It’s more complicated than people give it credit for,” Siegel said. “There’s a lot of history, there’s a legacy, there’s emotion, there’s commercial value to everyone involved. The one thing that I know is that, throughout every process we’ve had, everyone’s been committed to doing the right thing.”

Foxworthy has winning ticket: After heavy online voting, comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s ticket design for the 50th Daytona 500 was named the winner of the Celebrity Tickets for Charity competition. Foxworthy’s design will constitute the face of the tickets printed for the Great American Race, scheduled for Feb. 17, 2008.

Foxworthy’s artwork, along with that of the more than 40 other celebrities who entered the contest, will be auctioned online at, with proceeds benefiting the Jeff Gordon Foundation, which seeks to better the lives of children with life-threatening diseases. Bidding opened on the website Saturday and will close July 16.

“As a huge NASCAR fan, I can’t believe that my design will be on the ticket for the Daytona 500,” Foxworthy said in a videotaped statement played during his announcement as the winner. “It gives me something to brag about. I’ve been telling people, ‘Yeah, I won the Daytona 500 … ticket drawing contest.’ ”

Hot lap frightens Kevin James: Another popular comic, Kevin James, served as grand marshal for Saturday night’s Pepsi 400 Nextel Cup race, but he wasn’t amused by the laps at 140 mph he took at Daytona International Speedway early in the day.

“I did a hot lap today,” James said. “Hot lap — we already said it sounded like a special day at a strip club. We did it in a Corvette, and I didn’t like it very much. It was 140 miles an hour, and the [driver] was talking to me with one hand on the wheel and my badge was flapping in his face, and he’s not even paying attention.

“It was a little scary, and I immediately went back to the RV and changed.”

Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service

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