January 2008 Random News

Center Of Attention
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (January 24) - Jeff Gordon appeared with his Hendrick Motorsports teammates during the Lowes Motor Speedway media tour on January 23. Interest in HMS for 2008 will be at its zenith due to the addition of Dale Earnhardt Jr to the team's roster. "We have the ability to have at least as much success as we had last year, so I'm excited about everything heading into the new season," Gordon said. "I don't think it's that much of a secret that Jimmie Johnson, Casey Mears and myself are very good friends off the track and I think that helps our line of communication. When you bring a guy like Dale Jr. into the mix, it adds a lot of pressure as well as expectations. So far, I've been extremely impressed and he's really starting to make us look bad. We had a photo shoot for Sports Illustrated a little while back and Jimmie, Casey and I rolled into it, and Dale Jr. was already there. We were testing at Daytona and Dale Jr. wasn't supposed to be there. I got to looking around and he was there just standing around and watching us, trying to learn how we work together. So far, I've been extremely impressed with him."

Back To Work
DAYTONA BEACH, FL. (January 9) - Jeff Gordon completed pre-season testing at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday, January 9 in preparation for next month's Daytona 500. Monday and Tuesday morning were focused exclusively on single lap runs. Wednesday's drafting session gave the DuPont team a baseline on how they stack up against the competition. "It seems like yesterday we were in Homestead," Gordon said. "Things just fly by so quick during the off-season, I cannot believe that here we are testing, getting ready for the new season. I can tell you one thing, it's going to be a lot different than Talladega. You're not going to be able to hang out in the back all day and cruise. Track position's going to be important. I think that it's going to be a lot harder to pass. I think the handling is going to be an issue. So it's gonna be a little bit more typical Daytona. But with these cars punching the hole that they have, the restrictor plate we have, that's the unknown that I'm not sure about, is how good they'll suck up and pass. I'm really looking forward to Las Vegas and California tests because that will truly show what we've got. Here it's a restrictor plate, so it's kind of hard to gauge what we're going to have for the whole season. But those other tests should show us."

In Good Company
SOUTH FLORIDA. (January 2) - Sports Illustrated ranked the top athletes for endorsement dollars in the United States. To nobody's surprise, Tiger Woods topped the list at $100 million in endorsement earnings in 2007. Woods more than doubled the endorsements of golfer Phil Mickelson who placed 2nd with $47 million. Jeff Gordon was tied with Shaquille O'Neal for 7th place with $15 million in endorsement earnings. Besides Gordon, the only other NASCAR driver to make the top-10 was Dale Earnhardt Jr who raked in $20 million in endorsements during the year. Overall, the top-10 consisted of four basketball players, three golfers, two auto racers, and one football player.

Charting The Test Course
SOUTH FLORIDA. (January 2) - NASCAR announced its six test dates for the 2008 season. Teams will only be allowed to test on the following NASCAR series tracks. However, the teams can schedule unlimited tests at non-Cup series tracks such as Kentucky Speedway and The Milwaukee Mile. Pre-season testing for Jeff Gordon starts at Daytona International Speedway on January 7-9. Later in January, Gordon will head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway on January 28-29, and then onto California Speedway on January 31-February 1. The first 'chase' track for testing will be Phoenix International Raceway on March 3-4. Gordon will also test at Pocono Raceway on May 27-28 and Lowes Motor Speedway on September 23-24. The test schedule features just two tracks in the 'chase,' but data from the others can be applied to several of the 'chase' tracks. Included in the schedule is a restrictor plate track, a 2-mile oval, two 1.5-mile tri-ovals, and the flat tracks of Phoenix and Pocono.

Martinsville appearance: Jeff Gordon will headline a fan hospitality experience at Martinsville Speedway prior to the Goody's 500 on March 30. Gordon, a seven-time winner at Martinsville Speedway, will be center stage in the Pepsi Fan Zone before the Sunday race. Gordon will make an appearance in the Pepsi Fan Zone for an emceed question and answer session. Cost of admission is $99. The price includes a ticket to the fan zone, continental breakfast and lunch buffet, Pepsi products and track tram tour rides. The Fan Zone ticket does not include admission to the grandstand for the race. Pepsi Fan Zone tickets may be purchased by calling (877) RACE-TIX or by visiting

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