I600 Notebook:/Ibrwallaces Sponsor Sauers

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CONCORD, N.C. – Kenny Wallace’s search for a Winston Cup sponsor has ended – sort of. The Eel River Racing team will be sponsored by the C.F. Sauer Company, through it’s Duke’s mayonnaise brand. But the deal is only for 15 races, starting with the Coca-Cola 600 this weekend.

“Well, it’s finally over,” Wallace said. “Now the team can really get down to business. We’ve put a lot of effort into the start of the year, and I just want to thank (car owners) Jack and Devin Birmingham for hanging in there with us.”

The team was close to shutting its doors, pulling into the garage area after the first Winston Open practice last Friday when a last-minute sponsorship deal was signed.

Wallace, who joined Eel River in the offseason from Andy Petree Racing, is 40th in Winston Cup points. He’s failed to qualify for one race this season and hasn’t finished higher than 25th.

Birmingham said the search for additional sponsorship will continue.

“With 25 races left in the season, we will obviously continue to look for a sponsor for 10 other races,” Birmingham said. “With C.F. Sauer on board, we are confident we will be able to do that.”

M & M: Mario Andretti, at the race track to herald a new computer simulation racing game and to talk about highway safety, said his son Michael has a good chance at winning the Indianapolis 500 this year.

“He’s starting pretty far back, but the car is together,” Andretti said. “Five hundred, he has a shot at it, for sure.

“I feel pretty good for Michael’s chance, I really do. He really likes the race setup. When Michael likes the race setup, it’s good. He doesn’t say he likes something unless he does. He’s not much of a diplomat.”

Andretti was at Indianapolis this year for the first time since 1995. Andretti has been an outspoken critic of the Indy Racing League and hasn’t been back to Indy since CART and the IRL split. Several CART drivers, like Michael, return to Indy for the first time since the split.

Asked to pick the favorites for the 500, Andretti said: “A lot of them.”

“They’re so close,” Andretti said. “They all look the same, they’re all about the same. It’s whoever is going to stay together and the driver that makes the least mistakes.

“It should be an interesting race, no question. There’s a lot of depth in it all of a sudden.”

Toyota on Pole?: Robert Huffman won the pole for the Tom Johnson/Easy Care 100 Goody’s Dash Series race, becoming the first Toyota driver to take the top spot in a stock-car race. The race, scheduled for Thursday night, was postponed because of a rain delay and will be held Friday at 11:45 a.m. (ET). It will be televised at 6 p.m. on FX.

“The Toyota has a little less cubic inches than the Pontiac, so the restrictor plates we run here are more of an equalizer than running the open motors,” said Huffman, who won this race a year ago in a Pontiac. “We’ve struggled a bit this year, but the things that have gone wrong on the car aren’t anything that couldn’t go wrong on another car.”

Ky. Homecoming: Mark Green will return to the Busch Series for the inaugural Outback Steakhouse 300 at Kentucky Speedway on June 16. Green’s Davis & Weight Motorsports team quit the Busch Series after the Subway 300 at Talladega to get ready for Winston Cup.

Green will try to qualify for the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis in August. The Kentucky race will be a homecoming for Green, who is from Owensboro, Ky.

“It will be really nice to go back home,” Green said. “We have been working really hard to prepare for our Winston Cup debut at Indianapolis, but we really wanted to run this Kentucky race. The guys in the shop are really itching to go racing, so maybe running at Kentucky will give us our fix before we go to Indy in August. I am really happy that I will be able to run in the opening Busch race there in a couple of weeks.”

Magic Sponsor: Mike McLaughlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing team has signed a sponsor for the CarQuest 300 Busch Series race. XST eXtreme Silicone Technology, a brand of GE Sealants and Adhesives, will adorn McLaughlin’s quarterpanels.

The sponsorship is GE’s first in NASCAR.

“Our association with NASCAR is a natural extension of our recent entry into the motorsports arena with DIRT Motorsports,” GE Sealants and Adhesives Director of Marketing David Pirkle said. “The Busch Series sponsorship moves us to the next level. We are excited to be working with Joe Gibbs Racing and are exploring our marketing options by being involved in motorsports."

Graves Heads to Houston: Veteran crew chief Fred Graves, who recently left A.J. Foyt Racing, has joined HighLine Performance Group as a consultant to Busch Series driver Marty Houston.

Race Center

SpongeBob SquarePants 400

@ Kansas Speedway
Saturday, May 09, 2015
Radio Start:
MRN, 6:30 p.m. (ET)
TV Start:
FOX Sports 1

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