Status Up In Air

Jeff Gordon's crew chief Robbie Loomis' plans for the 2006 racing season have come under scrutiny, as he's been put under the magnifying glass in the No. 24 team's run to make the "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup."

SPEED TV reported today that Loomis is taking a close look at his life and is trying to seek a different balance in his priorities of family, God and racing.

Loomis has been with Gordon since 2000, seeing the team through 23 wins, including the 2005 Daytona 500, and one championship.

"Well, we talked before this season even started about Robbie's future, what he wanted to do. If it's up to me, yeah, I'd love to have him as my crew chief. Robbie, you know, with his mom and some of the illnesses she's gone through, he's trying to decide right now what his plans are. It has nothing to do with our performance this year," Gordon said earlier this week.

Newman to Backup
Ryan Newman posted the fastest time in the only practice session for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at 127.232 mph, but will have to go to a backup car after losing a right-front tire and hitting the Turn 1 wall.

In seven qualifying attempts, Newman has posted six top-five starting positions. He earned his first RIR pole in this race one year ago.

Newman is 11th in standings, one point behind Jamie McMurray.

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