Tour Time

    CONCORD, N.C. - For the 24th time, journalists from around the world have descended on Charlotte for the annual NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Media Tour.

    Lots of optimism, new faces in new places, paint schemes and food have been the focus of the trip so far with a few nuggets thrown in for good measure:

  • Kevin Harvick didn't take long to revert to his attention-seeking persona. "I think it's hard when you have what I call a deadbeat owner that doesn't come to the racetrack," Harvick said in regard to the ongoing contract negotiations between Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Teresa Earnhardt. "You always see Rick Hendrick, Richard Childress, Chip Ganassi and all these other owners, and they all come to the racetrack."

    Junior responded to the remark on Tuesday night during a DEI program on the tour, telling Yahoo Sports "Man, you're killing me," Earnhardt replied. "That's ridiculous. I don't really think there's a comment for Kevin's remarks."

    Stirring the pot, that's what Kevin Harvick likes to do best it seems.

  • NASCAR's plan to alter the "Chase" has confused a lot of people, except for most drivers who now have two additional shots to make the post-season. The early buzz from fans isn't positive with the seeding process based on wins a major bone of contention. Send your comments to pete@racingone.com, and we'll publish a special "Chase" edition of "Fans' Eye View."

  • Every stop on this year's tour has featured an introduction of "development" drivers, a good sign that some young talent is getting an opportunity to climb the NASCAR ladder. NASCAR's revamped Grand National divisions are expected to get more attention and exposure this year, which is great news for grassroots racing.

  • Speaking of developmental drivers, new team owner Bobby Ginn had an interesting take on young Ricky Carmichael, who will make the move from motorcycles to stock cars this year. "We are also excited about Ricky Carmichael, who is the winningest racer in motocross history," Ginn said. "He is just an individual that I got to know and fell in love with. - his work ethic and his incredible family. His support and fan base are strong, but his desire to win is on top of it all; just his attitude to win. We are kind of both in the same position. I’m 58 years old and changing careers and he’s 27 years old and changing careers, so we have that in common. We got together and like our other developmental drivers, we think he is the future."

  • Those that wish NASCAR would can the annual New York NEXTEL Cup Awards Banquet may get their wish. Las Vegas is seriously being considered as the site for the end-of-the-year bash, with a move possibly coming as early as this year. Now if we can only hope Jay Mohr is out of town, it's a step in the right direction.

  • Chip Ganassi is one team owner not upset about Toyota's entrance into NEXTEL Cup racing in 2007. “I think it’s good Toyota is coming in," Ganassi said. "I has some experience with them in Indy car racing over the years, and they’ll come in and they’ll do it right. They’ll do it in a big way, and the fact of the matter is the sport obviously needs some new interest and new excitement, and I think Toyota is going to provide that."

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2007

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