People, Places & Racing News
NEW JOB: French Canadian open-wheel racer Patrick Carpentier will be a full-time stock-car driver next season. Carpentier will drive for Gillette Evernham Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the Nationwide Series.
RETIRING: Dale Jarrett will retire after running seven races in the UPS Toyota during the 2008 season. His Michael Waltrip Racing teammate, David Reutimann, will take over his seat in the No. 44 after Jarrett runs the first four races of the season. The 1999 Cup champion will also race in the Bud Shootout and All-Star race.
CSK Auto Corp. reported that it completed all of its previously delinquent periodic SEC filings and is now current in its financial reporting. In addition, CSK Auto entered into a third amendment to its term credit agreement, increasing the leverage ratios for the third and fourth quarters of fiscal 2007, as well as the first and second quarters of fiscal 2008, in order to minimize the possibility that it will be unable to comply with the leverage ratio covenants for these periods.
Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA)
During SEMA Show week, all HRIA members are invited to celebrate and honor exceptional industry individuals during the HRIA Industry Awards Reception, Wednesday, October 31, 5:30 p.m., in the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel, Ballrooms A & B.
THE ROCK: Race car driver Andy Hillenburg, who operates the Fast Track Driving School, paid $4.4 million to buy North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham at auction last week. Hillenburg hopes to bring racing back to the track in a variety of forms as soon as November 2008.
FINISHED: The International Race of Champions, which ran races for championship winning drivers in identically prepared cars from 1973–2006, has met its end through the lack of sponsorship and commitment from car manufacturers.
The Association of International Automobile Manufacturers (AIAM) named John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co. Inc., as the chairman of AIAM's board of directors. Mendel succeeds outgoing chairman Jim Press, formerly president of Toyota Motor North America Inc., who recently joined Chrysler LLC as a senior executive.
Wheel & Tire Council (WTC)
NHRA FOUNDER WALLY PARKS DIES AT 94: Wally Parks, the driving force behind the formation of NHRA, died Friday, September 29, at the age of 94. It was Parks' vision, goals and unconditional commitment to the need for speed and side-by-side racing in a safer, more controlled environment that created what is today the world's largest motorsports governing body. "It is a sad day in the world of NHRA and the sport of drag racing," said Tom Compton, president of the NHRA.
DIED: Wally Parks, the man who founded the National Hot Rod Association and helped build drag racing into the sport it is today, died September 28. He was 94 years old…Dirt racing promoter Mike Swims lost his battle with cancer. He was 42.