People, Places & Racing News

FIVE DRIVERS CLINCH COUNTDOWN SPOTS AND OTHER NHRA NEWSMAKERS

NEWS NUGGETS

RAIN DELAYS TOYO TIRES NHRA NATIONALS AND COUNTDOWN HOPEFULS: For the second day in a row, rain has delayed the final rounds of the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pennsylvania. Action resumes Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. (EST) at Maple Grove Raceway. Though rain has kept the finals from finishing up, the new Countdown to the Championship playoff system has proven to provide big-time thrills as the last race in the 17-race Countdown to 8 comes to a close.

RICKY RUDD ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT AND OTHER RACING NEWS

DIED: Veteran modified racer John Blewett III was killed in a crash during the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Thompson International Speedway on August 16. Tragically, Blewett’s brother Jimmy was also involved in the crash and was the first on the scene. Blewett was 33 years old. Former Goody’s Dash driver Christian Elder died in his home last week. He was 38.

BACK TO IOWA: After drawing a huge crowd in June, the IRL IndyCar Series will return to Iowa Speedway in 2008 and 2009.

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: TERRY BAX, AWANISH RANJAN, JAY RALSTON, BILL DOERING, PAMELA FORBES LIEBERMAN AND MORE

Grant Brothers Sales Ltd. announced that Terry Bax of Tribax Sales Inc. will join Grant Brothers effective September 1 as district manager for southwestern Ontario. Bax has run a successful agency for the last 15 years and has the experience needed to service and support customers in the traditional automotive aftermarket, the company says.

 Terry Bax

BUSCH REPLACES YELEY FOR NEXTEL CUP NEXT SEASON AND OTHER RACING NEWS

NEW RIDE: Kyle Busch has officially been named to replace J.J. Yeley in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 NASCAR Nextel Cup car next season.

OVERSEAS: Three-time Champ Car World Series titlist Sebastien Bourdais will leave the series at the end of the season and go Formula One racing with the Toro Ross team.

NEW WRENCH: Rahn Tobler has joined Cruz Pedregon Racing as crew chief for the NHRA Funny Car operation.

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: JOHN O'DELL, PAUL WILBUR, STEVE WEIGNER AND MORE

Edmunds Inc. announced that veteran automotive journalist John O'Dell has joined its editorial team as senior editor. O'Dell reports to Editorial Director Kevin Smith and works in Edmunds' Santa Monica office. O'Dell was previously with the Los Angeles Times as a reporter and occasional editor since 1980. His 35-year career as a journalist has been marked by numerous awards for professional excellence in writing, research and project development.

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