Racing beat

| February 01, 2006

Terry Labonte and Tony Raines will co-drive the Hall of Fame Racing No. 96 DLP-HDTV Chevrolet in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in 2006. Part owners of the team are former NFL stars Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman.

Terry Labonte, a two-time Cup Series champion and 22-time Cup winner, will drive the car in seven races, while Raines, the 1996 champion of the American Speed Association and 1999 NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year, will pilot the machine in the other 29 events.

“I’m a big Terry Labonte fan,” says Raines. “To have someone to lean on is going to help me, and it’s going to help the team.

Ganassi and Sabates are convinced Mears is the man to continue the winning tradition of the No. 42 Texaco-Havoline Dodge.

“We’ve been working hard to find a driver solution for Texaco/Havoline, and we are fortunate that we could offer them Casey,” Ganassi says. “Some recent positive developments have allowed us to make this move, and we couldn’t be happier with how things are shaping up for the 2006 season. Casey is a driver and a person that we think a lot of and have a lot of faith in.”

Mears has been with the organization since 2003, driving the No. 41 car. He has competed in 106 races and recorded two poles, three top-five finishes and 17 top-10s.

McMurray, considered one of NASCAR’s top young guns, takes over Busch’s former ride at Roush.

In 2005 McMurray had four top fives and 10 top-10 finishes.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to start a new era in my career with Crown Royal and Roush Racing,” McMurray says.

Finally, the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevy, vacated by Bobby Labonte, now belongs to Yeley, who becomes teammate of 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart.

Yeley becomes the third full-time driver to man the wheel of the famed machine. Before Bobby Labonte, former Cup champion Dale Jarrett drove it for three seasons.

Leveling the Field
New policies aim to keep sport growing

NASCAR announced it has taken several steps to ensure the continued growth and popularity of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, including a program that will cap the number of cars under one ownership group.

The four-car ownership cap program starts this year, and NASCAR will work with groups that control more than four cars to establish a reasonable timeline for compliance.

The four-car limit will extend to owners and any affiliate group, which includes situations where one or more of the car owners is entitled to receive, or actually receives, any financial consideration based upon the performance of the cars entered by the other car owners, or has any revenue sharing or ownership stake in the team.

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