Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor Tire on board as title sponsor for series

NASCAR today will unveil a Canadian-based stock car series that will feature a season-long points battle among the country's best drivers and end with the awarding of the Canadian Tire Cup.
The Toronto Sun has learned that a deal to sell CASCAR -- Canada's top stock car racing series -- to the France family business that is NASCAR will be made official at a news conference today in Toronto and that Canadian Tire has signed on as the title sponsor.
The deal, which has been two years in the making, will see NASCAR sanction a national stock car racing series in Canada on the foundation that has been laid by Tony Novotny and his wife, Linda, over the past 20 years.
"It's finally going to happen," Linda Novotny said yesterday.
The Novotnys have built, sold and rescued the series a number of times, resisting all bidders who would not or could not guarantee that the Canadian uniqueness of the series would prevail.
It has grown into the only North American stock car racing body to race on ovals, road courses and temporary street circuits.
At the Champ Car Grand Prix of Montreal last month it also became the first stock car series to race on an active Formula One track at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
It is the same track where the NASCAR Busch Series will hold its first-ever Canadian race in 2007.
Robbie Weiss, NASCAR's international director, is flying in from his Los Angles office to make the proclamation about his company's future in the Great White North and while his office would not reveal why he is visiting Toronto, it's not likely just another glad-handing affair where Brian France gets his hands on some of that Canadian Tire money.
Besides, we think NASCAR has figured out that you can't spend Canadian Tire money in North Carolina, eh.
Speaking of CASCAR, all of a sudden it seems to be the place to be for two of Quebec's top open wheel racing drivers.
A week ago Patrick Carpentier, a veteran of both Champ Car and the Indy Racing League, drew high praise for his sixth-place finish after he climbed into the Dave Jacombs Racing No. 88 Ford for CASCAR's Labour Day Classic at Cayuga Speedway.
And this past Saturday at Montreal's Autodrome Ste. Eustache, 19-year-old Andrew Ranger, driver of the No. 27 MiJack Conquest Racing Lola in Champ Car, drove the same car to a 13th-place finish in his first try in the big sedans.
Both Carpentier and Ranger have been paying attention to the NASCAR talk in their home province and both are likely to make bids to be part of the shown there next season.
If the tall foreheads at NASCAR's big house in Daytona Beach had to pick a worst-case scenario to disrupt its prized Chase for the Championship it would have been Tony Stewart finishing 11th and one spot out of the picture.
The defending Nextel Cup champion is in a position to play the spoiler in a big way after finishing 18th at the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway Saturday.
Anyone who doubts Stewart will be the major factor in a Chase where he's not even a contender just look at the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team's record in the final 10 Nextel Cup events of the season.
Stewart has won on seven of the 10 tracks that will be part of the Chase.
At New Hampshire International Speedway, where the playoff format begins Sunday with the Sylvania 300, Stewart has two victories. He also has a pair of wins at Dover and at Homestead Miami.
So what happens to the drama of the Chase if Stewart wins, say four of five of the races and finishes in the top 10 in the rest?
One thing for certain, the folks out there in the NASCAR Nation won't be talking about how great it was that Jeff Burton made the cut, or what a nice way for Mark Martin to finish his Nextel Cup career, again.
And if anybody but Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Jeff Gordon is on the podium's top step at Homestead-Miami in November they might be in danger of being run over by the media horde in their rush to get to Stewart.
Because, for all the bombast and bluster that usually surrounds Stewart -- be it bad or good -- there is one indisputable truth: He is the best quote in NASCAR.
Then there's also the fact that Stewart is the best pure driver on the circuit.
There is not a single race in the arduous 38-week Cup schedule where the No. 20 Chevrolet is not among the pre-race picks to win.
Stewart would like nothing better than to prove his worth by overshadowing NASCAR's answer to Major League Baseball playoffs.
And anyone who thinks he can't just has not been paying attention for the past eight seasons.
- Sept. 17 -- New Hampshire International Speedway, Loudon, N.H.
- Sept. 24 -- Dover International Speedway, Dover, Del.
- Oct. 1 -- Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kan.
- Oct. 8 -- Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, Ala.
- Oct. 14 -- Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
- Oct. 22 -- Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, Va.
- Oct. 29 -- Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, Ga.
- Nov. 5 -- Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas
- Nov. 12 -- Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, Ariz.
- Nov. 19 -- Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Fla.