Only one can get a pass in No. 8
It's sheer genius what Max Siegel, global operations president of Dale Earnhardt, Inc., is thinking about doing with the No. 8 next year.
With Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s legion of fans in a frenzy over the fact that Teresa Earnhardt will not let her stepson have that beloved number, woe be unto the poor soul who will be behind the wheel of the car next year.
Unless it's Mark Martin. Nobody will boo Mark Martin.
The only problem is, rookie Aric Armirola is supposed to split time with Martin in the car. When it's his turn, all bets are off.
Defending NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Jimmie Johnson has always been proud of his California roots. With the Cup series returning to California next weekend, Johnson ?has planned a week of appearances and events to benefit his charities.
'It's hard to put into words how much this week will mean to (his wife) Chandra and me,' Johnson said. 'San Diego is the place where I grew up, and I feel a lot of my success comes from the values I learned and support I've had from the people there.'
The biggest event of the week for the couple is the Jimmie Johnson Foundation inaugural golf tournament, which will be sponsored by Johnson's sponsor, Lowe's. That takes place on Wednesday, and proceeds will be used to build a Habitat for Humanity dwelling in Johnson's hometown of El Cajon.
A group of NASCAR drivers, including Kyle Petty, Juan Pablo Montoya and Bobby Labonte, will join more than 200 golfers at the sold-out event.
On Tuesday, Johnson will be inducted into the athletic Hall of Fame at his high school, Granite Hills, and will make a donation to the school.
Johnson hopes to cap the week with a win at California Speedway.
'It's where I got my first Nextel Cup race win and hopefully my next one as well,' he said.
MORE GOOD WORKS:
Tony Stewart is returning a favor by running at Skagit Speedway in Alger, Wash., on Wednesday.
The winged 360 sprint car race is put on by the Kasey Kahne Foundation, and Kahne also is competing in the event.
'The race not only gives me a chance to get back in my 360 sprint car, but it benefits a great organization at the same time,' Stewart said. 'Kasey has always supported my charity events at Eldora Speedway, and it means a lot that he's invited me to participate in this race alongside him.'
Stewart also donated an autographed Home Depot driver's suit to be auctioned on eBay after the race.
MAKING THE JUMP:
After months of rumors that Jacques Villeneuve intended to test the NASCAR waters, it's finally happening.
The 1995 Indianapolis 500 and CART champion and 1997 Formula One champion is testing a truck for Bill Davis Racing on Monday at Chicagoland Speedway.
Villeneuve hasn't raced on an oval since 1995.
Funny Car testing at O'Reilly Raceway Park in advance for next weekend's NHRA U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis saw the trio from Don Schumacher Racing at the top of the charts.
Points leader Ron Capps took the top spot at 4.846 seconds/317.87 mph. Second was Gary Scelzi (4.847/322.19), and third was Jack Beckman (4.860/316.45).
Times reflected each driver's best run during a three-day test Tuesday through Thursday.
HERBERT ON TV:
NHRA Top Fuel driver Doug Herbert, whose dramatic victory on Wednesday catapulted him from 11th to eighth in the NHRA's Countdown to the Championship, will be a guest on Wind Tunnel on SPEED tonight.
The show airs at 8 p.m. Peoria time.
is the Journal Star motorsports columnist. Write her at 1 News Plaza, Peoria, IL 61643, call (309) 686-3207 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.?