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Childress (r) Hopes To Be Able To Re-Sign
Shell As Sponsor For Harvick Next Season
EGR ALSO DEALING WITH GM: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing President Steve Lauletta said that team officials have met with GM "to go over what GM will be able to provide the team." Lauletta: "We haven't gone into having conversations about 2010 yet, so as of right now we've got to sit down and talk to them and look at our options and kind of determine the best course of action." Lauletta added that the team "continues to search for sponsorship to get Aric Almirola back in some Cup races this season." Driver Martin Truex Jr. is a free agent after this season, but Lauletta said that it "is 'the plan' for Truex's sponsor, Bass Pro Shops, to be with the team next year." Meanwhile, in Norfolk, Dustin Long reports Michael Waltrip Racing has scheduled a July 7 press conference in which it is expected Truex will be "announced as Michael Waltrip's replacement beginning next season" (Norfolk VIRGINIAN-PILOT, 6/29). Lauletta: "If something happened where we didn't re-sign Martin, then we would be having dialogue with Bass Pro on who takes the seat. When, if that time comes, we'll be doing that as quick as we have to" (SCENEDAILY.com, 6/28).
Early Season Success Has Stewart (l)
Contemplating Expanding Team To Three Cars
CUTTING BACK: In Boston, Fluto Shinzawa notes the five-car stable of Roush Fenway Racing (RFR) "must be trimmed to four vehicles for the 2010 season," and Fenway Sports Group Exec VP/Business Development & Motorsports Brian Corcoran said that a "decision should take place by August because of sponsorship obligations." One alternative is for "one of the drivers to switch to Yates Racing," as RFR has an "existing partnership with Yates" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/29). Meanwhile, JTG/Daugherty Racing co-Owner Tad Geschickter said that the team "will not be able to field a fulltime entry" in the Nationwide Series beyond Friday's Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona Int'l Speedway "unless additional sponsorship is found." Geschickter: "We had money to run half the races and we had to make a choice whether to spread those races out or frontload them and hope to get enough money to run the second half." In Charlotte, Jim Utter noted so far "no additional money has been found to sustain driver Michael McDowell's fulltime effort." McDowell currently ranks 11th in the Nationwide Series standings. Geschickter said that his Nationwide team "will still occasionally compete in the second half of the season" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/28).
Nike Extends Sponsorship
Of USATF Through '13
BEST CASE SCENARIO: In Chicago, Philip Hersh noted IOC ethics rules "forbid its global sponsors from trying to influence host city elections," but Nike increasing its financial commitment to the USATF should Chicago win the '16 Games is different because it is not a global IOC sponsor. Logan said, "The partnership simply recognizes added value in the event of a domestic (Olympic) competition. You cannot avoid reality. We are certainly not going to attempt to unduly influence anyone." Hersh notes all four bid cities -- Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo -- have corporate sponsors and wrote, "Is anyone naive enough to think those bid sponsors won't be inclined to increase their support for a domestic Olympics?" (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 6/26).
TRACK MEET: Logan said of the Univ. of Oregon's Hayward Field hosting the '11 U.S. Championships and '12 Olympic Trials, "I am not necessarily sold on the proposition that we have to take our championships to every nook and cranny in this country. ... What we need is an environment like this. I think we need a combination of excellent venue, a knowing audience, a locality that loves having us back again and again." Meanwhile, Logan said of the sport's drug issue, "If you were to ask me, am I running a clean sport, I would have to answer, I don't know but I suspect not" (Portland OREGONIAN, 6/29).
Wimbledon Win Would Give Murray's
Endorsement Portfolio Significant Boost
PICTURE THIS: In Louisville, Eric Crawford reported Univ. of Kentucky (UK) men's basketball F Darius Miller's picture was featured on a "flyer and in an advertisement" for a local basketball camp. Miller and UK "didn't know his picture was being used," but Miller "might have to sit out a game because of this secondary violation, which UK dutifully reported." Crawford wrote of the NCAA, "The height of hypocrisy from an organization that has turned its athletes into walking billboards and its tournaments into a series of TV timeouts with a little sports action wedged in." Crawford: "Change will not come until players decide they've had enough. The schools will not stand up for them" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 6/28).
CHARITY CASE: CNBC's Maria Bartiromo reported Lakers G Kobe Bryant will announce a new charitable effort in China with the help of CITIC Securities Int'l Partners CEO Donald Tang, whose "specialty is making grassroots connections between investors in the U.S. and their Chinese counterparts." Tang said Bryant is being honored tomorrow night by the Asia Society Southern California "for his exceptional philanthropic endeavors." Tang: "Both Kobe and I believe this U.S.-China relationship is too important of a relationship to leave it just to the elites and the politicians alone" ("Closing Bell," CNBC, 6/26).
ROUNDUP: Cavaliers Senior VP/Communications Tad Carper said that the team is "hard at work in bringing to market jerseys and T-shirts" featuring Cavaliers C Shaquille O'Neal's name and jersey number, which will be No. 33. The team's Web site Friday began an option to pre-order the items, "which will be available in early July" (CRAINSCLEVELAND.com, 6/26)....Sources said that T'Wolves G Ricky Rubio was dressed by Armani for Thursday's NBA Draft in N.Y. (N.Y. POST, 6/28).