Waltrip team drops another crew chief


Michael Waltrip Racing, still trying to find its way out of a terrible start to its first season in NASCAR Nextel Cup racing, turned to Jason Burdett to replace crew chief Matt Borland on Dale Jarrett's No. 44 Toyota.

It was the third crew chief change for the Waltrip team in less than a month.

Borland, who came to the Waltrip team from Penske Racing South, where he was crew chief for Ryan Newman, turned down the job as the new team's technical director and left the organization, according to a team spokesman.

Burdett, who worked with Jarrett last year at Robert Yates Racing, will move into his new duties after a brief period to get acclimated to his new team.

Meanwhile, Derrick Finley, who has been working as the lead engineer on team owner Waltrip's No. 55 car, will act as the interim crew chief for Jarrett this week at Richmond.

Jarrett, the 1999 Cup champion, goes into the Cup race at Richmond International Raceway 37th in the season points and will have to qualify for Saturday night's race on speed after using up all six of his former champion's provisionals for the season. ...

NASCAR driver Scott Wimmer filed a lawsuit this week against former employer Bill Davis Racing, asking for $1.2 million in unpaid salary for the 2006 season.

The lawsuit alleges Bill Davis Racing did not follow correct procedure when it fired Wimmer. According to the lawsuit, he was paid $600,000 for 2004, $900,000 for 2005 and was to get $1.2 million for 2006.

• MOTORCYCLES -- Several thousand Supercross fans are in town for Saturday night's season finale of the AMA Supercross season, but motorcycle racing begins in Las Vegas tonight at the Orleans Arena.

The Mini Moto SX features racing in several classes with various age groups for bikes with wheels smaller than 12 inches in diameter and engines no larger than 90cc.

Racing begins at 8:30 p.m. ...

Carter Powersports (6375 S. Decatur Road) is hosting its National Night Out from 5 to 7 p.m. today with Supercross riders James Stewart and Ivan Tedesco set to attend. Others riders on hand will be Carey Hart, Chuck Sun, Kane Friesen, T.J. Lavin, Destry Abbott, Nathan Woods and Ricky Dietrich.

A memorabilia raffle will be held to benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

For more information, call 795-2000 or visit CarterPowersports.com on the Internet.

• BULLRING -- The Las Vegas Motor Speedway's Bullring has canceled its Bomber Figure-8 race for Saturday night but will run a full slate in the NASCAR All-American Series with Super Late Models, Late Models, Chargers, Legends, Thunder Roadsters and Bandoleros.

Another change involves the May 12 card, which will not include the ASA Speed Trucks because the series forgot it had scheduled a date with the track. The trucks are scheduled at the speedway on Aug. 8.

• DRAG RACING -- The NHRA this week announced rules changes in its Top Fuel and Nitro Funny Car categories to enhance safety after the March 19 testing crash that led to the death of Funny Car driver Eric Medlen in Gainesville, Fla.

NHRA has mandated additional padding in the driver cockpit area, a roll cage/helmet shroud similar to those installed on Top Fuel cars and a seven-point driver restraint system to replace current five-point systems in Funny Car.

Changes must be made before the May 20 national event in Bristol, Tenn.

• SHORT TRACK -- Las Vegan Joey Mogar, 19, finished fifth Saturday in the Modifieds race at I-10 Speedway in Blythe, Calif., to clinch the season title.

 

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