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JUNIOR TOO AMPED

Dale Earnhardt Jr. never would have supported his previous sponsor, Budweiser, by chugging one of its products before a race.

He also should stay away from pounding down too much Amp energy drink made by his new sponsor, Mountain Dew.

Why else would he have been so antsy to start Saturday night’s Cup race at Bristol unless he had thrown back a six-pack of Amp before the race began?

Earnhardt jumped the start by passing several cars before crossing the starting line after the green flag waved. He was punished with a drive-through penalty that dropped him one lap off the pace.

FINALLY

I’ve never been a big fan of Randy Moss, but I am now.

The NFL star became part owner of a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team a couple of months ago.

On Tuesday, he announced the driver of the No. 81 Randy Moss Motorsports truck on Sept. 6 will be 18-year-old Marc Davis. Davis’ debut will be at Gateway International Speedway near St. Louis.

Davis and Moss are both black.

It’s a big step toward achieving diversity in NASCAR.

BEER BASH

Competing beer companies mix like oil and water.

It didn’t make sense for next February’s Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway to be comprised primarily of this year’s Sprint Cup pole winners as in previous years.

Not after sponsorship for the Cup pole-award switched this year from Budweiser to Coors Light.

That’s why NASCAR has changed the format for the 2009 nonpoints Shootout. The 24-car field will be based on the final 2008 owners points standings and include the top six cars from Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford and Toyota.

CARPENTIER STILL IN LIMBO

Reed Sorenson, 22, will leave Chip Ganassi Racing for Gillett Evernham Motorsports.

Entering this weekend’s stop in California, Sorenson is 31st in the standings. He will join Kasey Kahne and Elliott Sadler at GEM.

The signing of Sorenson by GEM leaves the team’s current rookie and driver of the No. 10 Dodge, Patrick Carpentier, without a seat for next year unless the team adds a fourth car.

Sorenson’s departure leaves Ganassi with only Juan Pablo Montoya signed for next year.

Felix Sebates, part owner of Ganassi Racing, wasn’t upset with Sorenson’s decision.

“From my point of view, his contract is over,” Sebates told SceneDaily.com, the day before Monday’s announcement.

“I think Reed is today as good as he’s ever going to be. If somebody else wants to put him in a car, fine with us.”

The Ganassi operation also will lose sponsor Texaco.

That also didn’t put a frown on Sebates’ face.

“Texaco was a great sponsor for a long time, but for the last year they really have been disconnected with the sport. They have focused on other things. We really didn’t get much support from them. The money wasn’t all that great.

“For us, it was a blessing that we can go out and find somebody who can pay us some real money.

“We kept hoping (Texaco) maybe would wake up one of these days and decide they need to be in NASCAR. The company, I feel bad for them, they only made $6 billion last quarter.

“The Texaco management is disconnected from racing. All the new people don’t know what a race car looks like.”

THE END

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