NASCAR news round-up

Michael Waltrip will drive a third car for Dale Earnhardt Inc in next year's NASCAR Winston Cup

NASCAR news round-up

Waltrip will drive a NAPA-sponsored Chevrolet Monte Carlo, lining up alongside Dale Earnhardt Jr and Steve Park in seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt's squad. Earnhardt will close down his NAPA-sponsored Busch Series team, forcing driver Ron Hornaday to look for another drive.

The length of the deal has not been disclosed, but when quizzed, Earnhardt said: "until someone's unhappy."

In a Winston Cup career spanning 15 seasons, Waltrip holds the record for the most starts without a win (453).

Jeff Gordon has been docked 100 points and his crew chief Robbie Loomis fined US$25,000 after the three-time Winston Cup champion's Richmond-winning Chevrolet Monte Carlo was found to have an illegal cylinder head in post-race inspection. Gordon will keep the win and prize money, but team owner Rick Hendrick has also been docked 100 owners' points.

Although the cylinder head had a NASCAR-approved part number, it had been machined from magnesium and not the originally-specified aluminium.

"It was manufactured by GM and we've used it since May," said a disgruntled Gordon. "We've gone through numerous NASCAR inspections with the same piece without any problems."

Geoff Bodine has been sacked by Bessey Motorsports. The Chemung, New York State, driver will be replaced by team boss Joe Bessey for the remaining races. Bodine lies 44th in the Winston Cup points after a season interrupted by injury - he missed 10 races after fracturing a wrist and vertebrae in a Craftsman Truck race at Daytona in February.

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