This Week?s Race Car at Chicagoland Speedway (chassis No. 114) will be raced for the first time of the 2004 season in the Tropicana 400. It was run during the 2003 season at New Hampshire (7/03 & 9/03) and Darlington (8/03) Best start ? 32nd (Darlington 8/03) Best Finish ? 8th (New Hampshire 7/03)

Batter Up... Dave Blaney and other NASCAR drivers will participate in the Celebrity Softball Game to benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp Thursday, July 8 at Silver Cross Field, Joliet, Illinois. A driver autograph session is scheduled from 5-5:45 p.m. with the game set to begin at 6 p.m.

Tickets Anyone?...Blaney will be a guest on the AOL for Broadband stage at the Joliet Fan Fest Thursday, July 8 following the Celebrity Softball game to hand out tickets to the Bud True Concert later that evening at the Rialto Square Theatre.

KISS me...The RCR 30 crew will be special guests of AOL at the KISS concert Friday, July 9 at the Tweeter Center just outside Chicago. The group will enjoy first class accommodations, including a meet & greet with the band.

RCR Leads the Way at Chicagoland...RCR has claimed two NASCAR Nextel Cup victories (Kevin Harvick 2001 ? with AOL Crew Chief Kevin Hamlin and 2002) and one Busch Series win (Johnny Sauter 2002)

Up to Speed...the Tropicana 400 will broadcast live beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday, July 11, on NBC, MRN and XM Radio. Qualifying for the Tropicana 400 will broadcast live at 4 p.m. ET Friday, July 9, on SPEED, MRN and XM Radio.


?The AOL team is coming off three top-20 finishes which gives us something to build on heading into Chicago. RCR seems to have a good grasp on the set-up for Chicago, so hopefully we can transfer that into our best finish of the season for the 30 car. We have quite a few tracks coming up on the schedule that we should run strong and post some good finishes.

?Our team communication is getting better, it just takes time. It can be hard for a crew chief to get a new driver in their car and know just how much to adjust the car when the driver tells them it?s loose or it?s tight. My feeling for a car being loose may be completely different from what Johnny Sauter felt like was loose, so Hamlin is doing a good job getting all of that figured out.?


?I don?t know what it is about RCR and Chicagoland Speedway, but we seem to have hit the nail on the head with the set-up. It?s kind of like Roush at Las Vegas, they are good there in both Cup and Busch like we are at Chicago.

?Even though Chicagoland is called one of the ?cookie-cutter? 1.5 mile ovals, it doesn?t mean all of those tracks are the same. Each of the ?cookie-cutter? tracks seem to have their own personality that make each of them different and harder to figure out. Chicagoland is a newer track so the track surface still has a lot of grip, but for some reason scuffed tires seem to work better than stickers.?

Click here for information about the July 9-11 NASCAR weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.

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