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Press Snoop: Scene set at PIR.

The weather was warm and sunny Sunday morning at Phoenix International Raceway for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Checker Auto Parks 500 Race.

During Driver Introductions, my untrained ear told me that the loudest crowd reaction went to TONY STEWART/No.20 Home Depot Chevrolet - cheers and boos mixed together with a resounding roar. The loudest cheers went to DALE EARNHARDT Jr/No.8 Budweiser Chevrolet, with KEVIN HARVICK/No.29 Reese's Chevrolet a close second.

BORIS SAID and DANICA PATRICK were chatting it up in the NASCAR Nextel Cup garage Sunday morning in the bright sunshine, and what a photo op was that. Said is at least six feet seven inches tall and she is not. Said will run six Nextel Cup races next season with his new team, co-owned by BRIAN and MARK SIMO of No Fear. The six, an increase of two over the 2006 schedule, include both Cup road races (Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen Raceway) as well as the two restrictor plate tracks which have two races each - Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Speedway. The choice was made based on luck, said Mark Simo. Said was lucky in restrictor plate racing this year, and will build on that. The team's sponsor will continue to be the No Fear Energy Drink...the one Boris touts. Buy more drinks and send Boris to more races.

Said has his own claque of faithful followers, who wear Said heads to the races - large colorful curly haired wigs. Mark Simo was wondering if there was a way to affix a wig on the helmet of the Over The Wall crew for the races.

BRIAN SIMO will run six NASCAR races next season also - the two Cup road races and four Busch Series races.

MAX JONES is now the General Manager for Nextel Cup motorsports at Roush Racing. About a month ago, he swapped positions with HARRY McMULLEN, who has been in charge of the Cup program.

Jones, 52, has a long history with Roush, dating back to racing for him in the IMSA heydays. Jones raced IMSA and Trans-Am for Roush, with TOMMY KENDALL for two years. Jones won his last ever race with Roush, co-driving with ROBBY GORDON in a Roush GTO Ford Mustang at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1991. Jones then worked on the managerial side of racing for Roush in the early days of the Craftsman Truck Series, as well with the Trans-Am and IMSA teams. During his tenure with the Truck Series, GREG BIFFLE won the 2000 Championship and KURT BUSCH was Rookie Champion and runner-up in the standings. Jones remained with Roush through 2002 when he left in 2002 to become General Manager for Red Bull Team Cheever in the Indy Racing League. Jones returned to Roush in June 2005.


Related Pictures

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Tony Stewart. [Pic Credit IMS Media/Jim Haines]
Dale Earnhardt Jr talks to crew chief Tony Eury Jr in Las Vegas. [Pic Credit Todd Warshaw/Getty Images]
Walker, Sepang MotoGP tests, January 2006
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and team owner Tony Stewart celebrate winning in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, poses with his team before his last race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

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