:::::: Rumor Mill ::::::

COMINGS AND GOINGS

The word is floating around of a prominent fuel team that has relieved its primary tuner of his duties and the subsequent hiring of another. Torco's CompetitionPlus.com is seeking confirmation or denial from the parties involved before we name names. Stay tuned. UPDATE: Rahn Tobler has been hired to serve as tuner on the Morgan Lucas team replacing John Stewart. Stewart was relieved of his duties on Tuesday.

MASKIN AND MARTINO BANTER

Following a DNQ outing during-shortened qualifying in Houston, the rumor mill began churning out tales that team owner Richard Maskin and driver Tom Martino parted ways. A call to Maskin dismissed the rumor as just that, a rumor. Maskin, who is fully recovered from back surgery, did point out that his team will soon be testing a new Rick Jones-built car. UPDATE - Maskin and Martino have parted ways on Wednesday as well as a few crewmembers. Maskin will reportedly team with Justin Humphrey in Las Vegas.

THE KB - TOYOTA CONNECTION?

All it took was a semi-final weekend outing for Matt Scranton for the rumor mill to hit full steam by Sunday evening. The most popular unsubstantiated rumor is this weekend's outing could be a precursor to a new Toyota Pro Stock program. The word is that Toyota wants a championship team immediately and the Ken Black camp would provide the best shot at instant results. If this pans out, will the team remain a two-car operation with Scranton serving as a driver and an established member of the team taking on an engineering role? 

CAPPS NEW CREWCHIEF?

We figured that would grab your attention. On the Monday following the Gatornationals, Jon Capps, brother of Funny Car superstar, Ron Capps will be licensing in anticipation of making his driving debut during the IHRA event in San Antonio. The names being thrown around as a possible crewchief includes Paul Smith and possibly Jim Head. Could Jim Head be ready to quit driving?

THE JEG'S RACE TO BE NAMED LATER

A source close to the Carrier Boys program says in addition to running the Jegs.com body in Norwalk the "unnamed" event for the body will be in Bristol.

MCMILLEN PULLING DOUBLE DUTY AGAIN?

From what we are hearing, the recent announcement of the Alcohol Funny Car class in the IHRA for 2007 means one thing for veteran pilot Terry McMillen. It means that he will be pulling double-duty in 2007. Word has it that next week he will be named as the driver of the second Doug Foley Top Fueler. 

THE ROCK STAR'S GIG?

Jerry Toliver is planning to debut his new "Rock Star" energy drink at Gainesville, but from what we hear his plans are sketchy beyond that point. An unsubstantiated rumor suggests that a major secondary backer that Toliver was counting on reportedly backed out at the last minute. We'll have to see how this one works out. UPDATE: Toliver contacted Torco's CompetitionPlus.com to convey that he has acquired associate backing and plans to run the full length of his three-year deal.

MORE EXOTIC PART RULES FOR NHRA PS

A heated discussion during a meeting of Pro Stock team owners in Pomona led to a second, and more calm gathering in Phoenix, may lead the NHRA rule makers to make certain rule clarifications to eliminate the gray areas in the rulebook. Several low-budgeted teams have lobbied for clarification, but it may be at the suggestion of an influential figure within the community that leads the NHRA in the direction of clearing up the uncertain areas.

OH, NO YOU DIDN'T!

Here's one from the No Good Deed Goes Unpunished Department. At the NHRA season opener at Pomona veteran Funny Car competitor Jerry Toliver announced his return to the class behind the wheel of a Toyota-bodied machine. Toliver was to make his comeback at this weekend's Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals at Firebird International Raceway, but his plans appeared to be in jeopardy when the chassis builder who was to mount the Toyota body was backed up with work and unable to complete the job on time.

FOLEY'S SECOND CAR TO RUN IN 2007?

A source indicates that a second driver for the Foley & Lewis Top Fuel team has been selected but hasn't been officially announced. The car will run the entire IHRA tour with a few stops on the NHRA POWERade tour. Expect an announcement within the next two weeks and from what we hear, this is an accomplished driver.

 

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