Thursday, September 21, 2006

Red Sox owner pursuing interest in Roush Racing

Red Sox owner pursuing interest in Roush Racing

Selling part of team would allow Roush to consolidate for NASCAR
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
September 20, 2006
10:25 AM EDT (14:25 GMT)

Despite denials from Fenway Sports Group president John Henry that no deal was in the works between the Boston Red Sox owner and Jack Roush on Sunday at New Hampshire International Speedway, Roush Racing president Geoff Smith released a statement Tuesday confirming ongoing negotiations.

"[Roush] has entered into discussions to sell an interest in Roush Racing to Fenway Sports Group, Boston," Smith said. "Should these discussions ultimately materialize into a definitive agreement, Roush Racing will provide further information on the topic."

Henry, a longtime race fan and current investor in -- a cutting-edge simulation racing league -- has expressed interest over the past two years of possibly joining forces with either Roush Racing or Germain Racing.

Fenway Sports Group brought the Lumber Liquidators deal to Germain Racing for driver Todd Bodine and the No. 30 Toyota Tundra in the Craftsman Truck Series this season.

Henry's involvement with Roush Racing would give Roush the opportunity to consolidate to four teams as per NASCAR's mandate that goes into effect when current contractual agreements run their course. Roush's Nextel Cup operations consist of the Nos. 6, 16, 17, 26 and 99.

Roush also has an alliance with the No. 60 car. An arrangement with Fenway would allow Roush to pare down to four teams with one or more teams going to Fenway.

Roush had earlier looked at Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6, taking on an ownership situation at Robert Yates Racing in order to meet NASCAR's mandate. Martin, however, said earlier this month that his current interests were not in an ownership realm.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

McGreevey Soap Opera Update (9/17/06)- Golan Cipel's Side of the Story

Bill's Pre-comment: To begin, I got this from The Drudge Report. Thank you very much, Mr. Drudge. "The Soap Opera Continues." ...

'I was Gov-struck' - McG aide


Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey sexually harassed and assaulted Golan Cipel during his tenure as the state's homeland security chief, the former Israeli Army officer told the Daily News yesterday.
Cipel relayed quite a different reality from the one McGreevey recounts in his new book, "The Confession," in which he describes their alleged sexual affair and writes that he "first kissed" Cipel in his house while his wife Dina lay in the hospital after delivering their baby.

"I wasn't his lover," Cipel, 37, said. "I didn't have sex with him. I never heard anything from him saying that he loved me. The only things that happened were sexual harassments. And unwanted sexual advances and assaults."

Cipel, an intelligent, tough, ex-army lieutenant who's spoken to The News over a period of months, recalled that night in 2001.

"One night, McGreevey called me and asked me to come over to speak to him about something related to work," Cipel said. "I came to his house and we had a good conversation and, all of a sudden, he asked me to go to a bar. I said, 'I think it's inappropriate for you to go to a bar, you're the governor.' And he said, 'This is my neighborhood. I grew up here, everybody knows me, I'm fine. I just want to get out a little bit.'

"I thought, he's the governor, I guess he knows what he's doing, so we went. There was a state trooper outside guarding the house and the trooper insisted he escort him. McGreevey said no, but we went to a little neighborhood bar in the Woodbridge area and the state trooper is behind us. Everybody inside knows him. He ordered a beer for himself and for me. I said, 'I don't really drink.'

"He drank, I think, two glasses. He tells me, 'Come on, be a man, drink a little more.' I just took a few sips. I'd left my briefcase at his house so I had to get it. The bar had a liquor store and he said he wanted to buy liquor. He bought Jagermeister. I drove him back home, I got my bag and he said, 'The news is coming on, please stay, I want to talk to you about something.'

"He was pouring us drinks and he was drinking his. I didn't feel any warning signals or hostile atmosphere. I've thought a lot about this since. I thought he was just a normal guy. McGreevey was drinking. I said, 'I really have to leave, it's getting late.' He escorted me to the door and all of a sudden he said, 'I need to give you something, but it's upstairs.'

"I said, 'Okay, I'll wait,' and he said, 'No, come with me, it'll be easier.' I was innocent, I had no clue this guy had any intentions. We went to the upper level. To the right was a bedroom and to the left, a den with his office.

"He turned and pushed me with a lot of strength to the bedroom, and I was in shock. He put his hands to my chest and pushed me into the bedroom. He pushed me onto the bed and jumped on me.

"We wrestled and he stopped. And there was this moment when the two of us were in the room. And I asked him, 'Why did you think I was gay?' And he said, 'Everybody's a little bit gay.' I was very embarrassed.

"If you would have asked me, before this happened, what would I do? I would say I'd punch the guy in the mouth. But I completely froze, and I just hurried out, out of the house. I went home and I couldn't sleep."

When he saw his boss the next day, Cipel said, the only thing McGreevey said to him was, "I got rid of the liquor."

"I never thought this would happen to me," Cipel added. "I realized my whole life was in the hands of this man. He controlled the police, appointed the judges, the attorney general. I'm a new immigrant, with only a visa. I didn't know what to do."

Told of Cipel's claims, McGreevey told The News through a spokesman: "The book is rigorously honest and I stand behind its integrity."

In his book, McGreevey writes: "I took Golan by the hand and led him upstairs to my bed. We undressed and he kissed me. It was the first time in my life that a kiss meant what it was supposed to mean. ... I pulled him to the bed and we made love like I'd always dreamed: a boastful, passionate, whispering, masculine kind of love."

Cipel also describes an atmosphere of juvenile sexuality around McGreevey: "He'd talk about sex he'd had with prostitutes, female prostitutes. He's asked guys, if he saw them with women, 'Do you have sex with her?' The governor acted like a teenager. He surrounded himself with young men in their 20s and 30s, but he didn't understand they were there because he worked with them, not because they were his friends."

Cipel, now working in Israel, said he received letters signed "Jim's friends," threatening him if he talked. Cipel said he has dropped his harassment lawsuit against McGreevey - despite financial settlement offers through his lawyers - "because I wanted to get on with my life."

"And investigators from the FBI came here and concluded that I did not try to blackmail him," Cipel said. "I was just the only one with the courage to speak out."

Cipel and McGreevey agree on one thing.

The former governor, who resigned in 2004 after admitting to having been a closeted "gay American," said in his book, due out Tuesday, that he felt "invincible" at the time.

Cipel said, "Once I asked him, 'Who do you report to?'

"And he said, 'Only God is above me,'" Cipel recalled.

In fact, Cipel said he didn't know whether it was appropriate for him to be appointed homeland security adviser since he wasn't a citizen, and that he wanted to tell the media that he never claimed to have homeland security expertise, and that his rank of lieutenant in the Israeli Army was common, but McGreevey forbade it: "He said, 'I'm the most powerful governor in the nation. I can appoint whomever I want.'"

Cipel took the job, he said, because "New York is the place I love more than anywhere else in the world. I wanted to help New York, New Jersey and America, especially after 9/11.

"I am no longer afraid," Cipel said. "McGreevey tried to intimidate me. But I consider myself a New Yorker and an Israeli. And that is a tough combination."

Originally published on September 17, 2006

Bill's post-comment: This is getting to be too funny. Somebody is being honest, and the other is telling a dirty, white lie. Either way, it is too hard for me to determine as to whom is telling the truth. In my opinion, it sounds like Mr. Cipel is playing the victim card (a la Clinton). It sounds more and more like he used McGreevey and his position for his own selfish modus operandi, whatever that may have been. Was McGreevey arrogant about it all? Yes, and put roughly eight million New Jesey residents' lives in jeopardy for nothing more than his own self-gratification, in the form of a sexual conquest. Insiders knew of McGreevey's closet life, but held it over his head as a dangling carrot (may be the wrong word to use in this case) to force McGreevey's hand if they couldn't get what they want. Just ask former Newark mayor Sharpe James, who serves as a State Senator.

The world of politics is probably more dirty than an episode of "The Sopranos". For those who live in the Garden State, like me, this is just another day at the yard. I am sure that all of those who live out of state will get a big kick out of all of this. No wonder why New Jersey is the butt to a lot of jokes, this sure doesn't help our image.

I hope that you have enjoyed this and all other posts on the Phillips Philes. Take care.


NASCAR launches new race series in Canada

NASCAR launches new race series in Canada

Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
September 13, 2006
10:08 AM EDT (14:08 GMT)

NASCAR announced Tuesday it has purchased CASCAR (Canadian Association for Stock Car Racing) and has formed a new racing series.

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series involves a multiyear sponsorship from Canadian Tire and will kick off in May 2007. The 10- to 12-race schedule will run from May to October.

The series will use drivers and teams from the former CASCAR Series. NASCAR said the official schedule, points fund and tracks would be announced at a later date.

Tony Novotny founded the CASCAR Series, the first major stock car sanctioning body in Canada, in 1981. He has run the organization with his wife, Linda, for 25 years.

"We've been talking to Tony Novotny for several years," Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of corporate communications, said Tuesday. "NASCAR has always been in and out of Canada, and this was an opportunity for us to actually take over an existing tour."

The reason for the CASCAR acquisition by NASCAR is simple, according to Hunter.

"It's no secret that we have a strong fan base in Canada, with almost six million fans, that's one out of every four [Canadians], and they've been following the sport for quite a while," Hunter said. "Its pretty much coast to coast from British Columbia all the way out to Quebec to all the Atlantic provinces."

Several months ago, NASCAR officials confirmed there would be a Busch Series race in Canada in the near future, but Hunter stressed the CASCAR deal is totally separate from the Busch Series race.

"We've met with the folks, we know we want to go there," Hunter said. "We're just waiting now to work out all the details with the sanctioning agreement."

The questions concerning a Busch Series race in Canada, at least in 2007, should be answered when the Busch Series schedule is released within 30 days, Hunter said.

"We had hoped to have it by now," Hunter said. "But some of the sanctions are still being fine-tuned."