Borland shows up in new job with Haas CNC Racing

Updated: May 24, 2007, 9:24 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

CONCORD, N.C. -- Matt Borland didn't want to stop being a crew chief at Michael Waltrip Racing to become a technical director, but apparently he's willing to make that move for Haas CNC Racing.

Borland, who began the season as Dale Jarrett's crew chief, was at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Thursday with his new team.

"It was more of a timing issue," Borland said of why he chose Haas over staying with MWR. "It wasn't the right fit at the right time. Those guys are an awesome group. It wasn't the best time to make that type of change.

"The fit just wasn't right."

Asked to elaborate, Borland said, "I don't really want to comment on that."

Gene Haas was thrilled to get Borland over a host of suitors, including Evernham Motorsports. The hire was another piece of the puzzle in a move from two to four teams over the next five years.

That Haas has support from Hendrick Motorsports gives him confidence he can be successful.

"We're not out in the media a lot," he said. "We try to earn what we have. I think Matt and some of the crew chiefs fit that mold right now. As we start winning races I don't think it will be one at a time. We'll have systems in place and people in place that can continue that and not get a lucky weekend."

Could one of those people be Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is on the open market after announcing he's leaving Dale Earnhardt Inc. after this season?

"That's a complicated issue that I'm sure he's sorted through," Haas said. "I'm sure any team would love to have a person like Junior involved in his program, and we would as well."

Asked if he's made inquiries about NASCAR's most popular driver, Haas said, "I know those folks. To say we're out there trying to battle & we're concerned about our program. If people want to get involved we'll tell them about our program."

Owners in agreement

COT in 2008. Most owners are fully behind NASCAR's decision to go to a full Car of Tomorrow schedule in 2008 instead of spreading it out over three years.

"It's really tough to try to do two programs and have two parts inventories and have your head in two different places at the same time," said Ray Evernham, whose three teams have struggled in the COT.

"The car is safe. There's nothing crazy going on with it. We might as well run it and figure it out."

Evernham said in time drivers will stop complaining about struggles turning and the center of gravity that is higher than the current car. "If they had never driven a car with a lower center of gravity or a lot of front downforce they wouldn't know the difference," he said. "In a year or two they won't remember all of that stuff."

Brothers settle differences

Brotherly love. Kurt and Kyle Busch still don't agree on who caused the accident that eliminated both from Saturday's All-Star race, but they agree to put it behind them.

"We definitely talked about what happened with the two of us getting together," Kurt said. "That was the first time and we both laughed about that and thought that each one of us could have given an inch to help one another move forward instead of wrecking."

Kyle, however, wasn't laughing about big brother's comment that he wouldn't eat Kellogg's for a while.

"It hurt a little bit, I will be honest with you," said Kyle, who is sponsored by Kellogg's. "It was a pretty good jab, but what are you going to do? I can't say his sponsor [Miller Lite] on TV with Kellogg's on my shirt."

Martin stands ready

Martin for Gordon. Mark Martin, who drove a Hendrick Motorsports Busch Series car a few weeks ago, is prepared to sub for points leader Jeff Gordon at Sonoma, Calif., next month if Gordon is busy becoming a new father.

"Hopefully, it won't come to that, but I do admire Jeff for his commitment to be there when his daughter is born," said Martin, who is running a part-time schedule to spend more time with his family. "That is awesome.

"He's in a great position and it's an honor, a real big honor to me, that they thought enough of me to really pursue me."

Food drive

Fast relief. Fans can help fight hunger by donating unopened, non-perishable food and household items to bins located throughout the LMS campgrounds and at the TUMS Dinermobile in the fan midway area this weekend

The program sponsored by TUMS is for the Second Harvest Food Bank representing 16 counties in North and South Carolina and Speedway Children's Charities.

The first 100 fans to bring a contribution to the Dinermobile on Saturday and Sunday will receive a gift.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter

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