Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lee Janzen, Ben Crane, Ricky Carmichael

2009 kicks off in a big way this week for some of 4U Management's clients. Ben Crane, a two-time winner on the PGA TOUR and Lee Janzen, a two-time U.S. Open winner begin their year this week at the 50th annual Bob Hope Chrysler Classic hosted by Arnold Palmer.

Ricky Carmichel, the most successful motocross racer of all time, signed a Driver's Agreement this week with Kevin Harvick, Inc. This moves him one step closer to reaching his dream of racing the Cup Series in NASCAR. Monster Energy also signed with KHI to sponsor Ricky in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) during the 2009 series. Carmichael will drive the #4 Monster Energy Silverado for the KHI All-Star team, led by recently hired crew chief Bill Wilburn.

Tommy Limbaugh, the President of 4U Management, feels fortunate to represent such outstanding champions and people.

Crane Pleasantly Surprised with First Round in 2009

an. 21, 2009
By Larry Bohannan, Special to PGATOUR.COM

LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Ben Crane's first round of the 2009 PGA TOUR season was hardly expected, he said.

"I certainly didn't have a target score of 63 today," Crane laughed after finishing 9 under on the Nicklaus Private Course at PGA West in the first round of the Bob Hope Classic hosted by Arnold Palmer.

Crane's round of one eagle and seven birdies did more than just keep him near the lead in a charge on the Nicklaus Private Course, which is joining the four-course rotation this year.
Crane after 18 holes
Stats Rd. 1 Total
Eagles 1 1
Birdies 7 7
Pars 10 10
Bogeys -- 0
Double bogeys -- 0
Other -- 0
Driving accuracy 86 85.7
Driving distance -- 0
Putts per round 25 25.0
Putts per GIR 1.467 1.467
Greens in REG 83 83.3

Crane didn't want any part of the record, though, remembering that David Gossett had shot 59 on the Nicklaus Private in the 2000 PGA TOUR Qualifying finals. Told that didn't count as a tournament record, Crane mocked disdain.

"OK well, that's still four shots better," Crane said.

As for his own round Wednesday, matching his low round for the entire 2008 season, Crane said the key was an eagle on the par-5 13th, his fourth hole of the day.

"I parred the first hole and I was happy I was hitting some decent shots and hit decent putts that just didn't go in," Crane said. "Then all of a sudden I had a couple of good shots there and I was just off the green about four feet and hit a nice putt and it went in. So that was like, whoa, all right."

Crane took significant time away from the golf course during the off-season because of the birth of his second child three months ago. But in recent weeks he said he has been working hard again, especially on his putting.

"We changed b=my swing slightly, so we're doing some stuff with that," Crane said. "And then we worked particularly hard for the last two and a half weeks, really, we have been working on my putting. And today was probably the best day of putting we've had in that stretch. So it just kind of happened at the right time."

Part of the change in putting was switching to a different putter that Crane believes will speed up his pre-putt routine.

"I have some trouble with alignment, so I changed putters so that when I set the putter down I wouldn't have to correct it so much," he said. "When I set it down it just all of a sudden is sitting more on my line. And that has been a huge help."

The last of Crane's two PGA TOUR wins came in the 2005 U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee, but 2008 presented a major bounce-back year for the Westlake, Texas, resident. In 2007 Crane played just nine events, because of lower back problems. In 2008, he managed 25 starts and finished 64th on the TOUR money list with $1,488,505. That run included four top-10 finishes, something Crane is hoping to improve on in 2009. He just wasn't expecting to start so low in the Bob Hope Classic.

"I'm very confident about my game now, I'm excited about all the stuff I'm working on," Crane said. "I feel like I'm working on just great stuff."

Crane might also have a bit of an edge playing the new course in the Hope rotation. Crane used to live in the La Quinta area and work with an instructor at the Jim McLean golf school at PGA West. He also played in the 2000 qualifying tournament when Gossett shot his 59.

"So I played all these PGA West courses probably at least half a dozen times," Crane said.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ricky Carmichael News

Monster Energy Joins Kevin Harvick Inc. to Sponsor Ricky Carmichael in NASCAR Truck Series

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (January 20, 2009) – Monster Energy has signed with Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) to sponsor Ricky Carmichael in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) during the 2009 season. Carmichael, a 29-year-old native of Clearwater, Fla., and the most successful motocross racer in history, will drive the No. 4 Monster Energy Silverado for the KHI All-Star Team in at least 14 truck events and also pilot a Monster Energy Chevrolet in the season-opening Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) race at Daytona.

In the history of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), no other rider has won as many championships (15) and races (150) as Carmichael, earning him the nickname the Greatest of All-Time (the GOAT). Carmichael was a record five-time AMA Rider of the Year.

The driver lineup and sponsors for the KHI All-Star Team for the 11 remaining Camping World Truck Series races will be announced later and will include stars from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

“Monster has been a sponsor of mine since 2005,” said Carmichael, “so it’s really an honor to bring them into the Truck Series with me and KHI. This is an opportunity I’m really excited about. I think this is my best shot to learn and the best chance to become a successful NASCAR driver. I’m going to give 110 percent to make it worthwhile for myself and the entire team.”

“I like the fact he has the determination and the drive to have won multiple motocross championships,” said Daytona 500 champion, Kevin Harvick. “I believe he will put the same effort toward his stock car career. He knows how to race and he takes care of his equipment. Every time I’ve seen him race, he has shown great promise.”

The No. 4 team, led by recently hired crew chief Bill Wilburn, will assume the ninth-place owners points from the No. 2 KHI truck from 2008. The No. 2 team scored its maiden victory at Atlanta with Ryan Newman last October, then won again with team co-owner Kevin Harvick at Phoenix in November. Carmichael raced the number 4 from his first-ever motorcycle race through his retirement from two-wheeled racing in 2007.

NASCAR Experience: Carmichael finished sixth in points in his rookie season in the NASCAR Camping World East Series, driving for Ken Schrader Racing in 2008. In 13 starts, Carmichael had three top-five and eight top-10 finishes with one pole position. Carmichael drove one race for KHI in 2008, running among the top-five in the ARCA race at Talladega before a blown right-rear tire knocked the No. 33 KHI Chevrolet out of the race.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Carmichael headed for Irwindale

Jan 12, 2009

The NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown will feature two days of exciting action Jan. 23-24 among some of the top drivers in NASCAR Camping World Series and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action. The competition will air live on SPEED beginning at 7 p.m. PT both nights.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” Carmichael said. “It will be nice to go out and race before we get geared up for this season’s racing. It will take some time to get the cobwebs off, but for the race, I think I’ll be good.”

In just his first full season in a NASCAR touring series, Carmichael showed the ability to quickly acclimate himself to his new pursuit.

He won the Coors Light Pole Award at South Boston (Va.) Speedway in just his third race. He was ninth at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International in his first road-course excursion, and fifth in his first trip to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Carmichael was running second with two laps to go in the return trip to New Hampshire before running out of fuel. He also had a seventh-place finish at Dover International Speedway.

Carmichael was also a hit with the fans, earning the NASCAR Camping World Series East Most Popular Driver Award in online voting through and