December 2003 Busch Series Archive
- Cookbook: The Busch Series Ladies Association is pleased to announce the arrival of its first publication . . . Over the Wall Recipes, Checkered Flag Favorites of the Busch Series Ladies Association. Over the Wall Recipes contains nearly 500 recipes submitted by fans, BSLA and Winston Cup Racing Wives Auxiliary members, drivers, crew members and their families.. Also included are recipes from Motor Racing Outreach (MRO), NASCAR officials and broadcasters.. Recipes include the following: appetizers, soups and salads, sides and vegetables, main dishes, breads and rolls, cookies and candy, desserts, this and that. Sara Lee and Carrie Enders, both charter members of the BSLA spearheaded the cookbook project and spent many hours painstakingly typing in the nearly 500 recipes as well as categorizing them.. Support from Kingsford and Amick Farms made the book a reality along with graphics help from the Decal Source. Over the Wall Recipes will sell for $12.00 per book plus a shipping and handling charge.. Log onto www.buschladies.com for more information or to order yours today. All proceeds from the cookbook will benefit the Busch Series Ladies Association. The Busch Series Ladies Association, founded in 1996, is a non-profit organization that helps injured drivers and crew members in the Busch Series family.. In addition, the BSLA works to promote other charitable works.. For more information or to contact us be sure to log on to www.buschladies.com.(PR)(10-21-2002)
- Jessel Shop Available for Sale or Lease: ± 36,100 Total Square Feet; ± 3.5 Acres at 4403 Stough Road Concord, NC
Accepting Offers Now, for more information contact Anne Johnson at (704) 331-1225 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Bryan Crutcher at (704) 331-1215 or email@example.com
Built: 2000, includes:
Chasis Dyno; Controlled access via secured fencing; Two paint booths; Fully heated and air conditioned; Security system in place and active; Existing phone system can remain in building. Located near Interstates 85 and 485. Zoning: G-1.
General Industrial ± 28,807 sf
Assembly/Fabrication ± 3,143 sf
Team Offices and Showroom ± 4,150 sf of Mezzanine
- Rusty's Busch Team Gearing up for 2004: According to NASCAR great Rusty Wallace, perhaps the most action during racing’s so-called “off season” is occurring at 161 Knob Hill Road in Mooresville, NC. “That’s the address of our brand new facility and we’re only about three weeks away from moving in,” reports Wallace of the home for his new RWI Racing Busch Series team, which will field a fleet of Dodge racecars for promising young charger Billy Parker during the 2004 NASCAR season. “Everything’s going wide open and we couldn’t be any more excited and pleased with our progress so far.”
Wallace’s new state-of-the art team headquarters is located adjacent to his RWI complex and across the street from Penske Racing South, the team he co-owns and drives for on the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Current plans call for Wallace’s Busch Series team to compete in 17 races during the 2004 campaign.
“The game plan is to run Billy in 17 races this year, beginning with the March 6 Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas,” said Wallace of Parker, a talented 26-year-old racer who started driving go-karts at age 12 and has sharpened his skills on short tracks across the Southeast. Parker, son of legendary fisherman Hank Parker Sr., and younger brother of driver Hank Parker Jr., was chosen in September to pilot Wallace’s fleet of #66 Duraflame Dodge racecars in 2004 Busch Series action. “We’re also looking at the possibility of running the ARCA race down at Talladega. “We’re right on schedule with every aspect of the operation and we have some pretty high expectations for our team,” said Wallace. “We have two brand new Dodge racecars that have had extensive wind tunnel time. The new team transporter is all painted up and ready to go. The engines are coming from Penske-Jasper Engines and we’ve been so impressed with their horsepower and durability.
“We’ve already logged more than 1,000 miles in testing on tracks like Charlotte, Kentucky Motor Speedway and down in Lakeland, Fla., and Billy and the guys have shown a ton of potential,” Wallace stated. “They’ve run under the track record with some of their qualifying setups and been right on race record pace in full racing trim, so they’re definitely on target from the competitive end of the equation and that really has us all pumped up. Our Larry Carter-led Miller Lite Dodge (Nextel) Cup team will testing out at Las Vegas on the 26th and 27th and the plans are for Billy and his team to be testing out there, too,” said Wallace. “We want to really be prepared and come out with the guns all loaded when we debut the new team out there in March. We hope to be able to turn a lot of heads, that’s for sure.”
Wallace is extremely confident about his Busch team personnel roster that includes his 1989 NASCAR championship crew chief Barry Dodson, who serves as team manager for the new organization and long-time associate Tom Polansky, who is serving as the team coordinator for the group. “It’s amazing how Billy and his crew chief, Blake Bainbridge, have meshed,” Wallace said of the 24-year-old Bainbridge, a Hueytown, Ala., native who got his start in racing with the late Davey Allison and came to the new team from Cicci Racing. “Blake is one of the exciting new leaders and his experience is truly incredible for such a young guy. Blake grew up driving late models on tracks like Birmingham and Montgomery and I can certainly relate to that. He went on to work as a car chief and crew chief for some respectable Busch teams and he has even served as the shock specialist for a Cup effort. He has about the best background I’ve ever heard of for a 24-year-old crew chief.
“We’re determined to make our team a first-class organization all the way around and we have a great lineup of sponsors we’re very proud of,” said Wallace. “In addition to the great support we are getting from Duraflame, we have Nikon Binoculars, Emerson Climate Technologies and Jim Barna Log Homes as important backers of our team and we’re delighted about that. We hope to have several additional special announcements to make relative to our new team before we take our first green flag out in Las Vegas,” said Wallace. “But we’ve had so many inquiries and the phones have been ringing off the hook, so we wanted to bring everyone up to date and hopefully this has accomplished that here today. Stay tuned for more exciting details about our No. 66 team as we get closer to the March debut.”(Tom Roberts PR)(12-30-2003)
- Labonte Motorsports looking for team members: Labonte Motorsports is currently interviewing for several fabricator positions. Qualified applicants should contact Labonte Motorsports crew chief Bryant Frazier at (336) 431-1004. Labonte Motorsports recently announced a 15 race Busch Series schedule for 2004 with the U. S. Coast Guard.(12-30-2003)
- Holigan Racing Formed For NASCAR, AMA And National Television Series: Taking reality television to unmatched heights, Holigan Racing will field a NASCAR Busch Series car and an AMA Motocross team in 2004. The day-to-day efforts behind both teams will be part of a national television series on Spike TV, a national television network. The team will run 15 NASCAR Busch Series races, the full 16-event AMA Supercross schedule and the full 12-event AMA Outdoor Nationals.
Holigan Racing is owned by Michael Holigan, an expert home-builder and contractor with his own nationally-syndicated television series. Holigan is purchasing the assets of TKO Motorsports, a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team based in Ft. Worth, and will run the NASCAR and AMA teams from his new facility in Dallas.
David Starr, one of the top names from NASCAR’s Craftsman Truck Series, will drive the Busch car, and will continue driving the Truck for Spears Racing. Todd Myers, a veteran who has worked previously with such names as Jamie McMurray, Brendan Gaughan and Starr, will serve as crew chief.
Lifekey Health Care, Inc. will sponsor the Busch team through its brand of Enzyte, once-a-day option for natural male enhancement. Team Enzyte will be featured each week in “The Reality of Speed,” a 52-week reality show debuting on the Spike TV network beginning Saturday, January 3rd at 10:30 AM. The series follows the lives of drivers, riders and members of both the NASCAR and AMA Holigan Racing teams as they prepare and compete on the grueling circuits.
“This is a unique positive position for a motorsports team and for a motorsports sponsor,” Holigan said. “Bringing talents like David Starr and Todd Myers together, incorporating immediate, automatic national television exposure and bringing in a high-quality corporate sponsor like Lifekey Health Services and a product like Enzyte may very well be a first for this sport. We are proud to break ground with this exciting new series on Spike TV, and with an exciting new race team.
The national television show is the first for Enzyte, and the first reality TV show starring a racing team. Enzyte joins such sponsors as Budweiser, Goodyear, and the U.S. Army, and is the first men’s supplement to sponsor a race car team. Holigan Racing LP is a newly-formed motorsports team created by Holigan, a former NASCAR Winston Cup team sponsor. Spike TV, the first network for men, is available in 86 million homes and is a division of MTV networks. Enzyte is the non-prescription, once-a-day tablet for natural male enhancement. Its proprietary blend of natural ingredients enables men to reach their full potential, achieving stronger, fuller, better quality erections. As part of a man’s daily regiment, Enzyte is not situation specific, promoting spontaneity. Enzyte is a brand of Lifekey Health Care, Inc. (www.enzyte.com; 1-800-ENZYTE)(PR), Holigan used to sponsor the #25 Cup car. The Busch car will be the #50 Chevy. See an image of the car on my 2004 Busch Series Schemes page.(11-5-2003)
UPDATE: see the full 15 race schedule on the www.enzyte.com site.(12-30-2003)
- Benning plans to attempt three races at Daytona: ARCA veteran driver Norm Benning will attempt the ARCA RE/MAX Series, and the NASCAR Busch and Nextel Cup Series events from Daytona International Speedway in February, Catchfence.com has been informed. Benning was successful in making the field in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2003, but his bid to make the "All American Race" failed last year. Benning, who is expected to pilot the #84 Chevrolet in all three races has not announced a sponsor at this time.(Catchfence)(12-28-2003)
- Whitney Racing Heads To NASCAR: Ann Arbor's Michigan based Whitney Racing will head to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on a limited schedule in 2004 with upcoming driver Jimmy Thiel behind the wheel. The team is building a Chevrolet Silverado from the ground up, and has locked CCIMNet powered by Catylist as a sponsor for some of the events. The team is also expected to return to the ARCA RE/MAX Series in selected events, in the familiar No. 09 Chevrolet Monte Carlo and Pontiac Grand Prix. Dusty Whitney, the car owner has also not ruled out the possibility of putting the 24-year old Thiel in a NASCAR Busch Series event next season.(Catchfence)(12-28-2003)
- No Spawn at Daytona AND: #13 Black Cat Racing and The FanZcar are bringing yet another opportunity for The FanZCar members. This time it is for the Hershey’s Kisses 300 at Daytona in February. Black Cat Racing has postponed the Spawn scheme, originally slated to be run at the Daytona event. The scheme will run in 2004, but will be rescheduled for later in the 2004 season. The FanZcar will be the primary sponsor for the Hershey’s Kisses 300 at Daytona in February.(Black Cat PR via BGNRacing.com)(12-26-2003)
AND Black Cat Racing (BCR) and Big Daddy Choppers of Ripley, Tennessee announce a partnership for the 2004 race season.
"Will Douglas and the guys at Big Daddy Choppers do the most incredible custom work I've ever seen, and we're extremely excited about the opportunity to partner with them for the 2004 race season," reported Gary Benton, co-owner of BCR. "In fact, we're offering an opportunity for our race fans and NRA members to win a custom made chopper, which will be given away in November of 2004!"
To enter the drawing simply register as a new NRA member or renew membership under the Black Cat Racing promotion (campaign ID XR017232). This can be done by visiting the BCR website at www.bcr13.com and clicking on 'JOIN NRA NOW' or by providing the campaign code when calling the National Riffle Association. The chopper will be on display at most 2004 NASCAR Busch Series Races or anywhere the BCR display is found during the season. For more information on Big Daddy Choppers visit www.bigdaddychoppers.com.(Black Cat Racing PR)(12-30-2003)
- PF2 Motorsports still looking for a sponsor: The #94 PF2 Motorsports team had been working with a sponsor in preparation for the 2004 season. After dotting all the i's and crossing the t's, the package looked acceptable to both parties. At the 11th hour the marketing team has decided not to affiliate with a team and proceed with at-track marketing in other forms. "We were very disappointed in not being able to come to terms. The real bad thing is that we put a lot of time into developing the entire marketing package and we have not explored other opportunities. This late in the game the 2004 season does not look promising for us. It was a great disappointment as I feel we have competed with no or little sponsorship last year and out qualified several larger teams on many occasions. Unfortunately, limited resources kept us from finishing well. This was an opportunity to elevate our program to a more competitive level." said PF2 Motorsports owner Fred Bickford. PF2 Motorsports is now once again looking to become involved with anyone interested in a turnkey marketing program. For contact info, see the www.racingexperts.com site.(BGNRacing.com site)(12-25-2003)
- Sponsor in the cards for #12: The US Playing Card Company (USPC) will be a primary sponsor for the #12 FitzBradshaw Racing Chevy in the North Carolina 200 on February 21, 2004 at North Carolina Speedway. USPC will also appear as an associate sponsor with FitzBradshaw Racing at Darlington (March and November races), Kentucky (June) and Michigan (August). The #12 US Playing Card Chevrolet will be piloted by driver Tim Fedewa. The United States Playing Card Company is the leader in the production
and distribution of premier brands of playing cards, including BEE®, BICYCLE®, AVIATOR® and HOYLE® playing cards as well as NASCAR Driver playing cards. BICYCLE® has been the best selling playing card brand in the world for more than 100 years. The privately held company, based in Cincinnati, Ohio since its founding in 1867, manufactures, markets and distributes playing cards, children's card games, collectible tins, puzzles and card accessories.(PSE-3/FitzBradshaw Racing PR)(12-24-2003)
- ppc still looking and needs PR rep UPDATE: With a primary sponsor in place for approx. 18-20 races, ppc Racing still needs sponsorship for the remaining 14-16 races. They will give someone a great deal to be on the Jason Keller car or full sponsorship of the 2nd car (#10)...driver TBD. They are also looking to hire someone with experience as PR rep for a Craftsman truck team.(BGNRacing.com)(12-23-2003)
UPDATE: been told the position has been filled.(1-3-2004)
- Henderson Motorsports Moves To ASA In 04: Henderson Motorsports and rookie driver Jimmy Henderson will move to the American Speed Association for the 2004 season. The team ran a limited schedule in the NASCAR Busch Series and the ARCA RE/MAX Series in 2003, but the team has chosen to run the entire ASA schedule in attempt for Henderson to collect the $50,000.00 bonus for capturing rookie-of-the-year honors. Henderson Motorsports will also attempt to run a handful of Busch events next season eyeing at least the events from Richmond International Raceway. The organization continues to meet with sponsors around the clock with hopes of securing a full sponsor for the season. Nonetheless, the team plans to run the events with or without a sponsor. The team has chosen the Chevrolet Monte Carlo as their manufacturer. A detailed press release is forthcoming following the Holiday season.(Henderson Motorsports PR)(12-23-2003)
- ARCA RE/MAX Series Teams Wrap Up Test Session: The three-day ARCA RE/MAX Series test session in preparation for the Feb. 7 Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 wrapped up on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway. A.J. Henriksen, driving the No. #17 Ford, posted the top speed of the day with a lap of 182.637 mph. Bobby Gerhart, a two-time winner of the Advance Discount Auto Parts 200, posted the second fastest speed of the day with a lap of 181.496. Rounding out the top five were Ed Kennedy (180.155), Johnny Leonard (179.426) and David Ragan (179.290). The majority of the ARCA RE/MAX Series teams left after Saturday's second day of testing. The Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 on Saturday, Feb. 7 is the season opener to the ARCA RE/MAX Series and will precede the Budweiser Shootout, an non-points no-holds barred All-Star race featuring last year's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole winners and past Budweiser Shootout champions. Tickets for all Speedweeks 2004 events, including the Advance Discount Auto Parts 200, are available online at
www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.
Day 3 ARCA RE/MAX Series test speeds (Top 10)
1. A.J. Henriksen, 182.637mph
2. Bobby Gerhart, 181.496
3. Ed Kennedy, 180.155
4. Johnny Leonard, 179.426
5. David Ragan, 179.290
6. Larry Hollenbeck, 178.490
7. Jeff Kendall, 178.084
8. Shane Hmiel, 177.876
9. Johnny Leonard, 177.760
10. Blake Feese, 177.158 (Speedway PR)(12-23-2003)
- Hmeil tests ARCA car: Shane Hmiel returned to the track today at Daytona International Speedway behind the wheel of Team CLR's #57 Ford Taurus. Team CLR plans on running selected ARCA and Nextel Cup races in 2004. They also hope to participate in some form or another in the Busch series. Many of their plans are dependant upon securing sponsorship. Team CLR is keeping busy fabricating bodies of all makes for the Cup, Busch and ARCA series. Not only for their team but for other teams as well. For more information or inquires please visit TeamCLR.com or OTWRacing.com.(12-20-2003)
- ARCA Daytona Test Speeds - top 10:
Top 10 test speeds from day 1 of the ARCA RE/MAX Series test speeds: 1. Dan Shaver, 184.075 mph; 2. Ron Cox, 183.981; 3. A.J. Henriksen, 183.359; 4. Kyle Busch, 182.497; 5. Paul Menard, 182.419; 6. Christi Passmore, 181.712; 7. Bobby Gerhart, 181.112; 8. Brent Sherman, 180.82; 9. Shane Hmeil, 180.458; 10. A.J. Fike, 180.429.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(12-20-2003)
- Stewart and Harvick team up for Lowe's Busch race: In a one-of-a-kind Busch Race, Action Performance has teamed up American Rocker “Kid Rock” and NASCAR Champion Tony Stewart in a Kevin Harvick owned Busch Car. The car will race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway over Memorial Day weekend.(12-19-2003)
- Testing at Talladega: While NASCAR officials worked with aerodynamic packages on the new 2004 body styles of 19 Busch Series teams at Talladega Superspeedway on Thursday, several drivers are also excited about changes to their teams in 2004. Coming off one of the most exhilarating NASCAR Busch Series seasons in history in 2003, fans have much to look forward to in 2004. The Busch Series returns to Talladega Superspeedway for the Aaron's Dream Weekend, April 22-25, 2004. Tickets for the Aaron's
312 can be purchased by calling 1-877-Go2-DEGA or by visiting the track's official website, talladegasuperspeedway.com.
The NASCAR sanctioned two-day test for the Busch Series teams at Talladega ended on Thursday. On hand at the two-day test were:
#4-Rick Crawford with Biagi Brothers Racing
#21?-Johnny Sauter with Richard Childress Racing
#99-Randy Lajoie with Michael Waltrip Racing
#25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. with Team Rensi Motorsports
#20-Mike Bliss with Joe Gibbs Racing
#5-Kyle Busch with Hendrick Motorsports
#00-Jason Leffler with Haas CNC Racing
#8-John Andretti and #8-Martin Truex with Dale Earnhardt Inc.
#1-David Stremme with Phoenix Racing
#23-Kenny Wallace with Bill Davis Racing
#87-Joe Nemechek with NEMCO Motorsports
#77-Brad Teague with MOY Racing
#12-Tim Fedewa and #14-Casey Atwood with FitzBradshaw Racing. To purchase tickets to the Aaron's Dream Weekend - including the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Aaron's 499 - fans can call the track's ticket hotline number at 1-877-Go2-DEGA (877-462-3342) or
visit the track's official web site at talladegasuperspeedway.com.(Talladega Superspeedway PR), NO Speeds were reported.(12-19-2003)
- Mike Swaim, Jr. Hoping To Return To Racing: Mike Swaim, Jr. a former driver in the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series is looking to return to racing in 2004. Swaim both successful in both NASCAR and the ARCA RE/MAX Series is looking at all options and is willing to talk to any teams about driving next season. More info on his website at: www.mikeswaimjr.com.(Catchfence)(12-19-2003)
- Biffle gets a sponsor, to run full season in 2004: Charter Communications, Inc. announced a full-season NASCAR Busch Series primary sponsorship agreement with Roush Racing for the 2004 race season. Greg Biffle and the #60 Roush Ford Taurus, will make an all-out pursuit of the 2004 Busch Series championship to help build awareness for Charter brands. The 2002 Busch Series Champion, Biffle is one of only a handful of drivers to score wins in NASCAR's top three series. Roush Racing owner Jack Roush said he is eager to get the #60 team back in action and add even more victories to its stellar history. The power of the Charter Communications/Roush #60 program will be underscored with the first-time pairing of the driver and crew chief collectively responsible for nine victories out of the 34-race 2002 season. Biffle notched four wins in '02. Brad Parrott, who led Roush Racing's entry (with driver Jeff Burton) to five wins in just 14 races, will lead the team as Crew Chief. Biffle's 2004 return to the #60 NBS program will make the 33-year-old Vancouver, Wash., native one of the busiest competitors in the garage. In addition to the Busch program, Biffle will compete in a full, 36-race Nextel Cup Series schedule driving the #16 Roush entry. The sponsorship will be managed by East Aurora, NY based Cenergy Sports & Entertainment. Cenergy will manage all aspects of the Charter race car program, including a 200+ event mobile marketing program. This mobile marketing program will travel to all Charter markets and demonstrate the latest broadband technology including high definition television, high speed Internet access, video-on-demand, interactive television, and more.
Roush said specific details about running Biffle in both series would be revealed later. "Where scheduling difficulties possibly arise due to geographic or weather-related issues, Roush Craftsman Truck Series star Carl Edwards will stand by to qualify (or possibly even race) the #60 Charter Communications Taurus if needed," Roush said. More information about Charter can be found at www.charter.com.(Roush Racing PR)(12-18-2003)
- New #57 [or #22] crew chief UPDATE 2: Wes Ward, former crew chief for the #38 Great Clips Akins Motorsports team, will reportedly move to ppc Racing to become crew chief for Jason Keller in 2004.
UPDATE: Team sources have confirmed that Wes Ward is the new crew chief at ppc Racing for Jason Keller. Steve Addington was released last week and Wes started today. ppc plans to announce a new sponsor in the next few weeks. And will have an announcement about their truck team [Jayski: Terry Cook?] as well.(both from BGNRacing.com)(12-10-2003)
UPDATE 2: hearing ppc Racing will announce the Terry Cook and Powerstroke Truck Series deal on January 10, 2004 in correlation with Daytona testing and that Fred Wanke will be the crew chief for the team. See more on this on my Truck Series site.(12-18-2003)
- #44 [now #24] Looking for a sponsor: GIC-Mixon Motorsports won't have sponsorship as the FanZCar in next year's Busch Series, the fan-supported sponsorship service says. "We enjoyed our time with GIC-Mixon Motorsports last year," said Scott Stricker of the FanZCar. "However, the majority of our aggregate member base has voted to look at other teams/opportunities for sponsorship" Stricker said negotiations are under way with other teams. Details on FanZCar membership, which starts at $37, is available on its Web site, www.thefanzcar.com.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(12-12-2003)
UPDATE: GIC Motorsports announced the team will use the #24 on its Busch Series car in the 2004 season. Driver Mike Harmon last raced with the number in the 1996 Busch Series season. Prior to that, Harmon raced with #24 in lower racing divisions including the NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series and The Hooters Cup Series. “I’m excited to be racing with the #24 again. It’s the number I have won all my championships with, and the number people know me by,” said Harmon. Harmon was asked by Nextel Cup driver Terry Labonte for the rights to the #44 for his son Justin Labonte’s Busch Series car. Harmon then suggested that Labonte ask his Hendrick Motorsports team, who owns the #24 in NASCAR’s Busch and Nextel Cup Series, to release #24 for Harmon’s Busch Series car. “I basically told him, ‘we’ll give you the 44 if you can get us the 24.’ So everything worked out,” said Harmon.(PR via Insider Racing News)(12-18-2003)
- Robinson and Kirk turn to fans: Tammy Jo Kirk and Jay Robinson Racing are trying to raise funds for their Busch efforts in 2004. They are looking for $500,000. They want to get 5000 fans to sponsor the team at $100.00 each. In return they get their name on the car and a chance to come to the races. If they do not raise enough money, refunds will be issued. The team will release a press release after the Holidays to discuss the benefits to the fans.
UPDATE: Catchfence has been informed it does not look like that Advil will be returning as the sponsor of the #49 Ford in 2004. The team is still waiting to get a final word from them, but they are beginning to look at other options for 2004 and has also learned that former ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Greg Van Alst is hunting for a sponsor to drive the second car (#39 Ford) in selected races in 2004.(Tammy Jo Kirk/Jay Robinson Racing PR via Catchfence)(12-18-2003)
- Labonte and the Coast Guard: The United States Coast Guard announced Wednesday that it is entering into a partnership with Labonte Motorsports and driver Justin Labonte for a 15-race schedule in the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series. Justin's father, two-time NASCAR champion Terry Labonte and his uncle Bobby Labonte, winner of the 2000 Nextel championship and 1991 NASCAR Busch Series championship, will participate in the program which is aimed at enhancing the Coast Guard's recruiting and outreach missions. Justin, 22, recently won the 2003 Late Model Stock Championship at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C., duplicating the feat accomplished by Bobby Labonte in 1987. Justin posted impressive statistics in his title run with 7 wins in 24 starts, to go along with 19 top-five and 21 top-ten finishes. The 2004 Team Coast Guard Racing/Labonte Motorsports #44 Dodge will be powered by the Labonte Motorsports in-house motor development group, Labonte Racing Engines, Inc., headed by Freddie Turza. Bryant Frazier will be the team's crew chief. He was the crew chief for Steve Grissom during his Busch Series championship season in 1993 and later served as crew chief for Bobby Labonte in several of his Busch Series victories.(NASCAR.com)(12-17-2003)
- New crew chief for the #20? Steve Addington will reportedly be Mike Bliss' crew chief for 2004.(BGNRacing.com), Addington recently left ppc Racing, #57 team.(12-17-2003)
- A few teams looking for help: Joe Gibbs Racing's [#18/#20] Busch Operations is currently accepting resumes for fabricator positions. Their shop is located at 5901 Orr Rd. in Charlotte.
AND Matrix Motorsports [#71 Kevin Lepage] is looking for fabricators, mechanics, and body hangers for the 2004 season. Drop a resume at the shop at 107 Parr Dr. Huntersville NC.(BGNRacing.com)[see my Busch Series Team address page for info](12-17-2003)
- Kyle Busch to run a limited schedule: Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick today announced that 18-year-old Kyle Busch will attempt to qualify for six NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races in 2004 with support from primary sponsor CARQUEST Auto Parts, the official auto parts supplier of Hendrick Motorsports since 2002.
"The folks at CARQUEST have been wonderful partners and we are excited about their expanded role with us in 2004," Hendrick said. "This is going to be a great chance for Kyle to gain some valuable experience by racing with and learning from the best drivers in NASCAR. I think it's really going to benefit his development."
In conjunction with its support of Busch in the #84 Chevrolets (formerly the #60), CARQUEST will become a major associate sponsor
of the #25 Nextel Cup team of driver Brian Vickers. CARQUEST backed Vickers and the championship-winning #5 NASCAR Busch Series team as a major associate in 2003.
"All of us at CARQUEST Auto Parts are proud to continue our association with Hendrick Motorsports as their official auto parts supplier," said Art Lottes III, president of CARQUEST. "Hendrick Motorsports is a world-class organization and we look forward in 2004 to continued success with Brian Vickers and our new relationship with Kyle Busch."
Busch will aim to qualify for his first-ever Nextel Cup event at his hometown track of Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March, followed by
efforts at Texas Motor Speedway in April and Lowe's Motor Speedway over Memorial Day weekend in May. During the second half of the season, the #84 CARQUEST team will enter races at New Hampshire International Speedway in July, Michigan International Speedway in August and California Speedway on Labor Day weekend in September. In addition, Busch will attempt to make the field for the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge, a non-points event at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May.
"I appreciate the opportunity CARQUEST and the Hendrick family have provided," said Busch, who will also run a full-time Busch Series
schedule in 2004. "Learning first-hand from my teammates and the other Cup drivers is going to be great experience. I'm just looking
forward to being on the race track with them." With seven career Busch Series races under his belt, Busch has posted a pair of runner-up finishes, three top-10 showings and five top-10 starts. He also earned two victories and trio of pole positions in 2003 ARCA Series competition.(Hendrick Motorsports)(12-17-2003)
- New Crew chief for the #38 and Kahne: Akins Motorsports team owners Doug Stringer and Brad Akins announced Monday they have hired Tim Shutt, 34, as the new crew chief of the #38 Dodges in the NASCAR Busch Series, which will be driven by Kasey Kahne. The team's previous crew chief, Wes Ward, has accepted a position with ppc Racing. Prior to joining Akins, Shutt was employed by Joe Gibbs Racing since 1999 as crew chief for drivers Mike Bliss and Mike McLaughlin.(ThatsRacin.com)(12-16-2003)
- Kenseth's Busch plans for 2004: Matt Kenseth said his team was going to try to merge its Busch Series programs together. "Our Pennzoil deal with Roush (Racing) in the #car, I'm going to run three races. I think Jeff Burton's running three and Mark Martin's running three," he said. "We're still planning on running nine or 10 races with Bayer but we're gonna try to put our programs together. We'll basically have two full-time programs and it'll probably be a Roush team."(Wisconsin State Journal)(12-16-2003)
- Andretti to run some Busch? and testing: hearing that several Cup and a couple of Busch teams have contacted John Andretti about driving for them in 2004, and he is considering things now. Apparently, a couple of IRL teams have also inquired but Andretti, so far, is planning on staying in NASCAR racing.
AND hearing Andretti will be testing Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Busch car at Talladega on Wednesday.(12-16-2003)
- Outdoor Channel returns to BACE, Lusk to drive in the #74: The Outdoor Channel announced it will continue its partnership with BACE Motorsports in the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series season. Damon Lusk joins the BACE Motorsports stable as driver of the #74 Outdoor Channel Chevrolet. Lusk made 11 Busch Series starts in 2002, finishing outside the top-25 just four times in a limited schedule that featured his first top-10 starting spot (10th at Charlotte – 5/24) and three top-20s (New Hampshire – 18th, Michigan – 12th and Miami -18th). The Washington state native grabbed the attention of the NASCAR garage during his brief stint in the ARCA Series, where he posted two wins, six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes during the 2002 season.
“We watched Damon with great interest in 2002 during The Outdoor Channel’s coverage of the ARCA Series (ARCA Racing This Week),” said Wade Sherman, Outdoor Channel Senior Vice President, “and we’re very pleased with our association with BACE Motorsports in 2003. The combination of BACE Motorsports’ winning tradition and Damon’s talent and enthusiasm will be the key to success in 2004, and we’re excited about the future of our program,” Sherman added.
The Outdoor Channel will serve as primary sponsor for the BACE team for a minimum of 17 races during the 2004 season, beginning with the season opener at Daytona International Speedway on February 14. The Outdoor Channel Chevrolet will also take the track at Las Vegas, Texas, Talladega, California, Chicago and Homestead.
“I’m thrilled to come on board at BACE Motorsports and continue their successful partnership with The Outdoor Channel,” said Lusk. “BACE has an outstanding track record in the Busch Series and they are a team you immediately identify as a contender. The guys in the shop have a great chemistry and it translates into competitive cars every weekend. I’m thankful to Bill and Brian (Baumgardner) for giving me the opportunity to drive for them and am looking forward to working with The Outdoor Channel this season.”
“It’s great to return to the Busch Series on a full-time basis in 2004,” said BACE Motorsports Owner Bill Baumgardner. “Damon joins a team with a winning heritage and we believe he’s the right driver to continue that tradition as we compete for our fourth NASCAR Busch Series Championship. We are actively pursuing corporate partners to share the remainder of the 2004 season with The Outdoor Channel, with the knowledge that we provide one of the best branding opportunities in the NASCAR garage.”
The Outdoor Channel will also continue its association with Nextel Cup driver Tony Raines, who drove the Outdoor Channel ride in 12 Busch Series events in 2003, posting a pair of top-5 and five top-10 finishes. Raines, who will compete in his sophomore season in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, will again sport The Outdoor Channel as an associate sponsor on the #74 BACE Motorsports Chevrolet. For more information, visit The Outdoor Channel’s web site at www.outdoorchannel.com.(BACE Motorsports PR), so this pretty much kills off the Kerry Earnhardt to the #74 rumor.(12-16-2003)
- Hermie Sadler and the 'Drive for Diversity': Score Motorsports, a partnership formed in October by the former Cavaliers star and Emporia native Hermie Sadler, has committed to becoming a charter member of NASCAR's "Drive for Diversity" in 2004. The new initiative will place minority drivers in Late Model cars in the Dodge Weekly Series. Sadler and Stith will field a car at South Boston Speedway. Sadler said he and Stith agreed to the program after being sought out by NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne at the season finale at Homestead. "We were talking about trying to search out minority candidates to put in the cars and train as mechanics," Sadler said. "Shortly after that, I started getting calls from George Pyne about our willingness to participate in this program. It all fell into place." Sadler still is planning to drive at least a dozen Busch Series races and a few Nextel Cup events for Score Motorsports but also is adding help at his South Hill-based shop to crew the new Late Model car.
"We'll treat it just as serious as our Winston Cup and Busch programs," said Sadler, whose team has run limited Busch and Cup schedules since 2001 while struggling to find sponsorship. "We want to be successful with that because it could lead to bigger and better things. This program we're doing will go a long way toward giving us credibility as a team supporting the diversity initiative. It's another feather in our cap." Sadler and Stith will select their Late Model driver from a "combine" at Hickory Motor Speedway on Jan. 5. About 12 to 15 prospective minority drivers will showcase their on-track skills during the event, which will be attended by other teams interested in the diversity initiative, such as Bobby Hamilton Racing.
"Our driver is going to work in the shop during the week and race on weekends," Sadler said. "By midseason, he'll be a vital part of preparing his own car by our training." The team has been assured by NASCAR and Access Communications, the company spearheading the "Drive for Diversity," that the car will have a full primary sponsor. The price tag for a full short-track season ranges from $100,000-$300,000 annually - far less than the $3 million-$15 million needed to run in NASCAR's top three series. "It gives you a good feeling that NASCAR is really behind the program," Sadler said. "They're working to secure enough money to compete in top-notch equipment and not cut any corners. Everything will be new, and we'll treat it like we're competing for the Late Model championship at South Boston." Access Communications General Manager Darryl Stewart said there are enough sponsors for about four Late Model teams. The first officially to sign is the National Guard, which also is the primary advertiser of the #16 Ford driven by Greg Biffle in the Nextel Cup Series. The Hickory combine also will provide minority crew members with the chance to join a Craftsman Truck Series team. Several Truck teams, including HT Motorsports, Morgan-Dollar Motorsports and Innovative Motorsports, will be present. Access has extended its deadline for applications [see next story or more info on my Racing Schools/Jobs page.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(12-16-2003)
- Neuenberger in the #52 full-time? Hearing that Donnie Neuenberger is raising funds to race the #52 Busch Series car full time in 2004 for rookie of the year and will continue to have University of Maryland on the car in some capacity.(12-16-2003)
- Some Braun Racing News: Braun Racing, who with driver Chad Blount finished second in ARCA RE/MAX Series championship points in 2002, is returning to the RE/MAX Series tour with two teams for the 2004 season. In Dodges purchased from the Chip Ganassi NASCAR Nextel Cup Series stable, plans are to run each team in 13 superspeedway races with drivers’ Deborah Renshaw in a #64 Dodge and rookie Ryan Hemphill in a #77 Dodge. As a sidebar to the Braun announcement, 16-year-old rookie Josh Allison of Waverly, Indiana will share the #64 with Renshaw in 2004. Plans are to run Allison in the short-track events with Renshaw completing the superspeedway portion of the schedule. Veteran crew chief Eddie Kelley, who engineered Shelby Howard’s three-year plight in the RE/MAX Series, will serve as Allison’s crew chief. (Catchfence)
BGN NOTE: No word on whether Braun will still field Busch teams. Blount started out with the #19 Busch team in 2003, but left in mid-May. Casey Mears stepped into the ride for the companion events. Braun also fielded the #30 on a part-time basis.
UPDATE: BGNRacing.com is being told that Braun is close to signing Jamie McMurray for several Busch races next year. (BGNRacing.com)
AND Braun Racing, in a strategic alliance with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS Engineering), would like to build on the 2003 Busch Series success of Jamie McMurray and Casey Mears. The program offers a sponsorship with Nextel Cup drivers that will run up front and have the resources of a Nextel Cup team for the investment of a Busch program. McMurray is available for 10-20 races and Mears is available for 10 races-the full schedule. Last season McMurray had 2 Busch wins and five top-5s in 17 races. Mears captured the pole in Chicago and had seven top-15 finishes.(12-16-2003)
- Black Cat Racing and FanZCar team up: #13-Black Cat Racing (BCR) is joining forces with The FanZCar, a program in which allows the fans to become a sponsor and participating factor of the racing team.(Black Cat PR via BGNRacing.com)(12-13-2003)
- Pearson returns to Busch racing: Ricky Pearson hopes to restore the thunder to his family's racing shop, a facility that once produced championships but has been largely quiet in recent years. Located behind his father David Pearson's house north of Spartanburg, Pearson Racing now is home to the Dreams Come True Motorsports team, a part-time NASCAR Busch series operation started by a pair of Cleveland businessmen. Ricky Pearson, David's middle son and a long-time NASCAR crew chief, is running the team for owners John McGill and Carl Natale, who jumped into Busch racing on a limited basis last year, running Alabama driver and 1993 series champion Steve Grissom in five races. In 2004, the team plans to run 20 to 24 Busch races to build a foundation toward a scheduled full-season run of 34 races in 2005. Pearson, who has worked for several teams and drivers in recent seasons, said he hopes to restore a winning atmosphere in the shop where his older brother, Larry, won the Busch championship racing for the family-operated team in 1987. It will be a long haul, Pearson acknowledges. Not the least of the hurdles is money. McGill and Natale are trying to link several sponsors to run most of the races next season. Grissom had a best finish of 14th (at Richmond, Va.) in the five races the team ran last season.(Greenville News)(12-11-2003)
- Driver returns to Busch racing: Eddie Beahr will return to the Busch Series in 2004, starting at Rockingham with hopes of running 25 races. Beahr, with 3 career Busch starts, has been running a limited schedule in the Hooter's Pro Cup Series. Beahr will be in a Dodge for 2004 with engines from Mike Ege. The team is looking for sponsorship - primary or associate. They have limited sponsorship to help get started.(Beahr Racing PR via BGNRacing.com)(12-11-2003)
- Cogswell new #12 crew chief? UPDATE, yes, and Jay Guy news #14 crew chief: hearing former #54 Cup team crew chief, Gary Cogswell, has accepted the job as the crew chief for the #12 FitzBradshaw team and driver Tim Fedawa.(12-9-2003)
UPDATE: FitzBradshaw Racing has named two new crew chiefs for the #12 and #14 Chevrolets, confirming the team’s starting line up for the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series season. Earlier this week, the team announced that drivers Casey Atwood and Tim Fedewa would be back next year. Jay Guy will lead the team for the #14 Chevrolet, driven by Atwood. Guy comes to FitzBradshaw Racing from MBV Motorsports, where he served as the crew chief for Johnny Benson and the #10 Pontiac.
Gary Cogswell will head up the #12 Chevrolet, piloted by Fedewa. Cogswell joins the team from BelCar Racing where he served as crew chief for Todd Bodine and the #54 National Guard Ford in 2003. In 2000, Cogswell worked with Fedewa at Buckshot Racing.
“Everyone is really starting to get excited about next season,” FitzBradshaw Racing co-owner Armando Fitz said. “I think Jay (Guy) will really help this Navy team excel and reach its potential. Gary (Cogswell) and Tim have worked together before and we’re hopeful that will help create a successful combination.”
“We really want to be a competitive force this year,” FitzBradshaw Racing co-owner Terry Bradshaw said. “I think with both of our drivers coming back and with experienced, proven crew chiefs coming in, we should really be competitive in the point’s race.”(PSE-3/FitzBradshaw Racing PR)(12-10-2003)
- Milwaukee to Light 'em up: NASCAR will follow in CART's tracks and run nighttime races at the Milwaukee Mile next year. Boosted by positive reaction last May to the first nighttime race in CART Champ Car history, the venerable track has shifted the timing on its NASCAR weekend, as well, taking both Craftsman Truck Series and Busch Series races under the lights in 2004. After months of discussion between Mile and NASCAR officials, the move became official Tuesday at a board of directors meeting for the State Fair Park, which owns the facility. The 200-mile NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race is now set for Friday, June 25, and the 250-mile Busch Series event for Saturday, June 26. The Mile had contemplated racing the trucks at night in the past as a way to boost attendance for that division. Discussions with NASCAR led to taking both races under the lights. CART rented the lights last season at a cost estimated at nearly $500,000. The Mile will pay Musco Lighting for its NASCAR weekend. Customers have already received ticket information with the old, afternoon race dates for NASCAR and will be provided updates soon. Also, the Mile plans to hold a meeting for neighbors to deal with questions and concerns about nighttime racing. In the 10 years since NASCAR returned to the Mile, the race weekend has at times coincided with the Winston Cup Series' Pepsi 400, a popular Saturday night race in Daytona Beach, FL. That won't happen in 2004 - Nextel Cup is in Sonoma, CA. Other race weekends on the Mile schedule next season, in addition to CART and NASCAR, are the Indy Racing League July 23-25 and American Speed Association Aug. 27-29.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(12-10-2003)
- New #59 crew chief? hearing former Joe Gibbs Racing tire changer, Jeff Chandler, is leaving Gibbs to crew chief Stacy Compton in the #59 Ford and that Robert Yates Racing will supply engines for both ST Motorsports teams, #59 and the #47 Clorax Ford driven by Robert Pressley.(12-10-2003)
- #27 News: Sauter stays and a new crew chief: Newt Moore, formerly with Bobby Hamilton Racing, will apparently be the crew chief for the #27 Brewco team next year. No word on 2003 crew chief Sandy Jones and whether he will stay with the team or look to move elsewhere. AND Johnny Sauter will spend the 2004 season racing for two of motorsport’s most prestigious crowns, the NASCAR Busch Series Championship and the coveted Nextel Cup Rookie of the Year.(BGNRacing.com)(12-10-2003)
- Fedawa and Atwood back with Fitzbradshaw: FitzBradshaw Racing announced today that drivers Casey Atwood and Tim Fedewa will return to the team in 2004. The team will field two full-season entries for the NASCAR Busch Series season: the #14 Chevrolet, driven by Atwood, and the #12 Chevrolet, piloted by Fedewa. The team will also field a third car in select races. Both Atwood and Fedewa began driving for a young FitzBradshaw race team during the 2003 season. Atwood came on board after the highly sought-after United States Navy sponsorship joined the FitzBradshaw roster. Fedewa was chosen to replace driver Kerry Earnhardt halfway through the season. “We’re lucky to have great sponsors and great drivers back with us for 2004,”FitzBradshaw co-owner Armando Fitz said. “Casey and Tim both started in the middle of the season last year and did a great job for the team and sponsors." Supercuts and Hot Tamales have been with FitzBradshaw Racing since its inaugural season in 2002 and will be back on the #12 Chevrolet for a third year of sponsorship. The Navy will round out a full-season for the #14 Chevrolet.
Casey Atwood: “This should be a great year for us,” Atwood said. “We had some good finishes in the few races we ran last year, so we’re hopeful that with the Navy giving us a full-season we will really be able to compete for a top spot in the points’ race.”
Tim Fedewa: “This is a great opportunity,” Fedewa explained. “When I took over in the No. 12 last year we brought in a whole new crew that hadn’t worked together before. I think this year we will be able to take what we learned and come up with top finishes.”
Atwood slated four top-ten finishes in his fourteen starts in 2003. Fedewa had fifteen starts. FitzBradshaw Racing is owned by NASCAR veteran Armando Fitz and Pro Football Hall of Fame member and FOX broadcaster Terry Bradshaw. The team fields three cars in the NASCAR Busch Series: the #12 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, sponsored by Supercuts and Hot Tamales; the #14 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, sponsored by the Navy; and the #82 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, sponsored by Jani-King. PSE-3 is the exclusive public relations and sponsorship sales firm for FitzBradshaw Racing.(PSE-3/FitzBradshaw Racing PR)(12-9-2003)
- Keller still looking? UPDATE 4 re-ups with ppc; #22?: hearing that Jason Keller is not signed to stay in the #57 ppc Racing Busch Series Ford as the team has not yet signed a sponsor and is activly looking for other rides.
UPDATE: In a matter of weeks, the fortunes of NASCAR Busch Series veteran Jason Keller have changed dramatically.
During the Rockingham, N.C., race weekend, Keller's team co-owner, Keith Barnwell, said he was "99.9-percent sure" a sponsor had been located for Keller's #57 Fords at ppc Racing and both he and Keller were excited about the prospects for the 2004 season. Now, less than two weeks since the season finale at Homestead, Fla., Keller has learned the sponsor deal for his team has yet to materialize and he is left – at least for now – without a ride next year. "I'm left kind of clueless right now," said Keller, 33, who finished fifth in series points this season, with one win and two poles. "I wish I had more options for myself. I made a commitment to this deal and this team three or four weeks ago, that we were going staying together next season. Now, everything is up in the air." For much of the 2003 season, ppc Racing was struggling to find sponsorship for both of its teams for 2004 and Keller began exploring several other options. Late in the season, when ppc appeared to have secured sponsors for both teams, Keller stopped looking around and concentrated on trying to win the 2003 title. Now he finds himself looking again, but believes there are few options available. "Most of the things I was looking at before, they have already all been put into place," Keller said. "I would have loved if everything had worked out like it looked like it would. We were a little behind schedule because the most recent deal was late in coming. But now its late November and the prospects of finding something or getting something done are even less.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-25-2003)
UPDATE 2: Jason Keller is looking for a 2004 ride again after delays in sponsorship commitment at ppc Racing, where he has driven successfully for six seasons. Although the two-car ppc Racing Busch series operation has letters of intent from two sponsors for 2004, neither company has signed a contract. Keller said Tuesday he has not been offered a contract for next season, although he verbally committed to stay with the team three weeks ago. Team general manager Keith Barnwell admitted Tuesday that there has been a delay in finalizing a contract with the sponsor, which he refused to identify. "I'm a little upset about the whole deal," Keller said. "The sponsor proposal I committed to a month ago has not materialized like it was presented to me and like it was presented to them. Everybody's scrambling, not just me." Keller, 33, didn't rule out staying at ppc if the sponsor situation is settled but said he is looking in what is a very small marketplace. Most teams and drivers have locked up their plans for next year. "I turned down a couple of pretty good deals that would have kept me racing with good teams," he said. "I'm getting the word out that I'm looking, but it's hard to pick up something on November 25th. I was kind of blind-sided by this whole deal." Keller said he visited the team shop Monday. "There wasn't a lot of preparation going on for Daytona (the February season opener)," he said. "Everybody was sitting around wondering what to do." Barnwell said ppc still plans to field two Busch teams next season — the other driver has not been announced — if sponsor negotiations are productive. He said team officials plan to meet with NASCAR executives next week to seek assistance. "We have a (sponsor) letter of intent on behalf of Jason," Barnwell said. "I don't think that situation is dead, but, obviously, I don't think it's as strong as it needs to be. There's always stuff floating around late. We're hoping something comes around. I want Jason in race cars, and I want him here."(Greenville News)(11-26-2003)
UPDATE 3: Jason Keller is expected to make a decision about his 2004 plans today [Dec 3rd]. Keller said Tuesday there is a "large possibility" he will return next year as a driver for ppc Racing, the team he has raced with for six seasons. Keller said he also has discussed a probable vacancy at Brewco Motorsports with officials of that Busch team. He said sponsorship problems at ppc Racing have been solved and that the team is set for next year. "Some details remain to be worked out, but that situation looks good," Keller said. The Brewco opportunity appeared with the apparent decision by driver Johnny Sauter, who had agreed to drive for the two-car team next year, to move to the #30 Nextel Cup cars owned by Richard Childress. Team general manager Keith Barnwell said the No. 57 team will undergo personnel changes during the off-season.(Greenville News)(12-3-2003)
UPDATE 4: Jason Keller said Friday he has signed a contract to remain as a driver for the ppc Racing Busch series team through 2004. Details of the team's structure have not been worked out, Keller said, but he will be working with a new crew chief next year. Steve Addington, the #57 crew chief and a Keller associate for many years, has been released by the team and apparently will work for another Busch team, possibly Joe Gibbs Racing. Team general manager Keith Barnwell said the team has a sponsor — he would not reveal the company [Miller high Life? TrinSpa?] — and an agreement with a new crew chief, which he also wouldn't name. Although Keller and Addington, long-time friends, won races and competed for the Busch championship, Barnwell said he thought both would benefit from a new direction. Barnwell also said Keller's cars might carry a new number next season [has used #57]. He said ppc Racing will have at least one Busch team and one Craftsman Truck series team [supposedly Terry Cook] next season and that he continues to work on the possibility of keeping the organization's second Busch team alive. Jeff Green had been offered that ride but recently announced that he will race for Petty Enterprises in the Winston Cup series again next year.(Greenville News)(12-6-2003)
UPDATE 5: BGNRacing is hearing Keller will be in the #22 Ford with Miller High Life as the sponsor. ppc Racing is supposedly changing the team number by Miller's request.(BGNRacing.com)(12-8-2003)
- Black Cat and country band at Nashville: Black Cat Racing and Madison County, the hottest new country group in America, are teaming up for the Pepsi 300 in Nashville on April 10th. Madison County has just returned from a tour overseas where they performed for our American troops. "We felt this would be a great way to promote our new CD - TOO MUCH TO FAST and in the hometown of country music," said manager Tim Barham. The car's paint scheme will feature a photo of the band on the hood; a contest will be held to allow fans to design the rest of the car. The winner of the contest will be the guest of BCR and Madison County in the pits at Nashville! Watch the BCR website for more information, www.bcr13.com. Madison County plans to shoot a video while at the event. You can visit the band's website at www.madisoncoband.com.(12-8-2003)
- Pressley gets a crew chief: Steve Plattenberger will serve as crew chief for the #47 Clorox Ford Taurus driven by Robert Pressley in the Busch series. Plattenberger, who founded ST Motorsports with Tad Geschickter in 1994, will move over from the #59 team where he served as crew chief for Stacy Compton in 2003. Plattenberger held the crew chief position for the #47 Sunoco car from 1995 to 1998 for ST Motorsports. “I am real excited to get the opportunity to work with Steve,” said Robert Pressley. “He has been in this sport for 27 years and brings a lot of experience to the table. We have a great personal relationship and I know that will translate well on the track.” ST Motorsports also will make a manufacture change in the 2004 season. The #47 and #59 teams will field Fords, switching from Chevrolets.(Robert Pressely Site)(12-7-2003)
- Morgan McClure plans limited Busch sched in 2004: Morgan-McClure Motorsports plans to run eight to ten Busch races with Eric McClure in the #04 I CAN Learn Education Systems Chevy and run the #4 in about five speedway ARCA races.(12-5-2003)
- FANS Motorsports Announces 2003 As Strong Season: Pennsylvania based FANS Motorsports announced today that their 2003 racing season was a successful one. "We had a terrific year," stated Mark Westrick, owner of FANS Motorsports. "This was our first full year and our staff at FANS Motorsports believes that we improved from the beginning of the year, and ended the year on a high note." For FANS Motorsports, it was a busy year. The organization started the year off in the American Speed Association before leaping into Allison Legacy Series before drafting into the NASCAR Busch Series with Jay Robinson Racing. With the 2003 season completed, the staff at FANS is concentrating on the 2004-racing season. "FANS Motorsports is going to be phenomenal in 2004," explained Westrick. "We are coming back to the NASCAR Busch Series, but we are also moving into a new series for us and a new driver. We are behind our new driver which we will announce soon and we are confident the new team will bring everything we're looking for and more in 2004," he said. Mark Westrick also made it known it is FANS Motorsports every intent to return to Jay Robinson Racing in 2004. FANS Motorsports will officially announce their 2004 plans following the first of the New Year.(FANS Motorsports PR)(12-4-2003)
- ppc Sponsor? BGNRacing.com is hearing that Miller High Life Beer will sponsor the #10 ppc Racing Ford(11-29/12-3-2003)
- #30 Driver? hearing the #30 AOL RCR Chevy may be driven in 2004 by Johnny Sauter? Not sure how this would effect his Busch ride in the #27 Brewco ride...if it happens.(11-19-2003)
UPDATE: Jason Keller said he has discussed a probable vacancy at Brewco Motorsports with officials of that Busch team. The Brewco opportunity appeared with the apparent decision by driver Johnny Sauter, who had agreed to drive for the two-car team next year, to move to the #30 Nextel Cup cars owned by Richard Childress.(Greenville News)(12-3-2003)
- Lindey to run some Busch races for RCR: Mardy Lindley was on a list of drivers hoping to nab the #21 ride, however Richard Childress has said Lindley probably will drive several races for RCR next year.(Greenville News)(12-3-2003)
- Washington-Erving Motorsports to return to NASCAR? Sounds like a possibility. Former NFL running back Joe Washington and NBA great Julius (Dr. J) Erving started a Busch team back in 1998 but it folded in 2000. Sponsorship is the biggest problem but they look to almost have a deal finalized. (Sports Illustrated - Dec. 1 issue) BGNRacing NOTE: No word on driver, series, and most importantly, sponsor.(BGNRacing.com)(12-3-2003)
- Burton and Roush to run some Busch races: Roush Racing announced today that Cottman Transmission will sponsor Jeff Burton and the #9 Ford for four Busch Series races in 2004. The limited schedule includes Darlington (Mar. 21), Fontana (May 2), Dover (Sept. 23) and Atlanta (Oct. 31). "I'm really excited to expand my relationship with Cottman Transmission moving into 2004," said Burton. "It's great to get back in the #9 Ford and race a limited Busch Series schedule next year with Cottman. I'm looking forward to putting the #9 Cottman Transmission Ford back in victory lane." In 2003 Cottman Transmission had a personal services agreement with
Burton which will carry over into 2004 along with their four race sponsorship of the #9 Ford. Todd Leff, President and CEO of Cottman Transmission embraces the opportunity to build on an already successful partnership. "Jeff Burton has been a great representative for Cottman Transmission over the past two years." Leff continued, "And our dealers are really excited to be taking the relationship to the next level." Cottman Transmission was founded in 1962 and is the nation's fastest growing chain of transmission repair centers. With more than 400 locations coast to coast, Cottman specializes in every phase of transmission work, including manual and automatic transmissions, American and import vehicles, front-wheel and four-wheel drives. For more information on Cottman Transmission, go to www.cottman.com. In addition to the four races with Cottman Transmission, Burton will also run three races with the Pennzoil colors for a total of seven Busch Series races in 2004. This revives the #9 team that ran away with five wins, two poles, eight top five and nine top 10 finishes in just 14 starts in 2002. "I'm really looking forward to 2004," said Burton. "We have a lot of exciting things happening in 2004 with a lot of great sponsors and to get back in the #9 Ford is just awesome."(Roush Racing PR), doesn't sound like Burton is leaving Roush Racing for RCR if he is doing a Busch deal.(12-2-2003)
- Weber announces ARCA Daytona sponsor: Brian Weber, driver of the #84 in the Busch Series is excited to announce a sponsor for the 2004 Daytona ARCA race. Federated Drugs, www.federateddrug.com, a Winnipeg based pharmacy where people can save 30- 84% on Drugs, will be on the car for the event and is involved in other projects to help fund Weber for the entire 2004 Busch Series season. Weber has been working diligently all summer long with past sponsor Platinum One Card, www.platinumonecard.com, and is confident that between the two projects, he will be able to run a full Busch schedule in 2004. Said Weber, " We are determined that the stuff we have been working on for a very long time will pay off finally. This summer has opened many new doors and distribution of the Platinum One card has increased significantly," said Weber. The team was able to enter eleven races in the 2003 Busch Series season and is hoping to come back in 2004 with a new momentum and a very competitive team. Thirty-six year old Weber is a native of Long Island, New York, but has made his home in Mooresville, North Carolina for the last few years where he resides with his wife Diane. Weber has been racing since he was a teenager and also owns a successful construction company. More information on Brian Weber and his team can be found at www.brianweberracing.com.(Victory Lane Motorsports Management, LLC PR)(12-2-2003)
- AMW offers money back Guarantee: America’s Most Wanted Motorsports once again is offering a unique motorsports sponsorship opportunity, a money back guarantee. “This is not a new concept by any means”, stated Scott Davis of AMW Motorsports, “I saw that Rockwell Automation had put together a similar plan for their racing program and I congratulate them for their creativity for their sponsors, but I felt that we could do more. We have a guaranteed media value that could exceed $3 million dollars, a cause marketing plan, plus a race team, so I felt that we could be successful offering a money back guarantee as well.” As theirs in similarity, our “Money Back Guarantee”will be derived from the total media value, and if AMW Motorsports does not deliver 100% of a corporation’s sponsorship dollars invested in the form of media value, AMW Motorsports will refund the Total Dollars Invested. The media being offered is just part of the program. The opportunity to associate a corporation with John Walsh and his team, and the ability to build marketing and media advertising opportunities around the sponsorship provide the chance to significantly multiply corporations ROI.(more info at Body Dynamics Racing site)(12-2-2003)
- Rudd to ASA: Catchfence.com has been informed that NASCAR Busch Series driver Jason Rudd will be moving to the American Speed Association [ASA] in 2004. Jason Rudd, the nephew of NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Ricky Rudd has competed in ARCA, as well as the NASCAR Busch Series and is looking forward to 2004. An announcement is forthcoming in the coming weeks.(Catchfence.com)(11-27-2003)
- Kerry Earnhardt and BACE? UPDATE: Kerry Earnhardt has pulled the trigger on a new sponsor for 2004. Smith & Wesson will be sponsoring Kerry in the #74 Bace Motorsports car.(Diecast Depot Newsletter)(12-1-2003)
- New BACE Sponsors? UPDATE 3: TrusJoist and Sta-Rite Pumps are going to sponosr Damon Lusk at BACE Motorsports [#33? #74?](BGNRacing.com)
UPDATE: being told that the Sta-Rite deal has fallen thru and will not sponsor the BACE team.(11-29-2003)
UPDATE 2: also hearing Lusk will NOT drive for BACE and Tony Raines could be back in the #33 Chevy part-time in 2004.
UPDATE 3: not sure what is up here, but Catchfence.com has been informed that an announcement will be made regarding Damon Lusk's 2004 plans as early as next week. We do know that the team is going to try and run all of the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series schedule and does have a sponsor on the table.(Catchfence.com)(12-1-2003)