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THE RACE: Food City 500

Winston Cup Race #6 of 36 for the 2003 Winston Cup season
Updated: often, leading up to the race

  • Race: Sunday, March 23rd, 2003 in Bristol, TN

  • TV: Fox - 1:00pm/et

  • Pre-Race Show: Fox - 12:30pm/et - with hosts Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

  • Race Re-Air: March 26th at 8:00pm/et on Speed Channel, March 27th at 1:00am/et and 3:00pm/et on Speed Channel

  • Announcers: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds

  • Pit Reporters: Dick Berggren, Matt Yocum, Steve Byrnes, Jeanne Zelasko

  • Hollywood Hotel: Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

  • NASCAR on TV and Fox Sports

  • Purse/Race Awards: $4,649,329 (was $4,032,688 in 2002)

  • Entry List: Entry List for the race from

  • 2002 Race Winner: Kurt Busch, 82.281mph, started 27th

  • Track Race Record 1st Race: Cale Yarborough, Apr 1977, 100.989

  • Track Race Record 2nd Race: Charlie Glotzbach, July 1971, 101.074

  • Track/Race Length: 0.533-mile concrete oval, 500 laps, 266.5 miles

  • Pit Road Speed: 35mph


  • Practice: Friday, Mar 21st, 11:20am -1:20pm/et; and Saturday, Mar 22nd, 9:30 - 10:15am/et

  • Happy Hour Practice: Saturday, Mar 22nd, 11:10 - 11:55am/et on TV-FX via tape delay at 3:00pm/et after the Busch Series race.


  • Qualifying Draw: Friday, Mar 21st, 10:20am/et

  • Qualfying Order: Bristol qualifying order - and/or Food City 500 qualifying order -

  • First Round Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-36, Friday, Mar 21st at 3:05pm/et, TV-FSN Fox Sports Net live [and re-aired on Speed Channel, Friday, Mar 21st at 8:00pm/et and on Sat, Mar 22nd at 2:30am/et], and live via PRN radio/internet (link below) and XM Satellite - NASCAR Radio (Subscription Required)

  • NASCAR Online will have live lap-by-lap coverage of Winston Cup qualifying via the web (NOTE: this is a paid subscription service).

  • Second-Round Qualifying: there is no longer a 2nd round of qualifying (since the 2001 season)

  • Track/Event Qualifying Record: Jeff Gordon, March 2002, 127.216mph

  • March 2002 Pole Sitter: #24-Jeff Gordon, 127.216, finished 31st.

    Track Specs:
    0.533-mile concrete oval
    Degree of banking in corners: 36 degrees
    Degree of banking in straights: 16 degrees
    Straightaways are 650 feet long.
    Concrete racing surface is 40 feet wide.
    Seating capacity: ~160,000
    Bristol has two pits roads: 21 pit stalls on the front stretch and 21 on the back stretch(1 must be shared)
    Pit Stall Size: 25.5 feet long, 15.5 feet wide
    See below for special Bristol pit road rules.

  • Bristol Pit Rules: Bristol Motor Speedway operates under a plan where one-pit road will be used during pit stops under caution. Currently, Bristol remains the only track in Winston Cup that utilizes two pit roads. Teams that pit on the backstretch used to be at a competitive disadvantage. Since the spring 2002 race at Bristol, teams will enter pit road in Turn 2 (the current backstretch pit entrance) drive around down the backstretch and around Turns 3 and 4 and exit in Turn 1. Under green-flag conditions teams will enter and exit pit road under the current two-pit-road scheme.

  • Track Website: Bristol Motor Speedway


    NASCAR Winston Cup Series - Race No. 6 -- Food City 500
    NASCAR Busch Series - Race No. 5 - Channellock 250
    Bristol Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval) - Bristol, Tenn.
    Fast Facts for March 21-23, 2003

    Winston Cup: Left – 1,200; Right – 1,200
    Busch Series: Left – 500; Right – 500

    Left Front - 26 psi
    Right Front - 40 psi
    Left Rear - 26 psi
    Right Rear - 38 psi

    Left Front - 20 psi
    Right Front - 36 psi
    Left Rear - 20 psi
    Right Rear - 33 psi

    Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials
    D-Codes: Left - D-6340; Right - D-6342
    Tire Circumference: Left - 87.3 inches; Right - 88.6 inches
    Estimated Pit Window: Every 155-165 laps, based on fuel mileage.

    Both the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series will compete on the same tire codes this weekend. This is the same combination of left- and right-side tires Goodyear has brought to Bristol since March 2001. Other NASCAR tracks where teams compete on these tires are Rockingham, Las Vegas and Darlington, meaning that this will be the fourth time in the last five weeks that Winston Cup teams have run on this combination. Bristol is unique in that it is the only major NASCAR track less one mile in length where inner liners are required. Teams will run Goodyear's tubeless safety spare in only the right-side tires at Bristol, as compared to in all four tire positions on the speedways. Inner liner inflation should be 12-25 psi higher than that of the outer tire.

    Mark Keto, Lead Engineer, Stock Car Tire Development:
    "Goodyear has really had a great deal of success with this tire setup over the past couple seasons at Bristol. Starting with Elliott Sadler and the Wood Brothers' win here in March of 2001, teams have seemed to lock into the strategy of running a full fuel run on a set of tires because there is very little wear or give-up. The bottom line is that track position seems to play a bigger role than fresh tires in pit strategy at Bristol."

    From the Goodyear Racing Site


  • The NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus is $60,000 at Bristol for leading the points and winning the race (Sterling Marlin last won the award, $20,000 at Darlington on March 17, 2002). The $360,000 annual award is paid at $10,000 per race to the point leader at the end of each event if the driver is also the winner. The award increases by $10,000 each week the it goes unclaimed. If the point leader is not the race winner at the end of the year, the balance of the award is distributed among the top-10 finishers in the drivers point standings(3-16-2003)


Radio Coverage:
Performance Racing Network(PRN) and

Satellite/Backhaul Listing's:
Satellite/Backhaul Listing's: Stutzman Computer Service/Sales - Racing Feed Locations

Scanner Frequencies:
are linked on my Scanner Freq/Equipment Links Page

Local Newspaper and other Sites that cover the Bristol, TN Area:
Bristol Herald Courier
Elizabeton Star
Greenville Sun
Johnson City Press
Kingsport Times-News
Knoxville News
Nashville City Paper
The Tennessean

The Weather Channel
Weather Underground
Weather Point
National Weather Service
Intellicast - NASCAR weather

ARS Racing - Bristol Track Review
Bristol Chamber of Commerce
Red Barn Campground
Laid Back Racing

any I know of are listed on my Driver Appearances/Chats page with info and links

TV Coverage/Info/News Pages:
Race Fan TV


news and links

  • Rumblings - Bristol: #97-Kurt Busch's victory in the Food City 500 was worth $157,790 from the over $4.5M in posted awards, and was the usual hard-fought BMS win. They just don't come easy at this fast half-miler, but being able to carry our flag around on a victory lap has got to be a feeling above all others. Teammate Matt Kenseth was 0.390 seconds behind in second place.
    Ricky Rudd (4th) had his best finish since he was 3rd at Martinsville last October.
    Greg Biffle (5th) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was last week at Darlington when he finished 12th.
    Sterling Marlin (6th) had his best finish since he was 4th at Darlington last September.
    Kenny Wallace (10th) had his best finish since he was 10th at Rockingham in February of 2002.
    Brett Bodine (24th) had his best finish since he was 20th at Richmond last September.
    STREAKIN....Matt Kenseth has 5 Top-10's in a row.
    This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Matt Kenseth (+35), followed by Ricky Rudd (+30), Kenny Wallace (+30), and Kevin Harvick (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Mike Skinner (-35), followed by Ken Schrader (-34), Ward Burton (-22), Terry Labonte (-22), Ryan Newman (-21), and Tony Raines (-20).
    Kevin Harvick led today for the first time since he led once for three laps at Talladega last October. We've had 26 different leaders this year.
    Matt Kenseth padded his points lead today. He now has a 138 point margin over new second place driver Kurt Busch (his lead was 57 last week over Tony Stewart). The best move forward in the points this week goes to Ricky Rudd (17th to 9th), while in the opposite direction goes Dave Blaney (7th to 16th).(Stock Car Fans)(3-24-2003)

  • Busch wins the Food City at Bristol Motor Speedway: #97-Kurt Busch backed up his 2002 win at Bristol with one Sunday, his first win of 2003 after having three 2nd's this year. Teammate #17-Matt Kenseth was 2nd, #18-Bobby Labonte finished 3rd in his purple car. Four of the top five cars were powered by Roush Racing. The Unofficial Top Ten and stats, cautions and notes:

    #97-Kurt Busch (116 laps led)
    #17-Matt Kenseth (16 laps led)
    #18-Bobby Labonte (26 laps led)
    #21-Ricky Rudd
    #16-Greg Biffle
    #40-Sterling Marlin
    (these cars were down a lap)
    #29-Kevin Harvick (15 laps led)
    #48-Jimmie Johnson
    #24-Jeff Gordon (174 laps led)
    #23-Kenny Wallace
    Laps Leaders (7): #24-Jeff Gordon (174 laps led - led most laps); #2-Wallace (5); #7-Spencer (139); #29-Harvick (15); #17-Kenseth(25); #18-Labonte(26); #97-Busch(116);
    Cars on the lead lap: 6 (of 43 starters)
    Off track/out of race (8): #74-Raines (out-engine); #37-Cope (out-engine); #49-Schrader (out-accident); #45-Petty (out-accident); #22-Burton (out-accident); #25-Nemechek (out-accident); #20-Stewart (out-accident); #54-Bodine (out-accident)

    Cautions 17 for 121 laps
    Caution 17: lap 473-481: #6-Martin spun around. was not hit, the smoke caused #20-Stewart to hit #43-Andretti who had checked up, then #25-Nemechek rear-ended Stewart.
    Caution 16: lap 425-438: #22-Burton spun after getting together with #31-Gordon, hitting the inside wall and coming back up the track, just catching #45-Petty who ended up hitting driver side backwards on the outside wall, a lot of damage to both the #22 and #45. Petty took a while to get out of the car and appeared groggy and was taken to the infield care center by a stretcher.

    Caution 15: lap 407-411: #45-Petty and #25-Nemechek got together when Petty got on the apron, causing Petty to spin.
    Caution 14: lap 390-403: #88-Jarrett had a tire go down, and spun into the inside wall. #49-Schrader has spun just before the caution, damaging the nose/front end.
    Caution 13: lap 257-262: #42.McMurray got into #31-Gordon, checked up then got tapped by #33-Burton and spun out, then #18-Labonte spun behind the wreck but didn't hit anything.
    Caution 12: lap 244-249: #5-Labonte spun after getting together with #11-Bodine, collecting #31-Gordon, #45-Petty and #23-Wallace, #49-Schrader.
    Caution 11: lap 227-240: #18-Labonte spun after checking up and getting tapped by #20-Stewart, and #99-Burton and #97 spun out behind.
    Caution 10: lap 219-222: #01-Nadeau and #12-Newman [was a lap down] got together, then the #11-Bodine car hit the #01, sending it into the inside wall.

    Caution 9: lap 200-204: #6-Martin got tapped by #9-Elliott and wnt into the wall, #41-Mears also spun.
    Caution 8: lap 182-186: #0-Sprague spun in turn 4 and went drivers side into the inside front stretch wall, but drove on.
    Caution 7: lap 150-153: #10-Benson and #0-Sprague got together as Sprague was trying to pass underneith, #0-Sprgue did a 180 and drove off.
    Caution 6: lap 136-141: #4-Skinner lost a tire and hit the outside wall, but drove off.
    Caution 5: lap 69-73: #12-Newman got tapped by #20-Stewart, Newman went up the track and when he came down, he got the side of the #32-Craven, who came down on #11-Bodine, all drove away. #48-Johnson spun behind the crash after #1-Park got into the rear of the #48.
    Caution 4: lap 56-63: #74-Raines lost an engine and stopped on the track.
    . Caution 3: lap 21-28: #43-Andretti got into #54-Bodine who checked up #45-Petty, #41-Mears had no place to go and hit #43-Andretti, serious damage to the front end.
    Caution 2: lap 15-19: #15-Waltrip got loose, then got together with #77-Blaney, #88-Jarrett had no place to got and hit #15-Waltrip with severe damage to the front end.
    Caution 1: lap 4-6: #45-Petty got tapped by #31-Gordon and spun out, no damage, Gordon has been warned to calm down.

    NOTES: At the checkered flag, #7-Spencer spun, no word on what caused it. On lap 490, #20-Stewart was blacked flagged for not beinbg up to minimum speed. On lap 472, #6-Martin did a 360 spin with no contact, no caution called, but the smoke caused caution 17. All drivers but the five lead lap cars [#18, #97, #21, #40, #16) had pitted under green, leaving just those five on the lead lap. #8-Earnhardt Jr ran out of gas on lap 368, then was unsure where to come into the pits. #24-Gordon and #8-Elliott also were confused about where to enter pitroad during the green. Green flag stops started around laps 358-364 range, Spencer had a slow stop. During caution 11, the track was blown off and cleaned up. #01-Nadeau headed over to the #12 pit after the caution 10 accdident, and had words with some of the crew. #88-Jarrett is back on the track as of lap 70. All teams pitted on Caution 4 except #24, #5, #30, #17 and #38. #37-Cope has been off and on pitroad as he is fighting an overheating problem. During the 3rd caution, #12-Newman pitted, no other leaders did, Newman was very loose. #19-Mayfield tapped the wall and cut down a tire around lap 10. Wow, Rebecca Lynn Howard sure can hold a note huh, she was terrific with God Bless America and the National Anthem, nice job. Will do my best to keep up with the action, gonna be hard as so much happens at Bristol.
    Re-Air: the race will be re-aired on Speed Channel, Wed, Mar 26th, 8:00pm/et and Thurs, Mar 27th, 1:00am/et and at 3:00pm/et.
    Result Links at: Jayski Race Results Page, Motorsports One.(3-23-2003)

  • Ramblings - Bristol: Ryan Newman left 'em all shaking their heads and with their mouths wide open after he toured Bristol Motor Speedway in 14.908 sec (128.709)....that's more than 2 mph quicker than the previous record. The second pole of the season (he's our first repeater of the year in that category), and 9th of his Winston Cup career came at the expense of Jeff Gordon, and by a whopping .16 of a second. Ken Schrader (3rd) has his best starting spot since he lined up on the outside pole at Rockingham in February of 2002. Rusty Wallace (4th) has his best starting spot since he grabbed the pole at Dover last September. Terry Labonte (17th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 5th at Richmond last September. Tony Raines (22nd) had his best qualifying run since he started 17th at Dover last June. Derrike Cope (24th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 12th at Daytona in February of 2000. With the exception of Newman, we had the typical close qualifying we expect to see at this venue. Two sets of ties....Johnny Benson & Jeff Green for 20th and 21st, and Kyle Petty and Brett Bodine for 32nd and 33rd [ties go to the highest in Owners Points].
    STREAKIN....Ryan Newman has 4 Top-5 starts in a row. Kurt Busch has 4 Top-10 starts in a row.
    A Trouble Train of two this weekend....Larry Foyt and Hermie Sadler. It's the second DNQ for both this season.
    On the provisional front Matt Kenseth, Dale Jarrett, Casey Mears, Kenny Wallace, Todd Bodine, Jack Sprague, and John Andretti gobbled up the freebies. For Sprague, it's his third of the year....something that may come back to haunt him in a couple weeks. He's clear thru 'Dega, but after that event he'd be out to lunch for seven races.(Stock Car Fans Newsletters)(3-22-2003)

  • Newman sets new Track Record at Bristol qualifying: #12-Ryan Newman didn't just break the Track Qualifying Record he crushed it (it was 127.216mph), winning the Bud Pole with a speed of 128.709mph, first ever Cup lap under 15 seconds. Newman is the first driver in 2003 to win more then one pole (in 6 races). #24-Jeff Gordon will start on the outside pole with a speed of 127.343, way over a mile an hour behind Newman. Nice run by #49-Ken Schrader who qualfied 3rd. Five of the first seven cars are Dodges. The Points Leader, #17-Matt Kenseth and #88-Dale Jarrett had to use provisionals to make the race. Missing the race were #02-Hermie Sadler and #14-Larry Foyt. #16-Greg Biffle was the highest qualifying rookie of the year candidate who ran 126.005 and will start 15th, and even though he got very little mention, rookie #74-Tony Raines will start 22nd after a run of 125.740.
    see my Bristol Qualifying Page (got all my mistakes fixed DOH!) for speeds, practice speeds, lineup links, pole progression, etc.(3-21-2003)

  • Saturday Happy Hour Practice is over at Bristol for the Food City 500. The quickest were #97-Kurt Busch at 122.209, followed by #20-Tony Stewart at 122.046 and #24-Jeff Gordon at 122.038. Slowest were #37-Derrike Cope at 119.745 and #1-Steve Park at 120.038. #22-Ward Burton ran the most laps with 102, followed by #18-Bobby Labonte at 95 and #7-Jimmy Spencer at 94. #37-Derrike Cope ran the least number of laps with 35.
    For speeds see
    Happy Hour is scheduled to be televised via tape on FX at approx 3:00pm/et or after the Busch Series race.(3-22-2003)

  • Saturday 1st Satuarday Practice is over. #17-Matt Kenseth was the fastest at 122.349, followed by #12-Ryan Newman at 122.232 and #22-Ward Burton at 122.185. Slowest were #37-Derrike Cope at 119.835 and #38-Elliott Sadler at 120.120. #15-Michael Waltrip ran the most laps at 79, followed by #9-Bill Elliott at 74 and #21-Ricky Rudd at 72. #38-Elliott Sadler was out for the least amount of laps run with 12.
    For speeds see

  • Friday Practice is over at Bristol for the Food City 500. The fastest was #24-Jeff Gordon at 126.662, followed by #40-Sterling Marlin at 126.595 and #12-Ryan Newman at 126.570. Slowest were #02-Hermie Sadler at 122.740 and #14-Larry Foyt at 123.134. #31-Robby Gordon spun and scraped the wall, no word on the damage (XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required). #30-Jeff Green backed into the wall and #42-Jamie McMurray wrecked, both will go to backups for Qualifying.
    For speeds see

  • Qualifying Order is up for the Food City 500 at Bristol. 45 cars/drivers are listed with #11-Brett Bodine due out first, and #4-Mike Skinner scheduled out to go out last/45th. See above for the links.(3-21-2003)

  • Entry List is up for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. 45 cars/drivers are listed, the 42 full time teams along with #02-Hermie Sadler (who will have a sponsor announcement on Thurs), #11-Brett Bodine in the Hooters Memorial Ford and #37-Derrike Cope. See above for the link.(3-18-2003)

  • How to break a tie during qualifying?(same speed/time) When drivers are tied for a starting spot during qualifying, it is broken by owners points standings(not drivers). For provisionals standings see the Jayski's Provisional Status page

  • Links: Practice speeds, qualifying and results can be found at these sites: NASCAR Online and That's Racin'


  • Pre-Race Victory Lap UPDATE: before the start of the Food City 500 at Bristol, Chris Duncan, son of Dan Duncan, one of those killed in the airplane crash that killed 1992 Cup champ, Alan Kulwicki on April 1st, 1993, will drive the #11 Memorial Hooters Show car around the track, backwards, doing a Polish Victory Lap, made famuous my Kulwicki when he won his first Cup race at Phoenix in 1988.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required)(3-21-2003)
    UPDATE: Contrary to some reports the #7 Underbird will NOT be at the track or do the victory lap, the car that will do the Polish victory lap is a 2nd #11 Hooters Memorial Ford [2003 model, not 1992]. Kulwicki's real race car sits at Larry and Pam Bean's home in Daytona, staged for transport to a new display at the North Carloina Auto Racing Hall of Fame in Mooresville, NC [Jayski was there in Dec 2002, what a great place] and the Bean's were not invited to participate in the Bristol ceremonies.(3-23-2003)

  • Security at Bristol: In addition to Sunday's Winston Cup race, which is a 160,000-seat sellout, the track also plans a ''patriotic rally'' to show support for the troops engaged in battle in Iraq. That could further incite anti-U.S. factions. ''The NASCAR races in Bristol this weekend, one of the state's largest events, will continue as planned,'' said Ret. Major Gen. Jerry Humble, director of Tennessee Homeland Security. ''Extra security will be provided, with help from the state. There will be 'high-visibility security' at the event. 'I'm satisfied with what I'm hearing [about security plans.]'' Bristol Motor Speedway spokesman Wayne Estes said extra security measures had been in the works even before this week's military intervention in Iraq. Estes hopes the added security will not be overly intrusive. ''We want the fans to know they are secure, but this is an entertainment venue,'' he said. ''We don't want people seeing commandos with guns over their arms. We don't want it to look like a Middle Eastern sports venue. This is an American venue. It's a balance.'' Estes has asked fans to arrive at the track one hour earlier than normal to allow time to go through the security checkpoints. Each fan is permitted only one cooler, no bigger than 14 inches. No fireworks, firearms or other explosives will be permitted. Even if a fan possesses a permit to carry a concealed handgun, the firearm will not be permitted on track property. Hundreds of police officers and other security officials will conduct random searches of vehicles on the track property. Every bag, backpack and cooler taken into the track will be inspected by track workers, and police dogs will be used to sniff for explosives. Tight security has been routine at all NASCAR races since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Mirrors are used to search underneath cars entering the track infield, and the trunks of cars frequently are inspected.(Tennessean)(3-21-2003)

  • Food City Salutes The Military And Honors All Five Branches As Grand Marshals: A representative of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard will be guests of Food City and serve as the grand marshals of the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    Major General Gus L. Hargett; The Adjutant General of Tennessee will represent the United States Army. In 2002 Major General Hargett was appointed to the state's top military position by Governor Don Sundquist. He is responsible for the supervision of the Military Department of Tennessee that includes the Army National Guard, the Air National Guard, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and the Tennessee State Guard.
    Rear Admiral Christopher E. Weaver will represent the United States Navy. Rear Admiral Weaver currently serves as the 83rd Commandant of Naval District Washington; the oldest continuously operated Navy installation in the nation. Some of his decorations include: Navy Commendation Medal, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Campaign and Service Medals, Southwest Asia Service Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.
    Lieutenant General Robert C. Hinson is the Vice Commander, Air Force Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado and will represent the United States Air Force. Lieutenant General Hinson assists the Commander in the development, acquisition and operation of the Air Forces' space and missile systems. He along with the command organizes, trains, and equips all Air Force space and missile forces; oversees a global network of satellite command and control, communications, missile warning and launch facilities; and ensures the combat readiness of America's intercontinental ballistic missile force.
    Lieutenant General Michael A. Hough, the Deputy Commandant for Aviation, will represent the United States Marine Corps. General Hough's personal decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with one gold star, Meritorious Service Medal with two Gold Stars and the Combat Action Ribbon.
    Rear Admiral Sally Brice-O'Hara the Director of Personnel Management will represent the United States Coast Guard. Rear Admiral Brice-O'Hara has been the Director of Personnel Management since July 2001. She is responsible for planning and administering an extensive range of human resource programs. She oversees Service-wide military and civilian personnel matters, including workforce management, recruiting, assignments, uniforms, housing, compensation, morale, well-being, recreation and the Coast Guard Exchange System. Her personal awards include six Coast Guard Commendation Medals, the Commandant's Letter of Commendation, a Coast Guard Achievement Medal and a Meritorious Service Medal.
    All five representatives of the United States military will have the honor of broadcasting the four most famous words in motor sports to a field of 43 NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers to start the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.(Food City PR)(3-22-2003)

  • Bristol and the possible War UPDATEs and a REPOST: have heard NOTHING about the Food City 500 or any race activities being postponed or canceled due to the possibility of War with Iraq, getting many questions about this, have hear nothing past what I am Reposting here. If I do it will be posted.(3-18-2003)
    UPDATE from NASCAR statement: Everyone in the NASCAR family is keenly observing the latest news regarding the situation in Iraq.. We at NASCAR and our fans across the United States and around the world are praying for the safety of our nation's brave men and women in uniform as well as those of our allies. NASCAR plans to continue with our current 2003 racing schedule while closely monitoring the unfolding situation in the Middle East. As part of our contingency preparation, we are in close and constant contact with all the relevant authorities necessary to ensure and maintain the security of our drivers, teams, tracks and fans. We will do whatever is necessary to continue supporting our country's efforts, including schedule adjustments if deemed appropriate. We believe there is a special bond between our troops and our sport. Every branch of the American military is represented in NASCAR racing and our Chairman, Bill France, has always described NASCAR fans as "the kind of people who go to war and win wars for America." Many of those fans are currently deployed throughout the world, doing just that. To that point, we should all be mindful of the sacrifices our troops and, just as important, their families are making during this difficult time.(NASCAR PR)(3-18-2003)
    UPDATE 2: As we approach another exciting weekend of racing here at Bristol Motor Speedway, we do so with the understanding that this is a very important time in the history of our country. Our troops, our President and our nation have our unconditional support. Plans currently are moving forward and this weekend we expect a patriotic assembly 160,000 great Americans for the Food City 500. At the present time, we do not expect that an act of war will change our weekend schedule. However, we will abide by any decision NASCAR makes regarding the impending war and its effect on our schedule of events. Again, as we look forward to offering up a weekend of “racin’ the way it ought’a be,” our troops, leaders and our country are in our prayers. Whether you plan on attending this weekend’s events or plan on viewing the racing action from your home, we ask that you do the same.(BMS Statement and a story at Knoxville News-Sentinel)(3-20-2003)
    REPOST - Contingency Plans for travel and TV in case of war: With the country on the verge of war, NASCAR teams and officials are considering contingency plans for travel to Fort Worth, Talladega and Los Angeles in the coming weeks. "I know that became a concern when we went to Dover last year, and I'm sure at some of these tracks there will be different restrictions that come up," Robbie Loomis, Jeff Gordon's crew chief, said. "It's a pretty stressful time on all the folks in the military and their families right now." Fox is expected to put Winston Cup races on its FX cable if or when war begins.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-14-2003)
    UPDATE: Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of communications, also an Army veteran, addressed the topic of war and racing on Friday. "I have always felt that one of Bill France's quotes was right on target on this subject," Hunter said. "I can remember people asking 'Bill, who are your fans?' And he would say, 'I'll tell you who our fans are. They are the kind of people that win wars for you.' And never has that been more true than today." Hunter said NASCAR has monitored the expected showdown with Iraq for the last several months and has worked through several scenarios which includes postponing an event if necessary. "I don't really want to speculate but certainly that would be an option and we've done it before," Hunter said. "Just to arbitrarily do that, no. It depends on the circumstances, and what is best under those circumstances, not only what is best for the racing community but what is best for the country."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-16-2003)

  • Bristol Grand Marshal: The Tri-Cities region is famous for community support and Food City's Ed Moore is no different. Food City proudly named Ed Moore the Honorary Starter of the Food City 500 for his life-long commitment to volunteerism. After a June 2002 White House meeting with President Busch pertaining to the United States Freedom Corps, Steve Smith, president and chief executive officer for K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc., Food city's parent company created the Claude P. Varney Volunteer Recognition Program to recognize outstanding volunteerism among their associates. After reviewing a resume provided by store associates it is not hard to see why Kingsport, Tennessee resident Ed Moore received the district award for his area. Ed Moore has worked for K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. (Food City) for almost 43 years, serving 37 years as a store manager. In addition to knowing almost every customer who walks through the door of the Kingsport, TN store he has managed for 19 years, Moore is deeply involved in the community his store serves. Moore credits Food City's policy of encouraging community service as one reason for his years of volunteering. "The company's been real supportive of me in everything I've done. I want to be able to give back to the people who have given so much to me," Moore says. "When people ask me what my hobby is, my answer is always community service because that's all I do," he says. "We are thrilled to have Ed Moore wave the green flag to start the Food City 500," commented Food City president and chief executive officer, Steve Smith. "Ed has done so much for Food City and his community we wanted to honor him in a very special way." Ed Moore will wave the green flag to signal the beginning of the race for the field of 43 NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers live on FOX. "I am looking forward to climbing up there and waving the green flag to start the Food City 500, commented Moore. "I want to thank Food City and Bristol Motor Speedway for the wonderful opportunity."(Food City PR)(3-18-2003)

  • National Anthem at Bristol: Country Music's Rebecca Lynn Howard will sing the National Anthem prior to the start of Sunday's Food City 500. Currently, Howard is a nominee for the Academy of Country Music's Top New Female Artist award and her hit single "Forgive" also is nominated for Song of the Year.(BMS PR)(3-18-2003)

  • Students hosted at Bristol: Several Sullivan County, Tennessee, schools are out on Friday, and Cheez-It will host more than 4,000 of the area students as Cheez-It Pole Day special guests. Each student that attends Sullivan Central High School, or the Blountville, Holston, Bluff City, Holston Valley or Mary Hughes middle schools will receive a free Cheez-It Pole Day ticket from Cheez-It. AND When, because of a black mold problem, Sullivan East High School moved its classes from its school building to Bristol Motor Speedway's luxury skyboxes, BMS President Jeff Byrd promised the students that the Channellock 250 would be a special day for the so-called "BMS High" students. All 1,200 students, faculty and staff members and their guests will attend Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series event. The school will provide a color guard and its choral department ensemble for special presentation of The Star Spangled Banner. The weekend's souvenir program includes a story about the BMS High experience, penned by Sullivan East sophomore Anthony Milhorn. He will be recognized during the Channellock 250 pre-race show. The cover of the 2003 Food City 500 Official Souvenir Program takes on a patriotic flavor with "Old Glory" waving behind the racing machines of Jeff Gordon, a four-time Food City 500 winner; Dale Earnhardt, Jr., vying for his first Bristol victory; and Kurt Busch, Food City 500 defending champion. In addition to the valuable fan information and full-page color photos, with purchase of a souvenir program fans will receive a 1:64 scale die-cast car and a full-color lineup sheet for both the Food City 500 and the Channellock 250. Programs cost $10 and they will be available at the numerous program kiosks located throughout speedway property.(BMS PR)(3-18-2003)

  • Bristol Construction on track: The race to finish a major renovation and expansion project at Bristol Motor Speedway is on track for completion in March, an official said Wednesday. More than 200 construction workers have been braving winter temperatures to build a 43,826-seat addition to the track's backstretch grandstands, said Jeff Black, project manager for owner Speedway Motorsports. The new seats will replace 35,447 old ones -- including the original concrete stands that dated back to when the track opened in 1961. The $30 million project also includes the construction of 56 new luxury skybox suites of varying sizes and 40 concessions and restroom buildings. "The foundation is 100 percent done, and the overall project is about 60 percent complete," Black said. "When its done, we'll have about 160,000 seats." The project's completion date is March 20 -- the day before the track hosts a three-day racing weekend.(Bristol Herald Courier)(1-9-2003)

  • No Bristol Pit Passes? hearing there will be no pit passes issued to fans at the Bristol Motor Speedway races in 2003. Supposedly no one except drivers, their family, crews, owners, media and sponsors will be allowed in the pits permanently beginning in March.(12-12-2002)

  • Bristol helps out school: the Sullivan County School Board voted unanimously to accept the BMS offer to use skyboxes as temporary classrooms for Sullivan East High School. This begins on Monday, Oct 14th. About 70 of the speedway's suites will be utilized, but some have been taken off the list as the speedway thought it would not be appropriate to use suites belonging to companies involved in tobacco or alcohol products. SMI Chairman Bruton Smith's suite will not be used, either. Estimates are that it will take around 15 minutes each morning to get the students from ground level up to the suites. They will have to walk down stairs from suite level to the terrace for lunch. Sullivan County School Officials say the Black Mold remediation process at East High should take between four to six weeks, although that's just an early estimate. The Tennessee State Department of Education and the state fire marshal approved using the suites as temporary class space.(WXBQ/WAEZ/WFHG, Bristol PRN)(10-11-2002)

  • How to Calculate Track Speeds: use the formula Speed = Distance divided by Time. Distance is Track Length, and Lap Time into Hours. Once hour is 3600 seconds, so the calculation for a 48 second lap at Daytona(2.5 miles) would be: Speed = 2.5 x (3600/48), = 2.5 x 75 = 187.500mph. For a 19 second lap at Bristol(.533 miles): Speed = .533 x (3600/19), = .533 x 189.474 = a speed of 100.990mph

  • Past track news: posted in the past at Jayski's Past Track News/Rumors - Darlington Raceway


  • Milestone: #30-Jeff Green is scheduled to make is 100th career Winston Cup start at Bristol Motor Speedway.(3-20-2003)

  • See the 2003 Team Chart which has links to past news for each team and info on each team.


  • Hendrick Teams To Carry Patriotic Decal: In support of American soldiers at home and abroad, the NASCAR teams of Hendrick Motorsports will display patriotic artwork on the "C-post" of their Chevrolet Monte Carlo race cars beginning with this week's events at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. "During these turbulent times, it's especially important that we show support for the men and women of the United States military," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "This is a small gesture to show that our thoughts and prayers are centered around these brave individuals and their families." In the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, the decals will be carried on the #5 Kellogg's / got milk? Chevy of Terry Labonte, the #24 DuPont Chevy of Jeff Gordon, the #25 UAW-Delphi Chevy of Joe Nemechek and the #48 Lowe's Chevy of Jimmie Johnson. The #5 GMAC Financial Services Chevy of Busch Series driver Brian Vickers will also display the design, which depicts a yellow ribbon wrapped around the American flag.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(3-20-2003)

  • Special Paint for Labonte at Bristol: The Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 23 will feature the first special car design of the season for Kellogg's / got milk? Racing. Terry Labonte's #5 Chevy will highlight the Cheez-It brand and will sport a primarily red-and-orange paint scheme rather than the customary orange and blue.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(3-17-2003)

  • Hooters To Run Memorial Car in Bristol To Honor Alan Kulwicki and Others Lost 10 Years Ago Hooters Restaurants will run a memorial car in the NASCAR Winston Cup Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 23rd. The car is in honor of those lost in a tragic plane crash on April 1, 1993 heading to Bristol, which claimed the lives of NASCAR Winston Cup champion Alan Kulwicki, Mark Brooks (son of Hooters chairman Bob Brooks), Dan Duncan (Vice President of Motorsports Marketing for Hooters) and company pilot Charlie Campbell. The Bristol event marks the 10th Anniversary of the fallen champions. 2003 also marks the platinum anniversary of Hooters Restaurants. The first Hooters Restaurant opened 20 years ago in Clearwater, FL and was incorporated on April 1, 1983. The #11 Hooters Ford will run a special paint scheme of platinum (the 20th Anniversary is considered the platinum anniversary) and orange with the Hooters 20th Anniversary logo on the sides of the race car and a special Four Champions Memorial crest on the hood. The memorial crest displays the initials of the four men lost in the plane crash and features the slogan "We Race In Their Memory."
    "It is a privilege to drive for Hooters again this year, but a very special honor to be able to run this particular paint scheme at Bristol to commemorate the fallen champions. To me, this is what racing is all about, celebrating milestones and remembering our heroes," stated #11 driver Brett Bodine.
    A poster of the Hooters Bristol car with the memorial crest will support the significance of the commemorative car and will be available prior to race weekend at Hooters Restaurants across the country. The poster will also be sold at the Hooters team merchandise trailer in Bristol. Hooters has honored the memory of Alan Kulwicki and the others over the past 10 years in addition to the memorial crest and commemorative car. Each fall Hooters hosts the annual Hooters Memorial Cup Golf Tournament at White Water Country Club in Fayetteville, GA. This tournament has raised over $2 million for scholarships, which are named for the four individuals, to Clemson University's Brooks Institute for Sports Sciences Study. Hooters also contributed $250,000 in the mid-1990's to the development of Alan Kulwicki Park in his hometown of Greenfield, Wisconsin.(Brett Bodine Racing PR)(3-14-2003)

  • New Assoc for Gibbs UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing has signed a deal with GlaxoSmithKline, which makes Advair, an asthma maintenance treatment, an associate sponsor on the team's #18 and #20 cars. Driver Bobby Labonte, who has asthma, will be a spokesman for the program and will encourage fans to visit an educational trailer to be located trackside at NASCAR events.(
    UPDATE: Bobby Labonte's car will switch from green to purple for the Food City 500 at Bristol next month. The color-scheme change is being used to promote Advair, an asthma treatment that Labonte has started using. Labonte's primary sponsor, Interstate Batteries, is taking its name off the car for that race to let him promote the medication. "It's helping me get off the quick-relief (inhalers)," Labonte said of Advair. "I was racing a car at Martinsville, Va., and saw a guy beside me that had quick-relief taped to his helmet in case he had to use it. I thought, 'Oh, my gosh, that guy's got it worse than I do.'" Part of Advair's season-long promotion includes testing for lung problems at most of the race tracks. Stan Hull, a representative of GlaxoSmithKline, which makes the product, said that more than 1,400 people underwent lung testing during Speed Weeks.(Fayetteville Observer) AND the #18 Chevy will also have Advair on the hood for the races at Rockingham, Atlanta, The Winston, Dover, Chicago, Pocono, Darlington, Kansas and Phoenix. See images of both schemes on on the 2003 Cup page.(2-22-2003)

    Will run at both Bristol races.

  • More Paint Scheme news can be found on Paint Schemes Gallery, choose current news


  • 2000th Cup race coming up - at Bristol - takes a look: The Food City 500 scheduled for March 23rd will be, according to the best count Charlotte Observer/'s David Poole can put together, the 2,000th race in the history of what is now known as NASCAR's Winston Cup Series. Between Monday, Mar 3rd and that Sunday [March 23rd], will review 100 races each day as a way to mark this milestone. (see full story at, Note: as David says in the column, there are a few 'questions' about the stats and the way they were kept, some have Bobby Allison as having 85 wins, some as 85, same with Lee Petty, some have 55, others have 54. My All Time Winners List use 84 and 53, respectfully and thus the total races are at 1995, not 1997, but this is explained at the botton of the chart on that page.(3-4-2003)
    from NASCAR: The March 23 Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway will be the 2000th race for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Bristol has had NASCAR Winston Cup racing since 1961 “ which amounts to 84 of the 1,998 NASCAR Winston Cup races held so far.(NASCAR PR)(3-13-2003)

  • Up Front at Bristol Important: At Bristol Motor Speedway, starting position is more important than one might think. Despite the fact the racing is extremely close-quarters with positions changing constantly throughout the field, it pays to start close to the front. In the previous 84 NASCAR Winston Cup races at BMS, only 13 times has the winner started outside the top 10; 32 times the race winner has started on the front row.(NASCAR PR)(3-20-2003)

  • Contingency Plans for travel and TV in case of war: With the country on the verge of war, NASCAR teams and officials are considering contingency plans for travel to Fort Worth, Talladega and Los Angeles in the coming weeks. "I know that became a concern when we went to Dover last year, and I'm sure at some of these tracks there will be different restrictions that come up," Robbie Loomis, Jeff Gordon's crew chief, said. "It's a pretty stressful time on all the folks in the military and their families right now." Fox is expected to put Winston Cup races on its FX cable if or when war begins.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-14-2003)
    UPDATE: Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of communications, also an Army veteran, addressed the topic of war and racing on Friday. "I have always felt that one of Bill France's quotes was right on target on this subject," Hunter said. "I can remember people asking 'Bill, who are your fans?' And he would say, 'I'll tell you who our fans are. They are the kind of people that win wars for you.' And never has that been more true than today." Hunter said NASCAR has monitored the expected showdown with Iraq for the last several months and has worked through several scenarios which includes postponing an event if necessary. "I don't really want to speculate but certainly that would be an option and we've done it before," Hunter said. "Just to arbitrarily do that, no. It depends on the circumstances, and what is best under those circumstances, not only what is best for the racing community but what is best for the country."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-16-2003)

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