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THE RACE: Sharpie 500

Winston Cup Race #24 of 36 for the 2003 Winston Cup season
Updated: often, leading up to the race

  • Race: Saturday, August 23, 2003 in Bristol, TN

  • TV: TNT - 7:30pm/et

  • Pre-Race Show: TNT - 7:00pm/et - hosted by Bill Weber

  • Scheduled Race Re-Air: NOTE: Speed Channel has changed their lineup starting in August - so there will be a one-hour recap [called Fast Forward] of the race on Wednesday, August 27th at 7:00pm/et and again on August 28th at 1:00am/et; a full three-hour race show will re-air at 3:00pm/et on Thursday, August 28th

  • Pay Per View/NASCAR In Demand:

  • Announcers: Allen Bestwick, Benny Parsons, Wally Dallenbach

  • Pit Reporters: Bill Weber, Matt Yocum, Marty Snider, Dave Burns

  • War Wagon: Bill Weber and many guests

  • NASCAR on TV

  • Purse/Race Awards: $5,288,972 (was $4,598,287 in 2002)

  • Entry List Links: at or Entry List for the race from

  • 2002 Race Winner: Jeff Gordon, 77.097mph, started 1st

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

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

  • Slowest Race Record: Ned Jarrett, July 1965, 61.826mph

  • Worst Starting Spot to Win: Elliott Sadler, March 2001, started 38th

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

  • Pit Road Speed: 35mph


  • Practice: Friday, August 22nd, 11:20am - 1:20pm/et; and 4:45 - 5:30pm/et

  • Happy Hour Practice: Friday, August 22nd, 6:15 - 7:00pm/et on TV-TNT at 7:00pm/et via tape.


  • Qualifying Draw: Friday, August 22nd, 10:20am/et

  • Qualifying Order: and/or

  • First Round Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-36, Friday, August 22nd at 3:05pm/et, TV-TNT live, no re-air date/time found. 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 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)

  • Race/Event Qualifying Record: Rusty Wallace, August 2000, 125.447mph

  • Track Qualifying Record: Ryan Newman, March 2003, 128.709mph

  • Last Year's Pole Sitter: Jeff Gordon, 124.034mph, finished 1st.

    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

  • March's Race: see my 2003 March Bristol Race Info page

  • Last Year: see my 2002 August Bristol Race Info page


    Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials

    Number of Tires Required:
    Winston Cup: Left - 1,300, Right - 1,300;
    Busch Series: Left - 480, Right - 480;
    Truck Series: Left - 325, Right - 325

    Tire Codes: Left - D-6340; Right - D-6342

    Tire Circumference: Left - 87.3 in.; Right - 88.6 in.

    Technical Inspection Inflation:
    Left Front - 26 psi; Left Rear - 26 psi;
    Right Front - 40 psi; Right Rear - 38 psi

    Minimum Recommended Inflation:
    Left Front - 20 psi; Left Rear - 20 psi;
    Right Front - 36 psi; Right Rear - 33 psi

    Estimated Pit Window: Every 155-165 laps, based on fuel mileage.

    Notes: All three NASCAR series -- Winston Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck will compete on the same tire codes at Bristol this week . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires Goodyear has brought to Bristol since March 2001 . . . other major NASCAR tracks where teams compete on these tires are Rockingham (Cup and Busch), Las Vegas (all three series), Darlington (all three series) and Nashville (Busch and Truck) . . . Bristol is unique in that it is the only major NASCAR track less than one mile in length where inner liners are required . . . however, 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.

    Goodyear Quote -- Mark Keto, Lead Engineer, Stock Car Tire Development: "It has been proven out over the past three seasons that it is much more important to keep track position at Bristol than it is to stop and take on new tires. Ever since Elliott Sadler and the Wood Brothers won here by going the final 162 laps without pitting in March of 2001, teams have used that strategy of going the full fuel run on a set of tires because there is very little wear or give-up.. This tire set-up has been Goodyear's recommendation for four tracks and seven races a year for the last three years, so teams obviously have a good book of knowledge built up on them."


  • The NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus is $240,000 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(8-17-2003)

  • 54 Races since...: Leader bonus has been won. It's been 54 races since the NASCAR Winston Cup points leader won a race and took home the NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus. #17-Matt Kenseth leads the series points and has the only shot at claiming the bonus at Bristol. Should a driver win the bonus at BMS, it would bypass the largest payout in the history of the program. #18-Bobby Labonte collected the biggest paycheck, $190,000, with a win at Indianapolis in 2000. The $10,000 bonus is available following every NASCAR Winston Cup Series race. If the point leader does not win the race, the bonus rolls over to the next week. Sterling Marlin last won the award, $20,000 at Darlington on March 17, 2002, it was NOT won by #15-Waltrip at Daytona, it rolled over to Rockingham.(8-17-2003)

  • MBNA Mid-Race Leader Bonus: is $40,000 at Bristol. The MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award is $10,000 to the Winston Cup driver who leads the race at midway. If the driver wins the race they receive a $5,000 bonus. If the MBNA Mid-Race Leader fails to win the race the $5,000 bonus rolls into the next week (Jeff Gordon last won the bonus, $25,000 + $10,000 at Martinsville on Apr 13, 2003). No word on if a driver gets the award if the halfway is under yellow at the time or if the award is given out if the leader is not participating in the program and if it would go to the next place car at the time. The 2003 MBNA Mid-Race Leader Winners:
    Daytona: Michael Waltrip, $15,000* (plus $5,000 bonus)
    Rockingham: Rusty Wallace, $10,000
    Las Vegas: Dale Earnhardt Jr., $10,000
    Atlanta: Bobby Labonte, $25,000* (plus $15,000 bous)
    Darlington: Mark Martin, $10,000
    Bristol: Jimmy Spencer, $10,000
    Texas: Matt Kenseth, $10,000
    Talladega: Matt Kenseth, $10,000 (Jimmie Johnson led at halfway, assume the team does not participate in the program)
    Martinsville: Jeff Gordon, $35,000* (plus $25,000 bonus)
    California: Jamie McMurray, $10,000
    Richmond: Bobby Labonte, $10,000
    Charlotte: Bobby Labonte, $10,000
    Dover: Ryan Newman, $30,000 (which includes the $20,000 bonus)*
    Pocono: Elliott Sadler, $10,000
    Michigan: Sterling Marlin, $10,000
    Sonoma: Robby Gordon, $25,000 (which includes the $15,000 bonus)*
    Daytona: Dale Earnhardt Jr., $10,000
    Chicago: Jeff Gordon, $10,000
    New Hampshire: Kevin Harvick, $10,000
    Pocono: Tony Stewart, $10,000
    Indy: Tony Stewart, $10,000
    Watkins Glen: Dale Earnhardt Jr., $10,000
    Michigan: ?Jimmie Johnson, $10,000
    (* won race and bonus)(8-17-2003)


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
Sponsored by Racing Electronics

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

Weather Forecast:
The Weather Channel
Accuweather - Current Radar - Weather
Intellicast - NASCAR weather
National Weather Service
Weather Underground

ARS Racing - Bristol Track Review
Bristol Chamber of Commerce
Red Barn Campground
Laid Back Racing (lots of info)

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

  • Didja Know? that in the previous 85 Cup races at Bristol, 72 of them were won from a top-10 starting spot, and only two from the 10th spot [last time on 8-23-1986 by Darrell Waltrip]. In March 2001, Elliott Sadler won from the 38th spot, the farthest a driver has come to win at Bristol.(TNT race coverage/FSN Totally NASCAR)(8-23-2003)
    UPDATE: make it 73 for 86 have won from top 10 or better with #97-Kurt Busch's win from the 5th starting spot in the Sharpie 500.(8-23-2003)

  • Busch wins a WILD race at Bristol: #97-Kurt Busch won the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, the third time in the last fourth Bristol races he has won. It was Busch's 4th win of the 2003 season and 8th of his career. #29-Kevin Harvick finished 2nd [interesting post-race comments about Busch]. The highest finishing rookie was #42-Jamie McMurray [in a very cool looking car] with a 3rd place finish. Points leader, #17-Matt Kenseth powered thru the field and finished 4th and increases his points lead to 351 over #8-Earnhardt Jr. [who finished 9th].
    The UNOFFICIAL Top Ten (start pos in parens), lap leaders, cars out, cautions [lots of them] and some notes:

    #97-Kurt Busch (5)(121 laps led)
    #29-Kevin Harvick (23)(39 laps led)
    #42-Jamie McMurray (31)
    #17-Matt Kenseth (10)
    #48-Jimmie Johnson (16)
    #12-Ryan Newman (6)(30 laps led)
    #88-Dale Jarrett (27)
    #32-Ricky Craven (14)
    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (9)
    #19-Jeremy Mayfield (29)

    Cars on the lead lap: 22 (of 43 starters)

    Off track/out of race (8): #15-Waltrip (out-accident); #2-Wallace (out-accident); #1-Green (out-accident); #43-Fittipaldi (out-accident); #50-Foyt (out-accident); #38-Sadler (out-accident);#6-Martin (out-accident); #24-Gordon (out-accident);

    Laps Leaders Unofficial (8 with 11 lead changes): #24-Gordon (179 most led); #1-Green (16); #29-Harvick (39); #01-Skinner (5); #40-Marlin (halfway leader - 61); #6-Martin (49); #12-Newman (30); #97-Busch (121);

    Cautions: 20 for 119 laps

    Caution 20 - TIES a TRACK RECORD and ALL TIME CUP RECORD for a race Laps 461 - 464: #74-Raines got spun around.
    Caution 19 - Laps 445 - 449: #49-Schrader slowed with a low tire, #24-Gordon tapped Schrader a tad and checked up and #17-Kenseth hit Gordon, who spun and hit the inside wall with a lot of damage to the front end.
    Caution 18 - Laps 423 - 427: #40-Marlin's bumper brace fell off, debris on the track, #24-Gordon supposedly hit it and cur down a tire.
    Caution 17 - NEW EVENT RECORD Laps 373 - 378: #40-Marlin gets hit in the rear by #97-Busch and gets turned around into turn 1. #21-Rudd got some damage on the front end and a busted radiator.
    Caution 16 - Laps 348 - 353: #4-Sauter got tapped by #9-Elliott, Sauter then caught #6-Martin who hit the wall hard with the left front.
    Caution 15 - Laps 339 - 344: #18-Labonte backed into the wall in turn 4.
    Caution 14 - Laps 307 - 313: #38-Sadler got into #4-Sauter and went head first into the back stretch inside wall, then back up the track, #25-Nemechek caught a bit of the front as the #38 was coming back down the track.
    Caution 13 - Laps 300 - 304: Debris on the front stretch, leader #6-Martin hit what ever it was.
    Caution 12 - Laps 287 - 292: #50-Foyt got loose off turn four and smacked the inside wall with the nose of the car.
    Caution 11 - Laps 276 - 282: #43-Fittipladi got into the wall in turn four and spun along the front stretch.
    Caution 10 - Laps 256 - 261: #31-Gordon and #41-Mears got together and spun out backed into the wall and came back down the track.
    Caution 9 - Laps 223 - 228: #32-Craven came up on #7-Musgrave and Musgrave ended up in the was, both cars are quite damaged.
    Caution 8 - Laps 194 - 197: #19-Mayfield tapped #1-Green, who turned around and backed into the wall.
    Caution 7 - Laps 178 - 186: #7-Musgrave got into #12-Newman who spun all the way around, then #99-Burton got in Musgrave, then #77-Blaney got into Burton, with the #7, #99 and #77 all clumped together against the inside wall, but Newman was able to recover and go on.
    Caution 6 - Laps 161 - 166: #41-Mears got tapped by #97-Busch when Mears checked up as #17-Kenseth slowed infront of him as Kenseth had a right rear tire. Then #20-Stewart got hit in the rear by #25-Nemechek and spun, plus #18-Labonte got nailed by someone and backed into the wall.
    Caution 5 - Laps 104 - 107: #50-Foyt got hit in the rear by #1-Green and spun around, #25-Nemechek checked up and was hit by #9-Elliott and spun. Elliott then clipped #99-Burton just a tad. #42-McMurray almost got involved but saved it.
    Caution 4 - Laps 90 - 100: #15-Waltrip went too low and hit the apron and lost it and Waltrip went around and up into the wall, then on the way back down, #2-Wallace had to place to go and hit Waltrip hard in the rear.
    Caution 3 - Laps 77 - 80: #24-Gordon gets into #12-Newman, causing Newman to spin, but he didn't hit anything, Gordon got hit in the rear by Harvick, but was able to cllect the car and continue.
    Caution 2 - Laps 65 - 70: #99-Burton got loose, #16-Biffle checked up, #27-Wimmer, just behind Biffle, got hit by #0-Leffer, which caused Wimmer to run into the rear of Biffle, who spun, lots of damage to the #0.
    Caution 1 - Laps 7 - 12: #30-Park got tapped by #1-Green, #54-Bodine slams on his brakes, got hit by #41-Mears forcing Bodine into #45-Petty. #43-Fittipaldi was also involved.

    RACE NOTES: (as noted on TV or MRN Radio)
    As of lap 458, #97-Busch while leading is saying his volts are reading low, he has turned off his cool suit.
    On caution 15 the #6 catch can stayed with the car then fell out into the #8-Earnhardt Jr pit, so #6-Martin had to come back in for a stop and go, so the team change tires and left them back in the pack. Plus the crew guys from the #8 slipped on the gas from the catch can, causing a slow pit stop.
    On caution 15, the first 15 cars came in to pit, 16th #40-Marlin satyed out and picked up the lead.
    Many of the leaders are in to pit during caution 14. Some stayed out. #49-Schrader's car fell off the jack during his stop, cost a lot of time.
    As of lap 300, #18-Labonte is back on the track as the crew repaired a bolt on the rear end.
    On lap 252, #27-Wimmer spun out on the apron, but saved it and went on, no caution.
    #31-Gordon is back on the track after making repairs on the rear end gear on lap 248 or so.
    #24-Gordon had problems again on his pit stop, this time during caution 9; also #12-Newman got a bit of #97-Busch's rear bumper.
    During the 7th caution, #4-Sauter came in and the crew put a air hose on Sauter's back as he is complaining of getting burned.
    Pit problems during the 6th caution for the #24-Gordon [broken air gun]; #6-Martin [miscommunication - jack down too soon]
    #54-Bodine is back on the track around lap 120 after the team made reapirs from his lap 6 accident.
    #31-Gordon was black flagged on lap 131 for smoking, could be the rear end.
    PRN Radio reported a beach ball on the track on lap 126, but it blew out of harms way.
    As of lap 123, #8-Earnhardt Jr.'s car is running hot during the cautions.
    As of lap 105ish, #45-Petty, #43-Fittipaldi and #0-Leffler are back on the track after repairs from their respective wrecks.
    Lots of damage to the #15-Waltrip Chevy, looks like his longest current DNF streak of 33 races is over, Waltrip's last DNF was at Richmond Sept 2002.
    NASCAR has warned #24-Jeff Gordon to calm down.
    #12-Newman had to pit for flat spotted tires after his spin on lap 75ish
    #31-Gordon is having brake problems as of lap 70
    #30-Park is back on the track after his lap 6 accident as of lap 59.
    Most of the leaders came in to pit during the 2nd caution.
    Very disappointed, no TV coverage of the #7 Victory Lap Alan Kulwicki car.....booooo.
    Cool, my favorite National Anthem singing, the children of Motor Racing Outreach.
    To the back: #30-Steve Park will go to the rear of the field due to wrecking the #30 AOL Chevy in the first practice on Friday.
    Race Re-air: NOTE: Speed Channel has changed their lineup starting in August - so there will be a one-hour recap [called Fast Forward] of the race on Wednesday, August 27th at 7:00pm/et and again on August 28th at 1:00am/et; a full three-hour race show will re-air at 3:00pm/et on Thursday, August 28th.
    Race Results at

  • Stock Car Fans - Rumblings - Bristol: Nothing like a short-track to get back to some real racing, eh? #97-Kurt Busch fought a dying alternator (two batteries?....whatcha wanna bet we're gonna see that become the norm real soon?) and held on to beat #29-Kevin Harvick to the finish of tonight's Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. But how about the welcome he got in Victory Lane? The last time we heard a Bristol crowd react like that was August 28, 1999 when Dale Earnhardt drop-kicked Terry Labonte out of the way on the last lap to take the win. Then, that classic "What's wrong with ya'll?" look on his face in Victory Lane was forever etched in our minds.
    Busch claimed the wreckfest (we tied a Cup record with 20 cautions) for his 4th win of 2003 and the 8th of his career. He's now tied for 50th on the all-time win list with Dale Earnhardt Jr & Kyle Petty. He's credited with the 66th win for Roush Industries....they're just two behind the legendary car owner Bud Moore [records I have show Moore with 63 wins as an owner].
    And now a word about Wally's attempt at waxing eloquent on the pre-race show. His comments about the privacy of driver communication with his crew would have played well a couple years ago....but that was before NASCAR decided that they could sell those conversations to the fans! When NASCAR found the cash cow in Trackpass and In Demand, they invited us to "get into their heads". So why should we care if they don't like us in their house?
    And, Busch also becomes a sweeper as he's taken both Bristol events this season. Anybody else wonder if Jimmy was watching and what he was thinking tonight?
    #32-Ricky Craven (8th) had his best finish since he was 8th at Dover in June.
    #23-Kenny Wallace (15th) had his best finish since he was 15th at Daytona in July.
    #01-Mike Skinner (18th) had his best finish since he was 11th at Darlington in March.
    #0-Jason Leffler (26th) had his best finish since he was 10th at Homestead in October of 2001 (only 6 races).
    STREAKIN....Kevin Harvick has 5 Top-5's in the last 6 races. Ryan Newman has 6 Top-10's in the last 7 races. Matt Kenseth has 5 Top-10's in the last 6 races.
    The Rookie Report: Jamie McMurray (3rd) jumps into the lead in this category with his 10th top-finish this season. He was followed by: Tony Raines (20th), Casey Mears (21st), Greg Biffle (22nd), and Larry Foyt (39th).
    This Week's Elevator...UP: Jamie McMurray (+28) becomes the leader of the pack as this is his third Operator award of the season. He was followed by Kevin Harvick (+21), Dale Jarrett (+20), and Casey Mears (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Michael Waltrip (-39), followed by Mark Martin (-34), Jeff Gordon (-27), Ricky Rudd (-25), Ted Musgrave (-24), Rusty Wallace (-23), and Elliott Sadler (-21). Some big names on the down side of the "shaft" this week.
    Matt Kenseth tacks 22 markers onto his's now 351 over Little E. Jeff Gordon's "Magic Number" has now ballooned to 8th [which means if Kenseth finishes 8th or better in the last 12 races, Gordon cannot catch him], Dale Jr's number is 4.
    Kurt Busch's win translates to a 3-spot advance in the points (9th to 6th), while Michael Waltrip's crash gave him the same ride in the opposite direction (5th to 8th).(Stock Car Fans Winston Cup Newsletter)(8-23-2003)

  • Jayski's Bristol Qualifying/Grid Page

  • Happy Hour practice is over at Bristol for the Sharpie 500. The fastest were: #29-Harvick at 123.016mph, #24-Gordon at 122.693 and #8-Earnhradt Jr. at 122.568, rest of the top 10 are: #'s 97,48,01,23,2,25,21. Slowest are #43-Fittipaldi at 120.361 and #10-Benson at 120.649. The 2nd practice was cancelled when Qualifying ran later due to the 1 hour rain delay.
    For speeds, see

  • Jeff Gordon wins pole at Bristol: #24-Jeff Gordon won the pole for the Sharpie 500 at Bristol with an event record speed of 127.597mph. Gordon's 3rd Bud Pole of 2003 and 45th of his career. The outside pole goes to #6-Mark Martin who ran 127.588mph. Missing the race were #02-Hermie Sadler, #79-Billy Bigley Jr., and #37-Derrike Cope. #43-Christian Fittipaldi used a provisional and is now out of them again until the 32nd race at Martinsville in Oct. Highest rookie of the year candiate is #74-Tony Raines with a 12th, the highest starting spot of his career. Thirty-Fourr (34) drivers ran faster then the old event [not track] record of 125.447mph set in August 2000 by Rusty Wallace. For the qualifying results and links, see my Jayski's Bristol Qualifying/Grid Page.(8-22-2003)

  • Pole Progression at Bristol: (who had the pole first, who got it next and who ended up with it)
    #45-Kyle Petty, 1st out to qualify, 124.517, starts 42nd provisional
    #2-Rusty Wallace, 2nd out, 126.204, starts 20th
    #12-Ryan Newman, 7th out, 127.073, starts 6th
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 16th out, 127.597, starts 1st

  • Rookie of the Year Candidates: how fast were they? and where do they start:
    #16-Greg Biffle, 125.584, starts 27th
    #41-Casey Mears, 125.232, starts 41st provisional
    #42-Jamie McMurray, 125.675, starts 32nd
    #50-Larry Foyt, 125.609, starts 34th
    #66-Hideo Fukuyama, is not racing this week
    #74-Tony Raines, 126.562, starts 12th.(8-22-2003)

  • Some Qualifying Notes:
    #10-Johnny Benson got one lap in before the rain and has been given the option to throw away that lap and run two more when the track is dry, and has decided to run again. Should had kept the old lap of 125.881, he ran 125.666 the 2nd try.
    Rain delay as of 3:32pm/et.
    #89-Morgan Shepherd withdrew his car after practice.
    PRN Radio reports rain is in the area and the sky is getting darker.

  • Fastest Qualifier by Manufacturer::
    Chevy: #24-Jeff Gordon, 127.597, starts 1st
    Dodge: #12-Ryan Newman, 127.073, starts 6th
    Ford: #6-Mark Martin, 127.588, starts 3rd
    Pontiac: #01-Mike Skinner, 127.165, starts 4th
    Toyota - oops, not yet.......(8-22-2003)

  • Stock Car Fans - Ramblings - Bristol: Jeff Gordon took the pole for Saturday Night's Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway by the wide margin of .001 seconds over Mark Martin this afternoon. It was the 3rd Bud Pole of the season for Gordon (2 shorties and a roadie), and the 45th of his career. Tho the difference between Gordon and Martin may look close, he really had another 1/1000th of a second to spare. For Mark Martin (2nd), this is his best starting spot since Lowe's Motor Speedway last October....but in that one we lined up by points. In fact, Mark started on the outside pole three times last season....and every one of those was the result of a washout of qualifying. The last time he started this far up on time was when he was outside the front row at Atlanta in November of 2001
    Michael Waltrip (3rd) has his best starting spot since he started 3rd here last August.
    Mike Skinner (4th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 3rd at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May (only 5 races).
    Kurt Busch (5th....and needs to learn when to fold 'em) has his best starting spot since he started 5th at Infineon in May.
    Ted Musgrave (7th) has his best starting spot since he started on the outside pole at Martinsville in October of 1999
    Ricky Rudd (8th) has his best starting spot since he started 5th in the Daytona 500.
    Kenny Wallace (11th) had his best qualifying effort since he started 9th at Martinsviile in April.
    Tony Raines (12th) had his career-best qualifying run today. His previous best was 17th at Dover in June of 2002.
    Ricky Craven (14th) has his best starting spot since he started 14th here in March.
    STREAKIN....Ryan Newman has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.
    47 cars on hand...46 took a time. The Trouble Train of four consisted of: Hermie Sadler (for the 7th time this season), Billy Bigley, Derrike Cope (his 6th DNQ this year), and Morgan Shepherd (who did not make a qualifying attempt).
    Provisionals were taken by: Jeff Burton, Joe Nemechek (both of those were non-charged), Jeff Green, Todd Bodine (they've got one left till Martinsville), Casey Mears, Kyle Petty (in the same boat with Todd Bodine), and Christian Fittipaldi. Give some guys a provisional....and they promptly use it. For Fittipaldi and the #43 team, they're out again till we get to Martinsville in October.(Stock Car Fans Winston Cup Newsletter)(8-22-2003)

  • Practice is over at Bristol for the Sharpie 500. The fastest: #24-Jeff Gordon at 127.115mph followed by #17-Matt Kenseth at 126.528mph, rest of the top ten were #'s: 8,21,12,20,48,15,18,10. Slowest were #89-Morgan Shepherd at 119.813 and #0-Jason Leffler at at 123.158. Jason Leffler is listed as the driver of the #0.
    See speeds at - practice 1 or at - practice 1.(8-22-2003)

  • Qualifying Order is up for the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. 47 cars/drivers are listed [same as Entry List this week]. First driver scheduled out to qualify is #45-Kyle Petty. Last Scheduled out is #54-Todd Bodine. The #0 is listed with Jason Leffler driving. See the links above.(8-22-2003)

  • Milestones for Labonte: Saturday night's 500-lap race at Bristol Motor Speedway will mark #5-Terry Labonte's 50th start on the lightning-fast half-mile oval and his 350th race behind the wheel of a Kellogg's-sponsored Chevrolet. Of Labonte's 49 previous starts at Bristol, 21 have been with Kellogg's on board. Labonte has now gone 29 consecutive races without a DNF, a personal career high. The last time he failed to finish was last fall's event at Talladega, Ala. His streak is currently the second longest in the series behind only Michael Waltrip, who has completed 33 straight. Labonte remains one of only four drivers who have completed every race this year; the others being Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Waltrip. The modern-era record is 56, set by Jeff Gordon in 2001-02.(HMS PR)(8-22-2003)

  • Rusty to do Polish Victory Lap before Bristol race: #2-Rusty Wallace is set to make yet another Polish victory lap at Bristol this Saturday night in his Miller Lite Team Penske Dodge. As the "kick-off" for the recently announced "Victory Lap" program (where still-active past champions are paired with another inactive or late champ), the NASCAR tribute to long-time series sponsor R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Wallace is paired with his late pal Kulwicki. Part of the pre-race activity will feature Wallace making the lap in reverse direction around the track. His Miller Lite Dodge will carry a special one-race commemorative color scheme in this weekend's Sharpie 500.(Tom Roberts PR), the #7 Kulwick car will be driven it's lap by Jimmy Hensley.(8-21-2003)

  • Top 10 Championship Comebacks: see the whole list compiled by NASCAR on PAGE 2 of the News or my Stats and Stats Links page

  • Entry List Link is up for the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. 47 cars/drivers are listed. Jimmy Spencer is still listed in the #7 as his suspension is under appeal and no driver has been named yet to sub for him. The #4 is listed as TBA, but hear Johnny Sauter will be back in that car, also entered are #02-Hermie Sadler in one of his special Virginia paint schemes, #79-Billy Bigley Jr. will try to make his Cup debut after missing at Indy, #89-Morgan Shepherd and #37-Derrike Cope are listed, #27-Scott Wimmer will try to make his 2003 Cup debut and Larry Foyt is in the #50 not #14 for provisional use, however, if he qualifies as well as he did at MIS, that could be a moot point. So four teams are slated to go home [43 make up the field, why? see my Racing FAQ for the answer]. Three teams will get the use of a provisional starting spot at Bristol who previsously were out after using up their allotment: #4-TBA [Sauter], #43-Christian Fittipaldi and #49-Ken Schrader, but am sure none of this wish to burn it up and have to wait until Martinsville in October to get another one. See above for the links.(8-19-2003)

  • Best 25 Over Last Six Races from

  • Jayski's - 2003 Winston Cup Race Results Page

  • 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

  • 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


    • Sharpie Extends Race Sponsorship: Sharpie, the popular brand of permanent markers and part of the Newell Rubbermaid portfolio of leading brands, today announced at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) that the brand is extending its sponsorship of the NASCAR Winston Cup night race held in August, the Sharpie 500, through 2008. The announcement comes just two days before the running of the Sharpie 500 on Saturday, August 23, the third-year of the sponsorship. Sharpie began sponsoring the former Bristol Night Race in 2001. In 2004, Sharpie will celebrate its 40th anniversary and the first year of the new five-year sponsorship. Sharpie is also a major sponsor of the No. 97 Rubbermaid/Sharpie Ford and Kurt Busch, currently eighth in the 2003 Winston Cup points race.(BMS PR)(8-21-2003)

    • Sam Bass Bristol Tour Will Keep Artist Running: The only person moving as fast as the NASCAR Winston Cup drivers during this week's Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway will be motorsports artist Sam Bass, whose work can be seen at the new Dale Earnhardt Terrace, on the souvenir program cover, during the Farewell Winston presentation and at several autograph sessions.
      This week Earnhardt, whose first NASCAR Winston Cup career victory occurred at Bristol in 1979, joins David Pearson, the Allison family, Junior Johnson, Alan Kulwicki, Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip in having one of the track's grandstands named in his honor. Eleven backlit panels decorate the new Dale Earnhardt Terrace at BMS, each featuring one of Bass' insightful studies of The Intimidator that highlight special events in his 22-year Cup career. Several of the illustrations relate directly to Earnhardt's success at Bristol Motor Speedway, such as "Man On A Mission!" and "Ready To Rumble!", which debuted as covers for the track's souvenir program, and "Above The Rest!", which was inspired by a photograph Bass personally took in the BMS infield. Other images include "7!", "Quick Silver!", "The Intimidator!", "The Magnificent Seven!", "Hot Property!", "One Tough Customer!", "The Wild Side!", "Finally, First!", "Number One!", "E2k", "Black Attack!", "Fade To Black!" and a drawing of the driver from Bass' Quick Sketch series.
      To commemorate Earnhardt's history with the track for the souvenir program cover Bass combined more than a dozen scenes from the driver's Bristol victories into one colorful montage. Spanning the years from Earnhardt's inaugural win at BMS through the hugely successful '80s (when he won five of the eight Cup races from 1985-'88) to his last performance at the track, the new painting is certain to be a fan favorite.
      As a bonus for Earnhardt and Earnhardt Jr. fans, Bass' newest image will debut during the week of the Sharpie 500 events. "Tradin' Paint!", which was conceived as a companion piece to the popular "Ready To Rumble!", is set in Bristol's infield.
      Bristol is the first of seven tracks to bid adieu to longtime NASCAR sponsor RJ Reynolds with a special "Farewell Winston" tribute featuring opening pace laps that pair a current Cup champion competing in that week's race with an inactive legendary driver. Rusty Wallace, in his No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, and Jimmy Hensley, a longtime friend of Alan Kulwicki, driving a "Victory Lap" race car in honor of the '92 Winston Cup champion, will take a pre-race spin on the half-mile speedway.
      Fans of Bass' motorsports paintings will have ample opportunity to meet the artist during the week of the Sharpie 500. On Thursday, Aug. 21, Bass will sign autographs at his booth on State Street in Bristol from 6-8 p.m. during the Food City Family Race Night. On Saturday, Aug. 23, Bass will meet fans at the UAW-GM Motorsports display between 2-3:30 p.m. and a souvenir stand on the Dale Earnhardt Terrace from 4-5 p.m.
      A selection of his popular images will be available for sale at the Sam Bass Gallery booth during both of the Food City nights - from 3-8 p.m. at Sevierville's NASCAR Speedpark on Wednesday, and from 1-9 p.m. at the State Street event. For more information about Sam Bass' motorsports art, log on to or phone 704/455-6915.(8-21-2003)

    • $1 Million Possible to a Fan at Bristol: Sharpie announced the 10 semifinalists for the grand prize in its "You Could Win $1,000,000" program, one of whom will race to possibly a big payday at the Sharpie 500 in Bristol, Tennessee on August 23. The semifinalists were chosen randomly from the more than 500,000 entries in a national sweepstakes program. The program offered individuals the chance at a trip for two and tickets to Sharpie 500 and a shot a potential $1 million. This is the sweepstakes second year. On Friday, August 22, Sharpie, with the help of Benny Parsons, TNT race analyst, will randomly draw the finalist from the field of 10 semifinalists at a Sharpie and Bristol Motor Speedway special event. The finalist will then be randomly assigned a starting position based on the 43-car line-up (1 through 43). If the selected driver based on starting position wins the race, the fan wins $1 million; $100,000 for 2nd through 5th place; $50,000 for 6th through 10th place; and $10,000 for any finish outside of the top 10.
      Semifinalists for the 2003 Sharpie "You Could Win $1,000,000" promotion include: James Gray of Lexington, Kentucky; John Aiken of Grayson, Georgia; Bill Stroz of Clarksburg, New Jersey; Mike Groesbeck of Boyton Beach, Florida; Herbert Nutter of West Branch, Michigan; Denise Schnur, of Wadsworth, Ohio; Darren Greenwald of Los Angeles; Carrie Bezak of Royal Oak, Michigan; Cindy Maxwell of Abilene, Texas Karrie Millheim of Cape Coral, Florida. The sweepstakes ended on July 15, 2003. The Sharpie 500 will be televised on TNT at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 23. For more details on the Sharpie 500, visit PR)(8-20-2003)

    • Bristol Programs: In addition to a wealth of stories, race information and photos, the 2003 Sharpie 500 Souvenir Program will feature cover artwork, which commemorates the dedication of Bristol's new Dale Earnhardt Terrace, from renown racing artist Sam Bass. Also, fans may upgrade their program purchase to include a protective sleeve, 1:64 scale die-cast event car and patriotic t-shirt.
      To commemorate the Earnhardt Terrace dedication Sam Bass combined more than a dozen scenes from the driver's memorable Bristol history into one montage for the program's cover. The artwork spans the years from Earnhardt's first career Winston Cup win through the hugely successful '80s (when he won five of the eight Cup races from 1985-'88) to his last performance at the track.
      The 2003 Sharpie 500 Souvenir Program package, including the die-cast car, the t-shirt and protective sleeve, will sell for $15. The program alone sells for $10.
      The 170-page program includes driver photos from the NASCAR Winston Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series - all competing at Bristol Motor Speedway during the race weekend. Story highlights include features on the 25th Anniversary of night racing at Bristol Motor Speedway, the Dale Earnhardt Terrace dedication and a farewell to Winston's sponsorship of NASCAR's elite series. Driver features include stories on Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick and Scott Riggs.
      Programs may be purchased beginning on Wednesday, August 20. The programs will be available at the numerous Program Stands located throughout Speedway property. Programs also may be purchased at Food City Family Race Night on State Street in downtown Bristol on Thursday, August 21.(BMS PR)(8-19-2003)

    • 24 taking the plunge at Bristol: For more than 20 couples, the date August 23, 2003 means a bit more than the fact that it’s Sharpie 500 race day. For them it is "wedding day." Bristol Motor Speedway’s race day weddings return for a second season with an increase in the number of individuals saying, "I do" on the start/finish line. A total of 24 couples from 11 states will take the plunge into matrimony prior to the sold-out Sharpie 500. "Last year, nine couples got married on race day and started what may very well be another August tradition at Bristol," said Jeff Byrd, BMS president and general manager. "For couples that love racing and each other, I guess there’s no better place to tie the knot than at Bristol Motor Speedway." Sue Jones, Sullivan County Deputy Clerk, again will officiate the weddings, slated for an 11 a.m. green flag. "It’s certainly not you’re typical day in the office," said Jones. "It’s quite an interesting venue for a wedding and even more interesting to see couples dressed in everything from formal wear to their favorite drivers’ colors." BMS started the weddings in 2002 following NASCAR’s decision to have no on-track activity on Saturday morning. This made for ample time to stage the ceremonies. "We just love Bristol," says Linda Johnson of New Alexandria, Pa. who will marry Thomas Payne. "We’ve been dating for seven years. In fact, Bristol was one of the first places we ever traveled together and to think that we’re getting married there is just awesome." Deborah Runyon of Streetsboro, Ohio, echoes Johnson’s comments. "We’ve been coming to Bristol since 1998 and we wanted to get married at some place we truly enjoy being – and Bristol is one place we just love to be." Runyon’s groom is Michael Stewart. Race sponsor Sharpie will help the couples put a permanent mark on their nuptials. In addition to signing their official marriage paperwork with a Sharpie permanent marker, the brides will be provided Sharpie marker bouquets.(BMS PR)(8-19-2003)

    • New Bristol 'Carry-In' Policy: In an effort to enhance fan comfort during the races and in the interest of safety, Bristol Motor Speedway will enact a new "carry-in" bag policy for its August racing events. In addition to permitting one 14-inch cooler, fans may bring only one carry-in bag through grandstand gates. In terms of the carry-in size, it must be able to fit under the individual's grandstand seat without obstructing the aisles or encroaching on a neighboring seat. Souvenir bags and/or race program packages are exempt from this new restriction. Although not a requirement, officials recommend a clear plastic carry-in bag to ease fan flow through security checkpoints.(BMS PR)(8-18-2003)

    • Transporters on Parade: The Blue Lizard Winston Cup Transporter Parade, quickly becoming another Bristol tradition, returns on Thursday, August 21. The highly popular spectacle once again will follow Food City Family Race Night. At 9 p.m., the transporters will leave the Bristol Mall and make the seven-mile trek down Volunteer Parkway (Hwy. 11E) to the Speedway's South Entrance.
      As the transporters make their way down Volunteer Parkway, fireworks will light up the nighttime sky at four different locations, with a grand finale as the parade reaches its destination at the Speedway. Blue Lizard spokespersons, Bill Dance and Picabo Street, will serve as the parade Grand Marshals. Blue Lizard's backing of the parade extends into Bristol's race weekend as the company will sponsor free skin cancer screenings from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The skin cancer screenings will take place in the Speedway's North lot, behind the Allison Grandstands in the vendor display area.
      In 2002, Blue Lizard's skin cancer screenings at BMS helped Vernon Craddock of Barboursville, W.Va. detect a melanoma on his back, potentially saving his life. "A dermatologist who looked at my husband, pointed to a small mole on his back and instructed him to have it removed once we returned home," said Jane Craddock. "It was indeed malignant melanoma and after a series of trips to the doctor to have tissue removed, he now is cancer-free. I sincerely appreciate the folks at Blue Lizard for doing the skin cancer screenings at Bristol and ultimately extending my husband's life."(BMS PR)(8-18-2003)

    • Martha Nemechek named Food City 250 Grand Marshal: The ultimate NASCAR Mom, Martha Nemechek, mother of NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series driver Joe Nemechek has seen her fair share of NASCAR races. On Friday, August 22nd she will get a chance to see the drivers get the command to start their engines from somewhat of a different perspective. Food City officials have named Martha Nemechek the Grand Marshal for the NASCAR Busch Series Food City 250. "Martha is well known in the NASCAR Community and is always a fixture in Joe's pit area," commented Food City senior vice president of marketing, Tom Hembree. "She is so dedicated to her family, we thought it was fitting to invite her into the Food City family." On race day you can always see Martha with her camera taking pictures. She is the team photographer and enjoys sharing her photos with others. While at the track she enjoys providing homemade goodies for the Hendrick Motorsports crew, cheering Joe on, taking Joe's photo and of course waxing Joe's car. She always waxes Joe's car each weekend, sometimes twice. Martha is the mother of four children: Marti, Joe, Mark and John. This proud mother will have the honor of broadcasting the four most famous words in motor sports to a field of 43 NASCAR Busch Series drivers to start the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway. "I was completely shocked when Food City asked me to be the Grand Marshal, what an honor it will be, especially since Joe will be fielding two cars in the race," stated Martha Nemechek. "I would like to thank Food City for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am looking forward to a great weekend of racing at Bristol Motor Speedway." The Food City 250 is the 24th stop on the 34-race NASCAR Busch Series schedule. Jimmy Spencer is the defending Food City 250 victor. The green flag will wave the start of the Food City 250 at 8:00 p.m., Friday, August 22, 2003. The event will be televised live on TNT.(Food City PR)(8-14-2003)

    • Bristol to Dedicate Earnahrdt Terrace at Sharpie 500: Bristol Motor Speedway officially will dedicate the new Dale Earnhardt Terrace Grandstand during Sharpie 500 pre-race ceremonies on August 23. The late Dale Earnhardt joins Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Alan Kulwicki, Junior Johnson, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough and the Allisons in having a grandstand named in his honor. A variety of weekend features and pre-race activities highlight the Earnhardt Terrace dedication. Upon their arrival to Bristol Motor Speedway for the race weekend, fans will notice the new Earnhardt Terrace signage at Elevator Tower 7. The backlit verbiage reads "Earnhardt Terrace" in red letters. Located above the terrace designation is a 20' x 20' panel reflecting the Dale Earnhardt Legacy logo. The official Sharpie 500 Souvenir Program cover features artwork from renown racing artist Sam Bass. To commemorate the Earnhardt Terrace dedication Bass combined more than a dozen scenes from the driver's memorable Bristol history into one montage. The artwork spans the years from Earnhardt's first career Winston Cup win through the hugely successful '80s (when he won five of the eight Cup races from 1985-'88) to his last performance at the track. Bass will make a special presentation of the artwork during the dedication ceremony. The pre-race dedication will originate from the middle of the backstretch facing the Earnhardt Terrace and will include the unveiling of the Earnhardt Plaque. The plaque will become part of the "Heroes of Bristol" garden to be located at Bristol's new office building complex on which construction begins following the Sharpie 500 race weekend. The plaque will be displayed along with the plaques of others who have grandstands named in their honor. The ceremony also will include radio highlights (MRN and PRN race recordings) of Earnhardt's great Bristol moments as well as a Winston Vision montage of Earnhardt's Bristol career. A U.S. Navy fly-over consisting of three jets and three fireworks blasts, signifying Earnhardt's familiar Car No. 3 will accent the terrace dedication ceremonies.(Bristol Motor Speedway PR)(8-13-203)

    • Bristol announces 2004 race dates: Bristol Motor Speedway officially announced its 2004 NASCAR race dates, with events falling on the final weekends in March and August. The Food City 500 weekend, March 26-28, 2004, features a Friday pole day for both of NASCAR's top series, NASCAR Busch Series event on Saturday, and the Food City 500 on Sunday. NASCAR's most popular weekend, the Sharpie 500-Food City 250 weekend, will run Friday and Saturday nights, August 27 and 28. NASCAR's Busch Series will practice and qualify on Thursday, August 26, and race on Friday night in the Food City 250. Teams will practice and qualify for the Sharpie 500 on Friday before the Food City 250. The Sharpie 500 field takes the green flag on Saturday night, August 28.(BMS PR), so that is 25 or 36 Nextel Cup race dates confirmed on the Unofficial 2004 Schedule page.(8-6-2003)

    • Lap Sponsorships for Bristol: Lap sponsorships for the upcoming Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway now are on sale. Track tours and personalized souvenir programs highlight the 2003 lap sponsorship package. In addition to the track tour and personalized program, lap sponsors will receive space for a 20-word-or-less message, which will appear in the souvenir program, as well as a 1:64 scale die-cast event car. The cover of the 2003 Sharpie 500 Souvenir Program will commemorate the official dedication of Bristol's new Dale Earnhardt Terrace Grandstand and will include the artwork of renown racing artist Sam Bass. Bass' artwork will feature a collage of Dale Earnhardt's memorable moments at Bristol Motor Speedway, including his first career NASCAR Winston Cup win which took place at Bristol in 1979, Earnhardt's unforgettable win over Terry Labonte in the 1999 Sharpie 500 and his 1980s dominance at BMS. For the first time, each lap sponsor's name will be printed on the cover of the program. Recent technological advances in the printing industry allow for the personalization. The cost of a lap sponsorship is $100. The Speedway will take orders for lap sponsorships through Friday, August 1, 2003. For details on purchasing a lap sponsorship, fans must call Fern Greenway at 423/989-6941 to receive a lap sponsorship form. Or fans may visit, download and complete the lap sponsorship form and mail it in along with payment to the Speedway. Fans may request a specific lap number to sponsor. However if that lap number is taken, BMS will assign the closest available lap number.(Bristol Motor Speedway PR)(7-2-2003)

    • Past track news: posted in the past at Jayski's Past Track News/Rumors - Bristol Motor Speedway


    • Cope at Bristol: #37-Derrike Cope will be running in Saturday night's Sharpie 500 at Bristol. Looking ahead to that event Derrike commented, "We are looking forward to Bristol. We had a good qualifying effort there earlier in the year and ran well until we encountered mechanical problems. In addition to Friendly’s, we are pleased to have SP Films join us as a major Associate Sponsor." Looking back on last his 34th place finish at Michigan Derrike remarked, "I was really not happy with our performance at Michigan last week. We took a car that we hadn't run much because of damage to some of our other units. We struggled with handling and some motor issues. We made a bad choice in manifolds for the race and as a result our engine lacked output. We will continue to forge ahead and benefit from our experience." After Bristol this week, Derrike will be running in the Southern 500 at Darlington, South Carolina August 31.(Derrike Cope website)(8-22-2003)

    • Milestones for Labonte: Saturday night's 500-lap race at Bristol Motor Speedway will mark #5-Terry Labonte's 50th start on the lightning-fast half-mile oval and his 350th race behind the wheel of a Kellogg's-sponsored Chevrolet. Of Labonte's 49 previous starts at Bristol, 21 have been with Kellogg's on board. Labonte has now gone 29 consecutive races without a DNF, a personal career high. The last time he failed to finish was last fall's event at Talladega, Ala. His streak is currently the second longest in the series behind only Michael Waltrip, who has completed 33 straight. Labonte remains one of only four drivers who have completed every race this year; the others being Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Waltrip. The modern-era record is 56, set by Jeff Gordon in 2001-02.(HMS PR)(8-22-2003)

    • Rusty to do Polish Victory Lap before Bristol race: #2-Rusty Wallace is set to make yet another Polish victory lap at Bristol this Saturday night in his Miller Lite Team Penske Dodge. As the "kick-off" for the recently announced "Victory Lap" program (where still-active past champions are paired with another inactive or late champ), the NASCAR tribute to long-time series sponsor R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Wallace is paired with his late pal Kulwicki. Part of the pre-race activity will feature Wallace making the lap in reverse direction around the track. His Miller Lite Dodge will carry a special one-race commemorative color scheme in this weekend's Sharpie 500.(Tom Roberts PR), the #7 Kulwick car will be driven it's lap by Jimmy Hensley.(8-21-2003)

    • Triple duty for one; Double duty for others: #29-Kevin Harvick will attempt to run in three NASCAR races at Bristol Moto Speedway this weekend, the Truck Series O’Reilly 200 presented by Valvoline MaxLife, the Busch Series Food City 250 and the Cup Series Sharpie 500. Jimmy Spencer was slated to run all three [#7 in Cup, #6 in Busch and # in the Trucks, but he has been suspended]. Nine drivers [with Spencer it would be 10] will be Buschwacking: #42-McMuarry [in the #1 Busch car], #16-Biffle [#7], #17-Kenseth [#17], #41-Mears {#19], #29-Harvick [#21], #27-Scott Wimmer [#23], #74-Raines [#33], #4-Johnny Sauter? [#43] and #15-Waltrip [#99].
      Five [maybe six] drivers will do Truckwacking, #0-Jason Leffler [#2], #29-Kevin Harvick [#6 in Trucks], #49-Ken Schrader [#52], #43-Christian Fittipaldi [#9] and #80-Morgan Shepherd [#21]. Ted Musgrave could end up Truckwacking if he subs for Jimmy Spencer in the #7, Spencer was supposed to run all three races too.(8-19-2003)

    • Sauter back in the #4 at Bristol: Johnny Sauter tested the #4 Kodak Pontiac at Bristol Motor Speedway Wednesday in preparation for the Aug. 23 Sharpie 500. Sauter will also compete in the Aug. 22 Food City 250 Busch Series race.(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-16-2003)

    • Fittipaldi To Do Double-Duty at Bristol: Petty Enterprises has announced that Christian Fittipaldi will compete in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday, Aug. 20. Fittipaldi will drive the #9 Bugles/Wells Fargo Financial Ford for Ballew Motorsports. He is in his first season on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and will be seeking to gain experience on the high-banked short track that will transfer to his #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge for the Winston Cup Event. Petty Enterprises CEO Kyle Petty suggested the idea to help Fittipaldi gain race experience on the track before the Winston Cup race three nights later. Fittipaldi is excited about the opportunity to run two races at Bristol next week.. He last pulled double-duty at Pocono in July, entering the ARCA and Winston Cup events.. For the ARCA race he qualified third and was running in the top five before losing an engine.(Williams Company PR)(8-14-2003)

    • SEM Products Sponsors BAM Racing #49 At Michigan and Bristol: SEM Products, Inc., celebrating its 50th year of automotive product research, production, manufacturing and distribution, will sponsor the #49 BAM Racing Dodge of driver Ken Schrader in the upcoming NASCAR Winston Cup stock car races at Michigan Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway. SEM will feature its Color Horizons custom finish paint through the sponsorship, and BAM will showcase a special paint scheme using Color Horizons Flakes and Color Horizon Pearl Pigments in the Aug.23 night race at the .533-mile Bristol track. “SEM and the fabricators at BAM are putting together a deal that is going to look incredible under the lights at Bristol,” said Schrader. “Everybody is always trying to come up with these special night paint schemes. With the ingenuity of SEM and the expertise of our fabricators, this is going to be one that will really show off this race car.” SEM Products recently revamped Color Horizons, which create a rainbow of color combinations for almost any look. Color Horizons, which can be applied to metal, aluminum or plastic surfaces, and is available in an array of base and candy concentrates, metal flakes, and pearlescent pigments as well as easy to use aerosols for a showstopping finish. “We are very pleased SEM Products and Color Horizons will be on our car for the next two races,” said Beth Ann Morgenthau, who owns BAM Racing along with her husband Tony. Having SEM with its history of excellence as a part of BAM Racing means a lot to all of us,” she continued. “We plan on giving them our best effort for two races, and are excited to see how good our car will look at Bristol when we use Color Horizons.”(Williams Company PR)(8-14-2003)

    • Wimmer to run Bristol Cup race. . in a Chevy or is it Dover? UPDATE: Scott Wimmer said Monday on Speed Channel's Inside NBS that he's planning to enter the Cup race at Bristol in August. Bill Davis Racing has two [#27] Chevrolets back in the shop for him and he's planning on testing soon [supposedly tested at Dover in May too].(Inside NASCAR Busch Series on SPEED via
      UPDATE: Wimmer will likely run the Cup race at Dover on Sept 21st, in a Chevy. Wimmer tested a Chevy at Dover in May, and it was announced he would run there, then was withdrawn [right as the news that Dodge pulling their support of Davis broke](Winston Cup Scene - need sub to view)(8-1-2003)

    • Wimmer looking to move up to Cup in 2004: car owner Bill Davis is looking for a full Winston Cup sponsor, for Busch star Scott Wimmer, who won Saturday at Pikes Peak. Wimmer is scheduled to move up to Winston Cup next year. Mike Brown, Davis' general manager, has said that the operation's current lineup is up for review, because of lackluster results this season. Already there are rumors that Ward Burton could be under scrutiny from owner Richard Childress, if Childress chooses to make a driver change.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-29-2003)

    • Arnold Motorsports to Debut at Indy; Occupies Melling Shop: Arnold Motorsports will field the #79 Dodge in seven races as the 2003 season winds down, with hopes of embarking on the full NASCAR Nextel Cup schedule in 2004. Billy Bigley Jr., the former Hooters Cup and NASCAR All Pro late-model champion and Craftsman Truck Series leadfoot, will occupy the driver's seat. Having completed two days of test laps this past week at the USA International Speedway in Lakeland — and with two days of tweaking ahead Monday and Tuesday at the storied Indianapolis Motor Speedway — Arnold Motorsports' initial foray into the most competitive stock car arena of all will be a qualifying attempt for the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis on Aug. 3. After Arnold got the green light from NASCAR this past fall to move forward, he officially registered the team and began the process of finding a location where the operation could fit in. Arnold negotiated on a number of race-team warehouses and workshops in the Charlotte, N.C. area, ultimately reaching an agreement with Mark Melling, son of Harry Melling, to occupy a 21,500 square foot, turn-key operation. The Melling team that had transformed Dawsonville, Georgia's Bill Elliott into a marquee name in the sport, ceased operation due to lack of sponsorship after the 2002 NASCAR season. Now leasing the modest shop with an option to buy, Arnold took possession on Feb. 1 and went right work, inventorying the goods and ordering in additional supplies that were needed. Doug Howe is now the crew chief of the #79 Dodge that at least initially, will have Arnold Development Companies plastered on the hood and rear-quarter panels as the team sponsor. Arnold now has 14 employees on his race-operation payroll — still bare bones compared to the established, highly financed, multi-car teams that compete week in and week out. Arnold says he thinks he already as established a good rapport with the powers that be in the Dodge Motorsports headquarters. Two cars built by the established Bill Davis Racing operation and driven by Ward Burton have been purchased. Two others are being built from scratch. A fifth car, which also was built over a two-month span in the Arnold Motorsports shop, was demolished after only three laps of practice recently at the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. Because of its connection with Dodge and record of race reliability, Arrington Manufacturers of Martinsville, Va., has been chosen as the engine supplier by Arnold. He will lease the engines under what is called the "Arrington A" program. The involvement of NASCAR Legend Bobby Allison — the patriarch of the famed "Alabama Gang" has been on board about six weeks — came about largely because of Bigley's long career in the All Pro late-model ranks. The team's seven race schedule [6 Cup, 1 ARCA]: Aug. 3: Brickyard 400; Aug. 23: Bristol; Sept. 6: Richmond: Sept. 21: Dover; Sept. 27: ARCA race at Talladega; Oct. 19: Martinsville; and Nov. 16: Homestead.(Naples Daily News)(7-13-2003)

    • Hermie Sadler gets a sponsor: At a press conference held on the State Capitol Grounds, NASCAR team owner and driver Hermie Sadler, in concert with the Honorable Mark R. Warner, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, announced today the formation of a racing partnership between Sadler Motorsports and four of Virginia’s universities. The two-year program, known as “GO Team VA”, has Virginia Tech, The University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and James Madison University teaming up to compete in a minimum of six NASCAR Winston Cup Series events in both 2003 and 2004. Each race will feature a different paint scheme, allowing all four schools their very own Winston Cup Car design. Certain races will simply feature a Go Team VA design. The first race for the GO Team VA program is March 23, 2003 at Bristol Motor Speedway, and will feature the colors of the Virginia Tech Hokies. Sadler commented on the program’s unique structure.. “Go Team VA is excitement! It brings together two of the most exciting categories of sport: Winston Cup Stock Car Racing and College Athletics in a state that is crazy about both.” Virginia plays host to six NASCAR Winston Cup Events, the largest number of Winston Cup events held in any one state. Governor Warner and the schools are equally excited about the program for various reasons; the exposure for the schools, the experience it will bring to the students, and of course the additional exposure for the state. Said Gov. Warner, “This great program has no monetary cost to the schools, which is all the more attractive during lean fiscal times. Also, students from the schools marketing and public relations colleges programs get a chance to learn more about the business of sports marketing at the NASCAR level.” Go Team VA also operates a website ( The site offers supporters the chance to join the Go Team VA Motorsports Club. Members can participate in a fantasy racing game and will be automatically entered into all of the special promotions that will be run at each university, as well as other special events. Prizes offered will include pit passes at races, a day of golf in Emporia with Hermie and Elliott Sadler, tickets to collegiate sporting events, standing on the sidelines at football games, WWE Wrestling tickets. and more.(Go Team VA PR), the #02 To Team VA plans to race at (per their site):
      March 23rd, Bristol, Virginia Tech;
      April 13th Martinsville, GoTeam VA
      May 3rd, Richmond, Go Team VA;
      August 23rd Bristol, Univ. Of Virgnia;
      September 6th Richmond, Virginia Tech;
      October 11th, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, James Madison;
      October 19th, Martinsville, Va. Commonwealth;.(3-19-2003)

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


      Car#/Driver Sponsor/Scheme/Promo Race/Date Image?
      #02-Hermie Sadler Univ. Of Virgnia Bristol - Aug Car #'s 0-23 page
      #2-Rusty Wallace Miller Lite/Victory Lap Bristol - Aug Victory Lap page
      #31-Robby Gordon Reverse Cingular Bristol - Aug
      Richmond - Sept
      Lowe's - Oct
      Cars #'s 24-99 page
      #38-Elliott Sadler Combo's Bristol - Aug Cars #'s 24-99 page
      #42-Jamie McMurray “sneak peek” at 2004 Bristol none...yet?
      #43-Christian Fittipaldi Cheerios Heart Health Bristol none...yet
      #49-Ken Schrader SEM Products/Color Horizons Bristol Cars #'s 24-99 page
      #77-Dave Blaney First Tennessee Bristol - Aug Cars #'s 24-99 page
      #97-Kurt Busch Silver Sharpie both Bristol races Cars #'s 24-99 page

    • No 'white' #49 at Bristol, it'll be gold: With a highly unique paint job and a car that might even outglow the lights of the speedway itself, Ken Schrader and the #49 SEM Products/Color Horizons Dodge team head to Bristol. The race will debut one of the most unique paint schemes in NASCAR Winston Cup history. Sponsor SEM Products Inc. is introducing its Color Horizons line of custom finishes on the #49 SEM/Color Horizons Dodge at Bristol. The car showcases SEM/Color Horizons’ intense colors and the unique designs as applied by artist Ron Fleenor, a nationally-known custom designer from Knoxville, Tenn. The car itself will sport a design and coloring unlike anything seen before in major league stock car racing. It is a translucent mandarin candy which goes from light to dark from the top to the bottom of the car, all on top of a silver base. The colors were developed by SEM Products Inc. in their Color Horizons line, and are available through automotive paint suppliers. The thoughts of SEM/Color Horizons Dodge driver Ken Schrader heading into Bristol: “We think we’re going to have a pretty good weekend at Bristol but, no matter what, everybody is going to remember we were there. This SEM/Color Horizons car is hot. It looks great. That mandarin candy on top of that silver base really makes it jump out.(Williams Company PR), see an image of the car without decals on my 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes - Cars #'s 24-99.(8-21-2003)

    • Reverse #31: The #31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet will carry a special orange "reverse" paint scheme this weekend at Bristol.(RCR PR)(8-21-2003)

    • Special Scheme for the #43, starting at Bristol: Christian Fittipaldi will be driving a special Cheerios Heart Health Dodge for the three races beginning with Saturday night's event at Bristol. The car is being used as the kickoff to a special consumer promotion by Cheerios Racing, which will bring a race fan closer to the sport than ever before.(Williams Company PR)
      AND A marriage proposal on the No. 43 car? It’s possible with a new sweepstakes announced today by Petty Enterprises and Cheerios Racing. To celebrate more than 60 years as a heart healthy breakfast favorite, the Cheerios #43 car is offering auto racing fans an opportunity to win space on the hood of the car as the official engine sponsor. The contest is called the “Tune Your Engine Sweepstakes.” The term “engine” is used analogously with “heart,” which serves as the body’s “engine.” Instant Winner Sweepstakes details are now featured on Cheerios boxes in grocery stores in the Southeastern and Southwestern United States. Each of the three Grand Prize winners will be awarded space on the car for their names, their sweetheart’s name, their kid’s name, the name of their favorite charity or whatever they choose that will fit in the space provided and is appropriate. The Cheerios No. 43 car will feature a new design to kick-off the sweepstakes. The design change will include a giant heart on the car’s hood and big red heart behind the “43” to replace the usual red oval. The new heart health Cheerios car design will be introduced to fans at the August 23 race in Bristol, Tenn. As official engine sponsors, the grand prize winners of the Tune Your Engine Sweepstakes will have their engine sponsorship decal appear on the car at races in the spring of 2004. The three total grand prize packages include a trip for two to a race in the spring of 2004 or autumn of 2004 (the complete sweepstakes details appear on Cheerios packages). Ten first prizes will include one of the engine’s pistons that has been used in an actual race and mounted in a display box. Fifty second prizes of an autographed 1:24 die cast No. 43 car are also included in the sweepstakes. Instant Winner Sweepstakes certificates will be placed inside specially marked Cheerios boxes or entries can be made without purchase through the mail (sweepstakes details appear on Cheerios packages).(8-21-2003)

    • Sharpie at Bristol: It's seems special Sharpie paint schemes are good luck for the Winston Cup's Kurt Busch. The Sharpie brand, the world's most popular brand of permanent marker and title sponsor of the Sharpie 500, is hoping that good fortune continues as Kurt Busch's #97 Ford returns to Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) sporting the Sharpie Metallic paint scheme that brought him victory in March. The special paint scheme supports the launch of the Sharpie Metallic silver marker, and makes its second Bristol appearance in 2003 and the first under the lights at the Sharpie 500 on Saturday, August 23. The March victory marked his second in a row for the March race at Bristol. In 2002, his first win at Bristol and first since joining the Winston Cup came driving - you guessed it - a lucky Sharpie marker paint scheme. "We've won at Bristol two out of the last three times driving a special Sharpie paint job," said Busch. "If we can win the Sharpie 500 driving the No. 97 Sharpie Metallic Ford, that would be sweet - two wins for Sharpie at Bristol in one year." The Sharpie car is decorated with eye-catching, silver-metallic splashes of color highlighting the new metallic marker that writes on dark surfaces. "Seems like only yesterday that Kurt was bringing home the #97 Sharpie Metallic Ford to victory lane at Bristol," said Greg Stoner, vice president and general manager of Sharpie. "We would like to see him autograph victory lane twice this year with the Sharpie Metallic silver marker." In addition to the paint scheme, Sharpie is planning a news conference on Thursday, August 21 to unveil a plan to build on the brand's NASCAR involvement. For more details, visit PR), see an images of the car at my 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes - Car #'s 24-99.(8-19-2003)

    • #77 Sponsor for Bristol: First Tennessee has partnered with Jasper Engines and Transmissions and the #77 Jasper Engines Ford driven by Dave Blaney. A special paint scheme prominently featuring the well-known First Tennessee logo will appear on the #77 car at the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 23. First Tennessee recently announced that the company has renewed its partnership with Bristol Motor Speedway as the Official Financial Services Provider of BMS and Bristol Dragway. To celebrate these partnerships, First Tennessee is offering NASCAR fans the Ultimate Bristol Experience through a sweepstakes that will run during July. Grand-prize winners will receive trips for four to the Sharpie 500, where they will stay in an exclusive motor coach at the track, meet the owner of the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford and have seats in the First Tennessee suite. First-prize winners will receive four suite tickets to the Sharpie 500. And second- and third-prize winners will receive First Tennessee racing merchandise. During the Sharpie 500, the #77 Jasper Motorsports Ford will be referred to as the #77 First Tennessee car. Throughout the summer, a replica of the #77 First Tennessee car will make appearances at First Tennessee financial centers across the state.(Jasper Motorsports PR), see an image of the car at the BMS site, Jasper Motorsports site or my Paint Scheme Gallery.(6-5-2003)

    • Special scheme for the #97 at Bristol: An anniversary is approaching - a silver anniversary of sorts. No it's not the 25th anniversary of anything, but it is the return of Sharpie and Kurt Busch to the site of the team's first Winston Cup series win, the Food City 500. Sharpie, the world's most popular family of permanent markers and title sponsor of the Sharpie 500 in August, recently announced that Kurt Busch and the #97 Rubbermaid/Sharpie Ford team will be featuring a paint scheme highlighting the new Sharpie Metallic "Silver" marker at the Food City 500 on Sunday, March 23. Sharpie and Busch also plan to race the Sharpie Metallic silver car at the Sharpie 500 in August. The Sharpie car is decorated with eye-catching, silver-metallic splashes of color highlighting the new metallic marker that can write on dark surfaces. "The Sharpie Metallic silver marker is the hottest new product from Sharpie since the brand was introduced in 1964," said Greg Stoner, vice president and general manager for Sharpie. "Seems fitting to get the help of one of the hottest drivers in NASCAR to 'quickly' spread the word." The new paint scheme is also the unofficial kick-off to the second annual "You Could Win $1,000,000" sweepstakes. The potential payout will be awarded at the Sharpie 500 on Saturday, August 23.(see my Racing Contests page for more info)(Sanford PR) see an image of the scheme on my 2003 Cup page.(3-18-2003)

    • M&M's special at Bristol: hearing that #38 Elliott Sadler/M&M's Ford will run a Combo Special at Bristol in August.(12-19-2002)

    • More Paint Scheme news can be found on Paint Schemes Gallery


    • Bristol Facts: The furthest back in the field that a race winner has started was 38th by #38-[then in the #21]-Elliott Sadler in the 2001 Food City 500. #2-Rusty Wallace leads all active drivers at Bristol with nine victories. · There has been only one race run caution-free at Bristol, the 1971 Volunteer 500, won by Charlie Glotzbach. Most Bristol wins: Darrell Waltrip, 12 (7 consecutive).(8-18-2003)

    • NASCAR to require Cup, Busch, Truck teams to add fuel cell area fire extinuisher: NASCAR officials announced today that all vehicles in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will require an additional fire-extinguishing cylinder solely dedicated to the fuel cell area, effective Aug. 13 but recommended immediately. An automatic, thermally activated discharge nozzle recommended by the manufacturer for this application must activate the cylinder, which is required to be made of DOT-approved metal. The automatic system may have a manual and/or pneumatic override from the driver-activated system. The cylinder must be mounted in the driver's compartment and will attach to a steel bracket welded to the frame and/or roll cage of the vehicle. When discharged, the extinguisher releases Halon in the area of the fire. Halon, a proven and extremely effective fire suppressant, is a liquefied compressed gas that stops the spread of fire by chemically disrupting combustion. A minimum of 10 pounds of fire extinguishing agent is required in the cylinder for the fuel cell area. In addition to the fire extinguisher cylinder being added for the fuel cell area, NASCAR has enhanced its requirements and specifications for the current on-board driver protection system as well as the fuel cell vent area. The cockpit extinguisher, a manually controlled push or pull knob that activates a fully charged fire-extinguishing pressurized cylinder, now must contain a minimum of five pounds of extinguishing agent. Should the cylinder also be used for fire extinguishing in the engine compartment, it must contain a minimum of 10 pounds of extinguishing agent. The cylinder also must be securely mounted to the frame and/or roll cage, and hose clamps, worm drive clamps and cable ties are not permitted. In addition, all discharge lines and fittings for the cylinders must be steel or steel-reinforced hose although the nozzles may remain aluminum. A maximum length for the neck of the fuel cell check valve vent hose has been set at three inches. By limiting length, it will make the component more impact resistant. The neck connects the fuel cell to the fuel cell vent hose and is located inside the trunk area of the vehicle. To accommodate the maximum neck length standard, fuel cell vent hoses will increase in length from 60 inches to a maximum of 66 inches.(NASCAR PR)(7-30-2003)

    • New Gas Can Rule: Beginning with the July 13 race at Chicagoland Speedway, NASCAR will prohibit teams from throwing or tossing gas cans or gas catch cans over the pit wall during a pit stop. The change was announced in Sunday's prerace drivers' meeting. If a violation happens under caution, the driver will have to restart at the end of the longest line. If it occurs under green-flag conditions, the driver must return to pit road to serve a 15-second penalty. The change is being made to reduce the liklihood of gas spills during pit stops.(



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