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THE NEXT Winston Cup RACE
NEWS, STATS and INFO

THE RACE: Daytona 500 and Speedweeks

Winston Cup Race #1 of 36 for the 2003 Winston Cup season
Updated: often, leading up to the race

    THE RACE: THE BUDWEISER SHOOTOUT

  • What: A 70-lap two segment race for eligible drivers who won Bud Poles Awards during the 2002 Winston Cup season
    or former Budweiser Shootout [Busch Clash] winners not already in.

  • Race: Saturday, February 8, 2003 in Daytona, FL

  • Draw for Starting Spot: Thursday, February 6th, 2003

  • TV: Fox 8:00pm/et - NO Re-air date/time that I know of.

  • Entry List: 2003 Bud Shootout Page

  • 2002 Budweiser Shootout Race Winner: Tony Stewart

  • Track/Race Length: 2.5 mile oval, 70 laps, 175 miles

  • Practice: Friday, Feb 7th, 3:55-4:50pm/et and 6:30 - 7:30pm/et

  • Info at my 2003 Bud Shootout Page and at ThatsRacin.com.

  • New Shootout Format: There will be some slight modifications to the format to Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway – the "unofficial" start to the 2003 Winston Cup season. NASCAR officials confirmed Tuesday the 70-lap all-star event – which features pole winners from the 2002 season and past winners of the event – will be split into two segments. The first segment will consist of 20 laps after which a 10-minute intermission will be held. Teams may make pit stops and do other work that transpires during a normal pit stop during this time. The second segment will be 50 laps and must end in a green-white-checkered finish. Caution laps will count toward the total in both segments so the second segment may extend beyond the scheduled 70-lap total. In the event of a red flag, crews will be permitted to work on the cars; however, all work must be performed on pit road or in the garage. When the race is resumed, all cars must immediately be ready to return to competition. All re-starts will be double-file re-starts. All lapped cars will re-start at the rear of the field. The Shootout format was changed from a 20-lap race to two 10-lap segments in 1991. The move to a 25-lap event in 1998 marked the third format change of this prestigious event. The format was again changed in 2001, this time to a 70-lap event.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-4-2003)

  • NASCAR.com offers Free Pit Command for Shootout: NASCAR.com is offering folks free access to a virtual dashboard view of the Budweiser Shootout, free access to PitCommand for the Feb. 8 race at Daytona International Speedway. New for the 2003 season, PitCommand provides real-time weekly coverage of all Winston Cup races and is coupled with improved streaming audio. Thanks to global positioning data via satellite, PitCommand delivers real-time telemetry. You can view relative speed, engine rpms, brake and throttle positions, just like on each driver's dashboard. In addition, in-car and live race audio will be available. Fans will not be required to register or pay for PitCommand access for the Budweiser Shootout. All that is required is to download the applet as well as Java 1.3 and the RealOne player.(NASCAR.com)(1-9-2003)

  • Trackpass Free for Speedweeks but NOT the Daytona 500: This year NASCAR.com is providing fans RaceCast, along with TrackPass with Pit Command free for the 2003 NASCAR Speedweeks, Feb 7 - 16, in Daytona Beach, FL, BUT been told it does NOT include the Daytona 500, sorry for the mis-information. More info at NASCAR.com.(2-11-2003)


    THE RACE: THE GATORADE TWIN 125's

  • Races: Thursday, February 13, 2003 in Daytona, FL

  • Start Time: Race 1) 1:00pm/et with Race 2 starting after the 1st

  • TV: FX - live, pre-race at 12:30pm/et

  • 2002 Race Winners: 1) #24-Jeff Gordon; 2) #15-Michael Waltrip

  • Track/Race Length: 2.5 mile oval, 50 laps each, 125 miles each

    (see below for Daytona 500 qualifying rules and how the 125's come into play)

  • 2003 Twin 125 Lineups


    THE RACE: THE DAYTONA 500

  • Race: Sunday, February 16, 2003 in Daytona, FL

  • TV: Fox - 1:00pm/et, re-aired on ?

  • Pre-Race Show: 12:00noon/et

  • NASCAR on TV and Fox Sports

  • Announcers: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds

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

  • Hollywood Hotel: Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

  • Purse/Race Awards: $13,816,240; Winner gets (minimun) $1,352,080; 2nd: $949,550; 3rd: $654,850; 4th: $503,175; 5th: $375,075

  • Purse/Race Awards (2002): $12,314,505; Winner got: $1,327,030; 2nd: $928,100; 3rd: $631,500; 4th: $479,075; 5th: $353,175; 43rd: $114,236

  • Purse/Race Awards (2001): $11,049,049; Winner got: $1,303,826; 2nd: $905,700; 3rd: $608,050; 4th: $452,600; 5th: $334,650

  • Entry List: Entry List for the: Daytona 500 from NASCAR.com

  • 2002 Race Winner: Ward Burton, 142.971mph, started 19th

  • Race Record: Buddy Baker, Feb 1980, 177.602mph
  • Track/Race Length: 2.5 mile oval, 200 laps, 500 miles

  • Pit Road Speed: 55mph


    Practice

  • Practice:
    Friday, Feb 7th (for Bud Shootout), 3:45 - 4:50pm/et and 6:30 - 7:30pm/et; TV: both on SPEED Channel
    Saturday, Feb 8th, 9:15 - 11:15am/et, no TV; 1:40 - 3:30pm/et, TV: FX (tape delay to air at 6:00pm/et)
    Monday, Feb 10th, none - cancelled
    Tuesday, Feb 11th, 12:00noon - 1:00pm/et; TV: SPEED Channel
    Wednesday, Feb 12th, 10:05 - 10:50am/et and 12:05 - 12:50pm/et; TV: both on SPEED Channel
    Thursday, Feb 13th, none, the Twin 125's will be run
    Friday, Feb 14th, 9:30 - 10:30am/et, TV: SPEED Channel, after BGN practice

    Saturday, Feb 15th, 9:30 - 10:15am/et; TV: SPEED Channel
  • Happy Hour Practice: Saturday, Feb 15th, 11:10am - 11:55am/et; TV: FX at 11:30am/et
    (updated as of 2-10-2003, changes due to Sunday's qualifying rain out)


    Qualifying

  • Qualifying Draw: Saturday, Feb 8th, 8:15am/et

  • Qualfying Order: Daytona 500 qualifying order - ThatsRacin.com and/or Daytona 500 qualifying order - NASCAR.com

  • First Round Qualifying Revised: 2 laps for positions 1-2 and the Gatorade Twin 125's lineup, Monday, Feb 10th at 1:00pm/et, TV-Fox (check local listings) and FX and live via MRN radio/internet(link below)

  • First Round Qualifying Results: on my Daytona 500 Qualifying Page

  • 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: cancelled

  • The traditional third round of qualifying was discontinued after the 1999 race

  • Event/Track Qualifying Record: Bill Elliott, 210.364mph, February 1987

  • Event Qualifying Record with Restrictor Plate: Ken Schrader, 196.996, February 1989

  • Last Year's Pole Sitter: #48-Jimmie Johnson, 185.831, finished 15th


  • Track Specs:
  • Daytona International Speedway is a tri-oval with 31-degree banking in the turns
    18-degree banking in the tri-oval and 6-degree banking on the straightaways
    Grandstand Seating: 168,000.

  • For the history of the restrictor plate and rules, see my Restrictor Plate Chart

  • Track Homepage: Daytona International Speedway


    PAST RACE WINNERS of the Daytona 500

  • NASCAR.com - Winners and Pole Sitters at Daytona


    HOW TO MAKE THE DAYTONA 500

    Step 1) Positions 1-2: set by first round qualifying, the fastest two drivers.

    Step 2) Positions 3-30: set by the results of the Twin 125's, 28 drivers, not already in by step 1.

    Step 3) Positions 31-36: the fastest six drivers from qualifying 1 qand 2 not in already from steps 1 and 2.

    Step 4) Positions 37-42: the highest drivers in the previous season's OWNERS points standing not already in the race.

    Step 5) Postion 43: to a former Winston Cup Champion not already in by the criteria set in steps 1 thru 4. If there is no former champ not in, the next driver whose team in the highest in the previous OWNERS points standings

  • The Daytona 500 has a different qualifying format. Only the two fastest drivers secure starting spots for the 500 in that first round. Drivers can stand on Saturday's speed or try to go faster in second-round qualifying (looks like there will not be a 2nd round in 2003). Once a driver elects to go again, his previous speed is wiped off the slate and the new speed becomes his official mark. After qualifying ends on Monday, the speeds will be used to set the lineups for Thursday's Gatorade 125-mile qualifying races. Odd numbers -- first, third, fifth and so on -- go in the first race, even numbers in the second. Results from the 125s will set positions 3 through 30 for the 500. The next six spots in the 500 field will go to the drivers with the six best qualifying speeds who have not yet made the field. The final seven spots go to provisional starters based on last season's car owner points standings. The second-fastest driver is assured of starting on the outside of the front row for the 500. The third-fastest, however, could start the main event as far back as 31st depending on how he does in the 125-miler.

    Another Explanation: The Twin 125-Mile Qualifying Races will determine positions 3 through 30. The drivers who posted the odd-number rankings in the qualifying rounds compete in the first race, which will set the inside rows -- positions 3, 5, 7, etc. -- for the Daytona 500. The even-number rankings from the timed qualifying compete in the second 125-mile race and set the outside rows -- positions 4, 6, 8, etc. In the event of cancellation, the top 30 positions will be set from the timed qualifying sessions. Starting positions 31 through 36 are determined by qualifying speeds set in one of two qualifying rounds. The 30 cars in the field are removed from the equation, and the remaining cars with the fastest official qualifying speeds fill the six positions. Starting positions 37 through 42 are provisionals assigned beginning with the car owner ranked highest in the previous Winston Cup championship points standings who did not qualify for positions 1 through 36. Starting position 43 is assigned to any car owner who has a past NASCAR Winston Cup champion driver who participated in the Winston Cup Series last season and did not otherwise qualify. The most recent past champion driver not assigned a position will receive this starting spot. If the 43rd position remains unused, it will be assigned to the next eligible owner based on last seasons final owner points standings.(That's Racin')


    RACE BONUS INFO

  • The NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus is $10,000 at Daytona 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(12-30-2002)


    WEATHER, TV/RADIO COVERAGE
    LOCAL NEWS, TRACK/FAN INFO

    Radio Coverage:
    Motor Racing Network(MRN)
    including Internet coverage (NOTE: now a paid subsription thru NASCAR.com)
    and XM Satellite - NASCAR Radio - Channel 144


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


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



    Local Newspaper and other Sites that cover the Daytona, FL Area:
    Daytona News-Journal
    Florida Times-Union
    Florida Today
    Inside Central Florida
    Lakeland Ledger
    Orlando Sentinel
    St Petersburg Times


    WEATHER FORECASTS:
    by The Weather Channel
    Weather Point
    Weather Underground
    National Weather Service
    Accuweather


    CAMPING and LOCAL INFO:
    Daytona Champber of Commmerce - Speedweeks
    Daytona Beach Campground
    City of Daytona Beach, FL


    TRACK/TRAVEL INFO FOR THE FANS:
    Daytona Review by ARS Racing


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


    TV Coverage/Info/News Pages:
    Race Fan TV

    IN-CAR AUDIO SITES


    QUALIFYING, PRACTICE and RESULTS
    news and links

    • The Shortest '500': The Daytona 500 has never been rained out, and Sunday's 109-lap race was only the fourth in history not run to 500 miles. Here's the history of the abbreviated events:
      1965 - 332.5 miles - Rain - Fred Lorenzen
      1966 - 495 miles - Rain - Richard Petty
      1974 - 450 miles - Shortened due to U.S. energy shortage - Richard Petty
      2003 - 272.5 miles - Rain - Michael Waltrip.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-17-2003)

    • Rumblings - Daytona: Mikey's win moves him into a tie for 76th on the all-time win list, and was worth a cool $1,410,706 from the over $14M in posted awards. It also puts the 15 team on the Winners Circle program for 2003...we've still got another wild-card spot available on that contingeny program for this season. Jimmie Johnson (3rd) had his best finish since he won at Dover last September. Kevin Harvick (4th) had his best finish since he was 4th at Bristol last August. Robby Gordon (6th) had his best finish since he was 3rd at Watkins Glen last August. Jeremy Mayfield (8th) had his best finish since he was 5th at Richmond last May. Mike Wallace (9th) had his best finish since he was 2nd at Phoenix in October of 2001. Kyle Petty (13th) had his best finish since he was 13th at Darlington last September. Jack Sprague (14th) had his career-best finish today (albiet only 7 races). His previous best was 23rd at Phoenix in October of 1996. Todd Bodine (18th) had his best finish since he was 5th at Richmond last September.
      STREAKIN....Kurt Busch has 6 Top-10's in a row. Mark Martin has 6 Top-10's in a row.
      This Week's Elevator....UP: The Operator of the Week is Kurt Busch (+34), followed by Kevin Harvick (+27), Mark Martin (+21), and Johnny Benson (+21). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Jeff Green (-38), followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr (-34), John Andretti (-22), and Ward Burton (-21). For new readers, this category is determined by the net change from start to finish position.(Stock Car Fans)(2-17-2003)

    • The Daytona 500 is OVER: after 109 of 200 laps, the race has been called due to rain and #15-Michael Waltrip has been declared the winner. Waltrip is the 8th driver who has won the Daytona 500 two or more times. #97-Kurt Busch was 2nd. Pole sitter #30-Jeff Green was involved in an accident and failed to finish the race. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr had electrical problems and ended up 36th, a lap down. The unofficial top ten are:

      #15-Michael Waltrip (68 laps led)
      #97-Kurt Busch
      #48-Jimmie Johnson (8 laps led)
      #29-Kevin Harvick
      #6-Mark Martin

      #31-Robby Gordon
      #20-Tony Stewart (6 laps led)
      #19-Jeremy Mayfield
      #09-Mike Wallace
      #88-Dale Jarrett

      #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr finished 36th, 1 lap down

      Laps Leaders(8): #15-Michael Waltrip(68 laps led); #17-Matt Kenseth(2); #20-Tont Stewart(6); #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr(22); #41-Casey Mears(1); #54-Todd Bodine(1); #32-Ricky Craven(1); #48-Jimmie Johnson(8);
      Cars on the lead lap: 33
      Off track/out of race: #12-Ryan Newman(accident); #49-Ken Schrader(accident); #30-Jeff Green(accident); #7-Jimmy Spencer(accident); #22-Ward Burton(accident);

      Cautions 5 for 23 laps
      Caution 5: lap 108-109:
      #22-Burton spun after getting too high on the track and backed into the turn 4 wall, no other drivers were involved, Burton is ok.
      Caution 4: lap 103-105:
      #4-Mike Skinner dropped debris on the track, after a tire went down.
      Caution 3: lap 96-99:
      #30-Green slid up the track (tire blown?) and hit the wall hard and collected #7-Spencer who had no place to go. Both drivers walked away.
      Caution 2: lap 57-66:
      #12-Newman flipped three times down the frontstretch, also involved was #49-Schrader, then #18-Labonte got together on the pit road entrance. Newman walked away and waved to the crowd. Looks like Schrader got tapped by #22-Burton, Schrader hit the wall and bounced into #12-Newman causing both to lose control. Then red flagged due to rain at 2:08pm/et.
      Caution 1: lap 42-44
      #18-Labonte spun on the back stretch right off turn two, no contact with another car or a wall, looked like air off the spoiler. #43-Andretti had to make an unscheduled pitstop for a tire rub on lap 47.

      NOTES: Around Lap 16, #5-Labonte fell all the way to the rear of the field and is running slow. Some drivers started pitting on lap 30. All of the 1st pit stops were done by 36. #99-Burton's pit crew left a catch can attached and had to come in for a stop and go stop on lap 36. Most of the leaders can in during the first caution to pit for gas or two tires. #21-Rudd had to get some repairs to the right front on the first caution. #8-Earnhardt is losing volts around lap 69, on the restart #38-Sadler had to switch to the 2nd electrical box. #40-Marlin was blacked flagged on lap 72 for passing a car and going under the yellow line and had to pit for a penalty. On lap 87, #8-Earnhardt Jr is slowing down as his voltage is getting lower and he pitted on lap 89 to change a battery and went down 2 laps. #18-Labonte is back on the track around lap 85.
      Race Re-air: The race will be re-aired on Speed Channel, Wed, Feb 19th, 8:00pm/et (enhanced) and Thurs, Feb 20th, 1:00am/et and at 3:00pm/et.
      Results: see my 2003 Results Page for links.(2-16-2003)

    • To The Back: Two drivers have had to go to back up cars for the Daytona 500. #6-Mark Martin after a cut right front tire caused him to hit the frontstretch wall after taking the checkered flag in the second Gatorade 125-mile qualifying race (was 28th) and #10-Johnny Benson hit the wall during Friday's practice, pancaking the right side and damaging the rearend, Benson was to start 40th. The three drivers who used backups in the Twin 125's do NOT have to fall to the rear of field, #4-Skinner, #38-Sadler and #99-Burton as it was before qualifying was over (the Twin's are treated as qualifying).
      AND add #41-Casey Mears [Happy Hour practice wreck] and #29-Kevin Harvick [unapproved emgine change](2-15-2003)

    • Mears wrecks in Happy Hour, to a backup: #41-Casey Mears, scheduled to start 29th in the Daytona 500 and 4th fastest in Happy Hour, wrecked in Happy hour, damaging the right front end quite a bit. Mears will have to go to a backup car for the Daytona 500 and will start at the rear of the field.(2-15-2003)

    • #29 Team to change engines: the #29 team of Kevin Harvick will change engines after Happy Hour and have to fall to the rear of the field before the green flag of the Daytona 500. Teams were allowed one engine change after the Twin 125s, so i guess they had changed engines as have most teams.(2-15-2003)

    • Happy Hour practice for the Daytona 500 is over. #5-Terry Labonte was the fastest at 187.602 9ran 25 laps), followed by #18-Bobby Labonte at 187.480 (35 laps) and #40-Sterling Marlin at 187.383mph (35 laps). 38 of the 43 drivers made runs, 5 drivers did not practice: #31-Gordon; #30-Green; #25-Nemechek; #4-Skinner and #15-Waltrip. #99-Burton ran the most laps with 44, was 19th fastest. For speeds see ThatsRacin.com.(2-15-2003)

    • 2003 Daytona 500 Starting Lineup - and who missed, all unofficial or course on my Daytona 500 Lineup page(2-13/14-2003)

    • Saturday AM Practice is over at Daytona: Fastest was #18-Bobby Labonte at 189.721mph (in 28 laps), followed by #77-Dave Blaney at 189.657 (11laps) and #54-Todd Bodine at 189.486 (25 laps). Slowest was #29-Kevin Harvick at 184.638 (10 laps) and #09-Mike Wallace at 185.487 (18 laps). Four drivers ran the most laps with 40: #22-Burton, #7-Spencer, #48-Johnson and #17-Kenseth. All 43 drivers practiced. For speeds see ThatsRacin.com.(2-15-2003)

    • Friday practice at Daytona is over: Fastest was #48-Jimmie Johnson at 190.998mph, followed by #40-Sterling Marlin at 190.868 and #18-Bobby Labonte at 189.864. Slowest were #19-Jeremy Mayfied at 186.305 and #45-Kyle Petty at 186.443. Seven drivers did not practice. #43-Andretti, #16-Biffle, #30-Green, #29-Harvick, #0-Sprague, #09-M Wallace and #2-R Wallace. For speeds see NASCAR.com.(2-15-2003)

    • The Second Gatorade 125 is over, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr wins, 2nd was #15-Michael Waltrip, see unofficial results on my Twin 125 Race 2 page.(2-13-2003)

    • The First Gatorade 125 is over, #31-Robby Gordon wins, 2nd was #30-Jeff Green, see unofficial results on my Twin 125 Race 1 page.(2-13-2003)

    • Twin 125's: the Gatorade Twin 125 Qualifying Races at Daytona will be run Thursday, Feb 13th, starting at 12:30pm/et and will be televised live on FX [and re-aired on FX at 8:00pm/et] and can be heard on radio on MRN Radio or XM Radio channel 144. NASCAR.com is also offering free online scoring for the Twins (but NOT the 500). I will cover the races somehow on here also, maybe every 10 laps of so. See the Twin 125 lineups at my Daytona 500 Qualifying Grid page, with speeds and provisional ranks.(2-13-2003)

    • Wed afternoon practice is over: #21-Ricky Rudd was fastest at 190.166mph, followed by #40-Sterlin Marlin at 190-146 and #31-Robbie Gordon at 189.954, slowest were #90-Kirk Shelmerdine at 181.561 and #41-Casey Mears 183.598. 44 of the 50 cars practices, 6 drivers did not go out: #25-Nemechek, #0-Sprague, #1-Park, #45-Petty, #23-Wallace and #09-Wallace. For speeds see Thatsracin.com.(2-12-2003)

    • Drivers IN CORRECTION: Fifteen drivers are guaranteed to be in the Daytona 500, no matter what happens, how? #30-Green and #8-Earnhardt Jr are locked in the pole and outside pole positions. 3-30 thru the Twin 125's finishes. 31-36 by qualifying speed, so the #31-Gordon, #15-Waltrip, #21-Rudd, #29-Harvick, #88-Jarrett and #18-Labonte would be in on speed, provisionals would go to the teams that finished 1 thru 7 in 2002 Owners points (none were in the top 8 in speeds): #20-Stewart, #6-Martin, #97-Busch, #24-Gordon, #48-Johnson, #12-Newman get the regular provisionals and #5-Terry Labonte gets the Past Champion Provisional [not Rusty Wallace - oops, Wallace was champ in 1989, Labonte in 1996], Wallace would just miss out in regukar provisionals being 7th in 2002 Owners Points and next in line for the Champions Provisional. NOTE: This is the worse case for these drivers, but they are in the race.(2-12-2003)

    • FYI the #33 Monoco Chevy driven by Christian Fittipaldi and owned by Andy Petree Racing [APR] will use 2002 owners points from the #55 car, which is 29th in provisionals, Fittipaldi has the 24th fastest time in qualifying, which should be safe to make the race if he finishes outside the top 15 (14 if Earnhardt Jr finishes in the top 15).(2-12-2003)

    • Daytona 500 Qualifying Results and Twin 125 Grids

    • Wednesday AM Practice is over: #48-Jimmie Johnson was the fastest at 189.422mph, followed by #18-Bobby Labonte and #30-Jeff Green at 189.259. Slowest was #78-Mike Harmon at 181.397 and #90-Kirk Shelmerdine at 183.501. Three drivers did not run: #84-Benning (see below), #29-Harvick (Gil Martin said Harvick would not practice this session, will run a few lapss in the 2nd session) and #0-Jack Sprague. #12-Ryan Newman wacked the wall with the right side of hos Dodge, pancaking the side, the team is hopeful it can repair the car and not go to a backup. For speeds, see ThatsRacin.com.(2-12-2003)

    • Jarrett fastest in Tuesday's practice, accident puts two drivers in backups UPDATE make it three in backups - #4, #38 and #99: #88-Dale Jarrett was the fastest in Tuesday's practice with a speed of 188.494mph, followed by #01-Jerry Nadeau at 188.336 and #16-Greg Biffle at 188.111. Slowest were #02-Hermie Sadler at 185.925 and #78-Mike Harmon at 181.682. #84-Norm Benning once again is not listed in the speeds and has to run practice or he will not be able to run in the Twin 125's. No drivers were injured, but four Winston Cup cars were damaged seriously Tuesday in the first major on-track incident during Speedweeks activities at Daytona International Speedway. In the closing moments of the first race-conditions practice for Sunday's Daytona 500, #0-Jack Sprague, #4-Mike Skinner, #38-Elliott Sadler and #99-Jeff Burton were heavily involved in in the Turn 1 crash. The incident began when Sprague's #0 Pontiac wiggled in traffic and appeared to bounce off Steve Park's #1 Chevy, sending it down toward the inside of the track. Sprague's car clipped the rear of Skinner's #4 Pontiac, sending him into a spin across the racing groove. Sadler and Burton, both driving Fords, then ran into Skinner's car. Sadler and Burton immediately decided to go to backup cars. Skinner's team was considering the same decision while Sprague's team planned to fly in parts to repair his primary car.(ThatsRacin.com)
      For speeds see ThatsRacin.com.(2-11-2003)
      UPDATE: ESPN/AP reports that #4-Mike Skinner will also go to a backup car for the 125's, the team will try to fix the damaged car to be used as a backup for the Daytona 500.(2-12-2003)

    • Jeff Green wins the pole for the Daytona 500: #30-Jeff Green wins the pole [his 2nd career Bud pole] for the Daytona 500 with a speed of 186.606mph. The other driver who locked in a starting spot is #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr with a speed of 186.382. See my Daytona 500 Qualifying Grid page for the speeds, Twin 125's lineups, comparison to their best practice speed, provisional standing, links to other sites who have speeds and lineups and HOW TO MAKE THE DAYTONA 500, the procedures. Qualifying will be re-aired tonight, Monday, Feb 10th on FX at 8:00pm/et. Second Round Qualifying has been Cancelled and will NOT be run. Only nine times have Daytona 500 pole winners gone on to win: Fireball Roberts (1962), Richard Petty (1966), Cale Yarlborough (1968, 1984), Buddy Baker (1980), Bill Elliott (1985, 1987), Jeff Gordon (1999) and Dale Jarrett (2000).(2-10-2003)

    • For the history of the restrictor plate and rules, see my Restrictor Plate Chart

    • Earnhardt Jr wins the Budweiser Shootout: the finishing order:
      #8-Earnhardt Jr (13 laps led)
      #24-Gordon (31 laps led)
      #17-Kenseth (6 lapss led)
      #12-Newman
      #22-Burton

      #49-Schrader (1 lap led)
      #48-Johnson (4 laps led)
      #21-Rudd
      #29-Harvick
      #32-Craven

      #97-Busch (11 laps led)
      #2-Wallace
      #54-T Bodine
      #5-Labonte
      #20-Stewart

      #9-Elliott
      #6-Martin (4 laps led)
      #88-Jarrett (why so poor of a finish? fluid on the windshield made it hard for Jarrett to see)
      #11-G Bodine out-vibration.
      NOTES: #11-G Bodine thought he had a tire rub on lap 3 and brought the car in and it ended up being a vibration and he went to the garage. #2-Wallace cut down a tire on lap 18 was able to stay on the lead lap and change the tire during the 10 minute break. On lap 50 ALL the drivers came in to pit, all took 2 right side tires, except #48-Johnson took 4 tires who flatspotted his tired when he locked the brakes up coming on pit road and #6-Martin, #21-Rudd, #54-Bodine and #49-Schrader who all only took fuel. Earnhardt Jr started last, 19th, the fartherst a Bud Shootout winner has ever came from. For results and money won, see ThatsRacin.com and for a column: Dale Earnhardt Jr. impressive in Budweiser Shootout win(2-8-2003)

    • A few parts seized at Daytona: NASCAR inspectors gave Winston Cup cars a thorough going-over Friday, with the garage finally closing at 10:02pm/et. Despite the slow process, only four items had been confiscated from teams and displayed on the NASCAR hauler. Unapproved underpans were taken off the #10 Pontiac driven by Johnny Benson; unapproved springs wwere taken off Michael Waltrip's #15 Chevrolet and Norm Benning's #84 Chevrolet. A plastic gas container was taken from the team of David Green's #60 Chevy. Late last year, NASCAR banned the use of plastic containers to transport or store gas.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-8-2003)

    • Saturday Daytona 500 2nd practice is over: #25-Joe Nemechek was the fastest with a speed of 185.189mph (in 9 practice laps), followed by #15-Michael Waltrip at 184.953 (6 laps) and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr at 184.759 (in 9 laps). Slowest were #78-Mike Harmon at 176.995 and #90-Kirk Shelmerdine at 177.588. #30-Jeff Green and #84-Norm Benning didn't practice. #24-Jeff Gordon was slow in both practices, 41st in the first practice with a speed of 181.554 and 24th in the 2nd practice at 182.782. For speeds see ThatsRacin.com.(2-8-2003)

    • Qualifying Order links are up for the Daytona 500, see above for the links, 51 cars/drivers are listed. First scheduled out to qualify on Sunday, Feb 9th at 1:00pm/et (Fox-TV) is #17-Matt Kenseth, last scheduled out is #11-Brett Bodine.(2-7-2003)

    • Saturday Daytona 500 1st practice is over: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr was the fastest at 184.521mph (ran 3 laps), 2nd was #15-Michael Waltrip at 184.313 (7 laps), followed by #30-Jeff Green at 184.275 (8 laps). Slowest of the 51 cars were #78-Mike Harmon at 174.611 and #90-Kirk Shelmerdine at 177.275. #84-Norm Benning did not practice. For speeds see ThatsRacin.com.(2-8-2003)

    • 2nd Friday Bud Shootout Practice is over: #5-Terry Labonte was the fastest at 188.336 followed by #8-Dale Earnhardt Jt at 188.237. Slowest was #11-Geoffrey Bodine at 183.430mph. For all the speeds, see ThatsRacin.com.(2-7-2003)

    • Geoffrey Bodine draws the pole for the Budweiser Shootout: In a special-event race sponsored by Budweiser, with the starting order determined by a glorified video game, Dale Earnhardt Jr. figured to have a good shot at success in Thursday's draw for the Budweiser Shootout starting lineup. So much for that. Earnhardt Jr. will start 19th - last - in the field for Saturday night's 70-lap event that marks the first competition of a new NASCAR season. He was the fifth driver to pick his starting spot by pressing a bottle cap from the sponsor's product hooked to a computer spinning numbers one through 19 on a screen. Earnhardt Jr. will have plenty of fast company in the back half of the field. Jeff Gordon starts 18th, Ryan Newman 15th and two-time defending Shootout champion Tony Stewart 12th. The pole position, meanwhile, lasted until the very end of the draw. With only two drivers - Geoffrey Bodine and Terry Labonte - left to pick their starting spot, Bodine pushed the button and got the pole in the #11 Ford that his brother, Brett [not Todd], owns and will drive in the Daytona 500 on Feb. 16. That left the 17th starting spot for Terry Labonte, the remaining driver. Jimmie Johnson, who won the pole for the Daytona 500 last year in his rookie season, will start on the outside of Row 1, with Kurt Busch and Ricky Rudd on Row 2, and Matt Kenseth and Ricky Craven on Row 3. Dale Jarrett, Todd Bodine, Mark Martin, Ward Burton, Ken Schrader, Stewart, Bill Elliott, Rusty Wallace, Newman, Kevin Harvick, Labonte, Gordon and Earnhardt Jr. round out the field. Fifteen of the eligible drivers won poles during the 2002 season and the other four are past winners of this event. Nine of the entrants are former Bud Shootout winners. The total purse for the event is $966,000, with the winner getting $205,000. The non-points event, being held under the lights for the first time this year, will be run in two segments. There will be a 10-minute break after the first 20 laps, during which teams may work on their cars without losing track position. The cars will start the final 50-lap segment in the same order they finished the first segment. With the 13.5-gallon fuel cells being used at the 2.5-mile Daytona track this year, teams will not be able to complete the final 50 laps without making another stop for fuel. If the caution flag is out on Lap 70, the race will be extended until there's a green-white-checkered finish, so that also must be factored into fuel strategies.(ThatsRacin.com) and see ThatsRacin.com for The lineup for Saturday night's race (2-6-2003)

    • 1st Friday Bud Shootout Practice is over: #12-Ryan Newman was fastest with a speed of 186.220mph, followed by #24-Jeff Gordon at 186.162. Slowest of the 19 drivers was #11-Geoffrey Bodine with a speed of 180.018. For all the speeds, see ThatsRacin.com.(2-7-2003)

    • Entry List is up for Daytona 500. 49 cars/drivers are listed, 42 full time teams plus: #02-Hermie Sadler; #09-Mike Wallace; #11-Brett Bodine; #33-Christian Fittipaldi; #60-David Green; #78-Mike Harmon; #84-Norm Benning; #90-Kirk Shelmerdine. See the NASCAR.com link above. Actually it is 50 as #37-Derrike Cope, will make an attempt but is not on the list....yet; and #7-Jimmy Spencer is missing, so make it 51.(2-6-2003)
      UPDATE: it is 51, Spencer and Cope have been added.(2-7-2003)

    • 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'


    SOME NOTES and NEWS

    • 'Yellow-line' rule clarified, stiffened by NASCAR: During Sunday's pre-race drivers meeting, NASCAR President Mike Helton announced a revision to the sanctioning body's "yellow line" rule, which is enforced at Daytona and Talladega. Under the rule, drivers are black-flagged if they drive below the yellow line to advance their position on the track. The line marks the end of the racing groove. Beginning with Sunday's Daytona 500, a driver who forces others to go below the yellow line in an effort to prevent a pass will also be subject to a black flag. "Now what we are beginning to see happen, and we saw it yesterday (in the Busch race), is some of you have figured out to protect your spot, you can move down against the yellow line to prevent someone from going on your inside," Helton said. "That is OK. But if you do it while that guy is trying to get around you and you move him down there while he has a quarter-panel or fender alongside of you, if you make him go down there, then you are subject to a black flag, too." The announcement received a round of applause from the drivers, crew chiefs and car owners in attendance. Helton also announced a policy adapted for Saturday's Busch race regarding the use of the red flag to ensure a green flag finish, would be used in Sunday's Daytona 50 as well. If a caution comes out with less than five laps remaining in the race, the race will not be restarted under green.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-16-2003)

    • Red Flag 'rule': NASCAR has implemented a new procedure to help guide its use of the red flag to ensure green-flag finishes in its BGN and Cup series. In Saturday's BGN race at Daytona, if a caution had been with less than five laps remaining in the 120-lap event, the race would not be restarted under green. NASCAR spokesman Mike Zizzo said the procedure would also be used in Sunday's Daytona 500, and likely with the same five-lap rule in effect. "As with any new procedure, NASCAR will evaluate its use and effectiveness and decide how best to implement it in the future," Zizzo said. The new procedure was adapted to attempt to remove the complaints about the random nature of how the red flag is used to try to ensure green-flag finishes, Zizzo said. NASCAR's Truck series requires a green-flag finish. If there is a late-race caution races in that series are extended in two-lap segments until a green-flag finish is achieved.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-15-2003)

    • Some Fun Facts: No Daytona 500, except the inaugural event, has been won by a driver making his first 500 start. Junior Johnson, Mario Andretti and Pete Hamilton won the Daytona 500 in their second start. Tony Stewart finished last in the 2002 Daytona 500 and went on to win the NASCAR Winston Cup championship, repeating a feat accomplished by Cale Yarborough in 1976. Yarborough then came back in 1977 and won the 1977 Daytona 500, the only time that a Daytona 500 was won by a driver who finished last the previous year. Yarborough also won the championship in 1977 (and 1978). Two of the last four 500s have been won by the reigning champion, Jeff Gordon (1999) and Dale Jarrett.(Nashville City Paper-Jack Flowers)(2-15-2003)

    • Engine Rules at Daytona: NASCAR's single-engine rule, which requires drivers to use the same engine for qualifying and the race, is not in effect for the Daytona 500. In other races if a driver blows an engine or crashes during practice or qualifying — or changes engines or cars — he has to start at the rear of the field. The only consequence of Tony Stewart's blown engine in Monday's qualifying is that he has to start at the back of the field in his 125-mile qualifying race today.(Tennessean)

    • NASCAR IN CAR on iNDEMAND Free Preview Sunday: There will be a NASCAR IN CAR on iNDEMAND free preview on Sunday for the Daytona 500. It is only available to digital cable subscribers. You can vote for your favorite driver to be one of the drivers covered on iN DEMAND from 5:00 p.m. Thursday through 5:00 p.m. Friday each week.(MotorsportsTV)(2-14-2003)

    • For the history of the restrictor plate and rules, see my Restrictor Plate Chart

    • Bud Shootout/Daytona 500 fact: Only five times in the 24 year-history of the Shootout has the winner of the race gone on to victory in the Daytona 500 the same season: Bobby Allison (1982), Bill Elliott (1987) Dale Jarrett (1996 and 2000) and Jeff Gordon (1997).(ThatsRacin.com)(2-6-2003)

    • Scheduling Change For Daytona Inspections: Events playing-out at Daytona International Speedway during a 10-day grind, known as Speedweeks, it can present a real challenge for NASCAR. Top on that list is potentially Feb. 8, with both qualifying for the Daytona 500 and the Bud Shootout scheduled, not to mention the corresponding inspections. In prior years NASCAR would fill the labor-intensive inspection lines with both Shootout and Daytona 500 cars. But not this year. Winston Cup Director, John Darby has made the call to inspect the cars for the Shootout on Feb. 6 and then the Daytona 500 cars on Feb. 7, thus ensuring quality inspections for all cars. Inspections are vital as the teams try to improve their on-track chances with anything they can think of that’ll reduce drag by 10 drag-horsepower or increase the engine power by 10 horsepower.(Ford Racing)(1-30-2003)

    • Engine Rules at Daytona: The number of engines a team will be allowed to use will be limited at Daytona next month, said John Darby, Winston Cup series director. Last season, the series' one-engine rule began after last year's Daytona 500. This year, teams must run the same engine from Saturday's first practice session (Feb. 8) through the twin-125 mile qualifying races (Feb. 13). If a team makes a change, then it must start at the rear of the field "at the minimum," Darby said. After the twin 125 races, teams can make an engine change before the next day's practice session. After that, they risk a similar penalty for changing engines.(News and Record)(1-18-2003)

    • Some Daytona 500 stuff: According to Winston Cup Director, John Darby many of the pieces that NASCAR uses to control the cars at DIS will be just as they were when the tour last ran a restrictor plate race, which was October at Talladega Superspeedway. The cars will run a 7/8-inch plate as well as the smaller fuel cell, according to Darby. The restrictor plate, used to slow the cars from what might well be a 230 mph lap, if the cars ran open motors, should hold the DIS laps to about 185 mph. Atlanta, Texas, Michigan and California tracks will all boast pole speeds quite a bit quicker than the pole speed for the 2003 Daytona 500. The fuel cells once again will be in the 12-gallon neighborhood, versus the 22 gallons allowed at open motor tracks. The smaller cells, which led to pit stops during the close of October’s EA Sports 500, will be used, again. This will give NASCAR more information for possible future changes in the size of the fuel cans for the next plate race. Speaking about the fuel cells Darby told TFR, “Daytona’s a little different track length. We had an idea [with the smaller fuel cells] and only ran it one race. We’d like to watch it more than that [before we do anything with the cells].” (Ford Racing)(1-12-2003)

    • Manufacturer Rules for the Daytona 500 in 2003: All Chevrolets, Pontiacs, Dodges and Fords will have the same 1.5-inch nose "kickout," or the extension of the front air dam below the bumper. All four makes, which have to mount their bodies on the same reference point, will also use the identical rear spoiler package -- 6.25 inches high by 57 inches wide at a 55-degree angle. Also downsized fuel cells, about 13.5 gallons (down from the standard 22-gallon cell used everywhere else) will be used at Daytona.(NASCAR.com), assume they will go back to the 22 gallon tanks for the non-restrictor plate tracks, it is not clear.(1-7-2003)

    • Restrictor Plate Track Weight Rules: NASCAR has implemented a new rule effective for the four superspeedway races at Daytona and Talladega this season requiring the total rear weight of the right rear and the left rear to not exceed 50-percent of a car's minimum weight. For example, a car required to weigh 3400 pounds must not weigh more than 1700 pounds across the rear wheels. Winston Cup series director John Darby said Tuesday the rule was adapted to prevent teams from circumventing the rear shock and spring requirements at Daytona and Talladega. Darby said NASCAR did not want to allow teams to chance compromising the safety advantage in rear crushability.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-7-2003)


      TRACK/RACE NEWS

      • Daytona 500 grandstands sold out, tix for infield still available: Daytona International Speedway officials announced on Saturday a grandstand sellout for Sunday's 45th annual Daytona 500, the most watched motorsports event in the world. While all 167,785 grandstand seats are sold out, fans can still purchase infield tickets for the race.(DIS PR)(2-15-2003)

      • Daytona 500 at Night? on a Sunday? If the Daytona 500 is moved to prime time to accommodate television, it may be run on Sunday night, Fox Sports president Ed Goren said this week. Drivers support more night races in general and are receptive to a prime-time start for the Daytona 500, but overwhelmingly, they prefer Saturday night races. NASCAR, which is in the third year of a six-year, $2.4 billion contract with Fox, NBC and their cable partners, is looking at ways to increase value for the networks. That could mean more night races, later starting times for Sunday afternoon races and running the Daytona 500 in prime time, NASCAR president Mike Helton said recently. Fox officials were thrilled with the ratings for the first nighttime Bud Shootout last Saturday. The race drew a 5.5 nationally, winning the night for Fox by a wide margin. And that was against upgraded programming two networks offered as part of their February sweeps packages.(more at Tampa Tribune)(2-15-2003)

      • ALL coolers to be checked at Daytona: Security personnel at Daytona International Speedway will attempt to check every single cooler that comes into the track during race week. About 200,000 fans are expected to attend the Daytona 500 on Sunday, and officials at the track have raised security levels back to where they were this time last year, when the memories of the Sept. 11 attacks were still fresh. "Fans will have to be patient, but it can be done," track spokesman Glyn Johnston said Thursday, where a much smaller crowd attended the Gatorade 125 qualifying races. Although the track won't release numbers, Johnston said an increased number of police and security personnel will be present, in part because of the recently heightened terror alert. Last week, the federal government put the nation on "high" alert for a possible terrorist attack. Part of the heightened security means all air traffic other than commercial flights that fly into Daytona's adjacent airport will be banned within a three-mile and 3,000-foot radius around and over the track. The ban, which began Wednesday, includes all banner planes, blimps and news helicopters. Making the process smoother at Daytona is the continued ban in the 135,000-seat grandstand on any cooler bigger than 6x6x12 inches - about enough to carry a six-pack. All of those coolers must be soft-sided. Since the ban has been put in place, some fans have complained, saying it's a way for NASCAR to make more money, by forcing them to buy more concessions inside the track. Fans are also limited to a 18x18x4-inch clear, plastic bag to carry track souvenirs. They also must wear binoculars and scanners around their necks and take them out of carrying cases before entering. Restrictions in the infield aren't nearly as stringent, but all vehicles will be subject to search.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(2-14-2003)

      • No-fly zone at Speedway result of terror alert: The buzz of airplanes, blimps and helicopters over Daytona International Speedway will be silenced starting Thursday. In the name of security, federal agencies Monday banned aircraft including blimps, banner planes and news helicopters from flying lower than 3,000 feet within three nautical miles of the Speedway. The ban won't affect commercial flights and private planes with registered flight plans. They will be allowed to take off and land at Daytona Beach International Airport, but will be closely monitored by Federal Aviation Administration officials. Television viewers may not even notice the flying ban, according to the people behind the airborne cameras. The Goodyear blimp, which is carrying a television camera for ESPN Sports during Friday's IROC race, will "as always, comply with whatever restrictions are in place," said Jennifer Arnold, a company spokeswoman.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-13-2003)

      • Daytona 500 name, not for sale: In a sport where everything is for sale for the right price, the Daytona 500 remains one of the last notable exceptions. And if officials at Daytona International Speedway - and NASCAR - have their way, it always will be. "The Daytona 500 just isn't a name you'd want to give up," said Jim France, son of the track's founder and president of its parent company, International Speedway Corporation. "The name for the event, we think, is pretty universally accepted. It's a significant brand in and of itself." There are 36 official races and two all-star events on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule. Twenty-six of the 38 have title sponsors, a decrease of five from last season. The value of those title sponsorships varies greatly depending on the race and the facility, ranging from six to seven figures. However, all of the remaining events other than the Daytona 500 have their title sponsorships on the market. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway had been the only other holdout until it put the title sponsorship for the Brickyard 400 on the market last fall. The asking price is $6 million for three years, according to the sales presentation being offered by the track to potential buyers. For that price, Indianapolis is promising tickets, pit passes, a floating billboard on the lake along the backstretch that's bound to be captured by network cameras, track signs, logo flags, hospitality areas, Internet banner ads, program ads, and radio ads among other benefits. The price does not include television exposure. Networks aren't obligated to refer to the title sponsor, since they're competing for the same advertising dollars. If the Brickyard 400, a 9-year-old event, is able to seek a $6 million asking price, what would title sponsorship to the Daytona 500 - NASCAR's premier event - be worth? "Probably in the $75 million for 10 years range," said a representative for one of the 500's presenting sponsors, who insisted on anonymity because of his relationship with the race. The lure to sell the title to the highest bidder has been tempting, France said, but not worth the ramifications. As presenting sponsors, company names don't appear in the name of the race. However, they are allowed to use the Daytona 500 and its logos in their advertising and promotions. Presenting sponsors also receive signs in Victory Lane and along pit road, as well as tickets and suites for the race and other luxury accommodations.(Augusta Chronicle)(2-13-2003)

      • Tix still available for the Daytona 500: There are still some tickets available for the Daytona 500. "`We have always sold out the 500,'' said Kathy Catron, senior manager of publicity for Daytona International Speedway. "`But we still have some tickets left.'' The only tickets available are a combination package - the Daytona 500 and Saturday's Busch Series Koolerz 300 - selling for $175. They are available on the Internet at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by phone at (386) 253-7223. If you just want to experience Daytona International Speedway, there are plenty of tickets available for Thursday's Gatorade Twin 125 qualifying races, Friday's Craftsman Truck Florida Dodge Dealers 250 and Saturday's Busch race. And infield tickets for the 500 are available for $90.(Tampa Tribune)(2-11-2003)

      • Security at the Daytona 500/Speedweeks: Come early. Take cameras out of carrying cases. Bring clear plastic bags and soft-sided coolers. These are tips officials at Daytona International Speedway are giving race fans who plan to attend this week's races and avoid long lines. Security concerns stem from the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the possibility of new attacks as the nation prepares for war with Iraq. The Bush administration placed the nation on a heightened state of alert Friday by raising the threat level from the yellow, or "elevated," level to the orange "high" level based on "specific and credible" threats indicating al-Qaida terrorists were planning large-scale attacks. Last year, law enforcement and Speedway officials tightened security in response to the 2001 attacks. "It's the same drill this year. Nothing has changed," said Glyn Johnston, the Speedway's director of communications. Johnston and law enforcement officials said they had no information about threats to the area during Speed Weeks, which brings in hundreds of thousands of visitors and concentrates them in a confined area leading up to Sunday's Daytona 500. But like their counterparts in other areas of the country, officials don't want to take any chances. "We realize nothing is impossible within the warped mind of a terrorist," said Terry Sanders, a captain with the Volusia County Sheriff's Office who works with special events. Officials declined to release specifics of their security plans, except to say plans would involve multiple agencies -- including the Daytona Beach Police Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement -- and resemble last year's plan. Last year, hundreds of officers helped patrol track grounds and direct traffic. They guarded gate entrances, checked car trunks and truck beds and poked mirrors under vehicles. The Federal Aviation Administration restricted the airspace last year to one nautical mile around the Speedway. Officials are restricting what a person can bring into the Speedway: one soft-sided bag or cooler no larger than 6 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches, and one clear plastic bag no larger than 18 inches by 18 inches by 4 inches. People can still "bring cameras, scanners and binoculars, as long as they're not in bags," Johnston said. He advised people to arrive at least an hour early for the race. Officers also rely on spectators and race fans for security, said Sgt. Al Tolley of the Daytona Beach Police Department. "We rely on people who see something suspicious to give us a call," Tolley said.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-10-2003)

      • A Buc at the Daytona 500: Tampa Bay Bucs guard Kerry Jenkins, an avid NASCAR fan, has been invited to attend the Daytona 500 as NASCAR's guest. NASCAR officials made the offer after reading a story in The Tampa Tribune about Jenkins' interest in stock car racing. Jenkins followed the sport while growing up in Alabama and attending Troy State University. As with many celebrity guests, Jenkins will be given a tour of the garage area and pits and will attend the pre-race drivers meeting. He'll have a seat in a NASCAR suite.(Tampa Tribune)(2-8-2003)

      • Wayne Brady, Tony Hawk Added to List of Celebs at Daytona 500: Daytona International Speedway announced today that two-time Emmy-nominated comic actor Wayne Brady will wave the green flag to signal the start of the 45th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 16. An Orlando native, Brady is the host of the nationally syndicated talk show, "The Wayne Brady Show" for Buena Vista television.. He is additionally known for his work on ABC's hit comedy "Whose Line is it Anyway", which earned him two Emmy Award nominations.. Brady also tours the country with his own, live improvisational theatre show. But before the green flag drops, skateboarding's primary icon Tony Hawk will participate in the pre-race festivities for the Daytona 500 as a distinguished guest of Daytona International Speedway. Now 34, Hawk is best known for his "900" (two and a half spins above a 12-foot-high halfpipe), which existed only in theory until he landed it at the 1999 X-Games. He is the author of a best-selling autobiography, HAWK: Occupation Skateboarder and was awarded ESPN's. ESPY award for Best Alternative Athlete. In 2001, the California resident received the first-ever ESPN Action Sports Achievement Award for his unparalleled status in skateboarding. His best-selling Tony Hawk's Pro Skater video game won three Blockbuster Awards for Favorite PlayStation, Dreamcast and GameBoy Game.. In addition, the Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards awarded Hawk Best Male Athlete and Best Video Game. That same year he also created the Tony Hawk Foundation to help finance public skateparks in low-income areas nationwide. Brady and Hawk join a star-studded list of celebrities participating in this year's Daytona 500, including Grand Marshal John Travolta and Mariah Carey, who will perform the National Anthem.(DIS PR)(2-7-2003)

      • Daytona 500 Purse Richest In History: The richest race purse in the history of NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition will be at stake when the green flag waves on the 45th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 16 at Daytona International Speedway. The posted awards for this year's Daytona 500 are $13,816,240, an increase of $1.5 million from last year's posted awards. The posted awards for last year's Daytona 500, won by Ward Burton, were $12,314,505. "The Daytona 500 is the most prestigious race in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and this year's competitors will be rewarded handsomely for their efforts," Speedway President Robin Braig said. The driver that takes the checkered flag in the Daytona 500 will pocket a minimum of $1,352,080. The second, third, fourth and fifth-place finishers will receive $949,550, $654,850, $503,175 and $375,075, respectively.(DIS PR)(2-6-2003)

      • Speedway Honors Scouts at Pole Qualifying Day: Members of the Central Florida Council of Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts of Citrus Council will get an opportunity to put on their uniforms and enjoy a day of NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition, as Daytona International Speedway celebrates Scout Day on Sunday, Feb. 9. A popular outing which drew hundreds of members in 2002, Scout Day will honor the area's scouts during the Speedway's Bud Pole Qualifying Day for the Daytona 500 and the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series 150. As in past years, eligible scouts and scout leaders will include only active members of the Central Florida Council of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts who are in uniform (shirt and hat). Scouts and scout leaders should report between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. to the grandstand entrance at Gate 18, just west of the Winston Tower, where they will be checked in by a designated scout representative. Scouts will then receive free admission to the unreserved frontstretch grandstands to watch the day's events. Family members and friends of the scouts can purchase General Admission tickets for $20 per person (children 11 and under are free with a paying adult.) These tickets may be purchased at Ticket Booth D, adjacent to Gate 18. The NASCAR Goody's Dash Series 150 will start at 11:00am/et followed by Bud Pole Qualifying for the Daytona 500 at 1:15pm/et. Only the pole and the outside pole are up for grabs during the qualifying session. For more information on Scout Day, call (386) 947-6416.(DIS PR)(2-5-2003)

      • New Shootout Format: There will be some slight modifications to the format to Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway – the "unofficial" start to the 2003 Winston Cup season. NASCAR officials confirmed Tuesday the 70-lap all-star event – which features pole winners from the 2002 season and past winners of the event – will be split into two segments. The first segment will consist of 20 laps after which a 10-minute intermission will be held. Teams may make pit stops and do other work that transpires during a normal pit stop during this time. The second segment will be 50 laps and must end in a green-white-checkered finish. Caution laps will count toward the total in both segments so the second segment may extend beyond the scheduled 70-lap total. In the event of a red flag, crews will be permitted to work on the cars; however, all work must be performed on pit road or in the garage. When the race is resumed, all cars must immediately be ready to return to competition. All re-starts will be double-file re-starts. All lapped cars will re-start at the rear of the field. The Shootout format was changed from a 20-lap race to two 10-lap segments in 1991. The move to a 25-lap event in 1998 marked the third format change of this prestigious event. The format was again changed in 2001, this time to a 70-lap event.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-4-2003)

      • 24 Hours of Daytona News - Live Scoring: Lance Norick, who has 154 career starts on the Truck Series circuit and plans to run a limited BGN [#26 Dr Pepper car] schedule this year, will join the Morgan-Dollar Motorsports team in the Rolex 24 At Daytona this weekend. Rob Morgan, the co-owner and co-driver for the team, knows Norick well -- Morgan also fields a truck (#46 currently driven by Dennis Setzer) in the Truck Series.(Daytona Beach News Journal). Other drivers driving in the race with NASCAR background include: Kyle Petty, Derrike Cope, Kevin Lepage, David Donohue, Christian Fittipaldi, Chris Bingham, Justin Bell, Boris Said, David Murry, Rick Carelli and J.C. France (of the France family) plus 16-year-old USAC driver Tom Hessert III from Cherry Hill, NJ will run in the race. Speed Channel will carry 16 hours of live coverage starting on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 12:30pm/et and finishing with the checkered flag at 1:00pm/et and the Victory Lane celebration that follows. Also Grand American Road Racing Association will provide Zippo Live Timing & Scoring on its official website - GrandAmerican.com - throughout the entire 41st Rolex 24 At Daytona event weekend, January 30 - February 2.(1-28-2003)

      • Going to Daytona? Check out your seat number: Your seat number -- even the name of the grandstand -- may be different. But after a software upgrade, Daytona International Speedway wants to assure all fans the location of their seats hasn't changed.(see NASCAR.com for the full story)(1-28-2003)

      • John Travolta Grand Marshal of the Daytona 500: John Travolta, who has earned Academy Award nominations for his performances in both "Saturday Night Fever" and "Pulp Fiction," will give the command to start engines as Grand Marshal for the 45th annual Daytona 500. Travolta, whose next film "Basic" will be released on April 18, has an affection for speed as a seasoned jet pilot, owner of his own 707 and as a spokesperson for Qantas Airlines to encourage air travel. Travolta will also give the command in front of a "hometown" crowd. Travolta is a sometimes resident of Florida.(DIS PR)(1-16-2003)

      • Speedweeks Concerts: SHeDAISY will perform a pre-race concert prior to the start of the inaugural nighttime running of the Budweiser Shootout on Saturday, Feb. 8. The Utah-born siblings Kristyn, Kelsi and Kassidy Osborn make up SHeDAISY and will perform a concert shortly after the conclusion of the Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series season opener, which goes green at 4:30 p.m. SHeDAISY will also sing the national anthem before the 8 p.m. Budweiser Shootout. Four-time Grammy nominated Christian rock band "Third Day" will perform a post-race concert at the track following the Feb. 15 Koolerz 300, the season opener for the NASCAR Busch Series. In addition, Third Day's talented lead singer Mac Powell will sing the national anthem before the start of the Koolerz 300. Tickets for the Daytona 500 and other Speedweeks 2003 events are available online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.(DIS PR)(1-16-2003)

      • Rolex 24 At Daytona on TV: Grand American Road Racing Association announced that it has reached an agreement with SPEED Channel to broadcast 16 hours of live coverage of the 41st Rolex 24 At Daytona, Feb. 1-2. SPEED Channel's live coverage of America's great road race will begin on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 12:30 p.m. ET, with pre-race ceremonies. The green flag will fall at 1:00pm/et, and SPEED Channel will follow the action live into the night. Saturday's broadcast will end at 9:00pm/et Live coverage will resume Sunday morning at 6:00am/et, where SPEED Channel will update race fans with what happened during the night and follow the final hours of racing live to the checkered flag at 1:00pm/et and the Victory Lane celebration that follows.(ThatsRacin.com) - NASCAR connection: Kyle Petty, Kevin Lepage and Christian Fittipaldi will drive in the race.(1-14-2003)

      • Mariah Carey To Sing National Anthem For Daytona 500: Daytona International Speedway announced that Grammy Award winning artist Mariah Carey, the biggest selling female pop artist of all time, will kick off the festivities for the Feb. 16 Daytona 500 by singing the National Anthem. "We're thrilled to have this superstar join us for the 'Great American Race'," said Speedway President Robin Braig. "We're honored to have Mariah. I know her incredible voice will stir the hearts of our guests and our competitors." Tickets for the Feb. 16 Daytona 500 as well as other Speedweeks events are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway Ticket Office at (386) 253-7223.(DIS PR)(1-9-2003)

      • Let's Have a Parade: Daytona Beach will hold a Daytona 500 parade Feb. 8 at 12:30 p.m. on Beach Street, downtown. The event will include 15 bands from around the country as well as representatives from local schools, dance teams, city officials and civic clubs and organizations. To register, call 1-800-545-0935, ext. 118. For event details, call the Daytona Beach Partnership, (386) 872-3272.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-9-2003)

      • Party: DIS will have a post Daytona 500 party at Daytona USA. Admission is $35 and includes dinner, a cash bar and entertainment. Shuttles to parking lots will begin two hours after the race. Space is limited. For more information, call (386) 947-6404.

      • Daytona Fuel Spill and a patch? UPDATE 2: the spill news is tad old but: Daytona International Speedway had to close its 2.5-mile tri-oval course Friday and Saturday morning because of a diesel fuel spill in Turn 2. ""There was a leak in one of the jet dryers,'' Speedway spokesman Glyn Johnston said. ""It leaked fuel on the track, not a lot, and then tires ran through it and spread it on down the way.'' The dryers, which sound like a jet engine, are used to blow water and debris off the track surface. They are pulled behind a safety truck. ""The leak was completely contained,'' Johnston said. ""They had to wash down the track and do one thing after another to clean it. Today (Saturday) our operations team did several checks on the track and swept it, blew it dry again and ran a car over it to make sure the area was OK from a safety standpoint.'' The Speedway is hosting an ARCA test session this weekend [Dec 22]. ARCA competitors sat around Friday and Saturday morning until the track was declared raceable on Saturday afternoon. ""We look at it like a weather situation,'' Ron Drager, ARCA president, said. ""Everybody that wanted to be here and get laps is going to get every thing they came to get.''(Daytona Beach News Journal)
        sources tell me that the speedway may need to patch the area as the fuel ate some of the asphalt away.
        UPDATE: hearing from sources at the track where there is sports car testing going on and there are no signs of a patch or any mention of any problems.(1-3-2003)
        UPDATE 2: At least at this test, teams will also be taking a hard look at the race track. During an ARCA test in December, a fuel spill in Turn 2 caused some concern about the track's surface, with some minor "pebbling" occurring when bits of the track pulled up in that test and during last weekend's Grand American Road Racing Association test for the Rolex 24 sports car race. Track staff has continued to treat the surface with limestone to soak the fuel residue out of it and after the sports car test the dark fuel stain and traces of limestone were apparent.(NASCAR.com)(1-7-2002)

      • 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 - Daytona International Speedway


      DRIVER/TEAM NEWS

      • Mikey's Car to Daytona USA: On Monday at DAYTONA USA, the #15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevy, Michael Waltrip's winning car from Sunday's 45th annual Daytona 500, was inducted into the official attraction of NASCAR. The car will rest inside Gatorade Victory Lane at DAYTONA USA for one year and will be returned to the team before the start of the 46th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 15, 2004. The car is in the same condition as it was when it left Victory Lane and bears the signatures of all of the crew members including Waltrip. Waltrip, who also won the 2001 Daytona 500, participated in a fan forum along with his crew chief Richard "Slugger" Labbe and DEI executive vice president Ty Norris. Speedway President Robin Braig presented all three with Daytona 500 leather jackets while Gatorade presented the 2003 Daytona 500 champ with a framed photo from last night's Victory Lane celebration. Waltrip, who'll continue handling media obligations of a Daytona 500 winner in the next few days including an appearance via satellite on tonight's Late Show with David Letterman, visited with the reporters before the induction ceremony and fan forum. He said he spent last night celebrating with the team on Teresa Earnhardt's yacht. He also got a warm welcome from family, friends and fellow drivers such as Elliott Sadler, Dale Jarrett and Ken Schrader outside his motor home. "I thought it was fun to get to party with (Teresa) and just enjoy her company," Waltrip said. "I had a lot of good folks over. We went back to the motor home. I didn't do anything crazy. I just enjoyed the family and friends."(DIS PR)(2-17-2003)


        Michael Waltrip's #15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevy being inducted into Daytona 500 (DIS Photo)

      • Mike Wallace the first UPDATE: When #09-Mike Wallace starts the Daytona 500, he will become the only driver in the speedway's history to race in Friday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, Saturday's Busch Series race and Sunday's main event for the Winston Cup Series. He finished sixth in the truck race and fourth in the Busch Series race. He starts 18th today.(Augusta Chronicle)
        UPDATE: not only was Wallace the first to do this, but he finished in the top 10 in all three races.(2-16-2003)

      • Nemechek OK: Joe Nemechek, who stepped out of his pole-sitting BGN car Saturday while battling a 24-hour flu bug, said Sunday morning he felt "like a million-and-a-half bucks." Nemechek is scheduled to start 15th in the "Great American Race" at Daytona, but gave up the seat in his own Cellular One Pontiac for Saturday's Koolerz 300. "I feel good," Nemechek said after exiting Sunday's pre-race drivers' meeting. "Yesterday I got my butt kicked by some sort of bug or virus or something -- but I feel really good today."(NASCAR.com)(2-16-2003)

      • Rusty to the back? Bad Carb? UPDATE 3 - Rusty's Twin 125 finish disqualified and crew chief fined: hearing from sources that #2-Rusty Wallace will be sent to the rear of the field for Sunday's Daytona 500 after NASCAR found an illegal carburetor in inspection after today's qualifying race. Inspection will continue through the evening. It will not affect who will make the Daytona 500 lineup.(2-13-2003)
        UPDATE: NASCAR inspectors said late Thursday afternoon there was a "potential problem" with the carburetor on the #2 Miller Lite Dodge that Rusty Wallace drove to a fourth-place finish in Thursday's second Gatorade 125. NASCAR said inspections would continue through the evening and into Friday before any potential sanction against Wallace's team would be announced. It also said the outcome would not change which 43 cars will be in the starting lineup for Sunday's Daytona 500.(ThatsRacin.com)
        UPDATE 2: the news is that there was a template infraction on the carb and a decision is supposedly to be announced 11:30am to 12:00noon/et timeframe today.
        as of 4:00pm/et, Speed Channel reports that NASCAR will announce a decision on the #2 team around 5:00pm/et.
        UPDATE 3 - announcement: per a NASCAR press conference heard on XM Radio - Channel 144: the #2 Miller Lite Dodge was disqualified from the Twin 125 it ran and crew chief Bill Wilburn has been fined $10,000. The fine is appealable, the disqualification is not. Will have a revised lineup soon, Wallace will have to use a provisional. Once I see how NASCAR handles this, I will post what I find.
        OK here is my understanding how this MAY work.
        #2-Wallace is disqualified from the 2nd Twin 125;
        #45-Kyle Petty who made the Daytona 500 field per speed and was to start 32nd moves up to 15th (from 16th) in the 2nd Twin and this goes into the 30th starting spot in the 500;
        then #97-Kurt Busch who was to start 37th using the first provisional, moves to 36th as he would had been the next fastest driver to get a spot with speed;
        #12-Ryan Newman, who was to start in the 2nd provisional spot (38th) moves to 37th;
        and #2-Rusty Wallace gets the 2nd provisional spot. This is still unofficial, but it makes sense. Actually this is the way NASCAR has done it many times in the Busch series and how it has worked for years.
        See my Daytona 500 Starting Grid page for an unofficial lineup.
        Rusty Wallace Commnets on NASCAR Penalty: "I'm OK with the penalty. I just hate it happened. NASCAR knows there was no intent on our part. We were 12 horsepower off the best car because of the carburetor. We just had one of the wrong carburetors on the truck. We didn't check it and we're paying for it now. Our engine guys feel real bad about it. We're going to start at the back of the field now, but I think we'll run even better with the right carburetor on the car. A rule's a rule. We're just embarrassed about the whole thing. Roger Penske is embarrassed. It's our first race with Dodge and Miller is doing a big promotion. We're embarrassed for our sponsors. I'm proud how we ran in the race based on what we found under the hood. It apparently was a test carburetor we'd been using on our unrestricted stuff. It was just a dumb mistake. We weren't trying to pull anything off on anyone and that's why NASCAR penalized us the way they did. Mentally, I'm a little down right now. I think we had an outstanding race in the Gatorade 125. The pit crew did an outstanding job. We were really hauling the mail. I think we could have passed the 54 car and challenged the 15 and 8 for the win, but I didn't want to do anything crazy. It is a little upsetting. I started in the back last year and was running fourth after 30 laps. I started last in the Pepsi 400 last year and finished second." Wallace and Penske are still trying to get to the bottom of it. "We're still in disbelief that it happened. That carburetor cost us 12 horsepower, so that's probably the only good thing that came out of it. We weren't going to practice today anyway. We didn't want to sacrifice the car and take a chance on something stupid happening. We'll be there at 9:30 in the morning and our Daytona 500 engine will be in the car. I think we've found a couple more horsepower, so now we're going to work like crazy on fuel mileage. I think it's going to come down to a fuel mileage race. I'm real confident about the Daytona 500. We were a little tight in the 125, so we want to make sure we've got the setup right. We've got a couple of front shocks we want to try and make sure we're loaded for bear on Sunday."(2-14-2003)

      • Jeff Green in for Nemechek for BGN race Daytona 500 pole sitter, #30-Jeff Green has been contacted by Joe Nemechek to drive the #87 Chevy in the BGN race at Daytona today, Nemechek is suffereing from food poisoning and is in the infield care center getting an IV. No word on his status for Sunday's Daytona 500. Green will run the BGN race, he will have to go to the rear of the field before the green flag, Nemechek won the pole for the race.(FX coverage of Happy Hour)(2-15-2003)

      • Martin to the back in a backup for the Daytona 500: #6-Mark Martin will have to use a backup car in Sunday's Daytona 500 after a cut right front tire caused him to hit the frontstretch wall after taking the checkered flag in the second Gatorade 125-mile qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway. He finished 14th behind race winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. After taking the checkered flag Martin's car washed across the track and slapped the wall in the short chute heading into Turn 1 on the 2.5-mile speedway. The team unloaded its backup car -- which Martin used to finish 17th in the Budweiser Shootout on Saturday night -- after he lost the draft and fell to the rear. It passed through inspection Thursday evening before the Winston Cup garage closed. Martin will thus line up in his qualified spot, 28th, but will have to drop to the rear of the field on the pace laps. He has three practice sessions in which to tune the car before Sunday.(NASCAR.com)(2-13-2003)

      • Benning Will Not Run: #84-Norm Benning, who has unsuccessfully tried to make the Daytona 500 for the past 14 years, didn't get a chance this year. In the past several years, Benning hasn't made a qualifying run and has simply tried to make his way into the field through the 125-mile qualifying races. But to start one of those races, a driver must reach a minimum speed of 172.000mph in practice. Rain wiped out qualifying Sunday, leaving drivers with only one round, and Benning was told late Monday that since he didn't reach his speed before the end of qualifying, he couldn't run in the qualifying races. "I'm devastated," Benning said. "I feel like they changed the rules. I don't know what I did to deserve this. I want to be a part of the NASCAR family, like they say, but I feel like I've been thrown out of the family." Winston Cup director John Darby said Benning had to reach the speed before the end of qualifying, since practice Tuesday was devoted to getting ready for the qualifying races. "It's a process we follow," Darby said.(Daytona Beach News Journal/AP)(2-12-2003)

      • No Benning in 1st round: NASCAR.com reports that 50 cars will make a run for the Bud Pole Award for the Daytona 500 on Sunday at 1:15pm/et on Fox. #84-Norm Benning's car was at the speedway but was never approved to get on the track. Benning will have to make an attempt in second round qualifying Monday.(2-8-2002)
        UPDATE: since 2nd Round qualifying was canceled due to first round being postponed until Monday, Benning will not be allowed to race in the Twin 125's unless he reaches a NASCAR-determined minimum speed in practice on Tuesday or Wednesday (not sure what that speed is)(2-11-2003)

      • Shawna gets a ride for Daytona...in ARCA: Aaron's Sales & Lease Ownership announced a one-race partnership with PBM Racing of Feeling, MI for the Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 ARCA series race at the Daytona, Saturday, February 8, 2003. Veteran driver Shawna Robinson will pilot the #65 Aaron's Dream Machine in the 200-mile event. The Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 starts at 4:00 PM Saturday, February 8 and will be televised live on SpeedChannel.(Aaron's PR), Robinson qualified 13th, some other's of note: Christian Fittipaldi starts 7th, Deborah Renshaw 10th, Frank Kimmel 15th, Rick Carelli 27th and Greg Sacks 30th.(2-7-2003)

      • Junie Donlavey Targets Daytona 500 UPDATE 2: Junie Donlavey, owner of the #90 Ford, doesn't possess a driver or a sponsor, but he does hold the will to bring his Richmond-based Winston Cup team to Daytona International Speedway this week to attempt to qualify for the Daytona 500. An offseason search for financial backing has proved fruitless, but the team decided to finish preparing a superspeedway car and make the trip.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(2-2-2003)
        UPDATE: Kirk Shelmerdine will run the #90 Freddie B's Ford fielded by Donlavey Racing at the Daytona 500. Freddie B's is in Winston-Salem, NC. See a drawing of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery.(2-3-2003)
        UPDATE 2: Junie Donlavey has hired a driver who is well known for his accomplishments in the Winston Cup Series but not for what he's done behind the wheel. Kirk Shelmerdine, who helped guide Dale Earnhardt to four Winston Cup championships between 1986-92, will attempt to qualify Donlavey's #90 Ford for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 16. Shelmerdine retired as a crew chief in 1992 and since has driven part time in several series, including Cup, CTS, BGN and ARCA. Shelmerdine contacted Donlavey last Friday, and a deal was worked out Saturday. Shelmerdine is bringing sponsorship to the Richmond-based team from a restaurant in Winston-Salem, NC. Donlavey, who missed nearly all of last year's second half, received a steady stream of well-wishers while standing at the back of his hauler yesterday. "It's good to be back," said Donlavey, who is attending his 53rd Daytona 500 as a car owner. "I've met so many nice people doing this, and they're worth more to me than all the money in the world."(Richmond Times Dispatch)
        AND Kirk Shelmerdine has a one-race deal to run for car owner Junie Donlavey, with quarterpanel sponsorship from the Sioux Indian Tribe of Minnesota and Freddie B's Sports Bar in Winston-Salem.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-8-2003)

      • 25th Daytona 500 for Terry Labonte: Terry Labonte will start the 2003 season with not one, not two, but three anniversaries to celebrate. With Speed Weeks at Daytona set to begin Feb. 7, Labonte is poised to make his 25th start in "The Great American Race." He has three second-place finishes in the traditional season opener since making his first visit to Daytona in 1979. In fact, Labonte's most recent runner-up showing was in 1997 when Hendrick Motorsports teammates swept the top three positions. Jeff Gordon won that race on Feb. 16, the very day on which this year's 45th running of the stock car classic will take place. Labonte finished second and Ricky Craven placed third. February 16 also is the date of the team's first Daytona 500 victory in 1986 with Geoffrey Bodine behind the wheel of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet that day. Labonte finished second and Jim Long, his current crew chief, was on pit road as Bodine's chief mechanic. Today, Long is entering his second season at the helm of the Kellogg's / got milk? Racing Team with high hopes for improvement over last year's 24th-place finish in the point standings. Embarking upon his 10th season at Hendrick Motorsports, Labonte enters the new campaign eighth on the all-time money-winning list with more than $29 million and is a two-time series champion with 21 career victories. Kellogg, in its 14th year as a NASCAR team sponsor, has been an Official Status Partner of the sanctioning body since 1995 and is the "Official Breakfast Food of NASCAR" through 2004.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(1-28-2003)

      • CW Smith to run some Cup races? Smith Brothers Motorsports is planning to run a number of races throughout the 2003 season in both the NASCAR Winston Cup series and NASCAR Busch Grand National Division. They are currently running in selected events with the goal being to add to their schedule and eventually run on a full-time basis. One event mentioned on their site is The Gatorade Twin 125 qualifying race for the Daytona 500. Pocono is another track they are considering.(Smith Brothers Motorsports site)(1-8-2003)

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


      PAINT SCHEME NEWS

      • Special Scheme for Martin in the Shootout: #6-Mark Martin will be making a record 15th straight start in the Budweiser Shootout, when the green flags drops on this year's all-star event. This year's Shootout will be run on Saturday night (Feb. 8, 2003). Martin will be at the helm of the #6 Kraft Ford Taurus in this year's event. Martin, who did not win a pole in 2002, won the Bud Shootout in 1999, and will start his 16th shootout via a past-champions provisional.(Roush Racing), see an image on my Paint Schemes Gallery.(2-5-2003)

      • Million Dollar Challenge again UPDATE: DeWalt's is set to launch their Million Dollar Challenge promotion once again giving fans and end-users a chance to compete for one million dollars.(Roush Racing)(1-28-2003)
        UPDATE: hearing the #17 Ford will run the Million Dollar Challenge at the Budweiser Shootout and then at Phoenix, supposedly the same scheme as last year, with a few minor decal changes(2-5-2003)

      • Special Scheme for the #21 at the Shootout: This year marks a very significant anniversary in the history of Ford Motor Company. The Dearborn, Michigan manufacturer is 100 years old. In honor of the occasion, the #21 Motorcraft Racing Ford Taurus will carry a special paint scheme for the 2003 edition of the Budweiser Shootout. The car will be seen for the first time at the Winston Preview in Winston-Salem, NC. [see images on my Paint Scheme Gallery]. The design was created to promote and celebrate Ford Motor Company's 100th anniversary. The #21 Wood Brothers Racing Motorcraft Taurus will feature a primarily silver paint scheme that incorporates the Ford 100-year logo and colorful arrays of centennial fireworks. Ford Motor Company was founded on June 16, 1903, and centennial festivities at the Henry Ford II World Center in Dearborn, Mich., take place June 12-16, 2003. More info on the centennial at www.celebrateford100.com.(Motorcraft Racing PR)(1-31-2003)

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


    STATS and STUFF




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