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THE NEXT Winston Cup RACE
NEWS, STATS and INFO

THE RACE: Pop-Secret Microwave Popcorn 400

Winston Cup Race #35 of 36 for the 2003 Winston Cup season
Updated: often, leading up to the race



  • Race: Sunday, November 9, 2003 in Rockingham, NC

  • TV: TNT - 1:00pm/et

  • Pre-Race Show: TNT - 12:30pm/et - hosted by Bill Weber

  • Scheduled Race Re-Air: on Speed Channel
    a one-hour recap [called Fast Forward] of the race scheduled for:
    Wednesday, November 12th at 7:00pm/et and again on November 13th at 1:00am/et;
    and a full three-hour race show will re-air at 3:00pm/et on Thursday, November 12th

  • 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: $4,444,009 (was $3,868,755 in 2002)

  • Entry List Links: at:
    ThatsRacin.com
    NASCAR.com

  • 2002 Race Winner: Johnny Benson, 128.526mph, started 26th

  • Race Record: Jeff Burton, Oct 1999, 131.103mph

  • Most Wins - Active Driver: Rusty Wallace, 5

  • Most Wins - All Time: Richard Petty, 11

  • Most Poles - Active Driver/All-Time: Mark Martin, Kyle Petty, 5

  • Most Top 5s: 20 - Richard Petty

  • Most Top 10s: 29 - Darrell Waltrip

  • Slowest Race Record: Richard Petty, 1977, 97.860mph

  • Oldest Winner: Bobby Alliosn, 46 years, 3 months, 1 days, 3/4/84

  • Youngest Winner: Jeff Gordon, 23 years, 6 months, 22 days, 2/26/95

  • Most Cautions: 14 - Twice, most recently 10/22/89

  • Most Caution Laps: 118, 3/13/1977

  • Fewest Cautions: 2 - 3 times, most recently 11/4/2001

  • Fewest Caution Laps: 12, 10/25/1992

  • Most on the Lead Lap: 19 - twice, most recently 2/24/2002

  • Fewest on the Lead Lap: 1 - 15 times, most recently 3/28/1982

  • Most Running at the Finish: 42 - 2/27/2000

  • Fewest Running at the Finish: 13 - Twice, most recently 10/29/67

  • Worst Starting Spot to Win: Neil Bonnet, 1988, started 30th

  • Most Lead Changes: 36 - Twice, most recently 10/30/1983

  • Fewest Lead Changes: 2 - 3/18/1973

  • Most Laps Led by a Race Winner: 491 - David Pearson, 3/181973

  • Fewest Laps Led by a Race Winner: 13 - Darrell Waltrip 3/1/1981


    Practice

  • Practice: Friday, November 7th, 11:20 - 1:20pm/et; and Saturday, November 8th, 9:30 - 10:15am/et

  • Happy Hour Practice: Saturday, November 8th, 11:10 - 11:55am/et on TV-TNT tape delay at 2:00pm/et.


    Qualifying

  • Qualifying Draw: Friday, November 7th, 10:20am/et

  • Qualifying Order:
    ThatsRacin.com and/or
    NASCAR.com

  • First Round Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-36, Friday, November 7th at 3:05pm/et, TV-TNT live, no re-air of qualifying.
    And live via MRN radio/internet (link below) and XM Satellite - NASCAR Radio (Subscription Required).

  • Qualifying Results: on my Pop-Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 Qualifying Page

  • 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)

  • Track Qualifying Record: Rusty Wallace, Feb 2000, 158.035mph

  • Event Qualifying Record: Mark Martin, Oct 1999, 157.383mph

  • Last Year's Pole Sitter: Ryan Newman, 132.655, finished 18th

  • February 2003's Pole Sitter: #12-Ryan Newman, 155.836mph, finished


  • Track Specs: North Carolina Speedway, know as 'The Rock':
    Track/Race Length: 1.017 mile oval, 393 laps, 399.68 miles
    Degree of Banking: Turns 1-2: 22 degrees; Turns 3-4: 25 degrees; Straightaways: 8 degrees
    Width: Turns 55 feet wide; Straightaways: 50 feet wide
    Number of Pits: 45 on front straight (1,436 ft. long) pit road
    Pit Stalls: 30 feet long; 16 feet wide
    Length of Front Straight: 1,300 feet
    Length of Back Straight: 1,367 feet
    Length of Turns 1 & 2: 1,256 feet
    Length of Turns 3 & 4: 1,437 feet
    Grandstand Seating: 60,113
    Pit Road Speed: 45mph

  • Track Homepage: North Carolina Speedway

  • Last Year: see my 2002 North Carolina Speedway Race Info page.

  • February's Race: see my 2003 February - North Carolina Speedway Race Info page


    GOODYEAR TIRE NOTES

    NASCAR Winston Cup Series - Race No. 35 - Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400
    NASCAR Busch Series - Race No. 33 - Target House 200
    North Carolina Speedway (1.017-mile oval) - Rockingham, N.C.
    Fast Facts for November 7-9, 2003

    Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials

    Number of Tires Required:
    Winston Cup: Left - 1,300, Right - 1,300;
    Busch Series: Left - 600, Right - 600

    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 85-95 laps, based on fuel mileage.

    Notes: This is the same combination of left- and right-side tires Goodyear has brought to Rockingham since February 2001, making this the sixth consecutive race with this set-up at "The Rock" . . . this will be the seventh and final time Winston Cup teams will compete on these tires this season . . . other NASCAR tracks where teams ran this same combination this season were Bristol, Darlington and Las Vegas . . . both the Winston Cup and Busch Series cars will compete on the same tires this weekend . . . as on all ovals longer than one mile, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Rockingham . . . 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: "The main issue at Rockingham is the rough track. With the surface being so abrasive, teams will experience high wear and give-up over the course of a fuel run. But with that being a well-known fact, it's not really a great concern because it's already factored in. As always at Rockingham, the teams that have the best set-ups and the drivers who are easiest on their tires will experience the least amount of give-up."


    RACE BONUS INFO

  • The NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus is $350,000 at North Carolina Speedway 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(11-2-2003)

  • 66 Races since... Leader bonus has been won. It's been 66 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 the Rock. Should a driver win the bonus, 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.(11-2-2003)

  • MBNA Mid-Race Leader Bonus: is $20,000 at North Carolina Speedway. 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 (Tony Stewart last won the bonus, $75,000 + $10,000 at Charlotte on October 11, 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 included the $20,000 bonus)*
    Pocono: Elliott Sadler, $10,000
    Michigan: Sterling Marlin, $10,000
    Sonoma: Robby Gordon, $25,000 (which included 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
    Bristol: Sterling Marlin, $10,000
    Darlington: Ryan Newman, $10,000
    Richmond: Dale Earnhardt Jr., $10,000
    New Hampshire: Dale Earnhardt Jr., $10,000
    Dover: Tony Stewart, $10,000
    Talladega: Jeff Gordon, $10,000
    Kansas: Bill Elliott, $10,000
    Charlotte: Tony Stewart, $85,000 (which included the $75,000 bonus)*
    Martinsville: Dale Earnhardt Jr., $10,000
    Atlanta: Tony Stewart, $10,000
    Phoenix: Kurt Busch, $10,000
    (* won race and bonus)(11-2-2003)


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

Radio Coverage:
Motor Racing Network (MRN) and


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
Sponsored by Racing Electronics


Local Newspaper and other Sites that cover the Rockingham, NC Area:
ThatsRacin.com
Charlotte.com/Charlotte Observer
Fayetteville Observer-Times
GoCarolina's
High Point Enterprise
News and Observer
News and Record
Winston-Salem Journal
WRAL-TV Raleigh, NC


Weather Forecast:
The Weather Channel
Accuweather
Accuweather - Local Radar
Intellicast - NASCAR weather

National Weather Service
Weather Underground


TRACK/TRAVEL/CAMPING INFO FOR THE FANS:
ARS Racing Outlet - Rockingham Review
Laid Back Racing (lots of info)

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

  • Elliott wins at the Rock: #9-Bill Elliott wins the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 at North Carolina Speedway after starting from the rear [because of an engine change after Friday's practice], led halfway and led the most laps [140], it was Elliott's 44th career win [think this will quiet the retirement talk?]. #48-Jimmie Johnson ended up 2nd, followed by #19-Jeremy Mayfield, #17-Matt Kenseth [clinches the 2003 Winston Cup Championship] and #12-Ryan Newman [the pole sitter]. #74-Tony Raines, who started 4th, finished 6th, his first ever top 10 in an unsponsored car.(11-9-2003)

  • The Pop-Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 at North Carolina Speedway IS OVER:
    The UNOFFICIAL Top Ten (start pos in parens), lap leaders, cars out, cautions and some notes
    after 393 of 393 laps:

    #9-Elliott (5 - but had to start out back)(140 laps led)
    #48-Johnson (18) (78 laps led)
    #19-Mayfield (3) (96 laps led)
    #17-Kenseth (23) [is in clinching mode]
    #12-Newman (1) (49 laps led)

    #74-Raines (4) <---- someone sponsor this team!
    #99-Burton (9)
    #18-Labonte (14)
    #20-Stewart (29)
    #40-Marlin (31)

    Points Leader #17-Matt Kenseth finished 4th (started 27th)

    Cars on the lead lap: 10 (of 43 starters)

    Off track/out of race (7): #37-Cope (out-?); #4-Lepage (out-engine); #6-Martin (out-engine); #32-Craven (out-accident); #21-Rudd (out-accident); #15-Waltrip (out-engine); #49-Schrader (out-accident);

    Laps Leaders Unofficial (5 with 14 lead changes): #12-Newman; #0-Burton; #19-Mayfield; #48-Johnson; #9-Elliott;

    Cautions: 10 for 65 laps

    Caution 10 - Laps 376 - 382: #49-Schrader and #12-Newman get together, sending Schrader into the wall hard and out of the race, the two were trying to get by a lapped car.
    Caution 9 - Laps 369 - 373: #20-Stewart and #14-Foyt tangled in turn 2 and both spun. Foyt slid up and was running much slower and Stewart hit Foyt in the rear. Stewart gave Foyt a little tap after the incident to show his displeasure.
    Caution 8 - Laps 330 - 336: #25-Vickers punted #32-Craven and #21-Rudd had no place to go and both Craven and Rudd backed into the turn 1 wall hard. Rudd drover off.
    Caution 7 - Laps 243 - 253: #6-Martin lost an engine.
    Caution 6 - Laps 156 - 160: #45-Petty got loose and looped it around in between turn 3 and 4, drove off ok.
    Caution 5 - Laps 108 - 117: #16-Biffle got sideway and spun, #42-McMurray checked up, got tagged by another car [#99?] and also went sideways and spun around backwards, McMurray slide into Biffle and the inside backstretch wall.
    Caution 4 - Laps 101 - 105: #99-Burton spun around after he and #31-Burton got together, with Burton spinning thru the front stretch grass.
    Caution 3 - Laps 94 - 98: #88-Jarrett drifted into #41-Mears who went into #97-Busch who slapped the wall hard and has heavy damage to the left front.
    Caution 2 - Laps 85 - 89: #12-Newman slapped the wall and bounced off #24-Gordon, another half lap later, #24-Gordon then got into the #12 who spun around. NASCAR the black flagged Gordon and held him a lap in the pits.
    Caution 1 - Laps 77 - 81: #37-Cope got loose off turn 2 and spun around and slapped the inside wall, but drove off with little damage.




    Who got a lap back on each caution at Rockingham - The Lucky Dog Pack?: (and their finish)
    Caution 10: #20-Stewart, 9th
    Caution 9: #99-Burton, 7th
    Caution 8: #18-Labonte, 8th
    Caution 7: #74-Raines, 6th
    Caution 6: #38-Sadler, 21st
    Caution 5: #29-Harvick, 15th
    Caution 4: #10-Benson, 29th
    Caution 3: #25-Vickers, 24th
    Caution 2: #16-Biffle, 11th
    Caution 1: #23-Wallace, 31st
    More on the Lucky Dog rule on my Caution Rule page/Lucky Dog page


    RACE NOTES: (as noted on TV or MRN Radio)
    ----- the cars in the back of the lead laps cars [#12, #99 and #40] came into pit for new tires.
    ----- All the leaders [all 9 of them] came into pit on caution 9, #12-Newman had some loose lug nuts and had to come in to have them tightened.
    ----- #15-Waltrip is smoking bad as of lap 343, won't last long.
    ----- oops, caution #8, some cars got caught after making green flag stops, they were a lap down.
    ----- pretty quiet green flag run since the last caution, green flag stops will occur around laps 325-335 range...unless...another caution.
    ----- the 7th caution came towards the end of green flag stops, leaving 6 cars on the lead lap.
    ----- #17-Kenseth was coming to put when the 7th caution came out and went past the 'commitment' line and has to go to the end of the longest line, but is still on the lead lap.
    ----- green flag stops occurred around laps 235 thru 245 range.
    ----- #88-Jarrett back on track around lap 230 after the crew repaired the left front wheel bearing/hub.
    ----- on lap 195, #01-Nemechek had a left front tire go down and had to pit.
    ----- #88-Jarrett's left wheel/tire is smoking on lap 174 and is dropping back.
    ----- #4-Lepage slowed down on the track and was smoking on lap 131.
    ----- many cars came in to pit during the 4th caution, #12-Newman came in to pit as he felt a vibration.
    ----- during the 2nd caution, #17-Kenseth came into pit as he got some rear end damage when he checked up and #20-Stewart hit him.
    ----- #38-Sadler was pitting when the first caution came out, but drove thrru and stayed on the lead lap.
    ----- #29-Harvick got lapped and came into pit on lap 47 as the car is running very poorly.
    ----- #16-Biffle and #7-Spencer got together around lap 35 and MRN is reporting a tire rub on the #16 and some smoke.

  • Where did the top 10 starters finish at Rockingham?
    #12-Newman, finished 5th
    #25-Vickers, 24th
    19-Mayfield, 3rd
    #74-Raines, 6th
    #9-Elliott, 1st WON
    #01-Nemechek, 25th
    #2-Wallace, 23rd
    #7-Spencer, 14th
    #99-Burton, 7th
    #16-Biffle, 11th

  • TOP FIVE [unofficial] DRIVERS POINTS after Rockingham:
    #17-Matt Kenseth, 4988 [CLINCHES the Championship]
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, 4762, -226
    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 4724, -264
    #12-Ryan Newman, 4659, -329
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 4625, -363
    See full standings at NASCAR.com.(11-9-2003)

    Race Results at
    ThatsRacin.com
    MotorsportsOne
    NASCAR.com.(11-9-2003)

  • Stock Car Fans - Rumblings - Rockingham: Bill Elliott broke a 49 race losing streak this afternoon as he dominated the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 at North Carolina Speedway. His 44th career victory (he's 14th all-time) was his first since he won at The Brickyard in August of 2002. And, considering he had to go to the back of the field for an engine change, it was all the more impressive.
    Pretty good weekend for the Ray Evernham Racing. First, you win the pit-crew Championship on Saturday, then you run 1-3 on Sunday. This was Ray's 4th win as an owner....all with Elliott as the wheelman.
    Bill becomes the 17th different winner this season....we had 18 last year.
    A very chopped up race today....that'll happen when the cautions fly during a pit cycle. As in life, timing is everything.
    Matt Kenseth (4th....and we might have a little something more on him later in this newsletter) had his best finish since he was 4th at Bristol in August.
    Tony Raines (6th) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was 14th at Richmond in May. And, his first-ever Top-10 gives us 42 drivers to register than mark this season....the exact same number as last year.
    Jeff Burton (7th) had his best finish since he was 4th at Richmond in September.
    Sterling Marlin (10th) had his best finish since he was 10th at Pocono in July.
    Larry Foyt (28th) equaled his career-best finish today. This was the third time he's finished 28th....Dover in June and Phoenix last week were the other two.
    STREAKIN....Jimmie Johnson has 6 Top-10's in a row.
    Ryan Newman has 9 Top-10's in the last 10 races.
    Tony Stewart has 7 Top-10's in the last 8 races.
    Bill Elliott has 5 Top-10's in the last 6 races.
    This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Jeff Green (+22), followed by Sterling Marlin (+21), and Tony Stewart (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Mark Martin (-29), followed by Michael Waltrip (-26), and Brian Vickers (-22). Not a lot of action in the "Shaft" today at The Rock.
    Little did we know when Matt Kenseth took the points lead after Atlanta back in March (Race #4) that school was out. And, for those detractors who say he didn't win enough races, remember who won the most events in 2002. It's consistency that counts....and nobody epitomized that more than Kenseth this season.
    Six of the Top-10 in points changed this week, and the last paying spot (25th) is still up for grabs. Johnny Benson (27th to 25th) was the only multi-position move upward. No one fell more than one spot.
    Elliott's win clinched Kenseth a spot on the Winners Circle plan for '04. Kevin Harvick is holding onto the last spot, but if any of 7 drivers win [the drivers with one win] next week, the 29 team is off.(StockCarFans.com Newsletter)(11-9-2003)

    Jayski's Rockingham Qualifying / Starting Grid page

  • Rockingham Qualifying Results/Race Lineup at:
    ThatsRacin.com
    MotorsportsOne
    NASCAR.com (11-9-2003)

  • Happy Hour practice at Rockingham, NC was delayed by rain [1st practice was rained out] for the Pop-Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 at North Carolina Speedway, but they got it in an hour late.
    The fastest were #99-Jeff Burton at 151.986 and #2-Rusty Wallace at 151.252, the rest of the top 10 are #'s 18,12,38,8,9,6,0,42.
    Where did the points contends run in practice:
    #17-Kenseth was 27th fastest
    #8-Eanrhardt Jr was 6th fastest
    #48-Johnson was 11th fastest
    #24-Gordon was 22nd fastest
    #12-Newman was 4th fastest
    Slowest were #37-Derrike Cope at 143.875 and #45-Kyle Petty at 146.454.
    for speeds see ThatsRacin.com.(11-8-2003)

  • To the Back: #9-Bill Elliott lost an engine in the first practice on Friday and the team had to change the engine, so even though Elliott qualified 5th, he will have to fall to the rear of the field before the drop of the green flag on Sunday at Rockingham, all the drivers behind Elliott on the inside line will move up a spot.(reported during qulafying coverage on TNT and mentioned by Evernham on Speed's Trackside)(11-7-2003)

  • Newman wins pole at the Rock; his 11th pole of 2003: #12-Ryan Newman won the Budweiser Pole for the Pop-Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 at North Carolina Speedway with a speed of 155.577mph [the same speed he ran in practice] in avery cool looking car [the old red-white-blue colors of Penske Racing], #25-Brian Vickers was the first driver out and held onto the pole until Newman went out 46th and last, Vickers had a speed of 155.505mph and will start 2nd. This is the 2nd race in a row Newman and Vickers share the front row. This is the third race in a row that Newman has won the pole. The rest of the top five are #19-Jeremy Mayfield, #74-Tony Raines [his best career start] and #9-Bill Elliott. Missing the race are #02-Hermie Sadler, #71-Tim Sauter and #79-Rich Bickle. For more on qualifying, the pole progression, practice vs. qualifying speeds, provisionals, lineup links and much more, see my Jayski's Rockingham Qualifying-Grid Page.(11-7-2003)

  • Rookie of the Year Candidates: how fast were they and where do they start:
    #14-Larry Foyt, 151.690, starts 42nd provisional
    #16-Greg Biffle, 154.227, starts 10th
    #41-Casey Mears, 152.151, starts 39th provisional
    #42-Jamie McMurray, 153.897, starts 21st
    #74-Tony Raines, 155.307, starts 4th - his best career start.(11-7-2003)

  • Fastest Qualifier by Manufacturer::
    Chevy: #25-Brian Vickers, 155.505, starts 2nd
    Dodge: #12-Ryan Newman, 155.577, starts 1st
    Ford: #99-Jeff Burton, 154.260, starts 9th
    Pontiac: #01-Joe Nemechek, 154.840, starts 6th
    Toyota - oops, not yet.......(11-7-2003)

  • Friday Practice for the Pop-Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 at North Carolina Speedway is OVER, the fastest were: #12-Ryan Newman at 155.577mph and #19-Jeremy Mayfield at 154.651mph
    the rest of the top ten are #'s 54,10,18,6,16,01,25,9. Slowest were #79-Rich Bickle at 145.188 and #14-Larry Foyt at 149.669.
    See full rundown of speeds at ThatsRacin.com.(11-7-2003)

  • Qualifying Order for the Pop-Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 at North Carolina Speedway is up, 46 drivers/teams listed. First driver scheduled out is #79-Rich Bickle, last driver due out is #12-Ryan Newman, so whoever [or is it whomever?] is on the pole will have to sweat it out the whole session. See above for the links.(11-7-2003)

  • Entry List links are up for the Pop-Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 at North Carolina Speedway [The Rock]. 45 teams/drivers are listed, including #02-Hermie Sadler [see story below] and #71-Tim Sauter [see story below]. See above for the links.(11-4-2003)
    UPDATE: make it 46 teams/drivers as #79 as been added [not to the Entry list but to the Qualifying Order] with Rich Bickle driving, it is not the Arnold Motorsports team [which is #79, this team is listed as #179](11-7-2003)

  • From the Archives: On October 31, 1965 at North Carolina Speedway, Curtis Turner was making his seventh start since returning to NASCAR Grand National (now NASCAR Winston Cup) racing in September. He was driving a first-class Ford for the famed Wood Brothers, but Turner had to be a bit rusty and, after all, he was over 40 years old, very unusual for race drivers in that era when most had retired by their late 30s. Turner qualified fourth in the first series event at the venue, but could he win? He hadn’t seen a NASCAR victory lane since March 1959. In contention for most of the race, Turner took the lead for the final time on Lap 474. The last 25 laps saw the “old pro” wage a duel with young upstart Cale Yarborough. It was a classic scene of age and wisdom against youth and nerve, with Turner winning out. The race closed a chapter in NASCAR history. It was Turner’s last win and the final victory for any of NASCAR’s pioneer drivers. A new generation was coming on, such as Yarborough. Gone from the headlines were the names of Flock, Roberts, Thomas and Weatherly. In a year or two, names like Bobby Allison, LeeRoy Yarbrough, Richard Petty and David Pearson would dominate.(NASCAR PR)(11-6-2003)

  • No Racing to the Caution Rule and Q&A

  • Top 10 Championship Comebacks: see the whole list compiled on my Stats and Stats Links page

  • Best 25 Over Last Six Races from NASCAR.com.

  • 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


    TRACK/RACE NEWS

    • Miss North Carolina 2003 Dana Reason Visits North Carolina Speedway to Commemorate Final Fall Event: The November 9 Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 is the final fall event at North Carolina Speedway, and a very special guest will be in attendance to commemorate the occasion. Dana Reason, Miss North Carolina 2003, will make an appearance in the Carolina Concourse and Premier Club Hospitality area on Sunday morning. She will also be on stage to greet the Winston Cup Series drivers for Driver Introductions prior to the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400. During the race, Reason will visit various suites and sign autographs for fans.(North Carolina Speedway PR)(11-3-2003)

    • Pre-race Stuff at the Rock:North Carolina Speedway has scheduled a military-themed pre-race on Sunday that will feature the 82nd Airborne Chorus, 82nd Airborne Band, and 82nd Airborne Color Guard. Two flyovers are scheduled for the day with four (4) UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from the US Army and four (4) F-15's from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. John Jones of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina will perform the Invocation and the National Anthem will be performed by the 82nd Airborne Chorus. On Saturday prior to the Target House 200 NASCAR Busch Series event, Ralph Kersey, a 17-year veteran of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol assigned to Troop H-2 and stationed in Scotland County will perform the National Anthem and Randy Storz of the Beverly Hills Baptist Church in Rockingham will give the Invocation.(North Carolina Speedway PR)(11-3-2003)

    • Union 76/Rockingham World Pit Crew Competition at the Rock: Pit crews, rather than drivers, are in the spotlight November 8, 2003, at North Carolina Speedway for the 36th annual 76/Rockingham World Pit Crew Competition. The purse for this year's event is $100,000, with $30,000 going to the winning team. Setting a new world record will result in a $10,000 bonus. Reigning champion - winning consecutively in 2001 and 2002 - is Roush Racing's #17 DeWalt pit crew for current Winston Cup points leader Matt Kenseth. The DeWalt crew bettered their own world record last year by .862 seconds, becoming the first crew to break the 16-second barrier since teams began changing four tires. The current world record, and the time teams will aim to beat in 2003, is 16.823 seconds. Since 1967, the Union 76/Rockingham World Pit Crew Competition has been the only NASCAR sanctioned pit crew contest on the circuit. Giving world-class pit crews a time to shine, this event rewards the best of the best with the coveted 'World Championship Pit Crew' title. Held annually during the fall race weekend at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, the object of the competition is for each crew in the top 25 in points to empty 14 gallons of 76 Gasoline into the car (two cans holding seven gallons each) and change both left- and right-side tires in as short a time as possible. Time penalties are assessed for various infractions including loose lug nuts, fuel spills and fuel left in the gas can. The team with the fastest time becomes the new world champion.(North Carolina Speedway PR), for last years results, current news and the Pit Crew Chart, see my Pit Crew Page.(10-21-2003)

    • Rockingham News: The fate of North Carolina Speedway at Rockingham continues to be debated. There has long been speculation that Bill France might sell the track to SMI's Bruton Smith and let Smith move its one remaining date to Texas. Smith said he knows nothing new.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-24-2003)

    • Target and General Mills Team Up to Raise Funds for Target House: The first annual Target House 200 NASCAR Busch Series race is scheduled for November 8, 2003, at North Carolina Speedway. Target and General Mills will be working together to raise money for Target House, a home away from home for families and children receiving care at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. "We're grateful to have such a high-profile event to help raise funds and visibility for Target House and the hospital," said Richard Shadyac, National Executive Director of ALSAC/St. Jude, the hospital's fund-raising arm. "I know the kids are looking forward to cheering on their favorite drivers during the race." To help raise funds for Target House, Target will be selling souvenir die-cast racecars on target.com. All proceeds from the die-cast cars will benefit Target House. In addition, a portion of sales from select, specially-marked General Mills snack products sold at Target stores will go toward Target House, with a maximum donation of $50,000. The General Mills snack products include Fruit Gushers, Pop Secret Popcorn, Fruit Roll-Ups and Chex Mix. The Target Chip Ganassi Racing team associate sponsors including Fujifilm, Coca-Cola, Reckitt Benckiser, Nestle Purina and Clorox have committed an additional $30,000 to Target House. Target has a long history of supporting motorsports and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The Target Chip Ganassi Racing team has supported St. Jude and Target House since 1997 through donations from the race team. The team provides $25 for each lap lead, $1,000 for each pole position and $5,000 for every race win. Over the past six seasons, the team has raised more than $275,000 for the hospital and Target House. "Target House is one of our leading community programs and we're happy this race will heighten the visibility of the ground-breaking work taking place at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital," said John Remington, vice president, events marketing and communications, Target Corporation. Fans can order tickets to the inaugural Target House 200 by calling the North Carolina Speedway ticket office at 1-800-PITSHOP or 910-582-2861 or by visiting online at www.northcarolinaspeedway.com.
      About Target House: Funded by Target Stores and its vendor and celebrity partners, Target House is a home-away-from-home for families with children receiving life-saving treatment at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. As an extension of St. Jude's commitment to care for any child regardless of the family's ability to pay, Target House provides fully furnished apartments, free-of-charge. Based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(8-4-2003)

    • Bruton to buy another track? Might Bruton Smith be in the market for another track? There are rumblings that Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports, will purchase an existing racetrack to get the Winston Cup date for one of his current tracks, likely Las Vegas. He did it at North Wilkesboro, and Rockingham [an ISC Track?] might be next.(Sporting News)(8-4-2003)

    • It's OFFICIAL - California gets 2nd race, on Labor day, Darlington moves to 2nd Rockingham slot, which loses a race: Beginning in 2004, California Speedway will get a second NASCAR Winston Cup date -- Sunday night during Labor Day weekend. This first official move of the Winston Cup Series' "realignment 2004" was announced Friday. The inaugural Pop Secret 500 is scheduled to begin at 8:00pm/et on Sunday, Sept. 5th, and will be telecast live on NBC. California Speedway is touting it as the first Sunday night prime time Winston Cup event. NASCAR president Mike Helton deflected all questions about additional future changes to the schedule. In 2004, North Carolina Speedway, a 60,113-seat oval in Rockingham, NC will lose its second date on the schedule, in the fall. This season Rockingham's spring race was held Feb. 23, a date that has been weather-plagued through the years. The Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, a 60,000-seat oval, will replace Rockingham's fall date. The Southern 500 has been held on Labor Day weekend for 53 years at Darlington, the 1.336-mile South Carolina oval. Darlington maintains its spring event, held annually in March since 1957.(NASCAR.com)(6-13-2003)

    • California to Labor Day in 2004: there will be an official announcement at Michigan International Speedway on June 13th that California Speedway would get a 2nd Cup race to run on Labor Day weekend in 2004, with Darlington Raceway and the Southern 500 being moved to the Rockingham spot in late 2004. Rockingham [North Carolina Speedway] will be cut down to one race in 2004, which currently is run in the last weekend in February.(Fox Sports Net's Totally NASCAR)(5-30-2003)

    • Rockingham news - ISC could sell to Smith? • The latest speculation about the fate of North Carolina Motor Speedway at Rockingham is that next season the track will have only one Winston Cup date, in April, and if that race doesn't sell out, then the International Speedway Corporation might sell the track to Bruton Smith.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-3-2003)

    • No Winner from the pole..again at the Rock: The pole winner hasn't won the Cup race at Rockingham in the last 17 races, dating to Jeff Gordon in the spring of 1995.(Daily Press), Sunday's pole sitter, #77-Dave Blaney finished 10th.(2-24-2003)

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


    DRIVER/TEAM NEWS

    • Benny and Bobby Victory Lap at the Rock: Victory Lap Tribute: Prior to the race, Bobby Labonte and Benny Parsons will be part of a special "Victory Lap" tribute to honor NASCAR Winston Cup Series champions during R.J. Reynolds' 33-year tenure in the sport. The 2003 NASCAR season is the final for Winston's title sponsorship of NASCAR's top division, which they have held since 1971. Labonte will represent "active" NASCAR Winston Cup champions in the "Victory Lap" tribute. He will drive a specially painted No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet alongside the #72 Chevrolet driven by Benny Parsons during pre-race ceremonies. Parsons, who once lived in nearby Ellerbe, NC, was the 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup champion.(NCS PR), see images of the cars and past PR's on my Victory Lap page.(11-5-2003)
      AND TNT analyst Benny Parsons will participate in NASCAR's "Victory Lap" tribute at the Winston Cup Race this Sunday, Nov. 9, in Rockingham, NC, during the pace car laps. Following the tribute, he will head to the booth to call the race with TNT play-by-play announcer Allen Bestwick and analyst Wally Dallenbach. The "Victory Lap" tribute recognizes drivers who captured a championship during R.J. Reynolds' sponsorship tenure at designated tracks. Parsons was the 1972 Winston Cup Champion and will drive a replica of the car he drove that year. In addition, Parsons has invited his 1972 pit crew to join him in Sunday's festivities.(TNT PR)(11-7-2003)

    • It's Back: This weekend #20-Tony Stewart is scheduled to drive the car that NASCAR impounded at Texas. It would be the first time the car has been run since NASCAR returned it. NASCAR officials impounded the car after it failed a pre-event inspection when the rear end was found to be offset beyond the rules. Series officials studied the car for several weeks before returning it.(Roanoke Times)(11-5-2003)

    • Hermie to honor Dad: #02-Hermie Sadler plans on competing in both races this weekend at Rockingham. In the Winston Cup race, Sadler will be sporting a "retro" paint scheme, as the car will be painted gold and black to honor his Dad, Herman Sadler, Jr. for all of his efforts to further mine and Elliott's racing careers. The Gold and Black "Weekend Warrior" was owned by Sadler's Dad in the 70's and won over 100 feature races on dirt tracks across the Southeast. The car was driven by such drivers as his Uncle Bud Elliott, J.E. Beard (now an engine builder at #4 Morgan-McClure) and James Hylton. "That car just sitting in the shop brings back a lot of memories of when I was 4-5 years old going to the races. It has instigated many stories being told about the good old days. We are looking forward to carrying those colors this weekend." said Sadler.(11-4-2003)

    • #71 at the Rock: The #71 Marcis Racing team plans to be at North Carolina Speedway for the Pop Secret 400 on November 7th-9th.  Tim Sauter will be driving the #71 Monte Carlo, sponsored this weekend by Aran Trading and Naples Trucking. The car is the same brand new Chevy Monte Carlo that was used at Brickyard and the washed out attempts at New Hampshire and Dover. The engine for Rockingham will be an in-house Marcis engine.(Marcis Racing Site)(11-3-2003)
      IMAGE: see an image of the car on my 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes - Cars #'s 24-99 page.(11-4-2003)

    • See the 2003 Team Chart which has links to past news for each team and info on each team and the 2004 Team Chart for next season.


    PAINT SCHEME NEWS

      Car#/Driver Sponsor/Scheme/Promo Race/Date Image?
      #2-Rusty Wallace Penske Racing's 50th win Rockingham - Nov none....yet
      #12-Ryan Newman Penske Racing's 50th win Rockingham - Nov Cars #'s 0-23 page
      #41-Casey Mears Target House Rockingham - Nov Cars #'s 24-99 page
      #43-Jeff Green Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn Rockingham - Nov Cars #'s 24-99 page
      #45-Kyle Petty Hands of Victory Rockingham - Nov Cars #'s 24-99 page


    • Special Schemes for Penske Cars IMAGE: As part of Penske Racing's 50th win commemoration this weekend at Rockingham, Wallace's Miller Lite Dodge will carry the familiar and popular black and gold colors that Wallace used in recording 30 of his 54 career wins (total of 36 [not 38] at Penske Racing) and in three of his five Rockingham victories.(TRPR - no image of the car...yet)
      AND also #12-Ryan Newman is supposed to run a special 50th win commemoration scheme at the Rock, nothing mentioned, but see an image of the scheme on my 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes - Car #'s 0-23 page.. Penske's 50 wins [actually 53] are Wallace, 36; Newman 9; B Allison, 4; Mayfield, 3; Donohue, 1.(11-6-2003)
      IMAGE See an image of the #12 on my 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes - Car #'s 0-23 page..(11-7-2003)

    • Special Scheme at the Rock for Petty - and - Petty/Stewart to appear in NYC: The Victory Junction Gang, a Proud Charity of NASCAR, and Toys "R" Us will join together this week for a special event to unveil the #45 "Hands to Victory" Dodge, which will be driven by NASCAR Winston Cup driver Kyle Petty at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, NC, on November 9. The car features hand-prints of 46 NASCAR Winston Cup drivers. Petty will join 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart at the Wednesday, November 5 event taking place at Toys "R" Us Times Square at Broadway and 44th Street. Both drivers will be on hand for a private autograph session signing "Hands to Victory" die-casts following the presentation and unveiling of the car. Those who purchase a "Hands to Victory" die-cast from Toys "R" Us Times Square, while supplies last, will receive a ticket to attend an autograph session, being held from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. To receive a ticket for the signing session, purchasers must bring their "Hands to Victory" receipt to Personal Shopping on level three of the Toys "R" Us Times Square location. Proceeds from purchases of the "Hands to Victory" die-casts will benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp, founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty, which is due to open 2004 in Randleman, N.C. The camp, the only year-round multi-disease camp of its kind in the Carolinas and Virginia, was founded in honor of their late son Adam. Victory Junction Gang Camp will be geared toward making every child's camp experience unforgettable and empowering. For more information, visit their site at www.victoryjunction.org.(NASCAR PR), see an image of the car on my Cup Paint Schemes Gallery - Cars #'s 24-99.(10-30-2003)

    • Popcorn colors: hearing the #43-Christian Fittipaldi will have the Pop Secret colors [as the #43 normally does for this race] at Rockingham's final November race, in the Pop Secret 400 [which goes to California in 2004](6-23-2003)
      IMAGE: See an image of the scheme at 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes - Car #'s 24-99.(8-19-2003)

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


    SOME NOTES, RULES and NEWS

    • Lucky Dog now gets one pitstop: NASCAR is amending its "Lucky Dog" rule, which allows the first car one lap down to get the lap back when there is a caution. Starting Sunday at Atlanta, a driver who gets a lap back because of the rule can't make a second pit stop during that caution to top off with fuel. Ryan Newman used that strategy in his September win at Dover.(FoxSports/Sporting News), see the rule, past news and info on the rule on my Caution Rule page.(10-20-2003)

    • No Racing to the Caution Rule and Q&A

    • New rule for measuring minimum height: NASCAR issued a technical bulletin this week outlining changes in how the minimum height is measured of Winston Cup cars in pre-qualifying and pre-race inspections. Beginning with this weekend's race at New Hampshire, teams presenting cars for inspection of the minimum body height and minimum ground clearance must remove their front shock absorbers before the measurements are taken. The absorbers can be reconnected after the car has passed inspection.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-12-2003)

    • 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.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-22-2003)


    RACE ODDs


    STATS and STUFF




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