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THE NEXT Winston Cup RACE
NEWS, STATS and INFO
THE RACE: EA Sports 500
Winston Cup Race #29 of 36 for the 2003 Winston Cup season
Updated: often, leading up to the race
- Race: Sunday, September 28, 2003 in Talladega, AL
NOTE: Talladega is located in the Central Time Zone, all times listed here are in Eastern Time Zone (1 hour ahead)
- TV: NBC - 2:00pm/et
- Pre-Race Show: NBC - 1:30pm/et - hosted by Bill Weber
- Scheduled Race Re-Air: NOTE: Speed Channel changed their lineup starting in August - so there will be a one-hour recap [called Fast Forward] of the race scheduled for:
Wednesday, October 1st at 7:00pm/et and again on October 2nd at 1:00am/et;
and a full three-hour race show will re-air at 3:00pm/et on Thursday, October 2nd
- Pay Per View/NASCAR In Demand: www.indemand.com
- 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: $4,783,786 (was $4,158,532 in 2002)
- Entry List Links: at Entry List for the race from NASCAR.com
- 2002 Race Winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr., 183.665mph, started 13th
- Event Race Record: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Oct 2002, 183.665mph
- Track Race Record: Mark Martin, May 1997, 188.354mph
- Track/Race Length: 2.66 mile quad oval, 188 laps, 500.08 miles
- Slowest Race Record: Buddy Baker, July 1975, 130.892mph
- Most Wins: 10 - Dale Earnhardt
- Most Top 5s: 23 - Dale Earnhardt
- Most Top 10s: 27 - Dale Earnhardt
- Oldest Winner: Harry Gant, 52 years, 3 months, 26 days, May 1991
- Youngest Winner: Bobby Hillin Jr., 22 years, 1 months, 22 days, July 1986
- Most Laps Led by a Leader: Pete Hamilton, August 1970, 153 laps
- Most Cautions: 40 - August 1970
- Fewest Cautions: 0 - three times, most recent Oct 2002
- Most Caution Laps: 62, May 1972
- Most Running at the Finish: 40 - April 2001
- Fewest Running at the Finish: 14 - July 1986
- Worst Starting Spot to Win: Jeff Gordon, Oct 2000, started 36th
- Pit Road Speed: 55 or 65mph
- Practice: Friday, September 26th, 12:00 - 2:00pm/et; and Saturday, September 27th, 10:30 - 11:15am/et
- Happy Hour Practice: Saturday, September 27th, 12:10 - 12:55pm/et on TV-Speed Channel live.
- Qualifying Draw: Friday, September 26th, 11:00am/et
- Qualifying Order: ThatsRacin.com and/or NASCAR.com
- First Round Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-36, Friday, September 26th at 4:05pm/et, TV-Speed Channel tape delay at 8:00pm/et and re-aired at 1:00am/et on Saturday, September 27th. And live via MRN radio/internet (link below) and XM Satellite - NASCAR Radio (Subscription Required).
- Qualifying Results: on my EA Sports 500Qualifying 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/Event Qualifying Record(no restrictor plate): Bill Elliott, April 1987, 212.809mph
- Track/Event Qualifying Record(Restrictor Plate): Bill Elliott, May 1990, 199.388(15/16th inch plate)
- Last Year's Pole Sitter: none, rained out.
Info about Restrictor Plates:
on my Restrictor Plate Chart
Superspeedway: 2.66-mile trioval 48 feet wide (12-foot apron)
Turns: Banking: 33 degrees Length: 3,750 feet Radius: 1,100 feet
Trioval: Banking: 18 degrees
Frontstretch: Chute length: 2,150 feet (from turn to middle of trioval) Total length: 4,300 feet Banking: Minimal for drainage only
Backstretch: Length: 4,000 feet Banking: Minimal for drainage only
(info from the Talladega Superspeedway website)
Grandstand Seating: 143,000
- Track Homepage: Talladega Super Speedway
- April's Race: see my 2003 April - TalladegaDover Race Info page
- Last Year: see my 2002 Oct - Talladega Race Info page
GOODYEAR TIRE NOTES
Tire: Goodyear Eagle Superspeedway Radials
Number of Tires Required: Left - 850; Right - 850
Tire Codes: Left - D-5612; Right - D-5614
Tire Circumference: Left - 87.9 in.; Right - 88.5 in.
Technical Inspection Inflation:
Left Front - 30 psi; Left Rear - 30 psi;
Right Front - 55 psi; Right Rear - 50 psi
Minimum Recommended Inflation:
Left Front - 27 psi; Left Rear - 27 psi; Right
Front - 50 psi; Right Rear - 45 psi
Estimated Pit Window: Every 32-36 laps, based on fuel mileage.
Notes: This is the same combination of left- and right-side tires Goodyear has brought to Talladega since May 1997, making this the 14th consecutive race . . . that is the longest running track-tire combination in the current Goodyear line . . . this is the only NASCAR track where these tires will be used in 2003 . . . Talladega and Daytona make up the Superspeedway Group in the 2003 Goodyear tire line, though each has its own unique combination . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Talladega . . . the air pressure in the inner liners must be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.
Goodyear Quote -- Mark Keto, Lead Engineer, Stock Car Tire Development: "This being the 14th straight race at Talladega that Goodyear has brought this particular tire set-up, this is the longest running combination and is obviously one of the most successful set-ups in the 2003 tire lineup. Because there is very little wear or give-up with these codes, two-tire stops have come to be expected at Talladega, even before NASCAR changed the rules and made teams run the smaller fuel cells."
RACE BONUS INFO
- The NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus is $290,000 at Talladega 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(9-21-2003)
- 60 Races since...: Leader bonus has been won. It's been 60 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 Talladega. Should a driver win the bonus at Talladega 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.(9-21-2003)
- MBNA Mid-Race Leader Bonus: is $65,000 at Talladega. The MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award is $10,000 to the Winston Cup driver who leads the race at midway. If the driver wins the race they receive a $5,000 bonus. If the MBNA Mid-Race Leader fails to win the race the $5,000 bonus rolls into the next week (Jeff Gordon last won the bonus, $25,000 + $10,000 at Martinsville on Apr 13, 2003). No word on if a driver gets the award if the halfway is under yellow at the time or if the award is given out if the leader is not participating in the program and if it would go to the next place car at the time. The 2003 MBNA Mid-Race Leader Winners:
Daytona: Michael Waltrip, $15,000* (plus $5,000 bonus)
Rockingham: Rusty Wallace, $10,000
Las Vegas: Dale Earnhardt Jr., $10,000
Atlanta: Bobby Labonte, $25,000* (plus $15,000 bous)
Darlington: Mark Martin, $10,000
Bristol: Jimmy Spencer, $10,000
Texas: Matt Kenseth, $10,000
Talladega: Matt Kenseth, $10,000 (Jimmie Johnson led at halfway, assume the team does not participate in the program)
Martinsville: Jeff Gordon, $35,000* (plus $25,000 bonus)
California: Jamie McMurray, $10,000
Richmond: Bobby Labonte, $10,000
Charlotte: Bobby Labonte, $10,000
Dover: Ryan Newman, $30,000 (which includes the $20,000 bonus)*
Pocono: Elliott Sadler, $10,000
Michigan: Sterling Marlin, $10,000
Sonoma: Robby Gordon, $25,000 (which includes the $15,000 bonus)*
Daytona: Dale Earnhardt Jr., $10,000
Chicago: Jeff Gordon, $10,000
New Hampshire: Kevin Harvick, $10,000
Pocono: Tony Stewart, $10,000
Indy: Tony Stewart, $10,000
Watkins Glen: Dale Earnhardt Jr., $10,000
Michigan: Jimmie Johnson, $10,000
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
(* won race and bonus)(9-21-2003)
Waltrip wins at Talladega and pops up thru the hatch: after a red flag for a rough looking accident involving #38-Elliott Sadler, #15-Michael Waltrip held off his teammate #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. The rest of the top five were #20-Tony Stewart, #12-Ryan Newman and #24-Jeff Gordon. Two of the top five drivers were 'Lucky Dog Packers'm getting their laps back after being the first car a lap down and getting their lap back, #8-Earnhardt Jr. and #12-Newman. The win is Waltrip's 2nd of the year and third of 2003, the first time he has multiple wins in a season and his first win not at Daytona. It is Waltrip's 4th career win. It is the tenth straight win for Chevy at Talladega. Points leader, #17-Matt Kenseth had his first DNF [did not finish] of 2003 and first since Homestead in Nov 2002. Kenseth finished 33rd, his worst finish of the year [his previous was 22nd at Martinsville]. Kenseth's lead shrinks from 436 to 354 points over #29-Harvick.
Scheduled Race Re-Air: NOTE: Speed Channel changed their lineup starting in August - so there will be a one-hour recap [called Fast Forward] of the race scheduled for:
Wednesday, October 1st at 7:00pm/et and again on October 2nd at 1:00am/et;
and a full three-hour race show will re-air at 3:00pm/et on Thursday, October 2nd
The UNOFFICIAL Top Ten (start pos in parens), lap leaders, cars out, cautions and some notes. (9-28-2003)
#15-Waltrip (18)(15 laps led)
#8-Earnhardt Jr.(38)(3 laps led)
#24-Gordon(5)(47 laps led)
#97-Busch (39)(9 laps led)
#29-Harvick (30)(4 laps led)
#2-Wallace (33)(11 laps led)
Cars on the lead lap: 23 (of 43 starters)
Off track/out of race (12): #00-Jones (off-accident); #14-Foyt (out-accident); #7-Spencer (out-accident); #40-Marlin (out-engine/radiator); #41-Mears (out-engine/overheating); #21-Rudd (out-engine); #48-Johnson (off-engine); #17-Kenseth (off-engine); #99-Burton (out-engine); #60-Green (out-accident); #10-Benson (out-accident); #38-Sadler (out-accident);
Laps Leaders Unofficial (17 with 43 lead changes): #38-Sadler; #42-McMurray; #15-Waltrip; #5-Labonte; #00-Jones (19); #22-Burton; #24-Gordon (halfway); #29-Harvick; #48-Johnson (14); #17-Kenseth (1); #2-Wallace; #31-Gordon; #97-Busch; #99-Burton; #9-Elliott; #8-Earnhardt Jr.; #18-Labonte;
Cautions: 5 for 23 laps
Caution 5 - Laps 183 - 184: Horrible looking accident involving #38-Sadler, the car went airbourne after coming down and and making contact with the #97-Busch car and getting side ways, hit and edge of grass, and flipped over a few times, Sadler climbed out, is alert and seems ok. NASCAR red flagged the event to clean up and insure a green flag finish.
Caution 4 - Laps 168 - 174: #99-Burton loast an engine and some oil got on the track.
Caution 3 - Laps 142 - 148: while leading #48-Johnson and #15-Waltrip made contact when the #48 went up the track, he spun around on some of infield asphalt and came up the track, but no one else was involved.
Caution 2 - Laps 91 - 94: #00-Jones lost a right front, tore his fender up and left debris on the track.
Caution 1 - Laps 11 - 17: semi-large wreck after #19-Mayfield may have had a tire go down, with Mayfield going up into #14-Foyt, others involved #10-Benson, #60-Green, #74-Raines, #25-Nemechek, #7-Spencer.
Who got a lap back on each caution - The Lucky Dog Pack?: (and their finish)
Caution 5: none, the race was at 10 or under laps to go
Caution 4: #12-Newman, 4th
Caution 3: #8-Earnhardt Jr., 2nd
Caution 2: #49-Schrader, 21st
Caution 1: no one down a lap or more.
23 cars finished on the lead lap, so if the above the drivers didn't get their lap back......(9-28-2003)
RACE NOTES: (as noted on TV or MRN Radio)
-----after the checkered flag, #18-Labonte got tapped by #9-Elliott and spun out with #23-Wallace and #6-Martin.
-----#38-Sadler was taken to a local hospital as a precaution and to get checked out.
-----during caution 4 some leaders came in to pit and others stayed out, most came in for a plash of gas, including #'s 18,8,20,2,09,31,22,24.
-----on lap 157, #48-Johnson lost an engine as he was heading to the front, then just after that, #17-Kenseth was off the pace, supposedly an engine going sour.
-----during caution 3 pit stops, #15-Waltrip was penalized for inproper fueling as the catch can didn't stay attached during the complete re-fueling process.
-----during caution 3 pit stops, the #43 and #38 got together, sending the #43 jackman, Archie Kennedy about 10 feet, after being stunned and helped up, he walked over to the pitwall and sat doen and was talking to Richard Petty [owner of the #43], pretty scary looking. Kennedy is being chekced by parametics and is alert and says he is ok.
-----#21-Rudd had a cylinder go down, then felt the engine was going to blow at anytime, so the team parked it, lap 139.
-----#10-Benson is back on the track as of lap 138, many laps down.
-----green flag pit stops are occurring around the lap 124-128 range.
-----#17-Kenseth and #15-Waltrip touched on lap 122 and the left rear tire on the #17 went down and he had to pit and get tires and fuel.
-----#40-Matrlin lost an engine/radiatot around lap 108, then on lap 113 #41-Casey Mears has an engine problem and is coming into the garage.
-----#19-Mayfield is back on the track as of lap 95, 78 laps down.
-----on lap 89, #12-Newman cut down a tire and had to pit a 2nd time.
-----pit stops are begiining to happen in the 83-86 lap range. They can do 35-40 laps green flag on a tank of gas.
-----supposedly #09-Wallace is smoking per MRN Radio around lap 78.
-----lead lap cars are starting to pit around lap range 49-52, #00-Jones and #22-Burton were first in.
-----#60-Green is back out on the track around lap 18 after getting repairs done.
-----#5-Labonte staed out after Waltrip on Caution 1 tto lead a lap.
-----during caution 1 pit stops, #32-Craven got hit in the rear by ##98-Jarrett; #29-Harvick and #09-Wallace collided and each have damage, and #8-Earnhardt Jr rear-ended #43-Green and is getting work done on the nose. #15-Waltrip stayed out to lead a lap, then brought the car in for his pit.
-----most of the lead lap cars came in during caution 1 for some sort of service and adjustments, many just took fuel only.
Race Results at:
JAYSKI's Talladega/EA Sports 500 Race Results page
TOP FIVE [unofficial] DRIVERS POINTS after Talladega:
#17-Matt Kenseth, 4227
#29-Kevin Harvick, 3873, -354
#8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 3843, -384
#48-Jimmie Johnson, 3751, -476
#12-Ryan Newman, 3738, -489
See full standings at JAYSKI's Drivers/Owners Points after Talladega page.(9-28-2003)
Sadler OK after horrible looking accident: on lap 182, #38-Elliott Sadler came down the track, after #8-Earnhardt Jr. moved over, Sadler came accross the front of #97-Busch, Sadler then went airbourne after going sideways and hitting an edge of grass which caused him to flip over a few times, Sadler climbed out, was alert and seems ok. NASCAR red flagged the event to clean up and insure a green flag finish. Sadler was then taken to a local hospital as a precaution and to get checked out.(9-28-2003)
#43 Jackman gets tossed in the pits, but seems OK: During caution 3 pit stops, the #43 and #38 got together, sending the #43 jackman, Archie Kennedy about 10 feet, after being stunned and helped up, he walked over to the pitwall and sat down and was talking to Richard Petty [owner of the #43], pretty scary looking. Kennedy was chekced by parametics and is alert and says he is ok. He was put on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital to be checked out.(9-28-2003)
Foyt transported to hospital: #14-Larry Foyt was transported to a local hospital to be checked out after getting hit hard by #19-Mayfield early in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega. Mayfield had a cut tire that caused him to go up the track, which is where Foyt was.(9-28-2003)
To the Back : #12-Ryan Newman goes to the rear of the field after the team changed engines after Happy Hour practice. Also FSN's NASCAR This Morning reports that #98-Jason Jarett's team changed engines after hwe ran over something in Happy Hour practice and knocked all the belts off the engine, the team decided to change engiens and not take a chance.
Newman and Jason Jarrett will fall to the rear of the field before the drop of the green flag at Talladega.(Speed Channel's Speednews)(9-28-2003)
Stewart sits out practice; Kyle practices the #20 UPDATE and Kyle will stand by Sunday: #20-Tony Stewart was on the sidelines Saturday morning as Winston Cup practice rolled off at Talladega Superspeedway. Migraine headaches were to blame, the driver's No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team said.
Kyle Petty was in the car for the two Saturday sessions on the 2.66-mile Alabama speedway.(Mercury News)(9-27-2003)
UPDATE: Tony Stewart, who has finished second in three of the last five races at Talladega, came down with a severe migraine on Saturday morning. He was not able to practice his #20 Home Depot Chevy, and Kyle Petty, who missed the race in qualifying, stood in for him during Happy Hour practice. Petty is standing by to fill in for Stewart should he not be able to race on Sunday.(GM PR)(9-28-2003)
Happy Hour practice at Talladega is over. #10-Benson at 195.872 and #19-Mayfield were the fastest, the rest of the top 10 were #'s 29,42,2,17,99,77,15,24. Slowest were #43-Green at 190.393 and #00-Jones at 190.529. Four teams listed with no speed: #'s 31,40,41,09.
For speeds see ThatsRacin.com or NASCAR.com - Practice 3.(9-27-2003)
Fastest at Talladega since 2000: #38-Elliott Sadler put his Ford on the pole position at Talladega with a lap of 189.943mph, which was the fastest the Cup cars have run here since 2000 [Joe Nemechek, 190.279 in Oct 2000], but far from the record run of 212.809 mph set in 1987 by Bill Elliot or the restrictor plate Talladega record speed of 199.388 also by Elliott in May of 1990.(Alabama Live and Jayski's Restrictor Plate page)(9-27-2003)
First Sat Practice at Talladega is over. The fastest: #16-Biffle at 195.644mph and #32-Craven at 195.445, the rest of the top ten are: #'s 40,20-Petty,01,41,49,17,5,24. Slowest: #60-Green at 190.586 and #00-Jones at 190.594.
For speeds, see ThatsRacin.com or NASCAR.com.(9-27-2003)
Parts Confiscated: NASCAR officials confiscated unapproved springs from the cars of Jimmy Spencer, Ken Schrader and Ward Burton during pre-qualifying inspection on Friday at Talladega.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-26-2003)
Sadler wins pole at Talladega; Earnhardt Jr's and Keller's times disallowed: #38-Elliott Sadler won the pole at Talladega for the EA Sports 500 with a speed of 189.943mph, his second pole for Sadler in 2003 and his career. Rookie #42-Jamie McMurray put the special paint scheme Dodge on the outside pole. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., who ran a lap of 188.382mph which would had put him starting 11th was disallowed when inpsectors found the rear quarter panels of the #8 Chevy 5/16" too low, the tolerence is 1/4", so Dale Jr. has to use a provisional to make the field and will start 38th. The penalty allowed #14-Foyt to stay 36th and make the field and knocked #30-Steve Park out of the race. Other missing the race are: #54-Bodine; #4-Lepage; #80-Bliss; #45-Petty and #0-Leffler.
UPDATE: also #1-Jason Keller's qualifying time/speed was disllowed for the sme infraction as Earnahrdt Jr., the rear quarter panels on their Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolets were deemed too low in post-qualifying inspection. The required height for rear quarter panels from the ground is 35 inches minimum on the right side, with a quarter-inch tolerance after their qualifying run. Keller was to start 33rd.
For qualifying results, who used provisionals, pole progression, where the rookies are and other links to lineups at JAYSKI's Qualifying/Grid page.(9-26-2003)
Stock Car Fans - Ramblings - Talladega: #38-Elliott Sadler went out early and made it stand up as he captured his 2nd Bud Pole of the season (and his career) today at Talladega Superspeedway. Elliott's time of 50.415 (189.943 mph) was good enough to best Jamie McMurray for the top-spot. They'll lead 'em to the green for Sunday's EA Sports 500. Sadler's other pole came at Darlington in March. Can't figure for the life of me why we couldn't be shown quals live today. Speed had a Formula 1 rerun at 3 CT....so I'm in the dark. But, I've been accused of being there before. Big doings after qualifying today. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr and teammate #1-Jason Keller (in the #1 car this week) both failed post-race inspection (rear quarter panels too low), so they're both pushed back into provisional territory.
#42- Jamie McMurray (2nd) equaled his career-best starting spot today. He qualified on the outside of the front row at Rockingham last November.
#40-Sterling Marlin (4th) has his best starting spot since he started 4th at Daytona in July.
#88-Dale Jarrett (6th....and a proud papa today) has his best starting spot since he lined up 6th at Kansas last September.
#49-Ken Schrader (7th) has his best starting spot since he started 7th at Daytona in July.
#41-Casey Mears (8th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 4th at Chicagoland in July.
#43-Jeff Green (13th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 13th at Michigan in June [was in the #1 car at the time].
#00-Buckshot Jones (16th) has his best starting spot since he started 14th at Atlanta in March of 2002 (only 6 races).
#09-Mike Wallace (23rd) has his best starting spot since he lined up 23rd at Daytona in July (only 5 races, was in the #01 car).
#98-Jason Jarrett (25th) makes his Dad/Teammate proud by qualifying for his first-ever Winston Cup race.
STREAKIN...Jeff Gordon has 5 Top-10 starts in the last 6 races. Jimmie Johnson has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.
A whopping 49 cars on hand this weekend....and most of the one-off ridesmade the field. So, the Trouble Train is loaded with some familiar
names this week. #45-Kyle Petty, #4-Kevin Lepage, #0-Jason Leffler, #80-Mike Bliss, #30-Steve Park, and #54-Todd Bodine all get the early out. For everyone but Lepage, this is their first DNQ this year. For Kyle, he hadn't missed a race (other than by injury) since Martinsville in October of 2001 (and he dnq'ed 12 times that season).
With the threat of the "big one" always on hand at this joint, it's maybe the last sticking point for the cakewalk that has become Matt
Kenseth's run to the Championship. His breathing could be a little shallow 'til round about 4 on Sunday.(Stock Car Fans Winston Cup Newsletter)(9-27-2003)
So where did the top 10 in practice qualify ay Talladega?
#8-Earnhardt Jr. 11th, disallowed
For practice speeds and links see my Practice Page.(9-26-2003)
Rookie of the Year Candidates: how fast were they and where do they start:
#14-Larry Foyt, 186.893, starts 36th
#16-Greg Biffle, 186.765, starts 41st provisional
#41-Casey Mears, 188.660, starts 8th
#42-Jamie McMurray, 189.395, starts 2nd
#74-Tony Raines, 187.522, starts 29th.(9-26-2003)
Fastest Qualifier by Manufacturer::
Chevy: #48-Jimmie Johnson, 189.189, starts 3rd
Dodge: #42-Jamie McMurray, 189.395, starts 2nd
Ford: #38-Elliott Sadler, 189.943, starts 1st
Pontiac: #32-Ricky Craven, 188.134, starts 17th
Toyota - oops, not yet.......(9-26-2003)
Practice is over at Talladega for the EA Sports 500. The fastest were: #48-Johnson at 190.340 and #38-Sadler at 190.242 [had to be drafting speeds], the rest of the top 10 were: #'s 43,25,23,8,24,44,18,60. Slowest were #17-Kenseth at 184.679 and #80-Bliss at 184.886.
Speeds at JAYSKI, ThatsRacin.com, NASCAR.com - practice 1.(9-26-2003)
Qualifying Order is up for the EA Sports 500 at Talladega SUperspeedway. 49 cars are listed, one missing from the entry list is #89-Morgan Shepherd. First driver due out is #01-Mike Skinner; last driver due out is #1-Jason Keller. See the links above.(9-26-2003)
Victory Lap Program back at Talladega: Bobby Allison, Terry Labonte take Victory Lap honors at Talladega … One hall of fame driver and past NASCAR Winston Cup champion will lead the way for a future hall of famer and two-time champion this Sunday, as Bobby Allison and Terry Labonte will be honored at Talladega Superspeedway as part of NASCAR’s ‘Victory Lap’ tribute to the NASCAR Winston Cup era and series sponsor R.J. Reynolds. Prior to the EA Sports 500, Allison, the 1983 champion, will tour the 2.66-mile tri-oval followed by Labonte, who is amid a comeback season and is currently ninth in the NASCAR Top 10.(NASCAR PR)(9-25-2003)
All 63: Seven drivers have competed in all 63 restrictor-plate races at Daytona and Talladega: Bill Elliott, Terry Labonte, Mark Martin, Ricky Rudd, Ken Schrader, Rusty Wallace and Michael Waltrip.
No Racing to the Caution Rule and Q&A
Restrictor Plate Chart
Entry List link is up for the EA Sports 500 at Talladega. 50 cars/drivers are entered including: #00-Buckshot Jones, #09-Mike Wallace, #4-Kevin Lepage, Larry Foyt is listed in the #14 Dodge, #44-Fittipaldi, #60-David Green, #80-Mike Bliss, #89-Morgan Shepherd, #90-John Andretti [RCR AOL 9.0], #98-Jason Jarrett [3rd RYR].
#77-Blaney is listed in a Ford, he is rumored to be running a Dodga in this race.
So with a high car count, provisionals will be charged and teams out or not eligible #00-Jones [1st attempt for this team in 2003], #4-Lepage [out], #14-Foyt [out], #43-Green [out] and #49-Schrader [out] need to make the race on speed. But...if 2 drivers/team withdraw before Friday [and not one of the 5 not eligible for a provisional], the count would be 48 and the cars eligible for a provisional drops to 43 [48 total - 5 not eligible] and then provisionals would not be charged and available to all the teams. For the links, see above.(9-23-2003)
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
- Miss America 2004 Named Grand Marshal of EA SPORTS 500; plus National Anthem; RJR Tribute: Newly crowned Miss America Ericka Dunlap and country music sensation Collin Raye are heading to Talladega Superspeedway along with the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and the ARCA RE/MAX Series for the EA SPORTS 500 Weekend. Once they arrive, special tributes to RJ Reynolds and its Winston Brand and to Davey Allison, Bobby Allison and Terry Labonte await them and the fans. Miss Florida Ericka Dunlap
was crowned as Miss America 2004 this past weekend in Atlantic City, NJ. Among her first stops is at Talladega to serve as the Grand
Marshal of the EA SPORTS 500. She is the first Miss America to serve as Grand Marshal at a NASCAR event. Country music recording artist Raye, who recently released Can't Back Down, has had 15 top hits with 23 of 25 singles making the Top 10. As part of the festivities, special tributes will be made during pre-race festivities celebrating the memories of Davey Allison and of RJ Reynolds and its Winston Brand's involvement at Talladega through the past 33 years. Winston Cup Championships won by Bobby Allison and Terry Labonte will also be remembered. Moments before the start of Sunday's EA SPORTS 500, Krista and Robbie Allison - the children of Davey and Liz Allison - will give the invocation. Additional information about the Miss America Organization can be found at
www.MissAmerica.org.(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(9-23-2003)
- Military at Talladega: The 203rd Marine Attack Training Squadron of Cherry Point, N.C., will provide the flyby each day at Talladega Superspeedway, with AV-8B Harriers used before Sunday's EA SPORTS 500 and a TAV-8B aircraft used before start of the ARCA RE/MAX Series Food World 300. On Sunday, the 4th Battalion 14th Marines Artillery Unit out of Bessemer, Ala., will provide colors for Sunday morning with the Alabama National Guard bearing colors on Saturday.(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(9-23-2003)
- Dale Jr. and Lorenzen Voted to the Walk of Fame: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be enshrined in the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame in nearby Davey Allison Memorial Park. On the eve of the EA SPORTS* 500, Dale Jr. will be inducted into the Walk of Fame after receiving the most votes by the fans. This is the quickest any driver has been inducted into the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame. This is only Dale Jr.'s fourth full season in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. His father, Dale Earnhardt, was the first active driver to be inducted into the Walk of Fame, in the inaugural class of 1995. Fred Lorenzen, voted as one of the 50 greatest drivers in NASCAR history, will be enshrined into the Walk of Fame as the inactive driver of 2003. The 2003 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame Induction Ceremony is on Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Davey Allison Memorial Park in uptown Talladega , a block south of the town square. This year's ceremony marks the 10th anniversary of Davey Allison's death. Joining emcee Benny Parsons on stage will be Larry McReynolds and special guests Liz Allison, along with children Robbie and Krista Allison. The induction ceremony begins at 7 p.m. and is free to the public.(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(8-6-2003)
- New at Talladega: Mary Ann Martin has joined Talladega Superspeedway to better position the track within the corporate community, track vice president/general manager Rick Humphrey announced recently. As manager of business development, Martin’s efforts will focus in Alabama and specifically in Birmingham, the state’s largest city sitting less than an hour west of the track. Each of Talladega Superspeedway’s event days were sponsored in 2003, including the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Aaron’s 499 and EA SPORTS 500. Martin will assist in the growth of those sponsor relationships as well as build new partnerships in the corporate world.(TSS PR)(9-10-2003)
- Talladega's Legends Lane to open: Talladega Superspeedway continues to be the leader in offering fans plenty of places to call Home Sweet Home during race weekends. Already home to NASCAR's most competitive races, Alabama's 2.66-mile tri-oval is clearly home to the largest gathering of fans staying on a track's property. The latest addition to the list of Parks at Talladega Superspeedway is Legends Lane Family Reserved Park and spaces are on sale now for this fall's EA SPORTS* 500 Weekend. It is located adjacent to the Coleman Family Reserved Parks I & II on the southwest (Turn 1) side of the facility. Located just west of Coleman Family Reserved Park II, Legends Lane offers approximately 275 spots. The gated community is $250 per spot and includes access to water. Legends Lane is also located close to the two shower houses within the Family Parks. Legends Lane Family Reserved Park spaces can be reserved today for the EA SPORTS* 500 Weekend by calling (256) 362-RACE. With all the fans choosing to stay on property during race weekends at Talladega, the track becomes one of Alabama's largest cities overnight. Fans can choose between approximately 450 acres of free spaces to call home during a race week, or from one of the spots in the track's Reserved Parks. The EA SPORTS 500 Weekend is Sept. 25-28, 2003. Two-day tickets start at $60 for the EA SPORTS 500 and the ARCA RE/MAX Series Food World 300. Fans can call (256) 362-RACE or visit the track's official website at talladegasuperspeedway.com. The three roads in Legends Lane are named after three NASCAR legends who won races at Talladega - Darrell Waltrip, Richard Petty and David Pearson. Waltrip recorded four wins at Talladega Superspeedway during his career. Pearson visited Victory Lane three times at Talladega and Petty won twice. The roads are named Darrell Waltrip Way, Richard Petty Circle and David Pearson Drive. Even with the newest Reserved Park on track property, half of the nearly 1,000 acres of Parks remain free to ticket holders. "Many of the fans who come to Talladega have expressed their appreciation for the nearly 500 acres of free spots we have on property," said Rick Humphrey, the track's vice president/general manager. "One of the main responses we receive after each event weekend is about our Parks. Not only do many appreciate the free Parks, but we also have many fans requesting more spaces that can be reserved so they can claim their space before they arrive. "Last winter we added approximately a thousand reserved spaces, and now have an additional 275 in the Legends Lane," said Humphrey. "But with all the acres we have at Talladega for people who stay overnight on property, half of that property is still free to ticket holders." Tickets are on sale now for the entire EA SPORTS 500 Weekend. Fans can call (256) 362-RACE or 1-800-PITSHOP to purchase tickets for all events or visit talladegasuperspeedway.com. Fans can also go online for a 3D Virtual Tour of the grandstand and tower seats as well as the infield spots for those who wish to stay overnight inside the track.(Talladega Superspeedway PR/Site)(7-24-2003)
- Talladega 2004 Spring date: been told by some readers who have gotten their Talladega spring ticket renewals that the Cup race will run on April 25th, 2004.(7-16-2003)
- Sad News: The Auburn family lost a true friend Thursday when lead announcer Jim Fyffe passed away from a brain aneurysm at Jackson Hospital in Montgomery. He was 57. He is survived by his wife, Rose, five children, five grandchildren and one great grandchild. Donations can be made to the American Diabetes Association in the name of Jim Fyffe. Fyffe spent 22 seasons as the play-by-play announcer for Auburn football and men’s basketball games. Fyffe, who called games for the Auburn Network, was employed by WACV-AM in Montgomery. He also served as the play-by-play voice for the USFL’s Birmingham Stallions and Columbus Steeldogs arena football team. He was also public address announcer at Talladega Superspeedway.(Sand Mountain Reporter)(5-18-2003)
- Past track news: posted in the past at Jayski's Past Track News/Rumors - Talladega Superspeedway
- Kenseth Racing for Charity at Talladega: #17- Matt Kenseth will be racing for more than a trip to Victory Lane during the EA Sports 500 on September 28 - he'll be racing for charity as well. As part of Smirnoff Ice Triple Black's "Race for Charity,". $250 will be donated to R.A.D.D. for every lap Kenseth leads at the Talladega Superspeedway. This event is part of the Smirnoff Ice Triple Black "Be Smart, Drink Responsibly" program to promote responsible drinking. At a minimum, Smirnoff Ice Triple Black will donate $25,000 to the organization. "Smirnoff Ice Triple Black's Race For Charity is part of our multi-faceted motorsports presence to promote our social responsibility programming to devoted adult NASCAR fans," said James Stammer, Smirnoff senior brand manager. "From a charitable standpoint, I don't think R.A.D.D. would want to have any other driver racing than the points leader racing for their cause." The EA Sports 500 is the fifth of seven races this year that Smirnoff Ice Triple Black will serve as primary sponsor of Kenseth's No. 17 Ford, furthering its "Be Smart, Drink Responsibly" program. To help fans at Talladega get more involved in the "Race For Charity," Smirnoff Ice Triple Black will distribute 10,000 flags on designated seats in the track's grandstand, instructing fans to wave the flags each time Kenseth leads a lap during the race.. Smirnoff Ice Triple Black will also have giant flags and banners on hand to ensure fan participation. During Winston Cup's only other visit to Talladega earlier this year (April 6), Kenseth finished ninth.. For the year, he has finished in the top 15 in all but two races, has 20 top 10 finishes, 10 top five finishes, and has held the Winston Cup points lead in 23 of 26 races.(Alan Taylor Communications PR)(9-23-2003)
- Green in the #43 at Talladega and Lowes: Jeff Green will be in Petty Enterprises' #43 Cheerios Dodge two more times this season, a team spokesman confirmed Saturday. Green will be behind the wheel of the #43 next weekend at Talladega Superspeedway and Oct. 11 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Green is driving the car this weekend because regular driver Christian Fittipaldi was slated to drive the #44 in a sponsor deal reached before the Petty's released John Andretti.(NASCAR.com)(9-21-2003)
- Next Race for the #79: the Next Trial event for the #79 Don Arnold Motorsports Team will be Talladega.(Arnold Motorsports site)(9-18-2003)
- Buckshot to test at Talladega and Atlanta: hearing that Buckshot Jones will be testing at Talladega today and Wednesday in Michael Waltrip's #00 Chevy AND that Jones will also test a Michael Waltrip Chevy at Atlanta on Monday, Sept 29th and Wed Sept 30th, Aaron's will sponsor Jones in the car at Atlanta.(9-16-2003)
- Fittipaldi to run three races with Bugles: Christian Fittipaldi, nephew of open-wheel legend Emerson Fittipaldi, will attempt to qualify a Petty Enterprises #44 Dodge in three upcoming events, via sponsorship from Bugles. The car will have a Sam Bass-designed Bugles paint scheme. The car will be entered in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, the EA Sports 500 at Talladega, and the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The agreement also includes Bugles sponsorship of the #44 Dodge for a race early in the 2004 season.(NASCAR PR) Also, Fittipaldi is slated to drive the #44 New York Yankees Dodge at Watkins Glen, see images of both cars on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(5-21-2003)
- See the 2003 Team Chart which has links to past news for each team and info on each team.
PAINT SCHEME NEWS
- Special Paint on the #43 at Talladega: Bringing the excitement of Yu-Gi-Oh!, the popular animated TV show and trading card game, to NASCAR, Cheerios/Betty Crocker Racing has partnered with Petty Enterprises and 4Kids Entertainment to create a special Yu-Gi-Oh! paint scheme for the #43 Dodge. The #43 Yu-Gi-Oh Cheerios Dodge is scheduled to race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sept. 28. The Yu-Gi-Oh! paint scheme, created by celebrated motorsports designer Sam Bass, will look dramatically different than the yellow and “Petty blue” paint scheme typically seen on the No. 43 Dodge. The special design features a blue background that covers the entire car with the main character from Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yami Yugi, and the well-known Yu-Gi-Oh! logo displayed prominently on the hood. The rear quarter panel on the driver’s side features one of Yami Yugi’s main Duel Monsters rivals, Kaiba, with the other rear quarter panel featuring Yami Yugi himself. The back of the car features the phrase known to Yu-Gi-Oh! enthusiasts nationwide, “Let’s Duel!”(Williams Company PR) - who will drive the #43 at Talladega? I am hearing it will be Busch Series driver Shane Hmeil, who will also run the car at Dover and Lowe's as Christian Fittipaldi, the regular driver is committed to run the #44 Bugles Dodge for PE.(9-11-2003)
- Allison scheme at Talladega? UPDATE 2 and a new look for the #42 in 2004 announcement: hearing the Talladega Special scheme for #42-Jamie McMurray is a "Davey Allison Rookie" paint scheme.(5-16-2003)
IMAGES: Davey Allison's Rookie car was sponsored by Havoline in 1987. He won 2 races and won Rookie Of The Year. Jamie will celebrate this with a special paint scheme to race at Talladega on September 28th. See images of the car at 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes - Car #'s 24-99.(8-19-2003)
UPDATE: On Saturday, August 23, 2003 at 4:00pm/et at Bristol Motor Speedway, ChevronTexaco/Havoline Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing and Liz Allison and family will be on hand to announce a special "Anniversary Celebration", including a car unveiling, for the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. In addition, ChevronTexaco will announce and discuss the new 2004 paint scheme to be driven by NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(8-20-2003)
AND McMurray’s Havoline Dodge will be sporting a new paint scheme at Bristol, providing fans with a “sneak peek” at the 2004 car design.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(8-21-2003)
UPDATE 2 - the announcement [in full]: ChevronTexaco announced today two milestones for Havoline in NASCAR with a sneak peek of the 2004 Havoline Dodge and plans for a tribute to former Havoline driver Davey Allison at a press conference at Bristol Motor Speedway. NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Jamie McMurray will pilot the new 2004 paint scheme tonight in the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway [See an image of the car at my 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes - Car #'s 24-99 page]. ChevronTexaco also announced a retro paint scheme for the car that will race at Talladega Superspeedway next month in tribute to Davey Allison.
"The cars we're unveiling today represent the future and history of Havoline's commitment to NASCAR," said Craig Duncan, vice president, ChevronTexaco Global Lubricants, North America. "We are very excited to provide NASCAR fans with a look at our 2004 paint scheme design, and to pay tribute to Davey Allison, who is an important part of Havoline Racing history."
"It gives us great pleasure to be able to unveil Havoline Racing's 2004 paint scheme design for NASCAR fans," said Bob Slocumb, Director of Motorsports for ChevronTexaco Global Lubricants. "This paint scheme is being run during the Bristol night race to validate its on-track appearance and will return for the 2004 season. The graphics of the Havoline car are among the most recognizable in the series, and for that reason we are reverting to the more traditional fan favorites. The design helps tie in the history and legacy of the Texaco and Havoline brands in NASCAR."
Tribute to Davey Allison: Reflecting Havoline's ongoing commitment to NASCAR, its history and its fans, Havoline Racing, along with Chip Ganassi Racing, Ranier Racing, Action Performance and Liz Allison will join to celebrate the life of driver Davey Allison on the 10-year anniversary of his untimely passing. In celebrating Allison's legacy, Jamie McMurray's #42 Havoline Dodge will sport a retro paint scheme that resembles the car Allison drove during his 1987 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rookie campaign. McMurray will pilot the specially painted car at Talladega Superspeedway on Sept. 28, 2003.
"I am truly honored to have this opportunity to pay tribute and to remember the legacy that Davey left for the NASCAR community and fans," McMurray said. "I can't think of a better way to remember him than through this special paint scheme. While we have a new number on the Havoline Dodge this year, it's important for us to look back at where it all started and to recognize Davey's contributions to making Havoline a household name in NASCAR for performance on and off the track."
Davey's widow, Liz, and their children, Robbie and Krista, will take part in this anniversary celebration.
"I am very proud for Davey that even after ten years, he is still remembered as not only a fierce competitor, but a fine man," Liz Allison-Hackett said. "This celebration of Davey's life is a collaboration of many people who felt the need to have Davey recognized as we mark the ten year anniversary of his death. Although his death was tragic, this is a celebration of the remarkable life he lived," she added. "I feel Jamie has shown all the qualities in his driving ability and his personal effort to carry on the high standard Davey set many years ago when Havoline first signed him as a young rookie. Robbie, Krista and I are honored to pay tribute to Davey and to cheer Jamie on as he ventures in to what I am sure will be a fabulous NASCAR career of his own."(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(8-23-2003)
- #97 and Irwin Tools UPDATE 2: hearing that Kurt Busch will run a #97 Irwin Tools scheme at Daytona in July, Chicago, Talladega in Oct and Lowe's in Oct.(2-5-2003)
UPDATE The Box: at Michigan Internation Speedway on Saturday, June 14th, Kurt Busch will open some sort of 'big box' in a press conference with sponsor Rubbermaid [it was for Irwin Tools], Busch drivers the #97 Rubbermaid/Sharpies Ford.(6-14-2003)
UPDATE: While race fans have grown accustomed to seeing Kurt Busch's red, black and silver #97 Rubbermaid Racing Ford running up front in the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series, they will get an exciting surprise in four races, kicking off the second-half of the season. It was announced today that Busch's #97 Roush Racing Ford will don the new trademark blue and yellow colors of IRWIN Industrial Tools beginning with the NASCAR Winston Cup race at Daytona International Speedway on July 5, 2003. IRWIN will also be the primary sponsor of the #97 Roush Racing Ford for the Chicagoland Speedway race on July 13th as well as the races at Talladega SuperSpeedway (Sept. 28th) and Lowe's Motor Speedway (Oct. 11th). The formal announcement was made at Michigan International Speedway, site of this weekend's NASCAR Winston Cup Series event. Just like the #97 IRWIN car, both product and packaging feature IRWIN's new trademark blue and yellow color scheme. IRWIN brand products are available at industrial and contractor supply houses, hardware stores, home centers and automotive tool distributors worldwide.(Irwin Tools PR). See images of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(6-14-2003)
- Kenseth and Smirnoff Ice? UPDATE: hearing #17-Matt Kenseth will race either 8 Cup or 8 BGN races with Smirnoff Ice as the sponsor, the BGN thing makes sense, since he is running 15 races with Bayer/Alka Seltzer, not sure about the Cup part of the rumor.(1-25-2003)
UPDATE: hearing this is for 8 Cup races, with at least one Richmond race to be part of it.(1-27-2003)
UPDATE 2: Smirnoff Ice Triple Black will sponsor Roush Racing driver Matt Kenseth's #17 Ford in a limited program of 2003 Cup races, beginning with The Winston all-star race in May at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The program includes at least co-primary sponsorship of Kenseth's Ford Taurus, whose five wins in 2002 led the series, for eight races and secondary status for the balance of the season. The partnership includes driver appearances, the use of show cars and image rights, a large hospitality program and an extensive social responsibility agenda. A Smirnoff spokesperson said an advertising program was in the works featuring Kenseth, who said that was one of the "coolest" aspects of the program. Kenseth will drive the Smirnoff Ice car at The Winston, Pepsi 400 at Daytona, Brickyard 400, Southern 500, Richmond (Sept), Talladega (Sept) and Atlanta (Oct). The race at Texas on March 30 is a co-primary event with Dewalt Tools.(NASCAR.com, see an image of the car there - do NOT email it to me)(2-8-2003)
- More Paint Scheme news can be found on Paint Schemes Gallery
SOME NOTES, RULES and NEWS
- No Racing to the Caution Rule and Q&A
- Three Pole Limit Starting at Talladega: Beginning with next weekend's race at Talladega, Ala., NASACAR will limit the use of poles in the pit area. The following poles will be permitted: an overhead camera, the sign board, a brush, a pole used to clean the windshield; and one used to service the driver. NASCAR announced the change in Sunday's pre-race driver meeting at Dover International Speedway. Poles with hooks, which have been used by team members to help collect and keep track of tires after they are changed, will not be allowed.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-21-2003)
- 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)
- Changes for Talladega UPDATE: According to NASCAR Winston Cup director John Darby, there will be an adjustment to the speedway formula when the tour arrives at Talladega, Ala., to contest the Sept. 28 EA Sports 500. Darby told TFR the change would come in the throttle response area. “We’re going to increase the plate size and also increase the spoiler so that we can still keep our control on the speeds. We’ll put a taller spoiler on it so we’ve still got a handle on the speeds but essentially it’s a matter of putting a little more drag on the car and a little more horsepower underneath the hood.” The goal, Darby explained, is to keep the drag horsepower ratio the same as it was the last time the Cup cars ran at Talladega, which will keep the speeds from escalating to beyond the comfort level of the sanctioning body. Asked if NASCAR considered again working with the roof blade on the speedway package Darby replied in the negative, “They may be back some day or a different version of it."(Ford Racing)(9-4-2003)
UPDATE: When the Winston Cup circuit returns to Talladega Superspeedway for the Sept. 28 EA Sports 500, drivers should feel a little more pep when they step on the gas pedal. That's because NASCAR is opening the holes in the restrictor plates used on superspeedways from 7/8 inch to 29/32. That allows more fuel to the engine's combustion chamber and therefore more response when the throttle is opened. To compensate for the increase in power and speed, the rear spoiler, which causes speed-reducing aerodynamic drag, is being raised from 6 1/4 inches high to 6 3/4 inches. Winston Cup director John Darby said the changes were based on results of wind tunnel tests of cars following the Brickyard 400. He said top speeds, which are limited at Daytona and Talladega to keep cars from becoming airborne, shouldn't change much. "They'll probably be a little faster, if anything," Darby said.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(9-5-2003)
MORE NASCAR released a four-page bulletin to teams at Richmond that included, among other items, changes to the cars for Talladega. All cars' rear spoilers will now measure 6 3/4 inches high and 57 inches wide, and restrictor plates will open up to 29/32-inch, which should boost the engines by 15 horsepower. "Any time we get more power at a plate track it's going to be better," says Sterling Marlin, who has seven poles and five wins at restrictor-plate tracks. Marlin also believes the new configuration will promote more passing.(FOX Sports/Sporting News)(9-8-2003)
- 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)
STATS and STUFF