THE NEXT Nextel Cup RACE
NEWS, STATS and INFO

Tour Packages by Premiere Sports Travel:
Coca Cola 600: Lowes Motor Speedway
UAW-GM 500: Lowes Motor Speedway


    THE RACE: Coca-Cola 600

    Nextel Cup Race #12 of 36 for the 2004 Nextel Cup season
    Updated: often, leading up to the race

  • Race: Sunday, May 30, 2004 in Concord, NC

  • TV: Fox - 5:00pm/et, green flag ~5:40pm/et

  • Race Re-Air: on Speed Channel
    Wednesday, June 2 [Fast Forward] at 4:00pm/et;
    Thursday, June 3 [Full Race] at 3:00pm/et;
    Friday, June 4 [Fast Forward] at 12:00am/et

  • Announcers: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds

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

  • Hollywood Hotel: Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

  • NASCAR on TV and Fox Sports

  • Purse/Race Awards: $6,201,379 (was $5,396,853 in 2003)


    Practice Dates/Times/TV

  • Practice: Thursday, May 27, 3:00 - 5:00pm/et; Saturday, May 29, 9:30 - 10:15am/et

  • Happy Hour Practice: Saturday, May 29, 11:10 - 11:55am/et on TV-FX tape delay at 4:00pm/et.


    Qualifying Info

  • Qualifying Draw: Thursday, May 27, 2:00pm/et

  • Qualfying Order: or
    Qualifying order - NASCAR.com

  • Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-38, Thursday, May 27 at 7:10pm/et, TV-Speed Channel and live via PRN Radio, XM Satellite Radio and via NASCAR.com's Racecast (paid). Re-aired on Speed Channel on Friday, May 28th at 4:00pm/et.

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


  • Track Specs:
    Superspeedway: 1.5-mile quad oval
    Race Length: 400 laps, 600 miles
    Banking: turns: 24 degrees; straights: 5 degrees
    Straights: Frontstretch - 1952.8 feet; Backstretch - 1360 feet
    Grandstand Seating: 171,000
    Pit Road Speed: 45mph
    Pace Car Speed: 55mph

  • Track Homepage: Lowes Motor Speedway

  • Last Year: see my 2003 Coca-Cola 600 Race Info page.


GOODYEAR TIRE NOTES

    Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials

    Number of Tires Required:
    Nextel Cup: Left - 1,500, Right - 1,500;
    Busch Series: Left - 500, Right - 500

    Tire Codes: Left - D-6810; Right - D-6812

    Tire Circumference: Left - 87.4 in.; Right - 88.6 in.

    Technical Inspection Inflation:
    Left Front - 30 psi; Left Rear - 30 psi;
    Right Front - 48 psi; Right Rear - 45 psi

    Minimum Recommended Inflation:
    Left Front - 24 psi; Left Rear - 24 psi;
    Right Front - 46 psi; Right Rear - 42 psi

    Estimated Pit Window: Every 60-65 laps, based on fuel mileage.

    Notes: All three NASCAR series will compete on the same tire codes this week at Charlotte . . . Nextel Cup and Busch Series teams have already run on this specific combination of left- and right-side tires earlier this month at California, while Cup and Truck Series teams also ran these codes last week at Charlotte . . . in addition to California and Charlotte, other major NASCAR tracks at which this combination will be used in 2004 are Chicagoland, Dover, Michigan, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Charlotte . . . 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 Racing: "The tire set-up we are bringing to Charlotte has been in development for two years -- being tested first in August of 2002 with Kurt Busch, Ricky Craven and Ryan Newman; then again last April with Dale Jarrett and Jimmie Johnson. Basically, these tires are slightly softer on the right-side and significantly softer on the left-side than those we have brought to Charlotte over the past couple years."


RACE BONUS INFO

  • The NASCAR Nextel Cup Leader Bonus is $10,000 at Lowe's Motor Speedway for leading the points and winning the race (Dale Earnhardt Jr. last won the award, $80,000 at Richmond on May 15, 2004). 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(5-15-2004)

  • MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award: The MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award is worth $10,000 to any eligible NASCAR Nextel Cup driver who leads a race at the halfway mark. An additional $5,000 is earned if that driver also wins the race. If the race-win bonus is not earned, the $5,000 rolls into the next week’s award. Tony Stewart claimed the biggest MBNA Mid-Race Leader payout when he took home $85,000 ($10,000 for the award, $75,000 for the race-win bonus) by winning last year’s UAW-GM Quality 500 after leading the race at the halfway point.
    Bonus for leading at halfway and winning at Lowe's is: $45,000
    Winners for 2004 so far:
    Daytona: Tony Stewart, $10,000
    Rockingham: Matt Kenseth, $20,000*
    Las Vegas: Matt Kenseth, $15,000*
    Atlanta: Tony Stewart, $10,000
    Darlington: Jamie McMurray, $10,000
    Bristol: Sterling Marlin, $10,000
    Texas: Kasey Kahne, $10,000
    Martinsville: Jeff Gordon, $10,000
    Talladega: Kevin Harvick, $10,000
    California: Jeremy Mayfield, $10,000
    Richmond: Michael Waltrip, $10,000
    (* won race and bonus)(5-15-2004)


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


IN-CAR AUDIO SITES

none listed


QUALIFYING, PRACTICE and RESULTS
news and links

  • Johnson wins Coca-Cola 600...again: #48-Jimmie Johnson scored his 2nd stright Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in dominatining fashion, leading 334 of 400 laps [Johnson missed tying the record for the most laps led by 1, Jim Paschal holds the record of 335 done on May 28, 1967. It is Johnson's 2nd win of 2004 and eighth of his 87 race career. Johnson is the first driver in 2004 to win from the pole. It is Johnson's sixth straight top-10 finish.
    The rest of the top five were: #15-Waltrip [$5 off Domino's Pizza all day Monday], #17-Kenseth, #42-McMurray and #38-Sadler.
    Of note: #38-Sadler ran the whole race with the flu...and finished 5th, rookie #25-Brian Vickers suffered Stomach Cramps the 2nd half of the race but soldiered home to a 15th place finish. The race was red flagged for 5:27 for oil on the track, leading to a three lap shootout, which ended a 1/2 lap early when #9-Kahne bottomed out and tapped #18-Labonte who smacked the wall.
    And see a column at .

    Race results can be found at:
    Motorsports One
    NASCAR.com.(5-30-2004)

  • Earnhardt Jr. maintains points lead.....barely: the top five:
    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 1798
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, 1793, -5
    #17-Matt Kenseth, 1687, -111
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 1654, -144
    #20-Tony Stewart, 1587, -211
    See full points standings at NASCAR.com.(5-30-2004)

  • Stock Car Fans - Rumblings - Lowe's Motor Speedway: Jimmie Johnson led early, led often, and pretty much blew away the field in tonight's 600 miler. He led 8 times for 334 laps (that's 500 miles) and seemed to be able to run away at will. We ran the first 240 miles caution- free, and that (combined with that #48 Chevy) put a lot of cars laps down early. We were actually fortunate to have 13 cars on the lead lap by race's end. Quite a show for Lowe's.....don't know what they're paying, but they sure got their money's worth this weekend. Two poles, two wins, and a couple million mentions in every media known to mankind! For a while it looked like we may finish before Indy did (and when you figure they had almost a 6 hour head start that would be something).
    For Jimmie Johnson, this was win #8 (he's now tied with Kyle Petty for 54th on the all-time win list), his second of the season (he won at Darlington in March) and his second Coke 600 in a row. This was win #121 for Hendrick Motorsports, with 10 of those coming at this speedway (7 in this race alone!). Johnson becomes the 8th winner of this race to do it from the pole (the last was teammate Jeff Gordon in 1998), and his take of the over $6.2M in posted awards was a smooth $426,350.
    Michael Waltrip (2nd) had his best finish since he won at Talladega last October. His Top-5 marks the 19th different driver to score a Top-5 finish this season....last years number was 30!
    Jamie McMurray (4th) had his best finish since he was 4th at Las Vegas in March.
    Casey Mears (7th) tied his career-best finish today. He's been 7th two other times in his career (both this season)....Vegas in March and Texas in April.
    Jeremy Mayfield (8th) had his best finish since he was the runner-up at Atlanta in March.
    STREAKIN....Jimmie Johnson has 6 Top-10's in a row.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr has 6 Top-10's in the last 7 races.
    Matt Kenseth has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
    This Week's Elevator....UP: Matt Kenseth (+34) is the Operator of the Race for the 5th time this season! He was followed by Kurt Busch (+21). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Ryan Newman (-33), followed by Jeff Gordon (-27), Brendan Gaughan (-26), and Kevin Lepage (-21). In just 12 races this season, Kenseth has now matched his winning total from last year (5). We're headed for a record.
    We pushed another two drivers below the "Stayin Alive" line tonight...it's down to twelve now [under 400 points]. Michael Waltrip (30th to 24th) made the best move forward in the Top-30 tonight, while Johnny Sauter (24th to 30th) fell the most spots.(StockCarFans.Com Nextelcup Newsletter)(5-30-2004)

  • To the Back: #77-Brendan Gaughan [back up car/happy hour wreck], #0-Ward Burton [engine change] and #40-Sterling Marlin [confirmed - engine change] will have to fall to the rear of the field before the drop of the green flag of the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
    AND #31-Robby Gordon [missed drivers meeting], #22-Scott Wimmer [engine change](5-30-2004)

  • Coca-Cola 600 Pit Road Selection:
    Pitbox, Team#
    1,#48
    2,#18
    3,#8
    4,#4
    5,#15
    6,#21
    7,#01
    8,#16
    9,#41
    10,#02
    11,#9
    12,#84
    12,#49
    14,#24
    SPACE
    15,#12
    16,#43
    17,#23
    18,#32
    19,#6
    20,#88
    21,#20
    SPACE
    22,#38
    23,#0
    24,#42
    25,#51
    26,#2
    27,#45
    28,#97
    29,#09
    30,#1
    31,#22
    32,#17
    33,#29
    34,#5
    35,#77
    SPACE
    36,#25
    37,#31
    38,#50
    39,#99
    40,#40
    41,#10
    42,#30
    43,#19


  • Happy Hour practice for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway is over. The fastest were:
    #8-Earnhardt Jr. 180.048
    #1-Andretti 179.366
    #29-Harvick 179.235
    #12-Newman 179.200
    #25-Vickers 178.968
    Slowest were #02-Sadler at 172.073 and #51-Lepage at 172.574.
    Two drivers didn't practice: #38-Sadler and #5-Labonte.
    Most laps run were #43-Green with 23, next was #09-Hamilton Jr. with 11.
    #77-Gaughan spun and backed into the turn 4 wall and the team unloaded the backup car, and Gaughan got it out to practice and get some laps. FX will air the practice via tape around 4:00pm/et today.
    See speeds at NASCAR.com - Practice 3..(5-29-2004)

  • Saturday's first practice is over for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, the fastest were:
    #8-Earnhardt Jr. 182.704
    #48-Johnson, 182.506
    #20-Stewart, 181.922
    #77-Gaughan, 181.372
    #31-Gordon, 181.269
    Slowest were #50-Cope at 173.349 and #45-Petty at 175.245.
    Two team didn't practice: #51-Lepage and #02-Sadler.
    The #0-Jason Leffler, subbing for Ward Burton [daughter's high school graduation] lost an engine early in the session.
    #19-Mayfield ran the most laps with 38, followed by #6-Martin with 36. All but five drivers ran their fastest laps within the first five laps they ran in the session.
    See speeds at NASCAR.com - Practice 2..(5-29-2004)

  • Johnson on the pole for the Coca-Cola 600: #48-Jimmie Johnson's Chevrolet, combined with the luck of the draw and the temperamental - make that temperature-mental - nature of Lowe's Motor Speedway, was too much for even #12-Ryan Newman to beat Thursday in qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600. Johnson, going out last among 52 cars trying to make the field for Sunday's Nextel Cup event, ran 187.052 mph to win the pole and set a track qualifying record. With the track's surface more than 20 degrees cooler than it had been when time trails began, on a track where cooler usually means faster, Johnson's late draw was certainly advantageous as he tried to top the 186.948 mph lap Newman had posted as the fourth car to lap the 1.5-mile track. Newman, who already has three poles this season, had won the pole for both points races at this track last year. Newman also broke the track record speed at 186.948, followed by #24-Jeff Gordon, #38-Elliott Sader and #25-Brian Vickers. #20-Tony Stewart, #77-Brendan Gaughan, #43-Jeff Green, #18-Bobby Labonte and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. round out the top 10. #17-Matt Kenseth, who won the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge on Saturday, will start 37th in his Ford - the spot from which Johnson won this race a year ago. It was not a good qualifying evening for Ford. Aside from Sadler's fourth-best lap, Mark Martin was the next fastest at 18th. The other six factory-supported Ford teams will start 30th or worse on Sunday. (ThatsRacin.com) #21-Ricky Rudd, the only driver using the new Ford cylinder head engine package this weekend, took a provisional and starts 39th.
    Long list of DNQ's: #7-Park, #37-Bodine, #46-Long, #94-Barrett, #98-G Bodine, #89-Shepherd, #78-Fultz, #72-Shelmerdine and #80-Hillenbugh. #51-Kevin Lepage qualified 22nd with the new #51 team, other part timers making the show include #84-Kyle Busch (27th - was way slow in practice), #09-Bobby Hamilton Jr.(31st), #1-John Andretti (25th) and #23-Dave Blaney (11th).
    For qualifying results/starting lineups, see the following sites:
    Jayski's Qualifying Results/Starting Lineup page
    Lowe's Motor Speedway
    MotorSports One
    NASCAR.com.(5-27-2004)

  • Qualifying Notes - Charlotte:
    * Jimmie Johnson won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Bud Pole for the Coca-Cola 600, lapping Lowe's Motor Speedway in 28.869 seconds at 187.052 mph. He broke Ryan Newman's track-qualifying record of 28.930 seconds, 186.657 mph, set Oct. 9, 2003.
    * The top-three qualifiers eclipsed Newman's record qualifying lap.
    * This is Johnson's seventh career Bud Pole in 87 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races. His most recent Bud Pole came at Kansas Speedway on Oct. 3, 2003 - 18 races ago.
    * It is Johnson's second Bud Pole and his fourth top 10 - all better than third - in six races at Charlotte.
    * Johnson became the eighth different Bud Pole winner in 2004. This is his seventh top-10 start this season.
    * Ryan Newman had the second-fastest time with a qualifying lap of 28.885 seconds at 186.948 mph and will join Johnson on the front row. Newman has qualified fourth or better in all seven of his races at Charlotte.
    * This is fourth Bud Pole for Chevrolet in 2004. Dodge has six Bud Poles and Ford has two.
    * Jeff Gordon (third) posted his seventh top-10 start in 2004. Gordon has posted top-10 starting positions for 17 of his 23 races at Charlotte.
    * Elliott Sadler (fourth) posted his sixth top-10 start in 2004. It is his fifth top-10 start in his 12 races at Charlotte.
    * Brian Vickers (fifth) posted his fifth top-10 start in 2004. He started 20th here in October 2003, in his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup debut.
    * Dale Earnhardt Jr., (10th) posted his 10th top-10 start in 2004, more than any other driver.
    * Only three of the top-10 qualifiers have competed in more than 10 races at Charlotte.
    * Johnny Sauter, Ricky Rudd, Ken Schrader, Kyle Petty and Hermie Sadler used provisionals to complete the 43-car field.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(5-28-2004)

  • Stockcarfans.com - Ramblings - Coca-Cola 600:
    When you pull the last pill in the qualifying order, and you're the fastest car in the heat of the day, everybody else knows they're racing for the outside pole. Jimmie Johnson went out last and knocked Ryan Newman from the top spot by .016 seconds to take his first Bud Pole of the season tonight at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Johnson's 8th career top-spot [7th Bud Pole, Oct 2002 was set by points which he led going into that race] was achieved with a time of 28.869 seconds (187.052 mph), and qualifies him for next Febrary's Budweiser Shootout (he becomes the 8th driver eligible for that event). This was Johnson's first pole since Kansas last October.
    Ryan Newman went out third, and when you consider how much cooler the track was an hour and a half later, it's remarkable he was able to come as close as he did.
    Elliott Sadler (4th) had his best qualifying run since he had the outside pole at Daytona in February.
    Tony Stewart (6th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 5th at Daytona in February.
    Dave Blaney (11th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 8th at Phoenix last November (only 8 races).
    Kevin Lepage (22nd) had his best qualifying run since he started 12th at Atlanta last October (only 10 races).
    John Andretti (25th) had his best qualifying run since he started 22nd at Homestead last November (only 3 races).
    STREAKIN....Dale Earnhardt Jr has 6 Top-10 starts in a row. Jimmie Johnson has 5 Top-10 starts in the last 6 races.(Stockcarfans.com Nextel Cup Newsletter)(5-28-2004)

  • Thursday Practice is over for the Coca-Cola 600 at LMS, the fastest five were:
    #48-Johnson 184.288
    #12-Newman 183.692
    #25-Vickers 183.355
    #19-Mayfield 183.225
    #01-Nemechek 183.094
    #0-Burton ran the most laps with 45, #49, #22, #40 were 2nd with 20.
    slowest were #72-Shelmerdine at 169.353 and #80-Andy Hillenburg at 170.342.
    For practice results see the following sites [direct links]:
    NASCAR.com.(5-27-2004)

  • Qualifying Order Links: are up for the Coca-Cola 600 at LMS. 52 drivers/cars listed. First driver scheduled out is #99-Jeff Burton, last driver scheduled out is #48-Jimmie Johnson. Shane Hmiel will practice and qualify the #09-Miccosukee Dodge and Bobby Hamilton Jr. will take over on Saturday for practice and the race. See my Coca-Cola 600 Race Info page or .(5-27-2004)

  • CTC Pole Night Fast Facts:
    Location: Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
    Date: Thursday, May 27, 2004
    Time: 7:10pm/et
    Purse: $56,000
    Winner's share: $41,000
    Radio/Television: Performance Racing Network (PRN) will broadcast live qualifying coverage to its affiliate radio stations beginning at 6:45pm/et. PRN's broadcast can also be heard on XM Satellite Radio channel 144. SPEED Channel will televise CTC Pole Night qualifying live. The two-hour telecast begins at 7:00pm/et.
    Tickets for CTC Pole Night, which also includes the Quaker Steak & Lube 100 for the ARCA RE/MAX Series, start at $12. To purchase tickets, call 1-800-455-FANS or visit www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.

  • Driver changes: hearing that Geoffrey Bodine will be in the #98 Ford and Bobby Hamilton Jr. will be in the #09 Dodge for the Coca Cola 600. Todd Bodine was listed in the #98 and Tony Raines was in the #09. Plus add #94-Stanton Barrett and #51-Kevin Lepage.(5-25-2004)
    AND now Todd Bodine is in the #37. See Jayski's Coca-Cola 600 Entry List

  • Rookie News and Notes - Coca Cola 600

  • Entry List Links:
    Jayski's Coca-Cola 600 Entry List, 53 cars entered
    NASCAR.com

  • No Racing to the Caution Rule and Q&A/Lucky Dog

  • Jayski's - 2004 Nextel Cup Race Results Page

  • Jayski's - 2004 Nextel Cup Practice Leader and Links

  • 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).

  • Links: Practice speeds, qualifying and results can be found at these sites:
    NASCAR.com


SOME RECORDS, NOTES, RULES and NEWS

  • 3rd place for Rudd: With his start in the 2004 Coca-Cola 600, #21-Ricky Rudd is expected to make his 56th start at Lowe's Motor Speedway and moves into third behind Buddy Baker (57) and Richard Petty (64). Rudd has never won at LMS.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(5-27-2004)

  • Labonte the pick at Lowe's? Bobby Labonte Sets the Pace in the Last 10 Races at Lowe's
    Most Points (1,630)
    Most Top Fives (seven)
    Most Top-10s (nine)
    Most Laps Led (479)
    Best Average Finish (4.7)(NASCAR Statistical Services)(5-27-2004)

  • Track Qualifying Record: Ryan Newman, Oct 2003, 186.657mph

  • Event Qualifying Record: Jimmie Johnson, May 2002, 186.464mph

  • Track Race Record 500 miles: Jeff Gordon, Oct 1999, 160.306mph

  • Track Race Record 600 miles: Bobby Labonte, May 1995, 151.952mph

  • May 2003 Pole Sitter: #12-Ryan Newman, 185.312, finished 21st

  • May 2003 Race Winner: #48-Jimmie Johnson, 126.198mph, started 37th

  • Slowest Race Record: Junior Johnson, 107.752mph, 1960

  • Most Wins: 6 - Darrell Waltrip; Current driver: 4, Jeff Gordon

  • Most Poles: 14 - David Pearson; Current driver: 7, Jeff Gordon

  • Most Top 5s: 23 - Bobby Allison and Richard Petty

  • Most Top 10s: 31 - Richard Petty

  • Oldest Winner: Cale Yarborough, 46 years, 6 months, 9 days, 10/6/85

  • Youngest Winner: Jeff Gordon, 22 years, 9 months, 25 days, 5/29/94

  • Most Laps Led [500 mile race]: 328, Ernie Irvan, 10/10/93

  • Most Laps Led [600 mile race]: 335, Jim Paschal, 5/28/67

  • Most Laps Led by a Race Winner: 335, Jim Paschal, 5/28/67

  • Fewest Laps Led by a Race Winner: 3, Joe Weatherly, 5/21/61

  • Most Lead Changes: 59 - 5/27/79

  • Fewest Lead Changes: 2 - 5/21/61

  • Most Leaders: 18, 5/29/88

  • Fewest Leaders: 3, 5/21/61

  • Most Cautions: 14, 5/25/80

  • Most Caution Laps: 113, 5/25/80

  • Fewest Cautions: 0 - 5/21/61

  • Fewest Caution Laps: 0, 5/21/61

  • Most Finishers on a lead lap: 19, 10/8/00

  • Most Running at the Finish: 39, 10/11/03

  • Fewest Running at the Finish: 10 - 5/21/61

  • Most Wins by Manufacturer: 29 - Chevy

  • Worst Starting Spot to Win: Jimmie Johnson, May 2003, started 37th

  • Races won from starting pos 1: 12 [of 90 races] 13.3%
  • Races won from starting pos 2: 13, 14.4%
  • Races won from starting pos 3: 12, 13.3%
  • Races won from starting pos 4: 7
  • Races won from starting pos 5: 7
  • Races won from starting pos 6: 5
  • Races won from starting pos 7: 6
  • Races won from starting pos 8: 2
  • Races won from starting pos 9: 3
  • Races won from starting pos 10: 2
  • Races won from starting pos 12: 2
  • Races won from starting pos 13: 3
  • Races won from starting pos 14: 1
  • Races won from starting pos 15: 2
  • Races won from starting pos 16: 2
  • Races won from starting pos 17: 2
  • Races won from starting pos 18: 2
  • Races won from starting pos 20: 2
  • Races won from starting pos 21: 1
  • Races won from starting pos 22: 2
  • Races won from starting pos 25: 1
  • Races won from starting pos 37: 1
  • Races won from the top 5: 51 of 90 - 56.7%
  • Races won from the top 10: 69 of 90 - 76.7%

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway Facts and Notes:
    Track Milestones:
    * Fireball Roberts won the pole for the first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Charlotte, the World 600 in 1960.
    * Joe Lee Johnson won the first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Charlotte, the World 600 in 1960.
    * Track lighting was installed in 1992. The first night race was the 1992 The Winston. The first night (twilight) points race was the 1993 Coca-Cola 600.
    * Charlotte Motor Speedway was renamed Lowe's Motor Speedway in 1999.
    * The 2003 UAW-GM Quality was the first complete night race at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
    Track Update
    There have been nine different race winners in as many races at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
    Manufacturer Update
    A Dodge driven by Sterling Marlin won the 2001 UAW-GM Quality 500, the first Dodge victory since Richard Petty won the 1977 World 600. Jamie McMurray won the UAW-GM Quality 500 in 2002 with the same team.

    NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Active Drivers First and Last at This Track First Start
    Waltrip, Michael 5-26-85
    Mayfield, Jeremy 10-10-93
    Sadler, Elliott 5-24-98
    Earnhardt, Dale Jr. 5-30-99
    Johnson, Jimmie 10-7-01
    Vickers, Brian 10-11-03
    First Pole
    Gordon, Jeff 10-6-93
    Burton, Ward 10-5-94
    Earnhardt, Dale Jr. 5-24-00
    Newman, Ryan 5-24-01
    Cope, Derrike 9-30-98
    First Win
    Gordon, Jeff 5-29-94
    Labonte, Bobby 5-28-95
    Kenseth, Matt 5-28-00
    McMurray, Jamie 10-13-02
    Last Pole
    Spencer, Jimmy 10-4-01
    Cope, Derrike 9-30-98
    Last Win
    Martin, Mark 5-26-02
    McMurray, Jamie 10-13-02
    Stewart, Tony 10-11-03
    Last Victory at This Track
    in a Chevrolet Tony Stewart 2003 UAW-GM Quality 500
    in a Dodge Jamie McMurray 2002 UAW-GM Quality 500
    in a Ford Mark Martin 2002 Coca-Cola 600
    in a Pontiac Bobby Labonte 2000 UAW-GM Quality 500
    Would You Believe?
    Ryan Newman has three Bud Poles and three fourth-place starts in six races at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
    Track Update of the Week
    Tony Stewart has finished sixth or better in seven of his 10 races at Charlotte, including a victory in the 2003 UAW-GM Quality 500.
    How Important is Track Position?
    Five of the last 14 races at Charlotte have been won from the front row, but six of the last nine have been won from a starting position of 13th or worse. Selected Modern Era Performance at this Track
    Ricky Rudd leads all other active drivers with 55 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup starts at Charlotte.
    Mark Martin leads all active drivers with 15 top-five finishes at Charlotte.
    Ricky Rudd leads all active drivers with 25 top-10 finishes at Charlotte.
    Sterling Marlin has posted 14 DNFs in 46 races at Lowe's Motor Speedway, more than any other active driver.
    Tony Stewart (10), Jeff Green (seven) and Kevin Harvick (six) have all competed in five or more races at Charlotte without posting a DNF there.
    Ryan Newman has a 2.50 starting average in six races at Charlotte, the best of all drivers.
    Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 10 or more starts at Charlotte with a 7.56 starting average.
    Mark Martin has led 1,116 laps in 38 races at Lowe's Motor Speedway, more than any other active driver.
    Going and Going
    Kevin Harvick has been running at the finish for 50 consecutive races - the longest active streak without a DNF. Points - Would You Believe?
    Seven of the top-10 drivers in the current NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championship point standings were also in the top-10 following the 11th race in 2003, including the top-four drivers. However, only Jeff Gordon (third - 2004 and ninth - 2000) and Bobby Labonte (seventh - 2004 and first - 2000) were among the top-10 after 10 races five years ago.
    In spite of having four to the five fastest qualifying runs for the Daytona 500, a Ford led only two laps in the season-opening classic (both by Matt Kenseth).
    Chevrolet has led more than half of the laps raced this season (1,955 of 3,650). Based on total laps led in the race, Chevrolet has led the most laps in seven races (including Darlington when both Chevrolet and Dodge led 106 laps).(NASCAR Statistical Services)(5-25-2004)


TRACK/RACE NEWS

  • Firsts at Lowe's: If Lowe's Motor Speedway officials were pondering a new marketing slogan, "The Speedway of Firsts" would get strong consideration. Known for their creativity and innovation, speedway Chairman Bruton Smith and President H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler have introduced many new concepts for fans and participants at the 1.5-mile superspeedway. A sampling of creative "firsts" at Lowe's Motor Speedway through the years follows:
    *First to host a 600-mile NASCAR stock car event.
    *First to sell trackside condominiums.
    *First to open a members-only, country-club style facility-The Speedway Club.
    *First superspeedway to install a permanent lighting system, allowing races to be run at night.
    *First to have flyovers, boxing matches, a three-ring circus, a gala and elephants as pre-race spectacles.
    *First to host NASCAR's annual all-star race, home of the special event 19 times in 20 years.
    *First to offer custom seating VIP suites.
    *First to have a private air-conditioned Clubhouse.
    *First to have an African-American, former Heavyweight boxing legend Joe Frazier, sing the National Anthem.
    *First to feature racing on a quarter-mile oval inside the superspeedway.
    *First to offer full-service camping.
    *First track to host Legends Cars, an assembly line built race car. Now there are over 4,000 Legend Cars in the world with more than 2,000 races scheduled this year.
    *First track to offer prize money based on advancement.
    *First to use an inactive landfill as parking. Since 1974, more than 120 acres of parking have been crafted from landfill operations.
    *First track with an elevator.
    *First track with a sprinkler system for fire prevention.
    *First to feature a mobile crash truck with a Jaws of Life.
    *First track seeded with "Tifton 328" grass, normally used on the finest golf courses.
    *First track with a full performance of the world famous Cirque de Soleil.
    *First to reenact an actual battle, the Invasion of Grenade.
    *First to do collector-grade tickets for pole qualifying.
    *First to host 5,000 firemen at once after Sept. 11, 2001. Five NYC firemen who were part of rescue operations at the World Trade Center became the first allowed to attend honorary functions outside metro New York.
    *First to put a lion in the winner's circle.
    *First to pay substantially for winning the pole position. The driver earned $10,000 for winning the pole for the 500-mile race in 1974. *First track to pay $10,000 purse for what in now the NASCAR Busch Series.
    Tickets are still available for all events at Lowe's Motor Speedway, including Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event, can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(5-27-2004)

  • Jayski to be Grand Marshal of the LMS ARCA Race: Jayski, sole owner and webmaster of Jayski’s Silly Season Site, has been named grand marshal for the May 27 Quaker Steak & Lube 100 ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Started on a whim [Aug 26, 1996], the site has grown into a full-time business. It features NASCAR news, rumors, statistics and paint scheme images. Jayski pools information from sources inside the industry and the World Wide Web [along with Newspapers, TV, Magazines, radio], making it easy for NASCAR fans to find mainstream and obscure information about the sport. Located at www.jayski.com, the web site was launched on Aug. 26, 1996, and today attracts 100,000 daily visitors with 250,000 daily page views. Jayski became interested in racing more than 30 years ago when his father took him to events at Pennsylvania’s Pocono Raceway and Atlantic City. A former FAA contract computer programmer, Jayski relocated from his native New Jersey to Mooresville, NC, earlier this year. It was also announced that Quaker Steak & Lube co-founder Gary Meszaros and Tim Weaver, co-owner of the new Quaker Steak & Lube restaurant in Concord, N.C., will serve as the honorary starters for the event. The Quaker Steak & Lube 100 on Thursday night, May 27, is part of CTC Pole Night which also includes NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600. Tickets start at just $12 and can be obtained online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR for info on the ARCA Series...see www.arcaracing.com)

  • Air Force at Lowe's: Air Force involvement at Lowe's Motor Speedway during the Coca-Cola 600 weekend includes:
    * Cross Into The Blue exhibit, which consists of an Air-to-air Refueling Game, an Extreme Equilibrium Ride, a Special ops Jumper, a state-of-the-art movie Theater trailer, an actual F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, six Trivia Game kiosks and a GPS Satellite Display.
    * Concert on Sunday by the U.S. Air Force Tops in Blue.
    * Flyover on Sunday by a B-2 Stealth bomber from the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman AFB, MO.
    * Senior Air Force official at the Coca-Cola 600 will be General John W. Handy, Commander U.S. Transportation Command, and Commander, Air mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, IL. USTRANSCOM is the single manager for global air, land and sea transportation for the Department of Defense.(USAF PR)(5-25-2004)

  • "American Idol" Stars to Perform at Coca-Cola 600: Coca-Cola is again bringing stars from the hit show "American Idol" to perform in front of roughly 200,000 NASCAR fans at the 20th running of the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Eight of the 10 finalists from the current "American Idol" series will be on hand to perform the national anthem on Sunday, May 30 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. In addition, the eight American Idols also will be at the Coca-Cola stage at Food Lion Speed Street at 8:30pm/et on Saturday, May 29. The American Idol finalists will include: La Toya London, Oakland, Calif.; Jasmine Trias, Mililani, HI.; John Stevens, East Amherst, N.Y.; George Huff, New Orleans, La.; Jennifer Hudson, Chicago, Ill.; Jon Peter Lewis, Rexburg, ID.; Camile Velasco, Haiku, Maui, HI.; and Amy Adams, Bakersfield, Calif. "As the popularity of NASCAR and 'American Idol' both continue to grow, we are excited to provide a special treat for NASCAR fans on Memorial Day weekend by having the American Idols participate in The Coca-Cola 600 pre-race festivities," said Beatriz Perez, vice president sports marketing, Coca-Cola North America. Television coverage of the 2004 Coca-Cola 600 is scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m. EDT on FOX. The race is set to start around 5:40 p.m., and can also be heard on the radio on the Performance Racing Network (PRN). Coca-Cola classic is the Official Soft Drink of NASCAR and the sponsor of the Coca-Cola 600, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Through its association with tracks and race teams, The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners have been involved in NASCAR for more than 30 years. The Company sponsored cars from 1969-76 and 1990-94 under the Coca-Cola and Mello Yello brands, respectively.(LMS PR)(5-22-2004)

  • Charlotte looking to keep All-Star race: In a bid to keep the NASCAR all-star race in Charlotte for years to come, Queen City business and political leaders offered a display of appreciation during a luncheon Monday. Wachovia Corp. Chief Executive Ken Thompson hosted the meeting, held at the bank's headquarters. Attendees included speedway executives Bruton Smith and Humpy Wheeler, retailer John Belk, NASCAR President Mike Helton, Mayor Pat McCrory and stock-car team owner Ray Evernham. On Friday, NASCAR announced that the all-star race would be held at Lowe's Motor Speedway in 2005. No decisions have been made regarding future years, again fueling concerns the all-star event might move to another city.(Charlotte Business Journal)(5-18-2004)

  • General Swannack Jr. Named Grand Marshal of Coca-Cola 600: In recognition of Memorial Day weekend, United States Army Major General Charles Swannack Jr. has been named grand marshal and U.S. Congressman Richard Burr will serve as the honorary starter for the May 30 Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Swannack and Burr will join a host of military personnel in "Operation Appreciation," a Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces. Among his duties as grand marshal, Swannack will give the command, "gentlemen, start your engines," to send the 43 drivers on their way in the longest race on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule. Swannack replaces Brigadier General Benjamin Freakley who was forced to withdraw as grand marshal due to a scheduling conflict. Congressman Burr will wave the green flag to officially start the 20th running of the Coca-Cola 600.(LMS PR)(5-18-2004)

  • "Operation Appreciation" Coca-Cola 600 Military Pre-Race Show: Warner Nashville Recording Artist John Michael Montgomery will join 140 soldiers and five Blackhawk helicopters to honor America's military during the "Operation Appreciation" Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show on Sunday, May 30, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Montgomery will arrive via Blackhawk helicopter on the Lowe's Motor Speedway frontstretch and perform his smash-hit single, "Letters From Home." The song, which chronicles the feelings family members have for an American soldier serving in combat overseas, recently climbed as high as No. 3 on the Billboard Country Singles chart. "'Letters From Home' has touched the hearts of Americans nationwide and we feel like it's the perfect song to showcase during our Memorial Day weekend salute to the military and their families," said H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president of Lowe's Motor Speedway. "The Coca-Cola 600 has a long-standing tradition of honoring our U.S. Armed Forces with emotional tributes and spectacular displays of military might. Operation Appreciation will be the most heartwarming and entertaining pre-race show we've ever had," Wheeler added.
    The pre-race extravaganza will include a display of aerial artistry as five Army Special Forces MH60 Blackhawk helicopters execute the "Missing Man" maneuver. The helicopters will fly in a diamond pattern until the middle helicopter pulls straight up, leaving a gap in the formation to honor and remember soldiers killed in active duty, prisoners of war and those missing in action.
    "Operation Appreciation" will also include concerts by U.S. Air Force band Tops In Blue and the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Chorus; demonstrations by the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team; 21-gun salute and a flyover by a B-2 Stealth Bomber.
    In support of U.S. troops, Lowe's Motor Speedway is offering a special ticket price to military personnel who wish to attend the May 30 Coca-Cola 600. While supplies last, Diamond Tower tickets normally priced at $101 will be sold to service men and women for $30. Military personnel can obtain this discount by calling 1-800-455-FANS and using the code words "Operation Appreciation."(LMS PR)(5-18-2004)

  • SpeedZone at Lowe's Motor Speedway: Jimmie Johnson and the "King" of stock car racing, Richard Petty, headline the roster of drivers scheduled to appear in the SpeedZone Pavilion during race weeks at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Located behind the Diamond Tower grandstand in turn two, the SpeedZone Pavilion is a hospitality area featuring driver appearances, catered meals, cash bar, pre-race pit tours and musical entertainment. SpeedZone opens in conjunction with admission gates at 3 p.m. on May 22 and noon on May 30. Johnson, along with Terry Labonte and Ted Musgrave, will participate in SpeedZone question-and-answer sessions with fans prior to the May 22 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.
    Petty, along with Jeff Burton, Kerry Earnhardt, Joe Nemechek, Derrike Cope and Scott Wimmer, will participate in SpeedZone question-and-answer sessions before the May 30 Coca-Cola 600.
    SpeedZone admission is $125 per person for each NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race event and passes must be purchased in advance. Race ticket is not included with package. SpeedZone passes can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS. For updates on driver appearances, visit www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(5-18-2004)

  • Racing Wives Team Up with Volunteers to Help Build Habitat Home at Lowe's Motor Speedway: While the gentlemen are preparing to start their engines, the ladies will be raising their hammers to put a dent in substandard housing. Members of the Women's Auxiliary of Motorsports, Inc. and female volunteers will be building as part of Habitat for Humanity International's Women Build Program, underwritten in 2004 by Lowe's. Volunteers will be working alongside the future homeowners, the three-member Cook family. Women Build Day is Tuesday, May 18, 2004 from 8:30am - 4:30pm/et, with building occurring throughout the day. Construction will occur daily from May 15 through the May 22 Lowe's Speed Zone prior to the NEXTEL All-Star Race. The home is currently being constructed onsite at Lowe's Motor Speedway. When the exterior is completed, it will be moved to its permanent location in Cabarrus County. In order to build a home for a Habitat family and raise awareness of the need for safe, affordable housing, Habitat for Humanity Cabarrus County, Lowe's and Nationwide are sponsoring the build leading up to the Ten Days of Speed at Lowe's Motor Speedway that includes the NEXTEL All-Star race and the Coca-Cola 600. This home is one of more than 100 Habitat for Humanity Women Build homes Lowe's is helping to fund across the country this year.(LMS PR)(5-18-2004)

  • Rockingham gone...confirmed...All-Star race back at Lowe's in 2005: The 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup schedule will be announced Friday morning at a 9:30am/et news conference at Richmond International Raceway, and North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham will not be on it. "NASCAR has made the decision to not run any more Cup races at North Carolina Speedway after this season," Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president for corporate communications, said Thursday, formally sounding the death knell for the 1.017-mile track. Its date will move to Texas Motor Speedway for 2005. Hunter would not comment further on the details of what will be announced by NASCAR chairman Brian France this morning, but sources tell The Charlotte Observer that next year's schedule will also include a second race for Phoenix International Raceway that will come at the expense of Darlington Raceway. That means the Carolinas will have only three Nextel Cup points events next season after playing host to five in 2004.
    There will be some good news today for Lowe's Motor Speedway, however. The Charlotte Observer has confirmed that the schedule to be announced today will leave the Nextel All-Star Challenge at the Charlotte track for 2005.
    The announcement of the move of a date from North Carolina Speedway, owned by International Speedway Corp., to Texas Motor Speedway, owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc., indicates that a settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by SMI stockholder Francis Ferko alleging that NASCAR reneged on a promise to give a second Cup date to the Texas track. Speedway Motorsports will own Rockingham as part of that settlement, but in his statement Friday, Hunter emphasized that it is NASCAR's decision to end Rockingham's run as a host of stock-car racing's top series that began in 1965.
    Other Press Conferences Friday:
    Texas Motor Speedway will host the Dallas-Fort Worth media to listen in via teleconference to the announcement here. Sources said the second Texas race would be held on Nov. 6, making it part of the 10-race Chase for the Championship.
    International Speedway Corp. officials will then hold an 11 a.m. news conference at Richmond, discussing its decision to "realign" a date from Darlington to Phoenix.
    The Phoenix track will then host media from that area for at 3:30 p.m. Eastern (12:30 p.m. Phoenix time) to talk about its new race, which will be slotted on April 24.
    When the day is done, the 2005 Nextel Cup schedule is expected to take on a significantly different look.
    After beginning the year with the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20 next season
    the circuit will go to California Speedway on Feb. 27.
    After taking the first weekend in March off, teams will go West again to Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 13.
    then go to Atlanta Motor Speedway the following Sunday. That pushes the races back at those two tracks one week later than this year.
    Darlington's only Cup race in 2005 will run on May 7, the night before Mother's Day. NASCAR's top series has traditionally taken Mother's Day weekend off.()(5-14-2004)

  • MiniKISS to perform at Lowe's: being a KISS fan, I had to post this.....
    MINIKISS, one of the most unique musical acts to ever perform at a motorsports venue, will entertain race fans prior to the Jani-King Southern Showdown Friday night, May 28, and Saturday night, May 29, at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway. MINIKISS' performance is part of the two-day racing spectacular that will be highlighted by the late model stock cars of the O'Reilly Southern All Star Racing Series. The brainchild of Joey Fatale, a veteran of the "little person" entertainment industry who is now known as Mini-Gene, MINIKISS was launched five years ago for a Halloween party in New York City. The group, dressed in full KISS attire and make-up, has developed into a high-energy, karaoke-style stage show with fancy faux instruments celebrating "little people" and the music of rock legend KISS. MINIKISS has appeared on numerous television shows, including ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," HBO's "Inside the NFL" and Comedy Central's "Insomniac with Dave Attel." The group was recently invited to perform as an opening act during several dates on A Perfect Circle's U.S. concert tour. MINIKISS will perform for 45 minutes each night during the Jani-King Southern Showdown beginning at 6:45 p.m. The event will run in conjunction with the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Adult reserved seats for the Jani-King Southern Showdown are just $18 in advance with tickets for children 12 and under economically priced at just $5. Tickets can be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(5-13-2004)

  • Quaker Steak & Lube Restaurant Backs May 27 ARCA Race at LMS: Quaker Steak & Lube, the award-winning automotive-themed restaurant chain, has signed to sponsor the ARCA RE/MAX Series stock car race Thursday night, May 27, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The Quaker Steak & Lube 100 will be the 20th ARCA race at Lowe's Motor Speedway since the series first visited the 1.5-mile facility in 1964. In addition, the restaurant chain's award-winning chicken wings have been selected as the "Official Chicken Wings of Lowe's Motor Speedway." Gary Meszaros and George Warren opened the first Quaker Steak & Lube restaurant in a converted Sharon, Pa., gas station in 1974 and the company now has franchised restaurants in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina. Known for its over-the-top auto-themed décor, Quaker Steak & Lube has developed a cult-like following for its celebrated chicken wings. The company has won numerous national and international awards, including the "Best Wings USA" for its famous chicken wing sauces. Quaker Steak & Lube's sponsorship at Lowe's Motor Speedway is an extension of its motorsports involvement. The company also sponsors the #38 Atomic Wing ARCA RE/MAX Series entry driven by Greg Sarff along with many local racers. A Quaker Steak & Lube restaurant will open in Concord, N.C., on Tuesday, May 18. The new restaurant is located on Speedway Boulevard, 1.5 miles from Lowe's Motor Speedway. Information about Quaker Steak & Lube and its restaurant locations can be obtained online at www.quakersteakandlube.com. The Quaker Steak & Lube 100 is part of CTC Pole Night which also includes qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race. Tickets start at $12 and can be obtained online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(5-7-2004)

  • Special Pole Night Ticket for LMS: In recognition of Hendrick Motorsports' 20th anniversary, team owner Rick Hendrick and six of the drivers who have contributed to the team's amazing success are featured on the collectible ticket for Lowe's Motor Speedway's CTC Pole Night on Thursday, May 27. Combining the business principles Hendrick utilized in the automobile industry with the experience of veteran racing mechanic and crew chief Harry Hyde, All-Star Racing was formed and modified champion Geoffrey Bodine was selected to drive the No. 5 Chevrolet. Despite starting the 1984 NASCAR season without a sponsor, the fledgling team soon found success, winning three times in 30 starts, and-as they say-the rest is history. Production of the collectible ticket, the 24th in a series of Pole Night ducats, was limited to just 7,500. The ticket, printed in vibrant four-color on quality stock, sells for $15 in advance and will be $20 the day of the event. Time trial runs during CTC Pole Night on Thursday, May 27, will determine the 43-car starting field for the May 30 Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race. After qualifying, the cars and stars of the ARCA RE/MAX Series will battle in the Quaker Steak & Lube 100. The ticket is also good for admission to qualifying for the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday afternoon, May 28. The limited-edition CTC Pole Night ticket, along with tickets for all May events at Lowe's Motor Speedway, can be ordered online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(5-6-2004)

  • North Carolina Test Facility Planned: The Charlotte Regional Partnership is spearheading plans to seek state money to help build a $50 million motorsports test-track complex near Charlotte, the Charlotte Business Journal reports. The group hopes the facility will cement the area's status as the home of most of NASCAR's top-tier teams in the wake of new and expanded programs in Virginia and South Carolina. Reporter Ken Elkins writes that organizers are looking for up to 150 acres within 30 miles of Lowe's Motor Speedway for a facility that would include super speedway, mid-length oval and road-course tracks. No grandstands would be built. Teams could save money, the story says, by not having to travel to facilities such as Kentucky Speedway to conduct non-sanctioned tests.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-30-2004)

    AND An effort is gearing up to build a state-funded motorsports test-track complex near Charlotte, with organizers saying the $50 million facility would help attract more Nextel Cup teams to the area. The Charlotte Regional Partnership is spearheading the idea, seeking up to 150 acres within 30 miles of Lowe's Motor Speedway for a facility that would include super speedway, mid-length oval and road-course tracks. "It could be configured to represent 75% of the types of tracks on the NASCAR circuit," says Michael Almond, chief executive of the regional partnership, a 16-county, public-private economic development agency. The complex, tentatively dubbed the N.C. Motorsports Testing and Research Complex, would include garages, administrative space and about $5 million in testing equipment but no grandstands. No site has been selected. The proposal faces two key challenges: Organizers are seeking state funds to pay for construction, and they want the land to be donated. "We are assuming that the land would be contributed as a way of having skin in the game," Almond says. Such property may already be available. Sources familiar with the test-track proposal say officials in Cabarrus, Iredell and Stanly counties have expressed interest in the project, suggesting sites that would be available at little or no cost. Also, Humpy Wheeler, president of Speedway Motorsports Inc., has offered 100 acres at the Lowe's Motor Speedway for the complex. Presumably, that Cabarrus site would have to be supplemented by 50 acres. Some have suggested using North Carolina Speedway at Rockingham for the testing complex, especially if that track loses its last NASCAR-sanctioned race.(Charlotte Business Journal)(5-5-2004)

  • SMI Offers Mixed Report: Speedway Motorsports Inc. today reported lower first-quarter revenues and earnings because this year's Texas Motor Speedway NASCAR races fell in the second quarter but said its figures were up for comparable events. The Charlotte-based track operator reported first-quarter revenues of $122.2 million, down 16 percent or $23.9 million; net income of $24.7 million, down 29 percent or $10.1 million; and diluted earnings per share of 57 cents, down 30 percent or 25 cents. But when comparing similar race schedules in 2003 and 2004, which exclude the Texas NASCAR events, using other than generally accepted accounting principles, the company said results reflect increases in revenues of $17.2 million or 16 percent, net income of $5.6 million or 29 percent and diluted earnings per share of 12 cents or 27 percent, over last year. The company said it had record attendance for its spring Nextel Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway and for its Busch Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, along with sellouts for Cup.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-5-2004)

  • Grand Marshal and Starter named for the Coca Cola 600: In recognition of Memorial Day weekend, Brigadier General Benjamin Freakley has been named grand marshal and United States Congressman Richard Burr will serve as the honorary starter for the May 30 Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Among his duties as grand marshal, Freakley will give the command, "gentleman start your engines," to send the 43 drivers on their way in the longest race on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule. Freakley is the chief of infantry for the United States Army and the commanding general of Fort Benning in Georgia. He has commanded infantry units on a variety of levels and has twice served in combat. He was a brigade operations officer during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and served as the Assistant Division Commander of the 101st Airborne Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. A graduate of the United States Military Academy, Freakley has earned numerous honors and accommodations during his 29-year military career, including two Bronze Stars.
    Burr, who represents North Carolina's fifth congressional district, will wave the green flag to start the Coca-Cola 600. A member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Burr is uniquely positioned to protect and promote North Carolina's economic and security interests. After reaching Washington in 1995, Burr's first major legislative achievement was passage of the Food and Drug Administration and Modernization Act of 1997. Raised in North Carolina, Burr is a graduate of Wake Forest University. Tickets for the Coca-Cola 600 start at just $29 and can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(5-5-2004)

  • May 30 Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway Marks 20 Years of Extraordinary Racing under the Coca-Cola Banner: When the Coca-Cola 600 takes the green flag Sunday evening, May 30, at Lowe's Motor Speedway, it will mark the 20th time NASCAR's longest race has carried sponsorship from one of the world's most familiar consumer products. To some 1985 seems like only yesterday, while others consider it ancient history. That year compact discs were introduced to U.S. consumers, eggs sold for 66 cents a dozen and "Cheers" was the No. 1 television show. Michael Jordan earned NBA rookie-of-the-year honors, the average cost of a movie ticket had yet to break $3 and a group of recording artists known as USA for Africa introduced the blockbuster hit "We Are the World."
    In racing, a 29-year-old Bill Elliott was the hottest thing on four wheels and a 13-year-old prodigy named Jeff Gordon was racing winged sprint cars on Midwestern dirt tracks.
    Through the efforts of the Charlotte area bottler-Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated-Coca-Cola signed a multi-year contract to be the title sponsor of the longest event in stock car racing. Previously known as the World 600, the race became the Coca-Cola 600.
    Combining Coke's world-wide brand identity and sports-marketing prowess with the track's flair for promotion and spectator entertainment, the sponsorship propelled the annual Memorial Day weekend classic to new heights.
    "Coca-Cola has played a major role in promoting our facility and in helping build the Coca-Cola 600 into one of the world's premier sporting events," said H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway. "It's hard to believe this will be the 20th Coca-Cola 600, but looking back there have been some tremendous races."
    1985: After struggling early in the season, two-time series champion Darrell Waltrip proved he and the No. 11 Junior Johnson operation were back on form, winning NASCAR's new all-star race on Saturday and the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday. "It's been a fantastic weekend," said Waltrip, who stretched his fuel mileage to beat Harry Gant to the checkered flag in the 600. "You might say that's an old coon-hunter's trick. If we pitted, I don't think we would have won. Junior told me to draft anything that moved. The gamble paid off and the car ran out of gas as it crossed the finish line."
    1986: Timely caution flags and Bill Elliott's gas guzzling Ford set the stage for Dale Earnhardt to post his first Coca-Cola 600 victory. Earnhardt took control on lap 385 when Elliott was forced to make an extra pit stop and beat Tim Richmond by 1.59 seconds. "I remember coming here and watching dad win sportsman races. I thought if I ever got into racing my biggest dream would be to win the Coca-Cola 600," Earnhardt said. "I wish dad could have driven a competitive car here, but an Earnhardt has finally won the 600."
    1987: In a race that saw contenders fall by the wayside in rapid succession, Kyle Petty was the top survivor, scoring his first superspeedway victory aboard the Wood Brothers' No. 21 Ford. Petty took the lead for the final time on lap 384 when a failing engine ended Rusty Wallace's hopes of victory. "I really didn't want to lead this race, but it seemed like I was the only one left," Petty said. "This team has been getting more consistent and I knew it was only a matter of time before we won a superspeedway race."
    1988: With a tire war being waged between Goodyear and Hoosier, the Coca-Cola 600 turned into a matter of survival as Darrell Waltrip posted his fourth 600-mile victory. Virtually all the Goodyear tires were withdrawn when preliminary events revealed the selected tire compound would not withstand the strain, but the Hoosier tires faced a similar situation. "We knew there would be tire problems," said Waltrip. "I watched guys pass me and take off, only to see them in the wall a few laps later." The caution flag was unfurled 13 times for 89 laps and 10 of the 41 starters were eliminated in accidents. Harry Gant broke two bones in his leg and a few weeks after the race it was discovered that Buddy Baker, involved in a multi-car accident, had a blood clot on his brain.
    1989: Darrell Waltrip bounced back from being spun out of the lead by Rusty Wallace in the all-star race one week earlier to win the Coca-Cola 600 for the fifth time. "This race is won partly by attrition and partly by patience, and I'm a very patient fella," said Waltrip. "This is a fitting end to a trying week. I never, ever in my wildest dreams thought I'd have the fan support I've had this week. "It's been hard to restrain my emotions from what happened last Sunday. But I gave NASCAR my word that it's over. But, I'll tell you one thing, last Sunday lit a fire under 17 or 18 guys wearing orange uniforms. They were determined."
    1990: Defending series champion Rusty Wallace pulled back into victory lane following a dominant performance that saw the Missouri native lead 306 of the 400 laps. The victory was Wallace's second at the 1.5-mile track, but his first in the Coca-Cola 600. "I was getting off the corners so quick that it felt like I had rockets in the tailpipes," said Wallace who was in his final season as driver of Raymond Beadle's No. 27 Pontiac. "It feels really good to win. People have been counting us out. We might have been down this year, but never out."
    1991: Davey Allison, who dominated the all-star race one week earlier, turned in a similar performance in the Coca-Cola 600. The second-generation superstar led 264 of the 400 laps en route to victory in Robert Yates' Ford. Allison's back-to-back victories came after NASCAR allowed Ford teams to raise their trunk lids one inch. "The Fords have been pretty unstable this year," Allison explained. "That is reflected in the number of wins we had-zero. The rule change doesn't help us go faster, it helps us go straighter. It gives our cars more downforce, but creates more drag." Dale Earnhardt, who finished third, was very upset after the race. "It's pretty hard to outrun an illegal car," he said.
    1992: Quick pit work propelled Dale Earnhardt from third to first with 53 laps remaining and the Kannapolis, N.C., resident went on to claim his second Coca-Cola 600 victory. Controversy swirled following the race as runner-up Ernie Irvan and third-place man Kyle Petty were convinced Earnhardt broke the 55-mph pit road speed limit on his final stop. "There's no way a man can be over two seconds behind you on the race track and everybody pits at about the same time, and he comes out over a second ahead," said Petty. "Unless he had a 13-second pit stop, there's no way he should have been up there where he was. The only place he could have gotten that advantage was speeding down pit road." "I got in real quick and flat-footed it on the return lane," said Earnhardt. "I fudged all I could on the speed limit without getting penalized."
    1993: Dale Earnhardt overcame penalties for rough driving, speeding on pit road and having too many men over the wall on a pit stop to win his second consecutive Coca-Cola 600. Earnhardt was assessed a one-lap penalty for spinning Greg Sacks on lap 327. Earnhardt had been fading and was in danger of going a lap down to leader Dale Jarrett. Reportedly, NASCAR officials heard Earnhardt tell his RCR crew that if a caution flag was needed, he would make sure one came out. "When I got behind him, it must have taken the air off his spoiler," said Earnhardt. "I may have rubbed against him, but I didn't run up there and bang into him intentionally." The penalty fired up Earnhardt and he charged back and took the lead from Ernie Irvan on lap 362. He was 3.73 seconds ahead of Jeff Gordon at the checkered flag.
    1994: Crew chief Ray Evernham's decision to take only right-side tires on his team's final pit stop, gave Jeff Gordon the lead and the 22-year-old former sprint car driver went on to win the Coca-Cola 600. It was Gordon's first career victory in NASCAR's premier series. Rusty Wallace led 187 laps of the 400 laps, but had to settle for runner-up honors, nearly four-seconds behind Gordon. "This absolutely is the greatest moment of my life," said an emotional Gordon after leading only 16 laps. "What a crew I've got. They are the greatest."
    1995: Ken Schrader's misfortune turned into jubilation for the Labonte family as Bobby Labonte scored his first career NEXTEL Cup Series victory and brother Terry finished second in one of the most competitive Coca-Cola 600s ever. The younger Labonte started second and led the first seven laps, but was not heard from again until the final quarter of the race. He took the lead when Schrader's engine expired on lap 357 and romped to a 6.27-second victory. The race saw an amazing 32 lead changes among 12 drivers. "I couldn't believe Schrader fell out of the race," said Labonte. "After finishing second to Jeff Gordon a couple of times this year, it feels great to win here at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The car was better late in the race after we made some adjustments. I also changed my line and picked up two or three tenths."
    1996: Second-generation competitor Dale Jarrett, driving Robert Yates' No. 88 Ford, led 199 of the 400 laps en route to his first Coca-Cola 600 victory, beating Dale Earnhardt to the checkered flag by nearly half a lap. "I'd like to take a tremendous amount of the credit, but these guys deserve all the credit," said Jarrett, motioning to his crew. "There are a lot of people that could have won in that car tonight. I'm glad Robert Yates, Larry McReynolds and the guys chose me and we chose Todd Parrott as the crew chief. I think we have a good thing going, and I've been telling people that as good as the first 10 races were, the best is yet to come."
    1997: Jeff Gordon claimed his second Coca-Cola 600 trophy in a rain-plagued race that started Sunday evening and ended Monday morning. The start was delayed 26 minutes due to rain and Ernie Irvan dominated the first 195 laps before more rain brought the race to a halt. Action finally resumed 2 hours and 36 minutes later and the second segment became a contest of strategy when NASCAR announced the race would have only 20 laps remaining when the clock reached 12:45 a.m. Crew chief Ray Evernham's pit strategy proved to be the key and Gordon passed Rusty Wallace just 17 laps before the checkered flag was waved after 333 of the scheduled 400 laps. "I was leading and didn't realize we were going to have to come in and pit," said Gordon. "When I found out we had to pit, I thought it was going to ruin our whole race. I think Rusty made the right call by coming in early and leaving us out on old tires. Ray also made a great call by going with four because Rusty had been out there a while and he thought I could run him down."
    1998: A pit-road gamble paid off as Jeff Gordon won his third Coca-Cola 600 in just six starts. Gordon's crew chief Ray Evernham opted to change four tires while the other cars on the lead lap changed only two during a lap 379 caution period. Gordon charged through the pack and took the lead from Rusty Wallace with just nine laps remaining. "He (Wallace) was driving as hard as he possibly could," said Gordon. "He knew I had four tires and he had two. When I was behind him, I was getting tight. I knew my only chance was to drive to the outside. He drove into one really hard, and when I dove to the outside, it got him loose. I had to give him some room, so I went up the track and then here comes Bobby Labonte. "We all drove into turn three a ton," Gordon continued. "When Bobby dove to my outside, it actually helped because my car was a little tight. He loosened me up and I was able to turn and get underneath Rusty."
    1999: Jeff Burton led 197 of the 400 laps en route to his first Coca-Cola 600 victory. In addition to the $212,500 first-place prize, Burton claimed a $1 million bonus as a participant in R.J. Reynolds' Winston No Bull 5 program. Bobby Labonte, who led 98 laps, settled for second with Burton's Roush Racing teammate Mark Martin third. "It was a great night. We led a lot of laps and had great pit stops," said Burton. "Most of the time we made the changes we needed to make on the car. To win Darlington and to win Charlotte all in the same year is pretty big for us because we've struggled at Charlotte."
    2000: Rookie-of-the-Year contender Matt Kenseth led the final 26 laps to record his first career Cup victory in the Coca-Cola 600. Kenseth won from the 21st starting position, the highest starting position to date for a Coca-Cola 600 winner. The race was split into two segments when rain stopped the action for nearly an hour after 254 laps. Jerry Nadeau dominated the first portion, but engine problems ended his night shortly after racing resumed. Dale Earnhardt Jr. led 175 laps, a majority of those coming after the red flag, but he had to settle for fourth. "The last couple laps I was trying not to hit the wall and trying to stay in the gas hard enough to stay in front," Kenseth said. "With two laps to go, I started getting a little teary. I had to kind of keep my head about me, hit my marks and make sure I didn't mess up. It feels great to win our first race, especially the Coke 600."
    2001: Jeff Burton led 126 of the 400 laps, including the final 63, to record his second Coca-Cola 600 victory in three years. Kevin Harvick was 3.19 seconds back with Tony Stewart, who finished sixth in the Indianapolis 500 earlier in the day, third. "I don't want to sound facetious or cocky, but winning felt normal," said Burton. "Winning is what Roush Racing is all about. We have all the equipment we need to win races. We have all the backing, all the resources. This is a hard sport, so it felt more gratifying because of the struggles we've gone through, but, at the same time, it felt like, 'Hey, this is what it's all about.'" "The thing that makes me most proud right now is I ran 600 laps and we raised $240,000 for the Victory Junction Gang Camp," said Stewart about money that had been pledged for every lap he completed at Charlotte and Indianapolis. "That gave both of these races a purpose, rather than being something selfish. We were able to help a lot of good kids that deserve this."
    2002: Ending a 73-race winless streak, veteran Mark Martin captured his first Coca-Cola 600. In addition to the $280,033 first-place prize, Martin also collected the Winston No Bull 5 $1 million bonus. Martin took advantage of Jimmie Johnson's pit road miscue to take the lead on lap 361 and then turned in an amazing charge to hold off teammate Matt Kenseth. It was the fourth straight Coca-Cola 600 triumph for Roush Racing. "The last couple of laps really boiled down to one thing," Martin said. "If I gave Matt the opportunity get beside me, we were gonna lose. We wanted to win really bad. It's been a long time since we've won and I probably wanted to win for my team worse than I even wanted to win for myself."
    2003: California native Jimmie Johnson became the first driver to win the Coca-Cola 600 from a provisional starting spot as rain wreaked havoc with the longest race on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule. Johnson, who also won the all-star race a week earlier, suffered engine problems in his No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet during qualifying and had to start at the back of the 43-car field. The start was delayed by rain and the race was stopped for nearly an hour after just 104 laps when rain fell again. The field was under caution for an accident involving John Andretti, Larry Foyt and Elliott Sadler when the skies opened up one more time, forcing officials to call the race after 276 laps. "To start 43rd and end up leading this race shows the capabilities of our race car and our race team," said Johnson who needed only 140 laps to move into the top-five. "To win both races with two different race cars really says a lot for our race team. One car was built for sprint runs and this car did its job for this race."
    Tickets for the May 30 Coca-Cola 600 start at $29 and can be obtained by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(5-4-2004)

  • North Carolina Test Facility Planned: The Charlotte Regional Partnership is spearheading plans to seek state money to help build a $50 million motorsports test-track complex near Charlotte, the Charlotte Business Journal reports. The group hopes the facility will cement the area's status as the home of most of NASCAR's top-tier teams in the wake of new and expanded programs in Virginia and South Carolina. Reporter Ken Elkins writes that organizers are looking for up to 150 acres within 30 miles of Lowe's Motor Speedway for a facility that would include super speedway, mid-length oval and road-course tracks. No grandstands would be built. Teams could save money, the story says, by not having to travel to facilities such as Kentucky Speedway to conduct non-sanctioned tests.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-30-2004)

  • Posted Awards Top $14 Million for Coca-Cola 600 Month Races: A record $14,055,805 in posted awards awaits competitors in eight divisions during Coca-Cola 600 Month of May racing activities at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The total is $1,069,987 more than was posted for the track's May races last year and represents an increase of nearly $8 million over what competitors raced for just five years ago. "There are some small countries that operate annually on less than $14 million," said H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway. "We've seen an incredible amount of growth in the Coca-Cola 600 Month activities during the past 20 years. The number of races has increased, the purses have soared and there are many more off-track attractions, all of which contributes to the economy of the Charlotte/Concord region."
    The biggest jump in posted awards is for the Coca-Cola 600 as NASCAR's longest race offers more than $6 million for the first time. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competitors will compete for $6,161,129 in the 600-mile event on Sunday, May 30-an increase of $764,276 over last year. Along with a new name, the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge on Saturday evening, May 22, has an additional $225,000 in posted awards. Competitors participating in the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge and the NASCAR NEXTEL Open will be competing for a total of $4,095,000 with the Challenge winner guaranteed a minimum of $1 million.
    In addition to the posted prize money, $1,780,853 in television awards for the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge will be distributed through the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Car/Champion Owner Program. Topping the $1 million mark for the second consecutive year, NASCAR Busch Series drivers will battle for $1,099,766 during the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 on Saturday afternoon, May 29.
    The Infineon 200 for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on Friday night, May 21, adds a record $489,966 to the till. ARCA RE/MAX Series competitors will be chasing an event record purse of $252,941 when they take to the 1.5-mile superspeedway during CTC Pole Night Thursday, May 27, for the Quaker Steak & Lube 100. Prior to the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, the sub-compact cars of the IPOWER DASH Series will compete for $79,700 in the IPOWER DASH Series 75. Formerly sanctioned by NASCAR but now competing under the IPOWRacing banner, the DASH Series will be making its 19th appearance at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The late model stock cars of the O'Reilly Southern All Star Racing Series make their first May appearance, competing in the May 28-29 Jani-King Southern Showdown at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway. IMCA modifieds and Lowe's Motor Speedway's new Road Hawg division are also on The Dirt Track card which features a total two-day purse of $96,450.
    Tickets for all May events are still available and can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(4-29-2004)

  • SAFER going up at Lowe's: The most extensive SAFER barrier installation at any NASCAR-sanctioned speedway is underway at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Approximately 6,100-linear feet of the steel and foam energy-reducing barrier will be in place for the Coca-Cola 600 Month of May race events.(LMS PR)(4-20-2004)

  • $7.5 Million Infield Renovation at Lowe's: A $7.5 million infield renovation project is underway at Lowe's Motor Speedway, featuring just over 64,000 square feet of new construction that will be ready for the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge on Saturday night, May 22, and the 45th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 30.
    In addition to better servicing its NASCAR events, this massive construction project will allow the speedway to grow its track rental program and offers the region a viable site for conventions and tourism-related business.
    Six buildings are under construction, including two restroom/shower facilities for infield patrons, a second garage area for competitors and a state-of-the-art media center. The new garage, located behind pit road on the turn-one side of the start-finish line, is identical to the NEXTEL Cup garage built in 1994. It features 48 bays for race cars, an inspection area and restroom facilities. The two garages, totaling more than 45,000 square feet, are designed for multi-purpose use and can easily accommodate trade show displays and large meetings along with product and service demonstrations.
    The 22,650-square-foot media center features spacious work areas for print and electronic media along with the latest in high-speed wireless internet technology. It also includes a 100-seat theater-style conference area that can be utilized for a wide variety of meetings and functions.
    A 6,372-square-foot building that includes restroom, shower and concession facilities is under construction in the middle of the infield and a similar 7,442-square-foot building is going up on the turn-four side of the NEXTEL Cup garage area.
    A new victory lane, a 1,098-square-foot infield concession building and a Sunoco gas station are also part of the construction project. In addition, MUSCO is installing a new lighting system around the inside of the track.(LMS PR)(3-24-2004)


    The new Busch Garage

    The New Media Center

    The New Media Center
    Lowe's Motor Speedway photos by Harold Hinson.(3-24-2004)

  • Lowe's to have SAFER for May Races: Lowe's Motor Speedway at Charlotte now plans to have steel and foam energy reducing barriers, known as SAFER barriers, installed for its NASCAR events in May. The track originally planned to put the barriers up in time for its NASCAR weekend in mid-October. The Charlotte Observer was first to question Speedway Motorsports Inc.'s timetable for the barriers, in early March at Las Vegas, because at that time none of the company's tracks were on the schedule. Monday, SMI Chairman Bruton Smith told the Observer the decision to go ahead immediately was made that morning. "Our engineers have said we could get this done," he said. "So I said, 'Let's go to work.'." Jeff Elrod, whose Indiana-based company will work with the speedway's staff on an accelerated installation schedule, ordered enough rolled steel Monday afternoon to cover about 6,100 feet of concrete walls at the 1.5-mile track. "We just received the final go on this project, and we're mobilizing our office to get it done in time for their events in May," Elrod said. Lowe's Motor Speedway's racing schedule includes a NASCAR Truck Series race and qualifying for the Nextel All-Star Challenge on May 21. The all-star race follows on May 22. Qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600 is scheduled for May 27, with a Busch Series race on May 29 and the 600-mile Nextel Cup event on May 30. Installation of the SAFER barriers at the Charlotte track will be among the most extensive at any track where the barriers have been employed. Lowe's Motor Speedway will put the barriers in front of nearly 4,000 feet of outside walls in its turns, 1,351 feet of the outside wall in its fronstretch trioval as well as 796 feet of walls on the inside of the track off of Turn 2 and Turn 4. Sources have told the Observer it costs between $250 and $300 per linear foot to install the barriers, meaning the project could cost up to $1.83 million. SMI will use its engineering and construction staff to do part of the installation and has arranged to have preparation work on the steel done locally to reduce the overall cost. Elrod said some final surveying must be done before installation begins. Once the work begins, he said it would take about three weeks of on-track work to get the barriers in place.()(3-23-2004)

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


DRIVER/TEAM/TESTING NEWS

  • Ward Taking Saturday Off: #0-Ward Burton, ran 45 laps in Thursday's practice for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, concentrating on race runs as he will miss Happy Hour practice on Saturday to attend the high school graduation of his daughter, Sarah. The team is undecided if it will run at all on Saturday and if it does, Jason Leffler, who runs for the team in the Busch Series would likely practice the #0 NetZero Chevy.(Speed Channel's Qualifying Coverage)(5-28-2004)

  • Loomis with his Mom - Get Well: Robbie Loomis, #24-Jeff Gordon's crew chief, wasn't at Lowe's Motor Speedway Thursday. Instead, he was in Florida to be with his ailing mother, Sally Loomis. Team manager Brian Whitesell is handling the crew chief duties in Loomis' absence.(Speed Channel's Qualifying Coverage)(5-28-2004)

  • Blaney at Lowe's, Whelen's, Bo-Dyn Bobsled: Accession Consulting Inc. joins Bill Davis Racing as an associate sponsor for Dave Blaney in the #23 Dodge. Accession Consulting Inc. is a healthcare information system consulting company that was founded in 2003 by a small team of industry experts that were hand selected from some of the country's largest and most successful organizations. Accession Consulting Inc. provides its clients, not only with the system expertise, but also with the project management’s capabilities to ensure a successful project. With a focus on patient care and medical records, Accession Consulting Inc. brings high-tech expertise and a clear vision of the future to their clients, ensuring their short and long-term success. Accession Consulting Inc. is an established leader in PACS and RIS implementations with several highly successful projects recently completed.
    Blaney will carry the names of nearly 200 individuals on the #23 Whelen Dodge’s decklid. The names inscribed were part of a promotion to support the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, whose mission is to construct superior equipment for the U.S. men’s and women’s bobsled teams. For every $50 worth of Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project apparel purchased, a single name was added to the car’s decklid.
    AND In an effort to support the United States bobsledding program, Whelen Engineering and Bill Davis Racing have a promotional opportunity in place that will allow fans to have their names inscribed on the trunklid of the team’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup car that will be driven by Dave Blaney during the Coca-Cola 600, May 30 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte. For every $50 worth of Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc. apparel purchased (excluding taxes and shipping), a single name will be added to the trunklid of Blaney’s #23 Dodge; 100 percent of the profits from the sale of the apparel will go to the bobsled project. The apparel can be purchased by going to Whelen’s web site (www.whelen.com) and clicking on MOTORSPORTS. Each contributor will receive a photo of the trunklid. The offer ends May 7. The Bill Davis Racing entry for the Charlotte race will have primary sponsorship from Whelen Engineering, a maker of emergency lighting and early warning sirens, based in Chester, Conn.(BDR PR)(5-26-2004)

  • Indy 500 / Cup connections: four drivers will run the Indy 500 on May 30th with Nextel Cup connections, two drivers ran in Cup races in the past, one is a part-timer and one is a full timer:
    #20-Al Unser Jr. starts 17th, ran the Daytona 500 in the past, plus has Stacker 2 as a sponsor.
    #70-Robby Gordon, starts 18th, runs full time currently, in the #31 Cingular Chevy and will run both the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day..again..see chart.
    #41-Larry Foyt starts 22nd, his first IRL start, he runs part-time in Cup this season. Foyt has a sponsor for the race: Jacob and Co.
    #98-P.J. Jones starts 31st, has run Busch and Cup.(5-24-2004)

  • Round-Up on the #99 at the Coca-Cola 600: The #99 Ford of Jeff Burton will carry the Roundup logo once again for the upcoming Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. This will be Roundup's fifth race with Burton and the # 99 Roush Racing team. Burton, a two-time Coca-Cola 600 winner, is ecstatic to continue the partnership with Roundup. "We're excited to have Roundup on the No. 99 Ford this coming weekend." Burton continued, "Roundup has been a great sponsor and we've had a lot of fun working with them over the last several weeks. We're hoping to go out and give them a good run this Sunday at the Coke 600."(Roush Racing PR)(5-25-2004)

  • Some 'Daily Double' facts: Drivers who ran the Indy 500 and Coke 600 on the same day:
    Year ........................... Driver ...........................600 Finish / 500 Finish
    1994... ........................ John.Andretti...... ...... 36th ................. .10th
    1997............................ Robby Gordon............ *41st................. 29th
    1999............................ Tony.Stewart........ .... 4th .................. ...9th
    2000............................ Robby Gordon............ **35th............... .. 5th
    2001............................ Tony Stewart.............. 3rd................... .. 6th
    2002 ........................... Robby Gordon............ 16th.................. 8th
    2003 ........................... Robby Gordon............ 17th.................. 22nd
    *Indianapolis 500 was postponed one day because of rain.
    **P.J. Jones started the 600 in Gordon's car, due to delay in Gordon's arrival after the Indy 500.
    The 600's finish was delayed by rain until the next day, when Gordon took over on Lap 262.

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


PAINT SCHEME NEWS

    Car#/Driver Sponsor/Scheme/Promo Race/Date Image Link
    #01-Joe Nemechek Soldier Salute Lowe's - May #01 Paint Scheme Page
    #2-Rusty Wallace President of Beers Lowe's - May #2 Paint Scheme Page
    #6-Mark Martin Viagra Reverse/White Lowe's - May #6 Paint Scheme Page
    #17-Matt Kenseth Smirnoff Ice Triple Black Lowe's - May #17 Paint Scheme Page
    #18-Bobby Labonte Shrek 2 Lowe's - May #18 Paint Scheme Page
    #21-Ricky Rudd Air Force Lowe's - May #21 Paint Scheme Page
    #38-Elliott Sadler Pedigree Lowe's - May #38 Paint Scheme Page
    #40-Sterling Marlin Marines-Coors Light Lowe's - May #40 Paint Scheme Page
    #43-Jeff Green Great American Bake Sale Lowe's - May #43 Paint Scheme Page
    #45-Kyle Petty Dixie Krazy Kritters Lowe's - May #45 Paint Scheme Page


  • Marlin and the Marines: The #40 Coors Light Dodge will be sporting a Marines paint scheme this weekend at the Coca-Cola 600 with driver Sterling Marlin. This is the first of four races that the Coors Light Dodge will be featuring the Marines paint scheme.
    AND Marlin will be presenting at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Wednesday night in Las Vegas. The show will be broadcast on CBS at 8:00pm/et.
    AND II There will be a special announcement at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Thursday regarding the Prilosec OTC paint scheme to be run on the #40 Dodge later this season. There was a contest of three schemes and the winner will be announced.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)(5-26-2004)

  • #01 to salute the American Soldier: Joe Nemechek's #01 U.S. Army Chevy will pay a fitting tribute to the American men and women in uniform for the Memorial Day weekend's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The hood on Nemechek's Army car will carry a replica of the Dec. 29, 2003 TIME magazine cover that honored the American Soldier as the Person of the Year. Traditionally, TIME selects a single notable person for its annual Person of the Year feature. However, for their valor and fearless defense of freedom during a tumultuous time, the American G.I. was selected for the honor. Action Performance will produce die-cast replicas of the #01 Army/American Soldier car in a variety of collector scales. Both TIME and the U.S. Army have agreed to donate their royalty proceeds to the Army Emergency Relief fund. The Army Emergency Relief is a private nonprofit organization with the sole mission of helping soldiers and their dependents in times of valid need. Since 1942, Army Emergency Relief has helped nearly three million Army personnel and their families with more than $837 million in financial assistance.(US Army PR), see an image of the car on my #01 Team Paint Scheme page.(5-24-2004)

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


RACE /CHAMPIONSHIP ODDs


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