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PAST NEWS APRIL 4-11, 1999

  • Superman Paint UPDATE 1: Inside NASCAR said that nine drivers including Dale Earnhardt, Jr.(at Phoenix?) and of course Jeff Gordon(in the Winston) will have a Superman paint scheme on their cars this year(Jim's Dale Earnhardt. Jr Site) -- Yahoo-Biz reports that Nine Motorsports Champions To Unveil Superman Race Cars, the drivers: 1) Three-time Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon; 2) 1998 Busch Series champion Dale Earnhardt Jr.; 3) Two-time Craftsman Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday; 4) National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Eight-time Funny Car champion John Force; 5) Five-time Winston Top Fuel champion Joe Amato; 6) Four-time Pro Stock champion Warren Johnson; 7) Two-time Winston Drag Racing Pro Stock Bike champion Matt Hines; 8) World of Outlaws 15-time Sprint Car champion Steve Kinser; and 9) Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) PPG Cup/FedEx Championship Series champion(1996) Jimmy Vasser. To be officially announced on April 20th in NYC at 11am/et(thanks to Jeff Gordon Online for the heads up)(4-11-1999)

  • No more 76 Challenge? When Rusty Wallace pulled into victory lane at Bristol today, Bob Jenkins mentioned that Rusty Wallace had also won the 76 Challenge of $45,600 for winning from the pole. Benny Parsons then said that they don't do that anymore. I had wondered why I hadn't seen it on any rundowns lately. Jeff Gordon last won it at Daytona and it kind of disappeared, shame, it was a cool program. I will of course, no longer keep track of it on the Next Race page(4-11-1999)

  • Qualifying Changes? Winston Cup director Gary Nelson said Saturday NASCAR was taking a look at the series' second round qualifying process, but said he doubted there would be an easy answer to address several drivers' concerns, see full story at That's Racin' - NASCAR examines qualifying format (4-11-1999)

  • Spencer: Jimmy Spencer was releived by Steve Grissom around lap 225 of the Food City 300, he said he felt sore all over. Grissom brought the #23 Ford home 17th(4-11-1999)

  • #94 Assoc Sponsor trouble? UPDATE 2: Service Merchandise is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It is not known how it will affect sponsorship of the #94 McDonald's Ford team of Bill Elliott(NSSN)(3-27-1999) -- UPDATE 1: I hear the #94 McDonalds showcars have been told to remove the Service Merchandise decals from the cars(4-6-1999) -- UPDATE 2: the Service Merchandise decals were still on the #94 at Bristol(4-11-1999)

  • DW's Qualifying: Darrell Waltrip qualified 12th, marking the first time he has qualified in the opening round all year, and in fact, the first time since July of last year(SpeedNet/Monte Dutton)(4-10-1999)

  • Official Postponement: In an announcement sent to Speedwords this morning Kurt Ritter, Chevrolet marketing general manager at General Motors announced they would not bring the 2000 Monte Carlo to NASCAR in 1999. Ritter's statement says that with the newest revisions requested by NASCAR the teams believe the new Monte Carlo would be uncompetitive on the track. Because of this and the fact the teams would have to jeopardize their current efforts to produce the new Monte Carlo so the new version has been postponed. See the full announcement on Speedwords at Chevrolet Postpones NASCAR debut of 2000 Monte Carlo Race Car (4-10-1999)

  • TV Guide and Primestar: TV Guide will be a co-primary sponsor for Kevin Lepages #16 Ford starting at Bristol. Primestar will maintain its sponsorship(NOL Sat Notes)(4-10-1999)

  • Labonte and Food City: Noticed during qualifying on ESPN2, Food City(not Lion) on the 1/4 panels of the #5 Kelloggs Chevy of Terry Labonte(4-10-1999)

  • Ice: David Green has the Kodiak Ice blue colors on the #41 Larry Hedrick chevy at Bristol(4-10-1999)

  • Bodine Assoc: Gold Bond powders logo will be on the decklid of Brett Bodine's #11 Paychex Ford for Bristol. Gold Bond is Bodine's BGN sponsor for five runs in 1999(NOL)(4-10-1999)

  • Ut-oh: IRL Team owner, John Menard, and Tony Stewart's former owner, is looking to block Stewarts Indy 500 attempt, see the story at SpeedNet - Menard aims to halt Stewart's shot at 'racing doubleheader' (4-10-1999)

  • Petree Unhappy? Car owner Andy Petree says he's not satisfied with the performance of either of his two Winston Cup teams and hints a major shake-up may be coming on both(PitNow)(4-10-1999)

  • Dale Jr Cup Schedule: Officials from Budweiser and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. today announced that Earnhardt Jr. - who is racing five Winston Cup races for Budweiser in 1999 - has added the Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400, scheduled for September 11 in Richmond, to his 1999 Winston Cup schedule. The race replaces the October 17 Winston 500 at Talladega as Earnhardt Jr.'s fourth Winston Cup race. "We had hoped tobuild a new super speedway car for Talladega that we could also use next year," said Dale Earnhardt, owner of the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet. "Unfortunately, the new Chevrolet Monte Carlo is not going to be racing by Talladega, so we've had to make a change in our 1999 plans. It didn't make sense for us to build a car, or have Dale Jr. drive a car, that we could only use for one race." Earnhardt Jr. will make his Winston Cup debut for Budweiser on May 30 in the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte. His other 1999 Cup races include: the Jiffy Lube 300, July 11 at New Hampshire International Speedway; the Pepsi 400, August 22 at Michigan Speedway; and the Napa 500, November 21 at Atlanta Motor Speedway(Anheuser-Busch PR in part)(4-9-1999)

  • Garone, new gig: Joe Garone, former crew chief for Bill Elliott Racing has accepted a position with Rudd Performance Motorsports as crew chief for Ricky Rudd. His duties begin Monday. Jerry Pitts, who was the crew chief for Elliott's #13 team will assume the crew chief role for the #94(4-8-1999)

  • Barrett and the #90: I hear Stanton Barrett will be in the #90 Junie Donlavey Ford at Martinsville also(4-8-1999)

  • Stewart and the Indy 500 UPDATE 2: Look for Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Joe Gibbs owned Home Depot Pontic to announce on Thursday that will attempt compete in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30. The Home Depot is sopposedly the sponsor of the IRL car he will race at Indy. The sponsor and ownership of Stewart's Indy car will also be announced Thursday(That's Racin')(4-7-1999) -- UPDATE 1: but former IRL owner for Stewart, John Menard, wants Stewart in one of his cars or none at all, plus the Home Depot vs Menard, see the story at SpeedNet - Menard, Stewart clash over 500 ride and Stewart will drive the #22 car at Indy, which will have a Dallora chassis and an Aurora engine(iRACE/SpeedVision) -- UPDATE 2: See the announcement on the Tony Stewart Site. He will team up with Larry Curry, his former IRL crew chief, to field the orange and white Home Depot Indy car(4-8-1999)

  • A Bud Moore Update: An update on a story I broke on the site on March 26th(see the #15 Team Past News Page) - At Bud Moore Engineering in Spartanburg, S.C., they have the cars, they have the engines, they even have a driver -- Jeff Green -- who they would liked to get buckled into their No. 15 Ford Taurus. All they need now is a sponsor. The team is negotiating a sponsorship agreement with AMVETS (American Veterans) but nothing has been finalized. Other deals for one race sponsorships are also possible. Greg Moore would like to see a deal come to fruition in time to run in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte next month. on the Memorial Day holiday weekend. While Green would like to drive the car, his priority is to win the BGN championship. See the article at WWII vet Bud Moore seeks sponsorship deal with AMVETS (iRACE/SpeedVision)(4-8-1999)

  • Speed/Pardus: Midwest Transit Racing has found a new, spacious home as it prepares for its comeback race under the guidance of General Manager Lake Speed. The team, owned by Hal Hicks and Mike Witters, decided to move from its Mooresville shop to a 20,000 square foot facility formerly occupied by Team 34. Last year Team 34, a BGN Series operation, raced three separate entries from the shop. With this latest move now complete, Speed is inspecting Midwest Transit Racing's fleet of #50 Chevy's to see which of them stays or need modifications. Some of the inventory may be sold off, due to Speed's extremely high racing standards. "He's analyzing all the cars we have," said Pardus. "He's making changes on some of them. He did some major changes on one of superspeedway cars." Speed has booked Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway for a test April 13-14. Midwest Transit Racing plans to compete in the Diehard 500 at Talladega on April 25. Pardus likes the 2.66-mile track. He finished third in an ARCA race at Talladega last fall(Midwest Transit PR)(4-8-1999)

  • Who is Carl Long? UPDATE 4: on NOL's Bristol Cup race entry list, there is a Carl Long listed in the #85 Mansion Motorsports Ford, all I know is that he ran a few truck races in 1998, and made four Slim Jim series starts in 1998, otherwise no info -- UPDATE 1: I hear Long drove in the Late Model series at Orange County Speedway near Durham, NC during the past few years. He was sponsored by Romeo Guest Construction and then later by a snack company -- UPDATE 2: more info on Carl Long - he from/born in Roxboro NC, and ran Late Model stocks at Orange County Speedway, as well as South Boston. Last year when he wasn't racing in the Slim Jim or Truck series, he ran in the late model sportsman division at Southern National Speedway in Kenly NC. In 1997 Long ran the full Slim Jim Allpro Series sponsored by Austin Snacks and won the Bristol Race(thanks many readers)(4-6-1999) -- UPDATE 4: From the driver himself, let's find out about Carl Long: "Started racing VW Beetles in 1983 at Sobo and Orange County Speedway. The rest of your info(see above) is accurate. At the end of 1997 politics took my sponsorship. I sold off my part of the All-Pro Team and went job searching. I went to work with Thee Dixon owner of Mansion Motorsports in Durham, NC(this is the #85 Ford). I took Dixon's truck to four CTS events in 1998 and ran a T-bird at both Charlotte ARCA events. Randy McDonald made attempts at two tracks in Cup. I was to attempt Bristol in August 1998 but NASCAR declined my entry, so Ken Bouchard drove. So far in 1999, I have raced at Daytona and Atlanta in ARCA. NASCAR has approved my entry for this years Bristol race. The car is an older piece with a Ford Taurus body, the engine is an old Stavola Bros that Harold Eatmon has squeezed all he can get out of it. So why even go to Bristol I am asked? To be seen, I have sent resume's, proposals and whatever to sponsors and owners. If I can qualify for this race maybe someone will take notice and I will have the opportunity to tour again. I am 31, married with one kid and one on the way. I drive the rig(tractor trailer), manage the team(two paid employees and some volunteers), make my own calls on the setup, attempt to do the PR. Thee Dixon is one of the few black owners in NASCAR. Mike Skinner has driven for him in the past"(4-7-1999)

  • Barrett full BGN: Stanton Barrett, part time Cup driver, has signed to drive the #40 ChannelLock Chevy in the BGN series. He will also drive the #90 Donlavey Ford in the Cup race at Bristol(The Williams Co)(4-7-1999)

  • Petty Press Conference UPDATE 2: A press conference for Petty Enterprises is scheduled at the Level Cross, N.C., shops at 10:30am, Wednesday, April 7, 1999(The Williams Co), no idea what it's about, special paint schemes??(3-30-1999) -- UPDATE 1: Petty will open the revamped shop in Level Cross, NC next Wednesday. Petty Enterprises is expected to announce the game plan for their 50th Anniversary celebration and debut the coordinating paint schemes Kyle Petty, John Andretti's Cup cars, Adam Petty's BGN car and Jimmy Hensley's truck when they race at Indy in August(iRACE/SpeedVison/Sparky Plug)(3-31-1999) -- UPDATE 2: Petty Enterprises opened its newly expanded race shop to the public for the first time during a press conference in Level Cross, N.C., today. Announcements regarding plans for Petty’s 50th anniversary celebration were also revealed. The 20,000 square foot addition to the existing race shop is the largest expansion in Petty Racing history. The addition includes new engine assembly rooms, offices and a spacious work area for the preparation of the Winston Cup race cars driven by John Andretti and Kyle Petty. Petty Racing was founded as Lee Petty Engineering in 1949. Petty Racing has totaled 268 wins and 10 championships in NASCAR’s premier series. The expanded engine room and race shop are but one facet of Petty Racing’s investment in its future. Also underway are major purchases of equipment -particularly high-tech engine and research and development software and hardware. As important is the investment in key personnel to take Petty Racing back to the pinnacle of the sport. A special paint scheme for all of the Petty Racing vehicles to be run in Indianapolis on August 5-7, 1999, will be unveiled at a May 27th press conference at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. In further celebration of the 50th anniversary, Petty Racing is planning a September event to honor all of the 41 former drivers of Petty Racing cars. Additional details regarding the event will be revealed in the next few months. Many of the key personnel at Petty Racing were present at Wednesday’s press conference, including Lee, Richard, Kyle, Adam and Maurice Petty. Team manager Robbie Loomis appeared, as well as drivers John Andretti and Jimmy Hensley, and crew chief Doug Hewitt. Former team manager Dale Inman also played an important role. The event was emceed by ESPN’s Bill Weber and longtime local sportscaster Charlie Harville also spoke at the announcement(The Williams Co) Also more info and images can be seen at the Petty Racing site(4-7-1999)

  • UPDATE 4 on Spencer: I hear Jimmy Spencer has multiple bruises, extreme soreness, some swelling, and a possible broken hand or wrist(3-30-1999) -- UPDATE 2: Spencer has a slight concussion and is very sore, says the hit at Texas was the hardest he ever took. So far no broken bones, but Spencer will go for x-rays on Wednesday. Steve Grissom will test the #23 Winston Ford at Bristol on Thursday and at Talladega next week, Grissom will also drive Spencers #12 Zippo Chevy in the BGN race at Bristol(WC Today Radio), The JournalNow/PitNow says Darrell Waltrip will handle the tests -- UPDATE 3: Jimmy Spencer was to test the #23 Ford at Bristol Wednesday and Thursday while Darrell Waltrip tested the #66 Ford at Martinsville. But with Spencer banged up, team owner Travis Carter decided to send DW and the #66 Bristol instead. Also DW and the #66 then plan to test at Talladega next Tuesday and Wednesday(in the Ford test) The #23 team DID not test at Bristol(3-31-1999) -- finally UPDATE 4: The initial worry was that Spencer had broken his wrists, but all x-rays were negative and Spencer hopes to go the distance at Bristol. He pulled some muscles underneath his rib cage and shoulder(PitNow)(4-7-1999)

  • Lepage steps back: from his BGN ride, for the next three weeks anyhow. Lepage will take the next three BGN events off from the #99 Redman chevy ride to concentrate on his Cup ride. Matt Hutter will driver the next few BGN races for the team(NASCAR Today Radio)(4-7-1999)

  • #94 Assoc Sponsor trouble? UPDATE 1: Service Merchandise is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It is not known how it will affect sponsorship of the #94 McDonald's Ford team of Bill Elliott(NSSN)(3-27-1999) -- UPDATE 1: I hear the #94 McDonalds showcars have been told to remove the Service Merchandise decals from the cars(4-6-1999)

  • Rudd/Wind Tunnel: from the Snowballs section of this weeks Speedway Scene(Apr 2) it mentions that Ricky Rudd took three #10 Tide Fords to the wind tunnel and found that the cars were not very aerodynamic(as a brick the article says) and that they need new noses on the cars among other changes(4-6-1999)

  • Irvan #300 CORRECTION: Whoops! got ahead of myself when I wrote this, Ernie Irvan will make his 300th career Winston Cup start at Martinsville on the 18th not this week at Bristol as I said earlier(4-6-1999)

  • Blaney to Cup: As reported here for the past few months, Bill Davis also plans to go to two teams in 2000. Dave Blaney is scheduled to follow the same timetable as Tony Stewart and move into a second Davis Pontiac(#93) on the Winston Cup circuit next season. Amoco, Blaney's sponsor on the Busch circuit this season, has not decided if they will follow Blaney to Winston Cup in 2000. Blaney will attempt to qualify for five Winston Cup races in 1999(Inside Motorsports), see the planned schedule for races on the #93 Past News Team Page(4-6-1999)

  • Chubby Checker? UPDATE 1: A few readers and I have seen on at least one collectible site that in June there will be a release of a #66 Chubby Checker Ford diecast, not sure if this will be run as a special paint scheme or where(4-5-1999) -- UPDATE 1: sources tell me that this is just a diecast deal and even that may not happen(4-6-1999)

  • Spencer at Bristol: Jimmy Spencer, still feeling the effects of his Texas crash, will have Steve Grissom standing by on Sunday as a relief driver in case he does not feel up to being in the car. Grissom will also practice the #23 Winston Ford at Talladega on Tuesday and run Spencers #12 BGN car(WC Today Radio)(4-6-1999)

  • CORRECTION: a few weeks ago, a reader asked me why Matt Kenseth didn't replace Bobby Labonte at Darlington during the Red Flag instead of wasting time during a Yellow Flag. I responded with the same answer as Benny Parsons had said on RPM2Nite the following Monday. That during a red flag stop, all work stops during a red flag and that includes replacing a driver. But last night on RPM2Nite(4/5), Benny said that he was approached by a NASCAR official at the Evergreen Speedway while out there for the CTS race and was told, a team could switch drivers, but would have to go to the back of the field(4-6-1999)

  • DJ Paint UPDATE 2: During Dale Jarrett's NASCAR Online chat, he was asked about any special paint schemes for the #88 this season. He mentioned that that they are discussing some possibilities with Action Performance, which brought the Batman car to the team and that they will have at least one special paint scheme in 1999(NOL Chat)(3-9-1999) -- UPDATE 2: hearing the paint scheme will be an "armed forces" scheme at the Coca Cola 600(not sure what that means), supposedly an announcement is coming soon(4-5-1999) -- UPDATE 2: I hear some Ford dealers have received promotional posters of the #88 Ford with the regular paint scheme and four military themed photos. The posters say: "Go for Glory" - a Memorial Day Salute, win a trip to Charlotte for the Coca-Cola 600! Ford Credit - Ask a Salesperson for Details(4-6-1999)

  • Dyno Back: Look for NASCAR to pull out the infamous chassis dyno at an upcoming race, possibly the Die Hard 500 in Talladega. Seems they would still like some more info on how much power is being transferred to the track by some of the more successful teams(Inside Motorsports)(4-6-1999)

  • Diecast News? UPDATE 1: Hearing from some readers that as of June 1, 1999, diecast cars will no longer be made with Tobacco advertising or paint schemes. Tobacco diecast cars have been produced from sometime in 1994(3-4-1999) -- I now hear the diecast cars will still be produced, but no longer available mail order and that due to recent tobacco industry changes these tobacco sponsored products will only be available trackside after June 1999(thanks Matt)(4-6-1999)

  • Trickle/#91: Dick Trickle will again drive the #91 LJ Racing Chevy at Bristol Motor Speedway. He will also be carrying Textilease as the primary sponsor(LJ Racing site)(4-5-1999)

  • Wallace/#25/BGN: Kenny Wallace has signed on with the #25 DuraLube BGN team for the rest of the 1999 season. He will attempt all but four Cup conflicting races(

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