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PAST NEWS APRIL 19-25, 1999

  • Best Finishes Rookie Tony Stewart(5th) and Jerry Nadeau(8th) had their best career finishes at Talladega in the Diehard 500(4-25-1999)

  • 2000 Monte Carlo UPDATE 1: The proposed 2000 Monte Carlo returns to the Lockheed wind tunnel in Marietta, Ga., on Tuesday. The test results will be compared to results from a test last month, and then NASCAR officials will again make a decision on approving the model(Times-Dispatch)(4-24-1999) -- UPDATE 1: another article at PitNow - New Monte Carlo ready for wind-tunnel testing(4-25-1999)

  • Martin in a Chevy? Jack Roush says he may put Mark Martin in a Busch tour Chevrolet later this year because NASCAR's rules put the Busch Taurus at too much of a disadvantage. Martin qualified sixth for today's Winston Cup race but failed to make yesterday's Busch race(at Talladega)(PitNow)(4-25-1999)

  • Earnhardt Paint UPDATE 2: Dale Earnhardt was supposed to run a "Taz" paint scheme for the Winston Select... That Car has been canceled......Due to the postponement of the introduction of the 2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlo..(The "Taz" Devil is a licensed trademark of Chevrolet) apparently Chevrolet had a big promotion planned with the "Taz" Devil & the New 2000 Monte Carlo .... A new paint scheme will be announced on 4/11/99(StockCarFans Newsletter) -- UPDATE: I hear it will be a Wrangler Paint Scheme(4-2-1999) -- UPDATE 2: Dale Earnhardt's #3 Chevrolet will be painted in the blue and yellow colors he used from 1981 to 1987 when Wrangler was his primary sponsor. Wrangler is now the associate sponsor for the Dale Earnhardt Inc.-owned #1 Pennzoil Chevy driven by Steve Park(That's Racin')(4-24-1999)

  • Falk Crew Chief: #91 LJ Racing owner, Joe Falk says he and driver Dick Trickle will run the operation until a new chief is found. The team is not traveling to the California race next week(Times-Dispatch)(4-24-1999)

  • #45? UPDATE 2: Not sure what happened yet, but Rich Bickle ran a lap of 194.789mph in 2nd round which would have been 28th starting spot, he is now listed in 42nd starting spot using a provisional. The 2nd round news story on NOL doesn't mention this or why Dick Trickle didn't take a lap, he showed up later on the grid, with the same speed as 1st round -- UPDATE 1: Rich Bickle's time for 2nd round qualifying, which originally had him starting in 28th place, was dissallowed and he had to take a provisional. Robert Pressley, who was the 37th fastest qualifier was bumped up to 36th and was able to qualify on his time and did not have to take a provisional(NASCAR on the Internet), no word on what the infraction was. - UPDATE 2: The rear shock on the 45 car "jammed" in the down position and didn't rebound when it went through tech after the run. So NASCAR disallowed the lap(4-24-1999)

  • The Pole: Kenny Schrader's pole-winning lap was the fastest at Talladega since 1990, when Elliott won the pole for this race at 199.388 mph(SpeedNet/Monte Dutton)(4-24-1999)

  • Yates and Texaco: #28 Team owner Robert Yates says in the latest Winston Cup Scene that he was close to signing with Texaco ad that the contract could be finalized within the next two weeks(WC Scene)(4-23-1999)

  • #25 Sponsor: Hendrick Motorsports, who is losing Budweiser as a sponsor of the #25 Chevy, says they are close with thee different companies for sponsorship in 2000 of the car. Hope to close something within the next 30 days. No decision on driver Wally Dallenbach for the 2000 season has been made yet(WC Scene)(4-23-1999)

  • Andretti from Alabama: The Alabama House of Representatives voted Thursday to grant NASCAR Winston Cup stoc car driver John Andretti, who wheels the #43 STP Pontiac, with honorary citizenship. The vote came as a reaction to Andretti's earlier attempt to be "adopted" by the city of Talladega for Sunday's DieHard 500 race. It will be the first time a Talladega Winston Cup race has run with a driver from Alabama. Track officials had requested Andretti not continue his efforts, feeling it might reflect poorly on current drivers seeking rides(Williams Company)(4-23-1999)

  • Stewart Wins: A judge ruled Friday that Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Pontiac, can drive for any Indianapolis 500 competitor, rather than his former team, Team Menard. See the full AP story at Judge: Stewart Can Drive for Team Other Than Menard(WRAL)(4-23-1999)

  • Hall of Fame induction: The ninth annual International Motorsports Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held Thursday, April 22, 1999. For info see Hall of Fame induction and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame site. The new members are Harry Hyde, legendary NASCAR mechanic and crew chief, Gordon Johncock, two-time Indy 500 winner, Alain Prost, four time Formula One champion, Wendell Scott, the only African-American to win a Grand National (now Winston Cup) race, and Louise Smith, one of the women pioneers in NASCAR racing. Congratulations!. Some Notes from the induction thanks to Tina of Tina's Jeff Gordon Fan Page: Bill Elliott was the first presenter to induct Louise Smith. Senator, Gerald Dial presented the Governor's Award to Red Farmer. Derrike Daly presented F-1 Legend Alain Prost for induction. Alain sent in a video to accept his award. Buddy Baker, a 1997 inductee made a wonderful presentation inducting the late Harry Hyde. He talked about Hendrick Motorsports taking Harry Hyde on as crew chief and their first win came with Geoff Bodine as the driver. Then moved on to Tim Richmond and stated that the relationship between Hyde and Richmond was the basis of 'Days of Thunder'. In case you didn't know, Rick Hendrick consulted on the movie. Hyde's son, Harry Lee Hyde accepted the award on his father's behalf. President, Barry Schmoyer and Chairman, James Cranos were on hand to honor Jeff Gordon's 1998 Driver of the Year Award. Jeff actually accepted his Driver of the Year Award during the ESPY's back in February. Actor Peter Fonda rode onto the stage on Gordon's new motorcycle, courtesy of Indian Motorcycles on behalf of the 30th anniversary of the movie "Easy Rider". They had heard that Jeff had always wanted a motorcycle but didn't have time to shop for one. One motorcycle would be left on display at the Motorsports Museum and would be auctioned off later; proceeds going to Jeff's favorite charity. Ned Jarrett, a 1995 inductee, made a presentation for the late Wendell Scott. Wendell Scott was an African American driver who died in 1990 of cancer. Ned Jarrett said - to be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame, one must possess the qualities of winning a lot of races, obtain championships, or do outstanding things under adverse circumstances. The last one is why Wendell Scott was inducted. He didn't have the resources that the others had because he was a minority. Ned said that NASCAR was as fair to him as anybody else, but he had a hard time obtaining sponsors. Jarrett said that Scott would have been a champion if given the same resources. Wendell Scott's widow, Mary and their five children accepted on his behalf. IRL driver and Indy 500 champ Eddie Cheever presented the award of induction to Gordon Johncock. He was the only one who put the medal around his neck. He thanked the fans three times(4-23-1999)

  • Up Front: 34 of the 59 Cup races at talladega have been won from the first three positions(WC Scene)(4-23-1999)

  • Notes: 48 cars going for 43 spots, Dick Trickle is in the #91 LJ Racing Chevy and Loy Allen is in Junie Donlavey's #90 Suburban Lodge Ford(4-23-1999)

  • No Alabama Gang: For the first time in the 30-year history of Talladega Superspeedway, it appears no Alabama driver will be entered in the race(Tennessean)(4-23-1999)

  • Andretti/Petty/STP fans: Joy Pinto, STP's Public Relations Manager has asked if fans could help her out. Joy would like to have newspaper clippings, or copies of them, concerning John Andretti's win at Martinsville from your local papers. Feel free to send the articles to: Don Stone. PO Box 24033, Speedway, IN 46224(4-23-1999)

  • DJ Winston Paint: a few readers found info on some collectible sites that Dale Jarrett will run a reverse type sceheme at The Winston in Charlotte. The car is white with the red and blue decals(4-22-1999)

  • DEI News: Dale Earnhardt Inc announced Thursday that #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo crew chief Philippe Lopez will miss this weekend's NASCAR Winston Cup race in Talladega while he travels to France due to an illness in the family. Steve Hmiel, DEI's Technical Director, will serve as the interim crew chief for driver Steve Park until Lopez's return next week when the team races at California Speedway(Pennzoil PR) Best wishes go out to Lopez and his family(4-22-1999)

  • New Heads? Reports say Hendrick Motorsports is developing a new cylinder head for Chevy's SB2 engine. Randy Dorton is in charge of the project attempting to even up the horsepower battle with Ford(Inside Motorsports)(4-22-1999)

  • NBC Announcement: NBC executives announced yesterday that news anchor Brian Williams will host their broadcast of the Miami 300 for Busch cars and the Winston Cup Miami 400 on November 13 & 14. Williams, who claims to be a lifelong NASCAR fan told Don Imus, live on the Imus in the Morning MSNBC broadcast today he became a racing fan when his father used to take him to Watkins Glenn. The memorable moments he recalled for Imus that shaped his life long interest were Graham Hill hitting a tree and breaking his legs and Joey Chitwood cars getting up on two wheels. Bringing in a traditionally non-racing anchor is nothing new as networks scramble to jump on the NASCAR bandwagon. The 1999 Daytona 500 was hosted by CBS Sports personality Greg Gumble, whose presence was inexplicably left out of his brother Bryant Gumble's HBO piece on the state of racism in NASCAR. An oversight we are sure.(Speedwords)(4-22-1999)

  • Labonte/BGN: Terry Labonte has entered the BGN race at NHIS on May 8th in the #44 Slim Jim Chevy. Terry plans to run the events that do not conflict with his Winston Cup Schedule and let his son Justin drive the events that do(North East Racing)(4-22-1999)

  • Pardus Returns: Dan Pardus is ready to go racing. Midwest Transit Racing has been in the process of reorganization -- including two moves and the hiring of general manager Lake Speed and promoting Jay Born to crew chief -- for the last month. Now the team is prepared to make a return to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series for Sunday's DieHard 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Pardus is coming off a solid two-day test at the 2.66-mile tri-oval facility reaching a speed of 192.649. The Talladega test was Pardus' first outing with Speed and Born. The trio immediately clicked during the test. The Midwest Transit Racing pit crew has only done one pit stop this season. It came in the Bud Shootout Qualifying Race. Over the last few weeks, the pit crew has been practicing four-tire stops outside the shop. Speed will take an active role during the race. He plans to stay in contact with Pardus via the team's two-way radio system(Midwest Transit PR in part)(4-22-1999)

  • Chicken Money: When the Petty cars get in the top 10, the crew get bonus' or what they call Chicken Money. The last two weeks they got Double Chicken money as both Kyle Petty and John Andretti were in the top 10. Andretti said because the team won at Martinsville, they get Steak Money(RPM2Nite)(4-21-1999)

  • Morgan-McClure 2nd Team UPDATE 1: According to That's Racin', Morgan-McClure Motorsports(currently runs the #4 Kodak Chevy) has received permission from NASCAR to use the #14 and will begin fielding a second Cup team this season. No driver or sponsor for the second team have been announced, but the team plans to run at least five races this season(4-19-1999) -- UPDATE 1: Winston Cup Today Radio reports that Morgan-McClure Motorsports is getting closer to sponsorship for the second team and NASCAR has granted them the license for the #14. No idea what number Irvan-Simo will use if there is a conflict later in the season(4-21-1999)

  • Virginia is Hot: For the first time in history, drivers from the same state(Virginia) are leading the point standings in Cup, BGN abd CT series. Jeff Burton(South Boston, VA) is leading Cup, Elton Sawyer(Chesapeake) the BGN and Stacy Compton(Hurt) the Truck Series(many sources)(4-21-1999)

  • Starting Important: The farthest back a driver has started and won the Diehard 500 race is 24th when Dick Brooks did it in 1973(NOL)(4-21-1999)

  • Burton and BGN: Another Cup driver will race some BGN races as Ward Burton drive the #02 Siemens Pontiac in five BGN events in 1999 beginning May 1 at California, Dover Downs(6/5), Michigan(8/21), Darlington (9/4), and Charlotte(10/9). The car will be prepared by Bill Davis Racing(Bill Davis PR)(4-21-1999)

  • 217mph? CORRECTION: on today's Winston Cup Today Radio, it was reported that a rumor floating thru the garage area at Talladega during GM testing there last week, that Geoffrey Bodine ran a lap of 217mph when the wrong plate was put under the carburetor in place of the regular restrictor plate by accident. NASCAR supposedly decided not to issue a fine as they felt it was an accident(4-20-1999) -- CORRECTION: looks like I mixed this one up - Bodine possibly ran speeds as high as 217mph, not a lap of 217mph and as for NASCAR they did not fine the team as they felt it was " an honest mistake", not an accident, sorry for any confusion(4-21-1999)

  • HBO: Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel '99 will discuss the lack of diversity within NASCAR. It's on HBO, this episode premiered Tuesday, Apr 20th at 10pm/et, check local listings or the HBO site for times of repeats -- Speedwords(fixed) has a poll up on the subject.(4-21-1999)

  • Get Well: to Phyllis Hill, wife of Mike Hill, team manager of the #41 Hedrick Racing team(4-20-1999)

  • #90: I hear Loy Allen will drive the #90 Junie Donlavey Ford at Talladega(4-20-1999)

  • #84: the #84 Petty-Huggins Chevy will be sponsored by Island Oasis Frozen Beverage starting at Talladega, Ken Bouchard will drive the car, looks like a season long deal(NOL)(4-20-1999)

  • Fines: RPM2Nite and WC Today Radio reported that three Cup crew chiefs have been fined for an infraction at Martinsville. Tommy Morgan(#16), Bobby Leslie(#26) and Jimmy Elledge(#55) were fined $2000 for having holes drilled in cross members/frames of the car. The infractions were found prior to qualifying and fixed. RPOV also has a press release on the situation as does icFlorida/UPI(4-20-1999)

  • Ege Leaves: Engine builder Mike Ege, who has worked in the past for Penske South and most recently at Pro Motors, has leased Buck Mock's old engine shop and is looking to take on several Cup and BGN teams for engine needs. The shop he has leased has all the equipment he needs to do so(Speedway Scene/Snowballs)(4-20-1999)

  • Superman Paint UPDATE 2: 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) -- UPDATE 2: It's been announced and the official images of the diecast can be found at Racing Collectables Club of America site, also see the story at Yahoo - Nine Motorsports Champions Unveil Superman Race Cars, Gordon will run his scheme at The Winston in Charlotte(5/22); Earnhardt, Jr at Phoenix(11/6) and Hornaday at Nazareth on July 18th. Also a story on NOL - Action unites superheroes of racing with Man of Steel(4-20-1999)

  • Geoffrey's Hood? UPDATE 1: I hear Geoffrey Bodine's hood was painted up slightly different with a Happy 50th Birthday message on the hood from his crew. Never got a chance to see it(4-19-1999) -- Got some images of the hood at Jayski's Paint Scheme Gallery(4-20-1999)

  • RIR Testing UPDATE 4: Some Cup teams will test at Richmond early next week. The #45 10-10-345 Pontiac and Rich Bickle will be one team testing(RPM2Nite)(4-17-1999) -- UPDATE 1: I hear the drivers testing at RIR on 4/19 and 4/20 will be #45-Rich Bickle, #36-Ernie Irvan and #22-Wrad Burton(Inside Motorsports and some readers) -- UPDATE 2: Actually Ward Burton was testing the #02 Siemens Pontiac, his BGN car, also Tony Roper is testing the #61 IWX Motor Freight BGN Pontiac(RIR) -- UPDATE 3: Speeds from SpeedNet - Ernie Irvan, 125.815mph; Rich Bickle, 124.024; Ward Burton, 122.895; and Tony Roper, 119.048. Irvans speed was above the track record of 125.558mph by Jeff Gordon last June -- UPDATE 4: Buckshot Jones joins the testing today in the #00 Pontiac and on the BGN side, Ward Burton has left and Phil Morris is testing in the 01 Llumar Window Film Chevy. Irvan, Bickle and Roper remain from Monday's testing. The Joe Gibbs teams(#'s 19 and 20) will test at RIR on April 26-27th.(RIR Site)(4-20-1999)

  • Menard/Stewart UPDATE 1: ut-oh, lawsuit. Team Menard Sues Former Driver Stewart. Tony Stewart has been issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting him form working for any other Indy 500 competitors of his former sponsor, Team Menard(WRAL)(4-17-1999) -- UPDATE 1: from That's Racin' Stewart to press on in Indy 500 bid(4-19-1999)

  • Shepherd/#90: Junie Dunleavy's Driver of the Week for his #90 Ford will be Morgan Shepherd for the upcoming Talladega race. Triple Edge Silicon Wiper Blades may return for the race as sponsor. The veteran car owner continues to look for full sponsorship for his Taurus this season(Inside Motorsports)(4-19-1999) Shepherd will not drive the #90 at Talladega

  • Short Tracks: John Andretti's victory at Martinsville made him the eighth different winner in the last eight Winston Cup short-track races(4-19-1999)

  • Ironic: John Andretti's victory Sunday at Martinsville came from the 21st starting position, the deepest spot in the field for a winner since Lee Petty won from 24th in 1959(Infobeat/AP)(4-19-1999)

  • Cope OK: Derrike Cope became unconscious in the garage area. Medical attention and oxygen quickly revived Cope, who faded to 34th on account of his difficulty breathing. No crush panel problems and no idea if any air supply problems, but Cope is OK(NOL)(4-19-1999)

  • Cars Inspected: after the Martinsville Race: John Andretti's, Jeff Burton's, Dale Jarrett's and Kyle Petty's(PitNow)(4-19-1999)

  • Finishes: Some drivers had their best finishes in a while - #55- Kenny Wallace(6th) had his best since Loudon(6th) in August of 1998; #45-Rich Bickle(11th) had his best since Phoenix(11th) last October; #66-Darrell Waltrip(12th) had his best since Pocono(6th) last June; #11-Brett Bodine(14th) had his best since Talladega(13th) last October; and #23-Jimmy Spencer(16th) had his best finish since Daytona(12th) last October. So far in 1999 there have been 26 different drivers to score a Top-10.....last year's total was 41(Henry Stockcarfans Newsletter)(4-19-1999)

  • Kyle Leads: The four laps that Kyle Petty led at Martinsville on Sunday were the first laps he has led since Atlanta in November of 1997. That's 41 races(counting the two he missed this year)(Henry Stockcarfans Newsletter)(4-19-1999)

  • Elliott Crew: Tom Hubert who drove the #19 Ford at Vegas and was driving the #7 Truck until a recent split, changed tires for the #94 McDonald's team and Bill Elliott at Martinsville(The Depot) -- UPDATE: Hubert works at Bill Davis Racing getting Ward Burton's BGN cars ready for his 5 race scehdule this year(4-19-1999)

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