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PAST NEWS APRIL 26-MAY 2, 1999


(5-2-1999)
  • Sad News: Three spectators were killed Saturday night after a three-car crash sent debris into the stands during the VisionAire 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. Others were injured. The crash occurred when John Paul Jr. and Stan Wattles slammed into the fourth-turn retaining wall on lap 61 of the 208-lap race. They spun down the front stretch and into the car of Scott Harrington. The race was red-flagged while emergency workers attended to the injured(SpeedNet) and see the article at: Three Spectators Killed by Debris in IRL Race at Lowes Motor Speedway, the race was then canceled(WRAL/AP)(5-2-1999)

  • Fact UPDATE and CORRECTION 1: Five drivers have qualified for all nine races this season without posting a top-10 finish: Chad Little, Sterling Marlin, Elliott Sadler, Jimmy Spencer and Darrell Waltrip(icFlorida/Cox News)(5-1-1999) -- UPDATE 1: This is incorrect - Little(9th-Daytona/Atlanta), Marlin(9th at Texas) and Sadler(a 10th) have all had top 10 finishes. Drivers without top 10 finishes not included in the list - Wally Dallenbach(best 12th), Johnny Benson(11), Kevin LePage(12), Brett Bodine(14), Steve Park(12), Ricky Rudd(19), Joe Nemechek(14) and Ricky Craven(22). May have meant top ten starts in which Marlin, Sadler, Spencer and Waltrip have not started in the top 10. Little has with a 9th place start at Talladega(5-2-1999)

  • Marlin and The Duke: Sterling Marlin is carrying the John Wayne paint scheme at California(5-2-1999)

  • Red #33: Kenny Schrader has the red #33 Skoal Chevy at California(5-2-1999)

  • Monte Carlo News: As General Motors officially announced earlier this month, the new Monte Carlo will not debut until next year's Daytona 500, but that hasn't stopped the development process. See complete story at: '99 debut shelved, but Monte R&D goes on(SpeedVision)(5-2-1999)

  • Greg Moore to NASCAR: see story at Another open-wheel crossover? (That's Racin')(5-2-1999)

  • McDonald's News UPDATE 2: There could be an announcement as soon as Saturday on McDonald's racing sponsorship plans for 2000 and beyond. Elliott's deal runs through the end of next season, and McDonald's plans to honor that contract. It appears likely that McDonald's will sponsor a second team next season, beginning a relationship that would continue beyond the end of the Elliott deal. One name mentioned as driver for that second car is Matt Kenseth's, who plans to run for Cup rookie of the year in 2000(That's Racin') in a Mark Martin/Roush owned car -- UPDATE 1: McDonald's Corporation announced today it has entered into a sponsorship agreement with Precision Preparation, Inc. (PPI) as a primary NASCAR team sponsor. The sponsorship starts immediately and goes through the year 2003. The agreement calls for PPI to field a McDonald's NASCAR Busch Series team next season, which will eventually lead into a Winston Cup program. PPI, owned by Cal Wells III, is a multi-dimensional racing company based in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. The company has competitive interests in the SCORE off-road series, the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) FedEx Championship Series and the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship. Wells said he is excited and ready for the challenge of expanding his racing operation to the NASCAR circuit and their first priority is to find a driver who meets the criteria of both PPI and McDonald's. Wells and his PPI associates have begun preparations to field a Busch car at the 2000 season opener in Daytona Beach, Fla. The company has acquired Tim Wardlaw as program manager and just recently hired Joe Garone as crew chief. Wells has had discussions with car manufacturers, and collectively with McDonald's, has arrived at the decision to continue the relationship with Ford. PPI is currently in the process of securing a location to base the team in the Charlotte area. Wells currently fields two CART teams under the Arciero-Wells banner -- #24 Pioneer Electronics/MCI WorldCom Toyota/Reynard, driven by Scott Pruett and the #25 MCI WorldCom Toyota/Reynard, driven by Cristiano da Matta. Along with Bill Elliott Racing and its new PPI association, the McDonald's Racing Team includes primary sponsorship in the CART series with the #44 McDonald's Honda Reynard Champ Car, owned by Gerald Forsythe and driven by Tony Kanaan. McDonald's is also the Official Drive-Thru of NASCAR(condensed McDonald's PR) The future of McDonald's and Elliott after the current contract runs out has not been decided, and that anything reported to the contrary is pure speculation(NOL)(5-1-1999) -- UPDATE 2: Although McDonald's will continue to be car owner/driver Bill Elliott's major sponsor through 2000, the relationship will end following next season(SpeedNet/ Times-Dispatch)(5-2-1999)


    (5-1-1999)
  • Ince Back: James Ince, who left the #16 Roush Racing team a few weeks ago as Kevin Lepage's crew chief, has signed on as a consultant with the #30 Bahari Racing team and driver Derrike Cope(RPM2Nite/SpeedNet)(5-1-1999)

  • Donlavey Sponsor UPDATE 1: I am hearing Lucas Oil Products out of Corona, CA. will serve as the #90 Junie Donlavey team primary sponsor at California this weekend with driver Hut Stricklin. Lucas Oil Products is a world leader in heavy duty and high performance lubricants and involved in Motorsports.(4-29-1999) -- UPDATE 1: The #90 didn't amke the show, so Stricklin and Lucis won't be racing, unless Lucas lines up with another team(like the #98??)(5-1-1999)

  • Rudd to sell? Ricky Rudd says he's close to selling a portion of his team, Rudd Performance Motorsports. Although Rudd, 42, wouldn't reveal the name of the investor, he did say the potential partner has a "strong big-business background." Rudd says the venture will allow him to add a second team next season. He denied speculation that he's talking with owner/driver Bill Elliott of Dawsonville about forming a multi-car team. Rudd also said he's in negotiations with Tide to renew their sponsorship, which expires at the end of this season(icFlorida)(5-1-1999)

  • Road Test School: Since the teams are on the West Coast, several drivers are taking time to test at Sears Point, and some of NASCAR's newest drivers, such as Tony Stewart and Elliott Sadler, have gone back to school for a few days, road-racing school(PitNow)(5-1-1999)


    (4-30-1999)
  • CANCELED: NASCAR decided to cancel qualifying for Sunday's California 500. The line-up will be determined by owners points and post marks. How does it work, from my provisonal page: In the event of rain, the top 35 positions are based on OWNER points and the rest of the field is filled by former race winner, WC Champion and based on Date/Time on the entry form for the event, in the following order: 1) the first 35 positions are set from current owners points (if it's one of the 1st four races then it's the previous season owner points); 2) previous Rockingham winners not included in #1; 3) past champion's provisional, and; 4) the post-mark date on the team's entry form for the event(4-30-1999)

  • Double Duty: Three drivers attempting to make both the Cup race and the Winston West race completed part one of their mission by qualifying for the Winston West race atCalifornia. #15-Kenny Schrader qualified 2nd, #58-Ricky Craven(5th) and #1-Butch Gilliland(7th). Also CTS driver Mike Wallace, qualified 9th in the #26 Ford(results many sources)(4-30-1999)

  • No Bull 5 UPDATE 1: The five fans selected for the Winston No Bull 5 contest for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte will be paired with their drivers Thursday in Ontario, Calif. The drivers are: Jeff Burton, Ward Burton, Jeff Gordon, Mike Skinner and Bobby Labonte will compete in a 20-lap Daytona USA video game race. The finishing order will determine which driver is paired with which fan. If one of those drivers wins at Charlotte, the driver and the fan each win $1 million(That's Racin')(4-28-1999) -- UPDATE 1: Dan Schwarm of Claremore, OK is paired Jeff Gordon, Rhonda Traylor of Highlands, TX is with Bobby Labonte, Charles Delzotti of Las Vegas with Mike Skinner, Herbert Copes of Wynne, AK with Ward Burton and Wade Smith of Metropolis, IL with Jeff Burton. The five Winston No Bull 5 drivers competed in a 20-lap Daytona USA video game at Dave & Busters of Ontario. The drivers' finishing order determined the fan with which they would be paired. Prior to the video-game race, the fans had been randomly placed on a scoreboard with their names hidden. After the Daytona USA competition, the finishing order was placed next to the concealed names. Each driver then revealed the name of his fan. See full story and info at RaceWire(4-30-1999)


    (4-29-1999)
  • Falk Crew Chief/91 News UPDATE 1: #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) -- UPDATE 1: According to an article in the Virginian Pilot NASCAR Report, team owner Joe Falk has said "no sponsorship, no race". The team is skipping the race in California, and they will be back for Richmond. The team is looking for a sponsor for the Richmond event, and Falk was quoted as saying that the team "will only go to races it has sponsorship." The article also mentioned that he hoped to have a full sponsorship this week, but hasn't heard from the company(Victory Lane Online/VA Pilot)(4-29-1999)

  • Another Milestone: Ricky Rudd makes his 550 consecutive Cup start at California(4-29-1999)

  • Mike Wallace: and his truck team, the #2 Team ASE/Ultra Motorsports Ford F-150, will run the Winston West California 200 on Saturday. The team won at the Phoenix Winston West race earlier this year. Team owner, Jim Smith, has a goal of moving up to Cup, maybe a few races in 1999, along with more Winston West races(NOL)(4-29-1999)

  • RWI: Rusty Wallace's RWI (Rusty Wallace, Inc.) complex is in its finishing stages. Not open to the general public yet. RWI is located across Knob Hill Road from Penske Racing South in Mooresville, NC(NOL)(4-29-1999)


    (4-28-1999)
  • Cheever to BGN/CUP UPDATE 1: Indy 500 Winner, IRL and IROC driver, Eddie Cheever will drive a limited schedule in the BGN this season(WC Scene). TNN's Raceday reports it'll be with BACE Motorsports(2-7-1999) -- UPDATE 1: Cheever said Wednesday he is putting together a team that will begin fielding a BGN team next season. He said his intention would be to participate in NASCAR's Winston Cup series as well. He hopes his program will start in about 2 months and is sorting out what make the team will use. Cheever said he would likely be the team's driver to start the 2000 season. Cheever said going to the Grand National series first would allow his team an opportunity to hopefully win more quickly, but also give his team a chance to 'figure out' the Winston Cup series(That's Racin'), Cheever was on RPM2Nite but didn't mention this.(4-28-1999)

  • Lucky 3rd: Both Cup races at the California Speedway were won from the third-place starting position(RaceWire)(4-28-1999)

  • Double Kenny: Kenny Schrader will be competing in the Winston West Series this weekend at California(Stock Car Fans Newsletter/Eli Gold)(Schrader is not listed in the BGN entry list)(4-28-1999)

  • Milestones: Mark Martin is expected to make his 400th career Cup start and Bobby Labonte is expected to make his 200th career Cup start at California(RaceWire lot of good info here)(4-28-1999)

  • Driver of the Year: NASCAR driver Jeff Burton has clinched first quarter voting for the Driver of the Year award as voted on by national motorsports media. Burton had 10 first place votes and 102 points which gives him a 54-point lead over three-time Driver of the Year Jeff Gordon with 48 points. NHRA funny car driver John Force is third with 41 points followed by World of Outlaws driver Mark Kinser with 40 and CART driver Greg Moore with 22(SpeedNet)(4-28-1999)

  • Valvoline Double? "Valvoline may join Pennzoil in pulling out of the CART Indy-car series, according to sources close to the situation. The two oil companies are among the biggest sponsors in American racing. What might Valvoline do with the money earmarked for CART? Spend it on the new Matt Kenseth-Jack Roush Winston Cup operation, according to those in the know. The Roush-Mark Martin team is Valvoline's NASCAR flagship"(PitNow)(4-28-1999)

  • Crew Chief: An honorary crew position on Dale Earnhardt's team brought in more than $4,600 in the annual Race Fever auction, which benefits the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind in Talladega. That was the top bid in the auction, which this year raised more than $200,000(Alabama Online)(4-28-1999)

  • Martin Scheme: The Team Roush Fans Site has an image of this years #6 Mark Martin Eagle One Ford(4-28-1999)

  • #90 News UPDATE 2: I hear Hut Stricklin will drive the #90 Junie Donlavey Ford at California(4-26-1999) -- UPDATE 1: Hut Stricklin will drive the Donlavey Racing Ford this weekend at California Speedway. Stricklin last competed in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona last October(in the #55 Oakwood Homes Chevy)(Times-Dispatch) -- UPDATE 2: Hut Stricklin may get the #90 ride if owner Junie Donlavey can find a sponsor. Donlavey met with a potential sponsor early this week(RPM2Nite)(4-28-1999)


    (4-27-1999)
  • Earnhardt, new car and movie UPDATE 1: Dale Earnhardt will have a new Monte Carlo(no not the 2000 model, a recently built new present model). The car is the first car Richard Childress Racing has built with RAD engineer Louis Duncan. RAD stands for Richard (Childress), Andy (Petree) & Dale (Earnhardt). The project is a union between the three-team owners joining their engineering and aerodynamic programs. Earnhardt flew to California after the Talladega race to prepare for his cameo role in an upcoming Warner Brothers movie. See the TNN site for more info -- The movie is the next Flintstones movie(4-27-1999)

  • Rumor Squashed UPDATE 1: On Inside NASCAR/Raceday on TNN it was reported that rumors in the garage area that Derrike Cope was lsoing his ride in the #30 Bahari Racing Pontiac, BUT NO, Bahari Racing team owner Chuck Ryder says that is not true and that Cope is in no danger of losing the ride(4-25-1999) -- UPDATE 1: Derrike Cope has denied reports that he is losing his ride with car owner Chuck Rider. Cope, who failed to make the field for the DieHard 500(and three other races), has had a tough season. Rider says he plans to hire a consultant to help the team rebound(PitNow)(4-27-1999)

  • Whirlpool: Executives at Whirlpool have been [around] the Winston Cup garage for the past month, and appear to be ready to announce which team they would like to sponsor. The sponsorship would be tied into a television home repair program(PitNow), Whirlpool currently is an associate sponsor on the #10 Tide Ford team of Ricky Rudd(4-27-1999)

  • #98 Sponsor? Cale Back? "Cale Yarborough hasn't shown much interest in the Winston Cup tour lately. He doesn't hang around the garage area much, and he's been trying to sell his team to another South Carolina businessman(Wayne Burdette) on the installment plan. According to one report, Yarborough's selling price is $3.9 million. The team has no major sponsor this season. Now, Yarborough might be having second thoughts about giving up his team because there is the prospect of a major sponsor on the horizon, Universal."(PitNow)(4-27-1999)

  • Grissom: Steve Grissom has been the center of a good amount of interest among car owners the past few weeks. The former BGN champion’s name tends to come up with regularity as speculation flies concerning some situations. Some reports note him as the top choice of several car owners considering changes(Williams Company), note: have heard no rumors on which teams but contrary to TNN reports that Derrike Cope is safe(see above story), supposedly the Sunday edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Bahari Racing is looking around at possibilities should they make a decision to change drivers. The newspaper reported Steve Grissom is high on their list of choices should that happen(I could not this story online at their site)(4-27-1999)

  • Irvan-Simo UPDATE 1: Boris Said and Marc Simo were on RPM2Nite Wednesday and Said confirmed that he would drive the #14 Federated Auto Parts Ford at Fontana and probably two more oval races in 1999(of the six total, LaJoie ran Texas) along with the two road course events. Marc Simo mentioned he was busy getting ready for 2000 with the plan doing a full Cup deal(RPM2Nite)(4-16-1999) -- UPDATE 1: Irvan-Simo Racing co-owners Ernie Irvan and Mark Simo announced Monday that CTS driver Boris Said will make his first official oval track start in a Cup car in California driving the #14 Federated Auto Parts Ford Taurus(NOL)(4-27-1999)


    (4-26-1999)
  • Nadeau Paint: Jerry Nadeau will be running the TBS Dinner and a Movie paint scheme at California. This is to promote TBS's TV schedule on Friday nights(4-26-1999)

  • Craven Double Duty: Ricky Craven will drive in the Winston West race at Calforina, sponsor to be determined. Also Hollywood Video will be on the #58 Cup car at California, still a race-to-race deal(4-26-1999)

  • Gilliland Double: Winston West driver, Butch Gilliland will perform double duty this coming weekend when he gets behind the wheel of his #38 Ralphs/Food 4 Less/ Coca-Cola NASCAR Winston Cup car and his #1 NASCAR Winston West car for this weekends coming California "500" Winston Cup race and California "200" Winston West race at the California Speedway in Fontana(Gilliland PR)(4-26-1999)

  • This is not good UPDATE 1, whoops, good news: When Wayne Burdette invested in Cale Yarborough's #98 team, it gave Rick Mast a ride and kept the team in operation. Although Mast has had his moments - he is 22nd in the points and had a top-10 finish at Daytona - a sponsor has not been found. Burdette has apparently informed Yarborough that his personal largesse has reached its limit, and the Ford team will likely begin a hiatus from the circuit beginning next week with the Fontana, CA., race(SpeedNet/Monte Dutton), not that is a shame for the team and Mast -- just saw on NOL that Mast will be sponsored by Rheem Water Heaters for the Diehard 500(NOL)(4-24-1999) -- UPDATE 1: Wayne Burdette dismissed rumors that Yarborough-Burdette Motorsports team and driver Rick Mast were skipping the California race. Although the team is starting to feel the effects of running without a sponsor, Burdette said there are no immediate plans to miss a race(Times-Dispatch)(4-26-1999)

  • The #31 Penalty: Following the crash at Talladega, Skinner's crew was penalized (held in the "penalty box") for what a team member described as "being violent to the wrecker crew." A scuffle apparently occurred when the crashed car arrived back in the garage area(It was even showed on TV). What actually occurred was that the driver of the wrecker inadvertently damaged the nose of Skinner's wrecked Chevrolet while towing it back to the garage. The penalty ended up being two laps, the source being NASCAR timing and scoring, and Skinner finished 36th(SpeedNet/Monte Dutton)(4-26-1999)

  • Different Penalty: Johnny Benson and the #26 Cheerios Ford team will miss 20 minutes of the opening practice this weekend in California as a penalty for being late to inspection before the race at Talladega on Sunday. Benson’s team waited all yesterday morning for the delivery of a new rear gear, but the plane was late. The team had the car in line for inspection when the part arrived and opted to pull out and take the penalty(Times-Dispatch) -- Benson also missed the first 10 minutes of Friday's first practice at Talladega as a penalty for not having his car at the ``cutoff'' point for the pre-race inspection at last weekend's Goody's 500 at Martinsville(That's Racin')(4-26-1999)

  • Post Race Inspections: Cars that were inepcted after the Diehard 500 were #3-Dale Earnhardt, the winner; runner-up #88 Dale Jarrett; #6-Mark Martin(3rd); #00-Buckshot Jones(fastest 2nd round qualifier) and #99-Jeff Burton(smoking problem)(That's Racin')(4-26-1999)

  • Park: what happened to Steve Park? We saw him pull off the track, then later saw him back on the track up to speed. It ended up that he had a broken gear in the distributor. Park and the #1 Pennzoil Chevy returned to the racetrack and finished the race in 37th position(Pennzoil PR)(4-26-1999)

  • Alliance: NASCAR has announced that the 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division has joined the NASCAR automotive aftermarket program and has been designated the "Officially Licensed Automotive Refinish Supplies" of NASCAR(RaceWire)(4-26-1999)


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