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PAST NEWS MAY 3-9, 1999

  • Martin Special Paint UPDATE 1: Some readers saw Mark Martin on a QVC Special Thursday night and said he mentioned that he thinks Eagle One will be the paint scheme for the Winston again this year(2-12-1999) -- UPDATE 1: As reported since, Martin will run the Eagle One paint scheme at The Winston and will ALSO run the scheme at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona the the Phoneix Cup race(Speedway Scene)(5-9-1999)

  • Better or Worse: Who's made the greatest improvement in a year? When you discount drivers who were hurt last year and missed races or didn't have a full-time ride (Mike Skinner, Wally Dallenbach, Steve Park), the driver who's moved forward the most positions since California in '98 is our points leader Jeff Burton. Last year at this point he was 14th, 347 points behind Jeremy Mayfield. Three other drivers are 10 spots higher this year vs last....John Andretti, Kenny Irwin, and Kevin Lepage. The other side of the coin shows the likeness of Jimmy Spencer. He's fallen from 8th last year at this time to 24th this year. Ted Musgrave's story is much the same....20th to 35th. Johnny Benson and Robert Pressley are 13 spots lower in the points standings this year. Last year's points leader after Fontana was Jeremy Mayfield. This year he's 12th, and has 291 less points. That's about 9-10 finishing positions per race. Jeff Burton has improved 434 points over the same 10 race time-frame. He's also scored 87 more points than Mayfield had last year at this same time. For that matter, Dale Jarrett (who's second this year) has 32 more points now than Jeremy had last year(From Henry's Ramblings of the Stock Car Fans Newsletter)(5-9-1999)

  • Bill Davis Associate: ProCert has signed on with the #22 Bill Davis Caterpillar team as an associate sponsor and driver Ward Burton. Decals will be postd on the TV Panel and the C-post. The sponsorship by the transportation consulting firm started at Talladega(Speedway Scene Mag)(5-9-1999)

  • Feebie: the Kmart site, is offering a free Darrell Waltrip/#66 Kmart Ford signature card to anyone who registers. Must give name, address, email(5-8-1999)

  • DJ's Winston Car: The #88 Quality Care/Ford Credit Taurus, in "The Winston" paint scheme, will be displayed in Byrd Park at the Richmond, Virginia Race for the Cure(a 5K run/fitness walk benefitting breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment) this Saturday, May 8. Continuing their assault on breast cancer, Dale Jarrett, Robert Yates Racing, and their sponsors Ford Quality Care Service and Ford Credit will present a new look at NASCAR's "The Winston" on May 22, designed entirely to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Normally painted all blue with red and white trim, the #88 Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus will circle Lowe's Motor Speedway pearl-white with blue and red trim for this winners-only NASCAR Winston Cup event in Charlotte. Jarrett's driver suit and his crew's hats will be adorned with the signature 'pink ribbon,' symbolic of the Komen Foundation. Jarrett, Robert Yates Racing, Quality Care Service and Ford Credit have agreed to donate 100% of the profits generated with the sale of all merchandise associated with this car, including die-cast cars, t-shirts and hats, to the Komen Foundation. For more info see the article at the Motorsport News International site(Thanks Lynne-DieHard NASCAR Fan Site)(5-7-1999)

  • Rudd Helps Out: Ricky Rudd lent a 30 foot trailer to the Salvation Army in their efforts to help out the folks in the Midwest struck by the killer tornado's(RPM2Nite)(5-7-1999)

  • Lowes Testing Speeds UPDATE 1:: top 6 speeds so far on Thursday: Steve Park 179-223mph; Bobby Labonte 178.619; Kenny Wallace 178.619; Dale Earnhardt 178.277; Kenny Schrader 177.959; and Geoff Bodine 177.760 (RPM2Nite). Also LMS expects to announce what track changes will be made in response the the IRL tragedy soon. Testing continues tonight until 10pm/et(or until it rains) with the stands being opened to the public from 5-10pm. Tony Stewart only ran a few laps as his feet still hurt badly. NOL reported he went to the hospital to get them looked at, Bobby Labonte tested two cars of his own as well as two for Stewart(RPM2Nite). The TNN Motorsports Sites has some info and images at GM Testing Buzz At Charlotte(5-6-1999) -- UPDATE 1: Dale Earnhardt, Jr led the way testing at Lowes Motor Speedway on Thursday night with a speed of 181.470mph, which was almost 1 1/2mph faster then the 2nd best #44-Kyle Petty at 179.982. For the listing of speeds from Thursday see That's Racin' - Speeds, some things noticed, Lance Hooper tested a #27 Pontiac(Richard Jackson team?), Ken Bouchard was there in the #84 Chevy and Dan Pardus was 25th fastest of 41 cars in the #50.(5-7-1999)

  • Pardus Paint: Hal Hicks and Mike Witters, owners of the #50 Midwest Transit Chevrolet driven by Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Dan Pardus, have ordered a special red, white and blue paint scheme on the #50 for the Winston Open, a 50-lap race prior to the Winston All-Star race composed of drivers and teams not otherwise eligible for the main event. The patriotic paint scheme, which will include an eagle and red stripes on each side of the car, is in honor of Midwest Transit's trucks, which log approximately 150,000 miles per day primarily hauling mail for the United States Postal Service. Pardus also plans to compete in the ARCA race prior to the Winston Open in the #42 Jim and Judie Motorsports Chevy. Notes: Crew chief Jay Born says the team continues to work on pit stops and have made considerable improvement, consistently in the low 19 seconds range(Midwest PR) See an image of the car at Jayski's Paint Scheme Gallery(5-7-1999)

  • Morgan Shepherd Ride? UPDATE 2: Hearing that Morgan Shepherd will attempt to make the Coca Cola 600 with a new fan supported team. The team is Fain Motorsports of Lexington, TN and info on the team can be found at their website: Fain Motorsports Site. Instead of donations or a fan club, they sell stock. No number has been assigned by NASCAR for the team yet and no idea if they will take part in testing Tomorrow and Thursday. Supposedly their shop is close to completion and they have a sponsors, Redneck Wear and Pecker Teez(T-Shirts). The sponsorship is coupled with the selling of stock to race fans. Also more info is on the Unofficial Morgan Shepherd page, the official site hasn't been updated for a few weeks(5-4-1999) -- Morgan Shepherd will be testing at Charlotte Wednesday and Thursday with the rest of the GM teams(maybe the #05 Pontiac?)(5-5-1999) -- UPDATE 2: Shepherd did test at Charlotte(Lowes) on Thursday and posted the 39th fastest speed at 174.267mph in the #05 Pontiac(That's Racin') I am told Shepherd has sponsorship for the races at Lowes and will make the attempt(5-7-1999)

  • NASCAR vs NHRA: On Saturday, May 8th, four of NASCAR's top Winston Cup drivers will test their abilities on the 1/4 mile drag strip at National Trail Raceway for the JEG'S Ultimate Day Of Racing presented by Jericho Investments. Winston Cup drivers Sterling Marlin, Chad Little, Jerry Nadeau and John Andretti will be at National Trail Raceway to meet and greet fans as well as take part in a special autograph session with John, Troy, Mike and Jeg Coughlin of NHRA's JEG'S Mail Order Racing Team from 12:30-2:30 pm. At 3:00 pm the NASCAR drivers will go head to head with the Coughlin brothers on the 1/4 mile in brand new, equally prepared FORD-HO Mustang Cobra five speeds. See rest of story and ticket info at goRacing(5-7-1999)

  • Marlin vs Marlin: NASCAR Winston Cup star and two time Daytona 500 winner Sterling Marlin will compete in Saturday night’s 50 lap NASCAR Winston Racing Series Late Model Stock Car main event at Nashville Speedway USA. Saturday’s race event, sponsored by Sterling Marlin Chevrolet and 98 WSIX marks the first time ever, the past three time Nashville Speedway champion (1980,’81,’82) will compete against his eighteen year old son Steadman, a second year Late Model competitor on the historical .596 high banked oval. Sterling will drive a family owned Chevrolet Monte Carlo that will carry the number 711, a number made synonymous during the 1950’s and ‘60’s by his father Coo-Coo Marlin(Nashville Speedway)(5-7-1999)

  • #45 Crew Chief: James Ince, former crew chief of the #16 Primestar Roush Racing Ford has been named the crew chief of the #45 10-10-345 Pontiac and driver Rich Bickle(NOL)(5-6-1999)

  • Nadeau Paint: many readers have told me that they saw Jerry Nadeau on Monday Nitro and he said the #9 Melling team would be running a special Bill Goldberg(wrestler) paint job in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona. From the WCW site: Ricky Rackman introduced NASCAR driver Jerry Nadeau, who drives the WCW car and will be driving the new Goldberg car in the next couple of weeks.(5-6-1999)

  • Another Funny UPDATE 2: ESPN2's RPM2Nite on Wednesday, showed a Coca-Cola commercial of some sort with Dale Earnhardt, Kenny Irwin, Kyle Petty, Dale Jarrett, Jeff Burton and Bobby Labonte doing all kinds of short sketches and voices. Some were Wayne and Garth(Waynes World), Irwin did a pretty good GodFather/Brando voice, Burton as Garth and Labonte as Wayne was pretty funny. -- UPDATE 1: The Coke "commercial" was made for use in movie theaters to be run before the movie with previews of other movies, etc.(4-16-1999) -- UPDATE 2: a release from Coke and even an image of Jeff Burton and Bobby Labonte as 'Wayne and Garth' at NASCAR Goes Hollywood (5-6-1999)

  • Sears Point Testing UPDATE 3: Six Cup drivers tested at Sears Point on Monday. #50-Wally Dallenbach Jr., #20-Tony Stewart, #19-Tom Hubert, #21-Elliot Sadler, #14-Boris Said, and #2-Rusty Wallace. There was a misting light rain in the morning hours as the crews prepared. Rusty Wallace was the only Winston Cup driver to run laps before the track closed at 2pm local time. Tony Stewart stayed in his trailer most of the day. His people said he wasn't feeling well and when he did get in his car for adjustments to his seat, he was walking with a noticeable limp and discomfort (burnt foot on Sunday). The track brought two buses of local school children in and track officials did bring Wally and Rusty over to meet them(StockCarFans Newsletter, Dan), no idea if testing will continue on Tuesday(5-4-1999) -- UPDATE 1: Tony Stewart got a little extra training April 30 along with four other NASCAR drivers. The drivers enrolled in a one-day driver development program and worked on learning the racing line while refining their road racing skills in preparation for the Save Mart/Kragen 350 on June 27 to be held at Sears Point Raceway. Kevin LePage said he attended the school because he won't be able to attend this week's NASCAR open test day.(SpeedNet) I hear Elliott Sadler also attended but no word on the other two drivers. I also hear that at Monday's testing that Hubert was helping out the #20 Home Depot team and Tony Stewart and Said was there with the #21 CITGO team. The teams are able to test thru Wednesday(5-5-1999) -- UPDATE 2: more news - Both Stewart (#20 Home Depot Pontiac) and Wallace (#2 Miller Lite Ford) tested on Monday and Tuesday, while Dallenbach (#25 Budweiser Chevrolet) and Sadler (#21 Citgo Ford) tested on Tuesday and plan to run more laps today. In addition to Stewart, other Winston Cup Drivers who took a one-day course from the Russell Racing School last week were Chad Little (#97 John Deere Ford); Kevin LePage(#16 Primestar Ford); Steve Park (#1 Pennzoil Chevrolet) and Derrick Cope (#30 Jimmy Dean Pontiac). See the whole article at NASCAR's Sears Point road test(Press Democrat), I hear it was the Bondurant School, not the Russell Racing School(5-6-1999)

  • Kyle's Ride UPDATE 1: Kyle Petty is hitting the road after finishing 26th in the California 500. Petty's annual charity ride will leave Ontario, Calif., on Monday morning and end May 9 at his farm in Trinity, N.C., a journey of 2,863 miles. Along the way, Petty, his father, Richard Petty, the younger Petty's son, Adam, Ken Schrader, Joe Nemechek, Geoff Bodine and more than 200 other riders will stop at children's hospitals to present checks, meet with patients and sign autographs. In the ride's first four years, more than $1 million has been raised. For more info see the image and link to the left under 'Racing Charity Spotlite'(Infobeat/AP)(5-3-1999) -- UPDATE 1: at GoRacing - Kyle Petty's Annual Charity Bike Ride Underway and more links to updates can be found at my Racing Charities Page(5-6-1999)

  • Ingle Gone: After three races, crew chief Bill Ingle and the Tyler Jet Motorsports team have parted ways. The team is expected to name a new crew chief on Thursday(RPM2Nite)(5-5-1999)

  • More Junie/Hut: I hear Hut Stricklin will drive for Junie Donlavey in the #90 at Richmond and they hope to have Hills Brothers Coffee as the sponsor(Inside Motorsports)(5-5-1999)

  • Morgan McClure: the Morgan-McClure team(#4 Kodak Chevy and the rumored new #14 team) is currently talking with three major potential sponsors and hopes to come to an agreement with one that would allow for the hiring of a driver for the much discussed second team. The shop, car inventory, engine stockpile are all ready and awaiting a sponsor go aheadInside Motorsports(5-5-1999)

  • Elliott Crew Chief: Since Jerry Pitts' who was Bill Elliotts interim crew chief on the #94 McDonalds Ford left to take the crew chief job with the #98 team, Ernie Elliott will handle the duties for right now until a replacement is found(5-5-1999)

  • RIR Testing: The #90 Junie Donlavey Ford tested at Richmond on Tuesday, the Winston Cup team’s first test of the year, with Hut Stricklin driving. Stricklin’s best lap was 123.007mph(Times-Dispatch)(5-5-1999)

  • #98 Crew Chief: Jerry Pitts, former crew chief at Bill Elliott Racing will take over the crew chief duties at the #98 Yarborough-Burdette Motorsports team and driver Rick Mast. Michael McSwain left the #98 to take the crew chief job with the #10(RPM2Nite)(5-4-1999)

  • New Rudd Crew Chief? UPDATE 1 it's official: I hear that Michael McSwain, crew cheif of the #98 Yarborough-Burdette Motorsports #98 Ford team will be named Ricky Rudd's(#10 Tide Ford) crew chief in the next few days(5-3-1999) -- UPDATE 1: From the site: RPM Welcomes Michael McSwain New Crew Chief for Ricky Rudd(5-4-1999)

  • Benson Surgery: RPM2Nite had a segment on tonight where Johnny Benson had laser eye surgery and will no longer have to wear glasses. In fact he still plans to race in the BGN race at NHIS this weekend subbing for Jason Jarrett in the #33 Bayer Chevy. Jarrett is still showing the effects of a concussion from an accident at California(RPM2Nite)(5-4-1999)

  • Sacks Back? From what I hear, Greg Sacks is looking to field a BGN team at Charlotte(5-4-1999)

  • McReynold's Team UPDATE 1 Goodyear?: Larry McReynolds is closer now to putting together his own Cup team and that he's optimistic he will be able to get all the sponsorship details worked out within his time frame of the next few weeks(PitNow)(5-3-1999) -- One of the possibilities(for a sponsor) is Goodyear -- the tire maker is trying to put together a full Cup sponsorship package involving as many of it's 2,500 hundred retail store as it can sign up. Ricky Rudd is another car owner Goodyear executives are talking with(PitNow)(5-4-1999)

  • Only Gordon: Jeff Gordon is the only driver to finish in the top five in all three California races. He won in 1997 and finished fourth in '98(SpeedNet)(5-4-1999)

  • Craven Wins UPDATE 1: Ricky Craven won Saturday's Winston West California 200 over Ken Schrader. See the results and story at Racing West Site(5-2-1999) -- UPDATE 1: Pro-Motor Engineering(PME) powered Ricky Craven to victory Saturday in the NASCAR Winston West Series California 200 at California Speedway. Craven leased the same engine from PME for the 200-mile race that driver Jerry Nadeau won with in the NASCAR Winston West Orleans 150 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March(Cotter Group)(5-4-1999)

  • Grissom Returns to the BGN. Steve Grissom has agreed to assist ALLCAR Motorsports with its BGN team. Current driver Jimmy Kitchens will remain with the team but Grissom will drive the #22 Air Jamaica Vacations Chevy in the Cup/BGN combination events, while working with Kitchens, crew chief Todd Lohse and the team. Besides assisting the race team, that schedule keeps Grissom’s personal schedule open as he continues talking with the various NASCAR Winston Cup owners who have approached him. Kitchens’ role as the team’s driver is solid, Carroll said. Grissom starts this week at NHIS, even though it is not a combo event(The Williams Co)(5-4-1999)

  • Neat Story: (I figured since it's an off week, and this was interesting side we don't always hear about to post it) -- Eddie Jarvis is one of about 40 professional drivers who spend most of their time at NASCAR Winston Cup racetracks across America. But you can't buy an Eddie Jarvis souvenir hat, he has no T-shirts for sale and he's never signed an autograph. Most fans haven't heard of Eddie Jarvis. But if you ask any Winston Cup driver to list some of the most important people in his life, Jarvis and his compatriots are as high on that list as friends, family, and crew members. Jarvis is the motorhome driver for #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo race driver Steve Park. It doesn't take long for Park to let anyone know his feelings for his coach driver. "Sweet Daddy is the man," laughs Park whenever asked about Jarvis whom he helped nickname. "I can't even begin to tell you what my life would be like without him. Sometimes people even mistake him for my Dad." Jarvis takes his job as seriously as any crew chief, tire changer or mechanic on the Dale Earnhardt Inc. team. "My job is basically to take care of Steve," said the silver-haired Jarvis. "That means driving to the track, setting up the motorhome, cooking, doing his laundry, making sure he gets to where he needs to be on time and anything he needs done. That's what I do." But it's more than just the work and driving 50,000 miles each year. "We are friends. When Steve broke his leg last year we got real tight. I was at his house every day for about 8 weeks," said the Paducah, Ky. native. "I'd do just about anything for him." Jarvis's typical weekend begins on Thursday when he leaves Dale Earnhardt Inc. in Park's 50-foot, red and white American Eagle motorhome. Usually he and Jimbo Diggs, Dale Earnhardt's coach driver, travel together to the track where they setup the motorhomes in a special lot set aside by the racetrack. For the next three days that lot is home for Park and most Winston Cup drivers. Jarvis's next stop is a local grocery store where he knows just what type of foods to buy for Park. After stocking the refrigerator, Jarvis arranges Park's clothes, uniforms, hats, autograph pens, and posts his weekend schedule. "Steve is a very organized person and so am I," Jarvis said. "I try to make that motorhome as much like a regular home as possible. He's got so many things to worry about during the weekend that it helps when I can take care of a lot of the details." When Park arrives Thursday night; Jarvis gives him the keys and then heads to a local hotel where he will stay throughout the weekend. But his duties aren't over. He still cleans the interior and exterior of the motorhome on Fridays and Saturday, helps Park with his scheduling, and even cooks for the second-year driver. "We kind of have a tradition where I cook Steve pasta on Saturday nights and then on Sunday I accompany him to driver introductions and stand with him at the race car," Jarvis said. When the race is over, Jarvis joins racefans in waiting for traffic to disperse then he fires up the motorhome and returns to North Carolina. He'll clean the motorhome on Monday and then take a few days off to spend time with wife Dana, and daughters Shannon, 19, and Stacey, 15. Then the schedule begins again. "It's a rewarding life. I get to go around the country and see places I never thought I would ever see," said Jarvis. "But the time away from home is tough. You have to have a good wife to do this and I do." Jarvis worked for Kenny Wallace two years before he joined Park in 1998 and worked for a souvenir company for several years driving a truck all over the country. The 41-year-old likes his life. He and his fellow coach drivers in the "trailer park" as they call it are all friendly and ready to lend a helping hand. They often travel in a convoy to the race and eagerly help the other out whenever there is a problem. "There isn't a lot of fame or glory but it is rewarding. I kind of share in Steve's ups and downs. When he hurts I hurt and when he's happy I'm happy. I told him when we started in 1998 that I'd like to be his coach driver until he retires and I hope that includes many trips for the Pennzoil car to victory lane."(Pennzoil PR)(5-4-1999)

  • Elliott in the Money UPDATE 1: Bill Elliott, driver of the McDonald's Ford Taurus, is in position to reach $20 million in NASCAR Winston Cup career earnings at this weekend's California 500 in Fontana, CA, if he earns $32,451. This would make Elliott the third driver (Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon) in history to surpass the $20 million mark in career earnings(McDonalds PR)(4-29-1999) -- UPDATE 1: With Bill Elliott's finishing 19th at California, he earned $48,325 to push his Cup career earnings to $20,015,874, joining Dale Earnhardt and race winner Jeff Gordon as the only drivers over the $20 million mark(Infobeat/AP)(5-3-1999)

  • Irvan-Simo add race? Boris Said, who drives for Ernie Irvan's new Cup team, didn't make the California 500 because the field was set by point standings, and Irvan's team has run one race. So Said will be adding a Cup race to his limited schedule this summer, possibly Michigan in June(PitNow)(5-3-1999)

  • More McDonald's Stuff: Who will be the driver next year when the new McDonald’s team begins participation in the Busch Grand National series? The early favorite in garage-area gossip is Jason Leffler, the United States Auto Club champion who seems on the verge of securing either a CART or an Indy Racing League ride. One of the current CART standouts, Greg Moore, is also thought to be interested in joining the Cal Wells-owned team that will probably become a Winston Cup regular in 2001. Another possibility reportedly is Robby Gordon, who formerly drove for Wells’ CART team(Gaston Gazette/Monte Dutton)(5-3-1999)

  • More on Burton Engine: GM executives are not letting the Jeff Burton engine controversy drop. Several GM teams complained Friday that Burton should have been penalized somehow at Talladega because his engine didn't pass one of NASCAR's standard post-race inspections. NASCAR officials said in their view there was no performance enhancement for Burton(PitNow)(5-3-1999)

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