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PAST NEWS JUNE 7-13, 1999

  • Melling Remembered: Team members, drivers, media etc are wearing red #9 buttons in honor of #9 team owner Harry Melling who passed away a few weeks ago(Raceday)(6-13-1999)

  • Park's Best: Steve Park had his best finish of his short career so far. At Michigan he came home in 6th(6-13-1999)

  • Caution free: The Kmart 400 at Michigan was the first caution free Winston Cup race since the two-week postponed Winston 500 at Talladega, which Mark Martin won with an average speed of 188.354mph and Winston Cup record for any track. The Kmart 400 was the fastest ever at Michigan for the Cup cars with an average speed of 173.997mph. The old record was recently set my Rusty Wallace in 1996 with a ave speed of 166.033mph(6-13-1999)

  • Rudd/Tide: Inside NASCAR reports that Ricky Rudd and Tide are negotiating for the future, their contract runs out at the end of 1999. Rudd hopes the TV rights and increase in revenue will help out smaller teams. Also discussed the franchising options that are being supposedly being discussed(6-13-1999)

  • NASCAR and F-1: NASCAR senior vice president Mike Helton wasn't at the track on Friday because he spent the day visiting Formula 1 teams at the site of that circuit's race this weekend in Montreal(That's Racin')(6-13-1999)

  • Gas Spill: Fuel spill about three feet-wide just past the start finish line had officials doing extra maintance to the Michigan Speedway on Saturday. The spill was cleaned-up and the area re-sealed Friday night, according to track officials. However, after Saturday's final practice there were reports of the area being "gritty" and officials will again repair the damage overnight in preparation for Sunday's race(SpeedNet)(6-13-1999)

  • Remington UPDATE 4: I hear Remington will announce their future plans Thursday in Michigan(6-8-1999) -- UPDATE 1: Dale Earnhardt Inc. will hold a news conference on Friday at 9am/et in the Michigan Speedway media center. Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be present to answer questions(Pennzoil PR), NOTE: this could be the Remington announcement for the #1 or/and #8 car(6-10-1999) -- UPDATE 2: nothing happened Thursday that I heard of, but it could be the DEI announcement on Friday??? -- UPDATE 3: Remington Arms Company announced today a six-year agreement with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Terms of the agreement include a personal endorsement contract with Dale Earnhardt and an associate sponsorship of the Dale Earnhardt Jr., #8 Budweiser Monte Carlo. The agreement with Dale Earnhardt begins immediately and Dale Jr.'s #8 car begins in 2000. Both agreements run through 2005(Pennzoil PR)(6-11-1999) -- UPDATE 4: Remington will be on the decklid of the #8 Bud Chevy in 2000(Inside NASCAR)(6-13-1999)

  • Quick Turnaround UPDATE 1: The #55 Square-D crew took the wrecked Chevy from Dover and rebuilt it so Kenny Wallace could run it at Michigan, feeling the car was worth saving because it ran so well at Dover as a brand new car(The Motorsports Decisions Group PR)(6-11-1999) -- UPDATE 1: See what it took in an That's Racin' article: From wrecked to ready in nothing flat(6-13-1999)

  • Interesting Stat from NOL: Jeff Gordon's 4.9 finishing average in 12 starts at Michigan is better than the best finish recorded there by several drivers in their career there. Ken Schrader (best finish is a 6th in 29 races), Michael Waltrip (7th in 27 races), Bobby Hamilton (8th in 13 races) and Chad Little (10th in 12 races) all have best finishes below Gordon's average(NOL)(6-13-1999)

  • #98 Crew Chief? UPDATE 1: I hear crew chief Jerry Pitts has left the #98 Team(6-11-1999) -- UPDATE 2: Team manager Waddell Wilson resigned on Monday and crew chief Jerry Pitts followed him in leaving on Wednesday(That's Racin') Mast said the team's crew chief this weekend would be a "collective effort."(Times-Dispatch)(6-12-1999)

  • Moore to Cup? Look for a CART driver to jump into a Cup car during the July 4th weekend. Greg Moore has an open weekend and after savvy driving today in the IROC race he could prove quite a handful at Daytona. A team has yet to be officially announced(SpeedNet)(6-12-1999)

  • Buckshot News: Buckshot Jones was the first entry received for the upcoming Lysol 200 at Watkins Glen. Jones, a rookie in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series will be skipping the race at Sears Point and instead will try to capture the Empire Cup by driving the #00 Cheez-It Pontiac at Watkins Glen on June 27th(The Glen Site)(6-12-1999)

  • The King Returns? UPDATE 1: Burger King that is, I hear BK will return to NASCAR as a primary sponsor on a BGN team fielded by a current Winston Cup multi-team(5-20-1999) -- UPDATE 1: Burger King is being wooed for a major Winston Cup sponsorship, and its logo could be on Larry McReynolds' proposed new cars next year, according to sources close to the situation(PitNow)(6-12-1999)

  • DW Notes: Darrell Waltrip, who missed last week's race at Dover because he is out of provisionals until Sears Point(unless he gets back into the top 25 on owners points) and because he never got his Ford up to speed, made the top 25 on Friday. His lap at 184.852 mph got the final spot available in the first round, but he wasn't exactly thrilled. "Last week when I went to qualify the motor goes dead on me," he said. "Today I go to qualify and the motor goes dead on me. It won't pull. Something is killing the motor when I get ready to go qualify. This is a super-fast car."(That's Racin') DW ran 10th and 20th in the Friday practices(6-12-1999)

  • Mock Sponsor: this weeks Winston Cup Scene reports that the #75 Butch Mock team is close to signing a new sponsor for 2000. Remington is leaving the team at the end of the 1999 season and is rumored to be going to DEI. One rumor has Polaris becoming Mocks sponsor. Mock hopes to make an announcement within the next two weeks(6-11-1999)

  • #98 Sponsor: Yep, it's Universal Studios and Woody Woodpecker. Very cool looking car. See the complete story and an image at NOL: Yarborough, Mast team up with Woody Woodpecker. I hear the sponsor money will be thru merchandising and not a direct payment, see story below...(6-11-1999)

  • SBIII changes UPDATE 4: something is going on with the SBIII team, meetings with Key Personnel are taking place currently(NASCAR Today Radio), sources tell me Ricky Craven and the SBIII have parted ways, no word yet on where Craven will end up or who will drive the #58 Ford at Michigan, stay tuned(6-9-1999) -- UPDATE 1: I hear Loy Allen will drive the #58 at Michigan this weekend -- UPDATE 2: Official per NOL - Ricky Craven has been dismissed from his duties as driver of the #58 Turbine Solutions Ford and will be replaced by Loy Allen, SBIII Motorsports owner Scott Barbour announced Thursday see full story at NOL: SBIII dismisses Craven, taps Allen, the story seems to say Allen is their long term driver. No word yet on Craven's plans(6-10-1999) -- UPDATE 3: FYI: Mark Smith builds the engines for the #58 Ford and was the team owner/engine builder of the #19 Ford that Loy Allen won a few poles with a couple of years ago, including the Daytona 500, wonder if Hooters will come back as a sponsor and complete the circle? -- UPDATE 4: Check out a local Maine story on the situation at Craven loses NASCAR ride(note: this will be a short term story probably gone from their site tomorrow) the story mentions: Stan Meserve of Unity, Craven's mentor and the only other Maine driver to race in the Daytona 500, was relieved of his duties as race shop foreman earlier in the week(Portland Press Herald)(6-11-1999)

  • #58 Spotter too: RaceComm Publisher, Mike Calinoff, resigned this morning from his position at SBIII Motorsports as Team Spotter. Calinoff stated that his resignation was "amicable" and that he is pursuing new opportunities. An announcement to that effect will be forthcoming. Calinoff is also the Spotter for NASCAR Busch Series driver Randy LaJoie(RaceComm)(6-11-1999)

  • Roush News UPDATE 3: I hear some sort of major announcement from True Value Hardware, NASCAR, Roush Racing and Exide will happen soon(6-3-1999) -- UPDATE 1: I hear an announcement will take place at Michigan on Friday of next week. Check out the Toolbox that Rocks at the TrueValue Site(6-4-1999) -- UPDATE 2: True Value, Exide and NASCAR announced the #99 Ford driven by Jeff Burton in Sunday's Kmart 400 will feature a NASCAR Rocks-themed paint scheme to commemorate the kick-off of the summer music tour and festival in Denver this weekend. The car will be unveiled on Friday(NOL)(6-9-1999) -- UPDATE 3: See NOL updates on the helmet, uniform and car at: NASCAR Rocks, NOTE: please do NOT send me the NOL images)(6-11-1999)

  • No More Winston: R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and its Winston brand will not renew its contract with the #23 Ford team owned by Travis Carter and driven by Jimmy Spencer. RJR has no plans to sponsor another Cup team. Spencer's contract runs through the end of 1999 with Carter. See the story at NOL(6-10-1999)

  • Kyle and the IRL UPDATE 1: Kyle Petty will be in Indianapolis Wednesday being fitted in an IRL car out of the Panther Racing stable. They plan on testing next week in Atlanta with the notion of running an IRL race when NASCAR has the week off. This was all just confirmed by a local Indianapolis ABC affiliate,WRTV. With the leaking of the news that a Cup car is being prepared for Adam for next season(John Andretti Fanpage/Newsletter).(the Adam Petty thing was reported on Jayski a few days ago from info obtained on the Adam Petty site) Also, if all goes well, he could run one of the team's cars in the Atlanta IRL event on July 17(AP/WRAL)(6-9-1999) -- UPDATE 1: The #43 and, hopefully if it is ready, the #44, are going to test at Road Atlanta this coming Monday(6-14). Panther Racing was planning on testing there Tuesday. Terry Lingner, who has a management relationship with Panther Racing and is also a friend of Kyle's through ESPN (Lingner is president of Lingner Productions, which produces the ESPN races), asked Kyle if he would be interested in staying over Tuesday and trying a few laps in the IRL car. Kyle, being a racer, said he would like to. They were supposed to fit the seat for Kyle Wednesday(6-9) but because of committments Kyle had in New York City, he couldn't be there. The seat won't be fitted and Kyle won't be testing Tuesday in an IRL car. Basically, it was a fun-type deal and something Kyle, like any racer, wanted to try. There was no talk beyond a few laps at Road Atlanta Tuesday. Kyle was at a licensing show for Mattel in New York City. Kyle Petty has said he has NOT discussed running the IRL event at Atlanta with anyone and, for that matter, hasn't discussed any IRL events in the future(Williams Co)(6-10-1999)

  • Roush Shop: Roush Racing's new headquarters may not be coming to Concord, after the company Tuesday withdrew a controversial rezoning request to build its new facility and test track there. The $75 million proj-ect drew opposition from hundreds of Concord residents who live near the proposed 106-acre facility on U.S. 29. The residents feared the test track would generate too much noise. See the rest of the Charlotte Observer article at: Roush Racing abandons rezoning effort, Concord site(6-10-1999)

  • Softball: had a few questions asked on a softball fundrasier played by many of the teams and media, see the story at the PowerTeam site: PLAY BALL!(6-10-1999)

  • Buckshot News UPDATE 1: Cheez-It will sponsor the #00 Pontiac team and Buckshot Jones at the Winston Cup race in Michigan and the team will sit out the BGN South Boston event(NOL) -- UPDATE 1: Contrary to previous release, BSR will be racing in the Busch race in South Boston this weekend, with Larry Pearson behind the wheel. Keebler Co.'s Cheez-It brand snack crackers will be the primary sponsor for both of Buckshot Racing's NASCAR entries this weekend - Buckshot Jones in Brooklyn, MI and Larry Pearson in South Boston, VA(Buckshot Site)(6-9-1999)

  • #9 Crew Chief:Newt Moore has been named crew chief of the #9 Melling Racing Ford driven by Jerry Nadeau, beginning with the June 13 Kmart 400 at Michigan Speedway. Moore, 36, joined Melling Racing in late May as car chief and was responsible for car setup, shocks and chassis. He will continue to work closely with team manager Jeff Buice, who is taking on more responsibilities with the organization in that position. Moore's responsibilities as crew chief will include overseeing at-track operations for Melling Racing. He will also continue his work on car setup, shocks and chassis(Cotter Group PR)(6-9-1999)

  • Midwest Hires: Midwest Transit Racing's General Manager Lake Speed announced that John Monsam will lead the team as crew chief while Dale Watkins will join the team to run the shop. Monsam, (38), has been involved in racing for 15 years. He currently resides in Sherrills Ford, N.C., with his wife Cinde and daughter Darby. Becoming a Winston Cup crew chief is something Monsam has worked for all his life. Watkins, (47), will direct the day-to-day operation of the race shop, keep track of inventory and production of racecars. He has 12 years of NASCAR experience. Watkins said he was eager to start his new assignment with Midwest Transit Racing, which is owned by Hal Hicks and Mike Witters. Speed is in the midst of reorganizing Midwest Transit Racing. He said the next step is hiring a driver with Winston Cup experience. The team's next race is the Pepsi 400, scheduled July 3 at Daytona(MTR PR)(6-9-1999)

  • Pocono Testing: On Monday and Tuesday (6/7, 6/8), Tony Stewart, Steve Park, and Jeff Green practiced at Pocono Raceway in preparation for the Pocono races. No speeds reported on Monday, but Steve Park was rumored to be quickest of the three at a little over 168 mph on Tuesday. Also, it is reported that Tony Stewart wrecked his primary car for the June race in Turn 2 at Pocono during a Tuesday morning practice session. Tony Stewart was uninjured and continued practice using a 2nd car(Stock Car Fans Newsletter)(6-9-1999)

  • Paint Scheme and Greyhounds... I don't usually do this, but I basically copied this from NOL, what can I say I like dogs(animals). "Ernie Irvan will team up with associate sponsor Pedigree Food for Dogs, to encourage greyhound dog adoptions in Michigan. Irvan will accept the challenge to help greyhound dogs during a Detroit area appearance with Second Chance for Greyhounds, a Michigan adoption organization. In recognition of Irvan's effort in Sunday's Kmart 400 at Michigan Speedway, the Pedigree brand will make a donation to the local adoption group to help find caring homes for former fast-track greyhound dogs. Irvan, who won the Michigan event in 1997 and earned a Bud Pole last year, along with his dog Ryder, a yellow lab, will co-host this event, greeting greyhounds from the adoption group. Second Chance For Greyhounds is a non-profit volunteer organization that has placed hundreds of retired racing dogs in Michigan. The Greyhound Protection League and the ASPCA have cited the organization for its high-quality adoption program. During the Kmart 400, Irvan will sport the blue & yellow Pedigree Food for Dogs logo. The temporary re-design will call attention to Irvan's crusade to help find homes for retired greyhound racing dogs. M&M/Mars, the manufacturer of M&M's, is a sister company to Kal Kan Foods Inc, manufacturer of Pedigree Food for Dogs. Irvan, Pedigree team up to help greyhounds(NOL)(6-9-1999)

  • Update on Rusty crewman: Bob Tracey, transport driver/gas man for Rusty Wallace's Team Penske car, was scheduled to see an orthopedic surgeon in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday afternoon to determine whether any additional medical procedures are necessary on his left foot he injured on pit road at Dover last week when an air gun was spun by the rear tire of Wallace's car when the jack dropped. Tracey was initially treated in the infield medical center before being transferred to Kent General Hospital in Dover for further observation. He was diagnosed with a hairline fracture and a chipped bone on the side of his foot. Tracey was released from the Dover hospital Sunday evening and flown back to Charlotte. Doug Ingold will be moved in as gas man until Tracey returns while Earl Barban will be filling in as the transport driver(SpeedNet)(6-9-1999)

  • #98 Changes UPDATE 1: Waddell Wilson has resigned as the Team Manager of the #98 Cale Yarborough team(WC Today Radio) -- UPDATE 1: see the NOL article(6-9-1999)

  • Cale back in control UPDATE 3: Cale Yarborough has taken control of the #98 Ford he has owned for years from Wayne Burdette who was trying to buy the team from Yarborough. Burdette missed a few deadlines to assume control of the team. Yarborough re-took control on June 1st. And even better, Cale has supposedly inked a three year deal with a major entertainment company as the new #98 sponsor. It is supposed to be announced in New York next week. The car has 'Guess Who?' and ?'s on the car, actually looks pretty cool(RPM2Nite)(6-4-1999) -- UPDATE 1: A sponsorship deal for the team could be announced next weekend at Michigan, and the sponsor is apparently Universal Studios, which owns the rights to the Woody Woodpecker cartoon character. The ``guess who'' message could also be applied to the team owner for Mast. Cale Yarborough owned the team until South Carolina car dealer Wayne Burdette bought controlling interest earlier this year. As of this weekend, however, Yarborough is back in control of the team(That's Racin') -- UPDATE 2: I have heard a few things about the sponsorship deal. I hear the deal will start, in part, announcing a new race game involving the character Crash Bandicot. Also I hear the deal is set up so the team gets a split of the royalties from promotions done on the car, movies, games, diecast, tshirts, etc, instead of direct payment. Burdette is no longer part of the team and am hearing conflicting stories on how the 'buyout' was handled, so I'll leave it alone(6-5-1999) -- UPDATE 3: Looks like the Woody Woodpecker deal, check out this site:, looks like the writing that was on the hood of the #98 at Dover(a few readers)(6-8-1999)

  • Sparky Plug Hears...UPDATE 2: "One of our garage area spies tells us venerable Dave Marcis will announce his retirement at the July race at Daytona. The rest of the year will be a farewell tour. In honor of Marcis, our source(Sparky source) says, Dale Earnhardt will drive a special camouflage paint scheme -- gold and black car with Goodwrench service on the hood -- at the Daytona night race. Marcis is expected to be back for one more race next year -- the Daytona 500 in February 2000. That would give him a Daytona 500 start" (assuming he qualifies, which he has done every year since 1968) in five decades and two centuries(iRace/SpeedVision)(5-12-1999) -- UPDATE 1: On WC Today Radio, Dave Marcis said it was news to him and he'd make an announcement when/if he was to retire. He said there was no retirement planned, nor any decision made about when it would come about(5-13-1999) -- UPDATE 2: Haven't seen it yet, but many readers say the latest RCCA magazine/catalog has a #71 Dave Marcis retirement car for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona. Top of the car is CAMO and bottom of car is black and is separated by red trim. No mention of an Earnhardt tribute car(6-8-1999) - NOTE: email Sparky Plug if you have any problems with the 'century' comment...

  • Nadeau Colors: Jerry Nadeau's #9 Melling Racing Ford paint scheme will feature a special tribute to late team owner Harry Melling at Michigan Speedway. Nadeau's Taurus will be painted red -- Melling's favorite color and the same as the colors used when Bill Elliott won the 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup Championship and the inaugural Winston Million in 1985. The car's decklid will carry a special decal that reads, "This one's for you Harry. We'll miss you."(Cotter Group PR)(6-8-1999)

  • Rudd News UPDATE 1: According to sources of PitNow, Ricky Rudd's new business could be Heilig-Meyers' Bill Derusha. Rudd just hired Jeff Kirk, the man who ran Junie Donlavey's Heilig-Meyers-sponsored team(#90) so well for several years. Rudd, owner/driver of the #10 Tide Ford, doesn't want to sell the team but wants to add a business partner and has two offers on the table(PitNow)(6-7-1999) -- UPDATE 1: Sources say one offer is from Stoops Freightliner(SpeedNet) NOTE: Sources tell me that Stoops Freightliner is not involved at all(6-8-1999)

  • 2000 Monte Carlo: Eddie Dickerson, 43, director of chassis engineering for Hendrick Motorsports Winston Cup operation, is a native of Milford, Del. While at Dover Downs International Speedway for Sunday's MBNA Platinum 400, Dickerson took time to discuss the status of the 2000 Monte Carlo. See the NOL article: Chevy teams steam ahead with 2000 Monte Carlo(6-7-1999)

  • Benson Schemes and Contest UPDATE 1: while I have an image of two of the Pop Secret cars, there are actually four Pop Secret cars. Pop Secret will be running a contest where fans can vote for their favorite paint job, the winning paint job will run at Rockingham in October. Pretty neat, see the image of two of the cars at the Paint Scheme Gallery(6-4-1999) -- UPDATE 1: I hear Johnny Benson will run two other paint schemes in 1999: HMM Solid gold Ford running in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona and the rumored Wheaties car at the Brickyard(Roush Racing Fans Page)(6-7-1999)

  • Adam Petty to Cup? From the Adam Petty site in his Dover Journal - "Im not supposed to comment on that question, but if yall can keep a secret Ill tell you that we are building a Cup car for next year. Whether or not I run it depends a lot on how this year goes. As of today, we are planning to run 5 Cup races next year"(

  • Childress 3rd Cup Team? If Richard Childress, owner of the #3 and #31 Cup teams, adds a third Cup team, Wally Dallenbach is one of the drivers under consideration(PitNow), Dallenbach's contract with Hendrick is up at the end of 1999 as is Budweiser, the sponsor of the #25 Chevy Dallenbach drives.(PitNow)(6-7-1999)

  • More Childress BGN stuff: #98 Porter Cable Truck driver, Kevin Harvick, is among the list of drivers for Childress' new BGN Team. Supposedly AC Delco is one possible sponsor(PitNow)(6-7-1999)

  • Teather News: Winston Cup director Gary Nelson said NASCAR is continuing to test the cable restraint system used to tether the front wheels to the cars and hopes a decision on whether to require the devices will come soon. More than half used it in Sunday's MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover(That's Racin')(6-7-1999)

  • Rusty's Gasman hurt: Bobby Tracey, gasman and truck driver for the #2 Miller Lite Team and driver Rusty Wallace, injured his left ankle during a pitstop. According to team officials, Tracey was apparently hit by an air gun and a lug nut that spun off a tire as Wallace was leaving the pits. Tracey has a hairline fracture of his foot(NOL) Get well Bobby!(6-7-1999)

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