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PAST NEWS AUGUST 23-29, 1999

  • Marlin and Coors renew with SABCO: #01, #40 and #42 Cup car owner Felix Sabates said that Sterling Marlin and Coors have each signed three-year deals with his team. Sabates also said that he won't run a third full-time Cup team next year. He plans to run as many as three of four Grand National cars next season. He says two of those teams will be fulltime teams. One could be a joint effort with Jim Mattei, who owns the Cup car of Michael Waltrip(News and Record - The Depot)(8-29-1999)

  • Cope Out UPDATE 3, #30 to #27?: Derrike Cope and Eel River Racing agreed Wednesday to discontinue their relationship, leaving the team temporarily without a driver for its #30 Pontiacs for Bristol and beyond(That's Racin') but I am hearing Mike Bliss may move up to a Cup ride on 2000 and this would be a logical choice since he worked with Barry Dodson in the CTS and BGN series(8-25-1999) -- UPDATE: doubtful Bliss would race this weekend as he is running the CTS race in Topeka with the #99 Exide Ford Truck team(8-26-1999) -- UPDATE 2: CTS series driver Mike Bliss is the leading candidate to take over the driving duties with the #30 Pontiacs of Eel River Racing, according to team sources. The move may not become full-time until the 2000 season, but Bliss would likely run some events before the conclusion of the 1999 season, sources said. Eel River Racing owner Jack Birmingham parted ways with former driver Derrike Cope last week and had Todd Bodine fill in on a one-race basis for Saturday night's Goody's 500(That's Racin') -- UPDATE 3: Mike Bliss is the odds-on favorite to be the driver of the #30 Eel Racing Pontiac next year. When Jack Birmingham bought the team from Chuck Rider, one of his first moves was to hire Barry Dodson to run the operation. In the Craftsman Truck Series, Dodson worked with Bliss for three years, and Bliss is Dodson's choice for the Cup operation. The team is expected to change its car number from 30 to 27 in deference to the number used by Rusty Wallace when he won the 1989 Winston Cup championship with Dodson as crew chief(SpeedNet/Monte Dutton)(8-29-1999)

  • Restrictor Plates? NASCAR officials are considering putting carburetor-restrictor plates on all Winston Cup engines at every track on the tour, and they're asking car owners for reaction. Drivers are not expected to be very enthusiastic about the prospectFrom PitNow(8-29-1999)

  • #16 Crew Chief UPDATE Parrott: To try to push all five teams into the top 15, Jack Roush put Buddy Parrott in a broader role overseeing the five teams. Last week, he made a crew chief change on Lepage’s team, replacing Skip Eyler with Tommy Morgan on a temporary basis. Morgan is also Jeff Burtons BGN crew chief(Times-Dispatch)(8-28-1999) -- UPDATE: Roush Racing owner Jack Roush has put Buddy Parrott in a broader role overseeing all five teams. Parrott has worked most recently as general manager of Mark Martin and Jeff Burton's teams. Parrott will begin focusing on the teams of Matt Kenseth, Chad Little and Kevin Lepage, Roush said(That's Racin') no mention of Benson or the #26, thinks that says alot

  • SABCO/Irwin/Gordon: Felix Sabates said that even though he and Joe Nemechek are parting ways at the end of the season, he will not replace the driver before November. He admits he is talking to Kenny Irwin and Robby Gordon about running for his team in 2000, denies he will run three Winston Cup teams full time and plans to put money into improving what he deemed a junk 2000 Monte Carlo. Sabates talked about honoring other owners' contracts and the seven drivers -- one which he says is in the top 10 in Winston Cup points -- that he is considering for next season. He wants to find someone to join Sterling Marlin at Team SABCO. He plans to trim that list this week. Ron Hornaday is testing at Richmond tomorrow and Tuesday because he will drive the September race in Sabates' third Cup car(#01). Hornaday, however, will only compete in the Busch Grand National Series next season. No one will run a full schedule in the #01 car. Sabates also plans to join Busch programs with owner Jim Mattei. The pair could run three or four teams in the series. At least two of the drivers would be full-time. As for his second Cup team, Sabates said he would not have a "recycled" driver, an experienced veteran that has worked for a variety of other teams. Sabates dined with Robby Gordon earlier this week and said the driver could be Sabates' second driver next season. He added that he is not the only Cup owner interested in the open-wheel driver(Times-Dispatch)(8-29-1999)

  • Short Track Wins UPDATE: Nine different drivers win the last nine short-track races: Dale Jarrett, John Andretti, Rusty Wallace, Ricky Rudd, Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, Terry Labonte, Bobby Hamilton and Jeff Gordon(8-25-1999) -- UPDATE Make it Ten drivers, add Dale Earnhardt to the mix(8-29-1999)

  • Rudd best: Ricky Rudd's 3rd place finish ar Bristol was his best of the 1999 season and his first top five of the year. the 24th driver to have a top five in 1999(8-29-1999)

  • Worst to First: Dale Earnhardt's win at Bristol was the lowest starting position(26th) to win at Bristol in it's history(8-29-1999)

  • Streak Over: Dale Jarrett's string of 19 consecutive top-10 finishes - three short of the modern-era Winston Cup record - came to an end when he wrecked early in the Goody's Headache Powders 500(WRAL/AP)(8-29-1999)

  • Mayfield Renews: Jeremy Mayfield has agreed to a two-year contract extension to keep him with Penske-Kranefuss Racing and the #12 Fords through the 2002 season(That's Racin')(8-29-1999)

  • Bodine in the #30 UPDATE: Todd Bodine will be behind the wheel of the #30 Bryan Pontiac at the Goody's 500 in Bristol, TN announced Eel River Racing owner Jack Birmingham Thursday. Bodine signed a one-race deal with Eel River Racing. The driver for the balance of the season is still pending(PR)(8-26-1999) -- UPDATE: On NASCAR2Day. ESPN's Bill Weber mentioned that Bodine was on a race-to-race deal with the #30, so we may see him at Darlington(8-29-1999)

  • Menard to NASCAR: John Menard, the Wisconsin billionaire who has spent millions trying to win the Indianapolis 500, has set his sights on the crown jewel of stock-car racing, as well. With the aim of reaching the Winston Cup Series and the Daytona 500 within five years, Menard is starting a NASCAR team that will compete with driver Bryan Reffner on the Craftsman Truck Series next season. Menard and Reffner, the 1996 Truck Series rookie of the year from Wisconsin Rapids, have agreed upon a multiple-year contract. Reffner said he could not reveal the terms. Initially, at least, the truck operation will be based in the same shop in Indianapolis as Team Menard of the Indy Racing League, or in a nearby building. Thomas Knapp, the general manager of Menard's IRL team, will take on a similar role with the NASCAR team. But Reffner, 35, also will wield considerable influence in the management. He was in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday, working with a chassis builder and talking to existing teams about purchasing used equipment. In 89 starts, Reffner has five top-five finishes with a best of third (Flemington, N.J., 1998) and about $650,000 in earnings in the series. See the full story at Menard has NASCAR on mind by Dave Kallmann of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel(8-29-1999)

  • Andretti Signed? UPDATE 2 YES: With Rudd apparently closing in on a new sponsor for his own team, Robert Yates is looking at another driver to take over #28, according to sources close to the situation. That is not expected to be John Andretti, who was to sign a new deal with Richard Petty over the weekend(PitNow)(8-23-1999) -- UPDATE: Andretti has no re-signed with Petty...yet. PitNow is reporting that "John Andretti is expected to make it official next week that he'll be back with Richard Petty next season". I hear Andretti is still in the running for the #28 Texaco ride -- UPDATE 2 but... Around the garage: John Andretti has signed a three-year contract with Petty Enterprises that will keep him with the team through 2002(Times-Dispatch) -- UPDATE 2: NOL has a story up: Andretti to stay with Petty through 2002, so those Andretti to the #28 rumors are history(8-28-1999)

  • Ince Interview: at the TNN site, check it out at: Who Is Crewchief James Ince? Why Are They Saying All These Things About Him? by Glen Grissom. Not sure if this was done before or after the TNN Ince to Wells rumor broke(8-28-1999)

  • More #26 News: I hear General Mills-Cheerios will return in 2000 on the Roush #26 Ford...with a possible replacement driver in Joe Nemechek(Team Roush Fans Site)(8-28-1999)

  • Buckshot rumors UPDATE: Hearing A) That Buckshot Jones and his Cup team will merge with Andy Petree Racing to form a third team at APR. B) That Buckshot Racing may lease engines from APR. C) That Buckshot Racing will form a 2nd full BGN team and Buckshot will run the #00 full time in BGN. So I guess that leaves things wide open(8-23-1999) -- UPDATES: Rumor has it that Buckshot Jones will not be joining the Andy Petree as a third team, but will be part of a two car team that will run all the Busch Series races and run as many as eight Winston Cup events(Ron Felix/StockCarFans Correspondent) and The people that represent Buckshot Jones have scheduled a press conference on 9/5 in conjunction with General Mills/Betty Crocker(anonymous)(8-28-1999)

  • Rudd Sponsor? UPDATE 4: hearing NationsRent, who sponsored Dick Trickle in the #13 Elliott Racing Daytona 500 attempt, will be Ricky Rudd's new sponsor for 2000 and beyond -- UPDATE: Actually hearing NationsRent is talking to Rudd, the #41 Larry Hedrick team and the #7 Mattei Motorsports team(didn't know Philips/Klaussner was leaving)(8-9-1999) -- UPDATE: I know hear that NationsRent has not approached the #41 team but I hear they are talking to the #50 Midwest Transit team with driver Ricky Craven(8-11-1999) -- UPDATE 3: Hearing NAtions Rent may be one of the two sponsor Rudd is talking to and the other....Dell Computers(hey I got one! it's great)(8-25-1999) -- UPDATE 4: Over heard in the garage area: Most are betting that the new sponsor for Ricky Rudd will be "NationRents", a national rental company(Ron Felix/StockCarFans Correspondent)

  • Spencer news: RPM2Nite reports that #23 owner, Travis Carter has reached an agreement with current(and future) driver, Jimmy Spencer to drive the #23 in 2000. Carter expects to announce sponsorship for the #23 in about a month (Big Kmart II?)(8-27-1999) -- ALSO: see SpeedVision story: Spencer confirmed in the No. 23 for 2000(8-28-1999)

  • Yates: Robert Yates said Friday he is in no hurry to fill the year-2000 vacancy in his #28 Ford, but at the same time rumors were circulating at Bristol Motor Speedway that Joe Nemechek now has the inside track. The probable scenario: Yates is using Nemechek as a fall-back choice in the event he cannot come to terms with Ricky Rudd, who is trying to decide whether or not to keep his own team in business(Monte Dutton/SpeedNet). I also hear Kenny Irwin, and Joe Nemechek, may swap places before the end of the year to get a head start on next season(8-28-1999)

  • Gibbs/Diamond Ridge Merge UPDATE: Diamond Ridge Motorsports owner Gary H. Bechtel has merged his BGN team with Joe Gibbs Racing effective immediately. Steve DeSouza, the recently appointed vice president of Busch operations at Joe Gibbs Racing, will work in concert with Bechtel to develop a plan for the 2000 season, as well as maintain the team's current goals for the remainder of 1999. The team is evaluating all of their options in terms of drivers and sponsors(TNN Motorsports Site)(8-26-1999) -- UPDATE: Gary Bechtel will serve as general manager for the remainder of this season as his team transfers from Chevrolets to Pontiacs, then will have an undisclosed role for 2000(Times-Dispatch)(8-28-1999)

  • #90 Crew Chief: Former Junie Donlavey crew chief Greg Conner has left the team to work with SBIII Motorsports as a shock-and-chassis specialist(Times-Dispatch)(8-28-1999)

  • Benson and Lepage...leaving? Several Winston Cup drivers are ready to leave their current teams including two members of the series' biggest organization, according to sources. Johnny Benson(#26 Cheerios Ford) is expected to announce this week he will leave Roush Racing - a five-team operation. Roush Racing's Kevin Lepage(#16-TV Guide Ford) may also be ready to leave, sources said. Lepage's contract expires at the end of the season with the #16 Fords and the team currently has no sponsor signed for 2000 and beyond. Lepage hasn't posted a top-10 finish this season. Mark Martin disagreed Friday with assumptions that Martin and teammate Jeff Burton get better equipment that Roush members Benson, Lepage and Chad Little(That's Racin') and also: In the wake of Monday's upcoming announcement that Johnny Benson will leave Roush Racing after the 1999 season, Mark Martin, who is currently second on the Winston Cup leader board, has little time to worry about the future of his soon to be former teammate, see full story by Lee Spencer at SpeedVision - Martin speaks about Benson's upcoming departure. And what happens to Cheerios? I have heard they may stay with Roush, I have heard they may go to another team, one rumor has them with...get this....the #43 Petty team, cannot fathom a yellow #43(8-28-1999)

  • Pruett..Hmmm..UPDATE: sources at the track tell me that CART driver Scott Pruett is at Bristol as observer. So is Anthony Lazzaro, who will drive for Cal Wells in the BGN, and the two have been walking around the infield together. Wonder if Pruett is under consideration for the Cal Wells Cup ride(8-27-1999) -- UPDATE: Scott Pruett didn't have anything better to do this weekend so he's spending it in Bristol, TN., at the Cup race. Pruett, who competes in CART, said nothing more should be made from his visit. He drives for Cal Wells, who plans an entry in NASCAR racing next year. Wells hasn't yet hired a driver but Pruett said he's not a candidate, primarily because he is in the first season of a three-year contract on the CART circuit. However, Pruett said he might drive Winston Cup cars sometime in the future. Wells said he hopes to announce his stock-car driver by mid-September(SpeedNet)(hint..hint: Dallenbach)(8-28-1999)

  • AJ on RPM2Nite: Marlo Klain interviewed AJ Foyt and he says he has signed nothing and has not talked to Al Unser Jr about a Cup ride or an IRL ride for the Indy 500. It was also mentioned that Foyt still plans to have his two car IRL team in 2000 and hopes to have his two drivers(Kenny Brack and Billy Boat) back(8-27-1999)

  • Irwin UPDATE: sources tell me that Irwin will make a choice on his next ride within the next week to ten days. Supposedly three(forgot one) choices are SABCO or the 2nd Morgan-McClure team, and the #23 Travis Carter team(8-26-1999) -- UPDATE: Hearing it'll be the #42 Bellsouth Chevy in which Irwin will drive in 2000, supposedly he has asked for an early release so he can get a head start in the car for 2000(8-27-1999)

  • Silly Season Article: in this weeks Winston Cup Scene. Lists Teams that may need drivers: #'s 01,9,19,16,23,28,30,41,50,58,90, and 91 along with possible 2nd teams by Butch Mock Motorsports, Morgan-McClure, Tyler Jet Motorsports and Cale Yarborough Motorsports as well as the Cal Wells team. Add the AJ Foyt rumored team and possibly the #26(8-27-1999)

  • Short Track Points: Although Kyle Petty has struggled recently, he should be one to watch at Bristol. Only Mark Martin (510 points), Rusty Wallace (496) and Dale Jarrett (487) have scored more points than Petty (427) on short tracks this season the Petty has(That's Racin')(8-27-1999)

  • Rudd: no rumor, a fact - Ricky Rudd is scheduled to make his 650th Cup start(not consecutive, oops) at Bristol(8-27-1999)

  • This is pretty wild: After a successful test in Charlotte in May, The Insider will be available to fans attending the Food City 250 and Goody's Headache Powder 500. It's like a scanner, except fans can choose in-car camera shots or TV coverage for the screen inside their headsets. See full story at Bristol Motor Speedway Site(8-27-1999)

  • 12th: The farthest back a winner has started in this race is 12th. Who? Lowest start of a Goody's 500 winner: 12th by Jim Paschal, 1962. Lowest Goody's night race - 10th by Darrell Waltrip, 1986(TNN)(8-27-1999)

  • Kranefuss and Titan: Titan Motorcycle Co. of America announced today(8-24) that #12 Mobil One Cup Team owner Michael Kranefuss and Titan have joined forces in a major strategic alliance aimed at further developing, marketing and promoting the Titan Motorcycle brand through the sport of NASCAR(PR Newswire)(8-27-1999)

  • New Sponsor: I hear AllState insurance will be sponsoring a NASCAR team or race, announcement coming soon(8-26-1999)

  • Wells Crew Chief UPDATE: The round of musical crewchiefs and drivers continues in '99 as Motorsports has learned that current #45 Pontiac crewchief James Ince is leaving the Tyler Jet Motorsports team. Ince has signed to head up the crewchief duties at the new Cal Wells Winston Cup effort; this would indicate that former Bill Elliott crewchief Joe Garone will head up Wells' BGN team in 2000. It's unknown when Ince will make the switch to Wells' team, but sources indicated that Tyler Jet is already looking at various replacement crewchiefs(TNN Motorsports) -- UPDATE: from Tyler Jet Motorsports via James Ince -- Recently erroneous reports surfaced on that James Ince, crew chief of the No. 45 10-10-345 Pontiac, had signed a deal to crew chief for Cal Wells' new team next season. Ince has a three-year contract with Tyler Jet Motorsports and has no plans to make a change. "I signed on here for the long term," Ince said. "We have struggled the past couple of weeks, but we have been doing some testing and trying to resolve the performance issues that we have right now, and I have no intentions of leaving (car owner) Tim Beverly high and dry just because we have had a couple of rough weeks." Wells will enter the sport in the year 2000 with a Winston Cup and Busch Series team and has made numerous contacts throughout the garage this year. Ince joined Tyler Jet Motorsports in May of this year after a seven-year stint with Roush Racing. Since Ince came on board the team has earned two top-10 and four top-20 finishes and vaulted 13 positions in the point standings in just nine races. "I'm looking forward to a long relationship with Tim and the 10-10-345 team. We have put together a really strong team here and I think we have shown what this team is capable of, despite a couple of bad weeks. We are working very hard to turn things around and get back to where we were last month. Bristol is just the place for us to prove that this weekend."(James Ince via TJM)(8-26-1999)

  • Cope Out UPDATE: Derrike Cope and Eel River Racing agreed Wednesday to discontinue their relationship, leaving the team temporarily without a driver for its #30 Pontiacs for Bristol and beyond(That's Racin') but I am hearing Mike Bliss may move up to a Cup ride on 2000 and this would be a logical choice since he worked with Barry Dodson in the CTS and BGN series(8-25-1999) -- UPDATE: doubtful Bliss would race this weekend as he is running the CTS race in Topeka with the #99 Exide Ford Truck team(8-26-1999)

  • Waltrip Back: Michael Waltrip remain in the #7 Mattei Motorsports Chevy in 2000 but it is 50/50 on if Philips will return(Winston Cup Today Radio)(8-26-1999)

  • Yates: Ever since #28 owner Robert Yates announced that he and Kenny Irwin are parting company at the end of the 1999 season, drivers have been practically lining up at the door of his races shop, helmet and resume in hand. But Yates, who fields cars for Winston Cup points leader Dale Jarrett and Irwin, isn't in any hurry to find a new driver for the #28 Ford Taurus. Among the drivers reportedly interested are Jimmy Spencer, Wally Dallenbach, Derrike Cope and Ted Musgrave. Bill Elliott and Ricky Rudd, owner-drivers who lose their primary sponsors at the end of this season, could also be candidates(Jayski Note: Elliott is not losing McDonald's until AFTER the 2000 season). Yates said it's going to be a tough decision(SpeedNet)(8-26-1999)

  • Green Out? UPDATE: I hear Jeff Green will no longer drive the #01 SABCO TracFone Chevy, the RIR testing story above sort of confirms that(8-25-1999) -- UPDATE: Jeff Green has told owner Felix Sabates that he plans to concentrate on his run at the Busch Series championship for the remainder of the season. Ron Hornaday will get the first shot at replacing Green, currently third in BGN points, in the TracFone #01 Chevrolet(Inside Motorsports)(8-26-1999)

  • TV Ratings: The Pepsi 400 at Michigan last weekend set an event record for its national cable rating according to Nielsen Media Research. Nielsen's report said the Pepsi 400 on ESPN earned a 5.3 national cable rating, which makes this year's event the most watched NASCAR cable telecast in Michigan history. The more than four million homes tuning to the telecast also set a cable event record for households(NOL)(8-26-1999)

  • Irwin to a Chevy? UPDATE 3 SABCO: hearing rumors that Kenny Irwin is the top candidate for the #42 BellSouth Chevy ride with SABCO -- UPDATE: that was quick, from PitNow: It appears that General Motors' Herb Fishel may have plucked another promising young driver out of the Ford camp. Kenny Irwin could be headed to Felix Sabates' Chevrolet team next season, according to sources close to Irwin(PitNow) -- UPDATE 2: TNN's Raceday reports that Irwin may be at the top of AJ Foyt's list for his possible Cup team, Cup veteran Waddell Wilson may be part of the AJ Foyt Cup team(8-22-1999) -- UPDATE: Felix Sabates' abrupt break with Joe Nemechek may pave the way for Kenny Irwin taking over Team Sabco's #42 Chevrolet. Irwin's availability may have speeded Sabates' decision to bring an end to his relationship with Nemechek, who will no doubt go in the pool for other available rides(SpeedNet/Monte Dutton)(8-23-1999) --UPDATE 4: Hmm...I hear Irwin met with Felix Sabates Monday and will go to Atlanta to visit with BellSouth reps sometime this week and that he could end up in the #42 as soon as early to mid September allowing current driver, Joe Nemechek to go elsewhere, I hear the #28 is a possibility(8-25-1999)

  • Rudd Sponsor? UPDATE 3: hearing NationsRent, who sponsored Dick Trickle in the #13 Elliott Racing Daytona 500 attempt, will be Ricky Rudd's new sponsor for 2000 and beyond -- UPDATE: Actually hearing NationsRent is talking to Rudd, the #41 Larry Hedrick team and the #7 Mattei Motorsports team(didn't know Philips/Klaussner was leaving)(8-9-1999) -- UPDATE: I know hear that NationsRent has not approached the #41 team but I hear they are talking to the #50 Midwest Transit team with driver Ricky Craven(8-11-1999) -- UPDATE 3: Hearing NAtions Rent may be one of the two sponsor Rudd is talking to and the other....Dell Computers(hey I got one! it's great)(8-25-1999)

  • The #36 Millenium Car? UPDATE 4 Postponed: Hearing that Ernie Irvan will have a new #36 M&M's paint scheme in 2000 called the Millenium car. No idea what it'll look like but it is supposed to be revealed at Charlotte in October(7-6-1999) -- UPDATE: I also hear that Ernie will run a special paint scheme at Atlanta with the car painted like a candy wrapper coming off, with the new scheme partly exposed and the present scheme partly exposed(7-7-1999) -- UPDATE 2: Saw this on the Action page(thanks Tina), wonder if it's the announcement of the Millenium car for 2000? - "THE RACE IS ON TO THE MILLENNIUM COUNTDOWN, NASCAR Driver Ernie Irvan and the M&M's Spokescharacters will be at a press conference and "M&M's" ice cream buffet hosted by Action Performance Companies, "M&M's" Chocolate Candies and MB2 Motorsports. To celebrate the beginning of the Countdown to the new Millennium. The 'event' will take place Saturday, August 28th from 4:15-5:15pm in the Bristol Motor Speedway Media Center." See the release at: Action Performance Site, no word on if this will still happen with Irvan being injured, too early to know(8-23-1999) -- UPDATE 3: I hear this Press Conference has been cancelled(8-24-1999) -- UPDATE 4: The press conference and ice cream buffet scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 28, 1999, at Bristol Motor Speedway with "M&M's" Racing Team driver Ernie Irvan and the "M&M's Spokescharacters have been postponed until October(Action PR)(8-25-1999)

  • Moore #28 Rumors: Joe Moore of MRN Radio does a local radio show here SE Virginia(ESPN Radio 1310). On Tuesday he reported that he HEARD that Robert Yates would be the engine supplier for the new Cal Wells WC Tide Team(which was reported here a few days ago), and that Yates was talking to Wells about hiring Joe Nemechek, and that Yates was looking to hire Wally Dallenbach for the #28 Texaco Ford. Joe Moore's show is on every Tuesday from 4:30-6:00pm/et(8-25-1999)

  • Another Grissom Champion: Nine year old Kyle Grissom, the son of Steve Grissom will drive the #9 Atlanta Braves/TBS Ford at Bristol, is the 1999 Bandolero Series National Champion by virtue of winning the Nationals held at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, August 14th(PR)(8-25-1999)

  • Crew is camping: Driver Kenny Wallace's #55 crew, minus Wallace, plans to sleep with the fans this weekend at Bristol. Crew chief Jimmy Elledge has decided to rent a camper and park it on one of the hills surrounding Bristol Motor Speedway(USA Today)(8-24-1999)

  • SBIII: I hear Hut Stricklin was in INSIDE NASCAR on Speedvision Monday and said he will be the driver of the #58 SBIII Tuarus for the 2000 season and also indicated the team is very close to signing a sponsor for 2000. Turbine Solutions will probably be on the car the rest of 1999(Team Roush Fans Site)(8-24-1999)

  • Irvan goes home UPDATE 2 Nadeau to Drive at Bristol: Ernie Irvan was released from St. Joseph Mercy Hospital on Monday, three days after sustaining a bruised lung and a mild head injury in a crash at Michigan Speedway(WRAL/AP), no word on his status for Bristol. If Ernie can't go, Jerry Nadeau is now available and has Hendrick ties -- UPDATE: Winston Cup Today Radio reports that Irvan will probably sit out at least the Bristol race and possibly be out longer. They report that speculation has Jerry Nadeau in the #36 M&M's Pontiac while Irvan recovers(and I was just guessing outloud earlier)(8-23-1999) -- UPDATE 2: Irvan plans an announcement today concerning whether or not he will run the Goody’s 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday(Times-Dispatch) -- UPDATE 3: MB2 Motorsports has hired Jerry Nadeau to drive the #36 M&M's Pontiac this weekend at Bristol in place of regular driver Ernie Irvan. Irvan was injured in an accident last Friday in BGN practice at Michigan. Both Nadeau and MB2 crew chief Ryan Pemberton confirmed Tuesday that Nadeau will stay with the team until Irvan is able to return from the injuries he suffered, which included a minor head injury and bruised lung(NOL)(8-24-1999)

  • Dave Marcis speaks: short and to the point - Q: hi dave, what are your plans for next year? A: I am going to be racing in Winston Cup. See the rest of the NOL Chat(8-24-1999)

  • TV Times: Good sources reveal that even though it appears that ABC/ESPN have the inside track on all of the NASCAR races on TV, the most likely scenario is that two, possibly three, networks will share the the TV rights. NBC/TBS will probably not be a big threat. NBC is expected to lose money on the November Winston Cup Homestead, Fla. telecast, a lot of money, and really doesn't want in. Fox wants in, though, but the recent flop with the IRL is seen by NASCAR as a lack of expertise and commitment(see full story at TV Times)(8-24-1999)

  • Tires/Richmond: The new tire compound that made its debut at Michigan also will be coming to Richmond International Raceway in September. Goodyear is hoping that it will solve the blistering problems that plagued several teams during the May 15 race at RIR. Drivers struggled to adapt to the tire this weekend, but it generally seemed to improve the quality of racing(Times-Dispatch)(8-24-1999)

  • What happened to Geoffrey? got a few questions on why Geoffrey Bodine was penalized, the answer from the Power Team site: An incident with an air gun has cost Geoffrey Bodine and the #60 Power Team Chevy team a lap in the Pepsi 400 at the Michigan Speedway. On the team’s second pit stop of the day, an air gun malfunctioned during the stop. A substitute air gun was used to finish the stop, which brought a 15-second penalty from race officials. NASCAR rules only allow two air guns to be used during a pit stop(PowerTeam Site)(8-24-1999)

  • #99 News hearing from a few readers that #99 crew chief, Frank Stoddard was on local New Hampshire radio show(WGIR-FM and WHEB) and was asked about the rumor of his leaving Roush to take over for Ray Evenham in the #24 car. Stoddard stated that while he was flattered to be considered for the #24 crew chief's position, he would stay with Jeff Burton, "the driver who gave him his WC opportunity" and that he would not leave for any amount of money(8-24-1999)

  • Nadeau Out? YEP-UPDATE 2: The Racing Angels ADNASCAR Newsletter newsletter reports: Sources tell me Jerry Nadeau has been released from the #9, Cartoon Network, Melling Owned car. Jerry, as we know, will be in the #25 Holigan, Hendricks owned Chevy next season. I understand Steve Grissom will run the car this weekend in Bristol, this is a race to race deal -- UPDATE: two Press Releases in part - 1) Jerry Nadeau and Mark Melling, president of Melling Racing, have decided to part ways in order for both to get a head start on their 2000 racing programs. "We just decided we need to go our separate ways now," said Nadeau, who next year will drive the #25 Michael Holigan Homes Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. "Mark needs to get a head start on finding the right driver for Melling Racing. I don't mind stepping away to help him out. "I had a fun year with these guys. We had our best finish together a week ago. I wish the best for all of them." Nadeau joined Melling Racing in July 1998, replacing injured driver Lake Speed. Some of the highlights of Nadeau's tenure with Melling Racing included a fifth-place finish in the Frontier at the Glen at Watkins Glen International Aug. 15, and an eighth-place finish in the DieHard 500 at Talladega April 25. His best starting spot this year was third at the SaveMart 350 at Sears Point Raceway in June(Cotter Group) and 2) Melling Racing announced today that Steve Grissom will replace Jerry Nadeau as driver of the #9 Cartoon Network NASCAR Winston Cup Series car. Grissom, who was the first to drive the Cartoon Network Wacky Racing car in 1996, has been hired on an interim basis starting with this weekend's race in Bristol, TN. "With Jerry moving on to another team in 2000, we felt a need to make an immediate change," said Mark Melling, President of Melling Racing. "Steve's experience and intense desire to get back into Cup racing will give the team a big lift as we evaluate our plans for next season. We wish Jerry all the best in his future endeavors." Melling Racing is in its 20th year of involvement in NASCAR. Their team history includes a Winston Cup Championship and the first winning of the Winston Million. Mark Melling serves as president of Melling Racing and Melling Engine Parts, the largest independent supplier of oil pumps and related parts(Melling PR) -- UPDATE 2: no word on what Nadeau may do, but he may test for Hendrick some(RPM2Nite)(8-23-1999)

  • 2nd Morgan-McClure team? UPDATE: Hearing the 2nd Morgan McClure team will debut the #14 Chevy at Bristol with Brad Teague driving(8-15-1999) -- UPDATE: Am now hearing that the 2nd team will not run at Bristol and am hearing that Kenny Irwin Jr is under consideration for the 2nd Morgan-McClure team and from PitNow: If Morgan-McClure does do a second team next year, he said that he likes Jimmy Spencer(8-23-1999)

  • Four Choices for Rudd: Owner-driver Ricky Rudd has said he’ll know in 30 days or so whether he will a) find new sponsorship and continue as he has; b) find a partner to help run his No. 10 team; c) sell out; or d) close down and go drive for someone else. Team members, however, indicate (a) is the likeliest, and probably sooner than in 30 days. The team feels they are close and that Rudd is to more than one company. Partnerships with the likes of A.J. Foyt and Chip Ganassi have been mentioned, but a partnering is unlikely before next season, possibly with an eye toward a second RPM team(Racer Magazine)(8-23-1999)

  • AJ and Rudd: A.J. Foyt says that he doesn't know where the story came from that he might be interested in buying Ricky Rudd's team, because he says that he hasn't talked with Rudd. But Foyt says that he does have tentative plans to set up a new Winston Cup team for next season, an operation to be based near Mooresville. Who might Foyt's driver be? Well, Robby Gordon wants to get back into Winston Cup racing, and Gordon drove for Foyt in Indy cars several years ago, although their split wasn't necessarily all that amicable(PitNow)(8-23-1999)

  • More AJ: Tommy LaMance, team manager for A.J. Foyt's Indy Racing League operation, said reports of a Foyt entry in NASCAR's Winston Cup series in 2000 are premature. LaMance said Foyt has talked to several groups about the possibility of getting into Winston Cup next season, but that nothing is close to being finalized. He said the four-time Indianapolis 500 winner and owner of the defending IRL champion Foyt Racing team isn't even sure if he wants to start a new team or buy into an existing team. LaMance also said no sponsor has been lined up yet(Tennessean)(8-23-1999)

  • From NOL Chat with Bob Jenkins when asked about Ernie Irvan's condition: "That's a very good question. We know Ernie is well enough to leave the hospital. Physically, Ernie is OK. The question has to be asked, how many hard knocks on the head can Ernie take? Secondly, he has stated in private that there are things more important to him in life now. He knows how close he was to death in 1994. And now a horrible memory as close to that in 1999. Physically, he would be able to race at Bristol. Although, Bristol is physically demanding."(NOL Chat)(8-23-1999)

  • Andretti Signed? With Rudd apparently closing in on a new sponsor for his own team, Robert Yates is looking at another driver to take over #28, according to sources close to the situation. That is not expected to be John Andretti, who was to sign a new deal with Richard Petty over the weekend(PitNow)(8-23-1999)

  • Damaged Goods? Al Unser Jr. has publicly expressed interest in a Winston Cup ride, but the widespread perception in the Cup garage area is that the two-time Indianapolis 500 champion is somehow damaged goods. Unser's CART decline, plus personal problems stemming from a divorce and the illness of his daughter, has reportedly taken a toll on the 37-year-old driver, who may also be headed to the Indy Racing League(SpeedNet/Monte Dutton)(8-23-1999)

  • More Little Al stuff: from a reader - NBC-6 here in Charlotte reported that Cal Wells has offered Little Al his ride in Winston Cup next year, but there isn't enough money in it for Little Al's liking so they are going to go back to the drawing board with tide this week supposedly. And...on RPM2Nite, Robin Miller from the Indianapolis Star News(SpeedNet) reported that Cal Wells offered his Cup Tide ride for next year. Jayski Note: most indications now are that Wally Dallenbach is headed for this ride, not Unser, who is more likely to stay in CART or go to the IRL(8-23-1999)

  • Buckshot rumors: Hearing A) That Buckshot Jones and his Cup team will merge with Andy Petree Racing to form a third team at APR. B) That Buckshot Racing may lease engines from APR. C) That Buckshot Racing will form a 2nd full BGN team and Buckshot will run the #00 full time in BGN. So I guess that leaves things wide open(8-23-1999)

  • PJ Jones in NASCAR? While watching the CART race in Chicago, announcers Paul Page and Parker Johnstone were talking about PJ Jones future and mentioned that Jones is looking at a NASCAR ride, but didn't elaborate. PJ is the some of Indy great Parnelli Jones and the brother of Paige Jones(8-23-1999)

  • Marcis on top from AP/Infobeat: Dave Marcis is back on top in the race to be the driver with the most miles completed at Michigan Speedway. By completing 197 laps to finish 33rd Sunday, Marcis edged ahead of Darrell Waltrip. He has now completed 17,948 miles (8,974 laps) in 56 Winston Cup races at the 2-mile superspeedway. Marcis had lost the record in June when he failed to qualify for the second consecutive race at Michigan. Meanwhile, Waltrip completed 195 laps to log 17,768 miles (8,884 laps)(Infobeat)(8-23-1999)

  • Marcis out? General Motors executives are again making a pitch to venerable Dave Marcis to turn his helmet over to a younger driver and become just an owner. But Marcis, 58, plans to make his 33rd straight Daytona 500 start next spring before making any decision(PitNow)(8-23-1999)

  • More SABCO: Blaise Alexander, an ARCA(and BGN) driver who has been trying to break into Winston Cup racing, may soon be getting a shot with car owner Felix Sabates, according to sources(PitNow)(8-23-1999)

  • Kidney Stones: A kidney stone sidelined Mark Martin's front tire changer, Robert Benfield, and changed the team's strategy throughout the race. Martin, who finished seventh, was caught exceeding the 55 mph speed limit on pit road after his first pit stop and restarted 37th. Martin said he sped as he tried to make up for a slower pit stop with a different tire changer. Martin was one of a handful of teams that took only two tires on the final pit stop. Martin was second on the final restart on lap 167 but could not keep up with cars that took four tires(News and Record)(8-23-1999)

  • Jarrett's Car? NO-UPDATE: General Motors executives said that they may talk to NASCAR officials about the car Jarrett is running here. It's the same car he used in decisive victories here(Michigan) in June and at Indianapolis two weeks ago. GM officials said they might try to get the car banned such as NASCAR did to a similarly successful car Jeff Gordon ran two years ago, the infamous Chevy named "T. Rex". GM officials offered no specific technical complaints about the Jarrett car(PitNow)(8-21-1999) -- NO-UPDATE: Saw nothing on PitNow or heard anything else on this situation, to many mays, mights and specifics in this story(8-23-1999)

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