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PAST NEWS OCTOBER 11-17, 1999


(10-17-1999)
  • Sad News: ESPN Announcer Bob Jenkins will be absent from today's ESPN NASCAR Cup telecast as his Mother passed away over the weekend and he left Talladega to be with his family, thoughts and condolences go out to his family(NASCAR2Day) Jerry Punch filled in a did a nice job(as usual)(10-17-1999)

  • Brett Bodine sale close UPDATE: Brett Bodine is close to selling his #11 Cup team, all terms are agreed upon, just the paper work to do(RPM2Nite). Rumor has it that the new owner is Winston West owner Richard Hilton and will bring along Ralphs/Kroger as a sponsor(10-15-1999) -- UPDATE: should be announced at Phoenix(NASCAR2Day)(10-17-1999)

  • Pemberton signs: #2 driver, Rusty Wallace said Saturday that crew chief Robin Pemberton has a new deal with the team. Pemberton, whose contract expired after this season, signed a three-year deal Thursday(Roanoke Times)(10-17-1999)

  • Foyt-Boat-Cup? Billy Boat still doesn't have a contract to drive for A.J. Foyt next season, and the way Foyt addressed the subject Tuesday in a conference call, it doesn't sound promising. When Foyt was asked about Boat and teammate Kenny Brack's status, he said: "Both drivers' contracts are up (after Sunday's race at Texas Motor Speedway). They're free agents. If they want to go somewhere, they're more than welcome." As for rumors that Boat may be in line for the NASCAR Winston Cup ride being created next season by Foyt, the car owner was noncommittal(in part from SpeedNet)(10-17-1999)

  • Bliss News: Mike Bliss said he is looking at two possible Cup rides, including the #30 Jimmy Dean Pontiac Grand Prix he drove to a 32nd-place finish at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Oct. 3. Bliss also said he has had informal conversations with A.J. Foyt about the open seat with his new Winston Cup team(Star Telegeam)(10-17-1999)

  • More UPDATEs: R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company has decided that its Winston brand's NASCAR sponsorship cannot continue to include the NASCAR Winston Racing Series, the weekly short-track racing program that it has been primary sponsor of for 26 years, after the conclusion of the 1999 season(NOL) I am hearing Exide Batteries may step in as the sponsor(10-12-1999) -- UPDATE: NASCAR is talking with five companies about sponsorship of the Winston Racing series in the future. One of those companies is Exide, which decided to cease sponsoring the Richmond fall Winston Cup race after this season. The sponsorship includes a $1.4 million championship fund(Times-Dispatch)(10-13-1999) -- UPDATE 2: Exide representatives said the company is not currently planning to take over sponsorship of the former Winston Racing Series, but that it would consider it if NASCAR offered. The company is currently planning to sponsor a different NASCAR short track series(Times-Dispatch)...BUT... I am hearing Exide Corporation has entered into an agreement with NASCAR to sponsor the Exide ShorTrack Series next year, the second tier of the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series (NWRS), the premier short track racing series in the nation. The Exide ShorTrack Series, which is a part of the NWRS, competes at nearly 100 short tracks, both dirt and asphalt, on a weekly basis, nationwide, reaching 39 states, including Alaska. The Exide ShorTrack Series has no regulation playing field. The tracks will range in size from the tight .250-mile Riverhead Raceway on Eastern Long Island, NY, to the spacious .626-mile LaCrosse (WI) Fairgrounds Speedway. There are 10 regions throughout the country that will feature drivers competing for track, regional and national honors and recognition. With more than $1.423 million in posted point fund awards available in the first tier, drivers in the second tier will now be vying for the Exide ShorTrack Series national championship(10-17-1999)

  • Rudd/Yates UPDATE: Ricky Rudd will have a Yates engine in the #10 Tide Ford for today's race at Talladega, but it won't be the same one with which he qualified. Yates has given Rudd a new motor to use Sunday(That's Racin') -- UPDATE: Rudd got his best finish of 1999 at Talladega......a third(10-17-1999)


    (10-16-1999)
  • NASCAR Sues: NASCAR has sued a Chicago man claiming that he is infringing on their trademark by operating an Internet site called nascarstore. NASCAR, which filed the suit on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, says in the suit that Robert Freeman of Chicago is misleading people who visit the site into believing that it's owned and operated by the stock-car racing association. It claimed the defendant is making money on their name(Full story at: Tennessean)(10-16-1999)

  • Musgrave R&D? Ted Musgrave, who does not have a ride for next season, is considering an offer to drive a research and development car for Wells in test sessions and selected Winston Cup races. Musgrave would also work with Scott Pruett and Anthony Lazzaro, who will drive for Wells' Grand National team, as they adapt to driving stock cars. Musgrave will be out of the #75 Fords at season's end. Wally Dallenbach. Musgrave said he has not talked with A.J. Foyt about possibly driving for Foyt's new team next year(That's Racin')(10-16-1999)

  • Rudd sells? Hearing Ricky Rudd has a buyer for his team/equipment(10-12-1999) -- UPDATE: Ricky Rudd said that he has an auction scheduled for near Thanksgiving to sell his equipment if he doesn't have a buyer by then. Rudd said he has a few buyers interested, including one who would like to have Rudd have some percentage of ownership in the team(Roanoke Times)(10-16-1999)

  • Cheever News UPDATE 2: IRL owner-driver Eddie Cheever, winner of the 1998 Indianapolis 500, also was in the Winston Cup garage yesterday. He could make an announcement in the next couple of weeks about starting his own (Cup or BGN) team(Times-Dispatch) -- UPDATE: TNN's Raceday reports that Cheever said to expect an announcement soon concerning a Cup team he will start(10-10-1999) -- UPDATE 2: Cheever said Friday at Texas Motor Speedway that he is seeking a five-race program in 2000 with a Cup team. Cheever was in Texas preparing for Sunday's Mall.com 500, the IRL season finale. Cheever has been interested in seeing his company, Team Cheever, enter the Cup Series for more than a year, but once the "window of opportunity closed on pulling together a top package for 2000," Cheever shifted his focus. Cheever had had discussions with "a number of Cup team owners" about possibly doing a limited schedule next season(NOL) AND Cheever is seeking a ride with a top multi-car Winston Cup team that could provide a strong regional marketing program for a sponsor, possibly The Children's Beverage Group, which sponsors his IRL car(Racer Mag Site)(10-16-1999)

  • TV Stuff: Indications are that NASCAR is close to reaching initial agreements on its unified broadcast package with a major network or networks. But NASCAR officials remain very guarded about what might be coming down the pipe, and when. Asked about reports that the deal could be going to final in the next two or three weeks, NASCAR vice president Mike Helton admitted that negotiations were nearing time for serious talk with broadcast partners, but would say little more(Racer Mag Site)(10-16-1999)

  • Shocked UPDATE: NASCAR'S Proposed new Daytona-Talladega shock rules, as expected, aren't setting well with the tour's top shock specialists. Winston Cup teams don't even know the specifics of what NASCAR has planned, and Chevy teams will be at Talladega for three days after next weekend's DieHard 500. Over the past few years, teams have used trick shocks to lower their cars to improve aerodynamics for qualifying, but the downside is a harsh ride on a chassis that digs into the pavement, leaving a trail of sparks. The proposed rule would require a standard shock to be used by each team for qualifying next season at Daytona and Talladega. NASCAR plans to ask Chevrolet teams to test some of the new shocks at Talladega next week during three days of testing after Sunday's DieHard 500(PitNow)(10-11-1999) -- UPDATE: NASCAR very likely will outlaw the bone-jarring shock-and-spring packages teams have used in qualifying at the restrictor-plate tracks the past couple of years. Other concerns are driver safety and costs to the teams. Shocks with hand-made internal parts are designed to compress quickly (against very soft springs) and rebound almost not at all, allowing the cars’ bodies virtually to sit on the frame and drag the ground during time trials at Daytona and Talladega. The idea is to get the car body as low in the airstream as possible in order to gain speed. The solution, NASCAR vice president Kevin Triplett said, will be to specify minimum spring rates (350 to 400 pounds) and to hand out a spec shock for qualifying, in the manner of the restrictor plates used on the engine intake manifolds. The shocks would be used only for qualifying, as the trick packages are not used in the races. NASCAR plans to test this idea here Monday and Tuesday, which coincides with the first big-track test of Chevrolet’s new Monte Carlo model, due in competition next year. The new shock package, if it works as planned, would be introduced at next year’s Daytona 500(Racer Magazine Site)(10-16-1999)

  • Toyota: it’s not actually in Winston Cup, but a Toyota Celica, driven by Larry Caudill, will make its NASCAR debut at the Goody’s Dash Series event Saturday night at Langley Speedway in Hampton, VA(Gaston Gazette)(10-16-1999) being told this is not Toyota's debut, don't know much about it, just reported the story and the link


    (10-15-1999)
  • More Martin: Mark Martin's on-track performance in his Valvoline Ford, combined with contributions from Valvoline and NASCAR fans, has brought the current total raised for Big Brothers/Big Sisters to $154,409. Valvoline donates $5,000 for each Winston Cup race won by Martin, $2,500 for each pole and $20 for each lap led, in the "Caring Hands" program(JMar Express Newsletter)(10-15-1999)

  • New Associate? hearing that Cooper Lighting will become an associate sponsor for APR Racing and the #55 Square D car with driver Kenny Wallace, not sure when(10-15-1999)

  • Jayski Notes from Qualifying at Talladega: #10 Ricky Rudd has a Yates motor in the car, can you tell?; the #91 has a bare white paint scheme with aqua letters; the #89 Bobby Gerhart has Greektown Casino as the sponsor on his car; the #42 Joe Nemechek is purple for the Bellsouth Phone Card; #36 Jerry Nadeau has the Crispy M&M's scheme; #40 Sterling Marlin chevy has the Brooks and Dunn colors; The #6 Mark Martin Ford has the Zerex-Valvoline colors; #31 Mike Skinner blew an engine on his warmup lap early and didn't make an attempt; #3 Earnhardt only took one lap in qualifying instead of the two allowed after blowing his engine also, at least #71 Dave Marcis did ok with a Childress engine and will start 25th; #24-Jeff Gordon(14th) was out qualified by his two Hendrick teammates, #25-Dallenbach(7th) and #5-Labonte(8th)(10-15-1999)

  • No Cup for Little Al UPDATE: IRL team owner Rick Galles says two-time Indy winner Al Unser Jr. and he have agreed to run next season together in the Indy Racing League. However, they have not signed a contract, Galles said(SpeedNet)(9-28-1999) -- UPDATE: Al Unser Jr confirmed in Australia on Friday that he has signed a multi-year contract with Rick Galles to compete in the IRL series. An announcement is expected to take place within the next two weeks. The team will have sponsorship from from Valvoline and Firestone(Race Magazine)(10-15-1999)

  • #7 News: owner Jim Mattei of Mattei Motorsports says the team doesn't have a sponsor signed for 2000 yet but is talking to two potential sponsors and has set no deadline in terms of finding a sponsor(Winston Cup Scene Magazine). Nations Rent has been rumored as a potential sponsor but I have heard nothing on that in week(10-15-1999)

  • Lepage Back, TV Guide? #16 team owner, Jack Roush says he expects Kevin Lepage to be back in his fold again next season and has every reason that the TV Guide sponsorship will be finalized in the next few weeks(PitNow)(10-15-1999)

  • #98 Crew Chief: Dan Glauz has been named interim crew chief for the #98 team and driver Rick Mast(Winston Cup Scene Magazine)(10-15-1999)

  • Martin Car: #6 Valvoline Ford driver Mark Martin no longer has the car he drove to a third-place finish in the DieHard 500 in April at Talladega. That car was destroyed during a practice-session accident in July at Daytona(Tennessean)(10-15-1999)

  • Announcement TODAY? The will be a Pontiac/Jimmy Dean press conference at Talladega on Friday, Oct 15th at 10:30am/ct(10-14-1999) -- have not heard yet what this is, but I hear it was an announcement of a Jimmy Dean contest winner(10-15-1999)


    (10-14-1999)
  • #19 Joyner-Kersee team news: Jackie Joyner-Kersee announced in July that she and husband Bob would partner with Kurt Roehrig to form a racing team. The process of getting started has taken a long time and the Roehrig said the team's status for next year has not been determined. Roehrig, who owns a truck team and has run selected Cup races, said the team does not have a sponsor for next year. He says talks with one potential sponsor have gone well, though. If they can't get something for Cup by the end of the month, they will concentrate on something else. If that is the case, the team plans to run a full season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and a partial Cup season. If the team gets a sponsor soon, it would run a full Cup schedule and a partial truck schedule. Roehrig and the Kersees would not consider joining an existing Cup team to race on that series full time without major sponsorship(in part from the Depot)(10-14-1999)


    (10-13-1999)
  • Spoiler Change? UPDATE: Not in the angle but I hear NASCAR will issue a bulletin on how the braces on the rear spoilers are placed. Basically it tells the teams where the support braces go, how many, and exactly where to put them. From what I understand, teams could put them at angles or more than three per side so the tool used by NASCAR could only be hung on the spoiler where the team wanted it, usually in the center. Then they would turn the corners back a couple of degrees. Less downforce(7-29-1999) -- UPDATE: will be effective as of October 13th, 1999(before Talladega). An addition to the rule book covering the Rear Spoilers, concerning the Spoiler Braces. There can be a maximum of six, three per side, evenly spaced(7-30-1999) REPOSTED(10-13-1999)

  • #66 Crew Chief UPDATE: hearing the #66 Big Kmart/Route 66 team and crew chief Philippe Lopez have parted ways as of Monday. Supposedly team owner Travis Carter will handle the crew chief duties for the rest of the season. Darrell Waltrip(DW) drives the car. Hearing DW is testing at Rockingham and Lopez is not there(10-12-1999) -- UPDATE: Travis Carter, co-owner of Haas/Carter Motorsports with Carl Haas, has taken over crew chief responsibilities for the #66 Route 66/Big Kmart Racing team for the remainder of the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup season. Philippe Lopez, crew chief since May, will remain with the team(VanDercook and Company PR)(10-13-1999)

  • #45 Tyler Jet News: 10-10-345 (AT&T) has not yet informed the #45 Tyler Jet Motorsports either way of their plans for the 2000 season. The team also laid off the engine department and will outsource for the rest of 1999 and 2000. Chief Engine Builder Claude Queen and one other indivudual from the motor room have been retained to work on R&D and the possiblere-opening of the in-house motor program at a later date. From team owner Tim Beverley: "This was by no means any form of a cost-cutting move, but just the opposite. It's going to cost us significantly more to purchase these motors from a reliable outside source. We are that committed to make this program stronger ... even with just five races to go." No word on who is building the engines for the team AND from the TNN site: "Effective at 8am this morning, I no longer work at Tyler Jet Motorsports," former general manager Tom Mitchell told country.com Motorsports today. Citing a "difference of opinion" with team owner Tim Beverley on the direction the team should take, Mitchell stated that he thought it in the best interest of all concerned that he resign. And his future plans? "I might just go up to my house in the mountains, break out my ski gear and spend the winter skiing," he chuckled. One of his last official actions at Tyler Jet was to lay off eight of 10 employees in the team's engine shop effective immediately. Its head Claude Queen, has a contract with Tyler Jet, so he's still with the team. According to Mitchell, the team has lately been using Hendrick Motorsports engines for its Winston Cup qualifying efforts, and now the team is negotiating to use the outside engine supplier for all of its Cup engine needs for the rest of the '99 season(TNN)(10-13-1999)

  • #41 News? UPDATE: am hearing the #41 Hedrick team and Dick Trickle have parted ways, no idea who may drive the car at Talladega(10-12-1999) -- UPDATE: In an announcement made today by team owner Larry Hedrick, veteran Winston Cup driver Derrike Cope has been tabbed to drive the #41 Kodiak Chevrolet in this week's Winston 500 event at Talladega Superspeedway. Cope takes over the wheel from well-known driver Dick Trickle, who had been the pilot of the Kodiak/Larry Hedrick Motorsports race car for the last month(TNN Motorsports Site)(10-13-1999)

  • Pit Road Move: about the Skinner and Gordon's Pit Controversy: NASCAR officials said there were no written rules governing Gordon's pit-road move. "That's something that they'll have to settle between themselves," said Tim Sullivan, a spokesman for NASCAR. "Neither of them was speeding on pit road, thus no penalty was handed out."(AP)(10-13-1999)

  • RJR sponsorship UPDATE 2: R.J. Reynolds(Winston) is reportedly considering dropping its sponsorship of the Winston Racing Series(NOT THE CUP SERIES), the nationwide weekly track sponsorship package that has been a key marketing part of its development of the Winston Cup tour, according to NASCAR sources. The Winston Racing Series has been an effort to tie together the hundred or so NASCAR short tracks around the country with a cohesive marketing plan, despite the diverse nature of the various tracks and racing divisions involved. Reynolds' move would likely be tied to government settlements of tobacco issues. NASCAR officials have been shopping the series around to other potential sponsors(PitNow)(10-11-1999) -- UPDATE: R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company has decided that its Winston brand's NASCAR sponsorship cannot continue to include the NASCAR Winston Racing Series, the weekly short-track racing program that it has been primary sponsor of for 26 years, after the conclusion of the 1999 season(NOL) I am hearing Exide Batteries may step in as the sponsor. Tobacco sponsors are leaving in droves it seems the #'s 23,33 and 41 teams all are losing their Tobacco based sponsors at the end of 1999(10-12-1999) -- UPDATE 2: NASCAR is talking with five companies about sponsorship of the series in the future. One of those companies is Exide, which decided to cease sponsoring the Richmond fall Winston Cup race after this season. The sponsorship includes a $1.4 million championship fund(Times-Dispatch)(10-13-1999)


    (10-12-1999)
  • Benson Update: Johnny Benson continues to explore his options for 2000. "Though A.J. Foyt brings a winning tradition and attitude to NASCAR, we were concerned that with such a late start and Foyt's decision to build his own cars and engines, the likelihood for short term results was not promising" according to Rob Albright, business agent for Benson. "With Johnny's strong committment to General Mills, the decision to leave Roush was an emotionally difficult and financially costly one. Johnny's objective is to take his talents to a team that he believes has the necessary elements for success already in place, and is both competitive and loyal. We've already said 'no' to a couple of situations that we feel didn't fit these criteria. We're aggressively pursuing those that do."(10-12-1999)

  • Buckshot at Talladega UPDATE: Buckshot Jones will drive the #30 Jimmy Dean Pontiac at Talladega(Buckshot Jones Website)(10-11-1999) -- UPDATE: Buckshot Jones, a two-time winner in the BGN series, will attempt to qualify the Jimmy Dean Pontiac for Sunday's Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Eel River Racing announced the one-race deal with Jones on Tuesday. Brunswick, one of Jones' top sponsors, will be on the #30 Pontiac Grand Prixs as an associate. The team likes the fact that Jones has tested a Pontiac at Talladega recently. Jones ran in the April 25 DieHard 500 at Talladega for the Buckshot Racing team. He qualified 26th and ran in the top-10 through much of the race before getting shuffled back to 21st at the finish. The team and Jones will be utilizing a Hendrick engine(Hoagland Communications)(10-12-1999)

  • Penske Chassis: Heard this on NASCAR2Day and during the race a few times - That #2-Rusty Wallace and #12-Jeremy Mayfield are using different chassis and are unable to share data when they test. I am getting a lot of email wondering what this means and maybe the team will switch to Chrysler/Dodge. Not sure what it means and am not looking to speculate on it. Penske is known to experiment with his teams(in CART etc) and to try new things(10-12-1999)

  • Martin to leave BGN? Mark Martin, the all-time wins leader in the BGN series, is considering leaving the circuit at the conclusion of the 2000 season. An official announcement of Martin's plans is expected at the end of this season, either at Miami-Homestead Speedway - the final race of the Grand National season - or at the Winston Cup series' season finale the following weekend at Atlanta(That's Racin')(10-12-1999)

  • Foyt Driver: As expected, A.J. Foyt announced that he will put his #14 on a Winston Cup Pontiac next year. However, the driver of his Conseco-sponsored car will not be Johnny Benson, as many within the NASCAR hierarchy had assumed. Foyt insisted he had made no decision yet, but a member of his team said that Benson, or any other Winston Cup regular, for that matter, had been eliminated in a meeting Saturday morning. Foyt has repeatedly declared that he would rather risk tearing up a few cars than have a driver committed to anything other than winning, and as a result he has apparently decided against hiring a driver with Cup experience. Billy Boat, a former sprint-car standout who now drives one of Foyt's two IRL cars, may be a candidate, in addition to Scott Sharp, who has been widely mentioned in connection with the ride(SpeedNet/Monte Dutton) AND Owner A.J. Foyt informed Johnny Benson that he no longer is under consideration for a driving job next season. Foyt appears to be concentrating on bringing in a driver from the open-wheel ranks(Times-Dispatch)(10-12-1999)

  • Morgan-McClure 2nd team: haven't heard much on this in a while but starting to hear they will start a 2nd team but it'll be a BGN team(10-12-1999)

  • What happened to Geoffrey Bodine? #60-Bodine was running 11th when he lost nine spots in the remaining laps, why? He ran out of fuel(10-12-1999)

  • Pontiac: With Bobby Labonte second and Ward Burton fifth, Pontiac picked up two more top-five finishes, giving the manufacturer 36 for the year. In the previous three seasons combined, Pontiac had just 31 top fives(News and Observer)(10-12-1999)

  • Marcis News: Dave Marcis has an edge as he heads into the Talladega race weekend. Marcis will use the same engine that Dale Earnhardt used when he won at Talladega earlier this season(Times-Dispatch)(10-12-1999)

  • Jarretts Magic # is 8: If Dale Jarrett can finish eight or better(or average 8th) in the last five Cup races, he clinches the Winston Cup championship. Jarrett would score enough points that no one could catch him(Henry/StockcarFans Newsletter)(10-12-1999)


    (10-11-1999)
  • Fast Race: new race speed record for the Fall race at Charlotte/Lowes, 160.373mph. The former record was 154.537mph, set by Ernie Irvan on October 10, 1993(10-11-1999)

  • Bickle Leads: #9-Rich Bickle led his first lap of the 1999 season, so that's 43 drivers who have led at least one Winston Cup lap in 1999. To see who has led laps and who leads in the bonus points, see my Bonus Points Leaders Page(10-11-1999)

  • Big Kmart: the #9 Melling TBS Dinner and a Movie Ford has Big Kmart on the 1/4 panels. The #66 Big Kmart/Rt 66 Ford failed to make the race(10-11-1999)

  • Update on Randy Hall: The Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem(NC) still has Randy Hall listed in Satisfactory Condition as of this morning(10-11). Hall was the safety worker who was injured during a caution at Martinsville on Oct 3rd. For more into and address see my Oct 4th Past News Page, dated 10-7-1999. His family says Randy seems to get a little better every day, but it will take time(Martinsville Speedway)(10-11-1999)

  • Pemberton still doesn't know: Current #36 crew cheif, Ryan Pemberton, who is being replaced by Sammy Johns who is coming over from the #33 APR team, doesn't know what he is doing in 2000 yet, but he has talked to the #75 team as well as a Pontiac and Chevy(#25?) team and a start up team(PitNow)(10-11-1999)


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