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  • PJ Jones to Cup? During the CART race, Paul Page mentioned that CART driver PJ Jones was looking to get a ride in the Winston Cup series for the 2000 series(ESPN CART Coverage)(10-31-1999)

  • Ford Yes, Chevy...Not Yet: NASCAR has approved Ford's 2000 Taurus for competition following an exhaustive testing program in the wind tunnel and on the track. The 2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, which is also considered a somewhat radical departure from the current model, is in testing and awaiting final approval from NASCAR. (Speed Magazine/AP)(10-30-1999)

  • Bliss not signed...yet: Mike Bliss, who recently left the #30 Eel River Racing team and decided not to accept their 2000 deal, has not yet signed with AJ Foyt's #14 Conseco team yet, but Bliss said on Friday's RPM2Nite that he had a verbal agreement with the team and the reason he left Eel River Racing was that the sponsor deal fell through and the team couldn't guarantee that it would run in 2000 without a sponsor(10-30-1999)

  • More on Bliss: Mike Bliss, a regular this season on the NASCAR Truck series, now appears to be the choice to drive for motorsports legend A. J. Foyt’s new #14 Pontiac team in Winston Cup next season. Just a week ago, it was announced that Bliss would drive next season for Eel River Racing in that team’s Pontiacs. Bliss went with that team to Rockingham last weekend and finished 42nd in the #30 Grand Prix, and was scheduled to drive that car for in the three races that remain this year. Earlier this week, however, Bliss met with Foyt about becoming the driver of the #14 Pontiacs that Foyt will field with sponsorship from Conseco. Although no official announcement has been made, an ESPN report and other sources say that Bliss and Foyt reached an agreement for 2000. What about the deal with Eel River, where Bliss was to reunite with his truck series crew chief Barry Dodson? Sources say that while Bliss and the team had a deal worked out, no contract had been signed. One reason for that might have been that Bliss wanted to wait to see if the team could finalize a pending deal with a primary sponsor. Foyt’s offer, meanwhile, comes from a team with sponsorship already in place. Eel River is already talking to drivers about the last three races of this season and about next season, while talks with a potential sponsor continue. Bliss will not be back in the car anymore this season(That's Racin'/David Poole) AND supposedly Foyt is pretty mad the story got out and says no one has signed to drive the car yet.....time will tell(10-29-1999)

  • Aircraft Accident UPDATE: Monday's aircraft accident that took the life of Pro Golfer Payne Stewart also claimed the lives of Ray Evernham's agents, Robert Fraley and Van Arden of Leader Enterprises Inc(RPM2Nite)(10-27-1999) -- UPDATE: The NASCAR world also was saddened by Monday's plane crash that killed Payne Stewart. Also aboard the aircraft were a pair of business agents: Robert Fraley, who represented Joe Gibbs, owner of the No. 18 and 20 teams; and Van Arden, who represented Ray Evernham, former crew chief of Jeff Gordon(Tennessean/Cox)(10-29-1999)

  • McDonald's Reups: McDonald's will renew its sponsorship with NASCAR. That's a surprise to industry insiders who believed McDonald's was ready to end its run as NASCAR's "Official Drive-Through." Burger King had pursued NASCAR for most of the year and appeared close to a deal during the summer, but sources told the Sports Business Journal that NASCAR President Bill France favored the incumbent. Neil Perry, who heads McDonald's U.S. sports marketing, said a four year NASCAR sponsorship contract was sitting on his desk, waiting to be signed. McDonald's current agreement expires at the end of the year. Next year is McDonald's final year in its sponsorship of Bill Elliott's #94 team and the fast-food restaurant plans to use Elliott's 25th year in racing as a marketing platform in the Southeast next summer with themed cups and tray liners, television advertising and merchandise giveaways(Winston Cup Scene Magazine)(10-29-1999)

  • Atlanta Testing: Jimmy Spencer was the fastest of the four Winston Cup teams on hand Wednesday at AMS, traveling 189.210mph. #11-Brett Bodine, #25-Wally Dallenbach and #60-Geoffrey Bodine also tested, with Geoffrey Bodine turning laps in both his 1999 and 2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlos(News and Observer)(10-29-1999)

  • Polaris and Ford: Polaris has signed on as a "Crew Member"--or marketing partner--with Ford Motor Company and its imaginative new "Team Ford Racing" program. Team Ford Racing (TFR) will provide members with several exclusive benefits, including insider information about Ford racing programs and activities, opportunities to participate in TFR activities at events such as NASCAR Winston Cup races, and merchandise offers from "Crew Members" such as Polaris. The TFR program was officially introduced in September. Program details and membership applications will be available from Team Ford Racing by clicking on the banner at the top of this page. Information about the complete line of Polaris products is available from authorized Polaris dealers or from the Polaris home page on the Internet at: or the Victory Motorcycle web site at: PR)(10-29-1999)

  • Blimp Crashes: not really NASCAR news, but they do cover the races, so I thought it would be of interest - in part: The Spirit of Akron's 29-year-old pilot, Gerald Hissem, slowly guided the deflating blimp nose down into woods after computer problems forced him to land. He and the blimp video technician on board, Robert Peacock, 34, escaped the accident with minor cuts and bruises. No one on the ground was hurt after the slow descent that left the front part of the blimp's balloon section collapsed and its tail sticking up over the trees...see the rest of the story at the Blimp crashes - Akron Beacon Journal(thanks to a few readers for the heads up)(10-29-1999)

  • #41 News UPDATE 2: Todd Bodine is testing the #41 Kodiak Chevy in Atlanta this week and will drive the car in the Cup season finale. As for 2000 plans, still no word on a driver, but Exxon/Superflo continues to be the rumor floating around as the sponsor(10-26-1999) -- UPDATE: Derrike Cope will drive the #41 at Phoenix and Homestead -- UPDATE 2: Larry Hedrick has secured a sponsor for 2000 and will announce it at Homestead next month. Hedrick still needs to settle on a driver and is talking to several candidates with Winston Cup experience. The sponsor is currently involved in the BGN Series but not in Winston Cup. Speculation centers around Exxon being the sponsor, but Hedrick would neither confirm nor deny it(Winston Cup Scene Magazine)(10-28-1999)

  • Bliss Leaves Eel River Racing UPDATE: Shocker! RPM2Nite reports that Mike Bliss will NOT drive the #30(#27?) Eel River Racing Pontiac but will drive the #14 Conseco Pontiac for AJ Foyt in 2000. A potential sponsor backed out of a deal with the #30 team allowing an out for Bliss. The team is now searching for a driver and a sponsor in 2000. Kodiak was rumored as a possible sponsor for the #30 team. RPM2Nite confirmed with Eel River Racing that Bliss has left, no comment from the AJ Foyt team. No idea if Bliss will drive the remaining three Cup races in the #30(10-27-1999) -- UPDATE: Bliss will not drive the car at any of the remaining Cup races, the team is looking for a driver to finish out the season and for 2000(NOL)(10-28-1999)

  • Grissom News: For NASCAR Winston Cup driver Steve Grissom, it's been a long "silly season." The 36-year-old native of Gadsden, AL., spent much of the year in discussions with a variety of Winston Cup car owners, listening to proposals and offers. "Every driver in this garage has been through silly season one way or another, and sometimes it's kind of neat and sometimes it's no fun at all,"Grissom said. "What every driver hopes for is the ‘no-brainer' offer, where the best team in racing offers you more resources and more financing that you ever dreamed of. What every driver gets is usually a lot closer to the line of what's good and what's not so good. "I've spoken with some of the biggest names in this sport and I've spoken with some on other levels. I've even spoken with some who aren't in stock car racing at all," Grissom continued. "Where there were offers, we weighed them pretty heavily. Where they were promising situations, we tried to be honest in what we could give them." Grissom has continued to speak with some Winston Cup owners ("including a couple who would really surprise you if I told you what they were planning," said Grissom) and is also looking at other opportunities. "There are other opportunities out there and some pretty good ones too," he said. "I have a family, so I have to take a look at everything that comes up and look at it as seriously as I can. There have been a few that I had to step back and say, ‘Whoa!' There are a lot of people wanting to build really good programs out there. "Winston Cup is still my number one goal and it's still where I'm headed one way or another," Grissom continued. "Right now I just want to make absolutely sure I take the right road to get there."(Williams Co)(10-28-1999)

  • NASCAR and Newsweek: I hear Newsweek is currently working on a story that will feature three NASCAR Winston Cup teams - #12 Mobil One Taurus, Jeremy Mayfield; #22 Caterpillar Pontiac, Ward Burton; and #40 Coors Light Chevrolet, Sterling Marlin. It will be the first time the magazine has ever done an article on the technical side of NASCAR racing, and it will center around the science of racing, spending the most amount of space with the crew members. I hear the article is due out in next week's edition(10-28-1999)

  • NASCAR and TV: from the TV Sports section of the USA Today by Rudy Martzke: Dick Ebersol, along with officials of other networks, were involved in meetings with NASCAR negotiators Tuesday. Meetings will be held Nov. 7-8, with rights fees likely tripling to about $300 million a year. This could be the start of a huge month for NBC, which could wind up with half the NASCAR package, renew Wimbledon and possibly announce the launch of its summer football league with Turner beginning in 2001. Fox wants to buy the entire package starting in 2001 in conjunction with FX. NASCAR, though, probably will have two packages. CBS/TNN are favored to gain rights to the first half over ABC/ESPN for possibly $160 million a year because ABC can't televise as many races as CBS. NBC/Turner are favored for the second half of the year for about $140 million annually(USA Today)(10-28-1999)

  • Tyler Jet, Two Teams? #45 Tyler Jet team owner, Tim Beverly continues to talk with his current sponsor and several other potential ones as he decides what course of action his team will take in 2000. Beverly's goal is to still field two Winston Cup teams. Beverly recently talked to AT&T/10-10-345 and two other potential sponsors and the team is deciding whether they'll have two cars or one car(Winston Cup Scene Magazine)(10-28-1999)

  • Gordon BGN: Jeff Gordon will attempt one more Busch Grand National race in 1999. Gordon will drive the #24 Pepsi sponsored car at Phoenix on Saturday, November 6th(Tina's Jeff Gordon Site)(10-28-1999)

  • Phoenix Facts: There has never been a driver to win from the pole position at Phoenix and Ricky Rudd holds the distinction for starting the farthest back in the field and winning. Rudd started in 29th position in 1995 before charging to victory(NOL)(10-27-1999)

  • Goodyear and NASCAR: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s continuing partnership commitment with NASCAR remains firm and unaffected by the tire company’s announcement on Tuesday, Oct 26, that it was withdrawing from auto racing competition in the open wheel series. Contrary to the company’s increasing difficulty justifying the significant capital and resources that Goodyear has devoted to CART and the IRL, Stu Grant, general manager for global race tires, said there is no such question about being aligned with NASCAR. “This announcement will have no impact on our strong relationship with NASCAR,” he explained. “In fact, it may even serve to strengthen the relationship as Goodyear devotes additional resources to its NASCAR marketing and technology strategies. We are firmly committed to our successful supplier and marketing partnership with NASCAR. “The continued growth in fan base, track attendance and television ratings in NASCAR’s Winston Cup, Busch Series Grand National Division and Craftsman Truck series, represents a win-win situation for both parties.” Grant further noted that “our exits from Formula One, CART and IRL were business decisions that have absolutely no bearing on our relationship with the NASCAR organization. NASCAR continues to increase in popularity and is where virtually every motorsports supplier and consumer products company wants to be. We are steadily increasing our partnership with NASCAR, as evidenced by the recent introduction of the new Goodyear/NASCAR consumer tire and other marketing and promotional programs.”(Goodyear PR)(10-26-1999)

  • Gibbs Quits Funny Car: The entire Joe Gibbs(who owns the NASCAR teams of Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart)-owned Interstate Batteries Funny Car crew has been notified that the team will cease to exist at the end of the 1999 season. Crew chief Wes Cerny told all crew personal and driver Tommy Johnson Jr. that the team will be dissolved at the conclusion of the NHRA Finals in Pomona. Insiders also speculated that the sudden move may be related to the funding of the Interstate Batteries-sponsored NASCAR entry but Interstate personnel on hand offered no comment. The MBNA Dragster team will continue into next season as planned with Cerny moving over to crew chief the operation. Cerny will be bringing his mechanics from the Funny Car half of the Gibbs' operation and will retain only Mike Neff from the current Top Fuel team(NHRA Site)(10-27-1999)

  • Tire News UPDATE: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is expected today to announce it's pulling out of the Indy Racing League(IRL) and Championship Auto Racing Teams(CART). Supposedly there will be a press release issued this morning from headquarters in Akron, Ohio, and it will state Goodyear is ending its 36-year run in Indy cars(SpeedNet) -- UPDATE: in part from the Goodyear PR: As a result of the withdrawal, 18 engineering associates will transfer to other positions within Goodyear’s Akron Technical Center while approximately 60 manufacturing positions will be eliminated. Goodyear is presently involved in the largest expansion period in the company’s 101-year history and is focusing its efforts and resources on growing the company’s business activities on numerous fronts. As part of those expansion plans, Goodyear recently became the world’s largest tire manufacturer following a strategic alliance with Japan’s Sumitomo Rubber Industries and the company’s Dunlop tire brand. As a result of the integration, Goodyear’s annual sales are expected to increase by $2.5 billion in 2000, see the complete PR at TNN's Motorsports Site, plus Goodyear will not supply tires to the ASA circuit as BF Goodrich will supply the tires and become the series title sponsor(SpeedVision)(10-26-1999)

  • Business: Action Performance Companies announced that its inc. subsidiary acquired Fantasy Sports Enterprises Inc., which operates Fantasy Cup Auto Racing through its Web site at Fantasy Cup Auto Racing allows subscribers to assemble an eight-car Winston Cup ``team'' and compete for prizes based on actual race results. Television racing commentator and two-time NASCAR champion Ned Jarrett serves as the spokesperson for Fantasy Cup Auto Racing. For the year ended Sept. 30, 1999, Fantasy Sports Enterprises Inc. had revenue of approximately $2.2 million(Yahoo Business)(10-26-1999)

  • Shocks: The new shock combination, proposed for the superspeedways, was tested by Chevy drivers at Talladega last week and results were encouraging to NASCAR officials. Speeds at the 2.66 mile track were down almost 10 mph. With speeds again creeping up near the forbidden 200 mph range at Talladega, NASCAR again was hit with the importance of looking into the outrageously soft qualifying setups currently being used by Winston Cup teams. Setups now for qualifying at the two superspeedways have cars using shocks with so little rebound that the cars tend to bottom out during qualifying runs, leaving the vehicles on the very edge of control. NASCAR also has some concern about the roof-top wind flaps used to keep a car from becoming airborne at high speeds. There is a possibility that they may not function as designed when a car stays out of the airstream with soft shocks. Officials have said they may allow for different restrictor plates, allowing a little more speed, at Daytona and Talladega, should the new shocks be approved(Inside Motorsports)(10-26-1999)

  • Roush/Team Caliper: Roush Corporation announced that it acquired Team Caliber, L.L.C., a manufacturer and distributor of premium collectible die-cast products. Team Caliber will continue to focus its business on the premium, or high-end die-cast product. Team Caliber, L.L.C. will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary of Roush Corporation. Randy Duncan will remain as the principal operating officer(Team Caliper Site)(10-26-1999)

  • Wind Tunnel UPDATE: Reynard Motorsport Inc. announced today that it has joined forces with Roger Penske to construct a purpose-built, NASCAR-specific wind tunnel in Mooresville, N.C., for the development of vehicles in the Winston Cup, Busch Grand National and Craftsman Truck series. See full story at Racer Magazine(10-25-1999) -- UPDATE: GM has been promising for two years to build a wind tunnel near Rick Hendrick's shop in Concord for NASCAR teams' use. Now, Chrysler's Dodge operation is planning to build a wind tunnel in the heart of stock-car country, somewhere near Mooresville. Chrysler has no high-speed wind tunnel such as the Lockheed tunnel near Atlanta. The company is building one, but it won't be ready until probably 2001 or 2002. Building a wind tunnel is a $20 million-plus proposition, and it's unclear how long it might take Dodge to get such a NASCAR project completed(PitNow)(10-26-1999)

  • Closing in on 500: Jeff Burton's win at Rockingham gave Ford its 498th all-time victory in the Cup series. Ford is close to clinching the manufacturers championship and holds a 15 point lead over second-place Chevrolet with only three races remaining. Ford has 213 points compared to 198 for Chevrolet and 178 for Pontiac. How is the championship calculated? The rules and other info on my Manufacturers Championship Standings page(10-26-1999)

  • PPI News: A Hickory-based NASCAR team is doubling the size of its headquarters and thinking about building a much larger facility as it boosts its presence on the racing scene. Precision Preparation Inc.(Cal Wells) is building a 32,000-square-foot facility across First Avenue Court S.E. from its two existing buildings, which have a total of 25,000 square feet. But even that's not enough space, says Tim Wardlaw, facilities manager for Precision Preparation and they hope to expand their operation. The company fabricates car bodies for Winston Cup and Busch Series vehicles and assembles the cars. Driver Scott Pruett will take over Precision Preparation's Tide-sponsored Winston Cup car next year, and driver Anthony Lazzaro will move to Busch Series. The shop's 50 employees simply need more space to work, Wardlaw says. Real estate sources in the area say team owner Cal Wells is looking for a site for a premier NASCAR shop in Catawba County, something larger than DAJ Racing's Conover shop, which is owned by Winston Cup driver Dale Jarrett. But Wardlaw is hesitant to talk about those plans. Until then, he's preparing to occupy the building currently under construction. The company expects to move in around mid-November(Business Journal of Charlotte)(10-26-1999)

  • Atlanta Testing: I hear a few teams tested at Atlanta Motor Speedway Monday. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr, #15-Derrick Cope, #93-Dave Blaney, #16-Kevin LePage and #97-Chad Little. Other teams scedhuled are #23-Jimmy Spencer, #25-Wally Dallenbach, and #01-Ron Hornaday. #41-TBA and #60-Geoffrey Bodine test on Tuesday. #11-Brett Bodine tests on Wednesday and Thurday. On Nov 1-2, #12-Jeremy Mayfield, #31-Mike Skinner, #94-Bill Elliott and #50-Ricky Craven test(AMS Site)(10-25-1999)

  • The Dyno: NASCAR brought its chassis dynamometer to the Rockingham track and tested six cars after Sunday's race. The cars tested were the Pontiacs of Ward Burton(#22) and Bobby Labonte(#18), the Fords of Jeff Burton(#99), Dale Jarrett(#88) and Rusty Wallace(#2), and Sterling Marlin's Chevrolet(#40)(That's Racin')(10-25-1999)

  • Penske News: Roger Penske said yesterday he has no plans for a third Winston Cup team and he doesn't plan to switch from Ford to Chrysler -- at least not any time soon(PitNow)(10-25-1999)

  • Jarrett in Good Shape: If Dale Jarrett finishes 43rd at Phoenix and Bobby Labonte won and led the most laps, Jarrett would still lead by 95 points(That's Racin') and With three races (Homestead, Phoenix, Atlanta) remaining on the 1999 schedule Jarrett maintained his 246-point lead, and now only needs to finish 19th or better in each of the events to win the championship. If the #88 car were to lead one of those races, that number falls to 20th(Racer Magazine) AND Jarrett can clinch at Phoenix, but it's gonna be tough. He'll need to come out of there with a 371 point lead. If DJ wins the race (and leads the most laps), Mark runs 7th or worse, and Bobby runs 35th or worse....Jarrett clinches(StockCarFans Newsletter)(10-25-1999)

  • Martin Crew Member: Jon Davis, the catch can man on Martin's pit crew, was injured Sunday on pit road, the #12 Ford ran over the back of his right heel on his foot after a pitstop. Davis was on crutches after the race, but was otherwise fine. He plans to see a specialist upon his return home(NOL)(10-25-1999)

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