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PAST NEWS NOVEMBER 22-28, 1999


(11-28-1999)
  • Kersee/Daytona: Bob Kersee, who co-owns a Winston Cup team with his wife, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Kurt Roehrig, said he still plans to debut the team(#19?) at the 2000 Daytona 500 despite the fact he has no major sponsor. Kersee, who would be the only black owner of a full-time Winston Cup team, said he has held talks with some major companies, but still hasn't been able to come up with the estimated $8 million it will take to run the team in 2000Las Vegas Sun(11-28-1999)

  • Leffler wins: Irwindale Speedway closed its inaugural racing season Thursday night before a capacity crowd of 6,500 by showcasing one of the most intense and entertaining races in the 59-year history of the Home Depot Turkey Night Midget Grand Prix. Tony Stewart and Jason Leffler, three-time U.S. Auto Club midget car champion--and soon to be Stewart's NASCAR teammate--raced nose to tail and sometimes side by side for 100 laps around the half-mile paved oval. After swapping the lead six times officially and numerous other times when they passed and repassed each other on the same lap, Leffler swept past Stewart on the first turn of the 99th lap to win midget car racing's most prestigious event after Stewart's engine failed. Kenny Irwin also ran the ran(LA Times)(11-28-1999)


    (11-27-1999)
  • Team Gordon looking for help: Due to the creation of their new NASCAR Winston Cup team, Team Gordon/Irvan-Simo have a number of open positions. If you have Winston Cup experience, you can fax your resume, see the Team Gordon Site for the number and info(11-27-1999)

  • Cope to Replace Compton: Mike Cope will drive an Impact Motorsports Dodge truck in 2000 replacing Stacy Compton who is expected to drive the #9 Ford for the Winston Cup Melling team in 2000(Winston Cup Scene)(11-27-1999)


    (11-26-1999)
  • Yarborough Sold? UPDATE Yep: hearing the #98 Cale Yarborough team has been sold, no word on the buyer but I hear it is not Robby Gordon or Bob Lane(11-23-1999) -- UPDATE: Cale Yarborough has sold his Winston Cup #98 team to a group of investors headed by Tampa, FL, businessman Tony Misuraca. Misuraca, who also owns motocross and supercross motorcycle teams, was at Yarborough's shop in Concord, NC, Wednesday and is trying to tie up some loose ends. Yarborough will still have a part ownership role and the team will be known as Misuraca-Yarborough Enterprises. Among Misuraca's first jobs, he said, will be to try to get driver Rick Mast back for the 2000 season, and to keep Universal Studios on as the team's sponsor. Mast has been rumored to be headed for Larry Hedrick's #41 Chevrolet team next season(The State, SC)(11-25-1999) -- UPDATE 2: similar story at Racer Magazine(11-26-1999)

  • Martin Update 2: Mark Martin(#6 Valvoline driver), who underwent successful lumbar fusion surgery Monday, will remain in the Bert Fish Medical Center in New Smyrna Beach, FL, over Thanksgiving. He’s scheduled to be released Friday and will return to his home in Daytona Beach to begin therapy, a six-week rehabilitation regimen(Racer Magazine)(11-25-1999) -- UPDATE: For those who'd like to send get-well wishes to Martin, here's the address: Mark Martin c/o Roush Racing 122 Knob Hill Road Mooresville, NC 28115(J-Mar Express Newsletter)(11-26-1999)

  • Neil's son to ASA: David Bonnett will run for the rookie title on the American Speed Association circuit next year. Bonnett, whose late father, Neil, won 18 Cup races, will be sponsored by Focus Golf System, the licensee for Dunlop’s North American market(Fayetteville Observer)(11-26-1999)

  • NASCAR Water: Director of Special Projects Barry Richards today that Millennium Spring Water is now the water of choice for 16 Winston Cup and 31 Busch Series teams! Also announced was the completion of a deal with Winston Cup driver, Rusty Wallace to market a signature edition of Millennium Spring water featuring the Champion's signature and photo. This product is expected on store shelves before year end. Fans and consumers are encouraged to visit the company's website at: www. millenniumspringwater.com, photos from the recent Phoenix races and pictures of the Signature Series bottles may be viewed under the NASCAR heading displayed on the home page. Richards welcomed The Wood Brothers into Team Millennium as their newest member after discussion at PIR and was pleased to note they were supplied with spring water for the Homestead festivities. Barry and company officials were at Homestead this past weekend to visit with the teams personally and explore marketing opportunities(Millennium Spring Water PR)(11-26-1999)

  • Habitat for Humanity: In addition to having the best rookie season in NASCAR Winston Cup history, Tony Stewart found time to do a good deed. Stewart and his team owner, Joe Gibbs, participated in a Habitat for Humanity project with the support of sponsor Home Depot. Stewart and Gibbs rolled up their sleeves, pitched in, and helped build a house for a family who needed a home but couldn't afford one. It was a good deed by a couple of good guys, and because of their help a family in Charlotte, N.C., has a new home this winter(The Tennessean in part)(11-26-1999)


    (11-25-1999)
  • Irvan-Simo Racing: from what I understand, Irvan-Simo Racing will run Robby Gordon full-time in the #13 and, assuming sponsorship is secured, will run Boris Said in a second car in selected races(11-25-1999)

  • Not NASCAR but... Championship Auto Racing Teams owners voted unanimously last week to retire the number 99 worn on the car of the late Greg Moore, who was killed in an accident during the 1999 Marlboro 500 at California Speedway(Racer Magazine)(11-25-1999)


    (11-24-1999)
  • Winners: This is the fifth straight year that there have been 11 different winners in a season (1995-99). Every winner in 1999 was from a multi-car team. The last time a single-car team scored a victory was by Ricky Rudd at Martinsville in September 1998(NOL)(11-24-1999)

  • Ford leads: Fords claimed 49.4 percent of all top-five finishes this season with Pontiac at 25.9 percent and Chevrolet at 24.7 percent(Depot)(11-24-1999)


    (11-23-1999)
  • More Irvan-Gordon UPDATE: Ernie Irvan said he is considering leasing the shop he co-owns with Mark Simo to Robby Gordon's team next season. Gordon also could buy the four or five cars that are built and ready in the shop. Irvan planned to run the team but has not found a 2000 sponsor. About a week ago he was contacted by Gordon about the potential lease. Simo is meeting with Gordon later this week, and Irvan expects everything to be finalized in the next few days. The plan also could benefit the Irvan-Simo team. Current employees could be kept on and gain needed experience working with Gordon. Irvan said any potential role with the team has not been clarified. There is the possibility that he could work with Gordon during the upcoming year(Times-Dispatch)(11-23-1999) -- UPDATE: Robby Gordon announced Tuesday he has entered into a relationship with Irvan/Simo Racing that allows use of all Irvan/Simo assets next season, with an option for 2001, while Team Gordon constructs its own, new North Carolina facility. Those Irvan/Simo Racing assets include the Mooresville, N.C., facility, equipment, cars, employees and a merchandising program through the Mark Simo-owned clothing company, No Fear. Team Gordon also announced plans to campaign the Ford Taurus for the upcoming season. The car will use "lucky" number 13, a number it hopes fans will find endearing. The Irvan/Simo relationship also extends Gordon's association with Mark Simo and the No Fear Clothing Company, which will assemble and operate the team's merchandise program, both trackside and in retail outlets. On the racing front, Ernie Irvan comes on board as an advisor to Gordon and co-owners Held and John Menard. His role will be as a mentor, to ease the transition from the CART series, where Team Gordon successfully debuted in 1999, to the extremely competitive 34-race NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule. Lee Morse, Irvan/Simo Racing general manager, will lead the ship, rekindling a relationship Gordon had with Morse during his sedan years with the Ford Motor Company. The team is also working on one of the last pieces to the puzzle -- hiring a crew chief to couple with Jerry Baxter and Doug Louth. An announcement is expected in the next two weeks(in part from the Official Ernie Irvan Site)(11-23-1999)

  • Burdette Back? sources tell me that former #98 team part owner, Wayne Burdette is looking to come back into the Cup Series with...get this...Baywatch (yep the show) as a sponsor in some way(11-23-1999)

  • DW Just Frustrated: Darrell Waltrip said he was speaking out in frustration when he told an Atlanta TV station last weekend that he might not return for next season's planned farewell tour(Tennessean by Larry Woody)(11-23-1999)

  • Benson has a new ride? UPDATE 2: On Monday night's "This Week in NASCAR," a Speedvision show(7 and 11pm/et) hosted by Allen Bestwick, Johnny Benson will announce that he has signed a contract to drive the #45 Pontiac owned by Tim Beverley's Tyler Jet Motorsports(SpeedNet/Monte Dutton) -- UPDATE: Tyler Jet Motorsports announced on Monday that Winston Cup veteran Johnny Benson has agreed to drive for the team for the 2000 season. Benson has spent the last two seasons behind the wheel of the #26 Cheerios Jack Roush Ford. Benson's association with Tyler Jet will return the 1995 BGN Champ to the seat of a Pontiac, something the 36-year-old driver is excited about. "Getting on board with Tyler Jet Motorsports is a great opportunity for me," said Benson. They have a solid program in place with good cars and a great engine program. There's opportunity for a lot of people there and I'm looking forward to that. I'm also looking forward to getting back in a Pontiac. I had a lot of success in a Pontiac when I was at Bahari Racing. We missed the Top-10 in points by just one point in 1997 and I think a return to Pontiac will give me a great shot in getting into the Top-10 in 2000. That's something we definitely want to do next season, get back into the Top-10 in points." "We think we have the equipment and believe Johnny is the driver to get us on the stage at the NASCAR Winston Cup banquet in New York at the end of next season," stated Tyler Jet Motorsports team owner Tim Beverley. "To say were looking forward to going to Daytona in February is an understatement. It is going to be a great year and a great situation for everyone involved. We're all looking forward to it."(Tyler Jet Motorsports PR) no mention of a sponsor(11-22-1999) -- UPDATE 2 A sponsor has not been secured yet as the team is talking to several companies. Johnny Benson admitted on SpeedVision's Inside Winston Cup TV show that they are talking to UPS and the number on the Tyler Jet Motorsports Pontiac will not be #45(Adam Petty will be using that number when he competes in his 5 Winston Cup Races)(Johnny Benson Fanclub Site)(11-23-1999)

  • Nadeau roofing: Michael Holigan, President of Michael Holigan Companies and host of the national television series Michael Holigan's Your New House, and Jerry Nadeau, driver of the No. 25 Michael Holigan Chevrolet NASCAR Winston Cup stock car for the Hendrick Motorsports Team will videotape a segment for an upcoming episode of Michael Holigan's Your New House national television program. The two will be roofing Nadeau's house! Nadeau learned the roofing trade at an early age, working alongside his father, Gerard, in the roofing industry. The elder Nadeau also will be on hand Monday assisting with the project. Michael Holigan's Your New House is syndicated to more than 130 broadcast television stations around the nation each week and a one-hour daily version also can be seen on The Discovery Channel. The taping will take place Monday, November 29 at Jerry Nadeau's Residence in Mooresville, N.C. Nadeau and Holigan continue to "Build for 2000" as Nadeau will make his debut behind the wheel of the No. 25 Michael Holigan Chevrolet in the Feb. 20 Daytona 500 at Daytona(NE Racing Site via PR)(11-23-1999)


    (11-22-1999)
  • Michael Waltrip Update: After Waltrip hit the wall, he was taken to the infield care center , then airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center for precautionary X-rays/CT Scan. He was awake, alert and moving his arms(EPSN Race Coverage) -- Waltrip was released from the hospital Sunday night(RPM2Nite)(11-21-1999) -- UPDATE: see story at PitNow: Waltrip avoids serious injury after high-speed crash in finale. Waltrip suffered a slight concussion(11-22-1999)

  • Stewart to sign: Tony Stewart was scheduled to sign a new contract with Joe Gibbs Racing on Sunday night. Stewart's agent, Cary Agajanian, completed negotiations with Gibbs Saturday night. The signing should put an end to rumors that Stewart will leave Gibbs to join the new Dodge teams of Ray Evernham in 2001(SpeedNet/Monte Dutton)(11-22-1999)

  • Martin off to surgery UPDATE: Mark Martin left Atlanta Motor Speedway immediately following Sunday's NAPA 500 for his home in Florida to prepare for back surgery Monday. Martin is scheduled to undergo a bone fusion in his back at 7:30am/et. He is expected to remain in a Florida hospital for at least a week(That's Racin') -- UPDATE: This report on Mark Martin's back surgery from Lori Halbeisen at Roush Racing: Mark Martin underwent a successful lumbar fusion this morning to hopefully relieve a majority of the back pain he has dealt with for years. Dr. Chuck Kollmer performed the procedure in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. Dr. Kollmer is the same physician who performed surgery on Martin's knee in July. "Mark did very well through the surgery," Dr. Kollmer said. "There was no nerve damage from the procedure and now it is just a matter of the bone healing. His back pain should be much better, although not entirely gone." Martin suffered from a condition called spondylolisthesis in which part of the bone in the back is broken which causes instability and causes the bone below it to slip. That puts pressure on the nerves in the back and causes pain. During the 3 1/2-hour procedure, Dr. Kollmer removed the portion of broken bone and inserted hardware and additional bone which will fuse together to stabilize his lower back. Martin is expected to remain in the hospital until Friday. "He will be laying down today and we hope to start him walking by tomorrow," Dr. Kollmer said. "Once the pain is under control, we will be able to send him home. We will take X-rays several times over the next two months to make sure everything is healing properly. We hope to start a slow rehabilitation program of his extremities next week. He will wear a lower back brace to keep that area stable." The full recovery time for this type of procedure is usually about one year. Dr. Kollmer said Martin should feel better in about six weeks once the bone heals. At this time, Martin does not plan on climbing into a race car until Feb. 10 at Daytona(J-Mar Express Newsletter)(11-22-1999)

  • Hendrick Announcement UPDATE 2: hearing there will be some sort of Hendrick Motorsports announcement this afternoon, will post when I hear it -- UPDATE: According to sources close to the situation, expect an official press release later this afternoon detailing that former #5 crewchief Gary DeHart is coming back into the Hendrick organization to once again be the lead wrench with driver Terry Labonte. The Labonte/DeHart pairing brought Hendrick Motorsports the Winston Cup championship in 1996. DeHart had left the #5 in 1997 to open his own chassis-building business. His former business shop is likely to become the new location of the Jeff Gordon BGN team prepping cars for young Ricky Hendrick. (That's probably not going to be in the press release.) Current #5 crewchief Andy Graves is being offered a re-assignment opportunity at Hendrick. Although, country.com Motorsports also heard (along with anyone within earshot of Robbie Gordon) that Gordon had offered young Graves the opportunity to crew his new Winston Cup team. That seems unlikely(TNN Motorsports Site) -- UPDATE 2: One of NASCAR’s more successful tandems, veteran crew chief Gary DeHart and driver Terry Labonte are back together again. DeHart, who as crew chief helped lead Labonte to his second Winston Cup Championship in 1996, returns to Hendrick Motorsports as team manager/crew chief of the #5 Kellogg’s/Quaker State/GMAC/Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet team. The 1996 title was the second time DeHart was involved with a Labonte championship. He was chief fabricator for the Billy Hagan team when Labonte won his first title in 1984. DeHart takes over for Andy Graves, who has accepted another key position at Hendrick Motorsports working with all the teams. He has served as crew chief of the #5 team since 1997(Hendrick Motorsports Site)(11-22-1999)

  • DW back in 2000? UPDATE: TNN's Raceday interviewed Darrell Waltrip and he mentioned one possibility for changes in the #66 2000 season that he may not be back, but don't bet on that(11-21-1999) -- UPDATE: "With Darrell Waltrip missing seven races this season, intense focus has been put on his upcoming Victory Tour 2000. Owner Travis Carter has worked all season to understand the problems that have haunted Waltrip’s team. He’s a bit mystified as to what to change next. Adding to the frustration has been speculation about the upcoming retirement tour. Announced in August, the Kmart-sponsored season includes a variety of merchandising campaigns. Carter said nothing is ever guaranteed in this sport but that he has no plans for an early Waltrip retirement or knowledge of Waltrip considering that option"(Times-Dispatch) AND Travis Carter, co-owner of the No. 66 Ford, said on Sunday that he is not taking seriously the comments Darrell Waltrip made about retiring immediately. Waltrip, who failed to qualify for Sunday's race, told a TV station he may not return next season(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(11-22-1999)

  • Compton and the #9? hearing Stacy Compton has asked for and was granted his release from the #86 Impact Motorsports CTS team and will drive the #9 Melling Ford in 2000(many readers in a VA newspaper)(11-22-1999)

  • #41 News: #41 Car owner Larry Hedrick said Sunday morning that he has a new sponsor and driver for next season. He declined to identify either, saying an announcement will come in mid-January. Hedrick was looking for a new sponsor because Kodiak is leaving, and driver David Green left two months ago. Since then, Hedrick has had different drivers in the car. Reports have stated that Mast will drive for Hedrick next season who had no comment Sunday. Hedrick said he's trying to secure associate sponsors for next season(Roanoke Times) rumors have Exxon as the primary or an associate and even Universal moving with Mast but report refute that(11-22-1999)

  • Virgina Tech Car? Virginia Tech has approached Rockbridge Baths native Rick Mast about driving with a Tech-themed car next year at Martinsville and Richmond(The Daily Press) no idea what team or how this would be accomplished...yet(11-22-1999)

  • Gordon Offer: Jeff Gordon has extended an offer to purchase Ray Evernham's interest in the Gordon-Evernham Motorsports(GEM) BGN team(SpeedVision)(11-22-1999)

  • Nadeau in trouble: NASCAR officials apparently were not pleased with the on-track performance of driver Jerry Nadeau during Sunday's NAPA 500 at Atlanta. Following the race, Nadeau and his crew chief with the #36 Pontiacs, Ryan Pemberton, were called to the NASCAR hauler for a verbal reprimand(That's Racin')(11-22-1999)


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