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PAST NEWS DECEMBER 6-12, 1999


(12-12-1999)
  • DW Special Paint UPDATE: not sure when but the Racing Champions site is showing a paint scheme for the #66 BigKmart Ford that will be run sometime in 2000, unknown when, see it at: www.racingchampions.com(12-10-1999) -- UPDATE: this scheme will supposedly be run in DW's final Daytona 500(12-12-1999)

  • Donlavey's team still alive: #90 Ford owner Junie Donlavey is still working to secure sponsorship for the 2000 season. He says he’s close with two or three companies, but has not signed with anyone. Meanwhile, the team has built the 2000 car for the race at North Carolina Speedway. Donlavey plans to use his 1999 car for the mandatory manufacturers’ tests at Daytona, but will have his 2000 car ready before the race week. Regardless of the sponsor situation, he’ll run the Daytona 500(Times-Dispatch) no word on a driver, Ed Berrier was the last driver for Donlavey in 1999(12-12-1999)

  • CART and NASCAR? UPDATE: From Forrest Bond's RaceFax Online(in part with permission): France Reportedly Discussing CART Takeover - We have it on good authority that CART and NASCAR's Bill France are at least feeling each other out, with an eye toward France acquiring the series. Whether there are serious, if preliminary conversations going on, or there's merely been a first overture depends on who one gets the story from, but regardless of the source -- and there are several -- all versions have CART people making the overture to France, rather than the other way around. We are led to believe that many within CART are beginning to seriously question the viability of the series even in the short-term. This evidently became apparent at a Dec. 2nd team owners meeting, which we are told was poorly attended. We are told that several hard questions, some involving the series' inept television coverage, were put to CART honcho Andrew Craig, who is said to have been evasive in many of his answers, to widespread dissatisfaction. Some people within CART have told RaceFax they believe France represents the only salvation for the open-wheel series, but how widespread that belief may be is not certain(Forrest Bond's RaceFax Online)(12-10-1999) -- UPDATE: On Friday (12/10), a CART spokesman told us the item had them, "scratching our heads," because it was, "the first time we had heard of this." We were then provided with a prepared statement attributed to CART chief executive Andrew Craig, to wit: "CART has had no such discussions with Bill France or any other NASCAR representatives. Further, this idea has never been discussed by CART's Board of Directors." As much as anything, that established just how far outside the loop CART's management has been kept. While the official statement is, as far as it goes, apparently accurate, we nonetheless believe that CART board members indeed have, individually, had private discussions with France. And we know that some individual CART team owners -- and chiefly former (since Fontana) team owner Carl Hogan -- have been in discussions with France. Hogan, we are led to believe, was the first to broach the subject to France. What makes the CART statement correct is the fact that Craig evidently has not been told about the discussions, and the matter hasn't been discussed by the board members in a formal board meeting, though we can only assume they've conversed with each other about their overtures to France outside such formal settings. So this is absolutely clear, we have no reason to believe there have been discussions, either formal or informal, between France and CART's management. Informal discussions -- one-on-one between individual owners and France -- have definitely taken place. Whether or not these discussion are continuing is not known, but we are led to believe that they have not progressed to the point of a formal proposal, and have instead been rather general in nature. Whether or not anything will come of this is anyone's guess. If we had to place a bet on the outcome, at this point we'd give odds nothing will happen, because we suspect there's a lot more smoke than fire here(Forrest Bond's RaceFax Online)(12-12-1999)


    (12-11-1999)
  • the Tylers split: Tyler Jet Motorsports(TJM) announced the team had released driver Tyler Walker and suspended its fledgling BGN effort. TJM had signed Walker, the former World of Outlaws Sprint car ace, to spearhead a limited BGN deal earlier this season. The team decided all of their focus needed to be on our Winston Cup effort and that there was room for a BGN team at this time. No word on Walker's plans but he feels he has some things lined up(TJM PR)(12-11-1999)

  • Mario and AJ Tie: Mario Andretti and AJ Foyt tied for the title of best driver of the century as voted by a six-member panel of experts assembled by The Associated Press, see the story at SpeedNet: Andretti and Foyt tie for top driver(12-11-1999)


    (12-10-1999)
  • New Racing Mag Soon UPDATE 2: Former Stock Car Racing magazine editor Dick Berggren has a deal in the works to publish a new magazine ‘Dick Berggren’s Speedway Illustrated(Left Turns Newsletter)(12-3-1999) -- UPDATE: Dick Berggren former editor of Stock Car Magazine will launch a new magazine in April of 2000 called Speedway Illustrated(TV Times)(12-6-1999) -- UPDATE 2: The inaugural issue of Dick Berggren’s Speedway Illustrated will have a cover date of April 2000. Berggren has managed to assemble most of his old staff including Doug Gore, Rob Sneddon, Karl Fredrickson and Bones Bourcier. Tony Stewart and Rusty Wallace will be regular columnists, and the first issue will have a feature by Jeff Burton’s Winston Cup crew chief Frankie Stoddard(Racer Magazine)(12-10-1999)

  • Graves to leave Hendrick? UPDATE: hearing that Andy Graves has parted ways with Hendrick Motorsports and will work for......Chip Ganassi on his CART teams(12-8-1999) -- UPDATE: actually heard Graves left HMS last week and may even have been hired to help Ganassi start a Cup team in 2001 but the big push will be to run and win the Indy 500(12-10-1999)

  • Bodine deal falls through UPDATE 2: The RacingWest site has a story up saying that it has been reported that the deal between Hilton Racing and NASCAR Winston Cup driver, Brett Bodine has fallen apart. Richard Hilton, of Hilton Racing had reportedly purchased the #11 Winston Cup Series Team back on Nov. 19 of this year. Bodine had said being an owner and a driver was too much for him to handle on his own. This deal would have taken some of the pressure off him, allowing him to focus his efforts on his driving. The future plans for Bodine are uncertain at this time. Hilton has been involved in a number of different racing series perhaps the most fruitful was with Championship Winston West driver, Butch Gilliland. During the 1999 season, Gilliland captured two victories, two poles, finished with a top-ten in the standings and received the 1999 NASCAR Winston West most popular driver award for the second time in his career(RacingWest) -- UPDATE: A confirmed sale of the No. 11 team to Richard Hilton has fallen through according to Bodine team sources, but the team will get to keep the sponsorship from Ralph’s Grocery Company, a chain of supermarkets on the West Coast and Bodine remains the owner(Racer Magazine)(12-9-1999) -- UPDATE 2: I hear that the deal hasn't fallen through but is being postponed while some details are being worked out(12-10-1999)

  • SI Special: Sports Illustrated has published a special collector's issue commemorating the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. The 132-page magazine, filled with intriguing features and vivid photography, will have a limited press run of approximately 430,000 copies and will be on newsstands beginning Monday, December 13, 1999. Entitled "Winston Cup '99," the special edition, featuring a photo of 1999 Winston Cup champion Dale Jarrett and Driver of the Century David Pearson, will be sold nationwide at a cover price of $6.99.(Racin' Network via PRN Newswire) also see the Speed Magazine column: Pearson continues upset streak claiming SI honor by Godwin Kelly(12-10-1999)

  • Travis Carter team: I hear the #23 Ford team will switch to #26 for the 2000 season. Reason? Rumored sponsorship is from BigKmart and they wanted a number ending in 6 and hear RayoVac will be an associate sponsor on the car(12-10-1999)


    (12-9-1999)
  • All American Racers: The 1999 American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association All-American Racing Team has named 10 first team driver selections who will be honored Jan. 15 at an awards ceremony at Long Beach, CA. The selections include Winston Cup's Dale Jarrett and Tony Stewart, CART's Juan Montoya, IRL's Greg Ray, SCCA Trans-Am's Paul Gentilozzi, SCCA VW Gold Cup's Elliott Forbes-Robinson, World of Outlaws' Mark Kinser, BGN' Dale Earnhardt Jr., CORR off-road's Walker Evans, Kool/Toyota Atlantic's Anthony Lazzaro, and NHRA's John Force and Tony Schumacher(PR/TNN/SpeedNet)(12-9-1999)


    (12-8-1999)
  • Nemechek's BGN Sponsor UPDATE: will be CellularOne for his limited BGN schedule in 2000, see an image on the Paint Schemes Gallery -- UPDATE: see the story and more images on NOL and at the Official Joe Nemechek Site(12-8-1999)

  • Andretti Honored: Mario Andretti has been named American Driver of the Century, based upon a mail-in vote conducted among the readers of RACER magazine(Racer Magazine Site)(12-8-1999)

  • New #24 Crew Chief UPDATE: wow, here is a shocker....Hendrick Motorsports announced that #43 crew chief Robbie Loomis has been named crew chief for the #24 DuPont team and driver Jeff Gordon. Brian Whitesell, who took over the crew chief duties when Ray Evernham left at midseason, has been promoted to the position of team manager(NOL), no word on who will take Loomis' place but Doug Hewitt was recently reassigned after being Kyle Petty's crew chief in 1999 on the #44 team. Also see the story at the TNN Motorsports site: Loomis Crewchief, Whitesell Team Manager and from Racer Magazine: Greg Steadman, Loomis' right-hand man at Petty's the past couple years, is the likely choice to take over #43, Petty insiders say. Kyle Petty's #44 still is seeking a crew chief, following the elevation of Doug Hewitt to project manager. The move came about suddenly, sources said. Richard Petty was headed to San Francisco for the Craftsman Truck Series banquet and could not be reached. Kyle Petty was said to be planning to meet with Petty team members Wednesday. As for Hewitt's status with Petty, sources said he is "indirectly" working on development of a Petty Dodge, "depending on whether that deal goes through." Richard and Kyle Petty have been debating for weeks whether to stay with Pontiac or accept overtures from Dodge for 2001. And a few days ago from That's Racin' it was reported: Petty Enterprises has moved Greg Steadman into crew chief position for Kyle Petty's #44 Hot Wheels Pontiacs. Steadman, who has worked in recent years with Robbie Loomis, crew chief with John Andretti's #43 Pontiacs, replaces Doug Hewitt, who will take another position within Petty Enterprises(12-3) and finally? a Press Release from Hendrick Motorsports(12-7-1999) -- UPDATE: sources tell me that Greg Steadman will assume the crew chief role on the #43 and Petty Enterprises will promote from within for the vacant #44 crew chief job(12-8-1999)


    (12-7-1999)
  • Elliott cuts the cake: Bill Elliott will be on hand at tonight's 'American Veteran Awards' to Honor (actor) Ernest Borgnine As 'Veteran of the Year 2000' Among the evening's highlights is dessert -- a life-size racecar cake cut and served by Bill Elliott. This 16-foot, 800-pound replica takes 340 hours to bake and is graciously donated by Race Cakes, Inc. Miniature race cake kits with proceeds benefiting VFI can be ordered online at http://www.fanpans.com(PR Newswire via Racing Angels/ADNASCAR Newsletter)(12-7-1999)

  • Yarborough Sold, UPDATE 3: 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) -- UPDATE 3: a spokesperson at the #98 team shop said Monday that it is expected that the sale to Tampa, Fla., businessman Tony Misuraca will be completed on Friday morning(NOL)(12-7-1999)

  • #60 Engines UPDATE 2: hearing that the #60 Power Team Joe Bessey owned team will run Hendrick Motorsports engines in 2000(11-29-1999) -- UPDATE: Power Team racing should be at peak power next season, as they will get Hendrick Motorsports power plants for the #60 Geoffrey Bodine team in 2000(Inside Motorsports)(12-2-1999) -- UPDATE 2: There will be few changes to the team for the 2000 racing season. Bodine and Long will both be back in their respective roles as will nearly all of the crew members. The Power Team will also be back as the primary sponsor of the black and red #60 Chevrolet. Two only major changes for the team will be the switch to the new style 2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlo bodystyle and a change to Hendrick Motorsports engines(Power Team Site)(12-7-1999)


    (12-6-1999)
  • Wood Brothers News: Wood Brothers Racing, which owns and operates the Winston Cup #21 CITGO Ford, hired Terry Smith to help direct the "50 Years in Racing" licensing program. Smith owns Terry Smith Enterprises and also directs all licensing aspects for Michael Waltrip and other licensees. Smith will be responsible for overseeing all licensing as it relates to Wood Brothers Racing and driver Elliott Sadler. Smith is actively pursuing several opportunities with manufacturers and distributors to promote the "Wood Brothers 50 Years in Racing". The Wood Brothers will celebrate "50 Years in Racing" during the entire 2000 season. "2000 is going to be a big year for Wood Brothers Racing," said co-car owner Eddie Wood. "Weare getting the right people in place to make the season a success both on and off the track."(CITGO PR)(12-6-1999)

  • Martin and Goodyear: Mark Martin and his truck/transport driver, Dennis Ritchie, are featured in Goodyear's newest advertising campaign for the Goodyear G397 LHS steer tire. The advertisement features Martin and Ritchie standing in front of Martin's race car and transport truck. The ad's theme is "How the stars get to the race." Prior to the NAPA 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, Barry Petrea, Goodyear's marketing manager for commercial truck tires, presented Martin and Ritchie with framed posters of the advertisement(Goodyear PR)(12-6-1999)

  • Snowball Derby UPDATE Winner: Led by top NASCAR racers Rich Bickle, Jeff Purvis and Scott Hansen, the legendary the 32nd annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola will have a special twist this weekend(Dec. 2-5) time around as Bickle, Gary St. Amant and Bobby Gill are all in line to collect a $100,000 bonus if they can win Sunday's 300 lap headliner. Bickle, St. Amant, and Gill qualified for the big bonus by finishing 1-2-3 in a 100-lap event at the half-mile Five Flags oval in July. Combined with the $25,000 first-place payday, the race stands as one of the richest events in short-track Stock Car racing. The 32nd-annual Snowball Derby will get underway with Late Model practice Thursday. The event will also feature Spectator, Super Stock and Modified division competition Friday and Saturday before the Late Models take center stage Sunday when the green flag waves at 2pm/ct(TNN Motorsports Site)....also legendary driver Red Farmer has submitted an entry for the Snowball Derby(Florida Stock Car Racing Site)....no idea if the event is televised. Hearing Ted Christopher may also run the Derby(12-1-1999) -- UPDATE: One driver who might be absent this year is Alabama's Red Farmer. He is registered for Sunday's Derby, but as of Wednesday night, he did not have a car to drive. He is the only driver that has competed in all 31 Snowball events(Alabama Online), see the qualfying report at Florida Stock Car Racing Site. Red Farmer was given a honorary provisional starting spot in todays Snowball Derby(12-5-1999) -- UPDATE: The $100,000 bonus was awarded at the 32nd annual Snowball Derby on Sunday night, just not to the driver celebrating in victory lane. Defending champion Rich Bickle won his fifth title when he was declared the winner after race officials upheld a protest of Bobby Gill's victory(Pensacola News Journal) plus a story at the TNN Motorsports site: Protest, Last-Lap Shenanigans Highlight Annual Race(12-6-1999)


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