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PAST NEWS JANUARY 10-16, 2000


(1-16-2000)
  • New Radio Show: The Performance Racing Network will launch it's second weekly syndicated show on Wednesday February 23, when The Pit Reporters airs for the first time. The Pit Reporters is a unique forum that will bring together the nation's top motorsports media for an hour-long roundtable discussion on the racing issues of the day. Brett McMillan, veteran motorsports broadcaster and sports reporter for WBT Radio in Charlotte will host The Pit Reporters. "This is a great opportunity to break new ground in motorsports broadcasting," says McMillan. Along with McMillan, scheduled panel members include; David Poole, Charlotte Observer; Monte Dutton, Gaston Gazette; Chris Economaki, National Speed Sport News; Mark Garrow, Winston Cup Today; Ralph Sheheen, CBS; and Deb Williams, NASCAR Winston Cup Scene. Several other major motorsports media members will also participate each week. Race fans will also have the opportunity to play a key role in The Pit Reporters, by calling in and sounding off using a toll free "vent" line, at 1-800-270-2439. The most original, insightful, and funny fan commentary each week will be included on the show. Eager race fans can hear The Pit Reporters live each Wednesday on the Internet at 4 p.m. EST at www.gospeedway.com. The program will air in syndication on PRN stations beginning Wednesday night of each week. Fans can check the PRN website for a complete list of stations airing The Pit Reporters. In 2000, PRN will also broadcast eight NASCAR Winston Cup races, six NASCAR Busch Series events, six Pennzoil World of Outlaws races, and Fast Talk with Benny Parsons on Monday nights(PRN PR)(1-16-2000)

  • Goodyear Testing: Goodyear will conduct tire tests at five more tracks in the 2000 season as it continues to introduce tires. Tests will be at Martinsville in March, Rockingham and Pocono in April, Dover in May and Indianapolis in June(Roanoke Times)(1-16-2000)

  • Craven News: Ricky Craven is apparently set to run a full Winston Cup season in the #50 MidWest Transit chevy for owner Hal Hicks, despite not having a primary sponsor other than Hicks’ MidWest Transit outfit. The Performance Plus PR agency is currently out hunting down potential sponsors for the #50 team, and Craven says the team will carry on even if a sponsor does not step up(SpeedVision)(1-16-2000)

  • Richard Petty to Race? UPDATE 3: goracing.com has learned that seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Richard Petty will return to competition next month - behind the wheel of a Dodge at Daytona, behind the wheel of a factory-backed Dodge Viper. Petty will team with son Kyle and grandson Adam in the Rolex 24 at Daytona on February 5-6goracing.com(1-12-2000) -- UPDATE: I am hearing that there will not be a Petty-driven car in the 24 Hours of Daytona?(1-13-2000) maybe it's best if I do not report on the 24 hours at Daytona stuff. -- UPDATE 2: another story at SpeedVision(1-14-2000) -- UPDATE: Contrary to Internet reports, seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Richard Petty will not team up with his son Kyle and grandson Adam to compete in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona on Feb. 5-6.(Speed Magazine)(1-16-2000)

  • Hendrick Back: Team owner Rick Hendrick is back at work at Hendrick Motorsport(#'s 5,24,25). He told the media that he has been off chemotherapy for six weeks now and that his cancer is in full remission and feels great(goRacing)(1-16-2000)

  • Wood Bros to NC UPDATE: The legendary Wood Brothers, who run the #21 Ford for Elliott Sadler in Cup, have established a satellite shop in the Mooresville, N.C. Crew chief Mike Beam said the #21 team would build chassis and hang bodies at a new plant in the Mooresville area. The Woods, who have raced out of Stuart, VA., have resisted the trend that a Cup team must reside in the Charlotte area to be sucessful. The new shop could give the team access to cutting-edge personnel and the latest technology. The new shop, which is up and running with four employees, will build chassis with basic sheet metal in the Mooresville shop. The cars will then be sent to Stuart for engines and final prep. The team will continue to receive all its engines from Jack Roush, with whom the Woods have established a strong cooperative relationship. The Woods also have retained top chassis builder Steve Levitt to do exclusive work for them at the Mooresville plant(condensed from SpeedVision/Ben Blake)(1-14-2000) -- UPDATE: The Wood Brothers will mark their 50th year in racing with five historic paint schemes on the No. 21 Ford driven by Elliott Sadler(Speed Magazine)(1-16-2000)


    (1-15-2000)
  • Martin BGN: Last fall, Mark Martin announced that the 2000 season would be his final year running a limited schedule in the BGN. Martin will wrap up his Busch career with a 14-race schedule this season. Winn-Dixie, Martin's primary sponsor since 1993, decided to commemorate Martin's final year in the Busch Series with a new paint scheme for 2000. It captures the greatest moments in Martin's Busch career all on one Ford Taurus. The scheme can be seen on Jayski's Paint Scheme Gallery. Martin is the winningest driver in BGN history with 40 victories. He broke Jack Ingram's record of 31 wins at North Carolina Speedway in October 1997. In 187 starts, Martin has 40 wins, 81 top-five and 109 top-10 finishes. He has also claimed 23 poles. His career earnings total $2,345,255. Martin's best year in the Busch Series came in 1993 when he won seven races of the 14 he entered. Martins 200 BGN schedule: Rockingham(2-26 and 10-21), Las Vegas(3-4), Atlanta(3-11), Darlington(3-18 and 9-2), Texas(4-1), Richmond(5-5 and 9-8), Charlotte/Lowes(5-27 and 10-7), Dover(6-3), Michigan(8-19), and Homestead on 11-11(Mark Martin's J-Mar Express)(1-15-2000)

  • Davis and Dodge? UPDATE: heard from a few sources that Bill Davis Racing(#22 and #93) will switch from Pontiac to Dodge in 2001?(1-11-2000) -- UPDATE: The latest Dodge team buzz has Bill Davis Racing as a candidate. He didn't "dodge" the question. And has had discussions with Dodge(TNN Media Tour Coverage)(1-15-2000)

  • Roush Dodge? Jack Roush, owner of the #'s 6,16,17,97,99 Fords, will not rule out a move to Dodge in the future. Roush has met with representative of the new Dodge entry scheduled for next season and said he is impressed. Roush said he is committed to Ford this season, but has no contract after that(Tennessean)(1-15-2000)

  • Penske South News: In addition to primary backers Miller Lite and Mobil 1, four associate sponsors announced increased support on Friday. Mead Coated Papers, which has been with Penske South for the past four years, has re-signed for another four years, and Snap-on Tools, a fixture at Penske Racing for the past 18 years, signed a three-year deal with both Stock car teams. Mazak, one of the prime machine-tool manufacturers in the United States, has signed a three-year deal with both teams. Also it was announced that both teams will field Fords for the next three years as the teams re-signed with Ford Motor Company(TNN Media Tour Coverage)(1-15-2000)


    (1-14-2000)
  • Musgrave Ride? UPDATE: it's being reported on the Ted Musgrave site that Ted Musgrave will be racing in 2000 expect to hear the announcement soon, no idea if it's Cup or what series(1-8-2000) -- UPDATE: hearing a sponsor is signed(no idea) and Musgrave will drive a Ford for an unknown owner(at this point)(1-14-2000)

  • Not NASCAR but..: Injured Indy Racing League driver Sam Schmidt continues to suffer from the injuries that occurred when his car hit the outside wall during a practice session at Walt Disney World Speedway one week ago. Unfortunately, the prognosis is not good. Team owners says Schmidts injuries are comparable to actor Christopher Reeves and Schmidt is a quadriplegic. Cards and letters can be sent to Schmidt at: Sam Schmidt, c/o Ruthie Culbertson, Treadway Racing, 6017 W. 71st St., Indianapolis, IN 46278. Donations to either CARA Charities, IRL Ministries or Speedway Children's Charities in Schmidt's name are encouraged in lieu of flowers and gifts. Donations should be sent to the above address(goRacing)(1-14-2000)

  • Stewart Staying(again) OFFICIAL: For the umpteenth time, Tony Stewart said speculation on his future with Joe Gibbs Racing greatly exaggerates the situation. Negotiations with Gibbs for a new contract have led to rumors that Stewart will move to another team, specifically Ray Evernham’s developing Dodge operation. In fact, said Stewart, his current contract obligates him to at least two more years with Gibbs, and he has agreed to extend that deal for three more years. Stewart also said the Gibbs operation will continue its relationship with Pontiac(Gaston Gazette)(1-9-2000) -- UPDATE: Tony Stewart has signed a contract extension that would carry him into the 2004 season with Joe Gibbs Racing. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed (SpeedVision)(1-14-2000)

  • DW's Crew Chief: Darrel Waltrip, who will be in his second season driving for Haas-Carter Motorsports in the #66 Route 66/Big Kmart Ford, is working with crew chief Larry Carter, nephew of team co-owner and longtime crew chief Travis Carter(AP/SpeedNet)(1-14-2000)

  • #98 News UPDATE: this weeks Winston Cup Scene reports that is negotiating to sell the #98 team with a group that includes #58 car owner Scott Barbour, NASCAR great Donnie Allison and South Carolina businessman Bill Hammond. Yarborough hopes to have the deal completed by Jan 16th(this Sunday). For the progression of this story see my #98 Team News and Links page -- UPDATE: Barbour is not part of the group buying the #98 but is talking with the group about buying the #58 team, which is not defunct but idle, the idea is for the #98 and #58 to be a two car team(1-14-2000)

  • Yum: M&Ms announced that it is now the official chocolate of NASCAR(SpeedFX)(1-14-2000)

  • Sauter to test the #3: Jim Sauter(Jay's Dad) will test the #3 Chevy next week at Daytona when the teams that will race the new 2000 Monte Carlos test(That's Racin')(1-14-2000)

  • Insurance and Speedways UPDATE: Nationwide Insurance will sponsor a safety program at tracks owned by Speedway Motorsports. The company will make a $1,000 donation to Speedway Children's Charities in the name of a driver who most notably demonstrates safety during a race. It will provide fan assistance during races and a booth so pictures of children can be taken to assist in identification in case they become lost(St Peterburg Times)(1-12-2000) -- UPDATE: Some more info on the Nationswide sponsorship at the six Speedway Motorsports tracks. It includes: 1.) Sponsorship of the safety vehicles used at those six tracks (including new uniforms for the personnel), 2.) Nationwide Fan Assistance patrol, (10 golf carts at each track to help with medical transports, and serve as roving information booths answering questions, giving directions, etc.), 3.) "Safe Driving Move of the Race", (reminiscent of the Raybestos break of the race) and finally 4.) the child registration booth already mentioned. This is tied into the Nat'l Center for Missing and Exploited children. Nationwide will also have a hospitality tent at each track and a program to give away 50 tickets per race by the Nationwide State Management team for each home state for the track(1-14-2000)


    (1-13-2000)
  • #41/Mast OFFICIAL UPDATE: Look for the #41 Hedrick/Rick Mast announcement within the next few days....that he will be driving the #41 Chevy with Philippe Lopez as the crew chief. Exxon is still the rumored sponsor and hearing BTI communications may be an associate of some sort -- UPDATE: Rick Mast is now officially the driver of the Larry Hedrick-owned #41 Chevys for the 2000 Winston Cup season. His move from the #98 to Hedrick's team has long been a foregone conclusion, but the official announcement came Wednesday. Philippe Lopez has also been hired as the team's crew chief. Garth Finley, who worked with Mast on the #98 cars, has also been named director of technology for Hedrick's team. No sponsor has been announced for the #41 Chevy(That's Racin')(1-12-2000) -- UPDATE: The Hedrick team didn't release the name of the sponsor for the upcoming season, but Mast did say Tuesday that Universal Studios will be involved somehow(News-Gazette one day link)(1-13-2000)

  • #23(26) Sponsor UPDATE 3: still hearing Kmart will be the new sponsor along with an associate sponsorship from Rayovac(11-30-1999) -- UPDATE: and still hearing the car number will change to a number ending in 6, like 26. 56, 76 etc(12-1-1999) -- UPDATE 2 Duel Kmart: during an interview on TNN's Raceday, Darrell Waltrip said he and teammate Jimmy Spencer would be sponsored by Kmart. It has been rumored for months, first time heard someone from the team say it. Looks like Spencer will change from #23 to #26 also(1-9-2000) -- UPDATE 3 OFFICIAL: Kmart officials confirmed Wednesday what many had suspected for months, that Kmart and its Route 66 brand will sponsor both Travis Carter Fords, those of Jimmy Spencer(#26) and Darrell Waltrip(#66), for the 2000 season. Both are going to be Kmart/Route 66 cars, with the identification reversed(DW Rt 66/Kmart, Spencer Kmart/Rt 66)(SpeedVision) The number change to 26 was not confirmed but all testing reports listed Spencer in the #26 which was used by Roush in 1999 with the now defunct Cheerios team(1-13-2000)

  • No Indy for Robby: Former CART driver Robby Gordon is entrenched in Winston Cup racing these days, and he said he will not race in the Indianapolis 500 in May. He said his sponsors want his full attention on the 34-race CUP schedule(Detroit News)(1-13-2000)

  • #4 Crew Chief: Robert Larkins has been named the crew chief of the #4 Morgan-McClure Kodak Chevy for driver Bobby Hamilton(Bristol News) no news or updates on the long rumored 2nd team(1-13-2000)


    (1-12-2000)
  • No More Mustache for DJ and IMAGE: see the story at Clean-shaven Jarrett returns to defend crown from That's Racin'. Check out the image at: GoCarolina's(1-12-2000)

  • Sadler Bros News: The #95 Sadler Bros team will be announcing David Keith as their new driver. Keith will run in ten ARCA races and five Cup race in 2000. The planned Cup races are The Cracker Barrel 500 at Atlanta, The DirectTv 500 at Texas, The Coca-Cola 600 at Lowes, The Brickyard 400 at Indy, and the Pepsi 400 at Michigan. The team will run Ford Taurus' in 2000 and the crewchief will be Billy Poindexter. The team plans to test soon at Talladega and is looking for a sponsor, the can be reached by fax (615)256-4925(1-12-2000)

  • Melling Sponsor: Conwood Company, L.P., makers of Levi Garrett and Kodiak smokeless tobacco products, announced today that their Kodiak and Cougar brands would co-sponsor the #9 Melling Racing Fords and 2000 "Rookie of the Year" candidate Stacy Compton. Joining Melling Racing as an associate sponsor in 2000 is Duckhead Footwear and Duckhead Apparel. The two companies are brand new to the sport, but not to the footwear and apparel industries(Melling PR)(1-12-2000)

  • Shocks UPDATE: NASCAR will issue a uniform shock absorber to all Cup teams for the season-opening Daytona 500. The new shocks, which will stop teams from desperately trying to lower their cars to the ground in an effort to cut down on wind resistance, likely will be used in both qualifying and the race. They will make rides less violent for drivers and cut costs for teams, who won't have to spend time and money developing various shock packages. They also will reduce speeds, which were starting to push the 200-mph barrier in qualifying, even with horsepower-reducing restrictor plates on the carburetors(News and Observer)(1-10-2000) -- UPDATE: NASCAR has added a new addition to its requirements for Winston Cup cars at the series' fastest tracks at Daytona and Talladega. NASCAR will issue a uniform shock absorber to all Cup teams for the season-opening Daytona 500. The new shocks will prevent teams from their attempts to lower their cars to the ground in an effort to cut down on wind resistance. The new shocks will likely be used in both qualifying and the race(That's Racin')(1-12-2000)

  • DW's plane: A pilot escaped safely from a private plane after it came into Piedmont Triad International Airport early Tuesday morning with its landing gear only halfway down. The pilot, whose name was not available Tuesday, was not injured. He was the only passenger in the turbo-prop plane, owned by Winston Cup driver Darrell Waltrip. The pilot was returning the plane from a paint shop in South Carolina. The pilot is not DW's pilot, he was returning the plane. When they got the news about the plane on Tuesday, Waltrip and his family were just glad no one had been injured. Also, the family had more sobering concerns this week, he said. They were planning funeral arrangements for Waltrip's 76-year-old father, Leroy Waltrip, who died Monday(News and Record)(1-12-2000)

  • France News: Mike Helton, senior vice president and chief operating officer of NASCAR, said his boss, Bill France, is battling cancer aggressively. Although Helton said the 66-year-old France and his family still decline to say the type of cancer the sanctioning body's longtime president is fighting, he is aggressively treating the disease(SpeedNet/AP)(1-12-2000)

  • Ford's Turn UPDATE: Ford tests at Daytona today and Thursday....but poof, only one team is there and possible two on Thursday. Only two drivers are scheduled to be there - #90 Ed Berrier and #85 Carl Long. Carl Long reported today, but as of this afternoon had been on the track only a couple of times. So looks like no speeds will be posted today. Hear there will be more Ford teams there on Thursday. DIS does expect around 30 CTS teams on Friday and Saturday, including Jack Sprague, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Joe Ruttman(Racin' Network Newsletter) -- UPDATE: Only one Ford team showed up at Daytona today, the #85 Mansion Motorsports 1999 Ford. Owner Thee Dixon made a rare visit to the track to watch his team. Driver Carl Long's best speed of the day was 177.124mph in a 1999 Roush Taurus. The team will also test during the truck session(1-12-2000)

  • Evernham and Trucks: Ray Evernham has ruled out running a Dodge in any Winston Cup races in 2000, even if the car is approved by late summer. Crew members, however, may work together in a few Truck series events, where Dodge already competes, later in the season to get a head start on working together in 2001(That's Racin') and Evernham said his team likely will get on-track experience this year by entering some NASCAR CTS events(AP/ESPN)(1-12-2000)


    (1-11-2000)
  • Dodge Announcement...Exclusive UPDATEs: sent in by J.J. Harddrive.com, exclusively for this site. J.J. who is at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit reports the 'Winston Cup Dodge Announcement': With a roar of V-8 power, Dodge "officially" unveiled its Winston Cup Intrepids this morning at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Two #19 Evernham Motorsports cars appeared in their overall red race livery, with sponsorship from Dodge, the Dodge dealers, and the UAW. Team owner Ray Evernham confirms that this is the way the cars will race; there will be no additional sponsors. Once NASCAR approval is received (which they expect early- to mid-summer), Evernham Motorsports will build 28 cars for its two teams. Contrary to rumor, Petty Enterprises was not announced as a Dodge team for 2001. In an exclusive Jayski.com interview, Evernham said that he hopes to make a driver announcement shortly, but the decision's made and waiting for issues to be resolved with the driver's current contracts. "The guy that we do announce, he is the first and only guy that I've talked to." He expects to run one veteran and one younger driver, although not necessarily a rookie. The two Evernham teams will be set up the same way, with the younger driver's team largely populated by younger crewmen, so they can learn from the more experienced crew, as his #24 crew did with other Hendrick operations. His ideal driver for the #19 car? "25-year-old Richard Petty." Evernham expects the first Intrepids to be on track by late March or early April. His effort is open-book; all subsequent Dodge teams will have access to all of Evernham's data when building and setting up their cars. "In fact, we're putting some equipment in place to help the other teams build their own cars." His new shop is structurally complete, but not yet ready for move-in. The two cars on show: one a short-track, one superspeedway, are built on old Hopkins and Laughlin chassis, respectively. Both were built by Evernham, the superspeedway car expressly for the Detroit unveiling. While he has six Hopkins chassis in house, Evernham intends to build his own chassis (he even called it a "Dodge" chassis.) A scale model has been in the wind tunnel. The first wind tunnel test will take place before the end of the month. He expects to retain the large Dodge crosshair grille, which was largely open on the show cars. "We might not be able to do that at Bristol, but it doesn't matter because it would get knocked off anyway. But I believe that most places we go, the car can race in this configuration." Lou Patane, head of DaimlerChrysler Motorsports, told Jayski.com that announcements on more Dodge teams can be expected within 3-4 weeks. He won't comment on Petty Enterprises or, indeed, any specific team. Dodge will not provide a formal support program for Late Model or other local series, but he expects that once NASCAR approves the Intrepid body and engine for Winston Cup, a number of local teams will switch to Dodge. Thanks J.J. -- UPDATE: the Detroit News has a story up: Dodge to return to NASCAR racing, doesn't say much, but the DaimlerChrysler has a great section and even an image of the car at: It's Here: All-New Dodge Intrepid R/T Winston Cup Race Car Make Its Debut at North American International Auto Show with a slew of stories linked there. Also from Carpoint: Dodge Goes NASCAR Racing with many images(1-11-2000)

  • Point Fund Increased: RJR/Winston has doubled the points fund to $10 million, with the 2000 Winston Cup Champ guaranteed $3 million and the runner-up $1,050,000. RJR announced the doubling of the points fund amount in the final press conference of the first day of the UAW-GM Motorsports Media Tour, making the Winston Cup series the first motorsports circuit ever to offer a $10m points fund(SpeedVision)(1-11-2000)

  • BACE News UPDATE PJ Signs and CUP: BACE Motorsports owner named crew chief's for his two BGN teams. Alan Russell will crew chief the #33 with driver Tony Raines moving to that car from the #74 and Billy Nacewicz will be the crew chief of the #74 with an un-named driver(NOL)(1-10-2000) -- UPDATE: PJ Jones will drive the #74 BACE Motorsports BGN Chevy in 2000. The team is still looking for a sponsor. Also the team plans to start Jones in up to five Cup events and move up full time in 2001(NOL)(1-11-2000)

  • CAT car: I hear Ward Burton will have a special #22 Caterpillar Paint Scheme for the Bud Shootout, and it will be all white with one yellow stripe running the length of the car right under the doors. The paint scheme is being run to thank the Caterpillar dealer network(1-11-2000)

  • Snap-On News: I hear Snap-On Tools announced at their annual kick-off that they will be associate sponsors for Rusty Wallace, Jeremy Mayfield, Mike Skinner, Bill Elliot, and current teams of Dale Earnhardt Sr & Jr and Steve Park(1-11-2000)

  • Sad News: Darrell and Michael Waltrip's father, Leroy Waltrip, passed away this morning after a lengthy illness. Memorial services are being planned for the Mooresville, NC area and also one in Waltrip's hometown of Owensboro, KY. Specific arrangements are not yet available. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following: Motor Racing Outreach(MRO), In memory of Leroy Waltrip, 5555 Concord Parkway South, Smith Tower, Ste. 405 Harrisburg, NC 28075. Condolences to the Waltrip family(1-10-2000) -- more info at the TNN Motorsports site: Leroy Waltrip Dies After Lengthy Illness (1-11-2000)

  • Crew News: The newly-created Chase Racing All-Star team, will recognize the top crewmembers in 12 different positions in Cup racing. Action Performance, under its Chase Authentics brand and its Crew Chief Club, along with The Motorsports Decision Group. Twelve crew positions will be recognized: gas man, jack man, front/rear tire changer, front/rear tire carrier, catch can man, engine specialist, crew chief, driver, mechanic and fabricator. For the first year, the program recognizes the Cup circuit, although it may be expanded to include the BGN and CTS Series in future seasons. The all-star berths will be voted on by a panel consisting of two media members (Steve Waid and Benny Parsons), two track promoters, two legendary drivers, two Chase Racing sponsors (Action’s Fred Wagenhals and Goodyear’s Carole Swartz), one fan (named through a retail promotion) and one Internet-tabulated vote(SpeedVision)(1-11-2000)

  • Pennzoil Problems? Pennzoil, sponsor of both the #1 Chevy driven by Steve Park in CUP and title sponsor of the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Sprint car series, terminated all of its motorsports employees on Monday, just 40 days before the start of the NASCAR racing season. The announcement comes the day before the annual Lowe's Motor Speedway Media Tour in Charlotte, NC, which highlights the coming NASCAR season. Exactly what Pennzoil's purge means is open to debate, but TNN reports that car and series sponsorships will not be affected this season. These include the WoO, Dale Earnhardt, Inc., Steve Kinser (sponsored by Quaker State, which is part of the Pennzoil corporate umbrella) and Pennzoil Panther Racing of the IRL(TNN Motorsports Site)(1-11-2000)

  • Sacks at Daytona UPDATE: former Winston Cup driver(and winner) Greg Sacks returns to Daytona next month for the NAPA 300 BGN race. He will be driving a second Chevy fielded by Petty-Huggins Motorsports. Petty-Huggins Motorsports also fields the Island Oasis Chevrolet of rookie driver Gus Wasson on the BGN. The #96 and Wasson plan to run the full season and the team hopes to make a few Cup starts in 2000. The team made a few Cup attempts in 1999 in the #84 Chevy. Putting everything he owned on the line, Beau Petty spent 1996 assembling a NASCAR Busch Grand National team and made a few Busch runs in 1997. Intent on making his dream a success, he spent 1998 searching for a viable sponsor. In partnership with Heritage Consumer Products, Petty's team ran a Winston Cup car at qualifying for the 1999 Daytona 500. With driver Stanton Barrett, the team missed qualifying by less than a tenth of a second in the 125-mile qualifying race, even with a car that had been damaged and repaired after practice earlier in the week. Desiring to run a full schedule in a NASCAR-sanctioned series, Petty acquired business partner, Wayne Huggins, and secured a new primary sponsor - Island Oasis for the NASCAR Busch Grand National program. With the inclusion of Island Oasis, Petty constructed a first-rate Busch Grand National team. Pursuing a new, fresh face to drive the #96 Island Oasis Chevy, he recognized the talents of USAC 1996 Rookie of the Year Wasson. The newly-assembled team made five BGN runs in 1999, including the season-closer at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, where they ran strong and ran all day(Williams Co)(1-6-2000) -- UPDATE: Sacks is testing the #96 Chevy at Chevy, Monday and Tuesday(Jan 10-11th)(1-11-2000)

  • Dodge News...Today: Dodge will hold their long-awaited Winston Cup press conference at the North American International Auto Show in DETROIT 7:00am on Tuesday, January 11, 2000. According to a source at DC, they had originally planned to use this conference to announce Dodge's Winston Cup program, but due to intense media scrutiny, they decided to let the cat out of the bag back in October. This doesn't mean Dodge won't have anything interesting for Tuesday's press conference - the Buzz is that they'll use the event to unveil the first Winston Cup Intrepid race car. The biggest news, though, will be the announcement of Dodge's second factory team. Petty Enterprises is the leading contender. If Petty does indeed get the second Dodge Team, his drivers will most likely be Kyle Petty, John Andretti, and Adam Petty. Hearing that Ray Evernham will have a special announcement about his Dodge team. The Buzz is that he'll reveal who will be driving his two Intrepids in 2001. No word who the rookie will be, but there's been much speculation about the identity of the veteran driver. The latest Buzz is that it will be former Winston Cup champion Bill Elliot. The scenario has Elliot, who currently owns his own team, selling out to Ed Rensi (owner of the #25 Dura Lube Busch Team) after his contract with McDonald's expires at the end of the 2000 season(Car and Truck Buzz) NOTE: been told by Elliott sources that he will not be the driver, is not selling his team after the 2000 season, so we'll see. The only rookie I have heard mentioned is Casey Atwood, but he is signed with Brewco through 2001. Also for info on the Auto show see: Auto.com or WXYZcars(1-10-2000) -- UPDATE: I hear Ray Evernham WILL NOT announce either of his 2001 drivers at the Dodge announcement -- UPDATE 2: and he did not(1-11-2000)

  • Petty to Dodge UPDATE 3: hearing that Petty Enterprises has decided to switch to the Dodge Intrepid for the 2001 Winston Cup season(12-21-1999) -- UPDATE: from Racer Magazine site - The announcement won't be made until after the first of the year, but Petty Enterprises has signed a deal with Chrysler that would make the entire Petty Winston Cup stable part of the Mopar group for 2001. Chrysler will likely make the formal announcement at the unveiling of the 2001 NASCAR Dodge Intrepid at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, probably on Jan. 11. The team will continue to use Pontiacs for the Cup teams in 2000(Racer Magazine)(12-22-1999) -- UPDATE 2: It is possible that a driver announcement for Ray Evernham's Dodge team could also be announced on 1-11-2000. Evernham expects to have running developmental Intrepids by May, likely powered by higher-compression versions of the Craftsman truck engine, pending development and NASCAR approval of an all-new Winston Cup V-8. Reportedly Pontiac fought to keep the Pettys, but has managed to keep the Joe Gibbs team with drivers Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart in Pontiacs(SpeedVision)(12-23-1999) -- UPDATE 3: no announcement at the Dodge Winston Cup announcment, not sure when it will be made(1-11-2000)


    (1-10-2000)
  • Yarborough Team UPDATE 4: expect to hear some news regarding the sale of the #98 team early this coming week(1-2-2000) -- UPDATE: hearing Hut Stricklin will be the driver, not sure what happens to his #61 BGN deal(1-3-2000) -- UPDATE: nothing official yet but am hearing that former #58 owner, Scott Balbour is involved somehow as is Donnie Allison, which would be interesting if Yarborough sticks around, remember 1979 and 'the fight'?(1-5-2000) -- UPDATE 3: have not heard much on this but understand Universal Studios will stay onboard as a sponsor with the team looking for additional sponsorship(1-7-2000) -- UPDATE 4: Yarborough is still trying to sell his #98 CUP team, but not to Floridian Tony Misuraca. That deal, which was to have been completed in December, fell through when Misuraca failed to come up with the funding and Yarborough is working with somebody else and hopes something will be done soon. Yarborough said last week that the sale involved (former #58) Cup team owner Scott Barbour, former driver Donnie Allison and current driver Hut Stricklin, but that was not the party with whom he was dealing. The possible new owner is Bill Hammond from Greenville but who plans to put Stricklin in the car(if the deal works out). According to Yarborough, Universal Studios, which sponsored the team last season, will be back. Yarborough said that, as of last Friday, nothing was final(condensed from a story at The State/Jim McLaurin)(1-10-2000)

  • The 2000 season starts: Test sessions for the Daytona 500 begin Monday at DIS with a two-day session for General Motors(Chevrolet and Pontiac) Winston Cup teams. #14-Mike Bliss, #31-Mike Skinner, #50-Ricky Craven, #36-Ken Schrader, #42-Kenny Irwin, #33-Joe Nemechek and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., are among those drivers scheduled to participate today and Tuesday. A section of the Oldfield Grandstand will be open free to the public with access through Daytona USA(Speed Magazine)(1-10-2000)

  • Exide Trouble? UPDATE 2: saw this on TNN's Motorsports site and getting many questions on how it'll effect Jeff Burton and the #99: Exide Pulling Top Fuel Program?: According to sources, Exide Batteries has apparently pulled out as sponsor of the Top Fuel team owned by Tony Schumacher's father Don for 2000. The elder Schumacher reportedly will not field his championship-winning team without a major sponsor, leaving his title-winning son without a ride to defend it(TNN) I have not heard any problems with Exide and Roush for either the CUP or CTS deal. The CUP team even has a new Paint Scheme for 2000, but then again, so did Schumacher -- UPDATE: a source tells me that the Schumachers are looking into the legalities of Exide leaving but that the move by Exide should not effect the CUP or CTS sponsorships(1-8-2000) -- UPDATE 2: Exide restructured its motorsports sponsorship after suffering third-quarter financial losses, which reportedly caused them to get out of drag racing. Exide is staying with Jack Roush’s NASCAR Winston Cup and Craftsman Truck teams – both of which get more television exposure than the National Hot Rod Association – despite the fact that Schumacher is the NHRA defending champion, while Roush’s truck is driven by a series rookie(Kurt Busch)(SpeedVision)(1-10-2000)


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