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PAST NEWS MARCH 20-26, 2000

  • Gordon Streak continues: Jeff Gordon has gone 11 races without a Top-Five finish. This is the longest that Gordon has gone without a Top-Five in his 229-race NASCAR Winston Cup Series career. But in the last two races the team has shown much improvement and has three top 10's in a row and led the most laps at Bristol(3-26-2000)

  • 2nd best: #10-Johnny Benson finished 2nd, a career best and his first top five in 64 races at Texas, almost two years ago when he finished 5th. It is also the best finish for Tyler Jet Motorsport and owner Tim Beverley(3-26-2000)

  • Greed and Notes: Greed seems to be a theme on the Winston Cup tour this spring. According to one top official, NASCAR is considering assessing a 10-percent fee on major tour car sponsors that aren't already an "official whatever-it-is" of NASCAR. See this an notes on Fox owner buying GM Motors? Templates? Dodge/Ford? Spencer's oil at PitNow(3-25-2000)

  • #14 Rumors UPDATE 2 #41 close?: hearing Rick Mast, driver of the #41 Chevy could be AJ Foyt's next driver if he can get out of his contract with #41 owner Larry Hedrick(3-24-2000)
    UPDATE: Rick Mast is the leading candidate to take over the driving duties for the #14 Pontiac's owned by A.J. Foyt, The Charlotte Observer has learned. Mast, who currently drives the #41 Chevrolets owned by Larry Hedrick, is expected to meet with Foyt following this weekend's Food City 500. Should Mast move to Foyt's team, a new driver would have to be found for Hedrick's team or it may close its doors(That's Racin') close up? first I had heard that part of it
    UPDATE 2: Mast is tight with Hedrick pending a solid sponsor opportunity. Bliss may get another chance at Texas or Trickle may drive again(SpeedVision)(3-25-2000)

  • #75 Crew Chief switch CORRECTION: Wayne Orme will not be the crew chief on Wally Dallenbach's #75 Ford this weekend. Orme is still part of car owner Darwin Oordt's team, but the team will go with a crew chief-by-committee this weekend(Similar to the #94 team setup). Engineer Walter Giles and consultant Alex Astor will work with Dallenbach at Bristol(The State)
    CORRECTION: Have been informed that Alex Astor is not a consultant with the team(3-25-2000)

  • Common Engines? word spread Friday that NASCAR intends eventually to make all manufacturers run an Chevy/GM SB2-pattern engine, although this was not confirmed by NASCAR. Dodge, rumor has it, has been instructed to follow the GM configuration, and Ford supposedly would be told to do the same at its next revision(see more at SpeedVision)(3-25-2000)

  • Common Templates: most sources indicate that Common Templates will be a reality in CUP for the 2001 season and some announcement will be happening in the next few weeks(3-25-2000)

  • AJ's First: Did you know? until Friday, #14 team owner, AJ Foyt had never been on the grounds of Bristol Motor Speedway(Gaston Gazette)(3-25-2000)

  • Earnhardt Jr: Dale Earnhardt Jr. failed to qualify in the top 10 for the first time this season. He was the only who had done it thru five races, he qualified 12th at Bristol(3-25-2000)

  • Tire Problems? Goodyear is raising a lot of eyebrows in the NASCAR garage, as well as the ire of more than a few drivers, with some of its new tires this season. One driver reported that none of the drivers like the tire being used at Bristol(PitNow)(3-25-2000)

  • No Switch: A week ago, the Darlington garage area was full of talk that Jimmy Spencer, No. 26, would switch car numbers with teammate Darrell Waltrip, #66, so that Waltrip could be eligible for more of the provisional starting positions he has needed to make the field in four of the season’s first five races. It never was an issue, Spencer insisted Friday(Gaston Gazette)(3-25-2000)

  • Bodine Update: From the Watkins Glen chat with Geoffrey Bodine: The pins came out of his wrist on Thursday. Bodine is working with his personal trainer to get back into shape. He plans to be at next week's race at Texas as a spectator and advisor to the team, and to return to racing at California. He also hopes to return to driving at a testing session at Richmond the week before that California race(Watkins Glen Site, thanks Matt)(3-24-2000)

  • Hearn to NASCAR? Richie Hearn had planned on competing in Sunday's CART season opener at Homestead. Instead, Hearn will be a spectator when the green flag drops on the 2000 CART season -- only he won't be at Homestead. Hearn, who lost his ride Friday with longtime team owner John Della Penna, said he likely would spend Sunday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway watching the Food City 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race. Hearn is not sure what he wants to do yet and is looking at different venues to race(Las Vegas Sun)(3-24-2000)

  • Foyt Comments: A.J. Foyt would put Arlington's David Starr in his #14 Conseco Pontiac next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway if he could but Foyt hasn't decided who will drive for him at TMS, and he believes Winston Cup drivers should be handicapped when they compete in BGN races, along with comments on Greg Ray and Mark Martin(full story at the Dallas Morning News)(3-24-2000)

  • Hammond fined: NASCAR announced that they have penalized 397 John Deere/Roush Racing crew chief Jeff Hammond was fined $7,500 for rules violations discovered in inspection prior to last Sunday's 400 at Darlington Raceway. In the standard pre-race inspection, NASCAR Winston Cup Director Gary Nelson said inspectors discovered 14 pounds of lead that was improperly positioned in the driver's compartment of the #97 Ford(NASCAR Online-NOL) also SpeedVision talks about the drivers water bottle(3-24-2000)

  • Templates, another UPDATE: Speedway Illustrated was told by reliable sources this afternoon that Cup teams are expecting to get common templates from NASCAR in the next three to five weeks. They also expect that the new template configuration will be raced at Talladega for the October 15, 2000 race to be sure the teams have time to bring refined cars to the 2001 Daytona 500. Reportedly the templates will be based on the Taurus as it has the best overall aerodynamic properties. Using the Taurus will make it easier to get all the other teams to accept the common template(see full story at Speedway Illustrated)(3-24-2000)

  • Sponsor Site: RotoZip Tool Corporation, co-sponsor of the #75 Ford and driver Wally Dallenbach has just started a new Racing Section at (3-23-2000)

  • Co-op: Melling Racing has an engineering co-op program with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Josh Wilson, a Junior from Nashville, TN, is the first student to enter the program. This weekend marks the first time Josh will go to a race with the Melling team in his home state. Josh will be available to answer questions about his experience on Saturday at the track(Melling PR)(3-23-2000)

  • Polaris diecast: Racing Champions Corporation® has recently added the Polaris license to its extensive line of branded die-cast recreational vehicles. As one of the industry’s largest die-cast manufacturers, Racing Champions Ertl has created a variety of Polaris replicas including snowmobiles, watercraft and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) for adventure seekers of all ages to enjoy. The Polaris product line includes a wide range of replicas including ATVs, snowmobiles and watercraft. Polaris is a major associated sponsor for recent Cup winner Ward Burton on his #22 Caterpillar Pontiac and a primary sponsor on Burton's BGN car(Racing Champions)(3-23-2000)

  • Paint Schemes UPDATE 2: hearing that Mark Martin will run a "New Life" schemes and Terry Labonte a "Fruit Loops" schemes, have not heard where, but Labonte has run schemes before at Michigan Speedway, near the headquarters of Kelloggs. No idea what "New Life" represents. Also hearing that Jeff Gordon will run a Pokemon scheme in the Winston
    UPDATE: correction, the Martin scheme will be "MaxLife" for a new Valvoline motor oil for cars with 75,000+ miles. Supposedly Martin will run the scheme for six races. The car will have the normal scheme but the rear will be read instead of blue and have "MaxLife" instead of "Valvoline" on the 1/4 panels(3-22-2000)
    UPDATE 2 Martin: Mark Martin will bring a new car with a new paint scheme to Bristol. Martin will race JR-82, a new addition to the Roush stable. The car will be painted in the colors of MaxLife, a new Valvoline motor oil. The MaxLife paint scheme will also be featured at Texas and Martinsville in April, at Richmond in May, and at both the Coca-Cola 600 and The Winston in May(J-Mar Express Newsletter). ALSO Martin will run the "Eagle One" paint scheme at the April Talladega race, at California and Michigan in June. A "Stars and Stripes" scheme will be run at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona and the "Zerex" scheme will run in October's Talladega race(3-22-2000)

  • Templates? Dodge? UPDATE 2 delay: hearing NASCAR has told Ray Evernham to stop building his Dodge prototype until they finalize a common template supposedly based on Ford(3-18-2000)
    UPDATE: Winston Cup series director Gary Nelson attempted to dispel growing talk in the garage area Sunday that NASCAR was close to issuing common templates for each manufacturer. NASCAR officials have been re-examining the issue of common templates since the 2000 season started to help produce cars that are as equal as possible aerodynamically on the race tracks. Despite Nelson's comments, several team officials said Sunday they expected some version of the common template idea to gain NASCAR approval in the near future. One reason for the growing concern Sunday was a rumor which made its way on the Internet that Ray Evernham's new Dodge operation was told to put its car-building plans on hold until NASCAR's common templates were issued. Evernham denied that claim(..full story at: That's Racin')(3-19-2000)
    UPDATE 2 Dodge Delay: Dodge has put on hold its first car tests, planned for the end of this month at Homestead, FL, while awaiting a decision from NASCAR on the so-called "common template" intended to standardize certain body lines of all the participating makes(full story at SpeedVision)(3-22-2000)

  • No Cope at Bristol: the #15 Fenley-Moore Motorsports team and driver Derrike Cope will not be at Bristol this weekend. Cope rumored to be under consideration for the #14 AJ Foyt opening after Bristol, has not asked for his release from the team(3-22-2000)

  • Crew Changes: The #25 team has two new crew members for driver Jerry Nadeau. Raymond "Rizzo" Schepler takes over as Parts Mgr in the shop and for Bristol only Jeff McKinney will be the front tire carrier(not changer) as Ray Holm Jr., is no longer with the team(Cotter Group)(3-22-2000)

  • #50 News UPDATE 2: hearing more crewmen have left the team and interim crew chief Bob Hayden will leave after the race at Darlington(3-16-2000)
    UPDATE: hearing chassis builder, Ray Kilgore, has returned to Midwest Transit Racing to head up their chassis program. Kilgore previously worked with Gary Dehart's TURNKEY PERFORMANCE who supplied Morgan McClure with chassis during the 1999 season. No more news on the crew chief situation or Craven's. Haven't heard but am assuming the team will be at Bristol
    UPDATE: The #50 team and Ricky Craven will be at Bristol and Texas the next two weeks(#50 Team)(3-21-2000)

  • More Winston UPDATE: Winston Cup Radio(PRN) reports that with Wards Burton's win at Darlington, Geoffrey Bodine and Sterling Marlin have been knocked out of the all-star race, The Winston and will need to race their way into it
    UPDATE: I have confirmed that both Marline and Bodine have been knocked out of The Winston and needs to win a race before the Winston or race in during the Open segments(3-21-2000)

  • Baird to Cup: 1999 ARCA Champ Bill Baird is running a part time ARCA schedule and plans to attempt four Winston Cup races in 2000. Both Pocono races and the Brickyard 400 are planned along with an un-named race. The team is looking for a sponsor for it's ARCA and Cup operation(Bill Baird Site(3-21-2000)

  • Wear Your Helmet: At Dalrington on Sunday, Dennis "Moose" Cabe, gasman for the #77 Ford Taurus and driver Robert Pressley, had just finished putting gas in the car and was working on a wedge adjustment when Pressley began leaving the pit box. Cabe was dragged into the neighboring pit box of Dave Blaney. Cabe escaped without any injuries. One reason? He had all of his protective gear on, including a helmet. "My helmet hit the ground on the right side," Cabe said. "I always wear all of my protective gear and that's why."(Speed Magazine/Andrew Booth)(3-21-2000)

  • Tuesday Testing at Martinsville: Test Speeds for on Tuesday, March 21 at Martinsville Speedway during test for Goody’s Body Pain 500 on Sunday, April 9. #2-Rusty Wallace 95.013mph; #25-Jerry Nadeau 94.870; #12-Jeremy Mayfield 93.281. Mayfield did not work on qualifying setup. He worked solely on race setup. Wallace and Nadeau each ran qualifying setups. Track record is 95.275mph set by #20-Tony Stewart last year(Martinsville Speedway PR)(3-21-2000)

  • DW to switch to #26? UPDATE 2: TNN's Raceday is reporting that next week at Bristol, Darrell Waltrip and teammate Jimmy Spencer may switch cars so Waltrip can take advantage of the provisionals the #26 has. The #26 is also 25th in owners points and if it stays there the team would not be charged a provisional...should be interesting if it happens(3-19-2000)
  • DW UPDATE: #66 Darrell Waltrip abruptly parked his car on Lap 132 at Darlington on Sunday. He had been in the garage earlier, and the team had made adjustments on the car. This time, he climbed out and went in his hauler to change. Waltrip said he couldn't go fast enough to stay out of the other drivers way. Waltrip has used four champion provisionals in five races this season and cannot use another until Martinsville. That means he has to qualify at Bristol and Texas, or go home. There is talk that Carter might put Waltrip in the #26 (his teammate) next week at Bristol (moving Spencer to 66) so that DW can use the 26's provisional if necessary. Team members would not confirm that, saying they'd know more early this week(SpeedVision)(3-20-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Owner Travis Carter grimaced when asked if driver Darrell Waltrip, out of provisionals, would switch cars with teammate Jimmy Spencer for Sunday’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Reports had surfaced that Carter would have his drivers trade cars because Spencer has enough points to make the race. Will it happen? Not likely. “Every man’s got to stand on his own two feet,” Carter said(Times-Dispatch)(3-20-2000)

  • UP and DOWN: #4-Bobby Hamilton advanced the most positions in the Mall-com 400 at Darlington moving up 26 postions from 33rd to 7th, followed by #5-Terry Labonte (+23), #99-Jeff Burton (+22), and #97-Chad Little(+22). Who fell back the most? #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. fell back 30 spots(from 10th to 40th)), followed by #27-Jeff Fuller (-22) and #42-Kenny Irwin (-20). See more stats like this at Rumblings by Henry Dubert on Catchfence(3-20-2000)

  • Hendrick Comments: Rick Hendrick, owner of the Chevrolets of Jeff Gordon, Jerry Nadeau and Terry Labonte, said Sunday if NASCAR plans to make more rules changes - including a move to common templates - it should give teams plenty of time to prepare. See full story at That's Racin'(3-20-2000)

  • #36 Jackman: Eric Wilson of Hickory, NC, served as the new jackman with Ken Schrader's #36 M&M's Pontiaic Sunday. Wilson is serving as a race-to-race replacement for Michael Cooper, who sprained his right ankle during a pit stop accident last weekend at Atlanta(That's Racin')(3-20-2000)

  • Donlavey ARCA UPDATE: #90 team owner Junie Donlavey plans to field an ARCA team for a limited schedule. Jason Hedleski, who works with Donlavey, plans to drive the car which will all be built in the same shop(Times-Dispatch)(3-19-2000)
    UPDATE: Been told that Donlavey will not run any ARCA races as they want to concentrate on getting the CUP team running well and making races(3-20-2000)

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