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PAST NEWS APRIL 10-16, 2000

  • Wow, what a race: #24-Jeff Gordon wins at Talladega and his 50th career Winston Cup win, the 11th driver in history to do so. It was #24 crew chief, Robbie Loomis's first win with the #24 team. Gordon who started 36th(almost had to take his first career provisional), breaks the record for the worse starting spot to win a CUP race at Talladega. Gordon snaps a 13 race streak of not winning a race, the first since Charlotte last October. #31-Mike Skinner was close to his first win but ended up 2nd, his career best finish. #6-Mark Martin is now the point leader over #18-Bobby Labonte. See results at NASCAR Online(NOL)(was incorrect but seems ok now), Racin' Network and Total Sports(4-16-2000)

  • Nine Different Winners: Jeff Gordon is the ninth different Winston Cup winner in the first nine races in 2000. This extends the NASCAR all time record of nine, beating last weeks eighth. The old record was seven that happened in 1991 when the first seven winners were Ernie Irvan, Dale Earnhardt, Kyle Petty, Ken Schrader, Ricky Rudd, Rusty Wallace and Darrell Waltrip. Also happened in 1964 when Ned Jarrett, Fireball Roberts, Wendell Scott, Richard Petty, Dan Gurney, Junior Johnson, Bobby Isaac won the first seven races that season. The 2000 winners: Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt, Ward Burton, Rusty Wallace, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mark Martin and now Jeff Gordon. The record only for the start of a season. A different driver won 13 races in a row back in 1961. The "modern-era" record, covering the years since 1972, is 11 different winners in a row in 1985(4-16-2000)

  • Noticed during the race at Talladega: while using #10 Johnny Benson's in car camera, noticed the web address, so I chekced it out and they are a new associate sponsor for the team, supposedly started three races ago(4-16-2000)

  • #13 Engines? hearing #13 Team Gordon will use Yates Engines at Talladega and California(4-12-2000)
    UPDATE: have confirmed this, so far it is just for these two races(4-16-2000)

  • Greg Ray almost.... Greg Ray, the 1999 IRL champ, was offered a one-race deal with A.J. Foyt's #14 Winston Cup Pontiac at Texas last month but declined the invitation. Instead, Rick Mast replaced rookie Mike Bliss on a permanent basis and drove the car to a 20th-place finish. Ray almost took the ride then decided against it(Speed Magazine)(4-16-2000)

  • Ray's 2nd Driver UPDATE: Ray Evernham said Friday he hopes to be able to announce the driver for his second Dodge Winston Cup team for the 2001 season during the circuit's visit to Charlotte at the end of May(That's Racin')
    UPDATE: Ray Evernham doesn’t know where the recent round of rumors started, but he’s focusing on only one driver to team with Bill Elliott on his two-car Dodge team next season -- BGN driver Casey Atwood. On Friday afternoon, Evernham talked with Atwood and his BGN team owner Clarence Brewer. Evernham admits he is talking with Brewer about a possible BGN team for 2002 but has no intention of keeping the 20-year-old Atwood in the series next season(Times-Dispatch)(4-15-2000)

  • Cope: Derrike Cope left the #15 Moore-Fenley Motorsports team on Thursday and is being replaced by Ted Musgrave this weekend. "I had an opportunity to leave and felt like that was in my best interest to do so," Cope said(Times-Dispatch)(4-15-2000)

  • Benson to F1? naaaa..... what does Johnny Benson plan to do on his first off weekend since the NASCAR Winston Cup teams reported to Daytona on Feb. 9? Benson plans to go to a Winston West test in Fontana, CA on Tuesday and Wednesday then fly to Silverstone, England to attend Sunday's British Grand Prix Formula One race. Benson attended the Spanish Grand Prix in 1998. Benson will run in the Winston West race at California the same weekend as the Cup race in the #50 Tyler Jet Motorsports Chevy. Crew Chief james Ince thinks it is a good way to learn the track. Benson is going to the F1 race for fun(see full PR at the Tyler Jet Motorsports site)(4-15-2000)

  • Common Templates: Winston Cup series director Gary Nelson said Friday NASCAR was "backing off" the idea of common body templates in favor of continuing to keep all manufacturers as equal as possible aerodynamically on the track. See full story at That's Racin': Nelson says common templates on back burner by Jim Utter(4-15-2000)

  • Top 25: #24-Jeff Gordon qualified outside of the top 25 for the first time since Oct 1998 in Charlotte, a streak of 47 races. Also failing to qualify for the top 25 for the first time this year(making all the races) are #18-Bobby Labonte(46th) and #25-Jerry Nadeau(28th). Only two drivers have made ALL nine Cup races and qualified for all the races in the top 25: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr and #31-Mike Skinner(4-15-2000)

  • Rookies do Good: Six of the Rookie of The Year candidates made the field in 1st round qualifying: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr.(6th), #32-Scott Pruett(15th), #92-Dave Blaney(16th), #27-Mike Bliss(18th), #9-Stacy Compton(22nd) and #90-Ed Berrier(23rd). Only #17-Matt Kenseth failed to qualify on day one, he was 35th(4-15-2000)

  • Talladega Speed: Jeremy Mayfield's pole speed at Talladega was the fifth slowest pole speed in the history of Talladega and the first at less than 190 mph since 1976(NOL/ESPN2 Qualifying) and was the slowest pole-winning speed at Talladega since David Pearson drove his Mercury to the top spot at 184.926mph -- in 1974(News and Observer)(4-15-2000)

  • M&M's: Ken Schrader is relaying a message to his competitors for this weekend's race at Talladega Superspeedway via Red, the M&M Character on the back of his No. 36 Pontiac. Red is holding a sign with a simple but clear message for the other 42 cars racing side-by-side at the Winston Cup Circuit's fastest track. Red's words of advice: "Don't Read...Draft!".(IMG Motorsports-Charlotte)(4-15-2000)

  • New Yates Sponsor in 2001? UPDATE 3: Dale Jarrett will apparently have a new sponsor next season on the #88 Robert Yates owned Ford. UPS(United Parcel Service), supposedly a $15 million or $16 million sponsorship deal, sources said. Ford's Quality Care sponsorship would likely move to a Jack Roush team, according to PitNow sources(PitNow)(4-3-2000)
    UPDATE: I hear from a good source that Robert Yates Racing(RYR) is working with Ford to continue it's relationship/sponsorship with the #88 and are working with UPS on an associate sponsorship on the #28 Texaco Ford(4-4-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Rumors recently surfaced that Robert Yates was considering a switch from Ford Credit to UPS as primary sponsor for the Dale Jarrett #88 race team in 2001. The more likely scenario here is that UPS, who has been itching to get into Winston Cup racing with a strong team for about a year, will come on board as an associate sponsor on one or BOTH Yates Racing Fords(Inside Motorsports)(4-9-2000)
    UPDATE 3: This weeks Winston Cup Scene Magazine reports that UPS is talking to Yates and Roush Racing about sponsoring a car. #28 and #88 owner Robert Yates confirmed he is talking to UPS but wouldn't say if it was for an associate or primary deal for one or both cars. Yates deal with Ford Quality Care is done at the end of the 2000 season. Roush Racing said they had informal talks but that was it and that Roush Racing is working on renewals with Valvoline and John Deere for the #6 and #97 teams(4-14-2000)

  • #75 Crew Chief? UPDATE 2 no Talladega? Hearing Mike Hillman will assume the crew chief duties on the #75 Galaxy Motorsports Ford and driver Wally Dallenbach. Hillman has been working with the #91 Joe Falk team(4-10-2000)
    UPDATE: Mike Hillman was supposedly offered a job by the #75 team BUT turned down the job and is staying with the #91 LJ Racing team(4-13-2000)
    UPDATE 2: This weeks Winston Cup Scene Magazine reports that if no crew chief is in place, the team MAY skip the race at Talladega and regroup for Califnornia in two weeks(4-14-2000)

  • New Fire Suit: Bill Simpson, one of racing's top safety experts, is looking at some new firesuit material called CarbonX, a fireproof carbon fiber lightweight weave(PitNow)(4-14-2000)

  • A few notes: The #15 Ford with Ted Musgrave driving is White with a light blue stripe down the center of the car and light blue numerals on the doors. #6-Mark Martin has the Eagle One scheme as noted before, mostly black with some orange(4-14-2000)

  • #13 New GM: #13 Team Gordon and Robby Gordon announced that Richard Buck has been hired as General Manager, effective with this weekend's Die Hard 500 at Talladega. Buck fills a much-needed position at Team Gordon, bringing 20 years of experience in the CART IndyCar Series with him, the most notable of which, his years at Team Penske Racing where as crew chief he amassed 25 pole positions, 22 race victories, 5 Indy 500 victories, 2 CART Series Championships, 6 pit stop championships, as well being awarded "Chief Mechanic of the Year" honors twice. Buck will take care of all the day-to-day responsibilities at Team Gordon. Before this week, Buck had been working with Team Gordon on an exploratory level, getting to know the team and the areas in which he needs to focus. And while he's spent his career in the open-wheel ranks, Buck is quick to acknowledge that racing is racing and the challenge of orchestrating a successful operation is the same no matter what series a team competes (Team Gordon PR)(4-14-2000)

  • Dodge Testing Dates and Venues UPDATE: Dodge team owner Ray Evernham and Dodge Motorsports are about to embark on the first on-track testing for the Winston Cup Dodge Intrepid. All dates are tentative and additional dates will likely be added.
    May 2-3 Homestead
    May 18-19 Michigan
    June 5-6 Las Vegas
    June 12-13 Talladega
    June 26-27 Texas
    July 4-5 Indianapolis
    July 18-19 Atlanta
    July 25-26 Daytona
    August 8 Atlanta
    August 21-22 Talladega. No idea if this is an open/public or closed test(4-12-2000)
    UPDATE: see an additional story at SpeedVision on the testing: After Delay, Dodge Ready for Testing by Ben Blake(4-13-2000)

  • Atwood to Cup? hearing Casey Atwood will drive a Ford in five Winston Cup races this year for Evernham Motorsports(4-13-2000)

  • Musgrave in the #15: The Ted Musgrave site is reporting: Musgrave Motorsports announced today that Ted Musgrave has accepted the position of driving the #15 Ford Taurus for the Fenley/Moore team. Musgrave will race in the DieHard 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 16(Ted Musgrave Site)(4-13-2000)

  • Did Ya Know? Six drivers - Lenny Pond, Richard Brickhouse, Dick Brooks, Bobby Hillin, Phil Parsons and Ron Bouchard - won their first and only Winston Cup Series race at Talladega(Augusta Chronicle)(4-13-2000)

  • #58 Auction: Moecker Auctions, Inc., have been retained to conduct the auction in regards to the S.B. III Motorsports (was the #58 Ford) racing team. They filed an Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors on April 7, 2000. An auction of their cars, hauler, equipment and parts is going to be held on May 11, 2000 at 11:00am/et on their premises at 103 Center Lane, Huntersville, NC. The auction is open to the public. For more ingo see the site:, didn't see the auction listed there yet(4-12-2000)

  • NASCAR TV? Will the new unified NASCAR television contract be good for Speedvision?… YES… Will Speedvision be the new all-NASCAR channel?… NOT… says Speedvision founder president Roger Werner. Asked about the much-discussed creation of an all-NASCAR channel, Werner said, “Speedvision has been involved in conversations with NASCAR since the summer of 1999 regarding the creation and development of a NASCAR channel. Contrary to rumors, those discussions have in no way been related to converting Speedvision into a NASCAR channel, nor has there been any discussion of NASCAR purchasing Speedvision for that purpose. See full story by Bill King at SpeedVision: Roger Werner On the Future of Speedvision(4-12-2000)

  • Hall of Fame REPOST and TV coverage: The International Motorsports Hall of Fame announced it's 2000 inductees: Indy car champs, Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt. F1 title-holders, Aryton Senna and Nelson Piquet(as well as Andretti). Don "The Snake' Prudhomme from Drag Racing and Craig Breedlove who has set several world land speed records. The half-dozen inductees, dubbed the Y2K class by the hall of fame, was announced at a news conference on Thursday in Birmingham. The honorees will be inducted at a formal ceremony at the hall of fame complex outside Talladega Superspeedway next year, kicking off activities for the DieHard 500 race weekend on April 13(Alabama Live)(10-30-1999)
    UPDATE: The 2000 International Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held on April 13, 2000 beginning at approximately 5:30pm/ct(4-12-2000)
    TV Coverage: Hall of Fame Inductions will be covered by SpeedVision at 8pm/et on Thursday April 13th(4-13-2000)

  • #7 Team for sale? UPDATE 3: PitNow is reporting that #7 owner, Jim Mattei is apparently trying to sell his race team, according to Michael Waltrip, his driver(4-8-2000)
    UPDATE: Hearing the team has been sold, supposedly to a CTS(truck) team owner(4-10-2000)
    UPDATE 2: hear that the #7 team is NOT sold and the rumor about CTS owner having bought it is not true. The team may be looking at a partner, but not a buyer(4-11-2000)
    UPDATE 3: It was reported on RPM2Nite Tuesday night that owner Jim Mattei had a meeting with the team and said it was NOT for sale but they are considering a partner(4-12-2000)

  • No #91 at 'Dega: Todd Bodine and the LJ Racing crew will make their next race at Richmond International Raceway, in the Pontiac Excitement 400 on May 6. The team will be testing an LJ Racing designed and built car at RIR on April 18 and 19, in preparation for the race. The team is still seeking sponsorship that will allow them to run the full season(LJ Racing). Andy Hillenburg will not run the #91 at Talladega as reported(4-11-2000)

  • Another Martin Scheme: Mark Martin will debut the 2000 #6 Eagle One Taurus at Talladega. This is the third straight season that Martin has driven a car featuring Eagle One colors. In May, 1998, Martin won The Winston in an Eagle One car. (J-Mar Express Newsletter) See images of this years car at my Paint Schemes Gallery(4-11-2000)

  • Bessey 2nd team tests and Talladega driver UPDATE 3: #60 Power Team owner Joe Bessey, tested a #61 Power Team Chevy at Daytona on Monday in anticipation of launching a second team later this summer, possibly for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona. Bessey participated in the first day of a two-day test along with #6-Mark Martin, #77-Robert Pressley and ?-Brad Teague(BGN car) in preparation for Pepsi 400. After Geoffrey Bodine was injured in the Daytona 250 CTS race in February, Bessey has used Ted Musgrave, Dick Trickle and Rich Bickle to drive the #60(NASCAR Online)(4-10-2000)
    UPDATE driver at Talladega: hearing that Dick Trickle will drive the #60 Power Team Chevy at Talladega this weekend
    UPDATE 2: it's official: Bessey Motorsports has announced that Dick Trickle will return to the #60 Power Team Chevrolet this weekend in the Diehard 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. He will substitute for regular driver Geoffrey Bodine, who was injured in a February CTS event(Power Team PR)
    UPDATE 3: if all goes to plan, Bessey may debut his second car at Richmond next month. Bessey stressed all those plans are tentative(Speed Magazine)(4-11-2000)

  • Talladega Testing? UPDATE: Teams will run with a smaller restrictor plate at Talladega next week and will be allowed to use their own shock absorbers on the fronts of their cars. Supposedly, NASCAR is not through looking for ways to improve the racing at the circuit's two restrictor-plate tracks and will test a high-drag car on the Monday following the DieHard 500. The car would have a taller "green house," the term used for the compartment in which the driver sits, and be a bit wider than the slicked-down aerodynamically honed cars now in use by top teams. That kind of car would create a bigger "hole" in the air as it races down the straightaway, increasing drag and thereby slowing speeds somewhat. The bigger hole in the air would also increase the effects of the draft on cars running in line and might eventually even allow the use of restrictor plates with bigger holes, increasing both horsepower and throttle response (paraphrased from That's Racin') no idea if this will be one team, which make, or if all teams who wish to test at Talladega next Monday will be allowed to. Also see another story at PitNow: Uncommon Sense: Speeds were lowered at wrong speedway(4-9-2000)
    UPDATE: Roush Racing, Childress Racing and Morgan McClure Motorsports have been invited to Talladega next Monday for a novel NASCAR test at Talladega to find new ways to make disgruntled Winston Cup drivers happier at the tour's two biggest tracks. Drivers have long complained about being bunched too tightly without enough horsepower to break away at Daytona and Talladega. So NASCAR officials will try to figure out how to add enough aerodynamic drag to these cars to allow drivers a lot more horsepower, while still keeping speeds around 190 mph. Roush and Childress are building special cars for the test. It is unclear who will test/drive the carsPitNow)(4-11-2000)

  • Irvan at Martinsville: Ken Schrader, driver of the #36 M&M's Pontiac, mentioned on SpeedVision's TV show Inside NASCAR Winston Cup that former #36 driver, Ernie Irvan, now retired, was in the team's pits over the weekend at Martinsville(4-11-2000)

  • Penalties UPDATE a rundown: Five teams got caught by NASCAR's new rules concerning tires left on pit road at Martinsville. #24-Jeff Gordon, #22-Ward Burton, #16-Kevin Lepage, #44-Kyle Petty and #36-Ken Schrader – all were forced to start at the end of the longest line on caution-flag restarts(goracing). NASCAR had penalized #99-Jeff Burton and #25-Jerry Nadeau for disregarding a stop sign from an official posted at the pit exit(Gaston Gazette). Jeff Gordon, Ward Burton, Kevin Lepage, Kyle Petty and Ken Schrader served penalties for the tire infraction. NASCAR officials also handed out 10 more penalties for speeding in the pits, pitting too soon, running the pit-road stop sign, passing on the left too soon, passing the pace car and trying to beat the pace car out of the pits(Daily Press)
    UPDATE: here are a rundown of the penalties accessed at Martinsville: 14 total - Five teams noted above with the new tire rule: #24-Jeff Gordon, #22-Ward Burton, #16-Kevin Lepage, #44-Kyle Petty and #36-Ken Schrader each had to go to the end of the longest line on the restarts for the violation. #26-Jimmy Spencer was caught for speeding on pit road. #26-Spencer, #33-Joe Nemechek, #11-Brett Bodine and #13-Robby Gordon for entering the pits too soon. #1-Steve Park for passing on the left on a restart. #42-Kenny Irwin for passing the pace car. #99-Jeff Burton and #55-Kenny Wallace each were penalized a lap for disobeying the NASCAR official at the end of pit road and entering the track when signaled to stop. Most others were penalized by being sent to the end of the longest line(News and Record)(4-10-2000)

  • Records: After 500 laps on Martinsville's 1/2 mile paperclip-shaped oval the Goody's Body Pain 500 records show there were 14 lead changes among 8 different drivers and 14 cars finished on the lead lap. There were also a record 17 caution flags totaling a whopping 111 laps run under yellow due to the short time even caution laps require to complete. After all this Mark Martin's margin of victory was still only 1.5 seconds over teammate Jeff Burton(Speedway Illustrated) check out their first issue cover at the site(4-10-2000)

  • Waltrip finish: Michael Waltrip had his best finish (3rd at Martinsville) since he was 3rd at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May of 1995. It was his first Top-5 since last year's Daytona 500, and just one spot off his career-best of 2nd at Pocono in 1988(Catchfence-Rumblings)(4-10-2000)

  • Cautions at Martinsville: The 17 cautions broke the event record and tied the track record for yellow flags(Total Sports)(4-10-2000)

  • Skinner/Lowes/Red Cross: Mike Skinner and Lowes generates more Red Cross funds, leading ten laps and running 498 of the 500 on Sunday, helping him raise $23,438 for the American Red Cross Racing for Relief program. Lowe's, Skinner's sponsor, is donating $31 for every lap he completes and $1,031 for every lap he leads in April's races. After two races, the total contribution is $34,792(That's Racin')(4-10-2000)

  • 2nd Morgan McClure car? UPDATE: Loy Allen is testing for the Morgan McClure team(#4 Kodak Chevy) at Greenville-Pickens(SC) with regular driver Bobby Hamilton in preparation for the upcoming Martinsville and Talladega races. The way things look right now, they might run a second car at Talladega with Loy Allen as the driver(Morgan McClure PR)(4-4-2000)
    UPDATE: Morgan-McClure Motorsports owner Larry McClure has decided not to enter Loy Allen as a second car at Talladega. Allen had tested a car last week at Talladega for McClure. McClure, owner of the #4 Kodak Chevys for driver Bobby Hamilton, said Sunday it is still likely he will field a second car at some point this season, but he has set no timetable for its debut(That's Racin')(4-10-2000)

  • Attendance: The estimated attendance of 84,000 was a track record at Martinsville on Apr 9th(Total Sports)(4-10-2000)

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