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PAST NEWS MAY 8-14, 2000

  • #97 Special Scheme: For the first time since 1997, the #97 John Deere Ford will have a new look on May 28th. The car will feature the FFA emblem on its hood while racing in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Placement of the FFA emblem on the hood of the #97 is included in Phase I of an enhanced partnership between John Deere and FFA. Phase II, Community Connection, involves local FFA chapters selling co-branded merchandise. The FFA emblem and John Deere logo are prominent on the items, signifying a solid partnership. Profits from the sale of the co-branded merchandise will be used to develop and produce educational and community- wide FFA events. Several events leading up to and during race day will showcase how FFA makes a positive difference in schools and communities. FFA is a national organization of 451,997 members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture. Local, state and national programs provide opportunities for students to apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom. FFA’s mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. FFA’s Internet web site,, can provide additional information about the National FFA Organization(Lowes Motor Speedway PR) Have had an image on the Paint Scheme Gallery since Dec 1, 1999, check it out(5-14-2000)

  • TNN Baby: Stephanie Boyd-Durner from TNN's Inside NASCAR TV show had a baby last week, congrats(5-14-2000)

  • New Andretti: Another Andretti has joined the fold. Amelia Lois Andretti was born at 9:43 p.m. (EDT), Wednesday, May 10, to John and Nancy Andretti. She was 20 inches at birth, and weighed seven pounds, 14 ounces. Mother Nancy, brother Jarett and sister Olivia were in good health and doing fine. John Andretti drives the STP/Cheerios Pontiac on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit(Williams Company)(5-13-2000)

  • Honored: NASCAR Legend David Pearson's hometown of Spartanburg, SC will honor the driver with a special celebration, David Pearson Day, set for Saturday, May 13, for more info see the David Pearson Day page from GoUpState. The Greenville(SC) News also has a Schedule up: Pearson Celebration schedule(5-11/13-2000)

  • Schrader and ARCA REPOST: Ken Schrader will race at the quarter mile Anderson Speedway Indiana oval Sunday, May 14th for the Anderson ARCA 300. Schrader, the defending race winner, has entered a Federated Auto Parts sponsored Chevrolet Monte Carlo for the 300 lap short-track war(AutoChannel)(5-4/13-2000)

  • Sabco/Ganassi? UPDATE 3: hearing SABCO owner Felix Sabates(#'s 40 and 42) and CART championship team owner, Chip Ganassi are getting close to forming some sort of partnership that would bring a Ganassi team (an Andy Graves) to the Cup series for 2001(5-9-2000)
    UPDATE: Chip Ganassi, who has won four consecutive championships as a team owner in CART, may be on the verge of entering NASCAR. Ganassi is negotiating with Felix Sabates to become a part-owner of Team Sabco. If there's a partnership with Ganassi, it wouldn't begin until next year(Dallas Morning News)
    UPDATE 2: On Thursday's ESPN2 RPM2 Night, Robin Miller reported that the Ganassi-Sabates is a done deal with Ganassi owning 80% and Sabates owning 20% with Ganassi talking to Jeremy Mayfield and Bobby Hamilton as part of a two car team to run in 2001. Target is the rumored sponsor(RPM2 Night). Note: Mayfield is signed with Penske-Kranefuss thru 2002 and Hamilton with Morgan-McClure thru 2001(5-11-2000)
    UPDATE 3: See the story at SpeedNet: Ganassi to join NASCAR, source says, no drivers mentioned like on RPM2 Night but the story adds: "According to a source in Charlotte, who requested anonymity, Ganassi will become a majority owner of Felix Sabates' operation and run a two-car effort starting in 2001 with Dodges." No mention of what would happen with the current drivers, Sterling Marlin or Kenny Irwin, on RPM2 Night it sounded like a deal in addition to Sabates current teams, but the story sounds more like a partnership. Three of the drivers have contracts at least thru the 2001 season, Marlin has the option to leave at the end of the 2000 season(see the interview at RacinDeals - see link in the story section below)(5-12-2000)

  • Sad News: Pete Blackwell, owner/co-promoter of Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina passed away on Thursday. Many Cup, BGN and CTS teams test there often. Condolences to the family. See story and info at the Greenville Pickens Speedway site(5-12-2000)

  • Another Tired Question about Dale Earnhardt Jr. Why did he(or his crew chief) not get fined for jumping on top of his car as Jeremy Mayfield(his crew chief got fined) did for jumping on his car roof after winning at California. Plain and Simple: I do not know. On Monday's RPM 2Night (ESPN2), Benny Parsons was asked the same question and said that the drivers did not like that fine that Mayfield's team got and that they should be allowed to celebrate. I am not looking to speculate on this, feel free to email NASCAR at NASCAR Online
    UPDATE: The deal is Mayfield didn't get fined for dancing on the roof. NASCAR stated the fine was because the roof did not conform to one or more templates. Mayfield made a dent while dancing on the roof, but we hear that was removed, the roof restored to it's previous contour, then checked. Apparently Jr. didn't make any dents, and/or his car passed the template checks(Speedway Illustrated)(5-11-2000)

  • #98 Sold? hearing the #98 Cale Yarborough team has been sold but have heard nothing more concrete on the sale or new owners or if Yarborough will be involved. Heard the team would not run until 2001(5-11-2000)

  • FBI and the #2 Team: the FBI was brought in to help stop the theft of team and driver uniforms, helmets, and other racing-related items from the shop by a team member, see the full story at RacingOne: FBI Investigates Theft Claim at Wallace Team(5-11-2000)

  • Aero Work: Though sophisticated computerized data acquisition is allowed during open testing like that at the Lowes Motor Speedway this week, teams still include basic aerodynamics in their plans. Like many teams, crew chief Tony Eury and his engineers tried a few modifications to the body of Dale Earnhardt Jr's #8 Monte Carlo. Notice the literally taped on pieces of body that are often fabricated on the spot, tested on the track, then replaced with further changes(see the Speedway Illustrated site for the image). If the team hits on something that works, and fits NASCAR templates, the real body will be changed accordingly(Speedway Illustrated)(5-10-2000)

  • Lowe’s Motor Speedway Testing Notes I: Winston Cup rookie-of-the-year contender Dave Blaney spent time on both dirt and pavement during the day. Before testing his Winston Cup machine on the 1.5-mile tri-oval, the 1995 World of Outlaws sprint car champion gave media members rides around the new four-tenths mile The Dirt Track at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in a unique two-seat sprint car. The two-seat car is owned by the Dave Blaney Outlaw Driving Experience, a school in which fans can experience the thrill of sprint car racing(LMS PR)(5-10-2000)

  • Lowe’s Motor Speedway Testing Notes II: Petty Enterprises brought two cars for Adam Petty to test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, but there was a unique twist; one was a Pontiac Grand Prix and the other a Chevrolet Monte Carlo(LMS PR)(5-10-2000)

  • Lowe’s Motor Speedway Testing Notes III: Bill Elliott’s team utilized a separate pit box filled with sophisticated computers and related diagnostic equipment throughout the two-day Winston Cup test. Interestingly, the box sported Evernham Motorsports logos(LMS PR)(5-10-2000)

  • Lowe’s Motor Speedway Testing Notes IV: The Robert Yates Racing and MB2 Motorsports teams had English wheels in their garage stalls. Normally only seen in fabrication shops, the devices are used to form sheetmetal. Both teams utilized the wheels to shape pieces that were used to make aerodynamic modifications(LMS PR)(5-10-2000)

  • #58 Auction UPDATE: 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)
    UPDATE: The #58 team auction date has been moved to Tuesday, May 30th at 11:00am/et, for more info see the Moecker Auctions site, even includes a DynoJet Chassis Dyno, hauler, cars, shock dyno's(5-9-2000)

  • Sad News: Thomas Ferrel Harris, who raced on the ARCA circuit across four decades, has died. He was 59. Harris, who underwent heart bypass surgery about 10 years ago, had a heart attack and died Sunday(Daily Press). Harris also made 41 Winston Cup starts from 1975-1983 with five top 10's in his Cup career, all in 1989, including a 7th at Talladega and a 9th in the Daytona 500(info from Greg Fielden's Forty Years of Stock Car Racing)(5-9-2000)

  • #11 Sponsor UPDATE 2: hearing that Ralph's Supermarkets will not return to the #11 Brett Bodine team in 2001(5-4-2000)
    UPDATE: Ralphs Supermarkets had orginally signed a one year contract with Brett Bodine - a second year contract has not yet been signed, but at no point in time has Ralphs Supermarkets not said that they will not return for a second year with Brett Bodine and 2001 negotiations are pending(5-5-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Brett Bodine Racing is currently searching for Associate Sponsorship for the remainder of 2000 to supplement their primary sponsorship with Ralph's(Brett Bodine Site)(5-8-2000)

  • Irwin Injured? UPDATE 2: #42-Kenny Irwin was caught in #27-Mike Bliss' wreck(Bliss cut a tire on #77-Pressley's broken Brake part) on Lap 171 and was reported treated and released at the track infield center. Later word, however, was that Irwin had to be taken to an area hospital when he lost awareness while talking to others after his release. As of 2am/et, there was no further word(SpeedVision)(5-7-2000)
    UPDATE: Team sources tell me that Kenny Irwin was not transported to the hospital. He was treated and released at the infield care center following the accident. The neurosurgeon on staff checked him out. Kenny went from there to the airport. A discussion did take place about going to the hospital after Irwin left the track, but it was not necessary. Irwin is sore but fine and is recovering
    UPDATE 2: Kenny Irwin is recovering at home in Charlotte following an accident Saturday evening in the Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond. After the incident on lap 170, Irwin was treated and released from the infield care center. Contrary to published rumors, he was not transported to the hospital. “I am doing just fine,” Irwin said. “I’m just a bit sore from the accident but nothing more than that. I was very tired during the trip from the race track to the airport Saturday night, but I was not taken to the hospital.”(SABCO PR)(5-8-2000)

  • Kelloggs and Gordon: Taking its 35-year-old Kellogg's Apple Jacks cereal to the fast track, the company has introduced Kellogg's Racing Apple Jacks cereal, with NASCAR's Jeff Gordon pictured on the box. The new Kellogg's Racing Apple Jacks limited edition cereal, now on grocery shelves through mid-June, features the addition of red and blue and yellow and red swirled ``Jacks.'' The package shines with patterned holographic rainbow foil and embossing and includes a NASCAR schedule on the back(Yahoo Biz)(5-8-2000)

  • New Mechanic: Jimmy Lauder, an engine builder at Rockford's(IL) Performance Products, is on a 90-day trial with the new Evernham Motorsports Dodge team. Jerry Gille and Lauder were partners in a late-model stock car Gille drove and Lauder prepared at Madison (Wis.) International Speedway(Rockford Register Star)(5-8-2000)

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