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PAST NEWS MAY 22-28, 2000

  • Gannasi/Sabco to Dodge? TNN's Raceday reports that that Sabco who will be bought by Chip Ganassi next month will change to Dodge from Chevy in 2001(5-28-2000)

  • Atwood to race Cup in 2000? Casey Atwood, named Thursday as Ray Evernham's 2nd driver for Evernham's Dodge team may run a few Cup races in 2000, not in a Dodge but probably an Elliott Racing Ford(TNN's Raceday)(5-28-2000)

  • Ford Quality Care and the #97? rumors have say FC/QC could end up with the #97 Chad Little driven team or it could be an associate on some or few Roush's teams(#' 6,16,17,97,99). However, supposedly current #97 sponsor, John Deere, remains strongly in the running(to return in 2001)(SpeedVision)(5-28-2000)

  • Dillon to relieve Mast: TachZone is reporting that #21 BGN driver, Mike Dillon, will be standing by to replace Rick Mast in the #14 Conseco Pontiac for the Coca-Cola 600. Mast is apparently feeling a little under the weather this weekend, after a bout of food poisoning. Mast will start the race, and turn the wheel over to Dillon at some point, depending on how he feels. The driver change has been approved by NASCAR, and padding has been fitted in the seat to allow for Dillon's smaller frame. Dillon has run in relief in a few other Cup races in the past(5-28-2000)

  • Punter to Pits: Carolina Panthers(NFL) punter Ken Walter will have a new job during tonight's race. He will be catching tires rolled to the pit wall during pit stops for the Jasper Motorsports Ford driven by Robert Pressley. Team owner Doug Bawel came up with the idea after the team put a special teal-and-black paint job on Pressley's car. Prominently displayed is a black panther, which is also both teams' mascot(The State)(5-28-2000)

  • Pit Crew Competition: Prior to Thursday night’s Speed Street pit-crew competition, the two Joe Gibbs Racing teams, representing Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte, decided to give any proceeds from the affair to victims of last week’s pedestrian-bridge disaster at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Stewart’s team finished second, earning $3,000, and sponsor Home Depot quickly agreed to match that amount(Gaston Gazette) Ricky Rudd's #28 crew won the competition(5-28-2000)

  • Happy Day: Bruce Fecteau, a member of Brett Bodine's crew, married Kimberly Tansey atop the team hauler, with Motor Racing Outreach chaplain Steve Green officiating. The couple met at Flemington (N.J.) Speedway while working for the same race team, and their first dates involved dinner atop the team hauler, so they decided to marry in the same manner(Speed Magazine)(5-28-2000)

  • PJ Jones in the #13? P.J. Jones took the #13 Ford of Robbie Gordon out for the final practice of the Coca Cola 600. Jones was getting acquainted with the Duracell Ultra entry in the event Gordon fails to return from Indianapolis in time to start today’s Winston Cup race(Times-News) CTS driver Bryan Reffner was to be the standby, not sure what happened to that(5-28-2000)

  • Skinner and the Red Cross: #31-Mike Skinner and Lowes COO Larry Stone will present $224,540 in checks to Mike Turner of the American Red Cross, prior to the start of the Coca-Cola 600. Through Lowe's Racing for Relief program, led by NASCAR driver Mike Skinner, Lowe's raised $114,370 through four Winston Cup Races in April. During March and April, Lowe's customers contributed $110,170 for the Red Cross through the company's customer donations program. Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse pledged $31 (Skinner's car number) to the Relief: American Red Cross disaster relief fund for every lap Skinner completed and $1,031 for every lap he led during April. During the month-long program, Skinner raised the $114,370 donation by leading 75 laps and completing a total of 1,270 laps(PR)(5-28-2000)

  • Sabco Auction: Team Sabco employees hosted a memorabilia auction this week that raised nearly $30,000 to benefit the children of T.L. Stiles. An automobile accident claimed the life of Stiles, a Sabco fabricator, in November 1999. Drivers Blaise Alexander, Glenn Allen, Jeff Green, Randy LaJoie and Tim Fedewa were on hand to sign autographs. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Stiles Children College Trust(Gaston Gazette)(5-28-2000)

  • Flock moves ahead of Gordon UPDATE 2: Jeff Gordon has fallen back to second place in all-time Winston Cup winning percentages, behind Tim Flock. Flock, a 1950s-era star, won 40 races in 187 starts - a percentage of .2139. Gordon's 50 wins in 234 starts is a percentage of .2136. (Speed Magazine)(5-28-2000)

  • Dodge Stuff at the track: Fans can now buy a variety of Dodge items including shirts, jackets, flags, key chains, magnets, license plates, decals and beverage holders. Merchandise features the logos of Dodge, Evernham Motorsports and the #19 Dodge Dealer Intrepid R/T and its driver, Casey Atwood. Dodge has a 53-foot, state-of-the-art merchandise trailer parked just outside Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. The trailer will also be at the rest of the tracks this year(Car and Truck Buzz) no word on mail order(5-27-2000)

  • Penske Wins #100: as an owner in CART. #2 Miller Lite team owner, Roger Penske won the 100th CART race as an owner today when Gil DeFerran won the postponed CART race at Nazareth, PA(SpeedVision). Among those 100 wins are ten(10) Indy 500 victories(5-27-2000)

  • Andretti Hurt UPDATE: John Andretti, driver of the #43 STP/Cheerios Pontiac, was transported to University Hospital this morning for a chest X-ray. Greg Steadman, crew chief for Andretti said, "We're still trying to find out John's condition. Todd Bodine ran about 10 laps for us in practice to help us out. We're trying to decide what we're going to do, but we won't know until we get the particulars on John's condition. We're going to be prepared. We've talked to a couple of guys about standing by tomorrow night in case we need them. Either way, we'll be ready to go." See the stories at TachZone and NASCAR Online which reports: John Andretti complained of sharp pain in his ribs and had to be helped from his car during a practice session at Lowe's Motor Speedway (Sat morning) and transported to a nearby hospital for tests
    UPDATE: Andretti was back at the track before the Busch race started and, while he is pretty sore, he is planning on starting the #43 STP/Cheerios Pontiac. Andretti cracked a rib in the wreck in the Winston. When he got in the car and started practice, apparently the g-forces broke it the rest of the way. Tim Fedewa will practice the car this afternoon and Andretti will start the race tomorrow with Fedewa relieving(5-27-2000)

  • Waltrip Happy: Michael Waltrip said he's very happy with Jim Smith, the new majority owner of his #7 Nations Rent Chevy. Waltrip's previous owner, Jim Mattei, sold a large interest in the team to Smith, who owns the NASCAR Truck series team that fields trucks for Mike Wallace. See Waltrips comments at That's Racin'(5-27-2000)

  • Todd on standby: Todd Bodine practiced in the #60 Power Team Chevy on Saturday morning at Lowes. Brother Geoffrey will have Todd standing by on Sunday night in case he is unable to complete all 600 miles. Todd drove in relief for Geoffrey at Richmond and brought the car to a 13th place finish(TachZone)(5-27-2000)

  • Images and a contest: Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn Unveils Three Pop Secret No. 43 Pontiacs and Asks Fans to Guess Which Pop Secret Pontiac is Richard Petty's Favorite. Petty's Favorite Pop Secret No. 43 Will Race In the Pop Secret 400. The "Guess Richard Petty's Favorite Paint Scheme" Sweepstakes Will Give One Lucky Fan the Chance to Win Over $86,000 as Andretti Races. For the full contest breakdown see the Racing Contest page; to see images of the three cars, see Jayski's Paint Scheme Gallery, also added two more #5 CherryBerry images(5-26-2000)

  • Irvan on TV: Ernie Irvan will be hosting a TV show, "On the pole," on Fox Sports, airing on Sundays in July and will be hosting an outdoors show airing in November and December on ESPN2(NOL Chat)(5-26-2000)

  • Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?(um me): TV talk and game show host Regis Philbin brought his "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" knockoff to downtown Charlotte's Speed Street festival as host of the Food Lion Racefan Challenge. The promotion put 10 contest winners on the stage with a chance to play a modified version of "Millionaire." But instead of using "lifelines" each player had one chance to tap the cumulative knowledge of Winston Cup drivers Bobby Labonte, Dale Earnhardt Jr., John Andretti, Johnny Benson, Scott Pruett and Ken Schrader. To win a million bucks, a contestant had to correctly answer 10 straight trivia questions, most - but not all - of which were about racing. The six drivers could be called upon for assistance once by each player. See full story at That's Racin'. No idea if this will be televised(5-26-2000)

  • goracing changes: Action Performance Companies announced its intention to re-launch, its Internet subsidiary, as an e-commerce-only marketplace, focusing exclusively on delivering Action Performance merchandise to motorsports. Action Performance will no longer offer content in the form of motorsports news and entertainment on The company will retain its rights in, and will continue to utilize, the name and URL ``'' to further its `commerce-only'' strategy. Action Performance has begun the process of restructuring the site and plans to re-launch by the end of the summer racing season(Yahoo Biz) that means no more motorsports news or drivers sites there, good writers/reporters looking for work(5-26-2000)

  • #15 Sponsor: Lazy Days, the world's largest RV/Motorhome dealer, signed a one-race deal with Fenley/Moore Racing to sponsor the #15 Ford driven by Ted Musgrave in this Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The deal was inked just minutes before Musgrave took to the track to qualify Wednesday night. Musgrave's lap of 29.922 seconds landed him in the 38th spot after first-round qualifying. The current deal is for this weekend only, "but there is definitely potential for more," said Ken Scolaro, General Sales Manager of Lazy Days. "We've known people involved in the sports for years, but have never really made that leap into ourselves and we felt the time was right to jump on board." Based in Seffner, FL, a suburb of Tampa, Lazy Days RV SuperCenter is situated on 100-plus acres with more than 800 new and pre-owned motorhomes on display in a natural camp-like setting. Plus Lazy Days is also home to Camping World, 40,000 square feet of RV accessories(Lazy Days PR) Musgrave was unable to generate enough speed in 2nd round qualifying to make the race(5-26-2000)

  • DW another ride?? UPDATE 2 (it's long): not sure what this is about but saw this in a story on NOL about Darrell Waltrip missing the race and Robby Gordon making it: Waltrip is still holding out hope that a ride will open up for him in his last Coca-Cola 600. "We're working on some things," he said. "Maybe somebody needs a driver. Maybe that'll work out for me, I hope. There are a couple of possibilities there."(NOL) and from That's Racin': Waltrip may very well wind up driving the #85 Ford owned by Mansion Motorsports in Sunday's race. Driver Carl Long posted the 35th fastest speed in Wednesday first-round qualifying, but negotiations were under way on Thursday evening for Waltrip's team to purchase that ride and put Waltrip in the car on Sunday. A decision on that should be made by Friday morning(That's Racin'). Noticed during twilight practice tonight, only 42 or the 43 cars practiced, missing? the #85 Ford of Carl Long. More on this as it plays out or fades out(5-25-2000)
    UPDATE: from what I hear it looks like DW will be racing in the Coca Cola 600 this weekend. Something should be announced sometime this morning. DW would drive the #85 Kmart/Rt 66 Ford that Carl Long qualified into the race on Wednesday. The car, a 1999 Ford bought at a Roush auction, was reskinned into a 2000 version by Long and one paid workers and a few volunteers at Mansion Motorsports, which is owned by black businessman Thee Dixon. Long is hoping to make a go of it with Dixon but sponsorship has been hard to find. Long is also looking for oppurtunities in Busch and the Truck series. See the #85 Teams News page for more info on the team
    UPDATE 2: Yep, DW will be in the Coca Cola 600. Darrell Waltrip and his Winston Cup team owner Travis Carter(#66 Ford) came to agreement Friday with Carl Long, driver of the #85 Ford, and his car owner Thee Dixon for Waltrip to drive Long's car in Sunday's race and move his Big Kmart sponsorship to the team for the race. Long made the field after posting the 35th-best qualifying speed. Waltrip failed to make the field during Wednesday night's first round session and failed to complete his lap during Thursday's second round. Sunday would have been Long's first Winston Cup start. He has competed at Charlotte previously in the Automobile Racing Club of America series(That's Racin') AND ....Negotiations began immediately. By lunch time Friday, crewmen had begun applying Kmart decals and trading out parts on Dixon's blue, yellow and pink Ford, a surplus Jack Roush car bought at auction. Dixon, one of few black men to try out in NASCAR, is a painting contractor and sometime racer from Raleigh, N.C. He has brought out cars, usually without success, at Daytona and Charlotte. This week, Dixon sprung for a Roush engine, put employee Long in the car, and made the show. The price of the deal is not known. These usually come in at plus-or-minus $50,000. Long, 32, from Roxboro, N.C., has made occasional starts in Craftsman Trucks and in ARCA. Long's comment: "I'm going to do everything I can do to work with the guys on the 66 team to get Darrell the best run we can give him in that car," said Long, who refers to Dixon as Mr. Dixon. "I think it's motivation. I can get on the radio and say, 'Darrell, I know damn well if I can drive it, you ought to be able to.' more comments from Long at SpeedVision and see the story at goracing: "Ol' D.W.'s" Gets Ride For Coca-Cola 600. Jayski Note: Long who hopes to drive more races for Dixon is looking for full time rides in CUP, BGN or CTS. Long had put in for the #50 truck try outs but didn't get chosen to test the truck. Also, Dixon will get the owners points for wherever DW finishes, DW gets the drivers points and #66 owner Carter will get 22 owners points after the car failed to make the race, tied for 4th slowest but higher in owners points then #71 Dave MArcis who will get 19 owners points(5-26-2000)

  • Glanville on the tube: former Atlanta Falcons and Houston Oilers(now the Tenn Titans) head coach, Jerry Glanville, will be talking NASCAR after TBS hired him to work on its coverage of it's BGN and Cup races. Although the race announcers are Allen Bestwick with analysts Buddy Baker and Dick Berggren, Glanville will get a an opportunity to offer some commentary when he joins host Ken Squier in a separate booth. But his primary duties will be reports and features(Atlanta Journal Contitution)(5-26-2000)

  • Kyle to Drive? UPDATE Yes and The King Speaks: hearing that Kyle Petty will be driving the #44 Hot Wheels Pontiac in the Winston Cup race next week at Dover
    UPDATE: Richard Petty spoke to the media today, one subject was Kyle: Kyle Petty, Richard's son and Adam's father, is taking some time off this week as he continues to work through his grieving process. Kyle will return to driving in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series next week in Dover, Del., his father said. See the rest of the story and link to the audio of the teleconference at NOL: The King is back at the track(5-24-2000)
    UPDATE 2: There’s the possibility that Kyle Petty will drive the #45 Busch Grand National car as well, but that decision will be based on sponsorship and Richard Petty says he “seriously doubts” it will happen(Times Dispatch)
    UPDATE 3: Petty Enterprises and sponsor Sprint announced Thursday that Kyle Petty will drive the #45 Sprint car in the Busch Series race at Dover next week(SpeedVision)(5-25-2000)

  • Evernham News Conference UPDATE 3 It's OFFICIAL: Dodge has scheduled an announcement for May 25th a Charlotte thought to be the day when Ray Evernham will announce his 2nd driver, rumored to be BGN driver Casey Atwood(Winston Cup Scene Magazine)(5-12-2000)
    UPDATE: the announcment will be held at Victory Circle at Lowes Motor Speedway from 8:45-9:30am/et. Purpose is to reveal the second car and driver for Evernham's two-car team(PR)(5-19-2000)
    UPDATE 2: may be some other announcements concerning some other Dodge teams... UPDATE 3: Two months after naming Bill Elliott to drive his #9 Dodges, Ray Evernham announced that Elliott's teammate will be.........surprise......19-year-old Casey Atwood, who current;y drives the #27 Castrol Oil Chevy in the BGN for Brewco. No other announcements mentioned(NOL)(5-25-2000)

  • Cookoff UPDATE the winner: The qualifying round took place today in the garage area for the Coleman NASCAR Team Grilling Challenge, see the six finalists and more info on my Racing Charities page
    UPDATE: Team #24's Mary Whitesell has been named the top team grillmaster among the Winston Cup team cooks in the inaugural Coleman Team Grilling Challenge which was held today at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. Mary was awarded $5,000 and The Winston Cup Wives Auxiliary received $5,000 on behalf of Mary and Coleman Grills(5-25-2000)

  • Daytona Testing: Winston Cup drivers will have two opportunities to test at Daytona next month in preparation for the July 1 Pepsi 400. Teams can practice June 6 under the lights and return for a daytime test session on June 7 and a second test session has been scheduled for June 13. During testing, grandstands are open to the public, with access through Daytona USA motorsports attraction(That's Racin')(5-25-2000)

  • Gordon/DuPont thru 2005 UPDATE: Jeff Gordon will stay with DuPont as his sponsor on the #24 Chevy through 2005, DuPont, Jeff and Hendrick Motorsports announced Tuesday. To celebrate the new sponsorship agreement, DuPont unveiled the #24 "Signature Car", with a distinctive DuPont Automotive Finishes paint scheme. The signatures of Jeff Gordon, Lou Savelli, president of DuPont Performance Coatings, and Rick Hendrick, founder of Hendrick Motorsports, along with "May 24, 2000" were added to the hood. Jeff will race the signature car in the 600-mile Winston Cup race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in the Coca Cola 600 this Sunday(DuPont Site) See a image of the scheme, very similar to the Winston Scheme on the Paint Scheme Gallery page(be warned, it's a tiny image(5-24-2000)
    UPDATE: Sources in the Winston Cup garage estimate the deal, which runs through 2005, will pay Gordon's team somewhere in the $15 million range annually. DuPont, which began the sponsorship for Gordon's rookie year in 1993 using just its automotive paint business, now puts the bulk of its entire worldwide marketing effort into the No. 24 team(News and Observer)(5-25-2000)

  • More Dodge Teams? Two more teams - the Melling Racing operation, which currently fields Fords for rookie Stacy Compton, and the Team Gordon outfit, which runs Fords for Robby Gordon - are also reportedly considering switching over to the Dodge Motorsports banner next season(goracing)(5-25-2000)

  • Nemecheck Penalized: #33 Oakwood Homes/Andy Petree Racing driver Joe Nemechek was penalized $15,000 for rough driving during last weekend's running of The Winston at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Nemechek got involved in a couple of on-track skirmishes with #1 Pennzoil/DEI driver Steve Park(NOL)(5-24-2000)
    UPDATE: see the PR: Nemechek's Reaction to the fine(5-25-2000)

  • TODAY - NC Auto Hall of Fame: William H. G. France and Junior Johnson will be inducted into the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame on Thursday, May 25th. Roger Penske, Darrell Waltrip, Ray Evernham and Mike Joy will be guest presenters(Cotter Group PR)(5-23-2000)
    Coverage: see That's Racin' for a bunch of columns and news on the induction(5-25-2000)

  • Get Well: Bill Davis' dad Jake is ill but doing better, get well Jake. Davis owns the #22 and #93 Cup team as well as the #20 and #22 BGN teams(5-24-2000)

  • Bodine In: it was reported during TBS's coverage of 1st round qualifying that Geoffrey Bodine will be in the #60 Power Team Chevy for the remainder of the 2000 season(5-24-2000)

  • Reffner backup for #13: Wednesday's opening practice for the Coca Cola 600 marks the beginning of the second leg of Robby¹s Gordon's "Double Time" race slate this weekend. Gordon will race both the Indy 500 Sunday morning, May 28, then travel immediately to Charlotte to race in the NASCAR event which begins that evening at 6:15pm. It was announced that Team Menard CTS driver Bryan Reffner will be Gordon's backup. Reffner will practice Thursday and Saturday in Team Gordon's Turtle Wax/Burger King Ford Taurus to get a feel for what to expect should he be in position to race on Sunday. Gordon will practice through the day Wednesday and qualify under the lights that night before boarding a plane to Indianapolis. Thursday morning Gordon will run in what will be the final shakedown of his Indy car during Indy¹s "Carburation Day" practice session. Following the shakedown Robby returns immediately to Charlotte to take part in Winston Cup practice(Team Gordon)(5-23-2000)

  • Richert to Gibbs: Joe Gibbs, owner of the Porter-Cable BGN Team announced the hiring of veteran crew chief Doug Richert. Richert, 39, will oversee the #4 Porter-Cable Racing Team, with driver Jeff Purvis. Richert, a San Jose, CA native, brings a long list of racing success to the Joe Gibbs Racing organization. At the age of 19, he served as crew chief for Dale Earnhardt and led the 7-time Winston Cup Champion to his first title. The list of drivers Richert has worked with reads like a Who's Who of NASCAR; Darrell Waltrip, Neil Bonnett, Alan Kulwicki, Benny Parsons, Jimmy Spencer, and Buddy Baker. More recently, Richert served as crew chief for PPI Motorsports and driver Scott Pruett. Richert went right to work on Monday, the team spent the day testing at Greenville-Pickens Speedway. The Porter-Cable Team will spend the next couple of days in the shop preparing for the Carquest Auto Parts 300 on Saturday at Lowe's Motor Speedway(TOTAL Sports Marketing PR)(5-23-2000)

  • #81 Team News: the #81 Davis & Weight Motorsports Winston Cup Ford team and driven by Michael Ritch plans to debut in Michigan on August 20th. Ritch and the team also run full time in the BGN in the #55 Ford. The team is actively seeking primary and associate sponsorship partners for both teams(5-23-2000)

  • Melling Racing Notes for the Coca Cola 600: The #9 Ford driven by rookie Stacy Compton will be adorned by the Kodiak colors. Chassis MRE 23, built in-house, will makes it's debut this weekend as well. It is the fourth new chassis the team has built in-house this season. The team plans on only running their new chassis by the end of the season. Melling Racing and Compton will test at Pocono following the Coke 600 before heading to Dover(Melling Racing PR)(5-23-2000)

  • Hamilton Jr to Cup? the television show "Baywatch" has signed on to sponsor Bobby Hamilton Jr.'s #26 Chevy in the Busch Series. Actor David Hasselhoff, star of "Baywatch," is expected to be at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday to watch Hamilton(Las Vegas Sun)(3-3-2000) -- UPDATE and a rumor: Actor David Hasselhoff, who previously was involved as a part owner and sponsor of open-wheel cars, said Saturday his Baywatch Restaurants and Night Clubs signed a three-year agreement to sponsor the Busch Series car of Bobby Hamilton Jr.(SpeedNet/AP) -- am hearing this is a deal in which would bring the #26 Allcar/Hamilton team to Cup in 2001. This sponsorship was rumored here in the past to be going to the #2-Rusty Wallace team as an assoicate or to a possible new Wayne Burdette Cup team as Burdette is looking to get back into Cup after the failed attempt to buy Cale Yarborough's Cup team a year ago(3-5-2000)
    UPDATE 3: Bobby Hamilton is thinking about helping his son make the next step in his NASCAR career. Hamilton, who owns a Craftsman Truck Series team, carefully is watching Bobby Hamilton Jr.'s progress in the BGN this season. If his son performs well, Hamilton plans to help the 22-year-old compete in Winston Cup next season(Lap by Lap in the right hand column) Also of note: it is the Baywtach Restaurants not the TV show that is the sponsor of the BGN team(5-23-2000)

  • Walkway Collapse at Lowes UPDATEs: from SpeedVision - Following the conclusion of The Winston at Lowe's Motor Speedway, a pedestrian walkway that stretches across U.S. Highway 29 outside the speedway partially collapsed, falling across the southbound lanes on Hwy. 29. The walkway crosses the highway off the outside of Turn 4 of the track. There are injuries involved, but we have no official word yet on numbers involved; current estimates by Concord Police are 30-50. The highway has been closed, causing a huge traffic hack-up(SpeedVision) and from NASCAR Online: Pedestrian walkway at LMS collapses
    UPDATE: from the AP via That's Racin': Ten people were taken to hospitals late Saturday after a concrete walkway over a highway in front of Lowe's Motor Speedway collapsed as fans left The Winston. About 30 feet of the 15-foot-high walkway that spans the four-lane highway and connects the track to a parking lot collapsed at about 11:15 p.m. after The Winston. The bridge snapped at the center and was folded in half, laying in the road. Authorities were not sure exactly how many people were injured. But 10 people were transported to hospitals, two with life-threatening injuries AND an UPDATE from SpeedVision: Lowe’s Motor Speedway president Humpy Wheeler held a brief press conference at 12:30am/et in which he stated that 75 people had been injured, and that approximately 75 people were on the affected span when it collapsed. He said that there were no known fatalities, and a variety of injuries. He said that there were no cars or people under the bridge when it collapsed. Wheeler said that an investigation will begin immediately to determine the cause of the collapse. He said there was no indication of trouble with the bridge, which he described as having been built to Department of Transportation specifications in 1995. At 12:38, the Concord Fire Department says that all injured victims have been transported to area hospitals. Thanks to John Gardner of SpeedVision and Jenna Fryer of the AP for the news.
    UPDATE 2: more news..There were no reported fatalities, and by 2:30am, a total of 78 injured victims had been admitted to area hospitals. The majority of the injuries were minor, ranging from cuts and bruises to broken bones. A small number were reported to be in serious condition or in intensive care. See full stories and pictures at: SpeedVision and the Charlotte Observer which lists phone numbers of the Carolinas Medical Center, NorthEast Medical Center and Cabarrus County Hospitals where the fans were taken. And an MS/NBC/AP report has the count at 90: Walkway buckles at NASCAR race Pedestrian overcrossing collapses; at least 90 injured. And from the site(10:37am): Experts this morning are examining the concrete walkway that collapsed late last night at Lowe's Motor Speedway racetrack, critically injuring 13 people. My thoughts and prayers out to those injured(5-21-2000)
    UPDATE 3: statements by Humpy Wheeler were made during a press briefing at 3pm/et in front of the temporary N.C. Highway Patrol office on U.S. Hwy. 29 – still closed to traffic – across the Lowe's Motor Speedway. See those statements at SpeedVision: Lowe's Bridge Press Conference. Also of note: have heard from some folks at the scene who have said the emergency crews outside LMS were fantastic following the collapse, were on the scene almost immediately and in total control. Emergency personnel were quick to arrive and give assistance to those that needed it most. Thanks(5-22-2000)

  • Earnhardt Jr Special Paint? UPDATE: Officials from Budweiser, the "Official Beer" of NASCAR and the NHRA, will make a special announcement with Budweiser Racing drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kenny Bernstein at Lowe's Motor Speedway regarding the 2000 season on Tuesday, May 23, 2000( PR) Hearing this will be the announcement of a Budweiser/Oylympic Games scheme to be run this summer(5-17-2000)
    UPDATE: The Budweiser press conference featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kenny Bernstein scheduled for 11:30am/et Tuesday (May 23) at Lowe's Motor Speedway has been postponed( PR) no word on the rescheduled date(5-22-2000)

  • Bessey/Bodine Trouble? UPDATE 3 Bodine at the Coke 600: This weeks NASCAR Winston Cup Scene has a story that states that #60 Power Team owner Joe Bessey plans to run a few Cup races later this season and that after the Winston this weekend he and driver of the #60 Chevy will sit down and discuss their future and who will drive the car in the future(5-18-2000)
    UPDATE: The relationship between Winston Cup car owner Joe Bessey and driver Geoffrey Bodine has deteriorated to the point where Bodine said Saturday night he was unsure of his future with the team. "I might get fired after (The Winston Open), but I sure haven't quit," Bodine said. "I don't know what's going on." Bessey has said in recent weeks he was "re-evaluating" his team and hoped to enter at least five Winston Cup events himself as a driver this season(That's Racin')(5-21-2000)
    UPDATE 2: A crew member on the #60 Powerteam Winston Cup team told Speedway Illustrated Sunday morning that Geoffrey Bodine could be out of the car before next weeks 600 at Lowes Motor Speedway. He said tensions were high last night following Bodine's crash and have been for the past several days. In many published reports (team owner Joe) Bessey has stated he is "re-evaluating" his team. The Speedway Illustrated source states team members expect to ready cars for Joe Bessey to drive, at least temporarily, on short notice(Speedway Illustrated) Also of note, the Geoffrey Bodine Fanclub site is reporting that a broken rear-end ratchet caused the accident between Bodine and #71-Dave Marcis on the first lap of the Winston Open Saturday night
    UPDATE 3: sources tell me that Geoffrey Bodine was fitted for the seat in the #60 Chevy today and will drive in the Coca-Cola 600 and beyond(5-22-2000)

  • PPI News: PPI Motorsports, #32 and #97(BGN) Cal Wells teams, announced today it has retained Don Hawk and Hawk Sports Management, a motorsports business consultancy, to help facilitate the strategic growth of its NASCAR programs and business interests. Prior to focusing on his consulting business, Hawk Sports Management, Hawk was employed as president of Dale Earnhardt, Inc(PPI Motorsports PR)(5-22-2000)

  • Robby Gordon makes the Indy 500 UPDATE: For the second straight year, Robby Gordon has taken the #32 Team Menard Indy entry to the fourth position on the grid in qualifying for the Indy 500. Gordon ran consistent laps of 222.894, 222.932, 222.894 and 222.822 for an average of 222.885mph. It was Gordon's third attempt of the day. His first attempt was waved off after the first lap of 221mph. The car was too tight and Gordon felt he needed to loosen it up to really have a shot at pole. His second attempt, however, was too loose. Exiting the short chute into turn two, Gordon had a big twitch, got down into the rumple strip and subsequently waved off the run. They made a couple of minor adjustments and changed the balance. He was flat all the way around on his third attempt. Earlier in the day, Gordon unveiled his newly decorated blue Dallara with sponsorship from Burger King and Turtle Wax. It was announced that both new sponsors had decided to back his attempt to race both the Indy 500 and Coca Cola 600 NASCAR event on the same day next weekend(Team Gordon)(5-21-2000)
    UPDATE: other drivers with NASCAR ties are starting the Indy 500: Jason Leffler will start 18th, Al Unser Jr 18th and Andy Hillenburg 33rd(5-22-2000)

  • Stewart and Indy UPDATE 2: during the Indy 500 qualifying on Saturday, it was mentioned that Tony Stewart would attempt to qualify the car he owns and is driven by Dr Jack Miller on Sunday(May 21st). Stewart will just qualify the car and turn the car over to Miller for the Indy 500 next Sunday(ESPN2 Indy 500 Qual)(5-20-2000)
    UPDATE: Stewart was interviewed during the Indy 500 2nd day qualifying, after he removed and replaced a tire on Jeret Schroeder's IRL car, and said it was news to him that he was going to qualify the car for Miller. He said his helmet was still there from his practice run last week, but he had no plans to qualify a car at Indy(ABC Sports) but later in the day, Stewart did go out in the #21 IRL to try to get it up to speed(5-21-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Stewart did practice the car but Miller qualified it but was the last driver bumped from the field(5-22-2000)

  • Wally Day: Murfreesboro, TN, Mayor W. Richard Reeves has proclaimed Monday, May 22 as "Wally Dallenbach Jr. Day". Dallenbach drives the #75 Cartoon Netrwork/TBS/RedCell Batteries/Rotozip Power Tools Ford for Galaxy Motorsports owner Darwin Oordt, who resides in Murfreesboro. Dallenbach will speak to approximately 1,300 children at Barfield Elementary School on Monday morning(NOL)(5-22-2000)

  • DW street: A street near the Lowe's Motor Speedway Court of Legends will be renamed Darrell Waltrip Way at a special ceremony Wednesday, May 24th at 7:00pm/et(I guess just before qualifying?). Waltrip is being honored for a career that includes five victories in the Coca-Cola 600(That's Racin')(5-22/24-2000)

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