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  • Sacks Appears: Former Cup and BGN race winner Greg Sacks was in the Darlington garage area Saturday morning walking around and letting everyone know he is "in great health and available" for a driving job. Sacks said he had several sponsorship opportunities brewing and that it was easy to get "out of the loop" if not in the garage area on a weekly basis so he was on hand to meet with as many people as possible regarding possible opportunities(NOL)(9-3-2000)

  • Penske to BGN with Newman? to CUP? UPDATE 3: Stan Herzog of Herzog Motorsports announced Sunday that primary sponsor ALLTEL has decided to leave his #92 BGN team and driver Jimmie Johnson after the 2000 season. The company was expected to renew its sponsorship this past weekend with a plan to expand into Winston Cup in 2001. The deal fell through on Friday when ALLTEL called Herzog and informed the team of its intentions to switch sponsorship to Team Penske in 2001(St Joseph News-Press(MO)). I hear Ryan Newman will drive the Penske BGN car. He has tested Cup and ARCA cars recently and run in a few ARCA races for Penske
    UPDATE: hmm...hearing now that this will be another Penske Cup team, with Newman driving(7-5-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Penske Motorsports is planning on expanding its operation and will field a BGN entry next season with Ryan Newman, an open-wheel racing star, has learned. Newman's team will run a full schedule next season in the BGN with Alltel as sponsor and plans are to move to the Winston Cup series in 2002. John Erickson, general manager of Penske Racing South, said Friday he would not comment on the BGN plans, but did say Newman will drive in four more Automobile Racing Club of America series events this season for the team - Pocono, Talladega, Charlotte and Atlanta. Newman ran in the ARCA race at Michigan for Penske(That's Racin')(7-8-2000)
    UPDATE 3 Newmans Plans: Ryan Newman is planning on adding some BGN races to his schedule this season. Newman is on track to be Rusty Wallace’s and Jeremy Mayfield’s Winston Cup teammate in 2002. Next season, Newman is planning to run five ARCA, five Cup and 14 BGN races. He moves to Cup with Penske in 2002 with Alltel as a sponsor(Times-Dispatch)(9-3-2000)

  • Less Power? AJC is reporting that NASCAR's Chief Operating Officer Mike Helton said Saturday that the sanctioning body is considering dropping the maximum cubic inch limit from just over 355 to around 305. The changes are being contemplated in an effort to slow the cars, which should make for more side-by-side racing. But Helton said changes to the car's aerodynamics probably would be part of the change(Atlanta Journal Constitiution/AJC)(9-3-2000)

  • Safety Disagreement Articles at That's Racin': NASCAR'S Helton defends safety efforts by Jim Utter; AND 3 Top drivers question interest in safety at New Hampshire by David Poole, which says in part: Three of Winston Cup racing's top stars disagree strongly with NASCAR chief operating officer Mike Helton, who said Saturday the sanctioning body doesn't believe New Hampshire International Speedway must have a soft-wall barrier in place before the Winston Cup circuit returns to that track. Dale Jarrett, Jeff Gordon and Rusty Wallace all said they would be upset if there are no changes to the walls at the New Hampshire track in time for the race there on Sept. 17.(9-2-2000)

  • MRN and PRN? UPDATE No: hearing some talk about the possibility of the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and the Performance Racing Network (PRN) combining operations so there is only one radio network covering all Winston Cup races. NASCAR's official position may be that it's taking back the radio rights just like it took over the TV rights. Assuming that it's MRN who wins the battle, NASCAR would have to give Bruton Smith and SMI something in return because it would mean the end of PRN. This speculation has led some to believe the "something" that Bruton is asking for is . . . the much ballyhooed second Winston Cup date for Texas(MotorsportsTV)
    UPDATE a source tells me: The folks at PRN have met recently with NASCAR and nothing is going to change except PRN will take over Las Vegas in 2002. Fact is both networks are integrated heavily into each company's marketing program and could not easily be combined. At this point no one is going to even try(9-2-2000)

  • Testing Changes? There has been speculation in recent weeks on whether NASCAR would curtail or even eliminate testing before next season, but chief operating officer Mike Helton said he thinks the current system works well. Before the start of the 1999 season, NASCAR changed the testing policy to limit teams to seven tests per season on Winston Cup tracks(10 for rookies). Teams can test as many times as they wish on tracks not used in the series(That's Racin')(9-2-2000)

  • Rules Changes? NASCAR Director of Operations Kevin Triplett said a change may be made to the Cup cars before Talladega. The cars of Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Ricky Rudd were tested in the wind tunnel on Monday. Triplett said the decision on a change would be made before a high number of Cup teams tested for the final time before the race. Teams begin testing for the race as early as Sept. 11(Times Dispatch)(9-2-2000)

  • Eel River Racing, Two Cars in 2001? during an interview with ESPN, current #27 driver Mike Bliss said he has not been told to look around for a new ride and that there is a chance the Eel River Racing #27 team could expand to a have two teams/cars in 2001(ESPN Qualifying Show)(9-2-2000)

  • Cup Schedule: now hearing that the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup schedule will be released in two week, in the mean time, check out my Unofficial 2001 Cup Schedule(9-2-2000)

  • Wallace scheme: hearing Rusty Wallace will run a special Miller scheme on the #2 Ford at Atlanta in November's season finale. Supposedly a 10th Anniversary car (between Miller and Wallace)...this is all I have heard and do not have an image of it(9-2-2000)

  • Irwin Honored: The late Kenny Irwin was to be inducted into the Darlington Record Club for winning the pole at the 1999 Southern 500(AP)(9-2-2000)

  • Ward to help out McLaughlin UPDATE Sad News: Ward Burton, driver of the #22 Caterpillar Racing Pontiac, will fill in for Mike McLaughlin in the #48 Goulds Pumps Chevrolet in this weekend's Busch Series event at Darlington. "Mike's father has been very ill for some time and Mike needed to be with him in New York," said McLaughlin's car owner George deBidart. "Everyone at Innovative Motorsports and Goulds Pumps are very appreciative that Ward is stepping in and helping us out. It is a difficult time for Mike and hopefully with Ward filling in for him, he'll have one less thing to worry about(Bill Davis Racing PR)(9-1-2000)
    UPDATE Sad News: Mike McLaughlin's father passed away Friday night in New York(9-2-2000)

  • Fuller/#98 back to Cup UPDATE: Jeff Fuller will be back in Winston Cup, probably at Atlanta(2000) in the #98 MacPherson Motorsports Fords. Chip MacPherson bought out Cale Yarborough recently. Veteran Crew Chief Vic Kangas will be the crew chief of the operation(Speedway Scene Print Edition). NOTE: I had mistaken MacPherson Motorsports with Millennium Motorsports in an earlier story, see more below(8-30-2000)
    UPDATE: After having been dormant since the end of the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, the #98 will once again return to full-time competition in 2001. MacPherson Motorsports, which purchased the assets of the #98 Cale Yarborough Motorsports team in June, formally announced their plans to run the entire 2001 Winston Cup schedule. Rookie driver Jeff Fuller from Auburn, MA, will run Ford Tauruses for the Concord, N.C.-based team with veteran crew chief Vic Kangas heading the effort. Fuller will contend for Rookie of the Year honors in 2001, as he competed in only six Winston Cup races for (#27)Eel River Racing in 2000. The maximum number of races a driver is allowed before he loses his rookie status is seven. According to Fuller, the #98 team enjoyed a very successful test at Kentucky Speedway on Aug. 17, running competitive lap speeds with other Winston Cup teams in attendance. The team has two more test sessions planned - Sept. 5-6 and Oct. 4-5 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The team does plan on competing in the season-ending NAPA 500 at Atlanta as part of their preparation for the 2001 season. The final race of the 2000 season will mark Fuller's seventh start for the year, the maximum number of races a driver is allowed to maintain his rookie status. As an Atlanta-based developer, team owner Chip MacPherson is enjoying the challenge of revitalizing the #98. "It means a great deal to build on the success of Cale Yarborough's history in this sport," said MacPherson. "Our team is motivated and driven. We are looking forward to creating our own place in the record books." To help secure sponsorship, MacPherson Motorsports has retained the Charlotte, N.C.-based Motorsports Decisions Group, Inc. The full-service sports marketing and public relations agency will handle all of the team's media and public relations needs and assist in the marketing efforts to acquire primary and associate sponsors for the team(Motorsports Decisions Group PR)(9-1-2000)

  • West Virginia Licenese Plates: A licensing agreement with NASCAR allows West Virginians to purchase license plates bearing the signatures of Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Ricky Rudd and Rusty Wallace, as well as a generic NASCAR plate. West Virginia is the second state in the nation, after New York, to allow driver loyalty to be displayed on registered vehicles. NASCAR is talking with North Carolina and South Carolina about similar licensing agreements. New York announced its plate last September and New Yorkers have 14 drivers to choose from. West Virginia's selection of drivers was based on surveys that showed them to be among the top fan favorites. New York has sold only 288 plates so far. New York has 10 million registered drivers and the state offers several specialized plates. West Virginia has had 3,000 requests for plates that tentatively go on sale Sept. 11.(Charleston Gazette)(9-1-2000)

  • DW Honored on Walk of Fame and #800: The latest inductees to be added to the Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame in October have been decided and they are Darrell Waltrip, Bobby Hamilton, Tim Flock and “Fireball” Roberts. Some 1.3 million race fans registered their votes at the memorial’s official website and voted Hamilton in as an active driver and Flock and Roberts as inactive drivers. Waltrip will be inducted as an active driver by decree of the Walk of Fame board of directors. Induction ceremonies at the Davey Allison Memorial Park in Talladega will be held on Friday, Oct. 13 at 8:00pm. ALSO - If Darrell Waltrip takes the green flag Sunday in the 51st Southern 500, it will be the 800th start of his NASCAR Winston Cup career(Anniston Star)(9-1-2000)

  • DW Song: Nashville singer-songwriter-comedian Jimmy Travis is composing a farewell song for Darrell Waltrip to commemorate his final race Sunday at Darlington, site of Waltrip's last victory. Travis, who has written three songs about Darlington Raceway, will perform Waltrip's song this weekend at the annual Union 76/Darlington Record Club dinner before Waltrip's last Darlington ride(Tennessean)(9-1-2000)

    UPDATE 4: Eel River Racing announced the signing of NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Kenny Wallace to a three-year contract beginning in 2001. The agreement with Wallace reunites the St. Louis native with veteran crew chief and Eel River Racing part-owner Barry Dodson. Dodson, the championship-winning crew chief in 1989 with Kenny's older brother Rusty, first worked with the younger Wallace for three races in 1991 at Team III Racing. The most recent pairing of Dodson and Wallace came in 1998 at FILMAR Racing, where Dodson chiefed the recent hire to a strong eighth-place finish at Phoenix while subbing for interim crew chief David Ifft(Eel River Racing PR) and see SpeedVision story(9-1-2000)

  • Some Darlington Stats: 19 of all the 94 Darlington races have been won by the pole starter - 20%. 85 of the 94 Darlington races have been won from the Top 10 - 90%. Last Southern 500 won by the pole winner: 1990 by Dale Earnhardt. Lowest start of a Southern 500 winner: 43rd in 1950 (first Southern 500 - get this: three abreast starting, 75 cars). Only two Southern 500 winners in the last 40 races started outside the Top 10: 1983 (14) and 1995(15)(TNN, see link on Southern 500 Race Info Page)(9-1-2000)

  • ASA Driver Injured UPDATE: ASA Driver David Anspaugh of Michigan was badly injured in a wreck during practice last weekend at the Milwaukee Mile. All i have heard is that he is in critical condition but stable with a closed head injuy. The ASA site has no info I could find on him but SpeedVision has an update on Anspaugh: David Anspaugh remains in the Intensive Care Unit at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital with critical closed head injuries he suffered in a crash early in practice. In addition to the head trauma, Anspaugh, the superintendent for the Waldron, Michigan area schools, suffered a fractured left arm in the wreck(SpeedVision)(8-29-2000)
    UPDATE: Veteran ASA driver David Anspaugh's condition has not changed from initial reports, and the Michigan native remains listed in critical condition, but has stabilized. He remains in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital following a practice crash on Saturday, August 26 at the Milwaukee Mile. Tests show his vital signs are stable, although his condition may remain the same for the next several days. Those interested in sending David and his family cards or letters may send them to the hospital at the following address: Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, C/O Patient David Anspaugh, SICU, 9200 West Wisconsin Avenue,Milwaukee WI 53226(Speedway Illustrated)(9-1-2000)

  • Eel River Racing/APR Changes? Kenny out of the #55 Yes - UPDATE 4 to the #27: Barry Dodson said he would have to listen to a manufacturer if it courted his #27 Eel River Racing team(driver: Mike Bliss). He’s considering making changes to the team, which has not performed up to his standards. He denied he has approached any drivers -- such as Kenny Wallace -- about moving into the car but said that changes were needed. Dodson could change from Pontiac to Ford next season(Times-Dispatch). NOTE: it was reported last week that Wallace stated that he and sponsor Square-D were signed with the #55 APR team thru 2001 BUT hearing Wallace may still be looking to go to the #27 and is looking into what it will take to break the Square-D contract with APR(8-26-2000)
    UPDATE: hearing there will an announcement at Andy Petree Racing(APR) on Thursday or Friday regarding Kenny Wallace and the Square-D sponsorship. The report is Wallace is leaving but Square-D staying at APR(8-30-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Kenny Wallace has been granted his release from the driving duties of the #55 Chevry fielded by Andy Petree Racing for the 2001 Winston Cup season. Wallace and Petree will continue their association through the remainder of the 2000 season. Wallace approached Petree and asked for his release from the last year of his contract and it was granted to him by team owner Andy Petree. Wallace wants to pursue some other options for next year. The amicable parting that will be made official once the last race of the season takes place on Nov. 19 at Atlanta Motor Speedway will mark a two-year run for Wallace with Andy Petree Racing. While Wallace's six-year relationship with sponsor Square D will come to an end, Square D's sponsorship of the #55 team will continue through the remainder of its contract with Andy Petree Racing. In coordination with Square D, a driver search conducted by Andy Petree Racing to fill the #55 seat for the 2001 Winston Cup season has begun. No official deadline on when a driver will be selected has been made at this time(anon source)
    UPDATE 3: Wallace will join Eel River Racing and drive its #27 Pontiacs(Eel River Racing) next season. An official announcement about Wallace's new team is expected Friday. Eel River Racing, owned by Jack Birmingham, may also undergo several changes as crew chief(and part owner) Barry Dodson said last week the team may change manufacturers in 2001(That's Racin')(8-31-2000)
  • #6 Paint in 2001: Although it hasn't yet been announced, Roush Racing's big deal with Pfizer Inc. will involve some rotating paint schemes. Rumored to be in the range of $14 million per year, the contract calls for Viagra to be the main sponsor of Mark Martin's #6 Ford. But the deal also calls for Pfizer, one of the biggest companies in the world with literally hundreds of brands, to get into the car painting business. The company plans to have Martin race at least once next year in a brand geared toward younger fans, such as a children's product(CBS Sportsline)(8-31-2000)

  • #7 to Dodge?? UPDATE - no but... here is a wild one, hearing the Ultra Motorsports #2 CTS team will become a two truck team in 2001 with Dennis Setzer driving the 2nd truck and having Mopar as the sponsor. Supposedly, both CTS teams will switch to Dodge and...get this....the #7 Ultra Motorsports Winston Cup team, with driver Michael Waltrip, may switch to Dodge. Interesting as they are presently switching to Ford from Chevy starting at Talladega for the rest of 2000 and are buying Fords for, the thought was that ten Winston Cup cars/teams were Dodges goal for 2001 and they have reached that(8-28-2000)
    UPDATE: The Ultra Motorsports Truck team will switch to Dodge in 2001, Dennis Setzer is supposedly going to drive the truck unless he moves up to BGN or Cup. The #2 Ultra Motorsports CTS team will switch from Fords to Dodges. Mopar will be the sponsor of Setzers team and Setzer's crew cheif, Howard Comstock is expected to switch to Ultra Motorsports. Mopar, Setzer and Comstock all were with KMotorsports the last two years. Ok, as for the Cup team? Ultra Motorsports owner, Jim Smith, says that the move to Dodge trucks will not affect his Winston Cup program, which is converting from Chevy to Ford at present and will start running Fords at Talladega in Oct 2000(Winston Cup Scene Print Version)(8-31-2000)

  • Elliott Status UPDATE: Bill Elliott is taking his rehabilitation from surgery on a fractured kneecap one day at a time and remains uncertain for this weekend’s Southern 500. David Green is standing by as a relief driver for the #94 McDonalds Ford(Times Dispatch)
    UPDATE: David Green will drive the McDonald's #94 Ford in this weekend's Cup race - Southern 500 at Darlington. Green is substituting for the injured Bill Elliott, who is recovering from a fractured left kneecap, suffered in a home accident last week (Aug. 22) in Blairsville, Ga. Elliott, who is expected to be in Darlington this weekend, is undergoing therapy at a rehabilitation center near his home in Blairsville and at HEALTHSOUTH Medical Center in Birmingham, AL. When he is at the track, Elliott will receive therapy from the Wake Forest medical unit, provided by Motor Racing Outreach(MRO). Elliott's status will continue to be evaluated on a day-by-day basis(McDonalds Racing)(8-31-2000)

  • RIR Testing Speeds: #99-Jeff Burton led #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr and #25-Jerry Nadeau in testing at Richmond. Burton was the fastest at 122.783mph, while Earnhardt was at 122.676mph and Nadeau at 122.227mph. See SpeedVision for the list of speeds(8-31-2000)

  • Roush Throttle Stop Device: Roush Racing’s engineering department has developed a new device to combat safety problems associated with throttle malfunctions on stock cars. Roush engineers developed a system that includes two sensors, one in the intake manifold and another in the brake system, both of which measure pressure. The two sensors work together, and if a driver applies 850-900 pounds of foot pressure and the manifold sensor indicates the engine is at or near full throttle, the ignition shuts off. The innovation is an even more direct method than the steering wheel "kill" switch, simply because a driver’s first reaction in an emergency would be a heavy application of the brakes. NASCAR official Steve Peterson watched a series of tests last week at Darlington Raceway, after which the governing body asked Jack Roush to proceed with development and production of the system(Gaston Gazette-1 day link)(8-31-2000)

  • Compton Status UPDATE: #9 Kodiak Ford driver, Stacy Compton met with his doctor on Tuesday morning and was told his broken right collarbone is healing faster than planned. He does not plan to have a relief driver this weekend at Darlington(Times Dispatch)
    UPDATE: Stacy Compton will qualify and race the #9 Kodiak/Melling Ford Taurus in this weekend's Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Compton qualified the #9 car last week at Bristol, but he sat out the race due to a broken collarbone. Compton broke his right collarbone 10 days ago while playing racquetball. Earlier this week, Compton saw a Charlotte area shoulder specialist who gave Stacy the green light to resume competition. As the team prepares to switch to Dodge in 2001, the Melling team has recently added Mike Steeves, chassis builder; Marc Smith, shock specialist; and Rich Wolsky, mechanic(Melling PR)(8-31-2000)

  • NMPA Hall of Fame Induction: Clay Earles, Wendell Scott and T. Wayne Robertson will be inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame Saturday night in Darlington. Earles, one of the pioneers of racing, opened Martinsville in 1947, the year before NASCAR was formed, and became partners at Martinsville with the late Big Bill France, who founded NASCAR. The track began with a seating capacity of 750 and now seats 86,000. Martinsville was one of the first tracks to have permanent concession stands, attended restrooms, first-aid stations and air-conditioned scoring stands and press boxes. Earles, active in the track until the end, died November 16, 1999. Scott, who died in 1990, began racing at the Danville Fairgrounds Speedway winning 128 races in many divisions and in 1959 won the Virginia State Sportsman Championship. In 1961, he fielded a car in NASCAR’s Grand National circuit, later renamed the Winston Cup Series. On December 1, 1963 he won his only Grand National race, a 100-mile event on a half-mile track in Jacksonville, Florida. He is the only African-American driver to ever win a Winston Cup race. Much of NASCAR stock car racing’s current popularity can be traced to Robertson. Robertson moved up the ranks to become president of Sports Marketing Enterprises. Many of racing’s unique programs, such as the Winston Million and the No Bull Five, were Robertson’s innovations. After his death in a boating accident in 1998, the Winston Cup Preview, which he created, was quite appropriately re-named the T. Wayne Robertson Winston Cup Preview in his honor(Martinsville Speedway PR)(8-30-2000)

  • #90 News: The #90 Hills Bros Coffee crew tested at Richmond Monday and Tuesday. Monday, the team prepared to test at RIR and removed the qualifying motor used by driver Hut Stricklin last weekend in Bristol, where he failed to qualify. When the team inspected the motor, fragments and oil were found. The team completed a two-day test at Richmond on Tuesday. Crew Chief Craig Huartson said they feel comfortable with their test times, but the team may attempt to go to Southampton Motor Speedway in Capron, VA., early next week to get a better feel for the car. Did ya Know? Junie Donlavey is the only car owner in NASCAR that has attempted to qualify for every Southern 500 at the famed Darlington Raceway. In Sept 1996, Stricklin had his best career finish at Darlington, a 2nd(Hills Bros Racing Site/PR)(8-30-2000)

  • Ford Engine Heads: Ford officials and car owners have still not come to an agreement on the design on a new cylinder head to be submitted to NASCAR. Ford says officials need more technical data before all are satisifed with the new design(National Speed Sport News Print Edition)(8-30-2000)

  • Wind Tunnel? #88-Dale Jarrett was missing his crew chief during his two days of testing at Richmond. Todd Parrott never appeared at the track, who, according to the team, was participating in a NASCAR wind tunnel test Monday in Marietta, GA(Times Dispatch)(8-30-2000)

  • Petty Ride: The Bristol BreakAway, the inaugural ride in the new Petty Touring Series of the Kyle Petty Charity Ride, was a great success on Sunday. Over 100 motorcycles made the trek from Bristol, TN to Winston-Salem, NC, where they stopped at the Brenner Children's Hospital. There, Kyle presented the hospital with a check for $10,045. Of course, the 45 is in memory of Adam Petty, Kyle's son who died in a BGN practice wreck at NHIS. Also, some type of foundation in Adam's memory is in the planning stages(MotorsportsTV)(8-30-2000)

  • Cut Off Switch Works: Rob Morgan driver of the #46 Acxiom/AbiliTec Ford F-150 in the CTS was the first active driver in NASCAR to use the newly mandated throttle cut off switch in active competition. On lap 124 of the Craftsman 175, Morgan drove down the long front straightaway of the Chicago Motor Speedway. When he went to brake for turn one, his throttle stuck, prohibiting him from dropping the necessary speed to enter the corner. After attempting to loosen the throttle Morgan reached down and cut the motor with the mandated throttle switch cutting power to the motor. NASCAR mandated the throttle switches after Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin died in separate wrecks at NHIS this season. NASCAR took steps to further reduce the risk of throttle sticking by placing throttle stops on all competitors carburetors and placing cut off switches on driver's steering wheels within easy reach of a driver's thumb(Opal Communications)(8-30-2000)

  • Another Evernham Hire and MORE: hearing that the #27 Eel River Racing Pitcrew Coach/Jackman, Ed Watkins, has joined Evernham's Dodge Team in the same capacity(8-28-2000)
    ANOTHER hire: Ray Everham has recently hired Bill "Wiley" Erwin. Wiley has been building Legends car engines for CPR Inc. out of Concord, NC and is now working for Evernham as a machinist(8-30-2000)

  • R Gordon to skip Darlington: As planned originally in Team Gordon's limited schedule, the #13 team will not be attending this weekend's race in Darlington, SC. Team Gordon and Robby Gordon will resume action the following week with the night race in Richmond, VA. In the meantime, Gordon plans a schedule that will include local testing in preparation for the Richmond race. Other's tentatively scheduled for Gordon and the team: Charlotte, Atlanta, Richmond, Rockingham and Phoenix(Team Gordon)(8-29-2000)

  • Ince Re-Ups with the #10: #10 Aarons Crew Chief James Ince and driver Johnny Benson will stay #together through the 2001 and 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup seasons, MB2 #Motorsports announced on Tuesday. Ince agreed to two-year contract on Tuesday to remain with the #10 Pontiac that will be co-owned by MB2 Motorsports and Valvoline beginning in 2001. Benson signed a two-year contract last month when MB2 Motorsports purchased the assets of his and Ince's team Tyler Jet Motorsports(MB2 PR)(8-29-2000)

  • PPI Motorpsorts/McDonalds Announcement UPDATE 2: McDonald's Racing and PPI Motorsports will announce the team's NASCAR Winston Cup driver for the 2001 season, Tuesday, August 29th at Noon/et(McDonalds PR)
    UPDATE: hearing that Andy Houston will be named as the PPI driver and ESPN2's RPM 2Night is reporting the same thing(8-28-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Andy Houston has been named driver of the McDonald's NASCAR Winston Cup entry to be fielded by PPI Motorsports, beginning in the 2001 season. Today's announcement was made by Cal Wells III, PPI Motorsports owner and next season's McDonald's Winston Cup team owner. Houston, of Hickory, N.C., made an impressive debut in the Winston Cup Series earlier this month - Aug. 20 in the 400-mile race at Michigan Speedway. After starting 35th, he patiently picked his way through the field, and ran as high as sixth. While running 12th with 44 laps remaining, Houston was forced to retire from the race with an expired engine in the #96 Ford. In order to get a jump-start on the 2001 season, PPI Motorsports is considering to enter Houston in four additional Winston Cup races this season - Charlotte, Rockingham. Phoenix and Homestead. Houston will drive the #96 Ford Taurus, the same number and car manufacturer he will compete in next year with the McDonald's/PPI Motorsports team. Houston, his wife, Lorie and three-year old son, Collin, reside in Hickory, NC. Andy's father, Tommy Houston, is a legend in Busch Grand National racing. He raced in the Busch series from 1982 to 1996 and holds the Busch record for most career starts at 417. He also has the Busch series record for most consecutive starts (360), making him one of the most constant and consistent drivers in the formative years of the modern-day NASCAR Busch Series. Tommy's 24 wins place him third on the all-time race wins list(in part from a McDonalds PR)(8-29-2000)

  • Kenseth to the Trucks UPDATE 3 Matt Kenseth has entered the Craftsman Truck Series race at RIR in September(Daily Press)(7-26-2000)
    UPDATE 1 No: Matt Kenseth has just a few more race weekends left with only one race to compete in. Kenseth will step back into his Robbie Reiser owned Busch Series car at Michigan on August 19, racing all of the remaining conjunction events this season, except Bristol. Kenseth will not be competing in any Truck Series races in 2000(Racin' Network)(8-4-2000)
    UPDATE 2 Yep: Matt Kenseth revealed he had plans to drive a truck at Richmond, in addition to the #17 DeWalt Tools Ford he drives in Cup and the #17 Visine Chevy he drives for Reiser Enterprises in BGN. So Kenseth will drive in all three races at RIR(NOL)(8-28-2000)
    UPDATE 3 the pinball - yes, then no, then yes, then no..... from a source - Kenseth WILL NOT be driving in the truck race at Richmond. He was never scheduled to do it. There is a conflict with the race and an off-track promotion for the No Bull 5 event. He is, however, competing in the Busch race(8-29-2000)

  • Millennium Motorsports, Inc (Millennium), formed for the purpose of owning and operating motor sports racing teams and complementary businesses, has secured a line of credit for $50,000,000 from Oxford International, Inc. (Oxford), a wholly owned subsidiary of National Institute Companies of America, Inc. By using the NASCAR racing teams as its centerpiece, Millennium will begin to build other related businesses. The corporations' management intends to produce winning teams by providing the best support and equipment on the NASCAR circuit(Millennium Motorsports PR)(8-29-2000)

  • RIR Testing: Testing continues today at Richmond International Raceway. #88-Dale Jarrett, #24-Jeff Gordon, #19-Casey Atwood, #14-Rick Mast, #44-Steve Grissom, #25-Jerry Nadeau, #90-Hut Stricklin, #17-Matt Kenseth, #66-Darrell Waltrip, #26-Jimmy Spencer, #21-Elliott Sadler and #99-Jeff Burton are expected to be at the track(Times Dispatch)(8-29-2000)

  • Sad News: A dirt-track driver was killed when his stock car went out of control and collided with another car during a race. Douglas Chilton, 33, of Reidsville, died late Saturday at the 311 Motor Speedway, a half-mile track west of Madison, NC(Tennessean/AP)(8-29-2000)

  • No More Rainbow on the #24? Following this season, the paint scheme that Jeff Gordon has taken to 51 victories and three Winston Cup championships will not be seen on the racetrack again. Gordon's #24 Chevy will feature a new DuPont paint scheme next season(Gordonline)(8-28-2000)

  • Tony the Tiger goes full time in 2001? hearing that the #5 Kelloggs Chevy of Terry Labonte may go from it's current Kelloggs scheme to a Frosted Flakes scheme full time, similar to what Labonte ran at Michigan two weeks ago. Frosted Flakes is of course, made by Kelloggs(8-28-2000)

  • Exide Out? UPDATE 2 yep It's OFFICIAL: Exide Batteries, who will leave the #99 Roush CTS Truck at the end of the year, may be leaving the #99 Cup team of Jeff Burton too. Rumors have CITGO moving from the #21 Wood Bros Ford and moving to the #99 (was rumored on the #16 too). Supposedly, Quality Care/Ford Credit(being replaced on the #88 with UPS) will go to the Wood Bros. ALSO hearing that Roush Racing sent out a fax on Wednesday(8/23) saying that Exide would not return as the primary sponsor for the #99 in 2001 and that they are looking for a sponsor
    UPDATE: Exide Corp., which sponsors the #99 Fords of Jeff Burton, has informed the team of its intention not to return next season. Exide has a contract with Roush Racing and Burton's team through the 2001 season. The company has undergone financial difficulties over the past several months and is re-evaluating its entire involvement in motorsports. Sources said Friday that Burton's car owner, Jack Roush, was aware of the company's thinking and already has plans in the works for a new sponsor for Burton's team. A formal announcement of Exide's departure is expected Monday(That's Racin')(8-25-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Exide isn't expected to return next season as Jeff Burton's sponsor, and Geoff Smith, head of Roush Racing, says he's looking for a major new sponsor of the caliber of Pfizer, the company that will be backing Mark Martin the next five years at $12($15?) million a year. Kevin Lepage will be back for another season with Jack Roush, Smith said. CITGO will probably not be back as sponsor for the Wood Brothers, Smith said; Quality Care could be their new sponsor(PitNow). Expect an announcement this week about Exide leaving and CITGO being the new #99 sponsor(8-27-2000)
    UPDATE 3: Exide will shift the focus of its motorsports programs to an associate sponsorship of the Roush Racing Team while retaining the company's association with NASCAR. Total savings will be approximately $15 million annually, beginning in October 2000(Yahoo Biz) AND Roush Racing announced Monday that Exide Batteries would not continue its primary sponsorship of the #99 Ford driven by Jeff Burton. Exide will retain an associate sponsorship with the team(NOL)(8-28-2000)

  • Tire/Inner Liner Problems? UPDATE 2 Goodyear Response: Team owners headed over to the Goodyear trailer this weekend seeking resolution on an inner liner issue. Teams discovered that the inner liners varied from tire to tire, some by as much as 1 1/2 inches(Times-Dispatch)(8-27-2000)
    UPDATE: another story on the inner liner - Rubber War: Crews think tire inner liners are problem by Mike Mulhern
    UPDATE 2: A comment from Steve Myers, director race tire sales & marketing, regarding Goodyear's race tire inner liners: "Questions were raised this past weekend at the Bristol Winston Cup race concerning the Lifeguard Safety Spare that Goodyear produces for use on tracks one mile or more in length. (Bristol's half-mile track is an exception, with inner liners used in right side tires). What impact, if any, that shield size variation may have on the handling performance of a car or on our Eagle radials will be looked at very closely this week and further analyzed by Goodyear race tire engineers at the company's Akron Technical Center. Today (Monday, 8-28), NASCAR inspectors and our Goodyear race tire engineers are in High Point, N.C., hand inspecting every inner liner for any size difference. We are working closely with NASCAR and the race teams to determine whether variations in inner liner sizes will impact handling performance."(Goodyear PR)(8-28-2000)

  • Sadlers BGN plans: Andy Petree Racing has announced today that Elliott Sadler will finish the season in the #15 Hot Tamales Chevy in the Busch Series. Sadler will race at Richmond, Rockingham, and Phoenix. The team also fields the #15 Albertsons Chevrolet driven by Mike Skinner. Driver Derrick Gilchrist will remain an employee of Andy Petree Racing(APR PR)(8-28-2000)

  • Rusty Leads: Rusty Wallace led the third-quarter balloting for a national driver of the year award. Wallace drew 12 of 17 first-place votes and 123 points from a panel of motorsports writers and broadcasters. John Force was second with one first-place vote and a total of 66 points(That's Racin')(8-28-2000)

  • Newman wins again: Ryan Newman won an ARCA race for the 2nd time in three tries, winning at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday in the #27 ALLTEL Ford owned by Penske Racing. Newman is rumored to be moving to the BGN or maybe even Cup in 2001 with Penske(8-28-2000)

  • Walk of Fame: Bobby Hamilton, driver of the #4 Kodak MAX Film Chevy, will be inducted into the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame. The 43-year-old, Nashville, Tenn., native officially won the honor as voting ended last Thursday. Hamilton becomes the second Morgan-McClure Motorsports driver to be included in the Walk of Fame. Ernie Irvan, who drove for the team from 1990 until 1993, was inducted in 1996. Morgan-McClure Motorsports has 14 wins, with four of those being at Talladega Superspeedway. Each year since 1995, the Walk of Fame has inducted one active and two inactive drivers based completely on fan voting. The fan-favorite ceremony is held at Davey Allison Memorial Park located in downtown Talladega in conjunction with Talladega's White Knuckle Weekend. The event is free to fans and the speedway offers shuttle bus rides(Morgan McClure PR)(8-28-2000)

  • Crew Member Burned: Matt Kenseth’s front-tire changer, Phil Drye, sustained minor burns on his chin and blistering on his wrist while working on Kenseth’s radiator Saturday night. He was burned by steam from the radiator when the cap was removed(Times Dispatch)(8-28-2000)

  • Sadler Triple Play: Elliott Sadler will also run all three races at RIR, returning to the BGN series(ride not mentioned) and driving the #84 Ford F-150 owned by Long Brothers Racing of Apex, NC. Robert Long said at Chicago that the Wood Brothers pit crew would tend Sadler's truck at Richmond. Long said the team expected to be able to announce a sponsor some time this week. Sadler is scheduled to test at Richmond this week in preparation for the upcoming races(NOL)(8-28-2000)

  • Sweep at Bristol: Rusty Wallace is the first driver to win both races at Bristol Motor Speedway in one season since Dale Earnhardt in 1987(Roanoke Times)(8-28-2000)

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