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PAST NEWS SEPT 11-17, 2000

  • #77 Changes? ESPN2's NASCAR 2Day is reporting that there may be changes at the #77 team, Penske Engines and a new driver were reported, no names mentioned(9-17-2000)

  • Craven's Colors: #50 Ricky Craven has a bit of a different paint scheme at New Hampshire, a black hood, couldn't tell exactly what it is, but have been told it is the logo of Ricky Craven Motorsports North, Belfast, Maine,(see the Ricky Craven site for the logo), looked to me like a battleship but I saw it quickly. Couldn't tell as it was the first video(on ESPN2's NASCAR 2Day) I have seen of any racing action at NHIS this weekend(9-17-2000)

  • Wilson Hired: Legendary crew chief and team manager Waddell Wilson has joined the staff at Jerico Performance Products as a consultant to racing teams and other customers. Waddell Wilson adds an unprecedented level of expertise to our customer service that reaffirms Jerico's role as the leader in top-quality racing transmissions. Waddell Wilson will work out of Jerico's Concord, North Carolina facility.(Speedway Illustrated)(9-16-2000)

  • Safety Devices at NHIS: Roush Racing owner Jack Roush said that all five of his teams plus the Woods will be carrying his new brake-pedal engine-cutoff switch this weekend, along with Ricky Rudd, Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart and he has 14 more available(PitNow)(9-16-2000)

  • Melling Changes UPDATE: hearing that Team Manager, Jeff Buice, and the #9 Melling Team have parted ways(9-13-2000)
    UPDATE: Stacy Compton said he has been approached by several teams about driver vacancies next season, but his preference would be to stay with Melling Racing(#9 Kodiak/Cougar team) in 2001. Melling is moving into the new Dodge program next season and Compton hopes that change will help improve the team. But Melling has lost team manager Jeff Buice, who has decided to pursue other opportunities. Compton said Buice has agreed to work with the team while it searches for his replacement. Buice spent a lot of time this week talking with Compton as the team prepared for the use of the restrictor-plate in this weekend's race at New Hampshire(That's Racin')(9-16-2000)

  • TV News: As the broadcast schedules for the 2001 season begin to take shape, sources confirm that NBC has elected to pass on broadcasting Saturday night races at Bristol and Richmond on prime-time network television. Those races will be shown on TBS, the cable network partner for NBC in the second-half of the season. NBC does, however, plan to kick off its Winston Cup coverage with prime-time coverage of the Pepsi 400 from Daytona International Speedway in July(That's Racin')(9-16-2000)

  • Buckshot to Petty and the #44? UPDATE 2 Yep: hearing Buckshot Jones will be the driver for the #44 Petty Enterprises Dodge in 2001 and is bringing a sponsor along(9-13-2000)
    UPDATE: Billy Jones, owner of Buckshot Racing, confirmed Wednesday that his son is considering offers from two current Winston Cup teams and could make a decision as early as next week. The latest speculation has Jones driving the #44 car of Petty Enterprises, with Georgia Pacific as the primary sponsor(Atlanta Journal Constitution), not sure who the second team is but I reported back on July 7th: hearing that Buckshot Jones has a sponsor that will allow him to return to Winston Cup. Supposedly they will not run their own team but look to hook up with an existing team. Some rumors have Jones father talking to Yates Racing and Hendrick Motorsports(9-14-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Buckshot Jones will join Petty Enterprises next season as the driver of the #44 Dodge and the team has landed a primary sponsor, Georgia-Pacific, for next season. An announcement of the driver hire and sponsor addition will be made in the next few weeks(That's Racin')(9-15-2000)

  • John Deere to leave? UPDATE yes: been hearing many rumors that John Deere would be leaving the #97 Roush Racing Ford, nothing concrete. When the Little departure was announced a few weeks ago, it was reported that Roush and John Deere were negotiating as the contract is up at the end of 2000, but that John Deere would have a say in the selection of the new driver, which will be CTS driver Kurt Busch
    UPDATE: hearing it will be announced today that John Deere will leave the #97 as a sponsor and will not sponsor another team as they adjusting their promotional spending to better align with business objectives. John Deere will remain on the #97 until the end of the season
    UPDATE 2: It's offical, reported on the John Deere site, pretty much what is in UPDATE 1 above(John Deere Site)(9-15-2000)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing Changes? PitNow is reporting that if Bobby Labonte wins the Winston Cup Championship, team owner Joe Gibbs may move his crew chief, Jimmy Makar to a Team Manager role, move Tony's Stewart's crew chief, Greg Zipadelli over to Labonte's #18 Interstate Batteries team and hire a new crew chief for Stewart's #20 Home Depot team, one name mentioned in the article is the #55 APR crew chief Jimmy Elledge(PitNow). Also still no word on if Home Depot will re-sign with Gibbs for the #20 Tony Stewart team, one rumor has Home Depot leaving and MBNA stepping up from a major associate sponsor to a primary sponsor on the #20 Pontiac(9-15-2000)

  • Busch to test at Dover? UPDATE 5 an in at Dover: hearing that Roush CTS driver, Kurt Busch, who is rumored to be taking the #97 John Deere Ford ride in 2001, will test a Roush Cup car(no idea what #) at Dover this week. If owner Jack Roush decides after the test that Busch is ready, he could make his Cup debut at Dover or Martinsville(9-11-2000)
    UPDATE: hearing again (see the #97 Team News page) that Busch will take over the #97 John Deere Ford at Dover for the rest of the year, not sure what Chad Little will do(if it happens)(9-12-2000)
    UPDATE 2: hearing day one of testing the #97 at Dover went well for Busch and unless something changes in Wednesday's testing, Busch will probably be in the car at Dover and supposedly for all the remaining Cup races with the exception of Talladega(9-13-2000)
    UPDATE 3: noticed...the Chad Little section has been removed from the Official Roush Racing site
    UPDATE - a note from Chad: I have two more races in the #97 car, Loudon and Talladega. I will try my best to conclude my season with strong finishes. John Deere has been a great Sponsor and I will support their continued success in NASCAR. I want all of you to know that I am still very positive and confident that things will turn around. Roush Racing and I agreed it was best for both parties to start concentrating our efforts on next year. I am currently talking with several teams and will work very hard in securing the best possible ride for 2001(Chad Little Site)(9-14-2000)
    UPDATE 5: hearing Busch turned laps at Dover this week that would had put him on the front row/outside pole at Dover in June(9-15-2000)

  • Cruises Cancelled: the headline from the ABC News site: "Hundreds of passengers were stranded on cruise ships in the Bahamas, Mexico and Canada today after creditors seized control of the beleaguered Premier Cruise Lines company." What does this have to do with NASCAR you ask? Because, Premier Cruise Lines, is the “The Cruise Line of NASCAR (see the NOL Story),” as promoted on their site. So just in case folks didn't know, I have heard there were a few "NASCAR Themed" cruises that were to sail in the next weeks including the original “Alabama Gang” for a special “Legends of NASCAR” cruise on the Big Red Boat on September 18 and supposedly a "Wallace Brother's" Cruise. So folks with plans with Premier may wish to contact them or your travel agent(the ABC News story says Officials at Premier, based in Cape Canaveral, FL, did not return telephone calls, but there is a voice message.(9-15-2000)

  • Exide PR? With Exide, basically, leaving motorsports all together, wonder what becomes of Exide Racing PR person, Chris Dirato? Am told Dirato and the agency he works for, NYC-based Kermish-Geylin Public Relations, will be considering team and/or sponsor PR program opportunities in the NASCAR community (Winston Cup, Busch or Trucks) for 2001. For contact info see a PR on my Press Release page: Jeff Burton PR(9-15-2000)

  • The No Bull fan? been asked by many what her plans were with Gordon's penalty being announced: Shari Robertson of Savannah was paired with Dale Earnhardt in the No Bull five at Richmond on Saturday, and she would have won $1 million if the driver had won the race. Earnhardt finished second, but winner Jeff Gordon was penalized for using an "unapproved part." However, NASCAR allowed Gordon to keep the victory, which kept a seven-figure check out of Robertson's hands. Robertson said she has been contacted by lawyers wanting to represent her but has "no intention of seeking legal action." A representative from Jeff Gordon's team has promised to send some autographed souvenirs to Robertson's 6-year-old son(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(9-15-2000)

  • Sharp to demo at Richmond UPDATE: IRL driver Scott Sharp will turn demonstration laps Saturday in his Kelley Racing/Delphi Automotive Systems/WorldCom Dallara/Aurora during this weekend’s NASCAR event, hoping to build interest for the IRNLS event, which runs at Richmond on June 30, 2001. Sharp will practice from 9:30-10:00am/et and then turn hot laps from 3:00-3:30pm/et and then lead a parade lap in front of packed grandstands at 6:30pm/et shortly before Cup cars enter the track(SpeedVision)(9-8-2000)
    UPDATE: Scott Sharp made a few show laps for the crowd mid-afternoon at Richmond and estimated that speeds could go as high as 170mph when the IRL debuts at the track next June. Sharp made four or five demo laps with only second and third gears and with his tires gobbling up rubber from a day of Winston Cup practice. Team members timed him at 19.8sec (136.1mph), but the idea more was to show the car in NASCAR-land(SpeedVision)(9-10-2000)
    UPDATE 2: see an image of the IRL car on my Richmond Track News Page(9-15-2000)

  • Testing for NHIS UPDATE: The #3 RCR team of driver Dale Earnhardt spent most of the day Tuesday at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, a 1/2-mile flat track located outside of Greenville, SC, to test their engine setup for New Hampshire. The two Winston Cup teams Earnhardt owns - those of #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #1-Steve Park - are planning to test Wednesday at Milwaukee. Richard Childress, Earnhardt's car owner, had booked Greenville-Pickens in advance so his BGN driver, Kevin Harvick, could test. Earnhardt's team joined Harvick's Tuesday, with Harvick taking turns with both cars, and turning more than 50 laps with Earnhardt's #3 Chevy(That's Racin')(9-13-2000)
    UPDATE: #99-Jeff Burton and #1-Steve Park tested the new NHIS restrictor plate engines and configurations at the Milwaukee Mile, simulatating restart and qualifying scenarios. In between sessions, Roush Racing and DEI crew members changed transmissions and worked specifically with transmission and rear end gear changes. Park had both cars on hand which will leave Milwaukee and go directly to New Hampshire(TNN and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Speeds? hearing from a source at the test that the speeds were in the 116mph area, the BGN pole this year at the track was 121.572mph(9-15-2000)

  • Irwin Tribute by Stewart: Tony Stewart, who raced against the late Kenny Irwin since their teenage years in Indiana, plans to honor his longtime rival on Sunday. Stewart is scheduled to wear a race helmet painted like Irwin's in the Dura-Lube 300(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(9-15-2000)

  • #99 and #21 Sponsor News UPDATE 2: as reported a few weeks ago (see the #99 or #21 pages), CITGO will be the primary sponsor on the #99 Ford in 2001, hearing the paint scheme will not be the familiar red-orange/white/black but would be red, white, and blue. The #21 Wood Bros Ford is supposed to get Ford Quality Credit and be announced at Charlotte(9-10-2000)
    UPDATE: hearing that starting with the race at Charlotte in October, the #99 Ford will carry the CITGO colors for the balance of the 2000 season as CITGO has purchased the space from Exide. Exide continues to downgrade it's motorsports expenses and while they have expressed interest in remaining as an associate sponsor on the #99 for the 2001 season, it's only a slight chance as they continue to downsize in the company(9-11-2000)
    UPDATE 2: hearing the Ford 'brand' that will be featured on the #21 Ford will be Motorcraft which used to be featured on the #15 Bud Moore Fords back into the early 90's(9-14-2000)

  • DEI and Walrtip...the PR and...: Dale Earnhardt announced today that Dale Earnhardt, Inc. will be expanding its motorsports program with the addition of a third Cup team in 2001. The newest DEI entry will be driven by Winston Cup veteran Michael Waltrip while carrying the blue and gold of NAPA AUTO PARTS. DEI currently has two NASCAR Winston Cup teams featuring drivers Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Steve Park. Terms of the multi-year agreement were not disclosed.(in part from a Champion Sports Group PR). No images of the car or car # yet
    UPDATE: It is not yet known what the car number will be, as Earnhardt indicated he’s currently working that out with NASCAR, nor who will be the team’s crew chief. Waltrip will continue to campaign his own Busch Team while driving for DEI(SpeedVision)(9-13-2000)

  • PR from Ultra Motorsports UPDATE and Dodge? statement from Jim Smith, Owner of #7 Nationsrent/Ultra Motorsports team: "We wish Michael Waltrip nothing but the best in his new ride. He is a fine person and a good race car driver, and we think he will do a fine job for his new owners. Everyone at Ultra Motorsports is moving forward and we're planning on a big year in 2001. We're working hard every day, and we feel we're making some real progress. The finishes the past several races haven't been indicative of how good the cars have been. Once the finishes start matching that, this NationsRent team is going to be a team to reckon with. My goal from the minute I purchased this team was to run up front and that goal hasn't changed at all. Everything we do, including bringing in a new driver, will be with that goal 100 percent in mind." and from Gary Stewart, Nationsrent Sr VP: "Michael Waltrip has been a great ambassador for the NationsRent team and we wish him only the best in his future with Dale Earnhardt Inc. Ultra Motorsports is working with NationsRent to continue to do everything possible to elevate the team's level of performance, including securing a driver for our team in 2001. We are anticipating positive results for the remainder of the season and beyond."(Williams Co)
    UPDATE: Michael Waltrip indicated that his parting with current team Ultra Motorsports was an amicable one. He had not yet signed a contract to continue with the Jim Smith-owned operation, and he said that Smith had decided to change marques to Dodge for the 2001 season, and he felt the opportunity with Earnhardt was too good to pass up.(SpeedVision). See the #7 Team News and Links page, for the history of the Dodge and #7 rumor(from August)(9-13-2000)

  • 3rd DEI team? it's Back UPDATE 5, press conference and....: Rumor on the distant horizon: A third team for Dale Earnhardt Inc.?(SpeedVision) currently run the #1-Steve Park and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr teams. No drivers mentioned(5-28-2000)
    UPDATE: Ty Norris, head of DEI, isn't enthusiastic about expanding with a third Cup team next season, but says he can't rule it out. Michael Waltrip's name has been coming up in connection with a third Cup team and other possibilities, following Jim Smith's Ultra Motorsports merger with Mattei Motorsports. Smith, who runs Mike Wallace in the #2 CTS Ford truck, might want to put Wallace in a Cup car(PitNow)(5-29-2000)
    UPDATE 2: thought this rumor was dead and buried, but even though it was announced a few weeks ago that Michael Waltrip would be staying with the #7 Ultra Motorsports team (and switching to Ford), am hearing strong rumors that Waltrip will take a ride with DEI in a third team car for Earnhardt, becoming teammate with #1-Steve park and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr
    UPDATE 3: DEI has scheduled a 2:00pm/et news conference on Wednesday to announce it will field a third Winston Cup team in the 2001 season, with Waltrip being the apparent selection as the new team's driver. The news conference has been scheduled for the DEI headquarters in Mooresville, N.C., where the Winston Cup cars driven by Steve Park and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are currently prepared(That's Racin'). Note: also hearing that DEI will not field a BGN team in 2001 and Ron Hornaday will not be back but will finish out the 2000 season(9-11-2000)
    UPDATE 4: hearing that NAPA will move up from Earnhardt's BGN team to sponsor the new third DEI team and Waltrip(9-12-2000)
    UPDATE 5: must be pretty real, now the AP is reporting it: Michael Waltrip to join Earnhardt stable, all that is left to know, is the car # (03?, 30?) and the crew chief? Kennedy? Kennon?(9-13-2000)

  • Bodine Released from the #60 UPDATE: after a week to week rumor for months, Geoffrey Bodine has been released of his driving duties at Bessey Motorsports today, the story from ESPN(in part): Geoffrey Bodine, who missed the first 10 Cup races this season as he recovered from injuries suffered in a horrific CTS crash at Daytona, was fired Monday as driver for Joe Bessey Motorsports #60 Power Team Chevy. Bessey, an occasional driver on the BGN, called Bodine and told him he would take over the car for the remaining nine Cup races this season. Bessey was not available for comment and team manager Mark Stinson said he preferred to let Bessey discuss the decision. The 51-year-old Bodine was in his second season driving for Bessey. The firing was not completely unexpected. Bessey also had previously suggested he might drive the car himself next season. Bodine said the truck accident -- and Bessey's failure to land a sponsor for next year -- caused the team to struggle this season. With only nine races left this season, Bodine was unsure what he will do the rest of the year. Bodine had been talking to team owners about next year, but is now going to start looking for the rest of this year(ESPN site)(9-11-2000)
    UPDATE: Bodine says he's contacted car owners about finding another ride for this season and next. He said he's also contacted NBC about working as an analyst for the network's coverage of Cup races next season, although Bodine added he wants to continue to race(Roanoke Times)(9-13-2000)

  • Gordon's Engine...problem?? UPDATE 6 THE PENALTY, the Appeal, the reactions: am hearing that NASCAR officials said Sunday morning during post-race inspection that it found “issues” with the engine of Jeff Gordon’s car. Gordon won the Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night. Racing officials said “issues” with the #24 DuPont Chevy’s intake manifold. The "issues" will not affect the race’s official results, and any possible penalties will not be announced before Monday(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
    UPDATE: also see story on SpeedVision: 'Issues' Found in Gordon's Engine by Ben Blake; AND the LTN Hour Radio Show reported the intake was made of magnesium, which would make it lighter. They will probably fine the team and possibly deduct points(9-10-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Winston Cup officials impounded the intake manifold from Jeff Gordon's winning car at Richmond after finding an "issue" with the piece during the post-race inspection early Sunday morning. A NASCAR spokesperson said the outcome of Saturday night's race at will not be affected if something is found wrong with the intake manifold. An announcement could come today(Monday) on NASCAR's findings. If something is found to be wrong, NASCAR officials could issue a fine and take away driver and car owner points. Kevin Triplett, NASCAR's director of operations, said series officials will further study the intake manifold, which helps the air flow into the engine and provide horsepower. Triplett would not say what the issue with the intake manifold is. Crew Chief Robbie Loomis thinks it is "just a thing with the manufacturer"(Roanoke Times)(9-11-2000)
    UPDATE 3: NASCAR doesn't take away Winston Cup victories. That won't be any different whenever NASCAR gets around to announcing penalties against Jeff Gordon's race team for having an unapproved intake manifold on the #24 Chevy that won Saturday night's race at Richmond(That's Racin')
    UPDATE 4: Jeff Gordon was interviewed on the John Boy & Billy radio show Tuesday morning and said the part in question wasn't a Hendrick part, but manufactured by General Motors. Gordon said the team has been using the intake since May and that it has been through inspection before and never questioned. Gordon said that the measurements are not what is in question and that as far as the #24 team is concerned, it's perfectly legal
    UPDATE - THE PENALTY: NASCAR officials announced today they have levied penalties for rules violations found during post-race inspection following the September 9, 2000 Cup race at Richmond. Robbie Loomis, crew chief for the #24 NASCAR Winston Cup Series team, has been fined $25,000 for violations of the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book, Section 12-4-Q: "Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform... or have not been approved by NASCAR..." In addition to the fine, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 car, will suffer a loss of 100 driver points. A reduction of 100 owner points also has been levied against team owner, Rick Hendrick. "The General Motors intake manifold that the #24 team used during Saturday night's race in Richmond has not been approved," said Mike Helton, NASCAR's Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "The GM part number on the casting was the same, however, a different material was used which altered the properties of the casting. "The changed casting was not resubmitted by GM for NASCAR's approval in accordance with our procedures."(NASCAR PR). I have made the adjustment to the Drivers Points and the Owners Points chart on the Provisional page. Gordon still retains 10th place in Drivers and Owners points with 3070 (down from 3170).
    AND from Hendrick Motorpsorts: "We have notified NASCAR that we will appeal the penalty imposed on the No. 24 team following our victory Saturday night in Richmond. Not only do we feel a full hearing on the facts will exonerate our team from any intentional wrong doing, but it will remove any cloud of suspicion cast over a great victory." See full story at the Hendrick Motorsports Site(9-12-2000)
    UPDATE 6 - GM's Response: see it at That's Racin': Text of General Motors Racing's response.(9-13-2000)

  • Kyle, Safety and Fox: As the Winston Cup circuit returns to Loudon, New Hampshire, the National Sports Report's weekly NASCAR feature will deal with safety in the sport. Earlier this year, two NASCAR drivers were killed in separate practice accidents at the Loudon track. Thursday night's show will feature Alex Flanagan's report on what NASCAR is trying to do to make the sport safer. Friday night, Winston Cup veteran Kyle Petty will join our Chris Myers to talk about how their family is dealing with the tragic loss of 19-year old Adam. The National Sports Report airs on Fox Sports Net nightly at 10pm and Midnight in each time zone(9-13-2000)

  • Bodine vs Spencer: Brett Bodine said he regrets on-track incidents that seem to be affecting his relationship with driver Jimmy Spencer. The pair has tangled twice on the track in two weeks. Bodine said he called Spencer twice last week after the incident at Darlington and that the calls were not returned. He took the blame for a Lap 184 accident Saturday that left Spencer fuming(see more at the Times-Dispatch)(9-12-2000)

  • Fine: #55 crew chief Jimmy Elledge was fined $10,000 by NASCAR for trailing arms that were modified to be lighter than the specifications in the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book. The infraction was discovered in preliminary inspections on Friday for last Saturday's Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond(NOL/NASCAR PR)(9-11-2000)

  • #66 ride - Carter Waiting on Gordon UPDATE 4 Gordon stays with the #13 - Bodine in? as reported on ESPN2's RPM 2Night, #66 team owner, Travis Carter, is waiting on Robby Gordon's decision to either drive the #66 Big Kmart/Rt 66 Ford in 2001 or if Gordon will stay with the #13 Team Gordon team that he partially owns, which is looking for a primary sponsor. Also see story at the Kingsport Times News. Hearing Gordon has until the end of today to give his answer. Supposedly Todd Bodine is also in the running for the #66(9-5-2000)
    UPDATE: well, the end of Tuesday came and went, have heard nothing on Gordon's decision(9-6-2000)
    UPDATE 2: starting to hear that Gordon will not be the driver in 2001 and that now Stacy Compton, driver of the #9 Melling Ford is under consideration but I thought he was pretty much a done deal with Melling and the teams move to Dodge and the #92 in 2001. Also in a story Compton is quoted recently: “We've already started hiring people, I was down at the shop and we've got a lot of new guys in place that I hadn't met. They've kept us pretty busy lately and I've been on the road doing things and testing and hadn't had a chance to go by the shop, but we're already putting people in place and hiring people. The ball has started rolling now. We've got a ways to go, but we're already starting to put people in place because the season is winding to an end and next year is gonna be here before you know it.’’(DIS PR)(9-9-2000)
    UPDATE 3: Robby Gordon said Saturday he has no plans to move to another team next season, saying he was going to "stay the course and maintain the status quo" with his current operation. The next race his team plans to enter is at Lowe's Motor Speedway. In the past few weeks, Gordon has been among the drivers that car owner Travis Carter has discussed the opening that will occur next season in his #66 Fords following Darrell Waltrip's retirement(That's Racin')(9-10-2000)
    UPDATE 4: hearing that Todd Bodine is the preferred choice of Carter for the #66 ride(9-11-2000)

  • Testing for NHIS: since teams cannot test at NHIS this week (until practice on Friday), some teams are testing at other tracks: #1-Steve Park, will test at Milwaukee this week(PitNow); #21-Elliott Sadler tested a restricotr plate in a test run on Saturday in Richmond, the run slowed Sadler's car by more than a second a lap compared to the lap times without the restrictor plate(which equates to 6-10mph less)(Cox Marketing PR)(9-11-2000)

  • Hut's Plans: Hut Stricklin has plans for a $1 million, 10-acre motorsports complex across the street from his Rowan County(NC) home, with the idea to launch a BGN race team at the site. Stricklin, who drives the #90 Hills Brothers Ford for Junie Donlavey's Richmond-based team, wants the facility to be large enough for two cars and the teams to support them. But those plans have encountered problems before the first bolt can be turned in the proposed race shop. The agricultural zoning on the site allows construction only on 10% of the acreage, meaning only an acre of land could contain buildings at the site. And a rezoning to allow industrial use seems unlikely after Rowan County planners said the complex wouldn't fit with the agricultural uses around the proposed site. Stricklin says he wants to pursue the idea but not at the expense of offending his neighbors along Caldwell Road near the Mount Ulla community. Stricklin's plans call for two structures on the property: a 43,000-square-foot main shop where finishing work would be done and a 30,000-square-foot fabrication shop where the Busch cars would be assembled as a preliminary step. Stricklin says he's heard that neighbors are concerned about engine noise at the site, but he doesn't plan an engine shop, which are the loudest of race operations, at the site(Charlotte Business Journal)(9-11-2000)

  • Stewart to help out: #20 Home Depot driver, Tony Stewart (along with former president Jimmy Carter) will be in Harlem, NY on Tuesday, working with Habitat for Humanity to help build a house there(9-11-2000)

  • Sad News: Michael Schumacher's F-1 win in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix in Monza was tempered by the death of a track worker. Paolo Ghislimberti, 33, a track crew member, was killed by flying debris after a first-lap chain collision. The crash that killed Ghislimberti came on the second curve on the course. Seven cars were sent off the track, leaving 15 drivers in the race. Schumacher could not stop sobbing following the awards ceremony(AJC/AP)(9-11-2000)

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