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PAST NEWS SEPT 18-24, 2000

  • Grissom/Petty to the BGN? UPDATE: Petty Enterprises is trying to put together a deal for Steve Grissom to drive in the BGN in 2001. "When Steve came to work for us, I gave him my word that we'd run him in (the Craftsman Truck Series) and move him along as quickly as possible," Kyle Petty said. "We had planned to move (the late) Adam Petty up next year, freeing up the Busch program for Steve Grissom. Now that I am moving up with Adam's car, we're actively searching for a new Busch sponsor for Steve and that car. We're also looking for a truck driver now."(AJC). NOTE: as seen on my CTS Site: hearing Petty Enterprises has signed both Hot Wheels South America and Carlos Contreras to drive the #43 CTS Dodge(9-22-2000)
    UPDATE: Kyle Petty said Saturday that Petty Enterprises plans to continue to field a Chevrolet entry in NASCAR's Grand National series next season with driver Steve Grissom, if a sponsor can be found(That's Racin')(9-24-2000)

  • Another Hamilton? Bobby Hamilton still is planning to have his son, Bobby Hamilton Jr., attempt to qualify for two Winston Cup races this year. Hamilton is picking up one car Monday and a second one the next week for his son to drive. Hamilton Jr. could compete in the races at Homestead and Atlanta(Times-Dispatch)(9-24-2000)

  • Little Looking: Chad Little was in the Winston Cup garage Saturday, but it wasn't to talk to team owners. Little was being interviewed and photographed for People magazine. Little, who will drive his final race for Roush Racing at Talladega, has been talking to various owners, trying to find a ride for next season. Although he still is considering a couple of Winston Cup teams, Little said he is focusing on the BGN(Times-Dispatch)(9-24-2000)

  • Sad News: Three Canadian race fans in town for the Formula One race in Indy died overnight of carbon monoxide poisoning after a tailpipe in their RV became clogged, leaking gas into the motor home(see the CBS story)(9-24-2000)

  • #15 for DEI? hearing Michael Waltrip will run the #15 on the NAPA Auto Parts DEI Chevy in 2001(9-23-2000)

  • Mayfield Notes: "This has been such an up and down season, a real roller coaster. Everytime something goes bad, when it seems like we're at the bottom of the world, something really good happens. We went from just struggling all day long at New Hampshire to winning the pole(Friday). And when things are going great and we're at the top of the world, something bad has been happening. Like we won the pole at Darlington and were dominating the race, and everything fell apart there in the fourth turn. It even affected our cars. This car (Dover car) we ran at Bristol. The poor thing had a rough night there and then ended up getting torn up in a wreck on the frontstretch (when he was rear-ended by Bobby Hamilton at the start-finish line while Hamilton was racing back to the caution flag). For a car, you couldn't have a worse night - not run so good AND get wrecked. But this car was at the bottom of the world at Bristol and, first time back out, it's sitting on the pole at Dover. We're going to try to change the way our luck's been going and win the race Sunday. We've run really well here in the past, and we think we're going to run really well here Sunday. The two races we won (California and June Pocono), we started back in the pack. We think we can finish this deal off by winning this race. We've had good cars a lot of places. We've been a real threat in a ton of places. We should have won two or three races easily, circumstances just cost us. We're going to make our own luck Sunday and do everything we can to win this thing. This is a good place for us. We've run well here. We're on the pole. ExxonMobil isn't too far away (Fairfax, Va., on the other side of Washington, D.C.). We have a lot of incentives but the biggest incentive of all is that this team wants to get Mobil 1 into victory lane worse than anything."(Williams Company)(9-23-2000)

  • Dodge Engine News: Ray Evernham, owner of Evernham Motorsports and leading the development of the Dodge Intrepid, said he plans to present the new Dodge engine to NASCAR for approval in early October(That's Racin')(9-23-2000)

  • Martin BBBSA update; Mark Martin's on-track performance in the Valvoline Ford, combined with contributions from Valvoline and NASCAR fans, has brought the current total raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters since 1999 to $533,678. Valvoline is donating $5,000 for every Winston Cup race Martin wins, $2,500 for each pole, $1,000 for a top-five finish, and $20 per lap Martin leads in this "Caring Hands" program.(Valvoline PR)(9-23-2000)

  • Little to BACE for a race? UPDATE: hearing that Chad Little will drive Bace Motorsports #74 BGN Chevy at Charlotte with Winston Cup Veteran Crew Chief Terry Wooten(9-22-2000)
    UPDATE: Winston Cup Scene reports that Clarence Brewer, owner of the #27 BGN tream is interested in signing Chad Little or Ron Hornaday to replace Casey Atwood(going to Evernham's Cup team in 2001). Brewer hopes to have a driver signed for 2001 within the next few weeks(9-23-2000)

  • NASCAR Channel News: NASCAR officials have told executives at Street & Smith's Charlotte television office that NASCAR has bought the company and that it would be renamed NASCAR Productions. NASCAR officials here declined to comment on the issue. The Street & Smith division has a large body of Winston Cup archives that NASCAR executives have been eager to acquire for use on the proposed NASCAR Channel(PitNow)(9-23-2000)

  • #44 Changes: Fred Graves, crew chief for #44-Steve Grissom and Petty Enterprises, left the team earlier this week. Graves had worked with Grissom and Petty Enterprises, both in the Winston Cup series and the CTS. The plans to fill Graves' role this weekend by committee, with Grissom calling the shots on race day(That's Racin')(9-22-2000)

  • New Hendrick Driver? UPDATE: hearing #92 BGN driver, Jimmie Johnson, will do testing for Hendrick Motorsports(HMS) in 2001 and run in Cup for HMS in 2002, a fourth HMS team?...but would still run in the BGN with the #92 Herzog Motorsports team in 2001
    UPDATE: Jimmie Johnson has signed with Hendrick Motorsports as driver for a full-time Cup team in 2002, Hendrick Motorsports CEO Rick Hendrick announced today. Johnson, who currently drives the #92 Alltel Chevy owned by Herzog Motorsports on the BGN, will compete in four Winston Cup events for Hendrick Motorsports next season before assuming full-time driving duties in 2002. In addition to four Winston Cup races, Johnson will run a full Busch schedule next season with his team at Herzog Motorsports(Hendrick Motorsports Site)(9-22-2000)

  • AJ OK UPDATE: A week after undergoing angioplasty, an operation to open blocked arteries to the heart, AJ Foyt is back in Indianapolis to host tonight's True Value Hulman/Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. See the full story by Robin Miller at Indianapolis Star
    UPDATE: AJ Foyt was rushed to the hospital in Indy with stomach pain during Friday's activities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Foyt was checked at the hospital, released, and returned to the track(RPM 2Night)(9-22-2000)

  • Geoffrey to the Cicci-Welliver Racing Cup/BGN? Cicci-Welliver Racing(#'s 34,36 and 66 in the BGN) made a last-ditch effort to get its potential sponsor to sign a letter of intent when all parties involved, including Todd Bodine, met in New York City last Friday to try to hammer out a deal. While the sponsor wasn't prepared to commit at that time, team owner Frank Cicci said it's still interested in the proposal and will make a decision within the next 30 days. If the deal comes to fruition, Cicci said the team will seek a veteran Winston Cup driver to replace Bodine. In fact, it may turn to another Bodine, Geoffrey, to fill the Cup seat. Bodine was recently released from his Bessey Motorsports ride(#60 Power Team). In any event, Cicci-Welliver's Winston Cup opportunity will not affect its Busch Series operation, which is still unsettled for 2001. Of its three Busch cars, the only done deal is with David Green in the #34 Chevy(Star Gazette)(9-22-2000)

  • I want my MTV: Casey Atwood along with Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be the subject of an upcoming MTV documentary that focuses on what it's like to be a hot young NASCAR star(Tennessean)(9-22-2000)

  • Sad News UPDATE: Ted Musgrave's Father passed away today of a heart attack. Musgrave drives the #01 BellSouth Chevy in the Cup series(Ted Musgrave Site), thoughts and prayers to the Musgrave family(9-20-2000)
    UPDATE: Elmer Musgrave, father of NASCAR Winston Cup driver Ted Musgrave, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday in Gurnee, Ill. He was 72 years old. In honor of his father and his wish(that Ted race), Ted will pilot the #82 Channellock Chevy in the 200 Busch Series race this weekend at Dover. He will also drive the #01 BellSouth Chevy in the 400 Winston Cup event. The viewing for Mr. Musgrave is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 24, 2000, from 2 to 6 p.m. CDT at Gurnee Marsh Funeral Home, 305 Cemetery Road, Gurnee, Ill., 60031, (847) 336-0127. Funeral services will take place Monday, Sept. 25, 2000, at 10:30 a.m. CDT at Milburn Congregational Church, Milburn, IL(SABCO PR)(9-21-2000)

  • Musgrave/#01 to Test: #01 Ted Musgrave will test at Talladega on Wednesday, Sept 20th(Talladega PR)(9-18-2000)
    UPDATE: Musgrave and #10 Johnny Benson tested on Wednesday, see an image of #01 driver Ted Musgrave talking with crew chief Tony Glover at Testing Image, notice the roof flange(9-20-2000)
    Added another image to the Testing Image page, show's the aero changes(9-21-2000)

  • Buckshot to Petty and the #44? UPDATE 5 It's Official: 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)
    UPDATE 3: Petty Enterprises is expected to announce this week that Buckshot Jones will drive for the organization's third Cup team next season(Roanoke Times) AND as rumored here last THURSDAY - Petty Enterprises is expected to announce tomorrow(Thurs) afternoon that Buckshot Jones will be its driver and Georgia Pacific its sponsor for the #44 car next season
    UPDATE 4: The Georgia-Pacific Corporation will put its family of brands on the fast track next year, entering Winston Cup competition in the 2001 season. This Fortune 100 company with Georgia roots will team with Petty Enterprises as a primary sponsor. Richard and Kyle Petty will join Georgia-Pacific leadership to make the formal announcement, including the introduction of driver Buckshot Jones, this Thursday, September 21st at 1:30pm/et at Georgia-Pacific Center in Atlanta. Georgia-Pacific's history of motorsports involvement includes a sponsorship role in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 1996, also with Petty Enterprises. The company's Winston Cup sponsorship, a multi-year agreement, again unites the two organizations for NASCAR's premier series(Williams Co)(9-20-2000)
    UPDATE 5: Georgia-Pacific Corp. is officially off to the races, announcing plans to enter the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup season as a primary sponsor with Petty Enterprises. Richard and Kyle Petty joined Georgia-Pacific leadership for the announcement, introducing Georgia-native Buckshot Jones as the team driver of the new #44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge Intrepid R/T. The Georgia-Pacific name and those of its brands will adorn the new Winston Cup entrant from Dodge Motorsports -- the Dodge Intrepid R/T. Buckshot Jones’ addition to the Petty team is the next step in a career that started as a college hobby and now is clearly on the fast track. Nicknamed as a child for being “tough as buckshot,” Jones has driven the #00 Pontiac on the NASCAR Busch Series this season. During the past five years in the Busch Series, he has won two Busch races, captured two poles and finished in the top ten 21 times. Brands to be featured on the #44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge will include Sparkle paper towels and napkins, Angel Soft bath tissue, Unisource, Pacific Garden soap and Georgia-Pacific building products and office papers(Buckshot Jones Site)(9-21-2000)

  • From NASCAR:The following is a statement from Mike Helton, NASCAR's Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, regarding the rules modifications announced by NASCAR that the Ford and Pontiac teams will be required to increase the width of their rear spoiler from 57 inches to 59 inches, while the Chevrolet teams will remain at 57-inches wide. These modifications are for the Winston 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on October 15, 2000: "The aero-package that NASCAR developed for the Talladega NASCAR Winston Cup Series race had a more adverse effect on the Chevrolet Monte Carlo than it did on the Ford Taurus and the Pontiac Grand Prix. "The intent was to create a package that has the same adverse effect on all three car makes, but it had a greater effect on the Monte Carlo. While Ford and Pontiac have to increase the width on their rear spoilers, the adjustments being made for Chevrolet are basically putting the Monte Carlo back in its relative position in relationship to the other two car makes as it was in the three previous restrictor-plate races this season (Daytona 500, DieHard 500 and Pepsi 400). Our decisions are based on results from wind-tunnel testing held by NASCAR. "We are going to stick with our original track schedule of opening up for practice on Friday morning at 11:00 a.m. Depending on how everything goes on Friday, we may elect to extend happy hour practice on Saturday afternoon."(NASCAR PR)(9-21-2000)

  • New #25 Sponsor? UPDATE 2: hearing that Hendrick Motorsports may be announcing a new 2001 primary sponsor of the #25 Jerry Nadeau team within the next few weeks, hearing it may be GMAC, who sponsors Hendrick Motorsports in the CTS and BGN series. No idea what Michael Holigan's plans are(9-18-2000)
    UPDATE: hearing it will not be GMAC on the #25 Cup car but they and the #24 CTS Hendrick Motorsports team will both have new sponsors in 2001. GMAC will stay with Hendrick on their 2nd CTS team with Ricky Hendrick(9-19-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Michael Holigan has informed Hendrick Motorsports that he will not sponsor the #25 Cup team or driver Jerry Nadeau in 2001. Holigan is talking to Hendrick about maintaining a role with the team(RPM 2Night)(9-20-2000)

  • Hamilton leaves the #4, #7 Driver? #55? UPDATE 6 #55 Official: who will drive the #7 Ultra Motorsports Ford now that Michael Waltrip is leaving to drive a third DEI car? It was thought that Mike Wallace would get the ride, but am hearing he will not be back with the team in either the Truck or Cup rides. Two rumors have cropped up, is Ron Hornaday in either the #7 Cup car or the #2 Ultra Wheels Truck ride AND get this: Bobby Hamilton to the #7? Wasn't it just reported last week that he staying with the #4 team for sure? Yep, and wasn't Waltrip announced staying with the #7 for 2001? This is getting crazy...(9-13-2000)
    UPDATE: hearing that Bobby Hamilton may be the new driver for Ultra Motorsports(9-14-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Bobby Hamilton and car owner Larry McClure(#4 Kodak Chevy) have decided to part ways at the end of the season. Hamilton says he has not signed a deal for 2001 yet(That's Racin')(9-15-2000)
    UPDATE 3: While no deal been finalized, Hamilton is expected to take the wheel of the #55 Chevrolet owned by Andy Petree next year(Gaston Gazette/Monte Dutton)(9-16-2000)
    UPDATE 4: as Monte Dutton reports above, I hear Hamilton to the #55 Sqaure-D Chevy. Also hearing that Ron Hornaday is being considered for the #7 Ultra Motorsports Dodge/Ford and the #4 Kodak ride. AND Bobby Hamilton is incensed over reports that he talked to the Ultra Motorsports team. Hamilton, who announced yesterday that he is parting ways with Larry McClure at the end of the season, was linked to the Ultra Motorsports team in an Internet report. He says that is not the case(see quotes at: Times-Dispatch)(9-17-2000)
    UPDATE 5: Bobby Hamilton and Andy Petree won't confirm anything but sources close to the two say it's a done deal that they will team next season, with Hamilton becoming Joe Nemechek's teammate(PitNow)(9-18-2000)
    UPDATE 6: Andy Petree Racing (APR) announced today the signing of Bobby Hamilton to a two-year contract which will put the Nashville, TN native behind the wheel of the #55 Square D Chevy in 2001. Hamilton will join current APR driver Joe Nemechek, who pilots the #33 Oakwood Homes Chevy. Hamilton replaces Kenny Wallace who will depart at the end of this season(Motorsports Decision)(9-20-2000)

  • Aero Rules UPDATE 4: Expect aerodynamic rules changes to be announced by NASCAR for Talladega (Oct 15th) sometime this weekend(RPM 2Night)(9-9-2000)
    UPDATE: the rules were never announced, not sure when we will hear anything(9-12-2000)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR Senior Vice President Mike Helton said a rule change for the Talladega race will be announced this week. Officials have considered a variety of changes to the cars after an aerodynamics test at Daytona this summer. Winston Cup Director Gary Nelson said a spoiler change is one of the options being considered(Times-Dispatch) AND NASCAR still hasn't announced its Talladega rules, but the new rules are now expected to include a break for Chevrolets, which will be allowed to run a 57-inch-wide rear spoiler while Ford and Pontiac teams will have to run a larger 59-inch spoiler(PitNow) AND a column at That's Racin': Rule changes expected for Talladega AND the print version of the Speedway Scene reports that the spoilers will be 53 inches for the Chevy and 55 inches for the Ford and Pontiac. Also says there may be a raised air dam(bottom front of the car), a roof spoiler(have to say, these look weird) and the rear spoiler supposedly have a higher angle of 65-70 degrees as compared to the normal setting of 45 at Talladega/Daytona and be a 2-inch taller rear spoiler. The restrictor plate would be increased from 7/8-inches to 1-inch(9-17-2000)
    UPDATE 3: NASCAR announced a series of rule changes for the Oct. 15 running of the Winston 500 at Talladega, they are:
    Rear Spolier: will change from 57 to 59 inches on Fords and Pontiacs, while the Chevy stays at 57 inches and all manufacturers will be required to all have rear spoiler angles of between 70 and 71 degrees, an increase from the mandated 45 degrees
    Resrtictor Plate: an increase from the 7/8-inch plates used in the previous restrictor-plate races this year at Talladega and Daytona to a 1-inch carburetor restrictor plates
    Flange(wickerbill): all three manufacturers will have to use 1-inch-deep forward-facing flanges on top of their rear spoilers
    Front Air Dams: increased to a 4-inch minimum ground clearance, from 3 1/2 inches
    Roof Deflectors: use 1 3/8-inch-tall and 40-inch-wide air deflectors located 10 inches behind the windshields on the car roofs(That's Racin')(9-19-2000)
    UPDATE 4: NASCAR is also opening the Talladega race weekend a day early and allowing teams all day Thursday, Oct. 12, to practice in preparation for the race(That's Racin')
    AND Driver Johnny Benson tested at the track Tuesday with the changes in place and turned a fast lap that would have qualified him in the first round at last spring’s event. After that session, Benson and crew chief James Ince both said they don’t believe the changes will alter the quality of the race noticeably(Anniston Star)(9-20-2000)

  • Lowes Testing UPDATE 2: In preparation for the Oct. 8 UAW-GM Quality 500 Cup race, Lowe’s Motor Speedway has invited all NASCAR Winston Cup teams to participate in a two-day open testing session at the 1.5-mile superspeedway on Tuesday, Sept. 19th from 4:00 - 10:00pm/et and on Wednesday, Sept. 20 from 8:00am - 4:00pm/et. The following drivers/teams are scheduled to test: #11-Brett Bodine, #16-Kevin Lepage, #21-Elliott Sadler, #22-Ward Burton, #27-Mike Bliss, #33-Joe Nemechek, #36-Kenny Schrader, #44-Steve Grissom, #85 Carl Long(was there, had reported he was not), #93-Dave Blaney, #96-Andy Houston and #98-Jeff Fuller(LMS PR)(9-15-2000)
    UPDATE: add #9-Stacy Compton and #97-Kurt Busch who tested. See the story and a few images at TachZone(9-19-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Thirteen Cup teams participated in a two-day testing session Tuesday and Wednesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and crew members and drivers found the two sessions to literally be as different as night and day. Tuesday night’s runs were conducted under the lights, simulating conditions for the Oct. 4 Winston Pole Night, while Wednesday’s laps were made in the heat of the day, similar to conditions expected for the Oct. 8 UAW-GM Quality 500. Driving a new #21 Citgo Ford Taurus built by Roush Racing and fielded by the Wood Brothers, Elliott Sadler was unofficially the fastest Tuesday evening, stopping the watches with a lap of 183.112mph. #11-Brett Bodine was 2nd at 183.050mph, others: #16-Kevin Lepage 182.741; #33-Joe Nemechek and #97-Kurt Busch ran 182.063. #22-Ward Burton, #36-Kenny Schrader and #9-Stacy Compton were among the drivers who concentrated on chassis setups Tuesday and never made a simulated qualifying lap. Other drivers participating in the test were #27-Mike Bliss, #98-Jeff Fuller, #85-Carl Long, #93-Dave Blaney and #96-Andy Houston. Busch and Houston were forced to skip the Wednesday portion of the test due to Craftsman Truck Series commitments in Dover. Houston’s teammate, Scott Pruett, took over the #96 Ford Wednesday while Busch’s #97 team skipped Wednesday’s activities.
    SOME NOTES: Kurt Busch spun the #97 Ford coming off turn four early Tuesday evening, but did not make wall contact. Recently named to take over as driver of the #27 Eel River Racing Pontiac next season, Kenny Wallace turned several laps in one of the team’s two cars Wednesday. Wallace was watching from atop the team’s transporter Tuesday evening as Mike Bliss put the two #27 Pontiacs through their paces when crew chief Barry Dodson decided to let Wallace try one of the cars during the daytime session. With Wallace doing most of the driving Wednesday, he, Dodson and Bliss talked extensively throughout the day as Wallace offered suggestions on setup changes. The two-day test marked the first time Jeff Fuller and the new MacPherson Motorsports tested at a Winston Cup track. Geoffrey Bodine, recently released from the #60 machine owned by Joe Bessey, was in the garage area Tuesday evening chatting with drivers and crew members. Kevin Lepage’s team suffered an engine failure in one of their #16 Fords early Wednesday morningLMS PR(9-20-2000)

  • Elliott OK: After crashing on Sunday, #94-Bill Elliott said he planned to have X-rays taken of his left knee. Elliott broke his left kneecap in a home accident last month. Elliott decided not to have X-rays taken after returning home. He reported a little swelling and stiffness but stated that otherwise he felt fine(Roanoke Times)(9-20-2000)

  • Bodine's Combine? am hearing that Brett Bodine is considering fielding a second car for a few races with brother Geoffrey driving. Geoffrey was recently released from the #60 Power Team ride(9-20-2000)

  • #97/Busch Crew Chief: Kurt Busch's CTS crew chief, Matt Chambers, is moving up to Winston Cup with Busch to the #97 Roush Racing Ford(Roush Racing Site)(9-20-2000)

  • Bye-Bye TNN, Hello TNN: it was announced Tuesday that TNN(The Nashville Network) would be re-branded as TNN: The National Network. The re-branded network will evolve to include more general entertainment programming that will target a younger and more diverse audience. Long-term plans for the network will include the addition of off-network comedies and dramas, the development of new, original series and movies, the expansion of existing sports and outdoor franchises, like motor sports, and the acquisition of new ones(TNN Site). NASCAR of course will not be covered by TNN as they have a new contract with NBC/TBS and Fox/FX starting in 2001(9-20-2000)

  • Shepherd at Dover: four time Cup winner, Morgan Shepherd, will be at Dover to run the #80 Hoover Motorsports Truck in the CTS race there(9-20-2000)

  • #66 Driver UPDATE 5: hearing that Todd Bodine is the preferred choice of Carter for the #66 ride(9-11-2000)
    UPDATE 5 Todd Bodine and car owner Travis Carter are close to signing a deal to team next season, with Bodine as Jimmy Spencer's teammate. Carter says he should know something within the next two or three days(PitNow) see progression(orig story and Updates of this news at my #66 Team News and Links page(9-18-2000)
    UPDATE 6: BGN driver Todd Bodine will take over the driving duties of the Travis Carter-owned #66 Fords next season in the Cup series, according to his brother, Brett Bodine. Todd will take over for veteran Darrell Waltrip, who is retiring at the end of the season. Brett Bodine was among 13 Winston Cup teams testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway Tuesday night in preparation for the Oct. 8 race at Charlotte(That's Racin')(9-19-2000)

  • More Plates? Restrictor plates could be used at other tracks until better safety methods are found, says Mike Helton, NASCAR's senior vice president and chief operating officer. Three tracks, Atlanta, Texas and Michigan, have had faster pole speeds this year than Daytona and Talladega. NASCAR is studying other options, including smaller engines, which would produce fewer horsepower; padded walls; and aerodynamic changes to the cars(Roanoke Times). NOTE: am hearing that NASCAR may test restrictor plates soon at Lowes Motor Speedway(9-19-2000)

  • Testing at Martinsville: Kyle Petty tested with the #45 Sprint Chevy race team on Tuesday at Martinsville Speedway in preparation for the team’s first Winston Cup race with Kyle at the wheel. Petty along with #99-Jeff Burton, #19-Casey Atwood, #31-Mike Skinner, and #75-Wally Dallenbach began a two-day test session for the NAPA AutoCare 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race on October 1. Petty will make his first Winston Cup start with the team for which his son, Adam, was the driver before his fatal crash earlier this year at New Hampshire. Kyle has been driving the Sprint Chevrolet in the Busch Series, but testing with the team is a new experience(Martinsville Speedway PR)(9-19-2000)

  • Engine Parts? Rumors say NASCAR is strongly looking at putting minimum weight requirements on engine parts during the off season in the wake of the rush to lighter parts by several of the big budget teams. The rush started after Jeremy Mayfield and Rusty Wallace began using "legal", but not "typical" engine parts like cam shafts and connecting rods. The teammates immediately began winning a large number of poles and running even more strongly than they had been. That is one reason for the open tear down of Wallace's engine at Sonoma, following qualifying. More teams are looking to newer, lighter parts without too much regard for endurance, or cost. It should not surprise that 7 engines expired at Richmond. The event at Louden, complete with air-robbing restrictor plate, was expected to produce a record number of blown engines. That did not come about as engine builders went with the tried and true parts. To attempt to hold down ever escalating costs, NASCAR is contemplating introducing minimum weights for key engine parts following Atlanta(Inside Motorsports)(9-19-2000)

  • Denny's to the #16? Hank Aaron? UPDATE 2: Speedway Scene (print edition) reports that there is expected to be an announcement in the near future that Denny's Restaurants will sponsor the #16 Roush Racing Ford and driver Kevin Lepage in 2001(Jack Flowers/Speedway Scene)(9-14-2000)
    UPDATE: I hear there is more to this deal: hearing Roush will have a partner with the Denny's sponsorship for the #16 car next year. Hank Aaron? Yes, the all time MLB Homer king, who was mentioned back at Atlanta in March as looking into becoming an owner with a Cup team. Also. some possible crew changes with the team: Crew Chief could be Jim Long, now of the #60 Power Team, and Team Manager being Garth Finley(9-15-2000)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR's search for a black star driver, or a driver from another minority group, has been fruitless, but not for lack of interest or effort. Now Jack Roush is joining the search. Roush is working on a new sponsorship and driver development program with the goal of finding a talented minority driver and bringing him up to the Winston Cup tour over the next three years. Part of the current effort could involve Hank Aaron as they are talking about merging the #16 Kevin Lepage team into a company owned and managed by Hank Aaron....Hank Aaron Motorsports(PitNow)(9-19-2000)

  • Martin and a speedway: Mark Martin is branching out to a new venture in his racing career, becoming a track promoter. Martin has been working all summer on the construction of a brand new quarter-midget track located in the infield of New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, FL. The inspiration for this project was Martin's eight-year-old son Matt, who began racing a quarter-midget last year near Orlando, FL. Martin wanted to have a track closer to home for many of the local kids(Speedway Scene)(9-19-2000)

  • #27 UPDATE 4: (see full story on the #27 Team News and Links page)..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)
    UPDATE 4: ESPN2's RPM 2Night reports that the #27 Eel River Racing Team will stay with Pontiacs in 2001 with Kenny Wallace as the driver, it had been rumored that the team was possibly switching to Ford(9-18-2000)

  • #7 Driver? looks like the Bobby Hamilton rumor was incorrect(choke) and ESPN2's NASCAR 2Day is reporting that Ron Hornaday and Randy LaJoie(didn't he just sign with Joe Nemechek for a BGN ride?) are the two rumored drivers(9-17-2000)
    UPDATE: One of the men #7 owner Jim Smith is looking to sign to drive for him next season is Busch driver Randy LaJoie. However, Lajoie has insisted he's not interested in a Cup ride(PitNow)(9-18-2000)

  • #4 driver? UPDATE: also reported on ESPN2's NASCAR 2Day was that Chad Little could end up in the #4 Kodak Chevy fielded by Morgan-McClure(9-17-2000)
    UPDATE: Larry McClure says he'd like to find a young driver to run for his team next season. Two men he'll be looking at: Ron Hornaday and Ed Berrier(PitNow)
    AND Larry McClure, owner of the #4 Kodak Chevy, said he has not started looking for a new driver yet. McClure and current driver, Bobby Hamilton, agreed Friday to part ways at the end of the season. McClure said if settles on a driver by the end of the season, and that driver isn't already in the series, he may run that driver in a second car in the season finale at Atlanta(That's Racin')(9-18-2000)

  • Only Two Left: #22-Ward Burton is listed in NASCAR's unofficial results as having an DNF(Did Not Finish) due to an Accident. This would be Burton's first DNF of the 2000 season, leaving only #3-Dale Earnhardt and #18-Bobby Labonte as the only drivers who have made all 26 races so far this season and not have a DNF. See my DNF page for race by race rundown of the DNF's and who have the most and least(9-18-2000)

  • Unapproved Parts: NASCAR officials confiscated two unapproved parts during Friday's prequalifying inspections. An unapproved axle part was taken from the #8 Bud Chevy driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr., while an unapproved fuel system safety valve on the #66 BigKmart Ford driven by Darrell Waltrip. The parts was tagged and on display at the NASCAR hauler(That's Racin')(9-18-2000)

  • Garage Entrance Incident UPDATE 2: getting a ton of questions on this so....When #4-Bobby Hamilton entered the garage area at NHIS, a woman was walking near the car as he turned in, the woman walked into the side of the car and fell down, pretty hard. Hamilton stopped, the woman got up and TNN cut away and went back to the race. No mention was made on-air about the incident and I have seen nothing about it or know the condition of the woman or if she got hurt. If I do, I will post it
    UPDATE: Bobby Hamilton was involved with a little scuffle during Sunday’s Cup event which forced him to pilot his #4 Kodak Chevy into the garage area. On the way, he bumped a lady, an innocent bystander. The slow speed of the vehicle meant nothing but a small bump for the woman (and maybe a look of embarrassment for not hearing the bellowing vehicle beside her), but that’s one of the infield dangers presented at a NASCAR race(Foster’s Daily Democrat) AND A team near-by member thought she was just fine, more surprised than anything. The car did not pass over her foot or leg but rather bumped her to the side(Speedway Illustrated)
    UPDATE 2: All reports I hear and RPM 2Night reports the woman is ok(9-18-2000)

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