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PAST NEWS OCT 30-NOV 5, 2000

  • Blaney career best: #93-Dave Blaney finished 8th at Phoenix, his first ever career top 10 and his best career finish, Blaney also was the best finishing ROTY candidate(11-5-2000)

  • Sad News: Frank Stoddard, crew chief of the #99 CITGO Ford, which won at Phoenix, mentioned at the end of the broadcast at Phoenix that his grandmother passed away on Saturday, thoughts go out to Stoddard and his family(11-5-2000)

  • #4 Crew Chief: Morgan-McClure Motorsports names David Ifft interim crew chief for the remaining three races of the 2000 Winston Cup season. Ifft comes to Morgan-McClure with 29 years of racing experience. The veteran crew chief returns to the Winston Cup Series following a few years in the BGN. Ifft has interest in returning to the Winston Cup Series full time next season(Morgan McClure PR)(11-5-2000)

  • Jarrett's Provisional Streak: Dale Jarrett has never used a provisional starting spot to make a Winston Cup race since his current #88 team was formed at Robert Yates Racing at the beginning of the 1996 season. That streak would have ended Saturday had any of the nine drivers making second-round qualifying attempts for Sunday's Checker 500 gone faster than Jarrett's lap of 131.325 mph from Friday's first round(That's Racin') and of note: #24-Jeff Gordon has NEVER used a provisional in his Winston Cup career, see my Provisional status page for rules and past provisional info(11-5-2000)

  • Dodge Cancels Vegas Test? UPDATE yes: Dodge has canceled a major planned test at Las Vegas because of continued engine problems. Production difficulties with the casting of blocks has forced Dodge to recall a number of pieces, and Dodge drivers and teams aren't happy, considering their Daytona 500 debut is only 106 days off(PitNow) BUT later in the same Notebook column it says: Dodge is scheduled to hold a three-day test session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Monday through Wednesday. The test will be closed to the public. So which one is it??
    UPDATE: Dodge has cancelled its three-day test at LVMS(LVMS PR)(11-4-2000)

  • Skinner News - UPDATE: The son of Winston Cup driver Mike Skinner was arrested in North Carolina on Thursday on multiple drug charges. A spokesman for the Randolph County Sheriff's department said they arrested Michael James Skinner, 22, of Randleman, N.C., after a search warrant turned up valium, anabolic steroids, marijuana and two digital scales with cocaine residue on them in his home and garage. Officials said they also found 88.9 grams of cocaine inside a race car belonging to the younger Skinner. He was jailed and bond was set at $100,000.(ESPN/AP) ESPN2's RPM 2Night also reported this, and Skinner's son, Jamie (nickname) raced in two CTS races and four BGN races, Also see story at SpeedVision(11-3-2000)
    UPDATE Mike Skinner Comments: The following are comments by Mike Skinner on the Nov. 2 arrest of his 22-year-old son, Michael James (Jamie) Skinner, on violations of drug laws. "I'm devastated by the news as any parent would be," said Skinner. "But right now, since we don't have all the information, there's not a lot I can say," said Skinner. "Jamie and I talked on the telephone but it was a conversation between me and my son that will be kept private. I own the house and the shop where Jamie lived and rented them to him. It is not the home I have in Sophia (N.C.). I spend a small amount of time there during the year but I've lived full time in Spruce Creek (a suburb of Daytona Beach, Fla.) for about a year now. I will make a further statement after I know all of the details. Until then, there's not a lot more I can say."(Richard Childress Racing Ent PR)(11-4-2000)

  • Kodak/Lowes Swap?? here is an interesting RUMOR - There has been some speculation in the garage that Kodak might be looking at moving over to Richard Childress' #31. Supposedly, it would be a one-year deal. Kodak would pay Childress what they have been paying McClure, and Lowe's would make up the difference. Then Lowe's would move to the #4 for one year only, and McClure would get the same money Kodak has been paying(11-4-2000)

  • Hornaday and Foyt? UPDATE 5 It's Official: hearing Ron Hornaday may join AJ Foyt's team, either in an 2nd BGN car, a 2nd Cup car or taking the seat of the #14 Conseco Pontiac. The last option seems odd as it has been reported current #14 driver, Rick Mast, is supposedly close to signed up with Foyt for 2001 to drive the #14 Pontiac(10-12-2000)
    UPDATE: A.J. Foyt appears to have hired driver Ron Hornaday and crew chief Fred Graves to drive his #14 Conseco Pontiac next season. Word is the deal is done, with only contract formalities remaining(SpeedVision) and Rick Mast said he could not comment on the rumor that Ron Hornaday is joining the A.J. Foyt team next season. Mast joined the team in May and has worked to build the slow-starting operation. Crew chief Phillipe Lopez and several crew members followed Mast from the Larry Hedrick #41 team(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-14-2000)
    UPDATE 2: hearing that Rick Mast has been told that he will not be asked back to the #14 Foyt team next year. Also hearing Ron Hornaday is in the process of signing a multi-year deal with Foyt. Mast is supposedly speaking with the #7 Ultra Motorsports team, but has not yet been approached by the #4 Morgan McClure team(10-15-2000)
    UPDATE 3: #14 Team owner A.J. Foyt will name Ron Hornaday as his new driver in NASCAR Winston Cup Series at the end of this season, according to sources. Foyt would not confirm the hiring of Hornaday(National Speed Sport News)(10-17-2000)(no where does it say Hornaday has signed with Foyt)

    UPDATE 4 Foyt's Announcement: hearing AJ Foyt will announce his 2001 Cup plans at Phoenix on Friday, Nov 3rd, Supposedly Ron Hornaday will be named the new driver of the #14 Conseco Pontiac for 2001(11-1-2000)
    UPDATE 5 ANNOUNCED: A.J. Foyt announced today(11-3) that he has signed two-time CTS Champion Ron Hornaday to drive the #14 Conseco Pontiac in the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Hornaday will make his bid for the 2001 NASCAR Raybestos Rookie-of-The-Year title behind the wheel of the #14 Conseco Pontiac as the team enters its second year of operation in the Cup Series. Crew chief Phillipe Lopez will remain with the team and work with Hornaday(Conseco Site)(11-3-2000)

  • Earnhardt Jr on the tube UPDATE and in People Magazine: Following Sunday’s Phoenix race, Dale Earnhardt JR will fly to Los Angeles for two days of national television appearances. Earnhardt JR will appear on "The X Show" on the FX cable network on Monday night, Nov. 6 (11:00pm/et), and on "Turn Ben Stein On" on Comedy Central (to air in January). He will also tape a segment for Fox Sports Network for the "National Sports Report" show.( PR)(11-1-2000)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will appear in this week's special "Sexy Men" double-issue of People Magazine that hits newsstands Friday. While Brad Pitt is the chosen cover boy as the "Sexiest Man Alive" (the first to receive this "honor" twice), Earnhardt Jr. makes his first appearance in the magazine as one of NASCAR's sexiest drivers. He was photographed for the magazine during a recent race weekend in Dover, Delaware. In addition to the People Magazine coverage, Dale Jr. will be seen in a variety of national television interviews and features in the coming months. Following the race Sunday in Phoenix, Earnhardt Jr. will fly to Los Angeles to tape a series of interviews. Dale Jr. is the featured guest on Monday's edition of "the X Show" on the FX Network. The show will air at 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday evening. FX is a part of the Fox family of networks that will televise NASCAR races beginning in 2001. He will also tape a segment with the Fox Sports Network that will air sometime this week on the "National Sports Report." Dale Jr. will also appear on "Turn Ben Stein On" on Comedy Central. Hosted by the laconic Ben Stein, the 30-minute talk show will air early in 2001. Work also continues on the MTV documentary "True Life" that will chronicle Dale Jr.'s life behind the scenes as a race driver. The one-hour program is scheduled to begin airing on MTV in the week prior to the 2001 Daytona 500( PR)(11-3-2000)

  • #88 Sponsorship? and scheme..UPDATE 3: the fate of Ford's lucrative Quality Care sponsorship seems up in the air. Robert Yates is apparently planning to change Dale Jarrett's colors to UPS brown for 2001. That leaves Ford officials scrambling to find a car for Quality Care.(PitNow) for more on this rumor, see the #88 Team News and Links page(5-27-2000)
    UPDATE: Word is that Robert Yates has decided to accept a top-dollar sponsorship offer from United Parcel Service for his #88(Dale Jarrett) team, replacing Ford Credit/Quality Care(FC/QC). Some say FC/QC does not want a full car at present prices and might end up distributed among both Yates teams(as an assoc sponsor)(SpeedVision). Jayski Note: I hear the colors will be Next Day Air red, not the UPS brown and yellow(5-28-2000)
    UPDATE 2: It appears now that deal is all but signed. The team and sponsor already are talking about possible paint schemes, sources say(That's Racin')(5-29-2000)
    UPDATE 3: hearing Dale Jarrett's UPS car in 2001 will be a UPS/paper bag brown color not the next day air red as speculated(11-3-2000)

  • Wallace to the #7? reports I hear have Mike Wallace driving the #7 Nations Rent sponsored Ultra Motorsports owned Ford in 2001, replacing Michael Waltrip(who is going to the new DEI #15 NAPA Chevy). Winston Cup Scene says the team is waiting to see if the sponsor OK's Wallace(11-3-2000)

  • GMAC News: GMAC, a longtime member of the Hendrick family of racing sponsors, announced today a comprehensive sponsorship agreement with Hendrick Motorsports for 2001 that includes involvement in NASCAR’s Winston Cup, Busch Grand National and Craftsman Truck Series. GMAC, which will expand its presence on Hendrick entries in NASCAR’s three major touring series, will be the primary sponsor on the #17 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Ricky Hendrick in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as well as a major associate sponsor on the #24 Chevrolet of Jack Sprague. In 2001, will assume primary sponsorship of the #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet truck now driven by Sprague. Additionally, GMAC will also serve as the primary sponsor for Ricky Hendrick in a select number of NASCAR Busch Grand National and ARCA events during the 2001 season. Dennis Connor, the all-time winningest crew chief in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series history, will oversee the new GMAC racing operation, which will operate out of its own separate facility. And as it has since 1993, GMAC will continue to be an associate sponsor on all three HMS Winston Cup cars: the #24 DuPont Chevrolet driven by three-time champion Jeff Gordon, #5 Chevrolet of two-time champion Terry Labonte and the #25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet of Jerry Nadeau(RaceWorks, LLC)(11-3-2000)

  • Dodge Testing at Daytona UPDATE 4: The Chip Ganassi Racing team with driver Sterling Marlin and the Melling Racing team with driver Stacy Compton will be at Daytona International Speedway Tuesday, October 31, and Wednesday, November 1, for a two day Dodge manufacturers test. The test will be CLOSED to the public and the press(DIS PR)(10-28-2000)
    UPDATE: added TWO images of the #92 running at DIS in the Paint Scheme Gallery
    UPDATE 2: see a story about the testing at Speed Magazine: Dodge gets busy at Daytona (11-1-2000)
    UPDATE 3: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates driver Sterling Marlin and Melling Racing driver Stacy Compton completed a two-day test of the Dodge Intrepid R/T today on the high banks of the Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Feb. 18 Daytona 500. The drivers shook down their Intrepids with the new Dodge engine that’s still awaiting NASCAR approval. Both Marlin’s and Compton’s Dodges were fitted with restrictor plates and NASCAR’s aerodynamic package that was recently used in the Winston 500 at Talladega. Marlin and Compton were both pleased with the results of the test and said the Intrepid picked up speed from its recent test session at Daytona’s sister track. At least 10 teams will field Dodge Intrepids for the season-opening Daytona 500 and preparing for the season’s biggest and most prestigious race is no easy chore. Marlin is confident that the car and engine can compete for a victory in the restrictor-plate race. “They had a little trouble in Talladega, but it was a core that slipped in a block,” said Marlin, a two-time Daytona 500 champion. “That got fixed. Casey has been to Kentucky and they’ve run like 1,400 miles on a motor turning 9,200 rpms(DIS PR)(11-2-2000)
    UPDATE 4: hearing that the teams used Ford engines at the testing at Daytona(11-3-2000)

  • Mikey at Homestead? UPDATE probably not: hearing that Michael Waltrip was testing a Dale Earnhardt Inc Chevy at Homestead this week. Waltrip is of course going to drive the #15? NAPA Auto Parts Chevy for DEI in 2001 and rumor has it that he MAY drive the last two Cup races(Homestead and Atlanta) of the season in the car. Waltrip presently drives the #7 Ultra Motorsports Chevy(10-26-2000)
    UPDATE: RPM2 Night reported that Waltrip said it was unlikely that he would drive for his new DEI team at Homestead and/or Atlanta. BUT, just in case #7 owner Jim Smith and sponsor Nations Rent changes their minds and lets Waltrip out of his contract, DEI has two Chevy;s ready for Waltrip to drive, for Homestead the car would be sponsored by Aaron's Rent and the Atlanta car is a NAPA Auto Parts scheme(11-3-2000)

  • Sad News: not NASCAR but....Steve Evans, a familiar face to drag race fans for more than two decades through his outstanding television work covering NHRA Winston Drag Racing, passed away Nov. 1. Evans was discovered dead in his motel room in Las Vegas, where he was preparing for a World of Outlaws event(NHRA Site) Memorial contributions may be made to: Steve Evans Memorial Fund, 27422 Via Garcia, Mission Viejo, CA 92692.(11-2-2000)

  • Stewart and WoO: Tony Stewart announced he will field a full-time team in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Sprint car series beginning in 2001 with proven winner Danny Lasoski of Dover, Mo. as the driver and general manager of the team. Stewart further announced Indiana-based JD Byrider has teamed with TSM as sponsor of the #20 Sprint car, with Hamm America joining the effort as a major associate supporter(TNN)(11-2-2000)

  • Phoenix Stats: None of the 12 Phoenix races have been won by the pole winner. Average starting position of Phoenix race winners: 13.0. Lowest start of a Phoenix winner: 29th by Ricky Rudd, 1995. Most Phoenix poles: 2 - Geoffrey Bodine, Rusty Wallace, Bill Elliott, Ken Schrader. Most Phoenix wins: 2 - Davey Allison. Most common starting position of all Phoenix race winners: 3rd, twice, and 13th, twice. Eight drivers have won a pole at Phoenix. Most DNFs in a race: 16, 1989. Fewest DNFs in a race: 2, 1998, 1999. Average finish of pole winner: 13.1. Mark Martin has finished either first (1993) or second (five times) in six of the last eight Phoenix races. Terry Labonte is the only driver to be running at the end of all 12 Phoenix races(TNN)(11-2-2000)

  • #36 to the Dogs UPDATE image: The familiar "M&M's"® Pontiac will sport a different paint scheme at Phoenix this weekend. PEDIGREE® Brand Food for Dogs will be the primary sponsor of the #36 Pontiac in support of their national crusade to aid homeless pets. M&M/MARS, the manufacturer of "M&M's"® Chocolate Candies, is a sister company to Kal Kan Foods, Inc., manufacturer of PEDIGREE® Brand Food for Dogs(IMG Motorsports PR)(11-1-2000)
    UPDATE: see an image of the car in my Paint Scheme Gallery(11-2-2000)

  • Shepherd at HMS and AMS CORRECTION: starting all over here - Morgan Shepherd will be attempting to qualify for both the Homestead and Atlanta Cup races this year. Shepherd will be driving the #80 Hoover Motorsports Ford(NOT the #05 Pontiac). Shepherd/Hoover Motorsports are searching for sponsors to run a full season of Winston Cup in 2001(Shepherd PR), this is right from Shepher dand his real PR people(11-1-2000)

  • Vasser in Cup? UPDATE 4 - NO, stays in CART: Ganassi CART driver, Jimmy Vasser is slated to test for Ganassi's NASCAR team next Friday(Oct 6th). Vasser also won Sunday's CART race in Houston(SpeedVision)
    UPDATE: Vasser said he will test Friday in Lakeland, Fla., with Ganassi's Winston Cup team, the former Sabco Racing. The team has an opening because of the death of Kenny Irwin at New Hampshire International Speedway this summer(Dallas Morning News)(10-2-2000)
    UPDATE 2: hearing Vasser tested #01 Ganassi Racing Chevy at Lakeland and did fine, no accidents and may test at Las Vegas in the next few weeks(10-7-2000)
    UPDATE: Jimmy Vasser might yet wind up driving for Chip Ganassi next season. "I'm hoping he'll drive our Winston Cup car next year," says Ganassi, who has bought controlling interest in a NASCAR team. "The job's his if he wants it." Vasser's comments: "It's a little strange that he doesn't think I can do the job in CART, where I won a championship and am going to finish in the top three (in the points standings) four years out of five, and now he wants me to drive in NASCAR where I'd be a rookie," Vasser says. One thing Vasser says he won't do is contact Scott Pruett or Robby Gordon, who have struggled this year after making the jump from CART to NASCAR(more at the USA Today)(10-26-2000)
    AND a larger story today at the USA Today: Now Ganassi wants Vasser(10-27-2000)
    UPDATE 4: Mo Nunn Racing will announce this week the addition of a second car driven by CART veteran Jimmy Vasser, with sponsorship from MCI WorldCom and Pioneer, to its stable for the 2001 CART FedEx Series. Nunn was Ganassi's chief engineer before retiring and starting his own team this season. Vasser won the Houston Grand Prix in early October. Vasser was rumored as a candidate to drive one of Ganassi's Winston Cup Chevy(#01) next season. Ganassi has yet to fill that position with his #01 NASCAR entry(Speed Magazine)(11-1-2000)

  • More Homestead Testing: Hermie Sadler and Ricky Hendrick ran the fastest unofficial practice laps for their respective Cup and BGN teams on Tuesday, the final day of testing at Homestead. Sadler ran a lap of 154.950mph in the #60 Power Team Winston Cup Chevy owned by Joe Bessey, beating the time of 154.639mph recorded on Monday by Kevin Harvick, driving Dale Earnhardt’s #3 GM Goodwrench Chevy. Hendrick unofficially shattered the Speedway’s BGN track record, running a lap of 150.796mph in the #24 GMAC Chevry owned by his father, Rick Hendrick. Hut Stricklin holds the track BGN record at 149.456mph. The team will field a pair of Chevy in the Nov. 11 Miami 300, to be driven by Hendrick(#14 GMAC Chevy) and Winston Cup driver Jeff Gordon(#24 Pepsi Chevy). David Green, the Homestead-Miami Speedway Winston Cup track record holder, assisted the Hendrick team during the test, and also bettered the track BGN record with a lap of 150.292mph. Also impressive in Tuesday’s final testing was Geoffrey Bodine, who ran the third-fastest lap of pre-race testing, 152.715mph, driving the #98 Miccosukee Ford owned by Chip MacPherson. Also testing was driver Doug Reid, driving a Busch Series Chevy owned by Marcrum Motorsports(HMS PR)(11-1-2000)

  • Labonte's Points: If Bobby Labonte leaves Phoenix with a 302-point lead, he would only have to take the green flag in Homestead and Atlanta to win the championship. Labonte leads Dale Earnhardt by 201 points(Roanoke Times)(11-1-2000)

  • #25 Sponsor? UPDATE 3: while Lowes is making the rumor rounds as the next sponsor of the #25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy with driver Jerry Nadeau, hearing that Delphi Automotive may be the next sponsor for the #25 team(9-28-2000)
    UPDATE: hearing the #25 will have a co-primary sponsor with Delphi Automotive and UAW-GM as the sponsors(10-13-2000)
    UPDATE 2: The International Union, UAW and Delphi Automotive Systems announced a partnership to sponsor Hendrick Motorsports' car #25 driven by Jerry Nadeau in the Cup series. The announcement was made at a press conference at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas. The announcement was part of Delphi's U.S. launch of its aftermarket brand(HMS Site see a drawing of the car there and PR at Delphi Auto Site)(10-31-2000)
    UPDATE 4: see more drawings of the car at the Jerry Nadeau Site(11-1-2000)

  • #98 Driver? UPDATE 3: hearing that MacPherson Motorsports released Jeff Fuller and that Geoffery Bodine has arranged a one race deal with an unnamed sponsor (possibly a casino) for the race at Homestead. Also hearing that MacPherson Motorsports may run BGN next year with a limited CUP schedule instead of fielding a full Cup team. Bodine may or may not be candidate for 2000. Supposedly a test with Bodine behind the wheel will occur at Atlanta within the next few weeks(10-28-2000)
    UPDATE: Geoffrey Bodine tested in the #98-Miccosukee Ford fielded by Chip MacPherson at Homestead on Monday(HMS PR)(10-30-2000)
    UPDATE 2: being told that the deal with Bodine is a one race deal only at Homestead and that Fuller is still the teams driver for 2001. Fuller cannot run in anymore Cup races in 2000 or he would not be eligible to run for the 2001 ROTY award. Also, hear that Vic Kangas, who was the team's crew chief, has left the team
    UPDATE 3: Geoffrey Bodine has been named to drive the #98 MacPherson Motorsports Ford Taurus in the Nov. 12 Pennzoil 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. MacPherson Motorsports competed at Lowes with rookie driver Jeff Fuller. That race marked Fuller's seventh CUP start in 2000, and in order to preserve Fuller's rookie status for 2001, Bodine was tabbed to pilot the #98 Ford at Homestead. Steve May, who previously worked for Bodine's CTS team will be filling the role as crew chief since Vic Kangas was released from the team in mid-October. MacPherson Motorsports, which is continuing its sponsor search for the 2001 season, is in the process of building a new 52,000 square-foot state-of-the-art race shop. The new racing complex, located across from Concord Regional Airport, will include complete chassis and body fabrication capabilities for the team's fleet of Ford Tauruses(Motorsports Decisions Group PR)(10-31-2000)

  • More Homestead Testing: Kevin Harvick tested the #3 GM Goodwrench Chevy at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Monday, his first “official” NASCAR Winston Cup test session. Harvick turned the fastest lap of the NASCAR Winston Cup testing for the Nov. 12th Pennzoil 400 presented by Discount Auto Parts Cup race. Havrick ran a fast lap of 154.639mph. Harvick’s fast lap bettered Ricky Rudd’s speed from last week 154.286mph and was just short David Green’s Winston Cup track record of 155.759 mph. Also testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Monday were Hermie Sadler in Joe Bessey’s #60-PowerTeam Chevrolet, Geoffrey Bodine in the #98-Miccosukee Ford fielded by Chip MacPherson, and David Green in Ricky Hendrick’s GMAC Busch Series Chevrolet. Hendrick is expected to test that car in final pre-race testing at the Speedway on Tuesday(HMS PR)(10-30-2000)

  • Chef Boyardee re-ups with Gibbs: Chef Boyardee, nationally renowned pasta products recently acquired by ConAgra Foods, Inc. has renewed its associate sponsorship of Joe Gibbs Racing’s NASCAR Winston Cup program through the end of the 2001 season. The success of the program with consumers and retailers, which includes using team drivers Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte in television commercials, led to the renewal of sponsorship. Team owner Joe Gibbs said finding the right company for your team is the key to a good sponsorship program(DF Partners PR)(10-30-2000)

  • New HMS Building: Hendrick Motorsports Inc. will build an addition to its current racing facility, giving Winston Cup driver Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson their own building. It is estimated that the 85,000-square-foot building, to be constructed across the Hendrick complex in Harrisburg, NC will cost as much as $6 million. Gordon will share the new building with Johnson, who will join the Hendrick organization for the 2002 Winston Cup season(Business Journal)(10-30-2000)

    see the Oct 23-29, 2000 Archived News

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