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PAST NEWS DEC 4-10, 2000

  • Purvis and Finch return to Cup: Jeff Purvis will drive for Phoenix Racing and owner James Finch at the Cup races in Daytona and Talladega for the 2001 season. Phoenix held its fifth-annual open house to benefit St. Andrew Bay Center, which has served adults with disabilities for more than 40 years. The fund-raising goal was $30,000. The Phoenix Racing team decided to venture back into Winston Cup with an old friend - Purvis - who competes in the Busch series with Joe Gibbs Racing. Purvis and Finch teamed on dirt tracks all the way to the big tracks for more than a decade before parting ways in 1998. They have, however, discussed joining forces again the past few years, Purvis said. The opportunity came with Bill Elliott's decision to chunk his Fords and join the new Dodge team. His brother, Ernie, called Finch to gauge his interest in the engines Ernie Elliott had built. Finch purchased the engines, is having some car bodies assembled and will run the four Winston Cup superspeedway races with Fords next year at Talladega and Daytona. Sponsorship for the four Winston Cup races has not been secured(News Herald), no idea if they will use the #51 as they did in the past(12-10-2000)

  • Another NHRA owner to NASCAR? a little old but I missed this a month ago - NHRA Team owner Don Schumacher confirmed yesterday that while sponsorship is still pending for his second Top Fuel team, driver Melanie Troxel and tuner Jimmy Prock are definitely on the payroll, and will be with the organization in 2001. Schumacher also indicated that he hopes to add a second Funny Car to the Matco Tools-sponsored machine that will be driven by Whit Bazemore and tuned by Tim and Kim Richards. "We'll try to add a second Funny Car team at some point during the year, but that'll be it. Four teams are more than enough in drag racing, but after we get that settled I'm going to expand into NASCAR. I'm going to take a serious look at what's going on over there."(SpeedVision). NHRA Owner/Driver, Warren Johnson is owner of a new Cup team that is supposed to run in 2001, the #37 Pontiac with driver Derrike Cope. Sponsorship was to be announced on December 1st, but nothing was reported(12-8-2000)

  • Gaughan to run many series: Winston West driver Brendan Gaughan said his plans for 2001 include a full season in the Winston West series another five truck series races, a pair of ARCA races, two Winston Cup events (at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Sears Point Raceway) and the NASCAR Busch Series race at LVMS(Las Vegas Sun). Gaughan planned to attempt the 2000 Vegas race in the #62 NAPA Auto Parts/The Orleans Casino Chevy but couldn't get the car ready in time(12-8-2000)

  • Chris Economaki honored: Chris Economaki, editor and publisher emeritus of National Speed Sport News, received the Buddy Shuman Award on Thursday for going beyond the call of duty on behalf of NASCAR racing. Champion sponsors the award, which has been given annually since 1957. Then, Thursday evening, Economaki was honored with a lifetime achievement award from Speedvision. Economaki was a fixture on early television coverage of all forms of motorsports and the only person to win both the Buddy Schuman Award (presented prior to the Winston Cup banquet) and the Award for Excellence.(That's Racin') and full story from SpeedVision(12-8-2000)

  • Kyle Award: Kyle Petty on Friday became the third-generation member of his family to win the Myers Brothers Award presented by the National Motorsports Press Association. Lee Petty, Kyle's grandfather, won the award in its second year in 1959. Richard Petty, Kyle's father, won it three times by himself and shared it in 1992 with his wife, Lynda. The award is given each year by the NMPA for contributions to stock car racing. Petty was honored for his continuing efforts on behalf of a number of charities in spite of the death of his son, Adam, in a crash at New Hampshire International Speedway, on May 12(That's Racin')(12-8-2000)

  • Shav Glick honored: Shav Glick, veteran Los Angeles Times auto racing writer, became the fourth person in the 18-year history of the Motor Press Guild to receive a lifetime achievement award Tuesday night, when he was honored during the 2000 Dean Batchelor Awards at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Glick, who just completed his 46th year as a Times sportswriter, has covered auto racing for 32 of those years. Others who have received the MPG award are journalist-broadcaster Chris Economaki, photographer Jesse Alexander and driver-writer Denise McCluggage(LA Times)(12-8-2000)

  • One Round of Qualifying in 2001 UPDATEs: NASCAR will only hold one round of qualifying in the Winston Cup series -- except for the Daytona 500 -- in 2001, it was announced Thursday. (That's Racin') more details as I get them
    UPDATE: NASCAR announced in New York City Thursday the cancellation of second round qualifying at its Winston Cup races in 2001. Only a single session of qualifying will be held. Further details are expected in the coming weeks according to NASCAR(MB2 Motorsports PR) and story at NASCAR Online: No more Cup second-round qualifying. AND On a typical NASCAR weekend, a Friday afternoon qualifying session that sets the entire field would give the 43 teams that make the race more time to work on their cars in race set ups on Saturday(That's Racin'). The entire 43-car field will be set following one round, with the first 36 positions determined on the basis of speeds and seven provisionals added based on car-owner points(12-7-2000)

  • #41 to return? #41 Car owner Larry Hedrick hopes to know within several weeks whether a potential sponsor will sign, allowing his Winston Cup team to return for 2001. Hedrick's 2000 season turned sour when a deal with Big Daddy's BBQ didn't pan out as expected. Driver Rick Mast left the team to join A.J. Foyt's operation at Texas for the seventh race of the season.(Winston Cup Scene)(12-7-2000)

  • Congrats: #10 Valvoline Pontiac Crew Chief James Ince is used to making big decisions at a racetrack. Usually it's when to pit Johnny Benson or whether to take on two or four tires. But, on Wednesday at Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. the 30-year-old Missouri native made one of the biggest decisions of his life. Ince and his fiance Denise Wood were married in a private ceremony conducted by Ron and Jackie Pegram of Motor Racing Outreach and witnessed by Ted and Debbi Musgrave. The Ince's will attend the NASCAR Winston Cup banquet in New York City then honeymoon in Paris.(MB2 PR)(12-7-2000)

  • #40 Crew Chief? UPDATE 2: hearing that Lee McCall, formerly with Penske-Kranefuss, has been chosen by Ganassi Racing to replace Scott Eggleston as the crew chief on the #40 Coors Light Chevy and driver Sterling Marlin. Scott Eggleston is moving to be the crew chief of DEI's #15 Napa Chevy with driver Michael Waltrip
    UPDATE: hearing Kevin Cram, who worked on Bill Elliott's team in 2000, will be Ganassi Racing's #01 Crew Chief(12-6-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Lee McCall, a stock car racing mechanic since 1986, has been named crew chief for driver Sterling Marlin and the new Chip Ganassi Racing Dodge team. McCall, 32, started work at the team's Mooresville, NC, shop last week and participated in a two-day test with Marlin at Kentucky Speedway(Greenville News). Tony Glover, who was acting crew chief for the #01 Chevy will be the Team Manager in 2001(12-7-2000)

  • What ever happened to? UPDATE: been asked many times but never knew: What happened to the track worker injured at Martinsville in Oct 1999? See the story and a way to help at TachZone: Meet Randy Hall.(12-2-2000)
    UPDATE: Ryan got a letter from Randy's Mom: A Letter From Mom at TachZone(12-7-2000)

  • Benson to drive some Late Model: Johnny Benson Jr., driver of the #10 Valvoline Pontiac, has committed to race in four Late Model stock car races at Berlin Raceway's half-mile in 2001. It will be the most races Benson has entered in a season at Berlin since winning the track title in 1989. Benson is part owner in the track. Benson will participate in the May 9 and May 12(Scott Baker Open Invitational 100 Memorial, Baker will killed in an ARCA race at Toledo in 2000) races, as well as races on June 30 and Aug. 15.(Michigan Live)(12-7-2000)

  • Sadler tests at Kentucky and... The #21 Wood Brothers Motorcraft Race Team ended the two-day test Wednesday at the Kentucky Speedway. Driver Elliott Sadler's best speed was 182.400mph on the new 1.5-mile tri-oval track. Sadler was joined by the third generation of the Wood family, Jon Wood, on the track who ran a lap of 180.000mph. It was the first opportunity that new crew chief Pat Tryson and Sadler had to work together. The Wood Brothers are looking for a sponsor for Jon Wood next year in either a limited NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series or Winston West schedule. The team carried an extra car along to give Wood a little seat time in a Cup car. The car he tested was the vehicle that Elliott Sadler drove to a 16th place finish at the Pocono 500 this past June. This was Jon's first time in a Cup car on track larger than 3/4 of a mile(Wood Brothers PR)(12-7-2000)

  • Fox hires Pit Reporters: Dick Berggren, Steve Byrnes and Matt Yocum will report from pit road during NASCAR races for Fox next season. Berggren and Byrnes most recently have worked for TBS, TNN and CBS. Yocum, who also will work for NBC and TBS, is leaving ESPN(FoxSports/AP and SpeedVision)(12-6-2000)

  • Fenley Motorsports: Hearing the team that was the #15 Bud Moore team, bought by Fenley Motorsports in 2000 and only attempted a few Cup races in the #15 Ford, will be the #16 in 2001 and run a limited Cup schedule and ARCA in the 2001 season. No idea of drivers being considered(12-5-2000)

  • #31 Sponsor? hearing that Top Choice Lumber, which is sold at Lowes, will be the sponsor on the #31 RCR Chevy driven by Mike Skinner for the first half of the 2001 Cup season. Lowes announced a few months ago that it wanted out of its contract to sponsor the #31 but team owner Richard Childress says he will hold Lowes to it deal which runs thru 2002. So it looks like companies associated with Lowes will be on the car(12-5-2000)

  • Rudd to IROC: Ricky Rudd has accepted an invitation to race in the 25th anniversary edition of the True Value International Race of Champions (IROC) Series in 2001. Rudd, driver of the #28 Texaco/Havoline Ford, is the 1992 IROC series champion. Rudd was an IROC contender in 1992, 1993 and 1995. The four-race IROC schedule includes races at Daytona (Feb. 16), Talladega (April 21), Michigan (June 9) and Indianapolis (Aug. 4). ABC and ESPN will broadcast the events in 2001(Ricky Rudd Site). Rudd joins IRL drivers Buddy Lazier and Scott Goodyear as the drivers announced so far for IROC 2001. More info on the series at my IROC page(12-5-2000)

  • #01 Driver? UPDATE..2: hearing Bobby Hamilton Jr will be the new driver of the #01 BellSouth Dodge for Ganassi Raving in 2001(12-1-2000)
    UPDATE: another source says Hamilton Jr will stay with the #26 Carroll Racing BGN team in 2001 and a sponsor announcement is to happen soon.....Dr Pepper(12-2-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Hamilton and Dr Pepper with the #26 Carroll Racing BGN Chevy, see my BGN Page(12-4-2000)

    see the Nov 27-Dec 3, 2000 Archived News

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