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PAST NEWS JAN 29-FEB 4, 2001

  • Restrictor Plate Change? Ray Evernham said Saturday he believes NASCAR is exploring the possibility of using a larger restrictor plate for Winston Cup cars at the season-opening Daytona 500. Evernham called the speculation "rumors" he has been hearing for several weeks and said the move may be prompted by the lower-than-expected speeds the new aerodynamic package has produced during preseason testing at Daytona. A restrictor plate with a larger air hole would theoritically increase speeds(see my Restrictor Plate page for the history of it). NASCAR officials could not be reached for comment Saturday night. The aero package, which includes higher rear spoilers and a roof spoiler, was first used in last October's Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway and designed to be used with a 1-inch plate(That's Racin')(2-4-2001)

  • Evernham News? UPDATE: hearing that Evernham Motorsports engine builder, Ron Vacarro, has left the team(2-3-2001)
    UPDATE: from a Dodge/Evernham Teleconference Transcript: "We started a new engine shop this year, and Ron Vacarro did a great job helping me put that together. As we got closer to getting ready to race, Ron and I decided together that it would be best to make a change. Ron is going to be opening up his own business down in Georgia. We're going to go off in our own direction. Starting an engine shop and people say why do you want to start a team and you're going to do two teams and do development for Dodge and start an engine shop, too. I felt the only way to build a program that would be on a solid foundation two to three years from now or five years from now, if you don't do your own engines, sooner or later you're going to have to stop and do them. We decided to bite the bullet now and start our own engine program, knowing we'd have to fight hard and we are. I've got to tell you honestly, I'm very, very proud of the people that are over there doing that program. They have done a great, great job. They've not only done a great job getting plenty of engines done for us, they've done a great job making parts and pieces. You'll see a lot of Evernham Performance parts and pieces on other peoples engines, so I'm very proud of them. I feel like the job Dodge paid us to do last year was help develop a car and an engine where for all of their teams, and I feel like we've done that. If we go to Daytona and there are other Dodge teams that are faster than mine, I think that proves that. Actually it was a mutual parting of the ways, and that happened about two or three weeks ago. We haven't actually replaced him (Vaccaro) yet. I think Bill Davis' group is looking really good. I'm very proud of them. They've been very strong, and they've done a great job."(2-4-2001)

  • TV Stuff for Sunday: Steel Thunder, a one-hour edition of Goin' Deep on Fox Sports Net Sunday, Feb. 4 at 9:00pm(not at 1:00pm/et as previously reported) local time (check local listings) is dedicated to NASCAR. Tom Murray hosts the special from the Daytona International Speedway, site of the Daytona 500(Check local listings). Looks like the announced time of 1:00pm has been changed to 9:00pm. Also, been getting a ton of questions on this: The Daytona 500 is scheduled to START at 1:00pm/et on Feb 18th. At 12noon/et there will be a one-hour pre-race show on Fox.(2-4-2001)

  • Cope and #37 news - sponsor: Regarding sponsorship, Quest Motorsports continues to actively seek major and associate sponsors for the season as well as a one-race deal for Daytona. They hope to announce all of their sponsors for the Daytona 500 shortly. In addition, they are working to develop funding options that would permit the team to run a limited schedule.(Derrike Cope Site)
    AND the good news - Driver Derrike Cope has obtained a sponsor that will allow his new #37 Quest Motorsports team to compete at the season-opening Daytona 500. Cope announced Friday that K&N Performance Filters would sponsor his #37 Pontiac at Daytona in a race Cope won in 1990. Cope had performed well during the General Motors preseason test session at Daytona in January and was hoping to return to run the race. Cope and drag racing icon Warren Johnson formed the team in 2000 and are trying to find additional support for the balance of the 2001 Winston Cup season.(That's Racin')(2-3-2001)

  • Mast almost went to Childress: seems that Rick Mast came close to being Dale Earnhardt's teammate. "A multiple championship owner came to me and said he was thinking about starting a third team, and he was real strong about it. He asked if I would be interested.", Mast said. Mast refused to identify that owner other than to say he was "a top-three owner." Winston Cup sources reported it was Richard Childress, who owns seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt's #3 ride, and has Mike Skinner driving for his second, #31 team. Mast agreed to the #50 ride three weeks ago. Ricky Craven was in the Hicks car last season, but left for the #32 Cal Wells-owned Tide car. There have been reports that the Midwest Transit team doesn't plan to run a full schedule, but Mast said Hicks' "full intent, right now, is to run all of them" and the team recently landed an associate sponsorship from There were off-season reports that Mast might go with longtime CART owner Chip Ganassi, making his debut with the #01 car in concert with Felix Sabates. But it never happened and Jason Leffler got the ride(Roanoke Times)(2-3-2001)

    (2-2-2001) Ground Hog Day
  • Special Wood Bros News: Next week Wednesday will mark a very special occasion for the founding member of the Wood Brothers Racing dynasty - his 50th wedding anniversary. Glen and Bernece Wood will celebrate their anniversary week together as they have pretty much every year since their wedding February 7, 1951, at the races. As Wood Brothers Racing enters it's 51st season in racing, Glen and Bernece are travelling separately to Florida for the sport's 43rd running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Fifty years ago the newly weds spent their honeymoon in Daytona Beach. Some years the couple couldn't be together at all on their anniversary. With three children Bernece was busy at home while Glen pursued first his own driving career and then went on to become the owner of one of the most famous and successful teams in the sport. So on February 7, 2001 the Woods plan a quiet celebration of their marital milestone - dinner out with close friends. The following day Glen will go down to Daytona with the boys, Eddie and Len, for the start of Speedweeks. Then a week later Bernece will go down with daughter Kim for the Twin 125's and the 500. As Jon Wood enters his first Winston West race in Phoenix, Arizona this weekend, his team will run a special logo on the rear quarters of the #50 Ford Taurus. Wood's #50 will have doubly special meaning this week, as it celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Jon's grandparents, Glen and Bernece Wood, who were married on February 7, 1951. Coincidentally, the number 50 is the first number that Glen used in his racing career. Glen began racing in 1950, when he paid $50 for his first car and then numbered it 50. Also, the Wood Brothers Racing Team just celebrated being in racing 50 years during the 2000 Winston Cup Racing season.(Wood Bros PR)(2-2-2001)

  • Kenny Wallace not to run BGN: Rensi Motorsports and Kenny Wallace have decided not to run the #52 unsponsored BGN car due to the fact that a sponsor has not been acquired at this time. Therefore, Tony Lambert has decided to part ways with Rensi and pursue other interests. Due to his Winston Cup obligations, Wallace was not going to run the full BGN schedule, so at this time, focusing on a limited season with the unsponsored #52 car just doesn't make sense. That's not to say that if in the future something sponsor-related comes up, Rensi Motorsports will field a second BGN(Team Rensi)(2-2-2001)

  • Shepherd to attempt Daytona 500: Morgan Shepherd will attempt to make the Daytona 500 in the #80 Hoover Motorsports Ford. The car was purchased from the Wood Brothers. The team is looking for sponsorship for the 500. Shepherd will also drive the #21 Truck in the CTS race at Daytona where he tested as high as 3rd fastest during testing there. Shepherd will NOT drive in the ARCA race at Daytona(2-2-2001)

  • Rock News: North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham has revised its schedule for the second weekend of the Winston Cup season, eliminating a Friday afternoon practice for Winston Cup teams. Winston Cup cars will now go onto the track for the first time on Saturday, before a single round of qualifying at 10:30am/et. Only Grand National cars will be on the track on Friday(That's Racin')(2-2-2001)

  • McGriff still rides: Hershel McGriff, the oldest winner of a major stock car race in NASCAR history, has landed a full-time NASCAR Winston West ride for the first time in several years. McGriff was 61 years, 4 months old when he won a Winston West race in 1989 at Bakersfield, CA. On Sunday, should he successfully qualify for the NAPA Auto Parts NASCAR Winter Heat race at Phoenix, McGriff will be 73. McGriff has been around from nearly the beginning of NASCAR. McGriff won five Winston Cup races and was selected one of NASCAR's 50 greatest racers(Arizona Republic)(2-2-2001)

  • Worker dies in accident at Chicagoland: A construction worker fell some 70 feet to his death Thursday afternoon at Chicagoland Speedway, plunging from a scaffold into the mezzanine seats. The unidentified man fell about 3 p.m., said Joliet police Lt. Dennis Goron. The man, an independent contractor with Bovis Lend Lease, reportedly was installing windows in skyboxes at the raceway, a 75,000-seat facility under construction off Laraway Road. Joliet firefighters responded to the emergency call and located the man about 120 feet up in the mezzanine level of the stadium. Paramedics called in the University of Chicago Aeronautical Network helicopter, and the injured man was airlifted to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, IL. He reportedly died sometime after rescue workers loaded him onto the helicopter. The racetrack's director of public relations, Brian Crichton, had no information about what transpired prior to the accident. He said the man was working as an independent contractor, but Crichton did not know what his duties entailed. The workman's death was the first fatal accident at Chicagoland Speedway.(Herald News)(2-2-2001)

  • Las Vegas Testing - Day 4: #10-Johnny Benson's new Valvoline colors were flying during Thursday's test session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Benson turned a lap at 173.376mph to establish the best testing time by any of the 25 Cup teams who have tested at LVMS this week in preparation for the March 4 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400. Benson's speed, though unofficial, eclipsed Ricky Rudd's track record by a stock car of 172.563mph set a year ago. #7-Mike Wallace was the only other driver to test a Winston Cup car Thursday running a lap of 169.114mph. No NASCAR Winston Cup teams are scheduled to test on Friday(LVMS PR)(2-2-2001)
    TESTING SCHEDULE: (Thursday and Friday) - BGN Drivers - #1-P.J. Jones, #38-Christian Elder, #43-Jay Sauter, #46-Ashton Lewis and #98-Elton Sawyer.(LVMS PR), see the Day 1 thru 3 speeds on my Past Testing News Page(1-25/2-2-2001). See test pictures/images at the LVMS site and at Stooges Racing

  • Mayfield Extends with Penske: Jeremy Mayfield will stay behind the wheel of Penske Racing's #12 Mobil 1 Taurus well into the new millennium. Terms were not released but in making the announcement Penske Racing LLC President Walter Czarnecki said the agreement would keep Mayfield under the Penske banner for several years. The new contract extended what was already a multi-year agreement.(Williams Company)(2-1-2001)

  • Musgrave in the #90 for the Shootout: Winston Cup driver Ted Musgrave found a car to drive in the Feb. 11 Bud Shootout at Daytona, and it will have Hills Bros Coffee decals and Junie Donlavey’s familiar #90 on it, Donlavey announced today. Musgrave was the fastest second-round qualifier for the Pennsylvania 500 in July at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. Musgrave and the rest of the fastest second-round qualifiers were part of a drawing for one starting spot in the Bud Shootout, and Musgrave’s name was drawn. Musgrave plans to drive the 2001 season for Ultra Motorsports in the CTS with Mopar Performance Parts as his sponsor. Musgrave spent the 2000 season driving for Bessey Motorsports, Fenley Moore and Team Sabco. He drove for Team Sabco following the death of Kenny Irwin(Keystone Marketing)(2-1-2001)

  • Robinson to run Cup at Talladega in Oct UPDATE: When Shawna Robinson returns for "White Knuckle Weekend" in October at Talladega, she'll leave the ARCA car at home and bring her Michael Kranefuss-owned NASCAR Winston Cup Series Ford Taurus instead. The second half of the year, the team will compete in seven Winston Cup Series events. Robinson will begin the season in the #8 M.K. Racing Ford in the ARCA Re/Max Series event in Daytona. Robinson was among a handful of racing teams concluding a two-day test session at Alabama's 2.66-mile tri-oval on Monday. On Monday, Robinson's focus was on her ARCA car. Instead of attempting to pull double duty at Talladega in October, Robinson will only run the Winston Cup car. Joining Robinson and the M.K. Racing team at Talladega Superspeedway on Monday were: Matt Hutter with Phoenix Racing's (#51)Winston Cup car; Rick Mast with Midwest Transit Racing's #50 Winston Cup team; Todd Bodine with Buckshot Racing's #00 BGN team; Mike McLaughlin with Innovative Motorsports' #48 BGN team; and Brian Reffner with Team Menard's #3 CTS team.(Talladega PR in part)(1-29-2001)
    UPDATE: Robinson's seven scheduled Cup stars are: Michigan in August, Richmond and Kansas in September, Charlotte/Lowes and Talladega in October, Homestead and Atlanta in November(Shawna Robinson Site). Also, see story at SpeedVision: Shawna Robinson To Try Limited Winston Cup Effort. Have not seen an assigned car number for Robinson yet(2-1-2001)

  • Testing at Talladega UPDATE: hearing there will be testing at Talladega today and Thursday, Feb 1st. Three Cup teams (no idea who...yet), three BGN teams (no idea who...yet) and four CTS teams including #43 Carlos Contreras(1-31-2001)
    UPDATE: #44-Buckshot Jones was at Talladega Superspeedway Wednesday for the first session of a two-day test with the Dodge Intrepid with the "Talladega Trim" that will be used in the season-opening events at Daytona International Speedway. Joining Jones was fellow Petty Enterprises drivers #45-Steve Grissom(BGN car) and Carlos Contreras (CTS #43). Also testing were #90-Hut Stricklin and BGN drivers #28-Brad Baker and #17-Clay Rogers(Talladega PR) - Also, Ganassi Racing had #40-Sterling Marlin and #01-Jason Leffler testing their Daytona cars at Talladega on Tuesday and Wednesday. The same cars that they had in the Martin Marietta Wind Tunnel over the weekend. The #01 Dodge and Jason Leffler will test at Rockingham on Thurday and Friday(2-1-2001)

  • #28 Rare Feat: Michael McSwain, crew chief for the #28 Ford driven by Ricky Rudd, has achieved something very rare in Winston Cup Series racing. He has had no employee turnover during the off-season(National Speed Sport News)(2-1-2001)

  • Get Well: former Cup team owner, Chuck Rider, is battling colon cancer. Rider co-owned the #30-Bahari Racing from 1987-99, fielding cars for Michael Waltrip from 1987-95, Johnny Benson 1996-97 and Derrike Cope 1998-99. Rider sold the team in late 1999 to Jack Birmingham. The team is now known as Eel River Racing and is #27(Winston Cup Scene)(2-1-2001)

  • Andretti a Spokeman: NASCAR Winston Cup driver and CARQUEST Store Owner John Andretti will be an official spokesman for CARQUEST Auto Parts in 2001. Andretti, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Enterprises Dodge Intrepid, recently concluded filming a CARQUEST Auto Parts TV advertisement that will debut during the Daytona 500 pre-race show on Fox TV. Andretti will be featured in CARQUEST advertising, along with carry a CARQUEST logo on his driving suit’s sleeve. Andretti is co-owner with Rollie Helmling of a CARQUEST Auto Parts Store in Vincennes, Indiana. Andretti and Helmling also own the CARQUEST Silver Bullet team, which competes with driver Bud Kaeding in USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet Series(CARQUEST PR)(2-1-2001)

  • Pardus in the #91 UPDATE no: hearing that Dan Pardus will attempt to make the Daytona 500 in a #91 LJ Racing Chevy for a one race deal(1-29-2001)
    UPDATE: The rumor was true but a little early on the release date. With sponsor commitments in hand, Jim & Judie Motorsports and LJ Racing agreed to explore the possibilities of entering the Daytona 500. A LJ Racing Chevy was brought to the JJM shop for inspection and modifications. Getting ready for the Daytona 500 requires more than just an oil change and battery charge. Some of the new rule changes for this year's race require changes in the rear spoiler and modifications to the hood area to fit new templates. Adding time for the necessary engine prep and testing, all agreed there was not enough time to field a competitive entry. Dan and Jim are grateful to Joe Falk. Another time, another race, it could still happen(Pardus PR)(2-1-2001)

  • Airplane has quite an Experience: The Richard Petty Driving Experience, based just behind the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC, had unexpected guests just after 10:00 PM last night. A small plane, bound for Charlotte Douglas airport, ran out of fuel and made a crash landing, glancing off the roof of the Petty building and landing against the inside of the surrounding fence. Fortunately, the occupants of the plane suffered only minor injuries and were treated and released from a local hospital. There were no injuries on the ground(Speedway Illustrated)(2-1-2001)

  • Spencer BGN team in trouble: If Jimmy Spencer isn't able to land sponsorship for his full-time BGN team within the next 10 days or so, he may be forced to close the doors on his shop in Mooresville, NC. Schneider Trucking and full-time driver Dick Trickle left at the end of last season, as did Zippo, which had backed Spencer in a limited schedule on the tour. Several crew members have already been released. About six crew members remain in the shop, down from about 20 during the season(Winston Cup Scene - need a sub to read)(2-1-2001)

  • #11 Sponsor News: Brett Bodine Racing is pleased to announce that RedCell Batteries is joining Ralphs Supermarkets as a co-sponsor of the #11 NASCAR Winston Cup Ford. RedCell Batteries began their NASCAR program last year and will expand their involve- ment through this sponsorship and by partnering with Ralphs in the marketing and promotion of "The New Power In Batteries". RedCell Batteries is the national brand of RedCell Canada, Inc., a subsidiary of Redmond Capital Corporation based in Vancouver, British Columbia. RedCell offers a full line of non- automotive batteries, including alkaline, cordless phone, hearing aid, photo, watch, and coin cell batteries.(Brett Bodine BR)(1-31-2001)

  • #75 No Sponsor UPDATE 7: See original story, UPDATEs 1 thru 3 at the #75 Team News and Links page
    UPDATE 4: on TNN's Raceday, it was reported that Wally Dallenbach, currently the driver of the #75 Galaxy Motorsports Ford in Cup, may end up with Panther Racing in the IRL(1-21-2001)
    UPDATE 5: Wally Dallenbach is in racing limbo as he is under contract to Darwin Oordt's Galaxy Motorsports and is not allowed to talk to any other teams. Dallenbach has said he has an opportunity in the IRL, but is prohibited from leaving the Galaxy team as long as he's under contract. "People have been jumping to conclusions about me running in the IRL," Dallenbach said Jan. 19. "I have nothing in place and I can't do anything because of my contract. I haven't talked to anybody in Winston Cup, Busch, IRL, trucks - nobody." Dallenbach says he doesn't know if Oordt plans to enter the Daytona 500(Winston Cup Scene-sub required to read)(1-25-2001)
    UPDATE 6: #75 owner, Darwin Oordt said if he can’t land a sponsor by this weekend, he won’t be able to field a car this season. Even if he can’t re-enter Winston Cup this year, Oordt vows to continue his varied racing interests – tracks and car-building – and maybe at some point make another Cup try(Tennessean)(1-26-2001)
    UPDATE 7: Murfreesboro’s Darwin Oordt missed last weekend’s self-imposed deadline for landing a sponsor for his Winston Cup team, but said yesterday that he still has not ruled out racing this season and may have something "in the works".(Tennessean)(1-31-2001)

  • #55 Scheme: #55-Bobby Hamilton will run a 'lightning' paint scheme similar to the scheme Kenny Wallace ran on the car a few times at some of the night races. Hamilton is scheduled to run the scheme at all the Winston Cup night races(APR)(1-31-2001)

  • #33 - Charlie Daniel's Scheme back: Joe Nemechek will run the #33 Oakwood Homes/Charlie Daniel's scheme that he ran at Talladega in Oct 2000 in the Budweiser Shootout on Feb 11th. The team it was fitting that they run the same scheme that they won the pole with at Talladega in the Shootout(APR). To see images of the car, see the 2000 Cup page from my Paint Schemes Gallery(1-31-2001)

  • Raceday News: TNN and Wheeler Productions have announced that broadcasting veteran Ralph Sheheen will be the new host of Raceday. Sheheen, who was born in Utica, N.Y. and raised in Sacramento, Calif., resides in Charlotte, NC, where Raceday is produced. Sheheen started with TNN in 1990 as a pit reporter on ASA telecasts. Patti Wheeler, President of Wheeler TV, will serve as executive producer on Raceday. Mark Smith is the show producer. Bob Dillner and Sean Pragano remain with the show as feature reporters(MotorsportsTV)(1-31-2001)

  • Goodyear Test? a bit into the near future, but hearing Goodyear will have a tire test at Kansas Speedway on May 15-16th(1-31-2001)

  • #43 Testing? hearing that John Andretti was in Lakeland, FL Tuesday, testing the #43 Dodge at USA International Speedway, a 3/4 mile track(1-31-2001)

  • Fox TV: As the FOX family prepares to embark on its ambitious 2001 NASCAR programming schedule, Fox Sports Net telecasts a special, one-hour edition of GOIN' DEEP on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 9:00pm local time to begin its coverage. Tom Murray hosts Steel Thunder from the Daytona International Speedway, site of the Daytona 500. In STEEL THUNDER, Murray explores four areas of the NASCAR phenomenon: history of NASCAR, from moonshining to the beaches of South Florida; the money and marketing of NASCAR; NASCAR technology and what it's like behind the wheel as correspondent George Ciccarone learns firsthand at the Richard Petty Driving Experience in Las Vegas. Among the personalities appearing in this special are: 2000 Winston Cup champion Bobby Labonte, and fellow drivers John Andretti, Kyle Petty and Casey Atwood plus NASCAR Chairman Bill France, Jr. Additionally, Murray also tours Joe Gibbs 120,000 square foot racing facility that builds cars for Labonte and his teammate Tony Stewart.(Fox PR)(1-31-2001)

  • Wallace Honors Driver: Helping induct Larry Phillips into the Ozarks Area Racers Association Hall of Fame was more than just a commitment fulfilled for Rusty Wallace. It was an honor, Wallace said. Phillips won five Winston Racing Series titles and more than 2,500 races as a driver. His proteges fill the Winston Cup garages. An estimated 3,000 people turned out Saturday at the Shrine Mosque in Springfield, MO to see Wallace and honor Phillips and nine other inductees. See full story at the Kansas City Star(1-31-2001)

  • GM News: GM Racing has named Alba Colon as NASCAR program manager for Team Monte Carlo.  Colon is one of few women in a managerial role in motorsports. Both appointments are effective immediately. Colon began her career with General Motors in 1994 after graduating from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus, where she studied mechanical engineering. Colon's original assignment at GM was data acquisition engineer for the Oval Track Group (NASCAR Winston Cup, NASCAR Craftsman Truck, ASA and Busch Grand National). She then took a position as the engineer responsible for the maintenance and testing of the GM Racing Pi data acquisition systems in NHRA.  She was named Pro Stock Truck program manager in 1998 and became program manager for all of NHRA drag racing in 1999.  Colon has been a part of five manufacturer's titles and five driver's championships.(in part from a GM Racing Communications PR)(1-31-2001)

  • NASCAR and Safety: .....when the safety issue blew up big time with the deaths of three NASCAR drivers last summer (NASCAR President Mike) Helton found himself in the middle of a very contentious debate: how should NASCAR deal with safety issues, should NASCAR order tracks to install softer walls, should NASCAR order teams to add crushable materials to the race cars, should NASCAR add a travel medical team to its support staff..... When drivers' complaints reached a fever-pitch Labor Day weekend as they contemplated a return to Loudon, N.H., where Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin were both killed, in accidents in part blamed on sticking throttles, Helton ordered special soft-wall testing at New Hampshire. When he was unsatisfied with those tests, he ordered drivers to race that weekend with restrictor plates. As this season opens, it's still uncertain what Helton might order for Loudon's races this year, if anything. Through it all, Helton has been unusually quiet on the safety issue, preferring to focus on the strengths of NASCAR's safety philosophies and rules, not the weaknesses. What specifically they(NASCAR) might be doing to prevent that(another driver getting killed) isn't clear. The buck appears to be passing to the Detroit car makers (possibly because of liability issues), and during this month's testing in Daytona Beach, Ford and Dodge held special safety meetings with drivers. Safety? Helton said nothing is coming along that line in the next few weeks at least. '`But we are working on different technologies, on different parts and pieces on the race car, getting input from drivers and car builders. We are not in a position today to make any changes. The biggest thing is for us to make sure the cure isn't worse than the disease. We are looking at soft wall technology every day, and we are experimenting with things. We just haven't seen anything yet that's not got something with it that gives us concern. But we are continuing to work on it." Helton said he has no plans to create a traveling medical team, saying he's quite confident that the current medical plan, which relies on local doctors at each track, works very well(in part from a long column on PitNow)(1-30-2001)

  • Wind Tunnel News: hearing that the #26 Travis Carter team has four Fords at N.A.S.A.'s Langley Research Center/ODU Wind Tunnel located in Hampton, VA today(1-30-2001)

  • Snowmobile Ride Helps Out: The fourth-annual Ricky Craven Snowmobile Ride for Charity, held this past weekend at Moosehead Lake in Greenville, Maine, raised an all-time high of $82,310 for five selected charities: The Make-A-Wish Foundation, Children's Miracle Network, the Marrow Foundation, the Travis Roy Foundation and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The event's founder and annual host is Maine native and #32 Tide Ford driver, Ricky Craven. Approximately 450 participants, 300 of whom were riders, took part in Saturday's (Jan. 27) event. The day began with an 87-mile snowmobile ride around Moosehead Lake in Maine, followed by a drawing for prizes and an autograph signing session with Craven. With a significant increase in the amount of funds raised each year, the Ricky Craven Snowmobile Ride for Charity has contributed more than $262,400 to charitable causes since 1998. Contributions are raised through entry fees ($125 per person), door prize tickets and event sponsors, including this year's two primary partners: Arctic Cat, a snowmobile manufacturer, and New Hampshire-based financial consultancy Wallace & Associates(PPI Racing/Ricky Craven PR)(1-30-2001)

  • More Vegas News - Aero Changes? Drivers participating in Monday's NASCAR Winston Cup testing session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway were finding out late in the afternoon that they might be using a new aerodynamics package when they return to the speedway for the March 4 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400. NASCAR president Mike Helton and Winston Cup director Gary Nelson were talking with drivers and team owners late in the day about trying some of the sanctioning body's ideas today, the second of five consecutive testing days at the speedway. Some of the series' top drivers probably will be asked to attach some items to their cars in a research and development mini-session(Las Vegas Review Journal)(1-30-2001)

  • Gaughan to attempt Las Vegas: Brendan Gaughan(#62 team), was making his first laps in a 2000 Chevy that his Orleans Racing Team has leased from Richard Childress Racing. Gaughan also secured Childress engines for testing and qualifying. If the defending Winston West stock-car champion becomes one of the 43 to start the Las Vegas Cup race, he'll use a race engine from Childress. The first adjustment the team had to make to the car was in the steering, which was originally set up for Earnhardt. Gaughan said he had never driven a car so loose(Las Vegas Review Journal)(1-30-2001)

  • Sad News: Tommye Economaki, wife of Chris Economaki, died Sunday morning following an extended period of declining health. Tommye Economaki is survived by her husband Chris, editor emeritus of National Speed Sport News, two daughters – Tina Riedl and Corinne Economaki - and grandchildren Alexis and Christopher Riedl. Viewing is scheduled for Monday evening, between 4:00 and 7:00pm/et at Feeney Funeral Home, 232 Franklin Street, Ridgewood, N.J. The funeral Mass will be held at 9:30am/et Tuesday at The Church of the Nativity on Prospect Avenue in Midland Park, N.J. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Tommye's name to the Foundation at Bergen Regional Medical Center, 230 East Ridgewood Ave, Paramus, N.J. 07652(SpeedVision)(1-29-2001)

  • #50 Sponsor News: International Brands, parent company of internet retail supersite ( has extended its associate sponsorship of the #50 Midwest Transit Racing team for the 2001 and 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup seasons. Midwest Transit Racing will campaign a 2001 Chevrolet Monte Carlo with veteran Rick Mast behind the wheel(McClellan Motorsports Marketing PR)(1-29-2001)

  • Pruett News: Scott Pruett, recent released from the #32 Tide/PPI Motorsports Ride in Winston Cup, Anthony Lazzaro will drive the #5 Rocketsports Racing HomeLink Saleen S7R with Paul Gentilozzi and Johnny Miller in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona Grand American Road Racing Ass'n event at Daytona. They will be competing in the GTS Class(National Speed Sport News)(1-29-2001)

  • One Dodge: Bill Elliott is the only Dodge driver eligible to run Feb. 11 in the pre-season Budweiser Shootout. The special Daytona non-points race features pole winners from last season and past winners of the event that had been called the "Busch Clash" until 1998 when it was the Bud Shootout from 1998-2000.(CNN/SI). See my Budweiser Shootout page for info(1-29-2001)

    see the Jan 22-28, 2001 Archived News Page

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