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PAST NEWS FEB 26-MAR 4, 2001

  • Burton Sponsor in the BGN: Another of the Roush organization’s cars picked up a sponsorship this week. Jeff Burton’s Busch Series entry is now sponsored by the Gain detergent brand, meaning that the Ford Taurus was painted a garish neon green(Gaston Gazette). Not sure if this was a one race deal or for the rest of the BGN races Burton plans to run(3-4-2001)

  • Petty Casino Chip: Retired stock car king Richard Petty is being honored by a Las Vegas casino with a special edition betting chip featuring his likeness. Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall, which also sponsored Saturday's Busch Series race in Las Vegas issued the special chips for fans and collectors on Monday(AP/Speed Magazine)(3-4-2001)

  • Tragic News - not NASCAR: An Australian Grand Prix marshal died and seven spectators were injured after they were struck by flying debris during the first race of the Formula One season Sunday.(see full story at: ESPN/AP)(3-4-2001)

  • HANS News: Michael Waltrip said that he'll wear the HANS device, a head and neck support system, in today's race. Waltrip tried it at a test session at Atlanta last week. Last week, at least seven of the 43 drivers wore a HANS device at Rockingham. They were Dale Jarrett, Brett Bodine, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Robert Pressley, Hut Stricklin and Terry Labonte. About seven other drivers wore other restraint systems(Roanoke Times). See my Safety/HANS page for an unofficial list(3-4-2001)

  • Labonte/Earnhardt plan won't happen: Terry Labonte and Dale Earnhardt had planned a celebration for Texas. Labonte had his Winston Cup-record 655 consecutive-start streak end last year. Earnhardt was on pace to tie the record at Martinsville and break it the next week at Texas Motor Speedway. The drivers made plans to run special cars commemorating the occasion at Texas(Times Dispatch)(3-4-2001)

  • Gordon Safe: Despite a disappointing start to the 2001 season, Larry McClure, owner of the #4 Kodak Chevy, remains confident that his team will improve soon. Contrary to rumors circulating throughout the NASCAR community, McClure is standing behind his new driver, Robby Gordon. Larry McClure, owner Morgan-McClure Motorsports, quotes: "I really do not know where these rumors get started. I am not happy with the performance of this team, but we are only into the third race of the season. During the race at Rockingham last week, we realized that no adjustments would make the race car better. We unloaded here (Las Vegas) and the same thing was happening. We changed everything on the car before qualifying. The car stayed the same. This makes us realize the chassis might need to be changed. Maybe it is a combination of items, but we are certainly going to make changes to these cars next week. The engines are showing good horsepower. Robby, David (Ifft-Crew Chief) and I are pleased with the engines this year. It is baffling to have these situations. We will get to the bottom of it. Kodak is pleased with Robby. Morgan-McClure is pleased with Robby. He has shown during the last few days that he is a team player. He has stepped up and is offering input. My crew guys are probably some of the hardest working guys in the garage right now. They have done everything we have asked them to do and more. Robby makes it a point to thank them daily for all of their hard work. This team has been down and we are going to get this situation corrected. We are proven winners, Ifft is a proven winner and we want to make Robby a winner in the Winston Cup series. I have confidence in him and his driving abilities or I would not have hired him. Having said that, I want to ensure everyone that he will remain with Morgan-McClure. Hopefully everyone can see some major improvements by Darlington." NOTE: Robby has competed in one race at Las Vegas. He started 12th and finished 13th and led eight laps-3-5-2000(Morgan McClure PR) and from Rumors swirled throughout the garage at LVMS that Sunday's race would be Robby Gordon's last race in the #4 Kodak Morgan-McClure Chevy. According to a team spokesperson, those rumors are false and that the team will retain Gordon as its driver, and that rumors of Kenny Wallace taking over are untrue. Also according to the spokesperson, the team is planning to take "return to basics" approach to the rest of the season, beginning with a new chassis manufacturer(

  • Buckshot to do double duty at Atlanta UPDATE: When the BGN series swings through Atlanta, just miles from where Buckshot Jones grew up in Tucker(GA), Jones will race in both next Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 Busch Series and Sunday’s Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500 Winston Cup race, an exciting double dose of action. Jones has never won at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but he’s performed well in his Busch car, recording two top-5 finishes in three races. He has struggled more in his four Winston Cup races, earning a best finish of 26th, but still boasts a seventh-place start. He will try to reverse that trend next weekend as he brings his new Cup ride to Atlanta for the first time. Just two races into the year, the #00 Buckshot Racing machine has proven to be both fast and extremely competitive, with Bodine winning at Rockingham and running as high as second at Daytona before getting caught in a late-race wreck.(AMS PR)(3-1-2001)
    UPDATE: Winston Cup driver Buckshot Jones, a native of Georgia, was planning to drive his Buckshot Racing's #00 entry in next weekend's BGN race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but is having second thoughts. Jones has been impressed with the success of his BGN team with driver Todd Bodine - Bodine has qualified in the top three the past two races and won at Rockingham and Las Vegas - and doesn't want to disrupt team chemistry(That's Racin')(3-3-2001)

  • Dodge Engines: Bill Davis, owner of the #22 Dodges driven by Ward Burton and the #93 Dodges driven by Dave Blaney, said Dodge teams are still experiencing some problems with their engines. "The motor does seem to build up a lot of water temperature. That's something we're learning about," Davis said. "We had our other system worked out with the (General Motors) stuff last season. We'd run a lot of tape and never have any problems, but that's a learning process. Davis credited his engine builder, Terry Elledge, with his teams' strong runs to start the 2001 season. "He's got more experience and more knowledge, or as much, as anybody here," Davis said. "That's one reason we're where we're at. We don't suffer motor-wise."(That's Racin')(3-3-2001)

  • #75 back in the 2nd Half UPDATE 2: Galaxy Motorsports announced today the launch of a major restructuring of its Winston Cup operation. The plan calls for the race team to return full time to the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit during the second half of the season. Team officials feel that a complete overhaul of the race team is required and that all facets of the race package would be analyzed and restructured. The goal is to emerge from this restructuring phase with a full time race team that exceeds expectations in terms of performance and marketing value(Galaxy Motorsports PR). No word on driver Wally Dallenbach's status or lawsuit(see #75 Team News and Links page for info)(2-27-2001)
    UPDATE: Darwin Oordt's hopes of getting his NASCAR Winston Cup team back on the track this weekend have crashed. Oordt said his plan now is to try to re-join the series at midseason, in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway(July 7th). When Oordt announced that he would not be able to field a car in the season-opening Daytona 500, his driver, Wally Dallenbach, filed a breach of contract suit. Neither Oordt nor Dallenbach will comment on the terms of the suit, but there have been printed reports that Dallenbach was to receive a $1 million salary this season, $600,000 for endorsements, and other perks(Tennessean)(2-28-2001)
    UPDATE 2: see an ESPN story about Dallenbach: Pizza Hut doesn't deliver for Dallenbach(3-3-2001)

  • Stewart not Happy with CNN: Tony Stewart is furious at the producers of a CNN/SI tribute to Dale Earnhardt for running a clip that, to Stewart’s way of thinking, intentionally placed his remarks in the wrong context. What happened was that, in a program devoted to Earnhardt’s memory, the cable sports channel ran remarks that purported to show Stewart talking about Earnhardt’s fatal crash. What he was actually talking about was his own crash in the Daytona 500, and what was self-deprecating in its original intent ("... the world’s not going to end just because a race driver crashes ...") seemed coldblooded and flippant when used as if Stewart had been talking about Earnhardt. Several CNN/SI employees have personally apologized, but management has refused requests from Stewart, Joe Gibbs and sponsor Home Depot to apologize for the mistake(Gaston Gazette)(3-3-2001)

  • Simpson Comments on Harness Lawsuit: 'We see the attorneys' actions ... as an opportunistic stunt to capitalize on the unfortunate death of Dale Earnhardt by sensationalizing their allegations in the news media,'' Simpson founder and chairman Bill Simpson said in a statement. See the full AP story at the Boston Globe: Seatbelt makers calls lawsuit 'opportunistic' and see the past news on Earnhardt's torn harness and lawsuit below in a larger story(3-2-2001)

  • Petty Crewman Arrested UPDATE 2 Lawsuit: A mechanic for NASCAR driver Kyle Petty was arrested after a city traffic accident seriously injured an off-duty beach patrol officer. Jeremy Lee Upchurch an engine tuner for Petty's #45 Dodge, was arrested and charged Monday night with aggravated battery with a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of a crash with injuries, culpable negligence, driving with a suspended license and reckless driving(That's Racin'/AP)(2-14-2001)
    UPDATE: NASCAR driver Kyle Petty visited Halifax Medical Center on Wednesday night to apologize for a wreck police say was caused by one of Petty’s mechanics, a wreck that badly injured a Volusia County Beach Patrol officer. But family members and friends said Thursday that they wouldn’t let Petty see Alan White, who at the time didn’t know the circumstances that left him with multiple skull fractures, two cracked vertebrae and other injuries. They said White was too weak to see Petty. Also, Upchurch was fired from Petty’s team and was not with the pit crew for Thursday’s Twin 125 races. See the full story at the Orlando Sentinel(2-16-2001)
    UPDATE 2: A police officer who was critically injured during a car wreck involving two NASCAR mechanics is suing the men and Petty Enterprises Inc. Alan White, 47, said in a lawsuit filed Thursday that Petty Enterprises provided a rental car for Joseph Fiorelli, 39, and Jeremy Upchurch, 25, despite knowing of their "immaturity and propensity to consume alcoholic beverages and then operate motor vehicles while under the influence." White also named the rental car's owner, Enterprise Leasing Co. of Orlando, in the lawsuit. He is seeking more than $15,000 in damages(Orlando Sentinel)(3-2-2001)

  • Another Marlin: Steadman Marlin has signed to run races in the ARCA and BGN series with Nashville-based Sadler Racing. The team, founded by Earl Sadler, has given career boosts to such prominent drivers as Steadman's dad Sterling, Davey Allison, Jeff Green, Michael Waltrip and Jeremy Mayfield(Tennessean)(3-2-2001)

  • Atwood to own a team: Casey Atwood will field a car in this season's Late Model division at Nashville Speedway. It will be driven by Robert Ray Baucom, who will be a rookie(Tennessean)(3-2-2001)

  • Earnhardt #6 on Forbes: Dale Earnhardt, killed two weeks ago in the Daytona 500, came in sixth on the Forbes Magazine's list of the highest paid athletes for the year 2000 with $24.5 million. First was Formula One driving champion Michael Schumacher with $59 million in earnings. the other top five: Tiger Woods(golf), Mike Tyson(boxing), Michael Jordan(retired-NBA) and Grant Hill(NBA)(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-2-2001)

  • Interesting Challenge at Las Vegas - Drivers UPDATE 4 final: Thanks to The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino, drivers who race in both the NASCAR Winston West event at the Bullring and the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race will compete for three nights of luxury at the Strip resort in The Venetian Challenge. Officials at The Venetian have agreed to offer any driver who can finish in the top three in both the Feb. 28 NAPA 300 and Sunday's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 the following:. a three-night stay in the hotel's Penthouse suite and the driver's spouse or significant other will receive a $20,000 shopping spree in the Grand Canal Shoppes.(LVMS PR). So far Brendan Gaughan
    is the only one I know of who will attempt both(2-6-2001)
    UPDATE: Michael Waltrip has committed to compete in the Feb. 28 NAPA Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Winston West Series event at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Waltrip, who drives the #15-NAPA Chevy for Dale Earnhardt in Cup, will make his first NASCAR Winston West starts since he won at Pikes Peak in July of 1997. Waltrip will be driving a car prepared by Orleans Racing and will be a teammate of defending series champion Brendan Gaughan and NASCAR veteran Herschel McGriff. Waltrip and Gaughan are scheduled to compete in both the NAPA Auto Parts 300 and the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 NASCAR Winston Cup event on Sunday, March 4. As part of The Venetian Challenge, they both will be eligible for a special bonus from The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino. If either driver places in the top three in both races they will receive a three-day stay in The Venetian's penthouse suite and their wife or significant other will receive a $20,000 shopping spree in The Grand Canal Shoppes(LVMS PR)(2-8-2001)
    UPDATE 2 - Hornaday Added: #14-Ron Hornaday has decided to compete in the NAPA Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Winston West Series event on Feb. 28 at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Hornaday, who will be competing in the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 on March 4, will be driving a car prepared by Las Vegas' Bobby Pangonis. Hornaday has six career wins in the NASCAR Winston West Series, but his last win came in 1996 at Colorado National Speedway in Erie, Colo. One of his wins came in 1994 at the old Las Vegas Speedway Park, which was the forerunner of the Bullring. Hornaday joins Michael Waltrip and Brendan Gaughan in The Venetian Challenge. "That is awesome," Hornaday said. " going to win that deal and enjoy it. I'll even take the money and give it to charity."(LVMS PR)(2-11-2001)
    UPDATE 3 - postponed: NASCAR and LVMS have postponed the NAPA 300, NASCAR Winston West Series event, scheduled for Wednesday, February 28th at the 'Bullring' at LVMS. The event will be run on Thursday, March 1st as a prelude to the BGN and Cup Series events at the 1.5-mile LVMS. The 300-lap event is scheduled for a green flag at 7:30pm on the .375-mile Thursday with gates opening at 8:00am and NASCAR Winston West Series Bud Pole Qualifying at 12:00pm. Waltrip and Hornaday are scheduled to compete in the 300-lap event along with the competitors from the Winston West Series including 2000 series champion, Brendan Gaughan(NASCAR PR)(3-1-2001)
    UPDATE 4: Rookie Mark Reed got his first career victory in the NASCAR Winston West Series on Thursday night at the 'Bullring'. Mike Duncan crossed the line second, followed by Sean Woodside, Austin Cameron and Kevin Richards. Michael Waltrip was credited with a 23rd-place finish after dropping out of the race with a damaged radiator on lap 96. Fellow Winston Cup driver Ron Hornaday's effort ended with a 20th-place finish due to an engine failure(Las Vegas Sun). So no driver wins the prize(3-2-2001)

  • Lap Belt Broken UPDATE 5 another driver hurt?: The lap belt in Dale Earnhardt's #3 Chevy was broken when examined after the Daytona 500 crash that took the seven-time champion's life, NASCAR officials said Friday. NASCAR president Mike Helton said threads on the left side of Earnhardt's lap belt were separated. "We don't know how, when or where, yet. We will continue our investigation," he said. Dr. Steve Bohannon, one of the doctors examining Earnhardt on Sunday, said the broken belt could have caused Earnhardt's body to be thrown forward and to the right, sending him flying into the steering wheel. Bohannon said Earnhardt might have hit his face on the steering wheel, causing the major head injury that killed him. The doctor said he was not sure if the HANS restraint device would have helped prevent the injuries. But, he said, a full-face helmet might have been beneficial. Earnhardt wore an open-face model(That's Racin' and from the AP)
    UPDATE: an updated story at CNN/SI - According to Earnhardt's car owner Richard Childress, who was also present Friday morning, both the car and the seat belt were virtually brand new, built last November. According to Helton and Nelson, as well as officials at the belt company, last Sunday's failure was the first example of any such event in the 52-year history of NASCAR. Both Helton and Nelson refused to offer any ideas whatsoever as to what could possibly cause such an event(can also watch the Press Conferences there via your PC)(CNN/SI)(2-23-2001)
    UPDATE 2: The New York Daily News reports: Dale Earnhardt altered the seat belt in his #3 Chevy during last week's Daytona 500, possibly playing a hand in his death on the final lap of the race. NASCAR officials said yesterday that Earnhardt was found with a broken seat belt after the wreck in which he was killed instantly. However, one source who saw the car after the wreck told the Daily News the seat belt failure was because of alterations to the safety harness ordered by Earnhardt, not because of a design flaw or failure of the mechanism(NY Daily News). Other stories about the belt: Statement from Bill Simpson on Earnhardt's seat belt and Belt theory has some detractors from That's Racin' and from CNN/SI: Defending their belt - Belt manufacturer: NASCAR shifting blame(2-24-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Mike Helton said there was no additional conclusive information about the "separated" seat belt found in Earnhardt's car after the wreck at Daytona. But the issue continues to create speculation around the garage area. Rusty Wallace, one of the drivers who has seen the separated belt and Earnhardt's wrecked car, told reporters that he believes the problem was not in the belt itself but in how it was installed(That's Racin')(2-25-2001)
    UPDATE 4 Lap Belt Inspection: NASCAR officials confirmed Monday they sent Dale Earnhardt's seat belt out for expert analysis to figure out why the belt separated during the Feb 18th Daytona 500. NASCAR will announce the results of the analysis perhaps by week's end, officials said.(That's Racin')(2-27-2001)
    UPDATE 5 David Hutchins, 29, is still recovering from an accident he was in at the Seekonk Speedway on June 17. He believes he was hurt so badly in the accident because his seat belt, made by the same manufacturer(Simpson) as the one Earnhardt used, broke. Hutchins said the seat belt gave way over his left leg, the same place NASCAR officials said Earnhardt’s seat belt came apart. As a result, he said, the force from the accident caused him to move forward, trapping him beneath the dash and throwing some of his body into the steering wheel. Brian Cunha and Associates have filed a lawsuit against Simpson Performance Products Inc., the Texas company that makes the seat belts, on Hutchins’ behalf. The suit was mailed to the U.S. District Court in Boston on Tuesday. See the full story at the Herald News: Race tragedy might have been avoided AND from the Providence Journal: A safety harness nearly identical to the one that Dale Earnhardt was wearing when he was killed in the Daytona 500 allegedly failed during a collision at Seekonk Speedway last June. The driver in the Seekonk crash, Dave Hutchins, filed a suit Tuesday against the harness manufacturer, claiming that he suffered fractures in both legs because the waist belt's nylon webbing snapped when his car hit the wall at Seekonk Speedway(in Massachusetts a 1/3 mile asphalt track)(3-1-2001)

  • Hill Bros to sponsor two cars? UPDATE 2: Hills Bros full time sponsor of the #90 Ford driven by Hut Stricklin, has plans to sponsor Kenny Wallace's #27 Pontiac as well in a few races. Not at Rockingham but at Las Vegas, where Wallace is a candidate for the No Bull 5. Hills Bros. sponsored Wallace during the Daytona 500 after Stricklin failed to make the race(NOL's Buzz)(2-21-2001)
    UPDATE: Sara Lee Coffee & Tea will sponsor two teams in the Cup race next week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The first entry is Hut Stricklin's #90 Hills Bros Coffee Ford, which is fielded by Junie Donlavey. The #90 Ford has carried the brand's logo since 1999. Kenny Wallace will drive the second entry - the #27 Pontiac. Fielded by Eel River Racing, the car will don a paint scheme featuring the 100% Columbian blend of Hills Bros Coffee. Wallace is one of four drivers eligible for the "No Bull 5" bonus, which is awarded to the winner of the race at Las Vegas. Wallace's #27 Pontiac will sport a different paint scheme to promote the Hills Bros Coffee Columbian blend. The front half of the car will be the same Ferrari red as the #90 Hills Bros Coffee Ford, but it will fade to black toward the rear of the car. The "television panel" will display the Hills Bros Coffee 100% Columbian blend logo(Keystone PR)(2-24-2001)
    UPDATE 2: added a couple images of the #27 Hill Bros Pontiac to the Paint Scheme Gallery(3-1-2001)

  • Movie Rights? A column by Liz Smith reports that actor Tom Cruise is rumored interested in snapping up movie rights to the life of Dale Earnhardt, recently killed in a crash at the Daytona 500(Page 6)(3-1-2001)

  • Marcis to the BGN? Rumor has it that #71-Dave Marcis is considering moving to the BGN Series.( Buzz)(3-1-2001)

  • #36 Assoc Sponsor: Combos Snacks, a product of M&M/MARS, announced that it will serve as an Associate Sponsor of the #36 "M&M's Racing Team for the 2001 season. As part of the sponsorship agreement, the Combos Snacks logo will appear on the #36 "M&M's Racing/MB2 Motorsports Pontiac driven by Kenny Schrader. Combos Snacks has served as a minor sponsor on the #36 car the past few seasons but will be increasing its role to that of an Associate Sponsor for the 2001 season.(IMG Motorsports PR)(3-1-2001)

  • Little E Gives a Guitar: Singer Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters was happy with the gift of a new guitar, but the timing made it bittersweet. The Gibson guitar came from stock car racer Dale Earnhardt Jr., who's a big rock music fan. "Two days after I got the guitar I heard that his father had died," Grohl told reporters last week. Earnhardt's dad, one of NASCAR's biggest stars, was killed in a crash at the Daytona 500. "It's an amazing guitar," Grohl said. "We're doing a couple more shows in the next month and I plan on using it just to let him know that I'm rockin' it for him."(Infobeat/AP)(3-1-2001)

  • Donation: Van Camp's Beans, which became an associate sponsor of Dale Earnhardt this year, has contributed $10,000 to the Foundation For the Carolinas - Earnhardt Family Fund.(Winston Cup Scene - Need Subscription to see)(3-1-2001)

  • Daytona Announcer Ill: Bill Bowser, chief announcer for the Daytona International Speedway will be going to see a cardiologist this afternoon for apparent heart attacks. First reports indicate that Bowser suffered a mild attack right before he left for Daytona, and then again about two weeks into Speedweeks. Bowser has a long history in the sport of NASCAR, with over 30 years of having the microphone in his hand. He has been a MRN turn announcer, Daytona USA Fans Forum host (recently was the host for the Jeff Burton forum the Saturday before the 500), and has announced at numerous tracks(Catchfence), best wishes Bill(2-28-2001)

  • Hendrick News UPDATE: Congressional investigators were alerted Monday to a possible link between a contribution Bank of America made to Bill Clinton's presidential library and a pardon Clinton granted to a Charlotte man weeks later. Rick Hendrick, one of the nation's largest car dealers, pleaded guilty in a bribery scheme in 1997. He was pardoned by Clinton Dec. 22, less than three weeks after the Bank of America Foundation announced it would give $500,000 to Clinton's library fund. Hendrick was awarded the pardon with the help of a reference letter from bank chairman Hugh McColl Jr. A prominent owner of stock car racing teams, Hendrick was on the board of directors of the bank's predecessor, NationsBank(more at That's Racin'). Hendrick owns the #5, #24, #25, #48 Cup teams, the #24 BGN team and the #17, #24 CTS teams(2-27-2001)
    UPDATE: Statement From John Arrowood Concerning The Pardon Application Of Rick Hendrick: "Mr. Hendrick followed to the letter all of the Justice Department procedures for applying for a Presidential pardon. Mr. Hendrick's application was filed with the Pardon Attorney's Office at the Department of Justice in July of 2000, not three months prior to the pardon being granted as has been reported by the media. Mr. Hendrick did write the President and the Department of Justice asking for prompt consideration of his application due to his leukemia and the uncertainty surrounding his prospects for long-term survival. Mr. Hendrick sought the support of Mr. Hugh McColl, former Gov. Robert McNair and Ms. Jill McGovern because of their standing and reputation in the community and his close personal relationship with all three. Neither Mr. Hendrick nor I were aware of the reported contributions by the Bank of America Foundation to the presidential library until it was reported in the media this week."(HMS PR), also see a story at That's Racin'(2-28-2001)

  • Problem with the #24? UPDATE 3 Loomis Statement: NASCAR inspectors found what was described as a "height problem" with Jeff Gordon's #24 Dupont Chevy during post-race inspection at Rockingham. Gordon led the most laps and finished third in the Dura-Lube 400 Monday. All other cars passed inspection(SpeedVision)(2-26-2001)
    UPDATE: Jeff Gordon finished third, but NASCAR officials later said his #24 Chevy did not meet the minimum height requirements. The finish is expected to stand, but Gordon's team probably will be penalized(AJC)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials announced they have penalized NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief Robbie Loomis for rules violations found in post-race inspection following Monday's Dura-Lube 400 at the North Carolina Speedway. Loomis, crew chief for the #24 DuPont Chevy, was fined $25,000 and penalized under Section 12-4-T in the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book: "...any car found to be under the specified height requirement after the completion of time trials or the race..."(NASCAR PR)(2-27-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Statement from Robbie Loomis: "I take full responsibility for what happened at Rockingham. An oversight in pre-race preparation led to a mechanical failure. A setscrew that secures a jackbolt loosened during the race - allowing the car to lower and become extremely tight. Unfortunately, I feel this incident also cost us a chance to win the event. My congratulations go to Steve Park and DEI for a great victory(HMS PR)(2-28-2001)

  • Chassis and TV: NASCAR Images will be shooting segments for the new TV show NASCAR Tech at the Body Dynamics Racing Bodies, Inc. facility in Denver, NC. Folks can see behind the scenes of the shoot by going to and using their live web cams. NASCAR Tech is a new informational show that covers the technical side of the sport as well as the equipment and services of NASCAR licensed products and corporations. Ned Jarrett host the show which airs on Fox Sports Net(2-28-2001)

  • Dodson Fined: NASCAR officials announced they have penalized NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief Barry Dodson for rules violations (unapproved fuel cell check valve) discovered in inspection prior to last Sunday's Dura-Lube 400 at North Carolina Speedway. Dodson, crew chief of the #27 Pontiac, was fined $1,000 and penalized under Section 12-4-Q in the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book: "Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform... or have not been approved by NASCAR..."(NASCAR PR)(2-27-2001)

  • Rules...Make the Windows Bigger? The safety furor among Winston Cup drivers and crews these last few days has been incredible, with a flood of safety ideas being raised for consideration. Drivers are calling for NASCAR to intensify the search for "soft-wall" technology, and they want more crushability in the nose of cars. They want NASCAR to look more seriously at the fire issue, allowing them to move fuel pumps to safer locations. They want a bigger window area, to make it easier to get out of the car in an emergency. NASCAR is considering ordering teams to enlarge the window opening before the race in Atlanta on March 10th. Drivers are also questioning NASCAR's decision last year to increase the strength of the front-end roll bars from 93-hundreths to 125-hundreths steel. The stronger front-end bars could make the car less crushable. And there are complaints about crews being allowed to use chrome-moly alloy in the rollbars; that makes for stronger bars, but chrome-moly doesn't bend as easily as other steel and can actually fracture. Plus if welding isn't done just right, the welds can crystallize, crews say(in part from the Winston Salem Journal)(2-27-2001)

  • NASCAR on Nightline: The death of Dale Earnhardt continues to generate media interest. Earnhardt, and NASCAR, was the subject of an entire episode of ABC's ‘Nightline' with Ted Koppel. The program featured interviews with fans, drivers and other journalists, and used the Dura Lube 400 race as it's backdrop. While the focal point was Dale Earnhardt, the underlying theme of the program was NASCAR and it's origins. Featured on the program, among it's guests, was Dr. Jerry Punch, who added his own insight into the sport, and how it grew to be the multi-billion dollar industry it is today. "It all started when the first, big, corporate sponsor came to NASCAR in the early 70's." Punch said. On Dale Earnhardt, Punch recalled "He's been a star for two decades... whether you liked or disliked Dale Earnhardt, you had to respect him for his ability." Another guest, Liz Clarke, of the Washington Post, put it bluntly. "Dale Earnhardt was despised by many people. mBut he was a promoters dream" Mark Howell, an auto racing historian and another Nightline guest, said he believes that Earnhardt's death may generate new fans who are curious about the sport that has been headlining the news for the past two weeks(Catchfence)(see my Dale Earnhardt Tribute of the Transcript Link)(2-27-2001)

  • Harvick to get Married: Kevin Harvick is getting married in Las Vegas (not at the track) on Wednesday to DeLana Linville, congrats!(2-27-2001)

  • TV Ratings: Fox Sports got a 7.0 overnight rating on Sunday's telecast of the first 51 laps of the Dura-Lube 400 and the rain-delay programming. It was the highest rating for a sports telecast over the weekend and better than the ratings for three of the past seven Daytona 500s.(That's Racin')(2-27-2001)

  • Rookie of the Year: Richard Childress Racing has decided to enter Kevin Harvick in this season's Raybestos rookie of the year program in the Winston Cup series. Harvick, 25, missed the season-opening Daytona 500, but since the program doesn't count a rookie's worst 15 performances, it should not affect his overall result. Harvick becomes the sixth member of the 2001 rookie class. He joines #14-Ron Hornaday, #01-Jason Leffler, #19-Casey Atwood, #96-Andy Houston and #97-Kurt Busch(That's Racin'). See my Rookie of the Year(ROTY) page for info on how the award is calculated and a break down of the standings(2-27-2001)

  • Marlin's Trailer: Despite security provided by the race track, Sterling Marlin’s souvenir trailer was defaced while on the grounds of North Carolina Speedway Saturday night. However according to Don Wade, driver of the Coors Light trailer to and from each NASCAR Winston Cup event, the comments — which were written in marker — “were all positive. Things like good luck, we know it wasn’t your fault ... just stuff like that,’’ Wade said Sunday morning(Kingsport Times News) AND ‘I’ll kill you Sterling’ scrawled on drivers' trailer(2-26-2001)

  • Rules Changes? NASCAR officials are considering taking the roof spoilers and rear-spoiler 'whiskers' off race cars and go back to last summer's Daytona rules, including the smaller 7/8ths-inch restrictor plate, for the race at Talladega in April, according to team sources. AND are they considering a rules break for Ford teams, who at Daytona had been asking for a smaller rear spoiler. According to one report, NASCAR plans a post-Vegas wind tunnel test next week of top finishers, and NASCAR officials are then prepared to give Ford teams some aero break, possible as soon as the Atlanta race(Winston Salem Journal)(2-26-2001)

  • Park wins at Rockingham: #1-Steve Park won a thrilling finish, just beating 18-Bobby Labonte. The second win for DEI (Dale Earnhardt Inc) in a row (#15-Waltrip won the Daytona 500). Park drove around the track clockwise (the Polish Victory lap) holding a black #3 cap out the window. Waltrip stayed out on the track to high five Park. The win is Park's 2nd career win in Winston Cup and first on an oval(Park won at Watkins Glen last August). Parks car ran out of gas on pitroad coming in and had to be pushed into victory lane. Park was very emotional in Victory Lane and jumped into his crew arms. #32-Ricky Craven, who finished 5th, had his first top five since he ran 3rd at Rockingham in Oct 1997 a span of 54 races, it was also the highest finish for a PPI Motorsports/Cal Wells owned car.
    See results at That's Racin' or NASCAR Online(2-26-2001)

    see the Feb 19-25, 2001 Archived News Page

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