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PAST NEWS MAR 12-18, 2001

  • DJ wins Darlington: #88-Dale Jarrett wins the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington, his 25th of his career and 9th year in a row that Jarrett has had a Cup win. Jarrett had the HANS device on. Jarrett's win is Ford's first of 2001 and the first not in a Chevy. The others in the top five: #1-Park, #12-Mayfield, #26-Spencer and #40-Marlin. Jarrett now leads the Winston Cup points championship by 65 points over #10-Benson and #40-Marlin. 24-Gordon who entered the race leading the points drops to 4th after encountering Overheating problems that cooked his engine and put him out of the race, finishing 40th. Jarrett also becomes the first driver of the year to win the NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus of $50,000 for leading the points and winning the race (Bobby Labonte last won the award, $50,000 at Lowes/Charlotte on Oct 8, 2000). The $360,000 annual award is paid at $10,000 per race to the point leader at the end of each event if he is also the winner. See unofficial results at That's Racin': Dodge Dealers 400 results and see a story at: Jarrett's Ford first at Darlington.(3-18-2001)

  • Crew Chiefs Return: Two NASCAR Cup crew chiefs, suspended for rules violations at Daytona, will be able to return to the race track next weekend at Bristol for the Food City 500. Winston Cup crew chiefs Tony Furr, from Jerry Nadeau's #25 Chevy team, and Kevin Cram, from Jason Leffer's #01 Dodge operation, were suspended for four races after rule violations at the season opener at Daytona. Furr was fined and suspended for unapproved fender braces and altered suspension parts, while Cram was suspended for an additive to fuel(That's Racin')(3-18-2001)

  • Seat Belt Blamed: Steve Hmiel, team manager for Dale Earnhardt Inc., has seen the car and the broken seat belts from Dale Earnhardt's car at Daytona and says he believes the broken belt led to the death of his boss(Dale Earnhardt)(SpeedVision)(3-18-2001)

  • No Rules Changes at Talladega: NASCAR President Mike Helton said he does not anticipate changes in the rules for the April 22 race at Talladega, where the engine and aerodynamic conditions are identical to Daytona and produce tight packs of cars traveling at high speeds. Those rules, first used at Talladega in October, provide breath-taking action but can create major multi-car crashes. There was a 19-car crash in the Daytona 500 in which Tony Stewart suffered a concussion. Helton said that while NASCAR recommends drivers use the HANS (Head and Neck Support) device or a similar restraint, he does not think it's a good idea to make that mandatory(That's Racin') AND NASCAR said Saturday that it is sticking with the controversial new aerodynamic rules at the next superspeedway race, the Talladega 500 on April 22. Mike Helton, president of NASCAR, revealed the decision on the eve of today's Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway. "We are looking at different things as we normally do, but we are not anticipating any changes at the next restrictor-plate race that just happens to be at Talladega," Helton said.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(3-18-2001)

  • Aero Changes? NASCAR President Mike Helton and Cup Series Director Gary Nelson said during a press conference, said that there will likely be some changes made by the end of next week but did not mention what those changes could be(FSN Practice Qualifying)(3-18-2001)

  • Gordon/DW on Larry King UPDATE 2 Transcript: Jeff Gordon will appear on Larry King Live on Monday, March 19th. The show airs on CNN from 9:00 - 10:00pm/et. Also hear Darrell Waltrip will appear on the show with Gordon(3-17-2001)
    UPDATE: Joining Larry King will be DW, Jeff Gordon and Richard Petty. The 3 are supposed to be the only guests for the entire hour. King wants to do a "positive" piece on NASCAR since the last time dealt only about Dale's passing(3-18-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Larry King Live - What Is the Future of NASCAR?, a transcript of Monday's show with Gordon, Petty and Waltrip(3-20-2001)

  • Gordon Gone? UPDATE 6 NO, it's Gordon!: hearing Robby Gordon and the #4 Morgan McClure Kodak team have parted ways effective immediatedly, no word on who will drive the car at Darlington. Rick Mast? Loy Allen? Wally Dallenbach? Morgan Shepherd? Kevin Lepage?
    UPDATE: from Buzz - Reports filtered throughout the industry Tuesday that Morgan McClure Motorsports and Robby Gordon had parted ways, effective immediately, but according to a team spokesperson, that is not the case. Not yet anyway AND a column from SpeedVision by Ben Blake: R. Gordon Out of 4 Car?
    UPDATE 2: ESPN2's RPM 2Night reports that #4 owner Larry McClure said there is a possibility of a change but at this time Gordon is still the driver(3-13-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Rumors of a breakup have been circulating through the garage area for weeks. Contacted Tuesday, team officials said Gordon, 32, was expected to be in the team’s #4 Kodak Film Chevy this weekend when the series heads to Darlington. Beyond that, however, officials could not confirm that Gordon would be the driver of record for the 19-year-old organization(Kingsport Times News) AND Although team sources said Tuesday evening that no official move has been made with the Abingdon-based team, various reports indicated that Gordon could be replaced by this weekend's event at Darlington. M-M general manager Larry McClure said Tuesday night that he could not comment on the matter at this time. Sources did confirm that McClure has been talking about replacing Gordon(Bristol Herald Courier)
    UPDATE 4: Although rumors to the contrary continue to fly throughout the NASCAR industry, McClure said Wednesday morning that no changes have beenmade to his race team at this time. That apparently is not the case, BUZZ reports, according to an industry source. Although Robby Gordon will be the driver of the #4 Chevy this weekend, he'll be using his own chassis for the first time this year. The source said that Morgan-McClure's chassis are antiquated and have plagued drivers for years( BUZZ). Hearing Kevin Lepage coulde be in the #4 car at Darlington or Bristol(3-15-2001)
    UPDATE 5: Robby Gordon has been released and Kevin Lepage will drive the #4 Kodak Chevy at Darlington, announcement is supposedly to be made at Darlington on Saturday morning. Lepage is not consiedered a permanent replacement for Gordon. Gordon doesn't have another ride lined up but sources say he has spoken to a couple teams in the last few weeks(ESPN2's RPM 2Night)(3-16-2001) AND a few names I hear being tossed around is Bobby Hillin Jr, Kenny Wallace(but he insists he is not going anywhere and is sticking with the #27 Eel River Racing team, so don't look for that to happen), Rick Mast(but the #50 just signed a sponsor) and Wally Dallenbach(3-17-2001)
    UPDATE 6: To the surprise of many, Robby Gordon showed up to drive Larry McClure's #4 car in morning practice Saturday at Darlington Raceway. McClure said Gordon would be in the car through this weekend's Carolina Dodge Dealers 400, but he would not say more. All signs pointed to Gordon's having been dismissed this week, after just four races in the car. Apparently, however, whatever difficulties there are were patched over, at least for one more week. In fact, team representatives had prepared to announce that Kevin Lepage would drive #4 this weekend, on a spot basis(SpeedVision)(3-17-2001)

  • #7 Team Crew Changes UPDATE: Buzz is reporting that several key Ultra Motorsports #7 team members left the team after the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Travis Block, front tire changer and a key mechanic in research and development is going to Chip Ganassi Racing. Eric Wakeland, a fabricator and rear tire carrier, moved on to Ray Evernham’s #19 Dodge team and Tommy Smith, a fabricator, tire specialist and front tire carrier, left in favor of the #36 Pontiac team(
    UPDATE: From Team Owners Jim Smith - "There apparently have been some reports on the Internet this week stating Ultra Motorsports and the #7 NationsRent team had lost three crew members within in the past week. The Internet being what it is, we normally just go on with our lives knowing what the truth is. Since this particular rumor has begun to pick up some steam, I wanted to go ahead and cut it off. We did have one crew member who found another job this week. People move around in this business and no one found it particularly unusual. Actually, there have been a total of three people, including this one gentleman, who have moved to other jobs since the first of the year. That, too, is certainly not unusual. In fact, I believe you would find Ultra Motorsports has some of the lowest employee turnover in NASCAR Winston Cup racing. We are in this to be competitive and in this to win. Because we are a company of a few hundred employees, there is going to be change every once in a while. One person find another job doesn't change that desire and it doesn't change our goals. These kind of Internet rumors are not true but they are not going to distract us from our goal to win races."(Williams Company)(3-17-2001)

  • Sad News: 58-year-old sportscar ace, Bob Wolleck, whose passions also included cycling and skiing, was killed Friday after being struck by a car while riding his bicycle near Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway(AJC). Thoughts go out to his family(3-17-2001)

  • Green to Childress? UPDATE yes: hearing it was reported on FSN's Totally NASCAR Thursday night that 2000 BGN Champ Jeff Green is under consideration for the #30 AOL Richard Childress 3rd Winston Cup ride, which would be 6-7 races this year and full time in 2002
    UPDATE: Jeff Green, defending BGN champion, will run five to seven Winston Cup races this season for Richard Childress Racing. A formal announcement of Green's move will come next weekend at Bristol, according to sources. Green will drive the No. 30 Chevrolets, originally scheduled to be the Cup ride for Kevin Harvick.(That's Racin')(3-16-2001)

  • #50 Sponsor UPDATE: Blair Corporation, a national catalog and direct mail marketer of women's and men's apparel and home products, today announced that its e-commerce website,, has agreed to a sponsorship role with the #50 Midwest Transit Racing Chevrolet, driven by Rick Mast. While details of the agreement are still being finalized, is committed to working with the #50 car for the rest of the 2001 Winston Cup season(Midwest Transit PR)(3-15-2001)
    UPDATE: Blair Corporation and Midwest Transit Racing, owner of the #50 Winston Cup Chevrolet driven by Rick Mast announced today that a portion of all sales resulting from shoppers entering through the Midwest Transit/Rick Mast Welcome Page ( will be donated to the Carolina Foundation in honor of the late Dale Earnhardt. This agreement will last thoughout the 2001 Winston Cup season(Blair Corp PR)(3-16-2001)

  • IROC Replacement UPDATE: getting asked much about what driver will replace Dale Earnahrdt in the IROC Series, sorry, no idea have not heard, if they follow suit when Gil de Ferran was replaced at Daytona, it could be the #7 driver in Cup points from 2000, Rusty Wallace, or id de Ferran comes back for Talladega, Tony Stewart, who subbed for de Ferran could be the driver, BUT I have not heard anything....yet(3-13-2001)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt could earn a piece of the International Race of Champions title after running in the season-opening round at Daytona. If IROC follows its 1993 precedent, it will name a driver to replace Earnhardt and give that driver Earnhardt's points. Terry Labonte raced the IROC finale for Davey Allison, who was killed in a helicopter crash. Labonte scored enough points to earn the IROC title for Allison(Daytona Beach News Journal/Speed Magazine), hearing the replacement driver will be named next week(3-16-2001)

  • Elliott at Michigan UPDATE: hearing #9-Bill Elliott will have a special paint scheme at Michigan in June on his Dodge(3-15-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing the scheme will feature Muhammed Ali as a movie will be coming out soon starring Wil Smith and Dodge is doing some type of promotion with it(3-16-2001)

  • #8 Special Paint? UPDATE: hearing Dale Earnhardt Jr will have a special Ducks Unlimited paint scheme at the Winston with an announcement at Talladega in April. Also hear Earnhardt Jr will also run a All-Star Baseball scheme sometime in the summer, possibly at the Pepsi 400 in July(3-8-2001)
    UPDATE: sorry folks, been 'asked' by Action Performance to remove the image and will honor that request, do not email asking for me to send the image, I won't, sorry. The car is white, with red lettering, the All-Star or baseball was blacked out. Will be announced at Texas on March 31st (3-16-2001)

  • #18 and #20 Special Paint? hearing the the two Joe Gibbs cars, #18-Labonte and #20-Stewart will run a speical paint scheme at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona, a tie in with a movie being released this summer, possibly Jurassic Park III(3-8-2001)
    UPDATE: Jurassic Park III it is, see the diecast images on my Paint Scheme Gallery(3-16-2001)

  • #7 Sponsor News: NationsRent, Inc., primary sponsor of the #7, NationsRent, Ultra Motorsports Ford Taurus Racing Team is making available associate sponsorship positions for the remainder of the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup racing season and beyond. See my Team Address page for contact info (along with all the teams)(3-16-2001)

  • Points Question: been asked quite a bit on this - So, what if Jeff Gordon(currently leading the Driver Points) won the driver championship and Richard Childress(#29 was #3) captured the car owner title? According to NASCAR, the Winston Cup championship would be split between the two camps. Gordon and Childress would both earn seats at the head table of the Winston Cup Awards Banquet as co-champions. But it would be more than a symbolic gesture. Gordon and Childress would divide the championship money. "The money would be split down the middle," said Danielle Humphrey, NASCAR manager of communications for the Winston Cup Series(Daytona Beach News Journal/Speed Magazine)(3-16-2001)

  • Big Announcement UPDATE 2: a press conference is scheduled for Wednesday, Mar 14th at 11:30am/et: Making the most significant announcement in NASCAR Winston Cup racing in the past 20 years(Williams Company). Hearing it could be an announcement involving Shawna Robinson(AOL? no..) running in the Cup series or something else. Nothing to do with the Chicagoland announcement on Wednesday(3-13-2001)
    UPDATE: Team owner and Michael Kranefuss and driver Shawna Robinson announced Wednesday that Robinson would run six NASCAR Winston Cup stock car racing events beginning April 29 at California Speedway. Robinson will be the first female driver to start a Winston Cup race since 1989 and the first to run a multi-race schedule in 20 years. Crew chief is Joe Dan Bailey, who has word with Robinson in her ARCA starts(Williams Company). AND from Speedway Illustrated: The rest of this years schedule includes events at Michigan, Chicago, Indianapolis, Kansas and Homestead. Kranefuss indicates he and Shawna have a three-year deal that includes running for Winston Cup Rookie of the Year in 2002. They are currently seeking major sponsorship but Kranefuss has made the commitment to fund the team for the 2001 schedule out of his own pocket if necessary. Robinson will race Ford Taurus cars with Robert Yates engines. Also see a full story at That's Racin'. No word on a car # yet(3-14-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hearing Robinson's car number will be #84 (not sure how this effects Norm Benning who also uses #84, may share it if they do not run the same races)(3-16-2001)

  • Harvick to be Honored: The Coleman Company, Inc., will present a commemorative gold lantern to first-year Cup driver Kevin Harvick, acknowledging his first career Winston Cup win. The presentation will take place in the Darlington Raceway infield, behind the #29 transporter at noon on Friday, March 16th. Coleman created the Coleman(r)Gold Lantern award to recognize NASCAR Winston Cup teams and drivers involved with the Coleman family of licensed products for extraordinary accomplishments throughout their careers. This Gold Lantern recognizes Harvick’s thrilling victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 11. Harvick is the fifth Gold Lantern recipient since Coleman began the recognition program in March 2000. Past recipients include:
    Dale Earnhardt Sr. 1st NASCAR Winston Cup Victory as a member of the Coleman family of licensed drivers - Atlanta Motor Speedway, March 2000
    Rusty Wallace 50th Career NASCAR Winston Cup Victory - Bristol Motor Speedway, March 2000
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1st Career NASCAR Winston Cup Victory - Texas Motor Speedway, April 2000
    Jeff Gordon 1st NASCAR Winston Cup Victory as a member of the Coleman family of licensed drivers - Talladega Superspeedway, April 2000(GMR Marketing)(3-16-2001)

  • Press Conference Canceled? NASCAR officials have scrapped plans for a press conference this weekend to discuss their investigation into Dale Earnhardt's death and possible safety measures that they plan to order, according to NASCAR sources(Winston Salem Journal)(3-16-2001)

  • #97 Sponsor? UPDATE 4: rumor floating around that Newell-Rubbermaid may be a sponsor for the #97 Roush Racing team and driver Kurt Busch. But sources with the team say they have not heard that at all(3-5-2001)
    UPDATE: actually hear the sponsor will be Sanford with their Sharpie Marker Line being featured, Sanford is owned by.....Newell Rubbermaid. An announcement could come in Texas in a few weeks, if that is the sponsor. Sharpie will also be the title sponsor of the race at Bristol in August, the Sharpie® 500(3-6-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Roush Racing, which fields four Winston Cup, two BGN and two CTS teams, has had several high-profile sponsors and two dot-com companies leave or reduce their participation because of economic reasons. Despite losing companies like Northern Light, Exide and John Deere, Roush has been able to find new sources of cash, company president Geoff Smith said. Smith said he expects to add sponsors for rookie Kurt Busch's #97 Winston Cup car and for one of the two trucks. Gain detergent recently agreed to back Jeff Burton's Busch car(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(3-7-2001)
    UPDATE 3: the weeks Speedway Scene mentions Pizza Hut as a psooible sponsor for either the #97 or one of the Roush CTS teams(3-10-2001)
    UPDATE 4: Roush Racing President Geoff Smith expects to announce a sponsor for Kurt Busch's Winston Cup team and the truck team of Chuck Hossfeld at Bristol. He would neither confirm nor deny that the sponsor would be Sanford, the company that manufactures Sharpies. Earlier this year it was announced that Sharpie would sponsor the August Bristol race(Winston Cup Scene need to be a subscriber to read online)(3-15-2001)

  • TV News: Members of the United States military around the world will have a chance to follow their favorite NASCAR drivers like never before. NASCAR and the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) have announced that 2001 NASCAR programming will be aired live and tape delayed to U.S. Armed Forces personnel, Department of Defense (DOD) civilian employees and their family members stationed around the world. More than 800,000 servicemen and women in 170 countries, including approximately 100,000 sailors and marines onboard U.S. Navy ships, will have access to NASCAR events. This gratis agreement, in cooperation between NASCAR and its television partners FOX, NBC, Turner, FX and ESPN, covers NASCAR's top three national series: Wisnton Cup, Busch, Truck Series events. The AFRTS is the military broadcasting agency of the DoD. Through its Broadcast Center on March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, CA, AFRTS delivers commercial-free American radio and television news, sports and entertainment programming to U.S. military bases located in 170 countries and aboard U.S. Navy ships-at-sea. All programming is distributed via digitally compressed, encrypted satellite signals.(NASCAR PR)(3-15-2001)

  • Wind Tunnel: Ottawa's Dr. Vinh Nguyen is doing his absolute best to keep it the wind tunnel in Ottawa a secret. Dr. Nguyen operates the National Research Council's wind tunnel at Uplands Air Force base, which is the home away from home for many of NASCAR's Winston Cup teams. One team that testes there often is the #10 MBV Motorsports team of Johnny Benson and crew chief James Ince who tests there about 20 times a year. See full story at the Toronto Sun(3-15-2001)

  • Data Box: A data box similar to those carried by airplanes that records information when a crash occurs could be on the horizon for stock cars. The devices are already found in open-wheel cars so a crash can be correlated to an injury. But it's more complicated when one begins dealing with stock cars(Winston Cup Scene need to be a subscriber to read online)(3-15-2001)

  • New Cup team/driver: ARCA driver, Brian Conz recently came to an agreement with new to NASCAR Field & Stream Watches® Racing and other soon to be announced associate sponsors. Plans are being made for the #79 Field & Stream Watches® Chevy to make their Winston Cup debut at Talladega Superspeedway on April 22, 2001. Conz plans on running five Cup events, Talladega 4/22, Daytona 7/7, Michigan 8/19, Talladega 10/21 and one event that the sponsor hasn't decided on yet(Brian Conz Site)(3-15-2001)

  • Wind Tunnel: hearing Robert Yates Racing, DEI and Andy Petree Racing all tested cars at the Lockheed wind tunnel in Maritte, GA this week(3-15-2001)

  • Bodine Looking for a Sponsor: As a lot of cars (#'s 27, 97, etc with one year deals or no deals), Brett Bodine Racing is one looking ahead to the future, as always - to renew and/or find additional sponsors. They are also continuing to seach for some smaller associates for this year, as they still have some space available(3-15-2001)

  • NASCAR Statement: The following is a statement from Bill France, NASCAR's Chairman of the Board: "NASCAR fans have always been dedicated, loyal and supportive of their heroes. The support that has been shown the past couple of weeks from NASCAR fans over the issue regarding the autopsy photographs of Dale Earnhardt proves to all of us the strong bond between our competitors and the fans. We want to thank the fans for their continued support of both NASCAR and Teresa Earnhardt in this matter."(NASCAR PR)(3-15-2001)

  • Tropicana and NASCAR? UPDATE 4 Chicagoland - Tropicana 400: hearing that Tropicana(orange juice....owned by, Pepsi) has some sort of announcement within the next week or so of a major sponsorship in NASCAR(3-7-2001)
    UPDATE: looks like it is some sort of contest where you can win one of 24 Jeff Gordon Signature Chevy Monte Carlo's(3-8-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hearing it could be sponsorship of the Chicagoland Cup race? AND 3-Time Winston Cup Champion Jeff Gordon Will Be On Hand To Help Unveil the Announcement . Chicagoland Speedway and some very special guests will make a MAJOR announcement regarding the upcoming race on Wednesday, March 14, 2001 at 12noon/et(Chicagoland PR)(3-13-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Chicagoland Speedway announced that it has a four-year sponsorship agreement with Tropican Products and unveiled the name if its inaugural Winston Cup race - the Tropicana 400, which is scheduled for Sunday, July 15th 2001 AND NASCAR announced an all-daylong practice sessions for Winston Cup and BGN competitors Thursday, July 12. Practice will begin at 9:00am and conclude at 5:00pm/ct. "NASCAR wanted to give the drivers and teams a full day to test the track and set-up their cars for the race on Sunday", said Joie Chitwood, Chicagoland Speedway vice president/general manager. The Thursday practice will provide fans the first opportunity to see the cars on the track and see the state-of-the-art facility. NASCAR also announced a one-day qualifying round for both Winston Cup and Busch Series on Friday, July 13th. Friday morning will provide a one hour fifty-five minute practice session for both series beginning with the Busch series at 9:00 am. Busch qualifying is scheduled to begin at 1:00 pm with a best of two laps to decide all positions. Winston Cup qualifying is scheduled to begin at 3:00 pm with the same format as the Busch Series(Chicagoland PR). Also hearing Gordon will have a special paint scheme for the event(3-14-2001)

  • Rudd's 700th: Ricky Rudd will join a select group of drivers this weekend at Darlington Raceway when he makes his 700th career NASCAR Winston Cup start. Rudd will become the fifth driver in series history to achieve that mark. The others are Richard Petty (1,177 races), Dave Marcis (878), Darrell Waltrip (809) and Bobby Allison (717).(RacingExtra)(3-14-2001)

  • Harvick Tests at Nashville: Kevin Harvick, who won Sunday at Atlanta spent Tuesday at Nashville Superspeedway, practicing for the April 14 Pepsi 300 BGN race. Harvick will continue to run the full BGN schedule as planned, in addition to his recently-acquired Winston Cup duties. Harvick is the first NASCAR driver to test the new 1.3-mile concrete track and.turned straightaway speeds of around 165 mph. ARCA drivers testing at the track last week tested at around 150 mph.(Tennessean)(3-14-2001)

  • Pruett gets a gig: Corvette Racing announced that driver Scott Pruett would replace Chris Kneifel who leaves to take up new duties as Chief Steward of CART immediately following the Superflo 12 Hours of Sebring, March 17th. Pruett, 41, will join the two-car Corvette C5-R team immediately following the Sebring, race when the team will conduct two days of testing March 19 - 20. The team will then travel to France for the open test day on May 6th to further prepare for the world-famous 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 16th and 17th(Daytona Beach News Journal - Speed Magazine). Pruett was in Cup in 2000 with PPI Motorsports in the #32 Tide Ford and currently does commentary on ESPN2's RPM 2Night(3-14-2001)

  • Billy Ray and the #90: Sony recording artist Billy Ray Cyrus will use the Hills Bros Coffee Ford driven by Hut Stricklin to promote his new album, "Southern Rain," at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 25, announced Junie Donlavey, owner of Stricklin's Winston Cup Series #90 machine. Decals commemorating the new album's cover will be placed on the rear quarter panels of the Hills Bros Coffee Ford for the Food City 500. Cyrus will also be singing the national anthem prior to the start of the race. Cyrus has been a NASCAR fan for several years and met Donlavey's team last year at Bristol. Cyrus is currently working on a new television series for PAX Television called "DOC."(Keystone Marketing PR)(3-13-2001)

  • Dale Earnhardt Week: Former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt's daughter and sister joined South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges on Tuesday to proclaim this week Dale Earnhardt Memorial Week. See full AP story at ESPN's Site(3-13-2001)

  • The Championship Outlook: Only five times in the modern era(1972-present) has the eventual champion not won in the first six races. This year, that puts Michael Waltrip, Steve Park, Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick in the heat of the race(Richmond Times Dispatch), when did a driver win the Championship and not win a race in the first six? 1973-Benny Parsons; 1984 and 1996-Terry Labonte; 1985-Darrell Waltrip; and 1999-Dale Jarrett(3-13-2001)

  • Robinson to run some BGN UPDATE 2: Aaron’s and Michael Waltrip Racing announced a new member to the #99 Aaron’s “Dream Machine” team, NASCAR driver, Shawna Robinson. Robinson will take the wheel of the #99 Aaron’s “Dream Machine” Chevrolet for three Busch Series events this year: Texas(3-31), Nashville(4-14) and Talladega(4-21). Robinson will continue her driving duties for Michael Kranefuss in the ARCA RE/MAX series(and the Cup series) as well as the three races for Michael Waltrip Racing’s #99 Aaron’s “Dream Machine” team(Cox Marketing Group)(3-10-2001)
    UPDATE: Robinson is the only woman to win a pole in Busch Series history, capturing the top spot in Atlanta in 1994. She has been racing for over 10 years and had hoped to run a limited Winston Cup schedule this season, but could never line up the necessary sponsorship(Sporting News/AP)(3-11-2001)
    UPDATE 2: it was mentioned on FX's BGN race coverage that Michael Waltrip may put Kerry Earnahrdt in the #99 BGN car for a few races in 2001, as thanks for Dale Earnhardt setting up the #15 NAPA Cup ride for him(3-13-2001)

  • Number Game: when was the last time car #29 was in victory lane for a Winston Cup race before Kevin Harvick won at Atlanta on Sunday? 1967, when Dick Hutcherson won at Maryville, TN on July 27, 1967. It was also the 18th time #29 has been to victory lane. See my Win by Numbers page, which includes First Win by a car#, last win by a car # and number of wins by a car#(3-12-2001)

  • Third Start Winners/Rookie Winner UPDATE: Kevin Harvick becomes the fifth Winston Cup driver to win in his third Cup start. The others: Dan Gurney at Riverside in Jan 1963, Bill Norton at Carrell Speedway in Gardena, CA in Nov 1951; Johnny Mantz at Darlington in Sept 1950(he also started 43rd) and Bob Flock in 1949 at Occoneechee Speedway in Hillsboro, NC(this was the third ever race in NASCAR)(Fox Race Coverage and the Forty Years of Stock Car Racing - Vol 1)(3-11-2001)
    UPDATE:: Dale Earnhardt Jr. won in only his 12th Winston Cup start in 2000. Ron Bouchard won a Cup race in his 11th start in 1981 at Talladega, Mark Donohue won in his 5th Winston Cup start in 1973 at Riverside, the earliest in the 'modern era'(1972 to present) of Winston Cup, he would only make one more Cup start. Others: Morgan Shepherd won in his 15th start (Martinsville) in 1981, but wasn't named Rookie of the Year. Several other drivers won in their first year, but weren't considered ROTY candidates: Dan Gurney at Riverside in 1963 in his third race and Mario Andretti at Daytona Beach in 1967 in his fifth start. When Kevin Harvik won at Atlanta on Sunday, he broke Bouchards 'Modern Era' mark, this is for a driver who is running a full season, not a one time or part time driver(3-12-2000)

  • #7 Team Shakeup: Buzz is reporting that several key Ultra Motorsports #7 team members left the team after the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Travis Block, front tire changer and a key mechanic in research and development is going to Chip Ganassi Racing. Eric Wakeland, a fabricator and rear tire carrier, moved on to Ray Evernham’s #19 Dodge team and Tommy Smith, a fabricator, tire specialist and front tire carrier, left in favor of the #36 Pontiac team(

  • TV at Atlanta: FOX Sports scored an overnight rating for Sunday's Cracker Barrell 500 from Atlanta Motor Speedway of 5.7 with a 13 share. That made the Cup race the highest rated sports program for the fourth straight week, this time edging out CBS Sports telecast of the NCAA Basketball Tournament selection show(SpeedVision)(3-12-2001)

  • The car, the same?? NO Update: many folks are saying the car Harvick won in is not the same one Dale Earnhardt won in last March at Atlanta, some say it was mentioned during the Fox coverage of the race, but I failed to hear it. All I know is what I have been told and seen: on PRN's broadcast of the race, they mentioned it was the same car; on it says: "Driving the same car that Earnhardt drove to Victory Lane here in a photo finish last year, Harvick fended off a furious last lap charge by Jeff Gordon to win by a mere six thousandths of a second". Other news sites report the same. Other sources say the car was the same one Earnhardt finished 2nd last fall in Atlanta and the car Earnhardt won with at Atlanta last March was raced at Rockingham by Harvick
    UPDATE: I have confirmed thru team sources, that the car that Kevin Harvick won in at Atlanta was NOT the same one Dale Earnhardt won with in March 2000, but the car that Earnhardt ran 2nd with at Atlanta in Nov 2000(3-12-2001)

  • 70th for Childress: Kevin Harvick's win in Atlanta marks Richard Childress’ 70th as a car owner(

  • Wind Tunnel: NASCAR took #'s 88, 24, 40 and 18 to the wind tunnel in Marietta, GA., following the race on Sunday at Atlanta(Sporting News)(3-12-2001)

  • Sub: Steve Wolfe, a tire changer on Dale Earnhardt, Jr.' s #8 Bud DEI team, injured his ring finger during a pit stop. He was treated and released from the infield care center. Mike Atwell, a tire changer on teammate Steve Park's #1 Pennzoil team, filled in for Wolfe after Park's car went out with engine failure(The State)(3-12-2001)

  • Back of the Field: #12-Jeremy Mayfield was forced to start in the rear of the field yesterday after missing driver introduction. He was sick with the stomach flu but that was no excuse, according to NASCAR officials(Winston-Salem Journal). #4-Robby Gordon and #97-Kurt Busch also missed driver intorductions and had to go to the rear of the field before the start of the race(3-12-2001)

  • The HANS at Atlanta: On Friday, #66-Todd Bodine received the results on the head and neck safety belt system he developed with Bill Simpson. After discovering his system was 40 percent less safe than the HANS device, Bodine was fitted for his own HANS device on Sunday morning before the start of the race. AND BGN driver, Elton Sawyer claims the HANS device saved his life on Saturday following his wreck on Lap 58 of the Aaron's 312 BGN race. The device is designed to withstand a minimum of 1,500 lbs. of force but gave way, dissipating additional energy after Sawyer made contact with the wall in Turn 2. Ford Racing program manager Jay Novak said the system "did exactly what it was supposed to do."(Sporting News) AND Matt Kenseth said his new HANS device presented no problems when he had to make a hasty exit from his smoking car after a blown engine. Drivers have expressed worries that getting out of the car with the hefty safety collar could be a problem. NASCAR has considered widening the window opening on the driver's side to allow for an easier exit in an emergency(Winston-Salem Journal)(3-12-2001)

    see the Mar 5-11, 2001 Archived News Page

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