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PAST NEWS MAY 7-13, 2001


  • Sad News: condolences to Fox Pit Reporter and Speedway Illustrated Magazine publisher Dr. Dick Berggren on the passing of his father Richard(5-13-2001)

  • Trickle News UPDATE: Dick Trickle, out of work in the Cup and BGN series but tests IROC, will be going to Concord Speedway in Concord, NC to help Mike Miller test his ASA car. Also, Trickle was contacted by Andy Hillenburg to test his #49 Winston Cup car next Monday & Tuesday in Michigan. Hillenburh and his wife are expecting a new baby, and he wants to be home for it’s arrival(Dick Trickle FanClub)(5-9-2001)
    UPDATE: Dick Trickle will test a NASCAR RE/MAX Challenge series 1999 Monte Carlo at the facility May 17th. In preperation for the Touring Series race at the Legendary 14 turn, 4 mile road course July 5th through the 8th. This will be his first race at Road America in his 40 plus year career. Testing is open to the public.(5-13-2001)

  • More Paint Schemes: hearing that #18-Bobby Labonte and #20-Tony Stewart will have Talladega Special paint schemes, something to do with the Coca-Cola polar bears(5-13-2001)

  • #93 and BP UPDATE: during a chat with #93 driver Dave Blaney - Q) any special paint schemes this season? A) Right now, there is a green and yellow BP car in the drawing board. I do not know when or where that will show up( Chat Transcript)(3-29-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing the BP scheme will run in the Coca-Cola 600(5-13-2001)


  • FX Ratings: FX's telecast of the Pontiac Excitement 400, the network's first NASCAR Winston Cup Series race, delivered the highest viewership of any program in its seven-year history. It ranked #1 among all basic cable programs on Saturday, May 5, finished #3 among all basic cable programs for the week ending May 6 (household rating and HH impressions), and also was the #1 show for the week among Adults 25-54 and Men 25-54. In addition, the FX Pre-race show (7:30-8 PM) ranked #4 among Adults 18-49 and #8 in HH rating/impressions for the week. The 2001 Pontiac Excitement 400 (8-11:25 PM) earned a 4.03 HH rating, which was 14% above ESPN's HH rating of the same race one year ago. The telecast averaged 2.6 million homes and over 4.5 million viewers. Race coverage peaked at a 5.22 HH rating and over 6 million viewers (11-11:15 PM), and the final hour-and-a-half averaged a 4.4 HH rating. The Pre-race show posted a 2.6 HH rating or 1.7 million homes. While carried in 12.7 million fewer homes(keep calling folks, see number below) than ESPN was in May 2000, FX delivered increased impressions in every key demo versus ESPN's 2000 telecast - Adults 25-54, +9%; Adults 18-49, +19%; Adults 18-34, +33%; Men 18-34, +13%; Men 18-49, +9% and Men 25-54, +5%.(NASCAR PR) and see SpeedVision's weekly column: TV – Who Watched What Last Weekend(5-12-2001)


  • #85 Gets a Sponsor for Charlotte: Labor Solutions Inc. is proud to announce that they will be sponsoring the #85 Mansion Motorsports Ford Taurus of Carl Long for the Coca-Cola 600, The Winston Open, and The Winston (if transfered). Labor Solutions Inc. is a employment/staffing service located in Waterbury, CT that is geared towards the training and preparing of employees before they enter the job market. Their specialty is locating jobs for individuals interested in working in the motorsports field. For more info see thier website at Solutions PR)(5-11-2001)

  • Sad News UPDATE: Legendary racing mechanic Henry "Smokey" Yunick passed away this morning at his home after a yearlong battle with leukemia. The 77 year old mechanic, who was born in Tennessee, settled at Daytona Beach in 1946 after serving as a bomber pilot with the Air Force during World War II. His first glimpse of Daytona Beach was from the pilot seat of a B-17 bomber plane. After one look, he decided to call this area home once his tour of service was complete. In 1947 he opened an automobile repair shop on Beach Street that he dubbed "The Best Damn Garage In Town." He closed the garage to the public in the mid-1980s but continued his research and development projects deep in the bowels of the massive structure. According the Stock Car Racing Encyclopedia, Yunick had 61 starts as a car owner scoring eight career victories. He won more than 50 times as a crew chief, chief mechanic or engine builder. He scored 49 victories working with Herb Thomas. He was in the first group of 20 men inducted into the prestigious International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1990. Yunick's family will announce funeral service information later today.(Daytona Beach New Journal), thoughts go out to family and friends(5-9-2001)
    UPDATE - services: Services are scheduled at the Ormand (Fla.) Funeral Home at 1 p.m. Saturday. The family has requested, in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to the Stewart Marchman Treatment Center at 3875 Tiger Bay Road, Daytona Beach, Fla., 32124.(That's Racin')(5-11-2001)

  • Plates at New Hampshire: NASCAR has no plans to use restrictor plates during Busch Series events this weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway, and it has not made a decision on whether it will use them in the Winston Cup race July 22.(SpeedVision). Back in February it was reported that "Helton also said that restrictor plates won't return to New Hampshire, where NASCAR used them for the first time last year. "We've got some other things we're looking at to do in general on the race cars," Helton said without elaboration(see my NHIS Past News Page for the full story)(5-11-2001)

  • Seatbelt News: An Orange County(FL) firefighter will not recreate his efforts to unlatch Dale Earnhardt's seat belt at the Daytona 500 because NASCAR would not allow it to be videotaped, his lawyer said Thursday. NASCAR lawyers had asked firefighter Tommy Propst to participate in the recreation after he disclosed that Earnhardt's seat belt appeared to be intact after the driver hit a wall at the Daytona International Speedway. The racing organization, which is investigating the fatal accident, contends that Earnhardt's left lap belt broke during the Feb. 18 crash. NASCAR has not displayed the belt publicly, however.(Orlando Sentinel), past news on the seatbelt on my Dale Earnhardt Tribute site, main page under news(5-11-2001)

  • Humpy to make his pick UPDATE it's Jarrett: With an assist from magician Mark Robinson, Lowe's Motor Speedway presient H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler will gaze into his crystal ball Thursday and reveal his pick to win The Winston on May 19. During the past 13 years, Wheeler has been correct nine times in his annual selection, including his prediction that rookie Dale Earnhardt Jr. would top the veterans in last year's running of NASCAR's annual all-star event. Wheeler has spent hours touring the Winston Cup garage areas and talking to sources on the phone and is prepared, with a little magic and illusion, to reveal his selection at 2:30pm/et Thursday(May 10th) at The Speedway Club at Lowe's Motor Speedway(That's Racin')(5-10-2001)
    UPDATE: Every year about this time, Lowe's Motor Speedway president H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler dons the cloak of the prognosticator and picks the winner of The Winston, next weekend's NASCAR all-star race. At the speedway near Charlotte on Thursday, the race promoter and ringmaster gazed into the future again and said Dale Jarrett would be this year's winner of the prestigious race(That's Racin')(5-11-2001)

  • Special Paint UPDATE 2: been told that #36-Ken Schrader will have a different paint scheme at Charlotte in Oct and the #10-Johnny Benson will have a speical scheme at the Brickyard 400(5-4-2001)
    UPDATE: See an image of the Daytona/Pepsi 400 #36 car in my Paint Scheme Gallery(5-10-2001)
    UPDATE: hear the Benson scheme will have something to do with the late actor, James Dean(5-11-2001)


  • more Investigation Controversy: Two months ago, a Daytona Beach judge appointed Barry Myers, a Duke University biomechanical engineer, to study autopsy photos and render an independent report on what killed Earnhardt. Now, some medical and legal experts question Myers' theory that Earnhardt died of a violent whiplash that cracked his skull. And they say the expert's ties to General Motors, sponsor of Earnhardt's #3 Chevrolet, impaired his ability to appear independent. GM and other car makers have retained Myers as an expert witness to defend lawsuits. Myers declined to be interviewed but said in a written statement he stood by the independence and accuracy of his report. GM also said in a statement it is not a party to the debate(That's Racin')(5-10-2001)

  • Medical Director at Speedway Motorsports Tracks UPDATE: H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway, conducted a “Tire-Side Chat” with media members earlier today. mentioned was: “One of the other things that we’re looking at as a company at Speedway Motorsports is the possibility of hiring a full-time medical director for our tracks and our events which include not only NASCAR, but also Indy Car and drag racing. This medial director post we are looking at would also assist sanctioning bodies with driver records and crewman records—and we haven’t talked much about that and as these pit stops get faster and faster we’re going to continue to see orthopedic-type injuries with the pit crews and we need to be on top of that as much as possible.” You mentioned the possibility of a medical director for the SMI tracks. Can you clarify that? “I think this thing could happen fairly quickly. We’ve been studying it for some time and we still are. We want to make sure we get the right person. We would continue to have the personnel in our trauma centers and the individual track medical directors, but this person would oversee things and make sure we have everything that we need in the trauma centers at our various speedways. This person could also be involved in continued research on making the trauma centers better as well as what’s happening on the track and even to the point of working with the various people who are trying to make the cars safer.” See full story/teleconference at the LMS Site and another story at Racing Extra(4-11-2001)
    UPDATE - SMI Adds Medical Coordinator: Speedway Motorsports Inc. took a step forward for driver safety Wednesday when it added Dr. Jerry Petty to its staff as medical services coordinator. Petty will assist at each of the races at Speedway Motorsports tracks -- Atlanta, Bristol, Charlotte (Lowe's), Las Vegas, Sears Point and Texas. NASCAR, unlike CART and Formula One, doesn't have a series physician who travels and assists at all of the races. Drivers often are attended to by physicians who know nothing about the drivers' medical histories. It's a step NASCAR must take, and perhaps Speedway Motorsports is pushing the sanctioning body in the right direction. (Sporting News)(5-10-2001)

  • #90 in the Wind: The #90 Hills Bros Coffee Racing team has two intermediate cars (for Lowes) in the wind tunnel at N.A.S.A.'s Langley Research Center located in Hampton, VA today(5-10-2001)

  • John Deere back? According to a weekly John Deere newsletter, the company's relationship with Chad Little might be reborn. This excerpt came directly from the source: "That's right! I heard it from a very reliable source high up at Deere and Company! Deere is planning on sponsoring Chad Little again in the Busch Series! My source didn't know an exact date."( Buzz)(5-10-2001)


  • Bodine Cancels Charlotte Plans UPDATE 2 with a new owner?: Geoffrey Bodine's plans to test at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 7th & 8th, and to compete in the Coca Cola 600, have been cancelled due to insufficient time to prepare for a competitive run(Geoffrey Bodine Fanclub Site)(5-5-2001)
    UPDATE: Bodine was looking to put together a deal with brother Brett to allow him to run the Winston Open and the Coca-Cola 600, but concerns with sponsorship and his engine program have put the plans on hold for a bit. But, as many racing dreams are, the plans were shelved temporarily by the search for the almighty dollar. Bodine said that he is still talking with the sponsor – who he declined to name – for a possible run later in the season(SpeedVision)
    AND from Winners Magazine(print), part of an interview (used with permission):
    Geoffrey Bodine says he'll be making an announcement during Charlotte race week:
    Transcript: "You're getting the scoop. We'll be making an announcement during Charlotte race week of some plans for next season and beyond and it's going to be really very exciting. I can't tell you everything now but things are looking really good for the future."
    Does it relate to your brothers? "Ahhh no not directly. You know no...nothing direct. I mean it may be some spin offs from all that but its basically myself and some other people but ah it will put me back behind the steering wheel of a race car which is great news.
    On the cup side? "Yes" ."I can't go any further than that but things are progressing really well and plans are to have an announcement during the Charlotte races."(Winners Magazine -print not online)(5-8-2001)
    UPDATE 2: MRN's NASCAR Today Radio show reported Tuesday that Bodine was seen with an African-American Couple in the Lowes Motor Speedway garage area who are reportedly buying the #75 Galaxy Motorsports team, Debra Ward is supposedly buying the team and Ward did confirm something is going on. An announcement is scheduled for May 24th. Hear the show via the Internet on

  • Simo in the #90 at Road Courses: Hills Bros Coffee Racing team owner Junie Donlavey has tabbed Trans-Am Series Champion Brian Simo (SIM o) to run the Hills Bros Coffee Ford at both Sears Point Raceway in June and Watkins Glen International in August. Looking at the opportunity to help his Hills Bros Coffee Racing team gain points in the standings, Stricklin supported the opportunity to put Simo behind the wheel. Simo is looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the #90 car. "Junie Donlavey is the nicest man in racing," Simo said. "I appreciate the opportunity he's given me to get back in a Winston Cup car and I'm looking forward to working with the Hills Bros Coffee crew again. I think it's great that we'll be doing some testing prior to the Sears Point race. Hopefully, that will translate into a solid starting position, and then we'll just work it from there." Donlavey Racing is hoping to get the team's road-course car ready to test at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) in Alton, Va., prior to making the trip to Sears Point in June. Simo competed in the BGN events at Watkins Glen in 1997 and 1998. Both times, he was leading the race before suffering engine failure. His first Cup start came at Sears Point last June where he qualified 34th and finished 36th, despite a long pit stop to replace a broken gear(Keystone Marketing)(5-9-2001)

  • Autopsy Photos - more: A court order intended to protect the privacy of Dale Earnhardt's family(and other families) may make it harder for Daytona Beach police to complete their investigation into the crash that killed Earnhardt(at the Daytona 500). The Feb. 22 order issued by Circuit Judge Joseph Will sealed not only autopsy photos of Earnhardt, but also the photos of the inside of his wrecked car that were taken by the Volusia County's Medical Examiner's Office. Daytona Beach police may have to go to court to get the photos(Orlando Sentinel)(5-9-2001)

  • Chicago Testing UPDATE: #18-Bobby Labonte and #24-Jeff Gordon will be doing a Goodyear tire test at the Chicagoland Speedway on May 7th and 8th(5-7-2001)
    UPDATE: Monday and Tuesday, May 7-8, #24-Jeff Gordon and #18-Bobby Labonte, took part in a Goodyear tire test at Chicagoland Speedway. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, the official provider of tires for NASCAR, tested several tire compounds that will be used in future races at Chicagoland Speedway. In preparation for thc inaugural Tropicana 400 on July 15th, Goodyear also tested tire compounds from several other similar tracks on the circuit that might possibly be used for the July race. The testing session consisted of both cars running 10 to 15 laps, and then returning to the garage to receive their results and tune their car, as well as give feedback to the Goodyear technicians. Both Gordon and Labonte were pleased with the track and commented on its unique design(Chicagoland Speedway PR). No speeds mentioned(5-9-2001)

  • Lepage Signed? UPDATE 3 YES: Kevin Lepage was scheduled to formally sign a contract with #4 Morgan-McClure Motorsports May 1, a development unaffected by his failure to qualify for the April 29 Napa Auto Parts 500(Winston Cup Scene - need subscrition to read online)(5-3-2001)
    UPDATE: Kevin Lepage, who has already agreed to a deal with the #4 Morgan-McClure Motorsports team, will make his relationship with the team official when he signs a contract this week. Lepage, who joined the #4 Kodak Chevrolet team after the it split with former driver Robby Gordon, is expected to sign a contract Tuesday at Charlotte where the team will be testing for the upcoming Winston all-star race and Coca-Cola 600(That's Racin')(5-6-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Morgan-McClure Motorsports will make a special announcement in conjunction with the annual Lowe's Motor Speedway press conference. The media event will take place in the Winston Cup garage at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Tuesday, May 8th at 3:30pm/et(Morgan McClure PR), could be Lepage named the driver?(5-8-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Morgan-McClure Motorsports and Kodak have reached an agreement with Kevin Lepage to drive the #4 KODAK MAX Film Monte Carlo. Lepage stepped into the ride in the Food City 500 at Bristol. Following several weeks of "courting", the team is ready to make the relationship official. A three-year contract will solidify Lepage as the driver of the familiar yellow Chevrolet. Larry McClure, owner of the #4, and Lepage have eluded to the contract for several weeks. However, time constraints and final negotiations kept the deal on the table. Both parties are ready to move forward for the 2001 season. Lepage and McClure feel the chemistry is present to make successful showings in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Kevin Lepage, "official" driver of the No. 4 KODAK MAX Film Monte Carlo, quotes: "I am just honored to be named the driver of the #4 KODAK MAX Film Chevy. We had our trial run and liked each other enough to ink a contract. Larry, Ed, Teddy and Jerry McClure and all of the people over at Morgan-McClure are a great bunch. My wife, Donna, and I are looking forward to working with them and being a part of their racing family(Morgan McClure PR)(5-9-2001)

  • Geico Happy: Ted Ward, Vice-President of Marketing for GEICO Direct, said last Wednesday that he has received a great response since agreeing to the deal with Kenny Wallace. "We have always known what a great opportunity that NASCAR presents and with Kenny Wallace it made it all come together for a perfect fit. We are looking forward to being with Kenny in Richmond this week and getting something put together for the rest of the season."(

  • Cope Gets a Sponsor UPDATE: Derrike Cope announced that he will be driving in the Winston Open for Dee Zee, Incorporated. Dee Zee will sponsor the Quest Motor Racing Pontiac in the Open and will be an associate sponsor throughout the year. Dee Zee, based in Des Moines, Iowa, specializes in quality light duty truck accessories for the truck enthusiast. Cope will be shooting a commercial for Dee Zee, Inc. in June. The #37 Quest Motor Racing Team will participate in open testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 7 and 8(Derrike Cope Site)(5-5-2001)
    UPDATE: Derrike Cope is back in his driving suit as the fledgling Quest Motor Sports team prepares for a run at making its first-ever Winston Cup start. The #37 Dee Zee Pontiac took to the test track for the first time Monday, joining 12 other cars in an open test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The team, which is co-owned by five-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Warren Johnson, is running its own engine program and was happy with his early progress(SpeedVision), also see an image of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery(5-9-2001)

  • Autopsy Photo Update: An appeals court denied a Web site operator access to Dale Earnhardt's autopsy photos. Michael Uribe, owner of a DeLand-based Web site, wanted to overturn a lower court's decision barring the release of photos(That's Racin'/AP)(5-9-2001)

  • Simpson Still Wants Meeting: Bob Horn, an attorney representing Bill Simpson, is trying to finalize a meeting with NASCAR's top officials, Chairman Bill France Jr. and President Mike Helton, in the days between the running of The Winston (May 19) and the Coca-Cola 600 (May 27) at Lowes Motor Speedway. As of Tuesday, he was optimistic, but had not received a commitment from NASCAR's chief counsel, Gary Crotty(CNN/SI)(5-9-2001)

  • Lowes Testing: #02-Ryan Newman was the fastest in the 2nd day of testing at Lowes Motor Speedway in preparation for the Coca Cola 600 with a speed of 181.208mph. #4-Kevin Lepage was second fastest on the unofficial stopwatches at 181.147 mph, #40-Sterling Marlin was third quickest at 179.700 with #37-Derrike Cope (179.462) and #36-Ken Schrader (179.342) rounding out the top five among the 14 teams. #10-Jeff Green was fastest in BGN testing for the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 by posting the fastest lap of the day among the 21 teams with a speed of 180.060mph. #7-Randy Lajoie was second fastest at 179.820 mph with #87-Joe Nemechek third at 179.402. #26-Bobby Hamilton Jr. (178.808) and #00-Todd Bodine (176.991) completed the top five. #11-Marty Houston was involved in the only incident of the two-day session when he lost control coming off turn four and hit the wall in the #11 BGN Chevrolet. Houston was uninjured and tested the rest of the day in the team’s second car(LMS PR)(5-9-2001)


  • Mark Martin's Speedway has an accident UPDATE 4 Good News: James Neaves, president of the New Smyrna Quarter Midget Racing Association, is in critical but stable condition with head injuries in the intensive care unit at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, a hospital spokeswoman said. The 35-year-old Spruce Creek Fly-In resident was injured during a caution lap when a slow moving car driven by a 6-year-old Deltona boy hit him from behind. The impact at the ankles threw Neaves in the air and he landed on his head, a Sheriff's Office report said. Robert Hart, owner of New Smyrna Speedway where the midget track is located, said it was an unfortunate incident. There was no ambulance on site nor an emergency medical technician on duty during the races. The Little New Smyrna Speedway -- geared toward children between the ages of 5 and 15 -- officially opened during Speed Weeks in February. Founder and Winston Cup driver Mark Martin, Neaves and Dye worked nearly a year to get the track operational for area kids to learn about competitive racing at a young age. Benny Ertel, spokesman for Martin, said the NASCAR driver was upset about the news and rushed to the hospital to be with Neaves' family late Sunday night when he returned from the race at Texas Motor Speedway. Martin was unavailable for comment Monday.(see full story at the Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-3-2001)
    UPDATE: have heard that James Neaves is doing better, nothing official
    UPDATE 2: The youth auto racing official injured at New Smyrna Speedway Sunday has been upgraded to serious condition, a Halifax Medical Center spokeswoman said Thursday. James Neaves, 35, was thrown into the air after being struck from behind by a 6-year-old Deltona boy during a caution lap. The impact from the car, which weighs about 235 pounds, threw Neaves onto the asphalt track, causing severe head injuries. Neaves is president of the newly formed New Smyrna Quarter Midget Racing Association, which built a track in the infield of the speedway. He had just finished fixing a section of the low wooden wall following an accident during the practice session when he was struck. He was transported by helicopter to the hospital's intensive care unit where he had remained in critical condition until Thursday morning(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-6-2001)
    UPDATE 3: good news on Jim Neaves - he is sitting up and having limited conversation and things are actually going quite well. The track was back racing last night(4-12-2001)
    UPDATE 4: Jim Neaves went home last Wednesday(May 2). Attended his son's race at the speedway Wednesday night. Doctors have released him to stay at home and he should be returning to work very soon. Good News(5-8-2001)

  • New #68 Team Tests: TWC Motorsport, Ltd., Inc.'s, #68 Chevrolet Monte Carlo completed its first test this past Thursday and Friday at the Virginia International Raceway(VIR). The team was quite pleased that the initial shake down of the Monte Carlo went very smoothly. Tom Coleman, owner of the newly acquired TWC Motorsport NASCAR Winston Cup car, stated, "We came to Virginia International Raceway to get Anthony (Lazzaro) comfortable with the car." Coleman went on to explain that once Lazzaro was comfortable with the car the TWC Motorsport team focused on getting the car dialed in. "Anthony hot lapped the car, with times in the high 1.27's and it's our understanding that the other NASCAR teams are in the same range," Coleman said. "We have certainly come a long way in a short time," stated driver Anthony Lazzaro, "and I know with more testing, TWC could be a factor at any road course." Always one to give credit where credit is due Lazzaro went on to state, "Coleman has put together an exceptional team who knows what it takes to make these 3,400 pound cars go!" TWC Motorsport, Ltd., Inc., has more testing scheduled in preparation for the demanding road course at Sears Point in June(TWC Motorsport PR). NOTE: VIR is a road course in Danville, VA, which reopened last year after many years of inactivity.(5-8-2001)

  • Martin has Surgery: #6-Mark Martin underwent outpatient surgery Monday morning to remove a screw from his left knee. The screw was inserted in July 1999 after Martin broke a bone in his leg during an accident at Daytona during a practice session for the Pepsi 400. Dr. Chuck Kollmer, the same doctor who operated on Martin's knee originally, as well as his back in December 1999, performed the minor surgery. The procedure was done in Dr. Kollmer's office in New Smyrna Beach, FL(That's Racin')(5-8-2001)

  • Testing At Lowes UPDATE: Lowes Motor Speedway will host many drivers in a test session on Monday May 7th and Tuesday, May 8th. Cup schedule on both days run from 4:00 to 10:00pm/et. Sceduled drivers so far are: #88-Dale Jarrett, #9-Bill Elliott, #22-Ward Burton, #19-Casey Atwood, #66-Todd Bodine, #36-Ken Schrader, #4-Kevin Lepage, #85-Carl Long and #50-Rick Mast. Others may join(LMS PR), many BGN teams will also test during the day(5-6-2001)
    UPDATE: Todd Bodine and Jimmy Spencer topped the speed charts Tuesday as testing hit high gear for the Coca-Cola 600, The Winston and the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Bodine was fastest among 13 NASCAR Winston Cup teams preparing for the 600-mile run on Sunday, May 27, and NASCAR’s annual all-star battle on Saturday, May 19. Driving the #66 Ford, Bodine posted a lap of 180.602 mph, on the unofficial stopwatches. #02-Ryan Newman, who set the overall Lowe’s Motor Speedway track record last October in an ARCA car, was second fastest among the Winston Cup contingent at 179.104mph. Rounding out the top-five on the stopwatches were #88-Dale Jarrett (178.336), #19-Casey Atwood (178.218) and #36-Ken Schrader (178.100). #1-Jimmy Spencer was quickest on the unofficial stopwatches as 20 NASCAR Busch Series teams prepared for the May 26 running of the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300. Spencer’s team had both a Chevrolet and a Ford in the garage, but his lap of 180.180 mph, came in the Chevrolet. #10-Jeff Green was second fastest at 179.820mph with #26-Bobby Hamilton Jr. third at 179.401. #7-Randy Lajoie (178.218), #87-Joe Nemechek (177.223) and #24-Ricky Hendrick (176.991) rounded the top six. There were no spins or accidents during the 13 hours of testing. Testing continues Tuesday with the Busch Cars in action from 9:00am to 4:00pm/et with the Winston Cup teams running again from 4:00 until 10:00pm/et.(LMS PR)(5-8-2001)

  • #12 in the Wind: hearing the #12 Mobil 1 team has three cars Tuesday and Wednesday. Two for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona(7/7) and an intermediate car for the Coca Cola 600/Winston(5-8-2001)

  • Home Depot to leave #20? UPDATE: is reporting that they hear that Home Depot may move from car sponsorship to more race sponsorship and there is a possibility that Target stores may sponsor Stewart in one of Chip Ganassi's Dodge Cup cars next year(AutoRacing1). Jayski Note: seems hard to believe as Home Depot and Stewart both have contracts with Joe Gibbs Racing thru 2004(5-7-2001)
    UPDATE: This rumor is downgraded to 'false'. In checking with Stewart connections, they tell us he is committed to Home Depot and the Joe Gibbs operation through 2004. However, our source(AutoRacing1's source) maintains that Home Depot is losing a ton of money and with Lowe's getting out of NASCAR, this is one contract that may be broken.(AutoRacing1)(5-8-2000)

  • More Cup drivers at NHIS BGN race UPDATE: Mike Skinner has joined fellow Cup drivers Kevin Harvick(#29 in Cup, #2 in BGN), Steve Park(#1 and #31), Kenny Wallace(#27 and #48), Jimmy Spencer(#26 and #1), Mike Skinner(#31 and #21), (The #00 will not run at NHIS as reported) in the field for the May 12 CVS/pharmacy 200 Presented by Bayer BGN race at New Hampshire International Speedway(NHIS PR)(5-4-2001)
    UPDATE: Kevin Lepage will drive the #1 Yellow Chevrolet in the CVS/pharmacy 200. Lepage will be stepping in for Jimmy Spencer, who has family obligations that will keep him in North Carolina for the weekend(NHIS PR)(5-8-2001)

  • Been Asked: Stanley Smith, who was critically injured at a 1993 Winston Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway, will attempt to qualify for Saturday’s Express 200, a Gatorade All Pro Series race at Birmingham (Ala.) International Raceway(Gaston Gazeete)(5-8-200)


  • Stewart to run the Indy 500 AND the Coke 600 - same day UPDATE: Tony Stewart will attempt to drive in both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on May 27, has learned. An official announcement of Stewart's plans will be made Monday in Indianapolis. Stewart will drive an entry for Chip Ganassi in the 500, a Target G-Force/Aurora. Practice for this year's Indy 500 begins Sunday. Ganassi currently fields two rookie drivers in the Championship Auto Racing Teams series. This will mark the second time in three years Stewart will attempt to run both races.(see full story at That's Racin'). See more on the progression of this story on my #20 Team News and Links page(5-4-2001)
    UPDATE - Official - Yep: In a press conference in Indianapolis Monday, Tony Stewart announced he will team with CART series driver Jimmy Vasser and pilot a G-Force/Aurora IRL entry for the two-car Target Chip Ganassi Racing organization in the May 27 Indy 500. Stewart and his Joe Gibbs Racing team have also worked on planning to ensure his participation in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway that same evening. "In case of any conflicts, Tony's number one responsibility will be the #20 Home Depot car and the Coca-Cola 600. We have made all arrangements to assure that Tony will start the Coca-Cola 600," said Cup team owner Joe Gibbs(full story at That's Racin')(5-7-2001)

  • Kmart to Re-new? UPDATE: #26-Jimmy Spencer and #66-Todd Bodine may have added incentive this spring, with word that K-Mart officials are now interested in renewing their sponsorship contract with car owner Travis Carter. Bodine opened the season strong, and the last few weeks, teammate Spencer has been a headliner too(Winston Salem Journal)
    UPDATE: I hear Kmart is showing an interest in staying in stock car racing but isn't necessarily locked into Travis Carter's team(#'s 26 and 66) after the contract runs out at the end of next year. They have already put "feelers" out with several teams. They aren't definitely gone from Carter's team but they aren't definitely staying either. They have come a long way from trying to sell the sponsorship and trying to get out of it to now seeing if there isn't a good way for them to stay in(5-7-2001)

  • Childress changes belts: Richard Childress Racing has removed Simpson seat belts from its Cup and Busch cars except Mike Skinner's #31. The team says the move was made because of driver preference(Sporting News)(5-7-2001)

  • Dover Testing: #20-Tony Stewart will skip this week's Charlotte tests but will head to Dover next week for testing for next month's race there(Winston Salem Journal)(5-7-2001)

  • Trouble at go-cart track: Concord (NC) police are investigating a murder outside a popular gathering place for children and they're hoping someone will come forward with clues that will help with their investigation. Police are trying to find out who killed a Concord man behind Ken Schrader's SeeKonk Grand Prix go-cart track. Right now it's a crime with no motive and no suspects(Charlotte Observer/WBTV News 3)(5-7-2001)

  • #75 Team Almost Sold? hearing that the #75 Galaxy Motorsports team is up for sale and are very close to closing the deal with another new owner who has never been in the racing business(5-7-2001)


    see the Apr 30-May 6, 2001 Archived News Page

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