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PAST NEWS MAY 28-JUNE 3, 2001


(6-3-2001)

  • No To The Humpy Bumper? UPDATE 4 More Testing in Detroit: NASCAR officials are saying "no way" to Humpy Wheeler's crushable "Humpy Bumper," a $6,000 piece of composite materials designed to bolt into the nose of a Winston Cup car and provide more cushion in a crash(Winston Salem Journal), see full past news on this on my Safety/News/HANS page(5-28-2001)
    UPDATE: Contrary to a report in the Winston-Salem Journal, H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager, said NASCAR officials were very receptive to the new frontal impact safety device, nicknamed the Humpy Bumper, developed by Lew Composites and are anxiously waiting to review the data from sled crash tests that will be performed by General Motors. Also, Mr. Wheeler participated in the Speedway Motorsports sanction meetings with NASCAR officials and said NASCAR never suggested that one of the Atlanta Winston Cup dates be moved to Texas as was reported by the Winston-Salem Journal(LMS PR)
    UPDATE 2: Following extensive discussions with NASCAR officials during The Winston and Coca-Cola 600 weekends at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler said today testing is continuing on the frontal impact absorption system, nicknamed the “Humpy Bumper,” that was developed by Paul Lew of Lew Composites. “They are at the University of Dayton this week doing computer simulation testing,” Wheeler noted. “Then, next week they are scheduled to sled test it at General Motors’ facility. From there they will go to the Lockheed wind tunnel to examine its aerodynamic effect on the car. “After all that testing is complete, they plan to do two remote crash tests of Winston Cup cars fitted with the bumper at as-yet-undetermined speedways,” Wheeler continued. Wheeler emphasized NASCAR officials met with him and Lew, head of Las Vegas-based Lew Composites, and are completely aware of the testing that is taking place. “NASCAR officials have been very cooperative,” Wheeler continued. “In fact, there is some specific testing data they want to see and we are complying with their request.” Wheeler said once the testing is complete and the impact absorption system is approved for competition, Lew Composites can build 45 units in 30 days. The unit’s super high-tech production process, known as “3D/DL” (three-dimensional/directional laminate), produces a structure that weighs only 16 pounds, will cost less than $6,000 per unit to manufacture and can be made to sacrifice itself when acted on by a pre-determined amount of force.(LMS PR)(5-30-2001)
    UPDATE 3: the Winston Salem Journal reports - NASCAR executives are privately writing off Humpy Wheeler's latest safety innovation, the 'Humpy Bumper,' a specially designed 16-pound composite bumper that bolts on to a Winston Cup or Busch car. Wheeler, however, is going ahead with more testing. The bumper, designed by Paul Lew, is undergoing computer simulations at the University of Dayton this week, and next week it's headed for sled testing at GM, and then to Lockheed for wind tunnel studies. Following all that Wheeler says the bumper will be crash-tested. The $6,000 bumper, Lew says, is a directional laminate, meaning the force of the impact is absorbed through the structure in a predetermined road map(Winston Salem Journal), of note, during an RPM 2Night (ESPN2) show this week, Lew was quoted as saying the bumper would cost less then the $6,000 originally mentioned(6-2-2001)
    UPDATE 4: it was reported on Fox's pre-race show, that the 'Humpy Bumper' would undergo more testing this week in Detroit, MI and that NASCAR has been invited and that representatives plans to attend the test(6-3-2001)

  • #30 AOL Car News UPDATE at Michigan: Jeff Green, attempting seven Cup races this season for Richard Childress Racing(RCR) in the #30 AOL Chevy, failed to make the field for Sunday's race when qualifying was canceled by rain. Team spokesman David Hart said RCR was considering two possibilities to make up the Dover race with Green. The first would have Green compete in next weekend's Michigan race. The driver will already be at Michigan competing in the International Race of Champions series(IROC). The other possibility would be for Green to compete in the September race at Dover. The team had picked Dover because of its close proximity to the headquarters of sponsor, American Online(That's Racin')
    UPDATE: Fox analyst, Larry McReynolds mentioned at the beginning of the Fox coverage of the MBNA 400 at Dover, that Jeff Green would drive the #30 AOL Chevy this coming race at Michigan AND from NASCAR.com Buzz: On Sunday morning, Childress announced he would bring his #30 AOL Chevrolet driven by Jeff Green to Michigan next weekend to attempt to qualify for the June 10 Kmart 400(6-3-2001)

  • Childress News? Green the driver? UPDATE 3 maybe not Riggs in the mix?: Richard Childress has settled on Jeff Green as his new driver next season for his third Winston Cup team, according to team sources. "But nobody's told me anything yet," Green said. Green is running seven Cup races for Childress this season. Robby Gordon may drive a Childress car in the July 8th Busch race at Watkins Glen(Winston Salem Journal)(5-26-201)
    UPDATE: Jeff Green said Wednesday morning on a Charlotte-based radio station that he is currently working out a two-year contract extension with ppc Racing and NesQuik. He didn't totally rule out the chance of taking over Richard Childress' #30 Chevy fulltime in 2002, however, saying "I'm not getting any younger and I'd still like to get a Winston Cup championship."(NASCAR.com Buzz)(5-30-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hearing CTS driver, Scott Riggs (#2-Ultra Motorsports truck) is being considered for either a RCR Cup or BGN ride for the 2002 season
    UPDATE 3: “Just rumors,” Riggs said. “Definitely, other people have approached me and talked to me, but I keep telling them the same story: I’m going to stay focused on trying to win this championship this year. Then I feel like the real opportunities will come forth. Jim Smith (Riggs’ NCTS owner) has definitely given me some great opportunities by telling me he wants to stay on with his organization. His Winston Cup team, he looks to the future and wants me to be a part of that future.” Mike Wallace drives for Smith’s Winston Cup team, but Riggs could become a teammate in the future. Riggs’ contract with Smith also runs out at the end of this year(RacingOne)(6-3-2001)

  • Gordon Dominates at Dover: #24-Jeff Gordon won the MBNA 400 at Dover, leading 381 or 400 laps and breaking Mark Martins record of 379 (for a 400 miler) set in Sept 1998. The win is Gordon's 54th, which ties him for 7th on the all-time list with Rusty Wallace and Lee Petty. #1-Steve Park was the runner-up. #32-Ricky Craven finished 4th for his seasons best and rookie #01-Jason Leffler finished 13th, his best of his 11 race Winston Cup career(he missed two). Winston Cup Points Leader, #88-Dale Jarrett finished 5th and still holds a 50 point lead over Gordon. #20-Tony Stewart failed to win his 3rd straight at Dover but finished 7th for his 6th straight top 10 finish. See That's Racin': for the Unofficial Results and Unofficial Standings(6-3-2001)

  • New Pontiac? NASCAR officials have begun studying Pontiac's plans for a new Winston Cup model for the 2003 season(Winston Salem Journal)(6-3-2001)

  • More - Labonte's debut 10 years ago and....: Three drivers competing in today's race at Dover made their first Winston Cup start at there. #18-Bobby Labonte made his big-league NASCAR start there in 1991, the year he won the Busch Series title, while #17-Matt Kenseth showed his future potential in 1998 and #97-Kurt Busch made his debut run just last season. Labonte picked Dover for his inaugural run because the car count is always down after the high-dollar Coca-Cola 600. Labonte raced a car owned by his family at Dover and had his Busch Series crew pull double duty that weekend. Labonte was going to run five Cup races that season but stopped after two events. He finished 34th in his debut at Dover. Kenseth made his first Winston Cup start in place of Bill Elliott, who attended a family funeral(his father passed away) on that weekend in 1998. Kenseth scored a top-10 finish(6th) and showed the makings of a future Cup star. Since that first start, he has completed 1,599 of 1,600 possible laps at Dover. Roush threw Busch into the Cup fire in last year's second race at Dover. Busch replaced Chad Little in Roush's #97 entry. He spent most of the 2000 season in the Truck Series. Busch finished 18th and showed enough promise to get a full-time Cup ride with Roush this season(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-3-2001)

  • Schrader to start his 500th Consecutive Winston Cup Race at Dover: #28-Ricky Rudd leads active drivers with with 621 followed by #2-Rusty Wallace at 530, #36-Ken Schrader with 500 and #6-Mark Martin 414. Terry Labonte holds the record with 655. The race Sunday also marks the 10th anniversary of the most recent of Schrader's four career victories. He won the 1991 Budweiser 500 in Dover(6-2-2001)

  • NASCAR says No to driver switch? UPDATE: hearing that Richard Childress Racing(RCR) tried to put Jeff Green(who was scheduled to drive the #30 AOL car but missed the race when qualifying got rained out) into the #29 and Kevin Harvick(who is the full time driver of the #29 Goodwrench Chevy) into the #30 to get it in the race. Harvick would had gotten the 36th position as a 2001 winner not already in the field and Green would had started 10th/11th where the #29 is in Owners Points. This would had put #27 Kenny Walace out the race. Buthear NASCAR squashed the move(6-2-2001)
    UPDATE: Richard Childress nearly got Jeff Green into the MBNA 400 via an interesting rules technicality. He wanted to put Green into the (#29) car that Kevin Harvick has been running, and using those car-owner points to make the field; and by then putting Harvick into the part-time car Green had been planning to run, and using driver points to make the field(as a past winner this year). NASCAR vetoed the plan. Green, who didn't make the 400 field when qualifying was rained out Friday, may try again at Michigan.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-3-2001)

  • Wood 2nd in Winston West race at Kansas, Jarrett wins ARCA race: Jon Wood, son of the #21 Cup team owner Eddie Wood, started from the pole in his third Winston West Series race at the new Kansas Speedway and finished in the runner-up spot in the #50 AutoConcierge Ford. The race was won by Frank Kimmel, who may try some Cup races this year with his own team. Jon Wood began racing go-carts when he was 12-years old and has steadily moved through to the competitive stock car ranks. He competed in the USAR ProCup Series last year finishing eighth in the championship points race and third in the rookie standings. Wood is slated to join Roush Racing next season as a driver in the CTS(Wood Brothers PR) AND Jason Jarrett bolted past Frank Kimmel Saturday afternoon with four laps left to win the BPU 200, the inaugural ARCA RE/MAX Series event at Kansas Speedway. Jarrett, a rookie of the year candidate in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, scored his first win in the series. Jarrett, who drives the #67 ML Motorsports Chevrolet, only led seven of the race’s 134 laps(PR), #02-Ryan Newman was the pole sitter but hit the wall and finished 20th(6-3-2001)

  • Melling Racing and Petty Enterprises Team Up: Melling Racing and driver Stacy Compton(#92) have formed a working relationship with Petty Enterprises(#'s 43,44,45) from which both organizations hope to benefit. Compton said it will take a while before the whole plan is in place and results gained. "I'm pretty excited about it. We'll send one of our guys when they go testing, and they'll send one of their guys when we go testing," Compton said. "We're going to go to Chicago on Monday and Tuesday and, hopefully, what we learn there we can let them know and it'll help them."(That's Racin')(6-3-2001)


    (6-2-2001)

  • PPI Layoffs? UPDATE 2 changes, crew chief: hearing that PPI Motorsports laid off some employee's on Tuesday. No word on who or why, supposedly like a dozen were let go
    UPDATE: PPI Motorsports' Joe Garone has announced his resignation from his position as crew chief of the #96 McDonald's Ford driven by Andy Houston. Garone has accepted a position with NASCAR's research and development project in Hickory, NC, but will remain as crew chief on the McDonald's Ford through July. In a move not related to Garone's departure, PPI Motorsports has also undertaken a company-wide restructuring resulting in the reduction of 14 staff positions effective today. This reorganization brings the total number of PPI Motorsports employees to 97. The restructuring was based on a thorough evaluation of the company's organizational chart and department-by-department staffing after observing the operating structures of several top teams in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. PPI Motorsports, LLC, a motorsports company based in Hickory, N.C., also fields the #32 Tide Ford with Ricky Craven as the driver(PPI Motorsports PR)(5-30-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hearing some of the layoffs included some of the pit crew members for one or both teams(6-2-2001)


    (6-1-2001)

  • New Engines for the #27: Eel River Racing has switched from T&L Motors to PME-Pro Motors, not sure if it just for Dover or the rest of the season(Kenny Wallace Racing site). Wallace stated last week after he DNF'd at Charlotte that something had to be done with their motor program(6-1-2001)

  • Nemechek Out Until Daytona(Pepsi 400)? ....Nemechek's right front tire blew out in the third turn, at the end of the uphill backstretch, and he spent the next few days in hospitals. While he says he'd like to be back in action in a week or two, car owner Andy Petree says it could be Daytona next month, or later, before Nemechek can get back into one of his cars and compete on the circuit(Winston Salem Journal), see past news on this at my #33 Team News and Links Page(6-1-2001)

  • Larry Mac Looking? Fox commentator Larry McReynolds is looking for a job. After the network televises its last race of the season at Sonoma, Calif., on June 24, McReynolds wants to get involved with a NASCAR team for the remaining five months of the 2001 season. "Fox had made it so that where if I wanted to, I could sit on the couch (for the rest of the year) --- but that is not me," McReynolds said Wednesday in Atlanta. McReynolds, 42, served as a Winston Cup crew chief from 1986-2000, including the past four years with Mike Skinner and the late Dale Earnhardt for Richard Childress Racing. McReynolds would like to be a consultant for a team but not a crew chief. He said his aspirations are "something Fox applauds." "Racing is not like other sports; if you stay out for six or seven months, you get left behind," McReynolds said. "This is something I want to do so I can stay sharp when I come back (to TV) next year." McReyolds speculated that his broadcast partner, Jeff Hammond, would do the same thing. Hammond was a crew chief from 1982-2000. From the TV booth, McReynolds said one of the most impressive things he has seen this year has been the driving of Busch Series rookie Greg Biffle, who "always seems to get the most out of his car." He said the biggest surprise was not seeing defending Winston Cup champion Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin and Jeff Burton in the top 10 of the points standings by late May(Atlanta Journal Constitution), hmm....maybe the Petty rumor isn't that far fetched(see below)(6-1-2001)

  • New Hauler Challenge? hearing that International Truck And Engine Corp. is re-starting the old "Mayflower Challenge" truck event(this is where Team Hauler drivers run the haulers on an 'obstacle type course', whoever scores the most points wins) in NASCAR this year and are calling it the International Truck Challenge. So far, supposedly 13 rig(team haulers) drivers for the Cup teams are participating in the first event to be held at Sears Point. Two additional events will be held at Charlotte in October and Atlanta in November. There is a $25,000 grand prize to the total points winner(6-1-2001)

  • Unser subs for Goodyear in IROC: Two-time True Value IROC champion and fellow Indy Racing Northern Light series driver, Al Unser, Jr., will substitute for the injured Scott Goodyear in the June 9 True Value IROC race at Michigan International Speedway. Goodyear fractured his lower back in an accident during the Indianapolis 500 last Sunday. IROC President Jay Signore said, "We'll miss not having Scott with us at Michigan; he's been a joy to work with, a great competitor, and representative of the Indy Racing Northern Light series. He needs to take care of himself, listen to Dr. Terry Trammell, and hopefully, we'll see him back for the finale at Indy. Unser, Jr., has a great track record in our series and we're confident he'll do a great job. We're grateful to have Al back and thank him for jumping in for Scott." Al Unser, Jr., has competed 13 times in the True Value IROC series, won the championship in his rookie year, 1986 and repeated the championship in 1988. Four of his 11 total wins have been at Michigan International Speedway. Al Unser, Jr., said, "The most important thing to me right now is that Scott Goodyear has a speedy recovery. As always it is a great honor to be invited to race in IROC, and I am looking forward to a very competitive race in Michigan. Race three of the four part series that matches drivers from various forms of auto racing in equally prepared Pontiac Firebird Trans Ams will be broadcast on ESPN, Saturday, June 9 at 5:00pm/et.(IROC PR)(6-1-2001)

  • Confirmed Looney Toons Schemes for the Chevy Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond in Sept - UPDATE:
    #1-Steve Park, Sylvester and Tweety
    #5-Terry Labonte, Wylie Coyote and the Roadrunner
    #24-Jeff Gordon, Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd
    #29-Kevin Harvick, Tazmanian Devil (Taz)
    #30-Jeff Green, Daffy Duck
    #31-Mike Skinner, Yosemite Sam
    #55-Bobby Hamilton, Marvin the Martian and his space dog(K-9)
    hearing the Announcment will be made today - June 1st(first reported 4-3-2001and thru 5-9-2001/6-1-2001)
    UPDATE: Currently negotiating with Warner Bros., NASCAR is looking to have Looney Tunes tie-ins with specific races. The first venture could be as many as 11 of WB's whacky ones on Chevrolets for the September event in Richmond. And of course, one can look for the new collectibles that will show up, too.(NASCAR.com Buzz), saw nothing about any announcement on these anyplace(6-1-2001)


    (5-31-2001)

  • Gordon and GQ: Three-time Winston Cup champion and driver of Hendrick Motorsports' #24 Chevy Jeff Gordon has been nominated for GQ's Men of the Year awards in the Sports - Individual Athlete category. There are 18 categories encompassing sports, television, film, music, literature, designering and cooking. Other nominees in the Sports - Indvidual Athlete category include tennis champion Andre Agassi, Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, Supercross champion Ricky Carmichael and PGA Tour player Phil Mickelson. Voting takes place at www.gq.com and ends June 15.(That's Racin')(5-31-2001)

  • More on the Autopsy Photos UPDATE: The battle over Dale Earnhardt's autopsy photos comes down to the public's right to know vs. the media's attempt to sensationalize the racing icon's death, according to lawyers who laid out their legal arguments Tuesday. Attorneys for Earnhardt's widow said that close family members have "a constitutional right to privacy to prevent the disclosure" of autopsy photos. They also accused the University of Florida's student-run newspaper, The Independent Florida Alligator, and the owner of a DeLand-based Web site of seeking the photos "to grab public attention and to sell newspapers, all of which would come at the expense of the Earnhardt family."(See full story at the Orlando Sentinel) AND Lawyers for the widow of Dale Earnhardt urged a judge Tuesday to keep an injunction in place barring the public release of the race driver's autopsy photos. But an attorney for The Independent Florida Alligator, a student newspaper at the University of Florida that is seeking to dissolve the injunction, countered that the state has no right to keep the photos sealed. Circuit Judge Joseph Will in Daytona Beach is scheduled to hear oral arguments June 11 over whether the autopsy photos should be made public. The judge also has said he will use the case to test the constitutionality of a new state law that exempts autopsy photos from Florida's liberal open records law(AP/CNN/SI)(5-30-2001)
    UPDATE: Florida's new law restricting access to autopsy photos properly balances the public's right to open records and the privacy rights of survivors, Gov. Jeb Bush said in legal arguments filed Wednesday. Bush filed a friend-of-the-court brief in defense of the Earnhardt Family Protection Act, which is being challenged in Volusia Circuit Court by the Independent Florida Alligator newspaper in Gainesville.(full story at the Orlando Sentinel)(5-31-2001) NOTE: anyone tiring of the Autopsy stories and updates, don't complain to me, just bypass the story, they are important and will be posted, don't like it? oh well.......

  • Idiot Tosses Bottle: The best radio chatter at last Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 was heard during the pace laps between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his team: Dale Jr : "Wassup, guys? You guys have fun tonight, all right? Whoa! Somebody just threw a beer bottle at the car." Ty Norris (team spotter): "Yeah, NASCAR is talking about it too." Dale Jr: "It musta been Sterling Marlin that threw it cuz it was a damn Coors Light."(Toronto Sun)(5-31-2001)

  • Harvick to own CTS team: Kevin Harvick is building a shop in Kernersville, N.C., and if everything works out, will run a full-time team for Rick Carelli in 2002. He also plans to make a few appearances on the truck tour himself next year. John Monsam will reportedly serve as the team's crew chief, with ReMax a possible sponsor. ReMax backed Carelli for several years in various divisions.(in part from theWinston Cup Scene - sub needed)(5-31-2001)

  • Rudd Scheme at Lowes: I saw the scheme but didn't find much about it - Texaco, Ricky Rudd and Mario Andretti kicked off an awareness campaign for safe highway driving May 24, along with a new CD-ROM interactive racing game that will become available at Texaco stations later this summer. Special die-cast cars also will be available when the promotion begins. Rudd's Ford had a special paint scheme in the Coca-Cola 600 promoting the campaign.(in part from theWinston Cup Scene - sub needed), see an image of the car in the Paint Scheme Gallery(5-31-2001)


    (5-30-2001)

  • Nominees for Hall of Fame: Dale Earnhardt, William C. "Bill" France Jr., A.J. Foyt, Glen Wood and Ed Otto are the five nominees on the National Motorsports Hall of Fame ballots to be mailed to the voting members this week. Earnhardt is the seven-time Winston Cup champion who died Feb. 18 in a crash in the Daytona 500. France is the former NASCAR president and the current chairman of its board of directors. Foyt is a legendary motorsports champion driver who is now a car owner. Wood is a former driver and long-time stock car team owner. Otto was one of the sport's pioneer promoters. Earnhardt is eligible under the "extraordinary candidates" provision approved by NMPA members in January, established for individuals who have made unusually and overwhelmingly significant contributions to stock car racing. "Extraordinary candidates" must be approved by a unanimous vote of the Hall of Fame nominating committee. Eligible NMPA members may vote for none, some or all of the nominees. All candidates receiving votes on at least 65 percent of the ballots cast will be elected to the hall. Voting ends June 30 and the results will be announced in July(That's Racin')(5-30-2001)

  • PE Changes? UPDATE: hearing Petty Enterprises (#'s 43, 44, 45 and #43 CTS team) has parted ways with some of it's engineering staff and that Larry MacReynolds (Fox Broadcaster) is considering working with the team when the Fox part of the TV deal is up after Sears Point(June 24th)(5-29-2001)
    UPDATE: while hearing there were some personnel changes in the engineering staff are true, the part about Larry MacReynold's coming to PE is not true
    AND A reorganization within the competitive framework at Petty Enterprises has led to a new position for Chris Hussey and an increased role for Doug Hewitt. Hussey, who serves as crew chief for the #45 Sprint Dodge, will now also be race operations manager for Petty Enterprises, facilitating communications among the three Winston Cup teams, the engine and research and development departments. Doug Hewitt, head of mechanical research and development, will have his role increased. "We are maintaining our system in terms of identical cars and in how we operate each week," said Kyle Petty, who drives the #45 car as well as serving as CEO of Petty Enterprises. "What we are looking to do is put more 'racer' into the decisions of what goes in our cars," Petty said. "A lot of times things look good on paper but don.t always translate into good race cars. We feel Chris, working closely with Doug, Greg Steadman and Bryant Frazier (crew chiefs for the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge and the #44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge), can put the 'racing' into our race cars. That, coupled with the engineering knowledge and expertise we have, will give us better and more consistent race cars each week." "We're moving forward. We're moving ahead," Petty said. "We're making whatever changes we need to make to be competitive and to run up front."(Williams Company)(5-30-2001)

  • Michael, Ken and Johnny back: Responding to the clamor of the fans, Speedvision will present a special one-time only (for now) reteaming of those bad boys of stock car racing, Michael Waltrip, Ken Schrader and Johnny Benson in One More Time With Michael, Ken and Johnny. The program will premiere in their old time slot on Monday, June 25th, 7:00pm/et (8:00pm/pt), with additional runs during the week. Mon, Jun 25 - 7pm, Mon, Jun 25 - 11pm, Tue, Jun 26 - 8am, Tue, Jun 26 - 5pm, Sat, Jun 30 - 8:30am(Speedway Illustrated)(5-25-2001)
    UPDATE: see story at SpeedVision - Speedvision Reunites Mikey, Kenny and Johnny, The one-hour special, entitled "One More Time," was shot on location at Schrader's Concord, N.C., race shop and will include a guest appearance by fellow NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Kenny Wallace, a frequent panelist on the popular show, which aired on Speedvision on Mondays through Jan. 2001. (5-30-2001)

  • Dallenbach has Offers: Wally Dallenbach, left without a ride when the #75 Galaxy Motorsports team closed up, is looking at what might be two out-of-this-world offers to resume his long racing career and is in talks regarding at least two major deals. One is an opportunity to leave Winston Cup and compete full-time in the IRL starting next year, joining Sam Hornish Jr. on the well-financed Indianapolis-based Pennzoil-sponsored Panther Racing team. Dallenbach and Panther have been in negotiations for the last month or so. "Panther and myself have been working real hard on the IRL program," Dallenbach said. "Things look pretty optimistic there." But a new player has come into the picture that gives Dallenbach a bit more latitude and another racing option. While he won't reveal the name of the team or its owner, another Winston Cup situation has been presented to him to consider for next season. "A Winston Cup opportunity kind of has arisen recently, and I think there's some possibilities there," Dallenbach said. "Now, this (both the IRL and Cup programs) is all for next year. I would think that if anything was put together as far as next year goes, we'd probably run some races this year ... just to get our feet wet(ESPN), actually hearing the Winston Cup offer may be foe Wally to be the third person in the NBC booth with Allen Bestwick and Benny Parsons(5-30-2001)

  • Bruised Ribs for Jarrett: X-rays taken Tuesday showed that Dale Jarrett does not have a broken rib, according to a team spokesperson. Instead, the NASCAR Winston Cup points leader has bruised ribs. His injury is diagnosed as serratus anterior muscle tear. The type of injury Jarrett has normally takes three to four weeks to heal. The planned treatment is for localized nerve blocks to prevent Jarrett from experiencing the pain when he's driving. The team has no plans for a relief driver at this point.(RacingExtra)(5-30-2001)

  • Get Well UPDATE: It was mentioned during Fox's broadcast of the Coca-Cola 600 by Dr. Dick Berggren, that Shawn Parker's wife, Tara, is in a Winston-Salem hospital. Mrs. Parker is listed in critical condition and has A-1 status on heart transplant, which means she is the next person on the list when one that will match her comes available. Also... Winston Cup car owner, Bill Davis of Bill Davis Racing returned to the hospital where he originally was thought to have had Kidney stones, but this time it is thought to be dealing with ulcers(Fox Coverage/Catchfence). Parker is the Car chief/Rear tire changer for the #6 Roush Racing team and driver Mark Martin. Get Well soon Tara and Bill(5-29-2001)
    UPDATE: Car owner(#'s 22 and 93) Bill Davis returned to a High Point hospital Tuesday morning because of pain he continued to suffer after having a procedure performed for kidney stones. Davis, the car owner for Ward Burton and Dave Blaney, was in the hospital Sunday and missed the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday. He was released Monday night before returning the next morning(RacingExtra)(5-30-2001)

  • #01 Special Scheme UPDATE: hearing that Jason Leffler will be running a Special Olympics logo in June on the #01 Cingular Dodge. Cingular is a Special Olympics sponsor and it is part of this years promo(4-24-2001)
    UPDATE: see an image of the 'layout' of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery(5-23-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Cingular Wireless is racing toward its four-year goal of raising $40 million for Special Olympics by painting its #01 NASCAR Winston Cup race car with a Special Olympics paint scheme, and offering customers the opportunity to support the organization through promotional offers. Cingular, an Official Partner of Special Olympics USA and Official Sponsor of Special Olympics Team USA, is in the second year of its support for Special Olympics. To showcase its commitment to Special Olympics, Cingular’s #01 Dodge Intrepid R/T will display a Special Olympics logo for the months of June and July. The new paint scheme will be debuted at the MBNA Platinum 400 at the Dover Downs International Speedway on June 3. Cingular also will sell limited edition, souvenir, die-cast versions of the #01 racecar to commemorate this unique paint scheme and raise money for Special Olympics(www.specialolympics.org). A percentage of the proceeds generated from the die-cast car sales will go directly to Special Olympics. Cars will be available in Cingular Wireless retail outlets as well as at many Special Olympics Summer Games being held across the United States. In addition, Cingular Wireless is launching a 60-day promotional drive to collect donations on behalf of Special Olympics. During the promotional months of June and July, consumers who donate $20 to Special Olympics and sign up for service at a Cingular Wireless retail store are eligible for: * An exclusive $35 rate plan offer * An Internet-ready Ericsson handset * A co-branded Cingular/BLOCKBUSTER gift certificate for five free movie rentals good at participating BLOCKBUSTER stores. Donations raised by Cingular will support year-round training and competitions for Special Olympic athletes, who participate in the activities free of charge as well as help send Special Olympics Team USA athletes to the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Ireland. Through last year’s “Be a Hero” promotion, Cingular customers successfully raised $8.9 million for Special Olympics.(Cingular PR), see an image of the 'real' car on my Paint Schemes Gallery(5-30-2001)


    (5-29-2001)

  • Coca Cola 600 an TV: The Coca-Cola 600 from Charlotte on FOX Sports drew a 4.9 overnight with a 10 share. That's the highest rated prime time NASCAR telecast in history(SpeedVision)(5-29-2001)

  • #11 Sponsors: Brett Bodine Racing is proud to announce that Wells Fargo Financial will join the Ralphs Supermarkets/ RedCell Batteries team for the remainder of the 2001 Cup season. The associate sponsorship started with the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway this past weekend. Wells Fargo Financial, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, is a $15 billion company providing consumer installment and home equity lending, automobile financing, consumer and private label credit cards, leasing to businesses and the medical community, technology services and receivables financing to consumers and businesses in 47 U.S. states, the 10 provinces of Canada and Latin America and the Pacific Islands. The Company has more than 11,000 team members.
    AND The the new action comedy movie "Rush Hour 2" being released by New Line Cinema nationwide on August 3rd will join Ralphs Supermarkets and RedCell Batteries as a sponsor on the #11 Ford of Brett Bodine for 13 NASCAR Winston Cup events. The sponsorship began with the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway this past weekend and will run through the race at Bristol on August 25. In this highly anticipated sequel to the blockbuster comedy that grossed more than $250 million worldwide, Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan are back to reprise their roles as unlikely partner who confront the biggest case of their careers
    See an image of the car on the #11 Team News and Links page(BBR PR)(5-29-2001)

  • Labonte Honor Postponed UPDATE: Corpus Christi City Council members gave the green flag on Tuesday to renaming Nueces River Park after NASCAR drivers Terry and Bobby Labonte. The unanimous vote to change the name to Terry and Bobby Labonte Park was great news for NASCAR fans like David Gibson, a state construction inspector. In a time when news about athletes often is negative, such as drug abuse or domestic violence, it is great to recognize role models like the Labontes, said Gibson, 56.(Caller-Times 2/28) AND A ceremony to rename Nueces River Park in Corpus Christi, TX after NASCAR drivers Terry Labonte and Bobby Labonte has been delayed until June, officials said. The Labonte Brothers Special Recognition Committee initially wanted to rename the park to coincide with the April 1 NASCAR Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth(Caller-Times 3/18)(3-27-2001)
    UPDATE a little old but: A campaign to improve a city park honoring NASCAR champions and Corpus Christi natives Bobby and Terry Labonte began Thursday at City Hall. The centerpiece of the project includes a concrete sign - 8 feet high and 16 feet wide - at the park entrance. John Dykema of Bright and Dykemas Architects Inc. said the sign will be prominent on Interstate 37. The project will also include highway signs promoting the park, which was Nueces River Park until the City Council voted earlier this year to rename it Terry and Bobby Labonte Park. The park is in the north section of Corpus Christi off of I-37. The project is entirely privately funded. Debbie Lindsey-Opel, president of the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce, said organizers need to raise $60,000 to pay for all parts of the project. Donors will be recognized for contributions. People interested in contributing may send checks to the Chamber of Commerce Recognition Fund, Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 640, Corpus Christi, Texas 78403. Dedication of the park is scheduled for June 20th(Corpus Christi Caller)(5-29-2001)

  • Nemechek Out 4 Weeks? UPDATE 3 Hamilton Jr in: Joe Nemechek, injured in a test session crash last week at Dover, may miss four to six weeks from the series schedule. Nemechek was at Lowe's Motor Speedway for a brief time Thursday, but returned to his motorhome late in the afternoon. His mother, Martha Nemechek, said he still suffered pain in his neck but was getting better every day. Nemechek broke his right shoulder blade, right elbow and suffered a small lung bruise in the accident, which totaled his Grand National series car. Bobby Hamilton Jr. is driving Nemechek's #33 Winston Cup car this weekend at Charlotte, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive his # 87 Chevy in Saturday's Carquest 300 Grand National race. Nemechek's Winston Cup car owner, Andy Petree, said Hamilton Jr. would likely drive the #33 at Dover on June 3. Beyond that, he said nothing was set(That's Racin')(5-24-2001)
    UPDATE: FSN's Totally NASCAR reports that Joe Nemechek said he won't race again until at least Pocono on June 17th. Also reported that there was no word on who if anyone will drive Nemechek's BGN car at Dover next week(FSN's Totally NASCAR)(5-25-2001)
    UPDATE 2: At this point, Joe Nemechek's BGN sponsor, Cellular One has graciously allowed the team to sit out the Dover race. Nemechek will be making up that race to them at Kentucky with Jeff Fuller driving the #87 Chevy. Nemechek's next planned BGN race will be at Chicago. As far as his Cup plans, right now Nemechek is focused on getting healthy and helping #33 team owner Andy Petree obtain a new sponsor for the #33 car, and has not considered or discussed any other options beyond the 33 for the 2002 season and beyond(5-28-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Bobby Hamilton, Jr. returns to the #33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet this week, and will compete for Andy Petree Racing in Sunday's MBNA Platinum 400 at the one-mile, high-banked Dover Downs International Speedway. Hamilton, Jr. is running for regular driver Joe Nemechek, who was injured in a crash during BGN testing at Dover a couple of weeks ago. Nemechek, who has a broken right scapula and broken right arm near his elbow, missed The Winston weekend and this past week.s Coca-Cola 600 at Concord, N.C. Hamilton finished 39th last week in the 600 but was running consistently before a crash near the midway point of the race. These races are important ones to Petree, who is in the middle of a search for sponsorship for the #33 car next season. Petree and Oakwood Homes announced several weeks ago that due to the current state of the manufactured housing industry, Oakwood Homes will not be a primary sponsor on Joe Nemechek.s #33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet beginning next season. That means Petree is seeking sponsorship for 2002. Oakwood has already said it would look at stepping back should a primary sponsor for next season want to begin this year(Williams Compamy)(5-29-2001)

  • #7 Change? UPDATE: The Sporting News Inside Dish reports - Another driver change possibly in the works: Rick Mast replacing Mike Wallace in the #7 car.(Sporting News), Mast currently drives the #50 Blair.com/Midwest Transit Chevy(5-29-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing that Rick Mast will not be leaving the #50 team and is close to re-signing with the team for the 2002 season(5-29-2001)

  • Engines Rules update: NASCAR president Mike Helton says series officials are talking to teams about possible new engine rules, including one that would force teams to use the same engine for qualifying and the race. That would mean that NASCAR could test a new engine rule at a short track such as Martinsville or Bristol or Richmond, where an engine wouldn't have more than 600 miles on it during the weekend. The BGN series has a rule that limits teams to one engine for the weekend unless they have problems.(Roanoke Times)(5-29-2001)

  • Harvick to Test at Indy: hearing #29-Kevin Harvick will at the Brickyard for a practice session in mid-June(5-29-2001)

  • Earnhardt Crash Investigation: The accident that killed Dale Earnhardt did not justify a more thorough investigation, Police Chief Kenneth Small says, acknowledging the controversy surrounding the death of the NASCAR racing legend. Small said his Daytona Beach department was far too busy dealing with serious crimes to devote more resources to an accident investigation. Asked whether his department's investigation of the Feb. 18 accident on the last turn of the Daytona 500 should have been more thorough, Small's answer was an emphatic, "No."(much more to the story at the Orlando Sentinel)(5-29-2001)


    (5-28-2001)

  • Robbie Gordon in a RCR car? UPDATE 4 Skinner/Lowes to Stay?: PRN's Garage Pass interviewed Cup, BGN, IRL team owner Richard Childress who says he may give Robbie Gordon a shot in one of his cars in the future, possibly a BGN car(The #21 at Watkins Glen?). Plus the #30-AOL team still needs a full time driver in 2002(5-16-2001)
    UPDATE - Robby Gordon at the Brickyard 400? After struggling in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Robby Gordon was fired by Morgan-McClure Motorsports last month. But he came to Indianapolis and qualified an A.J. Foyt entry for a front-row start in the May 27 race(follow Gordon during the race at www.robbygordon.com). Gordon says, "I'm going to try to put a program together for the Brickyard 400," he said of the Winston Cup race at Indianapolis in August. "That's a race I really would like to compete in this year. I feel with the right situation, we can be just as competitive at that race in qualifying as we were for this (Indy 500) race."(ESPN/AP)(5-17-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Rumors are abound on Gordon's future, a future that he just coyly smiles at when asked what the short-term holds in store for him. He knows where he's going; he just can't say too much about it ... at least not yet. One rumor has Gordon heading back to NASCAR to drive for legendary owner Richard Childress. One scenario has Gordon competing in a Childress-owned Busch Series car for the remainder of this season before returning to Winston Cup in 2002. Another scenario has Gordon primed and ready to replace the struggling Mike Skinner in the #31 Lowe's Home Improvement Chevrolet if Skinner's mediocre season does not improve dramatically in the coming races. A third scenario has Gordon starting his own Cup team in partnership with Childress, with the likely debut being this year's Brickyard 400.(ESPN)
    UPDATE 3: Richard Childress very likely will have three teams next year, with solid sponsorships for #29 (Goodwrench with Kevin Harvick), the new #30 (America Online, possibly with Jeff Green), and with Lowe's recommitted to #31. The future of Mike Skinner in #31 is not clear, and it's hard to get a clear view from any of the principals. If Skinner does not return (rumors put him in Childress's #21 Busch car next year), who is available? Childress apparently has talked with several drivers. Jeff Burton's name came up a couple months ago, but Burton firmly denied he has any interest in leaving Jack Roush's #99. Others available could be Joe Nemechek and John Andretti, although, again, all this is just rumor(SpeedVision)(5-27-2001)
    UPDATE 4: There are reports that Jeff Green, who has a seven-race Winston Cup deal with Childress this season, may take Mike Skinner's ride before the year is out, but David Smith, the general manager of Skinner's team, insists that Skinner will be in the car the rest of the season. However, there are now some questions about sponsor Lowe's. Last fall, the company fall said it was considering moving to a different team, provoking a sharp debate with Childress over contracts. The Lowe's questions come just as Home Depot's Tony Stewart is making big headlines. Meanwhile, there are reports that Greg Biffle is now on Childress' list as a possible third Cup driver next season. Biffle drives this season on the Busch tour for Jack Roush. A large number of drivers have been mentioned on Childress' list, including Jeff Burton, Ward Burton, Joe Nemechek and Jeremy Mayfield, and even Tony Stewart.(Winston Salem Journal), some Jayski Notes on the drivers listed: Jeff Burton and Roush have denied any contact or interest, Ward Burton is signed with Bill Davis thru 2002 as is Mayfield with Penske and Tony Stewart is signed with Joe Gibbs thru 2004 and reports a few weeks ago about him leaving the #20 Team were squashed
    AND: Richard Childress is continuing his search for a driver of what is now the AOL-sponsored car in 2002. Roush Racing drivers endured speculation earlier this season about being prime candidates for the job, but both Matt Kenseth and Jeff Burton denied plans to move. Jeff Green is in the car for a few races this season but has not signed for next year. Currently, Green is headlining reports right now. An interesting combination would come if Childress selected Greg Biffle. A Kevin Harvick/Biffle team could be tough to beat. The pair added a much-needed shot of excitement to the Grand National series this season, fighting for wins and championship points on a weekly basis. As teammates, they could assist one another's run for titles. Biffle could join Harvick in the Winston Cup series this season. Although he is concentrating on the Grand National series, the rookie may enter a few Cup events for the Roush team(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-28-2001)

  • Atwood Sore: Rookie Casey Atwood was the second car out of the Coca-Cola 600 Sunday, when he wrecked on the frontstretch on Lap 51 and severely damaged his #19 Dodge. Atwood, who elected not to wear his HANS device this weekend, suffered neck pain and a headache. "I wore one at Talladega and California and it hurt my shoulder a little bit, just from being pulled down so tight, so I didn't wear one this weekend. I wish I would have been," Atwood said.(That's Racin')(5-28-2001)


    (5-27-2001)

    see the May 21-27, 2001 Archived News Page


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