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PAST NEWS JUNE 4-10, 2001


(6-10-2001)

  • Gordon wins #55: #24-Jeff Gordon won at Michigan in the Kmart 400. #28-Ricky Rudd finished 2nd. Gordon now has 55 career Winston Cup wins, which puts him in alone in 7th overall, Rusty Wallace and Lee Petty have 54. It is also Hendrick Motorsports 100th Winston Cup win. Gordon becomes the first driver since Tony Stewart in Oct 2000 at Martinsville (19 races) to win a race from the pole. Gordon also takes over the point lead, now ahead of #88-Dale Jarrett (finished 18th) by 26 points. Gordon also wins $60,000 NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus for winning a race and leading the Winston Cup Drivers Points. #02-Ryan Newman gets his first top 5 of his four race Winston Cup career, finishing 5th. #90-Hut Stricklin finished 6th, which is team owner Junie Donlavy's first top 10 since August 1999. #84-Shawna Robinson finished 34th. See That's Racin' for Unofficial Results and Unofficial Standings and see a story at That's Racin': Gordon gives Hendrick win No. 100. Team owner Rick Hendrick was not in Michigan to celebrate, however. He remained in Charlotte with his father, "Papa" Joe Hendrick, who is scheduled to have heart surgery on Monday(6-10-2001)

  • Smith Returns to Racing: Stanley Smith speeds around the track tucked into the backwoods of Montgomery, a patch over his left eye and only his crew and two sections of empty bleachers looking on. The former Winston Cup driver, who spent 40 days in a hospital after an accident at the Talladega Superspeedway in 1993, is back doing what he loves best in NASCAR's minor leagues. ``I just wanted to get back in and see how it felt, and make sure it was still fun,'' Smith said after the recent test run at Montgomery Motor Speedway. ``And it was.'' The 51-year-old Smith finally made it to Winston Cup racing in 1990, after 18 years of paying dues. He got a sponsor, Interstate Batteries, in 1992 but the company switched to Joe Gibbs' new race team midway through the season. Smith went back to racing on his own dime. Then, in a seven-car wreck in the 1993 DieHard 500, his skull was cracked from ear to ear, leaving him unconscious for 10 days(Racing Extra/AP)(6-10-2001)

  • Kerry Wins: Kerry Earnhardt, oldest son of the late Dale Earnhardt won the ARCA race at Michigan. ''This means a lot to me,'' Kerry Earnhardt said of his second career ARCA victory. ''I think Dad was right here with me.'' After crossing the finish line in his black #2 Chevrolet, Earnhardt turned his car around for a backward victory lap and raised three fingers out the window to honor his father, who was killed in an accident on the final turn of the Daytona 500 in February(AJC)(6-10-2001)

  • No Aero Changes at Daytona: NASCAR is unlikely to make any aerodynamic changes to cars prior to the July 7 Pepsi 400 at Daytona, Winston Cup series director Gary Nelson said. Following the Talladega race in April, NASCAR and driver Sterling Marlin tested some changes, but the results were not helpful. Nelson said NASCAR continues to examine aerodynamic rules and will be go to the wind tunnel next week to test some new ideas. But time is short before a change could be made to cars even if NASCAR was pleased with the results(That's Racin')(6-10-2001)

  • 3rd Childress Team: The future of Richard Childress Racing's third entry in the Winston Cup series next season remains uncertain. Jeff Green is running seven races with the #30 team this season - including Sunday's Kmart 400 at Michigan - but the sponsor, America Online, has not made a commitment to stay with the team next season. Kevin Harvick was to be the team's driver next season but took over the driving duties for the #3 team(now #29) after Earnhardt's death. Green said Sunday he and Childress would discuss the team's progress after the seven races are completed, but that Childress must also get the backing of the sponsor, both to return to the team and approve a new driver. "The main thing is he hasn't got the sponsor signed. He had it for Kevin, but not now since everything changed," Green said. "He's kind of waiting on them and I'm kind of waiting on him to see what we're going to do."(That's Racin')(6-10-2001)


    (6-9-2001)

  • Another Roush/Kenseth Rumor UPDATE 3 Kenseth says NO: seen in the June 1st edition of the Speedway Scene magazine - Despite a recent PR that denies any drivers might be leaving the Roush organization, it is expected that Matt Kenseth(driver #17 DeWalt Ford) and Robbie Reiser (crew chief #17 and owner of Kenseth's BGN team) will depart Roush Racing and 'do their own thing' (start own team) with Chevy and DeWalt Tools(6-3-2001)
    UPDATE: and still hearing Kenseth to one of the RCR is close to if not a done deal also(6-4-2001)

  • Website on the #17: StockCarCity.com will appear on the "C" pillars of Matt Kenseth's #17 Dewalt Ford during this week.s "The Winston" and the Coca-Cola 600. "We are pleased to have StockCarCity on the car for the next two races," said Jon Howland, Motorsports Manager for DeWALT, "Mike (Calinoff) has been an asset in helping us promote our "Design the Paint Scheme" contest, plus he is also a member (spotter) of the race team." "This is exciting for us," said Calinoff, "especially since it is Matt's first venture into The Winston and we.re defending our Coca-Cola 600 title."(StockCarCity PR)(5-15-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Winston Cup driver Matt Kenseth is once again battling rumors that he is leaving Roush Racing at the end of the this season. Recent reports have Kenseth leaving Roush for a variety of teams, and the most-recent rumor has Kenseth and crew chief Robbie Reiser leaving Roush to form their own team next season. Kenseth said Friday he has a contract with Roush Racing and has no plans to go anywhere else. "Honestly, when all this stuff started I just laughed about it because I had no idea where it was coming from," Kenseth said. "When somebody asked me about it, I just said `I don't know' and kind of left it alone. It's like a forest fire - somebody dropped a match and next thing you know the whole woods is burning down. Sooner or later you have to put it out." Kenseth said he is not happy with the way his #17 team is running this season, but remains happy with the Roush organization. "There are a lot of teams not happy with the way they're running. We've been getting a little bit better. I can't blame (problems) on what (car owner) Jack (Roush) provides; he gives us anything we want. … All the rumors about going to Richard Childress - there's no truth to that rumor at all. I'm planning on staying on where I'm at."(That's Racin')(6-8-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Geoff Smith, head of Roush Racing, says there is "no way" that Childress or any other car owner will get any of Roush's drivers. Smith said he will insist on holding his drivers to their contracts. There have been reports that General Motors officials have talked with Matt Kenseth and crew chief Robbie Reiser about moving to the Childress camp(Winston Salem Journal)(6-9-201)

  • Stewart Staying: Tony Stewart held a team meeting last week to tell his crew he had no plans to leave for the Chip Ganassi operation(Winston Slaem Journal) and more past news on my #20 Team News and Links page(6-9-2001)

  • Earnhardt's Helmet: A doctor who tried to save Dale Earnhardt's life testified this week that he wanted to inspect the stock-car driver's helmet to help get the "big picture" of how he died but NASCAR officials said they didn't have it. Dr. Steve Bohannon, an emergency room doctor who works part-time at Daytona International Speedway, also said no one asked him to look at Earnhardt's autopsy photos. But after going to see them, he reported his findings to NASCAR President Mike Helton. Bohannon said he was paid $3,200 to cover lost hospital wages during a trip to North Carolina where he viewed Earnhardt's car -- four days after the driver's death Feb. 18 during the Daytona 500. He said NASCAR showed him a "very stretched and stressed" seatbelt in the car. One day later, he attended a press conference where NASCAR officials said the belt had failed.( Full story at the Orlando Sentinel)(6-9-2001)

  • Stewart Wins IROC race: Cup driver Tony Stewart passed Eddie Cheever on the 3rd laps and led the rest of the way to win his first IROC race. Stewart crossed the finish line 2.875 seconds ahead of Al Unser Jr., who was substituting for IRL driver Scott Goodyear. Goodyear suffered a back injury in last month's Indianapolis 500. CART driver Kenny Brack was third, Cheever was fourth and series points leader Bobby Labonte fifth. See That's Racin' for the story: IROC race belongs to Stewart and the IROC site for the Race Results(6-9-2001)


    (6-8-2001)

  • #15 Crew Chief Leaves: Scott Eggleston, crew chief for Michael Waltrip's #15 NAPA Chevy, has parted ways with the team. Steve Hmiel, technical director for Dale Earnhardt Inc., will fill that duty on a temporary basis. Eggleston left the team on Thursday(NASCAR.com)(6-8-2001)

  • #88 in Flames? hearing that #88-Dale Jarrett will run a flaming UPS paint scheme at Kansas(Sept 30th), supposedly simular to the flames UPS truck(6-8-2001)

  • Biffle to Cup? UPDATE 3: Greg Biffle said in his post-race remarks Sunday at Nazareth Speedway(which he won) that his Roush Racing organization was seriously contemplating running at least some Cup races in 2002. Initially, Biffle, the 2000 CTS champ, was seen as competing in the BGN for a couple seasons(NASCAR.com Buzz)(5-21-2001)
    UPDATE: Biffle's success has prompted interest by car owners to move Biffle to Winston Cup next season. He was planning to make the move with Jack Roush in 2003. "We're already talking about doing Winston Cup racing next year and not doing the second year of (Grand National). They're asking questions. Roush is talking about it. I've had other offers," he said. "I don't have any plans of leaving right now to pursue other Winston Cup opportunities. With our success, it's got people interested in doing something. I think the proper way of doing it would be to do another year of (Grand National), seven races in Cup, that's what I think would be best."(That's Racin')(5-25-2001)

    UPDATE 2: there are reports that Greg Biffle is now on Richard Childress' list as a possible third Cup driver(#30) next season(5-28-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Greg Biffle has done so well in his rookie year on the BGN that he's become a candidate to move on to Winston Cup as early as next year. Those numbers, as well as his aggressive driving style, have fueled speculation he'll be moving on soon. Some publications have mentioned him as a driver for one of Richard Childress' Winston Cup cars. "Nobody has called and talked to me," Biffle said. "I've heard the rumors, but I haven't pursued those leads yet, and I won't until I find out what Roush's plans are. I'm in a signed contract with (Roush), and I'd hate to break up the relationship I have with him and my crew chief Randy Goss and with my sponsor, Grainger." But Biffle, 31, said any driver would be foolish to ignore opportunities that might come along. Biffle said it would take more than a fat paycheck to get him to switch teams. "I want to be as successful as possible," he said. "It's not all about money for me. I'm more interested in winning Winston Cup races and championships." One way to get to Winston Cup is to make the jump with his current team and sponsor. The long-term plan has been for Biffle to run two years in the Busch Series, then at least two in Winston Cup. After Biffle's fast start this season, officials from Grainger are debating whether to accelerate the move to the elite division. A decision is expected by September.(AJC)(6-8-2001)

  • Jarrett to skip IROC race UPDATE Marcis in: due to his rib injury, Dale Jarrett will not race in the third IROC race of the 2001 season. No replacement has been named(FSN's Totally NASCAR)(6-7-2001)
    UPDATE: Dave Marcis will sub for Jarrett. Marcis also drove as a substitute in the 1999 race at Indianapolis for CART series driver Adrian Fernandez, who had suffered a wrist injury. All points Marcis accumulates in Saturday's race will be credited to Jarrett. The same applies to Al Unser Jr., who is substituting for the Indy Racing League's Scott Goodyear in the race. Goodyear injured his back in the Indy 500.(That's Racin')(6-8-2001)

  • Wallace named to Council: International Motor Racing Research Center Chairman John Bishop announced that World Champion Jackie Stewart, Indy 500 winner Mario Andretti, Endurance Champion Hurley Haywood and Winston Cup Champion Rusty Wallace have accepted invitations to be founding members of the driver's council. The IMRRC, the only one if it's kind in the country, is a research center dedicated solely to the preservation of motorsports history. Housing more than 2,500 rare and reference books, the IMRRC has a vast collection of artwork, programs, magazines and other items that have notable worth in the history of racing. Striving to be a leader in the motorsport community, the IMRRC invited select drivers to be a part of the driver's council in order to expand the knowledge of the facility. As driver's council members, Andretti, Haywood, Stewart and Wallace will be able to give input and guidance to the facility and collections in addition to the opportunity to overlook the significant historical data related to the many type of motorsports that encompass the IMRRC. "It's certainly an honor and a pleasure to serve on the council," said Wallace, who has captured 54 NASCAR Winston Cup victories. "There is so much history that's wrapped up in motorsports… to be part of this exciting new project is quite a thrill, it promises to be very interesting." The International Motor Racing Research center is located on 10 Decatur Street in Watkins Glen, NY. The facility is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. and is closed on Sundays. Additional information can be obtained by logging on to www.racingarchives.org or by calling 607-535-9044.(Watkins Glen PR)(6-8-2001)

  • Busch Tests at Pocono: Earlier this week rookie Kurt Busch had the opportunity to spend a couple of days testing at Pocono Raceway. Pocono is one of the tracks on the Winston Cup circuit that Busch had never seen prior to Monday's testing session. The #97 Sharpie Rubbermaid team felt that gaining some track experience there would definitely benefit them next weekend in the Pocono 500. Rookies are given the opportunity to test at several additional tracks throughout the season than veteran Winston Cup drivers which often times helps with the already steep learning curve for a rookie driver.(Roush Racing)(6-8-2001)

  • Hammer to Evernham? hearing former ST Motorsports crew chief (BGN #59) Phil Hammer is taking a position with Evernham Motorsports. Hammer used to work at Hendrick Motorsports with Evernham(6-8-2001)


    (6-7-2001)

  • UPDATE - Images - Confirmed Looney Toons Schemes for the Chevy Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond in Sept:
    #1-Steve Park, Sylvester and Tweety
    #5-Terry Labonte, Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner
    #24-Jeff Gordon, Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd
    #29-Kevin Harvick, Tasmanian Devil (Taz)
    #30-Jeff Green, Daffy Duck
    #31-Mike Skinner, Yosemite Sam
    #55-Bobby Hamilton, Marvin the Martian and his space dog, K-9
    the Announcement will be made at Charlotte on June 7th(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)(6-1/7-2001)
    UPDATE - story and images: Action Performance Companies Inc., in conjunction with Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Warner Bros. and NASCAR, have partnered to make a day at the races a true family affair with a "Tribute to the American Family" featuring America's favorite cartoon characters, the Looney Tunes. On Sept. 8, 2001 during the Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 with the Looney Tunes at Richmond International Raceway, several Team Monte Carlo drivers from Richard Childress Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Inc., and Andy Petree Racing will shed their typical paint schemes for race cars featuring that "wascally wabbit" Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, Yosemite Sam, Elmer Fudd, the Tasmanian Devil and many more zany cartoon favorites. "One thing always has been true about racing-it is a sport that families enjoy together," said Fred Wagenhals, Action's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "There is no better way to showcase the family institution than bringing a true slice of Americana-the Looney Tunes-to the racetrack. No matter if you are 2 or 92, the Looney Tunes can make everyone feel a little bit like a kid again. This simply is a wonderful, fun program, and I am glad Action Performance is part of it." The Looney Tunes characters themselves will be on hand before the race greeting fans while many of the day's festivities also will center on children and families. Additionally, a special event car displaying the Looney Tunes characters will be created for the event(Action Performance Companies PR), see all 7 images of the cars on my Paint Scheme Gallery(6-7-2001)

  • No More Winston in 'Winston Cup'? UPDATE: R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., stands accused of violating the 1998 multi-billion dollar tobacco settlement with state governments by advertising year-round at race tracks. If the signage is struck down, it could cause RJR to re-evaluate its financial support of racing, which industry sources believe approaches $40 million a year. See full story at the CNN/SI site: RJR accused of violating tobacco settlement, to much info to cut down or post here AND also at the CNN/SI site: What's in a name? - Future of 'Winston' Cup remains uncertain some highlights: If by some long-shot, R. J. Reynolds decides to withdraw its NASCAR sponsorship after the season, who'll fill the Winston Cup void? You might expect several corporate giants -- like soft-drink producers, for starters -- to eagerly line up and hand over tens of millions, industry sources say. It's also a fair bet NASCAR would ignore the big-money guys tied to edgier products, such as major beer companies Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brewing.(4-25-2001)
    UPDATE: R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. officials acknowledge a decision has been reached to continue bankrolling stock car racing’s Winston Cup Series beyond this season. A formal announcement of the sponsorship extension is likely within the next two weeks, along with details of the tobacco giant's future relationships with the NHRA Drag Racing Series and golf’s $1.6 million Vantage Championship -- both of which it also presently sponsors. "There is no question that our most valued sponsorship, given the duration of our partnership, has been the NASCAR sponsorship," said Rick Sanders, president of RJR's Sports Marketing Enterprises. "We're still finalizing our plans on how to proceed with all of them, but it's a fair assumption our Winston Cup/NASCAR sponsorship, in general, will continue on into the future." RJR has until the end of the year to reduce its sponsorship to a single cigarette brand in order to comply with the 1998 tobacco settlement. It currently has the three sports-related sponsorships.(CNN/SI)(6-7-2001)

  • #17 Special Paint: hearing the #17 DeWalt Tools Ford will carry an AT&T scheme of some sort this year at Sears Points and Daytona in the Pepsi 400(5-26-2001)
    UPDATE: #17 sponsor DEWALT Industrial Tools and AT&T Broadband have formed a marketing alliance that will feature AT&T in a special paint scheme on the #17 Ford Taurus for two races this season, the companies announced today. The relationship will spotlight special AT&T Broadband paint schemes for the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Sears Point Raceway on June 24 and the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 7. The car designs for these two races will feature AT&T as the primary signage on the #17 Ford Taurus driven by Matt Kenseth in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. In addition to the special paint schemes, AT&T will be featured underneath the DEWALT logo on the hood of the car for the duration of the season. AT&T Broadband’s integrated NASCAR program includes its sponsorship as the Official Communications Company of NASCAR, a designation that it shares with Motorola. .Together with Motorola, it has an agreement with NASCAR Winston Cup driver Rusty Wallace. .This year marks AT&T Broadband’s first year as an associate sponsor with two Roush Racing teams, the #17 DEWALT Ford Taurus and the #99 CITGO SUPERGARD Ford Taurus driven by Jeff Burton. In addition, AT&T Broadband has relationships with three International Speedway Corporation tracks including Daytona International Speedway, the new Chicagoland Speedway and Miami-Homestead International Raceway.(Grandstand Communications), see an image of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery(6-7-2001)

  • #27 Sponsor Update: Sauer's (Duke's Mayo) will be on the Hood of the Kenny Wallace/Eel River Racing #27 Pontiac in 17 races in 2001. The remainder of those races, the #27 car will be on the track and Sauer's will appear as an associate sponsor, with a main sponsor yet to be announced. At this point, those races with Sauer's as an associate include Michigan(both), NHIS(both), Chicago, Kansas City, Sears Point, and Watkins Glen(Kenny Wallace Racing)(6-7-2001)

  • Rusty's Son to Race UPDATE: Greg Wallace, 21-year-old son of Rusty and Patti Wallace, will get his shot at racing in the late model ranks. He will be teamed up with legendary competitor Jack Ingram, who'll head the program for the Wallaces, Greg will go to Greenville-Pickens(SC) the first time out next Saturday (June 9).(TRPR.com)(6-4-2001)
    UPDATE: Greg Wallace becomes the second late model driver to run a car built and maintained out of the Jack Ingram Racing stables. The 2001 season marks the third consecutive year that 19-year old Michael Chaney out of Abingdon, VA is competing at Kingsport Speedway. Ingram, who won 29 of his 31 career victories on short tracks, serves as Chaney's spotter and crew chief at each race. The pair have combined for several pole positions including a track record and tied a career-best 2nd place finish at Chaney's final race of the 2000 season. They also have competed at New River Valley Speedway in Radford, VA and at Martinsville Speedway. Plans for 2001 include running weekly at Kingsport Speedway and selectively at New River Valley Speedway through out the summer(6-7-2001)

  • Geoffrey to run in BGN, replaces Fedawa UPDATE: Geoffrey Bodine has been named as the new driver for the #66 Phillips 66 BGN team, replacing Tim Fedewa. Bodine will start driving at the Outback Steakhouse 300 in Kentucky June 16th(sorry, not this weekend)(Cicci-Welliver Website)(6-5-2001)
    UPDATE: see my BGN Site for how Bodine and the other BGN drivers did testing at Watkins Glen(6-7-2001)

  • New Motorsports PR company: Daniel Skahen, former managing director of Primedia has announced the launch of his own full-service advertising, marketing and public relations firm. The agency will operate under the name C2R Communications with offices in Norcross, GA. C2R is an acronym for “concept-to-reality.” Former Primedia employees Marty South, Pete Galbiati, Albert Bloser, Jennifer Nowicki and Alia Cory have also joined C2R’s staff. The same team was instrumental in coordinating and producing the 1999 and 2000 NASCAR Image Campaigns, the 2000 NASCAR “The Race Is On” campaign, as well as various promotions and public relations support for DAYTONA USA, Steve Dale Motorsports, The Richard Petty Driving Experience, Seagram Americas, Frito-Lay and PEPSI. The agency will be owned in part by JDC Marketing Group, an outdoor sports presence and marketing management company also located in Norcross, GA. JDC Marketing Group was instrumental in trying to arrange the sponsorship between Crown Royal and Eel River Racing. To date, Seagram Americas, Steve Dale Motorsports, Frito-Lay and Pepsi have expressed interest in coming on board. For more information on C2R, please call 770-662-8070.(C2R PR)(6-7-2001)

  • Winston Cup Banquet: early but here ya go - The Winston Cup awards banquet from New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel will be broadcast live at 9:00pm on Friday, Nov. 30, on TNT. The Grand National series banquet will be held in Los Angeles on Jan. 11 and will be broadcast on tape on TNT on Jan. 23 at 1:00am(That's Racin')(6-7-2001)

  • Gibbs Honored: Joe Gibbs has been named this year's recipient of the Bill France Award . The award is presented annually by Pocono Raceway to the individual or group that it believes has been instrumental to auto racing(Winston Cup Scene)(6-7-2001)


    (6-6-2001)

  • Subway on the #77: Jasper Motorsports has signed Subway Restaurants to a two-race associate sponsorship on the No. 77 Jasper Engines Ford driven by Robert Pressley. The two The Subway logo will be on the hood of the 77 for the Winston Cup races this month at Pocono and Sears Point(SpeedVision)(6-6-2001)

  • Hamilton Jr back in #33 at MIS - UPDATE Pruett in at Sears Point and Watkins Glen: Bobby Hamilton, Jr. returns to the #33 Oakwood Homes Chevy again this week at Michigan. This will be his third NASCAR Winston Cup points race and fourth time out overall for the Oakwood Homes team, including his magnificent runs in The Winston Open. Hamilton, Jr. is driving in the place of 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, the Coca-Cola 600 at Concord, NC, and last week.s MBNA 400 at Dover. Hamilton finished 39th in the 600 but was running consistently before a crash near the midway point of the race. At Dover, Hamilton nearly avoided a wreck in front of him but the front-end damage was enough to cause overheating problems early in the race, retiring the Oakwood Homes Chevrolet to a 42nd-place finish. He will not be back next week at Pocono as Hamilton, Jr. will be competing in the BGN race at Kentucky Motor Speedway, opening up the seat should the Oakwood Homes Chevrolet need a driver at that 2.5-mile, triangular-shaped track.(Williams Company) - Also hear that Wally Dallenbach may drive the car at Sears Point if regular driver, Joe Nemechek, cannot drive there. No word on a driver for Pocono yet, if needed(6-4-2001)
    UPDATE: Scott Pruett will drive the #33 Andy Petree Racing/Oakwood Homes Chevy in the first of two road course races for the series this season. Pruett qualified ninth for the race at Sears Point Raceway last season(in the #32 Ford) before a broken transmission put him out of the race while he was leading. Pruett will run for Joe Nemechek, regular driver of the Oakwood Homes Chevrolet. Nemechek broke his right scapula and right arm at the elbow during a crash in Busch Grand National testing at Dover Downs (Del.) International Speedway last month. He is expected to return to the car soon after the Sonoma race.(Williams Company)(6-5-2001)
    UPDATE 2 Pruett at the Glen: hearing that Scott Pruett will be driving the #71 State Fair Corn Dogs/Ball Park Franks Taurus for Kevin Lepage at the Busch race at Watkins Glen next month. They plan to test there later this month. This is.a one race deal(6-6-2001)

  • Gordon Wants Changes: Jeff Gordon has been quietly lobbying NASCAR to change the rules package currently used in events at Daytona and Talladega. Gordon spent much of Tuesday at the Speedway to shoot a commercial, hold a press conference and participate in a fan forum at Daytona USA. Gordon said the aerodynamic package used in Winston Cup restrictor-plate races needs to be adjusted between NASCAR's two largest tri-oval tracks. The basic rule package was initiated at Talladega's October race last year and used this season at Daytona and its sister track in Alabama. The next restrictor-plate race is the July 7 Pepsi 400 at Daytona(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-6-2001)

  • Wallace Tire Changer Double Duty: It's not quite as strenuous as running 500 miles at Indianapolis and 600 miles at Charlotte in the same day, like Tony Stewart did last month, but the double duty that Pennzoil World of Outlaws racer Billy Wilburn has planned for this weekend is still no small feat. Wilburn, who also works as a tire changer on Rusty Wallace's NASCAR Winston Cup team, plans to race Friday and Saturday in the ‘‘Channellock Challenge at Bristol'' and then hop a plane to Michigan to change tires for Rusty Wallace in Sunday's Winston Cup event(Kingsport Times News)(6-6-2001)

  • Martin Stuff: Does Mark Martin plan on retiring anytime soon? Did a pinched nerve cause him any problem at Dover? Are there any more special paint schemes scheduled for this year? Answers to these questions and more can be found in the transcript of an online chat that Mark did with NASCAR Online. Oh yes....the answers to the three questions above are: No, No, and No...(thanks to the J-Mar Express newsletter for the heads up)(6-6-2001)

  • Hendrick goes after #100: Hendrick Motorsports is just one win away from becoming only the second motorsports operation to reach 100 Winston Cup wins in NASCAR’s modern era(1972-present). The 17-year-old organization claimed three wins in its first year of operation – the only team in the modern era to do that – and hasn’t slowed since. Hendrick Motorsports claimed win number 99 when Jeff Gordon took the checkered flag at Dover. Only Junior Johnson holds more wins in the “modern era” as team owner than Hendrick Motorsports, with 135 wins from 1972 to 1994. In stock car racing’s early days, Winston Cup – then Grand National – teams raced as many as 61 races in a single season; that changed to 31 races a season in 1972 and has hovered around that number until this year’s increased 36-race schedule. Other teams posting high win numbers in NASCAR’s modern era of points competition include Richard Childress Racing (70), Petty Enterprises (63), Woods Brothers Racing (61), Roush Racing (49) and Robert Yates Racing (49).(HMS SIte - link fixed)(6-6-2001)


    (6-5-2001)

  • Skinner Safe..for 2001: Something is happening on Richard Childress' second team(#31), where Mike Skinner works, and Skinner's future has been the subject of conversation in the Winston Cup garage for two weeks. Childress confirmed that he is talking with potential new drivers, but that Skinner will be in his cars the rest of the season. Skinner has been driving for Childress on the Winston Cup tour since 1996 but is still winless. "We're just trying to get the team running, and we're doing our best with it," Childress said. "We're using all the resources we can come up with at RCR to make it go, and we're seeing a little improvement. But he'll be driving the car all year." And next season? "Well, if he's not happy and I'm not happy, we'll talk about it closer to the end of the year. We just both want to win, and neither one of us wants to be in the situation we're in. We've just got to keep digging and get to where we can win races together." It has been reported that Childress has been talking with everyone from Jeff Burton(doubtful) to Greg Biffle(?), Jeremy Mayfield(who knows? but signed thru 2002), Matt Kenseth(a lock to Childress?) and Tony Stewart(no way).(Winston Salem Journal)(6-5-2001)

  • Dallenbach has Offers UPDATE to NBC? 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 for Wally to be the third person in the NBC booth with Allen Bestwick and Benny Parsons(5-30-2001)
    UPDATE: Wally Dallenbach Jr. is in the running for the third chair in NBC's racing broadcast booth. Dallenbach received high marks after auditioning for the job and will be part of a mock broadcast of this weekend's race at Michigan. NBC and TNT start their coverage of Winston Cup and Busch Series racing with the July 7 Pepsi 400 at Daytona(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-5-2001)

  • Newman at MIS in Cup? UPDATE yes: heard that #02-Ryan Newman(#27 in ARCA) would run the Cup and ARCA races at Michigan this weekend, but his PR folks say he'll only run in the ARCA race
    UPDATE: The team had planned to run the ARCA Flagstar 200 at Michigan Speedway, but after a successful outing at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May, they opted to try their hand in NASCAR Winston Cup at another track where they have experience. "After running so well at Charlotte, we really thought about bringing that car to run [Winston] Cup in Michigan," said crew chief Matt Borland. "Our original plan was to run Winston Cup at Michigan, and even though we made some changes in April, our schedule can change based on what we feel we need to do to get Ryan more experience. Our test there was good and Ryan is really comfortable on the track. We just went back to our original plan."(TRPR)(6-5-2001)

  • Lopez to Stay at #90: Team Consultant Phillippe Lopez will remain with the #90 Hills Bros. Ford team with driver Hut Stricklin for the remainder of the season(National Speed Sport News Print Edition May 30th)(6-5-2001)

  • NHIS Later Start? Night Races at Dover? NBC and NASCAR, going after a larger West Coast audience, have moved the starting time of the Loudon, N.H., race next month to 2:00pm/et, and more such late afternoon starts appear to be coming. With the success of Fox' prime time coverage of last week's Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, more prime-time Winston Cup events may be in the cards. Dover executives are looking at Saturday night races in the future(need to install lights), trying to capture some of the excitement of Bristol's night action(Winston Salem Journal)(6-5-2001)

  • DW to help Compton at Chicago: at the invitation of Stacy Compton and Melling Racing, Darrell Waltrip will help the #92 Melling team as they test at Chicagoland Speedway today and Wednesday. DW will serve as an advisor and will also get behind the wheel(6-5-2001)

  • Bruised Ribs for Jarrett UPDATE nope broken: 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)
    UPDATE: Dale Jarrett's medical odyssey continues with his broken, not broken, broken rib. Jarrett was diagnosed with a fractured rib after practice for the Coca-Cola 600 just more than a week ago. This week, his team said the rib was not broken. This weekend, Jarrett confirmed the rib is broken. He also has a torn muscle and underwent treatment for the condition.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-5-2001)

  • Ads almost sold out: TNT and NBC have jointly sold 85 percent of the on-air sponsorship entitlements to their NASCAR Winston Cup coverage, the companies announced Monday evening. NBC and TNT, which will cover 20 NASCAR Cup races, have sold entitlements in 11 of the events so far. Among advertisers signed as title sponsors for other upcoming auto races on the circuit are Tropicana, Mountain Dew, General Motors Corp.’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Pennzoil-Quaker State Co., The Pep Boys and Applebee’s International Inc.(TV Insite)(6-5-2001)

  • New Dodge Engine? UPDATE: Dodge teams might receive help from NASCAR in the near future. Dodge has tested a new engine block that is 26 pounds lighter than the one its teams currently use. Dodge teams have been searching for a way to displace some of the front-end load, and this might be the answer. NASCAR is expected to make a decision soon(Sporting News)(6-4-2001)
    UPDATE: Jim Julow, who heads the Dodge motorsports program, said he's looking for competitive changes in his Winston Cup fleet of Intrepid R/Ts. The Dodge engine weights more than 25 pounds more than a Ford or GM motor. "We think we got some weight in the engine we can take out, we think there are design changes that will help us in terms of making the car a more credible competitor," said Julow. "We're pursuing those . . . I think there are some we can incorporate this year, assuming NASCAR agrees they are not significant or wholesale changes, that they are in the realm of continuous improvement."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-5-2001)

  • Shawna to Try again: When she starts the 400-miler this Sunday, Shawna Robinson will become the first female driver since Patty Moise competed at Talladega, AL., on July 30, 1989, to start a NASCAR Winston Cup event. With the addition of four more races currently on her schedule this season - Chicago (July 15); Indianapolis (Aug. 5); Kansas (Sept. 30); and Atlanta (Nov. 18) - she will become the first female to run a regular schedule of NASCAR Winston Cup events since Janet Guthrie in 1980. The last female driver to finish a NASCAR Winston Cup race was Janet Guthrie at Pocono, who was 28th and running at the finish on July 27, 1980. Robinson entered and attempted to qualify the NASCAR Winston Cup race at California Speedway on April 29. Apparently headed to a very quick lap, the rear end gearing broke in her Aaron's Sales and Leasing Taurus, ending her lap - and her shot at making the race. With no points, she is driving the final car eligible for a provisional starting position. Aaron's Sales and Leasing of Atlanta is sponsoring MK Racing and Robinson in the races at California, Michigan, Indianapolis and Atlanta. MK Racing is owned by former Ford Racing executive and winning NASCAR Winston Cup car owner Michael Kranefuss. The team is planning on following its six races this season with a full NASCAR Winston Cup schedule in 2002, and Robinson competing for Rookie of the Year honors. Some thoughts of Aaron's Sales and Leasing Taurus driver Shawna Robinson heading into California: "We tested at California and we tested at Michigan. California and Michigan aren't identical but there are things we found at California that we've been able to use for Michigan. We think we're going to have a pretty good car. Again, our goals are to have a good practice on Friday, set down a really good qualifying lap Friday afternoon, practice well Saturday and then run a solid race Sunday. If we can do all of that, we will leave Michigan feeling we've had a pretty good weekend, and we'll feel like we're ready to get things started for Chicago. I have been preparing myself for quite some time on the physical end of things and getting myself ready for that because I know that can do nothing but help. With my preparation and focus for being in shape, being fit, being prepared to run Winston Cup, we have a lot of good things going on. Michael Waltrip putting me in a Busch car for three races has been a really big help. The biggest thing is the seat time. My career has taken a lot of steps over the years to get with good people. I think with (Robert) Yates motors in the cars and Michael Kranefuss putting this team together, and with Aaron's working with us this year, we have a lot of things going for us. Robert Yates' record speaks for itself but so does Michael Kranefuss' I think he has proven he can put a Winston Cup team together that can win races, and that's pretty exciting. Having (Aaron's Sales and Leasing President) Ken Butler and the people at Aaron's come with us and support us, that just means a whole lot. It means a lot financially, sure. But it means a lot that they see the potential we see in this race team and they want us to meet our goals. I know they make dreams come true for people all over the country but they really have made our dreams become a reality."(see more at Williams Company) and past news at my #84 Team News and Links page(6-5-2001)

  • Dr Testifies about Autopsy Photos and NASCAR - Speedway doctor: Earnhardt photos graphic, disturbing AND threatened?: The chief emergency doctor at Daytona International Speedway told attorneys Monday that NASCAR never influenced him to say that a broken seat belt led to Dale Earnhardt's death at the Daytona 500. But an attorney for a student-run newspaper that wants access to Earnhardt's autopsy photos maintained that NASCAR officials put Dr. Steve Bohannon in a position in which he couldn't say anything else. "NASCAR never told me what to say or what not to say," Bohannon said. "I got thrown into the public spotlight to help NASCAR explain to the media this terrible event that transpired. I don't feel like I've done anything wrong." At a conference before Bohannon's deposition, Circuit Judge Joseph Will denied a request by Teresa Earnhardt's attorneys to limit the questions to privacy issues. Earnhardt's attorneys wanted to bar questions about NASCAR's possible role, which they characterized as a "news-gathering witch hunt." See Full story at the Orlando Sentinel. AND A Daytona International Speedway doctor testified in a deposition Monday that the Dale Earnhardt autopsy photos were very graphic and disturbing. Dr. Steve Bohannon, one of the doctors who worked on Earnhardt after his fatal crash Feb. 18, was the only person outside Volusia County's medical examiner's office who viewed the photos before they were sealed. He told attorneys on Monday that he talked to Earnhardt's widow about a week after she filed a lawsuit to stop the photos from being made public. He described the photos to Teresa Earnhardt as graphic and said they showed Earnhardt's naked body and its dissection. Full AP story at CBS Sportsline
    AND threatened? Dr. Steve Bohannon, one of the first physicians to reach race car driver Dale Earnhardt after his fatal wreck, said Monday the Orlando Sentinel bent the rules of journalism by threatening him to get an interview. Two attorneys for the Sentinel deny his accusations, but give conflicting accounts of what happened. Full story at the Daytona Beach News Journal: Official: physician at Earnhardt wreck threatened by newspaper(6-5-2001)

  • Reenactment of Accident? UPDATE 3: hearing that NASCAR did a reinactment of Dale Earnhardt's crash Tuesday, that is all I know at present(5-30-2001)
    UPDATE: word is that a recreation of the accident was done, speculation has it that it was done using computer models but there has been no confirmation about the tests. PRN reports that Sled testing has already been done simulating the crash force Dale Earnhardt hit the wall at Daytona. Lap belts were configured per the seat belt manufacturer instructions and didn't break, but did tear when in a variation used by many drivers(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show or Real Audio of the 5-31 show)(6-1-2001)
    UPDATE 2: CNNSI.com has learned NASCAR investigators conducted a re-enactment of the scene of the crash that killed Dale Earnhardt. They did so despite the absence of paramedic Tommy Propst, who said Earnhardt’s lap belt wasn't broken in the wreck. The other paramedics participated in the re-enactment within the past two weeks(CNN/SI)(6-2-2001)
    UPDATE 3: NASCAR has released no details of its testing at Hickory Speedway last Tuesday and Wednesday, at which it tried to recreate some aspects of Dale Earnhardt's fatal crash at Daytona. NASCAR has also released no information about any computer simulations of the Earnhardt crash as based on its GPS data from the car.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-5-2001)


    (6-4-2001)

  • Get Well UPDATE 2: 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)
    UPDATE 2: Parker's Wife: Shawn Parker, was poised to leave the race on a moment's notice. Parker's wife, Tara, is on the priority list for a heart transplant. She had two hearts become available in the past couple of weeks, but doctors thought one was too small and the other carried hepatitis. Team owner Jack Roush has his plane on standby to fly Parker out if he receives word his wife is heading into surgery.
    Davis: Bill Davis is not expected to return to his regular schedule for several weeks. The owner of Ward Burton's and Dave Blaney's teams went into the hospital with kidney stones last week. He underwent a treatment process to break up the stones and was released but developed pain late that night. Davis' kidneys were bruised in the process. He remains in a High Point, N.C., hospital undergoing treatment(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-4-2001)

  • Counterfeit Earnhardt Story: Almost four months have passed since Dale Earnhardt was killed at Daytona, and Joe Hedrick and Chris Williams are busy fending off bootleggers, folks quick to make a buck pushing unauthorized Earnhardt stuff. Hedrick is director of licensing for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (DEI). Williams oversees track sales for Action Performance Companies, which holds trademark and merchandising rights to more than 20 of NASCAR's leading drivers -- including Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace and Jeff Gordon. See Full story at CNN/SI: Bootleg breakdown - Fight to curb counterfeit Earnhardt goods a daunting task. AND What can you do? If you want to avoid buying counterfeit Dale Earnhardt or other NASCAR goods, it's probably best to shop traditional outlets and official trailers at the racetrack. Also, check the "Officially Licensed'' hang tags and taglines. On apparel such as hats, jackets and sweats, Chase Authentics and Competitors View are the brands primarily endorsed by top drivers. Specific unauthorized Earnhardt products on the market include: T-shirts, plaques, stickers and other items with "1951-2001" scripted on them. If you have any questions or think you may have bought a knock-off item, you can call 1-888-863-7283.(6-4-2001)

  • Another Roush/Kenseth Rumor UPDATE: seen in the June 1st edition of the Speedway Scene magazine - Despite a recent PR that denies any drivers might be leaving the Roush organization, it is expected that Matt Kenseth(driver #17 DeWalt Ford) and Robbie Reiser (crew chief #17 and owner of Kenseth's BGN team) will depart Roush Racing and 'do their own thing' (start own team) with Chevy and DeWalt Tools(6-3-2001)
    UPDATE: and still hearing Kenseth to one of the RCR is close to if not a done deal also(6-4-2001)

  • MIS to honor Earnhardt: Race fans will have a chance to pay their respects to Dale Earnhardt, the late seven-time Winston Cup champion, in a variety of ways during this weekend's NASCAR Winston Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. MIS is providing two billboard-sized Earnhardt signature murals that fans can sign. The murals also will be available to sign during the week of the Aug. 19 NASCAR race at MIS before they're sent to the Earnhardt family. One billboard will be behind the main grandstands near gate 29, and the other will be near the Buddy's mini-mart in the middle of the infield. A ticket is required for access to the billboards, which will be available Saturday and Sunday. There also is a billboard on the back of the grandstand near turn one featuring Earnhardt's No. 3 and the message, "Thanks for the Memories." The sign is visible from U.S. 12 outside the 2-mile oval. As has become customary during each race since the Daytona 500, the public-address announcer will ask fans to hold up three fingers on the third lap of the race as a tribute to Earnhardt's car #3.(Detroit News)(6-5-2001)

  • Biffle Stands by for Martin: Greg Biffle was standing by to fill in for Mark Martin, who possibly pinched a nerve in his left side during last week's race. Martin suffered some numbness in his left arm during the Coca-Cola 600. The feeling continued last week, so he decided to have a driver standing by during the race. Martin stayed in the car and finished ninth, his fourth top 10 of the season(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-4-2001)


    (6-3-2001)

    see the May 28-June 3, 2001 Archived News Page


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