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PAST NEWS JUNE 18-24, 2001


  • DW back racing? Darrell Waltrip isn't sure what he'll do the rest of the year after Sunday's final Winston Cup broadcast on Fox, but he isn't ruling out getting back into a race car. "I sure wouldn't mind running Bristol, Martinsville or maybe Watkins Glen," Waltrip said Saturday. "Just to keep my license current. With the right opportunity, I probably would at the right race track." Waltrip made some laps Friday at Sears Point Raceway in a Jack Roush-built Mustang and said it felt good. But is he seriously considering a return to racing? "I am not seriously considering anything," he said. " We'll just have to wait and see what happens."(That's Racin')(6-24-2001)

  • #44 Qualifying Driver? UPDATE 2: hearing Tom Hubert, who has driven in a few Cup races and is the #93 Bill Davis Racing Car Chief, will qualify the #44 Georgia Pacific Dodge for regular driver Buckshot Jones at Sears Point, but Jones will start and run the car in the race(6-21-2001)
    UPDATE: yep, Hubert qualified the red #44 Dodge 29th and Jones will drive the car in the race, but will have to fall to the back of the field as required when going to a backup or changing drivers after qualifying(6-23-2001)
    UPDATE 2: After he finished 16th on the lead lap in the Featherlite Southwest Series, NASCAR Touring SNAP-ON Tools 200 Saturday at Sears Point, Buckshot Jones pronounced himself ready to run the full Dodge/Save Mart 350 Saturday. Jones entered the race in a FSW team’s car to get track time. He started 39th but had raced up to ninth, when he inadvertently unhooked his safety harness and had to pit.( Buzz)(6-24-2001)

  • Fox and SpeedVision: FOX Sports chairman and CEO David Hill confirmed Saturday that his network is closing a deal to purchase Speedvision, a 24-hour auto racing network that is currently seen in about 27 million homes. "The ink is still not dry," Hill said. "We expect to complete the acquisition of Speedvision by mid-July or early August." Once the sale is final, Hill said viewers can expect to see much more NASCAR content on the channel. "You'll see NASCAR programming from the [FOX] network repeated on Speedvision," Hill said. "[And] we'll be making specific new NASCAR programming for it."(CNN/SI)(6-24-2001)

  • No New Engine Rules? UPDATE: NASCAR officials have cancelled plans for new engine rules at Loudon, N.H., in three weeks, saying the proposals "have lost momentum." Some teams pointed to heavy politicking against the proposed changes by the Roger Penske camp. "We're preparing for a one-engine rule at Loudon, but we've heard several different things in the works for Loudon, even a 390 carburetor like they used on the Trucks at Texas," says crew chief Jimmy Makar of the Bobby Labonte team. "In this sport, you've got to be prepared, whether it's rumor or whether it's fact."(Winston Salem Journal)(6-23-2001)
    UPDATE: NASCAR is having second thoughts about using one engine for the entire weekend at a few races this year, beginning with New Hampshire next month. Some teams didn't like the idea of using the same engines for practice, qualifying and races at New Hampshire, Bristol and Richmond, so it is likely that no such change will be ordered this season. But the one-engine rule for races of 300 miles or less is being considered for the 2002 season.(That's Racin')(6-24-2001)


  • Park Eligible: Steve Park Makes People Magazine's Top-50 Most Eligible Bachelors in the Country: Who says a good man is hard to find? The July 2, 2001, issue of People Magazine (Available on newsstands on June 25th) reports in a 47-page spread, on the most eligible bachelors in the United States. Golfer Tiger Woods, 25, who's newly single after a two-year relationship, tops this year's crop of eligible bachelors from the world of sports. He's joined by New Jersey Devils hockey player Scott Gomez, 21, and NASCAR driver Steve Park, 33. Park tells People, "Driving 200mph around a track doesn't scare me. But I'm nervous on a first date."(Catchfence)..geez they forgot Jayski...(6-23-2001)

  • Robinson's Sponsor UPDATE 3: #84-Shawna Robinson's next Cup race attempt will be at the Chicagoland Speedway. Aaron's will not ne the primary sponsor. A sponsor will be named that week for Robinson's effort there, no idea who it is (yet)(FSN Qualifying Coverage on Friday). Aaron's will sponsor Robinson at Indianapolis and Atlanta and possibly at Kansas and Homestead(6-11-2001)
    UPDATE: Event sponsor Tropicana has made a deal with MK Racing to sponsor its #84 Ford in driver Shawna Robinson's planned second Winston Cup event, the July 15 Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway( Buzz)(6-19-2001)
    UPDATE 2: not making this up - hearing that Victoria's Secret os talking to Robinson's team about sponsoring her and the team in 2002, not sure as a primary or an assoc(6-21-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Shawna Robinson, the first female to compete in Winston Cup since 1989, may be getting Victoria's Secret as a sponsor next year. Already sponsored by Aaron's for a four-race deal this year, she will have Tropicana orange juice on the car for her next event in Chicago. Rumor has it that the sophisticated lingerie company, known for its eye-appealing catalogs and retail mall stores, has also entered into sponsor negotiations. A spokesperson for Aaron's said they are still in negotiations for next year's sponsorship( Buzz)(6-23-2001)

  • Kimmel to Cup? Frank Kimmel, current ARCA point leader and two-time champion, may venture into Winston Cup next season for three races. The only track that was mentioned for sure was Charlotte. His current sponsor, Advance Auto Parts, may be the one backing the effort. The 38-year old native of Jeffersonville, Ind., was the series rookie of the year in 1992 and was a runner-up in championship points in 1994, '97 and '99.( Buzz), also Frank Kimmel made his 200th ARCA start in Memphis on Friday, finishing third behind winner Billy Bigley and 2nd place Rick Carelli(6-23-2001)

  • #27 Sponsor: UltimateTV, the Microsoft product, signed on to sponsor Kenny Wallace’s Pontiac for the Sears Point race only(Gaston Gazette), but Wallace failed to make the race(6-23-2001)

  • New Ford Boss: Ford has picked a new NASCAR field director, Linas Orentas, who replaces Jay Novak. Novak, who is moving to a non-racing job after three years as the company's NASCAR point man, has been popular for his tough, blunt analysis and willingness to tell it like it is.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-23-2001)


  • Bigger Windows at Daytona: NASCAR plans to widen Winston Cup's shrinking driver-side window, which will allow drivers wearing neck restraints a faster exit in case of an emergency situation. NASCAR president Mike Helton confirmed the rule specifying a minimum, 17-inch window height will take effect for the July 7 Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Helton said this is the first time NASCAR has instituted a window size for Winston Cup cars. Before this rule, NASCAR only monitored the distance between certain rollcage bars inside the race cars. "The specifics before were the height of the door bars and the height of the halo bar," said Helton. "What we were finding was that in an effort to create better aerodynamics, that opening was shrinking. We drew a line in the sand and say, 'OK, this is far as it can go.' " Competitors said the new rule makes sense especially for drivers equipped with the bulky HANS device, designed to restrain head and neck movement in the event of a severe accident. Two thirds of Winston Cup drivers now wear restraint devices. NASCAR said drivers needed a larger exit hatch in case of an emergency situation on the track.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-22-2001)


  • Earnhardt Photos News: Courtroom arguments about Dale Earnhardt’s autopsy photos may have ended for now, but the paper war between lawyers for the stock-car driver’s widow and a student-run newspaper rages on. Tom Julin, attorney for the Independent Florida Alligator, is disputing parts of a proposed 17-page court order submitted Wednesday by Teresa Earnhardt’s lawyers. The document is supposed to express the findings of Circuit Judge Joseph Will, who ruled last week that the Alligator and a DeLand Web site operator should not be allowed to see the pictures.(Full story at That's Racin')(6-21-2001)

  • Crawford in Cup? Rick Crawford says he has a need for speed, possibly behind the wheel of a car at NASCAR's highest level. "The faster I can race, the better I like it," said the 42-year-old Mobilian, who is in his fifth season driving in the CTS. At an age when many drivers are looking for another profession, Crawford said he isn't thinking about slowing down his racing career. Instead, he has his sights on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. "Nothing's etched in stone," said the driver of the #14 Milwaukee Tools Ford. "But the team owner and I have discussed running two or three Winston Cup races near the end of this season."(Alabama Live)(6-21-2001)

  • Helping Out: Texaco and the race teams it sponsors have joined together in an effort to encourage relief for the flood victims of Tropical Storm Allison. Ricky Rudd's Robert Yates Racing Ford displayed a decal at Pocono with the number 1-800-HELP-NOW, the toll free donation number for the American Red Cross..(Winston Cup Scene)(6-21-2001)

  • 2nd Morgan-McClure car at Sears Point? UPDATE 4: hearing that SCCA Trans Am point leader Johnny Miller will test with the #4 Morgan-McClure team at Road Atlanta and has a shot at driving Sears Point either in a second car or the primary for McClure(6-12-2001)
    UPDATE: Hearing if Morgan-McClure runs a 2nd car for Miller, it'll be #94. See images of the testing at the Miller Racing site and a story on the test: Trans-Am points leader Johnny Miller to test NASCAR Winston Cup car(6-14-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hearing that Johnny Miller was offered the Morgan McClure (#94 2nd car not the #4 car) ride for Sears Point but turned it down due to time constraints on getting a custom seat in the car and a NASCAR license but Miller may run for the team at Watkins Glen, and will continue testing for them(6-19-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Official Statement from Morgan-McClure Motorsports regarding Johnny Miller rumor: Larry McClure, owner of the No. 4 KODAK MAX Film Monte Carlo, states concern over the most recent rumor concerning his Morgan-McClure Motorsports team. Larry McClure quotes "In an unfounded rumor, Johnny Miller was placed in the #4 Chevrolet at Sears Point in the upcoming race event. This is strictly misinformation. Johnny Miller tested for the team at Road Atlanta last week, along with Kevin Lepage. He was there as an asset in gaining valuable road course information. He will continue to test some for the team. Although there might have been a misinterpetation, there was never a plan to field two cars at Sears Point or to have him drive the No. 4 car. Kevin Lepage is the driver. We are in the process of rebuilding and hiring a new crew chief, sometimes that puts a team under more scrutiny. These rumors pop up and they can do a team harm."(Morgan-McClure)(6-20-2001)
    UPDATE 4:...."I was really thankful and excited to have the chance to test a Winston Cup car last week,'' Miller said. "I think things went well.'' Miller recently tested the #4 Kodak Chevrolet Monte Carlo for the Morgan-McClure Motorsports team at Road Atlanta. Kevin Lepage is the regular driver for the M-M team. "`I know some of the guys on the Morgan-McClure team and I had asked (M-M general manager) Larry McClure before if I could help him in some way,'' Miller said. "Larry gave me the opportunity last week. `We were there to drive and coach Kevin on the finer elements of road racing and to prepare for the Sears Point and Watkins Glen races. Both Kodak cars were quicker than the Penske car driven by Jeremy Mayfield. We were pleased by that.'' The final results of Miller's tutorial session will come Sunday when Lepage competes in the the Dodge-Save Mart 350 on the two-mile road course at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. "I actually thought about going to Sears Point just to be part of the race, but I'm definitely going to be watching on TV,'' Miller said. ``I had a good time working with Kevin, the Morgan-McClure engineer (Gary Grossenbacher) and their new crew chief (Scott Eggleston). I just hope my experience and feedback will help them have a good race Sunday.'' Miller's immediate goal is winning his first Trans-Am Championship. He hopes to increase his profile and attract more interest from NASCAR power brokers along the way. "Saturday's race in Detroit was on national TV with CBS and two more races will he shown on CBS later this season,'' said Miller, the 1996 Trans-Am rookie of the year. ``National TV is a good way to get your name out. And the success of Trans-Am and road racers in various NASCAR series has also helped give more exposure to our style of racing. It's just a shame that the Trans-Am drivers aren't included in the IROC Series. I've tried to find rides in the Busch Series. I really hope that we can hook up with Morgan-McClure at Watkins Glen in August. I'm confident that we could do well. We're concentrating on winning that Trans-Am championship right now, though.''(Bristol Herald Courier)(6-21-2001)

  • Labonte Honor Postponed UPDATE 2: 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 Dedication of the park is scheduled for June 20th(Corpus Christi Caller)(5-29-2001)
    UPDATE 2: A dedication of a park named for Corpus Christi natives Bobby and Terry Labonte has been postponed to allow more time to raise the money for the improvements that will accompany the ceremony. The dedication was scheduled for today. But organizers behind the project reset the dedication ceremony to Sept. 26 to allow more time to raise the $60,000 for the project, city spokesman Ted Nelson said. The project will 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 northwest Corpus Christi off of Interstate 37. 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 78403(Corpus Christi Caller)(6-21-2001)

  • #22 Tests with a Pontiac Engine: During a recent test session at Richmond, Ward Burton and his Bill Davis Racing team decided to stick a Pontiac (Chevy engine, different heads) engine in their Dodge to help figure out why the team has been struggling. The team ran Pontiacs until switching to Dodge for this season. "We (ran) back-to-back some engine stuff, comparing what we had last year to this year just to see if we could get back to where we needed to be," crew chief Tommy Baldwin said. "We wanted to try out all our variations that we changed from last year to this year. We learned a ton."Winston Cup Scene)(6-21-2001)

  • New #96 Crew Chief for Sears Point: PPI Motorsports' Joe Garone, crew chief for the #96 McDonald's Ford driven by Andy Houston , will leave the company Friday, it was announced today. Garone's departure follows the team's May 30th announcement of his pending resignation from PPI Motorsports to take a position with NASCAR. Scott Miller, current race engineer for the #96 McDonald's Ford, has been named interim crew chief for Houston beginning this weekend at Sears Point. "With Joe leaving, it's time for us to begin the rebuilding process as a team," said PPI Motorsports owner Cal Wells III. "Scott has been a key part of our McDonald's program since it began, and he, Andy and the team have established strong, solid working relationships. We're confident Scott can provide the leadership we need while we continue to assess our options." Prior to his current duties, Miller served as the race engineer for the McDonald's Busch program and Houston's five Winston Cup races with the team in 2000. He joined PPI Motorsports after several years of industry experience, most recently as a chassis specialist with Richard Childress Racing(PPI Motorsports PR)(6-21-2001)

  • Fox to Contunue Shows: Even though Fox passes Winston Cup TV race coverage off to NBC and Turner starting with the July 7 Pepsi 400 at Daytona, the NASCAR-related shows on Fox Sports Net will continue through the remainder of the 2001 season. "NASCAR This Morning," the weekly pre-race show featuring analysts John Roberts, Derrike Cope, Bill Ingle and Steve Waid, will continue in its present time slot on Sunday, 10:30am - noon/et, through Sept. 2. From Sept. 9-Nov. 18, the show will air from 9-10:30am/et. "NASCAR Victory Lane," with Roberts and Cope, will maintain its Sunday slot at 9:00pm local time through Nov. 18. "Totally NASCAR," with Steve Byrnes and Kirsten Gum, will continue to run Monday-Friday at 6:00pm local time. And "NASCAR Tech," with Ned Jarrett and Stephanie Durner, will run on Sundays from 10-10:30am/et, through Sept. 2. It will then air from noon-12:30pm/et, from Sept. 9-Dec. 29.(Winston Cup Scene), no word yet on what shows NBC/TNT will have(6-21-2001)

  • Murry at Sears Point: It appears veteran road racer David Murry may join some of his fellow road course specialists at the Watkins Glen Winston Cup race in August and, possibly, this weekend at Sears Point as a late replacement. Apparently, Murry has been actively speaking with teams whose drivers are not particularly comfortable on road courses and he may just land a ride as a result. Some teams have also asked Murry to act as a "coach" for their drivers. Last year, at Watkins Glen, he was a consultant to Jeff Burton. Burton ended up finishing third. Murry, who just returned from the 24 Hours of Le Mans, has been competing in both the American Le Mans Series and Grand Am Series this season(6-21-2001)

  • NASCAR Personnel: Hearing that Exide's former Director of Racing PR, Chris Dirato, has removed himself from consideration for one of the two media relations jobs which NASCAR is looking to fill for its Winston Cup Series. Apparently, the agency he works for, Kermish-Geylin Public Relations, recently landed a high-profile account in the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series -- the United States Army-sponsored Top Fuel dragster with driver Tony Schumacher -- and he now oversees that program(6-21-2001)

  • McReynolds spins out Hammond: Fox NASCAR analyst and veteran Winston Cup crew chief Larry McReynolds shared victory lane with seven 600 Racing Legends Car, Bandolero and Thunder Roadster drivers as 187 cars were on hand for round two of the Summer Shootout Tuesday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. McReynolds scored a victory for “The Booth” as he beat fellow Fox analyst and “Hollywood Hotel” representative Jeff Hammond in the NASCAR Grudge Match. The three-race battle came down to the final three-lap run and it was over early when McReynolds got into the back of Hammond, spinning him out of contention. “This ain’t over,” Hammond said after climbing from his Winston Cup-style convertible. George and Lucy Meeks were the lucky fans selected to ride along with the Grudge Match competitors. George was in the passenger seat of McReynolds’ winning car while his wife, Lucy, rode with Hammond. BGN driver Jimmie Johnson, who will move to the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit next season in a fourth Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, will square off against a special mystery driver in next week’s NASCAR Grudge Match.(LMS PR)(6-21-2001)

  • Haas-Carter in the Wind: hearing that the Haas-Carter team (#'s 26,46,66) had two Fords at the wind tunnel at N.A.S.A.'s Langley Research Center located in Hampton, VA on Wednesday(6-21-2001)


  • McSwain Fined: Michael McSwain, the crew chief for Ricky Rudd's No. 28 Winston Cup Ford, was fined $250 for an unapproved part found on that car before the Kmart 400 at Michigan on June 10.(That's Racin')(6-20-2001)

  • Stewart at IRL RIR race? No but...: The Winston Cup series takes a rare off weekend following Sunday's race at Sears Point. On the same weekend, the Indy Racing League conducts its inaugural event at Richmond International Raceway. Somebody hold Tony Stewart back. Less than a month after Stewart completed his historic same-day runs in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600, the 30-year-old driver is itching to get back into an IRL car. "I think if I had any guts at all, I'd go up there, get a ride and just spank their butts," said Stewart, who has won two Winston Cup races at Richmond, including one earlier this year. "I think it would be fun. I'm really anxious for it to get here, and I can promise you I'll be watching that race. I'm anxious to see what kind of a race it turns out to be. But man, I sure wish I was going to be in a car, because I've got a feeling I could really do some damage up there."(Charleston Post and Courier)(6-20-2001)

  • Long to test at DIS UPDATE - no it was an ARCA team: Skillen Racing, with driver Carl Long, will test at Daytona International Speedway today(Wednesday) from 9:00am to 5:00pm in preparation for the July 7 Pepsi 400. The grandstand will be open at no charge for the test with entry through the Daytona USA lobby(Daytona Beach News Journal), not sure what the Skillen Racing team is and if it is different for the #85 Mansion Motorsports tean he normally drivers for
    UPDATE: Todd Pendergrass tested the #41 Chevrolet Monte Carlo for Skillen Racing at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday in preparation for the Oct. 20 Food World 300 ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Talladega(DIS PR)(6-20-2001)


  • 2nd Morgan-McClure car at Daytona derailed: Larry McClure, who owns the #4 Chevy, has dropped plans to run a second car in the July 7 Pepsi 400. McClure said he had Loy Allen lined up for the ride but his two-car scheme was derailed by a recent crew chief change. "We're looking at trying it for Talladega (in October)," said McClure(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-19-2001)

  • Andretti to the #96? UPDATE No: Rumor has it that John Andretti could be in for a switch to the #96 Cal Wells Ford. According to the source, Andretti could be headed to Cal Wells' #96 McDonalds Ford in 2002, replacing Andy Houston, who has endured a season full of headaches so far this year, his first in the series( Buzz)(6-18-2001)
    UPDATE: sources at PPI Motorsports say that this report is false and that Andy Houston is not going to be replaced as the driver of the #96 Ford(6-19-2001)

  • 2nd Cingular Car? UPDATE: hearing there will be a third car for Ganassi Racing at Sears Point with road course driver Dorsey Schroeder driving a 2nd Cingular Dodge
    UPDATE: Schroeder will drive the #01 Cingular Dodge usually wheeled by Jason Leffler, while Leffler will drive a #04 Dodge from the Ganassi stable( Buzz)(6-19-2001)

  • Mandatory Caution UPDATE NASCAR and Drivers Meet: NASCAR planned to give teams some help in Sunday's Pocono 500, but instead its plan to put out a competition caution on Lap 25 raised the ire of several crew chiefs and drivers. Typically, NASCAR announces the use of a competition caution - a planned caution - at the mandatory driver and crew chief meeting the morning of the race. Sunday at Pocono Raceway, NASCAR officials made the decision to have a caution after evaluating what the enormous amount of rainfall Saturday evening had done to the 2.5-mile triangular track. But they made the decision after the driver's meeting, and relayed the information to officials on pit road, who were, in turn, to inform crew chiefs. Communications broke down along pit road and some teams found out over their radios, while some didn't get the information at all.(That's Racin')(6-17-2001)
    UPDATE: Several drivers, owners and NASCAR officials met after Sunday's Pocono 500 to discuss the competition yellow on lap 25. The result was an unlikely admission from president Mike Helton: "There was some comments by crew chiefs that they didn't get the word in time and made their decisions to go ahead and pit," Helton said. "Now, we have to give them the benefit of the doubt and figure that our guys didn't get the message delivered quick enough. This was a situation that we decided after the drivers' meeting was over with and it could have been a situation where the message wasn't completely conveyed up and down pit road correctly from our side, so we'll take this one."(CNN/SI)(6-19-2001)

  • #77 in the WInd: hearing that Jasper Motorsports has two #77 Daytona Fords at the wind tunnel at N.A.S.A.'s Langley Research Center located in Hampton, VA today(6-19-2001)

  • Eggleston Stays Another Week: Scott Eggleston had his first run with #4 KODAK MAX Film Monte Carlo, serving as crew chief. Eggleston, who first saw the Monte Carlos he would be working with on Friday, improved the race car throughout the 200 lap event on Sunday. Eggleston joins the Kodak crew for a Goodyear tire test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday and Tuesday of this week. He will also lead the crew at Sears Point(Morgan McClure PR)(6-19-2001)


  • Fox wants a change? UPDATE 2 Las Vegas/Rockingham to switch? No? There is talk Fox does not want to begin its 2002 telecasts with the Rockingham race, currently second on the schedule. NBC has the rights to the Daytona 500 to open the 2002 season(Sporting News) UPDATE: hearing the Las Vegas Cup race could be moved to the 2nd wwekend of the 2002 Cup Schedule and Fox would start their 2002 race broadcasts with that race
    UPDATE 2: Sources tell me that Las Vegas will still have the first Sunday of March race date, and that unless NASCAR leaves an open date after Daytona (unlikely) some race will be run between Vegas and Daytona(6-18-2001)

  • Goodyear Tire Test at Indy: #4-Kevin Lepage and #28-Ricky Rudd are testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Goodyear(MRN's NASCAR Today)(6-18-2001)

  • Davis Back at Daytona: #22 and #93 Cup car owner Bill Davis is resting at his Arkansas home as he continues to recover from complications that developed after the removal of a kidney stone. Davis is expected to return to the track for the Daytona race in three weeks(Roanoke Times)(6-18-2001)

  • #30 Will Exist in 2002: Richard Childress says that there will be an AOL Winston Cup team (#30) next season. Theres was some doubt, but he says they have a 3-year deal. Plus RCR driver (#29) Kevin Harvick comments about having run 9,844 miles so far this season...between BGN and Cup he's averaging a win every 3,000 miles. Harvick says "I guess I'm like a good oil change!"...(PRN's Garage Pass), the only question remains, who will drive the #30, crew chief? and reports: Rumor has it that Jeff Green has removed his name from possible candidates to drive Richard Childress' third Winston Cup car full time in 2002. Sponsor AOL reportedly told Green that they were looking for a hip, upstart driver. Green said last month that he had begun negotiations with ppc Racing, his Busch Series owner, on a new contract(6-18-2001)

  • Mast Nominated: Rick Mast enjoys lending a helping hand to his neighbors in Rockbridge Baths, Va. In 1994, he took on the task of organizing the Rick Mast Classic, a golf tournament and country music concert fundraiser for the Rockbridge Area Free Clinic. It is because of his continued commitment to his community and the clinic that Mast received True Value's Man of the Year second quarter nomination. True Value, the Official Hardware Store of NASCAR, is once again sponsoring the NASCAR True Value Man of the Year. The award is designed to honor a driver not only for their accomplishments on the track but for their community service contributions and charitable efforts. Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 Pfizer/Viagra Ford, was the recipient of the first quarter nomination. Since Mast, driver of the No. 50 Chevrolet, began his involvement with the Rockbridge Area Free Clinic, fundraising efforts have reached nearly $300,000. In 2000 alone, Mast and his group of volunteers raised $60,000 for the clinic. For the purpose of determining the NASCAR True Value Man of the Year Award winner, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series season has been divided into four quarters in which drivers are nominated for their off-track efforts. An elite group of panelists will select one of the four quarterly finalists to name the NASCAR True Value Man of the Year. This award will be presented at the NASCAR Winston Cup Series banquet in New York City, along with a prize of $100,000. The prize will be divided evenly between the driver and the charity of his choice. In addition to the NASCAR True Value Man of the Year, True Value sponsors the Man of the Race Award, which goes to the eligible driver who wins each of the 36 NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship events. Each True Value Man of the Race Award winner receives $2,500 with an additional $2,500 going to the charity of his choice. The third-quarter nominee will be announced on August 20.(NASCAR PR)(6-18-2001)

  • Won't Go Away: Despite the insistence of Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing, that all his drivers are solidly under contract, that he has no plans to let any of them buy out, and that all will back again next season, reports are hotter than ever that some of those Ford stars will be in Richard Childress' Chevrolet camp next season. Greg Biffle has toured Childress' shop south of Winston-Salem, according to team sources who insist Biffle is still a very strong candidate for a ride with Childress. However, Bobby Hutchens, general manager for Childress' racing operations, denied reports that Jeff Burton had signed or was close to signing a five-year contract with Childress to drive a Lowe's sponsored car. Lowe's officials have said privately their big goal now is to back a team that can beat Home Depot's Tony Stewart and that cost is not an issue(Winston Salem Journal), see the #17 Team News and Links page(Kenseth), #6 Team New and Links page(Biffle) and #99-Team News and Links page(Burton) for the past news on these rumors and denials(6-18-2001)

  • Some Notes: Ford and Chevrolet now have seven victories each this season. Pontiac has one. Rudd is the 11th different winner in 15 races. It's the first time he's ever won a race when starting from the pole after 26 previous unsuccessful tries. Gordon has now finished in the top eight 13 times in 17 Pocono starts. Jarrett and Mark Martin have now finished in the top five in 11 of the past 12 Pocono races. Gordon has led 610 of the 800 laps in the past three races. Kevin Harvick leads the rookie of the year race by 23 points over Kurt Busch(That's Racin')(6-18-2001)

  • Pontiac Gone? Might General Motors consider dropping the Pontiac brand from Winston Cup racing? A new model is expected for the 2003 season, but will GM invest in the redesign of its Grand Prix for NASCAR? Just an ugly rumor that it won't, said Terry Laise, General Motors competition and aerodynamics manager. "But anything is possible."(Sporting News)(6-18-2001)

  • Some Notes: Ricky Rudd's win came in his 710th Winston Cup race, became the 11th different winner in 15 races this year and his 21st victory ties him with Benny Parsons, Jack Smith and Terry Labonte for 24th on the all-time win list. This was Rudd's first victory starting from the Bud Pole and the first ever win for his crew chief, Michael "Fatback" McSwain. Going up: Ken Schrader, Mike Skinner and Stacy Compton moved up the most by gaining three points positions. Kevin Lepage moved up two. Going down: Ward Burton dropped four spots on the points chart from 19th to 23rd. Bobby Hamilton and Jeremy Mayfield fell two spots.(

  • Rudd's Transmission: After seizing the lead on a dramatic move late in yesterday's race, Ricky Rudd kept his foot to the floor and Jeff Gordon in his rearview mirror, racing hard to the finish line to win the Pocono 500 by a dozen car lengths. Although Gordon had snatched the lead and the win away from him in the waning stages of last week's race, Rudd regarded his 21st career victory more with relief than revenge. "I just knew something had to go wrong," said Rudd, who, like the others in the lead pack, wound down the final laps with a dwindling fuel supply. Then, with 10 laps to go, I broke the transmission and couldn't take it out of third gear. I thought, 'Man, here we go again, blowing another great chance.' I didn't even think about winning until I saw the checkered flag."(Philadelphia Inquirer), the transmission was stuck in 3rd gear for the last ten laps(6-18-2001)


    see the June 11-17, 2001 Archived News Page

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