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PAST NEWS JULY 2-8, 2001


(7-8-2001)

  • Incredible - Little E Wins at Daytona in the Pepsi 400. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr wins at Daytona where he lost his Dad in the Daytona 500, a very emotional and popular win. His teammate #15-Michael Waltrip finished 2nd, great celebration by Little E and Waltrip in the infield. #21-Elliott Sadler gets his 2nd career top five, finishing 3rd. #20-Tony Stewart was shown in 6th on NASCAR.com, but was black flagged for going below the yellow line and did not heed the flag, the replay seemed to indicate that Stewart was forced down, but NASCAR upheld the flag and dropped Stewart to 26th, the last car on the lead lap.
    #24-Jeff Gordon still is the leader of the drivers points, but his lead over #88-Dale Jarrett is now 54 points. See That's Racin' for Pepsi 400 results by the AP or see NASCAR.com for the Unoffical Results. See That's Racin' for Winston Cup points (after Daytona) or NASCAR.com for Unofficial Drivers Standings. Also, see full stories at That's Racin': Earnhardt Jr. dominant in Pepsi 400 victory and at the DBNJ: No. 3 would be proud: Earnhardt Jr. wins Pepsi 400(7-7/8-2001)

  • Petty Ride a Success: The Kyle Petty Charity Across America had its most successful year in its seven-year existence, donating $500,000 to its selected charities including the Victory Junction Gang Camp, Starbright Foundation, the Winston Cup Racing Wives Auxiliary and various children's hospitals. More than 18,000 people were present for the entrance of the 250 Charity Ride participants at Kyle and Pattie Petty's farm on July 1.(That's Racin')(7-8-2001)

  • Melling trying to help: The #92 Melling Racing Dodge, driven by Stacy Compton, will have a photo of missing U.S. Bureau of Prisons intern Chandra Ann Levy on its rear bumper in Saturday night's race at Daytona. Levy has not been seen since April 30. Beneath her photo will be her name and a toll-free number: 1-800-C-R-I-M-E-T-V.(www.1800crimetv.com)(ESPN/AP) also see story at the AJC: Missing intern case: Everything but answers(7-5/7-2001)


    Chandra Ann Levy's picture on the #92 at Daytona, from Yahoo

  • Safety Count: by NASCAR's count, 23 drivers were wearing the HANS (Head and Neck Support) before the start of the race. In addition, 10 drivers were wearing a second device designed by Bobby Hutchens, general manager of Richard Childress Racing. So that means 10 drivers in the 43-car field declined to wear any kind of restraint system. NASCAR doesn't require drivers to use anything, but more and more of them are open to trying new restraint systems since Dale Earnhardt's death. Hutchen's device differs from the U-shaped HANS in that it's only a series of belts that hook into a drivers helmet and existing seat belt system. The HANS is an actual piece that goes on over the shoulders and hooks onto the helmet(That's Racin'/AP). More info on my Safety Page(7-8-2001)

  • Trickle News: Lontime Cup and BGN driver Dick Trickle finished 3rd today in the ReMax series race at Road America in WI, yep a road course(HotLaps)(7-8-2001)

  • Racing Chassis Sites: Mike Laughlin, one of the sports premier chassis builders, has launched his first web site. See it at Laughlin Racing Products. Laughlin supply's many of the chassis to Cup and BGN teams. Also Body Dynamics Racing Bodies is another that does the same and has a cool cam section that is even featured on NASCAR.com(7-8-2001)


    (7-7-2001)

  • No Bull 5 at the Pepsi 400 UPDATE the Pairings: The third Winston No Bull 5 event of the 2001 season is the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, July 7, 2001. Five eligible drivers have the chance to earn a $1 million bonus by winning the Pepsi 400. If a qualified driver wins, one fan will also become a millionaire as part of the Winston No Bull 5 "They Win, You Win" fan sweepstakes. The fans are selected through this nationwide program and are randomly paired with one of the eligible drivers prior to the race. The five eligible drivers for the Pepsi 400 are the top-five finishers from the second Winston No Bull 5 event of the season, the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte. The five drivers are Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, Mark Martin and Bobby Labonte. The Winston No Bull 5 fan / driver pairing is set for 11 a.m. on Friday, July 6th in Daytona Beach. The five eligible teams will compete in a beach volleyball tournament at The Ocean Deck. The drivers will coach the teams. The finishing order from the tournament will determine which fans will be paired with which drivers. - The volleyball tournament scheduled for 11:00am/et, at the Ocean Deck with drivers eligible for the No Bull 5 bonus won't include drivers because of qualifying being delayed until today. Semi-pro players will compete in the tournament instead of the crews and drivers of the eligible teams.(7-6-2001)
    The five eligible fans are: Donald Arp, Orlando, FL; Elaine F. Beatt, Salemburg, NC; Aden B. Robinson, Hagerstown, MD; George Sisak, Dansville, NY; and Robert K. Smith, Ledyard, CT (DIS PR)(6-23-2001) see more info on my No Bull 5 page
    UPDATE: Elaine Beatty of Salemburg, NC will be pulling for Bobby Labonte in Saturday night's Pepsi 400. That's because Beatty would win $1 million in Winston's No Bull 5 contest if Labonte wins the race. Labonte and Jeff Gordon have each been eligible a record nine times for the bonus, but while Gordon has won it four times Labonte has yet to cash in. The driver also wins a $1 million bonus for winning the race. Donald Arp of Orlando is paired with Mark Martin. Arden Robinson of Hagerstown, Md., is paired with Jeff Burton - a three-time bonus winner. Kevin Harvick will be driving for Robert Smith of Ledyard, CT, and George Sisak from Dansville, NY, is paired with Tony Stewart.(That's Racin')(7-7-2001)

  • Paramedic Convinced Seatbelt Broke: The paramedic who crawled into Dale Earnhardt's car after his fatal crash at the Daytona 500 is convinced of a seat-belt failure -- most likely upon the car's impact with the concrete wall -- after participating in a re-enactment of the crash scene. Patti Dobler said she reached her conclusion after meeting with experts retained by NASCAR in Hickory, N.C., for the re-enactment. (See full story at the CNN/SI Site)(7-7-2001)

  • Drivers to be Held: Under a new NASCAR mandate, the top five finishers will be held on pit road following a race for exclusive NBC-only interviews(Orlando Sentinel)(7-7-2001)

  • Dillner Starts Site: Bob Dillner, TNN Broadcaster is the brainchild of a newly released web site: www.51SportsRacing.com which brings news, commentary and driver journals from all walks of short track racing, such as ASA rookie Johnny Sauter writes "Johnny's Journal" and Ryan Zeck pens "Racin' with Ryan". Plus, NASCAR Touring Series Coverage, Web polls, and Power Rankings(7-7-2001)


    (7-6-2001)

  • #88 in Flames? UPDATE 3: 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)
    UPDATE: UPS will unveil a special paint scheme on Friday, July 6, 2001 at 5:00pm/et. Doesn't say where but probably at Daytona(UPS Site). The car is supposed to run in the Kansas race(6-29/7-5-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Dale Jarrett will be on-hand this Friday outside Daytona International Speedway's Daytona USA when UPS unveils a special paint scheme for the #88 UPS Ford Taurus. The car will run this paint scheme in the Kansas 400 September 30th but can be seen in person at Daytona USA this weekend (Friday and Saturday) or on-line after 5:00pm/et Friday at the UPS Site UPDATE 3: UPS tomorrow(Saturday) will unveil a special paint scheme for the #88 UPS Ford Taurus driven by Dale Jarrett in NASCAR's Winston Cup Series - a "Race the Truck" design that reflects the flame-painted package delivery vehicle and continues the company's popular ad campaign. The race car, painted brown with red, orange and yellow flames, the UPS shield and the words "We Want to Race the Truck, People Love the Truck," will run in the inaugural Kansas 400 at the new Kansas Speedway on Sept. 30.(UPS Racing PR). See my Paint Scheme Gallery for images of the real car(7-6-2001)

  • Greg Sacks News: Greg Sacks has been unable to set a lasting hook in the upper levels of NASCAR and he says he “has got to race.” So the former dominant driver in NASCAR Modifieds has made a deal to return to his roots in the Featherlite Modified Series race that will run in conjunction with the Winston Cup and Craftsman Truck Series races July 20 at New Hampshire. Sacks, whose last race was the fall 1999 BGN race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, will drive the Modified driven to victory in the season-opening race at South Boston (Va.) Speedway by defending FMS champion Jerry Marquis. Long Island trucking company owner Ed Partridge, who has competed with little success on the FMS this season, bought the car and an engine for Sacks, who plans to piece together a crew from his old Island cohorts. Sacks, who won the 1985 Pepsi 400 and also scored a BGN win at Talladega, won 28 of 38 NASCAR Modified starts in 1982, which earned him the title “Superman.” He has been a valued test pilot of late, including a stint for Ward Burton in January at Daytona, but has been out of Winston Cup racing since he crashed at Texas in its 1997 inaugural race(NASCAR.com's Buzz)(7-6-2001)

  • Shelmerdine to third Haas-Carter car? UPDATE 4: See original story and Updates on the #26 Team News and Links page. - Haas-Carter Motorsports participated in a two-day test session on Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway with driver Kirk Shelmerdine and the #46 Ford. Owner Travis Carter says he’s unsure whether or not he’ll field a third team for the 43rd annual Pepsi 400 on July 7. “We want to run it sometime, but I doubt (the car) would be ready for the Pepsi race,” Carter said. “Perhaps Talladega. (The test) is a good opportunity to learn something for all the cars. In order to do that, we need a third car to do it. “We hope to learn a little something for the 26 and 66. You’re always looking to expand your operation and that’s what we’re doing, looking to expand to a third car. As much as I hate to say it, it looks like it’s the nature of the beast.” Shelmerdine, a veteran of the ARCA RE/MAX Series, knows his way around tracks like Daytona International Speedway. He won the pole for the 2000 Discount Auto Parts 200 Presented By ACDelco at the “World Center of Racing.” Said Shelmerdine of the test: “You can’t just jump right in there. There’s a lot of research that goes into it. From our standpoint, we’re going to test a lot and see what happens after that. I don’t think there’s time to get prepared even if you had a year. There’s so many more things on the list to get through in order to hit the ground running.” Carter says Shelmerdine would be a potential driver to put into the #46 Ford if the team chooses to enter the car in a race. “If we run the car at one of these races, he would be probably a good candidate to run it,” Carter said. “We’re tweaking the minor stuff,” Carter said. Said Hillenburg: “We’re a lot better than our last trip here. We feel a lot better about this test.”(DIS Site/PR)(6-27-2001)
    UPDATE 4: Kirk Shelmerdine, a four-time champion crew chief with Dale Earnhardt and lately a part-time driver, moved one step closer to a Winston Cup ride last week when he tested one of Carter's Fords at Greenville-Pickens. "If we get sponsorship, we might run him in a race," Carter said.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-6-2001)

  • Amoco to end sponsorship of #93 at end of season UPDATE Siemens to step up?: BP announced Tuesday that it will not renew its sponsorship of the #93 Amoco Ultimate Dodge and driver Dave Blaney for the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. "This partnership has been a good one over the past four years and we wish everyone at Bill Davis Racing every success in the future," said Alan McGown, Manager, Motorsports. McGown said that BP still plans complete support behind the 2001 program, including a three-race schedule in October for a BP-branded car similar to the #93 entry driven by Blaney in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. last month. Amoco joined Bill Davis Racing as primary sponsor of former World of Outlaws champion Blaney for an abbreviated (20 races) rookie NASCAR Busch Series season in 1998. Blaney finished sixth in the Busch Series points in his first full NASCAR season (1999) and collected six pole positions—all in track-record time—in only 59 Busch Series starts. He graduated to the Winston Cup Series last year and finished third in the rookie-of-the-year battle behind Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.(Bill Davis Racing)(7-3-2001)
    UPDATE: Dave Blaney has lost his sponsor for next season. Amoco announced this week that it will end its four-year relationship with Blaney and Bill Davis Racing at the end of the season. Siemens, which is an associate sponsor of the #93 Dodge, might have a more significant role with the team in 2002.(AJC)(7-6-2001)

  • Full Time for Robby in the #7? UPDATE 3 Wallace expects to stay in #7: Ultra Motorsports team owner Jim Smith has offered Robby Gordon the No. 7 Ford ride. Gordon, subbing in the #7 Sunday at Sears Point, posted his best career Winston Cup finish with a second-place run. "I don't want to come to Winston Cup just to race," Gordon says. "I want to win." Gordon, who began the season driving for the #4-Morgan-McClure team but was dropped after five races, might have his pick of offers. One possibility is Richard Childress' third Cup car(hmm..teammates with Harvick?). Jeff Green has been auditioning that ride but apparently isn't in Childress' plans for next season, when the #30 will run the full schedule. Chip Ganassi's CART program might be another possibility for Gordon(Sporting News-Inside Dish)(6-25-2001)
    UPDATE: Gordon said Tuesday that he has been offered the seat of Jim Smith's #7 Ultra Motorsports Ford, and that he plans to have an answer for Smith by Wednesday. Gordon said the offer has been extended for the rest of the year, but nothing has been finalized. Gordon was unsure whether or not he'd be in the car at Daytona July 7. He's slated to race Richard Childress' #21 Chevy in the BGN event at Watkins Glen that same weekend, and wants to keep that option open, as well(NASCAR.com)(6-26-2001)
    UPDATE 2: but ESPN2's RPM 2Night reported on Tuesday's show that Mike Wallace has been told he will be in the #7 Ford for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona(6-27-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Mike Wallace said he has a contract to drive the Ultra Motorsports' No. 7 Ford for the entire season and expects he will remain in the car the rest of year. Team owner Jim Smith put Ted Musgrave in the car at Pocono and Robby Gordon at the road course race at Sears Point.(That's Racin')(7-6-2001)

  • Winston to stay in Charlotte/Lowes: The Winston all-star race will return to Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte next season, but only under a one-year agreement. The previous agreement between R.J.R. Tobacco Co. and the speedway, which concluded following this season's race, was for three years. Next year's race is scheduled for Saturday night, May 18. The Coca-Cola 600 will follow the next weekend, on May 26. The speedway recently sent out information to its season ticket holders confirming the dates. Sources said an official announcement of the Winston's future will be made later this summer, or when NASCAR releases the 2002 Winston Cup schedule. Sources said NASCAR is interested in seeing the event move to other locations, but decided to put off discussion of the matter for at least another season(That's Racin')(7-6-2001)

  • Spencer in a Indy Car? Jimmy Spencer has been fitted for an Indy-car and says the machine fits him just fine, even though he's one of the biggest guys on the Winston Cup tour. But Spencer says he's not really interested in adding Indy-car racing to his career resume. Carl Haas, who helps back Spencer's car owner, Travis Carter, on the Winston Cup, has one of the sport's top CART operations too.(Winston Salem Journal). Doesn't say if it was an IRL or CART car, but IRL is now considered Indy-cars not CART(7-6-2001)

  • CNN/SI Joins TV Package: Turner Sports, Inc. has expanded its NASCAR coverage to include additional Winston Cup qualifying and happy hour sessions that will air on CNN/Sports Illustrated, it was announced today by Turner Sports President Mark Lazarus. CNN/Sports Illustrated will televise 16 qualifying sessions and eight happy hours, in addition to the 12 happy hours and four qualifying sessions already scheduled to air on TNT.(NASCAR.com)(7-6-2001)

  • Stewart in the Booth: Tony Stewart will work in the television booth for two NASCAR Grand National races on TNT, beginning with Sunday's race at Watkins Glen. Stewart, who has done a little bit of television work already, will also be in the booth for a race on Aug. 4 at Indianapolis Raceway Park in Indianapolis, the night before the Brickyard 400(That's Racin')(7-6-2001)

  • Bad Parts: Several teams were caught Thursday during inspections using altered bolts to hold their fuel cells in place. NASCAR inspectors took bolts from the teams of #1-Steve Park, #31-Mike Skinner, #9-Bill Elliott, #44-Buckshot Jones and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. Parts of the body from the #40 Dodge of Sterling Marlin were confiscated for "streamlining the contours of the car beyond that approved by the series director." Part of the window which holds the netting on the driver's side of the #10 Pontiac of Johnny Benson was confiscated because it did not conform to NASCAR rules. Parts of the engine exhaust system from Park's #1 Chevrolet were also taken for not conforming to NASCAR rules.(That's Racin'), no idea what the problem with the bolts are(7-6-2001)

  • Marlin Wins Pole at Daytona for Pepsi 400. After a 2 hour rain delay and qualifying being delayed from Thursday night, #40-Sterling Marlin won the pole with a speed of 183.778mph. The outside pole goes to #22-Ward Burton at 183.072. Missing the race are: #14-Hornaday(36th in Owners Points and out of provisionals, wouldn't had mattered if he had one); #90-Stricklin(40th); #44-Jones(41st); #27-Bliss(43rd); and #49-Hillenburg(57th). #21-Sadler will use his 10th provisional of the season, #11-Brett Bodine gets the final provisional spot, 43rd. See That's Racin' for Pepsi 400 lineup/qualifying results or NASCAR.com for the Pepsi 400 Starting Lineup or at Motorsports One.(7-6-2001)

  • Harvick and Hornaday Double Duty: Ron Hornaday will join Kevin Harvick in double duty this weekend. Hornaday will drive the #11 Chevy, usually driven by rookie Marty Houston, for the second consecutive week in the BGN. Hornaday will ride on the same plane as Harvick to Watkins Glen following Pepsi 400 practice Friday night. After BGN qualifying Saturday, they will fly back to Daytona on Saturday afternoon and then back to Watkins Glen either late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. The adjustment in the Winston Cup schedule today because of rain had no impact on their double-duty plans(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-6-2001)

  • Dover PR Rep into Art: Dover Downs public-relations director John Dunlap, who creates works of art by maneuvering the emulsion of Polaroid photographs, will have an exhibition of his work entitled "Hands On: The Hand-Manipulated Polaroids Z John Dunlap" on display during July and August at the Aloysius, Butler & Clark gallery in Wilmington, DE. Some of Dunlap’s subjects are NASCAR scenes, but he also uses shots of nature, flora, fauna, landmarks and monuments(Gaston Gazette)(7-6-2001)


    (7-5-2001)

  • Qualifying Rules Changed: ESPN2's RPM 2Night mentioned tonight that starting at New Hampshire that qualifying would consist of one lap of qualifying instead of the two laps that have been run this year. The exceptions are tracks smaller then one mile (Bristol, Richmond and Martinsville) and the two restrictor plate tracks, Daytona and Talladega(7-5-2001)

  • Marcis to Retire? UPDATE 2 after 2002 Daytona 500: Dave Marcis, a race car driver for 44 years, is approaching a decision about his future in the sport. A competitor in the NASCAR Winston Cup series since 1968 and a starter in 879 races, Marcis, 60, is expected to decide soon if the approaching months will mark the end of his driving career. Marcis operates his own team from a shop located in Arden, NC near the Asheville airport. There may be an announcement about Marcis' future during Pepsi 400 race activities at Daytona International Speedway next week. But Marcis said Monday he has not made a decision about retirement. Marcis is attempting a limited schedule this year and has raced in one event(Talladega). He said Monday he plans to attempt to qualify for five or six additional races this year, including next week's race at Daytona Beach. His short-range plans also include driving in the Daytona 500 next February in Daytona Beach. Marcis started in 32 straight Daytona 500s, a streak that ended last year. "I'm leaning toward working something out on saying something soon," he said. "I don't want to announce a retirement and then come back and race. Maybe I'll look at something like a semi-retirement and run a few races a year." (Greenville News)
    UPDATE: just got this - Team Realtree Announcement, Press Conference on Thursday July 5, 2001at 2:00pm/et, Daytona International Speedway's Benny Kahn Media Center(Champion Sports Group PR)(6-27/7-5-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Dave Marcis, a 34-year veteran of the Winston Cup circuit, announced Thursday that he will retire after the 2002 Daytona 500. "I will do the Chicago race, Indy, Dover, Darlington, Atlanta [this season], and Daytona 500 next February will be my last race," Marcis said hours before qualifying for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Marcis Auto Racing will continue with Richard Childress Racing helping ensure the survival of MAR(CNN/SI) AND Marcis Auto Racing will operate as an “affiliate” to Richard Childress Racing, and Marcis is looking for sponsorship and a young driver. And Marcis has one other venture he wanted to talk about: “I’ve bought a motel, a restaurant, and a bar in Rib Lake, Wis.,” Marcis said. “It’s a very nice place. It’s a 12-room motel on a lake. Anytime all of you want to get away, come up and have a beer and do a little fishing or hunting, come on up to Rib Lake, Wis.”(RacingOne) AND Realtree, his primary sponsor, will also continue its relationship with Marcis but not a primary sponsor of the team. Marcis also plans to keep doing testing for Childress and for the International Race of Champions series(That's Racin')(7-5-2001)

  • MW Honored: Michael Waltrip, driver of the #15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, made a stop at DAYTONA USA onWednesday for what he thought was a special fan forum. What his visit turned out to be was a celebration of his victory in this year’s 43rd annual Daytona 500. After being introduced to the guests at DAYTONA USA by Speedway President John Graham, Waltrip was posed several questions from the fans attending the forum, but got interrupted by Dale Earnhardt Inc. teammate Steve Park when asked about how his golf game. Following the fan forum, Waltrip was presented with some gifts and took a look at his winning car, which will continue to be on display until next year’s 44th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 17. Waltrip received a Daytona 500 champion helmet, a scrapbook from his fellow competitors, several framed pictures of his victory from different sponsors and the Speedway. Waltrip’s family, including wife Buffy, daughters Caitlin and Margaret, were in attendance along with NASCAR President Mike Helton and the Chairman of NASCAR Bill France. “This is your day,” France said. Darrell Waltrip, Michael’s brother and 1989 Daytona 500 champion, was traveling to England and left a video message. “You and I are the only brothers to win the Daytona 500,” Darrell Waltrip said. “I’m proud of you. I’m happy for you. Enjoy this ceremony. What an accomplishment to have your car on display for a year. I wish I could be there and give you a hug.” Waltrip was grateful for the day of celebration. His Dale Earnhardt Inc. team were all presented with their Daytona 500 rings by Ty Norris, DEI Executive Vice President of Motorsports.. “We understand the significance of the Daytona 500. We’re truly honored to be your champions,” said a grateful Waltrip. Waltrip, a native of Owensboro, Ky., hopes he can reel in another win at Daytona on Saturday in the 43rd annual Pepsi 400. “We got a great car for this race,” Waltrip said. “It’s the car we ran at Talladega. We led the race and had a good day. Unfortunately, we had problems at the end with the car. We feel confident we can win this race too and do like we talked about on the commercial – win the Daytona 900.”(DIS PR)(7-5-2001)

  • Benson Turns Down Pole At His Track: Johnny Benson turned down the pole before the 50-lap feature last Saturday night in a late model race at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich. Benson qualified 10th fastest, but he could have started on the pole. Berlin, like many short tracks, likes to create a little more excitement by inverting the qualifying order before the race. On Saturday night it used the roll of the dice after qualifying to determine the inversion. Benson's teammate, Lee Anderson, set fast time, but the dice roll came out 10 so that would normally have moved Benson, the 10th place qualifier, to first. However, Benson passed on the pole and chose to charge through the field. Why would any driver turn down a pole? It's simple - he owns part of the half-mile, race track. The native of nearby Grand Rapids felt moving to the front might raise the eyebrows of fellow competitors. After three cautions in the first three laps, the race went green. Benson picked his way through the field and ran as high as third, but finished third. Terry Senneker Jr. won the race.(Stock Car Fans Newsletter)(7-5-2001)

  • Triple Duty Crewman: Cole Chitty, a mechanic in Hendrick Motorsports R&D department will pull triple duty this weekend.. Saturday he will change tires for Jack Sprague during the CTS race, then hop on owner Rick Hendrick's jet and fly to Daytona where he will change tires for Mike Bliss and the #27 car.. He then returns home Saturday night, only to catch the race day flight to Watkins Glen on Sunday morning, and change tires for #46 Ashton Lewis in the BGN race(7-5-2001)


    (7-4-2001)

  • Morgan McClure Team makes a boy's day: Recently Larry Stratton and his son, who is autistic, attended the Cup race at Sears Point Raceway and happened on one of the most inspiring acts of kindness he has ever seen a Nascar crew display. The #4 Morgan-McClure Motorsports crew did that was something the world needs to see, and give thanks to those who made this happen. See full story at RacingPress(7-4-2001)

  • Double Grief: Saturday will not only mark the first return to Daytona since Earnhardt’s death. The race will also mark exactly one year since Kenny Irwin died in a practice crash at New Hampshire International Speedway on July 7th(Gaston Gazette)(7-4-2001)

    Little E - No Interviews:Dale Earnhardt Jr. has decided not to grant interview requests in the days leading up the season’s second visit to the 2.5-mile track where his father, Dale Earnhardt, was killed on Feb. 18. "This may sound strange or hard to believe, but I’m looking forward to racing at Daytona," Earnhardt Jr. said. "It’s the greatest track we race at for all of its history and the fact it was really the first superspeedway of its kind. You just know it’s special every time you get on the track. Restrictor plate racing is my favorite because you are always two- and three-wide, and the driver can really make a difference. As for anything else, I really don’t have any comments right now. I don’t know how I will feel when I go through that tunnel or how I will feel when I pull onto the track. I will just to wait and see.(Gaston Gazette)(7-4-2001)

  • Kenseth/Police Incident: A State Fair Park police officer grabbed NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth by the shirt and pounded his passenger car Sunday, according to witnesses of the confrontation after a race at the fairgrounds in West Allis. No report was filed, no citations were issued and no complaints were lodged with the department, said Inspector Wayne Romeis, the State Fair Police commanding officer. Kenseth said through a representative that he did not want to comment other than to say "there was no problem at all." The incident occurred on a road on the grounds that leads to an exit onto W. 84th St. Kenseth was in traffic on his way out of the park after finishing second in the Busch Series GNC Live Well 250. The officer was on foot, witnesses said, when he ordered Kenseth to stop and get out of his car. After a discussion with Kenseth and another man, the officer told Kenseth to get back into his car and leave.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(7-4-2001)

  • Labonte Park Update: City (Corpus Christi, TX) officials have raised about $10,000 of the $60,000 needed to renovate the Nueces River Park and rename it in honor of NASCAR racing brothers Bobby and Terry Labonte. City spokesman Ted Nelson said Monday that donations were better than expected and that the park should be ready to open Sept. 26. The Caller-Times also announced plans to publish a special section on the day of the park's dedication. Steve Arnold, the paper's marketing director, said the section will include historical photos and that it's "not just your NASCAR driver's guide." Proceeds from the section will go toward the park fund, he said. The community response to the fund-raising has been strong, said Tom Niskala, chief executive officer for the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce(The Caller). For past news and info on the park, see my #5 Team News and Links Page or my #18 Team News and Links Page(7-4-2001)

  • #43 gets some Helper: General Mills and Petty Enterprises announced that John Andretti will race the Hamburger Helper #43 Dodge Intrepid in the Pepsi 400, Saturday night, July 7, at Daytona International Speedway. The red, white and blue Hamburger Helper paint scheme is a Fourth of July salute to America as well as a way to mark Hamburger Helper's 30th Anniversary. Hamburger Helper representatives also announced that the brand will donate $10 for every mile Andretti and his #43 completes in the Pepsi 400 to the Victory Junction Gang Camp started by Kyle and Pattie Petty for children with life-threatening illnesses in Randleman, NC.. "This is a great way to help raise money for the camp," Andretti said.. "I truly understand Kyle and Pattie's efforts with this project and will do what I can on the track to help out." Recently, Hamburger Helper representatives presented Kyle and Pattie Petty with a check for $10,300 for Andretti's performance in the Hamburger Helper No. 43 at The Winston Open at Lowe's Motor Speedway. In addition to the Hamburger Helper donations, race fans did their part in raising money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp.. Fans donated $1 to paint their handprint on the Hamburger Helper "Helping Hands" Dodge at the Food Lion Speed Street festival during the Coca- Cola 600 weekend.. Race fans and their "Helping Hands" raised $2800 for the camp. The Victory Junction Gang Camp was founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty in honor of their son Adam.... It will be a place where children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses and their families can retreat to rejuvenate their minds, bodies and spirits.. The camp will be located in Randleman, North Carolina, and is scheduled to open in Summer 2004(IMG Motorsports PR). See an image of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery(7-4-2001)

  • Gordon 2nd Quarter DOTY: And if taking over the NASCAR Winston Cup points lead with three wins, three seconds and a third in nine races is not proof enough, Jeff Gordon capped that with victory in his now familiar competition - the American Driver of the Year second-quarter vote. Gordon, winner of the most prestigious award in motorsports in 1995, 1997 and 1998, defeated Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves, 112 points to 99 in balloting by a blue-ribbon panel of 14 national motorsports journalists and fans on ESPN.com. Driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet, the 29-year old Gordon racked up eight first-place votes, while Castroneves finished with five first-place nods. The remaining two first-place votes went to Winston Cup competitor Tony Stewart, who ran the Indianapolis 500 and then, that night finished third in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway; and Championship Auto Racing Team's Kenny Brack.(DOTY PR/That's Racin')(7-4-2001)


    (7-3-2001)

  • #3 Will Not be Retired: Despite overwhelming public sentiment, it is unlikely NASCAR Winston Cup series car number ``3'' ever will be retired. The number synonymous with the late Dale Earnhardt currently belongs to Richard Childress, whose team included Earnhardt's trademark black Chevrolet. As long as No. 3 remains in Childress' possession, it almost certainly will be directly associated only with the Earnhardt name. NASCAR owns all of the numbers and determines on a yearly basis which teams will use them. The only imaginable scenario involving the appearance of No. 3 on a Winston Cup car would be if Dale Earnhardt Jr. some day drove for Childress. Undoubtedly, if NASCAR wanted to retire the number as a tribute, Childress would be open to the idea. But it is doubtful NASCAR will make such a decision; the famous No. 43 of Richard Petty, for example, remains active and owned by Petty. NASCAR's policy is to not retire numbers. For now, ``3'' safely is in Childress' possession and, with NASCAR's approval, was placed in moratorium for a year. ``We will never run a No. 3 black Goodwrench [car] again,'' Childress said. ``We may run a No. 3 car again some day.''(Tampa Tribune)(7-3-2001)

  • Amoco to end sponsorship of #93 at end of season: BP announced Tuesday that it will not renew its sponsorship of the #93 Amoco Ultimate Dodge and driver Dave Blaney for the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. "This partnership has been a good one over the past four years and we wish everyone at Bill Davis Racing every success in the future," said Alan McGown, Manager, Motorsports. McGown said that BP still plans complete support behind the 2001 program, including a three-race schedule in October for a BP-branded car similar to the #93 entry driven by Blaney in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. last month. Amoco joined Bill Davis Racing as primary sponsor of former World of Outlaws champion Blaney for an abbreviated (20 races) rookie NASCAR Busch Series season in 1998. Blaney finished sixth in the Busch Series points in his first full NASCAR season (1999) and collected six pole positions—all in track-record time—in only 59 Busch Series starts. He graduated to the Winston Cup Series last year and finished third in the rookie-of-the-year battle behind Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.(Bill Davis Racing)(7-3-2001)

  • Earnhardt Accident Investigation on Schedule: As the Winston Cup series prepares to make its first appearance Saturday at Daytona International Speedway since the death of star Dale Earnhardt in the season-opening Daytona 500, NASCAR President Mike Helton said Tuesday the sanctioning body's investigation into Earnhardt's accident remains on schedule for completion in August. See full story at That's Racin': Helton says crash investigation on schedule(7-3-2001)

  • Austin Petty Injured: Austin Petty, 19-year-old son of Winston Cup driver Kyle Petty, was injured Sunday in a motorcycle accident at his Trinity, NC, home. Petty suffered cuts and abrasions on his back, arms and legs. He was expected to compete Tuesday night in the Summer Shootout Series at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Petty drives the #46 Beattie Racing Bandolero in the Outlaw Division. He is expected to return to action next week. It was not known whether Petty participated in any portion of the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America, however he did participate on June 26 in a Summer Shootout Series event at Lowe's Motor Speedway(That's Racin')(7-3-2001)

  • Geoffrey Bodine returns to Cup: FSN's Totally NASCAR resports that Geoffrey Bodine is expected to run two Cup races for his brother Brett at Bristol and Homestead. Brett is supposedly close to signing two major sponsors. Brett drives and ownes the #11 Ralphs Supermarkets Fords, past rumors had the car number as #91(7-3-2001)

  • International Truck Challenge? was supposedly held at Sears Point, but have heard nothing about it or any results. It is a a competition showcasing the skills of the drivers behind the drivers, the transporter drivers. NASCAR.com has the standings, but see no results, looks like the #43 driver, Gary Geissman is the standings leader for the three event challenge, so it can be assumed he won(7-3-2001)

  • NASCAR PR Hire: Bill Greene, presently the director of communications for the House Budget Committee in Washington, DC, will join NASCAR's public relations department at the home office in Daytona Beach. Greene will apparently report to NASCAR veteran Jim Hunter, former president of Darlington Raceway, who is being brought in to rebuild the NASCAR public relations staff. The well-regarded Hunter is expected to add credibility to NASCAR's communications efforts. At least one high-level NASCAR public relations job remains unfilled, but a hire is expected to be named shortly(SpeedVision)(7-3-2001)

  • Kenny out, Bliss in? UPDATE 5 Bliss Named: Kenny Wallace has told the #27 Eel River Racing team that he didn't want to quit the team, but if after four races he was unable to qualify the car he would step away and allow ERR to hire another driver for the rest of the year. Rumor is that Mike Bliss will be driving the #27 car for the rest of the season. Also hear that Wallace has already been offered other Cup rides(no idea which ones). Wallace will concentrate on driving the #48 Innovative Gould's Pump Chevy in the BGN for the rest of the year
    UPDATE: It has been learned that Eel River Racing may be parting ways with its driver, Kenny Wallace. The team has struggled financially and on the race track this year. Wallace has missed four races this year, most noteably the last three. The team began the season sponsorless until Duke's Mayonnaise came forward in May to back them for the rest of 2001. A team spokesperson said they are "trying to regroup and looking at all aspects of the team." If and when a driver change decision is made, it would be "sooner than later."(NASCAR.com Buzz)(6-26-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hearing the #27 ERR team will be getting engine help from DEI in the upcoming races, just watched RPM 2Night from Tuesday night, it is mentioned their that the #27 will use an DEI engine at Daytona and another twist, Robby Gordon is being considered as the driver
    AND Kenny Wallace has secured his release from ERR and an announcement is expected Thursday(PRN's Garage Pass)(6-27-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Barely a month after his very public campaign helped his race team land a sponsor, Kenny Wallace said Wednesday he's out as driver of the #27 Pontiacs owned by Eel River Racing. "This is a move that I thought needed to be made so that I can move on," Wallace said. The team has failed to qualify for the past three Winston Cup races. After missing the race at Pocono two weeks ago, Wallace said he felt the team began to question his ability. "A lot of thought went into this," said Wallace, who as of Wednesday was still working to get released from his contract with the team. Mike Bliss, who drove for the team owned by Jack Birmingham in 24 races last season, is the apparent replacement for Wallace in the #27 car. Bliss would be the sixth driver in 58 races for Eel River. Calls made to Eel River Racing were not returned on Wednesday. Wallace said he plans to drive the #48 cars owned by George deBidart in the Grand National series for the rest of this year. He plans to enter his own Winston Cup car in a race at Loudon, N.H., on Sept. 16 and seek a full-time Cup ride for the 2002 season. Wallace left Andy Petree Racing after the 2000 season to join Eel River Racing. The team had no sponsor, however, and Wallace confirmed Wednesday that he tried to get a release from Eel River so he could drive the #01 Dodges now being driven by rookie Jason Leffler. Wallace also talked with car owner Larry McClure about taking over the #4 Chevrolets when Robby Gordon was let go after five races this season. Wallace then auditioned for a position on the NBC-TNT announcer team in May when it appeared that Eel River Racing was about to close its doors. On the same day that Wallace had the TV audition, however, the team announced a deal with the C.F. Sauer Co. to have the company's colors on the #27 for 15 races, giving the team a reprieve.(That's Racin')
    AND Kenny was on ESPN2's RPM 2Night and he and the ERR team have parted ways. Wallace will run a Cup car with his BGN team owner George deBidart in the September New Hampshire race(6-28-2001)
    UPDATE 4 - Interview: See an interview with Kenny by NASCAR.com's Marty Smith at: Wallace speaks out on departure from Eel River(6-29-2001)
    UPDATE 5: On Monday, the Eel River Racingn team officially announced Mike Bliss will be returning as the driver of its #27 Pontiac. After testing in Kentucky on Monday and Tuesday, he will report for duty beginning with the Pepsi 400 at Daytona this weekend.(NASCAR.com)(7-3-2001)

  • Baby Houston make 4: Lorie Houston, wife of #96 McDonald's driver, Andy Houston, gave birth Monday, July 2 at 4:17pm/et -- to Clark Richard Houston at Catawba Memorial Hospital in Hickory, NC.  Clark's vitals were 8 pounds and 24 inches long. Both mother and son were doing fine, and are expected to be released from the hospital on Tuesday. Clark joins family teammate - Collin, his older brother, who will turn four in August.(PPI Motorsports PR)(7-3-2001)

  • Nemechek Ready to go: Joe Nemechek felt so good about his Daytona return he cancelled a planned test at Lakeland, FL(Garage Pass), see the #33 Team News and Links page for past info on Nemechek's injury at Dover(7-3-2001)

  • Testing at Kentucky: Testing at Kentucky today were Mike Bliss in thr #27 Eel River Pontiac, #43-John Andretti, #19-Casey Atwood and Jimmy Johnson in one of Jeff Gordon's Chevy's as he preps to make his cup debut(in the #48) at Lowes Motor Speedway in Oct(Garage Pass)(7-3-2001)

  • Cingular and the Special Olympics: This weekend at the Daytona International Speedway, Cingular Wireless and Special Olympics have teamed up to offer a Special Olympics athlete a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the race track. Cingular is racing towards its four-year goal of raising $40 million for Special Olympics and to showcase its commitment, Cingular’s #01 Dodge Intrepid race car, driven by Jason Leffler, will display a Special Olympics paint scheme for all Winston Cup races during June and July. In addition, through it’s “Winning for Special Olympics” pledge for the Pepsi 400, Cingular will donate $100 to Special Olympics for each lap Leffler completes, $1,000 to Special Olympics for each lap Leffler leads, and if Leffler wins, Cingular will donate $100,000 to Special Olympics. To help raise awareness for Cingular’s ongoing $40 million initiative, Special Olympics athletes have had the opportunity to participate first-hand in America’s fastest growing sport during the past three race weekends. They will continue to do so at Daytona and at the July 15th race in Chicago, IL. In addition to spending the weekend at the track, meeting the athletes and learning about the sport, these Special Olympics athletes have performed such track related tasks as honorary starter, honorary team member, riding in the pace car and honorary pit crew member. At the Daytona International Speedway this Saturday, Victor Stewart, one of 12 Sargent Shriver Global Messengers for Special Olympics, Inc., will get an up close and personal orientation to NASCAR and also serve as an honorary pit crew member at the Pepsi 400. As a Global Messenger, Stewart has the opportunity to tell the world about Special Olympics. Cingular is also selling limited edition, souvenir, die-cast versions of the #01 race car to commemorate its unique paint scheme and raise money for Special Olympics. A percentage of the proceeds generated from the die-cast car sales go directly to Special Olympics. Cars are available in Cingular Wireless retail outlets and at many Special Olympics State Summer Games. In addition, Cingular Wireless has launched 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 Olympics 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.(Ketchum PR)(7-3-2001)


    (7-2-2001)

  • PE Changes? UPDATE McReynolds: 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: During the FX broadcast of Sunday's GNC Live Well 250 NASCAR Grand National series race from The Milwaukee Mile, McReynolds said he will take a consulting job with Petty Enterprises beginning next week. He will work primarily with driver Buckshot Jones in the #44 Dodges(That's Racin')(7-2-2001)


    (7-1-2001)

    see the June 25-July 1, 2001 Archived News Page


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