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PAST NEWS JULY 16-22, 2001


  • Jarrett wins at NHIS: #88-Dale Jarrett got around teammate #28-Ricky Rudd with 5 laps to go to win the New England 300 at New Hampshire, Rudd ended up 3rd with #24-Jeff Gordon finishing 2nd. It is Jarretts 4th win of the year and he is still tied with Gordon in the Winston Cup but now holds the tiebreaker edge since he has 4 wins to Gordons 3 (Gordon led the most laps and got the same 180 points Jarrett did). #7-Mike Wallace ahd his best non-restrictor plate finish of the year with a 10th, #50-Rick Mast finsihed 14th and #45-Kyle Petty was 26th. See That's Racin' for New England 300 results and for Updated Winston Cup points. Also see the story: Sunday's race rewind (7-22-2001)

  • Magazine Stuff: Nancy and John Andretti are featured in the July 23 edition of Newsweek. The two-and-a-half page spread, which marks the first time a NASCAR-related feature story has been noted on the cover of the prestigious magazine, concerns families in NASCAR racing, and uses Nancy and John, as well as Jarett, Olivia and Amelia, as the example of how families cope with the extraordinary life of travel and competition. The writer was veteran reporter Daniel McGinn. It marks the first time a NASCAR-related feature story has appeared in Newsweek since November, 1999, when the magazine ran a two-page spread on the "Science Of Stock Car Racing," and featured the Mobil 1 Taurus team of Jeremy Mayfield(Williams Company), see the story online: Married to NASCAR
    AND The marketing firm of Body Dynamics Racing Bodies, Inc., is proud to announce, that through their efforts working with America's Most Wanted and fulfilling the request of John Walsh to profile the case of missing intern Chandra Levy on a Winston Cup car has gained notoriety for Melling Racing and their driver Stacy Compton. "Organization of this project was through the efforts of multiple talents," Stated Scott Davis, Media Relations Manager for Body Dynamics, "From Mr. Walsh's Publicist Avery Mann, to the public relations manager of Melling Racing Andrea Pemberton, we all worked together to place Chandra's picture on the car for the Pepsi 400. Which yielded eight calls into the 1-800-CRIME-TV phone bank." The most recent publicity comes from PEOPLE magazine, in the July 23 issue in which the Chandra Levy case in addition to Molly Bish, Amy Bradley and Jill Behrman three other unsolved missing persons cases out of Washington, DC are profiled. In this article an inset photograph of the #92 Melling Race car carrying the picture of Chandra Levy is seen, with a mention that the NASCAR driver Stacy Compton publicized the case in a July 7 race in Daytona Beach, Fla.(Body Dynamics PR)(7-22-2001)

  • Fan Killed. Many Injured: One spectator died and at least 11 others at an auto race were injured late Saturday when two cars went into the stands. Three people were taken from Lorain County Speedway in medical helicopters to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, about 40 miles east of the track. A nursing supervisor at the hospital said Virginia Wyleth, 65, was pronounced dead early Sunday, about five minutes after she was brought into the emergency room. The supervisor said Wyleth had extensive injuries. She did not immediately know Wyleth's hometown. The names of the two other people brought to the hospital were not available. A nursing supervisor identified them as a 19-year-old man and a 45-year-old woman and said both were listed in satisfactory condition with leg injuries. A third injured person, Ivan Zirkle, 69, of Avon, was flown to the hospital from Community Health Partners, a hospital system in Lorain. He was listed in satisfactory condition with spinal injuries. Others were taken to hospitals throughout the area. Lorain County Sheriff's Department Capt. Jim Drozdowski said at the track that he was told 12 or 13 people were injured and were taken for treatment in helicopters or ambulances. The accident occurred about 11:30pm Saturday. "Two of the cars accelerated and bumped and the drivers lost control, went over a guard rail, took out a fence and hit a set of stands," Drozdowski said. Rich Rankin, operations manager for the track, said it has a seating capacity of about 2,700 spectators. He said the crowd at the time of the accident was considerably smaller than that, but he would not estimate a number. He said the two cars involved did not flip and did not catch fire. He also said the two drivers were treated at the scene and did not appear to be badly hurt. A rainstorm at the track about two hours earlier was not a factor because the track was dry, he said. "I can't really say how the accident occurred. We've got to put it together. It's far too early in the investigation to say what happened, and I think this is going to take a while to sort out," Rankin said. Bob Hennings said he was driving his car in the race on the speedway's three-eighths mile banked, oval track when the crash occurred. "Two cars ahead of me shortly after the green flag (to start the race) got involved and hit a guardrail and went up and over into the stands. It was a bad accident. But it's usually a safe track," Hennings said. Lorain County Speedway runs Saturday night NASCAR Weekly Racing Series events in five race divisions: NASCAR Racing Series Late Models, Modifieds, Sportsman, Grand Nationals and Spectator Stocks. It features mostly local drivers and is in its 53rd season of racing. Hennings said 17 drivers were racing in a Late Models event when the accident occurred.(ESPN/AP)(7-22-2001)

  • Eyler with Foyt: Skip Eyler, who left (#55-BGN, #81-Cup) Davis & Weight Motorsports’ crew chief position more than a month ago, has hooked up with #14 A.J. Foyt Racing, where he made an immediate impact last week at Chicagoland Speedway in his primary role as shock specialist. Driver Ron Hornaday qualified 16th and exited the race early with a blown engine. On Friday, Eyler’s presence was felt again at New Hampshire when Hornaday qualified a season-best 11th. The veteran mechanic also served as Hornaday’s spotter at Chicagoland and will serve in that role for Sunday’s New England 300.( Buzz)(7-22-2001)


  • New Seat/Cocoon? UPDATE: An innovative driver's compartment that could become NASCAR's most revolutionary safety device sat behind a closed garage door Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Only the most privileged in the Winston Cup division got to see it. What the participants saw of the cocoon-shaped compartment which bolts into the cockpit of a stock car, they liked. Especially the drivers. "It's real nice and it's definitely safer," said former series champion Rusty Wallace, among those testing at the Speedway in preparation for next month's Brickyard 400. "I can't wait for NASCAR to let me give it a whirl." Instead of the simple aluminum seat, which NASCAR has used for decades, the new driver-encompassing device is made of stronger but more forgiving carbon fiber. That's the same material used in the tubs that protect Indy-car drivers. The compartment on display Tuesday was designed by PPI Motorsports, a Winston Cup team owned by Cal Wells, who came to the series from Championship Auto Racing Teams. Matt McArdle, the team's technical director who designed the device, declined to discuss his creation. NASCAR has yet to approve it for use in its cars.(Indianpolis Star)(7-18-2001)
    UPDATE: Jeff Burton said he is close to being ready to discuss his data on a new driver compartment and composite seat. Burton has been working with PPI Motorsports on carbon-fiber seats and safety enhancements in the driver area. He's waiting to go over the final data with a manufacturer, then plans to release his findings. The composite seat he has worked with Cal Wells' operation to develop will be tested again in another week or two. Once finalized, Burton plans to release his findings(Richmond Times Dispatch) AND Manufacturer representatives and NASCAR officials met with drivers and crew chiefs this week to discuss safety updates at Indianapolis after one of the days of testing there. A second group of drivers is scheduled to test there next week, and a similar meeting will be held. Teams were shown the capsule seat PPI Motorsports and Jeff Burton have worked on along with Reynard and Dr. John Melvin, a Michigan-based biomedical engineer and one of the leading experts on racing injuries. A capsule seat was bolted into the skeleton frame of a car and many drivers sat in it and tested getting out of the vehicle. Drivers also were told of updated test results on the various head restraint systems and were shown crash-test video. "They had a lot more technical information than they had the first time," said Todd Bodine, referring to January meetings at Daytona during testing. "They had a lot of experts there that really made everybody understand why certain things were the way they were and why they worked that way. Before, they just kind of told us what was the best. "Everybody was really happy with what they did and why they did it and looking forward to more of them and ... making everybody safer."(Racing Extra)(7-21-2001)

  • Dodge Engine Approved for BGN: NASCAR will allow any Busch Grand National teams to use the new Dodge engine after Aug. 1. The new engine replaces the Dodge engines that have been used in the truck series. There are no Dodge BGN teams but there could be a Dodge that runs later in the year in the series(Racing Extra)(7-21-2001)

  • #81 Team Prepares for Indy UPDATE 3 Green Released? Mark Green will put the #81 Davis & Weight Motorsports on the track for the first time next Monday as the team tests the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 16th and 17th. The two-day test session will be used to prepare for the August 5th Brickyard 400, which will be the team's first attempted Winston Cup race. Green competed in ten events in the 2001 BGN season before the team began building cars for next month's Brickyard 400. Although he has never been in a Winston Cup car, Green is excited about attempting the August race. "I am excited about trying to make the Brickyard next month, but I also understand how tough it is going to be. It is very competitive in any type of racing, but even more so in Winston Cup. I know it will take time to get where we want to be, but it would be a great confidence booster if we could test well next week and collect some good information in the test to help us run well there in three weeks," said Green. Davis & Weight Motorsports competed in the Busch Series at the start of the season before announcing they would discontinue their BGN operation after the April 21st Talladega event to focus on their Winston Cup program. The team returned to the BGN one last time to compete in the inaugural race at Kentucky Speedway, where the team matched its season-best finish of 16th.(Davis & Weight Motorsports PR)(7-14-2001)
    UPDATE - will skip Indy: from Mark Green - "I am actually still with Davis & Weight Motorsports and we are going to run four Winston Cup races in the near future," said Green. "We were looking at going to Indianapolis (Aug. 4), but now we are concentrating on the short track stuff. We will probably enter our first Cup race at either Bristol (Aug. 25) or Richmond (Sept. 8)." Green said he will drive the #81 Ford at those four(?) Cup events, and he and the team are working on getting sponsorship deals( Buzz)(7-20-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Davis & Weight Motorsports will scale back operations effective immediately, team owner Jerry Davis announced on Friday. The owners will focus on attaining sponsorship for the team's Winston Cup efforts. "We have decided to pare down our operations in view of the current economic climate until sponsorship is attained. This does not take away from our plans to move to Winston Cup," said Davis. "During this period we plan to rebuild our team as talent becomes available that is capable of leading us where we want to be." Davis will work directly on gaining sponsorship for the team's Winston Cup program, and will entertain interested parties personally. See my Team Address Page for contact info(Davis & Weight Motorsports PR)(7-21-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Buzz is reporting - Davis & Weight Motorsports, which had high hopes of making its Winston Cup debut at the Brickyard 400 until a less than ideal test session this week, has released its entire crew, including driver Mark Green. The team will remain closed until it has a sponsor signed for either its Winston Cup or Busch programs. D&W, which had 10 crew members working Friday when the news came down, one day after the crewmembers were told they would probably attempt a short track race rather than the Brickyard, has one complete Winston Cup Ford Taurus and another car in the final stages of completion. Its full complement of Busch Series Ford equipment has been retained(7-21-2001)

  • Brickyard Tribute to Earnhardt: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Chairman Tony George said Friday at Nashville Superspeedway that his track will not over-emphasize the popular driver's death with tributes at next month's race. With Teresa Earnhardt 's approval, the Speedway will show a pre-race video of its 1995 Brickyard winner and devote a page to him in the race program. Similar things were done last year in honor of Indianapolis native Kenny Irwin Jr., who also was killed in a stock-car crash. "I felt like most of the closure would be when they went back to Daytona (two weeks ago)," George said. "Enough time has passed now, everything has been done (tribute-wise) and people have grieved. It's time to move on." George said Teresa Earnhardt asked last week that any tribute the Speedway did be "upbeat," which George agreed to(Indianapolis Star)(7-21-2001)

  • Sad News: A sprint car driver who lost control of his car on the Deming Speedway (Wash.) straightaway and hit a wall died Friday night. Alex Kope was driving in the second of four heats at the 19th annual Northwest Clay Cup nationals at the speedway near Bellingham, the Bellingham Herald reported. He lived just outside of Bellingham. He was airlifted to St. Joseph Hospital, where he died shortly before 9:00pm/pt. PDT. The crash occurred about 8:30pm. No official cause of death was released late Friday night. Raceway officials speculated he might have suffered a heart attack before the crash(AP) AND A Whatcom County sprint-car driver died Friday night after racing in the 19th Annual Northwest Clay Cup Nationals at Deming Speedway. Alex Kope was pronounced dead at St. Joseph Hospital shortly before 9 p.m. Kope lost control of his car during a qualifying race Friday and crashed into the wall between turns one and two. Officials who removed from him from the car said he appeared to have had a heart attack before the accident. The official cause of death was not released, pending examination by the coroner. The Clay Cup is one of the largest sprint-car races in the Pacific Northwest. Almost 500 people were at the race Friday(Bellingham Herald)(7-21-2001)

  • Marcis Grand Opening: Dave Marcis, driver/owner of the #71 Realtree Chevy is having the grand opening at his recently purchased restaurant and resort motel in Rib Lake, WI this weekend and will be on hand for it(7-21-2001)

  • Grissom Practices at NHIS: Steve Grissom ran some laps at New Hampshire yesterday, putting him in position to fill in as a relief driver if a Truck or Winston Cup team needs him this weekend. Grissom practiced in the Petty Enterprises truck driven by Carlos Contreras. Because he has Cup experience here and has been on the track this weekend, Grissom could fill in for a driver with approval by Winston Cup Director Gary Nelson(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-21-2001)

  • Russert at NHIS with Mayfield: #12-Jeremy Mayfield, will host Tim Russert, the widely-respected television journalist from NBC.s Meet The Press prior to the New Hampshire 300 race at the speedway. Russert will be attending with his son, Luke. "I don.t get much of a chance to watch television on Sunday mornings but I sure know who Tim Russert is. Of course, so does the President and everybody in the Senate and the House," Mayfield said. "I hear Luke is a fan, and that.s great too. Everybody on the team is looking forward to having Tim and Luke join us Sunday morning." The Russerts are expected to arrive at the track in time to meet Mayfield prior to the noon drivers. meeting. Mayfield and crew chief Peter Sospenzo are planning on taking the two with them to it as their guests. Meet The Press is television.s longest-running show, premiering on NBC in 1947 and hosting every U.S. President since then. Russert became moderator in 1990, and is also political analyst for NBC Evening News with Tom Brokaw and Today. Russert also hosts his own show on CNBC, and his senior vice president and Washington, D.C., bureau chief for NBC News and is contributing anchor for MSNBC(Williams Company PR)(7-21-2001)


  • No #50 Sponsor? noticed on the #50-Rick Mast driven MidWest Transit Chevy that there were no decals and the car was all red with no decals (excpet the #50 and small decals). Mast qualified 19th(7-20-2001)

  • Jeff Gordon wins the pole at NHIS for the New England 300. #24-Jeff Gordon wins the pole at New Hampshire with a speed of 131.770mph, his fifth pole of 2002. Outside pole goes to #6-Mark Martin with a speed of 131.724. Only one driver missed the race, #27-Mike Bliss of the Eel River Racing team, who miss their 6th straight race as they were not high enough in owners points for ProvisionalLand. #45-Kyle Petty qualified for the race 26th and is driving an all black car in honor of his son Adam, who was killed at NHIS in May 2000. #90-Hut Stricklin was the slowest in practice Friday but gutted out a great lap and will start 16th. The two drivers out of provisionals, #7-Mike Wallace and #14-Ron Hornaday both qualified well enough to make the race (#14 = 11th, #7 = 22nd). Among the drivers using provisional starting spots are #40-Marlin, rookie #01-Leffler uses his first of the year, #4-Lapage uses the team's 6th and they are now out until Bristol (the 24th race on Aug 25th). The two drivers who had practice accidents and had to go to backup, #11-Bodine and #25-Nadeau had to use provisionals as they were too slow in unpracticed cars. See for New England 300 Lineup or That's Racin' for Friday's qualifying results or MotorSportsOne - Lineup(7-20-2001)

  • Craven Re-ups with Wells: PPI Motorsports (PPIM) announced today it has extended its relationship with Ricky Craven, driver of the #32 Tide Ford in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, by renewing his contract to drive for the team in 2002. The agreement keeps intact PPIM's annual option to maintain its contract with Craven for forthcoming seasons. "Ricky's experience and motivation have been a tremendous asset to both the Tide team and the development of our overall racing program," said Owner Cal Wells. "By renewing our agreement with him now, we bring some consistency to the #32 team that will help us move closer to our long-term competition objectives." "I'm having the time of my life racing with Tide and PPI Motorsports," said Craven. "We've already had some great runs, and it excites me to know that the Tide team has the potential to get the job done on any given weekend. I'm looking forward to taking that momentum into next season." "Ricky continues to be a great representative for Tide on and off the track," said Tide brand manager Brian McNamara. "We are thrilled that he will be behind the wheel for us next season."(PPI Motorsports PR)(7-20-2001)

  • Kyle at New Hampshire? UPDATE 5 Will Race: Kyle Petty has not decided if he or the #45 Sprint team will race at the New Hampshire race on July 22nd(CNN/SI-NASCAR Plus TV Show)(6-25-2001)
    UPDATE: Winston Cup driver Kyle Petty, whose oldest son, Adam, was killed in a Grand National series practice session wreck last May at New Hampshire International Speedway, remains unsure whether he will compete in the Winston Cup race at the track next weekend. Tuesday would have been Adam's 21st birthday. Petty skipped both Winston Cup races at the track last season. "Right now I'm considering Chicago, and when I'm done with Chicago I'll see about next week. This week has been a hard week because of Adam's birthday. ... There have been so many things this week that have brought back so many memories," Petty said. "I couldn't bring myself to go back last year and it's kind of crept up on me this year. I'll wait until the first of the week to see where I'm at. Everybody at Petty Enterprises, they know what my position is. They stand behind the whole program."(That's Racin')(7-13-2001)
    UPDATE: Kyle Petty says he'll announce a decision in a few days on if he'll compete at New Hampshire International Speedway next weekend for the first time since his son, Adam, died in a crash there May 12, 2000. Petty said that the team's crew members also have the option of not going. If Petty does not, Steve Grissom will drive for him. Grissom is the team's test driver and also works as an adviser for Carlos Contreras, who drives for the Petty Enterprises truck series team. The trucks also will race at New Hampshire next weekend, so Grissom already was scheduled to be there(RacingExtra)(7-14-2001)
    UPDATE 2: CNN/SI's NASCAR Plus reported tonight that Kyle Petty will run at New Hampshire in a black car with some Sprint decals and the #45 on the car. None of Kyle's family will be at the track(7-16-2001)
    UPDATE 3: sources tell me that contrary to the CNN/SI report, Petty has not made up his mind regarding New Hampshire. As of this morning, he just was not sure. He said it could be as late as Friday morning before he makes a decision(7-17-2001)
    UPDATE 4: FSN's Totally NASCAR show on Thurs reports that Kyle Petty is expected ro run at NHIS with Steve Grissom standing by(7-19-2001)
    UPDATE 5: A Statement From Kyle Petty: This is going to be a pretty tough week for our family, the 45 team and for everyone at Petty Enterprises. anxious to race and anxious to do well but we are in New Hampshire with mixed emotions. Bob and Gary Bahre are the greatest people in the world. We feel as badly for them as we do anyone. The fans in New England are fantastic and are some of our favorite people. It.s hard to find better and more dedicated fans anywhere. The Bahres and the fans up here are a large part of the reason racing this weekend. But we have one more very big reason. Adam would want me and the 45 team to come here and race. As a tribute to Adam, we've repainted his race car. We wanted to do something special. We wanted an on-track memorial to him and to those who love him. This isn't a Sprint car or a Petty Enterprises car or anything like that. For this weekend, this is an Adam car. I want this car to speak for itself. Adam's car and this statement will be all we have to say this weekend. Pattie and I, my mother and father, our entire family and the members of the 45 team would just rather not do any interviews at all this weekend, and we appreciate the media.s understanding. The guys at the #43 and #44 have said they would be glad to talk about their race cars but they, too, want to join us in honoring Adam by letting the race car speak for itself. I love Adam, we all love Adam, and miss him terribly. Thank you for letting us come back to New Hampshire with such an understanding and loving manner.(Williams Company PR)(7-20-2001)

  • TNT Coverage: The New England 300 at Loudon will be TNT's NASCAR (live) debut. Look for a very touching tribute to Kenny Irwin during the second segment of the PreRace show on Sunday. Also for the Saturday night BGN race look forward to "TNT's Sounds of Racing" where for several laps at a time the announcers will remain silent letting only the noises of the cars and crowd tell the story. Also during this feature TNT will use mostly in-car cameras. (except for lead changes). TNT is also schedule to debut "Through the Field" where our announcers will provide analysis on every car on the track.(7-20-2001)


  • Austin Petty UPDATE: been asked often about Kyle Petty's son Austin and his plans for racing, never had much of an answer, her is a good column about Austin and his future plans: Another Petty working to step up by Jim Utter of That's Racin'(7-13-2001)
    UPDATE: looks like the AP picked up on the story, see CNN/SI for the story with an image: In the blood - Petty teenager considering continuing family tradition - His friends call him "Road Rash" because of the numerous scrapes on his body from a recent spill on his motorcycle. But to everyone else, he's "another Petty," viewed as the next in line to continue the family business.(7-19-2001)

  • Irwin/Earnhardt/Petty Tribute: NHIS will hold a race-day tribute to the late seven-time champion, Dale Earnhardt. Details are still being worked out and are expected to be announced tomorrow(Union Leader), no word on if they will have a tribute for Kenny Irwin(7-18-2001)
    UPDATE: According to NHIS owner Bob Bahre, track officials are planning a ceremony to honor Dale Earnhardt, Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin Jr. prior to Sunday’s New England 300. Earnhardt, also known as The Intimidator, was one of NASCAR’s best-known drivers. With his trademark black racing suit and aggressive style of driving, Earnhardt quickly gained the respect of his NASCAR peers. The 49-year-old Earnhardt was killed during the Daytona 500 in February, when his No. 3 Chevrolet Monte Carlo hit the wall on the final lap of the race. Earnhardt won a record seven Winston Cup points titles and hd 76 career victories. Petty was killed last May when his car barreled into the wall in Turn 3 at NHIS. Irwin was killed two months later when his car hit the same wall at NHIS, near the spot where Petty’s car hit. Race officials blamed stuck throttles for both incidents. "We’ve got a lot of respect for Dale and the other two kids," Bahre said. "We couldn’t have a ceremony for Dale and not the other two. That just wouldn’t be right." The ceremony, which will be performed prior to the race on Sunday, will include a prayer from Bishop Michael Cody of Portland, Maine. Along with the prayer service will be Winston Cup’s season-long ritual of having complete radio silence during Lap 3 in memory of Earnhardt. While race fans and drivers alike will remember Earnhardt for his intimidating character, Bahre said he always will remember a softer side of The Intimidator, one that included regular visits to him and his son, Gary, when the Winston Cup Series was in town. While the death of Earnhardt was a shock for Bahre, the NHIS owner was taken aback this week by the reaction of several Winston Cup drivers following Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s victory at Daytona in the Pepsi 400. Following the race, several drivers voiced concerns that Winston Cup officials and other drivers, specifically Michael Waltrip, fixed the race to let Earnhardt Jr. win. "Earnhardt Jr. has been running strong since February," Bahre said. "What’s wrong with these people? If he had the best car, he deserved to win the race."(Fosters Daily Democrat)(7-19-2001)

  • Qualifying Rules Changed UPDATE: 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)
    UPDATE: it was mentioned on FSN's Totally NASCAR show on Thurs that the Cup drivers would run 2 laps of Qualifying for the New England 300 at New Hampshire(7-19-2001)

  • New Hampshire Bread and Breakfast fire UPDATE: The owner of a bed and breakfast was killed in a fire at the inn Tuesday morning and one member of a NASCAR promotional team staying there was critically hurt. Police Chief James McGonigle said six or seven people were staying at the inn. They are members of a promotional crew for a NASCAR sponsor for this weekend's Winston Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway in nearby Loudon(I understand they are part of the Silverado Truck Racing Tour and the Monte Carlo Truck Tour that do promotions for Chevrolet). ''These people are not the pit crew or anything like that,'' Fire Marshal Don Bliss said. The injured person was flown to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in critical condition, he said. Flames broke out around 1:30 a.m. ''When I arrived, it looked like a complete disaster,'' fire Chief Albert Dionne said. He said people were running around, yelling that others were still in 2˝-story White Rabbit Inn. Bliss said at least two other people were injured, including a firefighter treated and released for heat exhaustion and a civilian admitted to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He said firefighters had to pluck one or two people from a second floor balcony. Another person was carried out.(Boston Globe/AP) and more at That's Racin'(7-17-2001)
    UPDATE: A man is recovering from critical injuries sustained in the fire that destroyed the White Rabbit Inn and killed its owner. Lonny Klug of Lake Isabella, Calif., is in fair condition, said a Massachusetts General Hospital spokeswoman. A member of a NASCAR promotional team, Klug was staying at the White Rabbit when the fire broke out early Tuesday morning. Emergency workers rushed Klug to Concord Hospital. He was subsequently airlifted to the Boston hospital, where doctors listed his condition as critical. State Fire Marshal Donald Bliss said yesterday the fire started accidentally in the kitchen, either in an electrical outlet or a coffee maker. Officials will continue to investigate(Concord Monitor)(7-19-2001)

  • Skinner Sore but OK UPDATE 6 Gordon in at NHIS, No torn ACL: #31-Mike Skinner took a hard hit when a front tire blew on his car on Lap 23, pitching him hard into the wall. He was taken to a hospital, was found to have a concussion and a fractured left ankle, and was patched up and released. It is not known whether Skinner will be able to compete next week at New Hampshire. Actually Skinner was wearing the HANS device, not Hutchens Device(7-15-2001)
    UPDATE: Mike Skinner suffered a fractured left ankle and a mild concussion Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway after a cut right-front tire sent the #31 Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse Racing Chevrolet into the outside wall. Skinner was transported by ambulance to the Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Ill., for evaluation. He was treated and released Sunday afternoon. "Mike Skinner sustained a fracture in his left ankle that will require a specialist to determine what the next step will be," said Dr. Marius Katilius of Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center. "The CT scan showed no signs of injury and no abnormalities. He has no head, neck or internal injuries." The Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo was running in the fourth position when the right-front tire went down and caused Skinner to hit the wall between turns one and two on lap 23 of the inaugural Tropicana 400. "I passed a few cars as soon as the race started and had set my sights on the #66 car," Skinner said. "I was catching him and then 'pow,' the right-front tire went down on the Lowe's Chevy. There was no warning at all -- just like when I cut a tire at Texas two years ago. I think we ran over some debris on the race track." A decision will be made regarding Skinner's status for this weekend's event at New Hampshire following his appointment with a specialist on Monday afternoon(RCR PR)
    UPDATE 2: am hearing Mike Skinner will NOT drive at NHIS this weekend. No word on who will drive the #31 Chevy. Maybe Jeff Green can hitch a ride with Kevin Harvick from St Louis? also hearing Ted Musgrave could be in the #31? about Dave Marcis?(7-16-2001)
    UPDATE 3: another scenerio I am hearing, Robby Gordon in the #31 at NHIS and Ted Musgrave in the #7 Ford for his CTS owner, Jim Smith
    UPDATE 4: hearing from sources that Robby Gordon will drive the #31 Lowes Chevy at NHIS, no word on the #7 Driver AND the Sporting News is reporting: Robby Gordon, who drove last week for Jim Smith in the #7 Ultra Motorsports Ford, will be the relief driver for the #31 Lowe's Chevrolet. Mike Wallace will be back in the #7 car for the weekend at Hew Hampshire. Because Ted Musgrave is a Dodge factory driver in the truck series, he will be unable to fill in for Smith(no idea why Musgrave was allowed to drive at Pocono in the #7 Ford)(7-17-2001)
    UPDATE 5: Mike Skinner could miss several weeks as a result of injuries sustained from a wreck in Sunday's Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway(That's Racin') AND Skinner has a torn ACL in his left knee and a fractured left ankle, and he will have surgery. Yesterday afternoon he was at the doctor's office in Daytona Beach, his home, discussing medical options. Royce McGee, Skinner's crew chief, said that Skinner will be out for at least three weeks. McGee said there was a slim possibility that Skinner could be back in the car for the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis but that it was doubtful. He said that Skinner is hesitant about making a return the next weekend at Watkins Glen, a demanding road course that requires a lot of footwork. Gordon is only be substituting in the Childress car for sure this weekend, but if things go well, he would likely be in the car for the races at Pocono and Indianapolis as well. Lowe's, which sponsors the team, expressed interest in having Jeff Green in Skinner's car, but Green will be running the Busch tour this weekend in St. Louis. Kevin Harvick, Skinner's teammate, is making the cross-country run to make both the Cup and Busch events, but he will be giving up a lot at both tracks, in terms of practice and qualifying. Next weekend, the Busch stop is near Denver while the Winston Cup stop is at Pocono.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-18-2001)
    UPDATE 6: Mike Skinner had his fractured left ankle operated on Wednesday morning. Doctors also said the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) that was originally thought torn, was just an aggravation of a 1998 injury. Dr. Craig M. Hankins, of Hankins Orthopedic Center in Daytona Beach, Fla., performed the surgery. He put two titanium screws Skinners left ankle. The doctor chose titanium screws to expedite the healing and rehabilitation process. One was 42 mm long and the other was 30 mm long with each screw being four millimeters in diameter(

  • #96 to skip NHIS? Pocono? UPDATE 5 Official Statement: hearing that the #96 PPI Motorsports team and driver Andy Houston will not be running at New Hampshire or Pocono and still hearing rumors that McDonald's is pulling out
    UPDATE: ESPN2's RPM 2Night is reporting that Houston and the #96 team will not run any races until the Brickyard 400 on August 5th (skipping NHIS and Pocono)(7-16-2001)
    UPDATE 2: on Tuesday's RPM 2Night it was reported that Andy Houston wanted to make sure folks know that he has not been released from the #96 McDonalds PPI Motorsports ride and has heard nothing official from the team about missing any races. PPI Motorsports says they have having 'challenges' regarding the McDonalds sponsorship. Also am hearing PPI released a bunch of employees who worked on the #96 and McDoanlds is very close to leaving the team and it is not sure what their future involvement in the sport is.(7-18-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Team Rensi Motorsports announced today, Andy Houston will drive the #25 Team Marines Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo in this weekend’s CARQUEST Autoparts 250 at Gateway International Raceway. Team Rensi Public Relations Representative, Shelly DeCaro stated, “David Donohue will continue his development and relationship with Team Rensi Motorsports by testing and making appearances scheduled for the Marine Corps Recruiting Command.”(Team Resni PR)(7-18-2001)
    UPDATE 4: PRN's Garage Pass radio show reports the reason the #96 McDonalds PPI Motorsports Ford is not running the next two weeks is that McDonalds is not sending anymore payments and feels they have fullfilled their monetary obligations(7-19-2001)
    UPDATE 5: PPI Motorsports and McDonald's are currently engaged in proactive discussions regarding the McDonald's #96 Winston Cup entry driven by Andy Houston. While this joint evaluation continues, the decision has been made not to enter the #96 Ford in the next two Cup events at New Hampshire and Pocono. PPI Motorsports is reviewing their staff requirements and is adjusting accordingly. At present, no further comment can be made(PPI Motorsports PR) AND from a McDonalds PR: Statement by Georgina Roy, McDonald's manager of sports marketing: "Since McDonalds and PPI Motorsports are currently in discussions relating to the sponsorship program in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, the PPI-owned McDonald's #96 Ford Taurus will not compete in this weekend's New England 300 at New Hampshire International Raceway and in next week's Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway."(7-19-2001)

  • Shepherd Changes his own CTS tires UPDATE: many readers had told me this and it was confirmed on ESPN2's RPM2Night that #21-Morgan Shepherd changed his own tires during a pit stop at the Kentucky CTS race. I was told by a source that it was done for two reasons: one was that Shepherd had a few volunteers on his crew who had never changed tires before and another reason was he deliberately got out and change the tires to illustrate the fact that he needs a sponsor. He supposedly had hooked it up with the TV crew to be there but then something else happened or he didn't time it right. Shepherd also plans to go to New Hampshire this week and supposedly is going to rent a Winston Cup crew for the race(7-16-2001)
    UPDATE: Morgan Shepherd was a one-man pit crew during the July 14 truck race at Kentucky, a feat made much more difficult because he was driving the entry. On Shepherd's lone pit stop of the race, he got out of the truck, jacked up the right side and changed both tires. Before getting back inside, he sat down on pit wall to eat some chips and drink a soda(Winston Cup Scene - need sub to read online)
    AND Shepard could be seen working on his truck in his old CITGO driver's uniform. Shepherd asked the #89 CTS team (Stan Boyd) if they could loan him one impact gun, nitrogen cylinder, hose and jack for the race, which we did. It was Shepherd's intent to attract attention to his needing sponsorship that he WANTED to pit himself. The #89 team had offered to pit his truck for him, but he had spoken to ESPN, and MRN about his intention and declined the offer. While MRN did mention it on the air, ESPN declined to show it(7-19-2001)

  • Sadlers film a Commercial and Hermie at Homestead too: The Sadler brothers were at Richmond International Raceway yesterday to film a commercial for the Virginia Lottery. Hermie Sadler's car(#13), sponsored by the Lottery, is featured on a new scratch card due out in August. The "pole position" car offers 11 chances to win by matching car numbers. Elliott Sadler agreed to come to Richmond and join his brother in the ad. For him, it was the latest addition to a busy week. He tested his Wood Brothers car at Greenville-Pickens Speedway Monday and Tuesday in preparation for this weekend's race at New Hampshire. He's planning on testing his Richmond car before returning in September. This is a big race for the Sadler family. Hermie is trying to make one of the four remaining races he is planning this season, and Elliott is competing for the million-dollar bonus. He qualified for the No Bull cash by finishing third at Daytona. If he wins at Richmond, he nets the extra million. Hermie Sadler has added to his original schedule. He announced his plans to run the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last month. Now he is adding the November race at Homestead-Miami to the schedule.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-19-2001)

  • Sacks to Race: Greg Sacks a former winner on the Cup and BGN circuits and former Modified Champion will return to his modified racing roots in the TS Haulers #13 at Loudon, New Hampshire on July 20th. Sacks will team with TS Haulers Modified tour driver Bo Gunning for the race. The plan is for Sacks to run one race for longtime friend Ed Partridge 's TS Motorsports team. Sacks last drove a modified in 1997 at Loudon in a Curt Chase #77 backup car. Sacks will drive a car recently purchased by TS Motorsports from the 2000 Modified tour Championship team. TS Haulers Motorsports races weekly at Riverhead Raceway on Long Island and fulltime on the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour(TS Motorsports PR)(7-19-2001)

  • NASCAR News: NASCAR officials announced today former Darlington Raceway President James H. (Jim) Hunter has been named Vice President of Corporate Communications for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. Hunter assumed his new duties this week, along with three additional new members of NASCAR's communications team. Robert M. Copeland, a public relations strategist for the past 25 years, joins NASCAR as its managing director of public relations. Former Director of Communications for the House Budget Committee, Bill Greene, is coming on board as NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division public relations manager. Former Tampa Tribune Assistant Sports Editor Herbert Branham will join Danielle Humphrey on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. John Griffin, who has headed NASCAR's public relations department for the past six years, will continue to work on special communications projects, including business marketing and television initiatives(NASCAR PR)(7-19-2001)


  • RJR to make NASCAR it's Sole Sponsorship UPDATE: In a bid to comply with the 1998 tobacco settlement, R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. officials will announce Tuesday that their sole sponsorship next year will be bankrolling stock car racing's Winston Cup Series and will abandon its relationship with the NHRA Drag Racing Series. No decision has been made concerning RJR's future with golf's $1.6 million Vantage Championship. The settlement agreement doesn't preclude RJR from using the company name in other sponsorship, such as the golf tournament. NASCAR officials have operated all along with the understanding that RJR wouldn't turn away from a relationship that dates to 1971, but the manufacturer had to reduce its sponsorship to a single cigarette brand by the end of the year to comply with the tobacco settlement. R. J. Reynolds, through its Winston brand, has long been a major supporter of both the NASCAR stock car racing and NHRA drag racing series. The Winston Cup has been the championship trophy of NASCAR's premier series since 1971, with the company's support of the point fund growing from $100,000 the first year to more than $13 million this season. Since 1971, when driver Junior Johnson helped bring the parties together, RJR has contributed more than $112 million in NASCAR purse, bonus and points-fund money. It's not only pumped in money but also was influential in reshaping NASCAR so that it held fewer, bigger races. Studies reveal that Winston is far and away the No. 1-sponsor, in terms of on-air mentions, during televised NASCAR events. That exposure alone would cost Reynolds countless millions, if it were still allowed to buy the airtime. Winston also has significantly benefited from deep fan loyalty. RJR officials acknowledge the brand's share among NASCAR Winston Cup attendees and fans is five times that of its national share.(CNN/SI)(7-16-2001)
    UPDATE: NASCAR kept its top sponsor Tuesday when R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. picked the Winston Cup stock car series as the one program it can bankroll under the 1998 tobacco settlement. Under the Master Settlement Agreement -- with which tobacco companies had to be in compliance by the end of the year -- cigarette manufacturers had to reduce their sponsorship to a single program over a 12-month period. RJR had to choose between NASCAR, the National Hot Rod Association and the Vantage Championship, a Senior PGA Tour event. RJR said it would end its 27-year partnership with the NHRA at the end of the year. It is still deciding what to do with the Vantage Championship, a golf tournament held near its headquarters in Winston-Salem, N.C., since 1987. RJR can continue to sponsor the event, but it can't be called the Vantage Championship because Vantage is another brand of cigarettes.(That's Racin'/AP) and a story: RJR faced difficult decision on sponsorship(7-18-2001)

  • Ultra Motorsports to Clear Driver Situation this week UPDATE 2 Wallace in the car for the rest of the year: #7 Ultra Motorsports owner Jim Smith on Saturday night said he expected to settle the long-term status of his NASCAR Winston Cup team early in the coming week. “Mike Wallace announced he’s been released -- he HASN’T been released,” Smith said. “We have other people involved, such as NationsRent, that have to OK what we’re gonna do. We’ll know definitely Monday or Tuesday, but there’s nothing final there.”(
    UPDATE: Robby Gordon, who drove last week for Jim Smith in the #7 Ultra Motorsports Ford, will be the relief driver for the #31 Lowe's Chevrolet. Mike Wallace will be back in the #7 car for the weekend at Hew Hampshire. Because Ted Musgrave is a Dodge factory driver in the truck series, he will be unable to fill in for Smith(Sporting News)(7-17-2001)
    UPDATE 2: The arrangement between Wallace and Ultra Motorsports owner Jim Smith is on a "race-to-race" basis, sources said. Smith has used Ted Musgrave (once),Robby Gordon (twice) and Wallace (once) in the car over the past four races. It appeared that Gordon would remain in the car for this weekend's race, but that changed when he accepted an offer Monday night from Richard Childress Racing to drive the #31 Loves Chevy at NHIS(That's Racin') AND both Mike Wallace and Jim Smith were be on ESPN2's RPM 2Night Tuesday and Smith said Wallace will be in the #7 car for the rest of the season (7-18-2001)

  • NBC TV Ratings UPDATE: The Inaugural Tropicana 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race from the new Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday was the highest rated sports event of the weekend. The race earned a 4.8 overnight rating and 12 share, according to figures released today by Nielsen Media Research. There is no ratings comparison as this was an open date on the NASCAR Winston Cup schedule in 2000. The rating built throughout the race and peaked with a 6.2 during the final 15 minutes from 6-6:15 p.m. ET as rookie Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag for the second time this season after taking over for Dale Earnhardt after his tragic death at the Daytona 500, February 18. The Tropicana 400’s 4.8 rating topped all sports programming over the weekend followed by Major League Baseball on Fox on Saturday (3.9) and the Senior Players Championship final round on ABC on Sunday (2.5). For every half-hour from 3:30-6 p.m. ET the Tropicana 400 beat the combined network sports competition on ABC (PGA/Senior PGA) and CBS (Tennis/NFL Quarterback Challenge/Tour de France). The Tropicana 400 was the second NASCAR Winston Cup race in NBC and TNT’s new six-year agreement with NASCAR to telecast “The Race for the Championship” over the second half of the NASCAR season. National ratings are expected to be available tomorrow morning(NBC PR)(7-16-2001)
    UPDATE: NBC’s coverage of Sunday’s inaugural Tropicana 400 from the new Chicagoland Speedway was watched by 21 million viewers. The Tropicana 400 earned a 5.6 national rating and 14 share, according to figures released today by Nielsen Media Research. There is no ratings comparison as this was an open date on the NASCAR Winston Cup schedule in 2000. The 5.6 national rating is the best NASCAR Winston Cup afternoon delivery for races from May through November since the inaugural running of the Brickyard 400 from the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, August 6, 1994 on ABC. Through its first two races, NASCAR on NBC is averaging a 5.8 rating and 14 share. The national rating peaked with a 6.6 during the final 15 minutes from 6-6:15 p.m. ET as rookie Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag for the second time this season after taking over for Dale Earnhardt after his tragic death at the Daytona 500, February 18. For the second consecutive week NASCAR on NBC has attracted more than 20 million viewers. Last Saturday’s Pepsi 400 attracted a primetime record 25 million viewers. Saturday’s NASCAR Busch Series race from Chicagoland Speedway earned a 2.2 national rating and 7 share. There is also no ratings comparison as this was an open date on the NASCAR Busch Series schedule in 2000(NBC PR) and a story at MotorsportsTV: NBC Final Ratings Skyrocket in Chicago(7-18-2001)


  • Gant to Return for a Race? UPDATE 2: hearing Andy Petree Racing is preparing a car for retired Cup driver Harry Gant to possibly run at Martinsville. Not sure if it to run in the race or as a tribute of some sort. Gant retired from Cup after the 1994 season. That is all I have heard(7-13-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing Gant will not run the race but it is about restoring his old car and giving it to him at Martinsville on Ict 14th(7-14-2001)
    UPDATE 2: There’s been a rumor about APR possibly having a car for a “Harry Gant Day” at Martinsville, Va., in October. The rumor is somewhat true. “The X1 car that Harry drove to four wins in a row has recently been rebuilt by our shop guys. It’s sitting out in our showroom in the front of the shop. We are thinking about having the car at Martinsville for Harry, but not for him to race. It would just be a nice tribute, but nothing’s final on that yet,” Barkdoll said.(Henderson Times)(7-17-2001)

  • New Hampshire Grand Marshal: The dean of American motorsports writers, Chris Economaki, has been named Grand Marshal for the Sunday, July 22 New England 300 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at New Hampshire. Economaki is the editor and publisher emeritus of the racing weekly National Speed Sport News. His featured column, "From the Editor's Notebook" is considered must reading by the motorsports community and fans. As a long time fixture at televised motorsports events, Chris was a member of the broadcast team when CBS Sports presented the first flag-to-flag coverage of a NASCAR event at the 1979 Daytona 500. In making this announcement NHIS President Gary Bahre said, "To most in the sport and certainly to my family, the name Chris Economaki and auto racing are synonymous. It is an honor for us to recognize his long and on-going contributions to our sport." Economaki will be the honoree at the annual Grand Marshal's Dinner on Saturday evening, July 21. Chris will give the command to start engines for the New England 300 at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 22.(NHIS PR)(7-17-2001)

  • Hmiel's Son Wins: Shane Hmiel won on Saturday night notched his second victory of the season at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, grabbing the Bi-Lo/Lance 150 NASCAR Goody's Dash series race. Shane's father, Steve, is the team manager for Dale Earnhardt Inc. and a former crew chief of Mark Martin. Three-time defending Goody's champion Robert Huffman, driving in his Toyota, finished second for the second year in a row(Greenville News)(7-17-2001)


  • Foyt/Hornaday to switch Manufacturers? If there was any question whether the Pontiacs are aerodynamically challenged, it was answered recently at Daytona. The top Grand Prix started 33rd for the Pepsi 400, and two Pontiacs didn't make the field. Team owner A.J. Foyt can't take it anymore. "NASCAR's going to have to do something," Foyt says. "We can't go to another superspeedway like this." And he won't. Foyt, whose driver Ron Hornaday took provisionals to make the Daytona 500 and the Talladega 500, has threatened to take a Chevrolet to Talladega this fall if changes aren't made to help the Pontiacs.(Sporting News)(7-16-2001)

  • Labonte Not Retiring: Though rumors persist, Terry Labonte wants it known he has no intentions of retiring soon. "If anyone has any questions regarding my status, they can ask me," he says. Labonte says he would like to be the first driver to win championships in three decades. He won titles in 1984 and 1996, but he isn't looking so hot this decade. He's 26th in points after finishing 17th last year.(Sporting News)(7-16-2001)

  • Baldwin to form BGN team: NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief Tommy Baldwin Jr.(#22 Bill Davis team) and long-time friend Eddie D'Hondt announced Monday that they are forming a new BGN race team. The team is expected to begin racing in the 2002 Busch series season-opening race in Daytona Beach. Baldwin will continue to serve as crew chief of the # 22 Caterpillar Dodge driven by Ward Burton and owned by Bill Davis Racing. He and D'Hondt will act as CO-owners of "Tommy Baldwin Racing." D'Hondt, the former general manager of both Bill Elliott Racing and Evernham Motorsports, will run the day-to-day team operations. Baldwin will call the shots at the racetrack. Tommy Baldwin Racing is expected to set up shop in the new Talbert Point Motorsports Complex in Mooresville, NC. "Eddie and I have talked about doing this from the day we moved down here from Long Island, N.Y., some five years ago," said Baldwin. "We have both worked very hard at learning the sport and polishing our skills. This is a fast-paced business, and together we feel that the time is right for us to get this team started. We have spoken with some very talented drivers, manufacturers and crewmen who are very excited about the possibilities of the dynamic team we have the ability to put together. Right now, we are meeting with companies who have shown an interest in sponsoring this endeavor, and we will continue to do that until we have secured enough financing to be the best team in this series." Not only does Tommy Baldwin Racing have the experience of Baldwin and D'Hondt to guide its team, it also has help from Winston Cup car owner, Bill Davis. "We have Bill's blessing and support, and we plan on interacting with Bill Davis Racing quite a bit," said Baldwin. "We will utilize their engineering and aerodynamic abilities, as well as purchase motors from them. I feel like this association will be a major plus for both my Winston Cup team and our new Busch team. I can't wait to get started." Tommy Baldwin Racing is presently fielding any inquires regarding sponsorship and staffing at (704) 655-0611. The team will release further details as they develop(Motorsports Decisions PR)(7-16-2001)

  • Robinson has a sponsor for the Brickyard: #84-Shawna Robinson's failure to qualify for her second Winston Cup start did not deter sponsor Tropicana. The company announced Saturday night that it will again sponsor Robinson next month when she attempts to make the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis.(That's Racin'/AP)(7-16-2001)

  • Buckshot OK: #44-Buckshot Jones made a trip to to same hospital after he too hit the wall hard in turn two. Riding along by himself, perhaps five lengths in front of Tony Stewart, Jones’ Dodge lost traction almost instantly and darted into the wall while spinning counterclockwise. The #44 Intrepid did not erupt in flames, a la Skinner, but Jones was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons. There he was released after having his right knee examined(Gaston Gazette)(7-16-2001)

  • Cingular Sponsorship moving? At least four teams are vying for a major sponsorship with Bell Atlantic/Cingular Wireless (Actually it is BellSouth not Bell Atlantic which is Verizon), according to NASCAR sources. The company currently sponsors Jason Leffler and car owner Chip Ganassi. Among the car owners expected to be talking with the company are Richard Childress and Bill Davis. Childress and Mike Skinner are assessing their situation, Childress says, but an announcement could still be a month away, according to Childress. Childress has made it official that Jeff Green will drive an AOL-sponsored car for him next season, ending months of debate(Winston Salem Journal)(7-16-2001)


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