PAST NEWS FEB 25-MAR 3, 2002
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- Streaking: #24-Jeff Gordon has not posted a top five finish since winning at Kansas in 2001, a span of eleven races. Gordon's longest drought of his career is 12 consecutive races, from the last five races of 1999 thru the first seven races of 2000 but he has not DNF'd in 34 races since Darlington in March 2001. #6-Mark Martin's top five at Las Vegas was his first top five since the June Pocono race, 23 races ago. #23-Hut Stricklin led a lap in a Cup race for the first time since Darlington in March 1997. #40-Sterling Marlin is the only driver who has finished in the top 10 in all three 2002 Cup races. #-48-Jimmie Johnson got his first career Winston Cup top 10 finish and led a lap for the first time ever in Cup.(3-3-2002)
- Marlin wins at Las Vegas: #40-Sterling Marlin wins the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 after starting 24th, all three winners in 2002 so far have started 19th or worse. It is Marlin's 9th career Winston Cup win. Marlin now leads the drivers points by 75 points over #12-Newman (507 to 432). The top ten:
1) #40-Marlin (37 laps led)
2) #19-Mayfield (17 laps led)
4) #12-Newman (50 laps led)
5) #20-Stewart (76 laps led)
6) #48-Johnson (6 laps led)
10) #41-Spencer (45 laps led)
6 cautions for 25 laps
20 of 43 cars are on the lead lap.
Lap Leaders (13): #66-Bodine; #41-Spencer; #97-Busch; #12-Newman; #40-Marlin; #20-Stewart; #23-Stricklin; #21-Sadler; #48-Johnson; #8-Earnhardt Jr; #45-Petty; #22-Burton; #19-Mayfield (ties a recoord for leaders).
DNF's: #55-Hamilton(accident); #49-Robinson(accident);
NOTES: #55-Hamilton, one of the No Bull Five drivers, wrecked on lap 9 and looks to be out of the race, Hamilton's 40 race streak with no DNF's (did not finishes) is over as his car has been declared out.
Caution on lap 61 when #15-Waltrip blew a tire, quite a few cars were caught in the pits when the yelloe came out and got put a lap down or close to it (#'s 66,25,31,10 and others), #19-Mayfield was in the pits for a few laps as there was some sort of problem during his stop and #41-Spencer lost a bunch of spots when a lugnut fell off the stud during his stop..
#40-Marlin was slowing to go to the pits and got hit by #25-Nadeau, Marlin saved it after going sideways and ended up at the entrance of pit road and proceeded to hit pit stall. Fox reported Marlin would be penalized for speeding down pit road, haven't seen or heard it happened, but communication never got to the NASCAR official so NASCAR recinded the penalty.
Caution 3 on lap 140 for oil on the track, all lead lap cars came in to pit, #12-Newman came out with the lead as only two tires were changed. #8-Earnhardt Jr only took two tires and came out 2nd. #25-Nadeau's Chevy is overheating but still on the track.
Caution 4 on lap 155 when #17-Kenseth spun by himself, no damage to car. Leader #20-Stewart let #66-Bodine and #25-Nadeau back on the lead lap.
#44-Jones was running in the top 10 before the caution (4) had a loose lugnut and was called back in by NASCAR to tighten it, went out 25th, still on the lead lap. #32-Craven had a tire go down just AFTER the 4th caution and lost a lap.
#36-Schrader had a tired go down when he and #66-Bodine got together and Schrader had to pit on lap 182, losing a lap.
#48-Jimmie Johnson while leading and a lug nut fell off the front right tire and the pit stop lasted longer then normal, came out in 10th place. #10-Benson ran out of fuel but made it in to the pits and got refueled but lost time (he ran 62 laps on a tank). #26-Nemechek possibly has engine trouble.
Caution 5 on lap 232, #49-Shawna Robinson tagged the wall, pancaking the right side, Robinson is in 42nd. Most of the lead lap drivers came in to pit. #97-Busch has an engine problem and is overheating.
Caution 6 on lap 254. #45-Petty got spun by #31-Gordon after #25-Nadeau pushed/hit Gordon.
See ThatsRacin.com for a column: Marlin's number comes up big in Vegas and for Unofficial UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 results and Unofficial Standings.
The race will re-air on Speed Channel, Wednesday, March 6th at 8:00pm/et and on Thursday, March 7th at 12:00noon/et.(3-3-2002)
- Marlin wins at Las Vegas: #40-Sterling Marlin wins the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 after starting 24th, all three winners in 2002 so far have started 19th or worse. It is Marlin's 9th career Winston Cup win. Marlin now leads the drivers points by 75 points over #12-Newman (507 to 432). See my rundown (leaders, narrative, etc) of the race on my UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400/Las Vegas Race Info page.
See ThatsRacin.com for a column: Marlin's number comes up big in Vegas and for Unofficial UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 results and Unofficial Standings.
The race will re-air on Speed Channel, Wednesday, March 6th at 8:00pm/et and on Thursday, March 7th at 12:00noon/et.(3-3-2002)
- Hamilton DNF's: #55-Bobby Hamilton had his first DNF (did not finish) since the Phoenix race in Nov 2000, a streak of 40 races. The new streak leaders are #24-Gordon at 34, #99-Burton at 32 and #40-Marlin with 31 straight races without a DNF. See my DNF Page for past DNF's and who has the most.(3-3-2002)
- Stewart and the Indy 500 UPDATE 3 with Penske? [Chip] Ganassi said Sunday that he is close to firming up a deal with NASCAR star Tony Stewart for the Indy 500. They teamed up to finish sixth this year.(Indianapolis Star)(11-5-2001)
UPDATE: hearing that Stewart may run for Penske in the Indy 500 with Home Depot as the sponsor(1-3-2002)
UPDATE 2: Winston Cup and Championship Auto Racing Teams series owner Chip Ganassi said Tuesday that he and Winston Cup star Tony Stewart are "talking about" putting together a deal for Stewart to run in the 2002 Indianapolis 500 with a Ganassi-owned car. "You know Tony, he's like trying to nail jelly to a post sometimes," Ganassi said. "So, we'll see. You can play telephone tag with him for three weeks before you reach him. It's moving along, and I would say on schedule." Stewart ran both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte the same day last season - his second time competing in both races. He finished sixth at Indy in a Ganassi-owned car and third at Charlotte with his Joe Gibbs-owned team.(That's Racin')(1-8-2002)
UPDATE 3: Penske confirmed Saturday he has had discussions with Home Depot officials about running Tony Stewart in a third team car in the Indianapolis 500. Penske, who said he has not made a decision on running a third car, is on Home Depot's board of directors.(Indianapolis Star)(3-3-2002)
- #200 for Benson: #10-Johnny Benson made his 200th Winston Cup start at Las Vegas.(3-3-2002)
- New Pontiac? UPDATE 5: NASCAR officials have begun studying Pontiac's plans for a new Winston Cup model for the 2003 season(Winston Salem Journal)(6-3-2001)
UPDATE: - Pontiac Gone? Might General Motors consider dropping the Pontiac brand from Winston Cup racing? A new model is expected for the 2003 season, but will GM invest in the redesign of its Grand Prix for NASCAR? Just an ugly rumor that it won't, said Terry Laise, General Motors competition and aerodynamics manager. "But anything is possible."(Sporting News)(6-18-2001)
UPDATE 2: during the Cup at Kansas, NBC mentioned that Joe Gibbs Racing had tested a new 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix in a wind tunnel and expects to present it to NASCAR for approval in mid 2002. Also have heard rumors that Pontiac would switch from a Grand Prix to their Bonneville model but being told that model is being phased out.(10-2-2001)
UPDATE 3 New Pontiac Testing: Currently, Joe Gibbs Racing is working on the new model Pontiac for 2003 based on the Dodge Intrepid.(Sporting News)(10-26-2001)
UPDATE 4: Pontiac officials say work is under way on a 2003 Pontiac with a new body style for use in NASCAR’s Winston Cup series beginning next season. “We are working on the car and it’s too early to talk about the details of that,” said Bob Kraut, brand manager for Pontiac Grand Prix. “We will have a car at this time next year to run Daytona if everything goes OK with NASCAR officials.” The existing body style of the Pontiac Grand Prix is seven years old – the oldest body style currently in use in NASCAR. Joe Gibbs Racing, which fields the Pontiacs of Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart, is involved in the testing and development of the new car.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-16-2002)
UPDATE: A General Motors racing official said Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway that the new 2003 Grand Prix that Pontiac will submit for NASCAR’s approval will be based off similar templates used by Ford and Dodge in the development of the Taurus and Intrepids now used in Winston Cup racing.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-3-2002)
- Template Changes? NASCAR officials are considering changes in the template used to measure the noses on the WInston Cup cars.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-3-2002)
- Stewart in a Chevy at Texas? and beyond? UPDATE: After more than a year of wrangling unsuccessfully with NASCAR over rules that he says have kept Pontiac teams at a disadvantage, #20 Joe Gibbs crew chief Greg Zipadelli says a switch to Chevrolet appears in the cards: "It is being built as we speak," Zipadelli said. "You'll see it in about four weeks." That would appear to mean that Tony Stewart could be in a Monte Carlo for the April 7 race at Texas. The politics of the whole situation, Zipadelli said, was key. By switching to Chevrolet he said he and fellow crew chief Jimmy Makar wouldn't feel such underdogs in negotiations with NASCAR, because they would then have Chevy heavyweights Richard Childress and Rick Hendrick on their side.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-2-2002)
UPDATE: Pontiac race teams appear to be growing increasingly frustrated with what they consider to be a lack of regard for their rules concerns from NASCAR. Joe Gibbs Racing, for instance, has built a Chevrolet Monte Carlo which, for now at least, will be used only for purposes of evaluating it against the Pontiac Grand Prix models used by drivers [#18] Bobby Labonte and [#20] Tony Stewart. Since those cars are so similar, the GM official said, the Gibbs operation wanted to also have a Chevrolet in house so it could understand how the new Pontiac would compare to all possible competition. While a GM official said Saturday such a model change is not likely, there apparently have been discussions within the Gibbs operation about whether it should switch to Chevrolets in the future if it doesn’t think Pontiac is getting a fair shake.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-3-2002)
AND Yesterday, reports surfaced with Tony Stewart's crew chief talking about adding a Chevrolet to the team's arsenal. Asked about the comments, Jimmy Makar, crew chief for Bobby Labonte, said the team has built a Monte Carlo to take to the wind tunnel and compare with the Pontiacs driven by Stewart and Labonte. He added the team has no plans to race the car at this point. The problem isn't a Gibbs issue with Pontiac. It's a larger problem with the sanctioning body. Pontiac has only five teams competing full time in the series, compared with 15 Fords, 12 Chevys and 10 Dodges. When it comes time for crew chiefs to storm the NASCAR trailer and demand changes for their cars, the Pontiacs don't have nearly as much leverage. So teams such as Joe Gibbs Racing want to see what separates the Pontiac from other makes before pushing their arguments further. It certainly isn't a new practice to build other cars, but is it one that has more meaning within the Gibbs' operation. Is he [Makar] considering running a car other than a Pontiac? Makar currently is developing the 2003 Pontiac. GM's Terry Laise said the project is on track, and the car should be submitted well before NASCAR's deadline. The question now is, who will be driving this new car? "We're not going to race anything other than a Pontiac right now," Makar said. "We're just getting educated."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-3-2002)
- M&M's Vote: Candy lovers around the globe will be faced with that decision beginning March 6th when Masterfoods USA launches its Global Color Vote(tm) - the largest promotion in the 61-year history of the "M&M's"® Brand. As consumers debate which color should be added to the famous mix in packs of the world's No. 1 candy brand, NASCAR® fans will keep some other things in mind when making their decision. Every vote cast for the new color of "M&M's" will be a vote cast for the color of Ken Schrader's #36 race car. In a one-race paint scheme at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 24, Schrader will run the winning color car - be it purple, pink or aqua. During the voting period, Schrader will pilot a special "Global Color Vote(tm)" paint scheme. At four races - Martinsville, Talladega, California and Richmond - Schrader will drive the Global Color Vote(tm) car. The car is similar to the familiar bright yellow #36, but it features the color choices of purple, pink and aqua. The characters also get in on the fun as they are depicted painting the car their color of choice. Red is dangling from a rope as he tries to paint the driver's side aqua. Blue has used his artistic skills to color the passenger side pink. And Yellow has painted himself and the back of the #36 purple. Residents around the globe will be eligible to vote by logging on to www.mms.com, which will be accessible in 10 different languages beginning on Wednesday March 6, 2002. Before casting a vote, consumers will have the opportunity to sample each color in specially marked packages available at retailers worldwide. The winning color will be announced in June 2002 at a gala event in New York City with the winning color car being driven by Schrader at the Bristol night race in August.(IMG Motorsports-Charlotte PR)(3-3-2002)
- Practice Engines at Atlanta? Roller Cams coming? UPDATE One Engine Rule here to stay, no practice engines: Ganassi Racing's engine builder Tony Santanicola mentions "We might get a practice motor at Atlanta (if NASCAR relents), but we're going to get one for sure at places like Pocono and the 600 at Charlotte. I don't know about Michigan and Atlanta yet. But I put in my two cents for practice motors at those two tracks. They need to give us practice motors." AND Next year's engines may have a new twist, roller cams, an endurance concept used in the BGN for several years.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-27-2002)
UPDATE - One Engine Rule here to stay: NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said it was unlikely that Winston Cup teams would receive any practice engines at larger tracks this season, except for the possibility of one being used for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte in May. NASCAR instituted a "one engine" rule this season, which took effect last weekend at Rockingham. Teams use one engine all weekend and if they change engines before the race, they must start the race from the rear of the field. "Charlotte may be the only race we use them at," Hunter said. "We heard some talk from the teams going into Rockingham, but this week, we haven't heard any requests. "I think the rule was tested at Rockingham and (Las Vegas) will be a good test. These guys aren't building motors to blow up. Any of the motors we lost at Rockingham weren't a result of longevity or miles."(ThatsRacin.com)(3-2-2002)
- Loss of Plan Money: Car owner Andy Petree's decision not to bring his unsponsored #33 car this weekend takes that car off a few bonus plans and could cost the team as much as $750,000. Car owners Travis Carter [#'s 26/66] and Brett Bodine [#11] also face similar dilemmas as their teams search for sponsorship and may miss races later this year. NASCAR offers a variety of special payment plans to teams but those are all contingent on those teams being at the track and attempting to qualify. Petree's #33 car was in the top 30 in owner points last year, so it was guaranteed $8,000 a race -- $288,000 a year. It also was in a program where some of the TV money is distributed based on how well a team -- no more than two per organization -- has done the past three years. Petree's team could earn as much as about $15,000 per race on that plan, meaning the team could have earned $23,000 through these programs per race. Since the team did not make an attempt this weekend, it is no longer eligible for such money if it returns. Under current rules, that team must now run for three years before it can be eligible for such money, according to Kevin Triplett, NASCAR's managing director of business operations. If the Carter teams of Todd Bodine and Joe Nemechek don't go to Atlanta next weekend, both cars will be taken off their bonus plans. Nemechek's [#26] car with Jimmy Spencer in it last year finished in the top 30 in owner points and it is guaranteed $8,000 a race. Bodine [#66] finished outside the top 30 in owner points last year.(News and Record)(3-2-2002)
- Petree close to sponsor? #33/55 team owner Andy Petree may have a good lead on a sponsor to keep his second team up and running, and insiders say his negotiations with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones may be key. Petree said only "I have no news to report." Petree brought only the #55 team here; driver Mike Wallace wanted Petree to let him run Hamilton's backup car [as the #33] in the 400 [Las Vegas], but Petree declined. Jones says he wants to own a Winston Cup team; Petree has been reluctant to sell.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-2-2002)
- #66 gets a sponsor for Las Vegas: Haas Carter Motorsports announced that Checker Auto Parts will sponsor pole sitter #66-Todd Bodine for Sunday's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. .The Phoenix-based auto parts retailer contacted Haas Carter Motorsports representatives after reading about Bodine's qualifying effort on the 1.5-mile superspeedway that set a new track and event qualifying record. Checker Auto Parts, which has more than 1,130 stores throughout 19 western states including Alaska and Hawaii, will be the primary sponsor for this event with its logos placed prominently on the blue #66 Ford Taurus™s hood, television panel and quarter panels. "I read about Todd being on the pole in the newspaper yesterday and thought it was a shame that a team in that position didn't have a sponsor," said Maynard Jenkins, chairman and CEO of Checker Auto Parts. "I called our marketing people and asked them to get in touch with Travis (Carter) to see if there was an opportunity to help. Motorsports is a natural extension of our business, as we currently sponsor motorsports teams and events, and our customers are loyal NASCAR fans. We're a regional auto parts company with stores in Las Vegas, and I know our employees will be excited to be affiliated with Haas Carter Motorsports and Todd Bodine. I hope this helps the team secure a primary sponsor for the balance of the season," Jenkins added. "This allows us to not only continue supporting motorsports, but also possibly develop a relationship with Haas Carter Motorsports beyond this event." Carl Haas and Travis Carter, owners of Haas Carter Motorsports, are actively pursuing sponsorship opportunities for both the Nos. 26 and 66 Fords since the team's previous sponsor, Kmart, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January. The team's contractual commitment with Kmart ended after the Feb. 24 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at North Carolina Speedway.(Haas Carter Motorsports PR)(3-2-2002)
- One Thousand Starts for RCR: Robby Gordon's #31 Chevy will represent the 1,000th start for the Richard Childress Racing team when he takes the green flag Sunday at Las Vegas. Gordon qualified 12th on Friday, ahead of teammates Jeff Green (22nd) and Kevin Harvick (28th). More than half of the team's cup starts were made by the late Dale Earnhardt with 529. Childress added 188 of his own. Mike Skinner has 157 starts, Ricky Rudd 60, Harvick 37, Gordon 12, Green 10, Morgan Shepherd and Neil Bonnett 2 each and Mike Dillon and Rodney Combs one each.(Daytona Beach News Journal/AP)(3-2-2002)
- TV Ratings at the Rock: Fox got a 6.3 rating for its coverage of the Subway 400 from Rockingham last Sunday, which was about 9 percent higher than last year's races other than the Daytona 500. NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics gold medal hockey game between the United States and Canada, which aired against much of the race telecast, had a 10.7 rating.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-2-2002)
- Wood tests Cup car: Jon Wood, son of Wood Brothers [#21] car owner Eddie, tested a Cup car at for Ford at a test facility in Arizona this week.(News and Record)(3-2-2002)
- Hendrick Honored: The Charlotte, N.C.-based Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal has named Rick Hendrick its 2002 recipient of the Bill France Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award, as chosen by a committee of editors. Started last year, the honor is designed to recognize an individual whose contributions have had a substantial long-term impact on NASCAR. Hendrick won his 100th Winston Cup race last season, along with a third NASCAR Truck series championship, both firsts for an owner. Hendrick Motorsports has grown into a $50 million industry leader, headquartered at a 62-acre, 400,000 square-foot facility in Charlotte and employing more than 300 people.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-2-2002)
- $89,131 raised at Auction: The Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities kicked off its 2002 fundraising drive with a home run: the fourth annual NASCAR Driver Auction raised $89,131 for the needy children of Las Vegas and southern Nevada. The auction, held Thursday, Feb. 28, at Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Las Vegas, eclipsed last year's event, which raised $33,000. All 44 drivers entered in the Cup race were auctioned off, as well as 20 BGN drivers. Rusty Wallace drew the highest bid: $7,000. Winning bidders on Winston Cup Series competitors received the opportunity to ride in a convertible with their driver during the pre-race driver introduction lap. Winning bidders on BGN drivers were entitled to a "meet and greet" at driver introductions prior to the start of the race today. The top 15 Auction Bids:
1. .....Rusty Wallace -- $7,000
2. .....Tony Stewart -- $3,500
3. .....Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- $3,400
4. .....Stacy Compton -- $2,500
5. .....Jeff Gordon -- $2,500
6. .....Michael Waltrip -- $1,500
7. .....Bill Elliott -- $1,300
8. .....Mark Martin -- $1,250
9. .....Kevin Harvick -- $1,200
10. .Terry Labonte --$1200
11. .Jeff Burton --$1,200
12. .Kyle Petty --$1,150
13. .Bobby Labonte --$1,100
14. .Shawna Robinson --$1,100
15. .Dale Jarrett --$1,100.(LVMS PR)(3-2-2002)
- Dodge Motorsports Diversity Program for 2002: In conjunction with NASCAR Technical Institute, the exclusive educational partner of NASCAR, Dodge Motorsports is providing a tremendous opportunity for minority students to establish careers in the exciting world of NASCAR/Motorsports racing and automotive technology. Through the Dodge Motorsports Diversity Scholarship Program, awards to cover costs associated with tuition and housing at NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, North Carolina will be offered to a limited number of students. See more on my Racing Schools/Jobs page.(3-1-2002)
- Sad News: Grand Am series driver Jeff Clinton was killed today when he crashed during practice at Homestead-Miami Speedway, team owner Mike Johnson said. Clinton's car veered off the course as he entered Turn 1 and started flipping repeatedly. He died at the scene. Clinton, 38, was driving his second season for Archangel Motorsport. The St. Louis native finished 54th in last month's Rolex 24 at Daytona. This was the second deadly crash at Homestead-Miami Speedway. NASCAR truck racer John Nemechek died March 21, 1997, five days after sustaining massive brain injuries during a crash at the 11/2-mile oval. The Grand Am circuit is a support series for the Indy Racing League. More at the Daytona Beach News Journal.(no word if he wore a head and neck restraint of any kind - but team officials refused to say whether Clinton was wearing a head-and-neck restraint)(3-1-2002)
- Earnhardt's join the autopsy case: Seeking to defend a new state law restricting public access to autopsy photos, Dale Earnhardt's family joined a court case Thursday challenging the law. The late NASCAR driver's family said it was admitted as a "friend of the court," meaning it is not an official party to the lawsuit but could argue in support of the law, which was passed last year at the urging of Earnhardt's widow. The law prohibits unauthorized people from viewing or copying autopsy photos without a court order, punishable by five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. A group of media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Tampa Tribune, sued last month. The Sentinel sought a review of Earnhardt's autopsy photos by a safety expert to determine whether better equipment could have prevented the racer's death.(ThatsRacin/AP)(3-1-2002)
- Another 'New' #28 Paint Scheme? UPDATE False? hearing that a new paint scheme for the #28 Ford is in the works and should debut within 60 days. All references to Texaco, including the star, will be removed along with smaller references to Havoline. Hearing Chevron will be focused and featured. Plus, word has it that all scale models with the new paint scheme will be available for purchase only with a Chevron gas card.(2-28-2002)
UPDATE: hearing this rumor is false and that no changes will be made to the scheme this year.(3-1-2002)
- More Toyota Stuff: Once again rumors are circulating that Toyota wants to get involved with the Craftsman Truck Series as a prelude to moving into Winston Cup. A recent interview with Mark Amstock, Toyota’s national truck and SUV marketing manager on nhra.com did little to quell such speculation. Asked about Robert Huffman’s win in the Goody’s Dash Series race at Daytona in a Toyota, Amstock stated the company’s goals: “We’re learning what it takes to work with NASCAR,” Amstock said. “The Craftsman Truck Series is next and then we’ll work our way into Winston Cup. We’ll be there sooner than some people think.” Kevin Triplett, managing director of business operations for NASCAR, said they’ve yet to be presented a truck by Toyota, which would be one of the steps to moving into the series. “We talk to manufacturers all the time about interest or how they fit in,” Triplett said Feb. 22. “Nobody’s presented us anything. Even if we’ve had conversations (with Toyota), that’s as far as they’ve gone.”(Wisnton Cup Scene - need sub to read)(3-1-2002)
- Hooters back in Winston Cup UPDATE: Bob Brooks, the controlling owner of the Hooters restaurant chain, plans to rejoin the Winston Cup Series as car owner and sponsor. Brooks said Wednesday that he plans to field a team for driver Kirk Shelmerdine and expects to be racing by midseason. They are in the process of applying to NASCAR for a car number, purchasing race cars and opening a shop near Charlotte. Brooks said he hopes to run few races this season and more next year. However, he doesn't plan to run the full schedule. Hooters was Alan Kulwicki's sponsor during his championship season in 1992. Brooks' son Mark perished in the same plane crash in which Kulwicki died in 1993. Brooks sponsored Shelmerdine in an unsuccessful attempt to run the Daytona 500 last month, and he says that rekindled his interest in Winston Cup racing. He still plans to operate the Hooters ProCup series for short track racers.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(2-28-2002)
UPDATE: Bob Brooks, who plans to return to Winston Cup as a car owner and sponsor, said he believes today's race teams are asking sponsors for too much money. He hopes to be able to operate his team for far less than the $15 million or so that many top teams get from sponsors, even if it means not running the full schedule. Brooks, who is the majority owner of the Hooters restaurant chain and Eastern Foods, a maker of salad dressings and dips, has teamed with driver Kirk Shelmerdine and plans to run a limited number of races this season. They plan to add races next season. Brooks said he believes his money will be best spent if he owns the team rather than sponsoring someone else's organization.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(3-1-2002)
- Quest Motorsports and Cope Plans: Derrike Cope still hopes to field a Winston Cup team in conjunction with drag racing legend Warren Johnson. For now, though, he’s planning on making his 2002 debut in Las Vegas in a Ford fielded by Ted Campbell. And the team he owns with Johnson, #37 Quest Motor Racing, did field a truck for Matt Mullins at Daytona. “We’ve got some Busch stuff and some trucks and 10 Winston Cup cars sitting there,” Cope said Feb. 23. “Warren and I are just trying to find some funding to maybe get a Busch deal started so we can grow the program and get it off the ground. We’re very quiet, because we’re just trying to procure the funding necessary to do it in a class fashion. Right now, we just don’t have that at our disposal.” If sponsorship could be found for both teams, Cope said Quest Motor Racing could field a two-car entry in conjunction with Campbell’s entry. And in a few years, Cope might really have a team that will get people talking. It would feature his twin nieces, whom are 18 and graduating high school this year. Amber and Angela Cope are “blonde, blue-eyed, good-looking girls,” in the words of Derrike Cope. “We’d like to get in some ARCA races and into the truck series and bring the twins along,” Cope said. “They might run ARCA later this year and we’ll look at Winston West and ARCA for next year and then graduate them up (to the truck series).” (Wisnton Cup Scene - need sub to read)(3-1-2002)
- New Dodge Site: The Chrysler Group's Dodge Brand is revving up the World Wide Web with a newly launched Motorsports Web site. The site, www.dodge.com/motorsports, is designed and developed by Organic, Inc. and welcomes the 2002 NASCAR season with new graphics and site experiences, additional content and improved functionality. Dodge Motorsports' new site features new content to support Dodge's quest for driver and manufacturer's titles in both the Winston Cup and Craftsman Truck Series. New content includes a Fan Zone with wallpapers and games, a news ticker on the home page, "Tradin' Paint" - a new opinion-based editorial appearing every week, and race and track information from each track in the Winston Cup circuit. The Dodge Motorsports site provides the best behind-the-scenes content on all the Dodge teams. No other site on the web has this exclusive content on the Dodge teams - because no one else has the same access to the Dodge's racing teams.(Business Wire)(2-28-2002)
- Dale Earnhardt tribute update: A committee planning a Dale Earnhardt tribute in Kannapolis, N.C., has approved a new tribute site. The Earnhardt tribute, in the planning stages for nearly a year, is now expected to be built in Kannapolis' downtown. A statue and brick plaza area will be built on the new site, informally known as Funderburk Park in Cannon Village, committee members said. Atlantic American Properties, the owners of Cannon Village, offered the site last month. The company is also donating and volunteering to renovate a portion of the Cannon Village Visitors Center as a tribute center that will house a commemorative wall to honor Earnhardt's life. Motorsports artist Sam Bass is expected design the wall. AAP has agreed to lease the new site for $1 a year for 99 years and assist with site preparation, insurance, maintenance, security and landscaping. A racing memorabilia auction, similar to a fund-raiser held in December, is tentatively scheduled for the summer. The Tribute fund so far totals $22,486.57. Contributions can be sent to the City of Kannapolis, c/o the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Fund, P.O. Box 1199, Kannapolis, NC 28082-1199. (ThatsRacin.com), more info at the Dale Earnhardt Memorial Tribute Fund page(2-28-2002)
- More Muppet Schemes UPDATE 2: hearing that #18-Bobby Labonte has been added to the Chicagoland Muppet paint scheme promotion along with previous rumored, #88-Jarrett, #10-Benson(Flozzy) and #41-Spencer(2-12-2002)
UPDATE: up to five Muppet schemes now - hearing #28-Ricky Rudd will be part of the promtion at Chicago, celebrating 25 years of the Muppet Show.(2-21-2002)
UPDATE 2: also added to the Muppet scheme list for Chicagoland are #9-Bill Elliott and #19-Jeremy Mayfield.(2-28-2002)
- Green/White/Checkers? why no? some favor a rule making it mandatory that the final lap of a race be run under green, the so-called green-white (the white flag indicates one lap to go) checkers rule.[like is done in the CTS series]. Cup Drivers don't like that because they think it creates safety problems with the field bunched up and people taking wild chances on the last lap. Cup Crew chiefs don't like it because it could extend the race beyond the normal distance, bringing gas mileage and strategy into play.(Lakeland Ledger)(2-28-2002)
- Elvis to enter the race track UPDATE: Race fans help celebrate the legend of Elvis Presley in 2002. As part of the Elvis Presley 25th Anniversary program, Elvis.com, Action Performance Companies, Inc., Rusty Wallace, and Miller Brewing Company will bring the King of Rock N. Roll back to the track. Rusty Wallace's #2 Miller Lite Ford Taurus at the Las Vegas Cup race on March 3, 2002. The special program will mark the second time in five years Wallace features Elvis Presley on his racecar.(Action PR)(11-15-2001)
UPDATE: The city of lights [Las Vegas] welcomes race fans for a sneak peak at three special Elvis paint scheme race cars. The stock car of NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Rusty Wallace, the funny car of 11-time NHRA Funny Car Champion John Force, and the top fuel dragster of NHRA ace Larry Dixon all featuring Elvis Presley themes will be on display for public viewing at Caesars Palace on Friday, March 1, 2002. The three Elvis cars were designed by Action Performance as part of the Elvis 25th Anniversary program. Rusty Wallace will race his Elvis car at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 3, 2002. This special program marks the second time in five years that Elvis Presley is featured on Wallace's race car. Both NHRA drivers will also compete with their Elvis themed cars in Las Vegas. They will race at the NHRA event on April 4-7, 2002. In addition to the cars, Action Performance designed the uniforms and helmets the drivers will wear in the race, as well as limited edition die-cast replicas of the cars, apparel, and other merchandise for collectors. Visitors to Caesars Palace on March 1, 2002 will have the opportunity to meet the drivers, see their race cars, and enjoy Elvis tunes. Admission is free. The cars will be on display all afternoon and drivers will arrive at 7:30 p.m. Caesars Palace is located at 3750 Las Vegas Blvd., South.(Action Performance PR) and see column by Wallace at the Las Vegas Sun: Unveiling of Elvis car highlights week.(2-27-2002)
- Atlanta Testing Wednesday: Ryan Newman turned a fast lap of 193.373mph Wednesday in another day of testing for the March 10 MBNA America 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Newman.s lap is the fastest turned by any NASCAR Winston Cup driver in testing this year. It's also slightly faster than the pole speed for last March's race, when Dale Jarrett had a lap at 192.748 mph.(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(2-27-2002)
- Crew Chief change at the #4? UPDATE No, but Carrier hired as crew member: hearing Chris Carrier, currently the crew chief of the #33 APR Chevy [without a sposnor and skipping Vegas] will move over to the #4 Morgan McClure team and driver Mike Skinner as the new crew chief there. Scott Eggleston is currently the crew chief of the #4 Kodak Chevy.(2-27-2002)
UPDATE: Chris Carrier, former crew chief of the #33 Andy Petree Racing entry, has been hired by Morgan-McClure Motorsports. Carrier's departure from APR, a. result of uncertainty surrounding the team he worked with, was an amicable split. Carrier, a native of Bristol, TN, will work at the shop and travel with the #4 Kodak MAX Film crew weekly. Employed by mutual agreement of Larry McClure (team owner), Mike Skinner (driver) and Scott Eggleston (crew chief), Carrier's duties will be to serve as a team member to assist Eggleston. His employment at the Abingdon, Va.-based team begins Monday.(Morgan McClure PR)(2-27-2002)
- Fenley Motorsports/Challenge Motorsports News: Foreclosure could force Fenley to lock racing garage for good. The decision against Fenley Motorsports Inc. came after a two-hour hearing in Equity Court Tuesday morning. Ruling in a real estate mortgage foreclosure action brought by Dawsonville, Ga.-based Ernie Elliott Inc., Master-in-Equity Roger L. Couch set the auction for 11 a.m. April 1 in the Spartanburg County courthouse. Afterward, Fenley Motorsports President Robert Fenley and brother Randy Fenley, owner of Challenge Motorsports Inc., said Challenge has landed a sponsorship deal that will allow it to compete in the 2002 BGN and in some Cup events. The Fenleys said the Challenge race team, which had shared the shop at 400 N. Fairview Ave. with Fenley Motorsports, now must find a new shop [must be out of the shop by Apr 1st]. They promised to announce more details about the sponsorship by the end of March. Fenley said in early December that Fenley Motorsports was on the verge of signing a sponsorship deal that would put its race team back on the Winston Cup circuit for four years. But Fenley said before Tuesday’s hearing that the deal never materialized. He said he probably would close Fenley Motorsports and go to work for Challenge. Derrike Cope, Fenley’s driver and a former Daytona 500 winner, and Ernie Elliott attended Tuesday’s hearing. Elliott testified that in June 2000, Fenley put up the race shop and grounds as security and agreed to pay $793,348.34 within six months in exchange for leased engines, an engine technician and other services. Elliott said Fenley had paid nothing on the money owed, so he wanted the race shop and grounds sold to satisfy the debt. Fenley testified that his company was struggling financially in early 2000 and was unable to consistently field a race team for lack of a major sponsor. But he still believed the $793,000 lease agreement entitled him to lease engines from Elliott if he got a sponsor. When a prospective sponsor did emerge in late summer, Fenley said, Elliott told him he would have to pay an additional $35,000 per race if he wanted engines. Under questioning by Elliott’s Spartanburg attorney, Max B. Cauthen Jr., Fenley acknowledged that he had asked Elliott what he would charge Fenley Motorsports to let the company lease Elliott’s engines to other race teams. Cauthen said Fenley wanted Elliott to let the other teams pay Ernie Elliott Inc. and have the money deducted from Fenley’s debt, but Elliott said he wanted to receive payments from Fenley. Recalled to the witness stand by his attorney, Elliott testified that Fenley asked him what he should charge anyone else wanting to use Elliott’s engines, so he recommended $35,000. Elliott said he never tried to charge Fenley for anything that was not in their agreement. Explaining his ruling, Couch said Elliott had made engines available to Fenley Motorsports whenever they were needed. Cope, who did not testify Tuesday, is standing in line behind Elliott as a judgment creditor against Fenley Motorsports. So is the South Carolina Department of Revenue, which has tax liens on the race shop and grounds. Cope, who left the Fenley operation in April 2000, claims it still owes him an unspecified portion of a $667,236 judgment an arbitrator awarded him a year ago. Cope had claimed in legal papers that Fenley violated his contract by failing to enter some NASCAR Winston Cup events. The driver also accused Fenley of being late with his February and March 2000 payments and failing to make the April 2000 payment.(in part and paraphrased from GoUpsate/Herald-Journal)(2-27-2002)
- Stricklin Tests Bristol: #23-Hut Stricklin tested at Bristol Motor Speedway this week in part to test the track after a pedestrian tunnel was put in underneath turn.(News and Record)(2-27-2002)
- Practice Engines at Atlanta? Roller Cams coming? Ganassi Racing's engine builder Tony Santanicola mentions "We might get a practice motor at Atlanta (if NASCAR relents), but we're going to get one for sure at places like Pocono and the 600 at Charlotte. I don't know about Michigan and Atlanta yet. But I put in my two cents for practice motors at those two tracks. They need to give us practice motors." AND Next year's engines may have a new twist, roller cams, an endurance concept used in the BGN for several years.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-27-2002)
- Labonte's Honored in Texas UPDATE: Terry [#5] and Bobby Labonte [#18] have been elected to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame located in Waco, TX. Induction ceremonies are scheduled for February 26rh, 2002. The Texas Sports Hall of Fame is a nonprofit, educational museum established to celebrate and preserve Texas' sports history. Other Auto Racing greats inducted: A.J. Foyt, Johnny Rutherford , Carroll Shelby , and Jim Hall . For more info, see their website: www.hallofame.org(12-5-2001)
UPDATE: Natives of Corpus Christi, the Terry and Bobby Labonte joined four ex-NFL greats and one former major-league standout in the 2002 class of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. The induction of the seven newest members was last night at Baylor University's Ferrell Center. Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, NFL Hall of Famers Dick "Night Train" Lane and Mike Munchak and Bruce Matthews, a Pro Bowl lineman with Houston and Tennessee, were scheduled for induction. Ex-Detroit Tigers first baseman Norm Cash also was inducted. Cash and Lane entered the hall posthumously. The Labontes are the only brothers to have won NASCAR Winston Cup championships. Terry Labonte, 44, won the title in 1984 and 1996. Bobby Labonte, 37, was the 2000 Winston Cup champ. The Texas Sports Hall of Fame Induction Committee is comprised of 21 members of the Texas Sports Writers Association. chaired by longtime sports writer Dave Campbell.(Corpus Christi Caller)(2-27-2002)
- Pearson, Woods back together: Nearly 23 years after the Wood Brothers and David Pearson parted company following a mixed-up pit stop at Darlington Raceway, two of the sport's legends will be back together again at the track they dominated in the 1970s. Pearson, 67, will come to the track next month to tutor Jon Wood, the 20-year-old grandson of Glen Wood, one of the founders of the legendary race team. Eddie Wood, who now is a part owner of the Woods racing team, is Glen's son and Jon's father. It was his idea to get Pearson to help Jon, who is in his first full season on the Craftsman Truck Series and has never run at Darlington, the track that bills itself as "Too Tough to Tame." For Pearson, taming Darlington was no problem. He leads all drivers with 12 poles and 10 wins at the track. Six of those wins and nine of the poles came in the Wood's cars. Even though the Woods and Pearson parted company during the 1979 season, they have remained close friends.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(2-27-2002)
- #33 and Wallace to Las Vegas UPDATE 5 not going to Vegas: Andy Petree plans to take his second car [#33, it used to be his first], which is unsponsored, to Las Vegas next weekend. Mike Wallace is driving that car.(Roanoke Times)(2-23-2002)
UPDATE: hearing that the #33 APR team has decided NOT to run the #33 Chevy at Las Vegas.(one source Mike Wallace Fanclub)(2-25-2002)
UPDATE 2: FSN's Totally NASCAR has Mike Wallace as still running the race at Las Vegas in the #33 APR Chevy.(2-25-2002)
UPDATE 3: on ESPN2's RPM 2 Night, Kenny Wallace said he talked to his brother Mike today and the #33 owner Andy Petree said that the team won't be able to continue on, which means the team won't be at Las Vegas, unless a sponsor comes aboard within the next few days.(2-25-2002)
UPDATE 4: but the Andy Petree Racing site is reporting the the #33 will go to Las Vegas: Full-season sponsorship remaining the most important part of car owner Andy Petree’s thinking, the #33 Andy Petree Racing Chevrolet and driver Mike Wallace will compete in Sunday’s race at Las Vegas. "We’ve had so many inquiries and so many discussions with potential sponsors, we just think the smartest thing for us to do right now is to take the long-range view - and that means running the race this week," said Petree. "I don’t want to be sitting there in a few weeks when sponsorship does come together and think, ‘Man, I wish we had run that Vegas race,’ and be in bad shape in the points and all that goes with it because of that," Petree said. "Looking at the big picture can be hard sometimes in this sport but the big picture is the only way for us to look at things right now." Petree, who also fields the #55 Schneider Electric Chevrolet of driver Bobby Hamilton, did say he needed some time to consider the Atlanta race, one week after Las Vegas. "At this point, we just about have to look at things that way. We didn’t make the decision to run Las Vegas until this past weekend," Petree said. "We took a look at where we stood with cars, with engines and with Mike (Wallace) and said, ‘OK, we can go out there and have all of the capabilities of being pretty competitive."(from a William Co PR on the APR site), so.......?(2-26-2002)
FINAL? UPDATE: Citing a potential sponsorship situation, Andy Petree Racing will not field the #33 car in this weekend’s NASCAR Winston Cup stock car racing event at Las Vegas after all. "A couple of things came up early this week that we weren’t anticipating on the sponsorship side and because of new needs we have with the crew and team, we just figure we’ll do better working in the shop this week," Petree said. "There are things we need to do now to put us in a better situation for the future. Running Las Vegas this
weekend is the thing to do if we look at it short term; taking this time to prepare for the future is the thing to do if we look at it long-term." Petree said a sponsor for the #33 has not been signed and the team is still seeking sponsorship but that recent events led him to believe it best to prepare for future races instead of competing in this one. "We’re still looking but we’re seeing some movement we haven’t seen before," Petree said. "Nothing is tougher on a racer than having a race and not being there. But this is just the smart thing to do." The #55 Schneider Electric Chevrolet with driver Bobby Hamilton will, of course, compete in this weekend’s 400-mile event.(Williams Company PR/APR)(2-26-2002)
- AMS testing Tuesday: #4-Mike Skinner set the fast lap Tuesday in another day of testing for Cup drivers preparing for the March 10 MBNA America 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Skinner's quickest lap around the 1.54-mile quad-oval was 187.487mph. #1-Kenny Wallace, #1-Steve Park, #12-Ryan Newman, #49-Shawna Robinson and ARCA driver Chase Montgomery also tested Tuesday. The speeds from Tuesday:
#4-Mike Skinner, 187.487
#12-Ryan Newman, 185.480
#49-Shawna Robinson, 184.677
#1-Kenny Wallace, 182.910
#1-Steve Park, 178.264.(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(2-26-2002)
- Trickle back in the #71 at Atlanta: The #71 Marcis Racing team has decided go to Atlanta and put Dick Trickle behind the wheel. Trickle attempted to make Rockingham for Marcis but was not fast enough or high enough in 2001 owners points.(Dick Trickle Fanclub Newsletter)(2-26-2002)
- Davis & Weight Motorsports now #52: Davis & Weight Motorsports will run the #52 Ford Taurus in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. No word on the team's first race or driver. Davis & Weight Motorsports is currently working to secure corporate partners to compete in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series.(Davis & Weight Motorsports Site) The team used to run the #55 in the BGN and was the #81 in Cup but never ran a Cup race since buying the team from Filmar Racing in 1999.(2-26-2002)
- Kenseth's car too low? UPDATE 3 $30,000 fine: hearing rumors that the #17 Ford that won the Subway 400 at Rockingham has been found to be too low in it's roof height. Supposedly it was reported on Speed Channel. If true, a fine would be levied but the win will stand..(2-24-2002)
UPDATE: Kenseth’s car was found to be lower than the minimum 51-inch height requirement in post-race inspection - an infraction that usually brings with it a fine but no change the results of the race.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-24-2002)
AND: After the race, NASCAR inspectors discovered that the height of Kenseth’s car was a quarter-inch below the minimum of 51 inches. “As in recent years, this decision has not affected the outcome of race positions and should not in this case,” said Danielle Humphrey, NASCAR’s senior manager of communications. “Any penalties and/or fines may be decided (today).’’(Fayetteville Observer)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR will not make an announcement on a fine or penalty until Tuesday.(2-25-2002)
UPDATE 3 - #17 Penalty Announced: - NASCAR Officials announced that Robbie Reiser, crew chief of the #17 Ford Taurus, received a $30,000 fine for a rule violation found during post-race inspection following Sunday's Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, N.C. Reiser was penalized under Section 12-4-T in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book, "Any car that is found to be under the specified height requirement after the completion… of the race." The minimum height requirement is 51 inches - the #17 car was approximately 1/4 of an inch too low.(NASCAR PR)
AND In a radio interview on "Fast Talk with Benny Parsons" on the Performance Racing Network Monday night, Kenseth said his car was too low because of a dent in the roof, which is where the height measurement is taken. Kenseth he did not know if the dent was made when he leaned over the car to celebrate with his crew, or by some sponsor products placed on the car's roof in victory lane ceremonies. Kenseth said all of the other parts of his car checked out OK in the postrace inspection.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-26-2002)
- Park to race at Vegas? UPDATE 2 No Vegas/Atlanta: Steve Park could be back in a racecar this weekend at Las Vegas. Park, who has been sidelined since September 1 because of a head injury suffered when his car veered out of control in a Busch race at Darlington, tested with his teammates last week at Charlotte and will participate in a two-car test with Kenny Wallace, who has been driving Park's car, this week at Atlanta. Dale Earnhardt Inc. technical director Steve Hmiel says that Park ran more than 100 laps at Charlotte, and they intended to test him in the 500-mile range early this week. “We're going to see if we can wear him out, but I don't think that's possible with how focused he's been lately,” Hmiel says. “He's well on the way to recovery.” Hmiel says Park is “fine in traffic.” Steve Petersen, from NASCAR's competition department, observed the session. But Park's physician must give clearance before he is able to race. As of Sunday, NASCAR had not been given the OK. Park had not been expected to return this soon, and Wallace will remain under contract. But if Park can return this weekend, Wallace is expected to turn his full attention to winning a Busch championship in his #48 car.(Sporting News)(2-25-2002)
AND Injured driver Steve Park, out of action since September 2001, will test today and Tuesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(Gaston Gazette)(2-25-2002)
UPDATE: FSN's Totally NASCAR reports that Park will NOT race this weekend at Las Vegas and is unlikely to race at Atlanta. Most reports seem to think Darlington will be Park's first Cup race back as long as he keeps progressing so well.
AND ESPN2's RPM 2 Night has Kenny Wallace on and he reported that he has been guaranteed to run the next two Cup races in the #1 Chevy (Las Vegas and Atlanta)(2-25-2002)
AND II Kenny Wallace will be in the #1 Pennzoil Chevy at Las Vegas and Atlanta. Pennzoil held a press conference Saturday at Rockingham in which Wallace very clearly stated that Steve was not even going to Las Vegas because it was too far to go watch a race.(2-26-2002)
- More on APR/Jones/DW: Darrell Waltrip says he is acting as ''matchmaker'' between Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and NASCAR team owner Andy Petree, as the two discuss a possible racing partnership. ''I'd think it's going to happen,'' Waltrip said yesterday. ''I believe Jerry Jones is serious about getting involved in NASCAR. Exactly when and how it will happen, those are some of the details we're still working on.'' Waltrip, a retired three-time champion from Franklin who serves as a Fox Network commentator, expects to be involved in the Jones-Petree team if it is finalized.(Tennessean)(2-26-2002)
- #99 Jackman UPDATE 2: hearing that Britt Goodrich, the jackman for #49-Shawna Robinson (who is not racing this week at Rockigham) #49, will jack the #99-Jeff Burton Ford at Rockingham as the regular #99 jackman, Brian Perry, injured an ankle last weekend in Daytona.(2-22-2002)
UPDATE: Shawna Robinson's jackman, Britt Goodrich, will jack Jeff Burton's No. 99 Ford today at the Rock. Burton's regular jackman, Brian Perry, injured an ankle last week at Daytona International Speedway when Kyle Petty's car ran into the jackman on pit road during the Daytona 500.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-24-2002)
UPDATE 2: Brian Perry, the jackman for Jeff Burton, will go to a doctor later this week to see if he can jack the car this weekend at Las Vegas. Perry was hit in the ankle by the car of Kyle Petty during the Daytona 500. Perry suffered a cut on his right ankle that required stitches, but his ankle was not broken nor sprained.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-26-2002)
- Why was Robby Gordon....? UPDATE: getting this question much today - Why was Robby Gordon called to the NASCAR trailer after the race? On CNN/Si's NASCAR Plus, Benny Parsons said that Gordon was called to the NASCAR trailer because after making contact with #48-Jimmie Johnson and cutting a tire down, he did not pit the #31 Chevy when NASCAR told him to, he stayed out on the track, the tire blew ripped some sheet metal off the car.(2-25-2002)
UPDATE: On Lap 387, Robby Gordon was hit by Jimmie Johnson on the backstretch, sending Gordon spinning out of control. After staying clear of the field, an angry Gordon, who was running in the top 10 at the time of the accident, restarted his car and returned to the track. He did not pit on his first pass of pit road, and after not pitting a second time, the damage to his car took its toll. A rear tire blew and debris scattered across the frontstretch, forcing NASCAR to display the yellow. Gordon, crew chief Gil Martin and the team’s spotter, Tim Overby, were called to the NASCAR trailer after the race. Martin was admonished for not getting Gordon to pit sooner. "NASCAR said we had an opportunity to get on pit road and Robby should have done that. They basically said by staying out, we caused the last caution which was detrimental to the outcome of the race," Martin said. "I understand their position. But at the same time, why was the yellow not thrown when my driver first spun on the backstretch, which could have been a dangerous situation for him and detrimental to our team?" Martin said both sides simply expressed their opinions on the matter during the meeting. There are no penalties forthcoming related to the incident. NASCAR spokesperson Danielle Humphrey said officials were trying to get Gordon to pit or at least get below the apron to prevent fluids or pieces of sheet metal from being dropped on the racing groove.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-26-2002)
- NAPCM Pit Crew of the Week: The #17 DeWalt Crew kept Matt in contention all day with lightening fast pit stops. Congratulations to the #17 DeWalt Crew for earning their trip to victory lane at the Rockingham Subway 400.(NAPCM PR)(2-26-2002)
- #48 Crewman hurt UPDATE: The tire carrier for #48-Jimmie Johnson, David Bryant, was injured during the first round of pit stops and has been transferred to a local hospital for x-rays on his right leg, he is awake and alert. MRN radio reports that Bryant was hit by the car that pits in front of Johnson (Mark Martin), he was taken to Richmond Memorial Hospital in Rockingham, NC with an injury between the knee and ankle. It was reported later in the race that Bryant has a broken right leg and is being transferred to a Charlottee hospital.
UPDATE: David Bryant, the front-tire carrier for rookie Jimmie Johnson who was injured in a pit road accident Sunday at Rockingham, had surgery to repair a compound fracture of his right leg and remains in Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.
Bryant, 23, was hit on pit road by the car of Mark Martin during a round of pit stops on Lap 20 of Sunday’s Subway 400. Bryant is expected to be out of action for up to five months. Jay Lupo, a mechanic with the #24 team of Jeff Gordon, substituted for Bryant Sunday and will continue in that role.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-25-2002)
- AMS testing Monday: #49-ShawnaRobinson and #1-Kenny Wallace had identical fast laps Monday in a test of four NASCAR Winston Cup drivers preparing for the March 10 MBNA America 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Wallace and Robinson each had quick laps around the 1.54-mile quad-oval at 185.418mph. #4-Mike Skinner also tested Wednesday, and injured Steve Park stepped in the #1 Pennzoil car for a few laps. Robinson will try to be the first woman since Janet Guthrie in 1977 to compete in a Cup race at Atlanta. She's no stranger to Atlanta, though, having won the BGN pole in 1994 and nearly winning the 2000 ARCA race, leading until the final caution with just a handful of laps left. Tickets as low as $25 are still available for the March 8-10 MBNA America 500 weekend. Speed from testing Monday:
#1-Kenny Wallace, 185.418
#49-Shawna Robinson, 185.418
#4-Mike Skinner, 184.800
#1-Steve Park, 176.560.(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(2-25-2002)
- Kmart Done: Rockingham was the final race for Kmart as the official sponsor of #66-Todd Bodine and #26-Joe Nemechek. Kmart filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January and can't fulfill its commitment. Team owner Travis Carter said he has just enough money to take the cars to race in Las Vegas next weekend.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-25-2002)
see the Feb 18-24, 2002 Archived News Page
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