No Toyota soon? Despite claims to the contrary from sources inside NASCAR, and consistent claims from Dodge, Chevy and Ford truck teams, Toyota says it is not entering the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2003 and not necessarily even in 2004.(Autoweek). NOTE: the Jayski Toyota car Don drew is just for fun and a goof, not to be taken seriously.(6-30-2002)
Labonte to help out kids racing: There's a move afoot to start a North Carolina quarter-midget racing association, with Winston Cup driver Bobby Labonte helping push the effort to get a one-twentieth-mile track built where children 5 to 16 can race.
Labonte would like for his 8-year-old son, Tyler, and other boys and girls interested in racing the scaled-down versions of U.S. Auto Club midget cars to have a place in the Carolinas to compete.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-30-2002)
and whatever happened to....the Humpy Bumper: Lately, talk of the "Humpy Bumper," has lost a little bit steam, but in a NASCAR.com column, Humpy Wheeler uses his monthly column to update the fans about where development stands. Work continues to proceed on it, but part of Lew Composites, the primary manufacturer of the bumper, is in the process of being sold. Wheeler has met with the potential new owners and they're excited about getting into this project and progressing it further. Wheeler's role in the development of the bumper was simply inspirational and he challenged Paul Lew to build it. Well, Paul has since left Lew Composites, and that really stalled the bumper's development.(see full story at NASCAR.com and past news on my The Humpy Bumper page)(6-30-2002)
RCR Crew Chief to own a NHRA team: supposedly there is an announcement coming this weekend by Mark Whisnant that he is teaming up with NASCAR crew chief Kevin Hamlin to form a two-car Pro Stock team is already paying dividends as Whisnant powered to a fourth-best 6.890 at 200.38 mph. "We'll take the engineering from over there and put it together with the engineering from over here and we can only get better," said Hamlin, who was seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt's crew chief at the time of his death and now heads Robbie Gordon's [#31] car. "Already I can see a lot of things over here that I'd like to try. It'll take time but it should be interesting and a whole lot of fun. I owe my career to drag racing and the fact the pits are open. I used to come to the drag races in the early 1970s and I'd just stand there and watch guys until they finally started talking to me. I wouldn't be where I am today if fans weren't allowed in the pits. I think it's so cool."(NHRA.com, heads up to The Racing Report)(6-29-2002)
BAM Racing gets Daytona sponsor: BAM Racing announced today that dakota imaging, inc., a leading provider of high-volume transaction processing systems and services, has signed on as the a primary sponsor of the #49 Dodge driven by Shawna Robinson for the Pepsi 400 NASCAR Winston Cup event July 6th at Daytona. Chuck Ramsburg, dakota imaging Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said, "We were impressed with the ability to showcase our brand and drive sales through the unique business to business aspect of the BAM Racing opportunity. It should be a great night under the lights in Daytona." BAM Racing General Manager, Eddie Jones said, "We want to thank and welcome dakota imaging on board. As a team, we have committed ourselves to certain goals for the second half of the season. Although we only have a one-race agreement, Dakota¹s support is a sign that we
are building a solid program capable of achieving those goals." Shawna Robinson driver of the No. 49 BAM Racing Dodge stated, "I am really excited to be representing Dakota Imaging. This is a great opportunity for BAM Racing and Dakota Imaging. We hope to give them a good showing at the Pepsi 400 under the lights at Daytona."(BAM Racing PR)(6-29-2002)
Elliott Scheme: Bill Elliott / Dodge Viper ‘2002 - The promotion surrounding this program is related to the launch of the 2003 real Viper car, which goes on sale to the public October 2002. Dodge will be touring a show car of this paint scheme around the country to miscellaneous dealerships. Elliott will race this special paint scheme October 13th in Charlotte.(6-27-2002) Image: see an image of the scheme on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(6-29-2002)
Special #97 scheme: #97-Kurt Busch will run a Little Tikes paint scheme at Homestead in November, have an inage of the scheme in the Paint Scheme Gallery. This was initially rumored to run at the 2002 Bud Shootout, but didn't.(6-29-2002)
Indy Testing: Indianapolis Motor Speedway has scheduled four days of Cup testing at the track, July 9-10 and July 15-16, and most every Cup team will test. A complete schedule of the teams/drivers for each of the tests can be seen at: www.brickyard.com.(6-28-2002)
New VP for Morgan-McClure: Morgan-McClure Motorsports announced the addition of Jerry Wallner, a business associate of the team for many years, to its staff. Wallner, who recently retired from his position of Director of Sponsorships with the Eastman Kodak Company, will join the Abingdon, Va.-based team on July 1, 2002. Wallner's role at Morgan-McClure Motorsports will be Vice President of Marketing. His duties will include setting a strategic marketing focus for the team. He will also coordinate all marketing related activities for the Kodak MAX Film Monte Carlo. Wallner is a graduate of Loyola College in Baltimore with a degree in marketing. He also attended graduate school at Syracuse University in Sales and Marketing. While with Kodak, he held a series of positions including marketing, sales management and extensive sponsorship management. He was responsible for partnerships between Kodak and theme parks, sports marketing, entertainment, special events and cause marketing. Familiar with Morgan-McClure Motorsports through many years of working with Larry McClure and the Kodak sponsorship of the team, Wallner looks to help enhance the race program with extended sponsorships and increased marketing ventures. He and his wife Carmen reside in Atlanta, Ga., from where he will work closely with McClure and the veteran race team.(Morgan-McClure Motorsports PR)(6-28-2002)
Rudd to retire? UPDATE: Justin Ditmore of WSLS Newschannel 10 reports that Ricky Rudd has made a decision on his future in the 28 car, and in racing in general. Sources tell Newschannel 10 hat the 45 year old has decided to call it quits after the 2002 season. Rudd's contract with Robert Yates Racing is up after this year,, he's made no secret he'd like to spend more time at home with his family.(WSLS Newschannel 10-NBC)(6-27-2002) UPDATE: ESPN2's RPM 2 Night reports that Ricky Rudd met with Jerry Jones [who is supposedly buying intp Andy Petree Racing] about driving for him next season.(6-28-2002)
NAPCM Pit Crew of The Week: #5-Terry Labonte's Kelloggs crew earned a much deserved top five finish at Infineon Raceway. Stop times like 15.2 kept the Kelloggs car in the hunt.(NAPCM PR)(6-28-2002)
Petree Announcement UPDATE - 2 AT&T and Carrot Top: hearing a major sponsorship announcement and car unveiling for Andy Petree Racing and driver Mike Wallace in Charlotte, NC on Thursday morning, June 27th, for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona.(6-24-2002) UPDATE: For Daytona, Petree will be back to two cars, with Mike Wallace behind the wheel of the #33 Chevy and Bobby Hamilton, as usual, piloting the #55 Schneider Electric Chevy. “We are going to have a press conference Thursday in Charlotte to announce the sponsorship deal on the 33 car for Daytona,” Steve Barkdoll, APR’s executive vice president/general manager, said Monday at the shop. “We are looking forward to a good relationship with that sponsor. The company is well known, and right now, as it has been in the past for us, it’s just a one-race deal.”(Henderson Times)(6-25-2002) UPDATE: fans are invited to attend a press conference to unveil primary Sponsorship of the #33 Chevy for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday, June 27, 2002 at 11:00am/et, at Polk Park, Charlotte, NC.(Corner of Trade & Tryon Street in Uptown Charlotte). Take 85 to 77 South, then Exit #11 (Brookshire Freeway.), then take the Tryon/Church Street Exit, next turn right on Tryon Street. Polk Park will be on the right.(6-26-2002) UPDATE 2: Watch for the ATT, 1-800-callatt, sponsored Carrot Top car being driven by Mike Wallace at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona on July 6th, 2002 (Mike Wallace Site) AND Car owner Andy Petree and driver Mike Wallace have picked up sponsorship for the July 6 Pepsi 400 at Daytona from 1 800-CALLATT for Collect Calls. The single-event sponsorship has all parties excited, including APR’s honorary crew chief, pitch man Carrot Top. “I've tried imagining the excitement of the moment – of seeing my face on the 1 800 CALLATT car, cruising around the track in Daytona in front of the best fans in the world. I'm definitely psyched to be in on the action,” Carrot Top said. “As a huge NASCAR fan, all I can say is that it's going to be so cool - and my face is more attractive at 200 mph anyway!” For team owner Andy Petree, the highly-visible partnership is an opportunity for a team under his guidance to excel on a superspeedway, something APR teams have done consistently over the past few seasons.(ThatsRacin.com), see images of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(6-27-2002)
Wallace back to black? hearing #2-Rusty Wallace will run a MGD (Miller Geniune Draft) black and gold scheme at either Martinsville or Atlanta (or both) and......it may be a preview to the return of the black and gold scheme for 2003.(6-27-2002)
Rick Mast's Condition? been asked quite a bit about ailing #90 driver, Rick Mast, have not heard a thing, if I do, it'll be posted.(6-27-2002)
Sadler is quiet until August/Rudd has options UPDATE Sadler to Yates, but different team?: Although Elliott Sadler has solidified his deal for next year—he signed a confidentiality clause that keeps him mum until August—almost everyone else is waiting to hear Ricky Rudd's plans for 2003 before more moves are made. Rudd says his preferences, in order, are: remain in the #28 Ford, retire, go to a new team. Rudd says he doesn't think staying with Robert Yates in the #28 is an option. Rudd says he has been offered several contracts, and Chip Ganassi's name keeps popping up as a potential new boss.(Sporting News) UPDATE: Ricky Rudd said after his victory on Sunday that he still hasn't made a decision about whether he'll retire after this season. He said he plans to think about his future on a vacation with his family next week, where he'll spend the final off weekend of the 2002 Winston Cup season. If he does return for another year, he said his first option would be to remain as driver of the No. 28 Fords at Robert Yates Racing - but he's not sure if that option is open. This is the final year of his contract with Yates and Rudd said he hasn't been able to get Yates to tell him for sure if Elliott Sadler has already been picked to take that ride.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-24-2002) UPDATE 2: WSLS Newschannel 10 say that Elliott Sadler has signed with Robert Yates Racing, but will drive a 3rd team and not the #28 Havoline Ford. Sadler's deal has a confidentiality agreement which says he cant say anything about the deal till August. The 3rd team will have M&M's as the sponsor which is leaving the #36 car after this year.(WSLS Newschannel 10-NBC)(6-27-2002)
Nadeau Road Racing at DIS: Jerry Nadeau will test the right-and left-turns at Daytona International Speedway. Nadeau will partner with Indy Racing League driver Anthony Lazzaro in the #7 Nissan-powered Lola of Rand Racing in the Jani-King Paul Revere 250 July 4 road course event at Daytona. "I am really excited about doing this. It's going to be a lot of fun. Anthony is a great driver, and he's been doing really well in the series. Hopefully, I'll be able to get up-to-speed on Wednesday during practice," said Nadeau, who has extensive road racing experience in various types of race cars. I'm mainly doing this for fun. I want to go out and drive the wheels off it. I would love to do the Rolex 24 At Daytona someday, so hopefully this will open the door for me"(ThatsRacin.com)(6-27-2002)
Paul Tracy to NASCAR? UPDATE: Barry Green, who owns the team for which Tracy drives, is rumoured to be following the lead of Roger Penske and jumping to the IRL full-time next season. If he does, Tracy said there's a good chance he won't follow, and will try his luck in NASCAR. He's been approached by Richard Childress, and is lining up a test for later in the summer. "If CART doesn't survive, I'd have to seriously look at NASCAR," he said. "I'm a road racer, but if I'm going to be forced to run on ovals, I'm going to do go where I can prosper. There's more opportunity in NASCAR."(Globe and Mail(5-26-2002) UPDATE: Paul Tracy, if CART is no longer a viable option, he said he would look seriously at finding a ride in NASCAR. "I'd really miss [the road races],'' Tracy said amid growing speculation that teams such as his Team Kool Green might jump to the all-oval Indy Racing League. "If I'm going to be forced to run ovals all the time, I'd take a look at NASCAR as well as the IRL. I want to stay in CART, and I know that Barry [Green, the Team Green owner] does, too. But he's waiting for a decision from Kool, and they're the ones that pay the sponsorship.'' The thought of Tracy, 33, in a stock car might seem unusual. He's in the 12th year of his CART career and has the second-most victories of any active driver in the series. But despite his strong open-wheel roots, Tracy said he would investigate his NASCAR options. "I've got some contacts with a couple of [NASCAR] teams,'' he said. "It's not a real race car, but they're out there banging doors, so they're not loafing around. And I'm still pretty young compared to most of them, so I still have some time. They are what they are. But they make a lot of money, and it's still racing.''(Chicago Sun Times)(6-27-2002)
Hornish to NASCAR? UPDATE: heard from a few readers that it was reported on Indianapolis TV channel 13 WTHR/NBC on their 6:30pm newscast that IRL driver Sam Hornish has signed with DEI to drive in some BGN and possibly a Cup race or two in 2003. On ESPN2's RPM 2 Night, Robin Miller reported that Hornish's current team, Panther Racing [sponsor Pennaoil], has picked up Hornish's contract option for 2003 to run the full IRL season. Being told that Hornish will run the full IRL season and a few BGN races for DEI.(6-26-2002) UPDATE: Ty Norris, executive vice president for high-profile DEI, confirmed Wednesday plans are being finalized to have Sam Hornish Jr., the defending Indy Racing League champion, compete in "some" stock car races next season. Hornish likely will drive in the BGN, although John Barnes, general manager of Hornish's IRL team, Panther Racing, said the deal could include Cup races at the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400. "We're two or three weeks away from knowing our entire lineup for next year," Norris said. "But Hornish is something we want to do if we can get the details worked out." Hornish, who turns 23 next week, emphasized he will remain a full-time IRL driver, in part because he's locked in to Panther through next season. The Indianapolis-based team officially exercised its third-year option on Hornish in January and is negotiating an extension through 2005. Both sides hope to sign the contract by season's end. Hornish said his priority remains in the IRL with Panther. They are currently third in points with two wins this season. "(NASCAR) might be (worth) more money, but it's twice as much traveling," Hornish said. "I'd like to stay with (Panther) for the next 10 years. It might not work out that way, but that's what I want."(Indianapolis Star)(6-27-2002)
Daytona testing from Wednesday: Ron Hornaday is subbing for the vacationing Shawna Robinson in the #49 BAM Racing Dodge during this week's two-day test session at Daytona International Speedway for the July 6 Pepsi 400. While Hornaday is trying to fine-tune the #49 Dodge for BAM Racing, he also hopes to pull away some information for his #26 Dr. Pepper Chevrolet that he races in the BGN with Carroll Racing. Also wrapping up the test session on Wednesday was Phoenix Racing. Geoffrey Bodine tested a Cup car while Joe Ruttman shook down the #1 BGN Chevy and Pontiac that will be used in the BGN race at Daytona with Jimmy Spencer driving. Kasey Kahne, driver of the #98 Channellock Ford for Robert Yates Racing in the BGN, shortened their test and left on Tuesday. In random hand-held times taken on Wednesday, Bodine and Ruttman were fastest, each turning laps in the 182.556mph range.(DIS PR)(6-27-2002)
Cup testing at Kentucky on Thursday: Six Cup teams will test at Kentucky on Thursday June 27th. #7-Casey Atwood; #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr.; #15-Michael Waltrip; #19-Jeremy Mayfield; #40-Sterling Marlin; and #41-Jimmy Spencer. No word if it open to the public.(Kentucky Speedway)(6-27-2002)
Tryson wins award: Elliott Sadler drove his #21 Motorcraft Ford from a 40th place start to a sixth place finish at last Sunday's Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway. Fuel strategy, great pit stops and heads-up driving took the Motorcraft Taurus up through the field and kept it up front most of the day, helping earn team crew chief Pat Tryson this week's "Irwin Rough to the Finish Award." Each week throughout the Cup season, Irwin, makers of professional power tool accessories, is partnering with Performance Racing Network [PRN] to honor the crew chief who had the toughest day in the pits, but still managed to help his team to a strong finish. The Irwin Rough to the Finish Award includes an assortment of tools for the crew chief and a $250 check donated to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund in the racing team's name. The year-end winner of the crew chief points standings will win a $5,000 check donated to the Fund. Race fans wanting to make a contribution to the Fund may do so by sending it to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund, PO Box 443, Ellerbe, NC 28338.(Golin Harris PR)(6-27-2002)
TRAC to ESPN?:MotorsportTV.com is reporting that TRAC is close to signing an agreement with is ESPN. There's no word if ABC is included in the mix.(6-27-2002)
CTS to Speed Channel?MotorsportTV.com is also hearing that the Craftsman Truck Series is close to signing a deal to be broadcast on Speed Channel. A deal may be done within the next month.(6-272002)
New Museum in SC: The people behind the Motor Racing Museum of the South, targeted for a 2005 opening on Pine Street in Spartanburg [SC], hope to return the city to its former prominence as a motorsports hub. Work has begun on the $20 million facility at the site of the former Beaumont Mill, a textile factory. The building and the grounds were donated to the museum by Spartanburg businessman Jimmy Gibbs. The museum complex also may house the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame, an organization without a home. Negotiations with hall officials are continuing. The racing museum has been in design stages for about two years, and fund-raising events featuring Pearson and Moore produced money for planning and administration. More fund-raisers are planned, and museum development director Paul Ianuario said the museum will be built with a combination of public and private funding. The South already is home to numerous racing museums, including the Joe Weatherly Stock Car Racing Museum in Darlington, the new Thunder Road USA museum in Dawsonville, Ga., Daytona USA adjacent to Daytona International Speedway in Florida and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum in Talladega, Ala. The Spartanburg museum will stand apart, Ianuario said, because its proposed design will educate visitors not only about race car drivers and their cars but also about the times and conditions in which they raced. The centerpiece of the museum, as it is currently planned, will be a speedway "straightaway" that will provide a walking avenue through a series of displays dedicated to auto racing in particular decades. Racing dioramas would include replicas of buildings and other scenes from the time period. The 170,000-square-foot facility also might include a large-screen theater, an upscale restaurant and a working garage area that could house a small racing team.(Greenville News)(6-27-2002)
Benson And Ince Re-up with MBV? UPDATE: the Insider Racing site is reporting that inside sources have told them that Johnny Benson, driver of the #10 Valvoline Pontiac, and his crew chief, James Ince, have signed a new contract with MBV for at least one more year. No further details are known at this time.(6-25-2002) UPDATE: sources with the team tell me that while MBV is talking with [negotiating] with Benson and Ince, nothing has yet been signed. There have been "exploratory" conversations with a couple of other owners, but the objective all along has been to keep the "gang" together right where they are [the #10 MBV team](6-26-2002)
Most Popular Driver Update: Shattering all previous vote totals, the 2002 Grands Biscuits National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award poll has surpassed 1 million fan votes in only four months of online voting. The highest vote total previous recorded for the award is 400,000. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who has led the poll since voting opened in March, continues to be the top vote recipient with nearly 300,000 votes to date.. Bill Elliott is currently in second place followed in the top 10 by Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin, Kyle Petty, Rusty Wallace, Kevin Harvick and Michael Waltrip. NASCAR Winston Cup fans can continue to vote online once per day at www.nascarpopulardriver.com through Nov. 10. The Grands Biscuits NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award will be presented during the NASCAR Winston Cup Awards Banquet weekend in New York [Dec 6th, 2002].(Williams Company)(6-26-2002)
Labonte paint to honor hero: hearing that Bobby Labonte will run a special paint scheme on the #18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac, not sure when (hearing Dover or New Hampshire) but it is a September 11th tribute scheme (red, white and blue - no green) to benefit the Todd Beamer Foundation (one of the heroes of flight 93 that crashed in PA), see my Paint Scheme Gallery (link fixed) for a image of the scheme.(6-26-2002)
Little E on cover of Sports Ilustrated: This week's edition of Sports Illustrated Magazine (cover date: July 1, 2002) features Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the cover. The prestigious sports weekly shines the spotlight on "The NASCAR Nation" -- and how the explosive growth of the sport is being fueled by Earnhardt Jr's fame and success. The extensive cover story was written by Jeff MacGregor, who, along with his wife, is traveling the entire Winston Cup circuit in a RV to experience as much of the NASCAR phenomenon as possible. Portrait photographs of Dale Jr. were shot by Walter Iosse Jr. (at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Va.) and Peter Gregoire (at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte, NC).(Bud PR)(6-26-2002)
Head and Neck Restraints Tested: Wayne State University officials conducted crash tests Tuesday on a new HANS device, a Hutchens device and a new head restraint called a D-cel. Ken Adams, company director at Hubbard-Downing, which produces the HANS, said company officials used the test to try out a new attachment to the helmet that is supposed to make it easier for drivers to hook and unhook the tethers to the helmet. Adams said the new attachment also is stronger and lighter. Once the new piece passes the test, Adams said the company is ready to add those to their head-and-neck restraints. The D-cel being tested is a new head-and-neck restraint device. It's made by Safety Solutions, which now makes the Hutchens device. The D-cel device wraps around the driver and relies on the pelvis to anchor the system. The harness does not hook into the lap belt as the Hutchens device does. So far, the only head-and-neck restraints approved by NASCAR are the HANS and the Hutchens device.(Roanoke Times)(6-26-2002)
Robby Gordon Staying at RCR: It appears neither driver Robby Gordon nor team owner Richard Childress wants to end the relationship [between Gordon and the team/owner]. "As far as I'm concerned, I'd like to see Robby here for a long, long time," Childress said. "Robby is a lot better driver than the cars we've given him." Said Gordon: "We have until (Aug. 1) to talk about 2003. I really enjoy working for (Childress). Richard Childress is a racer, and I enjoy driving for a racer."(Arizona Republic)(6-26-2002)
Nadeau and Earnhardt Jr test Chicago: #00-Jerry Nadeau and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. tested at Chicagoland Speedway on Tuesday in preparation for the July 14 Cup stop. Nadeau is driving a car owned by Michael Waltrip in a one-race deal. A miscommunication between Nadeau and Waltrip led Waltrip to believe this past weekend that Nadeau would not be in the car for Chicago because of another opportunity.(Roanoke Times)(6-26-2002)
Give Kids the World back on the #32: Ricky Craven and 9-year old Vanessa Alvarez of nearby Hayward, CA unveiled the 2002 #32 Tide/Give Kids The World Ford, which will be run later this year [in July] at New Hampshire. Give Kids The World is a non-profit resort for children with life-threatening illnesses whose one wish is to visit Central Florida's best-loved attractions. More than 4,500 children from around the world visit each year. As part of their stay, children are encouraged to submit a special paint scheme for the Tide Ford. Vanessa, who suffers from a form of leukemia, was selected as this year's winner. This signature design benefits the Give Kids The World Village through the sale of die-cast replicas of the race car. After unveiling the car at San Francisco's Chrissy Park, Craven spoke about what the Give Kids The World charity means to him and the fact that the special paint scheme will adorn the #32 Tide Ford at NHIS. "Give Kids The World is such a magical place for these children," he said. "Being able to run this special paint scheme at New Hampshire in July is really special. I've always enjoyed such a great following in New England and, hopefully, this car will bring even more recognition to the Give Kids The World Village," he added.(PPI Motorsports PR). See my Paint Scheme Gallery for a image of the scheme.(6-26-2002)
Marlin Testing: #40-Sterling Marlin is spending this week testing at two different tracks. The Coors Light Dodge team tested at Memphis Motorsports Park on Tuesday and will finish up there Wednesday. Thursday and Friday Marlin will turn laps at Kentucky Speedway. Since the Winston Cup Series does not visit those two facilities, the tests do not count against the teams' allotment of seven. Why the hectic test schedule? According to Marlin "the stuff has changed so much it's crazy track set-ups that work, so we have to get back and find out what the cars want and what the cars need and how to make adjustments."(PRN's Garage Pass)(6-26-2002)
Special Paint Scheme for the #45 - MIB UPDATE: Today, Sprint is announcing a new marketing campaign that leverages the company's promotional partnership with the highly anticipated summer film "Men in Black II" (MIB II), which opens in theaters
nationwide on July 3. In director Barry Sonnenfeld's "Men in Black II," agents Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) and Jay (Will Smith) reunite to provide "our best, last and only line of defense" against a sinister seductress. This is the toughest challenge yet to MIB's untarnished mission of "protecting the earth from the scum of the universe." Sprint's newest ad campaign features the Sprint Guy talking to three
MIB II worms. In classic Sprint style, the Sprint Guy clears up confusion caused by cellular static that results in miscommunication
about bringing home "tangerines … NOT trampolines." To coincide with the launch of the movie, the #45 Sprint Dodge driven by Kyle Petty will showcase a "Men in Black II" paint scheme designed solely for the July 6 NASCAR Winston Cup race in Daytona, FL.(6-24-2002) AND See my Paint Scheme Gallery(link fixed) for a image of the scheme found at the Sprint Site.(6-26-2002)
Driver killed at track [not a fan] while loading car in pit area [not stands] UPDATE: One person was killed and another was injured in the stands at the Wythe Raceway [Wytheville VA] Saturday night when a car crash sent a tire from a race car into the stands. Sheriff Kermit Osborne said the incident at 10:00pm Saturday is under investigation. He did not have any information about the two victims or the driver of the car that lost the tire. The track, located in Wythe County off of Interstate 81 at Rural Retreat, was hosting "Children's Gold Rush" Saturday night. No track officials could be reached for comment Sunday.(Roanoke Times)(6-25-2002) UPDATE: A man killed in an accident Saturday night at Wythe Raceway has been identified as a 39-year-old North Carolina man who was loading a race car onto a trailer. Lacy Don McNeill of West Jefferson, N.C., and his son had both driven in earlier races at the track and were in a pit area when a loose wheel struck McNeill on the head. The wheel had come from a broken axle flange when three cars collided on a track straightaway, Wythe County Chief Deputy Doug King said Monday. None of the drivers involved in the crash was injured. A Med-Flight helicopter landed at the track and two paramedics joined members of the Wythe County Rescue Squad in trying to stabilize McNeill, King said . They decided against transporting him to Roanoke by helicopter, and instead took him by ambulance to Wythe County Community Hospital, where he died. "It's just a freak accident. So sad," King said. After the wheel struck McNeill, it injured another person in the pit area, Donna Kelley, 33, also of West Jefferson. Kelley suffered minor injuries to her left elbow and wrist, her right hip and her neck. She was treated at the hospital and released, King said. The track is located just off Interstate 81 at Rural Retreat, west of Wytheville. It has been about 20 years since there had been another fatality at the track. The last one was when a flagman was struck by a race car.(Roanoke Times)(6-26-2002)
Daytona testing from Tuesday: On Tuesday, #09-Geoffrey Bodine, the 1986 Daytona 500 champion, returned to Daytona International Speedway for a two-day test session with that same James Finch-owned car he finished 3rd in the Daytona 500 back in Feb. Other drivers testing on Tuesday at the Speedway included Ron Hornaday (subbing for the vacationing Shawna Robinson in the #49 BAM Racing Dodge), Kasey Kahne (wheeling the #98 Channellock Ford for Robert Yates Racing in the Busch Series) and Joe Ruttman (testing a Chevrolet and a #1 Pontiac for Finch's Busch Series team and driver Jimmy Spencer). Despite sone rain showers, the teams were able to squeeze in some laps. In random hand-held times, Bodine was the fastest with a lap of 182.927mph followed by Ruttman (182.186), Kahne (181.087) and Hornaday (180.000). Testing continues on Wednesday and is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.(DIS PR)(6-26-2002)
Nadeau in a Waltrip car at Chicago? an Image: ESPN2 RPM 2 Night's Ray Dunlap reports that Jerry Nadeau will drive a Michael Waltrip owned car at Chicagoland and possibly some additional races.(6-12-2002) UPDATE: hearing Nadeau will be driving the Michael Waltrip Racing Inc. #00 Chevy, sponsored by Aaron's Sales & Lease Ownership, at Chicagoland Speedway.(6-18-2002) UPDATE 2: hearing Waltrip has purchased a Cup car from DEI (a former #15 NAPA car) and will lease DEI engines. Suppoesdly a one-race deal right now, but may end up at the Brickyard 400 also.(6-19-2002) UPDATE 3 Nadeau/Waltrip official: Jerry Nadeau will pilot the #00 Aaron's Dream Machine at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, July 14th. The car will be Michael Waltrip Racing's second venture as a Winston Cup team owner. Waltrip fielded the #98 Aaron's Dream Machine driven by Kenny Wallace in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway this past April. Aaron's Sales and Lease Ownership will sponsor the #00 Winston Cup entry. Nadeau, a native of Danbury, CT, logged his first Winston Cup start June 15, 1997 and his first win in the 2000 NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Recently, he was behind the wheel of the #10 Valvoline Pontiac while Johnny Benson recovered from injuries sustained at Richmond International Speedway earlier this year. Last weekend at Sears Point, rear-end gear failure with three laps to go cost him the victory in the #44 Petty Enterprises car. Waltrip, whom owns and drives the #99 Aaron's Dream Machine in the BGN, bought the Winston Cup car from Dale Earnhardt, Inc. "Aaron's comes to me about everything they do in NASCAR", said Waltrip. "I wanted to field another Winston Cup car and they were willing to back me."
"I don't know about other companies," said Ken Butler, President of Aaron's, "but NASCAR works for us. You have to advertise where demographics show your customers are and NASCAR fans are our customers. We're using it to drive our customer base. So we're more than happy to join this endeavor with Michael, Waltrip Racing and Jerry Nadeau."
"I'm excited that Michael and Aaron's are giving me this chance," said Nadeau. "Especially at a track like Chicago. I almost won there last year. Mile and a half tracks have in general been good to me. And the guys at the shop have been working their butts off to give me a great car to test with. It's going to be a fun weekend and hopefully if things go well I'll have more opportunities like this in the future." For more information on Aaron's, please visit www.shopaarons.com or call 1-800-950-7368.(Aaron's PR)(6-25-2002) AND See my Paint Scheme Gallery for a image of the scheme.(6-26-2002)
Congrats: Heidi Stoddard brought into the world a 6 lb. 7 oz. baby girl at 7:30am this morning. Heidi and Frank [#99 Crew Chief] named her Alexis Heather Stoddard. Mother and baby are doing great. Heidi does the PR for Ward Burton and the #22 CAT team.(6-25-2002)
Stock car documentary beginning production: An independent documentary on stock car racing from inception to present day is in the beginning stages of production. The film, "Walk of Legends: Then and Now", will feature driver interviews with the likes of Bobby Allison and Joe Nemechek as well as major events in the history of NASCAR.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-25-2002)
Ward close to re-upping with Davis UPDATE maybe not: Mike Brown, general manager for Bill Davis' #22 race team, says he and Ward Burton could come to terms on a contract renewal in the next few days.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-22-2002) UPDATE: [#22,#23] car owner Bill Davis says it's fair to consider the car with Ward Burton as driver to be open for next season after Burton didn't sign a contract extension before the team's deadline. "He had a 30-day window to sign a contract and he chose not to do it," Davis said. Burton said he had planned to sign it but family matters came up and he missed the deadline. Either way, the contract was not signed and Burton's status at Bill Davis Racing - a place Burton has been since late in the 1995 season - is cloudy. Also, this weekend reports surfaced that Jerry Nadeau would replace Hut Stricklin in Davis' second team, possibly as soon as Daytona. "I don't know where that came from," Davis said. "Hut's the driver. Hut's going to be the driver."(Roanoke Times) OR It appears that Ward Burton is ready to sign a new contract with car owner Bill Davis, after haggling for several months. In fact, Burton might already have signed, according to team sources.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-25-2002)
Third Ganassi Team? Andy Graves, team manager with Chip Ganassi Racing, said the team continues to look at forming a third team to join those of #40-Sterling Marlin and #41-Jimmy Spencer. Graves said the team has talked with potential sponsors and drivers. Graves said if the team decides to add another team, it would need to be done in about the next 45 days to prepare for next year.(Roanoke Times)(6-25-2002)
Fellows at Watkins Glen, NEMCO? or another team? Ron Fellows, who drove for Joe Nemechek at Sonoma last weekend [#87], plans to race in the Winston Cup race at Watkins Glen.in August. However, Fellows has been keeping his options open. While it is most likely that he will drive for Nemechek again at Watkins Glen, he might drive for another team if a better opportunity arose. As for Sonoma, Felllows went out early in the qualifying runs and the times. were all slow in the first few runs; the engine was fine but they had a carburetor problem during the race; and they did not get the car set up right and they had handling problems.(Race Fan TV)(6-25-2002)
Petty Sponsor Updates: While General Mills and Georgia-Pacific already have signed contracts to return as sponsors at Petty Enterprises, the organization continues talks with Sprint, which sponsors Kyle Petty 's team, for next year.(Roanoke Times)(6-25-2002)
Bodine negotiating with Hooters: #11-Brett Bodine says he's in negotiations with sponsor Hooters for beyond this season. "They want it, I want it, we've just got to come to agreement on everything," Bodine says.(Roanoke Times)(6-25-2002)
Cup drivers to run NHIS CTS race? NHIS officials recently hinted that several Winston Cup drivers would likely enter the CTS (truck) race, on July 20th, as a means to get acquainted with the track changes [changes in the corners]. Ken Schrader, who races just about anything on four wheels, is expected to jump into his [#52] truck. Kevin Harvick, who owns a truck team, is likely to do the same [highly doubtful Harvick's Cup owner, Richard Childress will let Harvick run a CTS race after the Martinsville incident].(Boston Globe)(6-25-2002)
BBBSA: Johnny Benson's performance in the #10 Valvoline Pontiac, combined with contributions from Valvoline and NASCAR fans, has brought the current total raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters since 1999 to $772,957. Valvoline is donating $5,000 for every Winston Cup race Benson wins, $2,500 for each pole, $1,000 for a top-10 finish, $500 for a top-20 result and $20 per lap Benson leads in this "Caring Hands" program. Valvoline has doubled its commitment .to Big Brothers Big Sisters this season by donating the above amount not only to the national BBBSA mentoring program, but also a matching contribution to a local BBBSA chapter selected prior to each Winston Cup event. That chapter for the July 6 Pepsi 400 at Daytona is Richland County, OH.(Valvoline PR)(6-25-2002)
U.S. Postal Service Special Stamp featured on #27: Williams Travel Centers Racing, sponsor of the #27 Brewco Motorsports entry for driver Jamie McMurray in the BGN, announced a joint promotional opportunity with the U.S. Postal Service for the upcoming BGN race at Daytona. The joint collaboration will feature a special, one-race only "patriotic" paint scheme design featuring the U.S. Postal Service logo on both rear quarter panels. The U.S. Postal Service's new semi-postal stamp, "Heroes of 2001", will also be prominently displayed on the hood. The "Heroes of 2001" stamp was created to help generate funds to provide assistance to families of emergency relief personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty in connection with the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. This affiliation marks the first time the U.S. Postal Service has used a professional stock car to help promote a new fundraising stamp. Postmaster General John E. Potter, along with members of Congress and other special guests, dedicated the stamp June 7 in New York City. He said the stamp is a tangible way for all Americans to become involved. The Heroes of 2001 stamp is now available at all post offices. The price of the self-adhesive, non-denominated stamp is 45 cents. As a semi-postal, it is valid for postage at the First-Class first-ounce letter rate in effect at the time of purchase (currently 34 cents), with the difference between the sales price of the stamp and the underlying postage consisting of a tax-deductible contribution. Funds raised in connection with sales of the stamp, net of the Postal Service's reasonable costs, are transferred to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Over the next several months, FEMA will develop a program designed to meet the intention of Congress to assist the families of the emergency relief workers killed or permanently disabled as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks. FEMA will announce the details of the program later this summer. Designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, D.C., the stamp features a detail of the famous photograph taken by Thomas E. Franklin of three firefighters as they raised the U.S.flag at "Ground Zero." Franklinis a staff photographer at The Record newspaper in Bergen County, NJ. In addition to running the special paint scheme at Daytona, Williams TravelCenters will have a simulator/show car replica of the #27 U.S. Postal Service machine that will be making appearances at local post offices in the Daytona area during race week. To see an online image of the Heroes of 2001 stamp, go to www.usps.com/news/2002/philatelic/sr02_029.htm.(Williams TravelCenters Racing PR), see images of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery. go to the BGN section.(6-25-2002)
Pay for View news: NASCAR's much-anticipated foray into enhanced television, NASCAR In Car On iN Demand, was unveiled during the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 from Michigan, and one of the corporate entities taking advantage of the subscription coverage was Dale Jarrett's primary sponsor, UPS, which collected more than $120,000 in "bonus" exposure. According to research conducted by Joyce Julius and Associates, Inc. - which specializes in documentation and analysis of exposure received by corporate sponsors -from the single digital cable channel dedicated to Jarrett's car, UPS reaped one hour, 36 minutes, 57 seconds (1:36:57) of clear in-focus exposure time and a value of $121,115. Three cameras carried on-board Jarrett's car - in-car (48:19/$60,355), bumper (45:21/$56,660) and roof (3:17/$4,100) - accounted for all of UPS' exposure. Exposure value was calculated by comparing the on-screen time to an estimated cost of a commercial spot during the subscription telecast. The estimated commercial rate was determined by taking a percentage of the Fox over-the-air ad rate, based on a projected viewership for the subscription telecast. NASCAR IN CAR On iN DEMAND was provided free to all digital cable subscribers. The package consists of seven sequential channels, including the live network program, five dedicated in-car camera channels with virtual dashboards, and a statistics channel. Also benefiting from the in-car cameras carried by Jarrett were "The Muppets", as a logo pertaining to a current promotion with UPS was viewed on the dashboard for 45:07 ($56,350). Additionally, the race title sponsor, Sirius Satellite Radio, enjoyed 10:06 of graphics during the coverage of Jarrett, for a value of $12,635. Beginning with this past weekend's Dodge/Save Mart 350 from Sears Point Raceway, the NASCAR IN CAR On iN DEMAND service is being offered as a $99 package available for the remaining 22 events on the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule.(Joyce Julius and Associates PR)(6-25-2002)
NASCAR Kids Race at Odoban Summer Shootout: At Lowe's Motor Speedway each Tuesday night competing in the Odoban Summer Shootout Series are NASCAR kids. Following is a list of NASCAR kids (and their more-famous fathers) racing Bandoleros, Legends Cars or Thunder Roadsters at LMS:
Bandolero Bandits (Ages 8-11)
No. 2 Matt Martin (Mark) Daytona Beach, Fla.
No. 9 Brandon Setzer (Dennis) Newton, N.C.
No. 48 Brandon McReynolds (Larry) Mooresville, N.C.
Bandolero Young Guns (Ages 12-16)
No. 14 Adam Crawford (Rick) Concord, N.C.
No. 20 Tyler Green (Mark) Concord, N.C.
No. 48 Jessie Johnson (Jimmie - brother) Mooresville, N.C.
Legends Car Semi-Pro
No. 1 Troy Andrews (Paul) Concord, N.C.
No. 2 *Stephen Wallace (Rusty) Cornelius, N.C.
No. 6 Chrissy Wallace (Mike) Concord N.C.
No. 27 Brandon Evans (David) Mooresville, N.C.
No. 31 *Kyle Grissom (Steve) Concord, N.C.
No. 59 Coleman Pressley (Robert) Asheville. N.C.
(*Stephen Wallace and Kyle Grissom are past champions in Bandolero divisions who are competing in Legends Cars for the first time.)
No. 46 Austin Petty (Kyle) Trinity, N.C.
Open practice for Odoban Summer Shootout participants takes place on Monday nights from 6-9 p.m. Competitor garages open at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays with heat races beginning at 5:30 p.m.(Lowe's Motor Speedway PR)(6-23-2002)
Trouble in TV land? Report: TNT May Withhold NASCAR Programming From Operators Who Don't Pay More. Multichannel News reports that Turner Network Television is looking for at least a 2-cent-per-year increase over at least a five-year period -- and it is threatening to withhold marquee programming if it doesn’t get it -- as part of an initial new rate-card pitch to operators, several executives have said. Operators are reporting that TNT, which currently costs around 70 cents per subscriber, is pitching a "TNT Plus" package: a five- to six-year agreement that calls for a rate increase of around 2 cents to 5 cents each year to help subsidize costs for recent, expensive and high-profile programming acquisitions. TNT’s current affiliate deal with several operators expires at year’s end. For operators with long-term carriage deals that extend beyond 2002, TNT hopes to renegotiate to reflect terms of the TNT Plus agreement. "Under the new deal, they would have the right to black out some TNT Plus programming without providing any substitute programming," one MSO programming executive said. Although it’s unclear exactly what programs would be subject to blackout, some operators believe it will most likely include games from the network’s new six-year, $2.2 billion National Basketball Association deal. "TNT could also choose to withdraw its popular National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing programming," says the report. TNT representatives would not comment on the network’s negotiations with cable operators.(MotorsportsTV)(6-24-2002)
Sonoma TV Ratings: The overnight numbers for the Winston Cup race at Sears Point-Sonoma-Infineon Raceway are a 4.5 rating and 11 share, unchanged from last year. The final numbers last year jumped to a 5.0 rating and 13 share once the smaller markets were factored in.(MotorsportsTV)(6-24-2002)
Daytona Testing: Testing at Daytona International Speedway for the 44th annual Pepsi 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race on July 6 and the inaugural STACKER 2/GNC Live Well 250 NASCAR Busch Series race on July 5 will be held on Tuesday, June 25 and Wednesday, June 26, from 9:00am to 5:00pm/et. Expected to participate in the two-day test session are #09-Geoffrey Bodine, #49-Ron Hornaday and #98-Kasey Kahne (BGN). Hornaday will test the #49 Dodge for BAM Racing. Shawna Robinson drove the #49 Dodge to a 24th-place finish in February's Daytona 500. Testing is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.(DIS PR)(6-24-2002)
Sad News: Clarence Preston, a fixture at Martinsville Speedway for more than 40 years, died early Monday morning. He was 85 years old. Preston began working for Martinsville Speedway founder H. Clay Earles in the late 1950s on a part-time basis. The two forged a friendship that lasted for five decades until Earles passed away in 1999. Preston’s most visible role was in the Martinsville Speedway press box, which he maintained on race weekends. And while no one is exactly sure when he worked his first race at Martinsville Speedway, he was on hand for the last April’s Virginia 500, working as hard as ever. Several generations of racing writers were befriended by Preston during his decades of work in the press box. Although few outside of the press box knew of his involvement with Martinsville Speedway, journalists from all corners of the country were on a first-name basis with him. Preston’s funeral is scheduled for noon Friday at Hairston Funeral Home in Martinsville. Visitation will be at 11 a.m. Friday, also at Hairston Funeral Home.(Martinsville Speedway Newsletter)(6-24-2002)
Wells closer to 2nd team but no M&M's? M&M's balks at Yates $$? #32 Car owner Cal Wells is in the market for a second driver, but he says M&M Mars is no longer one of the sponsors he's negotiating with. Until two weeks ago, Wells was in the running for that sponsorship. "But now they're going in a different direction," Wells said. According to one source, M&M has been looking at signing on with Robert Yates, but according to team sources Mars officials balked at the asking price.(Winston Salem Journal) AND - more Pontiac news: Joe Gibbs Racing will switch from Pontiac to Chevrolet next year. The official announcement is being held up by Pontiac being willing to announce a new addition to its team lineup to replace the Gibbs teams. Cal Wells, who presently fields Fords for Ricky Craven, said it will probably be four weeks until he makes a decision. Wells would like to add a second team, which Pontiac might be able to assist him in doing, but he is also happy with the Ford engines he currently leases from Robert Yates and is concerned he will not be able to secure as potent a deal with General Motors.(Gaston Gazette)(6-24-2002)
Trickle and Marcis Racing at Indy? #71 Marcis Racing had spoke to Dick Trickle a few weeks ago concerning the possibility of driving for them at the NASCAR Winston Cup race in Indianapolis, IN...Engine power is very important at Indy, Trickle told the team if they could lease a motor he felt they could have a good shot at making the race. Marcis Racing has spoke with Richard Childress about leasing a motor for the race. Trickle may go with the team in July to test, but it will be with one of Marcis Racing’s motors. It’s a good possibility the Indy race will be added to their race schedule.(Dick Trickle Fan Club Newsletter)(6-24-2002)
More Nadeau at Petty Enterprises? Kyle Petty said he was quite impressed with Nadeau's performance and Petty said he was interested in having Nadeau run some more races this season for his team.(Watkins Glen maybe?). "Maybe when we get past that point (the Chicago race) we'll sit down and talk with him again," Petty said. "He says he's got a couple of things working for next year, and I don't think we've got a shot at talking to him (about a full-time ride) for next year, but who knows."(Winston Salem Journal)(6-24-2002)
More news on Penske, Ford and Dodge. Denied? or is it Toyota in 2005 UPDATEs now a Pontiac rumor? been told that the equipment that Andy Petree bought from Penske was sold at an open auction. The vast majority of the equipment were surplus items and most of it came from now defunct Jeremy Mayfield team [was #12 last year]. Also been told that the Penske team will be sticking with Ford and are still developing new cars and engines.(6-19-2002) UPDATE: Once again, Robin Miller, of RPM 2 Night on ESPN2 said on Wednesdays show that Penske Racing will switch to Dodge.(6-21-2002) UPDATE 2 - NO DODGE: Rusty Wallace has dismissed talk that Penske Racing will switch to Dodge for the 2003 Winston Cup season. "There is nothing to that at all," Wallace said. "We have so much time invested in what we are doing. We are not changing." Penske Racing has been one of Ford's flagship teams since 1994, when they switched to Ford from Pontiac.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(6-22-2002) UPDATE 3: Might Ford teammates Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman be driving Dodges next season? Penske Engines, a division of Penske Racing South, has been working on a Dodge prototype for the last three months, and owner Roger Penske says the organization must make some decisions soon. The team's contract with Ford is up at the end of the season. Many in the garage expect Penske ultimately to team with Toyota if the automaker decides to race in Winston Cup beginning in 2005.(Sporting News)(6-24-2002) UPDATE 4: Which manufacturer will Roger Penske sign with for next season? He has been penciled in by outsiders for a Dodge deal, but that would make him just one of five NASCAR Dodge operations. And that makes more credible the speculation out of Detroit last week that Penske might instead be moving toward a return to Pontiac.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-24-2002)
Traction Control being used? Some engine builders and car owners are becoming increasingly concerned about what they insist is the growing use of illegal traction control devices on Winston Cup cars and what they consider NASCAR's seeming inability to police it. At Martinsville in April, NASCAR officials announced they were cracking down on the devices, and showed teams some that they had been able to find through distributors. According to crews, one of those devices, about half the size of a pack of cigarettes, would be plugged into the ignition box in the car after the driver climbed in; then after the race the driver could simply unplug it, stick it into his driving suit and crawl out of the car. To stop that, NASCAR inspectors began sealing ignition wiring, to keep drivers from unplugging any wires. Now, however, engine men say they have been offered - surreptitiously, of course - new traction control devices that are supposed to be undetectable. One of the new devices is reported to be inside the ignition box itself and triggered by a cell phone from the pits. "It's a shame ... it's so blatant right now," one engine man said. "You can look at last year's results versus this year's results, track by track, and see what's going on. If NASCAR really wanted to police it, they could set up special microphones to listen to the cars coming off the corner; the sound is distinctive enough. And they need to go hire some more sophisticated engineers to analyze these ignition boxes. Or else NASCAR will simply have to make it legal." Car owner Richard Childress says he's convinced his teams have been beaten by teams running traction control: "Oh yes, I feel for certain we have."(Winston Salem Journal)(6-24-2002)
Sadler is quiet until August/Rudd has options: Although Elliott Sadler has solidified his deal for next year—he signed a confidentiality clause that keeps him mum until August—almost everyone else is waiting to hear Ricky Rudd's plans for 2003 before more moves are made. Rudd says his preferences, in order, are: remain in the #28 Ford, retire, go to a new team. Rudd says he doesn't think staying with Robert Yates in the #28 is an option. Rudd says he has been offered several contracts, and Chip Ganassi's name keeps popping up as a potential new boss.(Sporting News) UPDATE: Ricky Rudd said after his victory on Sunday that he still hasn't made a decision about whether he'll retire after this season. He said he plans to think about his future on a vacation with his family next week, where he'll spend the final off weekend of the 2002 Winston Cup season. If he does return for another year, he said his first option would be to remain as driver of the No. 28 Fords at Robert Yates Racing - but he's not sure if that option is open. This is the final year of his contract with Yates and Rudd said he hasn't been able to get Yates to tell him for sure if Elliott Sadler has already been picked to take that ride.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-24-2002)
No Changes at the #23 UPDATE 3 Nadeau not in the #00?: Mike Brown, general manager for Bill Davis' race team, denied a report that a shakeup was imminent on his [#23] second team, with driver Hut Stricklin. According to team sources there has been some discussion about putting Jerry Nadeau in that car, perhaps as early as Daytona. Brown denied those reports.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-22-2002) UPDATE: Michael Waltrip says he will not be fielding a Cup car for driver Jerry Nadeau at Chicagoland because Nadeau has indicated to him he has a ride lined up in the series with an established team for the second half of the season. Nadeau is driving Petty Enterprises' #44 this weekend in a one-race deal and sources said he may have a deal worked out with Bill Davis Racing to move to the #23, currently driven by Hut Stricklin. In two separate interviews Saturday, owner Bill Davis gave varied answers on the subject. He first said, "I don't know where all that came from about the 23 team. Hut's the man in the 23." Then later, Davis said simply, "No comment," to questions about Stricklin's future with the team. Nadeau denied having signed with any team. "As far as my racing career, I'm just looking to get planted somewhere, whether it's the rest of this year or next year and there are opportunities," he said.(ThatsRacin.com). It was reported that Nadeau would drive a #00 Aarons Rent Chevy at Chicago, owned by Waltrip.(6-22-2002) UPDATE 2: on FSN's NASCAR Today, Nadeau said he was running a car for Michael Waltrip at Chicago.(6-23-2002) UPDATE 3: There was talk Jerry Nadeau might replace Hut Stricklin in the #23 Dodge, but crew chief Philippe Lopez says he has been assured by owner Bill Davis that Stricklin is solid through the end of the season. Lopez points to the team missing Daytona and the changing tire compounds as reasons for the slow start. Nadeau will drive a Winston Cup car owned by Michael Waltrip in the July 14 race at Chicagoland Speedway. Nadeau says he has fielded calls from several owners but wants a situation in which he believes he will enjoy the team.(Sporting News)(6-24-2002)