Bill Elliott wins the Pennsylvania 437.5 - seven hours later: #9-Bill Elliott won the Pennsylvania 500 (actually 437.5) after passing a dominent #40-Sterling Marlin with 18 laps to go. #97-Kurt Busch was the runner-up, Marlin ended 3rd and increases his points lead. Elliott's win was the first win by a pole sitter since Elliott won at Homestead in Nov 2001 and it was the same car as won at Homestead. It is Elliott's 42nd career win and his fifth win at Pocono, now the all time winner at Pocono, his first win there since 1989. The race was shortened to 175 laps instead of 200 as darkness was looming as there was over three hours of red flag considitions with an accident cleanup and guardrail repairs and the longer one for rain early in the race. The top ten finishers, some info, cautions, notes, re-air dates/times and result links, see my Pennsylvania 500 Race Info Page Race Re-air: The Pennsylvania 437.5 will be re-aired on TNT, Tues, July 30th, 1:00am/et; Speed Channel on Wed, July 31st, 8:00pm/et and Thurs, Aug 1st, 1:00am/et. Race Results: at ThatsRacin.com or NASCAR.com.(7-28-2002)
Dodge has quite a weekend: Dodge posted wins in the Winston Cup and ARCA series at Pocono with Bill Elliott and Casey Atwood(ARCA), in the BGN series with Hank Park Jr, and in the CTS series with Robert Pressley.(7-28-2002)
The Golden Benny this week (for NHIS) goes to Tommy Baldwin, crew chief of the #22 Caterpillar Dodge, due to his pit calls at NHIS. Given by NBC/TNT commentator Benny Parsons.(7-28-2002)
Ten different winners in the last ten races: in the last ten Cup Races (points races) there have been ten(10) different winners: #20-Stewart, Richmond; #6-Martin, Lowes; #48-Johnson, Dover; #88-Jarrett, Pocono; #17-Kenseth, Michigan; #28-Rudd, Infineno; #15-Waltrip, Daytona; #29-Harvick, Chicago; #22-Burton, New Hampshire; #9-Elliott, Pocono.(7-28-2002)
The Pennsylvania 400? Geoffrey Bodine, a three-time winner at Pocono, joined the chorus of those calling for the races here to be whacked from 500 to 400 miles. "We've always talked about the fact that they should be shorter, but I guess we're talking to deaf ears because nobody is listening," he said. "Nobody understands our reasoning behind that, but this is a hard track on your car. It's hard on a race fan just to sit there for that long but, believe me, inside that car it will wear you down. It's a lot of work out here so, yeah, we're all in favor of shortening this race up. If you look back through the years, you'd see a lot of different finishes if it was 100 miles shorter." John Darby, NASCAR's Winston Cup series director, said there has been no discussion of shortening the Pocono races.(Richmond Times Dispatch), Jimmy Spencer and Rusty Wallace have also been quoted as saying with the ne-engine rule the races at Pocono should be cut back to 400.(7-28-2002)
Pocono Promotion Winner: Thomas Teague, of Verona, Allegheney County, is the recipient of the Cash 5 NASCAR Weekend at Pocono Promotion grand prize - $20,000 - from the Pennsylvania Lottery. The winner was one of five finalists selected from entries received. The winner was determined in a special pre-race drawing conducted by the Pennsylvania Lottery at Pocono Raceway. Thomas Teague and the other four finalists won trips to the Pennsylvania 500 Winston Cup race weekend at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Monroe County, July 25-28, 2002. In addition, each of the five finalists received a $5,000 check. The lucky Grand Prize winner also will receive an additional $15,000, less 27 percent federal withholding taxes. All five finalists and a guest received a raceway and accommodations package for two that included raceway tickets, superbox seating and pit passes for three days of NASCAR events held at Pocono; track and pit row tours; three-day, four-night hotel accommodations; transportation between the track and hotel; meals and beverages. Pennsylvania Lottery players entered this second CASH 5 NASCAR Weekends at Pocono drawing by completing and mailing in entry coupons generated when a $5 block of CASH 5 tickets for the next available drawing was purchased.(Business Wire)(7-28-2002)
Accident on Lap 1: between turn one and two at Pocono, the #1-Park, #8-Earnhardt Jr, #48-Johnson and #2-Wallace cars got together, sending the #1 Chevy flipping after hitting a guardrail. Park got out of the car and walked away with Dale Jr's arm around him. Both look to be ok. After seeing the tape, looks like #2-Wallace came up on #1-Park after getting past #48-Johnson, Wallace got into Park and then into the wall, but it sent Park across the track, collecting his teammate, #8-Earnhardt Jr, sending them both into the infield guardrail and causing Park to flip over a few times. Whew, it sure looked a lot worse then it ended up. Earnhardt Jr was interviewed just after getting out of the infield care center and Park was also interviewed, seems he got trapped in the car by all the safety equipment and headrest, Dale Jr says they are going to look into a smaller headrest. Nice job by the Pocono safety crew/helpers. #32-Craven got into the rear of Park as Park was heading across the track.(7-28-2002)
Chevy Red Flag (#1) Notes and Quotes:
The race was red-flagged after five laps to repair guardrail following a crash involving STEVE PARK, NO. 1 PENNZOIL CHEVY MONTE CARLO and his teammate DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVY MONTE CARLO. Both drivers were taken to the medical center and released, with no injuries. The track reported, however, that Park, after meeting with the media, will remain in the treatment center for additional observation only (because of his previous injury).
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: "I was trying to do my damndest to get off of the side of Steveąs car because I knew once we hit the wall my car was going to probably push him over the guardrail into the infield. It's a bad deal. There was nothing I could really do. I was kind of in a bad situation." WHAT HAPPENED? "Steve and Rusty got together on the back straightaway. Rusty really wouldnąt clear, (he) came up the race track. Steve came back down and passed my car and I drove him into the guardrail. There was really nothing I could do on that wet grass. I was trying to get away from him, because I knew it was going to be a bad wreck once he got into the guardrail. I'm just glad heąs OK; we'll be able to go next weekend. Hopefully we can get the Bud car fixed and get back out there, but itąs going to be a long day."
STEVE PARK: "I was on the outside of Rusty and it was the first lap and he started moving up. I backed off and then he pulled back down like his spotter might have said someone was on the outside. I got back up on the outside of him; and he just he came up on me. It was just a first lap deal." WHAT DID THAT FEEL LIKE? "It didnąt feel good, I can tell you that. The main thing is I donąt like getting trapped in a race car. When a race car gets upside down with the head braces that we have and the window openings, I was trapped. I want to thank the safety workers. They came and made sure the car didnąt go on fire and helped me out. I'm real thankful for them. I think Pocono has a first-class safety crew out there."
ON DALE JR. BEING FIRST THERE: "He was just elated I was OK. I got out of the race car and he was happy. I got out of the car and the first thing he said (was), "You OK?" I looked him straight in the face and said "Yeah, I'm OK." Just donąt like the fact that I was trapped. So Iąm trying not to have panic set in, just tried to get out of the race car. The safety workers made sure the car didnąt go on fire and helped me get out. Dale Jr. was definitely a welcome sight and I was glad he was OK too."
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN UPSIDE DOWN IN A WINSTON CUP CAR BEFORE? "No, not really. That was the first time. I know how to react when it does go upside down. You donąt want to just release your seat belt and then hit the roof of the car. I tried to stay calm and do everything I was supposed to do to get out of the race car. I was just disappointed that I was kind of trapped because of the way the safety devices are in the car and the window opening and stuff. I was very, very fortunate that the safety workers were there to one, prevent a fire, and two, to help me get out of the race car."(GM PR)(7-28-2002)
Nice Gesture: Rookie of the year frontrunner #48-Jimmy Johnson has been running a small decal in memory of Blaise Alexander all season. Johnson and the Montoursville native who died in an ARCA crash last season at Charlotte were close friends when they raced together on the BGN circuit. This weekend at Pocono, Johnson's car will feature a larger sticker near the rear tires that reads, "In Loving Memory of Blaise Alexander." "I'm very close to his family and some of his friends went to his parents and said, 'Let's do something for the Pocono race,'" Johnson said. "This is the last place he won, and this being his hometown area, it just made sense to do it here."(Citizens Voice)(7-27-2002)
Atwood wins ARCA race: Winston Cup driver Casey Atwood, entered in Saturday's Automobile Racing Club of America race at Pocono Raceway with an entry from Evernham Motorsports' R&D team, was clearly the class of the field and won the Pepsi 200 – earning a victory in his first series start. Atwood, who drives the #7 Dodge in Winston Cup for Ultra/Evernham Motorsports, held off ARCA regular Jason Jarrett by .749 seconds. Mario Gosselin was third, Bobby Gerhart fourth and Shelby Howard completed the top five. "We had a great car and was able to come back up through the field," said Atwood, who started from the pole and led the first 46 laps before stopping for fuel. He restarted 11th after his pit stop and retook the lead on Lap 71 of 80. "It got me a little bit worried when the cautions kept coming out because we needed a long green (flag run) to be able to get back to the front," he said. "We caught all the cautions right and I was able to make the positions up and get the win." Series points leader Frank Kimmel challenged Atwood early and took the lead when Atwood elected to pit. However, his car lost a cynlinder soon after and he finished 13th.(ThatsRacin.com)
For results see the ARCA site.(7-27-2002)
Little E Staying at DEI? Looks like it: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., who said at Daytona earlier this month he was still looking over a new contract with Dale Earnhardt Inc., said it was unlikely he could find a better situation in Winston Cup racing. "Nothing's perfect; nothing's ever the greatest," he said. "There's always something; or something that might not be perfection or not be the way you want it about the company or the way things might be going for the team itself, but there's not a better situation as far as I'm concerned for me with DEI." With contract issues with Waltrip complete and Earnhardt Jr. nearly done, only Steve Park's status remains unfinished at DEI.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-27-2002)
Geoffrey hopes for a full run in 2003: Count Geoffrey Bodine among those looking for a full-time ride in Winston Cup next season, but he said no one should be worried he's going to try to take someone else's job. "I'm not trying to get any ride that's sitting out there today," said Bodine, who has run several races this season for car owners James Finch and Travis Carter. "I'm not trying to knock anyone out of their seat or influence any owner that's here." We have our own program we're working on. Now, if somebody comes along and says, 'Hey, we'd like to have you drive the car,' I'd have to talk to them, but hopefully, I won't have to do that." Bodine said he hoped to put a program together for 2003 with Finch or Carter. His best finish this season was third at the season opening Daytona 500 in a Finch-owned car. "As far as I'm concerned, I don't have anything to prove to anybody. Results are proof enough," he said. "We've had some good ones this year already in the limited schedule that we've run."(ThatsRacin.com)(7-27-2002)
Rudd....and Petree and Ganassi and Yates.....UPDATE 2 Rudd, Havoline and #28 to Ganassi?: #28-Ricky Rudd is under pressure to make a decision about next season, from car owners Chip Ganassi and Andy Petree, his top two prospects. Petree, in turn, is under pressure from Rudd's current boss, Robert Yates, to sign both Rudd and Chevron's Texaco Havoline brand as sponsor. Petree yesterday said he was still waiting to hear from Rudd. If Petree doesn't take Yates' offer, then Yates will have to field three teams next season, a prospect the veteran car owner doesn't relish. However, there are indications that a shakeup may be under way within Yates' shop. Rudd and his longtime crew chief, Michael McSwain, have been at odds much of the season, and Yates says that McSwain will be taking over the new Elliott Sadler/M&M Mars team next season, probably to be run under the logo of Doug Yates Racing. Doug Yates is Robert Yates' son. But what will happen to Rudd's current crew? Will it go with McSwain or stay with Rudd if Rudd stays with Yates? There are signs that a number of crewmen may be siding with Rudd. And there is also the possibility that Doug Yates and McSwain may be moving soon to start organizing their new team. Yates would like to persuade Petree to sign up for a leased-engine program, which would cost about $3 million to $3.5 million a year. And...Ganassi is also trying to woo Chevron-Texaco for his proposed deal with Rudd.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-26-2002) UPDATE: In the next few weeks, reports say that Chip Ganassi Racing will announce a third team for the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. The driver will be Ricky Rudd and the sponsor will be Texaco/Havoline coming over in a complete package from Robert Yates Racing. No word on whether the team members will follow, or not. The #28 itself, though owned by RYR, has become greatly associated with Havoline and they have invested millions in building brand awareness with the racing public. It's believed Havoline would like the number to be a part of the deal if Rudd goes to Ganassi with their sponsorship.(NASCAR.com Buzz) BUT - still a chance to retire? Ricky Rudd said Friday retirement from the Winston Cup series remains "a real possibility." Rudd's future remains cloudy, with still no decision on whether he will retire, stay at Robert Yates Racing, or move to another team.
Rudd said he hoped to have everything cleared up by next weekend's race at Indianapolis. Although Rudd, 45, has mulled several offers from other teams, he said he will consider retirement if he cannot be with a team that can win races "right out of the box."(ThatsRacin.com)(7-26-2002) UPDATE 2: The Ricky Rudd sweepstakes appear to be over, and Chip Ganassi seems to be the winner. The official announcement could come next week at Indianapolis that Rudd will be in a Ganassi Dodge with Chevron-Texaco's Havoline brand as sponsor. But Rudd and Ganassi were noncommittal yesterday when pressed on the issue. One major question: Would the Ganassi-Rudd team be the team that Jimmy Spencer currently drives for, or would Rudd drive for a new third Ganassi team? Spencer says he expects a third team, though he says he doesn't know the driver. However, Ganassi, when asked if he will expand to a third team, replied "No plans right now." The Rudd-Ganassi deal has been pushed by car owner Robert Yates, according to sources close to the situation, in bargaining between Yates and Ganassi. Rudd said. "I think everything will settle itself by next week, so I'm not going to say a whole lot right now." Has Rudd in fact made his decision? "Well, I think I pretty much know," Rudd replied. In fact, the Ganassi-Rudd contract is in the lawyer's hands, according to team sources. Will Spencer be back for a second season with Ganassi? "I don't see why not," Ganassi said, not resolving the third-team question. "I didn't ask him, so I don't know, but I expect to come back," Spencer said. "Maybe there is something up that I really don't know about. "I know he wants to start a third team. And I know our facility can handle it. Our employees can. We've got good people in our organization. Spencer said he has a three-year contract with Ganassi. But Ganassi would not answer questions about that contract. "I don't talk about my contracts," Ganassi said.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-27-2002)
NASCAR, Craven, Nadeau and the Soap Box Derby: NASCAR's recently announced affiliation with the All-American Soap Box Derby (AASBD) will be highlighted Saturday, as Jerry Nadeau and Ricky Craven are scheduled to attend the derby's World Championships in Akron, OH. NASCAR and the All-American Soap Box Derby announced a multi-year partnership on July 5. NASCAR's involvement with the tradition-rich event is part of NASCAR's Youth Program initiative, designed to introduce young people to the motorsports industry, and more specifically NASCAR, and its numerous opportunities. NASCAR's Youth Program initiative also includes the Diversity Summer Internship Program and support of the Urban Youth Racing School. Nadeau and Craven are scheduled to fly from Pocono Raceway to Akron Saturday afternoon, after the final practice session for the Pennsylvania 500. Both are eager to view the AASBD World Championships, being held for the 65th year. The All-American Soap Box Derby is for competitors ages 9-17, who work with family members to build competitive cars, hoping to reach the World Championships. Through their presence on Saturday, Craven and Nadeau plan to send a message that the All-American Soap Box Derby is a huge event and a great American tradition, encouraging young people everywhere to participate. Nadeau competed in the AASBD, and nearly qualified for the Akron event. At the age of nine, he finished third in a regional qualifier in his hometown of Danbury, CT. "I'm excited about going to Akron and seeing the kids there," said Nadeau, driver of the #44 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge. "I've got something to share with them. I can remember my and my dad building my soap box car. And I remember I was so nervous the first year I raced."(NASCAR PR)(7-27-2002)
Final NHIS TV Ratings: New Hampshire 300 on TNT #1 on Cable and #1 in Key Demo The New England 300 was basic cable’s #1 program for the week, turning in a 4.6 rating, representing 3,921,000 households. It beat out WWE Raw Zone and Spongebob for the title. It was also the #1 program among adults 25-54 (3,512,000). Further accolades include the broadcast as the #1 sports program in delivery of adults 18-34 (1,089,000) and #1 among adults 18-49 (3,003,000). The 4.6 result is down 12% from last year's 5.2.(MotorsportsTV)(7-27-2002)
Furr Officially Named #7 Crew Chief: Tony Furr has been officially appointed as crew chief for #7 Sirius Dodge and driver Casey Atwoood. In the last nine races, since Furr has taken over as crew chief, Atwood's average finish has been 23.11, an improvement of 8.69 over the first 10 races.(Golin/Harris International-Ultra/Evernham Motorsports PR)(7-26-2002)
Hicks Gets Award: Larry Hicks, a retired Marine who saved Jack Roush from drowning after Roush's ultralight aircraft crashed in Alabama in April, has been named as the second-quarter winner of the National Motorsports Press Association's Pocono Spirit Award. "The first time I was able to talk to Jack after what happened, he told me that it was time for me to have my 15 minutes of fame," Hicks said this week. "He told me that as long as he was around, he was going to be talking about me." The remarkable rescue of Roush, one of Winston Cup racing's most successful team owners, was made more so by the series of coincidences that made it possible. Roush crashed into a small lake near Hicks' home in Troy, Ala., on April 19 while piloting a friend's small plane. Hicks, who saw the plane go down, had spent a career in the U.S. Marines as an underwater rescue specialist. He dived repeatedly before being able to free Roush, then rescuscitated him and administered aid until rescue crews arrived. Retired driver Dave Marcis was the first-quarter nominee.(The State)(7-26-2002)
Compton out of the #14 car; Wallace in...for now: Stacy Compton and A.J. Foyt Racing have broken off their contract agreement, so Compton will no longer drive the #14 Conseco Pontiac. Compton said he told Foyt the team needed better equipment and more people in the shop to be more competitive on the circuit. Compton said Foyt believed the team had what it needed to race, so they agreed to part ways. Compton heads to Pikes Peak for Saturday's BGN race, he also plans to run Jim Harris' truck in four or five races this year.(WSET TV site) AND Mike Wallace will be in the #14 car at Pocono but hasn't been asked to drive after that. Has spoke to the team after their test at Indy test and probably could be in the car if he wants with a good run at Pocono(Sources). AND II: A.J. Foyt made the latest abrupt change of direction in his career as a car owner when he informed Stacy Compton this week that he was released as the pilot of the #14 Conseco Pontiac. Mike Wallace will replace Compton, beginning with this weekend's Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. Wallace participated in a two-day test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier this week, preparing for the Aug. 4 Brickyard 400. Wallace will be the sixth driver that Foyt has used in his Winston Cup cars in the last two-and-a-half seasons, following Mike Bliss, Dick Trickle, Rick Mast, Ron Hornaday and Compton.(NASCAR.com)
See much past news on this on the #14 Team page, all the updates were getting toooooooo large.(7-26-2002)
Weis Markets joins the #43 for Pocono: General Mills is proud to announce the sponsors on the #43 Dodge of John Andretti at Pocono will be Cheerios/Weis Markets. Prior to the start, attention will focus on victory circle, General Mills and Weis Markets will honor Ned Chamberlain, who has been a Weis over the road truck driver for 35 years. He will be preasented with a framed Cheerios racing jacket, signed by team owner Richard Petty and John Andretti. The award is for his years of service and the remarkable feat of 1.5 million miles of safe driving. Presenting the award will be Norm Rich, President of Weis Markets. Cheerios is the regular sponsor for the #43.(PR)(7-26-2002)
Another Andretti: Adam Andretti, younger brother of #43-John Andretti and cousin of CART driver Michael Andretti, plans to make his ASA debut at Madison, WI as part of a limited schedule this year. Adam, 23, will drive a car owned by Jerry Wood, of Madison, and team with Wood's son, Chad. He has raced since 1995, progressing through karts, U.S. Formula 3, SCCA endurance racing and the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(7-26-2002)
More of Park and DEI: Steve Park is mulling over an offer from DEI/Ty Norris, the general manager, to sign a one-year deal, with the possibility of extending it for another year or two in more negotiations next summer. The sticking point for Park, according to those close to him, is Norris' attempt to pin Park's salary to incentives, meaning he must run well to make money, because he would draw a small base salary. So far Park has not been pleased with what's on the table from DEI.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-26-2002)
Hills Bros not expected back on the #23 UPDATE:: during an interview on FSN's Totally NASCAR, #23 (and #22 and #27) team owner, Bill Davis, says he doesn't expect Hill Brothers Coffee back as a sponsor in 2003 and it looks like it was a one-year deal.(7-24-2002) UPDATE: word is that car owner Bill Davis is signing a $12 million sponsorship deal with Stacker2 and driver Kenny Wallace for the #23 ride. Where the Davis-Wallace deal leaves Hut Stricklin, currently Ward Burton's teammate on the Davis roster, is unclear; Stricklin's sponsor, Sara Lee's Hills Brothers coffee, must tell Davis by Aug. 15 if it wants to ante up for another season. But five of Hill's key racing executives were released in a shakeup in early June, leaving the future of that sponsorship cloudy.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-26-2002)
NASCAR changes safety strategy: NASCAR's top safety official said his critics are looking the wrong way when it comes to protecting stock car drivers in racing accidents. Instead of making the 3,400-pound stock cars more energy-absorptive, Gary Nelson said NASCAR is trying to make the cars stiffer. Rather than reworking the rigid front bumpers of the cars, NASCAR is focusing on maximizing the efficiency of the right door area. And in lieu of concentrating on how the car reacts to an impact with a wall, NASCAR is committed to making the walls softer.(See full story at the Indianapolis Star and a story at The Gazette (Colorado Springs): Putting safety first - So far, NASCAR sanctions working or past news on my Safety News and Links page)(7-26-2002)
Atwood Wins ARCA Pole: Casey Atwood's first appearance in the ARCA series started off as a fast one. Atwood, entered in an Evernham Motorsports #19 Dodge, won the pole for Saturday's Pepsi 200 at Pocono Raceway, turning a lap at 165.981mph to claim the top starting position. Atwood, who drives for the # 7 Ultra/Evernham Motorsports team in the Winston Cup series, was also fastest in Thursday afternoon's practice session. Series points leader Frank Kimmel was second fastest and Chad Blount third.(ThatsRacin.com), see starting lineup at ThatsRacin.com.(7-26-2002)
Shakeup at the #18? A shakeup is looming within the Bobby Labonte-Jimmy Makar team, according to team sources. Labonte has not been pleased with the team for some time. "It is tough," Labonte said. "In 2000 it was easy. This year we're working three times as hard as we did in 2000, and we're going nowhere. Nothing's falling into place."(Winston Salem Journal)(7-26-2002)
More tire testing at Richmond UPDATE 2: Goodyear officials plan to test tires July 23-24 at Richmond International Raceway to determine what kind of tire to use at the fall race. In the May Cup race, a second groove did not develop and passing was difficult. Drivers complained about the sealer used, but track officials insisted that nothing different was done in preparing the track for the race. #2-Rusty Wallace and #20-Tony Stewart tested there for Goodyear a couple of weeks after the race, but Goodyear officials decided to return after next weekend's IRL race. Stewart, #28-Ricky Rudd and rookie #48-Jimmie Johnson are scheduled to test there for Goodyear.(Roanoke Times)(6-23/7-23-2002) - haven't heard if this is still on or not. UPDATE: Three teams are at RIR for a two day Goodyear tire test, the drivers are #20-Stewart, #28-Rudd and #48-Johnson, the test concludes today.(PRN's Garage Pass)(7-24-2002) UPDATE 2: Rudd, Stewart and Johnson staged a 75-lap "race" at Richmond International Raceway on Wednesday to test Goodyear's tires, after questions about the May race at that track. Track owners had blamed Goodyear's tires for the poor race and demanded a test and indicated they wanted new tires for the September race at RIR. Drivers and Goodyear engineers pointed to the track sealer as the culprit. This week's two-day test appeared to back up Goodyear's contention that the tires were fine and that track officials erred in applying the sealer.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-26-2002)
Bodine's Souvenir Rig Returns: After missing the last couple of years, the #11 Souvenir Rig will be at Indianapolis.(7-25-2002)
Dallenbach back in the booth - and maybe some future BGN races UPDATE 3 Pizza Hut?: It's quite possible Wally Dallenbach will drive a few BGN races for NBC later this year. They hoped to get him a Winston Cup ride for the Brickyard 400, "but that didn't work out," Dallenbach said. The network plans to make more use of Dallenbach in its second year of a six-year contract with NASCAR. He will have a spot on the pre-race show where he drives a car on the track, showing viewers what the drivers have ahead of them. In the booth, NBC will have a scale model of a race car that Dallenbach can spin 360 degrees and demonstrate problems as well as explain race terminology.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-12-2002) UPDATE: NBC-TV NASCAR commentator Wally Dallenbach will announce this week a return to the track as a driver. He's lined up a part-time BGN ride.(PRN's Garage Pass)(7-23-2002) UPDATE 2: hearing this could be with the #6 Tommy Baldwain team and hearing Pizza Hut will be the primary sponsor.(7-25-2002) UPDATE 3: In a deal signed Tuesday July 23rd , Tommy Baldwin Racing and "Pepsi" have joined forces with driver Wally Dallenbach in a (3) three race agreement which will have TBR field Dodge powered cars driven by Dallenbach at the upcoming BGN races at Michigan August 17th, Lowe's Motor Speedway October 12th and Phoenix November 9th. Dallenbach, color commentator for the NBC and TNT networks (covering Cup and BGN races) along with his broadcast partners, Allen Bestwick and Benny Parsons, will be part of a unique twist of broadcasting tailored to give the television viewers a driver’s perspective. Dallenbach will have voice transmissions to crew chief, Tommy Baldwin, and communication to Bestwick and Parsons, when possible, under caution periods. An "In car Camera" will also be added to the package that will show what Dallenbach views both ahead, behind and beside him, as well as, showing his feet and hand movement.(Motorsports Decisions PR)(7-25-2002)
Hamilton to decide his 2003 plans in a month or two; Jr moving up?: Bobby Hamilton, who won his first Winston Cup race driving for the legendary Richard Petty, appears to be headed back. The veteran driver from Nashville yesterday said he will make a decision on who he will drive for next season ''in the next month or two'' and confirmed that Petty Enterprises is high on the list of prospects. Hamilton said ''about 12 rides will be open, and about five top drivers available,'' which means some opportunities for some newcomers — perhaps including Bobby Hamilton Jr. ''Bobby has talked to some people [about moving from Busch to Winston Cup],'' his father said. ''We'll have to wait and see what's out there.''(Tennessean)(7-25-2002)
FDNY vs NYPD in the pits: A team of New York firefighters will face off against a team of New York police on Aug. 8 in a pit stop battle for charity. The firefighters and police spent several days training at the Dale Earnhardt Inc., race shop in Mooresville, N.C., under the direction of DEI pit crew coach Walt Smith. Proceeds from the Drakkar Noir Pit Crew Competition, in front of the Macy's department story in Herald Square, will be donated to The Widows and Children's Benefit Fund. Drakkar Noir is an associate sponsor on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s #8 Chevy.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(7-25-2002)
BAM gets an Assoc: BAM Racing announced that Blair.com and Blair Custom Wear have agreed to become associate sponsors of the BAM #49 Dodge for the balance of the 2002 Winston Cup season. Blair VP, Jeff Parnell said, "we were impressed with the unique business to business opportunities our relationship with BAM provides." The Blair brand will debut with BAM Racing at the Brickyard 400.(BAM Racing PR)(7-25-2002)
Nadeau to run the #44 for the rest of 2002 UPDATE: Jerry Nadeau, who nearly pulled out an incredible race victory less than a month ago at Sears Point, Calif., will drive the #44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge for Petty Enterprises the rest of this season. In Nadeau’s only other start in the car, he came within just a few laps at winning the California event, a drive-train problem sidelining him from a near five-second lead two laps from the end. "We’re doing everything we can and making any changes we need to make to bring Petty Enterprises back at the forefront of NASCAR racing,” said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. “This is another step in that direction. We all saw what Jerry did at Sears Point but that is the kind of racing he has been doing throughout his career,” Petty said. “He has won on fast superspeedways, is one of the best road racers out there and is pretty good on short tracks too. He has proven he can win. He brings a lot to this team, to Georgia-Pacific and to Petty Enterprises.” Nadeau has competed with several teams this season with success. “This is a great opportunity to be able to drive again for this team,” said Nadeau. “We had a really good run at Sears Point, and I really respect (crew chief) Greg Steadman and the guys who prepare this car.. Everyone in this organization is really committed to being a champion, and I am ready to win.. We have showed what we can do, and with the people that work at and support Petty Enterprises, I believe we can continue to move this program forward.”(Williams Company PR)(7-23-2002) UPDATE: Grissom will once again help with research and development for the [Petty] team’s three Winston Cup cars and its Craftsman Truck team – the same thing he was doing before he got back in the car at Talladega in April.(Anniston Star)(7-25-2002)
Former Cup Driver Hospitialized UPDATE 2: Phil Barkdoll, one of the most popular drivers in NASCAR Winston Cup racing in the late 1980's and early 1990's, is in St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Barkdoll, 64, suffered a heart attack and is considered a probable candidate for open-heart surgery. Barkdoll competed for Helen Rae Racing,.running in races such as the Daytona 500 and Talladega 500. His off-track demeanor captivated the media and public, as well as his fellow competitors. Barkdoll, an auctioneer, always played a role in the Winston Preview and Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind fund-raising campaigns.(Williams Company), Cards can be sent to 2275 58th St. Vinton, Iowa 52349.(7-3-2002) UPDATE: Barkdoll is out of the hospital, they are going to run some more test this Friday, and if surgery is needed they will do it in about 10 days. Barkdoll and family want to thank everybody for their well wishes.(7-10-2002) UPDATE 2: Good news on Phil, they will not be doing surgery, but will treat Barkdoll medicine and diet. Barkdoll has
received numerous cards and thanks the fans.(7-25-2002)
Road Racer Shane Lewis to run Watkins Glen: Shane Lewis of Jupiter, FL announced that he will compete in the Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen NASCAR Winston Cup race at Watkins Glen International. The 16-time 24-hour event starter has been selected to pilot the Otto Motorsports’ Ford Taurus in his Winston Cup debut on August 11th. Lewis, a two-time Le Mans-starter, will drive a special tribute car for Edgar Otto, Jr. of Boca Raton, Florida to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the first NASCAR event held at Watkins Glen in 1957. By honoring the first NASCAR race at The Glen, the two-tone blue and yellow entry also honors the recent induction of Edgar Otto, Sr. into the International Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame. Otto Sr., a contemporary of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., promoted several of NASCAR’s early events including the first at Watkins Glen. The car is being prepared by Alton McBride’s Last Lap Motorsports of Denver, NC. “I am thrilled to be a part of this special effort and eager to show that Edgar’s confidence in me is well warranted,” said Lewis who will test on July 29-30th at The Glen. “With our success in the past I am sure Last Lap will give me a great car. I know we have a tough road ahead of us. The quality and professionalism of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series is among the best in the world. This will certainly rank up there with my Le Mans starts as a career milestone.”(Shane Lewis Site)(7-25-2002)
Cameron at Watkins Glen? hearing that Winston West driver Austin Cameron will test next Monday and Tuesday at Watkins Glen for TRW Motorsports and will enter the Cup race there if the test goes well.(7-25-2002)
Victory Junction Gang Camp - Proud Charity of NASCAR: NASCAR has identified Victory Junction Gang Camp as "A Proud Charity of NASCAR," it was announced today. NASCAR will work with Victory Junction Gang Camp to build awareness of the camp's mission through a media campaign that reaches across all of NASCAR's licensed media. Additionally, NASCAR is planning a fall fundraiser for the camp. Victory Junction Gang Camp, founded by NASCAR driver Kyle Petty and his wife Pattie in honor of their late son Adam, will provide camp sessions year-round for children ages 7-15 with life-threatening illnesses. Like other camps under the umbrella of The Association of Hole in the Wall Gang Camps founded by actor Paul Newman, Victory Junction Gang Camp will have a unique design geared toward making every child's camp experience unforgettable and empowering. Victory Junction Gang Camp will have a racing theme that allows campers to begin their experience by entering the camp through a tunnel and crossing a starting line into the world of racing.. When complete, Victory Junction's 65-acre site will have more than 36 buildings, including a dining hall, gym, pool, theater, therapeutic equestrian center, arts and crafts center, race shop and cabins.. Most importantly, the camp will offer a sophisticated medical facility staffed by a team of professionals capable of administering to the needs of these children, up to and including the administering of chemotherapy. The Victory Junction Gang Camp will be located in Randleman, N.C., on land donated by Richard and Lynda Petty.. The camp will be free to children and their families and will be the only year round multi-disease camp of its kind in the Carolinas and Virginia.. It is solely supported by contributions and donations from corporations, individuals and foundations.. For more information or to make a donation to Victory Junction, see my Racing Charity page for the graphic or other info.(NASCAR PR)(7-25-2002)
NAPCM Pit Crew of the Week: Consistently fast stops all season (14.8) puts them in the spotlight this week. Very talented pit crew keeps the rookie in the spotlight (and sometimes top 5). Great job #12 ALLTEL crew on being this weeks NAPCM Pit Crew of the Week sponsored by Toxabsorb, Official Spill Response Agent of the National Association of Pit Crew Members. Latest Mechanix Wear Pit Crew of the Year Standings available at www.napcm.com.(7-25-2002)
IRWIN Rough to Finish Award: Kurt Busch and the #97 Rubbermaid team showed grit and determination in coming back from three laps down to finish eighth in Sunday's New England 300.. As a result of their teamwork, crew chief Jimmy Fennig takes home this week's "Irwin Rough to the Finish" Award, his third of the season. After starting the race in the 23rd position and climbing as high as fourth, the Rubbermaid team suffered its first of two setbacks - a flat left front tire - midway through the race and quickly fell two laps down to 33rd position.. A few laps later, more tragedy struck the #97 team as they discovered a hole in the radiator.. Immediately Busch came into the pits to repair the damage, but the team was now down three laps to the race leaders. But thanks to some well-timed pit stops, determined driving and a season-high 14 caution flags, Busch managed to make it back on the lead lap and gain 24 track positions to finish in eighth-place.
Midway through the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season, Jimmy Fennig, crew chief of the #97 Rubbermaid Ford, leads a tightly contested race for the Irwin Crew Chief of the Year honors. Fennig has won this weekly honor three times this season (Subway 400, MBNA Platinum 400 and New England 300). The standings as of July 23 are as follows (five points awarded with each honor):
1) Jimmy Fennig, #97 Rubbermaid Ford, 15 pts.
2) Chad Knaus, #48 Lowe's Chevy, 10 pts.
2) Bill Wilburn, #2 Miller Lite Ford, 10 pts.
4) 13 crew chiefs tied for fourth-place with 5 pts.
Each week throughout the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season, Irwin, makers of professional power tool accessories like Marathon Plus saw blades and Speedbor flat bits, is partnering with Performance Racing Network 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. In addition to the crew chief award, Irwin is also sponsoring the weekly nationally syndicated radio show, "Fast Talk with Benny Parsons", throughout the upcoming year.(Golin Harris PR)(7-25-2002)
Mike Wallace to test the #14 at Indy? UPDATE's and at Pocono? Compton released? hearing the #14 Conseco Pontiac will be in Indy again Tuesday and Wednesday testing, but with a twist, the driver will not be Stacy Compton but will be Mike Wallace. No idea if this is just for the test or a possible driver change in the #14.AND also hearing AJ Foyt is fielding a second car for the Brickyard 400 with Mike Wallace as the driver. UPDATE: hearing Mike Wallace will run the #14 Conseco Pontiac at Pocono, not sure if Compton is still with the team or if it a conflict with the BGN race at Pikes Peak, Colorado, where Compton will run in the BGN race where he runs full time in the #59 ST Motorsports Chevy.(7-22-2002) UPDATE 2: hearing that driver Stacy Compton recieved a certified letter in the mail yesterday informing him that he no longer had a job with AJ Foyt racing. The letter was supposedly mailed last Thursday. They supposedly have hired Mike Wallace to drive the car the rest of the season. He was their second choice to drive the car. Ron Hornaday was supposedly the first choice, but a deal could not be struck. Also being told the team will field only one entry at Indy this year at the Brickyard 400.(7-23-2002) MORE UPDATES: Stacy Compton said if things don't do a 180 soon, he may not drive for A.J. Foyt anymore. Compton is "not real happy" with his team's current state and hopes things can turn around in a hurry. "We continually get worse and worse," Compton said. "There needs to be some changes before we can be a competitive race team." Compton denied a report on NASCAR.com that he would be out of the #14 Pontiac this weekend and that Mike Wallace would be the replacement driver. He said he could remain with his current ride should things work out, but right now, things are extremely fuzzy. "It's still up in the air," Compton said. "We need to get some things straightened out. I've asked for some things to be changed so that we can be a more competitive race team. Whether I'll continue to race for A.J. Foyt, I don't know. I may run Pocono this weekend, I might not. This weekend was the straw that broke the camel's back. We've been struggling and having problems. We had a good run going (at Loudon) and we didn't finish where I needed to. We all got a little frustrated and it came to a head this weekend. I don't know what we're going to do right now." Compton said he has spoken with a couple other teams to seek spots with them. He said he would only take those rides providing proper funding and a competitive nature were turned in each week.(Lynchburg News and Advance) AND Stacy Compton and A.J. Foyt Racing may soon be parting company. Compton told 13 Sports there are problems with the 14 car of which he doesn't want to be a part. He didn't specify, but did say the Conseco Pontiac has broken in 10 of the 19 races this season. Compton said the two sides are now looking at ways to solve the problems or end their contract agreement, that he should know something definite by Wednesday afternoon. Mike Wallace is believed to be a possible replacement if Compton and Foyt part ways.(WSET TV) AND II: Mike Wallace tested Tuesday at Indy in the #14 Conseco Pontiac.(PRN's Garage Pass)(7-24-2002) UPDATE 4: Wallace has not been asked to drive at Pocono and was at Indy again on Wednesday testing the AJ Foyt Pontiac in preparation for running a 2nd AJ Foyt Racing car there.(ESPN2's RPM 2 Night)(7-24-2002)
Scott Pruett to run Watkins Glen...for Ganassi: Scott Pruett will drive a third car for Chip Ganassi Racing at Watkins
Glen.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(7-24-2002)
more Rudd and Ganassi: Add the Target/Ganassi team to possible landing sites for ironman Ricky Rudd, who reportedly wants $2 million a year--more than his current owner, Robert Yates, is willing to pay. Target owner Chip Ganassi, who's employing drivers Sterling Marlin and Jimmy Spencer this season, wouldn't rule out adding a third car. It's also possible Rudd could replace Spencer, who's 23rd in the points list. "I guess that possibility does exist,'' Ganassi said when asked about hiring Rudd. "From top to bottom, everything about our organization is about performance, and that includes drivers.'' There also has been speculation Rudd might wind up at Dale Earnhardt Inc.(Chicago Sun Times)(7-24-2002)
Nemechek not in the #25 after 2002: FSN's Totally NASCAR reports that Joe Nemechek will not be back in the #25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy in 2003.(7-24-2002)
Kenseth wins at Slinger: Matt Kenseth hadn't raced at Slinger Speedway in nearly three years, but his performance Tuesday night in the Miller Lite Nationals made it look as though he'd never left. Kenseth won the race and added another Nationals trophy to display alongside the one the Cambridge native collected in 1994, before he moved to the South to pursue his NASCAR dreams. As a near-capacity crowd of about 7,000 cheered Kenseth's victory, Lowell Bennett and Eric Fransen waged a whale of a side-by-side battle for second place, but at the checkers, Bennett was nearly half a lap behind. Two of the other visitors were involved in the first caution 20 laps into the feature. Ken Schrader, a longtime Winston Cup competitor, was working on Dave Teske when Teske spun and collected four-time Nationals champion Dick Trickle. The accident wrecked the bleeder valve in Trickle's left rear tire, causing the tire to loose air pressure. With the tire going down, he fell two laps down before he could get it changed, and he ended up 13th. Scott Wimmer, a Winston Cup and Busch driver from Wausau, ended up sixth despite brake problems and a spin that sent him to the back of the field. Rich Bickle, a two-time Nationals champion now racing in the CTS, struggled with handling and ignition trouble and finished 19th.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(7-24-2002)
Electronics on Dashboard? NASCAR put up a display in New Hampshire to illustrate a proposal that all ignition wiring and ignition boxes be mounted on top of the dashboard but out of the reach of the driver, to prevent traction- control tampering. The governing body also proposes to make it illegal for any wiring to run on the right side of the car. Ben Leslie, crew chief for Mark Martin, said putting everything on the dashboard would give cars an ugly look. He suggests wiring and boxes be located on the passenger side of the floorboard.(Tampa Truibune)(7-24-2002)
"NASCAR Victory Lane" Now Exclusively on Speed Channel: Beginning this Sunday, July 28, Speed Channel will be the exclusive provider of NASCAR Victory Lane. The series will air on Sundays at 8:00pm/et, with Thursday replays at 5:30pm/et.(MotorsportsTV)(7-24-2002)
Fox Helps Out: Fox Sports Net lost one of its own on Sept. 11 when the plane carrying FSN cameraman Tom Pecorelli hit the World Trade Center. The Tom Pecorelli Memorial Fund (link) was established to care for his widow, Kia, and their unborn son, who arrived in March, and Fox employees contributed more than $125,000 to the fund, which was then matched by Fox. "The 10,000 acts of kindness balance the one spectacular incident of evil,'' Kia stated. "You have helped honor the memory of ... my husband ... through your thoughts, prayers, sympathetic ears and generous contributions. Though the written word pales, on behalf of my family and myself, thank you for all you have done.'' (Daily Herald thanks to MotorsportsTV for the heads up)(7-24-2002)
Congrats: Bryson Parker Byrnes arrived at 12:16 p.m. ET Tuesday afternoon, weighing in at 7 pounds, 4 ounces. Both he and mom Karen are healthy and well. FSN's Steve Byrnes thanks everyone for their support. Bryson even made his TV debut on Totally NASCAR Tuesday night.(7-24-2002)
Sad News:Tyler McGrath the 8-year-old boy from Lowville, NY, passed away Sunday night at his home. Tyler was the very cute, and brave son of Victoria Tabolt and John McGrath. His mother, Victoria, has posted a heartfelt message to all Tyler's supporters on their webpage: http://www.caringbridge.com/ny/tylermcgrath. Thoughts and condolences to the family.(7-22-2002) AND Tyler McGrath, a young man whose fight against leukemia drew support from race teams and race fans all over the country, died Sunday at his home in Lowville, N.Y., on his ninth birthday. Tyler had been at home for about a week after doctors at Sloan Kettering hospital in New York City determined they could do no more to help him. The son of John McGrath and Victoria Talbot received a hero’s welcome in his hometown, where he was able to spend his final days with his mother; his sister, Morgan; his dog, Wilson, and his family and friends. "I am devastated, but in a sense relieved that he is no longer suffering," Talbot wrote Monday afternoon on the web site that has chronicled her son’s battle with the disease first diagnosed in April 2001. "He went through so much and fought so hard."(ThatsRacin.com)(7-23-2002)
Bodine to drive for Bodine: Geoffrey Bodine will drive the #26 Discover Card Ford this weekend at the Pocono Raceway. His brother Todd is committed to running the Busch Series event at Pikes Peak International Raceway on Saturday night making it impossible for him to arrive in Pennsylvania in time for Sunday’s Pennsylvania 500. This is not the first time Geoffrey has helped out his younger brother this season. However, it marks his first official driving duty from start to finish for the Discover Card Racing program. Geoffrey is excited to compete this weekend since he boasts an impressive record at the 2.5 mile oval … three wins and two poles. Plus, he holds the track record for the most laps led with 810.(Cox Marketing PR)(7-23-2002)
Petree in a truck at IRP: Fresh from a successful test at Indianapolis Raceway Park, Andy Petree will drive his own truck in next week’s CTS race event at the .686-mile oval. "Whether or not we ran wasn’t dependent upon (Tuesday’s) test but I wanted to have tested before we formally announced we were running the race," said Petree. "We took a Winston Cup car up there and learned some things, got me some time behind the wheel, and I think we’re going to have a good run in the race next week. Darrell Waltrip tested some with us, and that has to help." Petree will make his second start in the Truck series, having been a major factor in pole qualifying and the race in April at Martinsville. Petree qualified third, and ran among the leaders until late in the race when a mechanical problem sidelined him. He is fielding a truck for Winston Cup star Tony Stewart in September at Richmond, and hasn’t ruled out driving a second truck himself in that event. Petree tested a Winston Cup car at IRP but feels that will help his team not only with the Truck series races at IRP and Richmond, but also to this Winston Cup team at like speedways. One of the team’s associate sponsors is expected to sponsor the Truck for IRP, and Petree said he is still talking with potential sponsors for the race at Richmond.(Williams Company PR)(7-23-2002)
Benson Back at Pocono? Nadeau in a 2nd MBV car at Indy? UPDATE Benson back at Pocono: Johnny Benson, out of the #10 MBV ride due to rib injuries from an accident at Daytona in the Pepsi 400, may be back in the car as soon as Pocono. Jerry Nadeau is subbing for Benson and is signed thru Watkins Glen. Originally Benson was to come back at either Indy or Watkins Glen, but during Speed Channel's Happy Hour coverage, Bill Weber mentioned #10 Crew Chief, James Ince said Benson was healing faster then expected. Also, Weber mentioned that he heard [not from Ince] that the MBV team could field a 2nd car for Nadeau at Indy for the Brickyard 400.(7-21-2002) UPDATE - Benson back at Pocono: Johnny Benson will resume his driving duties in the #10 Valvoline Pontiac beginning at this weekend’s race at Pocono. Benson returns to the driving seat after missing the Chicago and New Hampshire races following a July 6 accident in Daytona. Benson broke three ribs in that accident. Mike Wallace substituted for Benson at Chicago and Jerry Nadeau drove at New Hampshire. Sunday’s Pocono race marks the second time this season Benson will make a return from rib injuries at the triangle-shaped track. Benson missed three races after a May 3 accident in a BGN race at Richmond where he suffered two cracked and one broken rib. Benson made his return at Pocono finishing 20th in June. He finished fifth at this Pocono race last year.(MBV PR)(7-23-2002)
Park negotiating with DEI to stay: Steve Park, driver of the #1 Pennzoil Chevy, has confirmed he's in serious negotiations again, for his future with Dale Earnhardt, Inc.(see full story at NASCAR.com)(7-23-2002)
Hornaday in the #49 at Indy? Shawna Robinson is the only woman driver competing in NASCAR's Winston Cup Series, and last season she became the first female to finish a race in more than two decades. The question now, however, is: How much longer will she have a job? Although team officials have not confirmed any driver change, Robinson revealed in a phone interview yesterday that she may have taken her last ride in the #49 Dodge Intrepid. Ron Hornaday Jr., who replaced Robinson at two races earlier this season - failing to qualify for one and needing a provisional to make the other - is ticketed to drive BAM Motorsports' entry in the Aug. 4 race in Indianapolis. Both drivers were at the Brickyard for test sessions last week, but according to Robinson, "Ron was in a car built for Indy; I was testing a car not made for Indy. "I'm extremely frustrated," she said. "The owners are very good people and they've given me a great opportunity, but I just don't know where I stand with the team at this point." Starting fresh with the newly formed BAM Motorsports, which is owned by Beth Ann Morgenthau and her husband Tony, Robinson turned in a career-best finish of 24th in the Daytona 500. But in running a limited schedule, the team has been unable to secure primary sponsorship. Robinson noted that "things keep breaking on the cars," and admitted that she had just discovered on the Internet that BAM recently hired its third crew chief of the season. Because she is under contract with BAM Motorsports through the end of next season, Robinson is going to do what she is asked to do. In the last month, she said, she has been to New York three times trying to secure sponsorship. If she is released, Robinson will pursue a deal to possibly return to the BGN next season.(Philadelphia Inqurier)(7-23-2002)
Biagi and NASCAR? Biagi Brothers? Tomas Biagi, who is running for the Euro F3000 Championship with Ghinzani Team is mentioned in a story about being contacted by a NASCAR team: "Q) You've been contacted by a Nascar Team recently, what's happening there? A) Yes, it's true, I've been contacted by a team in the NASCAR Series (didn't say which series). The Team is owned by a family with the same name and they said that ‘Biagi' is a very appreciated name in their competition. Naturally this could give me a very special opportunity…"(F-1 Live.com), assuming (oops) he is talking about the Biagi Brothers #4 BGN team who Mike Wallace drives for, there had been rumors of a 2nd car for that team in 2003.(7-23-2002)
#71 Team Unsure of Indy Plans: The Indianapolis test didn’t fare as well as #71 Marcis Racing or driver Dick Trickle had hoped. They took a new car and wanted to shake it down and see how it handled and after two days they were still having difficulty getting the car to turn properly. The team will be deciding this week if they’ll still attempt to make the Indy race, and then possibly Dick will have to make his decision after that.(Dick Trickle Fan Club Newsletter)(7-23-2002)
Long to skip the Brickyard 400 but plan to be at Pocono: #79 SR Racing and Carl Long have decided not to run the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis next week, because they want to concentrate on the race at Pocono this weekend.(Carl Long Racing site)(7-23-2002)
McGlynn to attempt a Pocono Cup race? UPDATE 2: hearing CTS driver Ryan McGlynn and team is preparing a Chevy to run at one or both Pocono Winston Cup events. McGlynn Racing is based in Wilkes-Barre, PA. No word on sponsorship at this time.(5-25-2002) UPDATE: hearing McGlynn will attempt the 2nd Pocono race in July, not the race in June.(5-29-2002) UPDATE 2: now hearing it is unlikely that McGlynn will be attempting to run Pocono this week but McGlynn may attempt to run New Hampshire in September.(7-23-2002)
Kenny Wallace to the #23? UPDATE: Kenny Wallace is expected to drive Bill Davis' #23 Dodge, with Stacker 2 as the primary sponsor, in 2003. Davis says that if Hills Brothers, the current sponsor on the #23, re-signs during the next two weeks for next season, he might field a third team. Hut Stricklin currently drives the #23.(Sporting News) UPDATE: Wallace was on ESPN2's RPM 2 Night and said he has a deal is basically done and to look for announcement just after the Brickyard 400, but he wouldn't comment on the specifics.(7-22-2002)
IROC to run 11 cars at Indy, Unser not replaced:IROC officials conferred today regarding the July 18 announcement by Al Unser Jr., stating that he would immediately enter into a treatment program for substance abuse. IROC President, Jay Signore made the following statement on behalf of the True Value IROC Series: "We commend Al Unser Jr., on his decision to seek treatment and wish him all the best in his efforts toward recovery. We will run an 11-car field in the August 3 finale at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and will respectfully credit Al Unser Jr., with his current points in the final standings of the 2002 True Value IROC Series. We look forward to Al's return to autoracing and we're very confident he'll soon be adding more race wins and championships to his stellar career resume."(IROC Racing PR)(7-23-2002)
Gordon Wins 2nd Quarter Man of the Year: Jeff Gordon has earned the second-quarter nomination for the NASCAR True Value Man of the Year Award. True Value, the Official Hardware Store of NASCAR, once again is sponsoring the award designed to honor a driver not only for accomplishments on the track but for community service and charitable efforts. Ricky Craven (#32 Tide Ford) received the first-quarter nomination. In December 1999, Gordon - a four-time Cup Series champion - established the Jeff Gordon Foundation. This charitable organization allows Gordon to offer his support, either in the form of a monetary donation, awareness or a simple meet-and-greet. Since April, Gordon has granted 10 wishes to children in the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He also met more than 30 Make-A-Wish children at Michigan International Speedway in June. And earlier this year, Gordon participated in the Association of American Publishers "Get Caught Reading" program. This program is designed to encourage reading among all age groups. Gordon also has teamed up with Sesame Street character "Elmo" to raise money for the Jeff Gordon Foundation. A specially designed collector's car, which will not be raced, will be released for sale later this summer. In addition to Gordon's generous donation of his time, the Jeff Gordon Foundation has made monetary donations to St. Jude's Research Hospital and has raised more than $11,000 through on-line auctions. Monies raised are distributed to the charitable organizations supported by the Jeff Gordon Foundation: Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Marrow Foundation, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Hendrick Marrow Program and Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. For the purpose of determining the NASCAR True Value Driver of the Year award winner, the NASCAR Winston Cup season has been divided into four quarters in which drivers are nominated for off-track efforts. An elite group of panelists will select one of the four quarterly finalists as the NASCAR True Value Driver of the Year. This award will be presented at the NASCAR Winston Cup Series awards ceremony in New York City, along with a prize of $100,000. The prize will be divided evenly between the driver and the charity of his choice. In addition to the NASCAR True Value Driver of the Year, True Value sponsors the Driver of the Race Award, which goes to the eligible driver who wins each of the 36 NASCAR Winston Cup championship events. Each True Value Driver of the Race Award winner receives $2,500 with an additional $2,500 going to the charity of their choice. The third-quarter nominee will be announced on September 16.(NASCAR PR)(7-23-2002)
Busch helps the Pooches: Kurt Busch, driver of the #97 Rubbermaid Ford was the Grand Marshal of the Beggin' Strips A-Mazin' Bacon Race in Baltimore at the Maryland Science Center on July 18th. Between now and October, professionally trained dogs will race across the country, visiting 20 cities, including Baltimore, on a quest for the great taste of bacon. In each city, a group of dogs will compete against each other and the clock, through a fun and interactive agility course to win the A-Mazin' Bacon Race and raise money for local charities. At each event along the way, the racing dogs' times are calculated. The one with the best average at the end of the tour takes home the prestigious Bacon Cup. This race through Baltimore was to help raise money for the Maryland SPCA. Rusty Wallace was the Grand Marshsal in New York City a few weeks ago. Cities the Beggin' Strips A-Mazin' Bacon Race will travel through include: Indianapolis, New York, Pittsburgh, Boston, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Denver, Seattle, Sacramento, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, Tulsa, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. For more information on the Beggin' Strips A-Mazin' Bacon Race, log-on to www.begginstrips.com.(7-23-2002)
#88 Too Low; #28 Unapproved part UPDATE - Penalties/fines: Dale Jarrett’s #88 Ford was found to be approximately 1/8th of an inch below the 51-inch minimum height requirement following post-race inspection. Jarrett finished third in Sunday’s New England 300. NASCAR spokesperson Danielle Frye said it was likely Jarrett’s team would be penalized driver and car owner points for the infraction. In the past, fines have been the typical penalty for such violations.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-21-2002) AND - NASCAR finds unapproved part on #28: NASCAR officials confiscated an unapproved jacking bolt from the No. 28 Ford of driver Ricky Rudd during pre-qualifying inspection on Friday. A fine is likely.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-22-2002) PENALTIES ANNOUNCED: NASCAR officials penalized two NASCAR Winston Cup crew chiefs today for infractions discovered during this past weekend's New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, N.H.
Todd Parrott, crew chief of the #88 Ford Taurus, was fined $20,000 and his team was also penalized 25 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Championship driver points as well as 25 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Championship owner points. Parrott's team was penalized under Section 12-4-T of the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book: "Any car that is found to be under the specified height requirement after the completion of time trials, qualifying races, or the race." The #88 car was approximately one-eighth of an inch too low. The minimum height requirement is 51 inches.
Michael McSwain, crew chief of the #28 Ford Taurus, was fined $500 and penalized under Sections 12-4-Q and 20-12-1A: "Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules; unapproved jacking bolt."(NASCAR PR)(7-22-2002)
More Nadeau to the #36 and Schrader to Petty rumors: Jerry Nadeau, the leading candidate to replace Ken Schrader in the #36 Pontiac next season, gave the #10 Valvoline Pontiac (a sister car to the #36) one of its best rides of the season. Filling in for the injured Johnny Benson, Nadeau led five times for 37 laps before finishing 18th after his two-way radio failed midway through the race. "The car was good enough to win," he said. "But when you don't have any communication between the crew chief and driver, what are you going to do? I had no spotter the last 100 laps. It's just a tough deal." Nadeau, who was released from Hendrick Motorsports [#25] earlier this year, has filled in for Benson and appears set to become his teammate next year because Schrader is likely to move to the Petty Enterprises team.(Atlanta Journal Constitution) AND Jerry Nadeau is a candidate for Cal Wells' second team. Nadeau is also considered to be a candidate as Johnny Benson's teammate next season if Kenny Schrader leaves the Jay Frye team.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-22-2002)
Rudd's Son Sick UPDATE better: Ricky Rudd's son Landon, 7, is in the hospital because of complications he suffered while having his tonsils removed. Rudd said his son has asthma and might have had an allergic reaction to the anesthesia. Rudd said his face swelled and he suffered some bruises to his face when medical personnel tried to help him breathe with a bag system. ``It was supposed to be an outpatient deal, but he'll probably be in there another couple of days,'' Rudd said. ``It was supposed to be a simple deal.''(Boston Herald)(7-20-2002) UPDATE: Ricky Rudd's son, Landon, was released from the hospital, where he was treated after having an allergic reaction to anesthesia during surgery to remove his tonsils.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-22-2002)
What? No More Burnouts? No more post-race burnouts. That's apparently the word from NASCAR execs after Greg Biffle's Busch victory burnout in St. Louis, which led a blown tire, which in turn brought Biffle's car through the post-race inspection station too low. NASCARis telling teams that any driver who does that again and blows a tire risks having the win taken away.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-22-2002)
Stewart Ticked: Tony Stewart’s 320-Home Depot Pontiac was a prime contender until lap 122 of Sunday’s New England 300, when, for no apparent reason, the car careened radically outside and into the wall in turn four. Stewart reported via radio there had been no blown tire, and the incident helped set off a firestorm of criticism of the track. Michael Waltrip, Casey Atwood, Kyle Petty and Steve Park had similar crashes in the same area. After limping nearly to the other end of the track, Stewart left the car in the grassy area inside of turns one and two. He then walked to his motorcoach instead of to the infield care center, where drivers involved in accidents are normally required to report for a routine check-up. Initially, Stewart’s crewmen reported to NASCAR officials that they intended to do repairs and put the car back on the track. Officials then informed them Stewart reporting to the infield hospital would be required before he would be allowed to return. A few minutes later, the No. 20 Pontiac was officially retired from the race, and Stewart settled for 39th place.(Gaston Gazette)(7-22-2002)
Nelson to talk to drivers about NHIS: Gary Nelson, NASCAR's managing director of competition, said he would talk with drivers in Sunday's New Hampshire 300 to see where the drivers feel the problems with the track lie. "We would like the competitors to be able to race and feel comfortable with the way the cars, the tires and the track all work together." "I have to talk to some of the drivers. My observation was (Turns) 1 and 2 did not appear to be a problem. (Turn) 3 didn't appear to be a problem. I think when you listen to their interviews they say they couldn't get any grip, but I want to sit down with some of them and try to break it down into, 'Was it a Turn 4 problem, or was it bigger than that?' My observation is it was not a problem on the other end." "I saw a lot of lead changes, a lot more racing than I've seen when I was standing down there." "We'll find out what the problem was."(ThatsRacin.com)(7-22-2002)
Rudd to stay in the #28 next year? to Ganassi? Spencer out? Despite rumors to the contrary, Ricky Rudd could be back in Robert Yates' #28 Ford next season if a deal can be worked out with Chevron [Havoline], the sponsor, and "if I can keep my team together," Rudd says. Though crew chief Michael McSwain will not be back with the #28 next season, the rest of the crew appears solidly behind its driver. Rudd says he has received pressure from other teams to make a decision, and sources at Ganassi Racing say they thought they would hear from Rudd last week. Whether Chip Ganassi would add a third team to accommodate Rudd or replace Jimmy Spencer in the #41 is unclear.(Sporting News)(7-22-2002)
Sadler Announement at Indy? UPDATE: Details of the deal that unites Elliott Sadler and Yates, with M&M's as the primary sponsor, for 2003 should be divulged at Indy.(Sporting News) UPDATE: Yates' M&M Mars deal for Elliott Sadler next season might not be quite as firm as previously believed, according to some sources; however, the company is expected to announced its deal at Indianapolis during Brickyard 400 week.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-22-2002)
No Commercials? There are already some changes in the digital cable pay TV in-car package. According to Cable World (no online link), "The changes include switching a broadcast feed to a sixth channel offering in-car coverage of a single driver, moving to an ad-free atmosphere for the in-car channels and transforming the seventh channel, which was originally used for stats, into a viewing guide. Viewers paying $99.95 for the package ($89.95 if prepaid) are reminded to watch the broadcast feed on the network responsible for that week's race."(MotorsportsTV)(7-22-2002)