Jeff Gordon wins his 5th Southern 500 at Darlington: #24-Jeff Gordon won the Mountain Dew Southern 500, winning his 5th ever Souther 500 which ties him with Cale Yarborough for the most ever. The 23 cars that finished on the lead lap is a record for the Southern 500. It is Gordon's 60th career win. #12-Ryan Newman was 2nd. Race Re-Air: The Southern 500 will be re-aired on TNT, Tues, Sept 3rd, 1:00am/et; Speed Channel on Wed, Sept 4th, 8:00pm/et and Thurs, Sept 5th, 1:00am/et. Race Results: at ThatsRacin.com or NASCAR.com.
Past news, cautions, notes on the race at my Mountain Dew Southern 500 Race Info page.(9-1-2002)
PPI Racing to do their own engines? NASCAR.com's The Buzz has learned that Cal Wells III and his #32 PPI Motorsports team will do their own engines beginning in 2003, when the team -- with driver Ricky Craven -- plans to switch from the Ford Tauruses it currently runs to the newly designed 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix. Wells' team currently employs Ford engines from Robert Yates Racing, and is extremely pleased with the power output. However, unlike Roush Racing -- which has heavy Ford involvement but has built GM engines for the NASCAR Busch Series -- Yates does no GM engines. Wells plans to announce the head of his engine program this week.(NASCAR.com)(9-1-2002)
Papis and Fukuyama in NASCAR? Travis Carter said his Lakeland, FL test with Indy-car driver Max Papis was inspiring: "He is the most dedicated race-car driver I have ever seen." Carter said he wants to put Papis, who has a rigorous weight-training program, into a Busch car next season if he can put together a sponsorship package. Carter will head to Japan this week for some PR appearances with Hideo Fukuyama, one of that country's top drivers, who would like to run the Winston Cup tour next season in one of Carter's two cars. "He's real cautious and doesn't want to get in over his head," Carter said of Fukuyama. "He wants two little mirrors - but said he figures he won't need them for at least the first 10 laps." One problem: Fukuyama speaks very little English, and Carter speaks very little Japanese. Spotting could be a problem. Danny Culler spotted for the team on the Motegi-Suzuka trips.(Winston Salem Journal) UPDATE: Former Japanese GT champion Hideo Fukuyama has tested a Haas Carter Motorsports Ford in hopes of making his Winston Cup debut this fall. Fukuyama, 47, was able to test one day last week at Dover before rain interrupted the test. Owner Travis Carter has hired young crew chief Teddy Brown, who at the beginning of the season worked on the turnaround by BAM Racing with Shawna Robinson, to engineer Fukuyama's program. Carter, who was planning a trip this week to Japan, would like to test Fukuyama again at Dover and at Rockingham before he attempts Winston Cup races at Dover, Martinsville and Rockingham [in the #66 Ford?]. Fukuyama has also raced in a couple NASCAR Winston West Series events, including one at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan and another at Pikes Peak International Raceway. He met Carter at the first NASCAR exhibition race in Japan, at the Suzuka Circuit road course and drove his #23 Team Camel Ford. Fukuyama competed in both Winston Cup style exhibitions at Suzuka and also drove in the Winston Cup race at the 1.5-mile Motegi oval in 1998 and the final NASCAR appearance in Japan, the Winston West finale in 1999.(NASCAR.com) AND Winston Cup car owner Travis Carter plans to enter Japanese driver Hideo Fukuyama in his No. 66 Ford in three races this season, at Dover, Martinsville and Rockingham. Fukuyama has two starts in Winston West series events, November 1999 at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan and July 1998 at Pikes Peak in Colorado. His best finish was 15th at Motegi. He also competed in the NASCAR exhibition race at Suzuka, Japan, in 1996. The team expects to have a sponsor in place for the races soon.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-1-2002)
Carter talking to DiscoverCard to extend: #26 team owner Travis Carter said he has been in discussions with executives from Discover Card in hopes the company would extend the sponsorship program with his #26 Ford driven by Todd Bodine. That deal began about a third of the way through this season, then was extended through the end of 2002. The team owner said he hoped to retain Bodine's services for 2003, but that retaining Discover was critical to that aim.(NASCAR.com)(9-1-2002)
Inductions: Dale Inman, former crew chief for Richard Petty, pioneer NASCAR official Edward Otto and legendary team owners Leonard Wood and Bud Moore were inducted last night into the National Motorsports Press Association Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame. AND Proving that it's not always about the driver, the National Motorsports Press Association on Saturday night inducted into its Hall of Fame four new members who have a collective total of zero Winston Cup starts. Dale Inman, Bud Moore and Leonard Wood all played major roles in building some of the sport's greatest race cars and teams. The fourth inductee, the late Ed Otto, was a pioneer in NASCAR's early organization and promotion. Inman had 193 career victories as a crew chief, 180 of those with seven-time champion Richard Petty. Moore was a team owner who scored 63 victories, 43 poles and two championships in his long career. Wood is part of the Wood Brothers racing dynasty that has won 97 races and 116 poles with at least one victory in each of the sport's six decades. His brother, Glen, was inducted into the NMPA Hall of Fame a year ago. Otto was the first vice president of NASCAR who helped the fledgling organization expand its reach to the Northeast, Midwest and West regions of the country shortly after its founding in 1948.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-1-2002)
Stewart ain't going anywhere: Joe Gibbs Racing hoped to silence talk that Tony Stewart might be trying to get out of his contract early, saying there have been no discussions between the driver and team. "There's absolutely no truth to that," said J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR. "The nature of this sport is that when a guy is running well, other teams try to talk to him. But there's no truth that Tony is trying to leave." Stewart, in his fourth season with Gibbs, is signed through 2004. There's been speculation that he might drive for Chip Ganassi, who fielded a car for Stewart in the Indianapolis 500 last season, and it's believed Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones tried to get him when he was considering buying into a Winston Cup team. But Gibbs said Stewart isn't going anywhere, at least for the time being. "He's here at least through '04," Gibbs said. "Our policy has always been to not talk about guys under contract, so we don't talk about that."(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(9-1-2002)
France undergoes Hip surgery: Bill France Jr. had surgery Saturday morning to repair the broken right hip he suffered in a fall earlier this week. France fell Tuesday night and broke his hip. As doctors evaluated that injury, they determined that France needed heart bypass surgery and performed that operation Wednesday night. Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president for corporate communications, said Saturday that France's surgery on Saturday was successful. "Bill is resting comfortably and his doctors are extremely pleased with the results of both surgeries," Hunter said.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-31-2002)
Body Rule Change Coming UPDATE: Winston Cup series director John Darby said Saturday that a new rule is coming to standardize the body location of cars racing in the series, possibly within a week. There is now no restriction on how far forward or backward the body on a Cup car can be located. Teams vary that position from track to track to help balance the car. In general terms, bodies are moved forward on superspeedways to keep air off the rear spoilers and reduce drag, and moved backward on shorter tracks. Darby said NASCAR will require the same measurement for all cars raced on all tracks, with a tolerance of a half- or three-quarters of a inch on either side. The challenge, Darby said, is to set a measurement that will keep teams in the series from having to cut off and rehang sheet metal on most of the cars in their fleets.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-18-2002) UPDATE: While no bulletin has been issued, yet, NASCAR has all but issued the paperwork to make the body locations standard for the 2003 season. The prospect has been looming during the past several weeks, but issuance of the rule has been slowed, somewhat, by team politicking. In the final analysis NASCAR will call for the car bodies to sit at a 60-inch measurement, plus or minus three-quarters-of-an-inch as measured from the center of the roof at the windshield seem to the center of the rear axle housing. Generally the ruling is being hailed in the garage as a plus, but it does represent a lot of work for several car owners. Robert Yates, just today, learned from his crew chiefs – Michael McSwain and Todd Parrott – that about 40 of the Yates’ 42-car fleet will need to be re-skinned to meet the new NASCAR specification. NASCAR, while tightening down body mounting locations, will also take a bite out of the team’s creativity in outlawing twisted roofs and hoods. Changes here will prohibit the teams from getting too wild with the bows and bends on the roofs of these cars. There was talk that NASCAR would issue the greenhouses, the area above the doorsills, for the cars complete with A, B and C pillars along with a roof stamping, but that apparently has been taken off the table. The critical measurements of the greenhouse, however, will be captured in the new NASCAR 2003 templates and will make all windshield rakes and measurements standard across all brands. Dodge and Ford are supposed to be currently running the same windshield rakes this year, but something with the templates allowed the Dodge to lay their windshield back slightly more than the Ford teams. This reduced angle is helpful to the Dodge cause as it helps reduce drag.(Ford Racing)(8-31-2002)
Sprague in a Pontiac? UPDATE 2: The new Haas CNC Racing Chevy Cup team, owned by Gene Haas, was announced a few months ago as the #60 Haas Automation Chevrolet with Jack Sprague driving full time in 2003. Hendrick Motorsports will supply cars, engines and technical support. Well looks like they may be running a Pontiac in 2003 and are leaning that way. Hendrick would still support the team.(Winston Cup Scene - need subscription to read - now in pdf format)(8-22-2002) UPDATE: Pontiac's next announcement of a team for 2003 is expected to have ties to Hendrick Motorsports. Rick Hendrick says the Winston Cup deal being put together for driver Jack Sprague with Gene Haas and Joe Custer likely will put Sprague, one of Hendrick's Busch Series drivers, in a Grand Prix. Haas Automation has been an associate sponsor on all of Hendrick Motorsports' entries, and the relationship goes back eight years. Hendrick believes NASCAR has accomplished its goal of establishing common template cars and thinks both new GM models will be equally competitive. The Haas team will get cars, engines and technical support from Hendrick and from Pontiac team MBV (Johnny Benson), which was instrumental in developing the 2003 Grand Prix.(Sporting News)(8-26-2002) UPDATE 2: The Haas Automation/Hendrick Motorsports Winston Cup operation planning to debut full time next season with driver Jack Sprague appears likely to be the next team to join the Pontiac team in 2003. "I think it looks pretty favorable that they will be running the Pontiac. I'm not 100 percent, but they are awful close," said Rick Hendrick, whose Hendrick Motorsports operation will supply engines, chassis and other technical assistance to the team. "They will be doing their own cars and we will be doing some chassis for them. The Pontiac and Chevrolet are basically going to be the same car with the only difference in the grille area. It won't be any big deal." The team still hopes to run at least three races this season, with its sights set on the fall events at Charlotte, Atlanta and Homestead.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-31-2002)
Testing next week at Daytona UPDATE: Next week, NASCAR officials hope to run a second round of testing of proposed new rules at Daytona.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-30-2002) UPDATE: NASCAR officials are considering another test to work on the aerodynamic rules for restrictor-plate races at Talladega and Daytona, where cars tend to travel in packs, increasing the chance of multicar accidents. "I talked to (Winston Cup series director) John Darby a little bit after they went to Daytona a few weeks ago. The last thing they were working on and started to see a little progress on, I guess they didn't get to run because it rained, so they're getting ready to go back pretty soon," said Frank Stoddard, crew chief for Jeff Burton's #99 Fords. "They're going to go to either Talladega or Daytona again and try to simulate what they wanted to do the first time and didn't get to finish."(ThatsRacin.com)(8-31-2002)
a Petree Announcement UPDATE 2 No merger or buyout: ......Andy Petree took time out to talk a little bit about what everyone’s been talking about in the racing world for the past few months — his rumored deal with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for a two-car team next season. His answer to the obvious question was the same. “I really don’t have anything to say on that right now. We don’t have an announcement yet,” Petree said. He did, however, reveal later in the day that he would make an announcement Friday morning at Darlington, S.C., concerning his plans for next season. Petree was out of town Monday, but APR executive vice president/general manager Steve Barkdoll said the main reason for the announcement was to just let everyone know what’s going on. “We just felt like it was time to tell everyone APR’s plans for next year, and that’s all it’s going to be,” Barkdoll said.(Hendersonville Times News)(8-28-2002) UPDATE: Andy Petree Racing will remain a major factor in NASCAR Winston Cup racing, just won’t be carrying silver and blue colors, and no large stars will be on the cars in 2003.. The long-discussed arrangement between Andy Petree, the top chassis and mechanical mind among NASCAR Winston Cup owners, and the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys will not be completed. “We’re moving forward and we’re doing everything we can to finish this year on a strong note, and to have a great 2003,” said Petree, the only owner in the sport to have won two NASCAR Winston Cup championships in a “hands-on” capacity. “We do need additional sponsorship but that’s an area we’ve been working on throughout this process. We are in discussions with Schneider Electric/Square D regarding the future - they are a great partner of ours - but we know we still need additional sponsorship support. This is a tremendous marketing opportunity for a corporation at a price I know is unmatched in this sport,” Petree said. “Andy Petree Racing has a lot to offer a sponsor, and we feel somebody will step up and take advantage of this,” he said. “This is a chance for a company to partner with our program, to do so at a price that is incredibly reasonable and to receive a tremendous boost in their sales and awareness. Keep in mind that we also have a strong and on-going relationship with General Motors, and they have been tremendous supporters of ours through all of this,” he added. “With friends like that behind you, great things have to be ahead for you.” Petree said the ending of the Dallas Cowboys discussions should not be a factor in bringing in sponsorship. “We worked hard to put something together but we both knew we had to do something soon. They let me know they just couldn’t get everything done in time for 2003. They made the decision to end the discussions for 2003. I needed to make the announcement today so we can continue working on sponsorship for Andy Petree Racing.. “The Cowboys are great people and I believe they were serious about putting something together,” he added. “The fact of the matter is we are here to win races, plain and simple. And we’re going to continue to do that.”(Williams Company)(8-30-2002) UPDATE 2 - sponsor and driver could stay; to Pontiac? ....although Petree said there is a remote chance Hamilton could stay. Hamilton may now be the front-runner for Chip Ganassi's Havoline team. "We've got Schneider Electric, which has supported us quite a bit over the years and has been a great supporter of ours. We're trying to extend that with them, but we need some more help. We needed to get the word out that we're not doing this Cowboys thing so that it doesn't lock us out of some opportunities that are out there right now."(Speed Channel) AND Petree still hopes to have a two-car team next season. He now plans to continue his association with Schneider Electric and Square D, the primary sponsors of the #55 Chevrolet driven by Bobby Hamilton, who is not returning to the team in 2003. Petree said he now plans to continue his relationship with General Motors. The team was expected to switch to Ford next year if the Cowboys deal had been completed. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has a relationship with Ford as a corporate sponsor of the NFL team. Petree said it's possible his team will switch to Pontiac next season, but all those discussions were pending the outcome of the Cowboys' plans.(Dallas Morning News)(8-31-2002)
Musgrave back in a Cup car: Sirius Satellite Radio has joined forces with long time partner, Kenwood USA Corporation, to field a second Cup team. The #07 Kenwood/Sirius Dodge, driven by CTS driver Ted Musgrave, will compete for the second time this season at the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, site of one of his two NCTS victories this season. Joining current Sirius Racing teammate Casey Atwood, driver of the #7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge, Musgrave will take the #07 Kenwood/Sirius team, with its innovative chrome paint scheme, to five of the country's most popular NASCAR Winston Cup races this season. Earlier this month, Musgrave debuted the #07 Kenwood/Sirius Dodge at Indy, where he finished 21st in the Brickyard 400. Musgrave , driver of
the #1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram, currently sits third in the CTS points standings, just 61 points out of first place(Golin Harris PR)(8-31-2002)
Shepherd at Darlington: Morgan Shepherd will run the Southern 500 at Darlington this weekend with assistance from Phil Bonafield's CTS #86 Red Line Oil Chevy team. Bonafield is providing Shepherd with use of his hauler and crew members will be helping this weekend. Catchfence.com. Motorsportsweb.com and rwjm.com (Racing with Jesus Ministries) continue associate sponsorship, however additional sponsorship is needed. Shepherd and team plan to head to Richmond next weekend and hopefully pull double duty in both the CTS and Cup events.(STB Marketing Group PR)(8-31-2002)
Corvette Auction's nets $170k for charity: Terry Michaelis bid $170,000 to become the proud new owner of the "most perfect 1953 Corvette ever built" at the Mecum Auction at Corvettes at Carlisle. The bidding began at $120,000 but Michaelis waited until after $150,000 to even show interest in the car, finally winning the bid at $170,000. Michaelis of Napoleon, Ohio, owns more than 200 Corvettes, but he says his new '53 will be the centerpiece of his collection. He owns ProTeam Corvette Sales in his hometown and displays his collection there. Chip Miller, co-owner of Carlisle Productions, promoters of Corvettes at Carlisle, teamed up with Al Wiseman, co-owner of Classic Car Restoration and Service Center (CCRSC), Tarpon Springs, Fla., to restore the 1953 Corvette. The decided to have it ready in time for Corvette's 50th anniversary, and therefore named the project the Restoration Celebration. Only 300 Corvettes were made in 1953, and just more than 200 have survived to the 21st century. The '53 Restoration Celebration Corvette was restored to "better-than-perfect" condition. Chip and Al decided to sell the car and give all the money to Victory Junction Gang, a camp for children with life-threatening illnesses, founded by NASCAR's Kyle Petty and his wife Pattie in honor of their late son Adam. Kyle's father NASCAR legend Richard Petty was on the auction block to get bidders motivated. Corvettes at Carlisle (www.carsatcarlisle.com) is one of the largest all-Corvette shows in the world, with attendance exceeding 60,000 Corvette enthusiasts each year. This year's event took place Aug. 23-25, and next year's Corvettes at Carlisle will be Aug. 22-24, 2003.(8-31-2002)
TRAC Retains Sports Investment Banker UPDATE: Team Sports Entertainment through its wholly owned subsidiary, Team Racing Auto Circuit (TRAC) announced that it has engaged Baltimore-based investment banker, Moag & Company to head up efforts to sell a limited number of operational rights to TRAC teams. Moag & Company is one of the nation's leading sports, media and entertainment investment banking firms. TRAC has engaged Moag & Company as their sole and exclusive agent for sale of the local operating rights for the ten-city racing league. The company will identify potential ownership groups, advise TRAC concerning those investors and will assist in the negotiations on the sale of operating rights for each city. Moag & Company has been involved in major transactions involving the sale of the Baltimore Ravens, the private placement of equity in Montreal-based Field Turf, the sale of Minor League Baseball and Arena Football League teams and the sale of National Hockey League and Major League Baseball franchises to name a few.(TRAC PR) UPDATE: The Team Racing Auto Circuit this week received at $2.5 million funding commitment from a shareholder group led by South Carolina-based Godley Morris Group, bolstering its financial footing as it considers whether to delay its inaugural season from 2003 until 2004.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-31-2002)
Penske, Jesel and Dodge? Members of Roger Penske's Winston Cup team have been spending time in the garage area of Ray Evernham's team, fueling the continuing speculation that Penske will switch from Ford to Dodge next season. Evernham is one of the top Dodge operations. Dodge officials reportedly have offered Penske $20 million to make the move.(Dallas Morning News) AND in this weeks Winston Cup Scene (need sub and adobe to read) it reports that #36/66 BGN team owner Wayne Jesel is hoping to get factory support from Dodge and an alliance with a Winston Cup program. Penske Racing is considering switching from Fords to Dodges and speculation is that Jesel would form an alliance with the organization throught Penske official Dan Luginbuhl. Jesel admits he has had discussions with Penske about an alliance, but has also contacted Evernham Motorsports and Ganassi Racing.(8-30-2002)
Wallace released from DEI and... Kenny Wallace has been released from his DEI contract in 2002. Wallace was hired to first drive the #1 car for Steve Park, and be on stand-by for the rest of 2002 in case there was another need for him in any of the DEI cars. DEI decided that since it was obvious that their drivers were no longer in need of substitutes and that they were paying a full driver salary to someone that was sitting at home on Sundays watching the race on TV, that the contract could be ended, and see a full press release of the Wallace/Petree/ATT deal at Kenny Wallace Racing site.(8-30-2002)
Goodwin may field a woman driver in 2003 UPDATE 2 Renshaw signs/Grubb to Cup: Plans are being made for Rick Goodwin [owner of the #54 Toys-R-Us Chevy) to field a full-time BGN entry for a female driver, and the top candidates appear to be Deborah Renshaw and Tina Gordon. Goodwin also plans to run driver Kevin Grubb full-time in Winston Cup in 2003 with current sponsor Toys-R-Us.(Winston Cup Scene via BGNRacing.com)(8-22-2002) UPDATE: Deborah Renshaw, who gained national attention thanks to a plot against her by male drivers at Fairgrounds Speedway, is being considered for a full-time ride in the BGN. Rick Goodwin, owner of [#54] Team Bristol Motorsports in Bristol, Va., met with Renshaw and her parents in his suite at Bristol Motor Speedway yesterday. Goodwin's current driver is Kevin Grubb. But Goodwin wants to put Grubb in a full-time Winston Cup ride based in Charlotte next season and hire a new driver for his BGN car. Goodwin said the 24-year-old Renshaw's racing experience is relatively limited, but her poise and personality heightens her value in a marketing-driven sport. Goodwin said Renshaw is one of ''a number'' of candidates he's looking at and plans to announce his selection within 30-45 days.(Tennessean)(8-24-2002) UPDATE 2: Nashville's Deborah Renshaw has signed to drive in the NASCAR Busch Series next season, and will immediately begin testing in preparation for the huge career move. The 25-year-old Renshaw was chosen by Bristol, Va.-based team owner Rick Goodwin to drive his #54 Busch Series car next season. She'll replace the car's current driver, Kevin Grubb, who will move up to Winston Cup.(Tennessean)(8-30-2002)
No more RPM 2 Night after this year? UPDATE: hearing that ESPN2's RPM2night's weekday show [6:30pm/et with John Kernan] is gone at the end of the year, but the weekend show will continue.(boooooooooo) make comments at ESPN.(8-29-2002) UPDATE: Word came Thursday that the weekday edition of RPM 2Night will complete its run by the end of the year. MotorsportsTV.com contacted some of the key players at the show and, understandably, they didn't want to say anything at this time. However, on Friday morning MotorsportsTV.com spoke with ESPN spokesman Mike Humes, who was able to shed more light on the decision. Humes said that RPM is being dropped in favor of "a fan-driven, general interest signature series," temporarily named Drive Time, which will debut in February. The show will "allow fans to express opinions on a variety of sports issues" and may be simulcast on ESPN Radio, said Humes. ESPN has previously announced a broad strategy to develop more original series. The wildly successful Pardon The Interruption is evidence of that, as is the quickly jettisoned Mohr Sports. "We will focus our motorsports efforts on our two Sunday RPM shows," he said. "Race fans will still be served through other ESPN platforms," said Humes. He also added that ESPN will "continue to be aggressive in news gathering" for auto racing fans. "Without having NASCAR, we didn't feel the need to have a daily show any more," he said. Humes added that "low ratings were a factor as well."(MotorsportsTV)(8-30-2002)
Testing nest week at Daytona: Next week, NASCAR officials hope to run a second round of testing of proposed new rules at Daytona.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-30-2002)
BH Motorsports to Announce Plans for 2002-2003 UPDATE: BH Motorsports, who recently formed a strategic alliance with Hendrick Motorsports, will announce their 2002-2003 plans at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., on Thursday, Aug. 29th. The announcement will be regarding a planned minority driver development program and the team's acquisition of a primary advertiser, along with driver and crew chief introductions. The BH Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo will be unveiled(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(8-27-2002) UPDATE #54 Chevy, Hornaday to drive: BH Motorsports, who recently formed a strategic alliance with Hendrick Motorsports in an effort to establish a competitive African-American-owned NASCAR Winston Cup Series team, today announced the National Guard as their primary advertiser during a media luncheon at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. The #54 National Guard Chevy, named in recognition of the National Guard presence in 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia, will run a limited schedule in 2002, with aspirations for a full Winston Cup season in 2003. "We were fortunate to find BH Motorsports," said Lt. Gen. Roger C. Schultz, director of the Army National Guard. "The National Guard has a formidable diversity program, of which we are very proud, and the efforts of NASCAR, BH Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports are very consistent with the goals and objectives of that program. NASCAR fans have a great reputation for being loyal and dedicated, some of the values that are very important to us. When you go to a NASCAR race, just look around -- you see American flags everywhere. These fans love their sport and they love their country. These are the people that we're trying to reach," Schultz added. "We're honored to field the #54 Chevy with the National Guard as our partner," said Sam Belnavis, COO of BH Motorsports. "They, along with Hendrick Motorsports, are helping us lay the groundwork for a
successful future in Winston Cup racing." Ron Hornaday has been named driver of the #54 for three Winston Cup dates this season, with veteran crew chief Doug Richert also joining the team. BH Motorsports' 2002 schedule includes the events at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Oct. 13, Atlanta Motor Speedway on Oct. 27 and North Carolina Speedway on Nov. 3. Also announced were plans for the BH Motorsports-National Guard Driver Development Program for Minorities, which will allow drivers with diverse backgrounds the opportunity to compete on other racing circuits, including the ARCA RE/MAX Series. Hendrick Motorsports will continue to provide BH Motorsports with assistance in all phases of its racing operation, including marketing support, car and race-setup development, personnel recruitment and training, and corporate networking, in preparation for fielding the #54. Led by Belnavis and CEO Tinsley Hughes, who have a combined 35 years of motor sports experience, BH Motorsports will operate out of its new facility, located at the Mooresville Motorsports Center in Mooresville, N.C., effective immediately.(BH Motorsports PR)(8-29-2002)
Ward $5,000 lighter in the Wallet: NASCAR today fined Ward Burton $5,000 for throwing his shoe heat shields at Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s car during last Saturday night's Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. NASCAR said Burton was penalized for "actions detrimental to stock car racing."(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(8-29-2002)
Ganassi Third Team UPDATE 3: Car owner [#40, #41] Ganassi said he's committed to fielding a third Dodge Intrepid next season alongside the two Sterling Marlin and Jimmy Spencer currently drive, but would not confirm that Texaco-Havoline will be the sponsor. Texaco-Havoline was expected to go with Rudd to Ganassi, along with the #28, and the company has confirmed it will be in NASCAR next season. But Ganassi needs a driver for the car, which could switch to #42 to stay in succession with his other teams, and he said he'd prefer to hire someone already in stock car racing. Jerry Nadeau has said he'd love to drive for Ganassi, even offering to forfeit his pay should he not meet expectations, and John Andretti also is an option if he decides to leave Petty Enterprises. A remote option would be Jason Leffler, who was a rookie for Ganassi last season but was let go at the end of the year and now drives in NASCAR's truck series.(CNNSI/AP)(8-25-2002) UPDATE: been told that the team is not considering Leffler and Leffler is not considering the team. UPDATE 2: The sponsorship deal for next year is done between Chip Ganassi Racing and ChevronTexaco. But there has been no official word on a pilot for the expected third Ganassi team. Word is that Ganassi may make the plans for driver, sponsor and car number known at Richmond International Raceway in two weeks.(NASCAR.com)(8-26-2002) UPDATE 3: Chevron/Havoline has completed a deal to sponsor a third car at Chip Ganassi Racing next year. No word on the driver.(Augusta Chronicle)(8-29-2002)
Ford Racing News: Ford Racing Technology has leased Kentucky Speedway every Tuesday in the month of September. This is specifically to help the Ford Blue teams as they prepare for the championship point runs. One of the first teams signed-up to attend the Ford-sponsored tests was the Wood Brothers Racing, who intend to take their 2003 driver, Ricky Rudd, to begin the acclamation process between team and driver. The combo hits the track Sept. 10.(Ford Racing)(8-29-2002)
France undergoes surgery: International Speedway Corporation (ISC) announced today that its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, William C. France, has undergone bypass surgery. The procedure is not expected to prevent him from continuing his roles as Chairman and CEO of ISC. The bypass procedure was performed Wednesday evening. France was admitted to a hospital after a fall Tuesday night that resulted in a broken hip. After initial tests resulting from the fall were performed, doctors recommended the bypass procedure. "I have spoken with my brother and he is alert and in good spirits. The doctors say to expect a full recovery," said James C. France, President and Chief Operating Officer of ISC. "With regards to the company, we have a strong management team in place and expect on-going operations to continue to run efficiently."(ISC PR)(8-29-2002)
Petree and Wallace back together..Kenny...at Talladega UPDATE: hearing that Kenny Wallace and Andy Petree Racing will be reunited at Talladega Superspeedway for the EA SPORTS 500 on October 6th. The sponsor will be 1-800-CALLATT. Kenny will drive the same #33 Chevy that featured Carrot Top in Daytona – driven by his brother Mike in the Pepsi 400. Also hearing that on Monday, Wallace, APR & ATT will announce their search for a crew chief – in a most unique manner.(8-24-2002) UPDATE: Kenny Wallace will make a one-time return to the racing stable of Andy Petree Racing (APR) for the October running of the EA SPORTS 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, and take one lucky NASCAR fan along for the ride. 1 800 CALLATT for
Collect Calls will roll out a national promotion in support of the APR/Wallace reunion – a unique sweepstakes that places one fan atop
the pit box as Honorary Crew Chief for the #33 CALLATT Racing Team as the culmination of four days of motorsports immersion. During the promotional period (August 26th to September 22nd, except for September 11th), NASCAR fans completing a collect call using 1 800 CALLATT will have the chance to be entered into the 1 800 CALLATT for Collect Calls Fall 2002 NASCAR Sweepstakes to claim the seat next to team owner Andy Petree on the first weekend in October (see my Racing Contest page for more info and what the winner will get). Mike Wallace drove the 1 800 CALLATT entry to a 13th-place qualifying
effort in Daytona for Andy Petree Racing, advancing to the top-10 in the Pepsi 400 before Steve Park sent him spinning through the tri-oval at Daytona International Speedway. Wallace has since taken the reigns for AJ Foyt’s team, which left CALLATT and Andy Petree looking for a wheelman for their Superspeedway encore at Talladega. “1 800 CALLATT is excited to be sponsoring Kenny Wallace and #33 Chevrolet of Andy Petree Racing in Talladega for the EA SPORTS 500," said Carol Eversen, General Manager, 1 800 CALLATT for Collect Calls. “It's a wonderful opportunity to show our continued support for NASCAR by running the car and for NASCAR fans by giving them this once-in-a-lifetime chance to win a very special weekend, where they will be totally immersed in the sport. When we ran the car in the Pepsi 400 in Daytona earlier this year, we were able to witness the tremendous passion that NASCAR fans have for their sport, as well as their affection for the Wallace brothers. With Mike unavailable, it was only natural that we keep our driver choice ‘in the family’ for Talladega. We are thrilled to have Kenny behind the wheel to drive both our car and our national promotion.” For team owner Andy Petree, the highly visible partnership and national promotion is another opportunity for a team under his guidance to excel on a Superspeedway, something APR teams have done consistently over the past few seasons. “This continues to be an exciting opportunity for APR,” Petree said. “To be reunited with a driver like Kenny Wallace, with whom we had such an enjoyable relationship, in combination with such a unique national promotion from a NASCAR-savvy brand like 1 800 CALLATT on a Superspeedway – well, we’re certainly playing to our strengths. The last time Kenny drove at Talladega, he was SO close to his first Winston Cup win,” Petree recalled. “We’re anxious to put him a position to erase that ‘almost’ from the record.”(ignition, Inc)(8-29-2002)
Hall of Fame Stuff: On Saturday, August 31, in an annual ceremony held during Darlington Raceway's Mountain Dew Southern 500 weekend, motorsports pioneer and former NASCAR official Ed Otto will be one of four people inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame. Other inductees include Dale Inman, Leonard Wood and Bud Moore. It is appropriate to recall Otto's accomplishments this month. Sunday, August 7 marked 45 years to the day since Otto promoted the first NASCAR Winston Cup Series race held at Watkins Glen International. Watkins Glen was not the start of Otto's career as a race promoter. Otto began promoting auto racing events as early as 1927, and continued for half a century. He is credited with promoting more than 1,100 auto racing events, including 25 NASCAR Winston Cup events between 1949 and 1965. Otto was present when Bill France, Sr. convened with auto racing promoters and leaders from around the country on that historic day in December 1947 at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach to help form what is now NASCAR. Born in Newark, NJ in 1903, Otto became NASCAR's first vice president in 1952. He was a great spokesman for NASCAR not just in the Northeast, but also in the West and Midwest where he helped gain a footing for stock car racing. He is credited with promoting the race in which Lee Petty scored his first victory in Pittsburgh, PA in 1949. He also promoted the race in Toronto, Canada in 1958, where Richard Petty made his first NASCAR Winston Cup start. Otto also was known as an early safety advocate, and an ethical promoter who never let a driver go home empty-handed. Otto will be inducted into the NMPA Hall of Fame by Hal Hamrick.(Darlington Raceway PR) AND The North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame will honor two of racing's elite at its Sixth Annual Induction Ceremony, October 9, 2002 at the Mooresville, (NC) Citizens Center. Cale Yarborough, one of the most celebrated NASCAR drivers and owners, will be honored as the Hall of Fame's newest inductee. The late Smokey Yunick, car owner and crew chief will receive the coveted Snap-On Golden Wrench Award for his outstanding contributions to the sport. Cale Yarborough is one of NASCAR's most successful drivers. He was known for his aggressive, never give up driving style. Teamed with legendary car owner Junior Johnson, Yarborough recorded three back-to-back National Championships (1976-1978) and 28 race wins. Yarborough went on to create a successful career as a Winston Cup car owner, with drivers John Andretti and Jeremy Mayfield. Yarborough closed his racing career with a staggering total of 83 race wins, four Daytona 500 victories and three Winston Cup Championships. The late Smokey Yunick was a car owner, crew chief, engine builder, mechanic, and above all an innovator. He did not limit his racing innovation to stock car racing. Many of his most revolutionary machines were debuted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in his quest to win the Indy 500. Yunick's ability to look into the future of automotive development and design was recognized by the big three automakers in Detroit where he was contracted to develop programs ranging from auto racing to emission controls. Yunick succumbed to Leukemia in 2001 and left a motorsports legacy that will be revisited constantly by those that wish to excel in the sport of auto racing. Located in Mooresville, the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame celebrates the rich heritage of motorsports and its cultural contributions to society. It opened its doors to race fans in 1994 and now welcomes more than 300,000 visitors annually. More than 38,000 fans visited during Charlotte's Speedweeks in May 2002. A non-profit museum, the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame is dedicated to all types of racing - from drag racing to NASCAR. It houses more than 35 cars as well as numerous displays and showcases. Past inductees into the museum's Hall of Fame include Tim Flock, Bobby Allison, Richard Petty, Bill france, SR., Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett. For more information about the museum and the sixth annual induction ceremony, log on to its web site at www.ncarhof.com.(Tom Roberts PR), also see more news on my Hall of Fames page.(8-29-2002)
NAPCM Pit Crew Of The Week (Bristol) #14 CONSECO Crew Hard work and great stops all night took the #14 Conseco Crew from a 33 place starting position to a top 10 finish. Congratulations #14 Crew on being selected this week's NAPCM Pit Crew Of The Week sponsored by Toxabsorb, 21st century "spill Magnet", Pit Road Competitive Edge and the Official Spill Response Agent
of the National Association Of Pit Crew Members. Visit www.toxabsorb.com for all Toxabsorb household and pit road uses. This was your week #14 Crew!! Check out the latest Mechanix Wear "Pit Crew Of The Year" standings and finalist available ONLY at the National Association Of Pit Crew Members website (www.napcm.com).(8-29-2002)
Petty Enterprises to two cars in 2003? The Buzz has learned that Petty Enterprises may be making a sponsor switch between the #44 and #45 Dodge teams. Sprint has already announced they would not be returning to the #45 of Kyle Petty after this year. With current sponsor Georgia Pacific still signed on with Petty, the team may move the sponsor from the #44, currently being driven by Jerry Nadeau, to the #45 for the 2003 season. With Christian Fittipaldi coming aboard next year in Busch and ARCA competition, Petty Enterprises may not put a driver in the #44 at all and utilize the shop space and resources for Fittipaldi. An announcement is expected to be made in Richmond next week if a sponsor switch is going to be made.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(8-28-2002)
Ganassi third team drivers? John Andretti and Jerry Nadeau are believed to be the leading candidates to drive a third Dodge Intrepid for Winston Cup team owner Chip Ganassi next season. Ganassi had hoped to sign Ricky Rudd, who last week announced he would drive for the Wood Brothers beginning in 2003.(Las Vegas Sun)(8-28-2002)
Sadler spends time with Jarrett at RIR: Elliott Sadler never made a lap during a NASCAR test session at Richmond on Wednesday, but Sadler spent the day soakingup information from Dale Jarrett, his teammate next year at Robert Yates Racing, and Michael "Fatback" McSwain, his future crew chief. McSwain normally heads up the #28 driven by Ricky Rudd but called the shots yesterday on Jarrett's No. 88 Ford while Jarrett's crew chief, Todd Parrott, remained at the team's North Carolina shop. Sadler will test at Kentucky Speedway with his new team before the end of the season. Jarrett, turned laps yesterday with Michael Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and several others. Also, Ernie Irvan, who retired in 1999, returned to the 0.75-mile oval where he won two Winston Cup races. Irvan provided pointers to Michael Vergers, a Holland native who is trying to break into the BGN [with Irvan's old team MB2].(Richmond Times Dispatch)(8-28-2002)
Bristol TV Ratings UPDATE: The ratings on TNT for the Sharpie 500 from Bristol turned in a stellar 4.8 rating, up 17 percent from last year's 4.1.(MotorsportsTV.com)(8-27-2002) UPDATE: TNT followed up last week's all-time network high 5.3 (4,497,000) national cable rating for NASCAR's Pepsi 400 Winston Cup race in Brooklyn, MI with a 4.8 rating in primetime for Saturday night's Sharpie 500 in Bristol, TN. The 4.8 (4,137,000) represents a 17% increase over last year's rating (4.1), and is the highest rated night race in Bristol Motor Speedway history. The Pepsi 400 and Sharpie 500 rank #1 and #2, respectively, among basic cable programs for the month of August. Through four Winston Cup races in 2002, TNT is averaging a 4.9 rating for Winston Cup, up 23% from last year's 4.0 after four races. The Busch Series also is showing strong growth in 2002. Friday night's Busch race scored a 1.9 national cable rating, up 36% from the 1.4 it garnered a year ago. Overall, TNT's four second-half Busch Series races in 2002 have averaged a 1.6 national cable rating, up 14% from last year's 1.4. TNT also aired Busch Series racing prior to the Daytona 500 in February, with the EAS/GNC Live Well 300, which garnered a network Busch Series high 2.7 rating. Last year's Daytona 500 Busch Series race registered a 3.2 on Fox Network.(Turner PR)(8-28-2002)
Stewart and Harvick set to races trucks ar RIR: Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick will join the mix of the most competitive NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season in history when they drive in the Virginia is for Lovers 200 race on Thursday, September 5 at Richmond International Raceway. Also expected to drive in the race are Bobby Hamilton, Stacey Compton and Ken Schrader. Heading into the Virginia is for Lovers 200, eight drivers are within 133 points of leader Mike Bliss. Rounding out the top eight are Terry Cook, Musgrave, Rick Crawford, Robert Pressley, Jason Leffler, David Starr and Setzer, who won the pole at Richmond International Raceway last year. Bliss and Cook lead the series with four wins each this season. For the second straight year at Richmond, Harvick will field his own truck, while Stewart will drive for Andy Petree. All seats for the Virginia is for Lovers 200 are only $30. Renewable, reserved tickets to the FUNAI 250 are only $40 and general admission tickets are only $35. Tickets to the FUNAI 250 include practice and qualifying for Saturday's Monte Carlo 400 With The Looney Tunes- The Rematch!, which is sold out. In addition, kids 12 and under are free in the general admission sections on Thursday and Friday when accompanied by a paying adult and military personnel receive $5 off general admission tickets both nights.(Richmond International Raceway PR)(8-28-2002)
IRWIN Rough to Finish Award: At last Saturday's Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, tempers flared, cautions were abundant and emotions ran hot. In the end, few cars were able to escape the race without any damage.. The #99 CITGO Ford of Jeff Burton's was no exception. But the team overcame some mid-race bad luck to finish in the top-15, helping earn team crew chief Frank Stoddard this week's "IRWIN Rough to the Finish" award. Starting from the 36th position, Burton methodically made his way through traffic all night, climbing as high as 5th after a fast pit stop during a caution flag on lap 292. When the field came to the restart, the #19 and #88 got tangled up in front of Burton. Burton had nowhere to go, and ran into the #88 causing severe damage to the nose of the car. The #99 CITGO Ford would come in for a series of green flag pit stops to assess and fix the damage, eventually going a lap down on lap 355. But Burton persisted, and was able to regain his lap later in the race and climb to 13th position, where he would finish the night. "The #99 CITGO team did a great job in the pits this past weekend," said Stoddard. "We were really running strong before the accident. Unfortunately, we won't know how well we could have done tonight. But this team really came through under some difficult circumstances and allowed Jeff to post a top-15 finish.. My hat's off to all those guys in the pits - they deserve all the credit."
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)(8-28-2002)
Hut out....Kenny in NOW? UPDATE 2 Official: hearing Kenny Wallace may take over the #23 Bill Davis Racing / Hills Bros Dodge ride from current driver Hut Stricklin as soon as this week at Darlington, with the exception of Talladega (where he will drive the #33 1-800-CALLATT Chevy and Martinesville due to his BGN team). Supposedly Scott Wimmer will drive the #23 at Talladega and it is unknown who will drive it at Martinsville. Assuming Hills Bros will stay with the #23 for the rest of the year.(8-27-2002) UPDATE: Kenny Wallace's plans to join Bill Davis Racing [BDR] in 2003 apparently have taken on an accelerated schedule.
Wallace, scheduled Tuesday night on ESPN's show RPM2Night to announce his plans to join BDR with sponsor Stacker2 in 2003, will replace current BDR driver Hut Stricklin in the No. 23 Dodge this weekend at Darlington, SC, ThatsRacin.com has learned. The driver change was confirmed Tuesday when an updated entry list, provided by NASCAR, showed Wallace in the #23 Dodge at Darlington. A BDR spokesperson would not comment on the driver change, only to say more information would be available later in the week. Wallace is expected to compete in the #23 for the remainder of the 2002 season, except for the October race at Talladega, where he was already scheduled to drive for car owner Andy Petree; and Martinsville, which presents a conflict with Wallace's current BGN schedule. Stricklin has struggled this season, his first with BDR. In 22 starts – he failed to qualify for one race and road racer Tom Hubert filled in for another – Stricklin is 33rd in points with no top-10 finishes. His best finish was 11th at Talladega in April. His best start was 21st at Rockingham. Wallace has made 10 Winston Cup starts this season for a variety of teams. His best finish was 10th at Rockingham while driving as a substitute for Steve Park's #1 Dale Earnhardt Inc.-owned Chevrolet.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-27-2002) UPDATE 2: Effective immediately, Kenny Wallace will take over the driving duties for the #23 Hills Bros. Coffee Dodge for the remainder of the season.. After a lengthy discussion, car owner, Bill Davis, and driver, Hut Stricklin, have agreed to take this opportunity to maximize efforts for all parties involved for the 2003 NASCAR season. "I am very grateful to Bill Davis Racing and Hills Brothers Coffee, and I consider this as a chance to allow the team to get things in place and get a head start on next year," said Stricklin. "It will also allow me to explore my options for the future. Hills Brothers Coffee is a great sponsor and I will continue involvement with the company for the remainder of the year."
"All of us at Bill Davis Racing respect Hut and his family, "said car owner, Bill Davis.. "He is one of the nicest guys you'll meet in this sport and I think a lot of him.. We announced earlier this week that Kenny will be driving the #23 Stacker 2 Dodge beginning in 2003, and we see this as a opportunity to get a head start on next season and work toward building the team chemistry and consistency that is essential to run up front in the Winston Cup Series."(Bill Davis Racing PR)(8-27-2002)
Kenny Wallace announcment Tuesday - OFFICIAL Wallace and Stacker2 to the #23: per the Kenny Wallace Racing site: "The Announcement" will be held Tuesday at 6:30pm/et on ESPN2's RPM2NIGHT, and at 6:40 on KennyWallaceRacing.com, also on FSN's Totally NASCAR on Tuesday Night 6:00pm/local and Speed Channel at 6:30pm/et. Wallace's 2003 plans.(8-26-2002) Some past rumors.....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) for more, see my #23 Team or #98 Team pages.(8-27-2002) UPDATE 2 - Kenny Wallace and Stacker 2 Sign Multi-Year Deal With Bill Davis Racing: NVE Pharmaceuticals and Bill Davis Racing have inked a multi-year deal with Kenny Wallace and Stacker 2. Wallace will drive the #23 NASCAR Winston Cup Dodge beginning in 2003 and will carry Stacker 2, "The World's Strongest Fat Burner' as its primary sponsor. Wallace, a veteran driver in both the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series ranks, is thrilled about the opportunity of returning full-time to NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition for Bill Davis Racing. "This is a dream come true for me," said Wallace. "I'm so lucky to have a sponsor that's so supportive and their involvement in NASCAR. Competing on the Winston Cup level is no easy task, as the competition is so close these days. You have to be with a team that can win races, and Bill Davis Racing has proven that. I feel very fortunate that I'll have the opportunity to be part of an organization with such great history. Bill's a racer and he knows what it takes to win. He's committed to giving his teams everything they need to run up front and that's where I plan to take the Stacker 2 Dodge - to the front! "
Davis, felt Wallace and Stacker 2 were a perfect addition to Bill Davis Racing.
"I'm very excited about Kenny and Stacker 2 coming aboard," said Davis. "Stacker 2 is extremely committed to their involvement in NASCAR. They do a lot of creative things to compliment their involvement as a sponsor. The ads are humorous and who could be a better spokesperson for Stacker 2 than Kenny? I've known Kenny since he was a kid and we're great friends. He comes from a strong racing family and while his personality is fun and light-hearted, his will to win is very serious. I watched what he was capable of while subbing for Steve Park in the #1 DEI car. He did an amazing job and we feel it's just the beginning of what he can do behind the wheel of a race car. We're committed to provide them with the necessary tools needed to be successful on the Winston Cup level."
NVE Pharmaceuticals is also excited about the move to a full-time NASCAR Winston Cup team.
"We have had such success with our NASCAR sponsorship that we are ready to take it to a new level," said Karen Finocchio, Vice President of Marketing for NVE Pharmaceuticals. "Moving to the Winston Cup Series was the next step in our marketing program and we are 100 percent committed to Kenny. We know Kenny has the talent to compete at the Winston Cup level, so we were looking for an outfit that could provide him with the resources to be competitive. Once we met with Bill, we were immediately impressed with his organization. He runs a first-class racing operation and we knew we had found a home for us and Kenny."
NVE Pharmaceuticals is the only manufacturer of The World's Strongest Fat Burners, Diet Products and Herbal Energizers. Look for the release of the Stacker 2 High Protein Liquid Lunch drink and the new high protein, low carbohydrate meal replacement bar. See their site at www.nveusa.com or www.stacker2.com.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(8-27-2002)
BH Motorsports to Announce Plans for 2002-2003: BH Motorsports, who recently formed a strategic alliance with Hendrick
Motorsports, will announce their 2002-2003 plans at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., on Thursday, Aug. 29th. The announcement will be regarding a planned minority driver development program and the team's acquisition of a primary advertiser, along with driver and crew chief introductions. The BH Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo will be unveiled(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(8-27-2002)
Jeff Burton to help out MDA at Darlington: #99-Jeff Burton will run a special paint scheme for this weekend's Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington to help raise money to find a cure for muscular dystrophy. It's the second year that Burton and his car's sponsor, CITGO, have teamed up in the benefit. Burton's car will have a red, white and blue paint scheme for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and Burton will wear a specially designed helmet and firesuit that will be auctioned off later to help raise money for MDA.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(8-27-2002)
Loomis sends note: Robbie Loomis, who left Petty Enterprises to become Jeff Gordon's crew chief, tried to smooth things over with his former employer by sending a note to [Kyle] Petty's pit. Loomis was relieved to get a reply. "I love the Pettys to death, and they didn't understand why we weren't giving them the lap back," Loomis said. "I'd go over there and mow their grass if they called me to help make up for it. They sent a note back saying they understood he was trying to protect his lead."(St Petersburg Times)(8-27-2002)
Trickle to test for Evernham at Talladega: Dick Trickle will be testing for the Evernham Motorsports teams again in Talladega. They have scheduled a test for Tuesday and Wednesday, September 10th & 11th. Trickle tested for the Evernham teams in March before the April race in a third car #91. NASCAR rules stated that if a new car number was tested, that car must also attempt to qualify for the race. Trickle attempted to qualify for the Talladega race with the Evernham Motorsports R & D car, but their speed was off the pace. They will not have to attempt to make the race in Talladega in October.(Dick Trickle Fanclub Newsletter)(8-27-2002)
TRAC Lands Financing: Team Sports Entertainment Inc., the parent company of the Team Racing Auto Circuit series, said today that it has received a $2.5 million funding commitment from a shareholder group led by Godley Morris Group LLC. TRAC hopes to launch next year with a league that will consist of 10, three-car teams located in major U.S. cities with motorsports venues in their area. The Charlotte Business Journal reported last week that the startup venture has encountered a number of problems and was reporting debts of $1.8 million and telling the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had less than $20,000 in cash on hand.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(8-27-2002)
Ganassi Third Team UPDATE 2: Car owner [#40, #41] Ganassi said he's committed to fielding a third Dodge Intrepid next season alongside the two Sterling Marlin and Jimmy Spencer currently drive, but would not confirm that Texaco-Havoline will be the sponsor. Texaco-Havoline was expected to go with Rudd to Ganassi, along with the #28, and the company has confirmed it will be in NASCAR next season. But Ganassi needs a driver for the car, which could switch to #42 to stay in succession with his other teams, and he said he'd prefer to hire someone already in stock car racing. Jerry Nadeau has said he'd love to drive for Ganassi, even offering to forfeit his pay should he not meet expectations, and John Andretti also is an option if he decides to leave Petty Enterprises. A remote option would be Jason Leffler, who was a rookie for Ganassi last season but was let go at the end of the year and now drives in NASCAR's truck series.(CNNSI/AP)(8-25-2002) UPDATE: been told that the team is not considering Leffler and Leffler is not considering the team. UPDATE 2: The sponsorship deal for next year is done between Chip Ganassi Racing and ChevronTexaco. But there has been no official word on a pilot for the expected third Ganassi team. Word is that Ganassi may make the plans for driver, sponsor and car number known at Richmond International Raceway in two weeks.(NASCAR.com)(8-26-2002)
Spears Movie at Indy? as reported a few months ago, singer-actress Britney Spears plans make a NASCAR themed movie and will play the daughter of a successful NASCAR team owner who uses her savvy and experience in the family business to help a driver regain his will to return to racing. She'll do it with the sanction of NASCAR. And if it works out, with the cooperation of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Brickyard 400. Fred Nation, IMS vice president, said: "We'd be pleased to be considered, especially if NASCAR would like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to be one of the venues. . . . We will look for a way to cooperate with that." There are several racing film projects in the talking stages, he said, "but one never knows until they happen. Right now there are at least a couple based around the Indy 500, things that are being talked about, and we would hope something would come to fruition." Ann Carli, who is producing Spears' movie, said she hopes to be at next year's Brickyard 400. "We're in the development stages still. Until we have the final script, we're not going to lock locations."(Indianapolis Star), see past news on the movie at my TV/Media page (see around June 18th there).(8-26-2002)
Petree and Schrader to run ARCA race: Ken Schrader was the first to file an entry for the Sept. 2 Federated Auto Parts 100 on the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds dirt-mile ARCA race. Schrader, a nine-time ARCA series winner, hand-delivered his entry to ARCA officials at Pocono Raceway. Joining Schrader in the race is Winston Cup team owner Andy Petree, who also entered last season and finished ninth. Petree has entered the #15 Chevy and has also entered the #55 Chevt, with a driver to be announced.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-26-2002)
Sprague in a Pontiac? UPDATE: The new Haas CNC Racing Chevy Cup team, owned by Gene Haas, was announced a few months ago as the #60 Haas Automation Chevrolet with Jack Sprague driving full time in 2003. Hendrick Motorsports will supply cars, engines and technical support. Well looks like they may be running a Pontiac in 2003 and are leaning that way. Hendrick would still support the team.(Winston Cup Scene - need subscription to read - now in pdf format)(8-22-2002) UPDATE: Pontiac's next announcement of a team for 2003 is expected to have ties to Hendrick Motorsports. Rick Hendrick says the Winston Cup deal being put together for driver Jack Sprague with Gene Haas and Joe Custer likely will put Sprague, one of Hendrick's Busch Series drivers, in a Grand Prix. Haas Automation has been an associate sponsor on all of Hendrick Motorsports' entries, and the relationship goes back eight years. Hendrick believes NASCAR has accomplished its goal of establishing common template cars and thinks both new GM models will be equally competitive. The Haas team will get cars, engines and technical support from Hendrick and from Pontiac team MBV (Johnny Benson), which was instrumental in developing the 2003 Grand Prix.(Sporting News)(8-26-2002)
#25 Driver - short list - no names: Team Owner Rick Hendrick says there is a short list of candidates for the #25 ride next season. Joe Nemechek has been driving the car since the Coca-Cola 600 in May. Though Hendrick says he knows "Joe can drive a car and is great with the sponsors," his hard luck since joining the team is unsettling.(Sporting News)(8-26-2002)
The Golden Benny: this weeks 'Golden Benny' presented to a crew or driver at each NBC/TNT race by NACCAR Legend Benny Parsons went to #9-Bill Elliott and his team for Elliott performance at Michigan when his transmission kept popping out of gear when he let off the gas, Elliott kept going and finished 22nd, putting the tranny in gear and taking it out of gear a few times a lap.(8-26-2002)