Jeff Gordon wins the Protection 400 at Kansas #24-Jeff Gordon is the only Cup driver ever to win a Cup race at Kansas Speedway, leading the most laps, it is Gordon's 61st career Cup win. #12-Ryan Newman ended up 2nd with #2-Rusty Wallace 3rd, #25-Joe Nemechek (his first top five of the year and since winning at Rockingham last November. #9-Bill Elliott finsihed 5th. rookie #48-Jimmie Johnson now leads the drivers points, first time ever a rookie has led: Results: at ThatsRacin.com or NASCAR.com and a race rundown with cautions and notes on my Protection One 400 Race Info page.(9-29-2002)
Drivers may be tested after wrecking: NASCAR is taking steps to keep drivers with concussions off the track, after Dale Earnhardt Jr. revealed he drove in several races while unable to fully concentrate or communicate with his crew chief. From now on, NASCAR president Mike Helton said Sunday, doctors at infield care centers may require a driver to undergo a CT scan if they suspect the driver has a concussion. If the CT scan reveals a concussion, Helton said, a driver will not be allowed to compete until he obtains a medical release. CART, the Indy Racing League and the NFL have similar policies already in place.(ESPN/AP)(9-29-2002)
Truck TV Coverage to move to Speed Channel? UPDATE Official: NASCAR is moving its truck racing series to the Speed Channel from ESPN, leaving the sports network without a NASCAR connection for the first time since 1979, according to motorsports sources. NASCAR and Fox-owned Speed reached an agreement this week. NASCAR and ESPN still are working on exit details that would allow the switch to take place beginning next season. ESPN's contract to carry the truck series was scheduled to run through 2003, but the two sides likely will agree to terminate early to avoid the "lame duck" scenario they ran into when NASCAR shifted its Winston Cup and Busch series to Fox, NBC and Turner. ESPN carried Winston Cup and Busch racing in 2000, but NASCAR felt it promoted less than it had in previous years because such promotions no longer offered a long-range benefits. A NASCAR spokeswoman refused to comment, saying "it would be inappropriate to make any announcement at this time."(Sports Business Journal need sub to read)(9-20-2002) UPDATE: Beginning next season, Speed Channel will televise all CTS races live, including prerace and postrace shows, NASCAR officials announced Sunday. ESPN has been home to the series since its inception in 1995. "To first know that every race is going to be live, to have a consistent start time every weekend and to be able to promote the Truck series – that collective momentum is important," said Paul Brooks, NASCAR's vice president for broadcasting. "It’s a good opportunity for the Speed Channel, as it grows, to be able to have a live NASCAR product. For us, it seems like a win-win situation." Since Fox owns Speed Channel, Brooks said there will be several opportunities to promote Truck series races during Fox’s Cup and BGN broadcasts. ESPN will conclude its run with the series with the season finale Nov. 15 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Speed Channel, formerly Speedvision, is the first 24-hour cable network devoted exclusively to motorsports. It is now in 58.5 million homes in the United States and Canada.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-29-2002)
Hendrick to debut at Rockingham UPDATE: During an interview on Speed Channel's NASCAR Victory Lane on Sunday night, Hendrick Motorsports CEO Rick Hendrick said that his son, Ricky, would drive a fifth Hendrick Motorsports entry in the Winston Cup race at Rockingham on November 3rd. Ricky Hendrick, 22, is currently in his first full season in the BGN after two years in the CTS.(Gordonline)(9-23-2002) UPDATE: Ricky Hendrick, son of Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, will test a Winston Cup car at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham,N.C., in preparation for his series debut at the track later this season. Ricky Hendrick will be joined at the test by four-time Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon. "I'm looking forward to giving him some horsepower under the rear wheels," Gordon said. "The Busch cars have less horsepower, so I'm interested to see how he'll do with all that horsepower. I think it'll be fun and exciting for him." Asked if Hendrick was going to jump in his car, Gordon replied: "That's what he thinks. I don't know what they've planned."(ThatsRacin.com)(9-29-2002)
Evernham looking for improvement in the #7 team: Ray Evernham, co-owner of the Ultra/Evernham Motorsports' #7 Sirius Satellite Dodge with driver Casey Atwood, said Saturday the team will need to improve its performance over the final eight races of the season or more changes will need to be made, perhaps even the driver. "I've tried everything I can try. Obviously, we're not performing," Evernham said. "We have sponsor pressures again. (Co-owner) Jim Smith and I have spent a lot of money. I know our engines aren't the greatest but our other cars are running decent with them. I can't put my finger on it. At some point in the race, (the car) always going as fast as everybody else's but by then it's too late." Atwood, 21, is 33rd in series points with no top-10 finishes this season. His best finish was 11th at the June race at Pocono. Since then, he has finished in the top-20 on two occasions, most recently 18th at Bristol, Tenn., last month. "Casey is aware we need to pick the performance up. Casey is aware that the goal is for him to improve and be in Winston Cup and possibly come back (to Evernham's teams) when Bill (Elliott) decides to retire," Evernham said. "But he is also under the understanding that he has to perform." Atwood's performance has fueled speculation he may return to the BGN, perhaps even his former team Brewco Motorsports, which is still searching for a driver next season. Evernham said he and Smith plan to watch Atwood's performance closely. "We need to pick the performance up on that car and if it does, than our plans stay the same as they were," Evernham said. "I don't have an alternate plan ready, I'm still waiting for that program to take off."(ThatsRacin.com)(9-29-2002)
Toby Keith on the #40 UPDATE 2 cancelled?: #40-Sterling Marlin will run a Toby Keith (country singer) paint scheme at Phoenix.(7-31-2002) UPDATE: hearing this program and scheme have been cancelled.(9-27-2002) However this month's RCCA mag from Action has an inage of the diecast and says it will run at Phoenix but their website says it has been cancelled.(9-29-2002)
#29 Crew Chief to miss Kansas: Gil Martin, crew chief for Kevin Harvick's #29 GM Goodwrench Chevy, returned to his home in Concord, N.C., Saturday after being diagnosed with acute bronchitis. Martin has been fighting the condition all week.
Harvick, car owner Richard Childress and car chief Scott Naset will assist in calling the race in Martin's absence. Martin is expected back for next Sunday’s race at Talladega.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-29-2002)
Stewart Apologizes to Photographer: Photographer Gary Mook, who was freelancing for the Indianapolis Star during the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in August, told the newspaper Friday that he met with the driver at a suburban Kansas City restaurant on Thursday. Mook said Stewart, a Columbus, Ind., native, told him his "emotional cup was full" when Mook stepped into his path while shooting a picture. Stewart said he shoved Mook, who lives in Kansas City, out of frustration over another disappointing finish to the prestigious race. He apologized and told of his regular visits to a sports psychologist. "He said he believed it happened for a reason, that he was glad it happened and that it has changed his life," Mook said of Stewart. Asked if he felt Stewart, 31, was sincere, Mook said: "Absolutely." Stewart could not be reached for comment and Mook said he photographed him Friday at Kansas Speedway without incident.(Indianapolis Star)(9-28-2002)
Buckshot to race at Atlanta: Buckshot Jones will test a Chevrolet owned by Michael Waltrip on Tuesday and Wednesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in preparation for the Oct. 27 NAPA 500. Jones said the sponsorship deal he has is for one race, but there
could be others added to the schedule if adequate funds can be secured. "Until you get the sponsorship, you can't do anything," Jones said. He said he feels comfortable returning to the circuit in Waltrip's car. "I know Michael and I know he's got good equipment," Jones said. "And He's capable of doing what I want to do." Since leaving the Petty Enterprises #44 Dodge after the Martinsville race, Jones has spent his time trying to work out a deal to continue racing. He's also trying to build a career as a land developer, but his desire to race is foremost at this point. In addition to driving the #15 NAPA Chevy, Waltrip has fielded Winston Cup cars this season for Kenny Wallace [#98 Aaron's at Talladega] and Jerry Nadeau [#00 Aaron's at Chicago].(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(9-28-2002)
A Proposal at Kansas: Michael Reed of Kansas City got down on one knee, air gun in hand, at the Richard Petty tire-change challenge at Kansas Speedway. His girlfriend, Kimberly Oliver, was by his side. He started working on the tire and then suddenly dropped the gun. He turned to Kimberly, still kneeling, and popped the question.(what did she say? see the full story at the : Kansas City Star)(9-28-2002)
Evernham and F1: NASCAR team owner [#9 and #19, part owner #7] Ray Evernham wants an exchange of information with his Formula One counterparts. "I'm a fan of the technology, the cars and the speed, the way they do things," said Evernham, who owns the Dodge that Bill Elliott drove to victory in the Brickyard 400 last month. "Hopefully, we'll make our Winston Cup team better." Evernham visited the track [Indy where F1 is running thie weekend] Friday and met with McLaren-Mercedes about the possibility of sharing some of the technology. "We're going to invite them down," he said. "They look at us and understand that we're really, really pressed on rules. So they look at a high level of technology in a different arena. As we start to exchange information, there are things they can learn from us."(Daytona Beach News Journal/AP), also it was reported on Speed Channel's Trackside [great show] that Rick Hendrick was also at Indy for the F1 race and talking to some F1 teams.(9-28-2002)
Stoddard and Fukuyama? UPDATE: Crew chief Frankie Stoddard says he'd be willing to take on the challenge of helping car owner Travis Carter run Hideo Fukuyama's team next season if the Japanese star puts together the sponsorship package he's been working on for a planned Winston Cup venture.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-23-2002) UPDATE: Frankie Stoddard, the displace crew chief from the #99 team, was visiting Travis Carter’s Statesville, N.C., operation earlier this week. While no specifics were outlined, it was suggested that perhaps Stoddard could be a possibility to wrench Hideo Fukuyama’s Ford for 2003. Fukuyama, who tested Carter’s Ford at Rockingham, N.C., on Tuesday and Wednesday, apparently has a tidy sponsorship package behind him; and there could be an announcement on that front in the near future. Carter’s chances at having two full sponsorships for next year are looking better with each passing week as Discover Card Services personnel are making all the right noises as far as continuing their sponsorship of the #26 Todd Bodine driven Ford. It’ll be a few days before Carter knows for sure, but at least the hope is alive; and doing very well.(Ford Racing)(9-28-2002)
#60 to name 2003 sponsor at AMS: Jack Sprague will announce a sponsor for his #60 Winston Cup team, owned by Gene Haas, at next month's NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Sprague will receive technical assistance as well as cars (Chevy's or Pontiac's?) and engines from the Hendrick operation next season.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(9-28-2002)
NASCAR History: For the first time in NASCAR's half a century existence a race will be absent of the famous words, "Gentlemen, start your Engines." Instead the race will be started in American Sign Language at the Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series, NASCAR Touring Northwest Racing Enterprises 150 on September 28 in Wenatchee, Wash. Through the overwhelming support of the racing community both in the Northwestern and the Southwestern United States 12 year-old Peter-John, profoundly deaf and legally blind will be signing the start engine command. "I think it is a thrill not only for the track, the fans and the teams, but also all the handicapped fans that will be represented by Peter-John", said an enthusiastic Melinda Moulaison, owner of Northwest Racing Enterprises. "He will not only start the race, but he will be honored at the closing of the race when he stands with Kevin Hamlin [no not the #31 crew chief] and the race winner in victory circle." The chase for the championship may be virtually locked up, with racer Kevin Hamlin simply needing to start the event to win.(Racing West and NASCAR.com)(9-28-2002)
New #1 Crew Chief soon? UPDATE Gibson named for 2003: Dale Earnhardt Inc. may announce a new crew chief for driver #1 Steve Park this week. It's believed the company went outside of DEI and offered a contract to Tony Gibson, who has been serving as the unofficial car chief for Jeff Gordon and the #24 Chevrolet. Word is that DEI has offered a contract to Gibson, but he's already under contract with Rick Hendrick Motorsports. Upon giving his resignation, the dilemma is whether Hendrick will be willing to let Gibson leave before the end of the year or make him fulfill his contractual commitment until the end of the season to Hendrick.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(9-24-2002) UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Inc. on Friday named Tony Gibson, currently car chief for Winston Cup driver Jeff Gordon's team, as the new crew chief for driver Steve Park beginning in 2003. Gibson, 37, has been a part of three Winston Cup championships, with the late Alan Kulwicki and Gordon (twice). Before being named as car chief, he worked as lead mechanic on Gordon's team. "I am really fortunate to have worked with Jeff Gordon and everybody at Hendrick Motorsports over the past five years," Gibson said. "I have always been a part of championship-caliber organizations, and this move gives me an opportunity to pursue a Winston Cup championship as a crew chief. I feel confident that the resources at Dale Earnhardt Inc. and the experience I can bring will help Steve Park and DEI win races. From there, our focus will be on winning championships." DEI officials Steve Hmiel and Dave Charpentier will continue to serve as Park's crew chief for the remainder of this season.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-27-2002)
McMurray to make Cup debut at Talladega: BGN [#27 Brewco] driver Jamie McMurray is expected to make his Winston Cup debut in a third Chip Ganassi Racing entry next weekend at Talladega. McMurray is expected to drive the #42 Dodge as a teammate to Ganassi drivers #41-Jimmy Spencer and #40-Sterling Marlin. Earlier this month the team announced McMurray would join the organization in Winston Cup full time next season. Other Cup races are being considered for McMurrary this season, including Phoenix, Homestead and possibly Atlanta, sources said.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-27-2002)
NASCAR Finances said to be Sound: Moody's Investor Services says NASCAR trails only the National Football League amoung U.S. sports in terms of financial strength, according to a variety of reports today. The Philadelphia Daily News and several reports cited by the Sports Business Daily say the assessment shows up in a 12-page report issued by Moody's yesterday. Moody's ranked the NFL highly because teams share most revenue equally and the league makes teams fund deferred compensation in advance. NASCAR finished second in the study, followed by the NBA, MLB and the NHL. NASCAR was cited for its revenue sharing and attendance growth. Moody's also said that corporate sponsorship is on the rise, contributing more than $1.5 billion to the sport annually.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(9-27-2002)
Park to run a BGN car in 2003? hearing Steve Park will run a Teresa/Dale Earnhardt Jr owned #8 Maxwell House Chevy at Las Vegas for the 2003 BGN race there and will run another BGN race in a yet un-named sponsored #8.(9-27-2002)
Evernham, Elliott, Mayfield and Atwood in NJ..for fun: It was private playtime for Cup team owner Ray Evernham and his Cup drivers on Thursday [Sept 19th] at New Egypt Speedway, as Evernham, Bill Elliott, Jeremy Mayfield and Casey Atwood spent the day at the central Jersey half-mile, getting down 'n dirty at a specially scheduled Billy Pauch Driving School. "These guys are under a lot of pressure to perform weekly on the Winston Cup circuit and they need a chance to kick back and have some fun," Evernham said of the decision to treat his team racers to a day of driving dirt cars. "I tried to think of something to do for their birthdays, but none of us are golfin' or fishin' kind of guys. This is what they love to do," Evernham concluded, gesturing toward the arsenal of dirt-track equipment Pauch amassed for the occasion. Evernham's group, which was flown into a private airport in Toms River early in the morning, arrived at the speedway to find enough playtoys to make even the most diehard driver drool, from Sprint cars, to Late Models, to Modifieds and more. Pauch, the two-time New Egypt Speedway Modified champ from Frenchtown, NJ, initially gave his celebrity students a tour of the track, showing them the best line to run in his two-seater Late Model school car. Once acclimated, first Elliott, then Mayfield, Atwood and Evernham took turns racing a pair of Pauch's 358 CID school Sprinters, one a Maxim, the other a Gambler chassis. Evernham was a former regular at Wall Stadium's paved track and the old New Egypt asphalt quarter-mile in the 1970s and '80s, Ray has a single 1976 Modern Stock victory at New Egypt in the record books; he also raced to numerous top finishes driving Ruth and Jim Bauma's pavement Modifieds. At Evernham's invitation, the Baumas visited their famous ex-driver during the unpublicized closed-gate school session on Thursday.(Philly News)(9-27-2002)
#55 Crew Chief Suspended a Week UPDATE: NASCAR officials announced today that NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief Jimmy Elledge has received a one-week suspension due to a probation violation. Elledge's suspension will be effective immediately, which will force him to miss Sunday's Cup race at Kansas Speedway. In addition to the suspension, which ends Oct. 2, Elledge was fined $5,000 for unapproved air directional devices that were found last Friday during pre-qualifying inspection at Dover International Speedway. Elledge, crew chief for the #55 Chevrolet, was fined and placed on probation Aug. 27 following the race at Michigan International Speedway for unapproved fuel cell spacers. His probation continues until Dec. 21. "We felt this was the necessary action to take, considering he was already on probation," said NASCAR Winston Cup Series Director John Darby. Elledge was penalized under Section 12-4-Q in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book: "Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules."(NASCAR PR)(9-25-2002) UPDATE: team owner, Andy Petree, will assume the crew chief duries this week at Kansas for Greg Biffle.(9-27-2002)
Hamilton Cleared for Lowe's race UPDATE: Bobby Hamilton said he will return to racing Oct. 13 at Charlotte. He has been sidelined by injury since Sept. 5. ''The Sports Medicine Group at University Medical Center have really done a great job helping me recover,'' said Hamilton, who suffered a broken shoulder and broken wrist in a truck racing crash at Richmond, Va. ''They've cleared me to race at Charlotte.'' Hamilton will begin testing next week.(Tennessean), it was reported Hamiton would not be back until Martinsville, see my #55 Team News and Links page for past news on the injury.(9-26-2002) UPDATE: Hamilton will test next week at Greenville-Pickens (SC) Speedway to see how the shoulder feels.(FSN's Totally NASCAR)(9-27-2002)
Earnhardt Jr vs Elliott UPDATE: Word has it that the NASCAR Winston Cup Most Popular Driver Award voting has become a two-man race between Bill Elliott and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Elliott trailed in the early going in the voting, which is being held online at nascarpopulardriver.com. However, a surge in voting by fans has pushed Elliott into a near-tie with Earnhardt Jr. Nearly 2,000,000 votes are in, and voting continues until Nov. 17.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(9-25-2002) UPDATE: An award that began in 1956 has reached a milestone its founders never envisioned. Sitting just shy of two million total votes, the Grands! Biscuits NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award has now received more votes in six months than it has in the rest of its history combined. The highest vote total in any single year prior was 400,000 in 2001. In the meantime, 15-time award winner Bill Elliott has made a major jump in the balloting and the battle between him and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is incredibly close. The two are in a virtual dead heat in the balloting. Jeff Gordon is a close third, followed by Tony Stewart, Mark Martin, Bobby Labonte, Michael Waltrip, Kyle Petty, Rusty Wallace and Kevin Harvick. NASCAR fans can continue to vote online once per day at www.nascarpopulardriver.com. Voting continues through Nov. 17. The Grands! Biscuits NMPA Most Popular Driver of the Year Award will be presented during the NASCAR Winston Cup Awards Banquet weekend in New York. Several fans have voted at www.nascarpopulardriver.com in record numbers since voting began March 4.(Williams Company PR)(9-27-2002)
Earnhardt Jr's head injury UPDATE: A hard hit in an April accident left Dale Earnhardt Jr. with a severe concussion and a bad case of paranoia - if word got out that his head was bothering him, Earnhardt was certain it would ruin his career. "You just start back at zero," Earnhardt said about publicizing his concussion. "People are going `Oh, he's finished, he'll never be the same.' And every time you run bad it's because of that reason, it's because of your head. So I just didn't say a thing." Earnhardt was injured in a wreck at California Speedway when his car hit the wall at an estimated 130 mph, according to an on-board data recorder. He had the wind knocked out of him during the wreck and also hurt his ankle. But there was something else that just wasn't right. Sometimes, it took him a second longer than everyone else to get a joke. Sometimes, his speech wasn't smooth. Even worse, he sometimes couldn't react fast enough on the race track. Knowing fellow driver Dale Jarrett had suffered his own share of concussions, Earnhardt went to him for advice in early May. Jarrett urged him to see a doctor, explaining that it took months to get over the concussion he suffered in an accident last September. "I realized it was early this year before I felt like I was completely over this concussion," Jarrett said. "I wasn't the same person. I was told that everything was going to be fine, and everything wasn't fine." But the way Earnhardt saw it, he had only one choice: Drive through it, because getting out of the #8 Chevrolet certainly wasn't an option. As a teammate to Steve Park, Earnhardt knew all too well how easy it is for a driver to earn a negative reputation. By speaking up now, Earnhardt is offering an excuse for his disappointing season. Expected to contend for the championship, he instead sits in 14th place in the points with just one victory on the year. It would have been easy in May and June, when his Dale Earnhardt Inc. team was struggling, to offer his aching head as an excuse. But he didn't because image is so important to the son of the late Dale Earnhardt - a tough guy who never complained and whose injuries were something that were dealt with on any day but race day. So Junior said he stayed quiet. Now that he's feeling better and running well, he isn't afraid to admit there was a problem. His contract with DEI is up at the end of the year. So far, he's refused to sign the offer in front of him. At issue, Earnhardt said, is the amount of appearances the deal will require. With so many demands on his time, the 27-year-old wants some control over a hectic schedule that can keep him away from home for weeks at a time. "What I'm doing with this new contract is I'm going to drive your car for X amount of money and 40 appearances. What you do with those appearances, that's your business," he said. "That way, I can kind of corral it, because it's not corralled, it's not under control."(see more at ThatsRacin.com/AP)(9-25-2002) UPDATE: NASCAR says it was unaware of Earnhardt's head injury. "We rely on our drivers to be honest about their injuries and tell us what's wrong with them," says NASCAR vice president of communications Jim Hunter. "There were no visible effects, no visible signs that we could see" that Earnhardt had anything but an ankle injury after his accident."(USA Today)(9-26-2002)
Long to the #59: Price Motorsports, Inc., NASCAR Winston Cup Series team based out of Raleigh, NC, announced a driver change for the remaining races of the 2002 season. Effective immediately, Carl Long will drive the #59 Dodge Intrepid. The move is expected to be a long-term commitment and will definitely continue through the 2002 campaign. Long will officially take over immediately. A test session at Lowe's Motor Speedway has been scheduled for October 2. Price Motorsports, Inc. Crew Chief Mike Chance said: "We're looking forward to working with Carl and having a great test session next week at Charlotte. We are committed to getting this operation headed in the right direction." Price Motorsports, Inc., with Long as driver, still plans to hit several additional races in 2002. In addition to Lowe's Motor Speedway, the team's agenda includes races at Atlanta.(Price Motorsports PR), no word on what this mean with Long and the #51 Ware Motorsports team.(9-26-2002)
Schrader has a different Pedigree at Kansas: The #36 team and driver Ken Schrader will trade in its familiar “M&M’s” paint scheme this week for the Pedigree Dog Food [Yellow and Blue] colors. It is one of six races [Atlanta (Mar), Lowes (Winston, Coke 600), Indy, Kansas, Phoenix] this season that the Pedigree car will appear on track.(M&M Mars Motorsports), see images of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery(9-26-2002)
Jarrett had concussion too, lost memory: Please excuse Dale Jarrett if he acts as if it is his first time on Kansas Speedway when Winston Cup cars take the green flag Sunday for the Protection One 400. Even though he qualified, practiced and raced at the Kansas City 1.5-mile oval in 2001, he remembers only a fleeting second before his #88 Ford hit the wall in Turn 1, 370 miles into the 400-mile race. "The only thing I do remember is that entrance into Turn 1 and getting tapped," Jarrett said. "From that point, I don't remember anything before the race started and I don't remember anything after that until I was getting on the airplane to come back to North Carolina." Jarrett was racing Bobby Labonte on Lap 247 when he got toether with the #18 Pontiac, Jarrett's car veered violently into the wall of the then-new track, sending him to hospital with a severe concussion. "It was actually the first time I've had a concussion, especially one of this magnitude," Jarrett said in a teleconference call. "It'll be like my first time at Kansas City. I don't remember the garage area. I know the shape of the racetrack just from knowing it's a lot like Chicago, but from actually being on the track, I don't remember any of that."(Toronto Sun)(9-26-2002)
Dover TV Ratings: The Winston Cup race from Dover turned in a 4.0 cable rating (3.3 national household rating) on TNT, representing 3,497,000 households. It was the third highest rated show on cable for the week, behind the NFL on ESPN and a movie on Lifetime. Last year's race was on NBC, so there is no accurate year-to-year comparison. The Busch race garnered a 1.4, up 27% from last year's 1.1.(MotorsportsTV)(9-26-2002)
Kentucky Testing Wednesday: #48-Jimmie Johnson, #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #31-Robby Gordon, #15-Michael Waltrip, #4-Mike Skinner, #1-Steve Park and #55-Greg Biffle capped a two week Cup test period at Kentucky Speedway that saw 16 series drivers, including five of the top 10 points leaders, prepare their machines for the season-ending eight-race run.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(9-26-2002)
NAPCM Pit Crew Of The Week #48: Awesome pit stops all day (13.54, 13.42, 13.51) helped take the #48 Lowe's team from a 19th place starting position to Victory Lane. Congratulations #48 Lowe's Crew on earning the title of this week's NAPCM "Pit Crew Of The Week", sponsored by Toxabsorb (www.toxabsorb.com), "21st Century Spill Magnet" and the "Official Spill Response Agent of the National Association Of Pit Crew Members". Check out the latest Mechanix Wear "Pit Crew Of The Year" standings and
NAPCM member info available ONLY at the National Association Of Pit Crew Members website (www.napcm.com).(9-26-2002)
Bradshaw book decal on the #12 BGN car at Kansas: BGN team FitzBradshaw Racing co-owner, Terry Bradshaw, continues his publishing success with the release of his second book, Keep It Simple. The book is authored by Bradshaw with David Fisher. A decal of the Keep It Simple cover will be featured this Saturday, September 28, 2002 at the Mr. Goodcents 300 on the Supercuts #12 Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by Kerry Earnhardt. In his New York Times bestseller It's Only a Game, Bradshaw told tales of his upbringing on a farm in Louisiana, his school days and the less-than-illustrious start of his professional football career which began when he was the first overall pick of the 1970 draft.. In his follow-up book, Keep It Simple, Bradshaw zeroes in on the intriguing details of his life and reveals how, after a career as one of history's greatest quarterbacks, he successfully re-channeled his passions and became an award-winning broadcaster and one of America's most sought-after motivational speakers. Keep It Simple is a far more personal look at Bradshaw.. He focuses on the intriguing details of his life and recalls how, after a career as one of history's greatest quarterbacks, he managed to redirect his passions and transform himself into an award-winning broadcaster and one of America's most beloved motivational speakers. "Despite Terry's incredibly busy schedule with FOX, publishing, his speaking engagements and all of his personal commitments, it is so inspirational to have his enthusiasm focused on the race team," said FitzBradshaw co-owner Armando Fitz.. "His commitment to leading the team to a full season of Cup in 2004 remains one of his priorities."
Speaking candidly to the reader in Keep It Simple, Bradshaw openly reveals the important lessons that life has taught him, including:
When something unpleasant happens in your life, remain positive, and do what you know how is best.
Never stop believing in the possibility of true love.
Hire competent people and allow them to do the job you hired them to do.
Remember to treat the people working for you as you would like to be treated.
Find time for those things that give you real pleasure in life.
Let kids be kids; let them do the same things you did when you were growing up.
Know that nobody in the world can ever replace you.
Don't waste your time fretting about yesterday; it's done, it's gone.
Keep it simple, smile a lot, be nice to other people.
(Fitz Bradshaw Racing PR), for more info, click on book title or see my Racing Bookstore page.(9-25-2002)
Junior Johnson news: Car racing legend Junior Johnson knows a bit about tough races, personal scandal and the White House. That makes him, perhaps, the perfect person to rebut Republican efforts to tie Erskine Bowles to former President Bill Clinton's lack of popularity in the state. Johnson, once pardoned by Republican Ronald Reagan, is backing Bowles, the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, in a television commercial. "I'm not going to let them run Erskine Bowles into the wall," Johnson says in the ad. "They're going after Erskine because he worked for Bill Clinton? Get off my bumper. Sure, Erskine worked in the White House. He served our country. But Erskine's his own man. And he's got North Carolina values. So cut out those attack ads 'cause you folks are headed in the wrong direction."(Charlotte Observer)(9-25-2002)
Testing at Kentucky: A strong contingent of NASCAR Winston Cup Series machines will visit Kentucky Speedway this week to explore race set ups and test new drivers. Winston Cup pilots scheduled to test at Kentucky are #55-Greg Biffle, #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #31-Robby Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #18-Bobby Labonte, #5-Terry Labonte, #25-Joe Nemechek, #1-Steve Park, #4-Mike Skinner, #2-Rusty Wallace, and #15-Michael Waltrip. Winston Cup testing began Monday, Sept. 23, and continues Wednesday, Sept. 25. Sessions are closed to media, but can be viewed from the area outside the speedway's Turn 3 Fan Center.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(9-25-2002)
IRWIN Rough to Finish Award #4 Team: Persistence and quick reactions paid off for the #4 Kodak Team at Sunday's MBNA All-American Heroes 400 at Dover Speedway. As a result of the team's close call and solid effort in the pits, team crew chief Chris Carrier takes home this week's IRWIN 'Rough to the Finish' Award. While running at the 13th position on lap 239, Mike Skinner pitted under green-flag conditions. After having bad luck over the past several races and qualifying 34th, it looked like the team was on it's way to a good day. On that pit stop, jackman Tony Cardamone was struck by the #4 car as it entered the pit stall. Cardamone rolled across the hood of the Kodak Chevrolet, got up and continued to finish the pit stop. Cardamone was not injured. Skinner returned to action in 27th and finished the race in 19th place, two laps down.
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)(9-25-2002)
News Expected on Stewart Today UPDATE: A grand jury is expected to decide today whether to indict driver Tony Stewart on assault charges. A West Virginia woman claims Stewart shoved her following a race at Bristol four weeks ago. Following an investigation by Sullivan County law enforcement officials, the case was presented to a grand jury. County district attorney Greeley Wells told the Roanoke Times that if the grand jury does not return an indictment against Stewart he will consider the matter closed. The woman, however, could still seek civil damages. If the grand jury returns an indictment on the Class B misdemeanor, Stewart, who is in contention for the Winston Cup championship, could face up to six months in jail if convicted. Stewart is already on NASCAR probation for assaulting a photographer in August. Officials will not comment on what action, if any, will be taken against Stewart should he be convicted of assaulting the spectator. Stewart confessed to striking the photographer but denied he shoved the fan, even though a sheriff's deputy said he witnessed the incident.(Tennessean)(9-24-2002) UPDATE: A grand jury on Tuesday took no action regarding an misdemeanor assault charge levied against Winston Cup driver Tony Stewart, effectively ending the case. The grand jury was presented with findings and evidence from an investigation by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Department on a complaint by a female race fan from Napier, W.Va., that Stewart shoved her against his team's hauler following the Aug. 24 race at Bristol, TN.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-24-2002) Stewart Statement: The following is a statement from NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Tony Stewart regarding the decision
by a grand jury summoned by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office to take no action in an alleged assault case involving Stewart and a fan
following the Aug. 24 Sharpie 500 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. "Just as I've contended all along, I did not assault anyone and I'm
relieved to know a grand jury has come to the same conclusion. While I'm glad to have this matter behind me, it's heartening to know the fairness in which the legal system handled the case, specifically all of those associated with the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office. I greatly appreciate the strong support given to me by my fellow drivers throughout this ordeal, as well as the backing provided by my
fans, Joe Gibbs Racing, Home Depot, NASCAR, Bristol Motor Speedway, my family and friends. I look forward to having a renewed focus in the remaining races on the Winston Cup schedule beginning with this weekend's event at Kansas."(Motorsports Management International PR)(9-24-2002)
#32 gets new assoc sponsor for 2003: - Blair Corporation, a national direct marketer and cataloger, has signed a multi-year agreement to sponsor the #32 Tide entry of PPI Motorsports and driver Ricky Craven. Blair Corporation will provide the PPI Motorsports team with team clothing and apparel from its Custom Wear line beginning in 2003. In addition, the company's Blair.com website logo will appear on the #32 Tide Pontiac beginning with the 2003 Daytona 500.(PPI Motorsports PR)(9-24-2002)
Hornaday to drive ARCA car for Cup team: Sam Belnavis, COO of BH Motorsports, today announced that Ron Hornaday, driver of the #54 National Guard Chevy in the Cup Series, will pilot the team's ARCA car at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Thursday, Oct. 10. BH Motorsports has identified the ARCA circuit as a spoke in their National Guard Driver Development Program for Minorities and plan on using Hornaday's experience to evaluate their equipment at the Concord, NC race track. "By putting Ron in the ARCA race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, we'll have a knowledgeable veteran behind the wheel that has the ability to give us feedback on our equipment and race team," said Belnavis. "Our goal, first and foremost, is to give the participants in our driver development program the best possible chance at success. Having Ron in the car will give us an opportunity to evaluate what we've got. We feel that it's extremely important to come out of the box as a competitive, viable motor sports entity. Ron will show that we've got top-notch equipment and personnel." Following the October events at Lowe's Motor Speedway, BH Motorsports will officially launch its driver development program, aimed at giving minorities an opportunity to compete in racing. The team is evaluating candidates for the program in hopes of
establishing a core group to compete in ARCA races, and possibly NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events, next season.(BH Motorsports PR)(9-24-2002)
New #1 Crew Chief soon? Dale Earnhardt Inc. may announce a new crew chief for driver #1 Steve Park this week. It's believed the company went outside of DEI and offered a contract to Tony Gibson, who has been serving as the unofficial car chief for Jeff Gordon and the #24 Chevrolet. Word is that DEI has offered a contract to Gibson, but he's already under contract with Rick Hendrick Motorsports. Upon giving his resignation, the dilemma is whether Hendrick will be willing to let Gibson leave before the end of the year or make him fulfill his contractual commitment until the end of the season to Hendrick.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(9-24-2002)
Hamilton probably out until Martinsville: Bobby Hamilton, who has been sidelined by injury for the last three Cup races, might miss at least three more. Hamilton suffered a broken shoulder and broken wrist in a Sept. 5 truck racing crash at Richmond. Team spokesman David Pepper said Hamilton might be unable to race for three more weeks. ''Right now Bobby's looking at Martinsville [Oct. 20],'' Pepper said. ''Charlotte [Oct. 13] hasn't been entirely ruled out, but Bobby and his doctors will make that decision.'' Greg Biffle has driven Hamilton's #55 Chevy the past three races. Biffle made one Winston Cup start before taking over the #55, so he can run only three more races and still preserve his rookie status for next season. Biffle will drive the car this weekend at Kansas City, next week at Talladega, and the following week at Charlotte (Lowe's Motor Speedway) if necessary.(Tennessean) UPDATE: Greg Biffle will be driving in two out of the next three races for Hamilton. Biffle will be behind the wheel of the #55 Schneider Electric Chevy this week at Kansas, and he will also be driving for Hamilton at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Oct. 13 for the UAW-GM Quality 500. A driver has not been picked yet for the Oct. 6 race at Talladega.(Hendersonville Times-News)(9-24-2002)
Atlanta NASCAR Museum? The owner of Underground Atlanta has an idea of what may draw visitors to the struggling downtown attraction. A NASCAR museum. Dan O'Leary, president of Underground's owner, O'Leary Partners, said he is considering Underground as a site for a NASCAR interactive museum. The move comes as momentum is returning to downtown Atlanta, spurred by the recent announcement that The Home Depot Inc. co-founder Bernard Marcus would build an aquarium near Centennial Olympic Park instead of in Midtown's mixed-use project, Atlantic Station. That move was a mixed blessing for O'Leary because The Coca-Cola Co. also announced plans to move the World of Coke from its current Martin Luther King Jr. Drive location to the aquarium site — thus moving a major downtown tourist attraction farther away from Underground. A NASCAR museum may help fill that void. "We haven't got on the phone and said, 'This is what we're going to do,' " O'Leary said. "The NASCAR thing is just one of the things we're trying to do. But we have got a starting, open dialogue with NASCAR. That's really as far as we are."(Atlanta Business Chronicle)(9-24-2002)
Yates to build Chevy/GM Engines? Robert Yates' long-term goal may be to ease out of the car-owner business and concentrate on organizing a major engine-building operation, similar to Cosworth, according to men close to him. Already Yates, a Ford man for more than 15 years, has men building Dodge engines, and he will have men building Chevrolet engines next year for Pontiac's Cal Wells. One question is whether Yates would turn his Winston Cup teams over to son Doug Yates, who is an integral part of the family's engine building division.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-23-2002) UPDATE: Doug Yates says 10 of his former engine builders are working with Cal Wells' new in-house program at PPI Motorsports. Wells currently leases engines from Yates, but the team will build its own when it switches from Ford to Pontiac next season.(Sporting News)(9-24-2002)
Testing on Sept 25th UPDATE postponed until November: New Daytona 500 rules are scheduled to be tested at Daytona on Sept. 25, the Wednesday between tour stops at Dover and Kansas City. NASCAR officials have proposed lowering rear spoilers to increase straightaway speed while decreasing downforce in the corners. The purpose is to try to split up the drafting pack into smaller packs. None of the tour's top-10 teams made the trek to Florida for the first round of testing three weeks ago, and it is not clear if any of them will be running in this test either. Michael Waltrip, 14th in the standings coming to Darlington, was the top driver at the August test. The Woods #21 team will be at this next test, and Ricky Rudd could be at the wheel. The Woods and Rudd will be testing themselves in the next two weeks at Kentucky and Memphis to sort out chassis designs that Rudd might like. There was an odd anomaly in one of the NASCAR restrictor plates used in the August test, according to one team there: its holes were oddly aligned.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-2-2002) UPDATE: The Winston Cup aerodynamic test scheduled Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway has been postponed to November. NASCAR officials gave no reason for the postponement.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(9-24-2002)
New Right Side Tire at Kansas UPDATE no new tire: Goodyear will have a new right-side tire next weekend at Kansas Speedway. Goodyear officials have found that since the track has aged a year, its grip has changed. The right side tires, tested by #24-Jeff Gordon earlier this year, should provide that extra grip.(Roanoke Times)(9-21-2002) UPDATE:Contrary to published reports, Goodyear will not introduce a new tire this weekend at Kansas Speedway, says Rick Campbell, Goodyear team leader.(Sporting News)(9-24-2002)
Teen Safety 500 program at Kansas: Georgia-Pacific Corp. brings its Teen Safety 500 program to two Kansas City area high schools on Thursday, Sept. 26. Shawnee Mission North High School and Shawnee Mission West High, both in Overland Park, have been selected to participate in this innovative program that extends Georgia-Pacific’s involvement with NASCAR to spread the message of safe driving among teen-agers. NASCAR driver Kyle Petty will be on hand to present the Georgia-Pacific Teen Safety 500 program to students. The program will include various local dignitaries, Georgia-Pacific representatives and Petty speaking to students about the importance of safety behind the wheel. After the assembly, students will have the opportunity to view an actual NASCAR Winston Cup car outside the school and receive autographs. Activities begin at 10 a.m. at Shawnee Mission North High School. The Georgia-Pacific Teen Safety 500 program is in its second year, with students from four states logging more than 400,000 safe miles in 2001. Kansas City is the fourth of six stops the Teen Safety 500 will make during the 2002 NASCAR season. Student drivers at the two schools will sign a safe-driving pledge to remain violation-free with no crashes during a three-week period. Once registered at Georgia-Pacific’s Web site, students will have the opportunity to win prizes for themselves and their school. Both schools will receive a cash contribution from Georgia-Pacific for their participation. The school with the highest ratio of students completing three weeks of safe driving will win an additional contribution. Georgia-Pacific will provide participating students with a variety of prizes for those who log safe miles, including MP3 players, phone cards from Sprint, and product coupons from McDonalds and Sonic Drive-In. One winner will be chosen from all participating students nationwide to win the grand prize – a $1,000 gift card from Best Buy. Petty will be joined by Romell Cooks, regional administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Patrice Pomeroy, assistant bureau chief of traffic safety for the Kansas Department of Transportation; Tracie Kalic, education program consultant for the Kansas State Board of Education; Col. Donald Brownlee, Kansas Highway Patrol; George Wurtz, president of paper and bleached board for Georgia-Pacific; Dr. Chuck McLean, principal of Shawnee Mission North High School and Dr. Karl Krawitz, principal of Shawnee Mission West High School.(Williams Company PR)(9-24-2002)
Kirby Testing the #49? UPDATE in at Kansas: hearing the BAM Racing #49 Cup team is testing with Stuart Kirby at Kentucky on Wednesday and Thursday, 9/11 & 9/12.(9-11-2002) UPDATE: Twenty-year-old Stuart Kirby, the Bowling Green, Ky., native who has run under the watchful eye of several top Winston Cup owners, will drive the BAM Racing’s #49 MNR Productions Dodge in Sunday’s Protection One 400 at Kansas Speedway. "We are so excited to have a driver with Stuart’s skills and talent in our car at Kansas," said Beth Ann Morgenthau, owner of BAM Racing. We had been watching him for several races, and really appreciated his abilities. The more we watched what he could do, the more we thought he had a solid future in Winston Cup racing," she said. "Obviously, this one race won’t make or break him but we are very anxious to see how he handles himself. Kirby has started eight races in the BGN this year, driving for [#34] car owner Jimmy Spencer. "As the word started getting out at Dover this past weekend, it was amazing how many people kind of eased over and asked about him," Morgenthau said. "When we said, ‘Yeah, he’s going to be running at Kansas for us,’ just about every one said the same thing - ‘That’s a great decision.’" Kevin Lepage ran a solid race at Dover this past weekend for BAM Racing before an accident put him out of the event late. The team appeared to be headed to a top-25 finish prior to that. Like many first-year teams, BAM Racing has tried several drivers this season. "We want to be the best race team we can possibly be," Morgenthau said. "Every person at BAM is working very hard to reach that goal. We’ve tried different things with the car and different things in the car. And the progress is there because of it. Many of the changes have been really good ones. Bringing in Scott Eggleston as crew chief a few weeks ago has made a profound difference. And each driver has added something to our effort by design," she added. "The things that have remained constant - Ernie Elliott’s engines, for example - have been great for us as well. We’re looking forward to a really good weekend for this MNR Productions Dodge."(Williams Company PR)(9-23-2002)
Knaus Fined by NASCAR: NASCAR officials have fined NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief Chad Knaus $5,000 for his use of inappropriate language during a televised interview after Sunday's races at Dover. Knaus, crew chief of the #48 Lowe's Chevy, was penalized under Section 12-4-A in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book: "Actions detrimental to stock car racing: use of improper language."(NASCAR PR)(9-23-2002)
Rookies: #48-Jimmie Johnson tied Tony Stewart's rookie record for most wins by a Winston Cup Rookie of the Year candidate with his win at Dover, his third win of 2002. With last weeks win at NHIS, #12-Ryan Newman broke the rookie record of top fives, with his 13th, the old record was 12, also by Stewart in 1999. The top ten record is also held by Stewart at 21, Johnson and Newman both have 17, as did Dale Earnhardt in 1979. Some comparisions (all were Rookie of the Year except Earnhardt Jr): 1979 Dale Earnhardt 27 races, 1 win, 11 top 5's, 17 top 10's, 4 poles, final points postion was 7th 1987 Davey Allison 22 (of 29) races, 2 wins, 9 top 5's, 16 top 10's, 5 poles, points pos 21st 1999 Tony Stewart 34 races, 3 wins, 12 top 5's, 21 top 10's, 2 poles, 4th in points 2000 Matt Kenseth 34 races, 1 win, 4 top 5's, 11 top 10's, no poles, 14th in points 2000 Dale Earnhardt Jr 34 races, 2 wins, 3 top 5's, 5 top 10's, 2 poles, 16th in points 2001 Kevin Harvick 35 (of 36) races, 2 wins, 6 top 5's, 16 top 10's, no poles, 9th in points 2002 Jimmie Johnson 28 (of 36) races, 3 wins, 6 top 5's, 17 top 10's, 4 poles, 2nd in points(so far) 2002 Ryan Newman 28 (of 26) races, 1 win, 13 top 5's, 17 top 10's, 3 poles, 7th in pointd(so far)(9-23-2002)
Schrader named 3rd Quarter True Value Person of the Year: For his unselfish and continuing work in aiding charities, Ken Schrader has been named the third quarter recipient of NASCAR's True Value Person of the Year. True Value, the Official Hardware Store of NASCAR, sponsors the award, which is designed to honor NASCAR drivers for their community service contributions and charitable efforts. For more than nine months, Schrader organized a special charity event at I-55 Raceway, a 3/8ths-mile dirt track in Pevely, Mo. His efforts became reality July 31 when he hosted the M&M's Night of Stars, a celebrity autograph signing and 10-lap charity race to benefit Kyle and Pattie Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp, a special camp for children with health-care needs.
Along with Schrader, the all-star cast of drivers who took part in the two-hour autograph session and 10-lap shootout on the dirt track were Petty, Bill Elliott, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Johnny Benson, Steve Park and Mike Wallace. More than 10,000 fans from 28 states and Canada attended the event, which raised more than $112,000 for the Victory Junction Gang Camp. For the purpose of determining the NASCAR True Value Person of the Year Award, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series season has been divided into four quarters in which drivers are nominated for their off-track charitable efforts. Ricky Craven was the first-quarter winner and Jeff Gordon was the second-quarter recipient. An elite group of panelists will select one of the quarterly winners as the True Value Person of the Year. The award and a prize of $100,000 will be presented Dec. 6 in New York City at the NMPA Myers Brothers Breakfast, which is part of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series awards weekend. The money will be divided evenly between the driver and the charity of their choice.
In addition to the NASCAR True Value Person of the Year, True Value sponsors the Driver of the Race Award, which is given to the eligible driver who wins a NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship event during the 36-race season. Each True Value Driver of the Race Award winner receives $2,500 with an additional $2,500 going to the charity of their choice.(NASCAR PR)(9-23-2002)
America's Most Wanted Racing: is moving forward and has launched a new website www.amw-racing.com. This web site will carry information on the team and their campaign for the recovery and education of missing and exploited children. New sponsor highlights (maybe Winston Cup?) will also adorn the site as well as information on John Walsh and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and other children's Safty sites. The site will grow with the team.(PR)(9-23-2002)
Kerry Earnhardt to run two additional Cup races in 2002 and four in 2003 with Aaron's: FitzBradshaw Racing has secured Aaron's Sales and Lease Ownership as a primary sponsor for two NASCAR Winston Cup Series races this year and four during the 2003 Winston Cup season.
The #83 Aaron's Dream Machine will be driven by Kerry Earnhardt at Lowe's Motor Speedway on October 13, 2002 and at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 27, 2002. Earnhardt currently drives the No. 12 Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the BGN. He is also slated to field the #83 RacingUSA.com car in the October 6, 2002 Talladega race. In 2003, Earnhardt will drive the Aaron's Dream Machine at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, Talladega Superspeedway on April 6, Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 25 and at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 3. The addition of the Aaron's Winston Cup sponsorship brings FitzBradshaw closer to its goals. Less than a year ago, the team announced its plan to run a full-season BGN schedule in 2002 and 2003, and to pursue limited Winston Cup Series race sponsorships for the latter part of the 2002 season and for select 2003 races. By 2004, FitzBradshaw plans to field its first full-season of Winston Cup Series racing. For more information on Aaron's, please visit www.shopaarons.com.(FitzBradshawRacing PR)(9-23-2002)
Schrader back in the #25? Rick Hendrick's plans for his #25 team are still up in the air, but Hendrick is now talking with [former #25 Bud driver] Ken Schrader, according to team sources.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-23-2002)
First time back-to-back - Correction: #48-Jimmie Johnson's victory comes a week after #12-Ryan Newman won, marking the first time in series history rookies have won back-to-back races.(News and Record), Actually in 2000 Dale Earnhardt Jr and Matt Kenseth won back-to-back points races, with Earnhardt Jr winning at Richmond and Kenseth winning at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May of 2000, the Winston was run between the two races, also won by a rookie, Dale Earnhardt Jr.(9-23-2002)
Jerry Jones and DEI? The latest on the Dallas Cowboys' front is the report that Jerry Jones is interested in trying to buy Dale Earnhardt Inc. Jones, who owns the Cowboys, and car owner Andy Petree spent much of the summer in negotiations to team next season on the Winston Cup tour, but that deal fell through. During those negotiations, Jones was reported to be interested in signing a top-name driver and was willing to offer as much as $5 million to Dale Earnhardt Jr. Ty Norris, general manager for DEI, wouldn't say that there had been no talk with the Cowboys, but he did say that there was no way any such deal could go down. There have been several reports during the year about the possible sale of DEI, but each report has been officially rebuffed.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-23-2002)
Hendrick to debut at Rockingham: During an interview on Speed Channel's NASCAR Victory Lane on Sunday night, Hendrick Motorsports CEO Rick Hendrick said that his son, Ricky, would drive a fifth Hendrick Motorsports entry in the Winston Cup race at Rockingham on November 3rd. Ricky Hendrick, 22, is currently in his first full season in the BGN after two years in the CTS.(Gordonline)(9-23-2002)
Dodge....Penske......: Ford men say they are resigned to losing Roger Penske to Daimler-Chrysler's Dodge brand next season. The Penske-to-Dodge rumors began more than two years ago, but they really heated up this spring. An announcement had been anticipated last month; Dodge sources say that an announcement could come within the next two weeks. Penske men will only say that there's an offer on the table.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-23-2002)
Notes from TNT's coverage of NASCAR Winston Cup Racing From Dover: Wally's World: In 1996, Wally Dallenbach and Hideo Fukuyama raced against each other in Suzuka, Japan.. Wally bumped Fukuyama and put him out of the race. On, Sat., Sept. 21, 2002, Wally took Fukuyama for a ride around Dover Downs Int'l Speedway in the TNT car. Fukuyama after the ride (in Japanese): "I didn't know you were such a crazy driver.. Now I know why you are a television driver and not a real driver." Dallenbach: "I am not sure what he said, but I am sure he said that I am an excellent, incredible, and talented driver."
Announcer for GAORA Sports in Japan, Keiichi Inamine, joined Bestwick, Dallenbach, Parsons in the booth for a few laps and called the race in Japanese. Parsons: "Can you repeat that?. I couldn't understand you, you talked to fast."
Dallenbach on Fukuyama after lap 270: "He is really off pace right now." Marty Snider reported that Dale Jr. was behind Fukuyama and it seemed like Dale had slowed off the pace a bit, but then reported that Dale radioed in saying he was waiting for Fukuyama to spin out.
Dallenbach on Gordon returning to the race on lap 285 after wrecking on lap 65: "That is no fun.. What I always said here and at Bristol, 'if you are going to wreck me, make sure they can't fix it'." Time to Call: TNT promo for NASCAR.com's Win The King contest on lap 147 letting fans know that they need to call now to win. - Parsons: "I will be right back, I got my cell phone."(Turner PR)(9-23-2002)
Stoddard and Fukuyama? Crew chief Frankie Stoddard says he'd be willing to take on the challenge of helping car owner Travis Carter run Hideo Fukuyama's team next season if the Japanese star puts together the sponsorship package he's been working on for a planned Winston Cup venture.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-23-2002)
Andretti Close to re-signing with Petty, including Indy 500 UPDATE: #45-Kyle Petty said that the team is close to signing #43-John Andretti to a contract extension and Andretti would be allowed to attempt to drive in the Indianapolis 500 next May. "It's one of those deals where you're 99.9 percent," sure it will happen, Petty said of the contract extension. "It's just nobody's name is on a piece of paper." Petty said he has no problems letting Andretti run in the Indy 500 next year. The problem this year, Petty said, was that Andretti asked on such short notice and did not allow the Petty sponsors to possibly put together a sponsorship package for that race. Andretti said he's hopeful that his cousin, Michael Andretti, will have an extra car for him next May. Michael Andretti, who bought into an Indy car team, will run three cars in the Indy Racing League next year.(Roanoke Times)(9-21-2002) UPDATE: John Andretti knows where and for whom he plans to race in 2003 — has known, in fact, for some time — but he's not telling. ''I've made up my mind,'' he said Saturday following ''Happy Hour,'' practice at Dover. ''But I haven't signed anything yet. The ball's not in my court now. I actually made up my mind a little bit ago and I'm just waiting on a response. 'It's not really going to be up to me and, in my mind, it's never been up to me. The formal announcement comes from the team and from the sponsors, so I'm just a participant. They're just waiting to do that, they're just waiting to get everything sewed up.''(Morning Call)(9-23-2002)