Tony Stewart wins USAC finale at LVMS: Tony Stewart won both the USAC Midget and Sprint car finales at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday night. In the 40-lap Midget car race, Stewart started fifth and took command on lap 19 from Dave Darland. Stewart took the checkered flag followed by Darland, J.J. Yeley and Ron Gregory. Darland won the USAC National Midget title, while Robby Flock won the USAC Western States Midget championship after a sixth-place finish. In the 40-lap Sprint car race, Stewart started sixth and took command on lap 20 from Jeff Gardner. Stewart took the checkered flag followed by Gardner, Tracy Hines and Brian McClish. Rick Hendrix won the USAC Western Sprint car championship after a 12th-place finish. "This car was awesome all night," Stewart said. "I was just riding around behind Gardner and I knew that I was faster, but I didn’t want to abuse the tires. I saw lap traffic coming and I knew where we were stronger than he was. The timing worked out right and I caught him at the spot where we were strong."(LVMS PR)(12-1-2002)
Schrader Fourth-Quarter NMPA Award Winner: Ken Schrader has been selected as the fourth-quarter NMPA/Pocono Spirit Award winner for his contribution in helping out his fellow Winston Cup competitor Kyle Petty and Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp. Schrader and friends raised more than $112,000 to help build the charity that will provide care for critically ill children. The NMPA/Pocono Spirit Award recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity as well as sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports.(Insider Racing News)(11-30-2002)
World Cup of Motorsports UPDATE 2 Team USA wins: U.S. Joins Eight Countries for World Cup of Motorsports the 2002 Michelin Race of Champions Nations Cup. Team USA was among the first to announce involvement in this year's Michelin Race of Champions Nations Cup, the annual contest that puts the world's fastest rally, motorcycle and circuit racers against one another in fierce head-to-head competition. Representing the U.S. is four-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Jeff Gordon, Winston Cup rookie sensation Jimmie Johnson and World Superbike Champion Colin Edwards. This year's ROC Nations Cup promises to be the most hotly contested in the event's four year history, as the Americans take on the fastest drivers and riders from France, UK, Spain, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Brazil and Italy. Many recently-crowned champions are among the international cast, including this year's World Rally champ Marcus Gronholm (Finland), CART's Cristiano da Matta (Brazil), Formula 3000's Sebastien Bourdais (France), 250cc MotoGP Champion Marco Melandri (It), European Rally victor Renato Travaglia (Itay), European Touring Cars champion Fabrizio Giovanardi (Italy), World Enduro's Kari Tiainen (Finland), 125cc Motocross champ Mickael Maschio (France) and Speedway GP winner Tony Rickardsson (Sweden). Rounding out the rosters will be Formula One stars Fernando Alonso (Spain) and Nick Heidfeld (Germany), CART driver and former Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack (Sweden) as well as MotoGP riders Carlos Checa (Spain) and Alex Barros (Brazil).
Supported by Michelin since the inaugural event in Paris in 1988, The Race of Champions was conceived, and remained for the first eleven years, a rally-only event that invited drivers to race head-to-head, side-by-side in exactly the same cars and on a figure-eight parallel-track. The premise was simple: using identical equipment and circuit, drivers could prove themselves based on their talent alone. In 1999, event promoters, seeing the potential for a World Cup of racing, introduced The ROC Nations Cup as a means of expanding that unique concept to other disciplines of motorsport and to allow racers to compete for their flags. In this event, three-man national teams, each comprising the country's best rally (or off-road), motorcycle and circuit racers' face off against one another in a series of 1-lap heats, quarter-finals and semi-finals leading up to the climactic final (this year, Saturday November 30th). The ROC Nations Cup is now a highlight of The Michelin Race of Champions weekend (November 29th - December 1st), which is hosted by the Circuito Ciudad Deportiva rally circuit in Gran Canaria and is largely responsible for the recent explosive growth in media coverage of this weekend of racing: the event is now televised in more than 187 countries. The nine countries in this year's ROC Nations Cup will be divided into three groups: each country will compete against all others in its group, with rally, circuit and motorcycle racers competing against their counterparts.(Golin Harris PR), no word on if any of the race will be televised.(11-28-2002) UPDATE: Sweden's Kenny Brack collected the honours in today's ROC America challenge beating NASCAR ace, Jeff Gordon, in an exhilarating two-lap Final. The inaugural ROC America pitted US based open-wheeled stars, Kenny Brack and Cristiano da Matta against tin-top racers, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. Racing in the unfamiliar hardware of the Michelin Race of Champions unique ROC Cars, the CART star powered past Gordon in a time of 1:56.45 - the fastest lap of the competition. The four-time NASCAR Champion had initially blitzed his way into the lead only to crash heavily into the barrier in the closing stages. He said: "The first lap was my best of the day, but I really messed up at the end. Even so, it was great fun." On his way to the Final, Brack notched up convincing victories over 2002 CART Champion, da Matta and Gordon. The eagerly awaited contest between Gordon and NASCAR rookie sensation, Jimmie Johnson, saw the former take the flag a mere sixteen hundredths of a second ahead of his protégé. Gordon quipped afterwards: "I'm gonna be proud of that moment for a very long time."(ROC Site) see more and pictures at the Jeff Gordon site.(11-29-2002) UPDATE 2: USA clinched the fourth Michelin Race of Champions Nations' Cup in Gran Canaria today. Colin Edwards, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson triumphed in dramatic fashion over the Italian bike, racing and rally trio of Marco Melandri, Fabrizio Giovanardi and Renato Travaglia by three heats to two. An ecstatic Jimmie Johnson said afterwards: "Admittedly, this is a big surprise but it feels great. We came here wanting to win, and to have some fun, and we had both. It's a truly awesome feeling." Four time NASCAR Champion, Jeff Gordon paid tribute to the dominance of Colin Edwards in the Honda Blackbird powered ROC Cars - the 2002 Superbike World Champion won every race: "He was the key player for us. Having been here a couple of years ago, he had the experience that helped make a difference. He was just so smooth." Edwards may have controlled both his heats, and Gordon may have scored a memorable victory over 2002 European Touring Car Champion, Giovanardi, but Johnson's six tenths of a second loss to Travaglia was the most exhilarating contest. On their way to the Final, the USA eliminated previous winners France (2000) in the Semis and Spain (2001) in the Opening Group Stages.
The story of the day: Group Stages:
After rolling his Peugeot 206 WRC in practice on Friday, Marcus Gronholm led Finland to victory in Group A over fellow Scandinavian's Sweden and the UK.
Italy emerged triumphant from Group B wining 5 Heats to 3 over second placed France, with F1 driver, Nick Heidfeld scoring the only success for Germany.
Group B was also the scene of the closest race in Nations' Cup history, where Frenchman Sebastian Loeb beat former double World Rally Champion, Walter Rohrl by just six ten thousandths of a second.
Group C witnessed some of the most entertaining clashes with USA's Gordon spectacularly crossing lanes in his unsuccessful pursuit of Brazil's, Cristiano da Matta.
Although Spain completed a white wash over Brazil to finish joint top with 4 Heat wins, the American triumvirate recorded the fastest collective time to book their place in the Semis.
Much to the disappointment of the home crowd, 2001 Nations Cup winners, Spain, failed to clinch the last Semi-Final berth, which is allotted to the fastest runner-up. Group B's France registered a time of 5mins 47.11secs - over three seconds quicker than Spain.(ROC Site) and see more and some images at the Jeff Gordon site.(11-30-2002)
Beam to ppc Racing #10? former #32 PPI Motorsports Cup crew chief, is expected to announce a move to the ppc Racing [BGN] team of Scott Riggs [#10] in the upcoming weeks.(Winston Cup Scene need subscription and Acrobat to read online)(11-29-2002)
Stewart Wins Sprint race but hurt in Midget race: Tony Stewart won the 40-lap Sprint car Turkey Night Grand Prix race before a sellout crowd of 6,500 at Irwindale Speedway on Thanksgiving, but was involved in a fiery Turn 3 crash in the Midget car race, won by Michael Lewis. Lewis, from Noblesville, Ind., held off a desperate challenge from Kasey Kahne, who finished second in the race for the second time in three years. Kahne tried going outside of Lewis on the last five laps of the 100-lap race, but to no avail. Stewart crashed when the throttle of Aaron Fike's car, running one spot behind Stewart, was stuck and he plowed into the rear of Stewart's car, sending both into the Turn 3 wall. Both were shaken up with Stewart sitting in his car … the one he brought from his museum for the race … for a long time before finally emerging. Both refused transport to an area hospital. Stewart was complaining of a sore ankle. Stewart, who won the Winston Cup title last week in Miami, dominated the Sprint car race. "I came out and won on Turkey Night again," Stewart said of his half-lap victory in the 40-lap main event. "It's great to be back in a real race car and out of those taxi cabs for a little bit," he said. "You guys are the real race fans. It's not about a signature. You want real racing. Everyone tells me to change. I won't change if you won't change. You've come here to see real racing." Stewart, who won in his last appearance at Irwindale, in the 2000 Turkey Night Grand Prix, is the first driver to win in three different cars on Turkey Night. It was only his second time in a Sprint car this year; he won at Tracy. His Sprint car bore the number 20 and was orange, the same as his Cup car.(in part from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune), Stewart did not require hospitalization. AND Tony Stewart returned to his midget racing roots for the USAC Turkey Night race at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway and had Craftsman Truck Series regular Terry Cook serving as his crew chief. "Basically they put me in charge of the car to make sure everything's running properly and to make sure Tony has what he needs to race with," said Cook, whose father-in-law, Bob East, is a prominent Indiana-based midget builder. "Crew chief is really an overrated title for me because I'm just there to help out." The two teamed to win the event in 2000.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), see many photoss of the event and accident at www.wideopenphoto.com(11-29-2002)
Sad News: condolences go out to Andy Graves of Ganassi Racing who recently lost his grandfather.(11-29-2002)
Army Scheme change? hearing the #01 US Army scheme I have posted will change a bit, the shading around and behind the number will not be used and the words U.S. ARMY will be slightly larger. The red line around the base of the car will also probably be eliminated in favor of the yellow-gold color used elsewhare. The yellow will be closer to a yellow gold as it is in Army ads. See the drawing of the car (sent in by many diecast dealers) on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(11-28-2002)
APR news - theft, layoffs and 2003: On July 30, Andy Petree Racing suffered a financial blow when a safe containing cash [$291k?] was stolen from Petree's office off Upward Road. An official with the State Bureau of Investigation office in Asheville said Wednesday that the SBI was still investigating the theft. When the theft happened, the Henderson County Sheriff's Department and the SBI questioned everyone in the shop and even employees who were recently laid off, said Kevin Youngblood, who was the parts manager at APR and was laid off earlier this year. "They wanted to keep everything hush-hush there at the shop, and it's no wonder," Youngblood said. "I know that there haven't been any charges filed, but I do know that everyone at the shop was questioned about the safe. It wasn't just the money missing. It was the entire safe." Petree was in Daytona Beach, Fla., on Wednesday spending time with his family for the holidays. He refused to comment on the missing safe, but did discuss the upcoming NASCAR season. Petree is still seeking more sponsorship dollars to help fund his #55 Chevy for next season's NASCAR circuit and hopefully rehire several of the employees who have been laid off this year. Petree has had as many 110 employees working for APR, but as of Wednesday there are just 25 employees, he said. "If we don't sign a sponsor in the next few weeks, (the layoffs) aren't going to make a lot of difference. We haven't closed the doors yet but we had to do layoffs to sustain our business," Petree said. Petree said that Ken Schrader, who drove the #33 Chevy for Petree in the late '90s, will be the driver of the #55 car in 2003 if the team can land more sponsors to help pay the bills in the coming year. Schneider Electric was the primary sponsor of the car in 2002 and plans on being the sponsor again in 2003. Petree said he still needs more sponsorship money for the #55 car to run the full Winston Cup schedule next year. He said the #55 team already has two 2003 Chevy Monte Carlos built, one for speedways and the other for tracks requiring more downforce. (Hendersonville Times News)(11-28-2002)
Atwood and Spencer News: Casey Atwood’s future in NASCAR remains somewhat muddled and doesn’t promise to get much clearer anytime soon. The former “can’t-miss” Busch Series star had two poor years in Ray Evernham’s Cup organization. He ended 2002 in an Evernham-owned Dodge while Jason Leffler took his seat in the primary #7 Evernham- Jim Smith Dodge. It’s unclear whether there is a place for Atwood in Cup next year since Evernham seems set with Bill Elliott and Jeremy Mayfield. Jimmy Spencer will join new crew chief Tommy Baldwin in Smith’s #7 Dodge.(Autoweek), supposedly Atwood will end up in the #37 Brewco BGN car.(11-28-2002)
EMPA Driver of the Year voting: The ballots are in the mail to the more than 200 professional media that make up the membership of the Eastern Motorsport Press Association. Members of the organization, now in its 34th year, will decide who be receive the Al Holbert Memorial EMPA Driver of the Year, the Richie Evans Memorial EMPA Northeast Driver of the Year and who will be inducted into the EMPA Hall of Fame.
Five drivers have been nominated for the Al Holbert Memorial Driver of the Year award. Included are:
" Sam Hornish, 23 year old two time Indy Racing League champion
" Tony Stewart, NASCAR Winston Cup champion
" Steve Kinser, 17 time Pennzoil World of Outlaws sprint car champion
" Angelle Savoie, won her third consecutive NHRA Pro Stock Bike championship
" Frank Kimmel, four time champion of the ARCA RE/MAX Series
There are also five drivers nominated for the Richie Evans Memorial EMPA Driver of the Year award. Nominees include:
" Brett Hearn, 42 Modified feature wins in 2002. Champion at Lebanon Valley Speedway and 358 Modified champion at Albany-Saratoga Speedway. In addition he finished second in the Mr. DIRT Motorsports Modified championship chase.
" Greg Hodnett, winner of 21 sprint features this season including wins against the World of Outlaws and the Gumout World of Outlaws II series.
" Chub Frank, ran 60 Late Model events in 2002 and won the Renegade (STARS) Racing Series title for the third straight year. He had nine wins, some coming in major national late model events, 26 top five finishes.
" Alan Johnson, 26 DIRT Modified Series wins. Champion in the modifieds at Brewerton Speedway, Cayuga County Fair Speedway and Rolling Wheels Raceway. He was also 358 Modified champion at Fulton Speedway. And for the third time was overall Mr. DIRT Modified Champion
" Andy Santerre, 2002 NASCAR Busch Series North Champion. Won three races with 10 top five finishes. Traveled from Harrisburg, NC to the New England Series events.
Nominees for the EMPA Hall of Fame include:
" Stan Ploski Jr., one of the Northeast's leading dirt track modified drivers from the 1960s through the 1980s.
" Kenny Weld, winner of more than 250 sprint and modified features during his career
" Bob Weikert, as a car owner his sprint cars won more than 500 features.
" Dave Kelly, won the last modified feature at Reading, PA Speedway.
" Bugs Stevens, NASCAR National Modified Champion in 1967, 68 and 69.
" Bill Slater, won title at Norwood Arena and Waterford Speedbowl.
" Harry Gant, won 18 Winston Cup races and 17 poles.
" Chris Economaki, the Dean of Motorsports Journalist and the original when it came to TV coverage of motorsports. He is 83 and still writes his well-read National Speed Sport News column.
" Bruce Larson, seven career wins in 19 final round appearances in NHRA Funny car competition.
The Eastern Motorsport Press Association will honor the award winners at their annual convention, January 17-19th, at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center in Trevose, PA. Many sanctioning organizations, speedways and personalities in the sport will participate including NHRA, NASCAR, Hooters Tour, Valvoline, Tosco Marketing, Performance Racing Industry Magazine, IRL, ARCA, SCCA, R.J.Reynolds, Pocono Raceway, United Racing Club, and many others.
The first annual Junie Donlavey Spirit of the Sport award will be presented to Junie. He will be on hand to accept the award.
Don Hawk, former president of Dale Earnhardt, Inc., will be on hand to talk about the state of the sport and sponsorship in the sport. The president of "Hawk Sports Management" is one of the most respected figures in the industry. He currently has 8 drivers that he represents. He has been instrumental in bringing several major corporations to motorsports. Those having interest in participating in the convention are invited to contact Ernie or Marilyn Saxton at 215.752.7797 or 215.752.2392.(EMPA PR)(11-28-2002)
Vote for Lowe's Move of the Year: SPEED Channel's Sunday motor sports news program SpeedNews is teaming with Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse to determine the "Lowe's Move of the Year." The five finalists, chosen from weekly Lowe's award winners, include:
* Panizzi's Donuts - Thanks to a huge lead in Leg 3 of the World Rally Championship's Catalunya Rally, Frenchman Gilles Panizzi thrilled the crowd by doing donuts under a bridge during Stage 15 - during the race.
* Carpentier Streaking - After winning the Mid-Ohio CART FedEx Championship Series race, driver Patrick Carpentier had to pay up on a bet, offering to run naked around the race track. Wrapping a checkered flag around his waist, Patrick made the lap bringing a whole new meaning to the term "draft."
* Gordon's Golf Cart - In a five-lap Golf Cart Race on pit road at Richmond International Raceway, four-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon slid off the seat of his Looney Tunes cart and was nearly run over by teammate Jimmie Johnson.
* Daytona Fendergate - While leading the Daytona 500, drive Sterling Marlin climbed from his car during a red-flag caution and attempted to pull a bent fender away from his tire. The move, a NASCAR no-no, cost Marlin a penalty and possibly the race win.
* Hornish's Margin of Victory - Sam Hornish, not content with just a top-two finish that would have given him the season's IRL title, went side-by-side with Helio Catroneves in one of racing's all-time great finishes. After the pair battled and banged over the final 30-plus
laps, Hornish crossed the finish line .0096 seconds -- a few inches -- ahead of Castroneves to win the season finale.
To vote for your favorite "Lowe's Move of the Year," visit SPEEDTV.com and make your selection. Voting opens Dec. 2 and the winner will be announced on the SpeedNews 2002 Year in Review, premiering Dec. 29 at 7:00pm.et.(11-28-2002)
AMS Donations: The Atlanta chapter of Speedway Children's Charity will deliver holiday cheer and goodwill to 21 area charities when it presents more than $234,000 in donations at the Tuesday, Dec. 3 annual holiday celebration. The festivities will begin at 6:00pm in the Atlanta Motor Speedway ballroom and will feature appearances by the Mt. Carmel Elementary School Choir and Santa and Mrs. Claus. The Atlanta chapter of Speedway Children's Charities was founded in 1994 and over the past 8 years has donated more than $1.5 million to local organizations. For more information about Speedway Children's Charities see www.speedwaycharities.org.(11-28-2002)
2002 Auto Racing All-America team voting: Ballots are in the mail to almost 300 members of the motorsports press to select the 12-driver 2002 Auto Racing All-America team. Among those on the 2002 ballot are two former three-time Jerry Titus Award winners, John Force (1996, 1999, 2000) and Jeff Gordon (1995, 1998, 2001), plus the driver who has been All-American more than any
other, Steve Kinser (19-times on the team, 14 as First Team). Also on the ballot seeking selection in one of six categories - Open Wheel, Stock Car, Road Racing, Drag Racing, Short Track and At Large - are 13 drivers who could be making their first-ever All-American appearance. Members of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association, have been sent their ballots to vote from among six drivers named in each category. Two from each category will be named to the first team, to be honored at the annual AARWBA banquet in January. The winner of the Jerry Titus Award will also be announced at the banquet. The Titus Award, much like college football's Heisman Trophy, honors the team's top driver - the one earning the most votes in the balloting regardless of category. The balloting will also determine a second team of the drivers placing third and fourth in each category, and honorable mentions to all other drivers receiving at least 5 percent of the vote. AARWBA members have annually chosen an All-America Auto Racing Team since 1970. The banquet is open to the public. Ticket information is available from AARWBA, 922 N. Pass Ave., Burbank, Calif. 91505, or call (818) 842-7005.
The drivers listed below are on the 2002 All-America ballot. Numbers in parentheses indicate previous times elected to first team/second team/honorable mention; *** indicates first time on ballot. Open Wheel: Patrick Carpentier (1/0/0); Helio Castroneves (0/1/0): Cristiano da Matta (1/0/0); Gil de Ferran (2/1/0); Sam Hornish
(1/0/0); Junquiera (***). Stock Car: Kurt Busch (***); Jeff Gordon (8/1/0); Matt Kenseth (***); Mark Martin (3/4/4); Ryan Newman (0/1/0); Tony Stewart (6/0/1). Road Racing: Terry Borcheller (0/1/0); Chris Dyson (***); Ron Fellows (0/2/2); Tom Kristensen (***); Boris Said (***); Didier Theys (0/1/1) Drag Racing: Kenny Bernstein (7/1/3); Jeg Coughlin Jr. (0/1/0); Larry Dixon (0/1/0); John Force (10/4/2); Clay Millican (0/0/1); Tony Pedregon (***) Short Track: Greg Biffle (0/1/0); Mike Bliss (0/1/0); Joey Clanton (***); Frank Kimmel (0/0/3); Steve Kinser (14/1/4); J.J.
Yeley (***) At Large: Bill Auberlen (0/1/0); A.J. Foyt IV (***); David Higgins (***); Frank Manzo (0/0/1); Jimmy Rector (***); Bryan Sellers.(PR)(11-28-2002)
Hamilton in the #41? UPDATE 2, no Hamilton, Parker or Bodine either: .....have heard that Chip Ganassi hired Jimmy Elledge to be the crew chief for the 41 car, which is the car that Jimmy Spencer drove, and Ganassi is attempting to sell to Target that they need to put a veteran, Bobby Hamilton, in that car. Elledge/Hamilton is the package that went together at the 55 car.(FoxSports) UPDATE: However sources tell me that Hamilton will NOT be the new #41 driver.(11-26-2002) UPDATE 2: also hearing that Hank Parker Jr and Todd Bodine are out of the running for the ride.(11-27-2002)
Childress to build Fairgrounds Speedway engines: Weekly racing at Fairgrounds Speedway [Nashville] next season will undergo the most radical change in the track's 44-year history when standard engines are issued to all competitors in the top two divisions. Track President Dennis Grau yesterday said every team in the Late Model and Supertruck divisions will be required to use track-issued ''crate motors'' which are intended to cut costs, balance the competition and reduce cheating. The engines will be built by Richard Childress Racing and sold through the track at a cost of $5,000. Grau said teams in the premier divisions this season have been spending $15,000-$25,000 per engine. He said the track will not earn a profit from the sale of the engines. The engines will be sealed, which will discourage illegal tampering.(Tennessean)(11-26-2002) UPDATE: been told by RCR that the team will NOT be building these engines.(11-27-2002)
Sad News: Imperial Palace casino owner and Las Vegas Motor Speedway co-developer Ralph Engelstad, 72, died of cancer Tuesday night at his Las Vegas home. A successful businessman and a philanthropist, Engelstad was one of the nation's few remaining independent casino owners. Engelstad also was one the central figures behind the creation of Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He and Bill Bennett of the Sahara Hotel provided the financing for and were the original owners of the speedway, before selling the $200-million plus facility to NASCAR track magnate O. Bruton Smith in December 1998. "Without his vision for what motorsports could bring to Las Vegas, the Speedway obviously wouldn't be here today," said LVMS General Manager Chris Powell. "He and Bill Bennett took at least some type of a risk in building a speedway without a guarantee of there ever being a NASCAR Winston Cup date. But it worked out very well. The employees of the speedway and certainly the fans that enjoy the racing at the speedway owe him a debt of gratitude." Gov. Kenny Guinn today added: "Ralph Engelstad was one of the real entrepreneurial pioneers of the Las Vegas strip. He was also one of the colorful characters that makes up Nevada's industry personality. He left his mark on our state's largest industry. He will be missed."(more at the Las Vegas Sun)(11-27-2002)
Sad News: West coast stock car racing pioneer Marvin Porter passed away on November 6, 2002 in San Felipe, Baja, Mexico at the age of 76. After a 4 year stint in the Air Force Marvin started racing jalopies around Southern California with great success. His close friend Parnelli Jones started driving NASCAR stock cars in 1956, and thought it was so much fun that during a game of cards at Marvin's place one evening, he suggested that Marvin get a stock car ride and go racing with him. Marvin opted to do just that and got a ride in a Plymouth, owned by Jack Chataney. His first race was at Portland in May of 1957. Marvin went on to become the NASCAR 1959 Short Track National Champion and being named the "Comeback Driver of the Year" by The National Speed News. The publication praised him by saying "Marv Porter of California returned from major surgery to earn the Short Track Grand National Title". Marv went on to become the 1960 Pacific Coast Late Model Champion (later to become the NASCAR Winston West Series) and also finished 7th in 1957, 4th in 1959 and 2nd in 1965. He had 11 career victories in the NASCAR stock car series. He was inducted into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame in 2002. In later years he would become partners with his close friend Parnelli Jones and Vel Miletch in Parnelli Jones Enterprises becoming one of Firestone Tires largest dealers. In 1985 with Firestone getting out of the racing tire business he sold his interest in Parnelli Jones Enterprises and retired and moved with his wife of 33 years Penny, and moved to San Felipe, Baja, California. He leaves his wife Penny and son Curtis. Porter also won two Winston Cup races [in 1957 and 1960 in 34 starts](11-27-2002)
Crew Moves: hearing [not a big surprise] that many of the crew of the #22 Bill Davis Racing Team are laving and moving to the #7 Ultra Motorsports team where former crew chief Tommy Baldwin Jr is now working, others going to different teams.(11-27-2002)
Same Tires in 2003? According to Ford Racing's Goodyear sources, the tire line up – and construction practices, have been fixed in stone for the 2003 season. With that comes the reality that a softer, racier, tire apparently won’t be part of the Goodyear offering for 2003. The tires, which one noted Ford driver calls "as hard as stainless steel", were being looked at by NASCAR and a test of a softer compound tire was run in early August of this year. Those tests, which were run in conjunction with a larger greenhouse car, gave the drivers a bit more feel back in their cars – which is something that they've been looking for for some time now. But those hopes of improved feel apparently aren't part of the Goodyear program for 2003 and with the exception of a few stand-alone Busch events the tires will follow the 2002 menu. The one notable exception is the newly designed Dover tire, which was run in September of this year when the tour was at that venue. That tire, and its pleasant handling and wear characteristics, will be carried over to both Dover shows this year.(Ford Racing)(11-27-2002)
No December Testing? Several months ago NASCAR, along with several time-generous teams, tested several car configurations [The Big Car Tests] at Daytona International Speedway. The tests were part of the ongoing NASCAR strategy to find an aero package that'll give the drivers a bit more control over their destiny during a speedway event. Those tests, which were cut short by rain, gave the sanctioning body a few ideas to work with. Perhaps the most promising of those was a car with a raised front valance and lowered rear blade. The package reduced the total downforce on the cars and forced the drivers to work the throttle on a motor with a larger restrictor plate. The going theory, prior to the test being canceled by weather, was that NASCAR would find a few teams willing to visit Daytona in the month of December and continue on the path they were exploring. Those plans however have been consumed by the reality that the common template cars, which will be introduced in 2003, would skew the results and make any testing with older generation cars impractical. "We've delayed that a little bit because we don't want to muddy the waters with what we're trying to achieve in 2003," said NASCAR Winston Cup Technical Director John Darby, recently. "We can still take all the 2002 cars and test a concept. If lower downforce at Daytona and Talladega was a concept for the testing we could still use our existing cars, but for everybody to understand the concept the first huge stumbling block of confusion that comes in is why are you running at Daytona with a 2002 Monte Carlo when it's going away? We ask ourselves if it makes sense to do that, too, because even trying to force that issue to understand that all we're testing is big downforce versus less downforce, there are still enough differences in the 2003 cars where we can't apply it directly. So I think the feeling is although we'd still like to pursue that concept we want to hold up a little bit before to where we can do it with the cars we're racing." Asked why the tests couldn't continue to get a general consensus on the lower downforce car while the teams worked on the 2003 common template cars Darby replied, "It's two separate projects. We work every day looking at new stuff. We have to. It's the only way we can stay level and try to improve the sport. We've got the 2003 car project going on and all the teams are building them. At the same time we're investigating and testing and R&D-ing on a lot of different concepts not only for Daytona and Talladega but for every race track that we go to. Once the engineering part of that is complete we can start applying that to real world by going and doing some testing with the ideas and concepts."(Ford Racing)(11-27-2002)
Rudd tests the #21 at Kentucky: Ricky Rudd became more acquainted with the Wood Bros. team by shaking down his new #21 Motorcraft Ford during a one-day test at Kentucky Speedway. The team battled temperatures in the low 30s and snow flurries to get a head start on working under the new NASCAR Winston Cup Series rules for the 2003 season. "This is only the third time we've tested together as a team, so we're trying to get used to each other," Rudd said. "We're having a pretty good test, it's just that the snow isn't cooperating. It's kind of a ˜shake down" cruise. We're here with some of the cars built for the new rules." Rudd, who tested at Kentucky last month with a 2002 machine, said he's quickly adjusting to changes in the car's performance. "(The new rules) pretty much require that all the race teams cut the bodies off their existing race cars and put on new bodies. It's not a 10-minute deal, it's about a two- to three-week process and it's pretty involved. This car has been in the wind tunnel with the old body and been back with the new one, so we pretty much know what to expect. There's some trial and error involved, but a lot of it is reading the data and doing what the data says we need to do," he said. He also stated that NASCAR's reduction in the number of times teams can test at Winston Cup tracks has made Kentucky Speedway a valuable preseason research tool.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(11-27-2002)
Childress still looking for #30 Crew Chief, Beam?: Car owner Richard Childress is still working on finding a new crew chief for the #30 AOL team and driver Jeff Green. Sources have told PRN's "Garagepass" Ricky Craven's crew chief Mike Beam might move over from the Tide team to take that job. Beam was supposed to be stepping down from the #32 crew chief and be more of a manager for the team.(11-26-2002)
Spencer Receives Certificate: Jimmy Spencer received a certificate and the American Flag flown over the skies of Kuwait & Irag on a combat mission in an F-16 Falcon during Operation Southern Watch & Enduring Freedom - Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base, Kuwait. The certificate and flag are on display in the fan viewing area at Spencer's Busch Series shop in Mooresville, NC.(Spencer Motor Ventures)(11-26-2002)
Thanks to Spencer Motor Ventures for the image - click on image to see larger version
Toyota V-8 Stock Car: The International Stockcar Alliance announced that veteran driver Mark Dilley will be racing in the upcoming 2003 ISA Exide Racing Series. The Barrie, Ontario resident will be driving a Toyota Camry, the first driver to do so, not only in ISA competition, but in North America. The first to drive a Toyota V8-powered Camry in North American stock car competition. The ISA is a new auto racing series, the International Stockcar Alliance, which will feature not only new cars, drivers, and racing venues, but will feature a chance for a driver and a fan to team up and win a million dollars each at six of the ISA's races.(ISA Racing Site) [NOTE: Toyota is alos in Goody's Dash but is NOT a V-8](11-26-2002)
TV Stuff: Kyle Petty, who will drive the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge next season, will be featured on national network VH-1's Top Twenty Countdown. The two-hour weekly show, one of the biggest on the network, counts down the hottest 20 videos in America, and is hosted by Aamer Haleem. Petty taped an interview during the Homestead, Fla., race weekend, and talked about his interest in music. He introduced the #4 video in the countdown, "Family Portrait," by the artist, Pink. The show airs an average of five times during the week.(Williams Company PR) ANDShelby Howard, the youngest driver to ever compete in the 50-year history of the ARCA Series, will be featured on ABC’s prime-time show 20/20 on Friday, November 29th at 10:00pm/et. The renowned news magazine show went behind-the-scenes
with the Howards to show the sacrifices that Howard and his family have made in order to advance his racing career. ABC also sent the 20/20 production crew to follow his progress at Kentucky Speedway this past July, and, in addition, traveled to his home for a more candid angle. Howard, who debuted in the ARCA RE/MAX Series on September 9th, 2001 at Salem Speedway, was barely 16 when he
qualified 4th and finished 6th, actually leading a handful of laps in his first race. Howard finished 5th in the ARCA championship point standings, posting a career-best 2nd place finish on the heels of series champion Frank Kimmel at Winchester Speedway in August. (PR)(11-21-2002) UPDATE: Golin/Harris PR arranged the VH1 show that was shot in Miami. The show, VH1 Top Twenty Video Countdown, will
premiere on Monday, Nov. 25 at 5:00pm/et and will feature Bill Elliott, Jeremy Mayfield, Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon,
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Petty.(11-23-2002) And More more on the Howard story at Tribtown: Local pit crew to be on ‘20/20’(11-26-2002)
Racing School Eyes Move: Race car driver and Kannapolis native Mike Herman Jr. is the lead instructor at Carolina Motorsports Tech Center based in Conover. Herman said the school provides technical training in all aspects of the industry, including the skills necessary to be part of a race team. Herman, whose office and shop are located in Kannapolis, is a USAR ProCup series driver and two-time track champion at the Concord Motorsports Park. He says the Cabarrus County area has done a good job in marketing and promoting the racing industry. The program has been in existence for seven years and was formerly based out of Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory. Now it operates as a separate entity close to the Hickory Motor Speedway, Herman said. Though the move is not certain yet, possible locations for the school include the Kannapolis Gateway Park and areas in close proximity to Interstate 85 and Dale Earnhardt Boulevard, Herman said.(Independent Tribune)(11-26-2002)
Spencer/Baldwin? It's pretty much a given that Tommy Baldwin [already announced] and Jimmy Spencer are going to be at Ultra Racing in the 7 car.(FoxSports)(11-26-2002)
Parker leaves Roush for Yates UPDATE 2: #97 Car Chief Shawn Parker has left Roush Racing and will assume the Car Chief duties for the #38 M&M's Ford of Yates Racing and Elliott Sadler.(11-20-2002) UPDATE: Elliott Sadler became acquainted with his new Robert Yates Racing NASCAR Winston Cup Team during a two-day test at Kentucky Speedway. The 27-year-old Sadler began preparing to become the new teammate of 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Dale Jarrett. Sadler enters the team seat vacated by veteran driver Ricky Rudd and will drive for new sponsor M&M's Candies. After just two days on the job, he's already impressed with the team chemistry. "It's unbelievable how well this team works together, how focused they are and how good they want to be. I'm just glad to be a part of this team. I'm glad Robert and Doug have given me this chance. I'm working very well with Raymond so far, so I think things will be very bright for us this (upcoming) year," Sadler said. Sadler added that he's excited about building a promising future with Fox and Parker. "Raymond has worked with this team for a long time, I think it's the only place he's ever worked. He's due for his chance to become a crew chief. He's doing a great job. We're both pretty young and we brought Shawn Parker over to be the car chief. We have a lot of good young guys on this race team that are eager to win and wanting to do what it takes to run good each and every week. Hopefully we'll be together a long time and have some good success," Sadler concluded. (Kentucky Speedway PR), been told that Yate's will try something a little different and have co-crew chief with Fox and Parker.(11-21-2002) UPDATE 2: a surprise move in one way but not another is it appears that Jimmy Fennig's right-hand man, Shawn Parker who was the car chief for Kurt Busch, will share crew chief duties with Raymond Fox at Robert Yates Racing with Elliott Sadler. Fox has been with Yates for probably 15 years. The challenge for that team is going to come on race day when you have to have one person making the calls.(FoxSports)(11-26-2002)
Helping Out: Benefiting the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, America's Most Wanted Racing launched their online store. Each purchase offers a percentage payable back to the National Center For Missing And Exploited Children, more info at Body Dynamics.(11-26-2002)
Just Remembering.... November 26, 2002, is eight years since champion crew chief Barry Dodson lost his two children Trey and Tia in a traffic accident. Trey and Tia were also the brother and sister of Trent and Travis Owens. Trent is a CTS driver and Travis is a chassis specialist on the #44 Petty Enterprises Team. Trent is still searching for employment for next year and Travis will be back with Petty team 44. Barry Co-hosted NASCAR this morning and NASCAR victory lane in year 2002 doing an excellent job and is excited about the coming year. Prayers and thoguhts go out to the family of Trey and Tia on this day of remembrance.(11-26-2002)
TRAC Launch Delayed: Team Sports Entertainment Inc. is pushing back the date it plans to start its TRAC stock car racing league until the second quarter of 2004, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports. Reporter Bill King says the information appears in documents filed with securities regulators last week. The publicly traded company blamed "adverse business conditions" for the delay, saying it had been unable to land a national television contract and therefore was unable to sell franchises. SportsBusiness Journal is published by Scene Daily's parent company, Street & Smith's Sports Group.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(11-25-2002)
Mike Wallace looking in 2003: No deal has been signed by Mike Wallace to drive the #14 AJ Foyt Racing car for next year and he is exploring any viable option for Winston Cup rides and sponsors for Cup and BGN.(Mike Wallace Fanclub)(11-25-2002)
Committee to spin off into a separate nonprofit agency: City officials, who oversaw the development of the city's tribute to the late NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt, are spinning off their steering committee into a separate nonprofit agency. The group oversaw the development of the city's tribute to racer, who was killed in the final lap of last year's Daytona 500. A 9-foot-tall bronze statue of Earnhardt was unveiled last month in Dale Earnhardt Plaza in downtown Kannapolis. The plaza is a block away from the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Center by Sam Bass in Cannon Village's Visitor Center. Operating a nonprofit group will allow the committee to continue fund raising for the sites by soliciting tax-deductible contributions, said city spokeswoman Jennifer Woodford, who has worked closely with the group. The money could be used for maintenance and upkeep of the sites and for other uses, Woodford said, perhaps including a scholarship fund. The committee still is working out what its mission, budget and structure would be as a nonprofit agency. Until now, it has been focused on launching the plaza and tribute center.(Charlotte Observer/ThatsRacin.com)(11-25-2002)
Davis & Weight Motorsports now #52 UPDATE driver for 2003?: Davis & Weight Motorsports will run the #52 Ford Taurus in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. No word on the team's first race or driver. Davis & Weight Motorsports is currently working to secure corporate partners to compete in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series.(Davis & Weight Motorsports Site) The team used to run the #55 in the BGN and was the #81 in Cup but never ran a Cup race since buying the team from Filmar Racing in 1999.(2-26-2002) UPDATE: the Davis & Weight Motorsports site reports that they are now seeking corporate sponsors [as is many teams] for the 2003 Winston Cup and to be on the lookout for a new #52 driver, coming soon. Doesn't say much else.(11-25-2002)
Conz plans to attempt the Daytona 500 UPDATE: ARCA driver, Brian Conz, BC Motorsports and Carb-R-All Racing plan to enter and run the 2003 Daytona 500. At this time their Winston Cup car number will be #78 and they are putting together a team and purchasing new equipment. Thier shop is located in Tennessee.(Brian Conz Site)(10-18-2002) UPDATE: BC Motorsports and Carb-R-All Racing is pleased to announce Brian Conz's entry in the Daytona 500 scheduled to run on February 16, 2003. The team has moved into a shop in Mooresville, NC on Performance Dr. Veteran crew chief Steve Bird has signed on as crew chief. The team is waiting for NASCAR to issue our car number which will happen sometime after December 1st. The team currently has three cars and three engines in production and they will all be ready for testing in January.(Brian Conz Site)(11-25-2002)