PAST NEWS JAN 20-26, 2003
THE PAST NEWS! YESTERDAY and BEYOND..
OTHER PAST NEWS PAGES
- NASCAR looking into the Carbon Monoxide problem: NASCAR is studying catalytic converters that can turn deadly carbon monoxide into relatively harmless carbon dioxide. NASCAR's R&D director, Gary Nelson, said that Rick Mast's illness and Tony Stewart's poisoning at Martinsville last fall triggered NASCAR to start a major investigation in to the carbon monoxide issue. In part of the NASCAR study, some drivers last fall gave doctors a balloon sample from their lungs after the race.(Winston Salem Journal)(1-26-2003)
- Toyota and NASCAR ink deal? While it’s years from an official announcement, [Autoweek] have word that an agreement has been reached between Toyota and NASCAR for Toyota to race in Winston Cup in 2007. That’ll be three years after it starts in Craftsman Truck in 2004. Toyota engineers are working on the carbureted V8. It’s still on the computer at this point, but will soon come to three-dimensional form. One problem with the engine is casting it in iron. Most Toyota blocks are aluminum alloy, but engineers found a Toyota facility in Japan that still casts in iron. The Craftsman entry will feature a Tundra body and the Cup car will be a Camry, “whatever the Camry will look like then,” Toyota sources said.(Autoweek)(1-25-2003)
- Got Milk: Hendrick Motorsports says the American Dairy Association is becoming an associate sponsor on its #5 Chevy driven by Terry Labonte in the Winston Cup Series. The team says the Got Milk logo from the association will be displayed on the hood, side panels and television panel of the car, which has primary sponsorship from Kellogg's Corn Flakes. The dairy association will also be featured in special paint schemes for races at Richmond International Raceway in May and Chicagoland Speedway in July.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-25-2003)
- Dale Earnhardt Tribute gets nice donation: The Dale Earnhardt Tribute has received a $50,000 boost from the local tourism authority. The Cabarrus County Convention and Visitor's Bureau board donated the money to the city of Kannapolis -- $30,000 to help put the finishing touches on the site and $20,000 to help create an event centered around the tribute. Most of the $30,000 will go toward finishing the walkways and brick walls that encase the statue, said Jennifer Woodford, Kannapolis public information officer. Some money would also be set aside for landscaping.(Independent Tribune)(1-25-2003)
- Harvick and Ozzy? hearing Kevin Harvick will run an Ozzy Osbourne (a Jayski fave - Ozzy Rules! thanks Rocketman), probably at Richmond in one of the BGN or Cup races.(1-25-2003)
- Elliott Dirt Tracking again: Bill Elliott participated in a private practice session at Golden Isles Speedway [in Waynesville, GA] on January 20th as a test session for his dirt car program. Elliott was joined on the 5/8-mile speed plant by dirt late model star, Ray Cook of Murphy, NC and Golden Isles Speedway owner/promoter Arlene Pittman, who aside from here promotional tasks at several South Georgia racetracks is also a competitor in the NASCAR Goody’s Dash Series. Elliott’s laps at the oiled dirt oval came as a part of his continuing enjoyment of some seat time in his dirt late model racecar.(Victory Lane Communications)(1-25-2003)
- Brett Bodines Wife in trouble: The wife of NASCAR driver #11-Brett Bodine is expected to be extradited to Walton County on charges of harassing and threatening a Loganville [GA] woman. The Loganville woman had reportedly befriended Brett Bodine through her job with Hooters of America, one of Bodine's NASCAR sponsors. The woman has alleged she has been verbally threatened and harassed by Diane Bodine, 43, since last year. Diane Bodine was arrested last week at her Florida home by the Volusia County Sheriff's Department and was subsequently released on bond.(see full story at Walton Tribune)(1-25-2003)
and a story at the Toronto Sun:Mrs. Bodine chomps on hand that feeds her by Dean McNulty
- Pit Crew Challenge: The Stock Car Racing Fan Fest Pit Crew Challenge is open to anyone who wishes to enter. Amateur teams/groups will compete from 12pm-6pm February 12th, 13th and 14th. For more info see the The National Association of Pit Crew Members Site.(1-24-2003)
- ALLTEL extends with the #12 thru 2006: ALLTEL has extended its primary sponsorship agreement with Penske Racing South and the #12 Dodges driven by Ryan Newman through 2006. The communications and information services company's current agreement with the 2002 roolkie of the year would have expired at the end of the 2004 season.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-24-2003)
- MBV, MB2 and Morgan-McClure: The MBV (Benson) and MB2 (Jerry Nadeau) teams have formed a cooperative development arrangement with Morgan-McClure, the Abingdon, Va.-based team that is switching from Chevrolet to Pontiac.(Gaston Gazette)(1-24-2003)
- Sony Expands Sponsorship Of Penske Racing And Ryan Newman In 2003: Sony Electronics announced it has expanded its associate sponsorship and has become a technology partner of Ryan Newman's Penske Racing #12 Dodge. Sony's industry-leading FD Trinitron® WEGA® television brand will be joined by the Digital Handycam® line of video cameras as Newman follows up his "rookie-of-the-year" campaign with an assault on the NASCAR Winston Cup championship. In addition to the sponsorship, Sony will provide technical assistance with their digital technology know-how to help develop tools for Newman's engineering-based team. New to the racing program will be Sony Handycam, Sony's digital video camera division. Handycam has been an industry leader and a household name since video cameras were introduced in the early 1980s. Handycam's current digital technologies have led to a recent revolution in the quality of consumer video camera recording and there is even more yet to come. Sony will also continue the Sony Mobile TechPit, a 60-by-80-foot mobile road show designed to give fans a front-row seat for an interactive look at the latest products in home entertainment, digital imaging, and car audio and personal computing. The show features a fast-moving sensory experience, giving fans the opportunity to interact with Sony products and to enjoy the thrills of WEGA televisions and home theater demonstrations in Dolby Digital surround sound. The exhibit will also include a display of the full line of Sony Handycams, computer-simulated races, and a Sony showcar as well as personal appearances by Ryan Newman at selected events.(Co-Pilott PR / Sony Racing)(1-24-2003)
- RIR Walls Next for SAFER? Richmond International Raceway is the leading candidate to be the next track to install the energy-absorbing walls first used in last year's Indy 500. The latest tests at the University of Nebraska research center have been conducted with an exact model of the 0.75-mile Richmond track's walls. Dr. Dean Sikking, who developed the SAFER barrier, is trying to determine what changes, if any, are needed for a track with tighter-radius turns than the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Gary Nelson, director of NASCAR's new research and development center in Concord, N.C., said testing is expected to be completed in the next three weeks. "One more test hopefully will give us the final sign-off and then we'll start contacting tracks," Nelson said. "You'll see some quick movement once we can get past the point where we know the new wall will do no harm and can only improve the situation."(Indianapolis Star)(1-24-2003)
- Dodge helping out UPDATE: Dodge Motorsports will award 10 scholarships this year to the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, N.C., as part of its pledge to diversify motorsports.(Augusta Chronicle)(1-23-2003)
UPDATE: Minority candidates interested in pursuing technical careers in professional racing can now apply for scholarships sponsored by the Dodge Motorsports Diversity Scholarship Program. The program, in its third year of operation, aims to attract, recruit and train minorities for positions within the automotive and motorsports industry. “The Dodge Motorsports Diversity Program represents a guided pathway by which talented technical students can find their way to success as team members in one of the most exciting careers around - NASCAR racing,” said John Fernandez, Director - Dodge Motorsports Operations. “This program represents DaimlerChrysler’s true commitment to providing opportunities for all Americans.” Following an extensive screening process, up to 10 qualified scholarship recipients will be selected to receive NASCAR-approved training at the Mooresville, N.C., campus of the NASCAR Technical Institute (www.ntieducation.com). Scholarships will cover costs associated with tuition, fees, required books, supplies and housing for the one-year automotive/NASCAR technology program. Throughout the 19-phase, 57-week program, students will receive training in a broad range of technical disciplines including diagnostic analysis and mechanical and electrical systems. Upon successful completion of the training program, graduates may be invited to join Dodge racing teams as entry-level technicians. “Dodge and DaimlerChrysler have been very proactive in ensuring that our workforce is diverse,” said Bob Wildberger, Senior Manager - NASCAR Operations, Dodge Motorsports. “With the support that we’re getting from our teams, we’re able to see how effective a program like this can be in opening doors for aspiring motorsports employees.” In order to be considered for the scholarship, interested applicants must be age 27 or under and have completed at least high school. Applicants must belong to a recognized U.S. ethnic/racial minority group (i.e., American Indian, Alaskan Native, African American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Asian, Hispanic or Latino). All applications will be processed and evaluated by an independent agency. Scholarship recipients will be required to take the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) examination. Once enrolled in the automotive technology-training program students must maintain an average 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA). Program information, guidelines and applications may be downloaded from the Dodge website at www.dodge.com/motorsports. All application materials must be postmarked by April 1, 2003, in order to be processed. In 2002, the Dodge Motorsports Diversity Scholarship program placed its first three graduates into full-time engineering positions with three Dodge NASCAR race teams. Two graduates joined the No. 9 and No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid race teams of Evernham Motorsports in the Winston Cup Series. A third graduate joined the No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Ram Craftsman Truck Series team of Ultra Motorsports.(Dodge Motorsports)(1-24-2003)
- New Assoc for Gibbs: Joe Gibbs Racing has signed a deal with GlaxoSmithKline, which makes Advair, an asthma maintenance treatment, an associate sponsor on the team's #18 and #20 cars. Driver Bobby Labonte, who has asthma, will be a spokesman for the program and will encourage fans to visit an educational trailer to be located trackside at NASCAR events.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-24-2003)
- Brooke Gordon subpoenas Jeff's competitors: Lawyers for Jeff Gordon's wife have subpoenaed records from his competitors and NASCAR for use in their divorce case. Geoff Smith, general manager of Roush Racing, said the team planned to file an order Friday to block Brooke Gordon's request in Wayne County Circuit Court in Michigan, where the company is headquartered. Roush does not want to make public the individual contracts it has with its drivers and sponsors. Those deals are highly sensitive in NASCAR, where each car owner works out separate agreements with every individual. Sponsor deals also are secret, lest a company should find out if it is paying extra for something another might get for free. NASCAR also has had records subpoenaed by Brooke Gordon's lawyers, said series spokesman Jim Hunter. Gordon, a four-time Winston Cup champion, drives for Hendrick. Roush fields cars for Winston Cup drivers Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch and Greg Biffle. Smith said other teams have also been asked to turn over contracts. Brooke Gordon's lawyer, Jeff Fisher, did not immediately return a call to The Associated Press for comment. Jeff Gordon has unsuccessfully tried to get a Florida judge to require his estranged wife and anyone involved in his divorce to sign a confidentiality agreement. The request was denied and Jeff Gordon had to turn over papers in November that estimated his worth at about $48.8 million and that he earned more than $18 million in 2001. Brooke Gordon filed for divorce in March, citing "marital misconduct." The racer has countersued, saying he should not have to equally split the couple's estate because he risked his life to collect it. Jeff Gordon had to reveal his worth in an affidavit filed to comply with a Florida law that requires assets amassed during a marriage to be split evenly. Brooke Gordon has asked for exclusive use of their Highland Beach, Fla., mansion, valued at $10.2 million, as well as alimony, two cars and periodic use of their boats and an airplane. She also wants her husband to continue to pay the salaries of their housekeepers, maintenance workers and chef.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(1-23-2003)
- Toyota in Cup - 2007? CTS in 2004 UPDATE: While it’s years from an official announcement, Autoweek has word that an agreement has been reached between Toyota and NASCAR for Toyota to race in Winston Cup in 2007. That’ll be three years after it starts in Craftsman Truck in 2004. Toyota engineers are working on the carbureted V8. It’s still on the computer at this point, but will soon come to three-dimensional form. One problem with the engine is casting it in iron. Most Toyota blocks are aluminum alloy, but engineers found a Toyota facility in Japan that still casts in iron. The Craftsman entry will feature a Tundra body and the Cup car will be a Camry, “whatever the Camry will look like then,” Toyota sources said.(Autoweek)(12-24-2002)
UPDATE: NASCAR executives are interested in getting Toyota into the sport, and they have had a number of talks over the past few years. The discussions intensified last spring, with NASCAR hoping that Toyota might have a truck ready for this year's SpeedWeeks. Now Toyota's time frame appears to be for a 2004 Truck debut, followed by a step up to Winston Cup in either 2006 or 2007. If Toyota wants to run on NASCAR's Truck tour next season, the Japanese car maker will have to first submit a Truck body for NASCAR to OK by July 1 and then submit a 358 V-8 by Sept. 1. NASCAR will go to a "common template" Truck next season, according to NASCAR sources, which would make the job easier for both Toyota and NASCAR. "We're excited," George Pyne, NASCAR's senior vice president, said Wednesday. "I think Toyota is taking a long, hard look at NASCAR," Pyne said. "But I don't think any final decisions have been made. But I know they have been working diligently on looking at the Truck series. They've done a lot of due diligence in evaluating NASCAR as an opportunity. We have had a number of conversations with them, on the racing side and on the business side. Our competition department has had conversations with them about the engine and about the (body) fabrication and aerodynamics."(Winston Salem Journal)(1-23-2003)
- A New Stacker 2 Commercial and Info about Stacker 2: If you've seen the Stacker 2 TV commercials, featuring Winston Cup driver Kenny Wallace, you've seen the work of Belvidere native Karen Sweigert Finnuchio. Finnuchio, a member of Belvidere High School's class of 1977, wrote and produced the zany ads for the diet product. Finnuchio is the marketing vice president for Stacker 2, which has its headquarters in Sussex County, N.J. She directed her company into NASCAR last year after a stint as a sponsor for World Wrestling Federation. Finnuchio put together the deal to have Wallace -- the youngest brother of Rusty Wallace -- sponsored by Stacker in the Busch Series. On top of that, a one-year sponsorship of the Busch race at Nazareth Speedway was in he cards. Finnuchio, Stacker and Wallace move to the big time this year. Wallace will drive the #23 Stacker 2-sponsored Dodge in the Winston Cup Series for owner Bill Davis. Wallace is teamed with Ward Burton, last year's Daytona 500 winner. Wallace, known around the garages as "Herman," said a new Finnuchio-written and produced commercial will be shot early next month at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "It'll be the best one yet," Wallace said. "There will be six or seven drivers in it, and maybe a surprise. It's a real Hollywood production when we do it, and Karen pulls it all together and is still fun to work with." Wallace said that despite being a wired, fun-loving person out of his car and in front of the TV camera, he's all business behind the wheel.(Express Times)(1-23-2003)
- Hunter on the mend: Former Darlington Raceway president and current NASCAR vice president for corporate communications Jim Hunter will be checking into the Mayo Clinic this week. Hunter, who appeared at the NASCAR Research and Development Center on Tuesday, will be getting tests and treatment for his back.(Florence Morning News)(1-23-2003)
- Hillman back at BBR? hearing crew chief Mike Hillman, who recently left the #14 Foyt Racing team, has returned to #11 Brett Bodine Racing and that Jon Wolfe has left the team.(1-23-2003)
- Medical Tests for Ganassi Drivers: Car owner Chip Ganassi is sending his Winston Cup drivers for a three-day medical test so his organization will have detailed health records in case of injuries. #40-Sterling Marlin spent 25 straight weeks on top of the Winston Cup standings last season before he was sidelined for the final seven races with a cracked vertebra in his neck. Now Marlin and rookies #42-Jamie McMurray and #41-Casey Mears are being sent in April to the University of Pittsburgh's Medical Center in Ganassi's hometown for "a baseline-operation program." "It's just one more tool for us to have, just in case things like Sterling's injury happen again in the future," Ganassi said. "I hope we don't need the information, but it can only help." Teams are constantly working on improving the safety aspects of racing, but Ganassi said he is not a pioneer in sending his drivers' in for the test. "Everyone is always trying to be proactive, but this is something I read about somewhere else," Ganassi said. "The Steelers do it, the Pirates do it. It can't hurt for us to do it."(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(1-23-2003)
- Marlin tours The Hunley: Sterling Marlin first learned of the Civil War at the knee of his relatives in Tennessee. On Wednesday, Marlin touched a piece of Confederate history as he toured the recovered submarine H.L. Hunley [www.thehunley.com]. Marlin flew to Charleston, SC from Charlotte, N.C., after several days of interviews for the upcoming Winston Cup season. Marlin, his wife Paula and 12-year-old daughter Sutherlin spent about 2˝ hours learning about the Confederate sub that became the first to sink a ship during wartime. The best part? "Probably, all of it. You say, 'How they did things so well 130, 135 years ago,'" said Marlin, marveling at the watertight seals and smooth, machined edges on the fledgling sub's remains. Marlin's great, great grandfather, William Marlin, fought with the 32nd infantry in the Army of Tennessee, C.S.A. and young Sterling heard tales passed down through generations of growing up around Columbia, TN, and near the site of the Battle of Franklin. The Hunley rammed the U.S.S. Housatonic in Charleston Harbor on Feb. 17, 1864. While the Union ship was destroyed, the nine-man crew of the Hunley were also lost. After a presentation at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center about the Hunley's history and recovery, Marlin's family then stepped in the 12-foot deep holding tank clad in ankle-high galoshes for a hands-on experience. The Hunley was found beneath decades of sediment in 1995. Lasch's group is raising funds for a permanent home for the submarine — which some estimate could cost up to $40 million — once the scientific salvage part is complete.(Greenville News/AP)(1-23-2003)
- Childress, others to visit overseas troops UPDATE 2: Brendan Gaughan, Rick Crawford, Humpy Wheeler, Richard Childress, General Sadler and other NASCAR invitees will spend five days visiting overseas troops this month on the "Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve NASCAR Overseas Tour". Stopping in Germany, Bosnia, Sicily and England, they will attend rallies on five military installations, talking to troops from the U.S. Army, Navy, Airforce and Marines. "This is an incredible honor," say both Gaughan and Crawford. "Plus, it is a chance of a lifetime. We are both extremely honored and very excited about this opportunity."(ThatsRacin.com)
UPDATE: Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds will also be part of the group going.(1-14-2003)
UPDATE 2: Brendan Gaughan of Las Vegas will join fellow CTS driver Rick Crawford and other NASCAR dignitaries for a goodwill tour next week in support of U.S. troops stationed overseas. Gaughan and Crawford will attend rallies at military installations in Germany, Bosnia, Sicily and England during the five-day tour scheduled to begin next Monday [Jan 27th]. NASCAR team owner Richard Childress and Lowe's Motor Speedway president and general manager H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler also are scheduled to take part in the "Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve NASCAR Overseas Tour."(Las Vegas Sun)(1-23-2003)
- Cicci-Kelly team hopes to have sponsor soon, will run #34 and run the Watkins Glen Cup race: Frank Cicci Jr., who joined forces with former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly to form a BGN team, could have a sponsorship deal within the next week. "We're getting real close to having sponsorship," Cicci said Wednesday from his Mooresville, NC, race shop. Cicci said the manufacturing company would provide enough backing to compete in the BGN for the full season at a "proper level of funding." He declined to name the company but said it has been a sponsor in racing previously. Cicci is also planning to enter August's Sirius Satellite Radio at the Glen -- the Winston Cup race at Watkins Glen International -- with a different sponsor that he said is associated with Kelly. Cicci has owned or co-owned Busch teams for 14 years. He partnered with Scott Welliver for 10 years before splitting from the team in August of 2001. Cicci returned to the Busch Series briefly last season as team manager for the Jimmy Spencer-owned Spencer Motorsport Ventures. He hooked up with Kelly in October. Kelly, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last summer, talked about his interest in racing in August of last year at Watkins Glen International, where he was the honorary starter for the Winston Cup race. "I brought Jim Kelly in as a partner to offer his services to a sponsor and help promote their product," Cicci said when he announced the new team. "Kelly has been real instrumental in trying to secure this sponsor," Cicci said. "It will be a rush to get to Daytona, but we can do it if we hear on the sponsorship by early next week," Cicci said. Cicci, who still has to purchase cars and assemble a crew, has a race shop of 10,000 square feet as his only team asset. He said the team is ready to sign a young driver who has some experience in Busch and Hooters Cup racing. The team will use the familiar car #34, which Cicci has owned since he started in the BGN in 1987.(Elmira Star Gazette)(1-23-2003)
- Graves off to Spain: Ganassi team manager Andy Graves left Wednesday for a four-day trip to Spain, where he plans to observe Formula One driver Juan Pablo Montoya during a test session. Graves, who became friends with Montoya when he headed his Indianapolis 500 winning team for Ganassi in 2000, plans to use his time in Valencia, Spain, learning as much as he can from the Williams team. "There are always new technologies that you can try to pick up and bring back to our program," Graves said. "Juan had been asking me the past two years to come to a test and see what it's all about, so I'll go and watch how Williams performs and see what I can learn." Montoya made his first visit to a NASCAR race in November's season finale, when he spent the weekend in Homestead, Fla., as a guest of Graves and the Ganassi team.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(1-23-2003)
- Dodge helping out: Dodge Motorsports will award 10 scholarships this year to the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, N.C., as part of its pledge to diversify motorsports.(Augusta Chronicle)(1-23-2003)
- 3 Doors Down and NASCAR: It's fitting 3 Doors Down are releasing "The Road I'm On" as their next single, since the Mississippi band is on the road at least through February. 3 Doors Down are hoping to team up with NASCAR for the video, "as long as I get to drive a car," Arnold joked in his thick southern accent.(MTV)(1-23-2003)
- Geoffrey Bodine attends Sunoco Super Series Season Awards Banquet: The Sunoco Super Series Season Awards Banquet had a special unannounced guest, NASCAR Winston Cup veteran driver Geoffrey Bodine was in attendance as a guest of the Kauffman family. Bodine made a special trip from Charlotte, North Carolina to see Joel Kauffman receive his championship trophy. Bodine has been a friend of the family and has been a mentor for Joel Kauffman for several years. LaGrange, Indiana native Joel Kauffman was honored as the 2002 Sunoco Super Series Champion this past Saturday night at the 2002 Sunoco Super Series Season Awards Banquet held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana.(Sunoco Super Series Site)(1-23-2003)
- Newman tests at Nashville: #12-Ryan Newman was at Nashville Superspeedway working with his crew Wednesday in preparation for the upcoming Winston Cup season. Newman, last season's rookie of the year, traveled to Nashville from his home near Charlotte, N.C., to continue making the adjustment from racing in a Ford to a Dodge. ''We lose time making the switch, but we're trying to make time to try all the things that we want to try out through the year,'' Newman said. ''We're trying to figure out some things mechanically as well as aerodynamically and this seems to be a pretty good track for that. 'At the same time we struggled a little bit on the concrete tracks last year like Bristol and Dover, so we're trying to get a little grip on the tire and the surface.'' Newman's goal for this season is to win the points championship, so that was another reason for spending a cold day at the superspeedway. He said Nashville's track is similar to the tracks in Las Vegas and Kansas City.(Tennessean)(1-23-2003)
- New Wind Tunnel Proposed in SC: The first development on a proposed research park near interstates 85 and 385 in Greenville, SC is under way. Economic developers say that the Clemson University automotive-themed research center, which includes a proposed wind tunnel for aerodynamics testing, could create as many as 20,000 jobs in fields like NASCAR auto racing technology.(The Carolina Channel)(1-23-2003)
- Nice Gesture: During the media tour stop at Richard Petty's shop in Level Cross on Wednesday, former Times-News sports news editor Kenny Bruce presented a $4,000 check to Kyle and Pattie Petty for the Victory Junction Gang Camp for disabled children, which is under construction. Bruce presented the check on behalf of the National Motorsports Press Association He is the NMPA president and associate editor of Winston Cup Scene.(Kingsport Times News)(1-23-2003)
- Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust Supports Victory Junction Gang Camp: The Victory Junction Gang Camp has been awarded a $250,000 grant by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust of Winston-Salem, announced Brian Collier, Executive Director of The Victory Junction GangCamp. In announcing the gift, Mr. Collier said, "It is a tremendous honor to receive a gift from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and we will use it to provide the most unique and empowering experience we can for the special children who will come to Victory Junction. Kate B. Reynolds is one of the most respected foundations in the country and their support is inspiring to everyone associated with Victory Junction." The funds will be used to underwrite the cost of a camper cabin. The camp will have sixteen 2,300 square foot cabins capable of accommodating up to 10 campers and 10 counselors each session. During family weekends and specialized retreats, the cabins will accommodate 2 families per cabin. The maximum capacity for the cabins will be 160 during camper sessions or up to 32 families during the weekend sessions. The mission of Victory Junction is to enrich the lives of children with life threatening illnesses by creating camping experiences that are memorable, exciting, fun, empowering, physically safe and medically sound. When complete, the Victory Junction Gang's summer program will consist of eight disease specific weeklong sessions for 125 children per session. Campers will range in age from 7 to 15 years. During the fall, winter and spring, Victory Junction will offer family and sibling weekend retreat programs. At no charge to the family or child, this permanent, year round camp will aim to accommodate young people with illnesses such as: Arthritis, Asthma, Cancer, Diabetes, Epilepsy, Genetic Disorders, Heart Disease, Hemophilia, Immunology Deficiencies/HIV, Kidney Disease, Sickle Cell Anemia, and Spina Bifida. In November of 2000 Kyle and Pattie announced that they were undertaking a $24 million campaign to build and operate Victory Junction. To date, the organization has raised over $11.5 million and construction began in September 2002. Victory Junction, recently named "A Proud Charity of NASCAR", will be the seventh in the network of Hole In The Wall Gang Camps, founded for kids by Paul Newman, joining camps in Connecticut, Florida, New York, California, Ireland and France. The Camp will be located on 65 acres in Randleman, North Carolina, donated by Richard and Lynda Petty. The camp will consist of over 36 buildings and will have a "motor racing" architectural theme. Target date for opening is summer, 2004. The Kate D. Reynolds Charitable Trust was created in 1947 by the will of Mrs. William N. Reynolds of Winston-Salem. Three-fourths of the Trust's grants are designated for use for health-related programs and service across North Carolina and one-fourth for the poor and needy of Winston-Salemand Forsyth County.(PR)(1-23-2003)
- Rick Mast Retires: After suffering from acute and chronic exposure to carbon monoxide poisoning, veteran driver Rick Mast is retiring from Winston Cup racing, NASCAR Winston Cup Scene reports this week. Mast told reporter Rea White that he cannot risk further exposure to carbon monoxide. Mast, who was to announce his retirement at a news conference today, plans to work with NASCAR to help other drivers avoid suffering long-term effects from exposure to the invisible gas. Mast, a 45-year-old Virginian who began competing in the Winston Cup Series on a part-time basis in 1988 and a full-time basis in 1991, ran in nine races last year before being sidelined by the illness.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter and ThatsRacin.com), see Mast's stats at MotorsportsOne.(1-22-2003)
- Brett Bodine to run a limited 2003 schedule: Brett Bodine Racing announced that the #11 Hooters Ford will run a limited NASCAR Winston Cup schedule in 2003 (20-25 races). "Given the total funding of our current sponsorship package, we feel it is best to run a limited schedule this year. We are a smaller team and this will give us an opportunity to test and do the things we need to stay on a competitive edge instead of struggling to get to all the races. I don't look at this as a "half-empty" situation, but as a "half-full" one. It is great that Mr. Brooks and Hooters have given us this opportunity to cut back so that we can be more competitive at the races we do run and in return give Hooters and our other sponsors more exposure for their companies. This is going to be considered an improvement/building year for us," said Brett Bodine.(Brett Bodine Racing PR)(1-22-2003)
- Aikman to make announcment on Jan 29th at Texas: Former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, partner in a new Winston Cup venture with NFL Hall of Famer Roger Staubach, will conduct his first NASCAR-related news conference during the Texas Tour 2003 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth on Jan. 29. Aikman and Staubach, another legendary Cowboys quarterback, have formed Hall of Fame Racing with the intention of joining the Winston Cup Series in 2004. The guest lists features Bruton Smith, chairman of the board of Speedway Motorsports Inc. and owner of TMS; four-time Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon; and Sam Hornish Jr., two-time and reigning Indy Racing League IndyCar Series champion (Star Telegram). For the initial news and more news and links on this subject, go to my New Teams page.(1-22-2000)
- Dale Jr BGN team takes a Chance, plus three Cup races UPDATE: Teresa Earnhardt helped Dale Earnhardt Jr. unveil a new name for the race team they've formed to compete in the BGN this year. The team is called Chance 2. The original Chance Inc. was a company Dale and Teresa Earnhardt formed in 1994 to give Earnhardt's children, Kerry, Kelly and Dale Jr., their first taste of racing. The company disbanded when Earnhardt Jr. started racing in the BGN for what has grown into Dale Earnhardt Inc [DEI]. Earnhardt Jr. will drive the #8 car in two BGN races at Daytona and one at Talladega. Steve Park will drive it in five races and Martin Truex Jr. will drive it in five more. The team will also enter a #81 car in three Winston Cup races. Jason Keller will drive it at Chicagoland Speedway and Ron Fellows will drive in the road-course events at Watkins Glen and Sonoma.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-21-2003)
UPDATE: Keller's run will be a one-shot deal under the sponsorship of Kraft Foods, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary.(Greenville News)(1-22-2003)
- N.C. 3 road signs honor Earnhardt [North Carolina] N.C. 3 road signs have been received by the N.C. Department of Transportation and are ready to be installed on the section of N.C. 136 between Kannapolis and Mooresville that will be renamed to honor the late Dale Earnhardt. “We do have the signs and we are ready to put them up,” said NCDOT Division Traffic Engineer Thomas Thrower, who is based in Albemarle. “We haven't got a go-date yet.” He did say the signs will be going up in the near future. He said he's heard about Iredell County politicians who are talking about having the signs installed March 3. That's would be 03-03-03, a play on the number that Earnhardt made so famous during his driving days. Between 110 and 115 signs will be posted in Cabarrus County, Thrower said. Currently, he has about 150 of the signs at the NCDOT offices in Albemarle. Once the signs go up, he said there will be a threat that some overzealous fans will try to steal them. However, he said state officials are going to do everything possible to ward off those looking to make the signs into souvenirs. “We're putting locknuts on them,” he said. He acknowledged there will likely will be the need to replace some signs. That's why he has 150. If signs are stolen, it will come at the expense of the state's taxpayers. Thrower said the signs costs about $25 each. However, once materials and the cost of installation are factored in, he said the amount spent to post each sign is approximately $50. Oct. 23, 2002, Gov. Mike Easley signed legislation that designated that the 28-mile stretch of N.C. 136 between Concord, Kannapolis and Mooresville would become known as Dale Earnhardt Highway. Thus the N.C. 3 signs were slated to be developed.(Independent Tribune)(1-22-3003)
- Earnhardt Jr. says contract with DEI awaiting signatures UPDATE signed: Dale Earnhardt Jr. said Wednesday he submitted a contract proposal to Dale Earnhardt Inc. [DEI] three weeks ago but company officials have yet to sign off on it. Once they do, Earnhardt Jr. said, he will sign as well. Earnhardt Jr. has not worked with an "official" contract since 1998, when he began driving for the team started by his late father. He worked under a handshake agreement until DEI proposed a "lifetime" contract last season. The new contract will be for five years and Earnhardt Jr. said and it includes a cap on the number of sponsor and team appearances he will make away from the track during the season. "Since drivers are contract labor, my primary focus is to drive for the team, so I sell my services to the team. So, I have allotted the team 40 appearances for whoever or whatever," he said. "I had to put a cap on it. There was no control and nobody had hold of the reins. I just didn't want to give away every free day I had." Earnhardt Jr. said his team's sponsor, Budweiser, was also interested in extending its deal with the driver and DEI. "The Bud deal is good and they are wanting to extend their end of it, but they are waiting on me to be signed for good so they get their eggs in their basket," he said.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-15-2003)
UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. signed a five-year contract with family-owned Dale Earnhardt Inc. Tuesday. Earnhardt, who has never had a contract at Dale Earnhardt Inc., is committed through 2007. Although there was never a serious prospect of him going elsewhere, Junior did say in recent months that he enjoyed driving Richard Childress' Busch series car last year and wondered what it would be like driving for someone else full time. A sticking point in negotiations was that Earnhardt wanted his sponsor appearances limited to 40. ``I got what I wanted,'' he said, without discussing specifics.(Tampa Tribune)(1-22-2003)
- Starr to make Cup debut at Texas: CTS driver [#75] David Starr plans to make his Winston Cup debut in the race at Texas Motor Speedway on March 30. "I can't wait," Starr said. "We are going to do a lot of testing at the track to make sure we'll be ready to go when it comes time to qualify." Starr will race a new Chevrolet Monte Carlo that was purchased by his uncle, Mike Starr, who owns the Team Texas Driving School at TMS. "We are going to do this the right way," Mike Starr said. "We are going to have the best engines and the best equipment possible. And I can tell you the pit crew won't be a bunch of guys from the driving school. It will be veteran NASCAR people." David Starr is the driver of the #75 Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet in the CTS. Starr has raced many times at TMS in truck and Busch Series events, but this will be his first attempt at a Winston Cup race. He said TMS officials plan to help them secure sponsorship for the event. TMS plans to have a news conference to announce Starr's plans.(Dallas Morning News - need to register to read)(1-22-2003)
- Safety Issues; driver restraints, roof flaps, exit hatches, energy-absorbing barriers: NASCAR plans to study driver restraints, roof flaps on race cars, alternative exit hatches for drivers, side impact crashes and several other safety initiatives at the 61,000-square foot research and development complex it now occupies near the Concord airport in NC. Gary Nelson, managing director for competition, and Joe Garone, the director of the new facility, gave reporters a brief tour on Tuesday, showing off fabrication, engine development, engineering and machining capabilities NASCAR hopes to use in developing ways to make cars safer and help contain the costs of racing. NASCAR president Mike Helton said the sanctioning body is also continuing its research into energy-absorbing barriers for race track walls. Such barriers were installed in the outside of turns at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and on the inside of turns at Talladega Superspeedway last year. Helton said the barriers have not been added at any other tracks because Dr. Dean Sicking, the leader of the group doing the development at the University of Nebraska, still has concerns about its application on tighter-radius turns found at other tracks.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-22-2003)
- Spencer to run limited BGN schedule: Jimmy Spencer announced plans to run a limited BGN schedule in 2003 for Spencer Motor Ventures, the team that Spencer and his wife, Pat have owned since 1995. In the late ninety’s, Spencer competed as an owner/driver in limited Busch events, where he posted three wins and finished in the top-5 in about 40 percent of those events. Spencer carried that same success over to the #1 Phoenix Racing team, driving a limited schedule where he posted four wins in the past two years. Spencer hopes to run fifteen BGN/Winston Cup companion events this season, pending sponsorship. The team is actively searching for corporations to fund this high-profile campaign. Spencer plans to run his first race of the season at Bristol on March 22, the same venue where he edged out Scott Wimmer for the win last year. “I love racing in the Busch Series,” said Jimmy Spencer.. “We have enjoyed a lot of success in Busch, and I plan to win more races, especially with my own team, like I did several years ago. Besides the talent we have here at Spencer Motor Ventures, I’ve got my Winston Cup team and crew chief, Tommy Baldwin to share data with, and that helps both teams. I can promise a sponsor, they will get their monies worth this season.”(Spencer Motor Ventures PR)(1-21-2003)
- #54 Testing at Talladega this week UPDATE: While the teams learned a lot about setting up cars for qualifying during the Daytona tests, they still have to concern themselves with the race. Brand new BelCar Racing, which announced the partnership between Sam Belnavis and Travis Carter last week, is one team that expects to test at Talladega this week, and it's possible Todd Bodine could be the driver. Carter was pleased with the progress made by the #54 Ford at Daytona, but he knows the team needs to find more speed. Carter appointed former chief engineer Derrick Finley crew chief. Finley worked with Philippe Lopez at Dale Earnhardt Inc. and moved with him to Carter's in 1999. Billy Poindexter, formerly with Dale Jarrett's team, has been hired as car chief.(Sporting News)(1-20-2003)
UPDATE: other teams/drivers testing at Talladega this week include #33/#55-Christian Fittipaldi (will drive the #33 in the Daytona 500), #5-Terry Labonte, #17-Matt Kenseth in his BGN car and Andy Belmont in his ARCA car, #21-Ricky Rudd is also scheduled to test at Talladega this week.(1-21-2003)
- Garage/Pit Access to be introduced UPDATE Announced: NASCAR is expected to talk policies, procedures and philosophies Tuesday, as more than 250 journalists on the UAW-GM Motorsports Media Tour pay a visit to a new research and development facility in Concord, NC. New rules governing access to the garage area and pit road during times when Winston Cup cars are on the track will be outlined by NASCAR officials during the midday session. NASCAR and race tracks will this year begin issuing "hot" and "cold" passes granting garage area access. Fans with "cold" passes will be allowed to visit the track's working areas when cars are not on the track. But during practice and qualifying sessions and races, only those with "hot" passes will be allowed in the garage or on pit road. Teams will have a limited number of "hot" passes to hand out to sponsors and guests, and tracks will also be limited in the number of "hot" passes they can hand out to local media, sponsors and guests.(ThatsRacin.com)
NASCAR Announcement: NASCAR has instituted an access policy for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series garage and pit areas, designed to alleviate overcrowding and improve safety and security in the 2003 season and beyond. The policy, which goes into effect next month for season-opening events at Daytona International Speedway, is based on the designation of "hot" and "cold" times in the garage and pit areas and the requirement that some people have a "hot pass" allowing them garage and pit road access during "hot" times. NASCAR and its tracks will issue "hot passes" prior to and during a race weekend. Those passes must be accompanied by a normal NASCAR or track-issued paper credential for access during hot times. Those possessing a NASCAR season credential “ commonly referred to as a 'hard card' “ will not be required to have a hot pass. Accredited news media personnel will have the access they have been granted in past seasons.
Hot times for the garage will begin 30 minutes prior to any scheduled on-track race-car activity, and will end approximately 10 minutes after the on-track activity “ including practices, qualifying sessions and races “ concludes. At other times the garage will be considered ścold.ť
In addition to the garage restrictions, pits will be designated as hot 30 minutes prior to the start of a race and will remain so until a race ends. "Our goal is to reduce the number of people in the garage and in the pits," said Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president for corporate communications. "We want to significantly reduce the number of people."
To help facilitate adherence to the access policy, large, red, strobe-like lights will be prominently positioned in the garage area to signify hot times. NASCAR reviewed the issue of allowing autographs in the garage area and determined the establishment of hot and cold times should inherently reduce the number of autograph-seekers.
NASCAR will continue to monitor the new access policy as the season unfolds, and will make changes as needed. Said NASCAR President Mike Helton: "We're constantly working to improve the environment for everyone involved with NASCAR Winston Cup racing. This policy is all about two issues “ safety and security. And this policy should improve the environment considerably."
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Access Policy Fast Facts:
Q: What is a "hot" pass?
A hot pass, which will be issued by NASCAR and track during a race weekend, allows the holder access into the garage area and pit area during "hot times." A hot pass by itself will not allow the holder access; it must be accompanied by a credential issued by NASCAR or a track.
Q: What is the difference between "hot" and "cold" times?
A: A hot time for the garage area is defined as a period beginning 30 minutes before any on-track race-car activity, and ending approximately 10 minutes after that activity. All other times are considered cold. A hot time for the pits is defined as a period beginning 30 minutes before the start of a race, and ending when the race ends.
Q: What is the reasoning behind the access policy?
A: To significantly reduce the number of people who have access to the garage and pits during a race weekend and, in the process, increase safety and security in the garage and pits.
Q: Will media be issued hot passes?
A: Media members who have a NASCAR-issued season credential “ commonly referred to as a 'hard card' “ will not need a hot pass for garage/pit area access. Other accredited media members who do not possess a hard card will have to request a hot pass.
Q: Will other "hard-card" holders be required to have hot passes for garage/pit area access?
A: No. Those possessing a hard card will have access during hot and cold times.(NASCAR PR)(1-21-2003)
- Haas CNC Racing to run Pontiac and the #0: Little old but here ya go (see past news on my #0 Team News and Links page): Haas CNC Racing announced today the team would field Pontiac Grand Prix racecars throughout the 2003 Winston Cup season. Jack Sprague, a three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion, will open the 2003 campaign behind the wheel of the #0 NetZero Pontiac at Daytona International Speedway, February 16, 2003. "Pontiac has had a long history of excellence in NASCAR Winston Cup racing, including winning the 2002 Winston Cup championship," said Sprague on behalf of the team. "I'm extremely happy to be driving a Pontiac for Haas CNC Racing this year because I think it will give us the best opportunity to run up front on a weekly basis this season."
"Pontiac and GM Racing are eager to work with Jack Sprague and the NetZero team in 2003," said Bob Kraut, Pontiac marketing manager.
"Pontiac is proud of its history of racing championships and Jack certainly has proven himself to be extraordinary driver capable of winning on every level in which he has competed. We look forward to capturing yet another NASCAR title together." The Pontiac brand has totaled 30 NASCAR Winston Cup victories over the last four seasons. Tony Stewart's 2002 Winston Cup championship marked the 35th crown for General Motors since NASCAR began honoring its champions in 1949. General Motors, through its participation of its Pontiac and Chevrolet brands, is easily the most successful automobile company involved in NASCAR racing winning 25 of the last 30 Winston Cup championships. Sprague will be a Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate this season. For more information about Pontiac's involvement in NASCAR Winston Cup racing as well as other forms of Pontiac motorsports, please log on to www.pontiacracing.com. Information about Jack Sprague and the #0 NetZero Pontiac Grand Prix can be accessed at www.netzeroracing.com.(Close Finishes PR)(1-21-2003)
- Former CART champ Jimmy Vasser to run partial BGN schedule: Jimmy Vasser, who won the 1996 CART series crown with Chip Ganassi Racing, will run a partial BGN schedule this season, beginning with his career debut in the season-opening Koolerz 300 at Daytona. Vasser, who will run fulltime in CART this season, is scheduled to run 10 races for Braun Racing [#19, #30] in the upcoming season.(NASCAR PR)(1-20-2003)
UPDATE: Jimmy Vasser, the 1996 CART champion, didn't test Monday but said he will attempt to qualify for Koolerz 300 at Daytona International Speedway in February, the first of 10 Busch Series races he hopes to run in a ride he will share with #30-Steadman Marlin for Braun Racing. (Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-21-2003)
- UPS Extends thru 2006: Dale Jarrett, which on Monday announced it has extended its sponsorship deal with UPS for two years through 2006, took umbrage at a Charlotte Observer story last week saying that Ford's hopes for winning the 2003 manufacturer's championship depend largely on the performance of Roush Racing's five teams. "I am going to give that story to our guys because they might take a little out of it," he said. "I have to disagree with that. They have good teams up there at Roush, they have good drivers and nothing against them. But you're going to see two cars right here that are going to make a huge difference for Ford and it's quest for another manufacturer's title. I can guarantee you that."(ThatsRacin.com)(1-21-2003)
- Skinner and #4 Team to film a commercial: Mike Skinner and the #4 Kodak Racing Team head west to Las Vegas on Wednesday, January 22, to begin filming a Pontiac Television commercial. Skinner and the entire over-the-wall Morgan-McClure Motorsports crew will be featured in the one of the commercials. The remaining team members will fly out to Vegas on Sunday to participate in a test session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Monday, January 27 and Tuesday, January 28.(Morgan McClure PR)(1-21-2003)
- Special #38 Schemes: the #38 M&M's team will run five different paint schemes during the 2003 season, plus a Pedigree scheme at a race or two.(1-21-2003)
- Cope to run Rolex 24: Archangel Motorsport Services has announced that it will again attempt the Rolex 24 with NASCAR veteran Derrike Cope, Chris Bingham, Brian DeVries and Larry Oberto. Archangel Motorsports Services, Inc., will field their #21 Nissan-powered Lola which won its class at the Rolex 24 in 2001 and finished second in 2002. "We're very busy right now," said team owner Mike Johnson. "We're getting a little bit of a late start and are working very hard getting the car ready for the new SRPII rules." In addition to his proven success running a championship sports car racing organization, Johnson is well known for his role as a cast member on MTV's critically acclaimed "The Real World IV - London." Cope, the 1990 Daytona 500 champion, will be Bingham's coach and consultant for both his 2003 Busch Series and Winston Cup programs.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-21-2003)
- More NMPA Awards: Richmond, VA TV and radio broadcasters Joe and Ruth Kelly received two awards from the National Motorsports Press Association this past weekend, taking first and second place in TV spot news.(Richmond Times Dispatch)
AND The Greenville News' Mike Hembree has been named National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year for the fourth time. He received the George Cunningham Award, named in memory of The Atlanta Constitution's late motorsports writer, at the association's annual convention Sunday. No other writer has won the award more than twice. Hembree, a Spartanburg native and graduate of the University of South Carolina, has been at The News since 1978 and has covered motor sports for 20 years. "It is always a surprise when someone recognizes your efforts like this," he said. "There are a lot of people on this beat who do an awful lot of good work." Hembree was honored for his columns and for coverage of the Daytona 500.(Greenville News)(1-21-2003)
- Another Parrott at Yates? If Brad Parrott has his way, he and his brother Todd won't be the only Parrotts working at Robert Yates Racing this year. He's talking to his father, long-time NASCAR veteran crew chief Buddy Parrott, about helping out, too.
"Dad has been out of the sport for two years now. He never went to a race all last year, not one, and he's eager," said Brad Parrott, crew chief for Dale Jarrett's team. "I've asked him for a little background help as far as looking at race films and pit crew films and he said he'd think about the possibility of doing that." Todd Parrott, formerly Jarrett's crew chief, is now the team's director of competition.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-21-2003)
- New Speed Show UPDATE BGN Qualifying: The Speed Channel will add a Grand National [Busch - BGN] version of its popular "Inside Winston Cup" show to its lineup this year. It will air on Wednesday nights before the rewind of the weekend's Winston Cup race. Randy Lajoie and Hank Parker Jr. will be regular guests on the show, with a third panelist rotating each week. Allen Bestwick, who also hosts the Winston Cup show, will be the host.(ThatsRacinh.com)(1-12-2003)
UPDATE - More Graphics and BGN qualifying: FOX announcer Mike Joy says the network has plans for added graphics and telemetry during qualifying to make that coverage more interesting for fans. FOX also plans to show Busch Grand National [BGN] qualifying. FOX and FX will broadcast the season's first half in Cup and BGN before giving way to NBC and TNT.(News and Record)(1-20-2003)
UPDATE 2: SPEED Channel will take its popular Inside Winston Cup program format and host Allen Bestwick to the NASCAR Busch Series this season when Inside NBS debuts on Feb. 17 at 11:00pm/et. Two-time NASACR Busch Series champion Randy LaJoie will team with fellow NASCAR driver Hank Parker Jr. on the set, with a third seat filled on a rotating basis. LaJoie and Parker will sit in with the popular Inside Winston Cup crew of Bestwick, Ken Schrader, Johnny Benson and Waltrip during SpeedWeeks, but LaJoie hopes the new program is quick to develop a personality of its own. And LaJoie is certain who his two toughest critics will be. In addition to coverage of the NASCAR Busch Series, Inside NBS will also have a regular segment on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. SPEED Channel plans to offer live or same-day coverage of NASCAR Busch Series qualifying and/or practice sessions at every race in 2003, the first scheduled for Feb. 12 at 2:30 p.m. from Daytona Beach.(SPEED Channel PR)(1-21-2003)
- #49 BAM and Carrott Top UPDATE 2: yes that is Carrott Top and 1-800-CALLATT on the hood of the #49 BAM Racing Dodge that Ken Schrader will drive this year. Supposedly it is a 1/4 season deal (so far) for the Daytona 500 and the beginning of the season. Also, from a Winston Salem Journal article [in part]: Schrader's plans to run for Andy Petree fell through when Petree's sponsorship hopes were dashed. So Schrader is running for Beth Ann Morgenthau, a South Floridian who has been trying to get a foot in the NASCAR door. Schrader knows it'll be tough, but he puts a positive spin on it. "But this year we're running the full schedule, and we've got 1-800-Call ATT on it for the Daytona 500 and the first few races." Schrader said. But Schrader, 47, will have to make the difference. "I don't think I can screw them up too bad," Schrader said with a grin. "Eddie Jones is the general manager, and he has been in the sport for years. Scott Eggleston, the crew chief, won the Daytona 500 a couple of years ago with Michael (Waltrip) and he brings a lot of experience. We've had a good Daytona test, and we're going to Vegas with a lot of other cars. The people who own the car are very committed to the sport, and they're working off their own money right, for a little bit. Hopefully just a little bit. We're excited about AT&T, because it brings a little more credibility to our team. Everything is there. They've got a shop, they've got nice cars, they've got some depth as far as people in the shop, they've got good leadership. Joey Arrington (a key Dodge engine developer) building their motors."(Winston Salem Journal)(1-19-2003)
UPDATE: 1-800-CALLATT will be the primary sponsor on the #49 BAM Racing Dodge for seven (7) races in 2003 (doesn't say which races besides the Daytona 500) and will be an associate sponsor for the remaining races, see images of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(BAM Racing Site)(1-20-2003)
UPDATE 2: The 1 800 CALL ATT primary sponsorship will make its first appearance on the car at the season-opening Daytona 500 and also the Budweiser Shootout. It will make future runs at Darlington; Bristol; Talladega; Martinsville; and the July race at Daytona.(Williams Company)(doesn't say but assuming these are all the first races of the year at these tracks since it says the beginning of the season)(1-20-2003)
- Frye to leave NASCAR for MRN? UPDATE: Hearing that Danielle Frye will leave her NASCAR PR position to become an MRN pit reporter. She would replace Jim Phillips who retired at the end of last season.(1-15-2003)
UPDATE: Danielle Frye is leaving her position in NASCAR's public relations office and will become a member of the Motor Racing Network's broadcasting crew as a pit reporter.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-20-2003)
- DW, Stewart, and Gibbs Appear on Fox NFL Pre-Game Show: Darrell Waltrip, Tony Stewart, and Joe Gibbs appeared on yesterday's NFC Championship pre-game show on Fox. They were interviewed by Brown and Terry Bradshaw on the set on the Veterans Stadium field. James Brown referred to DW as "the handsome one" and introduced Terry Bradshaw as a "lovable redneck." Bradshaw asked Gibbs if he ever thought he would have a lot of success in NASCAR. Gibbs responded, "I finally found something else I could do; stand there and watch cars go and pull for Tony and Bobby." Gibbs also tried to collect $5,000 from Terry for something Bradshaw did when Gibbs was coaching a Pro Bowl. DW primed more of the NASCAR publicity machine. "Let me tell ya about NASCAR," he said. "Let me just tell ya a little bit of NASCAR. We're making movies. We got Britney Spears making movies. We got big Internets (sites) that are following our sport. We got Tony Stewart, our champion, running all over the country. Yeah, look at this guy. Everybody here, when he walked out on the field, they cheered 'Yeah Tony.'" Gibbs also talked about the success of the #20 team and Stewart was asked about repeating as champion. Bradshaw also said to Stewart, "You've got to learn to be a nice guy, don't you Tony?" The visit concluded with Brown thanking DW for the tips on his 1969 Camaro, which won the "Best of Show" award at Saturday's World of Wheels show in Washington, DC.(MotorsportsTV)(1-20-2003)
- Sad News: Flip Merwin, 28, of Wausau, WI, was killed during a qualifying race Saturday night at the 40th running of the World Championship Snowmobile Derby when his sled, traveling more than 70 mph, suddenly darted sharply to the right and into a fencepost on the front straightaway, off the oval's fourth turn. Merwin became the second racer in less than a year to die as a result of an accident in the Eagle River Derby, the most prestigious event in the sport. Ed DeVault, of Cottage Grove, was involved in a two-sled wreck last January and suffered head injuries that led to his death in November. "We don't know why the (Merwin) accident happened, and we may never know," said Ted Otto, executive director of the United States Snowmobile Association. "Suspension parts are broken on the sled, but we don't know if they broke in the crash or before. And we have no one to tell us."(more at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(1-20-2003)
see the Jan 13-19, 2003 Archived News Page
see the Jan 6-12, 2003 Archived News Page