Bobby Labonte wins race at Atlanta: #18-Bobby Labonte won the MBNA Bass Pro Shops 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, his 6th career win at the track and 20th career win. #24-Jeff Gordon ended up 2nd, followed by #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr, #17-Matt Kenseth (new points leader) and #20-Tony Stewart. It was Labonte's first win since Martinsville last April, 31 races ago and it extends Labonte's streak of winning a race every year to 9 years. See my MBNA Bass Pro Shops 500 Race Info page for my race rundown with lap leaders, cautions and some notes.(3-9-2003) Re-Air: the race will be re-aired on Speed Channel, Wed, Mar 12th, 8:00pm/et (enhanced) and Thurs, Mar 13th, 1:00am/et and at 3:00pm/et. Result Links at: Jayski, ThatsRacin.com, NASCAR.com or Motorsports One.(3-9-2003)
Robby Gordon and the Indy 500: from NASCAR This Morning: Indy car ready, sponsor not - John Roberts: Is the Indy 500 in your plans again for this year? Robby Gordon: I've been working really hard on an Indy 500 program with Richard Childress. We've got an engine package lined up. We've got chassis lined up. We don't have a major sponsor right now so we're working hard, trying to get that put together. Hopefully we can get something put together here in a little while. It's tough right now with the situation we're in with America right now. If we're going to go to war, not going to go to war. People don't know if they want to spend money or not so that's making it a little more difficult.(FSN's NASCAR This Morning)(3-9-2003)
Sad News: it was reported on this morning's NASCAR This Morning on Fox Sports Net, that Richard Childress' mother, Virginia Hodge, passed away last night. Thoughts go out the the family. AND Just hours after signing Kevin Harvick and Goodwrench to a contract extension, team owner Richard Childress received news that his mother had died. Virginia Hodge, a resident of East Bend, NC, was 79. She passed away Saturday night after a brief illness, according to a team press release. Childress flew back to North Carolina on Sunday morning to be with family.(NASCAR.com)(3-9-2003)
Hamilton Jr/Team Rensi may move to Cup in 2004: Bobby Hamilton Jr. who failed to qualify Friday for a Winston Cup race for the first time in 13 tries, hopes to move to Full time Cup in 2004 with Team Rensi [#25 US Marines Ford]. His long-term goal is to race in Winston Cup for a team fielded by his father. Bobby Hamilton Sr. fields three Craftsman Truck Series entries out of his Tennessee shop. The senior Hamilton has said he would like to eventually upgrade his team to Winston Cup.(Tennessean)(3-9-2003)
Ford 100th Celebration: In 100 days, Ford Motor Company will celebrate its 100th year with THE ROAD IS OURS 100th Anniversary Celebration. The Thursday through Monday, June 12-16 event, on the grounds of the company's world headquarters in Dearborn, is expected to draw thousands of people and classic Ford cars and trucks. Key activities include a concert series on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights featuring headliners in R&B, country and classical music. Sporting activities and appearances by stars from the worlds of auto racing and professional bull riding, and even "Blue" from Nickelodeon's popular TV show Blue's Clues will be onsite. In addition, there will be thousands of classic Ford cars and trucks. The celebration begins Thursday, June 12, with a special event for racing fans. Ford NASCAR and other race vehicles will be on display, and Ford drivers such as Ricky Rudd, Dale Jarrett, and Mark Martin will sign autographs. The weekend's activities conclude with the company's Annual Shareholders Meeting on Monday, June 16. Tickets to THE ROAD IS OURS 100th Anniversary Celebration are available on-line by accessing the 100th anniversary Web site at http://www.ford.com or by calling 1-866-4-100-FORD (1-866-410-0367). Tickets are $24.95 per person (children age 12 and under are admitted free when accompanying a paying adult). Tickets for Ford Motor Company employees, retirees, D Plan-eligible dealership personnel, and their extended families (as defined by A, D and Z Plan eligibility) are $19.95 per person. Each ticket purchase includes credentials for entry all five days, which gives access to all activities, concerts and displays. Those who purchase tickets in advance will receive a daily assigned parking area and shuttle service to and from the event grounds, an opportunity to display their classic Ford car or truck, discounted admission and free shuttle service to local attractions, including Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Estate - Fairlane, and Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, a 100th Anniversary commemorative coin and discounts on 100th Anniversary merchandise. FORD RACING NIGHT:
"Ford Racing Night" will kick off THE ROAD IS OURS 100th Anniversary Celebration on Thursday, June 12. Beginning at 4:00pm, Ford racing fans will see some of their favorite Ford NASCAR Winston Cup drivers, and have a chance to get autographs and attend live question-and-answer sessions. More of Ford's racing legends will be onsite and available for autographs from Friday, June 13, through Sunday, June 15, including Sir Jackie Stewart, three-time Grand Prix World Champion; Dan Gurney, winner, 1967 Le Mans 24-Hours; NASCAR Champions Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson; Bob Glidden, 10-time National Hot Rod Racing Association Pro Stock Champion; Tom Gloy, Trans-Am Champion; and Bob Bondurant, FIA Sports Car Champion. With the purchase of a ticket to the event, visitors can sign up for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to drive their own car or truck on Ford's Dearborn Proving Ground. For a $50 donation to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Henry Ford Health System, drivers can take a parade lap around the famed test track, have their photo taken with their car and receive a commemorative dash plaque. Registration for the charity drive will open in April through the Web site at http://www.celebrateford100.com.(Stockwatch)(3-9-2003)
Some Stuff: #5-Terry Labonte will reach two milestones when he takes the green flag for today's Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500: His 50th AMS start and 300th for Hendrick Motorsports. #24-Jeff Gordon does not have a top-10 finish in the first three races, the first time that has happened in his 11-year career.(St Petersburg Times)(3-9-2003)
Ryan Newman to be honored: Ryan Newman will receive an award on the National Athletic Awards to be aired on Fox Sports Net. The awards are sponsored by the Michigan March of Dimes and the ceremony will be held on Tuesday evening, March 11. James Brown of FOX Sports will be the emcee. The show will air on the afternoons of Wednesday, March 19 and Saturday, March 22 on most Fox Sports Net affiliates. Check your local listings. The ceremony is open to the public, but an admission ticket is required.(MotorsportsTV)(3-9-2003)
Mikey stands by 'Patriotic' Comments [good for him!]: From a Tennessean column: Michael Waltrip makes no apology for urging citizens to ''support our President'' during a TV interview following last Sunday's race at Las Vegas. Nor should he. If a women's basketball player at Manhattanville College can use her sport to make a political statement —shamefully turning her back on the U.S. flag during the national anthem — then there's nothing wrong with Waltrip doing the same. Waltrip said he had received ''a little criticism'' for his comments at a time when the nation is sharply divided over U.S. military intervention in Iraq. ''Nobody has said anything to me personally, but I've heard some things second-hand,'' said Waltrip, the Winston Cup points leader going into today's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. ''I've also gotten a lot of support. A lot of people agree with what I said — that we need to support the leader of our country at a critical time like this. That's all I said, and I don't see anything wrong with it.'' Atlanta Journal-Constitution media critic Mike Tierney does. He wrote: ''[TV] interviewers should keep drivers focused on race matters. When Michael Waltrip turns the discourse toward the President and the pending war in Iraq, the questioner must take the wheel and guide him back.'' While Tierney got his nose bent out of shape, NASCAR doesn't have a problem with what Waltrip said or where he said it. ''NASCAR is supportive of the drivers, owners, crews and other constituents in our sport,'' said Herb Branham, communications manager for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. ''They have the ability to express their personal views.'' In other words, NASCAR has no intention to muzzle Michael. Denny Darnell, spokesman for the Winston Cup Series title sponsor, likewise said there is no problem with the points leader speaking out as Waltrip did — even though many of Winston's customers may be on the opposite side of the emotional debate. ''We are proud of all of our drivers,'' Darnell said. ''They are entitled to express their opinions.'' NASCAR has historically been a conservative sport and the Waltrip family has longstanding close ties to the Bush family. Michael's older brother Darrell campaigned actively for Bush in the last election and earlier for Bush's father. Darrell also has been a guest of Bush on Air Force One. That association aside, Michael said his comments were about patriotism, not politics. ''This is not about Democrats or Republicans,'' he said. ''It's about being an American and respecting and supporting our President, no matter which party he represents. I'd feel the same way if the President were a Democrat; he'd be the leader of our country and I would support him. 'These are difficult times. Think about all the pressure the President is under. I don't see how he sleeps at night, how he breathes. I think the least we can do is let him know he has our support. That's all I said, and I stand by it. I don't apologize for it.'' Waltrip doesn't equate voicing his support for the President with the disrespect the women's basketball player shows when she turns her back on the flag during the national anthem. ''It hurts me to see that,'' Waltrip said. ''That flag represents us all.'' But, he added, ''I guess that's her right if she wants to do it. I don't agree with it, but maybe she thinks she's making a point. 'If she can do that, it's my right to express my viewpoint too. I'll continue to support my president and my country and our soldiers who are in harm's way.'' Waltrip admitted that last Sunday's comments, broadcast to millions of fans nationally on the Fox Sports broadcast, were no entirely ad-libbed. ''The situation had been on my mind,'' he said. ''I had given it some thought, and I felt like it was something that needed saying. I said it, and I don't regret it.''(Tennessean)(3-9-2003)
Harvick expected to sign long term deal with RCR UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing owner Richard Childress has scheduled a news conference for 1:00pm/et on Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He is expected to announce that Harvick has signed a long-term contract extension with the team, sources confirmed Friday. In addition, the team is expected to announce that the sponsor of Harvick's #29 Chevrolet, GM Goodwrench, has signed an extension. GM Goodwrench has sponsored the car since 1988. Harvick joined the team after Dale Earnhardt's death in 2001.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-7-2003) UPDATE: Richard Childress announced two contract extensions Saturday, signing #29 driver Kevin Harvick to a three-year extension, with an additional two-year deal with the right of first refusal. In a separate agreement, RCR has extended its contract with GM Goodwrench, Harvick's sponsor, for three more years.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-8-2003)
Sad News: One of the most recognizable crew members in the Winston Cup garage area is absent from Atlanta. Randall Helbert, transporter driver for Morgan-McClure Motorsports who is known in the garage for his signature black cowboy hat and large rodeo-style belt buckle, received painful news while on his way back to Abingdon, Va. from Las Vegas. His mother, Gaynell Helbert, died on Monday, March 3, 2003. She was 64. Our thoughts and prayers are with Randall and his family during this time.(Morgan McClure)(3-8-2003)
Spencer still bitter about parting with Ganassi: #7-Jimmy Spencer remains unhappy with the way his tenure ended last season at Chip Ganassi Racing. Spencer lasted just one season in Ganassi's #41 Target Dodge and was replaced this season with rookie Casey Mears. "I was doing everything I was supposed to do last year," Spencer said Saturday. "I drove my heart out. I just didn't get along with the people there. The most excited I've ever been in my life and the greatest pleasure there ever was, was the day I got out of there." Spencer has a lawsuit pending against Ganassi claiming breach of contract. Spencer declined to comment on the status of the suit.(ThatsRacin.com), past news on the #41 Team Page.(3-8-2003)
Wind Tunnel after Atlanta? UPDATE: If Chevy is dominant this weekend at Atlanta, a track at which it generally is strong, don't be surprised if NASCAR hauls the top cars into the wind tunnel the day after the race. In fact, the Ford and Dodge teams will demand it.(Sporting News)(3-4-2003) UPDATE: According to NASCAR officials, the calls for a wind tunnel test will not yield action following Sunday’s race. The move is unwelcome news to some, but expected as NASCAR Winston Cup director John Darby has consistently told www.teamfordracing.com, since Daytona, that the goal is to not have to visit the tunnel in 2003. Even if there’s a change of heart, the tunnel is book solid on Monday by General Motors.(Ford Racing)(3-8-2003)
White Inducted: Rex White, the 1960 Grand National (now Winston Cup) champion, was inducted into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame on Friday. White now lives in Forest Park, Ga., but lived in Spartanburg, S.C., during his racing career and grew up in Silver Spring, Md. White, 73, won the Dixie 400 at Atlanta International Raceway (reconfigured now and named Atlanta Motor Speedway) in 1962. It was his only superspeedway victory. During his career White won 28 races and 35 poles, mostly driving a gold-and-white Chevrolet with a red No. 4 on its sides.(Gaston Gazette) AND Thunder Road USA announced Friday Rex White, the 1960 NASCAR Grand National (now Winston Cup) champion has been named to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame. He became the fourth NASCAR champion from Georgia to be honored, joining Red Byron, Tim Flock and Bill Elliot. During his career, which spanned a little more than eight years, White finished in the top-10 in points six times. He won 28 races, finished in the top 5 110 times and the top 10 163 times.(Macon Telegraph)(3-8-2003)
Special #29 Scheme: To mark its 10th season with one of the most famous teams in the history of motorsports, Snap-on Tools Company, in association with Richard Childress Racing (RCR), is unveiling a one-of-a-kind Snap-on Tools paint scheme for Kevin Harvick's #29 Chevrolet race car, which Kevin will race in "The Winston" at Lowe's Motor Speedway, May 17, 2003. The special-edition #29 car pays tribute to this vibrant tradition with its own unique design. As part of Snap-on Tools' "Decade of Dedication" celebration, the special-edition #29 car will feature an exclusive paint scheme that includes metallic red, RCR crushed-glass silver, and gloss black paint with pearl-white Snap-on logos, as well as a commemorative Decade of Dedication emblem. According to Carl Johanson, Snap-on Tools motorsports marketing manager, "The Decade of Dedication celebration looks back on ten years of winning driven by a storied team and legendary tools." As part of the celebration, Snap-on will offer commemorative tool storage units as well as equipment, hand and power tools for a limited time to automotive technicians and race fans. The tool storage units, for example, feature special graphics that depict the 10 cars raced at The Winston and include Snap-on Racing and RCR logos. Decade of Dedication collectibles including die cast pit wagons, cars, haulers and trailers and apparel are available through local Snap-on dealers. The Decade of Dedication initiative also includes GM Goodwrench - the primary sponsor on the #29 car - through the "GM Powertrain Clinics with Snap-on" program.(Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide PR). See an image that has been posted for a while on my Paint Scheme Gallery of the car.(3-8-2003)
Inspection Process Speeds Up: The race car inspection process at Atlanta Motor Speedway proceeded with nary a hitch, today, with the field of 45 cars getting the good to go signal at 10:40am/et. The fastidious and through inspections came off with so little commotion that there was an honest 40 minutes between the time the last car was inspected and when the first practice for Winston Cup was scheduled to start. However, NASCAR inspectors were afforded the 40-minute cushion when morning showers slid the schedule back due to track drying efforts. NASCAR Winston Cup director John Darby credits two factors for the quick inspection turn around process, which just the week before had some wondering how NASCAR could get all the cars done in a timely fashion. “Number one it didn’t rain,” said Darby of this week’s inspections. “In Las Vegas [rain] was probably the biggest thing that held them up. Race teams pay attention to what’s going on around them and when its pouring down rain and it’s 10 o’clock in the morning it’s real easy for them to figure out ‘well, it’s going to be two-and-a-half hours before they get the track dry so we don’t have to go as quick as what we normally do. “Vegas wasn’t a surprise, Vegas was created by weather,” Darby continued. “It might be a little bit ironic we get to Atlanta and the weather wasn’t messing with us. It was business as usual. We were confidant that when the day came that we’d be able to start the weekend without having to change a schedule before we did anything else, that the result would be very similar to this.” Addressing the other major contributing factor to the quick inspections was the teams’ work. “My hat’s off to the race teams. I have a ton of respect for the teams in this garage and the fabricators and the crew chiefs and everybody else that have taken the new program and taken it seriously and took the extra setup time in the shops to make sure they’re correct when they get here.” Darby’s men did find one violation. The No. 10 Valvoline Pontiac fuel cell check valve assembly didn’t meet specification. The part was replaced and the team didn’t miss practice.(Ford Racing)(3-8-2003)
Stewart and Home Depot Unveils Declaration of Independence-Themes Scheme: Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevy, proudly unveiled the new Declaration of Independence-themed car today prior to qualifying for the Bass Pro Shops/MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Stewart will race this car at the July 5 Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway to celebrate The Home Depot's sponsorship of the Declaration of Independence (DOI) Road Trip. Founded by producer Norman Lear, the DOI Road Trip is touring an original copy of the Declaration to inspire Americans to participate in civic activism, to exercise their rights, and above all, to vote. The Declaration of Independence Road Trip will travel to cities and towns across the United States, creatively combining elements of education, entertainment, and community outreach. The project is led by Honorary Co-Chairs and former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. The Home Depot is the Presenting Sponsor of the Road Trip. The United States Postal Service is the Official Carrier of the DOI Road Trip and AXA Financial, Inc. is also a Sponsor of The Declaration of Independence Road Trip. For additional information on the Declaration of Independence Road Trip, please visit www.IndependenceRoadTrip.org.(Home Depot PR), see my Paint Scheme Gallery for an image of the car.(3-7/8-2003)
Bodine gets domestic violence protective order UPDATE: NASCAR driver [#11] and Davidson, NC, resident Brett Bodine won a court order to shield him from his estranged wife after telling authorities she hit him and threatened to ruin him financially. The driver's action comes nearly two months after his wife, Diane Bodine, filed for divorce. Diane Bodine also sued a Georgia woman she accuses of seducing her husband and ruining her marriage. See the full story at ThatsRacin.com/Charlotte Observer. For past news on this, see the #11 Team News and Links page.(3-7-2003) UPDATE: The domestic violence protective order, signed Wednesday by Mecklenburg County District Court Judge Rickye McKoy-Mitchell, requires Diane Bodine to stay away from tracks where her husband is racing.(NASCAR.com)(3-8-2003)
Capps in IROC? NHRA driver Ron Capps, driver of the Skoal Racing Funny Car, has been invited to test an International Race of Champions [IROC] car before IROC races at Talladega Superspeedway in April and Chicagoland Speedway in July. If testing goes well, Capps would be in line in 2004 to become the first driver to represent the NHRA in the four-race all-star series. This year's IROC series features drivers from NASCAR, the IRL IndyCar Series and the World of Outlaws. Capps leads the NHRA Funny Car standings after his semifinal finish in Pomona with his 14th career NHRA title in Arizona.(Las Vegas Sun)(3-7-2003)
Gordon to take flight UPDATE 2: Diecast dealers have begun taking pre-orders on a Jeff Gordon paint scheme for Charlotte in May. The scheme is a tribute to the "Wright Brothers 100 years of Aviation."(Gordonline)(2-12-2003) UPDATE: see a diecast image of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery, supposedly the official announement will occur in March at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(2-23-2003) UPDATE 2: Jeff Gordon and Amanda Wright-Lane, great-grand-niece of Wilbur and Orville Wright, unveiled a #24 Chevy at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a paint scheme honoring the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' historic flights at Kitty Hawk, NC. Gordon will drive a car with the paint job in The Winston on May 17 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-7-2003)
Kirby and Evernham? hearing that Stuart Kirby [has run in ARCA, Busch and Cup] will test for Evernham Motorsports next week and could run a few races with the team this year and may run an A-B-C schedule [like Ryan Newman did with Penske in 2001]. A=ARCA, B=Busch and C=Cup. UPDATE: been told that this is NOT true.(3-7-2003)
Evernham to build a Chevy: Car owner Ray Evernham plans to build a 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo in an effort to help his Dodge operation become more competitive. "I feel like we have good equipment, but we're getting ready to build a Chevy so we can see what the difference is," Evernham said Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Through three races, Evernham's drivers, Jeremy Mayfield and Bill Elliott, are 24th and 31st in points, respectively. Mayfield has the only top-10 finish between them, an eighth at Daytona. "What you can do by looking at someone else's car is better know and understand what they have and then find out where your car is better or worse," Evernham said. "If you feel their nose is a little better, you work on front downforce. Everyone says, 'I'm maxed out.' But it seems you can find a little bit more if you work hard enough." Evernham said his organization built a General Motors engine to use as comparison before Dodge debuted in 2001 and hopes to find similar benefits in building the Chevrolet.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-7-2003)
Marcis plans to run team in a few 2003 Cup races: Dave Marcis [#71 Chevy]has three employees at his shop in North Carolina, working on three Chevrolets he expects to enter for other drivers this season. Marcis isn't sure who'll drive - maybe Tim Sauter - and he's uncertain what races the team will attend. "We do have a few sponsors that are interested in doing 10 or 12 races," Marcis said. "I feel like we'd have a race car for any racetrack we'd run."(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(3-7-2003)
Atlanta Rally UPDATE 2: Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue and Senator Mike Crotts will host an Atlanta racing rally on Thursday, March 6, at the Georgia State Capitol, and fans are invited and encouraged to attend and show their support for the sport. Gov. Perdue will host a news conference at noon on Thursday, March 6, 2003, on the north side of the State Capitol building downtown. Fans interested in attending should be at the Capitol by 11:45 a.m. Speedway Motorsports Inc. CEO Bruton Smith, Atlanta Motor Speedway President and General Manager Ed Clark and other racing dignitaries are all expected to attend the news conference. Earlier the same day, Smith and Clark will also be introduced in the Senate chambers and presented with a proclamation from the State Senate, promising support for keeping two races in Atlanta. Atlanta Motor Speedway's two NASCAR Winston Cup race weekends contribute $455 million annually to the Atlanta economy - more than the combined total of the Atlanta Hawks, Braves, Falcons and Thrashers. Atlanta's races also attract fans from all 50 states and as many as a dozen foreign nations, while another 10 million fans tune in worldwide.(AMS PR)(2-28-2003) UPDATE: Brett Bodine, owner/driver of the #11 Hooter's Ford wil also attend.(3-6-2003) UPDATE 2: On Thursday, Georgia politicians pledged their support for keeping two NASCAR races in the Atlanta area. This weekend's race and its associated events will bring 250,000 fans from all 50 states and 13 countries, according to Atlanta Motor Speedway. The two races rev the state's economy by $455 million - more than the combined horsepower of Atlanta's four professional teams. But the owners of new tracks out West want to host races, too, and NASCAR officials have suggested moving races from tracks such as Atlanta. Thursday, Bruton Smith, owner of the Atlanta track, drew the proverbial line in the sand, backed up by Gov. Sonny Perdue, Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor and two dozen other state politicians. "There's been a rumor that we might move one of these events," he said. "We're not going to do that." Smith has invested more than $100 million in Atlanta Motor Speedway and said he's going to continue his support of the track, located 30 miles south of Atlanta in Henry County.(Augusta Chronicle)(3-7-2003)
NASCAR 'not a big betting sport' in Vegas: In a town full of casinos, you'd figure NASCAR fans would be flocking to the sports books on Winston Cup weekend. Don't bet on it. "It's a dead sport for us," said Robert Walker, race and sports book director for MGM Mirage's eight casinos in Las Vegas. "It's a huge weekend. It's a great event for the town. It's just not a big betting sport."(see full story at NASCAR.com/AP)(3-7-2003)
Fastest Speeds at Each Track: these are the fastest speeds recently (last race at that track - barring rain out of qualifying) at the other tour tracks [track record in bracket]:
Texas, 194.224mph [Track Record: the same]
Atlanta, 191.542 [197.478 Nov 1997]
Michigan, 189.668 [191.149 Aug 2000]
California, 187.432 [same]
Daytona, 186.606 [210.364 Feb 1987 before restrictor plates]
Talladega, 186.532 [212.809 April 1987 before restrictor plates]
Lowes, 186.464 [same]
Chicago, 183.051 [183.717 July 2001]
Indianapolis, 182.960 [same]
Kansas, 177.924 [same]
Las Vegas, 173.016 [same last week]
Pocono, 170.568 [172.391 July 2000]
Darlington, 170.089 [173.797 Mar 1996]
Dover, 156.822 [159.964 Sept 1999]
Rockingham, 154.683 [158.035 Feb 2000]
Homestead, 154.365 [156.440 Nov 2000]
Phoenix, 132.655 [134.178 Nov 2000]
Loudon, NH, 132.241 [same]
Richmond, 126.145 [127.398 May 2002]
Bristol, 124.034 [127.261 Mar 2002]
Watkins Glen, 122.696 [122.698 Aug 2001]
Infineon Raceway, 93.476 [same]
Martinsville, 92.837 [95.371 Sept 2000]
(Winston Salem Journal / UMI 2003 Press Guide)(3-7-2003)
Some ARCA/Cup connections at Atlanta: A few driver with Cup connections will drive in the Atlanta ARCA race: Shawna Robinson will drive Vern Slagh's Chevy in the Atlanta ARCA. Robinson gained national exposure in June 2001 when she became the first female driver to qualify for a Winston Cup race in 12 years, after making the cut for the event at Michigan International Speedway. She since has participated in seven more Cup races. But Robinson found herself looking for an opportunity in 2003. She remains under contract with BAM Motorsports in Winston Cup through December, but she doesn't have the sponsorship to run this year. BAM permitted her to race with Slagh at the season-opening ARCA race at Daytona, and she has received permission to run in Atlanta, too. "My goal is to keep my seat time up this year and accumulate a full-season ride for 2004," Robinson said. "That's what I have to focus on this year. I have to keep racing this year, and I have to race right." Slagh is a part-time driver in addition to being a car owner. He and Robinson made the field at Daytona. Robinson finished 33rd in the race after qualifying 13th, while Slagh placed 39th. Slagh also is building a car for the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series. He hopes to make his debut later this year at Kentucky Speedway on June 14. Robinson is unsure if she will have an opportunity to race with Slagh beyond Atlanta. She will have to receive further permission from BAM, which has hired veteran Ken Schrader to race for the organization this season. "BAM is doing a good thing right now," Robinson said. "They have Ken in there, and they needed some stability to build their team. Any new team is going to have bugs to work out, and that's what they need to do. I think it's a definite plus for them."(Michigan Live) AND Stuart Kirby who has made a few Winston Cup starts/attempts will drive the #75 Bob Schacht Motorsports Ford in the Atlanta ARCA race with sponsorship from Camping World, of Bowling Green, Kentucky. AND Hideo Fukuyama, who races in the Cup race at Las Vegas, will run the #9 Kikkoman Soy Sauce Ford AND Jeff Fultz, who will attempt to make the Cup race, plans to make the ARCA race.
The Atlanta ARCA 400 will take the green flag at 1:00pm/et on Saturday, March 8. The race will be broadcast live on the SPEED Channel as well as PRN radio affiliates. Qualifying will take place on Friday, March 7 at 1:30pm/et.(more info on the race at the ARCA Racing site)(3-7-2003)
Park to be Synthetic in May/June: #1-Steve Park will run a special Pennzoil Synthetic paint scheme at The Winston thru the race at Infineon Raceway in June.(Diecast Depot Newsletter)(3-6-2003)
Dale Jr on TV Show: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will make a guest appearance on the TV show Fast Lane on Fox. The show features actor’s Tiffani Thiessen, Peter Facinelli and Bill Bellamy as under cover cops fighting crime in the city while driving muscle cars and getting themselves into some tight predicaments. After finishing second in the Winston Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Dale Jr. immediately flew to Los Angeles, CA to shoot his scene with the cast on Monday morning. In the show, Bellamy and Fracinelli meet up with Dale Jr. at a red light and end up challenging him to drag race when it turns green. The show is set to air on March 28th at 8:00pm/et, followed by John Doe.(Dale Earnhardt Inc Site) AND Busch Series driver Stanton Barrett, driver of the #60 OdoBan Ford, does most of the driving stunts and has been doing so since the show started.(3-6-2003)
Brittney Movie News: Britney Spears is hoping she can lure either Josh Hartnett or Mark Wahlberg as her co-star for the upcoming NASCAR flick she's starring in (and producing) this spring.(Chicago Sun Times), see past news about the movie and other moviews on the TV/Media page.(3-6-2003)
Liz Allison News: been asked often what has become of Liz Allison [widow of Davey Allison], saw this today: Former NASCAR TV commentator and author Liz Allison of Nashville has a new addition to her family. Bella Elizabeth was born last month to Liz and husband Ryan Hackett.(Tennessean)(3-6-2003)
NASCAR Reality Series? Officials with NASCAR and the cable network FX are gauging the interest of several Winston Cup drivers in participating in a reality-based TV show, ThatsRacin.com has learned. Sources confirmed that FX representatives spoke with up to eight drivers last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, inquiring about their interest in the show and the prospects of their participation. Among those contacted were Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rusty Wallace, Kevin Harvick and Jamie McMurray. The show, which would likely involve programming based on three drivers and their race teams, is tentatively scheduled for a Friday night broadcast and would air in the second half of this season, sources said. That would allow FX to maintain a NASCAR presence in its programming while rivals NBC and TNT broadcast the second half of the Winston Cup season. The first installment of the show would likely entail seven to 13 weeks of programming, the sources said.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-6-2003)
UPS and NASCAR: From the crash helmet on display at its Sandy Springs headquarters to a national series of TV ads urging racer Dale Jarrett to race a delivery truck, UPS says it's getting maximum mileage from its multimillion-dollar NASCAR sponsorship. It's an odd pairing for the staid delivery firm known for exhaustive planning and conservative business practices. But UPS has steadily expanded its NASCAR presence since its first race sponsorship in 2000, and the company recently extended its annual contract for Jarrett's #88 car through 2006. Now, UPS uses NASCAR events to launch new products, entertain big clients, showcase national ads and reward employees --- a broader, more comprehensive approach than other NASCAR sponsors. At the Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend, hundreds of UPS employees will be showing off the company's products, selling merchandise and entertaining clients during the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. If the UPS car finishes in the top five, employees at the famously buttoned-down company will be allowed to wear casual clothes next week. When John Beystehner, UPS senior vice president for sales and marketing, showed up at his first NASCAR event in Talladega, Ala., four years ago, he was convinced it would be a good fit for the 360,000-employee delivery firm. Atlanta's Home Depot and Coca-Cola also sponsor NASCAR racers, but NASCAR officials say no other company has adopted the sport as thoroughly as UPS. UPS has directed a variety of managers to get involved in NASCAR promotions, and they've come up with a broad array of promotions. This year UPS began offering "trackside services," or next-day letters that could be sent to or from pit row at the Daytona 500. The company also began a series of humorous "race the truck" ads encouraging Jarrett to go head to head with a UPS delivery van. UPS won't say how much it spends on NASCAR-related promotions each year. Trade journals say the going rate for a major sponsorship and a top driver is about $15 million a year. UPS has one major and one minor sponsorship. UPS sells next-day-air envelopes with #88 on them, and it recouped more than $1 million last year from the sale of shirts, hats, jackets and other goods with its corporate logo. UPS has a separate racing Web site where it promotes the sales. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(3-6-2003)
Whoops - Smith still a Billionaire: Last week, Forbes magazine released its annual list of the world's billionaires. Bruton Smith, a previous member, was missing from the group. But one of his spokesmen said Wednesday that Smith's personal net worth still puts him into the billionaire category. "No representative from Forbes has ever contacted Mr. Smith regarding his assets," said Jerry Gappens, a spokesman for Speedway Motorsports. "What they are not taking into account is his private holdings." Last year, Smith's public holdings were worth $1.0 billion according to the Forbes list. Because Smith dropped off, the magazine did not publish the value of his public holdings this year.(Charlotte Observer)(3-6-2003)
#8 Team fast in the pits at Vegas: The pit crew of Dale Earnhardt Jr. won Round 3 of the "McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade" last Sunday at the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Earnhardt spent only 225 seconds in the pits, edging his Dale Earnhardt Incorporated teammate Michael Waltrip by 12 seconds. The victory was worth $20,000 to Earnhardt's team. Waltrip's crew leads the program's overall standings. The program's year-end champions receive $200,000.
(NASCAR PR), sorry, have not seen the standings anywhere.(3-6-2003)
New Mid-Race Award: A race's halfway point means the race is "official." But this season in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, halfway has added significance. A new contingency program called the "MBNA Mid-Race Leader" award pays the mid-race leader (provided he is participating in the program) $10,000. In addition, if the Mid-Race Leader Award winner goes on to win the race he gets a $5,000 bonus “ or maybe, more. If the bonus isn't collected, it rolls over to the next week's event; thus, at Atlanta, the bonus will be worth $15,000. After three races this season, there have been three different MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award winners: #15-Michael Waltrip, #2-Rusty Wallace and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr.(NASCAR PR), no word on if a driver gets the award if the halfway is under yellow at the time or if the award is given out if the lead is not participating in the program and if it would go to the next place car at the time.(3-6-2003)
What flew off Kenseth's car when he did his spin in the infield after winning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway? Nothing. It was part of a drainage system in the grass of the infield at the track.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required)(3-5-2003)
N.C. House Committee Begins Debate on Autopsy Photos: North Carolina would follow Florida's lead in limiting public and media access to autopsy photos under legislation now being considered in the state House. Rep. Karen Ray, R-Iredell, told members of the House Judiciary II Committee on Tuesday that limits are needed to prevent graphic displays like those that can be found on the Internet, which cause families further mental anguish. The legislation would bar public access to autopsy photos or videos without permission from a judge. Access would be limited to medical examiners, prosecutors, judges, next of kin, law enforcement and other government officials authorized by the courts to see the material in performing their duties. Photos that delete identifying information could be provided to professionals for training purposes or for publication in medical journals or textbooks. Anyone could petition a district court judge to release the photos or videos but would have to show "good cause." The bill would not affect written autopsy reports. Ray's bill is modeled after a Florida law that went into effect in 2001 after Earnhardt's widow, Teresa, began a legal battle to keep 33 autopsy photos of her husband from being released to the Orlando Sentinel. Just after Earnhardt's death, similar legislation was introduced in the North Carolina House but the bill never received a committee hearing.(in part from the WRAL-TV site), see past news on this on my Dale Earhardt Tribute.(3-5-2003)
Finding an RJR replacement could be tricky for NASCAR: Over three decades, the name "Winston Cup" has become synonymous with top-level stock-car racing. So why would any company pay millions to be the second act to one of American sports' most enduring sponsorships? "That's one of the challenges that NASCAR's facing in bringing in a replacement sponsor," said William Chipps, senior editor of the IEG Sponsorship Report, a sports industry newsletter. "It's going to take a long time before people stop calling it the Winston Cup." According to an informal survey of sports-business sources, candidates range from the predictable - major fast food chains and soft drink companies - to the unexpected. Dean Bonham, head of Denver's The Bonham Group, believes a financial services or high-technology company would be well-served by the association with NASCAR, which would offer a chance to interact with potential customers in a sophisticated way. Marc Ganis of Chicago's Sportscorp Ltd. leans toward traditional mass marketers, particularly those with a large presence in NASCAR's southeastern stronghold. He named Home Depot and Lowe's, Coca-Cola and Pepsi as natural candidates. And several sources said they see a Wal-Mart deal as unlikely, given that the company has not been known to spend at that level in the sports marketing field. Finally, just as RJR has attributed its decision to leave NASCAR to financial difficulties, similar problems might keep a company like McDonald's from anteing up the tens of millions of dollars NASCAR will expect for the sponsorship. Many have speculated that in the wake of RJR's departure, NASCAR will want to avoid revolving-door sponsors and will rename the series after a top racing figure like Richard Petty or Dale Earnhardt. The series would then be "presented by" a title sponsor.(in part from the Charlotte Observer/AP)(3-5-2003)
Benson testing at Texas this week UPDATE: #10-Johnny Benson, along with many Busch Series teams, will test Tuesday at Texas Motor Speedway.(TMS PR)(3-4-2003) UPDATE: Johnny Benson tested a pair of Valvoline Pontiac Winston Cup cars during the session on Tuesday. Benson and crew chief James Ince debuted a brand new Valvoline Pontiac and tested one of the team's other intermediate speedway cars. Benson ran in race configuration and posted a top lap of 186mph.. Bill Elliott set a new track record of 194.224 mph last year in qualifying for the Samsung/RadioShack 500. Test Week concludes Wednesday at Texas Motor Speedway. The sessions are closed to the public.(TMS PR)(3-5-2003)
Testing at Darlington UPDATE: The testing schedule at Darlington Raceway this week has changed slightly. #42-Jamie McMurray will not be testing this week, #41-Casey Mears will test instead. #15-Micheal Waltrip will also test, along with a few Busch Series teams.(Darlington Raceway PR)(3-4-2003) UPDATE: Rookie Casey Mears picked up his first "Darlington stripe" during Tuesday's test session at the Darlington Raceway. The #41 Target Dodge driver scrubbed the turn 4 wall during practice and it took the crew an hour to fix the damage. Mears was not injured. Michael Waltrip.is at Darlington however did not test because he is under the weather. Waltrip is schedule to turn laps on Wednesday.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(3-5-2003)
Newman Unhappy: #12-Ryan Newman.was not satifyed at the response time of the fire crews to Jamie McMurray's buring Busch Series car at Las Vegas Motor Speedway following a practice crash with Michael Waltrip. Newman said..."He (McMurray) was out of the car and Michael Waltrip had pulled his car away way before they ever got there, and that was pretty poor there." McMurray's car burst into flames when it hit the wall after being collected by Waltrip during the Busch Series happy hour.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(3-5-2003)
Marlin says wreck wasn't intentional: #40-Sterling Marlin denied intentionally hitting #48-Jimmie Johnson on the final lap at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, while Johnson dismissed rumors Tuesday of a later confrontation between the two at a casino. The drivers were in the only side-by-side battle headed to the finish line in Sunday's race. Fighting for eighth place coming out of Turn 4, Marlin's Dodge wiggled just a touch, enough to bang into the left side of Johnson's Chevrolet. The contact sent Johnson spinning through the grass and to an 11th-place finish, the final car on the lead lap, drawing questions over Marlin's intent.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(3-5-2003)
Fultz to attempt Atlanta UPDATE: Jeff Fultz might not be a name that race fans instantly recognize, but he's hoping that will all change at Atlanta Motor Speedway when he attempts to make his Winston Cup debut in the March 9 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Fultz will also attempt to make Saturday's ARCA 400. Fultz was at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Tuesday testing the #57 Team CLR Ford. The full-time fabricator and test driver for Jasper Motorsports [#77] is running a limited ARCA RE/MAX Series in 2003 for Jim Craig Racing.(AMS PR)(2-25-2003) UPDATE: LD Mechanical, OTW Racing and SpeedwayBag join up with Team CLR Racing as associate sponsors for Jeff Fultz's attempt to make his Winston Cup debut in the Team CLR Racing #57 Ford at the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway Fultz is a full-time fabricator and and test driver for Jasper Motorsports [#77 Jasper Engines Ford]. Last year Fultz was the NASCAR All-Pro Series Champion for 2002 and has competed in some ARCA and Busch Series races with an ARCA win at Charlotte's Lowe's Motor Speedway last May.(PR)(3-4-2003)
Wind Tunnel after Atlanta? If Chevy is dominant this weekend at Atlanta, a track at which it generally is strong, don't be surprised if NASCAR hauls the top cars into the wind tunnel the day after the race. In fact, the Ford and Dodge teams will demand it.(Sporting News)(3-4-2003)
Rusty's Helmet: On lap 176 of Sunday's race, there was a seven-car wreck that started when Mike Skinner initiated contact with Rusty Wallace. Fox reported that Wallace hit the wall extremely hard. So hard, in fact, that it cracked his helmet. They didn't have a chance to tell the rest of the story on the NASCAR on FOX broadcast so Jeff Hammond wanted to clear up something for fans who thought a broken helmet was a bad thing. If you hit hard, believe it or not, it's actually a good thing. These helmets are designed to absorb all the energy of a hard impact and crack. The helmets, head and neck restraints and other safety devices work together so the helmet takes the shock, not the skull or the brain. NASCAR's approved manufacturers, including Simpson Safety Products and Bell Helmets, do an outstanding job of engineering, testing and research to protect the drivers. On Sunday, everything worked as it should to prevent serious injury to Wallace.(Fox Sports)(3-4-2003)
In Search of the Perfect Piston: A Western Carolina University senior is helping a NASCAR team in its search for the perfect piston. Preston McCrary's senior project aims to use tools at the school's Center for Rapid Prototyping to measure pistons for the Andy Petree Racing team to within two one-thousandths of a millimeter. McCrary said knowing the specific geometry of each piston could give the racing a team a competitive advantage within the tightly-ruled world of NASCAR. McCrary's partner, Greg Siler of Salisbury, also a manufacturing engineering technology major, said he sees the potential to create a "perfect piston" by comparing pistons from exceptional racing engines to normal production pistons. The chief engineer for the Flat Rock-based racing team, Jon Dysinger, was tightlipped about what the team plans to do with the students' research. "It will be interesting to see what these guys are able to come up with," Dysinger said. Even Western Carolina assistant professor Richard Temple, who negotiated the project with Andy Petree Racing, said he is not allowed to talk about the specifics of McCrary and Siler's research. Christian Fittipaldi is driving part-time for the Petree racing team in 2003. Representing Petree in the No. 33 car, Fittipaldi finished 35th in last month's Daytona 500. McCrary admits he's not much of a racing fan. A 1990 graduate of Hendersonville High School, his studies at Western Carolina were interrupted by a stint in the Army, where he was a turbo mechanic, and time working as a diesel mechanic and for Weaverville's water treatment plant. He hopes to go on to graduate school or land a manufacturing job.(Charlotte Observer/AP)(3-4-2003)
Burton testing at Kentucky: #99-Jeff Burton is scheduled to test Kentucky Speedway on Tuesday, March 4th(Kentucky Speedway PR)(3-4-2003)
Teresa Earnhardt To Unveil First Highway 3 Sign At Dale Earnhardt Inc UPDATE: At 12:00noon/et on Monday, March 3rd, 2003 (03-03-03) in front of Dale Earnhardt Incorporated [DEI] Teresa Earnhardt will unveil the first official NC Highway 3 sign. A ceremony will begin at 12:00 with Teresa Earnhardt and other North Carolina State and local officials attending. Governor Easley signed the bill this past fall to switch NC Highway 136 to NC Highway 3 in honor of NASCAR Champion Dale Earnhardt. Highway 3 (Dale Earnhardt Highway) is a 28 mile highway that runs past Dale Earnhardt Inc headquarters, through Iredell and Cabarrus counties and Kannapolis, NC, the hometown of Earnhardt. Dale Earnhardt Inc, is located at 1675 Dale Earnhardt Highway # 3, Mooresville, North Carolina 28115.(DEI PR)(2-26-2003) UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt's Legacy continues as the first Department of Transportation sign is being unveiled today of North Carolina Highway 3, Dale Earnhardt Highway at the Headquarters of Dale Earnhardt Inc. Teresa Earnhardt, the President and CEO of DEI, was the first to display the NC Highway 3 sign in a ceremony celebrating the legacy of her husband, NASCAR Champion Dale Earnhardt. "This is tremendous to have a state highway named in Dale's honor," stated Teresa "This highway is special to all of us; it runs past our
company headquarters in Iredell County and Cabarrus County. It was with the efforts and support of many State and local officials and
residents that made this name change." North Carolina Governor, Mike Easley, signed legislation designating the North Carolina Highway #3 on October 23rd, 2002 to be known as Dale Earnhardt Highway. "Dale was a caring husband and father, a NASCAR racing legend, an avid outdoorsman and a pillar in his community" said Governor Easley. "We want to show Dale's family, his fans and his friends that North
Carolina remembers and cares. We want to say thank you for everything that you gave us and show our sincere appreciation in this lasting
tribute." Dale Earnhardt Highway is one of many tributes to the legendary racing champion in preserving his legacy to the state of North Carolina and the sport of auto racing. His citizenship to North Carolina was outstanding and the newly established Dale Earnhardt Foundation will continue those efforts with initiatives that perpetuate the Dale Earnhardt Legacy.(DEI PR)(3-3-2003)
image by a reader, taken at the unveiling.
Las Vegas TV: Fox's coverage of yesterday's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 Winston Cup race at Las Vegas drew more television viewers than any other weekend sports events, today's Sports Business Daily reports. The Daily says that Nielsen Media Research shows that the race drew a preliminary 6.3 rating and 13 share to finish well ahead of the 5.9/12 for ABC's Sunday coverage of the world match-play golf event featuring Tiger Woods. No comparable overnight numbers from 2002 were reported, but the figures appear to be in line with last year's final 6.4/13 for the Las Vegas race, according to The Daily's figures.(Winston Cup Scene - Daily Newsletter - free)(3-3-2003)
Top Tens: Dale Jarrett, Mark Martin, Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson WERE the only drivers to go two-for-two in top-10 finishes to open the season. All four failed to finish in the Top-10, three [Jarrett, Busch and Martin all failed to finish the race], Johnson was close before the spin-out at the end of the race and ended up 11th.(3-3-2003)
GM says no way for new engine: Doug Duchardt, GM's NASCAR field manager, dismissed Robert Yates' proposal that NASCAR consider a new engine for the stock-car tour within the next five years, saying it's just a publicity move for Ford's new 4.2-liter double overhead cam engine, used in the 24 Hours of Daytona. Duchardt said that an engine like that, when prepped for NASCAR racing, "would produce 1,000 horsepower." And Duchardt says that the proposal to move toward fuel injection instead of carburetion probably won't fly.(Winston Salem Journal) and see past news on this on my Engine Rules/News past news page.(3-3-2003)
Special Guests of the Speedway: As special guest of Las Vegas Motor Speedway were Las Vegas residents Mr. Barry McCool and Mrs. Audrey McCool, parents of the late space shuttle Columbia pilot William McCool.(Insider Racing News)(3-3-2003)
17th the best for #17 in 7 wins: Matt Kenseth started 17th on Sunday, the same as his car number. Kenseth has now won seven Winston Cup races and hasn't started better than 17th in any of them.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-3-2003)
Toyota to build test track? in NC? there is speculation that Toyota might want to build a test track near Charlotte [NC].(Winston Salem Journal)(3-3-2003)
Confiscated Parts At Las Vegas..Not This Week: The teams have been on their best behaviors this week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. There were no confiscated parts in the NASCAR hauler. Kevin Triplett. NASCAR spokesman said, "Las Vegas is on the low end of the scale when it comes to confiscated parts but the teams have come better prepared this week. By no means is this the end of it, they will pick and choose where they want to try something new."(Insider Racing News)(3-3-2003)
Rumblings - Las Vegas: Dale Earnhardt Jr (2nd) had his best finish since he won at Talladega last October.
Bobby Labonte (4th) had his best finish since he was 2nd at Lowe's Motor Speedway last October.
Sterling Marlin (8th) had his best finish since he was 4th at Darlington last September.
Steve Park (10th) had his best finish since he was 6th at Talladega last October.
Casey Mears (15th) had his career-best finsish today (albeit only 3 races). His previous best was 27th at Daytona two weeks ago.
Terry Labonte (16th) had his best finish since he was 12th at Kansas last September.
Jimmy Spencer (17th) had his best finish since he was 15th at Loudon last September.
Tony Raines (24th) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was 29th at Atlanta last October.
Derrike Cope (29th) had his best finish since he was 24th at Kansas in September of 2001! (only 9 races)
This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Steve Park (+29), followed by Sterling Marlin (+26), Terry Labonte (+20), and Ricky Rudd (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Jeff Gordon (-35), followed by Kurt Busch (-33). To put this in Wall Street terms, advancers outpaced losers by a 2-1 margin.
Michael Waltrip regains the point lead after this weekend (he led after his Daytona victory, of course). The best move forward in the
standings was accomplished by Dale Earnhardt Jr (38th to 18th), while Greg Biffle's DNQ cost him 22 spots (19th to 41st).(Stock Car Fans)(3-3-2003)