PAST NEWS MAR 10-16, 2003
THE PAST NEWS! YESTERDAY and BEYOND..
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- WOW! now that was a great race: #32-Ricky Craven won the The Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 is on at Darlington Raceway by a few inches [2/1000th's of a second] with him and #97-Kurt Busch beating and banging the last lap, both slapping the wall a few times. Busch had no power steering the last 10 laps. It is Craven's 2nd career Winston Cup win and he is the 40th driver to ever win a Cup race at Darlington [thanks Mike Joy]. It is the first career win for #32 Crew Chief Scott Miller and the first win by a single car team since Craven won in 2001. Crave last won at Martinsville in Oct 2001, 46 races ago. Busch has 3 top fives this year, all 2nds. #77-Dave Blaney was 3rd, his first ever top five finish in 116 races. Only 10 drivers finished on the lead lap. After a wild start, only 4 cars ended up in the garage. Kind of funny, the two best finishes this year so far are at the tracks rumored to lose their spring race dates [Rockingham and Darlington]. #17-Matt Kenseth keeps the points lead at 760, with #20-Tony Stewart at 703. If five races so far this season, there are five different pole winners and five different race winners. The top ten unofficial finishers:
#32-Ricky Craven (1 Lap Led - The final one, by an inch or two)
#97-Kurt Busch (23 laps led)
#6-Mark Martin (71 laps led)
#8-Dale Earnhardt Jr (91 laps led - led the most laps)
#38-Elliott Sadler (12 laps led)
Laps Leaders (11): #38-Sadler (12 laps led); #12-Newman (1); #7-Spencer (4); #8-Earnhardt Jr (91 led the most laps); #88-Jarrett (4); #31-Gordon (1); #6-Martin (71); #24-Gordon (79); #25-Nemechek (3); #97-Busch (24); #32-Craven (1-the final one);
Cars on the lead lap: 11 (of 43 starters)
Off track/out of race (4): #54-Bodine (out-accident); #99-Burton (out-engine); #74-Raines(out-accident); #43-Andretti(out-accident); #40-Marlin (out-accident);
Cautions 7 for 33 laps
Caution 7: Laps 237-242: Debris between turn turns 3 and 4.
Caution 6: Laps 191-196: #7-Spencer and #43-Andretti got together, sending Andretti hard into the inside frontstretch wall, car is pretty much done, Andretti is OK.
Caution 5: Laps 68-74: #12-Newman and #22-Burton were racing side by side in turn 2, Burton drifted up and they got together and both spun. The track sent the blowers out to clean off the debris on the track.
Caution 4: Laps 34-39: #99-Burton and #20-Stewart got together, Burton is smoking badly, looks like he lost an engine which caused Stewart toget into him.
Caution 3: Laps 24-28: #48-Johnson got into #40-Marlin, who then went into the wall, #18-Labonte spun out, then hit by #29-Harvick. This is a wild race so far.
Caution 2: Laps 13-16: #0-Sprague spun around on the backstretch, didn't hit anything.
Caution 1: Laps 7-9: #01-Nadeau spun around, followed by a spin by #17-Kenseth after getting tapped by #42-McMurray, no damage reoirted. Nadeau was running 2nd at the time.
NOTES: On lap 283, #24-Gordon went up the track and slapped the wall and #23-Wallace hit the car, but both drove off and continued. During caution 7 pit stops, #6-Martin's car left with a missing lugnut and had to come back into the pits to get it put on. Green flag pit stops happened around lap 128-132 range, and again around laps 185-190. #01-Nadeau had an oil leak and had to pit as he was running 3rd, was smoking bad. #40-Marlin, #74-Raines came back out to the track on lap 68-69 range but went back into the garage after running a few laps. During caution 5, ALL the cars came in to pit except #31-Gordon who led a lap, then pitted. all the cars who were a lap down (#'s 14, 57 and #29 got their laps back when the yellow flag came out. Lots of contact between many of the cars so far as of lap 30. During caution 3 all but #88-Jarrett and #24-Gordon came in to pit. All but 17 cars came in to pit on the first caution.
Re-Air: the race will be re-aired on Speed Channel, Wed, Mar 19th, 8:00pm/et (enhanced) and Thurs, Mar 20th, 1:00am/et and at 3:00pm/et.
Result Links at:
- Whats the latest on the carbon monoxide problem? Managing Director of Competition Gary Nelson said NASCAR is making steady progress on dealing with carbon monoxide. The deadly gas, which is colorless, odorless and found in exhaust fumes, has left many drivers who have been exposed feeling nauseous. NASCAR ratcheted up its approach to the problem when Lexington, Va., native Rick Mast was forced to retire after being diagnosed with chronic carbon monoxide poisoning. Random testing of volunteer drivers to measure pre- and postrace levels of carbon monoxide has yielded nothing alarming throughout the year's first four races, Nelson said. NASCAR crews and inspectors have been trained to be more vigilant in examining their cars for small cracks or improper seals that might allow carbon monoxide to seep into the cockpit. "We think we made the most progress talking to the crews and crew chiefs and training inspectors on what to look for," Nelson said. "If they notice anything, they bring it to the crews' attention. . . . We've made tremendous gains." Engineers at NASCAR's Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., also are working on a catalyst system to filter air inside the car. "The efficiency of the catalyst is dependent on the speed that the air flows through it," Nelson said. "If you have contaminated air and you run it through this catalyst too fast, the catalyst doesn't do the job. You run it through too slow, it doesn't do the job. We're trying to optimize that, and we're very encouraged that we're seeing results."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-16-2003)
- Michelin? Goodyear in trouble? UPDATE: Winston Cup tire men are asking why Michelin was suddenly a NASCAR tour sponsor, something unexpected and unexplained. Goodyear has a contract to be the sole supplier of tires for NASCAR racing. But some teams are becoming worried about Goodyear's financial problems and the possible impact that could have. Of all the things it takes to put on a race, tires are the most indispensable. And the last time Goodyear's fate was in question - in the late 1980s when the company was a takeover target - NASCAR made a deal with Hoosier Tires' Bob Newton to provide race tires.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-15-2003)
UPDATE: the race at Darlington, the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400, will be referred to by Fox TV as the NASCAR Winston Cup race Presented by Michelin - in yet another example of how sharp and bitter the TV advertising debate has gotten. Goodyear, the exclusive tire supplier to NASCAR, isn't buying any TV ads, so Fox sold spots to archrival Michelin. To say that Goodyear men and Michelin men don't get along is understatement. And the mere mention of Michelin in NASCAR has been such a surprise that it has raised speculation about what might lie ahead, given the financial troubles besetting Goodyear. And there has been no word from Dodge officials about the looming Fox snub, coming in front of a predicted TV audience of about 10 million today. It is the latest example of what appears to be an aggressive push by the New York TV network executives to squeeze out more advertising dollars. NASCAR insiders are pointing to that as perhaps one reason the sanctioning body appears to be having trouble signing a new fuel sponsor to replace Unocal. And TV pressure is considered a significant piece of the RJR sponsorship puzzle. If Goodyear, Reynolds and Unocal - three of NASCAR's most loyal and longest running sponsors - all bite the dust; one NASCAR veteran puts it this way: "If we didn't know who ran the sport before, we sure do now - the networks." If NASCAR officials can find a company willing to put up the $40 million to $50 million a year in a long-term sponsorship deal to be the series titlist, replacing R.J. Reynolds, the TV networks are expected to demand at least $1 million a race in advertising fees to use that name in its telecasts. According to one New York advertising official, NASCAR is looking for a series sponsorship of $100 million a year for 15 years.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-16-2003)
- Contingency Plans for travel and TV in case of war: With the country on the verge of war, NASCAR teams and officials are considering contingency plans for travel to Fort Worth, Talladega and Los Angeles in the coming weeks. "I know that became a concern when we went to Dover last year, and I'm sure at some of these tracks there will be different restrictions that come up," Robbie Loomis, Jeff Gordon's crew chief, said. "It's a pretty stressful time on all the folks in the military and their families right now." Fox is expected to put Winston Cup races on its FX cable if or when war begins.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-14-2003)
UPDATE: Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of communications, also an Army veteran, addressed the topic of war and racing on Friday. "I have always felt that one of Bill France's quotes was right on target on this subject," Hunter said. "I can remember people asking 'Bill, who are your fans?' And he would say, 'I'll tell you who our fans are. They are the kind of people that win wars for you.' And never has that been more true than today." Hunter said NASCAR has monitored the expected showdown with Iraq for the last several months and has worked through several scenarios which includes postponing an event if necessary. "I don't really want to speculate but certainly that would be an option and we've done it before," Hunter said. "Just to arbitrarily do that, no. It depends on the circumstances, and what is best under those circumstances, not only what is best for the racing community but what is best for the country."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-16-2003)
- Three engines go bad for Roush at Darlington? Car owner Jack Roush's motor troubles keep mounting. He lost four engines in the Atlanta race last Sunday, and he's lost three more already this weekend.(Winston Salem Journal), doesn't say what three, the #97 lost one in practice Saturday, assume the other two are the ones that overheated in the Truck Series race [#50-Jon Wood and #99-Carl Edwards](3-16-2003)
- Public Records Stuff: Florida's daily newspapers will publish articles and editorials on Sunday reminding citizens of the state's strong public records laws at a time lawmakers are proposing an increasing number of exemptions. Spearheaded by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors and the Tallahassee-based First Amendment Foundation, 35 papers will participate in the "Sunshine Sunday" initiative, which began last year to stress the importance of maintaining an open government. The initiative comes at a time when lawmakers are seeking to tighten access to public records following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The most publicized measure limited public access to autopsy photos. That bill was initiated at the request of NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt's widow and was signed into law by Gov. Jeb Bush just three weeks after it was introduced during the 2001 session.(Wilmington Star)(3-15-2003)
- Dale Jr Helping Out: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. went "back to school" Wednesday at Orange County Speedway. Despite being in the heat of the Winston Cup points race, Earnhardt spent the day at the three-eighths mile asphalt oval in Rougemont, NC, helping T.J. Waters [actually last name is Majors], a Late Model Stock Car Division competitor for JR Motorsports, test his new Rick Townsend ride. Earnhardt, who made the trek up Wednesday morning from Mooresville, owns JR Motorsports and, from time to time, helps out with testing and preparations. "This is like going back to a high school reunion in a way for me," Earnhardt said as he sat back in the Orange County Speedway office after taking a break for lunch. "It's like going back to school. It's something different. It's fun for me and it's a little more relaxing." Waters, who is originally from Buffalo, N.Y., and Earnhardt are planning on traveling around this season to various tracks to compete against NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Late Model Stock Car competition. "He'll run here a few times and move around from track-to-track," Earnhardt said. Waters and Earnhardt initially met through the internet. "I used to practice racing on the computer some and we (Waters and Earnhardt) had some pretty good (computer) races back then," Waters said shortly after climbing out of the car after turning in some qualifying laps. "That was back when (Earnhardt) was in his early days of (NASCAR) Busch (Series) racing. We became good friends and one thing led to another," Waters added. "(Earnhardt) told me that if I wanted to move up in racing that I needed to move down this way." Waters, who is 23-years-old, would like to someday join Earnhardt as a driver in the Winston Cup Series.(Courier Times and a story at the Herald Sun with the correct name)(3-15-2003)
- Evernham to sponsor Late Model driver: Pennsylvania/New Jersey racing legend Billy Pauch, a career winner of 596 features, seeks his 11th Hagerstown victory today. Pauch plans to race Friday nights at Big Diamond Speedway near Pottsville, PA and Saturdays at New Egypt, NJ, where he's the defending modified champion and winner of three of the last four titles there. Pauch's son, Billy, a sophomore at Delaware Valley Regional High School, is getting into stock car racing for the first time this year in a big way. Young Pauch, a junior varsity wrestler at Del Val, moves from go-karts and slingshot car racing at Borger's Speedway into a modified. Pauch is teamed with his dad to race at Big Diamond. The Pauches will drive modifieds powered by Dodge engines with Billy in a car sponsored by Ray Evernham, a NASCAR Winston Cup owner.(Express Times)(3-15-2003)
- No Racing Back to the Yellow Flag? NASCAR's drivers have had what they call a gentleman's agreement not to race back to the yellow flag, except in certain situations where a driver is trying to get a lap back and is within a couple of car lengths of the leader. That agreement was designed with driver safety in mind.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-15-2003)
- Will Microsoft replace Winston as NASCAR sponsor? The search for a new title sponsor for the Winston Cup Series continues with the sanctioning body looking at companies who have previously lacked an affiliation with the sport and lack “baggage”. There are hints that Microsoft is a primary target, as is an as yet unnamed insurance company, with 2005 being the likely year for the introduction of a new sponsor. One thing you can bet on, the title “Winston Cup Series” will go away, despite the fact NASCAR owns the rights to the term “Winston Cup.”(AutoRacing1.com - need subscription to read/Stan Creekmore, NASCAR Editor)(3-15-2003)
- Spencer to drive a truck at Bristol in August: Jimmy Spencer will make his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut in an Ultra Motorsports Dodge in August at Bristol Motor Speedway. Team owner Jimmy Smith owns two Craftsman Truck Series Dodge teams for #1-Ted Musgrave and #2-Jason Leffler. The teams are housed in Mooresville, NC, with the #7-Sirius Dodge that Spencer drives in the Winston Cup Series.(NASCAR.com)(3-15-2003)
- 2003 Owners Points Go In Effect: When it comes to parking transporters and using provisional starting positions in the field, this is the start of the 2003 race season. According to NASCAR rules the first four races of the season use the final points from the previous season to decide issues, including, where the teams park their transporters and where a team will start if they should need to dip into the provisional pool. The carry-forward system was devised to somewhat protect the teams who return year after year.(Ford Racing)(3-15-2003)
- To the back #97 and #15 - scambles the top 10 a bit: #97-Kurt Busch blew an engine in the first Saturday practice, so he will fall back from his 6th place starting spot and go to the rear of the field before the drop of the green flag. Busch took the car to the garage and walked to the hauler without comment. There were also rumors that #17-Matt Kenseth had lost an engine, but it ended up being some smoke only, he took it to the garage and got it repaired. Also, towards the end of Happy Hour, #15-Michael Waltrip hit the wall and will need to go to a backup and will have to fall from his 9th place starting spot to the rear of the field.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required)(3-15-2003)
- Ramblings -- Darlington: Elliott Sadler had 'em covered today....from the time the #38 M&M's Ford rolled off the truck. He grabbed his first ever Bud Pole for Sunday's Carolina Dodge Dealer 400 by almost a light year. His time of 28.902 seconds (170.147 mph) was 13/100th's of a second quicker than his nearest competitor. If that doesn't sound like much, the spread from 2nd to 12th was just a hair over 12/100th's of a second! It wasn't even close..... We've had a different pole winner for every event this season (that means we're working on a 36 car field for next year's Budweiser Shootout), and six different pole winners in a row (dating back to last season). Sadler's previous best starting spot was on the outside pole at Texas Motor Speedway for last April's 500 miler. Ryan Newman edged out the rest of the crowd and he'll start outside the front row on Sunday.
Jerry Nadeau (3rd) has his best starting spot since he lined up 3rd at Dover last June.
Ward Burton (7th) has his best starting spot since he started 4th at Martinsville last October.
Matt Kenseth (12th) had his best qualifying run since he started 9th at Atlanta last October.
Terry Labonte (29th) has his best grid location since he started 23rd at Atlanta last October.
STREAKIN....Michael Waltrip has 4 Top-5 starts in the last 5 races.
43 cars this week (by the skin of our teeth), so everybody makes the race and all provisionals are non-charged. The freebies go to: Jeff
Burton, Joe Nemechek, Ricky Rudd, Kyle Petty, Tony Raines, Larry Foyt, and Brett Bodine. Bodine is in the #57 this week, and (according to Mike Joy...and he knows his stuff) is a post entry. That means no points (either driver or owner) will be awarded to that team this
week. Larry Foyt has gotta be thankful for short fields. He's only qualified on time for one event this year (31st at Las Vegas). He was a DNQ at Daytona, and has used provisionals at the three other races this season...but he's only got one charged provisional so he's in good
shape in that category.(StockCarFans.com (Winston Cup) Newsletter)(3-15-2003)
- Hooters To Run Memorial Car in Bristol To Honor Alan Kulwicki and Others Lost 10 Years Ago: Hooters Restaurants will run a memorial car in the NASCAR Winston Cup Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 23rd. The car is in honor of those lost in a tragic plane crash on April 1, 1993 heading to Bristol, which claimed the lives of NASCAR Winston Cup champion Alan Kulwicki, Mark Brooks (son of Hooters chairman Bob Brooks), Dan Duncan (Vice President of Motorsports Marketing for Hooters) and company pilot Charlie Campbell. The Bristol event marks the 10th Anniversary of the fallen champions. 2003 also marks the platinum anniversary of Hooters Restaurants. The first Hooters Restaurant opened 20 years ago in Clearwater, FL and was incorporated on April 1, 1983. The #11 Hooters Ford will run a special paint scheme of platinum (the 20th Anniversary is considered the platinum anniversary) and orange with the Hooters 20th Anniversary logo on the sides of the race car and a special Four Champions Memorial crest on the hood. The memorial crest displays the initials of the four men lost in the plane crash and features the slogan "We Race In Their Memory."
"It is a privilege to drive for Hooters again this year, but a very special honor to be able to run this particular paint scheme at Bristol to commemorate the fallen champions. To me, this is what racing is all about, celebrating milestones and remembering our heroes," stated #11 driver Brett Bodine.
A poster of the Hooters Bristol car with the memorial crest will support the significance of the commemorative car and will be available prior to race weekend at Hooters Restaurants across the country. The poster will also be sold at the Hooters team merchandise trailer in Bristol.
Hooters has honored the memory of Alan Kulwicki and the others over the past 10 years in addition to the memorial crest and commemorative car. Each fall Hooters hosts the annual Hooters Memorial Cup Golf Tournament at White Water Country Club in Fayetteville, GA. This tournament has raised over $2 million for scholarships, which are named for the four individuals, to Clemson University's Brooks Institute for Sports Sciences Study. Hooters also contributed $250,000 in the mid-1990's to the development of Alan Kulwicki Park in his hometown of Greenfield, Wisconsin.(Brett Bodine Racing PR), see images of the car and poster on my Paint Scheme Gallery or #11 Team News and Links page.(3-14-2003)
- Triplett resigns from NASCAR front office UPDATE: NASCAR managing director of business operations Kevin Triplett has resigned his position, effective in June, to move back home to Virginia and pursue other options, NASCAR vice president for corporate communications Jim Hunter told NASCAR.com Thursday. During his decade-long tenure with the sanctioning body, Triplett has held many positions and is well respected in the industry. Triplett joined NASCAR in 1994 and spent three years as NASCAR Winston Cup Series media coordinator. In 1997, he was promoted to director of operations, and spent nearly four years in that role before receiving yet another promotion in October 2001, at which time he was elevated to managing director of business operations. In that role, Triplett oversaw schedules, sanctions, credentials, timing and scoring procedures, plan development, point fund management and personnel, as well as all other business aspects of the Winston Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series A career in politics could be one of Triplett's future plans. Triplett's decision to step away shocked some, and could be the first of many high-profile moves in NASCAR's rumored restructuring process. Inside sources say NASCAR is in the process of placing several key personnel in different roles to best suit their strong points. Among the candidates rumored to collectively assume Triplett's responsibilities are NASCAR director of series marketing Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR director of administration George Silbermann -- who also serves as chairman of the National Stock Car Racing Commission -- Joe Garone, director of NASCAR's research and development center, and Gary Smith, Craftsman Truck Series manager.(NASCAR.com)
UPDATE: been told that Steve O'Donnell will become the Director of Business Operations, overseeing various areas such as marketing and promotion reviews, sponsor approvals and other business aspects of the Competition Department including credentialing and registration, schedules, point fund and purse management, etc.
Gary Smith will become Director of Event Logistics and relocate to the Concord, NC Research and Development Center to oversee security,
medical liaison program, track event prep and budget management.
Jim Cassidy's role as Administrative Operations Manager will expand to include working with Wayne Auton in overseeing day to day operations as well as events of the Craftsman Truck Series.
Joe Garone will become the Director of Officiating.(3-14-2003)
- Realtree and the #29? UPDATE: hearing Realtree, who sponsored Dave Marcis for years on the #71 car, will be on Kevin Harvick's #29 GM Goodwrench as the primary or co-primary at an upcoming race.
UPDATE: This special paint will run August 23rd at Bristol under the lights.(3-14-2003)
- Medical Concern at Daytona: The possible suspension of emergency services at two major Central Florida trauma centers due to the state's worsening medical liability crisis poses a serious threat to NASCAR drivers and fans, says a top official at the Daytona International Speedway. Lesa D. Kennedy, executive vice president of International Speedway Corp., said in a March 11 letter to Gov. Jeb Bush that she is concerned about the possible suspension of Level 1 trauma services at Orlando Regional Medical Center and Level 2 trauma services at Halifax Memorial Hospital in Daytona Beach.(Orlando Business Journal)(3-14-2003)
- Starr to make Cup debut at Texas UPDATE: 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)
UPDATE: CTS driver, David Starr, will attempt to qualify for his first Winston Cup Series race, the Samsung/RadioShack 500 (March 30) at Texas Motor Speedway. "Wayne and Connie Spears gave me an opportunity of a lifetime to drive for a racing team that is well funded and that has all the great pieces to a championship caliber team," Starr says of his truck team. "We look to have a better year than we had last year. That being said, I think, if you ask every driver out there who is not part of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, what their dreams and aspirations are, they would be lying to you if they didn't tell you they wanted to be in Winston Cup." Starr makes no bones about it. That is where he wants to be some day full time. So, with the truck series off the weekend of March 28-30, Starr is trying to make
personal history. It marks the first time he is attempting to qualify for a Winston Cup race. As has been the case so many times in the past in the truck series, it is David's uncle, Mike Starr, who operates the Team Texas High Performance Driving School, who is prepping David's ride for his Winston Cup qualifying bid. "Ever since I was a kid and wanted to be a race car driver, I have thought of being a Winston Cup driver," Starr says. "Having the opportunity to participate among the 43 best race car drivers in the United States, or even the world, is just hard to describe what it means to me. It is a dream come true."(TMS PR)(3-14-2003)
- Army probe finds winds safe for jump [at Rockingham]: An Army investigation concluded that wind speeds were within safe limits when a parachute team missed the landing area during a Winston Cup race in February. The demonstration was part of pre-race activities for the Subway 400 on Feb. 23 in Rockingham. Four soldiers from the Black Daggers, the Army special operations parachute team, were injured when winds carried them away from the planned landing area. Col. Leonard H. Kiser, a senior Army National Guard adviser for the command, injured his back. Sgt. 1st Class Stuart J. Goodall, a civil affairs team leader with 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, broke his ankle. Maj. Anthony C. Dill, executive officer for 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, broke his wrist, and Air Force Capt. Jesse L. Peterson of the 10th Combat Weather Squadron suffered cuts on his face. Maj. Gary Kolb, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, said the conditions changed drastically after the jumpers left the aircraft. The winds were still within the military's safety limits, he said. The eight-man parachute team jumped from a helicopter at 3,000 feet. All of the soldiers are expected to completely recover from their injuries, Kolb said. Due to deployments and the injuries to the four jumpers, the Black Dagger parachute team was forced to cancel its remaining demonstration jumps. ''We have a lack of team members," Kolb said. The team will resume jumping when team members return from deployments. None of the four jumpers that were injured have deployed.(Fayetteville Observer)(3-14-2003)
- Wild Stuff at Monster Garage, including NASCAR stuff: Wielding a cutting torch like a six-shooter, "Monster Garage" foreman Jesse James has been dazzling Discovery Channel audiences by guiding the transformation of ordinary vehicles into Frankencars. His weekly, hourlong reality show is a hit and it's made the tattooed 6-foot-2 host the darling of the cable channel, previously known for bug and beast documentaries. Each week, a new project begins in a warehouse where cameras roll as James guides a new team of mechanics on the latest mission to create something weird -- something driveably weird -- in five days with a budget of $3,000. The team's goal: "Transform it into a monster," James says. A Porsche 944 morphed into a driving range golf ball retriever, a Ford Explorer became a garbage truck, a Chevrolet Caprice was transformed into an ice rink resurfacer, a Mini Cooper evolved into a snowmobile, a Mustang became a lawnmower, a NASCAR racer became a street sweeper and a PT Cruiser is now a wood chipper. The "Monster Garage" creations evolve on a platform inside a 60-by-60-foot structure with interior walls painted in flames. There are power drills, air-hammers, grinders and James' beloved plasma cutter. In a corner are video games and drink machines for occasional break periods.(Charlotte Observer)(3-14-2003)
- Well, this is goofy: What will Fox announcers call Sunday's race? Darlington Raceway has a sponsorship deal with Dodge for this race to be called the Dodge Dealers 400 [Carolina Dodge Dealers 400]. But yesterday Fox said it would be calling the race "Winston Cup Racing on FOX Presented by Michelin." That is curious from two angles - Did Michelin outbid Dodge for the TV plugs? And what does Goodyear think about this? Goodyear has exclusive rights to provide tires to NASCAR.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-14-2003)
- The Why We Call Richard Petty "The King" Fact of the Week by Fox Sports: On Labor Day of 1967, Richard Petty won the Southern 500 at Darlington. It was his third victory on the 1.375-mile oval and his second Darlington win of the season. The win was also the third of what would become a 10-race winning streak and ultimately a 27-win season. By the time 1967 was over, NASCAR sportswriters labeled Petty "The King" ... and he's been The King ever since.(FoxSports)(3-14-2003)
- Invasion no more: The Invasion of NASCAR, a once-popular downtown York, PA event for racing fans, has likely made its final lap. It was canceled last year because of a lack of funding and commitments from NASCAR drivers, and York City officials say there is no plan to bring it back this year. The company that tried to organize an Invasion for 2002, York-based Fantasy Sports Enterprises Inc., is no longer interested.(York Dispatch)(3-14-2003)
- Todd Bodine tours Washington DC: It was a once in a lifetime experience for Todd Bodine, driver of the No. 54 National Guard Ford as he spent the day touring the Pentagon, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Army National Guard Readiness Center as a guest of his NASCAR Winston Cup advertiser [sponsor], the National Guard. Bodine has gotten to see quite a bit of country thanks to his profession however; Wednesday's visit was his first time in the Nation's capitol. A display that touched everyone who accompanied Bodine and his BelCar Racing co-owner, Sam Belnavis was the September 11th Memorial located at the Pentagon's Ground Zero. Both Bodine and Belnavis signed a remembrance book to pay their respects to the 59 passengers and crewmembers onboard Flight 77 and the 125 service members and civilians who were inside when the plane crashed into the Pentagon.
Shortly thereafter it was time to switch gears as General Roger Schultz who leads the Army National Guard's efforts escorted Bodine to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Bodine spent time talking to service members receiving treatment after being injured in Afghanistan and Bosnia. One of those patients was Staff Sgt. Michael McNaughton from the 769th Engineer Battalion, Louisiana National Guard. He lost his leg while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom. McNaughton received national attention earlier this year after President George W. Bush visited him at Walter Reed. The Staff Sergeant told Bodine about his plans to go running with the President however he was more interested in discussing car set-up ideas he had for the National Guard team as they prepare for this weekend's race at Darlington Raceway.(Cox Marketing)(3-13-2003)
- Stewart and Kid Rock? UPDATE 4 at Michigan: hearing that Tony Stewart will drive the #8 Kid Rock Chevy in the Busch/BGN race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May.(1-23-2003)
UPDATE: however, it has been reported that Steve Park will race the #8 BGN car at Lowe's, so not too sure about this one.(1-24-2003)
UPDATE 2: getting a bit more info, hearing now, the scheme will race at one of the BGN Richmond races, probably May as there are rumors that Dale Earnahrdt Jr will run all three races at Richmond in Sept (CTS/BGN/Cup) and Martin Truex Jr is scheduled in the #8 BGN car at RIR in May...so this rumor has some holes in it, unless it is a 2nd Chase2 car, what is posted here is all I have heard or know.(1-25-2003)
UPDATE 3: been told that Tony Stewart will NOT be driving a #8 Kid Rock paint scheme in the May Charlotte BGN race. This is already scheduled to be a cheese nips car to be driven by Steve Park. But could show up elsewhere. However, many diecast sheets are showing the car running in Charlotte, so it could be the Fall race.(1-27-2003)
UPDATE 4: now being told the scheme will run at the Michigan Busch Series race in August.(3-13-2003)
- Aikman/Staubach sponsors? UPDATE: the two rumors I am hearing for the Hall of Fame Racing team with Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach is Pizza Hut [always seems to be a rumored sponsor] and/or Radio Shack will be the primary sponsor of the team, supposedly Pizza Hut has signed and that Acme Brick signed as an associate sponsor. See past news about this new team on my New Teams page (usually teams without a car# or very new team)(3-11-2003)
UPDATE: Hall of Fame Racing, the new Winston Cup team being started by Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, is talking with several Dallas-Fort Worth companies about sponsoring the team. One of those companies is Fort Worth-based RadioShack. Staubach is directly involved in the negotiations with several corporations in an attempt to cut through the red tape and go directly to the CEOs and the board of directors. "With the amount of money involved and the high-profile nature of this, we felt it was better for Roger to use his contacts and speak with the top executives," said Hall of Fame Racing spokesman Starke Taylor. "We have a handful of companies that are genuinely interested." Taylor and Staubach have some impressive figures to show corporate executives what their investment in Winston Cup is worth.(Dallas Morning News - need to register to read)(3-13-2003)
- Shav Glick Honored: One of motorsport's most respected journalists, Shav Glick of the LA Times, was presented with the prestigious Jim Murray Outstanding Journalist Award during last night's All-American Football Foundation's "Banquet of Champions XXXIX" at the Pasadena Hilton. Murray's widow, Linda McCoy Murray made the presentation citing Glick's long friendship with the late Pulitzer Prize-winning author and commenting upon both men's love of the game of golf, citing some humorous examples of their zeal to play even under climatic conditions that were far less than ideal (like a raging hurricane). She also indicated how proud she was to be able to give Glick and award named for Jim Murray. Glick's acceptance speech was brief and self-effacing. He gave credit to all of the unsung heros back at the newspaper office who daily have the task of turning sportswriter's dispatches into presentable stories for the public. He also reminisced about his displacement as Murray's "driver" (Murray suffered from very poor eyesight which precluded him from driving a car) when Jack and Linda met in Indianapolis. A lifetime Pasadena resident, when he was contacted by the All American Football Foundation about his availability to be "in town" and on hand for the presentation, Glick told association President Jimmy McDowell that he would be there, "If I have to walk to the Hilton."(Open Wheel Racing)(3-13-2003)
- So, what is up with Stacker 2 and the Ephedra controversy? Should driver Kenny Wallace and Bill Davis Racing be worried about the federal Department of Health and Human Services' recent warning that users of ephedra, the controversial diet-supplement ingredient, face "potentially serious risks."? "They told me to go racing, you know?" Wallace said of his sponsor. "We have a two-year contract, this year and next year, and they have a lot of other products besides ephedra products. They have an ephedra-free product, and they're coming out with a new line of power bars. Really, any more than that, that's pretty much all I know. All I know is what anybody else would know." In the sports world, ephedra is under fire because of its association with the deaths of two professional athletes, Minnesota Vikings tackle Korey Stringer (fall 2001), and Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler (Feb. 17, 2003). Both were believed to be taking a product [supposedly NOT Stacker 2] containing ephedra when they collapsed during workouts and later died. The Department of Health and Human Services issued its warning approximately two weeks after Bechler's death, and the nutritional supplement industry awaits further backlash that could include a congressional investigation of the substance. Stacker 2 is owned by NVE Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures nutritional, supplement-type products, according to Karen L. Finocchio, vice-president for marketing. Advertised -- and memorably, by Wallace -- as a fat burner, Stacker 2 comes with ephedra, in "light" form, and ephedra-free. If there's a day when it must be sold only ephedra-free, Finocchio says the company will do just fine. "We're real confident," Finocchio said. "We've had no problems. People are real receptive. They know the hard work we put behind our product." NVE plans to introduce a line of ephedra-free meal replacement products (protein bars, drinks, etc.) in four to six weeks, said Finocchio, adding that the company has promoted Stacker 2, including the ephedra-free form, in NASCAR for three to four years, and in the World Wrestling Entertainment arena for five years. Finocchio said company revenues stream from multiple products, not just Stacker 2, therefore any future federal ban won't affect NVE's ability to back Wallace. "I still believe strongly -- and we also believe in the industry -- it's safe if taken as directed," Finocchio said of ephedra. "I mean, of course you would consult your physician before you take anything, herbal or otherwise. And our label is a peel-back label. We go to the expense of having that so that we can have every possible scenario on the label." Wallace doesn't use Stacker 2. Not because of any discomfort, but because he has no fat-burning problems. Nor does he need to boost his metabolism. The commercials -- spoofs starring Wallace, fellow Winston Cup drivers Elliott Sadler, Tony Stewart, Busch series driver Scott Wimmer, and WWE wrestler Paul Wright (a.k.a. The Big Show) -- are a staple of Stacker 2's promotion. NVE began as Wallace's Busch sponsor and transitioned to Cup with him this season.(full story at CNNSI)(3-13-2003)
- Extra $$ for Labonte: Bobby Labonte "maxed" out at Atlanta Motor Speedway, as far as the MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award program was concerned. Labonte was the race leader at the halfway point, getting $10,000. But since he also ended up winning the race, he got another $15,000 via the MBNA Mid-Race Leader Bonus. The bonus starts as $5,000, and rolls over to the next race if the mid-race leader award winner doesn't also win the event. After four races this season, there have been four different MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award winners: #15-Michael Waltrip, #2-Rusty Wallace, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Labonte.(NASCAR PR)(3-13-2003)
- Roush Engine Problem? Overly aggressive engine tuning and oil starvation: Immediately following Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which saw four of the six teams using Roush Racing engines fall from the race, Jack Roush summoned his team of top level engineers in Livonia, Mich. and set out for Concord, N.C. on a mission — search out, identify and remedy the causes that forced the cars from the race. Roush was relieved when the engine teardown revealed that only overly aggressive engine tuning and oil starvation triggered the engine failures. "The good news is that none of the very substantial horsepower gains that we have been making caused any of our problems. The bad news is that the tuning mistake was my own. Now I know how Rick Hendrick's engine guy felt after Talladega last fall," said Roush. "I hurt pistons on the No. 6, No. 21,and No. 97 by tuning for fuel economy that just wasn't attainable for Atlanta and the No. 99's problem derived from a new oil pan that resulted in oil starvation," continued Roush. Roush says he is very pleased with the progress made by his engine department during the past year. "Our 10 wins in 2002, including wins at horsepower tracks like Atlanta, Homestead, Charlotte and Texas, and our strong start in 2003 demonstrates the strength in our engine program." (more at Ford Racing)(3-12-2003)
- #8 Crew 'Fastest': Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s crew for the #8 Budweiser Chevy driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. has won the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by Powerade for the second consecutive week. NASCAR says Earnhardt Jr. spent 288 seconds in the pits on his way to finishing third in Sunday's Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 to lead all participating teams. Race winner Bobby Labonte was in the pits for 318 seconds, the second-best time among eligible teams. The victory was worth $20,000 to Earnhardt's team. NASCAR says DEI's #15 team for driver Michael Waltrip still leads the season long battle for the end-of-the-year prize of $200,000.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-12-2003)
- Crew Chief's fined: NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chiefs James Ince and Mike Ford were fined $1,000 each for rules violations that occurred during Sunday's Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, NASCAR officials announced today. Ince, crew chief for the #10 Valvoline Pontiac of driver Johnny Benson, was fined for an unapproved fuel filler check valve assembly. He was in violation of the following in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rule Book: Section 12-4-Q, "Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules"; and Section 12-4-A: "Actions detrimental to stock car racing." Ford, crew chief for the #9 Dodge of driver Bill Elliott, was fined for altering the car on pit road after the car had passed template inspection (Section 20-3.12.1) and actions detrimental to stock car racing (Section 12-4-A).(NASCAR PR)(3-12-2003)
- New Tire Changer for the #12 and the #16: been told that Dennis Terry has left the #16 Roush Racing team as the front tire changer and moved to the #12 Penske Racing Dodge team. Mike Hillman [not the #11 Crew Chief] will change rear tires on the #16 with car chief, Adam Emmertt moving from the rear to be the new front tire changer. See my Pit Crew Chart for most the full time Cup Pit Crew members.(3-12-2003)
- Update on Florida Autopsy Law: A state law approved after Dale Earnhardt's death that restricts access to autopsy photos or tape recordings was modified by a state Senate committee Monday to allow grieving relatives to appoint a person such as an attorney, a doctor or a family friend to get autopsy records for them from a medical examiner. The current law, passed at the request of the late stock car driver's widow, allows only relatives to get such photos or recordings. The change recommended Monday would broaden that slightly to allow the family to designate someone else in writing to pick up the items. Earnhardt attorneys did not object to the change and that it will not affect public access to such records to the press or others(Orlando Sentinel)(3-12-2003)
- Earnhardt Jr and Stewart film a music video: on Monday night in Concord, NC, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart filmed a music video for the band 3 Doors Down. Fans gathered early to catch a glimpse of their music and racing heroes Monday night. The filming was set to continue Tuesday night. The production crew set up recreational vehicles, equipment trucks and a food tent in the city's Bicentennial Plaza parking lot and fans wandered around freely trying to spy their favorite star. It's due to be aired on music video channels by April or May, according to the band's publicist. The group chose Concord for its video locale because of the racing theme behind it. The plot line, loosely, is that a woman is stopped at a red light (at the square in downtown Concord) in a Jeep Wrangler when Earnhardt pulls up beside her and begins flirting. Soon after, Stewart pulls up on the other side and begins to compete for her attention. The two rival drivers appear to quickly forget the girl and set off drag racing, leaving her behind. The racers in the video will tear through the streets and barrel through the woods only to emerge at a race track (Concord Motorsports Park) where a 3 Doors Down concert is in progress. They'll circle the track a few times and tear off into the woods again.(Independent Tribune)(3-12-2003)
- Bruton looking at the NBA: Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Bruton Smith, whose holdings include Las Vegas Motor Speedway, said he has been approached about buying into the Charlotte, N.C., NBA team. Smith told the Charlotte Observer that he met with Bob Johnson, who is paying $300 million for the Charlotte NBA franchise, and was awaiting a formal proposal from Johnson before deciding whether to buy into the club.(Las Vegas Sun)(3-12-2002)
- New Team? UPDATE: AutoRacing1 is reporting Billy Bigley Jr will attempt to run a nearly complete Winston Cup schedule in 2003 driving a Ford for Arnold Motorsports. Bigley Jr will make his first Winston Cup appearance at Las Vegas, and will run a total of 34 point races in 2003 using car #79. The team and its sponsor, who have been kept under wraps until now, will be announced on NBC the day after Christmas. Arnold Motorsports, new to the Winston Cup scene, confirmed today that Bill Bigley Jr would drive their #79 Ford in 2003. This information was shared with AutoRacing1 by the team manager and co-owner of Arnold Motorsports, Keith Coleman, from his Naples, FL location. Arnold Motorsports, co-owned by real estate developer Don Arnold, will have their race shop located in Statesville, NC. The team has procured Hopkins chassis’ for the majority of their race cars, and is looking to run Laughlin chassis’ for their superspeedway program. While Coleman couldn’t confirm who would be supplying Arnold’s engines, it appears that Robert Yates Racing will be supplying power plants for the team. Coleman also stated that the team is planning to field a second race team later in 2003, with its debut at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona. Even though Arnold Motorsports is still seeking a driver for their second Winston Cup entry, it is planning for their second team to run a complete schedule for the remainder of the 2003 season.(AutoRacing1 - need sub to read), NOTE: I had heard a few days ago that Bigley would run some BGN races in Yates equipment (from the defunct #98 Yates BGN team)(12-17-2002)
UPDATE: been asked by some readers on this and got an answer: hearing that the team's sponsorship deal is taking much longer to complete than originally thought and supposedly Bigley will still be driving the #79 Arnold Motorsports car this year, but the team is unsure which track the team will make their debut at.(AutoRacing1 - need sub to read)(3-12-2003)
- Bickford and Bickle to Cup? Fred Bickford, former owner of the DF2 Motorsports (#94 last year now #22) Busch Series team has formed a new team which will attempt about five Cup races, starting with Martinsville in April. The team is looking for a marketing partner for the show and also have some Busch cars left so they can do both Busch and Cup on a combination weekend if so desired. They are listed on www.sponsorshipcentral.com. Rich Bickle will be the driver. A crew chief has not been named yet. (Bickford PR via BGN Racing)(3-12-2003)
- Gordon wants full-time rescue workers: Four-time Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon wants NASCAR to hire full-time rescue workers for tracks. "I have some concerns because it's basically local (fire and rescue workers) that they kind of train once they get (to races)," Gordon said. "I think we should have a team that travels with us that know the cars, know the tracks, know the drivers. Have these local people assist them." CART and the Indy Racing League have teams of rescue workers who travel to each race and receive extensive training related to racing accidents and other safety issues. NASCAR relies on tracks to hire local fire and rescue workers. Three times in the past eight months, twice at Daytona and at Las Vegas, workers' response abilities have been questioned.(USA Today)(3-12-2003)
- David Poole makes a 2004 sched: ThatsRacin.com/Charlotte Observer's David Poole has made a 'proposed' 2004 Winston Cup schedule:
A proposed "realigned" 2004 schedule for the NASCAR Winston Cup series:
February: 7 -- Budweiser Shootout; 15 -- Daytona; 22 -- Homestead-Miami; 29 -- Las Vegas.
March: 7 -- Off; 14 -- Atlanta; 21 -- Bristol; 28 -- Texas.
April: 4 -- Talladega; 11 -- Off (Easter); 18 -- California; 25 -- Rockingham.
May: 2 -- Martinsville; May 8 -- Kentucky; May 15 -- Richmond; May 21 -- The Winston at Charlotte; May 23 -- Charlotte; May 30 -- Dover.
June: 6 -- Pocono; June 13 -- Michigan; 20 -- Sonoma; 27 -- New Hampshire.
July: 4 -- Off; 10 -- Texas; 18 -- Chicagoland; 25 -- Pocono.
August: 1 -- Indianapolis; 7 -- California; 15 -- Michigan; 22 -- New Hampshire; 28 -- Bristol.
September: 5 -- Darlington; 11 -- Richmond; 19 -- Dover; 26 -- Talladega.
October: 3 -- Kansas; 10 -- Charlotte; 17 -- Martinsville; 24 -- Atlanta.
November: 7 -- Phoenix; 14 -- Daytona.
See the full story at ThatsRacin.com: My suggestions for 2004's realignment.(3-11-2003)
- #750 for Labonte; #700 for Elliott; #650 for Kyle; #500 for Jarrett; #300 for Burton: a few milestones for the 100th Cup race at Darlington this weekend, the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400:
Start #750 for #5-Terry Labonte (first start was at Darlington in Sept 1978), 5th on the all time starts list
Start #700 for #9-Bill Elliott (first start was at Rockingham in Feb 1976), 7th all time
Start #650 for #45-Kyle Petty (first start was at Talladega in Aug 1979), 11th all time
Start #500 for #88-Dale Jarrett (first start was at Martinsville in April 1984)
Start #300 for #99-Jeff Burton (first start was at New Hampshire in July 1993)(Winston Cup Updates Book)(3-11-2003)
- NASCAR and Charity: NASCAR ON TRACK FOR CHARITY BEGINS NATIONAL FUNDRAISING TOUR IN TEXAS
NASCAR today announced the national expansion of NASCAR On Track For Charity, a family-friendly event to help raise funds for the Victory Junction Gang Camp and Speedway Children's Charities. Due to positive feedback from fans, NASCAR On Track For Charity will take place at four tracks that sanction NASCAR races this year: Texas Motor Speedway in March, Dover International Speedway in May, Lowe's Motor Speedway in October and Atlanta Motor Speedway in October.
At last year's inaugural event at Lowe's Motor Speedway, more than 1,500 NASCAR fans joined Kyle Petty, John Andretti, Terry Labonte, Steve Park, Jeff Green, Mike Wallace, Jerry Nadeau, Kerry Earnhardt, Dan Pardus and Brian Vickers for a casual walk around the 1.5-mile speedway that helped raise nearly $60,000.
This year, NASCAR On Track For Charity will kick-off its national fundraising tour Friday, March 28 at approximately 5:00pm at Texas Motor Speedway. Registered NASCAR fans will join Kyle Petty and other NASCAR drivers in walking on the track with the opportunity to get a closer look at the 1.5-mile oval from a NASCAR driver's perspective, the grooves of the racing surface, the 2,250-foot front stretch and the sharpness of the 24-degree banking. The funds raised from the event will reach thousands of children involved in various health, education and social programs through grants provided by Speedway Children's Charities to youth-related organizations. In addition, funds raised will help bring kids with life-threatening illnesses to the racing-themed Victory Junction Gang Camp, scheduled to open in 2004. Early registration fee is $20 (Children under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult and can participate for free). Early registrants will receive an event T-shirt. Register for the Texas Motor Speedway walk and for walks taking place in 2003 online at www.speedwaycharities.org or by calling (704) 455-4396.
Victory Junction Gang Camp, a Proud Charity of NASCAR, is located in Randleman, N.C.. Kyle Petty and his wife, Pattie, founded the camp, the only year-round multi-disease camp of its kind in the Carolinas and Virginia, in honor of their late son Adam. Victory Junction will include more than 36 buildings on 65 acres of land donated by Richard and Lynda Petty. Like other camps under the umbrella of The Association of Hole in the Wall Gang Camps founded by actor Paul Newman, Victory Junction Gang Camp will be geared towards making every child's camp experience unforgettable and empowering. For more information, visit their site at www.victoryjunction.org.
Speedway Children's Charities, a Proud Charity of NASCAR, is a non-profit foundation dedicated to helping children in need improve their quality of life. Through donations, sponsorships and fundraising events, the Charities distributes funds to qualified non-profit organizations providing direct medical, educational, and social services to children in need. Additional information is available at www.speedwaycharities.org.(NASCAR PR), more info and links to these and other Racing charities on my Racing Charities Page, which is spotlighted every Monday on the main Jayski page and over 50 Racing Charities are spotlighted on the main page daily in a daily rotation (usually 3 a day, 7-10 hours each).(3-11-2003)
- McDonald's, Powerade Join Forces To Reward, Recognize NASCAR Pit Crews BUT: McDonald's, the official Drive Thru of NASCAR, and POWERade, the official sports drink of NASCAR, have teamed to sponsor an award program that celebrates the unsung heroes in NASCAR's three major racing series - Cup, BGN and CTS. The McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade will offer prize money in excess of $1.2 million during the 2003 season, making it the largest monetary contingency program in NASCAR history and the first season points championship for pit crew teams. The program will award $20,000 per week to the top-performing participating NASCAR Winston Cup Series pit crew. In addition, results will be tabulated throughout the season to determine the program's championship crew, which will take home $200,000. During each 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup points event, the participating crew whose car spends the least amount of aggregate time off the race track will be named the weekly winner provided their driver took the green flag at the beginning of the event and checkered flag at the conclusion of the event. The winning crew each week will receive $20,000 and a traveling trophy to proudly display during the next event. Following every race, participating crews will be ranked in order of pit performance, with 43 points going to the top finisher, descending to one point for the last-place team. The crew with the highest cumulative score at season's end will win the annual championship and take home a $200,000 prize. NASCAR will measure times using the official scoring transponders that monitor the cars on the track. A timing line at the entrance and exit to pit road will trigger the transponders and record the total time each car spends off the race track. Fans can keep track of their favorite crew's performance during Winston Cup television broadcasts, which will feature a pre-race recap of the previous week's competition and review of official standings, a mid-race update and a post-race announcement. Points determining weekly and year-end awards will be based on a combination of qualifying position, pit stops and finishing order.(McDonald's PR, NASCAR.com adds "participating crews" meaning those who choose to particpate in the program)(2-15-2003)
However: the Winston Salem Journal reports.......NASCAR's new pit-crew competition has a flaw this season: the man with the fastest pit crew on the stock-car tour, Matt Kenseth, has sponsorship contracts with Gatorade, a Pepsi product. The NASCAR pit-crew competition is sponsored by rival Coca-Cola and PowerAde. So when NASCAR releases weekly standings, Kenseth's team isn't included, which makes the award competition all but useless. In fact, according to one report, Kenseth was so displeased in Victory Lane at Las Vegas when Coca-Cola sponsorship promoters put bottles of PowerAde on his car that he deliberately knocked them all off.(Winston Salem Journal), wonder waht Jeff Gordon will do? and also of note, there are a few contingency awards that are like this, such as the Bud Pole award, a team must carry the Bud sticker to get thee award, the Petty teams [#43, 44 and 45] do not and some teams do not carry the USG sticker for the USG Driver of the Race. See past winners of the award on my Pit Crew page and see my Pit Crew Chart.(3-11-2003)
- Jayski Advertiser to sponsor Pro Cup team: www.AutoBet.US is latest corporate partner to join MJ Motorsports on the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series, and will grace the "C" pillars of the Shaw Industries Chevrolet beginning this week in Pensacola. Autobet.US brings the excitement of paramutual wagering to motor sports. Every bet goes into a pool to be split amongst the winners. Their state of the art wagering module displays the odds of each driver in real time. The pools offered are Win, Top 3, Quinella, and Superfecta. In addition to the at-track exposure, AutoBet.US will enjoy several placements this season on the MJ Motorsports In-Car Camera program. MJ Motorsports will make their second appearance in the series this week with Rookie of the Year contender David Stover.(MJ Motorsports)(3-11-2003)
- #09 To Attempt Darlington UPDATE Incorrect: The Mike Wallace Official Discussion Forum is reporting that the #09 Phoenix Racing team and driver Mike Wallace will attempt to make the Darlington Cup race this weekend.
UPDATE: Mike Wallace will NOT be behind the wheel of a Winston Cup car at Darlington this weekend. "I guess there are some rumors on the internet that I will be in a Cup car this weekend, but I know nothing about it," said Wallace in a telephone interview this afternoon. Wallace will however pilot the #4 Busch Series entry of GEICO Racing in Saturday's running of the darlingtonraceway.com 200 from Darlington Raceway.(Biagi Bros. Racing)(3-11-2003)
- Fatback gets the Boat: #18-Bobby Labonte already owns a boat, so he won't be keeping the one he won for taking Sunday's Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. But he announced during a postrace interview that he would keep the bonus prize within Joe Gibbs Racing. "He gets the boat," Labonte said, motioning toward crew chief Michael McSwain. He then turned to McSwain and said, "I'm going to talk to your wife, and she's going to let you build that garage."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-11-2003)
- Defendent Dropped in Bridge Lawsuit: A New Jersey company that makes grout was removed Monday as a defendant in a $27 million lawsuit by a couple injured when a pedestrian walkway collapsed at Lowe's Motor Speedway. After plaintiffs Marty and Cindy Taylor of Nelson County, VA, rested their case Monday, the judge granted a motion to remove Anti-Hydro International Inc. of Flemington, NJ, from the case, said Doug Ey, the company's lawyer. The Taylors' claim continues against Lowe's Motor Speedway and the company that built the walkway. "The judge found no evidence of negligence on the part of Anti-Hydro,'' Ey said. "That ended the case for them.'' The bridge over U.S. 29 in Concord collapsed in May 2000 as fans exited the speedway after The Winston, NASCAR's all-star race. No one died, but more than 100 people were injured. The Taylors claim they both suffered head and orthopedic injuries, as well as memory loss after the accident. Each has been through several operations. Twelve people injured in the collapse settled their cases in August for undisclosed amounts. The Taylors are the first of the remaining victims to have their case come to trial.(ESPN/AP), past news on my Lawsuit page.(3-11-2003)
- Atlanta TV Ratings: Nielsen's overnight figures show that Fox's broadcast of Sunday's Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Winston Cup race from Atlanta Motor Speedway was the weekend's most-watched sports program, today's Sports Business Daily reports. The race, which was won by Bobby Labonte in Joe Gibbs Racing's No. 18 Chevrolet, drew a 6.0 rating and 14 share to easily outdistance the 4.2/9 for ABC's broadcast of the NBA game between the 76ers and Lakers. The preliminary race figures are close to last year's 6.0/15 final figures but would need a considerable boost from small markets to match the 6.7/17 the race drew in 2001.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-10-2003)
- Kentucky Testing this week: #6-Mark Martin, Evernham drivers #9-Bill Elliott and #19-Jeremy Mayfield are expected to join MB2's #01-Jerry Nadeaufor tests at Kentucky Speedway this week. Martin is scheduled to drive Tuesday, March 11, while Elliot, Mayfield and Nadeau are scheduled to take to the track on Wednesday, March 12.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(3-10-2003)
- Toyota, new shop? Ganassi? UPDATE: Toyota is buying a 240,000-square-foot building in Charlotte on a 124-acre plot of land for part of its NASCAR venture, according to NASCAR sources, who report that car owner Chip Ganassi has already gotten a check for $35 million to crank up a Toyota operation. Toyota officials are pushing NASCAR to OK fuel injection and eliminate the old-fashioned carburetors used on these 358 cubic-inch racing engines for many years. Ford also is pushing for fuel injection, in large part because the company has developed - and patented - a solid-fuel injection system for race cars, a system better than anything General Motors or Dodge has. The GM system has a significant delay when drivers try to get off the gas. NASCAR has been so eager to get Toyota involved in stock-car racing that Detroit manufacturers believe that NASCAR might approve fuel injection.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-1-2003)
UPDATE: Toyota Motorsports' plan to field a team of Tundra's in the NASCAR Craftsman truck series could lead to a major Charlotte-area facility down the road. And Toyota is stressing the down the road part after a report this week in the Winston-Salem Journal quoted NASCAR officials as saying Toyota had written a $35 million check to open a 240,000-square-foot headquarters on 124 acres here. "There's no truth to that," says Les Unger, Toyota national motorsports manager. Toyota is much too busy developing an engine and chassis for the truck's planned 2004 entry to think about a presence in the country's racing capital, Unger says. Instead the work will be done at a 60,000-square-foot plant in Costa Mesa, Calif., which employs about 250. A Charlotte-area facility may come later, though, Unger acknowledges. "Maybe after the dust settles in five to seven months, we will look for a facility," he says.(Charlotte Business Journal)(3-10-2003)
- Martin/Marlin on "Beyond the Glory": Sterling Marlin and Mark Martin will be the subject of Fox Sports Net's "Beyond the Glory", Marlin on Mar 16th and Martin on March 30. The program looks at the lives of athletes "beyond the playing area." Previous episodes of the hour-long documentary-style program have featured Darrell and Michael Waltrip, the Petty family, Dale Jarrett, Dale Earnhardt, and the Andretti family. Following each episode's Sunday night debut, the program will re-air on Fox Sports Net [FSN] throughout the week. Check your local listings for dates and times.(3-10-2003)
- Open Testing at Lowe's: Winston Cup testing dates for Lowe's Motor Speedway were announced Sunday, teams have open tests scheduled at Lowe's for the evening of April 29 and all day on April 30. In addition, two days of afternoon and evening testing are set for Sept. 2-3.(NASCAR.com)(3-10-2003)
- Open Testing at Indy: Winston Cup testing dates for Indianapolis Motor Speedway were announced Sunday, two test sessions have been set for the upcoming Brickyard 400: July 8-9 and July 14-15.(NASCAR.com)(3-10-2003)
- Park Called to the Big Red Trailer: Officials summoned #1-Steve Park to the NASCAR trailer for running into #43-John Andretti and #01-Jerry Nadeau on pit road [towards the end of the race].(St Petersburg Times), no word on the outcome or what happened.(3-10-2003)
- Big Donation: The National Rifle Association [NRA], an associate NASCAR sponsor, donated $500,000 to Speedway Children's Charities.(Tennessean)(3-10-2003)
- Barnes leaves Ultra Motorsports? UPDATE joins the Waltrip's: hearing that Buddy Barnes, the crew chief for the Ultra Motorpsorts #2 Truck Series team and spotter for the #7 Ultra Motorsports Cup team, has left the team.(3-7-2003)
UPDATE: Buddy Barnes lost his crew chief's job on owner Jim Smith's #2 Craftsman Truck (Jason Leffler) last Friday. But Barnes says he's looking forward to working as “a contract labor mechanic” for Leroy's Boys Racing, a collaborative truck effort between Michael and Darrell Waltrip. D.W. will enlist the help of his Fox Sports posse: Jeff Hammond will work on the trucks, and Larry McReynolds will be the spotter. Plans are for Darrell to race the No. 17 Chevrolet April 12 at Martinsville and August 1 at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The team purchased lightly used trucks from Hendrick Motorsports and will get engines from Dale Earnhardt Inc.(Sporting News)(3-10-2003)
- Jarrett Sees Daughters Team: Dale Jarrett witnessed his daughter Natalee’s Hickory High School basketball team loss to the competition by just one point, last night, in an attempt to make the finals of the AAA State Championships. The loss came after three minutes of unanswered scoring against Jarrett’s team, which closed the season with a 24-2 record.(Ford Racing)(3-10-2003)
- Rumblings - Atlanta: the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 was the 37th win for Joe Gibbs, and the 20th career victory for Labonte (he's now tied for 28th on the all-time win list with Speedy Thompson). This victory also means the 18 team grabs the final wild-card spot on this year's Winners Circle contingeny plan. Jeff Gordon (2nd) had his best finish since he won at Kansas Speedway last September. Elliott Sadler (6th) had his best finish since he was 6th at Infineon Raceway last June. Jimmy Spencer (7th....with Mongo leading the way) had his best finish since he was 4th at Daytona last July. Greg Biffle (13th) tied his career-best finish today. He was 13th at Fontana last April. STREAKIN....An empty category this week.
This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Dale Earnhardt Jr (+30), followed by Jeff Gordon (+26), Matt Kenseth (+20), and Sterling Marlin (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Bill Elliott (-37), followed by Kurt Busch (-31), Jimmie Johnson (-21), and Michael Waltrip (-21). Jimmy Spencer led a lap today for the first time since Richmond last May. We've got our third different points leader in four events after today. Matt Kenseth takes the point with Michael Waltrip falling to third. The big move forward belongs to Jimmy Spencer (35th to 23rd), while Mark Martin's second blown engine in a row drops him the most spots (11th to 25th).(StockCarFans.Com)(3-10-2003)
see the Mar 3-9, 2003 Archived News Page
see the Feb 24-Mar 2, 2003 Archived News Page