Newman wins at Texas: #12-Ryan Newman won the Samsung/RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, his first win of the year and 2nd of his 2 year career. #-Earnhardt Jr and #24-Gordon beat and banged to 2nd place, with Earnhardt Jr winning the position by about 3 feet. #17-Kenseth finished 6th and increased his points lead to 155 points. #20-Stewart lost an engine late in the race. Newman is the 7th different winner at Texas in 7 races and is the 7th different winner in 7 2003 races this season. See my Samsung/RadioShack 500 Race Info page for the top ten finishers, stats, cautions, lap leaders, dnf's, notes race rundown Result Links at: Jayski's Result page and Points ThatsRacin.com,
Sponsor holding Money: One sponsor representative relayed to www.teamfordracing.com that his sponsor intends to hold all of their television advertising dollars until the NBC crew picks-up the broadcast duties, which will begin with the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Pushed somewhat, the rep said that his company didn’t care for the Fox network presentation of the sport. The rep said, NBC’s professional presentation of the sport is more fitting with his company’s image. Additionally, the sponsor disputed an ad buy guaranteeing coverage. “[The driver] could be banging fenders for second place and they’d show the 14th and 15th place cars nose-to-tail. It didn’t matter if [the sponsor] bought time or not. They just wouldn’t show the car. They were not getting anything out of it, so they’ve decided not to bother.”(Ford Racing)(3-20-2003), no idea who the sponsor is.
Fittipaldi to give Kyle Saturday off UPDATE 2 Petty has two cracked ribs and will NOT race Sunday: #45-Kyle Petty got through practice and qualifying Friday, but likely won't get back behind the wheel again at Texas Motor Speedway before Sunday's race. After hitting a wall at Bristol last week, Petty needed help getting out of his car and was placed on a stretcher. He was treated and released from the hospital, but is still hurting. "Kyle is pretty sore," said Steve Lane, crew chief of the #45 Georgia Pacific Dodge. "As for the race, I'm going to let him make the call. We're going to let Christian Fittipaldi practice the car Saturday." Petty qualified 28th at Texas. If Petty is unable to finish Sunday, Fittipaldi - a former Formula One and CART driver - would take over.(ThatsRacin.com/AP) UPDATE: Kyle Petty had xray's taken after qualifying on Friday at Texas and it was found he has two cracked ribs. It is expected that Christian Fittipaldi will race in the #45 Brawny Dodge Sunday, not sure if from the start or as a relief driver.(FX Coverage of Happy Hour)(3-29-2003) UPDATE 2: Kyle Petty will not race today at Texas in the #45 Brawny Dodge, Christian Fittipaldi will start the race and run the distance.(Fox Sports Net's NASCAR This Morning)(3-30-2003)
To the Back - #11, #40, #45 and #54? UPDATE; #11-Brett Bodine, who lost an engine in Friday's practice and will fall to the rear of the field before the drop of the green flag on Sunday, shame, he qualified 25th. #48-Jimmie Johnson lost an engine during Happy Hour [he was fastest], theteam will have to change engines and fall to the rear of the field before the green flag, he was to start 4th. If Christian Fittipaldi starts the #45 Brawny Dodge in place of Kyle Petty, he will have to fall to the rear of the field also. If an engine is changed at any point during the race weekend, if the backup car is used AFTER qualfiying or the driver is changed AFTER qualifying, the car must go to the rear of the field before the green flag. #40-Sterling Marlin's team also made an engine change after Happy Hour practice and will have to go to the rear of the field before thr start of the race. And even though the incorrect car number is listed, Speed Channel site lists Todd Bodine, in the #54 (not #19 but the story may mean starting position no car#) as going to the back for an engine change also.(3-29-2003) UPDATE: Fox Sports Net's NASCAR This Morning TV show lists the #11, #40 and #48 to the rear of the field for engine changes and the #45 due to a driver change. Nothing mentioned on the #54 or #19.(3-30-2003)
Dale Earnhardt Plaza is now Kannapolis' newest city park: Kannapolis, NC officially assumed ownership of the 1-acre tribute site in downtown Kannapolis last week. David Murdock, owner of Atlantic American Properties and Cannon Village, donated the land and the statue. The city originally had planned to lease the site from the company for $1 a year, said Jennifer Woodford, Kannapolis public information officer. Now, Kannapolis will have control over the maintenance and development of the area. “It's a good step forward,” she said. Woodford said the city plans to begin landscaping and continue working on the wall and entrances that surround the statue. “We can't thank Mr. Murdock enough for his support and his help,” said City Manager Mike Mahaney in a press release. “His contributions have helped to make our tribute a place that truly honors Dale Earnhardt and a place that our community can be proud of.”(Independent Tribune)(3-29-2003)
A Parcells hired by DEI: Jill Parcells, daughter of Cowboys coach Bill Parcells, recently was hired by Dale Earnhardt Inc., as director of operations for the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert. The concert, to benefit the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, is scheduled for June 28 at Daytona International Speedway, with Sheryl Crow, Alabama and Brooks & Dunn among the lead acts. Besides trying to move from New York to Mooresville, N.C., Jill Parcells, who worked for a sports marketing agency for 2 1/2 years out of college before spending almost eight years in the marketing department at Sports Illustrated, has spent the past month trying to learn the sport herself. She has read NASCAR for Dummies and watched every race on TV.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(3-29-2003)
So What Happened to Craven? #32-Ricky Craven will start 38th here on Cal Wells III's owner provisional points after posting no speed during qualifying. Craven took the #32 Tide Pontiac Grand Prix out after #30-Jeff Green's run. But Craven backed off, claiming there was oil on the racetrack. In his post-qualifying comments, Green admitted his #30 AOL Chevy was carrying a little too much oil in its tank, and it affected his second lap. "I guess we blew some oil out and [it] got on our right rear tire up off [Turn] 4, going to the white flag," Green said. "I smelled the smoke, so I knew I wasn't going to be able to go another lap." NASCAR officials, however, said that Craven officially had taken the green flag and would not be allowed to make another attempt.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(3-29-2003)
Ramblings - Texas: Joe Gibbs Racing experienced both ends of the spectrum today. First, Tony Stewart's Home Depot Chevy was confiscated and impounded by NASCAR for further inspection back in Charlotte. Some little thing about not fitting the templates and the offset in the rear deck of the car....Then, Bobby Labonte went out and grabbed his second Bud pole of the season.
Jimmie Johnson (4th) had his best qualifying run since he started on the outside pole at Atlanta last October.
Kevin Harvick (8th) has his best starting spot since he lined up on the outside pole at Michigan last August.
Terry Labonte (12th) has his best starting spot since he started 5th at Richmond last September.
STREAKIN.....Ryan Newman has 5 Top-5 starts in a row.
Now for a word on everybody's favorite driver, Mr. Lead Lap. His 7th place finish last week at Bristol was his best since he was 7th at
Homestead in November of 2000. He resides in 9th place in the points....a drastic improvement from last year at this time when he was 15th. He's 56 points better than last year (725-669) and now has an average finish of 14.3. This is starting to look like the salad
days of the mid-90s when he consistently finished in the Top-10 in the points (as high as 6th in 1996).(StockCarFans.Com)(3-29-2003)
Robby Gordon takes out an ad for Indy: The Buzz recently spotted an advertisement in Sports Business Journal in which Robby Gordon is looking for primary and associate sponsorship for the May 25 classic. In it, Gordon touts the unique challenges of running two races totalling 1,100 miles on the same day -- and the advantages of sponsoring his effort. "Imagine the impact" is the headline of the ad, which hopefully is not an omen for Gordon, who has traditionally done well at Indianapolis. Gordon is planning to complete the Memorial Day weekend double again this year, running at the Brickyard in the morning, then flying to Charlotte for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway that night. There's no price tag listed, but prospective sponsors will certainly need a hefty pocketbook. A typical IRL car and engine runs a minimum of $400,000 out of the box, not including spare parts, tires, fuel and a crew.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(3-29-2003)
Waltrip suggests cutting air dam: Michael Waltrip believes racing would be better at all Winston Cup tracks, not just Texas, if the cars ran slower. And he's got a radical idea about how NASCAR should move to accomplish that. "We can go in an cut the spoiler off or raise the front air dam and slow these cars down on the straightaways," Waltrip said. "I believe that what should happen is that the front air dam should be raised 10 inches from where it is now, which is 3½ inches.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-29-2003)
Plans revealed for Texas motorsports hall: Plans were announced Friday for the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame to be located at Texas Motor Speedway. The hall will honor the best performers in Texas racing, including stock cars and other forms of auto racing. The initial class will be inducted in January. Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford, a Texas resident, entered the room in the cockpit of the restored car that Art Cross drove to a second-place finish at Indianapolis in 1953. "When I grew up, this was the type of car I dreamed of driving," Rutherford said.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(3-29-2003)
RCR to Honor POW's: All five cars fielded by Richard Childress Racing (RCR) will carry decals recognizing the plight of United States prisoners of war in Iraq during this weekend's NASCAR races at Texas Motor Speedway. "The men and women captured by the Iraqis are serving our country in the most honorable way possible," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing Enterprises, Inc. "They have put their lives on the line in the name of our country so we all have to keep them in our thoughts and prayers and hope that they will be returned safely." RCR's Chevrolet Monte Carlo teams in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series include the #29 GM Goodwrench entry with driver Kevin Harvick, the #30 America Online entry with driver Jeff Green and the #31 Cingular Wireless entry with driver Robby Gordon. Its NASCAR Busch Series teams include the #2 ACDelco entry with driver Ron Hornaday and the #21 PayDay entry of Johnny Sauter, who will be driving the car this weekend in Texas. The POW decals will be placed on the C-posts of each car. Childress was the catalyst behind a five-day visit in late January to U.S. troops stationed in Europe. NASCAR team owners, drivers and celebrities traveled to Germany, Bosnia, Sicily and Spain with the 134th Air Refueling Wing of the Tennessee National Guard. Last October at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Childress signed a statement of support for the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves (ESGR). The National Guard and Reserves make up nearly half of the United States military personnel.(RCR PR)(3-28-2003)
Power of Pride campaign launched: The sponsor of Jimmie Johnson's #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy, Lowe's, created the Power of Pride initiative in the fall of 2001 as a way to pay tribute to the armed forces, police and fire departments following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. On Thursday in Washington, Johnson, Lowe's officials and the United Service Organization (USO) unveiled the latest installment of the campaign - allowing individuals to send personal messages and care packages to members of the military overseas. The packages contain an assortment of items the personnel have requested, such as prepaid international calling cards, disposable cameras, toiletries, and sunscreen. In honor of the nearly 300 Lowe's employees serving in the National Guard and reserves, Lowe's launched its newest Power of Pride campaign a $100,000 contribution to the USO. Effectively immediately, donations to the program will be accepted at Lowe's stores nationwide and SMI races. Additionally, Lowe's will tour a giant "Thank You" banner to the military. Military supporters will be invited to write personal messages and signatures on the banner at sporting events and Lowe's stores throughout the spring. During the Memorial Day weekend, Lowe's will present a Power of Pride pre-race show at the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, which will include a military exhibition, a country music concert and a check presentation to the USO. Also, Johnson will run a special Power of Pride paint scheme during the race and at The Winston all-star race on May 17. In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, Lowe's, its employees and customers raised more than $6 million, which included Johnson running a Power of Pride paint scheme in selected races in 2001 and last season.(ThatsRacin.com), also see other ways you can supports our troops on my new look Racing Charites page and see real images of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(3-28-2003)
Car Raced By Earnhardt, Sr. Takes Pole At 2003 Georgia Speed Week: The late Dale Earnhardt had a winning legacy in Georgia. He dominated at Atlanta Motor Speedway winning there nine times. Even though he is gone, "The Intimidator" will again lead the way, this time at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame's 2003 Georgia Speed Week. The third annual event will take place on Saturday, April 5th from 9:00am - 5:00pm. Events outside the Hall of Fame and in Cherry Street Plaza are free to the public. Regular admission will be required for entrance into the facility. Earnhardt's 1978 Chevy Nova #8, that he raced before attaining NASCAR Winston Cup stardom, heads a list of over two-dozen cars that will be displayed in Cherry Street Plaza. From 1:00 - 3:00pm inside the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, some of the Peach State's legendary motor sports figures will be signing autographs. They include 1960 NASCAR Grand National [now Winston Cup] champion Rex White, famous car owner Raymond Parks, NASCAR Grand National drivers Bob Moore and Bruce Brantley. For more information on Georgia Speed Week see their website: www.georgiasportshalloffame.com.(3-28-2003)
Stewart's Primary Car Disallowed and Impounded, has to go to a backup: NASCAR impounded the primary #20 [Home Depot] Chevy presented for inspection by Tony Stewart's team Friday morning at Texas Motor Speedway, forcing the team to switch to a backup before it started practice. The confiscated car was rolled to a prominent position beside the NASCAR transporter and roped off. NASCAR officials did not allow the team to put a cover over the car, and the orange race car was drawing a lot of attention. "When the 20 came through inspection, it was not in a condition where it would pass," NASCAR president Mike Helton. "It was enough out of that condition that we felt like what we wanted to do was impound the car instead of letting them cut it up and try to fix it, even if they could." Helton would not specifically say what it was about the car that was out of whack, but did say the problem was in the area from the rear window to the rear deck lid. "What I will say is that it did not fit the templates, and did not fit them very well at all," he said. Officials from Joe Gibbs Racing said Greg Zipadelli, Stewart's crew chief, would comment on the situation following Winston Cup qualifying scheduled for Friday afternoon. Helton said NASCAR impounded the car because it was the first to be presented for inspection this year that fell "outside of the box" of a new set of rules regarding body shape and location that is more common among all makes in 2003. "This is the first we've seen this year of anything being this exotic," Helton said. "There was a great deal of effort put in over the winter by NASCAR and the teams to adapt to the common body templates. ...We feel that has been a success on the track and in the garage area and there is a high level of interest in trying to keep things going in that direction." Helton said he did not recall NASCAR ever confiscating an entire car from a team before. Officials frequently confiscate unapproved parts from cars, tag them and leave them on display on a counter in its hauler. "This fits in that scenario," Helton said. "It's just too big to put on the counter." Helton said the car would be taken back to NASCAR's new research and development center in Concord where it will be examined further. He would not rule out further fines or penalties against the team pending the outcome of that investigation. "We want to understand it more," Helton said. "We feel that taking this car out of their system is quite a reaction. The car they presented to race here is now not an option to them to use. ...That car is ours for right now."(ThatsRacin.com) AND #20-Tony Stewart was forced to pull his backup car from the hauler before Friday's Winston Cup practice after NASCAR disallowed his primary, claiming it failed the common body template inspection. The car, which had not yet been used by the team, was confiscated by NASCAR and its backup, another unused chassis according to Joe Gibbs Racing team manager Jimmy Makar, was pulled out of the transporter in its place. "I'm not sure we ever have done this," NASCAR president Mike Helton said. NASCAR impounded the car and planned to return it to its technical and research and development facility in Concord, N.C., to investigate it further.(NASCAR.com), no problems reported on the backup car.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required)(3-28-2003)
AND - Statements from Stewart and Zipadelli: While presented for inspection prior to the first practice for Sunday's Samsung/RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, NASCAR officials found that the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet did not conform to the specified templates mandated by NASCAR.. The issue arose at the rear of the car, specifically the area encompassing the greenhouse and decklid. As a result, NASCAR impounded the car, forcing the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Team to pull the backup car from the transporter and use it for the rest of the race weekend.. The car now being used by the #20 team for the Samsung/RadioShack 500 is Chassis No. 75.. It is a brand new chassis.. A car from the Joe Gibbs Racing facility in Huntersville, N.C., is currently en route to Texas Motor Speedway to be used in the event another backup is needed.
The following are quotes from crew chief Greg Zipadelli and driver Tony Stewart regarding the day's events: GREG ZIPADELLI, crew chief on the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet: "There's a measurement between the offset of the decklid and the roof, and it wasn't exactly where it needed to be.. It's something that they check back on the plates (at the race shop) as we're building the car.. Obviously, they didn't check it close enough.. When they put the back window in, it seemed to change the measurement an awful lot.. It's something (NASCAR) didn't like.. There's a rule on it, so I don't have much to stand on.. I'm disappointed with the people at the shop, because it's a measurement that's pretty cut and dry.. We've done well with it this year.. We haven't had any issues or anything like that.. We've just got to deal with it and move on.. We unloaded the backup car and we're just trying to play catch-up right now.. It's nobody's fault but our own.. We're working hard on some procedures in going through some templates and things like that before (the car) comes to the track to make sure we're where we need to be so that we don't have to go through the inspection room more than once.. Things have been going fairly well.. This was just as big a shock to me as it was to the people at NASCAR.
"The car we have now is set up really similar to the car we had.. We put our backup motor in, which is only a couple horsepower off of what we had in the primary.. We just changed a lot of things.. There were a few little things that we weren't able to change.. Are they worth anything?. I don't know.. They were nothing huge, just little things.. We'll try to change the rest of the car over after qualifying.. We needed to get a couple of laps on the race track during practice before qualifying.. It's just disappointing.. We had a rough week last week (at Bristol, Tenn.), but everyone was still pretty pumped up because we ran well here last year.. But we've got to work a little harder now to overcome this deal this weekend.. We'll race well, but this has got everyone kind of down.. It's a distraction is the biggest thing.. But it's self-inflicted, so we've got no one to blame but ourselves.
"We called the shop and had a motor put in the car that we ran Atlanta with, set it up and scaled it with what we're going to start the race with, and it's on its way out here right now.. They just left at 3 o'clock (EST).. It'll be here tomorrow morning at 7 o'clock or something.. So we'll have a backup that's prepped and ready to go if, unfortunately, we have a problem in race practice.. We're just doing everything we can to try and carry on.. It's just a bunch of extra work for the guys here.. I appreciate it because it certainly wasn't their fault, by any means." TONY STEWART, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet: "The cars all look the same from where I'm sitting.. I've got three things that I'm in control of - a steering wheel, the shifter and the pedals.. I've got everything I need to do the job I need to do with the car we've got now.. All of our cars are good, whether they're a primary or a backup."(Edelman/Home Depot Racing PR) and more on the #20 Team and Linka page.(3-28-2003)
News to Gaughan: teh rumor I had posted yesterday and the past few days; 'Evernham Changes' with a mention of CTS driver Brendan Gaughan as a possible driver for on of Evernham's three cars, brought this response from Gaughan: "I want to go to Winston Cup, we know that," Gaughan said. "But I don't ever want to hope that someone does bad. I'm rooting for all the other Dodge drivers. Right now I'm just worried about getting our team through this Craftsman Truck Series season. We're third in points -- two points out of second -- and that's right where we want to be at this point. I haven't heard anything about the rumor, but it's cool my name's out there. That's a bonus." ...(Las Vegas Review Journal)(3-28-2003)
Court upholds ruling against RJR: R.J. Reynolds violated its settlement agreement with the state when it failed to remove signs mentioning its Winston brand at the Sears Point Raceway [Infineon Raceway now], a state appellate court ruled Thursday. The state was previously granted summary judgment in its case against Reynolds, based in Winston-Salem, N.C. But Reynolds contended the Superior Court of San Diego County erred in concluding that the continued display of the Winston signs was a violation. The 1998 settlement was the result of the state's lawsuit against various tobacco product manufacturers, including Reynolds. The settlement banned all billboard and outdoor advertising of tobacco products, but permitted Reynolds to continue to promote and its NASCAR Winston Cup Series as a "Brand Name Sponsorship." Reynolds interpreted that portion of the settlement to mean they could keep their signs in place at the racetrack from 90 days prior to the first event in the series until 10 days after the final event. But the state understood the language of the settlement to cover individual events and individual locations. The fourth appellate district court agreed and upheld the lower court's ruling.(Charlotte Obseerver/AP)(3-28-2003)
Who is that? been asked, and saw this: Michael Waltrip taped a Domino's Pizza commercial with his family that airs regularly during NASCAR events. Most people know Waltrip and his wife, Buffy, have two daughters, but the commercial also includes a 3-year-old boy. "A lot of people have asked me about that, so I need to clear that up," Waltrip said. "He's not ours. We borrowed him. We didn't have a boy in the age range they wanted. But the two girls [Caitlan, 13, and Margaret, 5] are ours." In other word's the boy is an 'actor'.(Dallas Morning News - may need to register to view/read)(3-28-2003)
Real TV: NASCAR programming is everywhere on cable, with Inside Winston Cup and the nightly Totally NASCAR. But the Fox braintrust will go a step further this summer, launching a seven-week behind-the-scenes series on FX. Three drivers -- Jamie McMurray (the rookie), Kevin Harvick (the relative newcomer) and Rusty Wallace (the veteran) -- will be featured in the series, and shooting will begin this week at Texas Motor Speedway. "There's a thousand things they can do with it. You've just got to be cautious," Wallace said. "I think people's personal lives are semi-private. That's the reason the show is not a reality show. This is a documentary, and I told them I don't want no part if it's reality. There's not going to be Ozzy Osbourne stuff going on."(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(3-28-2003)
No Backup for Starr: David Starr will attempt to make his Winston Cup debut at Texas Motor Speedway in the #75 Chevy. Starr will race a new car that was purchased by his uncle, Mike Starr, who owns the Team Texas Driving School at TMS. Mike Starr bought the Winston Cup chassis from Larry McClure, owner of the #4 Kodak Monte Carlo [well actually a Pontiac Grand Prix, so Starr's Chevy is probably a 2002 which can still be used and raced] driven by Mike Skinner. Starr's engine is being leased from Richard Childress Racing. But it is the only car Starr will have this weekend. There is no backup, so keeping it intact is paramount for him to make Sunday's race. During test sessions last week at TMS, Starr, using a modified truck series engine, drove several laps around the 1.5-mile oval in less than 29.5 seconds [approx 183mph]. Starr was hoping to have NASA as a sponsor for his car. Mike Starr sent a formal proposal to NASA officials, but reduced the asking price for the one-race sponsor fee from $150,000 to $100,000. Even though that's not much by Winston Cup standards these days, it appears the NASA deal never came to fruition.(Dallas Morning News - may need to register to view/read)(3-28-2003)
They'll be back UPDATE 2: hearing that #42-Jamie McMurray in Cup and #99-Michael Waltrip in the Busch Series will run Terminator 3 movies schemes, not sure when.(2-28-2003) UPDATE: hearing this will be for Daytona in July.(3-1-2003) IMAGES got images of both cars, see my 2003 Busch page and 2003 Cup page for the images.(3-27-2003)
Jeff Gordon fact: #24-Jeff Gordon has won on 19 of the 23 tracks currently [and also at North Wilkesboro which is no longer active] on the NASCAR Winston Cup schedule. Texas, Chicagoland, Phoenix and Homestead-Miami are the only tracks he has yet to visit victory lane in a Winston Cup car.(3-27-2003)
Texas Fun Facts: Eight Texas Stadiums will fit in the infield of Texas Motor Speedway. Texas Motor Speedway has enough permanent lighting to illuminate 11 NFL football stadiums. If all the hamburgers served in one year at the speedway were stacked, it would be taller than a 74-story building.(Foyt Racing)(3-27-2003)
More things found reading PR's: #41-Casey Mears is the only Raybestos Rookie to complete all 6 races this season without a DNF (did not finish). This weekend's race at Texas will mark Bill Elliott's 702nd career Winston Cup Series start. If he continues to start every race of the 2003 season, Elliott will surpass Bobby Allison to rank sixth on the all-time start list in the August race at Michigan Int'l Speedway. Bill Elliott is scheduled to drive the #9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge that sat on the outside pole at Atlanta this year, and qualified fourth and finished 11th in the June 2002 race at Michigan.(PR's)(3-27-2003)
#0 Special Scheme at Texas: The #0 NetZero High Speed Pontiac Grand Prix will make its debut at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. The new paint scheme showcases NetZero’s HiSpeed Online Service.(NetZero Racing)(3-27-2003)
#17 Special Scheme at Texas: Matt Kenseth's #17 DEWALT team will have a different look this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Smirnoff Ice will be on the hood and deck lid of the #17 Ford to kick-off a new partnership with the team. The crew will also be dressed in Smirnoff Ice uniforms. Smirnoff Ice will be the primary sponsor on Kenseth's car for seven races this season, starting with The Winston at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May.(DeWalt Racing)(3-27-2003)
#9 Team Fast in the Pits at Bristol: NASCAR says the crew for Evernham Motorsports' #9 Dodge driven by Bill Elliott captured Round 6 of the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by Powerade in last Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Elliott spent 223 seconds on pit road to best the Robert Yates crew of Elliott Sadler's #38 Ford, which was second among the participating crews [not the #17 or #24 among others], at 247 seconds. Elliott's pit crew earned $20,000 for the victory. After six races, Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s #15 crew for Michael Waltrip leads the contest for the $200,000 season prize with 217 points, followed by DEI's #8 crew for Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 203 points and DEI's #1 team for Steve Park with 199.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-27-2003)
Stewart and Kid Rock? UPDATE 5 at Michigan BUT not Kid Rock...3 Doors Down: 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) UPDATE 5: the Tony Stewart #8 Busch Series program has been changed from Kid Rock to 3 Doors Down. This special program will be racing in Michigan on August 16th. Dale Earnhardt Jr.(car owner) and Stewart both filmed footage to appear in a new rock music video with 3 Doors Down which is due out this summer.(3-27-2003)
Robby's Angel's? #31-Robby Gordon is scheduled to run a Charlie's Angels 2 paint scheme on June 1st at Dover. It will also run again in late fall when the DVD for the movie is released, guess they are not expecting a long run in the theatres?(3-27-2003)
The Two Leagues 'Rumor': Bruton Smith's proposal of forming multiple leagues or conferences to expand the NASCAR Winston Cup Series continues to strike out. Smith first offered his "trial balloon" in the mid-1990s and has resurrected it in response to NASCAR chairman Bill France Jr.'s realignment plan for Cup schedules starting as early as 2004. "Create an American League and a National League, where you run two [races] every Sunday," said Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc. "You've got a West and an East [presence]. If NASCAR wants to tackle that, it's going to be tough to do, but it can be done. I've studied it to death, and it could be done." NASCAR officials acknowledge they are pushing the limit with the current Cup schedule that fits 38 races, including two non-points events, into a 41-week calendar. But France rejected the two-league system as unworkable in February, and little support for it has surfaced since.(more at Fort Worth Star Telegram)(3-27-2003)
Foyt Delivers Meals: #14-Larry Foyt, in town for the Samsung/RadioShack 500 race Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, delivered meals to four senior adults, including Merlene Waits. "It was a total surprise for me. I thought it was exciting," Waits said. Foyt was escorted by a police motorcade, local news media outlets and several representatives from Harrahs Casino and Meals on Wheels. Harrahs, his principal sponsor, has pledged $1 million to Meals On Wheels for three years. Police escorts were necessary because his car is not built for stop-and-go traffic and cannot stop at lights or stop signs.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(3-27-2003)
New #88 Paint Scheme soon? UPDATE: supposedly in a few weeks, a new UPS logo will appear on the #88 Ford driven by Dale Jarrett. Supposedly after it is introduced it will run the remainder of the 2003 season(3-13-2003) UPDATE - UPS To Change Logo: United Parcel Service isn't giving up its trademark color, but the box in its logo is being shipped out. A UPS Boeing 767 will touch down at Louisville International Airport this morning bearing the company's first new logo since 1961. Gone will be the string bow atop a yellow-and-brown shield. A more contemporary look will incorporate the letters UPS in a brown shield outlined in yellow and gold. An accompanying tag line will read "Synchronizing the World of Commerce." Work on the logo, the fourth in UPS' 95 years, has taken about a year, said John Beystehner, senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing, who was formerly based in Louisville as vice president of airline operations. The transition to the new look will take years more. The 767 arriving today is one of the first of more than 88,000 vehicles, including 257 large jet aircraft, that will get the new design. About 40 planes will be repainted this year, but the air fleet changeover won't be complete until 2008. Ground vehicles will be changed, too, mostly following their normal three-year painting schedule. The logo also will appear on 1,700 facilities around the world, 70,000 drop-off and retail access points, more than 1 million uniform pieces and more than 3 billion packages annually. The logo, designed by Future Brand of New York City, also will appear on the newly branded Mail Boxes Etc., which next month will become The UPS Store. The logo also will be seen Sunday on the uniform and car of NASCAR racer Dale Jarrett, Beystehner said.(Courier-Journal and the UPS Site), on Friday there will be a UPS Announcement at Texas Motor Speedway.(3-25-2003) IMAGE: got an image sent in, see my 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes page - Cars #'s 24-99 for the image or see the #88 Team Page for the image and the new logo.(3-26-2003) AND Look for the new Dale Jarrett, DW, Larry McReynolds and Mike Joy UPS commerical to begin airing the week of the Martinsville weekend.(3-27-2003)
NASCAR considering Ephedra ban UPDATE: NASCAR gives random drug tests but does not check for ephedra, which has been banned by other sports leagues but is sold in malls and grocery stores. Kevin Triplett, NASCAR's managing director of business operations, says an ephedra ban "is something we're looking at." Ephedra, which is extracted from an Asian plant, is banned in college sports, the Olympics, the NFL and minor league baseball. Although supplement manufacturer Stacker 2 sponsors Kenny Wallace's race #23 car, Triplett says that would not stop NASCAR from considering an ephedra ban. Karen Finocchio, vice president of marketing for NVE, Stacker 2's parent company, says the company stands behind its ephedra supplement but notes it also offers an ephedra-free version. She says users should follow the extensive set of guidelines printed on the bottle. "Take it as directed," she says. "Consult your physician. ... Know your limitations."(USA Today)(3-26-2003) UPDATE: NASCAR is hiring an expert on the use and effects of dietary supplements that contain the stimulant ephedra. "We're talking to an expert in that field," NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said Wednesday. "It's not so much a health expert as it is a drug expert, although I hate to ever use the word drugs in relation to NASCAR." Ephedra is banned in college athletics, the NFL, minor league baseball and the Olympics. It was partly to blame for the heatstroke death of Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler last month. After Bechler's death, questions arose about the possible use of products for weight loss or extra energy by NASCAR drivers and crew members faced with a grueling 38-race schedule and heavy race-day pressure for quick pit stops and wins. NASCAR does random drug tests, but ephedra is not among its banned substances. Al Shuford, head trainer for Chip Ganassi Racing, was quoted by USA Today as saying an estimated 80 percent of NASCAR's crew members have at least tried ephedra. "I do not believe that number," Hunter said, pointing out that supplement manufacturer Stacker 2, sponsor of Kenny Wallace's Winston Cup car, handed out samples to the teams earlier this year. Hunter said Winston Cup director John Darby and his staff are investigating to determine if anyone in the sport is using ephedra. He added that the investigation is also "a priority" for Gary Nelson, who heads NASCAR's new research and development facility. "We want to find out who is using it and what they're using it for," Hunter said. He added that NASCAR is also talking with Bill Davis, who owns Wallace's car. "We don't know a lot about this, yet, and we want to find out what we're dealing with before we react," Hunter said. "We don't even know if it's a problem for us or not." Wallace went to NVE Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Stacker 2, after Bechler's death. "I said, 'Hey, what's going on? Is this going to affect us?' And they said `Everything's fine,'" Wallace said. NVE also markets a Stacker 2 without ephedra. "They have told me that racing has just put them to another level," he said. "The commercials we've done have been a lot of fun because people react to them. And our sport is about selling product." Dr. Scott McNair, team physician for Hendrick Motorsports, said the effects of dehydration on drivers or crew members could be serious, but added, "I've never been aware of (ephedra use) being a very big problem." McNair urged anyone in the sport using ephedra to stop. "It would be beneficial in a sense to ban it," McNair said. "People don't understand the seriousness of the effects of drugs and ephedra is not a good drug."(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(3-27-2003)
NASCAR's ad policy baffling: Taboo sponsors in NASCAR: Hard liquor, racy magazines and Internet sports gambling sites. Approved sponsors in NASCAR: Bricks-and-mortar casinos, dietary supplements that contain the controversial stimulant ephedra, and beer — including malt-based beverages made by hard-liquor companies. Cigarette maker Winston, of course, sponsors the series. NASCAR officials look at team sponsorship issues on a case-by-case basis. Approval wasn't automatic, for example, when Stacker 2 — a company whose product line includes ephedra supplements — wanted to sponsor a car. Supplements are sold at malls and grocery stores, but several sports leagues have banned ephedra because of potential health risks.(See full story at the USA Today)(3-27-2003)
Some Texas Facts: #5-Terry Labonte has five top-10 finishes at Texas in the six NASCAR Winston Cup events held at the track. One of those top 10s was a victory in the 1999 event “ his last victory. His average finish of 7.0 at TMS is the best among drivers with at least five starts at the track. #6-Mark Martin is the only driver to qualify in the top 10 in all six previous NASCAR Winston Cup races at TMS. #88-Dale Jarrett, the 2001 winner at Texas, has led a total of 406 laps at the track, more than any other driver. In six years there have been six different winners: Jeff Burton in 1997, Mark Martin in '98, Terry Labonte in '99, Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2000, Dale Jarrett in ˜01 and Matt Kenseth last year.(NASCAR PR)(3-26-2003)
Martin special scheme in the Winston: #6-Mark Martin will drive a white #6 Viagra Ford in the Winston ay Lowe's Motor Speedway this year, see my Paint Schemes Gallery for the images.(3-26-2003)
Testing at Kentucky: Kentucky Speedway says Jerry Nadeau is scheduled to test MB2 Motorsports' #01 Pontiac at the 1.5-mile track today. Evernham Motorsports is also scheduled to test at the facility, but the track did not disclose which driver would be on hand. Testing is closed, although fans may watch from inside the track's gift shop.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-26-2003)
Testing at Greensville Pickens [not Kentucky]: #10-Johnny Benson and #32-Ricky Craven are scheduled to test at the Greenville-Pickens Speedway [SC] today [March 26th].(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required)(3-26-2003)
Evernham Changes? UPDATE 3: hearing some crew changes have occurred on the #9 and #19 Evernham Motorsports teams with the rear tire changers/carriers switching. Hearing there could be other changes coming, including Crew Chief (even though they do not use a 'crew chief' but a CART crew formula), Supposedly #19 Dodge driver, Jermey Mayfield is under some pressure to perform better or a change could be made there.(3-21-2003) UPDATE: been told by sources that the rear tire changers/carriers have switched teams. Also some sources say that Brendan Gaughan's [#62 in the Truck Series[ name hass come up as an option for Evernham Motorsports if changes are made or they choose to run the third R&D car [#91 Dodge](3-22-2003) UPDATE 2: Ray Evernham's teams are among the organizations that are struggling to get up to speed this season, so he's experimenting with the structure of his pit crews. Last week, the rear tire changer/carrier duo of Shane Russellberg and Bob Dowens on Bill Elliott's #9 Dodge swapped spots with Joe Singerland and Eric Wakeland on Jeremy Mayfield's #19. "I've got really good people," Evernham says. "I'm just trying to get them moved around and into the right place. We just hope that the chemistry will be better in areas we were weak." Evernham says those crew members will maintain their regular roles in the shop during the week. Elliott finished 18th and Mayfield 23rd at Bristol.(Sporting News)(3-24-2003) UPDATE 3: Ray Evernham is not satisfied with Jermey Mayfield's results so far, however that doesn't mean he is about to replace Mayfield or drastically revamp his crew. "I'm extremely happy with the team," Evernham said. "There's no crew chief changes, no driver changes - there's none of that coming. The only thing that's got to change is our performance." The only driver opening at this point will be when Evernham needs one for the third car he will enter in select races [was #91 in 2002]. The car was going to run at Talladega with Hank Parker Jr., but those plans have been put on hold. Parker helps the team with testing.(Winston Cup Scene - Subscription Required to read online)(3-26-2003)
Changes to the Winston: There will be a slight change to the qualifying format of The Winston, scheduled to run at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 17th. In 2002 teams could make their madatory pit stop anytime during the 3 lap qualifying run. This year team must pit after they take the green flag to qualifyin and before the end of their 3 laps. The drive must enter pit road at the normal pit road speed [45mph I think], but after the pitstop is completed, there will be no pit road speed once they exit their pit box. Also, during the race, plans are once again to invert the field, how it will be inverted or how many drivers is to be determined. The top 20 will advance to the 2nd segment (of three) and top 14 after the 2nd segment will advance to the 3rd segment.(Winston Cup Scene - Subscription Required to read online)(3-26-2003)
NASCAR considering Ephedra ban: NASCAR gives random drug tests but does not check for ephedra, which has been banned by other sports leagues but is sold in malls and grocery stores. Kevin Triplett, NASCAR's managing director of business operations, says an ephedra ban "is something we're looking at." Ephedra, which is extracted from an Asian plant, is banned in college sports, the Olympics, the NFL and minor league baseball. Although supplement manufacturer Stacker 2 sponsors Kenny Wallace's race #23 car, Triplett says that would not stop NASCAR from considering an ephedra ban. Karen Finocchio, vice president of marketing for NVE, Stacker 2's parent company, says the company stands behind its ephedra supplement but notes it also offers an ephedra-free version. She says users should follow the extensive set of guidelines printed on the bottle. "Take it as directed," she says. "Consult your physician. ... Know your limitations."(USA Today)(3-26-2003)
Dale Earnhardt Jr/Kyle Petty in TBS Baseball Promos: TBS Superstation recently unveiled a new integrated print and on-air advertising campaign that is MLB topical and focuses on match-ups and the superstars around the league that will be battling against the Braves throughout the season on the Superstation. WTBS, Turner South and the Atlanta Braves also unveiled their new campaign, which centers around the classic ballpark song "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." The campaign features such celebrities as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Charles Barkley, D.L. Hughley, Brian Littrell (of The Backstreet Boys), Mike Mills (of R.E.M.), Kyle Petty, Jermaine Dupri and Ludacris singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." The relaxed and casual demeanor caught on film shows viewers a different side of the players and celebrity Braves fans.(Turner Sports PR/MotorsportsTV)(3-26-2003)
#31 Crew Member Injured UPDATE 2: Jason Fowler, rear tire carrier for Robby Gordon's #31 Chevrolet, was taken to Bristol Regional Medical Center during Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway after sustaining an injury on pit road. Fowler sustained a cut to his left index finger and was being evaluated for possible nerve damage.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-24-2003) UPDATE: Jason Fowler, the rear-tire carrier for Richard Childress Racing's #31 Chevy driven by Robby Gordon, is recovering from an injury. Fowler, 24, suffered a severed nerve, severed tendons and chipped bone in his left index finger while working on torn sheet metal during a pit stop. He was treated and released. He is expected to perform his tire carrier duties Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.(The State)(3-25-2003) UPDATE 2: Jason Fowler, rear-tire carrier for Richard Childress Racing’s (RCR) #31 Cingular Wireless Chevy, will miss Sunday’s Samsung/Radio Shock 500 at Texas Motor Speedway as he recovers from an injury suffered to his left index finger last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. Phil Gould, rear-tire carrier for RCR’s #21 Payday Chevy Busch Series team, will fill in for Fowler at Texas. Fowler sustained a severed nerve, severed tendons and chipped bone in his left index finger while working on torn sheet metal during a pit stop on lap 229 of the Food City 500. He was treated at the infield care center and then transported to Wellmont Bristol Regional Medical Center. Fowler is scheduled to see an orthopedic specialist in Winston-Salem, NC, Wednesday morning for additional treatment. His status beyond this weekend’s race is yet to be determined.(RCR Site)(3-26-2003)
Kenny Wallace to run a Card's car UPDATE:Kenny Wallace will run a Michael Waltrip owned/loaned #99 St Louis Cardinals Chevy in the Busch Series race, none mentioned, but it makes sense that is would be at Gateway Int'l Raceway near St Louis. See an image of the car on my Busch Series Paint Schemes Gallery. UPDATE: hearing the Kenny Wallace Cardinals car is in collaboration with Bill Davis Racing.(3-26-2003)
New #88 Paint Scheme soon? UPDATE: supposedly in a few weeks, a new UPS logo will appear on the #88 Ford driven by Dale Jarrett. Supposedly after it is introduced it will run the remainder of the 2003 season(3-13-2003) UPDATE - UPS To Change Logo: United Parcel Service isn't giving up its trademark color, but the box in its logo is being shipped out. A UPS Boeing 767 will touch down at Louisville International Airport this morning bearing the company's first new logo since 1961. Gone will be the string bow atop a yellow-and-brown shield. A more contemporary look will incorporate the letters UPS in a brown shield outlined in yellow and gold. An accompanying tag line will read "Synchronizing the World of Commerce." Work on the logo, the fourth in UPS' 95 years, has taken about a year, said John Beystehner, senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing, who was formerly based in Louisville as vice president of airline operations. The transition to the new look will take years more. The 767 arriving today is one of the first of more than 88,000 vehicles, including 257 large jet aircraft, that will get the new design. About 40 planes will be repainted this year, but the air fleet changeover won't be complete until 2008. Ground vehicles will be changed, too, mostly following their normal three-year painting schedule. The logo also will appear on 1,700 facilities around the world, 70,000 drop-off and retail access points, more than 1 million uniform pieces and more than 3 billion packages annually. The logo, designed by Future Brand of New York City, also will appear on the newly branded Mail Boxes Etc., which next month will become The UPS Store. The logo also will be seen Sunday on the uniform and car of NASCAR racer Dale Jarrett, Beystehner said.(Courier-Journal and the UPS Site), on Friday there will be a UPS Announcement at Texas Motor Speedway.(3-25-2003) IMAGE: got an image sent in, see my 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes page - Cars #'s 24-99 for the image.(3-26-2003)
Roush not happy about Toyota: Jack Roush, head of Roush Racing, said Tuesday that while Toyota will bring new sponsors and generate added interest in stock car racing, America would be better off if NASCAR stayed ``red, white and blue.'' Toyota will become the first Japanese manufacturer to compete in one of NASCAR's top three divisions next year when it enters the Craftsman Truck Series. The company is expected to move up to Winston Cup within a few years.(Tampa Tribune)(3-26-2003)
Hermie back at Talladega: Hermie Sadler will make his return to the Cup Series on April 6, 2003 when he pilots the #02 Autism Awareness Pontiac sponsored by NWA-TNA: Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in the AARON' S 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. In honor of Autism Awareness Month and the thousands of people affected daily by this disease, the car will feature the Autism "puzzle ribbon" on the hood along with 1-800-3-AUTISM, the phone number for the Autism Society of America. Sadler, whose daughter Halie Dru was diagnosed with Autism in February 2001, carried the ribbon in the Spring Bristol race last year and was amazed at the response. "The number of people we reached through this exposure was unbelievable. It was just the tool we needed-the Autism Society of America received literally thousands of phone calls following the race. This is the perfect way for us to kick off Autism Awareness month for 2003," stated Sadler. NWA-TNA Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett is pleased to participate in this event. "Hermie has been such a huge supporter of NWA-TNA, and it is a pleasure to return the favor. I'm looking forward to the race and helping increase the awareness of Autism." Also participating in the promotion are FOX Sports, FX, www.goteamva.com, and Dale Earnhardt, Incorporated. Fox Sports is providing an in-car camera to help promote awareness for autism and Dale Earnhardt, Incorporated is providing engines and technical support to Sadler's team for this event. "I am honored and grateful to everyone who is involved with this program," Sadler said. "We not only have the chance to run a great race; we have the chance to make a difference for kids and families all over the world affected by autism." NWA-TNA Total Nonstop Action Wrestling is the first-ever weekly Pay-Per-View wrestling series that airs every Wednesday at 8:00pm/et on iN DEMAND and DIRECT-TV. With its unique blend of traditional wrestling and the high-flying cutting edge moves of the X-Division, it is the definitive alternative for the wrestling enthusiast. For more information on NWA-TNA: Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, go to www.nwatna.com.(PR)(3-26-2003)
Update on NC Autopsy photos: Autopsy photos would be open to viewing by the general public, but only certain people would be allowed to receive copies of such photos under a proposal that made its way out of a House committee on Tuesday. The compromise bill adopted by a House Judiciary committee would allow copies of autopsy photos to be distributed to: The chief medical examiner or his designee. The investigating medical examiner, the district attorney, a superior court judge and law enforcement officials. A personal representative of the deceased (such as the next-of-kin). A person authorized by court order and another medical examiner or doctor who would use the photo for teaching and training purposes. Anyone denied access to copies of the photos can file a special proceeding before a clerk of court. Clerks would be authorized to grant the request if they think the person asking for the photos has good cause. Rep. Karen Ray, R-Iredell, who introduced the bill, said she hopes to "achieve a balance" between the rights of privacy and a free press. John Bussian, a lobbyist for the N.C. Press Association, which opposes the bill, said that the committee should remember that the proposed new law is dealing with something that has historically been open to the public. The bill that Ray originally filed was patterned after a law that passed in Florida following the Feb. 18, 2001, death of Dale Earnhardt in the Daytona 500. Earnhardt's widow, Teresa, fought to keep the autopsy photos from becoming public record, fearing that they could be published over the Internet. A number of NASCAR teams are in Ray's district, and she has a racing-related business. The bill would make it a felony to disseminate autopsy photos to unauthorized recipients. The next step for the bill is the House floor.(in part from the Sun Journal)(3-26-2003)
#49 BAM Racing sponsor at Texas: One of the hottest groups in Texas music will be on the quarterpanels of the #49 BAM Racing Dodge this week in Texas Motor Speedway’s Samsung/Radio Shack 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race. The Derailers, which will appear in conjunction Sony Music Nashville, will be the group on the side of Ken Schrader’s car. The Derailers, formed by Tony Villaneuva and Brian Hofeldt from Oregon in 1993, is known a true "sound of Texas." It’s 1996 debut album, "Jackpot," began the band’s post-driving backbeat hammer-ringing Telecaster strum and steam whistle duet harmony - a sound right out of Texas. The feature band on the Sony Music Nashville Dodge, the Derailers will perform pre-race entertainment at the huge Texas Motor Speedway complex.(Williams Company PR)(3-25-2003)
Furr to the #0; Leaves #4? UPDATE: Haas CNC Racing has enlisted the services of former Hendrick Motorsports employee Tony Furr to work with rookie Jack Sprague's #0 Pontiac. The team is a technical partner of HMS and uses Hendrick engines and chassis. According to Haas CNC Racing G.M. Joe Custer, Furr will join the organization on Tuesday. Furr's knowledge of Hendrick's systems and his organizational skills will benefit this team significantly. Furr was performing a number of duties for Mike Skinner's team.(Sporting News)(3-24-2003) UPDATE: Tony Furr has left his daily duties of Competition Director for Morgan-McClure Motorsports. The Abingdon, Va.-based team announced Tuesday that Furr has left the team, although he will be retained for several projects he had begun for team owner Larry McClure. Furr had joined the team at the beginning of 2003 and leaves due to personal reasons regarding the need to be with his family in Concord, NC.
Larry McClure quotes: "Furr was a positive addition to our team. He leaves us on good terms. We hope him the best in the future."
Mike Skinner quotes: "Tony Furr has been a great asset to our team. I will help Larry and the team all I can to find a replacement for Tony. We wish him well. We will miss him, along with his knowledge, tremendously."(Morgan McClure PR)(3-25-2003)
Skinner Safe? Mike Skinner is rumored to be out in the #4. By the way, owner Larry McClure says Skinner is safe.(CNNSI)(3-25-2003)
Busch vs Spencer: Still ongoing? NASCAR's marketing department might be trying to put together a "reality TV" show starring its drivers, but it's safe to say Kurt Busch and Jimmy Spencer won't be starring in a remake of the 1980s TV sitcom Bosom Buddies. "You've got to be lucky," Spencer said after Busch won Sunday's race. "Kurt was lucky last year, and he was lucky again. Richard Petty always said you'd rather be lucky than good, and he was obviously lucky today. I congratulate him for it." Busch and Spencer had two on-track confrontations last season — one at Bristol and another at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After the Indy wreck, Busch called Spencer a "decrepit old has-been," and Spencer failed to qualify for the next race. Busch, apparently, is still gloating. "I was real happy when things came to a close at Watkins Glen, when he went home and missed the show," Busch said Sunday. "Indianapolis was a tough thing. I put myself in position to wreck and he wrecked me, and he missed the show at Watkins Glen, so I put a period on the end of the whole incident there."(USA Today)(3-25-2003)
Roush 'Virtual' Engine? Some rival engine men say they believe that Roush Racing has been using an experimental engine-design program that creates a virtual engine inside a computer. If that is true, then Roush could be on the verge of a major breakthrough. And that would certainly be worth the risk of blowing a few motors. However, those rivals say that the problem at the moment is that those new engine designs need a lot more track time to prove their worthiness.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-25-2003)
TV Renegotiations? UPDATE: The TV package with Fox, NBC and TNT runs out in 20 months, and renegotiations are hotly anticipated. ABC says it too plans to make a bid for the Winston Cup series. It is not clear if any of the three networks has actually turned a profit on NASCAR, and that could make upcoming talks difficult from the NASCAR side. It is also not clear who will be the chief TV negotiator for NASCAR; last time around it was Bray Cary, who drove amazingly hard bargains and then took his percentage and vanished. This time Neil Pilson, the former CBS executive and a long-time NASCAR TV adviser, could get the call to the boardroom.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-24-2003) UPDATE: The TV package with FOX, NBC, and TNT does not run out in 20 months. The contract, which was signed in November of 1999, runs from 2001 - 2006 for NBC and TNT. For FOX, the contract is for the same six years, but also includes an option to go two more years. Furthermore, FOX is already billing itself as the TV home of the 2007 Daytona 500, so it sounds like they are counting on the option being exercised through 2008. However, even if the option with FOX was not exercised, the earliest that a new TV partner would be in place would be for 2007. Negotiations probably wouldn't start until the second half of 2005, at the earliest. Also, there's no indication this early in the process that ABC or any other network will or won't make a bid for NASCAR. ABC Sports president Howard Katz resigned about a month ago and the new boss is ESPN honcho George Bodenheimer. It is doubtful that Bodenheimer has even thought that much about ABC making a bid for a 2007 NASCAR TV package. Of course, however, it's likely that big names like ABC, CBS, and ESPN will all inquire about the NASCAR rights, but no one has made a definitive decision to go after the rights this early in the game.(see full story at MotorsportsTV.com)(3-25-2003)
Man charged with NASCAR [and other] counterfeiting: Authorities seized more than $300,000 in counterfeit merchandise and have charged a Lancaster, SC man after an undercover sting operation by the South Carolina Secretary of State's office, in cooperation with Fairfield and Lancaster county sheriff's offices. Adrian Pettit, 51, of 617 Eaton Court turned himself in Friday to officials at the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office after Lancaster and Fairfield county officials confiscated more than $300,000 in counterfeit merchandise in simultaneous raids from two of Pettit's businesses Thursday morning. Officials seized more than 80,000 counterfeit logos with NASCAR trademarks of drivers Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. They also seized approximately 50,000 collegiate logos, including USC and Clemson trademarks. Pettit manufactured large quantities of bumper stickers and auto decals at a facility in Winnsboro and stored them at a facility in Lancaster, according to a press release from Hammond's office.(The Herald)(3-25-2003)
Kerry Earnhardt hopes to make 2nd Cup start at Texas; Spencer in a 2nd team Busch car: FitzBradshaw Racing will field the # 83 Aaron’s Dream Machine Chevy in the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 on March 30, 2003 at Texas Motor Speedway. The car will be driven by Kerry Earnhardt. Earnhardt was slated to drive the #83 Aaron’s Dream Machine in select Winston Cup Series races during the 2002 season, however, rain cancelled qualifying for all events. Those were FitzBradshaw's first attempts in the Winston Cup Series and no owner points had been accumulated. “We’re excited about this race,” Earnhardt said. “We tried a couple times last year to make races in the Aaron’s Dream Machine, and each time we tried we got rained out. It was a pretty big joke around the garage.”
“This is great for us,” FitzBradshaw co-owner Armando Fitz said. “We’re going to have two Busch Series cars competing in Texas, plus Kerry in the Aaron’s Dream Machine for the Cup race. We’re taking huge steps in the direction we need to in order to be a competitive team in NASCAR.” Earnhardt, who has tentative plans to run several more Winston Cup races this year, will be joined in the Texas Busch Series race by Jimmy Spencer, who will be piloting the #82 Jani-King Chevrolet for FitzBradshaw Racing.(FitzBradshaw Racing PR)(3-24-2003)
Rumblings - Bristol: #97-Kurt Busch's victory in the Food City 500 was worth $157,790 from the over $4.5M in posted awards, and was the usual hard-fought BMS win. They just don't come easy at this fast half-miler, but being able to carry our flag around on a victory lap has got to be a feeling above all others. Teammate Matt Kenseth was 0.390 seconds behind in second place.
Ricky Rudd (4th) had his best finish since he was 3rd at Martinsville last October.
Greg Biffle (5th) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was last week at Darlington when he finished 12th.
Sterling Marlin (6th) had his best finish since he was 4th at Darlington last September.
Kenny Wallace (10th) had his best finish since he was 10th at Rockingham in February of 2002.
Brett Bodine (24th) had his best finish since he was 20th at Richmond last September.
STREAKIN....Matt Kenseth has 5 Top-10's in a row.
This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Matt Kenseth (+35), followed by Ricky Rudd (+30), Kenny Wallace (+30), and Kevin Harvick (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Mike Skinner (-35), followed by Ken Schrader (-34), Ward Burton (-22), Terry Labonte (-22), Ryan Newman (-21), and Tony Raines (-20).
Kevin Harvick led today for the first time since he led once for three laps at Talladega last October. We've had 26 different leaders this
Matt Kenseth padded his points lead today. He now has a 138 point margin over new second place driver Kurt Busch (his lead was 57 last week over Tony Stewart). The best move forward in the points this week goes to Ricky Rudd (17th to 9th), while in the opposite direction goes Dave Blaney (7th to 16th).(Stock Car Fans)(3-24-2003)
Petty to the hospital UPDATE 3: Kyle Petty has been transferred to a local Bristol hospital for further observation, Petty was awake and alert otherwise. This ends Petty's 40 race streak of not having an DNF-Did Not Finish. UPDATE: Winston Cup driver Kyle Petty was airlifted to Bristol Regional Medical Center for evaluation following a hard wreck on Lap 424 of 500 in Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Ward Burton spun in Turn 3, hit Petty's No. 45 Dodge and Petty's car swung hard into the wall, driver's side first. Petty had to be assisted out of his car by medical personnel and went to the track's infield care center for initial evaluation. He appeared very groggy. Petty was awake and alert at the care center but was sent to the hospital for precautionary measures. Petty was expected to be released from the hospital later Sunday. "He just said he hurt all over," said Petty's crew chief, Steven Lane. "I think they are just going to take him for the sake of caution just to make sure he is OK. I hope that's all that it is. He took a hard lick."(ThatsRacin.com)(3-23-2003) UPDATE 2: Kyle Petty was treated and released from Bristol Regional Medical Center on Sunday night after a hard impact late in Sunday's race.(Roanoke Times) UPDATE 3: Kyle Petty returned home Sunday night following the Food City 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race. He is expected to be ready for this week’s events at Texas Motor Speedway. Petty was examined at Bristol (Tenn.) Regional following a crash Sunday, and was released. He will obviously follow up with a routine examination from his personal physician this week. "He’s very sore," said Steven Lane, crew chief for Petty’s #45 Georgia-Pacific Dodge. "He hit pretty hard, so you would expect that. But he should be ready to go at Texas this week."(Williams Company)(3-24-2003)
Bristol TV Ratings Down: Today's Sports Business Daily says Nielsen Media Research's overnight numbers show that Fox's broadcast of Sunday's Food City 500 Winston Cup race drew a 5.1 rating and an 11 share, well off last year's final 6.2/16. The race figures trail four individual NCAA basketball tournament games on CBS, but the war with Iraq appears to be having a major impact on all sports broadcasts. The Daily says ratings are off more than 20 percent for CBS's coverage of the NCAA tournament. CBS, for instance, earned a 5..2/10 overnight Nielsen rating for yesterday's coverage of the tournament from noon to 9:15 p.m. (Eastern time), down 24 percent from last year's 6.8/14. On Saturday CBS earned a 5.2/11 from 1 to 11 p.m., down 24 percent from last year's 6.8/15.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-24-2003)
McGraw to be Honored: Andy Belmont wanted to try something a little different for this week’s Busch Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. "From a competitive standpoint, nothing has changed. We’re going down there to run as hard as we can run, and see what we can do," Belmont said. "But, having grown up near Philly, well, I had to do something . . ." Tug McGraw, 58, the tenacious retired major league relief pitcher, just had a brain tumor removed while in a Tampa, FL, hospital. McGraw pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies [Jayski's team] from 1975 until his retirement in 1984 and threw the last pitch in the 1980 World Series to help win the World Championship for the Phillies. McGraw who works for the team, is also a Pitching Consultant with the Phillies. While with the New York Mets (1965-74) in 1973 he led the team with the phrase, "You Gotta Believe." The Mets lost the World Series that year to the Oakland A', but McGraw also pitched for the Mets when they won the 1969 World Series. "So we put ‘Get Well Tug McGraw’ on our car, and ‘You Gotta Believe.’ We have to believe he is going to recover and be fine," Belmont said of his #91 Pontiac, which is sponsored by Southern Pan Services for this race. Verizon sponsors Belmont’s ARCA entry, the 1 800 CALL VZ Ford. McGraw, whose real name is Frank Edwin McGraw Jr., has long been one of the favorite of major league baseball fans, and was always known as fun loving. "He’s the kind of guy who helped build popularity for baseball at a time when baseball was dragging a little with the fans," Belmont said. "He was great with kids and great with adults. I don’t know if Tug McGraw was ever at a race in his life but, at heart, I have to believe he is a racer. He is the type of person every professional athlete should aspire to be."(Williams Company PR)(3-24-2003)
Harvick Plans Triple Header in August: Trucks will return to Bristol when the circuit comes back here in August. Kevin Harvick, who won Saturday's Busch series race, said yesterday he'll run all three events.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-24-2003)
Interesting 2000th race fact: Yesterday was the 2,000th Winston Cup point race. The 12 drivers who make up the top 10 in victories (ties create extra spots) have won 45.1 percent of those races. A total of 166 drivers have won at least one race, 61 winning only once.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-24-2003)
New Racing Show to debut in July: A new motorsports-themed show is preparing for launch in the coming months on The National Network (TNN - used to cover NASCAR as the Nashville Network). Racer's Edge [www.racersedgetv.net] is scheduled to debut on July 6 at 11:00am Eastern and Pacific Time. Racer's Edge is a new 30-minute show that gives an inside and detailed look at the workings of race car preparation, maintenance and set-up. Topics will explore commonalities in preparation, maintenance and set-up in various forms of motorsports, everything from drag strips to dirt tracks, motorcycles to NASCAR. A guest for interaction and expertise will accompany host Troy Selberg [former Winston Cup crew chief] during each show. Selberg is a racing industry veteran, mainly NASCAR. He's a second-generation racer with more than 20 years experience. Selberg gained and retained a great deal of knowledge throughout the years and now plans on relaying it to racing fans across the country. As a NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief, he was in contact with thousands of fans.. It was that type of interaction in addition to his natural communication ability that made him the obvious choice to host Racer's Edge. Racer's Edge promises to be the highest quality instructional/educational racing show on television.. Each show will be geared towards one or two specific topics, allowing the host and guest to go in-depth, leaving no corner unturned. Each show will be shot on location in a race shop, lit like a studio, with countless racing props in the background. Having a controlled environment is the key in order to stay consistent and remain focused on production content. Hands-on visuals and will play a large part in the success of the show and, when necessary, state of the art 3D animation will be used to further enhance production.(Racer's Edge PR)(3-24-2003)
Sad News: Sammy Packard, who was the last surviving participant of the meeting which formed NASCAR, died at his home here Sunday morning. Packard, 83, was part of Bill France Sr.'s stock-car summit meeting held at the Streamline Hotel in December 1947. He built, owned and raced cars throughout his career. The passion for speed and the sport of racing was evidenced by his frequent hospital visits. "Never expected to last this long," Packard told the News-Journal in February. "Figured if I got to 60 I'd be lucky. I got banged up several times. Been in the hospital 27 times . . . no reason I should be here. "There were a few racing accidents, and some regular hospital stuff -- ulcers, took my spleen out, motorcycle accidents, broken legs and things like that." Before health problems slowed him down, Packard owned a race shop in South Daytona where he specialized in rebuilding vintage midget and sprint cars. More recently, Packard could be found in his garage at home, working on a midget car his daughter Priscilla races in vintage races around the state. At some of those vintage shows, Packard could not resist the urge to compete and would buckle into his 1950s-era vintage sprint car. "We're listed as an exhibition, but you don't put an old race driver in a car and tell him to take it easy," he said. "We're not supposed to be racing, but we are." Packard was from the Northeast, living in Rhode Island, but he raced all over the country. His specialty was running midget cars throughout New England, but he'd also come south to drive Daytona's beach-road course in the late 1930s. When he came here to race in the late 1930s, he would moonlight as a mechanic at France's Main Street gas station. One reason Packard liked to race here, other than the unusual course and nice winter weather, was that Daytona always paid the advertised purse. Packard had been burned several times by fly-by-night racing promoters of the day. Paying competitors the promised purse was a major topic of discussion at the meeting which formed NASCAR. "What we discussed was getting money put in the bank before a race, so the promoter couldn't skip out on us," Packard said. "That seemed to be one of the main problems we were having. We'd get done running somewhere, and the promoter would skip town with the money. It happened to me several times." While the issue of payment was important to Packard, he didn't have much to say at the meeting, even though he and two other racers drove here from Rhode Island to participate. "I didn't have a helluva lot to say. I was more or less a listener," Packard said. "I ended up being the representative of the New England area, which was nothing, because there was no NASCAR up there and I was the only person who knew about it." Of course now NASCAR has become a big-league sport on par with the NFL or MLB. Packard watched the sport grow from club racers to corporate giants over the last 50 years. "Nobody expected anything like this," he says. "It's grown way out of proportion. It's taken everything away from the garage man. Now, you have to be a millionaire to even think about getting into it. My sponsorships used to be $25 and $50. And you were glad to get it. "The idea in the beginning was to take care of the drivers at the smaller tracks because that's all we had." As the last surviving member of the meeting that formed NASCAR, Packard gained a degree of notoriety, especially when NASCAR celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1998. "It makes you know you're gonna die before too long, when you know everybody around you is dead," he says. "It gives the facts of life to you." Funeral arrangements are pending.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-24-2003)