PAST NEWS MAY 19-25, 2003
THE PAST NEWS! YESTERDAY and BEYOND..
OTHER PAST NEWS PAGES
- The Coca-Cola 600 has been called - Jimmie Johnson has been declared the winner: after 276 of 400 laps, the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway was called due to a wet track and threatening weather in the Concord, NC area. #48-Jimmie Johnson is the winner of the race, winning his first race of 2003 and 4th of his career, the win puts him into the 2004 The Winston (or whatever it will be called, if they have it). Johnson is the fifth ever to win both the Winston and the Coca-Cola 600. Johnson is also the 7th driver to ever win from a provisional starting spot (see the list of all the previous winners from 35th or worse on my Stats Menu and Links page), his OFFICIAL starting spot was 37th, even though he had to fall to 42nd before the drop of the green flag, #31-Robby Gordon started 43rd. It was Johnson's first win since Spet 2002, 19 races ago. #17-Matt Kenseth ended up 2nd and increases his points lead to 160 over #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr, who had brake problems and finished 41st. It is only the third time the Coca-Cola 600 had been shotened due to rain. See my Coca-Cola 600 Race Info Page for my race rundown as it happened, lap leaders, DNF's, cautions and many notes.
Race Results at Jayski - Coca Cola 600 Results and Driver/Owners Points after Charlotte, also at:
NASCAR.com - official
- Elliott having tough time braking; may use a sub at Sonoma: #9-Bill Elliott will start 32nd in the race with three broken bones on the top of his left foot and a broken toe, and he admits that the injury is causing him some problems. "It's not hurting me," Elliott said. "I've just got to figure out how to brake correctly with this new deal. ...We'll just see how it goes." The new deal Elliott referred to is a carbon-fiber brace his team has fashioned for him, aimed at keeping him from bending the foot and, potentially, doing further damage that might require surgery, team owner Ray Evernham said. "He really can't feel how much pressure he's putting on the brake," Evernham said. "He felt bad about qualifying because he really couldn't get his rhythm." Evernham said his biggest worry is how much pain Elliott will feel over the course of a 600-mile race. "Six hundred miles' worth of vibration in one of these cars going through broken bones is going to be a lot of pain," Evernham said. "Bill's got a touch of the flu, too. It has not been a great week for the No. 9 bunch." Ted Musgrave will be on stand-by in case Elliott needs a relief driver during the 600.(ThatsRacin.com)
Although Bill Elliott said his left foot isn't hurting, he's walking with a severe limp. Elliott suffered three broken bones in his left foot in a crash at The Winston last weekend. Car owner Ray Evernham said the injury could take at least four weeks to heal. Evernham said the team has talked about possibly using another driver when the series heads to the road course in Sonoma, Calif., next month. Elliott might need a substitute at the road course because of all the braking and shifting.(Roanoke Times)(5-25-2003)
- Gordon makes it to the track on time: There was a ban on helicopters in and out of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Sunday with one exception. Medical helicopters were allowed to fly so Robby Gordon was brought into Lowe's on a medical helicopter and will be at the speedway in time for driver introductions.(Insider Racing News)(5-25-2003)
- Fly Over UPDATE: there was a fly over at the Indy 500 today by a B-2 Bomber, so maybe there will be one at the Coca-Cola 600 also...It was reported a few days ago there would be no fly over due to FAA security restrictions.
UPDATE: the Air Force Thunderbird's will do two fly over's, as will a B-2 bomber and the Army parachuters too.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required)(5-25-2003)
- Memorial campground honoring Kenny Irwin opened on Saturday: The parents of NASCAR driver Kenny Irwin Jr., who was killed nearly three years ago, plan to open a campground for underprivileged children in his memory. Kenny and Reva Irwin were scheduled to open the campground this weekend in Henry County, about 40 miles northeast of Indianapolis, IN. Irwin, an Indianapolis native and the 1998 Winston Cup Rookie of the Year, was killed July 7, 2000, in a crash during practice at the New Hampshire Speedway in Louden, N.H., less than a month before his 31st birthday. "We were going to build it in North Carolina," Reva Irwin said. "But when we found this place, we were led to put it here." The 27-acre property has a new lodge and recreation hall, new rest rooms and showers, and a new swimming pool. It has been open since April 4, but grand opening ceremonies were scheduled for Saturday. Primitive camping and trailer sites and cabins are available. A bunkhouse for 40 children is also under construction. A 6-acre stocked lake provides fishing, paddle boating and canoeing. Irwin said the 19 months spent rebuilding the camp has been therapeutic for her and her husband. "It took a lot more work than we thought," Irwin said. "We're glad we're finally open."(Miami Herald/AP), also see articles at the Courier Times [IN]: Deceased NASCAR driver's parents dare to dream and Camp's grand opening celebration is May 24 and check out the Kenny Irwin Jr Foundation Site.(5-24-2003)
- Penske has both poles for Sunday's races: #12-Ryan Newman won the pole for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, giving Penske Racing both poles in Sunday's races, the other being the Indy 500. Newman won the pole with a speed of 185.312mph, Helio Castroneves is on the pole for the Indy 500 with a speed slightly faster then Newman's: 231.725mph.(5-24-2003)
- NASCAR gaining in race with fraud: Bogus racing souvenirs, from decals commemorating Dale Earnhardt's death to drink holders with numbers of popular drivers, just won't go away. Coordinated efforts have reduced the supply of counterfeit goods in recent years. But Lowe's Motor Speedway officials say a handful of hawkers selling knock-off T-shirts have been stopped outside the track in the week leading up to Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 race. Lowe's is fighting back by offering its own less expensive T-shirts to crowds leaving the track -- the prime targets of counterfeiters. The $10 shirt matches the price of most knock-offs. Official shirts sold inside the track cost about $20.
Tips for telling real racing memorabilia from fake:
• Search for official licenses on logos and tags.
• Examine the number. If it doesn't look exactly like it does on the car, it's a knock-off.
• Look at the quality of items. If you think it looks or feels cheap, it's probably a fake.
• Decals not mounted on cards, and those without bar codes are bogus.(Charlotte Observer)(5-24-2003)
- Winston a Poor predictor for the 600: Although The Winston and the Coca-Cola 600 are held at the same track, the events could not be more dissimilar. Perhaps that’s why drivers have seldom been successful in both races in the same year. Over the last 10 years, the Winston winner has had a 12.8 average finish in the 600. The winners of the 600 have had an averaged finish of 11.8 in The Winston. The 2000 winner of the 600, Matt Kenseth, didn’t even compete in The Winston.(Gaston Gazette)(5-24-2003)
- Newman Accepts Blame for Winston: After watching replays of his wreck in The Winston last week, #12-Ryan Newman admitted yesterday he lost control of his Dodge. He initially blamed Tony Stewart for the crash. "I went up to Tony and said, 'I had to blame it on somebody,' " Newman said. "He said 'I was 4 feet behind me.' I said, 'I know, it's still your fault.' . . . It was obviously my fault."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-24-2003)
- Stewart in MIS Busch race: In a several-sided arrangment in which everyone presumably gets something, Tony Stewart will make a cameo in Busch at Michigan in August, in one of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Chance 2 cars (co-owned with Teresa Earnhardt) and in collaboration with 3 Doors Down, a rock band on the Republic/Universal Label, and ubiquitous Action Performance, whose best property at present is Earnhardt Jr. Pictures of the show car, which is orange, has pictures of the band members on it, carries the #8, and has the nickname "Smoke" above the door are available, as are the toy cars and other trinkets, from Action outlets. "Action Performance is the exclusive supplier of all Chance 2 Motorsports team replica collectibles, including the 3 Doors Down race car," the release said.(Speed Channel), see image and past news on my Jayski's® Silly Season Site - Paint Scheme Gallery.(5-24-2003)
- Lepage Gets Yates Power - and makes the race: The long shot story of the day went to #71-Kevin Lepage, who until last Tuesday didn’t know if he had a motor for his Taurus. “We worked hard all week long trying to find a motor, but everytime we turned around there was a door closed,” said Lepage of his struggle to make the field for Sunday’s Coke 600. “I called Doug Yates late on Tuesday afternoon and told him I needed a motor to go to the 600. He just told me to come on down and said they had one for me. I can't say enough for the guys with the CLR team and all the crew we picked-up, including a couple of the guys that work full-time for me,” added Lepage, who is looking for a sponsor fit for a car that qualified 27th, today. “Fast Boys Wings, they're the only ones that have stepped up so far to help me out. It's a small amount, but it's a big help to me and a big amount in my pocket. If there's somebody else out there that wants their name on the quarterpanel for the 600, we've got room because, right now, we need to try and find some tire money."(Team Ford Racing)(5-24-2003)
- Newell-Rubbermaid extends with Roush UPDATE: Newell-Rubbermaid has extended it's sponsorship of the #97 Roush Racing Ford and driver Kurt Busch and formed an alliance with Kyle Petty's Victory Junction Camp thru it's Blue Ice Sharpie program. The renewal is multi-year.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required)(5-23-2003)
UPDATE: Newell Rubbermaid, along with Roush Racing officials and NASCAR Winston Cup star Kurt Busch, announced today that Newell Rubbermaid would continue as the primary sponsor of the #97 Ford, extending a multi-year primary sponsorship agreement. In addition, Newell Rubbermaid also announced, through its Blue Ice brand, an alliance with the Victory Junction Gang Camp, a proud charity of NASCAR founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty, which is scheduled to open in June of 2004. Newell Rubbermaid is represented on Busch's red, silver and black car in 2003 by a number of the company's brands, including: Rubbermaid, Sharpie, Irwin Industrial Tools, Little Tikes, Graco, BernzOmatic, Lenox, Levolor, Ace, Shur-Line and Rubbermaid Commercial Products. Busch will pilot a "Blue Ice" special paint scheme in Sunday's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, which ties in nicely with the Victory Junction Gang Camp endeavor. Not only did Newell Rubbermaid give Victory Junction Gang Camp a donation towards the camp building effort, but also made a commitment to give 1,000 "Keeping it Cool" kits to the camp each summer from 2004-2006. Each camper attending the camp's summer session will receive a kit, including a cooler, water bottle and a Blue Ice blanket.(Roush Racing PR)(5-24-2003)
- Two more to go for Roush: Kurt Busch won’t have to worry about sponsorship for a few years after Newell/Rubbermaid and Roush Racing announced a multi-year contract extension, this week. The extension, which is for an undisclosed term and dollar figure, will keep Busch with the sponsor that brought him Cup racing. This is the second multi-year team sponsorships put to bed in recent weeks by Roush Racing. First came DeWalt for Matt Kenseth’s car. Two Roush teams, however, still need sponsorships cemented beyond this year — Mark Martin’s and Jeff Burton’s. Roush Racing President Geoff Smith told TFR that in both cases the talks with Pfizer (Martin) and Citgo (Burton) are “beyond the money stage”, but still in process.(Team Ford Racing), plus the two Truck Series teams need sponsors.(5-24-2003)
- Skinner Speaks: Recently, Mike Skinner, driver of the #4 Kodak Pontiac, met with team owner Larry McClure to give the team a communication grade. Skinner said it was a "D." "It's just communication and getting the right setup under the car," Skinner said. "Either I'm saying the wrong things or they are hearing the wrong things, and we're really working on that." After talking with McClure, Skinner, crew chief Chris Carrier and the rest of the team's leadership got together. Skinner insisted that while he can help with the setup of the car, his main focus is drive and provide proper feedback. It's the crew's job to make the right decisions on the setup.(NASCAR.com), also during Speed Channel's coverage of Coca-Cola 600 qualifying, it was reported that former crew chief, Tim Brewer, was working with the team as a consultant.(5-24-2003)
- Increased Security May Delay Gordon's Travel on Sunday: Recent increased national security has thrown into limbo Robby Gordon’s plans for transportation between Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Lowe’s Motor Speedway Sunday for the Double. At the moment, the FAA has banned any helicopter flights into and out of either speedway for one hour before and after the race. As a result, plans are being made for Gordon to golf cart out of Indianapolis Motor Speedway via a police escort to his rental car parked nearby, from where he will continue to the Indianapolis airport with the police escort. He will fly from Indianapolis to the Concord airport, where he will jump into a van led by a police escort into Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Final plans will not be determined until Sunday morning. Gordon will practice the #31 Cingular Wireless Chevy Saturday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and then host a Double Duty fans’ barbecue dinner at Team Gordon before departing Concord for Indianapolis at 6:30pm/et Saturday.(RCR PR)(5-24-2003)
- Flyers for Gordon: Charlotte-based Jacobsen is a recently formed company with a rapidly rising profile on the local pro sports scene. Race-car driver Robby Gordon -- in need of fast, convenient transportation this weekend -- flew from Concord Regional Airport to Indianapolis early Thursday in a jet provided by Jacobsen President Jon Carlson, a friend from their Lake Norman-area neighborhood. And Jacobsen's products -- turf-care equipment used primarily for golf courses and sports fields -- maintained the Quail Hollow Club's layout this month for the PGA Tour's Wachovia Championship. Gordon can use Jacobsen's help. For a second straight year, Gordon is driving in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday. Carlson helped out by going to Jacobsen parent company Textron's two other brands, Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopter. The jets will transport Gordon between Concord and Indianapolis; the choppers from the airports to the tracks' infields. "I don't know if it would be possible to do both races without the transportation worked out this way," said Gordon, who flew on Richard Childress Racing aircraft and had to rent helicopters last year. "Being able to bounce back and forth like this makes my job a lot easier." Gordon, who will start on the outside front row at Indy, flew to Indianapolis for practice Thursday and returned the same day. He'll go back Saturday night, run the 500 at 11 a.m. Sunday, then be back at Lowe's Motor Speedway for the 600's 5:30 p.m. start. Carlson said Jacobsen might get involved with NASCAR in a more formal way in the future. "A lot of our customers and employees really identify with and enjoy the sport," said Carlson. "It's something we're looking at."(Charlotte Observer)(5-24-2003)
- Brooke Says Racing Is Safe: In a court filing in her divorce suit, Brooke Gordon says her husband, Jeff, is not entitled to more than 50 percent of their marital assets because his job is a safe one. "Husband's contention that his voluntary occupation as a NASCAR race driver should entitle him to more than 50 percent of the net assets ... is not only legally but also factually unwarranted," said the filing posted Friday on the Web site thesmokinggun.com. "Moreover, NASCAR is safer ... than the husband contends." The filing cites U.S. Department of Labor statistics and other sources listing occupations in such industries as construction and commercial fishing as being more dangerous and saying that workers in those occupations have not been awarded larger portions of marital estates in Florida.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-24-2003)
- Stewart against banking: Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart, who has won two of the four Cup races at Homestead Miami Speedway, says the upcoming project to add banking to the flat track is unnecessary. "We ran two and three wide at times down there last year," Stewart said. "I don't understand track owners. They always have to copy somebody else's place, and they think they have to reinvent the wheel."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(5-24-2003)
- Sponsor Hunting: America's Most Wanted/Body Dynamics Motorsports have been searching for a primary sponsor for the remainder of the 2003 racing season, but recently the evaluated the current economic position that corporations are finding themselves in these days and they have decided to offer limited schedule sponsorship packages for sponsors who want to utilize the NASCAR market, but do not have the Millions needed to do so. "We know that there are corporations out there that would love the opportunity to test the market of NASCAR but fear they do not have the millions necessary to sponsor a team for a full schedule and do not want to waste their," stated Scott Davis, Director of Motorsports Affairs, "We have a tremendous opportunity to offer to a corporate sponsor, we have a championship quality team, facility and overall organization," continued Davis "We can offer a no risk proposition, with our multi million dollar international media campaign, so a sponsor can experience on and off track success with a guaranteed return on their invested dollar."(more info at bodydynamicsracing.com, while at the site, check out their webcams of the shop)(5-24-2003)
- New Handicapped Racing League Formed - Bobby Allison To Be Spokesperson: George White, long time crew member for Bobby Allison and President of Speedway Safety Equipment and High Tech Mobility has announced the formation of a racing league geared entirely for the handicapped racers. "This is a civil liberties issue," stated White. "Several drivers have shown a great deal of interest in this venture and with diversity in racing being such a hot topic, we feel the time is right to give these racers a chance at enhancing their skills and providing them with the chance to realize their dreams." The International Handicapped Racer's League, or IHRL, is in it's early stages of development and has hopes of initially obtain four to five older NASCAR Busch or Winston Cup cars to rebuild and equip each with the hand controls needed. The idea is to outfit the cars with the needed controls while allowing for each team to build and maintain the engines. The IHRL will address all safety issues dealing with their cars and will have it's own safety committee to coordinate those specific safety issues. Speedway Safety Equipment has personally designed specially adapted head and neck restraints and specially designed body restraints in combination with seats designed by NASCAR legend Brian Butler. It is note worthy that Jerry Nadeau's car was fitted with Butler seats which aided Nadeau in surviving one of the most violent side impacts ever recorded in NASCAR's history. Legendary racer Bobby Allison, who personally understands devastating crash injuries, has agreed to be IHRL's national spokesperson. Exhibition style races, 25 laps or so, is the current planned format much like IROC races. This will not only provide exciting competition for the drivers and fans alike, but, will assist as a stepping stone for these drivers to move into other racing series. Ray Paprotta, a paraplegic driver from Alabama, will be a one of the drivers in the IHRL. Ray has competed in two Goody's Dash events this season as a teammate to Danny Bagwell. Goody's Dash fans have welcomed Paprotta with open arms, giving him standing ovations at driver introductions. Paprotta has plans to compete in at least two additional Dash events this season. More info and contact info - email/phone at Catchfence.(5-24-2003)
- Ramblings - Lowe's Motor Speedway: Ryan Newman nabbed his 3rd pole of the season today (breaking a tie for the
top-spot in that contingency with Bobby Labonte) in rain-delayed fashion at Lowe's Motor Speedway. About 20 hours later than expected,
Ryan fashioned a lap of 29.140 seconds(185.312 mph) to garner his 10th career Uecker seat.
#4-Mike Skinner (3rd) has his best starting spot since he lined up on the outside pole at Loudon last July.
#0-Jack Sprague (5th) has his career-best starting spot. His previous best was 12th (twice), the most recent of those at Fontana in April.
#77-Dave Blaney (8th) has his best starting spot since he started from the pole at Rockingham in February.
#10-Johnny Benson (10th) has his best starting spot since he grabbed the outside pole at Rockingham in February.
#14-Larry Foyt (29th) has his career-best starting spot this weekend. His previous best was a 31st place qualifying effort at Las Vegas in
STREAKIN.....Ryan Newman has 10 Top-10 starts in a row. Jeff Gordon has 7 Top-10 starts in the last 8 races. Joe Nemechek has 5 Top-10 starts in the last 6 races.(Stock Car Fans Newsletter)(5-24-2003)
- 48G's for Elliott: it was reported during Speed Channel's Cup Qualifying coverage that #9-Bill Elliott's Dodge took a 48-G hit in the accident during the Winston in which Elliott broke 3 bones in his left foot.(5-23-2003)
- Carbon-monoxide Catalyst gets NASCAR's approval: NASCAR officials on Friday approved a catalyst component for use in its Winston Cup, Busch and Trucks series to reduce carbon monoxide emissions. The device, which has been one of the top projects at NASCAR's research and development center, is optional for teams but may be used in this weekend's Busch and Cup races at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Gary Nelson, the managing director of competition, led an expert study group to devise the catalyst, which has shown to reduce carbon monoxide levels by as much as 75 percent. "Experts concluded the levels of carbon monoxide were not at an alarming level, but we wanted to ensure our drivers of the best possible environment to compete in," Nelson said. A prototype device was used by Winston Cup driver Tony Stewart at last month's race at Martinsville, Va., and additional tests were made at California and Richmond. The new component costs about $400 and takes less than two hours to install.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-23-2003)
- Cope gets an assoc for Lowe's and Dover: NextStudent has extended their sponsorship of Derrike Cope to be an associate sponsor of #37-Derrike Cope in The Coca-Cola 600 and at Dover next week. The deal was coordinated by Player Management International and was completed Thursday afternoon. NextStudent provides students and their families one-on-one education finance counseling. They offer education-funding opportunities ranging from scholarships and grants to low-cost federal and private aid. They work closely with financial aid professionals, ensuring timely, accurate flow and delivery of their students' financial aid packages through funding. NextStudent makes college funding simple. NextStudent offers reliable service that's convenient and easy to use. You can learn more by visiting www.nextstudent.com or by calling (800) 799-7349.(PR)(5-23-2003)
- Gordon 2nd fastest at Indy 500 Carb Day: Kenny Brack, who'll start Sunday's Indianapolis 500 from the outside of the second row, and Robby Gordon, who'll start directly in front of him, ran the fastest laps in the final practice session Thursday. Sweden's Brack, who won the 1999 race when Gordon had to pit for fuel with two laps remaining, turned a fast lap of 228.707 mph during the two-hour Carburetion Day practice. Brack is one of two drivers for former winner Bobby Rahal. Gordon, one of four drivers for the Andretti Green team, had a circuit at 227.850 mph. Gordon turned a few laps before flying to Charlotte, N.C., to qualify for Sunday's World 600. He'll race in the Indy 500, where he'll be among the favorites, and then drive in the 600 the same day. Gordon will remaining in North Carolina for practice today and fly to Indianapolis tonight, accompanied by 200 fans who will watch both races. He anticipates arriving back at the Carolina track about 20 minutes before Sunday night's race there. "Our main focus today was just making sure the car shifted gears, the aero balance was right and the gearing was right," Gordon said. "The car feels very good and I'm very confident."(Hoosier Herald Times)(5-23-2003)
- Track Drying - Five Jet Dryers - and The Trak Vak: Lowe's Motor Speedway officials are more than ready to battle the wet track conditions when the rain finally starts to taper off, which is expected sometime this afternoon. The speedway has five jet dryers on hand to speed the drying efforts — which will be at a premium considering Coca-Cola 600 qualifying was washed out on Thursday and had to be moved to 1:00pm/et today. Time trials for the Busch Series will held at the track today as well, followed by the ARCA race. The jet dryers run at a speed of one-and-a-half miles per hour, and it takes those five jet dryers one hour to make a complete lap around the 1-5-mile tri-oval. The track will take roughly two hours to dry. In addition to the five jet dryers, there is an additional vehicle to help the speedway’s efforts. The Trak Vak, first used at Texas Motor Speedway in March, will also bee on the track when the rain stops.
Trak Vak utilizes the ability to remove water from damp surfaces. The Trak Vak was invented by Texas resident George Carter. The dually truck chassis features a 27-horsepower motor powering a large vacuum with 12 pickup points located behind the vehicle’s rear tires.
The diesel-powered vehicle is designed to operate at 60 mph, allowing it to remove water at a faster rate. “Our theory is to pick up as much water as possible,” Carter said. “Jet blowers attempts to evaporate the water from the surface. Our goal it to actually remove the water.”(Independent Tribune)(5-23-2003)
- Floods close down campgrounds in Concord/Charlotte: The abundance of rain is not only postponing race events; it is also preventing some fans from having a place to camp out. Lower Lot 40 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway is one of several campground lots where standing water and mud have washed out some campers. Without the help of four-wheel drive, most vehicles cannot make it through the lots, forcing management them down.(New 14 Carolina)(5-23-2003)
- Street to re-named? West First Street in downtown Charlotte will be renamed Victory Lane for Coca-Cola 600 weekend, and the change could become permanent as part of a plan to put a racing-themed attraction in center city. The mayor's office and the Charlotte Regional Sports Commission presented an initial concept to transform West First Street between South Tryon and Mint streets into a tourist destination honoring past and present NASCAR drivers with a walk of fame and personalized tributes. The Victory Lane concept comes from a committee of the Winston All-Star Team, formed last year to generate excitement for NASCAR and The Winston all-star race.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-23-2003)
- Then why does the second-place finisher in a NASCAR race sometimes take home more money than the winner? I get asked this often [and answer it the best I can on my FAQ Racing Page], Lee Spencer of the Sporting News answers it and gives an example: It's all about the money.(5-22-2003)
- Rock n' Roll at Richmond in Sept UPDATE 2: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. featuring the band Staind; #20-Tony Stewart featuring the band Diamond Rio; #15-Michael Waltrip featuring the band Hootie & The Blow Fish; will run at Richmond in Sept. Supposedly the "Chevy Rocks" program is said to be similar to the Looney Tunes program ran at Richmond the last couple of years in that it will include many Chevy teams from Cup and maybe some Busch and Truck Series.(4-25-2003)
UPDATE: add Busch driver #2 Ron Hornaday with the band Trapt and #30 Steve Park (sure is weird not putting #1) with Third Eye Blind.(5-16-2003)
UPDATE 2: Warner Music Group (WMG), Chevrolet and Action Performance Companies, Inc. announced today that some of the hottest names in music and NASCAR will team up for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 NASCARâ Winston Cup Series race on Saturday, September 6 "under the lights" at Richmond International Raceway. The campaign kicked off today in the Chevrolet Rock & Roll Tour at Charlotte's Food Lion Speed Street festival and featured a performance by Elektra Recording artists Third Eye Blind and appearances from NASCAR drivers #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #15-Michael Waltrip and #25-Joe Nemechek (with Uncle Kracker). In addition, representatives from WMG, Chevrolet, Richmond International Raceway and Action Performance unveiled the official Chevy Rock & Roll 400 pace car and event logo. Steve Park and his #30 AOL Chevrolet show car featuring Third Eye Blind were also on hand for the announcement.(RIR PR), see full PR and images of the #8, #15, #25, #30 on my Paint Scheme Gallery page, also, #29-Kevin Harvick is part of the program and will be paired with the band ZZ Top.(5-22-2003)
- Georgia-Pacific Joins Petty Ride: Georgia-Pacific Corp. today announced that the company will be the presenting sponsor of the 2003 Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America to benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp for kids. The week-long motorcycle ride begins June 22 in Palm Springs, Calif., and concludes June 29 in Daytona Beach. To celebrate the ninth anniversary of this cross-country motorcycle trek, Petty's #45 Georgia-Pacific Dodge will sport a different look for the Winston Cup race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA.
Petty's car will carry a special paint scheme designed by famed NASCAR artist Sam Bass and featuring the colors of the 2003 Kyle Petty
Charity Ride Across America presented by Georgia-Pacific. Bass created the overall look for this year's event, including the design for the Victory motorcycle that Petty will ride during the 2003 Charity Ride. Speed Channel will document the 2003 Charity Ride for an hour-long special to air later this summer. Speed Channel cameras will travel cross-country with the riders, giving fans an in-depth look at one of racing's biggest charity events. Joining Georgia-Pacific as corporate partners of the 2003 Charity Ride are Victory Motorcycles, Coca-Cola and Daytona Harley-Davidson.(Three Wide Marketing PR), more info on the ride on my Racing Charities page, for image of the scheme, see my 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes.(5-22-2003)
- BACE Motorsports News: BACE Motorsports announced today a joining of forces with America's Second Harvest, the largest domestic hunger-relief charity in the United States, in recognition of National Hunger Awareness Day (NHAD) on June 5, 2003. Driver Tony Raines and team owner Bill Baumgardner joined America's Second Harvest volunteers at the Second Harvest Foodbank of Metrolina Thursday afternoon to unveil the graphic scheme that Raines' #74 Winston Cup car will sport at Dover International Speedway on June 1 in support of National Hunger Awareness Day. BACE has enlisted Tombstone Pizza in an effort to directly combat the hunger issue in conjunction with the Dover race event. In recognition of the 100th anniversary of parent company Kraft Foods, Tombstone Pizza will donate 100 pizza slices for every lap Raines completes in the 400 lap race. The first installment of the "Monster Meals" program will tally 40,000 servings when Raines takes the checkered flag at Dover's Monster Mile, and provide a challenge to America's race fans to act locally to support one of the 216 Hunger Relief organizations in their hometown that is served by the America's Second Harvest network. In 2002, National Hunger Awareness Day was brought to the forefront of the America's Second Harvest effort to raise awareness of the burden hunger puts on millions of American families. This year, in addition to the efforts by a multitude of corporate partners, more than 2000 food banks and food rescue organizations and their agencies will host public events. These events will spotlight the vast network of hunger-relief agencies that make up America's Second Harvest more than 200 affiliated food banks and food rescue organizations, 50,000 agencies and more than 70,000 food service programs. For more information, visit the web site at www.secondharvest.org.(BACE Motorsports PR) see an image of the car on my 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes(5-22-2003)
- Dale Jr Leads Most Popular Vote: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. continues to lead the nationwide fan balloting for the 2003 Grands! Biscuits NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award. With more than 700,000 votes in to date, Earnhardt Jr. leads second-place #24-Jeff Gordon, third-place #29-Kevin Harvick and fourth-place #20-Tony Stewart. Rounding out the top 10 are #30-Steve Park, #6-Mark Martin, #15-Michael Waltrip, #45-Kyle Petty, #21-Ricky Rudd and #88-Dale Jarrett. Earnhardt Jr. led most of the voting last year before a late surge from Bill Elliott fans carried the veteran race car driver to the Grands! Biscuits NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award win.. Elliott, who has won the award 16 times, retired his name from the Most Popular Driver Award voting earlier this racing season. To vote, see PAGE 2 of the news on the Jayski Site, You can vote via the Internet voting through Monday, Nov. 17, 2003, at 11:59am/ct.(5-22-2003)
- Atwood in the Navy? UPDATE 5 It is OFFICIAL and includes a Cup race: hearing the U.S. Navy will sponsor a Winston Cup team in some capacity and an announcement will come soon. The Navy sponsors Jon Wood in the #50 Roush Racing Ford in the Truck Series.(5-13-2003)
UPDATE: Roush Racing announced today that the U.S. Navy will not continue its sponsorship of driver Jon Wood and the #50 Truck Series team. “We are extremely disappointed that the Navy elected to withdraw from the Craftsman Truck Series in the middle of the year,” said Jon Wood. “Our team has really jelled this year, and I hope that someone will step in to help keep us going.”
“The Navy, through General Motors’ lead agency, Campbell-Ewald, submitted bid criteria to us only two weeks ago, that had no chance of being fulfilled by the Jon Wood’s Craftsman Truck team,” said John Miller, director of sponsor development for Roush Racing. “The criteria were clearly targeted to allow the winning bidder to be only by a Winston Cup or Busch team.”(Roush Racing), looks like maybe a GM Cup or Busch team?(5-13-2003)
AND Atwood up for a Busch ride? Casey Atwood may be a candidate for a Busch Series ride as FitzBradshaw Racing studies the possibility of adding a partial schedule for a second team, this week’s NASCAR Winston Cup Scene reports. Busch Series Editor Rick Houston reports that team owner Armando Fitz has talked to Atwood, who has been out of racing since leaving the joint Winston Cup effort of Jim Smith and Ray Evernham last year. The story says former Busch Series competitor Tim Fedewa is another possibility for the car that would be sponsored by JaniKing in at least five races. The story goes on to say that rumors say Kerry Earnhardt job has been rumored to be in jeopardy but owner Fitz denies it, also the story says Earnhardt may be looking elsewhere for a ride in 2004.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-15-2003)
UPDATE: hearing the US Navy will sponsor a 2nd FitzBradshaw Racing Busch Series team with Casey Atwood as the driver, not sure if it is a limited or full time schedule, if it happens of course.(5-16-2003)
UPDATE 2: The Navy recruiting effort now appears to be directed toward the next NASCAR levels, either Busch and/or-eventually, Winston Cup. Word on the street is that FitzBradshaw Racing, which fields the No. 12 Busch cars for Kerry Earnhardt, could inherit the Navy sponsorship, under the assumption that Campbell-Ewald steps it up to the $4m annual Busch level. Casey Atwood, in limbo after a poor rookie season with Ray Evernham, is believed to be the top candidate for the Navy sponsorship, which naturally targets young men of about Casey's age.(Speed Channel)(5-17-2003)
UPDATE 3: Two-time Busch Series race winner Casey Atwood is expected to return to the series this season driving a second entry fielded by FitzBradshaw Racing, ThatsRacin.com has learned. Sources said the team is also the likely new home for the Navy sponsorship, which earlier this week pulled out of the Roush Racing NASCAR Truck series team driven by Jon Wood. "I have no comment other than that nothing has been signed with a sponsor or a driver," said team publicist Tara Gudger. FitzBradshaw currently fields the No. 12 Chevrolets in the series driven by Kerry Earnhardt. Atwood did not return calls for comment.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-18-2003)
UPDATE 4: Casey Atwood hopes to make his first start in the Busch Series in three years at Lowe's Motor Speedway. FitzBradshaw Racing has entered Atwood, 22, in a #82 Chevy that will race as a team car to Kerry Earnhardt's #12 Supercuts Chevy.(NASCAR.com), no mention of the U.S. Navy.....yet.(5-19-2003)
IMAGE OF CAR: got an image of the car, see my Busch Series Paint Scheme Gallery.(5-20-2003)
UPDATE 5: FitzBradshaw Racing today announced that the U.S. Navy has signed a nine-race sponsorship deal to back its #82 Chevy in the Busch and Winston Cup series. The team, which is owned by Armando Fitz and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Terry Bradshaw, says Casey Atwood will drive for the team, starting with Saturday’s Carquest Auto Parts 300 Busch Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Eight of the planned races are Busch Series events. The other is the Sept. 28 EA Sports 500 Winston Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-22-2003)
- Aikman-Staubach team searches for sponsors: Bill Saunders, point man for the Hall of Fame Racing team of Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, said the search for sponsors is down to five corporations, one of which is based in Dallas-Fort Worth. Saunders also said a sponsorship agreement must be signed by Aug. 1 for the team to compete in Winston Cup next season. "But we still could compete in the Busch series or the truck series next year if something is finalized after early August," Saunders said. "We will have an affiliation with one of the big NASCAR teams, but I can't say which one yet." Saunders said he has spoken to a few corporate executives who wanted to sponsor the team, but he said they were afraid of the reaction from major stockholders who didn't understand the value of investing in NASCAR.(Dallas Morning News, may need to register to view), see past news and rumors on a building and sponsors on my Rumored CUP New Teams.(5-22-2003)
- Geoffrey Bodine Update: Geoffrey Bodine's race inactivity has caused him to downsize his World Wide Racing business. He laid off his business manager, Lisa Cox, and his motor-coach driver last week. Cox has taken a job with Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. Bodine says he's exploring several avenues. "I'm looking at other business ventures," he said. "There are other things to do in life other than drive a Winston Cup car. There are a lot of different things I can get involved with." Among them is a possibility of forming a Craftsman Truck Series team with middle brother Brett. "Craftsman Trucks is one area Brett and I are investigating," Bodine said. "I'd like to get involved in that series. We're looking at several possibilities there." One Winston Cup race Bodine would like to compete in is the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in August. Bodine has no solid leads on a Cup ride for Indy and said it would be difficult for Brett to field a second car. Because of his light race schedule, Bodine has stepped into some potential post-race career jobs, among them broadcasting. He's already done the color commentary on one of two Winston West races this year for the Speed Channel. He'll be behind the microphone in that series' race at Madera, Calif., on May 31, then do two Busch North Series events in June. He also remains involved with the U.S. Olympic Bobsled team, where his annual fund-raising fishing tournament in Pampano Beach, Fla., on May 10 netted $50,000. And Bodine helped raised about $100,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation at his annual celebrity golf tournament in Huntersville, N.C., on May 14.(in part from the Elmiria Star-Gazette)(5-22-2003)
- A Hearty Thank You: Many of the crew of the USS Cape St George CG 71, currently deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, had the pleasure of being "adopted" by the Winston Cup Wives Racing Auxiliary in the Adopt A Sailor program [link is on my Ongoing Racing Charities page]. The support of the USS Cape St George was outstanding. In addition to WCWRA they had the pleasure of having correspondence with broadcaster Winston Kelley. The ladies of WCWRA and Mr. Kelley wrote many letter to the crew which brought smiles upon everyones faces to know how much
that they are appreciated back home and especially in the NASCAR community. #24 Crew Chief Robbie Loomis sent a message to the crew and Winston mentioned many more that said Thank You to the crew and they wish to say THANK YOU!(5-22-2003)
- Toyota in the Wind: According to Charlotte area sources, the Toyota factory folks are busy booking time at the Lockheed wind tunnel for 2004. How much time? According to TFR's sources every bit of it that they can get — so much so that if the non-Toyota teams aren't careful they could get shut out of the Marietta, Ga. based facility. "That's the way they work," said one team official, who dealt with Toyota in Championship Auto Racing Teams. "They're not afraid to spend their money."(Team Ford Racing a jayski sponsor)(5-22-2003)
- Crew Chief Double: #66-Hideo Fukuyama's crew chief, Gary Cogswell is pulling double duty this week at Lowe's Motor Speedway, he will be Fukuyama crew chief in Thursday's [now Friday's] ARCA race and Casey Atwood's crew chief for the #82 U.S. Navy Chevy in the Busch race on Saturday. This is a one-race deal at this time and Cogswell has no immediate plans to leave Fukuyama/Travis Carter.(5-22-2003)
- No Flyover at Lowe's? At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indy 500, no extraordinary security measures are in place, said spokesman Bob Clidinst. The speedway bumped up its normal security measures after 9-11 and has maintained that level of security at all subsequent events, he said. And there will be no blimps over the racetrack; indeed, the Federal Aviation Authority has put a ban on air traffic over all sports stadiums for the duration of the weekend.(MSNBC) AND Suspension of all waivers of temporary flight restrictions over sporting events. This includes companies that had been given waivers to fly blimps and banner-towing planes over sports arenas.(CNN), neither say specifically Lowe's Motor Speedway, but looks like there will be no flyover and no idea how this may effect Robby Gordon's flight plans.(5-22-2003)
- TV Stuff: In the three years since Fox, NBC and Turner Sports started their $2.8 billion, six-year contract with NASCAR, ratings have skyrocketed. According to figures compiled by Sports Business Journal, ratings in the past three years have increased 109 percent in Chicago, 35 percent in New York and 34 percent in Los Angeles. "As far as ratings go, I don't know if there's a healthier sport in his country," Goren told the magazine. "The national ratings week in and week out declare that this is a national sport." The national ratings for the first 11 races of the season have averaged a 5.6. A year ago, the average rating was a 5.8, but NASCAR officials quickly said the small decline can be attributed to two rain delays during the season-opening Daytona 500 and three weeks of war coverage. The national ratings continue to support the racing series' contention it's the second-most popular sport on television. It trails only the NFL in ratings. The top six markets in the country for racing are: Greensboro, N.C. (15.9); Greenville, S.C. (13.4); Charlotte, N.C. (13.1); Indianapolis (11.8); Knoxville, Tenn. (10.6); and Dayton, Ohio (10.6). What has NASCAR doing cartwheels is that ratings also are up in nonracing areas such as Buffalo and Seattle (both up 22 percent) and Boston (21).(Augusta Chronicle)(5-22-2003)
- Congrats: Jeremy West (rear tire changer for Matt Kenseth's No. 17 Winston Cup and Busch Series entries) and his wife Lisa (receptionist and travel coordinator at Innovative Motorsports) have announced the birth of their first child. Deegan James West was born on May 17th at 1:32 a.m.. He weighed 7 pounds and 6 ounces.. Both Lisa and baby Deegan are happy and healthy.(5-22-2003)
- Robby Gordon's Schedule for the Indy/Coke 600 Double:
Thursday, May 22
7:45 a.m. .................... Depart Concord for Indianapolis
11:00 a.m.................... Final practice
11:30 a.m.................... Leave IMS for Indianapolis airport
12:00 p.m.................... Depart Indianapolis airport for Concord
2:00 p.m. ET............... Land at Concord Airport
3:00 p.m. .................... Winston Cup practice
7:05 p.m...................... Coca-Cola 600 Qualifying
Friday, May 23 - No on-track activities
Saturday, May 24
9:30 a.m...................... Winston Cup practice
11:15 a.m.................... Winston Cup final practice
5:00 p.m...................... “Double Duty” Fan barbecue dinner at Team Gordon
7:30 p.m...................... Depart Concord for Indianapolis
Sunday, May 25
10:33 a.m.................... Driver Introductions
11:00 a.m.................... Start of the Indianapolis 500
2:30 p.m...................... Completion of race
2:35-2:40 p.m............. Out of race car and onto golf cart
2:40-2:50 p.m............. Cart to helicopter
2:50 p.m...................... Helicopter to Indianapolis airport
3:00 p.m. CT............... Wheels up at Indianapolis airport
....................... ........... (4:45 p.m. - Driver Introductions - will possibly miss)
5:00 p.m. ET............... Land at Concord airport
5:00-5:05 p.m............. Airplane to helicopter
5:05-5:10 p.m............. Helicopter into Lowe’s Motor Speedway
5:30 p.m...................... Start of the Coca-Cola 600.(RCR PR)(5-22-2003)
- #1 to debut Synthetic Paint Scheme: The Pennzoil yellow that race fans are so familiar with will be replaced with a silver metallic paint scheme at this weekend's Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Winston Cup event. The newly-designed paint scheme is set to introduce the NASCAR world to Pennzoil Synthetic motor oil. The familiar oval will be prominently displayed on the hood while the company's new promotion, "Wide Open Weekend" will be visible on the deck lid of the car. For the second consecutive year, "Wide Open Weekend" enters retail stores across the country. Pennzoil retailers will feature the two-time IRL Champion Sam Hornish Jr. case and Pennzoil No. 1 Dale Earnhardt, Inc. specialty cases of Conventional and Synthetic brand of motor oils. One lucky customer will instantly win a trip for two to the 2004 Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600. Last year's winner will be in attendance at both races this Sunday. The Green Foundation, consisting of brothers Jeff and Mark Green, will make a donation to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. The funds were raised during the foundation's "Rock into Racing 2003" dinner, dance and auction. The dinner was attended by several NASCAR stars, as well as country singer, Neal McCoy and actor, Michael Rooker of "Days of Thunder." The presentation will take place prior to driver introductions for Saturday's CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Busch Series event.(Pennzoil Racing PR),see an image of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(5-22-2003)
- Rusty and Kenny Help Out the Boy Scouts: Rusty and Kenny Wallace were in the Orangeburg, SC on Wednesday for the annual Indian Waters Council of the Boy Scouts of America's "Friends of Scouting" dinner function held at the Tourville Lodge at Buckridge Plantation. Eight years ago, Wallace traveled to Orangeburg to lend his support for what has become one of the most successful scouting fund-raisers in the country. In that first year the event raised a substantial amount of $12,000. Now, eight years later, the annual support has become even more substantive as the donations have increased to over $100,000, leaving Wallace quite pleased with the results of the 2003 fund-raising effort. Wallace has helped the organization to raise in excess of one million dollars over the eight years that the driver has been involved.(Times and Democrat)(5-22-2003)
- Roush Racing to Open Destiny 3 Studio: Roush Racing will become the first NASCAR team to open its own in-house photography studio when Destiny 3 Studio opens June 16th. The full service studio will be located inside of Roush Racing’s newly built corporate headquarters located by its Winston Cup facilities in Concord, N.C. Destiny 3 Studio will be just one facet of the state-of-the-art 83,000 square foot Roush Racing world headquarters and museum opening this month. Destiny 3 Studio can accommodate a variety of shoots that include automotive, fashion, portrait, food, film and video. The facility is spacious enough to photograph five cars at once, from the ground level or from a second-floor catwalk. The 3,200 square foot facility will also have complete private hair, makeup and styling
rooms, and a comfortable client lounge with work stations and internet access. Destiny 3 Studio will also be promoted to photographers,
designers, ad agencies, film and video productions nationwide. In a related move, Action Sports Photography, Inc. will be relocating from Cornelius, N.C., to office space directly next door to the new facility and will also be using Destiny 3 Studios as its choice for studio photography. The new studio, as well as the new Roush Racing corporate headquarters, is located on Roush Place next to Concord Regional Airport, just minutes from Lowe’s Motor Speedway and a short drive from uptown Charlotte. The 25 acre complex is already home to Roush Racing’s five Winston Cup teams.(Roush Racing PR)(5-22-2003)
- Freightliner to sponsor #49 BAM Racing at the Coke 600: Freightliner Trucks, the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America, will sponsor the #49 BAM Racing Dodge of driver Ken Schrader for the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Winston Cup race this weekend at the 1.5-mile Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Freightliner Trucks is a division of Freightliner LLC, a DaimlerChrysler company. “We’re very proud that Freightliner will serve as our primary sponsor for the 600,” said Beth Ann Morgenthau, who owns BAM along with her husband Tony. We appreciate the confidence Freightliner and DaimlerChrysler are putting behind us, and are looking forward to a great weekend for them,” she said. Freightliner Trucks is utilizing the sponsorship to showcase the Freightliner Coronado, a new heavy-duty tractor developed for owner-operator truckers.(Williams Company PR)(5-21-2003)
- Lepage enters the Coke 600: Kevin Lepage will enter the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway featuring Fast Boy Wings of Jacksonville, FL on the hood. The #71 car [the number he used in the Winston Open] is silver with fluorescent red numbers for TV visibility. Lepage will be racing a car built in his Mooreseville shop and has the quarter panels, TV panel and deck lid available for sponsorship. As one of the few owner-drivers of his own team, Lepage has been actively seeking sponsorship for both Busch and Winston Cup competition. He feels that he can race more economically for a sponsor by being both the driver and team owner.(to sponsor the team go to 200mph Media)(5-21-2003)
- Some 'Daily Double' facts: Drivers who ran the Indy 500 and Coke 600 on the same day:
Year ........................... Driver ...........................600 Finish / 500 Finish
1994... ........................ John.Andretti...... ...... 36th ................. .10th
1997............................ Robby Gordon............ *41st................. 29th
1999............................ Tony.Stewart........ .... 4th .................. ...9th
2000............................ Robby Gordon............ **35th............... .. 5th
2001............................ Tony Stewart.............. 3rd................... .. 6th
2002 ........................... Robby Gordon............ 16th.................. 8th
*Indianapolis 500 was postponed one day because of rain.
**P.J. Jones started the 600 in Gordon's car, due to delay in Gordon's arrival after the Indy 500.
The 600's finish was delayed by rain until the next day, when Gordon took over on Lap 262.(NASCAR PR)(5-21-2003)
- Panther Power Returns: After finishing a strong second-place finish in The Winston Open last weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway with the team’s new car and black paint scheme, Dave Blaney and the #77 Jasper Motorsports crew decided to bring the "Panther Power" car—first intended to run only during The Winston weekend—back for this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Blaney will also compete in Saturday’s Busch Series event in the #31 Whelen Motorsports entry, which will make it’s first start as a Ford with Penske-Jasper Engines from the potent production line that generated power for Ryan Newman during his outstanding split Busch Series/ARCA Series season in 2001 prior to his WC debut last year.(Jasper Racing PR)(5-21-2003)
- TV Ratings for the Winston: The Winston, televised on FX last Saturday night, had a 3.9 cable rating, with 3,080,000 households tuned in. The weekend's only other motorsports event, the Indianapolis 500 Time Trials last Sunday afternoon, had a 2.6 overnight network rating on ABC.(Figures compiled by Nielsen Media Research)(NASCAR PR)(5-21-2003)
- Fukuyama visits with students: Students studying Japanese at West Mecklenburg High School had the chance to interview rookie NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Hideo Fukuyama today on their home turf. More than 30 students had the opportunity for an up-close look at Fukuyama¹s #66 Kikkoman Ford Taurus as the 700-plus horsepower machine was staged at West Mecklenburg High School¹s campus. "Our students really enjoyed the experience they had today," said Japanese teacher Jinko Dailey. "It was a very valuable opportunity to have them meet Mr. Fukuyama and speak with a native Japanese speaker. It was also interesting to interact with the people supporting Mr. Fukuyama and living in the international business environment. It encourages students so much and shows them the kind of things they can do with their life. It was also very helpful to have Mr. Fukuyama share his philosophy of teamwork; it¹s good to instill this kind of thinking in the students." May is observed as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Fukuyama visited the students, in conjunction with their month-long holiday activities, to share his experiences as NASCAR¹s first Japanese driver. The Owase, Japan, native was interviewed by students from four different levels of Japanese-speaking classes. The interviews were taped and sent to West Mecklenburg¹s sister school in Hokkaido, Japan, to enhance the cultural learning experience.(Cox Markering Group)(5-21-2003)
- Kenseth's crew wins Mechanix honor: The pit crew for Matt Kenseth's #17 DeWalt Ford, the world championship-winning crew in 2001 and 2002, has been named the first quarter winner of the Mechanix Wear Pit Crew of the Year Award. At season's end, the overall winning crew gets $75,000.(NASCAR PR)(5-21-2003)
- Fittipaldi to run three races with Bugles: Christian Fittipaldi, nephew of open-wheel legend Emerson Fittipaldi, will attempt to qualify a Petty Enterprises #44 Dodge in three upcoming events, via sponsorship from Bugles. The car will have a Sam Bass-designed Bugles paint scheme. The car will be entered in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, the EA Sports 500 at Talladega, and the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The agreement also includes Bugles sponsorship of the #44 Dodge for a race early in the 2004 season.(NASCAR PR) Also, Fittipaldi is slated to drive the #44 New York Yankees Dodge at Watkins Glen, see images of both cars on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(5-21-2003)
- BEEN ASKED saw this, so here ya go: How did Tony Stewart and Terry Labonte finish ahead of Dale Jarrett [or Dale Earnhardt Jr] in the second segment [after the big wreck]? Jarrett was able to drive his car off the track after the wreck while Labonte and Stewart could not.
Jeff Hammond's Answer: It's very simple. Dale Jarrett took his car to the garage before he crossed the start/finish line so his lap did not count. If he had completed that lap and then turned in the garage area, he would have been counted ahead of Tony Stewart and Terry Labonte. They used the order in which they were running at the end of the previous lap to score those cars in their finishing positions.(FoxSports)(5-21-2003)
- Hendrick To Team With U.S.S. Nimitz At LMS Cup Entries Provide 'Friendly Competition' For Squadrons: Hendrick Motorsports will join forces with the U.S. Navy this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway, where all four of the team's NASCAR Winston Cup Series entries will display decals from fighter squadrons of the U.S.S. Nimitz (CVN 68 - more info at their site), a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier currently deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Throughout the week leading up to Sunday's 600-mile event, each Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet will display the Nimitz logo on the driver's side "C-post," along with the logos of two individual squadrons on the car's opposite side. The eight units were able pick which entry would carry their artwork, adding some "friendly competition" between squadrons.
The decals, also known as "zappers," will be distributed as follows:
#5 Kellogg's / got milk? Chevrolet and driver Terry Labonte: VFA-41 "The Black Aces" (based in Lemoore, Calif.) and VFA-14
#24 DuPont Chevrolet and driver Jeff Gordon: VFA-97 "Warhawks" (Lemoore) and VFA-94 "Mighty Shrikes" (Lemoore).
#25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet and driver Joe Nemechek: VAQ-135 "Black Ravens" (Whidbey Island, Wash.) and VAW-117 "Wallbangers" (Point Mugu, Calif.).
#48 Lowe's Chevrolet and driver Jimmie Johnson: VS-29 "Dragonfires" (San Diego) and HS-6 "Indians" (San Diego).
Each squadron employs up to 250 people and carries between four and 14 aircraft, including the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet, EA-6B Prowler, E-2C Hawkeye 2000, S-3B Viking, and SH-60B Seahawk. On Aug. 5, 2002, six Hendrick Motorsports employees spent a day on the Nimitz as part of the Navy's Distinguished Visitors Program, an initiative designed to increase public awareness and appreciation for
the Navy. Named after Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, the ship was commissioned on May 3, 1975 in Newport News, Va., and is the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in her class. More than 18 stories high from keel to mast, the Nimitz was deployed to the Arabian Gulf from its home base in San Diego on March 3.(HMS PR)(5-21-2003)
- Childress 1st Qtr Pocono Spirit Award: Richard Childress has been named the first quarter winner of the National Motorsports Press Association/Pocono Spirit Award. The award recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity as well as sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Others receiving first-quarter votes included drivers John Andretti, Ricky Craven and Morgan Shepherd, sponsor Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouses, and General Motors public relations representative Nancy Wager. Four quarterly winners of the award will be named, with the overall winner to be announced at the NMPA's annual banquet in Jan., 2004.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-21-2003)
- Tony Goes Country: On tonight's [5/21] Academy of Country Music Awrds, reigning NASCAR Winston Cup champ Tony Stewart will introduce Diamond Rio before the band performs the current single, "I Believe." Hosted by Reba McEntire, the show at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas will be broadcast live on CBS at 8:00pm/et, with a delayed telecast for the West Coast at 8:00pm/pt.(MotorsportsTV)(5-21-2003)
- Jeff Gordon on the tube: Jeff Gordon is scheduled to co-host "Live with Regis and Kelly on May 28, 2003" Check local listings.(Gordon Online)(5-21-2003)
- Congrats: Pete and Michelle Pistone welcomed Mia Roseann Pistone, who came into the world on Monday at 9 pounds, 4 ounces. Mom and baby are doing well. Pete's work duties include RacingOne, CLTV in Chicago, and WGN Radio.(5-21-2003)
- Two Crew Chiefs Fined: NASCAR fined two Winston Cup crew chiefs from actions at The Winston. #40 crew chief, Lee McCall was fined $10,000 for an improper weight attached on the #40 Coors Light Dodge. #48 crew chief, Chad Knaus was fined $1,000 for an unapproved air directional device.(Fox Sports Net - Totally NASCAR)(5-20-2003)
- #88 Engine Confiscated: NASCAR confiscated the engine that was removed from the #88 UPS Ford before the Winston. The team changed the engine, without NASCAR's permission, before the Winston at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday. The #88 team had its engine confiscated for violation of the single-engine rule. The team requested an engine change, but NASCAR said it was unnecessary, sent them to the rear of the field and confiscated the engine.(Fox Sports Net - Totally NASCAR)(5-20-2003)
- 2nd Tether Requirement Expanded: NASCAR expanded its requirement of a second tether for the front wheels for NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series entries to all tracks, effective May 28. The new rule for NASCAR's national series is an amendment to the NASCAR Technical Bulletin issued April 12 that required a second tether on the front wheels at events on tracks that were 1.25 miles or more in length, excluding road courses. The first race in which the requirement was in effect was the April 27 race at the 2-mile California Speedway. With this weekend's competition at the 1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway already covered under the initial amendment, the new requirement will officially begin May 28, when all three national series are competing at the 1-mile Dover International Speedway. The tethers are required to consist of two Vectran HS V-12 fiber cables.(NASCAR PR)(5-20-2003)
- Confetti for Martin at Daytona: #6 Mark Martin will run a Viagra/Confetti Ford at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona. See my Paint Scheme Gallery for an image.(5-20-2003)
- Mayfield Safe in the #19; Elliott signed thru 2005, and Atwood back? Evernham Motorsports owner Ray Evernham debunked rumors Tuesday of #19-Jeremy Mayfield's demise and also spoke of the futures of #9-Bill Elliott and Casey Atwood. Mayfield has been the subject of the media rumor mill based on his lackluster results this season. Despite a 2002 season in which Mayfield finished 26th in the standings with two top-fives, four top-10's and seven DNFs, Evernham said he was unquestionably standing behind his driver. "Jeremy Mayfield is in the 19 -- there's no question about his future," Evernham said. "We're working as hard as we can work to get that 19 car back to the front (and) they're probably closer than you think. It's not an easy sport (but) as long as we keep communicating and holding hands and digging hard, that's all that we can do." Elliott, 47 will be driving Evernham's #9 Dodge well into the future. "Bill is under contract through 2005, and he knows that No. 9 car is his as long as he wants to drive it," Evernham said. "He has said he'll give us plenty of notice if he decides he wants to do anything else." Atwood, 22, was displaced when Mayfield was hired to drive the #19 car beginning last year. In 2002, Atwood drove the No. 7 Dodge for Evernham/Ultra Motorsports, but he was released near the end of the season. He remains under contract to Evernham, though he's been given his release to seek other opportunities [such as the #82 U.S Navy Chevy in the Busch Series]. Evernham will field a #91 Dodge at Pocono next month for Atwood, and has said he would like to do more races with that car. "We're still working with Casey Atwood," Evernham said. "There's a chance he might be back in one of the red cars some time in the future."(see full story and quotes at NASCAR.com)(5-20-2003)
- Elliott Breaks Bones in Foot UPDATE 3: #9-Bill Elliott is being transported to a local hospital to be checked out, he is complaining of foot pain.(5-17-2003)
UPDATE: XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio (Subscription Required) reported that Elliott has three broken bones on the top of his left foot, Elliott's status for next weekend's Coca-Cola 600 is unknown at this point.(5-18-2003)
UPDATE 2: An official announcement about Elliott's status for this weekend's 600-mile race in Charlotte should come Tuesday.(Fox Sports Net's Totally NASCAR)(5-20-2003)
UPDATE 3: Elliott will be in the #9 Dodge and start the Coke 600 this weekend. He will use a carbon fiber foot protector. CTS driver, Ted Musgrave will stand by in case relief is needed.(5-20-2003)
- Boy, 14, will receive donated service dog, Park to attend: The Food Lion store at 835 Williamson Road will host a ceremony at 11:00am/et Tuesday [May 20th - Today] at which Stuart Arnold, 14, who has cerebral palsy, will receive a Canine Assistants service dog. Steve Park, driver of the Winston Cup Richard Childress Racing/America Online Racing #30 car, will participate in the presentation. He will give Stuart autographed NASCAR memorabilia and will sign autographs for fans for an hour after the presentation. Food Lion and the Milk-Bone dog food company made the donation possible. Stuart lives in Charlotte and uses a wheelchair. The dog, valued at more than $10,000, will undergo specialized training to meet Stuart's needs. Stuart will receive his dog after extensive training and attending an instructional camp with the dog. At the ceremony, the public also will learn more about service dogs and how they help people with physical disabilities. Canine Assistants, a nonprofit organization founded in 1991, trains dogs to assist children and adults with physical disabilities and other special needs. Canine Assistants dogs are either rescued young adult dogs or are puppies raised at their facilities.(Charlotte Observer)(5-20-2003)
- Bill Elliott Donates $10,000 to Union County Primary School: Students at Union County Primary school in Blairsville got a special ride on Monday as they received a $10,000 donation from Bill Elliott and celebrated reading transportation-style. The school's library will also receive new books as part of a $10,000 donation (100,000 Box Tops for Education coupons) given by Elliott as part of his winning the 2002 Grands! Biscuits NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award. At the start of the school year Elliott challenged students to meet their AR goals and promised to reward them with today's event. The school set two goals for the students to meet this school year. One was to earn a difficult 30,000 points. The other goal was for the school to have less than 10% of the students at risk in reading. The students went beyond that and earned over 37,800 points and had only 5% at risk.. They have passed computerized tests on over 74,524 books this year with an average score of 91%. Box Tops for Education is a school fundraising program run by General Mills, Inc. More than 22 million American households clip Box Tops for Education. Since the program's inception in 1996, General Mills has given nearly $70 million to America's schools. Schools can earn up to $60,000 each school year. For more information about Box Tops for Education, visit boxtops4education.com.(Golin Harris PR)(5-20-2003)
- Catalyst could be in place at the Coke 600: It's only been six months since NASCAR opened the doors of its $10 million, 64,000 square-foot research and development center near the Concord Regional Airport. Yet already the sport is reaping the benefits. Perhaps as early as Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, NASCAR's latest safety enhancement – a catalyst to reduce carbon monoxide exposure to drivers – could be in place.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-20-2003)
- Staubach/Aikman looking for shop in NC: Former NFL quarterback Roger Staubach and fellow retired Dallas Cowboys QB Troy Aikman are said to be eyeing a Concord business park for a 70,000-square-foot race shop to house the NASCAR team they're forming, called Hall of Fame Racing. The Staubach-Aikman group is on the hunt for real estate, but its first order of business is signing a sponsor. Bill Saunders, a Hall of Fame Racing partner, says the field of potential sponsors has been narrowed to five, but he declines to identify them. Sean Helda, president of Corinthian International Inc., owner and developer of Concord Airport Business Park, confirms his company has had contact with the Staubach-Aikman group, but no details have been finalized.(Charlotte Business Journal), see past news on Hall of Fame Racing on my New Teams page, last rumors I heard about sponsors were Pizza Hut, Radio Shack and/or Acme Brick - note the Aikman connection on their site - [is that the brick Wylie E uses against the Road Runner?].(5-20-2003)
- Bob Jenkins Receives Award: Eddie Sachs Jr., whose father, Eddie Sachs, was killed at the speedway in the 1964 race, was back at the Brickyard over the weekend to present ESPN [and former NASCAR broadcaster] race host Bob Jenkins the "Michigan Media Achievement of Excellence" award before the start of the Infiniti Pro Series race. The award is presented on behalf of the Michigan Automobile Racing Fan Club each year.(MotorsportsTV)(5-20-2003)
- Penske Racing on Junkyard Wars:Junkyard Wars, the television show on The Learning Channel, will air a contest recorded after the 2002 racing season ended. The 'war' was between the Penske Racing NASCAR Team, the Penske Racing IRL Team, and Don Prudhomme's drag racing team. The show will air on Sunday, May 25th from 9:00-11:00pm/et (re-air dates/times: May 26, 12:00mid/et; May 28, 9:00pm/et; May 29, 12:00mid/et and June 1st at 6:00pm/et).
From their website: They don't speak to each other — much less compete in the same race! But Junkyard Wars has done the impossible. Never before have the three main auto-racing sports competed against each other on such a uniquely level playing field. It's a tough challenge, but the three car-crazy teams are up to it. The teams must build a vehicle from the ground up, from only junkyard parts, and then compete against one another on three courses: a drag strip, twisting road track and half-mile oval — all to win Junkyard Mega-Wars' Triple Track Trophy. The Triple Track Challenge was held at Irwindale Speedway in California. For each of the three challenge stages, a different driver was at the controls. The junkyard race cars will be tested on acceleration, maneuverability and overall racing performance. The first race was held on the 1/8-mile-long drag strip and the teams went for the fastest time from a standing start to the finish line. Next, the cars tackled a tricky figure-8 course in which they had to navigate their way around various cones. Finally, the teams took on the banked 1/3-mile oval circuit. Each car completes 10 laps. The fastest 10-lap time will win this stage. A combined score for all three events will determine the Triple Track Trophy winner. Keeping an eye on the proceedings is veteran dragster driver and builder Pat Foster, who lends his expertise as judge. Tyler and Karyn are also joined by former host Cathy Rogers to make the occasion special. This one-of-a-kind event will bring auto-racing's "backroom boys" — the brains and muscle behind racing heroes — into the spotlight. But these teams are no strangers to success: they've put drivers like Rusty Wallace, Larry Dixon and Helio Castroneves into the winner's circle. See the website: tlc.discovery.com for more info.(5-20-2003)
- Circle K Transitioning Away from NASCAR: On Wednesday, a series of television and radio commercials developed by Dailey & Associates of West Hollywood, Calif., will mark the move of Circle K convenience stores in a new marketing direction, company officials said. "With our NASCAR sponsorship ending this year, we are transitioning away from our positioning as The Official Pit Stop of NASCAR," said Kathleen Grodsky, director of retail advertising and brand management for ConocoPhillips, Circle K's parent company. "We were excited by the challenge of repositioning the brand. Our new tagline "What else do you need?" addresses both our selection and services and can be implemented operationally and across all consumer and internal communications," said Grodsky.(MotorsportsTV)(5-20-2003)
- New Books: J and B Racing Publications is proud to announce to the racing public the release of the 2nd Edition of “FAST MONEY: How to put your racing merchandise business in the pole position”. This is the very 1st book of its kind about this billion dollar business and is packed with over 200 pages of priceless information about this business. Learn how to sell the items of such top names as Dale Earnhardt, Dale Jr, Jeff Gordon, Jimmy Johnson, Mark Martin, Tony Stewart, Dale Jarrett, and many other NASCAR racing drivers. This book also has valuable information on Action Performance, Revell, Racing Champions, and other companies in the racing industry.
FAST MONEY is your complete guide to setting up and running a successful racing merchandise business.
AND Las Vegas Sun cartoonist Mike Smith, who is responsible for the popular weekly "StockcarToons" feature on this page, has just released his second collection of memorable NASCAR cartoons. "StockcarToons No. 2 -- More Grins and Spins on the Winston Cup Circuit," published by Sports Publishing, LLC, is available at Borders and Barnes & Noble bookstores and on the Internet at Amazon.com. The 136-page book features a foreword by NASCAR on Fox announcer Mike Joy.
More info and links on my Racing Bookstore page.(5-20-2003)
- Among Safety Projects Underway by the NASCAR R&D Center:
-- Testing continues on the addition of a third roof flap, to help prevent cars from becoming airborne during accidents.
-- A study of head and neck restraint systems and the development of standards to measure the effectiveness of new devices.
-- Continued development of "soft wall" technology and the SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) system. Testing was recently completed on SAFER systems similar to walls used at tracks like Richmond and Loudon
-- Continued work on "aero matching" – getting different manufacturers body styles to produce similar aerodynamic results. Nelson said the Winston Cup and Busch series are fairly "aero-matched," but the NASCAR Truck series "still needs work."
-- An investigation into driver Jerry Nadeau's accident at Richmond earlier this month. Nadeau hit the wall on the driver's side and remains hospitalized in Richmond in fair condition and semi-conscious.
-- A side impact study and testing of possible new aluminum inserts in the sides of cars.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-20-2003)
- 160 G's? UPDATE so what the heck is a G-FORCE? Sources say Jerry Nadeau's wreck at Richmond registered 160 G-forces, double the hardest hit recorded since NASCAR started using black boxes in 2002. That Nadeau survived is a testament to safety enhancements made since Dale Earnhardt's death in February 2001. Nadeau remains hospitalized; he is semiconscious and in fair condition.(Sporting News)(5-19-2003)
SO WHAT IS G-FORCE: was asked a few times about this, had no clue, so checked out a Jayski fave site: howstuffworks and.....One G is the force of Earth's gravity -- it is this force that determines how much we weigh. Back in 2001 CART cancelled a race at the Texas Motor Speedway because the drivers experienced dizziness after as few as 10 laps. The combination of high speeds and tight turns at Texas Motor Speedway produces forces of almost 5 Gs in the turns. the space shuttle only develops 3 Gs when it takes off. See the full story at howstuffworks: How do you calculate G-forces?.(5-20-2003)
- Speaking of Nadeau: [Jerry] Nadeau, one of the bright new stars on the stock-car tour, has been only semi-conscious and is still unable to talk or communicate except with a squeeze of the hand. Doctors are keeping a tight lid on medical information about Nadeau, and NASCAR officials too are keeping quiet about what they have learned in their accident investigation. All that secrecy has led to rampant speculation in the Winston Cup garage about Nadeau, about whether he will ever race again, about how long his recovery might take. And there are more safety questions being leveled at NASCAR: Will the sanctioning body ever release any crash data on the Nadeau wreck or just try to keep it covered up? Will the sanctioning body improve its crash data recording system by adding more sophisticated sensors, like the IRL-approved G-force head sensor that would seem ripe to become a standard item in NASCAR helmets?(Winston Salem Journal), past news on Nadeau's condition below or on my #01 Team News and Links page.(5-20-2003)
- Testing at Dover: #22-Ward Burton and #25-Joe Nemechek tested at Dover International Speedway on Monday, along with Busch Series drivers #23-Scott Wimmer, who is also supposedly testing the #27-Dodge for the Cup race too, and #18-Coy Gibbs. All will return for more testing on Tuesday. The MBNA Armed Forces Family 400 runs on June 1st.(Delaware News Journal), no speeds reported.(5-20-2003)
- Bigger for Ganassi: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and its trio of [#40, #41, $2] teams now based in Mooresville's Lakeside Business Park, is looking for an $11 million facility that would more than double the size of its operation, says Gene Haskett, executive vice president. Haskett recently gave a serious look at the vacant, 427,000-square-foot former Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. building, also in Mooresville, but found it too large. "We are still looking," he says. Ganassi needs about 220,000 square feet for its three Winston Cup teams -- featuring drivers Sterling Marlin, Casey Mears and Jamie McMurray.(Charlotte Business Journal)(5-20-2003)
- Drivers beat Media UPDATE: A team of drivers and athletes from other sports defeated a media team 59-38 in the Hoops for Hope charity basketball game hosted by Elliott Sadler at UNCC's Halton Arena Thursday night. The event raised money for the Autism Society of America.(ThatsRacin.com), see photos of the event at The Sadler Bother Fanclub site.(5-17-2003)
UPDATE: Pit 10 professional athletes against 15 unfit media types in athletic competition and what do you get? A blowout. So went the inaugural M&Ms Hoops for Hope charity basketball game Thursday evening at the University of North Carolina Charlotte, in which host Elliott Sadler stole the show by scoring a game-high 15 points.(NASCAR.com)(5-20-2003)
- Museum in Elliott's hometown in trouble: When Thunder Road USA (www.thunderroadusa.com) opened last year, many envisioned an economic windfall for this small northeast Georgia town known for breeding NASCAR winners. The $12 million, 40,000-square-foot auto racing museum was expected to attract up to 250,000 visitors a year, generate hundreds of jobs and increase sales tax revenues. One year later, Thunder Road USA is struggling with $10 million in debt and poor attendance. Only about 48,000 visitors came to the museum last year, forcing staff cutbacks and shorter operating hours. Officials are now considering plans to sell nearby land to help pay off its debt. General manager Tom French said they may also try staging live music and targeting corporate meetings and birthday parties. The museum, which includes Georgia's racing hall of fame, features memorials to NASCAR's racing greats, interactive games, a track for remote-controlled cars, racing simulators, a theater, gift shop and diner. Museum board member Russ Wallace said it's still the pride of Dawsonville, home to NASCAR greats Bill Elliott, Gober Sosebee and Lloyd Seay. Wallace said he is confident the museum will rebound financially in the coming months and denied talk that it will close down.(Charlotte Observer/AP)(5-19-2003)
- Special for Marlin in the Coke 600 UPDATE: Coor’s has decided to race a #40 Brooks & Dunn themed car with Sterling Marlin at the Coca-Cola 600 next week. The paint scheme will be solid silver with B&D decals. They are promoting the upcoming Neon Circus concert tour, which is sponsored by Coors. Being told, no diecast will be produced for this scheme.(5-16-2003)
UPDATE: Country duo, Brooks & Dunn are once again bringing some country charm to the Winston Cup Series. Sterling Marlin's #40 Coors Light Dodge will feature a Brooks & Dunn paint scheme for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "Chip Ganassi racing and Brooks & Dunn are two of our longest running sponsorships and are our two most valued partners," said Pat Ramirez, Director of Sales Services for Coors Brewing Company. "Kix and Ronnie will be performing in Charlotte on June 13, and their new album, Red Dirt Road, will be in stores in mid July, so it made sense to put their logos on the car for this race. We know the fans and the race team will enjoy this special paint scheme." The special paint scheme will feature logos of the Neon Circus tour as well as the Red Dirt Road logos to help promote the tour and the new release. Sterling Marlin will race his Brooks & Dunn Coors Light Dodge in the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 25.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(5-19-2003)
- TRAC News: Team Sports Entertainment, Inc. announced the addition of two individuals to its Board of Directors. Terry Hanson is the current President and Chief Operating Officer of Team Sports Entertainment, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary Team Racing Auto Circuit (TRAC). Dr. Jay Klompmaker is a former member of Team Sports Entertainment Inc.'s Board of Advisors, former Academic Program Director of the Kaiser-Permanente Leadership Program, and retired Professor of Business Administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.(TRAC PR), see more info on my TRAC page.(5-19-2003)
- Latest on Simpson vs NASCAR Trial: When Halifax Medical Center trauma specialist Dr. Steve Bohannon said Dale Earnhardt would have had a better chance to survive if his seat belt didn't separate in the 2001 Daytona 500, he was just trying to answer a question during a news conference. Now that answer is the crux of an $8.5 million defamation lawsuit Bill Simpson has filed against NASCAR. In documents filed earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, Simpson attorney Robert Horn argues that NASCAR had reason to be afraid of Simpson. He says NASCAR's failure to acknowledge that Earnhardt's belt system was improperly installed, along with the comments by Bohannon and others, harmed Simpson. Bohannon, who serves as the director of emergency medical services at Daytona International Speedway, spoke during a news conference five days after the death of the seven-time Winston Cup champion. A jury trial in the case is tentatively scheduled for September. The judge can rule on NASCAR's motion for summary judgment -- a ruling in its favor without trial -- anytime before then.(Daytona Beach News Journal), see past news on my Lawsuit page.(5-19-2003)
- Fellows to run #1 at road courses UPDATE: Jeff Green said Ron Fellows will race the #1 car at both road course events, Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen. Green said he was a bit disappointed, but understands the decision. He will still travel with the team to help in any way he can. Fellows was slated to run a 4th DEI car, #81.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Pass)(5-8-2003)
UPDATE: DEI will take Ron Fellows out of the Chance 2 Racing #81 Chevy and put him into the #1 Pennzoil Chevy for Cup races at Sonoma, CA, and Watkins Glen. The change is the latest fallout in the the wake of the firing of Steve Park and the hiring of Jeff Green on the #1 team two weeks ago. Green, who was released from the #30 RCR team the same weekend as Park's DEI firing, has little road-racing experience in Winston Cup. Fellows already has tested in the #1 car on a road course in Indiana last week with crew chief Tony Gibson and engineers from DEI in attendance. When Fellows made his deal with DEI earlier this year, plans were for him to drive the #81 entry --co-owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his step-mother Teresa Earnhardt -- on both Cup road courses. But when DEI and Park parted ways the team was left without its top road racer. Park is a past winner at Watkins Glen. "The plan for DEI to field a fourth car for me has changed a little bit," Fellows said. "We went to Infineon Raceway (Sonoma) with two brand new cars and the tests were great." Fellows bettered the California track record by four-tenths of a second. Next on the schedule for Fellows, however, is a trip to France to defend his back-to-back 24 Hours of Le Mans GTS class titles with the factory Corvette C5-R team.(Toronto Sun)(5-19-2003)
- Pearson Wins: A wet track proved no match for the three-time NASCAR champion David Pearson as the "Silver Fox" outclassed the field in the Legends II rematch in Spartanburg SC on Saturday. The Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds played host to the 15 lap feature in which Pearson displayed the reasons why he is the holder of 105 Winston Cup victories. Pearson won the feature event in the from the pole position. When asked about his 1937 Ford Coach replica Pearson replied, "Yeah, it's a little bit different from the car I ran in last year.” Running a car which was reportedly down on power in 2002, Pearson was determined to set the record straight in the legends II rematch of 2003. "I had so much fun at last year's race, I decided to build me one. So I just got an old body and started working on it. It was a humpback. I cut the back end off and made a straight back out of it.” Local NASCAR racing legend Cotton Owens was lapped near the end of the event as the hard charging Pearson put the whipping stick on all comers. "We won the Grand National championship in 1966 when he (Pearson) drove for me,” said Owens, "He was driving the No. 6 car then, red and white, just like the car here.”(Insider Racing News)(5-19-2003)
- Rumblings - The Winston: They billed this The Winston as the "Survival of the Fastest"....well, a whole bunch of the fastest didn't survive. When the final 20 lap shootout was in the books, if was Jimmie Johnson who got to do the donuts and spray the champagne in Victory Lane. It's always hard to tell who has the strongest car in these "invert" events (we've been known to find a little sand coming out the tailpipes in these races), but we do know who's gonna get to cash that check. And for Johnson, the payoff was a smooth $1,017,604.
This was the 5th "The Winston" win for Hendrick Motorsports. Jeff Gordon has three of 'em and Terry Labonte won one as well. Johnson was clearly the best in the final segment, holding off Kurt Busch (who was strong as well) and Bobby Labonte. We were supposed to have 14 cars in the final, but a sizeable wreck at the end of the 30-lapper middle segment reduced the field to only 12.
We had the usual temper displays associated with this event. Ryan Newman was mad at Tony Stewart, Ward Burton was mad at Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte was mad at the red-flag....just good ole boys having fun on a Saturday Night.
Jeff Burton won the Open and advanced to The Winston....he managed to stick around and finish 9th for his efforts.
Tony Stewart won the $50K that went with Segment #1 (40 laps).
Kurt Busch won the $50K that went with Segment #2 (30 laps).
Jimmie Johnson won the final 20 lapper for a cool $1M.(Stockcarfans.com)(5-19-2003)
- AOL will be back in 2004: [#29, 30, 31] Owner Richard Childress says rumors that he will field only two Winston Cup cars next season are "absolutely not" true. There have been questions about the financial stability of AOL, the primary sponsor for Childress' #30 car [now Steve Park driving], but Childress says AOL is committed to honoring the final year of its contract, which ends after the 2004 season. "Not only will we have three full-time Cup teams and two Busch teams, we'll run seven or eight cars at some tracks next year," he says.(Sporting News)(5-19-2003)
- The Visa Cup? UPDATE maybe not: The latest on NASCAR's search for a new series sponsor to replace R.J. Reynolds Tobacco: According to industry sources, Visa officials have reportedly given NASCAR a deadline for accepting the company's offer, which other sources have put at $80 to $85 million a year for the next 10 years. That deadline is believed be within the next 60 days, meaning NASCAR executives would have to make a call by July 1 or so.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-18-2003)
UPDATE: In the middle of last week it was not hard to find people around NASCAR who thought VISA was the leading candidate to replace R.J. Reynolds as title sponsor of the Winston Cup series. The trail on that story cooled off quickly, however. While VISA is still believed to be one of the companies being talked to by NASCAR about its most important sponsorship tie, there does not yet appear to be a clear lead horse in the race. One potential hurdle in a deal with VISA could be a $3 billion settlement of an antitrust lawsuit filed against Visa USA and MasterCard over debit card payments. VISA's portion of the settlement must still be approved by a federal judge, would be $2 billion over 10 years. The suit was brought by some of the country's largest retailers, Wal-Mart and Sears among them, who said that VISA and MasterCard had pressured them into allowing customers to pay with credit or debit cards requiring their signatures. Merchants protested since signature-authorized debit cards carry higher processing fees than cards using personal identification numbers, or PINs.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-19-2003)
- Tire's at Lowe's: Goodyear's new combination of right-side tires selected for Lowe's Motor Speedway threw off some teams' setups during The Winston. Kurt Busch, who was runner-up to winner Jimmie Johnson, complained that with the softer right-side tires, he couldn't "approach the corner as quickly" because it made his Ford loose. Most drivers got enough laps on the tires in The Winston or Winston Open to get a feel for them going into the Coca-Cola 600 Sunday.(Sporting News)(5-19-2003)
- Snap-on Tools and RCR Announce New Deal: Snap-on Tools and Richard Childress Racing (RCR) announced a new three-year sponsorship agreement that extends the unique partnership into the 2006 season. The announcement comes as Snap-on Tools and Richard Childress Racing celebrate the 10th consecutive season they've raced together at tracks literally around the world. The agreement, which includes full-season endorsement and associate sponsorships with each of the RCR Winston Cup and Busch series teams, was announced at a press conference just a few hours before the start of the 2003 Winston. Snap-on is celebrating 10 years of partnership with RCR through a special "Decade of Dedication" initiative that featured the special-edition #29 car raced in "The Winston" and a host of new racing-themed tool and equipment products. During 2003, for a limited time Snap-on will offer commemorative tool storage units, as well as shop equipment, hand and power tools to automotive technicians and race fans. Tool storage units, for example, will feature special graphics that depict the 10 cars raced at The Winston and include Snap-on Racing and RCR logos. Decade of Dedication apparel and collectibles (including die-cast pit wagons, cars, haulers and trailers), are available through local Snap-on dealers. During 2003, Snap-on and the #29 car primary sponsor GM Goodwrench are also working together on an initiative called the "GM Powertrain Clinics with Snap-on" to bring Snap-on customers to GM-sponsored technical instruction clinics where they learn about GM Powertrain products and warranties. The program also includes tours for automotive technicians of GM dealerships and often #29 show car appearances. Clinic attendees see demonstrations of the latest Snap-on products and receive tool certificates redeemable through Snap-on dealers with the purchase GM Goodwrench engines and transmissions.(PR)(5-19-2003)
see the May 12-18, 2003 Archived News Page
see the May 5-11, 2003 Archived News Page
see the Apr 28-May 4, 2003 Archived News Page