PAST NEWS MAY 26-JUNE 1, 2003
THE PAST NEWS! YESTERDAY and BEYOND..
OTHER PAST NEWS PAGES
- Jerry Nadeau news and updated on the #01 Team News and Links page
- Newman wins the MBNA Armed Forces Family 400 at Dover International Speedway. Pole sitter, #12-Ryan Newman won at Dover, without power steering, plus leading the most laps. Newman is the first pole-sitter to win the spring race at Dover since Bobby Labonte in June 1999. #24-Gordon ended up 2nd. Points leader #17-Matt Kenseth finished 7th and increased his points lead to 171 points over #8-Earnhardt Jr. #18-Labonte finished 3rd, his 5th top three in a row. #10-Johnny Benson gets his first top five of the year and since he won last November at Rockingham. For the unofficial top ten, lap leaders, cars off track, cautions and other stuff (all unofficial of course) see my MBNA Armed Forces Family 400 Info page
Race Results at my Dover Race Results page or at:
NASCAR.com - official
Winston Cup Driver/Owner Standings after Dover
Dover Race Results
- NASCAR gives a car and engine to Toyota? UPDATE NASCAR denies: Another of the big stories here concerns car owner Bill Davis, who spent most of the day repeating 'No comment.' The bottom line is Dodge's one, big happy family isn't so happy, or as big, anymore, with the abrupt decision by DaimlerChrysler to cut Davis' two-car operation out of the fold a little more than a year after Davis and Ward Burton put Dodge in victory lane at Daytona. When Dodge returned to NASCAR's top division three years ago, it came with Ray Evernham, Petty Enterprises and Davis. Since then, Chip Ganassi and Roger Penske have jumped on the train, and those two Indy-car giants have been overshadowing Dodge's original threesome. Dodge's decision to drop factory support of the Davis team, because DaimlerChrysler officials hint the team has been providing technical advice to Toyota, was the talk of the Winston Cup garage yesterday ... except in Davis' hauler, where he and his crew were mum. 'No comment for the foreseeable future,' is all Davis is saying this weekend.
AND The surprising Dodge move has some key Winston Cup figures thinking that Toyota may be preparing to jump into Winston Cup racing sooner than expected. Tony Stewart said he has been told that NASCAR officials have given his Texas car to Toyota engineers for scrutiny -- NASCAR confiscated that car for uncertain reasons, and the sanctioning body hasn't given it back. Greg Zipadelli, Stewart's crew chief, said NASCAR also has given a Robert Yates' Ford motor to Toyota for detailed examination, in order to give Toyota a quicker jump out of the box. Stewart and Zipadelli are angry over those developments.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-31-2003)
UPDATE - denied bt NASCAR: NASCAR strongly denied published reports that it gave parts confiscated from the Winston Cup garage to the Toyota startup effort. One such written account attributed Tony Stewart and crew chief Greg Zipadelli saying NASCAR had given Toyota the #20 Home Depot Chevy, which was confiscated during the Texas race weekend. The same report indicated NASCAR had given Toyota the Robert Yates Racing engine confiscated during The Winston weekend. However, NASCAR Vice President of Corporate Communication, Jim Hunter, addressing both allegations said that the parts are still in NASCAR’s impound in the Concord, N.C., Research and Development Center. Hunter added, “We spoke with [Joe] Gibbs last Tuesday about getting the parts back to the car, that we're going to give him and he's working to comply with the requirements. NASCAR would never give a competitor a confiscated part," Hunter added. "It would be foolish to put confiscated parts back into circulation."(Team Ford Racing)(6-1-2003)
- No Testing at the 'new' Homestead: NASCAR announced in Sunday's drivers meeting it will not allow testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway this season, but is expected to grant Winston Cup, Busch and Truck teams additional practice time the week of the November season finales. The track recently announced it was adding variable banking to all four previously flat turns. The work should be completed before the November races.(ThatsRacin.com), more info on the reconfiguation on my Homestead News and Info page.(6-1-2003)
- Interesting Comments by Kyle: #45-Kyle Petty has been around stock-car racing so long that he can laugh off or shrug off just about any misfortune or odd bid of luck. But he said he's continually amazed at how people who say one thing one day, sometimes wind up doing something different the next - with a straight face. "Why don't you reread all those press releases these people keep sending out ... because you'd catch everybody here in ultimate lies," Petty said with a laugh. "That's always the best part. I want you to write a book someday on things that were said one year about how things were going to be, and then go back six months later, or two years later, and see how things changed. Because everything in here changes. Everything. It changes. But it stays the same."(Winston Salem Journal)(6-1-2003)
- a few Dover facts: The polesitter has won only 10 of 66 races at Dover. #18-Bobby Labonte was the last to do it, after taking the pole for this race in 1999. David Pearson is the only driver to have two pole-race sweeps in one season, turning the double in 1973. #49-Ken Schrader got the last of his four career victories 12 years ago in the June race at Dover, and is winless in his last 387 starts.(Charlotte Observer/AP)(6-1-2003)
UPDATE" now make it 11 of 67 as #12-Ryan Newman won from the pole.(6-1-2003)
- More Toyota Stuff: Just say the word 'Toyota' in the Winston Cup garage here [Dover], and you can feel the shivers. Yes, the Japanese auto maker, even though it has yet to put a truck or a Winston Cup car on the race track, is already scaring the heck out of NASCAR regulars. Not just because they believe that Toyota's racing department is willing to spend money. Not just because Toyota has some good engineering talent. But because, rivals say, Toyota men have already upped the ante in ruthless behind-the-scenes battling for some of stock-car racing's key technical secrets and because many Winston Cup regulars fear that NASCAR officials will do for Toyota what they feel NASCAR did for Dodge - bend over backward to help the new car manufacturer make a successful entry into NASCAR. "Toyota is going to come in here and run teams right out of this sport,' said a top Winston Cup team owner."
--Over the winter, Dodge executives said they were angry at Toyota for moves they said it was making to hire Winston Cup engine builders who could provide proprietary secrets about engine designs.
--At least one Chevrolet team has provided engine builders to help Toyota with its new designs.
--Last week NASCAR approved Toyota's new cylinder head, according to NASCAR sources. And Toyota did more than that, providing NASCAR with some of the sophisticated 3D computer programs used in the CAD-CAM designing of those heads. That could be a precedent-setting move if NASCAR now insists that rival car makers provide the same computer programs.
--Tony Stewart said that NASCAR has given his Texas Chevy to Toyota to study.
--Crew chief Greg Zipadelli said that NASCAR has given a Robert Yates Ford engine to Toyota to examine.(Winston Salem Journal) and see past news on my Toyota page.(6-1-2003)
- And more on Dodge and Davis: Dodge has no immediate plans to expand the number of factory-backed Winston Cup programs, despite cutting ties last week to Bill Davis Racing. "Something like that would not come as a direct, hasty response to what has occurred," said Todd Goyer, manager of Dodge Motorsports. "I can't say what will happen down the road, however." Last week, Dodge severed its contract to provide factory support to BDR's Winston Cup teams with drivers Ward Burton and Kenny Wallace. The manufacturer would not comment on the specific reason for its move, with Goyer saying only that BDR's actions were "intolerable." Speculation in the Winston Cup garage Friday was BDR was involved with Toyota and its plans to enter the NASCAR Truck series next season. Goyer would not directly respond to that issue, saying instead: "As a hypothetical question, it's safe to say if a Dodge team was working with another manufacturer, we would have concerns." BAM Racing, which fields the #49 Dodges for Ken Schrader, hopes to pick up some of backing previously directed to BDR. BAM currently receives little factory support from Dodge. "The Dodge people know what their plans are for the rest of the year. Anything they can do for us, the gratitude would certainly be unlimited," said Eddie Jones, BAM's general manager. "They are already doing the things for us they can. They had a limited number of contracts and we weren't one of them. But they have been doing everything they could because they have seen our loyalty to the brand." Although it has no full-time primary sponsor, BAM has entered every race this season and has used Dodges since it began a part-time schedule last season. BDR officials again Friday declined to comment on the situation.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-31-2003)
- Alan Kulwicki Memorial Scholarship Awarded: Tiffany Daniels, a top high-school student, athlete and race car driver from Smithfield, Va., has received the Alan Kulwicki Memorial Scholarship from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Rich Habegger, vice president of operations for Sports Marketing Enterprises at R.J. Reynolds, presented Daniels with the 2003 scholarship on May 25 at the Lowe's Motor Speedway prior to Coca-Cola 600. Daniels, the daughter of Charlie and Wanda Daniels, graduated on May 24 from Hampton Roads Academy [VA]. During her high school career, she was a National Merit Scholar, winner of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Math and Science award, a member of the Spanish Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta math honor society and a cum laude graduate. As a high school athlete Daniels played varsity field hockey and was captain of the varsity softball team. She has been involved in numerous community activities as a member of the Key Club and Interact Club. The four-year Kulwicki Scholarship is the highest honor within UNC Charlotte's Motorsports Engineering program. The scholarship is given in memory of late NASCAR Winston Cup points champion Alan Kulwicki, who lost his life in a plane crash in 1993. Kulwicki was an engineer and a strong supporter of engineering and science education. The Lee College of Engineering at UNC Charlotte presents the scholarship to a high school senior who demonstrates outstanding academic achievement and has an affiliation with auto racing. UNC Charlotte's Kulwicki scholars have established a strong tradition of academic and auto racing excellence. Many of the winners are ardent racecar drivers, as well as top engineers. Daniels, who plans to major in motorsports engineering at UNC Charlotte, has been an avid auto racing fan, team member and driver for years. As a Legends driver, Daniels has posted one win in a Young Lions race at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. In 2002, she finished sixth in the Virginia State Young Lions points, and 12th in Virginia State Semi-Pro points. This year, she is currently second in the Virginia State Semi-Pro points, and has had several top 10 finishes. She also races regularly in the Lowe's Motor Speedway Summer Shootout and Winter Heat series. As the premier motorsports engineering program in the country, UNC Charlotte attracts top students from throughout the United States. The Lee College of Engineering has strong ties with many of the race teams in the Charlotte area, and UNC Charlotte engineering graduates can be found on numerous NASCAR teams. UNC Charlotte motorsports engineering students also have built a reputation for racing success in competition against other southeastern universities in the Inter-Collegiate Auto Racing Association. Racing 5/8th scale Legends cars, the UNC Charlotte 49ers have captured the collegiate National Championship the past six years.(NinerOnline.com)(5-31-2003)
- Gone Fishing: Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle, Jeff Green, Hank Parker Jr. and Carl Edwards are scheduled to compete in the second annual Citgo Jeff Burton Celebrity Challenge fishing tournament on June 4 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The drivers will join BASS anglers Kevin VanDam, Gerald Swindle, Jay Yelas, Marty Stone, Jimmy Mize and Shaw Grigsby in a made-for-television event to be shown on ESPN2 during Bassmaster Classic week (July 28-Aug. 3) in New Orleans. Burton and VanDam were paired together in order to defend their 2002 title. The team caught a combined total of six fish that weighed a total of 14 pounds, seven ounces. The winning driver and angler will have a $10,000 donation to the Muscular Dystrophy Association made in their name. The teams will compete for the crystal Jeff Burton Celebrity Challenge trophy. As well, the winning team has a $10,000 donation to the Muscular Dystrophy Association made in their name on behalf of CITGO. The Tulsa, Okla., company is the largest corporate donor to the MDA, contributing more than $50 million throughout the past 17 years. Each team will bring their six-fish limit (three fish each) to the final weigh-in, which will be held at Noon, Wednesday June 4 at the Orlando Bass Pro Shops store. Fans are welcome and there will be interactive displays and giveaways for those in attendance.(Cox Marketing Group PR)(5-31-2003)
- Jimmie Johnson To Be Honored At Stewart-Marchman Dinner: The Stewart-Marchman Foundation will honor NASCAR Winston Cup star Jimmie Johnson during its annual Daytona Club gala at the Daytona International Speedway on July 2. Johnson has demonstrated his concern for others both as a friend and mentor to young race drivers. He has also volunteered for the American Red Cross Celebrity Cabinet and teamed up with Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse to help support our troops by raising money for Operation United Service Organizations (USO) Care Packages. Money raised through donations at local Lowe's stores will be sent to the USO and used to create care packages that troops will receive around the world. Joining Johnson at the gala will be former NASCAR driver and broadcast personality Bennie Parsons who will emcee the event. Title Sponsor for the fund-raiser is The Johnson Group, Inc.--one of Central Florida's most prominent builder/developers. Tickets and sponsorships for the event may still be purchased from the Stewart-Marchman Foundation, Inc.(PR), for more info, see my Racing Charity Page.(5-31-2003)
- Coke 600 TV Ratings...beats Indy: NASCAR beat the Indianapolis 500, but by just .1 rating point, which was good enough for the #1 slot in sports television last week. The Coca-Cola 600 on FOX scored a 4.7 rating and 11 share. These results beat ABC’s Indianapolis 500 (4.6 rating and 14 share) for the second straight year. NASCAR's number is down 8 percent from last year, while Indy's result fell off 4 percent. The Coca-Cola 600 reached 5,055,000 households and 8,042,000 people, according to Nielsen Media Research. Indy had 4,892,000 households and 6,723,000 people. Interestingly, the Coca-Cola 600 rain delay coverage from 6:57 p.m. to 7:10 p.m. officially checked in third place among sports broadcasts with a 4.4 rating. The Indy 500 pre-race show had a 2.7 rating and 9 share, good enough for 7th place.(MotorsportsTV)(5-31-2003)
- Ramblings - Dover: Sure was nice to here today that DW is now against the provisional system. Might have something to do with him not needing one anymore, huh? I [this is Stockcarfans commnets NOT Jayski] guess he just doesn't remember that he used 21 of 'em in 1998....now he feels the fastest 43 should just start each event. BTW, this egregious number caused a rules change the following
year....he then maxed out at 8 in both 1999 and 2000.
Rusty Wallace (2nd) has his best starting spot since he had the pole when we were here in September.
Matt Kenseth (4th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 4th at Pocono last June.
Sterling Marlin (6th) had his best qualifying run since he started 4th at Rockingham in February.
STREAKIN....Ryan Newman has 11 Top-10 starts in a row. Jeff Gordon has 8 Top-10 starts in the last 9 races.(Stock Car Fans Newsletter)(5-31-2003)
- Dodge Splits with Bill Davis Racing UPDATE: A top Dodge Motorsports official confirmed Thursday that the automaker has terminated its contract with Bill Davis Racing [BDR]. Davis fields the Winston Cup Dodges of 2002 Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton and Kenny Wallace. Davis also fields Chevrolets in the Busch Series for Scott Wimmer. Todd Goyer, manager of Dodge Motorsports, said the contract was terminated prior to last weekend's Coca-Cola 600. Goyer would not comment spcifically on what prompted Dodge's decision, but called BDR's actions "intolerable." He would not provide specifics. A spokeswoman for the Davis team said she was not aware of the change late Thursday afternoon. The loss of factory support means BDR will not receive information and engineering data provided to Dodge programs. BDR could also lose wind-tunnel time and the use of factory-supplied parts for its teams. Bill Davis Racing ran Dodge bodies in last weekend's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway.(ThatsRacin.com). There have been many rumors that BDR has been working with Toyota for the Truck Series, which will run the that series in 2004.
AND Dodge Motorsports has terminated its contract with Bill Davis Racing, cutting off all support and access to information for drivers #22-Ward Burton and #23-Kenny Wallace. Todd Goyer, managing director for Dodge Motorsports, said Thursday the contract was broken before last week's Coca-Cola 600 because of a "material breach of agreement."
"We do have enough reason to reach the conclusion that we did," Goyer said. There has been speculation Davis has been in discussion with Toyota, which will become the first foreign automaker in NASCAR next season when it enters Tundras in the Truck Series. Goyer would not comment further on what led to the split with BDR. Davis can still use Dodge Intrepids for Burton, Wallace and Busch Series driver Scott Wimmer [but run's Chevy's in Busch], but he'll now have to pay for all of his equipment. He'll also be shut out of the information sharing that goes on between Dodge teams. That access can be vital, considering NASCAR heavyweights Roger Penske, Chip Ganassi and Ray Evernham are part of the Dodge contingent. "Factory support means they have access to the technology that all the Dodge teams have and all the information sharing," Goyer said. "It's access to all the technical aspects, plus the marketing support and use of the Dodge brand name." Davis will also lose access to Dodge's wind tunnel in Michigan. Wind tunnel time is one of the greatest expenses in racing and Dodge teams were able to save considerably by having one in-house at the DaimlerChrysler headquarters. The manufacturer now has four official teams - Penske Racing [#2/#12], Chip Ganassi Racing [#40/#41/#42], Evernham Motorsports [#9/#19/#91] and Petty Enterprises [#43/#44/#45] - and nine drivers. #49-Ken Schrader drives a Dodge for BAM Motorsports, but the team does not receive factory support.(Charlotte Observer/AP)(5-29-2003)
UPDATE suspposedly BDR tested a Chevy at Dover with Wimmer the week before the Coke 600 for the Cup race, then it was announced Wimmer would not run at Dover.
AND also the Jim Smith's Ultra Motorsports #7 Sirius Dodge and Jimmy Spencer is a Dodge factory team.
UPDATE 2: all interviews with either Dodge folks, Bill Davis or the drivers pretty much are 'No Comment' on the situation. The only thing mentioned was that it was a face-to-face meeting with Dodge and Davis during the Coke 600 race weekend.(5-30-2003)
- Robby's Angel's? UPDATE: #31-Robby Gordon is scheduled to run a Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle paint scheme on June 1st at Dover. It will also run again in late fall when the DVD for the movie is released(3-27-2003)
UPDATE: added the image of the scheme to my Paint Scheme Gallery.(5-29-2003)
UPDATE 2: looks like this scheme will NOT be run at Dover, the car had the regular black scheme during qualifying.(5-30-2002)
- Special Flags: At about 8:30am/et this morning, members of the Air Force stationed at Dover Air Force Base presented three sets of green and checkered flags to officials at Dover International Speedway. "These flags have flown combat missions over Iraq," said base spokeswoman Lt. Allison N. Tedesco. "Everyone here is very excited." Lt. Tedesco said the track gave the Air Force the flags about two months ago. Since then, the flags have traveled on military aircraft moving faster than any NASCAR race car. "The flags went on combat missions in A-10s," Lt. Tedesco said. The agile A-10 Thunderbolt typically travels more than 400 mph. Lt. Tedesco said every Air Force crew transporting the flags signed them. Speedway spokesman John Dunlap said the flags would probably not be used to start or end any race. "As far as I know, the flags will be gifts for special guests," he said. He didn't know which guests would get the flags. Lt. Tedesco said the flags were important for several reasons. "A lot of air crews wrote personal messages to some of the drivers," she said. "We are just very excited NASCAR is going to use them. "They are still covered with dust from Iraq."(Dover Newszap)(5-30-2003)
- Triple Duty for Mike Wallace: It’s not enough that #01-Mike Wallace is running both Saturday’s Busch Series and Sunday’s Winston Cup event. He’s flying back to Charlotte tonight to attend his daughter Lindsey’s high school graduation.(Gaston Gazette)(5-30-2003)
- Huge Deal for Dale Jr. UPDATE: Garage sources say Budweiser, Junior's primary sponsor, has re-signed him to a three-year deal that will pay Dale Earnhardt Inc. $18 million in 2004, $20 million 2005 and $22 million in 2006. That's a chunk of change, but Budweiser will get some of it back—30 percent of a driver's souvenir sales generally goes to the sponsor.(Sporting News)(5-26-2003)
UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. is apparently ready to sign a new $60 million, three-year contract with Budweiser. But Ty Norris, general manager of Dale Earnhardt Inc., says the $60 million sponsorship figure is incorrect: 'Don't believe some of those crazy numbers. We are in negotiations with Budweiser to extend our contract, which is up at the end of 2004. But the numbers are no one else's business but ours, and it's unfair to put numbers like that out there.'(Winston Salem Journal)(5-30-2003)
- More on Yates engine: “We thought we had a problem and took the engine out,” explained Doug Yates of his Robert Yates Racing #88 team’s recent loss of a motor to NASCAR during the The Winston weekend when the team believed there was an engine problem that warranted removal. NASCAR took the engine because it was not removed following the rules, not because the engine was illegal. We thought we had an issue, but it turns out that we didn’t,” Yates said. “[But] they took it. Hopefully this will prove a point, just like it did on that car at Texas.” Yates was refering to the #20 Home Depot Chevy that NASCAR impounded from Joe Gibb Racing after the car failed to meet offset specifications in the rear decklid area. The confiscation netted Gibbs no financial fine, as was the case with the motor RYR lost to NASCAR.(Ford Racing)(5-30-2003)
- Raycom Rolls on TRAC Sponsorship Drive: Team Sports Entertainment, Inc., parent company of Team Racing Auto Circuit (TRAC), retained Raycom Sports of Charlotte, NC in April, 2003 to sell and market all of TRAC's in-house and league-wide sponsorships including television. Since that time, Raycom has contacted, had discussions with, or met with over 70 potential sponsors in over 20 different advertising categories. They are taking a vertically integrated package to the market that not only launches sponsorships, but can also guarantee category exclusivity.(TRAC PR)(5-30-2003)
- Cope to pull double duty at Dover: Derrike Cope will be pulling double duty this weekend at Dover. Cope will be in the Jay Robinson Racing #49 Busch Series Car on Saturday with support from Fans Motorsports.com and Choice Marketing. On Sunday.Derrike and the Winston Cup Series Quest #37 Team will be running in the MBNA Armed Forces Family 400. The team is looking for a product deal to fill in as a primary sponsor for their Busch effort for the remainder of the season.(5-30-2003)
- Only 6 Months Away: The NASCAR Winston Cup Series will return to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel's Grand Ballroom in New York City on Friday, Dec. 5. Awards will total approximately $17 million and will be presented to the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup champion and other eligible drivers. This year's Raybestos Rookie of the Year will also be honored at the prestigious black-tie dinner celebration. No word on television plans for the banquet as of yet. The 2002 banquet was televised on TNT.(5-29-2003)
- Bliss in a third Gibbs car? Mike Bliss reportedly will drive a third Winston Cup car for Joe Gibbs Racing at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona and the EA Sports 500 at Talladega in September. Bliss currently drives for Gibbs in the Busch Series.(Winston Cup Scene - need subscription to read)(5-29-2003)
- Another Looney Tunes: hearing #30-Steve Park will run a Looney Tunes scheme (not sure which one) at Phoenix along with #24-Jeff Gordon (Yosemite Sam) and #25-Joe Nemechek (Bugs Bunny), Busch driver #12-Kerry Earnhardt (Yosemite Sam) and Kevin Harvick in the Truck Series race (with Taz),......more drivers to come?(5-16-2003)
UPDATE: added image of the #30 AOL/Looney Tunes/Daffy Duck scheme to my Paint Scheme Gallery.(5-29-2003)
- #23 to test in South Carolina: The #23 Stacker 2 team will test at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC, to shake down their road course car they plant to race at Infineon Raceway in Sears Point, Calif., later this month.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(5-29-2003)
- Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert News: In honor of the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces of the United States Of America, Teresa Earnhardt and the Dale Earnhardt Foundation will show their appreciation through a special ticket promotion surrounding the inaugural Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert. On Saturday, May 31st, for one day only and while tickets last, Teresa Earnhardt and the Foundation will match every ticket purchased for the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert, with the donation of a concert ticket to various branches of the Armed Forces. The Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert will take place, Saturday, June 28, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Performing at the daylong festival will be superstars Alabama, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Sheryl Crow, goo goo dolls and Hootie & The Blowfish, and a special guest appearance by Delbert McClinton. Anyone who purchases a ticket on Saturday, May 31st will be helping in this "Salute To The Troops". Tickets will be distributed to members of each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces through military bases. All profits from ticket sales from the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert will benefit the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, which Teresa Earnhardt established to carry on Dale's name and good works through the charitable causes he championed during his lifetime. Tickets for the concert are available through www.daleearnhardtinc.com, www.ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster charge by phone.(DEI PR)
AND - on TV: FOX will present a Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert, an all-star fundraising event, on Thursday, July 10 from 8:00 - 10:00pm/et(FoxSports)(5-29-2003)
- Tony Stewart, promoter? UPDATE 2 Not Interested: The World of Outlaws reportedly is having financial problems, and garage sources say Stewart might become the new owner/promoter of the open-wheel series. A possible bidding war could occur between Stewart and Speedway Motorsports, which also has expressed interest in purchasing the series. Word is the price could be $5 million.(Sporting News)
AND At least three trailers, a souvenir rig and a pace truck belonging to owners of a dirt-track sprint racing series were seized late Saturday by Cabarrus County [NC] sheriff's deputies, authorities said. The court-ordered seizure about 8 p.m. at or near Lowe's Motor Speedway followed a civil suit filed by Wheeler Television Inc. against World of Outlaws Inc., which owns the racing series. The Charlotte-based Wheeler Television is run by Patti Wheeler, daughter of Lowe's Motor Speedway president H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler. The suit seeks money reportedly owed to Wheeler Television, which last year produced taped segments of World of Outlaws racing for broadcast on the Speed Channel. The racing circuit features 1,200-pound sprint cars that race around smaller, high-banked dirt tracks. It was not immediately clear what effect, if any, the seizures would have on future World of Outlaws events. Richard Day, series spokesman, could not be reached Sunday. According to the company's Web site, the next scheduled race is today at Lebanon Valley Speedway, about 18 miles southeast of Albany, NY.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-26-2003)
UPDATE 2: Tony Stewart has no interest in purchasing the financially strapped O'Reilly World of Outlaws. Stewart's name has surfaced as a potential replacement for Ted Johnson, the founder/owner of the Allen-based Sprint Car series. Outlaws property was seized last weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., after a court order was issued following a civil suit filed by Wheeler Television Inc. According to the National Speed Sport News, the Outlaws owe Wheeler Television more than $500,000 for the production of programming in 2002. Stewart is involved in the open-wheel series as a car owner for friend and former champion Danny Lasoski. A possible suitor could be Bruton Smith's Speedway Motorsports Inc., which previously expressed interest. The asking price reportedly could start at $ 5 million.(Fort Worth Star Ledger)(5-29-2003)
- Driver Improves: Melvin Swisher now can claim something in common with a second Winston Cup driver. Swisher, 66, has been quick to boast for years that he has the same birth date (July 2) as Richard Petty. He gained common ground of sorts with Jerry Nadeau this week. Both were patients at the Charlotte Institute of Rehabilitation, recovering from wrecks in which they suffered severe head injuries. The difference is that modified veteran Swisher is moving toward the end of his stay and expects to return to his Kernersville home as Nadeau begins his therapy. Swisher slammed into the end of a wall during a March 29 crash at Caraway Speedway and was treated at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem for six weeks.(High Point Enterprise)(5-29-2003)
- Contests: Using a first foray into NASCAR stock car racing has led to some tremendous marketing success for Friendly Ice Cream Corporation. Sponsor of the #37 Friendly's Chevrolet and driver Derrike Cope, Friendly's has been using a new racing web site and a unique consumer promotion to promote its ice cream and restaurants. The results have been strong. The "Ultimate Race Weekend" is the Grand Prize. The winner and a friend will spend the Sept. 14 New Hampshire weekend with Cope in a motorcoach at the speedway. The honorary pit crew member will see and be a part of everything that goes on over the Winston Cup event weekend.
Other Contests listing include: Where’s Mongo Contest (ends tomorrow); Be a NASCAR Grand Marshal for a Day; CITGO's Peel Out, Reel In & Win! Million Dollar Challenge; Sharpie You Could Win $1,000,000; Petty Honorary Pit Crew Member. See more info on these and other contests on my Racing Contests page.(5-29-2003)
- Goodyear Not Leaving NASCAR: Stu Grant, head of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company's racing program as general manager, global race tires, said this week that Goodyear has no intention of leaving NASCAR. With the parent company struggling financially, reports have been circulating since late March that Goodyear would drop its racing division as a cost cutting measure. Goodyear is involved in several different types of racing and has been the sole supplier of tires for NASCAR's three major series, Winston Cup, Busch and Craftsman truck, since 1997. But essentially, Goodyear has been the only tire in stock car racing's top circuit since 1974, when Firestone withdrew from the sport. Hoosier invaded the Winston Cup Series briefly in 1994, but left after one year [Jayski Note: Hoosier also was in Cup 1988-89]. "We have no intention of getting out of NASCAR, in fact, we have a renewed commitment here," Grant said. "We have a five-year contract (through 2007) with NASCAR. Reportedly, Goodyear's corporate leadership has ordered its marketing department to start making better use of the racing program, and a bevy of marketing people were on hand at Charlotte last week. Still, some in the NASCAR garage remain a bit uneasy about Goodyear's situation, and competitors are appearing on the periphery of the sport. In March, Michelin sponsored the spring race at Darlington, which created a furor when Goodyear was never mentioned during the telecast of the event. And Yokohama recently became the official tire of Infineon Raceway (Sears Point). Others point out that while Goodyear does indeed have a long-term contract with NASCAR, it could sell its rights to another company and despite all the talk about a renewed committment to the sport, Goodyear has cut back on its testing. Specifically, Goodyear reportedly will not test at New Hampshire, which is being repaved, or at Homestead, where a major construction project is underway to dramatically change the corners. A source close to NASCAR said it already has a contingency plan in place should Goodyear suddenly drop out. Most likely, that involves Firestone, which has the engineering experience necessary to produce racing tires for ovals.(Lakeland Ledger)(5-29-2003)
- #88 Wins Pit Crew Award at Lowe's: The pit crew for Dale Jarrett's #88 UPS Ford captured the $20,000 first-place prize by winning the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERADE at the recent Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. Jarrett's ninth-place finish at the 1.5-mile speedway was paved by the excellent performance of his over-the-wall pit crew for its fast and accurate performance during the rain-shortened race. The UPS/Robert Yates Racing Ford spent the least amount of time, for a participating team, on pit road - 286 seconds, three seconds fewer than the pit crew of Michael Waltrip's team, which leads in the overall McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship point standings. Sterling Marlin's pit crew came in third - spending 290 seconds on pit road. The over-the-wall pit crew for the #88 team consists of John Bryan (jackman), Barry Price (gasman), Rick Coulson (catch can), Mike Trower (front tire changer), Darren Jolly (front tire carrier), Jason Sheets (rear tire changer) and Jeff Knight (rear tire carrier).(DMF Communications PR), see full rundown and standings on my Pitcrew Page and check out the Pitcrew Chart.(5-29-2003)
- Buschwackers wacked? Starting at Lowe's Motor Speedway, all cars for team that are driven by Cup drivers in the Busch Series races, must be in the inspection line before the Cup practices on Saturday (usually starting at 9:30am) and not changes to the car before the Busch race.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required)(5-29-2003)
- Connor to Dodge in the CTS? IUPDATE hearing former #0-Jack Sprague crew chief, Dennis Connor has been hired by Ultra Motorsports to be the crew chief for Jason Leffler and the #2 Team ASE Dodge Truck Series team.(5-27-2003)
UPDATE: Dennis Connor has been hired as crew chief for the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge. Connor will begin working with the Ultra Motorsports NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team and driver Jason Leffler immediately. Ultra Motorsports General Manager Tim Kohuth had been serving as Leffler's crew chief since Daytona but will relinquish the role to concentrate on his duties as general manager. onnor, 51, is a longtime NASCAR top gun who has successfully guided the fortunes of several drivers during his career. The Sylva, NC native guided Jack Sprague to three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championships (1997,1999 and 2001), two runner-up points finishes (1996 & 1998), 23 victories and 20 pole positions. Away from the racetrack, Connor resides in Davidson, NC with his wife, Brenda Gail.(Ultra Motorsports PR)(5-29-2003)
- Pocono Testing Thursday: Scheduled to test at Pocono Wednesday and Thursday are: #20-Tony Stewart, #16-Greg Biffle, #0-Jack Sprague, #42-Jamie McMurray, #74-Tony Raines, Casey Mears (#77-ARCA) and the #91-Casey Atwood?.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(5-28-2003)
UPDATE: Kyle Busch and his #87 ditech.com team spent two days testing their ARCA entry at Pocono earlier this week. The 18-year-old is scheduled to compete in the July 26 event at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.(HMS PR)(5-29-2003)
- M&M's Hoops for Hope Stuff: In order to complete the final stage of the M&M’s Hoops for Hope donation to the Autism Society of America, Elliott Sadler and M&M’S are ready to auction off some memorabilia from the game. In a final step to raise funding for a good cause, four game basketballs and a player jersey will go up for bid at midnight on May 28, 2003 and will run for seven days. To bid and for more info on the Auctions and the Golf Tournament, see my Racing Charities Page.(5-28-2003)
- Students to Learn Aspects of the Motorsports Industry on May 30 at Dover International Speedway Bring-a-child-to-work day will take on a whole new look at the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Dover International Speedway Friday, May 30. Craftsman Motorsports, in conjunction with NASCAR and Dover International Speedway, will sponsor "Urban Youth Racing School Day at the Races." Fourteen students of the Urban Youth Racing School in Philadelphia will get a special behind-the-scenes look at the motorsports industry. The Urban Youth Racing School is a non-profit organization committed to the education, training and preparation of today's urban youths through exposure to the automotive and motorsports industry. In 2002, 78 urban boys and girls successfully completed the 10-week motorsports orientation and training programs. More info on my Truck Series Site or Racing Schools/Jobs page.(5-28-2003)
- Kannapolis receives bids for next phase of Earnhardt tribute site: Finishing the next phase of work on the Dale Earnhardt tribute site in Kannapolis won’t be cheap. The city received bids from two companies and have selected Charlotte-based TK Brown Construction to do the work, officials said. The bid was $149,000, but Parks and Recreation Director Gary Mills said negotiations are continuing with the company and city leaders hope to whittle the cost down. The next phase will include installing an irrigation system, sprucing up the park’s entrances, landscaping and additional brick work. Mills said the site plan calls for elaborate landscaping, including cherry trees, hollies, azaleas, junipers and a variety of other plants and flowers. But even after this round of landscaping, Mills said the park will not be finished. Eventually, large willow oaks will border the outside perimeter of the park and brick pavers will be installed. Dale Earnhardt Incorporated has raised a total of $47,794 for the tribute. But DEI and the city remain in negotiations over trademark issues.(Independent Tribune, plus a article at NBC 14: Kannapolis in rights dispute with DEI)(5-28-2003)
- Blaney to be Fast and Furious? UPDATE hearing that #77-Dave Blaney may be running a 2 Fast 2 Furious paint scheme this weekend at Dover?
UPDATE: Following career-best start/finish performances at Dover last fall for both driver and team, Dave Blaney will return to the one-mile high-banked oval this weekend with a special bright orange paint scheme on the the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford, heralding the opening of Universal Studios’ 2 Fast 2 Furious movie in theaters June 6. The special design is part of a broad program in support of the sequel to the studios’ The Fast and The Furious, which enjoyed huge global success and helped fuel the current explosion of popularity for sport-compacts.(Jasper Motorpsorts PR), see image on my Paint Schemes Gallery(5-28-2003)
- Third Roof Flap: NASCAR will gather information on a third roof flap during a wind-tunnel test Tuesday night near Detroit. Managing director of competition Gary Nelson showed Totally NASCAR how the additional flap operates at NASCAR's R&D center in Concord, N.C. If the test goes well, the third roof flap could be in place before the end of the season.(Fox Sports Net's Totally NASCAR)(5-28-2003)
- 3rd Davis Team at Dover UPDATE nope: Bill Davis Racing will field a third [#27] Winston Cup entry at the June 1 race at Dover, Del., for its Busch series driver Scott Wimmer, team officials confirmed Saturday. BDR currently fields the #22 Caterpillar Dodges for Ward Burton and the #23 Stacker 2 Dodges for Kenny Wallace. Wimmer is scheduled to test his Cup car Monday and Tuesday at Dover.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-18-2003)
UPDATE: No Double Duty: Wimmer will not be competing in the Winston Cup event this weekend at Dover as previously announced.. "We weren't pleased with our results from the test, so we decided not to attempt to run this race," said owner, Bill Davis.. "We weren't obligated to run this race, so we elected not to do so.. We are still planning on running Scott in some Cup races this year, but we haven't determined which ones they'll be yet."(Bill Davis Racing PR)(5-28-2003)
- Petty Movie in 2004: Plans for the Disney movie on the Petty family continue. Production is expected to begin later this year with a tentative release date of late 2004.(Roanoke Times), see past news on the Petty movie on my TV/Media page.(5-28-2003)
- A 44th car...for a moment AND more IMAX stuff: Fans who paid close attention to the grid Sunday noticed a 44th car, lined up dead last. It was a Roush Racing-provided #97 Ford, a car modified to accommodate an IMAX camera where the trunk ordinarily is. It made a handful of parade laps, then pulled off after getting all it needed for a film.(Daily Press)(5-26-2003)
AND Newman spent Tuesday afternoon with Jimmie Johnson and the producers from IMAX Entertainment. Both drivers were asked to shoot the opening scene for IMAX's NASCAR-related movie. The duo played fleeing moonshiners in 1940s get-up, being chased by Mike Helton and Gary Nelson.(Tom Roberts PR)(5-28-2003)
AND II: The moonshine running scene was being filmed at Wilson Creek for a documentary on the history of NASCAR. Warner Brothers, IMAX and NASCAR are teaming up on the project to offer movie-goers and NASCAR fans a unique motion picture experience. A crew of about 35 men and women were working May 14 to shoot a scene for the 45-minute documentary, "NASCAR the IMAX Experience 3D." The scene was filmed with a $3.5 million dollar IMAX 3-D movie camera. There are only two in the world. The camera holds three minutes of film and takes about 17 minutes to reload. It takes four men to lift the camera. Doug Hylton and Lorne Orleans are producing the 3-D film. Orleans said the Wilson Creek area was chosen because of the beautiful scenery and there are few signs of modern day life in many areas. Wincer admits he was not a race fan. He has read and studied the history and is now very knowledgeable on the history of NASCAR. The documentary does not focus on one NASCAR driver or one team. Crew members have already filmed scenes from Daytona, Martinsville, Talladega, Richmond, Michigan and California. They planned to film at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte and will be at Bristol in the fall. The opening of the film will be the moonshine chase. Using old model Ford cars, Steve Kelso -- stunt double for Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- was driving the moonshine car. In the car with Kelso was Cary Eubanks, double for Tony Stewart. Kelso use to be involved with racing. He owns 15 type NASCAR cars that are used in movies and commercials. Driving the sheriff's car was Al Wyatt, double for Mike Helton, CEO of NASCAR. Riding with Wyatt was Danny Pearce, double for Gary Nelson, who does a lot of security for NASCAR. "NASCAR the IMAX Experience" will open in IMAX Theaters the first of next year.(Charleston Post and Courier/AP)
AND III: Darrell Waltrip is filming a piece of the IMAX movie Wednesday afternoon at Lowe's Motor Speedway. DW will be driving his 1985 Budweiser Chevrolet and be "retro'd out" in a Bud uniform, open face helmet and goggles."(5-28-2003)
- More on Kyle Busch: 18-year old Kyle Busch told Benny Parsons on Monday night's PRN's Fast Talk radio show the reason why he signed with Rick Hendrick and not Jack Roush (like his brother Kurt) was that Roush Racing wanted to sign him to a 9-year contract. The younger Busch said, "I just didn't want to feel the pressure of having to sign a 9-year deal. My sports attorney said it wasn't a good idea to do it either and so he looked at some different options." Busch inked a 2 year deal with Hendrick to run 7 ARCA and 7 Busch Series races this season before going fulltime Busch in 2004. At the end of 2004 he'll become a free agent, but believes he will stay with Hendrick. Busch says both organizations have first class equipment, but felt he had to make a choice based on what he felt was best for his career.(PRN's Fast Talk)(5-28-2003)
- Another Wallace hits the track: June 14th will be the date and the historical .363-mile Hickory Motor Speedway will be the place where 15-year-old (16 on 8/18) Stephen Wallace [Rusty's son] will make his late model racing debut. The third generation driver has entered his Hamke Chassis Dodge (equipped with Maurice Petty-built Dodge engine) in the June 14 United Auto Racing Association (UARA) 150-lap feature at the track. "Steve's been practicing there and he's really getting the hang of it," says proud father Rusty Wallace. "It's to the point now that he's getting around that place faster than I can. This will be a good starting point for him. We'll see how he does there in that race and then look at the plans for the future. Unfortunately, we'll be racing up in Michigan that weekend and it will probably be impossible to get back to Hickory to help cheer him on. He's gonna' be a good one and we're proud of him."(Tom Roberts PR)(5-28-2003)
- Wilburn runs WoO: #2 Miller Lite crew chief Bill Wilburn participating in the A-main World of Outlaws feature on Saturday night at the short track at Lowe's Motor Speedway (qualified 23rd and finished 18th). "I'd planned on going over and coaching Johnny on," Bill said of driver Johnny Herrera, whose team Bill is an owner. "When we got over there, we decided to pull off the backup car and let me drive it. We had a lot of fun and guess you could say that climbing back into one of those cars is my golf game."(Tom Roberts PR)(5-28-2003)
- Lots of Goodies: The folks at Penske Racing raised over $3,000 during a bake sale held last Friday. The proceeds will benefit the "Friends in Needs" animal shelter in Lexington, N.C. Rain changed Ryan's plans on attending, but five of the nine dogs from the shelter still got new homes. Penske Racing South General Manager John Erickson showed even adopted one.(Tom Roberts PR)(5-28-2003)
- #48 Crew Chief fined: NASCAR officials announced today that Chad Knaus, crew chief for the #48 Lowe's Chevy, has been fined $2,500 for rule violations on May 23 before qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway (held May 25). The #48, driven by Jimmie Johnson, was in violation of Section 12-4-A in the NASCAR Winston Cup rule book (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-Q (unapproved use of refrigerant near the fuel system).(NASCAR.com)(5-27-2003)
- Gordon to test at VIR: Robby Gordon is scheduled to test the #31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet Tuesday [today] at Virginia International Raceway in preparation for the upcoming event at Infineon Raceway.(RCR PR)(5-27-2003)
- Mears testing at Pocono: Casey Mears is testing at Pocono Raceway on May 28 and 29 in the #77 Target Dodge. Mears is preparing for his upcoming ARCA race at Pocono.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(5-27-2003)
- Connor to Dodge? hearing former #0-Jack Sprague crew chief, Dennis Connor has been hired by Ultra Motorsports to be the crew chief for Jason Leffler and the #2 Team ASE Dodge Truck Series team.(5-27-2003)
- Coke 600 FOX Sunday Night Ratings: These are Nielsen's numbers as reported by Mediaweek's Programming Insider. Also, these numbers are only for the prime time portion of the race. Here's what MotorsportsTV have on overnight ratings for Sunday night so far:
NBC 7.8/14; CBS 5.6/10; FOX 5.3 / 9 ; ABC 3.1/5. Zap2it says the fast national numbers show that FOX earned a 4.9/10 for the night in prime time, with the race garnering a 4.6/10 from 7-8, a 5.2/10 from 8-9, and the final hour yielding a 4.8/8. Sunday's 87th running of the Indianapolis 500 on ABC yielded a 5.1 overnight rating, down 4 percent from last year's overnight number.(MotorsportsTV)(5-27-2003)
- AOL and Cingular team up: AOL and Cingular Wireless are launching NASCAR marketing programs, according to two stories in this week’s Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal. AOL plans to send an 18-wheel truck equipped with computers to allow fans to see AOL broadband features to 16 Winston Cup races, starting with Sunday’s MBNA Armed Forces Family 400 at Dover International Speedway. The internet service provider has also launched a new NASCAR home page on AOL for Broadband called "RaceTime." Cingular, meanwhile, will send a "mobile, interactive tent" to 11 Winston Cup races. Visitors can download racing-themed ring tones and games, sample products and sign up for special rate plans.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-27-2003)
- 43 Races since...: Leader bonus has been won. It's been 43 races since the NASCAR Winston Cup points leader won a race and took home the NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus. Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. continue to pace the field in the battle for the Winston Cup. Entering the race at Dover, 160 points separate the two. If the winner at Dover is also the NASCAR Winston Cup points leader at the conclusion of the event, he would take home the $130,000 check, as long as Kenseth starts at Dover, he is the only driver who can leave the track leading the points. Sterling Marlin last won the award, $20,000 at Darlington on March 17, 2002, it was NOT won by #15-Waltrip at Daytona, it rolled over to Rockingham.(5-26-2003)
- Jayski to donate: did it a few years ago, so why not again, but with a different driver, Jayski will donate $1 to Victory Junction Camp for every mile that Robby Gordon completes on Sunday in the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600. Could be $1100 if he completes all, and I will toss in and extra $500 if he wins either race and $1500 if he wins both.
Gordon finished 17th, one lap down, completing 275 [of 276] laps in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway
#27-Robby Gordon went out of the Indy 500 with a gearbox problem, completing 169 laps, Gordon finished 22nd.
Jayski's Donation amount for Gordon's Indy 500 run is 169 laps x 2.5 miles = $422.50
Jayski's Donation amount for Gordon's Coca-Cola 600 run is 275 laps x 1.5 miles = $412.50
Jayski's Total Donation amount for Gordon's Runs = $835.00
- Helton Comments: Give us some of the factors that led to the decision tonight to call (the Coca-Cola 600) at 414 miles:
Mike Helton, NASCAR president: "Well, what we're faced with right now... It's 9:30pm/et, and based on the experience we had Friday, which took us a little over four hours to get the track dried under pretty hazy conditions and everything and tonight without any sun, the conditions, more weather on its way, the grounds around here have been annihilated all day long with rain and everything for fans and the policemen to help get the traffic out. If we'd had no rain the rest of the night -- although there's more forecasted -- it would take us at least three hours, and that's 12:30am/et getting started back. Enough's enough, and we would have loved to have gotten all 600 miles in and had a great race at the finish, but sometimes it just doesn't work out right.(from a Q&A at FoxSports)(5-26-2003)
- Huh? #97-Kurt Busch's crew chief, Jimmy Fenning, felt Earnhardt got a favorable call from NASCAR when his car began trailing smoke. ''What makes me the maddest is not the is not the rain but the fact that NASCAR let the 8 [Earnhardt] car stay out there, knowing he was going to blow a motor and didn't black-flag him and bring him in.''(Tennessean); Engine? Earnhardt Jr had brake problems, came in right after hitting the wall, heard nothing about an engine problem.
AND Before the big trouble developed, Earnhardt's team had problems in the pits, losing time because of difficulties changing lug nuts. He also was penalized later for pitting too soon. Earnhardt also was blamed for problems experienced by Kurt Busch, who hit the wall behind Earnhardt. "It seems like every time we come here to Charlotte and Las Vegas we get the bad calls," Busch said. "The 8 (Earnhardt) was riding around with his rear brakes locked up, and he broke a rotor. I think NASCAR should have black-flagged him earlier, but that's their call. We ran over the rotor, smacked the wall and cut a tire. Then they didn't clean the track again, so we cut another tire. It's just always something here, and they shouldn't have called the race so early."(Greenville News)(5-26-2003)
- Lowe's extends with Johnson/Hendrick: Lowe's, primary sponsor of the #48 Chevy, announced today it signed a five-year contract extension with car co-owners Rick Hendrick and Jeff Gordon. Hendrick Motorsports also extended the contracts of driver Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus, keeping what is already regarded as one of the best driver/crew chief combinations together for at least another five years. "Jimmie's on-track performance over the past year has helped Lowe's become one of the most recognizable sponsors in NASCAR," said Dale Pond, Lowe's senior executive vice president of merchandising/marketing. "The team's performance, dedication and determination exemplify the team spirit Lowe's employees feel as they work together to serve our customers every day." In addition to sponsoring the #48 Lowe's Chevy, the company also has naming rights to Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. Last season, Johnson's on-track success translated into Team Lowe's Racing becoming one of NASCAR's largest fan clubs. Lowe's also ranked second in sponsorship exposure value compared to all other major NASCAR sponsors. Based in Wilkesboro, N.C., the 57-year
old company is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world. For more information, visit Lowes.com.(Golin Harris PR)(5-26-2003)
- Huge Deal for Dale Jr: Garage sources say Budweiser, Junior's primary sponsor, has re-signed him to a three-year deal that will pay Dale Earnhardt Inc. $18 million in 2004, $20 million 2005 and $22 million in 2006. That's a chunk of change, but Budweiser will get some of it back—30 percent of a driver's souvenir sales generally goes to the sponsor.(Sporting News)(5-26-2003)
- Stooges schemes? UPDATE: Michael Waltrip will run a Three Stooges scheme in a Busch Series race.(2-28-2003)
UPDATE: and #7-Jimmy Spencer will run a Three Stooges 75th Anniversary scheme, not sure where. See images on my Cup page and my Busch page.(5-26-2003)
- Some Folks Surprised Race Was Called: Matt Kenseth couldn't understand why NASCAR decided to call the Coca-Cola 600 short of its advertised distance. Bobby Labonte wondered the same thing. Even winner Jimmie Johnson was surprised when NASCAR ended the race 124 laps early. Johnson was walking to the sanctioning body's hauler in the garage area when NASCAR officials started shaking his hand. "You know, I'm happy finishing second, but I'm certainly not happy calling the race at 9:30 at night," said Kenseth, who finished second. Bill Wilburn, Rusty Wallace's crew chief, went a step further. "We can spend an extra day to get qualified," Wilburn said, "but we can't wait another 15 minutes to see if we can get this race in? I feel like I've been cheated." NASCAR spokesman Mike Zizzo said that even though it wasn't raining when the race was called, rain was on the way. Plus, the track would have taken three hours to dry, Zizzo said, which would have put the race restarting at 12:30am/et Monday morning.(NASCAR.com)
AND The decision to close the show did not go over well with fans, who booed and jeered loudly, and a number of drivers who never had a chance to chase down Johnson.(Orlando Sentinel)(5-26-2003)
- Been Asked about the Rookie Stripe: Numerous questions have arose lately regarding the yellow stripe on the rear bumper of a car driven by a rookie driver. Busch Driver Mike Bliss has completed a season on the Winston Cup Circuit and participated in their Rookie of the Year award, this makes him ineligible for the Busch Series Rookie of the Year in 2003. However, NASCAR is requiring Bliss [and other's such as Brian Vickers at Nazareth] to run the yellow stripe at any track where he has not competed at before.(Insider Racing News)(5-26-2003)
- Ford after Young Talent: Ford's Dan Davis says he's always on the lookout for new, young driving talent. So he's signed up Matt Martin, Mark's nine-year-old son. 'He'll get this nice blue Ford oval for his helmet,' the Ford racing boss said with a laugh. But of course it's not really a joke -- it's good business. The younger Martin becomes part of a Ford marketing program aimed at other pre-teens. And Matt has been racing quite a while already. 'You've got kids who start racing when they're five years old, and by the time they're 20, they've got 15 years of experience, and they're very good, very skilled,' Davis said. 'I think it's great. One example is a Canadian girl who's shown some promise. She's 13, and she's shown a lot of promise, beating the 15- and 16-year old guys. And we're going to have her do a full-blown test to get an assessment of her skills. If that's a positive experience, we'll have to put a program together and move her through the various levels.'(Winston Salem Journal)(5-26-2003)
- Boris Said in the #01 at Sonoma? Rumors are that Boris Said will be in the #01 US Army Pontiac at Infineon Raceway, since he's known as a road racing specialist and has worked with Ryan Pemberton in years past [with Jasper Motorsports]. Currently Said is serving a 45 day suspension in the Trans-Am Series.(Insider Racing News)(5-26-2003)
- G-force Sensor: The Indy Racing League tested a new g-force sensor that drivers wore as part of their ear plugs in the Indianapolis 500. The sensor is expected to provide a more accurate reading of the impact of a crash to a driver's body. Technical director Gary Nelson says NASCAR is looking at testing a similar device.(Sporting News)(5-26-2003)
- Sponsor Issues: NASCAR officials, working on possible new series sponsors for the Winston Cup tour, have run into a few unexpected roadblocks: at least one of the potential new sponsors (reported to be a telecommunications operation, such as Motorola or Nextel) is reported to be having second thoughts about taking NASCAR's offer after learning that it would not have exclusivity in the sport. R.J. Reynolds' Winston brand has had that exclusivity, if not on contract at least at the behest of Daytona executives, and tobacco rivals were kept out (except for smokeless U.S. Tobacco). Any telecommunications sponsor would find a couple of corporate rivals already here, Cingular and Alltel, backing heavyweight car owners Richard Childress and Roger Penske. Regardless of what happens to the anticipated change in the Winston Cup series sponsorship next season, it appears that Visa will become not just a major sponsor on the NASCAR tour but also the only credit card that can be used at the Winston Cup tour's speedways, according to sources.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-26-2003)
- Find Nemo Scheme: #5-Terry Labonte will run a 'Finding Nemo' paint scheme at Dover on June 1st, to help promote the movie which opens May 30th, See images of the scheme on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(5-26-2003)
see the May 19-25, 2003 Archived News Page
see the May 12-18, 2003 Archived News Page
see the May 5-11, 2003 Archived News Page