PAST NEWS JUNE 2-8, 2003
THE PAST NEWS! YESTERDAY and BEYOND..
OTHER PAST NEWS PAGES
- Jerry Nadeau news and updated on the #01 Team News and Links page
- Busch wins at Michigan #97-Kurt Busch won the Sirius 400 at Michigan International Speedway, his 3rd win of 2003 and 7th of his career. #18-Bobby Labonte was 2nd in the Hulk car. #54-Todd Bodine wrecked on Lap 192 of 200 forcing a caution and setting up the final five-lap sprint to the end. Sunday's race got off to a slow start as Ken Schrader and Ricky Rudd wrecked in Turn 2 on Lap 2 for the first caution. Dave Blaney's spin on Lap 11 provided the first pit stops of the day but then-race leader Stewart stayed out to keep the lead. Ryan Newman, who led twice in the early going, blew his engine on Lap 37. His No. 12 Dodge caught fire but Newman escaped unhurt.(Story at Thatsracin.com)
See my Michigan Race Info page for the top 10, lap leaders, out of race, caution narrative and notes..
Unofficial Race Results at my Michigan Race Results/Awards page or at
For full unofficial points standings see my Drivers/Owners Points after Michigan page.(6-15-2003)
- Toyota Engine Heads Approved UPDATE: So three weeks ago, when NASCAR gave a thumbs up for Toyota's new 358 cylinder heads for next year's Truck tour, NASCAR also approved a brand new General Motors engine [R99], block and all - first for next year's Truck tour and then for the Winston Cup tour when Toyota jumps in. And NASCAR has told Ford to get cracking and come up with some new engine stuff, too. The deadline to have something approved is Aug. 1.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-15-2003)
UPDATE: Been told that NASCAR does not have a final submission from GM on the R99 and that all that been seen from Toyota, as of Pocono, was the rapid prototype pieces and that they've got to give NASCAR aluminum heads and steel block.before the piece is "approved".(6-15-2003)
- A First at Fairgrounds: Joe Henderson III, a lanky 18-year-old from Franklin, made local racing history last night at Fairgrounds Speedway. Henderson became the first black driver to compete in the 45-year-old track's premier Late Model division, driving a car fielded by Bobby Hamilton. And although it was short — he dropped out after seven laps — he said it was sweet. Henderson said he hopes to race again, ''as soon as Bobby gets ready. It's all up to him.''
''We wanted to put Joe in a car, turn him loose and see what he can do,'' said Hamilton, who was on hand to coach the young racer. ''I've watched him run in some [in lower divisions] and I think he's got promise. I like his spirit.''(Tennessean)(6-15-2003)
- Mears on the pole again....for ARCA race UPDATE Mears wins race at MIS: Casey Mears and Team Target are two for two. Mears, driving his #77 Target Dodge, set a new track record while earning the pole at Michigan International Speedway for the ARCA race. This is the second ARCA pole in a row for Mears. He won the ARCA pole last weekend at Pocono but the race was postponed due to rain [will run July 25th]. Mears' lap was recorded at 188.073 mph (38.283 seconds). His lap was three miles faster than the old track record set by Jason Jarrett (185.000mph). Mears qualified 22nd for the Winston Cup race later Friday afternoon. His fast lap was recorded at 187.446 mph (38.411 seconds). The Michigan ARCA race will be broadcast on Speed Channel at 8:00pm/et.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(6-14-2003)
UPDATE: Casey Mears won his first career stock car race today in his #77 Target Dodge in the Michigan ARCA race. This is the first win for Team Target in a stock car as well. Mears set a new track record while earning the pole at Michigan International Speedway on Friday. His lap was recorded at 188.073 mph (38.283 seconds), which was three miles faster than the old track record set by Jason Jarrett (185.000mph). Although Mears won the pole, he had to start 26th due to a misunderstanding in the garage area before the race. Team Target did not get their car through tech in the allotted time. Team Target was not the only team who had the misunderstanding, seventeen other cars had to move to the rear of the field for the start of the race. The 26th place start was no problem for Mears; by lap 13 of the 100-lap event he was in fourth place. Mears took the lead on lap 45 and never looked back. Team Target dominated the race and took home their first stock car victory.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(6-15-2003)
- Rumblings - Michigan: (comments about this post should be directed to StockCarFans.Com Newsletter):
#40-Sterling Marlin had a fast car, but #97-Kurt Busch had a fast car and great pit stops today....and that's a tough combination to beat. In a race that Marlin dominated, Busch's #97 Rubbermaid Ford proved to be the best at the end of today's Sirius 400 at Michigan International Speedway. It was Busch's 3rd win of the season (his previous wins came at Bristol and California) and the 7th of his career (he's tied for 52nd on the all-time win list). Busch now has six of the last eight wins for Roush Racing....they've got 64 all-time.
I don't know that I've ever seen an engine grenade like the one #12-Ryan Newman experienced today. There was more fire inside the car than on the business side of the firewall
#15-Michael Waltrip (5th) had his best finish since he was 5th at Darlington in March.
#19-Jeremy Mayfield (13th) had his best finish since he was 8th in the Daytona 500.
#0-Jack Sprague (19th) had his best finish since he was 19th in the Daytona 500.
#41-Casey Mears (20th) had his best finish since he was 15th at Las Vegas in March.
STREAKIN....#17-Matt Kenseth has 13 Top-10's in the last 14 races, #18-Bobby Labonte has 6 Top-3's in the last 7 races.
#16-Greg Biffle led today for the first time since he led once for 12 laps at Richmond last September. #43-Christian Fittipaldi led today for the first time in his career; #02-Hermie Sadler led today for the first time in his career. We've now had 37 different leaders this season....last year's number was 46.
This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is a tie between Sterling Marlin (+25) and Jamie McMurray (+25), followed by Ricky
Craven (+22). DOWN: It's lonely at the top as Ryan Newman (-33) is The Big Dropper. This is the 4th time this season that Rocket Ryan has captured this award. Matt Kenseth padded his lead over Dale Earnhardt Jr by 9 points today. That lead is now 185. Jeremy Mayfield gained the most spots in the point standings today (32nd to 29th), while Dave Blaney lost the same number of spots (21st to 24th). The Top-8 remain unchanged after today's race.(StockCarFans.Com Newsletter)(6-15-2003)
- Bliss in a third Gibbs car? UPDATE #80: 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)
UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing announced Saturday that they will field a third car out of their Huntersville, NC shops for the Daytona and Talladega races this season. Piloting what will be the #80 Chevy is 2002 Truck Series champion Mike Bliss. Sponsorship for the team will be coming from one of Joe Gibbs Racing's major associate sponsors. GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Advair Diskus (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder), a leading asthma maintenance product, will be the primary sponsor of the #80 car. Earlier this year, GSK and Joe Gibbs Racing announced a joint asthma education initiative, Racing Against Asthma, designed to help raise awareness of Advair and help bring information about asthma and effective asthma management to the public. As part of the education initiative, fans attending the Daytona and Talladega races will have the opportunity to visit the Racing Against Asthma trackside education center, which offers free lung function testing and interactive displays that provide fans with an engaging way to learn more about asthma. In his first season with Joe Gibbs Racing, Bliss, the driver of the #20 Rockwell Automation Chevy in the Busch Series sits in seventh-place in the current point standings.(Joe Gibbs Racing PR), see full PR on my #18 Team News and Links page.(6-14-2003)
- #97 and Irwin Tools UPDATE 2: hearing that Kurt Busch will run a #97 Irwin Tools scheme at Daytona in July, Chicago, Talladega in Oct and Lowe's in Oct.(2-5-2003)
>UPDATE The Box: at Michigan Internation Speedway on Saturday, June 14th, Kurt Busch will open some sort of 'big box' in a press conference with sponsor Rubbermaid [it was for Irwin Tools], Busch drivers the #97 Rubbermaid/Sharpies Ford.(6-14-2003)
UPDATE: While race fans have grown accustomed to seeing Kurt Busch's red, black and silver #97 Rubbermaid Racing Ford running up front in the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series, they will get an exciting surprise in four races, kicking off the second-half of the season. It was announced today that Busch's #97 Roush Racing Ford will don the new trademark blue and yellow colors of IRWIN Industrial Tools beginning with the NASCAR Winston Cup race at Daytona International Speedway on July 5, 2003. IRWIN will also be the primary sponsor of the #97 Roush Racing Ford for the Chicagoland Speedway race on July 13th as well as the races at Talladega SuperSpeedway (Sept. 28th) and Lowe's Motor Speedway (Oct. 11th). The formal announcement was made at Michigan International Speedway, site of this weekend's NASCAR Winston Cup Series event. Just like the #97 IRWIN car, both product and packaging feature IRWIN's new trademark blue and yellow color scheme. IRWIN brand products are available at industrial and contractor supply houses, hardware stores, home centers and automotive tool distributors worldwide.(Irwin Tools PR). See images of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(6-14-2003)
- Morgan-McClure to examine car: XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio reports that #4 Morgan McClure team owner Larry McClure said they will take the #4 Kodak Pontiac back to their VA shop and lokk it over and find if anything is wrong with the car and if they find nothing, changes may have to be made, but wasn't specific. The team and driver Mike Skinner missed the race at Michigan due to lack of speed and being out of provisionals.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required)
AND quotes by Mike Skinner from Morgan-McClure PR: "It is a situation no one wants to experience. I am devastated. I am proud of our engine shop and our body shop. We brought a new car here that did not have a lap on it. We had not tested it. We all thought it would be better, obviously it was not. We missed it somewhere. This was a group decision made on Tuesday, so there is no one to point fingers at. I feel bad. I wish I could have done more as a driver. Our cars and race team is strong enough to make races and compete. We have dug in a hole and they are not easy to dig out of. We are going to find out how tough we really are.. I cannot say enough about the progress we have made with our engines and the racing. This team has had some tough breaks on the race track. This has dug us in a hole for points."
AND II: "This is a tough situation and I'm going get to the bottom of it. I hope I can go home and find something wrong with the car, some reason we didn't run good," said team owner Larry McClure. "That is just a piece of metal, though. After that, it's people. I will make the decision regardless of what I have to change - whether it's me, the people working on the race car or whoever is driving it." McClure said he had not talked with any other drivers, but that all options were "on the table."(ThatsRacin.com), see my #4 Team News and Links page for past Smutski rumors.(6-14-2003)
- Ned Jarrett Honored: Ned Jarrett was honored Friday night with the Spirit of Ford Award as part of the Ford Centennial Celebration in Dearborn, MI. "When they told me a couple of years ago that I had won more races in a Ford than anybody else, I was extremely proud," Jarrett said. "We ran a lot more races back then, but I've always valued my relationship with Ford, and I'm honored to receive this award during such a special time in Ford's history." The Spirit of Ford Award is the highest honor in Ford Racing and goes to a person who has made significant contributions on and off the track to the sport of auto racing. Edsel Ford, along with Dale and Jason Jarrett, presented Ned Jarrett with the award during a reception at the Henry Ford Museum.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-14-2003)
- Congrats: After the crowds left and the sound of the engines quieted, Teresa and Don Bertke led a small group of friends and family to the winner's circle. That's where they got married. "We're both huge race fans," Teresa said. Huge enough that six months ago, they started asking if they could hold their wedding at the track. It was the first such ceremony at MIS. Teresa has attended races there for 25 years while growing up in Camden. Don is an Earnhardt Jr. fan. They wore their wedding clothes around MIS all day and posed for pictures with drivers. To them, it was the perfect wedding. "It was what we wanted," Teresa said. "The best part was getting our picture taken with Richard Petty." The honeymoon begins Sunday -- at MIS, of course.(Detroit Free Press)(6-14-2003)
- Nextel a done deal? NASCAR has completed negotiations with Nextel to be the next series sponsor replacing R. J. Reynolds, according to industry sources. The only questions left are when the announcement will be made, what happens to The Winston all-star race, and who will do all the behind-the-scenes work that RJR executives have done for many years. NASCAR officials would like to wait until the Pepsi 400 at Daytona in three weeks for the announcement, according to sources. No financial figures are available on the Nextel deal or how Fox, NBC and TNT will share in the new TV ad revenues. RJR pays NASCAR between $40 million and $50 million a year on a roll-over five-year contract, sources say. Visa offered NASCAR $80 million a year (apparently including monies for TV ads) with a 10-year contract, according to sources -- NASCAR liked the package but could not provide exclusivity.(Winston Salem Journal), see past news posted here a few days ago on my NASCAR Sponsor page, Nextel and VISA seem to be the front runners.(6-14-2003)
- Andretti rumors: John Andretti, released Tuesday as driver of the #43 Petty Dodge, could be under consideration for a Pontiac ride with the #01 US Army/MB2 Motorsports team, as a sub for ailing Jerry Nadeau, or for a ride with #4 car owner Larry McClure, sources said.[McClure denies talking to any other drivers - see above story]. Mike Skinner, who has had a tough season with McClure, failed to make the field. Just last week McClure denied speculation of changes [remember Smutski?]. MB2's Jay Frye dismissed the Andretti talk.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-14-2003)
- Mayfield to Petty? So this weekend rookie Christian Fittipaldi is in the Petty car that Andretti drove the last five years, and Andretti is looking for a job. And Petty is hearing speculation that Jeremy Mayfield may be on his list as a driver. Mayfield's year and a half with car owner Ray Evernham has been very disappointing.(Winston Salem Journal); Mayfield has also been rumored to the #1 DEI car.(6-14-2003)
- Gordon/Montoya Tradin' Paint UPDATE more re-airs on Speed: Video, Notes and Transcripts of Jeff Gordon driving an F-1 car and Juan Montoya driving the #24 DuPont Chevy on Indy's road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway site. The event will be re-aired on Speed Channel June 20th at 8:30pm/et.(6-12-2003)
More Re-Air Dates/Times: For those of you who missed the Gordon-Montoya Tradin' Paint special on Speed Channel, the entire 1 1/2 hour special will replay in three time slots, replacing the rained out Busch North race:
Monday, June 16th, 8:00pm/et
Tuesday, June 17th, 1:00am/et
Wednesday, June 18th,10:00am/et. The one-hour version will air Friday, June 20 at 8:30 p.m. following Winston Cup qualifying.(Speed Channel PR)(6-14-2003)
- President Norris? DEI's Ty Norris could be under consideration to become a track president for one of the facilities in International Speedway Corp., according to sources. However, Norris insisted that he is happy where he is. 'I love DEI and I'll be here as long as Teresa Earnhardt wants me,' Norris said. 'They say anything in the world is possible, but I have a lot of passion for what I do.'(Winston Salem Journal)(6-14-2003)
- Dodge Rides: Winston Cup drivers Jimmy Spencer and Jeremy Mayfield, spent several hours on Thursday at the DaimlerChrysler proving grounds in Chelsea, Michigan, giving rides for the media. Spencer was driving a Dodge SRT-4 with the performance upgrade package and when Ron Felix [of Insider Racing News] toured the 1.7 mile road course track with him, Spencer held nothing back. He obviously was honing his skills for the Sears Point race, next week. At one point we took an off road excursion into the grass. Spencer managed to hang on and we returned safely to the start-finish area. Next, it was two laps on the road course with Jeremy Mayfield, filling in for the injured Bill Elliott, in a Dodge Viper. The ride with Spencer was hair raising to say the least but Mayfield, not to be outdone by Spencer, unleashed all the power of the Viper and it made for a very exciting ride. At one point the speedometer displayed 140 mph, and that was entering a long sweeping turn, similar to the "Tunnel Turn" at Pocono.(Insider Racing News)(6-14-2003)
- Indy Speedway historian loses personal treasures in fire: Between 30 and 40 photos of famous race car drivers were destroyed after fire damaged the home of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's historian. IIt could have been worse," Donald Davidson said Friday as he emerged from his basement after inspecting the damage with a firefighter. "I lost stuff I'd forgotten I had." The lost photos included one of Davidson standing next to drivers such as Arie Luyendyk and Emerson Fittipaldi, and another picture of Ray Harroun - the winner of the first Indy 500 in 1911. The fire appeared to have started in a basement dryer at Davidson's house Thursday night, and fire officials estimated there was $20,000 in structural damage. Davidson said his official files and memorabilia collected from more than three decades as a statistician and historian for the U.S. Auto Club and the speedway were safe.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-14-2003)
- Ramblings - Michigan: (all comments about this post can be made to Stock Car Fans)
#18-Bobby Labonte grabbed the 24th Bud pole of his career at Michigan International Speedway this afternoon, knocking his teammate Tony Stewart off the catbird's seat with a time of 37.822 sec (190.365 mph). Bobby's 3rd pole this year puts him only one behind #12-Ryan Newman in that contingency program.
#20-Tony Stewart (2nd) has his best starting spot since he lined up on the pole at Atlanta last October (but that was by points). It's his best spot on time since he had the pole at The Brickyard last August.
#97-Kurt Busch (4th) has his best starting spot since he grabbed the pole at Homestead last November.
#29-Kevin Harvick (10th) has his best starting spot since he lined up on the outside pole at Talladega in April.
#1-Jeff Green (13th) has his best starting spot since he had the pole at the Daytona 500 in February [in the #30 car].
#02-Hermie Sadler (18th) has his best starting spot since he started 8th at Martinsville last October (only 4 races).
#31-Robby Gordon (19th) has his best startin spot since he started 6th at Talladega last April.
STREAKIN....Ryan Newman has 13 Top-10 starts in a row. Tony Stewart has 6 Top-10 starts in the last 7 races.
The Trouble Train contained two cars today....both of them OOP (out of provisionals). Mike Skinner & Larry Foyt both got the early out....for Foyt it's the 4th time this season he's been a DNQ. For
the #4 car, this is the first race they've missed since The Brickyard in August of 2001. They missed two events that year (Fontana as well)
with Kevin Lepage in the saddle.(Stock Car Fans Newsletter)(6-14-2003)
- Some Rules Changes for Daytona: NASCAR on Friday issued a four-page technical bulletin to all Winston Cup teams outlining several changes that must be made to cars for next month's Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. The most visible change is the requirement of an additional rear roof air deflector, which will likely slow the cars slightly as well as help keep them stay grounded should they get involved in an accident. NASCAR recently conducted a wind-tunnel test with a third roof flap and discovered a change in the air deflector improved the efficiency and performance of the two flaps currently in use. Several other, minor changes were outlined in the bulletin, including rules mandating the height and thickness of air filters, quarter panels, and the fuel cells.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-13-2003)
- No Rookie of the Year for Fittipaldi: Despite being inserted in Petty Enterprises #43 Cheerios Dodge with 22 races remaining in the season, Christian Fittipaldi will not run for rookie of the year. According to NASCAR officials at Michigan International Speedway on Friday, a driver needs to declare his intent to run for the award and then compete in at least eight of the first 20 races. Since 14 races have been completed and Fittipaldi was not registered for the program in the two races he competed in earlier this season, he is ineligible.(NASCAR.com)(6-13-2003)
- Rusty Busch Team UPDATE 3: Rusty Wallace is planning to field a Busch team next season, and the questions now are: Who might drive for the Winston Cup veteran, and will this team be a step toward the expansion of Penske South to a three-team Cup operation?(Winston Salem Journal); Chad Blount?(6-9-2003)
UPDATE: hearing Chad Blount could be the driver and it will not be a Penske fielded car. The announcement should come this week or next week.(6-11-2003)
UPDATE 2: hearing Miller beer is involved somehow and that Jessel Motorsports, who ran the #36 and #66 Dodges in the Busch Series last year will be involved somehow or rent cars/equipment/shop. Also of note, some folks think this may a team for his son Stephen, who will run a Late Model at Hickory, NC this year, but he is only 15 and won't be 18 until Aug 2005, in NASCAR, you need to be 18 to race in the top three divisions.(6-11-2003)
UPDATE 3 - Rusty's team? Hearing that Chad Blount will be in the #66 Miller Dodge at Milwaukee and will be testing at that track next week.(BGNRacing.com)(6-13-2003)
- Buckshot back: Buckshot Jones will be driving the #09 Miccosukee Resorts & Gaming Dodge for Phoenix Racing and team owner James Finch in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona. He will be filling in for Mike Wallace who is subbing for Jerry Nadeau in the #01 US Army Pontiac.(Buckshot PR)(6-13-2003)
- Part of an interview with Joe Gibbs: a recent interview with Cup/Busch car owner Joe Gibbs at the Sports Business Daily where he discussed a new business venture he's got with his son Coy:
THE DAILY: One of your latest business ventures is a company called Joe Gibbs Performance, which is the brainchild of your son COY. What's that all about?
Gibbs: We're working with GM, and we'll be coming out with a truck. Basically, it's going to have a different look to it. It'll be a Joe Gibbs Performance look, and then it's going to have a performance enhancement to it. We're going to be putting out 1,000 Silverados and hopefully 1,000 Tahoes ... over the next 2 1/2 to three years. We're in the car business, and we think that we have a feel for looks — what people like — and performance. It's a new venture for us, and we're excited about kicking it off.(Sports Business Daily, need subscription to read)(6-13-2003)
- Sad News: Condolences to Steve deSouza, VP of Busch Operation for Joe Gibbs Racing. Steve's younger sister, Marianne Barden, passed away May 20 following a 7 month battle with lymphoma (cancer). Steve had donated one of his kidneys to Marianne in March of 1994, which brought an end to his career as a professional powerboat (F-1) racer. MA had 8 1/2 perfect years with her "man-kidney," as she called it, thanks to his unselfish generosity.(BGNRacing.com)(6-13-2003)
- New Petty Museum: Already one of the most popular attractions in Randolph [NC] County's $6.3 million annual tourist trade, the Richard Petty Museum opened with little fanfare three weeks ago at its new location. All of the work should be completed there next month. Started in a storage room at the shop, the 15-year-old museum has grown into Randolph County's answer to Elvis Presley's Graceland. "We just needed a bigger place," Richard Petty said, getting up off the floor where he helped workers position a heavy glass display case. "And we needed the room at the shop." Petty said the 12,000 square feet looked a lot bigger when it was empty. He estimated that it would hold only about half of the family's memorabilia. "We knew how much room we had; we just didn't know we had this much stuff." David Caughron, executive director of the Randleman Chamber of Commerce, has been so eager for the museum's arrival that he spent several afternoons working there. He's excited about the shot in the arm that the museum will give the city's Oct. 18 fall street festival, NASCAR Day. Although the museum focuses primarily on Richard Petty's 35-year career, exhibits include Lynda Petty's doll collection and the 1998 Pontiac that the late Adam Petty drove when he won his first -- and last -- super speedway race. Don't ask Doris Gammons, the museum's executive director, how many items have been added to the museum. "We're putting it out so fast, I can't even tell," she said.(News and Record), more info on the museum at the Petty Racing site.(6-13-2003)
- Women's NASCAR Clothes: NASCAR has struck a licensing deal with Los Angeles clothing manufacturer Jerry Leigh Inc. to make NASCAR-branded clothes for women -- including pants, shorts, shirts and miniskirts -- and funnel them into the mainstream. The for-profit enterprise, based in Daytona Beach, Fla., says that 40 percent of its 75 million fans are women. Retail behemoth Wal-Mart Stores Inc. began selling the NASCAR line in women's and plus sizes in some of its stores earlier this year. Kmart Corp. also carries the line. And specialty and department store chains, including Sears, Roebuck & Co., are testing the brand in juniors' sizes.(Charleston Post and Courier)(6-13-2003)
- It's Over? UPDATE Yep - Gordon divorce final: hearing that Jeff and Brooke Gordon are close to a settlement on their divorce.(6-12-2003)
UPDATE: Brooke Gordon's's lawyers released a statement saying the couple "amicably resolved" their divorce case. "Brooke Gordon is very pleased with the terms of the settlement," said the statement released by Orlando attorney Terry C. Young, who represented Brooke along with West Palm Beach attorney Jeffrey D. Fisher. "Brooke is very happy the divorce is now over, and she wishes Jeff Gordon well in his racing career." NASCAR vice president Jim Hunter said the sanctioning body had not comment on the divorce. "Whatever happens in that divorce is between Jeff and Brooke," Hunter said. "People's personal lives are their personal lives, and I'm sure both of them are looking forward to getting on with their lives."(Daytona Beach News Journal)....well put and enough said.
Jeff Gordon reached a divorce settlement that guarantees his former wife at least $15.3 million. Brooke Gordon waived alimony and will get the money from the sale of two properties, including the couple's oceanfront home in Highland Beach, according to court documents.(Thatsracin.com). Links to other articles on this, see my Article/Column/Story Links page.(6-13-2003)
- Final Pocono TV Ratings: Sunday's Pocono 500 on FOX turned in a 5.3 final rating and 14 share, up 4 percent from last year's 5.1 final number. The race had 5,680,000 households tune in, according to Nielsen Media Research. The race finished behind two NBA playoff games and the Belmont Stakes in the TV ratings. The 5.3 final rating is the best ever for a race from Pocono. Also, along with last year's effort from Watkins Glen on NBC, the 5.3 is the strongest rating for NASCAR in recent history in the summer months of June, July, and August for a race outside of Daytona, Indianapolis, or Chicago.(MotorsportsTV)(6-13-2003)
- Double Duty for Bodine again: Todd Bodine will once again be pulling double duty, as he will be he splitting his time between the Busch Series event at Kentucky Speedway and the Winston Cup event at Michigan International Speedway. Because Bodine will not be able to be in Kentucky in time for Friday's initial practice, veteran Busch Series driver Mike McLaughlin will be practicing the #92 Monster.com Busch Chevy, something he has done in all non-companion events this season. Bodine is driving the #54 National Guard Ford in Cup.(Herzog Jackson Motorsports PR)(6-13-2003)
- Wallace double duty: Mike Wallace will run the Cup race at Michigan in the #01 US Army Pontiac and the Busch Series race at Kentucky in the #4 GEICO Chevy, no word on if he will have help practicing or qualifying either car.(6-13-2003)
- It's OFFICIAL - California gets 2nd race, on Labor day, Darlington moves to 2nd Rockingham slot, which loses a race: Beginning in 2004, California Speedway will get a second NASCAR Winston Cup date -- Sunday night during Labor Day weekend. This first official move of the Winston Cup Series' "realignment 2004" was announced Friday. The inaugural Pop Secret 500 is scheduled to begin at 8:00pm/et on Sunday, Sept. 5th, and will be telecast live on NBC. California Speedway is touting it as the first Sunday night prime time Winston Cup event. NASCAR president Mike Helton deflected all questions about additional future changes to the schedule. In 2004, North Carolina Speedway, a 60,113-seat oval in Rockingham, NC will lose its second date on the schedule, in the fall. This season Rockingham's spring race was held Feb. 23, a date that has been weather-plagued through the years. The Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, a 60,000-seat oval, will replace Rockingham's fall date. The Southern 500 has been held on Labor Day weekend for 53 years at Darlington, the 1.336-mile South Carolina oval. Darlington maintains its spring event, held annually in March since 1957.(NASCAR.com)(6-13-2003)
- Sad News: Tammy Stanley, wife of Don Stanley, Racing Electronics Busch Series National Rep., lost her long battle with Cancer on June 11th. Tammy lived in Concord NC and worked for many years for BSR Products. Anyone that knew Tammy was blessed to have know such a sweet, loving, and wonderful person. A service in the Charlotte, NC area is expected but not yet finalized. Information regarding the service will be posted on the Racing Electronics web site. Tammy was 35. Condolences to the Stanley family and friends. Racing Electronics is the sponsor of Jayski's Scanners Freq Links, News and Equipment page.(6-12-2003)
- Largest lead since 1990: Not since Dale Earnhardt led the standings by 213 points in 1990 has a driver enjoyed such a healthy lead in the rankings after 14 races. Kenseth's 176-point lead already has lapped the field in the race for the championship. And if he stays on his pace of finishing in the top 10 in 12 out of every 14 races, he could turn the 2003 season into one of the biggest racing blowouts of all time.(Augusta Chronicle)(6-12-2003)
- New Title Sponsor Soon? UPDATE 5 VISA?: NASCAR officials are on the verge of announcing a new series sponsor, according to NASCAR sources. Visa, Nokia, Motorola and Nextel have been mentioned. However NASCAR itself may try to handle the bulk of the PR operation when a new sponsor takes over. Also, there are reports that NASCAR executives are preventing present PR men from joining the new sponsor in order to keep more control of the sport inside the Daytona headquarters.(Winston Salem Journal), past news on my NASCAR Sponsors page.(6-8-2003)
UPDATE: some 'sources' have told me it'll be 'Nextel'....we'll see.(6-10-2002)
UPDATE 2: Depending on the day and the source, either VISA, Nextel, Motorola or Nokia will replace Winston as NASCAR’s primary sponsor, perhaps as early as next year. Nextel was the most-rumored sponsor at Pocono, a week after sources at Dover said VISA had the inside track. Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, previously the top rumored companies, have dropped out of the running.(Autoweek), so much for the 'Big Mac Cup'.(6-11-2003)
UPDATE 3: Nextel, a Reston, Va.-based provider of wireless communication services, is in negotiations with NASCAR to become the title sponsor of stock-car racing's premiere series, now known as Winston Cup. Several sources confirmed the negotiations to The Charlotte Observer on Wednesday, but cautioned that no deal has been signed and that major issues must be worked out before Nextel takes over the sponsorship deal that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco has had since 1972. One source said the deal could be worth as much to $90 million per year, a figure that would include about $40 million for television advertising and other media buys. Two other sources, however, said those numbers were too high. Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president for corporate communications, said Wednesday it would be accurate to say that the sanctioning body's search for a replacement for RJR has moved from efforts to find companies that might be interested to talks with companies that have expressed interest. Hunter would not say whether Nextel is one of those companies. Word of the talks with Nextel, however, has begun to reach other teams in the sport who may have conflicting sponsorship issues.(more at ThatsRacin.com/Charlotte Observer and some info: The Nextel Cup?)(6-11-2003)
UPDATE 4 DENIED: A report that wireless giant Nextel Communications is the leading contender to become the title sponsor of NASCAR's top racing series is "fundamentally premature," NASCAR chairman Bill France said Wednesday. France said that discussions are still ongoing with four or five companies to replace R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., which sponsors the Winston Cup. "It is fundamentally premature to say we are in final negotiations with anyone," France told The Associated Press. "We're still talking to several people and have not finalized anything with anyone."(USA Today/AP)(6-12-2003)
UPDATE 5: however, sources tell me it is gonna be VISA, not Nextel.(6-12-2003)
- Bickle to attempt NHIS Cup race: hearing that Rich Bickle is teaming up with the newly formed PF2 Motorsports, owned by Pam and Fred Bickford, to attempt the July 20th Winston Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway. Their number will #94 (Not #91) and will have signed with associate sponsor KnotlessBoatRope.com (www.knotlessboatrope.com) a company formed by Tim Greer who works on the team, invented and developed the Knotless Boat Rope in Bickle's facility in Mooresville, NC. The team is currently looking for primary sponsorship but will run the race regardless. Bickle is also scheduled to run the Truck Series race at Gateway that weekend and would be his priority, the team is talking to some Busch Series regulars in case he can't make it,(6-12-2003)
- Sadler and Team CLR team up UPDATE: Team CLR [usually the #57 Ford] is going to Michigan. They have been hired as a team by #02-Hermie Sadler to take one of his cars to the ARCA race this weekend in Michigan. The car was prepared in the Sadler shop in Virginia and Team CLR will put it in their hauler with equipment, tools, and employees and head for Michigan on Wednesday. Their roll will be to get the car through inspection, get the car Qualified, and pit the car during Saturdays ARCA race, plus Team CLR will pit the #02 Cup car on Sunday if Sadler makes the race.(Team CLR site)(6-11-2003)
UPDATE: Hermie Sadler will make his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut this weekend in the Flagstar 200 at Michigan International Speedway. Sadler, a former Busch Series Rookie of the Year and a frequent competitor in the Nascar Winston Cup Series, looks at this race as a great opportunity for him and his team. "We're looking forward to running the ARCA RE/MAX series race at Michigan. I have won a pole there in the Busch Car and it is a track where you can race three and four wide. We are running a brand new car and this is a great way for us to test it. We have power from DEI under the hood, so we should be very competitive." The car will be sponsored by NWA-TNA: Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, who is celebrating their One Year Anniversary with a special pay-per-view on June 18. TNA broadcasts every Wednesday night, but this one will be special, with three World Title matches slated, along with many surprises. Total Nonstop Action has made its reputation for providing surprises, and this special anniversary show will be no different. After the show will be a party sponsored by Sony Pictures' Charlie's Angles: Full Throttle in which attendees will receive merchandise and have a chance to meet TNA talent. You can catch TNA on Wednesday nights at 8:00 pm EST for only $9.95. Call your local cable or satellite provider for information on log on to www.nwatna.com for more details. Sadler, who has been on the TNA pay-per-view and is a loyal watcher, says fans will not want to miss the June 18 show. "They have a great show lined up. I am even thinking about asking for World title shot if I win the race on Saturday. I know Jeff Jarrett (NWA Heavyweight Champion) will be watching close on Saturday." The Flagstar 200 will be broadcast on same day coverage Saturday night at 8:00 pm eastern on Speed Channel. In addition to the ARCA RE/MAX series, TNA is also sponsoring Sadler's car at the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 Winston Cup race.(Sadler PR)(6-12-2003)
- Todd Bodine's National Guard Crew Wins Pit Crew Title at Pocono: Round 14 of the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by Powerade was won by the pit crew of Todd Bodine's #54 National Guard Ford. Bodine's Ford spent 237 seconds on pit road - the least amount of time for cars participating in the program during Sunday's (June 8) Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway. Elliott Sadler's #38-M&M's Ford was second at 238 seconds and the race winning Home Depot Chevrolet of Tony Stewart was third with 250 seconds. The victory earned the National Guard crew $20,000, the amount that is paid to the weekly winning pit crew. After 14 races, the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERADE has paid out $280,000 to Winston Cup Teams.(DMF Communications PR), For the season standings, who has won each week, the top 10 last race, see my Pit Crew Page.(6-12-2003)
- Johnson Helps Build a House: This past Monday, Team Lowe's driver Jimmie Johnson joined former President of the United States Jimmy Carter to kick off the 2003 Jimmy Carter Work Project (JCWP) in Anniston, Ala., one of three sites on which the JCWP plans to build nearly 100 Habitat homes this week. "Being able to put on my tool belt and help build these homes was an uplifting experience," said Johnson, an accomplished do-it yourselfer. "My association with Lowe's has allowed me to do some amazing things and meet some amazing people over the past couple of years. To be able to help build homes for families that need assistance and to be able to do this along side a former President of the United States was a rare treat." In support of the JCWP, Lowe's has joined forces with Whirlpool and
The Valspar Corporation to provide Habitat for Humanity with the products necessary to build and furnish the homes being built this week.(Golin Harris PR)(6-12-2003)
- Hooter's Leaving Bodine as sponsor: Hooters Racing will end their sponsorship of the Brett Bodine Racing #11 NASCAR Winston Cup team at the end of June. After being the primary sponsor for most of the 2002 season and the first half of this season, Hooters' last event with the team will be the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 15th. "We are clearly disappointed in the performance of the team both this season and last. We respect and like Brett and really want to see him succeed. However, it does not make business sense to continue to pour money into a marketing venture that is not getting exposure on race days. We wish the best for Brett in the future, and hope that he is able to find support from a company looking to fund a NASCAR team," said Mike McNeil, Vice President of Marketing for Hooters.(Brett Bodine Racing PR), no word on if Bodine will run anymore races in 2003, see full press release on my #11 Team News and Links page.(6-11-2003)
- Boogity..Boogity...Boogity.....DW to be Inducted: Three-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Darrell Waltrip will be inducted Thursday night into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America at the State Theatre. Waltrip, who won 84 Winston Cup races, will be one of eight inductees. Others are open-wheel and sports car racer Bob Bondurant, midget and Indy car star Mel Kenyon, safety equipment innovator and supplier Bill Simpson and motorcycle racer Gary Nixon. Inducted posthumously will be drag racing engine builder Ed Donovan, hydroplane racer and designer Ted Jones, and dirt track sprint champ Tommy Hinnershitz. NBC broadcaster Benny Parsons, a former Winston Cup champion, will be the master of ceremonies. Parsons, who grew up racing at short tracks around Detroit, was the first driver to qualify a stock car at more than 200mph, doing so at Talladega in 1982. Supporting Parsons onstage will be 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner Mario Andretti, Winston Cup hotshot Ryan Newman and drag racing icon Don Garlits. All three will present awards. Previous inductees scheduled to attend the ceremony include Junior Johnson, Bobby Unser, Ned Jarrett and Chris Economaki.(Detroit Free Press) More info on my Hall of Fame/Museum page.(6-11-2003)
- Andretti out Fittipaldi in the #43 UPDATE Andretti Surprised: Christian Fittipaldi will drive the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge for most of the rest of this season, beginning with this weekend’s 400-mile race at Michigan Speedway. Petty Enterprises announced this morning Fittipaldi would replace John Andretti, who has driven for the team since 1998. "Christian Fittipaldi has shown, every time he has gotten in a Winston Cup car, including Phoenix, Texas and Daytona, that he has the talent to drive these cars and help us get to the front," said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. "We look forward to showing everyone what Christian can do week in and week out." A driver to be determined will drive the #43 in the three races Fittipaldi drives the #44 Bugles Dodge, and his one race under the New York Yankees pinstripes colors. "This decision was finalized this week. We then informed General Mills of what we were going to do, and we are moving forward," Petty said. Fittipaldi, one of the top young names in Formula One and CART racing before moving to Petty Enterprises, will be starting his fourth NASCAR Winston Cup race this week. He ran in October’s race at Phoenix, as well as the season-opening Daytona 500 and April’s 500-miler at Texas Motor Speedway. "We appreciate what John has done for us," said Richard Petty. "We had some successes, won some poles and won a race but we feel like where we are right now it’s time for a change for Petty Enterprises and for John. "Speed and Fittipaldi go together," he continued. "He knows how to run fast, and he knows how to race fast. We feel he is going to do a great job for Petty Enterprises and for Cheerios and Betty Crocker."(Williams Company PR), no word on Andretti's plans. Fittipaldi is scheduled to drive the #44 Dodge with Bugles [yummy snack food] at the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, the EA Sports 500 at Talladega, and the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, and the #44 New York Yankees scheme at Watkins Glen. ALSO: no word on if Christian Fittipaldi will run for rookie of the year.(6-10-2003)
UPDATE: John Andretti was the most surprised person in NASCAR when he was fired Tuesday by Petty Enterprises. The Indianapolis native, who re-signed with the Winston Cup team in December, has been driving the #43 car made famous by team owner Richard Petty since 1998. "I just tested their car (Monday) at (Virginia International Raceway)," said Andretti, 40, a nephew of racing great Mario Andretti. "I don't know what to say." Team leader Kyle Petty was not available for comment Tuesday. Andretti and the Pettys have been close over the years. "You want to be loyal to people, to things, whatever," Andretti said. "That's what digs the deepest." Andretti said the team's sponsor (General Mills) played no role in the firing. But he said Kyle Petty's explanation, which he didn't reveal, didn't make sense. Andretti said he intends to pursue another Winston Cup ride.(Indianapolis Star)(6-11-2003)
- Laps, Miles led...: So far in 2003, #24-Jeff Gordon has led the most laps, 699, 2nd most is #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr at 526, after 4428 laps run in 14 races. #8-Earnhardt Jr. leads in miles led at 666.485miles to 657.156 by #24-Gordon after 5612.749 miles run in 2003. #8-Earnhardt Jr, has led in 10 of the 14 races, with #24-Gordon, #17-Matt Kenseth and #18-Bobby Labonte leading 9 or 14 races. #8-Earnhardt Jr also leads in Bonus Points with 65. Chevy has led the most laps of any manufacturer by far, leading 2497 laps to Dodges 993 (of 4428). Pontiac has only led 16 laps, and has not led a lap since #32-Ricky Craven led at California in April on lap 93, 1426 laps ago. For more such as All Time Lap Leaders, Laps led by Race, see my 2003 Lap/Miles Leaders/Bonus Points.(6-11-2003)
- Rusty Busch Team UPDATE 2: Rusty Wallace is planning to field a Busch team next season, and the questions now are: Who might drive for the Winston Cup veteran, and will this team be a step toward the expansion of Penske South to a three-team Cup operation?(Winston Salem Journal); Chad Blount?(6-9-2003)
UPDATE: hearing Chad Blount could be the driver and it will not be a Penske fielded car. The announcement should come this week or next week.(6-11-2003)
UPDATE 2: hearing Miller beer is involved somehow and that Jessel Motorsports, who ran the #36 and #66 Dodges in the Busch Series last year will be involved somehow or rent cars/equipment/shop. Also of note, some folks think this may a team for his son Stephen, who will run a Late Model at Hickory, NC this year, but he is only 15 and won't be 18 until Aug 2005, in NASCAR, you need to be 18 to race in the top three divisions.(6-11-2003)
- Schrader and Wallace at Quincy: Quincy's Mark Burgtorf won the 25-lap Ken Schrader Night United Midwest Promoters (UMP) late model feature at Quincy Raceways, a feat which seemed at best improbable, if not totally impossible, at the onset. The stars of the night were supposed to be NASCAR Winston Cup drivers Ken Schrader and Kenny Wallace. Burgtorf, a 10-time Quincy track champion, was forced to use a 500-horsepower IMCA spec engine against a 20-car field which featured 800-horsepower UMP power plants in 11 of the first 14 cars on the feature grid. Denny Woodworth of Quincy, Mike Hammerle of St. Charles, Mo., Gary Webb of Bluegrass, Iowa, and Johnny Johnson of West Burlington, Iowa, rounded out the top five. Wallace, using a car owned by Iowa driver Jody Wood, was never a threat and finished otuside the top 10. Schrader did not run his late model, but not by design. Schrader's crew could not get the No. 99 Federated Auto Parts late model out of its hauler, being unable to get the door opened. That frustration ended a three-day run of sour luck for Schrader. On the way to Quincy, the rig Schrader and Wallace were riding in was involved in an accident near St. Louis. That delayed their scheduled 5 p.m. arrival in Quincy by about two hours. Schrader was able to race his modified Tuesday night. The modified was in a second hauler. He won a heat race and finished sixth in the feature, but said he was disappointed in not being able to run a late model like most of the fans were expecting.(Herald-Whig)(6-11-2003)
- Dodge Money Problems? DaimlerChrysler warned Wall Street investors the struggling company may likely show a $1.1 billion loss in the second quarter. Not since Chief operating Officer Wolfgang Bernhard captured the helm at Chrysler two years ago has the car giant shown this type of earnings warning. A restructuring in 2001 laid claim to 26,000 lost jobs for the Detroit auto maker. Some analysts suggested the move was enough to return DamilerChrysler to a profitable status but now breaking even may be the restructured business target. The German-American company blames higher than expected incentives and direct competition from General Motors for the projected loss. Chrysler claims to have 518,000 unsold models setting on car lots around the country and is cutting production by 10% for the second quarter. Chrysler suggests that GM can afford to out-spend them in the area of consumer incentive and the hurt is starting to show up in the bottom line. Chrysler “just doesn't have the pockets deep enough to match GM,” said Art Spinella, who follows the auto industry for CNW Marketing/Research. “GM is defining what incentives are going to be.” Higher GM sales volume has caused concern for Chrysler as they struggle to compete with the GM incentive programs. No further job loss is expected at Chrysler and the auto maker is not backing down from offering consumer incentives. What this means to NASCAR Dodge teams is difficult to gauge at this point as further cut-backs may show up on the race track in the form of less capital investment.(Insider Racing News)(6-11-2003)
- Benson comes in 2nd: Tim DeVos, the current Late Model points leader at Berlin Raceway, outdueled hometown boy [and track owner] Johnny Benson to win the Meijer/Tony's Pizza 100. Benson, a one-time track champion here, and Tony Stewart, the defending NASCAR Winston Cup champion who won the Pocono 500 two days earlier, displayed their skills in front of a season-high crowd of 6,517 race fans who took a chance on the weather and won that battle..(Holland Sentinel)(6-11-2003)
- Jarrett To Receive Fatherhood Award: Dale Jarrett will be recognized for his fatherhood efforts during the month of June when he will be presented with a 2003 Fatherhood Award at the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Each year, the Fatherhood Awards are presented to individuals, corporations and organizations that make a substantial contribution to strengthening involved, responsible and committed fatherhood in their work or personal lives. The Fatherhood Awards were inaugurated in 1997 by the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), the premier fatherhood renewal organization in the country. The NFI is a non-partisan, non-sectarian civic initiative that works in every sector and at every level of society to end father absence. In addition to Jarrett, other 2003 Fatherhood Award winners include actor James Early Jones, Dr. Stephen Covey, Frank W. Abagnale, General Nutrition Centers and State Farm. Past recipients of the award include actor Tom Selleck, country music singer Tim McGraw, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly and AT&T.(See full article at UPS Racing)(6-11-2003)
- Update on Bill Elliott's Broken Foot: "I go to the doctor tomorrow (Wednesday) for another x-ray. We'll know more then but I don't expect that it's gotten any worse. We're just going on a day-by-day basis just like last week. The team is really doing a great job helping me stay comfortable and dealing with the situation. I didn't race with the protective boot this weekend and we'll just have to see what we'll do for this weekend. Tomorrow we should know a little more."(Golin Harris PR)(6-11-2003)
- Square Pants for Johnson UPDATE: #48-Jimmie Johnson is scheduled to run a Sponge Bob Square Pants paint scheme at Daytona in July for the Pepsi 400.(3-20-2003)
UPDATE: Lowe's announced on Tuesday that Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants is swimming onto the NASCAR scene and taking over the #48 Lowe's Chevy paint scheme for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway later this summer. Team Lowe's will run the special SpongeBob paint scheme over the Fourth of July weekend to promote American Tradition Signature Colors Design Centers located in Lowe's stores nationwide. Lowe's and The Valspar Corporation have joined forces to deliver a breakthrough paint formulation in distinctive palettes with colors inspired by children's favorite Nickelodeon programs as well as five other popular American brands. In addition to the SpongeBob SquarePants palette, the Nickelodeon collection will feature five other color families inspired by favorite children's programs, including Blues Clues, Oswald, Dora the Explorer, Rugrats and Jimmy Neutron. These exciting and familiar bright colors are especially designed for children's bedrooms and playrooms, as are the coordinated kits of themed sponges and appliqués.(Golin Harris PR), see an image on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(6-11-2003)
- Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert Stuff: Father's Day comes once a year, and the perfect gift is now available only online at www.daleearnhardtinc.com. Purchase two tickets for the price of one and be a part of the celebration to honor one of America's all-time heroes Dale Earnhardt, the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert. The special ticket promotion is available through June 13th and good for all reserved grandstand seating only. To take advantage of the promotion, just click on www.daleearnhardtinc.com for the special password and details of the offer.
AND Teresa Earnhardt was in Music City [Nashville, TN] this past weekend surprising the 15,000+ fans in attendance at Fan Fair as well as the hottest duos in country music -- Brooks & Dunn and Montgomery Gentry. Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s CEO/Car Owner was at country music's biggest event of the year to promote the upcoming Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert on Saturday, June 28th at Daytona International Speedway. Teresa Earnhardt introduced two-time Entertainers of the Year Brooks & Dunn on Friday evening's RCA Label Show at The Coliseum in Nashville. The following night, when Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry hit the stage and could not locate his guitar, she surprised him onstage delivering his custom #3 Dale Earnhardt guitar prior to the duo's performance of their current hit single "Speed." While in Nashville, Teresa Earnhardt interviewed Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry, Brad Paisley and Billy Ray Cyrus. Tributes were also shot over the Fan Fair weekend with Alabama's Randy Owen, Diamond Rio's Marty Roe, Delbert McClinton, and T. Graham Brown. The vignettes will be featured at the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert. The artists reminisce about when they first met the seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion, their friendships, and share their thoughts on Dale Earnhardt and his legacy.(DEI PR's), more info on my Racing Charities page.(6-11-2003)
- Donlavey car at MIS in ARCA: NASCAR Winston Cup Series #90 team owner Junie Donlavey has always been known to give a young driver a helping hand. A perfect example is the support he has given to his team manager's ARCA effort for the past couple of years. For this week's ARCA race at Michigan International Speedway, Donlavey has additional help. Jason Hedlesky, a native of Clinton, MI, will drive the EMP Stewart Components Ford in Saturday's Flagstar 200. EMP Stewart Components is an industry leader in high performance cooling systems. This will mark Hedlesky's fourth trip in as many years to MIS. He has been headed for top-10 finishes the past two seasons until engine and pit road glitches spoiled his effort. The only competition Hedlesky has seen this season is The Winston Open in May at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Donlavey will be accompanying the team to Michigan to help Ford celebrate its 100th Anniversary. Donlavey has been associated with Ford for more than 50 years and received the Spirit of Ford award.(Keystone Marketing PR)(6-11-2003)
- Larry Hicks Honored: Larry Hicks was honored in a joint session of the Alabama Legislature Tuesday, receiving the Legislative Medal of Honor for Law Enforcement Officers, the state's highest honor for law enforcement officers. On April 20, 2002, Hicks paddled a small boat out to the smoking plane that NASCAR race car owner Jack Roush crashed into the small lake outside Hicks' home and dove into the water covered with flammable aviation fluid, to save Roush's life. During the ceremony, Hicks and three other nominees were praised by top state officials, including Gov. Bob Riley and Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley. Roush was unable to attend the ceremony, but a videotape was played in which Roush described Hicks as his "new brother." Hicks, 53, was receiving cancer treatments at the time and said he might not have been able to help Roush if he had not just received a shot to increase his energy. Riley credited Hicks' ability to save Roush to his "love for another human being." Hicks, a retired Marine sergeant major and Vietnam veteran, said he is not comfortable being honored as a hero by the governor and other state officials. "I'm more comfortable in the woods in a pickup truck," Hicks said. But he admitted that he now looks at life differently. "Before I was more concerned with things I couldn't do. But the good Lord had a way of reminding me that there were things I could do," Hicks said. Hicks said he rescued Roush by using skills he learned in the Navy as part of training to rescue downed helicopter pilots.(Tuscaloosa News/AP)(6-11-2003)
- Sad News: Geoffrey, Brett & Todd Bodine's aunt passed away over the weekend. Marion Bodine Piper. (sister of Geoffrey, Brett, Todd's father, Eli), Age 88, Lived in Mooresville, NC. Viewing: Wednesday, 6/11 at 10am - Craven-Cook Funeral Home in Mooresville. Service: Wednesday, 6/11 at 11am - Cavin-Cook Funeral Home. Graveside Service:. Saturday, June 14 at 1pm - Roberts Funeral Home, Chemung, NY.(6-10-2003)
- Green injured but will drive at Michigan: After his Pocono wreck. #1-Jeff Green visited his personal doctor for further tests on Monday, Green was diagnosed with a fractured tailbone. "Dr. Petty ran an MRI and CAT scan on me yesterday," Green said. "Everything is fine. My neck muscles are a little pulled and my tailbone is fractured. There's nothing I can do about either one of those but grin and bear it. We are working on a special padding to put in the seat for this weekend though. That should definitely help. With how hard of a hit that was and how badly damaged the car is, I consider myself very lucky. Everything worked properly inside the race car--the seatbelts and the seat. The steering collapsed very well to keep it away from me. It was just a horrendous accident." Green will be behind the wheel this weekend as the team carries their renewed sense of confidence with them to Michigan International Speedway.(Pennzoil PR)(6-10-2003)
- Gibbs Racing gets the #20 back: The #20 Home Depot Chevy of Joe Gibbs Racing, impounded March 28 by NASCAR for failing to meet its body measurement specifications during pre-event inspection of the race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, was released in part Tuesday to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series team, NASCAR officials announced. Joe Gibbs Racing was allowed to retrieve the chassis and engine of the #20 entry, but NASCAR will retain the body since it did not meet the specifications of the 2003 Chevrolet body submitted by General Motors. "We met with the teams in September of last year and clearly laid out to them what our goals and objectives were in regard to the construction of the bodies and inspection process for the 2003 season," NASCAR Winston Cup Series Director John Darby said. "We have a tremendous amount of support in the garage for these objectives “ of which the specifications and body types are very critical for NASCAR's aerodynamic goals and direction “ and this was done in support of all those teams who are doing it correctly." During the impoundment period of nearly 10 weeks, the #20 car was checked against the car templates, re-measured and late last week underwent a full-body digital scan process that records all the measurements and angles of the car in a digital file. During the entire impoundment period, the #20 car was held under lock and key in a totally secured storage room at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, NC.(NASCAR PR)(6-10-2003)
- Five Have Finished: Five drivers have finished all the 2003 Cup races and have no DNF's (did not finish): #5-Terry Labonte;
#15-Michael Waltrip; #17-Matt Kenseth; #29-Kevin Harvick; #31-Robby Gordon. See my DNF Page for who has the most DNF's, when their last DNF was and race-by-race of DNF's.(6-10-2003)
- Pocono Overnight Ratings Up 11%: The Winston Cup race from Pocono on FOX turned in solid overnights of a 5.1 rating and 12 share, an 11 percent increase over last year's overnights of 4.6/11. Last year's race got a nice overnight bump to finish with a 5.1 and 15 share. The 2001 race had overnights of 4.3/11 and finished with a 4.4 rating and 11 share. Both the NBA playoff game and Belmont Stakes turned in significantly higher numbers than NASCAR this weekend.(MotorsportsTV)(6-10-2003)
- Morgan-McClure Motorsports has Double Duty as McClure debuts in Michigan: Morgan-McClure Motorsports, the Abingdon, VA.-based Winston Cup team, which houses the #4 Kodak Pontiac, will participate in a double-header weekend in the upcoming Michigan International Speedway events. Eric McClure, 24 year-old son of team co-owner and raceday spotter Jerry McClure, will attempt to qualify for the Flagstar 200, his first ARCA RE/MAX Series event. The younger McClure, who competes on Saturday nights in the NASCAR Late Model Stock Division at Lonesome Pine Speedway in Coeburn, Va., will drive a Morgan-McClure prepared #4 yellow Chevrolet used last year. McClure has also stepped into the role of Research and Development driver for the Winston Cup team. Team manager, Tim Weiss, and chief engineer, Gary Grossenbacher have spent hours of testing time with McClure in an effort to teach him about the heavier, faster cars. They are convinced the nephew of Larry McClure has the raw talent required to compete in upper divisions of Motorsports. Their combined efforts have also shown up in the Winston Cup entry driven by Mike Skinner. Without the wrecked cars and bad luck this season, the veteran team would be on track to a competitive season. The entire Morgan-McClure Motorsports pit crew will be on hand to offer their services and support to McClure at the 2 mile oval, while also focusing their efforts on the Sirius 400. One year ago, the team started 15th and finished the race 30th in the car McClure will qualify on Friday.(Morgan-McClure PR)(6-10-2003)
- Harvick/Benson UPDATE: NASCAR.com and ThatsRacin.com have #29-Harvick finishing 24th (91 points) at Pocono and #10-Johnny Benson 25th (88 points), while some AP results have Benson 24th and Harvick 25th. A Press Release from MBV states Benson finishing 25th. Will know for sure around 12:00noon/et on Monday when NASCAR releases the official results from the race.(6-8-2003)
UPDATE: the official results at NASCAR.com, show #29-Harvick 25th and #10-Benson 24th.(6-9-2003)
- Hornish and DEI rumor resurfaces UPDATE or is it Mayfield?: Sam Hornish's name is again being mentioned prominently as the man who could join Dale Earnhardt Inc. next season as team mate with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Michael Waltrip. The 23-year-old Hornish, the 2001 and 2002 IRL champ, is sponsored by Pennzoil, which is the company DEI is trying to re-sign [for the #1 Chevy now driven by Jeff Green/Ron Fellows]. There is word that Hornish might get a shot at a DEI ride at Michigan in August.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-9-2003)
UPDATE: First in line for the DEI job appears to by Jeremy Mayfield, who currently drives for Ray Evernham's #19 Dodge team.(Toronto Sun)(6-9-2003)
- Flying High: Mike Wallace and Johnny Benson will make sky dives Thursday [June 12th] in Tecumseh, MI, when they participates in a tandem jump with members of the U.S. Army's Golden Knights parachute team that is based at Fort Bragg near Fayetteville, NC.(NASCAR.com)(6-9-2003)
- New Chevy Engine: NASCAR tentatively approved the new R99 engine General Motors wants to use in the Craftsman Truck Series next year. The R99 is expected to generate more horsepower than the current SB2 engine, but GM is more focused on durability. The R99 has larger camshafts and more bore spacing that is similar to the engine Dodge uses now and that Toyota will run in 2004. If the R99 performs well, GM will push to use it in Winston Cup races in 2005, but NASCAR isn't likely to grant approval before Toyota joins the Cup series.(Sporting News)(6-9-2003)
- Johnson and Carter help out: #48-Jimmie Johnson will travel to Anniston, Ala., on Monday to join former President Jimmy Carter in working on a Habitat for Humanity project. Johnson's sponsor, Lowe's, is donating materials to three Habitat projects this summer.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-9-2003)
- Rusty Busch Team: Rusty Wallace is planning to field a Busch team next season, and the questions now are: Who might drive for the Winston Cup veteran, and will this team be a step toward the expansion of Penske South to a three-team Cup operation?(Winston Salem Journal)(6-9-2003)
- Changing the 'pitting over the line' penalty? NASCAR officials are considering changing the penalty for pitting over the line, the violation that cost Tony Stewart a shot at victory at Dover. The new penalty will likely be a 15-second penalty instead of the current one-lap penalty.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-9-2003)
- Elliott needs no relief: #9-Bill Elliott completed all 200 laps Sunday, despite problems shifting and braking with broken bones in his left foot. Elliott broke the bones in a wreck at The Winston all-star race at Charlotte. He finished 19th, the last car on the lead lap. He would likely have finished higher but was caught in a three-car wreck with two laps to go.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-9-2003)
- Green Ticked: #1-Jeff Green got tagged in the rear by #5-Terry Labonte while the two were battling for seventh on the final restart on lap 198 of the 200-lap race. Labonte complained that Green was mirror-driving. Green, who spent nearly 20 minutes in the infield hospital, emerged without comment as he was wheeled off in a golf cart -- his PR rep said he was too angry to say anything. Steve Hmiel, Green's spotter, came out of the hospital after checking on Green and said that his driver had clearly had his bell rung. 'He's not blinking as much as I'd like him to be, so you can tell he took a pretty good lick. It was an awfully hard lick. They need to do something about that earthen wall. You could be all mad, but it was just two cars coming together, and it's not like Terry Labonte doing anything intentional. Terry had a real good run on Jeff, and there are three laps to go, and I'm sure Terry had his foot to the floor and so did Jeff. And Terry just caught Jeff a little bit, just enough to pick him up and turn him around. But nobody wrecked anybody. Now Jeff got wrecked and I'm sure people will be upset about it. But knowing Terry Labonte, that's not how he races. It was just two objects coming together at the same time.'(Winston Salen Journal)(6-9-2003)
- More on the filter system: NASCAR officials are not happy with Mark Martin for so publicly complaining about the new carbon monoxide filtering system that NASCAR just OKed. Martin has been worried about the carcinogenic aspects of the alumina catalyst in the system, which uses a special filter to keep the alumina dust out of a driver's air stream.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-9-2003)
see the June 2-8, 2003 Archived News Page
see the May 26-June 1, 2003 Archived News Page
see the May 19-25, 2003 Archived News Page