SEPT 8-14, 2003
THE PAST NEWS! YESTERDAY and BEYOND..
OTHER PAST NEWS PAGES
- Jerry Nadeau news and updates on the #01 Team News and Links page
- THE NEXTEL CUP - See past news, links, the official press release, notes from the press conference, who is Nextel? what happens to 'The Winston' All Star race? what happens to the Winston Preview?....all covered on my NASCAR Sponsor page.(6-20-2003)
- Brian France takes over as NASCAR's CEO: the rumor, the news release and the transcript at my Transcirpt: NASCAR Press Conference page.
- Hurricane Isabel and Dover info: can be found on my Dover/MBNA America 400 Race Info Page.
- Johnson wins at New Hampshire: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire. It is Johnson's third win of 2003 and 6th of his career. Johnson is the first driver to sweep both season races at New Hampshire. #21-Ricky Rudd finished 2nd, his 2nd top five in a row. #25-Joe Nemechek ended up third, followed by #9-Elliott and #8-Earnhardt Jr., who was running down a cylinder. Points leader, #17-Matt Kenseth finished 7th, and lost a few points to Dale Jr., but still leads the points standings by 404 points with 9 races to go. A scary moment early in the race while coming in to pit during the 1st caution, #24-Gordon mis-calculated and hit #15-Waltrip while they were going to their pit stalls, Waltrip had to go around #48-Johnson, Gordon, who is pitting right in front of Waltrip didn't realize that and tried to go inside Waltrip, hitting two of Johnson's pit crew members. TNT is reporting both are ok but one crew member Cory Quick went to the infield care center, has a bruised shin. Gordon had to wait for the rest of the cars to come in, back up and proceed to his pit. Waltrip's crew was able to fully complete their stop and go on. The crew was back to full strength for the next stop. See my Sylvania 300 Race Info page for my race run down, includes top 10, cautions and narrative, notes, cars off track.
Race Re-air: NOTE: Speed Channel changed their lineup starting in August - so there is now a one-hour recap [called Fast Forward] of the race, scheduled this week for:
Wednesday, September 17th at 7:00pm/et and again on September 18th at 1:00am/et;
a full three-hour race show will re-air at 12:00pm/et on Thursday, September 18th.
Race Results at JAYSKI's New Hamsphire/Sylvania 300 Race Results and see full standings at JAYSKI's Driver/Owners Points after New Hamsphire.(9-14-2003)
- Stock Car Fans - Rumblings - New Hampshire: #48-Jimmie Johnson became our second "Sweeper" of the season today at New Hampshire International Speedway as he captured the Sylvania 300 in fine fashion. It was his 6th career win (he's now solo in 59th on the all-time win list) and 3rd of the season. It was also win #115 for Hendrick Motorsports.
In what can only be termed as a "wild time" in the pits, Johnson joins Kurt Busch as the only repeaters this year (he swept Bristol). After having three of his crewmembers hitch a ride on top of Jeff Gordon's car, the Lowe's team (appearing completely unflustered considering how dangerous that situation could have been) came through at the end with a flawless "gas and go" and they were home free.
#21-Ricky Rudd (2nd) had his best finish since he won at Infineon Raceway in June of 2002.
#25-Joe Nemechek (3rd) had his best finish since he won at Richmond in May.
#9-Bill Elliott (4th) had his best finish since he was 4th at Infineon Raceway in June.
#38-Elliott Sadler (8th) had his best finish since he was 5th at Martinsville in April.
#1-John Andretti (12th) had his best finish since he was 8th at California in April.
#77-Dave Blaney (14th) had his best finish since he was 9th at Pocono in July.
#41-Casey Mears (17th) had his best finish since he was 16th when we were here in July.
#43-Christian Fittipaldi (31st) had his best finish since he was 24th at Pocono in July.
STREAKIN....Matt Kenseth has 6 Top-10 finishes in the last 7 races. Ryan Newman has 5 Top-10 finishes in the last 6 races.
The Rookie Report: Jamie McMurray (10th) captures the top award for the 13th time this season (he's got a 13-9 lead over Greg Biffle). He was followed by: Casey Mears (17th), Tony Raines (33rd), and Greg Biffle (43rd). Larry Foyt was a DNQ again this week. Time for Biffle to get on his horse or this race will be over.
This week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Ricky Rudd (+29), followed by Joe Nemechek (+22), and Bobby Labonte (+21).
DOWN: The Big Dropper was Greg Biffle (-39), followed by Jeff Burton (-27), Michael Waltrip (-21), and Sterling Marlin (-20). A relatively slow day in the shaft.
Dale Earnhardt Jr sliced 14 points off Matt Kenseth's lead today....but he's gonna need bigger pieces of the pie than that if we're gonna have a race past Halloween. Matt's lead is down to 404 markers, and that "Magic Number" is up to 8th. Got a few more emails this week wanting to know just what that means....it's the position that Matt can finish every week and can't be caught, no matter how good you do. If he finishes 8th or better, Jr can't win the Championship.
Elliott Sadler (22nd to 19th) made the best move forward this week, while Johnny Benson (23rd to 26th) fell the same number of spots.(Stockcarfans.com)(9-14-2003)
- Keller in the #1 at Talladega: Busch Series driver [#57] Jason Keller will drive Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s #1 Pennzoil Chevy in the Sept. 28 Winston Cup [EA Sports 500] race at Talladega, Ala., ThatsRacin.com has learned. John Andretti has been driving the #1 in recent weeks, but has a prior commitment for the Talladgea race [Richard Childress Racing #75 Chevy]. Keller attempted to qualify a DEI [#81] car at the Winston Cup race at Chicagoland earlier this season, but failed to make the field. He also filled in for Jerry Nadeau in the #01 US Army Pontiac in the May Cup race at Richmond, Va., after Nadeau suffered serious injuries in a practice session accident at the track.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-14-2003)
- Roof Hatches to debut at Talladega: No less than three NASCAR Winston Cup teams will have roof escape hatches in place for their drivers by the time the series goes to Talladega Superspeedway at the end of this month. Development of the "alternate exit" has been ongoing at NASCAR's research and development center in Concord, N.C. A NASCAR spokesman said managing director of research and development Gary Nelson had a bulletin prepared that would allow teams to begin installing the hatches and its release was imminent.(NASCAR.com)(9-14-2003)
- Villeneuve and NASCAR? Unlikely: Jacques Villeneuve is getting antsy about his future in Formula One racing. The Iberville, Que., native is still awaiting word on whether he will be offered a new contract with the BAR-Honda team, which is under pressure from Honda to hire Japanese driver Takuma Sato. The possibility looms that the 1997 world champion will be left without a drive in Formula One next season. Villeneuve said there was little chance of getting a drive with another team and that if he is forced out of Formula One, he will consider driving in another series next year. Villeneuve told Le Journal de Montreal he may even consider NASCAR, although no inquiries in that direction have yet been made by either side.(Winnipego Sun/AP/CP)(9-14-2003)
- Harvick/Rudd Talk: Kevin Harvick and Ricky Rudd finally had a little talk on Saturday. The main participants in last week's late-race crash and post-race melee at Richmond spent about three minutes talking, apparently amicably, while leaning on a pile of tires in the garage area at New Hampshire International Speedway. Winston Cup president Mike Helton stood nearby, listening, but didn't join the conversation. "It was just time," Rudd said. "We needed a couple of words with each other. Having Mike standing there, I guess, didn't hurt." Neither Harvick nor Helton were available to comment.(Charlotte Observer/AP)(9-14-2003)
- How many drivers have won a race in the Cup Series, Busch Series and Truck Series? With his Truck Series win at New Hampshire, Jimmy Spencer becomes the seventh driver to win a race in all three of NASCAR's national series [Cup, Busch, Trucks]. The club also includes Greg Biffle, Mark Martin, Bobby Hamilton, Kevin Harvick, Terry Labonte and Ken Schrader. Biffle owns Busch and Truck championships.(from my Racing FAQ page via FoxSports.com). NOTE: Geoffrey Bodine's Truck win was an exhibition race and doesn't count.(9-13-2003)
- Vickers in the #01 for last four 2003 Cup races: MB2 Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports have tentatively reached an agreement to have Hendrick's 19-year-old Busch Series driver, Brian Vickers, run in the final four races of the 2003 Winston Cup season in MB2's #01 US Army Pontiac. Vickers, second in points in Busch this season, has already been announced as the new driver of Hendrick's #25 GMAC Chevrolet in Cup next season, but the team has been looking for ways to get him some Cup experience this season. MB2 has been using temporary drivers in the #01 since regular driver Jerry Nadeau's injury at the May race at Richmond, Va. Mike Skinner has been driving for the team most recently. "We've talked with Hendrick Motorsports and having Brian in the car is definitely a possibility, that's part of the reason we signed Mike only through Talladega," said Jay Frye, manager of MB2 Motorsports. "Brian's deal has not been set yet and if he doesn't end up doing the race, Mike will remain with the team the rest of the season. He has been doing a good job for us." Hendrick officials confirmed Saturday Vickers driving four races for the No. 01 was a possibility this season.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-13-2003)
- NASCAR Unveils Modified All-Time Top 10: Four drivers who are among The 50 Greatest NASCAR Drivers of All Time are members of the "NASCAR Modified All-Time Top 10" announced Friday by the sanctioning body. Richie Evans, a nine-time NASCAR champion, heads the NASCAR Modified All-Time Top 10. Six-time champion Jerry Cook is No. 3, with Ray Hendrick at No. 4 and Geoffrey Bodine at No. 5. All four also are part of "The 50 Greatest NASCAR Drivers of All Time" list compiled in 1998. Mike Stefanik, one of two active Modified drivers on the NASCAR Modified All-Time Top 10, is No. 2 on the strength of his six titles and 65 career Featherlite Modified Series victories. The list:
No. 1 Richie Evans
No. 2 Mike Stefanik
No. 3 Jerry Cook
No. 4 Ray Hendrick
No. 5 Geoffrey Bodine
No. 6 Tony Hirschman
No. 7 Bugs Stevens
No. 8 Fred DeSarro
No. 9 Jimmy Spencer
No. 10 Reggie Ruggiero.(NASCAR PR)(9-13-2003)
- Kodak to a new team? Announcement soon? Kodak officials could announce sponsorship of a new team by the time the tour reaches Talladega later this month, according to sources.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-13-2003)
- NASCAR announces additions to PR staff: NASCAR has expanded its public relations staff to include three individuals who bring respected credentials from their previous positions within motorsports. Rick Houston, Denise Maloof and Buz McKim are the newest members of the NASCAR Public Relations Department. Houston is the new Manager of Communications for the NASCAR Busch Series. Until his recent appointment with NASCAR, he spent nearly a decade writing for NASCAR Winston Cup Scene, including the last seven years as the publication's NASCAR Busch Series editor. Houston is also a published author, having written the book, "Second to None: The History of the NASCAR Busch Series."
Maloof, named a Manager of Communications, spent the last year with SI.com where she was the beat writer responsible for all original NASCAR coverage for the dual Sports Illustrated-CNN worldwide website. She was a member of the original start-up staff for the site and also contributed as a writer/package producer for CNN's "Sports Tonight." Maloof also spent over 10 years as a writer for both the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Gwinett Daily News, covering the sports and education beats.
As NASCAR's Coordinator of Statistical Services, McKim will manage NASCAR's Historic Database, which includes the sports' vast historical and statistical archives. McKim, a former racer and car sign-painter who also created artwork for the likes of NASCAR, Daytona International Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has been involved in the history of NASCAR for most of his life.(NASCAR PR)(9-13-2003)
- France in for France? MORE: ESPN.com has learned that 70-year-old chairman and CEO of NASCAR, Bill France Jr., is stepping aside and putting his 37-year-old son, Brian, behind the wheel of the stock car series that has mushroomed into a marketing monster and America's No. 2 sports pastime behind pro football. A source close to Nextel, which assumes title sponsorship of NASCAR in 2004, confirmed this changing of the guard will be announced early next week. "Only a few people know but it's not really that big a surprise when you think about it," said the source. "And Big Bill will still be around to show Brian the ropes." Bill France Jr. denied the report that he is about to retire and turn over control to Brian, but did say he will cut back further on his daily activities. Brian France couldn't immediately be reached for comment in his Los Angeles office on Friday afternoon. Currently president of NASCAR's broadcasting and digital entertainment, France will assume the duties of chairman and CEO immediately and move back to company headquarters in Daytona Beach, Fla. He will also leapfrog current NASCAR boss, Mike Helton, and that could explain the recent rumors that Helton is going to leave NASCAR for a job with Dale Earnhardt Inc. In an interview with USA Today earlier this year, Big Bill was asked about who might replace him: "Mike Helton has come on, his name is not France, and I think he's done an excellent job in the competition area," was his reply.(more at ESPN.com/Robin Miller)
AND NASCAR chairman Bill France Jr. denied a report that he is about to retire and turn over control of the racing circuit to son Brian, but said he will cut back further on his daily activities. "I'm still going to work and have an office, but it's time for me to get out of the way a little bit," France told The Associated Press by telephone Friday night from his home in Daytona Beach, Fla. He was responding to a report earlier Friday that he would relinquish all control. The report from ESPN.com cited a source close to Nextel, which assumes title sponsorship next year of the world's largest auto racing circuit. He did concede that his son would be the logical replacement should he retire, and said some organizational changes have been decided on. He would not reveal what they were, but said president Mike Helton would continue to head daily operations. "All that will be cleared up on Monday," France said. "Mike's been doing the day-to-day stuff for some time now." Helton denied reports last month that he would leave NASCAR to run Dale Earnhardt Inc., one of the sport's top teams. Brian France, 37, is president of NASCAR's broadcasting and digital entertainment division in Los Angeles. The source said he would assume the duties of chairman and CEO immediately and move back to company headquarters in Daytona Beach. He is the youngest of the France children. His sister, Lesa France Kennedy, is the president of family-controlled International Speedway Corp., which owns and operates 12 of NASCAR's major tracks. Jim France, who is Bill Jr.'s younger brother by 18 years, serves as NASCAR vice chairman and executive vice president.(more at ThatsRacin.com/AP)(9-12-2003)
AND II William C. France's 31-year reign as NASCAR's benevolent dictator is expected to wind down as a shift of power and responsibilities within the organization begins next week. The 70-year-old NASCAR chairman is expected to give his son, Brian Z. France, more control of the company. Bill France Jr. denied reports that he is about to retire and give complete control of the racing empire to his son, but admitted he plans to cut back on his daily business activities. But a confidant of the France family, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Friday night that "ESPN.com doesn't have it completely right, but there is something going on" within NASCAR's leadership. The lack of response from any of NASCAR's top officials was deafening Friday evening. Phone calls to NASCAR's public relations department here and its entertainment office in Los Angeles were not returned to The News-Journal.(more at the Daytona Beach News Journal)(9-13-2003)
- a crew member short? One option that NASCAR is considering [to stop crew members from getting in altercations] is, if a crewman is suspended, that team will have to race a man short over the wall.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-13-2003)
- New Discovery Channel Show to Feature Roush Airplane Story in October 10 Debut: Brainbox Productions recently wrapped production on a new original series, Vital Scan, for Discovery Channel. The series has taken the Brainbox crew across the U.S.A. to tell incredible stories of traumatic injury and miraculous recovery. Interviews with survivors and medical professionals are combined with recreations and graphic animation. Episode 1 features the story of Jack Roush's plane crash and rescue by Larry Hicks. The show will air on October 10th at 10 p.m. and features interviews with Jack, Larry, and Mark Martin.(MotorsportsTV)(9-13-2003)
- NASCAR Garden: There are NASCAR fans and then there's Victoria Kowaleski of Livonia, MI. She's taken her love of auto racing from the track to her garden. The NASCAR Garden contains 23 handmade cement racetracks. Kowaleski said she created it in the memory of Dale Earnhardt and to honor some important children's charities. Kowaleski hopes people who visit her garden will send to the various charities on her site [she does NOT accept donations]. In five months, she has cultivated all 23 tracks on the Winston Cup circuit not to mention a deck decked out in a checkered flag. If you'd like to see and find out more about Victoria's garden, go to www.nascargarden.com. (Click on Detroit)(9-13-2003)
- Crew Chief for the #88 at NHIS: Winston Cup driver Dale Jarrett's #88 Ford team will be led this weekend by a "crew chief by committee." Jarrett's regular crew chief, Shawn Parker, is not in New Hampshire this week as his wife and two of her sisters were killed in a car wreck near Greensboro, N.C., on Wednesday night. Leading the #88 team this weekend will be team owner Robert Yates; Shane Callis, who assists in car set-up; tire specialist Scott Elkins; and car chief Jason Burdett. Funeral plans for Parker's wife, Tara Parker, remained incomplete Friday. The team does not know when Shawn Parker will return.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-12-2003)
- Jarrett Speaks about Parker: Dale Jarrett says the only reason Robert Yates Racing is at New Hampshire is because they have to be. Commenting on the death of crew chief Shawn Parker's wife Tara and her sisters in a Wednesday night traffic accident. "Certainly our minds are with Shawn and his family and with Tara's family, she was just a wonderful person that's going to be missed tremendously. Shawn's a good leader here and these guys are doing their job, but it's going to be a difficult weekend because we're certainly just thinking about him."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(9-12-2003)
- #29 Replacements: Two members of Richard Childress Racing's Busch Series teams will join the pit crew on Winston Cup driver Kevin Harvick's team this weekend at New Hampshire. Nick Terry, who works on Ron Hornaday's #2 Chevrolets in Busch, will serve as Harvick's jackman. Steve Brown, who works on RCR's #21 Chevrolets in Busch, will join Harvick's team as a tire specialist this weekend. Mike Scearce, Harvick's jackman, and Gene Pasquale, Harvick's tire specialist, were both suspended for this weekend's race for their involvement in the post-race pit road incident between Harvick and Ricky Rudd at Richmond, Va., last Saturday night.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-12-2003)
- New rule for measuring minimum height: NASCAR issued a technical bulletin this week outlining changes in how the minimum height is measured of Winston Cup cars in pre-qualifying and pre-race inspections. Beginning with this weekend's race at New Hampshire, teams presenting cars for inspection of the minimum body height and minimum ground clearance must remove their front shock absorbers before the measurements are taken. The absorbers can be reconnected after the car has passed inspection.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-12-2003)
- Escape Hatch Close to being a reality: Gary Nelson was in his Concord, N.C., office Thursday putting the finishing touches on a technical bulletin which will allow competitors to use a roof escape hatch. "My goal is to get this bulletin out by the first of next week," Nelson said. "This will be optional this year, at least, that's the direction we're headed." The first use of the hatch in competition will likely be the EA Sports 500 at Talladega, scheduled Sept. 28. Nelson, NASCAR's managing director of competition, said the hatch design passed two critical tests over the last two weeks. Nelson and his engineering staff at NASCAR's Research and Development Center have spent a year designing and testing the hatch. A stock car outfitted with the escape door was crash-tested at the University of Nebraska two weeks ago and the hatch retained its integrity. "The car flipped six times and the escape door worked just fine after the car came to a stop," Nelson said. The final test was performed by driver Michael Waltrip and his #15 NAPA/Coca Cola/RitzKlaussner Chevy during a two-day tire test at Daytona International Speedway earlier this week. "We wanted to do a high-speed track test and see if the aerodynamic forces caused it to flutter or leak air into the car or anything like that," Nelson said. "The report we got back from the team was it was steady. It didn't move at all. To me that was a key test." Nelson said he was scheduled to meet with engineers at Dale Earnhardt Inc. for a final debriefing to "make sure they didn't find any negatives." "In an early conversation with them, they had no negatives," Nelson said. "They were all very high on the design. We're getting very close." Waltrip, who stands 6-foot-5, is one of the drivers eager to have an alternative escape route from the cockpit of his car. This will be the fifth major safety improvement introduced to NASCAR competitors this season. Other safety measures include the placement of a fire extinguisher near the fuel cell; stronger tether supports on hood; an extra air deflector to keep cars from going airborne; and the recent installation of SAFER barriers at Richmond and New Hampshire.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(9-12-2003)
- Did You Know? Entering the weekend, #32-Ricky Craven has completed more laps at New Hampshire International Speedway than any other NASCAR driver, making his way around the Magic Mile 6,673 times throughout his days on the Busch North, Busch and Winston Cup series. He will relinquish his lead temporarily today, when Mike Stefanik (6,609 laps) gains 100 in the Featherlite Modified competition, but Craven will regain his distinction when he climbs into his No. 32 Tide ride for Sunday's Sylvania 300.(Concord Monitor)(9-12-2003)
- Nadeau Story and Pics: Almost four months after he was admitted to the hospital following a violent collision with a concrete wall, NASCAR Winston Cup driver Jerry Nadeau returned to the VCU Medical Center to say thank you to the many doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and other staff members who helped care for him. "Being back here brings back a lot of memories - some of them aren't too clear...but it's nice to come back and say hello to everybody and say thanks," Nadeau said. See the full story with images at VCU News Site.(9-12-2003)
- StockCarFans.com - Ramblings - New Hampshire: Friday's would really be boring if we had one driver dominate qualifying,
glad nothing like that is happening this year. #12-Ryan Newman and company have got this deal down to a science. Newman grabbed his 7th Bud Pole of the season today at New Hampshire International Speedway. He'll lead 'em to the green for Sunday's Sylvania 300 for the 14th time in his short career (only 71 races). No other driver has more than four poles this year.
#5-Terry Labonte will start outside the front row on Sunday. That's his best starting spot since he had the pole at Richmond in May.
#42-Jamie McMurray (3rd) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Rockingham in November of 2002.
#49-Ken Schrader (20th) has his best starting spot since he started 7th at Daytona in July.
STREAKIN....Ryan Newman has 5 Top-10 starts in a row.
We had a pretty good car-count of 47 this weekend....four on the Trouble Train out of town already. Derrike Cope (that's a shame cause it was easily the best paint job we've seen in quite awhile), Larry Foyt, Morgan Shepherd, and Carl Long get the early out.
Provisionals were taken by: Bobby Labonte, Kenny Wallace, Steve Park, Kyle Petty, Jason Leffler, Tony Raines, and Christian Fittipaldi.
It's been near impossible to figure out what's charged and what's a freebie since NASCAR changed the rules in midstream, but Jayski's got as good a handle on it as anybody.....my database looks like chicken scratch. Best I can figure, the #4, #43, and #49 should now be OOP...but nothing etched in stone here. Always be safe and check your stats against Jay....in this case the url is:
http://www.jayski.thatsracin.com/stats/2003/2003usedprov.htm.[the best I have it figured the OOP is correct, the provisionals were charged this week since there were 47 cars and only 2 were not eligible for provisional spots, if it 43 or less who are not eligible, then they do not count, which has happened 4 times this year]
This place has got a tough act to follow. We've had a couple good races and a couple good brawls the last month, and that's the stuff our sport was built on!(StockCarFans.Com Wcup Newsletter)(9-12-2003)
- PRI's Steve Lewis to Receive Bobby Isaac Memorial Award: Steve Lewis, publisher of Performance Racing Industry magazine and organizer of the annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show, will receive the 2003 Bobby Isaac Memorial Award during pre-race ceremonies for the UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race Saturday night, Oct. 11, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The Bobby Isaac Memorial Award is presented annually by Lowe's Motor Speedway to an individual or group in recognition of outstanding contribution to short-track racing. Isaac, one of the sport's outstanding racers, was well known for his short-track exploits and commitment, and it is in his honor the award is named. Launched in 1986 and based in Laguna Beach, Calif., Lewis' Performance Racing Industry magazine has a monthly circulation of over 26,000 racing industry professionals. The PRI Trade Show, held each December in Indianapolis, features 1,300 companies and has developed into the worldwide meeting place for over 40,000 racing businesspeople. In addition, Lewis has been a USAC midget owner since 1979. His white No. 9 midgets, driven by such stars as Stan Fox, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Jason Leffler, Mike Bliss, Kenny Irwin Jr. and Kasey Kahne, have earned over 110 feature victories and eight USAC National Midget Series championships. In 2002, Lewis became an auto racing promoter, creating the Twin 25s midget spectacular. Now held at Indianapolis Raceway Park and California's Irwindale Speedway, the unique Twin 25s have generated increased exposure for USAC midget racing.(LMS PR)(9-12-2003)
- Announcement today: Sylvania will be making a very special announcement at New Hampshire International Speedway today concerning the Victory Junction Gang Camp - A Proud Charity of NASCAR.. Victory Junction Gang Camp is a free year-round camp for children with life-threatening illnesses slated to open in summer 2004.(PR)
UPDATE: Lighting leader Osram Sylvania today announced that the company has officially pledged its support to the new Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, North Carolina, a free year-round camp for children for Osram Sylvania to provide lighting expertise, along with technical and product support for the camp.. Charlie Jerabek, president and CEO of Osram Sylvania, joined Kyle Petty, founder of Victory Junction Gang Camp, in with life-threatening illnesses, slated to open in summer 2004.. Terms of the commitment call making the announcement. "Our sponsorship of the Sylvania 300 continues to be an extremely rewarding experience for Osram Sylvania," said Jerabek. "Through this growing association we have been able to learn more about tremendous organizations like the Victory Junction Gang Camp. We whole-heartedly applaud the incredible work that Kyle Petty and his family are doing with this charity and immediately jumped at the opportunity to lend our support." The seventy acre camp will serve to provide a safe, fun-filled and medically sound camp experience for 1,200 children each summer and a total of 2,800 year round.. Due to the camp's variety of buildings that plan to offer the kids an array of diverse functions, Osram Sylvania will consequently be donating some of the lighting industry's most innovative and energy efficient indoor and outdoor light sources. In particular, the company will be supplying its newest and most exciting lines of entertainment, theatrical, and disco lighting products. "We are extremely grateful to Osram Sylvania for donating their top notch lighting products and expertise to the camp," said Kyle Petty. "Our goal is to make a stay at Victory Junction Gang Camp the best possible experience for all of the kids who come. Having SYLVANIA products help light their way definitely helps to further that goal."(NHIS PR)(9-12-2003)
- Tony Stewart DVD: Continuing a trend of blending NASCAR's wildly successful form of motorsports with mainstream pop culture, NASCAR Images recently unveiled production details for the forthcoming DVD release entitled: "Tony Stewart: SMOKE." The new production will include narration by multi-platinum artist and racing enthusiast Kid Rock, coupled with a dynamic soundtrack provided by top-selling rock group 3 Doors Down. As driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet, the Indiana native's forthright nature and overriding passion for winning is the backdrop for a career marked equally by success and controversy. In "Tony Stewart: SMOKE", NASCAR Images looks beyond the headlines to present a sincere and intimate look at the driver known as the "Rushville Rocket."
Groomed for stardom at an early age on the dirt tracks of Southern Indiana, Stewart's rise to the pinnacle of racing achievement is a story which traces the "win at all cost" philosophy that is at the core of his pubic persona. As told via exclusive and insightful interviews with family, friends, rivals, teammates and Stewart himself, "Tony Stewart: SMOKE" will take viewers well beyond the headlines to examine the championship-winning driver's well-chronicled temper, his often bitter relationship with the media, and his lifelong obsession to reach Victory Lane. Perhaps the most misunderstood star in NASCAR, the new production also probes how Stewart's conflicts with the sport's establishment have made him both a hero and a catalyst for controversy. Set for release in October, 2003 (with pre-sales beginning September 1), "Tony Stewart: SMOKE" represents the fourth release in a series of increasingly popular NASCAR-themed video productions created to bring motion picture-quality home entertainment to a dedicated audience estimated at 75 million NASCAR fans. Earlier this year, the NASCAR Images / SMG partnership released "A Decade at the Brickyard" and "Road to Daytona 2003," following the 2002 debut of "Winston Cup 2002 Year in Review" - NASCAR's first-ever DVD home video release. In addition to the featured production video, consumers of the new "Tony Stewart: SMOKE" DVD will also enjoy special bonus material including a 3 Doors Down music video featuring Tony Stewart and rival NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. More info at their site: www.SportsDVDHeadquarters.com or by calling (800) 856-4266. Price of the DVD is $24.99.(Shoreline Media Group PR)(9-12-2003)
- A School, A Race Car, Friendly’s Ice Cream - 12-year-old Connecticut girl reaps rewards of designing NASCAR car: Seneca Tedford admitted she had a little trouble sleeping Wednesday night but she was more than ready to go this morning at Lebanon Middle School. The excited 12-year-old was guest of honor for a visit by NASCAR Winston Cup driver Derrike Cope and his #37 Friendly’s Chevrolet. The car, the actual one that will run in Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway Sunday, was unloaded and shown to every student at the school. Seneca designed the car as part of a coloring contest at Friendly’s Restaurants throughout the eastern United States, one of thousands of entries. Her design – royal blue covered with ice cream cones – will run in Sunday’s NASCAR race.
“Yeah, it was pretty exciting. I could hardly believe it when they told me I had one,” Seneca said Thursday morning, while showing off the car. Every student at Lebanon Middle School had the chance to see the car, meet Cope and participate in a Friendly’s Ice Cream party at the front of the school.
“Hey, she did a great job with her design, and she deserved to show it off,” said Cope, a two-time NASCAR Winston Cup race winner who includes the prestigious Daytona 500 among his major victories.
Cope and his Friendly’s Chevrolet team helped Seneca do just that. The team’s huge transporter arrived at the school early Thursday morning. The team unloaded the Friendly’s Chevrolet and moved it to the front of the school. The design included a “Designed by: Seneca Tedford” logo on each side of the car. Hundreds of children from the school flocked around the car and Cope, asking questions and offering advice. “The car is cool but the ice cream is better,” admitted one seventh-grader. Another offered a marketing idea to Cope for Friendly’s. “Why don’t you just smother the car in ice cream and then people could come up and grab a handful when they want it?” Others asked questions. “Have you ever been in the Daytona 500?” one sixth-grader asked Cope. “Yeah,” he replied. “I’ve won it.” The crowd around oooohed appreciatingly at the response. “This is what Friendly’s is all about – kids and families,” said Pete Bell, Senior Director, Marketing. “We wanted a promotion within our NASCAR sponsorship that really peaked kids' interest, and that enhanced their visit to Friendly's Restaurants. The results were phenomenal.. Seneca was the winner but thousands of children entered the contest, and were very interested in being a part of our promotion.. Friendly's Ice Cream and its restaurants have always been dedicated to serving families, especially children," Bell continued.. "This contest was a way to involve the entire family, kids and parents, in a wholesome promotion surrounding a wholesome sport."
“I assure you no one has ever seen anything like this on a race track ever before,” Cope said. “It is really going to show up well for the fans in the stands and those watching on national television. I’m excited to be driving it, and I’m grateful to Seneca for the wonderful job she did. “To be honest, there were a lot of really good designs and color schemes used by thousands of kids. It was tough to pick just one,” he added. “But this will be one nobody will ever forget.” Seneca has already received $100 worth of Derrike Cope gear as part of her prize package.(Williams Company PR). See two images of the car on my Cup Paint Scheme Page - Cars 24-99.(9-12-2003)
- Wally's World Gets Newsy This Week: Robin Meade, lead news anchor for CNN Headline News' morning show Robin & Company, will ride in the passenger seat of TNT/NBC analyst Wally Dallenbach's car for a few laps around New Hampshire International Speedway to air during TNT's Wally World, on Sunday, Sept. 14, during the network's coverage of NASCAR Winston Cup Racing from Loudon beginning at 12:30pm/et). Wally World highlights the differences in NASCAR's tracks around the country and features celebrities from sports and entertainment. "I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to ride with Wally for this weekend's NASCAR festivities," Meade said.. "My career in journalism has afforded me numerous experiences, but this ride-along will be my first venture into racing. I couldn't be more excited." Other guests who have accompanied Dallenbach for the popular piece include former NFL quarterback Jim McMahon, NASCAR Winston Cup driver Robby Gordon, two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves, actor David Spade and Three Doors Down lead singer Brad Arnold.(Turner Sports PR)(9-12-2003)
- Racing Reality Show on Spike TV: With the ever-increasing popularity of auto and motorcycle racing, Spike TV presents The Reality of Speed, the first reality series to chronicle the lives of race car drivers off the track. Premiering in January 2004, The Reality of Speed stars the riders, driver and team members of the Holigan Racing teams competing in the AMA Supercross Series and the NASCAR Busch Series. Race car drivers live on the edge. Each weekend they strap themselves into the world's fastest machines and challenge the laws of speed in the most intense and high-risk major sport. The Reality of Speed will take an unblemished look at their day-to-day lives and illustrate all the hard work that goes in to be a champion driver - and each episode leads up that week's race. Holigan Racing LP is a newly formed motorsports team that will be competing in the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series. The team was created by Michael Holigan, former NASCAR Winston Cup team sponsor [#25 Chevy that Jerry Nadeau won with at Atlanta]. Michael's new Busch Series crew chief is Todd Myers, who has worked in the past with NASCAR drivers Jamie McMurray, Brendan Gaughan and David Starr. Holigan Walters Racing, LP is a new AMA Supercross team formed by Michael Holigan, Dave Walters, and Robert Nichols. Dave Walters is the owner of Central Yamaha in Plano Texas. Robert "Lucky" Nichols is the owner of LCS Racing in Dallas Texas. Holigan Walters Racing, LP will field three riders in the 125 East Series and three riders in the 125 West Series. The program will be produced as weekly originals by Michael Holigan, in association with Television Marketing Partners, who have worked together for the last 10 years producing and marketing Michael Holigan's Your New House in national broadcast syndication.(PR)(9-12-2003)
- Richmond TV Ratings: Nielsen Media Research says TNT's airing of last Saturday's Chevy Rock & Roll 400 from Richmond was viewed in 3.3 million households, MotorsportsTV.com reports. The story says the number represents a drop of 8 percent from last year's 3.611 million households. This year's race aired opposite several high-profile college football games on broadcast and cable stations.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(9-11-2003)
- Vickers not the Youngest UPDATE well...looks like he is: Brian Vickers will come to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series next season driving for Rick Hendrick [#25]. When the season begins he'll be 20 years old, making him one of the youngest full-time drivers in series history. But he won't be the youngest. That distinction belongs to Bobby Hillin Jr., who was 19 years old at the start of the 1985 season. Of course, you could also throw in Richie Panch, who was 19 and drove 28 races during the 1974 season. Panch, though, gets an asterisk in this statistical category: there were 30 races in the 1974 season, leaving him two short of true full-time status.(NASCAR PR)(9-10-2003)
UPDATE: According to research, if Brian Vickers starts every Winston Cup race next season, he will be the youngest driver ever to run a full season [all 36 races] in the modern era. Panch was younger in 1974, but he didn't start every event on the schedule that year [28 of 30]. Actually Hillin was born in June of 1964, so he turned 21 in June of 1985, his first full season. Vickers will turn 21 in October of 2004. Some asked about Kyle Petty, his first full year was 1981 and he turned 21 in June of that year.(9-11-2003)
- Sadler to be featured: Elliott Sadler will be featured in the September 16th – Country Weekly, available at newsstands everywhere.(M&M's Motorsports PR)(9-11-2003)
- Did ya Know? Ryan Newman won his first NASCAR Winston Cup race last year in the September event at New Hampshire International Speedway in only his 35th start in NASCARs premiere series. Since then, Newman and his #12 ALLTEL team have made 35 more starts and won six times in the Dodge Intrepid out of the Penske Racing South shop. Newman's seven career victories in 70 starts give him a 10 percent winning percentage, and only one driver in NASCAR's Modern Era has achieved seven victories faster than Newman. Defending series champion Tony Stewart won seven races in his first 61 starts, an 11.47 percent winning percentage. Fourteen other drivers in NASCAR history reached their seventh win quicker than Newman. According to figures supplied by NASCAR Statistical Services, A.J. Foyt, Junior Johnson, Fireball Roberts, Curtis Turner and Tim and Fonty Flock are some members of that elite group. Newman has a very impressive winning percentage of 23 percent (six wins in 26 starts) this season, and he leads the circuit with victories and poles (six.).(Dodge Motorsports.Golin Harriss PR)(9-11-2003)
- Rally Driver Denies Rumors: World Rally star Colin McRae says he will not walk away from the World Rally Championship at the end of this season, regardless of whether he is retained or not by his current Citroen team. McRae told Autosport that recent rumors suggesting he was considering retiring and/or switching to circuit racing are not true. He says he will even find sponsorship to buy a WRC drive with one of the top four teams if necessary. "I have still got some unfinished business here," said the Scot. "If I don't stay with Citroen, then there are lots of options for me to look at." With Sebastien Loeb already signed up for 2004, Citroen boss Guy Frequelin must choose between McRae and Carlos Sainz for the second seat. "For my heart, the decision between Colin and Carlos is very difficult," Frequelin said. "They're both fabulous drivers who should be in the sport—but we only have room for one."(Speed Channel)(9-11-2003)
- No Winston Preview in Winston Salem? Officials at the Joel Coliseum said they are not sure if the T. Wayne Robertson NASCAR Preview Show will go on in Winston-Salem or go on at all. It is a huge event loved by thousands of race fans. On a mid-January Saturday for the past 14 years, crowds averaging 15,000 get up close and personal with their favorite drivers. The show also raised millions of dollars for charity and pumped millions more into local hotels and restaurants. But last June everything changed when NEXTEL took over the lead sponsor role from RJ Reynolds. NEXTEL, based in Reston, Va. has no ties to Winston-Salem. When NASCAR released its 2003 schedule Tuesday, there was no mention of the preview show. NEXTEL has given no committment and the Coliseum needs a decision soon. WXII 12 News calls to NEXTEL Headquarters were not returned. Coliseum officials said they are prepared to sign a back-up event, a family entertainment show, if NEXTEL backs out.(WXII12.com)(9-11-2003)
- Traction Control? Traction control is the hottest illegal trick on the stock car tour this season, to hear drivers and crew chiefs talk. But who's using it? It's probably easier to pinpoint who isn't - clearly Tony Stewart and Dale Jarrett. The two have been unable to run with the leaders much of the summer at many tracks. Some teams say that if NASCAR can't police traction control, then it should legalize the trick, which keeps rear wheels from spinning wildly off the corner. But don't try selling that to Greg Zipadelli, Stewart's crew chief, or Doug Yates, Jarrett's car owner. Both men want NASCAR to crack down with stiffer inspections.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-11-2003)
- Why Chevy Engine Not Approved? Doug Duchardt, GM's new racing boss, said that NASCAR's decision not to legalize the new R-99 engine for truck racing next season will put Chevrolet teams at a disadvantage to newcomer Toyota. 'We want to be on an equal footing when we race against Toyota, and the thing we're most disappointed in is we think we'll be put at a technical disadvantage off the bat, and we're not comfortable with that and don't like it,' Duchardt said. Duchardt said he doesn't know why NASCAR is barring the R-99, an engine under development since 1999. 'They were comfortable where we were with the dimensions. But it was never officially approved for competition. Jack Roush said we were, but he doesn't make that decision.' GM resubmitted the R-99 a few weeks ago, in machine-cast versions, to give NASCAR the opportunity to OK it if Toyota's V-8 blows away the competition. Duchardt denied the report that NASCAR's decision to kill the R-99 engine was made when GM wouldn't agree to supply the engines to all truck teams next season.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-11-2003)
- More on Elliott and Mayfield: Where Jeremy Mayfield may drive next season could depend on Bill Elliott's decision on retirement that his expected later this month. Mayfield's second place at Richmond was his best run with car owner Ray Evernham, but in their nearly two years together Mayfield has all but vanished on race days, leading to rumors he was looking for another ride, possibly with Childress. Why the Mayfield-Evernham team hasn't clicked any better has been a mystery. Sources close to Elliott have said that he will announce his retirement. If so, then Evernham may have to make some tough decisions. Mayfield said he has signed a contract renewal and given it to Evernham and is waiting to see what Evernham does.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-11-2003)
- Special Paint on the #43 at Talladega: Bringing the excitement of Yu-Gi-Oh!, the popular animated TV show and trading card game, to NASCAR, Cheerios/Betty Crocker Racing has partnered with Petty Enterprises and 4Kids Entertainment to create a special Yu-Gi-Oh! paint scheme for the #43 Dodge. The #43 Yu-Gi-Oh Cheerios Dodge is scheduled to race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sept. 28. The Yu-Gi-Oh! paint scheme, created by celebrated motorsports designer Sam Bass, will look dramatically different than the yellow and “Petty blue” paint scheme typically seen on the No. 43 Dodge. The special design features a blue background that covers the entire car with the main character from Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yami Yugi, and the well-known Yu-Gi-Oh! logo displayed prominently on the hood. The rear quarter panel on the driver’s side features one of Yami Yugi’s main Duel Monsters rivals, Kaiba, with the other rear quarter panel featuring Yami Yugi himself. The back of the car features the phrase known to Yu-Gi-Oh! enthusiasts nationwide, “Let’s Duel!”(Williams Company PR) - who will drive the #43 at Talladega? I am hearing it will be Busch Series driver Shane Hmeil, who will also run the car at Dover and Lowe's as Christian Fittipaldi, the regular driver is committed to run the #44 Bugles Dodge for PE.(9-11-2003)
- Baldwin and the #7: #7 Ultra Motorsports crew chief Tommy Baldwin said he'll decide by the end of the month if he'll be back with Jimmy Spencer and car owner Jim Smith or move on.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-11-2003)
- #88 Jackman Returns to the Track: John Bryan will reassume duties as jackman for the #88 UPS Racing Team this weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway. Bryan has been on the sidelines since getting hurt at Indianapolis Motor Speedway the first of August. Bryan has been working out with the pit crew and practicing for the last three weeks and returns to action for the first time this weekend.(UPS Racing PR)(9-11-2003)
- Only the Cup race for Wimmer: With the Busch Series off this weekend, #27-Scott Wimmer can focus all of his time on the Cup effort. "Only running one series will be good for our Winston Cup effort from a time factor standpoint," said Wimmer.. "The companion races take a lot out of everyone having to jump back and forth.. We can concentrate solely on making our Cup car competitive.. But on the downside, having that extra that extra track time with the Busch car does help out a lot.". The #27 YJ Stinger Chevy team is taking a car that tested at Lowe's Motor Speedway earlier this month.(BDR PR)(9-11-2003)
- Twelve Live Races on TV in Canada in 2004: Twelve NASCAR events will be shown live on network TV in Canada next season. NASCAR's two-year deal reached Wednesday with Craig Media Inc., Canada's largest privately held TV broadcaster, marks the first time the series' events will be shown in the country on anything other than cable TV. The coverage will begin with the Feb. 15 Daytona 500 and feature all 12 events that NBC will broadcast. Craig Media will broadcast the races in the provinces of Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba.NASCAR's global reach includes television broadcasts in more than 100 countries in 21 languages each week.(ThatsRacin.com/CNNSI/AP) and see more at RaceFans TV.(9-10-2003)
- 'Herman' announces teen help program with Stacker 2: NVE Pharmaceuticals and NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Kenny 'Herman' Wallace announced Sept. 9 the launch of a new program designed to teach teen-agers the importance of safe driving and car maintenance. "YJ Stinger's Race to Bee Safe" program will bring the driver of the #23 Stacker 2 Dodge to high schools in six markets that host Winston Cup races this fall. The markets are Dover, Del.; Charlotte, N.C.; Martinsville, Va.; Atlanta; Rockingham, N.C.; and Miami. Local law enforcement representatives will also participate. Students will sign a promise to practice safe driving. The promise will act as an informal contract between the student and the student's parents. Students that sign the promise will become eligible to win prizes, including a pair of tickets to one of the weekend's races in their area. Wallace will speak to students about safe driving and routine car maintenance. He will draw from his own knowledge as a licensed driver for 24 years and more than 20 years of racing experience. Wallace is also the father of three young daughters, one of them a 16-year-old newly licensed driver. The Race to Bee Safe program also launches a contest in which students can design the trunk art for Wallace's car. One winner will be selected from the six markets. The winning design will appear on Wallace's car in a 2004 Nextel Cup race at the winner's home track. The winner will also receive four VIP tickets to the race and diecast replicas of the No. 23 Dodge, featuring the winning design. YJ Stinger is Stacker 2's extreme energy drink, totally ephedra-free and available in three lightly carbonated flavors: Sinful Citrus, Pounding Punch and Enraged Raspberry. Enraged Raspberry is also available in a Sugar Free formula [and is very tasty]. This product is not intended to be a meal replacement or a dietary supplement. NVE Pharmaceuticals of Newton, N.J., exclusively manufactures, distributes and markets the entire Stacker 2 line of products (The World's Strongest Fat Burner) and YJ Stinger.(Keystone Marketing PR/Stacker2racing.com)(9-10-2003)
- New Tide site: New Look for Tide Racing Website - Procter & Gamble, Tide's parent company, recently relaunched the Tide Racing website, which features a newly revamped design. Fans visiting the site can find information on the Tide Racing team, read about the history of Tide's 16-year involvement in NASCAR, and purchase Tide Racing merchandise. Fans can see the new design of the site by visiting www.tideracing.com.(PPI Motorsports PR)(9-10-2003)
- Terry Labonte in top 10, first time in 121 races: #17-Matt Kenseth has been No. 1 in the NASCAR Top 10 since the fourth race of the season (Atlanta, March 9), a run of 23 consecutive race weeks. The big news this week is the appearance, at No. 9, of #5-Terry Labonte. Labonte is in the NASCAR Top 10 for the first time since May 2000, 121 races ago.(NASCAR PR)(9-10-2003)
- Dale Jr's Pit Crew Wins in Richmond; Fourth Victory Narrows Point Gap: The pit crew for Dale Earnhardt Jr's Chevrolet scored its fourth victory of the season in the weekly McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade at the recent NASCAR Winston Cup race in Richmond, Va. The victory, worth $20,000, moved the No. 8 Budweiser team closer to first place in the pit crew season standings. With 10 races remaining, Earnhardt's crew trails DEI teammate - the No. 15 crew for Michael Waltrip by 47 points. The McDonald's/POWERade season pit crew champion will receive a $200,000 bonus. "We have a rivalry going with the No. 15 team," said Tony Eury Jr., car chief for the No. 8 Chevrolet. "Our guys are really excited about this and feel they can catch the 15 team. The $200,000 bonus gives us something to really shoot for. I think it's great that McDonald's and POWERade stepped up to recognize the crews with this championship." In Saturday night's (Sept. 6) Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway, Earnhardt's car spent the least amount of time on pit road for participating teams - 200.796 seconds. Second was Jeff Burton's Citgo Ford - 206.850 and third was Bobby Labonte's Interstate Batteries Chevrolet - 250.575. Earnhardt's over-the-wall crew consists of: Jeff Clark (gasman), Kevin Pennell (jackman), Phil Drye (front tire changer), Danny Earnhardt (front tire carrier), Jay Guarneri (rear tire changer), Troy Prince (rear tire carrier), Bill Snyder (catch can). The team's crew chief is Tony Eury and the car chief is Tony Eury Jr.For the season standings, who has won each week, the top 10 last race, see my Pit Crew Page.(DMF Communications PR)(9-10-2003)
- Drivers at Petty Enterprises today: Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Ken Schrader, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Green, Dale Jarrett and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. were at Petty Enterprises in Randleman, NC today filming a commercial for Victory Junction Gang Camp.(9-10-2003)
- Harvick tests at Kansas: #29-Kevin Harvick tested at Kansas Speedway this week, not sure of the particulars and no speeds.(9-10-2003)
- Testing at Talladega this week: #60-David Green was part of a two-day test at Talladega Superspeedway on Monday and Tuesday along with #80-Mike Bliss with Joe Gibbs Racing, #75-John Andretti with Richard Childress Racing, Jason Jarrett with Robert Yates Racing and Tom Hubert with Bill Davis Racing. Defending ARCA RE/MAX Series Food World 300 winner Keith Segars in the #04 car as well as Mark Thompson in the #66 were also on hand for the test. Green said the R&D side of the #60 team has concentrated on Talladega and Daytona International Speedway. Two-day tickets start at $60 for the EA SPORTS 500 Weekend, Sept. 25-28. For one $60 ticket, fans can watch the final two NASCAR Winston Cup Series practices and the ARCA RE/MAX Series Food World 300 on Saturday and the NASCAR Winston Cup EA SPORTS 500 on Sunday. Alabama International Auto Show Qualifying Day is Thursday, Sept. 25, to set the field for the ARCA RE/MAX Series Food World 300. Tickets to both qualifying days are $10, children 11-and-under free. Fans can call 1-800-PITSHOP or (256) 362-RACE or visit the track’s official website at talladegasuperspeedway.com. Fans can also go online for a 3D Virtual Tour of the grandstand and tower seats as well as the infield spots for those who wish to stay overnight inside the track.(TSS PR/Site)(9-10-2003)
- Smirnoff and the #99? or to Penske? UPDATE 2 to the #29?: hearing that Smirnoff Ice/Triple Black could end up being the sponsor for the #99 Roush Racing team and driver Jeff Burton, either in a full time capacity or similar to what they are doing with #17-Matt Kenseth this year [seven races as a primary sponsor on the car], OR could re-up with Kenseth for another year OR could do a similar deal with #12-Ryan Newman [not sure how Miller Lite would like that] also being a sponsor on one of Penske's IRL cars [who is losing Marlboro] with one of their hard liquior labels, which is allowed in the IRL but not in NASCAR. While mulling over this one, kmowing it looks like a sponsor will stick with NASCAR, check out their contest: Smirnoffice.com - Hang With Matt & The Crew.(7-28-2003)
UPDATE: now hearing the sponsorship [7-8 races, like it is for this year] is between staying with the #17 team or going to the #29 RCR team and Kevin Harvick.(8-28-2003)
UPDATE 2: hearing Smirnoff Ice will end up going to the #29 team, running seven or so Cup races as the primary, as it did with the #17 in 2003.(9-10-2003)
- Testing at Dover UPDATE: hearing some teams are testing at Dover this week, Cup and Busch: #24-Jeff Gordon, #43-Christian Fittipaldi in Cup and #57-Jason Keller, #46-Ashton Lewis, #59-Stacy Compton, and the #87 NEMCO Chevy among others.(9-9-2003)
UPDATE: The drivers testing were: Jimmie Johnson and Christian Fittipaldi in Cup; and Busch Series drivers #48-Shane Hmiel, #87-Kyle Busch, #46-Ashton Lewis and Mike McLaughlin, in Jason Keller's #57 Ford.(Delaware News Journal)(9-10-2003)
- Tire test at Daytona Wraps Up: #15-Michael Waltrip and #97-Kurt Busch wrapped up a two-day Goodyear tire test on Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway. Waltrip and test driver Tim Fedewa drove Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolets while Busch tested his Roush Racing Ford as the trio of drivers helped Goodyear develop a new tire for next year's "Great American Race" on Feb. 15. Both Busch and Waltrip participated in 30-lap drafting sessions while Fedewa did single-car laps in a Chevrolet Monte Carlo that's expected to be Waltrip's Daytona 500 car in 2004. "It's been real productive," said Waltrip's crew chief Richard "Slugger" Labbe. "We're trying to get a new generation tire for Goodyear developed. So far, it's gone good. The tires are holding up. The lap times are pretty quick and consistent and not much fall off. The cars generally push here after 20 laps and so far we've been able to stay pretty neutral." Tickets for the Daytona 500 and other Speedweeks 2004 events are available online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(9-10-2003)
- #21 team working on car to ready it for NHIS: It didn’t take long for the Wood Brothers Race team to get a handle on the damage done to the #21-Motorcraft Ford following Saturday night’s Rock and Roll 400. The damage, while limited to small areas of the car, will require repair in the body shop. TFR spoke with Len Wood Sunday afternoon and learned that the hood and cowl needed to be replaced and that the right, front fender needed repair before the car could be prepared for the upcoming New Hampshire International Speedway event. The damage, which Wood described as “no big deal,” was incurred when team members from Kevin Harvick’s team decided that the Motorcraft Ford would make a better doormat than race car. “It didn’t need to happen,” said Wood, disappointment clear in his voice, “What happened after the race didn't need to happen.” Wood said the car was getting attention Sunday and would go to the body shop Monday. He hoped to have it back in the shop Tuesday morning so he could have it ready to leave for the long trip to New Hampshire. Not letting the post-race folly take away from his team’s accomplishment Wood remained happy with the on-track results. “We were catching the leader at the end of the race,” said Wood. “I’m not saying we had anything for him [Ryan Newman], but we were closing the distance to him. We were coming on strong right there at the end. That’s what’s more important.” After thinking a moment, Wood added, “It's unfortunate. In this day and time there's more expected from us than that. This is a major sport with major TV coverage and we just don’t need to be doing stuff like that.”(Ford Racing)(9-9-2003)
- Hermie Sadler adds to schedule: #02-Hermie Sadler announced today that he will add several NASCAR Winston Cup Series and Busch Series races to his teams schedule for the remainder of 2003. The team is still.searching for sponsorship for 2004. According to Sadler, he.feels his team needs to be visible at the track. "It gets a little frustrating that we are not talked about when people start discussing teams needing sponsors. We would like to run the Busch Series full time in 2004, so we need to show potential sponsors what we can do and that we are available." Sadler will enter NASCAR Winston Cup Series events in Loudon, Dover, Kansas City, Charlotte, Martinsville, Atlanta, Rockingham, and Homestead. The NASCAR Busch Series races planned are Charlotte, Rockingham, and Homestead.(PR)(9-9-2003)
- RIR Penalties Announced: Driver Kevin Harvick, along with five Richard Childress Racing crew members from the No. 29 team, and Pat Tryson, crew chief for Ricky Rudd, received a varying range of penalties for their involvement in an altercation following Saturday evening's NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, NASCAR officials announced Monday.
Harvick, driver of the #29 GM Goodwrench/Sugar Ray Rock and Roll Chevy, was fined $35,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31 for his role in the post-race incident. He was in violation of Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing: Hitting another competitor's car on pit road after the completion of the race, use of improper language) of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rule Book.
Todd Berrier, Harvick's crew chief, was fined $10,000 for violation of Sections 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 9-4-A (The crew chief assumes responsibility for the actions of his or her driver, car owner and team members).
#29-Crew member Mike Scearce was suspended from NASCAR competition until Sept. 17 [misses one race], placed on probation until Dec. 31 and fined $5,000. He was in violation of Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing: Involved in an altercation on pit road after the completion of the race, damaging another competitor's car following the completion of the race, use of improper language).
#29-Crew member Gene Pasquale was suspended from NASCAR competition until Sept. 17 [misses one race], placed on probation until Dec. 31 and fined $2,500. He was in violation of Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing: Involved in an altercation on pit road after the completion of the race, throwing an object at another competitor, use of improper language).
#29 Crew member Kirk Almquist was placed on probation until Dec. 31 and fined $2,500. He was in violation of Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing: Involved in an altercation on pit road after the completion of the race, use of improper language).
#29-Crew member Ken Barber was placed on probation until Dec. 31 and fined $2,500. He was in violation of Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing: Involved in an altercation on pit road after the completion of the race, throwing an object at another competitor, improper use of language).
Tryson, crew chief for Rudd's No. 21 Ford, was issued a $5,000 fine for use of improper language, which is in violation of Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing).(NASCAR PR)(9-9-2003)
- Childress’ Statement Regarding Post-Race Incident at RIR: The following is a statement from Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing (RCR), regarding the post-race incident involving Kevin Harvick and members of the No. 29 team on Sept. 6 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway: “NASCAR Winston Cup racing is a very emotional sport, whether it’s on a short track or a superspeedway, racing for the lead or racing for 30th place. In no other sport does an athlete have to stay in the game for three or four hours straight like a driver does. As a result, emotions can run high and that is part of what fuels a driver’s and crew’s desire to be the best. Sometimes, though, in the heat of battle, those emotions can get the best of you and things happen that you regret later. I apologize for the actions taken by some members of the #29 team on pit road after the race. I called the Wood Brothers to apologize and told them that I would pay for the damage done to their race car by those crew members. While I understand the emotions of our pit crew, the action they took was uncalled for. I want to say, however, that I understand and support Kevin Harvick’s feelings for wanting to have a few words with Ricky Rudd after the race. Kevin knows the mistakes he made and I’m sure he would do some things different if he had to do it over again but I stand behind him because I’ve been in the same situation as a driver.”(RCR Racing PR)(9-9-2003)
- Tire Test at DIS UPDATE: Goodyear is having a tire test in preparation for the "Great American Race" 46th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 15, 2004. The test will be held on Monday, Sept. 8 and Tuesday, Sept. 9 at Daytona International Speedway with expected drivers being 2003 Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip, driver of the #15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet and 2003 Daytona 500 second-place finisher Kurt Busch, driver of the #97 Rubbermaid Ford for Roush Racing. The test is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand available through DAYTONA USA, the official attraction of NASCAR.(DIS PR)(9-6-2003)
UPDATE: Michael Waltrip and Kurt Busch kicked off a Goodyear tire test on Monday at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 15, 2004. Waltrip, the 2003 Daytona 500 champion, and test driver Tim Fedewa turned laps in Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolets while Busch shook down a Roush Racing Ford. The objective of the test, which included an afternoon drafting session, is to help Goodyear develop a tire for next year's "Great American Race." "We've got a baseline on the car and began to search through different constructions and tire compounds that Goodyear wanted us to run," said Waltrip, who also won the Daytona 500 in 2001. "This is my first tire test in a long time. So far we just do whatever they tell us to do."
"We're testing for next year's 500," said Phil Holmer, Goodyear's marketing manager for stock car racing. "We've had this same tire for seven years right now. We've got new materials, new compounds, new fabrics that weren't in existence a few years ago and we want to try those out and find the best tire we can for the 500." Goodyear obtains information and data from both the tires and the drivers during the test. While the test is beneficial to Goodyear, it's also a big plus for both Waltrip and Busch as the last restrictor-plate race of the season is the Sept. 28 EA SPORTS 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and the Daytona 500 is just six months away. The Goodyear tire test will continue on Tuesday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., and is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA, the official motorsports attraction of NASCAR.(DIS PR)
NOTES: and been told that the teams are testing the new spoiler height and larger plates proposed for use later this month at Talladega and that if the package works well at Taladega they'll be using it at Daytona in Feb 2004.(9-9-2003)
- Lowe's Speeds? while it was reported that #42-Jamie McMurray was the fastest at Lowe's Motor Speedway testing last week, being told that the #55 Ford of Jeff Fultz, in a car prepared by Jasper Motorsports was clocked electronically with a speed of 178.867mph which betters McMurray's speed of 177.282 for day two. McMurray was the fastest overall, running a lap last Monday at 181.002 mph [Fultz was thrid day one at 180.391.(9-9-2003)
- Speaking of Bush, President Bush's comment about DW: Remarks by the President at Bush-Cheney 2004 Reception at Loews Vanderbilt Plaza Hotel in Nashville, TN, where Darrell Waltrip was a guest at the Reception: "There's less road-rage at NASCAR now because Darrel Waltrip is retired, but I'm still glad to call him -- (applause) -- I'm glad he's here. But most of all, I really want to thank you all for being here, it means an awful lot."(Whitehouse.gov)(9-9-2003)
- 12-year-old Connecticut girl wins Ultimate Show-And-Tell: 12-year-old Seneca Tedford visited her local Friendly’s Restaurant in July, and colored and designed a #37 Chevrolet. Her design was picked as the winner from among thousands of entries. The paint scheme and design was the work of the 12-year-old girl as part of a major promotional contest. The race car – with her design – as well as driver Cope, a former Daytona 500 winner, will visit her school, Lebanon Middle School, Thursday morning at 9:30am/et. The actual #37 Friendly’s Chevrolet of driver Derrike Cope that will run in Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Raceway in Loudon – will be unloaded in the parking lot. Seneca’s design will be unveiled publicly for the first time, giving her and her schoolmates the first look. Cope and Friendly’s will host an ice cream party immediately afterwards for the entire school. “Hey, she did a great job with her design, and she deserves to show it off,” said Cope, a two-time NASCAR Winston Cup race winner who includes the prestigious Daytona 500 among his major victories. Cope and his Friendly’s Chevrolet team will help Seneca do just that – the team’s huge transporter will stop by Lebanon Middle School at 9:30 Thursday morning and unload the newly-designed car, giving Seneca and her friends an opportunity to see the finished product, meet Cope and his team, and possibly even sit behind the wheel. “We might crank it for her but I don’t think the school would be too happy with us letting her take a couple of laps around the parking lot,” Cope laughed. “This is what Friendly’s is all about – kids and families,” said Pete Bell, Senior Director, Marketing. “We wanted a promotion within our NASCAR sponsorship that really peaked kids' interest, and that enhanced their visit to Friendly's Restaurants. "The results were phenomenal.. Seneca was the winner but thousands of children entered the contest, and were very interested in being a part of our promotion.. Friendly's Ice Cream and its restaurants have always been dedicated to serving families, especially children," Bell continued.. "This contest was a way to involve the entire family, kids and parents, in a wholesome promotion surrounding a wholesome sport."
Seneca’s design will certainly be one of the most unique in motorsports history. The Friendly’s Chevrolet at New Hampshire will sport a royal blue base color covered with ice cream cones – strawberry, chocolate and vanilla. The Friendly’s logo and the number 37 will be a tie-dyed design. “I assure you no one has ever seen anything like this on a race track ever before,” Cope said. “It is really going to show up well for the fans in the stands and those watching on national television. I’m excited to be driving it, and I’m grateful to Seneca for the wonderful job she did. To be honest, there were a lot of really good designs and color schemes used by thousands of kids. It was tough to pick just one,” he added. “But this will be one nobody will ever forget.” Seneca has already received $100 worth of Derrike Cope gear as part of her prize package. Additional information on Friendly Ice Cream Corporation can be found on the company’s web site (www.friendlys.com).(Williams Company PR)
ALSO it is posted on the Derrike Cope site that "Derrike will be announcing his sponsor for the 2004 Winston Cup season on this week's NASCAR This Morning broadcast."[Sunday on Fox Sports Net at 11:00am/et](9-9-2003)
- Sauter back in the #4 at NHIS: Johnny Sauter returns to Loudon, New Hampshire with Morgan-McClure Motorsports for the upcoming NASCAR Winston Cup Series event. The Sylvania 300 will be Sauter's fifth career Winston Cup race. In July at New Hampshire International Speedway, Sauter started the #4 Kodak Pontiac in the 41st position (field set under rain-out rules) and completed the event 23rd. Tim Brewer will work with Sauter as his crew chief. Johnny Sauter quotes: "I look forward to returning to a track where I have worked with the Kodak team this year. I think that will help us out with the set-up tremendously. We can build from the notes acquired in July. We had one of the fastest cars during that race."(Morgan-McClure Motorsports PR)(9-9-2003)
- Veteran Broadcaster Ken Squier Earns Prestigious Smokey Yunick Award: Ken Squier, a pioneer in motorsports broadcasting, will receive the 2003 Smokey Yunick Award recognizing lifetime achievement in auto racing during pre-race ceremonies for the UAW-GM Quality 500 Saturday night, Oct. 11, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The award, instituted several years ago by legendary car owner and mechanic Smokey Yunick who passed away May 11, 2001, annually recognizes an individual whose lifelong efforts have had a major impact on the motorsports industry. Squier was literally born into broadcasting. His father, Lloyd, owned and operated radio station WDEV in Waterbury, Vt., and the younger Squier was an on-air announcer by age 12. By age 15, he was working as the public address announcer at various local race tracks, laying the foundation for his career. Squier founded the Motor Racing Network and was a CBS Sports television announcer and host for 25 years. He and partner Fred Rheinstein also founded World Sports Enterprises, the first television production company specializing in motorsports. While Squier's motorsports activities have been scaled back during recent years, he continues to oversee the day-to-day operations of WDEV and its parent company, Radio Vermont. He also owns two race tracks, Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vt., and Airborne International Raceway in Plattsburgh, N.Y. Previous winners of the Smokey Yunick Award include Bill Simpson, Ralph Moody, Banjo Matthews, Bud Moore, Cotton Owens and Junie Donlavey.(LMS PR)(9-9-2003)
- 2004 Templates and a meeting UPDATE spoilers to be cut: NASCAR is putting the finishing touches on Cup templates for 2004 and plans to show them to teams and explain the differences at a September 9 meeting. Ford will have a new nose and tail, and Dodge will have a new tail.(from the Sporting News)(9-1-2003)
UPDATE: NASCAR will announce Tuesday its body template guidelines for the 2004 cars. A rear spoiler reduction, as requested by some drivers and teams, will be announced either at that time or shortly thereafter, in plenty of time for teams to begin preparing for next season. There likely will not be templates added to the current 32 or 34 required to police NASCAR's aero-matching policy, which makes the bodies of all four competing makes virtually the same in the air. NASCAR will require tighter tolerances on many of the templates now in use, NASCAR garage chief John Darby said over the weekend at Richmond. The spoiler reduction, from the current 6.25in to 5.5in, will not be accompanied by a mandatory reduction of the front valence, Darby said. That, he believes, will take care of itself as teams work to balance their cars for competition. The changes suggested will apply only at the unrestricted races, 32 of the 36. A different set of regulations will apply to the restricted tracks, Daytona and Talladega. It has been reported, however, that NASCAR will try a slightly taller spoiler and a slightly larger restrictor plate at the Talladega race in three weeks. Exact details were not given.(Speed Channel)(9-8-2003)
- Vickers to run some Cup races end of 2003: Brian Vickers, who will drive the #25 GMAC Hendrick Motorsports Chevy in Nextel Cup in 2004, says he has learned a lot by racing Cup drivers in the Busch Series. Currently third in the Busch standings, Vickers, 19, says his immediate goal is "to get as much experience as possible and be there at the end of the race." He will run five Winston Cup races later this season, and Peter Sospenzo will remain his crew chief.(FOX Sports/Sporting News)(9-8-2003)
- Evernham to one team? Akins to move up with Kahne? There has been speculation on the future of Evernham Motorsports if Bill Elliott retires and Jeremy Mayfield moves on after this season. Mayfield, who had a season-high second-place finish at Richmond, says he does not want to leave and adds that the potential for chemistry is there between him and crew chief Kenny Francis. One scenario that has been suggested is Evernham losing one team and Brad Akins' #38 Busch Series team changing allegiance from Ford to Dodge. That would allow Dodge to promote that team and its driver, 23-year-old Kasey Kahne, to Winston Cup.(FoxSports), thought Kahne was signed with Ford?(9-8-2003)
- Changes for Talladega UPDATE: According to NASCAR Winston Cup director John Darby, there will be an adjustment to the speedway formula when the tour arrives at Talladega, Ala., to contest the Sept. 28 EA Sports 500. Darby told TFR the change would come in the throttle response area. “We’re going to increase the plate size and also increase the spoiler so that we can still keep our control on the speeds. We’ll put a taller spoiler on it so we’ve still got a handle on the speeds but essentially it’s a matter of putting a little more drag on the car and a little more horsepower underneath the hood.” The goal, Darby explained, is to keep the drag horsepower ratio the same as it was the last time the Cup cars ran at Talladega, which will keep the speeds from escalating to beyond the comfort level of the sanctioning body. Asked if NASCAR considered again working with the roof blade on the speedway package Darby replied in the negative, “They may be back some day or a different version of it."(Ford Racing)(9-4-2003)
UPDATE: When the Winston Cup circuit returns to Talladega Superspeedway for the Sept. 28 EA Sports 500, drivers should feel a little more pep when they step on the gas pedal. That's because NASCAR is opening the holes in the restrictor plates used on superspeedways from 7/8 inch to 29/32. That allows more fuel to the engine's combustion chamber and therefore more response when the throttle is opened. To compensate for the increase in power and speed, the rear spoiler, which causes speed-reducing aerodynamic drag, is being raised from 6 1/4 inches high to 6 3/4 inches. Winston Cup director John Darby said the changes were based on results of wind tunnel tests of cars following the Brickyard 400. He said top speeds, which are limited at Daytona and Talladega to keep cars from becoming airborne, shouldn't change much. "They'll probably be a little faster, if anything," Darby said.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(9-5-2003)
MORE NASCAR released a four-page bulletin to teams at Richmond that included, among other items, changes to the cars for Talladega. All cars' rear spoilers will now measure 6 3/4 inches high and 57 inches wide, and restrictor plates will open up to 29/32-inch, which should boost the engines by 15 horsepower. "Any time we get more power at a plate track it's going to be better," says Sterling Marlin, who has seven poles and five wins at restrictor-plate tracks. Marlin also believes the new configuration will promote more passing.(FOX Sports/Sporting News)(9-8-2003)
- Rally Driver to NASCAR? UPDATE: Colin McRae is almost resigned to his career as a rally driver being cut short at the end of the season and is contemplating a switch to motor racing. It's not looking good. There's a couple of other things I'm looking at," he said. "Not all the doors are closed in the world championship. If I was five years younger I'd do another year just to be there, but I'm not doing it for nothing, in terms of money or the car. I always said if I stopped rallying I'd like to try something else." He declined to comment on rumours that he might consider taking up Nascar, North America's ultra-successful stock car formula, which races on banked ovals at speeds approaching 200mph. However, he has tried something similar, racing a less powerful car at the Rockingham Oval in the Midlands. He has also tested a formula one car, lapping Silverstone in a Jordan two seconds slower than Martin Brundle in 1999, in only 10 laps. But his racing experience is minimal.(much more at Guardian Unlimited)(9-5-2003)
UPDATE: Colin McRae admitted last night he is considering a move to the megabucks American stock car racing scene. The 35-year-old from Lanark, who saw Dutchman Petter Solberg grab a last-gasp victory in Rally Australia for Subaru, will have talks with officials from NASCAR. The 1995 world champion isn't guaranteed a top-team competitive seat in the 2004 world rally championship and he said: ``If that remains the case I will walk away from rallying. I will not drive for one of the lesser teams. Instead I'm going to look at
other forms of motorsport and specifically Nascar.''(UK's Daily Record)(9-8-2003)
- More on DEI sponsors UPDATE and #74: DEI is negotiating with Domino's [Pizza] and Best Western for sponsorship [of the #1], according to team sources.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-6-2003)
UPDATE: hearing the #74 BACE Motorsports team is also talking to Best Western as a possible sponsor.(9-8-2003)
- Spencer to run NHIS truck race: Jimmy Spencer, has announced that he will enter the Truck Series New Hampshire 200 on Saturday, September 13, 2003 at New Hampshire International Speedway. The announcement followed Spencer's fine run in the #2 Ultra Motorsports Team ASE Dodge at Richmond. In the seven NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races held at NHIS, there has yet to be a repeat winner. #29-Terry Cook is the defending race champion. Good seats are still available for the Saturday, September 13 Truck Series New England 200. Tickets may be ordered by calling (603) 783-4931 or by visiting the Speedway's Web Site at www.nhis.com to purchase tickets online. Tickets for Saturday's events will also be available at the gate on raceday.(NHIS PR)(9-8-2003)
- Jeff Green back to Busch? UPDATE: Jeff Green, on the sideline since DEI hired John Andretti, has approached Ed Rensi [#25 Busch team] about a Busch driving job, according to team sources.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-6-2003)
UPDATE: Reportedly Green and the team were unable to reach an agreement with each other over contractual issues.(BGNRacing)(9-8-2003)
see the Sept 1-7, 2003 Archived News Page
see the Aug 25-31, 2003 Archived News Page
see the Aug 18-24, 2003 Archived News Page