SEPT 15-21, 2003
THE PAST NEWS! YESTERDAY and BEYOND..
OTHER PAST NEWS PAGES
- OFFICIAL - no racing back to the yellow flag:
See the news, the rules and a NASACR Q&A/Transcript regarding the new rule on my Caution Rule 2003 page
- 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.
- Newman sweeps Dover: #12-Ryan Newman won the MBNA America 400 at Dover International Speedway, sweeping both Cup races at the Monster Mile and winning his 7th race of the 2003 season and 8th of his career. Newman got a lap down early when he cut down a tire early in the race while leading, but was the first car a lap down when the 5th caution happened [lap 287], allowing him to get back on the lead lap. Newman last pitted on lap 294 and went the rest of the way to win. Finishing 2nd was #19-Jeremy Mayfield [who wasn't happy with 2nd and was quite colorful on his TV interview, guess NBC has no 'bleep' button?], it was Mayfields 2nd runner up finish in a row. The rest of the top five were #20-Stewart, #29-Kevin Harvick [who led the most laps] and #24-Jeff Gordon. Points leader #17-Matt Kenseth finished 9th and now leads the points by 436 points over #29-Harvick who moved up a spot. #8-Earnhardt Jr. only took two tires on the pit stop during the 6th caution and the car was not right and he faded badly, trying to keep on the lead lap when Newman was in the process of passing, Earnhardt Jr. went up the track, lost it and spun around, slapping the drivers side hard against the wall. He was unconscious for a few moments and then groggy.
To see my rundown of the race at Dover, see my MBNA America 400/Dover Race Info page for the top 10, lap leaders, cautions, narritives/notes and other things.
Race Re-air: NOTE: Speed Channel changed their lineup in August - there will be a one-hour recap [called Fast Forward] of the race on Wednesday, September 24th at 7:00pm/et and again on September 25th at 1:00am/et; a full three-hour race show will re-air at 3:00pm/et on Thursday, September 25th
Race Results at JAYSKI - MBNA America 400/Dover Results other links at 2003 Winston Cup Race Results.
See full drivers points standings at JAYSKI - Driver/Owners Points after Dover.(9-21-2003)
- Three Pole Limit Starting at Talladega: Beginning with next weekend's race at Talladega, Ala., NASACAR will limit the use of poles in the pit area. The following poles will be permitted: an overhead camera, the sign board, a brush, a pole used to clean the windshield; and one used to service the driver. NASCAR announced the change in Sunday's pre-race driver meeting at Dover International Speedway. Poles with hooks, which have been used by team members to help collect and keep track of tires after they are changed, will not be allowed.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-21-2003)
- Parker back: #88 UPS/Robert Yates Racing's crew chief, Shawn Parker, who lost his wife in a tragic car accident ten days ago. Good to see him back.(TNT practice coverage)(9-20-2003)
Nice Column on NASCAR.com by Marty Smith: Parker humbled by support of NASCAR community and by Jim Utter of ThatsRacin: Shawn Parker returns to track, voices appreciation.(9-21-2003)
- TRUST FUND: A trust fund has been established on behalf of Tara and Shawn Parker's son, Jagger Alexander Parker. Individuals wishing to make a donation may do so by sending to the Jagger Alexander Parker Fund, c/o Wachovia Bank, P.O. Box 2519, Cornelius, NC 28031. Condolences can be sent to Shawn Parker c/o Robert Yates Racing, 112 Byers Creek Road, Mooresville, NC 28117.
- Green in the #43 at Talladega and Lowes: Jeff Green will be in Petty Enterprises' #43 Cheerios Dodge two more times this season, a team spokesman confirmed Saturday. Green will be behind the wheel of the #43 next weekend at Talladega Superspeedway and Oct. 11 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Green is driving the car this weekend because regular driver Christian Fittipaldi was slated to drive the #44 in a sponsor deal reached before the Petty's released John Andretti.(NASCAR.com)(9-21-2003)
- Stock Car Fans - Rumblings - Dover: Ryan Newman stretched his fuel for 106 laps and captured his 7th victory of the season in this afternoon's MBNA America 400 at Dover International Speedway.
Newman's 8th career win moves him into a 4-way tie for 50th on the all-time win list with Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Kyle Petty.
This is win #52 for Roger Penske (if you count the three for partner Michael Kranefuss).
Newman's sweeper at Dover (he's the third this season) was not without controversy however. As the new NASCAR rule about racing back to the caution was brought into play, Ryan was certainly a beneficiary of that new edict. Getting his lap back more than halfway through the race, he proved not to be intimidated when Jeremy Mayfield tried to "rattle his cage" (remember that line?) in the waning laps and held on for the win.
Sterling Marlin (13th) had his best finish since he was 10th at Pocono in July.
Jeff Green (16th) had his best finish since he was 16th at Chicagoland in July.
Jason Leffler (25th) had his best finish since he was 10th at Homestead in November of 2001 (only 10 races).
Matt Kenseth has 7 Top-10's in the last 8 races.
Ryan Newman has 6 Top-10's in the last 7 races.
Jeremy Mayfield has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
Jamie McMurray has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
Jimmie Johnson has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
The Rookie Report: Jamie McMurray (6th) is the top-finishing first year driver for the 14th time this season. He was followed by Greg Biffle (7th), Tony Raines (30th) and Casey Mears (36th). Larry Foyt's low owner point standing prevented him from making today's field.
This Week's Elevator...UP: Operator of the Week is Jeff Green (+25), followed by Jeremy Mayfield (+23). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Dale Earnhardt Jr (-35), followed by Michael Waltrip (-32), Kurt Busch (-31), and Bobby Labonte (-23). It was first-time honors for both
principals this season.
We've got a new second place man in the points after today. Kevin Harvick has moved up to #2, but the "Magic Number" for Matt Kenseth vs Kevin is still at 10. If Matt finishes 10th or better the rest of the way (and he has 22 of those this season in 28 races) then Kevin can't catch him. Our mathematically eliminated line has now moved up to 27th & below. Jeremy Mayfield (25th to 22nd) made the best move forward today. Four drivers fell two spots each.(Stock Car Fans Winston Cup Newsletter)(9-21-2003)
- Long Streak: #49-Ken Schrader extended his winless streak to 400 with his 37th-place finish at New Hampshire last week. Schrader will be at the site of his last Winston Cup win today. He won the June 2, 1991, race at Dover. He tied #11-Brett Bodine who also has 400 since his last, and only, Cup win, for the longest active streak without a win since winning a race. Bodine is running a partial schedule in 2003 and we all await the announcement of his new sponsor which hopefully will allow him to race full time in the series soon.(DBNJ/Jayski's Stats Page)(9-21-2003)
- Special Scheme at Dover for the #97: While #97-Kurt Busch has competed in six Cup events at Dover International Speedway, Sunday's 400-mile event will be his first at the one-mile track in the yellow and black colors of Rubbermaid Commercial Products and its "tough" Brute brand. It marks the third time that the #97 Roush Racing Ford has been sponsored by Rubbermaid Commercial Products and the Brute brand. Busch competed in the special paint scheme car in last year's fall race at Lowes Motor Speedway as well as the spring Richmond event earlier this season. The Brute brand, which features Brute Totes and Brute Containers, is known for its toughness and durability allowing consumers to work smarter and handle without care. Rubbermaid Commercial Products began a national advertising campaign focused on its Brute products in May. Television advertising has been seen during NASCAR races as well as on other network and cable shows. For more information on Rubbermaid Commercial Products, go to rubbermaidcommercial.com.(PR), see images of the car on my 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes - Cars #'s 24-99.(9-21-2003)
- Interesting...but false: from the AutoRacing1.com site - rumors section [need sub to read] - CART to sponsor Winston Cup car: AR1 spies have uncovered secret schematic drawings of the paint scheme of a possible CART Champ Car sponsored NASCAR Winston Cup car (click to enlarge). This is marketing genius at its best. With NASCAR's popularity, we can't think of a better way for CART to gain much needed exposure for its Champ Car Series with millions of race fans. However, we doubt NASCAR would allow such a thing unless they were allowed to sponsor a Champ Car in return. Why not? We don't hold much hope that there's a lot of truth in this rumor.
UPDATE from AR1: This rumor is downgraded to 'false' as we suspected it would be. We heard from someone connected with the #91 car who says they know nothing about such a sponsorship, which is too bad because there was a lot of reader feedback on the concept.(AutoRacing1.com)(9-21-2003)
- NASCAR Themed Tavern Opens: Pit Row, complete with a NASCAR car hanging from its ceiling, opened this week in the former Old Hickory House Tavern, 207 S. Vine St., Heyworth. IL. Owners Brian Smith and Lisa Gambrel have been working on the building since October to create its auto racing theme. The tavern blends NASCAR with cocktails, music and eight televisions, as well as other amusements including pool tables, dart boards, shuffle boards and video games. The inspiration for Pit Row came from the partners' love of motor sports.(more at Pantagraph)(9-21-2003)
- Mikey OK? Been asked so here ya go: Q: Many fans are concerned that you [Michael Waltrip] are sick because you appear to be losing so much weight. Why have you lost so much weight recently?
A: "I had a birthday coming up and back last December was back when I decided I wanted to lose weight. My 40th birthday was this past April 30th. I just decided that when I turned 40 I wanted to be lighter and be able to run faster and lift more than I ever could so that I didn't feel 40. I tend to be rather goal-oriented, so my goal was to weigh less than 200 pounds and I accomplished it. And I've maintained it by a low-carb diet and lots of exercise."(Delaware News Journal)(9-20-2003)
- More on the Hall of Fame Racing Driver UPDATE still needs a Busch driver: Hall of Fame Racing, the new NASCAR team owned by former Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, has signed its first driver – Dallas resident Alex Whitman. Whitman, 29, is the son of Paul Whitman, who is part of the ownership group for the team. Alex Whitman will compete in the Busch Series in 2004 if adequate funding is secured. "We have a couple of things lined up, and we're cautiously optimistic about it," said Starke Taylor, the team's marketing director. "But as far as having a Busch primary sponsor, we're not there yet. Time is a big factor now, and we're pushing very hard to get it done."
"We've been high on Alex for a long time. He's aggressive and he's smart, but we wanted to test him. He couldn't have done better. He's not ready to step in a Busch car tomorrow, but there's a lot of people in this business who feel he has a bright future," said Bill Saunders, managing partner for Hall of Fame Racing. Whitman has raced at lower levels for several years, including late model stocks, Sports Club Car of America road races and Skip Barber Dodge events. He will compete in the ARCA race at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 9, in a car owned by Winston Cup veteran Ken Schrader. Whitman will continue to drive in selected events for other teams until Hall of Fame Racing is ready to make its debut. Competing in 2004 remains uncertain. "I would say it's 50-50," Saunders said. "We have sponsors involved, but we just haven't found the right deal yet, and we're going to do this right. We will not race next year without proper funding, but we are in this for the long haul, even if that means 2005 before we get going." Saunders said the team will have more to say in early November about hiring a director of racing, possibly partnering with an existing NASCAR team and acquiring a shop near Charlotte.(Dallas Morning News)(9-19-2003)
UPDATE - still needs Busch driver: Dallas resident Alex Whitman has a future with Hall of Fame Racing, but not as its first NASCAR Busch Series driver. Bill Saunders, managing partner of the first-year racing organization owned by former Cowboys quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, said Friday that various media reports stating that Whitman had been hired as a Busch Series driver were wrong. "It's the wildest thing," Saunders said. "Alex is one of our drivers, but he's not going to go in our Busch car. He doesn't have the experience to go into a Busch car." Whitman, 29, made his ARCA Re/Max Series debut with a sixth-place finish in the Eddie Gilstrap 200 on the Salem (Ind.) Speedway last Saturday. "He did a great job in our first ARCA test," Saunders said. "That's the first time he was in an ARCA car, so there's no way he could step into the Busch car." Saunders said Whitman will drive a car owned by NASCAR Winston Cup regular Kenny Schrader in an ARCA event at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., on Oct. 9. "Then we'll be looking for money for him for ARCA or [NASCAR] Craftsman Truck in 2004," Saunders said. "But he will not be driving our Busch car." Saunders reiterated that if the team cannot sign a primary sponsor for its Busch Series effort on or around Nov. 1, there will be no need to hire a driver for 2004.(Fort Worth Star Telegram) (see past news on my Team News and Links Page - Hall of Fame Racing)(9-19-2003)
- Rusty to start Busch team: Winston Cup driver [#2] Rusty Wallace formally announced plans Saturday to begin fielding his own Busch Series next season, which will run Billy Parker in 17 races in the #66 Dodge sponsored by Duraflame. Wallace is constructing a new race shop in Mooresville, N.C., for this team. He formally owned a series team for three years beginning in 1989 with his younger brother Kenny Wallace as the driver. Parker, 26, currently competes in the NASCAR Late Model series at Hickory (NC) Motor Speedway and has made three Busch starts in his career. "This chance to drive a race car for Rusty Wallace is an unbelievable opportunity, and I'm already looking forward to next season," said Parker, brother of Busch series driver Hank Parker Jr. "This year, I raced against Rusty's son, Stephen, at Hickory and we became pretty friendly. One day, Stephen asked me if I wanted to have lunch with his father. Next thing I know, I'm driving a Busch car for Rusty Wallace."(ThatsRacin.com) and see past news and rumors on this at my #2 Team News and Links page or my Busch Series page and see image of the car on my 2003 Busch Schemes page and a full PR and image at Tom Roberts site.(9-20-2003)
- Appalachian Library Receives Donation, UPS Delivers: United Parcel Service and Belk Library at Appalachian State University in Boone partnered recently to preserve materials documenting the history of stock car racing. A Connecticut couple offered a sizeable donation of racing documents to the Stock Car Racing Collection at Appalachian, but had no way to transport the materials to Boone. UPS, primary sponsor of the Robert Yates Racing #88 NASCAR Winston Cup car driven by Dale Jarrett, stepped in and offered to deliver the collection free of charge. Twenty-three boxes were picked up from donors Bruce and Liz Kuchta of Niantic, Conn., and delivered to Belk Library a few days later. The Stock Car Racing Collection is an initiative by Appalachian State University to create a comprehensive repository for printed materials, photographs and videos that document the history of stock car racing in America.. The collection, maintained and preserved under the care of professional librarians, is open to the public for review and research free of charge. The Kuchta donation includes nearly 1200 issues of various racing magazines and newspapers, plus books, videos, race programs, pamphlets, and promotional materials.
The Kuchtas have been involved in racing for nearly 35 years.. Bruce Kuchta crewed for Grand National and Modified teams at Connecticut tracks in the 1970s and 1980s, and owned a Busch North team in the early 1990s.. Son Mike was a Quarter Midget driver and crew chief for Busch North and Late Model race cars.
For more information about the stock car racing collection, contact Wise at 828-262-2798, or visit the Stock Car Racing Collection's web page at www.library.appstate.edu/stockcar/index.html.(9-20-2003)
- Cup - Busch Sweep: The only time a driver has ever swept both ends of a NASCAR Busch Series/NASCAR Winston Cup Series weekend doubleheader at Dover was in September 1991, when Harry Gant accomplished the feat. Gant was in the midst of an incredible streak, in which he won four NASCAR Winston Cup races in a row: Darlington, Richmond, Dover, Martinsville, as well as three consecutive NASCAR Busch Series events: Richmond, Dover, Charlotte.(NASCAR PR) So what drivers will run both races at Dover this weekend: Kevin Harvick [#21 Busch, #29 Cup]; Jamie McMurray [#1,#42]; Greg Biffle [#7, #16], Casey Mears [#19, #41], Tony Raines [#33, #74], Jeff Green [#48, #43] and Joe Nemechek [#99, #25] (9-18-2003)
NOTE didn't happen this week either as #5-Brian Vickers won and he is not running the Cup race.(9-20-2003)
- Stock Car Fans - Ramblings - Dover: At least we didn't have to sit around and watch the raindrops fall today, Isabel took care of that for us. With the onset of a hurricane, NASCAR decided (and you can bet it wasn't a hard decision to make) that we should line up by points this weekend....and a cheer was heard from just about everybody starting in spots 38-43! Those hisses are coming from the #12 team and Ryan Newman. The only other time we got rained out of quals this year was at NHIS in July. As he did at that time, Matt Kenseth will lead us to green on Sunday for the MBNA America 400 at Dover International Speedway.
Dale Earnhardt Jr (2nd) has his best starting spot since he lined up on the outside pole at Martinsville in April.
Kevin Harvick (3rd) has his best starting spot since he had the pole at The Brickyard in August.
STREAKIN....Ryan Newman has 6 Top-10 starts in a row. Jeff Gordon has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.
Lining up by points left six teams disappointed, but at least they saved the expense of a trip and that pesty tire bill. Missing the field were: Larry Foyt, Scott Wimmer, Morgan Shepherd, Billy Bigley, Christian Fittipaldi (scheduled to be in the #44 this weekend), and
I won't say we didn't see it coming. NASCAR decided yesterday to end the practice of racing back to the yellow....mostly because they told us they would if the driver's couldn't hash it out themselves. So, after proving repeatedly that drivers are not gentlemen (and maybe that shouldn't be expected anyway), NASCAR has stepped in. We'll get full details by tomorrow, but it's gonna be interesting to see how they handle the latest pit problems.
I'm sure we'll here some complaints about the changes, but it probably had to come (and this coming from somebody who didn't like it when they instituted the pit-road speed limit back at the start of the 1991 season). But, in retrospect, it's maybe the safest thing NASCAR ever did for the over the wall gang. I was at Atlanta Motor Speedway that November day in 1990 when we lost Michael Rich (Bill Elliott's rear tire changer), and I've never forgotten it. We've come a long way since then, and we're gonna have to continue to evolve if we're gonna keep this sport where it belongs. Good Luck, Brian France.....you've got major shoes to fill.(Stock Car Fans)(9-20-2003)
- Don't Like: most comments heard from drivers seem to like these rules, however, two Truck Series drivers do not: Despite their obvious concerns for safety, Gaughan and Crawford believe series officials overreacted in terms of the Truck Series. "I don't believe it's the right way to go, but I do believe there is an issue there," said Gaughan, driver of the #62 Dodge Ram. "I think there's a bunch of interesting people last weekend that blew something that really has been good for all of NASCAR. I think it's going to cause lappers to race us harder; I think it's going to cause lappers to take other lappers out to stay on the lead lap and I believe it's going to make the people on the double-file restarts - who already race hard enough to get a lap back - now there's going to be no more deals. "We all say, 'No deals in racing.' But this gentleman sitting right here (Crawford), I got my first win at Texas because he gave me a lap back. And I was a backmarker in this series for many years." Crawford said the situation should have been "handled with the drivers," not the sanctioning body. "If you listen to the rules every week in the drivers' meeting, it says that the leader of the race, he's the only person that races somebody else to give them his lap back," Crawford said.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-20-2003)
- Changes at the #9 Evernham Motorsports team? UPDATE: hearing there could be some crew changes at the #9 Evernham Motorsports team, which could include crew chief [compitition director] Mike Ford.(9-18-2003)
UPDATE: hearing Tommy Baldwin Jr. could move over to the #9 team, he is currently with the #7 and driver Jimmy Spencer.(9-19-2003)
- #14/50 Foyt Racing crew shakeup? hearing that the #14/50 crew chief, Craig "Butch" Lamoreux, General Manager Mike Chase and Foyt Racing have parted ways. Have not heard who will take over the jobs.(9-19-2003)
- Why #75 for the 4th RCR car? UPDATE Andretti and the 4th RCR team, #90 AOL [not #75]: John Andretti will drive a fourth RCR entry at Talladega, using the #75, sponsor to be announced. Why #75? The number was chosen as a nod to the late Neil Bonnett, a close friend of team owner Richard Childress. Andretti is currently in the #1 DEI chevy, but had committed to RCR before he got that ride. Jason Keller will drive the #1 at Talladega.(Winston Cup Scene page 22 - need sub to read)(9-18-2003
UPDATE - Andretti and the 4th RCR team, #90 AOL: John Andretti will drive the #90 America Online/Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) Chevy for Richard Childress Racing (RCR) in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series’ EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sept. 28. The fourth RCR Winston Cup entry will be a research and development car in preparation for the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup season. Bobby Leslie will be the crew chief and the over-the-wall crew will be RCR’s #21 PayDay NASCAR Busch Series team. Legendary NASCAR team owner Junie Donlavey agreed to allow RCR the use of his famed #90 for the race to tie into the recent introduction of the AOL 9.0® Optimized service, the most compelling upgrade in AOL history.
“John’s current driving situation with DEI was not in place when he committed to drive the fourth car for us at Talladega so I’m glad we were able to work this deal out,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. “We’re running the fourth car to get a head-start on the 2004 season so I appreciate John helping us out with the work we’ll need to have done before testing at Daytona in January. Being able to tie AOL and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation together on the car is very important to me personally because of my respect and admiration for everyone in the military, and especially those in Special Operations. We’re just doing what we can to help raise awareness for the group and the work they do to provide college scholarship grants and counseling for the children of Special Operations personnel who are killed in action or training exercises. I also want to thank Junie Donlavey for letting us use his #90. That number has a great history in NASCAR because of Junie, so I hope we can get a good finish for him.”
Andretti was named as the driver of the Dale Earnhardt Incorporated (DEI) #1 Pennzoil Chevy in late August after already committing to drive the RCR entry at Talladega. He has two NASCAR Winston Cup victories, 13 top-five and 37 top-10 finishes since becoming a fulltime Winston Cup driver in 1994 and finished 18th in last year’s EA Sports 500.
The SOWF began in 1980 as the Col. Arthur D. “Bull” Simons Scholarship Fund and was created after the Iranian hostage rescue attempt to provide college educations for the 17 children that survived the nine men killed or incapacitated at Desert One. A tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, SOWF is dedicated to providing college scholarships and educational counseling to the children surviving Special Operations personnel killed as a result of an operational mission or training accident. These services are provided throughout the United States, or overseas, depending upon where the surviving children reside. To date, 455 children of fallen Special Operations personnel are involved in the program, of which 65 are currently attending college.(RCR PR)(9-19-2003)
- Owens and Pearson racing again: David Pearson and Cotton Owens, once teammates at the highest levels of NASCAR Winston Cup racing, are scheduled to recreate a slice of motorsports history Saturday night at Riverside Speedway [in Travelers Rest, SC]. This time, however, they will be on opposite sides of the competition fence. Pearson and Owens, who teamed to win the Winston Cup championship in Dodges in 1966, will race in a 10-lap shootout in vintage race cars as part of Riverside's Saturday [9-20-2003] night program. Other vintage-car racing also is scheduled on the 7:30 p.m. program, and other former drivers, including Jeff Hawkins, Rex White and Roger Mandeville, are expected to attend. The vintage-car racing will be in addition to Riverside's usual weekly schedule. A portion of the night's proceeds will be donated to the planned motorsports museum in Spartanburg, SC. Owens, 79, drove Modified and Winston Cup cars before becoming a successful NASCAR team owner in the 1960s. Pearson, 69, won three Winston Cup titles and 105 races before retiring in 1986. Owens will drive a restored 1937 Ford owned by Freddy Brookshire. Pearson will race a vintage car he restored. Owens, who calls Pearson the greatest stock car driver ever, said he was able to teach him a thing or two when they campaigned Dodges in NASCAR racing. In 1964, Owens' last year as a driver, he entered a second car (Pearson drove the team's No. 1 car) in a race at Richmond, Va. and outran Pearson.(Greenville News)(9-19-2003)
- Keller tests at Talladega: Jason Keller tested the #1 Pennzoil Chevy he will run in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Tuesday and Wednesday. Keller won at Talladega last spring in the NASCAR Busch Series Aaron's 312 with his ppc Racing team. Keller will attempt to make the EA SPORTS 500 field during Discount Food Mart Qualifying Day on Friday, Sept. 26. Seats in the Allison Grandstand out of Turn 2 are also still available for one $60 ticket and good for all the action on the track Saturday and Sunday. For one $60 ticket, fans can watch the final two NASCAR Winston Cup Series practice sessions and the ARCA RE/MAX Series Food World 300 on Saturday and return on Sunday for the EA SPORTS 500. For fans staying on track property during the EA
SPORTS 500 Weekend and interested in a reserved spot, plenty of Park sites remain, including spots in the newly built Legends Lane Family Reserved Park. Fans can call 1-800-PITSHOP or (256) 362-RACE or visit the track's official website at talladegasuperspeedway.com.(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(9-19-2003)
- Here She Comes.....dressed in NASCAR Stuff: Miss New Hampshire Candace Glickman will be wearing an elaborate parade get-up -- a NASCAR-themed costume consisting of a red pantsuit, sequined black collar and sneakers adorned with racing flags and miniature cars -- in Friday's Miss America Pagent Parade on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ.(turnto10.com)(9-19-2003)
- Special Scheme for the #12 at Dover: #12-Ryan Newman's paint scheme will be a bit different for this weekend's race. Along with the ALLTEL decals, the #12 Dodge will feature a special design with the Sony Handy Cam logo on the hood and quarter panels.(Tom Roberts PR), see an image of the car on my 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes - Car #'s 0-23.(9-18-2003)
- ARCA Postponed: With Hurricane Isabel bearing down on the east coast, officials at South Boston Speedway and officials from the ARCA series has been forced to postpone the upcoming ARCA RE/MAX Liberty 200 presented by Bank of America. The ARCA event has been rescheduled for Saturday October 18 and will run in conjunction with the USAC Mini Indy Midget 200.(SBS PR)(9-18-2003)
- Preview at DIS? The late T. Wayne Robinson, who headed the R.J. Reynolds' sports marketing division for many years, came up with the Winston Cup Preview idea as a fundraiser for charities in the Winston-Salem, N.C., area. For the last 14 years, the Preview has allowed race fans to get a sneak peek at new stock car designs and meet NASCAR drivers. Daytona International Speedway wants to host the annual event in conjunction with Winston Cup testing held each year in January. Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of communications, said Daytona does have a horse in the running for this major preseason-racing prize. "We are considering several options, one of which is hosting the Preview here in Daytona," Hunter said. Since Winston has sponsored the Preview, it was always held in Winston-Salem, most recently at Lawrence Joel Memorial Coliseum. It has grown to become a valuable cog in the preseason mix. Through the years, Winston raised more than $2.5 million for charity with the Preview. The company kept expenses at a minimum because volunteers ran the event. At the end of this season, Reynolds will step aside as NASCAR's primary title sponsor and be replaced by Nextel, a wireless communications company based in Virginia. NASCAR has not made a decision about the 2004 Nextel Cup Preview. The sanctioning body is weighing different proposals, which include leaving it in Winston-Salem. R.J. Reynolds has put a hold date on Joel Coliseum in January as a courtesy to NASCAR and Nextel, but chances are the reservation won't be needed. The Nextel Cup Preview at Daytona is a great opportunity, but it's not a done deal.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(9-18-2003)
- Stuff Cancelled/Postponed: Delaware's projected brush with Hurricane Isabel had already forced NASCAR and Dover International Raceway to cancel all on-track activities scheduled for today and Friday. That means Winston Cup qualifying and Busch Series qualifying rounds were wiped out, as well as the MBNA America 150 Busch North Series race scheduled for Friday. Now, the anticipated heavy rain and wind in the region have forced postponements of a pair of other events scheduled for today. The 5th annual NASCAR Racing Collectibles Charity Auction that is held by the Auxiliary of the Milford Memorial Hospital has been called off for tonight. Winston Cup driver Kyle Petty was also scheduled to appear at Milford and Lake Forest High this morning to help promote Georgia- Pacific's Teen Safety 500 safe driving program. Petty's appearance has also been postponed and will be rescheduled.(Delaware News Journal)(9-18-2003)
- Not NASCAR but good to hear: Alex Zanardi is making a one-race comeback, two years after losing both legs in a crash in Germany. Zanardi will drive a specially designed BMW 320i car Oct. 19 at the FIA European Touring Car Championship race in Monza, Italy. The car will have its accelerator and clutch attached to the steering wheel, BMW said.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(9-18-2003)
- More on the 'Escape Hatches' UPDATE: Also, a technical bulletin authorizing installation of safety-escape "roof hatches" is expected to be issued to all competitors today. The new trap doors in the roofs of cars will be recommended but not mandated. Teams probably won't have time to install the systems by this weekend, but majority adoption is expected by the Sept. 28 EA Sports 500 at Talladega.(Orlando Sentinel)(9-17-2003)
UPDATE: NASCAR completed another of its priority safety projects today as officials announced an option to NASCAR Winston Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series teams for the design and components of an alternate exit that can be implemented beginning with the Sept. 28 NASCAR Winston Cup race weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.
........... The recommendation completes a 13-month project at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. for a safety initiative that will provide drivers with an alternate exit through a hatch in the roof of the car in the event of an emergency situation. The alternate exit project, guided by NASCAR Managing Director of Research and Development Gary Nelson, had its overall design and components created at the NASCAR Research and Development Center.
........... NASCAR has made the installation of the alternate exit optional for both the NASCAR Winston Cup and NASCAR Busch Series. NASCAR Winston Cup teams will have the option to use the alternate exit at Talladega while the NASCAR Busch Series teams, which are idle the Sept. 28 weekend, will have the option beginning with the Oct. 4 weekend at Kansas Speedway. The kit, which will be available through independent vendors, will cost approximately $150 and will take teams about 15 hours to install on a car.
........... The alternate exit will allow drivers an additional exit through the top of the vehicle should they be unable to utilize the traditional window exit. The hatch, which measures approximately 24 inches by 24 inches on the driver's side roof, is controlled by steel cable pull cords in the cockpit that are connected to a latch system. By pulling on one cable, it will allow the driver to open the exit to the front or rear of the car. By pulling on both cables, it will allow the driver to completely remove the piece. The system is controlled by the driver, but safety crews also will be able to release the system as well, if needed.
Under the direction of Dr. Dean Sicking, director of the University of Nebraska's Midwest Roadside Facility, NASCAR conducted numerous crash tests at the facility. The final crash test was held Aug. 6 at the Midwest Roadside Facility and this test included a crash dummy and simulated a rollover-type accident. The test generated positive results and data on the integrity of the design.(NASCAR PR)(9-18-2003)
- Kodak to a new team? Announcement soon? UPDATE to DEI or both? 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)
UPDATE:Sources from two other sources tell Winston Cup Scene that DEI has completed a deal with Kodak beginning in 2004. If so, it is unclear what that would mean for [#4] Morgan-McClure Motorsports, which has been sponsored by Kodak for years. Crew chief Tim Brewer said at New Hampshire that they still had two more years on the deal with Kodak. It is possible that Kodak could sponsor both teams.(Winston Cup Scene page 22 - need sub to read)(9-18-2003)
- Ultra Close to a sponsor? #7 Ultra Motorsports owner Jim Smith hopes to reach a deal soon that will KEEP Sirius Satellite Radio on the #7 Dodge and should know within the next week or so. It would involve working with some of Sirius' partners, like Best Buy.(Winston Cup Scene page 22 - need sub to read)(9-28-2003
- #50 for Labonte: Dave Marcis (54) and Darrell Waltrip (53) are the only drivers to have topped the 50-start mark at Dover in their NASCAR Winston Cup careers. #5-Terry Labonte will attempt to make his 50th career start at Dover on Sunday and would join #21-Ricky Rudd (52) as the only active drivers with 50 or more starts at the track. Labonte is also searching for his first career victory at Dover International Speedway.(NASCAR PR)(9-18-2003)
- Book Announcement: UMI is proud to present "Turning Points" by Angela Skinner, wife of NASCAR driver Mike Skinner. "Turning Points" is a collection of defining moments in the lives of NASCAR superstars - those life lessons that shape who we are and
teach us about overcoming challenges and reaching our goals. More info at Mikeskinner.com.
- Allison Book Annoucement: Soon to be released, Bobby Allison: A Racer's Racer by Bobby Allison with Tim Packman; Forward by Rusty Wallace. Allsion will also have some book signings coming up:
Saturday, September 27 @ International Motorsports Hall of Fame, Talladega 4 - 6 PM
Friday, October 10 @ Books-A-Million, Concord Mills Mall, Charlotte 4 -6 PM
Wednesday, October 15 @ Big Al's Restaurant in Mooresville, NC 6 - 8 PM
Now, for the first time ever, Allison reveals the stories that used to be reserved for those fortunate enough to attend racing banquets in Bobby Allison: A Racer's Racer. This new book is a collection of Allison's favorite stories and funny happenings throughout his career on and off the track, told in his own words. More information at Bobby Allison site.(9-18-2003)
- #32 Crew Gets $700 From Benny: The seven PPI Motorsports crewmen who go over the wall to service the No. 32 Tide Pontiac received a very special award prior to the start of the Sylvania 300 last weekend. NBC/TNT announcer Benny Parsons presented the crew with a check for $700, or $100 per crewman. When Parsons was at PPI's shops last week to interview team members for an unrelated piece that was to air during the New Hampshire race broadcast, he was shown a replay of one of the Tide crew's pit stops from the recent race at Richmond International Raceway. The videotape showed the Tide crew performing a four-tire pit stop in 12.9 seconds. Parsons has an ongoing "wager" with all NASCAR Winston Cup teams, in which any crew that completes a four-tire stop in under 13 seconds receives $100 per man. What did Parsons say about forking over the cash? "I guess I'll have to keep a closer eye on these guys."(PPI Motorsports PR)(9-18-2003)
- New Hampshire Winston Cup Race Draws 3.2 Million Households: Sunday's Sylvania 300 from Loudon, New Hampshire on TNT drew 3,214,000 TV households, according to Nielsen Media Research. It was the #6 ranked program on basic cable for the week, finishing behind the Bears-Vikings NFL contest, NFL Prime Time, a Lifetime Movie, a Spongebob episode, and WWE. The national rating (not cable rating) was 3.0. Last year's race was on NBC and drew 3,965,000 households, but there is no accurate year-to-year comparison because that was on an over-the-air network. However, last year's Dover race was on TNT, and it pulled in 3,497,000 households, meaning that a comparable weekend from last year drew slightly higher ratings.(MotorsportsTV.com)(9-18-2003)
- #8 Crew Wins Pit Crew Award at NHIS: The No. 8 crew has now scored back-to-back wins with the latest coming in Sunday's Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon. The victory gave Earnhardt's crew its fifth McDonald's/POWERade victory of the season, the most of any team participating in the inaugural championship. The five victories, worth $100,000 ($20,000 for each win), has put the No. 8 crew in a contending position for the season championship and the $200,000 bonus. Earnhardt's crew remains in second place, but the gap is closing against its DEI teammate - the No. 15 crew for Michael Waltrip. With nine races remaining, the No. 8 crew is 36 points behind Waltrip's crew. Three weeks ago following the Bristol race, Earnhardt's crew trailed Waltrip's crew by 72 points. "It's getting really tense over here at DEI," said Walt Smith, pit crew coach for the DEI teams. "We all get along here at DEI, but there's also a rivalry, trying to out-do each other. This is a fabulous deal that McDonald's and POWERade have put together. Our teams are really into it. The money that is being put out means a ton to these guys. It's huge -- $20,000 each week plus the big $200,000 bonus at the end of the year. I don't have to get them pumped up for this deal." In Sunday's (Sept. 14) Sylvania 300, Earnhardt's Budweiser Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on pit road for participating teams - 118.175 seconds. Second was Bill Elliott's Dodge - 134.352 and third was John Andretti's Pennzoil/DEI Chevrolet - 135.759. 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.(DMF Communications PR) see the standings, the top 10 at the race on my Pitcrew Page.(9-18-2003)
- Next Race for the #79: the Next Trial event for the #79 Don Arnold Motorsports Team will be Talladega.(Arnold Motorsports site)(9-18-2003)
- Stacker 2 cars to run decal: The Station #23 program was developed to pay tribute to the fallen firefighters of Station 23 FDNY (Midtown Manhattan), who were performing their jobs of saving lives when tragedy struck on September 11, 2001. The name of their station is “The Lion's Den.” Through the common grief following September 11th, a special bond was created between Station 23 FDNY and Station 23, Grand Terrace (San Bernardino County FD) in Grand Terrace, California. The two have become “sister stations” and Station 23, Grand Terrace, has since adopted the name “The Lion's Den” in honor of the fallen firefighters. “The Lion's Den” decal being placed on the #23 Stacker 2 Busch and Cup cars feature both "sister stations" and will be included on the team cars throughout the month of September.
AND Stacker 2 will play host to several celebrities this weekend. In addition to drivers Scott Wimmer and Kenny Wallace, the ever-popular sponsor will entertain Chris “Y2J” Jerrico of the WWE on Saturday. Sunday it is the all-star lineup of HBO’s popular series, The Soprano’s. Guest will include: Vince Curatola, who plays Johnny Sack; Jeff Marchetti, who plays Petey; and Joe Gannascoli, who plays Vito Spatafore. Vince Curatola will sing the national anthem for Sunday’s All America 400. Also, FDNY fire captain John Benedict will be on hand to participate in the pre-race festivities.(Bill Davis Racing)(9-18-2003)
- Racing Back to the Yellow to be Dropped? as of Dover? UPDATE: Racing back to the caution flag, long one of NASCAR's most controversial procedures, could be eliminated as early as Sunday's MBNA America 400 at Dover, Del., according to sources. New NASCAR Chairman Brian France said Tuesday there would be announcements later this week that required "tough decisions," but he would not elaborate. But other NASCAR sources said both France and the sanctioning body's president, Mike Helton, favor banning "racing back to yellow," unless their race-official lieutenants can present satisfactory arguments to the contrary.(Orlando Sentinel)(9-17-2003)
UPDATE: NASCAR is seriously considering revising its long-standing policy of allowing drivers to race back to the yellow flag. Discussions about changing the rule, which gives competitors a chance to earn laps back on the leader, are taking place at the highest levels of NASCAR's management team. Racing back to the yellow is considered dangerous because many times the race leaders and those attempting to get a lap back must pick their way through an accident site. The current yellow flag rule also inhibits response time by emergency crews, who must wait until the field gathers up behind the pace car.(Daytona Beach News Journal)
AND New NASCAR Chairman Brian France, who took over from his father, Bill France Jr., on Monday, is said to be leaning heavily, along with Helton, toward banning the practice. Unless lieutenants who directly conduct the races can give the two top executives sufficient rationales for status quo, the bedlam's days are numbered. Whether an announcement comes before the Dover races, or is deferred, may depend on whether the younger France, 41, is worried about being perceived as changing too much, too fast.(Orlando Sentinel)(9-18-2003)
- Vickers in the #01 for last 2003 Cup races UPDATE: 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)
UPDATE: MB2 Motorsports announced that arrangements have been completed to have Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Busch Series standout, Brian Vickers, drive the #01 U.S. Army/MB2 Pontiac in the final four races of the 2003 Winston Cup season. The 19-year-old native of Thomasville, N.C. will be subbing for Jerry Nadeau, who is recovering from injuries sustained in a May 2 accident at Richmond. The U.S. Army/MB2 ride will be an experience-builder for Vickers, who will join the Cup Series on a full-time basis next season, driving the #25 GMAC Hendrick Motorsports entry. Mike Skinner, who joined MB2 Motorsports in early August, will continue as the team's substitute driver through the Oct. 19 race in Martinsville. The four Winston Cup races Vickers will drive the U.S. Army car in are:. Atlanta (Oct. 26), Phoenix (Nov. 2), Rockingham, N.C. (Nov. 9) and Homestead, Fla. (Nov. 16). The four events will be double-duty weekends for Vickers, who will also be competing in the Busch Series races. Vickers' Busch ride last year was associated with the U.S. Army in 10 events through a relationship with the Army's National Automotive Center (NAC).(US Army Racing PR)(9-17-2003)
- Bang Racing? UPDATE: hearing that a new Winston Cup team - Bang Racing was in line to receive the AT&T Wireless sponsorship - not Roush Racing. Bang Racing is a new team founded by Alex Meshkin, a young technology executive from Reston, VA. Ironically - the same city where Nextel is headquartered. Meshkin founded a software company that he sold when he was just 19 years old – he is now 23. Also hearing that Bang Racing is not just another race team - but a technology-based team that enables corporations to make NASCAR sponsorships interactive and measurable using a patented wireless technology. Apparently, this technology will allow fans to interact with teams and sponsors using any wireless phone - not just Nextel phones. Have heard that Bang Racing has been in talks with Nextel about a car sponsorship deal - but Nextel decided to become the title sponsor instead. Nextel and Bang Racing are still talking about a technology deal that would allow Nextel to exclusively offer this technology to their subscribers. Also, hearing that Larry McReynolds may be one of the owners along with Alex Meshkin and other technology executives from Reston, VA.(6-19-2003)
UPDATE: Bang! McReynolds back racing: Bang LLC - a global organization providing marketing services and technology solutions announced today the launch of Bang Racing. Bang LLC is the brainchild of Alex Meshkin, a pioneer of interactive marketing strategies and strategic sponsorship marketing. Meshkin was profiled in numerous North American business publications when at the age of 19 he founded the first startup company in the space of Internet usage rewards, the first of several startups earning him industry praise as a leading marketing entrepreneur. Meshkin's company Bang LLC recently partnered with renowned NASCAR Crew Chief and FOX Sports Broadcaster Larry McReynolds to create Bang Racing, with the goal of making corporate sponsorships in NASCAR interactive and measurable.(Bang Racing PR), see full press release on my Truck Series page, as they will start off in the Truck Series with a two-truck Toyota backed team.(9-17-2003)
- Another Jarrett? UPDATE 2: hearing Jason Jarrett, son of Dale Jarrett, may run a third Robert Yates Racing entry at Talladega next week. Jarreatt recently tested for Yates at the track.(9-16-2003)
UPDATE: Jason Jarrett, son of the 1999 Winston Cup champion Dale Jarrett, will attempt to make his first Winston Cup race next weekend at Talladega. Jarrett will run a third Robert Yates Racing Ford with the #98. Decisions on sponsorship and paint scheme are expected to be made over the next several days. The 27-year old Jarrett, who is current second in the ARCA championship chase, competed in 40 Busch Series races between 1997 and 2000.(PRN's Garagepass radio show/Jason Jarrett Site)(9-16-2003)
UPDATE 2: Robert Yates Racing and Jason Jarrett have teamed up for the upcoming Winston Cup race event at Talladega Superspeedway on September 28, 2003. After extensive testing last week at Talladega, Yates Racing decided to enter a third car in the race to be piloted by Jason Jarrett, along with regular team members, Dale Jarrett and Elliott Sadler. This will be the first attempt to qualify in a Winston Cup event for the third-generation member of the Jarrett racing family. The car number will be #98; crew chief will be Bill Riley. Over-the-wall crew responsibilities will be picked up by members of Jarrett's ARCA RE/MAX Series ML Motorsports race team; sponsorship and paint scheme are currently being determined and will be announced shortly.(see the Jason Jarrett site for more and a Q&A with Jarrett)(9-17-2003)
- Hall of Fame Racing signs a driver for 2004: Alex Whitman made his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut on Saturday running in the Eddie Gilstrap 200 at the half-mile, high-bank of Salem Speedway and turned the heads of many ARCA RE/MAX Series regulars with his strong run to a sixth place, lead lap finish. Whitman qualified his Venturini Motorsports prepared Wave Worms Chevrolet in the seventh position after having a strong practice run right off the truck.. Whitman competed in the top ten throughout the 200-lap event and brought the car home in the sixth position. Whitman has signed with Hall of Fame Racing for the 2004 season where he intends to run events in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the NASCAR Busch Series.. Hall of Fame Racing is owned by NFL Hall of Fame members, Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. Whitman, a 29-year old resident of Dallas, Texas got his racing start behind the wheel of go-karts before moving up to Skip Barber Dodge cars, SCCA Road Racing and Late Model Stock cars at the Nashville Fairgrounds.. Whitman plans to compete with the series again this weekend at the .4-mile- Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway and at the series finale at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlottewhere he has logged numerous laps as a driving instructor for the Richard Petty Driving Experience.(LM Motorsports Marketing PR), see more about the team on my Hall of Fame Team News and Links page.(9-17-2003)
- Wine for Childress UPDATE: NASCAR Championship Team Owner [#29,#30,#31,#75 Cup] Richard Childress will break ground on Childress Vineyards on Wednesday, September 17th at the Childress Vineyards construction site, at the northwest corner of the intersection of Highways 52 and 64 in Lexington, NC.(RCR PR)(9-16-2003)
UPDATE: Childress Vineyards broke ground today on the winery portion of the new Childress Vineyards complex in Lexington, NC. Childress Vineyards is a 60-acre facility located at the junction of Highways 52 and 64 in Lexington, N.C. The Childress Vineyards winery will be a 34,000 square foot facility. Approximately 25 acres of grapes will be grown at the site. Other facilities planned for the site include walking trails, an amphitheater, and separate retail and hotel space. The projected completion date for the winery is Aug. 1, 2004. Plans call for the production area to be fully operational by April or May of next year with the retail sector open in August. Childress Vineyards will produce 10 different wines. Childress has more than 25 acres of grapes (Vidal, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah) growing on the grounds surrounding his home in nearby Clemmons, N.C. His business partner, Greg Johns, owner of Johns Plumbing in Greensboro, has five acres of grapes (Sangiovese) growing in Summerfield, northwest of Greensboro in Guilford County. Production plans call for Childress Vineyards to produce wine from its own grapes and purchased grapes in 2004. Approximately 8,500 cases will be produced in 2004 and the 2005 vintage will also be produced from a combination of estate-grown and purchased grapes.(RCR PR)(9-17-2003)
- Cope makes good for a fan UPDATE: The Friendly's sponsorship of #37-Derrike Cope ended this weekend at New Hampshire. Cope failed to make the race and the car was a special fan deisgned paint scheme [very cool, ice cream cones designed by 12 year old Seneca Tedford] - Cope doesn't owe Friendly's anything, but am hearing that he is going to run the fan designed scheme at Dover next weekend of his own expense.(9-13-2003)
UPDATE: Seneca Tedford, 12, of Lebanon, CT, Seneco won a coloring contest, sponsored by a restaurant chain [Freinedly's], and #37-Derrike Cope was to use her design of royal blue and hundreds of ice-cream cones on his car at Sunday's Winston Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway. But Cope failed to qualify. He wasn't planning to race in Dover, Del., this weekend because he doesn't have a sponsor. But Cope has decided to go to Dover at his expense and race the car because of Seneca.(Seatlle Times/Williams Company PR), note: the girls name is Seneca not Seneco; and since qualifying was hurricaned out, Cope is assured a starting spot due to his owners standings.(9-17-2003)
- Lepage back in the #4 for Dover: Kevin Lepage will compete in the No. 4 Kodak Easy Share Pontiac at Dover International Speedway this weekend. He will start the event in the 40th position. The field of the MBNA America 400 was set by owner points due to NASCAR's Hurricane contingency plan. Friday activities for the Winston Cup Series were canceled due to the threat of weather. As Hurricane Isabel churns closer to the East Coast, preparations remain active at Morgan-McClure Motorsports in Abingdon, Va. to race at the Monster Mile this weekend. The team plans to travel to Delaware on Friday and begin work at the track on Saturday morning when the garage opens. Kevin Lepage: "We are taking the same car that we finished 15th with at Darlington. Tim Brewer makes excellent pit calls, so we should be in for a good day on Sunday with the Kodak team. I just hope Mother Nature cooperates and lets us get the race in this weekend. Maybe Isabel will take a turn away from Dover."(Morgan McClure PR)(9-17-2003)
- Jeff Green in the #43 at Dover; Fittipaldi in the #44 UPDATE 2: Jeff Green, who has wheeled cars this year for Richard Childress and Dale Earnhardt Inc., will drive the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge of Petty Enterprises for this race. Christian Fittipaldi, who normally drives the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge, will drive the #44 Bugles Dodge this weekend for the MBNA America 400 Cup race at the one-mile Dover (Del.) International Speedway. “There isn’t any doubt Jeff Green can drive a race car, and he can drive it well,” said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. “Having the opportunity to have him behind the wheel of the #43 this week is great for Petty Enterprises, for General Mills and for our entire program. Jeff will do a super job for us.”(Petty Racing/Williams Company PR)(9-15-2003)
UPDATE: have heard nothing [yet] about Green NOT driving the #43 at Dover and Fittipaldi going back in it since the #44 team didn't have enough race attempts/owners points to make the field at Dover since qulaidying has been canceled due to Hurrican Isabel.
UPDATE 2: been told that Green will stay in the #43 Dodge and race it Sunday.(9-17-2003)
- Sad News: Joe Granatelli, Andy Granatelli’s older brother who helped fabricate the famed turbine race car that nearly won the 1967 Indianapolis 500, died Sept. 13 in Woodland Hills, Calif. He was 84. Joe and youngest Granatelli brother Vince were involved with their flamboyant brother from the time they first purchased a gas station together in Chicago and then first brought a race car to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1946. Joe Granatelli was the chief mechanic on the Novis when Andy became involved at Indianapolis as a car owner and head of STP Corp. The elder Granatelli was listed as the entrant for Hotel Tropicana Spl. that Bobby Unser drove as a rookie in 1963.(more at Open Wheel Racing)(9-17-2003)
- AOL name being dropped: AOL Time Warner plans to drop "AOL" from its name, symbolizing the giant media company's effort to put the failings of the biggest merger in history behind it and begin a new phase of its corporate identity, company executives said yesterday. The corporation's board of directors is scheduled to approve the name change at its monthly meeting in New York tomorrow, people close to the board said. Richard D. Parsons, chairman and chief executive, strongly supports the change and intends to move quickly to implement it. The company's logo will be changed and its stock-ticker symbol will revert to "TWX," which Time Warner used before its $112 billion merger with America Online in January 2001. America Online Inc. was flying high when the Dulles-based firm co-founded by Steve Case bought venerable Time Warner with what turned out to be vastly inflated stock. But Case has been ousted, America Online is a mere division of a media behemoth, and the online unit is struggling to keep subscribers, many of whom have abandoned AOL dial-up service in favor of faster Internet connections provided by cable television and telephone companies. The decision to drop "AOL" from the corporate name is not a precursor to a sale or spinoff of the America Online division, sources said. (Washington Post). No idea what this means for the #30 AOL team in 2004.(9-17-2003)
- Team Nadeau makes donation: The Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center has received a donation from Team Nadeau in honor of Jerry Nadeau's 33rd birthday. The donation specifically has been earmarked for the Neurotrauma Research Program at the Harold F. Young Neurosurgical Center. The NASCAR Winston Cup driver was admitted to the VCU Medical Center May 2 after a crash at the Richmond International Raceway. Nadeau sustained a head injury, fractured shoulder blade and lung and rib injuries, and was treated in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit and Rehabilitation Center of the VCU Medical Center until his release May 26.
"Team Nadeau is very proud to support the VCU Medical Center's Neurotrauma Research Program by giving this donation in honor of Jerry Nadeau's 33rd birthday," said Nichole Burke, Team Nadeau coordinator. "Team Nadeau will be forever thankful to the wonderful doctors and nurses who treated and cared for Jerry after his accident. VCU played a crucial role in Jerry's life this year and we, his fans, are just trying to do what can to show our gratitude."
VCU Medical Center officials acknowledged the generosity of the fans at Team Nadeau and expressed their gratitude. "Their gift will go to help others, like Jerry, who have experienced major neurological problems as the result of a head injury," said Dr. Harold F Young,
chairman of Neurosurgery. "It is through private gifts like this one from Team Nadeau that we can undertake new clinical research projects that will benefit not only professional race car drivers, but the general public as well."
Team Nadeau has requested that the amount of the gift remain confidential. Burke said Team Nadeau hopes to make the donation an
annual event.(VCU News Release)(9-16-2003)
- NASCAR Personnel News: Richard Glover, a 20-year veteran of broadcasting and media, has joined NASCAR and NASCAR Digital Entertainment as vice president of broadcasting and new media. Glover will manage NASCAR's television, media and entertainment activities out of its Los Angeles office. Most recently, Glover served as executive vice president and managing director, Olympics for ABC/ESPN and The Walt Disney Company where he was responsible for managing all Olympics-related business for ABC, ABC Sports, ESPN and The Walt Disney Company.
AND Paul Brooks has been named senior vice president for NASCAR, reporting directly to NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian France. Brooks will interface with all NASCAR departments, direct long-term strategic planning while also overseeing special projects and industry relations. In addition, Brooks has been named president of NASCAR Broadcasting and NASCAR Digital Entertainment and will continue his leadership of NASCAR's broadcast, new media and entertainment initiatives. Brooks, who has worked within the sport for over a decade and currently manages NASCAR's Los Angeles office, will return to NASCAR headquarters in Daytona Beach, Florida. Brooks started his motorsports career in 1989 working with NASCAR drivers and media outlets. Joining NASCAR in 1993, he has held several key positions within the company and was responsible for developing and managing several of the company's significant marketing, licensing and media initiatives. In 1998, Brooks was named vice president, office of the president, reporting directly to then-president Bill France. Most recently, Brooks has served as vice president of broadcasting for NASCAR and NASCAR Digital Entertainment, managing all broadcasting, new media and entertainment business for NASCAR. Brooks opened NASCAR's Los Angeles office and under his leadership, quickly established close-working relationships throughout the television and entertainment industry that have benefited NASCAR's drivers, teams, tracks and partners.(NASCAR PR)(9-16-2003)
- Testing at Kentucky: #21-Ricky Rudd, #6-Mark Martin and #99-Jeff Burton are testing today at Kentucky Speedway. "Our weak point is the intermediate, 'Kentucky-size' tracks. What I foresee happening the rest of the year is a lot of ˜hit-and-miss.' We'll be doing a lot of experimenting because we don't have a lot to lose. One thing I'm sure of, by the time we get to the end of the season on ˜Charlotte-size' tracks, we'll be a lot better off", Rudd stated(Kentucky Speedway PR)(9-16-2003)
- Bud #1 and more on advertising: It’s a matter of loyalty… Despite all the attention surrounding the announcement of Nextel’s foray into NASCAR in next year, the telecommunications company has only been mentioned one time ($41,000) during Winston Cup Series event telecasts this season. Casey Mears’ winning of both ARCA RE/MAX Series races held at Pocono Raceway this season proved extremely profitable to his sponsor Target. The retailer rang up more than an hour of on-camera time and secured 41 mentions during the Speed Channel race telecasts, good enough for the nearly $200,000 in comparable exposure value and top five status among the series’ primary sponsors. Weighing in with more than $47 million of combined exposure value at mid-year was NASCAR Winston Cup Series and Busch Series team sponsor Stacker2. Robby Gordon’s annual double dip at the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 led to an exposure payout of more than $2.2 million. Gordon’s 22nd place finish in the Indy 500 brought in $878,150 for his sponsor Archipelago, while his 17th place showing in the nightcap Coca-Cola 600 landed Cingular Wireless $1,336,600. On the day, Gordon averaged nearly $2,015 of television exposure value per racing mile for his two main sponsors.
Year-To-Date Top-5 NASCAR Winston Cup Team Sponsors
1) Budweiser $143.6*
2) NAPA At. Pts. 69.2
3) Lowe's 61.1
4) UPS 60.1
5) Cingular Wireless 49.0
*Comparable exposure value reflected in millions. Values based on clear, in-focus exposure time and verbal references received during event telecasts through the Sharpie 500.(
Joyce Julius and Associates Newsletter)(9-16-2003)
- Buckshot to test at Talladega and Atlanta: hearing that Buckshot Jones will be testing at Talladega today and Wednesday in Michael Waltrip's #00 Chevy AND that Jones will also test a Michael Waltrip Chevy at Atlanta on Monday, Sept 29th and Wed Sept 30th, Aaron's will sponsor Jones in the car at Atlanta.(9-16-2003)
- Sabates to own part of the Bobcats: An influential group of local Charlotte investors has joined majority owner Robert L. Johnson as minority partners in Bobcats Basketball Holdings, LLC, the ownership group of the Charlotte Bobcats of the National Basketball Association and the Charlotte Sting of the Women's National Basketball Association the team announced Monday. Felix Sabates, owner of NASCAR Winston Cup racing teams and the Charlotte Checkers minor league hockey club, and chairman of Trinity Yachts, the largest yacht builder in America, is a member of the ownership group.(WSOC.com)(9-16-2003)
- Dale Jr. to run the Daytona 24 hour race in 2004 UPDATE NOPE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will run in next year’s Daytona 24 hour with the Freisinger Porsche team. Earnhardt Jr., who made his debut in the sportscar classic in a factory Chevrolet Corvette in 2001, has agreed to a deal to race the German team’s lead 911 GT3-RS in the Florida event next February. Freisinger team leader Stephane Ortelli will join him in the car. Team boss Manfred Freisinger said, “We have a mutual friend who contacted us about Dale. Everything has been agreed and the deal will be signed this week.”(Autoweek)(9-16-2003)
UPDATE: Been told by DEI folks that is zero accuracy to the Autoweek report regarding Dale Jr. in a Porsche at the 24-Hours of Daytona.(9-16-2003)
- Another Lawsuit: Greg Moore's wrongful death lawsuit will be back in a U.S. court later this year or early 2004. Lawyers representing Moore's estate filed an appeal earlier this summer arguing the wrongful death lawsuit resulting from the Maple Ridge, B.C., driver's fatal crash in 1999 shouldn't have been dismissed. The brief, filed with the Riverside, Calif., County Court of Appeals, names Championship Auto Racing Teams and California Speedway Corp. as defendants. The appeal is an attempt to overturn an earlier decision by a lower court to dismiss the suit. Moore, 24, died when his car crashed into a wall during the Marlboro 500 at California Speedway. Lawyers representing the Moore estate maintain the death was caused because when the car left the course, it skidded on grass in the track's infield and slammed into a concrete wall that was void of any energy-absorbing material.(Toronto Sun/CP)(9-16-2003)
- Been asked, so here it is: Question - I understand Chad Knaus' concern for his crew members, but shouldn't Jimmie Johnson have gotten a penalty when Chad went over the wall with no helmet and for having too many men over the wall? I'm glad no one was seriously injured.
Answer Larry McReynolds: With all the rules in NASCAR being black and white or red and green, yeah, there's no question that Chad Knaus probably did look at the right front fender when he went over there. But, trust me, I know Chad, and I would have been the same way. He went over there to see if any of his crew members were laying on the ground. He didn't do any work. If he had pulled on the fender, rubbed on the grill or did anything, then I would say certainly that a penalty should have been assessed. But he didn't do that. He went to check on his fellow crew members.
Answer Jeff Hammond: In hindsight, it would have given them too many men over the wall. I was only privileged to see a couple different angles of it, but I didn't see Chad Knaus do anything to the race car. If he was going out there to pick up somebody off the ground, check them out or see if his guys were OK, common sense prevails, and it's OK. Granted, the helmet wasn't on Knaus' head, but this was a unique circumstance. He didn't have the helmet, but he did, at least, have the fire suit. If he went over and did something to the race car and really participated in the pit stop, then I would say NASCAR blew a call. But from the different angles that I saw, all I could see was a concerned crew chief running over to see if everybody was OK. Everybody was getting up, moving and getting going again so he got back out of the way. A NASCAR official was there, but probably at about that time, he was too busy trying to think about what happened because he was trying to get out of the way. There were a lot of things going on, and the official probably just missed the call. But it was a common sense situation, and Knaus didn't do anything.(FoxSports)(9-16-2003)
- Stewarts IRL Trophy Auctioned Off: Items commemorating Tony Stewart's 1997 IRL title were auctioned off on Sunday. The memorablia was owned by a former team manager who embezzled more than $1 million from Team Menard. Collectors paid thousands of dollars for auto racing memorabilia once owned by former Indy Racing League team manager Larry Curry. Curry was manager of Team Menard from 1996-98 and won the IRL title with driver Tony Stewart in 1997. A federal judge in June 2001 sentenced Curry to 33 months in prison for helping to embezzle more than $1 million from the racing team. Curry also was fined $250,000 and ordered to make restitution to team owner John Menard of Eau Claire, Wis. Menard took possession of Curry's championship rings and watches, trophies, racing crew and driving suits, helmets and framed pictures. They were auctioned Saturday in Indianapolis. The rings, leather jackets, Rolex watches and ladies jewelry fetched tens of thousands of dollars from hundreds of buyers. Police stood watch as visitors looked over the items. "How often it is it that you could get to see a championship ring, let alone own it," said John Sears, a collector. "Who knows what they are worth?" (Charlotte Observer/AP)(9-16-2003)
- Marcis Racing UPDATE: hearing the #71 Marcis Racing Chevy will attempt to make the race at Dover Sept 21st with Tim Sauter driving.(9-11-2003)
UPDATE More on #71 Marcis Racing at Dover: from the new look Marcis Racing site: Our next stop on the Winston Cup circuit will be the upcoming race at Dover International Speedway on September 21st. Tim Sauter will be driving the #71 Continental Fire and Safety Monte Carlo. We'd like to welcome the New Jersey based Continental Fire and Safety as our primary sponsor for the Dover, Delaware event.(Marcis Racing Site)(9-16-2003)
- Cope Announcement and news for Dover UPDATE: 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)
AND The Friendly's sponsorship of Cope ended this weekend at New Hampshire. Cope failed to make the race and the car was a special fan deisgned paint scheme [very cool, ice cream cones designed by 12 year old Seneca Tedford] - Cope doesn't owe Friendly's anything, but am hearing that he is going to run the fan designed scheme at Dover next weekend of his own expense.(9-13-2003)
UPDATE: Cope made the announcement on NASCAR This Morning, the sponsor is PHM - Paramount Hospitality Management has signed as a sponsor/marketing partner to run a full season in Nextel Cup in 2004.(FSN NASCAR This Morning), for an image for the car and press release, see the Derrike Cope site.(9-14-2003)
UPDATE 2: Paramount Hospitality Management LLC is a South San Francisco-based international corporation which owns or manages 56 lodging properties in the United States, and is one of the top hospitality, lodging and resort consulting companies in the world with over 200 hotel clients. PHM will utilize sponsorship of the car for branding, not only of its current activities and logo but also a unique new reservations product that will become available in 2004.(Williams Company)(9-16-2003)
- Evernham, Ward and Baldwin? Ward Burton and crew chief Tommy Baldwin could be back together again if talks with car owner Ray Evernham prove fruitful, according to Dodge sources. However, Baldwin denies any such plans are in the works with Evernham. Burton will likely leave car owner Bill Davis at the end of the season, but Dodge wants to keep the 2002 Daytona 500 winner in the Dodge fold.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-15-2003)
- No Rudd for Davis? Bill Davis is looking for a driver for 2004 [for the #22], but he denies reports he might be interested in Ricky Rudd.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-15-2003)
- RCR wants Ward? On the Richard Childress front, Childress, according to sources, would like to hire Ward Burton, but sponsor AOL would prefer a younger driver. Burton is 42. 'We don't know what we'll do,' Childress said. The time frame for a decision: 'The next couple of weeks.' (Winston Salem Journal)(9-15-2003)
- Dale Jr. to Sit Down and Talk Contract With Teresa UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. is scheduled to sit down with car owner Teresa Earnhardt next week and Dale Jr. expects he'll have a contract worked out with DEI. The only reason he says he has yet to sign a contract is that he and Teresa haven't had time to do so. Dale Jr. says there are no disagreements, it's just they need about four solid hours to get it done and both are so busy they haven't had the time, not a minute to do it. Earnhardt Jr. says, "When me and Teresa have our meeting we'll defiantly have a clear, direct path once we're finished. Me and her really work well together and when we sit down and we're hashing out something we always have been able to come to a decision very easily. She's a classic businesswoman, she does a great job making those decisions and telling you and showing you certain reasons for this and certain reasons for that, and she's very compromising too. I don't have any doubt in my mind that I'll be able to walk out of there very satisfied with my end of the deal."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show/Lee Spencer of FoxSports)(9-12-2003)
UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he expects to meet with Teresa Earnhardt, his stepmother and the president of Dale Earnhardt Inc., this week to complete his contract. Junior, second in points to Matt Kenseth, says he never expected the negotiations to cause such a stir. "I want to get this out of the way because I feel responsible for the distraction," Junior says. "This should restore confidence to the team." Earnhardt says he is disappointed that people would question his commitment to the company his late father founded and says Teresa is "a classic businesswoman." Junior says completing the contract is simply a matter of the two finding four hours together to iron out the details.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(9-15-2003)
- 2nd Team for Wells in 2004? UPDATE 2: #32-Ricky Craven, whose single-car team has struggled at times in a sport dominated by multi-car operations, may soon get some help. "I believe Cal is well on his way to having a second team, as early as next year," Craven said this week at Darlington, referring to car owner Cal Wells III. Wells fielded two cars in 2001, but dropped back to one after losing a sponsor.(Charleston Post and Courier)(8-24-2003)
UPDATE: hearing Busch Series driver Scott Riggs [#10 Nesquik/ppc Racing Ford] could end up in the 2nd PPI Motorsports Ride and the team is close to signing a sponsor.
However being told that the team has brought in at least two other drivers to talk to in the past week who were not Riggs.(9-2-2003)
UPDATE 2: Cal Wells may again be close to a second Winston Cup team, and if he can put it together, Joe Nemechek has a good shot at the ride.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-15-2003)
- Newman wins 3rd Quarter Vote: Ryan Newman the Winningest driver in the NASCAR Winston Cup series this year, turned up the heat this summer and melted the opposition winning the vote for the third quarter Speed Channel presents DRIVER OF THE YEAR 2003. The 25-year old from Indiana burned up the tracks in his ALLTELL Dodge with three wins and one pole for Penske South Racing. He had an enviable record of seven top-ten finishes in his last ten starts during the quarter that just ended. In only his second year in the top series of NASCAR Newman, was clearly affected by the history of the award and the fact he beat the competition in every major series in the United States in the eyes of the voters. His ten first place DRIVER OF THE YEAR votes was underscored the professionals vote of excellence as his points total of 123 was nearly double that of the second place finisher. Although Canada's Paul Tracy failed to get a single first place ballot, the CART series points leader was a consistent vote getter on all professional ballots finishing second with 66 points. Driving the Players Forsythe Lola Ford-Cosworth Tracy had three wins, Toronto, Vancouver, and Mid-Ohio, four poles and a total of six podiums. Tracy was voted DRIVER OF THE YEAR for the first quarter of 2003. Larry Dixon, driver of the Miller Lite Top Fuel dragster, finished third with 46 points and took three first place votes as he won the Pontiac Excitement, Mopar Mile-High, CARQUEST and FRAM-Autolite Nationals. His winning average was 75 percent for the third quarter and he leads the POWERade series points standings.(Speed Channel PR)(9-15-2003)
see the Sept 8-14, 2003 Archived News Page
see the Sept 1-7, 2003 Archived News Page
see the Aug 25-31, 2003 Archived News Page