SEPT 29-OCT 5, 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 wins at Kansas: #12-Ryan Newman won the Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway, for his 8th win of the year and 9th of his 74 race career [12%]. #9-Bill Elliott, who let the most laps  ended up 2nd, with #19-Mayfield 3rd and #20-Stewart and #24-Gordon rounding out the top five. #17-Matt Kenseth wrecked early in the race, got the car fixed and was able to finish 36th, cutting his points lead to 259 points over Kevin Harvick with 7 races to go.
Scheduled Race Re-Air: on Speed Channel:
one-hour recap/Fast Forward on Wednesday, October 8th at 7:00pm/et and again on October 9th at 1:00am/et;
and a full three-hour race show will air on FRIDAY, Oct 10th this week [not Thurs as usual] at 2:00pm/et.
Kansas Race Rundown on my Banquet 400 Race Info page for info, along with the top ten, cautions, lucky dogs, lineup links, notes and narritives, drivers off track or out of the race and lap leaders.
Race Results at JAYSKI's Kansas Race Results page, official results from NASCAR, also links to other results pages and points.
For Drivers Points Standings, see JAYSKI's Drivers/Owners Points (after Kansas) or
ThatsRacin.com or NASCAR.com.(10-5-2003)
- Stock Car Fans Newsletter - Rumblings - Kansas: If you thought the rumblings about the #12 car's fuel mileage was loud
before, get ready for a deafening roar this week! Ryan Newman stretched his fuel (yet again) for a smooth 78 laps today and held off Bill Elliott to take his 8th victory of the Winston Cup season in this afternoon's Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway. His 9th career win moves Newman into a tie for 47th on the all-time win list with Paul Goldsmith, Cotton Owens, and Bob Welborn.
Bill Elliott (2nd) had his best finish since he won at The Brickyard in August of 2002.
Todd Bodine (11th) had his best finish since he was 8th at Pocono in July.
Bobby Hamilton Jr (14th) tied his career-best finish today. He was 14th at Talladega in October of 2001.
STREAKIN....Ryan Newman has 5 Top-10's in a row. Rusty Wallace has 5 Top-10's in a row. Jeff Gordon has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is John Andretti (+21), followed by Jeff Burton (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Elliott Sadler (-32), followed by Mike Skinner (-27), Jason Leffler (-24), and Dale Jarrett (-20). Twice as many downs as ups this week.
Matt Kenseth has lost 177 points off his lead the last two weeks. It's still a healthy 259 markers, but the "Magic Number" has swung to the competitors side the last couple races. It's now down to 8 vs Kevin Harvick....it was double digits two weeks back. Matt's crew busted their butts int the garage for 21 points. Remember that in November.
We lopped another four drivers off the list today for Championship material. Everybody from 18th (Greg Biffle) on down is now out of the
running. Jeremy Mayfield (24th to 21st) made a three position upward move today. Elliott Sadler (20th to 23rd) made the same move in the negative direction.(StockCarFans.Com Wcup Newsletter)(10-5-2003)
- McReynolds Re-ups at Fox: Larry McReynolds, former crew chief for drivers Dale Earnhardt, Davey Allison and Ernie Irvan, recently signed a three-year extension with FOX that will keep him in the broadcast booth through 2007. McReynolds, who is attending the weekend's events at Kansas Speedway, serves as a commentator during Fox-televised races. He also is co-host of the Speed Channel show "Trackside," which airs on Fridays. In addition, McReynolds, 44, works on Winston Cup and Busch Series qualifying shows. He's been with Fox since 2001, although his mind remains in the pits. "I certainly miss being a crew chief," McReynolds said. "You don't do something for as long as I did it and not miss it. But I certainly enjoy doing what I'm doing. There are days I'm up there in that booth and I feel like I'm crew chief of 43 different teams."(Kansas City Star - need to register to view)
AND hearing that Jeff Hammond has also finalized a 3-year extension with FOX Sports too. Darrell Waltrip's extension with FOX was finalized some time ago.(10-5-2003)
- Loomis Safe at the #24: Jeff Gordon scoffs at the notion that Robbie Loomis' job is in jeopardy, as has been speculated -- and continually discounted -- in recent weeks. Gordon said Saturday at Kansas Speedway that Loomis is at Hendrick Motorsports for the long haul, regardless what anyone thinks they know. "It cracks me up," Gordon said. "I was on MRN (radio) the other night and somebody called in and asked, 'Is it true Chad Knaus is going to be your crew chief next year?' It's just ridiculous. It's so funny.(NASCAR.com)(10-5-2003)
- Chevy Could Clinch Today: If a Chevrolet wins Sunday's race, the company will all but clinch the 2003 Winston Cup manufacturer's title. A victory Sunday at Kansas Speedway would give Chevrolet 216 points. Provided Ford finishes second (worth six points), the margin would be 37 points with six races remaining. Even if Ford won the remaining six races and Chevrolet finished fourth in all six, Chevrolet would still finish one point ahead. Chevrolet leads all manufacturers with 26 championships since 1952, and GM Racing brands have won 34 of the 51 manufacturer's titles in NASCAR history. That's a .667 winning percentage.(ThatsRacin.com). For the standings, rules and what drivers have scored points for their manufacturer, and all time manufacturer wins see my Manufacturers Championship page.(10-5-2003)
- Wawa on the #35: U.S. Marines and Wawa are sponsoring the #35 Team Rensi Ford of Bobby Hamilton Jr. in the Cup race in Kansas. What is Wawa? [one of the best convinence stores chains in the Northeast, not quite as good as the GEM Store in Dennisville, NJ] see more info at www.wawa.com. Also on the car [hood and 1/4 panels] is Ronald McDonald House Charities.(10-4-2003)
- Hamilton Jr to Cup? UPDATE: One of Sunday's story lines could be Bobby Hamilton Jr., the son of Bobby Sr. Bobby Jr., 25, would like to make the full-time step up from the Busch series.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-4-2003)
UPDATE: Busch Series driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. will make his first Winston Cup start of the 2003 season in Sunday's Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway. The driver has made 12 starts in NASCAR's top series, but this will be his first since the 2001 season, when he ran three races for Andy Petree Racing and seven for Morgan-McClure Motorsports. He qualified 18th fastest in the #35 Ford of Team Rensi, the same organization that fields Hamilton Jr.'s #25 Busch team. "We're just testing the waters," Hamilton Jr. said. "We're trying to work on sponsorship to go (to Cup) in 2005 and we're just trying to test and see what we need and where we can help ourselves."(ThatsRacin.com)(10-4-2003)
- NetZero Re-ups with the #0: NetZero HiSpeed and Haas CNC Racing announced today the pair would team up for another season of Winston Cup racing. 2004 will mark the second year of the partnership between the two, and NetZero's fourth season of competition in NASCAR. "We're looking forward to another year with Gene Haas and Haas CNC Racing," stated Brian Woods, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of NetZero. "Our first year in Winston Cup was definitely a learning experience. There were ups and downs, but through it all we knew we were building for the future. We're looking forward to our sophomore season in this series. Gene Haas has put together a strong team and we couldn't imagine not being a part of its ultimate success. The excitement NASCAR and our association with Haas CNC Racing have brought to our organization and our program is second to none."
"We're very happy to have NetZero HiSpeed back on board," said Haas, owner of Haas CNC Racing. "2003 was a more difficult year than anyone could have imagined. The competition in this series is fierce and we made a lot of changes to every aspect of our program to find the best fit. I think the combination we have now, with Jason Leffler, Tony Furr and NetZero HiSpeed is a match to be reckoned with. Everyone involved with Haas CNC Racing appreciates that the leadership at NetZero HiSpeed have been behind us with every twist and turn this year. I see 2004 as a year of great success and can't help but be excited about the possibilities for the future."(Netzero Racing PR/site)(10-4-2003)
- Fans Injured: At least two people who were in the pit area of the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway on Friday night were seriously injured when a race car driven by Jason Thoma jumped a concrete wall and crashed into them. The accident, which happened at about 9:40pm, occured during an Area Sportsman feature race. Thoma's car was involved in a crash on the front straightaway of the track, then crashed into and flew over a three-foot-high concrete retaining wall that separates the race track from the pit area. Both victims were members of a Modified race team, according to a track official. According to several witnesses, the car hit, then popped over the retaining wall and crashed into an area used by other drivers and teams as a staging area. Two of the victims were thrown an estimated 25 feet before landing on the inside of the wall, according to witnesses. Three ambulances were on the scene, and the Gundersen Lutheran Med-Link helicopter landed on the Turn One area of the track at 9:55 p.m. One victim was transported to a local hospital by ambulance, while the other was taken by Med-Link at 10:12 p.m. A condition report was not available on either victim. The driver suffered minor injuries, according to medical personnel on the scene, and was not immediately transported to a hospital.(La Crosse Tribune)(10-4-2003)
- Questions about NASCAR post-race inspections: Questions about NASCAR's post-race Talladega inspection, with rivals wondering about a possible NASCAR tilt toward DEI stars #15-Michael Waltrip and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. Waltrip and Earnhardt have dominated Daytona and Talladega for three years now, and Waltrip's win Sunday in Alabama was DEI's ninth in the past 12 at the two plate tracks. So rivals are suspicious, and when NASCAR inspectors surprised Talladega's runner-ups by not checking the rear-quarterpanel heights of the Waltrip and Earnhardt Chevys, there were howls. NASCAR's no check was all the more surprising because Earnhardt and Jason Keller, in a third DEI car, were busted in Friday inspections for being too low.(full story at the Winston Salem Journal)(10-4-2003)
- Ince on leave UPDATE: James Ince, crew chief for driver Johnny Benson and the #10 Valvoline Pontiacs, has taken an indefinite leave of absence to deal with family matters, the team said. Jay Guy, who has served as the car chief for the team, will take over the interim crew chief duties and started this weekend.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-3-2003)
UPDATE: #10 Pontiac Crew Chief James Ince did not travel with the team to Kansas this weekend. Ince is taking an indefinite leave from his duties in order to deal with family matters in Charlotte. Car Chief Jay Guy will serve as crew chief until Ince’s return.(GM PR)(10-4-2003)
- Elliott Part Time in 2004? UPDATE: now hearing that Bill Elliott will semi-retire and run five Cup races in 2004, assuming it'll be in the #9 Dodge.(10-2-2003)
UPDATE: The Winston Cup garage is rife with rumors about Bill Elliott's possible retirement, but Elliott himself says it's still too early to announce his plans for 2004 and beyond. "There's too much going on to say anything right now," Elliott said. There apparently are several scenarios in play, but at this point, none of them have Elliott walking away from the sport at the end of this season. He is expected to either run the full season next year for car owner Ray Evernham or run a limited schedule -- possibly five major events. Elliott's plans hinge on several factors, including what Evernham does with Elliott's team car, the No. 19 Dodge now driven by Jeremy Mayfield. Evernham said there are no firm plans in place yet for either of his two teams. "Everything's not settled," Evernham said. "We hope to have it settled by the time we roll into Atlanta, but right now we're concentrating on it race-by-race, trying to win some races here."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-4-2003)
- Jeff Burton to RCR? UPDATE: here is one I haven't heard from a while, but being told Jeff Burton, driver of the #99 Citgo Ford and Roush Racing, could be headed to Richard Childress Racing in 2004 - however - it was announced just about a month ago that Burton had re-signed with Roush Racing a multi-year contract, so ??(10-1-2003)
UPDATE: An Internet rumor this week linked Jeff Burton to Richard Childress Racing, but the South Boston native said he is staying put. "I just signed an extension of my contract and told everybody we signed," Button said. "Now I'm going somewhere else to drive. I don't know how [the rumors] get started. I do talk to Richard Childress. I don't talk about driving his race car, but I have conversations with Richard Childress. I don't think there's anything wrong talking to car owners I respect. I guess people see that and get things going in their head." Roush Racing is hunting for a company to sponsor Burton's No. 99 Ford next year, and Burton said the search was going well.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-4-2003)
- Kenny to the Truck Series? #23-Kenny Wallace will be back with Bill Davis next season, but apparently as the team's new Toyota Truck tour driver rather than in Davis' second Cup car.(Winston Salem Journal); have heard Stacker 2 will continue to sponsor Wallace, wearever he ends up.(10-4-2003)
- Goodyear Explains Tire Flap at Dover: Goodyear Tire officials on Friday blamed a mismatched set of tires for any problems reigning Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart had in the final laps of the Sept. 21 Winston Cup race at Dover, Del.
Following the race, in which Stewart finished third but could not make up ground on the race leaders after a late-race pit stop, Stewart lashed out at Goodyear, accusing the tire manufacturer of costing him a chance at victory.(see full story at ThatsRacin.com)(10-4-2003)
- Salder speaks about rescue at Talladega: Elliott Sadler adler said he met with NASCAR officials Friday morning to thank them for a two-week-old rule preventing cars from racing back to the yellow flag, saying he felt that greatly reduced the time it took rescue workers to get to him once his car finished five snap rolls that followed a one-and-a-half somersault in the #38 M&M's Ford. But he also pressed those officials on the issue of having a traveling team of doctors to supervise medical care of drivers at each NASCAR track. "One thing I would really like to see, and we're all asking for it, is to have some doctors in the infield care center who we know and who travel with this sport," Sadler said. "To have somebody there who knows me and knows that I don't like needles - some people are just scared of certain things, and I'm scared of needles."(See more on the ThatsRacing.com)(10-4-2003)
- Kahne to Cup; Evernham? UPDATE 2: Busch Series driver Kasey Kahne has received several Winston Cup job offers for the 2004 season, with the most serious coming from Evernham Motorsports, sources said Thursday. Kahne, reached Thursday by phone, confirmed he has received "five or six Cup offers from top-20 teams," but he declined to name them. Kahne, 23, drives the #38 Great Cuts Ford for Akins Motorsports. He is eighth in points with three top-five and 11 top-10 finishes this season. He won his first pole at Michigan in August. Evernham Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing and Richard Childress Racing were among the top Cup teams expressing interest, with Evernham the most serious, sources said. Of the three, only RCR currently has an opening for the 2004 season, in its #30 AOL Chevy. Gibbs has Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart under long-term contracts and Evernham currently has Bill Elliott and Jeremy Mayfield under contract. However, there has been a lot of speculation about Elliott's future and whether he would retire at the end of the season. Mayfield's job performance has also been under scrutiny this year. A spokesperson for Evernham Motorsports declined to comment Thursday on any connection between Kahne's Winston Cup plans and Evernham Motorsports. Kahne, who is under contract with Ford Motor Co. through the 2005 season, said he has spoken to Ford officials about the Cup teams' interest. None was a Ford team, he said.(ThatsRacin.com)
UPDATE: Robert Yates Racing PR folks tell me that: Not only is Kasey under contract with Ford Racing but he remains under a multi-year contract with Robert Yates Racing. He's driven the Great Clips Ford for Akins Motorsports this year on basically a "loaner" basis. Both Ford and RYR expect Kasey to be racing Ford's for years to come. They haven't been contacted by Kasey or another team about releasing him from his contract.
AND Kahne said during an interview on Speed Channel's Busch Series Qualifying that he will run a full Busch Series schedule in 2004, driving the #38 Great Clips car.(10-3-2003)
UPDATE 2: Ford's Kenny Kahne is suddenly a hot item among rivals who would like to hire the Busch driver to run Winston Cup next season. Among the car owners reported to be interested: Dodge's Ray Evernham. Kahne has a contract with Ford however that runs another two years, though he said he's getting Winston Cup offers. So Ford officials may now be looking for a Ford team willing to give Kahne a ride. Kahne has a contract with Robert Yates too, so he would be the logical pick, but Yates' two Cup teams aren't doing all that well at the moment so it seems unlikely he would want to expand.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-4-2003)
- Raine's loses engine and wrecks #74 car: What Happened in Practice [at Kansas]? #74-Tont Raines responsed:
"It blew an oil plug out of the oil pump and oiled down the entire engine bay so it wouldn't turn and it wouldn't slow down and it hit the wall pretty hard. Other than that, it was pretty uneventful (laughs)."
HOW HARD DID YOU HIT? "I was kind of ready for it because I knew I was going to hit it, obviously, and the car was going head-first into it so I jacked the brakes and the wheel and got it to where I thought it was going to flat or brush it and I thought that would be better. It just hit a lot harder than I expected it to. I thought I had slowed down some by then but it was all good. Everything worked well. The car is not very good though, now. It's pretty well destroyed. We'll just get the backup out andhopefully it will be as good. I just smelled smoke, oil burning, right when I went past the start finish line. Just as I was getting ready to turn in, I could tell by the feel of the wheels that there was oil on something, the right front tire had gone down, something was happening bad. When I turned in, it wouldn't turn, obviously, and then I rolled off the gas and got on the brake and it wouldn't slow down. I knew then that it was either blowing up or something had happened big. At that point it wasn't about saving the car, it was about how I was going to hit. I've listened to these guys and they tell me how to wreck so I kind of leaned forward and got my HANS belts taught and then bounced her off the fence. I'm like 'Wow, that didn't feel so good' but everything worked really good. I think all the improvements that we've made inside the car, I've not looked at it real close but looked at it a little bit, and it looks like it did everything that you'd hope for it to do."(Camp and Assoc PR)(10-4-2003)
- Childress down to two drivers: Richard Childress said he's narrowed his list of drivers for his third Cup [#30 AOL] team to two, and he said that Busch racer Kasey Kahne isn't one of them. 'It takes a little time to get everything put together,' Childress said. 'We're still talking.'(Winston Salem Journal)(10-4-2003)
- Final Talladega Ratings: NBC Sports’ broadcast of last Sunday’s EA Sports 500 from Talladega Superspeedway set a record as the highest national rating ever for any auto race in competition with professional football, a 5.5 national rating/ 12 share, according to Nielsen Media Research.(NASCAR PR)(10-3-2003)
- Ward released from 2004 contract with Davis? Marty Snider [of NBC] was interviewed on XM Radio - NASCAR Radio [subscription required] by Chris McClain, Snider reported the he was told by Bill Davis Racing's GM Mike Brown, that Ward Burton was told last Sunday that Burton would not return to the #22 CAT Dodge in 2004. Burton told #30 AOL Chevy owner, Richard Childress, that he was available. Supposedly Childress wants Burton in the car, but sponsor AOL is not so sure. Burton expects to hear within a week of so.(10-3-2003)
- #14/50 Foyt Racing crew shakeup? UPDATE 2: 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)
UPDATE: Ben Holm is now the crew chief of the #14/50 team and driver Larry Foyt.(9-29-2003)
UPDATE 2: Larry Foyt, who suffered a crack in his left wrist and bruised right kidney in an accident in last Sunday's Winston Cup race at Talladega, Ala., will have part-time Busch Series driver Mark Green standing by this weekend should he need a relief driver for his #14 Harrah's Dodge. In addition, the A.J. Foyt Racing team added Winston Cup veteran Greg Conner as its new crew chief, at least in the short-term. "We're going to be trying him for a couple of races and see how it goes," Foyt said. "I might try a couple of people. We're just going to see how it goes." Foyt said he is working to surround himself with strong nucleus of a team in preparation for his sophomore season next year.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-3-2003)
- Johnson backs up practice and wins pole at Kansas: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the pole at Kansas Speedway for the Banquet 400 in record breaking fashion with a speed of 180.373mph. That breaks the old track record of 177.924mph set last year by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Eighteen other driver qualified faster then the old record. It is Johnson's 2nd pole of 2003 and the 6th of his career. Starting on the outside pole is #01-Mike Skinner. Other good runs by #0-Jason Leffler [6th] and #43-Jeff Green [9th]. Looks like provisionals WERE charged this week even thou the new rule saying non would be charged if the number of entrants that are eligible for a provisional starting position for the event is equal to or less then the number of starting positions available [usually 43], as provided by the Official Entry Blank, provisionals assigned to fill starting positions 37 through 43 under those conditions will not count toward the maximum season allotment, which should had been the case since four teams were out with 45 cars entered. So #14-Foyt and #4-Sauter missed the race and DNQ'd. Two part time teams used provisionals: #37-Cope and #09-Wallace. #49-Schrader got the last provisional over #4-Sauter as the #49 is higher in owners points, race attempts is the first criteria, which both have 30. For the speeds, the starting lineup and other lineup links, see the Jayski's Kansas Qualifying/Grid page.(10-3-2003)
- StockCarFans.com - Ramblings - Kansas: #48-Jimmie Johnson shattered the track record today and captured his second
Bud Pole of the season for Sunday's Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway. His time of 29.938 (180.373 mph) was over 1/10th of a second quicker than #01-Mike Skinner. In fact, if you wanted to start in the Top-20 for Sunday's event, you just about had to break the previous track record to do it. The top 18 in the rundown today did just that! Nothing like cool and overcast conditions to create some speed. This is the second top-spot for Johnson this season (he started from the point at Pocono in June), and the 6th of his short career.
Had a rarity today.....a three-way tie on time. And, NASCAR.com hopefully will get it corrected before race time. #97-Kurt Busch, #16-Greg Biffle, and #54-Todd Bodine all ran 30.372 (177.795 mph) and ties are broken by owner points, so it's Kurt in 21st, Biffle in 22nd, and Todd in 23rd.
#18-Bobby Labonte (4th) has his best starting spot since he grabbed the pole at Michigan in August.
#2-Rusty Wallace (5th) has his best starting spot since he started 5th at Watkins Glen in August.
#6-Jason Leffler (6th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 6th at Michigan in June.
#9-Bill Elliott (8th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 3rd at The Brickyard in August.
#43-Jeff Green (9th) had his best qualifying run since he grabbed the pole for the Daytona 500.
#30-Steve Park (17th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 16th at Pocono in July.
#35-Bobby Hamilton Jr (18th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 15th at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May of 2001! (only 10 starts)
STREAKIN....Jeff Gordon has 5 Top-10 starts in a row. Jimmie Johnson has 5 Top-10 starts in the last 6 races.
Matt Kenseth crashed in practice this morning, and had trouble getting the backup up to speed....so, for the second week in a row he used a provisional to make the field. He's joined at the back by: Mark Martin, Ward Burton, John Andretti, Derrike Cope, Mike Wallace, and Ken Schrader. The Trouble Train is a short one this week....Larry Foyt and Johnny Sauter get the gate.(StockCarFans.Com Wcup Newsletter)(10-3-2003)
- Tony Stewart Launches New Website: For race fans looking for a behind-the-scenes look into the life of Tony Stewart, look no further than SmokeVIP.com. The recently launched subscription-based site provides an array of web entertainment including streaming audio/video, candid photos, screen savers, and e-postcards just to name a few of the features. Tonystewart.com will remain a free and up-to-date website where information about the #20 Home Depot Racing Team and the #20 World of Outlaws team can be obtained. All other aspects of tonystewart.com - message boards, appearance listings, pre and post-race reports and the online store - will also remain the same. However, for those who can't get enough of Tony Stewart, SmokeVIP.com is the place to be.(10-3-2003)
- #77 to Dodge in 2004: many sources indicate that the #77 Jasper Motorsports team, just losing Ford suppoer for runnign a Dodge at Talladega, will make the switch ti Dodge in 2004.
AND When Penske jumped from Ford to Dodge this season, he had 90 Ford engines race ready for Ryan Newman, Rusty Wallace and Blaney. But Penske didn't want his secret-engine technology falling into anyone else's hands, so Blaney was to continue running the Ford stuff until it was all used. And Blaney would then be switching to Dodge for 2004.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-3-2003)
Kansas Drought: Dale Jarrett (30th and 39th) heads the list of four drivers who have posted DNFs in both races at Kansas Speedway He is joined by Johnny Benson (37th and 23rd), Todd Bodine (42nd and 34th) and Ward Burton (41st and 43rd).(Kansas Speedway Site)(10-3-2003)
- Kansas Doubles:
Jeff Gordon has scored victories in both races at Kansas Speedway.
Ryan Newman has finished second in both races at Kansas Speedway.
Tony Stewart has finished eighth in both races at Kansas Speedway.
Mike Wallace has finished 19th in both races at Kansas Speedway.(Kansas Speedway Site)(10-3-2003)
- Strange Kansas Manufacturer Consistency: A Chevrolet has won both races at Kansas Speedway. A Ford finished second and third in both races while Dodge has scored two fifth-place finishes. Pontiac could not be denied, scoring eighth-place finishes in both races at Kansas.(Kansas Speedway Site)(10-3-2003)
- 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)
UPDATE 2: hearing Baldwin to the #9 is a done deal and will be announced soon.(10-2-2003)
- BAM to get Manufacturer Support in 2004: The #49 BAM Racing Dodge, currently driven by Ken Schrader, has received a pledge of support from Dodge for the 2004 season. That is great news for the unsponsored team, which is owned by Kansas City native Beth Ann Morganthau.(Kansas City Star)(10-2-2003)
- Riggs to Decide in two weeks: Busch Series driver [#10] Scott Riggs has given himself two weeks to make a major, and enviable, decision. Second in a tight Busch Series points race behind Brian Vickers, the 32-year-old has received "way more than 10" offers to drive in NASCAR's Nextel Cup series next year. "I still haven't whittled everything down to where I can figure out the most competitive ride and where I feel the most comfortable," Riggs said Wednesday during a trip to Tampa. "I've had a lot of calls about my future and people wanting me to be a part of theirs. I'm almost ready to make (the decision) so I can go on and focus on winning a championship." Contrary to numerous published reports, he said no offer has come from Richard Childress Racing, which fired Steve Park on Tuesday. "I've not heard from Richard Childress," he said. "I had a great opportunity with them two years ago; he offered me a chance to go Busch racing with him, but it wasn't the best choice for me because it was going to be a rookie team. I felt like as a rookie, going into a new series with an all-rookie team would be more than I could bite off, so I decided to go with (ppc Racing)."(St Petersburg Times), heaviest rumors seem to be with DEI [#1 Chevy], Evernham [#9 or #19] and a smaller team, #57 CLR, which he tested for at Lowe's last month.(10-2-2003)
- Kenseth contributes: Winston Cup points leader #17-Matt Kenseth finished a season-worst 33rd at the EA Sports 500 last Sunday, but still donated $25,000 to the Recording Artists/Actors/Athletes Against Drunk Driving (RADD) program. Kenseth was to donate $250 to RADD for every lap he led at Talladega. He led only one lap, but a minimum donation of $25,000 was set aside.(Delaware News Journal)(10-2-2003)
- Dale Jr. dislikes new pit rules: Dale Earnhardt Jr. was one of a half dozen drivers involved in a pit road collision on pit road at Talladega. In part, he blamed the problem on the rule calling for a single-file entry. "We're coming down pit road like a bunch of idiots who've never done it before," he said. "My problem was the single-file deal and the pit stall I had. But that's our fault for not qualifying. I was really pretty ticked off the whole time in the car." Earnhardt, who finished second, had to take a provisional and start 38th after his No. 8 Budweiser Chevy failed a post-qualifying inspection. Teams get to select their pit road locations based on qualifying results. They want pit stalls that have open spaces in front or behind them.(Dallas Morning News)(10-2-2003)
- Ford Cuts Loose the #77: Ford Racing Technology has dissolved its formal association with Jasper Motorsports in NASCAR’s Winston Cup Series. Jasper Motorsports, which was under contract to field the #77 Jasper Engines Ford Taurus for the entire 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, violated a fundamental provision in its agreement with Ford Motor Company by competing in last Sunday’s EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in a Dodge car. Over the weekend, Ford informed the team that it was in breach of contract. On Tuesday, the automaker declared the contract null and void and informed the team that it would repossess all existing Ford assets and discontinue further operational support. "What happened at Talladega was unacceptable," said Greg Specht, manager of Ford Racing Operations. "To be a Ford team, you have to run a Ford."(Ford Racing)
And the response from the team: Jasper Motorsports has acknowledged Ford Racing’s option to terminate their contingency contract for running a competitors car in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway last week. Prior to running a Ford competitor’s product at Talladega, Mark Harrah, co-owner of Jasper Motorsports, called Greg Specht, manager of Ford Racing Operations. Specht informed Harrah that doing so would be cause for termination of the agreement between Ford and Jasper Motorsports. “I spoke with Greg, before we even made the decision,” said Harrah. “We meant no disrespect to Ford, but our contract was a minor contingency contract. The tangibles stated within the Ford contract were not enough to influence our decision,” he continued. “We were forced to look out for our sponsor. We took a chance in hopes to run more competitively and it paid off. It was our best finish at a superspeedway since February 2001.” Currently, Jasper Motorsports plans to run the Ford Taurus through the end of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Season. Despite Ford’s decision to negate the contract, Jasper Motorsports accepts and respects the resolution as a business decision. Currently the team is working with Ford to gratify the Termination Clause established in the contract of record that provides 30 days to
acknowledge and close out the relationship.(Jasper Motorsports PR)(10-2-2003)
- Green stays in the #43 for Kansas, Fittipaldi in the #44; possibly longer: Jeff Green will be behind the wheel of the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge again this week when the NASCAR Winston Cup Series heads to the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway. And he will be in the car on a race-to-race basis the rest of the season. Following two steady runs in the #43, Green has been named driver of the Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge on a race-to-race basis. Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises, made the announcement. Christian Fittipaldi will drive the #44 Bugles Dodge in the races already scheduled for 2003. “Jeff has done a good job for us the past few weeks, and we are excited to have him in the car at Kansas,” Petty said. “His winning attitude, the way he has quickly adapted to Petty Enterprises and the way he has been readily accepted by the guys on the team has already shown on the race track. Jeff’s history as a winner is already showing. Christian also has some good results this year, including qualifying seventh at Michigan and running well in several races,” Petty continued. “He has done an amazing job jumping in for us this year earlier than we had planned. Christian is a big part of our program going forward. We already had Christian scheduled for a few more #44 Bugles races the remainder of this season, and keeping the #43 team together with one driver should help us finish strong,” Petty added.
“I am really excited to be able to continue what we’ve started,” said Green. “I’ve started to get to know the ‘Helping Hand’ crew some over the past two weeks, and they’ve gotten to know me. We’re starting to get a pretty good relationship going, and that’s going to help us as we move on to Kansas and, hopefully, on down the line.”(Williams Company PR)(10-2-2003)
- Ribbon on the #88: Along with tens of thousands of race fans [including Jayski], Dale Jarrett's #88 NASCAR Winston Cup Taurus will again wear the pink ribbon of breast cancer awareness in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Race Fans for a Cure. For this weekend's Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway, the 7½" x 14" Race Fans for a Cure decal will replace the Ford Credit decal behind the "88" on both sides of the car. Race Fans for a Cure is a charitable initiative which benefits the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and is sponsored by Ford Credit (Ford Racing). More info about Race Fans for a Cure and the Ford Credit's Fan Challenge/Race Fans for a Cure on my Racing Charities page.(10-2-2003)
- Sponsor Rumor #1: Domino's Pizza to the #1 DEI Chevy?(10-1-2003)
- #20 Crew Wins Pit Crew Award at Talladega: #20-Tony Stewart's pit crew took first-place honors in the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade in Sunday's (Sept. 28) EA Sports 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. It was the first victory of the season for the No. 20 pit crew, which earned $20,000 for the win. Stewart's pit crew also became the 15th different winner of the season to capture the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade. Stewart's Home Depot/Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on pit road for participating teams in Talladega - 238.941 seconds. Ken Schrader's No. 49 BAM Racing Dodge was second with a total pit-road time of 248.257. Third was Dave Blaney's Jasper Engines Dodge at 257.022. "The crew did a great job on our last pit stop -- got us out first of the cars that pitted," said Stewart, who posted a third-place finish in Talladega. "We restarted 10th and got up to fourth or fifth -- something like that - and just stayed around the top-10. Their performance gave us the track position we needed to make our run during those last four laps. They definitely deserved to have won the McDonald's/POWERade contest."
Stewart's over-the-wall crew consists of: Mike Lingerfelt (front tire changer), Tom Dean (front tire carrier), Todd Foster (rear tire changer), Jay Barry (rear tire carrier), Brian "Shaggy" Larson (catch can), Jeff "Gooch" Patterson (gas man), Chuck White (jackman) and Scott Geerts (windshield). The team's crew chief is Greg Zipadelli and the pit crew coach is Paul Alepa.
With a strong pit crew performance at Talladega (fourth), Michael Waltrip's team increased its lead in the season standings for the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade. Waltrip's team has 1028 points and leads by 44 over the No. 97 crew for Kurt Busch's team, which moved into second place following Talladega. Dale Earnhardt Jr's team dropped to third, 47 points behind the leader. The season pit crew champion will earn a $200,000 bonus.
(DMF Communications PR), see top 10 results and full season standings on my Pit Crew News page.(10-1-2003)
- Sponsor Rumor - Wells 2nd team: Subway [Jared and Subs] to the 2nd Cal Wells/PPI Motorpsorts team?(10-1-2003)
- #38 and the Roof Flaps: A safety flap on the roof of Elliott Sadler's #38 M&M's Ford failed to deploy at Talladega, which likely contributed to the frightening flight that destroyed the Robert Yates Racing entry. "If you look closely at the video, the roof flap on the right side didn't appear to do everything it was supposed to do to keep the car on the ground," Nelson said. "That's where our focus is right now." Nelson, NASCAR's managing director of competition, has initiated an intense investigation into the accident. Nelson called his engineering team together Monday to review video tape of the accident and inspect every inch of Sadler's mangled machine, now parked in the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C."It raised a lot of questions that we're now trying to work out the answers," Nelson said. Nelson stressed the flaps of Sadler's car were examined during NASCAR's inspection procedures before Sunday's EA Sports 500. Two pop-up flaps and a pair of metal strips are installed on the roof of every Winston Cup car, designed to keep the 3,400-pound racers on the ground during a spin. NASCAR added an additional metal strip along the rear window for more down force in a spin after Ryan Newman's Dodge flipped through the air during the Daytona 500. Asked if NASCAR needs to go back to the drawing board to find a fix to keep stock cars from going airborne, Nelson said his current investigation will likely tell the story. "Our analysis will tell us that," he said. "But knowing the No. 48 car went through the same thing and did not get airborne tells us that the rules made to keep the cars on the ground worked on one and one got airborne."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-1-2003)
- Shorter Weekends at the Track? Race teams are encouraged that NASCAR is looking into two-day weekends next season for restrictor-plate races other than the Daytona 500. NASCAR's goal is to eliminate the special setups teams used for qualifying, which are very different from the race setups. By eliminating the qualifying setups, series officials could reduce the time at the track from three days to two days. Series officials are considering a plan where teams would come to the track with their cars in race setup. Teams would have drafting practice, be given time to make some minor changes and then qualify. The race would be the next day. This is being examined for both Talladega races and the July Daytona race next year. Series officials also are looking at reducing race weekends to two days at other tracks. NASCAR tried it a few years ago but bad weather hindered those schedules and ended the experiment.(Roanoke Times)(10-1-2003)
- Testing at Atlanta UPDATE Speeds: Less than 12 hours after leaving Talladega, Waltrip was at Atlanta Motor Speedway, testing his #15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet in preparation for the Oct. 26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Also testing Monday was Georgia native Buckshot Jones, who will drive the #00 Aaron's car for Waltrip in the Oct. 26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Waltrip's fastest lap was 185.666mph), Jones' quick lap was 185.109mph. Busch Series racer David Green, who is fourth in points, also tested. His fastest lap was 180.293mph. Waltrip is running both the Oct. 25 Aaron's 312 Busch race and the Oct. 26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Winston Cup race. All three drivers will continue testing Tuesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in preparation for the Oct. 24-26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend. Tickets are still available for all three days of racing action by calling the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211.(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(9-30-2003)
UPDATE: NASCAR Winston Cup veteran Michael Waltrip led the speed chart Tuesday at Atlanta, caught on the unofficial stopwatches at an average speed of 191.701 around the 1.54-mile superspeedway. Waltrip also tested his #99 Aaron's Dream Machine -- turning a lap in 182.129mph. Georgia native Buckshot Jones also turned laps Tuesday, trying to get comfortable in his #00 Aaron's Dream Machine Chevrolet. Jones, driving a car owned by Waltrip, ran a speed of 181.711mph. Busch Series title contender David Green had the second fastest time of the day at 183.333mph in the #37 Brewco Motorsports Pontiac [Busch](Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(10-1-2003)
- Testing at Kentucky: #38-Elliott Sadler will test at Kentucky Speedway today and plans to race at Kansas Speedway this weekend.(FSN's Totally NASCAR)(9-30-2003)
UPDATE: Elliott Sadler rebounded from his wild Sept. 28 ride at Talladega with a one-day test at Kentucky Speedway today. Sadler shook down two new M&M’s Fords in preparation for this weekend’s race at Kansas while Crew Chief Todd Parrott commented on his driver’s physical condition and the spectacular incident that sent the #38 airborne and flipping down the Talladega backstretch. “He’s (Sadler) doing fine,” Parrott said. “Sunday night he called me and said the CAT Scan and everything came back negative and he felt fine. He had a heck of a headache, but other than that, he had no broken bones and everything was good. He came by the shop yesterday a bunch of times and we were shocked that he felt as well as he did. It goes to show you how ready these guys are to prepare a car. He went through one of the wildest rides I’ve ever seen at Daytona or Talladega, and I’ve seen some wild ones.” Parrott credits Sadler’s health to NASCAR safety measures. “The inside of the car and the driver’s cocoon are probably the most unscathed parts of the racecar. Everything did its job,” Parrott said. “He was awake for the whole ride. He kept telling himself, ‘don’t black out, don’t black out, don’t black out.’ He’s having a good test here today.”(Kentucky Speedway) and on my #38 Team News and Links page for Elliott Sadler Speaks About Talladega Wreck.(10-1-2003)
- Jeff Burton to RCR? here is one I haven't heard from a while, but being told Jeff Burton, driver of the #99 Citgo Ford and Roush Racing, could be headed to Richard Childress Racing in 2004 - however - it was announced just about a month ago that Burton had re-signed with Roush Racing a multi-year contract, so ??(10-1-2003)
- Special Decal on the #77 in Oct: Throughout the month of October, Dave Blaney will run a special purple ribbon decal on the hood of his #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness month. In addition to the hood decal, the team will run a specially decorated deck lid on their NASCAR Winston Cup Series entry at Phoenix International Raceway on November 2 adorned with the names of individuals and companies who support an area volunteer-based victims assistance program, The Crisis Connection. The team is counting on the loyalty of NASCAR fan’s everywhere to take a stand in this fight. The names displayed on the deck lid will be agencies, companies or individuals who have donated $25 to The Crisis Connection, a not-for-profit organization. The funds will go towards the operational budgets of comprehensive, community-based outreach programs in the counties of Dubois, Spencer, Perry, Crawford, and Orange in southern Indiana. There are several sources to aide in the education on Domestic Violence. One of those sources is the National Domestic Violence Hotline - 800-799-SAFE (7233), or for TDD users -800-787-3224 (TDD).(10-1-2003)
- Park to visit Chevy Plant: Prior to heading to Kansas Speedway for the Banquet 400, Park will be making a visit to the Chevy Malibu Assembly Plant, just outside of Kansas City, KS. On Thursday, October 2, he will be given a plant tour then visit with and sign autographs for plant employees.(RCR PR)(10-1-2003)
- Park out? UPDATE 3: being told to expect an announcement soon that Steve Park will not return to the #30 AOL Chevy and Richard Childress for the 2004 season, not sure if that will include the announcement of the 2004 driver or not, some to be rumored for the ride include: Ward Burton, Jeremey Mayfield, Ron Hornaday, Johnny Sauter, Joe Nemechek.
AND also hearing that Park may not drive the #30 at Kansas, have not heard who would.
UPDATE: Richard Childress is expected to decide this week who will be the driver next season for No. 30 Chevrolet, which Steve Park failed to qualify in at Talladega. Three drivers are being mentioned: Jeremy Mayfield, Ward Burton and Scott Riggs. If Mayfield bolts from Evernham Motorsports' #19 team, it will raise a bigger question: Which two drivers would compete for Evernham in 2004? If Bill Elliott runs a limited schedule of five to seven races and Mayfield departs, chances are that Burton and/or Riggs could figure in the Evernham equation. An interesting combination would be Riggs, a rookie, with a veteran crew chief, such as Tommy Baldwin, in one of EMS' primary cars.(Sporting News/FoxSports)
UPDATE 2: Seve Park will complete the 2003 Winston Cup season with the Richard Childress Racing (RCR) team as driver of the #30 AOL Chevy. Park will not return to RCR in 2004 and intends to explore his options for the upcoming NEXTEL Cup season immediately. To date in 2003, Park has won two poles (Fontana & Daytona) and scored one top-five and three top-10 finishes. “I’ve had a great experience with RCR and Richard has been very supportive throughout our relationship. I greatly appreciate him giving me the opportunity to drive for his organization this season,” stated Park. “I feel that I am in the best physical shape I have ever been and I know that I still have a lot to look forward to as a winning driver.” Park’s career statistics during his six year career in the Winston Cup Series include two wins, four poles, 12 top-5 finishes and 35 top-10 finishes.(Elevation Group PR)(9-30-2003)
UPDATE 3: NASCAR team owner Richard Childress announced today he would not extend the current contract of Steve Park, driver of the #30 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, for the 2004 Nextel Cup season. Park joined Richard Childress Racing (RCR) in May 2003 to drive the #30 Chevrolet after driving for Dale Earnhardt, Inc., since 1996. He has 174 starts with two victories and four poles since he began his NASCAR Winston Cup Series career in 1998. His best finish in the championship point standings was 11th in 2000. "I want to thank Steve for stepping in and helping us with the #30 team. But this is a performance-driven business and the team's performance has not been up to our expectations so we decided to make a change for next season," said Childress. "We're announcing this decision now so Steve will have time to find another ride for 2004 and we will have time to find a driver for the team for next season. I also want to point out that the performance of the #30 team at Talladega last weekend in no way played a role in this decision and our goal is still to win a race with Steve before the season ends." Childress has yet to reach a decision on the new driver of the No. 30 Chevrolet for the 2004 season. An announcement will be made when plans have been finalized.(RCR PR)(10-1-2003)
- Foyt transported to hospital UPDATE 2: #14-Larry Foyt was transported to a local hospital to be checked out after getting hit hard by #19-Mayfield early in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega. Mayfield had a cut tire that caused him to go up the track, which is where Foyt was.(9-28-2003)
UPDATE: Larry Foyt was flown to University Hospital in Birmingham for precautionary measures after separate crashes. He was evaluated and released Sunday evening.(ESPN/AP)
AND Larry Foyt was taken to UAB hospital after crashing early in Sunday's EA Sports 500. Jeremy Mayfield blew a tire on lap 11 and ran up into Foyt's #14 car, forcing it into the wall. Foyt was released Sunday night. "You could tell that he got the wind knocked out of him," crew chief Ben Holm said. "He said that he would be OK, but that's about all he said."(Charleston Post and Courier)(9-29-2003)
UPDATE 2: Foyt has a cracked/broken wrist but has been cleared by NASCAR to race at Kansas.(FSN's Totally NASCAR)(9-30-2003)
- Rudd Staying at the #21: Ricky Rudd doesn't know how the rumors started [not on Jayski], but he has every intention of finishing the remaining two years of his contract with Wood Brothers in the No. 21 Ford. "I've had several people approach me," Rudd says, "but I'm obligated to see this through." Team owner Eddie Wood has made several crew changes over the last month.(Sporting News/FoxSports)(9-30-2003)
- Hot Seats - Crew Chiefs: Several crew chiefs are on the hot seat, including Bill Wilburn with the #2 Dodge. Someone mentioned as a possible replacement is Todd Parrott, who returned to Robert Yates Racing last month as Elliott Sadler's crew chief after a lengthy sabbatical. Parrott says any talk of his leaving is "crazy." "Not in this lifetime," Parrott says. "I'm back at home, and this team is starting to come together." Parrott believes Sadler and the team are gaining confidence in him, and winning the pole at Talladega is an example of the crew's potential. Sadler was running third before he was involved in a spectacular crash. The wreck forced the race to be red-flagged with six laps remaining.(Sporting News/FoxSports)(9-30-2003)
- Pruett wins Trans-Am Championship: former #32 Cup driver, Scott Pruett, driver of the #7 Jaguar R-Performance XKR, secured his third Trans-Am drivers' championship with a first-place finish at the Motorock Trans-Am Tour for the BF Goodrich Tires Cup in Miami.(See more at Ford Racing)(9-30-2003)
- Wally, Larry Mac, Trucks and Toyota? UPDATE Denied: Wally Dallenbach may be in line for a Toyota ride, possibly with Larry McReynolds, according to sources. And Dallenbach may also be in the running for a part-time Winston Cup ride as an R& --D driver, possibly with Richard Childress.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-29-2003)
UPDATE: One report yesterday from the NASCAR beat said that "Wally Dallenbach may be in line for a Toyota ride, possibly with Larry McReynolds. Team sources confirm with [MotorsportsTV] that McReynolds is not in any discussions with Wally Dallenbach for a ride in 2004.(MotorsportsTV.com), Dallenbach announced last weekend that he would run a five race Busch deal with Mr. Clean in the #17 Ford.(9-30-2003)
- Tethers Hold Steady: NASCAR's tether rules was one of the most impressive success stories was the tethers, those strong cables designed to keep parts from flying off a car in a crash. #38-Elliott Sadler's crash tested every tether, and all held - the wheel tethers, the hood tethers, and the rear-deck tethers.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-30-2003)
- Autopsy Photos Back in the news: The student-run newspaper is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to get access to NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt's autopsy photographs. Tom Julin, an attorney for the student-run newspaper at the University of Florida, has argued to the high court that the decision barring the newspaper access violates the First Amendment. He made a second point in the appeal, which was mailed Monday, that the law restricting access to autopsy photos is unconstitutional. Autopsy photographs had been public records for decades when Earnhardt died at the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18, 2001. After his family obtained a court order sealing photos from his autopsy, the Orlando Sentinel sued for access to the pictures. The newspaper said it did not want to publish the photos but to examine them as part of its ongoing investigation into racing safety. The newspaper reached an agreement with the Earnhardts allowing an independent medical expert to view the photos and write a report on how the driver died. Only the expert saw the pictures, and none were published.(Orlando Sentinel/AP)(9-30-2003)
- Biffle and DEI? Biffle says he is staying at Roush UPDATE 4 - signed with Rosuh thru 2005?: an odd one I am hearing from a few sources this morning....Greg Biffle is negotiating with DEI for the #1 Chevy beginning with 2004. He supposedly has an out with his Roush contract, one apparently his lawyers found, and is getting ready to make the move. DEI is waiting for a sponsor to sign off, supposedly it could be Kraft [who sponsored the #81 DEI car at Indy and also sponsored some Roush teams in the Winston and Bud Shootout].(9-23-2003)
UPDATE - Biffle says he is staying at Roush: "Take me out of the rumor mill," says Greg Biffle. "I have won two championships and two rookie titles with Roush Racing and for Grainger, and my hope is simply to stay here to try and win more championships for Grainger and for Jack Roush." With that statement Biffle hopes to end "silly season" speculation about his future. "I have time remaining on my current contract and we've begun negotiations for an extension," added Biffle. "At this point in the season, the rumors start to fly about which driver is doing what for next season even when he's under a contract that he intends to honor. It's way too easy to start a rumor these days. I've had a few calls about going other places, but I'm just not interested in doing so. It's very flattering to have big name teams calling me at this point in my career, but I'm driving for one of the biggest names in the industry that has a team of racing and marketing people committed to helping further my career and reach my potential."(Roush Racing PR)(9-25-2003)
more updates: see my #16 Team News and Links page for Updates 2 and 3
UPDATE 4: Greg Biffle is sending mixed signals about his commitment to stay with car owner Jack Roush, and Biffle's name has been mentioned as a possible driver for Dale Earnhardt Inc. next season. However, Geoff Smith, who runs Roush Racing, says Biffle has a contract to drive for Roush for 2004 and 2005. That's a year longer than had been previously revealed. 'The thing that's causing the commotion,' Smith said, 'is that we are in discussions with his agent to extend that. And his agent is checking the marketplace, so they can line up their best negotiating position with us. We're talking about something that's three years off. 'Greg has an agent who's going through the garage, Fred Lexie, who is Kevin Harvick's agent. Fred, every time he walks by a trailer, it's 'Hey, what have you got for my boy?' That's his job.'(Winston Salem Journal); if Biffle is signed thru 2005, and the contract iron-clad, why is this such an issue???(9-29-2003)
UPDATE 5: sources tell me Biffle is signed only thru 2004 NOT 2005.(9-30-2003)
- #14/50 Foyt Racing crew shakeup? UPDATE: 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)
UPDATE: Ben Holm is now the crew chief of the #14/50 team and driver Larry Foyt.(9-29-2003)
- The 'Preview' at Charlotte? Not Daytona? UPDATE Looks like Daytona: NASCAR's Brian France and Nextel officials are trying to decide what to do with the annual preseason preview that has been held in Winston-Salem the past 15 years, and it's looking like Charlotte, not Daytona, will be the host city for the preview, which typically draws a sellout of 25,000. 'If they try to have the preview at Daytona during testing,' one top driver says angrily, 'they'll have a mutiny on their hands.'(Winston Salem Journal)(9-27-2003)
UPDATE - at Daytona: The preseason fan event previously known as the Winston Cup Preview will move to Daytona Beach, Fla., next year, a source confirmed Saturday. The event, held the past 14 years in Winston-Salem, N.C., drew about 20,000 spectators last year for driver autographs, a souvenir auction and showcar display. The most popular aspect was that all Cup drivers were required to attend and each had a two-hour autograph session. NASCAR officials have not determined all the details for this January's event, although it will be called something different. One proposal that seems likely is that the fan event will be held the first night of testing at Daytona International Speedway.(Roanoke Times)(9-28-2003)
UPDATE 2: Most Cup drivers dont want the "Winston Preview" moved to Daytona. Here are some of the rumblings around the garage area. Winston-Salem is a convenient location, a short car ride from most of the drivers' homes. With the short "off-season", its a bad time to have to stay several extra days in Daytona after testing. Past previews donated their revenues to Brenner Childrens Hospital, part of Wake Forest/Baptist Medical Center. These hospitals and staff are utilized by much of the Cup community, so there is a real win-win relationship between drivers donating their time, and benefitting from the direction of the donations. Who would profit from a Daytona preview? Winston's T. Wayne Robertson was a good friend of the sport and the people in it. The Preview is his legacy and carries his name. Would that continue if it is moved?(source)(9-29-2003)
- Stewart Files Lawsuit Against Alleged Seller of Fake Racing Helmets: Reigning NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart has filed a lawsuit against Gary McColgin, a 45-year-old Florida native, accusing him of selling fake racing helmets and other non-licensed memorabilia featuring Stewart and his Winston Cup sponsor - The Home Depot. The lawsuit added to an already long list of charges against McColgin. In June at his home in Woodstock, Ga., McColgin was arrested by Detective Burt Love of the Cherokee County (Ga.) Sheriff's Office for selling fake Rolex watches on E-bay. Specific charges against McColgin include theft and counterfeiting, among others. Thanks to Stewart's lawsuit, which has been joined by Home Depot, police and the FBI are now investigating McColgin in connection with his alleged sale of fake racing helmets over the Internet. Fake Tony Stewart racing helmets have reportedly sold for over $4,000.
"We've been trying to track this guy down for a while now," said Stewart. "It looks like fake racing helmets weren't the only things he was selling. The fake Rolexes were the first things to get him in trouble, but my management group has been gathering evidence and we've charged Mr. McColgin with selling fake racing helmets. "I want to be on the record in saying that selling fake racing merchandise of any kind will not be tolerated by me or anyone affiliated with Tony Stewart Motorsports. It's deceptive, and it hurts race fans and teams alike - race fans because they're not getting authentic merchandise for which they paid, and teams who are unable to secure the royalties from racing merchandise so they can't re-invest that money back into the race team. Mr. McColgin's antics are about to stop, as are any other persons looking to follow in his footsteps."
The specific causes of action against McColgin regarding the sale of fake Tony Stewart racing helmets include federal trademark infringement, federal copyright infringement, federal false advertising, federal and state unfair competition, and violations of the Georgia Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The basis for McColgin's arrest regarding the sale of fake Rolexes are: two counts of theft by deception; two counts of theft by taking; possession of tools for commission of a crime; forgery in the first degree; making of a terroristic threat; forgery/counterfeiting of registered trademarks and copyrighted designs; and violation of Georgia RICO statute. Georgia RICO carries up to 20 years in prison, forgery in the first degree up to 10 years, and theft carries up to five years. McColgin has not yet been indicted, therefore, a date for trial has not been set yet, but it is likely to take place in Cherokee County unless the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office decide to take over the case. In the event the federal government takes over, the case will most likely be tried in federal court in Atlanta.(PR)(9-29-2003)
- More on Tires: Last week’s Dover International Speedway tire problems are again the talk in the garage here at Talladega Superspeedway. Dover is traditionally one of the tracks where allegedly inconsistent tires become the post-race issue for the teams that fail to reach Victory Lane. With so much at stake for each team it is not unexpected for those with unattained top-10 hopes to complain, but it is also important to know what’s being discussed.
Albeit unofficial, the problem, according to several high-profile crew chiefs, deals with the tire vintage uncorked at the abrasive Dover track last week. Specifically, the wide differences in tire build dates left some teams scratching their heads. The tires allegedly carried production tags and codes representing tires three weeks old or nine months old or maybe even 18 months old. And it is generally accepted that a newer tire compound more effectively sticks a car to the track than an older tire.
The tire specialist from the Motorcraft Ford team countered, however, that reading the codes is not rocket science. “It’s getting a little overblown,” said the tire engineer. “All the information is right on the tires.”
The tire engineer continued, telling TFR that he could see that there were a number of tires from various tire runs and that he was able to identify and match sets to prevent or minimize any surprises. Other teams found a scapegoat for the weekend performance.
“Where the problem lies is that an older tire will amplify any problem that you have with a car — or if it’s pushing a little with a new tire it will absolutely plow with an older one,” said one of the Ford crew chiefs. “Same with a loose car — or if it’s a little loose on new tires it’ll want to snap around on the driver in a heartbeat on old tires.”
Another crew chief told TFR that he’d bought 17 sets of tires trying to find five good sets in the lot. “And we threw away four of those sets. They were totally useless to me or anyone in this sport,” the irritated crew chief said.
A NASCAR source told TFR today that beginning in 2004, when Goodyear brings out a new softer compound tire, a date code will be stamped onto the tire as part of the production process. The NASCAR source also said that he understood “the good business sense” that Goodyear is using in clearing out their warehouse of the aging tires before they become obsolete.(Ford Racing)(9-29-2003)
- NetZero on the #60 at Talladega: Saturday morning, a frantic search was on for NetZero decals and someone to place them on the #60 Chevrolet, driven by David Green. The #0 NetZero Pontiac driven by Jason Leffler, did not make the field for the running of the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Green's car is red and white, problem may arise as NetZero decals are white. UPDATE A twelve inch strip of black contact paper was place across the hood, making it possible for the white NetZero letters to show.(Insider Racing)(9-29-2003)
- Owners trying to reverse 2004 car changes? Winston Cup team owners are banding together in making an appeal to NASCAR officials to cancel plans for new body rules for 2004, and tour crew chiefs are hoping the car owners are successful.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-29-2003)
- IMAX NASCAR 3D Date Set: NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience is scheduled to open on March 12, 2004. Experience speeds of more than 200 miles per hour. With screens up to eight stories tall and 12,000 watts of pure digital surround sound, you feel the thunder of the engines and your heart will be pounding not to mention your head so don't forget the Goody's Powder. It was announced this week the film will be narrated by actor Kiefer Sutherland.(Insider Racing)(9-29-2003)
- Tire contract explained: from Speed Mail on Fox Sports by Jeff Hammond, since I been asked, here ya go: "Teams do have a contract with Goodyear, like a Joe Gibbs. I'm sure they are on some kind of bonus program with Goodyear because he has two past champions. Does everybody get in on the deal? No, it doesn't work out that way. And yes, NASCAR does get paid by Goodyear to be the official tire of NASCAR. Are any other companies allowed to be involved? No. NASCAR restricts involvement. A few years ago, we did have another company involved, Hoosier. It didn't work out quite like NASCAR wanted it to so Goodyear is the tire manufacturer for Winston Cup and NASCAR. With that being said, Goodyear works very, very hard to keep what happened at Dover from happening again. They work very hard to fix that problem. It's just a tough part of our game."(FoxSports)(9-29-2003)
- Kodak to PPI with Nemechek? UPDATE: Kodak was expected to make an announcement this week about its future in NASCAR, but that has apparently been delayed. The company has just announced a major change in its business, away from film toward digital, and it's unclear how that might play in its marketing plans. Kodak apparently won't be back with [#4 Morgan McClure] Larry McClure next season. Kodak could sponsor Cal Wells' proposed second team, with Joe Nemechek.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-28-2003)
UPDATE: According to a Cal Wells team member, the rumor of Joe Nemechek driving a second Pontiac for the team sponsored by Kodak, appears to be absolutely false. The unnamed source said that no additional parts, tools or evidence of a second car have been spotted anywhere on the Wells premises.(Insider Racing); seems to be an odd rumor as Wells himself has stated he is close to signing a sponsor for a 2nd team.(9-29-2003)
- Looks like Riggs to Cup in 2004; either Evernham or DEI? Scott Riggs [driver of the #10 ppc Ford in Busch] has been debating between Winston Cup offers from Ray Evernham and DEI, according to sources. If Riggs takes the DEI ride, as expected, Jeremy Mayfield could remain with Evernham. Doug Randolph could become Riggs' crew chief at DEI. Shane Hmiel had been No. 2 in line for the DEI ride behind Riggs until he ran afoul of NASCAR's drug-abuse policy. NASCAR has still not offered any timetable for the Richmond drug test that Hmiel took or any details of the drugs involved or what medical treatment program would be acceptable.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-29-2003)
- Sadler OK after horrible looking accident UPDATE: on lap 182, #38-Elliott Sadler came down the track, after #8-Earnhardt Jr. moved over, Sadler came accross the front of #97-Busch, Sadler then went airbourne after going sideways and hitting an edge of grass which caused him to flip over a few times, Sadler climbed out, was alert and seems ok. NASCAR red flagged the event to clean up and insure a green flag finish. Sadler was then taken to a local hospital as a precaution and to get checked out.(9-28-2003)
UPDATE: Elliott Sadler was examined and released from the University of Alabama-Birmingham Medical Center late Sunday after a violent accident on Lap 182. "The main thing is he is OK. He said he was alert through the whole ride," said crew chief, Todd Parrott. "He's upset because he had a great race car with a car capable of winning the race, but the main thing is he's OK."(ThatsRacin.com)(9-29-2003)
- #43 Jackman gets tossed in the pits, but seems OK: During caution 3 pit stops, the #43 and #38 got together, sending the #43 jackman, Archie Kennedy about 10 feet, after being stunned and helped up, he walked over to the pitwall and sat down and was talking to Richard Petty [owner of the #43], pretty scary looking. Kennedy was chekced by parametics and is alert and says he is ok. He was put on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital to be checked out.(9-28-2003)
UPDATE: Pit road was nearly as chaotic. Several fender-benders fractured the fronts of these aerodynamic-sensitive cars, including that of Earnhardt Jr. Jeff Green's spinning car hit jackman Archie Kennedy, who was treated and released from the infield care center.(Roanoke Times Dispatch)(9-29-2003)
- Foyt transported to hospital UPDATE: #14-Larry Foyt was transported to a local hospital to be checked out after getting hit hard by #19-Mayfield early in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega. Mayfield had a cut tire that caused him to go up the track, which is where Foyt was.(9-28-2003)
UPDATE: Larry Foyt was flown to University Hospital in Birmingham for precautionary measures after separate crashes. He was evaluated and released Sunday evening.(ESPN/AP)
AND Larry Foyt was taken to UAB hospital after crashing early in Sunday's EA Sports 500. Jeremy Mayfield blew a tire on lap 11 and ran up into Foyt's #14 car, forcing it into the wall. Foyt was released Sunday night. "You could tell that he got the wind knocked out of him," crew chief Ben Holm said. "He said that he would be OK, but that's about all he said."(Charleston Post and Courier)(9-29-2003)
- "NBC Nightly News" Feature on "NASCAR Dads" Tonight: Tonight's [9-29] edition of the NBC Nightly News will include a feature on the "NASCAR Dad" political demographic.(Motorsportstv.com)(9-29-2003)
see the Sept 22-28, 2003 Archived News Page
see the Sept 15-21, 2003 Archived News Page
see the Sept 8-14, 2003 Archived News Page