OCT 13-19, 2003
THE PAST NEWS! YESTERDAY and BEYOND..
OTHER PAST NEWS PAGES
- Black flag: NBC was in such a hurry to get off the air and keep "Saturday Night Live" on schedule it didn't bother to interview the race winner following the checkered flag. Fans who'd committed four hours to the telecast deserved more than that, even if it meant SNL guest host Justin Timberlake would have had to cool his heels for a few minutes.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-13-2003)
AND NOTE: complaints regarding NBC cutting away from the race at Charlotte before victory lane
celebration with Stewart and driver interviews can be referred to NBC - NOT ME - I do NOT start campaigns, polls
or any of that stuff, but feel free to contact NBC or NASCAR with your displeasure at:
NASCAR Contact info on my Racing FAQ page [1st FAQ]
NBC Contact info on my TV/Media Contact page.
- Gordon sweeps 2003 Martinsville races, winning the Subway 500: #24-Jeff Gordon won the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway, his 2nd win of the 2003 season, both coming at Martinsville. It is Gordon's 63rd career Cup win which is 7th all time. #48-Jimmie Johnson was 2nd, followed by #20-Tony Stewart, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., and #12-Ryan Newman. There were 15 cautions for 117 laps, the previous record for caution laps in a Martinsville race was 111 in April of 2000. There were 117 run on Sunday. Points leader #17-Matt Kenseth finished 13th and lost a little bit of his points lead over #29-Harvick, now a lead of 240 points with fours races to go, so Harvick needs to score more then 60 points a race to catch Kenseth.(full story at ThatsRacin.com)
Scheduled Race Re-Air: on Speed Channel:
one-hour recap/Fast Forward on Wednesday, October 22nd at 7:00pm/et and again on October 23rd at 1:00am/et;
and a full three-hour race show will re-air at 3:00pm/et on Thursday, October 23rd.
Race Results on Jayski's Martinsville Race Results page
For my race rundown, results links, cautions narrative, notes, lap leaders, DNF's, and stuff; see my Subway 500 Race Info/Rundown page
See full standings at Jayski's Driver/Owners Points after Martinsville page.(10-19-2003)
- Kahne, Baldwin to Debut at Homestead? hearing Tommy Baldwin [current crew chief on the #7 car] will crew chief a third Evernham Motorsports Dodge [#91?] at Homestead with Kasey Kahne driving. Kahne supposedly will drive the #9 full time in 2004. Bill Elliott will supposedly run a select number of Cup races in 2004, expect that announcement to come next week in Atlanta. Akins Motorsports, Kahne's current Busch Team [#38] and currently a Ford will work with Evernham Motorsports and Kahne will drive at most companion races in a Dodge.(source)(10-19-2003)
- Stock Car Fans - Rumblings - Martinsville:
Break out the brooms....we've got another sweeper! #24-Jeff Gordon completed the Martinsville Speedway sweep in today's Subway
500 in dominant style. He led 311 of the 500 laps and made it a Hendrick Motorsports 1-2 by finishing a little over one second ahead
of teammate Jimmie Johnson. Gordon's 5th win at Martinsville was his 63rd career triumph (he's 7th on the all-time win list) and second of the season. We've had the winner come from the pole five times this season....but only three drivers have accomplished that feat. Today was Gordon's second occasion, joining Ryan Newman's two efforts and Kevin Harvick did it once. This was win #116 for Hendrick Motorsports.
A bit of a tempest in a teapot with that pit flag situation today. Might want to move that flagman a little up the backstretch....and remind
the teams that the pits could open at any moment. There are still a few of us who remember what it was like when you could pit whenever you wanted. Nothing like being half a lap behind and getting lucky on the yellow and ducking into the pits waaaay before the leader. That's when it used to take NASCAR 10-15 laps to figure out who was where.....
#88-Dale Jarrett (11th) had his best finish since he was 7th at Bristol in August.
#30-Steve Park (12th) had his best finish since he was 5th at Michigan in August.
#23-Kenny Wallace (16th) had his best finish since he was 15th at Bristol in August.
#74-Tony Raines (23rd) had his best finish since he was 20th at Bristol in August.
#02-Hermie Sadler (30th) had his best finish since he was 23rd at Richmond in September of 2002. (Only 12 races)
STREAKIN....Ryan Newman has 7 Top-10's in a row. Jeff Gordon has 5 Top-5's in a row.
Tony Stewart has 5 Top-5's in a row. Kevin Harvick has 5 Top-10's in a row.
This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week was Steve Park (+29), followed by Dale Jarrett (+28), Terry Labonte (+25), and Jimmie
Johnson (+24). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Sterling Marlin (-34), followed by Jimmy Spencer (-32), Kurt Busch (-26), Rusty Wallace
(-22), and Bobby Labonte (-21). This was Park's 3rd Op of the season, and Sterling's 4th BD....both equal to the top of their division.
Kevin Harvick only took 24 markers off Matt Kenseth's lead today....it's still a healty 240 points with four races to go. Our mathematically eliminated line is creeping further to the top....we lost five more drivers today. If you're 9th or further back, it's time for the Cubs mantra.
Bill Elliott (12th to 10th) and Johnny Benson (25th to 27th) were the only multi-position movers this week. But if you like action, check out spots 19th to 22nd and 25th to 27th in the standings. Four positions separated by only six points and three more spots separated by that same margin. Think that'll change a couple more times?(Stock Car Fans Winston Cup Newsletter)(10-19-2003)
- Bye-Bye MotorsportsTV.com: Mike McCarthy has turned his hobby, a popular Web site devoted to motor sports and the media who cover it, into a full-time job in sports. McCarthy said he will put his MotorsportsTV.com Web site on permanent hiatus Oct. 25 after taking a job with NASCAR in its public relations department. For McCarthy, getting a job with the Daytona Beach, Fla.-based sanctioning body is a dream come true. McCarthy will manage NASCAR's new media Web site, which will cater to journalists covering the ever-growing sport. McCarthy launched MotorsportsTV.com in May 2000 after being unhappy with the amount of NASCAR coverage available on the Internet.(
- An odd Elliott rumor: hear a hot rumor circulating around the garage area at Martinsville this weekend is that Ford and Dodge are working on a swap. Ford will release Kasey Kahne from his contract to drive for Evernham Motorsports. In exchange, Elliott will run one last season in a Ford in 2004 with a team to be determined. Unsure if it would be a full season or a partial season as had been rumored.(source)(10-19-2003)
- Glanville to attempt Cup races in 2004: Earlier this week Black Cat Racing (BCR), located in Jackson, TN., announced plans to run in two to three NEXTEL Cup events with the first to take place in Las Vegas on March 7, 2004. The driver of the BCR NEXTEL Cup car, which will attempt to qualify for the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, is former NFL coach and part time ARCA driver Jerry Glanville. The National Rifle Association's, red, white and blue Chevrolet Monte Carlo as well as team support will be provided by Black Cat Racing. The car will be prepared in Coach Glanville's shop located in Dawsonville, GA. For more information, visit the BCR website at www.bcr13.com. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available for this race. Announcements regarding Black Cat Racing's Busch Series driver and sponsor are expected within the next two weeks.(BCR PR)(10-19-2003)
- Not NASCAR but pretty cool UPDATE: Former CART champion Alex Zanardi will race at Monza this weekend in the FIA European Touring Car Championship, his first competition since losing both legs in a crash in September 2001 in Germany. Zanardi will drive a specially modified BMW 320i ETCC for Ravaglia Motorsports. The idea for the one-off race started as a joke when Zanardi took his road-going BMW 540i to the team, based in Italy, for modifications to allow him to drive it on the street. But team engineer Roberto Trevisan, who worked with Zanardi in Formula 3000, suggested the modifications could be made to a race car built for the 2001 season and last used for winter testing. For the weekend, the throttle has been moved to the steering wheel and Zanardi will use his left hand to operate it, while he uses his right hand to operate the gear shift lever.(Chicago Sun Times/AP)
AND mark it down --- SPEED Channel is airing the full 2003 FIA European Touring Car Championship in order this winter, with a replay of this weekend's race featuring the return of racing great Alex Zanardi scheduled for Dec. 27 at 6:00pm and 3:00am.(Speed Channel PR)(10-18-2003)
UPDATE: In his first competitive race since losing both legs in a crash in a CART race in Germany two years ago, Alex Zanardi was involved in a six-car pileup Sunday in the first race of the closing event of the FIA European Touring Car Championship. Then he finished seventh in the second race at the Monza circuit, coming back from an eighth-row start. Riding a specially modified BMW, the former Formula One driver said he wanted to show he could race competitively again. More than 30,000 fans crowded the track and hundreds mobbed him for autographs before the race. "I still remember how to drive and I will see next year whether to repeat this experience," he said. "I enjoyed it. I'm not enthusiastic about the result, but I enjoyed racing." Zanardi last raced in Monza with the Williams Formula One team in the 1999 Italian Grand Prix. The 36-year-old Italian hand operated the car's accelerator and clutch, which are attached to the steering wheel, and used his thigh to apply special brakes. In Race One, Zanardi started from the sixth row following his 11th place in qualifying. He was caught in a pileup of six cars at the first curve, ending the race after about a half-mile. Starting from behind in Race Two, Zanardi climbed to seventh place by the end of the nine-lap event, 15.3 seconds behind BMW German teammate Jorg Muller, who won ahead of Tom Coronel of the Netherlands and Gabriele Tarquini of Italy. U.S. drivers Jimmy Vasser and Tony Kanaan flew to Monza to support Zanardi.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(10-19-2003)
- Streak on the Line UPDATE not no more: Since 1994, #24-Jeff Gordon has enjoyed multiple win seasons for the last nine years, but with five races left on the Winston Cup schedule, that streak may be in jeopardy. Gordon has 62 career wins but only one victory this season, in the spring race at Martinsville. He's looking for his fourth career "sweep" today at racetracks with two Winston Cup dates each year. His other sweeps were at Darlington, Dover and Rockingham.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-19-2003)
UPDATE: Gordon won at Martinsville for his 2nd win of 2003, so ten years in a row he has multiple wins.(10-19-2003)
- Racer dies after Daytona accident: Motorcycle racer Bryan Cassell died Saturday after an accident that occurred in a pre-race practice session at Daytona International Speedway earlier in the day. Cassell, 28, of Cape Coral, was pronounced dead after being transported to Halifax Medical Center.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-19-2003)
- Gibbs Looking for a new crew chief? UPDATE: Car owner Joe Gibbs is interviewing potential new crew chiefs to run his planned third Winston Cup team, and rivals are reminded that General Manager Jimmy Makar pulled big surprises when hiring Greg Zipadelli and Michael McSwain. It is unclear yet if Tommy Baldwin might be on Gibbs' list.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-18-2003)
UPDATE: Joe Gibbs' proposed third Winston Cup team caught many rivals by surprise, and it's still taking form. In 2004, it would run a limited schedule, possibly run by General Manager Jimmy Makar for a while, until a new crew chief is hired for a full-time run in 2005. J.J. Yeley, a sprint star, is a top candidate to drive.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-19-2003)
- Spencer Wants Rid of the 'Winners Circle' Plan: Jimmy Spencer thinks NASCAR's "winners' circle" plan, which distributes money each race to teams that have won in previous years, has outlived its usefulness. "They need to find another way to disperse the money to the car owners," Spencer said. "A lot of car owners are struggling right now, and without sponsorship money they're in trouble. NASCAR isn't going to change the winner's circle, but it's the biggest joke there is right now," Spencer said. "Even if I were on it, it would be a joke. The money goes to certain car owners, and it should be spread out to other owners that are 20th on back. Those are the guys who're hurting."(ThatsRacin.com), what is the "winners' circle" plan? see my Winner's Circle page for info, money is a bit outdated but have not seen updates in quite a while.(10-19-2003)
- Schrader wins at South Boston; Sadler third: Winston Cup veteran, Ken Schrader (#99) started where he left off from his last ARCA Series visit to "America's Hometown Track". Claiming the Old Milwaukee Pole for the Bank of America ARCA 200 presented by Fox 21/27, Schrader was the only driver to top 90 mph. Hermie Sadler (#02) started in third with the Bailey's Chevrolet and immediately went to work when the green flag waved. Schrader scooted to the lead, but Sadler tracked Schrader's trail through three cautions in the first 50 laps. Lap 60 saw another caution, but Sadler took advantage for a charge on the restart. Schrader went low, Sadler went high, but was unable to power around Schrader. Rookie, Alex Whitman (#56) wormed his way into the Top 5 in only his second ARCA start. Lap 84 saw Series Champ, Frank Kimmel (#46) slide sideways in four with two other machines bringing out another caution. Pit stops cycled through on lap 86 with Hermie Sadler beating Schrader off pitroad. Jason Jarrett (#67) remained on track to pick up the lead and keep valuable track position. Brent Sherman (#44) lost the handle on the restart, resetting the field on lap 97. Several cars got crossed up on lap 99, bringing out yet another caution at midway. Lap 119 saw caution for debris as Jarrett had company near the front in the form of Hermie Sadler and Ken Schrader lying in wait in second and third. Sadler claimed the lead on lap 125, but caution flew for debris on the frontstretch only two laps later. Schrader lined up behind Sadler, as Jarrett resisted pitroad again in third. Schrader worked under Sadler in turn four for the lead on lap 134, to reclaim his frontrunning position. Lap 138 slowed the charge again for a lap car, backstretch spin. Schrader pulled Sadler on the restart and built a healthy lead by lap 150. Sadler began to close in traffic by lap 155, but caution waved on lap160 for Billy Venturini's spin in turn three, resetting the field and Sadler's charge. After a lengthy clean up, only 25 laps remained with Schrader in control. Lap cars again entangled a lead lap ride on lap 181, this time Terry Jones (#30) snared Whitman, who was running a strong seventh on the lead lap. With 10 laps remaining the field was again under caution, after several cars dodged and darted for position. Sadler shuffled back to fourth, as Kimmel moved to second followed by Jarrett. Schrader restarted with only 8 laps remaining and a win hanging in the balance. A late lap caution in front of the leaders caused a green, white, checkered restart after the posted distance clicked on the board. Schrader felt the pressure of a charging Frank Kimmel and Hermie Sadler sailed under Jarrett to advance in the final lap, but Schrader held on for the win, followed by Kimmel, Sadler, and Jarrett.(South Boston Speedway PR)(10-19-2003)
- Drivers on game show: Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Jeremy Mayfield and Christian Fittipaldi are scheduled to appear on the game show "Pyramid" next month. The show, hosted by Donny Osmond, will match the drivers with regular contestants. The NASCAR-themed shows are scheduled to be aired Nov. 10-14 in national syndication.(News and Record)(10-18-2003)
- Dodge Dropping Teams? Dodge may cut back its Nextel Cup operations by limiting car owners to a single team sponsorship, which could be why Jeremy Mayfield has felt under such pressure lately with car owner Ray Evernham.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-18-2003)
- Fan's That Care Gets a Supporter: In light of the airing of the story of the America’s Most Wanted Motorsports, Fan’s That Care program on Fox Sports Networks Totally NASCAR and its posting on www.Jayski.com a rekindling of a relationship creates a supporter and secondary associate sponsor for the America’s Most Wanted Racing team. Rapid Alert.net a Global Online Protection and Prevention Network family protection Services Company has entered and agreement with the America’s Most Wanted Racing team to contribute 50% of each of their Protection and Prevention packages to the America’s Most Wanted racing team! What a great way to support the efforts of the race team and protect your family. To get more information on this please visit www.bodydynamicsracing.com. The segment will re-run on Sunday mornings Totally NASCAR, scheduled to air at 9:30am.(10-18-2003)
- Schrader to the Trucks? hearing Ken Sschrader may run the full Truck Series schedule in 2004. No word if he will still run the #49 BAM Racing Dodge, which will have Dodge backing in 2004.(10-18-2003)
- Wallace/Stacker2 Push Safety: Kenny Wallace regularly pushes his speedometer beyond 100 mph while he's working, but his message to Martinsville High School students on Thursday was about obeying the speed limit. "I have to hold a valid driver's license to drive in Winston Cup races," he said, "so I can't go out on the streets driving like Speed Racer. I tell the kids there's a time and place for these things." Wallace drives the #23 Stacker 2 Dodge on the Winston Cup circuit, but he seemed equally enthusiastic about taking time off from his duties as a professional driver to talk to kids about driving smartly and avoiding accidents by following traffic laws. And though his lecture was filled with humorous anecdotes and jokes, his message was a serious one: "Kids are excited to get their driver's licenses, but there's a lot of responsibility that goes along with driving." Wallace's appearance at Martinsville High was part of a new program called "Race to Bee Safe." The program is supported by - and named after - one of Wallace's sponsors, Y.J. Stinger, an energy drink manufactured by NVE Pharmaceuticals of Newton, NJ, that features a yellowjacket as its logo. Martinsville Police Officer Brian Lawson, the school's resource officer, also participated in the safe driving program and gave students some statistics about car accidents. In 2002, 178 people between the ages of 16 and 20 were killed in car accidents in Virginia, he said. Of those accidents, 50% of the victims were not wearing seatbelts and 44 percent of the accidents were speed-related, he said. "You may not like getting tickets," Lawson said. "But when you start taking money out of people's wallets, they pay attention." The students, most of whom indicated they planned to get their licenses within a year, said they thought the program was informative and will make them think when they drive. Lizzie Holyfield, a junior, admitted to being in a couple of minor accidents in which she backed into other cars. She said she will pay more attention when she drives and found the program to be informative. "I learned that just because you're a NASCAR driver doesn't mean you're out speeding all the time," she said.
Of course, with a world-renowned Winston Cup driver on the stage, the event wasn't limited to only talk. Wallace brought along a NASCAR-certified racing seat and coaxed a volunteer - Hope Dodson, daughter of Robert and Beth Dodson of Martinsville - onto the stage to demonstrate the seat and get a feel for how NASCAR drivers are constrained during the four-hour races. Following his talk, Wallace handed out T-shirts, signed autographs and fielded questions from the audience. When asked if he had ever been in a wreck while not racing, Wallace admitted to one accident. While driving to a wedding - in the bride's car - he tried to pass a camper on a two-lane road, accidentally bumped it and ended up in a ditch, he said.
He also answered 'yes' when asked if he ever had received a speeding ticket, saying he had gotten them usually when he was late for something or not paying attention to his speed. He followed by once more cautioning students to start out early enough to be on time and watch the speedometer. Another student - as concerned with racing as safety - asked Wallace to name his favorite and least favorite tracks. He said his least favorite was Atlanta, simply because he hardly ever finishes in the top 10 there. When talking about his favorites, he named several short tracks - Martinsville, Bristol, Richmond and Phoenix. "I grew up on short tracks," he said, adding that he likes the way his car feels and runs on these tracks. So while Wallace will spend several hours in Martinsville on Sunday at speeds quite a bit higher than the 55 mph limit on most Virginia highways, he said when on those roads, it is smart to stay at the limit. "I don't finish a race and get out on the road and floor it," he said. "Just remember, a license is a privilege. It can be taken away at any time."(Martinsville Bulletin)(10-18-2003)
- More on Diversity: General Motors officials are trying to step up their own diversity program and trying to find a Busch ride for Shante Rhodes, 27. Car owner Joe Gibbs, who is expanding to a third Cup team, is being courted by GM to put together a team for Rhodes.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-18-2003)
- Goody for Petty: Seven-time Winston Cup champion Richard Petty has signed an agreement to continue endorsing GlaxoSmithKline's Goody's Headache Powders through 2005, with an option for two more years, the Sports Business Daily reports. Petty will continue to appear in electronic and print ads for the company. Financial terms were not disclosed.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-18-2003)
- Tire Testing at Homestead UPDATE: NASCAR has picked [2004 Cup] rookie Scott Wimmer and Johnny Benson for Goodyear's Homestead tire test. The choice of Wimmer has raised eyebrows in the Winston Cup garage because Bill Davis' new driver has virtually no Cup experience. Goodyear is under the gun - it will have to pick the Homestead tire before the test. But Goodyear was on the mark at Chicago and Kansas City when they opened two years ago.(Winston Salem Journal)
UPDATE or is it Blaney? or all three? #77-Dave Blaney is scheduled to do the Goodyear tire test at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Oct. 28-29. Blaney will be the only Cup driver to run on the reconfigured track before an open test session two days before qualifying there Nov. 14.(News and Record)(10-18-2003)
- Sad News: People who worked with him said James Lewter, who died earlier this week in Charlotte at the age of 83, was a magician with metal. There has to be a better word for him than machinist," Larry McReynolds said of Lewter, who was named to a NASCAR "all-pro" team at that position for 10 straight years at one point during his long career. "He was a craftsman, an artist. There wasn't a problem he couldn't solve. I would match him with just about any engineer out there." Lewter died Monday and was laid to rest on Thursday. He'd begun his career as a motorcycle racer and eventually went to work at the legendary Holman-Moody racing facility at Charlotte. He later worked for the NASCAR team owned by Harry Ranier, which was eventually bought and is still run by Robert Yates. McReynolds worked with Lewter when he was a crew chief at Robert Yates Racing. As a machinist, it was often Lewter's job to build a part that someone could only describe in theory. Today's teams have high-tech computer-driven machines that can reproduce identically to microscopic tolerances every part on a car, but the cars have to be built first. Memorials may be made on Lewter's behalf to the Victory Junction Gang Camp, 311 Branson Mill Road, Randleman, N.C. 27317, or to Steele Creek Presbyterian Church, 7407 Steele Creek Road, Charlotte, N.C. 28217.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-18-2003)
- Kasey Kahne Article at Ford Racing: Worth Fighting For: What's A Nascar Contract Worth? Series Road To Sports Big Time Could Leave Drivers, Manufactures Paying Price
- NCHOF Induction - Moody Inducted: Ralph Moody Jr. first made his mark as a driver before devoting his time and energy as part of a well-known racing and laboratory team that left an even larger and longer-lasting impression on the business. It's for that all-around mark he has left in the sport's history that he has become the eighth member to be inducted into the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame, based in Mooresville. The list of honorees reads like a Who's Who list among revered stock car racing pioneers. Richard Petty, with 200 career wins and record-tying seven series points championships, was the charter inductee in 1997. Others who have followed include Bobby Allison in 1998, Tim Flock in 1999, Johnson and France in '00, Ned Jarrett in 2001 and Cale Yarborough just a year ago. Dedicated to all types of racing, from drag racing to NASCAR, the N.C. Auto Racing Hall of Fame museum houses more than 35 donated cars that represent and help relive some of racing's greatest moments. Numerous racing displays and showcases are rotated in an effort to promote North Carolina's motor sports heritage. In the facility's short history, it has welcomed over one million race fans. This year alone, more than 270,000 guests have visited the outpost. In addition to receiving the induction award, the Moody family was also presented with a commemorative racing hood courtesy of HiRev, LLC representative Brad Perrigo, also a member of the Hall of Fame's Board of Directors. Don Miller, owner of Penske Racing South and Chairman of the N.C. Auto Racing Hall of Fame Board of Directors, again provided opening and closing remarks. Benny Parson, also on the facility's board and a former NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion who is now a motor sports broadcaster, once again filled the role as the evening's master of ceremonies. Among the guest speakers were Al Jones, Mooresville Mayor, and Deb Williams, a member of the host facility's board and editor of NASCAR Winston Cup Scene, who provided a tribute to the late Bob Latford.(full story at the Mooresville Tribune)(10-17-2003)
- Baldwin Resigns? UPDATE 4: The resignation of Tommy Baldwin from Ultra Motorsports and Bill Elliott's expected move to a part-time schedule next season fueled speculation Baldwin and Kasey Kahne [see below story] will team up at Evernham Motorsports next year.(Augusta Chronicle) and see my #9 Team News and Links page for past news.(10-6-2002)
UPDATE: been told Baldwin is still with Ultra Motorsports and workign for the shop, no idea if this meant at the end of the season. ALSO see a NASCAR.com/Buzz.(10-7-2003)
UPDATE 2 - Done after Lowe's race? hearing the Cup race at Lowe's Motor Speedway will be the last for Baldwin at Ultra Motorsports, #7.(10-8-2003)
UPDATE 3: hearing Baldwin will stay with the #7 team for the rest of the season.(10-15-2003)
UPDATE 4: this weeks Winston Cup Scene reports that Baldwin has left the team and is expected to sign a multi-year contract with Evernham Motorsports. Gene Nead, crew chief of Ted Musgrave's team with Ultraa Motorsports will server as Spencer's crew chief for the final five races.[Doesn't say who will crew chief Musgrave's team, that is running for the Truck Series Championship]. WCS also reports the #7 Cup team may not run a full 2004 season if a sponsor is not found.(Winston Cup Scene Magazine - need sub to view)(10-16-2003)
UPDATE 5: Tommy Baldwin is at the track and with the #7 Ultra Motorsports team this weekend at Martinsville and all reports are that he will remain with the team for the rest of the season.(10-17-2003)
- Goss leaves Roush; to GM: GM recently hired former #16 Cup Crew Chief Randy Goss to oversee the Chevrolet Silverado Truck fleet and to help transition the body changes every team will undergo for 2004.(Speed Channel)(10-17-2003)
- Congrats: Scott Eggleston, Crew Chief for the BAM Racing #49, and his wife Michelle had their first child on Tuesday, October 14th. Mitchell Kent Eggleston arrived at 3:45pm without a hitch. Mom and Baby Boy are doing well.(10-17-2003)
- StockCarFans.Com - Ramblings - Martinsville: Jeff Gordon's gotta feel like he's home whenever he rolls into Martinsville
Speedway. He completed his Bud Pole sweep of the 2003 season today by capturing his 4th pole of the year and the 46th of his Winston Cup career for Sunday's Subway 500. His time of 20.220 (93.650 mph) was over 1/10th of a second quicker than Ward Burton. Gordon's four poles have come on shorties (3 of 'em) and one road course. Ryan Newman has both Gordon & Bobby Labonte dormie (a four pole lead with four to go).
#22-Ward Burton (2nd...and in his last ride with Bill Davis Racing), has his best starting spot since he had the pole at Richmond in May of 2002
#23-Kenny Wallace (4th) has his best starting spot since he had the pole at Rockingham in November of 2001
#7-Jimmy Spencer (12th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 4th at Darlington in March.[in a back up car]
#21-Ricky Rudd (12th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 8th at Bristol in August.
STREAKIN....Jeff Gordon has 7 Top-10 starts in a row.
45 cars on hand this week....the DNQ's were Mark Green (in the #14 again this week and OOP), and Morgan Shepherd (they were too light and never got through tech).(StockCarFans.Com Winstoncup Newsletter)(10-17-2003)
- Elliott Sadler to run #84 truck at Martinsville UPDATE Combos to sponsor: Long Brothers Racing is partnering with Virginia driver Elliott Sadler at Martinsville Speedway. The combination will be featured in the #84 Long Brothers Racing Ford during the Advance Auto Parts 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event Oct. 18 at 2:30pm/et. “We’re hoping that we can have some of the success we’ve had at Martinsville in the past,” said crew chief and co-owner Charlie Long. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to get Elliott qualified up front and have another good finish there.” Long Brothers Racing, co-owned by Robert Long, enjoyed a win at the .526-mile flat track just two weeks ago as their #2 Late Model car won the Taco Bell 300 – an event that typically sees more than 100 Late Model entries. “That was a big weekend for Long Brothers Racing,” Charlie Long said. “We had a top-15 finish in the truck race with Nick Woodward at South Boston and won the Late Model race just down the road at Martinsville. I wouldn’t mind seeing that victory lane again.” Sadler and Long Brothers Racing have teamed together twice before at Richmond International Raceway in 2000 and 2001. Both of those events resulted in early exits thanks to engine and brake failure, respectively. Long Brothers Racing also competes regularly in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series with Woodward.(Keystone Marketing PR)(10-14-2003)
UPDATE: Elliott Sadler will sport the COMBOS logo as he competes in the Advance Auto Parts 250 Craftsman Truck Series race at the Martinsville Speedway this weekend. Earlier this season COMBOS made its debut on Sadler’s #38 M&M’S Ford Taurus under the lights at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Cup race. Sadler’s night ended early on the high banked half-mile oval at Bristol but he has high hopes his #84 Long Brothers Racing ride will fare better on the paper clip shaped half mile nestled his home state of Virginia. In addition to the Combos logos, Sadler’s truck ride will pay tribute to the Dale Jarrett Foundation, the Tia and Trey Dodson Memorial Golf Classic and feature the puzzle ribbons of the Autism Society of America.(Elevation Group PR)(10-17-2003)
- Testing at Phoenix UPDATE: no speeds or official report, but hear that #29-Kevin Harvick, #20-Tony Stewart and #19-Jermey Mayfield tested at Phoenix Intel Raceway this week.(10-16-2003)
UPDATE: With more than $10 million in track improvements completed at Phoenix International Raceway, the first wave of NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series drivers tested the newly remodeled one-mile oval, and were impressed with changes. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Kevin Harvick, Jeremy Mayfield, Tony Sewart, Sterling Marlin, Scott Wimmer and Casey Mears, put the track to the test. Changes at the track include the widening of turn two from 48' to 60' and the addition of an infield tunnel under turn four for teams, medical personnel and fans with infield access. The change in turn two begins at the center of the turn and continues into the entrace of turn three.
With temperatures near 100 degrees during the three days of testing, most teams found themselves running faster testing times than last
year. The Busch Series cars averaged testing times of about 28.4 (126 mph). The track record is 27.233 sec. (132.193 mph) set last year by Greg Biffle. Cup cars were around 27.9 (129 mph) on Tuesday and 27.1 on Wednesday (132.841 mph). The track record is 26.830 sec. (134.18 mph) was set by Rusty Wallace in 2000.
Next Tuesday and Wednesday, Jeff Gordon, Robbie Gordon, Joe Nemechek, Greg Biffle and Brian Vickers will be testing their machines on the re-configured one mile oval. For tickets or more information call the PIR Ticket Office at 602.252.2227.(PIR PR)(10-17-2003)
- Where was the post-race coverage? [from a NASCAR.com column] Less than five minutes after Tony Stewart took the checkered flag, NBC's broadcast was over. There was no victory lane interview, no comments from the top finishers, just a quick talk with Joe Gibbs, a run through the results and the standings with a Stewart victory doughnut as background and a hearty farewell. So what gives?
"We know how passionate NASCAR fans are and we understand their frustration," said a spokesman for the network. "In a perfect world we would have loved to provide our usual, comprehensive post-race coverage which we know is important to fans. We attempted to schedule the race so we could provide complete post-race coverage similar to the nearly 40 minutes of post-race coverage that followed the Pepsi 400 from Daytona, but the race took longer than anticipated. Before signing off the air, we interviewed Joe Gibbs, showed Tony Stewart's on-track celebration, showed the complete final order of finish and the updated NASCAR Winston Cup points standings."
The spokesman added that while prime-time races have a definite upside, they come with a price.
"Airing a race in primetime is great for the sport, but there are many complications associated with night racing including additional network obligations such as late local news and on-time starts for other live programming," he said. "Hopefully fans will understand that we had to manage all of these different factors given the complicated situation."(NASCAR.com) since I posted this info, I probably need to repost this
.... complaints regarding NBC cutting away from the race at Charlotte before victory lane
celebration with Stewart and driver interviews can be referred to NBC - NOT ME - I do NOT start campaigns, polls
or any of that stuff, but feel free to contact NBC or NASCAR with your displeasure at:
NASCAR Contact info on my Racing FAQ page [1st FAQ]
NBC Contact info on my TV/Media Contact page.(10-17-2003)
- Rumored now fact - Skinner to the trucks: Bang Racing announced today NASCAR Champion Mike Skinner will drive the #3 truck in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for the 2004 through 2006 seasons. See more on my Truck Series page.(10-16-2003)
- A Month Left to Vote: With one month remaining in the nationwide fan voting, Dale Earnhardt Jr. continues to lead the Grands! Biscuits NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award balloting. More than 2.5 million votes have been cast this season. Voting will continue through 11:59am/et on Monday, November 17, 2003 – the day after the final NASCAR Winston Cup race of the season.
Also while voting, fans can continue to enter online for a chance to win the Petty Driving Experience at one of these locations: Atlanta, Ga.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Brooklyn, Mich.; and Fort Worth, Tex. One winner will be randomly drawn from all eligible entries received.
Earnhardt Jr., who finished second in the 2002 Most Popular Driver Voting to 16-time Most Popular Driver Award winner Bill Elliott, has led since voting began in February. Four-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon is second, followed closely by Kevin Harvick. Steve Park is fourth in the voting, followed by Tony Stewart, Michael Waltrip, Mark Martin, Dale Jarrett, Kyle Petty and Bobby Labonte.(Williams Company) For more info, past updates and link to vote, see my Awards and Voting page.(10-16-2003)
- Diversity News: good and bad: the good - Access Marketing and Communications, a company that was formed by Omnicom's The Radiate Group and Calhoun Enterprises, will serve as the agency for NASCAR's "Drive for Diversity," a training program developed to enhance the skills of minority drivers and crew members. "NASCAR has the utmost confidence in the team Access has established," said George Pyne, chief operating officer of NASCAR. "They [should] make 'Drive for Diversity' successful by developing the growing number of minority drivers and crew members competing on local tracks around the country into successful NASCAR competitors."(Delaware News Journal)
AND the bad: Bill Lester, the only African-American driver regularly competing in any of NASCAR's top three divisions, is out looking for a new ride. Lester has been driving on the Craftsman Truck Series in a #8 Dodge owned by Bobby Hamilton and sponsored through a diversity program funded by Dodge. But Dodge is dropping the diversity program and Hamilton isn't going to run the truck without a sponsor. Dodge spokesman Todd Goyer said the company started the diversity program three years ago with the hope that some other corporation would step in and pick up the program. That never happened, although in July, General Mills put Lester's picture on boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios. "We started with a two-year program and extended it for a year," Goyer said. "But the bottom line is that we can't carry the flag alone." Lester has been Dodge's minority driver for the past two seasons and has shown promise. He runs best on superspeedways and won the pole at Charlotte earlier this year. He's 13th in points heading into Saturday's race at Martinsville and has an average start of 13th and an average finish of 18th (usually 36 or so drivers are in Craftsman fields). Goyer said the failure of Dodge's diversity program shouldn't be blamed on Lester. "Bill certainly represented us well," Goyer said. While Lester said he's unsure where he'll be racing next year, NASCAR officials are certain he'll be back behind the wheel of a competitive truck. "I feel confident that Bill Lester will be competing again next year," said NASCAR vice president Jim Hunter. Lester said he's appreciative of what Dodge's program did for him but disappointed that other companies didn't follow Dodge's lead. "Everybody talks about diversity but very few step up and put their money where their mouth is," he said. "It's unfortunate that Dodge is dropping this program, but you can't fault their position. No one else came forward."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-16-2003)
- Grand Opening of the Richard Petty Museum on Friday: the Petty Family will hold an Official Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening of the Beautiful New 12,000 sq. ft. Richard Petty Museum now located in Downtown Randleman, NC. This will kick-off the 15th Annual NASCAR Day Festival weekend in Randleman. Friday, October 17, 2003, starting at 10:00am/et at 142 W. Academy Street, Randleman, NC (Take Randleman Exit off of 220-By Pass and follow directional signs). You may direct any questions to the Richard Petty Museum: (336) 495-1143 or more info at the Petty Racing site.(10-16-2003)
- NASCAR sponsors are happy: When it comes to making a sponsor happy, no other sport does it better than NASCAR, according to a study from Sports Business Journal. The magazine talked with national sponsors that are involved in professional sports throughout the country and found NASCAR sponsors have more satisfaction with they way they're being represented by race teams than any other sport. Overall, NASCAR, the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour and the NHRA drag-racing series ranked as favorites among sponsors who spend billions a year in advertising, the magazine said. The IRL IndyCar Series, CART Champ Car World Series and the WNBA were ranked as the least-favorites.(Augusta Chronicle)(10-16-2003)
- Dawsonville Museum heading to foreclosure: When the sparkling new auto racing museum ThunderRoad USA opened in May 2002, civic pride soared in this town of 617, about 60 miles north of Atlanta. ThunderRoad was to be a huge tourist attraction in an area that claims to be the birthplace of stock car racing and is the home of NASCAR driver Bill Elliott, known as "Awesome Bill." A study projected more than a quarter-million fans of the hottest sport in America would visit the museum, owned by an authority created by the city and Dawson County, during its first year. Instead, 48,000 showed up. ThunderRoad USA has revved up a debt of more than $10 million, creating another awesome bill in Dawsonville. The museum -- which includes Georgia's Racing Hall of Fame, memorials to NASCAR greats, interactive games, a track for remote-controlled cars, racing simulators, a theater, a gift shop and a diner -- was built for $12.2 million. ThunderRoad was put up for sale at the end of this summer, but drew no offers. Dragging more than $10 million in unpaid loans guaranteed by the federal government, the museum is headed into foreclosure. Last month, a citizens group gave the county commissioners a petition with 1,634 signatures supporting ThunderRoad. More than 100 people showed up at the commission meeting, which usually attracts one-tenth that number. (see full story at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution(10-16-2003)
- Wednesday Testing at Atlanta - Ward fast: Winston Cup Series driver Ward Burton spent a second day testing at Atlanta Motor Speedway, preparing for his inaugural run in the #0 Netzero HiSpeed Pontiac for the Oct. 26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. After turning his first laps in the car Tuesday, Burton and his new crew spent Wednesday looking for more speed. They found it, gaining .35 of
a second to turn a fast lap Wednesday in 29.48 seconds, or 188.060mph. Burton began the season with Bill Davis Racing but was announced this week as the new full-time driver for Haas Carter’s # 0 machine, beginning with the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Busch Series driver Mike Bliss also continued to test on Wednesday, besting his Tuesday speeds by almost five miles an hour. His fastest lap was clocked at 186.353 mph (29.75 seconds).
Tickets are still available for all three days of racing action during the Oct. 24-26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Weekend. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211 or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(10-16-2003)
- Victory Lap at Martinsville: A fitting close to a busy weekend will take place Sunday for three-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Darrell Waltrip [DW], as the NASCAR Victory Lap tribute program makes its fifth stop at Martinsville Speedway. Prior to the Subway 400, Waltrip will pace the field in the #11 Victory Lap Chevrolet, in a tribute honoring longtime series sponsor R.J. Reynolds and its past champions. It will be Waltrip's second time on the track during the weekend, as he plans to race in Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville, the Advance Auto Parts 200. Martinsville Speedway was good to Waltrip throughout his 19-year NASCAR Winston Cup career, as 11 of his 84 victories came at the .526-mile short track, including three consecutive in the fall race from 1987-1989. Waltrip - series champion in 1981, '82 and '85 - picked up his first victory at Martinsville in the spring of 1976. His 84 career victories rank third on the all-time list, tied with Bobby Allison.(NASCAR PR), more info on the Victory Lap program can be found on my Victory Lap page, which includes some past PR's, diecast and real images of the cars.(10-15-2003)
- Short Track Success: Bobby Labonte has earned 757 points in five short-track races, more than any other driver. He also has three top-five short track finishes, more than any other driver. Kurt Busch is the only driver with two short-track victories (both Bristol races) this season. Winston Cup points leader Matt Kenseth is second in short-track points earned (724). Jeff Gordon leads all drivers with 711 laps led in five short-track races. Busch is a distant second leading 254 laps.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-15-2003)
- Elliott's Pit Crew is Awesome Again; Captures Record Sixth Victory With Strong Performance in Charlotte: Bill Elliott's No. 9 pit crew became the first six-time winner of the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade with its narrow victory in Saturday night's (Oct. 11) NASCAR Winston Cup race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte.
The six McDonald's/POWERade victories also put Elliott's crew on top of the prize money list with a season total of $120,000. In the overall point standings, Elliott's pit crew is ranked sixth.
Michael Waltrip's No. 15 crew, which finished second to Elliott's team in Charlotte, continues its season points lead in the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship. Waltrip's team has 1089 points, 37 more than the second-place crew for Dale Earnhardt Jr. The season pit crew champion will earn a $200,000 bonus.
Elliott's Dodge edged Waltrip's Chevrolet for least amount of time spent on pit road during Saturday's UAW-GM Quality 500. The No. 9 Dodge, owned by Evernham Motorsports, was clocked with a pit road time of 216.244 seconds. The time for Waltrip's NAPA Chevy was 216.573. Earnhardt Jr's Chevy was third with 220.870.
"This is great, we're jelling and knew we had a good race in Charlotte," said Greg Miller, pit crew coach for the No. 9 team. "The McDonald's/POWERade championship means a lot to the crew. It's kind of our way of gaining the hidden respect. The guys really look forward to this every week and it makes everybody want to be at their best."
Elliott's over-the-wall crew consists of: Todd Colburn (jackman), Nick Bailey (front tire carrier), Jim Pohlman (front tire changer), Eric Wakeland (rear tire carrier), Joe Kruschek (rear tire changer), Rodney Rhodes (gasman) and Steve Lawrence (catch can). The team's crew chief is Mike Ford.(DMF Communications PR), for Charlotte results, season standings and who won each week , see my Pit Crew News page.(10-15-2003)
- Riggs signed? to drive the #10? UPDATE: hearing Scott Riggs has signed to drive the #10 MBV Valvoline Pontiac in 2004. See past news on the rumor on my #10 Team News and Links page, Hearing Riggs Busch crew chief, Doug Randolph, could be headed to the #10 team with him.(10-15-2003)
UPDATE: been told that that Scott Riggs has signed, and will replace Johnny Benson in the #10 Valvoline Pontiac for 2004. Benson has a year left on his contract, and the team would honor their financial commitment if Benson does not land another ride. The team has no plans to run a third car in 2004. This will be a complete makeover for the MBV #10, a partnership of MB2 Racing and the Valvoline Company, following crew chief James Ince's release a few weeks ago. Ince and Benson have been with the team since its formation.(10-15-2003)
- Bootie Leaving? UPDATE 2 on leave of absence: hearing crew chief Robert 'Bootie' Barker and the #77 Jasper Motor Team will part ways at the end of the season?(10-11-2003)
UPDATE: hearing Barker will not be with the team at Martinsville and team owner Mark Harrah will handle crew chief duties.(10-15-2003)
UPDATE 2: Doug Bawel, Mark Harrah and Mark Wallace, co-owners of Jasper Motorsports, announced yesterday that they have come to a mutual agreement with Robert ‘Bootie’ Barker, crew chief for the #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions NASCAR Winston Cup Series entry. Effective immediately, Barker is on leave of absence but still under contract with Jasper Motorsports. The decision came following the event in Charlotte.(Jasper Motorsports PR)(10-15-2003)
- New Earnhardt Book: The publisher of Dale Earnhardt: Determined, the ONLY book Dale ever authorized is proud to announce the publication of a second book, Dale Earnhardt: Victories. Ride along and remember each and every one of Dale's thrilling 76 NASCAR Winston Cup victories, his 12 Twin 125 wins, and seven NASCAR Winston Cup Series championships, and much more in this 240-page, leather-bound, hardcover book from UMI Publications.
Dale Earnhardt: Victories celebrates, remembers and documents each of Dale's visits to victory lane, from his first win at Bristol in April 1979 all the way to the unforgettable charge at Talladega in October 2000.
In addition to his NASCAR Winston Cup wins, who can forget his dominance of the Daytona qualifying races, including 10 straight from 1990 through 1999? Victories also details Dale's IROC career and 1990, '95, '99 and 2000 IROC championships. Victories also contains memorable quotes and tales regarding Dale's career from fellow drivers and friends.
This beautiful book is destined to be a true collector's item.
The DELUXE EDITION is priced at $99.95 plus $6.00 S&H and must be ordered with an order card available from UMI. STANDARD EDITION copies are available at $49.95 plus $6.00 S&H.
To honor Dale's memory, UMI will be donating portions of the sales of this book to the Dale Earnhardt Foundation. This foundation helps a variety of children's causes, educational and scholarship opportunities, as well as wildlife preservation.
Dale Earnhardt: Victories is a limited edition, so order your copy today. Your book will be shipped in October 2003. As with all books from UMI, your satisfaction is guaranteed or your money will be cheerfully refunded. Order at www.umipub.com for more books, video and music, see my Jayski's Racing Bookstore.(10-15-2003)
- Subway on the #54 at Martinsville: The National Guard is once again joining forces with Subway Restaurants. Subway was the #54 Ford's quarter panels for Watkins Glen but at Martinsville Subway will have the primary spots on the car maximizing its presence during the Martinsville Subway 500 weekend. Instead of the usual car 54 flag theme, they’ll be sporting yellow, green and blue colors.(Cox Marketing PR)(10-15-2003)
- Crawford to run Cup races in 2004? hearing Truck Series driver Rick Crawford [#14 Circle Bar Motel and RV Park Ford] will be attempting some Cup races in 2004 with Yates possibly supplying the horsepower, probably Cup/Truck Series companion races.(10-15-2003)
- Testing at the Rock: #5-Terry Labonte is testing at North Carolina Speedway Wednesday, October 15 for the upcoming
NASCAR weekend November 7 - 9, 2003. Grandstands are open and the public is ivnvitied to attend.(North Carolina Speedway PR)(10-15-2003)
- BAM Testing: #49 BAM Racing and Ken Schrader are testing today at Greenville Pickens Speedway in SC.(10-15-2003)
- Shelmerdine Article: Just a few days ago Kirk Shelmerdine added another victory to his modest resume as a driver, winning Charlotte's ARCA race. Today, the winning car - a vintage three-year-old model, in a sport where last month's model is usually already out of date - is in the middle of Shelmerdine's modest shop. The shop is right across the street from Richard Childress' spiffy new shop [Welcome NC], a giant racing factory in the heart of Childress-ville, a massive conglomeration of NASCAR shops that is a far, far cry from that Waughtown shop where Childress started. Shelmerdine continues to say that he's a racer and not a crew chief, even though he hasn't been doing much of either this season. He ran for Junie Donlavey at Daytona in February but failed to finish high enough in his 125 to make the 500. He ran the Winston Open in May. And he won last week at Charlotte. A Hooter's sponsorship vanished quickly, leaving Shelmerdine picking and choosing his spots. And pondering his future. See full story at the Winston Salem Journal; how 'bout a ride in the #30 AOL car?.(10-15-2003)
- Totally NASCAR on Wed: Airing tonight on Fox Sports Net's Totally NASCAR is a story on the America’s Most Wanted Racing Team. Krista Voda and the Totally NASCAR crew visited Scott Davis at Body Dynamics Racing where the America’s Most Wanted Motorsports is managed from, and they had a candid conversation about their commitment to their racing team, the AMW Motorsports missing children’s program and what they have to offer to a potential sponsor as well as their new Fan’s That Care Program. “I look forward to the fans and sponsors out there seeing what we have to offer and what we are about, “stated Davis, “We have more to offer than any other racing team out there as far as media exposure and marketing opportunities with John Walsh, as well as a campaign that positively effects children and their families.” For more information on America’s Most Wanted/Body Dynamics Racing visit their website at www.bodydynamicsracing.com, see below for Totally NASCAR's schedule today..(10-15-2003)
- DJ Person of the Year nominee: Dale Jarrett's contributions to the community have been well documented over the course of his racing career. Those efforts were recognized in 1997 and 2000 when he won the True Value Man of the Year award for his efforts with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Jarrett's efforts have been recognized again as he has been selected as the third quarter nominee for the USG Person of the Year award for 2003. Each year, NASCAR recognizes drivers, not only for their accomplishments on the track, but for their community service contributions and charitable efforts. For the purpose of determining the NASCAR USG Person of the Year Award winner, the NASCAR Winston Cup season is divided into four quarters in which drivers are nominated for their off-track efforts. A select group of panelists selects one of the four quarterly finalists as the NASCAR USG Person of the Year. This award will be presented the week of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Awards Ceremony in New York City, along with a prize of $100,000. The prize will be divided evenly between the driver and the charity of his/her choice. Jarrett joins teammate Elliott Sadler and fellow Winston Cup driver Ricky Craven as three of the four nominees that will be decided between for the final award. Sadler was named as the second quarter nominee, while Craven was recognized for his efforts during the first quarter of the season.(see full story at the UPS Racing site)(10-15-2003)
- Phoenix testing nest week: Robby Gordon and the #31 Cingular Wireless team are scheduled to test at Phoenix on Oct. 21 and 22.(10-15-2003)
- Double Duty for Biffle: #16-Greg Biffle is set to run Cup and Busch races on both the Saturday and Sunday, pulling double duty at Memphis and Martinsville. Biffle's weekend is going to consist of qualifying at Martinsville, Va., on Friday, a trip to Memphis, Tenn., to run the Busch race on Saturday and then back to Martinsville to compete in the Subway 500 on Sunday. Biffle's plan of attack requires quite a bit of travel back and forth to each track. He'll arrive in Martinsville on Thursday evening and get a good night's sleep before tackling the big weekend. Friday he'll participate in the first Winston Cup practice followed by qualifying in the No. 16 Grainger Ford. Afterwards, he's got a helicopter lined up to fly him to Memphis so he can run Happy Hour practice in the #7 Kleenex Chevy Busch car. At the completion of Happy Hour he'll go back to Martinsville for the evening. Saturday consists of a full day as Biffle is scheduled to run both practice sessions in Martinsville before making the trip over to Memphis to compete in the Sam's Town 250. Immediately following the race, Biffle will make the trip back to Martinsville to get rested up for Sunday's big event. Biffle has four starts at Martinsville, three in the Craftsman Truck Series and one in Winston Cup. He has one pole, one top-five and two top-10 finishes at the track. Biffle's first win in the Craftsman Truck Series came at Memphis Motorsports Park, where he went to Victory Lane after starting from the pole position. He has a total of three poles, one win, two top five and three top-10 finishes in six starts at the track in the Craftsman Truck and Busch Series. He's led on 10 different occasions in races run at Memphis for a total of 330 laps.(Roush Racing PR)(10-15-2003)
- NASCAR.com's Smith heading to Ireland: Snickers Marathon is running into the NASCAR family in a unique way as it sponsors NASCAR.com writer Marty Smith as he travels to Ireland to conquer the 26 miles that encompass the Dublin Marathon, but the product is already a ‘distant relative’ to stock car racing. Masterfoods USA, which produces Snickers Marathon, also produces its sister product and high profile NASCAR sponsor M&M’s Chocolate Candies. M&M’s currently sponsors Elliott Sadler and the #38 RYR Ford Taurus. “I decided about a year ago that running a marathon was a challenge that I wanted to conquer, and here I am headed to Dublin to take on the 26 most grueling miles of my life,” Smith said. “I’ve never attempted anything the magnitude of a marathon before, but with a hectic lifestyle and an intense job, I’ve had days where I honestly felt like I had logged 52 miles in a day, so I really felt like I could do this. People everywhere are like me and put in a lot of miles in an ordinary day,” Smith continued. “They don’t intend to cover so much ground…it just kind of happens. Snickers Marathon not only helps me in training, it helps me get through a normal day.” Snickers Marathon didn’t target Smith for a sponsorship, but as an ‘everyday marathoner’ he was the perfect fit to represent their new product abroad in the 24th Adidas Dublin Marathon in an effort to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation as a member of the "Joints in Motion" training team.
Smith follows the NASCAR circuit around week to week translating the day to day happenings into words for 8 million fans that frequent the official website of NASCAR - NASCAR.com. Smith’s usual sit-down job is very time consuming and the travel involved is intense. Being on the road for 30 weekends a year means logging hundreds of miles in airport terminals, from parking lots to media centers and chasing driver celebrities for interviews. Though he’s never run 26 consecutive miles, there is not doubt he worn out more than one pair of sneakers in his ‘ordinary’ line of work.(Elevation Group PR)(10-15-2003)
- One win and a championship? with one wins and a heavy duty points lead, one asks....when was the last time a driver won the Winston Cup Drivers Championship with only one win [none have won it with no wins]?
1973 Benny Parsons; David Pearson led with 11 wins (28 races)
1961 Ned Jarrett; Rex White had 7 wins (47 races)
1950 Bill Rexford; Curtis Turner has 4 wins (17 races)
Only Parson's was in the modern era [1972-present] and NONE using the current points system [1975 to present]. Richard Petty has the most wins in a season without winning the championship with 18 wins in 1970, Booby Issac won the championship and had a 11 victories. 2002 Winston Cup Updates Book - see my Racing Bookstore for info and more championship info on my All-Time Top 10 Points/Cup Championship page and check out a CNNSI column with a good chart: One for history: Kenseth next on cusp to win Winston Cup with fewest victories.(10-14-2003)
- Testing at Atlanta: Cup and Busch teams will test on Monday Oct 13th and Tuesday Oct 14th at Atlanta Motor Speedway in preparation for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Weekend, drivers expected to test are: Kyle Petty, Jason Leffler, Brian Vickers, Kyle Busch, Mike Bliss, Ashton Lewis, David Stremme and others. The test is closed to public.(AMS PR)(10-13-2003)
Tuesday Testing at Atlanta - Hamilton Jr. fastest again: NASCAR Busch series regular and occasional Winston Cup driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. led the speed chart Tuesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway as 13 drivers and teams prepared for the Oct. 24-26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend. Hamilton Jr. turned a lap of 189.473mph, the fastest of this week's two-day test session. Hamilton will run both races next weekend, the Oct. 25 Aaron's 312 Busch Series race and the Oct. 26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Other Winston Cup drivers testing Tuesday included Winston Cup drivers #0-Ward Burton and #09-Mike Wallace.
Car#, Driver, MPH
#35-Bobby Hamilton Jr., 189.473
#8-Hank Parker Jr., 186.604
#0-Ward Burton, 185.853
#5-Brian Vickers, 184.677
#87-Kyle Busch, 183.515
#20-Mike Bliss, 181.532
#79-Billy Bigley Jr., 181.117
#6-Paul Wolfe, 180.645
#09-Mike Wallace, 180.175
#2-Ron Hornaday, 179.417
#46-Ashton Lewis Jr., 178.723
#09-David Stremme, 178.551
#51-Jeremy Clements, 169.128
Tickets are still available for all three days of racing action during the Oct. 24-26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Weekend. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211 or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(10-14-2003)
- Elliott Sadler to run #84 truck at Martinsville: Long Brothers Racing is partnering with Virginia driver Elliott Sadler at Martinsville Speedway. The combination will be featured in the #84 Long Brothers Racing Ford during the Advance Auto Parts 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event Oct. 18 at 2:30pm/et. “We’re hoping that we can have some of the success we’ve had at Martinsville in the past,” said crew chief and co-owner Charlie Long. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to get Elliott qualified up front and have another good finish there.” Long Brothers Racing, co-owned by Robert Long, enjoyed a win at the .526-mile flat track just two weeks ago as their #2 Late Model car won the Taco Bell 300 – an event that typically sees more than 100 Late Model entries. “That was a big weekend for Long Brothers Racing,” Charlie Long said. “We had a top-15 finish in the truck race with Nick Woodward at South Boston and won the Late Model race just down the road at Martinsville. I wouldn’t mind seeing that victory lane again.” Sadler and Long Brothers Racing have teamed together twice before at Richmond International Raceway in 2000 and 2001. Both of those events resulted in early exits thanks to engine and brake failure, respectively. Long Brothers Racing also competes regularly in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series with Woodward.(Keystone Marketing PR)(10-14-2003)
- Update on Benson; shopping around? hearing that Johnny Benson, current driver of the #10 Valvoline Pontiac has been shopping himself around with Richard Childress Racing [#30], Petty Enterprises [#43] and the possible second team for Cal Wells.(10-13-2003)
- Testing at Atlanta: Cup and Busch teams will test on Monday Oct 13th and Tuesday Oct 14th at Atlanta Motor Speedway in preparation for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Weekend, drivers expected to test are: Kyle Petty, Jason Leffler, Brian Vickers, Kyle Busch, Mike Bliss, Ashton Lewis, David Stremme and others. The test is closed to public.(AMS PR)(10-13-2003)
Monday Testing at Atlanta - Hamilton Jr. fastest: Eight NASCAR drivers made laps Monday on the high-banked 1.54-mile oval at Atlanta Motor Speedway, preparing for the Oct. 24-26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Weekend. #35-Bobby Hamilton Jr. was the fastest in the Team Rensi Ford with a speed of 187.551mph. “We were fast out of the box, even in a race setup mostly leftover from Kansas,” Hamilton said. “It’s given us a chance to just have a fun, relaxing day and tinker around and just try some things we’ve been thinking about.” Hamilton will be running both the Oct. 25 Aaron’s 312 Busch race and the Oct. 26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500, a natural since Atlanta is one of his favorite tracks. #87-Kyle Busch was the fastest Busch driver at 185.047mph. Mike Wallace tested the #1 Yellow Transportation Dodge at 180.881mph, regular driver David Stremme was there watching Wallace and learning. “This place doesn’t seem like the fastest track on the circuit unless you get loose or come to a fast stop,” Wallace said. “But when you do either of those things, you automatically know it’s the fastest track.” Wallace also tested the #09 Miccosukee Indian Gaming Dodge that he will run at Atlanta in the Cup race. Another Cup team testing was #79-Billy Bigley at 177.285. Other's testing
were Busch drivers #5-Brian Vickers at 184.064, #2-Ron Hornaday at 182.549, #8-Hank Parker Jr. at 180.528, #46-Ashton Lewis at 180.528. Tickets are still available for all three days of racing action during the Oct. 24-26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Weekend. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211.(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(10-13-2003)
- Rusty's Son Wins First Feature: Stephen Wallace, 16-year-old racing upstart and son of former Winston Cup Champion Rusty Wallace, claimed his first career Late Model Stock Car win in a 200-lap feature event yesterday at the new Friendship Motor Speedway, a paved four-tenths-mile racetrack near Elkin, NC. "It was a helluva impressive performance," said Billy Parker, who served as Stephen's crew chief and who will drive for the senior Wallace's new Busch Series team in 2004. "Stephen started sixth in a tough field of more than 30 cars. He came from the back to the front three different times. He was tenacious, to say the least. It was a rough bunch there yesterday, but Stephen didn't back down from anybody. Greg was spotting and we both worked to keep Stephen focused," Parker said of Stephen's 23-year-old brother who has also spotted for his famous racing father. "By the end of the race, Stephen was missing the hood and a lot of the sheet metal was either missing or bent up. He got airborne once and broke the right front shock. He was able to keep his poise, though, and finally made the winning pass with less than 10 laps to go. When you can beat the likes of Wayne Grubb, Jason York and Rock Harris, you've put in a heck of a day's work. That's what Stephen was able to do at Friendship on Sunday and we're all so proud of him. He had the crowd all standing and screaming and definitely created a ton of Stephen Wallace fans with his performance yesterday."
"Now that's the way I'd always hoped that Stephen would win his first big race - with sparks flying, emotions running high and a packed grandstand screaming their lungs out," said proud father Rusty, who was at the IRL finale at Texas Motor Speedway rooting on his Penske Racing teammates Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves and unable to witness his son's victory. "I'm so proud of him. He's gonna be a great one, I'll tell you that."
"It was a real cool deal," summed up Stephen of his first big win and eerily sounding almost identical to the elder Wallace.(Tom Roberts PR)(10-13-2003)
- Nemechek close to 2004 ride? UPDATE 3: not sure who, but hearing Joe Nemechek, currently in the #25 Hendrick Motorpsorts Chevy, is close to signing a deal with an established Cup team, not PPI Motorsports 2nd team. Hearing it could be the #01 US Army team.(10-11-2003)
Nadeau part time in 2004? UPDATE Nemechek in the #01; Vickers to the #25 after Martinsville: Hearing an announcement will come Monday morning regarding the #01 and the driver for next year, with a rehab program for Nadeau that will encompass 12-15 races in 2004.(10-12-2003)
UPDATE 2: Joe Nemechek will leave his #25 UAW-Delphi Chevy team following next weekend's race at Martinsville, and run the final four races of the season with MB2 Motorsports and its #01 US Army Pontiacs. In addition, Nemechek will remain with MB2 as the team's driver for the 2004 season, sources said. A formal announcement of the driver change is expected as early as Monday. Hendrick's Busch Series driver, Brian Vickers, has already been named as the driver of the #25 in Cup in 2004 and was planning to run the final four races this season in the #01. He will now run those races with his new team, Hendrick's No. 25, sources confirmed. Officials with Hendrick and MB2 could not be reached for comment Sunday night. Jerry Nadeau started the season in the #01, but suffered serious head, lung and rib injuries in an accident in practice May 2 at Richmond. In recent weeks, officials with MB2 have said they were holding Nadeau's seat for him in the #01. Nadeau has undergone extensive rehabilitation but is not yet ready to run a full Cup schedule. Instead, MB2 is expected to announce a plan to provide Nadeau opportunities to drive in various NASCAR events in 2004, sources said.(ThatsRacin.com)
UPDATE 3: As Jerry Nadeau continues to recover from a head injury he suffered in a May 2 accident at Richmond International Raceway, MB2 Motorsports announced today that Joe Nemechek has agreed to drive the #01 U.S. Army/MB2 Pontiac in the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup season and in the final four races of the 2003 season. MB2 Motorsports also announced it has teamed with Hendrick Motorsports and NEMCO Motorsports to establish a recovery driving program for Nadeau that will most likely include a mixture of Nextel Cup, Busch and ARCA races during the 2004 season. "We were faced with circumstances that none of us wished we had to
deal with," said Jay Frye, general manager of MB2 Motorsports. "But due to the reality of our current situation, we felt in the best interests of Jerry and of the race team this was the right path to take as we head into the 2004 season. Jerry continues to make progress and once he is ready to return to driving, we'll have a program in place that will allow him to gradually make his comeback to Cup racing. The uncertainty of how long his full recovery will take is difficult for everyone, but Jerry is a young (33-years-old) and determined individual who has many years of racing ahead of him." Nadeau said he is frustrated at times by his recovery progress, but he
is ready for the challenge and looks forward to the day when he will be able to get behind the wheel of a racecar and be competitive. "I have repeatedly said that I will not rush back," said Nadeau. "I still have a ways to go, but I will get there. To be honest, the reality of not being able to come back sooner than I would have liked, is hard to take. But I want to do this right and I am grateful to MB2, Hendrick Motorsports and NEMCO Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to work my way back to the Cup series." Nemechek, who has been racing full time on the NASCAR Cup circuit since 1994, most recently in the No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports entry, has three career victories, including a win at this year's spring race in Richmond.(US Army PR)(10-13-2003)
- and....Vickers to drive final four Cup races in the #25: Brian Vickers will drive the #25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet in the final four NASCAR Winston Cup Series races of 2003 it was announced today by Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick. Vickers will succeed Joe Nemechek, who was named driver of the #01 Winston Cup entry this afternoon. Nemechek, 40, will compete at Martinsville Speedway in the #25 Chevy before moving full-time to MB2 Motorsports the following week at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "This opportunity affords both Brian and Joe the chance to get a jump on next season with their new teams," Hendrick said. "It's something that we all feel is mutually beneficial for the drivers and organizations alike. Joe led the #25 team back to Victory Lane and handled himself like a genuine professional from Day One. We truly appreciate everything he's done for Hendrick Motorsports, both on the race track and off." Originally scheduled to drive the #01 car in the final four Winston Cup events of 2003, Vickers will pilot the #25 Chevy at Atlanta, Phoenix, Rockingham, N.C., and the season finale at Homestead, Fla. He will drive the car full-time next season with primary sponsorship from GMAC Financial Services. Vickers, who will turn 20 on Oct. 24, made his Winston Cup debut at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday, starting 20th and finishing 33rd in the #60 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(10-13-2003)
- #12's secret? smaller carb? With all the talk about Ryan Newman’s race strangling fuel runs of late it’s no wonder that many of his peers are frustrated to the point where they’re hurling accusations. But the story behind Newman & Company’s fuel secret crawled out of the bag and into the lap of TFR [Team Ford Racing]. The secret to the formula — bigger is not always better in Winston Cup. The NASCAR specifications for a carburetor allow a carburetor will flow up to 830 cubic feet per minute maximum. Newman’s men have found if they run a carb that flows 750 cfm that they give up only two horsepower to what the bigger carb delivers. That smaller carb, without 2 hp, brings the team about 0.5 miles per gallon extra in fuel consumption. Taking that 0.5 mpg and working it with the 22-gallon NASCAR-specified fuel cell, you see that Newman has an 11-mile cushion compared to his competitors. Meaning that Newman could run an extra seven laps at a 1.5-mile track, such as is found at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Unfortunately for the Alltel team the secret is starting to filter out to some of the other teams, however, the power lost to the smaller carb is not quite at the level that the Penske motor men are capable of recapturing, but darn close. Give those who have started to experiment with the smaller carb a few weeks and any deficit should soon disappear.(Ford Racing)(10-13-2003)
- SAFER Barrier Named To "R&D 100 Awards": Research & Development Magazine, a leading publication covering the latest breakthroughs in practical, hands-on technology, has named the SAFER Barrier to its prestigious "R&D 100 Awards" list for 2003. The SAFER (Steel And Foam Energy Reduction) Barrier, developed at the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was first installed in May 2002 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The barrier was created in collaboration between the Indy Racing League and UN-L that began in 1998. NASCAR joined the effort in September 2000. R&D Magazine, based in Oak Brook, Ill., caters to scientists, engineers and administrators in the private business, public administration and academic sectors that engage in applied research and development.(Research & Development Magazine via racinnews.com)(10-13-2003)
- Richert in the hospital UPDATE: Doug Richert, crew chief for Winston Cup rookie Greg Biffle, complained of chest pains Friday and was admitted to Carolinas Medical Center, team officials confirmed. He was expected to be held overnight for observation and released Saturday. The team's car chief, Mike Hillman Jr., and former Cup crew chief Robin Pemberton, who now works for Ford Racing, oversaw the work on Biffle's #16 Grainger Ford on Friday.(ThatsRacin.com), no updates on Saturday or Sunday.(10-10-2003)
UPDATE: Doug Richert, crew chief for rookie driver Greg Biffle, returned to the track Saturday after a visit to the hospital the day before for chest pains. "I had some pressure in my chest and I don't know if it came from a virus or some kind of chest cold," Richert said. "Everything came back A-OK as far as the treadmill and all the blood work, so I was happy about that." Richert said his family has had a history of heart problems and didn't want to take any chances when he didn't feel well Saturday.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-13-2003)
- Ward testing the #0 at Atlanta: Ward Burton is testing the No. 0 Pontiac at Atlanta ahead of his October 26 debut with Haas CNC Racing at the track. Bill Davis Racing told Burton last month at Talladega that he would not be brought back in 2004, ending his nine-year association with the team. Scott Wimmer will replace Burton in BDR's No. 22 car.(Sporting News/Yahoo Sports)(10-13-2003)
- 3rd Cup team for Gibbs in 2005 UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing [#18-Labonte and #20-Stewart] will add a third full time Cup team in 2005.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required). Assume the team will run part time in 2004 [has attempted/run a few 2003 Cup races in the #80 with Mike Bliss], so who drives? Mike Bliss? Coy Gibbs? J.J. Yeley?; Bliss and Gibbs run full time for Gibbs in the Busch Series now and Yeley supposedly will run Busch for Gibbs in 2004.(10-11-2003)
UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing was so impressed by J.J. Yeley's tryout at Lakeland (Fla.) Speedway last week that he is expected to run an ABC (ARCA, Busch, Cup) schedule with the organization next year. Yeley, a protege of Tony Stewart, is attempting to win the USAC Triple Crown (Silver Crown, Sprint, Midget).(Sporting News/Yahoo Sports)(10-13-2003)
see the Oct 6-12, 2003 Archived News Page
see the Sept 29-Oct 5, 2003 Archived News Page
see the Sept 22-28, 2003 Archived News Page