NOV 24-30, 2003
THE PAST NEWS! YESTERDAY and BEYOND..
OTHER PAST NEWS PAGES
- Banquet week a few appearances listed for 2003 Cup Champ Matt Kenseth on my Driver Appearances page, will add more as.if I find them.(11-29-2003)
Friday: What’s on tap Friday for the champion … Before accepting in excess of $5 million in point fund money at the Friday night awards ceremony in the Waldorf-Astoria Grand Ballroom, Kenseth will have another busy day. The day will begin with the Myers Brothers Breakfast, a National Motorsports Press Association-led annual function at the Waldorf’s Starlight Roof, where a variety of awards will be presented. In the afternoon, there’s the traditional Park Avenue photo shoot with the No. 17 show car and the Winston show car. After a brief respite, Kenseth will don a tuxedo for the awards ceremony, which starts at 7 p.m. (And will be televised on a tape-delayed basis, starting at 9 on TNT.)
AND: Newly crowned NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth is used to donning his race-day game face, but even he is likely to gain a new respect for speed following the 2003 Champion’s Week. The headliner of NASCAR’s annual season-ending celebration, Kenseth and his No. 17 DeWALT Ford team will celebrate Roush Racing’s first NASCAR Winston Cup Series title this week amid the glitz, glitter and holiday bustle of New York. Celebrating in the Big Apple is a much-loved tradition: NASCAR has feted the champion of its premier series in New York since 1981, and this year’s Champion’s Week is packed with fun, festivities and appearances –quite enough to keep Kenseth racing about town. He and wife Katie arrive this evening to kick off the week’s activities. Officially, Kenseth’s schedule begins with Monday visits to New York police and fire departments. It includes several mid-week dinners, an official proclamation from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday in Times Square, and even features a Tuesday jaunt down to Washington, to visit the White House and meet President Bush
There’s also a full slate of photo shoots, guest appearances on top-rated national morning television shows and myriad media opportunities. Kenseth, 31, is celebrating his first NASCAR Winston Cup title, as is his team owner Jack Roush. The fourth-year NASCAR Winston Cup driver from Cambridge, Wis., will culminate the 2003 Champion’s Week by attending – and being the focus of – Friday evening’s NASCAR Winston Cup Series Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
Each morning, a driver will appear on Live with Regis & Kelly, beginning with Kenseth on Monday, Jimmie Johnson on Tuesday, Jeff Gordon on Wednesday, Tony Stewart on Thursday and Kevin Harvick on Friday. McMurray (Thursday) and NASCAR Busch Series champion Brian Vickers (Friday) will appear on ESPN’s “Cold Pizza” morning show.
NASCAR Class of 2003 photo: At 11:00am/et on Friday [Dec 5th], Kenseth, Vickers and Kvapil will join the champions of NASCAR’s regional and national touring series for a “class photo” in New York’s Central Park. One of the city’s famous horse-drawn carriages will serve as a backdrop.
2003 Winston Cup Banquet Fast Facts
What: NASCAR Winston Cup Series Awards Ceremony.
Who: Top 10 drivers in the final 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup championship standings, led by champion Matt Kenseth.
Where: Grand Ballroom, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City.
When: 7:00-10:30pm/et, Friday, Dec. 5.
TV: TNT (tape-delay).
TV Re-Air: on Sunday, Dec 7th at 3:00-4:00pm/et on NBC [check local stations, some may not carry it]
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
Final 2003 NASCAR Top 10: 1. Matt Kenseth 5,022. 2. Jimmie Johnson 4,932. 3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 4,815. 4. Jeff Gordon 4,785. 5. Kevin Harvick 4,770. 6. Ryan Newman 4,711. 7. Tony Stewart 4,549. 8. Bobby Labonte 4,377. 9. Bill Elliott 4,303. 10. Terry Labonte 4,162.
Master of Ceremonies: Golden Globe-winning actor Kiefer Sutherland [from the hit show 24].
Musical entertainment: Harry Connick Jr., LeAnn Rimes.(NASCAR PR)(11-30-2003)
- Get Well: #4 Morgan McClure crew chief, Tim Brewer in back home in NC suffering from Kidney Stones.(11-16-2003)
UPDATE: Tim Brewer, crew chief at Morgan-McClure Motorsports, is recovering at home. Although he was hospitalized briefly, the kidney stones that prevented him from working the season’s final race in Homestead, Fla., ended up being dissolved without surgery and Brewer is back at work preparing new #4-Chevrolet Monte Carlos for January testing.(Gaston Gazette)(11-29-2003)
- Yeley's NASCAR Debut at Vegas? New Joe Gibbs Racing hire JJ Yeley likely will make his NASCAR debut in March at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Yeley, 27, said Wednesday in a conference call that tentative plans are for him to make his stock car debut in a Busch Series race [#18 MBNA Chevy]. "Originally, there was some talk about doing the ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America) race at Daytona (International Speedway in February), but ARCA rules are quite different than NASCAR rules, and it would be hard to get a car ready," Yeley said.(Arizona Republic)(11-28-2003)
- Race Car Drivers as Athletes: It's a subject that's been debated for years. Are race car drivers really athletes? While athletes are traditionally thought of as running, jumping or swinging their way through competition, race car drivers compete in a different way. Drivers are endurance athletes who must deal with the most extreme conditions imaginable -- 150 degree heat with several layers of clothing, high decibel noise and noxious fumes, while driving at speeds near 200 miles per hour. Many top race teams find that the key to winning on the track is keeping its team members in shape off the track. Along side the cars at a race shop, you're likely to find a complete gym and workout facility. That way, team members can keep their bodies in shape as well as practice pit maneuvers. Racing and winning at the highest levels of the sport require more than just a fast car. They require a driver and crew that is dedicated to all around fitness.(Newstream/GM PR - need to register to view)(11-28-2003)
- Harrah's gone? UPDATE: hearing Harrah's Casino will not be back as the sponsor for the #14 A.J. Foyt Racing Dodge and driver Larry Foyt in 2004.(11-25-2003)
UPDATE: hearing there is a good chance the team will NOT return to Cup in 2004.(11-28-2003)
- #54 Still looking for a sponsor: hearing the #54 Belcar Racing team that Todd Bodine drove for in 2003 and that was sponsored by the Army National Guard [to the #16] is down to a skeleton crew but is actively looking for a sponsor for the team and Bodine to run in 2004, team contact info on my Team Address page or for those looking for jobs or schools, see my Racing Schools/Jobs page.(11-28-2003)
- No 2nd Team for PPI: PPI Motorsports team owner Cal Wells III is determined to avoid the collapse that saw the #32 Tide Pontiac driven by Newburgh's [ME] Ricky Craven plummet from seventh to 27th in the Winston Cup points standings over the final 26 races of the 36-race season. It is Craven's worst finish in his three seasons with PPI Motorsports. They were 21st in their first year together and 15th in 2002. Mike Beam, who was the crew chief in 2001 and most of 2002, will return as the competition director for the Tide racing program, and David Charpentier will replace Scott Miller as the crew chief. Craven said having Beam and Charpentier on board are positive developments. Wells said he was "very pleased" to have them on board and indicated there will also be personnel changes in the engine program. The PPI Motorsports team built its own engines for the first time this past season instead of leasing them, but the Tide Pontiac's average qualifying position was a dismal 26th. The team failed to finish 10 races, six more DNFs than it had a year ago. Four were the direct result of engine failure. Wells and Craven praised Miller for the job he did as a crew chief. "He was in a tough position. He was hired at the end of 2002 and he came in during a transition period because two people had left: Mike and [race engineer] Roy McAuley," said Craven. "It was like having a sixth man coming off the bench and having him play a couple of positions. I certainly appreciate Scott." Wells said Miller "didn't have the right chemistry" with Craven. Wells did say there won't be a second team as he and Craven had hoped. So they will again be a single-car team competing against the multi-car teams that dominate the point standings. Wells pointed out that "three months ago, I would have said the chances were nine out of 10 that we'd land another sponsor and a second team." But it didn't work out. "That was pretty disappointing," said Craven, whose two wins over the last three years are tops among single-car teams. Pontiac has pulled out of Winston Cup racing, so the Tide logo will be on a Chevy next season. They also hope to keep the pit crew together.(in part from the Bangor News)(11-27-2003)
- Raines says he’s not going anywhere: Tony Raines, who was rumored to be on a short list of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers courted to drive the #30 America Online Chevy for Richard Childress Racing next season, told the Herald-Argus Tuesday that he’s staying with BACE Motorsports and will drive the #74 Chevrolet Monte Carlo for the 2004 season. "I had talked to RCR quite a bit (about driving the #30 car), but I think I’m going to stay right here with BACE," Raines said Tuesday. "Even if they called me today or tomorrow, I’d tell them I’ve made up my mind to stay."
"They (RCR) seem to be having trouble making up their minds, and it’s not fair to leave (BACE team owner Bill Baumgartner) and the rest of the team hanging in limbo," Raines said. "We’ve been together for a long time, and they don’t deserve to be put in that situation."(Herald-Argus)(11-27-2003)
- Fellows to have surgery: Canadian racing driver Ron Fellows, who drove the last two races of the 2003 American Le Mans Series season with a painfully dislocated shoulder, will undergo surgery Dec. 1 in Indianapolis to repair the damage. Fellows, who drives for the factory Chevrolet Corvette team in the American Le Mans Series, has won the GTS class driving title the past two seasons in the sports car racing series. He expects to be fully recovered from the surgery to begin his title defense when the 2004 ALMS season starts with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 17-20. Fellows injured his left shoulder in a rock-climbing accident on Sept. 20 near his home in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, Ont. After originally seeing a doctor in Toronto, he traveled to Indianapolis to see Dr. Terry Trammell, a noted orthopedic surgeon who has long been associated with the treatment of injured racing drivers. With Trammell's help, Fellows was able to painfully complete the minimum amount of laps required for him to earn points in the ALMS event in Miami on Sept. 27, one week after the injury, with co-driver Johnny O'Connell doing most of the driving for the team in the race. Fellows and O'Connell clinched the GTS class driving championship by finishing fourth in that race. Fellows, who has had to sleep in a special sling to prevent him from raising his arm more than 45 degrees, helped the Corvette team conduct tire tests for Goodyear last week at Sebring International Raceway, his last racing activity before the surgery. The team has another major test scheduled for early February and he expects to be able to participate. While he won't miss any racing, the surgery and resulting recovery will cause Fellows to miss a winter of playing ice hockey, one of his favorite activities, as well as spending time on the ice with his two young sons.(Speed Channel) Fellows, also driver most of the Winston Cup road course races, at Sonoma and Watkins Glen, this past season in the #1 DEI Chevy.(11-27-2003)
- Retiring: Bill Desmond, who partnered with the late Bob Harmon to form a new grass-roots racing division in the 1980s that became the All Pro Series, is retiring from NASCAR at age 70.(Tennessean)(11-27-2003)
- Jacques Villeneuve thinking NASCAR? 1997 F-1 Champ Jacques Villeneuve, out of his Formula 1 ride, says he knows he will struggle to get another drive in 2004 let alone 2005 when the driver market is set for a shake-up. He is considering a switch to NASCAR, but has ruled out any move to the Indy Racing League believing the all-oval series is too dangerous. "I won't go to IRL," he added. "I have nothing against taking risks but taking risks in IRL means you die or you hurt yourself massively. How many a year get hurt?"(in part from icCoventry.co.uk)(11-27-2003)
- Fan Vote To Help Determine Driver Of The Year UNTIL 12-12: There's one more championship battle left for the race fans as Speed Channel Presents the Driver of the Year - Vote 2003's final vote gets under way [starts Dec 1st]. In this online ballot fans get their final opportunity, of the year, to help determine which driver will be judged the best regardless of series or car. Since the major titles have been decided; now comes the difficult part with fans weighing performances of champions and winners on the SpeedTV website. The online voting begins December 1st and concludes December 12th. For more on this, the eight drivers who are in the running and to vote....starting Dec 1st [Monday], see my Awards and Voting page.(11-26-2003)
- Crew Chief looking: hearing veteran crew chief, Gary Cogswell, formerly of the #54 Belcar Racing/National Guard Ford team
is looking for a deal - 704-608-1369.(11-26-2003)
- Casey Mears to Participate in Michelin Race of Champions Nations Cup: Casey Mears will spend his Thanksgiving holiday weekend the same way he spent most of his year, racing. Mears, a member of “Team USA powered by CENTRIX Financial”, is in the Canary Islands for the Michelin ROC Nations Cup. ”I am honored to have this opportunity to participate in a race of this caliber,” Mears said. “It is very special for me to get the chance to race for my country against some of the best racers in the world.” The Michelin ROC Nations Cup was created to find the “World’s Fastest Nation”. Each country participating is represented by a circuit racer, a rally (or off-road) driver and a motorcycle rider. As driver of the #41 Target Dodge for Chip Ganassi Racing, Mears brings his off-road experience as well as his NASCAR experience to the table. Mears will be joined on Team USA by Boris Said, 2002 Trans-Am Champion and Travis Pastrana, Gold medalist at the X and Gravity Games. The Michelin ROC Nations Cup will take place on Saturday, November 29th at 10am.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(11-26-2003)
- Wood Brothers to Move? UPDATE After racing out of Stuart, Va., for more than 53 years, the [#21-Ricky Rudd] Wood Brothers Racing Team is considering moving its shop to the Charlotte area. "We're looking at a lot of options to make our race team better, and moving to the Charlotte area is definitely one of the things we'll have to look at," said Eddie Wood, who runs the team with his brother Len and sister Kim. "That's where everything is; all the technology is there." Wood said the family likely will make a decision by the end of the year. He also said the team would like to field two cars, but getting the #21 Motorcraft/Air Force/Rent-A-Center Ford back in Victory Lane on a regular basis is its first priority. "Whatever it takes to make our race team better, that's what we're going to do," he said. Even if the Woods move their shop to the Charlotte area, they'll still have a presence in Stuart, their home- town. "The museum and the business part will always be in Stuart even if the cars and the teams are somewhere else," he said.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-20-2003)
UPDATE: Wood Brothers Racing announced Wednesday it has found a building in Mooresville, N.C., and will begin moving out of its current shop in Stuart, Va., on Monday. The search for a new race shop took several months, but owners Eddie and Len Wood ended up with a familiar location. The team is moving into property owned by Robert Yates Racing in Lakeside Business Park. Ironically, Yates bought it from driver Ricky Rudd, who now drives the #21 Fords for the Wood Brothers in Winston Cup. "It was the first building we thought of way back in the middle of the summer when we first started talking about moving, but all the parties just never got together until a few days ago," Eddie Wood said. The #21 will continue to work on its 2004 cars in Stuart and its equipment when space becomes available. "Isn’t it funny how things come full circle sometimes. I think it is a great move," Rudd said. "I laid out the design of that shop, and we worked out of it not only when I had my own team, but then when I went with Robert. "A lot of good wins came out of that building. Maybe this will turn our luck around." The move will allow the #21 to work more closely with Roush Racing, which is based in Concord, N.C. Roush provides engines and chassis assistance for the #21. Wood Brothers Racing has been located in Stuart for 53 years. The business office and the family’s famed museum will remain at the current location.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-26-2003)
- 2003 Auto Racing All-America team ballots out: Almost 300 members of the motorsports press have been sent their annual ballot to select the 2003 Auto Racing All-America team. Among those on the ballot are former three-time Jerry Titus Award winner Jeff Gordon (1995, 1998, 2001), and the driver who has been All-American more than any other, Steve Kinser, who seeks his 21st All-America selection. Also on the ballot seeking selection in one of seven categories - Open Wheel, Stock Car, Road Racing, Drag Racing, Short Track, Touring Series and At Large - are 16 drivers who could be making their first-ever All-American appearance. Members of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association, will vote from among six drivers named in each category. Two from each category will be named to the first team, to be honored at the annual AARWBA banquet Jan. 10 in Pomona, Calif. The winner of the Jerry Titus Award will also be announced at the banquet. The Titus Award honors the team's top driver - the one earning the most votes in the balloting regardless of category. The banquet also will salute racing legend Dan Gurney, is open to the public. For the full driver list and more info, see my Awards and Voting page.(11-26-2003)
- #10 Cup Crew to be replaced? with #10 Busch Crew? UPDATE 2 Randolph named #10 Cup crew chief: The #10 MBV Motorsports crew may be facing a major shakeup, according to sources who say that incoming driver Scott Riggs may be bringing his Busch crew and crew chief Doug Randolph along with him. Current crew chief, Jay Guy, says he and the crew haven't been told what's in the future.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-1-2003)
UPDATE - Randolph leaving the #10: #10 ppc Racing crew chief, Doug Randolph will leave the team at the end of the 2003 season. The driver of the #10, Scott Riggs is leaving also, moving up to the Cup Series.(FoxSports Net's Totally NASCAR) Rumors have Randolph going to the #10 MBV Cup team with Riggs.(11-5-2003)
UPDATE 2: MBV Motorsports has named Doug Randolph crew chief for the #10 Valvoline Racing Chevys that will be driven by Scott Riggs in 2004. Randolph comes to MBV Motorsports from ppc Racing where he was crew chief for Riggs’ efforts in the NASCAR Busch Series. Together, they posted wins at Nashville Superspeedway and Gateway International Raceway, on the way to a sixth-place finish in points in 2003. “Doug is going to be a great asset to both of our NEXTEL Cup team operations,”said Jay Frye, CEO/General Manager of MB2/MBV Motorsports. “He already has an established relationship with Scott, which should make for a seamless transition to the Valvoline team.” Randolph began his motorsports career while he was a student at the University of Tennessee, where he received a bachelor’s degree in wildlife and fisheries biology in 1988. During college, he worked for L.D. Ottinger’s NASCAR Busch Series team, and later for legendary team owner Junior Johnson. In 1995 Randolph joined Hedrick Motorsports and earned the role of car chief. He moved to Bill Davis Racing in 1999 and was named crew chief for Davis’ second team just one year later. In 2001, Randolph joined Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates as crew chief. The 38-year-old native of Morristown, Tenn., currently lives with his wife Diana; daughter, Morgan; and son, Nick in Mooresville, N.C. The 2004 season marks the fourth year of Valvoline’s partnership with MB2 Motorsports, not only as a sponsor but as 50-percent owner of the #10 race team. MB2 Motorsports also fields the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolets for driver Joe Nemechek.(MBV Motorsports PR)(11-26-2003)
- Cup drivers in the Daytona 24? Chevrolet is trying to have a big presence in the Rolex Sports Car Series’ Daytona 24 hour early next year. Daytona Prototypes are under construction at Crawford Race Cars in Denver, North Carolina, all powered by GM’s Gen III V8 engines, which GM hopes will be piloted by its Winston Cup stars. Chevrolet is looking at various driver combinations and it’s unclear how many cars will run. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart are strong candidates, and Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon could figure in the mix. Regular GM road racers Kelly Collins and Andy Pilgrim are on deck as well. GM sources say there is no truth to rumors that another car is slated for Bobby, Terry and Justin Labonte.(Autoweek)(11-26-2003)
- Robby Gordon Fails to Finish Baja 1000 After Series of Problems: Robby Gordon’s quest for a third Baja 1000 victory fell short after he dropped out of the 805-mile race due to mechanical problems. Beginning the race 10 minutes after the first truck started, Gordon’s team and performance was optimistic and spectacular as he passed almost 15 trucks that had started in front of him. Then, the day turned to a sour note when Gordon’s #31 Red Bull Trophy Truck sustained a flat tire a little over 100 miles into the event. Soon, another problem evolved with the same tire when the wheel came loose and broke the hub studs. Again, the team went to work and made the repairs, eventually returning Gordon to competition more than two hours later.
Then, with more than 100 miles left, a valve malfunction in both rear shocks forced Gordon to park his truck.
Gordon started 21st out of 22 Trophy Trucks entered in the class by virtue of a qualifying draw. The race course, originally scheduled for 765 miles, was lengthened to 805 miles six days before the event. Baja 1000 officials reconfigured the course after heavy rain earlier in the week created extreme silt and mud along the original path, resulting in hazardous racing conditions. “I know we had a truck that could win, and I'm proud of the fact that our RCR Chevrolet engine ran well and that we were competitive when we were on the course,"Gordon said. "Both of the problems that we had during the race were easily avoidable, and we'll learn from our mistakes and come back next year and give it another run.”
Gordon is a legend in Baja after several SCORE championships and successful runs in the Baja 1000. He won the race in a solo drive in 1989 and in 1987 as a co-driver with his father Bob Gordon. "I know we built a truck that was probably the most technologically advanced in the desert, and even though we only had 70 miles on it before they dropped the green flag, it performed great. We'll run it a few more times before next year's race and we'll make it as close to perfect as possible."(RCR PR)(11-25-2003)
Winner: Doug Fortin, a California-based manufacturer of special off-road racing transmissions, and his co-driver Charley Townsley covered the grueling 808-mile loop-course through the northern portion of the rugged Baja peninsula in 16 hours 24 minutes and 02 seconds to win by 4min46sec over Trophy Truck champions Mark Miller and Ryan Arciero in their specially prepared Chevrolet Silverado Pro-Truck, modified to run in the marquee Trophy Truck Class. Although the two winning teams actually started about half an hour apart early on Friday morning Miller, driving the first, highly technical leg down the center of the mountainous course, soon gained a strategic lead on elapsed time as he passed every other Trophy Truck from his ninth starting slot.(Speed Channel)(11-26-2003)
- TV show tells story of Petty dynasty [Local NC TV]: Richard Petty and his family's racing dynasty will be featured in a regional TV show premiering today [11-26]. A new episode of the television show "Southern Living Presents" will trace the history of the Petty family and take viewers to the Randolph County crossroads where it all began. The segment, which will be shown on the Turner South network at 10:30 a.m. today and again at 6 p.m., was filmed July 8, after the Pettys opened their new museum location in downtown Randleman. "We had heard about the new museum that was opening. And with him kind of being the 'King of NASCAR' and such a legend in the South, the opening of that museum was a huge pull and we thought it would make a great fit for 'Southern Living Presents,' " said Sarah Peterson, a spokeswoman for Turner South in Atlanta. Turner South presents a mix of original programming, movies, regional news and sports of special interest to people in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee. Based on the glossy home, garden and travel magazine, "Southern Living Presents" debuted in December 1999. It is hosted by North Carolina native Frances Schultz. The episode has its premiere as local and state officials are trying to get Disney to film a $75-million motion picture about Richard and Lee Petty in North Carolina rather than Georgia. The TV episode features an interview with retired seven-time Winston Cup champ Richard Petty, as well as footage shot at the new museum. The museum originally opened in Level Cross in 1988 and moved to Randleman in May. The TV crew also got a tour of Petty Enterprises in Level Cross.
What: "Southern Living Presents: Richard Petty"
When: Premieres at 10:30am/et today and airs again at 6:00pm/et
Where: Turner South, on cable channels 64 in Asheboro; 67 in Guilford and Rockingham; and 47 in Davidson and Burlington [all in North Carolina] (News and Record)(11-26-2003)
- Keller still looking? hearing that Jason Keller is not signed to stay in the #57 ppc Racing Busch Series Ford as the team has not yet signed a sponsor and is activly looking for other rides. More and an update on my Busch Series Site.(11-25-2003)
- Yeley wins Triple Crown: J.J. Yeley [new Joe Gibbs Racing driver] became USAC’s fourth “Triple Crown” driving champion Saturday night, joining Tony Stewart as the only drivers in history to win all three USAC National driving titles -- Silver Crown, Sprint Car and Midgets -- in one season. Arizonan Yeley locked up the USAC National Midget crown at Tucson Raceway Park, finishing third in the 40-lap “Old Pueblo Classic” feature. In addition to he and Stewart (who swept all three titles in 1995), Dave Darland and Pancho Carter also own USAC career “Triple Crowns,” although their titles were not all achieved in a single season. Yeley will try to extend his all-time USAC single-season victory record to 25 this Thursday night in the 63rd Mopar “Turkey Night Grand Prix” at the Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway. The race will air live on SPEED Channel at 11:00pm/et.(Speed Channel)(11-25-2003)
- NC District West Civitans Clubs to Sponsor VJGC Cabin: The Civitans of Western North Carolina have pledged $250,000 to sponsor a camper cabin at the Victory Junction Gang Camp. The Civitan’s cabin will be one of sixteen cabins that campers will call home during their camping experience at Victory Junction. The funds will be used to underwrite the cost of a camper cabin. Victory Junction will have sixteen 2,300 square foot cabins capable of accommodating up to 10 campers and 10 counselors each session. During family weekends and specialized retreats, the cabins will accommodate two families per cabin. The maximum capacity for the cabins will be 160 during camper sessions or up to 32 families during the weekend sessions.(Victory Junction Gang Camp PR)(11-25-2003)
- NASCAR on TV in Canada: In a media release issued today, the Canadian cable sports channel TSN announced that it had signed a three-year deal, starting in 2004, to broadcast 16 NASCAR Nextel Cup races each year. The sixteen races to be broadcast by TSN in 2004 include every Nextel Cup race which will be shown on the cable services FX or TNT in the United States. TSN will also broadcast three races available on the US through-the-air networks NBC and FOX: the Daytona 500 in February, the Pepsi 400 from Daytona in July and the UAW-GM Quality 500 from Lowes’ Motor Speedway in October. Earlier, Craig Media had announced a deal which will see them providing all the remaining 11 Nextel Cup races being broadcast by NBC to the Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton markets. Hence Canadian race fans will be able to see EVERY one of the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup races (including the three non-points events) on Canadian cable or satellite services via FOX, NBC (or Craig Media) or TSN. The SPEED Channel, which is available on all Canadian cable or satellite services, will again broadcast the entire schedule of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races in 2004. However, the picture is cloudy for the NASCAR Busch Series broadcasts. Only eight of the 34 Busch Series races will be broadcast on US network channels (FOX and NBC). Last year many of the other FX or TNT Busch Series races were broadcast in Canada by CTV SportsNet and The Score. To date neither of the Canadian cable services has made any announcement concerning their plans for NASCAR race broadcasts in 2004.(Race Fan TV)(11-25-2003)
- Sad News: Carol J. Bruce, 55, of Fredericksburg, VA died Friday, Nov. 21, 2003, at Heartfields. Prior to her illness, she was employed as a salesperson at Radley Pro Shop in Spotsylvania Mall, and had worked with Joe Gibbs Racing, Robert Yates Racing and Dale Jarrett Racing.(more info at the Freelance Star)(11-25-2003)
- Legal Firm, Sports Marketing Agency Team Up For Motorsports Sponsorships: One of the country’s most established, yet fastest-growing legal firms, has teamed with one of the country’s top sports marketing agencies for a new extensive involvement in motorsports. enkins, Jenkins & Jenkins, P.A., headquartered in La Plata, is planning on sponsorships of stock car racing teams in 2004. The firm will work with Williams Company of America, Inc, a Mooresville, N.C.-based agency that is considered the leader in motorsports public relations. “Like other companies, our firm is looking towards motorsports to help as we expand our business and help our clients,” said Frank P. Jenkins, who owns the highly-respected firm with his father, Louis P. Jenkins, Sr., who started the firm over 40 years ago, and his brother, Louis P. Jenkins, Jr. “Our firm’s focus is aimed solely at satisfying our clients’ various needs,” he said. Jenkins, Jenkins & Jenkins specializes in personal injury, all real estate matter, criminal, traffic and corporate law. “Jenkins, Jenkins & Jenkins has some exciting announcements to make in the near future about its involvement with motorsports, and specifically NASCAR racing,” said Williams Company president Richard N. (Chip) Williams. “No law firm has ever attempted the involvement they are preparing to announce, and we are very excited to be working with them.”(Williams Company PR)(11-24-2003)
- AMW still looking: America’s Most Wanted Motorsports once again is offering a unique motorsports sponsorship opportunity. Along with their exclusive and never heard of Guaranteed multi million dollar media package, they have partnered with two other motorsports entities to offer a total NASCAR motorsports program. That program will include a Nextel Cup Team, a Busch Series Team, and a Craftsmen Truck Series team for the amount that some Nextel Cup sponsors are currently spending with one team. “We have negotiated, partnered and organized this package so it can be affordable to a corporate sponsor.” Stated Scott Davis of AMW Motorsports, “These teams that we have partnered with have committed to running next year with limited funding so that is what makes this possible.” “Each team will be associated with the America’s Most Wanted Motorsports Program.” Continued Davis, “Which the sponsor will benefit from a multiple facetted on-track program, the relationship with John Walsh and the multi Million Dollar media campaign.” “This is the best, most detailed sponsorship package being offered in NASCAR to date, and the corporation that invests in this program will reap the benefits.” For more information visit www.bodydynamicsracing.com view the AMW Motorsports Marketing video and contact Scott Davis for details.(11-24-2003)
- New #7 Crew Chief? hearing that Ted Musgrave's Truck Series crew chief Gene Nead has been promoted to the #7 Nextell Cup Crew chief position.(11-24-2003)
- #30 Driver? UPDATE 2 Sauter signed? Denied: hearing the #30 AOL RCR Chevy may be driven in 2004 by Johnny Sauter? Not sure how this would effect his Busch ride in the #27 Brewco ride...if it happens.(11-19-2003)
UPDATE: hearing RCR and Brewco worked things out and Johnny Sauter has signed to drive the #30 AOL Chevy in 2004.(11-24-2003)
UPDATE 2: Brewco Motorsports president and general manager Todd Wilkerson categorically denied rumors Monday that his team had made a deal with Richard Childress Racing to allow Johnny Sauter to drive RCR's #30 AOL Chevrolet in 2004. Sauter has signed to drive Brewco's #27 Chevrolet next season as a teammate to David Green. "We have had no contact whatsoever with Richard Childress Racing regarding Johnny," Wilkerson said. "There's no deal I know of for next year that's been made for Johnny to drive for them, which would be impossible anyway since Johnny is under contract with us. I think seeing Johnny and Richard Childress together at the (Busch Series) banquet last weekend probably fueled some rumors about their future, but Johnny hasn't gotten an offer that we're aware of." Sauter, 25, made 72 starts in the Busch Series over the last three seasons -- 55 of them for Childress. But after contributing to RCR's 2003 Busch Series owners' title -- he split the season in Childress' #21 Chevrolet with Kevin Harvick -- Sauter made an agreement for 2004 to drive for owner Clarence Brewer. A source close to RCR said Monday that Childress had not yet decided on a driver for the #30 car and that the announcement of a driver/crew chief combination, necessitated by the departure of crew chief Mike Beam to PPI Motorsports, would be made at the same time. Word is the crew chief will be promoted from within RCR's operation, which includes three Nextel Cup and two Busch Series teams.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(11-24-2003)
- Beam leaves RCR for Wells UPDATE plus a new crew chief for the #32: Crew Chief Mike Beam has left Richard Childress Racing and the #30 AOL Chevy team to become the team manager for car owner Cal Wells’ operation.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(11-19-2003)
UPDATE: PPI Motorsports today announced it has hired former Tide Racing crew chief Mike Beam as competition director for its racing programs. Beam is joined by David Charpentier, who will serve as crew chief for the #32 Tide Chevrolet driven by Ricky Craven. Scott Miller, crew chief for the #32 Tide Pontiac in 2003, is exploring options both within and outside of the team's engineering group. Beam, a veteran NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief, returns to PPI Motorsports after serving as crew chief for Richard Childress Racing's #30 AOL Chevrolet in 2003. As competition director, Beam will help focus the organization's in-house operations toward increased performance. He will also work with Charpentier and the crew of the #32 Tide Chevrolet to ensure the team's at-track competition needs are met. Beam served as crew chief for PPI Motorsports' #32 Tide Racing program from 2001-2002 and helped lead the team to its first NASCAR Winston Cup Series win (Martinsville, October 2001), three pole positions, and seven top-five finishes.
Charpentier, former engineering manager for Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI), entered the professional motorsports ranks after seven years in the Navy's nuclear power program and consulted for several teams, including Sabco Racing, Rudd Performance Motorsports, Butch Mock Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports. In 1999, Charpentier joined DEI and was instrumental in the team's growth from one to three successful Winston Cup teams.(PPI Motorsports PR)(11-24-2003)
- Get Well: Gary Brooks, shop foreman at Penske Racing South, was released from Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte last night and is resting and recuperating at home. Brooks, who has been with PRS since it was founded in 1991, was hospitalized for last Thursday's surgery for the removal of the upper portion of the lower lobe of his left lung, which proved to be benign. "Brooksy" as he is fondly referred to by his teammates and many friends, was a perennial "all star" jackman in the early 90s, before back problems ended his "over-the-wall" duties. He has long been known for his unique sense of humor. Brooks will be sidelined for several weeks. Cards and well wishes can be sent to him at home: Gary Brooks, 112 Beach Lane, Mooresville, NC 28117.(Tom Roberts PR)(11-24-2003)
- Baldwin to Evernham: Crew Chief Tommy Baldwin left Ultra Motorsports and replaced Ford at Evernham Motorsports, which uses Dodges. Baldwin is expected to work with rookie driver Kasey Kahne if Kahne is released by Ford Motor Co.(Yahoo Sports)(11-24-2003)
- Roush team hires crew chief? hearing that former #92 Busch Series team crew chief, Tony Liberati has been hired as the crew chief of the Roush Racing #9 Pennzoil Ford that Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, and Matt Kenseth as the drivers.(11-24-2003)
- RYR & 2nd Chance Race Parts Strike Deal: 2nd Chance Race Parts of Mooresville, NC and Robert Yates Racing have finalized a deal which will establish a second location for 2nd Chance Race Parts. The new location is 125 Byers Creek Rd in Mooresville, across the street from RYR’s race shop. All used parts, chassis, sheet metal, equipment and cars being disposed of by RYR will be available at this location for sell. It will take a week or so to relocate all the sales items, but effective 11-24-03 they will be open for business. Several race cars in different stages are available now for sale.(PR)(11-24-2003)
- Homestead TV Ratings....down AND: Nielsen Media Research says NBC's broadcast of last Sunday's Ford 400 Winston Cup finale drew a final rating of 4.5 and a 10 share, according to today's Sports Business Daily. The figure rating represents a drop of more than 13 percent from last year's 5.2 but was still well ahead of the 3.8 the race drew in 2001. NASCAR says 7,326,000 viewers tuned in. The Daily also reports that NBC's broadcast of last Saturday's Ford 300 Busch Series race drew a 2.0/6, an 11 percent gain over the 1.8 in 2002. NASCAR also said last Friday's Ford 200 Craftsman Truck Series race on Speed Channel drew an average of 464,000 viewers, a 33 percent increase over the 350,000 in 2002.(Winston Cup Scene Free Daily Newsletter)(11-21-2003)
UPDATE: The Ford 400, the NASCAR Winston Cup race held last Sunday and televised by NBC, had an average of 4,870,000 households and 7,326,000 viewers tune in, even though new NASCAR Winston Cup champion Matt Kenseth had clinched the title the previous week at Rockingham.
The Ford 300, the NASCAR Busch Series race held last Saturday and televised by NBC, had an average of 2,153,000 households tune in, a 10% increase over the 1,950,000 that tuned in last year. An average of 2,888,000 viewers tuned into the Ford 300, an 8% increase over the 2,666,000 watching last year.
The Ford 200, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race held last Friday and televised by SPEED Channel, had an average of 340,000 households tune in, a 12% increase over the 303,000 that tuned in last year. An average of 464,000 viewers tuned into the Ford 200, a 33% increase over the 350,000 from 2002.(NASCAR PR)(11-24-2003)
see the Nov 17-23, 2003 Archived News Page
see the Nov 10-16, 2003 Archived News Page
see the Nov 3-9, 2003 Archived News Page