DEC 15-21, 2003
THE PAST NEWS! YESTERDAY and BEYOND..
OTHER PAST NEWS PAGES
- Ryan Newman wins Driver of the Year Award 2003: Ryan Newman dominated the voting for Speed Channel presents the Driver of the Year 2003. Yet, some might view it as an upset win. It was only the second time in the 37-year history of the award the honor didn't go to a series champion. The last time this happened was in 1985 when Bill Elliott beat NASCAR Winston Cup Champion, Darrell Waltrip - a three-time Driver of the Year - based on wins and poles. Newman finished sixth behind series champion, Matt Kenseth. In only his second full year in Winston Cup racing Newman, winner of the voting in the third and fourth quarter for Driver of the Year was a little stunned when he learned of the final vote, "it's awesome. Not only the award, but, the honor of all the drivers that have gotten it, to be on that list and to be able to compete against all the drivers this year and beat them."
Newman, a 25-year old from Indiana who drives the Alltel Dodge, easily beat all of his rivals with nine first-place votes. Other drivers garnering votes were Paul Tracy (CART), and Steve Kinser (World of Outlaws) who had two. Drivers getting one vote each were Kenseth, Greg Anderson (NHRA), Kenny Bernstein (NHRA), Scott Dixon (IRL), Sam Hornish, Jr. (IRL), and J.J. Yeley (USAC).
The Penske Racing South driver also carried the fan vote, on www.speedtv.com, with 44%.
Responding to that vote, Newman said, "that's cool too. This sport is driven by the fans not just the media panel. To win the fan vote is an honor also. It shows a couple of things (1) the impact of NASCAR racing on the world of motor sports (2) how driven and dedicated the fans are."
In it's 37th year the Driver of the Year title is unique because it is the only award that emcompasses all of the racing series in the United States and fan participation. A panel of 18 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. and a cumulative fan vote on Speedtv.com determine the winner. The final vote is made up of a secret ballot of the experts each selecting one driver and the winner of the fan vote. In recognition of this honor Newman will receive a trophy and a Maurice Lacroix Swiss Watch at a special presentation in Talledega, AL next April. President of the Driver of the Year Foundation is Barry Schmoyer, businessman and sportsman of Sarasota, Florida. Further information on the award may be obtained from the Driver of the Year Foundation, PO Box 49827, Sarasota, FL 34230 or from (941) 953-6209.(See Full PR at Speed Channel)(12-21-2003)
- Terry Labonte not in favor of 'playoff system': NASCAR hasn't solicited Terry Labonte's opinion yet on its proposed "playoff" system that is being given serious consideration for implementation in 2004. But the two-time Winston Cup champion already has formed strong feelings about the plan, which apparently would freeze the points chase with 10 races remaining and allow only the top 10 in the standings to compete for the championship. The nearly three dozen remaining teams would continue to race without a shot at the crown. "It's a real slap in the face to the guys running 11th through 15th and their sponsors to say, 'OK, you can't even compete to be in the top 10,'" Labonte said. "My thought is maybe everyone can run a 26-race schedule, then take the top 10 and let only those 10 guys run the last 10 races. That would be real interesting." Labonte points to the Craftsman Truck and Busch series, which featured several drivers in title contention through both season finales under the system used in Cup, as proof that change isn't needed to a current structure that rewards consistency. Public opinion seems to support that view. Internet polls have been running heavily against the proposal, and several of his peers have expressed concerns about an overhaul.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(12-21-2003)
- College's and Motorsports: Both Clemson University and the University of North Carolina Charlotte are trying to partner with the motorsports industry, including the cluster of NASCAR teams just north of Charlotte, but their efforts shouldn't conflict, says Jim Woodward, UNCC's chancellor. In Greenville [SC], Clemson is developing the International Center for Automotive Research, which will focus on the automotive and motorsports industries and include a new graduate school of automotive engineering. Clemson also plans a full-scale wind tunnel at ICAR that it would make available to motorsports teams, although it has yet to secure an estimated $50 million needed to build it. Most NASCAR teams are based in Mooresville, NC, just north of Charlotte — a fact not lost on Clemson officials as they made plans for ICAR. Proximity to the NASCAR cluster is the reason that UNCC offers an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering with a focus on motorsports. Recently, Woodward told North Carolina lawmakers they should pay more attention to motorsports as a means of economic development. Separately, a committee of UNCC trustees heard a presentation on motorsports, he said. "There's a lot of different discussions about motorsports in part because of what's been done in South Carolina," Woodward said. Still, he doesn't see the two universities competing. "Neither Clemson nor UNC Charlotte is now, or will be able, to fully support this growing industry," Woodward said. "I think what's happening in South Carolina is good for UNC Charlotte and for the Charlotte region. "It's not a zero-sum game."(Greensville News), see links to other college motorsports programs on my Racing Schools/Jobs page.(12-21-2003)
- More on Gaughan to the #77 NO announcement: Brendan Gaughan is expected to become the second Las Vegas native to drive full time in the top NASCAR stock-car racing series next year when he joins Penske Racing South. Gaughan, 28, could sign Thursday with the team owned by motorsports legend Roger Penske, according to anonymous sources. Rumors have been prevalent on racing Internet sites about Gaughan's ascension to the country's top series, possibly with sponsorship from Kodak. Adding to that speculation was the recent resignation of Shane Wilson from the Orleans Racing team. Wilson had been Gaughan's crew chief and team manager in the truck series the past three years and is to begin working today at Penske's shop near Charlotte, NC. The Orleans team is looking for a replacement for Wilson, who played an important role in the success of Gaughan's truck team. Another source said Steve Park [see story below], a veteran of the Cup series, will replace Gaughan in the Orleans truck.(see full story at the Las Vegas Review Journal) and past news and rumors on this on my #77 Team News and Links page. Look for an announcement on Friday [Dec 19th - didn't happen on the 18th as I had heard](12-17-2003)
UPDATE: Las Vegas' Brendan Gaughan, rumored to be heading to Penske's new team as the driver, is on vacation and not responding to questions about his future with Penske. Wally McCarty, director of marketing for Penske Racing South, said the team would announce its 2004 team plans "by the end of the year" and would neither confirm nor deny published reports that have Gaughan running the 2004 Nextel Cup season in a third Penske car.(Las Vegas Sun)(12-19-2003)
NOTE: well.....the announcement never came Thurs or Fri.....so I guess we wait.(12-20-2003)
BUT been told a #77 Kodak Dodge has been spotted at Penske Racing in Mooresville.(12-21-2003)
- Harvick special paint at The Challenge: Kevin Harvick will show up in a fire engine red Snap-On paint scheme at the NEXTEL All-Star race in Charlotte [Lowe's Motor Speedway] on May 22nd. For the second year in a row Snap-On is sponsoring the car for this event.(12-20-2003)
- Childress and the new points system? Richard Childress, who won six Winston Cup championships with Dale Earnhardt under the points system in place since 1975, said he was hesitant about a proposed playoff format for NASCAR's top series, but has since gained a better understanding of it. NASCAR plans to announce by the middle of next month whether it will adapt a 26-race "regular season" and 10-race playoff format. Only the top-10 drivers in points after 26 races would be eligible to race for the championship over the final 10 races. "From a purely selfish standpoint I would prefer the system stay the same," said Childress, who won Cup titles in 1986, '87, '90, '91, '93 and '94 with Earnhardt, the late seven-time champion. "When I first heard about it around the time of the (Cup awards) banquet in New York, I didn’t think much of it." Childress said he recently spoke extensively with NASCAR officials, looking for answers to several questions he had about the proposal. "I think I have a better understanding now of what NASCAR is thinking. Sometimes you have to step back and take a look at the big picture," he said. "I can certainly see where the added media exposure and excitement surrounding a playoff atmosphere would help grow the sport and continue its success." Nextel, which takes over sponsorship of the Cup series in 2004, has been meeting with NASCAR over the proposal. Many fans have mistakenly cited Nextel as the reason for the change, when in fact it has been heavily promoted by new NASCAR chairman Brian France.(more at ThatsRacin.com)(12-20-2003)
- An Update on the Torquespeed #66 team: The launch of Torquespeed's USA operation was officially announced at Lowe's Motor Speedway in North Carolina in October 2003, and as the first ever British owned team to race at the top level of NASCAR [in partnership with Travis Carter and the #66 team]. The team has settled into their shop in Statesvile, NC. Driver John Mickel, who underwent a seat fitting in October, has had his seat delivered to the Torquespeed Carter Workshops in North Carolina recently and has a car ready for testing. See more along with images of the car drawing at www.torquespeed.com and past news on my #66 Team News and Links page.(12-20-2003)
- NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience: see some QuickTime clips of the new NASCAR movie, NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience, which is scheduled for release on March 12, 2004.
Plot Summary: "NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience" will transport fans directly into the driver's seat to explore the world of today's elite NASCAR drivers and teams. The film will briefly take fans into reverse to review the history of this legendary sport, told from the viewpoint of some of its most revered drivers, and will then thrust into high gear with a look at the thrilling phenomenon that is NASCAR today. Featuring rare behind-the-scenes glimpses, as well as gripping footage of the unpredictable action on the track, "NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience" will provide a close-up look at what motivates NASCAR drivers in and out of competition. "NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience" will also focus on the science of today's racing technology, the cutting-edge racing machines and the underlying physics that drivers depend on to make turns at the highest speeds while skillfully maneuvering within inches of their competitors. More info at ComingSoon.net Film Database.
AND special paint scheme: The film is called NASCAR 3D and will be an in depth behind the scenes film about the sport of NASCAR. The #30 driven by Johnny Sauter will run a special paint scheme at the Las Vegas race with both RCR and AOL. AOL Broadband is the primary sponsor partner of the film release so that will guarantee an incredible amount of media awareness and hype surrounding the launch of the film.(12-20-2002)
- Brick Cars have arrived: The #11 The Brick Car / Brett Bodine diecast have arrived. They will be shipping out this coming week. There are still some available at www.brettbodine.com. What is the 'Brick car all about'? see my #11 Team News and Links page for the past news around August. Also: no word on Bodine's 2004 plans or what happened to the sponsor but know the team and Bodine are still looking for one.(12-12-2003)
See images of the diecast car on my #11 Team News and Links page.(12-19-2003)
- Like NASCAR Stats - tons of them - the 2003 Winston Cup Updates book is out:
A Statistical Review of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Season - The Ultimate NASCAR Winston Cup Reference Book - Written by the NASCAR Winston Cup Statistician
Most of the major print, radio and television personalities use NASCAR [and even some interbet slub - Jayski uses it]
Winston Cup Media Update Book in their everyday NASCAR race reporting. The 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Media Updates Year-End Book entitled "Statistical Review of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Season" is a complete compilation of the weekly versions of this information-packed series and is now available to all race fans.
"A Statistical Review of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Season" is the most complete reference book available with the details of this past season. This book offers a complete race-by-race review of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup season. It also includes statistical analysis of all aspects of the 2003 season plus driver biographies. Written by NASCAR Statistical Services, this book offers every race fan the opportunity to access the same information used by television, radio and print media personalities in reporting each race throughout the year.
Here is what some have said about the NASCAR Winston Cup Media Update books:
- "Where Print, Radio and Television get all the answers" - MikeHarris - Associated Press
- "The Media Updates book has got everything except the Restaurant Guide" - Benny Parsons
- "It has the most current statistical information on NASCAR Winston Cup racing that I've ever read. It's the bible of NASCAR Winston
Cup racing." - Ned Jarrett
- "I use to check and verify stats, come up with new ideas, and the weekly updates to make sure my stats are as up-to-date and correct as possible for my readers" - Jay Adamczyk ~ Jayski
A great gift idea anytime, "A Statistical Review of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Season" is now available for delivery
NOTE: Limited quantities remain on previouis seasons which are available at $25.00 each : 1996, 1997 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 (Sold
Out-1992, 1993, 1994, 2002)
To place an order:
Send $26.95 to:
PO Box 1124
Dumfries, VA 22026
Or Call Toll Free 1-888-782-8725, Check Money Order or VISA/MC/AMX accepted (Include card number, expiration date and signature with all credit card orders) For email orders, see the "Winston Cup Updates" section of my Racing Bookstore page. Like stats? see my Stats and Stats Links page.(12-19-2003)
- Kenseth to run ASA Late Model: The American Speed Association has announced the ASA Late Model Series will begin its 2004 season at the .50-mile Madison International Speedway in Oregon, Wis. on Saturday, May 8. Matt Kenseth, the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion and former ASA competitor, will compete in the season-opening event. Labeled as the fastest half-mile oval in Wisconsin, Madison International Speedway is one of the premier short tracks in the Badger State with a full array of suites in turn 1 and seating capacity for more than 10,000. ASA National Tour car owner and Chicago-businessman Terry Kunes purchased the track in November, 2002. Kunes appointed Roy Kenseth, father of NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Matt Kenseth, to promote and manage Madison. “I can’t think of a better start of the ASA Late Model Series season than at Madison in 2004,” said Roy Kenseth. “The series will receive significant exposure with Matt (Kenseth) returning to the speedway. It’s going to be a highlight of the season.” Matt Kenseth, of Cambridge, Wis., made 16 starts in the ASA National Tour, recording a best finish of second at the 1997 season-opening race at Southern National Speedway. He produced three top-five finishes and nine top-10s. Kenseth earned the 1994 Madison International Speedway track championship.(ASA Site/PR)(12-19-2003)
- Five Couples Selected: Five lucky race fan couples have been selected to travel to Daytona Beach, Fla. to compete in a "Tie the Knot at the Hershey's Kisses 300" Race-off. The winning couple of the Race-off will "Tie the Knot" prior to the start of the Hershey's Kisses 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2004, at Daytona International Speedway. Judges selected the Race-off couples based on their specially designed envelopes and essays explaining why they wanted to "Tie the Knot at the Hershey's Kisses 300" NASCAR Busch Series race in Daytona. The couples:
Teri Lewis and Gene Konzen, Indianapolis, Ind.
Dawn Kreager and Kelly Bloss, Stewartstown, Pa.
Tammy Purkis and Travis Zvolena, Marshfield, Wis.
Jefflyn LeFevre and Lesley Westbrook, Gainesville, Texas
Marla Hill and James Darin, Morris, Ill.
will compete in the Race-off on Wednesday, January 7, 2004. Each finalist couple receives a three-day, two-night trip to Daytona Beach, for the Race-off. The Race-off pits couple against couple in a number of fun and challenging events, including a simulated race game; a newlywed and trivia game, and individual couple interviews with the judges. The winning couple will be announced following judging of the Race-off activities on Wednesday, January 7, 2004. The Grand Prize-winning couple will "Tie the Knot" prior to the Hershey's Kisses 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at "The World Center of Racing" on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2004. The wedding will take place live before thousands of spectators prior to the start of the race. Hershey Foods' sponsorship of the Hershey's Kisses 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2004 includes a specially painted #21 Hershey's Kisses Chevrolet fielded by Richard Childress Racing. Kevin Harvick will look to continue his winning ways next season by driving the No. 21 Hershey's Kisses Chevrolet in this NASCAR Busch Series season-opening event.(Yahoo Biz)(12-19-2003)
- Cookbooks for Good Causes:
1) Burn Rubber, Not Dinner! Marlinites have united to create a unique collection of recipes for you to enjoy! From quick and simple dinner dishes to sinfully scrumptious desserts, there is sure to be a recipe to suit every taste. "Burn Rubber, Not Dinner!" was inspired by Braden Koozer, a young fan of Sterling Marlin who proudly represents the March of Dimes and their fight against birth defects. His determination to succeed in everything he does prompted Marlinites to participate in a fundraising project for the March of Dimes. Proceeds from "Burn Rubber, Not Dinner!" will be divided between The March of Dimes and The Neuroblastoma Childrens Cancer Society, the latter donation in memory of Eric Reding who fought valiantly against this disease but lost his battle. We hope with our contributions to these organizations we can offer hope of a cure to other children.
2) The Busch Series Ladies Association is pleased to announce the arrival of its first publication . . . Over the Wall Recipes, Checkered Flag Favorites of the Busch Series Ladies Association. Over the Wall Recipes contains nearly 500 recipes submitted by fans, BSLA and Winston Cup Racing Wives Auxiliary members, drivers, crew members and their families. Also included are recipes from Motor Racing Outreach (MRO), NASCAR officials and broadcasters. Recipes include the following: appetizers, soups and salads, sides and vegetables, main dishes, breads and rolls, cookies and candy, desserts, this and that.
3) If you love Nascar and you love to cook, then don't miss out on this very special cookbook. Filled with over a 100 full-color photos, and 150 recipes the "Fast Food" cookbook, features recipes from many within the Nascar community, including Mike Helton, Martha Nemechek, Linda Hendrick, and Kim Labonte. Benefiting the Hendrick Marrow Program, this book is a must for any racing fan.
See more info on all three books on my Racing Charities page.(12-19-2003)
- Nemechek and Nadeau visit Walter Reed AMC: At 14, Reggie Showers lost both of his legs in an electrical accident. More than two decades later, he’s living his dream of being a professional stock bike rider. Showers, 39, wore his 2003 Pro Stock Bike Champion jacket for a Dec. 12 visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he delivered messages of hope and inspiration to Soldiers recovering from injuries suffered while serving in Iraq. The visit also included NASCAR drivers Jerry Nadeau and Joe Nemechek; NHRA drag racer Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher; and NHRA Pro Stock Bike riders Angelle Savoie and Antron Brown – all of who drive or ride for Army-sponsored teams. Showers rides for Prosthetic Design.
Staff Sgt. Maurice Craft, an Avenger crew member with B Battery, 3/4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, was riding on Highway 5 in Baghdad Nov. 24 when an improvised explosive device hit the vehicle he was riding in. He remembers telling the driver to pull him out, and the searing pain cursing through his legs. Closing his eyes seemed to make the pain go away, but he worried that he wouldn’t wake up again. Craft’s left leg was amputated at the knee and a titanium rod is keeping his right leg connected to his hip, which was shattered in the attack. He is determined not to allow his injuries to hold him back; Showers’ visit only strengthened his resolve.
Spc. Lance Gieselmann echoed Craft’s appreciation. Gieselmann, of the 367th Armored Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division, was in an M1-A2 tank when it rolled over a remote-controlled roadside bomb Oct. 28 About 55 miles north of Baghdad. The explosion killed two of his friends and blew the turret and track off the tank, Gieselmann said. His left leg was amputated above the knee and back broken.
Showers encouraged the Soldiers to do plenty of research on the various types of prosthetics on the market. He uses two sets of prosthetic legs – one for racing, and the other for walking. Gieselmann said he was also inspired by Nadeau, who suffered a head injury from a crash during a May practice run. Nadeau was at the hospital visiting Soldiers just a few days before the accident.
“I’m working on getting better so I can get back to racing,’’ said Nadeau, whose place on the Army team is being filled by Nemechek. He hopes to be back in a racecar by May or June, starting out in bush races. “I’m just waiting for my head to heal.”
As appreciative as the Soldiers were for the visit, the drivers and riders were equally grateful for their service and sacrifices. The visit brought back a piece of Savoie’s past. She was a registered nurse before turning professional stock bike rider. “It’s inspiring to meet them,’’ Savoie said. “I think about how the fans put us on a pedestal, like we’re heroes. But these guys are the heroes. It makes me feel a lot more humble.” Nemechek, too, was impressed with the Soldiers, especially Sgt. Gerald Santos, a flight engineer for the 106th Aviation who survived the Nov. 2 Chinook crash that killed 17 Soldiers on their way to 15 days of rest and recuperation. “It’s pretty incredible what they do, what they go through,’’ said Nemechek. “I look at the things that have happened to me, the times I’ve been hurt, and it’s nothing compared to what they go through. They’re tough.”(ARNEWS)(12-19-2003)
- Nextel to meet with NASCAR about points system UPDATE and final POLL results: Nextel Communications, which takes over as sponsor for NASCAR's Cup series in 2004, is meeting with NASCAR this week to seek information about a proposed addition of a playoff format to its top series, officials with the sponsor confirmed Tuesday. Nextel, which signed a 10-year deal in June to sponsor the Cup series, was not informed of NASCAR's desire to change the current points system before its deal with NASCAR was completed, sources confirmed. NASCAR officials maintain they are seriously considering a plan that would create a 26-race "regular season" and 10-race playoff format. Only the top-10 drivers in points after 26 races would be eligible to race for the championship over the final 10 races. A decision is expected next month. Since the plan first became widely circulated during the annual Cup awards banquet weekend in New York, Nextel has received an "overwhelming" response regarding the proposal from fans, sources said. Fans have flooded Internet message boards and radio talk shows discussing the playoff system. Some have mistakenly credited Nextel with pushing for the change. The plan, however, has been promoted heavily by new NASCAR chairman Brian France. In two recent Internet polls - one which is still underway - race fans have overwhelmingly expressed their disapproval with the playoff format.
A poll on ThatsRacin.com last week asked fans if NASCAR should adopt the "26-10" playoff-style points system in 2004. Of the nearly 4,600 responses, over 85-percent said 'no.'
Another poll on jayski.com asking if the NASCAR points system should be changed has elicited nearly 20,000 votes, with 55-percent saying 'no.' Of the seven choices given to change the system, the playoff format currently under consideration had 924 votes, or 4.69-percent as of Tuesday.
Cup drivers Kevin Harvick and 2002 champion Tony Stewart have recently expressed support of the current points system, with Harvick preferring a small points addition for winning a race. Ford Racing officials reached Tuesday said they would reserve comment on the playoff format until they received more specifics of the proposal from NASCAR.(ThatsRacin.com)(12-17-2003)
UPDATE: On Wednesday, Tom Kelly, chief operating officer of Nextel Communications, met with NASCAR personnel in Reston, VA as the two organizations continue to plan the rollout of Nextel's first-year sponsorship agenda, details of which are scheduled to be unveiled in January. Since the announcement of the sponsorship in June, Nextel has been very quiet, preferring to give Winston a wide berth for its final months in the spotlight. That will change in a big way next month as Nextel begins the process of boosting its name recognition among NASCAR fans.(in part from the Greenville News)(12-19-2003)
and The JAYSKI Poll looks like Votations.com shut down my Points Poll [won't use them again]
so I guess the final results are as follows:
29452 votes thru 11:00am/et on Dec 18th with 53.9% answering NO
46.1% answering YES in some fashion and only 4.64% voted for the "playoff" system that is being proposed.(12-19-2003)
- Stewart and Harvick team up for Lowe's Busch race: In a one-of-a-kind Busch Race, Action Performance has teamed up American Rocker “Kid Rock” and NASCAR Champion Tony Stewart in a Kevin Harvick owned Busch Car. The car will race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway over Memorial Day weekend.(12-19-2003)
- So....what's up with IROC? The International Race of Champions [IROC] opener is still up in the air. The folks at IROC are apparently waiting to get the final, final, final OK from a new series sponsor. Daytona Intl Speedway is reserving them space on the Speed Weeks schedule (Feb. 13).(Daytona Beach News Journal)(12-19-2003)
- Testing at Nashville: Evernham Motorsports brought their Dodges to the Nashville Superspeedway for two days of testing on December 17 & 18. NASCAR drivers Bill Elliott, Jeremy Mayfield, Kasey Kahne, and Elton Sawyer were all in town to participate, as was their owner, Ray Evernham. Mother Nature decided not to cooperate, so the testing was cut short due to weather, but the teams plan to reschedule and return to the superspeedway in early January. Mayfield said," We'll be back in a few weeks I think. This is a great place to test, it's my second visit and I look forward to coming back soon. I can't believe Nashville doesn't have a Cup race yet, hopefully in the near future."(Nashville Superspeedway PR)(12-19-2003)
- Chili Bowl Stuff: Dirt-track star Danny Lasoski has entered two additional cars for the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals [www.chilibowl.com] and invited drag racer Ron Capps and NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader to drive them. They'll be competing against Tony Stewart, J.J. Yeley and Kasey Kahne in the 18th annual event Jan. 7-10 at Tulsa, Okla.(Indianapolis Star)(12-19-2003)
- Update on Waltrip book: A book about the life and career of Darrell Waltrip is scheduled for release Feb. 9th [NOT 7th], 2004. Waltrip, a three-time NASCAR champion and one of the most influential figures in the history of the sport, worked on the book with author Jade Gurss. Gurss authored the biography of Dale Earnhardt Jr. [Driver #8] that spent almost a year on The New York Times bestseller list. Waltrip plans book signings in Daytona and Nashville, but details have yet to be finalized.(Tenneseean). Hearing that signed copies of DW's book will be available at www.dwstore.com, past news on my Racing Bookstore.(12-18-2003)
- Jeff Gordon Foundation Sponsors a Camper Cabin at the Victory Junction Gang Camp: The Jeff Gordon Foundation has committed $250,000 to sponsor a camper cabin at the Victory Junction Gang Camp. The Jeff Gordon Foundation Cabin will be one of sixteen cabins that campers will call home during their camping experience at Victory Junction. This is the second gift from The Jeff Gordon Foundation to the Victory Junction Gang Camp.
“We are thrilled that The Jeff Gordon Foundation will have a permanent presence at Victory Junction,” said Kyle Petty. “I continue to admire Jeff for his charitable work and we are grateful for his commitment and ongoing support of the Victory Junction Gang Camp.”
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.
“I am so proud of the Foundation and the work we have completed this year,”said Jeff Gordon. “This is another way we can give back to the racing community. “We are happy to build on this on-going relationship with the Petty family.”
For more information, visit www.victoryjunction.org.
The Jeff Gordon Foundation was established in December of 1999 by the four-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion to support children and families in need. The Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that benefits The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, The Marrow Foundation and Riley Hospital for Children. For more information on The Jeff Gordon Foundation, visit www.JeffGordonFoundation.org.(Victory Junction Gang PR)(12-18-2003)
- Sad News - Triplett Loses Father To Heart Attack: Kevin Triplett, former NASCAR official, lost his father to a heart attack on Tuesday. Gerald Lee Triplett died Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2003. He was 71 years of age. His wife of 46 years, Lorraine; one daughter, Jennifer Bragg of Kingsport; one son, Kevin of Abingdon; three grandchildren, Kayla, Lucas and Sarah Grace survive him.(Insider Racing News)(12-18-2003)
- Sad News: Bertha C. (Christensen) Dallenbach, 101, of Monroe passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2003, at her home.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., she moved to East Brunswick along with her family in 1919. It was there she met her husband, Jacob Dallenbach, who became the co-owner and vice president of Dallenbach Sand & Gravel Company. Predeceased by her husband, Jacob, in 1974, and a daughter, Ruth Emelia Crawford, in 1995, she is survived by a daughter, Martha Clara Schlenk of Monroe; two sons, Dr. Robert B. Dallenbach of Westminster, Colo., and Wallace W. Dallenbach of Basalt, Colo.; seven grandchildren, Alma Beth Walker, Joel W. Dallenbach, Mark Crawford, Grant Crawford, Wally Dallenbach, Paul Dallenbach and Colleen Howerton, and six great-grandchildren, Jake, Wyatt, Katie, Jared, Fiona and Dillon. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Star 99.1 FM, P.O. Box 9058, Zarephath, NJ 08890 or N.J. Library for the Blind & Handicapped, 2300 Stuyvesant Ave., Trenton, NJ 08618.(More info at the Home News Tribune)(12-18-2003)
- Teams Need Help - need a job?: It's Daytona Prep Time and Bob Hubner at Race City Resumes, www.racecityresumes.com, is getting many Team requests for Fabricators, Body Hangers, Finish Fabricators, and Body Shop Personnel for short-term and long-term employment. If you are qualified in one of these specialties and available for work, contact Bob at Race City Resumes, 704-799-9888, for more information or see www.racecityresumes.com for info and an email address, been told fees will be dropped for these positions.(12-10-2003)
AND: Pro Motorsports Employment http://www.racejobs.com has also been recieving calls from NASCAR teams to see if they had any clients that are qualified Fabricators and a few calls for entry level mechanics. Qualified persons may contact Don Pearsall over at Speed Media International to get the team information and job criteria. His number is (704) 604 - 2694.
See more about jobs [even have a few listed] on my Racing Schools/Jobs page and my Busch Series and Truck Series pages. Looking to contact a team for a job? see my Team Address page for addresses, phone, fax and a few email.(12-12/17-2003)
- New Motorsports Marketing Co: Ryan Kurek has launched LOGIC Marketing + Consulting, a motorsports focused marketing and management agency. Kurek was responsible for creating Rockwell Automation's NASCAR sponsorship, marketing, hospitality and promotional programs. After five years at Rockwell, he was contracted by two successful NASCAR enterprises to assist in their sponsorship and marketing strategies before establishing LOGIC in 2003. For more info, see full PR on my Press Release/Marketing page or their site at www.logicmc.com.(12-17-2003)
- Sad News: Eunice Dallaire passed away this morning after a bout with cancer. She is survived by her husband, Andy, twin daughters Diane Bodine and Donna Richeson, granddaughter Heidi Bodine and grandson Josh Richeson.(12-17-2003)
- Hendrick Motorsports Team Penalized: NASCAR officials announced today that car owner Rick Hendrick has been assessed a penalty of 25 car owner points, resulting from a rule violation involving Hendrick Motorsports’ #60 Chevrolet [which will be the #84 in 2004 - see story below] during the NASCAR Winston Cup Series season-finale weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The #60 was slated to be driven at Homestead by Kyle Busch. The car failed to pass the event’s initial inspection process on Nov. 13 and was confiscated by NASCAR, which led to the team not participating. The car was found to be in violation of Section 12-4-Q of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rule Book (parts and/or equipment used that do not conform to NASCAR rules). The #60’s rear-window opening exceeded the diagonal specification.(NASCAR PR)(12-17-2003)
- Kyle Busch to run a limited schedule: Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick today announced that 18-year-old Kyle Busch will attempt to qualify for six NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races in 2004 with support from primary sponsor CARQUEST Auto Parts, the official auto parts supplier of Hendrick Motorsports since 2002.
"The folks at CARQUEST have been wonderful partners and we are excited about their expanded role with us in 2004," Hendrick said. "This is going to be a great chance for Kyle to gain some valuable experience by racing with and learning from the best drivers in NASCAR. I think it's really going to benefit his development."
In conjunction with its support of Busch in the #84 Chevrolets (formerly the #60), CARQUEST will become a major associate sponsor
of the #25 Nextel Cup team of driver Brian Vickers. CARQUEST backed Vickers and the championship-winning #5 NASCAR Busch Series team as a major associate in 2003.
"All of us at CARQUEST Auto Parts are proud to continue our association with Hendrick Motorsports as their official auto parts supplier," said Art Lottes III, president of CARQUEST. "Hendrick Motorsports is a world-class organization and we look forward in 2004 to continued success with Brian Vickers and our new relationship with Kyle Busch."
Busch will aim to qualify for his first-ever Nextel Cup event at his hometown track of Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March, followed by
efforts at Texas Motor Speedway in April and Lowe's Motor Speedway over Memorial Day weekend in May. During the second half of the season, the #84 CARQUEST team will enter races at New Hampshire International Speedway in July, Michigan International Speedway in August and California Speedway on Labor Day weekend in September. In addition, Busch will attempt to make the field for the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge, a non-points event at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May.
"I appreciate the opportunity CARQUEST and the Hendrick family have provided," said Busch, who will also run a full-time Busch Series
schedule in 2004. "Learning first-hand from my teammates and the other Cup drivers is going to be great experience. I'm just looking
forward to being on the race track with them." With seven career Busch Series races under his belt, Busch has posted a pair of runner-up finishes, three top-10 showings and five top-10 starts. He also earned two victories and trio of pole positions in 2003 ARCA Series competition.(Hendrick Motorsports)(12-17-2003)
- New Magazine: Speedworld Magazine is a publication envisioned and created by Synergy Publishing International for the racing enthusiasts pleasure. It appeals to viewers using a fresh concept that revives racing reading. The magazine is committed to leaving an everlasting impression of a truly informational sensation. The goal is to provide original and accurate information that takes an extensive look into stock car, open wheel, off shore, and drag racing. More info at their site: www.speedworldmagazine.com. Other magazine info on my Racing Bookstore.(12-17-2003)
- Park to the Truck Series? hearing Steve Park is under consideration for the #62 Truck Series ride that Brendan Gaughan is supposedly leaving to take the #77 ride. Supposedly Park was up for the 2nd Bill Davis Racing Truck Series rise that will go to Bill Lester.(12-17-2003)
- Sad News: Jim Phillippe, a longtime public address announcer for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has died after a long illness. He was 84. Beginning with the 1950 Indianapolis 500, Phillippe announced every race at the speedway until August's Brickyard 400. For 35 years Phillippe also announced the home basketball and football games for Butler University, where he taught drama and radio. He is a member of the Indiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame.(Yahoo Sports/AP and see a larger story at the Indianapolis Star)(12-17-2003)
- Zippy's Crusade: Old Forge, New York is a quiet and tranquil little town in the Northern area of Central New York. That small town will come to life on the weekend of January 23 and 24, as the second annual Zippy's Crusade for Kids comes to town. Greg and Nan Zipadelli are the hosts for the fundraiser, which will take place over the course of the weekend. Greg is the 2002 Winston Cup winning crew chief, as he directed Tony Stewart to the NASCAR Winston Cup championship. His wife Nan, grew up and went to school in in the area, and later pursued her college education at the scenic lakeside college of Oswego State. One of her first jobs was a school teacher in the Town of Webb.
Last years event proved to be a rousing success, raising $70,000 for kids. The Crusade donated $30,000 to The Children's Miracle Network in June, $10,000 to The Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth in July, and $30,000 to Victory Junction Gang in October of this year. See much more in the 2004 section of my Racing Charities page.(12-17-2003)
- Racing Impact Study Funded: The Golden Leaf Foundation Inc. is making a $100,000 grant to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the N.C. Motorsports Association to study the economic impact of the industry in the state, the Charlotte Business Journal reports. The study is supposed to quantify and analyze the economic impact of the industry and recommend strategies to develop motorsports and recruit related businesses to the state. Jeff Michael, director of UNC Charlotte's Urban Institute will serve as project manager. Officials hope to complete the study by May 1. The Golden Leaf Foundation was formed with tobacco-settlement money and promotes long-term economic development in North Carolina.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(12-16-2003)
and see more in columns at
Speed Channel: Study to Chart Business Impact of Charlotte-Area Racing Industry and
the Charlotte Observer: First of a kind study at UNCC)(12-17-2003)
- Nice Gesture: A year of fundraising and planning came down to one special night for some very deserving kids. Fifteen children from the CVAN Shelter for Women in Concord, NC were given a night to remember on December 15th. The children were transported by limo to Dale Earnhardt Inc. to start their evening. Once there they were given the VIP, behind the scenes tour of the impressive facilities. The first stop was behind the showroom glass, there they got an up close view of the Dale Earnhardt Foundation legacy car. Carol, the tour guide of the evening, gave them the history of DEI and the Foundation. From their it was on to the Engine Shop, where some of the best horsepower in the business is built. Next stop.....Jr. Motorsports. As the fifteen children gathered in the waiting room, they noticed a young man quietly standing there. To their surprise and delight, he introduced himself. Not only did this group get a rare behind the scenes look at DEI, they now had Dale Earnhardt Jr. standing right there in front of them. Dale, and his sister Kelley, chatted with the children whose faces were beaming with delight. Dale offered to take pictures and sign autographs for each child present. If these kids weren't ardent race fans before, they were now. Jr. Motorsports gave each child a duffle bag full of surprises. Teddy bears, race cars, and all sorts of racing items overflowed from the bags.(see full story at the Dale Jr. Pit Board Charity site)(12-17-2003)
- Wood Brother's Move Delayed: It was reported last month the Wood Brothers Racing team had already begun moving from Stuart, Virginia to Mooresville, North Carolina…..but that was postponed when Robert Yates Racing was delayed in vacating the shop they are leasing to the Wood Brothers. Co-owner Len Wood says “We’ve not stopped work, just delayed the move. We’re shooting to move the cars and parts we’re working with next week, the week of Christmas. That week is kinda disrupted anyway, so we’ll do it
then”.(PRN's Garage Pass)(12-16-2003)
- Andretti to run some Busch? and testing: hearing that several Cup and a couple of Busch teams have contacted John Andretti about driving for them in 2004, and he is considering things now. Apparently, a couple of IRL teams have also inquired but Andretti, so far, is planning on staying in NASCAR racing.
AND hearing Andretti will be testing Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Busch car at Talladega on Wednesday.(12-16-2003)
- Testing at Kentucky: Kentucky Speedway's weekly calendar shows two teams scheduled to test Wednesday and Thursday. Scheduled to take a Nextel Cup entry both days is Ricky Craven in PPI Motorsports' #32 Chevrolet. J.J. Yeley, the United States Auto Club standout signed this fall by Joe Gibbs Racing, is also scheduled to test both days. Gibbs has said Yeley's 2004 schedule will include seven to eight ARCA races, 10-12 Busch Series races and two to three Nextel Cup races.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(12-16-2003)
- Burton tests 2004 Ford at VIR: Jeff Burton’s #99 Roush Racing Ford team spent today at VIRginia International Raceway with their first 2004-specification Taurus to be track-tested, looking at various options for their road-racing brake package in advance of the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup championship. Burton, a native of nearby South Boston, Va., did back-to-back comparisons of different brake calipers while circulating the 2.25-mile VIR North Course. According to crew chief Paul Andrews, this is catch-up work from the 2003 season. "There are two different types of brake calipers we wanted to try," he said, "and another manufacturer’s come along with a new one they’re thinking about building, so we have their prototype for that. We just want to see what kind of things we can find."
The team usually tests a couple of times each year at VIR, which is just a two-hour drive from their shop in Concord, NC. "VIR is a great place," Andrews said. "We love coming here. It’s obviously a real nice facility, and it kind of helps us a little bit with both road courses that we run, Watkins Glen and Sears Point, so it’s a good place for us." The testing pace will slow little over the holidays. The NASCAR Nextel Cup Ford teams have new cylinder heads, new noses and new tail sections to test and perfect between now and the time that the
trailers are loaded for the season-opening Daytona 500, which is 60 days from today. The car being tested today was the team’s first 2004-configuration Taurus to hit the track, Andrews noting that all other testing for next year had taken place in the wind tunnel only to date. VIRginia International Raceway is a multi-purpose road racing facility, located on the Dan River between Danville and South Boston, Va., and just north of historic Milton, N.C. In addition to its 3.27-mile natural-terrain road racing circuit (designed to be operated
as two autonomous, full-service courses), VIR is the cornerstone of VIR Club, America’s first motorsports country club, the VIR Raceplex
Industrial Park and the VIR Euro Rally School and Corporate Motorsport Experience, which features four rally stages plus a kart track,
motocross track, ATV and SUV training grounds and a Tuff Terrain“ course. Future plans include the VIR Gallery, a showroom for high-end collector and racing cars, and resort lodging. For more information, visit the track’s website at www.virclub.com or contact VIR toll-free at 888-RACE099.(VIR PR)(12-16-2003)
- Musgrave 4th Qtr Pocono Spirit Award winner: Ted Musgrave has been selected as the fourth-quarter winner of the National Motorsports Press Association/Pocono Spirit award. The award recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity as well as sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Musgrave, an Evanston, Ill., native who will turn 48 on Thursday, drove an Ultra Motorsports Dodge to three wins and third place in this year's Craftsman Truck Series while being treated for cancer. Other quarterly winners for 2003 included Richard Childress, Bob Latford and Ward Burton. The overall winner of this year's award is scheduled to be announced Jan. 18, 2004, in Charlotte during the NMPA's annual banquet.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(12-16-2003)
- Outdoor Channel returns as an associate on the #74: The Outdoor Channel will continue its association with Nextel Cup driver Tony Raines, who drove the Outdoor Channel ride in 12 Busch Series events in 2003, posting a pair of top-5 and five top-10 finishes. Raines, who will compete in his sophomore season in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, will again sport The Outdoor Channel as an associate sponsor on the #74 BACE Motorsports Chevrolet. For more information, visit The Outdoor Channel’s web site at www.outdoorchannel.com.(BACE Motorsports PR)(12-16-2003)
- Wal-Mart and NASCAR: Wal-Mart shoppers will be able to race radio-controlled stock cars in the toy departments of 3,100 stores for one day in February as the centerpiece of a Fan Days program that NASCAR will run with the world's largest retailer as a lead-in to next year's Daytona 500. The NASCAR-licensed cars will run on tracks built using the products of sponsors and licensees that tie in to the program, with as many as 10 brands, including Coca-Cola, expected to participate. NASCAR Fan Days will run from Feb. 1 through Feb. 22, with participating brands receiving prime placement and point-of-sale support throughout the three-week span. The "retailtainment" event, slotted for Feb. 7, will include radio-controlled car racing and NASCAR-themed programming on Wal-Mart's in-store television and radio networks. NASCAR and Wal-Mart are discussing a "presented by" sponsorship with Gillette-owned battery brand Duracell, according to sports marketing sources. Gillette recently signed on as a NASCAR sponsor in multiple categories, including alkaline batteries. NASCAR and Wal-Mart declined comment on the program. Financial details were unavailable. This will be the fourth consecutive year in which NASCAR ties to Wal-Mart for a Fan Days promotion, but the first time that the two hook up on anything as extensive and attention-grabbing as in-store racing.(Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal)(12-16-2003)
- NASCAR Seeking Another Tech Partner: NASCAR marketers are formulating a package that would give a personal computer manufacturer or another tech firm access to its timing and scoring results, this week's Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports. Columnist Terry Lefton writes that the sponsorship package might also cover track scoring. "Laptops are in every [NASCAR] garage, so I feel like we have a real opportunity," Brett Yormark, NASCAR vice president of corporate marketing, told the magazine.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(12-16-2003)
- Hermie Sadler and the 'Drive for Diversity': Score Motorsports, a partnership formed in October by the former Cavaliers star and Emporia native Hermie Sadler, has committed to becoming a charter member of NASCAR's "Drive for Diversity" in 2004. The new initiative will place minority drivers in Late Model cars in the Dodge Weekly Series. Sadler and Stith will field a car at South Boston Speedway. Sadler said he and Stith agreed to the program after being sought out by NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne at the season finale at Homestead. "We were talking about trying to search out minority candidates to put in the cars and train as mechanics," Sadler said. "Shortly after that, I started getting calls from George Pyne about our willingness to participate in this program. It all fell into place." Sadler still is planning to drive at least a dozen Busch Series races and a few Nextel Cup events for Score Motorsports but also is adding help at his South Hill-based shop to crew the new Late Model car.
"We'll treat it just as serious as our Winston Cup and Busch programs," said Sadler, whose team has run limited Busch and Cup schedules since 2001 while struggling to find sponsorship. "We want to be successful with that because it could lead to bigger and better things. This program we're doing will go a long way toward giving us credibility as a team supporting the diversity initiative. It's another feather in our cap." Sadler and Stith will select their Late Model driver from a "combine" at Hickory Motor Speedway on Jan. 5. About 12 to 15 prospective minority drivers will showcase their on-track skills during the event, which will be attended by other teams interested in the diversity initiative, such as Bobby Hamilton Racing.
"Our driver is going to work in the shop during the week and race on weekends," Sadler said. "By midseason, he'll be a vital part of preparing his own car by our training." The team has been assured by NASCAR and Access Communications, the company spearheading the "Drive for Diversity," that the car will have a full primary sponsor. The price tag for a full short-track season ranges from $100,000-$300,000 annually - far less than the $3 million-$15 million needed to run in NASCAR's top three series. "It gives you a good feeling that NASCAR is really behind the program," Sadler said. "They're working to secure enough money to compete in top-notch equipment and not cut any corners. Everything will be new, and we'll treat it like we're competing for the Late Model championship at South Boston." Access Communications General Manager Darryl Stewart said there are enough sponsors for about four Late Model teams. The first officially to sign is the National Guard, which also is the primary advertiser of the #16 Ford driven by Greg Biffle in the Nextel Cup Series. The Hickory combine also will provide minority crew members with the chance to join a Craftsman Truck Series team. Several Truck teams, including HT Motorsports, Morgan-Dollar Motorsports and Innovative Motorsports, will be present. Access has extended its deadline for applications [see more info on my Racing Schools/Jobs page.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(12-16-2003)
- New #10 Car Chief: The #10 MBV Motorsports team has added Bill Henderson [former FitzBradshaw crew chief in Busch] as the car chief and Dave McDonald to build shocks.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(12-15-2003)
- Parker leaves Yates? hearing that former #88 Crew Chief, Shawn Parker have parted ways. Mike Ford was named a few weeks ago as Jarrett's new crew cheif. No word on Parker's plans.(12-15-2003)
- 15 Drivers Named to 2003 Auto Racing All-American Team: Series champions ran second to hard-charging challengers in two categories of the 2003 Auto Racing All-America Team chosen by members of the motorsports press. The addition of a new category for Touring Series drivers, plus a tie vote in the Open Wheel category, created a 15-driver team for the first time in the 34 years it has been named by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association. Two drivers from each of the seven categories are named to the First Team, the next two to Second Team and all others receiving a 5% vote earn Honorable Mention.
In the Open Wheel, Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran outpolled the champions of both CART and IRL. CART champion Paul Tracy and IRL champion Scott Dixon tied in the voting to place all three drivers on the First Team. It is deFerran's third First-Team selection, his fifth as an All-American. Dixon was previously elected once before, his previous in 2000 when he was CART Indy Lights champion. For Tracy, it is his third First-Team choice, but his first in 10-years since his rookie season on the CART circuit.
The Stock Car category had a similar outcome when eight-time winner Ryan Newman received the most votes in the category, ahead of NASCAR Winston Cup champion Matt Kenseth. It was the first time for each to be voted to the First Team. Newman was Second Team twice previously, and Kenseth was HM last year.
The new Touring Series category for several stock car-based series was won for the first time by Brian Vickers, the NASCAR Busch Series champion, and Frank Kimmel, the five-time ARCA champion. Both are First Team for the first time. Vickers had never been chosen to the team before, but Kimmel, previously having to fight the likes of Steve Kinser for a place on the team, has been a four-time Honorable Mention.
Drivers named to the Second Team included Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. from NASCAR Winston Cup in Stock Car. NASCAR's Grand National champs took the Touring Series places - Scott Lynch from Winston West and Andy Santerre from Busch North.
Earning Honorable Mention were Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick from NASCAR Winston Cup, Kevin Cywinski from ASA stock cars, Shane Huffman from the USAR Hooters Cup.
The AARWBA Auto Racing All-America Team will be honored Jan. 10 at the 34th annual AARWBA banquet at the Sheraton Suites in Pomona, Calif. First-team members will receive the distinctive Horsepower Award, and the driver who received the most votes -- not revealed until the banquet -- receives the Jerry Titus Award emblematic of the team's Driver of the Year.(in part from an AARWBA PR)(12-15-2003)
see the Dec 8-14, 2003 Archived News Page
see the Dec 1-7, 2003 Archived News Page
see the Nov 24-30, 2003 Archived News Page