PAST NEWS/RUMORS
DEC 22-28, 2003


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    (12-28-2003)

  • New Rusty Crew Chief? UPDATE 2 official: hearing Larry Carter, current crew chief of the #74 BACE Motorsports Chevy and driver Tony Raines, is under consideration for the #2 Miller Lite/Penske Racing crew chief gig with driver Rusty Wallace.(12-12-2003)
    UPDATE: haven't seen anything official but on a unofficial Rusty site there is this: Larry Carter's previous position as a Winston Cup crew chief materialized last December, when he was named to be the pit boss for the number #77 team [actually it is the #74 team] under owner Bill Baumgardner's first full season effort into Winston Cup, with driver Tony Raines. Before working for Baumgardner, he had been employed by Travis Carter at Haas/Carter Motorsports with driver #66-Todd Bodine at the wheel.(rustys2crew.com)(12-24-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Larry Carter, a 14-year veteran in NASCAR racing’s highest level of competition, has joined Penske Racing South as crew chief for driver Rusty Wallace and his Miller Lite Dodge racing team. “We’re extremely excited to have Larry join us as our new crew chief,” said Wallace, the 1989 Winston Cup (now Nextel Cup) champion and 54-race winner. “Larry brings an abundance of talent and experience to our program and he is a perfect fit to accompany the qualified staff we already have in place. We can’t wait to get the ball rolling in 2004.” Carter comes to Penske Racing South from #74 BACE Motorsports, where he served as crew chief for rookie driver Tony Raines during the 2003 NASCAR season. “This is a great opportunity and I am certainly thrilled to have the chance to work with such a successful organization as Penske Racing and a champion-caliber driver like Rusty Wallace,” said Carter. “This is a top-notch team with great people and ample resources. I am delighted that they have the confidence in me to lead their team and I’m really looking forward to this new challenge.”
    Carter, a 41-year-old Raleigh, N.C., native, was active in motorsports at an early age, working part-time for a local dirt track team while in junior high school. After receiving a degree from North Carolina State in 1985, Carter worked for a Raleigh government agency for several years and worked part-time for his uncle Travis Carter, a fixture in NASCAR racing for decades. He became a full-time racer in 1990 and first served as a crew chief for the elder Carter’s effort in 1994.
    “Travis was so instrumental in my career and he’s due a lot of credit for me getting an opportunity like this,” said Carter. “Rusty is known for being a driver with the knowledge of every inch of a race car and working with Travis for all those years has given me a similar background that I’m proud of. Rusty knows his racecar from the ground up and I’ve been involved in every aspect of our sport. I started in racing carrying tires and went up the ladder all the way to data acquisition before learning to set up racecars. So I’m very confident that the driver and the crew chief will be working on the same page from the very beginning.”
    “Larry is the ideal person to lead the No. 2 team,” said PRS general manager John Erickson. “He’s a new age type of leader, but has an old school background and should mesh extremely well into our operation. I think he’ll have a level of communication with Rusty and his team that is second to none and his capabilities in working with Matt Borland and the staff of the No. 12 team will be exceptional.” Carter and wife Tracy reside in Mooresville, N.C., with their eight-year-old son Benjamin.(Tom Roberts PR)(12-28-2003)

  • #18 and #20 Shrek 2 Paint Schemes at Lowe's: In this DreamWorks sequel to the $267 million dollar original SHREK movie all the original characters are back for yet another adventure and are also joined by a few new faces. To continue the hype of the movie release, on May 21, 2004, #18-Bobby Labonte will drive a SHREK 2 themed racecars during the Coca Cola 600 Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
    AND #20-Tony Stewart will drive a SHREK 2 themed racecar during the Nextel All-Star Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 22nd, 2004.(12-28-2003)

  • NASCAR #5 in Flordia: According to Florida Trend magazine, NASCAR is the fifth largest privately owned company in the state, and publicly traded International Speedway Corporation is the 53rd largest corporation. The survey listed NASCAR as having an estimated $3 billion in gross revenues in 2002, representing a 50 percent increase over the previous year. The figures were based on a study conducted by the California consulting firm Kagan World Media. ISC, which owns and operates Daytona International Speedway and 11 other NASCAR tracks, had revenues of $550.5 million, up four percent in 2002. The private companies ranked ahead of NASCAR in the list were Publix, Burger King, J.M. Family and Adventist Health System.(Gaston Gazette)(12-28-2003)

  • Kenseth honored in a hometown parade: Entering his hometown, Matt Kenseth was greeted with NASCAR flags flying from every pole and a temporary population sign that reads, "Cambridge: Population 1,100 and Matt." Kenseth was in awe Saturday as thousands of fans cheered on their hometown hero in a parade down Cambridge's Main Street. Later in the day some 2,500 supporters gathered at the Alliant Center for a fan club party. Storefront signs congratulated and greeted Kenseth and his wife, Katie. "It's pretty overwhelming," Kenseth said. "You never really totally get used to it. It seems like a dream." A sea of fans wearing the black-and-yellow colors of Kenseth's DeWalt sponsorship filled Cambridge for the parade, which featured floats promoting a local pancake breakfast, race cars, the Red Hot Dixie Jazz Band and various members of the Kenseth family. After the parade, Kenseth, who now lives in North Carolina, was presented a key to the village of Rockdale. A key to Cambridge was presented by Bob Nodolf - Kenseth's driver's education teacher.(full story at Wisconsin State Journal and an AP one at The State)(12-28-2003)

  • So...where is NASCAR Legend Harry Gant? at Motorsports 2004 - Harry Gant, one of the most popular drivers in the history of NASCAR stock car racing, will be part of the U.S.Smokeless Tobacco Company Motorsports Experience at the Motorsports 2004 Presented by Sunoco show. The three day show takes place at the Fort Washington, PA Expo Center starting at 1 p.m. on Friday, January 16th. Gant was a regular on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit from 1981 to 1994, winning 18 races and 17 poles and finishing in the top 10 in 208 of his 474 starts. He walked away from the sport in 1994 at the age of 54. He tied the modern day record for consecutive wins as he won four consecutive races in 1991. Though he is retired from the sport Gant continues to make personal appearances for U.S. Smokeless Tobacco and will be signing autographs for adult fans from noon until 2pm/et on Saturday, January 17th at the U.S.Smokeless Tobacco Motorsports Experience. Former Winston Cup racer Gant joins open cockpit star turned stock car racer J.J.Yeley and World of Outlaws talent Tyler Walker, current Nextel Cup champion Matt Kenseth, former NASCAR Winston Cup champion Bobby Allison, Busch Series racer Tim Fedewa, and Winston Cup ace Dave Blaney along with a long list of outstanding local and regional racing stars. More info at the www.aarn.com or see more info on the Show on my Driver Appearances page.(12-28-2003)

  • Racing for the Human Race closes: The Racing for the Human Race project officially concluded this weekend. Our goal for the project was to raise $2,995 dollars for Food For the Poor to provide a home, food, and clothing for a poor family in the Caribbean. Thanks to the outstanding generosity of so many of you we not only met but exceeded a goal Matt McLaughlin thought was overly ambitious when this project was started. Matt is still tabulating the exact total, but it is in excess of $3,400. See full update on my Racing Charities page.(12-28-2003)

  • McMurray's Dad Karting in Daytona: Jim McMurray wants just one chance to brag about a Daytona victory. And to whom will he boast the loudest? NASCAR's 2003 Raybestos Rookie of the Year and his son, Jamie McMurray. The eldest McMurray is in Daytona to compete in the World Karting Association's 30th Annual Daytona KartWeek at Daytona International Speedway. The 56-year-old McMurray will take part in Sunday's Medium Class Enduro competition and Tuesday's Heavy Class competition. Daytona KartWeek (Dec. 26-30) is the most prestigious karting event held in the United States. "I've been coming to Daytona and racing since 1976," McMurray recalls. "Jaime won the WKA World Championships here (Daytona) in 1988 when he was 14. I have never won at Daytona. I've run second a couple of times. But I've never won here. McMurray will spend this NASCAR season behind the wheel of his son's motor coach. That's fine with him. Although he sure does miss being behind the wheel of a go-kart. Tickets for Daytona KartWeek at Daytona International Speedway and Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium can be purchased at the gate.(Daytona International Speedway PR)(12-28-2003)

  • Benning plans to attempt three races at Daytona: ARCA veteran driver Norm Benning will attempt the ARCA RE/MAX Series, and the NASCAR Busch and Nextel Cup Series events from Daytona International Speedway in February, Catchfence.com has been informed. Benning was successful in making the field in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2003, but his bid to make the "All American Race" failed last year. Benning, who is expected to pilot the #84 Chevrolet in all three races has not announced a sponsor at this time.(Catchfence)(12-28-2003)


    (12-27-2003)

  • Congrats: It's been a joyous holiday for Danielle and Jay Frye, who became first-time parents with the birth of Addison Rece, Dec. 23, 10:13pm/et at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Addison weighed in at 6 pounds, 8 ounces and was 19 inches long. Mother and daughter were released from the hospital on Christmas morning. Danielle is a reporter for MRN Radio and Jay is general manager of MB2/MBV Motorsports [#01/#10](12-27-2003)

  • Get Well: Carolyn Carrier, who does PR for #11-Brett Bodine [still selling the Brick cars, see my #11 Team News and Links page] is recovering at home in NC following neck surgery on Dec 19th.(12-27-2003)

  • Special Scheme for Tony Stewart at California Speedway in September, a reverse scheme of some sort for the #20 Home Depot Chevy.(12-27-2003)


    (12-26-2003)

  • Atlas Ready for 2004: The Lawrence Group publishes the officially licensed NASCAR 2004 Road Atlas. It includes Locations of all NASCAR Sanctioned Tracks, Maps of all 50 States, Major City Insets, Maps of Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, NASCAR Information, Cup Location Insets, Fun NASCAR Facts, Perfect for corporate giveaways, premiums and incentives! For more info see www.lawrencegroup.com or buy it at:
    NASCAR Road Atlas - 2004
    NASCAR Road Atlas - 2004



    (12-25-2003)

    no news reported on Christmas.....


    (12-24-2003)

  • 2004 Odds: Vegas Insider - Odds To Win 2004 Nextel Cup Points Championship. The favorites are Ryan Newman 3/1; Jeff Gordon 4/1 and Dale Earnhardt Jr. 4/1.(12-24-2003)

  • Herbie and NASCAR? this is from October......Comedy writing team Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant have been tapped by Disney to pen the remake of Herbie the Love Bug. Several previous drafts will be scrapped and the two writers will be starting from scratch. The Lennon and Garant take puts Herbie in the world of NASCAR.(comingsoon.net)(12-24-2003)

  • Cambridge building to house Kenseth memorabilia: Matt Kenseth, the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup champion from Cambridge, WI, will display memorabilia from his racing career in a new building in his hometown scheduled to open next spring. Matt Kenseth wants to give back to the place he calls home. And he believes a venue that will display memorabilia from his burgeoning racing career is the perfect way to do that. The 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup champion has purchased an 18-acre triangular parcel in the Village of Cambridge at the west edge of town, and construction will begin in February on an 11,000-square-foot building which will showcase a collection of race cars and memorabilia that spans his entire 15-year career. Kenseth merchandise, Internet sales and his fan club also will be housed in the building. Village of Cambridge president Don Trieloff anticipates that the facility, which is scheduled to open in May or June 2004, will bring new visitors, excitement and renewed interest in other businesses in the area. One detail that has been discussed but has yet to be finalized is what to call the building. The 31-year-old Kenseth hesitated to call it a museum, but that may most accurately describe the scope of plans and size of the structure.
    The business will be operated by Kenseth's sister Kelley Maruszewski, who currently runs Kenseth's fan club and sells merchandise out of the family-owned business. The Matt Kenseth Fan Club Store doubles as a video store, and the family also operates a laundromat and the 10-unit Village Motel in Cambridge. Roy Kenseth, who is the track promoter at Madison International Speedway, will help the contractors oversee construction of the project. The building will not encompass the entire parcel, and further residential or commercial development is planned for the future. While discussions are ongoing for finalizing utilities, road access and sewage structures, Roy Kenseth said the response from officials with the village has been positive. "It's going to be a beautiful building and will be almost like the gateway to Cambridge," said Roy Kenseth, whose parents and grandparents also grew up in area. "It is going to bring a lot of people to Cambridge. I suppose there are going to be a small minority of people who won't like it, but the majority of people will like it. It will be good for the town."(Capital Times)(12-24-2003)

  • New Rusty Crew Chief? UPDATE: hearing Larry Carter, current crew chief of the #74 BACE Motorsports Chevy and driver Tony Raines, is under consideration for the #2 Miller Lite/Penske Racing crew chief gig with driver Rusty Wallace.(12-12-2003)
    UPDATE: haven't seen anything official but on a unofficial Rusty site there is this: Larry Carter's previous position as a Winston Cup crew chief materialized last December, when he was named to be the pit boss for the number #77 team [actually it is the #74 team] under owner Bill Baumgardner's first full season effort into Winston Cup, with driver Tony Raines. Before working for Baumgardner, he had been employed by Travis Carter at Haas/Carter Motorsports with driver #66-Todd Bodine at the wheel.(rustys2crew.com)(12-24-2003)


    (12-23-2003)

  • Get well DW: Get well wishes to three time Winston Cup champion and NASCAR on FOX analyst Darrell Waltrip who had successful rotator cuff surgery last week. The procedure was on DW's right shoulder. He had the same surgery on his left shoulder in 1997.(12-23-2003)

  • Blaney to the #4? from FoxSports/Larry McReynolds: rumor has it that Dave Blaney may be moving to Morgan McClure since Penske reportedly has bought the Jasper car. It sounds like Kodak may go to the new Penske car, and Truck Series driver Brendan Gaughan will go to that ride as well. Penske also is thinking of changing the number on that car. I think they were talking about #72 to go with the #2 and #12 cars. When you think about it, it's going to be a completely revamped team with a new owner, a new driver, a new sponsor, a new number and a new manufacturer because now it's going to be a Dodge. And obviously there will be a new crew chief too [Shane Wilson] ]because Bootie Barker left there last season, and they never really replaced him for the final few races. I don't know if you can say anything will be the same.(FoxSports)(12-23-2003)

  • Sports Illustrated Mag: In its annual post-season NASCAR issue, Sports Illustrated magazine includes results of a survey of nearly 1,400 race fans conducted at various tracks around the country. Some of the more interesting results include:
    - The best driver of all time? Dale Earnhardt, with 56%, easily over Richard Petty's 17%.
    - Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the current favorite driver of 28% of the fans surveyed, with Jeff Gordon next at 15%.
    - When asked which driver has the most arrogant fans, 47% said Gordon.
    - The fans' three favorite tracks are Bristol, with 22%, Daytona, with 19%, and Lowe's Motor Speedway with 13%.
    - More than half of the fans, 57%, attend two to four races per year. And 48% of them travel 200 miles or more to attend a race, with 25% traveling 500 miles or more.
    - An amazing 19% of fans said they had spent $1,000 or more on NASCAR merchandise in the past year, while 97% of the fans said they'd bought at least one piece of merchandise in the past year.
    - Only 32% said that have been able to get their favorite driver's autograph.(ThatsRacin.com)(12-23-2003)

  • Sunoco Picks Ad Agency: Sunoco has picked Ominicom's Millsport to handle development of advertising and promotional aspects of its 10-year deal to be NASCAR's official fuel, according to Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal. Columnist Terry Lefton says Millsport was picked from five agencies seeking the contract as Sunoco replaces Phillps/Conoco/76 as the official fuel.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(12-23-2003)

  • Sponsorhip Deal Tops Sports Business News: NASCAR's selection of Nextel to replace R.J. Reynolds' Winston brand as the title sponsor of its top national series was the year's biggest sports business story, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal says. A panel of the weekly publication's editors and writers said the 10-year, $750 million deal ranked ahead of the $2.2 billion broadcast and sponsorship deal struck by NBC and GE with the International Olympic Committee for the 2010 Winter Games and 2012 Summer Games.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(12-23-2003)


    (12-22-2003)

  • Congrats Joseph Raymond Fink, Jr. was born on 12:36pm/et, Saturday December 20, 2003 to Joe and Amy Fink, of Nazareth, PA. He was 6 pounds, 14 ounces and 20 inches long. Joe Sr. does some Busch Series commentary at some sites and keeps track of "Mr. Lead Lap" and any racing at Nazareth Speedway.(12-22-2003)

  • Jerry Nadeau Talks about a Special Holiday and Ongoing Recovery: [yeah it is long, but not much news and I found it interesting and important]
    NASCAR driver Jerry Nadeau, who suffered a serious head injury in a racing accident May 2 at Richmond International Raceway, continues to make progress. In a question and answer session below, the 33-year-old Danbury, Conn. native talks about his onging recovery and how blessed he feels to be home for the holidays. Nadeau's accident/recovery timeline follows the Q&A.
    Q. How special will this holiday season be for the Nadeau family?
    A. There's no doubt that I have been blessed to be here, I don't know how else to say it. I had a very serious accident and was lucky to survive. I don't remember anything about the accident, I was out cold. But from what I have heard, there was a lot of concern that I wasn't going to make it. This is going to be a very special holiday for us with it being my daughter's (Natalie Kate, 10 months-old) first Christmas. And I am here to enjoy these precious moments of life. Some people might say I had a very unfortunate year, but I look at it so much differently. We had a healthy daughter come into our lives and I survived a serious accident. That's anything but unfortunate and I feel extremely blessed.
    My good friend (IRL racer) Tony Renna didn't make it. We raced together as teammates in England in the Formula Opal Series. I am so sad about his loss and feel for his parents and fiance. I was glad that my dad (Girard) and I were able to go to Florida to visit Tony's parents after his accident. His parents were very supportive of him and unfortunately the Good Lord has a list up there and his name was up. He was a good person and I will miss him.
    Q. How has your recovery been going?
    A. As fast as I can go. The good news is that I can do what normal people do everyday, I just can't race. I know I have a brain injury that I have to let heal and I am not rushing it. My left-side is not coming in as fast as I thought it would. I have feeling, but it just doesn't work right. It's like when your arm falls asleep with a tingly feeling. For me, it's like that 24 hours a day. The doctors say that it should go away, but the problem is they don't know how long it will take. I have accepted that I'm not fully recovered right now, but I am making progress everyday and I will get there. I know I will.
    Q. What have you been doing to keep busy?
    A. As much as I can. But I do get bored pretty quickly. I have a shop near my house and built a little dirt track there and we play around with dirt bikes and mini bikes. I also have been making a number of appearances and was honored to be asked again to go to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. (Dec. 12) to visit the wounded soldiers. The visits I had there really make you sit back and truly feel how precious life is. I hope I have been as helpful to the soldiers as they have been to me. I am so proud of all of our troops for what they do and the sacrifices they make.
    Q. At one time you were planning to be back competing in Daytona for the 500. How hard was it to accept that you weren't going to be ready?
    A. It was more of a relief because I was praying every night for somebody to zap me so I could get better. The guys and Jay Frye (MB2 Motorsports general manager) were encouraging me, but deep inside I couldn't see myself being ready and it was frustrating. I wasn't upset that Joe (Nemechek) was going to drive the U.S. Army car in 2004, I was more relieved than anything else. You can only do so much to get better. I try to sleep as much as I can to get more rest for my head and do whatever I can to get better. The doctors say I am doing perfect and feel that I will regain at least 95 percent. But what they (the doctors) can't tell me is how long it will take. I'm going to take it slow, hopefully do a few races in ARCA, Busch and Cup next year and see how I do. If I feel great, then I am going to bust my butt to make sure I am perfectly right for 2005. I can only do so much.
    Q. How much pressure are you putting on yourself to get ready for 2005?
    A. None. I am not going to rush or force this recovery program. There is no magic formula for a brain injury. The goal right now is to make sure the U.S. Army car is going to be fast for Joe next year. I am proud that Joe will be driving the Army car -- he's a great guy The Army has been superb to me. They're such wonderful people to be associated with. The Army's motto is never to leave a fallen comrade behind and that's exactly the way they've treated me. I am proud and honored to be part of the Army team.
    Q. What have you learned throughout this ordeal?
    A. I've learned plenty about myself. My view on life is a whole lot different. I want to tell everybody who has children to spend more time with them, play with them and be part of their lives. You never know when your day will come. I feel extremely blessed that I can be with my wife (Jada) and see our daughter grow up.
    Q. For the first time since the accident you got back into a stock car and conducted a test session at Concord Motor Speedway (Dec. 9). How did you assess your performance?
    A. I wasn't totally back, but probably 80-85 percent. What's important is the test session gave me a baseline to know where I am at and what I have to do. I was hoping to do better, but I set some very high goals when I got there. Concord is a hard track, but overall I thought it went okay, considering I haven't been in a racecar for seven months. Concord is the type of track if you make a little mistake you can destroy the car. I didn't want to take any chances and probably didn't push it as hard as I could have. However, I learned a lot about myself and how far I have come since the accident. I know I have a problem and it's going to take time. I'm not going to put any pressure on myself or have a targeted date to return. This is going to take time and I'm not going to rush it. We'll probably test again next month at a different track. Q. It seemed like you stopped coming to races during the end of the 2003 season. Any reason for staying away?
    A. Everybody knows I'm a racer and I have been doing this since I was four-years-old when I started in go-karts. It's really hard for me to go to a race track and just watch. I'm a racer, not a spectator. I still have that same motto, I am not interested in being a banker or to put shingles on houses. I want to race, it's as simple as that.
    Q. How much has the fan support meant to you?
    A. The fans, NASCAR and everybody have been absolutely great. One night I was listening to Benny Parson's radio show and somebody called and asked, "How is Jerry Nadeau doing." I said to myself, "Oh my God they're still thinking of me.' The same thing happened on Dave Despain's Wind Tunnel show, fans calling in and asking about me. When I hear that fans are still interested, it really gives me a big lift. It pumps me up and makes me more ready to come back. I just want to thank everyone for their continuing support. It is so overwhelming.
    Nadeau's Accident, Recovery Timeline
    May 2 (Friday) Crashes driver's-side first into outside wall between Turns 1 and 2 during practice at Richmond International Raceway. Airlifted to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond where he is listed in critical condition with a moderate to severe head injury, partially collapsed left lung, fractured left scapula (shoulder blade) and left-side rib-cage injuries.
    May 5 (Monday) Condition upgraded from critical to serious but stable.
    May 8 (Thursday) Condition upgraded from serious but stable to fair. Moves out of the intensive care unit to private room. Doctors say vital signs are normal and continues to show improvement.
    May 13 (Tuesday) Team general manager Jay Frye is guest on NASCAR/Winston teleconference and says Nadeau continues to be in a semiconscious state and is in the transitional stage of regaining full consciousness.
    May 22 (Thursday) Regains full consciousness and starts to speak. Makes surprise telephone calls to Frye and crew chief Ryan Pemberton.
    May 26 (Monday) Discharged from Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center and transferred via MedCenter Air to Charlotte Institute of Rehabilitation where he continues physical, occupational and speech therapy.
    June 6 (Friday) Discharged as inpatient at Charlotte Institute of Rehabilitation. Continues therapy as an outpatient five days a week.
    July 18 (Friday) Attended first race and conducted first news conference since accident, at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon.
    July 25 (Friday) Completed physical and occupational therapy at CIR.
    Sept. 5 (Friday) Returned to Richmond during NASCAR Winston Cup weekend. Paid emotional visit at VCU Medical Center to say thank you to the medical staff.
    Nov. 9 (Saturday) Teams with his dad (Girard) and former NASCAR great Ernie Irvan in World Karting Endurance race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. The threesome finished first in their racing category.
    Dec. 10 (Wednesday) First time back in stock car since accident. Test session conducted at Concord Motor Speedway.(U.S. Army Racing PR), see past news about Nadeau on my Jerry Nadeau update page or the #01 Team News and Links page.(12-22-2003)

  • News From Motorsports 2004 Presented By Sunoco: "The fan and racer motorsports extravaganza."
    Triple crown winner J.J. Yeley will be at Motorsports 2004 presented by Sunoco to meet his many fans and sign autographs on Sunday, January 18th, 1:00 to 3:00pm/et. Yeley, just recently selected as the Al Holbert Memorial Driver of the Year award winner by the Eastern Motorsport Press Association, is one of the few drivers to ever win the United States Auto Club Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown titles all in one season. Yeley did it in 2003 and his mentor, 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart, was the last to do it before him.
    Also visiting the three day show that opens on Friday, January 16th at the Fort Washington, PA Expo Center is Tyler Walker. The young open cockpit racing star is a standout out performer in O'Reilly World of Outlaws competition, the United States Auto Club events and has had some experience in NASCAR Busch Series competition. Walker is very popular with the fans especially for his trademark "back flip" that he does when he appears in victory lane. He will sign autographs from 1:00 to 3:00pm/et on Friday, January 16th.
    Yeley and Walker join a growing list of outstanding motorsports participants and personalities that will be part of the Motorsports 2004 presented by Sunoco show. Current Nextel Cup champion Matt Kenseth will join former NASCAR Winston Cup champion Bobby Allison at the show along with Busch Series racer Tim Fedewa, Winston Cup ace Dave Blaney along with a long list of outstanding local and regional racing stars. There is plenty more for the auto racing fan with more than 150 motorsports vehicles on display.
    The three day show covers close to 300,000 square feet of exhibit space with more than 600 display areas covering just about everything imaginable in motorsports. There is a complete area just to house the collectible vendors who will be offering some special deals for show attendees. In addition there will be Big Wheel competition for the youngsters and for the first time the Big Wheels will be made available by the show organizers. No one will be permitted to compete using their own Big Wheel. And the very popular U.S.Smokeless Tobacco Ms Motorsports Pageant will again be part of the show with preliminaries taking place on Saturday afternoon and the finals being offered Saturday evening. Discount coupons, good for $2.00 off on adult tickets, will be available at participating Sunoco outlets starting on December 26th. Look for the show signage. For information on the show schedule check in at aarn.com and hit the Motorsports 2004 link. And you can telephone for ticket and show information at 609.888.3618.
    ALSO - Yeley to recieve Award: USAC Triple Crown winner J.J. Yeley will receive the annual Al Holbert Memorial/Eastern Motorsport Press Association National Driver of the Year Award at the organization's annual convention taking place January 23-25 in Trevose, PA. Yeley was the hottest driver in open cockpit racing this season winning the USAC Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown titles. The last driver to do that was Yeley's mentor Tony Stewart who is a two time winner of the Al Holbert Memorial Award. Yeley also set a new mark for wins in a season with USAC, a mark that had been held by A.J.Foyt. More than 200 members, professional media covering motorsports on a regular basis, gave Yeley more votes than Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, Scott Dixon, Clay Millican or Frank Kimmel who were also nominated for the award.
    In other news from the Eastern Motorsport Press Association five new names will be added to the prestigious EMPA Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the convention taking place at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center in Trevose, PA. Voted into the Hall of Fame by the Board of Directors was former NASCAR Modified ace Bugsy Stevens and dirt modified star Stan Ploski. The EMPA membership has voted to add veteran broadcaster Ken Squier, former National Hot Rod Association Top Fuel champion Joe Amato and Fonda, NY Speedway standout, the late Lou Lazzaro to the Hall of Fame.
    Veteran dirt track modified racing standout Kenny Brightbill will accept the second annual "Junie" from legendary NASCAR Nextel Cup car owner Junie Donlavey. The award is named in Donlavey's honor and is presented to someone in the motorsports industry for their outstanding accomplishments "doing it their way." Several other special awards to EMPA members will be announced at the convention.(EMPA PR)(12-22-2003)

  • Surgery for Cup starter UPDATE: been told that NASCAR Nextel Cup Starter Jimmy Howell will undergo two surgeries on December 12 in Winston Salem, NC. The surgery will be performed by Dr. David Martin at Wake Forest Universtiy Baptist Hospital. Howell will have surgery on his left knee to repair a torn meniscus and will also have surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.(12-10-2003)
    UPDATE: Howell is recuperating at his home in Winston Salem after undergoing surgery December 12th to repair his left knee and a torn Rotator Cuff in his right shoulder. Howell is doing well after his surgeries and has began rehab at Comp Rehab in Winston Salem, NC.(12-22-2003)

  • NHL and NASCAR: #19-Jeremy Mayfield will supposedly run an NHL All-Star Game scheme in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona on February 7th, 2004.(12-22-2003)

  • Simpson Performance Products, Inc., Mooresville, NC announced that Terry Smith has accepted a newly developed position of General Manager-Team Sales. Smith joins them from Michael Waltrip Racing where he has been Waltrip's Business Manager for 10 years. "Terry has been a tremendous help to me both personally and professionally. I look forward to continuing our relationship now that he is with Simpson." --Michael Waltrip. Smith has been in the racing business since 1976 and began his career as a crew member for Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree on their first race car at Hickory Motor Speedway and later worked with Petty Enterprises, Moroso Racing, Team III Racing, Wood Brothers Racing and finally with Michael Waltrip Racing. Smith's Sales Team will consist of Melanie Shumaker, Sales Manager-NASCAR, Trish Haggerty, Sales Representative, Pam Laury, Sales Representative, Chet Tobias, Sales Representative and Chris Daniel, Service Representative. The entire division will report to Doug Doolen, Vice President of Sales. Since 1959, Simpson Performance Products has been the leading safety manufacturer in the motorsports industry. Simpson believes in putting safety first and is dedicated to elevating the standards of racing safety. For more info see www.teamsimpson.com and as most know, Bill Simpson is no longer part of the company [more info on my Safety Page and Lawsuits page] but has a new company called Impact Racing Products [can't seem to get past the intro page].(12-22-2003)


    (12-21-2003)

    see the Dec 15-21, 2003 Archived News Page


    (12-14-2003)

    see the Dec 8-14, 2003 Archived News Page


    (12-7-2003)

    see the Dec 1-7, 2003 Archived News Page


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