JAN 26-FEB 1, 2004
THE PAST NEWS! YESTERDAY and BEYOND..
OTHER PAST NEWS PAGES
- Congrats to the Wood's: Jordan Wood, 17, daughter of Eddie and Carol Wood of Stuart, was chosen as Miss Martinsville-Henry County 2004 at the scholarship pageant Saturday. The Patrick County High School student will represent the area at the Miss Virginia event. Last year's Miss Martinsville-Henry County, Nancy Amanda Redd, left, who is also the reigning Miss Virginia, crowned Wood. Runners-up were: First runner-up Laura Linda Stokes, 18, daughter of James and Linda Stokes; second runner-up Kristen Muscatello, 18, daughter of Meredith and Cheryl Muscatello, and third runner-up Andrekka Lanier, 23, daughter of Larry and Alvenis Daye of Chatham. The Miss Martinsville-Henry County Scholarship Pageant was celebrating its 50th anniversary.(Martinsville Bulletin)(2-1-2004)
- Unser Jr had a sponsor for a NASCAR ride? Al Unser Jr. is unemployed right now, without a sponsor for the 2004 season, which is a little more than six weeks away. Unser was set for a ride in NASCAR. A sponsor and team were lined up. But the sponsor had to withdraw when it suffered a serious financial setback, and Unser had to go fishing again. ''I'll be back in the IRL,'' he says of the Indy Racing League. ''The IRL is where I want to drive.''(in part from the Albuquerque Journal - need sub to read)(2-1-2004)
- Rolex 24 At Daytona keep up with the race info/news/results at:
Daytona Beach News Journal
why do I post this? cause many NASCAR drivers will be driving in the race, including:
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Petty, Robby Gordon, Christian Fittipaldi, Boris Said, Paul Menard, Scott Pruett and some former NASCAR drivers like David Donohue, Butch Leitzinger, Mike Borkowski, David Murry, Anthony Lazzaro,
Race Info: A broken suspension piece cost NASCAR stars Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. and road racing ace Andy Wallace a victory in the Rolex 24 sports cars endurance race, an event they appeared to have won until the final hour. Instead of the two Nextel Cup drivers and four-time 24-hours champion Wallace celebrating in the familiar Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway, it was Andy Pilgrim, Terry Borcheller, Christian Fittipaldi and Forest Barber spraying the champagne Sunday afternoon. Stewart was at the wheel of the Chevrolet-powered Crawford when the left rear tire pulled off the rim and sent the 2002 Winston Cup champion spinning to a stop on the backstretch, just missing the concrete wall.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)
Race Results from ThatsRacin.com [or see the links above](2-1-2004)
- The FanZCar Join Forces with SCORE Motorsports and Hermie Sadler: SS Racing Inc. founders of The FanZCar and SCORE Motorsports, a joint venture between NASCAR Busch Series veteran Hermie Sadler and retired NBA star Bryant Stith today announced that they have joined forces for the 2004 NASCAR Season. The FanZCar will serve as primary sponsor in selected Busch Series races with SCORE Motorsports as well as major associate sponsor for the remaining Busch Series races and Nextel Cup races run by SCORE and Hermie Sadler.
FanZCar is a unique program that gives the fans a chance actually be involved with the team rather than simply watch from the stands. The FanZCar members will have the chance to join the team in the pits for races, and attend various events throughout the year with driver Hermie Sadler.
"We are very excited about being involved with The FanZCar", stated Hermie Sadler, "It is a great interactive program that allows our team to work directly with who makes our sport go, the fans. We look forward to offering our members and sponsors a once in a lifetime opportunity. I encourage all NASCAR fans to join me in making this program a success."
In addition to giving its members the opportunity to attend races with Sadler and the team, they will also have the chance to join him at other events, such as concerts, professional wrestling events, college sporting events and other team functions. For more information on memberships and event schedules, visit www.thefanzcar.com. This partnership is another sign of the growth of SCORE Motorsports, who was recently chosen to house one of NASCAR's "Drive for Diversity" teams. SCORE Motorsports will field a Late Model at South Boston Speedway.(PR)(1-31-2004)
- Kurt Busch, Irwin Industrial Tools To Kick-Off Rebuilding Together At Super Bowl: For three homeowners in Houston, the
most anticipated kickoff of this year’s Super Bowl week will take place two days before the game gets underway. Those homeowners look forward to the ninth annual Kickoff to Rebuild, when Kurt Busch, driver of the #97 Sharpie / IRWIN Ford Taurus will join with a team
of NFL players, celebrities and IRWIN Industrial Tool Company volunteers on Friday, Jan. 30, 2004 to rehabilitate three houses in the city’s historic Row House District of Ward III. The event is a joint effort of Rebuilding Together, the NFL, and IRWIN, a global manufacturer and distributor of professional grade hand tools and power tool accessories co-sponsoring Kurt Busch for 18 races during the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season. More than 8,000 low-income families around the country will be warm, safe and dry in 2004 thanks to these volunteer efforts. Held annually in the Super Bowl host city, Kickoff to Rebuild is a one-day blitz of rehabilitation and renewal for homeowners who don’t have the means to do the work themselves. Rebuilding Together’s rehab work this year will take place in the Row House District of Ward III, a community rich in history and diversity. Extensive repairs and renovations are planned at the homes of Mr. and Mrs. George Overton and Ruby Rusk Young. A third house across the street, owned by Thelma Brown, will receive a new roof. Mrs. Brown’s home was restored in 2003 as part of the October rehab project conducted by Rebuilding Together’s Houston affiliate. The new roof will complete the restoration.(Roush Racing PR)(1-31-2004)
- New Book: The Sands of Time: Celebrating 100 Years of Racing at Daytona by Bill Lazarus ($29.95, Sports Publishing LLC) chronicles competition from the early beach-course days through the modern events at Daytona International Speedway. The book includes a DVD with Daytona racing footage. Call 1-877-424-BOOK or visit www.SportsPublishingLLC.com.(1-30-2004)
- Las Vegas Testing Thursday: A total of 54 teams tested during the four-day NASCAR Preseason Thunder Las Vegas. NASCAR Nextel Cup teams made up 34 of the testing teams, while 20 NASCAR Busch Series teams participated in the test. “I told Ray (Evernham) when he came in here this morning, the last couple of days I had never seen so many people test, especially this far away. It’s pretty impressive.”
Rusty Wallace was unofficially the fastest car in testing on Thursday, tearing off a lap in 31.55 seconds, 171.694 mph, while Las Vegas’ Kyle Busch had the top Busch lap at 31.80 seconds, 169.811 mph. Busch’s time is faster than the track record for Busch cars, but the time is unofficial.
#42-Jamie McMurray looked a lot like #21-Ricky Rudd at the test on Thursday. Because McMurray was testing both his Cup and Busch cars Wednesday, he left his driving uniform in his Cup hauler following testing on Wednesday. McMurray forgot his Cup hauler was leaving on Wednesday, so he arrived at the track Thursday without his uniform. Rudd loaned him a spare.(LVMS PR) see past news on Vegas testing and some speeds on my Cup Testing News Page.(1-30-2004)
- Geoffrey Bodine won't run the Shootout: Geoffrey Bodine, who signed a six-race contract with EJP Racing to drive in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this year [#03], hasn't been able to find a team interested in running him in the Feb. 7 Budweiser Shootout. Bodine is a guaranteed starter in the all-star race for Nextel Cup pole-winners from the previous year because he's a past race winner. "Nothing has come together, and I'm surprised about that," Bodine said Wednesday from his North Carolina home. "I don't understand it because it's a high visibility race for teams and sponsors. I've talked to a lot of team owners and no one has taken me up on the deal." Bodine will compete in the truck series opener at Daytona on Feb. 13.(Elmira Star Gazette)(1-30-2004)
- Burton has two race sponsorship; but for what races? UPDATE: from the #99-Jeff Burton Fanclub Driver Diary: "As for sponsorship the remainder of the year. We will be making an announcement this week with regards to a sponsor for two races and I believe we have some more announcements coming soon." Burton is in Las Vegas testing.(Jeff Burton Fanclub Driver Diary/Roush Racing site)(1-29-2004)
UPDATE: hearing it could be longtime Roush Racing sponsor SKF.(1-30-2004)
- Roush Loses Plates and Screws: When Jack Roush narrowly escaped death after crashing an experimental plane into an Alabama lake back in 2002 he had a few remnants of the experience to carry with him as a reminder. Those remnants included the plate and screws doctors used to hold his badly fractured left leg together. However, those bits and pieces were removed during a mid-December procedure, leaving Roush free off the shrapnel of his death defying experience. Describing the best part of losing the extra implanted medical gear Roush joked, "Now I can go through the airport without setting anything off."(Ford Racing)(1-30-2004)
- NASCAR's Bill France Jr., Legendary Auto Racing Writer, Shav Glick; among 2004 Inductees: Shav Glick is going to the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. No, not to interview some famous race driver or car owner, although anyone in the Hall probably has been interviewed, at least once and probably more often, by Glick. This time, Glick will be granting the interviews. He's going to be enshrined as an inductee. The Times' longtime motorsports writer, Shavenau Glick — "My mother didn't give me a middle name, because she thought Shavenau was long enough" — will be among the honored guests at the 16th annual induction ceremony July 29 at the State Theater in downtown Detroit. The Hall is in nearby Novi, Mich. As usual, Glick, one of the most respected racing journalists — and certainly the best liked — will be in fast company. The other inductees, announced Thursday, are Bobby Rahal, Bill France Jr., Joe Amato, Geoff Brabham, the late Don Vesco and the late Johnnie Parsons.
France, who succeeded his late father, Big Bill France, as president of NASCAR, the country's most successful racing organization, is the stock car representative.
2004 inductees for the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America:
Bill France Jr. [President of NASCAR from 1972-2000];
Shav Glick [Award-winning motor racing writer, Los Angeles Times];
Bobby Rahal [1986 Indy 500 winner and three-time national champ];
Joe Amato [NHRA's only five-time top-fuel champion];
Geoff Brabham [Four-time IMSA champion in GTP series];
Don Vesco [Land-speed record-setter in cars and motorcycles];
Johnnie Parsons [Indy 500 winner in '50; national driving champ in '49](Los Angeles Times)(1-30-2004)
- Norris Out? UPDATE 3: hearing reports that DEI executive vice president Ty Norris has left Dale Earnhardt Inc???(1-27-2004 5pm/et)
UPDATE: Sources close to Dale Earnhardt, Inc., told NASCAR.com Tuesday that executive vice president Ty Norris has resigned from the team, effective immediately. An announcement from the team is expected Wednesday. Sources said Norris' decision was made in reaction to Teresa Earnhardt's decision to restructure the team's upper management, thus sending Norris to a lesser role. Norris, an employee at DEI since 1996, bore the brunt of the company's executive responsibility following Dale Earnhardt's death in February 2001.(NASCAR.com), hearing Richie Gilmore will assume Norris' position or some of the duties.(1-28-2004 - 12mid)
UPDATE 2: Sources close to Dale Earnhardt Inc., confirmed that a "blow-up" took place at the shop over the weekend, leaving Ty Norris, the organization's executive vice president, with the option of stepping down or stepping out. Team owner Teresa Earnhardt was expected to meet with teams Tuesday to discuss the developments that include a restructuring of upper management. Richie Gilmore, DEI's chief engine builder, is expected to move up to the front office. Gilmore told TSN he's looking forward to the challenge and had not yet been told what his official title would be. The general consensus in the garage during Las Vegas testing was that having "a racer" run the day-to-day business would benefit DEI significantly. Gilmore, a native of Rochester, N.H., began his racing career in Super Modifieds as a teenager. Gilmore met Ron Bouchard and moved to North Carolina in 1988 to work on his Winston Cup team. In 1991, after an apprenticeship with Keith Dorton, Gilmore joined Hendrick Motorsports and began working with Randy Dorton. At Hendrick's, Gilmore was assigned to the lease program at Joe Gibbs Racing when Dale Jarrett won his first Daytona 500. He continued with Hendrick's on Terry Labonte's team in 1995 and 1996 when the No. 5 car won the title. In 1998, he was approached by Dale Earnhardt to build engines for the No. 8 car and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was making his Cup debut the following season. When Gilmore took over the engine shop, DEI had just 19 employees and 21 engines. Gilmore helped to grow the department to 61 employees and 115 engines during his tenure as DEI's head engine builder.(FoxSports)(1-28-2004)
UPDATE 3: Effective immediately, Richie Gilmore will direct all motorsports functions at Dale Earnhardt Incorporated. The position was previously held by Ty Norris, who resigned on Jan. 26, 2004. Teresa Earnhardt, CEO and co-founder of Dale Earnhardt Incorporated stated, "Because of close teamwork at Dale Earnhardt Incorporated, Richie Gilmore has prepared to manage all motorsports responsibilities. Looking at programs he has implemented over the years, we're confident he will continue to develop our success, both on and off the track." Gilmore, a 38-year-old Rochester, NH native came to DEI in 1998 as Head Engine Builder, after an eight-year stint at Hendrick Motorsports. In addition, Dale Earnhardt Incorporated's Sponsor Services Division is being strengthened with additional personnel. Earnhardt added,"To develop new marketing strategies and fulfill the needs of our current partners we will be focusing on growth while continuing to direct primary energies toward winning the Nextel Cup and BGN championships; fulfilling the goals established for this company over a decade ago."(DEI PR)(1-30-2004)
- Ganassi team wins pole for 24: Scott Pruett put the #01 CompUSA Lexus Riley of Chip Ganassi Racing on the pole for the 42nd anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Pruett set a new Daytona Prototype track record with his 1:45.783 lap at 121.154mph, shaving more than four seconds off the previous record held by David Donohue.(Speed Channel)(1-30-2004)
- Revamping of Totally NASCAR: TOTALLY NASCAR is FSN's half-hour weeknight show dedicated to the sport of NASCAR, providing viewers with the latest information, highlights, analysis and interviews from the newsmakers in stock car racing. Debuting on Mon., Feb. 9 and airing each weeknight at 6:00pm local time, TOTALLY NASCAR returns with over 200 new episodes, bringing the total number of episodes since its inception to over 700. This season, the show runs exclusively on FSN. This season, TOTALLY NASCAR has been given a complete facelift. Former reporter Krista Voda now serves as the host, bringing a new and different perspective to the show. Also, Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond return for their fourth season as in-studio analysts and Sean Pragano returns as TN's on-site reporter. Segments to watch for in this upcoming season include more of the popular Road Trip series as well as the all-new Sports Writer Roundtables, where different writers debate the hottest issues in the NASCAR world and Driver Guy, featuring a mysterious NASCAR wannabe who sneaks into qualifying sessions and driver meetings as he tries to learn how to ride with the big boys.(FoxSports)(1-29-2004)
- Jeff Green to sit OUT of the Bud Shootout: When young Richard Petty began his racing career some five decades ago, his mother fretted about her son getting involved in a wild and reckless sport that was just a hiccup removed from moonshine running. Petty tried to ease his mother's concern by promising her that his race team never would have anything to do with alcohol. That 50-year-old promise will keep #43-Jeff Green out of the Feb. 7 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. Green won last year's Daytona 500 pole, making him eligible for the Shootout. The race matches the previous season's pole-winners, plus past Shootout champions. But there's a catch. In order to qualify for the Shootout, a driver's car must carry a small Budweiser decal during the season. Petty refuses to permit any beer advertising on his cars. That means his driver is not eligible for the lucrative Bud Shootout. While Petty is adamant about no beer decals on his cars, over the years he has competed in beer-sponsored races like the Budweiser 400 and Miller 400. Petty's response: he has no control over who sponsors a race, but he does have control over who sponsors his cars. With Green sitting out, the Bud Shootout will consist of 21 drivers.(Tennessean), note: Green could still run the race if he runs another car and if, of course, the Petty's ok that.(1-29-2004)
- Starr could attempt Cup race at Texas again: A 15-race trial this season in NASCAR's Busch Series will become a full-time effort in 2005 for Texans David Starr and Michael Holigan. Driver Starr and owner Holigan, the former home builder from Plano, laid the groundwork for their start-up team Wednesday during the Texas Tour 2004 Media Day at Texas Motor Speedway. Though committed to a part-time Busch schedule, including an appearance at the O'Reilly 300 on April 3 at TMS, Starr said his No. 1 goal is to win the Craftsman Truck Series championship. Starr plans to compete in 40 races between the Busch and Truck series but could add a 41st. He and his uncle Mike, who runs the Team Texas Driving School at TMS, have discussed entering the Samsung/RadioShack 500 Nextel Cup race April 4 at TMS [Starr attempted last year in the #75 and didn't make the race](Fort Worth Star Telegram)(1-29-2004)
- Less of a driver 'feel'? The NASCAR Busch and Cup teams have headed west for the first big test of the new downforce and tire package. Several teams hit the asphalt of Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Monday. They were joined on Tuesday by about 40 teams as preparations for the 2004 season hit a high gear. In speaking with Roush Racing's Brad Parrott, who is here with Matt Kenseth and a Busch car, www.teamfordracing.com learned that the new aero and tire package is making the cars a little less driver friendly. This is something that can easily be heard as the drivers are back to sawing at the throttle as they set their car for corner entrance. A shorter rear spoiler along with softer tires that Goodyear is running this year is driving the new feel. Looking at the tire Parrott, who is one of the best in the game at understanding the role of the tire on the car, tells TFR that the test tire, and the tire slated for the early March race, is the same tire that Goodyear brought to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the season-ending Ford Championship weekend in 2003. These tires are very similar in construction to the 2001 Goodyear offering and had Parrott offering the warning regarding camber that bit so many teams that season. Camber, which is a measure of a tire's vertical relationship to the travel path, can help a car turn through a corner quickly. But too much camber can chew a tire apart, predominantly on the inner inch or two of the tire and lead to premature failure. Of the four tires most likely to suffer from overly aggressive camber settings the right front comes in at the top of the list as a majority of the car's weight leans on this quarter of the car at corner entry. This tire, which gets good wear, has a softer sidewall and gives the driver that "I'm hanging onto my butt out here" feel, according to Parrott. Parrott says that the lower rear blade and other NASCAR template issues have taken some of the aero load off the car, but not enough to totally change the approach to getting a car dialed in.(Ford Racing)(1-29-2004)
- Milestone for Racing Milestones Magazine: Writers at Racing Milestones Magazine, Trader Publishing Company's monthly magazine for NASCAR race fans, earned the two most prestigious writing awards in motorsports journalism for stories published in 2003.
Monte Dutton earned first place in magazine writing from the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) at its annual meeting in
Charlotte, North Carolina, on Jan. 18th for his story, "Dale Jr.: True to Himself," published in November 2003.
Four days later, on Jan. 22, Godwin Kelly won the magazine writing category and a Rolex watch in the Miller Lite Motorsports Journalism
Awards of Excellence in honor of Russ Catlin for his story, "Ryan Newman: One-Track Mind," published in October 2003. The Journalism
Awards of Excellence in honor of Russ Catlin recognize outstanding motorsports coverage in five categories while honoring the memory of
Catlin, a motorsports journalism pioneer. These are presented annually at the UAW-GM Motorsports Media Tour in Charlotte.(Racing Milestones PR)(1-29-2004)
- Brian Vickers and T. Wayne Robertson Fund Team Up to Sponsor Camper Cabin at the Victory Junction Gang Camp: When NASCAR driver Brian Vickers won the 2003 Busch Series Championship, he carried a photo of Adam Petty in his driver’s uniform to remind him of his close friend and to keep his memory alive. Now, the 20 year old champion has teamed up with another friend, fellow racer Toby Robertson, and the T. Wayne Robertson Fund to permanently honor Adam and the memory of T. Wayne Robertson by sponsoring a camper cabin at the Victory Junction Gang Camp. The donation will simply be acknowledged as, “a gift from the friends of Adam Petty and T. Wayne Robertson in their memory.” Vickers and Robertson, son of the late T. Wayne Robertson – former head of RJR’s Sports Marketing Enterprises, are both friends of the Petty family and their son, Adam, in whose honor the Victory Junction Gang Camp was founded. “Our families and the Pettys have enjoyed a relationship for years,” said Toby Robertson, “and we’re proud that the T. Wayne Robertson Fund can continue giving back to the community by honoring the memory of Adam and my father.” 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. The T. Wayne Robertson Memorial Fund was established in 1998 and is managed by the Winston-Salem Foundation. The fund benefits a variety of local North Carolina charitable and public service-related efforts dear to Robertson, including the racing, police and fire department sectors.(Victory Junction Gang Camp PR)(1-29-2004)
- oops, Tracy rumor back: Reigning CART champion Paul Tracy, a Las Vegas resident, visited the Nextel Cup garage Tuesday -- perhaps looking for a ride if the CART series folds. The open-wheel series' future should be decided today during a bankruptcy hearing in Indiana.(Las Vegas Sun) NOTE: OWRS Awarded CART Assets: see full story at the Speed Channel site.(1-29-2004)
- Gordon rooting for the Panthers: Even though he's a San Fransisco 49ers fan, Jeff Gordon says he's going to this weekend's Superbowl in Houston to root for the Carolina Panthers. Gordon, who lives in the Charlotte area said he saw the enthusiam, excitement and adrellian flowing through the city and became an instant Panthers fan. "I'm gonna put my Panthers hat on, be a big supporter and hope they win it...and I think they've got a shot at winning it."(PRN's Garage Pass)(1-28-2004)
- A Sponsor for the #23 and Blaney in the Shootout? UPDATE: hearing that Whelen will be the sponsor of the #23 Bill Davis Racing Dodge and driver Dave Blaney in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona on Frb 7th.(1-28-2004)
UPATE: In continued efforts to promote the fact that Whelen products [www.whelen.com] are designed and manufactured in the United States of America, Whelen Motorsports has negotiated an agreement to sponsor the Bill Davis Racing #23 Dodge in the 2004 Budweiser Shootout and the Daytona 500. The car will be driven by Dave Blaney and it will be painted and decaled to look just like their trademark Marsh Racing #31 Busch Series Ford. This is a one weekend deal only. Also, the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc. logo will be displayed on the rear quarter panels of the Whelen #23 Nextel Cup Dodge. It is their hope and mission to attract other companies to join them in their support of the USA Olympic and World Cup Bobsled Teams by providing funds for the design and manufacture of the most competitive bobsleds possible. These bobsleds are built in Oxford, CT and more will be heard about their support of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc. in the future.
The schedule for the Whelen #23 NEXTEL Cup races are as follows:
Budweiser Shootout - Saturday, February 7th @ 7:30 p.m. on TNT (70 laps, 175 m)
Gatorade Twin 125's - Thursday, February 12th @ 1:00 p.m. TNT (50 laps, 125 m)
Daytona 500 - Sunday, February 15th @ 12:00 Noon on NBC (200 laps, 500 m)(Whelen PR)(1-28-2004)
- Kyle Petty denies retirement talk: Kyle Petty isn't quite ready to hang up his driving suit. Petty on Monday denied a published report that he would step out of the #45 Georgia-Pacific Dodge and into retirement at some point this season. "I don't know where that (rumor) came from; I don't have a clue," Petty said during a break in testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. If I was going to retire, I wouldn't have come out here and run in the half-marathon and then got up this morning at 6 o'clock to come to the track." Petty said that "there is no plan at all" for him to turn over the driving duties of the Petty Enterprises car to Shane Hmiel, as was rumored. Hmiel currently is serving an indefinite suspension by NASCAR for violating its substance-abuse policy. Although both Petty Enterprise's cars struggled last season, Petty said the addition of veteran driver Jeff Green in the #43 car already is paying dividends. Both Green and Petty finished in the top 20 during testing earlier this month at Daytona International Speedway. "Realistically, Jeff brings a lot to the table," Petty said. "He drove for DEI and he drove for Childress, so he came in and looked at our stuff and he said, 'look, you guys are not a 40th-place team; we've got to get this thing straight.' Jeff has done a lot to get us turned in the right direction."(Las Vegas Sun), see the past news/rumors on this at my #45 Team News and Links page.(1-28-2004)
- Texas Hall of Fame Inductions: Johnny Rutherford and fellow Indy-car legend A.J. Foyt of Houston, the first four-time winner of the Indy 500, were honored as inaugural inductees into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame. The racing peers, who trace their careers from the state's dirt tracks to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, were honored for outstanding achievement in motorsports.
Other award recipients included Carroll Shelby, a former winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and still active as a sports car designer at 81, who was presented the Bruton Smith Legends Award for lifetime achievement in motorsports.
Gil de Ferran, winner of the Indy Racing League's season-ending Chevy 500 IndyCar Series event at TMS in October, was presented the 2003 Texas Motor Speedway Sportsmanship Award. De Ferran, who retired after the race, was cited for his character and cooperation with media and fans.
Brendan Gaughan, who swept both NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races at TMS last year and has won four in a row at TMS, was honored as the track's Racer of the Year.(Fort Worth Star Telegram) and more info on the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame site(1-28-2004)
- And Some More Schrader News: Federated is pleased to report that Federated Auto Parts and Ken Schrader Racing will continue their association in 2004. For 2004, the Ken Schrader Racing Team will again dedicate their resources to the Federated Auto Parts Racing Program. NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader will drive Federated vehicles in 19 races plus over 20 dirt track events. Road racing veteran Boris Said will be behind the wheel of the Federated entry in the NASCAR Southwest Tour race in Sonoma. The Federated/Schrader vehicles are scheduled to carry an in car camera in all televised events. In addition to his duties as driver of the Winston Cup #49 BAM Racing Dodge, Ken Schrader’s 19 plus Federated Auto Parts racing schedule includes 3 ARCA events, 13 Truck races, 1 Winston Southwest Tour races, 2 Winston West series events and more than 20 dirt track events. Federated will also be an associate sponsor of BAM Racing's #49 Winston Cup Dodge driven by Ken Schrader. Federated’s logo will be prominently displayed on the vehicles B-pillars and Schrader’s Winston Cup driving suit for the entire 2004 season.(Federated Auto Parts Site)(1-28-2004)
- Honda and Nissan next? Ford's Jack Roush and Chevrolet's Rick Hendrick both expect Honda to make a move into NASCAR soon, and Hendrick said he also expects Nissan to make overtures.(Winston Salem Journal)(1-24-2004)
AND - not NASCAR but about Nissan: In a bold announcement that could dramatically alter the balance of power in the Pro Class RWD divisions in all three professional drag race series in the United States, Performance Motorsport of Smithtown, New York, formally announced today its arrival into the world of Sport Compact drag racing – the fastest growing segment in motorsports. The Performance Motorsport Nissan 350Z is a pro rear wheel beast, fueled by a 3.5L Twin Turbocharged 350Z engine spitting out more than 1700 Horse Power at speeds in excess of 200 miles an hour. Sport Compact drag racing fans and automotive enthusiasts will be blown away by this new entry into the class. Nissan executive and owner of several of Nissan’s most successful car dealerships, Gary Rubio, will be the man responsible for leading Performance Motorsport to the top. As a former professional race car driver with years of CART racing under his belt, Rubio will rely on his knowledge of cars, racing and the 350Z to lead his team to a successful 2004 racing season. Team Performance Motorsport, already equipped with a new Toterhome and new support vehicles, plans to tour events at all major sanctioning bodies (NDRA, NHRA and IDRC) as well as attend several major industry shows. Determined to be a top 5 finisher in the NDRA and NHRA pro RWD classes, sport compact drag racing fans may very well be looking at the year of the Team Performance Motorsport and their Nissan 350Z. To inquire about the exciting sponsorship opportunities available or for more information on Performance Motorsport, and its 2004 racing schedule log onto www.TheExperience.com.(PR)(1-28-2004)
- Diversity Update: Representatives from prospective teams are reviewing video tapes, resumes and combine testing and evaluation results of the 12 drivers and 28 crew competitors who competed in the inaugural Drive for Diversity Combine Testing and Evaluation held at Hickory Motor Speedway, Hickory, NC, and 5 Off 5 On Race Team Performance Center, Mooresville, NC.(see full article at the Speed Channel site)(1-28-2004)
- Testing at Atlanta in Feb: #45-Kyle Petty is scheduled to test at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Feb 24th; #22-Scott Wimmer on Feb 25th. Testing is closed to the public.(1-28-2004)
- Schrader wins at PIR..again: Ken Schrader earned his second consecutive Grand National Division West Series victory in the United Rentals 150, Sunday in Phoenix International Raceway's fourth annual Winter Heat. His ninth overall series win boosted his total wins at PIR to 14 in the 15 years he has been coming to Phoenix during NASCAR's off-season. Schrader, fresh from a seventh-place finish in the AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series www.phoenixraceway.com 100, switched cars and took the green flag in the 150-mile race in PIR's double feature. Child's play for the racer accustomed to 500 miles and four hours of turning left. Schrader charged from his 19th-place starting position to seventh in only 14 laps and moved steadily through traffic until he caught Austin Cameron. Cameron started fifth and passed pole sitter and October winner Scott Lynch of Burley, Idaho, by the second lap around PIR's mile oval. Cameron led until Lap 50 when he got wide in Turn 3, with the help of Schrader, he said, and fell to second. After a round of pit stops on Lap 89, Cameron clawed his way back into the lead. An incident on Lap 116 in Turn 1 involving Schrader, Cameron and Clint Bowyer put Bowyer sideways and ended Cameron's challenge for the win. Schrader finished seven seconds ahead of Cameron, who held on to second. Matt Kobyluck, who started 24th in the 30-car field, finished third.(Arizona Republic)(1-28-2004)
- Boris is a Dad: Road race specialist Boris Said became a first-time father Jan. 23 when his son, Boris Said Jr., was born at Scripps Hospital in Carlsbad, Calif. Boris Jr. weighed in at 7 pounds, 6 ounces and measured 20 inches long. When asked the obvious question, Boris explained, "Not quite a 'fro, but he had a good amount of hair," a reference to Said's trademark bushy-hair afro look. Said added, "Mother (Deanne Gray) and son are doing great." Along with competing in this weekend's Rolex 24 At Daytona, Said will also compete in the Feb. 7th Budweiser Shootout, driving the #01 U.S. Army/MB2 Chevrolet. Said earned the invitation as a result of qualifying on the pole in the Army car at last year's NASCAR Cup road race in Sonoma. The Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway will be Said's first NASCAR superspeedway race.(US Army PR)(1-28-2004)
- Goody's Re-Ups with NASCAR: Goody's Headache Powder and NASCAR announced the renewal of Goody's status as the "Official Pain Reliever of NASCAR" - a title it has held for the past 27 years. Of NASCAR's current 2004 official sponsor roster, Goody's Headache Powder is the longest serving, non-automotive sponsor of NASCAR. In addition to maintaining its status as the "Official Pain Reliever of NASCAR," Goody's will continue its long-running sponsorship of the the Goody's "Extra Strength Award" presented to the highest-finishing eligible driver in the NASCAR Busch Series as well as the Goody's "Headache Award" presented during MRN race broadcasts to the driver/team who experiences the biggest "headache" as a result of the day's racing activities in the NASCAR Busch Series.
Beginning this year, Goody's will also present the "Goody's Fast Relief Zone" at selected tracks on the NASCAR circuit, offering fans an interactive and engaging respite. The Goody's Fast Relief Zone will feature free Goody's samples, chilled water, portable misters on hot days, racing-themed activities, and games where fans can win prizes such as a chance to climb in a race car and drive around the track at the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
The Goody's Relief Zone will be available at ten events this season at the following five venues: Atlanta Motor Speedway (March 13 & 14, October 30 & 31), Bristol Motor Speedway (March 27 & 28, August 27 & 28), Lowe's Motor Speedway (May 21 & 22, May 29 & 30, October 15 & 16), Texas Motor Speedway (April 3 & 4) and Richmond International Raceway (May 14 & 15, September 10 & 11).
In addition to its 27-year history with NASCAR, Goody's is also the official pain reliever of Petty Enterprises. Goody's announced in October 2003 that Richard Petty had signed on for another two years to continue as the brand's spokesperson. Richard Petty, who personally uses Goody's, has been the face of the product for nearly 25 years. Petty will once again appear in electronic and print advertising, point-of-sale and instore materials and direct mail pieces. He will also sign autographs in the Goody's Fast Relief Zone at selected events.
In 2004, Goody's will share title sponsorship with NASCAR for the "Fun Walk On Track for Charity" at three Speedway Motorsports tracks, Bristol, Texas and Lowes Motorspeedways. Proceeds from the events will benefit Speedway Children's Charities and the Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, NC.(NASCAR PR)(1-28-2004)
- 24 at Daytona Diecast: Action Performance is preparing to release a limited-edition series of specialty endurance racing collectible racing replicas. The cars will be reproductions of three of the cars in the Grand American Rolex 24 endurance race at Daytona International Speedway, which begins Saturday and runs for 24 hours. Action Performance will produce die-cast replicas of the #2, #4 and #09 Daytona Prototype race cars, all of which use the Chevrolet Crawford DP03 chassis. Action Performance normally specializes in NASCAR collectibles, and there will be familiar NASCAR drivers among the teams for each of the three cars. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart will be among the drivers of the #2 car, Jimmy Johnson will take turns behind the wheel of the #4 car and Robby Gordon is part of the #09 team.(Phoenix Business Journal)(1-28-2004)
- Fans can visit Daytona, ISC websites To pledge "Laps for Victory Junction": Fans who visit Daytona International Speedway and International Speedway Corporation's websites during the Rolex 24 at Daytona, can make a difference for Kyle Petty and his Victory Junction Gang Camp. Competing in one of the most prestigious sports car races in the world, Petty hopes to raise money for the medical specialty camp with the help of motorsports fans that pledge "money per lap" as he competes in the season opener to the Rolex Sports Car Series at Daytona International Speedway. The 42nd anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona will get underway on Saturday, Jan. 31, with the checkered flag falling on Sunday, Feb. 1. The donation form available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or www.iscmotorsports.com includes an amount pledged per lap for the #45 Gunnar Racing team of Petty, Gunnar Jeannette, Paul Newman and Michael Brockman.(DIS PR)(1-27-2004)
- Wimmer crashes at Las Vegas during testing, but has been checked out by the medical staff and is OK.(1-27-2004)
- USG to Continue Partnerships with NASCAR, MB2/MBV Motorsports: USG Corporation, a leading manufacturer of building materials, including the industry leading Sheetrock Brand, announced it will continue its partnership affiliations with NASCAR and MB2/MBV Motorsports. The 2004 sponsorship programs that USG Sheetrock Brand will be actively involved in are as follows:
* Primary, Associate Sponsorships with MB2/MBV Motorsports
Along with being a season-long major associate sponsor on the #01 U.S. Army/MB2 Chevrolet, driven by Joe Nemechek, USG Sheetrock Brand will also be the team's primary sponsor at four NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races in 2004 -- Las Vegas (March 7), Chicago (July 11), New Hampshire (Sept. 19) and Darlington (Nov. 14).
USG will also carry a season-long associate sponsorship with MB2's teammate, the #10 Valvoline/MBV Chevrolet driven by Scott Riggs in 2004.
* NASCAR Promotional Partner
* USG Person of the Year
The award is designed to honor NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers for their community service contributions and charitable efforts. For the purpose of determining the NASCAR USG Person of the Year award, the program will be divided into four quarters in which drivers are nominated for their off-track charitable efforts. A group of panelists will select one of the quarterly finalists as the USG Person of the Year. The award will be presented in New York during the week of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Awards Banquet.
* USG Driver of the Race
At each NASCAR NEXTEL Cup points race, the driver displaying the USG contingency decal on their car who has the best finishing position will win the cash award. The award will be split between the driver and the driver's selected charities.
* NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series USG Night at the Races
USG will sponsor "USG Night at the Races" at 26 local race tracks that are part of the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series. The events are intended to provide USG customers an opportunity to enjoy an evening of stock car racing.
USG Corporation, based in Chicago, is a Fortune 500 company with subsidiaries that are market leaders in their key product groups: gypsum wallboard, joint compound and related gypsum products; cement board; gypsum fiber panels; ceiling panels and grid; and building products distribution. For more information about USG Corporation, visit the USG home page at www.usg.com.(PR)(1-27-2004)
- More on the 'Hand Signals: NASCAR on Monday unveiled the penalties its officials will use hand signals to call during races in its top three series - Nextel Cup, Busch and Trucks - this season. Last week during the annual media tour in Charlotte, NASCAR President Mike Helton announced pit-road officials would use hand signals to indicate when teams committed one of the five most common infractions. Monday, NASCAR announced those penalties:
pitting out of the box
too many crew members over the wall
crew members over the wall too soon and
improper removing of equipment.
The officials also will have signals for the category of penalty (driver, team, equipment) and severity of the penalty (15 seconds, one lap, pass-through, end of the longest line and stop-and-go).
Until now, all communications between NASCAR and its officials have been by two-way radio. The communications between officials and teams have mostly been verbal.
"The idea is to utilize the hand signals to convey quicker what is going on on pit road," Helton said. Demonstrations of the hand signals are expected during the Feb. 5 Media Day at Daytona prior to Speedweeks.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-27-2004)
- Kyle Retiring Sometime in 2004? Hmiel to drive #45? UPDATE 2 Denied: At some point this season, for the first time in the history of NASCAR there will not be a Petty in the roster of drivers. Shane Hmiel is in line to replace Kyle Petty in the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge. Petty would remain CEO of Petty Enterprises. "It's really not going to affect anyone but us," said seven-time champion Richard Petty, Kyle's father. "But it will be a family thing because we won't have anyone out there. We might have to adopt someone." Hmiel could be reinstated to compete in NASCAR as early as this week and be ready to race as early as Daytona. After failing a drug test last fall following the Busch race at Richmond, Hmiel, 23, was suspended from racing in NASCAR events. Gary Smith, NASCAR's director of event logistics, said last week that Hmiel has been involved in a rehabilitation program administered by an independent agency and is doing well.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(1-26-2004)
UPDATE: being told by Petty sources that this is not true and Petty plans to run the full 2004 season, Hmiel could run a few select races in the #44. No idea what the plan is for Christian Fittipaldi in 2004.(1-26-2004)
UPDATE 2: Contrary to a unconfirmed Internet report, Kyle Petty has no plans to retire in 2004, a source close to Petty Enterprises said. The report said that some time during the 2004 season, Petty would be replaced by Shane Hmiel in the #45 Dodge. Hmiel is currently undergoing a NASCAR-mandated program to gain reinstatement to the sport after being suspended last year for an undisclosed substance violation. Hmiel attempted to qualify in a Petty [#43] car last year in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona but was too slow to make the field. The report that Hmiel would replace Petty, however, is "not true at all," a source said.
"(It) was never checked with anyone at Petty Enterprises and had the quotes taken out of context," the source said. "Richard (Petty) was asked, as he has been more than once over the past few years, of the day that would sometime come when there would not be a Petty driving at Petty Enterprises, and this was not in any way a reaction to this 'story.' But the quotes were placed to make it look as if it were." Petty has been in NASCAR since 1979, competing in 678 races, making him ninth on that all-time list. He hasn't won since 1995, however, as Petty Enterprises has struggled in recent years. Petty has taken on the role of car owner, running the two-car team out of the famed Level Cross, N.C. shops. But retirement as a driver? A "baseless" claim, a source said.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(1-26-2004)
UPDATE 3: been told there are no plans to run Hmiel in a Petty car in 2004, plans are still to run Christian Fittipaldi in some races, depending on sponosrship in the #44 Dodge.(1-27-2004)
- Kyle Petty runs in the Las Vegas marathon: this is a few days old and have not seen results, but Kyle Petty was scheduled to run a marathon in Las Vegas: Kyle Petty, 43, will be wearing bib #5001 as he takes part in Sunday's [1/25] Las Vegas Marathon, half-marathon race. Petty is mixing business with pleasure by combining a Tuesday practice session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a spot in the 6,500-person marathon field.(from Friday at the Las Vegas Sun)
No word on where Petty finished but the half marathon was won by Jason Warick of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in 1:07:31.(Las Vegas Review Journal)(1-26-2004)
UPDATE: Petty finished 163rd in his division with a time of 2:09:41; see results at www.lvmarathon.com AND see a column at the Las Vegas Sun: Despite 'pit stops,' Petty happy with his Vegas run(1-27-2004)
- Some Notes/Speeds on Las Vegas Testing - Day 1: #45-Kyle Petty said that a weekend snowstorm prevented many of #43-Jeff Green's crew from getting out of the Charlotte, NC. area in time to take part in today's test at LVMS. Petty said he would test today and Tuesday and it was likely that Green would test Tuesday and Wednesday.(Las Vegas Sun)
AND The first day of NASCAR Preseason Thunder Las Vegas gave 18-year old Las Vegan Kyle Busch his first laps in a NASCAR Nextel Cup car at his hometown track. Busch is set to make his Nextel Cup Series debut in the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7. The younger brother of NASCAR star Kurt Busch also will compete in the March 6 Sam’s Town 300 NASCAR Busch Series race. Monday, Busch joined nine other Nextel Cup teams and five Busch Series teams taking part in the open test session.
At day’s end, Busch was unofficially listed second among the Nextel Cup cars with a best lap of 31.82 seconds and 169.447mph. Though no official speeds were kept, #19-Jeremy Mayfield had the fastest known time of 31.70 seconds and 170.347 miles per hour. In addition to Busch and Mayfield, Nextel Cup drivers #29-Kevin Harvick, #31-Robby Gordon, #30-Johnny Sauter, #9-Kasey Kahne, #49-Ken Schrader, #45-Kyle Petty, #43-Jeff Green [guess the car and team made it ok?] and #4-Kevin Lepage participated in the test.
Six NASCAR Busch Series teams tested Monday as well. Reigning NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Matt Kenseth tested his Busch car along with Michael Waltrip, Ron Hornaday, Mark MacFarland, Eric McClure and David Reutimann. There were no incidents on track during the test. NASCAR Preseason Thunder Las Vegas will continue through Thursday. On Tuesday, 17 more teams including Hendrick drivers Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Brian Vickers, Gibbs drivers Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte and Ganassi drivers Sterling Marlin and Jamie McMurray will join the test. Testing is open to the public free of charge.(LVMS PR)(1-27-2004)
- Kerry Earnhardt to run five Cup races for RCR in the #33 UPDATE 2 Skinner in the Daytona 500?:- Kerry Earnhardt will compete in five NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races in 2004 for Richard Childress Racing (RCR) in the #33 Bass Pro Shops Chevy. Earnhardt, 34, is the eldest son of Dale Earnhardt who, with RCR, earned 67 race wins and six of his seven NASCAR Cup Series championships. He is scheduled to compete April 25 at Talladega, May 22 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord for the NASCAR All-Star Challenge, July 3 at Daytona, Oct. 3 at Talladega and Atlanta on Oct. 31 [Halloween]. Earnhardt has one Nextel Cup start, driving the #71 Marcis Auto Racing Chevrolet at Michigan on Aug. 20, 2000. He also has 65 NASCAR Busch Series starts since 2000, earning two top-five and five top-10 finishes. In 11 starts over two seasons (2000-01) in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, he had four wins, seven top-five and eight top-10 finishes. RCR and Bass Pro Shops have maintained a relationship since 1998, when the nation’s leading retailer of premium outdoor gear signed on as an associate sponsor of the No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet. That same year, Dale Earnhardt drove a Bass Pro Shop paint-schemed car in The Winston at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(RCR PR)
AND Earnhardt will attempt to make the starting field for the Daytona 500.(Gaston Gazette)(1-22-2004)
UPDATE: been told by RCR there are no plans for Earnhardt to run the Daytona 500.(1-23-2004)
UPDATE 2: from a FoxSports column - The color black is part of Bass Pro Shops sponsorship package for the five Nextel Cup races that they plan to do. In fact, I [Larry McReynolds] think Mike Skinner is going to drive the #33 car in the Daytona 500, but I think it's going to be an AOL car.(FoxSports)(1-26-2004)
- Dale Jr. ATV Deal: Polaris ATVs has announced the signing of Nextel Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. to a personal services agreement that will see him represent Polaris ATVs in a variety of promotions and have his signature on a new special-edition vehicle. The special Predator model will feature a red and black chassis, Earnhardt Jr.'s signature and the No. 8 on each rear fender. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.(NASCAR Scene need sub to read online)(1-26-2004)
- Special Scheme for Newman at select race and a CONTEST: A long-time supporter of NASCAR racing, ExxonMobil is marking its 14th season in 2004 as a major sponsor of Penske Racing with veteran driver Rusty Wallace and NASCAR 2003 Speed Channel American Driver of the Year Ryan Newman. The Mobil 1 brand will be featured on the hood of Newman’s #12 Dodge during five NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races in 2004: the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway, the Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway, the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway, the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway, and the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway(TRPR).
CONEST: Mobil 1 Gives NASCAR Fans A Million Reasons To Get Into the Action in ‘04: Mobil 1, the "Official Motor Oil of NASCAR" and the world’s most popular synthetic motor oil, is launching Mobil 1 Million -- a consumer promotion where one lucky fan can win a total of $1 million by predicting the winners of all 36 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races in 2004. The promotion, which splits the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series into four quarters, with nine races in each quarter, provides consumers with a chance to win $250,000 per quarter. If a consumer correctly picks all of the winning drivers, that person could win $1 Million. Also, the top two performers in each quarter will win VIP trips-for-two to a 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race of their choice. For more info on this contest and deallines.....plus a few other contests, see my Racing Contests page.(1-26-2004)
- Miller leaving the #2? NO and UPDATE: heard a rumor earlier on Thursday that Miller Lite would be leaving as the sponsor of the #2 Penske Racing Dodge and driver Rusty Wallace [Wallace also has a long term personal services contract with Miller]. After some checking around, found out that Penske Racing, Wallace and Miller are close to signing a two year extension and it is all but a done deal.(10-24-2003)
UPDATE: Rusty Wallace recently signed a two-year extension with Miller that will cover him until the end of the 2005 season, when he is expected to retire from Nextel Cup.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(1-26-2004)
- NASCAR Looking at Europe? Brian France has been looking at Europe as a possible market for NASCAR, not Nextel Cup races but perhaps a NASCAR-branded series, to help pump up TV ratings over there.(Winston Salem Journal)(1-26-2004)
- Template Engine? Expect to see a common-template engine from NASCAR before the end of this season, Hendrick Motorsports head engineer Randy Dorton says. Plans that could lead to common engines in Nextel Cup for 2005 are being discussed.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(1-26-2004)
- The Latest on Ford and Kahne: Kasey Kahne's immediate future is still the subject of speculation, with Ford officials mum about what they might do. Kahne had a contract with Ford but has jumped to [the #9] Dodge and Ray Evernham. "I try to stay out of that," Evernham says. "Kasey has honored his commitments (to Ford). His attorneys have told me they've honored their commitments. And we've kind of put that behind us and we're looking ahead now. I can only tell you what I've been told by Kasey and his attorneys."(Winston Salem Journal)(1-26-2004)
- Testing at Vegas Jan 26-29th: More than 50 Cup [NNC] and Busch [NBS] teams are expected to descend on LVMS on Jan. 26-29 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to experiment with the new tires, spoilers and body designs that will go into effect in the coming season. It's the first open test for teams on an intermediate (1.5-mile) speedway. In past years, many race teams have used NASCAR Preseason Thunder Las Vegas as both a chance to tune their cars as well as a final getaway for their crews before the long grind of a 36-race season gets under way. But this year, thanks to new NASCAR rules, it will be all business in preparation for the March 7 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 and March 6 Sam's Town 300.
NASCAR and Goodyear have developed a new, softer tire compound that is untested on any track other than Daytona, which employs restrictor plates, unlike all other speedways other than Talladega. NASCAR also has implemented new body styles and spoiler angles for all makes. These changes are some of the most dramatic in the sport's history. Tickets for the NASCAR Weekend in Las Vegas are available by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-644-4444 or online at www.lvms.com.
Here is a complete listing of teams currently scheduled to test:
Monday, Jan. 26-Tuesday, Jan.27
NNC - #9-Kasey Kahne, #19-Jeremy Mayfield, #4-Kevin Lepage, #49-Ken Schrader, #84-Kyle Busch, #29-Kevin Harvick, #30-Johnny Sauter, #31-Robby Gordon, #45-Kyle Petty, #43-Jeff Green.
NBS - #?-David Reutimann, #9-Matt Kenseth, #2-Ron Hornaday, #6-Paul Wolfe, #6-Mark McFarland, #99-Michael Waltrip
Tuesday, Jan. 27-Wednesday, Jan. 28
NNC - #0-Ward Burton, #40-Sterling Marlin, #42-Jamie McMurray, #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #25-Brian Vickers, #32-Ricky Craven, #18-Bobby Labonte, #20-Tony Stewart, #10-Scott Riggs, #01-Joe Nemechek, #22-Scott Wimmer.
NBS - #00-Jason Leffler, #18-J.J. Yeley, #20-Mike Bliss, #14-Casey Atwood, #12-Tim Fedewa, #37-David Green, #22-Jason Keller.
Wednesday, Jan. 28-Thursday, Jan. 29
NNC - #88-Dale Jarrett, #2-Rusty Wallace, #97-Kurt Busch, #6-Mark Martin, #17-Matt Kenseth, #16-Greg Biffle, #91-Bill Elliott, #21-Ricky Rudd, #38-Elliott Sadler, #77-Brendan Gaughan.
NBS - #46-Ashton Lewis Jr., #47-Robert Pressley, #66-Billy Parker, #27-Johnny Sauter, #?-Jamie McMurray, #5-Kyle Busch.
NBS - #8-Martin Truex Jr..(See full PR and quotes on my Las Vegas Motor Speedway page or at the (LVMS site)(1-12/26-2004)