FEB 2-8, 2004
THE PAST NEWS! YESTERDAY and BEYOND..
OTHER PAST NEWS PAGES
- Engine Rule at Daytona: the engine rule is a little different at Daytona 500 [just like qualifying] then the other 35 races, teams must run the same engine from Saturday's first practice session (Feb. 7th) through the twin-125 mile qualifying races (Feb. 12). If a team makes a change, then it must start at the rear of the twin 125 field. After the twin 125 races, teams can make an engine change before the next day's practice session. After that, if an engine change is made, the driver will start at the rear of the. So far #19-Mayfield is the only one to change an engine, so he will fall to the rear of whatever twin 125 he runs in.(2-8-2004)
- Tragic News at Daytona: A Daytona International Speedway safety worker was killed Sunday afternoon when he was struck by a race car being driven by a paraplegic competitor in a race during activities leading up to next week's Daytona 500. Roy H. Weaver III, a 44-year-old track crew supervisor, was picking up debris in the Turn 2 area of the 2.5-mile track after a crash during the IPower 150 when he was struck by a race car being driven by Ray Paprota. Paprota, 41, is paralyzed from the waist down as a result of injuries he suffered in an automobile crash in 1984. He uses specially modified hand controls to accelerate, brake and change gears in his race car.
Sunday's race was the first held under authority of IPower, a sanctioning body that bought what was formerly known as the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series late last year. The race had been slowed under a yellow for a wreck in Turn 4 that required Tony Billings of Pfafftown, N.C., to be cut from his car. Late Sunday, Billings was listed in stable condition at Halifax Medical Center. The cars were stopped on pit road under a red flag while the Dash series garage was cordoned off with security workers and police. The Volusia County medical examiner came to the garage and officials took photos of Paprota's car. More than two hours after the incident took place, but before Weaver's death was confirmed, the race was resumed and shortened from 60 to 40 laps. Danny Bagwell, whose Alabama-based team had helped Paprota prepare his race cars for competition, was the winner.(see full story at ThatsRacin.com)(2-8-2004)
- No Radio Shack: been told the rumored associate sponsor deal between the #77 Team and Radio Shack has fallen through, for past news, see my #77 Team News and Links page.(2-8-2004)
- NASCAR Working on 'New Car': NASCAR is closer to a futuristic car that promises a safer ride for stock car racers and millions of drivers buying vehicles off the showroom floor. The fatal crashes in 2000 of Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin in New Hampshire and Tony Roper in Texas led NASCAR to reach out to the best engineers it could find, and the Dale Earnhardt accident threw the project into high gear. There have been plenty of crashes since, some serious, but no deaths. And if NASCAR's safety program keeps progressing as it has recently, the risks of deadly wrecks will keep going down. With the major car makers working on the program with NASCAR, it's a good bet that some of those safety features will wind up on street cars. Practically every part of the car is being examined for ways to make it safer. New high-tech materials - a foam aluminum that resembles a sponge; a honeycomb metal that looks as if it came out of a mutant beehive; steel designed to bend and crinkle on impact - are under investigation. Improved "crush zones" would absorb energy in a crash to protect occupants. Better collapsible steering wheels, changes in the location of the oil tanks; refined gas, brake and clutch pedals; a new generation of shock absorbers and tires that will make cars easier to control; systems to prevent fires or suppress them - they're all part of NASCAR's overhaul.(FoxSports/AP)(2-8-2004)
- Corvette to pace the field: General Motors has provided the Official Pace Car for the Daytona 500 during the entire "Modern Era" of NASCAR and this year is no exception. The 2004 Corvette Coupe, considered "America's performance icon," will continue that tradition and pace this year's Daytona 500, the opening race of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series on Feb. 15. Today's Corvette continues to deliver excitement by combining the perfect blend of performance, technology and content. Nearly 1.4 million Corvettes have been sold worldwide in its 51-year history. Corvette will pace four events at the Daytona International Speedway during Speedweeks this month, including the Budweiser Shootout, the Gatorade 125-Mile qualifying races, the Hershey's Kisses 300 and the Daytona 500. These four events help make up the 57 national NASCAR events Chevrolet will pace in 2004 season (26 Nextel Cup, 18 Busch, and 13 Craftsman Truck races).(GM PR)(2-8-2004)
- Gets Points at Best Western: Michael Waltrip will be competing for his third Daytona 500 title in the last four years -- and he'll also be racing for Best Western customers across the country. Throughout the month of February, any person who books and stays at a Best Western property will receive 500 points toward a future stay, and, if Waltrip does win at Daytona, each of those people will receive an additional 500 points. More information is available at www.bestwestern.com/racing. "It's a great way to help the fans more involved," said Waltrip. "If I win, they win."(Alan Taylor Communications PR)(2-8-2004)
- Scanners will still be allowed: Nextel Communications is hoping it can ingratiate itself to skeptical fans by providing subtle conveniences and nostalgia in its first season sponsoring NASCAR's top series. High on the list is assuring fans they still will be able to use their race scanners. The popular and pricey gadgets allow fans to listen to teams' in-race audio by tuning in to their frequency. When a communications company purchased title sponsor rights, speculation quickly mounted that the old scanners would be phased out. Though some tweaking may be done to allow Nextel subscribers similar access, there are no plans to make the scanners obsolete, executive vice president Mark Schweitzer said. "Scanners as they are now will stay in place," Schweitzer said. "We have made no plans to limit their use."(Augusta Chronicle/AP), more info on scanners on my Scanner Links / Freqs page.(2-7-2004)
- Inspection/Room of Doom at Daytona Notes: Several Nextel Cup teams had to make alterations to their Daytona 500 cars following Friday's inspections. And several teams had parts confiscated by NASCAR inspectors. The Chevy of #15-Michael Waltrip and #5-Terry Labonte were among those requiring the most additional work before they were approved. The Chevy of #24-Jeff Gordon was the first car to receive its sticker indicating it passed inspection. Among the parts confiscated by NASCAR: the rear deck lid from Jeremy Mayfield's #19-Dodge; right-side floor pans from Jimmy Spencer's #7-Dodge; braces from Labonte's Chevrolet; and the rear bumper support from the #97 Ford of Kurt Busch.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-7-2004)
- 45 cars show, NASCAR trying to add to the list? Next Thursday's Twin 125-mile qualifiers will be superfluous this SpeedWeeks since only 45 teams arrived for the 43-car Daytona 500 field. NASCAR officials are reported to be scrambling to add cars to the 125s.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-7-2004)
45 cars entered: the 2004 Daytona 500 Entry list is up, only 45 drivers are listed 38 full time teams andd seven part-timers including: #09-Johnny Benson, #1-John Andretti, #14-Larry Foyt, #23-Dave Blaney, #33-Mike Skinner, #72-Kirk Shelmerdine and #95-Andy Belmont. So 2 teams will miss the race, unless more are added [see stroy below]. For the link, see my 2004 Daytona 500 Race Info Page for the link and much more about the race.(2-7-2004)
UPDATE: add #90 Andy Hillenburg.(2-7-2004)
- Donlavey's team Back [make it 46]: For the 54th consecutive year, Junie Donlavey has brought his Richmond, Va.-based team to the motorsports mecca by the beach. Donlavey, whose team hasn't attempted to qualify for a Cup race since last year's Daytona 500, has entered his No. 90 Ford in this year's season-opening race. Morgan Shepherd is listed as the driver, but Donlavey still is working out details of who will pilot the car. He expects to know by today. The team owner doesn't have a sponsor for the 500-mile event, which has become a recurring theme. Donlavey last fielded a full-season effort in 2001. He contemplated shutting down his garage on Old Midlothan Turnpike after losing a sponsor midway through the 2002 season.(Richmond Times Dispatch), NASCAR has Andy Hillenburg listed as the driver.(2-7-2004)
- Bill Elliott to drive a specially designed car in the Bud Shootout: Evernham Motorsports owner Ray Evernham announced
today that his charity foundation, Racing For A Reason, is expanding it's relationship with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to a national level to raise awareness about the critical need to find cures for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society logo will be displayed on the Evernham Motorsports #91 Dodge that Bill Elliott will drive in the Bud Shootout this Saturday, February 7, at the Daytona International Speedway.
"We started the Racing For A Reason Foundation in 1993 to help benefit great organizations like The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society,"
said Evernham. "I've had a strong association with The Society for over ten years, predominately with their Charlotte (NC) chapter. We
recently initiated discussions with them to explore ways to grow our relationship and we quickly identified some exciting opportunities."
Bill Elliott said he is also pleased to be participating in this program. "This is a great cause and I'm glad to be involved with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This organization helps a lot of people and we hope this raises the awareness of what they do."
For more information about blood cancer, visit www.LLS.org or call the Society's Information Resource Center (IRC), a call center
staffed by master's level social workers, nurses and health educators who provide information, support and resources to patients and their
families and caregivers. IRC information specialists are available at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 6:00pm/et.(PR), see full PR on my Racing Charities page.(2-6-2004)
- FX Reality Show to air in May UPDATE: Daily Variety says 10 Nextel Cup drivers have been lined up for a "docu-style" series scheduled to debut on the FX cable channel in May, today's Sports Business Daily reports. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Jeremy Mayfield, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears, Tony Raines, Brian Vickers, Kenny Wallace and Rusty Wallace are scheduled to take part, the story says. Daily Variety's Denise Martin writes that FX has approved ordering eight hours of the series, which is tentatively titled "NASCAR: Drivers Unscripted." Each episode is expected to focus on three drivers prior to a race, and production is scheduled to begin with the Daytona 500.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-5-2004)
UPDATE: FX has placed an order for eight episodes of an unscripted series featuring some of the top drivers of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, it was announced jointly by FX Networks President and CEO Peter Liguori and NASCAR Vice President, Broadcasting and New Media Dick Glover. Scheduled to premiere in May, NASCAR: Drivers Unscripted (working title), is a weekly, one-hour series that will give viewers an unvarnished look at nine drivers, their families and teams, primarily focusing on their lives away from the tracks. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Jeremy Mayfield, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears, Tony Raines, Brian Vickers, Kenny Wallace and Rusty Wallace will be featured in multiple segments over the course of the show’s eight-week run.(NASCAR PR), see full story on my TV/Media Info and News page.(2-6-2004)
- President Bush to attend Daytona 500: President Bush will attend the Daytona 500 Feb. 15 in Florida. Bush plans to spend that Sunday night in Florida where his brother, Jeb, is governor, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Friday in announcing the trip to the auto race. That same night in Wisconsin, Democrats are scheduled to hold a debate in advance of that state's primary on Feb. 17. (AP/NASCAR.com)(2-6-2003)
- #4 Announces Sponsor: Morgan-McClure Motorsports announced a new primary sponsor for the #4 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series entry. Beginning its 21st year in NASCAR, the team welcomes the addition of YOKE TV.com to its racing program. YOKE TV.com is cutting edge and will offer one of the world's first web-based TV programs. The company plans to start broadcasting on May 1, 2004. It will feature stars in the world of sports, entertainment and music and offer an insiders view into the real life and behind-the-scenes stories of famous athletes, musicians or celebrities.
Viewers will enjoy a large number of new television shows created by YOKE TV.com with full 24 hour programming. Broadband internet users will be able to view YOKE TV anywhere on a global basis over their computer monitors.
Announcing its new primary sponsor at Daytona International Speedway, where the team has three prestigious Daytona 500 victories, marks a new beginning for Morgan-McClure Motorsports. The Abingdon, Va.-based team ended the 2003 season with a string of consistent runs and looks to continue the momentum. It will sport fresh colors of red, silver and white this season on new Chevrolet Monte Carlos in its stable and display a new NASCAR Nextel Cup Series logo.
Kevin Lepage will return as the driver of the #4 YOKE TV.com Monte Carlo along with the entire Morgan-McClure Motorsports road crew and Tim Brewer, the winningest crew chief on the circuit with 53 Cup victories.
Brent Meikle, President and CEO, YOKE TV.com, quotes on his company and joining NASCAR with Morgan-McClure Motorsports:
"We are extremely excited to get involved with Cup level racing in Nextel's first year and with Morgan-McClure Motorsports for the full season in YOKE TV's initial broadcast year. It's a new year and I think YOKE TV's new commitment to NASCAR is a prime example of the type of new sponsorships NEXTEL will attract to grow this great sport even bigger over the coming years.
"We will have the most interesting broadcast content on the air, not just on the internet, but our goal is to be the most interesting content on the air anywhere versus any medium. And we think we have a programming format that will make that vision a reality the very first day we begin broadcasting May 1st, 2004. This is really the future of broadcast and a whole new experience for people in viewing broadband. Today, we are happy to be here in NASCAR and want Kevin and the team to have the glory. Their focus is on a full year of racing. Our time will come soon to share more about both our programming and a major charitable drive we are heading up at the right time."
Larry McClure, President of Morgan-McClure Motorsports, quotes on obtaining a new sponsor: "We are extremely enthusiastic to have YOKE TV.com aboard as our primary sponsor. This is a new dawning for Morgan-McClure Motorsports and our sponsor. During the past several months, a lot of hard work has gone into our sponsor deal and the race team. To have this announcement at Daytona means a lot to this team and to me. It has always been one of my favorite tracks. We look forward to a successful partnership with Brent Meikle and YOKE TV.com. My commitment and dedication to winning remains strong." Visit yokeTV.com to learn more.(Morgan-McClure Motorsports PR)(2-6-2004)
- Gillette To Unviel New Commercials: As part of the excitement surrounding next weekend's "Great American Race" in Daytona, and proving yet again the marketability of the sport's flashy young drivers, Gillette will be unveiling a series of national television spots this weekend featuring its Gillette Young Guns -- Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, and Ryan Newman. The two 30-second spots will debut during the telecast of the Budweiser Shootout, which airs Saturday on TNT. Both spots will continue to run exclusively during NASCAR programming on TNT, NBC and FOX throughout the 2004 race season. The two 30-second commercials utilize the friendship and competitive nature of the six young drivers, along with the fast-paced excitement of motorsports, to promote the MACH3 Turbo Champion Razor. This is the first time Gillette has used NASCAR personalities in their television advertising, and is part of a multi-faceted season-long promotion between Gillette, NASCAR and the six drivers.(Alan Taylor PR)(2-6-2004)
- Penske and Sirius Satellite Radio: Penske Corporation and SIRIUS Satellite Radio announced Friday an agreement designed to utilize motorsports as a platform to bring satellite radio to race fans across the country. SIRIUS Satellite Radio logos will appear on Penske Racing Team entries competing in NASCAR Nextel Cup and the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series commencing with events at Daytona International Speedway today. The sponsorship is an extension of a business to business agreement previously announced by SIRIUS aimed at expanding the availability of SIRIUS Satellite Radio services to new car and truck purchasers and lessees. "Racing is the common thread throughout our organization and a natural environment for us to highlight the SIRIUS brand to our fans in NASCAR and IndyCar." said Roger S. Penske, Chairman of Penske Corporation. "We are delighted that drivers Rusty Wallace, Helio Castroneves, Ryan Newman, Sam Hornish, Jr., and Brendan Gaughan will be competing under a SIRIUS Satellite Radio banner."(Penske Racing PR)(2-6-2004)
- No #74 at Daytona? UPDATE: sources tell me that unless the #74 BACE Motorsports team gets sponsorship the team and driver Tony Raines may not go to Daytona and run Speedweeks.(2-2-2004)
UPDATE: BACE Motorsports announced Friday that Tony Raines and the No. 74 Nextel Cup team will not attempt to run the 2004 Daytona 500. Blaming a lack of sponsorship, owner Bill Baumgardner said it would not be in the team's best interests to run the entire Cup schedule this season. The scaling back oon the Cup level will not impact BACE's pursuit of its fourth Busch Series title.(ThatsRacin.com) see full story on my #74 Team News and Links page.(2-6-2004)
- CAT Stands by Wimmer UPDATE 2 Wimmer to race at Daytona: The director of Caterpillar Inc. racing programs said the company will stand behind its NASCAR Nextel Cup driver, Scott Wimmer, despite his arrest Saturday for driving while impaired. "We're basically going to continue on with Scott," said Greg Towles. "He made a terrible mistake but by the same token, there's been no history of that at all." Wimmer was driving a 2004 Dodge Ram pickup truck belonging to his boss, Bill Davis, early Saturday morning when he hit a large rock and the truck overturned near his High Point, N.C., home. Published reports said a Breathalyzer test recorded Wimmer's blood alcohol content at 0.15 percent, nearly twice the North Carolina legal limit of 0.08. Wimmer was not at the crash site when police arrived but was found later at his home. His wife, Jody Ambrose, was charged with misdemeanor obstruction of justice and delay. Court dates for both are March 10. Wimmer is scheduled to begin his first full season in the Nextel Cup series for Davis next week at the Daytona 500. Wimmer moved up from the Busch Series to the #22 Caterpillar Dodge for the last four races of last season. Davis released a statement Monday and withheld comment until all the facts have been revealed. Wimmer, a Wisconsin native, could face disciplinary action from NASCAR. Officials there are reported to be looking into the matter. "We're not sure what NASCAR is going to do," said Towles. Wimmer is scheduled to make an appearance in Peoria on Feb. 24 at a Peoria Rivermen game but that visit may be postponed until after his court date.(Peoria Star Journal)(2-5-2004)
UPDATE: Wimmer speaks about his drunk driving charge, “I made a poor decision and I’m the one that has to pay for it.” Scott Wimmer told PRN’s Mark Garrow during Thursday’s media day at Daytona. Wimmer has a March 10th court date after being charged with drunk driving and hit-and-run over the weekend in North Carolina. Wimmer says he’s lucky to have strong people around him who are going help including NASCAR, Car Owner Bill Davis and sponsor Caterpillar will hopefully make him a better person. Wimmer said “Hopefully I can help people make better decisions like I didn’t. In 28-years of living this is my one major mistake and I won’t make it again. I had a lot of calls from team owners, drivers and friends and family and they’re all supporting me and they know I’ll make it thru it. I’m looking forward to this season and getting it off and getting this put behind me.”(PRN's Garagepass radio report), quite a few articles on this subject, including Lyle Petty's comments, he wonders why NASCAR has done nothing, see my Columns/Articles links page for more.(2-6-2004)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR will not bar rookie Scott Wimmer from the Daytona 500 despite Wimmer's recent arrest for driving while impaired. Until the matter is resolved, Wimmer is free to compete in the Nextel Cup series, said Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president. "We're just going to let the judicial process run its course and not going to judge Scott prematurely," Hunter said. Should Wimmer excel during the events leading to the Feb. 15 Daytona 500 or the sport's biggest race, it will only draw more attention to his arrest instead of his achievement. Hunter was adamant that NASCAR would not change its approach despite the potential controversy. "We have always followed the judicial system in this country, and we're going to continue to," he said.(News and Record)(2-6-2004)
- Foyt to attempt the Daytona 500: A.J. Foyt's #14 team is looking for a sponsor and will attempt to qualify for the 500. Foyt's son Larry will drive the car, with engines leased from Evernham Motorsports.(USA Today/AP)(2-6-2004)
- Fike Eyeballing NASCAR: Midget Driver driver, A.J. Fike, will begin the new phase of his career Saturday at Daytona. He will compete in the ARCA race with former Indiana standout Andy Hillenburg as his driving coach. Fike, who last year competed in the IRL's Infiniti Pro Series, is hoping to use an ARCA season as a springboard to NASCAR.(Indy Star)(2-6-2004)
- Gordon close on Indy 500 plans: #31-Robby Gordon is close to finalizing a deal for the 2004 Indianapolis 500. He hoped to have it ready to announce Thursday during media day at Daytona International Speedway but needed a few more days to get the contracts signed. He plans to do it largely on his own with support from one of Chevrolet's Indy Racing League teams.(Indy Star)(2-6-2004)
- "The King" to Unveil Fresh Look For #43 Dodge: Long Time Sponsor STP and Current Primary Sponsor General Mills Join Forces to Salute Historic Petty Anniversaries During 2004 Season. History will repeat itself as seven-time Winston Cup Champion Richard Petty will join current Petty Enterprises driver Jeff Green to unveil a special paint scheme for the No. 43 Dodge. The unveiling kicks off a celebration of Petty family anniversaries by team sponsors General Mills and STP. 2004 will mark 20 years since Petty claimed his record-breaking 200th victory and seventh Daytona 500. This year also marks the 50th year anniversary of STP.
NASCAR Legend, Richard Petty and current #43 Dodge driver Jeff Green will unveil the #43 Dodge to be driven at Rockingham in the Subway 400 on February 21, 2004.
" Q & A with Richard Petty and Jeff Green
" Interview opportunities with Richard Petty and Jeff Green
" First time photo opportunity of special #43 Dodge
Wednesday, February 11, 2004 at Daytona International Speedway.(PR)(2-5-2004)
- #7 Crew Chief leaves? UPDATE: hearing that the #7 Ultra Motorsports crew chief, Gene Nead and the team have parted ways.(2-3-2004)
UPDATE: Jimmy Spencer's crew chief Gene Nead will travel with the #7 team to Daytona, however he will be moving on following the Daytona 500. Nead didn't say what his next move will be.(PRN's Garagepass radio report)(2-5-2004)
- Gibson Movie on #18 Hood: Norm Miller, chairman of Dallas-based Interstate Batteries, replaced his own company's hood-sized logo with an ad for "The Passion" on NASCAR driver Bobby Labonte's #18 Chevrolet. The car will carry the ad during the Daytona 500 race Feb. 15. Miller said he feels "privileged" to offer the giveaway publicity. Miller is yet another volunteer in an effort to turn "The Passion" into a success of biblical proportions. Many think a successful opening will encourage more Christian-themed movies — and win more souls. "We need this film to have the biggest opening on record," said the Web site catholicexchange.com.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(2-5-2004)
- Fans Given Chance Vote on Sterling's Car Scheme: Prilosec OTC and two-time Daytona 500 winner Sterling Marlin announced today that race fans throughout the country will be given the chance to determine how Sterling's #40 Prilosec OTC Dodge [Coor's Light] will look when it competes in a Nextel Cup race later this season. "Fan interaction is something our sport prides itself on," said Sterling Marlin. "We thought it would be a lot of fun to have the fans pick the paint scheme for the Prilosec OTC car. After that, it's up to me and the crew to win the race for the fans." Beginning Sunday, February 8, fans will have the opportunity to vote for one of three different #40 Prilosec OTC paint schemes posted on www.prilosecotc.com . Fans will be able to vote on the website by clicking on their favorite paint scheme. Paint scheme selection will conclude at 12 midnight, April 30. Voting for Sterling's purple racing machine will kick off with a national coupon insert that will appear in Sunday morning newspapers across the country this weekend. The #40 Prilosec OTC Dodge paint scheme that receives the most votes will be unveiled at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Friday, May 28. Prilosec OTC officially begins its associate sponsorship of the #40 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Nextel Cup entry this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. In addition to its one-race paint scheme later this year, Prilosec OTC will also appear on Sterling Marlin's firesuit and the B-post of the #40 Coors Light Dodge throughout the 2004 Nextel Cup season.(Yahoo Sports)(2-5-2004)
- Coke Commercial: Coca-Cola's 30-second NASCAR commercial at movie theaters across the country was recently unvieled. Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte, Dale Jarrett, Kurt Busch, Kyle Petty, Michael Waltrip, Kevin Harvick, Elliott Sadler and Bill Elliott are part of the commercial preceding the featured movie. The commercial involves in a remote-control race.(Patriot News)(2-5-2004)
- Irvan in sprint cars: Former NASCAR driver Ernie Irvan has taken an ownership position with the United Sprint Car Series, which was founded by ex-sprinter Pete Walton. Walton said that he and Irvan have taken over the North Carolina-based American Outlaw Action Series. "The two series will immediately merge our management teams and our efforts to continue the growth of sprint car racing for drivers and teams based in the southeastern United States," Walton said, adding that Irvan will concentrate on marketing efforts on behalf of the series.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(2-4-2004)
- #10 to be sponsored by Valvoline's MaxLife at the Shootout: MaxLife, the premium motor oil created by The Valvoline Company for cars with more than 75,000 miles, will be the primary sponsor on Mike Skinner's #10 Chevy in Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. The Valvoline MaxLife Chevrolet will be crewed by the #10 team, led by crew chief Doug Randolph, who serves in the same capacity for rookie driver Scott Riggs in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Along with its award-winning motor oil "Product of the Year" by Lubricant's World in 2001 -- the MaxLife product line consists of antifreeze, automatic transmission fluid and engine protector.(MBV Motorsports PR)(2-4-2004)
- Burton has two race sponsorship; but for what races? UPDATE 2: 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)
UPDATE 2: Roush Racing announced that SKF will continue its sponsorship of Jeff Burton, the #99 team and Roush Racing through 2004. In addition, SKF will expand their sponsorship to be primary sponsor of the #99 Ford for the February Rockingham race and March Atlanta race. "We are certainly excited to have SKF and Chicago Rawhide as part of our team in 2004," said Burton. "The #99 team is looking forward to carrying the SKF and Chicago Rawhide logo on our car not only for Rockingham and Atlanta but as an associate throughout the year. They have been with us for six years and we are looking forward to another exciting year with them as part of our team." The announcement of SKF's sponsorship demonstrates the interest that has been generated among many potential sponsors for Burton and the #99 team for the 2004 season and beyond. Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing says it's only a matter of time before the #99 Ford will carry a primary sponsor for the entire year. "SKF helps us continue the positive momentum that is building around Jeff Burton's program." Smith continued, "We, in turn, are committed to again helping SKF meet its marketing objectives."(Roush Racing PR)(2-4-2004)
- #4 Sponsor Close: Though no official announcement has been made concerning sponsorship for the 2004 season, silver, red and white #4 Chevys sit in Morgan-McClure Motorsports Abingdon, VA shop. McClure said a deal is nearly completed and should be solidified by the end of the week. "We haven’t signed an agreement with a sponsor but we had a conference call on Sunday and agreed on everything," McClure said. "There’s no use in me announcing who it is until it happens, but we feel pretty good about that." While five different drivers sat behind the wheel for Morgan-McClure last season, the team’s settled on Kevin Lepage as its 2004 driver. Though Kodak remains an associate sponsor on the team’s Chevrolets, it moved its primary sponsorship to Roger Penske’s #77 Dodge, piloted by rookie Brendan Gaughan.(Bristol Herald Courier)(2-4-2004)
- Want to be on TV?: Daytona International Speedway is looking for 4,000 volunteers over the age of 13 to be in the national spotlight, taking part in the heart-pumping pre-race revelry leading up to "The Great American Race" - the prestigious Daytona 500 on Feb. 15, 2004. The high-energy pre-race, featuring Grammy Award-winning musical entertainment and a world-class, first-of-its-kind pre-race show at Daytona International Speedway, will be televised live on NBC and produced by Q&A Entertainment. To participate in the event and for more information, call 386-947-6792.(DIS PR)(2-4-2004)
- Little E gets a new spotter: Richie Gilmore, the new head of racing operations for Dale Earnhardt Inc., said Stevie Reeves will replace Ty Norris as Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s spotter. Reeves used to spot for DEI's #1 team and occasionally has filled in for Norris, who left the organization last week. Spotters serve as an extra set of eyes for drivers, standing at the top of the grandstands with a radio to help drivers avoid trouble on the track.(USA Today)(2-4-2004)
- Smirnoff Ice Back with Kenseth: Smirnoff Ice will sponsor Roush Racing driver Matt Kenseth in six races during the 2004 season:
May 30 Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s
July 3 Pepsi 400 at Daytona
July 25 New England 300 at New Hampshire
August 8 Brickyard 400 at Indy
September 5 Pop Secret 500 at California
October 3 EA Sports 500 at Talladega
Smirnoff will also have secondary sponsorship on the DeWALT car for the remaining 2004 races.(Mattkenseth.com), see images of the car and a new DeWalt scheme on the #17 Team Schemes page.(2-4-2004)
- Craven Hosts 7th Annual Snowmobile Charity Ride and raises over quarter of a million for charity: Ricky Craven hosted his 7th Annual Snowmobile Ride for Charity on Saturday, January 31, 2004 in Greenville, Maine. Craven, through the generous support of the riders and businesses involved, raised $253,500 for various charities, the largest amount he has ever raised in one year. Over 575 riders participated in the ride this year (the largest number they have hosted to date), and for a donation of $125, each rider shared in a 60-mile snowmobile ride through the hills of Moosehead Lake, an autograph session with Ricky and owner of PPI Motorsports, Cal Wells, and received breakfast and lunch. Five charities received a sum of $48,500 each: The Marrow Foundation, Children's Miracle Network, The Make-A-Wish Foundation; The Travis Roy Foundation; and Give Kids the World. Additional donations were made to Moosehead Riders Snowmobile Club and to the Greenville school system.(PPI Motorsports PR) see the full PR on my #32 Team News and Links page(2-4-2004)
- NASCAR Hire: In a move to enhance NASCAR’s business leadership within the motorsports industry, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian France announced today the appointment of R. Todd Wilson as Chief Financial Officer. Wilson, who will report directly to France, will serve as NASCAR’s highest ranking financial officer. He will oversee all financial issues affecting the sanctioning body and continue to serve as Chief Financial Officer of NASCAR Broadcasting and NASCAR Digital Entertainment. Wilson’s most recent responsibilities include serving as the Assistant Treasurer of NASCAR and Chief Financial Officer of NASCAR Broadcasting, NASCAR Digital Entertainment, and NASCAR Images.(NASCAR PR)(2-4-2004)
- Air Force's NASCAR connection thunders into Tyndall Air Force Base: Part of the Tyndall Air Force Base tarmac literally became a stock car racing pit road Jan.12 as one of NASCAR's most dominant race teams roared into "The Home of Air Dominance."
The Wood Brothers' Racing team, including veteran driver Ricky Rudd, brought their #21 Motorcraft Racing/U.S. Air Force Ford Taurus race car to the base. The 700-horsepower car sported a predominantly blue paint scheme, complete with Air Force logos and aircraft.
The team, which the Air Force will partly sponsor for a fourth-consecutive NASCAR season beginning next month, invited base members to take part in a pit stop challenge. Tyndall responded, fielding nine separate teams competing for fastest pit stop honors in front of hundreds of spectators.(Tyndall Air Force Base PR), see full PR on the #21 Team News and Links page and images on the #21 Team Schemes page.(2-4-2004)
- Former NASCAR Driver to be honored: The 33rd Rome-Floyd Hall of Fame Class of 2004 includes a future NFL Hall of Famer, a NASCAR pioneer and the man often known as East Rome’s greatest athlete. When the annual induction banquet is held Thursday, Feb. 12 at the Holiday Inn Skytop, five deserving men will be enshrined. The class includes Ray Donaldson, a six-time NFL Pro Bowl selection; Larry Kinnebrew, who a standout high school track and field athlete and played in the NFL; Nat Hudson who played in the NFL; Henley Gray, who finished fourth in the 1966 NASCAR points race; and Bill Thornton, a meritorious entry known for his contributions to the community. Gray, who was also featured in a Rome News-Tribune article in February 2003, had 374 races [Not the Cup level] on the NASCAR circuit and 55 top 10 finishes. He is also credited with providing cars driven by Ned Jarrett, CooCoo Marlin, the late Dale Earnhardt and Buddy Baker. His fourth place finish in 1966 was one behind 200 race winner Richard Petty. His name is listed in the Stock Car Racing Encyclopedia. “He was the backbone of racing at the time,” said Rome Speedway president Mike Swims. “He’s given a lot to the sport, not only short track racing but NASCAR as well.”(in part from the Rome News-Tribune)(2-4-2004)
- Said in the #10 for more races? UPDATE No: saw this in a few reports about the #33 Mike Skinner/RCR ride and been asked by dozens of readers, so....."Skinner will also be competing in the Feb. 7 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, driving the #10 Chevrolet, team car to the #01 Chevrolet he won the pole in last year for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond. Boris Said also earned a pole in the #01 last year (Sonoma) and will drive the #10 in a number of races this season so Skinner is using the No. 10 for the pole-winners only event." I have email off to sources on this, have not heard anything about the regular driver of the #10 Valvoline Chevy, Scott Riggs, skipping any races [road courses for Said], would assume if Said is to run for the team, it would be for a third team to the #01/#10.(2-3-2004)
UPDATE: been informed that Scott Riggs will be in the #10 Valvoline Chevy and Joe Nemechek will be in the #01 US Army Chevy for all 36 races, Said will not be driving in either car.(2-3-2004)
- NASCAR Diversity Internship program: NASCAR, in cooperation with more than 20 organizations within the motorsports industry, will celebrate the fifth anniversary of the NASCAR Diversity Internship program this summer. The summer 2004 program will provide up to 33 college students a 10-week, paid summer internship that introduces them to the world of NASCAR, and the various career opportunities available throughout the industry. This year’s interns will begin their experience on June 1 with an orientation session in Charlotte, North Carolina. For the full press release, a website link and info on the program, see my Racing Schools/Jobs/Siminars News and Links page.(NASCAR PR)(2-3-2004)
- NASCAR College Tour News: NASCAR announced program details for the 2004 NASCAR College Tour presented by Coca-Cola. In a joint effort, NASCAR and the Coca-Cola Company visit Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions to build awareness about the motorsports industry and its various career opportunities. Students meet leading industry representatives and learn more about these careers from an insider’s perspective. The NASCAR College Tour presented by Coca-Cola will kick off Monday, February 9, 2004. For the full press release and more info, see my Racing Schools/Jobs/Siminars News and Links page.(NASCAR PR)(2-3-2004)
- NASCAR Preview and Press Guide out: UMI Publications, Inc. announced the immediate availability of The Official NASCAR Preview and Press Guide 2004. Long considered the Racing Fans' Bible, the Press Guide's highly anticipated release by racing fans and NASCAR industry leaders alike has over 400 pages of information covering the 2003 season and the inaugural 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season. No other preseason NASCAR publication can compare to the contents, accuracy and updated information of the Press Guide. Production of the magazine runs into January to insure the accuracy of information, complete updates of Driver Bios, New Paint Schemes, Complete Statistics of 2003 and Track Reviews. Race teams plan for the Press Guide's deadline as a benchmark for having everything in place for the upcoming season. With 432 pages of information, including a section covering Every NASCAR Series (which no other publication offers) the Press Guide is the industry leader in its category. With distribution over 500,000, the Press Guide is the #1 selling preseason publication of any sport. You can purchase The Official NASCAR Preview and Press Guide 2004 at all major newsstand outlets or by calling the publisher direct at (800) 747-9287 or ordering online at www.umipub.com. UMI also publishes the official NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Yearbook (given away at the Awards Ceremony in New York), many hardcover Driver Books (Earnhardt, Elliott, Jarrett, among others), Track Books and many other specialty books.(UMI PR)(1-30/2-3-2004)
- Marketers Fuming at New Championship Restrictions: In a move that raises the financial risk for the marketers who sponsor race cars and their drivers, NASCAR is instituting a new scoring system that will more tightly restrict eligibility to win the Nextel Cup Championship. Marketers, who covet the intense media exposure that follows the winner back to Pit Road, are fuming. Some tell AdAge.com they are seriously reassessing their season-long NASCAR sponsorship budgets, which can range from between $15 million and $30 million. "We've made a commitment to our team for this year," said an executive for a marketer that sponsors one of the 42 Nascar drivers. "But if our guy isn't one of the 10 drivers competing for the championship, then maybe next year we do look at [sponsoring] the first 26 races and then seeing what happens."(See full story at Ad Age)(2-3-2004)
- Munter Seeking Sponsorship for Late Model, Announces TV Show: Due to the tremendous growth at LesCare Kitchens, they have decided to dedicate all of their resources into manufacturing requiring them to withdraw the planned 2004 sponsorship investment with Leilani Munter in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series. With this recent development, Leilani Munter is seeking
sponsorship in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series for the 2004 racing season. In addition to exposure at the racetrack, Leilani has the ability to garner additional brand recognition for sponsors through her work as a special correspondent for NASCAR.com throughout the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season. Also, FOX Sports Net South has included Leilani in a list of three up and coming drivers they will follow throughout the 2004 racing season. The 30 minute weekly show “Around the Track” will air Sundays at 10:30pm. Munter will be a guest tomorrow on the Fox Sports South's NASCAR show "Around the Track" that airs as a part of the Southern Sports Report at 10:00pm.(www.leilanimunter.com)(2-2-2004)
- NHIS Track Owner Injured UPDATE: New Hampshire International Speedway Owner Bob Bahre was seriously injured in a car accident Thursday night when his car went off the road in Maine. According to track spokesman Ron Meade, Bahre suffered a fractured vertebrae, a broken ankle, a concussion, rib injuries and has been in and out of consciousness. "They just got him out of an MRI and they have him stabilized, but as you can imagine all the swelling, it's pretty serious," Meade said. A hospital spokesman said Bahre is listed in stable condition but he remains in the Intensive Care Unit at Stevens Memorial Hospital in Maine. Bahre's family told Meade that Bahre went off the road and crashed into a tree, totaling his Chevy Blazer. Police extracted Bahre from his car. Meade said Bahre lost a lot of blood, but he was probably saved by wearing a seat-belt and the Blazer's air bag. Bahre, a self-made multimillionaire in his late 70s, is credited with bringing big time auto racing to New England with his racing empire in Loudon. He also owned and operated Oxford Plains Speedway in Maine from 1964 to 1986.(Concord Monitor/AP)(1-31-2004)
UPDATE: Bob Bahre was in intensive care in a Maine hopsital after he was seriously injured in a car accident Thursday when his car went off the road. Bahre, who is in his late 70s, was listed in stable condition Sunday at Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway, Maine, a hospital spokesman said. According to track spokesman Ron Meade, Bahre suffered a fractured vertebrae, a broken ankle, a concussion, rib injuries and has been in and out of consciousness. Bahre was following another vehicle to his home in Paris, Maine, after a day at the speedway when his SUV went off Route 160 in Brownfield at 2 p.m. Thursday and hit a tree. The airbag and seat belt probably saved Bahre from greater injury, Cpl. Tim Ontengco of the Oxford County Sheriff's Department said. Bahre, who said he was fatigued, apparently fell asleep coming off a curve, Ontengco said. "I asked him what happened. He said he was kind of tired and fatigued because he had been at the speedway all day and he was driving back" to his home in Maine, the investigator said. After the crash, the speedometer was stuck at 49 mph, the speed the SUV was traveling, Ontengco said. (Concord Monitor)(2-2-2004)
- Testing at the Rock: North Carolina Speedway says three Nextel Cup teams were scheduled to test at the Rockingham track today. Those expected were #31-Robby Gordon, #9-Kasey Kahne and #10-Scott Riggs. Kevin Harvick was also scheduled to be on hand to test his #21 Busch Series car.(Scene Plus Daily Newsletter)(2-2-2004)
- Gaughan looks to go faster UPDATE Breaks Record: Driving a 2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10 powered by a Dodge Viper engine, Brendan Gaughan [driver of the #77 Kodak Dodge] will attempt to break the record of 147 mph set last August by a Ford SVT F-150 Lightning at the Chelsea Proving Grounds in Michigan. "The speed they told me that we have to do -- even I was nervous," Gaughan, a NASCAR Nextel Cup rookie, said Thursday. "It's a stock pickup truck, right off the factory line. The record is 149 or something like that and we're going to beat that ... and I've been told we'll beat it very easily." To qualify for the record and certification by Guinness World Records, the truck must be identical to what a customer can find at a local Dodge dealer. Gaughan's speed will be measured over a kilometer, and the record speed is derived from an average of his speeds in both directions on the 4.71-mile, high-speed oval.(Las Vegas Sun)(1-31-2004)
UPDATE: The Dodge Ram SRT-10 unleashed its Viper power today, taking its place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the "World's Fastest Production Pickup Truck." Only recently off the Saltillo, Mexico, assembly line and not modified in any way for additional power or enhanced aerodynamics, the Dodge Ram SRT-10 posted a two-lap, both-directions average speed of 154.587 mph over a "flying kilometer" on the 4.71-mile oval at the DaimlerChrysler Proving Grounds here in Chelsea. The record run by the Dodge Ram SRT-10 was certified by Guinness World Records and the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). The previous record was 147.54 mph, set last July by the Ford SVT F-150 Lightning, before the Dodge Ram SRT-10 went into production. Behind the wheel of the Ram SRT-10 in the record-setting run was Brendan Gaughan, a six-time winner in a Dodge Ram in the 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS). Gaughan makes his NASCAR Nextel Cup debut later this month at the Daytona 500 in the #77 Kodak Dodge. With a Guinness World Record now under its belt, the stock Dodge Ram SRT-10 now heads to Florida, where it will pace the field at the Feb. 13 Florida Dodge Dealers 250 NCTS race at Daytona International Speedway.(Clear!Blue, LLC PR), see full PR on my #77 Team News and Links page.(2-2-2004)
- Fittipaldi at Daytona: Christian Fittipaldi will return later this week for the stock car portion of Speed Weeks, even though he doesn't have a ride lined up for any events at Daytona International Speedway. Fittipaldi said he is under contract with Petty Enterprises Inc., but there is no sponsorship money to do a full race program. "Obviously like a bunch of other people out there, we're fighting hard to find a sponsor for my program," Fittipaldi said. "At the moment we have a program to do five or 10 Nextel Cup races." Sponsorships are in short supply at the Nextel Cup level of racing, where multi-million dollar deals are needed to fund a team. "Hopefully, we can go find the budget to go racing the whole season," Fittipaldi said. "The economy is hindering a lot of people out there. It's hard for teams and race car drivers."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-2-2004)
- Wimmer Arrested UPDATE 2: Scott Wimmer, driver for Bill Davis Racing's Nextel Cup #22 Caterpillar team, was arrested for driving while impaired early Saturday morning when he wrecked a blue, 2004 Dodge Ram pickup truck owned by Bill Davis Racing. According to High Point police records, at about 2 a.m. Saturday morning, Wimmer was charged with DWI after officers gave him a Breathalyzer test and found he had a 0.15 blood alcohol content, nearly twice the state legal limit for intoxication, 0.08. Just over one hour later, at about 3:15 a.m., Wimmer's wife Jody Ambrose, was charged with misdemeanor obstruction and delay, according to High Point police records. High Point police officials would not comment on details of the charges. Messages left at Wimmer's home were not returned. Contacted at his home Saturday night, Bill Davis, owner of the High Point-based Bill Davis Racing, would not comment on the incident. When asked about how the DWI charge would affect Wimmer's status on the team, Davis only said, "We really don't have any comment right now. We are kind of figuring out the facts." Court dates for Wimmer and Ambrose are both set for March 10.(High Point Enterprise)(2-1-2004)
UPDATE: Bill Davis and Bill Davis Racing are aware of the current allegations against driver Scott Wimmer. Davis has been in contact with NASCAR, Caterpillar, and all of the current sponsors and will remain in constant communication until all of the facts have been established. Until all of the facts have been revealed, Davis is not in a position to comment on the specifics of the allegations. Davis and Wimmer will continue to work with NASCAR, Caterpillar and other sponsors until there is resolution.(BDR PR)(2-2-2004)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials are looking into Nextel Cup driver Scott Wimmer's arrest for driving while impaired to determine his status for the Daytona 500. Wimmer, who drives for Bill Davis Racing, was arrested at about 2 a.m. Saturday after he wrecked a 2004 Dodge Ram pickup truck owned by the team. High Point, N.C., police records stated that a Breathalyzer test recorded Wimmer's blood alcohol content at 0.15 percent, nearly twice the North Carolina legal limit. Drivers are considered intoxicated in North Carolina if their blood-alcohol content is more than 0.08 percent.(Roanoke Times) AND Wimmer had a blood alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit, High Point police spokesman Lt. Keith Washington said Monday. Wimmer's pickup hit a large rock, flipped over, then hit a road sign, the spokesman said. Wimmer was also charged Saturday with hit and run after the pickup registered to the High Point-based Bill Davis Racing team was found overturned with three tires missing about a mile away from his home, Washington said. When officers arrived at the scene, Wimmer wasn't there. He was found hiding behind a bed at his home, according to the police report.(Yahoo/AP)(2-2-2004)
- BAM and Pizza? UPDATE 3 Officilal Sponsor: heard from a source very close to the situation Red Baron Pizza has reached an agreement to sponsor BAM and Ken Schrader in the #49 car starting in 2004. Red Baron Pizza sponsored Schrader in the past and has been involved in NASCAR before.(1-15-2004)
UPDATE: from a Ken Schrader fan club emailing......: "As far as what is going on with Kenny and BAM Racing....No, Red Baron is not going to be the sponsor. I really wish I could say more, but with all the rumors that were incorrectly generated past few weeks I can't say much. Yes, they have a full-time sponsor (it is a good one), Ken will be the driver and BAM will compete in the complete NEXTEL Cup season...Other than that...stay tuned...they will be making the announcement sometime around February 3, 2004.
being told it will not be Red Baron Pizza specifically but it's parent company Schwans who could be the sponsor.(1-28-2004)
UPDATE 2: from a new part of the Schwan's site: A company that grew from “one man and one truck” into an American food-industry powerhouse will join forces with NASCAR’s fastest-growing Cup team beginning with the 2004 season. Announcing a multi-year agreement, Schwan’s Home Service – a unit of The Schwan Food Company -- will sponsor BAM Racing’s #49 Dodge and veteran driver Ken Schrader in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. See more at www.schwansracing.com, including an image of the car.(getting this link from a ton of folks, seems (1-30-2004)
UPDATE 3: A company that grew from “one man and one truck” into an American food-industry powerhouse will join forces with NASCAR’s fastest-growing Cup team beginning with the 2004 season. Announcing a multi-year agreement, Schwan’s Home Service – a unit of The Schwan Food Company -- will sponsor BAM Racing’s #49 Dodge and veteran driver Ken Schrader in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. The announcement was made today by Beth Ann Morgenthau, owner of BAM Racing, and M. Lenny Pippin, president and CEO of The Schwan Food Company. “We are very excited to have one of the best-known names in the food industry join us as we work towards our first pole, our first race victory and our first championship as a team,” Ms. Morgenthau said in making the announcement. “Schwan is a well-known and highly respected name in the American and European food industry, and we’re extremely pleased to be partnering with them. The fact that The Schwan Food Company grew from a small dairy home-delivery business in 1952 to what it is today is not lost on us,” she continued. “Their faith in a race team that began small and is building into what we feel will become a powerhouse within NASCAR means a great deal to us. We are excited about the marketing possibilities for Schwan, as well as the competitive possibilities for BAM Racing. The Schwan Food Company is pleased to join forces with BAM Racing and Ken Schrader,” added Pippin. “We are excited to be associated again with NASCAR and Mr. Schrader, who drove Schwan’s #90 Red Baron Thunderbird in the late 1980s. We are seeing a groundswell of excitement about this partnership among Schwan’s Home Service’s millions of customer families across the United States who believe that Schwan and BAM have the potential to be a major force in the Nextel Cup Series.”
“Racing the Schwan’s Home Service car is literally a dream that is coming true,” said driver Ken Schrader. “It’s been about 15 years since I raced for Red Baron Pizza, but our friendship has remained strong and we always hoped to work with Schwan’s again. This is a great opportunity for all of us, and it adds another chapter to a great sponsor-driver relationship.” Visit www.schwansracing.com to follow the Schwan’s Home Service 49 Dodge throughout the 2004 Nextel Cup Series.(Williams Company PR)(2-2-2004)
- Spencer won't be penalized by NASCAR: The national motorsports manager for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., defended the company Thursday in the wake of inflammatory comments made against it by veteran NASCAR driver Jimmy Spencer the day before. "The investment of Toyota in plants and associated businesses in this country is in the billions of dollars," Les Unger said from Homestead-Miami Speedway in South Florida, where testing for several NASCAR series is taking place this week. "We think we're great corporate citizens as far as this country is concerned." When Spencer, 46, was asked at Texas Motor Speedway what he thought about Toyota, a Japan-based firm, competing in this year's Craftsman Truck Series schedule, he brought up the bombing of Pearl Harbor as part of a rambling response on the development. Spencer, well-known on the NASCAR circuit for his opinionated, biting sound bites and sometimes off-color humor, later attempted to clarify his statement, stressing he was referring to how international business relationships have evolved in the years since World War II. "If Toyota didn't do that (add new racing teams), the truck series would've been a dying breed," said Spencer, who drove a Dodge truck to one series victory last year. "Toyota's going to be good."(San Antonio Press)
AND NASCAR will not penalize driver Jimmy Spencer for a remark about the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor or his hope that Toyota's venture into truck racing will be a failure. "That's Jimmy Spencer," NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said Sunday when asked about comments the outspoken driver made last week about Toyota's entry into Craftsman Truck competition. Although Hunter said Spencer is not in any trouble with the sanctioning body, he emphasized that NASCAR does not share the driver's opinion.(CNNSI/AP)
see more about Spencer's comments at: the Washington Post or/and San Antonia Press: [Jimmy] Spencer slams Toyota entry(2-2-2004)
- RadioShack to sponsor a team? #77? #1? UPDATE 4 ?? RadioShack will shortly announce a NASCAR team deal that will see it serve as primary sponsor on a car for a handful of races, today's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The story does not say which NASCAR series the sponsorship is scheduled for.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter), RadioShack has been linked in the past the the Hall of Fame Racing team [Aikman and Staubach as owners](1-22-2004)
UPDATE: two sources hear it'll be the #77 Dodge, another says it will be the #1 DEI Chevy in a few selects races.(1-24-2004)
UPDATE 2: and yet another source tells me it is the #4 Morgan McClure Chevy team who RadioShack will sponsor.(1-27-2004)
UPDATE 3: now hearing that RadioShack will NOT sponsor any Cup teams in 2004?(1-29-2004)
UPDATE 4: not sure what is happening with this rumor, seems a bit 'out of control', but have been told, RadioShack [Shaq?] will NOT be the sponsor for the #4 Morgan McClure team, HOWEVER, they could sponsor the #77 Dodge in the Budweiser Shootout and put either Steve Park or Jeff Green in the car. Both won poles in 2003, but are not otherwise entered in the race.(1-30-2004)
AND being told by sources that this deal will go to the #77 with Radio Shack as an associate sponsor.(2-2-2004)
- No #74 at Daytona? sources tell me that unless the #74 BACE Motorsports team gets sponsorship the team and driver Tony Raines may not go to Daytona and run Speedweeks.(2-2-2004)
- Skinner back with RCR at Daytona [UPDATE]: Mike Skinner will return to Richard Childress Racing, at least for the Daytona 500. Skinner, who won the 1995 Craftsman Truck title for Childress, is racing full time in the No. 42 Toyota truck, but he will drive the #33 Cup car for RCR at Daytona with Bobby Leslie as crew chief. RCR's #2 AC Delcxo [Ron Hornaday] Busch team will pit Skinner's Cup car at Daytona. RCR pit crew coordinator David Smith says the snowstorm that hit the Carolinas last week hampered the crews' practice. "We're still digging out the stalls so we can practice," Smith says. Smith swapped the #s 2 and 21 Busch pit crews in the offseason.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News), see past news on the RCR #33 team on my #33 RCR Team News and Links page.(2-2-2004)
- New Additions to the #8: The #8 Bud crew will feature two new faces in 2004, both from inside the Dale Earnhardt, Inc. family. Shannon Myers, formerly of the No. 1 DEI team, will be the rear-tire changer, and Craig Lund, a part-time Bud crew member last year, will take over catch-can duties. Bill Snyder will handle the gas can and work alongside Phil Drye (front-tire changer), Danny Earnhardt (front-tire carrier), Kevin Pennell (jack man), Troy Prince (rear-tire carrier) and Barry Hoover (windshield/driver comfort). The Bud crew, which won the 2003 McDonald's Pit Crew Drive-Thru Award, are led by crew chief Tony Eury and car chief Tony Eury Jr.(fingerprint inc PR), no word on who will be Dale Jr's spotter at Ty Norris, who left DEI last week, was the spotter. Any team wishing to announce their crew or have updates for the 2004 Pit Crew Chart, feel free to email me.(2-2-2004)
- Glowing Track? The glow tracing the track under many of the cars during Las Vegas testing was a ride height laser, which gauges the vertical movement around the car and the angle on the track. The system, which costs about $20,000, provides data that allows the engineers to determine how to adjust shocks and springs and make the best use of a car's aerodynamics.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(2-2-2004)
AND A ride height laser puts out a beam of red light, just like a laser pointer. A team typically has 4 of these on the car, one at each corner. It is impossible to see these when the car is at speed on the track. More likely, what is being seen is a slip angle sensor. This makes a bright light under the car, as if a flashlight is being ponted down from the car. There are usually 2 of these (but sometimes only one) per vehicle. These sensors tell the team engineer how much the car is in yaw, or how much the front end is sliding in relation to the rear end.(2-2-2004)