FEB 9-15, 2004
THE PAST NEWS! YESTERDAY and BEYOND..
OTHER PAST NEWS PAGES
6 Cars to thr Dyno: NASCAR put six cars on the chassis dynamoeter, which measures rear-wheel horsepower, following Sunday's race. Those tested were the cars of #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #20-Tony Stewart, #22-Scott Wimmer, #29-Kevin Harvick, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #88-Dale Jarrett.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-15-2004)
Petty in the NY Times UPDATE: Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge, will have an op-ed piece appear in the New York Times, Sunday, Feb. 15. The piece, which will run in the sports section, is the first op-ed piece written by a NASCAR driver for the Times.(2-13-2004)
the link: It's That Time of Year for Nascar, With Something New by Kyle Petty (NY Times)(2-15-2004)
#14 gets a sponsor for the 500 UPDATE: The LPGA Tour will sponsor Larry Foyt's #14 Dodge in Sunday's Daytona 500, the first time the top women's professional golf circuit has advertised on a car in NASCAR's biggest race.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(2-14-2004)
UPDATE: Model-shoot photos of LPGA players Laura Diaz, Cristie Kerr and Natalie Gulbis will adorn the car driven by Larry Foyt in the Daytona 500. The one-race sponsorship deal is part of the LPGA's effort to increase visibility. Given the way the pictures look, it's clear they're trying to show off some of their players in the most flattering light possible. Like NASCAR, the LPGA is based in Daytona. Diaz and Kerr will have their pictures on the front hood of Foyt's car and Gulbis' will be on the hood of the trunk.(Greenville News/AP)(2-15-2004)
Mountain Dew Back with the #19 and will sponsor the #9: #9-Kasey Kahne, NASCAR Nextel Cup Series rookie, is the newest member of the Mountain Dew team. Kahne joins his Evernham Motorsports teammate, #19-Jeremy Mayfield, who has been sponsored by Mountain Dew since the 2002 season. Pepsi-Cola North America, makers of Mountain Dew, announced an agreement with Evernham Motorsports to extend their sponsorship to include rookie driver Kasey Kahne and the over-the-wall crew of Kahne’s #9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge who compete in the Nextel Cup Series. The Evernham Motorsports pit crews for Kahne and Jeremy Mayfield will be known as the “Dew Crews.” Kahne’s Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge will race in a special Mountain Dew color scheme for one race in 2004. In addition, Kahne and Mayfield will appear on in-store display materials and make appearances during the season for Mountain Dew. This marks the fourth straight year that Mountain Dew has sponsored Evernham Motorsports drivers and teams. Pepsi’s involvement with NASCAR began when the sport was introduced in 1948. Today, Pepsi serves its products at 16 of the 23 Nextel Cup Series tracks and is the title sponsor of NASCAR Nextel Cup races in Daytona, Fla. (Pepsi 400) and Darlington, S.C. (Mountain Dew Southern 500).(Clear!Blue PR)(2-13-2004)
IMAGES added a few images of each car to the 2004 Cup Paint Scheme Gallery.(2-15-2004)
More on Tires: Goodyear officials say increased downforce on the cars and different setups have led to tire problems. Goodyear has altered the tire compound this season for all tracks except Darlington and Rockingham. Goodyear officials say the right-side tires at Daytona are a harder compound than last year. The left-side tires are the same. Some crew chiefs say the tread is peeling during a run. Competitors are concerned what tire wear will be like today since rain Saturday washed the rubber off the track. That will make the track more abrasive early.(Roanoke Times)(2-15-2004)
BEN-LA? [not BEN-LO] Bobby Labonte and actor Ben Affleck met and raced in a Daytona 500 simulator at Daytona USA on Feb. 14, one day before Labonte will compete in the Daytona 500. Affleck will serve as grand marshal for the Daytona 500 and has starred in movies such as Good Will Hunting, Daredevil and Armageddon [Jayski could watch Arenageddon over and over]. “He was a nice guy,” Labonte said. “I actually watched Daredevil the other night, so it was cool to meet him.” Affleck raced using the simulator representing Jeff Gordon’s car, while Labonte used his #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet. “I wrecked him early in the race when I was trying to draft him,” Labonte said. “We talked afterward, and I explained to him about the ‘bump draft.’ We talked a lot about racing, and he really knows the sport.” Labonte will start 13th in the Daytona 500, driving the No. 18 “The Passion of the Christ” Interstate Chevrolet.(Camp and Associates PR)(2-15-2004)
Spencer and Kitty Litter at Daytona: Ultra Motorsports and driver Jimmy Spencer picked up sponsorship for the #7 Dodge at Daytona for the Daytona 500. Jonny Cat, the newest member of the Oil-Dri family, is sponsoring the Ultra Motorsports team and Spencer, sporting both the Jonny Cat and Oil-Dri brands. More info on Oil-Dri at www.oildri.com, including some images of the car. Oil-Dri is a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of products for consumer, industrial and automotive, agricultural, sports fields and fluids purification markets.(2-14-2004)
IMAGES also added a few of the images to the 2004 Cup Paint Scheme Gallery.(2-15-2004)
USA Weekend Special TODAY: To celebrate the kickoff of the 2004 racing season, USA WEEKEND Magazine's gathered all EIGHT active NASCAR Nextel Cup Championship winners for an afternoon of photos and fun. Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Bill Elliott, Rusty Wallace, Matt Kenseth, Terry Labonte, Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart are featured in an exclusive poster in USA WEEKEND's 2/15 issue. Check your local newspaper for your own poster.(PR)(2-6-2004)
See the full feature at The lords of NASCARNATION by Dennis McCafferty.(2-15-2004)
Domino's Dots Are Coming..... If #15-Michael Waltrip, last year's Daytona 500 victor, delivers a repeat win at the DAYTONA 500, Domino's will give away new Cheesy Domino's Dots across the country the next day. The PR: Domino's Pizza is counting on Michael Waltrip, the driver of the #15 NAPA Chevrolet, to deliver a repeat victory at the DAYTONA 500. If Waltrip captures the checkered flag on February 15, Domino's will give away Cheesy Domino's Dots to customers across the country on Monday, February 16th [not sure what happens if it gets postponed]. Domino's is adding 360 degrees of cheesy, zesty, all-around fun to the traditional pizza meal with the introduction of its newest side dish, Cheesy Domino's Dots. Named after the dots in Domino's Pizza's logo, Cheesy Domino's Dots are small, round balls of zesty, delicious bread, covered with a blend of melted Colby and Monterey Jack cheeses and then sprinkled with Domino's delicious garlic and Romano cheese seasoning. Cheesy Domino's Dots are served 12 per order, with a side of marinara sauce to round off the delectable taste. In 2003, Domino's became the "Official Pizza of NASCAR." More information on the Company, in English and Spanish, can be found on the web at www.dominos.com.(2-15-2004)
Jarrett's Budweiser Shootout win yields Ford Credit Donation: Dale Jarrett's victory in the Bud Shootout at Daytona International Speedway last weekend results in another $10,000 donation from Ford Credit to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to help in its mission to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease. Ford Credit now has donated $652,500 to the Komen Foundation based on Jarrett's on-track performance and end-of-season bonuses since 1998. Ford Credit gives the Komen Foundation $10,000 for each of Jarrett's victories, $7,500 for each second-place finish, $5,000 for each third-place finish and $5,000 for each pole position won (as fastest qualifier).(Team Ford Racing), see the 2004 Race Fans for a Cure Schedule on my Racing Charities page.(2-15-2004)
Higgins and others receive awards: Former Charlotte Observer motorsports writer [and the best story teller - thought I saw him at the Mooresville PO Friday] Tom Higgins received the Russ Moyer Media Award from The Living Legends Of Stock Car Racing in Daytona Beach on Wednesday night. Rex White won the group's Pioneer Award, Jerry Cook won its Distinguished Driver Award and Roger Penske won the Allison Family Award.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-14-2004)
Yeley gets a sponsor for selected Busch race and one Cup race: Vigoro , a leading brand of premium lawn and garden products for over 80 years, along with The Home Depot, will be the primary sponsors of Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) driver J.J. Yeley during the 2004 season. Yeley will drive the #18 Vigoro/Home Depot Chevy as part of an A-B-C schedule that will consist of ARCA, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races [#18 in Busch, supposedly #80 in Cup, not sure about ARCA]. His first race in the Vigoro/Home Depot machine will be the March 6 Sam's Town 300 Busch Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Vigoro is owned by St. Louis-based United Industries Corporation (which goes to market as Spectrum Brands) and is sold exclusively at Home Depot stores. Heading Yeley's effort will be veteran crew chief Doug Hewitt, who after being a crew chief in the Cup Series since 1993, joined JGR in late 2001 as crew chief for Coy Gibbs in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Under Hewitt's guidance, Gibbs finished 10th in points in 2001 and 2002. Hewitt continued as crew chief for Gibbs' Busch Series effort in 2003, and he takes the team he helped build to Yeley's rookie campaign in 2004. Vigoro is the number two selling brand of lawn and garden fertilizers in the United States. The company's household brands include Hot Shot , Cutter and Repel . The company's lawn and garden brands include Spectracide, Spectracide Triazicide , Spectracide Terminate , Garden Safe and Real-Kill in the controls category as well as Vigoro , Schultz™, Bandini and Best brands in the lawn and garden fertilizer and organic growing media categories.(True Speed Communication PR). See rest of the PR and Yeley's 2004 ABC schedule on my #80 Team News and Links page.(2-14-2004)
NASCAR Sponsors Debuting during the Daytona 500: The Daytona 500, one of the largest and most-watched sporting events of the year, is more than just NASCAR’s richest and most prestigious race. It is a television event used by some of America’s largest and most successful companies to launch new advertising campaigns. In 2002, 35 million viewers watched all or part of NBC’s coverage, a record in the race’s 24-year broadcast history. NBC will again broadcast the 46th annual Daytona 500 live on Sunday, Feb. 15 at 12:00noon/et, with approximately 200,000 spectators expected to attend the race at Daytona International Speedway. Following are several companies’ high-profile advertising plans for reaching the sporting world’s most brand-conscious fans tuned in to “The Great American Race”:
· Nextel Communications Inc., continues its first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series ad campaign with two new spots showing fans using their Nextel phones with digital walkie-talkie Direct Connect, often with humorous consequences. In one ad, fans “Direct Connect” each other to embellish the truth and shorten a very long concession line. A second spot shows friends in the racetrack’s RV park using Direct Connect to navigate through the masses. Nextel will run three other spots that debuted in the weeks leading up to the Daytona 500. One spot, featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr. scoring an NFL touchdown – in his race car – was rated one of the best ads from this year’s Super Bowl broadcast.
· UPS will air two new spots to launch this year’s Race the Truck ad campaign, in which Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 88 UPS Ford, receives "proper training” from UPS drivers about what it takes to drive the big, brown truck. In "Safety," a UPS driver asks if Jarrett has ever had any accidents driving his UPS vehicle. In "Yoga,"Jarrett finds himself in entirely new positions. UPS will also air three more humorous spots featuring Jarrett during the 2004 season.
· ExxonMobil will run a new commercial promoting the “Mobil 1 Million,” a consumer promotion in which one lucky fan can win a total of $1 million by predicting the winners of all 36 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races in 2004.
· AOL will advance its new campaign for the company’s TopSpeed technology with a new spot featuring NASCAR team owner Richard Childress. AOL will also carry a special Daytona 500 Advertising Poll on AOL.com. AOL members will log on to vote for their favorite commercial, selecting one of 12 spots from the Daytona 500.
· NAPA AUTO PARTS will air two new spots featuring Michael Waltrip, driver of the No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet and the defending champion of the Daytona 500, and his DEI teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. The new commercials will run throughout the NASCAR season with a third spot to be introduced in the spring.
· The Gillette Company will break a new NASCAR-themed commercial for its Duracell battery brand during the Great American Race. Gillette aired two spots for the “Gillette Young Guns” during the Budweiser Shootout on Feb. 7. The Gillette Young Guns are Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman.
· Coca-Cola will take a lighthearted look at NASCAR drivers’ competitive nature in a spot called “To the Victor.” NASCAR stars in the Coca-Cola Racing Family – including Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte, Dale Jarrett, Kurt Busch, Kyle Petty, Michael Waltrip and Kevin Harvick – heatedly race remote controlled cars for an ice-cold Coke. A 60-second version of the spot will be shown in movie theaters across the country this spring.
· ChevronTexaco will air a new TV spot for its Havoline brand that uses historical footage to celebrate the brand’s 100th anniversary. Texaco/Havoline is in its 18th year as a sponsor of NASCAR’s premier national series and currently sponsors the No. 42 Dodge driven by Jamie McMurray, the 2003 Raybestos Rookie of the Year.
· Visa is again this season giving its cardholders a chance to win the Visa Ultimate NASCAR Experience in 2004 with a new spot. Ten winners will receive the NASCAR “weekend of a lifetime.” More details are available at www.visa.com/nascar.
· Anheuser-Busch, the Official Beer of NASCAR, will be showcasing its new 2004 creative, starring Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet. The company is running eight ads in the race, including two NASCAR-themed spots.
· Toyota: Three-time NASCAR champion and new Toyota team owner Darrell Waltrip will star in a series of TV, print and radio ads beginning with the Daytona 500. The TV spots will run during other sporting events including NBA and NCAA basketball games. Waltrip is expected to drive the No. 11 Toyota Tundra in three races this year.
· Lowe's is debuting a 60-second spot featuring Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet. The ad ties the passion Lowe's has for helping its customers with home improvement projects with the passions fans have for racing. It is also intended to reflect Lowe's long-term commitment to the sport while showcasing the new "face" of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing.
· NASCAR is launching its own new image advertising campaign – the story of a fantasy race where, through computer wizardry, the greatest NASCAR drivers of all time compete against the stars of today. The first of six TV spots in the campaign, called “Timeless,” will debut during the Daytona 500. The campaign, developed by The Martin Agency, features archive film and audio of NASCAR heroes of the past blended with images of hard-charging champions of today – all set to Boston’s classic rock ballad “Long Time.”
Other strong supporters of NASCAR that will advertise during the race include Domino’s with a spot for Cheesy Domino’s Dots and Ford, with the Ford GT 60-second commercial which debuted in the Super Bowl kickoff show.(NASCAR PR)(2-14-2004)
Tires.....Goodyear... Tire wear has emerged as a major concern in the Nextel Cup garage this week as teams prepare for Sunday's Daytona 500. Chad Knaus, crew chief for Jimmie Johnson, said in a Daytona Beach newspaper on Thursday that he wondered if Goodyear might be trying to hurt drivers with the tire construction, but backed off that comment during a television interview during the Gatordade 125s. Scott Riggs did blow a right-front tire in his 125-miler and several other teams said they were worried about tire wear on the right-side tires, especially the right front.
"We've seen some pretty significant wear in some cases," Goodyear's Greg Stucker said Friday. "Some cars are perfectly fine, others have struggled a little more. Our engineers are working with everybody to make sure we have the setups under the cars that are going to be right for the Daytona 500." Stucker said the tire compound being used here this week is actually harder than it has been in past years, but this year's tire has a more flexible sidewall that makes them feel different. "Some people have gotten pretty well dialed to the setup, others are still struggling with it or still searching for the right combination that's best for them," Stucker said. "There's one tire but there are a lot of drivers and a lot of different setups. More guys struggling with getting the balance than we expected. A lot of guys are very happy out there and they're looking at the rest of these guys who are struggling and saying 'very good.'"(ThatsRacin.com)(2-14-2004)
Numbers from the Dyno after the Twins: NASCAR's chassis dyno runs after Thursday's 125-mile qualifying races showed the gap between the winners and the others to be sizable. Elliott Sadler's Ford engine pulled 422 horsepower at the rear wheels, a bit more than the Chevy motors of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kevin Harvick. Tony Stewart's motor was at 409.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-14-2004)
New Goodyear Belt: For the third consecutive year, Goodyear is introducing yet another power transmission belt to the
NASCAR Cup series. This time, it’s a unique timing belt. Making it’s debut is the Goodyear Eagle Pd synchronous belt-and-sprocket system found under the hood of the #43 Petty Enterprise car, driven by 2000 Busch Series Champion Jeff Green. One look at the Goodyear Eagle Pd synchronous belt and sprocket shows something is dramatically different about this belt. “Its helical-offset-tooth chevron pattern provides continuous tooth engagement and self-centering tracking, which eliminates the need for sprocket flanges,” said Mike Fine, manager of racing for Goodyear Engineered Products. “The belt’s thin profile defies its inherent strength.”
No flanges – combined with Eagle Pd’s added strength – allow for a narrower belt drive, which saves engine space. Eagle Pd’s continuous tooth engagement provides smoother, more stable operations than conventional timing belts at the high revolutions-per-minute that race engines undergo, allowing for more accurate cam timing. There also is less strain on the belt, which minimizes stretching, that can cause a loss of tension and accompanying timing errors. Proper tension is as critical to belts as air pressure is to tires.” During installation, the belt tension is adjusted using different idler sizes and accurately measured with a sonic gauge. “Once established, tension is set for the life of the Eagle Pd belt,” he said. Although new to the Nextel Cup Series, Eagle Pd was introduced to the Craftsman Truck Series last season. And last weekend, Eagle Pd helped power Kyle Busch’s Ditech.com Chevrolet to victory lane, in the ARCA 200 at the Daytona International Speedway. During the race, Kyle, a Hendrick Motorsports driver and younger brother of Kurt, took the checkered flag after coming back from a lap down. Two years ago, Goodyear introduced its Gatorback Poly-V belt to drive engine components, and last year it launched its Black Hawk v-belt to drive the race engine’s auxiliary oil pump. For additional information on Goodyear’s complete line of automotive belts and hose, visit www.goodyearbeltsandhose.com.(2-14-2004)
Crew Members replaces on the #2 after the Shootout UPDATE: Dave Littau front tire carrier, and Tim Boatwright, jackman are no longer with Penske Racing South. Mark Padgent [sp?] is the new jackman, no word on who the new tire carrier is.(in part from an XM Satellite - NASCAR Radio interview with Penske Racing's Don Miller / and the Rustys2Crew.com site)(2-13-2004)
UPDATE: New jack man Mark Padgett and front tire carrier DeWane Colvard join front tire changer Donald "DJ" Richardson, rear tire changer Jay Fabian, rear tire carrier David "Double D" Doyle, gas man Dougie "Pooh Bear" Ingold and gas catch man Nick Giambruno. Padgett jacked previously for Petree Racing, while Colvard is veteran over-the-waller from Roush.(2-13-2004)
More on the 'common' engine: NASCAR is expected to release specs for its proposed "engine of the future" sometime later this year, partly in response to Toyota, partly to get all the manufacturers on the same timetable for new engine parts, and eliminate some griping. Engine men are approaching the situation warily.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-13-2004)
War of Words at DEI: after the first Gatroade Twin 125, Tony Eury Sr., #8-Dale Earnhardt's crew chief: "It looks like our teammate doesn't want to be our teammate no more. So we ended up dumping him at the end and going on to win. If that's the way they want to play it, that's the way we'll play it." Waltrip brushed off the criticism: "Earnhardt and I do a nice job together, so you just have to take it with a grain of salt when you hear some of the stuff they come up with. I'm amazed those crew guys can carry on like that. But we know what the big picture is, and we'll be a part of it Sunday."
"Me and Michael will draft fine together in the future, we just didn't today," Earnhardt said. "You can have friends, but you can't be friends to the end. You've got to go for the win. I've got a benchmark that my daddy set for wins at this place, and we got another one today. I couldn't run directly behind anyone because the air was too dirty. So I started running the top. But then when I started gaining some ground on Michael he moved up to the top, and took all the air I was using. I told them, 'Pick one or the other, because I'm going to run where he ain't, because I can't run behind him."
"It was a dead-end road where Earnhardt was headed, and they were all lined up on the bottom, so I just got in line," Waltrip said. "It wasn't any big deal. I love Dale Jr. We work so well together."(Winston Salem Journal)(2-13-2004)
Stock Car Fans Ramblings - Twin 125's: We had the running of the Gatorade Twin 125's at Daytona International
Speedway, and if Jr's car was awful Thursday it's gonna be a long day for 42 other drivers on Sunday.
Greg Biffle grabbed his first career-pole Sunday, and he'll lead 'em to the green as the first-ever Roush pole winner at Daytona. It was also the first pole for a Roush Ford since Kurt Busch grabbed the top-spot at Homestead in November of 2002.
For Biffle, this is his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Richmond last September. He was also outside the front-row at
Watkins Glen last August.
Elliott Sadler (2nd) has his best starting spot since he had the pole at Talladega last October.
Sterling Marlin (4th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 4th at Talladega last October.
Tony Stewart (5th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 4th at Watkins Glen last August.
Mark Martin (8th....and seemingly very confident) has his best starting spot since he lined up 3rd at Richmond last September.
Michael Waltrip (9th) has his best starting spot since he started 5th at Loudon last September.
Matt Kenseth (12th) has his best starting spot since started up front at Dover last September....but that race was lined up on points. On
time, this is his best qualifying effort since he started 6th at Darlington last September.
Scott Wimmer (26th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 19th at Phoenix in November of 2002 (only 9 races).
STREAKIN....Jimmie Johnson has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.
The Butterfly Brigade: We've got three drivers making their first career Nextel Cup starts on Sunday. Brendan Gaughan, Kasey Kahne, and Scott Riggs all get to break in easy....with the biggest race of the season! They join Johnny Sauter, Scott Wimmer, and Brian Vickers in what promises to be an extremely entertaining Rookie of the Year contest. As usual, we'll follow it all year long in our Rumblings.
The Trouble Train was very short this week....and this is a category that we expect may be empty more than once this season (if some of the reports flying around are accurate). Only two cars got the early out this race. Neither Kirk Shelmerdine nor Andy Hillenburg were able to race their way into the 500.
We've got an hour and a half of pre-race on Sunday (I'm willing to endorse it for the kiddies....Lee Greenwood won't let us down) then three hours of sitting on the edge of your seat and holding your breath. Throw in a rather dicey tire situation, and there's not gonna be a
whole lot of comfortable drivers out there. That makes that #8 car look even tougher.(StockCarFans.Com Nextel Cup Newsletter)(2-13-2004)
Congrats: to Rob Faiella of the site Inside the Pit Box, who is getting married to Alison White on Saturday, Feb 14th in New London, CT.(2-13-2004)
Congrats to Bill Davis Racing's tire changer and transmission specialist Gordon "Gordy" Arbitter on his recent engagement to Jamie Carriker.(2-12-2004)
Rusty to be honored: Miller Brewing Company will honor former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion Rusty Wallace, driver of the #2 Penske Dodge, and Miller Lite Racing teammate Larry Dixon, two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion, with a special commemorative can series. The program will launch in February and run through March. In conjunction with the six commemorative 24-oz. racing-themed cans, both Wallace's Penske Racing Miller Lite Dodge and Dixon's Don ‘the Snake' Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite dragster will sport a special paint scheme celebrating ‘Great Moments in Miller Racing.' Wallace's No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge will sport the one-race scheme during the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7, while Dixon's Miller Lite dragster will feature the special paint scheme during the 20 th annual Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals, March 5-7, near Phoenix.(see full PR at trpr.com), see an image of the #2 Dodge on my #2 Team Paint Scheme page.(2-12-2004)
Las Vegas TV Special to have LVMS Segment: As part of an hour-long feature on Las Vegas, the nationally-syndicated show, Extra, will feature a visit to Las Vegas Motor Speedway with NASCAR stars Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. Extra reporter Samantha Harris spent time taking hot laps around the 1.5-mile superspeedway during last month’s NASCAR test session. She also received some expert advice from Johnson and Gordon and even got an opportunity to sit behind the wheel of Johnson’s Lowe’s Chevrolet. After spending the day at the speedway, the Extra crew ventured onto the Las Vegas Strip with Johnson, who challenged Harris to a race at the Sahara’s Speed World. Other segments of the show will focus on Las Vegas superstars, super shows and super real estate … where to stay, where to eat and who you need to know [could be useful for those going to the race in March]. The show will air locally on KTNV-TV Channel 13 at 7 p.m. Pacific Time on Saturday, Feb.14 and again at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb 15. For a listing in any other area, log on to the show’s website at www.extratv.com and click on local listing. The program will re-air on Feb. 18.(LVMS PR)(2-12-2004)
New Home Depot Racing Site: Home Depot announced the launch of HomeDepotRacing.com, featuring several
informational tools designed for race enthusiasts of all ages. Some of the features web surfers will find when browsing HomeDepotRacing.com include the latest race reports, current point standings, past and present statistics, a multimedia section, Stewart's Home Depot store appearance schedule, a Home Depot Chevy show car calendar, bios on members of the #20 team and a page outlining the history of the Home Depot Racing sponsorship.(PR)(2-12-2004)
Caution means Caution: NASCAR officials on Thursday advised drivers to listen to their spotters and be aware of activity on the track as they leave pit road under caution. The warning was issued by managing event director David Hoots during Thursday's prerace drivers meeting at Daytona International Speedway, site of the Gatorade 125-mile qualifying races. On Sunday, a track safety worker, Roy H. Weaver, was killed in an incident in an IPower Dash series race. Weaver, 44, was picking up debris on the 2.5-mile Daytona speedway when he was struck and killed by a race car driven by Ray Paprota. "If you are coming off pit road under caution and trying to catch up with the rest of the pack, make sure you are talking to your spotter completely around the race track. Let him advise you of anything out there on the race track," Hoots told the drivers. "If you have no reason to catch up early, then take the time to do so. With one lap to go, you still have 2½ miles to catch up to the field on this race track. Take your time and do it very slowly and very cautiously."(ThatsRacin.com - Jim Utter)(2-12-2004)
#90 Gets a Sponsor for the 500: The #90 Ford owned by Junie Donlavey and driven at Daytona by Andy Hillenburg, will be sponsored by Nashville's Music City Motorplex [www.musiccitymotorplex.com], which may be part of a Daytona 500 first — a race track sponsoring a race car. Hillenburg will attempt to qualify the #90 Ford for Donlavey. Motorplex President Joe Mattioli, a longtime friend of Donlavey, announced the sponsorship yesterday. ''It'll be fun,'' Mattioli said, ''and it will give our track some national exposure.''(Tennessean)(2-12-2004)
Newman the Chosen One: Ryan Newman, who led NASCAR’s premier series in wins and poles last season en route to a sixth-place finish in the championship, has been voted the preseason No. 1 in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series by motorsports media. Newman, the 26-year-old Indiana native who drives the No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge for Penske Racing South, collected 1,915 points on the strength of 27 first-place votes to outdistance four-time series champion Jeff Gordon. Newman was followed in the voting by the Hendrick Motorsports tandem of #24-Gordon and #48-Jimmie Johnson. Gordon, last season’s preseason No. 1, is ranked No. 2 with 29 first-place votes and 1,806 points, 109 behind Newman. Johnson amassed 1,801 points – just five points shy of Gordon – behind a poll-high 41 first-place votes to earn the No. 3 ranking. The Hendrick Motorsports duo is followed by #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is No. 4 with 1,525 points and 22 first-place votes. Rounding out the top five is 2002 series champion #20-Tony Stewart who is No. 5 with 1,291 points and five first-place votes. The rest of the top 10 are: #29-Kevin Harvick, #17-Matt Kenseth, #97-Kurt Busch, #18-Bobby Labonte and #42-Jamie McMurray. Twenty-eight drivers received votes from more than 100 motorsports writers who participated in the balloting. Drivers received 20 points for a first-place vote, 17 for second, 15 for third, 13 for fourth, 11 for fifth, nine for sixth, seven for seventh, five for eighth, three for ninth and one for 10th.(NASCAR PR)(2-12-2004)
Canadian TV Guide news: The Canadian version of TV Guide magazine will feature its first-ever NASCAR cover on Saturday. This collectible issue, which hits newsstands Monday, is geared toward the huge contingent of NASCAR fans throughout Canada. "NASCAR is the No. 1-rated motorsport in Canada,” said TV Guide Editor Jamie Hubbard, “and interest is climbing dramatically every season. Now that the Daytona 500 and other NASCAR races are also being broadcast on TORONTO 1 and the A-Channels, those numbers will only rise." NASCAR International sees this as a pinnacle for Canadian racing enthusiasts. "Coverage of the 2004 NASCAR Season in TV Guide is really a milestone for NASCAR and stock car racing in Canada,” said Robbie Weiss, NASCAR Director, International. “NASCAR has established itself as part of the Canadian sports culture and is truly becoming a global phenomenon. Today, we are proud to see our fans and media partners following and enjoying NASCAR racing in more than 100 countries around the world.”
The Canadian version of TV Guide reaches 3.6 million readers on a weekly basis.(NASCAR PR)(2-12-2004)
STP Returns to the #43: History was repeated today at Daytona International Speedway when Richard Petty announced that his long-time sponsor, STP, will join Cheerios and Betty Crocker on the hood of the famed #43 Dodge for one race this season. The unveiling of the new paint scheme kicks off a celebration of Petty family anniversaries by sponsors General Mills and STP. The Cheerios/STP #43 Dodge will race at the Subway 400 in Rockingham, NC on Feb. 22. For the Pettys, a family steeped in NASCAR tradition, 2004 marks numerous monumental racing anniversaries. It is the golden anniversary of patriarch Lee Petty's first championship; the 45th anniversary of Lee Petty's win of the inaugural Daytona 500; the 40th anniversaries of Richard Petty's first Daytona 500 win and first series championship; and the 20th anniversary of Richard's record-setting 200th and last win. Long-time sponsor STP is also celebrating a key milestone as 2004 marks its 50th anniversary as a pioneer in the fuel and oil additive category. The STP logo, which will remain on the car throughout the 2004 season as an associate sponsor, began making headlines in 1972 with the historic sponsorship of Petty and the #43 car. In 1979, Richard won his seventh NASCAR title, which put him in a class of his own, and also etched STP as an icon in the racing world. General Mills, sponsor of Petty Enterprises' #43 car since 2000, returns as the primary sponsor in 2004 through its Cheerios and Betty Crocker brands.
Outside of the special paint scheme, to recognize this historic year for the Petty family, General Mills brings a unique opportunity to race fans - a series of collectible "Salute to Petty" die-cast cars representing Petty family racecars past and present. The special collection features 21 different die-cast cars, 16 from Hot Wheels, including replicas of the 1957 Pontiac GTO, 1964 Plymouth Belvedere, 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, 1974 Dodge Charger, 1984 Pontiac Grand Prix, 2004 Dodge Intrepid and more. For a limited time, consumers can find die-cast cars free in or near specially marked packages of General Mills brands including Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Wheaties, Honey Nut Chex, Pop Secret, Old El Paso, Betty Crocker, Bugles and Pillsbury Grands!.(STP PR) see an image of the #43 Dodge on my #43 Team Paint Scheme page(2-11-2004)
Childress in an AOL commercial: America Online [AOL] announced a series of new initiatives launching today for NASCAR's Daytona 500 that gives fans unparalleled access to the kick off of the NASCAR season. This comprehensive race package, Daytona 500@AOL, features video highlights of the best Daytona 500 moments, daily photos with ZoomView technology and exclusive clips from the Warner Bros. Pictures upcoming film NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience -- all available for viewing up to five times faster than on a standard dial-up connection and up to two times faster than on a standard high-speed connection with the new AOL TopSpeed technology. AOL will also launch a new ad on behalf of the AOL TopSpeed technology featuring the Teutuls from Discovery Channel's "American Chopper." Daytona 500@AOL continues AOL Sports' new programming offerings that debuted with SuperBowl@AOL and includes innovative and engaging content, best experienced via AOL for Broadband, that brings fans closer to major events. The content package builds upon the company's partnership with NASCAR and sponsorship of the Richard Childress Racing #30 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race car [driver Johnny Sauter]. During the Daytona 500, AOL will debut the latest commercial in a series of ads showcasing the popular Teutul family and the AOL TopSpeed technology that kicked off during the Super Bowl. The new ad will feature a cameo by NASCAR team owner Richard Childress. In addition, AOL is sponsoring the "Daytona to Daytona" Sweepstakes for AOL members which features as the grand prize a custom built TopSpeed(TM) chopper built by "Monster Garage" star Jesse James (valued at $150,000) as well as $50,000 cash. The sweepstakes begins February 12 and runs through June 25. The winner will be announced at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona on July 3. For Official Rules, see AOL Keyword: Daytona Sweeps.(Business Wire)(2-11-2004)
Sponsor for the #33: during Speed Channel's Wed Nextel Cup practice, it was mentioned that Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Marine Boats would be the sponsor of the #33 RCR Chevy and driver Mike Skinner for the Daytona 500. The sponsor is NOT AOL as I earlier reported. Also see the PR at RCR's site.(2-11-2004)
Duracell on the #29: Duracell, the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of high-performance alkaline batteries, today announced a multi-year marketing and promotional agreement with NASCAR. Under the terms of the agreement, Duracell becomes the Official Status Sponsor and the "official alkaline battery" of NASCAR. Duracell will also partner with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver Kevin Harvick and become an Associate Sponsor of the Richard Childress Racing's #29 Team. Duracell will leverage Harvick and its NASCAR sponsorship with an integrated marketing communications program throughout the 2004 season. The program includes consumer promotions, in-store POP, print FSIs, and advertising in the form of TV, print and radio executions, highlighting Duracell's "Trusted Everywhere" theme. Harvick, who will sport Duracell logos on his uniform and on the front lower quarter panel of his No. 29 Chevrolet, will star in the Duracell TV spot, scheduled to break during NBC's coverage of the 46th running of the Daytona 500 on February 15.(Business Wire)(2-11-2004)
#19 / #97 may be fined: Jeremy Mayfield's #19 team and Kurt Busch's #97 team are likely to be penalized further for infractions found by Nextel Cup officials, series director John Darby said. The rear deck lid on Mayfield's car failed to fit the template. Busch's car had a rear bumper support confiscated. Teams are allowed to place added weight in the support as long as it is in an approved container. The weight in Busch's car was not in such a container. Also taken were an illegal spring from Derrike Cope's #50 car; underpans from the cars of #7-Jimmy Spencer, #24-Jeff Green, #29-Kevin Harvick, #0-Ward Burton and #95-Andy Belmont [who withdrew]; and adjustable fender braces from the cars of #20-Tony Stewart, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #15-Michael Waltrip and Busch.
Other violations included illegal windshield clips from Larry Foyt's #14 car, an illegal wheel opening on Earnhardt's #8 car, and expired Hutchens Devices from #2-Rusty Wallace and #72-Kirk Shelmerdine. Darby said that the adjustable fender braces are not as likely to incur a further penalty. Teams are allowed to use adjustable braces during practice but not during qualifying.(Roanoke Times)(2-11-2004)
Sponsor for the #50: Arnold Motorsports had some news Tuesday regarding sponsorship, which he had been lacking. Team Owner Don Arnold said Thrifty Car Rental will be on the hood as what is called the co-primary sponsor. He added that there are important, ongoing meetings to land the primary sponsor that will splatter its name across the rear quarter panels of the #50 Dodge that Derrike Cope will drive.(Naples Daily News)(2-11-2004)
Memorial Service for Weaver on Wed: A memorial service will be held at 2:00pm/et Wednesday for Roy H. Weaver, the 44-year-old Daytona International Speedway track safety worker who was killed in an incident in an IPower Dash series at the track on Sunday. "It's devastating," said Robin Braig, the speedway's president, said of the effect Weaver's death has had on the track's employees and volunteers. "Roy was one of the most enthusiastic members of our safety team and operations department. He was just a real bundle of energy, a guy with a great handshake who always had a smile for everybody and was willing to help anybody with anything."(ThatsRacin.com)(2-11-2004)
Raybestos and NASCAR extend agreement: Brake Parts Inc., manufacturer of Raybestos, the world's leading brand of brake components, has reached an agreement with NASCAR to extend sponsorship of the Raybestos Rookie of the Year program through 2010. Raybestos will sponsor the rookie race in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch, and Craftsman Truck Series in addition to the Busch North and NASCAR Grand National West Division. Raybestos has renewed their marketing partnership with NASCAR and will remain the "Official Brakes of NASCAR." Raybestos celebrates their 10th anniversary as an associate sponsor with Robert Yates Racing. The Raybestos colors will once again grace the quarter panels of Elliott Sadler's #38 M&M's Ford.
The Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NEXTEL Cup Series is awarded an original portrait by Motorsports artist Jeanne Barnes and a check for $50,000 presented during NASCAR Awards Night in New York. The Busch Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award is worth $15,000 to that division's top rookie. In addition, the highest finishing rookie in each Busch Series race earns $1,000 from Raybestos brand Brakes. The Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the Craftsman Truck Series collects $10,000 at season's end and like the Busch Series, the highest finishing rookie in each race earns $1,000 from Raybestos.(Raybestos / Camp and Assoc PR), see full PR and more on my NASCAR Sponsor page.(2-11-2004)
Andretti at the Rock: John Andretti will have a ride for Rockingham and probably the next few races, DEI officials said, and cars are being put together this week for that race, in a rapidly moving venture. That third DEI team had planned to shut down after the Daytona 500 because of lack of sponsorship.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-11-2004)
Delphi Major Assoc on the #5; and Primary in 4 races Delphi Corp. says it is expanding its relationship with Hendrick Motorsports by becoming a major associate sponsor of the #5 Kellogg's Chevy of Terry Labonte in the Nextel Cup Series. Delphi says it will also be the primary sponsor for four races: April 4 at Texas Motor Speedway; May 15 at Richmond International Raceway; Aug. 8 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway; and Aug. 22 at Michigan International Speedway. Financial details were not disclosed.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter), see images of the car on my #5 Team Paint Scheme Page.(2-11-2004)
NASCAR Connection an Amercian Idol: Former NASCAR broadcasting employee, Ashley Thomas, has been selected as one of 32 semifinalists, out of 70,000 contestants, on season 3 of American Idol. After Ashley's initial success in the American Idol auditions, she resigned from NASCAR in order to further pursue her dream of performing. For more information on Ashley, check out the American Idol website: www.idolonfox.com.(Rusty Wallace site)(2-11-2004)
Nextel Launches First Official NASCAR Wireless Handsets in the Sport's History: Nextel Communications Inc. announced the availability of a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Phone and ten NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Driver Phones, which are modeled after ten specific drivers. The eleven new handsets are the first NASCAR-branded wireless phones in the sport's history. Collectively, the handsets share the Motorola i736 model name. More info at www.nextel.com(Yahoo Biz)(2-10-2004)
NASCAR Theme Song: Motor Music, a partnership between NASCAR and Cherry Lane Music Publishing, announces the unveiling of NASCAR's theme song, "Thunder." Composed by David Robidoux and mixed by Alan Meyerson, the NASCAR theme song, "Thunder" conveys the thrills, excitement and drama of NASCAR racing. This is the first time in the 56-year history of the sport that NASCAR will have branded theme music. In addition to the NASCAR theme song, Motor Music has created an initial 15-CD library of instrumental and orchestral cues covering a wide variety of genres. The NASCAR theme and library are intended for domestic and international broadcasts -- NASCAR races are now broadcast in 115 countries -- including television, radio, online and new media avenues of delivery, as well as commercial recordings. They are the first installments in an ever expanding body of NASCAR music that will enhance the brand beyond sports programming.(Business Wire)(2-10-2004)
NASCAR Artist 'Has Designs' on 2004 Daytona 500 Entries: Sam Bass, the most prolific artist in NASCAR, owner of Sam Bass Illustration & Design, Inc., designed the graphic schemes of the Nextel Cup Series race cars driven by #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #29-Kevin Harvick, #31-Robbie Gordon, #5-Terry Labonte, #40-Sterling Marlin and the #45-Georgia-Pacific and #43-General Mills-sponsored cars of Petty Enterprises. As the first artist officially licensed by NASCAR, Bass has led the industry for more than 15 years and continues to set the pace in the NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck NASCAR Series. Bass said that creating a successful race car design is a challenge that stretches the artist further than the simple task of applying colors to sheet metal.
"Large companies spend billions of dollars over time to establish their products and brands in their customers' minds," said Bass. "And for many NASCAR sponsors, the race car is the most visible public extension of their brands. This puts the pressure on me to design a look for the race car that resonates with its customers. It must adapt well to the team uniforms and equipment. It should also present a consistent brand image on packaging and merchandising. And most importantly, it has to look good on TV. It's quite a challenge," he said. "The idea is to create a race-car design so rooted in the brand that you could strip the words off the car, yet the brand and the sponsor would still be unmistakable," said Bass. Bass, 42, is the most highly accomplished artist in the NASCAR industry. Since 1987, the Hopewell, Va., native has created more than 300 race car and team graphic designs for leading corporate clients, NASCAR team owners and drivers. He also creates fine-art paintings, posters, merchandise, apparel, souvenir program covers and packaging, plus guitar designs. His 10,000-square-foot studio, gallery and showroom is located adjacent to Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., in the greater Charlotte area. The gallery is a popular stop for tourists visiting the area. More information on Bass is available at www.sambass.com. Bass is available for media interviews.(Sam Bass PR)(2-10-2004)
Guard and Reserve Busch Series cars schemes UPDATE: The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a government-funded program that enlists the support of America’s corporations to procure employment of American military service men and women. The ESGR will sponsor 5 Busch Series races, with Richard Childress in an attempt to create awareness and to promote the 5 Freedom Award recipients selected in 2003, running the #29 Busch Series Chevy(1-20-2004)
4/3/04 Texas Busch / Bobby Labonte / #29 RCR - Army
5/1/04 Fontana Busch / Tony Stewart / #29 RCR - Marines
7/10/04 Chicago Busch / Ricky Craven / #29 RCR - Navy
9/25/04 Dover Busch / Kerry Earnhardt / #29 RCR - Air Force
11/20/04 Homestead Busch / Kevin Harvick / #29 RCR - Coast Guard (2-10-2004)
Gibbs OK: Redskins coach [and owner of the #18, #20 and #80 Cup teams, and #18 and #20 Busch teams] Joe Gibbs, 63, was taken to the emergency room at Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine, Fla., for a diabetic reaction due to an insulin imbalance during his visit with Jags quarterback Mark Brunell. Gibbs, who was treated and released that night, returned to work Tuesday. Gibbs started to feel poorly on his Monday afternoon flight from Washington and was given some M&Ms on the plane to boost his sugar level. When Brunell met Gibbs at the airport in St. Augustine, Gibbs asked the quarterback to drive him to a hospital. Gibbs, diagnosed several years ago, revealed his diabetes during his introductory press conference when he returned to the Redskins last month. "He had an imbalance in his insulin, they gave him the required dosage to correct the imbalance and he went on his way," Redskins spokesman Karl Swanson told the Washington Post. "They didn't keep him there. They gave him what he needed and he left."(ESPN)(2-10-2004)
Speedway death ruled accidental: The death of a Daytona International Speedway safety worker was ruled an accident Monday, but questions remain over what caused the grisly incident during Sunday's IPOWERacing Dash Series 150.(see full story at the Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-10-2004)
Brian France Named Most Influential in Motorsports: NASCAR Chairman Brian France has been named the most influential person in motorsports by Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal. The magazine this week named France and his father, former NASCAR Chairman Bill France Jr., to the top two spots on the list, which is dominated by NASCAR officials and others with close ties to the sport. Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc. took the third spot in the rankings, followed by Fox Sports Television Chairman David Hill and NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-10-2004)
Shelmerdine trying to make the Daytona 500: Kirk Shelmerdine, a four-time NASCAR champion crew chief and Dale Earnhardt's ace-in-the-hole for so many Sundays, is back behind the wheel trying again to make his first-ever Daytona 500 as a driver. It has been more than 10 years since Shelmerdine suddenly retired as the boss at Richard Childress' operation to try his hand at driving. Since then, he has won ARCA races and had fun and made a modest living out of his tiny shop across the street from Childress' vast racing compound just south of Winston-Salem. Inside that nondescript, one-story shop, Shelmerdine has been pounding out the wrinkles on the Ford he'll take to the grid here Thursday in the 125-mile qualifying races that will determine whether he finally makes the 500. In his first few days here, Shelmerdine has learned one brutal fact: "We're behind on technology." Shelmerdine is also behind on cars. He has two. His former boss has 62. "The car is a good car, drives OK, it's just not that fast. The engine is better than the car right now. We don't have any of the 'stuff' these other teams have to work with, and it shows. Nobody is trying to fool anybody, that's just the way it is. We're looking to get a spot to start, and it would be neat if we could do it."(Winston Salem Journal)(2-10-2004)
DW's Book Released: Darrell Waltrip's autobiography, "DW: A Lifetime Going Around in Circles," will be available across North America Monday, Feb. 9th. In conjunction with the release of the book (published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.), Waltrip, a three-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Champion and current analyst for FOX Sports, will make a series of media and public appearances this week. Here is a partial list of Darrell's calendar for the week:
Monday through Friday night: Darrell will be co-host of "TRACKSIDE LIVE," shown each evening on the Speed Channel direct from the Daytona International Speedway.
Tuesday, February 10:
9:10am: The Bob and Tom Show/ syndicated radio show
11:30 am Fan Forum appearance at Daytona USA with David Reutimann, driver of the No. 17 NTN/Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Toyota in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
6:50pm Live with George Michael to Washington D.C. area and syndicated "George Michael's Sports Machine"
9:00pm Hannity & Colmes / FOX News Channel / "The Presidential Election and NASCAR Dads"
Wednesday, February 11:
6:00 - 9:00am Satellite feed with Duncan-Hines / morning television shows across the United States
Thursday, February 12:
9:10am: The Bob and Tom Show/ syndicated radio show
6:30 - 8:30pm: Autograph Session: Waldenbooks, Volusia Mall / 1700 Speedway Boulevard, across from the Daytona International Speedway.(fingerprint inc. PR), the book is also available at DWStore.com, where rumor has it that Jayski Tshirts will be available there within the next few weeks.(2-10-2004)
New Assoc for the #49: The Casite Company announced today that their 2004 Associate Sponsorship of NASCAR’s BAM Racing, Dodge car #49 car, will kick-off at the Daytona 500 in Florida on February 15. Casite has been supplying the racing and automotive industries with quality aftermarket automotive chemicals since 1922. And while Casite is not new to sponsoring racing, this will be their first national sponsorship at this level. Casite will also participate in the following Nextel Cup NASCAR races with BAM: Food City 500 in Bristol, TN on March 28; Coca-Cola 600 in Concord, NC on May 30; Michigan 400 at MIS, MI on June 20; Brickyard 400 at Indy on August 8; EA Sports 500 at Talladega on October 3; and one other yet to be determined race. For the past two years, Casite has sponsored the Casite Classic at Flat Rock Speedway and recently concluded their 2003 ARCA Street Stock race sponsorship at Flat Rock. For additional Casite product or company information, visit the company website at www.casite.com.(Williams Company PR)(2-10-2004)
Bang Racing to run some Cup races later in 2004 UPDATE 3: First-year Craftsman Truck Series team owner Alex Meshkin says he will make an announcement Tuesday about a sponsorship deal that will see his team compete in the Nextel Cup Series near the end of this season. Meshkin, 23, owns Bang Racing, which will field a pair of Toyotas for Mike Skinner and Travis Kvapil in the truck series this season.(NASCAR Scene daily Newsletter)(2-6-2004)
UPDATE: Hearing that Bang Racing owners Alex Meshkin and Larry McReynolds will announce an associate relationship with EBAY.......and that EBAY will sponsor 10 - 12 NEXTEL Cup races with Bang this year. No word on a car# or manufacturer.(2-7-2004)
UPDATE 2: "It's a pretty significant deal," Meshkin said Saturday. "We have tried to get involved in Cup since Day 1 and have been looking for the right opportunity. Our truck team has generated a lot of press and with that comes a lot of corporate sponsorship interest." Bang is one of four NASCAR Craftsman Truck series teams to debut this season with the Toyota Tundra. The Toyota truck entries have fueled speculation the manufacturer will soon move into Cup. Asked the car make of his Cup entries, Meshkin said: "It will not be a Toyota. I'm not saying if anyone has a Toyota race car right now, but there is certainly not a NASCAR-approved Toyota entry right now." Before a Toyota could compete in Cup, the manufacturer would have to submit a car and engine for approval by NASCAR. Meshkin said Tuesday's announcement will include the Cup team's sponsor and information on the team's driver and possible car make.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-8-2004)
UPDATE 3: BANG RACING will participate in all NASCAR race series. During the last half of 2004, BANG RACING will enter the Nextel Cup series, with the eBay Cup team. eBay will serve as a co-primary sponsor of BANG RACING'S Nextel Cup team in 2004; this is in preparation for a full Cup Program in 2005 and beyond. Their Nextel Cup drivers will include, Mike Skinner and Travis Kvapil.(Bang Racing Site)(2-10-2004)
Kahne's Contract: been told that Kasey Kahne got out of his contract with Ford, the details are: Kahne's attorneys advised him in October his contract became void after Jason Jarrett ran a third Robert Yates Ford in last September's Cup race at Talladega. Their contention was Kahne should have been in that car, not Jarrett. So all during the winter when Kahne addressed questions about how he got out of his deal with Ford, he always responded by saying "I have fulfilled my contractual obligations." Apparently, Kahne's lawyers were correct and Ford figured a Judge would side with Dodge and Kahne.(2-10-2004)
Hendrick Motorsports Website Re-launched: Hendrick Motorsports today unveiled its new-look Internet presence, www.HendrickMotorsports.com, with a fresh design and unique features found nowhere else on the Web. The latest version of the site, which received more than 1 million visits in 2003, marks the second re-design since HendrickMotorsports.com was initially launched in 1998.(HMS PR)(2-10-2004)
New Driver Site: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver Jamie McMurray announced the official launch of his new website, www.jamiemcmurray.com. McMurray, along with website designer 51 Sports, hopes the new site draws in new NASCAR fans, as well as provides a solid platform for McMurray’s current fan base. McMurray, who pilots the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, was named the 2003 NASCAR Raybestos Rookie of the Year.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(2-10-2004)
Daytona 500 Qualifying TV Ratings: NBC's broadcast of Sunday's Daytona 500 qualifying session drew the second-highest overnight ratings of weekend sports events on broadcast television, today's Sports Business Daily reports. Overnight Nielsen Media Research numbers show the qualifying session drew a 3.4 rating and an 8 share, trailing only the 3.9/8 that CBS drew for Sunday's final round of the PGA Tour's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am tournament. Among the events that trailed were the National Hockey League All-Star Game on ABC (2.5/5) and the NBA game between the Lakers and Magic on ABC (3.2/7).(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-10-2004)
NASCAR Themed TV Guides this week: In its February 14 issue (on newsstands Monday, February 9), TV Guide magazine offers its 2004 NASCAR preview issue. Each copy features one of three collectible flip-motion race car covers, with an alternating image of two popular driver paint schemes including:
* Jeff Gordon, 2004 DuPont Chevrolet and 2003 DuPont/Wright Bros. 100 Years of Aviation Chevrolet
* Dale Earnhardt Jr., 2004 Budweiser Chevrolet and 2003 Budweiser/MLB All- Star Game Chevrolet
* Kevin Harvick, 2004 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet and 2003 GM Goodwrench/Sugar Ray Chevrolet
In the issue, TV Guide's NASCAR expert Robert Edelstein examines the extensive off-season overhaul that is bringing major changes to the sport starting with Sunday's Daytona 500. Targeting a more youthful market in a campaign waged on the track, in the boardrooms, and on the couch, NASCAR is reinventing itself at top speed. Also included is an exclusive excerpt from Waltrip's new book, "DW: A
Lifetime Going Around in Circles," in which he recalls all the "boo's" hurled at him from contemptuous fans that he had to endure throughout the middle of his career. tvguide.com also celebrates the coming NASCAR season with an exclusive roundtable interview, in which Edelstein chats with some of the sport's hottest drivers, including Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, and Waltrip. Also available from TV Guide, wherever magazines are sold, is the 2004 Auto Racing Yearbook, a 96-page full-size NASCAR preview magazine for 2004 [with an article by Jayski]. Along with features, schedules, predictions and posters, the issue offers one lucky winner a chance to win a trip for two to the Brickyard 400. All three collector's covers of the February 14 TV Guide Digest issue are available for purchase on line at www.shoptvguide.com.(2-9-2004)
#7 Crew Chief leaves? UPDATE 3: 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)
UPDATE 2: now hearing the majority of the Cup shop personnel, not at the track, have been laid off.(2-8-2004)
UPDATE 3: Jim Smith and Ultra Motorsports will shut down the #7 Nextel Cup team after the Daytona 500. Although the possibility exists for Ultra to run additional Cup races, Smith says he's turning his full attention to the Craftsman Truck Series. "I'm not going to run this team out of my own pocket anymore," Smith says. "Half the team has left, the other half has been laid off, and anyone left over we'll keep to work on other stuff. There will still be plenty of racing in my future." Driver Jimmy Spencer's plans are uncertain.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(2-9-2004)
Biffle #6: #16-Greg Biffle is the sixth driver to claim his first career pole position in the Daytona 500, following Ramo Stott (1976), Loy Allen (1994), Dale Jarrett (1995), Mike Skinner (1997) and Jimmie Johnson (2002).(Richmond Times Dispatch)(2-9-2004)
DEI Tuner leaves to start own biz? UPDATE: hearing that DEI Engine Tuner and #8 Gasman, Jeff Clark has left DEI to start a Motorcycle Business in the Charlotte, NC area.(1-6-2004)
UPDATE: Engine tuner John Dennison has left Kevin Harvick's #29 RCR team to replace crew member Jeff Clark on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s #8 car. Clark submitted his resignation in January, but he stayed on to help the team through Speedweeks. Brian Englehart will temporarily fill in on the #29 crew until a full-time tuner is hired.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(2-9-2004)
Newsweek Article - Safety: Petty Enteprises is the only NASCAR Nextel Cup team featured in a Newsweek magazine article appearing in editions of February 9. Subscribers will receive the magazine early this week, while it will begin appearing on newstands nationwide later in the week. The national magazine interviewed Richard and Kyle Petty for the article, and spent several hours at the team's Level Cross, N.C., shop last week in preparation for the story regarding safety. The magazine also visited NASCAR's R&D facilities, and interviewed other experts. Newsweek is a major news magazine with international circulation well over 4 million.(Williams Company PR), see the story at MSNBC.com.(2-9-2004)
Johnson's streak at 69: Jimmie Johnson extended the longest current streak for consecutive weeks in the NASCAR Top 10 to 69 weeks with his 2nd place finish in last season’s championship race. It is the 9th longest streak in the modern era (1972-present). Should Johnson remain in the NASCAR Top 10 the entire 2004 season, he will pass Richard Petty and take sole possession of sixth place on the all-time list. An interesting note is that the season-opening race put a halt to all but two of the streaks, the exception being Dale Earnhardt’s record streak of 174 weeks and Sterling Marlin’s 11th-ranked run (66 weeks).(Team Lowe’s Racing PR)(2-9-2004)
42 and counting: Terry Labonte enters the 2004 season carrying a string of 42 consecutive races without a DNF (did not finish), the longest current streak in NEXTEL Cup. The modern-era record is 56 straight, set by Jeff Gordon in 2001-02. Labonte was one of only two drivers who completed all 36 races last season, the other being Kevin Harvick.(HMS PR)(2-9-2004)
Commemorative Daytona 500 Program Distributed Coast to Coast: A commemorative newsstand edition of the award-winning Daytona 500 program will be available to race fans unable to attend NASCAR's most prestigious race - the Daytona 500. The program hit newsstands in major grocery chains and mass retail outlets throughout the nation on Feb. 3. The unique cover of the 256-page program features a special Mickey Mouse Event Car as well as s the ultimate prize in motorsports, the
Harley J. Earl trophy - presented to the winner of NASCAR's most prestigious motorsports event - the Daytona 500. Although there will
be 5 different Daytona 500 program covers, only the Mickey Mouse design can be purchased at newsstands nationwide. The Daytona 500 souvenir program features in-depth features on all of the events of Daytona's Speedweeks. Driver profiles, race reviews and historical retrospectives, along with hundreds of photographs, fill the 256 full-color pages. The publisher's editorial and photography staff has been recognized by various professional and media organizations, including the International Automotive Media Awards, for their work.(DIS PR)(2-9-2004)