Petty finishes 11th and 2nd: Kyle Petty [with Gunnar Jeannette] finished the Food City 250 at Phoenix International Raceway in 11th [of 40 listed] overall, and 2nd in the GT class [won by Boris Said and Bill Auberlen] in the #45 Gunnar Racing / Porsche GT3 RS. Max Angelelli held off Scott Pruett in the closing laps to give SunTrust Racing its first-ever Rolex Sports Car Series win the overall race on Saturday night. For more see the PIR site.(4-11-2004)
Mikey..Cup team owner? #15-Michael Waltrip, whose wit and charisma have made him one of NASCAR's most popular drivers, is heavily involved in television work. He is featured in TV commercials and serves as a commentator on various racing programs. He said he might consider a career in broadcasting after his racing days are done, but also wants to remain in the sport. ''At some point I'd like to own a (Nextel) Cup team,'' said Waltrip, who currently fields his own Busch Series team [#99 Aaron's Chevy that won at Nashville on Saturday]. ''That would give me an opportunity to remain involved in something I love after I'm done driving.''(Tennessean), also Waltrip doers have a part-time Cup team, the #00 Team, one in which Kenny Wallace will run five races.(4-11-2004)
Congrats: Associated Press sportswriter [usually NASCAR[ Jenna Fryer and her husband, Brit [of the Gaston Gazette], are the proud parents of a baby girl, Sydnee Lin Fryer. Sydnee arrived about 4:00pm/et Friday and weighs 6 pounds, 15 ounces. Sydnee and her mom are at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Sources close to ThatsRacin.com say mother and daughter are doing fine.(4-10-2004)
FanZCar To Sponsor Hermie Sadler at Martinsville: The FanZCar, an interactive program that allows race fans to sponsor Hermie Sadler and SCORE Motorsports, along with participating during race weekends, announced that they have agreed to sponsor Hermie Sadler in the Advance Auto Parts 500 in Martinsville, Virginia on April 18. This will be The FanZCar first appearance within NASCAR's NEXTEL Cup series and the first time ever a fan-based sponsorship elevated itself within NASCAR's highest series [NOTE: this is not true, Billy Standridge and Fans Can Race in 1997-1998 was one team, there have been a few others also]. Hermie Sadler, who also drives the #02 Busch Series car that is sponsored by The FanZCar, says it is a testament to the fans that this sponsorship came together. "Since we joined forces with The FanZCar this year, the membership has increased tremendously." Sadler will be making several appearances the week of the Martinsville race to promote not only The FanZCar, but also Autism Awareness month, which is April. He will be on Fast Talk with Benny Parsons on April 12, Totally NASCAR on April 15, and Trackside Live on April 16. Sadler's #02 Chevy will also carry in-car cameras for the race as well as the now familiar Autism Awareness Ribbon. For more information on the FanZCar and to become a member, visit their website theFanZCar.com.(SCORE Motorsports PR)(4-10-2004)
Kyle Petty to Talk to Teens about Safety: Petty Enterprises driver #45-Kyle Petty is scheduled to take part in Georgia-Pacific Corp.'s Teen Safety 500 program for five suburban Pittsburgh schools next Wednesday [April 14th]. Students from Elizabeth Forward, South Allegheny, Thomas Jefferson, West Mifflin and McKeesport are scheduled to take part in the program to promote safe driving practices among teenagers. Petty is scheduled to sign autographs and pose for photos with the students.(Williams Company PR)(4-10-2004)
McMurray to be a presenter for Award Show: Jamie McMurray, the driver of Chip Ganassi Racing's #42 Dodge in the Nextel Cup Series, is scheduled to be a presenter for CMT's 2004 Flame Worthy Video Music Awards at 8:00pm/et April 21 on CMT.(NASCAR Scene Daily)(4-10-2004)
Garone leaves NASCAR gig: Joe Garone has left as Director of Officiating for NASCAR and told Claire B. Lang of XM Satellite NASCAR Radio: "It's been a great experience to be on the NASCAR side with such great people but you just can't get the asphalt out of the racer's blood I guess would be the way to say it. I took some time away from
auto-racing as far in the garage area and had a great time at NASCAR to start the research and development center and then move on with the officiating program. I miss being in the garage, I miss the guys, I miss the pit crews, I miss being on the box involved in the game and it just will not go away and I'm going back in the garage and that's where my heart lies. I've decided to resign from NASCAR and make that move."
Garone says he's been really fortunate being involved in so many aspects of the sport and he's not sure whether he'll lean towards a crew chief or team manager position. Garone also told CBL that his view of the sanctioning body changed from the time he was a crew chief
to the time he was the director of officiating: "I have a huge respect for the work that goes into enforcing the letter of the rule book and the work that goes into being equal and fair across the board and I didn't use to have that respect when I was on a team before but I do have it now. Theres no question NASCAR's competition side has been an eye-opening experience as to the effort that's put into it to make sure it's fair across the board."(XM Satellite NASCAR Radio)(4-9-2004)
So....What's Up with Dave Marcis? from the marcisracing.com site: Dave "Marcus" continues to prove that "retirement" is a relative term. So far this year he's been occupied with running the race team in North Carolina, Camp 28 in Wisconsin, testing Crown Royal IROC cars, and even a polar bear jump! Dave jumped in a lake frozen with a 2 foot layer of ice to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters. This took place in January in front of Camp 28 in Rib Lake, WI. A total of $8,500 was raised that day. What do you wear for a sub-freezing polar bear jump? Well if you're Dave Marcis, a Goodyear hat of course. Rumor is that pictures of this event exist, but they're closely guarded from this website... so far. With activities like this, Dave may have been safer when he was racing!(4-9-2004)
Lepage not happy with release from the #4: Kevin Lepage's "full-time ride" with Morgan-McClure Racing is over, just six races after it was announced. And according to Lepage, he couldn't be happier. Lepage was handed his walking papers by the Abingdon, Va. team last week, after managing a best finish of 22nd in six NASCAR Nextel Cup Series starts this year. Veteran Jimmy Spencer took over the ride last weekend at Texas, finishing 29th, six laps down. Contacted this week at his home in North Carolina, Lepage's thoughts on the split can be summed-up in two simple words. Good riddance.
"After watching that fiasco in Texas, I'm happy to be out of there," he said. "Apparently, Jimmy Spencer isn't the miracle-worker they hoped for. (Morgan-McClure) had no set-ups on the cars, none at all. I went around the garage and begged favors from guys I knew on other teams, asking them to help us out. People put their jobs at risk to do that, but the minute we got the chassis straightened out, the motor would blow. Or we'd come out of the pits with three lug nuts missing. It was a disaster. (Team owner) Larry McClure kept asking me - over and over again, `What do we need to do to fix it?' I told him, but apparently, honesty wasn't what he wanted to hear."
Enter Spencer, who according to Lepage had been "wearing Larry out since Daytona trying to get in the car. He brought along a little bit of money, and told Larry what he wanted to hear. So I'm out, and he's in. Good luck to him, he's going to need it." After seeing the Morgan-McClure team from the inside, the Vermont native said he will be surprised if Spencer - or anyone else - can turn things around anytime soon. "Beginning with Robby Gordon in 2001, they have now had 13 drivers in three years," he said. "Robby couldn't help them, Mike Skinner couldn't help them, Stacy Compton couldn't help them, and apparently, neither could I. It's one thing after another with them; one problem piled on top of another." What's next for Lepage? he said he is working to put his own Busch Series Fords back on track for a schedule of 10-20 races, beginning next month at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "We're beating the phones for sponsorship right now," he said, "and I'm about 95-percent sure we'll get a deal done with at least one of the two companies we're talking to. For every door that closes, another one opens," he said. "And in all honesty, my next opportunity won't have to be much to be better than where I just was. I would rather sit home and watch the race on TV than run like that."(Barre-Montpelier Times Argus)(4-9-2004)
Driver of the Year 1st 1/4 Nominees: Whether it's "young guns" or veteran gunslingers the nominations for Speed Channel Presents the DRIVER OF THE YEAR for the first quarter 2004 are all top guns. In the first vote of the year auto racing fans will get to participate via an online ballot of the year, which is part of the process to recognize the best driver in this young season. This quarter's nominees show that drivers of any age can be competitive not only in their own series, but in the minds of experts and fans alike.
The drivers, some of whom are repeat nominees, include Greg Anderson (NHRA), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (NASCAR), Sam Hornish, Jr. (IRL), Tony Kanaan (IRL), Kasey Kahne (NASCAR), Steve Kinser (World of Outlaws), Matt Kenseth (NASCAR), and Tony Schumacher (NHRA). In its 38th year, the DRIVER OF THE YEAR's award for this quarter will be determined by an independent vote of the 18-member panel of blue ribbon auto racing journalists and broadcasters and one vote based on the cumulative tally of fans' voting at www.speedtv.com - click to vote. At the end of the year a special separate vote will be held for the 2004 DRIVER OF THE YEAR.(DOTY PR)(4-9-2004)
Busch Test Drives Hybrid in NYC: Kurt Busch, driver of the #97 Sharpie/IRWIN Ford Taurus in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series stepped into a much different Ford Tuesday morning in New York. Busch had the opportunity to test drive the all-new Ford Escape Hybrid, on sale later this year, on the streets of Manhattan as part of a 36-hour endurance test for the vehicle. Making the epic Manhattan drive particularly impressive is the fact that the Escape Hybrid's gas tank holds just 15 gallons of fuel. The Ford Escape Hybrid is the first "full" hybrid to be built in North America. It combines near-zero emissions and the fuel economy of a full hybrid-electric system with the go-anywhere capability, toughness and cargo capacity of the Ford Escape, America's best-selling compact SUV. The 2005 Escape Hybrid is the world's cleanest, most fuel-efficient SUV, able to travel 35 to 40 miles on a single gallon of gasoline in stop-and-go city driving, where the benefits of its "full" hybrid powertrain clearly outpace the fuel efficiency of even the smallest conventionally powered cars. On the highway, Escape Hybrid is expected to approach 30 mpg, thanks to its efficient Atkinson Cycle
gasoline engine, when it receives EPA fuel economy certification. At the same time Ford is working to minimize the environmental impact of the vehicles it produces, the company is pursuing innovative solutions in manufacturing. The refurbished Ford Rouge Center complex in Dearborn, with its acres of "living roof," the nation's largest porous parking lot and special wetlands that cleanse storm water
runoff, is an example of how a vast manufacturing complex can actually improve environmental quality. The 2005 Escape Hybrid will be built at Ford's Kansas City, Mo., assembly plant, on the same mass-production assembly line used for other Escape, Mazda Tribute and European Ford Maverick models. For consumer information on the Escape Hybrid, visit www.fordvehicles.com/hybrid.(see full pr at the Roush Racing site)(4-9-2004)
NJ Mayor wants his Speed TV: Mayor Glen Gilmore of Hamilton Township, NJ wants SPEED Channel available to township residents. In a recent article in the Trentonian, Gilmore asked the local cable provider to add SPEED to its program lineup, saying: "Motorsports is a big part of Hamilton history, and there is a large demand for NASCAR and other racing coverage among our residents." Gilmore was acall-in guest Wednesday on SPEED Channel's viewer participation program Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain.(Speed Channel PR)(4-9-2004)
Championship Chase Count = 26:
With only seven races in the books, only 26 drivers are within 400 points of the leader, #97-Kurt Busch. That's the magic number to be invited to the playoffs. Those who are more than 400 points behind include Ken Schrader, Kyle Petty, Brendan Gaughan, Jeff Burton, Ricky Rudd, Ricky Craven, Michael Waltrip, Scott Riggs and Jeff Green.(stats noticed at the Caledonian Record)(4-8-2004)
Waldorf-Astoria to host 2004 awards ceremony: It is the culmination of a driver's career, a NASCAR tradition like no other, a chance to shine on center stage in the world's largest city -- New York. It is the annual NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Awards Ceremony; the 2004 version is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 3 at the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
The series champion and other drivers involved in the "Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup" will be honored at the gala event, first held at the Waldorf in 1981 when then-NASCAR President Bill France determined a higher-profile gathering was in order for an ever-burgeoning sport. Since, the event has grown in prestige as has the "Champion's Week" in New York, with the series champion typically on a whirlwind tour of major media appearances in the country's largest market leading up to the week-ending ceremony, which will be telecast nationally the same evening by TNT and will later be re-telecast on NBC. Busch banquet news on my Busch Series page and Truck Series banquet news on my Truck Series page.(NASCAR PR)(4-8-2004)
Sauter out of the #30? UPDATE 3 DENIED - NO, his comments: hearing that Johnny Sauter, driver of the #30 RCR team has parted ways with RCR - Richard Childress Racing? IF TRUE - Two drivers being rumored are Tony Raines, part-time in the #74 Busch ride and Dave Blaney, part-time in the #23 Dodge in Cup and part-time in the #31 Ford in Busch. UPDATE: looks like my sources were incorrect as RCR has denied that Sauter has been released and will still drive the #30 AOL Chevy. UPDATE 2: MRN Radio's Sirius Speedway (Sirius Satellite Radio) is reporting that Johnny Sauter has not been released by Richard Childress Racing. Spokesperson Lisa Cox said that team owner Richard Childress has been in Alaska on a hunting trip since Monday, and that Sauter remains the driver of the #30 AOL Chevrolet.
PLUS another clue I should had heeded: Sauter and the team tested the last few days in Martinsville. UPDATE 3: PRN's Garage Pass radio show talked to Johnny Sauter today and he said: "There's absolutely no truth to it. Richard (Childress) hasn't said one word to me. As a matter of fact we had a conversation this weekend that said I was his driver no matter what happens and we're gonna continue to race. I'm not gonna worry about it. I've been the topic of rumors before I guess, and my relationship with Richard and everybody at RCR and AOL is as strong as ever and I just can't wait to get back racing. There's always rumor mills in this wonderful world of racing and I guess if they're talking about you at least they know you're alive." NOTE: Childress is in Alaska hunting polar bears.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(4-8-2004)
Bobby Allison returns to The Glen: Bobby Allison, 1983 NASCAR Champion and 1980 IROC Champion, will make a special appearance at Watkins Glen International on Saturday, June 5, during the Chemung Canal Trust Historic Races weekend, track President Craig Rust announced today. Allison, a five-time International Race of Champions (IROC) competitor, will greet fans throughout the day during an event that celebrates IROC with a reunion of three decades of cars. Allison, a resident of Moorseville, NC, has many prestigious accomplishments to back up his legendary stature. A seven-time most popular driver, his 84 NASCAR victories, including three Daytona 500 wins, ties him for third on the All-Time Win list. Allison is a member of the International Motorsports, National and Eastern Motorsports Press Associations and North Carolina Auto Racing Halls of Fame. He made two starts at Watkins Glen International, with a best finish of 9th in 1987, contributing to his overall career winnings of more than $7.7 million. "I only raced at Watkins Glen twice, but had a lot of good times racing and being part of the races as an owner and I look forward to coming back to Upstate New York on a weekend that celebrates the history of IROC," Allison said. Allison recently released a new book titled "The Racer's Racer", a collection of his favorite stories and happenings that occurred during his illustrious career, told in his own words. The book, out since September of last year, comes with an audio CD containing stories told by Allison and is already in its third printing. Celebrate the 30th anniversary of the International Race of Champions (IROC) all-star series featuring the original 1974 Porsche class during the Chemung Canal Trust Historic Races, June 4-6. It's a weekend steeped in historic sports car racing, so come out and catch a modern-day glimpse of the cars that were once made famous at The Glen. Tickets start at only $19 and are now on sale, with advance prices available through May 2nd.(Watkins Glen Site) and for info on Allison's book see Bobby Allison: A Racer's Racer by Bobby Allison, Tim Packman.(4-8-2004)
Exide to support teams in Cup, Busch and Trucks:Exide Technologies, a global leader in stored electrical energy solutions, will expand its partnership with four teams among NASCAR's top three divisions. The teams include: the #0 Hass/CNC Racing Chevrolet driven by Ward Burton in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series; the #17 Reiser Enterprises Ford driven by Matt Kenseth in the NASCAR Busch Series; the #6 Tommy Baldwin Racing Dodge driven by multiple drivers in the NASCAR Busch Series; and the #21 Innovative Motorsports Toyota driven by Hank Parker, Jr. in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In 2004, Exide will adorn the racing vehicles and transporters of Reiser Enterprises (as well as Kenseth's uniform), Tommy Baldwin Racing and Innovative Motorsports. In addition, there will be advertising and promotional opportunities with all four teams, which includes Haas/CNC Racing. This season marks the third consecutive year Exide and Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) have had an association.(Pro Sports Marketing PR)(4-8-2004)
Riggs may run some Busch races: #10-Scott Riggs may run some Busch Series races for Cup teammate, Joe Nemechek [#87 Chevy in Busch], possibly as soon as California in May.(NASCAR Scene Magazine - need sub to view online)(4-8-2004)
Bill France Sr. to be inducted into Hall of Fame: Bill France Sr., the man who founded NASCAR in 1947 and established the family dynasty that still rules the sport, will be one of eight inductees into the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Mich., on Oct. 5. The selections were announced today at the annual International Motor Press Association breakfast in conjunction with the New York International Auto Show. France Sr., who died in 1992, will be inducted along with Don Garlits, Donald Healey, J.R. "Pitt" Hyde, Battista "Pinin" Farina, Heinz Prechter, Eberhard vonKuenheim and Jiro Yanase.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-8-2004)
Rusty and Kodak: Rusty Wallace is scheduled to run a Kodak paint scheme on his #2 Dodge at Watkins Glen in August, marking the first time Wallace will drive with another sponsor since he has been with the Miller Brewing Company. Kodak's main headquarters are located in Rochester, N.Y., and this opportunity now gives them more exposure on the track along with Wallace's teammate Brendan Gaughan, who is also sponsored by Kodak.(RacingOne)(4-8-2004)
Dale Jr to do a KFC commercial with Trace Adkins: Country singer Trace Adkins has gotten some good-natured ribbing from fans since he became the voice for KFC's national television campaign last month. He'll soon be appearing in front of the camera for KFC as well as behind it. He's set to film a commercial in Charlotte, N.C., next week with NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.(Houston Chronicle/AP)(4-8-2004)
Law Firm Sponsors teams in all three Series: The law firm of Jenkins, Jenkins & Jenkins in La Plata, Md., decided during the winter to become a NASCAR sponsor and now has its name on cars in the Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck series. Frank Jenkins spearheaded the firm's entry into motorsports, thinking it would be a good platform for reaching new clients. "We get phone calls every day from all over the country," he said. "Anytime you are involved in a legal situation it's pretty unsettling. People want a friend there. They see we are involved in stock car racing as a sponsor and feel we have something in common - a love of racing. So they call to ask us to help." The firm is an associate sponsor on two Nextel Cup teams, four Busch teams and four Craftsman teams. Bobby Hamilton's truck series win in Atlanta was the first victory for the new sponsor. "The sponsorships are popular with race fans, and there is a lot of excitement in our office and with our clients," Jenkins said. "We're in motorsports to get our name out there, to receive brand recognition and to let NASCAR fans know we are as big a fan as they are." Jenkins and his brother, Louis P. Jenkins, Jr., are partners in the law firm established 50 years ago by their father. The company handles personal injury claims as well as contract and business representation, criminal cases and real estate law.(ThatsRacin.com/AP), the firm also sponsors a Featherlite Modified Serie team and a website BGNRacing.com.(4-8-2004)
Lynch to visit with 'The King': Jessica Lynch, the former U.S. Army supply clerk who was wounded and rescued last year during the Iraq war, is tentatively scheduled to visit patients at the Duke Children's Hospital next week. The self-described "country girl" from Wirt County, W.Va., will travel across the Piedmont to promote her Jessica Lynch Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps the children of soldiers who either have served in the military or been killed in the line of duty. Lynch created the foundation using the proceeds from a $1 million book deal for the story of her capture and rescue. She also is expected to attend book signings next week for former New York Times reporter Rick Bragg, who wrote her biography, "I Am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story." Lynch also will spend part of next week's visit to North Carolina with her NASCAR "hero" Richard Petty. A spokeswoman for the Duke Children's Hospital confirmed that Lynch would visit patients on the morning of April 14.(Herald-Sun)(4-8-2004)
The Hat Man? UPDATEs: Was watching Speed Channel's Wind Tunnel on Monday night [10:00pm/et M-Th] and Dave Despain was asked: "What ever happened to the 'Hat Man' who used to great the winning drivers in the winners circle?"....well here is what I have posted on my Racing FAQ/Q&A Page since I often get qustions about him: Well from what I hear, after Bill 'The Hat Man' Broderick was released of his duties when Tosco bought out Unocal he bought a restaurant or tavern in the Chicago area(6-16-1999) UPDATE 1: some more tidbits, Broderick is the owner of a tavern near the Fox River in Algonquin, Illinois, in the Northwest Chicago suburbs, that he actually has owned for some time(6-17-1999) UPDATE 2: Broderick was interviewed by Claire B. Lang on XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio (Subscription Required) in May 2003, where at that time, Broderick was working with the Busch Series team #27 of Brewco Motorsports and driver Joey Clanton and sponsor TrimSpa. Of course, Clanton is not longer with Brewco and TrimSpa is the sponsor for the #32 Braun Racing Dodge with driver David Stremme, so not sure if Broderick is still with Brewco. AND recently heard from a reader who saw Broderick at the Wisconsin Motorsports Charities Banquet this past January.(4-6-2004) UPDATE 3: Dave Despain talked to Bill Broderick via the phone on Wednesday's Speed Channel's Wind Tunnel and Broderick said he sold his tavern to his son, did some work for GM/Cadilac and is now semi-retired and enjoying life.(4-8-2004)
#14 Crew Chief Fined: Keith Koppenal, crew chief for the #14 Dodge driven by Larry Foyt in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, has been fined $1,000 for a rule infraction that occurred this past weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, NASCAR officials announced today. Koppenal was found in violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-U (any violation of the fuel cell or fuel cell container specifications) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Rule Book, because of an oversized container. The violation was found during the weekend's initial inspection process, on April 2.(NASCAR PR)(4-7-2004)
#38 Breaks Long Streak: when was the last time a car with the number 38 won a Cup race? How about on 11/26/1959, when Ned Jarrett won at Columbia, SC. The #38 has now won 6 times with Elliott Sadler's win at Texas. Twenty (20) car numbers that have NOT won yet [not count 0x or numbers with more then two digits] #'s: 35, 36, 39, 50, 57, 61, 63, 65, 67, 68, 69, 70, 74, 76, 79, 82, 84, 93, 94, 95. Of those numbers, only the #50 with Arnold Motorsports is a full-time team. See my Win by Numbers page for first and last time a car number won and the number of wins for each number. Which car number has won the most times? no brainer: #43, 198 times [yep, Richard Petty won a few races using a different car #].(4-7-2004)
A Championship Outlook - champ usually wins in first 6 races: Only five times in the modern era (1972-present) has the eventual champion not won in the first six races. The winners in the first 6 races of 2004: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #17-Matt Kenseth, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #97-Kurt Busch. When did a driver win the Championship and not win a race in the first six? 1973-Benny Parsons; 1984 and 1996-Terry Labonte; 1985-Darrell Waltrip; and 1999-Dale Jarrett.(4-7-2004)
Blaney's tenative schedule:NASCAR Radio - XM Satellite Channel 144 reports during an interview with #23 crew cheif, Philippe Lopez, said the #23 team and driver Dave Blaney would run at Talladega [as #22 Wimmer will need a drafting partner], at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May - with Whelen sponsoring the car, Daytona in July, at Michigan [mentioned the fan effort and support] and at Indianapolis. And more if a sponsor can be found. More info on the 'Fan Pledges' see my #23 Team News and Links page, so far the current amount pledged is $63,359 as of 4/7.(4-7-2004)
2nd Team for BAM? road courses UPDATE 2: BAM Racing, which owns the Nextel Cup #49 Schwan's Dodge of Missouri driver Ken Schrader, will soon add a second car to its team. Eddie Jones, the team's general manager, said the team will field a second car for both road races this year and perhaps for five other races. He said the team is close to a deal with a sponsor for the second car and have a deal with a driver whom he would not name. “Hopefully, within the next six weeks we'll have more definite news on the second team,” Jones said. He did say the driver was a 32-year-old who is not currently driving stock cars.(Kansas City Star)(4-4-2004) UPDATE: hearing the driver is Klaus Graf of Germany, a sports car driver who is entered by BAM Racing in the ARCA Race at Nashville Superspeedway this weekend.(4-5-2004) UPDATE 2:NASCAR Radio - XM Satellite Channel 144 reports that BAM Racing says they plan to run the two road course races at Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen and while they wouldn't say who would drive, Klaus Graf is a driver under consideration.(4-7-2004)
Waltrip's Pit Crew Wins in Texas: Michael Waltrip's pit crew claimed the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade in Sunday's (April 4) Samsung/RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The #15 NAPA crew edged the No. 38 crew of Elliott Sadler's team for the win and the $20,000 first-place check. Waltrip's crew finished second in the overall McDonald's/POWERade championship standings in 2003 with five victories and $100,000 in prize money. In the current McDonald's/POWERade season standings, Kurt Busch's #97 crew leads with 269 points. Sadler's crew is second with 262 points and Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew is third with 260. The season champion receives a $200,000 bonus. Waltrip's #15 NAPA Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on pit road in Texas -- 218.010 seconds. Sadler's M&M's Ford was clocked at 229.014 seconds to finish second and Earnhardt's Budweiser Chevy was third with a time of 233.636. "The NAPA crew guys continue to do an excellent job and we're excited about winning the McDonald's/POWERade contest in Texas," said crew chief Richard "Slugger" Labbe. "We clicked off some excellent pit stops and it's always gratifying to see that our guys are rewarded and recognized for their outstanding effort." The over-the-wall pit crew for Waltrip's team consists of: Brian Chase (jackman), Jeff Opal (gasman), Chris Crumley (front tire changer), Greg Osborne (rear tire changer), Shawn Ward (front tire carrier), Chad Walter (rear tire carrier) and Pete Rondeau (catch can). The pit crew coach is Walt Smith.(DMF Communications PR) for top 10 at Texas and season standings, see my Pit Crew Page.(4-7-2004)
Baldwin voted this week's best crew chief: Tommy Baldwin's confident and deft pit management of the #9 Dodge led fans to vote him WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Race [www.WYPALL.com]. Even with several ill-timed cautions, the #9 Dodge doggedly moved through traffic to score a second place finish. Although Khane ended his day in the runner-up position, the majority of fans felt that Baldwin’s performance topped the crew chief charts. Baldwin joins, Lee McCall, Chad Knaus, Donnie Wingo and Robbie Reiser in a tie for 2nd place in the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief Challenge, at one win each. Tony Eury, Sr., with two wins, leads the challenge. The crew chief with the most weekly wins at the end of the season will be named WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Year and receive $10,000.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-7-2004)
Firm wins awards, including for 'The Winston' Event: JHE Production Group built on its award-winning reputation by collecting three Events In Excellence Awards (EVIEs) for events the company designed and produced in 2003. JHE has earned 10 EVIEs over the past 4 years in various categories. The EVIEs are part of an annual competition hosted by the Greater Charlotte Chapter of the International Special Events Society that recognizes the best special events produced in North and South Carolina. JHE received awards in three different divisions: Best Fair - First Flight; Best Consumer Event - Food Lion Speed Street and Best Entertainment Production - The Winston. Food Lion Speed Street in uptown Charlotte, N.C, provided a unique entertainment source for those wanting a good time in a clean atmosphere. This three-day event spanned eight city blocks and offered three stages of various live musical acts, interactive exhibits, food vendors and celebrities all at no admission charge. The Winston, NASCAR's All-Star event [now called NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge], combined the effects of pyrotechnics, military fly-overs, an electrifying concert and a stage presentation of NASCAR's finest, viewed by more than 140,000 fans in the grandstands and millions more worldwide, watching all of this unfold live at home. With more than 18 years of entertainment production, JHE Production Group, Inc., has an outstanding reputation for excellence in event production and management. JHE Production Group is based in Concord, NC.(PR)(4-7-2004)
Sponsor Help: Body Dynamics Marketing and Matthew Willis are offering teams an alternative in their sponsorship presentations. They are offering teams the opportunity to show their potential sponsors how they would appear on a race track around other drivers or at a showcar venue in front of their sponsors locations. They offer a fully animated 3-d video clip that can be emailed, linked, or copied to a DVD or CD and sent to the Sponsors to give a visual aspect that has never been offered before. No longer does a team have to appear as two dimensional. Now they can jump ahead of the competition and present themselves and their team in
real world three dimensional presentations. For more information and to see a sample clip visit www.bodydynamicsracing.com.(4-7-2004)
Adopt 'Dale' the Dog, has a #3: not usually into posting these, but thought this was interesting, "These unique two siblings display playful personalities with deep affection for each other. Dale and Roy have healthy, youthful energy and would thrive within a fenced in yard. Dale was named for the famous Dale Earnhardt due to the fur outline of a numeral three [#3] seen on her hip! These two canines have been coping with kennel confinement since early February and need a special home placement where they receive the love, commitment and exercise they deserve. For more information about this animal, call: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Animal Control Bureau at (704) 336-3786 Ask for information about animal ID number A471303 or see the site at charmeck.org - click here.(4-6-2004)
Testing at Kentucky: Kentucky Speedway's testing calendar for this week shows three Nextel Cup tests lined up for Wednesday. The track says Petty Enterprises is scheduled to test both Jeff Green in the team's 43 Dodge and Mark Green in a research and development Dodge. Also expected to test is Ken Schrader in BAM Racing's #49 Dodge.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-6-2004)
Congrats: Andrea Nemechek, wife of NASCAR driver Joe Nemechek, gave birth to the couple's third child, Kennedy Grace, Monday, April 5 at Carolinas Medical Center University in Charlotte. Kennedy Grace weighed 5 pounds, 14 ounces and measured 18 1/2 inches long. Mother and daughter are doing fine and are scheduled to be released from the hospital Wednesday (April 7). With the addition of Kennedy Grace, the Nemechek children include John Hunter (6-years-old) and Blair McKenzie (4).(US Army Racing PR)(4-6-2004)
Testing at Martinsville this week:
April 6: #25-Brian Vickers, #10-Scott Riggs, #88-Dale Jarrett, #42-Jamie McMurray, #40-Sterling Marlin, #18-Bobby Labonte, #30-Johnny Sauter, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #22-Scott Wimmer, #17-Matt Kenseth
April 7: #32-Ricky Craven, #25-Brian Vickers, #10-Scott Riggs, #30-Johnny Sauter, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #12-Ryan Newman, #77-Brendan Gaughan, #2-Rusty Wallace, #17-Matt Kenseth
April 8: #32-Ricky Craven, #0-Ward Burton, #4-Jimmy Spencer
Frontstretch grandstands are open to the public for testing at no charge. Testing hours are normally from 9am to 5pm.(4-5-2004)
Gordon goes Retro for the Challenge UPDATE: Since Retro is in, Hendricks Motorsports and DuPont are returning to the rainbow scheme for the Nextel All-Star Challenge race weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May for #24-Jeff Gordon.(1-20-2004) AND Jeff Gordon's #24 car will sport familiar rainbow livery for next month's all-star event. Gordon is expected to announce Tuesday that he'll bring back the "rainbow warrior" paint job for his #24 car in the May 22 Nextel All-Star Challenge race at Lowe's Motor Speedway outside Charlotte. Gordon says the retro paint job will commemorate the 10th anniversary of his first victory, which came May 29, 1994 at LMS. And NASCAR being NASCAR, there's also a commercial angle; sponsor DuPont is using the race to promote a new line of paint. For Gordon, driving the rainbow car — he switched to hot rod-style flames for 2001 — will be a reminder of just how good the good-ol' days were. Bringing back the old paint job also will help Gordon remember a certain amount of ignorant grief he took from fans who didn't take kindly to a clean-cut kid in an ultra-macho sport racing through the Bible Belt with a symbol often associated with gay rights activism — although, he says, nobody really thought of that when artist Sam Bass designed the paint job. "I took of heat for driving that rainbow car and wearing that rainbow uniform," he says. "There were times where you didn't feel like a really cool race car driver. But as long as we were winning races, it didn't matter."(USA Today), see an image on my #24 Team Paint Scheme Page.(4-6-2004)
More Downforce? Now there is talk that Goodyear may be under pressure to let NASCAR add more downforce to these cars and keep the same soft-tire line. That would make any tire engineer very nervous. Goodyear officials won't say just what they're talking about with NASCAR executives right now in discussions of the single-file racing. Could Goodyear OK NASCAR adding more downforce to these cars with this tire package, and not risk the tires blistering or tearing apart? Goodyear calls such a question "premature."(Winston Salem Journal)(4-6-2004)
IROC Testing at Atlanta: The International Race of Champions (IROC) series will test Tuesday and Wednesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway as they prepare for their Oct. 30 season finale at the fast, high-banked track. Jim and Jay Sauter and Dave Marcis are expected to test the IROC cars on Tuesday, while IROC officials are expecting World of Outlaws drivers Steve Kinser and Danny "The Dude" Lasoski in to test on Wednesday. Lasoski is fresh off a "dream win"after pulling off a stunning victory last Friday in the Crown Royal IROC event at Texas Motor Speedway. In the Crown Royal IROC point standings, which will pay $1 million to the season champion, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman are tied for first with 33 points while Lasoski and Jimmie Johnson are tied for second with 32 points. The two-day test session is closed to the public.(AMS PR)(4-6-2004)
Gordon to be Miss USA judge: Jeff Gordon will be one of the judges in the 53rd Annual Miss USA competition held at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, California on Monday, April 12. The show will be broadcast live on NBC beginning at 9pm/eastern time. In addition to Gordon, the judging panel will be comprised of Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss, fashion designer Jill Stuart, actor Mekhi Phifer, actor Rocco DiSpirito, actress Liza Huber, former NBA star John Salley, actress and model Vanessa Haydon, actress Tricia Helfer, and Brandi Sherwood (Miss USA 1997). Nancy O'Dell and Billy Bush will co-host the competition. Each contestant from all 50 states and the District of Columbia will be judged in three categories, including swimsuit, evening gown, and personality interview.(Gordonline.com)(4-6-2004)
Not NASCAR, but interested me..so: Al Unser Sr. roared to victory in WIBC's Fantasy 500 race Sunday. The race, which patched together past broadcasts of great contests, included vintage commentary from Sid Collins, Bob Jenkins and Paul Page. In the end, Unser edged out Jimmy Bryan, A.J. Foyt and Michael Andretti in a photo-finish. That is, if a fantasy race can have one. WIBC-AM (1070) chose the field by taking the most successful drivers in the history of the Indianapolis 500 and adding some of the most popular -- but less successful -- drivers. To keep the "contest" even, organizers took the actual qualifying times of each driver/car combo to calculate the number of laps each car had to run -- the faster the car, the more laps.(Indy Star), of course Jayski's finish would have had Mark Donohue winning, with A.J. Foyt pulling a Kasey Kahne and finishing 2nd by a hair, followed by surprise entry Ernie Irvan, then Little Al and Bill Vukovich finishing fifth. Mario would had continued his luck at Indy and fell out while leading with 10 laps to go. Hey, it's my site, I can have some fun sometimes with it.(4-6-2004)
NASCAR.com to go: Nextel Communications, the leading provider of fully integrated wireless communications services, Digital Orchid Inc., an innovator in the development, management and distribution of branded wireless applications, and NASCAR.COM, a division of Turner Sports Interactive, today announced that a suite of real-time wireless NASCAR.COM content applications and services are available to consumers on mobile devices offered on the Nextel network. NASCAR.COM TO GO is a subscription service that gives members access to view and share a variety of real-time NASCAR.COM content via their wireless devices. Subscribers receive breaking news and features from NASCAR.COM's reporters, qualifying and race results, series standings, driver updates, as well as NASCAR.COM's live timing and scoring leaderboard service. "We are excited to have Nextel as our partner for the NASCAR.COM wireless services. Applications like NASCAR.COM TO GO are key components of Nextel's sponsorship of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, allowing all Nextel data users to access NASCAR.COM content in real-time on their mobile phone", said Cindy Sisson, senior vice president of marketing and co-founder of Digital Orchid. Services available to Nextel subscribers includes NASCAR.COM Mobile, a wireless web site with NASCAR.COM news and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series content, NASCAR.COM Alerts, a wireless messaging alert service that provides subscribers breaking news and event results, and NASCAR.COM TO GO, the first wireless java application created just for the NASCAR fan. NASCAR.COM TO GO is available on select Java-enabled color screen Nextel handsets, including the limited-edition NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series phones.
NASCAR.COM TO GO can be previewed and purchased at www.NASCAR.COM/mobile. NASCAR.COM TO GO is also preloaded on all 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series phones and all 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Drivers phones. Nextel i730 and i733 customers can download NASCAR.COM TO GO at no cost at www.iDENUpdate.com
To activate the subscription on 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series phones and all 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Drivers phones simply click on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series icon on the home page and click on the Get NASCAR.COM TO GO link. To activate the subscription on i730 and i733 phones, click on Net then Web Sites then Sports then Nextel Cup and then finally click on the Get NASCAR.COM TO GO link. Additional subscription fee of $9.99 for NASCAR.COM TO GO applies; Subscription service to Nextel Online Racing Connection data plan or any Nextel Online Web Access and Total Connect plan required.(TMCnet)(4-5-2004)
Incomplete Early TV Ratings for Texas: Incomplete overnight Nielsen Media Research numbers show Fox's broadcast of Sunday's Samsung/RadioShack 500 drew a 5.6 rating and a 13 share, today's Sports Business Daily reports. The Daily says Nielsen's overnight numbers do not include figures from Albuquerque, N.M. Last year, the race drew a 5.8/12 overnight and final figures of 6.3/14.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-5-2004)
Official Auto Finance Co of NASCAR and Team Sponsor: Centrix Financial of Centennial, CO, has signed a sponsorship deal that makes it NASCAR's official auto finance company and is negotiating with several Nextel Cup teams about car sponsorship, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports. Columnist Terry Lefton says the first year of the deal includes "largely Internet advertising and some" TV and print components. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Lefton writes that the deal represents Centrix's "biggest sports marketing expenditure to date."(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-5-2004)
2nd Team for BAM? road courses UPDATE: BAM Racing, which owns the Nextel Cup #49 Schwan's Dodge of Missouri driver Ken Schrader, will soon add a second car to its team. Eddie Jones, the team's general manager, said the team will field a second car for both road races this year and perhaps for five other races. He said the team is close to a deal with a sponsor for the second car and have a deal with a driver whom he would not name. “Hopefully, within the next six weeks we'll have more definite news on the second team,” Jones said. He did say the driver was a 32-year-old who is not currently driving stock cars.(Kansas City Star)(4-4-2004) UPDATE: hearing the driver is Klaus Graf of Germany, a sports car driver who is entered by BAM Racing in the ARCA Race at Nashville Superspeedway this weekend.(4-5-2004)
Assorted trivialities and historical notables:
The four tracks where Jeff Gordon has never won are Texas, Chicago, Phoenix and Homestead.
Elliott Sadler had finished in the top 10 only once in five previous Texas starts. He was 10th in 1999.
Elliott Sadler is one of 109 drivers to have won two or more Cup races. Among those with two are John Andretti, Ricky Craven, James Hylton, Elmo Langley, Steve Park and Jimmy Spencer.
Only Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have four top-five finishes this year. Kahne also has four top-10 finishes, though, while Earnhardt has five.
The entire top 10 in points is within 200 of first place.
Ricky Craven, Jeff Burton, Ricky Rudd and Michael Waltrip now occupy positions 30-33 in the standings.(Gaston Gazette)(4-5-2004)
Nachos Please: As #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s and the team checked their two-way radios before the start of the race Sunday at Texas, they noticed their frequency was interrupted by a concession stand at the speedway. On one lap, Earnhardt Jr. got instructions from his spotter on traffic, the next lap he heard an order for nachos - in Spanish.(Augusta Chronicle)(4-5-2004)
Wind Tunnel Viewers Choose Worst Drivers: The results are in and after six weeks of on-line balloting and 16,561 votes, Massachusetts was named "The State with the Worst Drivers" in a SPEED Channel poll featured on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain. Each week for five weeks, 10 states were listed aphabetically and voted on at SPEEDTV.com. The top two vote getters each week moved into the final round. Listed below are the states that made the final round along with vote totals and percentages from the final week of voting:
* Massachusetts Votes: 456, 19%
* Florida Votes: 385, 16.1%
* California Votes: 379, 5.8%
* New York Votes: 292, 12.2%
* New Jersey Votes: 219,9.1%
* Ohio Votes: 205,8.5%
* Illinois Votes: 193, 8%
* Texas Votes: 146, 6.1%
* Virginia Votes: 70, 2.9%
* Maryland Votes: 53, 2.2%
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain can be seen Mon-Thur at 10:00pm/et, for info on guests and re-air times, see my TV Listings page.(Speed Channel PR)(4-5-2004)
Streak Over: #5-Terry Labonte's 'Did not finish' [DNF's] streak of 48 races without one, is over when the #5 Delphi Chevy's engine died. Who is next? #29-Kevin Harvick at 46 straight races without a DNF.(4-5-2004)
Sad News: A 42-year-old Houston man was found dead of apparent natural causes in his trailer on the Texas Motor Speedway campgrounds Sunday morning, an official said. Johnny Hill probably died from complications stemming from pneumonia, a spokesman with the Denton County Sheriff's Department said. Hill's friends found his body in the trailer about 9:30am/et Sunday.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(4-5-2004)
NASCAR reviews hard liquor ad ban: NASCAR officials may rescind their ban on sponsorships from hard liquor companies. "It's under review," says Jim Hunter, NASCAR's vice president of communications. "We're trying to do what's right, weighing all the pros and cons." NASCAR allows beer companies to sponsor cars, and in recent years also has allowed hard liquor companies to advertise their "malt beverage" products; Smirnoff vodka, for example, is not allowed, but Smirnoff Ice is allowed. If NASCAR does lift the ban, it could provide a boost to teams that are searching for sponsors.(USA Today)(4-5-2004)
Gear Ratio Change? NASCAR is exploring ways to slow Nextel Cup cars by decreasing RPMs through different gear ratios. But Dale Earnhardt Inc. technical director Steve Hmiel says a gear rule change "would be a nightmare." Teams are sending engine specialists to Europe to research the latest advancements in drive trains, and NASCAR is concerned that gains made by the top organizations will increase their advantage over the have-nots.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(4-5-2004)
NASCAR to cut more off the spoiler? NASCAR officials have been considering new rules trimming another half-inch off the rear spoiler and limiting engine height, to limit use of exotic springs. However many teams are upset with that, and the lack of passing in yesterday's race may force NASCAR to reassess those proposed changes. "Nothing against the NASCAR guys, but they don't need to making an engine height rule like that," crew chief Tony Eury Sr. says. "If they do that, then we can't put the springs in the car we need to put in to make the car drive. If the car is up in the air, the car is going to push, and that's exactly why we're putting soft springs in the car. Now NASCAR wants to make a engine height rule, so we'll have to putting a bigger frame in the car to keep the engine off the ground, and it will push worse."(Winston Salem Journal)(4-5-2004)
Sadler not pleased with Sauter: Rookie #30-Johnny Sauter drew the ire of the winner for the late-race maneuvers of his No. 30 Chevrolet. Several other lapped cars pulled aside for the battle between Elliott Sadler and Kasey Kahne in the closing laps, but Sauter chose to maintain his position. He finished three laps down in 24th. "He should have done like every other smart person and pulled over," Sadler said. "There wasn't anybody within half a straightaway of him. He pulled back in the groove and ran right on the bottom of 3 and 4, which is where I tried to run all day long. His awareness is hideous. I wish he would have left it down to me and Kasey to race. I was so focused on what [Sauter] was going to do, I forgot about [Kahne], and it almost cost me the race."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-5-2004)
New Engine Man for RYR: Engine man Mike Hawkins has joined Robert Yates Racing as the tuner for Dale Jarrett. Hawkins will be reunited with crew chief Mike Ford. They formerly worked at Evernham Motorsports.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(4-5-2004)
Update on the #25 Draftshaft Problem: Drive shaft failures are rare. In fact, prior to Brian Vickers' broken drive shaft at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series had gone more than a year since the last drive shaft failure, which seemingly victimizing the #10 Pontiac during practice at the 2003 Daytona 500. Whether or not the 10 car was a victim was answered in rather concrete terms when NASCAR levied a penalty against the team's crew chief for the use of an illegal, and excessively lightweight, part in the drive train. Vickers'#25 GMAC Chevrolet has now lost two drive shafts in the last three races, first during Happy Hour at Atlanta and next during the race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Answering the obvious questions, NASCAR sources say that the two failures were caused by different problems. The first one was the result of improper installation while the second one was attributed a weak part that failed in battle. There is no evidence indicating that the team is doing anything irregular.(Ford Racing)(4-5-2004)
Congrats - Nuptials, not NASCAR, at Kentucky Speedway: Lori Howell and Jack Petty, both of Burlington, started their engines together as a married couple Saturday at the Kentucky Speedway. The second wedding at the track, the Pettys nuptials took place in the Winner's Circle in the center of the speedway. "I love the smell of the fuels. I love the sound of the racing engines," said the new Mrs. Petty, 36. "We live it everyday." While not directly related to the legendary racing Petty family, the couple enjoy car racing. The idea of the themed wedding came up after Howell visited the track to see her favorite driver, Jimmy Johnson, practice. Lori ran into Pam Mylor, an employee at the speedway, who told her the track hosted another wedding on Valentine's Day 2003. "It's something that people get involved with. It's in their blood," said Mylor, the track tour and banquet coordinator for corporate and social events. The Pettys' wedding came complete with checkered flags and car-shaped chocolates on tables in Bluegrass Hall, behind the Winner's Circle where the couple held their reception. The colors: blue and yellow. They match the Speedway and are Johnson's signature colors, Howell said. The bridesmaids wore Kentucky blue dresses while the groomsmen sported the same shade in their vests. The bride and bridesmaids' and centerpiece flowers followed the same two-color pattern. Lori wore a white chiffon gown and veil. Stephen Hoffman, who presided over the ceremony, has married couples on planes and trains and has presided over Star Trek weddings. He said weddings should be tailored to the bride's and groom's personalities. The non-denominational wedding before about 100 guests lasted about 30 minutes. With Hoffman's "Gentlemen, start your engines," the men revealed bottles of club soda, shook them and sprayed them on the newlyweds - a Winner's Circle tradition.(Cincinnati Enquirer)(4-5-2004)
Newman still not happy about No SAFER at Texas: #12-Ryan Newman's bid to become the first multiple winner at Texas Motor Speedway ended with an unwelcome bang. The 2003 winner at Texas lost control in Turn 3 on Lap 196, and the throttle in his Dodge stuck. He veered hard into the concrete, then turned left and smacked the inside wall. "It sure would have been nice to hit a SAFER barrier," said Newman, who criticized track owner Bruton Smith last week for not installing the "soft-wall" technology. "I was just bouncing off the walls with the throttle at 5,000 RPMs." Texas is slated to install the SAFER barrier in the fall.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-5-2004)
#09 Plans to keep running: #09 team owner James Finch says he has sponsorship for 12 Cup races and will continue to run the circuit as long as it's profitable. "I made more money per lap for running four laps at Bristol than Kurt Busch got from winning," Finch says. And he's right. The #09, driven by Joe Ruttman, made $16,583.75 per lap ($66,335 total); Busch made $346.93 per lap ($173,465 total).(FoxSports/Sporting News)(4-5-2004)