MORE NEWS/RUMORS
APR 12-18, 2004

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MORE NEWS-RUMORS!
YESTERDAY and BEYOND..


    (4-18-2004)

  • Rusty wins at Martinsville - breaks 3-year streak: #2-Rusty Wallace won the Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway for his 55th career Cup win [breaks a tie with Lee Petty and is now 7th all-time], his first in 105 races [at California Speedway, 4/21/2001] his 7th win at Martinsville Speedway, Rusty's first ever win in a Dodge and first ever for #2 crew chief, Larry Carter. The win also puts the #2 team in the 2004 Winner's Circle Program, which is now full with 12 teams. #18-Bobby Labonte was 2nd, followed by #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #48-Jimmie Johnson and #12-Ryan Newman. Good narrative of the race at ThatsRacin.com
    INFO for my race rundown, see my Martinsville Race Info/Rundown Page, for Lucky Dog drivers and their finish, caution narrative, where did the top 10 starters finish...and more.
    Results can be seen at:
    ThatsRacin.com
    MotorsportsOne
    NASCAR.com.(4-18-2004)

  • Kulwicki Movie UPDATE - be an extra AND: a new website is up about the movie - Dare to Dream - The Alan Kulwicki Story, at daretodreammovie.com, just a one page site as of now. Past info on the movie on my Media-Movie page.(4-14-2004)
    UPDATE: On April 18th you can have the chance to be an extra in Dare To Dream: The Alan Kulwicki Story. DDI Films, the Wisconsin based film company, will be shooting at Slinger Super Speedway in Slinger, Wisconsin on April 18th and would like people of all ages to appear as extras in crowd scenes starting at noon. Come out, meet new people and enjoy being in the upcoming feature film about Alan Kulwicki's life from local driver to champion of the track. Sorry, don't have any contact info to post.(4-15-2004)
    COLUMN Kulwicki's dream drives filmmakers - Movie to tell NASCAR champion's story by Dave Kallmann of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel(4-18-2004)

  • Andrews and Garone at Martinsville...looking: on Saturday at Martinsville Speedway, a couple of out-of-work crew chiefs were making the rounds making contacts. Paul Andrews, who won a NASCAR championship with the late Alan Kulwicki and most recently worked with #99-Jeff Burton at Roush Racing until he was released, and former NASCAR tech center official Joe Garone, who formerly worked as a crew chief with a number of drivers, including Bill Elliott were both on site. Garone said he planned to attend a test next week with PPI Motorsports at Kentucky Speedway to work with driver Ricky Craven on a two-car test.(NASCAR.com)(4-18-2004)

  • Triplett back in NASCAR...on the #80: Andy Hillenburg's #80 Ford is sporting "Kevin Triplett for U.S. Congress" sponsorship on the hood of the Nextel Cup car this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Triplett, a Republican candidate for Virginia's 9th Congressional District, has hopes to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher who has held the job for 22 years. A former NASCAR official, Triplett has financial support coming from the garage with Jeff Burton being active in the campaign.(Insider Racing News)(4-18-2004)

  • StockCarFans.com - Rumblings - Martinsville: It was a long time coming, but #2-Rusty Wallace finally answered that question today. Wallace outlasted #18-Bobby Labonte by 0.538 seconds to break his 105 race losing streak today at Martinsville Speedway. In a race delayed by an hour and 17 minutes for cement repair, Rusty took his 55th career win (he breaks a tie with Lee Petty and now occupies 8th all-time - and his 7th at this half-mile beauty. Rusty's last win was at California Speedway in April of 2001. Wallace's winning share of today's Advance Auto Parts 500 was $170,998 from the over $4.7M in posted awards. He also grabs the final spot on the 2004 Winners Circle plan.
    #32-Ricky Craven (16th) had his best finish since he was 8th at Talladega last October
    #77-Brendan Gaughan (17th) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was 19th at Daytona in February
    #02-Hermie Sadler (26th) had his best finish since he was 23rd at Richmond in September of 2002 (only 16 races)
    #89-Morgan Shepherd (32nd) had his best finish since he was 32nd at Rockingham in February of 1999 (only 10 races)
    STREAKIN....
    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races
    #48-Jimmie Johnson has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races
    #12-Ryan Newman has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races
    #24-Jeff Gordon has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races
    This Week's Elevator...UP: Operator of the Week (for the second time this season) is Michael Waltrip (+24), followed by Brian Vickers (+22), Bobby Labonte (+21), and Matt Kenseth (+21). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Jeremy Mayfield (-26), followed by Casey Mears (-25).
    Dale Earnhardt Jr reassumes the top-spot in the points....he led the first two weeks of the season. The Top-6 are separated by 100 markers. We had a passel of drivers move forward three spots today. Rusty Wallace, Bobby Labonte, Dale Jarrett, Ward Burton, and Ricky Craven were the drivers in the Top-30 to accomplish that feat. Ken Schrader (27th to 32nd) fell the most spots.(StockCarFans.Com Nextelcup Newsletter)(4-18-2004)

  • Geoffrey Bodine at Martinsville: Even thou Goeffrey Bodine failed to make the Truck Series race, he will be on the track Sunday as it is the 20th Anniversery of Bodine's and Hendrick Motorsports first Cup win. Rick Hendrick had the unsponsored #5 Chevy restored and Bodine will make a parade lap around the track.(4-17-2004)
    Showed FOX showed part of the lap on lap 198 before commercial.(4-18-2004)

  • Free Windows: MW Windows will donate windows to the local Martinsville, Virginia Habitat For Humanity in the name of Jeff Gordon, this weekends Nextel Cup pole winner.(Insider Racing News)(4-18-2004)

  • Donate Old Phones: Nextel is asking fans to donate their used cellular phones to support the American Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Services. The phones, which will be collected at Nextel kiosks at Cup races, will be refurbished and provided to active-duty and community-based military with emergency communications to link with families back home.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-18-2004)


    (4-17-2004)

  • Parts Confiscated: NASCAR inspectors confiscated parts from three Nextel Cup teams at Martinsville Speedway this weekend. The items: An unapproved TV camera pod from the #25 GMAC Chevy team of driver Brian Vickers, an unapproved control arm from the #02 Chevy of Hermie Sadler and an expired lap and shoulder belt from the #5 Kellogg's Chevy driven by Terry Labonte.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-17-2004)

  • Nextel hooking RJR up with all-star tickets: Nextel Communications, which took over sponsorship this season of what was known as NASCAR's Winston Cup Series, is providing 1,500 tickets to R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. employees for the May 22 Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. RJR's Winston brand had not only sponsored the Cup series, but also the annual all-star race, which has been held at the Concord track every year but one since 1985. Nextel officials will present the tickets at RJR headquarters in Winston-Salem, N.C., in the coming weeks.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-17-2004)

  • Goodyear planning no changes UPDATE: Goodyear's Rick Campbell, a veteran NASCAR tire engineer, said that, despite some complaints about less-than-thrilling on-track action with NASCAR's new soft tire-low downforce package this season, Goodyear's plans won't change. In large part, Campbell said, that's because tire production is not something that can be quickly reorganized. "Our year is pretty clearly defined already," Campbell said. "We have to look pretty far ahead. It would be pretty difficult for us in the middle of April to respond to a change in the next month or two. We're pretty pleased with where we are right now. We like our track groupings (of new tires)." The possibility of simply dropping the soft tire and reverting to last year's hard-tire package "hasn't even been brought up as a possibility," Campbell said. After the 500-miler at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4,some teams were asking for quick changes, for more downforce on their cars to improve handling and make for more passing. There has been no passing this season because drivers are reluctant to move their cars close to each other.
    But NASCAR is expected to go the other way, and take another half inch of downforce away from the rear spoiler, cutting perhaps another 100 pounds off the cars for the Auto Club 500 on May 2 at Fontana, Calif.
    Campbell said he would prefer that any announcement on such downforce issues come from NASCAR, but he said such a move wouldn't affect the tire Goodyear plans to run at California Speedway, which is the same tire used at Atlanta and Texas.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-16-2004)
    UPDATE no spoiler changes anytime soon: There’s been some stories of late indicating that Goodyear was ready to change tire compounds and that NASCAR was going to be trimming spoilers, possibly as soon as the upcoming California event in two-weeks time. The stories, however, seem to be based more on garage talk rather than what either named party has planned. Goodyear engineers laugh at the notion that there will be any changes in compound coming from their camp before the end of the year. Goodyear’s Phil Homer reminded those in attendance, today, that the number of tires needed to run a Cup event require a long lead time. “Last week we worked on what we’ll need for Chicago,” said Holmer. “That shows we’re looking further down the road than the next few weeks.” NASCAR’s John Darby shook off the report that he was going to order a round of spoiler trims before the next California event. “Nothing at this point has changed in regards to our plan,” Darby said of his aero-reduction plan that he’s undertaking this year in the Cup garage. There is talk that NASCAR might trim spoilers later in the year, after a cycle through the tracks, but nothing would come sooner than the July 11, Chicago event, if even then, according to Darby.(Ford Racing)(4-17-2004)


    (4-16-2004)

  • Jeff Burton to RCR #31? UPDATE 2 denied: Rumors swirled last week about Johnny Sauter being released from the #30 AOL Chevy team, which is 24th in the standings, and getting replaced by Johnny Benson or Dave Blaney. Another garage rumor: Jeff Burton's #99 Ford, which is 30th in the standings, will shut down if sponsorship is not found by the end of May, and Burton will move to the #31 Cingular Chevy driven by Robby Gordon. However, anyone who knows Richard Childress, the owner of the #31, realizes Childress left after the Texas race for Canada's Northwest Territories to go hunting.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(4-12-2004)
    UPDATE - denied: Recent rumors of Robby Gordon's possible release from Richard Childress Racing were repudiated Wednesday by the driver and a team official. Recent media reports have had two RCR drivers, Gordon and Johnny Sauter, out of their respective rides. The latest rumor had Gordon being replaced by Roush Racing driver Jeff Burton. Gordon said that while that's not a pleasant statistic for anyone at RCR, his release has no part in the organization's near future. "I think that all that is, is a rumor," Gordon said. "I've got a good relationship with Richard. We've had conversations, and it's all about how we're going to perform at Martinsville and what we're doing to try to make the 31 and the 30 cars more competitive, as a team." RCR director of competition Bobby Hutchens, who Gordon said has been spending extra time working with his group and new crew chief Chris Andrews so far this season, concurred Wednesday afternoon. "Robby Gordon is our driver of the #31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet," Hutchens said. "Whatever rumors have been flying around out there are just rumors. To my knowledge, there have been no conversations that would prove any different." Due to his schedule, Childress was unavailable for comment Wednesday afternoon, a team spokesperson said. But Gordon insisted that the circulating stories were unfounded.(NASCAR.com)(4-15-2004)
    UPDATE 2: Jeff Burton was Dave Despain's guest on Thursday's Wind Tunnel [Speed Channel - M-Th 10:00pm/et] and denied reports he was leaving Roush Racing for the #31 RCR ride or any ride. Burton said he is not sure why his name keeps coming up with RCR rumors the past few years as he has not discussed a ride with team owner Richard Childress. Burton also said that his #99 Roush Racin team is close to a major sponsor signing that would run thru the rest of the 2004 season and future season.(4-16-2004)

  • Driver helps Ward: Truck driver Bill Waldron, 41, a Pittsylvania County resident who drives for TNC Transportation, was hauling a load of coiled steel down southbound U.S. 29 around 7:30am/et Monday, when he came upon a man on the side of the road, waving his arms. What Waldron didn’t know then was that the stranded motorist was Ward Burton, a NASCAR driver who hails from South Boston [VA]. Burton had fallen asleep at the wheel of his 2004 Chevrolet Suburban only minutes before. The brand-new vehicle hit a guard rail and overturned several times before coming to rest on its roof. “His truck was completely upside down, all four tires pointing towards the sky,” Waldron said. “It looked like it slid a good 40, 45 yards.” Waldron said no one else had stopped to help the man, so he pulled over. “I asked him if he was all right, and he said, ‘Yeah, I believe so,’” Waldron said Tuesday. Waldron said Burton borrowed his cell phone to phone his wife, Tabitha, who called the North Carolina Highway Patrol to report the accident. After using the phone, Burton told Waldron he could leave, but Waldron opened up the cab of his truck so Burton wouldn’t have to stand in the rain. After about 10 minutes of “small chit-chat,” Waldron said authorities arrived at the scene and examined Burton, who suffered only a bump on the head. “Right before I left, he shook my hand. I told him my name was Bill Waldron and he said his was Ward Burton,” said Waldron, who said he doesn’t follow NASCAR enough to recognize the sport’s famous faces. “I know drivers’ names and stuff like that. I knew of Ward, and his brother Jeff, Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. and some of the other guys. (Burton’s name) just didn’t register with me at the time,” Waldron said. “Then the next morning I was listening to John Boy and Billy (on the radio), and they said Ward Burton had a wreck. I called my wife and asked her to find out if that was the same guy I’d helped out. Sure enough, it was.” Waldron said he is going to start following Burton’s career more closely than he did before. He also jokingly said he regrets not knowing at the time of the accident who Burton was. “I could have gotten his autograph,” Waldron said with a chuckle.(Danville Register and Bee)(4-16-2004)

  • English teens follow the circuit: Nineteen-year-old Alan Brewer hails from East Farleigh in Kent, and his 18-year-old friend Fred Guyenette is from Rye, East Sussex. Both towns are on the southeast coast of England. Since the beginning of NASCAR season, they have been criss-crossing the country to take in NASCAR's Nextel Cup racing. "It's such a different style than European racing," said Guyenette, a barefoot youth with curly hair and wearing a T-shirt and shorts as he relaxed Thursday at the speedway's campground. Equally casual, Brewer wore spiked blond hair, wrap-around shades, a T-shirt, shorts and sneakers. The teens have been planning this trip for about three years, they said, ever since they met in an international boarding school back home. Before heading off to college in September, they wanted to take a year off to travel the American racing circuit. After graduating high school in July, they went to work to save up money for their NASCAR adventure -- Brewer by working 70-80 hours per week in a pub and a grocery store, and Guyenette with a moving company. In Europe, Formula 1 racing is king, with the circuit's sleek, sexy cars dashing through tight mazes built on city streets, said Brewer, adding that NASCAR racing is not even televised in England. Brewer said he got turned on to NASCAR after watching the 1990 movie "Days of Thunder," a Tom Cruise movie that dramatized the high-pressure world of NASCAR racing.(Martinsville Bulletin)(4-16-2004)

  • Special Scheme for Elliott: been told that Bill Elliott will drive the #09 Dodge Elvis Presley "He Dared To Rock" 2004 Dodge in the Memphis Busch Series race.(4-16-2004)

  • Gordon wins pole at Martinsville: #24-Jeff Gordon won the Budweiser Pole for the Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway with a speed of 93.502mph, it is Gordon's 47th career pole, 3rd striaght at the track and 4th consecutive spring race pole at Martinsville. #42-Jamie McMurray starts on the outside pole with a speed of 93.239. The rest of the top five are #12-Newman, #8-Earnhardt Jr. and #29-Harvick. Missing the race was #72-Kirk Shelmerdine who was out of provisionals. For qualifying, practice vs. qualifying speed, provisional rank, and who has to use provisionals, see my Martinsville Qualifying Page - click here. For qualifying results/starting lineup see:
    ThatsRacin.com
    MotorsportsOne
    NASCAR.com.(4-16-2004)

  • StockCarFans.com - Ramblings - Martinsville:
    Usually Fridays belong to #12-Ryan Newman....but this is Martinsville and another driver owns this place. #24-Jeff Gordon grabbed the Bud Pole award today for Sunday's Advance Auto Parts 500 with a lap of 20.252 seconds (93.502 mph). It was his third pole in a row at this half-mile paper clip, his 5th overall (DW had 8 here), and the 47th of his Cup career. He now becomes the 5th qualifier for next February's Budweiser Shootout. Gordon was over 1/2 10th quicker than #42-Jamie McMurray....and that's pretty sizeable considering that 1st to 13th was only separated by two 10ths.
    #29-Kevin Harvick (5th) has his best starting spot he started 5th when we were here last October.
    #0-Ward Burton (6th) has his best starting spot since he started on the outside pole when we were here last fall.
    #10-Scott Riggs (13th) has his career-best starting spot for Sunday's event. His previous best was 15th at Las Vegas last month.
    #21-Ricky Rudd (14th) has his best starting spot since he started 12th here last October.
    Think there were a lot of guys happy to see this race come up on the calendar?
    Only two sets of ties today (unusual for this place). Sterling Marlin & Mark Martin tied for 18th & 19th and Brian Vickers & Stanton Barrett tied for 35th and 36th. Remember, the tie-breaker is owners points.
    STREAKIN....Jeff Gordon has 5 Top-10's in a row. Ryan Newman has 6 Top-10's in the last 7 races.
    NASCAR did a little revising today on their original starting grid. Upon further review, they decided that #72-Kirk Shelmerdine was out of provisionals (he's not eligible for his next freebie till we get to Charlotte the end of next month), so he was the lone passenger on this week's Trouble Train.(StockCarFans.Com Nextel Cup Newsletter)(4-16-2004)

  • Newman breaks unofficial speed record at Kentucky: Penske Racing South NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Ryan Newman turned an unofficial test lap of 186.851 mph (28.9 seconds) in his #12 ALLTEL Dodge to set an unofficial Kentucky Speedway stock car speed record Thursday. Newman joined Brian Vickers, Chad Blount, Kerry Earnhardt and Mike Harmon in the test session. NASCAR Busch Series driver Stacy Compton turned Kentucky Speedway's fastest official stock car lap of 176.384 mph (30.615 seconds) on June 13, 2003 while winning the Bud Pole for "The Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo." The fastest official lap on record at the speedway was a 221.390 mph pole-winning effort by Indy Racing League IndyCar Series driver Sarah Fisher on Aug. 11, 2002 during qualifying for "The Belterra Casino Indy 300."(Kentucky Speedway PR)(4-16-2004)

  • Marlin's car to get horse: The official Kentucky Derby logo will appear on Sterling Marlin's #40 Coors Light Dodge in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega, six days before the 130th running of the Kentucky Derby.(Courier-Journal)(4-16-2004)


    (4-15-2004)

  • Something with that #9? Did You Know? #9-Bill Elliott [now part-time #91] finished second eight times before he picked up his first Cup win.(Caledonian Record) Now #9-Kasey Kahne has finished 2nd three times [in 7 races] with no win.(4-15-2004)

  • Wimmer's Court Date Now Tax Day Today UPDATE: April 15th is the day driver Scott Wimmer is scheduled to appear in a Guilford County [NC] courtroom on drunk driving charges. In what the clerk of court called "an administrative day", Wimmer's attorney went before a judge Wednesday in a High Point, North Carolina courtroom to hear the charges and receive the court date. Wimmer was not required to appear yesterday. Wimmer has said publiclly he knows what he did was wrong and now wants to help others not to make the same mistake.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(3-112004)
    UPDATE: Scott Wimmer's attorney asked for and was granted a second continuance in his client's drunk driving charge. The next court date has been rescheduled for June 1st in Guilford County Superior Court in High Point, North Carolina. Wimmer was charged with DUI back in January.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(4-15-2004)

  • Testing at Kentucky UPDATE 1a: Kentucky Speedway's weekly calendar shows plans for four Nextel Cup drivers and two Busch Series drivers to test this week. Cup testers expected on Wednesday are #12-Ryan Newman, #0-Ward Burton and #24-Jeff Gordon and #25-Brian Vickers. Vickers is also scheduled to test on Thursday. The track says #24-Mike Harmon and Chad Blount are expected to test Busch Series entries on Wednesday and Thursday. The track says the schedule is subject to change and says spectators may watch testing from its Fan Center.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-12-2004)
    UPDATE: Kentucky Speedway's updated test schedule for today [Wednesday] shows Kerry Earnhardt testing a research and development Chevrolet from Hendrick Motorsports. Hendrick had been expected to test Jeff Gordon in the #24 Chevrolet and rookie Brian Vickers in the #25 Chevrolet, but the schedule today shows only Vickers and Earnhardt, the eldest son of the late Dale Earnhardt, on hand from the team. The ASA tests on Friday the 16th.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-15-2004)
    UPDATE 1a: been informed....Kerry Earnhardt is at Kentucky doing a motor test for Dale Earnhardt Inc. NOT testing for Hendrick.(4-15-2004)

  • Another State to have NASCAR License Plate: A bill to create a new NASCAR prestige license plate turned into a vehicle to bring back special Louisiana license plates for military groups Tuesday. House Bill 904 by Rep. Bryant Hammett, D-Ferriday, started out as a bill to create a new NASCAR prestige plate, provided that at least 1,000 people sign up for it, to honor the car-racing organization.(2theadvocate.com)(4-15-2004)

  • Jessica Lynch Booksigning - Labonte in line: Roughly 200 people came to Barnes & Noble to meet Army veteran and former prisoner of war Jessica Lynch and get signed copies of "I Am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story," written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Bragg. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the book Tuesday will be used to buy books for Brenner Children's Hospital in Winston-Salem. Before the event, Lynch met in the children's section of the bookstore with a group of kids from the More at Four prekindergarten program at the Clara Cox Children's Center operated by Developmental Day Care.....Others waiting in the book-signing line that snaked through stacks of books -- including NASCAR driver Bobby Labonte -- were equally anxious to meet Lynch.(News and Record)(4-15-2004)

  • Changes coming, a 'bigger' car UPDATE Bodine Project: During the Speed Channel show Inside Nextel Cup, Gary Nelson, head of NASCAR R&D was interviewed on the 'Hot Seat' and mentioned the 'car of tomorrow' is currently being worked on and tested and hopes are to possibly run it late in the 2005 season. The car will have a larger greenhouse [the upper inside of the car above the 'doors'], have a different areodynamic signature [meaning not as aerodynanic], have a squarer appearance, move the driver over to the right away from the 'drivers-side door' but not in the middle, be safer for the driver and maintain most of the safety features currently being used and that NASCAR does NOT plan to have a 'common engine' as had been rumored.(4-13-2004)
    UPDATE: Brett Bodine has a mechanical engineering degree from the State University of New York at Alfred. He will work at NASCAR's research and development center in Concord, N.C., as a special project manager. In addition to working with safety issues, the research and development center is responsible for creating the car of the future - one that incorporates safety, competition and cost. The car will feature a larger greenhouse - the passenger area - to mirror the kind of competition currently displayed on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The new car will be less dependent on aerodynamics and will be easier to police since all manufacturers will basically share the same body shapes. Bodine's new job comes at a time of change at NASCAR. Joe Garone, a former crew chief for Bill Elliott, is leaving his job as director of officiating to return to the garage area; vice president Jim Hunter, the company's top spokesman, is being moved to a new position that oversees regional touring and weekly series, and Don Hawk, the former business manager for Dale Earnhardt, is joining NASCAR as the director of regional racing development.(Augusta Chronicle)(4-15-2004)

  • Bang Racing adds sponsorhip for Truck and Cup programs: Bang Racing says Limelight Media Group Inc. of Memphis, Tenn., has signed on as an associate sponsor of its #42 Toyota for Mike Skinner and #24 Toyota of Travis Kvapil in the Craftsman Truck Series. The team says the agreement also includes Limelight's sponsorship of Bang Racing in the Nextel Cup Series during the second half of 2004. Limelight Media creates and manages what it describes as "out-of-home digital advertising and promotional networks." Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-15-2004)

  • Martin opens Ford dealership: Mark Martin, driver of the #6 Viagra Roush Racing Ford, opened Mark Martin Ford-Mercury in his hometown of Batesville, Arkansas earlier this year. "It's my dream to make it a world-class dealership," said Martin. "A place where people can come and have an exciting time and see some exciting vehicles. Not just your everyday dealership." In addition the dealership represents a continuation of Martin's long-time partnership with Roush Racing owner Jack Roush, as Martin's dealership will carry the exclusive line of Roush Performance automobiles. "We already have the Roush Performance vehicles here on the lot and we are excited about that," said Martin. "We have the Roush Mustangs and Roush Focuses and the trucks are on the way. In addition, we have a Mark Martin signature F-150 in the works. It will be really tricked out with DVD's and a lot of other neat features and I'm really excited about that." Martin's partner in the dealership, Lance Landers, will oversee the operation of the dealership on a daily basis. The lot will be hosting its official Grand Opening on April 24 and Martin will take a break from the busy racing schedule at Talladega Superspeedway for the event. Joining in the festivities will be current Nextel Cup Champion Matt Kenseth and Roush Racing owner Jack Roush. In addition the No. 6 Viagra Ford Taurus show car will be on hand and Pfizer, who sponsors Martin's car will be on hand doing free health screenings during the day. The grand opening will start at 10 AM and last until 5 PM. Martin, Roush and Kenseth will make their way to Batesville after NASCAR's final practice on Saturday morning. Mark Martin Ford-Mercury is located at 2850 E. Harrison St. in Batesville, Arkansas. For more information log on to: www.markmartinfordmercury.com.(Roush Racing PR)(4-15-2004)


    (4-14-2004)

  • Burton to drive #99 Duke's Children Hospital Ford at 'Dega: Roush Racing announced today that Jeff Burton's #99 Roush Racing Ford will sport a special paint scheme at the Aaron's 499 in Talladega. Duke Children's Hospital and Health Center will be carried on the car at the 500 mile race Sunday, April 25. Burton is a long-time supporter of the hospital. Burton's association with the hospital began years ago after an associate sponsor invited him to visit kids admitted to the hospital. Since that time, Burton has continued his support through fundraising events, appearances, monetary donations, time and of course most importantly, visits to the hospital with his wife Kim who has sat on the hospital board for the last four years. Through their efforts the Burtons have raised nearly $900,000 for the hospital to date. Duke Children's provides $48 million in un-reimbursed charity care each year. Funds also support cutting-edge research, world-class advocacy and support programs for families and their sick children, top-notch clinical care and medical education to ensure future generations receive the most advanced medical care available. For more information visit www.dukechildrens.org.(Roush Racing PR)(4-14-2004)

  • Gordon to be honored by HS: Jeff Gordon is among the inaugural class to enter the Tri-West High School Alumni Association hall of fame. Gordon, a 1989 graduate of the Lizton, Indiana school, will join Joe Alberts ('87), Tim Goode ('78), and Joe Burnell ('79) in entering the hall of fame. The induction ceremony will be held on April 17 at The Pavilion on the grounds on West Chase Golf Course in Brownsburg, Indiana. Tickets to the induction banquet are $35 per person. All proceeds will benefit the Tri-West Alumni Association Scholarship Fund. For more information, visit the Tri-West Hall of Fame site or call (317) 994-4000.(Gordonline.com)(4-14-2004)

  • More NASCAR Themed TV Shows [2 of them]
    A new TV program showcasing Nashville stock car racing and country music will debut April 24. The show, a partnership between Music City Motorplex and Comcast Cable, will air on ESPN2 Saturdays at 10:30am. Motoring Music City will be hosted by Liz Allison and specialize in human-interest stories on local racers and country celebrities. ''It's a wonderful concept,'' said Allison, a Brentwood resident. Allison was married to NASCAR star Davey Allison when he was involved in a fatal helicopter crash 11 years ago at Talladega
    AND: The Drive, a new program on CMT that follows seven minor-division race drivers as they try to work their way up the career ladder, is scheduled to debut April 21 at 9:00pm/et. For more information on the show go to CMT.com(Tennessean), the drivers are: David Stover, Davin Scites, Michael Ritch, Michelle Theriault, Mike Herman, Sarah McCune and Zach Niessner.(4-14-2004)

  • 2nd Team for BAM? road courses UPDATE 3: 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)
    UPDATE 3: Trained for the highly-technical world of Formula One racing, Klaus Graf has instead found a home with the traditional bodies and carbureted engines of NASCAR stock cars. Graf will run at least two NASCAR Nextel Cup stock car races this year, beginning with the June 27 race at Infineon Raceway at Sonoma, CA. BAM Racing, which fields the #49 Schwan's Home Service Dodges of driver Ken Schrader, will run Graf in up to seven races in 2004. Graf will join Schrader, who is running the full NASCAR Nextel Cup schedule. Graf, 32, is the first German-born driver to compete in NASCAR's top series. He lives in Dornhan, which is in Germany's Black Forrest region, and will eventually relocate to the United States. "Having a multi-car team has been part of our plan from the very beginning and bringing in a driver with the talents of Klaus Graf is the next step," said Beth Ann Morgenthau, owner of BAM Racing. "We're very excited with him joining us and with the future this presents all of us." Said Graf, "My dream all of my life is to compete among the best in motorsports. I am thrilled with the opportunity." Graf has tested with BAM at Virginia International Raceway and Kentucky Speedway, and was highly competitive in the Apr. 9 ARCA race at Nashville Superspeedway, where he finished third after leading late in the race - his first on an oval. He is scheduled to test at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA on Tuesday, April 27. Graf is the first driver professionally trained for Formula One racing by European automobile manufacturers to move into the NASCAR stock car racing world. He comes to NASCAR racing directly from the Porsche Michelin and Porsche Carrera Supercup series where he raced at Talimit Motorsport after a stint as test driver for McLaren. He ran Sportscar Prototype cars 1999-2001. Graf's career began with the Suzuki Swift Cup in 1990, followed by German Formula Ford Championship 1991-93; International German F3 Championship (1994-96), Porsche Carrera Cup (1997); and ISRS Endurance Championship (1998).(Williams Company PR), more info about Graf on his website at: klaus-graf.com(4-14-2004)

  • NASCAR To Debut New Radio Show: On April 14th, NASCAR Performance Live, a one-hour radio show dedicated to discussing and examining the technical side of NASCAR, will debut on XM Satellite Radio (Channel 144) and various Motor Racing Network (MRN) Radio affiliates throughout the country. The program's talk show format, airing live from 7:00 to 8:00pm/et, will feature NASCAR crew chiefs and other team members getting in-depth on what goes into putting the best stock cars in the world under the best stock car drivers in the world. The show, which will originate from a special radio studio at NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, N.C., will be hosted by MRN Pit Road Reporter Steve Post. Alongside Post will be former crew chief and current color analyst for NASCAR on FOX, Larry McReynolds, and a rotating active crew chief, to be lined-up week-to-week by the Crew Chief Club.(NASCAR PR)(4-14-2004)

  • LastCowboys.com complete endangered driver list for 2004:
    1. Jimmy Spencer - #4 Morgan McClure
    2. Greg Biffle - #16 Roush
    3. Johnny Sauter - #30 Childress
    4. Robby Gordon - #31 Childress
    5. Ricky Craven - #32 Cal Wells
    6. Jeff Green - #43 Petty
    7. Ken Schrader – # 49 BAM Racing
    8. Jeff Burton - #99 Roush
    Why these drivers? See the article at LastCowboys.com: Which drivers will be out of a job next?.(4-14-2004)

  • Top 10: Greatest NASCAR States:
    1. North Carolina
    2. California
    3. South Carolina
    4. Virginia
    5. Wisconsin
    6. Florida
    7. Kentucky
    8. Indiana
    9. Texas
    10.(tie) Alabama & Missouri
    See the full article at FoxSports: Totally NASCAR's Top 10: Greatest NASCAR States.(4-14-2004)


    (4-13-2004)

  • Featherlite back as sponsor of the #4 at Martinsville: Morgan-McClure Motorsports announced Featherlite, Inc. returning as the primary sponsor of the #4 NEXTEL Cup Series Chevrolet for the Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. Jimmy Spencer will pilot the Monte Carlo. Featherlite, Inc. (www.fthr.com), the "Official Trailer" and "Official Luxury Coach" of NASCAR, debuted its primary sponsorship of the #4 at Texas Motor Speedway with Jimmy Spencer behind the wheel. A premium line of NEXTEL Cup licensed Featherlite Car Care products is available at automotive stores and www.featherlitecarcare.com.
    Larry McClure Quotes: "We are extremely happy to have Featherlite return as the primary sponsor of the No. 4 Chevrolet for Martinsville. The team tested at Martinsville last week. The test will give Jimmy Spencer more input on racing with our cars and the new tires. We are looking forward to racing at Martinsville with the successful combination of Featherlite and Spencer."(Morgan-McClure Motorsports PR)(4-13-2004)

  • Bodine Announcement this week? UPDATE 2: hearing Brett Bodine will be making some sort of an announcement this week concerning his NASCAR future.(4-12-2004)
    UPDATE: Fox Sports Net's Totally NASCAR show reports that Bodine will go to work for the NASCAR R^D Center in Concord, NC.
    UPDATE 2: The newest member of NASCAR's Research & Development team knows his sport well from behind the wheel. Now, he gets the opportunity to contribute behind the scenes. NASCAR president Mike Helton announced today that veteran driver Brett Bodine has joined NASCAR's R&D staff as special project engineer. Bodine, who holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the State University of New York at Alfred, will tackle several assignments. One project with priority is the "Car of the Future," where Bodine will work on cost-saving initiatives. Operating out of NASCAR's Concord, N.C.-based R&D Center, Bodine will work with Gary Nelson, NASCAR's managing director of research and development. A native of Chemung, N.Y., Bodine, 45, competed at NASCAR's highest level for nearly 20 years. He has one win (1990 at North Wilkesboro) and five poles in 480 career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series starts. His career-high finish of 12th in the point standings also came in 1990. Bodine was a driver/owner from 1996-2003. He became an owner in 1996, buying the renowned #11 team from Junior Johnson prior to that season. His last on-track action came in June, 2003, when he qualified for the June 15 event at Michigan. Prior to 2003, Bodine had been a fulltime NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competitor for 15 consecutive seasons (1988-2003). During his career, he drove for some of NASCAR's most successful owners, including Bud Moore (1988-89), Kenny Bernstein (1990-1994) and Junior Johnson (1995). Bodine's first race in NASCAR's premier series came in 1986 for owner Rick Hendrick (his only start that year). He drove 14 races for Hoss Ellington in 1987 before beginning his fulltime career in 1988. "We're delighted to have Brett on board," Helton said. "He's been such a steadfast member of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series garage over the years, and he's done it all - he's built race cars, he's worked on race cars and he's driven race cars. He brings a new perspective that we're glad to tap into."
    Bodine's experience also extends back to the NASCAR Busch Series, where he was the series runner-up in 1986. Before that, he enjoyed success in northeastern modified circles, finishing second in the 1984 track championship at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway, and winning the 1985 Modified Race of Champions at Pocono Raceway. Overall, he has three career victories in the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series. In 1998, he was named one of the Top-50 Modified drivers of all time.(NASCAR PR)(4-13-2004)

  • NASCAR and Reader's Digest Form Partnership to Publish Kid's Racing Books: Reader's Digest Children's Publishing announced an agreement to publish and distribute books in the United States and Canada based on the popular NASCAR auto racing brand, bringing the exciting world of NASCAR racing to younger fans."We are delighted that we will be creating books based on America's second most-watched spectator sport," said Harold Clarke, vice president and publisher, Trade Publishing, for the Reader's Digest Association, Inc. "With 75 million fans, NASCAR is a hit with both children and adults and fits well into our strategy of developing book products 'driven' by America's strongest brands." Beginning in June 2004, Reader's Digest Children's Publishing will release the initial three NASCAR-related titles:
    NASCAR CarryAlong(r) Book: Cars * Drivers * Races ($14.99) NASCAR Middle Grade Books: Speedway Superstars and The Greatest Races ($4.99):(NASCAR PR)
    For the full PR and more info and some Book Signings coming up for other books [Bobby Allison] see my Racing Bookstore page.(4-13-2004)

  • New Mark Martin Book: The much anticipated Mark Martin book will be released this May, Mark Martin: Mark of Excellence - click here is the fully authorized biography of Mark Martin written by Larry Woody. Look for it on shelves in May or you can reserve a copy today at www.sportspublishingllc.com.(4-13-2004)

  • Third Annual Dale Earnhardt Day April 29th: For the third time in as many years, Dale Earnhardt Day will be celebrated on April 29. DE Day is hosted by Teresa Earnhardt at Dale Earnhardt, Inc. as a birthday celebration for the seven-time NASCAR champion, Dale Earnhardt. This year's theme will center around Dale's Legacy at Daytona; his track record of 34 victories, his almost wins and the 1998 Daytona 500 trip to Victory Lane. For the first time since Dale Earnhardt, Inc. has opened its doors, Dale's 1998 Daytona 500 winning trophy will be on display. Also, the helmet he wore that day, which is signed by his entire crew, will be shown. Throughout the day, various videos with fan interviews, Dale's winning moments – and his almost wins – at Daytona will be shown to the gathered crowd. Teresa Earnhardt will be on hand and address the fans on the lawn of the DEI headquarters. Fans will once again be allowed behind the walls of the DEI facility to view various race cars, photos and displays in the Interior Showroom of DEI. Doors will open at 8:00am/et and the event is set to wind down at 8:00pm/et. There will be a free shuttle between area hotels and our headquarters throughout the day. For more information, log onto www.DaleEarnhardtInc.com and click on the Legacy Section to get the latest updates and event additions.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-13-2004)

  • Papers Drop Autopsy Photo Challenge: Two Florida newspapers dropped their challenge Monday to a state law restricting access to autopsy photos that passed after the death of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, citing a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. The papers sued in Broward County after a medical examiner refused to release the photos, saying the restriction violated the state constitution. Newspapers sought access to the photos as questions arose over how Earnhardt died in the 2001 crash and whether better safety equipment might have saved him. The papers voluntarily dismissed the case Monday, weeks before the 4th District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach was scheduled to hear the case. The papers decided to drop the case because it would be difficult to win after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a separate case about photographs of former deputy White House counsel Vince Foster. The court decided the pictures should remain sealed, citing privacy concerns of the family. The Foster and Earnhardt cases have the same legal logic, said University of Florida law Professor Jon Mills, who filed a brief on behalf of the driver's widow, Teresa Earnhardt, in the U.S. Supreme Court case.(Daytona Beach News Journal/AP), past news about the case on my Dale Earnhardt tribute site - reactions/autopsy photos page.(4-13-2004)

  • Ward in a traffic accident UPDATE 2: Nextel driver #0-Ward Burton was involved in a car accident south of Danville, VA. The accident happened near U.S 29 and N.C. 700 in Caswell County about 7:30am/et. Burton received a bump to his head, according the North Carolina Highway Patrol.
    UPDATE: Ward Burton fell asleep at the wheel of his 2004 Chevrolet Suburban on U.S. 29 on Monday morning, causing him to strike a guard rail and totaling the $60,000 vehicle, according to North Carolina State Trooper S.M. Mangum. Burton told Mangum that his baby was up four or five times through the night, causing fatigue to the NASCAR Nextel Cup driver. Burton's wife picked him up at the scene and took him for treatment for a bump on the head. Mangum did not know where Burton was being treated. Neither alcohol or drugs were a factor in the accident. Mangum estimated he was traveling about 60 miles per hour in a 65 mile-per-hour zone.(Danville Register and Bee)(4-12-2004)
    UPDATE 2: Ward Burton is resting at his Virginia home following a Monday morning single-vehicle traffic accident in which he totaled a brand new 60-thousand dollar Chevy Suburban. The driver of the #0-NetZero Monte Carlo fell asleep behind the wheel, hit the end of a guardrail and rolled the SUV. He was heading to the Haas/CNC shop near Charlotte to be fitted for a new seat before a planned test at Kentucky Speedway on Wednesday. Crew Chief Tony Furr said Burton called him and said “I wrecked our free car!” Furr isn’t sure the team will make the test depending on how Burton feels. Furr said Burton told him he’s okay and that the air bag burned his face slightly and he also has a bump on his head. Burton also told Furr he was going to stop for coffee about 10 minutes before the accident occurred, but didn’t.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(4-13-2004)

  • NASCAR Reorganizes: NASCAR announced a reorganization designed to increase the emphasis on the sanctioning body's regional touring and weekly competitions, and further develop public relations efforts overall. Jim Hunter, formerly Vice President of Corporate Communications, has been given the new title of Vice President of Corporate Communications/Regional Touring/NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series. Returning to an area where he has worked earlier in his career, Hunter will work closely with new employee Don Hawk, who has been named Director of Regional Racing Development, and Chris Boals, who remains the Director of Regional Touring/NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series. Hunter's return to regional touring and weekly competition duties drew favorable response from short-track operators. In a move that will complement Hunter's increased responsibilities, public relations veteran Ramsey Poston is joining the communications department as the new Managing Director of Consumer and Corporate Communications. Hawk, Boals and Poston all will report to Hunter. Hawk, 48, has been involved in every aspect of short-track racing and is widely known and respected in the motorsports industry. He is a graduate of Philadelphia Biblical University. Hawk is perhaps best known within the industry for his long association with the late seven-time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt. From 1993-2000, Hawk advanced through the ranks of Dale Earnhardt Inc., eventually becoming the organization's president. Prior to joining DEI, Hawk was general business manger for Alan Kulwicki Racing. He continues to handle Kulwicki's estate for the family of the 1992 NASCAR champion who died in a 1993 plane crash. Hawk also is considered one of the pioneers in the NASCAR-related memorabilia business. He will be based at NASCAR's Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. Poston, 37, comes to NASCAR from Powell Tate, a communication/consulting firm in Washington, D.C. Poston has been a Senior Vice President/Management Supervisor with the firm, where he has worked since 1997. A graduate of Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I., Poston will assist Hunter in managing the communications department and will especially concentrate on public relations initiatives in the country's top 20 media markets, and those involving non-traditional media outlets.(NASCAR PR)(4-13-2004)

  • Modern Era Milestone Ahead: Baring unforeseen changes in the schedule, the MBNA America 400 at Dover in June will be the 1000th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Modern Era race. It will be the 2,042nd points race for NASCAR's premier division.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(4-13-2004)


    (4-12-2004)

  • Final Texas TV Ratings Down: Fox's broadcast of the April 4 Samsung/RadioShack 500 from Texas Motor Speedway drew a final Nielsen Media Research rating of 6.0, the Sports Business Daily reports. The figure represents a 4.8 percent drop from last year's 6.3. A Dallas Morning News story says overall NASCAR ratings on Fox are down 5 percent this year.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter). , The Nextel Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway scored a 6.0 in the national ratings. That's down from last year's 6.3. Overall, NASCAR's ratings on Fox going into the Easter break are down 5 percent. In Dallas-Fort Worth, the local rating was up 32 percent from a 5.6 to a 7.4. The rating in Dallas-Fort Worth was 11th best in the nation. Three Carolina markets were 1-2-3. Greensboro, N.C. (17.3) topped the list, followed by Greenville, S.C. (14.1) and Charlotte (12.9).(Dallas Morning News) (4-12-2004)

  • Double-Duty lets Fans join Robbie Gordon at Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600: Fans can attend both the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte on May 30 to watch Robby Gordon race in the two events by taking advantage of Gordon's third "Double Duty Tour." The specially designed one-day travel package provides round-trip air transportation, originating in Charlotte, as well as grandstand/suite tickets at both tracks and luxury motorcoach transport with police escort. Guests will also receive additional benefits, including a gift bag, which will contain a scanner programmed to Gordon's radio frequencies and a commemorative "Double Duty" T-shirt. Gordon will be driving the Meijer/Coca-Coca Dallara-Chevrolet in the Indy 500 and the Cingular Wireless Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing at Charlotte. Guests also will be invited to a May 29 BBQ at Robby Gordon Motorsports, in Huntersville, NC., where they can meet Gordon and tour the race shop. For more information and to make reservations, fans can call 704-949-1255 or visit Gordon's web site, www.RobbyGordon.com.(4-12-2004)

  • NASCAR Team joins in Support for U.S. Bobsledders: In an effort to support the United States bobsledding program, Whelen Engineering and Bill Davis Racing have a promotional opportunity in place that will allow fans to have their names inscribed on the trunklid of the team's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup #23 car that will be driven by Dave Blaney during the Coca-Cola 600, May 30 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. For every $50 worth of Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc. apparel purchased (excluding taxes and shipping), a single name will be added to the trunklid of Blaney's #23 Dodge; 100 percent of the profits from the sale of the apparel will go to the bobsled project. The apparel can be purchased by going to Whelen's web site (www.whelen.com) and clicking on MOTORSPORTS. Each contributor will receive a photo of the trunklid. The offer ends May 7. The Bill Davis Racing entry for the Charlotte race will have primary sponsorship from Whelen Engineering, a maker of emergency lighting and early warning sirens, based in Chester, CT. The Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project was founded in 1996 by NASCAR racer Geoffrey Bodine, who felt the World Cup and Olympic bobsled teams were competing with inferior equipment, manufactured outside of the United States. Bodine believed that American technology, especially race car engineering, could be successfully applied to bobsled fabrication to help make the USA team more competitive. He joined forces with Bob Cuneo of Chassis Dynamics out of Oxford, Conn. to form Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc., a non-profit organization. Whelen Engineering, which also sponsors the #31 Marsh Racing Ford at select NASCAR Busch Series races, is a major corporate sponsor of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project.(DMF Communications PR)(4-12-2004)

  • Ebay NASCAR Items being Auctioned for a cause: First Response K9 Recovery, an organization designed to utilize scent specific canines in the recovery of missing children are offering items on ebay to assist them in raising funds for their organization. Some of the items listed are NEXTEL CUP sheetmetal from Ryan Newman and Rusty Wallace. In the near future they will be posting other items so be sure to visit and return. For more information on their organization or to make a donation please visit www.firstresponsek9recovery.com.(Body Dynamics PR)(4-12-2004)

  • Jeff Burton to RCR #31? Rumors swirled last week about Johnny Sauter being released from the #30 AOL Chevy team, which is 24th in the standings, and getting replaced by Johnny Benson or Dave Blaney. Another garage rumor: Jeff Burton's #99 Ford, which is 30th in the standings, will shut down if sponsorship is not found by the end of May, and Burton will move to the #31 Cingular Chevy driven by Robby Gordon. However, anyone who knows Richard Childress, the owner of the #31, realizes Childress left after the Texas race for Canada's Northwest Territories to go hunting.(FoxSports)(4-12-2004)

  • No Cup for Hamilton: Most racers would jump at the chance to compete at the Nextel Cup level, but Craftsman Truck driver Bobby Hamilton isn't one of them."I left Winston Cup because I wasn't in a car that was capable of winning every week," says Hamilton, who's third in truck series points. "Right now, racing in Cup would take away from my truck effort, and unless Ray Evernham or Chip Ganassi calls with a ride, I won't be going back."(FoxSports)(4-12-2004)

  • Stock Car Fans - Ramblings - Offweek: Here's a bunny basket full of useless info and stats for ya... We'll start off with our first update on everybody's favorite driver, Mr. Lead Lap. For you new subscribers, a little summary. LL is the guy who runs all the laps, but always finishes last on the lead lap. He's where your favorite driver would finish if that yo-yo hadn't spun in front of him, or if he hadn't gotten into the oil from that blown motor up ahead. Thus far, it's been pretty much hit or miss for our hero. He's in 15th place in the points (809), so he's still in the hunt for the "Chase for the Championship" (how embarassing would that be for NASCAR, huh?). He's had one Top-10 (Rockingham), and an average finish of 15.9. It's not as good as he was this time last year, but the season pretty much went downhill for LL late. He finished 17th last year with an average finish of 18.9! Tho he's 37 points shy of last year, with the new caution rules that could help our man as the season progresses.
    We've got 26 drivers currently eligible for the "Chase" (versus 24 last year at this time), and a spread from 1st to 10th this year of 198. Last year (which was supposedly a disaster) we had a spread of 288 from 1-10, but the lead 1st to 2nd was a whopping 155. BTW, the present leader (Kurt Busch) has 58 points less than our leader at this time last year (Matt Kenseth) had.....and this is a season where you get an extra 5 points for winning. And, of couse, all that makes the racing a whole lot better, doesn't it?
    We move next to Martinsville Speedway, so let's take a look at short-track [S/T] points....and the man at the top may suprise you. These numbers are the points earned at the six short-track races from last year along with Bristol from this season. Kevin Harvick is eating 'em up at the shorties, and when you consider he's never won one of those, to say he's due would be an understatement! Since Chevy won both events here last year (Jeff Gordon), and the top three (as well as the four of the top five) are Monte Carlo drivers, you may want to consider those as players this week. Here's the Top-10 in S/T points for the last 7 races [2003 and Bristol in 2004]:
    Car#-Driver Name, S/T Points
    #29-Harvick Kevin, 1037 (0 S/T Wins)
    #8-Earnhardt Dale Jr., 1015 (0)
    #24-Gordon Jeff, 1004 (2)
    #17-Kenseth Matt, 1003 (0)
    #48-Johnson Jimmie, 961 (0)
    #97-Busch Kurt, 918 (3)
    #18-Labonte Bobby, 861 (0)
    #2-Wallace Rusty, 852 (0)
    #40-Marlin Sterling, 843 (0)
    #12-Newman Ryan, 838 (1)
    (in part from the StockCarFans.Com Nextel Cup Newsletter)(4-12-2004)


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