(those living and that have passed on)
NOTE: I don NOT have any email address's
home/office address's, phone numbers
for any retired drivers.......any links I know of are posted above....
For some drivers who have passed away on the track see links are on my Driver Tribute Links page
Ten years since Nadeau's injury UPDATE: NASCAR's annual spring visit to Richmond International Raceway marks the 10-year anniversary of Jerry Nadeau's near fatal accident at the track. Nadeau crashed driver's-side first into the outside wall between Turns 1 and 2 during a May 2, 2003, practice at Richmond. He was airlifted to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in critical condition with a moderate to severe head injury, partially collapsed left lung, fractured shoulder blade and left-side rib-cage injuries. It took 20 days for Nadeau to regain full consciousness and begin to speak again, and four more before he was transferred to Charlotte Institute of Rehabilitation to begin physical, occupational and speech therapy. Nadeau was in inpatient care until June 6, and in therapy until July 25. When NASCAR returned to Richmond in September that year, Nadeau made an emotional visit to VCU Medical Center to thank the medical staff. He went on to form World Karting Endurance at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and has done some driver coaching, but never raced again in NASCAR.(Associated Press)(4-27-2013)
UPDATE: Jerry Nadeau still draws an imaginary line down the middle of his body to describe the accident that changed his life 10 years ago this week. On one side of the line his body feels normal, on the other side it's still numb. That's the result of a brain injury sustained in practice for a NASCAR Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. His Chevy spun and hit the Turn 1 wall at 135 times the force of gravity. The line is also a kind of metaphor for a life that is a mixture of frustration and joy, courageous acceptance and occasional regret. Jerry Nadeau does not live in the past. He go-karts often with daughter Natalie, 10, born months before the crash. And he's a proud father in the stands at her gymnastics meets. His marriage to Natalie's mom ended the year after the accident, but he remarried last year to Maryana, a Ukrainian he met online. But if Nadeau doesn't live in his glory days of racing, he remembers them. And though he's accepted that his physical limitations ended his career at 33, it still frustrates him. "Things were going so well and to have it taken away, yeah, I have a lot of bad feelings over that," Nadeau said. "It's amazing how time flies. The toughest part, Nadeau says, is that a brain injury makes you feel like a different person. He adds that he'd rather have broken every bone in his body at once than have his mind altered. Unless things change, he not sure when or if he'll be able work again. But he's not sad. "I still love racing, everything about it, and would still be doing it if I could," Nadeau said. "I had a great life in racing and met a lot of good people. But I'm a different person. I've moved forward and I'm trying to make the best of everything."(Newport News Daily Press) (4-28-2013)
Truce for Bo-Dyn, bobsled federation: Pending litigation between the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation and the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc. has been dropped. An out-of-court agreement has been signed by both sides, according to Phil Kurze, vice president of Connecticut-based Whelen Engineering, who also serves as president of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc. Kurze said all previous agreements between the two organizations are void and that the USBSF is authorized to make any modifications on the bobsleds in their possession. However, Bo-Dyn still owns the intellectual property in those bobsleds, he said. The Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, created by former NASCAR driver Geoff Bodine, has provided bobsleds to the U.S. team for two decades and also refurbished them. But the two sides split in 2011 in a disagreement over intellectual property. Bo-Dyn sleds have won six Olympic medals, two of them gold.(Associated Press/ESPN)(4-9-2013)
On Thursday, April 4, 2013 from 5 to 7 p.m., the Elmhurst Historical Museum welcomes visitors to mingle with one of NASCAR’s legendary drivers during a Meet & Greet with Bobby Allison. Mr. Allison is scheduled to be in the Museum’s first floor research library, and the hard-driving racer will sign official autograph cards (provided by the Museum for $5 each) and pose for photos. The driving force to bring Bobby Allison to the Chicago area for a rare visit is the Elmhurst Historical Museum’s current exhibit, On the Road to Glory: Fred Lorenzen. Allison is a long-time friend of “The Golden Boy,” a friendship that dates back to the start of Allison’s career in the 1960s. Allison’s appearance at the Elmhurst Historical Museum was made possible by the Lorenzen family, and Tawzer added that Allison has been highly supportive of the On the Road to Glory exhibit from its inception. Allison narrated the original documentary that plays in the gallery, and he provided many anecdotes and insights on Fred’s career to help develop the storyline of the exhibit. The Elmhurst Historical Museum is located at 120 E. Park Ave. in Elmhurst. Admission to the Meet & Greet with Bobby Allison is free (donations welcome), and limited on-site parking is available. The $5 autograph cards will be available for sale in the Museum gift shop during the event. Please note: no additional merchandise will be signed by Mr. Allison. Be sure to drop by and see one of NASCAR’s finest drivers on April 4th, and check out the On the Road to Glory: Fred Lorenzen exhibit which will be open through May 19, 2013. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 1-5 p.m. and admission is free. For more information, please visit www.elmhursthistory.org or call 630-833-1457.
Iowa Governor honors NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace: Iowa Governor Terry Branstad honored NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace with a State Proclamation in a special ceremony Wednesday afternoon, February 27, at the Capitol building in Des Moines. Speaking on the main floor of the historic State Capitol Rotunda, Governor Branstad commended Wallace for his contributions to the state of Iowa as designer and part owner of the Iowa Speedway in Newton, and to the sport of NASCAR racing nationwide. “As Governor of Iowa, I am very proud to honor Rusty Wallace with this Proclamation today,” Branstad said. “His many contributions to NASCAR racing have earned him a well-deserved induction to NASCAR’s Hall of Fame, and his forward-thinking design of Iowa Speedway helped to create a destination in central Iowa that benefits every Iowan. Rusty may have been born in Missouri, but we will always claim him as one of our own.” Wallace expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support he has received from Iowans all across the state, and specifically to Governor Branstad for the official Proclamation. “I am humbled and honored that Governor Branstad made time to recognize me today with an official Proclamation,” Wallace said. “As an ‘Honorary Iowan’, I couldn’t be more proud of this great state, or of the racetrack we have in Newton, and I look forward to being here for as many Iowa Speedway events as possible.” Wallace, whose post-racing career combines a busy ABC/ESPN broadcast schedule, managing his son Steven’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race team, overseeing his auto dealership interests and fundraising for the charitable NASCAR Foundation, nevertheless finds ample time to promote Iowa Speedway.
“Rusty is without a doubt our best promoter,” said Iowa Speedway President and co-owner Stan Clement. “He literally goes out of his way to be here whenever possible. Rusty gladly does media interviews, greets fans, and spends time with our promotional partners. Certainly he is deserving of this official Proclamation, as well as his recent induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.” Iowa Speedway is a state-of-the-art 7/8 mile asphalt paved tri-oval race track and motorsports facility located just 30 miles east of Des Moines at I-80 Exit 168 in Newton, Iowa. The track is owned and operated by U.S. Motorsport Corporation and designed by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, now an anchor and analyst for ABC-TV/ESPN. Call 1-866-RUSTY-GO, or visit www.iowaspeedway.com to learn more.(Iowa Speedway)(3-1-2013)
On the Road to Glory: Fred Lorenzen: Fred Lorenzen The story of NASCAR legend and Elmhurst (IL) native Fred Lorenzen comes to life through photos, artifacts, and exciting race footage depicting a little-known local hero who etched his name in the annals of racing history. Find out how this Midwestern outsider, known as “Fearless Freddie,” got the inside track in the early days of professional NASCAR racing to become a fan favorite and winner of the 1965 Daytona 500. See the Fred Lorenzen tribute car, an exact replica of Lorenzen’s #28 1964 Ford Galaxie, on opening weekend, Feb. 1-3 from 1-5 p.m. and on Museum Day (May 19). This exhibit is supported by Chicagoland Speedway. On the Road to Glory is in exhibit from February 1 thru May 19, 2013 at the Elmhurst Historical Museum . There will be a special preview on Thursday, January 31st. More info at elmhurst.org.(1-28-2013)
Randy Bethea featured in new documentary: Throughout the 1970s Tennessee racer Randy Bethea was a regular competitor in NASCAR's second tier series now known as the Nationwide Series. He made history in 1973 becoming the first Afircan American NASCAR racer to win a pole in an upper division race when he knocked Darrell Waltrip off the pole in the Late Model Sportman (Nationwide Series) Southern 400 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
In 1975 he made history again, starting the World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and becoming one of only seven African Americans to compete at NASCAR's highest level, now known as the Sprint Cup Series. But, Bethea's dream of NASCAR success was unfulfilled for reasons he attributes to color. That color was green, and like the majority of up-and-coming drivers of that era Bethea didn't have enough green in his wallet to compete at his full potential.
Although Bethea did experience some racism during his driving career, he is quick to state he was 'Not a Black Racer', he was a racer who happened to be black. Currently employed as a high school automotive instructor in Newport, Tenn., Bethea still remains active in local racing and among the most popular drivers in Tennessee.
"Just Another Racer: The Randy Bethea Story" tells the story of Bethea's racing life, from sweeping the floors in legendary engine builder Banjo Matthews' shop, to his venture into Formula Super-V racing, which he attributes as the main reason he failed to maintain long term success in NASCAR. The 60 minute documentary was filmed and edited by Kingsport Times-News reporter Jeff Bobo and includes interviews with many of Bethea's NASCAR racing contemporaries including retired racers Paul Lewis, John A. Utsman, active Nationwide Series driver Brad Teague, and engine builder Stanley Allison. "Just Another Racer: The Randy Bethea Story" can be viewed for free on Youtube.(1-1-2013)
Jarrett's son to play baseball with Charlotte 49ers: Zach Jarrett, the son of former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Dale Jarrett, was one of eight baseball players signed by UNC Charlotte during the early commitment period for the 2014 season. Jarrett, 17, played third base for the Hickory High (N.C.) Red Tornadoes for coach David Craft, and was a prep teammate of current 49er Tyler Barnette. He also was a participant in the State Games after an All-Northwestern Conference season and a second-round appearance in the state playoffs. He posted 15 RBI in 62 plate appearances with a .355 batting average. He was also rated as a national "high follow" by Perfect Game Crosschecker. A two-sport star at Hickory, Jarrett was a member of the varsity basketball team which finished as the state runners-up in the 3A classification.(Charlotte Observer)(12-23-2012)
Foundation to honor Guthrie: Janet Guthrie will be honored at the 10th Women in the Winner’s Circle Awards Celebration Dec. 7 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. Guthrie, who in 1977 became the first woman to start in the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500, will be presented the Mildred Marcum Pioneer award. Her ninth-place finish in the 1978 Indianapolis 500, with a team she formed and managed, was the best by a woman until 2005. In 1980, she was inducted into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006.
Lyn St. James, a seven-time Indianapolis 500 starter, founded the Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation in 1994 to focus on programs for driver development, advocacy, diversity and education, particularly for women who aspire to become race car drivers. “I was racing in SCCA in Showroom Stock when Janet made the headlines at Indianapolis in 1977, and I never dreamed at the time that I would ever reach the level of Indy car racing but it certainly made an impression on me,” St. James said.
“I admired Janet’s determination and ability to stay focused during all the media hype and controversy that surrounded her, and I’ve always said by being the first she took all the bullets both straight on and in her back. And she did this after Title IX was passed in 1972 and Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in 1973, so it also brought motorsports into the spotlight. I’m pleased we can honor Janet with the Mildred Marcum Pioneer Award, as she was truly a pioneer in motorsports.” The Women in the Winner’s Circle Celebration is the foundation’s major fundraiser, celebrating the success of women in racing. For information and reservations, visit www.lynstjames.com.(indycar.com)(12-3-2012)
Geoff Bodine has no more plans to race UPDATE: After competing in 575 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races over 27 seasons, Geoff Bodine is calling it a career. Bodine, who hasn't run full-time since 1999, has run part-time since his injury in the then NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Daytona opener in 2000. Although he had a sponsor willing to back him this season if an opportunity arose to run with a team in any of NASCAR's three series, no deal panned out for the veteran. "I hate to use that 'retirement' word, but I'm 99.9 percent sure I'll never drive a racecar again," said the humble Bodine. Bodine, 63, ran select races in 2011 for Tommy Baldwin Racing. In his four starts last year, Bodine finished with a best of 30th at the season finale Homestead-Miami Speedway. At that time, Bodine didn't feel that would be his last start in NASCAR, but he now is saying he will retire from the sport due to a number of factors.(Racing Experts)(10-18-2012)
MORE After more than 50 years of racing, 27 of those spent in NASCAR’s top three divisions, Geoff Bodine said he is ready to move on. He said Wednesday he has other priorities in life — his family, charity work, running his new Honda motorcycle dealership, and building the next generation of bobsleds for the U.S. Olympic team. Bodine is quick to point out he is not retiring. “I’m not using the word retirement because people misinterpret what you are saying,” he said. “I don’t want that word associated with me. I’m not retiring from life. I’m more active now than ever. I’m just not going to drive a race car anymore. That’s all.” Bodine began to rethink why he was still trying to race at the Sprint Cup level at the age of 63 after he suffered a lifetime of hard hits to his head, including a concussion from a spectacular Truck Series crash at Daytona International Speedway in 2000 that almost cost him his life. “I don’t know the definition of what a concussion is, but all I know is that I’ve been knocked out several times and have hit my head and jarred it several times really hard,” Bodine said. “I even got knocked out in high school football, so my head injuries started a long time ago. I’ve had all of those multiple concussions and they add up. You never know if the next one is going to put you down.” Bodine said he received a wake-up call last month when Dale Earnhardt Jr. sat out two NASCAR Sprint Cup races because of a concussion. “Dale Jr.’s situation kind of pushed me into making this decision,” he said. “I commend him for doing it because it takes a lot of courage and integrity to not race for two races. He realized his health was more important.” Bodine intended to run as many as 15 races in this year before his sponsor, Luke & Associates, pulled financing before the season.(much more at the Elmiria Star Gazette)(11-28-2012)
Fire destroys garage of Sterling Marlin: A fire has destroyed three race cars and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage at a garage in Middle Tennessee owned by retired NASCAR driver Sterling Marlin. Marlin told The Daily Herald in Columbia that the fire that started Friday morning destroyed his 2,500-square-foot garage in Maury County and three cars that belonged to his son-in-law, Michael House. He said he believed that there was a leak on a propane heater and welding sparks ignited the fire. A shop worker who was inside the garage when the fire stared was treated at the scene for minor injuries. Maury County Fire Chief Mark Gandee said that crews had to work to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby buildings and fuel tanks.(Assocaited Press/USA Today)(11-3-2012)
Sterling Marlin has Parkinsonism: For the past year or so, Sterling Marlin's brain would tell his right hand to complete a fine-motor task, such as cranking a boat or buttoning the collar on a shirt. And the fingers on that hand wouldn't respond. And with time his hand began to shake. Marlin said symptoms first began after he suffered a laceration to the knuckle on the middle finger of his right hand. The injury, he said, included nerve damage. But rather than go to the doctor he simply Super-Glued it closed. "Cut the knuckle real bad on (my) bird finger ... I couldn't shoot a bird. Just impossible," said Marlin, reached by phone. "It wouldn't move and I thought that was the problem. But it got healed up and I said, '... Something's still wrong.' And it kept getting worse and worse and worse, so I went to the doctor to see what the hell's going on." During that visit, Marlin said, doctors revealed that he had developed Parkinsonism.
"I've had people say, 'Man, you got Parkinson's Disease?' I say, 'F--- naw!'" laughed Marlin in signature matter-of-fact fashion. "It's called Parkinsonism. It's associated with (Parkinson's Disease), but it's nothing-near like it. You just take the medicine and you'll be fine. It ain't no problem." According to the Mayo Clinic's website, Parkinsonism is "any condition that causes a combination of the movement abnormalities seen in Parkinson's disease -- such as tremor, slow movement, impaired speech or muscle stiffness -- especially resulting from the loss of dopamine-containing nerve cells (neurons)."(ESPN)(10-28-2012)
Nadeau still feeling impact of accident: May 2, 2013 will mark the 10th anniversary of the accident that stripped Jerry Nadeau of his passion. He recalls being the fastest thing on site at Richmond International Raceway that day during practice. And after changing a shock, he re-entered the racetrack, barreled off into Turn 1 and spun into the concrete wall, driver's side. It nearly killed him. Nadeau said his wreck registered at 121 times the force of gravity. By comparison, the hits that recently sent Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the doctor with successive concussions registered 40 G's at Kansas and 20 G's at Talladega, respectively. Nadeau suffered a traumatic brain injury, four broken ribs and a collapsed lung. He spent time in a medically induced coma and didn't regain full consciousness for three weeks. He would never race again.
"I just don't know what to do now," he said. "I'm literally lost at times. I wake up like, 'Well, what am I doing today?' There are so many times that I forget things. I feel normal. I feel like I'm myself. Sounding OK is one thing. But something's not right. I used to have so much get-up-and-go. Right now I'm just a loaf. I don't know if the injury had anything to do with it, but I'm just not interested in doing anything. The hit took a lot out of me. I think right now I'm just surviving. Racing was my life, and it got taken away."
"My whole life I was selfish. It was always just me -- all me," he said. "Then I realized that if I took one more hit it could be my last hit. It doesn't take much to injure your brain. I've had a few concussions -- I've had a lot, actually -- from go-karts to modifieds to sports cars to the Cup series. And every time you get a concussion you damage something in your brain. I can't tell you how many times I had headaches -- constant headaches. And I never once thought about an injury, or my brain." Nadeau still suffers from depression. He said he takes medication daily to cope. Before he married Mary Anna four months ago, he said he would at times hole himself up in his bedroom, draw the blinds, order pizza and watch movies all day. When asked if doctors cite his brain injury as a contributing factor to his ongoing depression, Nadeau was uncertain.
He tried for a time to mentor young racers. Frye recalled Nadeau's pride in working with David Gilliland, leading up to Gilliland's breakthrough 2006 Nationwide Series victory at Kentucky Speedway. But being at the racetrack was emotionally destructive for Nadeau. He's a former Cup series winner (one victory in 177 starts), and he was made to feel like just another guy. Nadeau still wonders what's next. Fortunately he made sound financial choices both before and after the injury. "It's been hard. It's been really, really hard. It's almost like I lost my life." Read more more at ESPN.com.(10-26-2012)
Bobby Allison appears at Maine Casino: One of NASCAR's most accomplished and respected stars was in western Maine on Friday, greeting local race fans and helping Oxford Casino celebrate its first expansion of floor space. Hall of Fame driver and former national champion Bobby Allison was a guest of casino investor and local business icon Bob Bahre. Allison's visit came as 10,000 square feet of new gaming space was officially opened to the public. Part of what makes the town of Oxford so special to Allison is the fact he notched his first career Grand National victory at Oxford Plains Speedway in 1966. That win helped the leader of what became known as the "Alabama Gang" gain respect in NASCAR and launched a career more than worthy of his HOF induction.(Lewiston Sun Journal)(9-22-2012)
Junior Johnson's house auctioned off: A Lewisville woman who has deep roots in the North Carolina Christmas tree industry was the winning bidder for Junior Johnson's mansion and farm situated just north of the Iredell County line. Loretta Sides Shore, who owns Shore's Nursery, said Monday that she was the buyer of the house and 150-acre farm at the Aug. 7 auction. The identity of the buyer had been kept confidential. The winning bid was $2.3 million and the sale is scheduled to close this week. Shore's Nursery grows Fraser firs on more than a dozen farms it owns or leases in the Laurel Springs and Sparta areas of Alleghany County. Shore said she and her husband plan to make minor changes to Johnson's former home before moving in. The house was a dream home for Johnson, taking two years to build under his scrutiny. The black rails of the cattle fencing are a landmark on the north side of U.S. 421, just west of Interstate 77. Johnson, 81, raised cattle on the farm, but said his health issues meant he could no longer take care of the property. He and his wife moved to the exclusive Quail Hollow neighborhood in Charlotte. Johnson initially listed the house for $6 million and the price was dropped to just less than $5 million. When it didn't sell, Johnson decided to auction it.( Statesville Record & Landmark )(8-22-2012)
Rusty to be honored on #2 Dodge: The featured tag line on the rear bumper of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge of Brad Keselowski this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway will read "Inductee Rusty Wallace." This is a tribute to Wallace's 2013 induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. During his time in the #2 Miller-sponsored car, the former Penske Racing driver accumulated 37 wins, 145 top-five finishes, 252 top-10 results, while leading a total of 15,012 laps.(Penske Racing)(8-22-2012)
Rusty would like to see the schedule reduced: Rusty Wallace, recently selected to the NASCAR Hall of Famer, loves plenty of things about the sport. Except maybe the increased schedule. "It's the classic case of supply and demand," Wallace said Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "Too much supply and not enough demand." Wallace won 55 Sprint Cup races in a career that stretched from 1980 to 2005. He thought the series was at its best in the mid-1990s when NASCAR ran 31 or 32 races. This year, drivers will race in 36 events as they've done since 2001. "Personally, I wish the schedule were 32 again," Wallace said. Wallace still believes in NASCAR's popularity. However, he hopes the sports leaders don't water down the product with too many races. "I love NASCAR. It's been good to me, it's made me a lot of money," Wallace said. "I think it's OK for me to give my opinion. I don't think NASCAR would get upset about that. Maybe take four races off the schedule and increase that demand that means so much."(Associated Press)(5-28-2012)
Childress & Rudd inducted into NMPA Hall of Fame: NASCAR team owner Richard Childress and former NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd were inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame Tuesday night at a gala event in Concord, NC. “It’s is a great honor for me to carry the banner for all of the talented people who have made RCR what it’s become over the past 40-plus years,” said Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “To go into the National Motorsports Press Association with Ricky Rudd is very special for me personally because of his important contributions to both RCR and the sport of NASCAR racing as a whole. I had a dream as a kid of winning races and championships but I never thought it would take me to the places it has in my life.” The National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame is located on the grounds of Darlington Raceway. The inaugural class was inducted in 1965 which has become a Who’s Who in the world of NASCAR. Childress and Rudd were the 79th and 80th inductees.(RCR)(5-17-2012)
Jimmy Spencer to retire, move back to PA: Jimmy Spencer, a former NASCAR driver and current television personality who goes by the nickname "Mr. Excitement," has never backed down from speaking his mind. And at Darlington, he wasn't about to change. His subject wasn't racing, religion, politics or anything of the sort. It was much more personal. "I am going retire. That's it. I am going to put my house up for sale and move back to Pennsylvania where I was raised," said Spencer, who won twice in 478 Sprint Cup starts with such team owners as Bobby Allison, Junior Johnson and Travis Carter. Spencer also competed on several other NASCAR circuits. His record includes 12 Nationwide Series wins and 15 victories on the Modified Tour. "I love Pennsylvania," Spencer added. "My dad has dementia but he's still alive and so is my mother-in-law. I want to go home and spend time with them. My house is right up there off exit 28 (from Interstate 77 at Lake Norman). Wanna buy it?" Spencer, from Berwick, Pa., isn't leaving North Carolina simply to re-unite with relatives. Hardly. His plans are more far-reaching than that. "I love gardening," Spencer said. "So I am going to build a small farm near home, off of Mayes Road up there. I'll get to do some gardening, but that isn't all I am going to do. I am going to start traveling. I want to go to Germany and I'm going to Switzerland. And I'm going to take the train up in Canada.(see full story at MotorsportsUnpluged)(5-16-2012)
Junior Johnson continues to recover: Only when he lies flat on his back does Junior Johnson feel no pain. He can walk for a little more than 10 minutes before he begins to feel winded. Food does not taste good and he has trouble swallowing. Nevertheless, Johnson, the 81-year-old former NASCAR driver and team owner, does not complain. He'll tell you it is better than the alternative. "Reckon the Lord thought it wasn't my time yet," said Johnson, a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame's inaugural class of inductees, "for which I am grateful." Johnson came to the brink of death after contracting a raging staph infection at a North Carolina hospital. Johnson takes a daily regimen of medication to keep the infection at bay. Johnson said his plans for the immediate future remain unaltered. He and his family will move to Charlotte in June, where they have already bought a house and will become neighbors to such NASCAR notables as team owners Rick Hendrick and Felix Sabates. Johnson said he feels better each day, but, obviously, he will require more medical attention - none of which he can receive until it's certain he no longer has the infection. Johnson admits he needs, and wants, a pacemaker.(Motorsports Unplugged)(5-5-2012)
Darlington Raceway to honor Yarborough: With Cale Yarborough now having been inducted into the third class of the NASCAR’s Hall of Fame, Darlington Raceway will celebrate and honor his achievements during the upcoming Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 race weekend on May 11-12. Darlington and the NASCAR Hall of Fame are partnering on a special ticket offer for fans, which will include an exclusive meet-and-greet and autograph session with the NASCAR legend and hometown hero from Timmonsville, S.C. For $59, each fan will receive a ticket in the Pearson grandstand for the Bojangles’ Southern 500, a ticket to the NASCAR Hall of Fame (redeemable throughout the season), a 2012 Hall of Fame Yearbook and the opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with Yarborough on race day. The package is a savings of $36 if individual tickets were purchased for each venue separately. Packages can be purchased by calling 866-459-7223 or by visiting www.DarlingtonRaceway.com/congratscale. “Congratulations to Cale on his induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Cale is very deserving of his induction and his commitment and dedication to the growth and success of NASCAR and stock car racing is unparalleled,” Darlington president Chris Browning said. “To have a hometown hero like Cale have success at the sports greatest level is wonderful for our state. We are proud of the fact that he still calls his native Timmonsville home and Darlington Raceway his hometown track.” Yarborough will be on hand during the Bojangles’ Southern 500 race weekend participating in various activities, including being honored during pre-race ceremonies for the track’s 109th Sprint Cup race. Yarborough is from Timmonsville, just 15 miles from The Lady in Black, is a local hero to race fans of all generations who call Darlington County home, where they witnessed one of the greatest stock car drivers of his time win five Southern 500 races from 1968-1982.(Darlington Raceway)(4-7-2012)
Junior Johnson hospitalized: NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson has been hospitalized in North Carolina and two sources close to the 80-year-old legend said he is being treated for a staph infection related to a 2009 back surgery. Johnson initially was hospitalized on Tuesday near his farm in Wilkes County, N.C. He has since been moved to the Duke University hospital. Sources close to the situation said the former driver/owner known as "The Last American Hero'' also needs a pacemaker, but the procedure can't be completed until the infection clears. Johnson is expected to be released from the hospital within the week.(ESPN)(4-2-2012)
Rusty Wallace returns to the track: Retired NASCAR driver and ESPN broadcaster Rusty Wallace, is scheduled to compete in the June 12th Howie Lettow Memorial 150 at The Milwaukee Mile. The race honors the late Lettow, a former standout ASA crew chief who mentored many young drivers. The event will benefit the MACC Fund, dedicated to childhood cancer and blood disorder research (RWR). More info on the Drivers Appearances page.(3-23-2012)
Richard Childress, Ricky Rudd elected to NMPA Hall of Fame: Team owner Richard Childress and Ricky Rudd, the driver who gave Childress his first NASCAR win, have been elected to the National Motorsports Press Association's Hall of Fame. Each received more than the required 65 percent of the votes cast by the NMPA's members. Childress made his first NASCAR Sprint Cup start in 1969. He drove for five full seasons, 1976-80, with two top-five finishes. Twenty races into the 1981 season, Childress turned the wheel over to Dale Earnhardt, and in June 1983 at Riverside, Calif., Rudd gave Childress his first victory as a team owner. In 1984, Earnhardt rejoined Childress, and they would go on to win 66 races and six championships. Overall, Childress has 100 Cup wins, as well as 56 victories and five team-owner titles in the Nationwide ranks, and 24 wins and two Camping World Truck Series crowns. Rudd competed in Cup racing for 32 years, with stints for team owners such as Childress, Rick Hendrick, Bud Moore Roberts and others. Rudd earned 23 Cup wins, including the Brickyard 400 in 1997 as an owner-driver, and he holds the NASCAR Cup record for consecutive starts with 788. Rudd was also the 1992 titlist in the International Race of Champions series. Others receiving votes for the NMPA Hall of Fame were: drivers Donnie Allison, Bill Elliott, Tiny Lund and Sara Christian; former crew chief and team owner Ray Evernham; team owner Joe Gibbs; promoter Richard Howard; and photographer Ladon George.(Fayetteville Observer)(2-17-2012)
New Darrell Waltrip Book released: NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip knew that big changes were in the wind on the morning of February 18, 2001. For the first time in his long and storied career, Darrell would be watching the race from the broadcast booth high above the track, explaining its complexities to a television audience of millions. His younger brother Michael Waltrip would be among the starting drivers. Sundays Will Never Be the Same opens with a heart-stopping account of that dramatic race. See more info and how to order the book on my NASCAR Book News page.(2-12-2012)
Racing great A.J. Foyt in hospital: A.J. Foyt has been hospitalized in Houston for complications from knee surgery and will skip the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The 77-year-old Foyt had knee surgery two weeks ago, and an infection sent him to the hospital Wednesday. A spokeswoman for the four-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Friday that Foyt may stay in the hospital through the weekend. She said he had been up and walking since the surgery but developed an infection this week. Foyt is the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Foyt was scheduled to be the grand marshal Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(1-27-2012)
Ward & Jeb Burton to race in Truck Series: After a five-year absence from competing in a NASCAR race, Ward Burton will drive at Daytona in February in the NextEra Energy 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event. Burton and his 19-year-old son, Jeb, have teamed with Hillman Racing in the Truck Series to run the #27 Chevy this season. Burton, the 2002 Daytona 500 winner and brother of current Richard Childress Racing team member Jeff Burton, stepped away from the sport in 2007 to help Jeb's racing career as well as work with the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation. Burton had five career wins in in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series and four in the Nationwide Series. Jeb moves up from the NASCAR Whelen All-American series to the Truck Series. Ward will race at Daytona because Jeb is not yet qualified to run at Daytona. Burton also will make select starts throughout the truck series schedule. The younger Burton will make his debut behind the wheel in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville on March 31. Atop the pit box for the #27 will be Richmond native Trip Bruce, who worked with Burton in his Sprint Cup days at Bill Davis Racing.(Richmond Times Dispatch / hillmanracing.com)(1-27-2012)
Lorenzen honored by Illinois General Assembly at Chicagoland Speedway: Elmhurst, Ill. native and 1965 Daytona 500 winner, Fred Lorenzen was honored by the Illinois General Assembly Wednesday at Chicagoland Speedway for his accomplishments as a NASCAR driver between 1958-1972. “Fred Lorenzen was an icon of NASCAR and the racing world,” Illinois State Representative, Dennis Reboletti said. “He is an Illinois sports legend and we recognize him for his lifetime of accomplishments.”
“Fred Lorenzen is a true NASCAR and Illinois sports legend, and we’re thrilled to be a part of today’s presentation honoring his accomplishments,” said Scott Paddock, Chicagoland Speedway president. “Fred was one of the first pioneers of NASCAR and his contributions have helped to make it the great sport that is today.”
Also in attendance at today’s press conference, were two of Lorenzen’s old friends from his days at Holman-Moody Racing – Charlie ‘Slick’ Owens and Waddell Wilson. Owens had this to say about Lorenzen’s impact in the world of racing and NASCAR, “Freddie knew every piece of the race car. He worked on it, cleaned it and he never bragged about anything. He just went out and did what he had to do, and that was race.” Wilson added, “Freddie taught me great ethics about racing. He was one of the highlights of my life. I look back at all the great things we’ve done, and even before I worked for him, I idolized him. He was my hero; he still is.”
Earning the nicknames “Fearless Freddie” and “Golden Boy,” Lorenzen recorded 26 wins in his NASCAR career and is still the only NASCAR driver to win 20 races in their first 100 starts. He also became the first driver to earn more than $100,000 in winnings in a single season, claiming $113,570 driving for the legendary Holman-Moody team in 1963. Lorenzen is a member of more than one motorsports hall of fame including the National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. Lorenzen has been nominated for the NASCAR Hall of Fame twice previously, but as the spring of 2012 approaches, Lorenzen fans want to not only see him nominated but inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame with the class of 2013.(Chicagoland Speedway)(12-10-2011)
'Fearless Freddie' Lorenzen Honored With Resolution: State Representative Dennis Reboletti (R-Elmhurst, Illinois) sponsored a resolution to honor lifelong Elmhurst resident and NASCAR driver Fred Lorenzen. Also known as Fearless Freddie, Lorenzen began his racing career with a home-built speedster with a lawn mower-powered engine he would race down the streets of Elmhurst. His very first race at a demolition derby at Soldier Field in a 1941 Plymouth landed him his first win and his success only escalated ever since.
Lorenzen's accomplishments throughout his racing career include:
Being the first person to win $100,000 in a single season
The only NASCAR driver to win 20 races in his first 100 starts
Twice-voted NASCAR's most popular driver
Named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998
Upon finishing his racing days, Lorenzen returned back home and resides in Oak Brook where he led a happy life with his family and had a successful career in real estate. "Fred Lorenzen was an icon of NASCAR and the racing world," Reboletti said. "He is an Illinois sports legend and we recognize him for his lifetime of accomplishments." Lorenzen has been nominated for the NASCAR Hall of Fame for 2013. A press conference to present the resolution to the Lorenzen family will take place at 3:30 pm Dec. 7 at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet.(12-1-2011)
Rusty Wallace to enter St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame: Racing legend and St. Louis, Missouri native Rusty Wallace, will be honored by his hometown this Wednesday, November 16th, as an inductee into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame. Alongside Wallace in the class of 2011 are 15 sports figures, including St. Louis Rams legends Torry Holt and Issac Bruce, as well as coaching icons Lenny Wilkens and Scotty Bowman. They will join the likes of such St. Louis legends as Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Yogi Berra and Ozzie Smith as inductees into the St. Louis hall. The 2011 class was chosen from a pool of 350 qualified nominees, with induction determined through ballots issued to 120 media members and former athletes. This week's induction will not mark the first time that Wallace has been honored by an entity representing his hometown. In 2005, Wallace was presented the key to the City of St. Louis, with the mayor proclaiming June 30, 2005 as "Rusty Wallace Day" in the "Gateway City." One of Missouri's favorite sons, Wallace was originally enshrined in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2006, he became the 14th individual to be named a "Missouri Sports Legend," the Missouri hall's highest honor.(Rusty Wallace Racing)(11-16-2011)
Former car owner Bernstein retires from racing: Six-time NHRA champion Kenny Bernstein has turned the final page and closed the book on his career as a competitor and NHRA racing team owner. "My wife Sheryl and I have come to a place in our lives where we want to pursue other interests," said Bernstein. "We have poured our hearts and souls in motorsports for over 30 years and that's a full time job. It consumes you and there is very little time to relax. We are very proud of our accomplishments through the years and it's been a great ride, but we're interested in being able to travel at will, we want to spend some time on the golf course, and we've recently taken up fly fishing, which we really enjoy. It's time to enjoy life while we still have our health." Team owner and six-time NHRA champion Kenny Bernstein is a gifted driver and businessman. He holds the unique distinction of being the first and only race team owner to have collected wins in each of America's three major motorsports series: NHRA drag racing, NASCAR, and CART (IndyCar). He earned the title "King of Speed" when he became the first NHRA driver to break the 300 miles-per-hour barrier March 20, 1992 in Gainesville, FL. As a team owner he has accumulated 18 Top Fuel victories with son Brandon at the wheel.(Kenny Bernstein site), Bernstein's Sprint Cup team won three races, 2 with Ricky Rudd and one with Brett Bodine, the team finished 8th in points in 1989. See more stats at Racing-Refernece.info.(11-16-2011)
Marlin interested in Fairgrounds Speedway: Retired NASCAR driver Sterling Marlin is interested in acquiring the lease to Nashville's Fairgrounds Speedway, after fellow driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. gave up after one frustrating season. Hamilton will not continue to operate the track next season, according to Buck Dozier, head of the Metro Fair Board that oversees the city-owned facility. Hamilton encountered numerous problems during the season and cancelled the scheduled season-finale All-American 400 – a fixture for over two decades and the track's premier event. Hamilton will continue to own and operate Highland Rim Speedway, a quarter-mile track located 20 miles north of Nashville. One year remains on the two-year Fairgrounds Speedway lease granted by the city and Marlin heads a group of investors that is interested in acquiring it. Marlin told local radio show host Terrell Davis that he would like to take over the track "if everything can be worked out." Marlin has assisted previous efforts to keep the track afloat, working with last year's operator, Tony Formosa Jr., to promote the track. Marlin won three championships at the track in the 1980's, following in the footsteps of his famous father, Coo Coo, a four-time champion in the 1960's. The Fair Board expects to make a decision about the track's new operator by the end of the year.(RacinToday)(11-15-2011)
DW heads to Australia: Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and recent NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Darrell Waltrip headlines the SPEED broadcast team heading to Australia next month to cover the famed Bathurst 1000 from Mount Panorama in New South Wales, Australia on Oct. 8 at 7:00pm/et. Waltrip is joined by NASCAR on FOX boothmate Mike Joy and SPEED announcer Leigh Diffey, a native of Brisbane. Former racer Calvin Fish will work the pits on the 3.9-mile road course as racers compete for the Peter Brock Trophy.(SPEED)(10-5-2011)
Ward Burton's son racing: Jeb Burton's rise from the Limited Sportsman division to the Late Model Series at South Boston Speedway has come with the guidance of father, Ward Burton [former Cup driver and Daytona 500 champ], and national championship crew chief Neil Perkins. For those around the younger Burton, there isn't a better group of local short track racing figures to help develop the 18-year-old Halifax County High School senior as he continues to set his sights on advancing in the racing field. Though, the phone conversations he has with his uncle, Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Burton, are what he enjoy the most as he finally gets a chance to hear from the driver who is still one of the best in the sport. "I talk to him and I ask his advice, I store it in my brain," Jeb Burton said. "He'll have time one day to come watch me race and I'm pretty sure he will. … It's helping me, but I've got to help myself. I got to start giving a little bit better information. I'm just trying to get better. I know I can win races and I just want to win races every weekend." Jeb Burton said he has committed to racing in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown in late April at Richmond International Raceway. That event, which runs on a Thursday, kicks off the racing weekend at RIR and concludes with the Cup Series race Saturday night.(News & Advance)(4-3-2011)
Dale Jarrett, Rusty Wallace to Drive Again at Daytona: NASCAR Sprint Cup champions and ESPN analysts Dale Jarrett and Rusty Wallace will return to the cockpits of NASCAR race cars at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, Feb. 18, at 2:00 pm/et. Jarrett and Wallace will make high-speed laps together around the 2.5-mile oval while recording material that will be used in the NASCAR Countdown program that airs prior to ESPN2’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona the following day. The two champions will be getting a feel for the new Daytona pavement to help them in their analysis for ESPN.
ESPN’s cameras around the track will document the event and each vehicle will be equipped with in-car cameras. In addition, Jarrett and Wallace will be able to speak with each other while on the track via radio communication. NASCAR Countdown airs at noon on Saturday, Feb. 19, followed by the race telecast at 1:15 pm/et.
Jarrett, a three-time Daytona 500 winner and the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, last raced in May of 2008 and hasn’t driven on the Daytona track since finishing 16th in the 2008 Daytona 500. His last time in a race car was in September when he took ESPN reporter/host Erin Andrews for some laps at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Wallace, the 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, retired following the 2005 season and has often said that his biggest regret is never winning the Daytona 500. The 55-time race winner’s best finish in NASCAR’s biggest race was third in 2001. He was last in a race car when he tested the newly-designed NASCAR Nationwide Series car last summer at Colorado’s Pikes Peak International Raceway.(ESPN)(2-18-2011)
Ned Jarrett recovering from heart procedure: Retired NASCAR champion and 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Ned Jarrett is on the rebound after undergoing a heart procedure last month. Jarrett, scheduled to be inducted as part of the hall’s second class in May, experienced chest pains and had a pair of stents inserted to open blockages in a procedure Dec. 28, Jarrett said Wednesday. He underwent a similar procedure and had four stents inserted several years ago. Jarrett said Wednesday he is on the way to returning to normal after several weeks of recovering from the procedure and adjusting to medications.(SPEED)(1-27-2011)
Junior Johnson to be honored at NCMA Awards: The North Carolina Motorsports Association ("NCMA") is gearing up for the 5th Annual North Carolina Motorsports Industry Awards presented by Senn Dunn Insurance. On Friday, January 21st, industry business leaders will gather to honor racing legend Junior Johnson and award seven companies for their 2010 accomplishments. In addition, a first ever Media Recognition Award will go to Chris Economaki recognized as "The Dean of American Motorsports". The event is in its 5th year and will once again be held at the Embassy Suites in Concord, NC, beginning with a cocktail reception hosted by Dixon Hughes PLLC. An unscripted fire side chat will be moderated by Tom Higgins as Jimmy Spencer, Ned Jarrett, Steve Waid and Humpy Wheeler take the stage to discuss this year's Achievement in Motorsports Tribute recipient, Junior Johnson.
Senn Dunn Insurance has announced that they will return as the presenting sponsor for the second consecutive year. Senn Dunn Insurance, through its Motorsports Practice Group, has established long-term clients and a well respected name within the racing industry handling risk management, employee benefits and other insurance needs. Their motto is, "We'll handle it" and that is exactly what they will be doing the night of the event when they help present the Achievement in Motorsports Tribute award. More awards info at the NCMA site.(1-21-2011)
Nadeau to mentor Jeffrey Earnhardt: former Sprint Cup driver & winner, Jerry Nadeau has been hired as driver coach for Rookie of the Year candidate Jeffrey Earnhardt in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Jeffrey Earnhardt is a 4th generation NASCAR driver & grandson of the late Dale Earnhardt. Nadeau will be mentoring Jeffrey not only on track at the races, but off track as well. Dale Earnhardt Sr., raced against Nadeau on many occasions with, in sad irony, Nadeau actually winning the last race Dale Sr. competed in prior to the Daytona 500 race which claimed Dale Sr.'s life.
Nadeau has intimate knowledge of the inherent dangers himself, experiencing a near fatal wreck on May 2, 2003, during a practice session at Richmond International Raceway for the Pontiac Excitement 400. Nadeau suffered complete immobility of the left side of his body, a skull fracture, concussion, and several broken ribs. Nadeau no longer races but has successfully taken on the role of mentor before, thus giving him a proven track record in this capacity. In 2006 Nadeau worked with rookie David Gilliland, who went on to win the Nationawide race at Kentucky. "I see the raw talent in Jeffrey and I feel that with the proper guidance he can be taken to the top of the sport," said Nadeau. He also offered, "I think my experience helping other drivers and as a former driver myself, this will provide good insight for Jeffrey on the track. Jeffrey is a talented driver and just needs a little coaching and someone who can pull the reigns on him when needed. This should be a fun season and I'm excited to work with him."
Earnhardt will be competing in a full season in the 2011 NCWTS in the #1 Rick Ware Racing Fuel Doctor Chevy and is very happy to have Nadeau on board saying, "I'm excited to have Jerry with us to work with me as a mentor and driver coach. I think he will be instrumental in shortening my learning curve as a driver."(JEI/Fuel Doctor Racing)(1-19-2011)
Dale Jarrett to be honored: Former NASCAR champion Dale Jarrett of Conover, NC is among the 2011 North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame honorees. Retired Carolina Panthers receiver Ricky Proehl of Greensboro, Larry Lindsey of Wake Forest, Tom Parham of Emerald Isle, Jerry Tolley of Elon, the late Gene Overby, and Al Proctor of Raleigh also will join 274 men and women previously enshrined. The 48th induction banquet will be May12 at the North Raleigh Hilton Hotel. Ticket information is available from www.ncshof.org or by calling 919-845-3455. Jarrett won the Daytona 500 three times and claimed the 1999 Winston Cup title. He will join father Ned Jarrett in the Hall of Fame to comprise the second father-son duo so honored - the other being Lee and Richard Petty.(Charlotte Observer)(1-19-2011)
Former NASCAR driver injured in stabbing: The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the malicious wounding of former NASCAR driver and current engine supplier (shopHEMI) Joey Arrington (9 Cup starts) of Oak Level Road, Bassett, VA. On January 15, 2011, Deputies were summoned to the Oak Level area in reference to Arrington being stabbed. He was treated at the Martinsville Memorial Hospital for two stab wounds to his chest and later transported to Carillion Hospital in Roanoke Va. where he was treated and released. Arrington told police his ex-girlfriend, Katherine Elaine “Kathy” Mullins, came to his residence. An altercation started which ended with Arrington being stabbed and his personal property being damaged.(full story at Martinsville Daily)(1-19-2011)
Junior Johnson starts team: Junior Johnson has launched a race team that he hopes will propel his son, 17-year-old Robert, eventually to the Sprint Cup Series. The elder Johnson, who was enshrined in NASCAR's Hall of Fame as a member of its inaugural 2010 class of inductees, will run Junior Johnson Racing from shops on his 278-acre estate in Hamptonville, N.C. Keith Barnwell, JJR's executive vice president and general manager, said Monday he was standing amidst 800 head of cattle outside one of the two buildings the elder Johnson -- who scored 50 victories as a driver, 132 as an owner and six Cup championships in his legendary career -- had converted into his son's race shop. "We're going to run the full K&N Pro Series East and maybe the West Series' finale at Phoenix," Barnwell said. "On some of our off-weekends, we'll be running some UARA and Whelen All-American Series late model races. Johnson has hired two veteran mechanics with K&N Series experience, Craig Hermann and Robbie Harrison, to work on the operation. Barnwell said some Toyota stock cars have been purchased from the Red Bull Racing Team and that he and Johnson were in the process of making a final decision on what manufacturer they would align themselves with.(NASCAR.com)(1-4-2011)
Dale Jr. and DW to appear in film about Talladega: Award-winning filmmaker Terry Gilliam will premiere his short film The Legend of Hallowdega starring David Arquette and Justin Kirk with special appearances by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Darrell Waltrip and more on Oct. 31st.
The film, produced by AMP Energy Juice and @radical.media, will premiere on Halloween Sunday with the first chapter to debut on ESPN just prior to the start of the AMP Energy Juice 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Starting Halloween night, the film will be available in its entirety on www.LegendofHallowdega.com. The Legend of Hallowdega is the first short film for both Gilliam and AMP Energy Juice.
The comedy, The Legend of Hallowdega, explores the mysteries around Talladega Superspeedway as the host of an investigative news show (Justin Kirk) joins forces with a techno-geek paranormal expert (David Arquette) to dodge close calls and chase crazy leads to get to the bottom of The Legend of Hallowdega.(NASCAR.com)(10-17-2010)
Allison helps open playground in Bristol: NASCAR legend Bobby Allison was among more than 200 volunteers who participated in Friday's building of a new, safe playground, which was based on drawings created by children, at Anderson Park. Allison, a four-time winner on the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway, was in town for the IRWIN Tools Night Race (Saturday, Aug. 21) and took time out of his schedule to assist in the build. Allison was a part of the ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the playground. More than 200 volunteers from IRWIN Tools, The Home Depot, Bristol Pioneering Healthier Communities, the Bristol Family YMCA, the United Way of Bristol, the City of Bristol, organizers from KaBOOM!, and residents of the local community joined Allison. "This is really a good deal," said Allison, 72. "For a company like IRWIN to get behind a program like this to assist kids is just really special. When I was asked to participate, it was an easy answer. Everyone did a fantastic job." The new playground, which is located at 341 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, will provide more than 500 children in the Bristol community a safe place to play. In the past, the children who frequent Anderson Park have not had a playground to enjoy. The playground build is one of more than 150 KaBOOM! will lead across the country in 2010 in an effort to provide a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. The build began at 9:30 am and was completed by 3:30 p.m. Volunteers assembled brightly colored playground equipment and moved 51,840 square feet of safety surfacing by hand.(Irwin Tools/HB&M Sports)(8-21-2010
Lake Speed honored: Each year the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame adds a new class of athletes to its elite club. The same happened on Friday night - except that this group of inductees came in more shapes and sizes than any other: a race car driver, a burly defensive end, a defensive back, a recreational runner, a boxer and a tennis star. "It is the most diverse class in Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame history," said Michael Rubenstein, the Hall of Fame's executive director. "Without question, it is." Six Magnolia State legends joined the state's noble group on Friday night in the BancorpSouth Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum Induction Banquet at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Jackson. The Hall's 49th class included the first race car driver (Lake Speed), the first recreational runner (the late Bob Coleman) and the second boxer (the late Henry Armstrong). Ken Toler, ranked No. 1 in the state in tennis for 40 consecutive years, is just the ninth tennis player to be inducted in a class that pushes the Hall over the 260-member threshold. Wrapping up the inductions were Allen Brown, a former Ole Miss defensive end who won two Super Bowl rings with the Packers, and the late Frank Dowsing, one of the first two black football players to play at Mississippi State. Brown and Dowsing increased the Hall's football members to 126, nearly half of the membership. And when you think of race car driving? "You don't think of the Hall of Fame," said Speed, who won more than $5 million during an 18-year NASCAR career. "I always tell people that Mississippi is a unique place," he said, "and if you haven't spent time there, you wouldn't understand."(Clarion Ledger)(8-5-2010)
Rusty apologizes for remark: Rusty Wallace apologizes for comment at Kyle Busch during Nationwide race ESPN broadcaster Rusty Wallace apologized Monday for an expletive he directed toward Kyle Busch during Friday night's Nationwide broadcast from Chicagoland Speedway. The comment could be heard after Busch finished his Victory Lane interview. Said Wallace in a statement from ESPN: “At the end of Friday night’s telecast, I made an unfortunate remark regarding Kyle Busch. There’s no excuse and I certainly know better. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to everyone including Kyle for my mistake.” Wallace made the comment after Busch referenced the fans who booed him after he won the race. Wallace then can be heard uttering a one-word comment. An ESPN spokesman said the network would not suspend Wallace for the comment and stated: "ESPN has spoken to Rusty and he understands his remark was uncalled for.''(Virginian Pilot)(7-13-2010)
Rusty Wallace Racing Experience coming to Auto Club Speedway: Rusty Wallace announced the creation of The Rusty Wallace Racing Experience, a racing-themed attraction set to open this August at Auto Club Speedway in San Bernardino County, California. The Rusty Wallace Racing Experience will offer fans the chance to drive authentic stock cars built to current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series specs. The majority of the vehicles in The Rusty Wallace Racing Experience stables have actually been raced in Sprint Cup competition. Reservations for The Rusty Wallace Racing Experience are now being accepted. Dates are currently available this September through December, with many more dates scheduled for 2011. For reservations, additional information and details on upcoming promotions at The Rusty Wallace Racing Experience, please visit racewithrusty.com or call 877.722.1232.(RWI PR)(7-3-2010)
Benny Parsons house catches fire: Crews battled a fire at a home in Wilkes County [NC] Friday night. Firefighters from four departments went to the reported fire at 172 Benny Parson Road in Parsonville at about 11 pm/et. According to dispatch, a lighting strike may have hit the home of [the late] Benny Parsons, who owns a large winery in the area. Dispatch said that about 50 people were inside the house at the time the fire broke out. There were no reports of injuries. Firefighters said the amount of damage done to the house was not immediately known.(WXII12.com), Parsons passed away in Jan. 2007.(6-5-2010)
Benny Parsons Rendezvous Honored: Benny Parsons Rendezvous Ridge increased its medal count to 13 in three years and four in 2010 with a silver and bronze in the prestigious International Eastern Wine Competition, one of the oldest and largest professional wine competitions in North America, vineyard owner Terri Parsons announced Saturday. The vineyard's Stainless Steel Low Oak 2007 Chardonnay earned a silver medal in the 34-year-old IEWC held each May in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Earlier this year, the wine received a bronze in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Earning a bronze medal was the Barrel Fermented 2006 Chardonnay. This vintage has now won five medals since it was introduced by the 3-year-old vineyard. In addition to being honored in the IEWC this month, Benny Parsons Rendezvous Ridge received the distinction of having BP's Blush served in the NASCAR Hall of Fame, which opened May 11 in Charlotte. Earlier this year, BP's Blush received a silver medal in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Benny Parsons Rendezvous Ridge opened for business in July 2007. Located on land that has been in the Parsons family for more than 100 years, the Rendezvous Ridge Vineyard consumes six acres. Named for the late great Benny Parsons, the Sprint Cup Champ in 1973.(Benny Parsons Rendezvous Ridge)(5-30-2010)
Rusty Wallace visits NASA: RWR team owner and former Cup Series Champion, Rusty Wallace began a two-day visit to Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, along with oldest son Greg. They were invited as official guests of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to witness Friday’s launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis—STS-132. The launch, set for 2:28pm/et on Friday, marks the final flight for Atlantis, before the upcoming closure of the Shuttle program.
On Thursday, the Wallace’s embarked on an extensive behind-the-scenes tour of Kennedy Space Center with NASA officials, including the Space Station Processing Facility, the Orbiter Processing Facility—where they enjoyed an up-close visit with the Orbiter Endeavour, the Rotation Processing Surge Facility, the Mobile Launch Platform Park site, the Vehicle Assembly Building and the Shuttle Landing Facility. Thursday’s tour ended with an up-close photo opportunity at Launch Pad 39A, where Atlantis currently sits ready for launch.
Both father and son hold Private Pilot ratings, which the elder Wallace says only adds to the excitement, “For any pilot or aviation enthusiast, the space program is the ultimate. It really doesn’t get much bigger, faster, more powerful or more exciting than the Space Shuttle. The work that NASA does for our country is incredible; it really benefits our society in so many ways that we don’t even realize. Just in our world of racing, a lot of the heat shielding that we use to help our drivers and their race cars stay cool was actually developed by the space program. We’re extremely grateful to NASA for giving us the opportunity to watch their work in person.” Following Friday afternoon’s scheduled launch, the Wallace’s will depart Cape Canaveral for Dover, DE, where RWR’s #62 and #66 Toyota Camrys—driven by Brendan Gaughan and Steve Wallace—will compete in Saturday afternoon’s Heluva Good! 200 at Dover International Speedway.(RWR)(5-14-2010)
Latest on Larry Pearson: There have been numerous calls for Bristol Motor Speedway to end its experiment with old-timer “legends” racing since the track’s March 20 event resulted in a savage late-race accident. Larry Pearson, the driver seriously injured in that wreck, isn’t one of the naysayers. Pearson, 56, had six surgeries in the 12 days following the crash, which happened after his car blew a tire, hit the wall and was slammed in the drivers door at full speed by Charlie Glotzbach. Glotzbach was hospitalized for a few days but was not seriously injured. Pearson suffered two broken legs, a shattered pelvis, two broken ribs, a broken ankle and a broken right hand. He has been hospitalized since the accident but said Tuesday he hopes to be released from the Charlotte medical center in the next day or two. He faces months of rehabilitation, some of which he hopes to accomplish at his home near Spartanburg, S.C. Family members say Pearson has been in good spirits despite the trauma of the past three weeks.(SPEEDtv)(4-6-2010)
Rusty to surprise students: On Tuesday, April 6th, NASCAR legend Rusty Wallace will surprise 25 sixth grade students from David C Hinson Senior Middle School with news that they have been selected to join 75 other students by participating in the Bank of America “Students at the Speedway” program at Daytona International Speedway on May 21 to help celebrate NASCAR Day. “Students at the Speedway” is an exciting program that Bank of America created to show students how the principles of STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – are applied to racing. The activity at Daytona is one of five national service projects being organized by The NASCAR Foundation to celebrate NASCAR Day on May 21.(DIS)(4-6-2010)
Red Farmer to be honored: Alabama Gang legend Red Farmer will be honored at the track where he still races at age 77. Talladega Short Track will host the Red Farmer Classic on May 15 at the dirt track in Eastaboga across from Talladega Superspeedway. In honor of Farmer's number -- 97 -- the super late model race will be 97 laps and will pay $9,700 to win.(Alabama Live)(4-2-2010)
Charlie Glotzbach talks about Bristol wreck: Thursaday, March 25 on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, host Claire B. Lang spoke with Charlie Glotzbach, who was injured in a wreck with Larry Pearson in the Showdown charity race at Bristol Motor Speedway last weekend. Glotzbach was released from the hospital on Wednesday.
Charlie Glotzbach: "That's the hardest hit that I've ever taken, and that was the first ride to the hospital from a race. I mean, all the walls I've hit, and wrecked, and I never got hurt. That was the first time I ever got hurt. So it had to be a hard, hard hit."
Glotzbach: "I didn't know, I didn't think he (Pearson) would come down that quick. I thought that he'd probably have his foot on the brake, but somebody told me that they seen when he hit the wall, it knocked him out. … I'm really sorry it happened, but I don't think there was anything I could do about it."
Glotzbach: "I don't really think it's too risky (for older drivers to race), because it happens to the young drivers. If you notice, they get hurt, and naturally an older driver is going to get hurt probably a little easier on account of his bones are, uh, softer. But, I don't think it's got anything to do with age."
Glotzbach: "You look at the reaction time of the younger drivers, they hit things, too. They hit other cars so reaction time has nothing to do with it, I don't think"
Glotzbach: "Them cars are safe. I mean, they're basically a Busch or Nationwide car with a fiberglass body on 'em. I mean, they got bars running everywhere and they got good seats in them and I don't think the car had anything to do with it 'cause it was a good race car, the one I had."
Glotzbach: "As far as me, how I feel, I'm sore. My sternum's broke. I got some bruised ribs, and the lower back, uh, there's a bone cracked down there a little bit or something. They said there were some old wounds down there, too. But, like I said, I never went to hospital for nothin'."
Glotzbach: "Kyle Petty came in to see me (in the hospital), and he said if you're going to wreck he said this is a good place to wreck 'cause this is a great hospital. And I believe everything he says. He said, 'I've been at all of them.'"(SIRIUS NASCAR Radio)(3-26-2010)
Wilson wins Scotts EZ Seed Showdown at BMS UPDATE 4: For Rick Wilson, it was de ja vu during Saturday's Scotts EZ Seed Showdown at Bristol Motor Speedway. Wilson said the finish of the race played out just like his win in 1989 when he spun the wheels on a late race restart and saw drivers stream by him. "This was identical to the 1989 race," said Wilson of Bartow, Fla. "The car was great and the key was getting out ahead early. I was just riding at one point, because I knew I had a great car. "It was just like 1989. Phil (Parsons) got around me on the restart, but I just waited and got back around. I wish we could have gone 200 laps." Several other drivers echoed Wilson's thoughts. Cale Yarborough was excited to behind the wheel again, but disappointed that it didn't last longer. "It was fun," he said, "just not long enough to do what I wanted to do. Something happened to the car." Dave Marcis' day also was cut short, but he was glad to lace up his famous wingtips once more. "I was having fun, the car was good, but I ran over something and it cut one of the belts," he explained. "I think I got it shut off before I caused a lot of damage. It was fun and I enjoyed it. I'm glad to be back." Jimmy Hensley was glad just to be on the track. "I wish I could have been more competitive," he said. "I didn't hit anything, so that was good."(BMS)
AND Rick Wilson passed Phil Parsons with two laps to go to outlast 11 other retired NASCAR drivers Saturday in an exhibition race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Wilson, best known as the driver who took over the #43 following Richard Petty's 1992 retirement, dominated the race but lost the lead late to Parsons. Wilson passed Parsons shortly after a restart following a lengthy red-flag for a frightening accident between Charlie Glotzbach and Larry Pearson. Pearson, the son of three-time NASCAR champion David Pearson, spun into the outside wall with five laps remaining. As his car slid down the banking, Glotzbach rounded Turn 2 and ran directly into Pearson's driver-side door. Glotzbach gingerly walked from his car, but the roof had to be cut off Pearson's car. He was placed onto a stretcher, but was moving his arms as he was loaded into an ambulance. Pearson, the winner of consecutive titles in what's now called the Nationwide Series in 1986 and 1987, was immediately transported to Wellmont Regional Medical Center for further evaluation. Glotzbach, who won a caution-free Cup race at Bristol in 1971, was seen first in the infield care center before leaving for the same hospital. David Pearson did not continue the race after his son's accident. He drove his car off the track and stopped racing after the ambulance left so that he could travel to the hospital.(ESPN/Associated Press)(3-20-2010)
UPDATE: Hours later, Jim Wozniak, a Welmont Health System spokesman, said Pearson would undergo surgery on a compound fracture of the left ankle, and that he suffered a fractured pelvis and fractured right hand. "He is awake and alert, and in good spirits," Wozniak said of Pearson, who was listed in fair condition late Saturday night. Wozniak also said that Glotzbach was in good condition, but provided no further details regarding his injuries.(Bristol Herakd Courier)(3-21-2010)
UPDATE 2: Larry Pearson and Charlie Glotzbach, injured in the Showdown charity race at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday, remain hospitalized Monday at Bristol Regional Medical Center. Their conditions are unchanged. Pearson is in fair condition and Glotzbach is in good condition.(BMS)(3-22-2010)
UPDATE3: Larry Pearson has been released from Bristol Regional Medical Center as of late Monday afternoon, March 22. Pearson was transported and will be admitted into Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC, according to his family. Charlie Glotzbach remains hospitalized Monday at Bristol Regional Medical Center. Glotzbach remains in good condition. The two drivers were injured last Saturday in the Showdown charity race at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday.(BMS)(3-22-2010)
UPDATE 4: Driver Charlie Glotzbach was discharged from Bristol Regional Medical Center Wednesday to return home to Indiana. Driver Larry Pearson was released Tuesday and transported to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. Both were injured in a wreck during the Showdown charity race at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday, March 20.(BMS)(3-24-2010)
Scotts EZ Seed Showdown: the Scotts EZ Seed Showdown, a 12-car, 35-lap event at Bristol Motor Speedway, is scheduled for Saturday, March 20th after the Scotts Turf Builder 300 Nationwide Series event. Drivers scheduled to run the race are David Pearson, Larry Pearson, Harry Gant, Rick Wilson, Cale Yarborough, Charlie Glotzbach, Dave Marcis, Tommy Houston, L.D. Ottinger, Jack Ingram, Phil Parsons and Jimmy Hensley. Tickets are available, starting at $45, which includes both races. To purchase tickets, please visit www.bristolmotorspeedway.com, or call the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL (274-4765).(BMS)(3-19-2010)
Marlin done racing: Sterling Marlin, retired after 30 years as a driver in NASCAR's Cup Series, is involved in the sport in a new role: team owner. Well, sort of. Marlin is listed as co-owner of a new team, BD Racing, which plans to compete in the Sunoco National Tour this season, but Marlin said his role is mostly as an "advisor.'' BD Racing is named for Bryan Dant, an acquaintance of Marlin's from Nashville's Fairgrounds Speedway. The team is fielded out of Performance Motorsports shop in Richmond, Mich. Brian Oritz, a 21-year-old kart champion from Puerto Rico, will drive for the team. The first of the 10-race schedule starts March 27 at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida. As for his own driving plans, Marlin – who had run a limited Cup schedule the last few years – has a Late Model car that he may race some at the Fairgrounds. A promoter hopes to run a final few races on the old track that's scheduled to close this summer. Marlin said he may also take an occasional trip to Montgomery. As for Sterling's Sprint Cup career: "It's over," Marlin said. "I won't be racing any more." Marlin said he hasn't attended any races this year, not even to Daytona as a spectator. "I don't think I'd enjoy just standing around watching," he said. "I might go down to Talladega when they run there … I haven't decided for sure." The budding racing career of his daughter Sutherlin has been put on hold while she undergoes treatment for an eye problem. Son Steadman has no ride prospect on the immediate horizon.(Racin' Today)(3-18-2010)
Wendell Scott's First Start Being Celebrated This Week UPDATE: At Atlanta Pioneering African-American driver Wendell Scott is being honored this week in Atlanta, via the celebration of his first start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, on March 4, 1961 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. All vehicles competing this weekend in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will have a commemorative decal (shown above) baring the familiar picture of a waving Scott, who died in 1991, leaving a legacy of achievement and dignity. Wendell's daughter, Sybil Scott, will attend this weekend's races as will NASCAR Drive for Diversity driver Jason Romero, the 2009 winner of the Wendell Scott Trailblazer Award, given annually to a female or minority driver in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series who has excelled on and off the race track. Scott, a Danville, Va. native, started racing in 1947. In his first race, he finished third in a borrowed car and won $50. In the next few years he won 128 Hobby, Amateur and Modified races, on the old Dixie Circuit and outlaw tracks. In 1959, Scott logged his best season ever. He won 22 races and captured the Richmond track championship as well as the Virginia State Sportsman title. On Dec. 1, 1963 at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, a one-mile dirt track, Scott became the first African-America to win on NASCAR's highest level, a distinction he still holds.(NASCAR)(3-3-2010)
UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series vehicles will carry a special commemorative decal honoring Wendell Scott’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start on March 4, 1961. Wendell was a racing pioneer, becoming the first African-American to win a race in NASCAR’s premier series on Dec. 1, 1963.“This is enormous for our family in so many ways,” Sybil Scott said. “(My father) would want the young drivers coming up today to be inspired.” Ryan Gifford, one of the Drive for Diversity participants, visited with Scott’s family earlier this year for the reality show Changing Lanes, and he said the experience humbled him. “It really showed me what he went through to open the door for someone like myself,” Scott said. “I couldn't’t be more grateful.” And that’s what Sybil Scott hopes her father’s true legacy is: creating opportunities for future minority drivers. “Daddy’s legacy is through the diversity program,” Sybil Scott said. “The doors are open pretty wide right now, I feel very strongly. “I can only look at these drivers and think of how my dad would be their greatest fan. He would be out there encouraging them and would want others to be supportive. That’s how to keep Daddy’s legacy alive.”(AMS)(3-6-2010)
Red Farmer hospitalized: Red Farmer, a member of NASCAR's legendary Alabama Gang, has been hospitalized with what his wife Joan said Tuesday has been diagnosed as double pneumonia. Farmer [36 career Cup starts], who still races at age 77, entered UAB West hospital in Bessemer on Saturday and is doing well enough that he might be able to go home on Wednesday. "He's doing good," she said. "They're pumping him full of antibiotics and he's starting to get sassy again." Farmer, who races regularly at Talladega Short Track, had been planning on racing his late model in the annual Ice Bowl race there on Jan. 10, the state's biggest dirt race of the year. His wife says he is still planning on being there. "I say no. He says yes," she said. "I said, 'No way are you racing.' He said, 'But it's not until next week.'" Whether he races or not, he'll be out of the hospital soon, she said. "The nurses are getting tired of listening to him complain about the food," she said.(Alabama Live)(12-30-2009)
Lake Speed to be inducted into Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame: The six-member class, which will be honored at the 48th annual BancorpSouth Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Weekend July 30-31, 2010:
Lake Speed: Jackson native and most prominent driver in state history; 18-years on the NASCAR circuit that produced one win (Darlington, SC 1988) and 75 top ten finishes; six-time U.S. Karting Association Champion and World Karting Champion prior to NASCAR competition. Others include: Henry Armstrong (Boxer), Allen Brown (NFL), Bob Coleman (track), Frank Dowsing (college football), Ken Toler, Sr. (tennis).(Hattiesburg American)(10-25-2009)
Rudd retired from NASCAR but...: Although Ricky Rudd no longer races in NASCAR, he hasn't stopped competing. He's racing a mountain bike. Rudd, who rides a mountain bike about 12 miles a day four times a week, entered a race about a month ago. It was his first mountain bike race. He said he finished about the middle of his age group in the 11-mile race. "I entered my 50-year-old class and got my butt kicked,'' Rudd said smiling. "I wasn't really ready for it, but I thought I'm just going to see where I'm at. Unfortunately, it was a lot of hills and that's where I'm weak at.''(Roanoke Times)(10-19-2009)
Rusty Wallace to be honored: Former NASCAR Cup Series champion and ESPN auto racing analyst, Rusty Wallace, will be among nine sports legends honored at New York's Waldorf=Astoria Tuesday [Oct 6th] evening, during the 24th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner, to benefit The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis. The event will be held in the Waldorf=Astoria's Grand Ballroom and feature legendary sports broadcaster, Bob Costas, as its Master of Ceremonies. Following Tuesday evening's event, Wallace will join Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip and Benny Parsons as the only stock car drivers to be honored in the 24 annual editions of the dinner. Joing Wallace as 2009 Sports Legend Honorees are Troy Aikman, Clyde Drexler, Brett Hull, Mike Piazza, Ivan Lendl, Pat Day, Dara Torres and Chris Waddell. Famed poet, Maya Angelou, will be among the recipients of four other awards given during the event.(Rusty Wallace Racing)(10-6-2009)
Geoff Bodine to run ASA race in South Africa: American Speed Association officials have announced that 1986 Daytona 500 and 1987 IROC Series Champion Geoff Bodine will be competing in the “Championship Between the Continents – South Africa versus USA Motorsports” that will take place on January 29-31, 2010 at the Phakisa Freeway Circuit in Welkom, South Africa. The first ever ASA venture outside of North America. “I am looking forward to making this trip,” Bodine said. “This will be my first time traveling to the continent. The thought of going to South Africa to race is very exciting and I would certainly like to be the first driver to win this enormous event.” Bodine has been competing in the ASA sanctioned International Sport Compact Auto Racing Series (ISCARS) DASH Touring, driving for car owner Joey Jones where he is currently third in the point standings. Bodine also lends his expertise to mentoring drivers in the Geoff Bodine/ISCARS Driver Development Program which is a new arm of the Drive Tech Racing School. Drive Tech Racing School is the Official Racing School of the American Speed Association. The school will be open the month of January to train the drivers who will be going to compete in this historical event. Phakisa Freeway Circuit is a multi-purpose racing facility featuring a 1.5-mile oval which is where the “Championship Between the Continents” will be contested. This D-shaped oval, located southwest of Johannesburg is reminiscent of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(ASA)(10-6-2009)
Memorabilia store in Canada forced to change name: A New Brunswick businessman and long-time racing fan has been forced to change the name of his tiny memorabilia shop under the threat of a lawsuit by NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip. Randy Nicholson, who has sold NASCAR merchandise in Woodstock since 2001, has been accused of infringing on a trademark that wasn't registered by Waltrip until four years after Nicholson's store was established. Borrowing from a catchphrase issued by the Fox Sports commentator at the start of every race, Nicholson initially called his business Boogity Boogity Racing, and then later changed the name to Boogity Sportswear. On Friday, he received a cease-and-desist letter from an Ontario law firm representing Waltrip, a former Winston Cup champion who says, "Boogity, boogity, boogity, let's go racin', boys" each time the green flag drops. Waltrip registered the catch phrase as a trademark in Canada on Oct. 31, 2005. "My first instinct was that I was going to fight (him), but I don't have the means,'' Nicholson said Tuesday as he stood behind the counter in his store, which also sells hockey, wrestling and ultimate fighting souvenirs. "I am in no position to fight Darrell Waltrip. He has deeper pockets than I do." Nicholson said he registered his business with the federal government in 2001, and paid more than $1,200 to cover the cost of a search that was conducted to ensure the name wasn't being used in Canada by anyone else. At one point, he also operated stores under the Boogity banner in Moncton and Saint John, but he never received a complaint until last week, when a sheriff delivered a letter from MBM, an intellectual property legal group in Ottawa, sent on Waltrip's behalf. "From a trademark point of view, he is infringing Darrell Waltrip's registered Canadian trademark,'' Scott Miller, the head of the litigation group at MBM, said Tuesday. "Taking intellectual property without permission is as reprehensible as taking anything else." Nicholson argues that he has never infringed on Waltrip's rights. He says he has never sold anything that carried Waltrip's trademark, and the few Boogity-related items he sold bore a logo that he developed on his own. Nicholson has until next Tuesday to wipe his shop clean of the word "boogity" and has already taken down his signs. Until he comes up with something better, he will call his business R&B Embroidery, to accentuate the fact that he does printing and embroidery and manufactures vinyl signs. Nicholson said it will cost him between $5,000 and $8,000 to register a new name, put up signs, change his business cards and letterhead, order new cheques, change the way his phone is listed, and set up a new website.(Telegraph Journal)(9-2-2009)
UPDATE: "It's unfortunate to read the articles about Mr. Nicholson's store, as they do not tell the whole story", responded Van Colley, Darrell Waltrip's longtime Business Manager. "The truth is DW first came up with Boogity Boogity Boogity and then the name of the store appeared. "Mr. Nicholson only used Boogity as a result of DW's earlier use on FOX. In my opinion, it is not a coincidence that DW started his broadcasts with Boogity, Boogity, Boogity in March of 2002 and then 9 months later, with his business partner, Richard Poulin, that Mr. Nicholson incorporated a company called BOOGIDDY BOOGIDDY RACING INC on November 6, 2002. He then changed the corporate name to Boogity Boogity Boogity Racing Inc on March 3, 2003. That company was dissolved on July 25, 2008. Then the store operated under the name Boogity Sportswear. The shop went as far as applying for DW's trademark of Boogity, Boogity Boogity which was rejected in late 2007 by the Canadian Trademark Office. My point is there is no way Mr. Nicholson should be surprised about what has happened. It is odd that the shop filed for DW's trademark. Whether Mr. Nicholson is a small business owner or the owner of a large corporation is irrelevant to the matter. You simply can't take some one's legally trademarked intellectual property and attempt to profit from it. Common sense tells me that I can't simply throw up some golden arches in my front yard, hang a sign that says McDonalds on it and fire up my grill to attempt to sell some hamburgers simply because I want to. We appreciate Mr. Nicholson being a NASCAR fan and his selling of legally licensed NASCAR merchandise in his store. We also wish no ill will to Mr. Nicholson, despite his comment of wanting to "tear out DW's wind pipe." At the same time, I won't apologize for protecting DW's legal rights. We, like NASCAR, the drivers and teams in our sport fight this kind of thing all the time."(9-3-2009)
Wendell Scott Remembered: Wendell Scott, a Danville native, was the first black man to win a race in the Grand National/Winston Cup series, the equivalent of today’s Sprint Cup series. On Saturday, “Wendell Scott Recognition Day” was observed at the Virginia Museum of Natural History. “I was very happy with the way it turned out,” said Michael Scott, the youngest son of the late Wendell Scott. “A lot of people came out and showed support. It turned out to be very nice.”
More than 50 people attended the event, including Brian Donovan, author of Scott’s biography, “Driving Hard: The Wendell Scott Story: The American Odyssey of NASCAR’s First Black Driver.” NASCAR historian Buzz McKim, state Sen. Roscoe Reynolds, Martinsville Vice Mayor Kimble Reynolds Jr., Tony Millner, president of the local NAACP chapter, and fans and friends of the late pioneer also attended. The event offered a wealth of information, including first-hand stories about the driver, a video which included statements from NASCAR legends such as Richard Petty and Ned Jarrett, and displays with newspaper articles, pictures and other racing memorabilia.
Donovan read the prologue of his book and explained that Scott’s biography is “a story of one of the courageous racial pioneers that helped make our country a better place in a time when that could be very dangerous.” McKim said information about Scott will be a part of two permanent displays in the Charlotte, N.C., NASCAR Hall of Fame, which is currently under construction. One of those will include a “biographical paddle,” while another will be dedicated to the diversity of NASCAR’s drivers. There will also be a larger display dedicated soley to Scott in the hall of fame when enough articles of his racing career can be located, McKim said. “I think today was a big step in the right direction,” said Donovan of his hope that Scott will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. “We got a commitment today explicitly from Buzz McKim of the NASCAR Hall of Fame that there will be an exhibit featuring Wendell Scott. I think he’s a logical candidate for nomination, and I hope he (McKim) does, too.”(Martinsville Bulletin)(9-15-2009)
Wendell Scott Recognition Day--Free Admission:
Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009 1:00-5:00pm
Virginia Museum of Natural History
21 Starling Ave. Martinsville VA
The event at the Virginia Museum of Natural History, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., has been organized to honor Scott’s memory and to encourage NASCAR to recognize him in its new Hall of Fame, which opens next May in Charlotte , NC .
Wendell Scott Recognition Day will include a film about Scott’s life, an exhibition of vintage stock cars from the 1950s and ‘60s, and a display of paintings of Scott and his race cars by Martinsville artist Alexir (Lex) Hairston, the event’s chief organizer. There will be several speakers (including author Brian Donovan), and the admission is free.
Scott was not included on the recently released list of 25 possible NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees, and his omission has sparked a growing controversy.
Hairston, whose paintings of Scott have been displayed in Roanoke’s art museum, said those who attend the event will have the opportunity to sign a petition asking NASCAR to honor Scott.
The petition says: “We urge NASCAR to recognize Wendell Scott’s pioneering accomplishments as a racer in the new NASCAR Hall of Fame. We believe that the facility should include an exhibit honoring Scott’s unique struggle and his passion for racing. We request that Scott be nominated in the near future for consideration as an inductee.” The controversy over Scott’s absence from the recent list of Hall of Fame nominees began with an article in the Bristol Herald Courier on July 3. The author, sportswriter Allen Gregory, who covers NASCAR, criticized the “snub” and wrote that “the nomination of Scott would have been huge for a sport that lags miles behind on the diversity curve.”
Gregory wrote that Scott had “endured years of neglect, abuse and outright treachery at many levels” of NASCAR racing. His article said “it appears all those splashy press conferences and impassioned speeches on diversity from NASCAR officials in recent years were just empty platitudes.”
Many of Scott’s difficulties with NASCAR are documented in “Hard Driving.” The book’s website is www.harddriving.us . At the Recognition Day event, Hairston’s portraits of Scott and autographed copies of “Hard Driving” will be available for purchase.
The Bristol Herald Courier story, reprinted in other newspapers and racing websites, has been followed by more articles critical of NASCAR in online publications such as insiderracingnews.com, blackvoices.com and faniq.com. Hairston said those who support the petition but can’t attend the Sept. 12 event should email their comments to him at AHHMSH@yahoo.com. More info at streetribedesigns.com.(8-23-2009)