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8 APR 2002:    Matt Kenseth drives en route to winning the NASCAR Winston Cup Series SamsungRadio Shack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. DIGITAL IMAGE - Mandatory Credit: Jon Ferrey/Getty Images
8 APR 2002: Matt Kenseth drives en route to winning the NASCAR Winston Cup Series SamsungRadio Shack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. DIGITAL IMAGE - Mandatory Credit: Jon Ferrey/Getty Images

April 8 – Today in Jayski’s NASCAR history

April 8, 2003

  • DW to test Wednesday: The weather in the Carolinas has postponed and moved Darrell Waltrip’s truck test from Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, NC on Tuesday to Hickory Speedway [NC] on Wednesday.(Fox Sports)(4-8-2003)
  • Furr replaces Conner: Tony Furr will serve as crew chief for Winston Cup Rookie of the Year candidate Jack Sprague, beginning at this weekend at Martinsville. Furr replaces Dennis Connor at Haas CNC Racing. Connor has worked with Sprague for the last eight seasons. Together they won three championships in the Craftsman Truck Series, in 1997, 1999 and 2001. In 2002 Sprague and Connor moved to the Busch Series for Hendrick Motorsports, their Truck Series employer. Near the end of the 2002 season, team owner Gene Haas announced plans to field a Winston Cup team for Sprague that would be closely allied with Rick Hendrick’s operation. Furr most recently worked in a management role with Morgan-McClure Motorsports [#4 Kodak Pontiac](NASCAR.com)(4-8-2003)
  • Testing at Kentucky UPDATE: Four Winston Cup teams and a Busch Series squad are scheduled to test at the track this week at Kentucky Speedway. #77-Dave Blaney was to test today, while #42-Jamie McMurray and #74-Tony Raines are expected to test Wednesday and Thursday. Hank Parker Jr. is also scheduled to test a Winston Cup car for Evernham Motorsports on Wednesday and Thursday, while Brewco Motorsports [#27/#37] is listed as testing a Busch entry on the same days, but no driver is named. While testing is not open to the public, the track says fans may watch from the visitor center in turn three.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)
    UPDATE: Joey Clanton will be in the #27 Brewco Motorsports Pontiac, no listing of Raines in the 2nd Alert sent out by Kentucky Speedway.(4-8-2003)
  • Mikey gets a TV gig and DW miked: Michael Waltrip will join Rick Allen, Dorsey Schroeder and Barry Dodson in the booth for this weekend’s Craftsman Truck Series event in Martinsville. Waltrip has a vested interest in the race, as older brother Darrell – a three-time Winston Cup champion – will be racing a DEI-powered truck owned by Michael and crewed by Michael’s NASCAR Busch Series crew. SPEED Channel will bring race fans a unique view to DW’s return, as the truck will be equipped with in-car cameras and the racing legend will be wired for sound for the entire race. In addition, fellow FOX broadcasters Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond also will be a part of the SPEED broadcast, with McReynolds acting as Waltrip’s spotter and Hammond observing from the pits.(Speed Channel PR) see more about DW’s truck deal on my Truck Series site (have a image of the the truck there) or Retired Cup drivers page.(4-8-2003)
  • #20 Impounded Car Chopped? and returned? An unconfirmed rumor has it that the 20 car was, indeed, returned though in a slightly modified form: Sliced in half at the B-pillar, the front section delivered to the Gibbs team garage. How would that be for a message sent and delivered? (in part from Autoweek), see the complete news progresssion on the #20 Chevy being confisgated at Texas on my #20 Team News and Links page.(4-8-2003)
  • #49 Testing: hearing the #49 BAM Racing Dodge and Kenny Schrader are testing today, weather permitting, at Greenville Pickens Speedway in Greenville, SC.(4-8-2003)
    UPDATE: the testing was rained out.(4-8-2003)
  • Simpson vs NASCAR goes on Sept 15th: Racing safety pioneer Bill Simpson said his defamation claim against NASCAR isn’t about what sanctioning body officials said following the death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500. It’s what NASCAR didn’t say. In a deposition taken Feb. 27, Simpson said NASCAR’s refusal to say that Earnhardt’s seat belt was installed incorrectly is what defamed him. NASCAR, filing for a summary judgment last week in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, said Simpson’s admission that NASCAR never said anything false should compel a ruling in its favor without the $8.5 million claim going to trial as scheduled Sept. 15. NASCAR also contends that it never mentioned Simpson by name and never said anything with malice. In the Simpson deposition, NASCAR attorney Robert Johnstone questioned him on a list of 22 statements provided by Horn as evidence that NASCAR defamed Simpson or invaded Simpson’s privacy.(Daytona Beach New Journal), see past news on the lawsuit on my Lawsuits Page.(4-8-2003)
  • Qualifying On Speed: Beginning with the Virginia 500 from Martinsville Speedway, SPEED Channel will be the exclusive home for NASCAR Winston Cup Series qualifying for the remainder of the FOX portion of the broadcast season [thru Sonoma in June). The FOX NASCAR team of Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond will handle the on-air responsibilities. During the second half of the season, which begins July 5 with the Pepsi 400 from Daytona [On NBC], SPEED Channel also expects to carry a majority of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series qualifying events, tentatively scheduled to handle 15 of the 19 qualifying sessions. In addition, SPEED Channel continues to be the exclusive home of NASCAR Busch Series qualifying for the remainder of the season.(SPEED Channel PR)(4-8-2003)
  • Bodine to double dip, Nashville and Martinsville: Busch Series points leader Todd Bodine [#54-Ford in Cup, #92-Chevy in Busch] will race in Nashville this Saturday and Martinsville on Sunday. Mike McLaughlin will practice and qualify the #92 Busch Series car in Nashville while Bodine is in Martinsville for Cup qualifying/practice.(Fox Sports Net’s Totally NASCAR), Hermie Sadler will do the same but Dennis Setzer will practice and qualify the #02 Cup car while Sadler qualifies the #54 Busch car.(4-8-2003)
  • Andretti helps out: On March 26, NASCAR driver John Andretti made a special appearance at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee and delighted the children there undergoing treatment for pediatric cancer and other life-threatening childhood diseases. The appearance included a $30,000 check presentation to Target House. Andretti raised the money by meeting a challenge – for each lap completed in the EA Sports 500 in Talladega, Ala., on October 6, 2002, General Mills pledged to donate money to Target House. Andretti not only completed the race, but also placed in the top 20.(Ruder Finn Arts & Communications Counselors)(4-8-2003)
  • Top 10 Tina CORRECTION: #22-Tina Gordon in the Danny Bost Motorsports Chevy, collected the first top 10 by a Busch Series female driver since Patty Moise finished seventh at Talladega in July 1995, when she posted a 10th-place finish last week at Talladega. Gordon, who leads the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings in the Craftsman Truck Series, posted the eighth top-10 finish by a female driver in the history of the NASCAR Busch Series.(NASCAR PR)(4-8-2003)
    CORRECTION: actually the last time a woman driver finished in the top 10, was in March 1998, when Moise finished 10th at Bristol Motor Speedway, her husband, Elton Sawyer, also finished in the top 10 (4th).(heads up from a few readers, and looked up in the 1999 UMI Pubs Press Guide)(4-9-2003)
  • All by themselves: Saturday’s race is the first of seven stand-alone events on the 2003 Busch Series schedule [meaning not at the same track as Winston Cup]. Next will be May 10 at Gateway, followed by May 18 at Nazareth, a return to Nashville June 7, Kentucky on June 14, Pikes Peak on July 26 and Memphis on October 18.(NASCAR PR)(4-8-2003)
  • New Team UPDATE: The marketing company that helped get Grammy Award-winning rapper Nelly into the Craftsman Truck Series has unveiled a second truck team that will debut next week. Atlanta-based Grupo Mundo announced Tuesday that Fasscore Motorsports, owned by South Florida realtor Chris Beckington, will compete for the first time at Martinsville on April 12. The #9 truck will be driven by Rich Bickle, a veteran driver who recently scored a 19th-place finish in the season-opening truck event at Daytona Beach, Fla. Tommy Morgan will serve as crew chief.(Charleston Post and Courier)(4-2-2003)
    UPDATE: Rich Bickle will pilot the #9 FASSCORE Motorsports Ford in Saturday’s Martinsville NCTS race. “I have always run and finished well at Martinsville,” who owns a 4.8 qualifying average and a 12.25 finishing average, including the 1999 last-place effort, in four Martinsville NCTS events. “I’ve got a ton of laps at Martinsville in Winston Cup and Trucks, and thousands more laps in Late Models at dozens of places like it. The truck we’re racing this weekend has proven itself time and again. It kind of like an old friend. It fits me like a glove.” Bickle’s Martinsville truck will be fielded by FASSCORE Motorsports and new team owner, Chris Beckington. Beckington is a partner in a highly successful South Florida based Real Estate Company. FASSCORE Motorsports will receive technical assistance from Billy Ballew Motor Sports, Inc., a well-established and respected NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team.(Motorsports Management Group PR)(4-8-2003)

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