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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, 2002

  • Samsung/RadioShack 500 won by Kenseth at Texas Motor Speedway. #17-Matt Kenseth won the Samsung/RadioShack 500, his 2nd win of 2002 and third of his career. Kemseth had to fall to the back of the field after an engine change during the only practice held on Friday even though his official starting spot will be shown as 31st. It is the first time a driver won from further back the 7th at Texas and Kenseth is the six different driver to win at Texas in the six Cup races held there. #24-Jeff Gordon was 2nd, his first top five since he won at Kansas last September. #5-Terry Labonte got his first top 10 (he finished 10th) in 18 races (last was at Bristol last August). The top ten finishers:
    1)  #17-Kenseth (84 laps led)
    2)  #24-Gordon
    3)  #6-Martin (5 laps led)
    4)  #28-Rudd (29 laps led)
    5)  #20-Stewart (16 laps led)
    6)  #48-Johnson (highest finishing rookie)
    7)  #40-Marlin(1 lap led)
    8)  #41-Spencer
    9)  #9-Elliott (13 laps led) was the Pole Sitter
    10) #5-LabonteCars on the lead lap: 12
    Cautions 7 for 41 laps
    Out of Race(DNF’s) or off the track: #22-Burton(accident); #31-Gordon(accident); #12-Newman(engine); #99-Burton(accident); #8-Earnhardt Jr (accident/engine);
    Lap Leaders (15): #9-Elliott; #28-Rudd; #88-Jarrett; #8-Earnhardt Jr; #6-Martin; #12-Newman; #23-Stricklin; #4-Skinner; #21-Sadler; #29-Harvick; #2-Wallace; 40-Marlin; #97-Busch; #20-Stewart; #17-Kenseth;Caution 7 lap 308: #97-Busch spun in turn 3/4 after a tire went down, not damage and no other cars involved. Most of the leading in to pit, #17-Kenseth only took two tires as did the #41-Spencer and #6-Martin. Most others took 4 tires. #30-Green had just pitted under green flag and is now at the tail end of the lead lap, in front of the leaders.
    #8-Earnhardt Jr is BACK on the track on lap 257 but lost his engine is now OUT.
    Caution 6 lap 254: #12-Ryan Newman lost an engine.
    No caution but #99-Burton scraped the wall and damaged the right side
    Caution 5 lap 239: #31-Robby Gordon wapped the wall when he lost a right front, was able to drive on to the pits.
    #28-Rudd had a stuck gas pedal and 88-Jarrett ran out of gas and had to coast in to the pits, then #24-Gordon who pitted infront of Jarrett overshot his pit stall and backed up, blocking Jarrett.
    Ward Burton was held in the Infield Care Center at Texas to have his neck xrayed and released and interviewed said he was sore but ok. Earnhardt Jr was released and says he is fine.
    Caution 4 lap 184: just after the green flag, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr spun when he and the lapped car of #49-Robinson got together and Earnhardt Jr backed into the turn one wall, Dale Jr has radio’d in that he is ok and has restarted the car but couldn’t move the car, when he got out of the car, he was holding his left arm. Caution 3 on lap 171: #22-Ward Burton hit the wall hard, apparantly the right front tire blew, Burton got out of the car under his own power. #4-Skinner and #30-Green had stayed out while most of the other driver pitted.
    #21-Elliott Salder is running a fuel conservation race, pitting much later then the rest of the leaders, trying to make the race on one less pitstop.
    #36-Schrader had to come back in after his pit road when the wrench was left in, and #1-Park had to come back in when he had a missing lugnut during the lap 100-105 green flag stops
    Caution 2 on lap 49: debris on the track, #11-Bodine’s right side window fell out on the frontstretch. Also of note, #30-Green’s car is smoking and #22-Burton’s car is having radio problems, #55-Hamilton’s power steering pump was low on fluid and he came in to get it topped off and fixed. Also Bodine’s crew chief Doug Richert has been summoned to the NASCAR trailer after the race to discuss the window problem as this is the 2nd time in 4 races the window has fallen out (the other was at Atlanta and one was not used at Bristol).
    Some changes during pit stops on lap 37: #28-Rudd went in 1st and came out 1st; #9-Elliott in 3rd, out 2nd; #88-Jarrett in 2nd, out 3rd; #14-Compton in 4th out 14th; $8-Earnhardt Jr in 5th and out 5th.
    NOTEs: Caution was thrown on lap 36.
    NASCAR will probably throw a madatory caution (unless there is an earlier caution) to allow teams to adjust on their cars and check tires.
    Falling to the rear of the field before the start: #17-Matt Kenseth – changed engine during Friday practice; #26-Frank Kimmel and #31-Robby Gordon, in backup cars due to qulaifying accidents.
    #7-Atwood off the pace came into the pits around lap 15 and came back out. possibly a tire going down.See ThatsRacin.com for a column: Kenseth pulls away for second win of the season.
    For Results see ThatsRacin.com or the TMS Site or NASCAR.com (4-8-2002)
  • Elledge to stay at Yates? Robert Yates is interested in offering Jimmy Elledge the job as crew chief for rookie Kasey Kahne on the Busch series. Last week, Yates put Todd Parrott back in charge of Dale Jarrett’s team, leaving Elledge looking for work. Elledge says he’ll take a couple weeks off to assess his future. Ray Evernham says he’d like Elledge to take over as crew chief for Casey Atwood’s team, and Richard Childress may also be looking at Elledge, who worked for him for several years.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-8-2002)
  • Trickle to run for Evernham at Talladega UPDATE: Dick Trickle went with the Evernham Motorsports team last week to test a third Evernham Dodge, car #91 at the Talladega Superspeedway. They tested for two days and Trickle felt they found the information they needed for the upcoming race this month. Evernham Motorsports tested under a third number (#91), NASCAR rules state that if you test with a car number you must attempt to race at least one race with that car. Team Owner Ray Evernham spoke with Trickle this week and told him the tean has decided to take the #91 Dodge to Talladega and gave Trickle the first option to have the driving duties and Trickle plans to be going with the team as driver of the un-sponsored #91 Dodge. They have no plans for future races, but would like to test more this year with the #91 Dodge.(Dick Trickle Fanclub Newsletter)(4-3-2002)
    UPDATE: Evernham is adding a third Winston Cup team to his roster, beginning at Talladega, with veteran Dick Trickle running what Evernham calls his research-and-development car. “Every team needs an R&D team, and if we’ve got the cars and the driver, we might as well enter them in some races,” Evernham says.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-8-2002)
  • Waltrip Hard Time Getting Out of car: Michael Waltrip complained that his car’s interior was too small this weekend. The 6-4 driver struggled to get out of the [#99] car after he flipped during the BGN race Saturday at Texas. “My car was a little smaller than it should have been,” he said. “I couldn’t get out of it. . . . Thankfully, they were right there to attend to me.” Jeff Burton said NASCAR needs to study the problem. It was his understanding that Waltrip’s window net could not be removed, trapping the driver. “There’s a lot of things that NASCAR is addressing on making the cars bigger,” he said. “Really, at the end of the day, that’s the problem. Even though the windows are bigger than they’ve ever been, they’re still small. . . . For me to get out of my car, I literally hurt my shoulder once trying to get out of my car. It’s just hard to get out, and in a bad situation it’s even harder.”(Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-8-2002)
    AND Michael Waltrip’s fiery crash in Saturday’s BGN race was frightening. Waltrip’s car landed on its roof and he was unable to get out easily. Then firemen sprayed him with choking halon.(Winston Salem Journal). Waltrip was unhurt and said during a rain delay interview Sunday that he felt no pain from the wreck.(4-8-2002)
  • Lots of Bud: Dale Earnhardt Jr. is featured in the April 15 issue of Newsweek, discussing everything from Playboy centerfolds to memorabilia sent to him by fans. Earnhardt maintains his hip image, talking about drinking 12 to 15 Budweisers a night (except on race weekends), his famous father and life as a star.(Richmond Times Dispatch), see my Story/Article/Column Links Page for a link to the Newsweek column.(4-8-2002)
  • Nemechek back to Petree? Joe Nemechek may return to Andy Petree’s #33 team later this year as teammate with Bobby Hamilton. Nemechek left Petree at the end of last season when Petree’s sponsorship ran out. Mike Wallace will run Petree’s second car at Talladega.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-8-2002)
  • No Indy 500 for Harvick in 2002: ESPN 2’s RPM 2 Night reported that Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevy, says he will NOT attempt to make or drive in this years Indy 500 as rumored.(4-8-2002)
  • Transporter driver wins race: Barry Sheppard, transporter driver for the #21 Motorcraft Ford Winston Cup race team, won Saturday’s first round of the International Truck Challenge. Driving an International 9400 tractor towing a 53-foot trailer, Sheppard completed a lap – through a course that included a slalom track and right turn and backing maneuvers – in 1 minute, 14 seconds.(Dallas Morning Star)(4-8-2002)
  • CNN/SI gone May 15th: Corporate parent AOL Time Warner had said in January it would scrap the sports channel, but had not said what its last day would be. The channel, which has never turned a profit in its five-year history, is available in about 20 million households. About one-third of CNN/SI’s 200 employees will be transferred to CNN or CNN Headline News, the network said. The others will be offered severance and allowed to apply for jobs elsewhere in AOL Time Warner. The company, which is also the parent of CNN/Money, is negotiating with the National Basketball Association to develop a new network that would focus on sports events rather than sports news. AOL Time Warner is aiming for a launch in the fall.(Money CNN/AP), no word on NBC/TNT’s plans for Winston Cup qualifying which was covered many times on CNN/SI or the weekly NASCAR+ show with Benny Parsons and Marty Snider and hosted by Johnny Phelps.(4-8-2002)
  • Missisippi Plates: The House and Senate on Monday approved new vanity tags for NASCAR enthusiasts and a “Choose Life” license plate to benefit crisis pregnancy centers. But House and Senate negotiators could not agree on legislation to require public officials who violate the open meetings law to pay a $100 fine plus the costs of a plaintiff to bring a complaint. So, Senate Bill 2965 died in a House-Senate conference. Monday was the deadline for adopting conference reports on appropriations, revenue and general bills and constitutional amendments. Rep. Bobby Moak, D-Bogue Chitto, said Senate Bill 2501 provides that the State Tax Commission would issue a new vanity tag only if the sponsoring organization guarantees at least 200 will be sold. Present law is that a group must guarantee at least 100 are sold. Lawmakers expect the NASCAR tag to have wide support based on the its success in other states. The NASCAR tag fee would be $35 besides all other taxes, and the funds will go toward repair and renovation of the state Capitol. Annually, groups come to lawmakers asking for the specialty tags. In the past, the more popular ones have been for colleges and a wildlife agency design depicting a hummingbird. Proceeds from the extra fees on the tags are designated for specific programs. The bill would take effect July 1.(Clarion-Ledger/AP)(4-8-2002)
  • $1 billion damages possible? UPDATE: A federal lawsuit filed earlier this year on behalf of the shareholders of Speedway Motorsports Inc., the parent company of Texas Motor Speedway, claims that NASCAR has a monopoly over stock-car racing by owning both the governing body and by having controlling interest in International Speedway Corp., the company that operates 13 major auto tracks. By NASCAR, the suit really means the France family, the people who have outright ownership of the group. In the suit, Texas Motor Speedway is simply asking for a second racing date, but it’s the means to that end that make this case more interesting. The lawyer handling it? controversial celebrity attorney Johnnie Cochran. Cochran seems like he’s ready for a fight. He says he has “in excess of 50 lawyers” ready to examine the practices of NASCAR. At the center of the charges is the claim that NASCAR engages in “monopolistic” business practices. According to Samuel Cherry, the Cochran-firm partner who is supervising the litigation, damages could reach $1 billion. He arrives at that figure because he believes that the lack of a second race has kept the stock price down. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Sherman, Tex., on Feb. 13, by Speedway Motorsports shareholder Francis Ferko of Plano, Tex., lists NASCAR, ISC and Speedway Motorsports (SMI) as defendants. Ferko has declined comment and referred all questions to his attorneys. SMI is only a “nominal defendant,” according to the suit. SMI was named so that its executives can be kept informed of all aspects of the case. See the Orlando Sentinel for the full story: $1 billion damages possible.(4-7-2002)
    UPDATE: see another story at the Fort Worth Star Telegram – TMS lawsuit gains spotlight this week by Jeff Wilson.(4-8-2002)
  • Hensley Racing to run later in season: With the economy sagging, Lance Snack Food pulled out of its sponsorship with the [#63 team, sold much to Ken Alexander, supposedly has the #80 now] Hensley Racing’s BGN team. Without a sponsor the Hensley Racing team decided not to field a car in 2002. Owner Jeff Hensley decided to take his time and figure out what his next move would be. Now Hensley Racing is courting sponsors, which Hensley was unwilling to name at this point, and planning on running several races at the end of the year with more substantial funding than ever before. “We put everything on hold and took a look at what we had,” Hensley said. “We plan on running 10-12 races at the end of the season. This gives us a chance to get some other things working. The last couple of years we’ve been severely underfunded and this gives us a chance to get our stuff back like it needs to be.” Hensley is looking forward to getting back into the swing of the BGN and hopes to be even more competitive than before with a new sponsor. “I wasn’t really enjoying myself the last couple of years,” Hensley said. “Being used to so much success for so long and then struggling the last couple of years. I’m pretty competitive.” In the mean time, Hensley has taken a position at Arrington Racing. He’s a jack-of-all-trades for the engine builder and believes working for Joey Arrington is the bet move he could have made. “Working at Joey’s has been a great opportunity to learn a lot,” Hensley said. “It’s allowed me to get back in the right attitude. It’s been a blessing for me. (I do) whatever needs to be done. Racing is about the only thing I know. I do everything, assemble engines, research and development, work with the dynos. It’s been an experience and its really rejuvenated me.” The future seems to be bright for Hensley and his team and as the economy returns to prosperity so will the Hensley racing crew. “We’ve working on some things now,” Hensley said. “We have some potential sponsors we’re talking to every day, I can’t really go into detail about that. But as the economic picture brightens up I think we’ll pick up where we left off.”(Martinsville Bulletin)(4-8-2002)

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