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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, 2001

  • Pruett Wins: Scott Pruett took the overall checkered flag at the 25th annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race from a field of celebrity and professional drivers — just edging out last year’s winner Josh Brolin. Toyota dealer Tom Rudnai barely won the celebrity category over Olympic Gold medalist swimmer Dara Torres — the best-ever female finisher in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race and the pole position winner. As part of the event, Toyota raised over $200,000 for “Racing for Kids,” a national fund-raising program to benefit children’s hospitals in Long Beach, Los Angeles and Orange counties through its involvement with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The 10-lap race, held on the 1.99-mile Champ Car track, features a field of 17 drivers and will be broadcast in its entirety on ESPN, Saturday, April 28 at 3:00pm/et.(Business Wire/SpeedVision)(4-8-2001)
  • Nadeau, Stewart and Blaney hit the dirt at Lowes UPDATE: Jerry Nadeau plans to drive a new DIRT modified owned and prepared by Hendrick Motorsports employees and veteran DIRT mechanics Charlie Langenstein and Ray “Rizzo” Schepler in the April 7 Eckerd 100 Advance Auto Parts Modified Super DIRT Series event at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The Eckerd 100 is scheduled to be Nadeau’s inaugural race in a big-block DIRT modified and his first dirt-track appearance in nearly a decade. The Eckerd 100 is slated to be the first of three to five races Nadeau runs this season in the #2L R&C Motorsports Ventures DIRT modified. Tony Stewart is slated to drive the #20 GE Sealants & Adhesives-Extreme Silicone Tech/TEO entry owned by long-time DIRT Motorsports supporter Brian Goewey while Dave Blaney, a veteran of the DIRT Modified ranks whose father still campaigns a similar car in Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, is entered in a #74 TEO machine also owned by Goewey. The Eckerd 100 will be run in conjunction with the April 5-8 Food Lion AutoFair, one of the nation’s largest car shows and automotive swap meets. More info at the LMS Site(4-5-2001)
    UPDATE: 10,846 fans cheered during the inaugural Eckerd 100 Advance Auto Parts Modified Super DIRT Series event Saturday night at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Steve “The Hurricane” Paine of Waterloo, N.Y., and Brett “The Jet” Hearn of Sussex, N.J., shared the victory podium as the New York-based DIRT Motorsports organization brought its unique brand of modified stock car racing to the Carolinas for the first time. Both Paine and Hearn took home $5,000 for their victories. Paine started fifth in the first 50-lap event and took the lead on lap 20 en route to his second straight Super DIRT Series feature victory of the season. Hearn finished second in the first race with Billy Decker third, Alan Johnson fourth and Pat Ward fifth. Nadeau finished 31st in the 1st feature, Stewart finished 14th in the 1st and 13th in the 2nd feature and Blaney finished 35th in the 1st and 23rd in the 2nd feature(LMS Site) and see a story and pictures at Speed Illustrated(4-8-2001)
  • Another Driver Death: The latest NASCAR driver to die of a basilar skull fracture was eulogized here with about 60 people present. He was no Dale Earnhardt. Just an obscure rookie driver who died the same way as the NASCAR legend. Michael Roberts was a 50-year-old single parent who left behind a heartbroken daughter, Taylor — two years younger than Earnhardt’s 12-year-old daughter, Taylor. Roberts, who was memorialized Friday, died March 24 at I-44 Speedway near Lebanon, Mo. He was driving 80 mph on the 3/8-mile track — 100 mph slower than Earnhardt was when he hit a concrete wall on the last lap of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18. Roberts was the fifth NASCAR driver in 11 months to die of injuries caused by violent head movement and the fourth to die of basilar skull fracture.(see full story at the Orlando Sentinel)(4-8-2001)
  • Hornaday to run a BGN race: Hornaday Racing has just purchased a 2001 Chevrolet Busch car to add to their stable. They will be announcing that Ronnie Hornaday (Ron’s son) will be running his 1st Busch race in the very near future and where(Ronnie Hornaday Site)(4-8-2001).
  • Riggs Wins: #2-Scott Riggs was able to bounce back from trouble early in Saturday’s Advance Auto Parts 250 at Martinsville Speedway to record his first career CTS victory. A pit-stop collision 86 laps into Saturday’s race knocked Riggs out of the top 20. But the Durham, NC driver remained calm and worked his way into the lead on lap 143, a lead he never relinquished. Riggs said he “just tried to remain calm” after the pit-road skirmish onlap 86 damaged the front end of his Dodge. Rookie #60-Travis Kvapil finished second to match his career-best finish while #29-Terry Cook was third. Pole-sitter #18-Joe Ruttman wound up fourth while #61-Randy Tolsma was fifth. Although Riggs picked up his first Craftsman Truck Series win Saturday, the second-year driver had been off to an incredible start. In the first three races of the year, Riggs finished third, fourth and fifth. Riggs led 108 laps while Winston Cup regular Bobby Hamilton led 133 laps after taking the lead from pole-sitter Ruttman on the 10th lap.(Martinsville Speedway PR), see the results at That’s Racin’: Advance Auto Parts 250 results(4-8-2001)

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