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BRISTOL, TN - AUGUST 22:  Brad Keselowski driver of the #88 U.S. Navy Chevrolet celebrates in victory Lane with car owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2008 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR) | Getty Images

April 29 – Today in Jayski’s NASCAR history

April 29, 2002

  • Book Signings UPDATE: Deb Williams of Winston Cup Scene and Speed Channel, Monte Dutton of FasTrack and NASCAR historian Bob Latford are among the authors expected for a signing and public Q&A during "NASCAR Night" next Thursday [May 2nd] at Books-A-Million in Hampton, VA. Williams’ recent book on Ray Evernham, Dutton’s on Tony Stewart and Latford’s two on the history of NASCAR will be available, as well as two dozen other motorsports books. Drivers from Southampton, Langley and VMS at Saluda will be there with their cars and WBYM-1490 will broadcast from the store.(Daily Press), also for more book info, see my Racing Bookstore page.(4-26-2002)
    UPDATE: Jay Ahuja, author of Speed Dreams – A Guide to Visiting & Enjoying All 23 NASCAR Tracks, will sign copies of the book at Media Play on Saturday, May 4, from noon to 2:00pm/et, South Blvd & Woodlawn Rd in Charlotte, NC (704-525-2416). Ahuja traveled to NASCAR tracks across the nation and talked with sportswriters, ushers, and ticket holders. He spent hours at each track seeking the best perspective on the race. In Speed Dreams, Charlotte’s own Jay Ahuja shares what he learned on his trek across the country. Whether you want to follow your favorite driver on the road or tour America’s most scenic raceways, you will do it better with this inside information. Speed Dreams is a complete guide to all tracks and their surrounding locales: a detailed overview of every track, layouts, tips on how to get the best available seats, what to see and do before and after the race, and other inside information. Everything for planning a trip is included: advanced phone numbers, local publications and radio stations, drive times between cities, parking tips, nightlife options, related festivals, and a listing of nearby hotels. Where are the best places to see a race or get a driver’s autograph? Which hotels do racing teams stay at while they’re in town? Speed Dreams provides all this and more to help fans plan the trip of a lifetime.(4-29-2002)
  • Lowes Testing: Open testing dates have been confirmed for the Cup, BGN, Goody’s Dash and the ARCA in preparation for The Winston on May 18, the May 26 Coca-Cola 600 and the other stock car events scheduled next month at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Goody’s Dash and ARCA Testing will be held on May 1st. Cup and BGN testing will be on Monday, May 6th and Tuesday May 7th (rain date May 8th for either date). BGN Testing is from 8:00am to 4:00pm each day, Winston Cup Testing run from 4:00 to 10:00pm each day. No word on if it is open to the public.(LMS PR)(4-29-2002)
  • Engine Rules Clarified: NASCAR officials handed out a technical bulletin this weekend that clarified issues with the one-engine rule. The rule had stated that when a team changed engines during a race weekend, it had to start at the rear of the field if it qualified for the race. Now, if a driver wrecks during the practice session before qualifying and has to go to a backup car, the team can change engines and is not forced to start at the rear of the field if it makes the race. If a car blows its engine during practice before qualifying, the old rule remains – the resulting engine change forces the team to start at the rear of the field if it qualifies for the race. If a driver wrecks during or anytime after qualifying and has to go to a backup car, the team is not penalized for the engine change. In those situations, the team would start at the rear of the field for using a different car than was used in qualifying.(Roanoke Times)(4-29-2002)
  • The Rumor that won’t die: [#18 and #20] Car owner Joe Gibbs won’t be changing any sheet metal before the end of the season, so Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte will remain in Pontiacs. But according to Detroit sources, General Motors [um isn’t Chevy GM too?] executives are so worried about losing Stewart and Labonte to Chevrolet next season that they’ve begun negotiations to sign two new teams to fill that void. One of the teams on the Pontiac list is the Cal Wells-Ricky Craven operation [see story below]. A possible Gibbs-Stewart-Labonte switch to Chevrolets next season is a decided possibility, according to Detroit sources and NASCAR sources. A final decision hasn’t been made, but it appears to be looming.(Winston Salem Journal). NOTE: Gibbs is also doing the bulk of the 2003 Pontiac testing, so…..(4-29-2002)
  • Some Fox TV Changes: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reporter Kirsten Gum will be leaving the show in the next few weeks and will be hosting an outdoors show on ESPN2. AND The Fox NASCAR production duo of director Artie Kempner and producer Richie Zyontz have been named the # 1 production team for the NFL coverage on Fox. Previously, the pair had been the network’s # 2 team.(MotorsportsTV)(4-29-2002)
  • Penske to Stick with Ford? Although Penske Racing’s contract with Ford runs out at the end of the season, don’t expect the #2 (Rusty Wallace) and #12 (Ryan Newman) teams to jump ship to another manufacturer anytime soon. Roger Penske has been mentioned as a possible candidate to field Toyotas when the auto manufacturer comes to NASCAR because he owns the greatest number of dealerships. But Toyota isn’t targeted to introduce its first North American V-8 until 2003. Insiders at Penske South expect the teams to renew with Ford.(Sporting News)(4-29-2002)
  • Wind Tunnel Testing Limits? NASCAR officials are considering some type of limits on wind-tunnel testing by Winston Cup teams, because car owners are spending an exorbitant amount of money – some even using wind tunnels in Canada. How to establish rules is the big question. Padlocking all the wind tunnels is not a possibility, apparently, even though NASCAR could draw up contracts with team owners. So NASCAR is looking at asking Detroit’s three car makers for help in addressing the situation.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-29-2002)
  • Roush Hats: Crew members for all the Roush Racing [#’s 6,16,17,97,99] teams wore straw hats, similar to the style worn by car owner Jack Roush, before the race. Roush is recovering from injuries suffered in a plane crash April 19 in Troy, AL.(Roanoke Times). See latest info on Roush below.(4-29-2002)
  • Grissom and the #44: Despite speculation that Steve Grissom’s role with Petty Enterprises is as a short-term replacement for Buckshot Jones, things are going well so far. Grissom already had tested Dodges for the Pettys at Richmond, Talladega and Caraway (N.C.) Speedway before he accepted the #44 ride. The arrangement reunites Grissom with Bryant Frazier, his brother-in-law and former crew chief. They last worked together in 1995 at Diamond Ridge Racing and won the Busch Series title in 1993.(Sporting News)(4-29-2002)
  • More Petty Movie News: Richard Petty and Bill Scott, executive vice president of Petty Enterprises, met Saturday with officials working on a proposed movie about the Petty family. Petty and Scott met at the track with producer Dan Halsted and writer John Warren and went over ideas for the script. Scott said that Warren plans to have a first draft of the script by Memorial Day. Once a script is written, it will be shopped to studios. With actor Dennis Quaid, who is starring in Disney’s "The Rookie," set to play Lee Petty, it could make it easier for the script to be picked by a studio. The studio would determine where filming takes place but Halsted liked the idea of filming at least part of the movie in North Carolina, Scott said.(Roanoke Times), see more on the movie at my #43 Team News and Links page.(4-29-2002)
  • Common Templates? Toyota? NASCAR’s move to common template cars should be completed in time for next season’s Daytona 500, when Pontiac and Chevrolet are expected to debut their own versions of the common template model. Insiders are wondering if that simply opens the door wide for Toyota to step into this sport: if all the bodies are the same, all Toyota has to do is come up with a 358 stock block V-8, and NASCAR probably won’t be giving the OK to any overhead cam versions.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-29-2002)
  • Nemechek in the Winston, with DEI? UPDATE: Word has it that Joe Nemechek will drive a car from the DEI stable in The Winston at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May. Nemechek is eligible for The Winston because of his win at Rockingham last fall [in the #33 Andy Petree ride – which as a team is also eligible], but is currently without a steady Winston Cup Series ride. He was released from Haas-Carter Motorsports when the team’s Kmart sponsorship unraveled. No word on any sponsorship for the deal.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(4-22-2002)
    UPDATE: Joe Nemechek will drive a Dale Earnhardt Inc. car in The Winston next month at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, a Travis Carter spokesman said Sunday. Nemechek won at Rockingham last year with Andy Petree Racing to earn a spot in the all-star race, but Nemechek’s current team is having sponsorship woes. Travis Carter Enterprises isn’t going to field a car for Nemechek in The Winston because a sponsor can’t be found.(RacingOne)(4-29-2002)
  • 500th win for Chevy? calculations show that #48-Jimmie Johnson’s win at California Speedway was Chevrolet’s 500th career Winton Cup win. The 2001 Winston Cup Updates book shows 497 wins at the end of the 2001 season, but it adds up to 498. The UMI Publication’s 2002 Press Guide shows 497 but only has 8 wins listed for Chevy in 2000 but adding up the 2000 totals shows Chevy with 9 wins. So unless I have it wrong, Chevy has 500 wins now, just behind Ford’s total of 520.(4-29-2002)
  • The Iceman 5th now: when #5-Terry Labonte started the race at California, it broke the fifth place tie he had with Bobby Allison. Labonte now has 718 career Winston Cup starts. See my Stats and Stats Links page for the list.(4-30-2002)
  • #48: the last time a Cup car with the #48 won, was in August of 1972 when James Hylton won at Talladega. See my Wins by Number page for all the wins by car numbers. PLUS Johnson is now the eligible to run the 2002 The Winston.(4-29-2002)
  • more numbers: #48-Jimmie Johnson became the 162 different driver to win a Winston Cup race in 1967 races. See my All Time Winston Cup Wins page.(4-29-2002)

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