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ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 10: 2004 NASCAR Busch Series Champion Martin Truex Jr. (L) poses with Dale Earnhardt Jr., co-owner of the Chance 2 Motorsports #8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, and the championship trophy at the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series Awards Ceremony at the Portofino Bay Hotel on December 10, 2004 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images for NASCAR) | Getty Images

May 7 – Today in Jayski’s NASCAR history

May 7, 2003

  • Mike Wallace to sub for Nadeau: Mike Wallace will be the substitute driver for Jerry Nadeau in the #01 U.S. Army/MB2 Motorsports Pontiac, it was announced. Wallace, 44, will be filling in for Nadeau, who is recovering from injuries sustained in a practice crash last Friday at Richmond International Raceway. His first race in the U.S. Army car will be The Winston Open, May 17 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. "We’re appreciative that Mike has agreed to drive the U.S. Army car during Jerry’s absence," said Jay Frye, general manager of MB2 Motorsports. "Mike has a vast amount of experience and we’re confident that he will do a great job. This is a difficult time and we are fortunate to have a veteran like Mike, who will help all of us get through it." In two Winston Cup starts this season with #09 Phoenix Racing, he recorded a ninth-place finish at the Daytona 500. Additionally, in 2003, he has competed in the Busch Series with the #4 Biaggi Brothers car. After 10 starts, he’s 12th in the points with one top-five and two top-10’s to his credit. "First, let me say how much we’re all hoping for a speedy recovery for Jerry," offered Wallace after accepting the U.S. Army ride. "I’m looking forward to helping this team out. It’s a very good, quality race team. I fully understand that I’m helping out on an interim basis. The goal is to keep this car good in the points until Jerry comes back. Perhaps, we can even win a few races along the way."(US Army Racing PR)(5-7-2003)
  • Steve Park Quotes Regarding Release: "Monday afternoon I was released by Dale Earnhardt, Inc. from my contract. I wanted to let everyone know that there are no hard feelings between myself and DEI; companies make decisions like this since that is the nature of the racing business. I will always look back on my years of driving for DEI with much happiness. Together the Pennzoil team and I shared many great memories of winning races and pole positions. It will always be an honor for me that I was the first Winston Cup driver for owner Dale Earnhardt. With my departure from the team, I wish Tony Gibson and the rest of the guys on the crew and at the shop great success. I have enjoyed working with them and know I will see them at the track very soon. I would also like to thank all of my loyal fans who have stood by me through the years, and hope to get all of us back in victory lane very soon."(Steve Park Site)(5-7-2003)
  • Driver Doing Better: Melvin "Puddin" Swisher, who was badly injured in a crash during a Modified stock-car race at Caraway Speedway on March 29, continues to improve, his son, Curtis Swisher, said yesterday. Swisher was in critical condition for nearly a month, recovering from a broken wrist, broken ribs, facial fractures and head injuries. Swisher is now out of intensive care and was moved to acute care over the weekend at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "That’s a good step," Curtis Swisher said. "He’s doing a whole lot better." Curtis Swisher said that his father is "talking and communicating."(Winston Salem Journal)(5-7-2003)
  • Looking at a ‘Bigger’ Car in the future: NASCAR is testing crushable metals, such as aluminum foam, which could help absorb some of the shock of a crash. "On the advice of our two outside experts and car manufacturers, they said about 80 percent of what we could do to improve things would be inside the cockpit and the other 20 percent would be with the rest of the car," NASCAR’s Jim Hunter said. He added that NASCAR is designing a "car of the future," which will be bigger and feature a larger cockpit area. "We have to do that over a period of years so we don’t (make everything in the garage) obsolete overnight," Hunter said.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(5-7-2003)
  • Chase Vehicle Added: NASCAR’s Jim Hunter said NASCAR recently has added a "chase" vehicle to its emergency crew lineup. The vehicle is the first on the scene of an wreck with a NASCAR official at the wheel and an EMT in the passenger seat. "Our position on the medical end is well known," Hunter said. "We prefer to use local EMTs who do that every day as a line of work. We always felt having a local group who does it every day is better than having somebody travel who does it so many weekends a year."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(5-7-2003)
  • NASCAR Safety Process: For those who watched the Richmond International Raceway event last week you might have noticed that the drivers were either fetching their helmets and Head And Neck Safety or Hutchins device, or having them brought to them following the various incidents of the night. This process, which has become part of ritual of a post-incident ride to the infield care center since 2002, gives attending doctors more information as they check to see if a driver might have sustained injuries during the course of a wreck. After the physicians are done with the helmet and head restraint it is turned over to NASCAR’s chief accident investigator, Jerry Kaproth. Kaproth and his accident investigators inspect the driver safety devices and take digital photos of them if there are any issues of merit with the pieces. NASCAR, with each accident, takes a full set of digital photos of the car, which provide a visual record of what worked and areas of the car that might need closer review. This data, along with the "Independent Witness", the black box data recorder information is then entered into a incident data file. NASCAR routinely reviews these data sets with safety experts to see if there’s an immediate fix required, or if the car acted in a predictable fashion. Men, including General Motor’s Tom Gideon and NASCAR safety consultant, John Melvin, review the data upon NASCAR’s request.(Ford Racing)(5-7-2003)
  • Vasser to Winston Cup in 2004? AutoRacing1.com is reporting that CART driver Jimmy Vasser signed last week to run a full season of Winston Cup for 2004.(AutoRacing1.com – need subscription to read), didn’t say which team.(5-7-2003)
  • Cheeiest Car: He may not have won Saturday’s Pontiac Excitement 400, but race car driver Terry Labonte has a distinction no other competitor can tout – a replica of his car made entirely out of cheese. The American Dairy Association unveiled a large scale model car made out of cheese at Richmond International Raceway on Friday in Virginia. It was modeled after Labonte’s No. 5 Chevrolet and carved from 3,500 pounds of yellow cheddar cheese.(see full story and an image at CNN.com)(5-7-2003)
  • Shawna to run ProChallange race: Shawna Robinson will be competing in.a ProChallange series race Saturday evening May 10, 2003 at the Senoia Speedway in Senoia, Georgia. More info on my Driver Appearances page.(5-7-2003)
  • Gordon 23rd fastest Tues: Robby Gordon had the 21rd fastest car at Indy, a speed of 226.607mph in the #27 Dallara/Honda, fastest speed was turned in by his teammate, Dan Wheldon at 231.108. A.J. Foyt’s grandson, A.J. Foyt IV had the 15th fastest car.(Indianapolis Star) AND Gordon posted the 23rd-fastest lap of the day yesterday in preparation for the Indianapolis 500 with a best speed of 226.607 miles per hour (39.7163 seconds) among his 85 laps run.. The Archipelago/Motorola team concentrated on the car’s race balance for the third day in a row, focusing on different downforce levels. Once satisfied with the race set-up, Gordon’s team began changing the car over for a simulated qualifying run. (RCR PR)(5-7-2003)
  • #34 gets an assoc: The Omega Coating Corporation, a high quality custom paint company, has signed on as an associate sponsor of the Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly, NASCAR Busch Series race team for the balance of the 2003 season. Based in Eldorado, Kansas, Omega Coating Corporation is a manufacturer of custom coatings for specialized industries in three designated markets – industrial, aerospace and marine. Omega has utilized the latest technology resin systems in developing its specialized high solids, solvents and water-born coatings, which is the firm’s specialty. All of the #34 LesCare Kitchens Chevrolet Monte Carlo race cars being prepared for driver Mike McLaughlin at Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly will now be painted with Omega products. The team has competed in two races thus far this season under the LesCare sponsorship with nine more on the schedule. The team will next run in the CarQuest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC on Saturday, May 24.(Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly PR)(5-7-2003)
  • Tuesday Testing at Charlotte: #21-Kevin Harvick topped the speed charts Tuesday as NASCAR Busch Series teams tested at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in preparation for the May 24 CARQUEST Auto Parts 300. Persistent showers limited Busch Series drivers and teams to just one hour and 45 minutes of track time. Driving Richard Childress’ #21 Chevy, Harvick posted a lap of 30.161 seconds, 179.039 mph, on the unofficial watches to top the 14 Busch Series teams. Harvick, a four-time Busch Series starter at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, will be looking to duplicate the effort that saw him claim the pole for the 2001 CARQUEST Auto Parts 300. Kyle Busch, who turned 18 on May 2 and plans to make his first Busch Series start in the May 24 race, was second fastest in the #87 Chevrolet at 178.974 mph with Ron Hornaday third quickest at 178.536 mph in the #2 Chevrolet. Matt Kenseth was fourth at 178.341 mph in the #17 Ford with defending CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 winner Jeff Green rounding out the top-five in the #32 Chevrolet at 178.141. The testing session was a homecoming of sorts for Green who was reunited with veteran crew chief Harold Holly for the first time since they won the Busch Series title in 2001. Green already had plans to defend his CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 victory in a car owned by Amick Motorsports and prepared by Holly before he was fired Monday from his Richard Childress Racing Winston Cup ride. The yellow flag was never unfurled during the Busch Series portion of the test. With rain limiting track time for both divisions, the remaining schedule now calls for the Busch Series cars and Craftsman Truck Series machines to run alternating sessions on Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. The trucks are then slated to continue testing until 10 p.m. The main grandstand will be open free to the public. Tickets for all May events at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, including the May 16 Hardee’s 200 and the May 24 CARQUEST Auto Parts 300, are available by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.
    The unofficial top-10 speeds: NASCAR Busch Series:
    #21-Kevin Harvick, 179.039
    #87-Kyle Busch, 178.974
    #2-Ron Hornaday, 178.536
    #17-Matt Kenseth, 178.341
    #32-Jeff Green, 178.141
    #31-Dave Blaney, 178.118
    #33-Tony Raines, 175.393
    #6-Damon Lusk, 172.844
    #56-Tim Sauter, 172.612
    #86-Jeff Fultz, 171.276.(LMS PR)(5-7-2003)
  • Busch at Kentucky: Kyle Busch, driver of the #87 ditech.com Chevy, will make his second start for Hendrick Motorsports on Saturday at Kentucky Speedway in the ARCA Series.(HMS PR)(5-7-2003)
  • New #16 Crew Chief: Chris Showalter, 29, has been promoted to the position of crew chief for the #16 IWX Motor Freight Chevy Truck Series team with driver Travis Kvapil. Showalter, a native of Amherst, Ohio, was the car chief for the 2002 series championship team. He takes over for Dave Fuge Jr., who has left to pursuit other opportunities. "Chris was very critical in our championship last season," said Dave Fuge Sr., team manager. "He has contributed so much to our team as far as his technical knowledge and also his leadership skills. He will be a very good crew chief for this team." Showalter, who currently resides in Charlotte, takes over immediately as the team is involved with testing for the upcoming Hardee’s 200 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. An interesting note about Showalter is that he is one of only two people who have attended every NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event in the nine year history of the series. (The other with "perfect attendance" is Owen Kearns, Manager of Communications, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series).(PR)(5-7-2003)

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