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April 2002 Busch Series Archive

  • Vickers and the General: #40 BGN driver Brian Vickers will have a special guest at the Hardee’s 250 in Richmond, on Friday, May 3. Major General Terry E. Juskowiak of the U.S. Army, a two-star general, who assumed command of the Quartermaster Center and School, Fort Lee, Virginia in July 2001, will attend the event as Vickers’ guest. “This is an honor for me and our entire #40 EMP/U.S. Army team,” said the 18-year-old Vickers. “To have someone as important as Major General Juskowiak taking interest in our program, and taking time from his busy schedule to attend the race, is truly special.” The Commanding General earned a degree in political science from The Citadel, and earned his master’s degree from the Florida Institute of Technology. Major General Juskowiak has participated in Operation Just Cause in Panama, Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and Operation Desert Fox (Kuwait). Among other decorations, the Commanding General is authorized the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Commendation Medal and the Army Achievement Medal. Command Sergeant Major Bradley Peat will join Major General Juskowiak at the race(brianvickers.com)(4-30-2002)
  • Short Track Wisconsin Racer to make BGN debut: Lowell Bennett, one of the most accomplished short-track drivers in Wisconsin, winning FRRC titles in 1991 and ’98 and was the Red, White and Blue champion at WIR in 1999. In addition to winning titles at Slinger Speedway in 1996, 2000 and last year, Bennett also won the World Series of Asphalt Racing in Florida in 1997 and is a two-time champion of the Midwest All-Star Racing Series (1999 and 2000). Bennsett, 43, recently purchased a car from the BACE Motorsports team and intends to compete in up to five BGN races this year, starting with the June 30 race at the Milwaukee Mile. The timing was perfect for Bennett because BACE recently announced that, with help from Andy Petree, who owns the Winston Cup #55 car driven by Bobby Hamilton, it was going to become more involved in Winston Cup with its driver, Chad Little, for at least 15 races. Thus, it needed to unload some of its Busch cars. Bennett has already applied for his NASCAR license, and when he gets it he’ll be approved to race on tracks up to one-mile in length. “They took into consideration my experience, the champion-ships and the things we’ve been doing.” Bennett said. “I had to give them references and I gave them Rusty Wallace and Rich Bickle, two guys I’ve gotten to know pretty well. Everything I submitted is in order. I’m just waiting for a number and a rulebook.” In addition to Milwaukee, he’s also looking at entering the races at Gateway in Madison, Ill., Indianapolis Raceway Park, Memphis and possibly one more. He also plans to defend his championship at Slinger on Sunday nights, and run as many races as he can at Wisconsin International Raceway, as long as he doesn’t have a Busch conflict. “We have a dynamite motor program with Carl Wegner, but we’re going to be racing against people who have 25 to 30 employees and 12 cars,” he said.(paraphrased from the Post-Crescent) and more info on the Lowell Bennett Motorsports site(4-30-2002)
  • #19 gets a sponsor for Richmond: Cox Communications Northern Virginia announced today it would sponsor BGN driver Tim Sauter and his #19 AP Performance Racing Chevrolet in this weekend’s Hardee’s 250 at Richmond International Raceway. The Cox logo will be on the hood of the #19 car with the familiar blue, red and green colors. Joining Cox in the #19 car sponsorship will be Toshiba, Speed Channel and CompUSA who will also have their company’s logos on the car. Sauter is coming off a career-best performance – a seventh-place finish -in the most recent BGN race at California Speedway. To highlight this partnership, Sauter’s #19 Chevy will sport a special electric blue paint scheme for the nighttime Richmond race.(AP Performance Racing PR)(4-30-2002)
  • Riggs wins at California: Rookie #10-Scott Riggs won Saturday’s Auto Club 300 at California Speedway after a late-race caution and red flag bunched the field, but Riggs still held off #21-Jeff Green by .991 seconds for the win, his second of the season and second in the past three races. The rookie also won the BGN race at Nashville. #59-Stacy Compton was third; #24-Jack Sprague, who started on the pole [due to rain per points], was fourth; and #57-Jason Keller rounded out the top five. Sprague maintains his lead in the series points race. See results at ThatsRacin.com or BGNRacing.com.(4-27-2002)
  • Hendrick Back at RIR…maybe: Ricky Hendrick, who suffered a shoulder injury in Las Vegas BGN race last month, plans to return to his #5 GMAC Chevy next weekend at Richmond. Before he can officially take back the wheel from substitute Ron Hornaday, however, Hendrick must first pass a test. Not one set by NASCAR, but one set up by his father, Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick. Ricky Hendrick will test at Concord (NC) Motorsports Park Tuesday and must run a simulated full-length race (approximately 200 laps) to make sure he has the endurance to compete at Richmond. “That’s the deal. I have to drive a whole race before they let me get in the car on race day,” Ricky Hendrick, 22, said. “It’s too soon for me to be a team owner and all I want to do is drive. It’s in my blood and I can’t wait to get back in the seat.”(ThatsRacin.com)(4-27-2002)
  • Chad Harris to run BGN race at Lowes? Chad Harris won the Late Model Stock race last Saturday night at New River Valley Speedway. With the victory, Harris earned a chance to qualify for the May25 Busch Grand National Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C.(Roanoke Times), not sure why or with what team.(4-26-2002)
  • California Qualifying Rained out – Sprague to start first: Qualifying was rained out at California Speedway for the Auto Club 300. BGN points leader, #24-Jack Sprague will be on the pole. For the starting lineup, see the BGN Racing site, which is two years old today, congrats. Or at MotorsportsOne.(4-26-2002)
  • Parker to honor cousin: Defending Auto Club 300 winner, #36-Hank Parker, Jr. will race with a special decal in memory of his 26-year-old cousin, who passed away in a car accident one week ago. It will read “In Memory of Amber.” (Calif Speedway Site)(4-26-2002)
  • Burton to have special scheme at Calif: GAIN Laundry Detergent will debut a new paint scheme this weekend in California at the Auto Club 300. Not to worry though, driver Jeff Burton will still be driving the famed orange and green car that Darrell Waltrip so fondly refers to as “pork chop”. GAIN has added palm trees to the car to introduce the new Island Fresh scent detergent. “The paint scheme will help GAIN build awareness for our new Island Fresh scent,” says Cindy Mattingly, Racing Manager for GAIN. “The scent is both tropical and exhilarating and is available in stores now in powder and liquid form. Now the smell says clean three ways with Regular, Gentle Breeze and Island Fresh.”(Roush Racing)(4-26-2002)
  • #19 gets sponsor for California: Tim Sauter and the #19 AP Performance Racing team announced a one-race sponsorship with Global Industrial Contractors, Inc. (GIC) for this weekend’s Auto Club 300 NASCAR BGN race at California Speedway. Corporately located in Shafter, CA, Global Industrial Contractors is an industrial construction company that does HVAC, electrical and mechanical design, installation and construction. GIC’s customers are Fortune 500 companies in the food service and industrial construction industry across the United States and Hawaii. GIC was formed in 1996 by owner and company president, James C. Whitener, who brings over 20 years experience in the construction industry to the customer. Sauter’s #19 AP Performance Racing Chevy is without a full-time sponsor this season. Sauter plans to race the entire 2002 BGN schedule regardless of securing sponsorship. This is the third time this season the AP team has accepted a one-race sponsorship association and the team has responded since posting a season’s best 10th-place finish in Nashville and a Top-10 qualifying effort in Talladega.(Motorsports Management Group PR)(4-26-2002)
  • #49 gets California sponsor: Caliber Collision Centers, an Irvine-based operator of high-quality collision repair facilities in California and Texas, announced an agreement for the second year in a row to sponsor Jay Robinson Racing car #49 to be driven by Andy Kirby in the NASCAR BGN race at the California Speedway in Fontana.(BusinessWire)(4-26-2002)
  • #49 Assoc sponsor for May: The “r3bmotorsports.com Power of the Fans” logo will be literally flying high at NASCAR Busch Series races in May. The logo, which represents the sponsorship effort of the members of the R3B Motorsports Fan Sponsored Racing Club, will be on the Jay Robinson Racing #49 as an associate sponsor. In addition, the logo will by flying high over the pits, as the sign on the end of the pit board sign pole during the team’s pit stops. R3B members from 11 states; New York to Georgia and as far west as Iowa, will join the team trackside at May Busch races in Richmond, Nazareth and Charlotte. As a benefit of their membership, they will get an up close view of all the racing action and have access to places many fans only dream of. More information on the R3B Motorsports Fan Sponsored Racing Club can be found on the r3bmotorsports.com website, or by calling toll-free 1-866-R3B-5277.(4-26-2002)
  • Keller wins wreck fest at Talladega: #57-Jason Keller won the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega on Saturday, his second BGN wins of the season and 7th of his career, holding off #59-Stacy Compton by .163 seconds in a race that saw just three of 43 cars on the lead lap at the finish. On Lap 14 of 117, rookies #10-Scott Riggs and #47-Shane Hmiel started a chain-reaction accident exiting Turn 2 that eventually collected a total of 29 cars. With cars on the fastest area of the track, it was difficult for many to slow in time to miss the melee. “I had a run on Kenny (Wallace) on the outside and I got about two or three feet on him there and he hit my front end and I had to check up and catch it, and I did,” Riggs said. “I just got hit from behind. You can’t check up when you run these kinds of speeds.” Pole-winner Johnny Sauter’s #2 Chevy flipped on its hood and then rolled side-over-side. Mike McLaughlin’s #18 car ended up on top of two others. “I saw them all wrecking and I figured my hole was going to close up sooner or later, but I didn’t know it was going to close up from above,” said #99-Michael Waltrip of the number of airborne cars in the accident. The race was red-flagged for more than 40 minutes while the track was cleaned. Despite the scale of the accident, no drivers were injured. When the race restarted, 14 cars were running, 13 of them on the lead lap. The top three in BGN points now stand at: #24-Sprague, 1,169; #57-Keller, 1,147; #7-R.LaJoie, 1,079. See ThatsRacin.com for a column, Keller misses BGN melee, wins, and for Aaron’s 312 race results.(4-20-2002)
  • Mears crashes in Happy Hour: #66-Casey Mears wrecked during Happy Hour and will have to go to a back up car.(BGN Racing). #59-Compton was the fastest at 192.000mph.(4-20-2002)
  • Hamilton’s Qualifying lap no good UPDATE: #25 Bobby Hamilton Jr.’s qualifying speed for Saturday’s BGN race at Talladega was disallowed after his #25 Ford was found to have shock absorbers that did not comply with NASCAR rules. The team had to use a provisional to get in the field and will start 37th. No fine was issued. NASCAR officials seized the parts.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-19-2002)
    UPDATE: During the BGN inspection process after Thursday’s qualifying for the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega, the #25 Ford (driven by Bobby Hamilton, Jr.) was found to have shock absorbers that did not comply with NASCAR rules. The #25 car’s original fifth-place qualifying time was disallowed. The car will use a provisional spot, and will start 37th in the field Saturday. The #25 was found to have piston bleed holes that were too small for the shock body diameter being used by the car. Per subsection 20A – 12.3 in the NASCAR Busch Series rule book, shock body diameters between 1.771-1.820 inches are required to use .031-inch diameter bleed holes. The No. 25 was found to have .030-inch bleed holes. No fine was issued; NASCAR officials confiscated the illegal parts.(NASCAR PR)(4-20-2002)
  • Sauter wins pole at Talladega: #2-Johnny Sauter won the pole for the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega with a speed of 188.764mph, more then a mph faster the the outside pole sitter, #59-Stacy Compton at 187.511. #87-Joe Nemechek was third, #21-Jay Sauter was 4th and #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr.was 5th. For Lineup/qualifying results see ThatsRacin.com or BGN Racing or MotorsportsOne.(4-19-2002)
  • Ruttman to run 2nd Phoenix Racing car: Upon learning there were only 42 entries for Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 BGN race, crew chief Marc Reno decided to roll the back-up car off the hauler and attempt to qualifying it as well. Veteran driver Joe Ruttman, who has tested for the team on many occasions including last week at Talladega, is scheduled to attempt a qualifying run in the #51 Yellow Pontiac when the two-lap time trials start at 5:00pm/et today. Jimmy Spencer, like always, will be in the #1 Pontiac. The 58-year old Ruttman has tested for the Yellow Racing Team on many occasions, including last week here at Talladega. He has 13 career CTS wins, the last at Pikes Peak in 2001. He also won Daytona earlier that year. Phoenix Racing was already slated for a double-duty weekend with an entry in Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 Winston Cup race. Driver Geoffrey Bodine will attempt to qualify that car [#09 Ford] Friday. He finished third in the Daytona 500. The back-up car Ruttman will attempt to qualify is the same one Spencer finished second with here last year. Spencer will be driving the car he ran at Daytona to start the 2002 season.(PR)(4-18-2002)
  • Fedawa to driver at Talladega: Tim Fedewa, looking for a BGN ride in 2002 and helping out Mike Wallace’s #4 team from the spotter’s tower, got a call to drive in Saturday’s Aaron’s 312. It will be in Wallace’s backup car, the Biagi Brothers Chevrolet. Fedewa will drive a plain white car, likely sporting #41 and no other markings.(Anniston Star)(4-18-2002)
  • Light Entry list: NASCAR.com’s BGN Talladega entry list is at 42 cars for 43 spots, not counting #41-Tim Fedawa. #17-Kenseth and #71-Lapage dropped out.(4-18-2002)
  • Kirby in Brewco car at Daytona: Brewco Motorsports owner Clarence Brewer is planning to field an entry for driver Andy Kirby in the July 5 race at Daytona.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(4-18-2002)
  • New Site: www.timsauter.net.(4-18-2002)
  • Hendrick remains off the track: BGN rookie #5 Ricky Hendrick will remain sidelined this week at Talladega Superspeedway and next week at California. Hendrick, who needed reconstructive shoulder surgery after a crash at Las Vegas last month, could return for the May 3 race at Richmond. Although his rehab is going well, doctors want Hendrick to sit at least two more weeks to allow the torn ligaments to heal.(Daytona Brach News Journal)(4-17-2002)
  • Assoc sponsor for Hmiel: Innovative Motorsports announced that Amarr Garage Doors will become an associate sponsor on the #47 Thomas Pacconi Classics Chevy driven by Shane Hmiel. Amarr’s logo will adorn Hmiel’s #47 at Talladega, California, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Chicagoland and Phoenix. Amarr Garage Doors has been known and respected for its standard of excellence since 1951. Since opening its doors in Winston-Salem, North Carolina as a local building supply house, Amarr has strived to deliver superior products and service.(IMI PR)(4-17-2002)
  • Vickers BGN driver [#40] Brian Vickers will tour the Pentagon, headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, as a guest of the U.S. Army on Wednesday, April 24. He will then visit the White House, as a guest of Congressman Bart Stupak, on Thursday, April 25. The 18-year-old high school senior drives the #40 Engineered Machined Products/U.S. Army National Automotive Center Dodge in the BGN. “It is an honor to be invited by the U.S. Army to tour the Pentagon, and by Congressman Stupak to visit the White House,” said Vickers, who hails from Thomasville, N.C.. “The Pentagon and White House are institutions, and symbols of America after the events of Sept. 11, this is even more evident. To have this opportunity is very special It is sure to be a great learning experience.” Congressman Stupak represents Michigan’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Engineered Machined Products, headquartered in Escanaba, Mich., is the primary sponsor of Vickers’ #40, and is located in the First Congressional District. Vickers will travel to the Washington, D.C. area after a two-day test session (April 22-23) at Richmond International Raceway. The test is to prepare for the Hardee’s 250 NASCAR Busch Series race at that venue on May 3.(Vickers PR)(4-17-2002)
  • Lewis Penalized: NASCAR officials have announced a penalty for NASCAR BGN driver Ashton Lewis, of the #46 Chevy, received a $2,500 fine and was placed on probation until June 12, 2002 for rough driving in Saturday’s Nashville 300 at the Nashville Superspeedway.(NASCAR PR)(4-16-2002)
  • #48 Team and Crew Chief Split: hearing that crew chief Bobby Foley, was released after the Texas race as Crew Chief for the #48 Stacker 2 Team with Innovative Motorsports. No word on a new crew chief. Foley worked with Rodney Sawyers in the CTS race at Martinsville this past weekend and is looking for a full time crew chief position.(4-16-2002)
  • Riggs wins in his 7th start – ties record: #10-Scott Riggs led only once for the final 47 laps Saturday as he got his first BGN victory in just his seventh start on the circuit at the Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway, tying a record for the quickest victory by a rookie. Johnny Rumley also won in his seventh start, in 1993. #24-Jack Sprague took four tires in his final stop and finished second for a second consecutive week. He was followed by #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. who came from a lap down for his best-ever BGN finish, #23-Scott Wimmer and #57-Jason Keller as Fords filled three of the top five positions. Sprague took over the points lead. See ThatsRacin.com for Saturday’s Grand National race results.(4-13-2002)
  • Hmiel on the pole at Nashville: rookie #47-Shane Hmiel won the pole at Nashville Superspeedway with a speed of 161.439 for a new track BGN record. #57-Jason Keller will start 2nd with a speed of 161.103. #60-Greg Biffle had to use a provisional after spinning and hitting the wall. For results/lineup see ThatsRacin.com or MotorsportsOne or the BGN Racing site.(4-12-2002)
  • #17 Team Get’s a Sponsor? #17 Team owner John Reiser said he’s close to obtaining a sponsorship package which would allow him to continue racing a limited schedule with driver Matt Kenseth. The deal could include up to 15 races. “We don’t have anything solid, but I believe it will happen,” Reiser said. “How can I not be optimistic, when we have a team with this driver, that has the ability to run up front? Somebody will want to sponsor us.” Of course, a few weeks ago, Reiser thought he had a deal ready with JaniKing, but it fell through when the janitorial franchiser went with driver Kerry Earnhardt and #12 FitzBradshaw Racing. Reiser, who enjoyed sponsorship from Visine last season, admits that if this latest proposal falls through, he will not run races out of his own pocket. Regardless of what happens with his current sponsorship search, Reiser said he’s “probably 80 percent done” in securing sponsorship to run 15-20 races in 2002 and 2003. But that’s little consolation to him now.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to see)(4-11-2002)
  • New Site: NetZero enhanced its NASCAR marketing initiative today with the launch of www.teamnetzero.com, a website featuring information about Jack Sprague and the #24 NetZero Chevy BGN entry. “The Team NetZero Racing website is a great addition to our program with Jack and the NetZero Chevy,” stated Brian Woods, chief marketing officer of NetZero. “As a leading value-priced Internet service provider, it’s natural for NetZero to have a website where race fans can go to get information about the team. The site will be packed with race stories and photos. There are also links to Jack Sprague’s Fan Club and Merchandise. It’s a great site and everyone associated with the team and the project is excited about it’s launch.” NetZero is a United Online company.(Motorsports Management Group PR)(4-9-2002)
  • New crew chief for the #19: Bobby Bakeeff has been named the new crew chief for Tim Sauter and the #19 AP Performance Chevy BGN team. Bakeeff, a Hialeah, FL native, leaves his position as car chief for the #17 Reiser Enterprises BGN effort driven by Matt Kenseth. Bakeeff worked for Reiser Enterprises for the past three years and will be reunited with the fleet of Chevrolet Monte Carlos AP Performance purchased from the Reiser organization prior to the start of the 2002 Busch Series season. Bakeeff’s racing resume also includes a stint at Akins Motorsports with drivers Elton Sawyer and Glenn Allen, Jr. Bakeeff replaces Joe Shear, Jr. as the AP crew chief. Shear will continue to work with the team as a shock and set-up specialist.(Motorsports Management Group PR)(4-9-2002)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • HRT Returns: On Saturday in the TMS Media Center, CICLÓN International S.A., producer and distributor of CICLÓN Energy Drink, announced a multi-race agreement to be the primary sponsor of HRT Motorsports’ NASCAR Busch Series #09 entry driven by Roberto Guerrero. CICLÓN Energy Drink’s entry into NASCAR coincides perfectly with its’ expansion into the United States. CICLÓN Energy Drink is distributed in 14 countries throughout South America, Central America and the Caribbean. Elmar Scheiber, CEO of CICLÓN International S.A.: “I was extremely pleased at the platform HRT Motorsports presented to me earlier this year. Not only at their ability to run in NASCAR and reach the North American market we are now entering, but to also reach our already strong Hispanic consumer. I was amazed at the extent of their platform, consisting of their Spanish language Television show, their interactive database with Interactive Fan Club and, of course, their on-track capabilities with Roberto Guerrero. It was something noone else was offering, and something I didn’t think was even remotely possible. I am very excited about the possibilities.” Rudy Rodriguez, co-owner of HRT Motorsports and Dallas native: “I think they are a perfect match for us. CICLÓN Energy Drink is well-known on an international level, and now we have a direct say in introducing it to the great NASCAR fan.” Roberto Guerrero has been working with HRT since his 25th-place finish at the Indianapolis 500 in 1999. In May of 2000, he entered the BGN race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C., but he failed to qualify. Roberto Guerrero: “I think it’s wonderful. It has been a long time coming, but I know Rudy (Rodriguez) and Mike (Vazquez, owners of HRT Motorsports) have been non-stop since we met in 1999 to make their diversity initiative happen. They have put their heart and soul into HRT because it is something they truly believe in, and I know they will do the same for CICLÓN. I just can’t wait to get started.” The complete press release can be found at: www.HRTMotorsports.com.(TMS Site)
    AND HRT Motorsports, a team owned by cousins Rudy Rodriguez and Mike Vasquez, announced plans Saturday to run five BGN races this year with Roberto Guerrero as a driver. The sponsor will be Ciclon, an energy drink based in Panama that has primarily been marketed in the Caribbean. That gives the team owners, a driver and a sponsor who are primarily Hispanic, and the team plans to market itself to that community. It tentatively plans to run five races this year beginning at Lowe’s Motor Speedway at Charlotte in May.(ThatsRacin.com)
    AND more tidbits from the PR: HRT Motorsports, established in 1999 as the first NASCAR team with both Hispanic owners and Hispanic drivers, plans on running a limited schedule of 5 races in 2002 commencing in Charlotte for the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 on May 25, 2002, with full-time plans for the 2003 season and beyond. Other confirmed races in their 2002 schedule include the Hills Brothers Coffee 300 in Chicago on July 13, 2002 and the GNC Live Well 300 in Homestead on November 16,, 2002. Their remaining schedule will be confirmed and announced shortly, however, other potential races include: the Food City 250 in Bristol on August 23, 2002, the Aaron’s 312 in Atlanta on October 26, 2002, and the Arizona 200 in Phoenix on November 9, 2002. In addition to HRT Motorsports’ plans for Roberto and their #09 entry, HRT is now also working on securing primary sponsorship for their second Busch Series team, #82 recently assigned by NASCAR, for brother Jaime Guerrero.(4-7-2002)
  • #19 Tire Carrier Injured: Shawn Pincola, a tire carrier with the #19 team of driver Tim Sauter, was hit by a loose tire during a round of pit stops on Lap 43 of Saturday’s O’Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. Pincola was taken to the infield care center, then transported to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas for further evaluation.(ThatsRacin.com). AND Pincola was conscious and talking to the medical workers. Pincola’s team is the No. 19 O’Reilly Chevrolet owned by Alex Pinsonneault. According to The Associated Press, Pincola was released from the hospital Saturday night.(Dallas Morning News)(4-7-2002)
  • Purvis wins at Texas in a rain shortened event: The timing was perfect for #37-Jeff Purvis. Purvis was running well in Saturday’s O’Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway but not quite up front. When all the race leaders pit on Lap 108, Purvis’s team elected to take just two tires when most of the others took four. When #4-Mike Wallace, who stayed out initially, finally went to pit road, Purvis took over the race lead. The race never restarted after that, finally red-flagged for rain on Lap 116 and giving Purvis his fourth career win and first of the season for his #37 Brewco Motorsports team. In fact, Purvis’s previous best finish this season was 18th at Rockingham and he still has not led a green-flag lap this season. “This team deserves this win,” Purvis said. Crew chief “Terry Shirley decided to take on two tires and I wasn’t going to question him on that call. We had a good race car all day. It was a good day to lead a lap or two. I’ll take it any way we can get it.” #24-Jack Sprague finished second; #87-Joe Nemechek was third; rookie #10-Scott Riggs fourth; and pole-winner #21-Jeff Green rounded out the top five. Green took over the series points lead.(ThatsRacin.com), see the TMS Site for O’Reilly 300 Busch Series Finishing Order or at the BGN Racing site. The race was called due to rain at 6:24pm/ct.(4-6-2002)
  • Jeff Green wins Texas pole with a new Track Record: #21-Jeff Green took the pole at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 193.493mph, which is faster than the Cup pole record. #87-Joe Nemechek(192.994), #2-Johnny Sauter(192.218), #1-Jimmy Spencer(192.088) and #17-Matt Kenseth(191.843) round out the top 5. Matt Kenseth held the old track record speed at 189.880mph, 19 drivers were faster on Thursday.
    See Starting Grids at ThatsRacin.comNASCAR.com.
    Four drivers missed the race: #81 Dwayne Leik; #44 Mike Harmon; #73 Jason Schuler; and #32 Dan Pardus.(4-4-2002)
  • Tim Sauter gets sponsor for Texas: O’Reilly Autoparts has announced a one race primary sponsorship for Tim Sauter’s #19 AP Performance Chevy in the O’Reilly Autoparts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. The AP Performance Racing Team has raced the full 2002 BGN so far with no sponsorship, yet this week managed to break into the Top 20 in points.(Motorsports Management Group PR)(4-5-2002)
  • Spencer and Kirby to team up UPDATE 3: Plans are being made for Jimmy Spencer to put his Busch Series team back on the track, with Stuart Kirby behind the wheel and a joint venture between the Air Force and the Racing: My Anti-Drug program as the sponsor. Kirby would debut the Spencer Motor Ventures Chevrolet at Texas, and run a total of about 18 races. Peter Guild will build the team’s engines. Past that, Spencer is in the process of hiring a crew chief, who’ll oversee the operation along with longtime Busch Series team owner Frank Cicci. The sponsorship deal with the Air Force and the Racing: My Anti-Drug campaign hasn’t been signed, according to Spencer, who filmed an anti-drug public service announcement while in Daytona.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(2-21-2002)
    UPDATE: Jimmy Spencer has hired Larry Carter as the new crew chief of Spencer Motor Venture’s #34 BGN Chevy that will be driven by Stuart Kirby. Carter comes over to Spencer Motor Venture from Haas Carter Motorsports where he was the crew chief on the #66 Kmart Ford driven by Todd Bodine.(Spencer Motor Ventures PR).(3-7-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Spencer Motor Ventures has scheduled a press conference at the Texas Motor Speedway on April 5th at 1:45pm to unveil their new sponsorship with driver Stuart Kirby. The #34 BGN team will test March 26-27 at the Texas Motor Speedway and is entered in the O’Reilly 300 BGN race April 6th at Texas.(Spencer Motor Ventures PR)(3-23-2002)
    UPDATE 3: The U.S. Air Force announced a partnership today with the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to carry anti-drug messages to millions of young people with a specially designed “Racing: My Anti-Drug” car to be driven by rookie Stuart Kirby during 15 televised races this year. The Air Force will kick off their participation in the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign at a press conference April 5th at the Texas Motor Speedway. Kirby will drive the car on its inaugural race April 6th in the O’Reilly 300. NASCAR has a fan base of 75 million; three million of whom are teenagers, the media campaign’s target audience. “Our partnership is a natural fit,” said Brig. Gen. Duane Deal, commander of Air Force Recruiting Service. “One of our core messages to young people is they must graduate from high school drug free. We want young men and women to keep all of their career options open. Drug use closes many of the doors they have otherwise open.” “The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign encourages youth to seek out the positive things in their lives that stand between them and drugs,” said John P. Walters, director of ONDCP. “We know that for many young people, being involved in sports is a powerful deterrent to using drugs. Joining efforts with the U.S. Air Force and a young talent such as Stuart Kirby drives home the message that by rejecting drugs, your goals can be achieved.” Kirby is a 20-year old Kentucky native who began racing go-karts at the age of 11. After winning local and state races, he moved on to world competitions and fulfilled his teen-age dream of racing at the Daytona International Speedway. He attributes his success to the influence of his father and his devotion to the sport. “Racing has always been the one thing that keeps me going,” said Kirby. “Driving in NASCAR is a goal I would never have accomplished if I had wasted my time with drugs.” By carrying the “Racing: My Anti-Drug” brand on his car, Kirby plans to promote anti-drug messages to NASCAR fans and youth across America. He will join veteran NASCAR driver Jimmy Spencer in using interviews and appearances to engage youth in considering and declaring their Anti-Drugs, or the positive things that stand between them and drugs.(US Air Force PR)(4-4-2002)
    see my BGN Paint Schemes page for an image of the car.(4-5-2002)
  • Kerry Earnhardt to Cup in 2003 and 2004: FitzBradshaw Racing, in its first year in BGN competition, hopes to run five Winston Cup events next season — including Texas Motor Speedway. The team, co-owned by Armando Fitz and Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw, currently ranks 27th in the BGN standings with Kerry Earnhardt driving the #12 car. The team’s goal is to compete full-time in the 2004 Winston Cup circuit with Earnhardt — the oldest son of the late Dale Earnhardt — while adding a rookie driver for the BGN. After announcing a sponsorship deal with Jani-King on Thursday, Fitz said he hopes to get enough sponsorship for Earnhardt to race five Winston Cup events in 2003. Along with TMS, Fitz said Charlotte, Atlanta, Michigan and California would probably fill out the abbreviated Cup schedule. A driver can race up to seven Winston Cup events without losing his rookie status.(Dallas Morning News)(4-5-2002)
  • #12 Gets sponsors UPDATE 2: Just Born, Inc. has signed with FitzBradshaw as a primary and major associate sponsor for the BGN in 2002 and 2003. Hot Tamales, made by Just Born, will be primary sponsor of the #12 Chevy driven by Kerry Earnhardt in Nazareth on May 19; Darlington on August 31; and Rockingham on November 2. The company’s major associate sponsorship of the car began with the Bristol race on March 23 and continues throughout the remainder of the season. Specifics of next year’s relationship have not been determined pending the release of the 2003 schedule, but FitzBradshaw Racing’s co-owner Armando Fitz confirmed that Hot Tamales will continue in both a primary and major associate role with the team and Earnhardt in 2003. Earnhardt is a rookie on the BGN this year after two successful years racing in the ARCA Series. FitzBradshaw Racing is co-owned by Fitz and Pro Football Hall of Fame member and FOX broadcaster Terry Bradshaw.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-26-2002)
    UPDATE: and JaniKing has come aboard for six races, the first being Nashville and will be a major assoc on the car for other races.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(3-28-2002)
    UPDATE 2: FitzBradshaw Racing has secured Jani-King, the nation’s leading commercial cleaning franchise company, as a primary sponsor and major associate sponsor for the BGN for 2002 and 2003. Jani-King will be will be primary sponsor of the #12 Chevy driven by Kerry Earnhardt in Nashville on April 13; Dover on June1; Daytona on July 5; St. Louis on July 20; Bristol on August 23 and Richmond on September 6. The company’s major associate sponsorship of Kerry Earnhardt begins with the O’Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 6 and continues throughout the remainder of the season. Jani-King will not only be the team’s primary sponsor for six races, but they will also produce television and radio advertisements featuring both Earnhardt and football legend Terry Bradshaw, co-owner of FitzBradshaw Racing. Specifics of the 2003 sponsorship will be determined pending the release of next year’s BGN schedule, but FitzBradshaw co-owner Armando Fitz confirms Jani-King will continue as both a primary sponsor and a major associate sponsor with the team and Earnhardt in 2003. “With the addition of Jani-King, FitzBradshaw Racing has completely sold out the primary sponsorships for Kerry’s No. 12 car,” said Fitz. “It’s great for our team to add Jani-King, as they are another primary sponsor with national penetration. Jani-King, combined with our other sponsors, ensures that we can compete in the entire 34-race NASCAR Busch Series season-and that was our goal.” In addition to Jani-King, FitzBradshaw’s #12 Chevy primary sponsors include SUPERCUTS, 10-10-220 and Just Born, Inc.(FitzBradshaw Racing PR)(4-4-2002)
  • Cope in the #94 for the rest of 2002 UPDATE 2 : hearing that Derrike Cope will run the #94 DF Motorsports Chevy for the remainder of the 2002 BGN season, that a sponsor announcement will be made at Texas and that Keith Koppenal has been hired as the crew chief.(4-1-2002)
    UPDATE: O’Reilly Auto Parts is very pleased to announce their new partnership for the April 6th “O’Reilly 300” at Texas Motor Speedway. Not only will they be the track “Title” sponsor for this prestigious NASCAR BGN event, they will be sponsoring a participant in this highly competitive field of some of NASCAR’s hardest chargers. O’Reilly Auto Parts of Springfield, MO has reached an agreement with the young, upstart BGN team of “DF2 Motorsports” and their new driver, Daytona 500 winner and FOX Sports Network “NASCAR This Morning” co-host, Derrike Cope.(Catchfence)(4-2-2002)
    UPDATE 2: C I Host.com Joins DF2 Motorsports for the O’Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. The BGN rolls into the Lone Star state this weekend with the running of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. The #94 DF2 Motorsports Chevrolet will have Winston Cup veteran Derrike Cope behind the wheel and sponsorship from C I Host.com on the car. Crew Chief Keith Koppenal will be at Texas as a crew chief for the first time this weekend and expects a good showing. “We are taking a brand new car this weekend. It’s never been tested or on the track. Derrike is incredible to work for and will help us get the most out of the new Chevrolet. We fully expect good things out of the DF2 Motorsports team this weekend.” C I Host (www.cihost.com), is a Web hosting and Internet solutions provider, domain name registrar (DNR) and application service provider (ASP) serving 150,000 individual consumers and businesses in 179 countries worldwide.(DF2 Motorsports)(4-4-2002)
  • #26 and Spiderman: In preparation for the April 6, O’Reilly 300 Busch Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, Dr Pepper and Carroll Racing announced that the #26 Chevy will take on the arachnid-like image of Spider-Man to help the Dr Pepper team “web” the checkered flag. The Spider-Man design marks the first time Dr Pepper has applied a special paint scheme on its race car since it began sponsoring a team in 1998. Set to debut at Texas in the BGN race, the #26 Dr Pepper Monte Carlo will sport the colorful new Spider-Man graphics, helping to further publicize and promote the upcoming nationwide Dr Pepper/Spider-Man feature film tie-in and on-pack consumer promotion. Scheduled to be in market by mid-April, and run through July, the promotion will link Dr Pepper with the web-spinning superhero. In addition to the primary and back-up cars for the O’Reilly 300, Dr Pepper has also painted one of its five show cars with the Spider-Man scheme, for use at retail and other venues. On May 3, Columbia Pictures, a Sony Pictures Entertainment company, debuts the Spider-Man action and adventure movie in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the web-slinger’s first appearance in a comic book. Directed by Sam Raimi, the movie centers on the story of teen-ager Peter Parker’s (Tobey Maguire) transformation into Spider-Man and his fight against evil. The film also stars Willem Dafoe as Spider-Man’s nemesis the Green Goblin, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Cliff Robertson, Rosemary Harris and J.K. Simmons. Written by David Koepp, and based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, the film is produced by Laura Ziskin and Ian Bryce. Avi Arad and Stan Lee are executive producers.(Dr Pepper PR), see my BGN Paint Schemes page for four images of the car.(4-4-2002)
  • Harmon has Texas sponsor: The #44 NASCAR BGN team of Mike Harmon and Mixon Motorsports are happy to announce that MegaMania Interactive.has come on board for primary sponsorship with our team starting with the O’Reilly 300 this weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway. MegaMania, Inc. of Houston, TX is a developer of eBusiness Solutions for the business community. The company maintains operations in Houston, Islamabad, and Karachi. MegaMania integrates technology with business to create useful web-based tools that enable any company to promote themselves and conduct business through the “World Wide Web”.. Their products and services are beneficial to companies of all sizes while especially appealing to the small and medium sized business communities. No other company offers eBusiness solutions as affordable, comprehensive.or sophisticated as MegaMania.(4-4-2002)
  • Mitchell to debut earlier UPDATE: Richard Mitchell and Mac Hill Motorsports [#56] have altered their BGN schedule for the 2002 season. Mitchell, who was originally set to make his BGN debut at Richmond on May 3, will now attempt the race at the 1.333 mile Nashville Superspeedway on Sat. April 13. “There are a number of reasons why we are substituting Nashville for Richmond,” Mitchell said, “but the biggest factor is that we are trying to spread the season out a bit for our team. The last time we raced was at Daytona at the beginning of Feb. If we waited for Richmond, that would be almost a three month gap between races.” The Coach USA / Mountaineer Gaming / Forest River Motorhomes team also has added the June 8 Nashville BGN race to its slate in place of the ARCA RE/MAX event at Pocono Raceway. Other scheduled BGN races include: Chicagoland (July 13), Michigan Int. (Aug. 17), Richmond (Sept 6), Dover (Sept. 21) and Atlanta Motor Speedway (Oct. 26). Mitchell, a two-time NASCAR Northeast Regional champion, will also contest a six-race ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. With a seventh-place finish in the Daytona 200 ARCA RE/MAX opener already under his belt, Mitchell will compete at: Lowe’s Motor Speedway ( May 18 & Oct. 12), Michigan Int. (June 15), Pocono (July 27) and Talladega Superspeedway (Oct. 5). The team recently acquired two Chevrolet Monte Carlos from Terry Labonte and Eddie Sharpe, and are in the process of having them updated to 2002 BGN specifications. Dan Begle has been retained to construct the engines for both the ARCA and NASCAR programs.(Mac Hill Motorsports PR)(3-21-2002)
    UPDATE For West Virginia driver Richard Mitchell, competing in the Pepsi 300 NASCAR BUSCH Series race at the 1.333 mile Nashville Superspeedway on April 13 is a dream come true. Mitchell, a West Virginia University mechanical engineering graduate and a two-time Northeast Regional Weekly Racing Series (WRS) champion, is a virtual poster boy for NASCAR’s nationwide entry-level program. In an era when fewer and fewer drivers are advancing to the motorsports major leagues through the short-track ranks, Mitchell has used the NASCAR WRS as a springboard to the nations second ranked race series. “The BUSCH Series will be a major test for our Coach USA / Mountaineer Gaming / West Virginia Tourism team,” stated Mitchell. “There are 30 good drivers racing in this series every week that are capable of winning. We also know that sponsorship, money and having the necessary resources are key ingredients to being successful at this level,” Mitchell added. “Our plan is to compete in seven races this year to test the waters and gain experience, then come back next season with a budget that will permit us to run the full schedule competitively.”(Mac Hill PR)(4-4-2002)
  • Hendrick Slinging it? #5-Ricky Hendrick might use a sling on his right shoulder when he returns to BGN racing later this month. “I have no clue how it will work,” Hendrick said. “The doctors have just told me about it. They are meeting with NASCAR and the engineers. They have designed something that would hold my arm there so if I were to get in a wreck, it would help out.” The arthroscopic surgery on Hendrick’s shoulder following a March 2 accident at Las Vegas was much more intense than expected. Although it was termed as a dislocated shoulder, the shoulder popped forward instead of a more traditional rotational dislocation. Hendrick would like to come back for the April 20 race at Talladega, but he might have to wait until the following week at California to make his return. Ron Hornaday is driving the Hendricks Motorsports car until then. When he does return, Hendrick will find rib supports have been added to his seat.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-3-2002)
  • Special Scheme for #36 at Texas: The #36 GNC Live Well Dodge Intrepid will have a different look in Saturday’s O’Reilly 300 at Texas. Instead of its usual red, white and blue look, the GNC Live Well Racing entry will carry a special blue, black and orange paint design. This one-race switch will help promote the release of a new product, Xenadrine EFX, now available at GNC Live Well’s 5,300-plus retail locations. Xenadrine EFX is a new ephedrine-free version of Cytodyne Technologies’ Xenadrine RFA-1, the top selling supplement. This new formula is an alternative to Cytodyne Technologies current Xenadrine product. Cytodyne Technologies recently signed to be an associate sponsor of Parker’s #36 GNC Live Well Dodge Intrepid for the 2002 season.(GNC PR), see an image on the BGN Paint Schemes page(4-2-2002)
  • Shepherd Looking: Morgan Shepherd is seeking a one race sponsorship for the April 6 Busch series race at Texas Motor Speedway. For more information, contact Darrin Dykes of Pit Pass publications, LLC, at 832-368-5070, or Shepherd Racing at 828-256-2194.(4-2-2002)
  • Kirby to the #31? UPDATE 3 Benson in the #31?: hearing that ARCA driver Stuart Kirby is a canidate for the #31 Whelens Chevy ride for the 2002 BGN season(1-16-2002)
    UPDATE: This season, Kirby hopes to make a transition to the NASCAR Busch Series, where there’s a possibility he’ll drive the #31 car for 8 to 10 races.(NASCAR.com/AP)(1-27-2002)
    UPDATE 2: hearing Winston Cup driver, Johnny Benson (#10 Valvoline Pontiac) will drive a limited schedule in the #31 Whelen Chevy. Kirby will not drive for the team and may expand on his schedule with Jimmy Spencer(see news below).(2-28-2002)
    UPDATE 3: hearing there will be a press release today (April 1st) announcing that Johnny Benson will be driving the #31 Marsh Racing Whelen Chevy in a ten BGN races this season with the first being at Richmond on May 3, followed by New Hampshire on May 11. James Ince, Benson’s Winston Cup Crew Chief on the #10 Valovoine Pontiac, will serve as the Crew Chief for team when Benson drives and the #10 Cup crew will also serve as the crew for the #31. Benson will be talking about the BGN deal on Speed Channel’s Inside Winston Cup TV show, FSN’s Totally NASCAR and RPM2 night on Monday (actually Tuesday at 1:00am/et)(4-1-2002)
    UPDATE 4: Benson will drive in five races with a possibility of more being added. Besides the two mentioned above, three races planned are: Dover in June, Chicagoland and Michigan in August.(PR)(4-1-2002)