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April 2002 News Archives


 

  • (4-30-2002)

  • Penalties announced: NASCAR officials have announced penalties for five Cup crew chiefs and a BGN crew chief for rules violations that occurred during the race weekend at Talladega.
    Steve Lane, crew chief of the #45 Dodge Intrepid, received $1,500 in fines for rules violations found during pre-race inspection prior to the Aaron’s 499 on April 21. Lane was penalized under Section 12-4-Q in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book, “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules: rear spoiler.” He received a $1,000 fine for the rear spoiler and in addition was fined $500 and penalized under Section 12-4-U: “fuel cell container thickness less than 20 gage”.
    Michael McSwain, crew chief of the #28 Ford Taurus and Paul Andrews, crew chief of the #1 Chevy, both received $1,000 fines and were penalized under Section 12-4-Q: “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules: axles.”
    Crew chief of the #11 Ford, Doug Richert, was fined $500 and penalized under the same section for having a fuel cell check valve filler neck that exceeded 2-1/8 inches.
    Buddy Barnes, crew chief of the #7 Dodge, was fined $250 and penalized for having a fuel cell vent that exceeded 1-1/4 inches.
    Gary Cogswell, crew chief of the #36 BGN Dodge team, was fined $1,000 and penalized under section 12-4-Q for an aluminum brake pedal.
    In addition, following this past weekend’s NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at California Speedway, three penalties were issued to the following crew chiefs:
    Mike Beam, crew chief of the #32 Ford, was fined $500 for not returning the impact data recorder box to NASCAR officials after the race.
    Greg Steadman, crew chief for the #43 Dodge and Bryant Frazier, crew chief of the #44 Dodge, were both fined $1,000 and penalized under Section 12-4-Q: “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules: axles.”(NASCAR PR)(4-30-2002)
  • Nice Ride to School: A dream came true for 11-year-old Jonathan Greene of Pineville, NC today when NASCAR driver John Andretti drove the #43 Honey Nut Cheerios Dodge Intrepid to Greene’s apartment to pick him up for school. Greene won the ride to school in the Honey Nut Cheerios #43 Dodge Intrepid through a General Mills contest held during Speed Street, a NASCAR street festival held every May in Uptown Charlotte. Andretti driving the car was an added surprise. “Hello Mr. Andretti!” Greene exclaimed as he opened the door to welcome the Winston Cup driver. “This is awesome,” Greene later said. “This is the best ride to school I have ever had.”. Even Andretti was excited about the ride to South Charlotte Middle School. “This is one way to get excited about going to school,” Andretti said. “Jonathan and I had a great ride today. The car handled great and we definitely had a lot of horsepower out there. Who knows, this may give Jonathan the bug to become a future Winston Cup Champion.”(General Mills PR)(4-30-2002)
  • Energizer Scheme? the Bunny? hearing Jimmy Spencer will run a Energizer Battery scheme sometime this season on the #41 Dodge, possibly at Kansas.(4-30-2002)
  • Little E OK UPDATE: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. escaped injury in a frightening crash that occurred on lap 229 of Sunday’s NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway. The crash, which involved Earnhardt and 2001 rookie of the year Kevin Harvick, apparently occurred because Harvick had a flat tire and tried desperately to turn his Chevrolet down toward pit road. Unfortunately, Harvick lurched left just as Earnhardt was streaking by on his inside, and the impact caused Earnhardt’s Monte Carlo to spin around clockwise and hit the fourth-turn wall almost flush on the driver’s side. Earnhardt limped to the ambulance but reported only mild pain in his right ankle. Doctors released him but recommended that his condition be monitored and he consult his doctor Monday in North Carolina.(Gaston Gazette)(4-30-2002)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. endured what he deemed the “hardest hit” of his career Sunday, but he doesn’t think it’ll slow him this weekend in Richmond. He has a bruised and swollen right ankle and is sore after a crash with Kevin Harvick late in Sunday’s race at California. Earnhardt has won at Richmond and has never finished worse than 13th in a Winston Cup race here. “I’m pretty sore and beat up, but I’ll be OK for Richmond,” he said.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-30-2002)(4-30-2002)
  • Lannigan to test the #57? hearing that ARCA driver Darrell Lannigan will test the #57 CLR Ford at Lowes Motor Speedway next week.(4-30-2002)

    (4-29-2002)

  • 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)

 


(4-28-2002)

 

  • No Indy 500 for Andretti…this year: John Andretti isn’t going to do the Indianapolis 500-Coca-Cola 600 double this year, but he makes it clear that’s not the way he’d prefer it. “Kyle and I sat down and talked and decided we’d wait and talk about it in the future,” Andretti said of Kyle Petty, the CEO of the Petty Enterprises operation that owns Andretti’s #43 Dodges. “It’s disappointing. …I’m not learning to deal with it any better, especially when I could almost see it and then it went away. There were some really good opportunities. This is probably going to be one of the most competitive (Indy) 500s they’ve ever had. …It would be an unbelievable year to go back.” Andretti raced in both events on the same day in 1994, becoming the first to accomplish the Indy-car/stock-car double Tony Stewart did in 1999 and 2001.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-28-2002)
  • Pontiac looking for teams: Officials with Pontiac are attempting to gauge interest among Winston Cup teams to see if any are interested in switching manufacturers when the 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix debuts next season [see pictures on my NASCAR Past News page]. The PPI Motorsports team owned by Cal Wells, which fields the #32 Fords for driver Ricky Craven, is apparently at the top of the list, with Pontiac officials already having conversations with Wells about a potential move, sources confirmed Saturday. Craven is in his second season with PPI and is currently 15th in series points with two top-five finishes in nine starts. He earned his first Winston Cup win last season at Martinsville. Currently, five Winston Cup teams run the Pontiac, those of #20-Tony Stewart, #18-Bobby Labonte, #10-Johnny Benson, #36-Ken Schrader and #14-Stacy Compton. The manufacturer had 10 teams as recently as the 2000 season, then dipped to six in 2001 when it lost several teams to the Dodge camp. Pontiac officials elected not to push expansion of their presence in the series until the new model was on schedule to be completed. NASCAR is expected to give final approval to the 2003 Pontiac by early October.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-28-2002)
  • Harvick wins IROC at California: Kevin Harvick held off a last-lap charge from defending series champion Bobby Labonte to win the second leg of the 2002 IROC series at California Speedway. Tony Stewart, who won the first IROC race at Daytona this year, maintained the series lead with 35 points to 32 for Harvick and 30 for Labonte.(ThatsRacin.com), see more on my IROC 2002 Page; Saturday’s IROC race is scheduled to air on Sunday, April 28th on ESPN at 1:00pm/et with Bob Jenkins, Scott Goodyear and Jeff Burton calling the action.(4-28-2002)

    (4-27-2002)

  • Donlavey Injured in Auto Accident: Junie Donlavey, owner of the #90 Dukes Mayo/Sauer’s Fords driven by Rick Mast, suffered cracked ribs on his left side and a cracked right kneecap in a traffic accident Thursday night after arriving in California. “We were just driving along when, all of a sudden, this car comes out of a side street running 60 or 70 mph and he nailed us,” said Donlavey, 78. “If we would have been a fraction quicker, he would have gotten us right in the door. As it was, he caught us right in front of the door. “…It was unbelievable. I’ve never been in a wreck like that. In 1939, I laid my A-model Ford over on its side, but that’s the only other wreck I’ve been in.” Donlavey and team manager Jason Hedlesky were in the car. They’d just landed at Riverside airport and were heading to their hotel in Pomona when the wreck happened. Hedlesky escaped major injuries, but he and Donlavey were both treated at a hospital in Fontana and released. Hedlesky said he called 911 after making sure Donlavey and the driver of the other car were OK, but had trouble getting help since he didn’t know exactly where they were. Mast flew out on the same plane with Donlavey and Hedlesky, but was in another car. “They were following me to Interstate 10,” Mast said. “We went through a light and then an intersection. I looked in the mirror and I didn’t see them behind me.” Mast kept going but got a call from Hedlesky and turned back. “I absolutely couldn’t believe it,” Mast said. “Those cars were absolutely torn all to pieces. I said to myself, ‘How in the world did they survive this?’ But they did.” Donlavey and Hedlesky were both wearing seat belts and the car’s air bags also deployed properly.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-26-2002)
    UPDATE: during FX’s coverage of Happy Hour practice, it was mentioned that Donlavey is fine and at the track for the weekend.(4-27-2002)
  • Grubb to run Cup races: NASCAR team owner Rick Goodwin announced this morning a six race 2002 Winston Cup sponsorship agreement with his current BGN sponsor Toys “R” Us. The first of those six races will be next Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway, the hometown track of driver Kevin Grubb. The team will continue to compete in the remaining BGN races as well. The Toys “R” Us Chevrolet Monte Carlo will maintain the # 54 and continue with Grubb behind the wheel and veteran crew chief Tony Lambert calling the shots. Andy Petree Racing, a leading NASCAR Winston Cup team, will provide the Monte Carlos along with additional track support. .The Richmond race, the Pontiac Excitement 400, will be the first career Winston Cup start for the 24-year-old Grubb. “The first month of our Busch Grand National sponsorship with Rick Goodwin has been very successful for Toys “R” Us,” said Warren Kornblum, Chief Marketing Officer for Toys “R” Us. .”We are all very excited about this step forward for six Winston Cup races beginning next week. We look forward to our partnership with Kevin, Rick and Tony flourishing as we move together into the Winston Cup Series as well as our continued competition in the Busch Series. .Every Toys “R” Us associate is proud to have Kevin Grubb as a Toys “R” Us kid.” While the team has achieved success early on in the 2002 NASCAR Busch Grand National season, the move to the highest level of NASCAR competition will be an exciting challenge for the team based in Bristol, VA. “Our entire race team feels very fortunate to have such a quality sponsor like Toys “R” Us on board,” said Rick Goodwin, team owner. .”To be able to make this move into Winston Cup racing with Toys “R” Us is truly a dream come true. We recognize the magnitude of this move and feel confident with the program we have in place.”
    “I can’t even begin to describe how exciting it is going to be making my Winston Cup debut at my hometown track of Richmond International Raceway,” said Kevin Grubb. .”Ever since I started racing as a kid, I have wanted to be a Winston Cup driver. I want to thank Toys “R” Us and Rick Goodwin for providing me with this opportunity. .I am very lucky to be a Toys “R” Us kid!” In addition to the Pontiac Excitement 400, the team will also compete in the following Winston Cup races; Dover, June 2nd, Bristol, August 24th, Richmond, September 7th, Dover, September 22nd and Kansas, September 29th.(Camp and Assoc PR)(4-27-2002)
  • Jarrett special scheme at Lowes: Look for a special paint scheme recognizing the Race Fans For A Cure program on Dale Jarrett’s car in the Winston and the Coca Cola 600 in May at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte. To Find Out More About Race Fans For A Cure or to get the booth track schedule, go to www.Racefansforacure.com.(NASCAR.com)(4-27-2002)
  • Kyle on MTV: A new MTV show, scheduled to debut in July, will feature Sprint Dodge driver, Kyle Petty, along with a variety of top musical talents. The show, “All Access,” is a day-in-the-life type television show which follows each talent through a key time period. Petty is the only driver, in fact, the only person featured not because of his musical abilities. “I did offer to sing a little bit for them,” laughed Petty, who is known for a singing voice which allowed him to open once for a Hank Williams Jr. concert. “We’re still negotiating that part.” For Petty, that is this weekend at Fontana, Calif. An MTV crew began following him and the Sprint Dodge team this week, beginning Thursday with Petty’s appearances at a Sprint PCS store in the Los Angeles area and at the Georgia-Pacific Teen Safety program at Los Angeles-area high school. The crew stayed with Petty during practice and qualifying Friday at California Speedway, and will remain with him through Saturday’s practice and Sunday’s race. “It’s a little bit different deal because of who they are but it’s pretty much the kind of thing we’ve seen in this sport too,” Petty said. “Getting our race team and Sprint in front of the MTV audience is a good deal and it’s important. This is something that is just good for the sport, just like it is good for Petty Enterprises.”(Williams Company)(4-27-2002)
  • TRAC News: The group of investors who are trying to organize a stock-car racing series under the moniker TRAC, with franchises and city locations around the country, may have some big names involved and some good money to play with. But, so far, the word out of Detroit is that TRAC has had no serious conversations with racing executives at either Ford or General Motors about involvement in the series. Ford officials have told TRAC that the use of the Mustang name – as was announced earlier this week in Charlotte as one of the cars that would be racing in the new series – had not been authorized by Ford Motor Company. There were tentative discussions between Ford and TRAC last year about Ford providing engines for the new series, but those talks went nowhere.(Winston Salem Journal). more info on the series on my TRAC page(4-27-2002)
  • Hershel McGriff Says He Will Retire: One of the legends of stock car racing said that he’s tired of running in the back. Seventy-Four year old Hershel McGriff, who raced in the first Southern 500 at Darlington in 1950, says he not could not stand being uncompetive. McGriff is at the California Speedway to run the Winston West race and took the green flag but pulled off the track. “I just don’t feel comfortable running out there anymore, I’m used to running up front.” says McGriff. “It’s time to retire.” His credentials include being Winston West’s winningest active competitor with 34 victories, the winningest Bud Pole active competitor with 35 awards and the 1986 NASCAR Winston West Series champion. McGriff started racing in 1945 and competed in 86 Winston Cup events with 4 wins and 5 poles.(Insider Racing News)(4-27-2002)
  • Atwood in the pink? NOT: Casey Atwood’s Dodge was missing an important part of its car Friday morning. The number was noticeably absent on the side of his blue car. It seems that Sirius Radio officials, Atwood’s sponsor, wanted to be able to pick the car out of a pack better, so Ultra-Evernham Motorsports team members put a neon-pink #7 on the car for Talladega. But Atwood protested, saying he wasn’t going to drive a pink-numbered car. So crewmen put on a neon-orange #7.(Racing One)(4-27-2002)
  • Labonte and Unser: Bobby Labonte and Cody Unser, the 15-year-old daughter of Al Unser Jr., appeared together in California on Thursday to help promote a medical conference related to the disease that has left her paralyzed from the chest down. Labonte helped start The Cody Unser First Step Foundation (www.codysfirststep.org) by donating $60,000 he won for a second-place finish in the 1999 IROC series after he had filled in for her father. Labonte is the foundation’s honorary chairman. The two appeared at the Christopher Reeve-Irvine Research Center at the University of California-Irvine, one of the world’s top spinal cord research facilities.(Tampa Tribune)(4-27-2002)

    (4-26-2002)

  • NASCAR/Petty Movie UPDATE: Dennis Quaid is revved up by a film project delving into the story of NASCAR legend Richard Petty and his complicated relationship with his father Lee, who was an up-and-coming driver until he was injured in a crash. “Any Given Sunday” producer Dan Halsted has put together the funds to develop a “Great Santini”-like story of a son trying to measure up to his father. The younger Petty went on to become NASCAR’s winningest driver, but had to go a long way to prove himself to Lee, who’ll be played by Quaid. The pic will be exec produced by John O’Hurley, John Myrick and Robin Sharp, and they’re out to writers right now.(Yahoo Entertainment – thanks Matt)(11-13-2001)
    UPDATE: The star of “The Rookie” is slated to be father of “The King” of NASCAR in an upcoming movie. Dennis Quaid has pledged to play Lee Petty in an untitled movie chronicling the racing careers of Lee and Richard Petty in the late 1950s and ’60s. Richard Petty is NASCAR’s all-time winningest driver with 200 victories. The movie will focus on the father-son relationship, as Richard struggles to meet the high expectations Lee had for him. “It’s not as much about the grinding of the wheels as it is the relationship of the two best racers in NASCAR,” John O’Hurley, executive producer of the upcoming film, said Wednesday in Greensboro. The actor to play Richard Petty hasn’t been finalized. The movie has gotten a thumbs-up from Richard Petty and Petty Enterprises, said Bill Scott, executive vice president of Petty Enterprises in Level Cross south of Greensboro. Lee Petty died in April 2000. Scott said he and other Petty officials will talk about the script when they are on the West Coast for the NAPA Auto Parts California 500 race this weekend. “We’re working with people we trust,” said Scott. “O’Hurley, Quaid – they’re obviously some people who have influence to get things done in Hollywood.” O’Hurley, who played clothier J. Peterman on the television show “Seinfeld,” says producer Dan Halsted (“Any Given Sunday”) will produce the Petty movie.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-26-2002)
  • Robby Gordon and Spiderman: Robby Gordon and Richard Childress Racing’s #31 Cingular Wireless team are joining forces with superhero Spider-Man for the NASCAR Winston Cup events at California Speedway and Richmond. The comic book hero will ride along with Gordon and the Cingular Wireless Chevrolet Monte Carlo at Fontana and Richmond in a special paint scheme celebrating his jump to the big screen. Spider-Man, Columbia Pictures’ highly anticipated action adventure film, is scheduled for release worldwide on May 3. Cingular Wireless has launched a special promotional campaign in conjunction with its partnership with the movie. The campaign – supported by TV, print and radio advertising, direct mail, and in-store placement — is the most ambitious ever for a wireless carrier in conjunction with a Hollywood movie. Cingular, the nation’s second largest wireless carrier, developed the campaign with Sony Entertainment. Directed by Sam Raimi, Spider-Man will be released May 3 by Columbia Pictures and stars Tobey Maguire as the web-slinging superhero. The film also stars Willem Dafoe as the villainous Green Goblin, Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson, James Franco as Harry Osborn, Cliff Robertson as Uncle Ben, Rosemary Harris as Aunt May and J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson.(Robby Gordon site), see an image of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery(4-26-2002)
  • Wind Tunnel to Close? UPDATE 3 – Correction – NOT the one NASCAR uses: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has announced plans to close the full-scale wind tunnel at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., by Sept. 30, 2004. Over the years, the facility has been used by many NASCAR teams, which in 1999 were reported to be paying $1,400 an hour to test in the tunnel. One report said that as many as two or three teams used the wind tunnel each month, with bills exceeding $40,000 for multiple-car tests.(Winston Cup Scene daily newsletter)(4-23-2002)
    UPDATE: As part of a national initiative to optimize government-owned wind tunnels, NASA’s Langley Research Center will shut down its 16-Foot Transonic Tunnel and transition work to other facilities. The tunnel is scheduled to be put in mothball status September 30, 2004. “Mothball” status means that the facility could be made operational within six to 12 months and that maintenance to the tunnel would be limited to facility preservation only. Research tests are booked at the tunnel through September 2003 and all those tests will be completed. The Center anticipates that no civil service jobs will be lost as the tunnel’s staff of 18 researchers and technicians will be reassigned to other facilities. Doesn’t mention NASCAR use in the story.(NASA)(4-24-2002)
    AND more from the Daily Press(in part): NASA Langley will lose about half the research conducted at one of its oldest and busiest wind tunnels because of a planned shutdown in two years. And future wind-tunnel shutdowns cannot be ruled out. The aeronautics center announced that it was stopping all but maintenance operations at the 16-foot Transonic Wind Tunnel, which has conducted research on everything from jet fighters to wheelchairs. Many people think that the closing, part of a nationwide look at such centers, should have little effect in the community. NASA Langley hopes to shuffle work to its National Transonic Facility, but some research will be lost to other agencies. The primary users at NASA Langley are split mostly between the military and the space agency itself. Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman are the top three industry users. Representatives with those businesses couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday on how the wind tunnel’s shutdown might affect their future use of the center. Two centers would be likely recipients of the work that NASA Langley could no longer perform: the Air Force’s Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tennessee and NASA’s Ames Research Center in California.(no mention of NASCAR in this article)(4-24-2002)
    UPDATE 2: been told by many sources that the wind tunnel that NASA is closing in the 16 ft. transonic tunnel. This is not the NASA tunnel that Old Dominion owns/operates and conducts tests for NASCAR teams. For more info on the tunnel, see their site at www.lfst.com. So not sure why this was made such an issue by WCS.(4-25-2002)
    UPDATE 3 – Correction: The Langley Research Center wind tunnel that NASA has announced plans to close is not the facility used for testing by NASCAR teams, as reported in Tuesday’s Scene Daily. The facility used by the NASCAR teams, the Langley Full-Scale Wind Tunnel operated by Old Dominion University, will remain open.(Winston Cup Scene daily newsletter)(4-26-2002)
  • Bigger Car…sooner? Johnny Benson’s fiery exit from Sunday’s Talladega 500 once again raises the issue of how difficult it seems for drivers to get out of their cars after wrecks, and it could prompt NASCAR to move even faster on its proposed “big greenhouse” car. The new design, which has been studied for more than a year, is tentatively scheduled to debut at Talladega in April 2003. But there is the possibility that NASCAR might bring it out earlier, at Talladega this fall. The chief obstacle is economics; teams would have to build new cars because crews and drivers are reluctant to cut and weld any greenhouse roll bars, for fear of weakening the safety roll cage. Benson’s #10-Valvoline Pontiac caught fire when he was caught up the 26-car crash on the backstretch late in the race. And Benson had trouble getting out of his car, which he said points out the need for NASCAR to move faster on its plans to widen the driver’s window. At Texas Motor Speedway three weeks ago, Michael Waltrip had similar difficulty getting out of his burning [BGN] car.(Winston Salen Journal)(4-26-2002)
  • Rusty Honor: As part of the NASCAR After Dark festivities, defending NAPA AUTO PARTS 500 winner Rusty Wallace (#2 Miller Lite Ford) will be immortalized today at California Speedway during a Walk of Fame induction ceremony inside Gate 12 at 6 p.m. Wallace will place a plaque in the ground, sign his name and leave his footprints in cement alongside each of the previous California Speedway race winners.(Calif Speedway Site)(4-26-2002)
  • Trading Cards at the CHP booth: Guests visiting the California Highway Patrol (CHP) booth at California Speedway’s Gate 12 have the opportunity to pick up a free set of trading cards featuring Winston Cup stars Wallace; Tony Stewart (#20 Home Depot Pontiac); Bobby Labonte (#18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac); Ward Burton (#22 Caterpillar Dodge) and Kevin Harvick (#29 Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet), along with a CHP card. Each card comes with a designated driver message.(Calif Speedway Site)(4-26-2002)
  • Pork – the other white meat – primary sponsor on the #26 for more races: Travis Carter Enterprises announced that Frank Kimmel, three-time ARCA champion, will continue to drive the #26 Ford with primary sponsor “Pork. The Other White Meat” for several additional Winston Cup races. Kimmel has driven at Texas, Martinsville and Talladega in the #26. Several members of Kimmel’s ARCA team, including crew chief Bill Kimmel, will continue to assist Donnie Wingo and the Travis Carter team on pit road. The National Pork Board, along with Advance Auto Parts, participated in the last three consecutive Winston Cup races. While the National Pork Board will continue with the Travis Carter team for the next several races, Advance Auto Parts will focus its efforts on the remaining ARCA Re/Max events. The National Pork Board will also continue their support of the ARCA team. A team sponsor, the National Pork Board initiated its Pork Racing Program in early 2000 to increase awareness of and demand for pork throughout the country. “The decision to continue as the primary sponsor for the #26 car was based largely on the relationship we’ve established with the Travis Carter team and the tremendous value we have seen from the first three Winston Cup races,” said John Hagerla, National Pork Board assistant vice president for retail and foodservice marketing. “Our goal is to help America’s pork producers by increasing exposure to and demand for pork — and NASCAR allows us to reach an even greater number of our sports marketing target audience.”(Catchfence). Joe Nemechek is in the #26 at California as Kimmel has an ARCA commitment.(4-26-2002)
  • Little returns to Cup action at California: Sunday’s NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway will mark Chad Little’s return to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Little will pilot the #74 StaffAmerica Chevrolet for BACE Motorsports, as the three-time NASCAR Busch Series Championship team is set to make their debut in the Winston Cup Series.(Chad Little Site – see an image of the car there)(4-26-2002)

    (4-25-2002)

  • TRAC Cars UPDATE 2: TRAC officials will unveil their three new race cars and there will also be several other major announcements followed by a question-and-answer session at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Wednesday, April 24th. For more info on the series, see my TRAC Page or the TRAC website.(4-17-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing the car makes are a Viper, Mustang and a Corvette.(4-18-2002)
    UPDATE 2: The Team Racing Auto Circuit [TRAC], which nearly a year ago announced its intentions to start a new stock-car racing series in 2003, will unveil three prototypes of its cars at a news conference on Wednesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway at Charlotte. TRAC has completed a pair of tests on the cars, which were built by Indianapolis-based Riley & Scott. Drivers Tony Ave and Andy Hillenburg tested them at Atlanta Motor Speedway this week. One of the cars was tested at the five-eighths-mile track at Indianapolis Raceway Park last week. Riley & Scott officials and former Winston Cup champion Cale Yarborough are scheduled to be at Wednesday’s media event to talk about the development of the cars and the series, which will initially consist of 10 three-car teams located in major cities in which motorsports venues are located. Each team will represent its city or region in the TRAC series season.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-21/24-2002)
    UPDATE at Texas in 2003: Texas Motor Speedway will hold two Team Racing Auto Circuit (TRAC) races during the stock car series’ debut season in 2003. The events are scheduled for May 3 and July 19 at Texas. TRAC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Team Sports Entertainment Inc, announced today an agreement to race at five major facilities owned by Speedway Motorsports (NYSE:TRK). In addition to the two Texas Motor Speedway dates, the series will also appear twice each at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte. TRAC’s complete 2003 schedule is expected to be announced in the next few months. TRAC announced the new series in spring of 2001. Although categorized as a stock car series, instead of the traditional sedans, fans will see Corvettes, Mustangs and Vipers representing the three major automakers. Initially, the league will consist of 10, three-car teams that will be located in major U.S. cities with major motorsports venues. Each team will represent its city and region and will participate in a season-long schedule of team races in addition to an all-star event and concluding with a season-ending championship race.(TMS PR)(4-24-2002)
    Las Vegas: Las Vegas Motor Speedway is the only facility that will host three TRAC events during the year [2003]. In a joint announcement, TRAC and Speedway Motorsports officials announced Wednesday that the new racing series will conduct 11 events at five SMI facilities during its first season. Three of those events will be held on LVMS’ 1.5-mile tri-oval. Dates have not been announced.(LVMS PR)
    Bristol: The inaugural 2003 TRAC season will include two events at Bristol Motor Speedway. Dates have not been announced.(BMS PR)
    Atlanta: Atlanta Motor Speedway will host two Team Racing Auto Circuit (TRAC) races in 2003, the new series announced Wednesday. The series has already tested at Atlanta, running a Dodge Viper in a three-day session April 16-18. The Viper reached speeds comparable to a NASCAR Winston Cup car, with a best lap at 29.70 (186.666 mph), Dates have not been announced.(AMS PR) – see my TRAC Page for some images.(4-25-2002)
  • Johnson fastest at Sears Point on Wednesday: Rookie [#48] Jimmie Johnson, who had never raced a NASCAR Winston Cup car at Sears Point Raceway, recorded the fastest time during a two-day test session on the 12-turn road course. Johnson turned a time of 1 minute, 17.2 seconds [93.264mph] over the 2-mile course to lead a group of six NASCAR drivers who spent Tuesday and Wednesday shaking down the course for the upcoming Dodge/Save Mart 350, June 20-23. Fellow rookie #12 Ryan Newman was right behind Johnson at 1:17.22 [93.240], thanks to some coaching from road-race specialist Scott Pruett over the two days. Newman, like Johnson, was getting his first taste of Sears Point Raceway in a Cup car. Other times were recorded by #87-Ron Fellows (1:17.30 – 93.144), #28-Ricky Rudd (1:17.50 – 92.903]), #97-Kurt Busch (1:17.50 – 92.903) and #17-Matt Kenseth (1:17.82 – 92.521). Kenseth had posted the quick time during the first day of testing on Tuesday.(Sears Points PR)(4-25-2002)
  • Ward Honored: #22-Ward Burton was honored at South Boston Speedway Saturday, April 13 as part of the “Ward Burton Appreciation Day,” an event held in conjunction with the NASCAR Winston Cup race in Martinsville 60 miles away. As part of the event, South Boston Speedway even renamed its entrance 500 Ward Burton Way after their hometown hero. Burton, winner of February’s Daytona 500, is a native of South Boston and the first Virginian to win the prestigious 500-mile event in Daytona Beach. Aside from being honored by longtime friends, community members and the track which helped launch his career, Burton also sought support for “Club 22.” The program is part of The Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation and offers memberships for $22 instead of the customary $25. WD-40 Company, who recently signed a partnership with Burton, showed their support by presenting a $2,500 donation to the Wildlife Foundation. They also provided a WD-40/NASCAR beverage huggie to each person who joined Club 22 at the event.(WD-40 PR)(4-25-2002)

    (4-24-2002)

  • Pit Awards: The first quarter finalist for the Mechanix Wear Pit Crew of the Year Award is the #40 Coors Light Crew. The #40 Coors Light Crew led the first quarter points standings with a total of 83 points to become the first of four final crews who will compete for the Mechanix Wear Pit Crew of the Year Award and the $75,000 in prize money. Others include the #17 DeWalt crew at 76; #8 Budweiser crew at 64; #20 Home Depot crew at 63l and the #48 Lowes crew at 62. The #40 Coors Light Crew becomes a year-end nominee and is no longer eligible for points. At the completion of the fourth quarter there will be four NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams eligible for the final voting. (National Association of Pit Crew Members PR)
    AND Sawing Through Adversity, #36 Crew Chief Newt Moore Takes Home IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week Honors.(Irwin Tool PR)(4-25-2002)
  • Craven in the Breeze: PPI Motorsports’ Tide Racing Team is set to unveil the Tide “Clean Breeze” car this weekend at California Speedway. The team plans to run the “Clean Breeze” car at California, Richmond and both upcoming events at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in the month of May. “The special paint scheme represents the launch of Tide Clean Breeze laundry detergent,” said Brian McNamara, Brand Manager of Tide for Procter & Gamble. “The new Tide Clean Breeze is a clean and natural fresh scent. For the first time, the fresh scent of laundry dried outdoors comes to you indoors,” he added. The look is a departure of the traditional #32 Tide paint scheme as it combines elements of clouds and sky on the right front quarter panel and the entire TV panel.(PPI Motorsports PR), see an image of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery(4-24-2002)
  • Fox Wins Emmy’s: “Boogety, boogety, boogety” must be the refrain around Fox Sports headquarters this morning as the network celebrates being the big winner at the Sports Emmy Awards last night in New York. Fox pulled in 11 awards, the highest number of any network. The three awards won by “NASCAR on Fox” were more than any other sports program. In fact, a Dick Schaap special on ESPN was the only other program to pull in even two awards. The big prize for NASCAR was its win as the “Outstanding Live Sports Series.” Other victories were as “Outstanding Technical Team Remote” and “Outstanding Graphic Design.”(MotorsportsTV)(4-24-2002)
  • NASCAR Opens “Speediatrics”: On Tuesday, they held the grand opening of the Betty Jane France Pediatric Center called “Speediatrics” at Homestead Hospital. The 14-bed pediatrics unit received a $600,000 renovation with a motorsports theme. It has colorful racing cartoon characters, cars, tracks and checkered flags painted on the walls. It also has miniature replica NASCAR cars in many of the rooms. France, the wife of NASCAR chairman and CEO Bill France, founded Speediatrics in 1999 when the first racing-themed pediatric center opened at the Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach. The one at Homestead Hospital is the second. Renovations began last September and were completed earlier this month. Homestead-Miami Speedway has agreed to raise $300,000 for the project. Speediatrics is designed to make children feel as comfortable as possible during a hospital stay. Officials hope the cheerful atmosphere will make a difference in the spirit and recovery of sick children. Jeff Gordon stopped at each hospital room, signing autographs, posing for pictures and leaving smiles on dozens of children’s faces Tuesday. “You see firsthand kids that are sick, kids that need good care and need a smile put on their face,” Gordon said. “You see that enough and you realize that there’s too much of that going on, and then it’s like how can you help? How can you contribute? I grew up healthy and strong and became very successful — all my dreams have come true. I want to see these kids’ dreams come true. These kids are going through an awful lot: doctors are poking and prodding on them and it’s not a lot of fun,” Gordon said. “The goal is to get them out of the hospital, so they can go back home and have fun and be normal kids. But while they’re here, it helps to be able to look at things and take their thoughts off of what’s going on with the doctors. It brings a fun atmosphere to the pediatrics center.” Gordon, helping unveil the new center because of his past work with kids through the Jeff Gordon Foundation and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, headed a tour of the facility with dozens of NASCAR officials, community leaders and journalists. Ryan Winter, 5, had no idea Gordon was stopping by his room to chat. When Gordon walked in, Winter’s eyes widened as he recognized his favorite NASCAR driver. Winter, who has had several operations to remove a tumor from his kidney and had countless radiation and chemotherapy treatments to send his bone marrow cancer into remission, had little to say to Gordon. All he did was smile as the NASCAR star gave him an autograph.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-24-2002)
  • Be an Original? UPDATE: hearing that #40-Sterling Marlin will run an original Coor’s scheme for ten races in 2002(1-22-2002)
    UPDATE: Coors Chip Ganassi Racing withFelix Sabates has announced a Coors Original paint scheme for the #40 Dodge Intrepid R/T for 10 races during the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series. The #40 Coors Original Dodge paint scheme will kick off at Fontana and will also been seen at Dover, Michigan, Sonoma, Daytona, Pocono, Talladega, Martinsville, Atlanta and Phoenix. Coors Brewing Company has been a committed sponsor of NASCAR Winston Cup racing for nearly two decades and is looking forward the high profile exposure that the Coors Original paint scheme will provide with the 21+ male NASCAR enthusiast market. Coors Original, Coors Brewing Company’s flagship beer, is currently aligned with several other partnerships including Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and musicians Kid Rock and Toby Keith. Coors Original will leverage its relationship with Toby Keith by incorporating Keith elements onto the Coors Original car.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(4-22-2002)
    UPDATE 2: see images of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(4-24-2002)
  • Kenseth fastest at Sears Point on Tuesday: #17-Matt Kenseth posted the top time during the first day of a NASCAR Winston Cup test session on Tuesday at Sears Point Raceway. Kenseth, one of six drivers testing the 10-turn, 2-mile road course in preparation for June’s Dodge/Save Mart 350, toured the circuit in 1 minute, 18.42 seconds (91.813mph). He was followed by rookie #48-Jimmie Johnson (1:18.98 – 91.162) and #28-Ricky Rudd (low 1:19s – 91.139), a four-time pole-sitter at Sears Point. Other testers included #87-Ron Fellows (1:19.50 – 90.566), #97-Kurt Busch (1:19.70 – 90.339) and rookie #12-Ryan Newman (1:19.80 – 90.226). One change drivers encountered Tuesday was a tighter transition between Turns 12-1 because of the permanent separation of the road course from the drag strip, which has been a long-time criticism of Sears Point Raceway. Portions of the track have also been repaved. The facility is in the final stages of $50 million Modernization Plan. Busch, who won a NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series event at Sears Point in 1999, was pleased that the Winston Cup cars will no longer have to use the drag strip. Other improvements drivers will find for race weekend (June 20-23) include increased runoff at almost every turn on the road course, as well as a full 43 stalls on pit road, thus eliminating the need for the infamous “Gilligan’s Island” on the inside of Turn 11. The entire circuit will be repaved in September.(Sears Point PR)(4-24-2002)

    (4-23-2002)

  • Yunick Foundation: Smokey Yunick’s family announced the formation of a non-profit foundation that will support automotive and motorsport innovation through grants and scholarships. They have named the foundation after one of Smokey’s favorite phrases: “it didn’t say you couldn’t.” Smokey applied this phrase to racing rule books, but also to everything he did. He took nothing for granted and looked to solve problems in ways that most people would never contemplate. It was said about him that, “he didn’t just think outside the box, he was on another planet.” It is this spirit of unlimited exploration and innovation that the Smokey Yunick – It Didn’t Say You Couldn’t Foundation will seek to foster. Two performance businesses have already signed on as inaugural sponsors of the Foundation. Performance Racing Industry, the voice of the racing marketplace, has committed to provide funding as well as raffle a special Collector’s Edition of Smokey’s autobiography, that will be signed by over 200 racing personalities, at its annual trade show in December, 2002. Automotive Racing Products (ARP), the premier racing fastener company for whom Smokey was a long-time spokesperson, has also signed on as an inaugural sponsor. The first grant or scholarship will be announced and presented at the Smokey Yunick Roundtable at the PRI Trade Show in December, 2002. Additional information will be posted in the NEWS section of Smokey’s web site at SmokeyYunick.com.(4-23-2002)
  • Talladega TV Ratings UPDATE: Sunday’s Winston Cup race from Talladega [on Fox] pulled in an impressive 6.1 overnight rating, up 13% from last year, according to Tuesday’s USA Today. Last year’s race got a big small market bump to finish with a 6.4 final rating.(MotorsportsTV)(4-23-2002)
    UPDATE: Sunday’s NASCAR Winston Cup Aaron’s 499 at Talladega drew a 6.1 overnight rating and 13 percent market share for Fox, according to figures in today’s Sports Business Daily. Motorsports TV says that the ratings figure for the race is up 13 percent from last year. According to the Sports Business Daily figures, the only weekend sports event with comparable or better ratings was the NBA playoff game featuring the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers, which drew a 7.2/13 for NBC.(Winston Cup Scene daily newsletter)(4-23-2002)


    (4-22-2002)

  • More Richmond Testing: Cup and BGN testing continue at Richmond from Monday thru Wedneday. Scheduled to test their Cup cars on Monday, April 22 and Tuesday, April 23 are #18-Bobby Labonte, #20-Tony Stewart, #5-Terry Labonte, and #25-Jerry Nadeau. #9-Bill Elliott, #1-Steve Park and #33-Mike Wallace and BGN driver #40-Brian Vickers are expected to join the group to test Tuesday and Wednesday. Fans are invited to watch testing. The gates will be open from 8:00am to 5:00pm each day.(RIR PR)(4-22-2002)
  • Nemechek in the Winston, with DEI? 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)
  • Nemechek back in the #26 at California: Fox Sports Net’s Totally NASCAR reports that Joe Nemechek will drive the #26 Haas Carter Motorsports Ford at California Speedway thos coming weekend with Checker Auto Parts as the sponsor. Frnak Kimmel, who has been driving the #26 has an ARCA race commitment but will supposedly be back in the #26 at Richmond on May 4th.(4-22-2002)
  • Hermie Sadler to attempt Calif and Richmond: .Hermie Sadler announced today his plans to compete in the next two Winston Cup events at Fontana, California.and Richmond, Virginia. Sadler’s #02 Chevrolet will be sponsored.by Car-Freshner Corporation, makers of the famous “Little-Trees” air freshners, in Fontana and he will carry the colors of the Virginia Lottery at Richmond.(Sadler Enterprises PR)(4-22-2002)
  • Wallace Sponsor: AVStripper, along with Johnson Consulting and Ositis Software have announced a personal sponsorship agreement with Kenny Wallace. AVStripper is a full-featured, easy to use, gateway virus scanning appliance that seamlessly works with any firewall or proxy server, allowing full virus scans of all data traffic coming into and out of the network. AVStripper stops all viruses at the gateway before they penetrate your computer network. Just plug in AVStripper and stop worrying about viruses.(KWR PR)(4-22-2002)
  • Record Crowd: Sunday’s race set a record at Talladega for attendance. Every one of the 143,500 seats were sold and, with the fans in the 212-acre infield, the attendance was estimated at 170,000. The extra capacity comes from the fact that the O.V. Hill South Tower at the track was expanded by 5,200 seats.(Montgomery Advertiser)(4-22-2002)
  • Dale Earnhardt Day: Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman proclaimed April 29, Dale Earnhardt’s birthday, as “Dale Earnhardt Day” in Alabama to honor the racing legend and his family. Earnhardt won a track record 10 Winston Cup races at Talladega.(ThatsRacin.com), also Dale Earnhardt Inc. also announced it would host Dale Earnhardt Day on April 29 at its shop in Mooresville, N.C. Fans will be allowed to view Earnhardt memorabilia and enter the interior show room. The doors will be open from 8:00am to 9:00pm that day.(4-22-2002)
  • More Parts Seized: NASCAR put several more parts confiscated by inspectors over the weekend on display Sunday. Among the items collected: an unapproved grill opening on the #14 Pontiac driven by Stacy Compton; two rear axles each from the #28 Ford of Ricky Rudd and #1 Chevy of Steve Park; and an illegal “underpan” – used to improve downforce under the car – on Rudd’s #28 Ford.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-22-2002)
  • Elledge to the #25? UPDATE: Tony Furr’s decision to quit as #25-Jerry Nadeau’s crew chief this week has raised speculation that Jimmy Elledge may be in line for that job. Elledge could not be reached for comment yesterday.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-20-2002)
    UPDATE: Jimmy Elledge, who lost his job on Dale Jarrett’s team a couple of weeks ago, is being courted by two teams. He now is the top candidate for crew chief on Jerry Nadeau’s #25 team, replacing Tony Furr, who resigned. Last week, Elledge was the top candidate for Casey Atwood’s #7.(Sporting News)(4-22-2002)
  • Cars Dyno’d: Six cars were tested on the chassis dynamometer, used to measure horsepower delivered to the rear wheels, following the race. They were the Dodges driven by #40-Sterling Marlin and #22-Ward Burton, Fords driven by #88-Dale Jarrett and #09-Geoffrey Bodine and Chevys driven by #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #48-Jimmie Johnson. No Pontiacs were tested.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-22-2002)
  • Benson OK: #10 Valvoline Pontiac driver Johnny Benson left Talladega Superspeedway feeling like a pretty lucky man. He wasn’t so fortunate to miss the big wreck on lap 164 that involved 24 cars. Nor did he feel real lucky for his 39th-place finish after running pretty well all afternoon on the high-speed trioval. Benson felt lucky because of some quick work by his crewmembers as well as crewmembers on other NASCAR teams who pulled him from the burning #10 Valvoline Pontiac on pit road as flames spread over the car and inside the driver cockpit. “That was pretty scary,” Benson said after a trip to the infield car center. “That’s the first time in my career I’ve ever had a fire like that. I’m fine and I didn’t get burned but I got very hot in the car. I inhaled some of the smoke and fire extinguisher stuff so they took me to the hospital for a while.” Rescue workers doused Benson with cold water and wet towels after he was pulled from the car. After a few minutes in the care center he was released to go back home to North Carolina. Benson was running midpack as the laps began to wind down and making his move to the front. With 16 laps to go several cars ahead of Benson got together in turn two and cars began crashing and spinning. Benson hit another car while enduring a hit from behind. When he finally came to a rest on the backstretch he refired the engine. Benson drove the damaged Valvoline Pontiac around to the pits where the crew changed two tires and sent him back on the track just ahead of the pace car. The plan was to bring him in for two more tires. As he was circling the track the battery housed in the car just behind the left rear tire caught fire. The flames rapidly spread and by the time he was in the middle of pit road the fire had erupted over the car. Crewmembers from Kenny Schrader’s #36 team as well as others on pit road and Talladega safety crews helped pull Benson from the burning car. The damage from the car along with Benson’s treatment forced the Valvoline team to retire from the race.(Johnny Benson Fanclub)(4-22-2002)

 


(4-21-2002)

 

  • Stewart NOT leaving Gibbs for Jones: #20 Home Depot driver, Tony Stewart and team owner Joe Gibbs both sought Saturday to debunk a rumor emanating from Cowboys headquarters in Texas concerning the driver’s availability. According to a source, Jones already has contacted Stewart about becoming lead driver for the two-car team the Cowboys’ boss is negotiating to form with current owner Andy Petree [#33 and #55 cars]. “They’ll have a tough time doing that [signing Stewart],” said Gibbs, who won three Super Bowls as coach of the Washington Redskins – the Cowboys’ hated rivals – before founding his Winston Cup organization in 1992. “I’ll own the Dallas Cowboys if they try and get Tony Stewart. You can put that down there.” Gibbs spoke from a position of power, in that he has Stewart, crew chief Greg Zipadelli and primary sponsor Home Depot signed through the 2004 Cup season.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(4-21-2002)
  • Mobil 1 Schemes for the #12: ExxonMobil Corporation’s Mobil 1 brand serves as a major associate sponsor this season for both Penske Racing South Teams; the #2 Miller Lite Ford Taurus of veteran driver Rusty Wallace and the #12 ALLTEL Ford Taurus of rookie Ryan Newman. In addition, a marketing agreement has been reached whereby Newman’s ALLTEL Ford will feature a special Mobil 1 and Speedpass paint design in five races this season, beginning with the April 20 NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway (and also at Chicago 7/14; Pocono 7/28; Michigan 8/18; and New Hampshire 9/15).. ExxonMobil Corporation will develop local and regional promotional programs to support the special design used in those markets.(Tom Roberts PR)(4-20-2002)
  • Race Fever does well: Phil Barkdoll, auctioneer for Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind’s Race Fever event, got an unprecedented $15,000 bid on a rare autographed Dale Earnhardt helmet Friday night during festivities at the Speedvision Dome. “Preliminary estimates put this year’s gross profit at $118,000, not counting gift-in-kind gifts,” said AIDB President Joe Busta. “Race Fever was a huge success due to our sponsors, driver attendance, patrons and the continued enthusiasm of auctioneer Phil Barkdoll and master of ceremonies Ned Jarrett.” Approximately 1,200 fans participated in Race Fever 2002, which featured a barbecue dinner and silent auction. Drivers on hand included Jeff Green, Tina Gordon, Shawna Robinson, Bobby Labonte, Casey Mears, Robbie Gordon, Johnny Benson, Bobby Allison, Jerry Nadeau, Ashton Lewis Jr., Scott Riggs and Jack Sprague. Former basketball coach Sonny Smith hosted the evening, greeting guests from 38 states and Canada.(Daily Home)(4-21-2002)

    (4-20-2002)

  • Little E wins the The Aaron’s 499 at Talladega: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr won the Aaron’s 499, his first win (and Chevy’s first) of 2002. It is Earnhardt’s 6th career win and first win since Talladega last Oct. Nice run by #45-Kyle Petty 10th, his first top 10 since he finished 9th at Talladega in April 2000. The top 10 Unofficial Finishers:
    #8-Earnhardt Jr (133 laps led)
    #15-Waltrip (14 laps led)
    #97-Busch
    #24-Gordon
    #40-Marlin (2 laps led)

    #88-Jarrett (2 laps led)
    #48-Johnson (8 laps led)
    #2-Wallace
    #99-Burton (1 lap led)
    #45-Petty
    #98-Kenny Wallace crossed the stripe 5th, but Fox is reporting that Wallace will be dropped to 21st, last car on the lead lap. Wallace went below the yellow line, rule is if a driver does that and increases his position, he will be penalized. Wallace said he was forced down below the line by #40-Marlin, Wallace comment: “Sterling body slammed me and I cant do nothin else, this is drama. NASCAR is the greatest in the world, what ever happens I finished 5th, Sterling turned left and I moved to the left, in my heart I finished 5th:(KennyWallaceRacing.com)

    Lap Leaders: #48-Johnson; #8-Earnhardt Jr; #15-Waltrip; #19-Mayfield; #40-Marlin; #17-Kenseth; #12-Newman (3); #6-Martin; #99-Burton; #88-Jarrett;
    Drivers on the lead lap: 21
    Cautions: 3 for 19 laps
    Off the track/DNF: #12-Newman (engine); #43-Andretti(accident); #10-Benson(accident); #21-Sadler(accident); #18-Labonte(accident); #33-Wallace(accident); #6-Martin(accident); #20-Stewart(?);

    Caution 3 – lap 181 – 183 (and a red flag): #6-Martin brought his damaged car on the track and it died on the track and oil has been found on the track.
    Caution 2 – lap 164 – 175: huge wreck many cars involved: #’s 09,1,2,4,5,6,7,9,10,17,18,19,20,21,28,29,31,32,33,41,43,44,55,77 and Fox reports 24 cars, a new record for a wreck at Talladega. Looks like #33-Wallace and #20-Stewart got together, Stewart was basically squeezed against the wall, no place to go after Wallce got turned around a bit. #10-Benson was quickly repaired but when he went to go back out, his car caught fire and the track/other crews put the fire out and Benson was a bit overcome by the extinguisher fumes/powder, he is be attended to but is awake and alert. No injuries reported.
    Caution 1 – lap 116-119: debris on the track

    NOTEs: #20-Stewart sent to the garage due to leaking oil on lap 182. #12-Newman has dropped a cylinder and has taken the car to the garage on lap 141. #25-Nadeau was in the garage on lap 114 with a broken shock mount, is back on the track. #14-Compton has slowed, possible valve spring problem on lap 65 but is still out there down a lap. 1st green flag pit stops occurred between laps 50-55. #44-Grissom blew a front tire on lap 50, no caution. #55-Hamilton fell off the pace around lap 38 came in and took tires. Also around the same time #26-Kimmel went to the garage with a shock problem, fixed and back on the track. #36-Schrader started falling back around lap 14 when a roll bar cusion fell off inside the car and hit the ignition switch. #25-Nadeau has a potenial engine problem, maybe a spark plug problem, but he got off to an ok start and seems just fine.

    For results, see ThatsRacin.com or NASCAR.com. See Drivers standings at ThatsRacin.com or NASCAR.com.(4-21-2002)

  • No more trucks for Harvick? (as a driver): While cars were going through inspection Friday [at Talladega], car owner Richard Childress said that he might prohibit Kevin Harvick from driving in the truck series again. “I don’t think I’ll let him do that,” Childress said. “We haven’t discussed it, but I don’t think so.”(High Point Enterprise). Harvick could still own the team and run with other drivers.(4-20-2002)
  • Mobil 1 Schemes for the #12: ExxonMobil Corporation’s Mobil 1 brand serves as a major associate sponsor this season for both Penske Racing South Teams; the #2 Miller Lite Ford Taurus of veteran driver Rusty Wallace and the #12 ALLTEL Ford Taurus of rookie Ryan Newman. In addition, a marketing agreement has been reached whereby Newman’s ALLTEL Ford will feature a special Mobil 1 and Speedpass paint design in five races this season, beginning with the April 20 NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway (and also at Chicago 7/14; Pocono 7/28; Michigan 8/18; and New Hampshire 9/15).. ExxonMobil Corporation will develop local and regional promotional programs to support the special design used in those markets.(Tom Roberts PR)(4-20-2002)
  • A 5th Hendrick team? UPDATE 3 Sprague/#60: been told that Hendrick Motorsports BGN driver, Jack Sprague, will drive the #60 Haas Chevy in the Coca Cola 600 at Lowes Motor Speedway in May and possibly up to six more Cup events. See an image of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery.(3-19-2002)
    UPDATE: Dr Jerry Punch interviewed Jack Sprague on ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night and it was mentioned that the team just got the new #60 car in the shop and plans to test at Charlotte/Lowes Motor Speedway in a few weeks. Other races include New Hampshire, both Lowes races and Homestead. Rick Hendrick will be part owner of the team.(4-9-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Three-time CTS champ Jack Sprague will run five Cup races this season with a new team owned by Haas Automation. The team will use engines and cars built by Hendrick Motorsports, who Sprague currently drives in the BGN. The team will move full-time to Winston Cup in 2003. The team will debut at the Coca-Cola 600 next month in Charlotte. Other races scheduled are: New Hampshire in September; Charlotte in October; Atlanta in October; and Homestead, Fla., in November. Additional races may be added. “I have been waiting a long time to get the right opportunity to go Winston Cup racing,” Sprague said. “I’ve had opportunities in the past, but they just weren’t structured in a way that would give me and the team all the ingredients needed for success.” “This new association with Haas Automation has everything needed to make the deal go, both on and off the track. This deal is worth the wait.” Sprague’s current and long-time crew chief, Dennis Conner, will also serve in that capacity with his Cup team. Joe Custer will serve as the team’s general manager.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-19-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Haas Automation, one of the leading manufacturers of industrial tools worldwide, announced today that it has formed a Winston Cup Team that will run a select-event schedule of races this season with driver Jack Sprague. Sprague and the team will then enter the Winston Cup ranks on a full-time basis beginning with the 2003 Daytona 500 at Daytona Beach, FL. Haas Automation, a long-time sponsor of Hendrick Motorsports, will receive assistance from the five-time Cup championship organization in making this new team possible. According to Sprague, the #60 Haas Automation Chevy will make its debut at Charlotte in the Coca-Cola 600, Sunday, May 26. “I have been waiting a long time to get the right opportunity to go Winston Cup racing,” said Sprague, the three-time CTS champion now racing in the BGN. “I’ve had opportunities in the past, but they just weren’t structured in a way that would give me and the team all the ingredients needed for success. This new association with Haas Automation has everything needed to make the deal go, both on and off the track. This deal was worth the wait.” Located in Oxnard, CA, Haas Automation is the largest, most modern machine tool manufacturing operation in the United States. The company manufactures four major product lines and has nearly 750 employees. Haas Automation builds a full line of CNC vertical machining centers, horizontal machining centers, CNC lathes, rotary tables and 5C indexers. Haas machine tools and rotary products are built to deliver higher accuracy, repeatability and more durability than any other machine tools on the market. Haas Automation, which also serves as a major associate sponsor on Sprague’s #24 NetZero Chevy BGN entry this season, has sold more than 40,000 rotary tables and 32,000 CNC machines throughout the world. The company ships more CNC machines per month than any other U.S. manufacturer. In addition to the Charlotte Winston Cup event in May, Sprague and his #60 Haas Automation Chevy will compete at New Hampshire (Sept. 15), Lowe’s Motor Speedway (Oct. 13), Atlanta (Oct. 27) and Homestead- (Nov. 17). Additional races are also being considered at this time. The effort will be fielded out of HAAS CNC RACING headquarters located in Harrisburg, NC. Joe Custer is the team’s General Manager, while Sprague’s current and long-time crew chief, Dennis Connor, will also serve in that capacity for the new Winston Cup team. Hendrick Motorsports will provide cars, engines and technical assistance for the team.(Motorsports Management Group PR)(4-20-2002)
  • Parts seized during inspection Friday Morning: NASCAR confiscated some parts Friday morning during inspection, including an unapproved fuel cell container, rear spoiler and braces from Kyle Petty’s #45 car; unapproved window braces from Jeff Burton’s #99 car; unapproved rear window braces from Kevin Harivck’s #29 car; a disallowed “underpan” – used to add downforce under the car – on Jerry Nadeau’s #25 car; an unapproved fuel cell vent from Casey Atwood’s #7 car; and unapproved fuel cell filler neck from Brett Bodine’s #11 car.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-19-2002)
    UPDATE: NASCAR officials confiscated several items during Friday’s inspection. NASCAR took a fuel cell and an unapproved spoiler from #45-Kyle Petty ‘s team. #2-Rusty Wallace, #12-Ryan Newman and #99-Jeff Burton each had roof spoilers that did not meet specifications. #7-Casey Atwood ‘s car had a fuel cell vent that was removed. #29-Kevin Harvick ‘s team lost an unapproved brace for the rear window, and #11-Brett Bodine ‘s team had a fuel filler that was not legal.(Roanoke Times)(4-20-2002)
  • Sad News: during an interview on FX’s tape delayed qualifying show from Talladega, Dr. Dick Derggren interviewed Geoffrey Bodine, driver of the #09 Miccosukee Indian Gaming Ford (qualified 23rd) who said (paraphrasing as best as I can) – “This is really a tough time for me Dick. I had a birthday yesterday, but I also had a tragedy in my life, my fiancée of 6 years died last week. So I’m.standing here with mixed emotions, such a good car, and a good run and a lot of opportunity here, but my heart’s really hurting right now, but we will get through the weekend. Angela would want me to be here, so we’re here. But, we’re gonna miss her. Going to be hard to get through this, but we will.” That is all I know and have seen nothing on the Geoffrey Bodine Fanclub site (besides stuff on the forum in response to this interview).(4-20-2002)

    (4-19-2002)

  • Student Builds car, gets into NASCAR Tech: From the time he was a child, Tony Yost knew he wanted to work on cars — and not just any cars — he wanted to work on NASCAR stock cars. “I was brought up around cars,” said Yost, a 17-year-old senior who attends Shamokin Area High School and Northumberland County Vocational-Technical School(PA). It appears Yost is on his way to getting what he’s always wanted. He has earned national recognition for his talents, built his own race car and has been accepted into the NASCAR Technical Institute in Charlotte, N.C. Yost’s string of accomplishments began with his first-place finish in the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA) competition on Feb. 15.(full story at the News-Item), more info on schools on my Racing/Driving Schools – Jobs Page.(4-19-2002)
  • Helton leaving MRO: Motor Racing Outreach (MRO) Board Chairman, Lake Speed and CEO, Richard Mason recently announced that the ministry’s Founder and Past Senior Chaplain, Max Helton will be leaving MRO, effective April 15, 2002. Helton’s plans include working on a nation-wide marriage initiative program through the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) and starting a new ministry separate from MRO which will concentrate on reaching international motorsports participants and fans. International Motorsport Services is being co-founded with Helton’s son-in-law, Daryl Barker, former business manager for Dale Earnhardt, Inc.. He also commented that working on the new Marriage Initiative program which is being headed up by the AACC will afford him the freedom to work on the international ministry at the same time. Helton and his wife, Jean founded MRO in 1988, along with NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers Darrell Waltrip, Lake Speed, Bobby Hillin, and their wives to serve the racing community. Since that time, MRO has grown to provide 15 full time chaplains to many national racing series including automobile, truck, motorcycle and powerboat racing. In a final comment, Helton stated, ” I am very pleased to have founded and worked almost 14 years with MRO. I believe God has, and will continue to work in the lives of those in the racing communities it serves.” Max and Jean Helton will remain on the Board of Directors of Motor Racing Outreach.(Motor Racing Outreach PR)(4-19-2002)

    (4-18-2002)

  • Kerry Earnhardt to drive at Talladega Cup race in Oct: FitzBradshaw Racing has secured Racing USA, Inc. as a primary sponsor for the Winston Cup Series race on October 6, 2002 in Talladega. The Racing USA car will be driven by Kerry Earnhardt. The car’s paint scheme is currently being designed by Sam Bass and will boast the #83. The number 8 represents Kerry’s grandfather and the number 3 represents his father. Earnhardt currently drives the #12 Chevy in the BGN. The one-race sponsorship is the first Winston Cup Series sponsorship for FitzBradshaw Racing. Earlier this month, the team announced that the #12 Chevy secured primary sponsors for the entire 2002 Busch Series. The team intends to continue to pursue limited Winston Cup Series race sponsorships for the later part of the 2002 season and for select 2003 races. By 2004, FitzBradshaw’s goal is to be fielding it’s first full-season Winston Cup Series car. “Sponsorship procurement has been progressing as a steady pace. The pace we’re on has FitzBradshaw Racing running full-season Busch and eventually full-season Cup,” stated FitzBradshaw co-owner Armondo Fitz. “Racing USA is a leader in the collectible industry and everybody at FitzBradshaw is excited about the opportunity to run a Cup race, the collectible car and to be able to see Kerry driving the #83 car around one of his favorite tracks, Talladega.” To commemorate this special event, Action Performance will be producing a limited edition diecast collectible of Kerry’s No. 83 Talladega paint scheme to be sold exclusively at Racing USA’s retail store in Birminham’s Riverchase Galleria Mall and on Racing USA’s website at www.racingusa.com. FitzBradshaw Racing is co-owned by Fitz and Pro Football Hall of Fame member and FOX broadcaster Terry Bradshaw.(FitzBradshaw Racing PR)(4-18-2002)
  • Sadler in Video: #21 Cup driver Elliott Sadler and Country Music Male Vocalist Blake Shelton spent the majority of Tuesday and Wednesday filming the music video for Shelton’s new release, “Ol’ Red”.. The two met in March of this year when Sadler attended one of Shelton’s concerts in Atlanta.. They began to chat and found they share a common interest in deer hunting.. By the conclusion of the meet and greet, Sadler and Shelton had made plans to shoot the music video and a deer hunting trip to Virginia in December. The filming of “Ol’ Red” began Tuesday morning and “That’s A Wrap” transpired on Wednesday night around midnight.. Shelton’s first major release, “Austin”, soared to No. 1 on the country music charts. “Filming ‘Ol’ Red’ with Blake has been awesome,” stated Sadler.. “I’ve always enjoyed watching music videos and when Blake asked me if I’d like to join him in one of his videos I immediately accepted.. It was a lot of fun and similar to filming a commercial accept it took a lot longer.. I’ve always told everyone that if I couldn’t be a racecar driver I’d want to be a country music singer.. This is probably as close as I’ll ever come.” According to Shelton, “I became a huge NASCAR fan last year in October when I sang the National Anthem at Talladega.. Elliott and I had a great time filming the video and I hope all of the NASCAR and country music fans will enjoy the ‘Ol’ Red’ Video.” To view the lyrics from “Ol’ Red” please click on the link below: http://www.blakeshelton.com/section/audio/olred.htm. The video is scheduled for release in early May.. Shelton plays the role of the inmate and Sadler plays the inmate’s cousin.. Both were instructed to grow beards for their roles in the video.. The attached photo includes Elliott and Blake.(Elliott Sadler Enterprises PR)(4-18-20020
  • Sponsor sticks by Harvick: GM Goodwrench Service’s director of brand marketing, Jon Brancheau, says the sponsor understands NASCAR’s one-race suspension of driver Kevin Harvick but continues to support the driver and the Richard Childress Racing team. “We recognize NASCAR’s concern regarding the situation in Martinsville and look forward to seeing Kevin back in the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo in Talladega this weekend,” Brancheau says. “As the sponsor, we proudly support the entire RCR organization.” For his part, Harvick says he has learned his lesson from the suspension that followed an incident Saturday in which he rammed the truck of Coy Gibbs during the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Advance Auto Parts 250. “Having to miss the [Winston Cup] race in Martinsville definitely got my attention. I’m still learning how NASCAR works and what is involved in the decisions they make. They are trying to create a fair playing field with those decisions, and they’re not out to get anyone.”(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-18-2002)
  • Softwall Testing – Petree ‘loans’ car: #33/55 Cup team owner Andy Petree wanted to help NASCAR’s safety crusade for soft walls, so he donated one of his stock cars for crash research. After the crash test was completed at the Midwest Roadside Safety facility at the University of Nebraska and the car examined from top to bottom by engineers, NASCAR sent the Chevrolet back to its owner. “I’ve never seen a car like that destroyed in my whole life,” said Petree, who has the mangled machine sitting at his Flat Rock, N.C., shop. “I’ll tell you what, if that was a soft wall I’d hate to see it with a hard one.” The good news is that the crash that destroyed Petree’s car was exaggerated beyond a worst-case scenario, and this potentially lifesaving barrier could be in use this year.(more at the Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-18-2002)
  • #12 Schemes as reported on the Paint Scheme Gallery, the #12 Ford driven by Ryan Newman, will drive a Sony WEGA scheme at Pocono in June (and aa few other races, possibly Calif) and and a Mobil One scheme at Pocono in July (and possibly some other races in 2002. See the schemes on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(4-18-2002)
  • Lake Speed to Team Up With Ernie Irvan UPDATE: Former Winston Cup winner and international karting champion [and Cup driver] Lake Speed has confirmed his participation teaming with another former Winston Cup champion, Ernie Irvan, in the Endurance Karting Charlotte 400, 8-hour race Saturday, April 20, at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Speed’s karting career began in his home state of Mississippi, and soon the young driver was winning national events all over the country, resulting in six U.S. Karting National Championships in single and twin-engine competition. Speed graduated to the international scene representing the USA across Europe and regularly competed with many drivers who became better known in full-size international motorsports like Grand Prix Formula One and World Sportscar racing. Speed was the first American to triumph in the World Championship of Karting at LeMans, France, in 1978. Speed won the championship over no less than future Formula One Champion, Ayrton Senna, who finished second. Speed began a career in Winston Cup in 1980 and in 19 years started 402 races resulting in a win at Darlington in 1988, and no less than 16 top fives and 75 top ten finishes. Irvan’s team is showing tremendous depth with the two former Winston Cup winners joined by Irvan’s ARCA protégé and veteran of ASA and Legends Car competition, Kevin Conway and an unknown, but rumored to be exceedingly fast young driver by the name of Tom.(Endurancekarting.com)(4-17-2002)
    UPDATE: One of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers of All-Time, Ernie Irvan, and former NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Lake Speed have joined together with two up and coming drivers, Kevin Conway and Neal Lewis for the Charlotte 400 Endurance Karting event on Saturday, April 20th. Irvan, a 15-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series winner started his career by racing karts throughout southern California. That foundation launched the career of one of the most popular and successful drivers in the history of NASCAR. “It really is a lot of fun to be able to go back to the roots of my career and do something like this,” said Irvan. Speed was the first American to triumph in the World Championship of Karting at LeMans, France, in 1978. Speed won the championship over no less than future Formula One Champion, Ayrton Senna, who finished second. Speed began a career in Winston Cup in 1980 and in 19 years started 402 races resulting in a win at Darlington in 1988, and no less than 16 top fives and 75 top ten finishes. Irvan’s protégé and driver for his newly formed ARCA ReMax Series team Kevin Conway will be competing on the same team with Irvan and Speed. “It is funny to think that I was born the same year that Ernie won his first track championship and Lake won the World Championship in 1978,” stated Kevin. Conway, a Lynchburg, Virginia native, began racing at an early age and has competed in AMA Motocross, WKA go-karts, NMMA midgets, Legends Cars, NASCAR Late Models, ASA, and the ARCA ReMax Series. For more information on Endurance Karting events, please log onto www.endurancekarting.com.(Ernie Irvan Racing PR)(4-18-2002)
  • Testing at Sears Point: #28-Ricky Rudd will highlight a group of six drivers who will participate in a two-day NASCAR Winston Cup test session at Sears Point Raceway, April 23-24. Rudd, a four-time pole-sitter at Sears Point, will be joined at the test by fellow Winston Cup drivers #17-Matt Kenseth, #97-Kurt Busch, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #12-Ryan Newman and #87-Ron Fellows. This will mark the first time that rookies Johnson and Newman have tested the 10-turn, 2-mile course that will be used in June for the Dodge/Save Mart 350. The test session will afford drivers a sneak preview of the ‘new’ Sears Point Raceway, which is in the final stages of a two-year $50 million renovation plan that will transform the facility into one of the premier motorsports and entertainment venues in the country. On the track, drivers will see increased runoff at almost every turn on the road course to increase driver safety, as well as a full complement of 43 stalls on pit road, thus eliminating the need for the infamous “Gilligan’s Island” on the inside of Turn 11. Moreover, the drag strip has been permanently separated from the road course at Turns 12-1, which has been a long-time criticism of Sears Point Raceway, and portions of the course have been repaved. The entire circuit will be repaved in September. Off the track, drivers will see improved fan amenities, including a new permanent grandstand at start/finish that has been constructed directly above pit road, as well as two underground pedestrian tunnels at start/finish and Turn 10. The tunnels eliminated the need for the two bridges that were previously used as thoroughfares, which has also opened up dynamic sightlines for fans in the new grandstand. Additional hillside terrace seats have been built above Turns 7-9, and a new system of shuttle roads has been constructed to help get fans around the property more efficiently. The two-day test session will be held in advance of the NASCAR Winston Cup weekend at California Speedway in Fontana, April 26-28.(Sears Point PR)(4-18-2002)
  • Earnhardt Fast at MIS: Dale Earnhardt Jr. proved he still may be the man to beat when it comes to qualifying at Michigan International Speedway. Earnhardt, who holds the MIS NASCAR qualifying record at 191.149 mph set in August 2000, notched speeds in excess of 187mph during the second day of a two-day test session at the historic two-mile oval. Chad Little, testing [#74] BACE Motorsports equipment, also completed the two-day session Wednesday. Both will attempt to qualify for the Michigan 400 on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 16, at MIS. The day’s only break in testing came when Little’s engine began smoking at 10:15am, about the same time rain started falling at the Speedway. After a two-hour break to let the track dry, the cars went back out.(MIS PR)(4-18-2002)
  • New Heart: Sherman Forrester didn’t have to wait long for a new heart. The motorcoach driver for Jeff Burton received a heart transplant April 12 at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. On April 14, he was moved into a private room.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(4-18-2002)
  • TRAC Cars UPDATE: TRAC officials will unveil their three new race cars and there will also be several other major announcements followed by a question-and-answer session at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Wednesday, April 24th. For more info on the series, see my TRAC Page or the TRAC website.(4-17-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing the car makes are a Viper, Mustang and a Corvette.(4-18-2002)


    (4-17-2002)

  • Nemechek to the #44? UPDATE 2 No Grissom in Jones Out: rumors are afloat that place Joe Nemechek (recently released by Haas-Cart Motorsports) in the #44 Georgia Pacific Petty Racing Dodge at Martinsville this weekend. Buckshot Jones is the current driver.(4-9-2002)
    UPDATE: checked with a few more sources and been told that Nemechek is still under contract with Haas Carter Motorsports and that the team is hoping sponsorship will come through soon.(4-9-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Effective this week for the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega, Steve Grissom will drive the #44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge. Grissom, a former BGN and NASCAR All-Pro series champion, has worked with Petty Enterprises over the past year helping them test and develop their Dodge Intrepid race cars. “Buckshot did a good job for us, and I personally appreciate everything he has done for us at Petty Enterprises,” said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. “We continue to have the utmost respect for Buckshot as an individual and as a Winston Cup driver. We have not performed to our expectations, and we felt like it was time to make a change. Sometimes you change the coach, and sometimes you change the quarterback. This time we decided to shake up the chemistry by changing the quarterback. We believe that Steve, because he’s been around us and has helped us with these cars, can step in and move the Georgia-Pacific team forward. Because of the way we’ve done our testing with our R&D program, Steve has more laps in some of our cars than I do or John does. Ordinarily you’d expect some disruption with a change of drivers, but Steve has worked with the team, and has won a Busch Series championship with crew chief Bryant Frazier, so we expect him to step in and not skip a beat.”
    “I’m excited to get the opportunity to drive the Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge,” said Grissom. “Everyone can see the great strides that Petty Enterprises has made this year. Having the opportunity to assist in the testing and development of these cars means that I know how good they are. The team that Kyle Petty and Robin Pemberton have put together is a winning combination. I’m confident that I can come in and work well with the team and that we will have success.”(Williams Company PR)(4-17-2002)
  • Furr and the #25 part ways: Tony Furr stepped down Wednesday as crew chief of the #25 Delphi Automotive/UAW-GM Chevys driven by Jerry Nadeau for Hendrick Motorsports. Furr said he is leaving to pursue other opportunities in Winston Cup competition. Ken Howes, director of competition for the Hendrick teams, will replace Furr on an interim basis. Howes, who has been with the Hendrick operation since 1985, was crew chief on the #25 team from 1992 until 1995. Furr had been the team’s crew chief since the beginning of the 1998 season.(ThatsRacin.com and a story at Hendrick Motorsports site)(4-17-2002)
  • #99 Special Schemes: hearing that #99 Jeff Burton will be running three special paint schemes this year. CITGO Peel In Reel out and Win at the Winston and Sears Point (image in Paint Scheme Gallery), CITGO BASS Fishing (Daytona, July 6th) and MDA Charity Citgo (Darlington).(4-17-2002)
  • New Hampshire starts work: Crews from Pike Paving in Tilton started work Monday on the New Hampshire International Speedway second racing groove project, which will extend the racing surface toward the infield area. Existing pavement in the corners was removed and work started in the new subsurface for the pavement, which will be laid down later this week. The change in the corners will not alter the 12-degree grade of the racing track but will create more opportunities for passing and side-by-side racing, which NHIS officials are hopeful will create more exciting racing. The asphalt to be used in the turns comes from Trinidad, where the hottest tar pits in the world are located. Track officials said it was sent to Germany for pre-treatment and only recently arrived, in pellet form, in New Hampshire. The new surface will get its first test runs April 30 and May 1 during an open NASCAR test session for the NASCAR Busch Series, Busch North Series and Featherlite Modified Series teams. The speedway opens its season with a NASCAR Busch Series and Busch North Series doubleheader on May 11.(Union Leader)(4-17-2002)
  • Yunick to be Awarded: Prolong Super Lubricants, Inc. announced that Henry “Smokey” Yunick, the leading innovator in motorsports engineering, will be posthumously presented Prolong’s “Racing Angel” award for 2002 in conjunction with the 12th annual International Motorsports Hall of Fame induction in Talladega, Ala., on April 17th. The “Racing Angel” award identifies and acknowledges individuals exemplifying extraordinary achievements, determination and charitable goodwill within the motorsports community. The award will be presented by Linda Vaughn, the first lady of motorsports, who also is a Hall of Fame inductee and a tireless motorsports goodwill ambassador. Mr. Yunick from Daytona Beach, Florida, was well known for Smokey’s, “The Best Damn Garage in Town.” It most certainly was, as he fielded stock cars that won eight victories in 61 starts as an owner and more than 50 winners as a crew chief, chief mechanic or engine builder. In 1960, Mr. Yunick was crew chief for Jim Rathmann, the winner of the Indianapolis 500. Prolong’s “Racing Angel” award, conceived by Linda Vaughn, was previously given to T. Wayne Robertson, the sports marketing legend, and Bill France Jr., president of NASCAR. Noted motorsports sculptor Ivan Fuller created the striking bronze sculpture depicting a racing angel, which is on permanent display at the Motorsports Hall of Fame museum in Talladega (a great place to visit by the way).(Business Wire)(4-17-2002)
  • Martinsville TV numbers: FX’s coverage of last weekend’s Cup race from Martinsville drew the network’s highest rating, delivering 3.4 million homes and 5.4 million viewers.(Roanoke Times)(4-17-2002)
  • More on Jerry Jones and Petree: Car owner [#’s 33 and 55] Andy Petree said his talks with representatives from the Dallas Cowboys continue. Petree has been in discussion with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones since last October about partnering. “We still haven’t finalized anything about what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do it, but we are talking really daily,” Petree said. “If we’re going to do something, we’re probably going to need to get something done in the next 30 to 45 days.”(Roanoke Times)(4-17-2002)
  • International Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction: One of the world’s greatest road racers, Jacky Ickx, and a pair of NASCAR’s greatest driver-owners, Glen Wood and Alan Kulwicki, head the list of the six men who will be inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in April of 2002. Ickx, who excelled in a number of different racing series’, won the 24 Hours of LeMans an incredible six times, claimed championships in World Endurance and Can-Am, and was one of the top competitors in Formula 1 for a decade. Wood and Kulwicki were both chosen as one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers. Wood is half of the original Wood Brothers team that listed many of the greats as their drivers. Kulwicki was the last driver/owner to win a Winston Cup championship, and also was a top ASA driver before moving to NASCAR. Joining them in the Class of 2002 are Italian car builder and engine designer Ettore Bugatti, New Zealander Denis Hulme who won the Formula One World Championship in 1967, and stock car racing great Tim Richmond. Bugatti’s cars dominated European racing from 1911 until 1947, winning some 4,000 races. During World War I, he designed an aircraft engine for the French, and developed high-speed boats, trains and planes. Hulme, in addition to his F1 title, also won two Can-Am championships, and was Rookie of the Year at Indy in 1967. Richmond was also an Indy Rookie of the Year (1980), and won 13 races in his abbreviated NASCAR career. The 2002 Induction Ceremony will be held on April 18th in the Speedvision Dome at the international Motorsports Hall of Fame. Reservations for tickets for the 12th Annual Induction Ceremony are being taken now at the Hall of Fame. Anyone interested should call 256/362-5002.(IMHF Site)(4-17-2002)
  • M&M’s Vote: Ken Schrader knows that the future of his car is in his fans’ hands – at least the future color of the #36 “M&M’s”® Pontiac. As candy lovers around the world cast their vote for the new color in the famous “M&M’s”® candy mix – pink, purple or aqua – NASCAR fans have to keep a second thing in mind. The winning color – whether it be pink, purple or aqua – will be the color of the #36 car (and Schrader’s uniform) for a one-race paint scheme at Bristol Motor Speedway in August. This weekend, NASCAR fans by the thousands will have the opportunity for their voice to be heard. Fans at Talladega Superspeedway will be able to cast their vote for pink, purple or aqua at a special “M&M’s”® GLOBAL COLOR VOTE(tm) voting tent. The tent will be located near souvenir alley, which is close to the North Entrance of the track. Fans will be able to cast their all important vote Friday from 8:00am to 3:00pm, Saturday/Sunday from 8:00am to 1:00pm. Fans can vote as many times as they want each day. Each voter will receive an “I VOTED” sticker and a Fun Size package of “M&M’s”® for their vote. Schrader isn’t worried about fans picking the color of his car – even if one of the choices is pink. In fact, he hopes that the fans line up to vote for the new color. “Hey, I keep telling people that I look good in pink,” Schrader said. “I don’t care what color my car is – what matters to me is that it gets around the track fast. I’ll drive whatever color race car “M&M’s”® gives me. People keep giving me a hard time about maybe driving a pink car. I just want the fans to get out there and vote.” If history is any indication of how the people will respond to the GLOBAL COLOR VOTE(tm), Schrader will get his wish for long lines and lots of votes. In 1995 when “M&M’s”® asked consumers across the United States to vote for a new color, millions of people responded. An astounding 10,234,142 votes were cast and the color Blue won in a landslide – and that was just in the United States. This time around though, the question is being poised to people worldwide in 75 countries.(M&M’s Racing-IMG Motorsports PR)(4-17-2002)
  • Price Motorsports Next Race: Despite narrowly missing the Virginia 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race by only eight one-hundredths of a second, the members of Price Motorsports team of Raleigh, N.C. are not disappointed. The upstart team, in only its 2nd qualifying attempt in Cup, outran three series regulars but it wasn’t enough. Although their time was easily fast enough to join the show, they lacked enough ownerss points to make the race using a provisional. The next stop for the #59 Price Motorsports team will be an attempt to qualify for the May 4th race at Richmond. Driver Randy Renfrow has run well at the D-shaped oval during his CTS career. In addition to the aforementioned Richmond event, the team is planning to hit several other racing venues in 2002. Other planned races: Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Bristol, Atlanta, Indianapolis and second trips to Rockingham and Martinsville(Price Motorsports PR)(4-17-2002)
  • Parrott is “IRWIN Rough to the Finish” award winner: #88 crew chief Todd Parrott is this week’s “IRWIN Rough to the Finish” award winner. The team finished fourth in Sunday’s Virginia 500 at Martinsville Speedway. In a caution-filled race, Dale Jarrett avoided several incidents on his way to his first top-five finish of the 2002 season. Jarrett started the Virginia 500 in 31st place. “Track position is everything here and you had to really plan your strategy,” said crew chief Todd Parrott. “It worked out for us today and we were able to get a good top-five finish.” Jarrett lost a lap early in the race when the team was penalized 15 seconds for having to use a back-up air wrench. After getting back on the lead lap during a caution on lap 254, the team climbed as high as second before slipping to a fourth-place finish. “We really didn’t think we had a chance for the win after we got a lap down,” Parrott said. “The guys did a really good job and got Dale back on the lead lap. It was a hard fought battle.”(Golin Harris PR)(4-17-2002)
  • Testing at Richmond UPDATE: Eighteen NASCAR Winston Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series drivers are scheduled to test at Richmond International Raceway over a four-day period next week in preparation for their visit to “The Action Track” May 2-4. Tentatively scheduled to test NASCAR Winston Cup Series cars on Monday, April 15 and Tuesday, April 16 are #36-Ken Schrader, #10-Johnny Benson, #6-Mark Martin, #32-Ricky Craven and #77-Dave Blaney. Testing their BGN rides will be #10-Scott Riggs, #46-Ashton Lewis, #59-Stacey Compton, #37-Jeff Purvis, #48-Kenny Wallace, #30-Christian Fittipaldi and #1-Jimmy Spencer. Fittipaldi, who will continue to race in CART this year, is expected to make his 2002 BGN debut in the Hardee’s 250 at Richmond in the #30 Mike’s Hard Lemonade Chevy. Joining that group on Tuesday will be Cup drivers #2-Rusty Wallace, #12-Ryan Newman and #1-Steve Park. Wallace, Newman and Park will also test on Wednesday, April 17 when a new group of drivers moves in to test, including #9-Jeff Burton(BGN), #02-Hermie Sadler(Cup) and #66-Casey Mears(BGN) and will also expected to test on Thursday, April 18. The grandstands will be open to the public all four days from 9:00am to 5:00pm/et.(RIR Site)(4-15-2002)
    UPDATE: Fifteen Cup and BGN drivers tested at Richmond International Raceway on Monday and Tuesday in preparation for their visit to “The Action Track” May 2-4. Drivers were greeted with unseasonably warm conditions, as temperatures soared into the mid 90’s. The teams worked on mostly race set-ups, as they were working with a “green” track after Richmond International Raceway officials applied a customary off-season coat of sealer to the track. Testing Winston Cup cars were #36-Ken Schrader, #2-Rusty Wallace, #12-Ryan Newman, #6-Mark Martin, #32-Ricky Craven, #77-Dave Blaney. Testing their BGN #10-Scott Riggs, #46-Ashton Lewis, #48-Kenny Wallace, #30-Christian Fittipaldi, #47-Shane Hmeil, #14-Larry Foyt, #1-Jimmy Spencer, #66-Casey Mears, #98-Kasey Kahne. Teams reported the following unofficial lap times (only Martin, Schrader and Mears attempted qualifying runs). Jeff Gordon holds the track record of 21. 344 seconds (126.499 mph).
    #6-Mark Martin, 125.00mph; #36-Ken Schrader, 122.84; #32-Ricky Craven, 122.73 mph BGN: #66-Casey Mears, 124.14mph; #46-Ashton Lewis, 122.73; #48-Kenny Wallace, 122.17; #47-Shane Hmeil, 121.90; #98-Kasey Kahne,121.35; #30-Christian Fittipaldi, 120.00. Wallace and Newman are expected to stay another day to test and will be joined by Jeff Burton (Busch car) and Hermie Sadler (Cup car) today.(RIR Site)(4-17-2002)


    (4-16-2002)

  • Harvick Statement: The following is a statement from Kevin Harvick, driver of Richard Childress Racing’s #29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevy, regarding NASCAR’s penalty from Martinsville Speedway. “It tore me up Sunday to watch the race from home while Kenny Wallace drove the 29. I haven’t been racing since I was five years old and made it this far in my career to throw it all away now. Having to miss the race in Martinsville definitely got my attention. I’m still learning how NASCAR works and what is involved in the decisions they make. They are trying to create a fair playing field with those decisions and they’re not out to get anyone. In all reality, you make and control your own destiny in this sport. I wish that my team and GM Goodwrench Service weren’t dragged into a situation that they had nothing to do with. For that, I want to thank everyone at RCR and GM Goodwrench Service for sticking with me. In addition to thanking Kenny for stepping in at the last minute and helping us out, I want to thank the Winston Cup drivers who have called over the past couple of days to offer their advice and support. I especially want to thank all of the fans for standing behind me. They have supported me through some very tough times. Our on-track performance so far this season isn’t what we expected it to be and having to sit out last week’s race only dug the hole deeper. But that just means that we’re going to do everything we can to turn things around.” From the RCR site.(4-16-2002)
  • DW talks about Harvick: Three-time Winston Cup champion turned FOX TV commentator Darrell Waltrip thinks NASCAR did the right thing by.taking a stronger stand against Kevin Harvick’s actions during Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series Race. Waltrip.said “I think he’s a great kid and I love playin’ with him and havin’ fun with him, but he does have to understanding that.this is the big leagues (Winston Cup, Busch and Trucks) and when you get to that level you have to leave that Saturday night.fight mentality.back at the short tracks and there’s a standard of excellence that you have to adhere to.” DW went to say “I’ve been expecting this…wanting this personally for quite some time…puttin’ a driver on probation. So what?, what does that mean? It’s never meant anything in the past. I spent five years on probation. So, they did what they had to do, they (NASCAR) didn’t do it…he did it to himself is the way I look at it. It’s ugly, you don’t want to see it happen, and I sure don’t want to see it happen to anyone else…I don’t want to see it happen to him again, but, that’s what it took to get his attention”. Waltrip, who says he wants to talk with Harvick, recalled a time when he and Richard Petty sat Ernie Irvan down in the NASCAR hauler several years ago.when Irvan was getting into a lot of wrecks and “kinda had a cavalier attitude about whole thing”. The next weekend, Irvan apologized to all the competitors in the drivers meeting for his behavior and that he was going to try and do better. Darrell said “Kevin needs to do the same thing.”(PRN’s Garage Pass)(4-16-2002)
  • Little testing at MIS UPDATE and Earnhardt Jr: the Chad Little site lists Little and the #74 team testing at Michigan on April 16th and 17th. The team plans to make it’s Cup debut at California Speedway next weekend.(4-16-2002)
    UPDATE: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #74-Chad Little took the first turns around MIS’ high banks Tuesday, the first of a two-day test session for Dale Earnhardt Inc. For Little, who plans to make a handful of Cup starts for owner Andy Petree, the test session allowed him to gauge his equipment against Earnhardt Jr. By mid-afternoon of the first day of the test, Little was running in the 40.2- to 40.3-second range, which would put him at about 179 mph. Earnhardt Jr. was posting laps of about 39.9 or 40.0, which translates to around 180 mph. “We’re running mostly 40-flats, said Earnhardt’s crew chief Tony Eury, whose driver owns the Winston Cup qualifying record at MIS at 191.149mph set in August 2000. “But we’re just getting started.” Little said he plans to run in a few Winston Cup events this season, including the Michigan 400 on Sunday, June 16, and the Pepsi 400 presented by Farmer Jack on August 18. He also is eyeing a Cup start at MIS’ sister track, California Speedway, on April 28.(MIS PR)(4-16-2002)
  • Penalties Announced: NASCAR officials have announced penalties for two NASCAR Winston Cup crew chiefs. Jimmy Fennig, crew chief of the #97 Ford, received a $1,000 fine for a rule violation found during pre-race inspection prior to Sunday’s Virginia 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Fennig was penalized under Section 12-4-Q in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book, “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules: deck lid.” Charley Pressley, crew chief of the #55 Chevy, received a $500 fine and was penalized under Section 12-4-W, “Weight attached in a location that was not acceptable to NASCAR Officials.”(NASCAR PR)(4-16-2002)
  • Wallace, Innovative and Stacker2 to Cup UPDATE: Jeff Hammond reported on FSN’s Totally NASCAR that Kenny Wallace and the BGN team he drivers for, Innovative Motorsports, will run four Winston Cup races this year. The tentative schedule is: Daytona in July, Chicagoland, Indianapolis and Watkins Glen. DEI will supply techincial support to the team which is currently running the full BGN season. No number mentioned but it won’t be #48 (#81 maybe?).(4-15-2002)
    UPDATE: IMI Announces that it will race 4 Winston Cup Races with Stacker 2 and Kenny. Those races will be Daytona, Chicago, Indy and Watkins Glen. IMI will purchase some cars from DEI and possibly other organizations to speed along the process. The Cars number used will be #98.(Kenny Wallaces Racing site)(4-16-2002)
    AND Innovative Motorsports, Inc. (IMI) is proud to announce that it will field an entry in four Winston Cup events in 2002, and STACKER 2 will be the primary sponsor on the #98 Chevy driven by Kenny Wallace. Wallace will compete at Daytona July 6th, Chicagoland July 14th, Indianapolis August 4th and Watkins Glen August 11th. The effort will mark IMI’s first ever entry in a Winston Cup event (They were going to run the 2nd NHIS event in 2001 until Steve Park got hurt and Wallace took over the #1 car). Wallace is currently fifth in the BGN standings. He is the only driver to complete every lap thus far in BGN competition. Wallace competed in the first four Cup events in 2002 driving DEI’s #1 Pennzoil ride while Steve Park recovered from injuries suffered in 2001. NVE Pharmaceuticals, based in Newton, N.J., is the sole manufacturer STACKER 2 and an entire lineup of the world’s strongest fat burners and energy products in the country. Known primarily for its nationally advertised line of STACKER products, NVE has helped thousands reach their weight-reduction and performance enhancement goals. NVE Pharmaceuticals is a multi-faceted manufacturing company. NVE prides itself in being a full-service one-stop shop for everything from the custom manufacturing of capsules, tablets, powders and liquids, to the marketing of its nationally known brand of STACKER products – STACKER 2 (“The World’s Strongest Fat Burner”), STACKER 2 Lite, STACKER 2 Ephedra Free, and STACKER 3. Innovative Motorsports has campaigned three cars (#30, #47 and #48) in the BGN for drivers Chad Little, Mike McLaughlin, Hermie Sadler, Andy Santerre and, currently, Kenny Wallace, Christian Fittipaldi and Shane Hmiel. IMI received the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award in 1998 with Santerre.(IMI PR)(4-16-2002)


    (4-15-2002)

  • NASCAR Legend Buck Baker passes away: Buck Baker [Buddy Baker’s father], a two-time Winston Cup champion on NASCAR’s 50 Greatest drivers list, died Monday at 83. He won 46 Winston Cup races — 13th on the all-time list — and 44 poles. Baker was the first back-to-back series champion, winning titles in 1956 and 1957. Baker started 631 races, seventh most in NASCAR, and ran the most laps and miles for three consecutive years beginning in 1955. He was a three-time winner of the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, one of NASCAR’s most storied races. Baker, who retired in 1976, was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame in 1982 and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1990.(ESPN) Baker is survived by his wife of 30 years, Susan Painter Baker; two sons, Buddy of Sherrills Ford and Randy of Kannapolis; a daughter, Susie Baker of Charlotte, a sister, two grandsons and two great granddaughters. The funeral will be held Thursday at the Calvary Church Chapel in Charlotte.(4-15-2002)
  • Harvick Fined: NASCAR officials announced that driver Kevin Harvick has been fined $35,000 and his probation has been extended through the remainder of the year for his actions this past weekend at Martinsville Speedway. NASCAR also put Harvick on notice during this probationary period that if there are any actions, in NASCAR’s opinion, that are deemed detrimental to the sport or disruptive to the orderly conduct of an event, he will be suspended indefinitely. Harvick, already on probation following an incident March 23 during the BGN race at Bristol, was initially “parked” by NASCAR officials after an on-track incident with Coy Gibbs during Saturday’s Truck Series race. The penalty was then extended to include Sunday’s Virginia 500 NASCAR Winston Cup event. Following further review of the incident by NASCAR officials, a fine was levied and Harvick’s probation, originally scheduled to conclude Aug. 28, was extended through the end of the calendar year to Tuesday, Dec. 31.(NASCAR PR)(4-15-2002)
  • Pay For View Close? UPDATE: In Demand L.L.C. and cable operators have scored a major coup in their battle with DirecTV Inc. for sports content, acquiring a groundbreaking multichannel pay-per-view package from NASCAR. The ‘NASCAR in Car on In Demand’ package, set to be announced this week, will offer motorsports fans seven dedicated PPV channels that feature in-car cameras, live team communications and real-time race-car statistics displayed on animated dashboards. Unlike other high-profile sports PPV packages, which have been the purview of direct-broadcast satellite provider DirecTV, the NASCAR service will be exclusive to 12.5 million digital-cable subscribers beginning in June.(TV Insight)(4-15-2002)
    UPDATE: NASCAR and iN DEMAND have partnered to launch ˜NASCAR IN CAR on iN DEMAND,” a multi-channel season-long television package that offers fans, for the first time ever, flag-to-flag in-car camera coverage for NASCAR Winston Cup Series events. ˜NASCAR IN CAR on iN DEMAND” was developed by NASCAR Digital Entertainment and iN Demand in conjunction with NASCAR’s broadcast partners to complement NASCAR’s live event coverage on FOX, FX, NBC, and TNT. The package offers fans five dedicated channels of in-car cameras, live team audio communications and real-time race car performance data displayed on animated dashboards.. This multi-year agreement between NASCAR and iN DEMAND runs through the 2004 NASCAR season. ACTV will produce the ˜NASCAR IN CAR on iN DEMAND” package week-to-week while NASCAR Digital Entertainment and iN DEMAND will serve as executive producers. ACTV, Inc. (Nasdaq: IATV) is a digital media company providing proprietary technologies, tools, and technical and creative services for enhanced TV advertising, personalized programming applications and enhanced media. ˜NASCAR IN CAR on iN DEMAND” consists of seven sequential digital channels. The first channel will duplicate the free live network event broadcast from NBC, TNT, FOX, or FX.. Five additional channels will feature dedicated in-car camera coverage with on-screen enhancements from Sportvision, a leader in sports media technology. Features include a real-time animated dashboard with needles, gauges and information including the driver’s name, car position, miles-per-hour, and RPMs, and each in-car channel will also include a mix of ambient car sounds and/or team communications.. The seventh channel will feature additional event information and in-car camera perspectives. In-car cameras are provided by Broadcast Sports Technologies, a leader in microwave transmission and custom remote controlled miniature camera systems. The broadcast network commercials will be aired across all channels in the package. ˜NASCAR IN CAR on iN DEMAND’ will offer digital cable customers an annual package with as many as 36 races. The green flag is scheduled to drop on Sunday, June 16, 2002, from Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The 2002 package will be offered at $99 for 22 races, although there will be an early promotional offer of $89 if purchased prior to June 22, 2002. The complete season packages for 2003 and 2004 will offer 36 races.. ˜NASCAR IN CAR On iN DEMAND” will be offered on AT&T, Time Warner, Comcast, Cox and other Multiple System Operators throughout the country. iN DEMAND, the nation’s leading PPV & VOD provider, delivers television premieres of the best movies, championship boxing, mega-event wrestling, professional and college sports, plus original entertainment. iN DEMAND’s 60-channel digital lineup also offers MLB EXTRA INNINGS, NBA LEAGUE PASS, WNBA SEASON PASS, NHL CENTER ICE and ESPN FULL COURT, plus half-hour start times for its top movies each month, and VOD in select cable markets across the country. The company’s shareholders are AT&T Broadband, L.L.C., Time Warner Entertainment – Advance/Newhouse Partnership, Comcast Programming Ventures, Inc. and Cox Communications, Inc. Further information about the company can be found on the Internet at www.indemand.com.(NASCAR PR)(4-15-2002)
  • Last Time Time a Driver was suspended: Until Sunday, no NASCAR Cup driver had been banished from a race since D.K. Ulrich in 1987. In 1991, Junior Johnson’s team was banned for three races after an engine violation uncovered at The Winston.(Gaston Gazette), also in Jeff Burton’s rookie year, 1994, the #8 Stavola Brother’s car was disqualified at Richmond in September after the roll bars were found to have holes in them.(4-15-2002)
  • Gossage Statement: Statement by Texas Motor Speedway General Manager EDDIE GOSSAGE regarding comments made by Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell: “We were disappointed by the uncharacteristic comments made by Clay Campbell, president of Martinsville Speedway, to media members attending this weekend’s Virginia 500. Mr. Campbell said that Texas Motor Speedway officials had recently told the media that Martinsville Speedway should not be on the NASCAR Winston Cup schedule. No such statement was ever made. “I spoke with Clay Sunday evening by telephone and he admitted that he had not seen or heard any such statement, only that he responded to rumors that a quote of that nature appeared in either The Dallas Morning News or on television last weekend. I told Clay that we made no such statement – it simply does not exist. “We are disappointed by his comments; however, Clay Campbell is a good friend and an important figure in our sport. Personally speaking, races at Martinsville Speedway rate among my favorites. Today’s race was another exciting Martinsville event and we are proud that it was won by a native Texan — Bobby Labonte.”(TMS PR)(4-15-2002)
  • Sad News: On the 5th lap of the AC Delco Sportsman Late Model Main Event at Altamont Raceway in Tracy CA, on Saturday April 13, 2002, driver Mark Hutto died after a an accident at the track.(RacingWestAND Michael R. DeSantis, 53, of South River, N.J., was fatally injured during the “Legends Cars” feature race on Saturday night at Wall Township Speedway in NJ. The accident occurred at 10:12 p.m. during the eighth lap of the 20-lap feature. It was the final scheduled event of the evening and was not completed due to the circumstances. Condolences to the families and friends of both Hutto and DeSantis.(4-15-2002)

 


(4-14-2002)

 

  • Bobby Labonte wins the Vigiania 500 at Martinsville: under a white, yellow, checkered flags. It is Labonte’s 19th career Cup win and first ever short track win. Ten different drivers have won the last 10 Cup races at Martinsville. The top ten finishers:
    #18-Labonte (61 laps led)
    #17-Kenseth
    #20-Stewart (152 laps led)
    #88-Jarrett
    #8-Earnhardt Jr (41 laps led)
    #5-Labonte (11 laps led, monkey off the back, first lap led since Talladega Oct 2000)
    #28-Rudd
    #6-Martin
    #99-Burton (5 laps led)
    #97-Busch

    Where did #29-Kenny Wallace finish? 32nd, 10 laps down
    2002 Points Leader, #40-Marlin finished 12th
    2001 Cup Champ, #24-Gordon finished 23rd, 2 laps down, Nadeau stood by to relieve Gordon, but didn’t.
    Rookies: #12-Newman is 39th and out; #48-Johnson is 35th
    Out of Race/Off Track: #71- Hillenburg(clutch); #43-Andretti(engine); #12-Newman(engine); #26-Kimmel(accident); #25-Nadeau(engine/radiator); #44-Jones (accident); #90-Mast(out); #48-Johnson(out)
    Cars on the lead lap: 20
    Lap Leaders (13): #24-Gordon(68 laps led); #55-Hamilton(47); #25-Nadeau(42); #20-Stewart(152); #22-Burton(20); #5-Labonte(11); #32-Craven(40); #77-Blaney(1); #8-Earnhardt Jr(41); #14-Compton(1); #18-Labonte(61); #2-Wallace(10); #99-Burton(5);
    Cautions: 14 for 104 laps

    Caution 14 – Lap 498: #55-Hamilton and #77-Blaney got together and #45-Petty was also involved.
    Caution 13 – Lap 485: #44-Jones gets turned around and #10-Benson got into Buckshot, just after the green flag flew.
    Caution 12 – Lap 475: #32-Craven and #41-Spencer got together when Craven tried to pass Spencer on the bottom, Kenseth scaped Spencer but used the grass to avoid the #41.
    Caution 11 – Lap 442: #14-Compton, #4-Skinner and #10-Benson got together, with Benson looping around, but restarted and drove on. #55-Hamilton and #20-Stewart came in to pit after being 1-2, but none of the other leaders followed them into the pits.
    Caution 10 – Lap 405: #41-Spencer spun, as he spun #32-Craven spun into Spencer, both ended up in the turn 4 wall, both drove away. #2-Wallace and #4-Skinner got together on pit road, with Wallace hitting Skinner as they both left at the same time, Skinner is pitting right infront of Wallace.
    Caution 9 – Lap 366: #02-Sadler got spun out when #19-Mayfield hit him in the rear.
    Caution 8 – Lap 274: #36-Schrader’s car died on the track and is stopped in turn #4.
    Caution 7 – Lap 252: #24-Gordon is smoking, may be a steering pump leak, Gordon reports oil pressure is ok.
    Caution 6 – Lap 207: #43-Andretti lost an engine, #31-Gordon and #26-Kimmel spun in the oil between turn 3 and 4. Also #41-Spencer and #24-Gordon had contact and quite a bit damage on the #24 cutting the tire down, Spencer and Gordon got together while trying to avoid the cars spinning in front of them.
    Caution 5 – Lap 170: #11-Bodine had a tire go down and stopped on the track.
    Caution 4 – Lap 101: #41-Spencer spun out and tapped the wall, no contact with any other car.
    Caution 3 – Lap 73: #29-Kenny Wallace spun out in turn one after #4-Skinner got into Wallace when he came down from the upper groove and, Wallace drifted down the track, but no other cars were involved. #41-Spencer was held in the pits for 15 seconds after a pit road member came onto pitroad too earlier, #26-Kimmel and #1-Park held for speeding. #55-Hamitlon took 2 tires ob his pit stop.
    Caution 2 – Lap 50: #99-Burton and #21-Salder got together after Burton hit Sadler in the rear. #02-Sadler also spun just behind the accident.
    Caution 1 – Lap 26: for debris on the track, from #36-Schrader.

    NOTES: #45-Petty got into #1-Park who got into #4-Skinner who spun around on lap 425, but no yellow and all were able to drive on, but Park had to come in and get new tires as the left front was cut down. Jerry Nadeau is standing by to sub for #24-Jeff Gordon as of lap 390. #12-Newman is in the garage area on lap 265, oil is in the water and is dropping fluid. #12-Newman’s car is smoking and the oil temp is climbing on lap 240. #29-Wallace possibly broke a sway bar which has caused handling problems but him 10 laps behind the leaders. On lap 173 stops, #88-Jarrett was held after pitting outside his pit stall. On lap 145 #21-Salder spun after #97-Busch tapped him, but no yellow thrown. #25-Nadeau drifted up towards the wall after #20-Stewart took the lead but recovered back into 8th on lap 120. The #2-Wallace and #20-Stewart got together but both went on, no yellow. #48-Johnson had some ignition problems around lap 35 and slowed down, but is back up to speed, but had to switch to the 2nd ignition and has to be careful as there is no rev-limiter on the backup/2nd ignition. #36-Ken Schrader had a flat tire after making contact with #45-Petty and lost a few laps trying to get into the pits and damaged the left rear of the car, including a brake fire. #17-Kenseth pushed his grill in when he made contact with #77-Blaney. #71-Hillenburg goes to pits on lap 10 (clutch problem) came out a few times but is now listed as out.
    For results see ThatsRacin.com or NASCAR.com.(4-14-2002)

  • Childress Statement: Statement from Richard Childress regarding NASCAR’s “Parking” of Kevin Harvick: “NASCAR had to do something in response to Kevin’s actions during the Truck race yesterday, but I think their response was completely wrong. I have not seen the clip of Kevin’s actions during the Truck race so I can’t comment on what he did. He has had problems in the Busch and Truck Series and had been on probation for his actions, but the decision to ‘park’ him during the Winston Cup race is wrong. NASCAR should keep the actions and punishments separate to each series. This should be Kevin’s punishment only, but what NASCAR is doing is punishing the tens of thousands of race fans who probably didn’t know until they got to the track this morning that Kevin won’t be allowed to race today. NASCAR is also punishing the entire No. 29 team and all of Richard Childress Racing for one person’s actions. NASCAR is also punishing GM Goodwrench Service, who has been nothing but loyal to RCR and the sport for many years. This is only my opinion. I will sit down with Kevin Monday morning to discuss what happened and how we will proceed from here.”(RCR PR)(4-14-2002)
  • Harvick Parked for Martinsville, Kenny Wallace in the #29 for the race: Winston Cup driver #29-Kevin Harvick has been “parked” by NASCAR officials and will not be allowed to drive in Sunday’s Virginia 500 at Martinsville Speedway, NASCAR officials confirmed Sunday morning. A formal announcement of the action is expected at the track Sunday morning. Kenny Wallace will drive Harvick’s #29 GM Goodwrench Chevy Sunday. He would have to start at the rear of the field since he did not qualify the car. Harvick’s “parking” – defined in the NASCAR rulebook as an emergency action that is “final, non-appealable and non-reviewable” – comes in response to NASCAR officials’ demand he park his truck after spinning Coy Gibbs in Saturday’s CTS race at Martinsville. Harvick and Gibbs tangled on the track several times over the course of several laps. Gibbs spun Harvick one time exiting Turn 4. Following a caution on Lap 188, Harvick rammed Gibbs’ rear bumper entering Turn 1 and finally spun him exiting Turn 2. NASCAR had enough, black-flagged Harvick and parked him for the day. Harvick parked his #6 Chevy in front of the Truck series hauler near pit road. He was told to report to the NASCAR hauler and met with series officials for nearly 90 minutes following the race. Harvick was already under probation from his post-race incident with Greg Biffle at the BGN race at Bristol last month. Harvick was fined $15,000 and placed on probation until Aug. 28. After Sunday’s race, Harvick may receive a more traditional suspension, which could be appealed under NASCAR rules, sources said.(ThatsRacin.com), also see NASCAR.com: The Buzz: Harvick suspension imminent? and Harvick ordered to meet with NASCAR after incidentAND from the Kenny Wallace site: An emergency call sends Kenny Wallace to Martinsville. NASCAR and Richard Childress called DEI to release Wallace for the Martinsville race. Wallace drove to Martinsville and is staying with bother Rusty for the night.AND RacingOne.com reports that a press conference with #29 car owner Richard Childress was scheduled for 9:00am/et at Martinsville Speedway, while Harvick was to address the media at 10:00am/et.AND NASCAR.com announces: Harvick not allowed to drive in Virginia 500: NASCAR’s statement: “NASCAR officials have announced they have “parked” NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick until the conclusion of the Virginia 500 NASCAR Winston Cup event at Martinsville Speedway. Harvick, on probation following an incident at Bristol Motor Speedway March 23 for actions during a NASCAR Busch Series event, was parked during Saturday’s Advance Auto Parts 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event. That time has been extended, preventing him, but not the No. 29 RCR Winston Cup team, from participating through the completion of the event at Martinsville.”(4-14-2002)
  • Teams Warned Against the use of Traction Control: NASCAR President Mike Helton offered a stern warning to Winston Cup drivers and crew chiefs during their prerace meeting Sunday about use of traction-control devices. Helton held up two such devices used to prevent cars from spinning their rear wheels exiting turns as examples of what are available for purchase. Helton said, however, NASCAR will not tolerate their use. “Everybody, I think, understands our rules and regulations in regards to traction control. In an effort to police that, we have spent a lot of time and money buying parts and pieces you’ve been offered so we can figure out what to look for,” he said. “There’s not much we can do to the people who manufacture these things to try to get around the rules. It’s the crew chiefs and drivers we will react to when we find these or if we ever find these in a car.”(ThatsRacin.com)(4-14-2002)
  • Kimmel back at Talladega, but not California: Frank Kimmel was interviewed on FSN’s NASCAR This Morning by Winston Kelly and said he will drive the #26 Haas Carter Motorsports Ford at Talladega, but will NOT drive the car the following week at California Speedway as he has a commitment to the ARCA series in Salem, IN.(4-14-2002)

    (4-13-2002)

  • Shepherd still hopes to run Cup: Morgan Shepherd hasn’t totally shelved his Winston Cup dream, either. He has 481 Cup starts and four Cup wins under his belt, and his last Cup foray came in 1999, when he drove one race for Junie Donlavey. His last full-time season was a 23-race stint in 1997. His last Cup win came in 1993, in Atlanta. “Our plans were to be here at Martinsville,” Shepherd said of Sunday’s Virginia 500. “We had a guy who was supposed to help us with the engine up here and at the last minute he backed out. We’re ready to go Winston Cup racing. We’ve got the shop and facilities, but just don’t have the money to operate.” The fact a Cup engine costs approximately $40,000 doesn’t help. So Shepherd has cast his lot with NASCAR’s Craftsman Truck series, where he ran 16 races last season and finished 26th in the final points standings. His nine DNFs were a bit harder to swallow. Shepherd Racing was formed in 1998 with a $25-million-dollar sponsorship agreement to field a Cup team, but the insurance-company sponsor pulled out of the deal, leaving Shepherd on his own. Last year’s $3,000 donation from a fan group was his sole source of outside aid. “We’re still racing without money,” Shepherd said. “So there’s only so much we can do. Our goal is to build our Christian team that we set out to do, and do things to help change people’s lives. We’re just looking for a sponsor.”(CNN/SINASCAR.com)(4-13-2002)
  • DW to race more Truck races? a few reports mention Darrell Waltip saying he is consdiering running CTS races at Richmond and Indianapolis Raceway Park.(4-14-2002)
  • DW and Petree have tough luck in CTS race at Martinsville: #17-Darrell Waltrip finished 34th with a broken rear end and #33-Andy Petree finished 31st after an accident took him out.(4-14-2002)
  • More Andretti/Indy 500: #43-John Andretti had wanted to talk this week to team owner Kyle Petty more about Andretti driving in the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 in the same day. Busy schedules kept them apart. Petty said he didn’t want Andretti, who drove in both races in 1994, to compete at Indy because of the need to focus on the Winston Cup team. Andretti said he wanted to further discuss the issue. It appears unlikely that Andretti will compete in the Indy 500, although he still has a ride available.(Roanoke Times)(4-14-2002)
  • Evernham and Elledge to meet again UPDATE: Ray Evernham, co-owner of Ultra/Evernham Motorsports, said he and co-owner Jim Smith have met with Jimmy Elledge about the crew chief position with driver Casey Atwood and the #7 Dodges and plan to meet again this weekend. Elledge started the 2002 season as crew chief for #88-Dale Jarrett, but left that position last week. He is a former crew chief for #55-Bobby Hamilton.(ThatsRacin.com), past news on the #7 Team News and Links Page.(4-12-2002)
    UPDATE: Jimmy Elledge said he’s been offered the job as crew chief for #7 Casey Atwood, but he said he wants to wait and consider his next move before jumping.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-13-2002)
  • More The Winston – Moving? RJR’s contract with LMS expires after this year’s running of The Winston event and there are questions over whether the race will return, and if it does, whether it will return to Charlotte. RJR’s Winston Cup director Rich Habegger admitted Wednesday that a decision had not been made on the future of the race and that talks would get underway in the next couple of months. The drivers of course enjoy the benefits of running two consecutive weeks near their home base, a rarity in the Bataan Death March of NASCAR’s schedule. But proximity aside, reigning NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon said that he feels that Charlotte is the perfect venue for a high-stakes, no-points, let’s-see-who-can-drive-this-thing-the-hardest shootout. For his part, LMS president H.A. ‘Humpy’ Wheeler has no plans to give up his hold on the race without a fight.(Speed Channel)(4-11-2002)
    UPDATE – A new location for The Winston? The Winston, NASCAR’s all-star race, could be moving from its long-time home at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. NASCAR vice president Jim Hunter said negotiations are under way with Winston, which sponsors the race and the Winston Cup Series, about changing the location — and possibly the rules — of the race. “The Winston originated as a fans’ all-star race that would be moved from venue to venue, but over the years we got away from that,” Hunter said. Hunter said fans and other track owners are asking for the race to be moved. “We’re reviewing all the options,” Hunter said. “Even to the point of the rules and procedures that have changed over the years.” Tracks he mentioned as possible hosts include Richmond, California, Martinsville and Las Vegas. “You want to take it to a place where they can race, that’s not a one-groove track,” he said.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(4-13-2002)
  • More 2003 Pontiac News UPDATE and some more: Winston Cup series director John Darby confirmed Friday morning NASCAR has examined a completed 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix and finished its initial analysis. “We basically have completed a walk-around view of it and an initial template fit,” Darby said. “We’ve talked about some different areas of the car, which they are now going back and going to work on. The next step from them will be to make an official presentation and the car will go to the wind tunnel and then for a track test.” The final presentation by Pontiac officials must be complete by July 1, with NASCAR making final approval by Oct. 1. #18 crew chief Jimmy Makar said he hoped to have a final version of the 2003 Pontiac within a month-and-half. “We’ll have something we feel we can submit by then,” Makar said. “Things are gong well. We’ve been to the wind tunnel several times, NASCAR has looked at the car. I think all the beginning process is done.” Darby also confirmed officials with Chevrolet have indicated they, too, plan to submit changes to the Monte Carlo body style in time to use in the 2003 season.(ThatsRacin.com), see some images of a [possible] 2003 Pontiac on my NASCAR Past News/Rules page(4-12-2002)
    UPDATE: The final version is still in the works, but the 2003 Pontiac is being reviewed by officials. The car could be submitted for NASCAR approval within six weeks. Right now, NASCAR officials are taking a look at the preliminary model and making suggestions for potential changes. The car has a unique nose, but is in many ways similar to existing cars competing in the series. “[NASCAR has] seen it, they’ve been in the wind tunnel with it,” said Bobby Labonte’s crew chief, Jimmy Makar, who has helped develop the car. “They’ve told us the things they want us to change on it. I think they’re fairly happy with what we’ve got now.” Makar said the NASCAR track test could take place at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(Richmond Times DispatchAND NASCAR held a wind-tunnel test last week of Pontiac’s new common-template Grand Prix, and to study some of its 2003 car design options, particularly the ‘big greenhouse’ model, which would provide more headroom. NASCAR would like to cut 20 percent of the downforce off these cars for next season, according to engineering sources, and part of the testing so far has included raising the front air dam five inches off the asphalt.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-13-2002)
  • Big Cars in 2003? NASCAR is leaning toward OKing the new ‘big greenhouse’ model for the April 2003 race at Talladega and phasing in the new car, first at Talladega and Daytona, then at the intermediate tracks, and finally at the short tracks. Such a phase-in would keep car owners, who have nearly two dozen cars each, from taking such a big financial hit all at once. NASCAR is also testing what is being called ‘the two-by-four,’ a greenhouse that is two inches taller and four inches wider, to move the driver’s head away from the rollbars.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-13-2002)
  • Gordon and Earnhardt Jr speak: After finishing his qualifying run, #31-Robby Gordon climbed from his car, walked right over to #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and struck up a conversation. “I asked him if he was OK with me starting behind him,” said Gordon, who was third after his run, but got bumped down to 11th. Gordon said his feud with Earnhardt Jr. at Bristol is over. “It’s racing,” Gordon said. “We don’t have any grudges. One thing that’s nice about Winston Cup is we have 36 weekends to get at it. Texas was rough for us, but we’re happy to be starting where we’re at.”(News and Advance)(4-13-2002)
  • Abuse of Testing? Some Winston Cup crews complain that other teams are abusing NASCAR’s seven-test limit lately by claiming to be testing ARCA cars. NASCAR officials said they would review the situation.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-13-2002)
  • Common Templates in 2003? UPDATE: With plans for a newly designed Pontiac Grand Prix already in motion, NASCAR also has told General Motors to have a common template Monte Carlo ready for the 2003 Daytona 500. A minimum of three different Monte Carlos are being developed collectively by Richard Childress Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Dale Earnhardt Inc. However, the construction of a new Monte Carlo for the 2003 racing season was not by choice of GM. The sanctioning body met with GM’s NASCAR Key Partners Group — JGR, RCR, Hendrick’s and DEI — and requested that they have a “common template” Monte Carlo ready to roll for the 2003 Daytona 500. A common template car will incorporate a universal design among all four makes where the construction of the greenhouse is nearly identical. Only subtle cosmetic changes would differentiate one car from another. But in principle, the cars would be aerodynamically equal. Speculation is that NASCAR was not happy with the continual lobbying for aerodynamic concessions that stole the headlines over Speedweeks. A common body style shared by all four manufacturers would eliminate the constant arguing over who has the best car. RCR is working on the Monte Carlo for submission that is a combination between a speedway car and a downforce car. DEI is working on the speedway (Daytona/Talladega) specific car, while Hendrick concentrates on the baseline intermediate piece that will be ready for the wind tunnel in the next two weeks. While Chevrolet contends it currently is six percent deficient in aero horsepower, the new changes should make the cars more competitive. But GM is certainly under extreme time constraints with just four months remaining to have the cars ready for initial submission to NASCAR in July, and for final submission by Oct. 1.(in part from the Sporting News)(4-11-2002)
    UPDATE: So what about the common template Chevrolet? “Not a ‘common template’ car, but we have discussed doing a (new) 2003 Monte Carlo,” Car Owner Ricchard Childress said. “Heck, there isn’t a common-template car out there. The Dodges and Fords don’t have the same templates because they don’t run the same every week; they’re not under the same rules.”.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-13-2002)
  • Happy Hour Practice at Martinsville is over. #20-Tony Stewart was the fastest at 93.061mph, 2nd fastest was #55-Bobby Hamilton at 92.783 and #40-Sterling Marlin at 92.642. Slowest were #90-Rick Mast at 91.135 and #14-Darrell Waltrip (subbing for Stacy Compton) at 90.335. #71-Andy Hillenburg did not practice. See ThatsRacin.com for Saturday’s ‘Happy Hour’ speeds. Happy Hour will be televised per tape delay at 7:00pm/et tonight on FX with Darrell Waltrip in the #14 with a microphone.(4-13-2002)
  • Childress to be honored: NASCAR team owner and former driver Richard Childress will be honored during Speedway Children’s Charities 22nd annual Charity Ball Friday, May 24, at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in downtown Charlotte. This event, held in conjunction with the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, will be themed “A Welcome Champion.” Sponsored by UAW-GM Motorsports, the gala affair is annually Charlotte’s largest black-tie benefit as well as one of the most successful fundraisers for the Charlotte Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities. See my Racing Charity Page for more info.(LMS PR)(4-13-2002)
  • Kimmel Wins at Nashville: Frank Kimmel, who is running the Cup race at Martinsville for Travis Carter in the #26 Advance Auto Parts/Pork the other white meat Ford, won the ARCA race at Nashville, after starting from the pole the. Kimmel will start last in the Cup race as Joe Nemechek qualified the car but will not have to fall back far as the car made the field by taking a provisional, 41st.(in part from ThatsRacin.com)(4-13-2002)
  • #97 Deck Lid Confiscated: NASCAR officials confiscated the rear deck lid of Kurt Busch’s #97 Ford following Friday’s pre-qualifying inspections. It was tagged and put on display outside the NASCAR hauler. The team had to replace the deck lid before Busch’s car was allowed to practice. NASCAR director of business operations Kevin Triplett said the deck lid was taken because it “failed to fit the Ford template.”(ThatsRacin.com)(4-13-2002)
  • Gordon wins MW Windows Pole Award and Windows: MW Windows will be the first pole day award winners to give a house full of doors and windows. Shortly after MW Windows announced its sponsorship of Pole Day for the Virginia 500 at Martinsville Speedway, officials with the company decided they wanted to do more than that, though. So in addition to presenting a trophy to the Virginia 500 pole winner, MW will give a house full of windows and doors in the pole-winner’s name to a local Habitat for Humanity chapter during pre-race ceremonies for the Virginia 500 on April 14. And it’s not a one-race effort either. The manufacturer of windows and door products for the residential construction industry will donate doors and windows to Habitat for Humanity chapters twice a year. One donation will come after MW Pole Day for the Virginia 500 and the other after MW Pole Day for the Old Dominion 500. The Martinsville-Henry County and Franklin County chapters of Habitat for Humanity will be the recipients each year.(Martinsville Speedway PR), Jeff Gordon won the pole and got the award.(4-13-2002)

    (4-12-2002)

  • Jeff Gordon wins pole at Martinsville for the Virginia 500. #24-Jeff Gordon wins the pole at Martinsville with a speed of 94.181mph. The top five starters are:
    #24-Gordon 94.181
    #55-Hamilton 94.092
    #8-Earnhardt Jr 94.064
    #5-Labonte 93.985
    #2-Wallace 93.933
    Provisional Land:
    37) #21-Sadler (16th in owners points) 92.701
    38) #30-Green (29th) 92.506
    39) #10-Benson (30th) 92.919
    40) #36-Schrader (33rd) 92.910
    41) #26-Nemechek/Kimmel (36th) 92.263
    42) #90-Mast (41st) 92.606
    43) #71-Hillenburg (43rd) 85.186
    missing the race – #59-Renfrow (52nd in owners points) 92.560
    #8-Earnhardt Jr spun on his 2nd lap after hitting the curb but didn’t hit anything and there was no damage to the car.
    For results/lineup, see ThatsRacin.comNASCAR.com.(4-12-2002)
  • #26 at Martinsville? UPDATE 4 yep with Kimmel – Nemechek to qualify the car: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports that a decision is near on if the #26 Haas Carter Motorsports team will go to Martinsville or not. If they go, Frank Kimmel will be the driver.(4-9-2002)
    UPDATE: #26 Team owner Travis Carter hopes that Kimmel’s sponsors will pay to put him in the #26 for at least five more races this year, buying Carter time to find a permanent sponsor. Carter says Kimmel could be in the car this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. “Right now, that’s not firmed up,” he says. Meantime, drivers Todd Bodine [#66] and Joe Nemechek [#26] remain under contract to Carter. Both are racing in the BGN but are free to pursue other Winston Cup opportunities (so Nemechek would be free to move to the #44, see rumor below). Carter says he still talks with team co-owner Carl Haas every couple of days about sponsorship prospects, but Haas is not directly involved with the effort to field cars for Kimmel “just to make it a little simpler,” Carter says. Even if he can’t come up with a sponsor for the rest of the season, Carter thinks he might be able to wait and see if he can put something together for next season.(USA Today)(4-10-2002)
    UPDATE 2: For the second consecutive week, 3-time ARCA RE/MAX Series champ Frank Kimmel will be competing in the Cup Series. Kimmel, who drove the #26 Advance Auto Parts-Pork Ford for Travis Carter last weekend at Texas, will again drive the car this weekend at Martinsville. The difference this time is that Kimmel will also be competing in the PFG Lester ARCA 150 at Nashville Superspeedway on the same weekend. Since the ARCA race at Nashville is the same day as Cup qualifying at Martinsville, another driver will have to qualify the #26 Ford (hey DW used to drive for Carter). Kimmel’s plan is to qualify the ARCA car at Nashville on Thursday, then fly out right after qualifying so he can practice the Cup car at Martinsville Friday morning, then fly back to Nashville early afternoon in time for the ARCA race which starts at 4:00pm. Then fly out right after the ARCA race for practice and happy hour Saturday at Martinsville. If all goes well at Martinsville, Kimmel plans to run for Travis Carter at Talladega the following weekend. Fortunately for Kimmel and crew, the ARCA RE/MAX Series does not have a race scheduled the weekend that Kimmel will be in Talladega for the Winston Cup race. Kimmel’s busy schedule will continue however following the Winston Cup race at Talladega (4-21) as he’ll be returning to his home turf at Salem Speedway IN the following weekend for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA 200 on Sunday, April 28.(ARCA Racing Site)(4-10-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Travis Carter Enterprises announced that Frank Kimmel, along with sponsors Pork. The Other White Meat(R) and Advance Auto Parts, is officially joining the team for several 2002 Winston Cup races. Kimmel, three-time ARCA Re/Max champion, drove for team owner Travis Carter in 1998 as substitute for the injured Jimmy Spencer and most recently in the Samsung/RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2002. Several members of Kimmel’s ARCA team, including crew chief Bill Kimmel, will assist Donnie Wingo and the Travis Carter team in the race. The National Pork Board and Advance Auto Parts participated in last weekend’s race in Texas, and have signed on for several additional races, the first of which will be this weekend in the Virginia 500 at the Martinsville Speedway.(Business Wire)(4-11-2002)
    UPDATE 4: Joe Nemechek will qualify the #26 Ford for Travis Carter Enterprises while the team’s scheduled driver, Frank Kimmel, must leave the track early Friday to compete in an ARCA race at Nashville Superspeedway. Kimmel will practice in the #26 Friday morning at Martinsville before returning to Tennessee for the ARCA race, which starts at 4:00pm/et. He would then return to Martinsville for Saturday’s Winston Cup practice, if the car makes the field (36th in owners points).(ThatsRacin.com), Kimmel won the pole for the ARCA race at Nashville.(4-12-2002)
  • Long to help out: Team Will Carry “Jaret’s Angels” Logo in Charlotte To Help Raise Awareness of Juvenile Diabetes. Carl Long doesn’t want the space on his # 85 Dodge to go to waste, so while the Roxboro, NC native continues to pursue sponsorship opportunities for a full NASCAR Winston Cup Series ride, he will carry the “Jaret’s Angels” logo on his cars beginning in Charlotte for the BGN race, the Winston Open and the Coca-Cola 600. The logo, a family emblem designed by artist Jim Hunt in support of 3-year-old Charlotte resident Jaret Arneson, who was diagnosed with juvenile (Type 1) diabetes in December of 2000, will be accompanied by the logo and Web site address for the national office of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation — www.jdrf.org. At Charlotte, Long will try to qualify the #64 Dodge of owner Rick Glenn, with team owner Thee Dixon and Mansion Motorsports providing the #85 Dodge for entry in the Winston Open and the Coca-Cola 600. SR Racing of Lebanon, TN, supplies the team’s engines for all of Long’s cars.(Carl Long Racing Site)(4-12-2002)
  • Jeff Countersues Brooke: NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon has countersued his wife for divorce, saying he should not have to equally split the couple’s estate because he risked his life to collect it. Gordon, a four-time Winston Cup champion, wants a larger share of the couple’s businesses, homes, cars and boats. They have been married seven years and have no children. Gordon’s wife, the former Jennifer Brooke Sealey, filed for the divorce March 15, saying the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” She is seeking alimony, exclusive use of the couple’s $9 million oceanfront home in Palm Beach County and periodic use of a Mercedes, Porsche, several boats and an airplane. Her attorney, Jeff Fisher, said Jeff Gordon is “arrogant and selfish” for claiming he should get more money because his job is dangerous.(ESPN/AP)(4-12-2002)

    (4-11-2002)

  • Soft Walls at Indy UPDATE: In a major step toward safety, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will announce on Wednesday the installation of “soft wall” technology for this year’s Indianapolis 500. A long-time research and development project with the University of Nebraska has produced a soft wall padding that will be installed in the outside turns of the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This is a result of a long-time project between the Indy Racing League and NASCAR with the University of Nebraska in an effort to reduce impact in the event of a crash. The soft wall padding is currently being installed at Indianapolis in an effort to improve safety for the 86th running of the Indianapolis 500.(Fox Sports)(4-10-2002)
    UPDATE: Soft-wall applications to the four turns of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval may be made before the start of practice for this year’s 86th Indianapolis 500, said Brian Barnhart, Indy Racing League vice president of operations, on April 10. The decision will be made whether to install the new safety technology after two final testing sessions at the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Barnhart said. Opening Day for the Indianapolis 500 is May 5. The shock-absorbing soft walls are an evolution of the original PEDS barrier that was attached to the inside wall exiting Turn 4 in 1998. The PEDS barrier was found to have some defects after it was struck at full speed by two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk during the 1998 IROC at Indy race. Still, Barnhart believes the PEDS barrier possibly saved Luyendyk’s life. In 1999, Japanese driver Hideshi Matsuda, in a practice crash before the Indianapolis 500, impacted a second-generation PEDS barrier in the same location of track. With the assistance of the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility, the Speedway, under the leadership of president and CEO Tony George, continued its development of an energy-reducing wall attachment that could help lower the risk of driver injury in a crash. Under the direction of Dr. Dean Sicking and Dr. Ron Faller, the soft-wall program progressed to the point that by September 2000, George and Barnhart were ready to include NASCAR in the development. Because the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a multi-purpose motorsports facility, the soft wall needs to withstand crashes by 1,550-pound Indy Racing League cars and 3,500-pound stock cars raced in the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400, respectively. NASCAR assigned Steve Peterson to work with the Indy Racing League Technical Director Phil Casey, PEDS designer John Pierce and the Nebraska engineers on the project. The crashes are simulated on an airport runway setup. The vehicles are propelled by cables to a creditable speed and then released to travel free the final 15 feet into the barriers. The cars, Barnhart pointed out, are heavily instrumented with impact data recorders in the front, middle and back of the chassis. Barnhart received an encouraging report April 9 after the 17th in the series of test crashes. There are two more test crashes scheduled for late April. Because of time restraints, soft walls only would be installed in each of the four turns at this time. Barnhart noted the soft walls are designed to provide their best protection at the most prominent impact areas in the corners and then taper down on the exits to allow running cars to take their normal grooves up to the concrete for maximum speed.(IMS Site) and see a story at the Orlando Sentinel: Indy tests use of ‘soft’ walls and from the Indy Star: IMS pleased with soft-wall tests.(4-11-2002)
  • Elliott wants to be left off: [#9] Bill Elliott, perennial winner in the most-popular driver balloting, doesn’t want to play any longer and has asked that his name be taken off the ballot. But The National Motorsports Press Association, which conducts the vote, still has his name on there. And fans, some of whom have long kept Elliott at the top of the list, are caught in the middle. Elliott won the award 10 times in a row and has won it 15 times altogether. Last season, he agreed to have his name removed from the ballot as part of an effort to honor the memory of seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt. Confusion has come about over how long the driver’s name was to stay off the ballot. In the future, likely with the driver’s retirement, the most-popular driver trophy – not the award – is expected to carry Elliott’s name. As David Poole, president of the NMPA, put it: “Bill’s name has been on it so many times, it may as well stay there.”(See full story at ThatsRacin.com)(4-11-2002)
  • NASCAR asks lawsuit to be dropped: NASCAR has asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit that claims the stock car association has illegally withheld a second Winston Cup date from the Texas Motor Speedway [TMS]. In the motion, filed in federal court, attorneys for NASCAR attack all counts of the lawsuit filed by Francis Ferko of Plano, a shareholder in Speedway Motorsports Inc. — the company that owns and operates TMS. NASCAR contends that many of Ferko’s “factual allegations” are false and that — none of the claims has substantive merit, but even as a matter of pleading, they are so fatally deficient the court can dismiss them now.(CNN/AP)(4-11-2002)
  • Oordt-Denny Green team delayed UPDATE Oordt out? Mock regains control?: Darwin Oordt Galaxy Motorsports – was the #75 team is not sure when he and new team partner Dennis Green will put a car on the track. ”We’re working on a couple of things, but there’s nothing new,” Oordt said this week. Oordt suspended his Winston Cup operation early last year due to a lack of sponsor. Green, the former Vikings coach, last month became partners with Oordt. Oordt said they hope to begin competing at some point this season in either Cup or BGN, or both.(Tennessean)(3-7-2002)
    UPDATE: [former owner] Butch Mock reportedly has retaken possession of the team he sold to Darwin Oordt and intends to auction off everything in early May.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(4-11-2002)
  • Simpson vs NASCAR: NASCAR claims in court documents filed this week that it did not defame seat-belt pioneer Bill Simpson because its officials told the truth without malice about the death of Dale Earnhardt and his torn seat belt. NASCAR also stated that it never said that Earnhardt was killed as a result of seat-belt failure. Simpson filed an $8.5 million defamation suit against NASCAR in February. In the suit, Simpson contends that he suffered financially after NASCAR said Earnhardt’s seat belt resulted in the death of the seven-time Winston Cup champion in the 2001 Daytona 500. Attorney Bob Johnstone, representing NASCAR, filed a response Monday to the suit in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis.(see full story at the Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-11-2002)
  • Testing at Talladega UPDATE: Seven Cup teams tested Tuesday at Talladega: #49-BAM Racing with Shawna Robinson, #20-Joe Gibbs Racing with Mike McLaughlin (Tony Stewart will be there Wed), #10-MBV Motorsports with Johnny Benson, #22-Bill Davis Racing with Tom Hubert, #33-Andy Petree Racing with Robert Pressley, #78-Braun Motorsports with ARCA driver Chad Blount, and Petty Enterprises tested a Dodge with Steve Grissom. Testing continues Wednesday.(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(4-9-2002)
    UPDATE: Wrapping up test sessions at Talladega were Mike McLaughlin who filled in for Tony Stewart in the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Home Depot Pontiac, #49-BAM Racing with Shawna Robinson, Petty Enterprises with Steve Grissom and #78-Braun Motorsports with Chad Blount. The #10 MBV Motorsports team with Johnny Benson did not get on the track Tuesday and will conclude their two-day test on Thursday. Also testing at Talladega were Phoenix Racing’s #1 BGN with Joe Ruttman and #09 Cup team with Geoffrey Bodine..(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(4-11-2002)
  • Yates 3rd Team? Rudd Retiring? No to both: rumors have began to circulate about Robert Yates starting a third Winston Cup team and there are indications that Yates is already talking to other Winston Cup drivers about their availability for next year. Yates insists that’s not the case. “Most of my thoughts are on how we can get the 28 and 88 (teams) more competitive and take care of business with this economy,” he said. “I really haven’t had any serious conversation about a third team. Until I can make my two teams better, I’m not very interested in a third team unless it comes with an opportunity that makes you say ’Wow.’” Some have even speculated that Ricky Rudd might be ready to retire following this season. Such talk, however, is news to Rudd. If he’s driving, he hopes it’s for Yates. “To be honest, I don’t know what my plans are,” Rudd, 45, said April 5. “When you get as old as I am, you sort of just take them a year at a time. It’s a great race team, I prefer to stay where I’m at. There’s no talks at all about making driver changes. … I’m very pleased with where I’m at and I think they’re pleased with me. But time will tell.” Yates says he’s had no conversations about new drivers. “I haven’t actually talked to anybody for next year. Right now, I’m doing everything I can to make Ricky want to stay with this team,” he said. “We certainly want him to stay. But I respect his wishes when he came to us. (He said), ‘I want to drive two years and that’s it.’ We’re already past that (point). I think it’s going to be a deal where as long as he’s having fun (he’ll still race). Hopefully, we’re attractive enough for him to want to stay with us. That’s my wish.”(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to see)(4-11-2002)
  • More The Winston – Moving? RJR’s contract with LMS expires after this year’s running of The Winston event and there are questions over whether the race will return, and if it does, whether it will return to Charlotte. RJR’s Winston Cup director Rich Habegger admitted Wednesday that a decision had not been made on the future of the race and that talks would get underway in the next couple of months. The drivers of course enjoy the benefits of running two consecutive weeks near their home base, a rarity in the Bataan Death March of NASCAR’s schedule. But proximity aside, reigning NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon said that he feels that Charlotte is the perfect venue for a high-stakes, no-points, let’s-see-who-can-drive-this-thing-the-hardest shootout. For his part, LMS president H.A. ‘Humpy’ Wheeler has no plans to give up his hold on the race without a fight.(Speed Channel)(4-11-2002)
  • Gordon Makes Offer: #31-Robby Gordon, who was fined after running into #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the end of the Food City 500 at Bristol, paid the fine himself and offered to reimburse Childress for the damage to the car. That offer was declined, however.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to see)(4-11-2002)

    (4-10-2002)

  • The Winston, 2002, announcement UPDATE 2 Changes: There will be an announcement on Tuesday, April 9th of the new format for The Winston, NASCAR’s all-star race. The Winston will be contested under the lights at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 18, 2002. The new format will make The Winston more competitive than ever before.(LMS PR)(4-5-2002)
    UPDATE: the NASCAR press conference to announce the new format for The Winston, scheduled for Tuesday morning at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC, will be rescheduled for Wednesday morning at 11:00am/et.(TMS Site)(4-8-2002)
    UPDATE 2: The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., and its Winston brand today announced the revised format for the 2002 running of The Winston, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series’ all-star event. It’ll be “Survival of the Fastest” as for the first time in the 17-year history of The Winston, drivers will be eliminated from the grid following both the first and second segments, leaving just the 10 fastest drivers to compete for the winner’s share of a $3 million purse in the final 20-lap dash around Lowe’s Motor Speedway. This year’s running of The Winston (Saturday, May 18) will consist of three segments totaling 90 laps, or 135 miles, around the 1.5-mile surface of Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The first segment will be 40 laps, after which the field will be trimmed to the top 20 finishers. Segment No. 2 runs a total of 30 laps, after which 10 more competitors will be eliminated to set up the final dramatic segment. Inversion, a staple of the competitive format of The Winston since 1992, will remain a part of the format for the 2002 event, but that process has been relocated and will now follow the second segment. A fan vote will determine whether four, six, eight or the entire field of 10 cars will be inverted for the final segment. The field for The Winston, by rule, consists of a minimum of 18 drivers who have either won races or championships in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series or The Winston within the last five years, plus one driver who transfers by winning the Winston Open, the qualifier run immediately prior to The Winston, and one driver who wins the last-chance “suitcase race” known as the No Bull Sprint. Currently, there are a record 26 drivers eligible for this year’s The Winston. The Winston Open is composed of drivers and teams who participated in a NASCAR Winston Cup event in 2001 or this season and are not otherwise eligible for The Winston. This year’s Winston Open will be 30 laps in duration, with all laps counting toward the total. As is the case with the first two segments of The Winston, should the Winston Open encounter a late-race caution that prevents a green-flag finish, there will be one opportunity to end the race under green with the number of laps extended for a green-white-checkered flag finish. If there is another caution, the race will end under caution. The No Bull Sprint will be 16-laps and features all teams that finished The Winston Open, but did not win the race. Qualifying procedures for The Winston continue to focus on team performance. A four-tire pit stop on the Lowe’s Motor Speedway pit road will begin a driver’s qualifying effort, followed by three laps. The total elapsed time of the pit stop and laps will determine the pole position for The Winston, which awards the winning team $50,000. Qualifying will take place on Friday, May 17.(Lowes Motor Speedway Site and see the Winston Fact Sheet there)(4-10-2002)
  • Waltrip to field a car for Kenny Wallace at Talladega? UPDATE yep #98: Mike Waltrip mentioned during the Fox BGN rain delay coverage that Michael Waltrip racing will field a Cup car at Talladega for Kenny Wallace that will carry Aaron’s Rent sponsorship and that Aaron’s will also be the title sponsor of the Cup at Talladega that will be know as the 499 not the 500. Supposedly DEI will supply the car (a backup #15) and engine, not sure what number it’ll use (#81 as used in Daytona testing?). Waltrip seemed serious and Kenny Wallace was interviewed a bit later and says it is a serious effort and it is being posted on the Kenny Wallace site.(4-6-2002)
    UPDATE: Michael Waltrip Racing Inc. (MWR) will field a Cup car for the first time in the Aaron’s 499 on April 21, 2002 at Talladega Superspeedway. Michael Waltrip, owner of MWR and driver of the #15 DEI NAPA Chevrolet, announced, Kenny Wallace, will pilot the #98 Chevy sponsored by Aaron’s Sales and Lease Ownership. Ken Butler, President of Aaron’s Sales and Lease Ownership, announced March 16th Aaron’s would be the title sponsor for the Busch Series race at Talladega Superspeedway in addition to its primary sponsorship of Waltrip’s #99 BGN car. Butler decided one race and one car entry was simply not enough. Butler revealed Aaron’s would make it a double header by sponsoring the Winston Cup race. While Waltrip drives the Aaron’s Dream Machine on Saturday’s, their was no Dream Machine entered in Sunday’s race until Waltrip stepped up to the plate offering his team and cars. “I am blessed to have a wonderful sponsor in Aaron’s,” Waltrip said. “They love NASCAR racing and NASCAR fans and have chosen NASCAR as their main source of spreading the word of their company’s products. I didn’t think twice about making this happen for a sponsor like Aaron’s. Michael Waltrip Racing, supported by Dale Earnhardt Inc. will give Kenny (Wallace) a legitimate opportunity to win in Talladega.” The car Wallace will drive was tested at Talladega Superspeedway by Waltrip and competed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Daytona in 2001. Wallace finished sixth in last year’s Talladega 500 with a best superspeedway finish of second when he pushed Dale Earnhardt to his last win at Talladega in 2000.(Fahlgren PR)(4-10-2002)
  • Burton to be honored REPOST: Ward Burton, the first Virginian to ever win the prestigious Daytona 500 and driver of the #22 Caterpillar Dodge, will be officially honored by Halifax County, VA, the town of South Boston, VA., and the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce, April 13 at his hometown track, South Boston Speedway. Burton’s victory will be celebrated in pre-race ceremonies preceding the Textilease 300 presented by “Little Trees”. The evening also features twin 50s for the NASCAR Textilease Late Model Stock Cars and 300 laps for the ASA series. The weekend of April 13 and 14 is a great one for race fans in Southside Virginia, with Martinsville Speedway, only 60 miles west of South Boston, hosting the Virginia 500 on April 14. Many Virginia and motorsports dignitaries are expected to celebrate with Burton at the Speedway, as well as family, friends and fans. Race fans in attendance wearing a Ward Burton hat or shirt, or with a Ward Burton poster, will be given the chance to win two Weekend VIP Suite passes for the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway, July 26 through 28. A large banner is being produced to commemorate Burton’s Daytona victory, as well as congratulating South Boston graduates Elliott Sadler and Geoffrey Bodine on their top-three Daytona 500 sweep. The banner will also feature names of individuals and businesses that have joined the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation Club 22. Throughout the Winston Cup season, race fans and businesses can join Club 22 for a $22 donation to the Foundation. Members will receive a Foundation decal and quarterly newsletters along with recognition on the Speedway’s banner. Information will be available to join the Club 22 at the April 13 event at the Speedway.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(3-18/4-10-2002)

    (4-9-2002)

  • A 5th Hendrick team? UPDATE: been told that Hendrick Motorsports BGN driver, Jack Sprague, will drive the #60 Haas Chevy in the Coca Cola 600 at Lowes Motor Speedway in May and possibly up to six more Cup events. See an image of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery.(3-19-2002)
    UPDATE: Dr Jerry Punch interviewed Jack Sprague on ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night and it was mentioned that the team just got the new #60 car in the shop and plans to test at Charlotte/Lowes Motor Speedway in a few weeks. Other races include New Hampshire, both Lowes races and Homestead. Rick Hendrick will be part owner of the team.(4-9-2002)
  • Sadler and the Lottery at Martinsville: Two of Virginia’s most popular pastimes will be joined together again as the Virginia Lottery will conduct its second promotional campaign with Virginia native Hermie Sadler during Virginia’s NASCAR Winston Cup Series 2002 events [Martinsville and Richmond]. The program, which began last season, featured numerous at-track promotions as well as the now famous “I’m gonna tell my mama!” television commercial that promoted the “Pole Position” scratch tickets. Both Sadler and Lottery officials are excited to extend the program, which begins with the Virginia 500 this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. In addition to fielding a #02-Virginia Lottery Winston Cup Chevy in the races, the program also includes appearances by Sadler and the Virginia Lottery show car at various lottery retailers across the state as well as some of Virginia’s other short tracks. Also in 2002, the Virginia Lottery will operate a booth at the track that will feature the Virginia Lottery show car, frequent appearances by Sadler during race weekends, and many other promotions, including giving fans a chance to win premium garage and pit experiences on race morning. Sadler’s goal in 2002 will be to match the success of the off-track program with performance on the track, something the team started to realize at the end of 2001. Sadler has added depth and strength to his team by adding several new crewmembers, including Bobby King. King was Sadler’s crew chief during his successful start in the BGN.(The Patterson Group PR)(4-9-2002)
  • Texas TV Ratings: Though rain postponed NASCAR’s race until Monday, Sunday’s race-less telecast on Fox still posted the third-highest sports rating of the weekend. Fox’s 3.1 overnight rating in large markets comprising 68% of the USA for Sunday’s Samsung/Radio Shack 500 rainout trailed only the 4.0 for NBC’s Los Angeles Lakers-Miami Heat NBA game and the 3.9 for NBC’s final round of the BellSouth Classic golf tournament.(USA Today)(4-9-2002)
  • APR Sponsor for Talladega and CTS race: Preen, America’s leading weed preventer for lawns and gardens, will sponsor the Andy Petree Racing organization over the next two weeks. A product of Greenview, the consumer products division of Lebanon Seaboard Corporation, Preen will be on the CTS Truck driven by Petree at Martinsville this weekend, and will be on the #33 Cup Chevy driven by Mike Wallace at Talladega next week. New Preen For Lawns was launched this Spring. It kills weeds and even fertilizes up to four months, twice as long as traditional fertilizers. The only product of its kind that effectively kills and prevents weeds in one step, it is found at neighborhood garden and hardware centers. Preen ˜N Green For Gardens is endorsed by the American Rose Society. The first opportunity will come in Saturday’s Truck race at Martinsville but the next in the Winston Cup race next week at Talladega. “Having two cars at Talladega is always a plus. The way we ran there last year and the way Mike Wallace ran there last year, we feel we can do a lot with the Preen Chevrolet and the Schneider Electric Chevrolet (of driver Bobby Hamilton),” Petree said. “The past few years we’ve really been good there, and we think we can be great next week too.” The Preen Team gets its start this week with Petree behind the wheel of his CTS Truck at Martinsville. This will be Petree’s first Truck race, though he has ARCA and other stock car racing experience.(Williams Company PR)(4-9-2002)
  • Andretti Talking Indy 500 again UPDATE: John Andretti, the first driver to race in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day, says he’ll meet with car owner Kyle Petty next week and ask to drive in both races. Petty said a couple of weeks ago that Andretti wouldn’t be driving at Indianapolis so Andretti could focus on his Petty Enterprises ride. Andretti wants to drive the Indy 500 again and admits he has “more than one” opportunity to race there this year. “We’re going to sit down and we’re going to talk about it,” Andretti said of his meeting with Petty. “We’re going to talk about this year and kind of clean that up and then see what the future is because I do want to do Indy.”(News and Record)(4-6-2002)
    UPDATE: John Andretti will meet with team owner Kyle Petty this week in hopes of getting permission to try the Indianapolis 500/Coca-Cola 600 double May 26. He’ll get the same answer he got earlier this year: no. “We’ve got Winston Cup races to run, and he’s our Winston Cup driver,” Petty said Monday. Andretti was the first driver to race in the Indianapolis 500 and the NASCAR Winston Cup race at Charlotte on the same day, in 1994, and is passionate about trying it again. He said he respects the Petty family too much to give them an ultimatum, but his contract is up this season and having permission to run Indy will figure into his decision to re-sign with the team. “Indy’s really important to me, and I’m not sure I want to give it up for the rest of my career,” said Andretti, nephew of 1969 Indy winner Mario Andretti. “I’ve easily got some years left in me to get there and win Indy, and I want the opportunity. So we’ll have to wait and see what comes out of” the meeting. Petty said he wants Andretti to be able to race at Indy — just not this year, a critical point in the rebuilding process of the once-dominant team. Petty Enterprises made several changes in the offseason, switching to a new engine supplier and hiring Robin Pemberton to take over many of Petty’s management responsibilities.(USA Today)(4-9-2002)
  • Nemechek to the #44? UPDATE: rumors are afloat that place Joe Nemechek (recently released by Haas-Cart Motorsports) in the #44 Georgia Pacific Petty Racing Dodge at Martinsville this weekend. Buckshot Jones is the current driver.(4-9-2002)
    UPDATE: checked with a few more sources and been told that Nemechek is still under contract with Haas Carter Motorsports and that the team is hoping sponsorship will come through soon.(4-9-2002)
  • New Chevy Body in 2003? UPDATE: hearing that Chevrolet will roll out a new body for the 2003 season which basically be a Pontiac with a new nose and tail.(4-8-2002)
    UPDATE: Chevrolet officials are exploring the possibility of introducing a new body style for the 2003 Winston Cup season, or at least making major modifications to their current Monte Carlo, which was last changed in the 2000 season. “I think it will end up falling more in line with the cars that are out there right now,” said Robbie Loomis, crew chief for four-time Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon. “We got a great race car with the one we got but you always have to be out there looking ahead and trying to get in shape. Like anything, you try to plan ahead of time. We’re always looking for ways to make it better, and not just once a year, but every weekend we’re at the race track.” Loomis said the biggest change is likely to occur in the front end of the car. “If you look at our car and you look at the shape of the Dodge or the shape of the Ford, it’s pretty clear to see, especially from the front windshield forward, we’re off on the shape pretty big aerodynamically,” he said. Richard Childress, who the Chevrolet teams of Kevin Harvick, Jeff Green and Robby Gordon, said there was “nothing definite” in regards to changing the Chevrolet body. “From what I understand, this is the last year that particular nose of the car is approved. I don’t know the exact details,” he said. “But there is some preliminary talk right now about some changes.”(ThatsRacin.com)(4-9-2002)
  • Stewarts Back Hurting: #20-Tony Stewart, who finished fifth, said his back was hurting after Monday’s race. Stewart was injured in a crash at Darlington three weeks ago.(Roanoke Times)(4-9-2002)
  • Bodine’s Window Problem: Trouble with the side window of Brett Bodine’s #11 Hooters Ford brought about a caution on Lap 49 of Monday’s Samsung/Radio Shack 500. The side window came loose and fell off on the frontstretch, requiring NASCAR to call a caution for debris. It was the second time this season Bodine’s car had experienced the same problem. His right side window also came off during the race at Atlanta last month. Bodine and his crew chief, Doug Richert, were called to the NASCAR hauler to discuss the problem following the race. Bodine finished 38th.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-9-2002)
  • Jones and Petree news UPDATE: Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys’ owner, had a dinner meeting with [#33/55 Car owner Andy] Petree over the weekend to discuss Jones’ plans to buy into part of Petree’s Asheville operation. The two have been talking about teaming for more than a year now, but management issues may be holding things up.(Winston Salem Journal). See my #33 Team News and Links page for past news on this.(4-8-2002)
    UPDATE: Cowboys owners Jerry Jones didn’t show up in the garage area at Texas Motor Speedway, but he did have a dinner meeting with Winston Cup team owner Andy Petree to discuss Jones’ plan to buy a majority ownership in Petree’s team. Jones and Petree need to finalize how the team will be structured next season. Other NASCAR owners have said they believe Petree, a former Winston Cup crew chief, will continue to be in control of all the race-related decisions.(Dallas Morning News)(4-9-2002)
  • NAPCM Pit Crew of the week: #2-Rusty Wallace’s Miller Lite Crew – Smokin’ fast pit stops (14.7, 13.5, 14.3) make the Miller Lite Crew their pick this week. Check the current standings of the MechanixWear Pit Crew of the Year Award at www.napcm.com.(4-9-2002)
  • NASCAR and Wheel of Fortune: The game show Wheel of Fortune has teamed up with NASCAR for “NASCAR Week”, airing nationwide April 22-26, 2002. All week, the die-hard NASCAR fans that were chosen as contestants will compete on a NASCAR-outfitted Wheel of Fortune set featuring everything from stock cars to checkered flags for great NASCAR-themed prizes, such as Gasoline for Life from TOSCO/76, a Ford F 150 Truck, and VIP fantasy trips to some of NASCAR’s premiere events. The April theme week marks the first partnering of Wheel of Fortune and NASCAR. Drivers who will appear on the show include Bobby Labonte, Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace, Ward Burton, Jeff Burton, John Andretti, Buckshot Jones and 7-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion, Richard Petty, will be featured in show segments shot with Vanna White will be featured in show segments shot with Vanna White on location at the Las Vegas Speedway in March. Kyle Petty, Jeff Green, Stacy Compton, Ricky Craven and Jimmie Johnson also make appearances during Wheel of Fortune “NASCAR Week” to introduce the great NASCAR-themed prizes from sponsors Lowe’s Home Improvement, Tide, Conseco, Daytona USA, NASCAR Speed Park, America Online (AOL) and the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Wheel of Fortune “NASCAR Week” will be promoted nationwide on over 200 Wheel of Fortune affiliates and online at nascar.com. Hosted by Pat Sajak and featuring Vanna White, Wheel of Fortune is televised in 40 territories worldwide, reaching more than 100 million weekly viewers, making it the most popular television show on earth. Since its 1983 syndication launch, the game show has awarded more than $125 million in cash and prizes to contestants.(NASCAR PR)(4-9-2002)
  • School Out due to….Racing: While a few schools near the track were closed because of race traffic, some children skipped school to attend the race. Stacy Compton helped one elementary school student with a personal note for the child’s teacher to excuse the student from class. “Dear Miss Dixon: Thank you for excusing Keaton from school today. We learned all about physics out here at TMS. Stacy Compton.”(Roanoke Times)(4-9-2002)
  • Sad News: Two drivers died from injuries suffered in race-related incidents across the country this weekend. Jimmy Johnston, a 39-year-old sprint car racer from Ohio, died after crashing during a Modified race at Eldora Speedway (Ohio) on Saturday night. Witnesses said the car rolled 10 times after the car hit the wall at about 85 mph. At California Speedway, motorcyclist Ricky Lundgren died from injuries in what the L.A. Times deemed a freak accident. Lundgren, 40, was hit by another competitor’s motorcycle after it launched “five to six feet in the air,” according to speedway officials. The bike then hit Lundgren’s. The driver of the original bike suffered only minor injuries. The motorcycles were qualifying for the AMA Yamaha Challenge.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-9-2002)
  • Fox Reports Strong Sales: Mediaweek magazine is reporting that Fox is 90% sold out of its NASCAR ad spots this season and that FX has sold out its four upcoming Winston Cup race telecasts, according to today’s Sports Business Daily. The magazine says the level of sellouts at Fox “dwarfs last season, when the network scrambled to sell its 80 NASCAR spots each week.” Fox President of Ad Sales Jon Nesvig told the magazine: “So far this year, all the races that aired were sold out and at higher rates than last year.” Media buyers estimated that the average 30-second spot for NASCAR is selling for about $100,000. The story also quotes Fox Cable Sports Exec VP/Sales Guy Sousa as saying that FX’s four Winston Cup races “have sold out earlier this season at ad rates that are 40-50% higher than last season.” Much of that growth is attributed to the fact that FX grew its subscriber base from 58.5 million last season to 76.6 million.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-9-2002)
  • BAM Racing gets an assoc: Clearwater, FL based R & B Auto Body announced today that the company has joined a growing list of marketing partners at BAM Racing. They will take on an associate sponsorship role on the #49 Dodge for the duration of the 2002 season. R & B Auto Body president and CEO, Ray Maxwell stated Thursday, “We are excited about the opportunity to support Shawna Robinson and the entire BAM Racing operation. The team is showing excellent growth and we look forward to utilizing the marketing potential of the organization.” R & B Auto Body specializes in commercial vehicle finishing and operates out of a state of the art facility, capable of satisfying the quality and scheduling demands of Fortune 500 fleet accounts.(BAM Racing PR)(4-9-2002)

    (4-8-2002)

  • 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-Labonte

    Cars 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)

 


(4-7-2002)

 

  • Some Patriotism at Texas: Neal Smith, a Texas Resident and currently serving in the U. S. Navy has been on active duty for 19 years and will be retiring next year. Texas Motor Speedway(TMS) was contacted about flying Smith’s retirement flag (which will never be sold and will go into his shadow box), and TMS accepted. The flag will be flown in Winner’s Circle today (and was on Saturday after the BGN race).(4-7-2002)
  • Spring Rubbers: NASCAR is allowing teams to install up to one-half of a spring rubber in either or both front springs prior to the start of Sunday’s Samsung/Radio Shack 500 at Texas. Teams can’t start races with spring rubber in the front of their cars; they may only add them during pit stops. Spring rubbers are allowed in the rear springs at the start of the race.(CNN/SI)(4-7-2002)
  • 300th start for Gordon: #24-Jeff Gordon will make his 300th Winston Cup start at Texas. Two interesting facts: it is 300 consecutive starts, and Gordon has NEVER used a provisional starting spot.(4-7-2002)

    (4-6-2002)

  • Waltrip to field a car for Kenny Wallace at Talladega? Mike Waltrip mentioned during the Fox BGN rain delay coverage that Michael Waltrip racing will field a Cup car at Talladega for Kenny Wallace that will carry Aaron’s Rent sponsorship and that Aaron’s will also be the title sponsor of the Cup at Talladega that will be know as the 499 not the 500. Supposedly DEI will supply the car (a backup #15) and engine, not sure what number it’ll use (#81 as used in Daytona testing?). Waltrip seemed serious and Kenny Wallace was interviewed a bit later and says it is a serious effort and it is being posted on the Kenny Wallace site.(4-6-2002)
  • Andretti Talking Indy 500 again: John Andretti, the first driver to race in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day, says he’ll meet with car owner Kyle Petty next week and ask to drive in both races. Petty said a couple of weeks ago that Andretti wouldn’t be driving at Indianapolis so Andretti could focus on his Petty Enterprises ride. Andretti wants to drive the Indy 500 again and admits he has “more than one” opportunity to race there this year. “We’re going to sit down and we’re going to talk about it,” Andretti said of his meeting with Petty. “We’re going to talk about this year and kind of clean that up and then see what the future is because I do want to do Indy.”(News and Record)(4-6-2002)
  • Shelmerdine’s Schedule Announced UPDATE: Atlanta-based Eastern Foods Inc. and their driver Kirk Shelmerdine have released a five-race schedule for the 2002 Cup season. Shelmerdine will drive a Ford as part of a two-car team effort with Brett Bodine. Shelmerdine will showcase the colors of Naturally Fresh Dressings & Dips and Jackaroo Sauces produced by EFI, Inc. for his first race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway at Charlotte in May. The next race scheduled for the Naturally Fresh Racing team will be at Chicagoland Speedway on July 14th. The team will return to the Midwest to Kansas Speedway on September 29th.. Shelmerdine will bring the Naturally Fresh Ford back to Lowes Motor Speedway on October 13th and finish the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway in October. Eastern Foods Incorporated is based in Atlanta, GA has been actively involved in stock car racing sponsorship at various levels since 1991 and currently sponsors competitors in the USAR Hooters ProCup Series. In returning to the Winston Cup Series, Eastern Foods, Inc. will also become an associate sponsor on the #11 Ford driven by Bodine.(Naturally Fresh Racing PR), no word on a car number.(4-4-2002)
    UPDATE: Shelmerdine’s Ford will run the #27.(4-6-2002)


    (4-5-2002)

  • Elledge to leave Yates? UPDATE 4: Dodge is wooing Jimmy Elledge, one of the Winston Cup tour’s rising young crew chiefs, to leave Robert Yates’ Ford #88 operation to join Ray Evernham’s Dodge gang as crew chief for #7-Casey Atwood on the Jimmy Smith-Buddy Barnes operation. And Barnes yesterday said that Elledge could be joining his team soon. Smith, the team owner in a partnership with Evernham, and Barnes, the general manager and interim crew chief, have been rebuilding the team since losing sponsorship last fall. Atwood finished 18th yesterday, his best of the year.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-25-2002)
    UPDATE: #88-Dale Jarrett expects to have crew chief Jimmy Elledge with him, discounting recent rumors that Elledge might leave the Robert Yates Racing team. Jarrett said Elledge does not plan to leave and has told Jarrett that repeatedly this week. (Roanoke Times)(3-28-2002)
    UPDATE 2: When Dale Jarrett and the #88 Robert Yates Racing team heads to Texas this weekend, crew chief Jimmy Elledge will not make the trip. Todd Parrott is now the crew chief of that team. Jimmy Elledge this afternoon says he has decided to pursue other options. The door has been left open for Elledge to return to Robert Yates Racing in another capacity. Todd Parrott had been the crew chief for the previous five seasons but was said to be taking a larger role as general manager with the team when Elledge was hired in the off-season [from the #55 APR team].(FoxSports)(4-3-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Todd Parrott has reassumed the crew chief position for Dale Jarrett’s #88 Ford team at Robert Yates Racing. Jimmy Elledge, who took over as crew chief after Parrott moved to a team manager position in December, is still employed, but “is exploring other options,” team owner Robert Yates said. “We think he is a very talented individual and our doors will always be open to him.” Late Wednesday, Ray Evernham, co-owner of Ultra/Evernham Motorsports, confirmed he plans to speak to Elledge in the coming days about the crew chief job with driver Casey Atwood and the #7 Dodges. Buddy “Reddog” Barnes currently holds the role on an interim basis.(ThatsRacin.com), also on ESPN’s RPM2Night it was mentioned that Evernham and Elledge have spoken already, but Elledge is not commiting to anything yet.(4-4-2002)
    UPDATE 4: Ray Evernham, co-owner of Ultra/Evernham Motorsports and the #7 Dodges driven by Casey Atwood, said he hoped to have a meeting Monday with Jimmy Elledge, who recently lost his position as crew chief for Dale Jarrett. Evernham said he hoped co-owner Jim Smith and Atwood could participate in the meeting. Elledge, who is still employed by Robert Yates Racing, apparently is fielding several offers from several Winston Cup teams. He was formerly crew chief for Bobby Hamilton at Andy Petree Racing.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-5-2002)
  • Dale Jr Leads Voting: #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. leads, and more than 130,000 votes have been cast for the Grands NMPA NASCAR Winston Cup Most Popular Driver Award. Voting began in early March at www.nascarpopulardriver.com, and NASCAR fans have responded in amazing numbers. Approximately 400,000 voted all of last year. Voting continues through November 10, 2002. Voting breakdowns were unavailable but, especially since it is early in the process, differences were relatively close down the list. Behind Earnhardt, Jr., in order, were Tony Stewart, Bill Elliott, Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Ricky Rudd, Kyle Petty, Rusty Wallace, Kevin Harvick and Dale Jarrett. Many of the driver and team web sites have established links directly from their sites to the voting site, while many fan-developed and racing news sites have established direct links for the convenience of their readers (see graphic and link on the Jayski page, on the left side of this page). The award is administered by the National Motorsports Press Association, and is sponsored by Grands!, a product of Pillsbury. Fans are allowed one vote per day but may vote as many days as they wish.(Williams Company PR)(4-5-2002)
  • BACE and APR UPDATE: BACE Motorsports and Andy Petree Racing announced the formation of a strategic alliance in conjunction with BACE Motorsports Cup debut with driver Chad Little. BACE Motorsports will field the #74 Chevy in up to 15 Winston Cup events during the 2002 season with engines and chassis supplied by Andy Petree Racing (APR). Additionally, the alliance includes the continuous sharing of information between the #74 Team and Andy Petree Racing’s current Winston Cup entry, the #55 Chevy driven by Bobby Hamilton.. The two teams will work together to exchange technical information learned on and off track in efforts to increase their collective performance. Both teams feel the information sharing is an integral part of the partnership. Little, a former NASCAR Winston West Champion, will pilot the #74 entry in a limited schedule, initially focusing on intermediate tracks, as the team actively seeks corporate sponsorship.. Following BACE’s debut at California Speedway on April 28, 2002, Little will run The Winston Open and Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, then the June events at Dover and Michigan. Additional events will be named as the 2002 season progresses.(ignition, inc. PR)(4-4-2002)
    UPDATE: Petree is expected to reach an ownership agreement with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that will begin next season.(Dallas Morning News), for past news on the Jones rumor, see my #55 Team News and Links page.(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 (see my BGN site), 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)
  • NASCAR Emmy’s Nominations: The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday that NASCAR on FOX has been nominated for six Sports Emmy Awards, NASCAR on NBC/TNT two and ESPN one for Racing work in 2001.
    The 23rd Annual Sports Emmy Awards will be presented on Tuesday, April 23rd, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.
    The categories featuring NASCAR:
    Outstanding Live Sports Special: NASCAR on FOX: The Daytona 500
    Outstanding Live Sports Series: NASCAR on FOX and NASCAR on NBC/TNT
    Outstanding Techincial Team Remote: NASCAR on FOX and ESPN Speedworld
    Outstanding Live Event Audio/Sound: NASCAR on FOX
    Outstanding Graphic Design: NASCAR on FOX
    Outstanding Innovative Techincal Achievement: NASCAR on FOX and NASCAR on NBC/TNT.(Emmy’s site)(4-5-2002)
  • New Publication: If you enjoy NASCAR racing, you’ll love Inside Cat Racing – 2002, a new 40-page, full-color publication packed full of interesting and entertaining information illustrated by more than 75 professional photos see ww.insidecatracing.com. And for more Racing Books, see my Racing Bookstore page(4-5-2002)
  • Racing Wives Book: Liz Allison, who knows a little about it, provides some insight about racing relationships in her new book, “Racing Wives: The Women Behind the Sunday Drivers.” Allison was the wife of Winston Cup star and second-generation Alabama Gang member Davey Allison, who died while trying to land his helicopter at Talladega. The author has teamed with UMI Publications on this latest effort, her third book. She started work on it about a year ago. The work began in earnest after the 2001 racing season ended and her editors moved her deadline up early this year. A couple of prominent NASCAR wives aren’t in there, which is creating a little bit of a buzz about the book, no doubt to her delight and that of her publisher. Brooke Gordon, who last month filed for divorce from four-time Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon, isn’t in there. Neither is Teresa Earnhardt. As for Earnhardt, “That was out of respect for her and what she was going through,” Allison says. She got word about her undertaking to the widow of seven-time champion Dale Earnardt, but didn’t push when she didn’t get a response. As for Brooke Gordon, Allison pushed a little. Enough that the former Miss Winston finally let her know that she didn’t want to participate “for personal reasons.” “I knew something was going on there, but I was still shocked when she filed,” said Allison, who now lives in Tennessee but remains plugged in with much of the NASCAR family in North Carolina. She’s got more than two dozen wives in her book and many have provided photos from their personal collections. So there are some images there that most of have never had the opportunity to see, which is kinda neat. The ABC TV news show “Downtown” interviewed Allison and several of the wives at Lowe’s Motor Speedway’s Speedway Club this week and plans to air a segment on them and the book April 17. “Racing Wives” is to be released later this month.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-5-2002)
  • Jeff Gordon Book Advance Worth $1.2 million: Four-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon was given a $1.2-million book advance by Viacom’s Simon & Schuster for his life story, according to the N.Y. Post. Mark Reiter of IMG brokered the deal, which is thought to have fetched the impressive sum thanks in part to the huge success of Driver #8, Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s bestseller.(Winston Cup Scene Newsletter)(4-5-2002)
  • Plates at Texas? This Week? UPDATE Fearing that speeds at Texas Motor Speedway could reach dangerous levels, NASCAR officials may consider putting restrictor plates on Winston Cup cars competing in Sunday’s Samsung/Radio Shack 500, a NASCAR official said on Thursday. “We will sit down and talk about it (Thursday night),” said Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of communications. “We have the plates here already, but we will probably wait to see what happens over the next couple of days.” But NASCAR clearly feels that the resurfaced 1.5-mile TMS track may need the extraordinary precaution measure.(Dallas Morning News)(4-5-2002)
    UPDATE no plates for the BGN: NASCAR vice president Jim Hunter said Friday morning the sanctioning body has no plans to use carburetor restrictor plates for the BGN race Saturday at Texas. On Thursday, Jeff Green won the pole for the race with a track record lap of over 193 mph – far above the 189 mph previous mark. Green also bettered the previous Winston Cup qualifying mark. A repaved surface and cooler temperatures Thursday help produce fast speeds. “I think the Busch race will be fine. I don’t expect any problems with speeds,” Hunter said. “As far as the Cup cars, we’ll see how practice and qualifying go today. It is not my expectation that we will have problems. But we will certainly keep an eye on the situation throughout the weekend.” Hunter also said NASCAR always brings restrictor plates of different sizes to each track so they are available should officials decide to use them.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-5-2002)


    (4-4-2002)

  • Charlie Daniel’s and UPS: The parcel service will unveil its second celebrity-based “Race the Truck” commercial on Sunday. The new spot will feature The Charlie Daniels Band urging NASCAR driver Dale Jarrett to “Race the Truck.” The first spot featured George Thorogood singing “Brown to the Bone,” a spoof of his hit “Bad To The Bone.” The new commercial has Daniels taking liberties with his song, “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” and daring Jarrett’s response. Daniels has reworked the lyrics, though the tune is still the same:
    “Now Dale Jarrett is a racecar driver, lets give the man his due. But people love that big brown truck, it’s time he raced it, too. People love the truck now, go Dale go! Put it on the track, for a drivin show!”
    The commercial will debut during the broadcast of the Samsung/RadioShack 500, on Fox, on Sunday.(Yahoo Entertainment)(4-4-2002)
  • Gaughan to attempt California..in Cup UPDATE: Brendan Gaughan will attempt to qualify for the April 28 Winston Cup race at California Speedway, Orleans Racing general manager Shane Wilson said Monday. Gaughan tested a new Dodge Intrepid at the 2-mile oval last week and Wilson said the team was pleased with Gaughan’s lap times. “By the time we left (California Speedway), we were within two-and-a-half tenths of Sterling Marlin’s lap times so we felt pretty good with the test,” Wilson said. Wilson said he was working with NAPA Auto Parts — Gaughan’s sponsor in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series [#62 Dodge] — and the Orleans to put together sponsorship for the race.(Las Vegas Sun), see some past news and rumors on this on my #62 Team News and Links page.(4-3-2002)
    UPDATE: When the NAPA Auto Parts 500 kicks into action at California Speedway, April 28, Brendan Gaughan and Orleans Racing will be set to make their NASCAR Winston Cup debut. “We tested our new Cup car at Fontana last week,” said Gaughan who pilots the #62 NAPA/Orleans Hotel & Casino Dodge in the CTS. “And, we were very pleased with the results. We didn’t want to go there just to run in the back of the field. We wanted to be certain we could be competitive and the testing proved we are right in the Ball Park. California Speedway will be an excellent track for us to debut our #62 NAPA AUTO CARE/Orleans Hotel & Casino Dodge,” say team owners Michael Gaughan and Bill McAnally.” Gaughan, the two-time NASCAR Winston West Champion (2000 and 2001) moved into the CTS at the start of this season. Currently sitting in 12th in the point’s battle after two events, he also is ranked 2nd in the Rookie-of-the-Year standings, just two points out of the lead. “Running in the NASCAR Winston Cup race will be a great learning experience for our entire team,” said Orleans Racing general manager and crew chief Shane Wilson. “What we learn at Fontana will definitely benefit our truck effort. The more experience we can get, the better we will be and that is what we are striving for.”(PR)(4-4-2002)
  • Irvan at the Glen: Watkins Glen International President Craig Rust announced that Ernie Irvan will serve as special guest of the track and Grand Marshal for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series race August 8-11. Irvan, winner of the 1991 Winston Cup and 1992 Busch Series races at The Glen, will commemorate the 10-year anniversary of his consecutive wins by proclaiming, “Drivers, start your engines,” to this year’s NASCAR Winston Cup field on August 11.(Watkins Glen International PR)(4-4-2002)
  • Fenley Shop Sold: NASCAR legend Bud Moore’s Spartanburg-based racing operation were sold at public auction Monday at the county courthouse. The Fairview Avenue race shop that once was home to such legendary drivers as Dale Earnhardt and Cale Yarborough — and, more recently, Fenley Motorsports Inc. — fetched a price of $50,000. The buyer: Dawsonville, Ga.-based Ernie Elliott Inc., which had successfully brought a real estate mortgage foreclosure action against Fenley Motorsports. “(Elliott) just wants to recoup what he’s owed on the note from the Fenleys by selling the building and grounds,” said Georgia banker Robert R. Schuetze, who attended Monday morning’s auction with Elliott’s Spartanburg attorney, Max B. Cauthen Jr. The auction was scheduled in late February, when Spartanburg County Master-in-Equity Roger L. Couch ruled in favor of Elliott in his foreclosure action against Fenley Motorsports. Ernie Elliott Inc. had claimed that in June 2000, Fenley put up the race shop and grounds as security for $793,348.34 that Fenley agreed to pay within six months in return for leased engines, an engine technician and other services. In a two-hour Equity Court hearing, Ernie Elliott claimed Fenley had paid nothing on the money owed. He said he wanted the race shop and grounds sold to satisfy the debt. The sale of the Fenley race shop leaves no other potential Spartanburg County-based NASCAR Winston Cup racing operation on the horizon. Moore was at the back of the crowd that had gathered on the courthouse’s third floor during the bidding. He owned the race shop for four decades before selling it to California entrepreneur Robert Fenley’s organization in September 1999. Moore, who was accompanied by his son, Greg, said afterward that he showed up purely out of curiosity.(Herald-Journal)(4-4-2002)
  • Grand Am driver died of Head and neck injuries, and wore a head-and-neck restraint: Grand Am series driver Jeff Clinton died from blunt head and neck injuries when he crashed during practice for a race last month at Homestead-Miami Speedway, an autopsy report said. The March 1 crash came as Clinton, 38, was preparing for the Nextel 250 Grand Am series race the next day. His car veered off the course as he entered Turn 1 and flipped repeatedly. His head was severed at the base of the skull, according to the report by Miami-Dade County Associate Medical Examiner Mark Shuman. Clinton was wearing a head-and-neck restraint, which is voluntary for Grand Am drivers, but his roll bar “broke away” as the car rolled, said Patrick Murphy, spokesman for the lower-level Grand Am circuit. Murphy said it was extremely unusual for the roll bar, which is intended to protect the driver when the car flips, to break.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-4-2002)
  • Buckshot and Teen Safety: Georgia-Pacific Corp. brings its Teen Safety 500 program to two high schools in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex on Thursday, April 4. Keller High School and Fossil Ridge High School have been selected to participate in this innovative program, which utilizes Georgia-Pacific’s involvement with NASCAR to spread the message of safe driving among teens. NASCAR Winston Cup driver Buckshot Jones will be on hand to present the Teen Safety 500 program to students. Activities begin at 9:30am at Keller High School. Dallas/Ft. Worth is the second of eight stops Georgia-Pacific’s Teen Safety 500 will be making during the 2002 NASCAR season. Student drivers at these two schools will sign a safe-driving pledge to remain violation-free with no crashes during a three-week period. Once registered at Georgia-Pacific’s Web site, students will have the opportunity to win prizes for themselves and their school. Both schools will receive a cash contribution from Georgia-Pacific for their participation. The school with the highest ratio of students completing three weeks of safe driving will win an additional contribution. Georgia-Pacific will provide participating students with a variety of prizes for those who log their safe miles, such as MP3 players and product coupons from Sonic Drive-In. One winner will be chosen from all participating students nationwide to win the grand prize: a $1,000 Gift Card from Best Buy. Buckshot Jones, driver of the #44 Georgia-Pacific/Petty Dodge, is Georgia-Pacific’s spokesperson for the Teen Safety 500 program and a proponent of safe driving.(Williams Company PR)(4-4-2002)
  • Fox Aminations: Chyron Corporation, a leading provider of broadcast solutions, today announced that FOX Sports is using the Duet, Chyron’s premier graphics and animation system, for FOX Sports’ on-air coverage of NASCAR. With an average of 10 million viewers every week, NASCAR is the highest-rated sport of the season. The Duet SD with Lyric provided FOX Sports with a complete on-air graphics and animation solution for NASCAR on FOX’s signature look. Operators are now able to animate pages back-to-back while working on text, instantaneously go from one directory or browser to another, attach audio files to clips, and seamlessly interface with pages from outside data sources.(Business Wire)(4-4-2002)

    (4-3-2002)

  • Haas-Carter at Texas? Kimmel in the #26? hearing that ARCA Champ, Frank Kimmel may be driving the #26 Haas Carter Motorsports Ford in selected races this year, the first race could be at Texas, supposedly Advance Auto Parts would be the sponsor (Kimmel’s ARCA sponsor). AND on CNN/SI’s NASCAR Plus, Benny Parsons and Marty Snyder both mentioned that Haas Carter Motorsports still has 25 people working and that they would not be surprised to see them field a car at Texas with a different driver.(4-2-2002)
    UPDATE: Three-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel will drive the #26 Haas Carter Motorsports entry at Texas. Kimmel is bringing his ARCA sponsors — Advance Auto Parts and Pork, the Other White Meat — to the team, which ceased operations last week as it attempted to search for sponsorship following Kmart’s filing for bankruptcy. “The crew will be made up of some of Travis Carter’s and some of our own,” Kimmel reported on his Web site. “There could be more races in the future.” (Daytona Beach News Journal). #26 Crew Chief, Donnie Wingo will call the shots on raceday.(4-3-2002)
  • Sadler Withdraws from Texas: As of.12 noon.today Sadler Motorsports has withdrawn its #02 entry from the Samsung/RadioShack 500.. The team now plans to enter Martinsville, California, and Richmond.. “Being a small team, we did not have time to update our cars to the new rules allowed the Chevrolet’s by NASCAR.. We felt the best thing to do was to update our cars in preparation for our other upcoming races” stated Hermie Sadler.. “Our goal is not to just make races, we want to be competitive.. This move will allow us to do that in the future.” The rules Sadler refers to involve a new nose design.. Sadler completes a session at Martinsville this afternoon in preparation for next weekend’s Winston Cup event, where he will carry sponsorship from The Virginia Lottery.( Patterson Group PR)(4-3-2002)
  • NASCAR Pay for View? NASCAR may announce the launch of a multichannel pay-per-view television package for this season’s races as early as this week if legal issues can be resolved, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal reports (need sub to read). Writer Andy Bernstein says NASCAR is working with In Demand to provide about eight channels of coverage, most of them fixed on in-car cameras. The story says the package would have a price comparable to NFL Sunday Ticket, which sells for $169 a season, and would include every Winston Cup race.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-3-2002)
  • Trickle to run for Evernham at Talladega: 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)
  • ARCA Driver to test Cup car: ARCA driver Chad Blount, 22 and his Braun Racing team will be testing in a Winston Cup car next week at Talladega. “This is a perfect opportunity for me to get some additional seat time”, said Blount. “With my goal of being a full time competitor in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, this gives me the chance to get one step closer to that dream.”(Catchfence)(4-3-2002)
  • Rudd Special Scheme for Coke 600? hearing #28-Ricky Rudd will have a special paint scheme for the Coca Cola 600 at Lowes Motor Speedway in May.(4-3-2002)
  • New Ford in 2004? UPDATE: Looks like the redesign of the Ford scheduled for 2004 might include more than just a sleek new Taurus. Ford announced plans last week to unveil a new sedan it is calling the Ford 500 for now.(Sporting News)(4-1-2002)
    UPDATE: Ford Motor Co. officials say they have no plans to change its entry in NASCAR’s Winston Cup or Grand National series for the foreseeable future. They caution, however, plans can change and quickly. Ford’s debut of a new Sedan, the Ford Five Hundred, has been mentioned as a possible replacement for the Taurus in NASCAR, which replaced the Ford Thunderbird in 1998. “Ford has no plans to replace the Taurus as our race model in the NASCAR Winston Cup and the NASCAR Busch Series for the foreseeable future. Predictably, I have a disclaimer,” said Greg Specht, North American Operations Manager for Ford Racing Technology. “Product plans are fluid, and that fluidity sometimes causes us to have to react quickly, like we did when we needed to get Taurus ready for its NASCAR debut in 1998 on nine or 10 months notice. Given that, I can say with relative certainty that Ford will still be racing Taurus in 2004.”(ThatsRacin.com)(4-3-2002)


    a Ford 500 image from the Ford Racing site, thanks Jim Utter for the heads up.

  • NHRA & NASCAR Hearing that Tony Schumacher, driver of the United States Army Top Fuel dragster in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, will be participating in the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Thursday prior to the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals race weekend.(4-3-2002)

    (4-2-2002)

  • Rusty and Carrot Top? AT&T’s 1-800 CALL ATT collect calling brand this week will launch its first NASCAR promotion, a TV, print and radio effort — replete with comic Carrot Top — dangling tickets to races. TV, via Young & Rubicam, New York, pairs Carrot Top with Rusty Wallace to explain the mechanisms of the April 1-May 1 campaign: 20 people will be chosen at random and matched with a driver at the starting position at the Winston Cup in Charlotte, N.C., on May 18. If one of those drivers places in the top three, the winners will receive two tickets to the Nascar race of their choice. The winners also get three days’ stay at a hotel and $300 in spending cash, plus airfare. At the end of the TV spot, Wallace exits with denim mini-skirted model Angie Everhart, a trophy and gives a shove to Carrot Top, who doubles over.(Brandweek, thanks to MotorsportsTV for the heads up)(4-2-2002)
  • Earnhardt Jr in People: Dale Earnhardt Jr, driver of the #8 Budweiser Chevy, is featured in the April 8 double-issue of People magazine. It is his third appearance since being named among “The Sexiest Men of 2000.”(St Petersburg Times)(4-2-2002)
  • Martin will attend health seminar at Texas: #6-Mark Martin will join fitness expert Larry North for a seminar entitled “Keeping Up the Pace” on Saturday at 8:00am at Texas Motor Speedway. Martin and North will be outside the track at the Pfizer Men’s Health Tune-up for Life mobile health screening unit to discuss with race fans the importance of incorporating exercise into their daily routines. Martin has taken part in a vigorous exercise and nutrition program for several years.(Dallas Morning News)(4-2-2002)
  • Bristol TV Ratings: TV Ratings for the Winston Cup race from Bristol were a solid 6.2 rating and 16 share, equal to last year’s rating of 6.2 with a 15 share. The 6.2/16 out-rated the Kansas/Oregon Midwest Regional Final game on CBS (6.0/14) and in the Male 18-49 demo (5.6 vs. 5.3, +6%) and 25-54 (6.2 vs. 5.8, +7%).(MotorsportsTV)(4-2-2002)
  • Sadler to attempt Texas: The #02-Sadler Motorsports team and driver Hermie Sadler will indeed make the trip to Texas for the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 next weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway. Even though the team is seeking a primary sponsor for the event, Sadler says he and the team need the experience and the points. “We will get better every race we run. I have only run 5 Winston Cup races, so the experience will help.. We also need to go after as many Winston Cup points as we can to help us down the line, so we feel it is worth the effort to go. Even though we did not test, we have a car that qualified in the top 25 last fall in Atlanta, so we feel good about our chances.” Sadler will test at Martinsville and Tuesday in preparation for the Virginia 500 before heading to Texas.(PR)(3-30-2002)
    UPDATE: Sadler Motorsports and driver Hermie Sadler will make the trip to Texas for the Samsung/Radioshack 500 this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, although Sadler has no primary sponsorship lined up for the vent. There had been some rumors the team would withdraw their entry, but Sadler says the experience and points are needed. “I need all the seat time I can get, as well as the points. The full time teams have a point battle going on, but so do the part time teams. We need to make every race we can,” says Sadler. Before heading to Texas, Sadler will be testing at Martinsville this Tuesday to prepare for his Virginia 500 Virginia Lottery sponsored entry. Companies interested in sponsoring Sadler for this or upcoming races should contact The Patterson Group at 770-426-8064.(PR)(4-2-2002)
  • Promoter Ill: Bob Harmon has been in the promotion business over 50 years with his early 50’s studio combo band, promoting racing facilities, owning racing facilities, selling insurance and his all-time promotion, the All Pro Super Series. “Uncle Bob”, as he is affectionately known in the racing industry, has never backed down from anything that he could tackle and promote because there was never anything too large or to small that could stand in his way. Show business and the entertainment business have been his forte his entire life. But now the most important challenge is at his fingertips, however this does not fall under the category of entertainment. On Wednesday, March 27, Harmon was diagnosed with inoperable, but treatble, lung cancer. Harmon says he had not been feeling well since late February and visited his Doctor for a physical exam, however his previous symptoms did not subside. Harmon returned to his Doctor for further tests which revealed a large amount of fluid on his lungs. Harmon says he continued to feel poorly even after this procedure and a return visit to the doctor resulted in further consultations. Bob was admitted to the hospital on March 28 to remove more fluid from his lungs “Uncle Bob” will begin Chemotherapy treatments on April 4. Cards and letters may be sent to Bob Harmon at 416 Durden Road, Prattville, AL, 36067.(NASCAR Touring Site)(4-2-2002)

    (4-1-2002)

  • Benson in the #31 BGN ride? UPDATE 2: hearing Winston Cup driver, Johnny Benson (#10 Valvoline Pontiac) will drive a limited schedule in the #31 Whelen Chevy. Staurt Kirby was rumored to run the cat but will instead run more races with Jimmy Spencer’s #34 BGN team.(2-28-2002)
    UPDATE: 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)
  • NASCAR Partners with Soap Box Derby; May Include NBC Exposure: NACAR has designated the All-American Soap Box Derby as an official youth program. Soap Box, organized for the most part by local community associations, currently runs close to 500 races each year with 15,000 competitors. Finals are held each year in Akron, Ohio. Goodyear is Soap Box Derby’s long-standing sponsor. “The NASCAR tie-in is added validation and brings lots and lots of exposure,” said Robert Hollander, president of L.A.-based Brand Sense Marketing, which engineered the partnership. NASCAR will give editorial and promotional exposure to Soap Box in its media assets, and will support with ads in USA Today timed to the Finals, which take place in July. Hollander said Soap Box is in talks with NASCAR partner NBC to produce a special for its kids’ programming block this summer. He also hopes the NASCAR link will attract sponsors, whose participation can range from event signage to logos on helmets to scholarship offerings.(Brandweek via MotorsportsTV)(4-1-2002)