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April 2003 Busch Series Archive

 

  • More Stamina for the #23: Stacker 2 and Stamina RX co-sponsor the #23 entry for Scott Wimmer. Originally, the sponsors were going to switch primary status at the mid-season point, however, Stamina RX will take its first turn as the primary sponsor on the #23 Chevy this weekend at Richmond.. An added bonus, since it is a night race, the car will carry reflective decals.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(4-29-2003)
  • #27 Busch Team Changes Crew Chiefs: Brewco Motorsports has announced that crew chief Terry Shirley will become team manager and named Sandy Jones to replace him on the #27 Pontiac driven by rookie Chase Montgomery. “This is something we’ve been looking at for a while,” Brewco President Todd Wilkerson said. “As the sport has progressed, there has been an increasing need for an experienced team manager, especially when running a multicar operation.” Jones, who has nine Busch Series victories to his credit, including five with current Winston Cup driver Elliott Sadler, has most recently run the Dodge test program in the Craftsman Truck Series.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-28-2003)
  • Grissom to England: Former NASCAR Busch Series Champion and Winston Cup veteran Steve Grissom has signed to drive the #48 Deuce Racing Unity Project’ Chevy in the opening round of the 2003 ASCAR Championship at the Rockingham Motor Speedway [in England]. Grissom is the third American driver to take the wheel of Deuce’s Unity Project’ car after former Truck Series driver Randy Tolsma and Brandon Whitt. Grissom, who more recently has served as a test and substitute driver for Petty Enterprises, will drive the #48 Chevy during the opening round of the 2003 season, which gets underway on May 11th at the 1.5-mile Rockingham Motor Speedway near Corby.(Crash.net)(4-28-2003)
  • Kenseth Tosses Bottles: When Matt Kenseth emerged from his winning car after the Busch race, his first actions were to throw two bottles of Powerade into the crowd. He then took a swig from his Gatorade bottle. It was a move that brought a rebuke from a NASCAR official. Powerade is the official sports drink of the sanctioning body; Gatorade is a Kenseth associate sponsor. A similar incident took place Friday at the pole sitter’s press conference. Bottles of Aquafina water were place in front of those scheduled to speak, but Steve Park quickly replaced his bottle with a smaller one carrying the Desani brand. Aquafina is supplied by the track through its Pepsi sponsorship but Park is sponsored by Coke, which bottles Desani, NASCAR’s official water.(Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)(4-27-2003)
  • So…whatever happened to….Wayne Grubb? The racing was hot, but not as smoking as the area around a couple of the collars belonging to Late Model Stock Car drivers at New River Valley Speedway on Saturday night. Mechanicsville’s [VA] Wayne Grubb made a rare appearance here a memorable one when he elbowed his way past at least two other cars on the way to the checkered flag in the Winners Circle 200. Grubb, 25 and a regular on the United Auto Racing Association circuit, first shoved past Tink Reedy then front-running Randy Taylor on the way to assuming the lead three laps from the finish.(more at Roanoke TimesAND Wayne Grubb married Holli Santella on April 19th, congrats.(4-27-2003)
  • Menard to test at Kentucky: Paul Menard and Andy Petree Racing will be testing a Busch car at Kentucky Speedway on Thursday, May 1st.(BGN Racing)(4-26-2003)
  • Kenseth wins at California: #17-Matt Kenseth won Saturday’s CaliforniaSpeedway.com 300 – his third NASCAR Busch series victory in six career starts at the 2-mile speedway. It’s Kenseth’s 13th win and first since he won the March 2001 race at Bristol. Kenseth’s win is the eighth by a Winston Cup driver in nine Busch races this season. #99-Michael Walrtip was 2nd, followed by pole sitter #21-Kevin Harvick, #38-Kasey Kahne and #92-Todd Bodine. Todd Bodine maintains his point lead, now a 99-point lead over #2-Ron Hornaday after nine of 34 races. The race was slowed six times by caution for 30 laps. There were 10 lead changes among five drivers.(ThatsRacin.com)
    For results see ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.comMotorsortsOne and NASCAR.com.(4-26-2003)
  • Harvick on the pole at California: the Buschwackers continiue to have sucess in the Busch Series, as Winston Cup driver, #21-Kevin Harvick won the pole for the 1-800-PITSHOP.COM 300 at California Speedway, with a speed of 183.941 (2mph fastest then the 2nd fastest). Starting 2nd is #99-Michael Waltrip at 181.745, followed by #2-Ron Hornaday at 181.479, #87-David Reutimann at 181.077, and #59-Stacy Compton at 181.046.
    For results/lineup, see BGNRacing.com and NASCAR.com.(4-25-2003)
  • Fans to help out Wallace: Through Gearhead Racing Fans, NASCAR enthusiasts now have the opportunity to become involved with top notch teams in the NASCAR Busch Series. In an effort to raise awareness for the need of sponsorship in the Busch Series, Gearhead Racing Fans has joined Biagi Bros. Racing as an associate sponsor of the No. 4 GEICO Racing Chevrolet of Mike Wallace for Saturday’s running of the 1-800-Pit-Shop.com 300 from California Speedway. “Gearhead Racing Fans is a growing group of NASCAR fans dedicated to helping Busch Series teams financially through sponsorship,” said team owner, Fred Biagi. “We are thankful that the fans have come together to support our team. NASCAR fans have made this sport what it is today and the fans are what this sport is all about.” Gearhead Racing Fans is a membership organization from which fees are pooled and used to sponsor select race teams. Sponsor benefits are then passed through to the members allowing the opportunity to receive autographed merchandise, V.I.P. access to Busch Series events and the chance to meet the drivers. “The sponsorship of Mike Wallace at California continues our support of top quality Busch Series drivers in 2003. Mike is a fan favorite and this show of support from NASCAR fans is well deserved,” said Tom Myers, president and founder of Gearhead Racing Fans. “Mike and the Biagi Bros. Racing team have made great strides with their program in 2003 and Gearhead recognizes their potential. We anticipate a long relationship with Mike and Biagi Bros. and hope to build on our relationship as the year goes on.” For more information on Gearhead Racing Fans, please visit www.gearheadfans.com or e-mail Tom Myers at tom@gearheadfans.com.(PR)(4-25-2003)
  • Haas Automation to Sponsor #79 Car on NASCAR Busch Series: Haas Automation will sponsor the #79 car in three NASCAR Busch Series races with Troy Cline behind the wheel. The #79 Haas Automation Chevy is owned by John Aramendia, while the Haas CNC Racing team is providing the car and technical support. The #79 Chevy makes its debut in the 1-800-PIT-STOP.COM 300 at California Speedway on Saturday, April 26. The #79 Haas Automation car will then race at Richmond International Speedway on May 2 in the Hardee’s 250, and at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 24. “I am excited about this weekend’s race because we tested at the track and the car performed really well. I am really excited about going back there and racing,” said Cline. This weekend’s race will be the fourth Busch Series career start for Cline, whose career best finish was 21st place in the Stacker2 200 at Nazareth Speedway in May 2002. “We are looking forward to our Busch Series debut and seeing what Troy can do behind the wheel,” said Joe Custer, general manager for Haas CNC Racing. “I know that we have a good car, and we hope to finish near the top.”(Haas CNC Racing PR)(4-24-2003)
  • Special Paint Scheme for the #5: The CaliforniaSpeedway.com 300 will feature another special paint scheme for GMAC Racing, with the CarQuest Auto Parts logo prominently displayed on the hood of the #5 Chevy. The team ran an identical paint scheme in April at Texas Motor Speedway, where Vickers led 87 laps.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(4-23-2003)
  • Congrats: Gere Kennon (Crew Chief for Shane Hmiel #48) and his wife Gina welcomed a baby girl on Thursday, April 17th — Maggie Grace, 7lbs 5oz.(BGN Racing)(4-22-2003)
  • #92 Team Close to a Sponsor? Will run at California: The owners of St. Joseph-based Herzog Jackson Motorsports say talks with potential sponsors are going well. So well, in fact, that they will take their Busch team to the race this week at California Speedway. Randy Herzog, co-owner of the team, said some consideration was given to skipping Saturday’s race at California Speedway in an effort to save money. But, he said Monday, talks with sponsors are progressing to the point where “we felt it was in the best interest of the team to go.” The team’s driver, Todd Bodine, currently leads the Busch series in points. He has won one race and leads second-place driver Ron Hornaday by 78 points. And Bodine and the team have done all that with a car lacking a primary sponsor. Herzog would not say who his team is negotiating with nor when a deal might be struck. He did say that several levels of sponsorship are being discussed. One of those levels could involve some participation in the Winston Cup series.(Kansas City Star)(4-22-2003)
  • New Jersey [Jayski’s current homebase] driver to debut with Earnhardt team in Busch race at RIR: Martin Truex, Jr. from Mayetta, New Jersey, is hoping to take advantage of an opportunity he describes as “once in a lifetime.” He will pilot Dale Earnhardt Jr’s #8 Chevy for Chance 2 Motorsports, a team owned by Earnhardt Jr and his stepmother, Teresa. Truex Jr.’s first race with the team will be the Hardee’s 250 “under the lights” on Friday, May 2 at Richmond International Raceway. How Earnhardt Jr. picked Truex Jr. to drive for him is remarkable. “You know, we didn’t really have a handful of guys to pick from, so we just kind of sat down and talked about it,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “Richie Gilmore, our engine builder at DEI, mentioned Martin as a guy we should look at. I met him down here for the first time last year. He’s a pretty quiet, soft-spoken kind of guy but he has obvious talent and he seems like a good guy to work with. He’s been to the shop and our guys pitted his car at Nashville last week so he has gotten familiar with them.” The team got to know each other even better this past week when Earnhardt Jr. and Truex Jr. were at Richmond International Raceway on April 15 for a test session. “This is our first official test together and it went really good,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “This is the same car we that we ran here last year that we led all those laps with,” Earnhardt Jr. said of the FUNAI 250 race he dominated at Richmond International Raceway last September. “The car seems to be just as fast. I ran a couple of laps this morning and Martin matched my laps all day, so we are pretty excited,” Earnhardt Jr. said. Despite having more experience in a NASCAR Busch North Series car that uses a more forgiving bias-ply tire as opposed to the radial tires used in the NASCAR Busch Series, Truex Jr. is confident he will do well. “I feel really comfortable in the car,” Truex Jr. said. “The biggest thing I have to learn is the tires. I have a little bit of experience running on these tires, so I’m probably one step ahead if I hadn’t run any Busch races with my own stuff. But I can’t wait. I’m really looking forward to coming back for the race.” Earnhardt Jr. plans to run Truex Jr. in as many as seven races this season, but says Truex’s future with the team is up to his new protégé. “We are giving him an opportunity to step into some good equipment and I feel like the combination of him and the car are going to be great when we come back to Richmond to race. I’m concerned about the difference in the radial tire, but watching him today proves to me that he can do the job. It takes a driver a while to build up to the difference in the tires and you have to take it easy. He’s done that and to me that is a sign that he’s using his head.” Truex Jr., who won six poles in the NASCAR Busch North Series last season and competed in four NASCAR Busch Series events in 2002, knows that this is his big chance. “My father (former NASCAR Busch North champion Martin Truex, Sr.) has fielded cars for me since I was 11. It’s a chance of a lifetime and a lot of guys like me dream about it every day. This is real fortunate for me to have this opportunity and I’m going to try make the best of it.”(RIR PR)(4-22-2003)
  • Dr Pepper and Carroll Racing are Sending Grubb to California: Kevin Grubb is eading out west for the Auto Club 300 on April 26 to drive the #90 Diet Dr Pepper Dodge. Dr Pepper and Carroll Racing have decided to enter a second car at the California Speedway in addition to the #26 Dr Pepper Dodge that will be piloted by Lance Norick. Grubb currently resides in 12th place of the Busch Drivers’ Points Standings with only a 25-point gap from the Top-10. This is one of the best positions that either Dr Pepper Racing or Carroll Racing has been in for the Points Race at this point of the season. This is the second time that Carroll Racing and Dr Pepper have teamed up to field the Duo of Dr Pepper, a Dr Pepper car and a Diet Dr Pepper car. At Daytona in 2001, Carroll Racing and Dr Pepper teamed up with the father-son combo of Bobby Hamilton and Bobby Hamilton Jr. to drive the entries. There are ten races this season where Kevin is not scheduled to pilot the #26 Dr Pepper Dodge, however efforts are still underway by Carroll Racing to secure him a ride for those races.(Carroll Racing PR)(4-21-2003)
  • Pro Cup driver may run Busch/Truck race: 19-year-old Shane Wallace [no relation to Rusty/Mike/Kenny] may run some Busch and Truck races later this year. Wallace has been discussing those opportunities outside of his run at the 2003 USAR Pro Cup championship. The Mooresville, NC resident is in his second year of Pro Cup and ninth year of racing overall.(Shane Wallace site via BGN Racing)(4-21-2003)
  • HRT Motorsports announces sponsor: HRT Motorsports has signed an associate sponsorship and driver endorsement deal with the Citizen Watch Company. It includes an associate sponsorship on the team’s Busch Series entry driven by Mexican Carlos Contreras and rights to use the team and driver in a promotional campaign titled, “Unstoppable”. The deal was put together by HRT’s agent, Seth Goldberg of Don Buchwald and Associates, and handled by Publicis New York, Citizen’s general market advertising agency. Carlos, NASCAR’s first Hispanic driver, will be featured in the Citizen Watch Company’s Fall 2003 print and TV campaign along with four other celebrities, marking the first time the Citizen Watch Company has used an athlete as endorser in its advertising. Carlos’ portion of the campaign will kick off in June, with Carlos appearing in magazines including Sports Illustrated, Latina Magazine, Maxim, People En Español and Maxim Español. The TV portion will commence in August and run during prime time, major network sporting events and during Mexican futbol on Univision, the latter to connect Carlos and the Citizen Eco-Drive watch with the lion’s share of Hispanic sport fans. The print portion was shot in New York City in early 2003 and the television spot was filmed recently in Lakeland Florida and really takes off with Carlos’ fun loving personality.(HRT PR)(4-21-2003)
  • Chris Bingham Shifts Rides For California, in the #39; Contreras in ther #49: Chris Bingham will hop over to the #39 Jay Robinson Racing entry for Fontana. Former Truck Series driver Carlos Contreras will take the reigns of the #49 Ford Taurus in California, with Bingham scheduled to return to the seat in two weeks at Richmond International Raceway. In his six NASCAR Busch Series starts, Bingham has had a car capable of finishing in the top twenty, but mechanical failures and a crash have left the team with disappointing finishes.(PR)(4-21-2003)
  • Kenny Wallace to run a Card’s car UPDATE 2: Kenny Wallace will run a Michael Waltrip owned/loaned #99 St Louis Cardinals Chevy in the Busch Series race, none mentioned, but it makes sense that is would be at Gateway Int’l Raceway near St Louis. See an image of the car on my Busch Series Paint Schemes Gallery.
    UPDATE: hearing the Kenny Wallace Cardinals car is in collaboration with Bill Davis Racing.(3-26-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Kenny Wallace will return to his hometown track, Gateway International Raceway, to compete in the NASCAR Busch Series event on May 10, 2003. Wallace, born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, will sport the colors of hometown baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals, on his car. The entry will be collaboration between Bill Davis Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing. “I am really grateful to Bill Davis who made this whole deal possible,” said Wallace. “This is my dream and he has helped me fulfill it. Bill has an excellent Busch Series program in place and he is providing me an awesome opportunity. I’m also grateful to my good friend, Michael Waltrip, who is providing me all his crew and equipment for the race weekend. They do a great job over the wall for Michael during the Busch races, so I’m confident in their ability as well.”(Kenny Wallace site)(4-20-2003)
  • Barrett Keeping Busy During Off Weekend: Stanton Barrett will take a much deserved weekend off as driver of the #60 OdoBan Ford this weekend, as the Busch Series has an off-weekend due to the Easter Holiday. Barrett will be traveling to New York City to briefly step back into his 15-year career as a Hollywood stuntman by working on the Spider-Man movie sequel, called The Amazing Spiderman. The movie is due to be released July 2, 2004. Barrett, who posted a season’s best sixth-place finish last weekend at Nashville Superspeedway, will do some stunt doubling for James Franco. Franco will play the role of Harry Osborn, the son of the villainous Green Goblin from the first Spider-Man movie. Barrett will be back on track next weekend when the NASCAR Busch Series comes to Barrett’s home track, California Speedway.(Roush Racing PR)(4-20-2003)
  • Long to attempt Richmond: Carl Long’s #13 Creech Motorsports Dodge will sport a new paint scheme in the Richmond race next month. The predominantly yellow scheme will have a hot new vibe to it with the addition of red flames adorning the front and sides of the car.(Carl Long Racing site)(4-17-2003)
  • Barrett Sponsors own car with own turn-key marketing company: A sport as corporate-sponsor driven as NASCAR racing no doubt had to come to this point. Car Sponsor, a complete resource for motorsports marketing and promotional solutions, sponsored a car in Saturday’s Pepsi 300 Busch Series race at the 1.5-mile Nashville Superspeedway. The company and car are owned by driver Stanton Barrett, who brought in veteran Jeff Fuller to drive the carsponsor.com Pontiac in the race. Barrett also drives the #60 OdoBan Ford of Jack Roush in the Busch Series. The veteran driver who has worked most of his adult life to move from a lucrative career as a successful stunt artist in Hollywood to the world of NASCAR racing, Barrett has knocked on almost as many corporate doors as laps he has turned on tracks throughout the country. The education in developing those sponsorships can be well utilized by corporations interested in seeing how motorsports marketing works. “With 16 years of professional experience and alliances in auto racing, business and television, we can provide resources to educate, create, advise, produce and develop any marketing-related need,” Barrett said. “Our goal is to provide teams and corporate sponsors with old-fashioned ethics and personal relations, while bringing the cutting edge marketing resources to the table – things like good cross-promotions, co-op marketing, business-to-business opportunities, celebrity endorsements and cost-efficient strategic alliances.” Sponsorship first appeared on the #91 Red Racing Pontiac with Fuller last weekend. It will appear again, Barrett said, though the exact event hasn’t been determined. “A sponsor is a sponsor, and the chance to drive the carsponsor.com Taurus was pretty exciting for me,” said Fuller, who is successfully experienced in the Busch Series following a career as a top driver in NASCAR’s fast Modified series. “First of all, you can’t beat a car owner who has been a driver. He knows what the deal is all about,” Fuller said. “But Stanton knows the ins-and-outs not just of driving but the business and marketing side as well. That sort of experience can mean a lot to a race team.” No sport markets corporate sponsors like auto racing. Large and small corporations nationwide utilize. the sport to not only expose their products to the public, but also as business-to-business venues. Barrett’s experience in television and films, and his contacts with top-name celebrities in acting and music, enable his company to bring more to the table. “It’s turn-key. Everything you need is right here with us,” said Barrett. “A company can start with budgets and a goal, and we can put everything together for them from that standpoint in motorsports. From determining which team to hospitality to cross-promotions to business-to-business opportunities to marketing to public relations to even television commercials, we have everything somebody needs to make it work. The motorsports industry can be complicated, so you can’t go into it alone,” he added. “That’s where we come in. We can make it a tremendously positive experience for a corporate sponsor.”(Williams Company)(4-15-2003)
  • NEMCO fined, Crew Chief suspended UPDATE: Joe Nemechek’s Busch Series win at Texas comes with a price. Crew chief Eric Phillips has been fined $5,000 and suspended for two races for an illegal left front spring found in post-race inspection. NEMCO Motorsports, Nememchek’s team, has been fined $25,000.(Fox Sports Totally NASCAR)(3-31-2003)
    UPDATE: The National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of NEMCO Motorsports.. The penalties stemmed from a NASCAR Busch Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on March 29, 2003. In post-race inspection, the #87 car was found to have an unapproved left front spring. Penalties assessed by NASCAR were a $25,000 fine to car owner Andrea Nemechek, and a $5,000 fine and two-race suspension for crew chief Eric Phillips. The appellants did not dispute the fact that the spring failed to conform to the rules, but appealed the severity of the penalties. In hearing the appeal, the Commission considered a number of points.
    Mitigating factors justify a greater penalty for this infraction than those issued for the same types of spring infractions in the recent past, particularly with an apparent increase in spring violations in the NASCAR Busch Series during the last two seasons. The Commission feels strongly that NASCAR needs to assess penalties as it deems fit based on a multitude of factors, and balance each penalty to individual circumstances. Continuing instances of the same type of rules violations in a series warrant increased penalties in many cases. However, in reviewing this specific case, the Commission decided that the amounts of the assessed penalties, when compared to other recent penalties issued for spring violations in the NASCAR Busch Series, represented a sizeable increase. It is therefore the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to reduce the original penalty issued by NASCAR to a $12,500 fine for the car owner and a $2,500 fine and two-race suspension for the crew chief. The Appellant has the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.(NASCAR PR)(4-15-2003)
  • Congrats: Hank Parker Jr. and wife Wendy are proud parents of a beautiful baby girl born April 13th. They named her Alexandria Grace Parker and she was 7 pounds 11 ounces and 20 1/2″.(4-14-2003)
  • Busch wins first ARCA race: 17-year-old Kyle Busch set a track qualifying record in the afternoon, then backed it up Friday night at Nashville Superspeedway to win in just his second start on the ARCA circuit. Busch, the younger brother of Winston Cup star Kurt Busch, led 83 of 113 laps and held off four-time ARCA series champion Frank Kimmel by 2.406 seconds despite several restarts down the stretch. Busch will debut in the NASACR Busch Series on May 24 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway after turning 18 on May 2. He finished 12th in his only other ARCA start, last October at that track. He won the pole by touring the 1.33-mile concrete tri-oval in 30.094 seconds at a speed of 159.460, topping the mark of 158.261 set by Kimmel in 2001. Kimmel had won three races at this track and finished second. Brent Sherman had the best finish of his career in third followed by Jeff Fultz, Darryl Sage and former NFL coach Jerry Glanville.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(4-12-2003)
  • Clanton in the #27: Joey Clanton, who has been sharing a Busch Series ride with Mt. Juliet’s Chase Montgomery this season, has secured the ride full-time for the remainder of the year. Brewco Motorsports yesterday announced a sponsorship by 4-C-SONS for the rest of the schedule. Brewco Motorsports also fields the car of David Green. Team president Todd Wilkerson said he hopes to find a ride for Montgomery, who also races on the ARCA circuit. ”Chase is a great talent and we are going to continue to work with him,” Wilkerson said. ”We hope to enter him in five or six more races this season.”(Tennessean)(4-12-2003)
  • David Green wins at Nashville: #37-David Green passed #21-Johnny Sauter on the backstretch of the final lap Saturday to win the Pepsi 300 at the Nashville Superspeedway. Green won for the first time on the Busch Series since June 1996 and has six overall series victories. With the Winston Cup Series in Virginia this week, the 1994 Busch champion also became the first Busch regular to win this season. #46-Aston Lewis was third, followed by #20-Mike Bliss and 5th went to #87-David Reutimann. 10 drivers swapped the lead 15 times in 225 laps. Pole-sitter Randy LaJoie, looking for his first victory since October 2001, led three times for 49 laps. But he knocked himself out of the race on lap 107 when he got loose after running up on traffic and slammed his Chevrolet into the wall in Turn 4 finishing 32nd. #92-Todd Bodine, the series’ points leader, was the only Winston Cup regular in the field. He started 22nd after Mike McLaughlin qualified his Chevrolet while Bodine qualified for Martinsville. But he lost position early when he slid on the back stretch and finished 13th.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)
    For results see: ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.comMotorsportsOne or NASCAR.com.(4-12-2003)
  • Stewart to run Busch race at Michigan with special scheme – UPDATE 5: the Tony Stewart #8 Busch Series program has been changed from Kid Rock to 3 Doors Down. This special program will be racing in Michigan on August 16th. Dale Earnhardt Jr.(car owner) and Stewart both filmed footage to appear in a new rock music video with 3 Doors Down which is due out this summer.(3-27-2003)
    IMAGE see an image of the scheme on my Busch Paint Scheme Gallery.(4-11-2003)
  • LaJoie on the pole at Nashville: #7-Randy LaJoie won the pole for the Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway with a lap of 163.324mph, followed by #57-Jason Keller, #10-Scott Riggs, #43-Kevin Grubb and #60-Stanton Barrett.

    For lineups, see BGN Racing.com or NASCAR.com.(4-11-2003)

  • Kahne helping a buddy: Kasey Kahne, driver of the #38 Great Clips Ford, will have extra incentive on Saturday, April 19 when he starts the Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway. In that race, he will be looking for more than a win. Chris Hahto, a 25 year-old friend of Kahne’s from Washington, recently has gone through some rather serious medical procedures. While the recovery is progressing well, the financial bills are staggering. “Chris has had such a rough time,” said Kahne. “Medically he’s fought very hard and he’s doing well. But, now he has to fight the battle of paying for it all. I just wanted to help him raise some money.” Kahne is soliciting support through what is called “Miles for Chris”. He is asking fans, fellow drivers, sponsors and others involved in the sport to either financially pledge a set amount or an amount-per-mile for each of the 300 miles at Nashville. “We are all so lucky in this sport,” said Kahne. “I’m hoping that we can raise some money and share our good-fortune.” Further information is available at www.kaseykahne.com.(4-11-2003)
  • Garrow on TV: PRN radio anchor Mark Garrow will anchor this weekend’s Busch Series qualifying on Speed Channel and Saturday’s race from Nashville on FX.(4-11-2003)
  • Grissom back: 1993 Busch Series Champion Steve Grissom will drive the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism/Navy #07 Chevy for DLP Racing this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. April is National Autism Month, so it’s a great time to remind people of the difficulties of the neurological disorder and how the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism works so hard to help families deal with the challenges presented by autism. “We are thrilled to be partnering with the DLP Racing Team and working together to increase the awareness of autism within the NASCAR community. The number of children being diagnosed with autism is at an alarming rate, occurring in 1 per 250 births and even higher in some parts of the country. By promoting the awareness of autism, we are making progress toward finding a cure and getting these children the services they desperately need. We appreciate all that the DLP Racing Team is doing for the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation and wish them the best of luck this weekend in Nashville at the NASCAR Busch Series race.” — Doug Flutie, NFL Quarterback and co-founder of The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, Inc. As timely as it is to present the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism on the hood of the #07 DLP Racing Chevy Monte Carlo, Steve Grissom and DLP Racing are also very proud to feature the U. S. Navy Recruitment Center Nashville on the rear quarter panels of the car. Throughout the race weekend, Nashville Superspeedway will present the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism’s informational video on the track’s jumbotron, while the Navy sailors will be on hand to show support and discuss recruiting opportunities with the Busch Series fan base. “The Navy teaming with a NASCAR sports team is a perfect fit,” said NRD Nashville’s Command Master Chief, David Williams. “It takes a total team effort to create the end result in the Navy-for example, a Navy pilot has over 100 people working on his team preparing him and his aircraft. He has to have the same confidence in them that they’ve done their jobs as does a NASCAR driver such as Steve Grissom, so that he can do his part of the team’s work.” DLP Racing will have ARCA driver Rich Woodland on hand as Team Manager, while Jeff Buice will serve as Crew Chief for Steve Grissom. For more information on how you can become a part of Dougie’s Team, visit the Dough Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism website at www.DougFlutieJrFoundation.org. To find out more information about Navy opportunities call 1-800-USA-NAVY or visit our website at www.NAVY.com. DLP Racing features key racing veterans such as Robert Drake, Carol Drake and Edie Labertone. The team is looking forward to using the remainder of the 2003 season to promote the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. DLP Racing seeks full-time associate sponsorship so that the team can continue its tradition of donating a substantial portion of the race earnings to the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. For more details on DLP Racing visit www.DLPRacing.com.(PR)(4-9-2003)
  • Long Brothers to Debut NASCAR Busch Series Program in Nashville: Long Brothers Racing hopes to parlay its Tennessee success into a quality introduction to the Busch Series this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. Joe Buford will be driving the #8 Town and Country Ford, owned by Robert and Charlie Long, when it hits the track for this weekend’s Pepsi 300. Long Brothers Racing enjoyed an average finish of 8.25 in its first four Truck Series starts in the Volunteer state. “Tennessee has been pretty good to Long Brothers Racing,” said Charlie Long, who will serve as crew chief. “I remember we went to the old Nashville Speedway with only four Truck Series races under our belt in 2000 and qualified well (8th) and managed to leave there with a third-place finish. “We hope we can share some of that success in our first Busch race for Town and Country Ford.” Long Brothers will be using a chassis that was purchased from Robert Yates Racing and was part of that team’s 2002 program. “We know we’ll have a good car, we know we’re going to have plenty of horsepower, and were hoping to get a setup in the car that can help get it to the front and keep it there for the entire race,” Charlie Long said. The team is actively pursuing sponsorship to enter additional Busch Series and Truck Series events in 2003. Long Brothers Racing also competes regularly in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series with driver Nick Woodward. Contact Robert Long for more information or sponsorship opportunities at (919) 362-1740.(Keystone Marketing/Long Brothers Racing PR)(4-9-2003)
  • Reutimann schedule changes: There has been a scheduling change on David Reutimann’s Busch Series Races. Reutimann will be in the #87 Cellular One Chevy on Saturday April 12th at Nashville Superspeedway instead of Saturday June 7th.(Reutimann Racing site)(4-9-2003)
  • Geico extends sponsorship: GEICO has extended their sponsorship of #4-Mike Wallace and Biagi Bros. Racing to include the Pepsi 300 from Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday, April 12th. “Initially we were going to sponsor only 10 races, but with the success that Mike and the Biagi Bros. race team has had this season it makes it easy for us to stay onboard and take advantage of the opportunity,” said Ted Ward, Vice-President of Marketing for GEICO. “We are 10th in points right now, so I think it is only appropriate that we continue to support this race team as they have supported GEICO and have done a great job for us.” GEICO is now scheduled to sponsor 13 of the first 17 races. GEICO uses television, radio, print media and direct mail to attract customers to call its 1-800-342-9070 number, and keeps its rates low by dealing directly with the customer. GEICO offers sales and claim services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is the largest direct marketer of auto insurance.(Biagi Bros. Racing PR)(4-9-2003)
  • Sam Bass in Nashville: When NASCAR artist Sam Bass packs a guitar in his truck and heads to Nashville this week, he’ll be following in the well-worn tire tracks of country music hopefuls like Travis Tritt, Tim McGraw and Alan Jackson. Unlike the now-famous performers who early on quit their day jobs and gambled everything in their bids to be discovered, Bass is simply dropping off a Gibson Les Paul electric guitar he designed as a trophy for the Nashville Superspeedway’s Pepsi 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on April 12. The guitar, a beautiful Classic model six-string, depicts the excitement of a stock car running at full song with the gleaming skyline of Music City USA in the background. It is the first in a series of four Bass will design for the Nashville Superspeedway’s 2003 race season. “Sam Bass and Gibson Guitar have partnered to create the most unique and possibly one of the most coveted trophies in NASCAR,” said Cliff Hawks, vice president and general manager of the Nashville Superspeedway. “It quickly became a tradition that everyone in racing now recognizes.” “Sam loves racing and he loves guitars, and no one brings them together like he does,” said Henry Juszkiewicz, chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar. “With his Nashville Superspeedway guitar, he’s captured all the excitement of Nashville, NASCAR and Gibson and created a sports trophy like no other.” The artist was as enthusiastic for creating the project, as the eventual race winners will be to receive them. “There was a time several years ago when I would gladly have taken my love of music to the professional level,” said Bass, “but it would have meant giving up on my art career. “Being asked to create guitar designs for Gibson and Nashville Superspeedway gives me an excuse to combine my two strongest interests in life.” Bass’ association with Gibson’s line of guitars has also produced instruments commemorating Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and, most recently, Richard Petty. To learn more about Sam Bass’ motorsports art and his NASCAR guitar collection, log on to www.sambass.com or phone (704) 455-6915.(Sam Bass PR)(4-9-2003)
  • Top 10 Tina CORRECTION: #22-Tina Gordon in the Danny Bost Motorsports Chevy, collected the first top 10 by a Busch Series female driver since Patty Moise finished seventh at Talladega in July 1995, when she posted a 10th-place finish last week at Talladega. Gordon, who leads the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings in the Craftsman Truck Series, posted the eighth top-10 finish by a female driver in the history of the NASCAR Busch Series.(NASCAR PR)(4-8-2003)
    CORRECTION: actually the last time a woman driver finished in the top 10, was in March 1998, when Moise finished 10th at Bristol Motor Speedway, her husband, Elton Sawyer, also finished in the top 10 (4th).(heads up from a few readers, and looked up in the 1999 UMI Pubs Press Guide)(4-9-2003)
  • All by themselves: Saturday’s race is the first of seven stand-alone events on the 2003 Busch Series schedule [meaning not at the same track as Winston Cup]. Next will be May 10 at Gateway, followed by May 18 at Nazareth, a return to Nashville June 7, Kentucky on June 14, Pikes Peak on July 26 and Memphis on October 18.(NASCAR PR)(4-8-2003)
  • Kyle Busch in the #87 UPDATE 2: Kyle Busch will be running select Busch Series events in Joe Nemechek’s #87 NEMCO Chevy later this year. Nemechek will mentor Busch in preparation for his run at Rookie of the Year next season for Hendrick Motorsports. Busch won’t be able to compete in the series until he turns 18 on May 2, but he plans to run the Apr. 11 Nashville ARCA race to gain experience at the 1.33-mile concrete track, which hosts two Busch races a year.(BGN Racing)(3-24-2003)
    UPDATE: Busch’s series debut is set for the May 24th race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. He will attempt at least 6 races this year. (That’s Racin’) AND Gary DeHart will be Busch’s crew chief.(BGN Racing)(3-27-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Hendrick Motorsports has formed an alliance that will allow driver Kyle Busch to run six select 2003 Busch Series races in the #87 Chevy of NEMCO Motorsports with primary sponsorship from Ditech.com, team owner Rick Hendrick announced. “We’re extremely excited to partner with Ditech.com and NEMCO Motorsports to field Kyle in the Busch Series this year,” Hendrick said. “This gives us the ability to pair him with a championship-caliber team right out of the box.” Under the agreement, NEMCO will field the Las Vegas native in the #87 Ditech.com Chevy at six Busch Series events this season, including his circuit debut at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 24. Former Busch Series champion Joe Nemechek, who competes in the #87 Chevy on a limited basis, has already garnered two pole positions and two victories with the team in just five events this season. “This is just amazing to me,” Busch said. “To have a sponsor like Ditech.com and support from not only Hendrick Motorsports, but NEMCO as well — it’s just awesome. This is really a great situation and I’m very grateful to everyone that worked so hard to make it happen. I’m looking forward to showing everyone what we’ve got.” Busch, who will turn 18 on May 2, will also run seven ARCA events with Hendrick Motorsports and the Ditech.com logo, beginning this week at Nashville Superspeedway. It will be the 17-year-old’s second career ARCA event and first with veteran crew chief Gary DeHart. “We’re very excited about the sponsorship opportunity with Kyle Busch and the 87 car,” said Michael McCarthy, general manager of Ditech.com. “We’re known in our industry for speed and quality, and that’s exactly the partnership we see with Hendrick Motorsports.” Busch will compete full-time in the Busch Series beginning next season. Founded in 1995, Ditech.com is a direct mortgage lender and business unit of GMAC Mortgage. The company has grown into a full-service corporation that provides home loans with competitive rates and the highest level of customer care to consumers nationwide. Headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., Ditech.com is part of the General Motors family, offering the strength and stability that comes from one of the world’s largest corporations.
    Busch Series Schedule:
    May 24, Lowe’s Motor Speedway
    Aug. 2, Indianapolis Raceway Park
    Aug. 30, Darlington Raceway
    Sept 20, Dover International Raceway
    Oct. 25, Atlanta Motor Speedway
    Nov. 8, North Carolina Speedway
    ARCA Schedule:
    April 11, Nashville Superspeedway
    May 10, Kentucky Speedway
    May 22, Lowe’s Motor Speedway
    June 14, Michigan International Speedway
    July 26, Pocono Raceway
    Sept. 27, Talladega Superspeedway
    Oct. 9, Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(4-8-2003)
  • Robinson looking for help: Jay Robinson Racing and driver Chris Bingham are looking for a product deal to fill in as a primary sponsor for their Busch Series effort for the remainder of the season. They are looking to align themselves with a company that can take advantage of giving product instead of cash. All interested parties please contact Jay Robinson at (704) 821-4001 or email chris@chrisbingham.com there is a 10% com.on any lead that goes through.(4-8-2003)
  • Jarvis to run at California: #53-Butch Jarvis and the Tennessee Mountain Boys race team will be taking two cars to the California race. They are looking to rent the second car to a qualified driver with a sponsor. They are also looking to rent a hauler to travel to the race. They do not need a tractor, just a hauler. Contact Butch at BJARVISRACING@aol.com or call 423-323-9449 Ext 200 and ask for Butch.(BGN Racing)(4-8-2003)
  • Stremme in the #1: Rookie David Stremme will attempt to qualify for the first of at least 18 races in the #1 Yellow Transportation Dodge. Stremme, 2002 ASA Rookie of the Year and a 2003 Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate, will split time with Jamie McMurray, currently second in the Busch Series standings. McMurray will pull single duty this weekend at Martinsville in the Winston Cup race.(NASCAR PR)(4-8-2003)
  • Baker’s Sponsor: 328-Brad Baker will have his alma mater, Lipscomb University, as the sponsor for his car this weekend. Lipscomb is located in Nashville and has made the jump not only into a one-race sponsorship but also from the NAIA to the NCAA Division I level. Next year, Lipscomb will play in the same conference as Stetson (Atlantic Sun Conference).(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-9-2003)
  • Ron Young, RB1 Motorsports & Catchfence.com Unite For Nashville: RB1 Motorsports announced today that Catchfence.com would be on board the #71. Chevy at Nashville Superspeedway. Young, who resides in Georgia will be attempting to make his fifth start of the season. Coming off a 20th place showing at Bristol Motor Speedway, RB1 Motorsports took a two-week break from the action to regroup. “We did some regrouping over the past two weeks, with one goal in mind, scoring a top ten finish at Nashville. We’ve repaired the car from Bristol, and also have painted all our cars red to hopefully stand out when were on the track,” stated Young, “We’ve teamed up with Catchfence.com for Nashville and it’s a pretty big deal.”(Catchfence.com)(4-8-2003)
  • Bodine to double dip, Nashville and Martinsville: Busch Series points leader Todd Bodine [#54-Ford in Cup, #92-Chevy in Busch] will race in Nashville this Saturday and Martinsville on Sunday. Mike McLaughlin will practice and qualify the #92 Busch Series car in Nashville while Bodine is in Martinsville for Cup qualifying/practice.(Fox Sports Net’s Totally NASCAR), Hermie Sadler will do the same but Dennis Setzer will practice and qualify the #02 Cup car while Sadler qualifies the #54 Busch car.(4-8-2003)
  • Fuller at Nashville: Jeff Fuller will be at Nashville Superspeeday driving the #91 Pontiac owned by Stanton Barrett.(Jeff Fuller Site)(4-8-2003)
  • Hall to run at Nashville: Shane Hall will return to the Busch Series this weekend at Nashville. He will be in the #39 of Jay Robinson Racing.(BGN Racing)(4-08-2003)
  • New driver in the #16? Justin Ashburn will reportedly be in the #16 of Wayne Day when the Busch Series travels to Nashville next weekend.(BGN Racing)(4-4-2003)
    UPDATE: Justin Ashburn will be in the #61 of Day Enterprises. Larry Gunselman will still be in the #16.(BGN Racing)(4-08-2003)
  • Helton and Vickers talk: NASCAR president Mike Helton took a few minutes Friday to speak with Brian Vickers to make sure the 19-year-old driver understood why he was black-flagged while leading the Busch series race last Saturday in Texas. Vickers appeared on his way to his first career win when he moved to the left of a lapped car on the restart to avoid running into the back of it. NASCAR made him pit for a stop-and-go penalty that cost him the win. “I still disagreed with him, but I told him I understood the rule now,” Vickers said. “But I appreciated him taking the time to try to talk to me about it.”(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(4-5-2003)
  • Earnhardt Jr wins at Talladega: #87-Joe Nemechek ran out of time. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran out of gas. But a timely caution with two of 117 laps remaining in Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway, allowed Earnhardt Jr. to claim the victory as two of the top-three cars ran out of gas after crossing the start/finish line. The win makes Earnhardt Jr. two-for-two in appearances in the NASCAR Busch series this season. He also won the series opener at Daytona with the same team he co-owns with his stepmother, Teresa Earnhardt. During a pit stop on Lap 59, Earnhardt Jr. was first off pit road when he took only fuel. However, he elected not to relinquish the lead and stop for gas when a caution came out on Lap 111. It is unlikely Earnhardt Jr. would made it to the finish had the race remained under green. “I don’t think there was a whole lot of fuel left in it when I took the checkered (flag),” Earnhardt Jr. said. “We just didn’t have enough gas there at the end to go green, so that final caution coming out really helped us out. The racing gods here at Talladega really like the Earnhardt family because we seem to do pretty good here.”
    #48-Shane Hmiel, who also ran out of gas after the finish, was third. #2-Ron Hornaday was fourth and #20-Mike Bliss rounded out the top five. A 19-car wreck erupted on Lap 10 after #21-Johnny Sauter blew a left-rear tire. Among those caught up in the accident were three drivers – #92-Todd Bodine, #57-Jason Keller and #38-Kasey Kahne – in the top 10 in points. Bodine, who finished 27th, leads the series race with a 39-point advance over #1-Jamie McMurray. The race was slowed five times by caution for 23 laps. There were seven lead changes among six drivers, with Earnhardt Jr. leading a race-best 60.(ThatsRacin.com column)
    For results see Thatsracin.comBGN Racing (they have many pictures posted over the weekend there too), MotorsportsOne or NASCAR.com.(4-5-2003)
  • RAIN at Talladega has put the brakes on Cup practice this morning at Talladega Superspeedway, will post the schedule change or other news when I hear/see it. The Busch Series race is scheduled for 2:00pm/et. Radar on the Weather Channel shows a bit of green (rain) for the next few hours.(4-5-2003 – 10:30am/et)
  • #54 gets a new sponsor: Zapf Creation, a leading manufacturer of play, function, and collector dolls and doll accessories, such as BABY born and CHOU CHOU, announced itspartnership with the Toys “R” Us Racing NASCAR Busch Series program. In conjunction with its sponsorship, Zapf Creation’s logo will be displayed on the #54 Toys “R” Us Chevrolet driven by Hermie Sadler throughout the 2003 season. Through this sponsorship, Zapf Creation is showcasing itself as an innovative leader, not only within the toy industry, but also as a marketer willing to experiment in forging non-traditional marketing partners as it continues to gain awareness throughout the Americas. “It’s very exciting for the Toys “R” Us Racing Team to have a company like Zapf Creation join our marketing program this year,” said Rick Goodwin, owner of the #54 car’s Bristol Motor Sport. “Zapf Creation is poised for a boom in sales and long-term consumer loyalty through its sponsorship of the #54 NASCAR Busch Series Chevrolet.” As the season continues, we will definitely see much more of Zapf Creation as they have their great girls’ products available for sale trackside beginning this weekend in Talladega. They are also developing NASCAR themed products for girls and collectors of all ages that will be unveiled soon. Zapf Creation AG is a leading brand manufacturer of play, function and collector dolls as well as its accessories. Celebrating its 70th Anniversary in 2002, Zapf Creation is striving to develop its large doll segment to become the leading large doll manufacturer in its key worldwide markets. For further information, please visit www.zapf-creation.com.(PR)(4-5-2003)
  • Grubb to run the #43 at Nashville race: Kevin Grubb, who’s splitting time with Lance Norick in Dave Carroll’s Dodges in the Busch Series this year, will drive for #43 Curb-Agajanian Motorsports at both Nashville events. Grubb is represented by CAM co-owner Cary Agajanian, a California-based attorney. Carroll is attempting to put a 10-race deal together with another team to cover the races Grubb isn’t slated to drive for his team to keep the driver competitive in the Busch standings. Headed into Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 at Talladega, Grubb is 13th in driver points.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter via BGN Racing)(4-4-2003)
  • Dale Jr to run Concert car at Talladega in Busch race: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will drive a #8 Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert Chevrolet car in the Busch Series Aaron’s 312 at the Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, April 5. The one-time appearance of this specially designed car will highlight the inaugural Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert, sponsored by longtime partner Kraft and its Nabisco Biscuit Division, to be held June 28th at Daytona International Speedway. In addition to its sponsorship of the concert, Kraft and its Nabisco brands made a $500,000 donation to the Dale Earnhardt Foundation. Dale Jr. and Teresa Earnhardt unveiled the car at the NASCAR media day in February during which the concert’s first performing artists were announced. They included Alabama, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney and Sheryl Crow. Since then, the Goo Goo Dolls and Hootie and the Blowfish have joined the all-star lineup. Tickets are on sale through www.daleearnhardtinc.com and www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling Ticketmaster outlets nationwide. Proceeds from concert ticket sales will benefit the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, established by Teresa Earnhardt to support the causes Dale championed during his lifetime, including programs for children, education and wildlife preservation.(DEI PR / DIS PR) see an image of the real car and a diecast on my Busch Series Paint Scheme Gallery.(4-4-2003)
  • Gordon gets a sponsor for ‘Dega: Industrial Coatings Alliance Group, Inc (iCAG)/Building Restoration Products (BRP) announce sponsorship for NASCAR Busch Series driver Tina Gordon. NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Tina Gordon recently announced plans to compete in the Aaron’s 312 Busch Series race on April 5, 2003 at Talladega Superspeedway. Gordon will drive the #22 Bost Motorsports Chevrolet this week at Talladega. Industrial Coatings Alliance Group, Inc. (iCAG) as well as it’s sister company, Building Restoration Products (BRP) announced plans today to assist Tina with sponsorship for this race as well as some possible future races. Industrial Coatings Alliance Group, Inc. (iCAG) is a nationwide roof restoration company that provides its clients with energy efficient roofing systems as well as facility maintenance programs. iCAG, known for its ability to reduce building owners utility costs while waterproofing their facility, is also the parent company for Building Restoration Products (BRP). BRP, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., is a premier supplier of construction materials and specialty coatings in the southeast. Matt Lawler, General Manager of BRP, is excited about the opportunity to sponsor Tina Gordon. “The timing of this relationship couldn’t be better. BRP is proud to be affiliated with Tina Gordon and the bright future that she has in NASCAR.” The No. 22 Bost Motorsports entry has been building momentum all season. They have competed in all five Busch series races so far and are currently 30th in owner points for the 2003 season. Gordon goes to Talladega after a strong run in the Craftsman Truck Series last week in Mesa Marin that put her in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year points lead and 16th overall in points. She looks to carry that momentum to Talladega and then on to Martinsville with her Brevak Racing truck program. “I’m thankful that the No. 22 team is giving me the opportunity to come here during my off week from the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and race at my home track, Talladega Superspeedway.”(Victory Lane Motorsports Management PR)(4-4-2003)
  • Happy Hour at Talladega: #59-Stacy Compton was the fastest in Happy Hour with a speed of 192.948, followed by #20-Mike Bliss, #32-Lyndon Amick, #12-Kerry Earnhardt and #5-Brian Vickers. For speeds, see BGN Racing and NASCAR.com.(4-4-2003)
  • Nemechek wins pole at Talladega: #87 “Front Row” Joe Nemechek won his 15th career Busch series pole Thursday, running a lap at 188.649mph for the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. #38-Kasey Kahne was 2nd at 187.618, followed by #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #2-Ron Hornaday and #59-Stacy Compton fifth. Series points leader #92-Todd Bodine qualified 29th.
    See reults/lineup at ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing or NASCAR.com.(4-3-2003)
  • Talladega Notes: The winners of each of the last three NASCAR Busch Series races at Talladega are entered in the Aaron’s 312: #87-Joe Nemechek, #34-Mike McLaughlin and #57-Jason Keller. Three of the four rookies (#18-Coy Gibbs, #19-Chad Blount and #27-Chase Montgomery) entered in the race have previous experience at Talladega [ARCA]. The lowest starting position of any winner at Talladega is 35th (Nemechek, 2000) and is the third lowest of any winner in NASCAR Busch Series history. Three of the series’ top 10 drivers did not race last year at Talladega (#20-Mike Bliss, #37-David Green and #38-Kasey Kahne).(NASCAR PR)(4-2-2003)
  • Cicci pushes back 2003 plans UPDATE 3 McLaughlin to run a few races: Frank Cicci and his partner, former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, had hoped to debut their new Busch Series team at the Darlingtonraceway.com 200 at Darlington Raceway this weekend. However, with only three weeks to get the team ready, Cicci decided to postpone the start of the team’s season. Cicci’s only asset before securing a sponsor was a 10,000-square foot race shop in Mooresville, NC. “I want to do the job right and do what is good for our sponsor,” Cicci said Wednesday from his Mooresville, N.C., home. Several factors led the team to push back its 2003 plans, such as trying to buy race cars, hiring personnel and finding time to test its young driver, Clay Rogers. “It’s been a rush to get things done,” said Cicci, who signed sponsor LesCare Kitchens on Feb. 24. “We only had a few weeks and we just couldn’t do it.” Cicci and Kelly, who announced their partnership last October, signed a minimum 10-race deal with the Connecticut-based kitchen-cabinet manufacturer. Cicci, who had hoped to run a full season, said they could run as many as 14 to 18 additional races in 2003. But the team will also miss its next scheduled race, next weekend’s Channellock 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway. “We didn’t want to take a chance of bringing him there cold,” said Cicci, who wasn’t able to schedule a test session there first. Rogers last competed in the Busch Series in 2001, running nine races. Last year he ran in the Hooters Cup series, finishing seventh in the series points. Cicci will meet with his sponsor on Friday to discuss which tracks they will compete at to make up for the two races they’re going to miss. The team’s next scheduled race is the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 5. Cicci said it’s possible the team will compete in the O’Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on March 29. Cicci has bought five cars and taken delivery on four of them. Among the Chevy Monte Carlos he’s purchased are two from the AP Motorsports team that finished 13th in the 2002 point standings with Tim Sauter, and three that Jimmy Spencer drove for James Finch Racing last year. Cicci won’t get his hands on one of the Finch cars until after the Bristol race. Finch has switched over to Dodge cars and driver Jim McMurray this year, but the team hasn’t built enough Dodges yet and wants to use one of the Chevys at Bristol. Cicci said he also intends to build a sixth car. He’s hired five people, including former longtime chief Clyde McLeod, who will be the team manager. The team plans to run the #34 Chevy in the Busch North Series race at Watkins Glen International during the Sirius at the Glen weekend in August.(Elmira Star Gazette), see past news on the team on myFeb 2003 Busch Series Archive page.(3-13-2003)
    UPDATE: Fox Sports Net’s Totally NASCAR [also seen on Speed Channel at 6:30pm/et] reports that Mike McLaughlin will drive a few races for Frank Cicci and Jim Kelly, with the first race being at Talladega on April 5th.(3-24-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Plans are for McLaughlin to run at Talladega and Richmond so far, with LesCare Kitchens as the sponsor.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio – Subscription Required)(3-25-2003)
    UPDATE 3: Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly has announced a 10-race Busch Series scheduled for Mike McLaughlin in the team’s #34 Chevy. The team expects to debut in Saturday’s Aaron’s Rents 312 at Talladega Superspeedway and return to action for the May 2 race at Richmond International Raceway.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter – free) AND With Mike McLaughlin now signed to drive the #34 Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly Chevrolets in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2003, the team and sponsor LesCare Kitchens have announced the group’s initial race schedule for the partnership’s first 11-race program. Connecticut-based LesCare Kitchens, which recently opened a new, 330,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Statesville, NC, is America’s largest, privately-held frame-less cabinet manufacturer. The company’s sponsorship with Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly and McLaughlin is the first for the company in a national racing touring series. LesCare sponsored Busch North Series champion Andy Santerre last year, the ninth straight season in which the company supported a team in that series. Following this weekend’s debut at Talladega Superspeedway in the Aaron’s Rents 312, McLaughlin will pilot the LesCare Kitchens Chevrolet in nine more Busch Series and one Busch North Series events. McLaughlin will next appear in the LesCare Kitchens machine at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, VA on May 2 and again take on the ¾-mile RIR tri-oval on September 5.. McLaughlin will also drive the Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly entry at both races at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC on May 24 and October 10;. Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL on July 12;. Loudon, NH on July 19; Daytona International Speedway in Florida on July 4; Bristol, TN on August 22, and the season finale in Homestead, FL on November 15. The team will also enter the Busch North Series event at Watkins Glen, NY on August 9 under the LesCare banner. “LesCare has mentioned the possibility of expanding the schedule, but that will be determined at a later date,” Cicci explained. “Our primary focus now, however, is to develop the team and be competitive in order to benefit LesCare Kitchens with media attention and in support of their overall marketing efforts. We are hoping to announce additions to the current race schedule shortly,” Cicci ended.(Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly PR)(4-2-2003)
  • Innovative Motorsports still searching for primary sponsor: Innovative Motorsports fresh off its third place finish at Texas Motor Speedway, is still searching for a primary sponsor for the #48 driven by Shane Hmiel. Hmiel has finished in the top ten in two consecutive races (Texas and Bristol), and has finished in the top 13 in the last four races in a row. The team is currently seventh in points. “It’s a shame that we have not been able to land a primary sponsor for this car,” said CEO George deBidart. “We’ve got a super group of guys at the race shop and on this team, and they are fully capable of running for the Busch Championship and winning races. But to give them that opportunity, we desperately need a sponsor.” IMI currently has associate sponsorship from Goulds Pumps for 2003. “Goulds Pumps has been with me for three years now, and I sincerely appreciate everything they’ve done for us and everything they continue to do,” said deBidart. The team also shares a relationship with Dark Dog, a premium energy drink. “As it stands right now, our deal with Dark Dog is strictly tied to distribution,” explained deBidart. “We’ve got an entire broker network working the streets and we’re negotiating with retailers to take in the product, so in turn, the car can become funded. We put Dark Dog on the car for the first five races in a primary position to build brand awareness for them in the United States, and moving forward, Dark Dog will remain on the car as an associate sponsor.” More info at the Innovative Motorsports site.(4-2-2003)
  • #19 Team Fined: XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio (Subscription Required) reports that the #19 Braun Racing team has been penalized 25 owners and drivers points and crew chief Patrick Donahue has been fined $5,000 and suspended the next two Busch Series races for unapproved wheel hubs. Owner is Todd Braun and the driver is Chad Blount.(4-1-2003)
  • Sadler injured but will race at Talladega: Hermie Sadler suffered a fractured bone in his right foot and bruised ligaments in his ankle from the crash. Sadler still plans to enter both the Busch Series and Winston Cup races this weekend.(Sadler Fanclub Site)(4-1-2003)
  • Green and Holly back together with Amick? UPDATE 2: The 2000 Busch Series championship team of driver Jeff Green and crew chief Harold Holly may once again work together at Team Amick Motorsports if the organization can land sponsorship for a limited Busch Series Schedule. (Winston Cup Scene via BGN Racing.com)(3-20-2003)
    UPDATE: Bill Amick, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Amick Farms and owner of Team Amick Engine Development, announced today the formation of Team Amick Motorsports, a Busch Series team with plans to compete this season. Team Amick Motorsports will run a partial 2003 schedule in preparation for a run for the NASCAR Busch Series Championship in 2004. Amick and veteran Crew Chief Harold Holly, who won the NASCAR Busch Series Championship in 2000 with driver Jeff Green, have been assembling a team to take on the challenges that lay before them. Twenty-five year old NASCAR “Young Gun” Lyndon Amick will drive the #32 Chevy Monte Carlo for the planned partial season. Amick, while young, isn’t inexperienced. Winner of the 1996 NASCAR Goody’s Dash Series Championship, Amick has competed in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck and Busch Series. Bill Amick, who established Team Amick Engine Development in 1998, one of the premier independent engine builders in NASCAR, has set his sights on a Busch Series championship. “Putting together a world class motorsports team has always been my goal,” stated Amick. “I know we have a lot of hard work ahead of us but I feel confident in the crew we’re putting together. With Harold, our experienced personnel and Lyndon’s youth, I feel we’re on our way to fielding a very competitive team now and for the future. Team Amick Motorsports’ goals are to win poles, win races and contend for the NASCAR Busch Series championship in 2004.” Team Amick Motorsports will field the #32 Chevy while utilizing engines provided by Team Amick Engine Development. The Engine Development division is responsible for the horsepower under the hoods of several NASCAR Craftsman Truck, Busch and Winston Cup teams including Morgan Dollar Motorsports, BACE Motorsports and Herzog Jackson Motorsports. The team, who hopes to run five to 10 events this season, is working on sponsorship. “In such a tight economy, finding a sponsor won’t be easy,” explained Bill Amick. “But this team has more to offer than your average team. We have Harold [Holly] who is a proven champion, Bo [Montgomery] who in my opinion is the best engine man in motorsports and a team that is so dedicated it amazes me each day.”(Eclipse Management/Team Amick PR)(3-26-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Team Amick Motorsports (TAM), home of the #32 Busch Series Chevy, makes its debut this Saturday in the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. The newly formed Team Amick Motorsports, which is based in the same shop as its sister company, Team Amick Engine Development, features 2000 Busch Series Champion crew chief Harold Holly with Lyndon Amick behind the wheel. While the team is brand new, this weekend does not mark the first time Holly and Amick have worked together. Holly teamed up with Lyndon Amick for one race last season acting as co-owner of the #15 ppc Racing entry that Amick drove to a ninth-place finish at Kansas Speedway. In their short time together (Holly joined Team Amick in February of 2003 after Angela’s Motorsports closed its shop), the duo have established a chemistry that will hopefully propel them to a top finish. Pit stops will be handled by the #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions pit crew(Eclipse Management/Team Amick PR)(4-1-2003)
  • #92 team not closing shop UPDATE 4 will be at Talladega: despite reports saying the team will close shop after the Bristol race, Herzog Jackson Motorsports says they will NOT close shop and are in discusions with potential sponsors for the team and driver Todd Bodine, who just won the Busch Series race at Darlington.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio – Subscription Required)(3-19-2003)
    UPDATE: Herzog Jackson Motorsports #92 team — co-owned by brothers Stan and Randy Herzog, their father Bill Herzog and baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson — began the 2003 season without a sponsor for its car. The owners had decided before the season that if no primary sponsor could be found by the time the fifth race on the schedule ended, they would have to reassess the team’s future. Among the options for the team is shutting down for the rest of the year. Well, Saturday’s Channellock 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN, is the fifth race of the season. Randy Herzog said that barring a late sponsorship commitment, “We will meet on Monday morning to see where everything sits.” Other options the Herzogs will consider will be to run a limited Busch schedule the rest of the season, run a limited Busch/Winston Cup schedule or find a way to keep running on a full-time basis. Randy Herzog said that landing a sponsor for the rest of the year is not out of the question. He said Wednesday that team officials have been talking with several potential sponsors this week and that more talks are planned for the next couple of days. He terms the talks “serious”. But until something is signed, “All we can do is perform on the track,” Herzog said. On the track, the Herzog Jackson team has been anything but uncertain this year. Their driver, Todd Bodine, leads the series points standings. He has three top-six finishes in four races. In Monday’s rain-delayed race at Darlington, Bodine gave the Herzogs their third victory since the team joined the Busch series in 2000. Randy Herzog said he was ecstatic Monday as he watched Bodine beat and bang on the car of #1-Jamie McMurray on his way to the finish line. Randy Herzog said the timing of Monday’s win and the resulting move to the top of the points race, may have been very good — a week before decision day. “It had to have helped in a lot of regards,” he said. “It’s difficult to walk into a (corporate) office and ask for several million dollars when you just finished 27th.” Then again, with the situation of the war in Iraq, the timing might have been bad. But the one great thing was that the victory provided a nice boost. “It validates everything we are doing,” he said.(Kansas City Star)(3-21-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Herzog Jackson Motorsports co-owner Randy Herzog told NASCAR Winston Cup Scene reporter Rick Houston today that the team would race at least through the March 29 O’Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. The team might continue beyond that, if meetings with potential sponsors continue progressing well, he said. Herzog had said earlier that the team would run the season’s first five races and then might scale back to a limited schedule if no sponsor were signed. Heading into tomorrow’s Channellock 250 race at Bristol Motor Speedway, the fifth race on the 2003 Busch Series schedule, the team’s driver, Todd Bodine, is leading the series standings and is fresh off a win at Darlington.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-21-2003)
    UPDATE 3: Talks with potential sponsors are continuing, so Herzog Jackson Motorsports will keep on racing — for the time being, at least. Randy Herzog, co-owner of the St. Joseph-based Busch Grand National team, said Tuesday that his car will be on the track for Saturday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. He said that talks were held with a potential sponsor Monday in Kansas City and that talks with other potential sponsors are set for later this week. Herzog — who owns the team along with his brother Stan; his father, Bill; and former baseball star Reggie Jackson — said that as long as there is hope for landing a major sponsor, the team will keep racing. The team has not had a major sponsor since the end of last season. Before the current season began, the team owners agreed that if a sponsor could not be found, they would meet to reassess the future after the fifth race of the season. “Last week I would have said that Bristol would be our last week” of running full time in the series, Herzog said. “But based on what has happened” hopes are that a sponsor will sign on soon. Herzog says his team’s status will now be determined “week to week.” He said that if no major sponsor is found, the team may be forced abandon plans to race a full schedule — even if their driver is in first place. “If things don’t move forward, there will be some tough decisions to make,” he said. If that decision is to only run selected events, “We’d pretty much have to give up running for the championship. At that point, we would have to try to put things back together and run for a top 10.” Despite the frustration of dealing with an unknown future, Herzog said the mood on the team is good.(Kansas City Star)(3-26-2003)
    UPDATE 4: The Herzog Jackson Motorsports team will travel to Talladega, AL for the running of the Aaron’s 312 on Saturday April 5th.(PR)(4-1-2003)