August 2001 Busch Series Archive

  • Elder to run Cup race in 2002: Akins Motorsports announced their sponsorship agreement with Christian Elder to drive the #38 Great Clips Ford has been extended to include a full BGN schedule for 2003 plus the addition of the Brickyard 400 Cup race to their 22 race BGN schedule for 2002. Deka Batteries will be a major associate sponsor with the program. “If anyone had any doubts about my commitment to racing, this announcement should put them to rest,” said Brad Akins. “I recently sold the #98 BGN (to Michael Kranefuss) team to let go of the responsibility involved with running one full time team and another partial schedule team as I needed to fulfill some personal and family obligations at this time. Stepping back to one team with a limited schedule for 2001 and 2002 is giving me the break I need to come back with a full time Busch Series program for 2003.” Great Clips began its motorsports program in 1998 sponsoring Elder in the NASCAR Dash Series.(Akins Motorsports PR)(8-31-2001)
  • Visine Gone: Visine won’t return as the primary sponsor of the Reiser Enterprises Busch Series #17 team next season. Team manager and co-owner John Reiser said parent company Pfizer will focus all their racing efforts on its Winston Cup program with Mark Martin(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read online)(8-30-2001)
  • Newman wins pole at Darlington by 3mph. #02-Ryan Newman won the pole for Saturday’s South Carolina 200 at Darlington with a lap Friday at 169.246 mph, slightly off the pace of the record he set in winning the pole for the March BGN race at the track. #21-Mike Skinner, who won the pole last weekend at Bristol, qualified second with a speed of 166.163mph. #57-Jason Keller was third, while #35-Lyndon Amick and #10-Jeff Green rounded out the top five. Series points leader Kevin Harvick will line up 14th. Tina Gordon, a regular in the Hooters ProCup series, will make her first series start, 42nd in the #96 Chevy. Gordon will be the seventh woman to start a series event. See That’s Racin’ for Newman wins Darlington BGN pole and for South Carolina 200 lineup (8-31-2001)
  • Pardus Back at Darlington: #32-Dan Pardus, who injured his back in an accident at Chicagoland Speedway last month, will be back in BGN action this weekend at Darlington Raceway. Pardus is running a limited schedule and skipped a planned start at Michigan a few weeks ago.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(8-30-2001)
  • Busch Series Book: David Bull Publishing has come out with a new book, Rick Houston’s Second to None: The History of the NASCAR Busch Series. True fans of stock-car racing have known for years that the NASCAR Busch Series is every bit as competitive and colorful as the more famous Winston Cup circuit. That’s because many of today’s top Winston Cup drivers began their careers in the Busch Series, which has served as a training ground for racing talent since its origins as the Late Model Sportsman Series in the 1960s. And unlike the Winston Cup, where the pressures of money and the media rule, the Busch Series has retained much of the down home, close-knit atmosphere that made stock-car racing great in the first place. In the first comprehensive history of the Busch Series, author Rick Houston shows how its drivers, fans, and families have forged a deep tradition of their own. This beautifully illustrated book traces the beginnings of the series in the Sportsman class and reviews every season from 1982-2000. The line from early champions Jack Ingram and Sam Ard to more recent winners such as Bobby Labonte and Dale Earnhardt Jr. was seldom straight and never boring. Second To None goes beyond mere history to tell the inside story of each driver’s struggle to win in one of the most competitive venues in motorsports.(David Bull Publishing PR) to order see my Racing Bookstore page(8-29-2001)
  • Special RCR Scheme: For the second consecutive year, the #21 Richard Childress/Brant Motorsports Chevrolet will catch the eyes of everyone at the fall BGN at Darlington Raceway. As part of an annual employee promotion, the primary sponsor has turned the familiar red and white racing machine into a collage of colors and designs created by 16-year old Chris Kettle of Winterville, GA. The Rockwell Automation Racing Paint Shop Contest, held during the month of April at Rockwell Automation facilities across the country, was geared toward the children and grandchildren of company employees. Participants received an outline of the #21 Chevy which they were allowed to decorate as they chose. Over 600 entries were collected in May and the winner was announced on June 25th. Kettle, whose mother Pam works in the winding department at the Rockwell Automation manufacturing facility in Athens, GA, receives a trip for four to Darlington, SC to watch his paint scheme compete in the South Carolina 200 on Saturday, September 1st. He and three members of his family also get the chance to meet Winston Cup veteran Mike Skinner, get their picture taken with the car, and watch the race from the Rockwell Automation suite. Saturday’s race will be the first time Kettle has ever attended a NASCAR event, although he’s been racing cars for some time. The promotion, the largest that Rockwell Automation conducted this season, was a huge success at the facilities and employee participation in the sponsorship is at an all time high. Everyone around the company is looking forward to watching the brightly-colored car hit the track come Saturday. Skinner, scheduled to be in the car for Saturday’s race, is still anxious to get his first win with Team Rock. Since taking over the #21 Chevy at Texas, he has solidified the team in the top-5 in owner points with six top-5 and nine top-10 finishes in 11 races. “The car kind of looks like a bubble-gum machine,” stated Skinner, who participated in his first Busch event at the 1.336-mile track back in 1987. “Rockwell Automation has been great since I took over their car this year. I think it’s neat to see them doing a promotion cool like this for their employee’s children. I know this car won’t get lost on the track on Saturday, especially if we keep it up front.”(Rockwell PR), see the hood of the car on my BGN Paint Schemes Gallery(8-29-2001)
  • Biffle to stay in BGN for 2002: FSN’s Totally NASCAR it was announced that Roush BGN Driver, Greg Biffle, will drive a full BGN season in 2002 in the #60 Grianger Ford and will run up to seven Cup races in 2002 and move up full time in 2003(8-29-2001)
  • Driver Debut: Shane Huffman will be piloting the #77 Johnsonville Bratwurst/Jennie-O Turkey Ford in the Autolite/Fram 250, Sept. 7, at Richmond, in what will be his first career BGN start. Huffman is the 1999 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series National Runner-up and has spent the last three years competing on the Hooters ProCup Series, currently driving under the banner of second year sponsor Johnsonville, as well as making appearances in the ARCA and Goody’s Dash Series. His team is Hickory based XTRA Motorsports, which will also be making it’s first foray onto the Busch scene in a joint effort with series regulars MOY Racing. Crew Chief Ronnie White, meanwhile, will be back on familiar ground in the garage area, having spent the last four years as a chassis specialist with MOY before joining XTRA for the 2001 season.(Racing Relations PR)(8-29-2001)
  • Harvick wins at Bristol: Kevin Harvick overcame a two-lap deficit and a heated battle with his Winston Cup teammate to win the Food City 250 at Bristol on Friday night. Harvick, the Busch series points leader, easily beat Jeff Green to the finish line to win here for the second straight year and give car owner Richard Childress his 100th career NASCAR win. But the victory was marked by an angry exchange with Green, his Cup teammate next year at Richard Childress Racing. The confrontation began when Green took exception to the way Harvick passed him on lap 228, when Green claimed Harvick knocked him out of the way to get past and take over second place. Harvick, who won for the fifth time this season and increased his points lead to 345 over Jason Keller. See That’s Racin’ for a column: Harvick battles back, angers teammate in winning Food City 250 and Food City 250 results (8-24-2001)
  • Skinner wins pole at Bristol: #21-Mike Skinner won the pole at Bristol with a lap at 124.460mph. #2-Kevin Harvick, the points leader in the BGN, qualified second; #10-Jeff Green was third; #48-Kenny Wallace, fourth; and rookie #60-Greg Biffle qualified fifth but wrecked on his second lap and will have to move to the rear in a backup. See That’s Racin’ for story: Skinner wins Bristol’s BGN pole and Starting Lineup(8-24-2001)
  • Purvis Honored: Jeff Purvis, along with 14 other drivers, will be honored Saturday night at Florence Speedway in Kentucky, becoming the Hall’s first inductees and recognizing a group of racing pioneers who placed late model racing onto a larger stage. Saturday night’s ceremony in Florence will honor five current drivers, five retired drivers and five contributors to the sport, which continues to grow at dirt tracks across the country. Each honoree will receive a plaque, a trophy and a jacket and will have memorabilia of their respective dirt track careers placed on display at the Hall of Fame, which may be built in Florence due to its central location between Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. “Back when I started racing, I was really enjoying what I was doing and never thought about getting into the Hall of Fame,” Purvis said. “But looking back, to know that someone actually noticed what you were doing is a really good feeling. But knowing that I am actually old enough to be in the Hall of Fame kind of makes this kind of a double-edged sword.” Purvis’ dirt track career began at age 15 when he began driving at Clarksville Speedway. He went on to claim three World 100 championships — a title which is determined only after a driver has worked his way through a 250-car field and into the featured race of the night. “The odds of winning are about as great as winning the Powerball (lottery),” Holder said. “And for Jeff to win three times is a great accomplishment. But he always came with an immaculately-prepared car and he always came ready to race.” Purvis is only one of a few drivers to carry their dirt-track careers over to NASCAR as most drivers begin in the open-wheel circuit — a route taken by Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart.(Leaf Chronicle)(8-23-2001)
  • Food City on Cope’s car: Food City is joining forces with Labor Ready to sponsor Derrike Cope in Friday’s BGN Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Derrike has driven the #94 Chevrolet in select BGN series races in 2001. Food City will adorn the quarter panels and Food City Pharmacy the TV panel. This will be Derrike’s 4th Busch race of 2001.(Food City PR)(8-23-2001)
  • A New Woman driver in the BGN: Alabama native Tina Gordon (no relation to Jeff or Robby) will make her BGN debut in the Sept 1, South Carolina 200 at Darlington . Tina will drive the #96 Hoiles Motorsports Chevy owned by Chris Hoiles, retired major league baseball player for the Baltimore Orioles based in Simsonville, S.C. The Crew Chief will be Tony Burgess. “Our plans were to make my Busch debut at Bristol but we were unable to test so we moved it back one week to Darlington. We had our ups and downs in testing today but I feel we learned a lot and that was what the test was for. Darlington is such a tough track to make my debut, but got to take your breaks when you get them. The NASCAR Busch Series will be a great opportunity for me to gain some good exposure and experience against some of the best drivers in all of racing. I am very fortunate to have such great companies like Colby Furniture, LINE-X Spray-On Truck Bedliners, Tupelo Furniture Market, Bell Motor Company, and Laughlin Racing to come on board to help put us in this race. I hope this race will help us land a full-time sponsor for the 2002 season.” Gordon has competed in the NASCAR All-Pro stock car series, where she has recorded three top-10 finishes in 2000. She finished in the top 20 in the point standings both years in the All-Pro Series. She has also won eight times and was the points leader at Green Valley (Gadsden, Ala.) Speedway in 1995-97. She has also spent some time in the Southern All Star Series, as well as at Birmingham (Ala.) International Raceway and Thunder Mountain Speedway (Fyffe, Ala.). During the off season Tina works at the Richard Petty Driving Experience as a driver – instructor.(Tina Gordon PR/Site)(8-22-2001)
  • Tim Sauter back?: Sources say that Tim Sauter has a two-year program all but done with AP Performance, the team for which he won the 1999 ASA championship. Johnny Sauter is currently dominating that tour for Canadian owner Alec Pinsonneault. The team would be housed in a Mooresville, N.C. shop formerly owned by Ernie Irvan. Sponsorship is close to being signed. Sauter, who drove for Pinsonneault from 1998-2000, hasn’t driven in the Busch Series since his #61 Xpress Motorsports team shut down in June.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(8-23-2001)
  • Sauters to RCR? UPDATE 3: hearing ASA driver, Johnny Sauter may run some BGN races for Richard Childress Racing towards the end of the 2001 season and is a candidate for a full time ride with RCR in either the #2 or #21 Chevy’ (but hearing it’ll be the #21 car). Jay Sauter, currently driving the #43 Chevy is also supposedly in the running for the #2 RCR ride, no word on Tim Sauter’s 2002 plans(8-7-2001)
    UPDATE: Confirming more than a month of speculation, ASA standout and former Elko Late Model driver Johnny Sauter said Thursday he will join Richard Childress Racing to drive in the NASCAR Busch series next season. The plan, Sauter said, is for him to drive 15 to 18 Busch races next year in the No. 2 ACDelco car, splitting the duties with Kevin Harvick, who also drives RCR’s No. 29 Winston Cup car. Sauter will drive at BGN races that are not running in conjunction with Winston Cup events. RCR has not made an official announcement, and calls Thursday to RCR’s North Carolina office were not returned(Star Tribune – Minn)(8-11-2001)
    UPDATE 2: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reported Wedneday that Johnny Sauter had signed with RCR and will drive the #2 car in 2002, sharing duties with #29 Cup driver Kevin Harvick (and current driver of the #2 car) and that Jay Sauter, current driving the #43 BGN car, will drive the #21 RCR car in 2002 with Jeff Green (who is driving the #10 BGN car and will drive the #30 AOL RCR car in 2002) sharing the duties in the #21 with Jay. OK, I think I got that straight(8-15-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Although Jay Sauter will be driving a limited schedule for Richard Childress Racing next year, he might not be leaving Curb-Agjanian Motorsports entirely. Co-owner Cary Agajanian wants to put together a deal that would allow Sauter to enter the races for his team that he doesn’t for RCR. If that happens, it would continue a relationship between Sauter and the team that began last year. The California-based attorney also expects to continue running a full-time effort, in conjunction with Sauter’s proposed program. He and co-owner Mike Curb haven’t yet decided on another driver. The #43 team is working with Quality Farm Stores to continue its primary sponsorship in 2002. (Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(8-23-2001)
  • Hedrick to Return? with Earnhardt? UPDATE 3: hearing a rumor I have not been able to confirm – that Kerry Earnhardt, oldest son of the late Dale Earnahrdt, will supposedly be driving a BGN car for former #41 team owner Larry Hedrick. Supposedly the team will receive cars, engines, and all engineering help from DEI. The plan is to run BGN and move up to Cup. Not sure when or if the team will run it’s first race(7-24-2001)
    UPDATE: two rumored sponsors are McDonald’s and RealTree(Dale Sr’s Assoc and the #71 Sponsor)(7-25-2001)

    UPDATE 2 ..more: Kerry Earnhardt, the eldest son of seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt, may be joining the BGN ranks full time next year. Racing under the DEI ownership banner, he could possibly have sponsorship from Wrangler Jeans and a known restaurant chain. Earnhardt has competed in two BGN races this year in the Michael Waltrip-owned-#99 Chevrolet. He has also competed in ARCA events, handily winning the June race at Michigan. His father competed with the blue and yellow Wrangler colors before donning the trademark black on the Goodwrench Service #3 Chevrolet.( Buzz)(8-11-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Kerry Earnhardt is working toward a full-time Busch Series effort with former Winston Cup team owner Larry Hedrick. “I don’t know anything yet,” Earnhardt said. “I’m trying to put a full-time deal together. I’ve got several opportunities to do 19-22 races, but my goal is to work full time and get a lot of experience and more knowledge out of the Busch Series than what I can gain with just a limited schedule.” Earnhardt, the oldest son of seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt and the half brother of former Busch Series champion Dale Earnhardt Jr., got together with Hedrick through mutual friend Rick Howard. Hedrick has been inactive as a Winston Cup team owner since last year, when Rick Mast and Gary Bradberry entered a total of seven events. If the program happens, it’ll be backed by Dale Earnhardt Inc. The only thing standing in the way is financial backing, but that’s a very big hurdle to clear. Hedrick declined comment, but does seem fairly certain he’ll be able to land a deal.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(8-23-2001)

  • Hank is Beautiful: NASCAR Busch Series driver Hank Parker Jr. continues to be in contention for the “Man of September,” even claiming the lead in the polls for a couple of days this week. He is currently second to professional wrestler Jeff Hardy. NASCAR fans and Hank Parker Jr. fans can overtake their wrestling counterparts by voting for Hank once a day — and you can only vote once a day — at WHAT? no Jayski?(8-22-2001)
  • New Crew Chief for Parker: Ted Kennedy, formerly the shock specialist for the #36 GNC Live Well Racing team, has been named the interim crew chief for that organization. Kennedy, who joined the Cicci-Welliver Racing organization in June, has had success as a crew chief in both the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Tour Series (STS) and the NASCAR Winston West Series.(
  • Hendrick to move to BGN fulltime in 2002? Ricky Hendrick, the son of NASCAR owner Rick Hendrick, may be making the jump to Busch Series action next year. Currently driving the #17 Chevrolet in the NCTS, he is fifth in points, has one victory, seven top-fives and 13 top-10s. If he does make the move to BGN, it’s not known whether his current sponsor, GMAC Financial Services will follow. It’s believed if he does move up, Hendrick will return to a one-truck operation unless a current sponsor or a new one decided to ante up( Buzz). Hendrick is running the #24 GMAC Chevy for a limited amount of BGN races in 2001(8-19-2001)
  • Newman Wins at MIS: #02-Ryan Newman wins his first BGN race in nine starts at Michigan, #2-Kevin Harvick was 2nd and extends his points lead. See for Unofficial Results(8-18-2001)
  • Spencer on pole at MIS: see That’s Racin’ for the NAPAOnlinecom 250 lineup and Spencer’s record lap enough for pole(8-18-2001)
  • Earnhardt News: Kerry Earnhardt is carrying LifeShare of the Carolinas decals on his Grand National car this weekend in an effort to promote organ donations. Earnhardt’s mother-in-law, Rene Cline, is awaiting a heart transplant(Richmond Times Dispatch)(8-18-2001)
  • Falk to BGN: Jeff Falk will return to the BGN on Aug. 24 at Bristol, after another impressive fifth-place finish in an ARCA race last weekend at Nashville. He also plans to drive in the BGN race at Richmond on Sept. 7. The Nashville race was Falk’s third top-10 ARCA finish. He finished fifth at Memphis and seventh at Kansas earlier in the season. The Bristol race will be his third BGN start. He finished 31st in the May race at Richmond and 29th at Nazareth, Pa., despite a brake problem. “I am looking forward to Bristol because it is fast like the track in Winchester where I ran so well early in the year in an ARCA race,” Falk said. Falk’s dad, Joe, fielded a Winston Cup team for several years and may field a BGN team for Jeff to run the full schedule next year.(Virginian Pilot)(8-17-2001)
  • Kranefuss Buys Into BGN Team UPDATE: Brad Akins has formed a partnership with Michael Kranefuss on the #98 Starter/Hot Tamales BGN team. Kranefuss will also bring his former general manager from the #12 Winston Cup team Marty Gaunt and his son Dan Kranefuss to work with him. Kranefuss, a former worldwide leader of Ford Motor Company racing programs and Winston Cup team owner(#84-Shawna Robinson), is excited about this opportunity. “Brad has built a great program that now needs more time and experience than he has to give to it. I’ll be jumping into a good team operation and this will allow me to return on a day to day basis to what I have been doing for many years,” said Michael Kranefuss. Long time Akins Motorsports driver Elton Sawyer is also pleased. “Michael Kranefuss has done just about everything you can do in motorsports with great success. The #98 team has been in the Top Five range the past three years and I think Michael can help take us to the championship level. Brad has always wanted to give this team everything we need to win a championship, but he can not be here every day to stay on top of things, and Michael can. I think this will be the final piece in the puzzle to get us there.”(Akins Mororsports PR)(4-25-2001)
    UPDATE – Akins Will Give Up No. 98 Interest: Brad Akins has more important things to consider than racing – his wife’s health. At the end of the year, Michael Kranefuss will buy Akins’ interest in the Fords driven by Elton Sawyer. Akins’ wife, Julie, has been in very poor health, and Kranefuss’ involvement this year with the team has allowed the Winder, Ga.-based businessman to concentrate on her and their family. Akins will retain ownership of Christian Elder’s operation, which is expected to continue running a partial Busch Series schedule in 2002. Sawyer will drive the #98 Ford in 2002(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(8-16-2001)
  • No Tolsma or Team Rensi at Nashville UPDATE 2 team done? not yet: ESPN2’s RPM 2Night reports that the #61 Team Rensi CTS team and driver Randy Tolsma will skip the CTS Nashville race.(8-8-2001)
    UPDATE: Team Rensi Motorsports’ CTS program apparently is no more. The operation, which began the season with a pair of unsponsored trucks for series veteran Randy Tolsma and rookie David Donohue, dropped Donohue’s truck after three races but ran Tolsma in the first 15. Tolsma will reportedly move over to the Rensi brothers’ No. 25 U.S. Marines Chevrolet in the BGN.( Buzz)(8-9-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Team Rensi Motorsports skipped Nashville’s CTS race, but contrary to speculation, it has not permanently shut down its truck team. Sam Rensi said Aug. 13 that Randy Tolsma and David Donohue might run a handful of truck races later this year. Tolsma has moved into the organization’s #25 BGN car, which he’ll continue to drive full time next year. Also, Rensi said that Team Marines Racing would return as the Busch Series team’s primary sponsor.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(8-16-2001)
  • #14 Penalized: NASCAR officials announced today they have penalized NASCAR Busch Series crew chief Jon Wolfe for violating rules pertaining to the treatment of tires. Wolfe, crew chief of the No. 14 NASCAR Busch Series team, was fined $4,000 ($1,000 for each tire) and placed on probation until December 31, 2001 for infractions discovered during pre-qualifying inspection at Indianapolis Raceway Park on August 4. He was penalized under Sections 12-4-A and 12-4-CC of the 2001 NASCAR Busch Series rule book. Section 12 explains conditions under which officials may assess penalties for violating NASCAR rules or taking actions “detrimental to stock car racing.” Section 12-4-CC specifically prohibits the use of treated tires and mandates a minimum $1,000 fine for “possession of or use of (1) or more tires that have been altered externally or internally by unauthorized treatment*”(NASCAR PR)(8-15-2001)
  • Kansas BGN Sponsor: A title sponsor has been signed for the BGN race at Kansas Speedway, and a sponsor for the Winston Cup race could be signed soon. The sponsor for the Busch race, which will be run Sept. 29, will be Mr. Goodcents Subs and Pasta. The sandwich company, which is based in Lenexa(KS), has agreed to sponsor the 300-mile race for the next three years and has an option to be title sponsor for the next 10 years. The race will be called the Mr. Goodcents 300. Grant Lynch, president of the speedway, said he expects to sign a title sponsor for the Winston Cup race, which will be run the day after the Busch race, in the coming weeks. He said corporate candidates to become sponsor of the 400-mile race have been reduced to one, and they’re close to a deal. The company will build an advertising and marketing campaign around the race. Terms of the deal were not announced(Kansas City Star). The Cup Race Title Sponsor is rumored to be Sprint(see my Kansas Speedway Track News page)(8-11-2001)
  • More Earnhardt: Kerry Earnhardt, the eldest son of seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt, may be joining the BGN ranks full time next year. Racing under the DEI ownership banner, he could possibly have sponsorship from Wrangler Jeans and a known restaurant chain. Earnhardt has competed in two BGN races this year in the Michael Waltrip-owned-#99 Chevrolet. He has also competed in ARCA events, handily winning the June race at Michigan. His father competed with the blue and yellow Wrangler colors before donning the trademark black on the Goodwrench Service #3 Chevrolet.( Buzz)(8-11-2001)
  • Earnhardt to run for Waltrip at MIS: Kerry Earnhardt, who won the June ARCA race at Michigan, will return to MIS this month for the 250 NASCAR BGN race. Earnhardt, son of the late Dale Earnhardt and half brother to second-year Winston Cup star Dale Earnhardt Jr., is scheduled to qualify the #99 Aaron Rents Chevrolet for Michael Waltrip Racing at MIS. Kerry Earnhardt has made two previous Busch starts in the Aaron Rents car, finishing 20th after starting 30th at Kentucky Speedway in June and finishing 24th after starting 31st at Pikes Peak in late July. “One of my goals is racing in Winston Cup again, but I need a little more experience,” Earnhardt said. “I hope to do that by driving for Michael Waltrip’s Busch team.” Last August, Kerry Earnhardt was a part of history at MIS when he qualified for the Pepsi 400 presented by Meijer Winston Cup Series race. It marked the first time since 1960 that a father raced against two of his sons. Kerry Earnhardt finished 43rd in that race after an accident ended his day five laps into the event. Earnhardt Jr., who won the pole at a record 191.149 mph, finished 31st, and his father finished sixth after starting 37th.(MIS PR)(8-9-2001)
  • Hank Parker Jr proposes and Congrats: On Monday afternoon, Hank Parker Jr. popped the question to his girlfriend of the past two years, Wendy Alexander. Parker and Alexander have tentatively decided on Saturday, December 5, 2001, as the day they’ll exchange their wedding vows.( Buzz)(8-9-2001)
  • No Tolsma or CTS Team Rensi at Nashville UPDATE team done Tolsma to the BGN?: ESPN2’s RPM 2Night reports that the #61 Team Rensi CTS team and driver Randy Tolsma will skip the CTS Nashville race.(8-8-2001)
    UPDATE: Team Rensi Motorsports’ CTS program apparently is no more. The operation, which began the season with a pair of unsponsored trucks for series veteran Randy Tolsma and rookie David Donohue, dropped Donohue’s truck after three races but ran Tolsma in the first 15. Tolsma will reportedly move over to the Rensi brothers’ No. 25 U.S. Marines Chevrolet in the BGN.( Buzz)(8-9-2001)
  • Houston and #11 Split: Marty Houston has parted ways with Highline Performance Group. “Any times you have a situation like this its unfortunate for everyone involved, but right now I have to look at what’s best for me as a driver trying to build a career in one of NASCAR’s most toughest series,” stated Houston. “And what’s best for me is to close this chapter of my life and move forward. I am very excited about the future.” Houston commented about the direction he was heading with Highline Performance Group, “It just didn’t make a lot of sense to keep going the way we were going. We all had very high expectations coming into this season and anytime you fall short of those expectations it can be frustrating. That’s what this half of the season was, extremely frustrating.” Houston is talking with several Busch teams to finish off the 2001 season. “I am very confident in my ability to be competitive at this level and I think for me now is to get involved with a program and a team that has the same level of determination and desire to win as I do. I have a lot to prove to a lot of people and I intend on doing just that. The fires are burning as bright as ever,” commented Houston.(Global Performance)(8-9-2001)
  • No more Busch for the #11? heard this from quite a few well placed sources – Looks like the #11 Channellock team got into a bit of trouble with the Anheuser-Busch reps at Gateway Intl Speedway during race weekend. One night during the weekend, the Anheuser-Busch people threw party for all the Busch teams at a local establishment. A Busch rep noticed that the #11 Channellock crew along with team owner Armando Fitz were drinking another brand of beer even though Busch products were on the house. When the rep approached the team and asked if they would please change brands out of respect of the sponsor, some of the team members became very belligerent and cursed at the rep totally unaware of who he was affiliated with. When Mr. Fitz was asked to subdue the situation he made a comment about his relation to Felix Sabates and the Coors Light team and that he didn’t need free beer from Busch and left. Immediately following the race at Gateway, the rep, along with Busch series director John Darby went to the Channellock hauler and notified the team that they were off of all the Busch contingency programs through the rest of the season and the team and removing the Busch Beer privileges for the rest of the season. Reports are that the following week at Pikes Peak the #11 Channellock hauler had cases of Coors and Coors Light stacked beside it for everyone to see(8-9-2001)
  • Hooper to race for Big Fan Racing: ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night reports that Lance Hooper will drive the #89 Big Fan Racing car at Bristol in August(8-8-2001)
  • Fedawa in the #00 at least one more race:Tim Fedewa will get to keep driving for the #00-Buckshot Racing BGN Team for at least one more race. Fedewa, who was released earlier this season as the driver of the #66 Phillips 66 Chevrolet, will be behind the wheel of Buckshot Racing’s #00 Chevrolet for the 250 Aug. 18 at Michigan. Buckshot Racing’s BGN car will be sponsored by Jesel Valve Trains and Gasoline Alley Motors at Michigan.( Buzz)(8-8-2001)
  • 34 BGN races in 2002 and NO Watkins Glen? No IRP? UPDATE 5 IRP Stays: RPM 2Nights Ray Dunlap reported on Monday’s show, that the BGN race schedule will expand to 34 races in 2002 and Watkins Glen will not be included (and no other road courses will be either). Supposedly the race dates will hold a 2nd BGN race at Daytona, the same weekend as the Cup Pepsi 400(ESPN2 RPM 2Night)(7-3-2001)
    UPDATE: BGN will make a second stop at Daytona next season, according to an ESPN report. The report said that the series will bring the BGN cars back to the 2.5-mile tri-oval in July as a support race the night before the Pepsi 400. The BGN cars annually open their season the day before the Daytona 500 in February. DIS officials would not confirm the move but said it is a possibility. According to the report, NASCAR would drop its lone BGN road-course date at Watkins Glen International, which is also owned by DIS parent International Speedway Corporation(Daytona Beach News Journal), also hear the BGN will not go to Milwaukee or Indianpolis Raceway Park in 2001 and may race at the Indianapolis Intl Speedway(7-6-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Beginning next season, the Daytona International Speedway will add a NASCAR Grand National series race to its Pepsi 400 Winston Cup race weekend. The addition to the BGN schedule will give the series three restrictor-plate races. Currently, the series runs once at Daytona and Talladega each season. Sources said the weekend will be run similar to this season’s, with the BGN race held on Friday night and the Winston Cup event on Saturday night(That’s Racin’)(7-8-2001)
    UPDATE 3 Word has been abounding that NASCAR and the Indianapolis Intl Speedway would like to bring the BGN race, traditionally held at nearby Indianapolis Raceway Park, to the Speedway for the Saturday support show next year. Although many believe this will happen, IMS Owner Tony George says he does not expect it any time soon. “It really hasn’t been discussed,” George said. “The NHRA [owner of IRP] and IRP really stepped up and made a lot of improvements NASCAR was looking for to keep the Busch Series growing out at IRP. It really hasn’t been discussed. They’ve got 20 years out there. You don’t just, NASCAR doesn’t pick up and move that quick. That’s really not something we’ve discussed with any degree of concern. It’s very unlikely unless something changes.”(SpeedVision)(8-5-2001)
    UPDATE 4: NASCAR officials are pushing Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Tony George to add a Busch Series race to next summer’s Winston Cup weekend here, but the man who runs this legendary track is resisting. The Busch tour plays at Indianapolis Raceway Park this weekend each August, but the traffic surrounding IRP has been horrendous, and the commute for Cup and Busch drivers between the two has been a nightmare(Winston Salem Journal)(8-6-2001)
    UPDATE 5 IRP Stays: On Saturday night at IRP, the PA announcers had NASCAR’s Director of Operations, Kevin Triplett, up in their booth before the race and asked him point-blank if the Busch Series would be back at IRP next year. His reply was something like this, “We’ll be back in Indy in 2002, and we’ll be back here at IRP.”(many sources)(8-7-2001)
  • Compton to RCR? Stacy Compton could be leaving Melling Racing by the end of the year. Sources say that he is being considered by Richard Childress Racing for the #31 Lowes Chevy or the #21 or #2 BGN cars. Compton is in the option year of his contact, but sources say that owner Mark Melling has agreed NOT to exercise the option, should Compton decide to join another team. The #92 Melling team is also looking for a primary sponsor for the 2002 season as Kodiak will leave at the end of this season(8-7-2001)
  • Harvick wins at IRP: Kevin Harvick, who appeared without a shot a victory as Greg Biffle dominated early and led the first 107 laps of Saturday night’s Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, instead picked up his series-leading fourth victory of the season. After restarting 13th following a caution on Lap 116, Harvick wasted no time in running down his competition, often making daring three-wide inside moves. He passed leader Chad Little on Lap 173 and held off Biffle by 1.246 seconds at the finish. Chad Little finished third; Elton Sawyer, fourth; and Jason Keller fifth. Harvick continued to hold his series points lead. Biffle remains in second, now 163 points behind(That’s Racin’). See That’s Racin’ for Kroger 200 race results(8-5-2001)
  • Bickle back in the #59 at IRP: Rich Bickle will be back in the #59 Chevrolet this weekend after Mike Chase filled in for the last two weeks. Bickle was benched because of the team’s struggles. “We’ve received a lot of criticism from Rich Bickle fans, but no one on this team has given up on Rich,” team owner Tad Geschickter said. “I’ve said this a million times over the last two weeks — we just needed more feedback from the seat.” Bickle will have a busy weekend as he also takes over the #50 Winston Cup ride(Daytona Beach News Journal)(8-3-2001)
  • 3rd ppc Racing team? ppc Racing’s two Busch Series teams, owners Greg Pollex and Keith Barnwell are seriously exploring the possibility of fielding a third team next season. Billy Parker has qualified a third ppc Racing car in one race this year, and plans to do so again at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The organization should know by Oct. 1 whether or not a third team will actually happen(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read online)(8-2-2001)