Skip to content
Jayski LogoJayski Logo

August 2001 News Archives


 


  • (8-31-2001)

  • 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)
  • No Bull Fans Chosen for Richmond UPDATE: Five more race fans have been selected for a chance at a $1 million prize as part of the fourth installment of Winston’s “No Bull 5” driver/fan bonus program. The next “No Bull” race is the Sept. 8 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond. The eligible drivers are the top-five finishers from the Pepsi 400 at Daytona in July: #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #15-Michael Waltrip, #21-Elliott Sadler, #22-Ward Burton and #18-Bobby Labonte, who will be making his 10th attempt at the Winston No Bull 5 million-dollar bonus. The eligible fans were selected from the nationwide Winston No Bull 5 “They Win, You Win” Sweepstakes. The eligible fans are Doris DeBerry of Savannah, TN.; Sharon Bauer of Peoria, IL.; Eric Wolf of Peotone, IL.; Allen Fitch of Hamptonville, NC; and Joseph Brennan of Eufaula, AL. The drivers and fans will be paired Thursday night at NASCAR Speedpark in Myrtle Beach S.C. The five drivers will compete in a 10-minute go-kart race to determine the pairing. The race will be carried live on ESPN2’s RPM2Night at 7:00pm/et. One of the five eligible Winston No Bull 5 drivers will travel to Savannah on Tuesday for a luncheon with DeBerry and 25 friends. Her name was the first of the five fans selected in the Winston No Bull 5 drawing. The first fan drawn automatically wins a function with one of the eligible drivers.(That’s Racin’)(8-30-2001)
    UPDATE: the race was broadcast on ESPN2’s RPM 2Night, the results and pairings:
    #22-Burton – paired with Doris DeBerry of Savannah, TN
    #21-Sadler – Sharon Bauer of Peoria, IL
    #18-Labonte – Eric Wolf of Peotone, IL
    #15-Waltrip – Allen Fitch of Hamptonville, NC
    #8-Earmhardt Jr – Joseph Brennan of Eufaula, AL
    (8-31-2001)
  • Soft Walls test at IRP: A live test of a new concept in “soft wall” technology is planned for Sept. 17 at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Representatives of Safari Associates Inc and No Limit Racing Adventure will demonstrate the properties of a new “Molecuthane™” soft wall material. Described as a material with unique energy-damping properties, “Molecuthane™” is already in use as a stick-on recoil pad for gun enthusiasts and is being developed as a cushion to help reduce injuries from impact with ballistic vests worn by law enforcement and military personnel. The test will feature a crash with one of No Limit Racing Adventure’s trucks into a section of the soft wall material on the outer wall of the track. A leading firm specializing in crash forensics will monitor and instrument the impact while one of No Limit’s drivers actually drives the truck into the barrier.(SpeedVision)(8-31-2001)


    (8-30-2001)

  • Gordon Scheme: #24-Jeff Gordon will run an either one event, or multiple races special paint scheme in 2002. It’s in honor of DuPont’s 200th anniversary in 2002. The car will be unveiled on September 20 at The DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, DE. It has a white front, red sides with “Blasberry” (mostly blue-purple) Prizm Chromalusion “Swoop” type stripes in it. The DuPont 200th anniversary logo is on the hood and rear decklid(Gordonline), have seen NO images of the car(8-30-2001)
  • Compton to Petty Enterprises? UPDATE 2 Buckshot Staying: hearing Stacy Compton is close to signing with Petty Enterprises to drive the #44 Dodge. Compton currently drives the #92 Melling Racing Dodge nad Buckshot Jones currently drives the #44 Dodge(8-21-2001)
    UPDATE: but the Anniston Star is reporting: Now that Childress has officially confirmed that Mike Skinner is out of the Lowe’s car(#31) after this season, expect to hear Stacy Compton’s name as Skinner’s replacement. Kodiak is out as the sponsor of the Melling Dodge after this season and Melling has already given Compton permission to explore other possibilities for next season just in case a new sponsor isn’t found. BUT everything I hear is Robby Gordon in the #31 Cingular Chevy(or whatever #)(8-23-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Shaking his head with disbelief at the stock car racing rumor mill, Kyle Petty said today that Buckshot Jones would remain with Petty Enterprises as driver of the #44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge, and there are absolutely no plans to make any changes. “You think you get used to it but some of the rumors you see and hear these days are incredible,” said Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. “Some rumors just start almost like spontaneous combustion. The best thing to do is just ignore them, but some take on a life of their own, so you have to put them out. I want to make this as clear as I can: Buckshot Jones has a long-term contract. We want him to stay and he wants to stay. We have some things left to do with that car, and we have a lot of pretty high expectations,” Petty said(Williams Company)(8-30-2001)
  • Texaco out? Shell in on the #28? UPDATE 2 Yates says Texaco Stays: hearing rumors that Texaco (looking to merge with Chevron) may leave the #28 Robert Yates Ford at the end of the 2001 season and Shell Oil Company may be their new sponsor. Another note about Texaco sponsorship, looks like they are leaving the Newman-Haas CART team as Robin Miller mentioned last week on ESPN2’s RPM2Night (which moves to 6pm M-F starting Sept 4th) that Eli Lilly and Company (pharmaceuticals) would be the team’s new sponsor for their CART cars. But it was announced a while ago that Texaco had signed with Robert Yates Racing through 2004.(8-20-2001)
    UPDATE: As it prepares to merge with Chevron, Texaco plans to shed its interest in the two joint ventures that control Texaco and Shell gasoline stations in the U.S.: Equilon in the West, Motiva in the East. But that could mean the end of the venerable Texaco brand name.(more at the Los Angeles Times)(8-21-2001)
    UPDATE 2: If Chevron’s purchase of Texaco goes through, don’t expect a major change on the No. 28 Ford. Team owner Robert Yates says Chevron likes the Havoline brand and is expected to keep it. He says he expects Havoline to remain on his No. 28 Ford as its primary sponsor.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read online)
    AND “Texaco has an agreement with Robert Yates Racing through the 2004 season, and they have made it very clear to us that they will honor that commitment, even with a merger,” said Bill Seaborn, director of marketing for Robert Yates Racing, Thursday morning.(NASCAR Buzz)(8-30-2001)
  • No Humpy Bumper this season: A top NASCAR official all but ruled out Wednesday the possibility of the so-called “Humpy Bumper” or any other energy-absorbing bumper being installed in Winston Cup stock cars this season. “That is just unrealistic, not realistic at all,” said Jim Hunter, a NASCAR vice president. The response came a day after developers of the energy-absorbing bumper staged a demonstration at Lowe’s Motor Speedway outside Charlotte, and before meeting next week with NASCAR officials to discuss research and test results.( full story at CNN/SI)(8-30-2001)
  • Ganassi Says Leffler safe, 3rd team? no BGN: #01 and #40 Dodge owner, Chip Ganassi said rookie Jason Leffler’s Cup future with the operation is secure, but didn’t rule out adding a third team. And if he does add a team, what about the rumors Tony Stewart might be the driver? Stewart drove for Ganassi in the Indianapolis 500 this year, immediately fueling speculation he might leave Joe Gibbs Racing, with whom he has a long-term contract, for Ganassi. Ganassi happily played along when asked what he thinks of Stewart. “He’s a good driver,” he said. Asked if Stewart could drive “this or that” for Ganassi next year, the owner simply said, “maybe” with a grin, then added, “probably just a little bit of this and mostly that.'” Asked if “this” meant Winston Cup and “that” meant CART, Ganassi replied: “I didn’t say that.” For now, Ganassi dismisses reports he’ll start a third team as “just a lot of talk right now.” The owner has yet to announce a new sponsor to replace Cingular Wireless on Leffler’s car, but doesn’t seem concerned. Target, which backs his CART team, sponsored Marlin at Bristol, but Ganassi says there’s only a slim chance the company would be on Leffler’s car next year. Ganassi said he would not start a Busch Series team in 2002, and said it’s possible open-wheel standout Kenny Brack could run a Winston Cup race or two next year. Brack is joining Ganassi’s CART program and has said NASCAR is an avenue he wants to try at some point in his career.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read online)(8-30-2001)
  • Papers at it again: The Orlando Sentinel and its sister paper in Fort Lauderdale asked a judge Wednesday to declare unconstitutional the new state law exempting autopsy photos from Florida’s public records law. In a motion filed in Broward Circuit Court, the Sentinel and South Florida Sun-Sentinel argue that the statute adopted after the death of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt is unjustified, overly broad and fails to accomplish its stated purpose. Lawmakers in March made it a felony to review, copy or distribute autopsy photos without a judge’s OK. Judges can grant permission only for good cause.(Full story at That’s Racin’)(8-30-2001)
  • Sadler to run Richmond CTS Race: Elliott Sadler and Motorcraft will team up in Richmond, Va., for two races next week. Sadler will drive the #84 Long Brothers Racing F-150, carrying the familiar Motorcraft paint scheme in the Kroger 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Richmond International Speedway on Thursday, September 6th. It will mark the second consecutive year that Sadler has competed in the truck race at Richmond. Ford Racing fan club Team Ford Racing (TFR) will support Sadler’s effort as an associate sponsor.(Sadler Brothers Site)(8-30-2001)
  • Harvick in Richmond CTS Race: Kevin Harvick will return to the CTS at Richmond, driving a truck owned by defending Kroger 200 champion Rick Carelli. Harvick plans on forming his own truck team for 2002, with Carelli serving as his driver. Carelli will be in a Dodge owned by Maurice Petty and Associates for the race.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read online)(8-30-2001)
  • Ripken Scheme? UPDATE 4: hearing #18-Bobby Labonte’s car will have a special Cal Ripken Jr farewell paint job at Dover in September. Ripken Jr plays for the Baltimore Orioles and is retiring at the end of the 2001 baseball season(8-17-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing that since Cal Ripken’s last home game will be the evening of the race, at Camden Yards vs. the Yankees. To honor his achievements, MBNA will be renaming the race from the MBNA 400 to the Cal Ripken 400 (or something similar) and that Ripken will be present at the race as the Grand Marshal(8-20-2001)
    UPDATE 2: also hearing that #18-Mike McLaughlin will drive the Cal Ripken car in the MNBA 200 BGN race and that a formal announcment will come in the next 7-10 days(8-23-2001)
    UPDATE 3: NASCAR and Major League Baseball are expected to finalize an unprecedented agreement within the next 10 days that would celebrate Cal Ripken Jr.’s retirement in a most unique way. For starters, the MBNA 400 Winston Cup race scheduled for Sept. 23 at Dover Downs International Speedway in Dover, Del., will be renamed the MBNA Cal Ripken Jr. 400. In addition, the Orioles third baseman will act as the grand marshal for the 1 p.m. race before flying back to Baltimore to play in the final home game of his career at Camden Yards that night. “We have been waiting for a couple of days for a sewn-up package,” said Carmine Tiso, a media relations specialist handling business matters for Major League Baseball. “Hopefully in the next week or 10 days it will be (finalized). There are a lot of parties involved including us, the Orioles, MBNA.” Tiso described the deal as “all but done.” Another source close to the deal said a joint announcement about the specifics could come as early as Thursday at Camden Yards. NASCAR has some other tributes planned for Ripken, as well. The Interstate Batteries/MBNA #18 car driven by defending Winston Cup champion Bobby Labonte will be repainted for the Dover race to include a Cal Ripken logo. The Ripken logo will also be on Mike McLaughlin’s car during the MBNA 200 Busch Series race that Saturday at Dover Downs, Tiso confirmed. The tentative plan, according to the source close to the deal, is for Ripken to arrive in Dover — about 100 miles from Camden Yards — on Sunday around 9 a.m., sit in on the morning drivers’ meeting and conduct a short news conference with the motorsports media. Ripken will be part of the drivers’ introductions and will be driven in a convertible around the track before the race begins. Ripken will then wave the green flag to start the race before getting in a helicopter and flying back to Baltimore. The winner of the Winston Cup race will be invited to fly to Baltimore as Ripken’s guest for that night’s game.(York Daily Record) and another story at the Washington Post: Ripken Farewell Faces a Switch(8-24-2001)
    UPDATE 4 – maybe? One major obstacle lies in the path of Dover Downs’ quest to rename the Sept. 23 MBNA 400 after one of major league baseball’s all-time greatest players. According to track publicist John Dunlap, if the New York Yankees agree to allow the Baltimore Orioles to push back the start of their game at Camden Yards from its currently scheduled 1:35 p.m. start to “somewhere between 5 and 7,” Cal Ripken Jr. will serve as grand marshal of the MBNA Cal Ripken Jr. 400 at Dover Downs International Speedway. Dunlap also said a press conference is “supposedly” scheduled for Thursday at Camden Yards regarding this announcement, but didn’t name a time.(NASCAR.com)(8-30-2001)
  • Sad News: (#01 Dodge driver) Jason Leffler’s father passed away of a heart attack on Aug. 24th, Condolences to family and friends – Additional Info: Charles Leffler, father of NASCAR Winston Cup rookie Jason Leffler, died from a heart attack on Friday, Aug. 24, 2001. The funeral was held at Fitz Henry Funeral Home, 44-635 San Rafael; Palm Desert, Calif. 92260; (760) 776-8866 on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2001 at 1:00pm/et. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame at P.O. Box 234; Marshall, Indiana 47859. Jason Leffler, driver of the #01 Cingular Wireless Dodge for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, will compete in the Mountain Dew Southern 500 this weekend at Darlington Raceway.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(8-30-2001)


    (8-29-2001)

  • Blaney and Team Stays in 2002: Owner Bill Davis said he’ll field a team for Dave Blaney no matter what in 2002. Currently, Davis is searching for a sponsor to replace Amoco. “We don’t have anything yet, but we’re talking to some people and have some things in the works,” Davis said Aug. 24. “We’re certainly going forward. We’re going to race next year.”(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read online)(8-30-2001)
  • 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)
  • NASCAR’s Statement on the the Talladega Testing: The following are comments from Gary Nelson, NASCAR Winston Cup Series director, regarding Monday’s test by NASCAR at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. This test was designed by NASCAR for its teams to test various changes to the current aerodynamics package in place for Daytona and Talladega. Drivers participating in the test were: Rusty Wallace, Kevin Lepage, Bill Elliott, Johnny Benson, Michael Waltrip, Tony Stewart, Elliott Sadler, Ward Burton, Jerry Nadeau, Jimmy Spencer, Ricky Rudd, Joe Nemechek, Ken Schrader, Sterling Marlin, John Andretti, Buckshot Jones, Bobby Hamilton and Todd Bodine. The No. 29 team participated with Dave Marcis as the driver. The teams tested, among other things, three different restrictor-plate sizes (15/16ths, 29/32nds and 7/8ths) and the removal of the roof air-deflector. “It was a very productive and informative day. We were able to learn many things. We couldn’t have learned the things we did in a single-car test or in the wind tunnel or dyno-type tests. We needed a pack of cars to help us obtain all that we did. Our next step is to take the information gathered and analyze all of it. That will obviously assist us in our decision process. “We started the morning with 20-car drafts in 20-lap runs. Then we reduced the number to 15-car drafts and 15-lap runs. The idea was to make the current aero-package more efficient and to do so, we changed the plate size, rear spoiler angle and removed the air deflector on the roof. “At one point, we even had the teams use a combination that was similar to the aero-package the NASCAR Busch Series currently use (60 degree spoiler angle and no roof air deflector or rear spoiler deflector). “One example of the data we were searching for was to find a balance between aerodynamics and restrictor-plates. The way we did this was to reduce the aero-drag on the car, which in turn picks up speed and then we off set this with a smaller plate. The current aero-package in place is a high aero-drag combination. “Now keep in mind, the speeds at Daytona and Talladega, more so Talladega, have been satisfactory. We wanted to maintain that pace but with a lower drag combination. “With the number of teams here testing, we received an unprecedented amount of input from the drivers. We were able to zero in on what the driver was feeling after a run.”(NASCAR PR)(8-29-2001)
  • What’s Up with Dick Trickle? Two-time ASA National Champion Dick Trickle will return to ASA action, driving the number 43 for Minnesota’s Kevin Lang. Trickle won the ASA National Championship is 1984 and then again in 1985. He has 32 career ASA victories, fourth on the all-time list, and 45 career pole positions, second all-time, behind Bob Senneker. His last ASA start came in 1997 at the same track, where he finished 32nd after starting eighth. Trickle is the all-time ASA event winner at Minnesota, collecting four wins in his 20 races at the speedway. Scott Hansen, Mike Eddy, Butch Miller, Mike Miller and Bob Senneker are the only other multi-time winners in ASA competition at the State Fair.(Speedway Illustrated). More info and links about Trickle on my Drivers Looking page(8-29-2001)
  • 3td Qtr Driver of the Year: Jeff Gordon continued commitment and dedication has earned him the recognition of being selected as the third-quarter nominee for True Value’s Man of the Year for his continued commitment and dedication by spending a large amount of his time to support various charitable organizations. True Value, the Official Hardware Store of NASCAR, is once again sponsoring the NASCAR True Value Man of the Year. The award is designed to honor a driver not only for their accomplishments on the track, but for their community service contributions and charitable efforts. Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 Pfizer/Viagra Ford and Rick Mast, driver of the No. 27 Duke.s Mayonnaise Pontiac, were the recipients of the first and second quarter nominations, respectively. For the purpose of determining the NASCAR True Value Man of the Year award winner, the NASCAR Winston Cup season has been divided into four quarters in which drivers are nominated for their off-track efforts. An elite group of panelists will select one of the four quarterly finalists to name the NASCAR True Value Man of the Year. This award will be presented at the NASCAR Winston Cup Series banquet in New York City, along with a prize of $100,000. The prize will be divided evenly between the driver and the charity of his choice. The fourth-quarter nominee will be announced on November 12.(NASCAR PR)(8-29-2001)


    (8-28-2001)

  • More Kenny – #57: Kenny Wallace is proud to announce that he will be running the #57 CLR Racing Ford at Kansas City, Charlotte, and Homestead Winston Cup Races in 2001. “This is a great opportunity for me to keep my foot in WC racing as I work out my plans for 2002. ” says Herman. “This team has a very good car setup, Robert Yates motors, and backing by Ted Campbell.” What does this mean for Kenny’s Future Plans? “Well, let me tell everyone this straight out. I have an excellent and loyal relationship with the #48 George deBidart owned BGN team. I will be having a long racing relationship with George, I just gotta keep my feet wet in WC while I work on my plans.”(Kenny Wallace Racing Site). NOTE: David Keith attempted to make the races at Indy and Michigan(Aug) in the #57 car but was not fast enough(8-28-2001)
  • Wallace Tests UPDATE car #: Kenny Wallace tested a Cup car today at Greenville-Pickens Speedway (SC) in preparation for the Cup race at New Hampshire in Sept. His current BGN team (#48 Goulds Pumps) will run the race and Wallace said on ESPN2’s RPM 2Night that they will run in Cup in 2002, not sure if full time or a limited schedule(8-27-2001)
    UPDATE: The team’s Winston Cup Car will be #98 at NHIS. So far associated sponsors are Lumar and Gould’s Pumps. A Primary Sponsor has yet to be found.(Kenny Wallace Racing Site)(8-28-2001)
  • Special #93 Scheme at Bristol UPDATE No, now at Richmond: In a special one-race arrangement, Dave Blaney will feature primary sponsorship from Mac Tools as well as a special paint scheme on his #93 Amoco/Siemens Dodge during the Bristol race weekend. The colorful one-race-only paint scheme will also be available for a limited time in die-cast form at traditional NASCAR retail outlets.(Bill Davis Racing Site) see the Paint Schemes Gallery(8-20-2001)
    UPDATE: After planning to run a special Mac Tools-themed paint scheme at Bristol, Blaney was forced to a back-up car with the traditional Amoco/Siemens colors when a practice accident damaged the #93 Mac Tools Dodge too severely to be repaired before the race. The team will run the special paint scheme again in two weeks during the Saturday night race at Richmond International Raceway following next week’s event at Darlington(Bill Davis Racing)(8-28-2001)
  • Humpy Bumper News UPDATE 2 Testing at LMS today: Development of the energy-absorbing “Humpy Bumper,” which is being tested by Las Vegas-based Lew Composites, will continue despite ominous remarks by NASCAR president Mike Helton during Tuesday’s press conference to announce the findings of a six-month investigation into the death of Dale Earnhardt. Paul Lew, president of Lew Composites and one of the designers of the “Humpy Bumper,” told the Sun last week that he anticipated the device would be approved by NASCAR and could be used on Winston Cup cars in race conditions “in the month of September.” After watching Tuesday’s announcement, Lew said his project would proceed as planned. Lew has a public test of the device scheduled for next Tuesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. At that time, Winston Cup teams will have a chance to see the bumper perform in a crash test. H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, president and chief operating officer of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., and the person for whom the “Humpy Bumper” is named, said he hopes the device will be approved by NASCAR and available to teams by the end of the season.(Las Vegas Sun)(8-23-2001)
    UPDATE: H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway, and Paul Lew of Lew Composites will be on hand to oversee a full-scale crash test of the energy-absorbing composite device nicknamed the “Humpy Bumper” on Tuesday, Aug. 28 starting at 1:30pm/et. The composite bumper will be fitted on a NASCAR Winston Cup stock car that is then propelled into the turn one wall at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Media members will be able to inspect the car following the crash test and parties involved in the bumper’s design and construction will be available for interviews. This crash will be the final step in a series of extensive tests that began in May and data and information from those earlier tests will be available(Lowes Motor Speedway PR).(8-24-2001)
    UPDATE 2: In a demonstration staged largely for the media, the focus wasn’t on a test car circling the track, but rather purposely taking a violent, right front hit into the wall at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The car was a white Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The wall speed was extremely high, near 40 miles an hour, or about the same as experienced in Dale Earnhardt’s crash during the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 18. The damage to the test car, though, didn’t appear as severe as might be expected — presumably, thanks to a “Humpy Bumper,” an impact-absorbing device installed in the nose between the radiator and motor. The wall failed to devour the front of the car. The motor remained firmly attached. It was a flawless demonstration, if you overlook the car bouncing off the wall, redirecting itself down the embankment and forcing several onlookers to scramble frantically out of its way. Las Vegas-based engineer Paul Lew (of Lew Composites), the mind behind the project, says the bumper can cut in half the energy drivers’ absorb in a crash. Lowe’s president/general manager H. A. “Humpy” Wheeler says the safety device is ready for use today, adding, “What we’re talking about here is saving lives.”(see full story at CNN/SI – Test crash – ‘Humpy Bumper’ has flawless demonstrationAND Researchers tested the energy-absorbing Humpy Bumper on Tuesday by sending a remote-controlled Winston Cup car crashing into a wall as a NASCAR official watched. All indications were that the test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway was a success, but the damage and data from a “black box” inside the car still must be analyzed. Humpy Wheeler, president of the speedway, said he would meet with NASCAR next week to discuss the results. “It’s up to NASCAR from here,” Wheeler said. “They’ll look at what we have and either say, ‘We like it, go ahead and start manufacturing it’ or, ‘We’d like for you to look at it further with some more tests.’ “Ideally, they’ll like it and we can get it on the cars as soon as possible.” The Humpy Bumper is designed to address concerns about the rigidity of the front of stock cars and the lack of any sort of bumper to absorb the energy from a crash. The stiffness in the cars has been an issue the past year because of the deaths of Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin and Dale Earnhardt in wrecks. The cars have grown increasingly rigid over the years because it allows crew chiefs to accurately make suspension settings.(See full story at ESPN: NASCAR official watched test); and for past news on the Humpy Bumper, see my Safety News/Links page(8-28-2001)
  • Talladega Testing Done: A day after running three- and four-wide in an invitation-only NASCAR test, more than a dozen Winston Cup Series teams remained at Talladega Superspeedway to prepare for October’s EA SPORTS™ 500 on Oct. 21. On Monday, NASCAR officials sent 19 Winston Cup teams through the motions during a handful of 20-lap and 15-lap runs. On Tuesday, it was back to the norm for the teams, running test laps individually instead of drafting in packs. “Yesterday we ran in packs and it looked like a race,” said Kyle Petty, who was testing the #44 Dodge. “Today most everything is on an individual run. Most of this is just for qualifying.” Still, most of the 17 teams acknowledged the stay-over was well worth it at NASCAR’s Most Competitive Track. The only two teams from Monday’s test not staying for the second round were Dodge drivers #22-Ward Burton and #40-Sterling Marlin. “We had a list of things to try … a, b, c … to find speed,” said Bryant Frazier, overseeing the 44 team’s session. “We were finding the attitudes of the car, the performance related to the motor – just trying stuff back and forth looking for speed. On Monday we had two or three different packages look good as far as being competitive and putting on a good show for the fans, but they also would give the driver a break every now and then,” said Frazier. Petty, who had a couple of top-five finishes at Talladega in the mid-1980s, said many teams were trying “to get a leg up after yesterday.” Petty also applauded NASCAR’s efforts over the years. “They know the ups and the downs,” said Petty. “NASCAR has continued to change the rules, continued to adjust, continued to monitor. That’s one of the things we did Monday. We tried three or four different aero packages just to monitor and to see where the cars were headed and give NASCAR some additional information for rules changes that may come six months down the road or may come two years down the road. They are establishing a baseline.” Robin Pemberton, crew chief for the #2 Penske Racing Ford team, said he and driver Rusty Wallace were using the time at Talladega to work on other things as well. “We haven’t been here to test in two years,” said Pemberton. “We’re doing chassis things, doing some things with the shocks. We’re not messing with the aero package at all, really.” Teams participating Tuesday were: #29-Dave Marcis; #9-Bill Elliott; #28-Ricky Rudd, #20-Tony Stewart, #2-Rusty Wallace, #21-Elliott Sadler, #55-Bobby Hamilton, #25-Jerry Nadeau, #15-Michael Waltrip, #43-John Andretti, #44-Kyle Petty, #33-Joe Nemechek; #26-Jimmy Spencer, #66-Todd Bodine, #4-Kevin Lepage, #10-Johnny Benson, and #36-Ken Schrader.(Talladega Superspeedway PR). See past news on the testing at my NASCAR News page(8-28-2001)
  • RIR to try testing again UPDATE: The Winston Cup cars of #30-Jeff Green, #13-Hermie Sadler, #27-Rick Mast and #90-Hut Stricklin are scheduled to test at Ricmond on Monday and Tuesday (Aug 27-28th) along with BGN drivers #26-Bobby Hamilton, Jr. and #25-Randy Tolsma. Fans are invited to watch testing on both days. The gates will be open from 8:00am to 5:00pm/et(RIR PR)(8-25-2001)
    UPDATE: Drivers #55-Bobby Hamilton(thought he was in Talladega?), #30-Jeff Green and #27-Rick Mast began a two-day test at the track yesterday. The trio told track officials that the surface was in good condition. Drivers who tried to test shortly after the asphalt was resealed had problems with the three-quarter-mile oval. Now that the sealer has cured, there doesn’t seem to be any lingering effects or slickness(Richmond Times Dispatch), it was #26-Bobby Hamilton Jr testing his BGN car, #55-Hamilton was at Talladega(8-28-2001)
  • Burton to drive for Baldwin: Bill Davis Racing #22 crew chief Tommy Baldwin Jr. will debut his new BGN team at the October race at Charlotte. Ward Burton will be behind the wheel(Sporting News)(8-28-2001)
  • Some rumors: This week’s rumor mill, or version of Winston Cup musical chairs: Stacy Compton will replace Buckshot Jones in the Petty Enterprises’ #44 next season (as mentioned here last week, see #92 Team Page, Jerry Nadeau will go back to Melling Racing(#92) to fill Compton’s seat, and Ward Burton will take over Nadeau’s #25 for Hendrick Racing(Sporting News). Jayski Note: Burton has a contract with Bill Davis thru 2002(8-28-2001)
  • Testing at Kansas UPDATE: hearing all four Roush Racing teams and the #24 Hendrick Motor Sports team will be testing on August 27-28th at Kansas Speedway(8-22-2001)
    UPDATE: Jeff Gordon said Monday that Kansas Speedway incorporates familiar elements from three other 1 1/2-mile tri-ovals, including the other track that opened this season in Joliet, Ill. Gordon ran well this season at all three tracks. “There are a couple of parts that remind me of Vegas, a couple that remind me of Chicago, a couple that remind me of Texas,” Gordon said after a late-morning session in preparation for the inaugural Protection One 400 on Sept. 30. But the similarities to the other tracks don’t extend to the racing surface at Kansas, Gordon and other drivers say. Like nearly everyone who’s driven on the new track, they remarked on its smoothness and lack of an outside groove. “I know I’m going to do my passing on the inside,” said Mark Martin, one of five Roush Racing drivers testing at the track. “I’m not going to be out there.” Roush driver Jeff Burton also likes the track. “I think you’re going to be amazed at how fast the laps are going to be,” Burton said.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(8-28-2001)


    (8-27-2001)

  • Why no Points for Geoffrey? been asked a bunch so here it goes, #09-Geoffrey Bodine is listed on the Official Results for Britol as have PE points, what does that mean? PE means POST ENTRY, what it means is that a driver/owner is not eligible for any points as the race entry blank was received after the deadline (which is approx 13 days from the date of the race)(8-27-2001)
  • Noticed: while listening to the PRN radio broadcast during the race at Bristol, they went along strecth without commercials, only to find out, it that PRN decided that since there were so many cautions early during the Sharpie 500 at Bristol, that PRN radio got so far ahead on their spots breaks, that they broadcasted the final 144 laps commerical free(8-27-2001)
  • Sad News – One dies at Bristol UPDATE: An out-of-town race-goer was electrocuted Sunday morning while taking down a flagpole at a campground near Bristol Motor Speedway. The electric shock caused an explosion that reportedly was heard miles away. Two other campers suffered an electric shock as they tried to remove the 20-foot-tall pole from the soaked ground and it became entangled in power lines, police said. A man in his 40s or 50s died instantly, Bristol Tennessee Police Lt. Mike Vance said. His 16-year-old son and a woman were seriously injured and were taken to Bristol Regional Medical Center. Their conditions were not known Sunday night. The three were not identified pending notification of next of kin, police said. Vance said he believed they were from Michigan. They, and others in their party, had been camping at 149 Old Thomas Bridge Road, the lieutenant said. It was not raining at the time, but Vance said the ground was soaked.(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-27-2001)
    UPDATE: An auto racing fan was electrocuted and his son and a woman were seriously injured while taking down a banner at their campsite near Bristol Motor Speedway, authorities said. Bradley McNeice, 42, of Goodrich, Mich., was killed instantly in the Sunday morning accident as he was loading his camper following the Sharpie 500 NASCAR race Saturday night. McNeice, his 16-year-old son, William McNeice, and Christina Ulman, 45, of Fair Haven, Mich., were taking down a banner on a 20-foot pole when it became entangled in power lines, police said. McNeice and his son went into cardiac arrest, according to police dispatchers. The son was upgraded Monday from critical to stable condition at Bristol Regional Medical Center. Ulman was moved to the Erlanger Burn Center in Chattanooga.(ESPN/AP)(8-27-2001)
  • Sad News UPDATE more: A stock-car driver lost control of his car during a race at Barberton Speedway on Saturday night and died after crashing through billboards at the edge of the track and hitting trees. Tim Boswell, 35, of Copley, Ohio, died at 7:55 p.m. at Akron General Hospital, a nursing supervisor said. Driver Kevin Swank said Boswell’s car sounded as if its throttle was stuck open.(That’s Racin’/AP)(8-26-2001)
    UPDATE: Motorcycle racer Will Davis died in Sadalia, Mo., after crashing in the first lap of a race in the AMA’s Grand National Championship. Davis, 36, was involved with a crash with five other riders on the fourth turn at the State Fairway Speedway on Friday. He died at Bothwell Regional Health Center, according to the American Motorcyclists Association. Davis, ranked seventh in career AMA Grand National victories with 32, had his first national win in 1989. He turned pro in 1984 and was a five-time champion of the MARS Asphalt Motorcycle Racing Series.
    AND Michael Josselyn, 45, of Alamogordo, N.M., died Saturday at an El Paso, Texas, hospital, where he had been taken after a Friday night crash at Sertoma Motorplex in New Mexico, officers said. Josselyn’s car flipped and landed on its roof, authorities said.(ESPN/AP)
    AND a turn three flagman was struck by a 305 Sprint car at Central Pa Speedway on Saturday night. The flagman, Fred Pscholka, was a weekly worker at the speedway. The cars were in the hotlaps session when the accident occurred. The flagmen was hit with the front nose wing of the sprint car. The Sprint driver said, “I don’t know what happened, the car went out of control.” Mr. Pscholka had his back towards the car when he was hit. This incident resulted in massive head injuries. Medical crews tried as much as possible to revive him. He was life flighted to a near by hospital where he was later pronounced dead.(Asphalt Racing)(8-27-2001)

 


(8-26-2001)

 

  • #3 to return in 2002? UPDATE: NASCAR.com’s The Buzz is reporting that Richard Childress Racing could be bringing back the #3 Chevrolet. Formerly driven by and made famous by the late Dale Earnhardt, it has not been driven in competition since the seven-time champion’s death in the Daytona 500. Allegedly, the design has already been finished but the #3 will have a different look and design to it than what Earnhardt drove. The design has been rumored to already have been approved by Dale Earnhardt Inc., Chevrolet and Richard Childress Racing. Since the season’s second race at Rockingham, Kevin Harvick has competed in a white No. 29 Chevrolet with Goodwrench Plus on board. If the #3 came back, it wouldn’t be until next year in time for the Daytona 500.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(8-16-2001)
    UPDATE: Richard Childress did not directly deny plans to revive the #3 at some point for his Winston Cup racing operation. “We’ll be making announcements on the 3 sometime in the near future,” Childress said before Saturday’s Sharpie 500 at Bristol. “I can’t go there right now, but it will be an issue we’ll handle by the end of the year.” The #3 has been inactive since Dale Earnhardt was killed in a crash in the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18. Rumors have circulated about the future of the #3 for the past few months. Childress will field three teams next season and the car number for only one of them, the #30 to be driven by Jeff Green and sponsored by America Online. Kevin Harvick will continue to drive for Earnhardt’s former team in the GM Goodwrench sponsored car now carrying the #29. The third Childress team will be sponsored by Cingular Wireless. No driver or car number has been announced, although Robby Gordon is considered a leading candidate for that ride(That’s Racin’)(8-26-2001)
  • Spencer plans to wear restraint UPDATE 2: Jimmy Spencer says family, drivers and crew members discussed safety and encouraged him to wear a head restraint. Spencer, one of the few NASCAR Winston Cup drivers not to wear a head restraint, says he’ll do so soon. Spencer and Tony Stewart were the only drivers among 43 last weekend not to wear such a device. “My concern is that if Dale Earnhardt … had devices in there to help him, would he be a vegetable?” Spencer once said for why he has not worn a HANS or a Hutchens device this season. “I don’t want to be a vegetable. I don’t want to be a burden to people.” Spencer says he looks at that issue differently now. “I think if you look at all the data they’ve collected the last few months … it looks to me like if you can keep your head constrained, you’ll lessen the possibilities of injuries.” Spencer has been fitted with a HANS device and might wear it in a test session at Talladega next week. He also says he has a Hutchens device and might wear it this weekend. Spencer says he’ll need time to adjust to the HANS device. “It’s very uncomfortable,” said Spencer. “It’s very awkward. I can’t get out of my race car with it on. So, I’m concerned about that with a fire.”(Racing Extra)(8-24-2001)
    UPDATE: Teams say Dale Earnhardt’s seat belt system was a relic. Some teams expressed surprise that he was still rolling his shoulder harness over the back of the seat, pointing out that system was used until sometime in the past 10 years. However, moving belts for comfort remains a common practice. “That was the way we did it for years and years and years,” former Earnhardt crew chief Andy Petree said. “There have been changes over the last 10 years where people moved them up just to shorten the run. To be honest with you, I didn’t realize that Earnhardt was still doing that. I don’t really know why. I don’t know that there was a specific reason he did that.” Jimmy Spencer says he was warned to change his belts and finally did so. He was begged to add a restraint system and is now doing that as well. Yesterday he practiced wearing the Hutchens device(Richmond Times Dispatch)(8-25-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Jimmy Spencer tested with a HANS (head and neck support) system last week and with a Hutchens device (restraint system) this past weekend. He didn’t wear either in last night’s race at Bristol, but does plan to take both with him to a two-day test at Talladega starting tomorrow. Spencer said that younger guys competing in other series look to Winston Cup drivers for guidance. Therefore, he should seriously consider wearing a safety system. “A lot of [short-track drivers] say Jeff Gordon’s wearing it, Tony Stewart isn’t,” he said. “I think a lot of drivers are questioning why some of the other drivers aren’t doing it. I don’t know what Tony’s thinking. I’m sure he’s looking into something too. We’re the only two guys who aren’t doing it, and we probably should.”(Richmond Times Dispatch)(8-26-2001)


    (8-25-2001)

  • Stewart Wins at Bristol: #20-Tony Stewart held off a challenge from #29-Kevin Harvick to win the Sharpie 500 Saturday night at Bristol. Harvick, trying to become the first driver to sweep a BGN-Cup doubleheader in the same Bristol weekend, clawed past Gordon on the next lap and ran up on the new leader’s bumper in traffic a couple of times thereafter. #24-Jeff Gordon finished 3rd and increased his points lead over Ricky Rudd to 308 points with #88-Dale Jarrett now 379 behind in 3rd. #5-Terry Labonte got his 3rd top 10 of the year finishing 10th, his last one? Bristol in the spring. #4-Kevin Lepage and #30-Jeff Green led laps for the first time this season in Cup. See That’s Racin’ for Sharpie 500 race results; and NASCAR.com for Unofficial Standings(8-25-2001)
  • Gordon and the #31? UPDATE 2: hearing Robby Gordon has signed a 3-year deal with RCR to drive the #31 Cingular Chevy(8-17-2001)
    UPDATE: It appears that Robby Gordon will be replacing Mike Skinner on Richard Childress’s second team next season, with what is reported to be a three-year contract. Childress has told Mike Skinner he is free to look for another ride.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-20-2001)
    UPDATE 2: From a GM Teleconference Q&A with Richard Childress: Do you have a driver signed for the No. 31 car yet? “No, we don’t.”(8-25-2001)
  • Stewart Not to Wear Restraint UPDATE: #2-Tony Stewart has no intention of trying one (head and neck restraint device) anytime soon. There are currently two devices drivers can choose from: the HANS device, which is a similar to a set of shoulder pads but has been met with some resistance because of limited mobility; and the Hutchens device, which is a series of straps that hooks onto the helmet and was designed this year by an engineer with Richard Childress Racing (see my Safety page for links and info). Stewart doesn’t like the HANS device because he finds it uncomfortable and has too many questions about it. And he doesn’t like the Hutchens device because he thinks it hasn’t been tested enough. “I think there are pros and cons to both of them. We know how it will work in a forward impact, but we don’t know about a side impact or an angled impact,” Stewart said. “I just don’t think it’s the answer to all the problems and until I know more about it, I’m not going to use one.”(Daytona Beach Mews Journal/AP)(8-25-2001)
    UPDATE: Stewart will wear a Hutchens device during Talladega testing on Monday/Tuesday Aug 27-28th, to see how he likes it. Stewart said he is basically wearing it to quiet everyone. Stewart also said he was developing his own device but doesn’t feel it is ready(TNT Pre-Race Bristol Coverage)(8-25-2001)
  • RCR at 99 UPDATE make it 100: Kevin Harvick’s victory in the BGN race at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Saturday night was the 99th in a NASCAR points race for Richard Childress Racing. It also marked the fourth weekend in a row that an RCR car has won a NASCAR race. In July, Harvick won the inaugural Winston Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway and followed that up with a victory in the Grand National race at St. Louis. Last weekend, Jeff Purvis won the Grand National race at Pikes Peak(Alabama Live)(8-7-2001)
    UPDATE win #100: with Kevin Harvick’s BGN Win at Bristol, it was the 100th win in a NASCAR points race for Richard Childress Racing(8-25-2001)
  • No TV Boxes at Bristol: No cars will telemetry boxes for TV because of the difficulty of getting a signal since mountains surround the track. Batteries in a telemetry box triggered a fire in Robby Gordon’s #31 car at Watkins Glen, forcing him out of the race. The boxes, mandatory all season, were optional last weekend(Racing Extra)(8-25-2001)
  • Marcis and RCR: From a GM Teleconference Q&A with Richard Childress: Have you had any discussions with Dave Marcis about buying into his team or purchasing his team? Answer – “We had talked about that before, but now that we’re all set with the direction that we’re going with RCR, I’m going to be there as a friend to help advise him and help him do anything I can.(8-25-2001)
  • #26 to help Schools: Kmart Corporation announced that NASCAR star Jimmy Spencer will be revving up his #26 Kmart Ford Taurus this weekend in support of Kmart’s new multi-million dollar school fundraising effort. The company is teaming up with Spencer to promote Kmart’s School Spirit program, designed to help fund K-12 schools nationwide. Spencer will carry a special paint scheme this weekend at the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway to promote the program. Jimmy Spencer will lead the School Spirit program into Bristol to support Kmart’s dedication to helping fund K-12 schools nationwide. As part of the effort, Spencer’s #26 Kmart Ford Taurus will feature a special School Spirit paint scheme, adding a large School Spirit decal along each side and the phrase “$10,000,000 for schools!” to the traditional white and blue scheme. Through the School Spirit program, Kmart will donate a minimum of $10 million to schools throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam in the 2001-2002 school year. Customers need only to enroll in the School Spirit program at a Kmart store or online at www.bluelight.com, specify the school to receive donations, and use a special School Spirit card when shopping at Kmart.(PR)(8-25-2001)


    (8-24-2001)

  • Ripken Scheme? UPDATE 3: hearing #18-Bobby Labonte’s car will have a special Cal Ripken Jr farewell paint job at Dover in September. Ripken Jr plays for the Baltimore Orioles and is retiring at the end of the 2001 baseball season(8-17-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing that since Cal Ripken’s last home game will be the evening of the race, at Camden Yards vs. the Yankees. To honor his achievements, MBNA will be renaming the race from the MBNA 400 to the Cal Ripken 400 (or something similar) and that Ripken will be present at the race as the Grand Marshal(8-20-2001)
    UPDATE 2: also hearing that #18-Mike McLaughlin will drive the Cal Ripken car in the MNBA 200 BGN race and that a formal announcment will come in the next 7-10 days(8-23-2001)
    UPDATE 3: NASCAR and Major League Baseball are expected to finalize an unprecedented agreement within the next 10 days that would celebrate Cal Ripken Jr.’s retirement in a most unique way. For starters, the MBNA 400 Winston Cup race scheduled for Sept. 23 at Dover Downs International Speedway in Dover, Del., will be renamed the MBNA Cal Ripken Jr. 400. In addition, the Orioles third baseman will act as the grand marshal for the 1 p.m. race before flying back to Baltimore to play in the final home game of his career at Camden Yards that night. “We have been waiting for a couple of days for a sewn-up package,” said Carmine Tiso, a media relations specialist handling business matters for Major League Baseball. “Hopefully in the next week or 10 days it will be (finalized). There are a lot of parties involved including us, the Orioles, MBNA.” Tiso described the deal as “all but done.” Another source close to the deal said a joint announcement about the specifics could come as early as Thursday at Camden Yards. NASCAR has some other tributes planned for Ripken, as well. The Interstate Batteries/MBNA #18 car driven by defending Winston Cup champion Bobby Labonte will be repainted for the Dover race to include a Cal Ripken logo. The Ripken logo will also be on Mike McLaughlin’s car during the MBNA 200 Busch Series race that Saturday at Dover Downs, Tiso confirmed. The tentative plan, according to the source close to the deal, is for Ripken to arrive in Dover — about 100 miles from Camden Yards — on Sunday around 9 a.m., sit in on the morning drivers’ meeting and conduct a short news conference with the motorsports media. Ripken will be part of the drivers’ introductions and will be driven in a convertible around the track before the race begins. Ripken will then wave the green flag to start the race before getting in a helicopter and flying back to Baltimore. The winner of the Winston Cup race will be invited to fly to Baltimore as Ripken’s guest for that night’s game.(York Daily Record) and another story at the Washington Post: Ripken Farewell Faces a Switch(8-24-2001)
  • Helton Honored: NASCAR president Mike Helton was back home Thursday afternoon as John Battle High School honored the former Trojan. Helton, a 1971 Battle graduate, spoke to the student body during a back to school pep rally held on the Trojans’ football field. At the conclusion of the assembly he was presented with a plaque recognizing him as a distinguished alumni. The Bristol Virginia native wished the students good luck on the coming school year and sprinkled in a few tips during his speech. And he also addressed NASCAR’s report on the death of Dale Earnhardt, which was released Tuesday.(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-24-2001)
  • Escape Hatch? #98 BGN driver, Elton Sawyer, said Thursday that his team would begin work next week on developing an escape hatch through the car’s roof. A fiery crash last week (at Michigan, #15 Waltrip) showed that some safety items in Cup cars could cause problems. Most teams have netting or extended headrests on the right side of the seat to prevent a driver’s head from stretching too far in an accident. That proved to be an obstacle for Michael Waltrip. His Cup car crashed and came to rest with the driver’s side pinned against the outside wall. A fire started in the car’s rear and Waltrip climbed through bars and protective devices to climb out the right-side window. The incident came a few weeks after Ricky Rudd suggested in a meeting that stock cars should have a flap in the roof similar to funny cars in drag racing that give a driver another escape avenue. “It was kind of laughed about,” Sawyer said of Rudd’s suggestion in the meeting for drivers, crew chiefs and car owners. “I sat there and said, ‘Wow that makes sense.’ We’re going to take a car at the shop and come up with a (roof) piece. You’ve got to start somewhere.”(Racing Extra)(8-24-2001)
  • Happy News: Prior to Thursday night’s Food City Family Night in downtown Bristol, Sadler proposed to his girlfriend, Lisa Tollett. After dating for four years this weekend, when they met at Bristol Motor Speedway, Sadler proposed to the current Miss Tennessee USA. She readily accepted. The date of the wedding is to be announced.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(8-24-2001)
  • Sad News: Longtime motorsports journalist Bill Lorenzen died from complications stemming from heart surgery on Aug. 7. He was 69-years-old. Lorenzen was a member of the Motorsports Press Association (MSPA) for more than 20 years and served as vice president of automotive writers. He was also a motorsports writer for both the Vallejo Times Herald and Fairfield Daily Republic in the North Bay. Lorenzen covered motorsports events at his home track, Sears Point Raceway, for more than 20 years and was considered the “Dean of the Media Center” at the raceway. He was born in Denver in 1931 and was a graduate of the University of Colorado. A memorial service for his friends will be held on Sept. 8 at the Captain Charles Stone Hall at the Camel Barns in Benicia from 2-4 p.m(Sears Point PR)(8-24-2001)
  • Cope at Bristol? UPDATE 2 only BGN no CUP: even though he is not currently on the Entry List at NASCAR.com, hearing Derrike Cope will be at Bristol to attempt the Cup race in the #37 Pontiac?/Chevy? sponsored by Labor Ready
    UPDATE: or could this be Cope in the BGN only at Bristol? 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)
    UPDATE 2: sorry folks Cope will be at Bristol, but in the #94 BGN Chevy NOT in the CUP race, my apologies for the mis-information(8-24-2001)


    (8-23-2001)

  • Subway to the #77 in 2002? hearing Subway (sandwich shops) will be the primary sponsor of the #77 Jasper Motorsports Ford and driver Robert Pressley in 2002(8-21-2001)
    UPDATE – Assoc? also hearing Lipton Tea could be an assoc sponsor on the #77 starting at Bristol(8-23-2001)
  • Compton to Petty Enterprises? UPDATE but: hearing Stacy Compton is close to signing with Petty Enterprises to drive the #44 Dodge. Compton currently drives the #92 Melling Racing Dodge nad Buckshot Jones currently drives the #44 Dodge(8-21-2001)
    UPDATE: but the Anniston Star is reporting: Now that Childress has officially confirmed that Mike Skinner is out of the Lowe’s car(#31) after this season, expect to hear Stacy Compton’s name as Skinner’s replacement. Kodiak is out as the sponsor of the Melling Dodge after this season and Melling has already given Compton permission to explore other possibilities for next season just in case a new sponsor isn’t found. BUT everything I hear is Robby Gordon in the #31 Cingular Chevy(or whatever #)(8-23-2001)
  • #4 to help out: Trula Cronk Home For Children, part of Free Will Baptist Family Ministries in Camp Creek, will get some special recognition at this weekend’s Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The Morgan-McClure No. 4 Kodak Chevy will carry the home’s logo and web site on its rear deck lid in an effort to bring national attention to the ministry and help raise financial support for the home. This should allow millions of people across the country the country. The car will display www.race4kidz.org which will hopefully draw interested persons attention to the home.(Greeneville Sun)(8-23-2001)
  • Sadler Returns: Hermie Sadler, who is running a limited Winston Cup schedule this year with sponsorship from the Virginia Lottery (#13 Chevy), has entered the Sharpie 500 Winston Cup race scheduled for this weekend at the Bristol Motor Speedway.. Sadler says the additional seat time in a Winston Cup Car will help him tremendously heading into Richmond, the next lottery sponsored event. Sadler is also using the opportunity at Bristol to promote something very close to him and his family, Autism Awareness and Research. Hermie’s youngest daughter, Halie, 3, was diagnosed with Autism in February, and he hopes his family’s story will help people better understand autism. “In the beginning we tried to keep our situation private,” stated Sadler.. “Our only concern was getting Halie the care and support she needed.. But we now feel that she has made a great deal of improvement since February and we want to do what we can to encourage people to help us learn more about Autism.” Hermie and his brother Elliott will both be carrying Autism Awareness Ribbons on their cars this weekend.. For more information on Autism Research and Awareness, please call the Autism Society of America at 1-877-703-3606, or visit www.autism-society.org or www.cycleusa.net.(Sadler PR)(8-23-2001)
  • Lazarro to run IRL race: Anthony Lazarro, who ran the Cup race at Watkins Glen in the #68 Chevy and ran in the BGN last year. After passing his refresher test last Friday, it was decided yesterday that Anthony Lazzaro would drive a second entry for Sam Schmidt Motorsports in the upcoming Gateway International Indy 250. The car will run as the #44 Parsons Project so named for the cars other owner, Ray Parsons. Parsons is a businessman from Bellevue, Ohio and like Sam is suffering from a spinal cord injury and is a quadriplegic.(Open Wheel Racing)(8-23-2001)
  • No Seat Belt Inspections: NASCAR has no immediate plans to inspect seat belt installations in race cars despite revelations that customized “variations” to Dale Earnhardt’s belt system may have contributed to his death. Similar variations are widespread among Winston Cup drivers, said a safety expert who manufactures head and neck support systems. Instructions on how to install the seat belts are treated like directions that come with a new computer, said HANS maker Jim Downing. “You just leave them off to the side and go about (installing) it,” said Downing, who works to fit individual drivers with head restraint systems. “We’ve seen some awful things. Seat belts too wide. Seat belts too far apart. Just awful.” Jim Hunter, NASCAR’s vice president of corporate communications, said Wednesday that Winston Cup officials don’t monitor how the belts are installed. That process is left to the driver and belt manufacturer. Although the NASCAR rule book places all responsibility for proper safety precautions on the driver, it also states NASCAR officials will “take whatever action is deemed reasonable and appropriate in order to correct” safety problems in a driver’s race car and equipment.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(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.(NASCAR.com 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)
  • Andy Houston in the BGN #92? Current #96 Cup driver Andy Houston appears headed to the BGN as sources say Houston will join Herzog Motorsports in the BGN in 2002. Excedrin is expected to return as the team’s primary sponsor. Houston would replace the Winston Cup-bound(#48 team) Jimmie Johnson. Herzog Motorsports team manager and crew chief Tony Liberati declined comment, as did Houston. Houston also has at least one other offer from a prominent BGN team(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(8-23-2001)
  • Leffler Expects to be back in the #01: #01 Driver Jason Leffler said Aug. 18 that he has every intention of being behind the wheel of his team’s No. 01 Dodge in 2002 and that his car owner hasn’t say anything to indicate that that might not be the case(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(8-23-2001)


    (8-22-2001)

  • #22 Special Scheme at Bristol UPDATE: #22-Ward Burton is supposed to have a special “CAT Tracks” scheme to be run at the night race at Bristol. See a layout of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery(8-8-2001)
    UPDATE: Caterpillar Track-Type Tractors removed 15,000 cubic yards of earth from Bristol Motor Speedway after the World of Outlaws race in June. But from the looks of it, Ward Burton will be driving one of those Caterpillar Tractors in the August 25, 2001 Winston Cup Bristol Night Race. The Caterpillar Dodge driven by Burton will be running a special Track-Type Tractor paint scheme at Bristol. This unique paint job gives Burton’s car the appearance of a Tractor. Once again Burton is relying on Caterpillar to give him the right equipment for the job. First it was the C-16 Caterpillar Truck engine paint scheme that powered him in the Winston, now the Track-Type Tractor scheme will help toughen up the Caterpillar Dodge to take on the high banks of Bristol.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(8-22-2001)
  • KW back to Cup in 2002? UPDATE: on Monday’s RPM 2Night show (ESPN2), Kenny Wallace was on the show and mentioned that he would run the New Hampshire Cup race with his BGN team (#48 Innovative Motorsports) and that the team is looking at moving up to Winston Cup in 2002 and hopes to decide soon(8-15-2001)
    UPDATE: The Innovative Motorsports Team (Kenny Wallace’s #48 BGN team) will be giving Wallace a special Cup ride at NHIS for his fans. Testing of the brand new chassis will be at Richmond next Monday and Tuesday (Aug 27-28th). No car number has been assigned by NASCAR yet(Kenny Wallace Racing)(8-22-2001)
  • Bodine Sponsor: been asked about Red Cell on the #11 Brett Bodine Racing Ford, saw the on his site: “RedCell Batteries, an associate sponsor since the beginning of the season, will not be involved with the team at the level they have been, due to financial problems.”(Brett Bodine Racing)(8-22-2001)
  • Texaco out? Shell in on the #28? UPDATE: hearing rumors that Texaco (looking to merge with Chevron) may leave the #28 Robert Yates Ford at the end of the 2001 season and Shell Oil Company may be their new sponsor. Another note about Texaco sponsorship, looks like they are leaving the Newman-Haas CART team as Robin Miller mentioned last week on ESPN2’s RPM2Night (which moves to 6pm M-F starting Sept 4th) that Eli Lilly and Company (pharmaceuticals) would be the team’s new sponsor for their CART cars. But it was announced a while ago that Texaco had signed with Robert Yates Racing through 2004.(8-20-2001)
    UPDATE: As it prepares to merge with Chevron, Texaco plans to shed its interest in the two joint ventures that control Texaco and Shell gasoline stations in the U.S.: Equilon in the West, Motiva in the East. But that could mean the end of the venerable Texaco brand name.(more at the Los Angeles Times)(8-21-2001)
  • Sprint and Petty? UPDATE: there are some questions now about Petty Enterprises’ Sprint sponsorship. Kyle Petty’s team has missed a number of races this season, and there are reports that Richard is getting antsy about the team’s performance(Winston Salem Journal)(8-10-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing that Sprint will stay with Petty in 2002 and has no plans to withdrawal its sponsorship of Petty Enterprise drivers and is looking forward to the 2002 season and beyond. Sprint says they have spent a great amount of time and resources to align themselves with one of the best names in racing. The Company is proud of their association with the Petty family including John Andretti and Buckshot Jones. The recent rumors started circulating after Winston-Salem Journal published an article on August 10 about cellular companies investment in motorsports. Sprint was named in the headline, but the content was based on 2001 performance. The writer speculated on the company’s future involvement without calling Sprint or its agency representatives.(Sprint Email)(8-21-2001)
  • Lowes to Hendrick? UPDATE 3: from the Winston Salem Journal – Lowe’s is now expected to move from the Richard Childress camp(#31) to Hendrick’s to sponsor incoming rookie (#48) Jimmie Johnson next season, according to NASCAR sources(Winston Salem JournalBUT from a SpeedVision Interview with Richard Childress: Q) Is the Lowe’s situation as safe as we’ve heard it is? A) “You’re going to be hearing some announcements on that. We’re going to be okay with the third [No. 31] team. Lowe’s will honor their contract [through 2002]. The direction they go, I’m going to leave that up to y’all. We’ve agreed we’re going to honor it, but we have other things working”(SpeedVision)(8-7-2001)
    UPDATE: Winston Cup team owner Rick Hendrick hopes to announce the primary sponsor for Jimmie Johnson’s Winston Cup effort within the next six weeks. “We have associates and all that done, we just haven’t announced it,” Hendrick said Aug. 3. “Probably sometime in the next 30 to 45 days. We haven’t signed anything yet.” If Lowe’s were to leave Richard Childress Racing, rumors are the company could move to Hendrick Motorsports.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read online)
    UPDATE 2: the Herald-Citizen reports that Jimmy Johnson will run a limited schedule next season in preparation for a full run for Hendrick in 2003. That would allow Lowe’s to sponsor him in those races in 2002, then move over to him on a full time basis in 2003(Herald Citizen), but all reports and indications I have seen say Johnson will run fulltime in 2002, he will make five or so starts in 2001 in the #48 starting at Lowes in Oct(8-9-2001)
    UPDATE 3: hearing that Haas Automation, currently an associate sponsor on the three current Hendricks cars(#’s 5,24,25) could be the primary sponsor of the #48 Chevy for Johnson(8-21-2001)
  • Earnhardt to test at Darlington UPDATE: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr is scheduled to test at Darlington Raceway on Wednesday, August 22nd(FSN’s Totally NASCAR)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is not testing at Darlington Raceway on Wednesday, August 22, 2001. However, Darlington Raceway is holding a press conference at noon with the popular driver(8-22-2001)
  • Driver Debut delayed: back in March/April, Brian Conz announced he would run some Cup races in 2001 (see my New Teams page) but Conz’s Winston Cup debut has been postponed; and the team is currently working on a new schedule for Conz for the second half of the 2001 racing season, but have not made any concrete decisions at this time(Eric Conz Site)(8-22-2001)
  • America’s Most Wanted Racing team news: The Body Dynamics/America’s Most Wanted Racing team has promoted Marketing and Media Relations Director of Body Dynamics Racing, Bodies, Inc., Scott Davis to the position of Motorsports Director and Team Manager for Body Dynamics Racing. The team is in the developmental process, which includes a team shop location (Denver. NC), decision on the series to compete (BGN or CTS), and finalizing a corporate underwriter for the America’s Most Wanted motorsports program. One element they have settled on is a driver relationship with Robby Unser of Robby Unser Racing and a veteran crew chief and team (TBA) due to contractual obligations for the remainder of 2001. Scott’s duties will still include overseeing the marketing and media relations department members of Body Dynamics Racing, Bodies, Inc. and www.bodydynamicsracing.com , but he will focus his efforts on building and managing the Body Dynamics Racing competition efforts, which will include finalizing a corporate underwriter for the America’s Most Wanted motorsports program and overseeing the licensing, media relations and marketing departments. The BDR/AMW team will be located in Denver, NC near the company’s core business and will become a customer of Body Dynamics Racing Bodies, Inc. for the fabrication needs.(Body Dynamics Racing)(8-22-2001)


    (8-21-2001)

  • RIR Testing UPDATE: Cup drivers #18-Bobby Labonte, #5-Terry Labonte and #99-Jeff Burton, along with BGN drivers Jason Rudd and Brian Vickers are scheduled to test in preparation for the CUP and BGN races at Richmond on Sept 7-8th. The testing will be held on Monday, August 20 and Tuesday, August 21. Fans are invited to watch testing on both days. The gates will be open from 8:00am to 5:00pm/et(RIR PR)(8-19-2001)
    UPDATE: A recent resealing of the track surface at Richmond International Raceway caused some drivers to cancel test sessions at the .75-mile oval yesterday. The track was resealed prior to the open-wheel racing weekend in June. Apparently, the Featherlite Modified cars damaged the track surface, tearing up pieces of the sealer. Racetrack officials resealed parts of the track less than two weeks ago, but the new sealer combined with the hot weather has caused problems for some Winston Cup teams. Michael Waltrip tested at RIR last Tuesday, and track officials said he was not thrilled with the surface. Yesterday, BGN driver Brian Vickers went out and ran five or six laps before crashing. Cup drivers Bobby Labonte and Terry Labonte also showed up for a test yesterday morning but decided to cancel the session after examining the track. The brothers told track officials they did not want to burn one of the seven test dates allowed by NASCAR because conditions would change too much before they race here in three weeks(Richmond Times Dispatch)(8-21-2001)
  • Sad News UPDATE: A driver was killed Sunday during a 100-mile ARCA race at the Illinois State Fair. The man, whose identity was not released, was pronounced dead at Memorial Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Roberta Churchill said. WTAX radio said the driver missed the entrance to the pits and crashed into a wall head-on. The station reported that three people in the infield were hurt. The race was the Allen Crowe Memorial 100. It was named for Crowe, a race car driver who died in 1963. No other information was immediately available.(That’s Racin’)
    AND Veteran ARCA stock car driver Dean Roper died at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield this afternoon after an accident in which his Ford slowed on the frontstretch and impacted the inside retaining wall on lap 17 of the ARCA race at the mile dirt Illinois State Fairgrounds track. There were no visible injuries and Roper was unconscious when safety teams arrived. The Fair Grove, Missouri driver was then transported to Memorial Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. There were no other injuries as a result of the accident. Roper, 62, was the USAC Stock driving champion 1981-82-83 and was the winningest ARCA RE/MAX driver on dirt with 9 career victories, including 3 at the Springfield mile. He became the 2nd oldest driver to record an ARCA victory when he won at DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in 1994 at age 55. The majority of Roper’s success came at the wheel of stock cars fielded by the Mueller Brothers Racing Team of Random Lake, Wisconsin. Roper drove his first race in 1960 and was a 5-time St. Louis-area short track champion from 1967-73 prior to his national championship racing success. Roper is survived by wife Marilyn and brother Dale Roper, both of whom were at the track on Sunday. Roper’s son, race driver Tony Roper, was fatally injured in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in 2000 at Texas Motor Speedway.(ARCA Racing Site)(8-19-2001)
    UPDATE: Dean Roper suffered a fatal heart attack during the ARCA series race at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, according to Susan Boone, Sangamon County Coroner. Roper suffered no other injuries in the single-car incident during which his Ford slowed on the frontstretch, gradually veered to the left and struck the inside retaining wall three times on lap 17 of the race, finally stopping against the wall at the pit road exit. Roper, unconscious when safety teams arrived, was transported to Memorial Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.(That’s Racin’)(8-20-2001)
    Details: information on services for Dean Roper can be found on the Tony Roper site (8-21-2001)


    (8-20-2001)

  • Wallace out at end of season? the Mike Wallace Fanclub site is reporting: Mike (Wallace) will not be back in the #7 next year and is looking for a solid Winston Cup and/or Busch opportunity. He will remain in the #7 this year and do the best he can with the equipment he is given(see the forum section)(8-20-2001)
  • Diane Bodine Hurt: Shortly after the start of the race, Diane Bodine fell off the pit cart and injured her right ankle. She was examined at the infield care center and released. Doctors at the hospital advised her to see her personal physician(That’s Racin’)(8-20-2001)
  • Skinner Free to Look and Out UPDATE: during an interview on FSN’s Totally NASCAR, Mike Skinner said he has been given permission to look around for other driving oppurtunities. Skinner currently drives the #31 Lowes Chevy AND from SpeedVision: Mike Skinner and Richard Childress definitely will go separate ways next year, Skinner said Friday. The decision apparently was made in the past week “According to Richard, he’s tried everything in his power to keep me in the car,” Skinner said. “It may be a situation where the sponsor [Cingular] is wanting somebody else in the car. I have another year on my contract, and obviously I will be released of that, and I’ll release Richard of his part of that contract if we find another job thats a comparable job.” Cingular announced Wednesday that it would take over sponsorship of the #31 car, replacing Lowe’s. Lowe’s sources confirmed Friday that that company will migrate to Hendrick Motorsports, likely with rookie Jimmie Johnson. Skinner has been mentioned as a possibility for one of Childress’s Busch cars, but that will not happen, Skinner said.(8-17-2001)
    UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and Mike Skinner have come to a mutual agreement to forego the final year of their contract together and part ways at the end of the 2001 NASCAR season. “This was a very tough decision because Mike and I are friends and he’s been a part of the RCR family for the past seven years,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing Enterprises, Inc. “Mike is one of the most talented drivers out there but, for some reason, we haven’t been able to win. We’ve had some great runs but this sport is about winning. Mike and I talked back in January and decided that if the program wasn’t going well by mid-season, we would go our separate ways at the end of the year. I don’t want to hold his career back or this race team’s so I think it’s best that we make this move now to give Mike as much time as possible to put a deal together with another team.”(RCR PR)(8-20-2001)
  • Ganassi to BGN? Stewart to the #01? Wally in the #01? Target? UPDATE: Dodge sources say Ganassi Racing visited Kentucky Speedway and tested the new Intrepids that will be driven in the Busch Series next year. Stedman Marlin, who finished 19th in the Busch race at Michigan, reportedly will drive one of the cars and share the Coors Light sponsorship on father Sterling’s Cup car. AND Another Ganassi rumor: Jason Leffler will join Stedman Marlin in the Busch ranks, and Tony Stewart will move into the #01 Cup car in 2002 with sponsorship from Target(Sporting News)(8-20-2001) BUT back in June it was reported: Tony Stewart held a team meeting last week to tell his crew he had no plans to leave for the Chip Ganassi operation(Winston Salem Journal) and Stewart is signed with Joe Gibbs Racing thru 2004(6-9-2001) and sources say he is committed to Home Depot and the Joe Gibbs operation through 2004
    AND hearing a BGN team is set up to give Leffler more seat time in 2002. Target comes in and sponsors the BGN team AND a Winston Cup team. Driver? Wally Dallenbach. Why Dallenbach? Two reasons. One, the NBC hook. Target likes what they have seen. Two – Dallenbach runs the full Winston Cup season AND a double on Memorial Day Weekend: The Indy 500 and the Coca Cola 600(8-20-2001)
    UPDATE: Rumor has it that Target might be wanting to get into Winston Cup and Busch Series racing with Chip Ganassi. The word around the garage is that the company might tap Wally Dallenbach to run the full season, along with the Indy 500 in May. Jason Leffler would get some seat time in a Target-sponsored Busch car. Leffler raced full-time in 2000 before jumping into Winston Cup in 2001. Ganassi lost Cingular Wireless as sponsor of the No. 01 Dodge last week to Richard Childress Racing, opening the door for a possible Target entry. Target has been the longtime backer of Ganassi’s CART powerhouse. Ganassi has ran the Indy 500 in each of the last two seasons with Target on those cars as well.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(8-20-2001)
  • Restrictor Plate Race Changes? UPDATE: NASCAR officials are testing a series of changes for restrictor-plate races. About 15-25 teams are expected to be involved in the session, scheduled for a week from tomorrow (didn’t say which track DIS or Talladega). Teams are running cars without roof strips and with altered spoilers and possibly plates. The changes are aimed at finding a way to separate cars instead of forcing drivers to race in the tight packs that have become common at Talladega and Daytona(Richmond Times Dispatch)(8-19-2001)
    UPDATE: NASCAR’s original idea was to take the so-called “boxcars” to Talladega, cars up to 4in taller and wider than the present air-slick models. That did not work, many said (and some with a laugh) because the boxcars simply would not fit on the team transporters. So much for thinking of everything, Two possibilities are suggested. First, knock down the rear spoiler to something like 3in, give the teams a little more play on the front end to balance the cars, then let them race. That could also pay benefits at a non-restricted trak such as Michigan. Second, move toward Busch-style spring and shock rules. Busch enforces much heavier springs than in Winston Cup, and it uses the leaker shocks. Would that be good? Only testing will tell.(SpeedVision)
    AND Teams have two days to work on changes to cars when they test at Talladega Superspeedway next week. The first day of the NASCAR session will involve testing changes the sanctioning body is considering, such as a ¨-inch restrictor plate instead of the current 1-inch model. The plates are used to limit airflow and horsepower. Teams can try their own ideas on the second day. About 15-25 Winston Cup teams are expected to show up for the session. NASCAR is looking for a way to separate cars from the tight packs that have become common in restrictor-plate racing(Richmond Times Dispatch)(8-20-2001)
  • Cingular Sponsorship moving? UPDATE 6 to RCR #31? Gordon in – 3yr deal?: At least four teams are vying for a major sponsorship with Bell Atlantic/Cingular Wireless (Actually it is BellSouth not Bell Atlantic which is Verizon), according to NASCAR sources. The company currently sponsors Jason Leffler and car owner Chip Ganassi. Among the car owners expected to be talking with the company are Richard Childress and Bill Davis. Childress and Mike Skinner are assessing their situation, Childress says, but an announcement could still be a month away, according to Childress. Childress has made it official that Jeff Green will drive an AOL-sponsored car for him next season, ending months of debate(Winston Salem Journal)(7-16-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing the #33 Andy Petree Chevy driven by Joe Nemechek and currently with sponsorship by Oakwood Homes (who will leave at the end of 2001) will get the Cingular sponsorship in 2001. Cingular currently sponsors the #01 Dodge driven by Jason Leffler(8-8-2001)
    UPDATE 2: also hearing Cingular could end up on the #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy’s that Jimmie Johnson will drive in 2002(8-9-2001)
    UPDATE 3: The battle for the Cingular Wireless sponsorship is down to Bill Davis vs. Richard Childress, according to sources close to the situation. That would leave Chip Ganassi and Andy Petree still searching for sponsors for next season(Winston Salem Journal)(8-11-2001)
    UPDATE 4: hearing there was a teleconference today in which it was announced that Cingular Wireless will sponsor a RCR car next season, didn’t say which car, but hearing it’ll could take the place of Lowes on the #31 and Lowes could go to go to the Hendrick Motorsports #48 and Jimmie Johnson? Chip Ganassi said on FSN’s Totally NASCAR that the Target car at Bristol is a one race deal only and he has two sponsors Cingular and Coors
    AND from a Cingular Newsletter – Cingular Wireless will take the green flag in the 2002 Winston Cup Series with Richard Childress Racing. Cingular, the country’s second largest wireless company, will be a primary sponsor of Richard Childress Racing, and will compete nationally in the 36-race series in the Cingular Wireless Chevrolet. Cingular and RCR have agreed to a four-year sponsorship. The driver and the number of the Cingular Wireless/Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet will be announced in the near future.(8-15-2001)
    AND “We hope to be ready to give everybody all of the information about our teams and drivers at the first of next week,” Childress said (That’s Racin’)(8-16-2001)
    UPDATE 5: Richard Childress said that he wouldn’t make the announcement or talk about it until the first part of the week, but it has been learned that the Cingular Wireless Phone Company will be the primary sponsor on the #31 Chevy currently sponsored by Lowe’s. Still no word on who will drive the car. Current #31 driver, Mike Skinner, still has a year left on his contract with RCR(Insider Racing NewsAND hearing Robby Gordon has signed a 3-year deal with RCR to drive the #31 Cingular Chevy(8-17-2001)
    UPDATE 6: It appears that Robby Gordon will be replacing Mike Skinner on Richard Childress’s second team next season, with what is reported to be a three-year contract. Childress has told Mike Skinner he is free to look for another ride.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-20-2001)
  • Telemetry Boxes: A total of 31 teams ran Sunday’s race with telemetry boxes that were made optional after a battery pack powering one caught on fire in Robby Gordon’s car caught on fire last week at Watkins Glen. All 43 cars ran the boxes in all of the previous Cup races this season. Ten cars ran in-car cameras.(That’s Racin‘) AND The latest on the TV telemetry box debate: Jeff Gordon, Ricky Rudd and Dale Jarrett were among the most prominent drivers whose car owners rejected mounting the boxes this week(Winston Salem Journal)(8-20-2001)
  • Little E dons a head restraint UPDATE Stewart and Spencer are the only non wearers: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., at the urging of several fellow Winston Cup drivers, wore a head-and-neck restraint device for the first time in Saturday afternoon’s final practice session at Michigan. “I was just trying it out,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “In the past week or so a couple of drivers asked me if I would try it out. So I figured I probably should.” Earnhardt Jr. said he would likely wear the device in Sunday’s Pepsi 400 and in further Cup races(That’s Racin’)(8-19-2001)
    UPDATE: only two drivers, #26-Jimmy Spencer and #20-Tony Stewart, were not wearing head-restraint devices, among the 43 participating in the Michigan event.(SpeedVision)(8-20-2001)

 


(8-19-2001)

 

  • Marlin Wins at Michigan: #40-Sterling Marlin wins the Pepsi 400 at Michigan Intl Speedway when the race was called after 162 laps because of rain. It is Marlins first win since July 6, 1996 at Daytona (also in the Pepsi 400) a streak of 169 races. It is also Dodge’s first Winston Cup win since Neil Bonnett won at Ontario CA on Nov 20, 1977 in the #5 Dodge. It was also the first win for a Coor’s sponsored car since Kyle Petty won at Dover in June 1995. #32-Ricky Craven came home 2nd(his career best) with #9-Bill Elliott in 3rd.
    #24-Jeff Gordon’s Winston Cup Drivers Points lead (now has 3353 points) is now 298 over #28-Ricky Rudd with #88-Jarrett now 354 behind in third and #40-Marlin sneaking up on Jarrett in 4th 381 behind.
    See That’s Racin’ for the Pepsi 400 Unofficial ResultsUnofficial Drivers Standings and for a column: Marlin, Dodge score at Michigan(8-19-2001)


    (8-18-2001)

  • Lowes is Out at RCR: On Saturday morning, RCR announced its relationship with Lowe’s, the sponsor of its #31 Chevy driven in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series by Skinner, would terminate at the end of this season. Last week RCR announced a long-term sponsorship agreement with Cingular Wireless, which is anticipated to be displayed on the #31 Monte Carlo. Childress also said he planned to make a driver announcement early in the next(NASCAR.com)(8-18-2001)
  • Humpy Bumper in Final Stages of Testing UPDATE 3: A new safety bumper designed to help absorb the energy of a frontal impact is in the final stages of testing and could be available for drivers before the end of the current Winston Cup season. Manufacturers of the so-called “Humpy Bumper,” the brainchild of Lowe’s Motor Speedway president H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, are hopeful of receiving NASCAR approval soon after the completion of six crash tests scheduled later this month at the Charlotte racing facility. The final test, Aug. 28, will be open to the public. “NASCAR has been a great partner in helping us develop this,” said Paul Lew, a Las Vegas-based composite materials design engineer and manufacturer working with Wheeler. The safety bumper has tested extraordinarily well, Lew said, in computer simulation and barrier testing, adding that the final hurdle is the crash tests in Charlotte.(CNN/SI), past news on the bumper on my Safety News Page
    UPDATE: hearing they are testing the Humpy Bumper at Las Vegas Motor Speedway today(8-16-2001)
    UPDATE 2: The developer of an energy-absorbing bumper said Thursday he anticipates NASCAR approving the safety device within two weeks. “We’re working very closely with NASCAR and we’re in the final stages right now,” said Paul Lew, a Las Vegas-based composite materials engineer, designer and manufacturer. Lew said the 16-pound bumper, priced at $6,000, has gone through computer simulation testing, crash testing in a facility and crash testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Lew said he would not reveal any data until an Aug.28 news conference where a stock car with the bumper will be crash tested at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(Roanoke Times)(8-17-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Having completed three days of closed testing this week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Paul Lew is confident his new energy-absorbing “Humpy Bumper” will be affixed to the front ends of NASCAR Winston Cup cars by next month. Lew, president of the Las Vegas-based Lew Composites, said this week’s round of testing confirmed that the device will decrease the G-forces a driver is subjected to in head-on and near head-on crashes — such as those that killed NASCAR drivers Dale Earnhardt, Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin and Tony Roper. A final, public test on Aug. 28, which originally had been planned for Las Vegas Motor Speedway, has been moved to Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., and will be attended by NASCAR race team officials and the media. Humpy Wheeler, after whom the “Humpy Bumper” is named, is president of Lowe’s Motor Speedway and it is believed the test was moved to that track in deference to Wheeler.(Las Vegas Sun)(8-18-2001)
  • Why the telemetry box blew: A Roush Industries investigation revealed that, as expected, an interior short in a lithium battery ignited the fire in the cockpit of Robby Gordon’s Chevrolet last week that cost Gordon a shot at victory in the Global Crossing at the Glen. The battery packs in the driver compartments are attached via “vibration mounts,” but in the case of Gordon’s car, its box apparently experienced ” a lot more vibration than normal,” according to Sportvision’s Peter Larsen, and spread to the other batteries. This week, to facilitate the needs of TNT’s television coverage, the 12-volt lithium manganese dioxide batteries will be replaced by normal “D” alkaline batteries, and mounting procedures will be changed so that the vibration mounts do their job.(Gaston Gazette)(8-18-2001)
  • Jones/Mayfield in SI: Jeremy Mayfield and Buckshot Jones are the “tutors” in the Sports 101 section of Sports Illustrated this week (Aug. 20 cover date). They are the only two drivers quoted in a story on how to do “burnouts” on the race track. It was a result of Jeff Gordon’s less-than-spectacular burnout attempt after his Indianapolis victory, rectified with a much better one following his Watkins Glen win. The Scorecard section is one of the most popular, and widely-read, sections of the national magazine, which has a national circulation of approximately 4,500,000.(Williams Company of America PR)(8-18-2001)
  • Sad News: Thursday evening, 16-year-old junior Nicole Bowman, was on her way home from volleyball practice with her brother Luke Bowman, 14, a freshman and soccer player at East Lincoln High school. She stopped for gas at East Lincoln Minimart, a gas station and convenience store six miles west of the school. As she pulled onto N.C. 73, she was hit on the driver’s side by a pickup truck traveling east, highway patrol officers said and was killed in the car collision. The driver of the truck, Dan James Farnsworth, suffered minor injuries. Police say he won’t be charged in the incident. Her brother was taken to Lincoln Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition Friday morning. Nicole is the granddaughter of NASCAR driver Dick Trickle, who also lives in Iron Station, NC. Nicole was well-known at the school for excellence in academics as well as athletics. The honors student played volleyball, basketball and softball for the school. Visitation is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at St. Dorothy’s Catholic Church on Highway 27 in Lincolnton. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Monday at the church.(Charlotte Observer)(8-18-2001), see the Dick Trickle Fanclub site for their address for cards or condolences


    (8-17-2001)

  • Stewart Injured UPDATE: hearing that Tony Stewart was on crutches with a elastic bandage on his left foot at the Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, IL on Tuesday night. When asked during the autograph session was told it was sprained when he fell over his dog while playing in his yard but Stewart said he would be fine at Michigan(8-16-2001)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart was injured in an accident at home chasing his dog, P.J., up the stairs (outside) of his Cornelius, N.C. residence, when the six-month old pup veered in front of him. In an effort to avoid stepping on the dog, Stewart tried to jump over the dog, only to injure his left foot upon landing. The dog was fine, but Stewart’s foot wasn’t. The result was a sprained left foot. Following the morning practice for the Pepsi 400, Stewart was complaining of soreness while using the clutch, otherwise feels like he’ll not have a problem this weekend(Insider Racing News) during qualifying on CNN/SI this was confirmed(8-17-2001)
  • Boxes Optional? UPDATE: Cars will likely not be required to carry the electronic boxes supplying telemetry about their performance and other data for the television broadcast in this weekend’s races at Michigan(That’s Racin’)(8-17-2001)
    UPDATE: Telemetry boxes, including global positioning systems and in-car cameras, will be optional equipment this weekend for Winston Cup teams competing at Michigan. The decision on the telemetry units by the NASCAR competition department came in the wake of a cockpit fire that started in a NASCAR-mandated telemetry package mounted in Robby Gordon’s #31 RCR Lowes Chevy at Watkins Glen(NASCAR.com)(8-17-2001)
  • No Backup for Skinner? Despite a noticeable limp, Mike Skinner says he’ll be running the BGN #21 Rockwell Automation Chevy on Saturday and the Cup #31 Lowe’s Chevy on Sunday without a backup driver. When asked if he would play it by ear on Saturday and try to find someone to drive the Cup car on Sunday if needed, Skinner replied, “Oh I’m sure they could get Robby Gordon up here in a hurry if they need to.”(Insider Racing News)(8-17-2001)


    (8-16-2001)

  • Penske to Dodge? on Wednesday’s ESPN2’s RPM2 Night. Robin Miller mentioned to look for Penske Racing(#’s 02,2,12) to go to Dodge in NASCAR for 2002. But back in Jan 2000, it was announced that Penske had signed with Ford to run the manufacturer thru 2002(8-16-2001)
  • Compton to RCR? UPDATE denied: 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)
    UPDATE: Also mentioned for the #31 RCR ride was Stacy Compton, but Melling Racing(#92 Dodge) representatives say Compton has told them he has no plans to go elsewhere, despite the looming loss of sponsor Kodiak.(SpeedVision)(8-16-2001)
  • Morgan Shepherd at Michigan? UPDATE 2: hearing Morgan Shepherd, who will race his own #21 truck at Nashville this weekend, has entered the #89 Ford in the Michigan Cup race next week, supposedly has a known crew chief to help him out(8-9-2001)
    UPDATE: Shepherd is on NASCAR’s Michigan Entry List in the #89, still no word on the crew chief(8-15-2001)
    UPDATE 2: I see #89-Morgan Shepherd has been removed from the Entry list at NASCAR.com, so that makes it 45 cars now AND heard Shepherd withdrew his entry at Michigan as the limited sponsorship money didn’t show, and he will go to Chicago to run the CTS race instead(8-16-2001)
  • Special Assoc on the #99 at Michigan: Aerotek is going to have a logo on the #99 CITGO Superguard Ford this weekend at Michigan. It is the associate deal they normally have via Onsite Companies but they will run the Aerotek logo on it for the Pepsi 400 (lower door panel behind the number 99) because of their strong automotive presence in Detroit. Aerotek is going to have a hospitality rig at the track(8-16-2001)
  • More Jerry Jones: Hearing that Dallas Cowboy’s Owenr Jerry Jones and the Cowboys Franchise is interested in the Body Dynamics/America’s Most Wanted Racing(AMW) program as a possible partnership or underwriter. And that the team has received requests from McDonalds, Cingular, Hershey Foods, K-B Toys and Toys-R-us to just name a few that have requested information about the underwriting sponsorship opportunities for the America’s Most Wanted Racing program, which they have decided to expand into BGN and Trucks series as well. Body Dynamics/America’s Most Wanted Racing is also in the final stages of signing a deal with Robby Unser to drive the AMW CTS entry next season(8-16-2001)
  • Kranefuss/Robinson Waitng: Michael Kranefuss said Aug. 13 he expected to receive word within the next two to three weeks from Tropicana regarding its sponsorship of Shawna Robinson for the 2002 season. Tropicana sponsored Robinson at Chicagoland and Indianapolis, but the team failed to qualify for both events. Kranefuss said there was a possibility the team would compete in the BGN rather than Winston Cup. After failing to qualify for the Aug. 5 Brickyard 400, Robinson said she knew she needed more seat time and it was essential for her to race every week(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(8-16-2001)
  • Stewart to be Inducted: Tony Stewart will be inducted into the National Midget Racing Hall of Fame Aug. 26. The induction ceremonies will be in the hall’s new headquarters at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, WI(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(8-16-2001)


    (8-15-2001)

  • Evernham Motorsports Schemes: Evernham Motorsports, both the #9 and #19 cars will feature an agressive new paint scheme to help Dodge announce the promotion of its bold, new line of Dodge Ram Trucks and its new slogan, “Grab Life by the Horns.”(Golin Harris PR), see an image on the Paint Scheme Gallery(8-15-2001)
  • Jerry Jones with Andy Petree? UPDATE: I am hearing Sports Illustrated is reporting that Andy Petree and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones are talking about a possible partnership of partial ownership and sponsorship for the #33 car of Joe Nemechek. According to the story, Jones wants partial ownership and Richard Childress, with who he has also had discussions, is not willing to do that. Petree and Jones have begun discussions along those lines(haven’t seen it or seen it online)(8-13-2001)
    UPDATE: One man suddenly mentioned as such a potential partner is Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys. Jones has been negotiating with Richard Childress for a NASCAR team deal for the past six months. “I have not talked with Jerry Jones, but I would like to talk to him, I really would,” Petree said. “If the deal isn’t going to happen with Childress, I’d like to talk to Jerry. There really isn’t a story there yet. We’re still trying to get Square D signed (renewing sponsorship for the Bobby Hamilton team), and hopefully that will happen by the end of the month. But we’re not seeing the movement out there we’d like to see with our other team (Joe Nemechek).”(Winston Salem Journal)(8-15-2001)
  • KW back to Cup in 2002? on Monday’s RPM 2Night show (ESPN2), Kenny Wallace was on the show and mentioned that he would run the New Hampshire Cup race with his BGN team (#48 Innovative Motorsports) and that the team is looking at moving up to Winston Cup in 2002 and hopes to decide soon(8-15-2001)
  • Martin on Two Minute Drill: Mark Martin made a special trip to New York City last Thursday on his way to Watkins Glen to be a celebrity panelist on ESPN’s 2minute Drill. Other athletes on the panel included former Los Angeles Laker Kurt Rambis, former relief pitcher Dennis Eckersley and NFL Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris. The show will air on Monday, October 1 at 7:00pm/et on ESPN.(Roush Racing PR)(8-15-2001)
  • Lottery Happy with NASCAR and Hermie: Virginia Lottery officials have been so pleased with the agency’s sponsorship of a NASCAR Winston Cup driver that they want to renew the deal next year, lottery officials said. The lottery is paying (#13) Hermie Sadler up to $600,000 to plaster its logo all over his cars and racing uniforms. “In the 13-year history of the lottery, it is easily one of the most successful promotions we have ever done,” said lottery spokesman Ed Scarborough. He said lottery ticket sales are strong at raceway locations, which comes as no surprise to Sadler. “NASCAR fans are really loyal to people who sponsor the cars,” Sadler said. “People who see me on the street, they say, `There goes Hermie Sadler. He drives the Virginia Lottery car,”’ said the driver, whose younger brother, Elliott, teams up with him in a new television ad featuring the lottery’s new “Pole Position” scratch game. The Virginia Lottery is the first state lottery to sponsor a NASCAR driver, but Virginia has sponsored Sadler before. He had the “Virginia Is for Lovers” tourism slogan on his Busch series car in 1993 and 1994.(Arlington Journal/AP)(8-15-2001)
  • Labonte Tests Darlington: #18-Bobby Labonte completed a two-day test at Darlington Raceway on Tuesday in preparation for the Southern 500 on Labor Day weekend. Labonte noted that he and his team were trying different chassis setups to get a leg up on the Darlington track, considered one of NASCAR Winston Cup racing’s most difficult to master. Labonte was joined at Darlington by BGN drivers Lyndon Amick and Dan Pardus.(The State)(8-15-2001)
  • Simpson Meets With NASCAR: on Tuesday’s Totally NASCAR on Fox Sports Net, it was reported that Bill Simpson met with NASCAR officials in Washington, DC recently and that Simpson will be at the Dale Earnhardt Accident Findings Announcent in Atlanta on Aug 21st(8-15-2001)
  • NASCAR Kids: There were some proud NASCAR papas at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Tuesday night as Stephen Wallace and Tim Andrews picked up Legends Racing championships. Wallace, the 13-year-old son of Winston Cup driver Rusty Wallace, had to sweat it out for a win until the 10th and final night of competition in his Young Guns Bandolero division. Andrews, the son of Winston Cup crew chief Paul Andrews, picked up the inaugural Thunder Roadster championship.(See full story at NASCAR.com)(8-15-2001)
  • DW tests UPDATE: Darrell Waltrip was asked by Melling Racing to test in Michigan on Tuesday of this week. DW went up to MIS and helped the team get dialed in, driving a Dodge for the first time and taking some test laps(8-10-2001)
    UPDATE: ” I went to Michigan before the race last week and finally got to test with Stacy Compton’s 92 car. I finally made it to the track without it raining. I was supposed to test with them a few months ago in Chicago, and we got rained out. I tested with them last Tuesday, driving the car and giving them some ideas. Hopefully I was able to help them. I’ll tell you this; it felt great to get behind the wheel of a car again. I really wanted to drive the Dodge and see what kind of power it had under the hood. I was very pleased.(FoxSports)(8-15-2001)


    (8-14-2001)

  • Robby Gordon fired up UPDATE: Robby Gordon had a fire in the #31 Lowes Chevy, the telemetry box used by NBC to monitor rpms, speed and braking reportedly caught on fire when the batteries used to power it came out. (see a Gaston Gazette Column on this: Robby Gordon falls prey to high-tech sabotage(8-13-2001)
    UPDATE: Scott Cluka, the #31 team’s rear-tire changer, was burned when the box blew up in his face as he tried to unbolt the shoe-box-size piece of machinery from the floorboard of Gordon’s Chevy. Cluka was not seriously injured, but Smith says the obvious danger from the telemetry box means that that device won’t be in the team’s car this weekend at Michigan.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-14-2001)
  • Racecar Stolen UPDATE 2 and Recovered: the #70 Star Nursery car normally driven by Greg Pursley in the Winston West series was stolen recently outside of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It’s a 2000 Chevy Monte Carlo owned by the father of the late Chris Trickle(Dick’s nephew – see my Tribute Page about Chris). See full story with ways to contact the team with info at the Racing West site(1-23-2001)
    UPDATE: Las Vegas Motor Speedway is offering a $15,000 reward(up from $5,000) for information leading to the conviction of whoever stole the #70 Star Nursery Southwest Series car(1-25-2001)
    UPDATE 2 – Racecar Recovered: An alert racing fan’s tip to police in Calgary two weeks ago has led to the recovery of a NASCAR race car that was stolen in Las Vegas earlier this year. “He’d been going through the Internet and saw that a race car in Vegas had been stolen back in January,” Staff Sgt. Ken Marchant of the Calgary Police Service said Monday. “When he was at the races the next time, he saw this particular race car. It was a new car on the circuit and he noticed similarities between this car and the one stolen out of Vegas, even though this one’s been repainted.” The Chevy Monte Carlo had been repainted blue and green and was numbered 24. It had been racing in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia for the last two months. The name of its driver, Darin, was emblazoned above each door. The car, owned by Craig Keough of Keough Motor Sports in Las Vegas, had been on display for a weekend racing seminar in the Nevada city last January. The car and its trailer disappeared from a shop adjacent to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the middle of the night. Keough had posted a $15,000 US reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for stealing his stock car. “This unit here didn’t have an engine in it and subsequently the engine in it is stolen, and we’ve recovered some other stolen race car engines as a result of the search warrant,” said Marchant. The car and engines were among a total of $400,000 in stolen goods recovered during a raid last week near Chestermere Lake, just east of Calgary. Darin Bruce James, 28, of Calgary is charged with five counts of possession of stolen property. Police said further charges will be forthcoming at a court appearance Tuesday.(Canadian Press/Calgary Plus)(8-14-2001)
  • Dale Jr Recognized: Dale Earnhardt, Jr., recognized by the Rev. Jesse Jackson at the PUSH/Rainbow Coalition Sports Banquet: Thursday, Dale Jr., was whisked to Chicago, where he was recognized by the Rev. Jesse Jackson at the PUSH/Rainbow Coalition Sports Banquet. Earnhardt Jr. also presented a special award to African-American driver Morty Buckles, who recently won his first major NASCAR late model race. Following the banquet, Dale Jr. returned to upstate New York Thursday evening for the Watkins Glen race weekend(Budweiser PR)(8-14-2001)
  • Softball League: The Totally Racin’ Softball League was created by Bob Hubner, Owner of Race City Resumes. Hubner decided to start a league for NASCAR team employees in Charlotte after seeing his brother play in a corporate league in Orlando. The NASCAR Softball League is comprised of NASCAR Race Team employees. A softball team may correspond to a specific race team, it may be composed of personnel from a particular organization, or it may be a composite of employees from different teams or organizations. A softball team member does not necessarily have to work for the race team that he/she is playing ball for. If a particular race team does not have enough players to form a softball team then they may combine their players with some other race team and create a joint team. If cheering on your favorite NASCAR team on Sunday is not enough, come to North Mecklenburg Park in Huntersville, NC on Tuesday nights.(Race City Resumes)(8-14-2001)
  • Brack in NASCAR? UPDATE 2: Kenny Brack, of CART, in the field at Indy for IROC’s season finale, has been mentioned for a Winston Cup ride, possibly with A. J. Foyt. With the CART series in the middle of a sharp decline, the 1999 Indy 500 winner and 1998 Indy Racing League champ, at 35, is looking at his options. “Sure, I’m interested in NASCAR in the future, but right now I’m focused on the CART championship,” Brack said. That tour’s points leader won at Chicago Sunday, so he’s clearly on top of his game. “Through the IROC series, I’ve made several friends in the NASCAR circuit, and if there would be an opportunity for me to go NASCAR, I would look very seriously at it. NASCAR in the future, yes, but not next year.” NASCAR intrigues Brack: “I am very humble for the fact that it is a different series with different cars and everything, and there are a lot of good drivers in NASCAR,” he said. “So if I would go to NASCAR, I know it wouldn’t be easy. I never underestimated any series I’ve gone into. Yes, if you practice enough you can get good, but there will be 50 drivers there and they’re all good. So you’re not going to come in and do anything unless you’ve done your homework. And even then it’s difficult(in part from a column in the Winston Salem Journal). NOTE: Robin Miller also metioned Brack to Foyt’s #14 Conseco car in the future a few nights ago on ESPN2’s RPM 2Night(8-4-2001)
    UPDATE: on Monday’s RPM 2 Night show (ESPN2 at 7:00pm), Dr Jerry Punch said not to be surprised to see Brack run at the 2002 Daytona 500(8-7-2001)
    UPDATE 2: ESPN.com has learned that CART driver, Kenny Brack has already signed with Chip Ganassi for the 2002 CART season and Indianapolis 500. Meanwhile, neither Brack nor Ganassi would confirm or deny a deal on Monday. Besides the money and Indy, another enticement for Brack to go to Ganassi could be NASCAR. Chip fields a two-car Winston Cup team and Kenny has declared he definitely wants to try stock cars in a couple years.(ESPN)(8-14-2001)
  • Newman to Test: Ryan Newman will test his #02 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Ford Taurus during a Penske South test at Kansas Speedway on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2001(8-14-2001)


    (8-13-2001)

  • Tara Parker Update: Canandaigua(NY) native Shawn Parker said his wife, Tara, is “doing OK” after a heart transplant July 28 in North Carolina. Parker, 27, a former mechanic for dirt-track racer Danny Johnson, has lived in the Charlotte area since graduating from high school in 1993. He works as a rear tire changer for Mark Martin’s #6 Viagra car(and is the car chief). Shawn and Tara were married last November, and doctors determined in May that Tara, who was born with a heart defect, would need a new heart. “We haven’t even been on our honeymoon yet,” Parker said. Shawn found out the weekend of the Winston Cup race at Pocono Raceway that a heart was found for Tara. He was surprised when team owner Jack Roush flew him back to the Winston-Salem area hospital to be with his wife. Parker visited one of his old haunts, Canandaigua Speedway, for a Thursday night DIRT race and said he was able to renew some old acquaintances. “I had a lot of people come up to me and ask about Tara,” Parker said. “That means a lot to me and her. That’s what keeps her going.”(Syracuse Online)(8-13-2001)
  • Graves at DEI UPDATE: Fred Graves, former crew chief for the #14 AJ Foyt team and DEI CTS team, is now the Car Chief at Dale Earnhardt Inc(DEI) for driver #15 Michael Waltrip(CNN/SI Qualifying Coverage)(8-11-2001)
    UPDATE: Fred Graves, who had worked as a freelance consultant earlier this season, is back with Dale Earnhardt Inc., as of last week, serving as car chief for Michael Waltrip’s #15 Chevrolet. “I talked to them Wednesday, and they said the plane leaves Thursday,” Fred Graves said of his recent return to DEI, where he formerly served as crew chief for Ron Hornaday’s Craftsman Trucks series entry. Fred Graves manages the race-day crew for Waltrip’s car, as well as helping out with in-shop matters during the week. “This is a young crew,” he said. “They were just trying to add a little more depth and experience to the team.”(Syracuse Online)(8-13-2001)
  • Microsoft and NASCAR? Microsoft, Bill Gates’ multi-billion-dollar company, continues to rebuff NASCAR’s best efforts at signing a sponsorship deal. Even ace salesman Jeff Gordon has been unable to persuade Gates to get on board the NASCAR marketing train(Winston Salem Journal)(8-13-2001)
  • The Big Cars: NASCAR officials plan to “phase in” the new “big car” rules next season, according to top Winston Cup drivers. The concept was tested by Sterling Marlin at Talladega in April – a car with a three-inch taller roof, a three-inch wider front bumper and a straighter windshield. If that car is to be used in next February’s Daytona 500, NASCAR would like to run it first this fall at Talladega in October. That “big car” would eventually be used at every track. The major drawback at the moment is that the taller roof keeps air off the rear spoiler, which leads to faster speeds at Daytona and Talladega and less rear downforce at the other tracks. It is unclear how NASCAR might resolve that problem(Winston Salem Journal)(8-13-2001)

 


(8-12-2001)

 

  • Gordon gets 4th win at Watkins Glen: #24-Jeff Gordon wins his 4th career race at Watkins Glen and 7th road course win. It was Gordon’s 5th win of 2001 and 57th career Winston Cup win. The rest of the top five were: 2) #99-Jeff Burton; 3) #12-Jeremy Mayfield; 4) #28-Ricky Rudd; and #66-Todd Bodine. Robby Gordon had a fire in the #31 Lowes Chevy, the telemetry box used by NBC to monitor rpms, speed and braking reportedly caught on fire when the batteries used to power it came out (see a Gaston Gazette Column on this: Robby Gordon falls prey to high-tech sabotage. Jeff Gordon increases his points lead to 194 points over #28-Rudd. #88-Dale Jarrett had two runs with the ‘kitty litter’ and is now 265 points behind Gordon in 3rd place. See That’s Racin’ for race column – Gordon gets 2nd win in a rowUnofficial Resultsand Unofficial Standings(8-12-2001)
  • BGN Dodge and Testing News: A sneak preview of Dodge’s first foray into the BGN will be on display at Richmond International Raceway on Tuesday and Wednesday. Steven Christian will be testing a Dodge on the .75-mile oval in preparation for the Autolite/FRAM 250 Busch race at RIR on Sept. 7. Michael Waltrip, Hal Goodson and Carl Long also will be testing Busch cars at RIR. The sessions are open to the public, and gates will be open from 8:00am to 5:00pm/et each day(Richmond Times Dispatch)(8-12-2001)
  • Dale Jr Believes Broken Seat Belt UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. says in an interview in the September issue of “Playboy” magazine that he believes his father’s seat belt broke in the crash that killed Dale Earnhardt in the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18. “He had an impact with the steering wheel,” Earnhardt Jr. says. “That means the seat belt had broken, or he couldn’t have been that far forward. That’s a long way – you could hit your chin on the wheel, maybe, but not your chest. He had broken ribs from the wheel and that has to mean a broken belt.” Earnhardt’s autopsy showed broken ribs on his left side, but questions about a separated seat belt’s role in his crash on the final lap in this season’s first race have been argued since that day. NASCAR is expected to issue its report on the crash sometime next month(That’s Racin’)(7-27-2001)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains convinced that a broken seat belt led to the injuries that killed his father, seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt, in the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 18. “Three days after the accident, I was already sure of what was going on,” Earnhardt Jr. said Saturday, one day after the Orlando Sentinel published a story in which its sources speculated on the contents of NASCAR’s investigation into the tragedy.(see full story at That’s Racin’)(8-12-2001)


    (8-11-2001)

  • Hedrick to Return? with Earnhardt? UPDATE full time BGN for DEI: 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.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(8-11-2001)

  • Cingular Sponsorship moving? UPDATE 3 the #33? #93? RCR? At least four teams are vying for a major sponsorship with Bell Atlantic/Cingular Wireless (Actually it is BellSouth not Bell Atlantic which is Verizon), according to NASCAR sources. The company currently sponsors Jason Leffler and car owner Chip Ganassi. Among the car owners expected to be talking with the company are Richard Childress and Bill Davis. Childress and Mike Skinner are assessing their situation, Childress says, but an announcement could still be a month away, according to Childress. Childress has made it official that Jeff Green will drive an AOL-sponsored car for him next season, ending months of debate(Winston Salem Journal)(7-16-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing the #33 Andy Petree Chevy driven by Joe Nemechek and currently with sponsorship by Oakwood Homes (who will leave at the end of 2001) will get the Cingular sponsorship in 2001. Cingular currently sponsors the #01 Dodge driven by Jason Leffler(8-8-2001)
    UPDATE 2: also hearing Cingular could end up on the #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy’s that Jimmie Johnson will drive in 2002(8-9-2001)
    UPDATE 3: The battle for the Cingular Wireless sponsorship is down to Bill Davis vs. Richard Childress, according to sources close to the situation. That would leave Chip Ganassi and Andy Petree still searching for sponsors for next season(Winston Salem Journal)(8-11-2001)
  • No More Hammers: As of Friday, teams will no longer be allowed to use hammers during the inspection process. It was common in the past for teams to use blunt instruments to remedy slight problems related to height, body configuration, etc. Now teams will have to remove their cars from the inspection line, with even the most minute of adjustments being completed in the garage area or at the transporter(Gaston Gazette)(8-11-2001)
  • Labatts as a Sponsor? Canadian brewer Labatts is considering a Winston Cup sponsorship(Winston Salem Journal), maybe the cool Labatts bear will come to the races(8-11-2001)
  • Simpson Shuts Down: • Bill Simpson, the noted safety specialist who has resigned as head of his company (though he still retains a significant share of the business), has closed down the company’s mobile Winston Cup safety rig, much to the consternation of many stock car teams that have relied on the rig for at-track safety devices(Winston Salem Journal)(8-11-2001)
  • Lazarro Gets NationsRent for The Glen: The #68 Chevrolet Monte Carlo of driver Anthony Lazzaro will carry the NationsRent colors in Sunday’s NASCAR Winston Cup stock car race at Watkins Glen, N.Y. The car, owned by Tom Coleman, will start 31st in Sunday’s race(Williams Company)(8-11-2001)
  • Watkins Glen Double Duty UPDATE: Kyle Petty and John Andretti are stepping out of their Dodge Intrepid R/Ts at Watkins Glen and into something a little bit sportier – a Porsche GT3R. They will team up with Orbit Racing and compete in the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race Friday night, August 10, one of three races slated during the Global Crossing @ The Glen NASCAR Winston Cup Series weekend August 9-12.(Watkins Glen PR)(7-31-2001)
    UPDATE: Winning the GT class of the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 were NASCAR Winston Cup Regulars, Kyle Petty and John Andretti in the #45 Orbit racing Porsche. The teammates were involved in a late race incident, but were ruled by Grand-Am officials as the class winners. Petty and Andretti finished 14th overall in the 28 car field(Watkins Glen Site)(8-11-201)


    (8-10-2001)

  • Target car at Bristol? UPDATE 2: hearing Ganassi Racing may have a Target sponsored Dodge at the Bristol race on Aug 25th. No word on if it is the #01 or #40 or if it is a third car/team(8-7-2001)
    UPDATE: looks like it’ll be the #40 Dodge with Sterling Marlin driving, a Target/Coors Light scheme(8-8-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced today that the team’s #40 Dodge will feature a Target Stores paint scheme for the Aug. 25 Sharpie 500 at Bristol. Ganassi and Target have partnered in the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) FedEx Series since 1990, earning four consecutive titles from 1996-1999. “Our Champ Car team owes much of its success over the years to Target Stores, and we wanted to take this opportunity to thank them for their support and dedication,” Ganassi said. “Coors Light, Cingular and Dodge have made this season a very positive experience, and I’m excited to introduce a first-class organization like Target to a well-respected series like NASCAR. This is Target’s first stock car experience, so it would be a thrill to go to Bristol and achieve the type of success this partnership is accustomed to producing.” Sterling Marlin, who ranks fourth in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings, will drive the bulls-eye-emblazoned Dodge at Bristol. Although the Sharpie 500 marks the only race in which Marlin’s car will feature the special paint scheme, Target team members are eager for the green flag to signal its NASCAR debut. “Target Chip Ganassi Racing has produced some impressive results over the years, and we’re excited Chip has asked us to be a part of his newest venture,” said John Remington, vice president of events marketing and communications for Target Corporation. “Target has enjoyed its involvement in auto racing and is dedicated to continuing its sponsorship in the CART FedEx Series, but we’re also very excited for this one-race partnership with Chip at Bristol.” Coors Light will remain on the #40 car at Bristol as an associate sponsor, with signage on the upper rear quarter panels, and will again serve as primary sponsor the following weekend in Darlington(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR), see an image of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery(8-10-2001)
  • Childress Speaks UPDATE: “We’ll make some type of announcement of what we’re going to do with the 31 and Mike Skinner some time in August. We’re looking at about the 15th before we’ll have exact… we’re hoping to do some stuff by Michigan. We’ll probably have some type of press conference.” and What future does Robby Gordon have with RCR? – “Right now with Robby, he’s running these races here [substituting for injured Skinner]. Other sponsors have talked to us about him, and a lot of things will come to a head here in the next two weeks or so. I’m going to catch that ball and say, ‘This is where we’re going.’ I don’t like to be out here and have… I pretty much know what I’m doing wiith the 2 car, I know what I’m doing with the 21 about 80pct, I’m 70pct sure on the 31. I want to have all those things done by Sept. 1. Also some comments on AOL, franchising and Dallas Cowboys’s owner Jerry Jones. See Full Interview at SpeedVision)(8-5-2001)
    UPDATE more: Skinner has been rumored to be on his way out of RCR’s #31 after this season, along with sponsor Lowe’s. Childress, when asked, has left such matters up in the air, saying he could make announcements involving the team, driver and sponsor as soon as Michigan. Childress and Skinner have a year left on their contract (through 2002), as to Childress and Lowe’s. Childress, however, is in position to move pawns as he pleases. Possibilities for Skinner include a) remaining with the #31, b) somehow gaining a release from his contract, c) racing full-time in a Childress car in Busch, or d) taking the seat in a Childress satellite car, such as the #71 Marcis Racing group will become next year. Childress hinted last week that Lowe’s likely would not be primary sponsor of No. 31 next season, and although it is not known what would take Lowe’s place, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is said to be very interested in owning and/or sponsoring a NASCAR team.(SpeedVision)(8-10-2001)
  • Sprint and Petty? there are some questions now about Petty Enterprises’ Sprint sponsorship. Kyle Petty’s team has missed a number of races this season, and there are reports that Richard is getting antsy about the team’s performance(Winston Salem Journal)(8-10-2001)
  • Degree to be an Assoc again on the #77: For the second time this season Degree Deodorant will be an associate sponsor of the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford Taurus. Their decal will be on the lower section of the hood as it was at Chicagoland(8-10-2001)
  • #50 Team Done? UPDATE: Employees of the #50 Midwest Transit Racing team were forced to hit the streets in search of employment this week when a long-running dispute between former trucking company and race team partners Mike Witters and Hal Hicks apparently came to a head. The team’s closing unfortunately came after Rich Bickle made a respectable run in the Brickyard 400, starting 17th and finishing 32nd in the Speedway Records Chevy(NASCAR.com Buzz)(8-9-2001)
    UPDATE: The 50 team is not closed. Due to not having a sponsor they have streamlined (laid off employees) the team. The team will not run the full schedule this year and is getting ready for Bristol and Richmond at this time with Rich Bickle driving at Bristol(ESPN2’s RPM 2Night) AND The #50 Chevrolet, driven by Rich Bickle, will take the next two weeks off to prepare for the Sharpie 500 at Bristol on Aug. 25. Tammy Paxon, office manager, said reports that the team has shut down are not true. “We’re just regrouping and getting ready for Bristol,” she said.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(8-10-2001)


    (8-9-2001)

  • Said Part time with Jasper in 2002? road racer Boris Said is hoping to put together a part-time deal with the Jasper Motorsports team for next year, running the two Winston Cup road races as well as up to eight more races on ovals(That’s Racin’), which would be a 2nd car for the team in addition to the #77 team and driver Robert Pressley(8-9-2001)
  • Lowes to Hendrick? UPDATE 2: from the Winston Salem Journal – Lowe’s is now expected to move from the Richard Childress camp(#31) to Hendrick’s to sponsor incoming rookie (#48) Jimmie Johnson next season, according to NASCAR sources(Winston Salem JournalBUT from a SpeedVision Interview with Richard Childress: Q) Is the Lowe’s situation as safe as we’ve heard it is? A) “You’re going to be hearing some announcements on that. We’re going to be okay with the third [No. 31] team. Lowe’s will honor their contract [through 2002]. The direction they go, I’m going to leave that up to y’all. We’ve agreed we’re going to honor it, but we have other things working”(SpeedVision)(8-7-2001)
    UPDATE: Winston Cup team owner Rick Hendrick hopes to announce the primary sponsor for Jimmie Johnson’s Winston Cup effort within the next six weeks. “We have associates and all that done, we just haven’t announced it,” Hendrick said Aug. 3. “Probably sometime in the next 30 to 45 days. We haven’t signed anything yet.” If Lowe’s were to leave Richard Childress Racing, rumors are the company could move to Hendrick Motorsports.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read online)
    UPDATE 2: the Herald-Citizen reports that Jimmy Johnson will run a limited schedule next season in preparation for a full run for Hendrick in 2003. That would allow Lowe’s to sponsor him in those races in 2002, then move over to him on a full time basis in 2003(Herald Citizen), but all reports and indications I have seen say Johnson will run fulltime in 2002, he will make five or so starts in 2001 in the #48 starting at Lowes in Oct(8-9-2001)
  • Johnson at Darlington: Legendary driver and car owner Junior Johnson is the grand marshal for the Sept. 2 Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read online)(8-9-2001)
  • Hornish in NASCAR? Current Indy Car(IRL) points leader Sam Hornish Jr. told the Herald Citizen at Nashville that he would like to move to NASCAR after he had accomplished what he wanted in open wheel(8-9-2001)
  • Can’t Forget: This weekend marks the 10th anniversary of J.D. McDuffie’s fatal crash at The Glen in turn five. McDuffie’s violent crash – and those of Tommy Kendall’s and Geoff Bodine’s in the same sweeping left-hander – spurred the creation of the “Inner-Loop” chicane connecting the backchute with turn five.(The Leader), see a picture of McDuffie on my Driver Tribute page(8-9-2001)
  • Wally to help out Buckshot at Watkins Glen: NBC analyst Wally Dallenbach, will drive Buckshot Jones’ #44 Dodge during Firday’s practice at Watkins Glen(NBC PR)(8-9-2001)
  • Compton Gets Help at Watkins Glen: Add Melling Racing to the list of teams bringing road race specialists to this weekend’s Global Crossing @ the Glen. Road racing veteran Bill Cooper will act as a consultant and spotter for Kodiak Dodge driver Stacy Compton. Cooper and Compton have worked together in the past, most recently preparing for the Dodge Dealers/Kragen 350 at Sears Point Raceway(Melling Racing PR)(8-9-2001)
  • Hamilton Truck News: Bobby Hamilton Racing will field a truck for Bill Lester at Nashville and Preston Tutt at Chicago as part of Dodge’s diversity program. Hamilton already fields a truck for Willy T. Ribbs , though his future with the team beyond this season is uncertain. The drivers tested at Nashville Speedway USA and Atlanta Motor Speedway along with Eric Reed. Hamilton also is talking with DANA about returning as the sponsor of Joe Ruttman’s truck for 2002. Concerns about the economy had the company uneasy about signing an extension of a deal that expires after the season, but recent talks have been encouraging. As part of an effort to convince company executives of the sponsorship’s value, fans and DANA employees have been e-mailing letters via a link found on www.joeruttman.com.(Winston Cup Scene– need sub to read online)(8-9-2001)
  • Colorful Fan: June O’Hara of Brick, N.J., could be crowned THE MOST COLORFUL FAN(tm) OF NASCAR® at Las Vegas in 2002. June was just named the sixth of nine finalists who will compete for the title THE MOST COLORFUL FAN(tm) OF NASCAR®. For more info see my Racing Contest page(IMG Motorsports PR)(8-9-2001)
  • Murry to drive at The Glen? UPDATE: Hearing that veteran road racer David Murry is in negotiations with a single-car Winston Cup operation to run a second car for him at Watkins Glen next month. An Atlanta resident, Murry last drove in a Cup race at Watkins Glen in 1999 for an ARCA team. He got in the show on time and ran as high as eighth, before suffering an oil line problem and finishing 36th. Along with fellow road racers Ron Fellows and Boris Said, Murry has been competing in both the American Le Mans Series and the Grand Am Series this season(7-11-2001)
    UPDATE: It appears David Murry’s inclusion in the road course specialists group at Watkins Glen will not happen. The sports car ace, who last competed in a Winston Cup car at The Glen in 1999, apparently got real close to signing with a team, but the team’s sponsor felt obligated to its full-time driver. Murry, however, will still be at The Glen this weekend for the Grand Am race and will likely network around the NASCAR garage, looking for any last minute driver changes(8-9-2001)
  • Texas Repaving Almost Done: Eddie Gossage, Texas Motor Speedway’s executive vice president and general manager, said the complete repaving project at TMS by Sunmount Construction of Justin should be completed Tuesday. Separate tire tests for the CTS and IRL, both of which are scheduled to compete at TMS in mid-September, are scheduled for the end of August. Gossage said TMS workers also will attempt to create a second groove, above the bottom line, with a trailer-like device that will grind soft-compound rubber into the new surface. In addition, all racing schools at the facility will conduct their lapping sessions in the second groove once the paving is completed. “Before the Winston Cup guys get here [in March], the track will be six to eight months old,” Gossage said. “It’ll have thousands of miles on it. So, it’ll be a long way from being a virgin racetrack.”(Star Telegram)(8-9-2001)
  • Sears Point Hire: Diana Rose has been named Coordinator, Media Relations and Community Affairs, at Sears Point Raceway, it was announced by raceway officials. “Diana has contributed a great deal to the success of our last two racing seasons,” said Steve Page, president and general manager at Sears Point Raceway. “She has maturity and skills beyond her years and we are delighted to have her join us full time.” Rose has worked in media relations at Sears Point Raceway the last two years during major events while attending University of Pacific in Stockton (Calif.). She graduated from Pacific in May with a Bachelor of Art’s degree in communications. Rose will assist on all work pertaining to Sears Point Raceway’s major events, as well as developing innovative community relations programs and the handling of Sears Point Raceway’s Web-site.(Sears Point Raceway PR)(8-9-2001)


    (8-8-2001)

  • #22 Special Scheme at Bristol: #22-Ward Burton is supposed to have a special “CAT Tracks” scheme to be run at the night race at Bristol. See a layout of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery(8-8-2001)


    (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)
  • Gordon vs Petty before 30 years of age: Jeff Gordon, who turned 30 Saturday, has 56 career victories — 55(in 277 starts) before the age of 30. Richard Petty had 56(in 332 starts) career wins before the age of 30(USA Today). Petty had one Winston Cup Championship before the age of 30 and won it in 1967 when he turned 30. Gordon had 3 championships before 30 and is currently leading the points. Dale Earnhardt had 8 wins and one Championship before he turned 30 in 1981(8-7-2001)
  • Autopsy Photo News: The Independent Florida Alligator filed notice Tuesday that it will appeal a judge’s decision to keep the Dale Earnhardt autopsy photos out of the public domain. In its appeal, the newspaper will argue to the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach that the Florida Legislature violated due process by creating a retroactive exemption to the state’s open records law for autopsy photos. In addition, the newspaper will argue that the exemption is too broad and that the trial judge erred by granting a temporary injunction prohibiting the autopsy photos from being made by public, said Tom Julin, an attorney for the newspaper(Orlando Sentinel)(8-7-2001)
  • Another AJ: The next A.J. Foyt is rushing into the future of open-wheel auto racing. A.J. Foyt IV, grandson of the four-time Indianapolis 500 champion of the same name, is scheduled to make his USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet Series dirt track debut Aug. 18 at Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. The younger Foyt already is involved in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series. He will change the left-front tire on Donnie Beechler’s A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile during the Belterra Casino Indy 300 Aug. 12 at Kentucky Speedway. It will be the sixth-straight race that he has handled those duties. In the cockpit, younger Foyt won the Formula 2000 regional championship with nine poles and eight victories. Just a week ago, he won the karting Nationals in Iowa. (National Speed Sport News)(8-7-2001)
  • Sadlers film a Commercial and Hermie at Homestead too UPDATE: The Sadler brothers were at Richmond International Raceway yesterday to film a commercial for the Virginia Lottery. Hermie Sadler’s car(#13), sponsored by the Lottery, is featured on a new scratch card due out in August. The “pole position” car offers 11 chances to win by matching car numbers. Elliott Sadler agreed to come to Richmond and join his brother in the ad. For him, it was the latest addition to a busy week. He tested his Wood Brothers car at Greenville-Pickens Speedway Monday and Tuesday in preparation for this weekend’s race at New Hampshire. He’s planning on testing his Richmond car before returning in September. This is a big race for the Sadler family. Hermie is trying to make one of the four remaining races he is planning this season, and Elliott is competing for the million-dollar bonus. He qualified for the No Bull cash by finishing third at Daytona. If he wins at Richmond, he nets the extra million. Hermie Sadler has added to his original schedule. He announced his plans to run the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last month. Now he is adding the November race at Homestead-Miami to the schedule.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-19-2001)
    UPDATE: For Nascar fans in Virginia, The New “Pole Position” scratch tickets from the Virginia Lottery are on sale now.. The tickets feature different pictures of the Virginia Lottery #13 Monte Carlo driven by Hermie Sadler.. Hermie and Elliott Sadler filmed some commercials for the game that will be aired statewide beginning August 14.. Top prize for the game is $20,000(8-7-2001)
  • Geoffrey Tests at Bristol: Geoffrey Bodine tested both the Phillips 66 Chevrolet BGN entry and the Winston Cup car(#09) at Bristol Motor Speedway on Monday. “The test went really well,” Bodine said. “We didn’t hit anything and both cars are running good. I’m really excited about this whole deal at Bristol.” The immediate concern for Bodine is qualifying. “Our qualifying run late today wasn’t quite as fast as we need to go, but that was just our first attempt,” Bodine said. “We’re going to try more qualifying runs Tuesday. Hopefully we can lower our time so we will comfortable when we came back for the race. We don’t have any points, so qualifying will be real important for us.” Geoffrey will drive a car owned by brother Brett in the Aug. 25 Sharpie 500 at BMS. The team will be sponsored by Smirnoff Ice. “Helping a major sponsor sign with Brett is the No. 1 priority,” Bodine said. “If we happen to end up with another major sponsor, then I will have a Winston Cup ride in the #09 car. We’re also trying to get a sponsorship deal for my son Barry and Brett’s nephew Josh (Richeson) for both of them to run in either Busch, trucks or whatever we can get together. That’s the order of things for us right now.” Geoffrey’s son Barry took a few laps around BMS Monday also(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-7-2001)
  • RCR at 99: Kevin Harvick’s victory in the BGN race at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Saturday night was the 99th in a NASCAR points race for Richard Childress Racing. It also marked the fourth weekend in a row that an RCR car has won a NASCAR race. In July, Harvick won the inaugural Winston Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway and followed that up with a victory in the Grand National race at St. Louis. Last weekend, Jeff Purvis won the Grand National race at Pikes Peak(Alabama Live)(8-7-2001)
  • Stewart/Schrader/Petree to run an ARCA race: Larry Clement of Fort Dodge will provide a stock car for Winston Cup driver Tony Stewart to race in an ARCA Re/Max Series event Sept. 3 in DuQuoin, IL. Clement, who’s leading the ARCA points standings this season with driver Frank Kimmel, will field a car for Stewart in the Southern Illinois 100 on the one-mile dirt track at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds. Clement also has secured a deal to compete in three Winston Cup races later this season with Kimmel. The team, which features several Iowans on the crew and is co-sponsored by the Clive-based National Pork Board, will race Oct. 7 at Charlotte, Oct. 14 at Martinsville, Va., and Nov. 18 at Atlanta. Clement said the plan to put Stewart in one of his cars came from Winston Cup driver Ken Schrader. The car Stewart will drive, a Ford Taurus with a Roush engine, is one Kimmel has driven earlier this year. Ken Schrader and Andy Petree, who owns Winston Cup cars driven by Joe Nemechek and Bobby Hamilton, also have entered the DuQuoin race. Schrader will drive his own car; Petree will drive a car from his own stable(Des Moines Register)(8-7-2001)
  • Brack in NASCAR? UPDATE: Kenny Brack, of CART, in the field at Indy for IROC’s season finale, has been mentioned for a Winston Cup ride, possibly with A. J. Foyt. With the CART series in the middle of a sharp decline, the 1999 Indy 500 winner and 1998 Indy Racing League champ, at 35, is looking at his options. “Sure, I’m interested in NASCAR in the future, but right now I’m focused on the CART championship,” Brack said. That tour’s points leader won at Chicago Sunday, so he’s clearly on top of his game. “Through the IROC series, I’ve made several friends in the NASCAR circuit, and if there would be an opportunity for me to go NASCAR, I would look very seriously at it. NASCAR in the future, yes, but not next year.” NASCAR intrigues Brack: “I am very humble for the fact that it is a different series with different cars and everything, and there are a lot of good drivers in NASCAR,” he said. “So if I would go to NASCAR, I know it wouldn’t be easy. I never underestimated any series I’ve gone into. Yes, if you practice enough you can get good, but there will be 50 drivers there and they’re all good. So you’re not going to come in and do anything unless you’ve done your homework. And even then it’s difficult(in part from a column in the Winston Salem Journal). NOTE: Robin Miller also metioned Brack to Foyt’s #14 Conseco car in the future a few nights ago on ESPN2’s RPM 2Night(8-4-2001)
    UPDATE: on Monday’s RPM 2 Night show (ESPN2 at 7:00pm), Dr Jerry Punch said not to be surprised to see Brack run at the 2002 Daytona 500(8-7-2001)
  • Did ya know? Of the 16 drivers who have competed in the eight Brickyard 400s, three have done so without posting a top 10 finish: Jimmy Spencer, Joe Nemechek and Bobby Hamilton(Knoxville News Sentinel)(8-7-2001)


    (8-6-2001)

  • Little E to get Dad’s Number? Too good to be true? Picture this: Dale Earnhardt Jr. reviving the #3 car next season with a split-sponsored deal between GM Goodwrench and Budweiser(Sporting News), No Other Details mentioned, this is a rumor(8-6-2001)
  • Humpy Bumper News: The Buzz has learned that the “Humpy Bumper” may begin actual car crash testing in the next week or two. Developed by Paul Lew of Lew Composites of Las Vegas and being promoted along by H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler of Lowe’s Motor Speedway(LMS), the bumper made of carbon fiber is designed to absorb frontal impact. Testing on a computer has already been done, but this will be the first time it is actually attached to a race car where it will be propelled against a wall. Once that test is completed, another one may be conducted at LMS soon after.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(8-6-2001)
  • 3rd Yates Team? UPDATE – Denied once again: sources at Robert Yates Racing(RYR) say there is definitely no truth to the rumor of a third team or Doug Yates starting a #82 team(6-26-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Robert Yates is considering expanding his two-car team to a three-car team next season. No word on who the new driver might be(Winston Salem Journal)(8-5-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Despite some garage talk that Robert Yates is looking into forming a third Cup team, he said Sunday morning that is not true. “I just want to win and I don’t know if that multiplies your chances to win,” said Yates, whose teams of Ricky Rudd and Dale Jarrett are contending for the series title. “Sometimes you might divide yourself up. I don’t think that’s in our plans. But, if somebody is out there with a large amount of (money), they can come talk to me.”(RacingExtra)(8-6-2001)
  • Stewart Not Happy, Bodyguard gets Nasty: When reporters tried to ask followup questions, (Tony) Stewart’s bodyguards stepped in. One Indianapolis television reporter, WISH-TV’s Will Hampton, was grabbed from behind and pushed away from the driver. When Hampton asked the man to lighten up, he received an obscenity-laced response. “That’s why people boo (Stewart) on the front straightaway of his home track,” Hampton later told Stewart’s public relations representative.(Indianapolis Star)(8-6-2001)
  • Guzzo back in the Hendrick fold: Ed Guzzo has returned to Hendrick Motorsports as foreman for Jerry Nadeau’s #25 Chevrolet team. Guzzo resigned his position with the organization at the end of the 1999 season to join Ray Evernham in the initial development of the Dodge program, but the two parted ways in May. Hendrick crew chief Tony Furr welcomes Guzzo’s contributions. “He’s a very thorough mechanic,” Furr says.(Sporting News)(8-6-2001)
  • Economaki on TV? The legendary racing journalist Chris Economaki may be the subject of a series on the history of racing on The Learning Channel or The History Channel. Economaki, publisher of National Speed Sport News, is considered the most important historian of the sport(Winston Salem Journal)(8-6-2001)
  • New Seat/Cocoon? UPDATE 3: An innovative driver’s compartment that could become NASCAR’s most revolutionary safety device sat behind a closed garage door Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Only the most privileged in the Winston Cup division got to see it. What the participants saw of the cocoon-shaped compartment which bolts into the cockpit of a stock car, they liked. Especially the drivers. “It’s real nice and it’s definitely safer,” said former series champion Rusty Wallace, among those testing at the Speedway in preparation for next month’s Brickyard 400. “I can’t wait for NASCAR to let me give it a whirl.” Instead of the simple aluminum seat, which NASCAR has used for decades, the new driver-encompassing device is made of stronger but more forgiving carbon fiber. That’s the same material used in the tubs that protect Indy-car drivers. The compartment on display Tuesday was designed by PPI Motorsports, a Winston Cup team owned by Cal Wells, who came to the series from Championship Auto Racing Teams. Matt McArdle, the team’s technical director who designed the device, declined to discuss his creation. NASCAR has yet to approve it for use in its cars.(Indianpolis Star)(7-18-2001)
    UPDATE: Jeff Burton said he is close to being ready to discuss his data on a new driver compartment and composite seat. Burton has been working with PPI Motorsports on carbon-fiber seats and safety enhancements in the driver area. He’s waiting to go over the final data with a manufacturer, then plans to release his findings. The composite seat he has worked with Cal Wells’ operation to develop will be tested again in another week or two. Once finalized, Burton plans to release his findings(Richmond Times DispatchAND Manufacturer representatives and NASCAR officials met with drivers and crew chiefs this week to discuss safety updates at Indianapolis after one of the days of testing there. A second group of drivers is scheduled to test there next week, and a similar meeting will be held. Teams were shown the capsule seat PPI Motorsports and Jeff Burton have worked on along with Reynard and Dr. John Melvin, a Michigan-based biomedical engineer and one of the leading experts on racing injuries. A capsule seat was bolted into the skeleton frame of a car and many drivers sat in it and tested getting out of the vehicle. Drivers also were told of updated test results on the various head restraint systems and were shown crash-test video. “They had a lot more technical information than they had the first time,” said Todd Bodine, referring to January meetings at Daytona during testing. “They had a lot of experts there that really made everybody understand why certain things were the way they were and why they worked that way. Before, they just kind of told us what was the best. “Everybody was really happy with what they did and why they did it and looking forward to more of them and … making everybody safer.”(Racing Extra)(7-21-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Ford officials are expressing surprise at Jeff Burton’s statement that he can make a stock-car seat out of aluminum that is as safe as the Ford-developed composite driver’s seat. In fact, Ford is calling on NASCAR to OK the composite seat for Winston Cup competition. NASCAR officials have been slow to embrace the new composite seat, which has been under extensive development and testing since last year’s deaths of Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin and Tony Roper(Winston Salem Journal)(8-5-2001)
    UPDATE 3 – Burton’s Statement: Jeff Burton is no longer sure NASCAR drivers need a carbon-fiber composite seat. After helping design and test a model, Burton said it is possible the same safety goals can be met with an aluminum seat. The aluminum has two advantages – NASCAR teams have worked with it before, and the sanctioning body immediately would allow it to be used in the cars. The new seat is a four-part model with seat belts bolted into the seat hub instead of the frame. Burton is working to develop an equivalent aluminum model for teams to use. He and Kevin Harvick used an updated aluminum seat this weekend. “NASCAR was concerned with it from the beginning because we don’t have a history with composites,” Burton said. “Let’s don’t wait for the composite thing because the composite thing might not ever happen. . . . I’m convinced more than ever now that we can get to where we want to be with aluminum.”(Richmond Times Dispatch)(8-6-2001)
  • #900 in Modern Era: Sunday’s Brickyard 400 was NASCAR 900th Winston Cup Series event since the Modern Era of it began in 1972. That was also the year R.J. Reynolds came on board and the name of NASCAR’s premier division became known as Winston Cup(NASCAR.com)(8-6-2001)
  • Hmm….Winner’s payout least ever: For winning the 2000 Brickyard 400, Bobby Labonte’s share of the purse was $831,225. For winning Sunday’s race, Jeff Gordon received $428,452. So, in other words, in this the first year of NASCAR’s grand and glorious TV deal, winning the Brickyard 400 is worth about half as much. According to the speedway’s Fred Nations, this year’s purse did not contain a $250,000 winner’s bonus previously contributed by PPG Industries (also Labonte’s take was swelled by a $190,000 Winston Leader bonus, Gordon got $20,000). Also, Nations said the new NASCAR TV deal had “no appreciable effect” on the size of this year’s purse. However, it should be pointed out that, in 1994, when Gordon won the first Brickyard 400, the winner’s share was $613,000, or $184,454 more than this year. The following year, Dale Earnhardt won $565,600, and Dale Jarrett won $564,035 in 1996. Ricky Rudd earned $571,000 in 1997, and in 1998, when the Brickyard 400 was a part of the No Bull Five program, Gordon earned $1,637,625. Jarrett earned $712,240 in 1999. So, the 2001 Brickyard 400 winner earned $135,583 less than any previous winner of the event.(Gaston Gazette)(8-6-2001)

 


(8-5-2001)

 

  • Gordon wins his 3rd Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday. #24-Jeff Gordon got the lead late in the race, only changed 2 tires on his last pitstop and held off #40-Sterling Marlin to win his 3rd career Brickyard 400 and 56th career Winston up win. Rounding out the top 5 were #10-Benson(3rd), #2-Wallace(4th) and #97-Busch(5th). Gordon increases his Points lead with his 4th win of the season (now has 3027) to 160 over #88-Jarrett (finished 12th) and 179 over #28-Rudd (finished 39th). Gordon started 27th, the farthest a driver has started and won a Brickyard 400, Dale Jarrett started 24th in 1996 and won. See That’s Racin’ for Unofficial Brickyard 400 results and Unofficial Drivers Standings and a column: Gordon shows way, wins his 3rd Brickyard 400(8-5-2001)
  • Air Force at Indy: The Air Force announced today that the flyover for the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Aug. 5 will be performed by four F-16’s from the 181st Fighter Squadron, Indiana Air National Guard, and a B-52 from the 93rd Bomb Squadron, Barksdale Air Force Base, La. The B-52 from the Air Force Reserve at Barksdale has tail number 21 to salute the NASCAR Winston Cup car #21, driven by Elliott Sadler. The B-52 also has the #21 decals on both sides of the nose of the aircraft. The Air Force is an advertiser on the #21 car and continues to use its involvement in NASCAR as part of its overall recruiting plan to gain the interest of more young men and women, especially those with mechanical and electrical skills. The lineage of the 93rd began Aug 21, 1917 with the activation of the 93rd Aero Squadron at Kelly Field, TX. The 93rd flew combat missions in both World War I and WWII. The Squadron was deactivated in 1963 with the closure of Kinchloe AFB, but was reactivated in 1993 and is the first B-52 unit in the Air Force Reserve. The flyover at the Brickyard 400 shows the total support given to this country not only by the active duty Air Force, but by the men and women who continue to support through the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard(Air Force Public Affairs)(8-2-2001)
  • Hermie to Help Out UPDATE Sadler misses, #50 to display pictures: The marketing firm of Body Dynamics Racing Bodies, through their efforts working with America’s Most Wanted, they are able to assist with yet another missing persons case. With the generous efforts of #13-Hermie Sadler and his sponsor the Virginia Lottery, the placement of two little girls’ photos will be on his car for the Brickyard 400 festivities. “Hermie gave me a call and mentioned that he and his sponsor the Virginia Lottery would like to assist in a missing persons case by donating space on his car for the Brickyard,” Stated Scott Davis, Media Relations Director for Body Dynamics, “I took him up on his offer, and placed a call to America’s Most Wanted and took on a case.” The case is that of two young girls missing from South-Side Chicago. Little Tionda, age 10 and her sister Diamond, age 3 was last seen by their mother at 6:30 a.m. on Friday, July 6, 2001, and was last seen by friends in the neighborhood around noon on that same Friday playing outside their apartment complex. “We were glad to help out,” mentioned Hermie, “I took notice when Body Dynamics Racing and America’s Most Wanted placed the picture of Chandra Levy on the #92 car in Daytona during the Pepsi 400 and I thought what a great idea that was, so I contacted Scott and my sponsor to see what we could do to assist in the future. Since the next race for me to compete was to be the Brickyard it was logical to offer space on my car for that event.” The girl’s pictures will adorn the TV panel at the rear of the car as well as the 800-CRIME-TV number, so persons can call directly in with information. America’s Most Wanted will be featuring the story of these two missing sisters on the July 28, 2001 edition of their program. “Since we made our announcement in Daytona, that Body Dynamics Racing Bodies, Inc. and America’s Most Wanted have teamed up for NASCAR competition for 2002 and beyond, some members of the family of NASCAR teams have pulled together and offered their assistance to get things off the ground and start finding missing children as soon as possible.” Said Davis, “This brings attention to the focus of what were are looking to accomplish with the AMERICA’S MOST WANTED TEAM next year as well as shows interested corporations how they can benefit by associating themselves with this project.”(Body Dynamics Racing Bodies PR)(7-27-2001)
    UPDATE: The #50 Speedway Records Chevrolet, driven by Rich Bickle, and owned by Hal Hicks, are proud to help out the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children/Americas Most Wanted. The #50 car will be carrying pictures on the car of two young girls missing from South Side, Chicago. Little Tionda, age 10, and her sister Deamond, age 3, were last seen by their mother when she left for work at 6:30 AM on Friday, July 6th 2001, and were last seen by friends in the neighborhood around noon on that same Friday playing outside their complex. The girls’ pictures will adorn the T.V. panel at the rear of the car, as well as the 800-CRIME-TV number, so persons can call directly in with information. We urge race fans to take an active part in finding these two little girls(Midwest Transit Racing PR)(8-5-2001)


    The TV Panel of Sadler’s car that was to at Indy but failed to make the race, so they will be displayed on the #50 car with driver Rich Bickle at the wheel (Bickle also carried pictures on the #59 BGN car a few weeks ago). Thanks to Scott of Body Dynamics for the image(8-3/4/5-2001)

  • Nice Gesture by the Champ: As a token of its appreciation for Bobby Labonte’s achievements last season, Pontiac presented Labonte with a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix to donate to the charity of his choice. Labonte selected the Victory Junction Gang Camp as the recipient of the gift and presented the car to its founder, Kyle Petty, this weekend in Indianapolis. The Victory Junction Gang Camp was founded by the Pettys for kids in honor of their son, Adam. It will be a place where children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses and their families can retreat to rejuvenate their minds, bodies and spirits. The camp will be located in Randleman, NC.(That’s Racin’)(8-5-2001)
  • IROC at Richmond? The IROC series is not expected to return to Michigan next year. Richmond International Raceway is among the tracks being considered as a replacement(Roanoke Times)(8-5-2001)
  • Bodine Sponsor Hunting for 2002 UPDATE: #11-Brett Bodine, one of the few owner-drivers left in Winston Cup, is searching for sponsors to replace the ones he’s losing at the end of the season. But his recent on-track performances are giving him some good fodder for his sales pitch. He has been running at the finish of the past 26 races, and he got his first top-10 this season at the Pepsi 400 at Daytona last month. At New Hampshire, he wrecked his primary car in practice and had to use a car built in the mid-1980s. He drove it to a 13th-place finish, his fourth straight top-15 run. Bodine said he needs at least $8 million a year from a sponsor to run up front consistently. He now operates on far less than that(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(8-4-2001)
    UPDATE: Brett Bodine also admits he’ll not have a sponsor next year, although he says he has deals in the works. Primary sponsor Ralph’s (a West Coast subsidiary of Cincinnati-based Kroger) will not be the primary next year. “Right now we don’t have a sponsor for next year, savvy Bodine said. “Ralph’s is definitely not coming back. Red Cell we’re not sure. Certainly you’re uncomfortable.”(SpeedVision)(8-5-2001)
  • DW and Wendy’s UPDATE and Newman: Darrell Waltrip and Dave Thomas are back together. DW and Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas are in Charlotte today and tomorrow filming another round of national Wendy’s commercials. Joining them in at least one commercial is NASCAR rising star, Ryan Newman. Look for these new series of commercials to air nationally in a few months. Waltrip and Thomas filmed a set of wildly popular commericals last year too that aired in the Super Bowl and the World Series(6-26-2001)
    UPDATE: Winston Cup rookie Ryan Newman(#02) has filmed his first national television commercial, a spot for Wendy’s with three-time NASCAR champion Darrell Waltrip and Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas .It airs the first week of October(Indianapolis Star)(8-5-2001)


    (8-4-2001)

  • IROC – Labonte wins race and championship: The 25th running of the True Value IROC series has been completed with reigning Winston Cup champion Bobby Labonte earning his first IROC title by finishing in today’s event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Jeff Burton led the first 19 laps until a caution for debris bunched the field. At the double-file restart Burton and Labonte went side-by-side down the back stretch where Tony Stewart made it three wide into turn three. At that point Burton and Buddy Lazier got together taking both out of the action. On the final restart, Labonte and Stewart put on a teammate clinic as the two Joe Gibbs Racing drivers went side by side through the corners until lap 44 when Stewart scraped the outside of turn 4 and was not able to challenge after that. Labonte’s margin of victory was .324 of a second. Stewart finished second holding off Kenny Brack, Dale Jarrett and Al Unser Jr. In sixth was Ricky Rudd followed by Eddie Cheever Jr., Jeff Green, Mark Dismore, Jeff Burton and Buddy Lazier.(IROC Racing Site)(8-4-2001)
  • Kenseth on the Today Show: Winston Cup driver Matt Kenseth will appear on NBC’s “Today Show” on Thursday(Aug 9th). The nature of the segment has not been disclosed, but one of Kenseth’s #17 Ford show cars will also be used in the segment(That’s Racin’)(8-4-2001)
  • Throttle Cut Off Fails? UPDATE: #21-Elliott Sadler said a throttle cut-off switch might have caused him to crash on the third lap. He continued racing and finished 23rd. “That’s two weeks in a row that thing’s cut off on me,” Sadler said of the device developed to shut the engine off when the throttle is stuck. “It made me hit the wall [last week] in New Hampshire and then cost us a lot of points here today. I know it’s a safety device, but that’s two weeks in a row it’s killed us, so we’re going to try to do something different about it.”(Roanoke Times)(7-30-2001)
    UPDATE: Pat Tryson, crew chief for Elliott Sadler, said that the throttle cut-off device, which contributed to a crash last weekend at Pocono, has been fixed. Tryson said Sadler got hit from behind at Pocono and hit the brakes. The car has a cut-off device that if enough force is applied to the brakes while the accelerator is open, it automatically turns the engine off. That’s what happened to Sadler. Tryson said the device has been modified to withstand more pressure before cutting the engine off.(Roanoke Times)(8-4-2001)
  • 200th Chassis for Hendrick: It has been a season of one hundreds at Hendrick Motorsports, and this weekend proves no different. HMS, which claimed its 100th win and 100th pole before the half-way mark of the 2001 race schedule, will double that magic 100 at Indianapolis when it fields the 200th HMS-built chassis in the Brickyard 400. The Hendrick Motorsports Chassis Shop officially reached that mark in May, when No. 5 Kellogg’s Team Crew Chief Gary DeHart called the chassis shop and put in the order for a chassis that Terry Labonte could take to intermediate speedways on NASCAR’s Winston Cup circuit. Each chassis built at the Harrisburg, N.C. motorsports complex is stamped by number in the roll cage, and since marking the 200th they’ve already built four others – with no other priorities, the team can build a chassis in about a week – and repaired several more damaged in competition. And though Terry Labonte will pilot the car in competition for the first time in the Brickyard 400, the 200th chassis has already started to show its stuff. It was put through a rigorous testing before DeHart decided to field it at Indy(HMS Site)(8-4-2001)
  • Nice: The Make-A-Wish Foundation brought 7-year-old Wagas Manzoor to the track Friday. Manzoor, who is suffering from a life-threatening illness, took one lap around the speedway with IROC test driver Jim Sauter, then pulled into Victory Lane as his family looked on. Sauter also is a former Winston Cup driver. “Fantastic,” was how Manzoor described the experience. Manzoor’s father, Hussain, said his son is a race-car fan who watches each Sunday, but that his son does not have a favorite driver. Wagas Manzoor, who is from Round Rock, Texas, near Austin, was cheered by a small crowd outside Victory Lane and gave the crowd the thumbs up signal as he sat next to a trophy on the roof of the car and photos were snapped. “Really there was so much excitement,” Hussain Manzoor said. “It was very exciting and we are so thankful to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.”(Daytona Beach News Journal/AP)(8-4-2001)
  • More Paint Schemes: hearing that #18-Bobby Labonte and #20-Tony Stewart will have Talladega Special paint schemes, something to do with the Coca-Cola polar bears(5-13-2001)
    UPDATE – Labonte/Stewart Announcement: #18-Bobby Labonte, #20-Tony Stewart and representatives from Joe Gibbs Racing, Interstate Batteries and The Home Depot will hold a press conference at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to announce plans for a 2001 holiday promotion with Toys for Tots on Friday, August 3 at 10:30am/ct at Indianapolis Motor Speedway(Gibbs Racing PR)(7-29-2001)
    UPDATE 2: The Coca-Cola Polar Bears, one of America’s best-known holiday icons, will come out of hibernation early for a special appearance on Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart’s race cars during the Alabama 500 NASCAR race in Talladega on October 21. Both special paint schemes feature the famous polar bear decked out in racing gear, ready for action. On Labonte’s #18 Interstate Batteries car, the Coca-Cola Polar Bear dons shades and grips the wheel of his race car. For the Home Depot car of Stewart, the Coca-Cola Polar Bear becomes a part of the #20 pit crew, complete with radio headset and tire changer’s air gun. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of licensed merchandise featuring the Coca-Cola Polar Bears will be donated to Toys For Tots, a non-profit organization that distributes toys to needy children during the holiday season. In addition, Home Depot is working with Marine Corps Toys for Tots’ units around the Talladega, Phoenix, Rockingham, Homestead and Atlanta race weekends to provide toy donation collection centers at Home Depot’s NASCAR display unit set up at the race tracks. Joe Gibbs Racing’s shop in Huntersville, N.C. also will accept toy donations for Toys for Tots. Although the Polar Bear cars won’t actually hit the track until the Alabama 500 on October 21, racing fans and collectors will be able to participate in the holiday-themed promotion this summer. Action Performance, the industry leader in motorsports-related product licensing and merchandising, has created exclusive Coca-Cola Polar Bear die-cast collectibles, racing apparel, and other unique merchandise that will be available the beginning of August(Joe Gibbs Racing/Coca Cola/Action PR)(8-3-2001)
    IMAGES: see my Paint Scheme Gallery for images of the cars(8-4-2001)


    (8-3-2001)

  • Monster Car UPDATE: #5-Terry Labonte will run a Kelloggs/Monster special paint scheme at Phoenix and possibly Homestead(8-2-2001)
    UPDATE: see an image of the layout of the car at my Paint Scheme Gallery(8-3-2001)
  • Kimmel to Cup? UPDATE: Frank Kimmel, current ARCA point leader and two-time champion, may venture into Winston Cup next season for three races. The only track that was mentioned for sure was Charlotte. His current sponsor, Advance Auto Parts, may be the one backing the effort. The 38-year old native of Jeffersonville, Ind., was the series rookie of the year in 1992 and was a runner-up in championship points in 1994, ’97 and ’99.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(6-23-2001)
    UPDATE: During the next three months, Kimmel and his sponsors hope to build a similar foundation in Winston Cup. Advance Auto is committed to supporting Kimmel in his bid to race in Winston Cup events later this year at Charlotte, Martinsville and Atlanta. He will continue to race on the ARCA series, in which he has an 835-point lead in his bid for a third championship in four years. One reason that Kimmel and Co. chose Winston Cup over other NASCAR circuits is the similarity of the cars he will be driving. He drives a Jack Roush Ford in ARCA and will be driving a Roush Ford in Winston Cup(Roanoke Times)(8-3-2001)
  • Gordon Gives: Jeff Gordon donated $100,000 from the Jeff Gordon Foundation to Riley’s Hospital for Children in Indianapolis(Roanoke Times) see next story(8-3-2001)
  • Gordon on Millionaire: Winston Cup driver #24-Jeff Gordon, former NBA player Charles Barkley, boxer Laila Ali and tennis player Serena Williams are among the athletes competing in a sports edition of ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” airing Sept. 10. The quiz show will move to Mondays as a lead-in to “Monday Night Football,” while a regular edition will air Thursdays.(AP/That’s Racin’)(7-24-2001)
    UPDATE: Jeff Gordon took his turn in the “hot seat” on a sports celebrity version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” on Wednesday for shows to be aired in September on ABC. Gordon spent Tuesday and Wednesday taping the show in New York with host Regis Philbin and a group of sports figures that included Charles Barkley, Martina Navratilova, Johnny Bench and John Elway. Gordon barely missed winning a couple of “fastest finger” questions on the first day before making his way to the chair opposite Philbin on the second day of taping. Like the rest of the celebrities playing the game, Gordon’s winnings will go to charity. To find out how Gordon fared in the “hot seat,” race fans will have to wait until the shows air beginning on Sept. 10.(That’s Racin’)
    AND Jeff Gordon tried to blame the loss of prize money on David Poole, a sportswriter from the Charlotte Observer, but the truth is — and this is Gordon’s final answer — it was ultimately his own fault. The three-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion was a celebrity contestant this week on ABC’s Who Wants To Be a Millionaire. The episode airs Sept. 10. Without yielding more information than ABC officials would like, here’s what happened: Gordon was going for $125,000 when he became stumped on a pop music question. Down to just his phone-a-friend lifeline, Gordon thought Poole would provide him with help identifying Billy Joel. Poole though, could not come up with the singer’s name. “And I’ve probably got 12 of his albums,” he told Gordon Thursday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Gordon was holding a charity event. “If it had just been you and me sitting around the house, I could have told you (the right answer). Don’t tell me that,” Gordon said. “I guess that means you’re going to be nice to me in the newspaper for a very long time.” Gordon chose Poole over his other designated “friends” — his mother-in-law, Karen Parks, who regularly completes The New York Times crossword puzzle; stepfather John Bickford, a buff of science, history and geography; Hendrick Motorsports engineer Gary Eaker; and ESPN announcer Kenny Mayne, who is the host of the network’s sports trivia show, The 2-Minute Drill. “I’ll bet Kenny knew the answer,” said Gordon, who added that Poole sounded overwhelmed when he heard Regis Philbin’s voice on the telephone. Said Poole: “I told (Gordon) not to call me on music.” Bickford, who sat by his telephone Tuesday waiting to hear from the show, found the whole process amusing. “Who would have thought I’d go from helping Jeff race at Indianapolis Raceway Park (in the 1980s) to being his call-a-friend option on Millionaire,” he said. Gordon’s TV winnings went to The Jeff Gordon Foundation, a nonprofit entity that supports sick and needy children. The former Pittsboro, Ind., resident announced Thursday that his foundation, which he formed in 1999 with his wife, Brooke, was joining forces with the Riley Hospital for Children. Riley officials received a check from $100,000 from the Gordon Foundation Thursday. “This is only the beginning,” Gordon said.(Indianpolis Star)(8-3-2001)
  • Wells/PPI Motorsports in Trouble? UPDATE 2 McDonalds to the #32 in 2002 as an Assoc: Some who should know believe owner Cal Wells is worse off than many believe and could be out of the game after this season. Wells faces the loss of McDonald’s, sponsor of his #96 team, and is negotiating with Tide, sponsor of his #32. The McDonald’s unrest has kept Andy Houston’s #96 out of the past two races, and although the team will return at Indy, it may run only a limited schedule the rest of the way. McDonald’s plans, meanwhile, remain entirely unclear, although most believe the company will not be a team sponsor next year. Wells is trying to keep a brave face on his two-year-old effort, which began with much fanfare at Daytona in 2000 but has been hobbled by misfortune from the start. He said he expects to be able to clarify the McDonald’s/96 situation by mid-week. He adds that he and Tide are on good terms and that he hopes to have that side solid by the end of the season. Wells recently re-signed Ricky Craven, driver of #32.(SpeedVision)(7-30-2001)
    UPDATE: Cal Wells hoped to reach an agreement with McDonald’s by July 31 regarding the relationship between the sponsor and his #96 PPI Motorsports team. McDonald’s is currently sponsoring rookie Andy Houston. The team, however, skipped the last two races at Loudon and Pocono after each side issued statements saying they were in discussions regarding the future. There was speculation McDonald’s would be on the car for just five more races the rest of the season, including the Aug. 5 Brickyard 400. Wells was unwilling to comment on the situation at Pocono, preferring to wait until a resolution was reached. Wells did say that Houston will continue racing for the team beyond Indy(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read online)(8-2-2001)
    UPDATE: After reassessing its team sponsorship involvement in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, McDonald’s has reached an agreement with PPI Motorsports to revise its current sponsorship package. The agreement calls for McDonald’s to phase out of its current primary sponsorship of the PPI-owned #96 Ford Taurus and to become an associate sponsor in 2002 of the (#32) PPI/Tide Ford. “McDonald’s remains committed to supporting NASCAR,” said Georgina Roy, McDonald’s manager of sports marketing. “We decided to revise our sponsorship package after a thorough review of our current motorsports programs and discussions with PPI. McDonald’s will continue to support motorsports as the Official Drive Thru of NASCAR and as an associate sponsor of the PPI/Tide Ford through 2002.” PPI Motorsports will enter the McDonald’s Ford, driven by Andy Houston, in seven remaining races in 2001 with the primary sponsorship ending after the Sept. 30 race at Kansas Speedway. The seven races are: Indianapolis (Aug. 5), Brooklyn, Mich. (Aug. 19), Bristol, Tenn. (Aug. 25), Darlington, S.C. (Sept. 2), Richmond, Va. (Sept. 8), Dover, Del. (Sept. 23) and Kansas City, Kan. (Sept. 30)(PPI Motorsports PR)(8-3-2001
  • Sad News: On lap 16 of last nights “Two Nights Before The Big One” 30-lap feature at Eldora Speedway 61 year old John Bankston, from Beaumont, Texas, hit the outside wall and came back into traffic, being struck by two other cars, neither of which could avoid Bankston’s car. Bankston was taken from the track by an ambulance crew, and then flown by helicopter to the Miami Valley Trauma Center. During transport Bankston’s condition worsened sending him into cardiac arrest. Emergency room staff attempts to revive him failed and he was pronounced dead. Our thoughts are with John Bankston’s family and friends.(Speedway Illustrated and a story at www.allstarsprint.com)(8-3-2001)
  • Homestead will take it UPDATE Atlanta in Oct: Atlanta Motor Speedway president Ed Clark has expressed interest in moving his Winston Cup races to different dates next season. The track hosts the Cracker Barrell 500 in March and the season-ending NAPA 500. Homestead-Miami Speedway president Curtis Gray said his facility, which has the second-to-last race of the season, would be interested in gaining the final race. The past two champions have clinched the title at Homestead-Miami. “Sure it’d be great to have the last of the season,” Gray said. “It’d be very prestigious.”(St Petersburg TimesAND Clark declined to mention which track would be willing to take the November race, but he did say he’d prefer to hold the event in September or October, “which are two of the driest months of the year in Georgia.” The last five Winston Cup race weekends at AMS have been affected by inclement weather. NASCAR has told AMS that the spring race will remain in the second week of March(AJC)(7-8-2001)
    UPDATE: Next season, for the first time since 1986, Atlanta Motor Speedway will not host the finale race of the Winston Cup season. Atlanta’s fall Winston Cup race in the 2002 season will be held on Sunday, Oct. 27, three weeks earlier than usual. The move, which had been pursued by officials at the speedway and Speedway Motorsports Inc., the track’s owner, because of frequent poor weather in November, should allow the Winston Cup season to conclude at Homestead, Fla. Currently, NASCAR’s BGN division ends its season at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Having the Winston Cup season end the same weekend would provide for a “championship weekend” of sorts. Before Atlanta began hosting the final race of the season in 1987, it was held at Riverside, Calif., for six seasons.(That’s Racin’)(8-2-2001)
    UPDATE 2: see That’s Racin’s How the 2002 schedule is shaking out along with my Tentative 2002 Winston Cup Schedule(8-3-2001)


    (8-2-2001)

  • Simpson to get Award: Motorsports safety pioneer Bill Simpson will receive the Smokey Yunick Award recognizing lifetime achievement in auto racing during pre-race ceremonies for the Oct. 7 UAW-GM Quality 500 Cup race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The award, instituted several years ago by legendary car owner and mechanic Smokey Yunick who passed away May 11 at age 77, annually recognizes an individual whose lifelong efforts have had a major impact on the motorsports industry. “There certainly is no one more deserving of this honor than Bill Simpson,” said H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway. “I don’t think we can ever measure how many drivers’, and even crew members’, lives have been saved or how many injuries have been prevented because of Bill’s work. “Being a former driver himself, Bill has a unique ability to understand the drivers and their safety needs,” Wheeler continued. “He has extremely high standards and his emphasis on quality is simply unmatched in the industry.” The blue ribbon panel that determines the Smokey Yunick Award recipient met on Thursday, July 26, and unanimously selected Simpson to receive the prestigious award. The selection came just five days before Simpson announced his resignation from Simpson Performance Products, the company he founded in 1959. Previous winners of the Smokey Yunick Award include Ralph Moody, Banjo Matthews, Bud Moore and Cotton Owens.(LMS PR)(8-2-2001)
  • Shawn Parker’s Wife Gets Help UPDATE 2: it was mentioned during Happy Hour that #6 Car Chief, Shawn Parker’s was flown down to Winston Salem, NC by team owner Jack Roush. Parker’s wife, Tara, is on the priority list for a heart transplant and it was reported one was found and Roush thinks Tara is in surgery now or getting ready to get the new heart(TNT Happy Hour Coverage), for the whole story, see my #6 Team News and Links page(7-28-2001)
    UPDATE: it was mentioned by Allen Bestwick during the Pennsylvania 500 broadcast that Tara had the surgery to transplant the new heard and so far so good and that she was doing ok up to that point(7-29-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Shawn Parker, car chief for NASCAR driver Mark Martin, has asked us to release this statement regarding his wife, Tara Howell Parker, who underwent a heart transplant at WFUBMC Saturday: “Tara is recovering and doing well. She appreciates the many expressions of hope and goodwill that have been relayed to her. Tara is not able to receive visitors while she is in the hospital. And asks anyone thinking of sending flowers or a gift to consider making a donation instead to help future transplant patients. Donations should be sent to NC Baptist Hospital Pastoral Care, designated for cardiothoracic transplant patients. She also asks that people seriously consider becoming organ donors themselves.” Shawn said he regrets that he will not be available for interviews(Media Advisory from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center thanks Arlen)(8-2-2001)
  • #12 Crew Member Hurt UPDATE 4: Derek White, a mechanic with the #12 Winston Cup team of driver Jeremy Mayfield, fell off the lift gate of the team’s hauler while loading Mayfield’s car Sunday following race at New Hampshire. White fell 8-10 feet and suffered several injuries, including a possible broken left shoulder and a cut above and beyond his left ear. He was airlifted from the track to Concord Hospital, where he was admitted for treatment. He was awake and alert when admitted and is expected to remain at the hospital for a few days. White, 38, has been with the team since December.(That’s Racin’)(7-22-2001)
    UPDATE: Derek White, 38, of Penske Racing remains in Concord (N.H.) Hospital this morning. He is listed in fair condition with a fractured left scapula, fractured left clavicle, fractured rib, skull fracture and sub-arachnoid hemmorhage. White was apparently injured when he fell from the team.s transporter during the loading of the Jeremy Mayfield car following Sunday.s race at Loudon, N.H.(Williams Company of America PR)(7-23-2001)
    UPDATE 2: White has been upgraded to good condition and they are considering moving him to North Carolina in the next day or so(7-26-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Derek White, the mechanic with Jeremy Mayfield’s team who fell from the lift gate on the back of Mayfield’s hauler following last Sunday’s race at New Hampshire International Speedway, has been moved to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte(That’s Racin’)(7-29-2001)

    UPDATE 4: Penske Racing crewman Derek White, who fell about 8 feet from the team transporter’s liftgate after the Winston Cup race at New Hampshire, has been transferred from Concord (N.H.) Hospital to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. “He’s in good spirits,” Jeffrey Baker, team coordinator, said July 29. “As of right now, he has a fractured skull, a broken collarbone, two breaks in a shoulder blade, a broken rib and a fractured vertebrae.” When White was first hospitalized in New Hampshire, he also had a hemorrhage just below the skull. Baker said the hemorrhaging had stopped and when he left the hospital he was rated in good condition. Anyone wishing to send White a get-well card should address it to: Derek White, Penske Racing, 163 Rolling Hills Rd., Mooresville, NC 28115.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read online)(8-2-2001)

  • TV News/Ratings: There is some good news from the Winston Cup television front – Sunday’s Pennsylvania 500 from Pocono got a 5.2 rating on TNT, up from a 4.2 for the same race at year ago- but there was also some bad news. Bloomberg News reported that Fox, NBC and Turner Sports woould suffer combined losses of at least $20 million on their broadcasts of NASCAR events this year despite higher ratings across the board. Increased competition for sports advertising dollars, an overall weakening of the economy and the increased supply and cost for commercial spots on NASCAR races are all contributing to the losses, the story said. According to the story written by Rick Westhead, the networks had 2,400 commercial spots on 28 over-the-air network broadcasts to sell this year, compared with 840 on 10 telecasts a year ago. The price for those spots on the average race increased from about $65,000 each last year to between $90,000 and $110,000 this year.(full story at That’s Racin’)(8-2-2001)
  • Wind Tunnel Testing: the Bill Davis Racing Dodge team(#’s 22 and 93) are at Lockheeds wind tunnel in Marietta, GA today testing cars for the Brickard 400 after the recent rules change to the Dodge’s nose. Petty Enterprises(#’s 43,44,45) was at the tunnel on Wednesday and Evernham Motorsports(#’s 9 and 19) also tested their Dodges at a different wind tunnel this week(8-2-2001)
  • SpeedVision to air Fox Shows: Three of FOX Sports’ top news and magazine shows are coming to Speedvision this month, beginning next Monday, Aug. 6, when Totally NASCAR debuts at 6:30pm/et on Speedvision. The following Monday, Aug. 13, NASCAR Victory Lane debuts on Speedvision. Every Monday at 7:00pm/et (8:00pm/pt), NASCAR Victory Lane wraps up the previous race weekend and previews the following week’s racing. Beginning Sunday Aug. 26, Ned Jarrett is bringing NASCAR TECH to Speedvision. Each Sunday evening at 7:00pm/et (8:00pm/pt), Jarrett will delve into racing technology by going behind the scenes and race team and specialty shops around the country. For your mid-week Winston Cup fix, tune in to Speedvision each Wednesday at 7:00pm/et (8:00pm/pt) beginning Aug. 15 for a two-hour replay of the previous weekend’s Cup race. Now, if this kind of NASCAR programming is coming to Speedvision, can some version of NASCAR Inside Winston Cup be far behind?(SpeedVision), assuming that this means in addition to the FSN coverage of these shows not in place of(8-2-2001)
  • #92 Sponsor Search: Still searching for sponsorship for 2002, Melling Racing has eliminated the positions of three contract employees who helped the team at the track. Business manager Lake Speed Jr., however, is encouraged the team will find solid backing to replace Kodiak, which is leaving the sport after the season. “We’ve got a lot of really good leads,” Speed Jr. said July 29. “It’s very encouraging this time of the year to have as many leads as we have. Do I wish I had something done? Yeah. Do I? No. But we’re getting really close. I wish they’d progress faster, but that’s just me.” Speed said none of the team’s full-time employees were let go.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read online)(8-2-2001)
  • #19 Crew Chief Change? UPDATE: hearing #19 Crew Chief Patrick Donahue and Evernham Motorsports has parted ways and that Sammy Johns will take over crew chief duties for driver Casey Atwood starting at Indy(8-1-2001)
    UPDATE: ESPN2’s RPM 2Night reported that Donahue has left to pursue some BGN oppurtunities and that Johns has taken over the crew chief duties AND Patrick Donahue, crew chief for the #19 Dodges and Winston Cup rookie Casey Atwood since the start of the season, has left Evernham Motorsports to pursue other job opportunities in NASCAR’s Grand National series, effective immediately(That’s Racin’)(8-2-2001)
  • Hershey’s Milk, Reading and Ward: Today, Indianapolis Motor Speedway served as the backdrop for the national launch of Drive to Read @ your library, a new program developed by Hershey(R)’s Milk and the American Library Association (ALA) to ignite interest in reading among America’s teens and drive them right into libraries. NASCAR driver Ward Burton was on hand to launch the national awareness program, an effort to connect with teens by aligning libraries with one of the nation’s hottest NASCAR drivers and America’s coolest beverage, Hershey(R)’s Milk. With NASCAR driver Ward Burton at the wheel at the launch event, Hershey(R)’s Milk and America’s libraries have issued a national call-to-action for America’s teens. “I am honored to be a part of the Drive to Read @ your library program,” said Ward Burton. “This effort will encourage teens to discover the pleasures of reading and gain the power of knowledge. With that power, they will be invincible.” The Drive to Read @ your library program calls on teens to check out one of the Best Books for Young Adults for 2001 — selected by librarians through the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association — and write a short essay describing why they would recommend the book to a friend and how it’s a meaningful or inspiring book for today’s teens. Once the essay has been written, teens have to check in with their school or public librarian to ask him or her to sponsor the contest entry. One lucky teen will win a trip with a parent or guardian, and the sponsoring librarian and a guest, to The Homestead Miami Speedway on November 11, 2001 to meet NASCAR star Ward Burton and attend the day’s race. Speed to www.hersheysmilk.com for all of the program details(Business Wire)(8-2-2001)


    (8-1-2001)

  • Kenny OK: Kenny Wallace got home early this morning after a rough crash at Kaukauna where the track report says he was simply taken out. He was transported by ambulance to the local hospital where he passed all his tests without finding any problems. He was released at 2AM this morning and flew home to Kim and the family where he is now resting for Indy. Looks like besides a cut on his chin and same very sore ribs Kenny is OK.(Kenny Walalce Racing)(8-1-2001)
  • Stewart Honored: Tony Stewart’s work to raise money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp for children has resulted in him being named the second-quarter winner of the National Motorsports Press Association/Pocono Spirit Award. Stewart raised at least $240,000 for the camp being founded by Kyle Petty and his family by completing all 600 laps of the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 this May. Stewart, The Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing all make contributions toward that total. The NMPA/Pocono Spirit Award recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Kevin Harvick was the winner in the first quarter. The winners in each of the four quarters of 2001 will be eligible for the annual award to be presented in January(That’s Racin’)(8-1-2001)