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August 2002 Busch Series Archive

  • Burton wins 3rd Darlington race in a row: #9-Jeff Burton won the Gatorade 200 at Darlington, his third BGN race won in a row, after winning the rain soaked race which was shortened to 74 or 147 laps. Saturday’s Gatorade 200 was one lap from halfway – signifying the race as official – when NASCAR displayed the red flag for rain, which has wreaked havoc on the schedule all weekend. Burton’s #9 Ford was stopped less than 300 feet from the start/finish line, which would have given him his third consecutive BGN series victory at Darlington Raceway if he were allowed to complete the 74th of 147 scheduled laps. NASCAR wanted to see if it could wait out the weather, but when it became clear there was no chance to restart the race, the race resumed under caution to allow the teams to complete the 74th lap, handing Burton another win at Darlington. #57-Jason Keller finished second, #21-Jeff Green third, series points leader #60-Greg Biffle fourth and #24-Jack Sprague rounded out the top five.(ThatsRacin.com)
    For results see ThatsRacin.com or BGNRacing.com.(8-31-2002)
  • Goodwin may field a woman driver in 2003 UPDATE 2 Renshaw signs/Grubb to Cup: Plans are being made for Rick Goodwin [owner of the #54 Toys-R-Us Chevy) to field a full-time BGN entry for a female driver, and the top candidates appear to be Deborah Renshaw and Tina Gordon. Goodwin also plans to run driver Kevin Grubb full-time in Winston Cup in 2003 with current sponsor Toys-R-Us.(Winston Cup Scenevia BGNRacing.com)(8-22-2002)
    UPDATE: Deborah Renshaw, who gained national attention thanks to a plot against her by male drivers at Fairgrounds Speedway, is being considered for a full-time ride in the BGN. Rick Goodwin, owner of [#54] Team Bristol Motorsports in Bristol, Va., met with Renshaw and her parents in his suite at Bristol Motor Speedway yesterday. Goodwin’s current driver is Kevin Grubb. But Goodwin wants to put Grubb in a full-time Winston Cup ride based in Charlotte next season and hire a new driver for his BGN car. Goodwin said the 24-year-old Renshaw’s racing experience is relatively limited, but her poise and personality heightens her value in a marketing-driven sport. Goodwin said Renshaw is one of ”a number” of candidates he’s looking at and plans to announce his selection within 30-45 days.(Tennessean)(8-24-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Nashville’s Deborah Renshaw has signed to drive in the NASCAR Busch Series next season, and will immediately begin testing in preparation for the huge career move. The 25-year-old Renshaw was chosen by Bristol, Va.-based team owner Rick Goodwin to drive his #54 Busch Series car next season. She’ll replace the car’s current driver, Kevin Grubb, who will move up to Winston Cup.(Tennessean)(8-30-2002)
  • UGH – Rain at Darlington: Rain was falling Friday morning at Darlington Raceway, fouling things up for BGN/Cup teams preparing for practice and qualifying.(ThatsRacin.com) as of 10:30am/et NASCAR.com reports: Officials were unable to start track drying as of 10:30am/et, and estimates were it would take more than two hours to dry the racing surface once drying began. The weather channel site shows lots of green in the area.
    UPDATE: BGN qualifying has been cancelled and the field for Saturday’s race, the Gatorade 200, will be set by points. That will put Greg Biffle out front, with Jason Keller starting second. Friday’s Winston Cup practice and qualifying could be in trouble, too. The forecast calls for a 90% chance of thunderstorms on Friday and a 30% chance on Saturday. There’s a 50% probability on Sunday.(ThatsRacin.com)
    LINEUP: see ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.com.(8-30-2002)
  • Williams TravelCenters Racing/USPS car returns at RIR: Williams TravelCenters Racing and the U.S. Postal Service announced they will be reuniting to honor American Heroes and victims affected by the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. BGN driver Jamie McMurray will once again race the #27 “Heroes of 2001” U.S. Postal Service stamp car at Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 6th. Williams TravelCentersRacing and the U.S. Postal Service, along with BrewcoMotorsports, first introduced the special “patriotic” paint scheme design at the July 5th BGN race at Daytona. The design features the U.S. Postal Service logo on both rear quarter panels with the U.S. Postal Service’s new semi-postal stamp, “Heroes of 2001”, displayed on the hood. The Heroes of 2001 stamp is now available at all post offices. The price of the self-adhesive, non-denominated stamp is 45 cents. As a semi-postal, it is valid for postage at the First-Class first-ounce letter rate in effect at the time of purchase (currently 37 cents), with the difference between the sales price of the stamp and the underlying postage consisting of a tax-deductible contribution. Funds raised in connection with sales of the stamp, net of the Postal Service’s reasonable costs, are transferred to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Over the next several months, FEMA will develop a program designed to meet the intention of Congress to assist the families of the emergency relief workers killed or permanently disabled as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks. FEMA will announce the details of the program later this year. Designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, D.C., the stamp features a detail of the famous photograph taken by Thomas E. Franklin of three firefighters as they raised the U.S.flag at “Ground Zero.” Franklinis a staff photographer at The Record newspaper in Bergen County, N.J. In addition to running the special paint scheme at Richmond, Williams TravelCenters will have a simulator/show car replica of the #27 U.S. Postal Service machine that will be making appearances in the Washington, D.C.and Richmond, Va.areas during race week.(Williams TravelCenters Racing PR), see images of the car on my BGN Paint Schemes page.(8-30-2002)
  • Barrett Adds Interesting Associate Sponsor For Darlington: No driver has ever driven harder for a sponsor than Stanton Barrett. True, one of Barrett’s sponsors for Saturday’s NASCAR Busch Grand National race at Darlington, S.C., is Fastlane, a high-action television series which premiers Sept. 19 on FOX. The television show’s name will be on the deck lid and lower rear quarterpanels. Barrett, one of the top stunt men in Hollywood, has been working on the series as a stunt double for Peter Facinelli. Also starring in the show are Bill Bellamy and Tiffani Thiessen. “FOX knows the value of the NASCAR fan and believe a large part of its television market is the NASCAR audience,” said Barrett, who also had ABC’s World Stunt Awards as a sponsor earlier this season. “Being an associate sponsor on my car this weekend gives them a perfect fit, promoting the premier of Fastlane,” Barrett said. “I’m really happy to have FOX’ support of my racing effort with this weekend’s sponsorship.” Fastlane is a high profile, intense, action-packed series. Barrett, who has won international awards for his stunt work, performs many cars stunts, high falls and fight scenes that add to the effectiveness of the series, which should make it a hit with viewers. Barrett has worked in five episodes, including the pilot. “The cast is a great bunch of people, and the director is creative and a lot of fun,” said Barrett. “That really makes it a great deal for me. My brother (David Barrett, who is handling much of the stunt coordination) is one of the best in the business, plus it’s just great to work with him.” David Barrett, considered one of Hollywood’s brightest new talents, is the second unit director and is directing the 11th episode of the series. Bojangles’ and OdoBan are Barrett’s primary sponsors. Red Racing, owned by Barrett and businessman Jody Looney, fields the Fords, which are powered by Roush engines. Winston Cup champion crew chief Jeff Hammond, currently a national television commentator with FOX and SPEED, is team manager.(Williams Company PR)(8-30-2002)
  • Penske, Jesel and Dodge? Members of Roger Penske’s Winston Cup team have been spending time in the garage area of Ray Evernham’s team, fueling the continuing speculation that Penske will switch from Ford to Dodge next season. Evernham is one of the top Dodge operations. Dodge officials reportedly have offered Penske $20 million to make the move.(Dallas Morning News)
    AND in this weeks Winston Cup Scene (need sub and adobe to read) it reports that #36/66 BGN team owner Wayne Jesel is hoping to get factory support from Dodge and an alliance with a Winston Cup program. Penske Racing is considering switching from Fords to Dodges and speculation is that Jesel would form an alliance with the organization throught Penske official Dan Luginbuhl. Jesel admits he has had discussions with Penske about an alliance, but has also contacted Evernham Motorsports and Ganassi Racing.(8-30-2002)
  • Exide signs as ana assoc with Baldwin: Exide, the Official Battery of NASCAR since 1997, has partnered with Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) for a four-race associate sponsorship of the #6 Dodge in the BGN with driver and NBC commentator Wally Dallenbach along with ARCA sensation Damon Lusk. Dallenbach piloted the #6 Pepsi Dodge at Michigan on August 17 and will compete in the Little Trees 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway (October 12) and the Bashas’ 200 at Phoenix (November 9).. Lusk will be behind the #6 West Virginia “Wild and Wonderful” Dodge in next weekend’s Funai 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Lusk, a Spartanburg, S.C., native, was leading the ARCA championship points standings after 11 races this year, but the team shut down its operation.. He posted two wins, six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in the races he competed in. .The TBR sponsorship is part of Exide’s patriotic “Go With Exide” promotion.. With the purchase of an Exide 84 Select battery, Exide 72 battery or Exide 60 battery, fans have an opportunity to receive a 3 ft. x 5 ft. American flag. Exide markets its leading brands of automotive batteries through mass retailers and automotive aftermarket parts distributors nationwide. The NASCAR family of automotive batteries, including the NASCAR Select, the Exide 72 and the Exide 60, feature the NASCAR trademark and NASCAR’s “Officially Licensed” logo.(Exide PR)(8-29-2002)
  • Buford hopes to move up to BGN: Joe Buford won the feature race and clinched the Late Model championship at Fairgrounds Speedway on Tuesday, the same night his father, Flookie, was inducted into the track’s Hall of Fame. ”Daddy going into the Hall of Fame made it a special night,” Joe said. ”Me winning the race and the championship made it extra special.” Buford earlier broke Waltrip’s record of 55 career victories in Fairgrounds Late Model races. His fourth championship ties Coo Coo Marlin for most titles in the track’s 44-year history. ”I plan on coming back next season and running a few races,” Buford said. ”Darrell and I have each won a race here for 10 straight years, and I told him I’d like win one next year and break that record, too.” Buford does not plan to run the full schedule and compete for a fifth championship, however. Instead, he hopes to land a ride in at least some Busch Series races.(Tennessean)(8-29-2002)
  • New Team for 2003: PPM Racing, a division of Pit Pass Publications, LLC, will be fielding a 1 or 2 car team for the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series. Participation will include one full-time team, and one team participating in a limited number of events. Final discussions are taking place at this time, and drivers, sponsors and schedules will be made public in mid to late September.(www.ppmracing.com PR)(8-28-2002)
  • MJ Motorsports Forms Alliance with Team Jesel for Hooters ProCup Series: MJ Motorsports, who fields NASCAR Late Model Super Trucks for “Aazie” Zimbelmann at Hickory (NC) Motor Speedway, will take their 19-year-old driver to the USAR Hooters ProCup Series in 2003. Team Jesel, the BGN team with drivers #66-Casey Mears and #36-Hank Parker, Jr. will prepare the Dodge Intrepids and engines for MJ Motorsports, who will also share the shop resources in their 35,000 sq.ft. Concord, NC facility. “This is a great opportunity for us to bring our team to the next level,” said Team Owner Mike Calinoff, who also serves as the Spotter for Matt Kenseth and Casey Mears, “An alliance with Wayne (Jesel), his staff and Dodge is going to be a key ingredient for our success. We are exploring several exciting marketing and competition avenues for the future.” Zimbelmann is the leading Rookie in the Winston Racing Series standings at Hickory. MJ Motorsports will remain as an independent entity and will also continue to field NASCAR Late Model Super Trucks at Hickory as a “feeder” division for future team projects.(MJ Motorsports PR)(8-28-2002)
  • Cope to run #49 for rest of 2002, new sponsor: Petro Express/Citgo will sponsor the # 49 Jay Robinson Racing team for the rest of the season with Derrick Cope as the full time driver. The team is looking for associate sponsors for the remainder of the season.(BGN Racing site)(8-28-2002)
  • Should Bristol pay for Harmon’s car? #44-Mikw Harmon said the car destroyed Thursday [in that wild wreck] represented his top chassis, body and motor and cost about $100,000 to build. Now, instead of a car he has visitation rights. Had the gate been secured, Harmon could have fixed the damage and raced Friday night or, at the very worst, had it ready for Darlington. Instead, he drove a loaner Friday night, turned two laps and finished dead last. This leads to an interesting question: Since the gate was not properly secured, should Bristol replace the car for Harmon? It would be unprecedented — you know, stock cars do get trashed at racetracks once in a while — but in this case it would be the right thing to do. Because of Bristol’s oversight, Harmon lost his best car and nearly his life. NASCAR and Bristol officials did not return calls Friday. He’s glad to be alive but lamenting his being without a decent car to race next weekend. In this case one out of two is bad. Harmon needs a good ride to make a living. Somebody needs to step up to the plate here and help this guy out. Having a $100,000 car turned into tin foil because somebody else didn’t do their job is not acceptable.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(8-25-2002)
  • Spencer wins at Bristol: #1-Jimmy Spencer took the lead at lap 190 and won the Food City 250 at Bristol. #23-Scott Wimmer almost caught Spencer, but ended up 2nd. Followed by #60-Greg Biffle, #18-Mike McLaughlin and #21-Jeff Green. Biffle maintains the points lead, now 78 points ahead of #57-Jason Keller.(8-23-2002)
  • Keller wins pole at Bristol: #57-Jason Keller won the pole at Bristol for the Food City 250 with a speed of 124.428mph, it was Keller’s 2nd pole of the year. #10-Scott Riggs was 2nd, followed by #99-Michael Waltrip, #29-Kevin Harvick and #27-Jamie McMurray. Points leaders #60-Greg Biffle will start eighth. Yates driver, #98-Kasey Kahne missed the race.
    For lineup, see ThatsRacin.com or BGNRacing.com.(8-22-2002)
  • Harmon ok after wild wreck: #44-Mike Harmon was involved in a spectacular crash Thursday at Bristol Motor Speedway, after posts required to secure the Turn 2 gate were not put in place. Harmon emerged from the wreckage unscathed aside from a bruise on his right side. Harmon was entering Turn 2 some 10 minutes into the weekend’s first practice when witnesses at the scene claimed he blew a right front tire, sending him hard into an outside wall that doubles as a crossover gate. When closed, the wall is bolstered by six, four-inch by four-inch, 3/8-inch thick metal posts. Those posts were not put in place Thursday, and when Harmon impacted the wall, it gave way. Harmon’s #44 Chevy was bisected by the concrete outside retaining wall. He then shot straight down the track and into Johnny Sauter’s path. Sauter hit him and came to rest in the middle of the backstretch. Sauter was uninjured. After being checked out by attending physician Dr. Nelson Gwaltney in the infield care center, Harmon entered an ambulance on his own power and was transported to Wellmont Regional Medical Center in Bristol, Tenn., as a precautionary measure. He was released and returned to the track. Eleven years ago, Michael Waltrip was involved in a virtually identical accident in the same corner of the same track. He was flabbergasted that it could happen again. Practice was delayed nearly three hours while the track made repairs to the damaged gate.(see more and many photos at NASCAR.com)
    And from BGNRacing.com: BGNRacing.com talked to Mike Harmon on his way back from the hospital to the track. He’s in great spirits and thankful that he walked away unhurt. He has a scratch on his right side from something that ripped through his fire suit, but is otherwise unhurt. He says that something broke on the car midway through the corner and he had no control after that. The #44 team did not have a back up car ready so he will use the #94 team’s back up car. He’s still planning on driving tomorrow night. Also see images there at BGNRacing.com (may take a bit to load).
    Also see an image gallery at ThatsRacin.com (right hand side/top).(8-22-2002)
  • ST Motorsports looks to add 2nd team for 2003: ST Motorsports owner Tad Geschickter is about 85 percent sure he’ll be able to run a second full-time team in 2003, and said Aug. 17 he should know for sure in the next 30 days.(Winston Cup Scene via BGNRacing.com)(8-22-2002)
  • Marsh Racing to run a few races UPDATE: Tim Fedewa will be driving the #31 Marsh Racing Whelen Chevy at Bristol. The team also plans to run at Richmond, Dover and Homestead, the driver(s) for those races has not been determined yet.(8-7-2002)
    UPDATE: Tim Fedewa will drive the #31 Whelen Chevy for Ted Marsh Racing when the BGN visits Bristol. Marsh Racing finished fourth at Bristol last August with Steve Park just two spots behind Fedewa – something Ted Marsh considered when he looked for a driver to hire. Fedewa said he looks forward to getting more seat time in a Busch Series car as well as helping out friends on the Old Lyme, Conn. team. Fedewa has made two starts in 2002 finishing third at Talladega and 39th at Nazareth. He has four career Busch Series victories, his first coming at Nazareth in 1995.(Whelen PR)(8-22-2002)
  • Baker gets sponosr for Bristol and Ruttman to help out: The Baker Racing Team will run at Bristol. Baker will attempt to make the race in the #28 Chevy in the team’s fourth start of the season. “I am really excited about returning to Bristol,” said Baker. “We had a disappointing run in the spring, but we are looking forward to racing near the front on Friday night.” Brad also mentioned “We are also very excited about having my uncle Joe Ruttman, on board as the crew chief this weekend. “His many years of experience in NASCAR should really improve our performance.” It will be an important weekend for the entire team as they have picked up a one-race sponsorship with Trus Joist. Trus Joist, a Weyerhaeuser business, was founded in 1960, and is the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of engineered lumber products – high-quality alternatives to solid-sawn structural lumber. For more information on Trus Joist, and the Weyerhaeuser Company, please visit their official website at http://www.trusjoist.com.(PR)(8-22-2002)
  • ARCA Driver can’t race at Chicago: StockCarScene.com is reporting that 17 year-old Shelby Howard, who currently sits 6th in ARCA points, will not compete at Chicagoland on September 7th. The race weekend, which features the IRL, is sponsored by Marlboro. As part of a deal between tobacco companies and state attorney generals, a person must have reached the age of 18 in order to participate in a sporting event that is sponsored by a tobacco company. The same clause kept then 16 year old Kyle Busch from competing in a CTS race at California in 2001. No word if the team will compete with a replacement driver.(StockCarScene)(8-19-2002)
  • Waltrip wins at Michigan: #99-Michael Waltrip helped himself pull away from #92-Todd Bodine in the pivotal moments and then ran away to victory in Saturday’s Cabela’s 250. Waltrip had changed just two tires on his final pit stop while Bodine had taken four new tires. Bodine charged up through traffic and began to challenge Waltrip for the lead with less than 25 laps to go. “They talk about how wide this place is and how much groove it has,” Waltrip said of contact between his Chevrolet and Bodine’s on Lap 101 at the 2-mile Michigan track. “I’m leading the race and he runs into me. I just thought, ‘Well, that’s kind of rude. So when I saw him perfectly beside me I turned into him to pay him back. And I did a nice job, by the way.” Bodine said Waltrip “just body-slammed me” and that the contact damaged the fender on his car, hurting its performance. Over the final 20 laps, Waltrip pulled away to nearly a four-second cushion while Bodine fell into a frantic battle for second eventually won by #9-Jeff Burton. Bodine faded to fourth behind #21-Jeff Green. It was Waltrip’s ninth BGN win and first since Charlotte in October 1999. He’s the 14th driver to win a Grand National race this season. #60-Greg Biffle, who came into the race with an 86-point edge on #57-Jason Keller, lost the engine in his Ford after completing just 18 laps and finished 42nd. Keller’s late engine problem left him with a 35th-place finish, however, and he gained only 30 points on the leader. Biffle now leads Keller by 56 points and #24-Jack Sprague, who finished 15th Saturday, by 206 points.(ThatsRacin.com)
    See results at ThatsRacin.com or BGNRacing.com.(8-17-2002)
  • Lepage wins the pole at MIS: #37-Kevin Lepage won the pole at Michigan for the Cabela’s 250 with a speed of 185.644mph, breaking the track recored there (for BGN cars). Rounding out the top five were: #99-Michael Waltrip, #10-Scott Riggs, #57-Jason Keller and #59-Stacy Compton. For lineups see ThatsRacin.com or BGNRacing.com.(8-16-2002)
  • Mike’s Hard Lemonade to sponsor the #47: BGN Rookie of the Year candidate #47-Shane Hmiel will be sponsored by mike’s hard lemonade for the final 12 races of the BGN season, in conjunction with a promotion in which someone will win an Innovative Motorsports race car.(NASCAR.com)(8-15-2002)
  • Purvis story and news: Race driver Jeff Purvis is on the mend after a near-fatal crash, with a new bride and a new outlook on life. The only thing that hasn’t changed is his desire to race. “Purvis, who suffered severe head and neck injuries along with a broken leg in a Busch Series crash this spring, stopped short of saying he will race again some day. ”When it comes time to make that decision, there will be more people than me involved in it,” Purvis said, referring to his wife Margo, who he married during his convalescence, and his sons, Thomas and Clay. ”It’s still going to be quite awhile before I’m recovered well enough to even seriously consider it. I do know this, though: Whatever I decide, it’s going to be a very difficult decision.” Purvis said he’s walking up to 10 miles a day and is no longer in pain, but he’s not fully recovered either. He still wears a neck brace to protect two fractured vertebrae.
    See full story at the Tennessean: Crash gave Purvis new outlook, tough decision by Larry Woody(8-15-2002)
  • Baldwin signs assoc sponsors: In its third sponsorship agreement in as many weeks, Tommy Baldwin Racing announced today that it has signed on five new associate sponsors for its #6 Dodge entry in the BGN. Smith Transport, Bickel’s Surplus, Exide Technologies and AutoValue Auto Parts will be associate sponsors on the car beginning this weekend at Michigan International Speedway’s Cabela’s 250. PUG, Inc will join on as an associate at Richmond International Raceway for the Autolite/FRAM 250. Pepsi is the primary sponsor for this weekend’s race at the two-mile oval in Brooklyn, Mich. NBC commentator Wally Dallenbach will pilot the entry with a special in-car communications package hooked up to the announcement booth. He will also drive the car at Charlotte and Phoenix, while rookie Damon Lusk will be behind the wheel at Richmond for his Busch-series debut. The five new associate sponsors that will adorn the No. 6 Dodge are both new to NASCAR and previous participants returning to the fast-growing sport.(Motorsports Decisions Group PR)(8-15-2002)
  • MB2 to field a BGN team, Schrader free to look: MB2 Motorsports [#36 Pontiac] will run a BGN car for Dutchman Michael Vergers at MIS using Ken Schrader’s BGN operation The team has entered a #07 Pontiac for Vergers, a native of Alkmaar, Holland, in Saturday’s Cabela’s 250 at Michigan International Speedway. Sponsor M&M’s recently told MB2 that they would end a six-year relationship with the team’s Winston Cup operation at the end of this season. Meanwhile, Schrader has been given the team’s blessing to seek other employment. General manager Jay Frye stressed Wednesday that it’s not because the team doesn’t want to keep him, but because if a replacement sponsor does not materialize, they don’t want to hold him back. Frye said the fact that James Ince, the crew chief on Johnny Benson’s #10 Valvoline Pontiac in Winston Cup, is going to head Vergers’ program indicates how serious the team is about it. Frye said a combination of crewmen from the M&M’s and Valvoline teams would pit the car Saturday.(NASCAR.com)(8-14-2002)
  • Amick to run ppc car at Kansas: ppc Racing (#10 and #57 Ford’s) announced that Lyndon Amick will drive the #15 Ford in the upcoming BGN race at Kansas Speedway. Amick is also scheduled to drive for ppc Racing in at least one other event this season – a race to be determined later depending on sponsorship. In 2003, ppc Racing hopes to expand its operation to include a third car. “Should primary and associate sponsorships come available for a third team, we will add one,” stated Pollex. “I think with each car we put on the track, we make our entire organization stronger.” Currently the team is seeking primary and associate sponsorship for the #15 Ford. Amick, 1996 Goody’s Dash Touring Series Champion, has competed on the BGN since 1997.(Eclipse Management PR) Amick started the season in the #26 Dr Pepper Chevy and left there earlier this season.(8-14-2002)
  • Mac Tools to sponsor #19 at Bristol: Mac Tools announced they will sponsor Tim Sauter and his #19 AP Performance car for the BGN race at Bristol Motor Speedway Friday, August 23. To highlight the one-race, primary sponsorship association, Sauter’s #19 Chevy will sport a special red rocket paint scheme, complete with reflective Mac Tool decals, when the event takes the green flag under the lights at the famed Bristol track. Sauter and his AP Performance Racing team have had an impressive first season on the Busch Series circuit despite not having a primary sponsor. The team has consistently run in the Top-15 and currently ranks 14th in the 2002 BGN championship standings. In the five events Sauter’s team has featured ‘one-race sponsorship deals’ this season, the team has finished in the Top 10 four times.(Motorsports Management Group PR)(8-14-2002)
  • Sadler Motorsports to Dodge UPDATE: hearing the #95 Sadler Brothers team and Steadman Marlin will switch from Ford to Dodge later this season and will be sponsored in a few races by Sun-Drop soda.(7-27-2002)
    UPDATE: This weekend at Michigan in the NASCAR Busch Series Cabela 250, the #95 Sadler Brothers team will debut a Dodge Intrepid. The team is changing over all of their Ford’s to Dodge’s, but will still have a few Ford’s as backups. The team is currently sponsored by Keystone Light Beer, Shoney’s Inns, and Sun Drop Soda. Crew chief John Stancil has left stepping up to the crew chief role is Nick Harrison from Columbia, TN.(8-14-2002)
  • Brewco to help out Kirby’s family: Clarence Brewer Jr., owner of Brewco Motorsports, Inc., announced that his race teams have scheduled a fundraiser for the Andy Kirby family. Kirby, who drove several races for Brewco Motorsports during his Busch Series career, was killed in a motorcycle accident in White House, Tennessee on July 18th. Brewer stated that he will donate $10 for every lap completed by his two race teams, the #27 Williams TravelCenters car driven by Jamie McMurray and the #37 Timber Wolf car driven by Kevin Lepage, in the Food City 250 at the Bristol International Raceway on August 23rd. The money will be sent to the Andy Kirby Children’s Fund, Cumberland Bank, 2916 Highway 31 West, White House, Tennessee 37188. (Brewco PR via BGN Racing site)(8-12-2002)
  • #14 Crew Chief leaves? Reports are that Jon Wolfe has left as crew chief of the #14 Harrah’s Casino team of Larry Foyt. Update: Car Chief Ben Holm will be in charge this weekend at Michigan.(BGN Racing site)(8-12-2002)
  • Irvan looks to run BGN team in 2003: Ernie Irvan said his real desire is to return to racing as a car or team owner. He said he’s working to put together a Busch Series team for Conway for 2003, if he can secure the sponsorship.Syracuse Post-Standard)(8-9-2002)
  • Wimmer, Siemens to return full time in 2003? Bill Davis Racing should know within several weeks whether Siemens will return to sponsor Scott Wimmer for the entire 2003 campaign. Siemens has backed Wimmer on a limited basis this year, but is looking to step up its involvement.(Winston Cup Scene – need subscription to read)(8-8-2002)
  • TBR gets once race deal from West Virgina, Lusk to drive at Richmond: On the heels of announcing a three-race agreement with Pepsi and Wally Dallenbach just a week ago, Tommy Baldwin Racing and West Virginia “Wild and Wonderful” (1-800callwva) have reached a sponsorship agreement. West Virginia will be the primary sponsor of the TBR BGN #6 car in the “Funai 250” at The Richmond on Friday, Sept. 7. The program also involves an associate sponsorship with Pepsi at the upcoming BGN “Cabela’s 250” at Michigan (Aug. 17), “The Little Tree’s 300” at Lowe’s (Oct. 12) and “The Bashas’ Supermarket’s 200” at Phoenix (Nov. 9). The West Virginia sponsorship program will use the TBR team to build awareness among NASCAR fans about the state’s vast amount of tourism attractions. “This is exactly what (W.V.) Governor Wise had in mind when he created the Motorsports Council,” said Eric Denemark, the executive director of the West Virginia Motorsports Council. “He realizes the tremendous potential that the popularity of motorsports has for increasing both tourism and economic development in West Virginia.” The Richmond event marks the 2002 BGN debut of ARCA Series-regular Damon Lusk, who is leaving that series to move to the next level of his career. Lusk has recorded wins at Pocono and Atlanta, charted 10 top-10 finishes, and led the most laps in 10 races at this year’s ARCA events. “We are excited to be fortunate enough to be able to work with the folks in West Virginia,” said co-owner and crew chief Tommy Baldwin. “West Virginia is rich with loyal NASCAR fans. The state has a tremendous amount of tourist attractions that offer a wide variety of excitement and fun. We want to let the fans know that.. Eddie (D’Hondt) and I have worked very hard at building this team to move full time in 2003, so it’s nice to see some sponsorship progress. We’ve kept a close eye on the development of Damon for a while now,” continued Baldwin, who also serves as crew chief on the #22 Dodges in the Cup series. “We like what he brings to the table and we look forward to developing his talents. We’ll put him in good cars and surround him with good people. We feel he has a very bright future in this sport.”(Motorsports Decisions Group PR)(8-8-2002)
  • It’s Official – Fittipaldi to Petty: Petty Enterprises announced today that 31-year-old CART driver Christian Fittipaldi will drive a Petty Dodge beginning in 2003. The plans call for a combined BGN and Cup program beginning next season that will lead to a full-time Winston Cup program with the team in 2004 and 2005. The team is currently looking for a primary sponsor for the program.. Fittipaldi’s racing experience is impressive. After winning the Formula 3000 Championship in 1991, the Brazilian competed in Formula One from 1992 – 1994 and then moved to the CART Series in 1995. He has won twice in CART and now brings his diverse experience and impressive talent to Petty Enterprises and NASCAR. “I’ve been looking at NASCAR over the last several years and knew I wanted to be a part of it,” said Fittipaldi. “I’ve been part of one of the top teams in the CART series with Newman/Haas and I wanted to find a similar opportunity in NASCAR. Petty Enterprises is one of the top names in the sport. Their team is clearly on the way up and they have an impressive group of people and equipment working to take them to the top. I’m looking forward to being a part of it.”.
    “Christian will be another bright new star in our sport,” said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. “It’s exciting for us to have landed him. He’s got tremendous experience and he’s been very successful in every series he’s raced in from Formula 3000 to F1 to CART. With our knowledge in this sport and his ability and experience as a driver, we’re confident that he can win races and contend for Championships in the near future.”. Fittipaldi currently drives the #11 Newman/Haas car in CART. He has four top-five finishes this season and is currently 9th in points. He has run a limited number of BGN races in 2001 and 2002 (for Innovative Motorsports #30). His schedule in 2003 will consist primarily of BGN and Cup races and possibly several ARCA races as well. “We tested him in our cars in Lakeland (FL) and he was very impressive,” said Petty Enterprises Vice President and General Manager Robin Pemberton. “He’s clearly an incredibly talented driver, very smart and communicates well with the team. He’s going to be exciting to watch.” Dodge is equally excited about adding Fittipaldi to their current stable of NASCAR drivers. Dodge Vice President of Motorsports and SRT Marketing Jim Julow said, “We’re always looking at building for future success and it’s rare you are able to add somebody with as much talent and experience as Christian. This is a great move for Petty Enterprises and a tremendous boost for Dodge and NASCAR.”.(Williams Company PR), for past news and rumors on this, see my #45 Team News and Links page.(8-7-2002)
  • Timberland steps up sponsorship program: Leveraging the brand’s strategic partnership with Brett Bodine Racing, The Timberland Company today announced a national marketing campaign to support its Timberland PRO series of footwear and apparel for skilled craftsmen and work professionals. Launching the first week in August, the campaign revolves around Timberland’s partnership with Brett Bodine Racing, and is designed to reach the ever-important audience of NASCAR race fans.. In a unique twist on NASCAR race team marketing campaigns, Timberland’s strategy is to focus in on the pit crew members, paying tribute to the critical roles they play and reinforcing the benefits of wearing Timberland PRO series footwear on the job. Program elements include a national advertising campaign (the first-ever for the Timberland PRO series), a consumer sweepstakes, and Brett Bodine appearances with the show car at key retail outlets.. In addition, August 23rd at the Bristol Motor Speedway marks the first of six races where the Timberland PRO series will be primary sponsor of Bodine’s #11 Ford Taurus in BGN driven by nephew Josh Richeson (also to run at Richmond, Dover, Lowe’s, Atlanta and Rockingham). Some of the marketing program include an in-store consumer sweepstakes:. Timberland and select retail partners will run a series of sweepstakes, giving consumers the chance to win a trip for two (plus $500 spending money) to select NASCAR races.. Winners also receive pit passes for a first-hand glimpse at behind-the-scenes NASCAR action. In-store displays and signage will support the sweepstakes. The series kicks off at Bob’s Stores with an August 3-25, 2002 sweepstakes for the Homestead-Miami Race in November, 2002. In-store promotions are also being planned with Meijer (November), Iron Age and Academy. In support of the campaign, NASCAR veteran Brett Bodine and the Timberland PRO series show car will make special appearances at various retail locations and events throughout the U.S.. The appearances will include autographs, photos with Brett and/or the show car, and on-site radio promotions. More information about Timberland is available at the Company’s web site, www.timberland.com.(PR)(8-7-2002)
  • Biffle wins at IRP: #60-Greg Biffle won Saturday night’s Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park left from the pole, beating outside pole sitter #57-Jason Keller. Biffle also extended his lead from 77 to 82 points over Keller. #23-Scott Wimmer was third, #2-Johnny Sauter was fourth and #48-Kenny Wallace rounded out the top five. The race was red-flagged on Lap 62 for nearly 15 minutes following a seven-car accident that left debris scattered throughout turns 1 and 2. Another accident on Lap 79 involving three cars required a 13-lap caution to clear the track.
    See Results at ThatsRacin.com.(8-3-2002)
  • Biffle wins pole at IRP: #60-Greg Biffle won the pole at IRP for Saturday nights race with a speed of 109.521mph, outside pole goes to #57-Jason Keller at 109.294, #59-Stacy Compton, #46-Ashton Lewis Jr. and #10-Scott Riggs round out the top five. #9-Jon Wood qualified 6th in his BGN debut. For lineup see MotorsportsOne or BGNRacing.com.(8-3-2002)
  • Update on Hornish to NASCAR: Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr. continues to insist there is no update on his prospects of becoming a NASCAR driver soon. But things are still happening behind the scenes. Ty Norris, executive vice president of Dale Earnhardt Inc., said the team is trying to strike a deal with the 22-year-old driver. Discussions are continuing although no contract has been drafted. DEI wants Hornish to share a BGN ride with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2003, with up to three Winston Cup races thrown in for 2004. Hornish’s five BGN races would come at the end of next year, after his IRL season concludes. “We don’t want to do anything to interfere with (the IRL program),” Norris said. “It’s better for us if Sam’s a three-time (defending) IRL champion.” Hornish is 14 points out of the IRL’s points lead this season with four races to go. He has a contract with Panther Racing through next season, although he has not responded to the team’s contract extension offer, presented last month at Kansas, team general manager John Barnes said Friday.(Indianapolis Star)(8-3-2002)
  • Ultra Motorsports to have a BGN team in 2003? Ultra/Evernham Motorsports co-owner Jim Smith says he could field a Dodge team in the Busch Series next year. Speculation has Jason Leffler, who drives for Smith in the Craftsman Truck Series, being the team’s driver. Smith hopes he’d also still have a presence in the truck series, but said nothing is certain.(Winston Cup Scene – need subscription to read online)(8-1-2002)
  • Donahue leaves the #40: Crew chief Patrick Donahue and BLV Motorsports parted ways on Monday. Donahue took the job last year to help build the team, which started the 2002 season with the expectations of running half of the scheduled Grand National races. Due to financial limitations and no future sponsor, the team’s schedule was cut again.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-1-2002)