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August 2003 Busch Series Archive

 

  • Vickers wins at Darlington: #5-Brian Vickers held off Hendrick Motorsports teammate #87-Kyle Busch by 1.977 seconds to win Saturday’s Winn-Dixie 200 at Darlington Raceway then both drives performed simultaneous burnouts down the long frontstretch, to the delight of the crowd. The win is Vickers’ second of his career, second of the season and second in four races – his first win came Aug. 2 at Indianapolis. Vickers, 19, is in his first full season driving for Hendrick. “This was an awesome victory. This crew got me in lead,” said Vickers, who took the lead for the final time in a photo-finish race off pit road on Lap 126 of 147. #99-Michael Watrip finished third, #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. fourth and pole-winner #21-Kevin Harvick completed the top five. #10-Scott Riggs continues to lead the series points race, holding a 19-point advantage over #37-David Green. Waltrip was leading when #23-Scott Wimmer hit the Turn 4 wall, forcing a caution. The lead-lap cars all pitted for fresh tires, with Vickers beating Waltrip off pit road by inches. Waltrip worked furiously to hold off Busch for second, even smacking the Turn 4 wall on one occasion while trying to prevent a pass. Busch eventually made his way around Waltrip to match his career-high finish in just three starts. The race was slowed five times by caution for 26 laps. There were seven lead changes among four drivers.(ThatsRacin.com)
    Race results at ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.comMotorsports One and NASCAR.com.(8-31-2003)
  • Kerry Earnhardt in an RCR car UPDATE: Richard Childress said last weekend he’s preparing a car for Kerry Earnhardt to drive in selected Winston Cup events, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. “We’re probably going to give him a shot at it,” Childress said. “I think he deserves a chance.”(St. Petersburg Times via BGNRacing.com)(8-27-2003)
    UPDATE: hearing Earnhardt will race at Atlanta and be part of the Cat in the Hat program and at Phoenix and be part of the Looney Toons programs, driving the #03 Chevy.(8-30-2003)
  • Harvick wins pole at Darlington: #21-Kevin Harvick, who has never won at Darlington Raceway in Trucks, Busch or Winston Cup, won the pole for Saturday’s Winn-Dixie 200, turning a lap Friday at 167.516mph to claim the top starting position. It’s Harvick’s third pole of the season in 11 starts and eighth of his career. He has three wins, eight top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in the Richard Childress Racing #21 Chevrolet he shares with Johnny Sauter this season. #1-Jamie McMurray was second and #38-Kasey Kahne third, followed by #5-Brian Vickers and #7-Greg Biffle. Series points leader #10-Scott Riggs was 16th fastest.(ThatsRacin.com)
    See lineup at ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.com, or NASCAR.com.(8-29-2003)
  • HRT Seeks Sponsors for Carlos Contreras: HRT Motorsports seeks sponsorships for selected races at the end of the 2003 season, including the nationally televised, season finale at the NEW Homestead-Miami Speedway, near the team’s Miami base. Although the team is currently in talks with several Fortune 500 companies for the 2004 season and beyond, HRT seeks to enter Contreras in key markets during this 2003 season. The team has competed in one race this year, Fontana Ca. on April 26th, where Carlos finished 26th in his Busch series debut sponsored by Fox Sports en Espanol and the Citizen Watch company, complete with a half hour TV Special that aired on Fox Sports en Espanol titled, “Making History with Carlos Contreras”. The show aired multiple times in the US and throughout Latin America and Mexico in the April and May months.
    Seth Goldberg of The Goldberg Agency, LLC, HRT’s agent of record, says, “We have an eye out for sponsor companies who are looking to extend their message to Hispanic consumers. Look at where the Busch Series travels, North Carolina for instance, and you’ll find a state where Hispanic buying power has increased around 900% since 1990! Carlos will deliver traditional markets, but can further authentically connect with the biggest growth market in the U.S., the Hispanic market.”
    One company who has already done so is the Citizen Watch Company who unveiled their “Unstoppable” print Campaign this summer in both general and Spanish market magazines, including Maxim, People and Sports Illustrated. The TV portion of the campaign will commence in September on Spanish TV during Mexican Soccer league games and other prominent Spanish language telecasts, and the English version will appear prime time on major US networks, including during Monday Night Football games.
    Additionally, HRT and Team Rensi Motorsports, winners of two NASCAR Busch series races this year with the #25 car driven by Bobby Hamilton Jr., have developed a strategic relationship over the last 8 months. Together they have made several presentations to potential marketing partners. Their combined goal is to tap the Hispanic market by utilizing Team Rensi Motorsports expertise for the on-track needs and HRT for off-track marketing opportunities. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, including primary, co-primary and associate level sponsorships, please contact Seth Goldberg of The Goldberg Agency, LLC, at (917) 407-4948.(PR)(8-29-2003)
  • TV TIMEOUT:. Food City 250 sets standard For NASCAR Busch Series at Bristol: The Food City 250, held last Friday night at Bristol Motor Speedway and televised by TNT, was the highest-rated NASCAR Busch Series race in Bristol’s history. The race had an average of 1,707,000 households tuned in, a 5% increase from 2002, when the race also was on TNT. An average of 2,490,000 viewers watched the race.(Figures compiled by Nielsen Media Research.)(NASCAR PR)(8-30-2003)
  • Didja Know? With 135 points separating the top five Busch Series drivers, this season features the closest points battle in series history with 10 races remaining. Anyone in the top-five could lead the standings following this weekend’s race at Darlington. The lead has changed six times in the past 12 races. After 24 races last season, the point spread between first and fifth was 343 as Greg Biffle charged towards his first series title.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-28-2003)
  • TV Note: A television scheduling conflict involving NASCAR and college football will occur during the first weekend of the season. On Aug. 30, NBC will air the Busch Series Winn Dixie 200 live from Darlington beginning at 2 p.m. However, Columbia NBC affiliate WIS-10 is obligated by contract to carry the Mississippi-Vanderbilt football game at 12:30 p.m. WIS will join the race in progress at approximately 3:45 p.m. NASCAR fans can catch the race from beginning to end on Time Warner cable channel 10 in Columbia and Florence. (The State)(8-27-2003)
  • Wallace to debut at RIR: 19 year old “Rising Star” Shane Wallace [no relation to Rusty] will make his NASCAR Busch Series debut at the Richmond International Raceway on September 5th where he will be behind the wheel of the #71 Chevrolet.(Shane Wallace PR via BGNRacing.com)(8-26-2003)
  • Riggs to DEI? UPDATE 2: hearing that Scott Riggs may be the new driver for the #1 DEI Chevy in 2004 if a sponsor is signed.(6-21-2003)
    UPDATE: Insiders continue to look for Scott Riggs to get the call to join DEI next season, if sponsors agree. DEI officials expect to have a decision on the company’s third team car by Darlington in three weeks.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-11-2003)
    UPDATE 2: from a NASCAR.com conversation: Your name has come up in the rumor mill a lot lately. What’s out there that we can believe and not believe?
    Riggs: You can believe that there’s definitely a lot of opportunities out there that I’m very fortunate to have been contacted by a lot of people. When you have people in the Cup series interested in your future, it’s definitely a praise to what your able to do and your accomplishments in your career. With all that said, there’s a lot of opportunities and a lot of people I’ve talked to, and I have yet to make a decision one way or another that I might go next year. I’m still working with these guys here at ppc, first of all, to try to get a championship for everyone here with the Nesquik Ford. At the same time, we’re also talking about the future here, too. We’re working on some different things with sponsors and seeing what avenues ppc can go down. Haven’t made a decision one way or another which way I’m going. I think in the next three or four weeks, some decisions will start being made, and you’ll start seeing the dominos start to fall, and a lot of people will fall into place, and Silly Season will start.(NASCAR.com)(8-26-2003)
  • Kahne wins USAC race at Nazareth: Kasey Kahne took the lead on the 58th lap and went on to win the 100-mile USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series at Nazareth Speedway. It’s definitely a little adjustment to come back from stock cars to race these, but I’ve done it so many times now it’s getting to be second nature,” Kahne said. ”It’s a lot of fun. I love coming back to USAC. It’s where I won a lot of races and it’s how I got to stock car racing.” Dave Steele, winner of both of USAC’s Saturday support races (sprints, midgets), led for the better part of 50 laps, but slipped to fourth. J.J. Yeley, who leads all three of USAC’s series standings, stayed in second almost entirely from start to finish.(Morning Call)(8-26-2003)
  • Gerhart plans to run 2004 restrictor plate races: ARCA RE/MAX Series veteran Bobby Gerhart will partner with Core Mechanical Contractors for all three Busch Series restrictor plate races in 2004. (ARCA Racing via BGNRacing.com) NOTE: The Lebanon, PA driver/owner has 5 career Busch starts with his most recent being a 24th-place finish at Daytona in July.(8-26-2003)
  • Winn Dixie to sponsor Busch race at Darlington: Winn-Dixie and PepsiCo will jointly sponsor the August 30, 2003 NASCAR Busch Series event at Darlington Raceway. The race will be called “The Winn-Dixie 200 presented by PepsiCo.” PepsiCo’s major brand families include Gatorade, Pepsi-cola, Tropicana, Frito-Lay and Quaker. The company has sponsored the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway since 1992. Gatorade, sponsor of the fall 2002 NASCAR Busch Series race at Darlington, the Gatorade 200, recently expanded their long-time relationship with the track to include naming rights to the track’s most coveted parking spot. Gatorade Victory Lane made its Darlington debut during the spring 2003 race weekend.(Darlington Raceway PR)(8-25-2003)
  • Keller Looking for a gig….maybe: Ten hours before the start of Friday night’s Food City 250 NASCAR Busch race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Jason Keller was at the track roaming the Winston Cup garage area. It’s the time of the year when discussions about driver-team-sponsor combinations for the next season intensify, and Keller finds himself moving in the middle of them. Although Keller’s driving situation for 2004 has been unclear for months, it became even more clouded this week when his team’s primary sponsor, Albertson’s supermarkets, said it would not return next season. Earlier in the year, ppc Racing’s other sponsor, Nesquik, announced it would not return to the Scott Riggs team for 2004. Now, despite having two drivers wrestling for the series championship, team owner Greg Pollex is looking for two primary sponsorships to keep his team running at the front next year. With the unstable economy making sponsor searches difficult, Keller is fishing for every available opportunity. Pollex said Friday that chances are slim that his team will fold and that he hopes Keller and Riggs will return next season. “We’ve had three or four real good conversations (with potential sponsors) since last weekend. None of them may turn out, but they’re real solid leads,” he said. “We have four or five commitments from associate sponsors for next year. It’s possible we could race with that in the beginning of the season if we had to. But NASCAR’s giving us a lot of help. They’ve said we’re the premier Busch series team they’ve had for the past several years, and they want us back on the track.”(Greenville News)(8-23-2003)
  • Biffle in the #7 the rest of the year: Greg Biffle will drive the Busch #7 for the remainder of the year, including the Memphis Busch race, which will be the Saturday of the Martinsville weekend. (Motor Racing Outreach Newsletter via BGNRacing.com)(8-22-2003)
  • CAP Scaling back UPDATE: It was mentioned during Saturday’s Pikes Peak race broadcast that Civil Air Patrol, primary sponsor of the #46 Team and driver Ashton Lewis will be scaling back to become an associate sponsor in 2004.(BGNRacing.com)(7-26-2003)
    UPDATE: Ashton Lewis confirmed Thursday that primary sponsor the Civil Air Patrol will scale back next year. They are looking for a new primary sponsor on that #46 Busch Series car.(FSN’s Totally NASCAR)(8-22-2003)
  • Waltrip wins at Bristol: Michael Waltrip pulled away after the last caution to win the Food City 250 at Bristol. The rest of the top five were: #2-Ron Hornaday, #6-Ted Musgrave, #48-Shane Hmiel, and #21-Kevin Harvick. Waltrip survived a wreck-marred Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway, with 13 cautions and his own bump and pass of then-leader Ron Hornaday on Lap 216 of 250, before cruising to a 1.501-second win over Hornaday. It was Waltrip’s first NASCAR Busch Series win of the season and 10th of his career. His last win was in August 2002 at Michigan. Waltrip was leading on a restart on Lap 201 when he developed problems with his shifter. Hornaday, running second at the time, took advantage and moved into the lead. Waltrip remained in second until he made his bump and pass for the top spot on Lap 216 and moved out to a comfortable lead for the final 35 laps. Harvick, who started second, led the first 109 laps, but fell back following a pit stop when he thought he had a tire going down. The 13 cautions cautioned 73 laps. There were six lead changes among four drivers.(ThatsRacin.com)
    See race results at: BGNRacing.comMotorsports One or NASCAR.com.(8-22-2003)
  • Keller wins pole at Bristol: #57-Jason Keller won the pole for Friday night’s Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway (8 p.m. Eastern, TNT) with an event record speed of 126.021mph. #21-Kevin Harvick is on the outsie pole, followed by #5-Brian Vickers, #99-Michael Waltrip and #33-Tony Raines. Series points leader Scott Riggs will line up seventh.(ThatsRacin.com)
    Lineups/Qualifying results at: ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.com or NASCAR.com.(8-21-2003)
  • Fuller to race at Bristol UPDATE: Jeff Fuller will drive the #87 Bully Hill Vineyards Chevy at the Food City 250 in Bristol on August 22nd(Jeff Fuller site via BGNRacing.com)(7-31-2003)
    UPDATE: Jeff Fuller will pilot the #87 Bully Hill Vineyards Chevy in this weekend’s Food City 250 NASCAR Busch Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Joe Nemechek, who Fuller helps with research and developement, gave the 46-year old driver his pick of races for a one-race deat the full use of the NEMCO resources- including Nemechek’s own crew chief and team. Fuller chose Bristol. “I’ve been hounding Joe for awhile and I think he finally said yes just to shut me up,” joked Fuller. “Seriously though, I’ve been involved with various projects at NEMCO between testing, driving the pit practice car and helping out at the track when necessary. I’ve been very well compensated, so for Joe and Brian (Pattie, crew chief) to go the extra mile and give me this opportunity is just incredible.” Fuller, who won this event from the pole position in 1996, has been in search of a full-time ride over the past few seasons. While testing gigs pay the bills, the Auburn, MA native hopes a good run at Bristol might put his name back in the driver’s pool as well. “I understand that one race isn’t going to land me in the driver’s seat full time, but it certainly can’t hurt, “Fuller said. “I’m very optimistic about our chances. We have the pit crew, which has proven to be one of the best out there and we have all of NEMCO’s resources which is a huge advantage. I absolutely love racing at Bristol and the guys really seem pumped up. I think we have a very good shot at running well.(Jeff Fuller site), also see an image of the car their or on my Busch Series Paint Schemes page.(8-21-2003)
  • Blount, Jesel and Miller extend UPDATE: Miller High Life has extended its sponsorship of Chad Blount and Jesel Racing for six additional races, Michigan being the first. Also in the package are upcoming races at Richmond, Kansas, Charlotte, Atlanta and Homestead.(Gaston Gazette)(8-16-2003)
    UPDATE: Miller Brewing Co. has announced that it will extend its sponsorship of a car competing in Busch Series races. The High Life Dodge debuted in the June 27 Grand National series race at the Milwaukee Mile. The new agreement makes High Life the primary sponsor of Jesel Racing and driver Chad Blount for six additional races, which began with last weekend’s Cabela’s 250 at the Michigan International Speedway. Blount finished 40th in Milwaukee and 15th in Michigan. High Life will sponsor the Jesel Racing team and Blount in Busch Series events at Richmond International Raceway (Sept. 5); Kansas Speedway (Oct. 4); Lowe’s Charlotte Motor Speedway (Oct. 10); Atlanta Motor Speedway (Oct. 25); and Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 15).( Business Journal)(8-21-2003)
  • Chance 2 Tribute Car at Bristol: Martin Truex Jr. and Chance 2 Motorsports will be teaming for the third time this year when the NASCAR Busch Series visits Bristol Motor Speedway for the Food City 250 on Friday, August 22. The special paint scheme features a bright orange side with white on the top and blue #81 on the Chevrolet.. The scheme is in honor of the late Robert Gee, grandfather of co-owner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Robert Gee is not only legendary for helping many drivers get their start in stock car racing, but also as one of the greatest fabricators. Gee worked with NASCAR legends such as; Bobby Isaacs, Dale Earnhardt and Darrell Waltrip, to name a few. The paint scheme is reminiscent of Gee’s late model that Earnhardt and Waltrip drove in the mid-70’s. Gee worked for Hendrick Motorsports in the 80’s as their head fabricator. One of the most often-told stories about Gee was when he used old fenders from a junk yard and redesigned them to create better air flow for his Daytona 500 car. He was a legend in his own right that helped shape sheet metal and careers of future legends of NASCAR. Truex Jr., 23, will be making his first start at Bristol. Kevin “Bono” Manion, crew chief, decided to test the tricky half-mile, high-banked oval so Truex Jr. could get a handle on the concrete track. The test proved successful when they posted the second fastest time among those testing. In his previous races with Chance 2, Truex Jr. made his presence know with his patience and consistency. In both races, Truex Jr. was a top-five runner and even led 11 laps at Richmond International Speedway. However, both races did not end well At Richmond, while running third, the transmission broke on a restart. And, in the waning laps at Dover, the car got loose as Truex was making his move into fifth as he backed into the retaining wall. Chance 2 and Truex are now out to prove just how good they really are.
    “This is a fitting tribute to my grandfather, Robert Gee,” said Dale Jr. “Unknown to many people, I have racing heritage on both sides of my family. Robert Gee was a pioneer of fabricated body work in NASCAR. Martin is a great, young driver that I have a lot of confidence in and he has impressed me in his first two races with Chance 2. Bono and the Chance 2 team have a great car ready for Bristol. This team and Martin continue to amaze me in how good they are. I am really looking forward to the Food City 250, especially since having such a successful test.”(DEI PR)(8-20-2003)
  • Albertsons leaving the #57? UPDATE: hearing that Albertsons has told the #57 ppc Racing team that they will NOT extend their sponsorship of Jason Keller and the #57 Albertsons car for the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series season.(8-18-2003)
    UPDATE: ppc Racing is losing primary sponsor Albertson’s from the No. 57 car driven by Jason Keller at year’s end. Keller is currently third in NASCAR Busch Series points.(FSN’s Totally NASCAR)(8-20-2003)
  • Musgrave to drive for Spencer: NASCAR.com posted that Ted Musgrave will drive the #7 Sirius Dodge in the Cup race and the #6 Tommy Baldwin Racing Dodge in Friday’s Busch race. The Truck owner Jim Smith entered for Spencer in tonights Truck Series race has been withdrawn. So Musgrave will join Kevin Harvick in doing triple duty at Bristol: Truck, Busch and Cup races.(8-20-2003)
  • Another Busch race by Lindey? Mardy Lindley, who finished 16th in his Busch Series debut Aug. 2 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, could be running NASCAR’s No. 2 circuit again in October. Lindley said plans call for him to drive again for veteran NASCAR team owner Richard Childress in the Aaron’s 312 Oct. 25 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga. Lindley plans to attend a series of tests with RCR drivers through the rest of this year and also hopes to be in the pits with team members at several Busch races this season. He is among the drivers Childress is considering for full- or part-time Busch employment for next year. Childress team managers were impressed with Lindley’s run at IRP. He practiced and qualified well and was the first finisher after the lead-lap cars. He ran laps at the same speeds as the leaders over the closing 25 miles. Lindley, 30, said he plans to continue running in United Speed Alliance Racing Hooters ProCup events this year.(Greenville News)(8-17-2003)
  • Harvick wins rain shortened race at MIS: #21-Kevin Havick won the rain shortened Cabela’s 250 at Michigan International Speedway with 14 laps to go of 125. Finishing 2nd was pole sitter #38-Kasey Kahne, followed by #25-Bobby Hamiton Jr., #37-David Green and #10-Scott Riggs. Riggs is the points leader by a scant 2 over Green.
    For results see ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.com or Motorsports One or NASCAR.com.(8-16-2003)
  • #23 gets a new assoc: Bill Davis and driver Scott Wimmer announced a sponsorship arrangement with NEO Synthetics for the remainder of the season.(Gaston Gazette)(8-16-2003)
  • Lewis Helps Out: During the off week, Ashton Lewis Jr. and brother (not to mention crew chief) Charlie participated in the Lou Holtz 5-K Charity Run in Columbia, S.C., to help raise money for the University of South Carolina football coach’s charity foundation.(Gaston Gazette)(8-16-2003)
  • Troubles at the #34? UPDATE: Hearing that #34 team owner, Frank Cicci has been forced to lay off the majority of his Busch Series team because of their sponsors inability to make their payments per the contract. The team has tested and prepared a car for Bristol but does not have a sponsor. If a sponsor can be found in time, Mike McLaughlin will still drive the car at Bristol. Following Bristol, not sure what the team or McLaughlin’s plans are for the rest of the year.(8-15-2003)
    UPDATE: Contrary to published reports, the LesCare Kitchens/Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly sponsorship program in the NASCAR Busch Series has been put on temporary hold and has not been terminated. “LesCare Kitchens officials are the ones responsible for putting Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly back on the race track in 2003, and rumors that they have severed their ties with this race team are not true,” Cicci stated Friday. “LesCare has put a temporary hold on the sponsorship as this vendor-supported program awaits additional funding to carry us through the remainder of the season,” he added. Cicci has announced that as a result of this sponsorship hold by LesCare with his team, driver Mike McLaughlin is available to other NASCAR Busch, Craftsman Truck or Winston Cup Series teams that may be in need of a driver. Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly is seeking additional Busch Series sponsorship for both McLaughlin and veteran Busch and Winston Cup Series driver Todd Bodine, who with his wife, Lynn, have purchased an ownership interest in the race team. A 2-car team operation for 2004 is currently being developed. The race team, which had signed a 11-race sponsorship agreement for 2003 with LesCare back in March, has run six races under the LesCare Kitchens banner to date. McLaughlin earned a season-best ninth place finish in Daytona in July and was 13th at Richmond in May.. The team has five more races on its schedule to run this season under the LesCare Kitchens arrangement that includes Bristol, TN next weekend and the upcoming races in Richmond, Charlotte, Memphis and Homestead-Miami.(Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly PR)(8-16-2003)
  • #43 Tires from NHIS cleared and OK: NASCAR said Friday no foreign substances were found in a chemical analysis of tires used by #43-Johnny Sauter in the Busch race at New Hampshire last month. NASCAR impounded the tires after post-race inspection and sent them to an outside company to see if anything had been used to soften the tires, which could increase traction.(ThatsRacin.com), see past news on the July 2003 Busch Past News Page.(8-16-2003)
  • Driver Looking: Driver Lowell Bennett has over 20 years experience in racing and is hoping for an opportunity with a team where that 20 means alot. After running five races with personal funding during the past two seasons, Bennett is looking for a ride with a professional team to allow him to continue in the Busch Series in the 2003 season and beyond (single race, limited, or full schedule). Career accomplishments and contact info can be viewed at www.bennettmotorsports.net.(8-16-2003)
  • Blount in the #26; Dr. Pepper to the #48; where is Grubb? UPDATE 2: Chad Blount will be in the #26 Miller High Life Dodge this weekend for Carroll Racing. Dr. Pepper has jumped over to the #48 and Shane Hmiel for supposedly the next 5 races. No idea what’s going on with Kevin Grubb.(BGNRacing.com)(8-13-2003)
    UPDATE: Dr Pepper and Carroll Racing are working to finalize a very amicable split while attempting to reduce costs for the remainder of the final contract year. Yes, the #26 car is carrying Miller livery this weekend in Michign. Yes, the #48 is carrying Dr Pepper livery with Shane driving. You will see Dr Pepper on the #26 with Kevin Grubb for a good bit of the remainder of the season. You will also see changes in the race schedule that place Dr Pepper on other cars periodically as a way to help several other teams while reducing costs at Carroll Racing. Overlay all that with a joint effort between Carroll Racing and Team Jesel to enter six races in 2003 on behalf of another sponsor. Carroll Racing is currently reviewing all of their options for 2004.(8-14-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Kevin Grubb’s Busch Series team is cutting back on its 2003 plans. Caroll Racing will field the #26 Dodge in four of the final 12 races this season. Grubb will drive in the races at Bristol Motor Speedway (Aug. 22), Darlington Raceway (Aug. 30), Dover International Speedway (Sept. 20) and Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 1). Primary sponsor Dr Pepper, which is leaving the team after the season, will be paired with other Busch teams during the remaining eight races. The Innovative Motorsports Chevrolet driven by Shane Hmiel will carry the sponsor this weekend at Michigan International Speedway.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(8-16-2003)
  • Atwood and Bradshaw visit the Pentagon: During a recent visit to the Pentagon, the Navy’s [#14 Busch team] racing team visited the Sailors they represent on the track. NASCAR driver Casey Atwood, National Football League (NFL) Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw and Armando Fitz of the FitzBradshaw Racing team toured the Pentagon and signed autographs for fans. Bradshaw and Atwood also ate lunch with Sailors to show their appreciation for the men and women they represent. Bradshaw and his FitzBradshaw Racing Team partner, Fitz, own the blue and silver Number 14 Navy car, which serves as a retention and recruiting vehicle for the Navy. The car was on display in the Pentagon Courtyard during their visit. Bradshaw, a four-time Super Bowl champion and Fox Sports football commentator, said he has the utmost respect for Sailors and is proud to be associated with the Navy. “It’s an exciting program,” said Bradshaw. “It’s a perfect fit.” As a part of the sponsorship deal, Atwood will represent the Navy in eight Busch Series races and one Winston Cup Series race between Memorial Day and Nov. 30.(Navy Newstand)(8-15-2003)
  • Kahne on the pole at MIS: #38-Kasey Kahne won the pole for Saturday’s Cabela’s 250 at Michigan International Speedway with a speed of 186.490mph, his first career Busch Series pole. On the outside pole is another Busch driver [in his last 2003 Busch race to perserve his rookie status for 2004], #87-David Reutimann who ran a lap of 186.379mph. The next six spots on today’s starting grid will be filled by Winston Cup regulars. #19-Casey Mears will start third Saturday alongside #8-Tony Stewart [his first Busch start since 1998 and he has never won in the Busch Series] on Row 2. #21-Kevin Harvick, #17-Matt Kenseth, #7-Greg Biffle [but is in backup car and has to go to the rear of the field before the start of the race] and #99-Michael Waltrip come next, with #5-Brian Vickers and #48-Shane Hmiel rounding out the top 10. Stewart, the defending Winston Cup champion, is driving a #8 Chevrolet for Chance 2 Motorsports, owned by Teresa Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt Jr. won this year’s three Busch Series restrictor-plate races with the team. Steve Park, Hank Parker Jr. and Martin Truex Jr. have also driven the car. “I thought this would be fun,” Stewart said. “Dale Jr. wants to call the race from the pit box and I want to race one of his cars. He says’s he’ll be my boss for the day, and that should be very interesting.”(ThatsRacin.com)
    See results/lineups at ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.com or NASCAR.com.(8-15-2003)
  • Martha Nemechek named Food City 250 Grand Marshal: The ultimate NASCAR Mom, Martha Nemechek, mother of NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series driver Joe Nemechek has seen her fair share of NASCAR races. On Friday, August 22nd she will get a chance to see the drivers get the command to start their engines from somewhat of a different perspective. Food City officials have named Martha Nemechek the Grand Marshal for the NASCAR Busch Series Food City 250. “Martha is well known in the NASCAR Community and is always a fixture in Joe’s pit area,” commented Food City senior vice president of marketing, Tom Hembree. “She is so dedicated to her family, we thought it was fitting to invite her into the Food City family.” On race day you can always see Martha with her camera taking pictures. She is the team photographer and enjoys sharing her photos with others. While at the track she enjoys providing homemade goodies for the Hendrick Motorsports crew, cheering Joe on, taking Joe’s photo and of course waxing Joe’s car. She always waxes Joe’s car each weekend, sometimes twice. Martha is the mother of four children: Marti, Joe, Mark and John. This proud mother will have the honor of broadcasting the four most famous words in motor sports to a field of 43 NASCAR Busch Series drivers to start the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway. “I was completely shocked when Food City asked me to be the Grand Marshal, what an honor it will be, especially since Joe will be fielding two cars in the race,” stated Martha Nemechek. “I would like to thank Food City for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am looking forward to a great weekend of racing at Bristol Motor Speedway.” The Food City 250 is the 24th stop on the 34-race NASCAR Busch Series schedule. Jimmy Spencer is the defending Food City 250 victor. The green flag will wave the start of the Food City 250 at 8:00 p.m., Friday, August 22, 2003. The event will be televised live on TNT.(Food City PR)(8-14-2003)
  • Lowe’s Testing Dates: Lowe’s Motor Speedway has confirmed open testing dates for the Oct. 10 “Little Trees” 300 NASCAR Busch Series event: Testing dates will be Monday, Sept. 29th and Tuesday, Sept. 30. On-Track Testing: 3:00 p.m. to 10 p.m. The main grandstand is open free of charge during each of the testing sessions.(LMS PR)(8-13-2003)
  • Wallace gets sponsor for MIS: Mike Wallace and Biagi Bros. Racing announced that Marsh will be onboard the #4 Chevy at Michigan International Speedway this weekend. “This is a special treat for all of us in the Great Lakes area,” said Greg Stanbury of Marsh. “Not only does it bring us into a new theater of marketing services, but it allows us to participate in something we truly enjoy – NASCAR racing.” Marsh Detroit’s foray into auto racing was arranged with the help of Michigan business leader, Leonard Turowski. “It’s a risky business,” said Turowski, who is a partner in the No. 4 car. “Having the world’s leading risk experts involved in the world’s most exciting auto racing is special for us,” adds Turowski.(Biagi Bros. Racing PR)(8-13-2003)
  • Great Clips re-ups with the #38: Great Clips, Inc., one of America’s top-50 franchisers, is pleased to announce a two-year contract extension with Akins Motorsports as primary sponsor of the #38 Great Clips Ford in the Busch Series. Kasey Kahne is the driver of the #38.(Performance PR Plus via BGNRacing.com)(8-13-2003)
  • Labonte returns: Making his first Busch Series appearance since October 2000, Justin Labonte, the son of two-time Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte. If he makes the Michigan race it will be Labonte’s 23rd career Busch Series start.(NASCAR.com via BGNRacing.com)(8-13-2003)
  • Stewart back to Busch UPDATE: When Tony Stewart fires up his engine for the Cabela’s 250 NASCAR Busch Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday August 16, his car won’t be the only thing rollin’ at MIS, as Grammy-nominated rock band 3 Doors Down will perform a post-race concert following the Cabela’s 250. Tony Stewart will be participating in his first NASCAR Busch Series race since 1998 in a car that will feature a 3 Doors Down paint scheme for Chance 2 Motorsports car owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. Stewart, and Earnhardt Jr. recently appeared in the band’s latest video The Road I’m On [see my driver appearances page for the links to view the video]. The Road I’m On video and song mark the follow up to 3 Doors Down’s top-selling, Grammy-nominated single, When I’m Gone. Both songs are featured on their multi-platinum sophomore release, Away from the Sun. Tickets are still available for the Cabela’s 250, featuring the post-race concert by 3 Doors Down. All seats are just $50 and children 12 and under are admitted free. The concert will follow the completion of the Cabela’s 250 in the Water Tower Lot across from the Speedway’s Administration building outside turn 1 of the track. For tickets, call the MIS Ticket Office at 1-800-354-1010 or go on-line at www.MISpeedway.com.(Michigan International Speedway PR)(7-30-2003)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart will be driving an orange and black Chevrolet this weekend, but it won’t be his usual #20. Instead, the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion will be driving the #8 Chevrolet for Chance 2 Motorsports in the Busch Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 15. The entry is owned by Teresa Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Stewart and the Earnhardt’s have partnered up for the one-race deal in the Cabela’s 250 that will carry the names and faces of 3 Doors Down. Chance 2 Motorsports was founded by the Earnhardt’s in the summer of 2002 to run a limited Busch schedule. The team also provides the opportunity for Dale Jr. to compete in the Busch Series and an avenue to showcase skills of up and coming drivers. With four wins in only eight starts, Chance 2 has swept the three-restrictor plate races in 2003 with Dale Jr. behind the wheel. Tony Stewart joins Steve Park, Hank Parker Jr. and Martin Truex Jr. on the list of drivers who’ve all taken their turn wheeling the Chance 2 machine this season. This isn’t the first time Dale Jr. and Stewart have partnered for a project. Currently receiving air play on MTV and VH1, the two are featured in the 3 Doors Down music video ‘The Road I’m On.’ Filmed in Concord, N.C., it all started with a casual conversation and they next thing they knew, a deal was struck between two of the biggest names in NASCAR. The winning combination on the track became a winner on the airwaves. At Michigan, Stewart will be behind the wheel, Earnhardt Jr. on the pit box and 3 Doors Down on the car as they work their way to Victory Lane.
    QUOTES
    “Dale Earnhardt helped me out a lot in my rookie year, and I have always had a great respect for what he did for our sport,” Stewart said. “Junior and I thought this would be fun. He wants to call the race from the pit box and I want to race one of his cars. He says he’ll be my boss for the day, and that should be very interesting. Dale Jr. called me and asked me if I was interested to race the car. It sounded like a lot of fun and I’ve been watched the fun he’s been having in his Busch car this year. That was my first reaction. The night he called me with the invitation, I got to thinking about all the types of cars I’ve driven in my career and the only two types of cars I haven’t won in is a Busch Series car and a Sports Car. So, I think this would be a great opportunity to get my first Busch victory. At that point, it became an easy decision to hook up with Dale Jr. and Chance 2. I haven’t seen the car or sat in it yet, but I know his crew chief and I have all the faith and know he has good equipment. I’m not worried, we’ll go to Michigan and we’ll be fine. When we shot the video with 3 Doors Down, it went from 6 p.m. – 6 a.m. the next day. It made for a long night, but it was well worth it.”
    “Tony and I used to be rivals when we both raced in the Busch Series,” Dale Jr. said. “Since then we’ve become good friends and I thought it would awesome if he drove for Chance 2 for one race. When we did the video with 3 Doors Down, both of us got to know the band and how much they enjoy NASCAR. We thought it would be cool for them to be on a Chance 2 car with Tony driving..And, I guess we’re returning the favor to them for letting us show off our acting skills.”
    “Tony is a true racer,.he will drive anything with wheels on it,” said Kevin ‘Bono’ Manion, crew chief. “He just wants to win. He reminds me of one of our car owners. I am very proud of our guys, we’ve worked hard but we’re having a lot of fun doing it. They have put a lot of effort into every car we have run this year..Since we don’t have many full-time guys, we have to work really hard to get ready for each race..The goal for the weekend is to repeat our pole and victory at Daytona.” (DEI PR), see image of the car om my Busch Series Paint Scheme page.(8-12-2003)
  • Renshaw to be honored: Former Fairgrounds Speedway driver Deborah Renshaw has been awarded the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from Northwood University in Midland, Mich. She earned a degree in marketing from the school.(Tennessean)(8-7-2003)
  • Starr might fit well for Aikman-Staubach team: Hall of Fame Racing, the new NASCAR team being formed by former Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, still hopes to run one or two cars in the Busch Series next year. One driver who would appear to be a perfect fit is NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series racer David Starr. His name alone is a great marketing tool for a team owned by former Cowboys, but Starr also has a few other things going for him. He’s a respected racer with the talent to win, he has the looks and personality that sponsors love, and he’s a Texan who lives just down the road from Texas Stadium.(Dallas Morning News)(8-7-2003)
  • Bradshaw Speaks: #12/#14/#82 Car owner Terry Bradshaw last week said he was so unhappy with the way his NASCAR Busch Series team was headed with driver Kerry Earnhardt, he considered pulling his ownership away from the team if changes weren’t made. “I wanted to make the move (to fire Earnhardt) a long time ago,” Bradshaw said. “This is about performance, not a last name. I wanted something to be done, but it was hard with all the sponsorship deals. And my partner (Armando Fitz) was more worried about being politically correct. I finally said we got to do something different or you can do this without me.” Since Earnhardt, the eldest son of racing legend Dale Earnhardt, was fired, Tim Fedewa has posted finishes of 12th, 13th and 13th – the three best efforts for the team this year. “Hello?” Bradshaw said. “Does that tell you something?”(Augusta Chronicle)(8-7-2003)
  • Mosley to run rest of the Busch season: Jamie Mosley, a former dirt late model competitor, announced he will compete in the remainder of this year’s Busch Series races with Jay Robinson Racing of Monroe, NC. Mosley will race the team’s #39 Ford full-time beginning with the Cabela’s 250 at Michigan Speedway (August 16th). I’ll be real busy now with all three jobs, but I’m really excited about the opportunity that Jay has given me,” said Mosley, who has finished no worse than 26th in his first three Busch Series races with the team this year. “It’s a big accomplishment and I’m really proud of it. I try to keep it in perspective. It’s still just a car and I’m just a driver and I’m still like everybody else – a regular person who just happens to drive a race car.” A veteran of late model, modified and sportsman division competition at short tracks in Kentucky, Mosley was planning to make his Busch Series debut at his home track of Kentucky Motor Speedway in June driving for Robinson, but was called into action a week earlier at Nashville Superspeedway to sub for Dan Pardus. With limited track time, Mosley brought the #39 home in 21st spot, the best run for the team all year long on non-restrictor plate tracks. Mosley has made starts at Nashville, Chicagoland Speedway and Pikes Peak International Raceway this season. Mosley, who also serves as a Kentucky State Police Dispatcher, is planning to bring over part of his ARCA operation to the Busch Series. The unique part of that is the fact that his “over the wall” crew will be comprised mostly of his law enforcement friends, including Kentucky State Troopers, Deputies and local Kentucky Police Officers. The team will start crewing the #39 Busch car at Michigan. Mosley also plans to incorporate the legions of NASCAR fans into his Busch Series career. He started a new practice in Chicago that he hopes to make a tradition by visiting with the fans in the campgrounds and signing autographs between Busch Series qualifying and “Happy Hour” sessions and then again at the end of the day. More info on Mosley see his site at www.jamiemosley.com.(51 Sports)(8-6-2003)
  • Burton to run at MIS: On Saturday, August 16, 2003, Jeff Burton will run the #9 Roush Performance Ford at Michigan International Speedway in the Michigan 250. This will be the third time in 2003 that Burton has raced the #9 Ford in the Busch Series. “I’m looking forward to running the Busch car at Michigan,” said Burton. “We have Cowboy (Kevin Starland) as a crew chief and we’re bringing the same group of crew guys that we had in New Hampshire. Hopefully we’ll be able to build on what we did and what we learned at New Hampshire and get the No. 9 Roush Performance Ford into victory lane next weekend.” The #9 Ford will sport a black, red and white paint scheme and carry Roush Performance as the primary sponsor. A subsidiary of Roush Industries, Roush Performance is the high performance specialty vehicle division of Roush. Roush Performance has been focused on building its brand through the Ford vehicle line. To its credit, over 5,000 Roush-branded Mustangs, Expeditions, F-150 trucks and Mercury Cougars have been manufactured and delivered from its Livonia-based headquarters. In 2003, Roush Performance is announcing plans of a major expansion into the high performance automotive aftermarket. To achieve Roush’s vision, Larry Parker and Tom Jennett have been added as president and executive vice president, respectively. Roush parts and vehicles are distributed through a network of more than 150 Ford dealerships. More information on Roush parts and vehicles can be found on line at www.roushperf.com or www.roushparts.com or by calling 1-800-59-ROUSH.(Roush Racing PR)(8-6-2003)
  • Blount back in the #66 at MIS: Chad Blount plans to return to the track next week at Michigan for the Cabela’s 250. Blount will attempt to make the field in the #66 Miller High Life Dodge, which is owned by Team Jesel. Blount has 12 Busch Series starts under his belt with a best finish of 5th at Texas.(BGNRacing.com)(8-6-2003)
  • Harmon on TV: Mike Harmon, driver of the #44 FanZCar Chevrolet, is scheduled to appear on ABC’s Prime Time, this Thursday (8/7) at 10 pm. The feature will cover Mike’s crash at Bristol last year and also his new sponsor, The FanZCar.(BGNRacing.com)(8-6-2003)
  • New Shoes for ppc: AIRPLUS, a leading insole brand produced by IMPLUS Footcare, LLC joined ppc Racing for the first time this past weekend at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The AIRPLUS logo will be displayed in front of the rear wheel of the #57 Albertson’s Ford and the #10 Nestle Nesquik Ford, as well as the B-Post of the #57 Albertson’s Ford for the remainder of the 2003 Busch Series season. “The amount of time that the members of this ppc Racing team spend on their feet, we have been waiting for a partnership that can help sooth our pains.. AIRPLUS is a great product that everyone at ppc Racing is excited to use and have in the NASCAR community,” said Keith Barnwell, co-owner of the ppc Racing Fords, along with Greg Pollex. “At IMPLUS Footcare we recognize that NASCAR as one of the growing sports today,” stated Todd Vore, President of IMPLUS Footcare, LLC.. “We are looking forward to a long successful relationship with such a accomplished team like ppc Racing.”
    “We have identified NASCAR as a exceptional way to reach the core AIRPLUS consumers,” said John Andrews, Director of Marketing for Implus Footcare, LLC.. A formal announcement pertaining to a long-term partnership between AIRPLUS and ppc Racing will come in October at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Implus Footcare, LLC which is headquartered in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, designs, markets and distributes insoles, foot care devices, shoe care products and shoe laces under the SOF SOLE and AIRPLUS brand names in over 65 Countries worldwide.ppc Racing PR)(8-4-2003)
  • Vickers may debut in Cup later this year: Car owner [#’s 5,24,25,48,60] Rick Hendrick said he plans to put Brian Vickers in a Cup car this season, most likely in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Hendrick said Vickers has tested a Cup car in Kentucky during an engine test.(Roanoke Times)(8-4-2003)
  • Teams Scuffle a bit: Kyle Busch helped Hendrick Motorsports teammate Brian Vickers celebrate his first NASCAR Busch Series victory Saturday night at Indianapolis Raceway Park. But Busch didn’t like doing it in his street clothes. Busch, 18, qualified fourth and ran consistently in the top-10 before colliding with Ashton Lewis Jr. on the 127th lap in front of a near-capacity crowd estimated at 35,000. The collision ended the night for both. Busch finished 33rd in his second race in the series and Lewis, who was running 14th, placed 34th in the 43-car field. The first and only pit stop for the leaders occurred under a caution period that started on the 110th lap. Busch, a Las Vegas native living near Charlotte, N.C., was running seventh on lap 120, a lap after the restart. He tried to pass Lewis by driving a low line into the first turn. When Lewis appeared to veer to the left, Busch braked and slid into Lewis. “(Lewis) might have come down and when he did, I stomped the brake pedal and turned left. That got me loose,” Busch said. “I chased it and then I hit him.” A brief scuffle developed between members of the two pit crews, and Lewis complained Busch was too aggressive considering he was not racing to improve his position. “It was probably more my fault,” Busch said. “It was just after a restart and I could have been trying a little bit less. But I was trying to get back up to the front and pass as many cars as I could. At this race we learned we shouldn’t try that hard that soon after a restart. (Las Vegas Review Journal)(8-4-2003)
  • NASCAR Takes #43’s Tires UPDATE 4 maybe?: NASCAR officials confiscated all four tires from Johnny Sauter’s #43 Channellock Chevy following Saturday’s Busch Series race at New Hampshire and has sent them to the Charlotte, NC, area for chemical analysis. NASCAR spokesman Mike Zizzo said Sauter’s #43, fielded by Curb-Agajanian Motorsports, was selected as a car to be randomly inspected after the race because “of a comparison of its lap times with those of the race leaders.” Sauter started the race in 27th and remained in the middle of the pack for most of the first third of the race. After pitting for what the team said was to reconnect a plug wire, Sauter’s Chevrolet came to life and he moved through the field and took the lead on Lap 142 of 200 from Kevin Harvick, who had led the first 141 laps. Sauter made a green-flag pit stop on Lap 144, but a caution came out when he was on the pit road and he went a lap down. However, Sauter regained the lap on another caution on Lap 151. He later had to park his car on Lap 177 for engines problems. Zizzo said the car underwent a complete tear-down, including an examination of its electrical components. No other irregularities were found. Members of the team were not available for comment.(Thatsracin.com)(7-19-2003)
    UPDATE: NASCAR officials said it would be at least the end of next week before results are in from a chemical analysis on the four tires used by Johnny Sauter’s #43 Chevy in Saturday’s Busch race at New Hampshire. NASCAR took the tires following an intense inspection of the car, including an examination of its electrical systems. The car was called in for inspection because of “a comparison of lap times with those of the race leaders.”(Thatsracin.com)(7-20-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Johnny Sauter’s tires were confiscated after the New England 200 Busch Series race on Saturday. After the team blew a motor on lap 177, NASCAR impounded the car and took apart the suspension, including springs, shocks and the electrical system. Team owner Cary Agajanian said NASCAR suspected a traction control device. He also said on Sunday he expects his team to be exonerated.(FoxSports)(7-22-2003)
    UPDATE 3: No action will likely be take against Johnny Sauter’s Curb-Agajanian Motorsports team after tires were confiscated July 19 at New Hampshire, according to Busch Series Director Brian DeHart.(Winston Cup Scene via BGNRacing.com)(7-31-2003)
    UPDATE 4: Despite published reports to the contrary, NASCAR has not completed the investigation of tires used on driver Johnny Sauter’s #43 Chevy in the July 19 Busch Series race at New Hampshire, spokesman Mize Zizzo said Saturday. Following the race, NASCAR did a complete teardown of Sauter’s Chevrolet after comparing his lap times with those of the race leader after a pit stop. No irregularities were found, but NASCAR confiscated all four tires from the car and sent them to Charlotte, N.C., for chemical analysis. Those results are not expected until this week, NASCAR’s Zizzo said.(Thatsracin.com)(8-2-2003)
  • Vickers wins at IRP: #5-Brian Vickers earned his first NASCAR Busch Series victory Saturday night following a wild side-by-side battle with #48-Shane Hmiel – a confrontation featuring two young drivers searching for their first series win. Vickers, 19, made his final pass of Hmiel on Lap 181 of 200 to move out front for good and held off Jason Keller by 2.296 seconds to win the Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park. #59-Stacy Compton finished third. Hmiel was 4th and #10-Scott Riggs finished fifth and holds a seven-point lead over #37-David Green.(ThatsRacin.com)
    Race results at Thatsracin.comBGNRacing.comMotorsports One or NASCAR.com.(8-2-2003)
  • Fuller to stand by: Jeff Fuller is scheduled to standby to practice, qualify or race this weekend for #7-Mike Skinner for the Busch race at IRP.(Jeff Fuller site)(8-1-2003)
  • ARCA Driver to race at Richmond: ARCA driver, Jimmy Henderson, will be in a Busch Series car he bought from Joe Gibbs Racing, planning to enter the Sept. 5 event at Richmond International Raceway.(AJC)(8-1-2003)
  • Wimmer to run Bristol Cup race. . in a Chevy or is it Dover? UPDATE: Scott Wimmer said Monday on Speed Channel’s Inside NBS that he’s planning to enter the Cup race at Bristol in August. Bill Davis Racing has two [#27] Chevrolets back in the shop for him and he’s planning on testing soon [supposedly tested at Dover in May too].(Inside NASCAR Busch Series on SPEED via BGNRacing.com)(7-21-2003)
    UPDATE: Wimmer will likely run the Cup race at Dover on Sept 21st, in a Chevy. Wimmer tested a Chevy at Dover in May, and it was announced he would run there, then was withdrawn [right as the news that Dodge pulling their support of Davis broke](Winston Cup Scene – need sub to view)(8-1-2003)