August 2004 Busch Series Archive
- Timberwolf leaves the sport at end of 2004: Brewco Motorsports Inc. announced today that it has launched a search for a primary sponsor for the #37 Chevy in NASCAR Busch Series competition. Timber Wolf, sponsor of the #37 Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by David Green in the NASCAR Busch Series, has decided that they will not utilize motorsports to market their brand in 2005. Brewco Motorsports owner Clarence Brewer Jr. stated, “We have had an amazing relationship with Timber Wolf over the years. They have been with us since the beginning and have grown their brand as we have grown our organization. Their support has been essential in turning our team into a championship contender. With the support of our program they have been able to meet all of their marketing objectives, but it is time for them to change strategies. I truly appreciate everything they have done for us. Brewco Motorsports along with David Green will be geared up in 2005 to win the NASCAR Busch Series Championship.” Brewco Motorsports is seeking primary sponsorship for the #37 entry. Please contact Matt Crews or Todd Wilkerson at (270) 754-2264 for more information.(BGNRacing.com)(8-31-2004)
- Latest on RYR Busch team: The Robert Yates Racing’s Busch program has a bunch of “what-ifs” to clear up before committing to the 2005 season. The team will split driving duties among Elliott Sadler and Dale Jarrett and likely also have rookie David Ragan behind the wheel.(NASCAR Scene via BGNRacing.com)(8-31-2004)
- Angela’s Motorsports co-conspirator sentenced: In a lengthy plea for a “fair and just punishment” for embezzling about $1 million to fund a NASCAR team [#03 Ford with Mike McLaughlin as the driver] he started with a former stripper, Gary D. Jones quoted the Bible, Shakespeare, Winston Churchill and others in federal court Friday.”It’s not where a man lands that marks his punishment,” Jones, 36, told U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, quoting former U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neil. “It’s how far he falls.” Sparks wasn’t impressed. He sentenced the former Wells Fargo banker to three years and 10 months in federal prison for stealing from his employer – the longest he could impose under federal sentencing guidelines. “You stole a lot of money, and you did it not like the person who went in with a gun but a person who went in with his mind,” said Sparks. “If I could, I’d give you more” time. The sentence comes as federal lawmen are stepping up their search for Jones’ co-conspirator, Angela Harkness, 28. She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud in January, but disappeared before her sentencing hearing in April and is thought to have fled the country. The pair emerged on the NASCAR scene in 2002 out of nowhere with a team called Angela’s Motorsports, run out of Harkness’ Round Rock, Texas, home. They assembled a team that featured accomplished driver Mike McLaughlin and entered races in the Busch Series.(See full story at ThatsRacin.com)(8-28-2004)
- Dale Jr. wins at Bristol; first G-W-C in a Busch race: The NASCAR Busch Series saw its first green-white-checkered overtime period in Friday night’s Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway, which bunched the field and allowed #17-Matt Kenseth one final shot at passing #81-Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the win. Kenseth finally reached Earnhardt Jr’s rear bumper in Turn 3 of the final lap, but fell .100 seconds short at the finish. The win is Earnhardt Jr.’s second of the season in four starts. His last win came in the season opener at Daytona. It was also the 20th of his career and first in any series at Bristol. Kenseth, who restarted behind Earnhardt Jr. on Lap 255 for the green-white-checkered finish, spun his tires on the start and lost valuable ground. Rookie #5-Kyle Busch, who won the series’ past two races, finished third and gained more ground on points leader, #8-Martin Truex Jr., who finished seventh after an early spin in the race. Truex leads Busch by 78 points. #21-Kevin Harvick and #37-David Green completed the top five in the race. The race was marred by 13 cautions covering 87 laps. There were six lead changes among four different drivers.(recap from ThatsRacin.com)
For race results see:
- Eric McClure to run Busch races in the #56: Mac Hill Motorsports has again entered Eric McCLure in its #56 Chevrolet in Friday’s Food City 250 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Abingdon Virginia native McClure, who is the son of Jerry and Sue McClure (Morgan-McClure Motorsports), will be making one of several appearances this season in the Mac Hill Motorsports entry. “I’m excited about the opportunity to work with Jack McNelly and his team in these upcoming races,” said McClure during a test session at the Bristol Motor Speedway last Tuesday. “Anytime you get the chance to work with a veteran crew chief like David Ifft you enhance your learning curve. We have agreed to run four events, and hopefully we can expand on that schedule.”(Mac Hill Motorsports PR)(8-26-2004)
- Keller gets a sponsor for Bristol: Implus, a leading supplier of insole, lace, sock and shoe care products, announced its primary sponsorship with ppc Racing and driver Jason Keller for this week’s NASCAR Busch Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway. Airplus Insoles currently is an associate sponsor with ppc Racing’s #22 Ford Taurus and has been the primary sponsor on two previous occasions this year. As part of the Food City Family Night, Airplus Insoles will be displayed on Thursday, August 26th in downtown Bristol, Tenn. Spokesman Larry McReynolds and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver, Terry Cook, will visit the Airplus Insoles booth to sign autographs. For more information, please visit www.airplusfootcare.com(ppc Racing PR)(8-26-2004)
- Biffle to scale down Busch Series plans in 2005: Greg Biffle told www.teamfordracing.com at MIS that he’s not going to be quite so gung-ho in 2005 with his Busch Series endeavors. Biffle says that a 15-race program would better fit his plans than trying to keep two full-time rides going. Biffle’s travels this year have been very impressive, and if not for a slew of mechanical issues earlier this year would likely be the Busch Series points leader, rather than holding down fourth spot, as he does now.(Team Ford Racing)(8-26-2004)
- Dale Jr. wins pole at Bristol: Through 49 of 51 cars, #23-Kenny Wallace sat on the pole for Friday night’s Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway, but knew #81-Dale Earnhardt Jr., who had yet to qualify, would be tough. He was right. Earnhardt Jr. beat out Wallace for the top spot. But the final driver to attempt to qualify, #74-Tony Raines, beat Wallace, too, and almost caught Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt Jr. posted an event record lap at 126.570mph. Raines came in at 126.537 mph and Wallace at 126.071 mph. #21-Kevin Harvick and #37-David Green completed the top five. Series points leader #8-Martin Truex Jr. will start 12th . Truex, Earnhardt Jr. and #11-Paul Menard are all driving entries owned in part by Dale Earnhardt Inc. For Earnhardt Jr., the pole was his first in the series since July 2003 at Daytona Beach, Fla., and the ninth of his career. Earnhardt Jr. has never won at Bristol, but has two second place finishes.(ThatsRacin.com) #52-Brad Teague, one of four drivers attempting to run all three national series races at Bristol failed to make the race as did: #53-Joe Buford; #0-Mike Potter; #06-Cam Strader; #51-Morgan Shepherd; #68-Rick Markle; #96-Caleb Holman; #16-John Hayden.
For starting lineups/qualifying results see:
- What’s Up with Fittipaldi? UPDATE: Former Champ Car driver Christian Fittipaldi, whose move to NASCAR with #44 Petty Enterprises stalled this year due to a lack of sponsorship, will compete in the final four races of the Grand American Rolex Series with reigning Daytona Prototype champion Terry Borcheller. Team owner and driver Forest Barber said Fittipaldi would co-drive with Borcheller in Bell Motorsports’ Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac. Fittipaldi was one of the team’s four drivers when it won the 2004 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in February. “I’m really excited — especially because I have a chance to go back to the Daytona 24 Hour-winning car,” Fittipaldi said. “Hopefully the team, Terry and myself can put four good finishes together so Bell Motorsports will be in a very good position for 2005.” Although still under contract with Petty Enterprises, Fittipaldi is scheduled to compete in four Busch Series races later this season for Innovative Motorsports.(Las Vegas Sun)(8-20-2004)
UPDATE: It was reported Friday in this space [Las Vegas Sun] that Christian Fittipaldi would attempt to run four NASCAR Busch Series races later this year for Innovative Motorsports. Fittipaldi, who remains under contract with Petty Enterprises, no longer is affiliated with Innovative Motorsports, which fields two Toyota Tundra trucks in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The Sun regrets the error.(Las Vegas Sun)(8-25-2004)
- Green’s deal with the #25 Team Marines is Nixed by Dodge: Team Rensi Motorsports owner Sam Rensi told Sirius Speedway /Sirius Satellite/MRN Radio host Dave Moody Wednesday that Dodge has vetoed his decision to put Jeff Green in the Team Marines #25 Ford for the remainder of the 2004 season. “Dodge didn’t like that deal,” said Rensi, “so we’ll have Mike McLaughlin in the car this weekend at Bristol.” The #25 owner also responded to comments by Bobby Hamilton, Jr., who called his recent dismissal, “just a cheap way to get rid of me,” and added, “they still owe me money and I’m going to get paid.” Rensi said his team “plan(s) to honor all commitments in that area.” Rensi also disputed Hamilton’s claims of an uncomfortable atmosphere surrounding the team since he and crewchief Harold Holly announced plans to leave, saying, “I can only comment on 50-percent of that equation, but I haven’t seen any of it. Harold apparently isn’t too uncomfortable, since he is staying on for the remainder of the season.”(Sirius Speedway /Sirius Satellite/MRN), no word who will be in the #25 at California and beyond. McLuaghlin has 6 career Busch wins in 302 starts. His last Busch race was at New Hampshire in July 2003.(8-25-2004)
- Edwards to run the Busch race at Bristol: from an interview with Busch Series part-time driver Robby Benton, about running Carl Edwards in their #03 Car at Bristol in the Busch Series race, XM Satellite NASCAR Radio…Claire B. Lang:
RAB Racing will field Carl Edwards in the Bristol Bush race this weekend. Interesting…the team is owned by Robby and Bobby Benton – father and son who work at Yates on the M&M’s team. “It’s kind of something that just kinda happened at the last minute. Carl’s been a good friend, I have a lot of respect for him. He’s got a lot of talent, he’s got a big future. He’s a great driver and it’s the kind of deal where I’ve never run Bristol. I need to show that my team’s capable of being competitive. We missed a couple of races this year, circumstances that we know why..but from an oursider looking in I need the team to be taken seriously and I know that we can provide competitive cars both for potential sponsors and for my guys you know they need to have confidence that they can build a competitive car. Putting someone like Carl in the car especially coming off of you know he’ll run the truck race there Wednesday night and he’s in the cup car now so he’s got a lot of confidence and he’ll have a lot of track time there so we should be good right off the truck.
We’re getting a lot of support out of all the guys here at yates and the Busch side at roush has given us a lot of support with it because Carl’s a part of it so there’s a lot of knowledge behind it so I think we’ll be good. Carl’s really excited about it that makes a big difference. Right now he said as long as nothing changes the SuperChips truck team will pit it -Cowboy [Kevin Starland] his [Truck Series] crew chief will be there on a support basis – he said he’d be there if they needed his advice or anything. -MAC tools sponsoring it.(XM Satelitte NASCAR Radio 144)(8-24-2004)
- Hamiton Jr. released from the #25, Jeff Green in: Team Rensi Motorsports announced this afternoon that Jeff Green will drive the Team Marines #25 NASCAR Busch Series Ford Taurus for the remainder of the season effective immediately. In making the announcement, Sam Rensi, President and CEO of Team Rensi Motorsports based in Mooresville, NC, made the decision to allow Bobby Hamilton Jr. to devote the remainder of the 2004 season to his Nextel Cup career. The decision will also allow Team Rensi Motorsports to begin preparations for the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series season.(BGNRacing.com)(8-23-2004)
AND Team Rensi on Monday afternoon announced an immediate driver change for its #25 Team Marine’s Busch Series team, claiming they were releasing driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. to allow him to “devote the remainder of the 2004 season to his Nextel Cup career.” There was just one problem. Hamilton Jr. never asked for such a courtesy. “I don’t understand why. All I got was a call Monday afternoon from Ed Rensi (a co-owner) saying there would be a driver change effective immediately,” Hamilton Jr. said. “He didn’t say why. He made it clear I was not going to Bristol and that was pretty much the end of the conversation.” As of Monday, Hamilton’s crew chief Harold Holly was expected to remain with the team, at least for the foreseeable future. Hamilton Jr. and Holly, are moving to PPI Motorsports next season, where Hamilton Jr. will drive the team’s #32 Tide Chevrolets in the Nextel Cup Series. Hamilton Jr. has also driven James Finch’s #09 Dodges part-time in Cup this season. Hamilton Jr. knew nothing of the team’s statement until it was read to him over the phone by a reporter while he was in the middle of an interview. “That’s just a cheap way to get rid of me. Well, it’s not going to be too cheap. They still owe me money and I’m going to get paid,” Hamilton Jr. said. “They’ll put some driver in there and probably just pay him 50-percent of the race winnings and try to make it look like there was a problem with the driver, but I can tell you there were many problems. If you’re going to be a championship caliber team, it goes deeper than who is behind the wheel; it goes deeper than who does the engines. Nothing against Jeff Green, but a new driver isn’t going to solve the problems this team has.”
“Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had people come up to me and ask if the team was going to make it to the end of the year, asking about financial problems, and I was like, ‘What are you talking about?'” he said. “But all of this is suddenly making more sense. If I wanted to I would just walk away and spend every day up at PPI getting ready for next year, but that’s not who I am. I want to race.” Hamilton Jr. said he hopes to finish out the 2004 Busch season with another team. As of late Monday he was fielding several calls about possible rides for Friday night’s race at Bristol, Tenn. Additional calls seeking further comment from representatives of Team Rensi went unreturned as of late Monday.(ThatsRacin.com), have heard the U.S. Marines are looking to go elsewhere in 2005.(8-23-2004)
UPDATE: on XM Satelitte NASCAR Radio, #25 Team Owner Sam Rensi said during an interview with Claire B. Lang [wonder what the ‘B’ stands for?] and the sponsorship with the Marine’s is in the 2nd of a 3 year deal and does have a sponsor year-to-year option, but Rensi said that the Marine’s have said nothing about going elsewhere. Rensi also said he plans to run two Busch teams in 2005.(XM Satelitte NASCAR Radio 144)(8-24-2004)
- Bristol News and Notes:
Apparently, the propensity for winning streaks runs in the family. And Kyle Busch (No. 5 Lowe’s Chevrolet) would like to see that trait continue Friday night at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Food City 250. With his second-consecutive win coming Saturday at Michigan – the first time a driver in the NASCAR Busch Series has experienced back-to-back wins since Scott Wimmer in the final two races of the 2002 season – Busch closed the gap with points leader Martin Truex Jr. (No. 8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) to 97 in the NASCAR Busch Series standings. “We’ve knocked around 50 points off their lead in the past two weeks, so I’m very pleased with how things are going,” said Lance McGrew, crew chief for Busch. “Based on where this team was in the points standings last year at this time, I feel like getting 97 points back is a very real possibility. It’s definitely a goal we can achieve. Again, there’s still a lot of racing left.” The victory at Michigan was Busch’s fifth of the year, giving him the overall lead in series wins. The NASCAR Busch Series hasn’t had a driver post six wins in a season since 2000 series champion Jeff Green.
Meanwhile, Busch’s older brother, Kurt, will be going for his fourth straight win at “Thunder Valley” in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race the following evening. The Busch brothers, however, aren’t the only competitors at Bristol who will be seeking to continue streaks.
Truex won his first-ever NASCAR Busch Series race at Bristol in May and will attempt to become the first driver since 1993 series champion Steve Grissom (No. 24 GIC Chevrolet) to gain a season sweep at Bristol. Grissom won both NASCAR Busch Series races at the track in 1995.
Jason Keller (No. 22 Miller High Life Ford) has won the last two Food City 250 Busch Poles, and three of the last four. His three poles are tied for most ever at the track. Keller also has one career victory at Bristol.
Kenny Wallace (No. 23 YJ Stinger Chevrolet) owns an all-time series record 17 top-10 finishes in 22 career NASCAR Busch Series races at Bristol, and had a streak of nine top 10s from 1996-2002. He finished 16th in May, which marked his first series appearance at Bristol since the fall of 2002.
“(Bristol) is a track that I have been very successful at over the years,” said Wallace, who won the Food City 250 in 1994.
“When it comes to Bristol, experience pays off. I think that the more laps around this place a driver has, the more success he will find. I have seen just about everything when it comes to driving at this speedway.”
NEWS & NOTES, PART II
Jeff Green takes over No. 25 Team Marines Ford … Team Rensi Motorsports President & CEO Sam Rensi announced late Monday that the 2000 NASCAR Busch Series champion Jeff Green would take over for Bobby Hamilton Jr. in the No. 25 U.S. Marine Corps Ford for the remainder of the 2004 season, effective immediately. Green will make his debut with the team at Bristol. “Throughout the past three seasons, Team Rensi Motorsports grew into a championship-caliber team finishing just 49 points out of first place in the 2003 championship race,” Rensi said. “With Bobby and (crew chief) Harold Holly’s announcement to move to the Nextel Cup Series in 2005, I felt that it would be best to allow Bobby to prepare for his career change now and allow Team Rensi Motorsports, with Harold’s help, to begin the process of preparing for 2005. We have started our search for a new crew chief to bring in now to replace Harold and use the rest of the season for a smooth transition before he assumes his duties with PPI Motorsports in 2005.” Green has 16 wins, 23 Busch Poles, 87 top fives and 126 top 10s in 240 NASCAR Busch Series races. He last participated in the series in 2003 at Homestead, finishing 27th.
Wallace family to be honored at Bristol … Collectively, they have over 1,750 career starts, 72 wins and one championship in NASCAR’s three national series. The Wallace brothers – Kenny, Mike and Rusty – will have nearly 25 years of racing accomplishments in NASCAR and the Bristol area recognized Thursday in downtown Bristol, by Bristol Motor Speedway and race sponsor Food City (State Street at 5:30 p.m.). “It is going to be a big weekend for the Wallace family,” Mike Wallace (No. 4 GEICO Ford) said. “The mayor is going to be there as well as (NASCAR President) Mike Helton, (Bristol Motor Speedway Chairman) Bruton Smith and (Bristol Motor Speedway President & General Manger) Jeff Byrd. Given the celebration, Friday night would be a perfect time for Mike to join his brothers as Bristol winners. “I’d love to win a race there,” Mike said. “Rusty has won a lot of races there (9), and Kenny has won one. I figure it is my turn now.”
Michigan race shows broadcast gains while up against Olympics … Last Saturday’s Cabela’s 250 at Michigan International Speedway aired on TNT and produced a 3% increase in households over the 2003 event. The race also featured a 7% increase in ratings over the 2003 broadcast. The race aired directly against the Olympics (8.1 overnight rating on NBC), PGA, LPGA and the Little League World Series.
Chevrolet leads in manufacturers’ standings … Chevrolet has regained its command in the Bill France Performance Cup standings for manufacturers in the NASCAR Busch Series following its second- consecutive win by Kyle Busch last Saturday at Michigan. Chevrolet now has 14 wins and 176 points while Ford has seven wins and 143 points. Dodge is in third with two victories and 105 points.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Kevin Harvick’s (No. 21 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Chevrolet) three wins are the most among drivers entered in the Food City 250. … Defending Food City 250 winner Michael Waltrip (No. 99 Aaron’s Sales & Lease Chevrolet), Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet) and Martin Truex Jr. have posted consecutive top-10 finishes at Bristol. … Jason Keller and David Green (No. 37 Timber Wolf Chevrolet) have each started in the top five a track-record eight times at Bristol. … Keller holds the event qualifying record with his 2003 run of 126.021 mph. … Chevrolet has won the last 14 races at Bristol.
Martin Truex Jr. has three consecutive top-five finishes, but has not won in his last 11 races (Nazareth). … Jason Keller has finished outside the top 10 in his last four races and five of his last six. … Jason Leffler (No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet) enters Bristol with five straight top-10 finishes. He is even with Truex in points in the last six races (916). … Greg Biffle (No. 60 Charter Communications Ford) passed the $5 million mark in series career winnings with his eighth-place finish at Michigan. He joins six other NASCAR Busch Series drivers who have reached that mark. … Hermie Sadler (No. 02 Zapf Creation Chevrolet) will attempt his 250th series start at Bristol … Emerson Radio Corp. has agreed to sponsor the NASCAR Busch Series race at Richmond. The Emerson Radio 250 will begin at 8 p.m. Sept. 10.
“There is just something about night racing at Bristol. It’s very hard to explain. I get goose bumps. I have to try to calm myself down because the excitement and the adrenaline rush are overwhelming. I love this race.” – Ron Hornaday Jr. Bristol is by far the most exciting, intense track we go to all year. It’s basically like running 250 qualifying laps back-to-back. It’s a true test of equipment, pit crew and focus. Running out there by yourself is one thing, but add 42 of your closest ‘friends’ and it’s a whole different ball game. The night race at Bristol is the best race of the year.” – David Green. “Bristol is pretty exhausting. Your arms and legs are always working. They don’t get a moment’s rest. You’re either sawing on the wheel or working the throttle, usually both. … It’s easy to get tired and let your guard down, and that’s when you’ll end up in trouble. You’ve got to stay up on the wheel and remain focused on the race.” – Johnny Sauter (No. 27 Kleenex/Scott Chevrolet).
FROM THE ARCHIVES
The NASCAR Busch Series has competed at Bristol Motor Speedway since the series was created in 1982. The summer race at Bristol was originally known as the Pet Dairy 150. The event was lengthened to 200 laps in 1984 and finally to 250 laps in 1990. Phil Parsons won the inaugural race in 1982. Four drivers have scored back-to-back wins – Brett Bodine in 1985 and ’86, while little brother Todd Bodine won in 1992 and ’93. Larry Pearson won in 1987 and ’88 and Kevin Harvick took the 2000 and ‘01 races. Other winners include Sam Ard, Mark Martin, Jimmy Spencer, Matt Kenseth, Dale Jarrett and defending race champion Michael Waltrip.
What: Food City 250 (Race No. 24 of 34 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, Tenn.
When: 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 27.
Track layout: .533-mile high-banked concrete oval.
Race length: 250 laps/133.25 miles.
Posted awards: $1,251,398.
TV: TNT, 8 p.m. ET.
Radio: PRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: Michael Waltrip.
2003 polesitter: Jason Keller.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Thursday — Practice, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.; qualifying, 3:15 p.m.; final practice 5 – 6 p.m.(NASCAR PR)(8-24-2004)
- Busch wins at Michigan: #5-Kyle Busch scored his second straight victory in the series on Saturday with a victory in the Cabela’s 250 at Michigan International Speedway and his fifth this season by leading 87 of 125 laps and pulling away from veteran #9-Mark Martin after a restart with 10 laps to go to win by nearly four seconds. Since Busch won the Carquest 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May, he now has three victories and a fifth-place finish in the past 10 races. In the other six races, however, he has failed to finish in the top 10. That had allowed #8-Martin Truex Jr. to open a 117-point lead in the series points standings coming into Saturday’s race, and for a while it looked like Busch was going to make a big gain. Truex, who started on the pole alongside Busch on Row 1 after qualifying was rained out Friday, led the first 22 laps but faded after his car got extremely loose on his first pit stop. “It took us until the last pit stop to get it right again,” said Truex, who rallied to finish third and hold onto the championship lead by 97 points. Martin started 43rd, squeezing into the field because the #9 car he was driving had made enough previous qualifying attempts this year. The all-time leader with 45 Busch Series victories, Martin had not raced in the series since the end of the 2000 season. #1-Casey Mears finished fourth and #38-Kasey Kahne was fifth. Nextel Cup veteran #66-Rusty Wallace, making his first Busch Series start since 1997, finished sixth. Busch’s fifth victory tied Greg Biffle for the record for a rookie of the year candidate in the Busch Series. Saturday’s race was slowed by eight yellow flags for 33 laps, both records for a Busch race at the 2-mile Michigan track. The last came for debris on Lap 113, erasing Busch’s lead of more than 5 seconds at the time. But when the green flew with 10 laps remaining, Busch simply pulled away again.(ThatsRacin.com)
For results see:
- GIC-Mixon Motorsports Sets Rumors To Rest, and to run the California Cup race: GIC-Mixon Motorsports co-owner Denise Mixon spoke with Catchfence.com Saturday morning and clearly stated that the #24 Busch Series team does not have any affiliation with FitzBradshaw Racing. GIC and FitzBradshaw did unite for the Pepsi 250 in July, but that was it. “We don’t have any affiliation with the FitzBradshaw team,” said Mixon. “They are great friends of ours, but that was a one race deal. Our team has improved greatly this season, but it’s been our team not anyone else that has made that happen.” Mixon also told Catchfence.com that the team will march into the Nextel Cup Series next month at California. In addition to running the Busch event, the team will also run the Nextel Cup event sporting the #93 Chevy. Steve Grissom will be the driver.(Catchfence.com)(8-22-2004)
- Martin to run Burton’s planned Busch races: Mark Martin, who made his return to the NASCAR Busch Series this weekend at Michigan International Speedway after four years away from the series, has picked up three additional races. Martin originally was scheduled to drive a limited Busch schedule this season in conjunction with Roush Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Jeff Burton. But when Burton signed a contract with Richard Childress Racing for 2005 little more than a week ago, his participation in Roush’s Busch program was curtailed. Roush Racing president Geoff Smith said at MIS, that Martin would run races at Dover, Atlanta and Phoenix.(NASCAR.com)(8-21-2004)
- Unilever Foods signs with Evernham Motorsports for a Busch Team: Unilever Foods Division announced the signing of an agreement that places the company’s successful Hungry Drivers NASCAR Busch Series sponsorship with Evernham Motorsports for the upcoming 2005 season. Unilever Foods, one of the world’s largest food companies, is home to a roster of household brands including Ragu pasta sauce, Shedd’s Spread Country Crock spread, Lipton tea, Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Lawry’s spice blends and marinades. The company entered the NASCAR Busch Series at the start of the 2004 season with a first of its kind program, providing four up and coming, or “hungry” drivers including Paul Wolfe, Tracy Hines, Mark McFarland and Scott Lynch, with the chance to showcase their talent driving for a top-notch team. The 12-race Hungry Drivers team was formed by Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR), led by rising star Tommy Baldwin Jr., crew chief for Evernham Motorsports NEXTEL CUP driver #9 Kasey Kahne. Unilever recently announced the expansion of the Hungry Drivers program to a full NASCAR Busch Series race season in 2005. Of the four current drivers, one will be chosen as the primary driver of the #6 Hungry Drivers Dodge and will compete in a majority of the events in 2005. In keeping with its theme of uncovering new talent, the 2005 program will enable additional “hungry drivers” to showcase their skills by competing in several events throughout the season. The primary driver will be announced after the end of the 2004 Hungry Drivers competition. Under terms of the agreement, Evernham Motorsports’ inaugural 2005 NASCAR Busch Series team will be sponsored by Unilever’s multi-brand Hungry Drivers program, and merchandised via national retail programs and “food, family and fun” campground sampling programs at tracks around the country.
“It is critical that our first entry in the Busch series be both timely and impactful. The timing is right for our company to grow, and we are excited to align our team with a high impact global company like Unilever that’s clearly doing it the right way in NASCAR,” said Ray Evernham, CEO of Evernham Motorsports. “Also, a key element of this program is that it will develop drivers and crew members for our NASCAR Nextel Cup program. Every successful sports franchise has a farm team network to develop and evaluate talent, and we plan on using the Hungry Drivers team in just that manner.”
Look for future announcements regarding the 2005 Hungry Drivers season in the coming weeks, including the selection of the primary driver and sponsoring brand announcements. The drivers named include Tracy Hines, Scott Lynch, Mark McFarland, and Paul Wolfe. The Hungry Drivers program allows each driver to compete in three races throughout the 2004 season. The driver who delivers the best performance will be in a prime position to secure a full NASCAR Busch Series ride in 2005. For more information go to www.hungrydrivers.com.(Bulldawg Marketing PR)(8-21-2004)
- Marlin to run Busch race at California: The #1 Yellow Transportation/Fleetpride Dodge will head to California Speedway with NASCAR veteran Sterling Marlin behind the wheel. Marlin will be the ninth driver behind the wheel of the James Finch owned car this season.(BGNRacing.com)(8-21-2004)
- New Team: #04-Team Fuerza Motorsports is currently in overdrive to secure sponsorship for the Phoenix event in November as well as the Homestead-Miami race. The Arizona-based team is also planning on the new Busch race in Mexico City next March.(BGNRacing.com)(8-21-2004)
- Another DEI Busch team: Richie Gilmore, general manager at Dale Earnhardt Inc., says Ryan Moore is a probable to compete in the Busch Series for DEI in 2005. “Ryan will race a limited schedule next year,” said Gilmore. “We’re looking at maybe seven races for (Moore), so that he can keep his rookie status,” said Gilmore. The 21-year-old Moore is the 2003 Busch North rookie of the year and the son of former Busch North champion Kelly Moore. “Ryan’s on the top of our list,” said Gilmore, in terms of finding a new driver to put behind the wheel of the No. 8 DEI-owned Busch Car in 2006.(Boston Herald via BGNRacing.com)(8-21-2004)
- ASA Driver to debut at Memphis: While his 2004 American Speed Association season may not be going just as planned, Travis Kittleson isn’t just sitting around. Instead, the 24-year-old is making things happen. And one of those things will be his NASCAR Busch Series debut, which he hopes will come October 23rd in the Sam’s Town 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park (TN). Kittleson and the R/T Racing/Bob Steele Chevrolet team will test at the Memphis track on September 13th and 14th between the Elko Speedway (MN) and Kentucky Speedway ASA events. The team recently purchased a Busch car and will enter it in hopefully two to three Busch events this season.(RacingOne)(8-20-2004)
- Qualifying cancelled at MIS qualifying for the Cabela’s 250 at Michgan International Speedway was cancelled due to rain. The field was set by NASCAR Rules Book: The top 35 made the field by virtue of team owner points, with the next two in the lineup based on car owner victories in 2004, the 38th spot going to a past Michigan race winner and the rest of the field set by the number of qualifying attempts made by the car entered. The top five will be: #8-Martin Truex Jr., #5-Kyle Busch, #21-Kevin Harvick, #0-Jason Leffler, #60-Greg Biffle. Missing the race are: #7-Todd Szegedy, #11-Paul Menard [was the fastest in practice], #19-Bobby Labonte, #35-Shelby Howard, #67-C.W. Smith, #71-Kevin Lepage, #81-Tony Stewart.
Starting lineups at:
- Kenseth new Busch sponsor: Matt Kenseth will run 15 races next season donning the green and white colors of Waste Management. The new paint scheme will debut this season in a one-race deal in Phoenix.(BGNRacing.com)(8-21-2004)
- Dale Jr. to race Busch race at Bristol: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be driving a #81 Menards Chevrolet in the upcoming Busch race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday night, Aug. 27. This will be his last Busch race of the season (DEI Site)(8-19-2004)
- Need a Scorecard: Up to 22 [19 made the race, 3 missed the race] drivers are scheduled to attempt both the Busch Series and Nextel Cup races at Michigan this weekend….the list:
made the race
Stanton Barrett [#37 in Cup, #91 in Busch], missed Cup race
Greg Biffle [#16, #60]
Kyle Busch [#84, #5] – missed Cup race
Derrike Cope [#98, #49]
Robby Gordon [#31, #55]
Bobby Hamilton Jr. [#09, #25]
Kevin Harvick [#29, #21]
Kasey Kahne [#9, #38]
Matt Kenseth [#17, #17]
Carl Long [#80, #07]
Mark Martin [#6, #9]
Jamie McMurray [#42, #41]
Casey Mears [#41, #1]
Joe Nemechek [#01, #87]
Hermie Sadler [#02, #02]
Kenny Wallace [#00, #23], missed Cup race
Mike Wallace [#4, #35], missed Cup race
Rusty Wallace [#2, #66]
Michael Waltrip [#15, #99]
missed the Busch race:
Bobby Labonte [#18, #19]
Kevin Lepage [#51, #71] missed both races
Tony Stewart [#20, #81]
- Special Scheme for Bliss at MIS: This week the #20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet, driven by Mike Bliss, will be sporting a different look in an effort to celebrate two of Rockwell Automation’s operating unit’s historic anniversaries. Dodge is the oldest company in Rockwell Automation opening its doors in 1878. The first product it made was a wooden lemon squeezer that sold for $3.00 / dozen and the wooden toddy stick that sold for $.50 / dozen. From there their business evolved to wooden pulleys and then to its current business of mechanical & power transmission products. Dodge [not the car] makes over 167,000 different products with their main business coming from Industrial Bearings, Industrial Gear Reducers (Transmissions) and a variety of conveying components (pulleys, belts, sheves).(PR)(8-18-2004)
- Busch suspended/fined for actions at LVMS bullring NOT TRUE: Kyle Busch pulled double duty at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Saturday in the Legends Cars divisions. The native Las Vegan piloted Alex Haase’s #66 in the Semi-Pro Legends division and Josh Gross’ #88 in the Pro/Master Legends feature. In the Semi-Pro Legends Cars 25-lap feature event, Busch jumped to an early lead after starting last. Dustin Ash challenged Busch for the lead, which was relinquished after Busch left the track on lap 11. Ash posted his 11th win this season.
In the 25-lap Pro/Master Legends Cars race, Busch was involved in a racing incident on lap 11. In the last 10 laps it was a five-car shootout between Haase, Dennis Lovelady, Taylor Barton, Spencer Clark and TJ Clark. Super Late Model regular Spencer Clark earned the win to post his second Pro win this season.(LVMS.com)
Been told that upon entering post-race tech inspection, Clark, who was still in his car, was assaulted by Kyle Busch [punch? push? heard both] . Track officials removed Busch from the area and after meeting with the track officials, fined and suspended Busch indefinitely from the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Bullring. No more on this nor any comments from Busch.(Speedwaymedia.com)(8-17-2004)
UPDATE: had a goofy feeling on this one and wasn’t gonna post the above, but it was all over he place, should had know when Racingwest.com took it down…ANYHOW – been informed by Las Vegas Motor Speedway officials that Kyle Busch was NOT fined nor suspended for the Bullring or any of its facilities.
UPDATE 2: LVMS announces penalties for Kyle Busch: Las Vegas Motor Speedway officials have fined and placed driver Kyle Busch on probation for the remainder of the 2004 Bullring racing season as a result of an incident following Saturday night’s event. Busch was fined $100 and given probation for violating Rule 6-1.3, “conduct and actions detrimental to the betterment of the sport…”(LVMS PR)(8-17-2004)
AND Busch, who left the Legend Cars Pro/Master feature race early with mechanical problems, waited for race winner Spencer Clark, 17, to arrive in the post-race inspection area of the Bullring. Reports vary as to whether Busch tried to punch Clark, grab Clark by his driver’s suit or was just pointing toward him as Busch leaned into the car to confront Clark, who lives in North Las Vegas with his family. The incident was quickly stopped and Busch was escorted out of the tech area by track security. A Hendricks team official would not allow Busch to comment on the incident. Clark was not fined. But speedway general manager Chris Powell told Clark’s father, T.J. Clark, that the family would not be permitted to compete at the speedway until it issues an apology for comments in a news release it had distributed Monday that contained what Powell called “misinformation” about the incident. Powell said what bothered him the most in the release was a sentence that stated “Kyle was fined and suspended indefinitely” for his actions. At the time, neither was accurate. Clark will not be permitted to compete in Saturday night’s Super Late Models stock-car race unless his family provides a satisfactory apology to the speedway and issues it publicly.(Las Vegas Review Journal)(8-18-2004)
- Waltrip to run special scheme at Memphis: Michael Waltrip will team up Domino’s pizza in the Busch Series for a special paint scheme at Memphis Motorsports Park in October. The car will also feature St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which is Domino’s “charity of choice”.(RacingOne)(8-18-2004)
- Dallenbach to run 5 races for Mr. Clean: Mr. Clean Racing announced today it has entered into a five-race agreement with Team Rensi Motorsports to field the No. 35 Mr. Clean AutoDry Ford, driven by racing veteran and NBC Sports commentator, Wally Dallenbach, in the NASCAR Busch Series. “This is a very exciting day for Mr. Clean and the Mr. Clean Racing Family,” said Bob Gilbreath, Mr. Clean Brand Manager. “Team Rensi and Wally Dallenbach bring a wealth of talent, energy and experience to our program as we embark on the 2004 summer/fall racing season.” (Proctor & Gamble PR via BGNRacing.com)(8-17-2004)
- Putnam named NEMCO crew chief: NEMCO Motorsports team owner Joe Nemechek named Gary Putnam as crew chief of his #87 NASCAR Busch Series operation, replacing Brian Pattie. Putnam, who most recently served as crew chief for Petty Enterprises and NEXTEL Cup Series driver Jeff Green, takes over the position immediately. In addition to calling the shots for Nemechek’s Cellular One team, Putnam will oversee the efforts of rookie drivers Blake Feese and Boston Reid who are a part of NEMCO’s developmental partnership with Hendrick Motorsports.(NEMCO PR via BGNRacing.com)(8-17-2004)
- Michigan News and Notes:
Kroger 200 broadcast shows significant increases over 2003 … Last Saturday’s Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park broadcast on TNT earned a 15% increase in households over last year’s event, and also showed a 10% increase in viewers over 2003 event programming. The race was the No. 2 sporting event broadcast on cable television last weekend.
Off-week offerings … A week off from racing still offers a busy schedule for drivers in the NASCAR Busch Series, with activities that revolve around racing or those that take a break from the track altogether. 1994 series champion David Green (No. 37 Timber Wolf Pontiac) was scheduled to test a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup car at Richmond Monday and Tuesday in preparation for his return to the premier series Sept. 11 in the Chevy Rock and Roll 400. Green will head to California for a two-day media tour that includes throwing the first pitch at the Anaheim Angels – Baltimore Orioles game on Wednesday. … Kyle Busch will head home to Las Vegas and spend time with family and friends. A trip to California is on his itinerary, with stops at amusement parks along the way. He also plans on watching a friend race at “The Bullring” at Las Vegas Motor Speedway during his stay. Busch will return to pull double-duty at Michigan as he will attempt to qualify for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series GFS Marketplace 400. … David Stremme (No. 32 TRIMSPA X32 Dodge) will travel to Watkins Glen this week for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race to gather as much information as he can as the NASCAR Busch Series will return to road racing in 2005 with its first-ever points event outside the United States. The series will race in Mexico City on March 6, then return to The Glen for the first time in three years on Aug. 13. … ST Motorsports (Stacy Compton, No. 59 Kingsford/Bush’s Beans Ford; Robert Pressley, No. 47 Clorox/Wisk Ford) is scheduled to test at Michigan and Bristol this week, then embarks on a 10-year team tradition, “The Chippenwhale Invitational” golf tournament. Team owner Tad Geschickter started the tournament in 1995 where team employees and vendors get together for a day. The tourney is named in “honor” of the original ST Motorsports pit crew. The crew chose the nickname “Chippendales,” however, Geschickter humorously believed the tag “Chippenwhales” was a better fit. “This is an intense business and we all put in a lot of hours,” Geschickter said. “The Chippenwhale Invitational gives us a chance to play for a day and enjoy each others’ company. The first year we got in trouble with the course for teams playing ‘shirts and skins,’ but we’ve refined the rules since then.”
“Shark Tale” paint scheme to adorn No. 38 Dodge … The No. 38 Great Clips Dodge, which has been driven the majority of this season by Kasey Kahne, will sport a paint scheme differing from its traditional red, black and white during four races this season, starting with the Aug. 21 event at Michigan. The car will feature a blue, black and white underwater environment highlighting characters in the upcoming DreamWorks animated film “Shark Tale,” scheduled to be released on Oct. 1. Kahne will also feature the paint scheme at Bristol, California and Kansas.
Chevy – Ford – Dodge in manufacturers’ standings … Chevrolet stopped Ford’s recent momentum in the Bill France Performance Cup standings with Kyle Busch’s win at Indianapolis Raceway Park last Saturday. Ford had won the previous two races, and three of the prior four. The IRP win was Chevrolet’s first since Milwaukee. Chevy has 13 wins this season for 167 points; Ford has seven wins and 137 points while Dodge has two victories and totals 101 points.
Leffler’s team awarded IRP McDonald’s POWERade title … Jason Leffler’s (No. 00 Net Zero Hi-Speed Chevrolet) crew won the McDonald’s POWERade Drive-Thru Pit Crew of the Race Award at IRP. The Haas CNC Racing crew is tied with the BREWCO Motorsports crew of David Green (No. 37 Timber Wolf Pontiac) with four awards in 2004, but Leffler’s team leads the season standings by 59 points over Green’s crew (1512 – 1453).
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Kyle Busch could be on his way to making history if he maintains the momentum gained from his victory at IRP last Saturday. Busch was second in points to leader Martin Truex, Jr. at the halfway mark of the 2004 season, and five times in the last 10 seasons the driver leading the points standings at mid-year has NOT gone on to win the NASCAR Busch Series championship. No rookie has ever won the series championship. Busch also leads the Raybestos Rookie of the Year chase.
Although Busch and Truex each have four wins to their credit, four of the last 10 series champions – Brian Vickers (2003), Greg Biffle (2002), Johnny Benson (1995) and David Green (1994) – scored four wins or less on their way to their respective titles. Truex has maintained the lead in points since May 8 after winning at Gateway International Raceway.
Next race: Cabela’s 250 (Race No. 23 of 34 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Michgan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Mich.
When: 1:00 p.m. ET, Saturday, August 21.
Track layout: 2-mile banked asphalt.
Race length: 250 miles/125 laps.
Posted awards: $1,081,847.
TV: TNT, 1:00 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: Kevin Harvick.
2003 polesitter: Kasey Kahne.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday, Aug. 20 — Practice, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m.; qualifying, 1 p.m.; final practice following NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series qualifying.(NASCAR PR)(8-16-2004)
- Crew Chief Looking: After #50 Holigan Racing closed its doors in Dallas, crew chief Todd Myers is heading back to the Charlotte, NC area to reside. He is talking with several teams concerning opportunities, and should land in the next few weeks.(8-16-2004)
- New team to attempt a few races in 2004, all in 2005: Keith Coleman Racing (KCR), a venture based in Eddyville, Ky., announced the formation of a new competitive racing operation recenlty to run in the NASCAR Busch Series. “We’re very excited about entering the Busch Series,” said Keith Coleman, team owner and resident of Hopkinsville, Ky. “Owning my own race team has been a lifelong dream,” added the New Orleans, La. native. To lead the team, Coleman tapped long-time friend Ruben Houser as team manager. Houser has been involved with KCR from its inception. Houser served on the McDonald’s Busch Team, driven by Bill Elliott from 1982 to 1986 and also has seven years experience building and racing short track cars. He carries several large responsibilities as team manager including shop organization and making sure the team has what they need to do their job successfully. Mike Byrd, a native of Clarksville, Tenn. has been selected as crew chief. Byrd has been affiliated with NASCAR for 25 years. His impressive record includes work with Joe Gibbs Racing, Roush Racing and the NASCAR Technical Institute (NTI). Byrd has extensive experience as both shop foreman and crew chief. He’ll be assisted by Rodney Jockisch, who has taken the position of car chief. Jockisch has nine years in NASCAR as a shock and chassis specialist and has most recently been employed with NTI. His career includes stints with Ricky Craven Motorsports and Mark III Motorsports, among others. Joining the team as a consultant is Tommy House who spent a total of 26 years as a NASCAR official. He started with NASCAR in 1969, took a nine-year hiatus in 1981 and returned to the Busch Series in 1990. From equipment checks on cars, driver helmet checks, black box inspection and driver safety, House has been a part of it all. He retired as Safety Supervisor for the NASCAR Busch Series in May of 2004. The team’s headquarters is located at 50 Industrial Park Road in Eddyville, Ky. The race team will include a pit crew and shop crew, as well as a full support staff focusing on the areas of sales, marketing, public relations, and merchandising. Less than one mile from the Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway and within five miles of I-24, the location is perfect for the transporting of racecars to races at various points across the country each week. KCR will enter six to seven races in 2004 and a full schedule in 2005. A second team will race in six to ten Nextel Cup races in 2005, in addition to a full schedule on the Busch Series. Both teams will race Chevrolet Monte Carlos. An announcement concerning the major sponsor and driver for both teams will be forthcoming in the near future.(KCR PR)(8-16-2004)
- Evernham-Baldwin likely to team up in Busch: Evernham Motorsports is hoping to field at least one NASCAR Busch Series team next season, ThatsRacin.com has learned. A formal announcement could come as early as next week. The Busch program would be among several expansions of the Evernham organization next season. Team owner Ray Evernham has also said he hopes to begin building engines for other teams in 2005. Sources suggested that an Evernham Busch program could be developed, at least in part, from the part-time team owned by Tommy Baldwin, crew chief for Evernham’s rookie Cup driver, Kasey Kahne.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-15-2004)
- So what happens to Burton’s Busch plans? from a GM PR, asking Jeff Burton, who is leaving Rosuh Racing for RCR starting at Michigan, about his Busch plans, his quote: ” I do have some Busch starts coming up and I have no idea what we are doing about that. I know that sounds silly. We didn’t even talk about it. There was so much going on that Geoff Smith and I didn’t have a conversation about the Busch thing. Actually coming up here last night I said ‘hey what about the Busch car?’ We only had three or four races left. I really and truly don’t know what we’ll do there.”(GM PR), have heard that but that Mark Martin will drive the #9 Cottman Ford at Dover and Atlanta.(8-14-2004)
- Busch wins at IRP; cuts into the points lead a bit: #5-Kyle Busch won the Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, holding off a late charge by #27-Johnny Sauter. The rest of the top-5: #00-Jason Leffler, #8-Martin Truex Jr. and #60-Greg Biffle.
from ThatsRacin.com: #5-Kyle Busch won Saturday night’s Kroger 200 following a hard-fought duel with Johnny Sauter. Hendrick’s #5 NASCAR Busch Series team won this race a year ago, which helped propel then-driver Brian Vickers to the 2003 series championship. Busch’s win did not come easy. He held off a furious charge by Johnny Sauter, but finally began to pull away in the final laps. He edged Sauter – who also finished second in Friday night’s Craftsman Truck Series race at the track – by 0.896 seconds at the finish. Busch, who now trails points leader Martin Truex Jr. by 117 points after 22 of 34 races, hopes Saturday night’s win can ignite a similar run to a championship made by Vickers. Jason Leffler finished third for the third consecutive race. Truex Jr., after being black-flagged for jumping the start of the race, rallied from the back of the field to finish fourth. Greg Biffle completed the top five. Sauter, obviously, was disappointed watching an opportunity to win pass by for the second consecutive night. “It wasn’t much of a battle. Compared to the other night when we screwed up and didn’t take tires, it was all in all a good night,” he said. “I wish I could have had a caution or something in the last 10 laps. I think I would have had something more for (Busch) on cold tires.” The race was slowed seven times by caution for 38 of 200 laps. There were five lead changes among five drivers, with Sauter leading the most laps (121).
Race results at:
- Sauter wins pole at IRP: #27-Johnny Sauter won the pole at Indianapolis Raceway Park for the Kroger 200 with a speed of 111.248mph. It is Sauter’s 4th career Busch Series pole. The rest of the top-5 are: #8-Martin Truex, Jr., #41-Reed Sorenson, #25-Bobby Hamilton, Jr., and #00-Jason Leffler.
- Waltrip new sponsor for 2005: Michael Waltrip Racing unveiled a new sponsor Saturday at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Waltrip’s #99 Chevrolet and it’s likely to be another step in the expansion of the organization. The State Fair, Bryan and Sara Lee Foods colors were on Waltrip’s team this weekend [at IRP] and will be with the team in three mores NASCAR Busch Series races this season – Sept. 25 at Dover, Oct. 9 at Kansas City, and Nov. 13 at Darlington. State Fair, Bryan and Sara Lee Foods can be expected to return next season to sponsor a limited schedule for a second Waltrip Busch team, sources said Saturday. Waltrip recently started a driver-development program that is going to run newcomers Jarit Johnson, the younger brother Nextel Cup star Jimmie Johnson, and Ken Butler III in some ASA races this season. It is possible the driver of the second Waltrip Busch team next season could come from Waltrip’s driver development program, sources said.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-7-2004)
- Cogswell leaves the #12: FitzBradshaw Racing announced today that Gary Cogswell, who had been crew chief for 13 races for the No. 12 Chevrolet driven by Tim Fedewa, has left the Busch Series team. Eric Ralph, who has worked as crew chief on the team’s #82 Chevrolet, will be crew chief for the #12 this weekend for the Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The team also announced that Hot Tamales candy will be the primary sponsor of its #12 Chevrolet for 10 2005 Busch Series races and an associate sponsor for the remainder of the season. The candy made by Just Born Inc. has been the primary sponsor for the car four times this season and will be on for three additional races.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(8-6-2004)
- Ganassi Team to debut at IRP with Sorenson: Reed Sorenson and sponsor Discount Tire Co. will be making their NASCAR Busch Series debut at Indianapolis Raceway Park when Sorenson attempts to qualify the #41 Discount Tire Dodge for the Kroger 200. Veteran Busch Series crew chief Brian Pattie takes the helm of the newly created Busch Series team for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Pattie will oversee the eight-race program this season with Sorenson and Nextel Cup drivers Casey Mears and Jamie McMurray. Sorenson has competed twice on the .686-mile oval in the American Speed Association Series. He raced last weekend at IRP in his ASA car where he qualified seventh and finished sixth. He finished fifth in his debut at IRP in the ASA Series in 2003. Discount Tire 2004 NASCAR Busch Series Schedule:
08/07/04 – Indianapolis [IRP] Sorenson
08/21/04 – Michigan – McMurray
09/04/04 – California – Mears
10/15/04 – Charlotte – Mears
10/30/04 – Atlanta – Sorenson
11/06/04 – Phoenix – McMurray
11/13/04 – Darlington – Sorenson
11/20/04 – Homestead – Sorenson
(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(8-4-2004)
IMAGES: see images of the car on my 2004 Busch Series Paint Scheme page.(8-6-2004)
- IRP News and Notes: Kenny Wallace, Fedewa aim for 300th starts … Two NASCAR Busch Series drivers will be looking forward to their 300th career starts in the series Saturday night at IRP. Tim Fedewa (No. 12 Hot Tamales Chevrolet) and Kenny Wallace (No. 23 Stacker 2/YJ Stinger Chevrolet) can join a select list that currently consists of just eight drivers who have reached the 300-start plateau in the 22-year history of the series. Wallace began his NASCAR Busch Series career Sept. 24, 1988 at Martinsville (finishing 11th) while Fedewa made his first series start March 28, 1992 at Darlington (36th). “Three-hundred races are quite a few, and I’m happy that I’ve been able to run that many,” Fedewa said of the milestone. “But right now, we’ve got a chance to really solidify our place in the Top 10 from here to the end of the season.” Fedewa leads 11th-place Ashton Lewis Jr. (No. 46 Lewis Motorsports Chevrolet) by one point. Wallace, who has finished in the NASCAR Busch Series Top 10 six times, has nine career wins to go along with 10 Busch Poles, 58 top-five and 137 top-10 finishes in 15 years of series competition. Fedewa has finished in the Top 10 four times, owns four wins, four Busch Poles, 25 top fives and 66 top-10 finishes in his 13-year series career.
Sorenson debuts Ganassi Racing NASCAR Busch Series entry … Eighteen-year-old Reed Sorenson will drive the No. 41 Discount Tire Dodge at IRP in the first NASCAR Busch Series competition for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Sorenson, the youngest driver to win the ASA Rookie of the Year title at age 17 last year, will also be making his series debut and is scheduled to run three more events in an eight-race schedule for Ganassi. Veteran NASCAR Busch Series crew chief Brian Pattie will lead the team. Sorenson is also scheduled to compete at Atlanta, Darlington and the season finale at Homestead while teammates Casey Mears and Jamie McMurray, who compete fulltime in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, will handle driving duties at California and Charlotte and Michigan and Phoenix, respectively.
Ford’s third straight win produces gains in manufacturers standings … Greg Biffle’s win at Pikes Peak in the No. 60 B.A.S.S./Charter Communications entry inched Ford closer to Chevrolet in the Bill France Performance Cup standings for manufacturers in the NASCAR Busch Series. Ford has won three consecutive races and has been in Victory Lane in three of the last four NASCAR Busch Series events. Chevrolet has 12 wins and 158 points while Ford now has seven wins and 131 points. Dodge is in third with 97 points and two victories.
Hornaday’s hot streak … Ron Hornaday Jr. comes to IRP third in the NASCAR Busch Series championship standings and has been on a tear of late. Hornaday, who won at IRP in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2000 and also owns a win at the venue in 1997 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series – in between his two championship seasons in that series in 1996 and ’98 – has three top-five and six top-10 finishes in his last seven races. He finished 11th last week at Pikes Peak. Included in that seven-race string was his first win of the season at Milwaukee.
Stremme back home in Indiana … David Stremme (No. 32 TrimSpa X32 Dodge) welcomes the opportunity to run at IRP. The 27-year old is a native of South Bend, and could use a push from the”hometown” crowd – IRP is 130 miles from South Bend. Stremme, the 2003 Raybestos Rookie of the Year, is currently 18th in the NASCAR Busch Series points standings, but comes off a seventh-place finish at Pikes Peak, his best finish in his last four outings. He was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race last year with a 17th-place finish in his first NASCAR Busch Series start at IRP. Both his mother and father were racers in the Midwest.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Six former winners at IRP are entered for this year’s Kroger 200 – Jason Keller, Greg Biffle, Ron Hornaday, Steve Grissom (No. 24 GIC Chevrolet), Mike Wallace (No. 4 GEICO Ford) and Michael Waltrip (No. 99 State Fair Corn Dogs Chevrolet). … Keller’s two wins at IRP are tied with Randy LaJoie for second-most behind Morgan Shepherd’s three. … Keller leads all drivers at IRP with an average finish of 7.6. … His six top-five finishes at IRP lead all active drivers as do his eight top 10s.
As of the July 28 deadline, 58 entries had been listed for the Kroger 200. … Jason Leffler has registered top-three finishes in his last two races, gaining three positions in the standings in the process. He is currently fourth. … Greg Biffle jumped from No. 7 to No. 5 in the standings with his win at Pikes Peak, his fourth victory of the season. The win knotted him with points leader Martin Truex Jr. (No. 8 Long John Silvers Chevrolet) for the series lead in victories. Biffle is the only NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series regular to run in every NASCAR Busch Series race this year. … IRP will be the third “one-day” show of the season; cars will be impounded following qualifying on Saturday. … David Green (No. 37 Timber Wolf Pontiac) has eight career wins in the NASCAR Busch Series; five have come on short tracks. … Thirteen of the top-20 drivers in the standings are less than 50 points behind the next position ahead of them.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Last year’s race at Indianapolis Raceway Park is considered by many to be among the most exciting NASCAR Busch Series races ever run in its history. A crowd of over 28,000 saw Shane Hmiel take the green flag from the pole followed closely by Brian Vickers, who started third. Hmiel dominated the first half of the race, leading the first 107 laps. Vickers went to the front for the first time on Lap 108 with Ron Hornaday, Jr. taking the lead from Laps 112 – 116. It was a Hmiel-Vickers show for the rest of the event, however, as Vickers took over the lead on Lap 116. The crowd was on its collective feet for the rest of the race as the 23-year-old Hmiel and the 19-year-old Vickers put on a battle which would have been difficult for even the most seasoned of veterans to wage. They raced door-to-door, leaning and bumping on each other when necessary. Although Hmiel led the most laps, Vickers, driving the Hendrick Motorsports GMAC-sponsored Chevrolet, came home the winner to score his first career NASCAR Busch Series win. The victory was the first of three in 2003 for Vickers, who went on the clinch the season’s NASCAR Busch Series championship.
What: Kroger 200 (Race No. 22 of 34 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Indianapolis Raceway Park.
When: 8 p.m. ET, Saturday, August 7.
Track layout: .686-mile paved oval.
Race length: 20 laps/137.2 miles.
Posted awards: $902,454.
TV: TNT, 8 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: Brian Vickers.
2003 polesitter: Shane Hmiel.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Saturday — Practice, 12:45-2:45 p.m.; qualifying, 5:05 p.m.; all cars will be impounded after qualifying for race line-up.(NASCAR PR)(8-5-2004)
- Mexico race to be announced on Thursday? UPDATE: hearing that the long rumored Busch Series race in Mexico, will be announced on Thursday, August 5th. Not sure if the rest of the Busch Series Sched will be announced.(8-4-2004)
UPDATE: NASCAR will stage its first points-paying event outside the United States in a half-century when the Busch series races next year in Mexico City, The Associated Press has learned. A NASCAR official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Wednesday that the race is scheduled for next spring at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, a 2.786-mile road course that currently hosts Champ Car events. The series also will return after a three-year absence to the road course in Watkins Glen, N.Y. The entire schedule for the Busch series is expected to be released Thursday.(USA Today/AP)
AND NASCAR is expected to release its 2005 Busch Series schedule as early as Thursday and it will include the addition of two road course events – at Mexico City and Watkins Glen, N.Y., ThatsRacin.com has learned. The race in Mexico is expected to be held at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, a 2.786-mile road course that has hosted the CART series, or Champ Car, since 2002. NASCAR officials have visited the facility several times over the past few months. Former series director Brian DeHart made a visit within the past month, sources confirmed Wednesday. Whether the race in Mexico City is a points-paying race or “exhibition” remains unclear. NASCAR has held exhibition races in the past, most notably in Japan and Australia.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-5-2004)
- Bliss to Rensi? Recent rumors regarding Joe Gibbs Racing’s #20 crew chief/driver lineup along with the team’s sponsor, Rockwell Automation, have all been denied by JGR vice president Steve deSouza. Some talk had crew chief Steve Addington leaving the team for either the #25 Team Rensi Ford (whose current driver and crew chief Bobby Hamilton, Jr. and Harold Holly have already signed a contract in Nextel Cup for 2005) or the third JGR Cup team. Addington said on Friday prior to qualifying that he had no plans to leave the #20 team. His option with the team is up for renewal by the end of next month. deSouza reiterated Addington’s comments by saying at this point, the team has not yet discussed replacing the veteran crew chief or for that matter the driver. Bliss’ name on the other hand also floated through the garage being linked to Rensi. Reportedly Bliss had a meeting with the powers that be at Rensi earlier this week. Bliss however, denied the meeting but did say he is on an option year with JGR and everything is currently in negotiations for next season.(BGNRacing.com)(8-3-2004)
- Kyle Busch to run Truck race at IRP: Morgan Dollar Motorsports has entered Kyle Busch in its #47 Chevrolet in Friday’s Power Stroke Diesel Craftsman Truck Series race at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Busch, who is currently second in the Busch Series point standings, will be making his first appearance in the series since his success as a 16-year-old driver in 2001 prompted NASCAR to revise its age rules. Busch, who now competes for Hendrick Motorsports in the Busch Series and in a limited Nextel Cup program, says the team granted permission for him to drive in the truck race..(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(8-2-2004)
- Holigan Racing Closes: Owner Michael Holigan announced today he is closing the #50 Enzyte NASCAR Busch Series team. “Enzyte was very supportive of us, and I appreciate them taking a chance on a startup team,” Holigan said. “Miller Electric, Kaeser Compressors and Peterbilt have also been very supportive, and I want to publicly thank them as well. Regan Smith brought a lot to our efforts, and worked hard for us on and off the track. Tim Sauter tested for us, and offered us a lot of input. I am grateful for both of them,” he added. “Our crew chief Todd Myers and all of the guys who worked on the team did their best and I am proud of their efforts.” Holigan Walters Racing motocross team will continue competing in the AMA Chevrolet Motocross Championship. The Reality Of Speed, the successful weekly motorsports reality television series, will continue for the remainder of the year [on Spike TV, Sat at 10:30am/et](Williams Company PR)(8-2-2004)