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Dec 2000 CTS Archive

  • Musgrave to stay with the #01? NO Musgrave to the CTS UPDATE 3 and some Cup: Although nothing is official, it’s likely that Ted Musgrave will stay with the Ganassi-Sabates team(Daily Press)
    UPDATE: Ted Musgrave will drive the #1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Truck for Ultra Motorsports in the CTS for the 2001 season(NOL), actually Musgrave signed a letter of intent, not officially signed yet(12-22-2000)
    UPDATE 2: The Ultra connection also will insure that Musgrave – who won the wildcard spot for the 2001 Budweiser Shootout – will have a Winston Cup car to drive at Daytona in February, that being Mike Wallace’s #7 Ford(SpeedVision)(12-23-2000)
    UPDATE 3: Ted Musgrave will be the factory backed driver in the CTS #1 DODGE and also be running Cup in approximately 20 races this year and full time in 2002(with Ultra Motorsports 2nd team?). The formal announcement should be on Wednesday, Dec 27th(Ted Musgrave Site)(12-26-2000)
  • Hendrick News UPDATE 2: Dennis Conner, the crew chief for two-time CTS champ Jack Sprague, will become Ricky Hendrick’s full time crew chief effective immediately for the remaining events on Hendrick’s BGB and CTS schedule this year. In the truck races that Hendrick and Sprague will both be racing in, Conner will be doing double duty to prepare the 20-year-old driver for a full season in the CTS series next year. Ken Howes, who took over as interim crew chief in late August after Patrick Donahue left the organization, has returned to the Hendrick Motorsports R&D department(Gordonline)(9-7-2000)
    UPDATE: Rick Hendrick said his son will run a full season in the Truck series in 2001 as well as run a limited schedule in the Grand National series(That’s Racin’)(10-6-2000)
    UPDATE 2: see updated story at SpeedVision: Ricky Hendrick To Run Full Schedule(12-22-2000)
  • Dodge Truck Testing at Atlanta UPDATE: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers Mike Wallace(#1/5 team), Carlos Contreras(#43?), Joe Ruttman(#18) and Scott Riggs(#2) will be testing this Tuesday and Wednesday (Dec. 19-20) at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Testing is expected to run from 9:00am-5:00pm/et. The test sessions will be closed to the public(AMS PR)(12-18-2000)
    UPDATE: Seven Craftsman Truck Series drivers tested the new Dodge trucks Wednesday at Atlanta, as Scott Riggs set the pace for the day with a fast lap at 177.806mph. Tuesday’s scheduled test session was canceled because of inclement weather. Wednesday’s test session provided valuable seat time for 2001 CTS rookie Willy T. Ribbs in the #4 Bobby Hamilton-owned truck. Ribbs, a veteran of open-wheel and sports car racing, was in a truck for just the second time in his career. Still, he kept up with the rest of his peers, posting a fast lap at 174.945mph. Ribbs was just slightly slower than his veteran teammate, Joe Ruttman, who had a lap at 176.842 mph. Other drivers participating in the truck test were Carlos Contreras 176.504mph, Andy Hillenburg 173.575mph and David Starr 174.669mph(AMS PR)(12-22-2000)
  • Vegas Testing: David Donohue is the son of the late racing legend Mark Donohue. David has been competing in the sports car ranks and now wants to advance to NASCAR competition. Donohue is participating in the LVMS test session with Team Rensi, as a teammate to Randy Tolsma. Jon Price gained fame in his hometown of Buffalo, N.Y., by fearlessly running five-abreast in his Chevelle on the high banks of Holland Speedway. After winning Holland’s Challenger division title, Price moved to the MBNA Cup Lite ranks and earned yet another championship. Price, who has a major corporation interested in sponsorship, is testing with Rick Ware’s team in preparation for the 2001 season. Price hopes to follow the path blazed by fellow Buffalonian Chuck Hossfeld, who graduated from the Modified ranks at Lancaster (N.Y.) Speedway and earned a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series ride with Roush Racing. Coincidentally, Hossfeld secured the ride in Roush’s truck following a test at LVMS earlier this year. The second day of testing at LVMS ended without incident. Jack Sprague turned in the fastest speed at 163.043mph. Dennis Setzer’s best lap was 160.714mph, while truck rookie and 2000 NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Tour champion Matt Crafton lapped the 1.5-mile oval at 160.142mph. Two new teams – Carl Long and Wayne Edwards – joined the test session today. Truck Series testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will conclude on Wednesday, Dec. 20.(LVMS PR)(12-20-2000)
  • New Truck Team: E-R Motorsports will be testing at the LVMS from Dec. 18-20 with drivers Carl Long and Tim Woods. The Team is planning to run a minimum of nine events in the 2001 season, fielding both the Long and Woods entries. At this time formal contracts have not been signed with either driver, but from all indications Carl Long will be at Daytona with E-R Motorsports and Woods Making his debut into the NCTS at the first non-superspeedway event. E-R Motorsports was formed at the end of the 2000 season, from Evans Motorsports-Nick & Phil Evans and Speedcraft-Jason Roche(E-R Motorsports PR)(12-18-2000)
  • LVMS Testing: The CTS are scheduled to test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Dec 18th thru 20th. Among the drivers who will be testing are: Jack Sprague, Ricky Hendrick, Lance Norick, Dennis Setzer, Brian Reffner, Randy Tolsma, Coy Gibbs and Bobby Dotter(LVMS PR)(12-16-2000)
  • Ribbs to Hamilton UPDATE: Willy T. Ribbs will, in fact, land the CTS ride with Bobby Hamilton’s group. Formal announcement should be in a week or so. Ribbs truck will be one of three considered “factory backed” — the other two being the #’s 1 and 2 Ultra Motorsports trucks(12-8-2000)
    UPDATE: Dodge officials and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) team owner Bobby Hamilton welcome well-known African-American driver Willy T. Ribbs to the Dodge Motorsports family. As part of the diversity initiative, Dodge will serve as primary sponsor of the Hamilton-owned #4 Dodge Ram NASCAR Craftsman Truck that Ribbs will drive in the 2001 NCTS season. Ribbs, who’s found considerable success in other North American racing series, relishes the new challenge of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. To enhance the opportunities of African Americans seeking to enter NASCAR racing as crew members for leading Dodge NASCAR teams, Dodge will help fund a scholarship program that will provide important training in the racing field and seek graduate placement within the Dodge Motorsports family. The Dodge Motorsports diversity program ultimately could expand to include other forms of racing in which the company participates, including road racing and drag racing. Ribbs was selected from a number of candidates, who were evaluated for eligibility based on guidelines including actual racing experience, background and character. As the second element in the diversity announcement, the Dodge Motorsports Scholarship program gives aspiring minority team members a hands-on, NASCAR-based racing technology education, while providing financial support and ultimately career placement with a Dodge Motorsports race team. During the initial phase of training the students participate in a nine month program, with a curriculum tailored to giving them a thorough understanding in general automotive theory and practice. Coursework can be completed at any one of the four Universal Technical Institute (UTI) campus locations including Phoenix; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; Glendale Heights, Ill.; Orlando; and Houston. Universal Technical Institute is the only technical school in the nation that is officially licensed by NASCAR. Upon receiving their diploma, program participants enroll in a specialized six-week, NASCAR-specific elective program currently offered only at UTI’s Houston campus. The program provides students an intensive NASCAR curriculum, including the sport’s history, rules and regulations, engine building and development, and chassis theory. When the NASCAR Technical Institute (NASCAR Tech) opens in Charlotte, N.C., in 2002, a scholarship recipient may alternately elect to complete studies there, in place of an existing UTI campus. The course schedule at NASCAR Tech will offer students a 13-month program, which will include the basic nine-month general automotive training program currently available at UTI, along with a more comprehensive four-month NASCAR-specific course. NASCAR studies include chassis fabrication, paint and body, engine building, and integration of hands-on race team programs. Candidate selection for as many as four students annually is set to begin immediately. A program to consider opportunities for minority team owners is also under consideration.(Dodge PR)(12-14-2000)
  • East and Cook Marry: Terry Cook, a regular on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, and Amy East were married in a private ceremony in Indianapolis. East, an ESPN pit reporter, is the daughter of Bob East of Beast Chassis(SpeedVision)(12-14-2000)
  • #75 News UPDATE a driver: Hearing that the #75 Spears Team has hired Michael Dokken as a prospective driver and he is working in the shop. However, the team is testing other drivers in the meantime including B.J. Mackey, Blake Bainbridge, and Billy Bigley Jr.(12-8-2000)
    UPDATE: hearing that the #75 Spears Team has hired Bill Bigley Jr. to drive in 2001(12-13-2000)
  • #66 Closing Down? UPDATE: #66 Team owner Dale Phelon, citing a lack of sponsorship will close the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team that has fielded #66 Ford F-150s in the six-year-old tour since 1997. Driver Rick Carelli, who gave the team its first victory in CTS at Richmond this year; crew chief John Monsam; and the crew will be laid off Nov. 30 if no strong sponsorship leads develop(NOL)(11-14-2000)
    UPDATE: hearing the team will attempt Daytona in a Chevy, unknown plans after that(12-13-2000)
  • #01 and #7 UPDATE 3: hearing Mike Wallace will accept the #1(could change to #5) CTS ride from Ultra Motorsports and that Philips may move from the #7 team and go with Michael Waltrip on either the #15 NAPA Cup team or Waltrip’s own #99 Aarons Rent BGN team. From what I hear, Ultra Motorsports is now looking for another co-sponsor with Nations Rent and may hold off on a driver announcement for a few more weeks
    UPDATE but: am now hearing Rick Mast will be driving the #7 Ford in 2001, no word on the sponsor sitiuation(12-4-2000)
    UPDATE 2: There’s still no definitive word – or any substantive trend, for that matter – to report about the open drivers’ seats in the #7 Fords and the #01 Dodges for the 2001 season. Rick Mast’s name has been rumored for both rides, but apparently, sponsor BellSouth wants a younger driver. It now appears that if Mast is to have a ride for next season it would be in the #7 Fords owned by Jimmy Smith. Mike Wallace’s name is also in the discussions about that ride but will probably be back in one of Smith’s trucks. Kevin Lepage, ousted from the #16 Fords after the 2000 season, also could be a player in either opening, but it appears that neither seat will be filled until next week at the earliest(That’s Racin’)(12-6-2000)
    UPDATE 3: hearing Rick Mast will be named the driver of the #7 Nations Rent Ford soon, no word on the #01 BellSouth car yet(12-11-2000)
  • #88 News: Matt Crafton, the reigning NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series (NFSS) champion, has signed a multi-year contract to drive in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) for SealMaster Racing (SMR), it was announced by Duke Thorson, owner of SMR. The announcement comes less than a month after Crafton made his first appearance in SMR’s #88 Chevrolet Silverado, finishing ninth at the Motorola 200 at California Speedway October 28. As part of his assignment with SMR, Crafton will move from his native Tulare, Calif. to Ohio to be near the SMR faciltiy in Sandusky. He’ll work closely with veteran SMR crew chief Jerry Cook. Crafton has made quite an impression in recent months. In addition to claiming two race victories and the NFSS title, Crafton made a spectacular debut in the NASCAR Winston West Series earlier this month. He qualified second and finished second in the Home Depot 300 at the Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway November 4. Crafton led 190 laps in that event. He backed that with a solid showing the SMR truck at the open test at the Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. Unofficial times had Crafton has high as sixth among the 25 trucks which participated in the test. SMR is currently pursuing various sponsorship opportunities. Thorson anticipates having a program in place prior to the 2001 season opener at the Daytona (Fla. ) International Speedway February 16.(SMR PR)(12-8-2000)
  • #46 Tests: On Wednesday and Thursday the #46 Morgan/Dollar Motorsports team tested at South Boston, VA with new driver Dennis Setzer. South Boston Speedway is a new addition to the CTS in 2001. Setzer, who has competed at South Boston in limited late models and during his time in the BGN Series, tested his new Chevrolet for the second time this season with his new team and crew chief, Bill Ingle. According to team members who were at the test, the session proved to be successful and everyone including crew chief, Bill Ingle, was pleased with the results. Setzer was turning times in the mid to low 15-second bracket(Morgan/Dollar Motorsports PR)(12-8-2000)

Born On Date is Dec 21, 2000

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