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December 2001 Busch Series Archive

  • BGN Preview: The 2002 Busch Series Preview presented by Team Monte Carlo will be held on Friday, January 18, 2002. .The event will be held at the Charlotte Merchandise Mart, Freedom Hall, in Charlotte, N.C. .Show hours will be 3:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Admission to the Preview is a $10 donation to the Busch Series Ladies Association.(11-1-2001)
    UPDATE: Driver Autographs: 5:00 – 7:00pm;
    Live Auction: 4:00 – 5:00pm and 7:00pm;
    Silent Auction: 3:00 – 7:00pm;
    Readers can log on to www.buschladies.com and see a list of drivers confirmed for the autograph session.(12-31-2001)
  • Morelock to drive in BGN: TRFC Motor Sports announced an agreement with Donny Morelock to run 15 BGN races in 2002 with TRFC Motor Sports ( www.theracefanschoice.com ) who also serve as an associate sponsor and marketing company for Donny Morelock to help secure additional sponsorship. Donny Morelock finished 8th in points  during the 2001 ARCA Remax Series(without competing in all events) and has also qualified and competed in four CTS races. Morelock will be able to start the season with the support of Quest Motor Sports [Derrike Cope/Warren Johnson’s team]. TRFC Inc has a fan oriented Internet website www.theracefanschoice.com which allows fans to be an active part of a race team.  TRFC allows fans the enthusiasm of building the team from the look of the car, uniforms, helmets, hats, etc. TRFC also gives its fans chance to win many prizes like the “Pit Crew Challenge” where you would have a chance to be on the teams pit grew and get paid. TRFC Motor Sports will have two drivers competing in 2002. Driver Nick Tucker will be competing in the Hooter’s Pro Cup for ROTY and 7 ARCA Races to be named later. Donny Morelock will be competing in the BGN with the possibility of some Winston Cup races.(TRFC Motor Sports PR)(12-26-2001)
  • Steele to run some BGN races: Tim Steele, a three-time ARCA series champion and third generation Michigan racer: “My plans for 2002 see our HS Motorsports Team running in right at 20 races during the year. That’s enough to qualify as full-time racers, yet we all can still have lives outside the race track.” The “Man of” Steele’s schedule for next season sees him competing in 10 to 12 ARCA races, five NASCAR Winston Cup races and five NASCAR Busch Series events. “We’re planning on running all the ARCA races that feature live television, the Cup races at Pocono. Michigan and Chicago, and the Busch races at Las Vegas, Kentucky, Michigan and Charlotte (Lowe’s),” said the 33-year-old Grand Rapids native and Coopersville, Mich., resident. “We’re confident that we can run this schedule and be competitive everywhere we go.(Tom Roberts PR)(12-16-2001)
  • Fedawa new ride? UPDATE 3 – Fedawa NOT signed: rumor has it that Scott Bryant/Bryant Motorsports has acquired primary sponsorship that will allow the running of the full BGN 2002 schedule and run a limited Winston Cup schedule with Tim Fedewa as the driver(Catchfence)(12-8-2001)
    UPDATE: Bryant Motorsports has come to an agreement with a major minorities company who is excited to be involved with a quality racing team. This company’s name, which will be released at a later date, will be the primary sponsor for a full time BGN team. They will also be participating in a part time Winston Cup effort. Tim Fedewa has been signed as Bryant Motorsports driver for both series, with Keith Johnson as team manager.(STB Marketing Group/Catchfence.com)(12-10-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Keith Johnson will serve as team manager; however, at this time a driver has yet to be signed, and negotiations are still underway with a driver who will drive in both series. “Bryant Motorsports has obtained primary sponsorship, and driver talks are underway with several drivers.” stated Scott Bryant, owner of Bryant Motorsports. “Further details will be released as soon as they become available, and negotiations are finalized.”(STB Marketing Group – original PR had Fedawa listed as signed)(12-10-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Rumors that Tim Fedewa has signed with Bryant Motorsports to drive a full Busch Series schedule in 2002 are untrue. Fedewa, in Hawaii for vacation, said Dec. 10 that he’d been contacted for the first time just three days before about his interest in driving for the team. While not completely dismissing the possibility of driving for Bryant Motorsports, Fedewa said he was talking with other operations about next year, including Buckshot Racing.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(12-13-2001)
  • New #66 Paint: Phillips66 and Welliver-Jesel Motorsports will unveil their new 2002 car and paint scheme on Friday, January 18 at the BGN Preview. Driver Casey Mears will be on hand to sign autographs.(BGN Racing)(12-13-2001)
  • Hendrick AND Sprague to the BGN? UPDATE: during the opening of the CTS race at Phoenix, ESPN mentioned that Hendrick CTS drivers, Jack Sprague and Ricky Hendrick, will both up to the BGN series, no more details(10-26-2001)
    UPDATE: Sprague and Hendrick were to officially unveil their 2002 paint schemes Dec. 14 at the Hendrick Museum in Charlotte, but the press conference was called off because all of the major sponsors could not be there. The same companies that sponsored the two teams in the truck series will do so again next year in the Busch Series. NetZero will remain with Sprague’s #24 Chevrolet, while GMAC Financial Services will back Hendrick’s #5 Chevrolet. Carquest will be an associate sponsor for Hendrick in six races. For Sprague, it’s the fifth time he will venture into the Busch Series. He’s started 75 Busch races over four full seasons and nine years. His best season came in 1993 when he finished 19th in points. He finished a career-best second in 1992 at New River Valley (Va.) Speedway. Hendrick has started 16 races over the last three seasons in the Busch Series. While finishing sixth in truck points, he ran just three Busch events this year. Crew chief Dennis Connor and Sprague now take their championship-winning ways to the next level with the entire #24 team intact. Hendrick and crew chief Lance McGrew will do likewise with Hendrick’s team.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(12-13-2001)
  • #59 Assoc Sponsor: Johnsonville Sausage has reached an agreement with ST Motorsports to become an associate sponsor of the #59 Kingsford Chevrolet driven by Stacy Compton for the 2002 and 2003 BGN seasons.(ST Motorsports PR)(12-11-2001)
  • New #32 Crew Chief? UPDATE: hearing that Greg Connors [former #50 Cup crew chief] with the #32 Jim and Judie Motorsports for 2002. Supposedly they have put together a 2002 15-race BGN deal for which sponsor Outdoor Channel is doubling their 2001 commitment, allowing for more testing and hiring of Connors. Dan Pardus is the driver of the #32 car(12-7-2001)
    UPDATE 2: #32 BGN owner, Jim Gardner announced Friday a sponsorship package, that will enable his team and driver Dan Pardus to race a minimum of 15 BGN races during the 2002 season. At a time when a number of BGN and Cup shops are closing in the face of sponsorship woes, Jim and Judie Motorsports’ primary 2001 sponsor, The Outdoor Channel, nearly doubled its commitment to the team for the 2002 season. Part of stepping up to that next level is the team’s newfound ability to hire a full time crew chief, something they’ve not had before. “Greg Connors, who was with Mid-West, will be joining us in January,” said Gardner. Connors, who was in the Junie Donlavey and Cale Yarborough shops before joining the Midwest Transit Racing as crew chief early in the 2000 season, worked with drivers Ricky Craven, Rick Mast and Rich Bickle during his stay at Midwest. After an on-again, off-again 2001 season, Midwest Transit closed its shop last fall in the wake of a legal dispute between the team’s former partners, Hal Hicks and Mike Witters. In another first for the team, the new deal will provide enough funds for the team to build its own car. “We’re hanging the body on it right now”, said Gardner, whose team has previously fielded only secondhand race cars. With the new deal Pardus and Gardner will also test more than ever before, up to the maximum seven tests allowed by BGN(Daytona Beach News Journal)(12-8-2001)
  • Teams Merge: .The # 89 Big Fan Racing BGN team and the # 96 Chris Hoiles Motorsports BGN team have decided to merge resources for the 2002 BGN season and run as many races as possible as one team. Both teams are located in Easley, SC. By combining resources such as equipment, personnel, and sponsorship the teams are prepared to start the 2002 season in position to run around 15 of the 34 scheduled races. Current talks with other potential sponsors could extend the number of races. The team plans on testing some drivers in the next few weeks and is interested in talking to any drivers with sponsorship looking for a team. If a driver willing to bring enough additional sponsorship to the table is found the team will run as many races as possible which could be a majority of the schedule. Any drivers wishing to talk should contact either Mark Watkins at (864) 859-7673 or Tony Burgess at (864) 442-1123. Currently there are several drivers talking to the team about the position. They include Shane Hall, Brad Baker, .Gus Wasson, Jeff Oakley, Lance Hooper and Mike Laughlin, Jr. .Other drivers have also shown an interest. The team will be running chassis from Laughlin Racing Products in Simpsonville, SC and will also be involved in some R&D for Laughlin during the year. Engines are built by Richard Jackson Motorsports in Arden, NC. Big Fan Racing is a very grassroots fan built team that began on the internet in January 2001 and eventually made its debut when Lance Hooper guided the car to a 35th starting position in the Food City 250 at Bristol on August 24th. The team is approaching 2000 members from all around the United States, Canada, and a few other countries. The # 96 Chris Hoiles Motorsports team was started by Chris Hoiles, former catcher for the Baltimore Orioles Major League Baseball team. It is currently managed by Tony Burgess who is also the team’s Crew Chief.(more info at the Big Fan Racing site)(12-6-2001)
  • Fenley team back? Cope and Elliott legal action? UPDATE: Fenley Motorsports (was the #15 and then #16 and former Bud Moore Motorsports) may be on the verge of signing a major sponsorship deal that would bring it back to the big time after years of struggle. But if the deal doesn’t come through in January as Fenley hopes, the Spartanburg-based race operation’s longstanding financial and legal problems suddenly will become urgent. In a February court hearing, the Fairview Avenue race shop could be foreclosed on and scheduled for sale at public auction in the Spartanburg County. SC courthouse. Company president Robert Fenley said Friday that a happy ending is more than possible. “We’ve been assured that we have a deal for a major sponsor for five years — one year in the Busch Grand National series and four years in Winston Cup — but we just haven’t signed anything yet,” Fenley said. “We’re pretty optimistic that everything will be signed and done by the end of January.” Fenley declined to identify his operation’s potential new sponsor. He estimated that the sponsor would provide at least $12 million of the $14.5 million needed to compete in the 2002 Busch season and the 2003 Winston Cup season. The legal battle is with Ernie Elliott over engine and technical services. Also driver Derrike Cope, who left the Fenley operation in April 2000, claims it still owes him an unspecified portion of a $667,236 judgment levied by an arbitrator in federal court nine months ago. Cope had claimed in legal papers that Fenley violated his contract by failing to enter some NASCAR Winston Cup events. The driver also accused Fenley of being late with his February and March 2000 payments and failing entirely to make the April 2000 payment. The Revenue Department has tax liens on Fenley’s Fairview Avenue property — more than $53,000 worth, according to court papers filed by Cauthen.(full story at the Herald Journal), looks like a real mess(12-4-2001)
    UPDATE: Challenge Motor Sports, Inc., owned and operated by Randy Fenley, announced that it has secured several associate sponsors for the 2002 BGN and Cup series seasons. Challenge Motor sports has entered into an agreement with “theracefanschoice.com” (TRFC Inc) to promote more intimate fan participation in auto racing. Challenge Motor Sports will support all programs the TRFC Inc “theracefanschoice.com” has on line. Additionally, Challenge Motor Sports is still in negotiations for primary corporate sponsors for the team. The outcome of these negotiations will determine the extent of the 2002 BGN and Cup schedules. Challenge Motor Sports is negotiating with several drivers, but no driver has been named for the upcoming season. Challenge Motor Sports has a contract to purchase the race team from Fenley Motor sports and a lease agreement for the facility. Challenge is no way affiliated with Fenley Motor Sports. The disposition of litigation between Fenley Motor sports and Ernie Elliott, Inc. will determine whether Challenge Motor Sports continues to be based at the present facility in Spartanburg, SC.(Challenge Motor Sports PR)(12-6-2001)
  • Compton signs with #59: Stacy Compton has signed to drive the #59 ST Motorsports Chevy in the BGN series next season(Richmond Times DispatchAND ST Motorsports owner Tad Geschickter announced on Wednesday that Stacy Compton will be in the #59 Kingsford/Johnsonville Chevrolet when Busch Series racing resumes at Daytona in February.(ST Motorsports PR)
    BUT Compton is set to sign with ST Motorsports owner Tad Geschickter, and he’s also working on at least three Winston Cup deals that he feels fairly confident about. If things fall into place, Compton says he could run the entire schedule in both divisions. On Dec. 3, Compton said he expected to have his Winston Cup plans for 2002 firmed up “within the next two weeks.”(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(12-6-2001)
  • #43 News: Curb-Agajanian Motorsports has a Dec. 31 deadline of landing sponsorship or shutting down. Only crew chief Gene Nead and a handful of crew members remain at the shop.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(12-6-2001)
  • Brad Parrott to crew chief Burton: Roush Racing announced that Brad Parrott will assume the role of crew chief for the #9 Gain Laundry Detergent Ford with driver Jeff Burton in the BGN Series. Parrott assumes his responsibilities as crew chief immediately. Parrott is no stranger to racing, and he’s seen victory lane 46 times in the Winston Cup Series with drivers Dale Jarrett, Terry Labonte, Rusty Wallace, Derrick Cope, Geoff Bodine, Bobby Allison and Richard Petty. Parrott most recently worked at Robert Yates Racing from 1996-2001. He began as chassis specialist and followed that by assuming role of assistant crew chief after a brief stint as crew chief of the #32 team with driver Ricky Craven [actually the driver then was Scott Pruett] from July-October 2000. Prior to his experience at Robert Yates Racing, Parrott worked on Burton’s newly formed [Exide] team in 1996 for three months.(Roush Racing PR)(12-5-2001)
  • Hamilton Jr to the #25 or Cup? UPDATE to the #25: Rumor has it that Bobby Hamilton Jr. may end up in the #25 Rensi Motorsports Chevy in the BGN next year. Hamilton already announced he was leaving the Carroll Racing-owned #26 Chevrolet in the BGN, and said he was looking at an offer from a Winston Cup team and one from a Busch team. A Cup offer might come from Morgan-McClure Motorsports, where Hamilton drove six of the last seven races in the #4 Chevrolet. Morgan-McClure is hoping to add him in a second team since Mike Skinner will be taking over the #4. The one major hurdle stopping Morgan-McClure is lack of sponsorship for a second car. But, word is they are waiting to hear from a potential one.(NASCAR.com)(11-29-2001)
    UPDATE: Ed and Sam Rensi, co-owners of Team Rensi Motorsports, announced that Bobby Hamilton Jr. will take over the driver’s seat of the #25 Team Marines Racing machine for the 2002 BGN season. Fred Wanke, who led Ted Musgrave to a series high seven victories in the Craftsman Truck Series this past season, has been named crew chief for the #25 Team Marines. Other changes include transitions in both manufacturers and engine outfits, moving to Ford and Robert Yates engines, for the upcoming season.. The team recently acquired the #02 Fords of Ryan Newman’s from Penske, a step that Hamilton, Jr. is thrilled about. Sponsorship is one element of the program that will not change. The United States Marine Corps will return as associate sponsor of the #25 Team Marines and they are very supportive of all changes that have been made for the upcoming season.(Tailwind Sports PR)(12-4-2001)
  • Amick to the #26? UPDATE: After a year on the sidelines, Lyndon Amick could be returning to full-time competition in the Busch Series with Carroll Racing. Team owner Dave Carroll and current driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. are evidently going their separate ways. Carroll has at least two other options for sponsor Dr. Pepper, but calls Amick his first choice. Despite rumors to the contrary, an agreement with Amick would not hinge on the driver bringing engines built by a family owned company to the table. A decision should be made by late November. Amick’s team shut down recently after the South Carolina native made only sporadic starts earlier this year.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(11-15-2001)
    UPDATE: Carroll Racing announced that Lyndon Amick will drive its #26 Dr Pepper Chevrolet Monte Carlo for the 2002 BGN season.(Carroll Racing)(12-4-2001)
  • Brewco and Bill Davis: Brewco Motorsports announced that they have signed an agreement with Bill Davis Racing to use their engines for the 2002 BGN season. Engines from the High Point, North Carolina headquarters of Bill Davis Racing will be run by both the #27 Williams Travel Centers cars driven by Jamie McMurray and the #37 Timber Wolf cars with their new driver Jeff Purvis.(Brewco PR)(12-4-2001)