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February 2003 Busch Series Archive

 

  • Happy Hour [well not too happy] ended with #1-Jamie McMurray and #99-Michael Waltrip getting together with McMuaary’s #1 Dodge erupting in flames. Both drivers walked away and are ok. Both will go to backup’s, McMurray’s is a Chevy that has signatures all over it.(2-28-2003)
  • Qualifying was cancelled at Las Vegas for the Sam’s Town 300 Busch Series qualifying. The field was set by the 2003 Rules book. #60-Stanton Barrett is on the pole [2002 owners points, when Biffle won the championship] with #57-Jason Keller on the outside pole.
    See the lineup at BGN RacingMotorsports One or NASCAR.com.(2-28-2003)
  • New Crew Chief for the #30: Jamie Jones has been named crew chief of the #30 Keystone Light Dodge driven by Steadman Marlin. Jones was previously the car chief on the #38 Great Clips Ford of Kasey Kahne. He will head up the #30 team’s efforts this weekend at Las Vegas.(BGN Racing), Kevin Caldwell had been listed as the crew chief.(2-25-2003)
  • #43 Crew Chief? hearing that Joe Shear Jr assumed crew chief duties for the #43 Channellock Chevy at Rockingham and will also crew chief the team and driver Johnny Sauter at Las Vegas, no word after that.(2-26-2003)
  • Haas CNC Racing to field Busch team: The Haas CNC Racing team announced that Troy Cline will drive the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet in its Busch Series debut this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Sam’s Town 300 will be the first of five Busch Series races for the Haas CNC Racing team in 2003. “We are looking forward to our Busch Series debut and seeing what Troy can do behind the wheel,” said Joe Custer, general manager for Haas CNC Racing. “I know that we have good car, and we hope to finish near the top.” It will be the fourth Busch Series career start for Cline, whose best finish was 21st place in the Stacker2 200 at Nazareth Speedway in May 2002. “I am really looking forward to my first race in the No. 00 car,” said Cline. “For the first time, I will have some great equipment in front of me and I know it will make a difference.” The red and white #00 car will be sponsored by Haas Automation, the largest machine tool manufacturer in the United States. The field for the Sam’s Town 300 will take the green flag on Saturday, March 1, at 3:30pm/et. The race will be televised on the FX cable network.(Haas CNC Racing PR)(2-25-2003)
  • Ciccarrelli plans to run Darlington: Dion Ciccarrelli and Glidden Motorsports are making plans to go to Darlington next month and need a sponsor. The team is looking for a sponsor to pay for the tires at Darlington and who would be willing to consider a further relationship from there. For more information, e-mail Ksrspeedy84@aol.com or call 240 305 5486.(BGN Racing.com)(2-21-2003)
  • Driver hopes to debut at Las Vegas: NASCAR Winston West regular Scott Lynch also is attempting to make his Busch Series debut this weekend with race and pit support from Las Vegas-based Orleans Racing. Lynch, who finished second to NASCAR Winston Cup regular Ken Schrader in the Winston West season opener Feb. 2 at Phoenix International Raceway, earned his first Winston West victory last October in the Orleans 150 at LVMS.(Las Vegas Sun)(2-28-2003)
  • Featherlite Champ, Eddy McKean, to attempt 2 BGN races UPDATE 2 about face:: 2002 Featherlite Southwest Series champion Eddy McKean plans to test the waters of the BGN this season. To prepare, he purchased Jeff Burton’s Busch car and will rent engines from Roush Racing. McKean is also looking for new marketing partners that share his vision and who are looking for a vehicle into motorsports. “We plan on running the Busch races at Vegas and Phoenix this year,” McKean stated. “Depending on how we do we may run Charlotte and Atlanta. There are only so many opportunities in your life and right now it is my time to race. Let’s see what we can do.”(Eddy McKean site)(01-23-2003)
    UPDATE: it looks like McKean will not have his Busch car ready to run the first of March in Vegas in the BGN race.(Eddy McKean site)(2-15-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Eddy McKean of McKean Racing will be making his NASCAR Busch Series debut on Saturday, March 1, 2003. Eddy has entered his #91, 2002 Jack Roush Ford Taurus in the Sam’s Town 300 Busch Series race to be run at Las Vegas Motorspeedway. Terri Allen of Red’s Racing out of Concord, NC and Stanton Barrett driver of the #60, Busch Series Roush Racing Ford have teamed up with Eddy to assist him with his Busch Series debut. Saturday’s race is the first of possibly six Busch races Eddy plans to enter this season. Eddy is currently seeking sponsorship funds for his #91 Ford Taurus, the number of Busch races he will be able to enter will depend on securing a primary sponsorship for his car. Eddy has graciously offered to run decals on his car with the website address and phone number for the Laci Peterson missing person case. Laci Peterson is the missing Modesto, CA woman who disappeared on December 24, 2003. Currently there is a reward offered of $500,000 for information leading to the safe return of Laci. Laci Peterson’s family is very grateful to have Eddy help them get out the information regarding Laci’s case. Sharon Rocha (Laci’s mother) sent a letter that said “You have no idea how much this means to us. It is people like you who are helping us get through this terrible nightmare.” Eddy is eager to help get this information out to the public in hopes that someone may come forward with information that will lead to Laci’s safe return. For further information regarding Laci Peterson you can visit the families website at: www.lacipeterson.com.(Matt Vaughn Motorsports Marketing)(2-28-2003)
  • Buschwackers at Las Vegas: Nine Winston Cup regulars are scheduled to drive in Saturday’s Sam’s Town 300 Busch Series race at LVMS including the most recent Busch race winner, Jamie McMurray [#42 in Cup, #1 in Busch]. Other Cup drivers attempting to make the 43-car field on Saturday are Steve Park [#1 and #8], Jeff Burton [#99 and #9], Matt Kenseth [both #17], Kevin Harvick [#29 and #21], Tony Raines [#74 and #33], Joe Nemechek [#25 and #87], Todd Bodine [#54 and #92] and Michael Waltrip [#15 and #99].(Las Vegas Sun)(2-27-2003)
  • Renshaw to miss race due to surgery: Deborah Renshaw underwent surgery Tuesday to correct problems from an earlier operation on a broken foot. She will miss next week’s ARCA race at Atlanta. ”It’s been difficult, but I’m trying to keep my sprits up,” Renshaw said. ”It seems like I encounter one obstacle after another.” Renshaw suffered seven broken bones in her right foot in a crash last October at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Three permanent metal screws were implanted in her foot, but later the screws began causing her pain. ”Some of my hardware came loose,” said Renshaw, managing a joke. ”The doctor decided the screws had to be replaced.” The surgery was performed Tuesday at University Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C., where Renshaw’s original operation was done. Renshaw will wear a soft ”ski boot” cast for two weeks. The crash that sent Renshaw to the hospital with a shattered foot and concussion also claimed the life of fellow driver Eric Martin. The 26-year-old Renshaw was devastated by the tragedy. She spent the offseason recuperating, both psychically and psychologically, and returned to racing Feb. 8 at Daytona. She was scheduled to drive next Saturday in Atlanta, the second stop on the ARCA circuit, but her doctor recommended she skip the race while recuperating from her latest surgery. Renshaw said she hopes to be mended in time for the April 11 ARCA race at Nashville Superspeedway, the third stop on the ARCA tour. Renshaw made national news last summer when several male drivers at Fairgrounds Speedway plotted to get her car disqualified. In the wake of the publicity Renshaw was signed to a full-time Busch Series ride this season, but that deal felt through following her October crash. Now she is unsure what her future holds. ”I’m looking at some different options,” said Renshaw, who is attending this weekend’s races in Las Vegas. ”Right now I’m not sure what direction I may go in.”(Tennessean)(2-27-2003)
  • Finishing Order changed for the Rock: NASCAR changed the finishing order a day after the Busch Series race Monday at Rockingham. Ashton Lewis was ruled to have finished ahead of Scott Riggs, so the official results have Lewis being 16th and Riggs was given 17th. Lewis originally was held in the pits for a 15-second penalty for changing more than the allotted three sets of tires under caution during the race. After reviewing the film, NASCAR realized he did not exceed the limit and gave him the time back he lost entering and exiting the pits. With that time, he would have finished ahead of Riggs, so Lewis was awarded 16th instead of 17th.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-26-2003)
  • Darlington Testing next week: the following Busch Series teams/drivers will test, March 3rd thru March 5th at Darlington Raceway: #18 Coy Gibbs and #21 Johnny Sauter om March 3rd; and #18 Coy Gibbs, #21 Johnny Sauter, #10 Scott Riggs, #19 Chad Blount on March 4th; and #10 Scott Riggs and #19 Chad Blount on March 5th..(Darlington PR)(2-25-2003)
  • TBR and Lusk helping out: Damon Lusk will have a larger-than-life image of 5-year-old Sofia Juarez on the trunk of his race car March 1 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway NASCAR Busch Series race. The aim is to help give national exposure to the Kennewick, WA child’s disappearance. Lusk, 26, and car owner Tommy Baldwin Racing agreed to donate the 20-by-50-inch space on the #6 Dodge to help draw attention to the 17-day-old search for Sofia, who is missing and considered endangered. Not only will tens of thousands of raceway spectators see her picture and a phone number to call with information, but the race also will be televised on FX, a cable affiliate of Fox on Saturday. Lusk said he is glad to offer the spot, which would normally bring $13,000 in sponsorship money. The car is sponsored by Sta-Rite Pumps. Detectives continue to work leads in the case, which has captured the attention of Tri-Citians. Sofia apparently walked away from her home at 115 E. 15th Ave. the evening of Feb. 4. Police, aided by the FBI and several law enforcement and rescue agencies, have invested thousands of hours, as have hundreds of volunteers. An aerial search using thermal imaging this week came up with no real evidence. A Web site for Sofia was established Thursday by the Tri-City Herald to help keep the public informed about her. It contains current and past stories, photographs and personal information about Sofia, what she was wearing when she disappeared and whom to contact with tips about her whereabouts. That Web site is www.tri-cityherald.com/reports/sofia. The National center for Missing and Exploited Children at www.missingkids.com also carries information about Sofia’s case. The center’s phone number for tips is 800-843-5678.(Tri-City Herald)(2-25-2003)
  • McLaughlin gets a sponsor for Las Vegas: Mike McLaughlin and representatives from the Flamingo Las Vegas resort and casino reached a one-race sponsorship agreement for the Sam’s Town 300, NASCAR Busch Series event, to be held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 1, 2003.. McLaughlin will drive car #01, a green-and-white Ford Taurus with pink and black Flamingo logos. McLaughlin, a 10-year Busch Series veteran who is currently without a full-time ride on the series, is racing on individual event sponsorships and the generous donations of fans across America through the XM Nation, Hopes and Dreams 2003 Campaign. “After an interview my wife, Katie, and I did on XM Satellite NASCAR Channel 144, fans started sending in donations to help me get to Daytona,” McLaughlin summarized. “The response was so swift and unexpected that combined with the sponsorship we received for Daytona from dwstore.com and SeaWatch along with various auto dealers in the New York area, we had enough money left over to enter one more race.” McLaughlin looked at the schedule and decided on Las Vegas. Upon making the decision, he and his team began preparations for the event, including the solicitation of additional sponsorship. “We received a lead about the Flamingo Las Vegas wanting to get on a car for the event,” McLaughlin said. “We immediately called them up and provided them information on myself, the series and the race. Within two days we had reached an agreement.”
    “NASCAR weekend is one of the biggest events of the year in Las Vegas, and the Flamingo is excited about the opportunity to participate,” said Flamingo Vice President of Marketing, Randy Sears. “Mike McLaughlin is a promising driver who just needs the opportunity to win. We look forward to seeing him in the winner’s circle on Saturday.”
    “We are real excited to have Flamingo Las Vegas on the car and involved with us for the event,” McLaughlin stated. “We hope to have a good showing at the track and look forward to working with such a fantastic company.” McLaughlin’s “Hopes and Dreams 2003” campaign has received over $80,000 in donations from fans and corporations across the country – from 49 of the 50 states and from two foreign countries. Donations continue to arrive daily. The Flamingo Las Vegas is a Park Place Entertainment casino resort with everything to offer its guests – including 15 acres of a Caribbean-style water playground with tennis courts and a wildlife habitat. The resort combines hospitality with the glamour and excitement of Las Vegas. The casino features more than 70 table games and 2,100 slot machines, and the hotel offers more than 3,500 luxurious rooms and suites, six restaurants, late-night lounge, a wedding chapel, health spa, shopping and a variety of entertainment. Currently performing at the Flamingo are Gladys Knight, The Amazing Johnathan, The Second City comedy troupe and “Bottoms Up.”(PR)(2-25-2003)
  • McMurray wins at the Rock: #1-Jamie McMurray beat #37-David Green by 1.908 seconds to win the Rockingham 200 on Monday after a 2-day delay due to rain on Saturday. McMurray dominated the race, leading 192 of 197 laps. The rest of the top five were: #92-Todd Bodine, #7-Randy LaJoie and #57-Jason Keller.
    Top five in drivers points are: #1-Jamie McMurray, 340; #92-Todd Bodine, 315; #21-Kevin Harvick, 304; #37-David Green, 279; and #7-Randy LaJoie, 278.
    See results at ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.comMotorsportsOne or NASCAR.com. Drivers points can be seen at NASCAR.com.(2-24-2003)
  • Race postponed until Monday The Busch Series teams will return to North Carolina Speedway at 11:00am/et on Monday for the Rockingham 200 after the race was washed out by rain on Saturday. Light rain and fog in the morning hours wiped out Winston Cup practice, then after short break in which the track-drying attempts were made heavy rain and wind swept through the area around 1:00pm/et. It was still raining steadily at 2:00pm/et the postponement call was made. The rescheduled race is scheduled to be telecast live on FX cable.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-22-2003)
    UPDATE the BGN race is now being run and can be seen LIVE on FX and heard on MRN Radio and XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio. NASCAR.com will also have the race live via the Internet via their paid Trackpass feature.(2-24-2003)
  • GEICO re-ups with the #4 UPDATE: GEICO will continue its relationship with Biagi Bros. Racing and Mike Wallace on the team’s No. 4 Chevrolet into the 2003 season GEICO, the nation’s leading provider of insurance products and services, has agreed to sponsor the #4 BGN car for at least 10 races this year, beginning with the season-opening Koolerz 300 at Daytona International Speedway next month. “We are excited to have GEICO onboard for the 2003 season,” said Fred Biagi, team owner. “We are in the process of building two new cars to add to our fleet and with continued support from GEICO, motors provided by Bill Davis and the knowledge and experience of new crew chief Tony Lambert, we are confident that we will be competitive in the season to come.” The sponsorship deal was coordinated by Barnette Sports & Entertainment and completed on Monday. In addition to Daytona, the other races scheduled for GEICO and Biagi Bros. are Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, California Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, Gateway International Raceway, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, and Dover Down’s International Speedway – all of which take place in the first half of the season. GEICO, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, first adorned the hood of the #4 car in July of 2002 in the Stacker 2 / GNC Live Well 250 at Daytona International Speedway. GEICO continued to sponsor the Biagi Bros. team for an additional ten races in 2002, closing with the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “We are proud to be associated with GEICO,” said Biagi. “We encourage everyone to call GEICO at 1-800-342-9070 for a free quote on insurance.”(Biagi Bros. Racing PR)(1-6-2003)
    UPDATE: GEICO has extended its sponsorship of NASCAR driver Mike Wallace and the #4 Busch Series entry of Biagi Bros. Racing. Initially GEICO agreed to sponsor the team for ten races during the first half of the season, however they have now extended their agreement to include the Rockingham 200 from North Carolina Speedway on Monday, February 24, 2003, as well as the darlingtonraceway.com 200 from Darlington Raceway on Saturday, March 15th.(Biagi Bros. Racing PR)(2-24-2003)
  • Cicci-Kelly team hopes to have sponsor soon, will run #34 UPDATE 3: Frank Cicci Jr., who joined forces with former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly to form a BGN team, could have a sponsorship deal within the next week. “We’re getting real close to having sponsorship,” Cicci said Wednesday from his Mooresville, NC, race shop. Cicci said the manufacturing company would provide enough backing to compete in the BGN for the full season at a “proper level of funding.” He declined to name the company but said it has been a sponsor in racing previously. Cicci is also planning to enter August’s Sirius Satellite Radio at the Glen — the Winston Cup race at Watkins Glen International — with a different sponsor that he said is associated with Kelly. Cicci has owned or co-owned Busch teams for 14 years. He partnered with Scott Welliver for 10 years before splitting from the team in August of 2001. Cicci returned to the Busch Series briefly last season as team manager for the Jimmy Spencer-owned Spencer Motorsport Ventures. He hooked up with Kelly in October. Kelly, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last summer, talked about his interest in racing in August of last year at Watkins Glen International, where he was the honorary starter for the Winston Cup race. “I brought Jim Kelly in as a partner to offer his services to a sponsor and help promote their product,” Cicci said when he announced the new team. “Kelly has been real instrumental in trying to secure this sponsor,” Cicci said. “It will be a rush to get to Daytona, but we can do it if we hear on the sponsorship by early next week,” Cicci said. Cicci, who still has to purchase cars and assemble a crew, has a race shop of 10,000 square feet as his only team asset. He said the team is ready to sign a young driver who has some experience in Busch and Hooters Cup racing. The team will use the familiar car #34, which Cicci has owned since he started in the BGN in 1987.(Elmira Star Gazette)(1-23-2003)
    UPDATE: hearing Rich Bickle is close to signing a one race deal to run at Daytona.(1-24-2003)
    UPDATE 2 McLeod could be hired, No Bickle: Frank Cicci and his partner, former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, should know if they will have a Busch Series team for 2003 by the end of this week. Cicci plans to meet with his prospective sponsor Friday. “Everything looks good,” Cicci said Wednesday from his Mooresville, NC, home. Cicci said he will hire [but has not hired] former team member Clyde McLeod as his team manager. Clyde’s wife, Anne-Marie, will join the team in the Mooresville, NC, shop office as soon as the sponsor is signed. McLeod, who served under Cicci for 11 years, lost his job with the #03 Angela’s Motorsports team [see news below], which closed its doors because of financial problems earlier this week. Mike McLaughlin, a former Cicci driver, lost his ride when Angela’s Motorsports folded. “I wish I could help Mike, but at this time I can’t,” said Cicci, who is committed to a younger driver for his team by the sponsor. Cicci said there is no truth to the rumor that briefly appeared on the Web site www.jayski.com [OOPS] that said he would use Rich Bickle and his car for the first event, the Koolerz 300 at Daytona on Feb. 15. “I had just asked Rich to look for a car for me,” Cicci said. “It’s doubtful we’ll be ready for Daytona but we may try.”(Elmira Star Gazette)(1-30-2003)
    UPDATE 2 sponsor and driver named: Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly has announced plans to run a minimum of 10 Busch Series races in 2003 with Clay Rogers as the driver. Blake Bainbridge will assume crew chief duties and Clyde McLeod will be the team manager. The team will run the #34 Chevy in races at Darlington (3/15), along with the spring races at Bristol, Nashville, Talladega and Richmond; the races at Daytona and NHIS in July, both races at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and the Busch North Series race at Watkins Glen. LesCare Kitchins will be the sponsor for the races and Rogers. Rogers last competed in the Busch Series in nine races in 2001 in the #17 Chevy, splitting time with Matt Kenseth. Last season, Rogersran in the Hooters Cup series, finishing 7th in the series points. Cicci indicated that LesCare could add 14-18 more races to the team’s schedule in 2003.(Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly PR)(2-24-2003)
  • To the back: two drivers, #21-Kevin Harvik (who was to start 8th) and #10-Scott Riggs (who was to start 3rd) both had to have engines changed and have to start at the rear of the field before the green flag.(2-23-2003)
  • David Green wins pole at the Rock: #37-David Green won the pole for the Rockingham 200 at North Carolina Speedway with a speed of 154.429mph, Green’s 20th career Busch series pole. #1-Jamie McMurray gets the outside pole with a speed of 154.318. #10-Scott Riggs starts third; #38-Kasey Kahne starts fourth in his career-best qualifying effort; and #57-Jason Keller rounds out the top five. Missing the race were #61-Justin Ashburn, #72 Michael Dokken and #86-Jeff Fultz.
    For lineups see ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.comMotorsportsOne or NASCAR.com. Happy Hour canceled at Rockingham due to darkness.(2-21-2003)
  • Rain/Wet at the Rock: is was misting at the North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, NC but it has stopped and the Winston Cup cars are on the track and practicing. ThatsRacin.com reports that the plan now is for Cup cars to practice, then start qualifying for both series (no times posted but Cup qualifying WAS to start at 3:05pm/et). The Weather Channel reports a 70% chance of rain today and 80% on Saturday. The current radar shows a big blob of green heading towards Rockingham.
    Modified Schedule: NASCAR has revised today’s schedule as follows (all times ET) — 2:00 – 3:00 Winston Cup Practice, 3:05 – BGN qualifying, 4:15 – Winston Cup Qualifying, immediately following Cup qualifying will be 45 minutes of BGN Happy Hour.(unless it rains again)(BGN Racing.com)(2-21-2003)
  • Martin named Grand Marshall of Rockingham Busch race: Roush Racing’s Mark Martin will serve as the Grand Marshal for Saturday’s Rockingham 200 Busch Series race. Martin, who won 11 Busch races at Rockingham and captured six poles, will give the command to start engines. Martin holds virtually every record for the 200-mile event of which he competed on 25 occasions, finishing inside the top five 16 times and in the top 10 on 20 occasions, before retiring from the Busch series after the 2000 season. “It’s an honor to be recognized for something that you accomplished in your career,” said Martin. “We had a lot of good Busch races at Rockingham over the years and a lot of other people were responsible for that as well. Still I do appreciate the honor and look forward to it on Saturday.(Roush Racing PR via J-Mar Newsletter)(2-21-2003)
  • McLaughlin has a broken wrist? Catchfence.com spoke with Mike McLaughlin today only to find he was in the process of having a wrist x-rayed. McLaughlin is fairly sure the wrist is fractured as a result of the accident on lap 118, just 2 laps short of the complete Koolerz 300 that was run last Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. McLaughlin suffered a similar injury to the other wrist some time ago and recognizes the discomfort. “I’m sure that’s what this is. My wife, Katie, was pretty persistent in this, but, there’s not much they can do.” McLaughlin wants to be sure the fans who helped support his Daytona effort and Darrell Waltrip know just how much their efforts and loyalty meant to him and his wife. “It just doesn’t get any better than that, McLaughlin added. “I want to really cherish that.” McLaughlin will attempt to qualify for the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 1st.(Catchfence via BGN Racing)(2-21-2003)
  • Shepherd to attempt the Rock: Johnny Davis, owner of the #0 Chevrolet Busch Series team, announced that long time racing veteran Morgan Shepherd will attempt to qualify his Monte Carlo for Rockingham 200. Davis, of Blacksburg, SC, is very excited to have Shepherd on board. “We hope that Morgan will be with us for every NASCAR Busch race we run this year.” Shepherd is equally pleased to be running in the Busch Series this weekend. The 1.017 miles oval offers some fantastic racing. “Johnny approached us at Daytona about running for him,” said Shepherd. “We thought we had another commitment that would prevent us from working with him this weekend, but as it turns out we are very pleased to be able to drive for him after all. I’m very pleased we have this opportunity and we pray for an exciting and safe race for everyone.”(Catchfence PR)(2-21-2003)
  • Keller needs OK, but expects to race UPDATE: Jason Keller rested at home in Greenville over the weekend, a “little sore,” he said, from the worst wreck of his racing career. Keller hit another car and the Daytona International Speedway outside wall hard Saturday on the next-to-last lap of the Koolerz 300 Busch series season opener and sat in his crumpled car for scary seconds as flames poured from under the hood. Keller was checked at Halifax Medical Center for a possible concussion, but a CT scan was negative, and he was released from the hospital late Saturday afternoon. Because driver head injuries have been a major issue in NASCAR racing in recent years, Keller must consult with NASCAR medical officials again this week before getting clearance to race in Saturday’s second Busch race at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham. He said Sunday he sees no reason he won’t be able to drive. Keller said he didn’t lose consciousness. “I didn’t black out, but it’s the closest I’ve ever been,” he said. “For a couple of seconds, I can’t remember exactly what happened. I’m glad they ran all the tests.”(Greenville News)(2-19-2003)
    UPDATE: Jason Keller, involved in a bad wreck with two laps remaining in last weekend’s season opener at Daytona, remains sore from his accident but said he is ready to compete this weekend. Although a CT scan did not show a concussion, Keller did suffer some amnesia from the incident. He can’t recall the minutes immediately following the accident, even though he did not black out. “It was the first time in my 22-year racing career that I had to leave the race track in an ambulance. Hopefully, I’ve got 22 more,” Keller said. “I’d by lying if I said I was 100 percent. Sometimes you have to play hurt and this will be a couple of weeks where I have to play hurt.” Keller called the incident “a careless accident.” Todd Bodine hit Jimmy Vasser from behind to start the four-car wreck. “I was unfortunate to be behind it, and that’s the bad part of it; it wasn’t anything of our doing,” Keller said.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-21-2003)
  • Ron Young Ready For Rockingham: Ron Young is ready to get his Busch Series season underway this weekend at Rockingham, hoping to qualify for the second Busch Series race of the season. “This is our first race of the season, and we’ve set some standards, but on Friday, all we are worried about is qualifying for the race.” stated Young. Young competed in 12 Busch events during the course of the 2002 schedule. When he was not piloting in his RB1 Motorsports Chevrolet, Young could be found in the No. 63 Ken Alexander Racing Chevy.(RB1 Motorsports PR)(2-21-2003)
  • McLaughlin looking for ride…two oppurtunities dry up UPDATE at Vegas: A quick update on Mike McLaughlin’s 2003 BGN efforts: Leaving Daytona McLaughlin felt he had two solid opportunities to drive very competitive cars in Rockingham and Las Vegas. This morning both of those opportunities fell by the wayside. At this point McLaughlin is aggresively looking for a competitive car to rent for this weekend. McLaughlin’s original plan coming out of Daytona called him to compete in the first three races and then evaluate his position at that point. Any team owner with a car available may reach Mike by emailing at katermclaughlin@aol.com or by calling him at home.(past new below)(2-18-2003)
    UPDATE: From Mike McLaughlin’s website: Mike’s wife Katie, Mike will not be running Rockingham this weekend. It will be a definite for Las Vegas. Details are not available at this time but will be available in 1 to 2 days on sponsorship. It will be a Jay Robinson car [#39?]. DwStore.com was going to be on the car this weekend because of the overwhelming support from the fans. As far as next weekend in Vegas, we are not sure if they will be on the car.(2-20-2003)
  • Burton gets a sponsor for Vegas – same as Cup: Jeff Burton’s #9 BGN Ford for the March 1 Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will be sponsored by CITGO. Burton drove to victory in the Busch event at Las Vegas last year. To date, this is the only Busch race Burton is slated to run. Paul Andrews will act as Burton’s crew chief for the event.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-19-2003)
  • Knights Inn hotel to sponsor Kerry Earnhardt: The Knights Inn hotel chain announced it will sponsor driver Kerry Earnhardt in the BFN and select Cup races in 2003 as an associate sponsor. Tthe chain will have its logo featured on the #12 Chevy of FitzBradshaw Racing that Earnhardt will drive in the BGN and on the #83 Chevy in which he will drive in a few select races in 2003.(Yahoo)(2-19-2003)
  • HRT Still Scheduled to run in 2003 UPDATE: Carlos Contreras is still scheduled to run the #09 [thought it was gonna be #41?] Chevy for HRT Motorsports in the upcoming season. Although they will not run a full schedule, they will run select events with the first race set to be California. Negotiations are currently underway to secure the Las Vegas and Texas dates as well. The team is currently working on sponsorship deals with announcements coming in the near future.(BGN Racing)(1-30-2003)
    UPDATE: HRT Motorsports is working on adding races to its part-time schedule. Meanwhile any and all other team owners and crew chiefs who are interested in Carlos Contreras as a “test” or “fill-in” driver should contact Rudy Rodriguez at (305) 218-7839 or via email at rgr@hrtmotorsports.com. Carlos is very competitive and knows the tracks. He is also a road-course specialist and is available to train other drivers on the nuances of turning right.(HRT)(2-19-2003)
  • Smith to run #22 car, rest of season after Daytona UPDATE: Regan Smith has signed a deal to drive 33 Busch Series races with Bost Motorsports [#22], beginning with the Feb. 22 race at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham. Smith made his Busch Series debut last year for Team Bristol Motorsports.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-29-2003)
    UPDATE: Danny Bost and Bost Motorsports are pleased to announce that nineteen year-old Regan Smith will drive their #22 Chevy in the BGN this year starting at Rockingham. Danny Bost, a Concord, NC based land developer, co-owned the team [was #94] last year but took over as sole owner January 1, 2003. Bost is excited about the future of Bost Motorsports and his new driver. “We are an unsponsored team looking for sponsorship, but are committed to running the full Busch Series schedule this year. We feel that we have a talented team that will prove to be a bargain and great opportunity for a company looking to take advantage of the national television exposure available in the number two racing series in the United States,” said Bost. Since Smith has not competed in a BGN race on a superspeedway he was not eligible to run in the first BGN race at Daytona. BGN veteran Jeff Fuller drove for the team there finishing 24th. Regan Smith ran in two CTS races in 2002 and made his BGN debut qualifying fifteenth at Memphis.(PR)(2-18-2003)
  • #54 signs assoc sponsors: Team Bristol Motorsports owner Rick Goodwin announced that he has signed three associate sponsors for the 2003 Busch season. Rayovac Batteries, Martin Designs and Zapf Creation will join Toys “R” Us on the #54 Chevy that Hermie Sadler drives(Catchfence)(2-18-2003)
  • #70 team gets a Daytona sponsor UPDATE will run at the Rock: The #70 Chevy, driven by Robby Benton, has picked up a one race sponsorship for Saturday’s Koolerz 300 BGN race at Daytona, from Vitaball Vitamin Gumballs.(BGN Racing)(2-14-2003)
    UPDATE: Robby Benton will make his second consecutive start in the #70 Ken Alexander Chevy this weekend in Rockingham. The team is still looking for a primary sponsor.(RAB Racing PR)(2-18-2003)
  • Team buys Buckshot’s cars: Charles Lewandoski has purchased three BGN cars from former Winston Cup and BGN driver Buckshot Jones. The 17-year-old Lewandoski plans to enter 5-7 NASCAR Busch North Series events after his 18th birthday in May, with a focus on running for Busch North Rookie of the Year and 2-3 BGN races in the 2004 season.(Charles Lewandoski Racing)(2-18-2003)
  • Little E wins at Daytona: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won his third race of the 2003 Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway, repeating his victory of a year ago in the BGN season opener. In the past week, Earnhardt Jr. has won the Budweiser Shootout and his Gatorade 125 qualifying race. He can complete a sweep of the week with a victory in Sunday’s Daytona 500, which would be his first in that event. No driver has ever won all four season-opening NASCAR events at Daytona. #17-Matt Kenseth was 2nd, followed be #21-Kevin Harvick, who led the first 53 laps of the race, #4-Mike Wallace, and #1-Jamie McMurray. #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr was highest placing BGN full-time regular at 7th. The race was slowed six times by caution for 24 laps. The were two lead changes among two drivers, with Earnhardt Jr. leading the most laps (67). #57-Jason Keller, who finished runner-up to series champion Greg Biffle last season, was involved in the Lap 119 incident and was taken to Halifax Medical Center. He was diagnosed with a possible concussion and was to get a precautionary CT scan.(ThatsRacin.com)
    For race results see ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.comMotorsportsOne or NASCAR.com.(2-15-2003)
  • Jeff Green in for Nemechek for BGN race Daytona 500 pole sitter, #30-Jeff Green has been contacted by Joe Nemechek to drive the #87 Chevy in the BGN race at Daytona today, Nemechek is suffereing from food poisoning and is headed to the hospital for an IV. No word on his status for Sunday’s Daytona 500. Green will run the BGN race, he will have to go to the rear of the field before the green flag, Nemechek won the pole for the race.(FX coverage of Happy Hour)(2-15-2003)
  • Exide an assoc on #17: Exide Technologies announced an associate sponsor partnership with Reiser Enterprises and Matt Kenseth for a 15-race program during the 2003 BGN season. Exide Technologies is a global leader in stored electrical energy solutions. Bayer Healthcare is the primary sponsor of the #17 Reiser-owned Ford, while the Bayer Consumer Care products of Bayer Aspirin, Alka-Seltzer, Alka-Seltzer Plus and Aleve will alternate as primary sponsors throughout the 15 races. Exide Batteries will be featured on the #17 Bayer Ford in all 15 of the races Kenseth will compete in. Exide, headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, has been the “Official Battery of NASCAR” since 1997 and has been a part of NASCAR since 1993. Exide has endorsed the officially licensed product status through 2006.(Pro Sports PR)(2-15-2003)
  • Jason Rudd to run some races: hearing that Jason Rudd will run some BGN races in 2003 with his own team, Jason Rudd Motorsports and has purchased a Dodge from BLV Motorsports [Vickers] and will run the #01 and is looking for sponsorship.(2-15-2003)
  • Exide continue partnership with TBR: Exide Technologies announced an extension of its partnership with Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) and drivers Damon Lusk and Paul Wolfe for a 25-race program during the 2003 season. The 25 races consist of events to be held in the BGN, BGNN and Winston West Series this season. The Exide Batteries logo will be featured on the b-post position in all 25 of the races Lusk and Wolfe will compete in. Lusk will compete in a total of 10 BGN races with the option to increase based on additional sponsorship dollars, while Wolfe will compete in 15 BGNN and Winston West events. Sta-Rite Pumps is the primary sponsor for Lusk’s #6 Dodge, while Tops is the primary sponsor for Wolfe’s #6 Dodge. Last season, Exide returned to NASCAR as a team sponsor with its partnership with TBR in a unique four-race sponsorship in the BGN with driver and NBC commentator Wally Dallenbach.(Pro Sports PR)(2-15-2003)
  • #92 News: Herzog-Jackson Motorsports re-hired Todd Bodine as its driver for its #92 Busch Series car, but the St. Joseph-based racing team is still seeking a primary sponsor. Excedrin had sponsored the Herzog car driven by Jimmy Johnson in 2000 and 2001 and by Bodine for most of 2002 but withdrew after last season because of financial difficulties encountered by its parent company. The lack of a primary sponsor hasn’t deterred Herzog-Jackson from trying to put together a competitive Busch team this season, nor has it squashed its hopes to eventually race a Winston Cup car. “We’ve done everything we would have done to prepare for the season,” said Randy Herzog, a partner in the team along with his brother, Stan; father, Bill; and baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson. “We’ve upgraded the cars with all the changes mandated by NASCAR and also what technology has shown us we need to have to be more competitive. We tested at Daytona three weeks ago, went to Las Vegas for two days and spent a day at the wind tunnel in Detroit working on our downforce stuff. We’re approaching it like we’re going to sign somebody tomorrow. Some of the people we’re talking about sponsorship want to go directly to Winston Cup. We’re having those conversations at the same time we’re trying to get the 92 Busch car sponsored. You might see us during this season run some combination of races in both series.” Bodine had an inconsistent year in 2002 while dividing time driving the #26 Winston Cup car for Haas Carter Motorsports and the #92 Busch car, an arrangement he’ll maintain this year [the #26 is now the #54 in Cup]. He won the Busch race at Kentucky for Herzog-Jackson and had two seconds, two fourths and a fifth. But he also had a last-place finish after an accident at Dover and several other finishes deep in the pack. Bodine also was placed on probation by NASCAR for causing some accidents in Winston Cup races, notably a huge pileup at Charlotte in October. Herzog-Jackson put Tim Fedewa in their car for three races at the end of last season but decided to re-hire Bodine this year. “Todd’s biggest problem was he was overly aggressive at times,” Randy Herzog said. “I would much rather see that in a driver than try to build a fire under him. He’s evaluated things, we’ve had a lot of discussions, and Todd realized how much he still wanted to drive for us and work with us. We both feel real good about it.”(Kansas City Star)(2-15-2003)
  • Kerry Earnhardt to a backup: #12-Kerry Earnhardt wrecked in BGN Happy Hour after making contact with another car [not sure who yet] but the front end was destroyed, Earnhardt drove the car to the garage.(2-14-2003)
  • Kyle Busch went to Hendrick to escape brothers ‘shadow’: Kyle Busch is a young man in search of his own identity. Although only 17 years old, Busch has spent much of his racing career in the footsteps of his successful older brother, Kurt, who enters his third Winston Cup season with Roush Racing. Kyle, too, was expected to join Roush, but NASCAR’s adoption of a minimum-age requirement prior to the 2002 season disrupted his plans. Instead of running his first full season in NASCAR’s Truck series last year, Kyle moved to the America Speed Association. He was still expected to rejoin Roush following his 18th birthday in May, but earlier this month he surprised the NASCAR community by announcing he would immediately join Hendrick Motorsports. “Basically, it was a decision I had to make on my own,” said Kyle, who has been acclimating himself with the Hendrick organization during Speedweeks at Daytona. “We talked to Kurt about it,” Kyle Busch said, “and he kind of stepped back away into the closet and didn’t want anything to do with it. He said, ‘It’s your decision, it’s your career. You are either going to help it or hurt it.’ ” Kyle decided he would make the change for two reasons – to establish himself as a driver on his own terms and the ability to do so on a faster timetable. “I needed to step out of the shadow of Kurt and say, ‘Hey, I’m my own person out here. I’m Kyle Busch.’ Everything Kurt has ever driven, I’ve followed his steps right into that car,” Kyle said. “It was kind of like Kurt was leading my way and I was going to follow him up into a Roush Cup car. I need to be own person and make my own way and show everybody that I can drive.” The best way Kyle knew how to accomplish that goal was to get in a car as soon as possible. Roush wanted Kyle to sign a nine-year contract that would put him in Trucks for two to three seasons. Hendrick offered him a chance to run a limited Busch schedule this season and full time in 2004. “At Hendrick, in 2004 I’ll be in the Busch series and at Roush in 2006 I’d still be in the Trucks,” he said. “It’s an exciting time frame to look at.”(ThatsRacin.com) also see at Kyle Busch Q&A there.(2-14-2003)
  • Nemechek wins pole at Daytona: #87-Joe Nemechek won the pole for the Koolerz 300 at Daytona with a speed of 186.050mph, followed by #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. at 185.586. #21-Kevin Harvick was third, #39-Mike McLaughlin [nice job] fourth and open-wheel star #30-Jimmy Vasser will make his series debut starting fifth.(ThatsRacin.com)
    For the lineup/qualifying results, see ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.comMotorsportsOne or NASCAR.com.(2-12-2003)
  • Finch moving North: James Finch has bought Buckshot Jones’ shop in Spartanburg, SC, and plans to move his full-time BGN [#1 Yellow Freight Dodge] and part-time Winston Cup [#09 Dodge] operations from their present location in Lynn Haven, FL, in the next few months. Finch, who is teaming with Chip Ganassi to field Dodges for Jamie McMurray and David Stremme this year, says he will go for the Busch Series championship in 2004.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-12-2003)
  • Long to run at the Rock: Carl Long will drive the #13 Creech Motorsports Dodge next week in the Rockingham 200 BGN race. Creech Motorsports is in search of primary sponsorship for the event.(Carl Long Site)(2-12-2003)
  • No Mears for Finch: Owner James Finch has scaled back on his driver armada to pilot his #1 Dodge in the BGN this season. Winston Cup rookies Jamie McMurray and Casey Mears and last year’s ASA rookie of the year David Stremme were to share time in the car. This week, the driver rotation was scaled back to just McMurray and Stremme, who together will run the entire schedule. McMurray will debut in the car in Saturday’s season opener at Daytona. Stremme, an Indiana native, finished fourth in points in ASA in 2002, ending the season with two wins and three poles. Finch’s team is receiving technical and engine support from Chip Ganassi Racing this season.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-11-2003)
  • New and Improved: The official Web site of Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 5 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet in the NASCAR Busch Series, has been completely redesigned to reflect the 19-year-old’s new career path in 2003. The new BrianVickers.com contains a variety of noteworthy information, including a history of Vickers’ racing career, breaking news on GMAC Racing and Hendrick Motorsports, officially licensed merchandise and the official Brian Vickers Fan Club.(2-9-2003)
  • Channellock to sponsor the #43: Mike Curb and Cary J.C. Agajanian, owners of Curb Agajanian Motorsports, announced that a 15-race schedule for Johnny Sauter and the #43 Curb Agajanian Chevy has been finalized for the 2003 BGN season. Curb Agajanian Motorsports is proud to announce that a partnership between Channellock Inc. and CURB Records will allow Channellock to continue with their participation in the BGN as a sponsor of the Curb Agajanian #43 Chevy with Johnny Sauter. 2003 marks the eleventh year that Channellock has sponsored a car in the BGN. Sauter will begin his campaign for the 2003 Driver’s Championship in Daytona by competing in all 34 events, 15 races in the Curb Agajanian Motorsports #43 Channellock/CURB Records Chevrolet and 19 races in the Richard Childress Racing #21 Payday Chevrolet as Teammate to Kevin Harvick. Founded in 1886 by George DeArment, Channellock, Inc. is a family-run business, which made a name for itself with the invention of the tongue-and-groove pliers. Channellock’s current product line provides over 200 items including more then 100 plier styles, as well as adjustable wrenches, nut drivers, screwdrivers, and specialty hand tools to their consumers. To learn more about Channellock Racing and its product line visit www.channellock.com.(PR)(2-7-2003)
  • New BGN Team UPDATE: James Burr, founder and Chief Executive Officer of National Peening Inc., has launched a two car team which will advance on the BGN in 2003. Burr Motorsports (BMS) will run a limited schedule in 2003, with plans to run a complete schedule in 2004. Burr’s personal experience in building his own race cars, combines with his business expertise in perfecting and utilizing the shot peening process. “I’ve been involved in racing from the outside for a long time,” Burr says. “I think now is a great time to be involved in this exciting sport and I am proud to be putting together a team that I expect to see in the Winner’s Circle within the year.” Burr Motorsports will enter a two-car team in 2003. Negotiations are currently underway with drivers as well as sponsors, and an announcement is expected soon. All administrative staff are in place, and road and shop crews are currently being assembled. The team will be based out of a 10,000 square foot facility in China Grove, NC; construction to add an additional 4,000 square feet is currently underway. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information visit www.burrmotorsports.com.(PR)(1-31-2003)
    UPDATEL Burr Motorsports has announced plans to run in the Pepsi 300 on April 12, 2003 at the Nashville Superspeedway. The car will be driven by Conrad Burr and sponsored by National Peening Inc. Plans are underway to run at least five additional races during the 2003 season, while adding a second car to the schedule at some point during the year. A Driver for the second car has not yet been selected, however, some top-name BGN drivers have talked with Burr and are being considered. Sponsorship talks continue with several companies seriously considering the opportunity with Burr Motorsports, and an announcement is expected soon.. Sponsorship opportunities for the new team are still available. For more information please contact Joanne Hughes at 731-267-0035 or jhughes@burrmotorsports.com or visit www.burrmotorsports.com. Fred Race Engine Designs will supply the engines for the team.(2-7-2003)
  • Porter to run some BGN in 2003 and other news UPDATE: NASCAR All-Pro Series driver, Toby Porter of Greenville, SC, and Dirt Late Model driver, Adam Stevens of Portsmouth, OH, have been named as the primary drivers for MJ Motorsports for the 2003 season. , who has scored two wins on the All-Pro Series this season, will drive the Dodge Intrepids on the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series. In addition, will compete in a minimum of five BGN races in 2003 for MJ Motorsports. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to run the full Pro Cup Series with MJ Motorsports,” said , “The alliance that Mike and Jenn have made with Team Jesel in the Busch Series will give us the resources to go for the (Hooters Pro Cup) championship.” Stevens, who at 23 has numerous wins on dirt, will compete as a Rookie and pilot the teams NASCAR Late Model Super Truck Dodges at the Hickory (NC) Motor Speedway. He currently works as a mechanical engineer for Petty Enterprises. “I am confident that a weekly racing program will help condition me for the future,” said Stevens, “we’ve got great equipment and I feel that I can adapt well to asphalt racing.” MJ Motorsports has recently formed a technical alliance with Team Jesel, who fields Dodges on the NASCAR Busch Series for drivers Casey Mears and Hank Parker, Jr. “I don’t think that we could have picked two better drivers than Toby Porterand Adam to spearhead our foray to the next level of motorsports,” said Team Owner Mike Calinoff, who works for Winston Cup driver Matt Kenseth and Busch Series competitor Casey Mears as their Team Spotter, “their talents will speak for themselves.” Sponsorship announcements for both teams are forthcoming. More information at mikecalinoff.com.(9-17-2002)
    UPDATE: MJ Motorsports announced the addition of Shaw Industries as a sponsor for their 2003 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series team with driver David Stover. The Concord, NC team will make their series debut at Lakeland on February 22, where Stover will begin his charge for Rookie of the Year honors. Shaw Industries, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., is headquartered in Dalton, Georgia. Shaw is the world’s largest manufacturer of carpet and the largest manufacturing employer in the state of Georgia. MJ Motorsports plans of a two-car team will not come to fruition this year, as Toby Porter has secured a ride in the BGN. However, the team has formed an alliance with Jimmy Burns Motorsports of the Pro Cup North Series. In addition to sharing technical information, they have combined marketing forces to ensure maximum exposure for their respective sponsors. In a related announcement the team has hired a new Crew Chief and Team Manager. Scott Reifner, who spent two successful seasons with Mart Nesbitt has joined the team and will organize the building and maintenance of the cars. He will call the shots on race day as well. Carl Miller has also joined MJ Motorsports as Team Manager and Shop Foreman. Miller brings 30 years of NASCAR experience to the team.(MikeCalinoff.com)(2-7-2003)
  • Holly joins Amick: Veteran crew chief Harold Holly has reached a long-term agreement with Team Amick Motorsports, NASCAR Winston Cup Scene reporter Rick Houston has learned. Holly, who had been crew chief most recently with Angela’s Motorsports until it dissolved, will work alongside Bo Montgomery, general manager for Team Amick Engine Development. He may also serve as a consultant for various Team Amick engine customers. Holly, considered one of the top mechanical minds in the business, has one Busch Series championship to his credit, with Jeff Green and ppc Racing in 2000.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-6-2003)
  • #10 Gain’s an Assoc: Gearhead Racing Fans has joined ppc Racing as an associate sponsor of Scott Riggs and the #10 Nestlé Nesquik Ford. The sponsorship is part of Gearhead Racing Fans pledge to provide the ultimate fan experience to NASCAR enthusiasts. Gearhead Racing Fans is a membership organization from which fees are pooled and used to sponsor select race teams. Sponsor benefits are then passed through to the members allowing the opportunity to receive autographed merchandise, V.I.P. access to Busch Series events and the chance to meet with the drivers. Riggs looks forward to hosting race fans who take advantage of Gearhead benefits. “Gearhead Racing Fans is what racing is all about,” said Riggs. “The fans are the reason sponsors gravitate to NASCAR. It’s the sponsors like Gearhead that keep the fans coming back by offering up rewards for loyalty.” For more information on Gearhead Racing Fans and how to become a member, please visit www.gearheadfans.com.(2-6-2003)
  • A 2nd Biagi Brothers car at Vegas? hearing that African-American actor Alfonso Ribeiro (best know for his role as Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) has tentatively reached a deal to drive at Las Vegas with Biagi Brothers (as a teammate to Mike Wallace) and sponsorship from Geico. The only hang up at this point is reportedly NASCAR’s approval for him to race at the track, despite his previous runs at the track.(2-05-2003)
  • Brewco #27 to use three drivers: Clarence Brewer Jr., owner of Brewco Motorsports [#27 and #37] announced that the schedule for the #27 car has been finalized for the 2003 BGN season. The schedule for the #27 car will begin with Chase Montgomery driving the TrimSpa Pontiac in the season-opening Koolerz 300 at the Daytona International Speedway on February 15th. After Daytona, Hank Parker Jr. will drive the TrimSpa Pontiac at Rockingham on February 22nd and Darlington on March 15th. The current agreement with Parker is only for two races, Brewer reported. Chase Montgomery will pilot the #27 Pontiac at Las Vegas (March 1), Bristol (March 22), Texas (March 29), Talladega (April 5), Nashville (April 12), and California (April 26). These six races will have primary sponsorship and motorsports marketing support from legendary rock star Alice Cooper. Brewer noted that Brewco is actively seeking sponsorship for Montgomery to compete in a total of twenty races this season in a third entry from their Central City, Kentucky shop. Beginning with the BGN race at the Richmond on May 2nd and for the remaining 25 events on the 2003 schedule, Georgia native Joey Clanton will drive the #27 TrimSpa Pontiac.(Brewco PR via BGNRacing.com)(2-5-2003)
  • What is up with Stricklin and Grissom? Nothing: Hut Stricklin and Stever Grissom are on the sidelines for now. “There’s not a lot out there. I haven’t been talking to anybody really,” Stricklin said. He declined an offer from a team on a shoestring budget for a one-race deal. “I’m not going to do that,” he said. “If and when I get back in it, I want to do it on my own terms.” Grissom also has nothing in the works. He is no longer with Petty Enterprises as a test driver after the operation scaled back on its research and development program.(Alabama Live)(2-4-2003)
  • Kyle Busch to BGN/ARCA, no CTS UPDATE: Kyle Busch, the younger brother of Roush Racing Winston Cup #99 Driver Kurt Busch, has not only left the Roush organization but has joined one of its biggest competitors. Busch, 17, had planned to join Roush following his 18th birthday on May 2 and compete in the CTS in Roush’s #99 Ford truck. NASCAR requires drivers in its top three series to be at least 18 before they can compete. Instead, Kyle Busch has joined Hendrick Motorsports and will run a varied schedule of ARCA and BGN races this season, ThatsRacin.com has learned. Busch will drive in several ARCA races with Hendrick until he turns 18 then run a limited BGN schedule the remainder of the season, sources said. ARCA spokesman Don Radebaugh confirmed Monday Busch had the necessary speedway experience to compete in the series should he wish to enter this weekend’s Daytona ARCA race. However, it was unclear whether Hendrick would be able to put together the team in time.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-3-2003)
    UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick announced the signing of driver Kyle Busch to a multi-year contract. The 17-year-old will run at least seven BGN events under the Hendrick banner in 2003, with a full schedule planned for 2004. “Kyle is one of the best young racers I’ve ever been around and it’s certainly exciting to have him on board,” Hendrick said. “To say he has a bright future would be an understatement.” Busch, who will also compete in four ARCA races with Hendrick Motorsports this season, will become eligible for BGN competition when he turns 18 on May 2. He and 19-year-old teammate Brian Vickers, driver of the #5 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet, will form the youngest tandem in NASCAR history. “I feel lucky to have this opportunity with an organization like Hendrick Motorsports,” said Busch, who graduated with honors a year early from Durango High School in his native Las Vegas. “We’ll ease into it this year with some select races and go full-steam next season. At 16, Busch earned two top-10 finishes in only six CTS starts before the sanctioning body mandated age restrictions in its top three circuits. In 2002, he finished eighth in ASA championship points as a rookie and is a two-time Legends Car champion at Las Vegas Speedway. Barring additions to Busch’s seven-race schedule this season, he will be eligible for the 2004 Busch Series rookie-of-the-year award.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(2-4-2003)
  • Tim Sauter to the #56:#56 Team owner Jack McNelly announced today that series standout Tim Sauter would pilot the Mac Hill Motorsports Chevy’s this season on a limited schedule of 8-12 events. The first race will be the Rockingham 200 at the North Carolina Motor Speedway. “This was a perfect fit,” said McNelly who will also field cars in the ARCA Series for Jeff Spraker”, both Tim and I were each looking for an opportunity. We’ll give him the resources he needs and he’ll give us the driving style we’ve been looking for.” The team is based out of the York, SC, shop of veteran Crew Chief, David Ifft, who will lead both the Busch and ARCA Series teams for Mac Hill. “Jack is looking to bring his program to the next level”, said Sauter, “and I was looking for a situation like this. I am excited to be part of the building process and to have someone as knowledgeable as David calling the shots, gives me a great deal of confidence. While the limited schedule is concrete, sponsorship will dictate the number of additional races the team will enter. Neader Sports Management of St. Petersburg, FL, has taken the reigns for the sponsorship search and is in the process of tendering potential marketing partners. Summing it up McNelly said, “I feel we now have a sturdy foundation and we’ve got something to build on. Add to that the rich family history associated with the Sauter name and David’s expertise, I am confident that we’re going to make some noise this season. For more information contact Jim Neader at 727-823-4412.(PR)(2-3-2003)
  • #31 Plans, Blaney and Ford: Whelen #31 plans for 2003 include Dave Blaney and also a switch from Chevrolet to Ford.(Whelen Site)(1-11-2003)
    UPDATE: Blaney will run 10 BGN races in 2003 in the #31 Whelen Ford, powered by Penske-Jasper engines. Plans are to run both Richmond races, both Lowe’s races, New Hampshire, Dover (June), Chicagoland, Michigan, Atlanta and Homestead.(2-3-2003)
  • Team Announcement UPDATE 4: PPM Racing will be participating in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2003, running a limited schedule of a minimum of 12-15 races. PPM Racing will also participate in a minimum of 2 ARCA/ReMax Series races in 2003. PPM Racing will be racing with the benefits of an existing Busch Series team currently not scheduled to compete in 2003. More information will be released at the appropriate time.(PPM Racing PR)(11-22-2002)
    UPDATE: on Friday, December 20,2002, PPM Racing will be releasing all pertinent information regarding the team’s plans. This announcement will introduce the team’s drivers, sponsors, car numbers and more.(PPM Racing PR)(11-28-2002)
    UPDATE 2: PPM Racing is proud to announce that Brian Winters will be driving the 2003 PPM Racing NASCAR BGN Chevy. Winters is a 3 time AMA National Champion and 1991 Mickey Thompson Off Road Champion. Additionally, Winters is a successful AMA ATV National Champion and Mickey Thompson Off Road Champion. Additionally, Winters has competed in the USAC Silver Crown Series, USAC Midget Series, Formula 2000, Indy Racing League, ASA, ARCA/ReMax Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.(PPM Racing PR)(12-11-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Winters will run NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year in 2003.(12-23-2002)
    UPDATE 4: PPM Racing, featuring Brian Winters is attempting to be ready for Winter’s BGN debut at Texas Motor Speedway on March 29. Sponsor negotiations are continuing, and the team is planning to take the next step forward within the next two weeks.(BGN Racing)(2-3-2003)


  • McLaughlin Announces A New Plan For Daytona UPDATE eBay Auction: Hopes and Dreams. Those words describe the life of veteran BGN driver Mike McLaughlin. It has always been McLaughlin’s dream to win the Daytona BGN race. That dream nearly came to an end earlier this week when McLaughlin’s BGN [#03 Angela Motorsports, see below] team closed the doors due to funding issues with the owners and sponsor. McLaughlin was crushed, after assembling a team led by Harold Holly and Clyde McLeod, this year was set to be his best shot ever at reaching his dream. In this time of need, McLaughlin’s friends and family began to step forward to provide help. Many of the people that McLaughlin has helped over the years began to call and offer their help. This show of support led McLaughlin to continue the effort to chase his dream of winning next month’s Koolerz 300 at Daytona International Speedway. McLaughlin is pleased to announce today the “Hopes and Dreams 2003” campaign to raise enough funds to compete in the Daytona race. “This has been a very tough week for all of us involved with the team, but I am not going to let this defeat me,” McLaughlin said. “I have to follow my heart and do everything possible to win the Koolerz 300.. I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to chase my dream.” McLaughlin has secured the use of the car he tested so well with last week in Daytona and will be joined in this effort by many of the team members from his former team. Jay Robinson Racing will be listed as the owner of the # 39 Ford Taurus. Earlier this week Robinson purchased the assets of McLaughlin’s former team. McLaughlin stated earlier today that in every cloud there is a silver lining and this cloud’s silver lining is the overwhelming groundswell of support from the fans that have already donated to the effort. Many donations have already been made and donations are still being accepted. Two methods of donating to the “Hopes and Dreams 2003” have been set up.. Donations may be mailed to the Mike McLaughlin Fan Club, PO Box 45, Waterloo, NY 13165 or secure donations may be made online by visiting www. paypal.com and sending the donation to katermclaughlin@aol.com.(PR)(1-31-2003)
    UPDATE: McLaughlin is also auctioning off some of his driver Uniforms on eBay, to see the items go to eBay – hopesanddreams2003(2-3-2003)
  • UPDATE: Mike McLaughlin: Vegas or bust; Orleans Hotel & Casino steps in to help race team: The team’s equipment, including eight cars and a transporter, was sold to Jay Robinson. According to a spokesperson, McLaughlin and Robinson have enough money to compete at Daytona and Darlington, the first two races on the 2003 schedule, but prospects for the next race, Las Vegas, looked bleak — until people started pitching in. The team already had secured airline reservations to Las Vegas, but had no rooms.. The Orleans Hotel & Casino stepped up to the plate, offering Mike’s team rooms in exchange for an autograph session and some signage on Robinson’s No. 39 Ford. “The outpouring of support has been incredible so far, right now it looks as if we are going to raise enough money for Daytona and Rockingham. To make it to Las Vegas is going to require some funding from a sponsor. The XM Nation and my friends and fans have gotten this ball rolling, but Vegas is going to be a big expense. I hope that we can attract enough attention in Daytona to get some sponsors interested. Right now we are going one race at a time. We are really excited about The Orleans stepping up to help us out. They have a great facility; I think this will be my third or fourth year in a row staying there.. Hopefully we can have a victory party there Saturday night!” One of the largest donations came from Greg Zipadelli, crew chief for 2002 NASCAR Winstin Cup Series champion Tony Stewart. Zipadelli worked on NASCAR Featherlite Modifieds in New England while McLaughlin competed in that series, credits McLaughlin with getting his NASCAR career on track and wrote a check for $10,000. A group of car dealers in Mike’s hometown donated $5,000 and challenged other local businesses to match it. One anonymous fan handed McLaughlin’s wife an envelope containing $100 as she stood in her driveway. McLaughlin is hoping a good showing at one of the season’s first three races will help the team land a sponsor. “I really want to make it to Las Vegas as it pays great and is one of my favorite tracks,” McLaughlin added. “I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to chase my dream.”(Las Vegas Motor Speedway)(2-12-2003)

    DW Store to help out McLaughlin: Darrell Waltrip’s www.dwstore.com will be sponsoring the #39 Ford that Mike McLaughlin qualified 4th at Daytona.(Speed Channel’s coverage of BGN qualifying) and see story at FoxSports: DW sponsors McLaughlin at Daytona for Busch Boogity, Boogity, Boogity by Darrell Waltrip(2-12-2003)

    AND – Um No: Mike McLaughlin will drive the #6 Dodge owned by Tommy Baldwin in the Feb. 22 Rockingham 200 Busch Series race at North Carolina Speedway at Rockingham, Winston Cup Scene reporter Rick Houston has learned. The entry will be funded by donations from friends and fans, which also got the New York native to this week’s season-opening Busch Series race at Daytona. McLaughlin and his wife, Katie, had received $80,000 as of Feb. 11, and had more promised. Winston Cup drivers Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte donated uniforms to be auctioned off, while Greg Zipadelli and Todd Bodine have each chipped in.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-12-2003)
    UPDATE: being told this WILL not happen, that McLaughlin will not be driving the #6 Tommy Baldwin Racing entry and that TBR is not even entering that race.(2-14-2003)

  • Bodine to help out McLaughlin: Winston Cup driver and long time friend Todd Bodine has pledged his pit crew for Mike McLaughlin’s run in the Koolerz 300 and Todd has also pledged to pay Mike’s Daytona tire tab.(BGN Racing)(2-6-2003)
  • Nicknamed the “XM Nation,” fans have swamped XM’s call-in lines and flooded the office with email filled with pledges to help fund McLaughlin’s dream of winning the Busch series opener at Daytona.(XM Radio)(2-14-2003)