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February 2004 Busch Series Archive

 

  • Starr to test: Holigan Racing with local driver David Starr is scheduled to test under the lights at Texas on Sunday evening from 5 -10 p.m. (weather permitting). Starr, who continues to run a full schedule in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series [#75 Chevy], will drive the #50 Enzyte NASCAR Busch Series car for local owner Michael Holigan. Starr is scheduled to run his first race with the Holigan team at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 6. (BGNRacing.com via TMS PR)(2-28-2004)
  • Hayes to drive for Moy: Team Moy Racing [#52 team] announced the signing of Derek Hayes to compete in the 2004 NASCAR Busch series. Hayes made a good impression in his previous three starts in what many believe to be the most competitive motor racing series in the world. “I have got to thank some people for giving me this opportunity, the sponsors, the team owners and my agent/manager Kieran Dynes, its a great chance for me and I will do all in my power to get this team back to the front of the grid.” A team Moy spokes person added “Derek is a real smooth driver, he ups his game every time he climbs into the race car we are excited about the future and believe that, given time, he can challenge up there at the sharp end of the grid.” The 27 year old Irish man has already taken up residence in the Charlotte area and expects to be testing as early as next week.(BGNRacing.com via Hayes PR)(2-28-2004)
  • ODDS: Micah Roberts, of Las Vegas’ Station Casinos sports books, has chosen Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth as his favorites (3-to-1) to win the NASCAR Busch Series Sam’s Town 300 March 6 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Last year’s winner, Joe Nemechek, is third at 5-to-1. The first full-time Busch Series driver listed is Las Vegas’ Kyle Busch, at 8-to-1.
    Kevin Harvick – 3-1 – Won the race
    Matt Kenseth – 3-1
    Joe Nemechek – 5-1
    Michael Waltrip – 6-1
    Jamie McMurray – 8-1
    Kyle Busch – 8-1
    Johnny Benson – 12-1
    Martin Truex Jr. – 12-1
    Bobby Hamilton Jr. – 12-1
    Greg Biffle – 15-1
    Ron Hornaday – 15-1
    David Green – 20-1
    David Stremme – 20-1
    Robby Gordon – 20-1
    Jason Keller – 25-1
    Kasey Kahne – 25-1
    Kenny Wallace – 25-1
    Johnny Sauter – 25-1
    Dave Blaney – 30-1
    Mike Bliss – 30-1
    Casey Atwood – 40-1
    J.J. Yeley – 40-1
    Jason Leffler – 55-1
    Mike Wallace – 55-1
    Ashton Lewis Jr. – 55-1
    Stacy Compton – 55-1
    Paul Wolfe – 75-1
    Billy Parker – 75-1
    Hermie Sadler – 75-1
    Paul Menard – 100-1
    Steve Grissom – 100-1
    Damon Lusk – 100-1
    Derrike Cope – 100-1
    Robert Pressley – 100-1
    David Starr – 100-1
    Field (all others) – 15-1(LVMS PR)(2-28-2004)
  • FitzBradshaw team to field 3 cars at Las Vegas: FitzBradshaw Racing will field three NASCAR Busch Series entries in the March 6 Sam’s Town 300 in Las Vegas. Eric Ralph will be the crew chief of the #82 Jani-King Chevy, and it will be piloted by two-time Busch Series champion Randy LaJoie. Ralph is a full-time employee with FitzBradshaw Racing and also functions as the organization’s shop foreman. “Working within a multicar operation has so many advantages,” stated Ralph. “All three crew chiefs, drivers and crew members share information which results in us fielding the most competitive cars we can.” Jani-King will also sponsor six additional races this season: Texas on April 3; Daytona on July 2; Chicago on July 10; California race on Sept. 4; Atlanta on Oct. 30; and Homestead Nov. 20. In addition to the seven Jani-King races, the #82 will also be sponsored by Goulds Pumps for three races this season: California on May 1; Nazareth on May 23; and Charlotte on Oct. 15.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-27-2004)
  • #50 Team: Marketing company goes racing in brand new way: Michael Holigan has always found a way to make things work. Whether his nationally-syndicated home improvement television show or how to make NASCAR sponsorship work in down economic times, Holigan knows his stuff. His race teams – a #50 NASCAR Busch Series stock car and an AMA Supercross team – have landed primary sponsorship thanks to an idea he put together. Additional associate sponsorship for both teams is coming from the same direction. Essentially, Holigan has a marketing company that has gone racing through a brand new means. Reality television. “Giving race fans a chance to see how race teams work, giving them an unblemished look inside the race shop every single week, is something they have really taken hold of,” Holigan said of his show, “The Reality of Speed,” which debuted on Spike TV Saturday, Jan. 3, and has run at 10:30am/et (9:30am/ct) with a new show on Saturday morning of every week. The program follows the racing teams of the Enzyte-sponsored NASCAR Busch Series car of driver David Starr and the Samsung RadioShack-sponsored AMA Supercross team. The day-to-day efforts behind both teams are featured.
    “The setup allows a corporate sponsor to establish sports marketing goals without necessarily going into a sports marketing program,” Holigan explained. “Companies take from their television advertising budget and advertise on ‘The Reality Of Speed.’ By doing that, they also get space on the race car or motorcycles, as well as the benefits that go with associate sponsorship, and it doesn’t cost them anything extra. They are doing what they already do, are able to hit a target market perfectly, and can move into sports marketing in a new way. We get phone calls and emails every week, talking about the show and how much they like it,” Holigan said. “A lot of times they have questions about something they’ve seen. But nobody has ever shown what goes on behind the scenes of a race team on a weekly basis, left the blindfold off and showed everything of interest. We have a no-holds-barred program, and the response to that has been phenomenal.”
    Holigan is a former volume home-builder and contractor with his own nationally-syndicated television show. He purchased the assets of TKO Motorsports, a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team, and is running the NASCAR and AMA teams from his new motorsports facility in Dallas. #50 Team Enzyte will run 15 NASCAR Busch Grand National races, beginning with the Mar. 6 event at Las Vegas, Nev., while the motocross team is competing in the full 16-event AMA Supercross schedule and the full 12-event AMA Outdoor Nationals. Starr, one of the top names from NASCAR’s Craftsman Truck Series, drives the Busch car, and continues driving the NASCAR Truck Series entry of Spears Racing. Todd Myers, a veteran who has worked previously with such names as Jamie McMurray, Brendan Gaughan and Starr, is crew chief. Lifekey Healthcare, Inc. is sponsoring the Busch team through its brand of Enzyte, the once-a-day tablet for natural male enhancement. The show follows the lives of drivers, riders and members of both the NASCAR and AMA Holigan Racing teams as they prepare and compete on the grueling circuits. The program breaks ground as the first motorsports-related reality show on national television. Spike TV, the first network for men, is available in 86 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks.
    “I think a lot of people have looked at the possibilities of a reality-based racing show but just didn’t know how to go about it,” Holigan said. “My own television background, as well as the ability to work with a strong network like Spike TV, enables us to do things no one else has been able to do. We said from the beginning that we wanted to show everything, not hide anything. Other shows along these lines tend to blanch over the negative stuff and accentuate the positive. I just told the guys on our teams, ‘Hey, you better do a lot of positive things because we’re going to show it all.’ “That’s one of the reasons I think the fan reaction has been so strong and we are starting to get so many phone calls and emails from them,” he continued. “This is what they want to see. This is the stuff they like. We’re making it as real as we possibly can, and they feel they are a part of what is going on. That is going to help us keep growing.”
    The Busch team’s sponsor Enzyte is the non-prescription, once-a-day tablet for natural male enhancement. Its proprietary blend of natural ingredients enables men to reach their full potential, achieving stronger, fuller, better quality erections. As part of a man’s daily regiment, Enzyte is not situation specific, promoting spontaneity. Enzyte is a brand of Lifekey Healthcare, Inc. (www.enzyte.com; 1-800-ENZYTE)(Williams Company PR)(2-25-2004)
  • YJ Stinger and Kenny Wallace Team Up to Teach Teens Safe Driving Tips: NASCAR Busch Series driver Kenny Wallace will visit 17 high schools nationwide throughout the 2004 season, teaching teenagers the importance of safe driving and routine car maintenance. Now in its second season, the “YJ Stinger’s Race to Bee Safe” program targets young drivers in the early stages of their driving career. The personable and popular Wallace interacts with students while delivering his safe driving message. A local law enforcement officer will also address students whenever possible. Desert Pines High School in Las Vegas will be the first high school the program will visit this year. “I am excited to participate in the YJ Stinger Race to Bee Safe program again this year,” Wallace said. “It’s a lot of fun going into the schools and talking to these students. We try to keep it fun and entertaining, but we really want students to walk away realizing how important it is for them to drive carefully.” Students and parents are asked to sign a safe driving promise, which acts as an informal contract that the student will practice safe driving. Students participating in the YJ Stinger’s Race to Bee Safe program can participate in an essay contest awarding up to $20,000 in scholarship money. Students enter by writing a 500-word essay relating what they learned during the Race to Bee Safe program. Winning essays will be chosen by a panel of judges selected by NVE Pharmaceuticals, makers of YJ Stinger. One student from each school will win a $1,000 scholarship. A grand prize winner will be selected from all entries, with that student winning a $20,000 scholarship. The YJ Stinger Race to Bee Safe program was launched in September 2003 and quickly became a tremendous success. A large part of its success was due to Wallace’s ability to relate to students. A 20-year racing veteran and father of three teenage daughters, Wallace can speak from experience while teaching students. “High school students have a lot going on, with football games and proms and such,” said the nine-time Busch Series winner. “It is during those events that it seems like all the bad wrecks happen. So if we can help the students make better driving decisions, we’ll really feel like we made a difference.” YJ Stinger is totally ephedra-free and available in three lightly carbonated flavors: Sinful Citrus, Pounding Punch and Enraged Raspberry. Enraged Raspberry is also available in a Sugar Free formula. This product is not intended to be a meal replacement or a dietary supplement. NVE Pharmaceuticals of Newton, N.J., exclusively manufactures, distributes and markets YJ Stinger.(PR)(2-25-2004)
  • SCORE Motorsports and Treasure Island Hotel & Casino Team Up for Las Vegas: SCORE Motorsports, a joint venture between NASCAR driver Hermie Sadler and retired NBA star Bryant Stith, will join forces with Treasure Island Hotel & Casino to run the Sam’s Town 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on March 6 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In addition to carrying the TI colors on the track, the hotel will display a replica of the Treasure Island car in the casino during race week for hotel guests and race fans to view. Driver Hermie Sadler will hold a meet and greet session with guests and fans from 8:00 to 9:00pm/pt on Friday March 5 at MIST in the TI casino. Sadler will sign autographs; take pictures, and conduct a drawing to give away two pit passes for the Sam’s Town 300. The seductive Sirens, those sexy, mystical muses from Treasure Island’s newest show, The Sirens of TI, will also be on hand in MIST to sign autographs and take pictures with guests.
    “We are proud to represent Treasure Island for this race. To have a name of this magnitude on our car is an honor, and we plan to help make the weekend special for TI and their guests,” stated Hermie Sadler. “Not only that, my team and I are looking forward to our stay at TI. It’s a fun, fan-friendly place to experience Las Vegas.”
    “NASCAR week is an exciting time in Las Vegas,” said Scott Sibella, President of Treasure Island. “We’re thrilled that this year TI will play a big part in the racing excitement, both on and off the track.” Sadler, the 1993 Busch Series Rookie of the Year, has 2 wins, 3 poles, and 44 top 10 finishes to his credit. In three Las Vegas starts, he has qualified fourth, fifth, and nineteenth. His best finish is ninth in 1998. For more information, visit www.sadlerfanclub.com or www.treasureisland.com.(SCORE Motorsports, Inc./The FanZCar)(2-24-2004)
  • McMurray wins again at the Rock, 4 in a row: While then-leader #21-Kevin Harvick battled the lapped car of Richard Childress Racing teammate #55-Robby Gordon in Saturday’s Goody’s 200 at North Carolina Speedway, #30-Jamie McMurray swept below both exiting Turn 4 on Lap 177 of 197 to take the lead. McMurray then held off a fast-charging #8-Martin Truex Jr. by .411 seconds for his fourth consecutive series win at the track, tying the record held by veteran Mark Martin. “It looked like Robby was trying to get his lap back and he just shoved Kevin out of the way. I just stayed down on the bottom and made an easy pass,” McMurray said. “Once you get out to the lead, it becomes a little bit harder because you don’t have anyone to chase and it’s a little harder to do for me. When you get out front, this place is so easy to over-drive” McMurray’s win came with his third different team. His first came with #27-Brewco Motorsports; followed by two with #1-Phoenix Racing; and Saturday with Braun Racing, handing that team its first series win. “I remember watching Mark win here before I was even racing stock cars,” he said. “I’m not big on milestones, but I’ll take it.” Harvick finished third, #99-Michael Waltrip fourth and #37-David Green completed the top-five. Harvick, who is not running the whole season, took over the points lead. “That was a lap-down car sliding into a leader. You’ll have to ask the guy holding the steering wheel,” Harvick said of his incident with Gordon. “I haven’t talked to him; it’s a waste of air.” The race was slowed four times by caution for 27 laps. There were 10 lead changes among seven different drivers. Truex Jr. led the most laps (68).(ThatsRacin.com)
    See results at ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.comMotorsportsOne, or NASCAR.com.(2-21-2004)
  • FanZCar debuts with Hermie Sadler at the Rock: The FanZCar will officially kick off their start to the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series as NASCAR veteran Hermie Sadler will sport the FanZCar colors this weekend from North Carolina Speedway. Sadler, who hopes to make his 20th Busch start this weekend from the one-mile oval, will pilot the #02 Chevy, also a season debut for the team this weekend. In his previous 19 starts at the track nicknamed the “Rock,” Hermie has collected a track best finish of third (1994), while a fifth place (1997) was his best starting grid position. Sadler and his SCORE Motorsports team would like nothing more to leave NCS (North Carolina Speedway) with a win. Hermie has proven to be a front-runner at the track in the past, and would like to finally close the deal, a deal that has eluded him in the past. The team heads to the track this weekend on a high note after finishing a solid 23rd at the season-opener Monday afternoon from Daytona International Speedway. The #02 Pontiac Grand Prix had a solid show in a race that carried associate sponsorship from the FanZCar. Sadler maneuvered his way through the two “Big Ones” and remained competitive through much of the event. Several NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series veterans who competed in the race, will not attempt the race this weekend, giving the FanZCar an advantage in the NASCAR Busch Series point standings, with all hopes of capturing the trophy and prestige at season’s end. “We’re looking for a great weekend at North Carolina Speedway,” said founder of FanZCar Scott Stricker. “We feel that Hermie has a great chance at showing some muscle on Saturday, and we’ll have the fans at the track, and the fans at home rooting him on.” Sadler and the FanZCar Chevrolet team will hit the track Saturday, February 21, at 12:30 p.m. at the North Carolina Speedway for the second race of the 34-race Busch Series schedule. The Goody’s Headache Powder 200, a 200-mile event will be telecast live on FX and broadcast worldwide on MRN radio.
    The FanZCar Scope: SS Racing Inc. is part of the racing industry. We are in the business of providing a fan-based sponsorship for a race team within NASCAR’s Racing Series. This endeavor is known and marketed as The FanZCar. The monetary funds needed to generate the sponsorship for an entire racing season will be derived from membership sold by SS Racing Inc. for the FanZCar. Members of The FanZCar will be involved in aspects of decisions typically associated with the sponsor. The FanZCar will elevate its member’s involvement within the sport they love, while providing joy and enthusiasm for all, as they cheer on THEIR sponsored race car (The FanZCar) each week.(FanZCar PR)
    See an image of the car at FanZCar #02 Chevy.(2-19-2004)
  • McClure running a limited Busch sched: Eric McClure is hoping to turn some heads while running a limited schedule in the Busch Series this season, enough to impress a sponsor who will fund a full-time effort on one of NASCAR’s elite circuits next year. Fresh off a respectable 13th-place finish in the ARCA series at Daytona earlier this month, the 25-year-old local Late Model racer plans to compete in at least six Busch races this season, beginning at Las Vegas on March 6. His other scheduled Busch races this season include Richmond, Charlotte, Kentucky, Chicagoland and another race to be determined later. Bristol isn’t part of his “I Can Learn” sponsorship deal, however, because the educational software company wants to focus on markets where it has the most potential for growth. “We’re trying hard to put something together for Bristol but right now I’m not sure,” McClure said. “Right now we’re just thinking about Las Vegas and what we need to do to make the race. We tested there with about 21 other teams, including some of the best drivers in the series like Matt Kenseth, Jeff Burton, Greg Biffle and Kyle Busch, and we were middle of the pack. When we come to a track, our first race is just making the field because we don’t have any provisionals, and if we do that we can start worrying about being fast for the race.” As for the ARCA series, McClure said he’d like to take another shot at a 2.5-mile superspeedway when the series heads to Talladega in October, but nothing is definite at this time. He also plans to meet with his Late Model sponsor Dixie Pottery to discuss competing at his home track, Lonesome Pine Raceway, on a limited basis this year. His efforts in the Busch Series, as well as his wedding in May, will prevent him from competing for the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series championship at LPR, but he hopes to head back to the three-eighths mile asphalt oval as many times as possible this summer. After running three full-time Late Model seasons at LPR, McClure admits he has come a long way in his career to compete at Daytona International Speedway. But he knows he’ll need to earn the respect of his fellow competitors in higher-level racing the same way he had to at LPR. He has mixed feelings about his performance in his Daytona ARCA debut. While he’s glad that he finished the race on the lead lap, he felt he had a car capable of placing at least in the top 10 and possibly in second. “We had a car that was capable of beating everybody but the guy that won (Kyle Busch), but we just could not find any (drafting) friends,” McClure said. “I’m glad we finished and we learned a whole lot, but I was disappointed with where we wound up considering what (car) we had.” McClure’s “I Can Learn”-sponsored Chevrolet from the Morgan-McClure Motorsports Nextel Cup stable qualified sixth-fastest at Daytona and stayed in the top 10 most of the race. He got as high as third place at one point, but in an incident that wasn’t shown on TV he got “punted” out of the draft by Billy Venturini and lost several positions before he could get back into the draft. “I’m glad that we at least got to show that we could run up front, but after the race the back bumper and fenders looked like it had been to Bristol,” McClure said. McClure said the team’s Cup driver, Kevin Lepage, was with the spotters during the race. “I got everything from a ‘no’ to a ‘(expletive) you’ and I thought, ‘You’re kidding me.’ Nobody wants to draft with a rookie, but maybe next time I’ll have better luck finding some friends,” McClure said. He added, “I was pretty down about the race, but we had several people in the Cup garage come up and compliment us on the run – that we were being patient and using our head – so that was inspiring.” McClure knows that there are hundreds of capable drivers for every available full-time Cup, Busch or Craftsman Truck ride, but he hopes he’s building a resumé that will one day lead him down that path. “There’s a lot of people in this country who can drive race cars who don’t always get the chance, so I’ve been blessed to be given these opportunities,” he said. “I’ve got to walk a fine line because I’m still trying to learn and get experience, but I’ve also got to perform and come up with some good results while I’ve got this chance. I just hope I can convince somebody to take a chance on me.”(Kingsport Times News)(2-24-2004)
  • #1 Crew Chief Penalized: NASCAR has fined Jon R. Wolfe, crew chief for the #1 Dodge driven by Johnny Benson, $2,000 for an infraction discovered Feb. 20 during NASCAR Busch Series post-qualifying inspection at North Carolina Speedway. Wolfe was penalized under Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Busch Series Rule Book (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-Q (Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules: unapproved front spring).(NASCAR PR)(2-23-2004)
  • Pike OK: The Goody’s 200 at North Carolina Speedway was slowed by a wicked crash involving Hermie Sadler and Aaron Fike. Fike’s car had spun and stopped in the middle of the track several seconds before Sadler entered the area. Sadler hit Fike’s Dodge at high speed in the driver’s door, lifting the Dodge from the track surface. Officials said Fike was awake and alert in the infield medical center, but he was transferred to an area hospital for evaluation.(Greensville News)(2-22-2004)
  • McMurray wins again at the Rock, 4 in a row: While then-leader #21-Kevin Harvick battled the lapped car of Richard Childress Racing teammate #55-Robby Gordon in Saturday’s Goody’s 200 at North Carolina Speedway, #30-Jamie McMurray swept below both exiting Turn 4 on Lap 177 of 197 to take the lead. McMurray then held off a fast-charging #8-Martin Truex Jr. by .411 seconds for his fourth consecutive series win at the track, tying the record held by veteran Mark Martin. “It looked like Robby was trying to get his lap back and he just shoved Kevin out of the way. I just stayed down on the bottom and made an easy pass,” McMurray said. “Once you get out to the lead, it becomes a little bit harder because you don’t have anyone to chase and it’s a little harder to do for me. When you get out front, this place is so easy to over-drive” McMurray’s win came with his third different team. His first came with #27-Brewco Motorsports; followed by two with #1-Phoenix Racing; and Saturday with Braun Racing, handing that team its first series win. “I remember watching Mark win here before I was even racing stock cars,” he said. “I’m not big on milestones, but I’ll take it.” Harvick finished third, #99-Michael Waltrip fourth and #37-David Green completed the top-five. Harvick, who is not running the whole season, took over the points lead. “That was a lap-down car sliding into a leader. You’ll have to ask the guy holding the steering wheel,” Harvick said of his incident with Gordon. “I haven’t talked to him; it’s a waste of air.” The race was slowed four times by caution for 27 laps. There were 10 lead changes among seven different drivers. Truex Jr. led the most laps (68).(ThatsRacin.com)
    See results at ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.comMotorsportsOne, or NASCAR.com.(2-21-2004)
  • Busch Series Drivers Standings: after the race at North Carolina Speedway:
    #21-Kevin Harvick, 335
    #27-Johnny Sauter, 330, -5
    #37-David Green, 294, -41
    #55-Robby Gordon, 291, -44
    #2-Ron Hornaday, 285, -50
    For full standings see NASCAR.com.(2-21-2004)
  • Benson to the rear, fails inspection: Johnny Benson, who won the pole for Saturday’s Goody’s 200 NASCAR Busch Series race, had his qualifying speed disallowed when his #1 Dodge failed post-qualifying inspection Friday night. The car had an unapproved right-front spring. Benson will start the race from the rear of the field.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-21-2004)
  • Kenny Wallace misses, too high in Cup points [from 2003]; however, will drive the #91 UPDATE 2: #23-Kenny Wallace’s Nextel Cup experience worked against his new Busch team Friday, preventing him from gaining a provisional starting position in Saturday’s Goody’s 200. Wallace drove Cup last season for Bill Davis Racing but moved to BDR’s Busch program this season. After running fastest in Friday morning’s practice, Wallace experienced problems during his qualifying lap and didn’t get in the field on speed. However, provisional allocation rules spelled out in the entry blank prevent drivers in the top 35 in points in Cup from using provisionals in Busch races. Although Wallace doesn’t run Cup now, driver and owner points from 2003 are used for the first four races of the 2004 season. Wallace was 30th in points last season and unable to gain entry in Saturday’s field. Wallace’s sponsor Stacker 2 and YJ Stinger will move to Mike Wallace’s #4 Ford as an associate sponsor in Saturday’s race. Mike Wallace is Kenny Wallace’s older brother.(ThatsRacin.com)
    HOWEVER: Kenny Wallace will be driving the #91 car Saturday. Stanton Barrett has giving his position up to Kenny for the race. Michael Waltrip found the chance for Wallace to drive the car. “Hey I am just happy to get in a car, and I am more then happy that Stanton’s car has a good deal of speed in it. This has taken a complete loss of a weekend into something that may be great! I would like also to thank AmericInn Lodge and Suites for their sponsorship of the car and hope I can give them a good ride”, said Wallace. The car will be pitted by Craftsman Truck Terry Cook’s Pit Team.(Kenny Wallace Site)(2-20-2004)
    UPDATE 2: duing an interview with #91 crew chief, Terry Allen, it was reported that the #99 Roush Racing truck series crew would pit the #91 and Kenny Wllace and that Carl Edwards would spot for the team.(2-21-2004)
  • #51 Driver Change: After a short but successful stint in the Craftsman Truck Series, Tucker’s Shane Sieg has signed on to run for rookie of the year in NASCAR’s Busch Series. Sieg, 21, will drive the #51 Dodge [guess Kevin Conway is out?] for driver-turned-owner Rick Ware with veteran Ted Kennedy serving as crew chief. Their first attempt to qualify is today at Rockingham. Ware said he hired Sieg because he’s young and because he was impressed by his performance in the truck series last year. “As a driver I can see things other owners can’t,” Ware said. “In Shane’s first race in a truck, at Loudon, New Hampshire, last year, he ran the whole race and finished on the lead lap. He ran three other times in a truck that wasn’t really all that good and ran in the top 20 with it every time.”(Atlanta Journal-Constitution), been told Kevin Conway’s deal was for Daytona only.(2-20-2004)
  • Benson wins the pole at the Rock: #1-Johnny Benson is a former NASCAR Busch series champion and has three career wins. But until Friday he had never won a pole in 77 starts. Benson turned a lap at 153.169mph to claim the top starting position for Saturday’s Goody’s 200 at North Carolina Speedway. #32-David Stremme, who also drove the #1 part-time last season, qualified second with Braun Racing and veteran #37-David Green was third. #38-Kasey Kahne and #22-Jason Keller rounded out the top five. #30-Jamie McMurray, who is going for his fourth consecutive win at the track, will start seventh.(Thatsracin.com)
    See qualifying results/lineup at BGNRacing.comMotorsportsOne or NASCAR.com.(2-20-2004)
  • FanZCar debuts with Hermie Sadler at the Rock: The FanZCar will officially kick off their start to the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series as NASCAR veteran Hermie Sadler will sport the FanZCar colors this weekend from North Carolina Speedway. Sadler, who hopes to make his 20th Busch start this weekend from the one-mile oval, will pilot the #02 Chevy, also a season debut for the team this weekend. In his previous 19 starts at the track nicknamed the “Rock,” Hermie has collected a track best finish of third (1994), while a fifth place (1997) was his best starting grid position. Sadler and his SCORE Motorsports team would like nothing more to leave NCS (North Carolina Speedway) with a win. Hermie has proven to be a front-runner at the track in the past, and would like to finally close the deal, a deal that has eluded him in the past. The team heads to the track this weekend on a high note after finishing a solid 23rd at the season-opener Monday afternoon from Daytona International Speedway. The #02 Pontiac Grand Prix had a solid show in a race that carried associate sponsorship from the FanZCar. Sadler maneuvered his way through the two “Big Ones” and remained competitive through much of the event. Several NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series veterans who competed in the race, will not attempt the race this weekend, giving the FanZCar an advantage in the NASCAR Busch Series point standings, with all hopes of capturing the trophy and prestige at season’s end. “We’re looking for a great weekend at North Carolina Speedway,” said founder of FanZCar Scott Stricker. “We feel that Hermie has a great chance at showing some muscle on Saturday, and we’ll have the fans at the track, and the fans at home rooting him on.” Sadler and the FanZCar Chevrolet team will hit the track Saturday, February 21, at 12:30 p.m. at the North Carolina Speedway for the second race of the 34-race Busch Series schedule. The Goody’s Headache Powder 200, a 200-mile event will be telecast live on FX and broadcast worldwide on MRN radio.
    The FanZCar Scope: SS Racing Inc. is part of the racing industry. We are in the business of providing a fan-based sponsorship for a race team within NASCAR’s Racing Series. This endeavor is known and marketed as The FanZCar. The monetary funds needed to generate the sponsorship for an entire racing season will be derived from membership sold by SS Racing Inc. for the FanZCar. Members of The FanZCar will be involved in aspects of decisions typically associated with the sponsor. The FanZCar will elevate its member’s involvement within the sport they love, while providing joy and enthusiasm for all, as they cheer on THEIR sponsored race car (The FanZCar) each week.(FanZCar PR)
    See an image of the car at FanZCar #02 Chevy.(2-19-2004)
  • Benny Hungry: Ragu pasta sauce, Shedd’s Spread Country Crock spread and Hellmann’s mayonnaise have named NBC and TNT broadcast analyst and former NASCAR Champion, Benny Parsons, as spokesperson of the multi-brand NASCAR Busch Series Hungry Drivers program. The campaign will feature Parsons in radio commercials during race broadcasts on MRN and PRN, advertisements on the NEXTEL Vision Screens, and PA announcements at each track. The campaign will be aimed at informing consumers of new and different ways to include Ragu pasta sauce, Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Shedd’s Spread Country Crock spread into their favorite recipes.(Bulldawg Marketing PR)(2-18-2004)
  • Reutimann in the #87 at the Rock: David Reutimann makes his first series start of the year this weekend in Nemco Motorsports’ #87 Chevrolet. Reutimann, who is also competing full-time in NASCAR Truck Series [#17 DW Truck], is sharing driving duties in the #87 with car owner Joe Nemechek. Together they will compete for the 2004 series owner’s championship.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-18-2004)
  • #51 Crew Chief Fined: NASCAR has fined Ted A. Kennedy, crew chief for the #51 Dodge driven by Kevin Conway, $5,000 due to an infraction found last week during NASCAR Busch Series pre-practice and qualifying inspections at Daytona International Speedway. Kennedy was penalized under Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Rule Book (actions detrimental to stock car racing); and Section 12-4-Q (any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules). The #51’s carburetor venturis exceeded specified size.(NASCAR PR)(2-18-2004)
  • WMMR back with Hoff: Hoff Motorsports announced that Phialdelphia radio station 93.3 WMMR-FM has re-signed for the 2004 season. The #93 car will run in at least 10 races with Bill Hoff as driver and Jeff Shutt as crew chief. Any questions please contact www.hoffmotorsports.com or at the race shop (215) 752-6090.(Hoff PR via BGNRacing.com)(2-17-2004)
  • And another BCR departing: Total Race Babe is announcing today that they are parting ways with Black Cat Racing [BCR]. Total Race Babe would first like to thank Kim Crosby and her husband Chris for all there support during Speedweek and feel Kim is an excellent driver and a great spokes person for their line, www.totalracebabe.com. (TRB PR via BGNRacing.com), also of note, the BCR site is now off-line.(2-17-2004)
  • Crosby Departs BCR [no real surprise]: NASCAR Busch Series rookie driver Kim Crosby announced she has parted ways with Black Cat Racing. In an official press release issued earlier this week, Crosby teamed up with Black Cat Racing owner Rhea Fain, along with Drew White, and White Motorsports to attempt to make the starting lineup for Saturday’s Hershey’s Kisses 300. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, was to serve as the primary sponsor of the #28 Pontiac. Crosby competed in the open NASCAR Busch Series test session last month at Daytona International Speedway with mixed results and feelings. She had posted the fastest time in testing, but it was disqualified, as a miscue by the team in the restrictor plate gave the team a little too much horsepower. When the team received the legal restrictor plate, she maneuvered her machine to decent lap time, but she knew she could not return to Daytona this week with the same engine program if she wanted to make her NASCAR debut. By competing in the test session, Crosby was granted permission by the NASCAR to participate in the secondary series of NASCAR testing. Speedweeks 2004 was not good by any means for Crosby. When she hit the 2.5-mile Superspeedway for her first practice session, she was struggling. The #28 lacked horsepower, and lacked it bad. With several changes to her machine, and every effort by her team to find some more speed, the results were disappointing in the other practice sessions. The only female entered for this week’s Busch event piloted her racecar to a time of 51.809 seconds, equaling a speed of 173.715mph, almost eight miles per hour off the pace. After posting the 49th fastest time out of the 54 qualifiers, and without a provisional starting position to fall back on, the team was forced to pack up the hauler and watch the race from the sidelines. “I lived up 100% to my obligations with Black Cat Racing,” said former NHRA driver Kim Crosby. “I came down this week with every hopes of making my first Busch Series event, however things did not go as originally planned, and I felt it was in the best interest of my racing career to sever all ties with BCR.” Crosby, who competed in the ARCA RE/MAX Series opener a week earlier also mentioned “despite the disappointment with Rhea Fain and Black Cat Racing, I would like to give a huge thanks to Drew White and his crew for the incredible job they did this week at Daytona. They worked very hard all week, we just didn’t have enough to get the job done, but they should be commended on their efforts, I won’t ever forget it.” Crosby, who serves as a junior high school principal during the week, stated they she was not going to let this failed relationship ruin her thoughts on racing, especially the NASCAR Busch Series. “I am going to head home, and concentrate on my ARCA RE/MAX Series team, along with continuing to talk to potentional teams and sponsor about competing in the NASCAR Busch Series later this year. I would like to thank my sponsors, my fans, and my team for continuing to have faith in me and believe in me, it’s what keeps me going, we will overcome this.” There seems to be a little light at the end of the tunnel for this likeable racecar driver. While in Daytona this week, Crosby received a call from the Oprah Winfrey show and plans are in the works for Kim to join the award-winning talk show soon, discussing her battle in the racing industry, along with her unique, but popular sponsor, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. “I’m very honored to have been contacted by the Oprah Winfrey show,” she said. Crosby Motorsports will announce the remainder of their ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule in the coming weeks.(Crosby Motorsports PR)(2-15-2003)
  • The Hershey’s Kisses 300 at Daytona is OVER.
    Checkered Flag Conditions
    The top 10 after 120 of 120 laps:
    #8-Earnhardt Jr.
    #27-Sauter
    #55-Gordon
    #21-Harvick
    #17-Kenseth

    #32-Stremme
    #2-Hornaday
    #00-Leffler
    #22-Keller
    #37-Green

    Pole Sitter #81-Martin Truex Jr. was involved in the 2nd ‘big one’ and ended up 28th, 27 laps down.

    NOTEs: #5 is overheating and losing water on the track as of lap 98. Busch brought the car in on lap 100 after almost hitting the wall and has retired the car.

    Caution 3 on lap 74-77: #59-Compton was smoking. Never did get much of an explanation, but the #59 is listed off track.

    Caution 2 on lap 42: #6-Wolfe was in the middle and got loose, came up the track, hit #5-Busch [who drove on], and involving #4-Wallace, #77-Neuenberger, #62-Hollenback, #81-Truex Jr., #12-Fedawa, #43-Richeson, #99-Waltrip and #46-Lewis Jr. Wallace got in the grass which is wet and like ice and hit head on into the pit road wall, but no one was out on the road and no one was injured or involved.

  • Winning both Cup and Busch race in the same year at Daytona in Feb, two drivers have won both, Darrell Waltrip in 1989 and Bobby Allison in 1988
    Make it 3: as Dale Earnhardt Jr. won both the Daytona 500 and the Busch race at Daytona in the same weekend.
    ALSO: Dale Jr. also won a 125 race, being told he is the first driver to win a 125, Cup and Busch race at Daytona during Speedweeks in the same season.(2-16-2004)
  • Race Re-Air Speed Channel on Wednesday, Feb 18th from 12:00noon – 2:30pm/et. Have seen no other times and nothing on TNT.(2-16-2004)
  • Results at ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.comMotorsportsOne or NASCAR.com.(2-16-2004)
  • Rain Postpones race until Monday: The Hershey’s Kisses 300 at historic Daytona International Speedway, which was red flagged after 31 laps because of rain, will be rescheduled for Monday at 11:00am/et. Gates will be open on Monday, Feb. 16 at 7:00am/et. All stubbed tickets will be honored as well as tickets to the Paddock Club and Suites. Daytona Club and the Party Zone will not be open. As with all Daytona International Speedway events, all sales are final and there are no refunds. When the race was stopped for rain, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. was leading the 120-lap, 300-mile race with #55-Robby Gordon, #4-Mike Wallace, #5-Kyle Busch and #2-Ron Hornaday. TNT will broadcast the race live.(DIS PR)(2-14-2004)
  • Made a Wish…came true: Ashlie Smith, 14, of Lakeland, FL is coming to Daytona. But she won’t just be a spectator. On Saturday, Smith, who has been battling a brain tumor since 1998, will announce “Gentlemen, start your engines” to the drivers in the Busch Hershey’s Kisses 300. The weekend at Daytona, arranged by the Children’s Dream Fund of West Florida, begins today [Friday], when Smith and her parents visit a garage and receive a pit tour. She also will be a guest in NASCAR’s suite for the IROC and Craftsman Truck races. Saturday, she will be the grand marshal for the Busch race, courtesy of Hershey Foods Corporation and CVS Pharmacies. She and her family also have been invited to stay for Sunday’s Daytona 500.(Tampa Tribune)(2-14-2004)
  • Yahoo to sponsor the #39: Jay Robinson Racing announced a new sponsor relationship with Yahoo! in the NASCAR Busch Series for the entire 2004 season with options for years 2005 and 2006. This is the first time Yahoo! has been a primary sponsor in NASCAR racing. Yahoo! is a leading global Internet media company which offers an array of products and services to 263 million monthly users worldwide. Yahoo! will team up with Jay Robinson Racing to sponsor the #39 Yahoo! Ford Taurus for the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series. The Yahoo! car will be driven by Busch Series “Rookie of the Year” candidate Andy Ponstein, a Hudsonville, Michigan native. The race season for the Yahoo! team will start at the Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2004. For the Daytona race only, Busch Series veteran Rich Markle in the #68 car will assist Jay Robinson Racing and will drive with the Yahoo! colors and logo. Ponstein will take over with car #39 and the Yahoo! Team starting with Rockingham on February 21st. NASCAR veteran and 1990 Daytona 500 Champion Derrike Cope, driver of the Jay Robinson Racing team car #49 Advil Liqui- Gel Ford Taurus, will assist to speed up the learning curve for rookie Ponstein. Ponstein has continued to be a regular competitor at Kalamazoo Speedway in Michigan, producing seven victories, 21 top-five finishes and 24 top-tens. He has driven in both ARCA and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2003. The Crew Chief for the new #39 Yahoo! Ford Taurus will be former Winston West Champion driver Mike Chase.(JRR PR)(2-13-2004)
  • Operation Fire Safe and Schuler: Operation Fire SAFE will sponsor the #10 Davis Motorsports Chevrolet driven by Jason Schuler of Madison, Wisconsin, in the Hershey’s Kisses 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on Saturday, February 14, 2004. Operation Fire SAFE is a program of the National Center for Prevention and Research Solutions, a non-profit charity whose national headquarters is located in South Daytona, Florida.(BGNRacing.com via the www.ncprs.org)(2-13-2004)
  • Wreck in Friday’s 1st practice: #99-Waltrip lost a right rear tire in turn 3 at Daytona, turned sideways, pole sitter. #81-Truex Jr. and Waltrip got together, and #33-Menard got into the rear of #20-Bliss while both were slowing down. Waltrip will have to go to a backup, Truex’s team is trying to fix his car. Bliss and Menards car should be ok.(Speed’s Coverage)(2-13-2004)
  • NJ Native, Martin Truex Jr. wins the pole at Daytona:
    #81-Martin Truex Jr. won the pole for the Hershey’s Kisses 300 at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 181.137mph, the rest of the top five are #2-Ron Hornaday at 181.108, #21-Kevin Harvick at 180.832, #32-David Stremme at 180.563 and #55-Robby Gordon. Missing the race was #9-Mark Martin along with 11 others.
    See qualifying results/lineup at BGNRacing.comMotorsportsOne or NASCAR.com.(2-13-2004)
  • Daytona News and Notes: Competitors will be racing for the largest purse in the history of the NASCAR Busch Series when the green flag falls on the Feb. 14 Hershey’s Kisses 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Up for grabs will be a total of $2,197,278, nearly $200,000 more than the 2003 payout for Daytona’s season opener. The 2003 purse of $2,000,387 was the first to reach the $2 million plateau for the NASCAR Busch Series. Depending on eligibility for various contingency awards, the winner of the 2004 Hershey’s Kisses 300 stands to win as much as $102,110. Two drivers to date – Jeff Gordon in the 1992 fall race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway ($113,844) and Jeff Green at the 2001 Kansas Speedway event ($100,020) – have won more than $100,000 in a single NASCAR Busch Series event. By comparison, Jack Ingram totaled $122,100 over the course of his entire 1982 championship season, the first year of what is now the NASCAR Busch Series.
    Fifty-four cars on entry list … The NASCAR Busch Series garage was near capacity when the teams checked in Wednesday. Fifty-four cars are entered, up four from the 50 that entered last year’s event at Daytona. Only 43 cars will make the starting grid.
    A new aero package in place for Daytona, including a roof strip that’s a half-inch tall in the middle and two inches on the sides; a 1½-inch wicker bill on the spoiler; a spoiler angle that’s been increased to 70 degrees; and a spoiler width that’s been increased to 59 inches. The restrictor plate has also been increased by 1/32nd of an inch, to 15/16ths.
    ON THE RIGHT TRACK
    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. has won the last three NASCAR Busch Series races at Daytona. He led all 100 laps in the last race at the 2.5-mile facility, last season’s Winn-Dixie 250 Presented By PepsiCo. in July
    The July 2002 win at Daytona by #87-Joe Nemechek was the first NASCAR Busch Series race won from the pole at the track. Earnhardt Jr. accomplished the feat in July 2003. Nemechek’s four Busch Poles at Daytona are the most of any driver, and came in consecutive races – 2001, both 2002 races and the February 2003 event. Kenny Wallace and David Green both scored the first Busch Pole Awards of the NASCAR Busch Series careers at Daytona, Wallace in February 1989 and Green two years later. Johnny Sauter recorded two top-10 finishes last year at Daytona, a ninth in February and a fifth in July.
    #4-Mike Wallace recorded his best finish of 2003 in last year’s season opener at Daytona, by coming home fourth.
    Chevrolet has won 14 of the last 17 NASCAR Busch Series races at Daytona.
    Chad Little was the first NASCAR Busch Series regular to win at Daytona when he accomplished the feat in 1995. He started from the worst position of any winner in the history of the division – 42nd. Little was the first, and to date, only, Ford driver to win a NASCAR Busch Series race at Daytona. Randy LaJoie is the only other NASCAR Busch Series regular to visit Daytona’s victory lane. LaJoie won in 1997, 1999 and 2001.
    Fast Facts
    What: Hershey’s Kisses 300 (Race 1 of 34 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
    Where: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.
    When: 12:30pm/et, Saturday, Feb. 14.
    Track layout: 2.5-mile oval.
    Race length: 120 laps/300 miles.
    Posted awards: $2,197,278
    TV: NBC, 12:30pm/et
    Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
    2003 winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    2003 polesitter: Joe Nemechek.
    Pre-race schedule (all times local): Thursday—Practice, 9:30-10:50 a.m., 11:15 a.m.-noon, 4-5:25 p.m. Friday—Qualifying, 10:15 a.m.; Practice, 2-2:45 p.m.; Final Practice, 3:45-4:30 p.m.(NASCAR PR)(2-12-2004)
  • #96 to honor Army Capt: The Liberty,SC-based Ortec Racing team entered in Saturday’s Hershey’s 300 Busch race is honoring the late US Army Capt. Kimberly Hampton of Easley by carrying her name on the rear of its car this week. Hampton, a helicopter pilot, was killed last month in Iraq. Gus Wasson of Bloomdale, Ohio, drives for the team, which plans a limited schedule this year.(Greenville News)(2-12-2004)
  • Josh Richeson to run the #43 at Daytona: After a strong season in 2003, in which the #43 Curb-Agajanian team won the NASCAR Busch Series Funai 250 at Richmond and posted seven top ten finishes in 16 races with driver Johnny Sauter, Curb-Agajanian announced the addition of Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Inc. as a primary sponsor for the Hershey Kisses 300 at Daytona. Headquartered in Harrisburg, PA, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet has 29 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. Cary Agajanian is also the owner of Motorsports Management International (“MMI”), which represents many of NASCAR’s most successful drivers and brightest stars. Josh Richeson follows MMI client Johnny Sauter, who used the #43 car to showcase his talents last year. Johnny Sauter, who will pilot the #30 AOL Chevrolet in the Nextel Cup Series and the #27 Kleenex Chevrolet in the Busch Series this season, credited his experiences racing Agajanian’s #43 car as a major reason that he was offered the AOL and Kleenex opportunities. Please visit www.olliesbargainoutlet.com for more information.(Motorsports Management PR)(2-11-2004)
  • Contreras and HRT Part Ways: Carlos Contreras, who terminated his relationship with HRT Motorsports, will be racing a 16 race schedule in Mexico in 2004. Contreras will race in the SELCA series, a stock car series in Mexico with NASCAR affiliation. In a separate move, Contreras recently entered into an exclusive arrangement with Vazquez Marketing Group (VMG, Inc.) to represent his NASCAR driving services and related interests. Vazquez, who resigned from HRT late December 2003, and Contreras, will together pursue an array of opportunities for Contreras in NASCAR, including Busch and NEXTEL Cup Series competition. VMG’s objective is to find Contreras a position with a top, multiple car team to add a diversity element to its platform, without sacrificing performance. Contreras and Vazquez plan on bringing their ability to engage and target the Hispanic audience (together they brought over $600,000 in additional Hispanic media to his car sponsor for the 2003 season finale race at Homestead Miami) to a top team with a core NASCAR fan base and create a unique offering for NASCAR sponsors seeking to grow their consumer base by including the burgeoning Hispanic market. Regarding his “new” relationship with Contreras, Vazquez says, “During my time at HRT I tried relentlessly to find sponsors for Carlos. There was plenty of interest in Carlos as a driver and in our Hispanic outreach, but because HRT was considered by many as “new and unproven”, it was difficult getting those key sponsors to fund Carlos at the level of participation we needed. We believe that teaming Carlos up with a winning organization will put sponsors at ease knowing that they will find the success on the track to compliment and drive success at the cash register. Fewer perceived risks, and greater rewards… that is what the sponsorship world is calling for, and that exactly what we are giving them.” Contreras is currently in Mexico preparing for his first race in his home country since 1999. For more information on Carlos Contreras and available opportunities, please contact Mike Vazquez of the Vazquez Marketing Group at (305) 986-3313 or via email at mikevazquez@bellsouth.net.(PR)(2-11-2004)
  • Labonte’s to be spokemen for the Coast Guard: Labonte Motorsports and the United States Coast Guard will be unveiling their #44 Busch Series car at Daytona International Speedway on February 11th. During the event, the Coast Guard will introduce Terry, Bobby and Justin Labonte as spokesmen for the service’s 2004 National Boating Safety Campaign “You’re in Command.”
    Rear Adm. Ken Venuto, Assistant Commandant for Human Resources from Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington will represent the Coast Guard at the event and participate in the car unveiling with the three Labontes. Justin Labonte will enter the Team Coast Guard car in at least 15 NASCAR Busch Series races this year, starting at Texas April 3. The Coast Guard entered into the partnership with Labonte Motorsports as a recruiting advertising initiative and to gain a better overall awareness of the Coast Guard, including its new “Shield of Freedom” branding campaign.
    The car’s design was a collaborative effort among a diverse group of unique individuals including two-time Nextel Series champion Terry Labonte, Civil War author Ann McMillan and Richmond, VA, based artist Steve Bennett. Ann McMillan is the wife of Randy Hallman, former Richmond News Leader award winning racing writer, and recently completed the fourth book in a series of Civil War mysteries. Bennett teaches art for the school system in Henrico County which is also the location of Richmond International Raceway. He designed the paint scheme for the Penrose Meat Snacks #44 Busch Series car that Bobby Labonte drove the 1991 Busch Series championship.
    The collaboration began during one of the first meetings between Terry Labonte and the Coast Guard. Terry said, “Growing up in Corpus Christi, Texas you get a great awareness and appreciation for the Coast Guard because it has such a large presence there, and the brightly painted orange helicopters were a frequent sight. So I knew right away we had to have some of that orange on the car,”
    Additionally, the car needed to visually represent as many of the Coast Guard’s diverse assets as possible. Since white is prominently featured on many Coast Guard ships and aircraft, it needed to be on the car. The design also features elements of the Coast Guard “racing stripe,” widely recognized as a symbol of the Coast Guard’s authority on the water. Bennett was given the challenge to bring the elements together and give it a clean look. During a casual get together of racing friends in Bennett’s studio, where many brainstorming sessions on various racing projects have taken place over many years, Ann McMillan brought up that it would be interesting if the car could somehow be made to look like it was cutting through water. Bennett took that idea and was able to incorporate it into the paint schemes final result that will be unveiled Wednesday.
    As spokesmen for the Coast Guard’s National Boating Safety Campaign “You’re in Command,” the Labontes will participate in print and broadcast public service announcements aimed at preventing injuries and deaths among recreational boaters.(PR)(2-11-2004)
  • Guard and Reserve Busch Series cars schemes for RCR #29 UPDATE: The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a government-funded program that enlists the support of America’s corporations to procure employment of American military service men and women. The ESGR will sponsor 5 Busch races, with Richard Childress in an attempt to create awareness and to promote the 5 Freedom Award recipients selected in 2003, running the #29 Busch Series Chevy(1-20-2004)
    4/3/04 Texas Busch / Bobby Labonte / #29 RCR – Army
    5/1/04 Fontana Busch / Tony Stewart / #29 RCR – Marines
    7/10/04 Chicago Busch / Ricky Craven / #29 RCR – Navy
    9/25/04 Dover Busch / Kerry Earnhardt / #29 RCR – Air Force
    11/20/04 Homestead Busch / Kevin Harvick / #29 RCR – Coast Guard (2-10-2004)
  • Smith and the #56: Regan Smith is heading into the Hershey’s Kisses 300 with a new team and a new attitude. After the 2003 season left him struggling to find a full-time ride following a deal gone bad due to lack of funding, the Cato, NY native prevailed after hooking up for the season finale held at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. There, he qualified the #56 Jack McNelly-owned Mac Hill Motorsports car 19th, the highest qualifying effort for the 56 gang in all of 2003. For more information on Regan Smith and the Mac Hill Motorsports team check out www.regansmith.com.(PR)(2-10-2004)
  • Lewis Motorsports Displays “Advertise Here!!!” Campaign at Daytona: The fact that racecars and haulers have often been described as traveling billboards prompted NASCAR Busch Series team Lewis Motorsports to decal their car with the slogan “Advertise Here!!!”. They are using the “Advertise Here!!!” logo to show potential sponsors the prime advertising space available on the No. 46 Lewis Motorsports Chevrolet. The team knows that consistently strong finishes will get the #46 Chevrolet the exposure it needs to spark the interest of potential sponsors who might be watching from the stands or their homes. The “Advertise Here!!!” logos will be placed on the hood, both rear quarter panels and the television panel on the rear of the car. All of which are prime advertising spaces for potential primary and associate sponsors. “In 2001, we tried a similar campaign that sparked the interest of the Civil Air Patrol who was our primary sponsor for two years. Unfortunately, they were monetarily unable to continue their sponsorship and we were left without a sponsor for the 2004 season,” said owner Ashton Lewis. Hanging onto the hope that sponsorship will be found for the 2004 NBS season, the Lewis Motorsports team has made preparations needed to run all 34 events. Potential sponsors with inquiries about placing their company’s logo on the No. 46 Lewis Motorsports Chevrolet should contact Bob Rinaldi at Lewis Motorsports 704-782-2901 or bob.rinaldi@ashton.lewis.com.(PR)(2-9-2004)
  • Assoc sponsor renews with JRR: Western Hardhat International, Inc. a division of DBS Management Group, Inc., announced today that they have extended their relationship to serve as an Associate Sponsor for Jay Robinson Racing’s #49 entry and driver Derrike Cope for the entire 2004 race season. Western Hardhat International is the manufacturer of the only alternative to the normal style hard hat in the world. The “Western Outlaw” meets ANSI requirements and is certified by the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI). In 1998 the product was named the Safety Invention of the Year. The hard hat is available across the country from retailers like Harbor Freight, United Rentals, Ferguson Enterprises or on-line from United American Sales, Industrial Printing and T.A.S.C.O.. The “Outlaw”™ has been seen on numerous television shows like “The Today Show”, CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, and is slated to be featured on the dramatic television show “Building Bridges” and a documentary on The Discovery Channel. The February 2004 issue of internationally known fashion/style/entertainment magazine, The Face (London) features the hard hat.(dbs management group PR)(2-9-2004)
  • Hmiel Cleared to be Re-Instated, will drive in ARCA and Truck race: Shane Hmiel has now been reinstated from his suspension from NASCAR. He is now clear to compete in any of the NASCAR sanctioned series effective immediately. Hmiel could be seen competing as early as next weekend during Speed Weeks at Daytona in NASCAR. Hmiel is already in Daytona driving for Team CLR in this weekends ARCA Series race.OTWRacing/TeamCLR
    AND Driver Shane Hmiel is eligible to reapply for his license to compete in NASCAR-sanctioned events after meeting the conditions set forth for his reinstatement from a suspension levied under the sport’s substance abuse policy last year. Steve Hmiel, the driver’s father, showed The Charlotte Observer a letter Friday afternoon informing Shane Hmiel he could regain his credential to drive in NASCAR races upon the completion of routine paperwork all drivers must submit to get a license each season. That includes submission of a form showing he’s had a physical examination and the payment of a fee to obtain the license. Steve Hmiel, who is technical director for Dale Earnhardt Inc., said Shane has a deal lined up to drive in next Friday night’s Truck Series race for a team owned by Billy Ballew. The team also plans to run at Atlanta and may add more races now that Hmiel’s status has been cleared up. “This has been tough on him,” Steve Hmiel said of his son, who was 23 at the time he drew the suspension. “It broke his heart, but he has been working his guts out to get back. I think he will come out of this with more respect for what a privilege it is to be able to drive in NASCAR.”(ThatsRacin.com)(2-6-2004)
  • Spectrum Controls to Become Associate Sponsor on the #20: Rockwell Automation recently announced that Spectrum Controls, Inc. will become an associate sponsor on the #20 Rockwell Automation Chevy driven by Mike Bliss in 2004. Rockwell Automation offers a unique NASCAR Busch Series sponsorship program, supported by their internal sports marketing team, known as Matrix. Since 2001, Rockwell Automation and Matrix have helped more than 30 companies develop and activate successful sports marketing initiatives. Spectrum Controls joins returning sponsor Triad Packaging as marketing partners of the Rockwell Automation racing team. Additional new associate sponsors will be announced in the near future. Since 1983, Spectrum Controls has continued to be the premier provider of hardware and related software products for the industrial controls marketplace. Products fall into three major categories: I/O modules, human-machine interfaces and communications devices. For more information, visit their Web site at www.spectrumcontrols.com.(Rockwell Automation PR)(2-6-2004)
  • NASCAR Veterans Onboard with Rookie Kevin Conway: NASCAR Busch Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Kevin Conway will be making his 2004 debut with the backing of some of NASCAR’s biggest names. He is being helped by mentor, retired NASCAR Winston Cup driver Ernie Irvan among others. The NASCAR Busch Series officially kicks off their 2004 season, Conway has been caught again by yet another NASCAR veteran; this time by Busch Series car owner Rick Ware during pre season thunder at Daytona International Speedway. Conway will be sponsored in part by Creditel PowerSwipe on his #57 Dodge Intrepid. WARE Racing will be making further announcements later this week on additional team sponsors. Kevin Conway has teamed with Rick Ware Racing to compete in the Hershey’s Kisses 300 at Daytona International Speedway February 14. NASCAR Veteran Lake Speed will be spotting for the young rookie, while Ernie Irvan will continue to mentor Conway as he makes his superspeedway debut.
    “It gives me a lot of confidence having the support of two NASCAR veterans.” said Conway.
    Conway comes from a very diverse racing background. He has competed in motocross, go-karts, midgets, legend cars, late models, ASA, the ARCA Re/Max Series and in 2003 made his NASCAR Busch Series debut at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Creditel PowerSwipe easily attaches to selected internet-enabled mobile phones, transforming the phone into a powerful business tool. The PowerSwipe is able to quickly read triple des encrypt and securely transmit the information from the magnetic stripe of a card to Creditel for transaction processing. Utilizing the Power Pay application, merchants of all sizes are now able to accept payment in the field electronically. For more information www.creditelcorp.com.(Kevin Conway Racing PR)(2-6-2004)
  • Cicci’s Team Still on Hold: Frank Cicci Jr.’s #34 NASCAR Busch Series team, which he owns with former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, won’t be competing in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway on Feb 14. Cicci, an Elmira native, said sponsorship has yet to come through for his team, which is based in Mooresville, N.C. “We’re still working on it,” Cicci said. “The sponsors haven’t come through yet.” Cicci, a longtime Busch Series team owner, competed in six races last year with Mike McLaughlin as his driver. He had hoped to have a sponsorship deal in place by now that would also have Chemung native Todd Bodine behind the wheel. Bodine lost his Nextel Cup ride when the BelCar Racing team he drove for closed down after losing its sponsor at the end of the 2003 season.(Star-Gazette)(2-5-2004)
  • Sauter to work with IROC: Jay Sauter, who drove four years in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for Richard Childress and Felix Sabates, recently accepted a role as test-driver for the rejuvenated IROC series. Sauter will join his father Jim and Dick Trickle and Dave Marcis in IROC.(Bristol Herald Courier)(2-5-2004)
  • Former Team Owners Indicted: A little more than a year ago, Gary Jones and Fatemeh Angela Harkness were living a race-car lover’s dream. Jones, a 36-year-old Austin banker, and Harkness, a 27-year-old former kindergarten teacher from Round Rock, had assembled a racing team — Angela’s Motorsports — that was entering not one but two cars in NASCAR events. A 17-count indictment was handed up by a federal grand jury in Austin, TX. Made public Wednesday, the indictment charges that Jones embezzled almost $1 million while working as a business banker at a Wells Fargo branch in North Austin from November 2000 to March 2003. He is accused of using fake documents and forged signatures to issue a series of loans in other people’s names. Those people didn’t get the money, which Jones instead took for himself and used to fund Angela’s Motorsports, according to the indictment. Harkness has already pleaded guilty in the scheme and has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, court records indicate. She is free on bail. The racing team featured veteran driver Mike McLaughlin. It entered cars in the Busch Grand National Series, a sort of Triple-A NASCAR circuit, starting in late 2002. That was two years after Jones worked on the first of the 12 fraudulent loans he is accused of making. It was for $38,000 and was issued in the name of Jones’ sister, according to indictment. The loans grew in value as time went on and were issued in various names, including those of Jones’ relatives. The documents to support the loans and signatures were forged, according to the indictment. The largest loan was for $250,000 and was approved November 20, 2002, according to indictment. That was one month after Harkness announced the formation of the team at a news conference at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Jones is been free on bond since his arrest in October. Neither he nor a lawyer representing him could be reached for comment. A $70,000 loan to Angela’s Motorsports was guaranteed by Harkness, according to the indictment. Federal prosecutors charged her last month with conspiracy to commit fraud; she simultaneously agreed to a plea bargain. The agreement is contingent upon Harkness’ cooperation. She is scheduled to be sentenced later this month and faces up to five years in federal prison. Court records say she conspired to use a Social Security number that wasn’t hers to take out the $70,000 loan, as well as a $50,000 loan for a 2001 Mercedes and a $205,000 loan for a home on Marsala Springs Drive in Round Rock. The court document also said she used the fake Social Security number to take out the $250,000 loan in her mother’s name. Robert Yates Racing received $150,000 and McLaughlin, the team’s driver, got $100,000, prosecutors say.
    Landing McLaughlin as their driver was considered a big coup in racing circles. He was available only because his former team owner, current Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, was dropping him so that Gibbs’ son, Coy, could make his debut as a Busch series driver in 2003. But money is the biggest hurdle to running a successful NASCAR team. At the season finale for 2002, the Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 16, Angela’s Motorsports raced two cars and was looking forward to the 2003 season. But by January 2003, checks to the crew began to bounce, equipment was repossessed, and the dream was over. McLaughlin, in an interview last year, lamented the team’s demise. “It all seemed too good to be true,” he said.(Austin American-Statesman)(2-5-2004)
  • Advil re-ups with Jay Robinson Racing: Wyeth Consumer Healthcare, makers of fast-acting Advil Liqui-Gels announce that they are returning to team up with Jay Robinson Racing to sponsor the #49 Advil Ford Taurus in the NASCAR Busch Series for the 2004 season. The race season will start at the Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2004 with the NASCAR veteran and 1990 Daytona 500 Champion, Derrike Cope behind the wheel. Derrike Cope has been with Jay Robinson Racing for selected races since 2002. In the 2003 season, Derrike Cope competed in seven races, finishing with three strong top twenty spots. Advil and Jay Robinson Racing would like to give a special thanks to Tammy Jo Kirk for a good season in 2003. Jay Robinson Racing finished 26th in the owner points with Tammy Jo driving 15 of the 34 races.(Jay Robinson Racing PR)(2-5-2004)
  • Henderson Motorsports making 2004 debut at Bristol in March: Charlie Henderson has fielded cars in the NASCAR Busch Series since its inception in the 1970s, and it’s been done without the help of a major corporate sponsor. The hood of the Chevrolet bears the logo of Henderson’s Food Country grocery stores. That’s meant a large out-of-pocket expense for the owner. Besides Crew Chief Jim Daly, Henderson’s shop only has one other full-time worker. That’s not likely to change soon, though. With Chevrolet cutting its 2004 racing budget in half, Daly said the team likely won’t see any factory support from GM. Bad news, he said, for a primarily self-funded team. Before joining Henderson Motorsports four year ago, Daly worked in Joe Gibbs’ and Bill Davis’ race shop as a car chief. Money, or a lack of it, has forced the Henderson team to wait until Bristol’s March race to make its 2004 debut. Jay Sauter is slated to pilot the #75 car for the second consecutive year. Despite some good runs last year, Sauter ran into some bad luck. Running fifth at Bristol’s August race, he was collected in a wreck. And a tire blowout on the last lap at Nashville took away a top 10 finish there.(in part from the Bristol Herald Courier)(2-5-2004)
  • RaceApe.com Roars Into NASCAR With New Internet Program: Race fans and racers come together in a new sponsorship match. Tim and Rick Roberts of Pinehurst NC the owners of dsslink.net, the owners PF2 Motorsports (Fred & Pam Bickford), have come together to form a new brand of Internet Service Provider. The RaceApe.com brand will support local racers as well as the professional ranks in premier series. RaceApe.com will provide subscribers accelerated data from Proxyconn Inc. that gives DSL speed to the dial up. The service is included in the price for less money than that of other major ISPs.
    Free tech support, two email addresses, exclusive online racing, inside race information, and each month a subscriber is invited to be an honorary pit crewmember on a RaceApe.com team. Exclusive chats with current drivers, owners, and crewmembers give the racing community access to each other. One lucky subscriber will have a chance to drive in a real race, no experience necessary. Tutoring from a current Nextel Cup or Busch Series driver will be provided for the subscriber and the car will be crewed by RaceApe.com race team headed by car owner and crew chief Fred Bickford and car chief Robert Wagoner. Experienced racers will also have a chance to move up a notch and drive a RaceApe.com house car in a professional division.
    Rick Roberts a principle partner in dsslink.net and an officer of RaceApe.com along with his son will manage and develop the web presence of the new brand. “This is my first NASCAR experience. It has been exciting and fun meeting drivers, owners and fans. I really am excited about being a part of this venture and look forward to a long-term relationship with my new found friends and partners. Several of our home office employees are also avid fans. This is a great way for us to reward employees as well as our subscribers with a product centered around a sport we love,” said Roberts. “This is a great opportunity for fans and racers to come together and support one another. I can’t wait to get online and race my simulation car. I heard through the grape vine that Dale, Jr met Truex, Jr racing online. Don’t know how true it is but I am looking forward to meeting new racing people,” said Bickford, who is a current team owner in NASCAR’s premier divisions.
    “I enjoy going to the race track every week and meeting as many people as I can. I stay at the tracks, so I get the chance to walk around and talk to people; I have met some wonderful fans and racers who I converse with on a regular basis today. RaceApe.com is going to have exclusive chat rooms where everyone can have access to one another and get tech help for their own race cars and share there racing experience with one another. I think it is a great idea because I love to armchair race. To take someone who has never raced before and bring them in with a professional Driver and myself coaching, is going to be such an adventure for someone, plus having subscribers every month being able to come to the race track and work with the crew, what an all around program for everyone.”
    Bickford continues. “The racing aspects of the program are in its infancy stages but should progress quickly. With coming together late in the off season we really want to come out of the box running competitive and I just can’t get to that point starting so late. We are going to take some time to develop our team and be prepared when we roll off the trailer. We have a good engine program with T&L Engine Development. We have a few drivers who we talked with. For the most part this is a brand new team with a lot of talented people involved and we want to showcase those talents and we are in no hurry to just get to the race track.”
    RaceApe.com team has plans on rolling through the gates as soon as it feels it is ready. The RaceApe.com race team will be in Daytona not to race but to “go to school” and learn the new racing environment this year. There are several rule changes and procedures that the team needs to catch up on. They will also be present at the Daytona Expo Show unveiling the new RaceApe.com Chevrolet Monte Carlo and Jason White will be on hand to sign autographs along with the RaceApe.com Racing Girls.(PF2 Motorsports PR)(2-4-2004)
  • Passmore to Attempt Five Busch Series Races in 2004: With her sights firmly set on a successful 2004 ARCA RE/MAX Series season, Christi Passmore will also look to gain experience in the NASCAR Busch Series toward the end of the 2004 season. Passmore will test her new Busch Series car during the open session at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May. Passmore will make her first qualifying attempt for the October 9 event at the Kansas Speedway. Passmore will also attempt the October 15 Lowe’s Motor Speedway race, the October 30 Atlanta Motor Speedway race as well as the November 13 race at Darlington Raceway and November 20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    “We focused on gaining experience and confidence during the 2003 racing season,” said Passmore. “We knew it would take time to be capable of racing up front each week and that is the same philosophy we are taking to the NASCAR Busch Series.”
    Passmore will be working with her current crew chief, Bob Schacht, for her NASCAR Busch Series debut. Passmore and Schacht joined forces early in the 2003 season as Schacht, a veteran racer, was able to build confidence in Passmore with each passing weekend.
    “Having the chance to work with Bob (Schacht) has been a great asset,” said Passmore. “I have learned a lot from him and he not only works with me on the track, but also during practice sessions watching other cars and other series. Bob has experience at so many race tracks with so many different series that I know we will be successful at our goals of experience-building in the NASCAR Busch Series.”
    Passmore concluded the 2003 ARCA RE/MAX Series season finishing eighth in the final points standings and earning one top-five finish along with seven top-ten finishes throughout her 22 season starts. Passmore will kick off her 2004 season at the Daytona International Speedway on February 7 with the running of the Advance Discount Auto Parts 200, ARCA RE/MAX Series event.(LM Motorsports Marketing PR)(2-4-2004)
  • Panasonic re-ups with the #67: Panasonic says it has renewed its sponsorship arrangement with Smith Brothers Motorsports and will be the primary sponsor for the team and driver C.W. Smith in select Busch Series races this year. The team says its first race will be the Feb. 14 Hershey Kisses 300 at Daytona.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-4-2004)
  • Keller gets a sponsor; Miller High Life: Miller Brewing Co. says its High Life brand will be the primary sponsor for ppc Racing’s #22 Ford [was the #57] for Jason Keller in 19 Busch Series races this year and an associate sponsor in 13 other events. Financial terms were not disclosed.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-4-2004)
  • Northeastern Supply Co. to the #23: Northeastern Supply Co. says it will be an associate sponsor for Bill Davis Racing’s #23 Stacker 2 Chevy for Kenny Wallace in the 2004 Busch Series. Northeastern Supply, a Baltimore-based distributor of heating, air conditioning, plumbing and hardware products, has been a sponsor in the series for 11 years. It has been with ppc Racing’s #57 Ford [now the #22] for Jason Keller for the past three seasons. Financial details were not announced.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-4-2004)
  • Shutt leaves the #38? hearing that crew chief Tim Shutt and the #38 Akins Motorsport team [driver Kasey Khane] have parted ways.(2-3-2004)
  • Horn moves to Busch: NASCAR driver Chris Horn, along with his Horn Auto Racing group will leap into the NASCAR Busch Series on a limited schedule in 2004. Horn, was expected to return to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this season, but in the off-season, the team was evaluating their program and felt the secondary series of NASCAR is where the team needed to head. “I’m very confident that our transition from the Truck Series to the Busch Series will be smooth and awarding by the end of the year,” stated driver Chris Horn.   “As a team we were looking at our future, and while we enjoyed competing in the NCTS, we felt it was time to make a change and begin a new journey.” Horn Auto Racing, based in Iowa has run on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on a limited basis since 1998.   The former American Speed Association racer has a career best finish of 14th, twice at Kansas Speedway (2002) and Kentucky Speedway (2003). The team has been granted the #58 by NASCAR, the same number the team has run on the side of their Chevrolet Silverados in trucks.   The team will also use Chevrolet as their manufacturer in Busch.   “We are very grateful that we were able to keep our number with our step up in the NASCAR ranks,” replied Horn, a graduate of the Skip Barber Racing School.
    Horn’s family-owned company, Horn Racing Engines, will supply the engines for the new Busch Series program. HRE (Horn Racing Engines) supplied the strong and powerful power plant for Chris’s several impressive qualifying runs in 2002 and 2003.   “We are very pleased with our engine program, and we are looking forward to being very competitive in the Busch Series,” continued the Cedar Rapids, Iowa native.
    Horn Auto Racing is continuing to talk to potentional sponsors for the season including sponsors from their NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series program.   “Sponsorship is tough these days, but we are not giving up, we are talking to a lot of people and we are keeping our heads high and when everything is complete, we’ll be ready to hit the track,” mentioned Horn. At this time the new team plans to compete at Kansas Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, with more to be announced at a later time.(Catchfence / Horn Auto Racing PR)(2-3-2004)