January 2001 Busch Series Archive

  • Bessey Sponsor UPDATE: hearing Whelen will be the Primary Sponsor for Bessey Motorsports Daytona BGN effort in February 2001. This is a one race Primary Sponsorship deal for the #6 team. Whelen is the Primary Sponsor for the Marsh Racing-Steve Park driven #31 BGN Chevy in 2001 for an 11 race campaign. Whelen has been an Associate Sponsor in 1999 and 2000 for Bessey Motorsports #60 Power Team Winston Cup race car(1-25-2001)
    UPDATE: Whelen Engineering’s tradition of sponsoring some of the Northeast’s best NASCAR drivers continues next month at Daytona International Speedway, when Joe Bessey pilots the #6 Whelen Pontiac in the Feb. 17 Busch Series race. The Chester, Connecticut-based company has been an associate sponsor for Bessey’s Winston Cup team since 1999. The one-race agreement with Bessey is just a preview of Whelen’s involvement in the 2001 season. Whelen plans to once-again sponsor Steve Park and his #31 Ted Marsh Racing team in 11 Busch races during the year. Sponsoring drivers and teams isn’t Whelen’s only motorsports involvement. Whelen’s activities also include: The official supplier of safety lights for Pontiac’s NASCAR Winston Cup pace cars. Whelen’s emergency warning lights are also visible on the Official NASCAR safety vehicles as well as the safety vehicles used at Daytona, Talladega, Watkins Glen, Darlington, New Hampshire and most of the remaining race tracks that host BGN and Cup events. Whelen emergency warning lights are also used on the pace cars for SCCA, IRL, and CART events as well as the World of Outlaws pace truck. Whelen is also involved with the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series, providing track safety lights for race management to NASCAR sanctioned short tracks throughout the United States(PR)(1-31-2001)
  • Las Vegas Testing – Day 2: For the second consecutive day, #50-Greg Biffle paced a field of BGN drivers who were preparing for the Sam’s Town 300 on March 3rd. Biffle turned a lap of 166.359mph, which was faster than #74-Chad Little’s 165.299mph. There were 11 NASCAR Busch Series teams who participated in Tuesday’s test. The complete list of testing speeds for the BGN teams:
    #50-Greg Biffle, 166.359; #74-Chad Little, 165.299; #33-Tony Raines, 164.654; #27-Jamie McMurray, 164.369; #11-Marty Houston, 163.890; #61-Tim Sauter, 162.955; #8-Blaise Alexander, 161.681; #14-Larry Foyt, 161.667; #?-Rick Johnson, 160.925; #25-Chad Chaffin, 160.882; and #37-Kevin Grubb, 160.848
    Testing will continue at LVMS on Wednesday with NASCAR Winston Cup drivers Mike Wallace and Johnny Benson joining the test
    TESTING SCHEDULE: (Tuesday and Wednesday)
    #02-Ryan Newman, #2-Rusty Wallace, #4-Robby Gordon, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #12-Jeremy Mayfield, #14-Ron Hornaday, #15-Michael Waltrip, #28-Ricky Rudd, #50-Rick Mast, #66-Todd Bodine, #77-Robert Pressley, #88-Dale Jarrett. And BGN teams – #12-Jimmy Spencer, #14-Larry Foyt, #23-Scott Wimmer, #25-Chad Chaffin, #8-Blaise Alexander, #27-Jamie McMurray, #??-Mike Bliss, #37-Kevin Grubb and #11-Marty Houston.
    (Wednesday and Thursday)
    #7-Mike Wallace, #10-Johnny Benson. And BGN driver – #26-Bobby Hamilton Jr., #99-Michael Waltrip, #55-Mark Green and #59-Rich Bickle.
    (Thursday and Friday) – BGN Drivers – #1-P.J. Jones, #38-Christian Elder, #43-Jay Sauter, #46-Ashton Lewis and #98-Elton Sawyer.(LVMS PR), see the Day 1 speeds on my Past Testing News Page(1-25/29/31-2001)
  • Team Auction: AMC Auction Co. NCAFL 3018 will hold a complete Petty-Huggins Motorsports(was the #96/84 BGN and #96 Cup team) team Liquidation on Friday, Feb. 9th at 10:00am/et, with a preview on Wed, Feb. 7th from 10:ooam to 5:00pm/et, on Thursday from 9:00am to 5:00pm/et and on Friday, Feb 9th from 8:00 to 10:00am/et(before sale). For more info see their website at www.amcvalu.com(1-30-2001)
  • Wind Tunnel News: Nemco Motorsports will take three cars to the wind tunnel in Ottawa, Canada on January 31st, and they will be testing at Talladega on Feb 1st and 2nd and then Randy Lajoie will be testing at Rockingham on Feb 5th and 6th(Chris’s Front Row Joe Website)(1-30-2001)
  • Racecar Stolen UPDATE 2 Another Theft: the #70 Star Nursery car normally driven by Greg Pursley in the Winston West series was stolen recently outside of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It’s a 2000 Chevy Monte Carlo owned by the father of the late Chris Trickle(Dick’s nephew – see my Tribute Page about Chris). See full story with ways to contact the team with info at the Racing West site(1-23-2001)
    UPDATE: Las Vegas Motor Speedway is offering a $15,000 reward(up from $5,000) for information leading to the conviction of whoever stole the #70 Star Nursery Southwest Series car(1-25-2001)
    UPDATE 2: While Andy Belmont and Rick Skinner were ARCA testing at Talladega, Skinners Ford Van, Trailer with all of his race equipment(Pit guns, jacks, tools, pit carts, generator, helmets, driving suits, tire cart) was stolen. Any info/questions can be emailed to Jack Stanton(1-26-2001)
  • Gibbs Testing Driver: Curtis Markham tested a Joe Gibbs Racing car during BGN testing the last two days at Daytona. However, Markham doesn’t know if he will be in the car for the Feb. 17 NAPA 300. “Joe Gibbs gave me the opportunity to test, and we’re doing all we can to get ready for the 300,” said Markham, who has competed in the GN race here three of the last six years. “With any luck, maybe I’ll be behind the wheel.” Markham worked for the team as a special projects manager last year, helping coach drivers Jason Leffler in the Busch Series and Coy Gibbs in the Truck Series. He also ran a couple of GN races with the Gibbs stable. The GN ride opened up a couple of weeks ago after Leffler was released by the team after he signed a contract with Chip Ganassi for the 2002 season. Complicating matters, the team lost its sponsor around the same time. “We’re exploring all our options,” Markham said. “We don’t want to make a hasty decision. We want to make sure it’s somebody who fits in with our program. We want to run the Busch Series so we can build a winning team and then a championship team around him. Sounds like me, doesn’t it?”(Speed Magazine)(1-26-2001)
  • Newman Tests at Darlington: NASCAR Busch Series rookie Ryan Newman spent Tuesday and Wednesday testing at Darlington, his first visit to the track. During his test session, Newman got some pointers from Buddy Baker, a two-time winner at Darlington. According to Baker, Newman has proven capable of running times in his Roger Penske-owned #02 Alltel Ford Taurus that could make the field in a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race. In testing at Darlington, he posted speeds comparable to those of the fall 2000 pole winner, Mark Martin.(Darlington Raceway PR)(1-25-2001)
  • ARCA News: James Hylton of Hylton Motorsports, Inc. will field the #48 Ford Taurus with two business men from Clearwater, Florida starting in the Daytona ARCA race.  James Hylton, a NASCAR Winston Cup race winner will be teamed up with J.C. Weaver of “Mountain Rock Music” and Skip Sciarra of “Southern Thunder, a race truck experience.” Both Weaver and Sciarra have NASCAR ownership experience. The #48 team will field the race team out of Inman, SC and the offices out of Clearwater, FL.  Donny Morelock of Largo, FL will be behind the wheel of the #48. Morelock is an accomplished driver who most recently competed successfully in several CTS races for Bobby Hamilton Racing. The team plans to promote the record label “Mountain Rock Music” and the “Southern Thunder driving experience” only as an associate sponsor. They are currently presenting several cost effective packages to potential sponsors(1-25-2001)
  • Team Marines to Rensi? UPDATE 2/Image: hearing Team Marines will sponsor the Team Rensi BGN team that Chad Chaffin will drive for and change from #25 to #53(1-15-2001)
    UPDATE – Team Marines: Sam Rensi, Ed Rensi and Gary Weisbaum, co-owners of Team Rensi Motorsports will have the United State Marine Corps on the side of their BGN car in 2001, proudly announcing a marketing partnership with the Unired States Marine Corps for the entire 33-race 2001 BGN schedule. Team Rensi Motorsports and the United States Marine Corps have developed a strategic alliance that will allow an opportunity for the Marine Corps, using a unique part of an integrated marketing plan, to generate leads for recruitment and increase awareness of the Marine Corps(Team Rensi PR)(1-19-2001)
    IMAGE: see an image of the car in my BGN Paint Schemes Gallery(1-25-2001)
  • Schuler out of the #17 UPDATE 3 new driver: Jason Schuler, who competed part time in the #17 Visine Chevy for Reiser Enterprises, has been released from the ride. Schuler ran the BGN events that Matt Kenseth did not, Kenseth moved up to full time Winston Cup in 2000. The 2000 season was Kenseth’s last of the original contract with sponsor Visine. Reiser said he hoped to have a new second driver in place within a couple of weeks. Schuler has been in contact with several teams and could have his plans set by then, as well(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(11-17-2000)
    UPDATE: Reiser Enterprises’ deal with Visine runs through 2001, and there is an OPTION for 2002 and the team has Kenseth under contract for a partial BGN schedule in 2001(11-18-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Matt Kenseth said he plans to compete in 20 BGN races in 2001 for the team owned by his Winston Cup crew chief, Robbie Reiser. Kenseth competed in 20 events in 2000 for Reiser’s team and registered four wins, at Daytona, California, Dover and Charlotte. Rookie Jason Schuler drove in the team’s remaining events, making 11 starts but failing to post a top-10 finish. Schuler has left the team and Kenseth said Reiser was working to find a driver to share duties in the #17 Chevys with Kenseth for the season. Kenseth said his BGN appearances would likely be limited to races held in conjunction with Winston Cup events(That’s Racin’)(12-10-2000)
    UPDATE 3: Co-owner and team manager John Reiser of Reiser Enterprises announced that 20-year-old rookie Clay Rogers would share driving responsibilities in the Visine Chevy with veteran Matt Kenseth. Rogers, a native of Mooresville, NC, is slated to compete in 12 events in the NASCAR Busch Series. In addition, Reiser obtained services from road course specialist Boris Said to pilot the Visine Chevy at the Watkins Glen International BGN race in New York on July 8. Rogers’ competitive racing career began at age 10 driving go-karts in the World Karting Association. In five years Rogers accumulated one track championship title, two national championship titles and two state championship titles. He tallied an impressive list of 87 wins in those five seasons. In 2000 Rogers became a full-time driver in the USAR Hooters ProCup Series and finished seventh in the points standings and finished second for rookie-of-the-year honors. His season ledger noted one win, four pole awards, nine top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in 20 races. Rogers debuts in the #17 Visine Chevy at the second race on the circuit at North Carolina Speedway(The Rock) on February 24. Following his first appearance at NCS, Rogers’ events include: Nashville, April 14; New Hampshire, May 12; Nazareth, May 20; Kentucky, June 16; Gateway, July 21; Pikes Peak, July 28; Indianapolis Raceway Park, Aug. 4; Bristol, Aug. 24; Richmond, Sept. 7; Memphis, Oct. 13; and Homestead-Miami, Nov. 10. Kenseth’s complete list of races features: Daytona, Feb. 17; Las Vegas, March 3; Atlanta, March 10; Darlington, March 17; Bristol, March 24; Texas, March 31; Talladega, April 21; California, April 28; Richmond, May 5; Lowe’s, May 26; Dover Downs, June 2; Milwaukee, July 1; Chicagoland, July 14; Michigan, Aug. 18; Darlington, Sept. 1; Dover, Sept. 22; Kansas, Sept. 29; Lowe’s, Oct. 6; Phoenix, Oct. 27; and North Carolina Speedway, Nov. 3.(Visine Racing PR)(1-24-2001)
  • Alexander News UPDATE: The #81 has changed to #8(or is it #08 as listed in the DIS speed charts? Thought Gus Wasson was going to run the #8?) and has a sponsorship deal in the works. The #01 is now #09 and will POSSIBLY run a limited schedule in 2001. Blaise Alexander returns as the driver of the #8. Bob Temple will remain as the crew chief for the #6 team(Jayski Note: not sure what the #6 team is, Bessey? or the #11 team owned by Highline). No driver was mentioned for the #09(Highline PR – paraphrased from Stockcarfans Newsletter)
    UPDATE: Blaise Alexander will run the #8 in the year 2001, not Gus Wasson in Sid May’s new BGN team(no idea of their #). Dave Leiner is the crew chief of the #8, Ben Holm is no longer with the team(1-24-2001)
  • Engine Change News UPDATE: Crew chiefs and car owners were informed this past weekend at Nazareth Speedway that engine compression ratios would change next year from the current 9.5-to-1 ratio up to 12-to-1 in the BGN and CTS. This will add about 100 total horsepower to the engine output. There will also be modifications to the strict rules regulating the 390-cfm carburetors used in the BGN division. See the full story at the ESPN site by Ray Dunlap, along with a Pros and Cons of the changes(7-19-2000)
    UPDATE: Changes are afoot for the 2001 Busch GN season. “A major overhaul,” according to director John Darby. Engine horsepower is up from 550 h.p. to around 700 h.p. after off-season implementation of some new rules. And while news of increased horsepower might perk up the ears of those who chant “more power,” offsetting the 20-percent horsepower gain is a superspeedway package which includes a narrowed restrictor plate throat and increased rear spoiler angle(Speed Magazine)(1-24-2001)
  • 2001 Daytona Testing – Final Day 4 speeds/news: The January testing season at Daytona International Speedway was completed on Thursday when NASCAR Busch Series teams wrapped their final day of testing. #43-Jay Sauter was the fastest on the speed chart in the final day of Busch Series testing with a lap of 184.438mph. Rounding out the top five was #23-Scott Wimmer 183.835, #20-Curtis Markham 183.426, #6-Joe Bessey 183.370 and #1-P.J. Jones 183.255. Jones, driver of the1 Chevy owned by James Finch, turned the fastest speed of all the Busch Series test sessions on Wednesday with a lap of 184.649mph. Thursday Busch Series Test Speeds:
    1. #43, Jay Sauter, Chevy, 184.438mph
    2. #23, Scott Wimmer, Pontiac, 183.835
    3. #20b, Curtis Markham, Pontiac, 183.426
    4. #6, Joe Bessey, Pontiac, 183.370
    5. #1, P.J. Jones, Pontiac, 183.255v 6. #37, Kevin Grubb, Pontiac, 183.251
    7. #60, Greg Biffle, Ford, 183.187
    8. #63, Shane Hall, Ford, 182.994
    9. #66b, Tim Fedewa, Chevy, 182.548
    10. #34n, David Green, Chevy, 182.382
    11. #11t, Marty Houston, Chevy, 182.245
    12. #66a, Tim Fedewa, Chevy, 182.242
    13. #38b, Christian Elder, Ford, 181.605
    14. #11, Marty Houston, Chevy, 181.346
    15. #20a, Curtis Markham, Pontiac, 181.189
    16. #27, Jamie McMurray, Pontiac, 181.097
    17. #38a, Christian Elder, Ford, 180.187 (DIS PR)(1-24-2001)
  • Daytona Testing Day 3 speeds/news: #1-P.J. Jones was the fastest on the day with a lap of 184.649mph in the #1 Pontiac. Busch Series testing continues on Thursday and is free and open to the public with access through the lobby of DAYTONA USA. Wednesday Busch Series Test Speeds:
    1. #1, P.J. Jones, Pontiac, 184.649mph
    2. #6, Joe Bessey, Pontiac, 184.155
    3. #92a, Jimmie Johnson, Chevy, 184.121
    4. #10, Jeff Green, Ford, 184.023
    5. #23, Scott Wimmer, Pontiac, 183.944
    6. #37, Kevin Grubb, Pontiac, 183.914
    7. #4a, Jeff Purvis, Chevy, 183.767
    8. #99, Jimmy Foster, Chevy, 183.411
    9. #74b, Chad Little, Chevy, 183.326
    10. #43, Jay Sauter, Chevy, 183.273
    11. #55, Mark Green, Ford, 183.221
    12. #10a, Jeff Green, Ford, 183.180
    13. #20b, Curtis Markham, Pontiac, 183.042
    14. #27, Jamie McMurray, Pontiac, 182.927
    15. #11, Marty Houston, Chevy, 182.801
    16. #4, Jeff Purvis, Pontiac, 182.559
    17. #91, Toby Porter, Chevy, 182.456
    18. #11t, Marty Houston, Chevy, 182.352
    19. #63, Shane Hall, Ford, 182.201
    20. #20a, Curtis Markham, Pontiac, 182.142
    21. #38b, Christian Elder, Ford, 182.068
    22. #8, Blaise Alexander, Chevy, 181.892
    23. #60, Greg Biffle, Ford, 181.298
    24. #34n, David Green, Chevy, 181.017
    25. #74a, Chad Little, Chevy, 179.784
    26. #66a, Tim Fedewa, Chevy, 179.687
    27. #38a, Christian Elder, Ford, 179.326
    28. #16, David Starr, Pontiac, 179.283
    29. #36b, Hank Parker Jr., Chevy, 179.222
    30. #77, Kelly Denton, Ford, 179.133
    31. #34y, David Green, Chevy, 178.345
    (DIS PR)(1-24-2001)
  • Daytona Testing Day 3 speeds/news – also a restrictor plate: #6-Joe Bessey was the fastest at Wednesday’s NASCAR BGN pre-season testing at Daytona thru midday lunch break with a speed of 184.155mph in a Pontiac(he usually drove Chevy’s). Next was #92-Jimmie Johnson at 184.121mph and 3rd fastest was #10-Jeff Green at 184.023mph. Johnson, Green and a handful of drivers only spent Wednesday morning at the speedway since their two day test session on Monday and Tuesday was punctuated by rain showers. Wednesday afternoon’s and Thursday’s test session is limited to teams who finished in even positions in the 2000 NASCAR Busch Series championship standings(owners points). A carburetor restrictor plate measuring 29/32nds of an inch is being mandated by NASCAR, but not the aerodynamic pieces used earlier this month by NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams. NASCAR Busch Series Testing Midday Speeds at Daytona can be seen at the MRN Radio site(1-24-2001)
  • Daytona Testing Day 2 speeds/news: #35b, Lyndon Amick was fastest in a Chevy with a speed of 183.411mph. Because rain delayed the start of Tuesday’s session until around noon, odd-numbered teams in last year’s owner’s standings will be allowed to test until noon on Wednesday with the even-numbered teams, which will begin their two-day test session on Wednesday morning. Testing is free and open to the public with access through the lobby of DAYTONA USA. Speeds From Tuesday’s Busch Series Test Session
    1. #35b, Lyndon Amick, Chevy, 183.411mph
    2. #08p, Tom Hubert, Chevy, 182.975
    3. #10a, Jeff Green, Ford, 182.957
    4. #92a, Jimmie Johnson, Chevy, 182.563
    5. #35a, Lyndon Amick, Pontiac, 182.530
    6. #10, Jeff Green, Ford, 182.330
    7. #14, Larry Foyt, Chevy, 181.991
    8. #4a, Jeff Purvis, Chevy, 181.932
    9. #8, Blaise Alexander, Chevy, 181.664
    10. #91, Toby Porter, Chevy, 181.196
    11. #4, Jeff Purvis, Pontiac, 181.087
    12. #74b, Chad Little, Chevy, 180.817
    13. #61a, Tim Sauter, Pontiac, 180.716
    14. #74a, Chad Little, Chevy, 180.119
    15. #25, Chad Chaffin, Chevy, 180.036
    16. #99, Michael Waltrip, Chevy, 180.025
    17. #55, Mark Green, Ford, 179.831
    18. #16, David Starr, Pontiac, 179.026
    19. #36b, Hank Parker Jr., Chevy, 178.930
    20. #77, Kelly Denton, Ford, 178.370
    21. #61b, Tim Sauter, Chevy, 178.366
    22. #25a, Chad Chaffin, Chevy, 166.880
    (DIS PR)(1-22-2001)
  • Daytona Testing Day 2 – midday: Showers and clouds put a damper on the start of the second day of BGN testing at Daytona. By 11:30am/et the sun came out, and with the help of the speedway’s jet dryers, the surface of the track dried quickly. The first car rolled out of the garage area at 11:55am/et. By early afternoon, #35b-Lyndon Amick in a Chevy was on top of the speed chart with a fast lap of 182.556mph. He was followed closely by #10-Jeff Green who posted a lap of 182.024. Blaise Alexander, Larry Foyt and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top five. See the Speeds at the MRN Site(1-23-2001)
  • Daytona Testing Day 1 speeds/news: Lyndon Amick had the two fastest laps of the day – 182.671 in the #35a Pontiac and 182.519 in the #35b Chevy. #10-Jeff Green posted the third fastest lap (182.304 mph) after the first day of testing, which was shortened by rain. While the test session was shortened on Monday, officials declared the day complete and no weather date will be used at this time(unless Tuesday gets rained out).
    Test Speeds From Monday’s Busch Series Test Session:
    1. #35a, Lyndon Amick, Pontiac, 182.671mph
    2. #35b, Lyndon Amick, Chevy, 182.519
    3. #10a, Jeff Green, Ford, 182.304
    4. #08, Tom Hubert, Chevy, 181.873
    5. #08p, Tom Hubert, Chevy, 181.781
    6. #10, Jeff Green, Ford, 181.704
    7. #92, Jimmie Johnson, Chevy, 181.561
    8. #14a, Larry Foyt, Chevy, 180.988
    9. #4a, Jeff Purvis, Chevy, 180.618
    10. #8, Blaise Alexander, Chevy, 180.372
    11. #77, Kelly Denton, Ford, 180.083
    12. #99, Michael Waltrip, Chevy, 179.605
    13. #74a, Chad Little, Chevy, 179.354
    14. #92a, Jimmie Johnson, Chevy, 179.315
    15. #61a, Tim Sauter, Pontiac, 178.834
    16. #25, Chad Chaffin, Chevy, 178.253
    17. #16, David Starr, Pontiac, 178.130
    18. #74b, Chad Little, Chevy, 177.925
    19. #36a, Hank Parker Jr., Chevy, 177.708
    20. #36b, Hank Parker Jr., Chevy, 177.445
    21. #55, Mark Green, Ford, 176.953
    22. #61b, Tim Sauter, Chevy, 176.929
    (DIS PR). Hearing the #08-Tom Hubert car is a 2nd Carroll Racing teammate to #26-Bobby Hamilton Jr and Hubert may run some select events in the car.(1-22-2001)
  • Daytona Testing Day 1 – midday: Lyndon Amick put both of his #35 cars atop the speed chart after the morning session of the first day of BGN testing at Daytona. Amick posted a speed of 182.671 mph in the #35a Pontiac and turned a lap of 182.131 mph in the #35b Chevy. Rounding out the top five was Jeff Green (181.653), Tom Hubert in the #08 (181.536) and Hubert in the #08p (181.430). Morning Speeds From Busch Series Testing At Daytona:
    1. #35a, Lyndon Amick, Pontiac, 182.671mph
    2. #35b, Lyndon Amick, Chevy, 182.131
    3. #10, Jeff Green, Ford, 181.653
    4. #08, Tom Hubert, Chevy, 181.653
    5. #08p, Tom Hubert, Chevy, 181.430
    6. #92, Jimmie Johnson, Chevy, 181.382
    7. #14a, Larry Foyt, Chevy, 180.415
    8. #4a, Jeff Purvis, Chevy, 180.029
    9. #8, Blaise Alexander, Chevy, 179.612
    10. #74a, Chad Little, Chevy, 179.354
    11. #99, Michael Waltrip, Chevy, 179.211
    12. #61a, Tim Sauter, Pontiac, 178.834
    13. #74b, Chad Little, Chevy, 177.925
    14. #36a, Hank Parker Jr., Chevy, 177.708
    15. #92a, Jimmie Johnson, Chevy, 177.546
    16. #25, Chad Chaffin, Chevy, 177.452
    17. #77, Kelly Denton, Ford, 177.096
    18. #55, Mark Green, Ford, 176.953
    19. #61b, Tim Sauter, Chevy, 176.929
    20. #16, David Starr, Pontiac, —
    (DIS PR)(1-22-2001)
  • Daytona BGN Testing: starts TODAY(weather permitting):
    Testing at the Daytona Intl Speedway for the BGN teams begins Jan 22nd with a two day test for BGN car #’s whose owners points place are in the ODD position (1,3,5,7 etc….). The teams that finished in the Even Owners Points will test on Wed-Thurs Jan 24-25th. Friday, jan 26th is left open as a ‘weather day’ for the BGN teams if needed:
    Teams that may be testing Monday and Tuesday(this is unofficial):
    #10-Jeff Green (1st in owners points)
    #2-Kevin Harvick (3rd)
    #17-Matt Kenseth(5th)
    #98-Elton Sawyer(7th)
    #25-Chad Chaffin(9th)
    #18/20-Jeff Purvis(the #4 was 11th – unsure if the #18 or #20 get the #4 owners points)
    #92-Jimmie Johnson(13th)
    #36-Hank Parker Jr(team was 15th)
    #53-closed up(was 17th)
    #33-Tony Raines(19th)
    #26-Bobby Hamilton Jr(21st)
    #48-Mike cLaughlin(23rd)
    #21-Mike Dillon(25th)
    #81-Blaise Alexander(27th – unsure of this teams plans)
    #23-Scott Wimmer(29th – was #20)
    #35-Lyndon Amick(31st)
    #9-Jeff Burton(33rd)
    #77-Kelly Denton(35th)
    #55-Mark Green(37th)
    #99-Michael Waltrip(39th)
    #15-Mike Skinner?(43rd)
    #61-Tim Sauter(47th)(1-22-2001)
  • ARCA Team: Two-time NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Northeast Region champion Richard Mitchell has announced that he will join ARCA for the 2001 season. Mitchell, who won three track championships and 27 late model feature events at the Jennerstown and Motordrome (PA) speedways over the past two years, will drive for the newly formed Mac Hill Motorsports team. A West Virginia University mechanical engineering graduate, Mitchell will compete in eight to ten races during his rookie ARCA venture. Included among the targeted tracks are: Lowes, Michigan, Pocono, Talladega, Atlanta and Nashville. The new Mac Hill team will campaign a Pontiac constructed by Hopkins Enterprises. Chris Mitchell has been named to the position of crew chief. Although a number of associate sponsors have been signed, the team is still seeking a primary sponsor(Motordrome Speedway Site)(1-22-2001)
  • Starter a Sponsor? #98? UPDATE 3: hearing that this weeks edition of Street and Smiths Sports Business Journal, there is an article on Starter- “Starter star Rises again, but not in licensed goods”. In the article, it mentions Starter is making a deal to “sponsorship of a BGN car that will feature the Starter mark and logos of more than a dozen universities”. Nothing on their website about it, if it is an assoc or primary deal, and no idea what team/driver it is(10-26-2000)
    UPDATE: hearing that Starter will be the new sponsor for the #98 Ford and driver Elton Sawyer. It was announced months ago that Lysol was leaving as the sponsor(11-3-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Akins Motorsports and the #98 Ford, driven by Elton Sawyer, will have a new engine program next year, switching from Roush Racing motors to Cosworth. Sources say Starter and Hot Tamales will share primary sponsorship of the #98 Ford in 2001. Starter’s program likely will include the color schemes of at least 10 colleges and universities. Sawyer will run eight to 10 races with the Hot Tamales sponsorship, with the rest of the schedule filled by Starter(Winston Cup Scene Magazine)(11-16-2000)
    UPDATE 2: The #98 Akins Motorsports team will use at least 18 different paint schemes this year as part of its sponsorship program with Starter and Just Born Inc. Elton Sawyer will run nine races in Starter colors; eight with Hot Tamales (a Just Born candy product); one each with Zours and Mike & Ike (also Just Born products); and a total of 14 with different colleges and universities. Sawyer will run different cars in the first several races of the season(Winston Cup Scene Magazine)(1-4-2001)
    UPDATE: The featured Colleges and race dates:
    2/24/01, Rockingham, NC, East Carolina University
    3/10/01, Atlanta, GA, University of Georgia
    3/24/01, Bristol, TN, The University of Tennessee
    4/21/01, Talladega, AL, Auburn University
    5/12/01, Louden, NH, University of Connecticut
    5/26/01, Charlotte, NC, University of North Carolina
    7/1/01, Milwaukee, WI, University of Wisconsin
    7/21/01, Madison, IL, University of Illinois
    7/28/01, Pikes Peak, CO, University of Nebraska
    8/4/01, Indianapolis, IN, Purdue University
    8/18/01, Brooklyn, MI, University of Michigan
    9/29/01, Kansas City, KS, Kansas State University
    10/6/01, Charlotte, NC, North Carolina State University
    11/10/01, Homestead, FL, University of Miami
    (University of Miami Site)(1-21-2001)
  • #36 Assoc Sponsor: the Auto Ventshade Company has signed an agreement to sponsor #36-Hank Parker, Jr. throughout the 2001 season. The Auto Ventshade Company, based in Lawrenceville, GA and a subsidiary of Lund International, manufacturers a popular line of custom accessories for cars, trucks, vans, sport utility vehicles and big rigs. Parker, Jr. and his #36 Cicci-Welliver Racing-owned Chevy will carry the Auto Ventshade Company banner in all 33 scheduled BGN races this coming season. The associate level sponsorship of Parker, Jr. marks the very first for the Auto Ventshade Company with an individual race team in NASCAR over a full season. AVS had been a Corporate Sponsor of CTS for the last six consecutive years and in 1999 was a primary sponsor for one race on the truck of part-time driver Billy Venturini.(Auto Ventshade Company PR)(1-21-2001)
  • #57 Assoc Sponsor: Northeastern Supply has decided to move its BGN associate sponsorship from Team Marines to the #57 Albertson’s Ford of Jason Keller(Gaston Gazette)(1-21-2001)
  • Lear Gone? UPDATE 2: hearing the #77 Team will lose Lear as it’s sponsor and is looking for a new sponsor to keep running for 2001(11-1-2000)
    UPDATE: Kieran Dynes is working on an ARCA/Busch Series agreement that will allow him to drive the #77 BGN car in several short track races in 2001(BGN Racing Site)(1-8-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hearing that for 2001, the #77 Ford team will run a limited schedule, at least the first four races of the season, unless they can find a new primary sponsor since Lear Corporation left the team. Plans are for Kelly Denton to drive the car and Jimmy Means will continue as Crew Chief and Team Manager. The team is actively looking for a sponsor….but am hearing former assoc sponsor, Merck Medco will be on the cars for the first four races and it’ll have a white and green scheme(1-21-2001)
  • Blaney to run in the BGN: Dave Blaney, driver of the #93 Amoco/Siemens Dodge Intrepid in NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition, has agreed to join DIRT Modified owner Bryan Goewey in a limited BGN effort for the 2001 season with veteran owner/crew chief Mike Greci directing the program. The agreement marks the second time that Blaney, the 1995 World of Outlaws champion, has driven for Goewey. The Busch Series deal with Blaney is the second NASCAR effort as an owner for Goewey, a former DIRT Modified and NASCAR Featherlite Busch North Series driver, who is entering his 15th season as a modified owner with Team Goewey. Goewey ran a limited Busch North Series schedule as an owner/ driver in 1994, with a best-finish of fourth at Watkins Glen with Crew Chief Greg Zipadelli—now Crew Chief for WC standout Tony Stewart. The team—which will use engines prepared by Bill Davis Racing and Head Busch Engine Builder Brad Thrower—will operate out of the Team Goewey race-shops in Latham, NY where Goewey’s trio of DIRT Modified cars are housed. The BGN Team is starting with a plan to run five races—including both races at Charlotte—and then go from there. In an unusual move, Goewey is offering up visibility to potential sponsors on his Busch cars—which will be Chevys—but also on his DIRT Modified entries as well as the #10 World of Outlaws team owned by Blaney and driver by Dale Blaney, Dave’s brother and the seventh-place finisher in last year’s WoO standings. Team Manager/Crew Chief Mike Greci, most recently served as Team Manager/Crew Chief in the Busch Series for Innovative Motorsports, which whom he won the July, 1999 race at Pikes Peak International Raceway with 1998 Rookie-of-the-Year Andy Santerre(BDR PR). No word on Car #.(1-19-2001)
  • Newman Tests at AMS UPDATE: Ryan Newman will be testing his #02-Alltel Ford in preparation for the March 10 Aaron’s 312 Busch Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Tuesday, Jan. 16-Wednesday, Jan. 17 from 9:00am-5:00pm/et. The test session is closed to the public(AMS PR)(1-15-2001)
    UPDATE: In his first laps at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Penske South driver Ryan Newman posted the fastest times of the year, unofficially besting the Busch Series track record with a lap speed of 189.150. The BGN qualifying record is 186.755mph set in 1999 by Dave Blaney. Newman, 22, is running a blended schedule of NASCAR Winston Cup, Busch Series and ARCA events this year and is expected to run a full Winston Cup schedule in 2002 as a teammate to Rusty Wallace(and Jeremy Mayfield). Buddy Baker, the former Winston Cup driver and television commentator, was on hand to coach Newman at the test.(AMS PR)(1-19-2001)
  • Auction update: The former #90 BGN team held its auction last week. Everything was on the block. A few details: 6 cars were sold to Busch North teams, 2 race cars and the show car went to BGN teams(Stockcarfans BGN Newsletter/Gavel Auction)(1-18-2001)
  • Santerre Announcment: Andy Santerre, a regular NASCAR Busch Series competitor, and Winston-Salem businessman, Mike Reece, have combined efforts and formed Santerre Reece Motorsports – a NASCAR Busch Series team slated to compete on a limited basis in 2001 with a full schedule planned for 2002. Santerre built a new chassis for the 2000 season to compete under the Andy Santerre Motorsports banner in four NASCAR Busch North Series races. Santerre won two of the four races he entered with his own car. Mike Reece owns several companies in the greater Charlotte/Winston-Salem area. His main business – Reece Builder’s and Aluminum Company – has been in business for over 30 years and is the largest, privately owned home improvement business in the Southeast. Santerre and Reece have secured a race shop in Mooresville, NC. They are in the process of moving all their equipment and cars into the building to begin preparing for the 2001 season. The duo plan to field Chevy Monte Carlos on the NASCAR Busch Series; their car number is pending from NASCAR and a sponsorship announcement is expected by December. Currently, Santerre-Reece Motorsports plans to enter 13 – 16 races in 2001 with Santerre as the driver. A full schedule is planned for 2002(Santerre PR)(10-2-2000)
    UPDATE: Santerre-Reece Motorsports, co-owned by BGN driver, Andy Santerre and area businessman, Mike Reece, announced plans to form a BGN team in November. Since then, Santerre-Reece Motorsports has hired a crew chief, a crew, obtained a number from NASCAR and now announce their plans for the 2001 BGN and BGNN seasons. Santerre-Reece Motorsports will run the #01 Chevy for at least eight and up to fifteen BGN races with co-owners Andy Santerre driving. The first eight races they plan to run include Rockingham, Bristol, Nashville, Richmond, New Hampshire, Milwaukee, Watkins Glen, and Pikes Peak. The team hired veteran crew chief, Stan Meserve, to act as crew chief for the new team. Santerre and Reece have also hired veteran crew members, Wayne Severance, Kenneth Jackson and David Button. Tom Carey Jr will drive the #44 Santerre-Reece car in the BGNN series for four races in 2001. Carey competed in the CTS in 2000 on a limited basis. Santerre-Reece Motorsports has signed a major associate sponsor and hopes to have news on a primary sponsor in the upcoming months(Santerre PR)(1-15-2001)
  • Leffler to Cup – #01 Driver…for 2002 UPDATE 4 – make that 2001: BGN driver Jason Leffler confirmed Friday night that he will take over the driving duties of the #01 Dodges for Chip Ganassi Racing in the Winston Cup series beginning with the 2002 season. Leffler has agreed to a three-year deal, but will complete the 2001 BGN series schedule with Joe Gibbs Racing. Ganassi is still looking for a driver for the #01 for the 2001 season. Leffler said he could run a few Winston Cup races this season with Ganassi, but has not worked out the details(That’s Racin’)(1-5-2001)
    UPDATE: Leffler reportedly had a three-year contract with the Gibbs team, with 2000 being the first of the three. Leffler told the Charlotte Observer Friday night that he intends to drive Gibbs’ MBNA car in Busch this season. As for the 01 deal with Ganassi, Leffler told the paper, “It’s not official yet, but it’s what we’re planning.” Details are not clear. It is not yet known whether Leffler would drive the 01, per se, in 2002, or whether Ganassi would set up a third team to accommodate him. Another possibility is that Ganassi would hire a driver such as Kevin Lepage, then move that driver to a third team in 2002(SpeedVision)(1-6-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hearing Leffler does not have a 3 year contract with Gibbs (as reported) but that Leffler’s contract is up at the end of 2001 and is free to do pursue other options(1-8-2001)
    UPDATE 3: hearing that Leffler went to his Busch shop on Monday and was asked to leave until after owner Joe Gibbs holds a meeting with his BGN sponsor(MBNA) on Tueday(1-9-2001)
    UPDATE 4: Jason Leffler, a three-time USAC Midget Champion, USAC Silver Crown Champion and former NASCAR Busch Series driver, signed a four-year contract today with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and will immediately take over driving duties of the #01 Cingular Wireless Dodge Intrepid R/T for the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Leffler, 24, ran in 31 Busch Series events last year in the #18 car with Joe Gibbs Racing(Chip Ganassi Racing PR)(1-15-2001)
  • Porter Cable bolts the #4 UPDATE Purvis to the #18: Porter-Cable/Delta announced it is withdrawing its sponsorship of Joe Gibbs’ Racing #4 BGN car, driven by Jeff Purvis. Company officials said the move in no way reflects lack of confidence or trust in Gibbs or the team. Isues related to the company’s recent consolidation forced them to re-focus their marketing initiatives. Word is that Gibbs intends to continue to run the 4 car in 2001(SpeedVision) – Joe Gibbs Racing will continue to run the car driven by Jeff Purvis during the 2001 BGN season(PR)(1-11-2001)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing has announced a reorganization for its BGN operation for the 2001 season. Jeff Purvis will move from the #4 Pontiac to the #18 MBNA Pontiac. Gibbs also announced that the #4 Pontiac will change car numbers to #20 to match those of the Joe Gibbs Racing Winston Cup cars driven by Bobby Labonte (#18) and Tony Stewart (#20). Doug Richert, team manager for the Busch Series teams, will continue to serve as crew chief for Purvis. Tim Shutt, will serve as the crew chief for the #20 Pontiac. The team members from the #4 car will also move with Purvis to the #18 MBNA Pontiac, with the former #18 team members moving to the # 20 team. A sponsor is being sought for the # 20 team after internal consolidation forced last seasons sponsor, Porter-Cable, to withdraw their 2001 sponsorship last week. A new driver is also being sought for the # 20 team. Despite the restructuring, the team members remain busy at work preparing both cars for the season opening at Daytona(Total Sports Marketing PR)(1-15-2001)
  • Phil Parsons will cut back on his racing schedule in 2001 in order to concentrate on his new job as ESPN’s color commentator for the CTS. He isn’t retiring from driving, and has talked to a few team owners about making spot BGB starts when possible(Winston Cup Scene)(1-12-2001)
  • 13 Year Old to RaceStock Cars: Thirteen year old Jon Denning of Springfield, NJ will be moving into stock cars on the pavement this coming season, in his family owned ride. Denning will travel back and forth from NJ to NC to run at the famed Hickory, NC Speedway. The decision was made for the Dennings to purchase a late model stock car team. Denning’s goal is to become one of the youngest drivers ever to compete in the BGN. NASCAR rules will not allow any individual to run in any of their sanctioned events until age 16. This includes the late model stock division. However, for Denning to be put up for possible approval to run in the BGN when he turns 16, he must have an extensive amount of pavement stock car experience under his belt. Denning just come off a successful dirt sprint racing season, earning a Rookie of the Year Title at the Whip City Speedway in Mass. Denning’s Late Model Stock Car Program is put into place now and he will field his own #00 Pontiac Late Model Stock Car beginning this spring under the ARA (American Racing Association) sanction at Hickory NC, and several other tracks around the southeast where the ARA competes. This series was chosen because they have identical cars to the NASCAR late models, and Denning is allowed to run at his age. Denning is working with the same crew chief and car builder that both Harry Gant and the Earnhardts worked with when they ran this division, veteran, Gary Hargett. Denning will be returning with the support of Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes as an associate sponsor on his stock car. The Nickelodeon Network will also be following Denning’s racing, with weekly highlights on their network, and Denning commentating on his very own television show on the network, focused on kids. Simpson Safety Products has also stepped in to provide Denning with uniforms and safety equipment. The team will be owned by Dobb’s Racing, a division of Dobb’s Autobody owned by the Denning’s in Springfield NJ. The car will be housed and maintained in North Carolina. There are still sponsorship and endorsement opportunities available for companies wanting to get involved with Denning’s program(Denning PR)(1-11-2001)
  • Some ARCA News: The University of Tennessee at Martin has formed the 2001 UT Martin Race Team, which will compete in the 2001 ARCA series at tracks in Tennessee, Indiana and Kentucky. The team will feature a UT Martin Racing Chevy driven by Michael Melton. The UT Martin car will attempt to qualify for four races: April 29 at Salem Speedway in Salem, Ind.; June 22 at Memphis Motorsports Park in Millington, Tenn.; July 13 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky.; and Aug. 11 at the new Nashville Superspeedway. The university has no financial investment in the UT Martin Race Team but stands to benefit financially from the sale of race team merchandise. The university will also schedule the car and the driver for campus and alumni appearances and other special events. Besides Carpenter and Melton, UT Martin Race Team members include Jack Martin, race operations manager, and Rhea Fain, team manager. The team will maintain a Web site (utmracing.com) that provides updates about the team and racing schedule(UT Martin Race Team PR)(1-11-2001)
  • New Engine Company: hearing Wayne Jesel and his brother Dan who owns JESEL Valvetrain in New Jersey have joined with John Wilson, who will be the head engine builder, to form Gasoline Alley Engines in Mooresville, NC. Since Jasper Engines has partnered with Penske that made the Jasper engine facility available and will house the new engine building company until a new facility can be constructed. So far the teams they will be building engines for are in the BGN: Cicci-Welliver and the #36-Hank Parker and #66-Tim Fedawa cars, #99-Michael Waltrip and #00-Buckshot Jones(1-11-2001)
  • Park back in the #31: Marsh Racing will once again have Steve Park behind the wheel of the #31 Whelen Chevy this year. Ted Marsh will remain the crew chief. The team is currently scheduled for 11 races this year, with possible expansion for additional races if they find a suitable driver and associate sponsor(BGN Racing Site)(1-8-2001)
  • Houston to the #82? UPDATE 2 #11: hearing that CTS driver Marty Houston will be the 2001 driver of the #82 ChannelLock Chevy fielded by SABCO. Houston drove the car at Phoenix and Homestead(11-3-2000)
    UPDATE: hearing Houston has signed with SABCO to drive the #82 Chevy in 2001(11-16-2000)
    UPDATE: actually the car will run the #11 (#6 was rumored)(1-8-2001)
  • Amick in the Rolex 24: Lyndon Amick is one of three drivers entered in the Rolex 24 at Daytona for Team Amick #44. His brother, David, and Joe Varde of Charlotte are the other two(Grand-American Road Racing site via the Stock Car Fans BGN Newsletter)(1-8-2001)
  • #00 News: Buckshot Jones, who is moving up to Cup with the #44 Petty Enterprises team, said Saturday that the #00 BGN team his family owns plans to run 10 to 15 BGN races this year. Jones said he hopes to drive his BGN car in races at Talladega, Atlanta and Las Vegas. “We’re trying to get a sponsor so we can run some more races, but we’d have somebody else drive in those,” he said.(Greenville News)(1-7-2001)
  • Cicci-Welliver Sponsor UPDATE: BGN team owner Frank Cicci and Hank Parker Jr., driver of the #36(gonna be #53) Cicci-Welliver Monte Carlo, will introduce tomorrow the newest BGN team sponsor. The announcement will take place on Friday, Jan. 5 at 4:30pm. The announcement will be held at the Charlotte Convention Center during the 2001 NASCAR Busch Series Preview(BGN Racing Site)
    UPDATE: General Nutrition Centers (GNC) Live Well will sponsor BGN driver Hank Parker Jr. and the Cicci-Welliver Racing BGN team this season, forming the #36 GNC Live Well Racing Team. Parker, a native of Denver, N.C., has started 58 races in the past four years, but the 2000 season was just his second full season of competition. The 26-year-old driver finished 14th in the points last season, accumulating two top-five and eight top-10 finishes in the #53 Chevryt owned by his father, Hank Parker, a nationally recognized fisherman and host of the television show Hank Parker’s Outdoor Magazine. He joined 18-time winner Cicci-Welliver Racing in mid-December. General Nutrition Companies, (GNC), based in Pittsburgh, Pa., is the largest nationwide specialty retailer of vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements, sports nutrition, and personal care products. GNC operates more than 5,000 retail outlets throughout the United States and 25 foreign markets. See the site: www.gncracing.com for drawing of the car and info.(Keystone Marketing PR). Team Marines will NOT be part of the deal and no #53 as rumored(1-5-2001)
  • Interesting BGNN/BGN news: Robbie Knievel, son of the legendary motorcycle stuntman Evel, announced that he will race in the NASCAR Busch North Series for Verres Racing of Manchester, NH. Knievel, who has no stock car racing background, will join three-time past Busch North champion Jamie Aube in a two-car championship effort. Knievel, who resides in Washington state, will fly to races during the 18-race Busch North season and will also run in a limited number of Busch Grand National races down South with Verres Racing.(Union Leader)(1-5-2001)
  • Talladega Testing UPDATE: The first test session of 2001 at Talladega Superspeedway will involve the defending Busch Series championship team as well as the team that put Joe Nemechek and the #33 Chevy on the pole in last October’s Winston Cup Series Winston 500. The test session starts Wednesday, Jan 3rd. Andy Petree Racing’s #33 Winston Cup Series Chevy joins several BGN teams, including the #10 PPC-owned car which took Jeff Green to his first Busch Series championship. Racing teams in the Busch Series will be challenged with new rules for 2001, including a larger engine that will provide more horsepower. Scheduled to join Andy Petree Racing and Green at Talladega is the PPC-owned #57 driven by Jason Keller. Also scheduled is the Carroll Racing #26 Chevy driven by Bobby Hamilton Jr. and the Lewis Motorsports #46 Chevy driven by Ashton Lewis. In the next 37 days, 25 of those days will hold test sessions for Cup, BGN or IROC cars(Talladega PR)(1-3-2001)
    UPDATE: Jeff Green’s PPC #10 Ford team was among 10 racing teams at Talladega Superspeedway Wednesday for the first day of a two-day test session. Joining Green at Talladega Wednesday were fellow Busch teams Carroll Racing #26 Chevy driven by Bobby Hamilton Jr., the Lewis Motorsports #46 Chevy driven by Ashton Lewis and Green’s teammate, Jason Keller in the PPC-owned #57 Ford. Bobby Hamilton and Mike Dillon were testing the Andy Petree-owned #55 Winston Cup Chevy. Also on hand was the Hamilton-owned #18 Dodge from the Craftsman Truck Series, driven by Joe Ruttman(Talladega PR)(1-4-2001)
  • 2nd Herzog Team? UPDATE 2: Herzog Motorsports may field a second BGN team in 2001 if a sponsor can be found. Toby Porter is supposed to test for the team in the future. Herzog currently fields the #92 Chevy for Jimmie Johnson(Winston Cup Scene Magazine)(11-16-2000)
    UPDATE: Porter will drive a 2nd Herzog Motorsports car in 2001 and replace Jimmie Johnson as the full time driver of the #92 car in 2002 when Johnson heads to Cup with Hendrick Motorsports(1-2-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Porter is expected to run in a variety of circuits, including BGN and ASA in his new role with Herzog. The former karter, who most recently competed in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup, will open his 2001 campaign February 17 behind the wheel of an ASA car at Florida Speed Park(SpeedVision)(1-3-2001)