January 2002 Busch Series Archive

  • Sawyer and Bill Davis? UPDATE: Elton Sawyer is hoping Bill Davis can help provide a solution. If Sawyer and/or Davis can come up with funding, the veteran driver will team with sophomore Scott Wimmer this year. If not, Sawyer will be forced to keep looking. “If we can get money to do it, that’s where I’m gonna go,” Sawyer said. “It’d be in addition to what he already has. We’ve talked about it, but the bottom line is we’ve gotta get the money to do it. It’s obviously a great organization. Of the places I would want to go, it’s the top of the list. But we’re still at a stage of trying to get enough money to do it. I’m extremely optimistic about the whole situation.”(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(1-10-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing that Davis has no plans for Elton Sawyer joining his team at this time(1-31-2002)
  • Labonte to run Daytona in ARCA: Justin Labonte will be running the February 10th ARCA race at the Daytona in the #4 Dodge owned by Kerry Sherer. Currently, Labonte spends his days working at Labonte Racing’s state of the art facility in Trinity, NC. Labonte is taking a hands-on approach to working on cars knowing that the more mechanical knowledge he can master the better driver he will become. Labonte, son of two-time Cup Champ Terry Labonte, is in the process of finalizing his plans for the 2002 season.(Victorylane PR)(1-31-2002)
  • Ernie to field ARCA team: Ernie Irvan has converted part of a storage shed on his 160-acre farm near Mooresville, N.C., into a garage bay and is helping Kevin Conway prepare a Chevy that Conway plans to run in an ARCA race on March 9. Irvan, 43, tried to work with Conway, 23, to find sponsorship for a foray into the BGN or CTS last year. The difficult economy made it tough to find somebody willing to put up $2 million or more needed for that, though. At the same time, Irvan was rebuilding his family’s home that was severely damaged by a fire in March 2000. The Irvans moved back into the house just before Christmas. With that behind him, Irvan decided that he and Conway needed to get on the track to try to show people the young driver’s talent. The Atlanta ARCA race is the only one they know for sure they’ll go to, but if a sponsor materializes they have plans to run at Kentucky Speedway and at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte later in the year. They’ll use a Chevy they got from Innovative Motorsports in which Shane Hmiel finished second in an ARCA race at Atlanta last fall. Crew members from various Winston Cup and Grand National teams are coming by Irvan’s farm after work in the evenings to help get the car ready, and Irvan said he will enlist Winston Cup crewmen to help pit the car in Atlanta in March. “It’s the safest thing I can do in racing and still be married,” joked Irvan, who retired from driving in 1999 only after coming all the way back from his near-fatal crash at Michigan in 1994 to win three more Cup races. Conway is from Lynchburg, VA, but moved to the Charlotte area in 1991 to pursue a racing career. He’s raced Legends cars and competed in the ASA until his sponsorship there dried up. He’s an instructor at the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the Atlanta track and at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. He has a degree in marketing from UNCC. Irvan ran only one ARCA race in his career. It was at Atlanta and Irvan won it driving a #18 car [a green Pontiac – image]. So that’s the number Conway plans to use in the March 9 event.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-30-2002)
    MORE: Ernie Irvan made only one start in an ARCA race, the 1989 Atlanta Journal 500K at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which he won. It’s no coincidence, then, that Irvan will also start his career as an owner in the ARCA race at Atlanta.  Irvan announced Wednesday that he will field a car for Kevin Conway, a former Legends champion and ASA driver, in the March 9 Pork The Other White Meat 400 ARCA race at Atlanta. Conway is a three-time national champion in the Legends car series. He moved into late models in the ASA series and has worked as an instructor for Richard Petty Driving Experience for three years.  “This is a great opportunity for me, teaming with Ernie to make my debut at Atlanta,” Conway said. “It’s been a long time coming. We’ve been beating our heads against the wall looking for sponsorship, but finally some doors are opening up.” Conway and Irvan still haven’t lined up a sponsor and aren’t sure they will run more than the Atlanta ARCA race. Irvan is fronting the money to run, figuring they won’t get sponsorship without getting Conway on track to display his talent. “This is one sport where talent alone can’t get you to the top,” Irvan said. “In other sports, if you have the talent, the success will most likely come if you stay with it. In racing, you have to have the opportunity to show what you can do.” Irvan has teamed up with Innovative Motorsports to field a car for Conway, a native of Lynchburg, Va. It will be the same race car Shane Hmiel raced to a second-place finish in November’s running of the Pork The Other White Meat 400.  The team made up of crew members from several Busch and Winston Cup teams is working in a converted horse barn on Irvan’s property in Mooresville, NC. “It’s a really great shop, but it looks like a horse barn & we’re literally running out of Ernie Irvan’s stables,” Conwaysaid. “We’re really a non-cookie cutter race team. We do things differently.”(AMS PR)(1-31-2002)
  • Kimmel to #50 UPDATE only at Daytona: Frank Kimmel is ARCA’s reigning champion as the circuit enters its 50th year, and Kimmel is switching from #46 to #50 to commemorate the anniversary. “It’s a great honor to commemorate ARCA’s 50th year,” said Kimmel. “My father was an ARCA racer and won some races over here. In fact, my dad raced with ARCA in its first year in ‘53 at the old Detroit fairgrounds dirt mile. He led the race in a 1937 Ford Coupe until his cylinder head split right down the middle. And of course, my brother is our crew chief, so it’s a proud day for the Kimmel family.”(Gaston Gazette)(1-29-2002)
    UPDATE: from the Frank Kimmel Site – “As far as Daytona is concerned, we will be sporting a new look and number as well. In conjunction with ARCA’s 50th anniversary, we will be running the number 50 at Daytona only. In addition, we will be sporting the decals of Discount Auto Parts as well as Advance Auto Parts. Advance acquired Discount this past November and they are the title sponsor of the Daytona ARCA race. Check out www.arcaracing.com for an artist rendention of what the car will look like.”(1-30-2002)
  • Hamilton Jr gets married: Bobby Hamilton, Jr., driver of the #25 Team Marines Ford Taurus for Team Rensi Motorsports, and girlfriend Stephanie Cantrell were married today, in a private and non-traditional ceremony in Gatlinburg, TN. The surprise? The couple took their vows wearing old-fashioned western style costumes in the setting of a fancy western-style saloon. Hamilton, Jr., after just returning home from a two-day test session in Daytona, FL last week, decided a vacation was in order before the grueling 34-race NASCAR Busch Series schedule begins on February 16, 2002. The couple chose to vacation in Gatlinburg, TN and then decided to make it more than a simple vacation, but to make it their honeymoon. Originally, the pair had considered waiting until after the 2002 season was over to wed, but after arriving at their destination, decided to go ahead and take the plunge.(Tailwind PR)(1-30-2002)
  • Mark Green helps Schrader: Mark Green is going to Las Vegas on Tuesday and Wednesday to test Ken Schrader’s Busch #52 Chevy. Schrader will be at Vegas testing his Cup car but wanted a hand on the BGN car(Mark Green site)(1-29-2002)
  • David Green tests: David Green and Tommy Baldwin Racing tested their # 6 BGN Dodge at Talladega on Friday and Saturday.(David Green Site)(1-29-2002)
  • Friday Testing: #1-Joe Ruttman was the fastest Friday in the cool air with a speed of 185.943 mph. 2nd fastest was #26-Lyndon Amick at 185.128 and 3rd was #33-Tony Raines at 184.188. Also hearing most of the late afternoon practice was rained out and not much drafting got done. The speed Tuesday (non drafting):
    1. Joe Ruttman, No. 1 Pontiac, 185.943 mph
    2. Lyndon Amick, No. 26A Pontiac, 185.128
    3. Tony Raines, No. 33T Chevrolet, 184.188
    4. Michael Waltrip, No. 99A Chevrolet, 184.042
    5. Jeff Purvis, No. 37 Chevrolet, 183.169
    6. Jeff Green, No. 21A Chevrolet, 182.574
    7. Bobby Hamilton Jr., No. 25 Ford, 182.448
    8. Tim Fedewa, No. 00A Pontiac, 182.382
    9. Greg Biffle, No. 60 Ford, 182.356
    10. Scott Riggs, No. 10 Ford, 182.341
    11. Jamie McMurray, No. 27 Chevrolet, 182.326
    12. Hank Parker Jr., No. 36 Dodge, 181.917
    13. Jeff Fultz, No. 86 Chevrolet, 181.899
    14. Andy Houston, No. 92B Chevrolet, 181.419
    15. Shane Hmiel, No. 47B Pontiac, 181.240
    16. Chad Chaffin, No. 16A Pontiac, 180.781
    17. Coy Gibbs, No. 20 Pontiac, 180.288
    18. Dan Pardus, No. 32 Chevrolet, 180.014
    19. Shane Hall, No. 63 Chevrolet, 179.982
    20. Steadman Marlin, No. 95 Ford, 179.770
    21. Andy Kirby, No. 77A, Ford, 177.165
    22. David Boggs, No. 22 Chevrolet, 171.995
    (Speedway PR) or see the speeds at ThatsRacin.com for Friday’s Test Speeds and a column: Ruttman, Amick fast in BGN testing(1-25-2002)
  • Nemechek to field three teams at Daytona UPDATE: Owner/driver Joe Nemechek will field three teams in the Feb. 16 EAS/GNC Live Well 300 at Daytoan. Nemechek, who won the pole for last year’s race, will continue to drive the #87 Pontiac. Defending race champion Randy LaJoie will pilot the #7 Pontiac. Jeff Fuller, who’s participating in this week’s test session, will wheel the #88 Pontiac.(DIS PR)(1-24-2002)
    UPDATE: Nemco crew chief Brian Pattie said he hopes to run Fuller in about 12 or 13 races this year, but the team has no sponsorship for a third car.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-25-2002)
  • New BGN team UPDATE: The #86 team with Jeff Fultz driving, owned by JCR3 Racing and Jon Craig as the crew chief. The team plans to run the Daytona race as well as only two or three others this year unless sponsorship comes along.(1-17-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing the #86 JCR3 Racing team with driver Jeff Fultz has engaged the services of chassis specialsit Bob Bolles, who has led a revolution in chassis and setup dynamics. Cup teams paid considerable sums for his computer software that “tunes” chassis.(1-25-2002)
  • Jones to the #43? PJ Jones is awaiting to hear from a potential sponsor that he will take to the Curb Agajanian #43 and should know more by the end of next week. The program could result in anything from a full time ride to a partial schedule in 2002 for Jones and the #43. Curb Agajanian Motorsports confirmed that they are working with Jones as well as several other Driver/Sponsorship possibilities for the 2002 season(1-25-2002)
  • Another New Team UPDATE: Mac Hill Motorsports of Waynesburg Pa. is planning on running in six BGN races and seven ARCA races in 2002. The ARCA schedule is Daytona Feb. 10th Charlotte May 18th & Oct 10th Pocono June 8th & July 27th Michigan June 15th Talledega Oct. 15th. The ARCA car is a Pontiac. The BGN schedule is Richmond on May 3rd & Sept. 6th Chicago July 13th Michigan August 17th Dover Sept.21st and Atlanta Oct. 26th. Richard Mitchell of Bruceton Mills WV will drive the #54? Coach USA Chevy(1-17-2002)
    UPDATE: Coach USA will return as Mitchell’s title marketing partner for the 2002 season. Mitchell will again team with Waynesburg car owner Jack McNelly and his second-year Mac Hill Motorsports team. Mitchell will drive Pontiac Grand Prixs in the ARCA speedway races, but will switch to Chevrolet Monte Carlos in the BUSCH Series. Veteran Winston Cup crew chief David Ifft has signed to be a consultant to the team, while Chris Mitchell returns as crew chief.(Mac Hill Motorsports PR)(1-25-2002)
  • Hobbs to ARCA: ARCA driver Andy Belmont announced that he will field a Ford Taurus for female rookie driver Sunny Hobbs in the February 10th Discount Auto Parts 200 at Daytona. Hobbs will driver the #91 in her ARCA debut. Hobbs has been racing for eight years, first in sports cars and then in trucks and Late Models at short tracks like Southside Speedway in Richmond, Southern National Speedway in Kenly and Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, NC. Belmont seems to have little doubt that Sunny’s stuff is righteous. “She’s the real deal,” he says. “You should have seen her testing the car at Daytona. We lowered the car a bit, and the officials went berserk, but I had to send her back out on the track to see if she could drive at 190 miles an hour. You should have seen her. She’s got what it takes.”
    AND Andy Belmont also announced that he has entered into a joint agreement with Quest Motorsports. Quest, jointly owned by Derrike Cope and Mark Smith, operates from the Huntersville, NC facility that was once the home for the former Kenny Bernstein NASCAR Winston Cup team. Quest will prepare the superspeedway cars for Belmont from that facility while Belmont will continue to prepare short-tracks cars from his own Pennsylvania shop. Belmont Motorsports already tested a Quest Motorsports prepared Ford Taurus at Daytona during December testing.(ARCA site and a Gaston Gazette Column)(1-25-2002)
  • #54 Close to a Sponsor? Team Bristol Motorsports [#54 BGN] owner Rick Goodwin believes he’s close to landing primary sponsorship for driver Kelly Denton, and adds that they could run a handful of Winston Cup races later this year. Denton left Team Bristol in June of last year, but rejoined the team at Rockingham. Tony Lambert, Mark Martin’s former BGN crew chief at Roush Racing, has been brought on board.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(1-24-2002)
  • Amick Fastest Thursday: Fastest on Thursday’s testing at Daytona was #26-Lyndon Amick in a Pontiac at 185.319mph with #1-Joe Ruttman at 184.934 and 3rd fastest was #88-Jeff Fuller at 184.237. The speeds for Thursday:
    #26-Lyndon Amick, Pontiac, 185.319mph
    #1-Joe Ruttman, Pontiac, 184.934
    #88-Jeff Fuller, Chevrolet, 184.237
    #99-Michael Waltrip, Chevrolet, 182.797
    #21-Jeff Green, Chevrolet, 182.367
    #33-Tony Raines, Chevrolet, 182.267
    #37-Jeff Purvis, Pontiac, 182.249
    #27-Jamie McMurray, Pontiac, 181.748
    #86-Jeff Fultz, Chevrolet, 181.576
    #00-Tim Fedewa, Pontiac, 181.496
    #47-Shane Hmiel, Pontiac, 180.756
    #60-Greg Biffle, Ford, 180.748
    #92-Andy Houston, Chevrolet, 180.632
    #36-Hank Parker Jr., Dodge, 180.629
    #32-Dan Pardus, Chevrolet, 180.589
    #10-Scott Riggs, Ford, 180.534
    #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr., Ford, 180.426
    #20-Coy Gibbs, Pontiac, 179.648
    #95-Steadman Marlin, Ford, 178.310
    #77-Andy Kirby, Ford, 176.602
    #63-Shane Hall, Chevrolet, 176.280
    #16-Chad Chaffin, Pontiac, 176.142
    (DIS PR)(1-24-2002)
  • Pardus Update: When Daytona Beach’s Dan Pardus and [#32] car owner Jim Gardner released their BGN team’s 15-event 2002 schedule, it lacked a Daytona date. Nonetheless, Pardus was determined to find a way to come down to his home town. In a deal that’s been in the works since the schedule’s release, Pardus and Gardner have been hard at work acquiring a superspeedway car and the funding necessary to undertake the effort. “We didn’t plan to start our racing season at Daytona,” said Pardus when he announced the test. “The opportunity is exciting with the new speedway car to test and possibly enter the season’s opening race. ” Though a Busch Series appearance during Speed Weeks is not assured, a deal looks firm enough for Pardus, Gardner and team to be at the Jan. 24-25 Busch Series test at Daytona.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-11-2002)
    UPDATE: Dan Pardus and his #32 Jim & Judie Motorsports team will be in Daytona for the start of second-round BGN tests at Daytona. However, team owner Jim Gardner isn’t sure the team will be here for the BGN race during Speed Weeks. When the team announced its 2002 schedule in early December, superspeedway races like those at Daytona [and Talladega] were purposely omitted because cars used for those events are generally not suitable for use on the bulk of BGN tracks. In late December, another team made Pardus and Gardner an offer they couldn’t refuse — making available a superspeedway car and engines — allowing the team to contemplate a run at Daytona. Nevertheless, the brand new car is an unknown quantity and Gardner said he wants to make sure it’ll be sufficiently competitive to justify the cost of bringing a team to Daytona in February.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-24-2002)
    AND * Dan Pardus, driver of the #32 Outdoor Channel Chevrolet, tested a Monte Carlo that formerly belonged to the now defunct Alumni Motorsports team. Pardus, who is a Daytona Beach, Fla., native, is running a limited BGN schedule in 2002 and if he goes fast enough during the test, might enter the EAS/GNC Live Well 300.(DIS PR)(1-24-2002)
  • BGN Testing at Daytona – Session 1 is over: The NASCAR Busch Series teams that finished in the odd-numbered spots in the owner’s points standings will test at Daytona on Jan. 21-22 in preparation for the Feb. 16 EAS/GNC Live Well 300 with Jan. 23 serving as a rain date. On Jan. 24-25, the even-numbered Busch Series teams will test with Jan. 26 serving as a rain date. Oldfield Grandstand access is free and open to the public during testing with access through the lobby of DAYTONA USA. Testing is scheduled Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm(DIS PR)(1-2-2002)
    UPDATE: see what teams are eligible to test in session one at: Busch Series drivers eligible for Daytona testing this week(1-21-2002)
    Monday Results – Compton fastest: #59-Stacy Compton was the fastest with a speed of 183.430mph. 2nd fastest was #74-Chad Little in a Pontiac at 183.135. Rounding out the top five were #3-Dale Earnhardt Jr. at 182.838, #12-Kerry Earnhardt at 182.597 and #5-Ricky Hendrick (in the Chevy) 182.382. See NASCAR.com for Busch Series test speeds and see a column at BGN Racing(1-21-2002)
    Tuesday AM Results: #74-Chad Liitle was the fastest in the AM session on Tuesday with a speed of 183.135mph. #19-Tim Sauter was 2nd fastest at 182.737 with #5-Ricky Hendrick third at 182.264 in a Chevy and #24-Jack Sprague 4th and 5th – 182.120 in a Pontiac and 182.076 in a Chevy. See NASCAR.com for the Daytona Busch Series Test Speeds(1-22-2002)
    Tuesday Results: Speeds from Tuesday:
    #74-Chad Little, Pontiac, 183.135mph
    #19-Tim Sauter, Chevrolet, 182.737
    #5-Ricky Hendrick, Chevrolet, 182.652
    #59-Stacy Compton, Chevrolet, 182.511
    #24-Jack Sprague, Pontiac, 182.120
    #12-Kerry Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 181.925
    #2-Johnny Sauter, Chevrolet, 181.719
    #54-Kelly Denton, Chevrolet, 181.397
    #38-Christian Elder, Ford, 181.134
    #23-Scott Wimmer, Pontiac, 180.872
    #14-Larry Foyt, Chevrolet, 180.303
    #66-Casey Mears, Dodge, 180.676
    #18-Mike McLaughlin, Pontiac, 180.274
    #57-Jason Keller, Ford, 180.122
    #46-Ashton Lewis Jr., Chevrolet, 180.094
    #67-C.W. Smith, Pontiac, 179.119
    #94-Jeff Spraker, Chevrolet, 176.495
    The second wave of NASCAR Busch Series teams will test at the Speedway on Thursday and Friday and is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA. Some of the drivers expected to attend the two-day test session include #10-Scott Riggs, #48-Kenny Wallace, #7-Randy LaJoie, #92-Andy Houston, #36-Hank Parker Jr. and #1-Jimmy Spencer.(DIS PR)(1-22-2002)
  • What’s up with Grubb? Kevin Grubb isn’t out of the NASCAR game yet. Grubb, who finished 14th in the BGN drivers points last year, is meeting with teams this week and should be making a decision soon on where he will drive in 2002. Grubb said he hasn’t ruled out other series, including the CTS. Grubb has spoken with team owner Jack Roush and others. If a solid team isn’t available right now, he will sit out part of the season in hopes of something better becoming available later in the year.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(1-22-2002)
  • Vickers to run 24 races and go for ROTY, crew chief hired: Brian Vickers and BLV Motorsports will compete in the BGN with primary sponsorship from Engineered Machined Products (EMP) and associate support from the U.S. Army through the National Automotive Center (NAC). Additional sponsors of Team EMP will be announced at a later date. The 18-year-old Vickers, and BLV Motorsports, will enter the #40 Engineered Machined Products Dodge Intrepid in a minimum of 24 events in their quest for Rookie of the Year honors in the BGN. Vickers’ first start of 2002 will come at North Carolina Speedway on Feb. 23. Patrick Donahue has been named crew chief for the #40 Team EMP Dodges. Previously, Donahue worked for Evernham Motorsports and driver Casey Atwood. Before joining Evernham, Donahue served as Jeff Gordon’s Busch Series crew chief at Hendrick Motorsports. Vickers competed in four BGN races in 2001 to prepare for an expanded schedule in NASCAR this year. In 2000-2001, Vickers competed in the USAR Hooters ProCup Series and recorded four career wins. His prior motorsports experience came in Late Model and NASCAR Weekly Racing Series competition, Allison Legacy Series, and the World Karting Association. Engineered Machined Products, Inc. is North America’s leading supplier of water and lubrication pumps to the diesel industry, and is a recognized leader in the development and advancement of pumps and pumping technologies. E.M.P is located in Escanaba, MI. The National Automotive Center (NAC), founded in 1992, is the Department of Defense/Army focal point for collaborative ground vehicle research and development (R&D). The NAC leverages government, commercial industry and academia investment in advanced automotive technology R&D, and initiates shared automotive technology programs. Its primary focus is to benefit current and future military ground vehicle systems through: performance improvements, service life extensions, and reduction in ground vehicle design, manufacturing, production and operating and support costs.(BLV Motorsports PR)(1-22-2002)
  • Hendrick to Pontiac for Daytona/Talladega: Hendrick Motorsports plans to split its laps between Chevrolets and Pontiacs at BGN testing during a two-day open test session Monday and Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway. Ricky Hendrick will run the #5 and Jack Sprague will campaign the #24 this season in the BGN. Due to a perceived advantage enjoyed by the Pontiac under the BGN rules, team owner Rick Hendrick instructed his teams to build a pair of superspeedway Pontiacs. Therefore, Jack Sprague has a #24 Chevrolet and a #24 Pontiac and teammate Ricky Hendrick has a #5 Pontiac and Chevrolet in Daytona’s garage area. Several teams that primarily ran Chevrolets last season used Pontiacs at Daytona and Talladega, including defending Daytona winner Randy LaJoie, former winner Joe Nemechek the Brewco teams of Jeff Purvis and Jamie McMurray and Buckshot Racing. Sprague’s crew chief Dennis Connor said his two drivers had done a brief test session last week at Concord Motorsport Park near their shops in Harrisburg, N.C., but that this would be the first true test and the first time out of the shop for the Pontiacs. Connor said he had heard that Nemechek and LaJoie had already tested Chevrolets and Pontiacs back-to-back at Talladega earlier this month. They are both scheduled to test Thursday and Friday at Daytona with the even-numbered finishers in the 2001 NASCAR Busch Series car owner points.(NASCAR.com)(1-21-2002)
  • Help unveil the 2002 #36 paint scheme UPDATE: Race fans will have a chance to help unveil the 2002 paint scheme of the #36 GNC Live Well car, driven by Hank Parker Jr. in the BGN. Beginning Monday, Jan. 14, fans visiting the official Web site of the GNC Live Well Racing team, www.GNCRacing.com, will be asked a trivia question concerning Hank Parker Jr., the race team or his sponsor. If fans choose the correct answer, they can point and click on a photo of the GNC Live Well car to reveal a portion of the 2002 paint scheme. Each day of the week will bring a new trivia question, with each correct answer uncovering more of the No. 36 entry. This week-long interactive feature will culminate with the final piece of the car being unveiled on the Web site on Friday, Jan. 18. On that same date, Hank Parker Jr. will reveal the actual car at the Busch Series Preview at the Charlotte Merchandise Mart in North Carolina. To maintain the suspense, fans can.t uncover the final piece of the car until Parker unveils the actual car around 5 p.m. ET. In addition to seeing the new paint scheme first, fans will have a chance to win a collectable lithograph by visiting the GNC Live Well Racing site. On Friday, Jan. 18, a special bonus trivia question will be asked. The first fan to respond via e-mail with the correct answer will win a limited edition lithograph of Hank Parker Jr. and the No. 36 GNC Live Well car. Steve Breakfield, the same artist who designed both the 2001 and 2002 GNC Live Well paint schemes, created this special artwork. The numbered lithograph is one of only 250 in existence, and has been signed by both artist and driver. Breakfield, owner of Steve Breakfield Studios, is also responsible for designing the 2002 Winston Cup paint schemes for driver Mark Martin, Tony Stewart and Johnny Benson. Examples of his work can be seen at www.sbstudios.com.(Keystone Marketing)(1-12-2002)
    UPDATE: On Friday, race fans will finally get to view the 2002 paint scheme of the #36 GNC Live Well car, driven by Hank Parker Jr. in the BGN. As they have throughout the past week, fans visiting the official website of the GNC Live Well Race team, www.GNCRacing.com, on Friday, Jan. 18, will be asked a trivia question. If fans choose the correct answer, they can “point and click” on a photo of the GNC Live Well car to reveal the final piece of the 2002 paint scheme. Hank Parker Jr. will reveal the actual car at the Busch Series Preview on Friday afternoon at the Charlotte Merchandise Mart in North Carolina. Fans visiting the GNC Racing website will get to see a complete picture of the #36 entry at around the same time Parker unveils the actual car, just before 5:00pm/et.(Keystone Marketing)(1-18-2002)
  • #23 close to a sponsor UPDATE it is Siemens: #23 BGN owner, Bill Davis is “99 percent” sure that Siemens will replace Jani-King as the primary sponsor of his Busch Series entry for Scott Wimmer.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(12-6-2001)
    UPDATE: Siemens announced it is adding the #23 BGN car to its existing Winston Cup sponsorship of Bill Davis Racing. Citing a desire to continue its successful program in Winston Cup and to expand its overall nationwide branding campaign, Siemens will continue as an associate sponsor with Bill Davis Racing’s #23 Hills Brothers Dodge, as well as take on the role of primary sponsor for 17 races with up-and-coming Busch Series star Scott Wimmer.(Bill Davis Racing)(1-18-2002)
  • Innovative Motorsports gets another sponsor for 2nd team: Days after announcing Stacker 2 as Kenny Wallace’s backer, Thomas Pacconi Classics has come on board to sponsor Shane Hmiel in his run for rookie of the year honors in the #37 Innovative Motorsports Chevy. The company’s line runs the gamut, from furnishings, antique electronics and home and garden items to Christmas ornaments and gift ideas for several different occasions. Hmiel is the son of Dale Earnhardt Inc. Technical Director Steve Hmiel. He practiced Wallace’s car at Memphis, and then finished second in an ARCA race at Atlanta.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(1-17-2002)
  • Yates to the BGN? UPDATE 4 with Channellock, yes #98: Word is that Robert Yates Racing will have a BGN team in 2002. Rumor has it that it will be a Ford, just like the team’s two cars in Winston Cup. Word is that Ford will have a major role in the development of the team. As far as a driver goes, talk has USAC driver Kasey Kahne behind the wheel. Kahne was supposed to go IRL racing, but will instead concentrate his efforts in NASCAR.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(1-2-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing RYR is going to field a BGN team with Channellock as the primary sponsor for a limited schedule of 20 BGN races in 2002 with an announcement within the next week or so(1-7-2002)
    UPDATE 2: hearing former Roush crew chief, Tommy Morgan will crew chief the team(1-8-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Robert Yates Racing is close to putting together a Busch Series program for 21-year-old Kasey Kahne. Kahne, who’s run several open-wheel divisions including USAC Midgets and World of Outlaws, comes heavily touted by Ford. The team will reportedly be sponsored by Channellock. Tommy Morgan, who was Jeff Burton’s Busch Series crew chief at Roush Racing, is said to be filling that role with the new program.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(1-10-2002)
    UPDATE 4: Channellock Racing is jumping into its 10th year as a primary sponsor in the BGN by teaming up with Robert Yates Racing and driver Kasey Kahne for 21 races in the 2002. The #98 Channellock Ford will make its debut with Kahne behind the wheel at the North Carolina Speedway on February 23. 21-year-old Kahne comes from a dirt track background similar to Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart. Kahne took the wheel of his first sprint car at the age of 14 and has accumulated over 46 wins, three championships and a rookie of the year title in just seven years. Within it’s 10 years of primary sponsorship in the BGN, Channellock topped the charts by winning the 1993 NASCAR Busch Series Championship with driver Steve Grissom behind the wheel, and has accumulated four wins. Channellock Racing is looking forward to adding another successful season to the list with the young Kahne taking the reins. 2002 marks Robert Yates Racing’s first year in the BGN. While fielding two competitive cars in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Yates is teaming up with Ford Racing to start a new venture with Kahne and Channellock in the BGN. Log on to www.channellock.com on Thursday, January 17 for a sneak preview of the #98 Channellock Ford Taurus.(Global Performance PR/Channellock)(1-15-2002)
  • #46 close to a sponsor UPDATE 5: Ashton Lewis’ family owned #46 BGN team is very close to landing sponsorship for 2002. Lewis ran virtually the entire schedule this year, skipping only one event, with little or no backing.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(12-6-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing the new sponsor will be the Civil Air Patrol(12-11-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Lewis Motorsports owners Ashton Lewis, Sr., Ashton Lewis, Jr. and Charlie Lewis, as well as representatives of the newly signed sponsor will announce their agreement between the two anfd will unveil the 2002-paint scheme on the #46 Chevrolet on Friday, Jan 4th at the Concord Regional Airport(Camp and Assoc PR)(12-28-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Due to inclement weather, the Lewis Motorsports press conference, announcing the primary sponsor on the BGN #46 Chevrolet, has been postponed until further notice(Camp and Assoc PR)(1-4-2002)
    UPDATE 4: hearing the announcement will be on Jan15th at the University Hilton in Charlotte NC.(1-9-2002)
    UPDATE 5: The Civil Air Patrol (CAP), an auxiliary of the United States Air Force, today announced a multi-year agreement as the primary sponsor of the BGN #46 Lewis Motorsports Chevy. By signing on as primary sponsor, CAP hopes to increase awareness of their three primary missions: Cadet Programs, Aerospace Education, and Emergency Services. Ashton Lewis, Jr. will pilot the #46 Civil Air Patrol Chevrolet, while his brother Charlie Lewis will continue calling the shots as crew chief. “Last year we ran in the front with teams that have 20 or 30 guys at their shop. Lewis Motorsports had eight guys total, including the team owner – my father, who drove the hauler for the second half of the season,” Lewis added. “Now we have sponsorship and a real budget that we can work with and those variables have allowed us to hire additional guys to work in the shop to compliment the team we had in 2001. The #46 Civil Air Patrol Chevrolet will make its debut run on February 16, 2002 in the Daytona 300 at Daytona.(Camp and Assoc)(1-15-2002)
  • #3 to Test UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing plans to test the BGN car with the #3 at Talladega Superspeedway on Monday and Tuesday. The #3 Chevy will be driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in two races this season, the Feb. 16 BGN race at Daytona and the May 25 race at Charlotte. RCR will build, prepare and crew the #3 Chevy, which Dale Earnhardt Inc. owns. RCR drivers Jay and Johnny Sauter will test the car, marking the first time the stylized “3” has been on a track since the 2001 Daytona 500. Earnhardt Jr.’s over-the-wall pit crew from his No. 8 DEI-owned team will pit the car in both races.(That’s Racin’)(1-13-2002)
    UPDATE: The #3 RCR Busch Series crew fielded two cars Monday as the two-day test began at Talladega Superspeedway. Six other Busch Series teams participated in the test as well. Joining the RCR #3 crew in tests Monday were Busch Series cars Jeff Purvis with the #37 Brewco team; Jamie McMurray with the #27 Brewco team; Larry Foyt with the #14 A.J. Foyt Racing crew; Joe Ruttman with the #1 Phoenix Racing team [Spencer is testing at Daytona for Cup]; Kevin Grubb with the #92 Herzog Motorsports team; and Ken Alexander with the #63 Ken Alexander Racing crew. Also on hand was Jason Leffler with the #2 Ultra Motorsports Craftsman Truck Series team.(Anniston Star/Talladega Superspeedway PR)(1-15-2002)
  • Reiser team to continue: The #17 Reiser Enterprises team is in danger of not racing this season, driver Matt Kenseth said. Kenseth, a Winston Cup regular who has shared driving duties with the team the past two seasons, said no sponsor has been found for the program. Kenseth won one race and scored 12 top-five finishes in 23 starts last season. “They’re still looking for a sponsor,” Kenseth said. “I don’t know what we’re going to do, it’s getting near crunch-time.”(That’s Racin’)(1-14-2002)
  • Shelmerdine to run in the #49: Kirk Shelmerdine, a two-time ARCA winner and former NASCAR championship crew chief, will race in the BGN event at Daytona in February. Shelmerdine will drive the #49 entry owned by Jay Robinson.(ARCA Fans site)(1-14-2002)
  • David Green finds a ride: David Green has been selected to drive for Tommy Baldwin Racing, beginning with the February 16, 2002 Busch Series race at Daytona International Speedway. The #6 Dodges will be owned by Tommy Baldwin, Jr., crew chief for Bill Davis Racing’s #22 Winston Cup team. Engines will be supplied by Bill Davis Racing.(David Green Site)(1-14-2002)
  • Jason Rudd to run 10 races in 2002 UPDATE: Jason Rudd, Ricky’s nephew, plans to run a Dodge for at least 10 BGN races in 2002 say A.J. Rudd, Jason’s dad, who helps run Jason’s BGN [#85] operation, while Jason’s grandfather — Alvin Rudd Sr. — owns the car that Jason is going to drive.(NASCAR.com)(12-13-2001)
    UPDATE: Although the schedule is tentative at this moment, Jason Rudd plans to run races in the ARCA Series. The schedule includes Nashville- 4/12, KY-5/11, Kansas-6/1, Pocono-7/27 and Charlotte-10/10. Ruff also hopes to run BGN races at both Richmond races, Bristol-8/23, Dover-9/21 and Rockingham-11/2. Rudd just announced sponsorship of Graybar Electric Company for the Richmond BGB races in 2002(Jason Rudd Site)(1-13-2002)
  • Aaron’s Re-ups: Aaron’s Sales and Lease Ownership, based in Atlanta, will continue its primary sponsorship of Michael Waltrip’s #99 BGN car thru 2003. Waltrip debuted the #99 Aaron’s Dream Machine at Bristol in the fall of 2000 and ran a limited BGN schedule (18 races) in 2001. The new alliance will have Waltrip piloting at least 19 of the 22 contracted races each year. This leaves 3 open rides where he hopes to bring up new fresh talent. In 2001, he gave opportunities to Shawna Robinson and Kerry Earnhardt to run a few BGN races with the Aaron’s Dream Team. “I really want to build my Busch team to where I can nurture and teach a fresh driver how to be a successful racer. Eventually, I would like to be the owner and mentor not the primary driver” said Waltrip.(Aaron’s PR)(1-12-2002)
  • #43 News: Curb Agajanian Motorsports is planning on running a partial BGN schedule in 2002. Conversations are proceeding with a number of potential sponsors for the 2002 season and beyond. Nothing definite has been determined at this time. The Team has an interim crew chief and crew in place.(PR)(1-11-2002)
  • Wallace returns to the #48 in 2002 3 UPDATE Stacker 2?: Kenny Wallace will run 20 races in the #48 Busch Series car for owner George deBidart during tandem weekends. Shane Hmiel, son of DEI vice president of motorsports and technical director Steve Hmiel, will drive the #48 in 10 races.(NASCAR.com)(11-17-2001)
    UPDATE to the #48? This past Friday George DeBidart got Stacker 2 to sign on for the 2002 season for Kenny in the #48 car. Wallace will compete in every BGN event that isn’t in direct conflict with his Winston Cup obligations(American Race Fan)(12-28-2001)
    UPDATE 2: the team has scheduled a sponsorship announcment for Thursday, Jan 10th(1-8-2002)
    UPDATE 3 Stacker2: Innovative Motorsports owner George de Bidart has signed primary sponsorship with Stacker 2 for Kenny Wallace, who will attempt to run full Winston Cup and Busch Series schedules. Stacker 2 is a fat-burning product of NVE Pharmaceauticals, while Gould’s Pumps will move from last year’s primary slot to an associate role. Wallace will run car #48 he used last year, but the team’s points have been moved to the #47 entry rookie Shane Hmiel is expected to drive in 2002. Sponsorship for Hmiel’s effort is expected in the near future. Former CART driver Christian Fittipaldi will also run at least 9-10 races for that team. de Bidart’s contract with Stacker 2 is for one year, with four one-year options. Wallace is slated to start the Winston Cup season subbing for the injured Steve Park with Dale Earnhardt Inc. The agreement with Stacker 2 includes cross-promotions with the World Wrestling Federation and point-of-sale advertising at the product’s 90,000 retail outlets.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read), also see the Kenny Wallace Racing site for info(1-10-2002)
    IMAGES: see images of the car on my 2002 BGN Paint Schemes page(1-11-2002)
  • #63 Sponsor Hunting for 2002 UPDATE 4 Alexander/Hensley merge: With Lance Snacks expected to leave, Jeff Hensley is looking for a sponsor for his Busch Series operation, the #63 Ford with driver Shane Hall. “We haven’t got the official word yet, but I’m assuming they probably will (leave), simply because the sport has really outgrown their budget,” Hensley said. “The expense of this series right now is astronomical. It’s sad that sponsors that have been here for such a long, long time aren’t able to enjoy the fruits of the sport’s growth.” Hensley expected to have the biggest budget of his racing career this season, but major associate sponsorship from Ocean Sun Travel fell through. As a result, he’s trying to run his team on primary backing of less than $1 million. Hensley’s wife, Debbie, has been handling much of the sponsorship search, and both say they’re working on four or five major packages. Until a check has cleared the bank, however, Hensley won’t be certain that a firm deal has been reached.(Winston Cup Scene – in part – need sub to read)(9-6-2001)
    UPDATE: rumors have Ken Alexander in the #63 car for the 2002 season, no word on a sponsor(12-28-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hear Alexander bought the number but will run Chevy’s purchased from Welliver-Jesel Racing (who converted to Dodge), Alexander and Shane Hall (the driver for Hensely) sharing driving duties and Greased Lightning as the sponsor. The team will operate out of Alexander’s Greenville, SC shop and the crew chief will be Kenneth Campbell(1-2-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Ken Alexander has reportedly worked out an arrangement with Hensley Racing to use the #63 and run it out of his shop in Spartanburg, S.C. The longtime Ridgeway, Va.-based operation is said to be trying to work out a sponsorship agreement, with possibly Goulds Pumps, for driver Phillip Morris. It would run the #80, which it used last season for a second car in several events.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(1-3-2002)
    UPDATE 4: Ken Alexander plans to run the full 2002 BGN schedule after obtaining rights to the #63 team in a merger with Hensley Racing. Alexander, a businessman who sold the majority of his interest in the Greased Lightning company a couple of years ago, ran eight races on the circuit last year. Having purchased several cars from Welliver-Jesel Racing, Alexander will field the team out of his shop in Greenville, SC. Crew chief Kenneth Campbell has moved along with the team, and will serve in that role for Alexander. There’s also a chance Shane Hall could compete in races for which Alexander can’t gain approval from NASCAR. “We decided to do the Busch deal and run it full season, that’s about it,” Alexander said. “We did a merger with the 63 team, and bought a bunch of cars from (Welliver-Jesel), and motors. (Greased Lightning is) gonna be the associate (sponsor). We’re still looking for a primary, but we should be good for the season.” Jeff Hensley, who was crew chief and co-owner when Chuck Bown won the 1990 Busch Series title, is reportedly trying to put together a deal to field a #80 entry for Phillip Morris in at least 15 races. Despite widespread speculation to the contrary, Debbie Hensley, Jeff’s wife who has been helping search for backing, denies that the team has been talking with Gould’s Pumps about a primary sponsorship package.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(1-10-2002)
  • Smuckers to sponsor Bodine? UPDATE: hearing Smucker’s Jelly will somehow sponsor the #11 Ford of Brett Bodine, not sure if as a primary or associate sponsor. May actually run a Smucker’s scheme at a race or two if it is as an associate sponsor(11-28-2001)
    UPDATE: not Cup but for the BGN – The J.M. Smucker Company is excited to be partnering with #11 Josh Richeson for two BGN races in the Spring of 2002 as part of a promotion to support their Smucker’s Ice Cream Toppings business. The #11 Ford is owned and operated by Brett Bodine Racing and will compete in the May 3, 2002 race at Richmond and the May 25, 2002 race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte. Brett Bodine is the uncle of 20 year-old Josh Richeson and fielded cars for him in six races last year. In his first ARCA race, Josh qualified fifth and finished 12th and followed with an impressive 2nd place finish in the ARCA event at Pocono. Having three ARCA events and three NASCAR Busch Series events under his belt, he feels he can provide Smucker with a positive experience.(Brett Bodine Racing PR), see image on my Paint Schemes Gallery(1-7-2002)
  • ARCA Rules: The Automobile Racing Club of America on Saturday issued a series of new safety measures for its stock-car series that will go into effect beginning with the 2002 season opener Feb. 10 at Daytona International Speedway. In addition to the approved head-and-neck restraint devices mandated for all drivers in October 2001, ARCA will require all over-the-wall series officials to wear full-coverage fire-retardant uniforms and helmets. All members of race teams who fuel cars – gasmen and those who hold catch-cans – will also be required to wear the safety equipment. Series officials will recommend, but not require, all additional over-the-wall team members wear the protective equipment. Age eligibility requirements will also change. No drivers under the age of 18 will be approved to compete on series tracks greater than one-mile in length without prior experience in sanctioned superspeedway competition through 2003. Beyond 2003, no drivers under 18 will compete on tracks greater than one mile in length, regardless of previous experience.(ARCA announces rule changesThat’s Racin’)(1-5-2002)
  • Schuler in the #34? Jason Schuler could drive a limited number of 2002 BGN races for the Welliver-Jesel Motorsports #34 team. Schuler ran 13 BGN races over the last two seasons with limited success. Initially he made 11 starts in 2000 for team owner Robbie Reiser in the races regular driver Matt Kenseth was unable to run in the #17 Chevrolet. Schuler went back to Midwest Late Model racing in 2001 but made two Busch Series starts. Welliver-Jesel’s #34 team, for which David Green drove until its sponsorship ended following the 2001 season, appeared with Schuler at a Talladega Superspeedway test session Wednesday in which the team’s first Dodge chassis made a limited number of runs before snow ended the day.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(1-3-2002)
  • Snow cancels testing at Talladega: Granted, the flakes were small enough you almost had to squint to see them, but there were enough of them combined to cancel the first test session of 2002 at Talladega Superspeedway. With virtually no off-season to speak of in the competitive world of NASCAR, 13 of the first 15 days of January are marked for testing at Alabama’s famed tri-oval. On Wednesday, the first day the track was opened for business in the new year, members of the BGN #36 GNC Live Well Racing team were on hand to help the Welliver-Jesel Motorsports #34 Dodge. The session was called at 1:30pm, after enough snow had melted on the track. Temperatures hovered in the mid-30s on Wednesday with more snow predicted in the forecast through Thursday afternoon. “We’re out of here; this has the same effect as rain,” said Gary Cogswell, the crew chief for the #36 GNC Live Well Racing Team. The #34 team was working on its aerodynamic package for the upcoming season. The #36 GNC Live Well Racing Team is not only busy on the track and in the garage these days. Driver Hank Parker Jr. has a big day planned this Saturday. That’s when he will walk down the aisle with his fiancee, Wendy Alexander, then take off for Hawaii for their honeymoon.(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(1-2-2002)
  • Kerry Earnhardt in the #8? UPDATE 3 nope, the #12: Kerry Earnhardt may have a full-time ride in the BGN next year. Starting next year, the #8 Chevrolet ride will be starring the oldest son of the late Dale Earnhardt. It is believed that DEI will do the fabrication and hang bodies on the car, but owners Armando Fitz will maintain the overall servicing and building of the cars.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(11-17-2001)
    UPDATE: A new NASCAR Grand National team will be unveiled Thursday morning at a news conference at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria, with Kerry Earnhardt expected to be named the driver.(That’s Racin’), AND I hear Armando Fitz will have Kerry Earnhardt driving next year with co-ownership from Terry Bradshaw and sponsorship from Supercuts (Regis Corporation).(11-27-2001)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR owner Armando Fitz announced today his ownership partner, Pro Football Hall of Famer and Emmy winning broadcaster, Terry Bradshaw. Kerry Earnhardt, the elder son of seven-time Winston Cup Champion Dale Earnhardt, will drive the #8 Chevy in the BGN for the FitzBradshaw Racing team in 2002. The national haircutting chain, Supercuts, will back the effort as the primary sponsor for 20 events during the 2002 season. FitzBradshaw Racing knows Earnhardt and DEI are the final links in completing the team. DEI, winners of two Busch Series Championships, two NASCAR Truck Series Championships and eight Winston Cup races, including the 2001 Daytona 500, will supply FitzBradshaw Racing with engines, aero support and engineering direction.(FitzBradshaw Racing PR)(11-29-2001)
    UPDATE 3: the team will use the #12, not the #8 as originally planned as #12 was Bradshaws number in the NFL. The team will use the #11 team owners points and the #8 will be fielded if a sponsor is found(1-2-2002)
  • New Assoc for the #59: Duck Head Footwear has reached an agreement with ST Motorsports to become a product sponsor of the #59 Kingsford/Johnsonville Chevy for the 2002 BGN Series. “We are excited to have Duck Head join our family of product sponsors,” said Tad Geschickter, owner of ST Motorsports. “It is our goal to help each sponsor build their distribution and in-store presence through their association with NASCAR. Duck Head Footwear has been affiliated with our new driver, Stacy Compton, for a number of years. Stacy has enjoyed working with them and highly endorses the Duck Head Footwear product. We look forward to working with them during the season.” Old Dominion Footwear is the parent company and manufactures, markets and distributes the Duck Head and Drifters brands under its umbrella. In addition to these two brands, Old Dominion Footwear works with major retailers across the country developing and supplying private label footwear. Duck Head Footwear manufactures and stocks men’s, women’s and children’s quality, volume priced leather footwear. Many of its key patterns are offered in hard to find sizes and widths.(ST Motorsports PR)(1-2-2002)