January 2003 Busch Series Archive


  • Dale Earnhardt Jr fastest in Day 4 testing at Daytona: #8N-Dale Earnhardt, Jr at 183.520, followed by #48A-Shane Hmiel at 182.146, #7-Randy LaJoie at 182.013, #03-Mike McLaughlin at 181.936 and #57A-Jason Keller at 181.594.
    Overall top five for all test sessions were:
    #19-Jimmy Vasser, Dodge, 184.158
    #20-Mike Bliss, Pontiac, 184.030
    #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Chevy, 183.658
    #38-Kasey Kahne, Ford, 183.453
    #4-Mike Wallace, Pontiac, 183.255
    (remember the tean have to use the 2002 model for restrictor plate races in 2002, NASCAR mandated to cut costs)
    Daytona Speeds:
    BGN Racing – Morning Speeds – Day 4
    BGN Racing – Day 4 Speeds
    BGN Racing – Cumulative Test Speeds All cars/drivers
    NASCAR.com – (1-25-2003)
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr fastest in Day 3 testing at Daytona: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. led the field Thursday at Daytona in BGN testing with a speed of 183.658mph. #48-Shane Hmiel was second fastest at 181.958. Joe Ruttman, in the #1 Yellow Racing Dodge, was third quickest at 181.792 while #18-Coy Gibbs was fourth fastest at 181.161 and #23-Kenny Wallace – filling in Thursday for Scott Wimmer – rounded out the top five with a lap of 181.547 [Wimmer was in WI for a funeral].
    Daytona Speeds:
    BGN Racing – Morning Speeds – Day 3
    BGN Racing – Day 3 Speeds
    BGN Racing – Cumulative Test Speeds (through Thursday)
    NASCAR.com – Day 1 Speeds.(1-24-2003)
  • Jimmy Vasser fastest in Day 2 testing at Daytona: #19-Jimmy Vasser was the fastest in BGN testing at Daytona on Day 2 with a fast lap at 184.158 mph, followed by #20-Mike Bliss at 184.030, #38-Kasey Kahne at 183.453, #19-Chad Blount at 183.001 and #21-Kevin Harvick at 182.964.(BGN Racing), no drafting testing was done as only one team wanted to go out, so it was canceled.
    Daytona Speeds:
    BGN Racing – Morning Speeds – Day 2
    BGN Racing – Day 2 Speeds
    NASCAR.com – Day 1 Speeds.(1-21-2003)
  • Mike Wallace fastest in Day 1 testing at Daytona: #4-Mike Wallace was the fastest in BGN testing at Daytona on Day 1. #4-Wallace ran a fast lap at 183.255mph, followed by #19-Chad Blount at 183.191, #99-Michael Waltrip at 182.957, #38-Kasey Kahne at 182.860 and #21-Kevin Harvick at 182.622. There are 16 teams and 25 cars at the track. Hank Parker tested the #53 Ford.(BGN Racing)
    Daytona Speeds:
    BGN Racing – Morning Speeds – Day 1
    BGN Racing – Day 1 Speeds(1-20-2003)


  • Parker and Roush? UPDATE 6 deal no go: Jack Roush is talking to Hank Parker Jr. and his Busch Series sponsor – General Nutrition Center – about fielding a second full-time Busch team in 2003. Parker currently is without a ride for the coming season.(Times Argus)(11-7-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing that Roush may be starting a 2nd full time BGN team with Hank Parker Jr, but doubtful it’ll be GNC as the sponsor, hearing Roush hired a bunch of people for a 2nd full time effort. Still no word on the #9 Jeff Burton BGN team or a sponsor for the team.(1-3-2003)
    UPDATE 2: A sponsorship deal with TrimSpa is nearing completion that would send Hank Parker Jr. to Roush Racing for the 2003 BGN season, NASCAR Winston Cup Scene reporter Rick Houston has learned. Under the deal, Parker would be a full-time teammate with Stanton Barrett. No number has been assigned to the effort, although there’s a possibility Parker could use the #53 he ran with his family-owned team a few years ago. Parker was left without a ride at the end of 2002 when his Team Jesel program lost its sponsorship. TrimSpa is a fat-burning product of Cedar Knolls, N.J.-based Nutramerica.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-16-2003)
    UPDATE 3: Hank Parker Jr. showed up at Daytona International Speedway for the opening two-day segment of NASCAR Preseason Thunder for the BGN with a “teammate” — Roush Racing driver Stanton Barrett. The pair shared one set of crewmen for the #60 Odoban Ford shoed by Barrett and the #53 Taurus that was driven on a limited number of runs in the afternoon by Parker. Parker, a two-time winner in the Busch Series, said he hopes the announcement of his program should come soon. “This is a great opportunity, but it’s still not 100 percent done,” Parker said. “It’s just one of those deals that when it all works out it’s going to be real exciting.” Parker said the program would be for a full season. That would mark the first time that Roush’s organization, which will field five fulltime Winston Cup teams in 2003 along with two Craftsman Truck Series teams, would have two full-time Busch programs.(NASCAR.com)
    UPDATE 4: Negotiations between Roush Racing and TrimSpa officials have reportedly hit a snag, delaying and possibly killing a deal that would have put Hank Parker Jr. behind the wheel of a Roush car for the 2003 Busch Series season. NASCAR Winston Cup Scene reporter Rick Houston says sources indicate that the sponsorship could still happen a few races into the season, but add that the prospects for Parker racing for Roush in the season-opening Koolerz 300 at Daytona appear bleak.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)
    UPDATE 5: Speed Channel reported during their BGN testing coverage that the sponsorship fell thru and things are still up in the air.(1-21-2003)
    UPDATE 6: Since Hank Parker Jr. is a free agent at this point, most consider him the top choice for Busch Series – or even Winston Cup – owners who want to make an early season change in the driver’s seat. That’s all well and good, but it’s still difficult for Parker to face Daytona without a ride.(Winston Cup Scene)(1-30-2003)
  • Team Rensi Motorsports Announces New Partnership With Timberland: Team Rensi Motorsports, which fields the #25 Team Marines Ford announced a strategic partnership with the Timberland Company and its Timberland PRO line of work boots, apparel and gear for working professionals. Throughout the 2003 racing season, Timberland will promote its Timberland PRO series via associate sponsorship of the #25 Team Marines Ford owned by Team Rensi Motorsports and driven by Bobby Hamilton, Jr.. In addition to generating valuable exposure on the car itself and on driver and pit crew uniforms, this partnership with Team Rensi Motorsports – and the Team Marines Racing program – presents a host of promotional opportunities to help build awareness and drive preference for the Timberland PRO series among target consumers. In addition to being the lynchpin of the Timberland PRO series ad campaign, it will also be utilized to strengthen relationships with existing and potential retail partners. The Timberland PRO series logo will appear on the lower rear quarter panels as well as the rear TV panel of the #25 Marines Ford and show car and the transport vehicles and haulers, pit carts, and driver/pit crew uniforms and helmets. All pit crew members and garage mechanics will be outfitted with Timberland PRO series footwear and apparel. Show car appearances with Timberland PRO mobile – an interactive touring vehicle that visits vocational schools, construction sites, manufacturing plants, and other venues nationwide. A special Timberland PRO series paint scheme will run at the New Hampshire International Speedway in July. More information about Timberland is available at the company’s web site, www.timberland.com.(Team Rensi PR)(1-30-2003)
  • Sadler Racing still in biz: Nashville’s Earl Sadler, whose team, Sadler Racing [#95 Team], has been fielding cars in NASCAR since 1983 and is searching for a driver to enter in a limited number of Busch and ARCA races this season.(Tennessean)(1-30-2003)
  • Las Vegas Open Testing os over: The Jan.27-30 Cup/BGN testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is over, the following are the driver who tested and the fastest four for each day, no other speeds were posted:
    Jan. 27-28
    #17-Matt Kenseth (fastest on the 27th with a speed of 162.247)
    #60-Stanton Barrett (fastest on the 28th with a speed of 163.527)
    #26-Kevin Grubb
    #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr.
    #?-Scott Lynch
    Jan. 28-29
    #99-Michael Waltrip
    #9-Jeff Burton
    #10-Scott Riggs
    #21-Kevin Harvick (fastest on the 29th with a speed of 164.885)
    #18-Coy Gibbs
    #20-Mike Bliss
    #98-Mark Green
    #23-Scott Wimmer
    Jan. 29-30
    #?-Geoffrey Bodine
    #87-Joe Nemechek
    #46-Ashton Lewis
    #59-Stacy Compton (fastest on the 30th with a speed of 164.634)
    #19-Chad Blount
    #30-Steadman Marlin
    #?-Eddie McKean
    (LVMS PR)(1-10/30-2003)
  • ARCA driver going BGN racing: Minnesota racer Rick Thoennes is selling his entire ARCA operation. Thoennes ran 8 ARCA RE/MAX Series superspeedway races since 2001, scoring 3 top-10 finishes. He is now working on a limited schedule in the NASCAR Busch Series for 2003. (StockCarScene via BGN Racing)(1-30-2003)
  • Baker gets a sponsor for 6 races: #28-Brad Baker is heading to Daytona in February with more momentum than ever before to capture his first Busch Series victory with the help of Trus Joist. The team has switched manufacturers for Daytona [bought from Jesel] and will run a Dodge instead of Chevy. Baker Racing will field Baker in six BGN races during the course of the season. The team plans to alternate using two Dodges and three Chevys. Baker will be competing in the Dodge, which was once driven by Hank Parker Jr during the course of the 2002 BGN season. “This is really exciting,” said Baker. “I am honored to have the fine folks over at Trus Joist be on board this Dodge for the season opener.” Trus Joist, which was founded in 1960, is the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of engineered lumber products – high-quality alternatives to solid-sawn structural lumber. For more information on Trus Joist please visit their official website at www.trusjoist.com. Trus Joist will serve as the primary sponsor for the February Daytona Race, along with the first Dover race, the first and only race from Talladega Superspeedway, the first Lowes event, and the first race at Richmond.(Catchfence). And Baker will at least five races for ORTEC Racing (#96).(1-30-2003)
  • #03 closing up? UPDATE 3: sources tell me that the #03 Angela’s Motorsports team [Mike McLaughlin driver, Harold Holly crew chief] is either closing up for some reason or may be bought out, no other info at this time.(1-27-2003)
    UPDATE: [BGN Racing] We were told that all the equipment has been repossessed because the team had not paid the bills and they are out of business AND Robert Yates Racing repossessed all his cars & equipment from the #03 team for non-payment.(BGN Racing)
    UPDATE 2: Angela’s Motorsports, which planned to field the #03 Fords in the BGN with driver Mike McLaughlin this season, has shut down because of financial problems. In a statement released Tuesday, McLaughlin said he was “disheartened” about the recent turn of events and felt confident crew chief Harold Holly had put together a team capable of running for the championship. “Despite what has happened, the team is waiting for the next opportunity that will allow us to continue to pursue our goal,” McLaughlin said. “I have never seen this kind of dedication under these circumstances.” The team, owned by Angela Harkness, had planned to use chassis and engines from Robert Yates Racing. “Despite not being the owners, we feel a deep sense of urgency to make sure everyone is paid what they are owed,” McLaughlin said. “We are working on a few opportunities that will allow this team to reorganize and still compete for the championship this year.” Should McLaughlin and Holly not be able to keep the team together, they said they are open to other opportunities.(ThatsRacin.com)
    AND the following is a statement from Mike McLaughlin, NASCAR Busch Series driver concerning reports on the closing of the #03 Busch Series Team: “First and foremost, we are all very disheartened by what has transpired the last few days. Harold Holly (crew chief), Clyde McLeod (team manager) and I have all worked very hard to put together a championship team. Harold has assembled a group of people that have worked endless hours to build the team. Despite what has happened, the team is waiting for the next opportunity that will allow us to continue to pursue our goal. I have never seen this kind of dedication under these circumstances. Robert Yates has been great in trying to keep this team intact. Despite not being the owners, we feel a deep sense of urgency to make sure everyone is paid what they are owed. We are working on a few opportunities that will allow this team to reorganize and still compete for the championship this year. Many folks have called and offered their help and support and I am very appreciative.. Thanks for everyones continued support.”(1-28-2003)
    UPDATE 3: Frank Cicci said he will hire former team member Clyde McLeod as his team manager [BGN team with NFL great Jim Kelly]. Clyde’s wife, Anne-Marie, will join the team in the Mooresville, NC, shop office as soon as the sponsor is signed. McLeod, who served under Cicci for 11 years, lost his job with the #03 Angela’s Motorsports team, which closed its doors because of financial problems earlier this week. Mike McLaughlin, a former Cicci driver, lost his ride when Angela’s Motorsports folded. “I wish I could help Mike, but at this time I can’t,” said Cicci, who is committed to a younger driver for his team by the sponsor.(Elmira Star Gazette)(1-30-2003)
  • Harmon on the tube – Thursday: #44-Mike Harmon has been featured on several advertisements this week, promoting his upcoming appearance on ABC’s “Primetime Thursday.” Reporter Christopher Cuomo spent a lot of time talking with Harmon and his family to put together this piece. “Primetime Thursday,” featuring Mike Harmon, will air Thursday, January 30th, at 10:00pm/et on ABC. ABC is following up the broadcast with an online chat with Mike Harmon on Friday afternoon, January 31st, at 2pm Eastern. The chat link will become available in the right-hand corner of the Primetime page off of the ABCNews website in the Community box Wednesday afternoon (abcnews.go.com/Sections/Primetime/).(PR)(1-29-2003)
  • Smith to run #22 car, rest of season after Daytona UPDATE: Regan Smith has signed a deal to drive 33 Busch Series races with Bost Motorsports [#22], beginning with the Feb. 22 race at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham. Smith made his Busch Series debut last year for Team Bristol Motorsports.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter), Jeff Fuller is scheduled to drive the car at Daytona in the season opener and will test the car at Talladega on Feb 7th to shake down the Daytona car.(Jeff Fuller Site)(1-29-2003)
  • Bodine back in the #92: Todd Bodine is tentatively scheduled to drive for the #92 Herzog-Jackson Motorsports team through Talladega and the team is still seeking sponsorship for 2003.(Catchfence)(1-29-2003)
  • Robinson buys equipment that was to be used by #03 team: NASCAR Winston Cup Scene reporter Rick Houston says Yates has sold eight Fords, a hauler and several other pieces of equipment that were to have been used by Angela’s Motorsports to Jay Robinson. Robinson will field an ARCA entry for Chris Bingham at Daytona, with hopes of racing with him in the BGB beginning at Rockingham. Derrike Cope will pilot Robinson’s #49 Ford at Daytona.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-29-2003)
  • Two New NASCAR Series UPDATE No More Busch ‘Grand National’: NASCAR plans to add two divisions later this year, the Grand National and Elite. The Grand National will encompass top drivers from the Winston West and Busch North series and will have a series of races to crown one champion. The Elite will be made up of Northwest and Southwest series drivers.(Tampa Tribune)(1-22-2003)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has formed a new “feeder system” for its three national series, with the creation of two new racing divisions. The all-new NASCAR Elite Division and NASCAR Grand National Division will provide a clear path for local and regional racers to advance towards the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, NASCAR Busch Series and the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. The NASCAR Elite Division will consist of four NASCAR-sanctioned series: the Featherlite Southwest Series, Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series and the newly renamed International Truck and Engine Corporation Midwest Series (formerly the RE/MAX Challenge Series) and Kodak Southeast Series (formerly the Hills Bros. All Pro Series). The Elite Division will accommodate drivers who have recently been competing in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge or at other local short tracks. At this level, competitors will compete on a variety of tracks before progressing to other NASCAR divisions. Once a competitor has gained experience in the Elite Division, the next logical step is the NASCAR Grand National Division, which will now consist of the Busch North Series and the NASCAR Winston West Series. Previously, these cars had different specifications – the Busch North Series cars are modeled after the NASCAR Busch Series cars while the NASCAR Winston West Series cars are designed after NASCAR Winston Cup Series cars. The NASCAR Grand National Division will represent NASCAR’s top regional touring series, where competitors will refine their skills before making the jump to one of NASCAR’s three national series.
    The “Grand National” designation has a long history in NASCAR racing. It was first used in 1949, when the first NASCAR Grand National Division races were held. This division evolved into the Winston Cup Series, and the “Grand National” moniker was passed to the NASCAR Busch Series in 1986. With this announcement, the NASCAR Busch Series no longer carries the name as it’s passed on to NASCAR’s top regional touring division.(More at NASCAR.com)(1-29-2003)
  • Peeps on the #12: FitzBradshaw Racing will field the #12 Marshmallow Peeps Chevy in the BGN Rockingham 200 on February 22, 2003. This one-race running of the Peeps [a jayski fave – yum] car is in celebration of the candy’s 50th anniversary. Just Born, Inc., the parent company of the Marshmallow Peeps and Hot Tamales brands, is in its second year of sponsorship with FitzBradshaw Racing. “It is simply a perfect fit for us,” stated Peeps Marketing Director Matt Pye. “Having a Peeps car race at Rockingham is a quality opportunity for us to highlight the longevity and popularity of the Peeps product.” The Peeps 50th Anniversary Celebration kicks off today on the East and West coasts with the commencement of a 60,000 mile road tour featuring the Peeps Fun Bus and Peepster mobiles. The Peeps Fun Bus is an interactive mobile marketing vehicle designed to celebrate the history of the product. “This is exactly how we want sponsors to align with our team,” stated FitzBradshaw Racing’s co-owner Armando Fitz.. “Not only will we race a Hot Tamales car again this season, we have one of the company’s other brands incorporating us into the product’s biggest celebration yet. It is very exciting.” (and just cause I love Peeps, here is some cool info):
    Marshmallow Peeps and Just Born History
    1910 – Sam Born, who as a child and young adult grew up in Russia, immigrated to the United States from France.. Born introduced “French Chocolates” to New York City.
    1917 – Born opened a small retail candy store in New York.. He would display daily-made candy in his store window, marketing its freshness with a sign that declared, “just born”.
    1923 – Born opened a small factory in Brooklyn, New York.. Additionally, Born’s brothers-in-law, Irv and Jack Shaffer, joined the company shortly after the retail stored opened.
    1932 – Just Born moved its operations to an empty printing factory Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
    1953 – Just Born acquired Rodda Candy Company of Lancaster.. Although better known for its jelly bean technology, Rodda also made a small line of marshmallow products that fascinated the Just Born family.. A three-dimensional marshmallow Easter Peeps was made by hand-squeezing marshmallow through pastry tubes.
    1954 – Bob Born, who joined the company in 1946, helped to mechanize the Marshmallow Peeps forming process.. As a result, Just Born has become the world’s largest manufacturer of novelty marshmallow candy.
    1960’s – Just Born produces marshmallow Trees & Snowmen for the Holiday season and Pumpkins & Cats for Halloween under the Rodda Candy brand name.
    1978 – Cousins Ross Born and David Shaffer joined Just Born.. After more than a decade of shared responsibility with their fathers, they became Just Born’s co-presidents
    1980’s – Peeps Giant Bunnies are introduced.
    1995 – A new color Peep is born…Lavender!. It was the fourth color added to the Easter line-up, which already included Yellow, Pink and White.
    1998 – Blue Peeps are introduced to celebrate Just Born’s 75th Anniversary.. Now there are five colors available during the Easter season.
    1999 – The first-ever flavored Peeps is introduced – Vanilla Creme Eggs.. Additionally, Peeps Jelly Beans hit the shelves for the first year.. Peeps also launched their first-ever national television advertising campaign during the Easter season, as well as the Marshmallowpeeps.com website, and the Peeps Fan Club.
    2000 – Marshmallow Peeps are now in new colorful packaging. Now all shapes for all seasons are called Marshmallow Peeps. .Additionally, Strawberry Crème Hearts (for Valentine’s Day) and Eggs (for Easter) are launched.
    2001 – Peeps Vanilla Crème Snack-Size Ghosts are available for the Halloween season – they are the perfect size for trick or treating! Additionally, Cookie Flavored Cutouts (for the Holiday Season) and Peeps Vanilla Crème Hearts (for Valentine’s Day) also hit the shelves.
    2002 – Marshmallow Peeps Stars join the Peeps family.. With the introduction of Peeps Stars, the candy is available all year long! Additionally, Cocoa Bats, the first-ever cocoa flavored Peeps, join the Peeps line for the Halloween season.
    2003 – Marshmallow Peeps celebrates its 50th Anniversary with a year full of festivities.. The year includes: a new advertising campaign for all five Peeps seasons; a float in the Macy’s Day Parade; Launch of the Peeps Fun Bus Program; Introduction of the Peeps Points Program and the Re-Launch of Marshmallowpeeps.com
    Peeps. Always in Season.(FitzBradshaw Racing PR)(1-28-2003)
  • Lepage still looking for a sponsor: Kevin Lepage is still waiting to find a sponsor is ready to join Lepage and #71 Matrix Motorsports to run for the 2003 BGN season. They have the first 10 races covered with cars ready for paint and sponsors logos. Lepage will run this weekened in the 24 hours at Daytona. For more information call Matrix 704-875-0271(Matrix PR via BGN Racing)(1-28-2003)
  • Stewart and Kid Rock? UPDATE 3 Looks like a NO at Lowe’s in May but: hearing that Tony Stewart will drive the #8 Kid Rock Chevy in the Busch/BGN race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May.(1-23-2003)
    UPDATE: however, it has been reported that Steve Park will race the #8 BGN car at Lowe’s, so not too sure about this one.(1-24-2003)
    UPDATE 2: getting a bit more info, hearing now, the scheme will race at one of the BGN Richmond races, probably May as there are rumors that Dale Earnahrdt Jr will run all three races at Richmond in Sept (CTS/BGN/Cup) and Martin Truex Jr is scheduled in the #8 BGN car at RIR in May…so this rumor has some holes in it, unless it is a 2nd Chase2 car, what is posted here is all I have heard or know.(1-25-2003)
    UPDATE 3: been told that Tony Stewart will NOT be driving a #8 Kid Rock paint scheme in the May Charlotte BGN race. This is already scheduled to be a cheese nips car to be driven by Steve Park. But could show up elsewhere. However, many diecast sheets are showing the car running in Charlotte, so it could be the Fall race but diecast sites are saying Richmond in May.(1-27-2003)
  • #16 Full season deal: Wayne Day (Day Enterprise Inc.), owner of the #16 BGN car, announced that he has signed a contract to run the full BGN season with Waterloo Tool Storage. Waterloo Tool Storage and 31-W Insulation will be the primary sponsors and Larry Gunselman as the driver. “During the 2003 season we will run Chevrolet Monte Carlo’s and Pontiac Grand Prix’s,” said Day. “We have several of our long term sponsors that have agreed to continue their relationship with us for the 2003 season: 31-W Insulation, Fikes Automotive.com, FMI Fireplaces, Applegate Insulation, Ready Heater, Spectra Metals, Sherman Williams Automotive Finishes, Gargoyles Sunglasses, Suburban Accents, Windsor Garage Doors, Alpha Signs, Holston Gases and Spectra Metal. We are happy to have Larry and Waterloo join our race team. The team will be registered as the Waterloo/31W-Insulation Monte Carlo or Pontiac, “said Wayne. Day Enterprise has hired James Cox as the new crew chief and Kevin Huffines as the new team manager for the #16 BGN car.(Day Enterprises PR via BGN Racing)(1-27-2003)
  • #86 Team gets sponsor for Daytona: JCR3 Racing announced United Plastics Group, Inc. as a Corporate Partner for the team’s entry in the Koolerz 300 at Daytona. The NASCAR 2002 Hills Bros All Pro Series Champion, Jeff Fultz will once again pilot the #86 Chevrolet Monte Carlo for the season opener.(Catchfence)(1-25-2003)
  • Clanton and Brewco? TrimSpa may still be a sponsor this year in the BGN, but it now appears that the fat-burning product will back 2002 ASA champion ASA champion Joey Clanton at Brewco Motorsports, Winston Cup Scene reporter Rick Houston has learned. Sources say Clanton, a 30-year-old native of Stockbridge, GA, who won nine of 20 starts last year on the ASA circuit, would would run approximately 25 races for Brewco. He would be teamed with David Green, who is running a full schedule in the organization’s #37 Timber Wolf-sponsored entry, and fellow BGN rookie, #27-Chase Montgomery.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-25-2003)
  • Fuller gets a ride for Daytona: 1992 Winston Modified Tour Champion Jeff Fuller agreed today to pilot the #22 BGN Chevy Monte Carlo owned by businessman Danny G. Bost, for the upcoming Koolerz 300 in Daytona on February 15th . For the past three (3) years Fuller has worked closely with long time driver/car owner Joe Nemechek on R & D programs. Fuller had his first win in the BGN at Bristol in his 40th start, and finished 10th in the BGN point standings as well as winning the BGN Rookie of the Year in 1995. “I will continue to work with Joe as well as run the race in Daytona for Danny. “I spent some time in the race shop and saw that the entire team was dedicated from the owner on down the line and is willing to do what ever it takes to have a good car and a great showing in Daytona and I want to be a part of that effort, “said Fuller. “Right now we just have a one race deal,” said Fuller. Danny G. Bost resides in Concord where he is a land developer. He became the sole owner of car #22 (former car number 94 BGN team) on January 1st, 2003. “I basically have a rookie team, so I’ve made the decision to look for an experienced driver fill the seat for the first race of the season. I have a dedicated team and I want to make sure I give them the tools they need to build a completive race team. After spending time with Jeff , I decided to see if he would be interested in driving the car for us at Daytona. He has the experience we need for this team and we are very pleased that he is willing to help us at this time,” said Danny. “At the present time we do not have a sponsor but however, We plan on running the full Busch Circuit this season, with the hopes of landing a major sponsor.,” said Bost.(Promotions In Motion PR) AND Fuller is schedule to test with Bost Motorsports at Talladega this week.(Jeff Fuller site)(1-25-2003)
  • Tim Sauter Searching: Tim Sauter has joined forces with Neader Sports Management to help in the search for sponsorship for the 2003 season and beyond. “We still have several doors open that are just waiting on some sponsorship dollars,” said Sauter. “We hope to have something shored up soon. We would like to run a partial schedule this year and have something full-time for the 2004 season solidified by mid season or so.” Anyone interested in sponsoring Tim can reach him at 704-224-3157 or can call Neader Sports Management at 727-823-4412 for more information.(Tim Sauter PR via BGN Racing)(1-24-2003)
  • Baker to drive for Jesel? Wayne Jesel wants Brad Baker to drive for him, but like the Baker racing team (#28) they lack a sponsor. Currently, Baker plans to run 5 races for Jesel and 5 for Baker racing unless one team can find a sponsor for additional races. (BradBaker.com via BGN Racing)(1-24-2003)
  • Truex Jr in a Dale Jr owned BGN car? UPDATE 2: hearing that New Jersey [home of Jayski] driver Martin Truex Jr will drive for Dale Earnhardt Jr in up to seven BGN races in 2003. Steve Park is also supposed to drive five or so races and Dale Earnhardt Jr will also drive in a handfull of BGN races, most with special paint schemes [Daytona, Talladega and Charlotte].(11-20-2002)
    UPDATE: Martin Truex, Jr. is planning 6 or 7 races with Earnhardt Jr.’s new BGN team in 2003. This is in addition to the 5 or 6 he’s planning with his own team on top of running as many Busch North races as he can fit into his schedule. Truex Jr. ran 4 BGN races in 2002.(BGN Racing)(12-23-2002)
    UPDATE 2 – Dale Jr BGN team takes a Chance, plus three Cup races: Teresa Earnhardt helped Dale Earnhardt Jr. unveil a new name for the race team they’ve formed to compete in the BGN this year. The team is called Chance 2. The original Chance Inc. was a company Dale and Teresa Earnhardt formed in 1994 to give Earnhardt’s children, Kerry, Kelly and Dale Jr., their first taste of racing. The company disbanded when Earnhardt Jr. started racing in the BGN for what has grown into Dale Earnhardt Inc [DEI]. Earnhardt Jr. will drive the #8 car in two BGN races at Daytona and one at Talladega. Steve Park will drive it in five races and Martin Truex Jr. will drive it in five more. The team will also enter a #81 car in three Winston Cup races. Jason Keller will drive it at Chicagoland Speedway and Ron Fellows will drive in the road-course events at Watkins Glen and Sonoma.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-21-2003)
    UPDATE 3: Martin Truex Jr., an up-and-coming NASCAR driver from Stafford Township, Ocean County, NJ, will get behind the wheel for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s new Chance 2 team in at least five BGN races, beginning with the May 2 Hardee’s 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Earnhardt Jr. and his stepmother, Teresa, unveiled the name of the new race team earlier this week, and announced Truex and Steve Park as drivers along with Earnhardt Jr. “I’m pretty excited about it,” Truex, 22, said Thursday. “We’ve been talking for a while now. They approached me, said they were starting a Busch team and had me in mind along with a couple other drivers. They were looking for somebody young to groom for the future.” Truex said he is also scheduled to drive for Earnhardt at Lowe’s Motor Speedway near Charlotte, N.C., on May 24 (the Carquest Auto Parts 300), as well as races at Dover, on May 31, New Hampshire on July 19 and Homestead, Fla., in November. “Hopefully we’ll do seven races for them this year, and if everything goes well, maybe a full season in 2004,” Truex said. “I’m just concentrating on doing the best I can this year.” Earnhardt debuted the Chance 2 No. 8 Chevrolet in a practice session Thursday at Daytona Beach, running a half-second quicker than 21 other teams. He will drive the car in defense of his title in the Feb. 15 Koolerz 300 at Daytona. Truex will also drive in several other BGN races for the Truex Motor Sports team, as well as the regular Busch North schedule. Truex entered four BGN races last year, earning more than $50,000. He had a tough-luck campaign in the Busch North, failing to win a race despite claiming the pole position six times in 19 starts. Plagued by mechanical problems and crashes, he still had six top-5 finishes and won the $10,000 Bud Pole Award.(Atlantic City Press)(1-24-2003)
  • Jay Sauter in the #75? UPDATE: BGN Racing is reporting that Jay Sauter may be running a limited schedule in the #75 Henderson Motorsports ride.(01-20-2003)
    UPDATE: Jay Sauter will drive the Henderson Motorsports #75 BGN car for the 2003 season. Sauter will be replacing Butch Miller who will be running the entire ASA schedule. Team owner Charlie Henderson is looking forward to the season with his new driver. “We hate to see Butch leave, but I’m really excited to have Jay, I think his driving ability will be a great asset for this team.” The team plans to run a limited schedule of 12-15 races.(Henderson Motorsports PR)(1-23-2003)
  • 2nd Carroll Racing team? UPDATE 2: Lance Norick will reportedly drive a second Carroll Racing car for approximately 15 races this season. Sponsorship has not been announced.(BGN Racing)(1-17-2003)
    UPDATE: hearing Norick and Grubb will share driving duties, not sure who will drive what races yet or if it will expand into a 2 car effort later in the season.(1-20-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Entering its sixth season of BGN sponsorship in 2003, Dr Pepper will help support a Carroll Racing driver development initiative by splitting the driver duties between veteran Kevin Grubb and series newcomer Lance Norick. Grubb, 24, will drive the #26 Dr Pepper Dodge in 24 races of the 34-race schedule, with 34-year-old Norick in the driver’s seat for 10 races. Dr Pepper will also be an associate sponsor on a second car (#90) Carroll Racing will enter in five BGN races with Norick behind the wheel. “Last season was terrific for the Dr Pepper racing team,” stated Cindi Clark, Dr Pepper senior vice president-marketing. “We were competitive in most of the races, came close to winning a few and posted the best finish ever for a Dr Pepper team, a second place at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill. The #26 car received terrific television exposure throughout the season and our special Spider-Man and Red Fusion paint schemes were the first thematic schemes we had ever created. There will be more of those in 2003, during what we anticipate will be another great season for Dr Pepper racing,” Clark concluded. Racing the Dodge Intrepid for the first time, Carroll Racing didn’t stop with a new car body. “We have a new engine program, new drivers, news cars and an energized team that is confident about its chances for getting into victory lane in 2003.” Dr Pepper will continue its extensive show car program in 2003, and expand its merchandising efforts in support of the #26 car and Dr Pepper Racing team.(Carroll Racing PR)(1-22-2003)
  • Conway and Innovative, Irvan to assist: Kevin Conway will drive the Innovative Motorsports #48B BGN Chevy on January 23rd and 24th in preparation for the Koolerz 300 at Daytona Intl Speedway. Shane Hmiel will also be testing the #48A Dark Dog Energy Drink Chevy this week. “Innovative Motorsports is a great organization and I hope to add valuable information to benefit the team effort in preparation for next months race,” added Conway. In 2002 Conway drove in a combined effort for Ernie Irvan Racing and Innovative Motorsports in two ARCA races at Atlanta and Charlotte. For 2003, the twenty-four year old Conway hopes to contend for “Rookie of the Year” while running a full BGN schedule with Innovative Motorsports. “Right now we are in discussions with several potential sponsors and I am optimistic that we will be able to make an announcement in the very near future, hopefully at Daytona,” said Conway. Conway has an extensive background in racing. He has competed in the Legends Series, NASCAR Late-Models, ASA, and ARCA series. He has worked for over three years as a driving instructor for the Richard Petty Driving Experience. For the past year, Conway has tested extensively for NASCAR Winston Cup teams MBV/MB2 #10 and #36. Legendary NASCAR driver Ernie Irvan will be assisting Conway with his efforts this year. “I have been involved with Kevin for the past couple of years, and have really enjoyed working with him. I know one thing for sure, he has a great deal of talent and he has what it takes to be a great driver. He is the complete package for a sponsor,” says Irvan.(1-22-2003)
  • Some changes: for Daytona in Feb, the BGN teams will use the 2002 body style and the Winston Cup shock package used at Daytona, where NASCAR hands out the same shocks to all the teams.(Speed Channel TV Coverage)(1-21-2003)
  • Spencer to run limited BGN schedule: Jimmy Spencer announced plans to run a limited BGN schedule in 2003 for Spencer Motor Ventures, the team that Spencer and his wife, Pat have owned since 1995. In the late ninety’s, Spencer competed as an owner/driver in limited Busch events, where he posted three wins and finished in the top-5 in about 40 percent of those events. Spencer carried that same success over to the #1 Phoenix Racing team, driving a limited schedule where he posted four wins in the past two years. Spencer hopes to run fifteen BGN/Winston Cup companion events this season, pending sponsorship. The team is actively searching for corporations to fund this high-profile campaign. Spencer plans to run his first race of the season at Bristol on March 22, the same venue where he edged out Scott Wimmer for the win last year. “I love racing in the Busch Series,” said Jimmy Spencer.. “We have enjoyed a lot of success in Busch, and I plan to win more races, especially with my own team, like I did several years ago. Besides the talent we have here at Spencer Motor Ventures, I’ve got my Winston Cup team and crew chief, Tommy Baldwin to share data with, and that helps both teams. I can promise a sponsor, they will get their monies worth this season.”(Spencer Motor Ventures PR)(1-21-2003)
  • Former CART champ Jimmy Vasser to run partial BGN schedule: Jimmy Vasser, who won the 1996 CART series crown with Chip Ganassi Racing, will run a partial BGN schedule this season, beginning with his career debut in the season-opening Koolerz 300 at Daytona. Vasser, who will run fulltime in CART this season, is scheduled to run 10 races for Braun Racing [#19, #30] in the upcoming season.(NASCAR PR)(1-20-2003)
    UPDATE: Jimmy Vasser, the 1996 CART champion, didn’t test Monday but said he will attempt to qualify for Koolerz 300 at Daytona International Speedway in February, the first of 10 Busch Series races he hopes to run in a ride he will share with #30-Steadman Marlin for Braun Racing. (Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-21-2003)
  • New Speed Show UPDATE BGN Qualifying: The Speed Channel will add a Grand National [Busch – BGN] version of its popular “Inside Winston Cup” show to its lineup this year. It will air on Wednesday nights before the rewind of the weekend’s Winston Cup race. Randy Lajoie and Hank Parker Jr. will be regular guests on the show, with a third panelist rotating each week. Allen Bestwick, who also hosts the Winston Cup show, will be the host.(ThatsRacinh.com)(1-12-2003)
    UPDATE – More Graphics and BGN qualifying: FOX announcer Mike Joy says the network has plans for added graphics and telemetry during qualifying to make that coverage more interesting for fans. FOX also plans to show Busch Grand National [BGN] qualifying. FOX and FX will broadcast the season’s first half in Cup and BGN before giving way to NBC and TNT.(News and Record)(1-20-2003)
    UPDATE 2: SPEED Channel will take its popular Inside Winston Cup program format and host Allen Bestwick to the NASCAR Busch Series this season when Inside NBS debuts on Feb. 17 at 11:00pm/et. Two-time NASACR Busch Series champion Randy LaJoie will team with fellow NASCAR driver Hank Parker Jr. on the set, with a third seat filled on a rotating basis. LaJoie and Parker will sit in with the popular Inside Winston Cup crew of Bestwick, Ken Schrader, Johnny Benson and Waltrip during SpeedWeeks, but LaJoie hopes the new program is quick to develop a personality of its own. And LaJoie is certain who his two toughest critics will be. In addition to coverage of the NASCAR Busch Series, Inside NBS will also have a regular segment on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. SPEED Channel plans to offer live or same-day coverage of NASCAR Busch Series qualifying and/or practice sessions at every race in 2003, the first scheduled for Feb. 12 at 2:30 p.m. from Daytona Beach.(SPEED Channel PR)(1-21-2003)
  • Chase Montgomery BGN plans UPDATE: The Alice Cooper/Montgomery Racing Team plans to run 7 BGN races during 2003 preparing for full-time for the 2004 season with rookie driver Chase Montgomery. Announcements will be made soon concerning a partnership with an existing Busch team for the 2003 season, supposedly with Brewco (#27/#37). Montgomery will most likely not run the full ARCA schedule in 2003. If everything goes as planned, Alice Cooper/Montgomery Racing will enter 10-13 ARCA events along with 7 Busch Series events.(Stock Car Scene)(1-11-2003)
    UPDATE: Brewco Motorsports owner Clarence Brewer Jr. has announced plans to run Chase Montgomery in a seven-race BGN program in his #27 Pontiac and says that rock music legend Alice Cooper will be part of the effort. Cooper is scheduled to help promote Montgomery and the team, which is looking for sponsorship. As a 19-year-old rookie last season, Montgomery drove 22 races in ARCA, earning four top-five and 10 top-10 finishes.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-20-2003)
  • Reutimann and Hills Bros UPDATE: Later today at the BSLA Preview, Nemco and David Reutimann will announce a sponsorship deal with Hills Brothers Coffee, supposedly a five race deal to drive the #88 Chevy.(BGN Racing)
    UPDATE: Hills Bros Coffee announced that it has created a unique program offering an aspiring race driver their “Coffee Break of a Lifetime”. The program will provide the selected driver with a five-race deal to drive a Busch Series racecar in 2003. In addition, the driver will have an opportunity to earn a one race Winston Cup ride in 2004 based upon their performance in the five races. To make this program a reality, Hills Bros Coffee commissioned a team of experts lead by Randy LaJoie, two-time Busch Series Champion, to look for a driver. The search focused on drivers from the many touring and weekly racing series that are held across the United States. After an extensive search, the panel of experts selected David Reutimann to earn the Hills Bros. “Coffee Break Of A Lifetime” for 2003. “David was selected because he best represented what this program is intended to do….give someone a big break,” stated Lajoie. “We quickly determined that David has a lot of talent when we looked at the fact that he finished second in the Hills Bros All-Pro Series with an unbelievably low budget operation. He is really a throw-back to the old days when you built the car, towed the car, fixed the car and raced the car,” added the two-time Busch Series champion.
    Reutimann has selected to race Chevrolets out the NEMCO Race Shop. The car will bear the #88. Brian Pattie will be his crew chief. To thank Joe Nemechek for supplying the cars and Randy LaJoie for leading the selection process, Hills Bros. will provide Associate Sponsorship funding on both drivers’ Busch Series Cars. To earn a one-race ride in a Winston Cup Race Car in 2004, David must score more points in his 5 races than Randy LaJoie does in those same 5 races. In addition, David must achieve at least 3 Top-Five Finishes. The five-race schedule will consist of starts in Busch Series races at Texas (March 29), California (April 26), Milwaukee (June 29), Chicago (July 12), and Michigan (August 16).(NEMCO PR)(1-17-2003)
  • Innovative Motorsports Sponsor for Hmiel UPDATE: Dark Dog, a high-energy drink, will be a sponsor on Shane Hmiel’s #48 Innovative Motorsports Chevy [will run the #48 instead of the #47 Hmiel ran in 2002 as it has more owners points] in the BGN beginning at Daytona, team owner George de Bidart confirmed to NASCAR Winston Cup Scene reporter Rick Houston today. Gould’s Pumps will return as a major associate sponsor.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter), an official announcement will take place on Friday, January 17, 2003, at 5:15pm/et at the Busch Series Preview, Charlotte Merchandise Mart, Charlotte, NC(1-16-2003)
    UPDATE: Innovative Motorsports, Inc. announced that Dark Dog will become a sponsor on the #48 Chevy driven by Shane Hmiel in the BGN in 2003. “Dark Dog is genuinely excited to join Innovative Motorsports,” said Randy Ridenour, CEO of Dark Dog America. “Our company is the #2 energy drink in brand recognition worldwide, but we are relatively new in the United States. We know that IMI and Shane Hmiel will make the perfect vehicle to drive sales for our product and to drive us into victory lane.” Goulds Pumps, which served as the primary sponsor of IMI’s #48 in 2001 and as a major associate sponsor in 2002, returns as a major associate sponsor on the #48 in 2003. General Motors will provide technical support to IMI’s effort.(Innovative Motorsports PR)(1-17-2003)
  • Team Bristol sign driver UPDATE: NASCAR Winston Cup Scene reporter Rick Houston has learned that Team Bristol Motorsports [#54 Hermie Sadler] owner Rick Goodwin has signed Leilani Munter to a driver development contract. Munter, who has raced Late Model Stock cars, will enter a number of races in another division, such as Busch North [BGNN], with an eye toward making a late-season Busch Series start, possibly at Memphis.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-16-2003)
    UPDATE: Team Bristol Motorsports owner Rick Goodwin announced today that he has signed Leilani Munter to a driver developmental contract. Goodwin, the owner of the # 54 BGN team, plans to enter Munter into a driver training program for 2003, with hopes of entering the Rochester, MN native into a late season Busch Series race. “I am really excited about working with Leilani and hopefully leading her driving development into the Busch Series,” Goodwin said. “As many people know, I am very committed to the goal of having a full-time female Busch Series driver and I believe with the proper training, Leilani can be that driver. I think it would be wonderful to have a young lady in the Busch Series full-time, however I realize we must take the time and fully prepare her for the challenge. We will enter Leilani into a number of races in one of the feeder divisions of the Busch Series this season. In addition to beginning an extensive testing program, she will also travel with our Busch Series team and work in the shop on a daily basis. If she can prove to me over the course of the year that she is ready to drive a Busch Series car then we will enter her in the Memphis race in October, if not, we will continue to train her for the Busch Series.” Munter expressed her excitement of entering into the driver training program. “I am really excited about the opportunity to race for Team Bristol this year,” Munter said. “I can’t thank Rick Goodwin enough for believing in me and giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity. I look forward to the training schedule that Rick and I are currently working on and achieving the milestones we will set.” Munter graduated from The University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. While still in college, she began working as a model, following graduation she made the move to film. On the set of Cameron Crowe’s “Almost Famous” it was brought to her attention that she resembled a certain up and coming actress. Soon after, casting directors hired her to photo double for Hollywood starlet Catherine Zeta-Jones in Steven Soderbergh’s Academy Award winning movie “Traffic” and Revolution’s romantic comedy “America’s Sweethearts. Munter has also worked as a stunt double and precision driver in many films. Over the last few years Munter began to drive late model stock cars. Munter has also spent time in training with the Panoz GT Series and ARCA Series. Munter worked in 2002 as an instructor at The Richard Petty Driving School. Munter has recently relocated from Charlotte to Bristol, VA to be involved in the day-to-day operations of Team Bristol Motorsports. Team Bristol is presently negotiating with potential sponsors for Munter 2003 racing program.(Camp & Associates PR)(1-17-2003)
  • Fuller Hits the Track on Tuesday: Jeff Fuller, along with other NASCAR drivers, will hit the Lowe’s Motor Speedway Tuesday, January 21st to film a commercial for Pfizer promoting men’s health. This will be the second commercial Fuller has done for Pfizer. The first one aired during the 2001 season in which Fuller drove Mark Martin’s Pfizer sponsored Ford.(Jeff Fuller Site)(1-17-2003)
  • Some Dale Jr/BGN scheme rumors UPDATE: hearing that Dale Earnhardt Jr will run a “concert” scheme at the April Talladega BGN race and that Dale Jr will run a Dirty Mo Posse (DMP) paint scheme in the July Daytona BGN.(11-9-2002)
    UPDATE: Action Performance Companies announced the release of a brand new Dale Earnhardt Legacy Series die-cast collectible featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr. The Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert Chevrolet Monte Carlo race car will be the first official souvenir of the one-of-a-kind concert event being held to honor the seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion. The Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert, sponsored by Kraft and Nabisco, is scheduled for June 28, 2003 in Daytona Beach, Fla. at Daytona International Speedway. In anticipation of the actual concert, Dale Jr. will race the special, guitar-themed #8 The Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert Chevrolet on April 5, 2003 during the 300-mile NASCAR Busch Series event at Talladega Superspeedway. In cooperation with Dale Earnhardt Inc., Action Performance Companies also will produce a full line of die-cast collectibles featuring the celebratory, limited edition paint scheme under the Dale Earnhardt Legacy Series banner.(Action PR), see image on the 2003 BGN Paint Schemes page.(1-16-2003)
  • Stacker 2 to sponsor a BGN team too UPDATE: hearing Stacker 2, who will sponsor the #23 Bill Davis Racing Dodge and Kenny Wallace in 2003 on the Cup circuit, has signed with the #23 Bill Davis BGN team and driver Scott Wimmer as the primary sponsor for half the 2003 season and the other half of the season they will be the secondary sponsor with a company called Stamina RX, which is a natural alternative to Viagra. Stacker 2 is coming out with a line of high protein, low carb protein bars and a meal replacement drink [like Slim Fast in a way] and plans are to use the BGN and CUP cars to promote both Stacker 2 diet aids and the new line.(11-4-2002)
    UPDATE: NVE Pharmaceuticals and Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals announced today a co-sponsorship of the #23 Bill Davis Racing Chevrolet driven by Scott Wimmer in the BGN. NVE Pharmaceuticals brand, Stacker 2, will serve as the primary sponsor of the car starting at the series opener at Daytona in February through the mid-season event at Milwaukee. The primary sponsorship will switch to Stamina RX, Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals product, starting with the July event in Daytona through the rest of the 2003 season. “NVE Pharmaceutical’s Stacker 2 “The Worlds Strongest Fat Burner” and Hi-Tech Pharmaceutical’s Stamina Rx are thrilled to be sponsoring Scott Wimmer in the NASCAR Busch Series for the 2003 season,” states Karen Finocchio, V.P. of Marketing for NVE. “Bill Davis Racing has proven to be very successful in producing talented drivers and exceptional teams. Both NVE and Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals look forward to a very competitive and rewarding season.” Wimmer, who finished third in the final driver point standings in the 2002 season, ran most of that year without financial backing from a sponsor. “We are just really happy to have both Stacker 2 and Stamina RX on board for the 2003 season,” said car owner, Bill Davis. “We believe that Scott Wimmer has a ton of talent, and this team is capable of contending for a championship. We are very appreciative to have these two sponsors on board that have the faith in our program and want to share in the success.”(Bill Davis Racing PR)(1-16-2003)
  • Baldwin Racing to run limited schedule with STA-RITE and Lusk: STA-RITE has agreed to renew their sponsorship with Tommy Baldwin Racing [TBR] to run a limited program for the 2003 BGN with Rookie of the Year contender Damon Lusk behind the wheel. Although a specific schedule is still being fine-tuned, STA-RITE will race the TBR Dodge in the Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway on February 15th for the “Koolerz 300”. Lusk, 25, ran two races for TBR last season at Richmond and Atlanta. “We’re just really excited about our future,” said co-owner Tommy Baldwin, “We know Damon is going to make it all the way to the top of this sport and we are very confident in his abilities. Having STA-RITE working hard to support us again is just what we needed to advance our team, Damon’s career and ultimately, STA-RITE’s marketability and brand awareness.” STA-RITE will be the primary sponsor starting in Daytona. They are eager to continue with the development of the TBR program. Headquartered in Delavan, Wisconsin, STA-RITE is the only pump company that manufactures a complete line of water systems pumps and Fibrewound and Steel Pressure Tanks. The company is a leading worldwide manufacturer of pumps and water processing equipment for the water systems, irrigation, pool/spa and filtration markets.(Tommy Baldwin Racing PR)(1-16-2003)
  • Hermie Sadler in the #54: Hermie Sadler has landed a full-time Busch Series ride with #54 Team Bristol Motorsports, NASCAR Winston Cup Scene reporter Rick Houston has learned. Sadler, a 33-year-old Emporia, VA, native, ran six BGN races and 10 Winston Cup events in 2002, while concentrating on his family and daughter, Halie Dru, who was diagnosed with autism in 2000. Sadler hasn’t competed regularly on the BGN since 2000, when he made 16 starts for Innovative Motorsports owner George de Bidart. He has raced in the series since 1992 and has two career wins. Team Bristol Motorsports owner Rick Goodwin is expected to hire a crew chief [Eddie Sharpe] in the next couple of days.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-14-2003)
  • New #96 driver(s) UPDATE 3: The #96 Chris Hoiles Motorsports BGN team has named Brad Baker is their driver for 2003. Sponsor to be named later. No word on if this a a limited or full schedule.(12-12-2002)
    UPDATE: also hearing Brad Baker will be driving a limited schedule 2003. Brent Moore, new to BGN racing, will be driving the majority of the schedule. Brent’s first BGN race was PPIR 2002.(12-14-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Ortec Racing of Easley, S.C., says it has signed Brad Baker to run a limited number of Busch Series races this year. “I am excited about having Brad on board with us this season,” said crew chief Tony Burgess. “He meshes real well with the rest of our team. He shows the skills and determination that it will take to succeed.” No schedule of races was announced. Baker, a 26-year-old Tennessee native, has driven in 24 series races over the past four years.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-3-2003)
    UPDATE 3: Ortec, Inc., a leading custom manufacturer located in Easley, South Carolina, has entered into an agreement to form ORTEC Racing (Original Racing Technologies), LLC with Chris Hoiles Motorsports, owner of the BGN #96 car. ORTEC Racing will not only focus on running teams at various levels of NASCAR competition, but will also manufacture new motorsports technologies. “We are about building a sustainable, winning team built on three principles”, says Ortec owner Larry Brotherton. “These principles are, dedication to the goals of our sponsors, putting forth 110% every time we come to the track, and seek to bring innovation in safety and design to racing.” The team will be based out of Chris Hoiles Motorsports’ current facilities in Liberty, South Carolina. Existing personnel from last year’s number 96 team will be used, as well as several new additions.(PR)(1-11-2003)
  • Altiere planning a few BGN races: Tony Altiere and 5 Star Motorsports are making plans to run 3 to 5 BGN races in 2003. Which races have not yet been determined.(BGN Racing site)(1-11-2003)
  • Crew Chiefs Looking: Veteran crew chief Tommy Morgan is also entertaining job offers for Cup, BGN, or the Truck Series. He may be contacted at (704) 662-2922 AND Veteran crew chief Sandy Jones is currently seeking an opportunity to return to the Busch Series. With 9 victories to his credit, including 5 with Elliott Sadler, Jones ran the Dodge test program in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2001-2002. Interested parties may contact Sandy at (828) 478-5888.(BGN Racing site)(1-11-2003)
  • #31 Plans, Blaney and Ford: Whelen #31 plans for 2003 include Dave Blaney and also a switch from Chevrolet to Ford.(Whelen Site)(1-11-2003)
  • Civil Air Patrol reups with Lewis: As the only National Non-Profit organization currently involved in BGN primary sponsorship, Civil Air Patrol leaders are excited about the opportunities for continued exposure in 2003. In August of 2002, the Board of Governors voted to continue their sponsorship of the #46 Chevy, piloted by Ashton Lewis, Jr. through the 2003 season. The Board of Governors decided to extend the sponsorship because they were pleased with the exposure that Civil Air Patrol was receiving, their membership numbers are steadily increasing, and because they know they found the perfect role model for their cadets in driver, Lewis, Jr.
    The Civil Air Patrol organization has taken on a new role in Homeland Security. On a recent visit to the White House, Major General Bowling was named as one of the 43 members of the National Citizen Corp. Council. The council has representatives from state and local governments, first-responder groups, emergency management agencies, volunteer service organizations and the private sector. Mike Brown, deputy director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said the national council “will play a major role in promoting citizen preparedness and homeland security nationwide. In response to the new responsibilities that Civil Air Patrol will be assuming, the leadership decided that a new paint scheme was in line for the #46 Chevy. Civil Air Patrol is actively seeking tax deductible donations, or associate sponsors for our racing program. For more information please contact [email protected]. Civil Air Patrol, the official Air Force Auxiliary, is a nonprofit organization with over 63,000 members nationwide. It performs more than 85% of inland search and rescue missions tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center in the continental United States. Volunteers also take a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the over 25,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. On the Web: www.capnhq.gov or www.capraceteam.com.(1-11-2003)
  • Renshaw to run some Busch race: Although Deborah Renshaw’s 2003 full-time Busch Series ride failed to materialize, she and her ARCA team owner Bob Schacht hope to run seven Busch races along with five ARCA events this year.(Tennessean)(1-9-2003)
  • Ray in NASCAR? UPDATE: former IRL champ, Greg Ray is trying to finalize a deal that will put in a Busch car for the 2003 season. Ray also wants to return to the IRL and compete in both series.(Dallas Morning News)(12-12-2002)
    UPDATE: Greg Ray was in Charlotte on Wednesday. He didn’t reveal the details of his trip to North Carolina, but supposedly Ray is trying to complete a deal to drive in NASCAR this season and has been working on plans for a Busch Series ride for 2003.(Dallas Morning News – need to register to read)(1-9-2003)
  • Robby Gordon to run BGN: a quote from Team Gordon on some 2003 plans (besides his #31 Cup ride): “Our hope is to participate in some Busch Grand National events this season and beyond out of the Team Gordon Shop. Of course funding for the program must be adequate enough for us to put together wins. Right now there are a few companies interested in participating in a Busch program with an Indy 500 and Baja 1000 overflow, but nothing is concrete at this time. It’s a wait-and-see scenario.”(American Race Fan)(1-8-2003)
  • Grubb to the #26 team? UPDATE 2 and to Dodge: hearing Kevin Grubb, who drove the #54 Toy-R-Us Chevy in 2002 is moving over to the #26 Carroll Racing/Dr Pepper Chevy.
    UPDATE: Kevin Grubb and Team Bristol Motorsports owner Rick Goodwin are parting ways, freeing Grubb to take a ride in Carroll Racing’s #26 entry sponsored by Dr Pepper. Goodwin has a short list of potential replacements for Grubb, but he may hold off on making a decision. Grubb will replace Ron Hornaday at Carroll Racing, which is also making the switch to Dodges for 2003.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(12-31-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Busch Series team owner Dave Carroll has confirmed to NASCAR Winston Cup Scene reporter Rick Houston that Kevin Grubb will drive Carroll Racing’s #26 entry in the Busch Series this season. Grubb replaces Ron Hornaday, who moved to Richard Childress Racing [#2]. The team ran Chevrolets last year but will switch to Dodges this year. Grubb wound up 24th in the series last year, when he drove for Team Bristol Motorsports.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-8-2003)
  • Irvan BGN/ARCA team: Retired Winston Cup driver Ernie Irvan will field cars for rookie Kevin Conway in 15 NASCAR Busch Series races and select speedway races in the ARCA RE/MAX Series where Conway first drove for Irvan last season. An announcement will be made at Daytona giving more details about the partnership. In his first and only ARCA RE/MAX Series start to date, Conway qualified Irvan’s Chevrolet in the 5th position at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2002. The rookie was in contention for the win when a flat tire put him down the order to a 13th place finish.(StockCarScene.com)(1-7-2003)
  • Tim Sauter a free agent: After a very successful 2002 NASCAR Busch Series season driving for AP Performance Racing, Wisconsin’s Tim Sauter is now a racing “free agent.”  The middle of three racing Sauter brothers, Tim, is now searching for a new avenue in 2003 due to the fact that financial constraints have shut down the AP Performance Team after one year of NASCAR competition.  “It is really unfortunate that the cards had to fall the way they did, but that is the state of motorsports today,” said Sauter.  “I just have to start looking for what is best for me in 2003.  I wanted to keep the AP team running for the 2003 season because one year is just not enough time to develop a brand new team and I saw some big things on the horizon for us, but we just couldn’t find a sponsor to keep it going.  Right now, I just want to do what is best for me.  We were successful racing against some of the best, well-funded teams in the Busch Series and I’ll do whatever I can to get into a competitive situation in NASCAR.” Sauter is the 1999 ASA National Champion, a feat he accomplished with AP Performance racing.  Sauter, who has been with the Canadian-owned AP team for five years, started the Busch Series team from the ground up just prior to the 2002 season.  In just a few months time, Sauter turned an old race shop into high-tech headquarters to house their operation.  With a brand new team, brand new personnel and all new equipment, Sauter was qualifying inside the top 15 and finishing there as well. Sauter and the team catapulted their way toward the top of the Busch Series standings by the end of the season.  A career-best, third-place qualifying effort at the Milwaukee Mile (WI) in June was soon matched with several top-10 finishes, including a career-best, sixth-place finish at Memphis (TN). Sauter’s outstanding year was recognized by many, including veteran Winston Cup campaigner Dave Marcis.  So, with the backing of the fellow Wisconsinite, Sauter made his NASCAR Winston Cup driving debut in September at Richmond. “I would like to stay in the NASCAR Busch Series, because I have worked so hard to get to this point and I know I have all the skills it takes to succeed.  I understand these cars and I have been to all of the tracks now, so I have the knowledge and experience.  But if nothing falls in line for the NASCAR Busch Series or Craftsman Truck Series, then I would strongly consider running ASA.” Anyone interested in contacting Sauter regarding a possible ride can reach him at the AP Performance Racing shop for the next two weeks at 704-658-9832 or at 704-224-3157 for more information.(51 Sports PR)(1-6-2003)
  • Johnny Sauter in the #43 at Daytona UPDATE – new Fans Sponsor: Johnny Sauter is going to be running the Curb Agajanian #43 CURB Records Chevrolet for the Daytona BUSCH event. Sauter and Curb Agajanian have teamed up and plan to run Daytona and perhaps additional races this season, where Sauter is not obligated to run the #21 Payday Chevy for RCR. CURB Records has given Sauter a commitment to run Daytona only at this point. Sauter and the team are attempting to solidify additional partners for Daytona and the additional events in 2003. Pending sponsorship, Sauter hopes to compete in the #43 Curb Agajanian Chevrolet for all 15 events where he is not running for RCR.(PR)(12-24-2002)
    UPDATE: Gearhead Racing Fans announced their first sponsorship of a BGN race team with their support of the #43 Curb Records Chevrolet with Driver, Johnny Sauter. Curb Agajanian Motorsports and Sauter are very excited to have a partner going into Daytona with such an innovative and thrilling concept. “We hope that NASCAR BUSCH fans see the opportunity that the Gearhead Racing Fans membership provides, so that we can run some additional events in 2003”, said Sauter. Gearhead Racing Fans believe fan sponsorship can only work if both the race teams and the member/sponsors realize tangible benefits. To that end, Gearhead Racing Fans members will have an opportunity to realize sponsorship benefits like any other sponsor. They will be offering season-long sponsorship to at least one BGN team for 2003 as an associate sponsor. They anticipate making an announcement during January as to which team(s) or driver(s) they will be sponsoring for the 2003 season. Gearhead Racing Fans is a fan-owned, fan-controlled group of NASCAR enthusiasts formed to bring needed financial support to the BGN series in return for benefits normally associated with sponsorship. NASCAR fans who are interested in directly supporting the BGN series are invited to visit www.gearheadfans.com to become a member of Gearhead Racing Fans.(Curb Agajanian Motorsports PR)(1-3-2003)