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January 2004 Busch Series Archive

 

  • The FanZCar Join Forces with SCORE Motorsports and Hermie Sadler: SS Racing Inc. founders of The FanZCar and SCORE Motorsports, a joint venture between NASCAR Busch Series veteran Hermie Sadler and retired NBA star Bryant Stith today announced that they have joined forces for the 2004 NASCAR Season. The FanZCar will serve as primary sponsor in selected Busch Series races with SCORE Motorsports as well as major associate sponsor for the remaining Busch Series races and Nextel Cup races run by SCORE and Hermie Sadler.
    FanZCar is a unique program that gives the fans a chance actually be involved with the team rather than simply watch from the stands. The FanZCar members will have the chance to join the team in the pits for races, and attend various events throughout the year with driver Hermie Sadler.
    “We are very excited about being involved with The FanZCar”, stated Hermie Sadler, “It is a great interactive program that allows our team to work directly with who makes our sport go, the fans. We look forward to offering our members and sponsors a once in a lifetime opportunity. I encourage all NASCAR fans to join me in making this program a success.”
    Eric Say of The FanZCar had this to say. “To be affiliated with a driver that has won the Busch Series Rookie of the Year Award, won races and consistently ran in the Top 15 during his full season appearances is an enormous accomplishment for us and our program. Hermie is the type of driver that the fans want to cheer for and see succeed. We look forward to a successful year for both of us and a long lasting partnership.”
    In addition to giving its members the opportunity to attend races with Sadler and the team, they will also have the chance to join him at other events, such as concerts, professional wrestling events, college sporting events and other team functions. For more information on memberships and event schedules, visit www.thefanzcar.com. This partnership is another sign of the growth of SCORE Motorsports, who was recently chosen to house one of NASCAR’s “Drive for Diversity” teams. SCORE Motorsports will field a Late Model at South Boston Speedway.(PR)(1-31-2004)
  • Hamilton Jr. Fast in Atlanta Testing: Despite the frigid temperatures, Busch Series driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. and his No. 25 Team Marines Ford heated things up in Atlanta on Wednesday, posting a fast lap of 189.474 mph (29.26 seconds) around the 1.54-mile quad-oval track. That speed is just a tick off the track’s Busch Series record of 191.661 (28.96 seconds) set by Ryan Newman in March 2001. Team Rensi Crew chief Harold Holly said he prefers to test at Atlanta at the beginning of the year, setting up a baseline for his car while at the fastest track in the circuit. “If we can get comfortable here in Atlanta, get the right aero balance, then we’ll be OK wherever we go,” Holly said. “Atlanta’s the perfect place to test that stuff, because you’re going so fast. Whenever we need to test new cars, we come to Atlanta. That gives us a platform to work from all year long, and then we just adjust to the different speeds and banking of that week’s particular track.” Hamilton Jr. said he will be doing double duty when he returns to Atlanta in the fall, competing in both the Oct. 30 Aaron’s 312 Busch Series race and the Oct. 31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 NEXTEL Cup race.(AMS PR)(1-28-2004)
  • Hamilton Jr. visits Quantico: To kickoff the 2004 Busch Series racing season, Major General Christopher Cortez, Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruiting Command, Bobby Hamilton Jr., driver of the #25 Team Marines Ford, and members of Team Marines Racing sponsored a special event at Quantico [VA] on January 23. During the event, a highlight reel from the 2003 race season was played, there was a question and answer session, and Hamilton Jr. signed autographs and posed for pictures for the more than 100 race fans who attended. “Being associated with the Marine Corps is different than any other sponsorship because of the larger extended family that the Marine Corps is,” said Hamilton Jr. “When we go anywhere in the world there is a Marine thanking us for what we do out there on the track, and I have to stop and say, ‘Thank us – no, thank you.” The event was a great opportunity for Marines and their families to meet their favorite driver and for the team to share their appreciation for the support they receive.(see full story and images of the event at www.usmc.mil(1-28-2004)
  • Modified Champ to Test Busch Series Waters with Nemechek: Todd Szegedy, the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series champion will race Busch Series races in a car owned by Joe Nemechek. Scheduled races are Milwaukee, Chicago and Michigan. Szegedy hopes to run at the Busch Series Rookie title in 2005.(Stock Car City)(1-28-2004)
  • #4 to get another sponsor? UPDATE: BGNRacing.com is hearing that Biagi Bros. will be announcing an associate sponsorship from Sport Clips in the next day or so, serving as the primary sponsor in one or two races for the #4 driven by Mike Wallace.(1-27-2004)
    UPDATE: Mike Wallace, driver of the #4 Biagi Bros. Ford and Biagi Bros. team owner Fred Biagi announced a partnership with Sport Clips Inc., one of the fastest growing franchises in North America. Biagi Bros. Racing and Sport Clips have teamed up for the O’Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, April 3rd and the Colorado 250 at Pikes Peak International Raceway on Saturday, July 31st. The Georgetown, TX-based enterprise currently has 155 stores in 19 states. Targeting men and boys, Sport Clips operators provide high quality haircuts in a fun sports environment, complete with TV’s at every stylist’s station tuned to sports. Every Sport Clips has “guy smart” stylists who focus on providing the highest level of service to every client. This is the first major NASCAR sponsorship for Sport Clips. Sport Clips will also join GEICO as a co-primary sponsor for the Carquest Auto Parts 300 on Friday, May 29th and the “Little Trees” 300 on Saturday, October 15th, at the 1.5-mile oval of Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Sport Clips will continue to be a major associate sponsor of the #4 Ford for the remaining 30 races on the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series schedule. To learn more about Sport Clips or to find a location nearest you, please visit www.SportClips.com.(Biagi Bros. Racing)(1-28-2004)
  • TrimSpa and Stremme? UPDATE 2: David Stremme appeared at the Daytona Preseason Thunder Fan Fest donning a Trim Spa shirt adding to the speculation that the weight-loss product will sponsor his #19 Braun Racing Dodge this season.
    AND BGNRacing.com is hearing that Stremme and his #19 TrimSpa team will also be joining the Speed Channel NBS 24/7 reality show.(BGNRacing.com)(1-20-2004)
    UPDATE: Braun Racing has reached an agreement with TRIMSPA weight loss products to sponsor 2003 Busch Series Rookie of the Year David Stremme in the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series season. An official announcement is planned for early February. TRIMSPA is the maker of a patented line of four weight loss products: TRIMSPA Completely Ephedra Free Formula X32, TRIMSPA Carb Blocker, and TRIMSPA Fat Blocker. They are entering their second year of full-time sponsorship in the Busch Series, the first with Braun Racing. Stremme, a rookie sensation last year with three top-five and six top-ten finishes in just 18 starts, will drive his first full season in the Busch Series behind the wheel of the #19 TRIMSPA Dodge. Braun also will field a second car in select Busch Series races with NEXTEL Cup driver Jamie McMurray. Braun Racing will continue its alliance with Chip Ganassi Racing, through technical support and their driver development program. The #19 TRIMSPA Dodge will be powered by Ernie Elliott engines, also used by Ganassi. Stremme, a friend of team owner Todd Braun’s through racing together in Indiana, has already raced in two events with the Braun Racing at the end of last season yielding both a top-five finish and qualifying effort. Todd Lohse has re-signed with Braun Racing to be the crew chief for Stremme’s No. 19 TRIMSPA Dodge. David Stremme also is slated as one of three drivers to appear in the new NASCAR Busch Series reality television show “NBS 24/7”. The new show, starting February 16 at 8pm, is designed to be a unique behind the scenes look at the week-to-week operations of a Busch Series race team. With new sponsor TRIMSPA and a promising young driver in Stremme the show will not be short on action.(Braun Racring PR)(1-21-2004)
    UPDATE: Trimspa announced its sponsorship of the Braun Racing TRIMSPA Dodge for the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series and will unveil it to the public at the 42nd Annual CARQUEST World of Wheels Auto Show in Chicago Friday, January 30. David Stremme, Raybestos 2003 Busch Series Rookie of the Year driver, now joins Team TRIMSPA as the 2004 driver of the TRIMSPA Dodge and will be signing autographs at the unveiling. The show begins Friday, January 30 at 3 PM at McCormick Place-North and continues until Sunday, February 1 at 7 PM. The Trimspa 2004 Dodge will be unveiled by Stremme at 8 PM. Immediately following the unveiling, Stremme will sign autographs and greet fans until 9 PM with an encore appearance on Saturday from noon to 2 PM.(Braun Racring PR)(1-28-2004)
  • Busch Deal Falls Through For Greg Van Alst: Greg Van Alst will have to wait a little longer before he is able to make his NASCAR Busch Series debut after he was unable to work out a deal with Busch Series owner Jay Robinson, CEO of Jay Robinson Racing, LLC. Van Alst was hoping to make his first start of the season at Rockingham behind the wheel of the #39 Ford Taurus, but details could not be worked out, leaving both headed separate ways. Van Alst has a new sponsor, but along with having any sponsor, there are a few hiccups. The company is new to the United States, and Van Alst is trying to bring them here, along with into NASCAR. Van Alst is no stranger to racing. He has driven since he was ten years old, and his latest resume includes the USAR Hooter’s Pro Cup Series, along with the ARCA RE/MAX Series.(Catchfence/Van Alst Motorsports PR)(1-28-2004)
  • DCT Owners commit to 29 Busch Series events, Pearson heads, Grissom drives: What began as something of a test program in 2003 has grown into a strong NASCAR Busch Series racing effort for 2004. John McGill and Carl Natale, owners of DCT Motorsports, have committed to running at least 29 NASCAR Busch Series races this season, beginning with the 300-miler at Daytona. Former [Busch Series] national champion driver Steve Grissom will be behind the wheel. The team will be led by crew chief Ricky Pearson. This is the first NASCAR team with owners from the Cleveland, Ohio, area. The team’s shops are headquartered in Spartanburg, SC. “We started DCT Motorsports planning on building a top race team. This is the next step,” said McGill. “We have been able to bring some sponsorship in for part of the season, and Carl and I are going to foot the bill for the remaining races. Our goal is still to bring sponsorship into this race team but we have every intention of running at least 29 races, regardless of what happens,” he added. McGill and Natale have put together a unique business plan for the team which does allow for full-season sponsorship but also allows for a series of race market-specific primary sponsorships to be a part of the program.
    “We can put together the most cost-effective sponsorship program,” McGill said. “We can develop tremendous business-to-business opportunities, mainly because of the great business relationships we already have in place. We can give a sponsor the bang for the buck it needs in today’s business climate but do it in a way that fits their budgets. We want to develop a strong program that will help our racing efforts and, at the same time, meet the marketing and promotional needs of other companies,” McGill added. “By meeting their goals and making their programs work, our racing program will be able to continue to grow and build.”
    McGill and Natale have built a strong program at DCT Motorsports already, growing from a quickly-built Busch Series team that ran well in five races in 2003 to one running at least 29 events this season. “We put the team together four weeks before the July race (in 2003) at Daytona,” McGill said. “We ran two short tracks (Bristol and Richmond) and three superspeedways (Daytona, Lowe’s and Homestead), and we had some pretty great moments.”
    From the start, Grissom, Pearson and the DCT Motorsports team showed it was capable of great moments. In its first race, just four weeks after the team originated, Grissom started dead-last at Daytona, but moved through the field to a 29th-place finish. DCT Motorsports followed that up with strong runs in every event, bad luck affecting finishes but not attitudes as team leaders saw tremendous progress and potential. “When you look at what we’ve built, you have to be amazed,” McGill said. “Two guys from Cleveland hooking up with a Busch Series champion and one of the top mechanical and organizational minds in stock car racing, and putting together a 29-race schedule is pretty amazing. “It shows an ability to sustain, to be there,” he added. “We have the potential to run at the front. We just need some additional sponsorship to get there. What we really want to do is run competitively. Our goal on a week-to-week and long-term basis is to be competitive. We want to give sponsors a major bang for the buck, and this sort of schedule – hitting all of the major races and all of the major markets – enables us to do that. We want to give sponsors what they want and need. We want to do a good job for them on the race track but we want to do a good job for them off of it too,” he added. “We’re structuring things so that a sponsor gets a complete package – sponsor appearances, show cars, a good publicity program, hospitality . . . all of the things they need to make their program successful. We’ve been looking at a business-to-business relationship, generating value-added through our development and earthwork contracting businesses,” McGill said. “The response so far has been very good. It all boils down to making the sponsorship work for them. If their program is successful, then so is ours.”(Williams Company PR), the team ran the #36 in 2003.(1-26-2004)
  • So what is up with the #92 team? “We don’t have anything right now, but we have a couple of things that are continuing to move forward,” said team co-owner Randy Herzog, who owns Herzog Jackson Motorsports’ with his father, Bill, brother, Stan, and baseball hall of famer Reggie Jackson. “I don’t know if we’ll have anything put together in time for Daytona, but we’re moving forward to the point that we’ll be on the track early in the season.” Herzog spoke to the News-Press on Friday via phone from Scottsdale, Ariz. He’s attending the annual Barrett-Jackson classic car auction and meeting with Jackson, an avid collector of exotic cars. Both have courted potential primary sponsors after a lack of sponsorship forced the St. Joseph-based team to suspend operations last July. On Jan. 17, Herzog said he might have a potential three-year deal in place by Friday, but that deal didn’t materialize. “Things haven’t deteriorated,” he said Friday. “They’re just not moving as quickly as we’d like them to move.”(St. Joseph News Press)(1-25-2004)
  • BCR Signs Kim Crosby as New Driver; Conrad Burr Departs: Black Cat Racing(BCR) is pleased to announce that female driver sensation Kim Crosby will take over the drivers seat of the Black Cat Racing #13 entry effective immediately. This comes after original driver Conrad Burr has changed his plans in order to pursue other opportunities. Crosby tested at Daytona on January 20 with BCR, with satisfying results. Kim turned the fastest lap of the session, however the time was disallowed when it was discovered that the restrictor plate was slightly over specifications. With the correction being made, the team knows they will be competitive in their debut at the Hershey’s Kisses 300 at Daytona on February 14. Kim Crosby’s official site is located at www.crosbymotorsports.com.(BCR PR)(1-25-2004)
  • More BCR: Catchfence.com has been informed that FanZcar has departed the No. 13 Black Cat Racing entry. No other details have been given, but it is rumored that FanZcar may head to Jay Robinson Racing, return to GIC-Mixon Motorsports with driver Mike Harmon, or even another NASCAR team. BCR leased the Pontiac Grand Prix for ARCA driver Kim Crosby to get a taste of and approved by NASCAR. The team does not have a car or engine program yet for Daytona, but they are working hard to get that situation put together and put Crosby in the car.(Catchfence.com (1-25-2004)
  • Conz to Busch Series in 2004: CDC Racing announced the signing of Brian Conz as their driver for the 2004 race season. Conz signed an agreement with Conz/Diaz Champion Racing to drive the #05 Chevy in the NASCAR Busch Series. CDC also hired Crew Chief Dave Leiner. John LaCross, 1998 Winston Cup Engine Builder of the Year will be building engines for CDC Racing for the 2004 season. CDC’s new race shop is located at 192 Raceway Dr. in Mooresville, NC. CDC Racing has also partnered with PSG of Charleston, SC as the team management group. They will be handling sponsorships, autograph requests, and all other business related issues for CDC Racing. Team owners, Butch Conz and Victor Diaz are prominent Republicans and have taken it upon themselves to create a strong grass roots support system of Republican Candidates nationwide starting with the support of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. There will be a specially designed “Busch/Cheney ’04” logo on the hood of the car for the Daytona race. The special Bush/Cheney logo will be on various places on the car at all 34 races.(Brian Conz site)(1-25-2004)
  • Hmiel Could be Reinstated this year: Shane Hmiel. The Busch series driver, who was suspended indefinitely in September for an undisclosed violation of NASCAR’s substance abuse policy, has been in a treatment program and likely will be reinstated this year.(USA Today)(1-23-2004)
  • Kevin Grubb to run 10 races for Rensi: Team Rensi Motorsports announced the signing of Mechanicsville, VA native Kevin Grubb to a 10-race agreement in 2004. Despite his relatively young age, 25, Grubb has made 170 NASCAR Busch Series starts. Grubb will pilot the # 35 NASCAR Busch Series Team Rensi Motorsports Ford Taurus with horsepower provided by Robert Yates Engines. The 10 races and sponsors will be announced in the near future. Co-owner Sam Rensi welcomed Grubb to the Team Rensi Motorsports family. “I really believe that Kevin has the talent to be a superstar in our sport with the right equipment. Team Rensi Motorsports will provide a top-notch team for Kevin to show his abilities. We will showcase many different brands and products on the # 35 car with Kevin this year.” Grubb considers the Team Rensi Motorsports opportunity the best of his career. “I am so excited about this opportunity with Team Rensi Motorsports,” Grubb said. “They have firmly established themselves as one of the best teams in the NASCAR Busch Series and I want to do all I can to help Bobby Hamilton, Jr. win the NASCAR Busch Series Championship this season.” Veteran mechanic Charles Wright will serve as the crew chief for Grubb. In addition to the 10-race effort for Grubb, Team Rensi is looking to expand the schedule of the # 35 Ford.(Camp & Associates PR)(1-22-2004)
  • Busch to run the Daytona ARCA race also: Kyle Busch is ready for a busy Speedweeks 2004. The 18-year-old Busch will be wheeling the #5 Lowe’s Home Improvement Chevy in the Hershey’s Kisses 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on Saturday, Feb. 14 and he’ll compete in the Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series race on Saturday, Feb. 7.(DIS PR)(1-22-2004)
  • Notes from Daytona: Kim Crosby was in a #28 Pontiac at Daytona. The car is a former Jay Robinson Racing machine, with a motor from Black Cat Racing, the team she is testing with in Daytona. The Pontiac orginally came from the Baker Racing stable with driver Brad Baker. Gus Wasson was in the Ortec #96 machine, while Jason Schuler was in the No. 0 for Johnny Davis. Robby Benton was in the #39-Jay Robinson Racing entry he is expected to drive for the team in Daytona. Stan Boyd is in a Rick Ware prepared NASCAR Busch Series entry. If a sponsor is found the team will attempt a number of events this season.(Catchfence.com)(1-22-2004)
  • Third Brewco Team: Brewco Motorsports plans to field a third team in ten races in 2004. Sponsorship packages are available for individual or multiple races. Call Matt Crews at 270-754-2264. Also, Brewco has immediate positions open for fabricators and mechanics. Fax resumes to 270-754-4498.(BGNRacing.com)(1-22-2004)
  • Garvey team looking for sponsor: Competitive Edge Motorsports #32 team is currently looking for full or associate sponsorships for the 2004 season. ASA standout and former NASCAR ALL Pro Champion Mike Garvey will be behind the wheel in the Joe Auer-owned Chevrolet. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Terry Roberts at 407.551.2767(BGNRacing.com)(1-22-2004)
  • Daytona testing over for the big 3: It’s silent now at Daytona International Speedway, after nearly a month of testing for NASCAR’s top three series during NASCAR Preseason Thunder.
    Rain prevented the first group of cars from having any drafting practice Jan. 19, and only three cars actually hooked up in a draft Wednesday.[no speeds listed](NASCAR PR)(1-22-2004)
  • Daytona Testing Speeds – Day 5 top 5:
    Jason Leffler, driver of the #00 NetZero Chevrolet for Haas CNC Racing, posted the fastest overall lap of both Busch Series’ testing sessions on Wednesday with a lap of 181.156mph. Even though Leffler is happy to have tested so well, he realizes that there’s plenty of hard work ahead. “When we come back we’re going to have to run faster,” Leffler said. “There’s going to be quite a few cars that will run faster than that. Yesterday we had a real smooth day and we know we have good cars. We’re not going to jump up and down and think that it will give us the pole, but we know we have something competitive.”
    #00-Jason Leffler, Chevrolet, 181.156
    #55-Robby Gordon, Chevrolet, 179.881
    #6-Paul Wolf, Dodge, 179.612
    #62-Larry Hollenbeck, Chevrolet, 179.304
    #2-Ron Hornaday, Chevrolet, 179.169 (DIS PR)
    links to speeds:
    BGNRacing.com – Morning Speeds Day 5
    BGNRacing.com – Afternoon Speeds Day 5
    NASCAR.com – Day 5 Morning Speeds
    NASCAR.com – Day 5 Afternoon Speeds NASCAR.com – Cumulative Speeds [All Days](1-22-2004)
  • Daytona Testing Speeds – Day 4 top 5:
    #00-Jason Leffler, Chevrolet, 50.094 seconds, 179.662 mph
    #5-Kyle Busch, Chevrolet, 50.355, 178.731
    #55-Robby Gordon, Chevrolet, 50.374, 178.664
    #33-Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 50.456, 178.373
    #2-Ron Hornaday, Chevrolet, 50.486, 178.267
    For the rest of the speeds see:
    BGNRacing.com – Morning Speeds Day 4
    BGNRacing.com – Afternoon Speeds Day 4
    NASCAR.com – Day 4 Morning Speeds
    NASCAR.com – Day 4 Afternoon Speeds NASCAR.com – Cumulative Speeds [All Days](1-20-2004)
  • Daytona Testing Speeds – Day 3 Overall:
    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 49.714 seconds, 181.036 mph
    #27-Johnny Sauter, Pontiac, 49.775, 180.814
    #81-Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 49.904, 180.346
    #4-Mike Wallace. Ford, 49.947, 180.191
    #21-Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 49.960, 180.144
    #67-C.W. Smith, Chevrolet, 50.029, 179.896
    #37-David Green, Pontiac, 50.151, 179.458
    #47-Robert Pressley, Ford, 50.199, 179.286
    #19-David Stremme, Dodge, 50.383, 178.632
    #02-Hermie Sadler, Pontiac, 50.638, 177.732
    #24-Mike Harmon, Chevrolet, 51.140, 175.987
    For all the speeds, see:
    BGNRacing.com
    ThatsRacin.com: Monday’s Busch series test speeds
    NASCAR.com: Monday morning
    NASCAR.com: Monday afternoon
    NASCAR.com: Cumulative (1-19-2004)
  • Day 3 DIS Testing Notes: NASCAR Busch Series teams got halfway through testing on Monday before rains returned to Daytona International Speedway to cut the session short. Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver and co-owner of the No. 8 Chance 2 Chevrolet, posted the fastest speed on Monday with a lap of 181.036 mph. #87-Joe Nemechek, who left after Sunday’s second day of testing was rained out, posted the fastest speed among the teams that have participated in Busch Series testing with a lap 181.097. On Tuesday, Busch Series teams that finished in the even-numbered positions in the 2003 owner’s standings will move in for their two-day test session.
    Filling in: Clint Bowyer filled in on Monday for Kevin Harvick in the #21 Hershey’s Kisses Chevrolet fielded by Richard Childress Racing. Bowyer, who’ll compete in a partial Busch Series schedule for Richard Childress Racing, says he’ll compete in the Saturday, Feb. 7 Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series race for Bobby Gerhart Racing. “We got that deal done,” Bowyer said. “We’re going to be in one of Gerhart’s cars with one of RCR’s motors. I’m getting excited.”(DIS PR)(1-19-2004)
  • Day 2 of Daytona testing was RAINED OUT…they will try again on Monday, Jan 19th.
  • Daytona Testing Speeds – Day 1 top 5 and other manu:
    #87c-Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, 49.697 seconds, 181.097 mph
    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 49.791, 180.756
    #81-Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 49.926, 180.267
    #18-Curtis Markham, Chevrolet, 49.974, 180.094
    #37-David Green, Pontiac, 50.048, 179.827
    and top other manufacturers:
    7th. #4-Mike Wallace, Ford, 50.169, 179.394
    9th. #19-David Stremme, Dodge, 50.332, 178.813 (1-17-2004)
  • See the full rundown of Daytona Testing speeds at: BGNRacing.com – Day 1 Morning and Afternoon Combined
    BGNRacing.com – Day 1 Afternoon
    BGNRacing.com – Day 1 Morning
    NASCAR.com.
  • Daytona Testing: NASCAR Preseason Thunder gets underway for the NASCAR Busch Series on Saturday [Jan 17th] at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the season-opening Hershey’s Kisses 300 on Feb. 14. The testing session will begin with cars that finished in the odd-number positions in the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series owner point standings Saturday and Sunday with Monday set aside as a rain date. Cars that finished in the even-number finishing positions will test Jan. 20-21 with Jan. 22 serving as a rain date if necessary.(NASCAR PR)(1-17-2004)
    Testing open: All the test sessions during Preseason Thunder are free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.
  • Justin Labonte To Test Drive Coast Guard Boats: Justin Labonte, driver of the 2004 Team Coast Guard Racing/Labonte Motorsports #44 NASCAR Busch Series car, will visit Coast Guard units in Charleston, S.C., Jan. 20-21. The visit is Labonte’s first opportunity to witness the mission capabilities of the Coast Guard since the service announced its partnership with Labonte Motorsports for a 15-race schedule in the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series in mid December. Labonte will receive an orientation to the Coast Guard including a tour of the Coast Guard Cutter Anvil, rides aboard the 87-foot cutter Tarpon, a 47-foot motor lifeboat and a 25-foot Defender Class homeland security boat, and a search and rescue demonstration between an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter and the 25-foot Defender Class boat. On Wednesday he will tour the 378-foot cutters Dallas and Gallatin. Justin Labonte is excited to be representing the men and women of the United States Coast Guard during the upcoming 2004 NASCAR Busch Series championship. “It is an honor for me to be associated with such a great military service as the Coast Guard,” Labonte said. “I am privileged to have the opportunity to foster a better understanding of all the Coast Guard does and what it represents, and I am committed to using the vast array of outreach venues NASCAR affords to do just that,” he said.(Labonte Motorsports PR)(1-21-2004)
  • FanZCar Acquires Fans Motorsports:
    SS Racing Inc., founding company of The FanZCar (www.thefanzcar.com), a fan-based sponsorship program announces it has acquired Fans Motorsports (www.fansmotorsports.com) a like-organization that provided a sponsorship last year for Jay Robinson Racing within NASCAR’s Busch racing series. SS Racing Inc. is committed to bringing new and exciting endeavors to the world of motor sports. The first endeavor launched is The FanZCar (The Fans Car), the first and only fan-based primary sponsorship program for a race team within NASCAR. Important characteristics of this fan-based sponsorship are to change the fans involvement, within the sport they love, from being merely spectators to now participants. This will be accomplished by allowing the members/participating sponsors to be directly involved in decisions typically associated with the sponsor. Such decisions include determining the racecars paint and color scheme, which team or teams to provide sponsorship for, what events and/or races to run, among others. Scott Stricker, President of SS Racing Inc., The FanZCar had this to say about the deal. “We are very pleased with the acquisition of Fans Motorsports. We felt it would benefit our program to combine the two organizations and consolidate our member base to provide a solid foundation for which to build on into the future. This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to The FanZCar program and our goal to be one of NASCAR’s longest running team sponsors throughout the years.” The combined organization will operate under The FanZCar brand and logo. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The FanZCar will be sponsoring Black Cat Racing (www.bcr13.com) in NASCAR’s Busch Racing Series in 2004. Membership within The FanZCar starts at $37.00 per year. For more information on how to participate in The FanZCar program log on to www.thefanzcar.com, or call 1-866-512-8764.(BCR PR)(1-21-2004)
  • Speakman plans to run a few races: Busch North Series driver, Mike Speakman #94 Chevy, will be attempting to qualify for the New Hampshire and Dover Busch events in 2004. The team has obtained some new equipment; chassis, bodies and engines, in addition to the existing Busch North series inventory. A new car is under construction at the race shop in Pylesville, MD. The team is still seeking primary sponsorship for these events. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters(Carpenters Union) will remain as an associate sponsor. The team is hoping to have a car ready for upcoming test sessions, prior to the events. “We are trying to do a couple of Busch races and see where it goes from here,” says team owner and driver, Mike Speakman.(Mike Speakman Racing PR via BGNRacing.com)(1-20-2004)
  • Team Looking for sponsor: Joey McCarthy and J.T. Mase MotorSports are currently looking for sponsorship. They are geared up to do the full Busch North Schedule and Joey is also looking for testing opportunities with a Busch Series team. For more information call 973.659.3412.(PR via BGNRacing.com)(1-20-2004)
  • Waltip and the Simpsons [a Jayski fave]: The Simpsons are celebration it’s 15th consecutive season on Fox. There will be a maximum of three Cup schemes, one Busch [#99 Michael Waltrip] and an event diecast. The schemes are scheduled to run at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 29th & 30th.(1-20-2004)
  • Guard and Reserve Busch Grand National cars schemes: The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a government-funded program that enlists the support of America’s corporations to procure employment of American military service men and women. The ESGR will sponsor 5 Busch races, with Richard Childress in an attempt to create awareness and to promote the 5 Freedom Award recipients selected in 2003. Here are 3 of the drivers that are available for preorder. All cars will be #29, so far three drivers:
    Tony Stewart Coast Guard scheme to be run at Homestead in November
    Bobby Labonte Army scheme to be run at Texas in April
    Jimmie Johnson Marines scheme to be run at California in May.(1-20-2004)
  • Points Change in Busch too? UPDATE: The Busch Series will announce a tweaking of its point awards today [1/20], according to sources in the series. Long talked about as a remedy of the Cup’s points blues, the winner of a Busch Series race will be getting “a few extra points,” the source said, and will provide a means at year’s end by which to juxtapose the two new NASCAR methods.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-20-2004)
    UPDATE: no major overhaul of ‘playoff’ system, but will get 5 extra points fot winning a race.(my NASCAR New Points Systems page)(1-20-2004)
  • Daytona Final FanFest: The next Preseason Thunder FanFest is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 20 with NASCAR Busch Series drivers. Included in the $5 admission are fan forums that feature question and answer sessions between fans and drivers, DAYTONA USA’s Pit Stop Challenge, show cars and a silent auction of autographed items. All of the proceeds from FanFest benefit the Brenners Children’s Hospital (in Winston-Salem, N.C.), Speediatrics, Victory Junction Gang Camp and the Ladies Auxiliary of Stock Car Racing. Drivers scheduled to appear for the Tuesday, Jan. 20 FanFest 6 p.m.: Jason Keller, Ashton Lewis Jr., Tim Fedewa, Casey Atwood, Stacy Compton 6:45 p.m.: Kenny Wallace, Ron Hornaday Jr., Jason Leffler, Paul Menard, Kyle Busch.(DIS PR)(1-19-2004)
  • More on the 2nd Team Rensi team: Ed Rensi, team owner of Bobby Hamilton Jr.’s #25 Ford, said Team Rensi Motorsports plans to run a second car, the #35 Ford, in “over half of the races” in the Busch Series this season. Rensi has talked to several drivers [Elliott Sadler for one] about piloting the car and has signed several minor sponsorship deals for the car, but the second car will not interfere with the efforts of the #25 Ford. “We don’t want to do anything that’s going to take away from this No. 25 program,” Rensi said. ‘The United States Marine Corps has backed us for four years, and we owe them 100 percent of everything we’ve got going on.”
    AND a Slim Rensi: Ed Rensi lost 136 pounds during the offseason when he had the now-famous gastro-intestinal bypass surgery, which celebrities such as Al Roker have had. “I feel good and I look good too, don’t I?” Rensi laughed. “I still eat some of the things I want to eat. But my doctor told me if I wanted to eat a Dove bar, that would be a meal for me.”(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-18-2004)
  • Why was Markham in the #18 at testing?: Former Busch Series driver Curtis Markham, now a spotter for Joe Gibbs Racing, tested JGR’s #18 Chevrolet Saturday in place of rookie J.J. Yeley. Markham, whose last competitive race was 2000 at Watkins Glen when Jeff Purvis was injured, gets back in the seat of a car on different occasions to test for JGR. “It’s a lot of fun, I’ve forgotten how much fun this really is,” said Markham, whose highest finish in the Busch Series standings as a regular was 11th in 1996. “But I know my place. I’m just out here trying to help out.”(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-18-2004)
  • Cope back in the #49: Wyeth Consumer Healthcare, makers of fast-acting Advil Liqui-Gels announce that they are returning to team up with Jay Robinson Racing to sponsor the #49 Advil Ford Taurus in the NASCAR Busch Series for the 2004 season. Derrike Cope will drive at Daytona.(Jay Robinson Racing PR via BGNRacing.com)(1-16-2004)
  • #4 team to Ford: Mike Wallace will drive Fords in the 2004 Busch Series as part of the introduction of a noted engine company to NASCAR racing. Biagi Brothers Racing — Wallace’s team — will use engines supplied by Michigan engine builder Ilmor Engineering, a division of the same company that was a noted Indy car engine supplier and that also builds Mercedes engines for the McLaren Formula One team. “The reason we’ve made the car change is because of a working relationship with Penske-Jasper Engines and Ilmor Engineering,” Wallace said. “It’s a combination of Penske (South) down in the Carolinas and Ilmor. Wallace’s team changed from a combination of Chevrolets and Pontiacs it used in recent seasons — including a Grand Prix that Wallace used to finish fourth in the season opening Hershey’s 300 — to Fords. The most pressing concern for Wallace and his owners is finding the funding to support a full-season effort. GEICO Insurance came in last season for a limited program that gradually stepped up to include 29 of the 34 Busch races. “Right now GEICO is actually on board as a primary sponsor for half the races,” Wallace said of the 34-race 2004 schedule. Crew chief Tony Lambert has recently overseen a move from the team’s former shop into a much larger, 8,000-square-foot facility previously owned by Quest Motor Racing owner Derrike Cope. Craftsman Truck Series veteran Rick Crawford tested the team’s first Taurus at Talladega last month in an open Busch Series test while Wallace toured the Middle East with a USO tour.(NASCAR.com)(1-17-2004)
  • Benson to the #1 Busch car? Stremme out? to the #19? UPDATE 4: Word in the Daytona International Speedway garage area Monday is that Johnny Benson would make an unexpectedly quick return to the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Benson is expected to test James Finch’s Phoenix Racing #09 car when the final three-day round of Nextel Cup Preseason Thunder opens Tuesday morning. Benson was released at the end of last season by MBV Motorsports, despite having another year on his contract, and has been seeking another ride. Finch has run a limited schedule of Winston Cup races in past seasons, most recently with Mike Wallace in 2003.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(1-12-2004)
    UPDATE: David Stremme’s site says Stremme is out of the #1 Phoenix Racing Dodge Busch ride and that he will run for Braun Racing [#19/#30] with support from Chip Ganassi. Rumor has Benson running the full season in the #1 Busch Dodge.(1-13-2004)
    UPDATE 1a: The plan is for Benson to drive the #09 Dodge, owned by James Finch at Daytona. He will be part of the field qualifying for a spot in the Daytona 500. Benson will NOT be testing the car at Daytona this week. Joe Ruttman will be handling the testing duties. The plan is for Benson to run eight Cup races in this car in 2004. No word on the Busch team/plans.(1-13-2004)
    UPDATE 2: hearing that Dodge is pushing to get John Andretti in the #1 Phoenix Racing entry.(BGNRacing.com)(1-13-2004)
    UPDATE 3: Pheonix Racing car owner James Finch has signed Johnny Benson to run the Busch Series full-time in the #1 Yellow Transaportation Dodge. Benson will also compete in eight to fifteen next Cup events in the #09 Dodge. Finch said John Andretti was also considered.(PRN’s Garage Pass Radio Show)(1-15-2004)
    UPDATE 4: Days before he was expected in Daytona to begin testing for the upcoming season, David Stremme found himself at odds with Phoenix Racing, for whom he drove the #1 Yellow car in 18 Busch races last season. When the curtain closed on 2003, Stremme had been promised by Phoenix a full Busch schedule of 36 races in 2004. He then learned that the future of a race car driver can change off the track just as quickly as it can while pushing 200 mph down the backstretch. As testing day for Daytona drew closer, Phoenix wavered on its commitment. Without full support, Stremme went in search of a new employer. He officially found a new home Friday, thanks to an old friend from Northern Indiana. The 26-year-old Stremme has signed to run full-time with Braun Racing, formerly of Winamac and now based in Mooresville, NC. “I’ve been impressed with David for years,” said company owner Todd Braun, who first met Stremme when the two raced as teenagers at New Paris and Plymouth speedways. “Right now, David’s got the ride.” When the car owner first heard last week that there might be problems regarding Stremme’s deal with Phoenix, he delayed final negotiations with Casey Mears to drive his #19 Dodge in the Busch Series. If the 2003 rookie of the year was available, Braun knew it would make little sense for any car owner not to be interested. By early Thursday afternoon, Mears was out of a job, and Friday, the one-year deal with a full-time sponsor was in place for Stremme. Several additional details needed to be finalized before Braun would officially name a sponsor. Why Phoenix racing wavered on its support of Stremme — who earned over $378,000 in prize money with seven Top 10 finishes last season — nobody will say. A story that appeared Thursday on NASCAR’s official web site, www.NASCAR.com, said that Phoenix dropped Stremme because he no longer had the financial support from racing heavyweight Chip Ganassi. That is not true. “He is still part of our driver development program,” Ganassi public relations representative Jason Wise said of Stremme. “That’s never changed.”(in part from the South Bend Tribune)(1-17-2004)
  • #17 Roush car to test at Atlanta: The #17 Roush Racing Busch car will test next Tuesday and Wednesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway with two different drivers behind the wheel. NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers Carl Edwards and Jon Wood will each test the car. The two-day test session is closed to the public.(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(1-17-2004)
  • LaJoie to run some races in the #82: FitzBradshaw Racing continues to add to its growing list of sponsors by announcing today that Goulds Pumps will provide primary sponsorship for the #82 Chevy, driven by Randy LaJoie, for three NASCAR Busch Series races in 2004. Goulds Pumps will be the primary sponsor for the May 1st race at California Speedway; the May 23rd race at Nazareth Speedway where they will also be the title sponsor in the Goulds Pumps ITT Industries 200; and the October 15th race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(FitzBradshaw PR via BGNRacing.com)(1-17-2004)
  • Briggs to drive in first four races: #85 Premier Motorsports announced that Randy Briggs will be driving for them in the first four events of the 2004 season. The team will also be participating in the upcoming test session at Daytona. After the Darlington race the team will evaluate its options for the balance of the season. Briggs made 17 Truck Series starts in the #53 truck last season.(BGNRacing.com)(1-17-2004)
  • Tommy Baldwin Racing Names New GM: Tommy Baldwin Racing announced that effective immediately Jennifer Simmons has been named General Manager of the company. In her new position Simmons’ responsibilities will include gross profit analysis, budgeting, team and travel logistics, event licensing, team, driver and sponsor relations, and ensuring the efficiency of operational and administrative personnel. The Hungry Drivers program places four up-and-coming drivers behind the wheel of the #6 Dodge, sponsored by Ragu pasta sauce, Shedd’s Country Crock and Hellmann’s mayonnaise. Three drivers have been named including Tracy Hines, Mark McFarland and Paul Wolfe. An announcement regarding the fourth driver is expected in March. The Hungry Drivers program allows each driver to compete in three races throughout the 2004 season. The driver who delivers the best performance will be in a prime position to secure a full NASCAR Busch Series ride in 2005.(Tommy Baldwin Racing PR)(1-17-2004)
  • Cicci team looking to run races in 2004: Frank Cicci Jr. is trying to jump-start the NASCAR Busch Series team he formed with former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly a little more than a year ago. Their debut last April was cut short when team sponsor LesCare Kitchens didn’t live up to its contract, Cicci said. With Mike McLaughlin driving, the team ran just six of 11 scheduled races. Cicci said he’s now in litigation with LesCare Kitchens. Cicci is hoping to return to the series full time if one of two potential sponsorships come through. One of those deals could reunite Cicci with Chemung native Todd Bodine, who is currently without a ride in the Nextel Cup series. Cicci is hoping he’ll be able to close a deal within the next two weeks so the team can compete in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 14. “These are good, season-long programs, and I’m just waiting to hear from them,” Cicci said Wednesday. Bodine and Cicci, who have a long relationship together in the Busch Series, tried to hook up last summer after the Herzog Jackson Motorsports team Bodine was driving for closed down because of a lack of sponsorship. That deal never materialized, but Cicci is far along in sponsor negotiations, and a deal involving Bodine could happen this time around. “One of the sponsors is tied to a particular driver, and the other we are trying to sell with Todd as the driver,” Cicci said. Cicci said he has also been talking with McLaughlin but wouldn’t reveal whether he was the other driver involved in the sponsor negotiations. Cicci said Kelly has been instrumental in courting one of the potential sponsors, which is from the electronics industry. “Jim has been working hard,” Cicci said. “He’s had a couple of meetings in Las Vegas with one of the sponsors. He wants to go racing.” The Cicci-Kelly team, which has seven Chevys in its North Carolina shop, hasn’t competed since July. With only a month to go before the start of the Busch Series season, it may be a scramble to get up and running. But Cicci said it can be done. “I’ve got a skeleton crew getting the car ready for Daytona,” he said.(Elmira Star Gazette)(1-15-2004)
  • David Keith Returns To Busch: Part-time NASCAR Busch Series driver David Keith has informed Catchfence.com that he will once again compete on a limited schedule in 2004. Keith, is expected to pilot the #95 Sadler Brothers Racing Ford Taurus in nine events. The team will attempt to qualify for Daytona(twice), Talladega, Nashville(twice), Kansas, Chicago, Atlanta and Homestead.(Catchfence.com)(1-15-2004)
  • Taco Bell and Chance 2? UPDATE 2 and Bass Pro Shops? hearing Taco Bell, KFC and Long John Silvers will be a sponsor for Chance 2 and drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Martin Truex Jr. in 2004.(1-9-2004)
    AND hearing Bass Pro Shops will sponsor the car for up to seven races in 2004.(1-12-2004)
    UPDATE: “We’re going for the Busch Series title with Martin,” Junior [Dale Earnhardt Jr.] told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “We had just kind of planned on a three-quarter schedule, but, as things changed in the offseason, we were able to justify running the entire season for him.” He said the full-season deal came together when Yum! Brands Inc., agreed to put its KFC, Taco Bell and Long John Silver restaurant brands on Truex’s car for 14 of the 34 races, joining several returning sponsors from last year.(ESPN/AP)(1-14-2004)
    UPDATE 2: The agreement is for 14 Busch races with paint schemes featuring KFC, Taco Bell and Long John Silver’s. Earnhardt Jr. will carry the Taco Bell colors at Talladega Superspeedway in April and KFC for the July race at Daytona International Speedway. Martin Truex will drive for Long John Silver’s, as well as KFC and Taco Bell.(Chance2 PR)(1-15-2004)
  • Carl Long To Run Rockingham Busch Race: Long Brothers Racing, owned by Charlie and Robert Long, will team up with Carl Long to run their Ford Taurus in the Rockingham 200 Busch race in February. Long finished 28th after starting 21st in last season’s Rockingham 200.(Carl-Long.com Online via Catchfence)(1-14-2004)
  • Carl Long named crew chief of Black Cat Racing: Carl Long has accepted the position of crew chief for the newly formed NASCAR Busch Series team, #13 Black Cat Racing. The team will make their debut with Conrad Burr as the driver next month at Daytona.(Catchfence)(1-14-2004)
  • Black Cat Racing Purchases Brewco Pontiac: #13 Black Cat Racing has purchased a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix for the Superspeedway events of Daytona and Talladega. The Pontiac Grand Prix is a former #37 Timberwolf Pontiac piloted by David Green.(Catchfence)(1-14-2004)
  • Tennessee Mountain Boys Will Return To Busch: Butch Jarvis, owner of Tennessee Mountain Boys Racing plans to compete in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2004. TMBR ran a limited schedule in 2003 with a variety of drivers. They will begin their 2004 season in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Butch behind the wheel in Daytona. The team will head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway with veteran Brad Teague driving. Teague, who drove from Moy Racing will drive the #53 in an undetermined amount of races this season. Butch will return to driving duties at both Bristol Motor Speedway. Jarvis is also expressing interest in running the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events from IRP, Memphis, Bristol, and Dover. The team is still searching for a primary sponsor.(Catchfence)(1-14-2004)
  • Kenseth’s Busch Plans UPDATE: Matt Kenseth said his team was going to try to merge its Busch Series programs together. “Our Pennzoil deal with Roush (Racing) in the #9 car, I’m going to run three races. I think Jeff Burton’s running three and Mark Martin’s running three,” he said. “We’re still planning on running nine or 10 races with Bayer but we’re gonna try to put our programs together. We’ll basically have two full-time programs and it’ll probably be a Roush team.”(Wisconsin State Journal)(12-15-2003)
    AND Kenseth’s Busch team sold? hearing that #17 Busch Series team that Matt Kenseth drives for and owned by John Reiser has been sold to Roush Racing.(1-6-2004)
    UPDATE: According to Kenseth’s website, Matt will run the Las Vegas, Kansas, and fall Darlington races. Martin will run the Daytona, Texas, and Michigan races, and Burton will take the wheel for Chicago, Richmond, and Phoenix. No word yet on the rest of Matt’s 2004 Busch schedule.(BGNRacing.com)(1-13-2004)
  • Braun Looking for Crew People: Braun Racing will have open tryouts for their #30 Busch Series team. The #30 car will be driven by Jamie McMurray for the 2004 Season. Open tryouts will be held for both changers and carriers for their Race Day Crew. If you are interested please contact Randy Cox at (704) 799-1118.(Braun PR via BGNRacing.com)(1-13-2004)
  • Sad News: Brewco Motorsports [Busch #27 and #37 teams] lost a huge part of its heart and soul Sunday when long time employee, Barry Priest, died from an ATV crash in Muhlenberg County, KY.(Brewco PR via BGNRacing.com)(1-13-2004)
  • Race Kentucky Motorsports will run #65: Race Kentucky Motorsports, a new team to the NASCAR Busch Series in 2004 will carry the #65 on their Chevys. Jamie Mosley, who drove for Jay Robinson Racing in 2003 was announced as the driver late last season. The team is continuing to look for primary sponsorship and the race shop is Columbia, Kentucky is almost complete. Race Kentucky Motorsports will run a handful of events this season, with all hopes of running for the championship in 2005. Mosley, will also compete in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, and American Speed Association on a limited schedule in 2004 too.(Catchfence)(1-13-2004)
  • Hermie gets a new crew chief: SCORE Motorsports, a joint venture between NASCAR Busch Series veteran Hermie Sadler and retired NBA Star Bryant Stith, announced the hiring of Ernie Cope as Crew Chief and General Manager. Cope previously served as crew chief for Derrike Cope and car chief for Evernham Motorsports. “Ernie is very talented and his experience will make a tremendous impact on our team,” stated Hermie Sadler. “We are proud to have him and are looking forward to a very successful season. We’re gearing up to run the first eight NASCAR Busch Series races and select NEXTEL Cup races. I’ve been very impressed with Ernie’s knowledge and work ethic and know his hard work will pay off with solid results.” Sadler also announced a partnership with Jenkins, Jenkins and Jenkins. The LaPlata, Maryland based law firm will join SCORE Motorsports as a major associate sponsor for 2004. SCORE Motorsports is seeking additional sponsorship in order to run the entire 2004 schedule and compete for the NASCAR Busch Series Championship. Sadler will run the #02 Chevy’s in both series.(Elliott Sadler Enterprises/Score Motorsports PR)(1-13-2004)
  • McFarland Busch sched, three races with TBR:: NASCAR’ s weekly racing National Champion Mark McFarland will compete in three Busch races for #6 Tommy Baldwin at Richmond, Charlotte and Dover. He will also compete in four Craftsman truck races for Dean Motorsports in both Martinsville races, as well as Richmond and Dover. They are currently working on Sponsorship to race in more Truck races that will be announced at a later date.(Racecap)(1-11-2004)
  • Gus Wasson To Drive For ORTEC Racing In 2004 ORTEC Racing, a motorsports organization headquartered in Greenville, SC, is pleased to announce that Gus Wasson will be driving the #96 car during the 2004 season. Wasson was behind the wheel for ORTEC Racing in three Busch Series races during the 2003 season: the Channellock 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 22, the Trace Atkins Chrome 300 at Nashville Superspeedway on June 7, and the Meijer 300 at Kentucky Speedway on June 14. At Bristol, Gus started in 36th place and finished 19th.(ORTEC Racing Online/Catchfence)(1-10-2004)
  • Another Gibbs to the NFL: Coy Gibbs has decided to join his dad’s [Joe Gibbs] staff with the Washington Redskins. He will handle quality control for the offensive line. Coy was a four-year starting linebacker in college and ran the #18 MBNA Chevy in the Busch Series in 2003.(BGNRacing.com)(1-10-2004)
  • Harmon and GIC-Mixon name crew chief: GIC-Mixon Motorsports and driver Mike Harmon will be running a full season with #24. They have a brand new car for Daytona and will be testing there on the 17th and 18th. Harmon will also be on the Oprah Winfrey show Jan 14th. GIC-Mixon Motorsports announced today that Dan Glauz has been hired as crew chief of the #24 GIC-Mixon Motorsports Chevy.(GIC PR via BGNRacing.com)(1-10-2004)
  • Hmiel Passes: Shane Hmiel, a promising young racer who ran afoul of NASCAR’s drug policy last September, passed another NASCAR drug test this week and could be cleared for racing next month. Hmiel, 24, has already been cleared to run the ARCA 200 during SpeedWeeks.(Winston Salem Journal)(1-10-2004)
  • Busch and Lowe’s? UPDATE 2: hearing Lowe’s will be the sponsor for the #5 Hendrick Motorpsorts Busch team and driver Kyle Busch.(12-16-2003)
    UPDATE: Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse will sponsor Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Busch and his No. 5 Chevrolets in the NASCAR Busch Series this season, ThatsRacin.com has learned. Busch, 18, is the younger brother of Nextel Cup (formerly Winston Cup) driver Kurt Busch. Kyle competed in seven Busch races with Hendrick in 2003, with his best finishes a pair of runner-up efforts. Kyle Busch takes over the #5 Chevrolet, driven last season by Brian Vickers, who won three races and the Busch championship. Much of the team remains intact from its championship run. Both Hendrick Motorsports and the public relations representatives for Lowe’s and its Cup team declined to comment on questions regarding the sponsorship of the Busch team. Lowe’s currently sponsors Hendrick Motorsports’ Jimmie Johnson and his #48 Chevrolets in the Cup series.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-2-2004)
    UPDATE 2: Lowe’s and Hendrick Motorsports announced a multi-year agreement today that will feature Lowe’s as the primary sponsor of the #5 Chevrolet driven by Kyle Busch in the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series. In addition, four Lowe’s vendor partners, including Shop-Vac, Gladiator GarageWorks, Briggs and Stratton and Pella, will rotate associate sponsorship of the #5 Chevrolet throughout the season.
    “The success of Team Lowe’s Racing, with Jimmie Johnson and the talented Team 48 led by Chad Knaus, has resulted in an unprecedented level of interest and excitement from our customers, our employees and our vendor partners,” said Dale Pond, Lowe’s Senior Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Marketing. “We’re honored that our vendor partners view the Team Lowe’s Racing program as an effective way to raise awareness of their products. This expansion of our relationship with Hendrick Motorsports gives our vendor partners exposure for their brand with one of the most respected and successful organizations in motorsports while giving the most loyal fans in all of sports, our customers and employees an additional championship-caliber team to root for at the track.”
    The move combines Kyle, who signed with Hendrick Motorsports in February 2003, with a team that won the 2003 Busch Series championship with driver Brian Vickers. Brian moves to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in 2004. “This team is very close to my heart, so I’m excited that Lowe’s and its vendor partners are enthusiastic about joining us in the Busch Series,” said Ricky Hendrick, team owner. “They have been an integral part of Hendrick Motorsports’ success over the past few years and we look forward to continuing that in 2004.” Kyle, 18, posted two runner-up finishes and five top-10 qualifying efforts in seven Busch Series starts last season. The Las Vegas native also earned two victories and three pole positions in ARCA Series competition. “As a young driver, I just couldn’t ask for a better situation,” said Kyle. “With a sponsor like Lowe’s and the resources at Hendrick Motorsports behind me, I know this is a special opportunity to learn and develop on and off the race track.” Lance McGrew, the 2003 Busch Series championship crew chief, returns to lead the team in its third season. “I’m looking forward to the upcoming season for a lot of reasons,” said Lance. “We have a talented young driver in Kyle Busch and a great sponsorship program with Lowe’s and their vendors. It should be another fun year for us.”(Team Lowe’s Racing PR)(1-9-2004)
  • Daytona Rules Change: NASCAR officials have decided to alter the aero-package on Busch Series cars for the superspeedway races at Daytona and Talladega. The new package will include the addition of ½-inch roof strips and a wicker bill to the rear spoiler – a variation of which was used in the Cup series in the 2000 season. Because of the changes, which officials say should allow drivers to close on the cars they are pursuing and make clean passes, the size of the carburetor restrictor-plate will increase from 29/32nds of an inch to 15/16ths of an inch this season.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-7-2004)
  • Sponsor for the #84? UPDATE: hearing that Howard Dean for President will be the sponsor on the #84 Busch Car with Brian Weber and Assoc. Racing. Not sure if it is for the full season or for Daytona only, supposed to be an announcement sometime today.(1-8-2003)
    UPDATE: Brian Weber Racing to field Howard Dean for President Chevy: Brian Weber Racing is excited to unveil plans for the 2004 season in the NASCAR Busch Series. Weber, a Long Island, New York native, will be teaming up with Howard Dean supporters to run his #84 Chevy promoting Howard Dean for President. “I am really happy to be able to combine my racing program with a way to promote a candidate that I believe is good for America,” said Weber. Weber hopes to use the fan base of the NASCAR Busch Series as a way to educate people on the views of Howard Dean and also to encourage people who may not normally vote, to vote for the first time this year. “It is my goal to give Howard Dean’s army of volunteers a chance to mingle with NASCAR fans and also to educate the fans who don’t usually vote on just how important that right is, no matter what your political views are,” said Weber. Brian Weber has been a part time competitor in the NASCAR Busch Series for the last several years with positive results, and is preparing to run a full schedule in 2004 if finances allow. Promoting Dean and working with Dean volunteers in NASCAR venue cities around the country will be an integral part of the Team Dean Racing program this season. Said Weber of his faith in Dean, “I am a hard working guy who has really had to work for everything I have ever had and I believe Howard Dean has some great ideas to help hard working Americans like myself and to help people and humanity in general.”
    Weber is looking to turn this independent venture organized by Howard Dean supporters into a very competitive race team this season. Doing double duty for the Denver, NC based Team Dean Racing will be Team Manager/crew Chief Mike Stuerer. Weber hopes that all NASCAR fans who support Howard Dean will send Dean a note of support via www.deanforamerica.com. More info on the team can be found at the Team Dean Racing site: www.teamdeanracing.com.(Victory Lane Motorsports Management, LLC PR)(1-8-2004)
  • CAP Scaling back UPDATE 2 Lewis looking for a sponsor: It was mentioned during Saturday’s Pikes Peak race broadcast that Civil Air Patrol, primary sponsor of the #46 Team and driver Ashton Lewis will be scaling back to become an associate sponsor in 2004.(BGNRacing.com)(7-26-2003)
    UPDATE: Ashton Lewis confirmed Thursday that primary sponsor the Civil Air Patrol will scale back next year. They are looking for a new primary sponsor on that #46 Busch Series car.(FSN’s Totally NASCAR)(8-22-2003)
    UPDATE 2: As the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series season approaches, Lewis Motorsports continues their search for primary and associate sponsorship. “We want to get the word out that we have primary and associate sponsorship packages available for the 2004 season,” said owner Ashton Lewis, Sr. “It is our goal to compete in all 34 NASCAR Busch Series races this season, but we need sponsor support to make that happen.” Without sponsorship Lewis Motorsports will likely have to review their option of running a limited NBS schedule in 2004.
    “The 2003 season ended on a very strong note for Lewis Motorsports and I look forward to beginning the 2004 season where we left off in Homestead. Given the chance, I feel confident that Lewis Motorsports will be a team that will bring both primary and associate sponsors a lot of positive exposure,” commented driver Ashton Lewis, Jr. During the off-season, the Lewis Motorsports team has been hard at work in their shop in Concord, North Carolina preparing cars for the upcoming season. The team will participate in the Daytona International Speedway test on Jan. 20 and 21, as well as the Las Vegas Speedway test on Jan. 28 and 29. For information on primary or associate sponsorship opportunities see www.ashtonlewis.com(PR)(1-7-2004)
  • Changes at HRT: Mike Vazquez, HRT Motorsports’ Co-founder and Vice President, has stepped down from his position as an officer and director of HRT Motorsports effective December 29th, 2003. Vazquez plans to continue his Diversity initiative elsewhere. More news to follow.(1-7-2004)
  • Ephedra Banned: NASCAR has added the supplemental product ephedra/ephedrine to the list of banned substances under its drug policy, series officials confirmed Tuesday. On Dec. 30, federal officials announced it was moving to ban dietary supplements containing ephedra because of continued health concerns about the product. Last season, NASCAR advised its participants in all of its series to seek guidance from their personal physician before taking any supplemental product labeled as containing ephedra/ephedrine. Ephedra, which is extracted from an Asian plant, was already banned in college sports, the Olympics, the NFL and minor league baseball. Supplement manufacturer Stacker 2 sponsors the NASCAR Busch Series car of Kenny Wallace. That sponsorship should not be affected since Stacker 2 offers other non-ephedra products.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-7-2004)
  • Andy Petree Racing News: Andy Petree Racing (APR) and Monaco Coach Corporation announced plans for primary sponsorship in 2004. “This marks the fourth consecutive year that we have the opportunity of working with such a committed company, we have really enjoyed this relationship and look forward to winning again for Monaco Coach Corporation in 2004. We got involved with Monaco Coach Corporation over four years ago and haven’t looked back. Their sales and marketing department really understand the benefits of being involved in NASCAR and that helps us focus on the performance side of our operation. I can’t say enough good things about the group of people that run Monaco Coach Corporation.” said Steve Barkdoll, General Manager of APR.
    Monaco will sponsor driver Paul Menard in the season opening ARCA event in Daytona, FL on February 7, 2004. The focus will then shift to the Craftsman Truck Series in Martinsville, VA on April 17, and Indianapolis Raceway Park, IN Aug. 6. Plans also include a Monaco Coach Corporation entry into the Craftsman Truck Series race at Richmond, VA on September 9, as APR attempts to defend their two-year consecutive win streak.(APR PR)(1-7-2004)
  • Maryland legal firm sponsoring three Cup, Three Busch and four Truck Series teams: Starting a unique sports marketing initiative in 2004, one of the country’s fastest-growing legal firms will become the most active car sponsor in NASCAR racing. Jenkins, Jenkins & Jenkins, P.A., a top personal injury firm based in La Plata, will sponsor three NASCAR Nextel Cup teams, three NASCAR Busch Grand National teams, and four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams this season. These associate sponsorships make the firm the first legal firm to be involved in motorsports sponsorship on a full-time basis, and make it one of the very few companies of any type to sponsor teams in all three divisions. Their involvement with 10 teams will be greater than any car sponsor in the sport.
    Jenkins, Jenkins & Jenkins not only handles personal injury claims but also is well known for its contract and business representation, as well as a vast criminal and real estate practice.
    BAM Racing, which fields the #49 Dodge of driver Ken Schrader, will be sponsored by Jenkins, Jenkins & Jenkins the entire 2004 season. The logo will also appear on the #02 Score Motorsports NASCAR Nextel Cup entry of driver Hermie Sadler in selected events, while also appearing on Sadler’s #02 NASCAR Busch Series entry. In addition, the #0 NetZero car of driver Ward Burton will carry the firm’s logo in the four NASCAR Nextel Cup races at Dover, Del., and Richmond, Va., while the #00 Haas/CNC Busch entry of driver Jason Leffler will carry the Jenkins colors throughout the season. The #77 Moy Racing-owned Busch Grand National entry of driver Donnie Neuenberger will be sponsored the entire year, as will the Bobby Hamilton-owned #4 and #18 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entries; the #38 Cure Autism Now Ford Truck of driver Brandon Whitt; and the #21 Innovative Motorsports Toyota Truck of driver Hank Parker, Jr.(Williams Company PR)(1-7-2004)
  • Regan Smith in the #56: Jack McNelly has named Regan Smith to drive for his Mac Hill Motorsports Busch Series team for 2004.  Smith drove McNelly’s #56 Chevrolet at the final Busch Series race at Homestead and gave the team their best qualifying start, a 19th, in the thirteen races they ran last year. Mac Hill Motorsports is led by veteran crew chief David Ifft and is scheduled to run at least fifteen races on the 2004 Busch Series schedule.(PR)(1-7-2004)
  • Testing New Roof Spoilers: NASCAR’s Busch tour cars are testing new roof spoilers similar to the disputed design used on the Cup tour three years ago. Many Cup drivers vigorously objected to the roof “air disrupters,” which they said created even tighter drafting packs. NASCAR officials haven’t decided to order the roof spoilers for next month’s Busch race at Daytona.(Winston Salem Journal)(1-7-2004)
  • Tommy Baldwin Racing Names Ron Otto As Crew Chief: Tommy Baldwin Racing announced today Ron Otto has been named Crew Chief for the #6 Hungry Drivers Dodge effective immediately. Otto will guide four drivers behind the wheel of the #6 Dodge, sponsored by Ragu pasta sauce, Shedd’s Country Crock and Hellmann’s mayonnaise. Three drivers have been named including Tracy Hines, Mark McFarland and Paul Wolfe. An announcement regarding the fourth driver is expected later this month. The Hungry Drivers program allows each driver to compete in three races throughout the 2004 season. The driver who delivers the best performance will be in a prime position to secure a full NASCAR Busch Series ride in 2005. Otto is looking forward to his new role as crew chief at Tommy Baldwin Racing and is excited about being a part of the unique Hungry Drivers program.(Tommy Baldwin Racing PR)(1-7-2004)
  • FleetPride to sponsor #1: FleetPride [www.fleetpride.com], Inc., the nation’s largest independent aftermarket distributor of heavy-duty truck parts, announced today that a sponsor partnership has been signed with Yellow Transportation. David Stremme will drive the #1 FleetPride Dodge for Team Yellow Racing in the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series season. Commenting on the announcement today, FleetPride’s President and CEO, Gordon Ulsh, said, “FleetPride is thrilled to participate in NASCAR racing by partnering with Team Yellow Racing and establish our involvement in the NASCAR Busch Series. We look forward to pairing with a proven winner like Team Yellow Racing and David Stremme.”
    Phoenix Racing owner James Finch said, “The addition of FleetPride adds energy to this team. FleetPride is a successful company with a winning attitude and I am excited about our new partnership with them. Our team is about winning races and championships, and adding value to our sponsor’s investment; and we hope to do both for FleetPride.”(Yahoo/PRNewswire)(1-6-2004)
  • Stacker2 and Wallace back to Busch UPDATE 2: Stacker2 will sponsor a Busch Series entry for [Bill] Davis next year, and Kenny Wallace will be the driver.(Winston Cup Scene via BGNRacing.com)(10-17-2003)
    UPDATE: QUESTION: What are your plans for next year?
    Kenny Wallace Answer: My plans for next year are to run the Busch Grand National Series with Bill Davis and go for the championship and to win races and to also run a handful of Nextel Cup races.
    QUESTION: Will Stacker 2 be your BGN sponsor next year?
    Kenny Wallace Answer: Myself and Stacker 2 and Bill Davis have got a great relationship. There is no negativity in my camp. We are just looking at going back and trying to be competitive and win the championship in the Busch Series with the people who have been good to me at Stacker 2.
    QUESTION: Kenny, Do you think your Busch car will be a Dodge or Chevy like the #23 Stacker 2 Busch car is now?
    Kenny Wallace Answer: Basically I’m just going to go into the car that Scott Wimmer drove this year.(Racers-Chat Kenny Wallace Chat)(11-11-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Kenny Wallace returns to the NASCAR Busch Series in 2004 with Stacker 2 backing the #23 Chevrolet. Wallace has amassed 10 poles, nine wins, 58 top-five and 131 top-10’s in his Busch Series career. The #23 will return with the same Busch team that led Scott Wimmer to victory lane five times in the last two seasons. Chris Rice will return as crew chief for the #23 Stacker 2 team.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(1-5-2004)
  • #39 Driver? Greg Van Alst NASCAR Busch Series Update: Anderson, Indiana native Greg Van Alst seems to be inching closer to competing in a full season in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2004 under the Jay Robinson Racing banner. Van Alst a former ARCA Series driver has been in tough negations with potential sponsors and hopes to close on a deal by the end of the coming week. If the sponsor is signed Van Alst would run for rookie-of-the-year honors in the #39 Ford Taurus.(Van Alst Motorsports PR [no new info on the site] via Catchfence)(1-4-2004)
  • Cope to field ARCA or Busch car for niece’s? UPDATE: Derrike Cope’s nieces, twins Amber and Angela Cope, 20, of Puyallup, may benefit from Cope’s good turn of fortune, getting a Winston Cup sponsor. Cope is hoping to send them to North Carolina for some testing in a Busch Grand National or Cup car. They currently race late models around the Northwest — both recording pole positions this year — and Cope is eager to help them to the next level. He’d like to enter them in a couple ARCA or Busch series short-track races in late 2004.(Seattle Post-Intelligencer)(10-30-2003)
    UPDATE: Derrike [Cope] will be announcing a full Busch Series deal and further details on a Nextel Cup deal as well [in the next couple weeks].(www.derrikecope.com via BGNRacing.com)(1-4-2004)
  • New driver for the #16? Justin Ashbrun will reportedly take over the #16 31-W Insulation car in 2004. The team will scale back from full time to approximately 25 races this season.(BGNRacing.com)(1-4-2004)
  • Nemechek and Cellular One back together for 2004 Busch races: NEMCO Motorsports announced its 2004 Busch Series schedule for Driver Joe Nemechek and returning sponsor Cellular One from Dobson Cellular Systems. Nemechek will pilot the #87 Cellular One Chevy in 14 events beginning with the Hershey Kisses 300 at Daytona International Speedway in February.
    “We’re very happy to continue our relationship with Cellular One from Dobson Cellular Systems and we’re proud to be entering into our fifth season of racing together,” said Nemechek. “We’ve been fortunate to be able to win races putting the Cellular One brand name out there and this year, more than ever, our goals will be centered on maximizing exposure for Cellular One. The best thing we can contribute as a race team is to run up front consistently.”
    Nemechek and the Cellular One team won three events in 2003 including the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the O’Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway and the MBNA Armed Forces 200 at Dover International Speedway, all of which will remain on the schedule. New additions include Bristol Motor Speedway in March, New Hampshire International Speedway in July and California Speedway in September. Rounding out the schedule are events at Talladega Superspeedway in April, Chicagoland Speedway in July, Michigan International Speedway in August, Kansas Speedway and Lowe’s Motor Speedway in October, as well as Phoenix International Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. Since joining forces in 2000, Nemechek and Cellular One have visited victory lane seven times and have collected seven Pole Awards. Nemechek also competes full time in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series where he drives the #01 US Army Chevrolet for MB2/MBV Motorsports. Cellular One is a licensed trade name of Dobson Cellular Systems, an Oklahoma City-based telecommunications provider operating in 16 states. For more information on Cellular One from Dobson Cellular Systems, visit www.cellonusa.com.(NEMCO Motorsports PR)(1-3-2003)
  • Lepage helping McClure: Kevin Lepage will be assisting Eric McClure in the running of 15 BGN and ARCA races during the 2004 season. Morgan-McClure Motorsports plans to run eight to ten Busch races with Eric McClure in the #04 I CAN Learn Education Systems Chevy and run the #4 in about five speedway ARCA races.(BGNRaicing.com via www.kevinlepageinc.com)(1-2-2004)
  • Purvis News: The Customs House Museum in Clarksville [TN] will have a permanent Jeff Purvis racing exhibit in 2004. The exhibit is expected to open to the public in May. It will be part of the Beasley Sports Gallery which will also contain many artifacts of famous Clarksville athletes including Wilma Rudolph, Mason Rudolph and Fly Williams. The Purvis exhibit will be by far the largest and will feature The Timberwolf No. 37 Clarence Brewer owned car. It was one of the cars that Purvis drove in his final year on the Busch circuit. It will include a lot of items from different points in Purvis dirt, NASCAR and Busch Series career. Jeff Purvis says the rumors at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, on Nov. 8, 2003 and the ones floating around on the internet are false about his driving a Craftsman Truck for the 2004 season. “They talked with me about doing a deal with Toyota,” Purvis said from work Nov. 17. “It might have been fun…but there wasn’t much money in it. Things are going well. I’d still love to race…but you know…things have got to be right for me to get back into it.” Jeff continues to go to work nearly every day and still wishes he were back in a race car. He spends a lot of time which his kids, friends and occasional goes to a race. Purvis is probably in better condition that he has ever been. He works out all the time. He and his wife Margo have a personal trainer that schedules all their workouts. “I still miss racing so much. It really hurts deep inside to know that I can’t be in a car. There are not many minutes it doesn’t cross my mind.”(BGNRacing.com)(1-1-2004)