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January 2005 Busch Series Archive

 

  • Fitz injured in snowmobile accident UPDATE: NASCAR Busch Series team owner Armando Fitz was involved in a snowmobile accident Friday afternoon just outside Utica, NY. Fitz and NASCAR Busch Series driver Tim Fedewa were participating in an annual snowmobile tournament sponsored by Goulds Pumps, a sponsor on one of Fitz’s race cars. Fitz suffered a broken arm and broken leg along with other minor injuries. He is expected to return to Charlotte following medical evaluation.(FBR PR)
    UPDATE: Armando Fitz returned home early Saturday morning with a broken wrist and leg. He is resting comfortably and will follow up with his physician on Tuesday.(FBR PR)(1-29-2005)
  • Elliott to run three Busch races? been told that Bill Elliott will race three Busch Series races for Rusty Wallace Inc., including Nashville Superspeedway, Pikes Peak and Milwaukee.(1-28-2005)
  • Rusty comments: Brandon Mudd of KFNS (www.kfns.com) in St. Louis spoke to Rusty Wallace today at a new conference discussing the Wallace Family Tribute 250 [Busch Series Race] to be held July 30th at Gateway International Raceway. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay proclaimed July 30th as Rusty Wallace Day in honor of his outstanding acheivement in NASCAR. Rusty said he plans on winning the race, since his Busch Series team will be running for an owner’s points championship with Jamie McMurray, Jeremy Mayfield, and himself in the driver’s seat (Rusty is running the Gateway race as well as the Mexico City road race). Discussing his testing at Daytona, he said his car wasn’t very good the first day, but came around and he was very pleased with it at the end. He also said he doesn’t feel much difference between the new Charger and the Intrepid, the car formerly representing Dodge in the Cup and Busch Series.(KFNS.com)(1-29-2005)
  • Grissom with Jay Robinson? Hearing that Steve Grissom will join Derrike Cope at [#39, #49] Jay Robinson Racing for the 2005 season.(BGNRacing.com), doesn’t say if it is in the #39 car or sharing with Cope in the #49. Wonder if it has something to do with the past champion’s provisional?(1-29-2005)
  • Martin/Kenseth team up for #9 Busch car: Pennzoil and Roush Racing will team up for nine events in the Busch series in 2005. Seven of the races will feature the all-time winningest driver in series’ history, Mark Martin, while 2003 Cup Champion Matt Kenseth will drive the #9 car in the other two events. “We are looking forward to getting back on the track in the No. 9 Pennzoil car,” said Martin. “We had a couple of pretty strong runs in the No. 9 last year and hopefully we can get Pennzoil in victory lane this season. I’m pretty excited that we’ll be working with Pat Tryson and an all new team on the No. 9 car so hopefully we’ll be able to make some more noise in that series.” Martin will be a the helm of the #9 Pennzoil Ford for events at Fontana, Las Vegas, Texas, Richmond, Loudon, Kansas City and Homestead. Kenseth will drive the car at Charlotte and Texas in October and November. Pennzoil and Roush have a deep rooted history. Pennzoil first sponsored Jack Roush in the 1960’s, when the former Ford Motor Company engineer was a driver himself. This season Pennzoil is proud to once again team up with Jack Roush as sponsor of all five 2005 Roush Racing Nextel Cup teams as well as the #9 NASCAR Busch Series Team.
    #9 PENNZOIL RACING BUSCH SCHEDULE
    Date Event Driver
    Feb. 27, Fontana, Mark Martin
    March 13, Las Vegas, Mark Martin
    April 17, Texas, Mark Martin
    May 15, Richmond, Mark Martin
    July 17, Loudon, Mark Martin
    Oct. 9, Kansas City, Mark Martin
    Oct. 16, Charlotte, Matt Kenseth
    Nov. 6, Texas, Matt Kenseth
    Nov. 20, Homestead, Mark Martin.(Roush Racing PR)(1-29-2005)
  • BANG CLOSED? UPDATE: hearing that BANG Racing, who was to run a limited Busch Series schedule in 2005 has closed its doors. Travis Kvapil, now in the #77 Kodak Dodge, was to driver for BANG, and drove in the Truck Series last season for the team.(1-21-2005)
    UPDATE: The news was even worse for Bang Racing, which was supposed to attend the [Daytona testing on Jan 22-24] test with driver Travis Kvapil, but was absent. Bang’s former spokesperson said the team had closed its doors Friday.(NASCAR.com)(1-23-2005)
    Business Wire Column:(X)
    A Wild Ride At NASCAR [Alex Meshkin/Bang Racing] by Mark Hyman, Jordan Burke, Mike France and John Cady.(1-28-2005)
  • Harvick to field West Series team: Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI), announced today the signing of 24-year-old West Sacramento, Calif., native Burney Lamar. KHI will field Lamar in five West Series events and four Truck Series events. Harvick believes the West Series gives young drivers the opportunity to drive heavier stock cars that handle similar to the Busch cars, all while competing on NASCAR’s elite division tracks and against strong competition. Harvick explains how the West Series team came about, “We already had two Busch cars at the shop that we ran in 2004. We are building all new cars for the #33 team in 2005, so we wanted to put something together with the two existing cars we already had. The cars are practically brand new and will make great race cars for the West Series.” Currently KHI fields two full-time teams in NASCAR’s Truck and Busch Series. The #6 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Ron Hornaday in the Truck Series, and the #33 Outdoor Channel Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by Tony Raines and Tony Stewart in the Busch Series.(KHI PR)(1-28-2005)
  • NBS/24 to return, minus one team: the ‘reality show’ NBS 24/7 will return for a second season on Speed Channel and once again will feature FitzBrashaw Racing [#12, #13, #14, #40] and Braun Racing [#32]; Akins Motorsports [#38, #58] will not participate in the program this year.(NASCAR Scene)(1-28-2005)
  • Elliott to run three Busch races: been told that Bill Elliott will race three Busch Series races for Rusty Wallace Inc., including Nashville Superspeedway, Pikes Peak and Milwaukee.(1-28-2005)
  • More on the #34 Cicci/Kelly team: After a three-year hiatus, Elmira, NY, native Frank Cicci Jr. is looking forward to the challenge of getting back into NASCAR’s Busch Series on a full-time basis. He tried to get his team, based in Mooresville, N.C., back on track earlier but didn’t have the sponsorship to do it. However, in December he signed a one-year, multimillion dollar sponsorship deal with Dollar General, with an option to renew for a second season. “It’s been a tough financial drain to keep everything going, but I’ve worked awful hard for it,” Cicci said Wednesday from Mooresville, where he now lives. “We worked the whole year to put this deal together.” His #34 Dollar General Chevy Monte Carlo, with driver Randy LaJoie, will compete in all 35 events this season, beginning with the season-opening Hershey’s Kisses 300 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 19. “It’s a tougher go now because of the Nextel Cup teams’ increased involvement in the series, but that is our motivation,” Cicci said. “Our goal is to try and beat the best guys in the business.” Cicci, who still makes weekly trips to Elmira to oversee his convenience store in Elmira Heights, owned Busch teams from 1988 through 2001. His teams had 19 victories and finished second twice in the points standings. In 2002, he joined the Jimmy Spencer-owned Spencer Motor Ventures Busch Series team as its vice president and general manager but quit in midseason because his real desire was to run his own team again. He brought former NFL quarterback Jim Kelly into his Busch Series team a little more than two years ago to help accomplish that goal. Cicci thought the Hall of Fame player would give the team some marketing clout to attract sponsorship, but it’s been a struggle. Cicci and Kelly signed LesCare Kitchens as a sponsor for a 10-race deal in 2003 that was cut to six events. A lawsuit brought by Cicci against LesCare for failing to meet its contract obligations is pending. Cicci tried to put a partial schedule deal together with Dollar General for 2004, but it fell through when the sponsor realized it was too late to get everything organized. The familiar yellow and black colors of Dollar General stores will be featured on the Cicci/Kelly racing machines. Polaroid Alkaline Batteries will be the first of several Dollar General marketing partners. John Bland will serve as crew chief for the team, which will operate out of a 10,000-square foot facility in Mooresville, NC. They have eight cars, some of which are still being built. “We really got a late start here,” Cicci said. “We’re way behind, but we’ll be OK.”(Elmira Star Gazette)(1-27-2005)
  • Passmore replaces Cobb:Christi Passmore will replace Jennifer Jo Cobb in the #50 Keith Coleman Racing ride. Cobb was not approved for all tracks, and it looks as if the ride belongs to Passmore for the season.(NASCAR Scene)(1-27-2005)
  • Fisher to run full West Series, two Busch races: Sarah Fisher is putting her Indy Racing League career on hold to go stock-car racing. NASCAR car owner Richard Childress announced Tuesday that he has hired Fisher to drive the full 11-race season in the West Series, a regional NASCAR division. She’ll drive for Bill McAnally Racing with Childress’ backing as part of NASCAR’s diversity program. Childress said Fisher also will be entered in two Busch Series races later this season. Asked if her Indy-car career is over, Fisher said: “Let’s not talk about that now. This is where my long term future is now.” Fisher has run in four Indianapolis 500s and has been voted three times by fans as the most popular driver in the IRL. In October [2004], Fisher ran in a West Series race in Phoenix, finishing 21st.(Cupscene.com)(1-26-2005)
  • Top-10 Final cumulative results of NASCAR Busch Series single car testing at Daytona International Speedway, through Monday afternoon [48 drivers took laps]:
    1. Tony Raines, #33 Chevy, 49.368 seconds, 182.304mph
    2. Boston Reid, #5 Chevy, 49.461, 181.962
    3. Paul Wolfe, #6 Dodge, 49.499, 181.822
    4. Clint Bowyer, #2 Chevy, 49.572 seconds, 181.554
    5. Kevin Harvick, #21 Chevy, 49.580, 181.525
    6. Justin Labonte, No.44 Chevy, 49.590, 181.488
    7. Joe Nemechek, #87 Chevy, 49.628, 181.349
    8. Paul Menard, #11 Chevy, 49.635, 181.324
    9. Tyler Walker, #38 Dodge, 49.653, 181.258
    10. Jeff Fuller, #87 Chevy, 49.681, 181.156
    See full list at NASCAR.com or BGNRacing.com.(1-24-2005)
  • Kahne to drive the #79 at Richmond: Evernham Motorsports announced today a new partner for its growing enterprise. Trus Joist, the leader in engineered lumber products, will be a primary sponsor of the #79 Busch Series Dodge Charger driven by Kasey Kahne on May 13 in Richmond, Virginia. It also will be an associate sponsor of EMS including appearances and endorsement by Kasey Kahne and Ray Evernham, primary and associate exposure on the #79 Busch car, exposure on the #79/#91 transporter and uniform exposure. In addition, Trus Joist will be an associate sponsor of the #38 Great Clips Dodge Charger driven by Kasey Kahne and Tyler Walker including race car, transporter, pit box and uniform exposure. The #38 Dodge is campaigned by Akins Motorsports, which has a technology and marketing partnership with Evernham Motorsports. For more information about Trus Joist, visit www.trusjoist.com.(Clear!Blue PR)
    AND Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper will run 2 races with Kahne NHIS in July and Jeremy Mayfield at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Oct.(1-24-2005)
  • Results of Monday afternoon’s NASCAR Busch Series mixed single car and drafting testing at Daytona International Speedway [19 total cars]:
    1. Paul Menard, #11 Chevy, 48.600 seconds, 185.185 mph
    2. Tony Raines, #33 Chevy, 48.621, 185.105
    3. Kevin Harvick, #21 Chevy, 48.644, 185.018
    4. Greg Biffle, #66 Ford, 48.859, 184.204
    5. Carl Edwards, #60 Ford, 48.868, 184.170
    6. Aaron Fike, #27 Ford, 48.904, 184.034
    7. Ashton Lewis Jr., #25 Ford, 48.917, 183.985
    8. Kevin Conway, #03 Chevy, 48.957, 183.835
    9. Jason Keller, #35 Ford, 49.047, 183.497
    10. Paul Wolfe, #6 Dodge, 49.266, 182.682
    11. J.J. Yeley, #18 Chevy, 49.457, 181.976
    12. Justin Labonte, #44 Chevy, 49.487, 181.866
    13. Boston Reid, #5 Chevy, 49.564, 181.583
    14. Jeff Fuller, #87 Chevy, 49.606, 181.430
    15. Denny Hamlin, #20 Chevy, 49.611, 181.411
    16. Jeff Kendall, #70 Chevy, 49.829, 180.618
    17. Stacy Compton, #59 Ford, 50.056, 179.799
    18. Jon Wood, #47 Ford, 50.059, 179.788
    19. Kurtus Davis, #0 Chevy, 50.787, 177.211
    (NASCAR.com or at BGNRacing.com)(1-24-2005)
  • Top-10 [of 30 drivers] Results of Monday morning’s NASCAR Busch Series single car testing at Daytona International Speedway:
    1. Tony Raines, #33 Chevy, 49.368 seconds, 182.304 mph
    2. Boston Reid, #5 Chevy, 49.461, 181.962
    3. Paul Wolfe, #6 Dodge, 49.499, 181.822
    4. Clint Bowyer, #2 Chevy, 49.579, 181.528
    5. Tyler Walker, #38 Dodge, 49.653, 181.258
    6. Justin Labonte, #44 Chevy, 49.681, 181.156
    6. Jeff Fuller, #87 Chevy, 49.681, 181.156
    8. Shane Hmiel, #32 Chevy, 49.783, 180.785
    9. Michael Waltrip, #99 Chevy, 49.841, 180.574
    10. Denny Hamlin, #20 Chevy, 49.914, 180.310
    (NASCAR.com or at BGNRacing.com)(1-24-2005)
  • Busch Series testing at Daytona International Speedway – Sunday, Jan 23rd.
    Sunday’s morning speeds (non drafting – 39 cars took laps)
    1. #38-Tyler Walker, Dodge, 180.712 2. #2-Clint Bowyer, Chevy, 180.632 3. #33-Tony Raines, Chevy, 180.462 4. #5-Boston Reid, Chevy, 180.429 5. #44-Justin Labonte, Chevy, 180.339 6. #64-Jeremy Mayfield, Dodge, 180.260 7. #11-Paul Menard, Chevy, 180.223 8. #87-Joe Nemechek, Chevy, 180.216 9. #20-Denny Hamlin, Chevy, 180.180 10. #32-Shane Hmeil, ?Dodge, 179.968 Sunday morning session (drafting 42 cars drafted) 1. #21-Kevin Harvick, Chevy, 187.235
    2. #66-Aaron Fike, Ford, 187.005
    3. #59-Stacy Compton, Ford, 186.792
    4. #18-J.J. Yeley, Chevy, 186.451
    5. #8-Martin Truex, Jr., Chevy, 186.324
    6. #64-Jeremy Mayfield, Dodge, 186.670
    7. #11-Paul Menard, Chevy, 185.525
    8. #60-Carl Edwards, Ford, 185.487
    9. #32-Shane Hmeil, ?Dodge, 185.433
    10. #1-Johnny Sauter, Dodge, 185.391
    Sunday’s afternoon speeds (non drafting)
    1. #6-Paul Wolfe, Dodge, 181.134
    2. #38-Tyler Walker, Dodge 180.803
    3. #44-Justin Labonte, Chevy, 180.716
    4. #1-Johnny Sauter, Dodge, 180.672
    5. #62-Larry Hollenbeck, Chevy, 180.621
    6. #5-Boston Reid, Chevy, 180.310
    7. #32-Shane Hmiel, Dodge, 180.122
    8. #87-Joe Nemechek, Chevy, 180.076
    9. #66-Aaron Fike, Ford, 179.964
    10. #13-Carlos Contreras, Dodge, 179.950
    Sunday afternoon session (drafting – 44 cars drafted)
    1. #21-Kevin Harvick, Chevy, 186.951
    2. #20-Denny Hamlin, Chevy, 186.780
    3. #66-Greg Biffle, Ford, 186.726
    4. #44-Justin Labonte, Chevy, 186.386
    5. #27-David Green, Ford, 186.085
    6. #2-Clint Bowyer, Chevy, 186.058
    7. #12-Tim Fedewa, Dodge, 185.897
    8. #33-Tony Raines, Chevy, 185.889
    9. #41-Reed Sorenson, Dodge, 185.751
    10. #1-Johnny Sauter, Dodge, 185.410
    (See all the speeds at the DIS Site or BGNRacing.com)(1-23-2005)
  • Daytona Testing for the Busch Series – Day 1:
    single car speeds:
    1. Clint Bowyer, #2 Chevy, 181.554 mph
    2. Kevin Harvick, #21 Chevy, 181.525
    3. Justin Labonte, #44 Chevy, 181.448
    4. Tony Raines, #33 Chevy, 181.477
    5. Boston Reid, #5 Chevy, 181.463
    6. Joe Nemechek, #87 Chevy, 181.349
    7. Paul Menard, #11 Chevy, 181.324
    8. Tyler Walker, #38 Dodge, 180.919
    9. Denny Hamlin, #20 Chevy, 180.545
    10. Jeremy Mayfield, #64 Dodge, 180.444
    drafting speeds:
    1. Justin Labonte, #44 Chevy, 188.285
    2. Greg Biffle, #66 Ford, 186.838
    3. Kevin Harvick, #21 Chevy, 186.347
    4. Johnny Sauter, #1 Dodge, 186.339
    5. Dale Earnhardt Jr., #81 Chevy, 185.947
    6. Paul Menard, #11 Chevy, 185.877
    7. Kenny Wallace, #22 Chevy, 185.797
    8. Bobby Hamilton, #95 Dodge, 185.793
    9. Michel Jourdain, #10 Ford, 185.506
    10. JJ Yeley, #18 Chevy, 185.426
    See all the speeds at BGNRacing or NASCAR.com – single car or drafting.(1-23-2005)
  • Cline announces 2005 Busch Schedule: LR2 Motorsports and driver Troy Cline have announced their 2005 NASCAR Busch Series schedule. The team will enter nine events initially, and more will be added as the team acquires sponsorship. Troy Cline and the #01 LR2 Motorsports Chevy will compete in the following events:
    – March 26: Pepsi 300, Nashville Superspeedway
    – May 13: Funai 250, Richmond International Raceway
    – May 28: CarQuest Auto Parts 300, Lowe’s Motor Speedway
    – June 18: Meijer 300 presented by Oreo, Kentucky Speedway
    – July 9: Chicagoland 300, Chicagoland Speedway
    – August 6: IRP 200, Indianapolis Raceway Park
    – October 8: Kansas 300, Kansas Speedway
    – October 14: Charlotte 300, Lowe’s Motor Speedway
    – November 19: Ford 300, Homestead-Miami Speedway
    Cline plans to test at Nashville Superspeedway in early March.(LR2 Motorsports PR)(1-22-2005)
  • Full time gig for LaJoie? UPDATE: The Norwalk Hour reports that Randy LaJoie will have a full time ride in a car owned by Frank Cicci. The yellow and black #34 Chevy will be sponsored by Dollar General Stores. Dollar General Stores will bring along some of their corporate partners as associate sponsors, Polaroid being named as one for the first nine races. John Bland wil be the crew chief. (Norwalk Hour)(BGNRacing.com)(1-5-2005)
    UPDATE: Long-time NASCAR Busch Series car owner Frank Cicci announced today that Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly has reached a sponsorship agreement with the Dollar General Corporation for the 2005 season. Veteran driver Randy LaJoie, the 1996 and 1997 NASCAR Busch Series champion, will pilot the #34 Dollar General Chevy Monte Carlo beginning with the Hershey’s Kisses 300, 2005 season opener at Daytona International Speedway on February 19. Polaroid Alkaline Batteries will be the first of several Dollar General marketing partners to support the company’s initial sports sponsorship project. Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly, the recently enshrined National Football League Hall of Fame quarterback, will operate out of its 12,000-square foot racing facility in the Mooresville Motorsports Park. John Bland will serve as crew chief. The familiar yellow and black colors of Dollar General stores and corporate logo will be featured on the Cicci/Kelly racing machines. FCR-prepared Busch Series cars have started 708 races and recorded 19 victories, 139 top five and 277 top 10 finishes and earned 14 poles. Dollar General’s website can be reached at www.dollargeneral.com.(On Track Marketing PR)(1-21-2005)
  • #67 Gets a Sponsor: Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company today announced it has become the primary sponsor of the Smith Brothers Motorsports racing team for the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series. This marks the third season the electronics giant has joined forces with the Smith Brothers to field the Panasonic Racing Team. The team’s car, number 67, will promote the company’s line of High Definition Plasma Televisions on the hood and DVD Recorders on the rear quarter panels. (Smith Brothers PR vis BGNRacing.com)(1-21-2005)
  • Four drivers in the #5 UPDATE: sources [same as reports, look it up] tell me that up to four drivers in the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy, three of the drivers will be Blake Feese, Boston Reid, Kyle Busch and another driver. No word on who the sponsor will be and if Lowe’s will return.(1-3-2005)
    UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports and Team Lowe’s Racing today announced the driver lineup for the team’s #5 Lowe’s Chevy for the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) season. Open wheel standouts Blake Feese and Boston Reid are each scheduled to compete in a minimum of 13 races behind the wheel of the #5 Lowe’s Chevy. Feese, 22, is an ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America) and World of Outlaws winner and Reid, 22, is the 2002 USAC (United States Auto Club) Sprint Car Rookie of the Year. “Everyone at Hendrick Motorsports is excited to offer these talented young drivers more quality time behind the wheel,” said team owner Rick Hendrick. “With the tremendous support of Lowe’s and its vendor-partners, we’re looking forward to another successful season in the Busch Series.” In addition, Lowe’s and Hendrick Motorsports welcome several new vendor partners, Sta-Green, Spectracide and Hitachi, to their current stable which includes, Shop-Vac, Briggs & Stratton and Pella. Similar to last year’s program, each will rotate sponsorship of the #5 Lowe’s Chevy throughout the season. Feese and Reid will assume driving duties following the 2005 NBS kickoff at Daytona International Speedway. Kyle Busch, who drove the #5 Chevy to a second-place points finish and Rookie of the Year honors in 2004, will drive the #5 Lowe’s Chevy at the season-opening event as well as the events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Watkins Glen International Speedway. Additional Hendrick Motorsports drivers may run select events during the season in the #5 Lowe’s Chevy. A list of races in which each driver will participate is being finalized. As announced earlier, Jim Long will serve as crew chief for the team. The #5 team, will compete for the 2005 Busch Series Owners’ Championship.(Team Lowe’s Racing/Golin Harris PR)(1-19-2005)
  • Guy leaves Xpress Motorsports: Dave Fuge, owner of Xpress Motorsports, announced today that Jay Guy has left his position as crew chief on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series #19 Silverado team with driver Regan Smith effective immediately. “Jay was offered an opportunity on a NASCAR Busch Series team,” [ST Motorsports #47] said Fuge. “He said that while he felt Xpress Motorsports is a championship caliber NCTS team, he is more comfortable with a NBS team because of his past experience. As a result, he didn’t feel he could bring enough to the table to improve our teams. While I am disappointed to lose Jay so early the season, I think we can look at this as a positive for Xpress Motorsports. I strongly believe in the one team-two truck concept. We need to have hardworking team members on board at Xpress who are dedicated to that plan and want to expand and improve within those parameters. We will continue on our course to win races and championships.” Xpress Motorsports also fields the #16 Chevy Trucks Silverado driven by three-time NCTS champion Jack Sprague.(Xpress Motorsports PR)(1-19-2005)
  • No Bang? hearing now that Line-X will not sponsor the Bang Racing Busch team and supposedly driver Travis Kvapil will now, NOT drive for the team. This is bit opposite of what I have seen the past few days in a Q&A but the signs are there, let’s see if the team shows up for Daytona testing.
    : WHAT’S YOUR BUSCH SCHEDULE LOOK LIKE THIS YEAR?
    “It’s a little bit still up in the air. I think we’re looking at a maximum of 20 races, but I’m not really sure. We haven’t sat down and defined where we’re going. I know we’re going to Daytona and planning on California. That’ll make it a little busier, too, but I’ll get some good seat time. That will be with Bang Racing. It’s the team I ran the truck series with last year. We’re going to run Joey Arrington engines [what happened to the Penske deal?]. It’s kind of like Kasey Kahne did it last year with two separate teams working together with one driver. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve just got to keep in mind that the 77 car is the #1 priority.”(NASCAR.com)(1-15-2005)
  • California Testing – Fans Invited: As part of NASCAR’s Preseason Thunder, several NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series teams will participate in a test session at California Speedway from January 31 – February 3, 2005. As of early January, nine NASCAR Busch Series drivers have confirmed for the first two days of the test and 32 NEXTEL Cup Series drivers have confirmed for the remaining two days of the test. The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series test dates, February 2 – 3, will be open to the general public, free of charge from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Guests will be invited to park inside the oval in the Suite Parking Lots and view the test session from above the Terrace Suites on Pit Road to get up close to the action. A few additional entertainment-type opportunities are also being worked on for guests who attend the test, including a Terrace Suite opening, which will allow guests to experience how the NASCAR weekend’s Suite Action puts them right on top of the action in one of the Speedway’s well-appointed luxury suites. A three-day Suite Action package for February 25-27 is $1,100 and a two-day for February 26-27 is $950. Individual tickets for the upcoming race weekend will also be on sale, and guests who purchase tickets at the test to any one of the three February 25-27 race dates will receive a free license plate frame. Those that have already purchased tickets and bring a friend to the test who purchases a race ticket will receive a free license plate frame as well as the ticket purchaser. Party Zone passes, featuring driver question and answer sessions on race weekend, are also on sale. This fan hospitality area is located inside the Infield and every Party Zone pass includes a pit pass for the day purchased. Saturday’s pass is $85, Sunday’s pass is $125 and a combined two-day pass is $175. A weekend pit pass, which will allow guests to tour pit road prior to each day’s race, is also available. For ticket and event information, call 800-944-RACE [7223] or visit www.californiaspeedway.com.
    A tentative list of drivers confirmed as of January 13 for the NASCAR test at California Speedway follows:
    NASCAR Busch Series Drivers (1/31-2/1):
    #6-Paul Wolfe, #2-Clint Bowyer, #10[#15?]-Michel Jourdain Jr, #18-JJ Yeley, #20-Denny Hamlin, #22-Kenny Wallace, #32-Shane Hmiel, #41-Reed Sorenson, #44-Justin Labonte.(California Speedway PR)(1-14-2005)
  • World Financial Group to sponsor #60 in 3 races: Roush Racing announced today that World Financial Group will expand its primary sponsorship to include Todd Kluever in the #50 Ford F-150 entry in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for 15 races this season. In addition, World Financial Group will also be the primary sponsor for Carl Edwards in two NASCAR Nextel Cup races, and three Busch Series races. They will also sponsor one ARCA entry for Kluever. After sponsoring Edwards’ #99 entry in the Nextel Cup Series twice last season, World Financial Group decided to expand its sponsorship opportunities with Roush and move into the Craftsman Truck and Busch Series as well. The sponsorship will include 15 Craftsman Truck races with Kluever throughout the season, Busch Series events with Edwards in the #60 Ford at Las Vegas and both Phoenix events, and two Nextel Cup races with Edwards at Las Vegas in March and Talladega in October. They will also be on board for the ARCA race with Kluever in Daytona during SpeedWeeks. “It’s quite an honor to have a company like World Financial Group come on board to sponsor our truck when I haven’t even raced yet,” said Kluever. “Their support is integral in helping us succeed in the Craftsman Truck Series. I can’t wait to run up front with their truck. I know I can speak for Carl when I say we really want to win some races for them.”
    “It is a privilege for any race team when a company opts to expand its sponsorship,” said Jack Roush. “World Financial Group was a great partner last year and their support helped Carl get a few Nextel Cup races under his belt. Now they are going to give Todd the same opportunity in the truck series. We intend to repay them with a few trips to Victory Lane.”
    “At World Financial Group, we’re dedicated to helping people realize the power of their dreams. That’s why we are proud to return as a sponsor for Carl Edwards in his NEXTEL Cup and Busch series rides and to support Todd Kluever in his rookie season,” said Tim Stonehocker, president & CEO of World Financial Group, Inc. Carl and Todd focused on their goals to become NASCAR series drivers and came out on top with dream rides with a great race team. With a championship organization like Roush Racing behind them, we know both Todd and Carl are headed for bright futures and we are honored to be a part of that.”
    World Financial Group, Inc. is an independent marketing company whose affiliates offer life insurance and a broad array of financial products and services. Through its thousands of independent associates in the United States and Canada, World Financial Group strives to help individuals and families who are often overlooked by the financial services industry to plan for their financial futures and work toward their goals no matter what their income. Unlike other companies that may offer financial products and services from one or two companies, World Financial Group believes in the power of choice for clients. World Financial Group has agreements with more than 70 separate insurance and financial services companies, giving WFG associates the opportunity to offer clients a wide variety of products and services so they can choose the ones that best fit their needs. World Financial Group and its exclusive broker-dealer World Group Securities, Inc. are both members of a respected corporate family – the AEGON Group. For more information on World Financial Group, log on to www.worldfinancialgroup.com.(Roush Racing PR)(1-13-2005)
  • Promotions at RWI: Two promotions of Rusty Wallace Inc. personnel were announced by RWI owner Rusty Wallace. Tom Knox, who has been serving as marketing director, has been promoted to Vice President of Business Development. John Paysor, who has been serving as an account representative, has been promoted to Director of Business Development. “Tom Knox and John Paysor are both bright young talented men who have demonstrated the first class professionalism we demand at RWI,” said Wallace. “They are leaders in the administration we have in place and really deserve these promotions. I’m so thankful for the staff we’ve put together and it’s such a pleasure to see the tremendous growth our company has enjoyed over the last few years. My staff makes it so easy for me,” said Wallace. “They always stay on top of every aspect of the business and I look at everything being on ‘cruise control’ as everything seems to go so smoothly.” In his new position, Knox will continue to grow RWI’s personal service sponsors as well as manage the client activation and promotional programs. He will also be responsible for securing sponsorship for RWI Racing Busch Series efforts.”I’m very pleased with the promotion to this new position,” said Knox, a 33-year-old Wayne, N.J., native who previously worked in NASCAR’s New York offices before joining RWI in August 1999. “With all that we have going on at RWI, it is certainly a busy, yet pleasurable and rewarding position to be in.” Paysor’s new position will see him involved with the acquisition of new business and sponsorship relationships at RWI Racing and the coordinating of sponsor events at the tracks.”I have certainly enjoyed my last three years with RWI and I am really looking forward to the additional responsibilities I’ll have in my new position with the company,” said Paysor, a 26-year-old St. Louis native. The new positions for Knox and Paysor take effect immediately.(RWI PR)(1-13-2005)
  • Atwood still looking; lawsuit UPDATE 3: The clock is ticking on Casey Atwood’s hopes of racing this season. Atwood lost his Busch Series driving job with FitzBradshaw Racing near the end of last season and has yet to land another ride. The Busch season opens Feb. 19 at Daytona, and all of the top teams have signed their drivers. Atwood drove the #14 Chevy for the first 29 races last season. After he was abruptly let go, David Blaney took over for one race, then David Stremme ran the final four.(Tennessean)
    AND am hearing that Atwood recently filed a lawsuit against FitzBradshaw Racing, don’t know any of the details.
    UPDATE: Nashville-based race car driver Casey Atwood has sued his former employer, FitzBradshaw Racing, in federal court here in Music City. From the Nashville Post, a pay site, so can’t post it.(1-5-2005)
    UPDATE 2: Nashville’s Casey Atwood, dismissed from his NASCAR driving job with five races left last season, has filed suit against his former team claiming it owes him salary, commission and other earnings. Attempts to reach Atwood for comment yesterday were unsuccessful, but his father Terry said the suit, which seeks unspecified damages, is not an attempt to get his son’s driving job back with FitzBradshaw Racing. ”We don’t want anything like that,” Atwood’s father said. ”All we’re asking for is the money they owe Casey. They told him back in December they’d pay him what they owned him but he never got a check.” FitzBradshaw Racing, based in Mooresville, N.C., is owned by Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw and Armando Fitz, a Nashville native and former Vanderbilt football player. Fitz said Atwood is still owed an unspecified amount of money from last season. He said he is prepared to pay it, but he first wants Atwood to sign a release relieving the team from any further obligation. Atwood’s attorney, John Robert Reynolds, filed the lawsuit in federal court in Nashville. He said he is not sure how long it will take to resolve the suit.(Tennessean)(1-7-2005)
    UPDATE 3: from a FitzBradshaw Racing PR: After rebuffing repeated attempts to reconcile money owed for his time as driver of the #14 FitzBradshaw Racing Busch Series car, Casey Atwood has instead decided to take his case to the media. Atwood has received his full compensation from FitzBradshaw Racing for the driving of the #14 racecar, along with his year end check from NASCAR. All that is owed to him at this time is his percentage of the race winnings that FitzBradshaw Racing received during the 29 races in which he drove for them. FitzBradshaw Racing has provided Atwood with the documentation used to calculate these earnings to ensure that he was paid the correct amount. Atwood was asked to sign a release clearing the team of further liability, and preventing just this type of conflict from occurring. At this time Atwood has not responded. The monies that are due to Atwood are still currently available upon his signing of the release.(FBR PR)(1-13-2005)
  • Rice to the #59? Guy to the #47? UPDATE: Chris Rice has reportedly signed on to be crew chief for Stacy Compton at ST Motorsports this season. Last year he served as crew chief for Kenny Wallace at Bill Davis Racing.(BGNRacing.com)(1-7-2005)
    AND hearing that Jay Guy [formerly of FitzBradshaw] may end up Jon Wood’s crew chief on the #47 team, I had heard Guy was going to the 2nd Xpress Motorsports Truck Series Team.(1-8-2005)
    UPDATE: Gary Cogswell, who was the #59 crew chief late in 2004, will assume the role of Team/General Manager for ST Motorsports.(1-13-2005)
  • #31 to Chevy? Blaney to drive? UPDATE: hearing that the #31 Whelen team with switch from Ford’s to Chevy with RCR support and Dave Blaney driving the car.(12-14-2004)
    UPDATE: The Whelen Engineering Company of Chester, Conn., will again sponsor Marsh Racing’s #31 Chevy [was a Ford in 2004] for 10 NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) events in 2005 with veteran driver Dave Blaney handling the driving chores. Blaney’s first Busch Series race is scheduled for March 12 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Hartford, Ohio native will enter both NBS events at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway along with stops at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Memorial Day Weekend and Dover (Del.) International Speedway the following week. In July, Blaney will compete at Chicagoland Speedway and New Hampshire International Speedway with his final three races of 2005 coming at Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway. The announcement continues the relationship between Whelen and Blaney after the 1995 World of Outlaws Champion drove the #23 Whelen NASCAR NEXTEL Cup entry in last year’s Budweiser Shootout, Daytona 500 and Coca-Cola 600 for Bill Davis Racing. Blaney also drove the #31 Marsh Racing NBS entry last spring at Las Vegas, Texas and Richmond. “I’m really looking forward to working with Ted Marsh and everyone atMarsh Racing again,” said Blaney, who will drive the full NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule for Richard Childress Racing (RCR) in the #07 Jack Daniel’s Chevy. “Phillipe (Lopez, crew chief for the #07 team) will be helping out with the Busch car like he did for the Cup races with Whelen last year. Whelen Engineering is a class organization so I’m very happy to be representing them again in the Busch Series.”
    For more than 50 years, Whelen and its 800 fulltime employees have provided innovative emergency lighting and siren products in the automotive, aviation, industrial, emergency management and traffic management markets. Whelen is also a household name to race fans across America. Whelen is the title sponsor of the NASCAR Whelan Modified Tour and the Official Licensed Warning Lights of NASCAR. The company also provides emergency lights for safety vehicles, tracks and pace cars for ASA, ARCA, IRL, CART, IROC, SCCA, and The World of Outlaws. All Whelen products are made in America.(RCR PR)(1-13-2005)
  • McDonalds to sponsor 2nd Rensi car and Keller? UPDATE: hearing that Team Rensi will field the Team McDonald’s #35 Busch team for the full season starting in 2005 and is a multi-year deal with Jason Keller driving. Rensi also fields the #25 Team Marines Ford for Aston Lewis Jr.(12-18-2004)
    UPDATE: hearing former #32 Cup car chief, Pat Smith will be the crew chief.(1-3-2005)
    UPDATE 2: McDonald’s announced today it has entered into a multi-year agreement with Team Rensi as a primary sponsor of the team’ s entry in the NASCAR Busch Series. The #35 McDonald’s Ford Taurus will be driven by veteran Jason Keller, who was recently named by Team Rensi to pilot the red, black and yellow Golden Arches machine beginning with the 2005 season. “Like McDonald’s, Team Rensi and Jason Keller have been performance leaders in their industry and we are thrilled to be part of this association,” said John Lewicki, McDonald’s senior director of alliance marketing. “Race fans are McDonald’s customers and we look forward to showcasing the Golden Arches in a relevant way with one of the pre-eminent teams in the NASCAR Busch Series.” Ed Rensi, chairman and founder of Team Rensi Motorsports, was excited about adding a high-profiled sponsor and driver to an already successful Busch Series operation. “The Golden Arches is a global icon and we are honored to be part of McDonald ‘s marketing alliance program,” said Rensi, who along with his brother, Sam, founded Team Rensi Motorsports in 1996. “McDonald’s is all about performing with excellence and I feel Team Rensi and driver Jason Keller will deliver the results.” Team Rensi Motorsports, which also fields the #25 Marines Ford, driven by Ashton Lewis, has five career wins and has posted three top-10 finishes in the owner’s point season standings since joining the Busch Series in 1998. The day-to-day operation of the race team is overseen by Sam Rensi, who is the team’s president and chief executive officer. Keller, a 34-year-old native of Greenville, S.C., has enjoyed a successful career as one of the top drivers in the Busch Series. He finished in the top-10 in the season standings the past five years and seven of the last nine. His best point finish was second in both 2000 and 2002. More info on McDonald’s at www.mcdonalds.com.(DMF Communications PR)(1-12-2005)
  • New RWI General Manager: Richard Paysor has been named General Manager of RWI Racing, effective immediately. “Dick Paysor has been with me for almost 20 years in one capacity or another and he has one of the greatest business minds in racing,” said Rusty Wallace, NASCAR champion and owner of the team that will field #64 Miller High Life/Top Flite Dodges in NASCAR Busch Series competition this season for drivers Jamie McMurray and Jeremy Mayfield. “Dick is well-known in all the racing circles and he will be a key leader in moving our young team to the top.”
    “I’m honored that Rusty has the confidence in me to put me in this position,” said Paysor, who will also continue to serve as Vice President and CEO for Rusty Wallace Inc. “We only started our team last year and to have already taken a number of top-10s, top-fives a win and a pole certainly illustrates the potential we have at RWI Racing. With the great support we’ve lined up from Miller High Life and Top Flite Golf Company for the 2005 season, we look for our team to be a factor in every race. I’m really looking forward to this new challenge.”
    Paysor, a Lorain, Ohio native, has 30 years of business experience. After eight years with a “Big 8” CPA firm and a lengthy stint as a V.P. of Governmental Affairs at a multinational Fortune 500 company, he was heading his own investment banking company in St. Louis when he joined Wallace as a personal business manager. In his position at Rusty Wallace Inc., Paysor oversees all licensing issues of the company, as well as administering all of Wallace’s racing-related and personal business ventures. Paysor and wife, Stella, have six children and 12 grandchildren. They reside in Mooresville, N.C.(RWI/TR PR)(1-8-2005)
  • Robby to concentrate on Cup, may run a few Busch races: Robby Gordon’s #55 Busch team is not expected back in 2005, at least not for the 24-race schedule it had planned. Their sponsor has decided to allocate their monies to Gordon’s new Cup team instead. No word on whether the team will still attempt Mexico City and/or Watkins Glen.(BGNRacing.com)(1-7-2005)
  • BANG Racing Resignations: Cameron Tousi announced his resignation from Bang Racing, a NASCAR team [was #24 in Trucks, now part-time in Busch] operating in Mooresville, NC. As part owner, VP and General Counsel for the Team and its operating company Bang, LLC, Tousi was instrumental in forging the business alliances and transactions that placed the startup company on the NASCAR map. As a member of Bang’s Executive Committee, he was responsible for sports transactions and legal affairs, merchandising and licensing, and played a significant role in the company’s notable marketing and technology efforts. Mr. Tousi has joined Genus Law Group (www.genuslaw.com) as Senior Partner, where he will contribute his considerable knowledge and experience in corporate transactions, sports and entertainment law, and intellectual property.
    AND John S. Adalio announced his resignation as Vice President of Sponsorship for Bang Racing, a NASCAR team operating in NC. Mr. Adalio, having twelve years experience in motorsports marketing, has established WIT Marketing, LLC and will provide marketing and public relations services as well as sponsorship development and implementation. Mr. Adalio stated, “It has been an adventure working with CEO Alex Meshkin and everyone at Bang Racing. I wish them success in the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series and beyond. Through WIT Marketing, LLC, I will work to assist sports entities and corporations in reaping a greater return-on-investment for their sponsorship and marketing dollars.” Interested parties should contact John S. Adalio, 401-647-4476 for information regarding WIT Marketing, LLC.(PR’s)(1-8-2005)
  • Jourdain to ppc Racing? UPDATE 3 official: It appears from an article at ESPN Deportes that Michel Jourdain is a wanted man, and that Champ Car owner Gerald Forsythe has been trying to keep Jourdain in Champ Car. Good news for Champ Car fans.. right? It seems there is another bidder…NASCAR’s Busch series is scheduled to race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez [Mexico] on March 6th of 2005. Thus, NASCAR’s PPC Racing Busch squad is apparently negotiating with Jourdain, and hopes to land the Mexican driving star, not just for the race but for the entire season.(paddock.com)(1-1-2005)
    UPDATE: hearing the team already started working last week and will run #15, supposedly the plan is to run the full season but Jourdain has not yet been OK’ed for the superspeedways.(1-3-2004)
    UPDATE 2: Michel Jourdain, Jr., will leave the Champ Car World Series in 2005 to run a full season on the NASCAR Busch Series for ppc Racing. PPC co-owner Greg Pollex told MRN Radio’s Sirius Speedwaythat deals are all but finalized to put Jourdain in one of the team’s Fords next season, with veteran Kenny Wallace driving a second entry with sponsorship from Stacker 2. “The deals are not completely finished, but we should have an announcement very soon,” said Pollex. “We have tested with Michel, and while there is obviously a lot to be learned, I could not be more impressed with him. He is incredibly bright, and a very quick learner who I am confident will transition into our kind of racing very quickly. The Hispanic market is very important to Ford and to NASCAR, and from a team owner’s perspective, I believe this is the first step in taking this sport international. Michel is the right guy to do this.” The Mexico City native finished 12th in Champ Car World Series points last season, with six top-10 finishes for RuSport Racing.(MRN Radio’s Sirius Speedway)(1-4-2005)
    UPDATE 3: In a move that Ford Racing’s Dan Davis called “another important step in promoting diversity in NASCAR,” ppc Racing and Ford Racing announced today that Mexico’s Michel Jourdain Jr. has been signed to a multi-year contract to run Ford Tauruses in the NASCAR Busch Series starting in 2005. Jourdain, a nine-year veteran of the Champ Car World Series, will become the first Hispanic driver to run full-time in the Busch Series, which includes a historic Mexico City date on the 2005 schedule. “We’re thrilled to help partner Michel with ppc Racing,” said Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology. “This is something that has been in the works for a couple years, and we’ve been looking for an opportunity like this to give a deserving driver like Michel the chance to succeed in NASCAR. The fact that we’ve been able to get this program together this year when the series is going to have its first race in Mexico just adds to the excitement. This is just another step forward for us in our on-going driver development program,” Davis added. “Our philosophy has always been that we want our Ford Racing drivers to better reflect the Ford customer, and working with talented drivers like Michel helps accomplish our goal.”
    ppc Racing currently fields Ford race vehicles in all three of NASCAR’s premier divisions: the VB/APlus at Sunoco Taurus driven by John Andretti in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series; the Stacker 2 Taurus driven by Kenny Wallace in the NASCAR Busch Series; and the Powerstroke Diesel F-150 driven by Terry Cook in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Jourdain, 28, will join Wallace in the Busch Series as the new teammates try to move ppc Racing to the top of the championship standings and add to the team’s 21 victories in the past five seasons.
    “This is going to be a great sponsorship opportunity for companies in both the U.S. and Mexico,” said ppc Racing team owner Greg Pollex. “We’ve already started talking with potential sponsors, and are making progress now that the contract with Michel is in place. We’re committed to running the full schedule of Busch races this year, depending on what NASCAR will allow in terms of the superspeedways. Michel’s been great, our crew guys have already adopted him; he has a good sense of humor and gets along great with his new teammates. We know there’s going to be a learning curve for him coming over from open-wheel, but he’s got the talent and the right attitude to compete at this level.” Jourdain tested with ppc Racing for the first time last October, and will get his first superspeedway test with the team later this month during Busch Series testing at Daytona International Speedway. “I’m very excited about this chance,” said Jourdain. “I’ve been wanting to come to NASCAR for a couple years now, and Dan Davis worked very hard with me to find the right opportunity where I could have a chance to work and learn with a top team like ppc. Testing the Ford Taurus in October confirmed that this is completely different from what I’ve been doing the last 10 years, but I’ve got a championship crew, three great teammates, and the people at ppc have been wonderful to work with. We know this is going to be a learning year,” Jourdain added. “I’ve raced on some of the tracks – places like Fontana and Milwaukee – but a lot of them will be new for me. By the end of the year, I hope we’ll be in position to compete for top 10s and top fives, but the key for me this year will be to finish races and get as much seat time as I can. Getting to race at Mexico City …to be a Mexican driver racing at my home track … that will be fantastic. But the long-term goal is to learn this year, not make big mistakes, and continue to develop a strong relationship with ppc Racing and Ford. I’d like this to be the first step to getting to Nextel Cup.”
    Jourdain comes to ppc Racing after spending the 2004 season with RuSPORT in the Champ Car series. The son of well-known Mexican race driver Michel Jourdain Sr., Jourdain became the youngest Champ Car driver at age 19 in 1996 and was the series’ “Most Improved Driver” in 1997. In 152 career Champ Car starts, Jourdain scored two wins, 25 top-10s, and 20 top-five finishes, including nine podiums. His best career championship finish was third in 2003 when he raced for Team Rahal.(cambell co PR)(1-6-2005)
  • NEMCO Motorsports puts coach behind the wheel: In an era where most rookie drivers in the top NASCAR series are young enough to still be in school, NEMCO Motorsports opted for a different approach by entering a teacher instead of a student for four NASCAR races in 2005. Chris Cook, a driving instructor for NASCAR drivers including NEXTEL Cup champion Tony Stewart, Dave Blaney, Kenny Wallace and Tim Fedewa for more than a decade, will enter the road-course events at Mexico City (Busch Series), Watkins Glen (Nextel Cup and Busch Series) and Infineon Raceway (Nextel Cup) with the NEMCO Motorsports team. Cook, 33, who owns the driver coaching and testing company Shift Into Gear, has more than 20 years of racing experience. He has raced everything from late-model stocks at the Nashville Fairgrounds (Rookie of the Year in 1992), to less traditional categories like the Alaska Ice Racing Series, Grand-Am Racing Series and the Formula Drift Series. Cook has one previous start in a NASCAR Busch Series event at Watkins Glen in 1999. He ran as high as second place until a mechanical failure ended his race. Cook earned the new opportunity through the financial backing of Western Pennsylvanian entrepreneur and racing enthusiast Chris Evans, one of Cook’s students. With a testing schedule in place, the search for primary sponsorship has begun. Cook’s support from Stewart has generated interest from companies focused on the Hispanic market for the Mexico City event, as well as companies located near his birthplace of Sonoma, Calif., also home of Infineon Raceway. Chris and his fiance Tabitha Meready are relocating to North Carolina from Phoenix and will continue to operate the Shift into Gear business.(NEMCO PR)(1-5-2005)
  • DEI Sends Young Drivers for road testing: Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) is trying to stay a step ahead of the competition. With the 2005 racing season rapidly approaching and a new road race in Mexico City slated for the NASCAR Busch Series schedule, DEI recently enrolled members of its driver development program into the Advanced Road Racing two-day session at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving near Phoenix. The goal was to sharpen the drivers’ road-race skills under the supervision of some serious road-course masters. The students included Shane Hmiel, who has shown great promise since joining the Busch Series at the end of 2001, and Ryan Moore, a 21-year-old upstart who only recently signed with DEI after earning Busch North Series rookie-of-the-year honors in 2003. Driver Paul Menard, another DEI hopeful, was also on hand for a day of instruction. To help accelerate the learning curve, GM Racing called upon veteran Corvette driver Ron Fellows. Fellows’ role was to assist Bondurant’s expert team in teaching advanced road-racing skills to the DEI drivers in both the classroom and on the track. Hmiel will run a full Busch schedule this year, and to be successful he will have to apply what he learned from Fellows and the Bondurant instructors. Moore will again compete in the Busch North Series and is standing by for the rest of his upcoming duties for DEI. Fellows, who will be back behind the wheel of a Corvette in the American Le Mans Series this year, says he will be “very surprised” if he doesn’t compete in the Busch Series race in Mexico City.(Autoweek)(1-4-2005)
  • Larkin leaves BAM for FBR: Hearing that BAM Racing [#49] Business Manager, Gus Larkin has left the team and accepted a similar position at FitzBradshaw Racing [#12,#14, #40,#82](1-4-2004)
  • Jones team to run some Busch races: Bobby Jones Racing [BJR], a top Dodge driver development program, Dodge Young Guns, ended the 2004 season with a big boost for the 2005 season. BJR tested a superspeedway car two weeks ago, and ran the the 2nd fastest time at 49.39 second lap, in single car testing. BJR is one of the top Dodge driver development programs in the ACRA series, and now looking to do some NASCAR Busch Series races, on a part time or a full time bases, and also run a part time ARCA schedule in 2005. Mike Ege Racing Engines [M.E.R.E.] will supply engines.(BJR PR)(12-31-2004)
    AND The Dodge Young Gun program is not a Dodge funded program, it has manufacturer supported, to run Busch and ARCA races, with M.E.R.E. engines, bodies, and vehicle support.(BJR PR)(1-1-2005)