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July 1999 News Archives


 

  • (7-31-1999)
  • Elliott and McDonald’s: Bill Korbus, who directs the McDonald’s racing program, says the company believed Elliott was going to retire after next season and it didn’t want to be caught short. He also says that if Elliott doesn’t retire, McDonald’s would be interested in continuing to sponsor him. Two McDonald’s cars? “It’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility,” Korbus says. “Cal was always our life-after-Bill plan.” The catch is that Elliott, an owner-driver, plans to continue as an owner after he retires. And McDonald’s has no interest in sponsoring an Elliott car with no Elliott inside(USA Today)(7-31-1999)
  • Childress Notes: from Chris Economaki’s National Speed Sport News weekly column ‘Editor’s Notebook’: concerning Larry McReynolds 3-year deal with RCR as crew chief for the #31 – The 3-year deal can be aborted by Childress if McReynolds later decides he still wants to be a team owner. Childress also noted there are no plans for a third RCR team next year, “Not unless we need one.”(NSSN)(7-31-1999)
  • Henry’s Rumblings: from the Stock Car Fans Newsletter(www.stockcarfans.com) – “Here we are 19 races into the season and we’ve still got one spot open on the Winner’s Circle program. Now, I realize nobody is in this sport for the money (some of the numbers being thrown around in these new sponsor deals are staggering), but there was a time when being on the Winner’s Circle plan made the difference in profit and loss for a big-time Cup team or two. I guess $300-$350K just doesn’t buy what it used to. Anyway, the next race winner not already on the plan will be eligible. We filled the program last year by Martinsville in April with Bobby Hamilton’s victory. John Andretti claimed the first wild card spot this season with his victory in that same event.” By the way, I have a page with the Winner Circle Program rules and standings, current and for the last two years at Winners Circle Program (7-31-1999)
  • More from Henry: Of the last 43 races, only one winner has been from a single-car program. Ricky Rudd’s victory at Martinsville last September stands alone…..and when you look at the single car operations left, it’s hard to predict that we could see a winner emerge from any of those in the near future. Thus far this year, we’ve only got 5 Top-5’s (5.3%) and 33 Top-10’s (17.4%) recorded by single car teams(7-31-1999)

    (7-30-1999)

  • Spoiler Change? UPDATE: Not in the angle but I hear NASCAR will issue a bulletin on how the braces on the rear spoilers are placed. Basically it tells the teams where the support braces go, how many, and exactly where to put them. From what I understand, teams could put them at angles or more than three per side so the tool used by NASCAR could only be hung on the spoiler where the team wanted it, usually in the center. Then they would turn the corners back a couple of degrees. Less downforce(7-29-1999) — UPDATE: will be effective as of October 13th, 1999(before Talladega). An addition to the rule book covering the Rear Spoliers, concerning the Spoiler Braces. There can be a maximum of six, three per side, evenly spaced(7-30-1999)
  • DW Paint: Darrell Waltrip’s #66 Route 66/Big Kmart Ford Taurus will have a special paint scheme for the Brickyard 400. It will be the debut of the paint scheme Waltrip will run in selected races next year. The paint scheme will be unveiled during next Thursday’s(Aug 5th) morning press conference(7-30-1999)
  • Furr back in 2000: #25 Hendrick Motorsports Crew Chief, Tony Furr says he will return as the crew chief in 2000 and work with new 2000 driver Jerry Nadeau(WC Scene Magazine)(7-30-1999)
  • CART Moore news: Greg Moore and Al Unser Jr., who both become free agents at the end of this season, have at times expressed interest in giving stock cars a try. Moore, 24, a Canadian, has been the hotter topic of late and seems in no hurry to dispel the rumors who says he has two or three opportunities ‘over there'(NASCAR). Moore, who can command a multimillion-dollar deal in CART, confirmed with USA Today that he has talked with Wells. See full story at: Moore confirms NASCAR talks(TSN)…but in a WC Scene story about Cal Wells, Wells states that he was talking to a CART driver but that the deal fell through(7-30-1999)
  • Wells down to 3: Cal Wells, who is starting BGN and Cup teams for the 2000 season, has narrowed his choice to BGN drivers for his McDonald’s BGN team down to three(no names mentioned) but is not close to a Cup driver for his Tide operation yet(WC Today Radio and WC Scene) Hopes are for Wells to have his BGN driver run a few BGN races later in the 1999 season so the driver is eligible for all the tracks in 2000(7-30-1999)
  • Bickle/TylerJet news: Rich Bickle was on RPM2Nite Thursday and alluded to a contact extension with the #45 TylerJet Team, well…..from NOL – Tyler Jet Motorsports team owner Tim Beverley announced Wednesday driver Rich Bickle has agreed to a multi-year agreement with the NASCAR Winston Cup Series organization(NOL)(7-30-1999)
  • Lepage/Roush: Kevin Lepage was on RPM2Nite Thursday and said while TV Guide has not signed for the 2000 season yet, he felt that things are looking better in negotiations with the magazine. From a Tennessean/NY Times story: Lepage’s primary sponsor was purchased by a competitor earlier this year and pulled out. Roush got TV Guide as a replacement, but now it looks as if TV Guide will leave at the end of the year, and there is the possibility Lepage’s team may fold, leaving him looking for a ride(Tennessean)(7-30-1999)
  • Shepherd News: an update on Morgan Shepherds plans for Indy. Shepherd will have a mixed crew, with some of his guys and some of Richard Jackson’s guys(his old car owner, #1/14). Larry Gunselman, a NASCAR Winston West Driver, is in charge of the car set-up and preparation for the upcoming race. A qualifying engine will be leased from Dennis Fisher, an engine builder in Mooresville, NC(who also does the #60 engines). Shepherd and Jackson are going to Indy together in a joint venture, the car will be Morgan’s #05 Pontiac(Morgan Shepherd Site)(7-30-1999)
  • Carter Sponsor: Travis Carter, owner of the #23 and #66 Cup teams, says he has a primary sponsor to replace Winston, who is leaving the #23 team at the end of the 1999 season. Nothing has been signed yet but Carter says he has a solid verbal agreement. He expects to make an announcement in the next two months. As for his driver, Jimmy Spencer, he and Carter plan to talk soon but neither know what is going on driverwise for the 2000 season yet. Spencer hopes to have a decision in place by the beginning of September(WC Scene Magazine)(7-30-1999)
  • Jeff Gordon Boulevard: On Wednesday, Aug. 4, 1999, Jeff Gordon will celebrate his 28th birthday with a few thousand of his closest friends. County Road 275 East, which runs approximately one-mile on both sides of I-74, will be appropriately renamed “Jeff Gordon Boulevard.” The ceremony will begin at 5:15pm at Dr. Malcolm Scamahorn Community Park located east of downtown Pittsboro, 10 miles west of Indianapolis, on Hwy 136(JGnewsletter/MNI)(7-30-1999)
  • Grissom: NASCAR Today Radio reports that Steve Grissom is seriously talking to a few Cup owners about driving for them in the 2000 season(7-30-1999)

    (7-29-1999)

  • #30 SOLD UPDATE PR: Am hearing all kinds of reports that something is going on with the #30 team today, what?? not sure, could be the sale of the team?? Shut down?? Sponsor gone?? one thing I hear is that owner Chuck Rider has sold to the Barry Dodson group. Apparently, this was finalized today. Team keeps going. Not sure on sponsor or driver — UPDATE PR: Bahari’ Racing owner Chuck Rider announced today that he has sold the team to Eel River Racing, LLC, a newly formed team owned by Boston businessman Jack Birmingham. Birmingham said 1990 Daytona 500 champion Derrike Cope will remain as the driver of the team for the remainder of the season, but the team and Cope are free to contract with others for the 2000 season. Jimmy Dean, Bryan Foods, State Fair Brand Corn Dogs and Rudy’s Farm will continue to serve as rotating sponsors on the #30 Pontiac Grand Prixs. Rider has agreed to be an officer of the newly formed team, which will be known as Bahari’-Eel River Racing. Birmingham, 57, is a native of Boston, and has homes in Osterville, Mass., and Vero Beach, Fla. Eel River flows through Osterville where Birmingham resides during the summer months. Rider formed Bahari’ Racing in 1987. His teams have earned 16 top-five and 69 top-10 finishes over that span, accumulating more than $7.5 million in earnings. Cope said his goal is to have a competitive rebirth during the remainder of the season. Bob Tomlinson, who served as Cale Yarborough Motorsports’ team manger when Cope was the driver from 1993-94, will serve in the same capacity at Bahari-Eel River Racing. Devin Birmingham, a marketing expert employed at Kellogg Co., will be part of the management team(Bahari PR)(7-28-1999) — UPDATE: full story at That’s Racin’: Rider announces sale of Bahari’ Racing by David Poole and from SpeedNet: Cope was in the 2nd year of a three-year commitment with Bahari’ Racing, but with the circumstances the way they are, he has been able to come to terms on being released from any 2000 commitment(SpeedNet)(7-29-1999)
  • Schrader #100: Ken Schrader will make his 100th BGN series start this week at St. Louis(That’s Racin’)(7-29-1999)
  • Entry List is up at NOL for the Brickyard 400. The list link and info on the upcoming Cup race at my Brickyard 400 Info Page. Included in the entries are #14-Boris Said, #05-Morgan Shepherd, #61-Bob Strait, #32-Mike Wallace, #01-Jeff Green, #62-Jeff Davis, #93-Dave Blaney and #80-Gary Bradberry(7-29-1999)
  • Dodson to the #30? RPM2Nite mentioned during it’s story on the Bahari team being sold that Barry Dodson is under consideration to be the teams crewchief. Rumor has it that Dodson is ready to step back into Cup(7-29-1999)
  • Donlavey News UPDATE: Junie Donlavey has a four race deal in place with Hills Bros. Coffee. The firm has agreed to sponsor Stanton Barrett in the #90 Taurus in the upcoming races at Indianapolis, Michigan, Richmond and Talladega. Donlavey will run the sponsor’s logo at Pocono as well this weekend as a bonus race. Donlavey, commenting on his team’s recent struggles, said the situation was much like that of a first year team. His team has had such a dramatic turnover in personnel, that it is taking them some time, much like a start-up team, to get used to working together. He thinks he has a very promising young driver in Barrett and sees brighter days ahead for his re-energized group(Inside Motorsports)(7-23-1999) — UPDATE: The #90 will be unsponsored at Indy, the other race Hills Brothers will sponsor the car is in the season finale at Atlanta. Stanton Barrett is slated to drive the car at Indy and the Hills Bros races(7-29-1999)
  • #75 Crew: hearing that Shock Specialist Danny Tompkins has parted ways with the #75 team after Pocono(7-27-1999) — UPDATE: Also hearing that crew chief Jon Wolfe will part with the #75 team after the Brickyard 400(7-29-1999)

    (7-28-1999)

  • #91 Sponsor? UPDATE 2: hearing the #91 LJ Racing team has a deal working with Invinca-Shield for at least a one race deal. It could be at the Brickyard 400(Victory Lane Online)(7-24-1999) — UPDATE: In the middle of a promtional release it mentions: “We’re doing a five race deal with LJ Racing” and mentions Dick Trickle as the driver. They are giving away either a #91 Winston Cup car or a choice of a Brand New 1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, it doesn’t say what race the sponsorship starts(Invinca-Shield) — UPDATE 2: Looks like Invinca-Shield will be sponsoring the #91 LJ racing Chevy at Indy, Bristol and Richmond and are still considering what other two races they will sponsor but I hear they are leaning toward Charlotte and Talladega(7-28-1999)
  • #30 Sponsor? team for SALE? another rumor: hearing the Sara Lee sponsorship of the #30 Bahari Pontiac team is in jeopardy. Sara Lee is using a rotating product program on the car with Jimmy Dean, Bryan Meats, State Fair Corn Dogs, and Rudy’s Farms(6-28-1999) — UPDATE: Sources tell me that the Sara Lee sponsorship of the #30 will go through this season as it is under contract. Next year has yet to be determined(6-29-1999) — UPDATE 2: Chuck Rider is considering selling his Winston Cup team after 14 winless seasons, according to sources close to the situation. Derrike Cope is the driver. Three men who are looking to be part of the new operation are Barry Dodson, Jimmy Johnson and Eddie Cheever. Dodson is a veteran NASCAR crew chief who led Rusty Wallace to the 1989 title and who moved over to the Truck division after the death of his children in a car crash five years ago. Johnson is the former NASCAR team manager who helped Rick Hendrick put together his stock-car empire. Cheever is a veteran Indy-car driver on the Indy Racing League circuit. Sara Lee, Rider’s sponsor, is not expected to return as a Winston Cup sponsor next season. The Fortune 500 company joins a growing list of major sponsors leaving the stock-car series(PitNow)(7-24-1999) — UPDATE 3: Noises being made that NFL Quarterback Jim Harbaugh may be interested in purchasing or investing in the #30 Bahari Racing team currently piloted by Derrike Cope(Catchfence) have not heard this one myself anyhere(7-26-1999) — UPDATE 4: Team owner Chuck Rider is reportedly considering offers to sell the team and rumors have Sara Lee considering leaving the team as the sponsor(Winston Cup Today Radio)(7-28-1999)
  • Rookies: No former Winston Cup rookie of the year winner has posted a series victory since Jeff Burton won the rookie title in 1994. Since then, Ricky Craven, Skinner Irwin and Benson have all won the title but come up empty in wins. In fact, of the past 10 rookie title winners, only three (Burton, Jeff Gordon and Bobby Hamilton) have won Cup races(That’s Racin’)(7-28-1999)
  • Monte Carlo Testing: The 2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlo is scheduled to be on the track Aug. 30-31 at Gateway International Raceway outside St. Louis. Teammates Mike Skinner and Dale Earnhardt are scheduled to drive the car. Richard Childress Racing developed the cars for all the tracks except Daytona and Talladega. Hendrick Motorsports developed the restrictor-plate cars(News and Record)(7-28-1999)
  • Sadler rests: Elliott Sadler will skip the BGN race at Gateway to heal from the crash he had in second-round qualifying at Pocono last weekend. Sadler bruised his left foot. He was to drive the #35 Team Amick Pontiac(News and Record)(7-28-1999)

    (7-27-1999)

  • Melling Ride: At least three drivers, Morgan Shepherd, Steve Grissom and Dallenbach have spoken to Melling Racing about moving to the #9 Fords next season(That’s Racin’)(7-27-1999)
  • Pizza Hut? UPDATE: rumor has it that Pizza Hut may be the next sponsor on the #75 Butch Mock(?) team(7-26-1999) — UPDATE: hearing Butch Mock has sold the team but will finish out the season as the owner(7-27-1999)
  • #88 Crew Member Hurt UPDATE: Brian Clark, the rear tire carrier for Dale Jarrett, broke a toe when the exhaust pipe landed on it as the car was dropped from the jack during a pit stop. Kevin Hall came over from the #28 car which crashed out of the race early(Infobeat)(7-26-1999) — UPDATE: Brian Clark, the right rear tire changer for Dale Jarrett’s #88 Fords who was injured Sunday at Pocono Raceway, hopes to return to his team in time for the Aug. 7 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. Clark shattered his big toe and second toe on his left foot when Jarrett’s car dropped from the jack and the car’s tail pipe landed on his foot during the completion of a pit stop. He received stitches and has had his foot placed in a splint(That’s Racin’)(7-27-1999)
  • Rudd rumor: I hear the 7/26 issue of AutoWeek magazine has a story about IRL team owner John Barnes and Panther Racing (driver:Scott Goodyear). “Barnes says he is in serious negotiations to buy a high profile Winston Cup team. He and soon-to-be-sponsorless Rick Rudd are friends.”(7-27-1999)
  • Burton to the #28?? UPDATE: Thought this was an odd rumor on the Speednet page Sunday: “Dallenbach has been linked with many teams for possible future rides. But no one expects Dallenbach’s situation to be resolved until Robert Yates decides what he will do with the #28 Texaco/Havoline Ford, currently driven by Kenny Irwin. If Irwin is replaced later this season, sources expect Yates to choose Ward Burton, Jimmy Spencer or Dallenbach. Burton, who is eighth in series points with Bill Davis Racing team, wants to stay packaged with crew chief Tom Baldwin”. That’s a new one(SpeedNet)(7-26-1999) — UPDATE: here that Ward Burton, driver of the #22 Caterpillar Pontiac with Bill Davis Racing and his crew chief Tommy Baldwin have re-upped with Bill Davis Racing for three more years(7-27-1999)
  • Barrett Returns: Stanton Barrett, who ran the #90 Hills Bros Junie Donlavey Ford at Pocono(and Vegas) will also drive the car again in two weeks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway(Keystone/Williams Co)(7-27-1999)

    (7-26-1999)

  • Double KMart cars? KMart may be expanding its NASCAR sponsorship to include both of Travis Carter’s teams next season(PitNow)(7-26-1999)
  • #45: Tyler Jet Motorsports had it’s best finish ever when Rich Bickle came home 7th at Pocono on Sunday(7-26-1999)
  • Hut: Hut Stricklin brought the #58 SBIII Ford home 15th in the Pennsylvania 500, the best ever for the first year team, previous best was 19th at Richmond(7-26-1999)
  • Yates honor: The #28 Robert Yates Racing Ford driven by Kenny Irwin carried a special decal in memory of the car’s former owner Harry Ranier. He died last week of a heart attack. Among the drivers for Ranier, who sold the team to Yates in 1987, were Hall of Famers Buddy Baker, Bobby Allison, Yarborough and Benny Parsons(Infobeat)..The decal read, “In Memory and Respect of Harry Ranier.” In addition, smaller decals were distributed to the remainder of the 43-car field(That’s Racin’)(7-26-1999)
  • Gordon’s record? While it’s looking doubtful that Jeff Gordon will win his 3rd consecutive Cup championship and tie Cale Yarboroughs record, hestill has a shot at one Winston Cup record. No one has led the circuit in victories for five consecutive seasons. Gordon shares the lead this season with Jeff Burton with four wins each. Darrell Waltrip led in victories from 1981-84, sharing the top spot with Bobby Allison in 1983(SpeedNet)(7-26-1999)
  • Roush News: Roush Racing announced Sunday morning that Matt Kenseth and Chad Little will have their teams work from the same shop, which is being built near Concord Regional Airport. The teams are expected to move into the shop in December(News and Record)(7-26-1999)
  • Not Needed: Morgan Shepherd was not at Pocono on Sunday. The Wood Brothers told him Saturday night he could go home and that rookie Elliott Sadler, who bruised his left foot in a crash, would be able to drive all day. Sadler finished 21st(News and Record)(7-26-1999)

 


(7-25-1999)

  • Pocono Double: Bobby Labonte is the 4th driver to win both Pocono events in the same season, last time it was done was 1986 when Tim Richmond did it. Bill Elliott in 1985 and Allison in 1982(7-25-1999)
  • Lepage Leads: #16-Kevin Lepage led a lap for the first time in the 1999 season and his career(7-25-1999)
  • Wally’s Run: Wally Dallenbach had his first top five in 84 races, since he finished 3rd at Sears Point in 1996(7-25-1999)
  • DW Info: Darrell Waltrip was faced with an intriguing situation during 2nd round qualifying. He had one provisional remaining entering this weekend(at Pocono) and his team contemplated withdrawing from the race in order to save his provisional for the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis, where he is making an announcement of his retirement plans on Aug. 5. Waltrip, who originally qualified in the 36th and final position on speed, elected to take his chances but had to use a provisional when Barrett and Lepage made the field on speed. Waltrip will now have to make the field on speed to run in the Aug. 7 Brickyard 400(That’s Racin’)(7-25-1999)
  • Buckshot Jones: In TNN’s Inside NASCAR they interviewed Buckshot Jones, driver of the #00 Pontiac in the Cup and BGN series. The Buckshot Racing team expects to make a decision in the next week or so on it’s 2000 plans. Potions include: hiring some experienced Winston Cup personnel and trying Cup full time on 2000, driving for another Cup team, or going back full time to the BGN series and regroup, possibly with a two car effort(7-25-1999)
  • Sadler Hurt: Elliott Sadler wrecked during 2nd round qualifying and injured(sprained) his left(clutch) foot. X-rays were negative and Sadler practice the #21 CITGO Ford for most of the Happy Hour practice. Morgan Shepherd practiced for the final 10 minutes and will stand by if relief is needed for Sadler(NOL)(7-25-1999)

    (7-24-1999)
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  • #91 Sponsor? hearing the #91 LJ Racing team has a deal working with Invinca-Shield for at least a one race deal. It could be at the Brickyard 400(Victory Lane Online)(7-24-1999)
  • RCR/Earnhardt: #3 team owner Richard Childress says he continues to talk to Dale Earnhardt about extending the driver’s contract through 2003. Earnhardt’s contract ends after the 2000 season. Childress says he will announce his plans in regards to a BGN team later this season(News and Record)(7-24-1999)
  • Dallenbach/Wells? Unser? Wally Dallenbach said that his plans are now unclear. But he is seen as one of the front-runners for the Tide-sponsored ride with new car owner Cal Wells. According to one top car owner, Wells has opened his wallet in an effort to get his new operation off the ground and is offering as much as $2.5 million to land the right Cup driver. Steve Grissom is reported to be on Wells’ list of potential drivers for his new McDonald’s sponsored Busch team, which is to be promoted to a full Cup team in 2001(PitNow). Jayski Note: other rumors have Al Unser, Jr, whose CART/Penske contract runs out this year, as a possible driver for Well’s Cup deal, but most think he’ll stay in CART or go to the IRL and no matter what happens drive in the 2000 Indy 500(7-24-1999)
  • Engine Rules: NASCAR officials are watching how a new rule by the BGN series that eliminates qualifying engines works. The rule prohibits teams from using an engine specifically for qualifying and another for the race. Some have said that such a rule in the Cup series could save car owners as much as $1 million a season. The majority of Cup team changes motors after qualifying. Gary Nelson, the Winston Cup Series director, says NASCAR officials want to see how the rule works during the BGN season before deciding if a change is needed in the Cup series(News and Record)(7-24-1999)

    (7-23-1999)

  • McReynolds stays at RCR: Larry McReynolds ended speculation of becoming a team owner next season when he signed a contract extension with Richard Childress Racing to remain as the crew chief of the Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse Racing team through the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. McReynolds, 40, has been the crew chief for Mike Skinner and the #31 Team Lowe’s Racing Chevrolet since August 1998, when he came across the street from Richard Childress Racing’s other Winston Cup program with driver Dale Earnhardt. Prior to that, he had been with Robert Yates Racing since 1991. He has 23 NASCAR Winston Cup victories and 18 pole positions since first becoming a crew chief in 1985. His victories include two Daytona 500s, with Davey Allison (1992)(not Irvan in 94, sorry) and Earnhardt (1998), and consecutive wins in The Winston (1991, ’92) with the late Davey Allison(Cotter Group PR) also That’s Racin’ has an article at McReynolds extends deal with Childress(7-23-1999)
  • Mellings Plans: Despite Adversity, Melling Team Stays Positive. Despite the death of owner Harry Melling, despite the departure of driver Jerry Nadeau at seasons end, and despite being 33rd in points, Melling Racing is not ready to throw in the towel. The year 2000 will usher in the 21st century, the 21st year of Melling’s involvement in NASCAR, a new Ford Taurus, and a new chapter in Melling Racing’s history. A chapter that will include a new driver. No decision has been made yet on a new driver, but the team is looking at experienced CTS, BGN and Cup drivers. It is that commitment that led Mark Melling, president of Melling Racing Enterprises, to build the team’s new 20,000 square foot facility in Concord, NC. The building houses the teams’ administrative offices, show car program, fabrication shop, chassis shop, body shop and assembly shop. Pro Motor Engineering in Mooresville, NC handles the teams motors. The team is building new cars, adding depth, stepping up their pit stop practice schedule and gearing up to start their development of the 2000 Taurus(in part from a Melling PR)(7-23-1999)
  • Donlavey News: Junie Donlavey has a four race deal in place with Hills Bros. Coffee. The firm has agreed to sponsor Stanton Barrett in the #90 Taurus in the upcoming races at Indianapolis, Michigan, Richmond and Talladega. Donlavey will run the sponsor’s logo at Pocono as well this weekend as a bonus race. Donlavey, commenting on his team’s recent struggles, said the situation was much like that of a first year team. His team has had such a dramatic turnover in personnel, that it is taking them some time, much like a start-up team, to get used to working together. He thinks he has a very promising young driver in Barrett and sees brighter days ahead for his re-energized group(Inside Motorsports)(7-23-1999)
  • Nice Stuff: Dr. Joseph Mattioli, Caterpillar and Ward Burton are hosting 10-year-old Todd Branas this weekend at Pocono International Raceway. Branas is a Make-A-Wish child whose wish was to drive heavy machinery. Caterpillar hosted him at its Peoria, IL, world headquarters a few weeks ago. There, Todd saw a Caterpillar Pontiac show car and recognized Ward Burton’s name when he was told Burton was the driver. Burton called Todd on the telephone a few days later, and the two chatted for 15 minutes. Burton suggested Todd attend a race at some point. Todd contacted Burton and asked about the Pocono event. Caterpillar jumped on board and arranged and paid for motel accommodations in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., for the race, as well as making arrangements with NASCAR for a pit and garage tour. Mattioli has delivered race tickets for use by Todd and his parents, Mike and Renee Branas. Burton will meet the Branas Saturday morning and spend some time with them(Williams Company)(7-23-1999)
  • Pocono Repeat? The last driver to sweep both Pocono races in the same season was Tim Richmond in 1986. Of the other 11 tracks with two Winston Cup races, Daytona is the only other one that has waited longer for a season sweep(Bobby Allison won both Daytona races in ’82). Since Pocono gained its second race in 1982, only two other drivers have managed to complete the sweep — Bill Elliott in 1986 and Allison in 1982(Times-Dispatch)(7-23-1999)
  • Pole/Pocono: Six of all the 43 Pocono races have been won by the pole starter – 14%. Last Pennsylvania 500 won by the pole winner: 1994, by Geoffrey Bodine(TNN Stats)(7-23-1999)
  • Musgrave News: Ted Musgrave was on SpeedVisions ‘This Week in NASCAR’ show Thursday and he mentioned the #75 Butch Mock team will run seven different paint schemes in the remaining races this year, and that team owner Butch Mock will be making a big announcement at Indy concerning the 2000 season and sponsor(thanks Wide Freakin’ Open)(7-23-1999)

    (7-22-1999)

  • Sad News: Former Winston Cup team owner, Harry Ranier passed away Wednesday morning of a massive heart attack. Ranier was 62. The viewing will take place in Kentucky on Saturday and the funeral there as well on Sunday. Ranier owned cars that Bobby and Davey Allison drove for and sold the team to present team owner Robert Yates before the 1988 season. His team won three Daytona 500’s and he was looking into forming a BGN team in 2000. Harry is the father of Lorin who is a consultant and spotter for Bill Elliott. Condolences go out to the Ranier family(in part from RPM2Nite and RaceComm) and now NOL has a story up – Former team owner Ranier passes(7-21-1999) — UPDATE: Mike Calinoff will be Bill Elliott’s spotter this week at Pocono, filling in for Lorin Ranier. Calinoff is the regular spotter for Ricky Craven who is not entered at Pocono(7-22-1999)
  • RJR Hire: from a Press Release – Richard M. Sanders has been named president of Sports Marketing Enterprises and vice-president of marketing for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Sanders replaces G. Clifton “Cliff” Pennell who will remain as senior vice president of marketing for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. In addition to maintaining oversight accountability for Sports Marketing Enterprises, Pennell will assume additional responsibilities within RJR. Sanders will report to Pennell(7-22-1999)
  • Terry Labonte – Hendrick – 2003: Terry Labonte will remain with Hendrick Motorsports banner at least through 2003 under a three-year contract extension signed by the two-time Winston Cup champion. See full AP story at the WRAL site: Terry Labonte Extends Contract With Hendrick Through 2003 (7-22-1999)
  • Required Reading: thought this was pretty neat – This fall Dr. Dan Pierce, is offering a course at the University of North Carolina – Asheville entitled “Stockcars and Southern Culture.” The class has almost filled in preregistration. One of the course requirements will be for students to check the Jayski page at least once a week and write a summary of significant articles they find there.(geez..who would have thought) — Also: The Atlanta History Center is gearing up for a major exhibit on the history of stockcar racing in the South. Pete Daniel of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History will be guest curator(7-22-1999)
  • Roush to buy Track? CORRECTION(s): Heard that Jack Roush(owner of the #’s 6,16,26,97,99 Cup teams) may buy the Concord (NC) Motorsport Park Speedway, close it down(for Sat. night racing), and use it for shops and a test track. Riush was recently turned down for zoning where he wanted to build mega race shops and a test track at some property he owns near Lowes Motor Speedway — CORRECTION: I am told by the folks at the Concord Motorsport Park that the track is not being sold and to correct the info on the Roush Shops – from June 10th: Roush Racing’s new headquarters may not be coming to Concord, after the company Tuesday withdrew a controversial rezoning request to build its new facility and test track there. The $75 million proj-ect drew opposition from hundreds of Concord residents who live near the proposed 106-acre facility on U.S. 29. The residents feared the test track would generate too much noise. See the rest of the Charlotte Observer article at: Roush Racing abandons rezoning effort, Concord site.(7-22-1999)

    (7-21-1999)

  • Hendrick/Atwood? UPDATE: heard that Hendrick Motorsports holds some sort of ‘first right of refusal’ when Casey Atwoods current contract is up at Brewco where he drives the #27 Castrol Oil BGN Chevy — UPDATE: A very well placed source tells me that it is not true that Hendrick holds any form of contract with Atwood or the Brewco team(7-21-1999)
  • Spencer Chat: in part from a question at the NOL Jimmy Spencer Chat: Asked about his plans and the #23 sponsor – “Sponsorship looks good. We are talking about next year and there’s still some opportunities out there that I’m persuing. I have not made my decision where I’m going to stay. I have a meeting with Travis and some other car owners. My heart’s with Travis. I think we need to make some changes to make ourselves a championship caliber team and hopefully it will be worked out in the next few weeks.” See full chat at Jimmy Spencer Chat Transcript(7-21-1999)
  • No Sprague in Cup: the rumor that #24 CTS driver, Jack Sprague would move up to Winston Cup were apparently false. NOL reports that Sprague will return to the #24 GMAC Hendrick Motorsports truck in 2000, well actually Rick Hendrick says GMAC and the team will return truck next year and he “hopes Jack’s the driver”(NOL)(7-21-1999)
  • Dodson to Return? Barry Dodson was the mastermind behind Rusty Wallace’s 1989 championship, yet is not presently involved in Winston Cup racing. That may soon change. There has always been a market for Dodson’s services. He has spent the last few years working for Busch and truck teams primarily because he wanted to get away from the high pressure of NASCAR’s premier division and recover from the loss of two teen-aged children in an automobile accident(Monte Dutton/Gazette) Dodson currently oversee’s the #35 Team Amick BGN team(7-21-1999)
  • #90 News: Stanton Barrett will attempt to make the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono in the #90 Donlavey Ford with Hills Brothers coffee as the sponsor(Williams Company)(7-21-1999)

    (7-20-1999)

  • Taurus and Fans: The fourth annual Ford Fan Appreciation Day in Indianapolis will offer fans two exciting opportunities this year — a chance to meet their favorite Ford Winston Cup drivers, and a chance to witness the worldwide introduction of the 2000 NASCAR Taurus race car on August 4, 1999, at the RCA Dome. Top Ford NASCAR Drivers and First Look at 2000 NASCAR Taurus Highlight Annual Indianapolis Ford Fan Appreciation Day(Yahoo/Prn News)(7-20-1999)
  • LJ Racing News: Veteran Winston Cup Driver Morgan Shepherd will drive the LJ Racing Chevrolet this weekend at Pocono Raceway on July 25, 1999, for the Pennsylvania 500. Dick Trickle is unable to occupy the driver’s seat of the #91 Chevy because of a prior commitment to participate in the BGN at Pikes Peak. Trickle will be back with LJ Racing for the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 7, 1999. LJ Racing is still in pursuit of a full time primary sponsor, and will run selective events for the remaining 1999 season(LJ Racing PR/Site)(7-20-1999)
  • Hendrick News UPDATE: There will be a Hendrick Motorsports Press Conference to announce a new partner in their racing program on Monday, July 19, 1999, at the Hendrick Motorsports Museum in Harrisburg, N.C. Will also be a 1:45pm/et teleconference of the event(Cotter Group PR)(7-14-1999) — UPDATE: this should be the Press Conference where they announce Jerry Nadeau as the driver and Michael Holigans Homes as the sponsor — UPDATE: From the www.michaelholigan.com / Michael Holigans site: MichaelHoligan.com is entering the most competitive and action-packed sport in the world, NASCAR Winston Cup Racing! Starting in February 2000 at the Daytona 500, MichaelHoligan.com will be the primary sponsor of the #25 team from Hendrick Motorsports. See images of the car and the Press Release at: Michael Holigans Homes PR(7-19-1999) — see press release at: Catchfence(7-20-1999)

    (7-19-1999)

  • Evernham: I get many rumors on what the #24 crew chief, Ray Evernham will do after the end of the season. Everything from leaving the sport to staying right where he is. The truth is probably somewhere in between. There is a Ray Evernham fan page that has many of the transcripts of Evernham’s Interviews, the latest being July 8th with Alan Bestwick. Check it out at: This Week In NASCAR – July 8, 1999, it’s pretty candid(Sue’s ADNASCAR Newsletter/Desiree’s Ray Evernham Page)(7-19-1999)
  • Hendrick Wind Tunnel: Plans for an aerodynamic wind tunnel on the grounds at Hendrick Motorsports have been put on hold until the return of team owner Rick Hendrick. Hendrick is currently in the remission stage of a fight against a rare form of leukemia. After a season out of Winston Cup racing as part of a legal settlement, Hendrick made his return to the garage area for events leading up to the Daytona 500 in February. But as the season-opener neared, media interviews and a busy schedule had already taken their toll. See full story at Hendrick wind tunnel on hold. Jayski Note: te story mentions that the Hendrick team has won three straight Winston Cup titles, they have won four(Gordon 1995,97,98 and Labonte 1996)(7-19-1999)

 


(7-18-1999)

  • That’s Racin’ NASCAR writer David Poole had surgery Tuesday(7-12) to unclog an artery in his neck at Gaston Memorial Hospital in Gastonia, NC. His surgery went well and he has returned home. He will be away from the tracks for at least the near future. Cards, etc, can be sent to Charlotte Observer, P.O. Box 32188, Charlotte, NC 28232. Get Well David! (7-16/18-1999)
  • Sad News: I hear Ron Brown, who was Mark Martin’s Pilot for seven years and was currently flying for Ward Burton personally, and the Bill Davis team as needed, recently passed away over the 4th of July weekend(7-18-1999)
  • Hamilton/Truck: Bobby Hamilton will be running the #4 DANA Dodge in the CTS race at Nazareth on Sunday. The #4 is a team truck to the #18 of Joe Ruttman with Hamilton as the team owner(Stock Car Fans Newsletter)(7-18-1999)

    (7-17-1999)


    (7-16-1999)

  • Petree/Buckshot? Hearing Buckshot Jones met with Andy Petree recently at Petree’s shop and may be discussing a third Petree team with Jones driving, or it could be Jones looking for Petree to supply engines for his team(7-16-1999)
  • Wells Drivers: Hearing that Wally Dallenbach and Steve Grissom have spoken to new Cup owner(Tide) for the driver opening on the new team(7-16-1999)
  • Melling to Sell? Mark Melling says he has NO plans to sell the #9 Winston Cup team his father Harry built. Melling says they will look for a driver and that the rest of the crew should stay intact(NOL) I hear one driver they are talking to is Steve Grissom(7-16-1999)
  • Wells/Yates? in a Winston Cup Scene story about Cal Wells and Robert Yates, it was mentioned that Wells has approached Yates about supplying BGN and Cup engines to his new teams. Yates declined the BGN request as he does not build them but gave Wells prices for the deal, back in May(7-16-1999)
  • Brooks Hurt UPDATE: former Winston Cup driver and owner, Dick Brooks, was hurt in a motorcycle accident(RPM2Nite), and saw this in today’s Stock Car Fans Newsletter: Dick Brooks businessman and NASCAR Legend was injured in a motorcycle accident late Wednesday. Hi is at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center in ICU. Brooks was in critical condition through the night, but is now list in serious condition. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident — UPDATE: After taking a tumble through a field in his Harley-Davidson motorcycle without a helmet Wednesday evening, Dick Brooks had a lot of people worried. But Brooks was upgraded from critical condition to serious but stable Thursday afternoon, according to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center spokesman Hunter Kome, and his injuries are not life-threatening. Full story at Brooks avoids life-threatening injuries (GoUpstate/Hearld Journal, SC)(7-16-1999)

    (7-15-1999)

  • #25 has a sponsor UPDATE 2: This weeks Winston Cup Scene reports that the #25 Hendrick team has signed a sponsor and will make an announcement within the next month. It is unsure if Dallenbach will stay with the team or take one of the offers he has on the table. Jayski Note: I hear it is a construction company of some sort and not Yamaha as reported recently(7-9-1999) — UPDATE: hearing the sponsor will be Michael Holigan Homes who does the TV show Your New House, Whirlpool may end up as an associate here too(7-14-1999) — UPDATE: Posted on the USA Today site: Jerry Nadeau will replace Wally Dallenbach Jr. as driver next season in one of the three Winston Cup teams owned by Rick Hendrick. The sponsor is an Internet company, MichaelHoligan.com, that specializes in home repair and garden supplies. The sponsorship will be worth between $8 million-$10 million(USA Today)(7-15-1999)
  • Labonte to STAY – UPDATE: as reported numerous times here, from NOL: Over the past two months, Terry Labonte has been the prime subject of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series rumor mill, but Tuesday he set the record straight — Hendrick Motorsports is home and will continue to be home for at least through the 2000 season. See complete story at: Labonte maintaining status quo at Hendrick(NOL)(7-14-1999) — UPDATE: in part from a That’s Racin’ story: ….two-time champion Terry Labonte, who recently signed a contract extension to keep him with Hendrick through the 2001 season(That’s Racin’)(7-15-1999)
  • Valvoline News: Early this month, Valvoline announced that it would not renew its primary sponsorship of Derrick Walker’s CART racing team, which features driver Gil De Ferran. But that prompted speculation that Valvoline might quit the sponsorship game altogether — even ending its relationship with NASCAR Winston Cup star Martin and the Jack Roush racing team. A spokesman for ESPN said an announcer on sister network ABC erroneously said on Sunday that Valvoline was getting out of motorsports sponsorships altogether. Then on ESPN2’s “RPM 2night,” the news about the Walker CART team was repeated, with the clarification added that Valvoline is not ending other sponsorships. Valvoline never even considered ending its sponsorship of Martin, Kish said(Tennessean)(7-15-1999)
  • Wallace story: Mike Wallace plans to try to qualify for the Brickyard 400 Aug. 7 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He’s hired veteran Winston Cup crew chief Tim Brewer to prepare a car(CNN/SI/AP) he’ll be in the #32 Ford owned by his Truck series owner Jim Smith(#2 Ultra Wheels Ford)(7-15-1999)

    (7-14-1999)

  • Rudd UPDATE: Ricky Rudd, driver,owner of the #10 Tide Ford, is not eliminating the idea of driving for another team and having someone else drive his car next season. He prefers to stay with his own team but said Tuesday that he has some calls about driving for other teams(News and Record) – see Yates story below, and I hear Target is a possible sponsor for the #10 and UPDATE: Winston Cup Today radio reports that CART owner Chip Ganassi(sponsor is Target) was in the garage area at Indy during Ford testing talking to Rudd….he says he was just visiting(7-14-1999)
  • Dallenbach? where might Wally Dallenbach end up? actually hearing many rumors he may go back to….SABCO and I hear he is talking to Cal Wells about the Tide ride(7-14-1999)
  • #25 Driver UPDATE: I hear the Jerry Nadeau will replace Wally Dallenbach as the driver in the #25 in 2000. Dallenbach will finish out the season in the #25 Bud Chevy(7-13-1999) — UPDATE: Hearing it will be Jerry Nadeau as the driver — UPDATE: Jerry Nadeau will join Hendrick Motorsports next season as the driver of the #25 Chevrolets. Nadeau, 28, will replace Wally Dallenbach, who has been in Hendrick’s third car since the Michigan race in August of last season. The sponsorship for Nadeau’s car is a multiyear deal, according to sources. Melling Racing is planning to continue its Winston Cup operation and is currently involved in a search to replace Nadeau next season(That’s Racin’)(7-14-1999)
  • Bud Moore deal? UPDATE 2 and Irwin? whatever happened to the #15 Bud Moore/AMVETs deal? No idea(6-20-1999) — UPDATE: Looks like it’s still on, I hear the deal is still being finalized. Moore is going to the AMVETS National conference or meeting in early/mid July, where supposedly they are bringing a show car to display. Supposedly the deal would be to run the final 5 races this year with 2 full seasons in the deal beginning next year. No word on a driver yet(6-21-1999) — UPDATE 2: I hear the #15-Bud Moore/AMVETS has fallen through, they had a deal then they didn’t. Supposedly, Moore has two options: 1) Sell the team, he supposedly has an offer/buyer in place or 2) wait out one more sponsorship deal he may have in the works. Also hear Kenny Irwin, Jr is a possible driver for the team if he exits the #28(7-14-1999)
  • Ticker: Now you can follow the StockCar Stocks Index via NASDAQ under the ticker symbol SCARX(will take you to the quote via Yahoo)(7-14-1999)
  • Ron Fellows/Nemechek UPDATE 2: Ron Fellows’ will be a semi-regular on both the BGN and CTS in 1999. Joe Nemechek, who will drive for SABCO racing next year, has contracted Fellows to drive about 12 races for him in 1999 including the Winston Cup event at Watkins Glen, which has become a favorite track for the Canadian(TSN Motorsports)(12-18-98) — NASCAR Online reports that as of now, Fellows is contracted to run the BGN race at Watkins Glen and four truck races with AER Manufacturing as the sponsor. Fellows schedule could expand if he finds additional sponsorship, which he feels confident about. Nemechek will run 13 BGN events in 1999 in the #87 Chevy. No mention of a Cup race at all in the story.(NASCAR Online)(12-21-98) — UPDATE 2: been a while on this one……Ron Fellows will once again be teaming with Bully Hill Vineyards of Hammondsport, NY, for the Winston Cup Frontier at The Glen, August 15, 1999. This time Fellows will be driving the #87 Chevy’s owned by Nemechek-McGraw Racing with sponsorship from Bully Hill Vineyards of Hammondsport, NY. Fellows’ achievements at The Glen include three consecutive CTS poles and two wins; a BGN pole and a win; as well as two wins in the SCCA Trans Am Series. Should he achieve victory in the Frontier @ The Glen, he would become the first driver to win a race in each of NASCAR’s three premier touring series’ at one track. Bully Hill Vineyards was started by Greyton H. Taylor and Walter S. Taylor in 1958. The family has been either growing grapes or producing wine since 1878. In 1970 Bully Hill Vineyards, Inc. was formally incorporated. Located in Hammondsport, NY, it now produces over 200,000 cases of wine each year. Bully Hill Vineyards, Inc. prides itself on the production of the highest quality New York State wines and grape juices. Visit their web site at www.bullyhill.com(NEMCO Motorsports PR)(7-14-1999)
  • TV Guide Update: just an FYI so folks know, looks like the NASCAR TV Guide covers are a regional deal of some sort, I got a Dennis Franz(NYPD Blue, one of my favorite shows) cover, no NASCAR, the story is still in there(see TV Guide story below)(7-14-1999)

    (7-13-1999)

  • Whirlpool too: I hear via a company newsletter that the Whirlpool brand will end its four-year involvement with Ricky Rudd and his #10 Cup team at the end of this year’s racing season. The company is reviewing it’s involvement with NASCAR in light of their Brand-Focused Value Creation strategy(?). In other words, they may continue their involvement with NASCAR or not(7-13-1999)
  • Wally World: Wally Dallenbach says he should know in a week or so if he’ll be back with Hendrick Motorsports or with another team next season. He finished seventh on Sunday, his best placing of the year(PitNow), I hear he will NOT be back in the #25(7-13-1999)
  • TV Guide UPDATE 2 BUT..and: Last month I reported that a few NASCAR drivers were to be on a June issue of TV Guide Cover, whoops, it’s July 17th. The issue will feature 4 multiple covers of the “Up and Coming Stars of Nascar”. The covers will feature Bobby Labonte, Jeff Burton, Jeremy Mayfield, and Tony Stewart(Tony Stewart Online Newsletter) But, just saw this: “NASCAR’s censorship of TV Guide three weeks ago has come back to haunt it. TV Guide’s hood decal on Kevin Lepage’s car at Michigan Speedway was to have carried the TV Guide cover of sexy female wrestler Sable, in line with a number of similar cover decals this season. But NASCAR officials ruled the photo too sexy for the stock-car audience and demanded it be altered to a more demure pose, in a behind-the-scenes debate that dragged on the entire week. Now TV Guide has canceled its plans for a four-cover NASCAR issue next week featuring the Winston Cup tour’s new young guns, Tony Stewart, Jeremy Mayfield, Bobby Labonte and Jeff Burton. The feature stories on those drivers will still run, but the cover will be women’s soccer instead of NASCAR. NASCAR officials politicked hard to get TV Guide to change the decision, to no avail.”(PitNow)(7-3-1999) — UPDATE 2: looks like TV Guide reconsidered – Mobil 1 Taurus driver Jeremy Mayfield will be the key driver appearing on the cover of TV Guide next week. The edition of the national magazine, which is one of the highest-circulated magazines in the world, is due on newsstands this weekend. Three other drivers also appear on the rotating covers(Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte and Jeff Burton). The cover was originally scheduled to run in June but was postponed until this weekend(Williams Company)(7-13-1999)
  • Wheaties Returns? UPDATE 2: I hear that the #26 Cheerios Ford and Johnny Benson, will run a Wheaties scheme, possibly in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona(5-20-1999) — UPDATE 1: I hear that Johnny Benson will drive a Solid Gold Cheerios #26 Ford in a one race deal sometime this summer, not sure when(5-27-1999) — UPDATE 2: well we know the Wheaties deal didn’t happen at Daytona and have heard nothing else on it but I hear the car may be raced in Atlanta, there is also a contest involved with this(www.jbfans.com(7-13-1999)
  • Action News: Action Performance announced that Greg Penske, president of Penske Motorsports, Inc and future board member of International Speedway Corp., has been named to the Board of Directors of Action Performance(Yahoo Biz)(7-13-1999)

    (7-12-1999)

  • Rudd to Yates? Now comes word that Robert Yates might be interested in hiring Ricky Rudd. Rudd said Yates hasn’t talked to him, but he finds the idea intriguing. Yates has moved the Texaco team out of Charlotte up to a shop leased near the speedway, but he has looked at putting a shop in the Mooresville sports complex where Rudd has his own shop and another six acres of prime undeveloped land. Rudd talked with Yates last year about doing an engine program(PitNow)(7-12-1999)
  • Irwin Decision: Kenny Irwin now expects to know by Pocono if he’ll be back with Yates next season. There have been reports for several months that Yates might be interested in hiring Terry Labonte to drive the Texaco-sponsored car. But Labonte has another year on his contract with Rick Hendrick, and John Hendrick has begun a major push to improve the performance of the Labonte team(PitNow)(7-12-1999)
  • To Kill a few Rumors: Roush Racing’s Geoff Smith said that Johnny Benson will be back with Jack Roush next year, and that there will be no driver changes at Roush Racing. Chad Little and Kevin Lepage will also return for another season(PitNow) and we know Mark Martin and Jeff Burton are going no where and Matt Kenseth will be aboard in a sixth Roush Ford(7-12-1999)
  • Heated Exchange: NASCAR officials apparently weren’t too pleased with Jeff Gordon’s bumps and pass of Dale Jarrett on the last lap of Sunday’s Jiffy Lube 300. Gordon and his crew chief, Ray Evernham, were called into the NASCAR hauler to discuss the incident, in which Gordon bumped Jarrett’s No. 88 Ford a couple of times through Turns 3 and 4 to take third place, pushing Jarrett to fourth. Kevin Triplett, NASCAR’s director of operations, would not comment about what was discussed. Quotes and more at Gordon, Jarrett quarrel after last-lap rubbin’(That’s Racin’/Jim Utter)(7-12-1999)
  • Craven off for a few weeks: Ricky Craven who finished 13th in the #50 Midwest Transit Chevy at Loudon said the team will skip the July 25 race at Pocono and return for the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. The team may also skip Watkins Glen but then finish out the season(That’s Racin’)(7-12-1999)
  • Fuel Cells UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials confiscated the fuel cells from the #3, #30, #45 and #58 teams Friday at NHIS. The fuel cells were too light. NASCAR has size requirements that are for the outside of the container. If a thinner metal is used to build the cells, then they can hold that minor amount of extra gas, a slight advantage at a fuel-mileage track. #11 Brett Bodine also had his fuel cell confiscated as the foam in the cell had been cut out, allowing the cell more capacity. There will be no fines for any of the teams since the problem was caught before qualifying(Times-Dispatch and That’s Racin’)(7-10-1999) — UPDATE: see Taking Liberties with Fuel Cell Cans – A Classically Dumb Idea by Tom Hintz(Speedwords)(7-11-1999) — UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials added the fuel cells of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Rick Mast to a growing stack in the garage. The two were confiscated Saturday morning. Like the four that NASCAR took from teams on Friday, the cells were too light(Times-Dispatch)(7-12-1999)

 


(7-11-1999)

  • Shepherd News: Morgan Shepherd plans to attempt the Brickyard 400 at Indy. Shepherd will test the #05 Pontiac at Indy on July 19/20. Shepherd’s Pontiac will be sponsored for the race by Delco Remy(Unofficial Morgan Shepherd Site)(7-11-1999)
  • Hover Motorsports: Hover Motorsports, #80 Ford, has finished their fabrication and paint shops as of late June. Gary Bradberry has taken over as the driver of record, Andy Hillenburg is no longer with the team. Plans are to test a new #80 Ford Taurus at Indy this Tuesday and Wednesday(July 13th and 14th). Supposedly a sponsor has been found, not sure who or if it’s a full deal or just for Indy(7-11-1999)
  • WOW! Jeff Burton is the first driver to win from a provisional starting spot and that is the farthest back any driver has won from since Kyle Petty won from 37th at Dover in June 1995(in 1995 37th was not a provisional starting spot). Bill Elliott also won from 38th spot in the 1988 Pepsi 400. In fact ALL the provisional starters for the race finished in the top 25.(7-11-1999)
  • Wallace top 5: Kenny Wallace’s 2nd place finish was his career best and his first top five in 124 starts when he was 4th at Martinsville in September 1994(7-11-1999)
  • Elliott top 5: Bill Elliott’s top five finish was his first in 54 races when he was 5th at Martinsville in September 1997(not 55, he missed the Dove fall race when his father passed away)(7-11-1999)
  • #9 Associate? hearing Radio Shack has signed on as an associate sponsor with the #9 Cartoon Network Melling Ford(7-11-1999)
  • #91 News: If you didn’t notice, the #91 LJ Racing Chevy had the Kodiak Bear on the hood as the #41 Kodiak Chevy and David Green missed the race ar NHIS(TNN)(7-11-1999)
  • Craven to run BGNN: Schwarzkopf & Dep, Inc., a Los Angeles, CA based consumer products company specializing in hair and skin care products, has signed an agreement with Ricky Craven Motorsports, Inc. for one 1999 Busch Grand National North series event. Ricky Craven will drive on the famed road course, Watkins Glen International, in the upcoming Pepsi 150 on August 14, 1999(RickyCravenFans.com)(7-11-1999)
  • Martin Status UPDATE: Mark Martin is one of the toughest guys to ever strap into a race car, but he just might have to step out of this one before it’s done. Protege Matt Kenseth will be on-hand if Mark’s injuries (broken wrist, rib, operated on knee) become too much. Watch for Jack Roush to “help” Martin with the decision to get out of the car, especially if they get a lap down in the first half of the race at Loudon.(Speedwords), but an AP story says – Martin won’t seek a relief driver on Sunday — and Martin went the distance(7-11-1999)
  • McClure 2nd team: Larry McClure still is hoping to expand to a two-car team. Although he hasn’t finalized any plans yet, McClure is one of several owners seeking to add another car for next season. He plans to make his decision about adding a second team sometime in the next six weeks. He is also working to re-sign the primary sponsor and driver on his current team. Bobby Hamilton’s contact expires this season, and Kodak, which has been with McClure for 13 years, has a sponsorship agreement through 2000. McClure would like to sign both before this December(Times-Dispatch)(7-11-1999)
  • What If? on TNN’s Inside NASCAR, they did a little calculation and came up with this: If Dale Jarrett averaged 7th in the final 17 races and Jeff Gordon finished 2nd in all the races, Gordon would win the championship(7-11-1999)
  • #90: Junie Donlavey did not go to the New Hampshire International Speedway. The team is preparing with driver Stanton Barrett for the July 25 race at Pocono Raceway(Times-Dispatch)(7-11-1999)

    (7-10-1999)

  • Announcement: Larry McReynolds said he will make an announcement July 25 at Pocono on whether or not he will field a team in 2000(Times-Dispatch)(7-10-1999)
  • More Qualifying Engines Stuff: With the cost of running a competitive Winston Cup team continuing to escalate, now in the $8 -10 million+ for a top flite team, NASCAR has been considering ways to reduce the amount of capital needed to support a racing operation. One area that has worked for the Busch Series is requiring teams to race the same engine that they use for qualifying. Qualifying in the Winston Cup Series has gotten so high tech that teams build a special “two lap” engine for qualifying runs that would never hold up for 500 miles of competition. The two lap “grenades” can cost $10,000 per race and generally can eat up more than a million dollars a year of the team’s budget. This along with wind tunnel testing ($1,400 an hour) and almost weekly test sessions all give huge advantages to the well financed teams like Roush Racing and Hendrick Racing. The BGN Series is pleased with the way the program has worked. With teams allowed to change engines only with NASCAR approval (cars then go to the back of the starting lineup), teams also save the incredible job of rebuilding a race car following qualifying(Inside Motorsports) and NASCAR spokesman Tim Sullivan said Friday the Cup series was considering a rule change that would require teams to race with the same engine they use to qualify. The proposed change would be mostly a cost-saving move, Sullivan said(That’s Racin’)(7-10-1999)
  • Lepage extends: Kevin Lepage extended his contract with Roush Racing. It was due to expire at the end of this month(Times-Dispatch)(7-10-1999)
  • Elliott to backup: in 2nd round qualifying, Bill Elliott wrecked the #94 QPC Code Name Game Ford and has elected to go to a backup car because of the damage and will not carry the special paint scheme on the backup car as it is still painted the regular McDonald’s red-and-yellow scheme(NOL)(7-10-1999)

    Well’s Shop: Cal Wells, owner of Precision Performance Inc(PPI) said he can’t talk about the potential contract with Tide/Proctor & Gamble for another six weeks. Wells has rented a shop in Hickory, N.C., and has 20 people working to build cars out of his Ford chassis. He has an option to purchase land at two sites — one on the edge of Catawba County(NC) — and plans to build permanent facilities there. Currently, he’s working on getting set up and finding a driver(looking for a young criver). Wells does not deny he is talking with some existing teams about potential sharing of resources but did say he is not on the list of owners trying to buy Butch Mock’s #75 team(Times-Dispatch and That’s Racin’)(7-10-1999)


    (7-9-1999)

  • Qualifying engines? I know the BGN is doing this, didn’t know Cup was planning it: from a PitNow article – “On another matter, (Sterling) Marlin said that NASCAR’s plans to eliminate qualifying engines might be a good move”(PitNow)(7-9-1999)
  • Rookie Changes: in 2000 the Rookie of the Year and rookie status eligibility will change. Instead of the 15 best races counting for the Rookie of the year, it’ll be the 17 best races. Also a driver loses their rookie status for the following year after starting in six Winston Cup Events in the present format, in 2000 they can start in up to seven Cup races(National Speed Sport News) For the current ROTY standings and rules, see my Rookie of the Year page(7-9-1999)
  • Marlin Contract: Sterling Marlin(#40 Coors Light Chevy) says that he has another year on his contract with car owner Felix Sabates and that they are in the middle of a contract with Coors(PitNow)(7-9-1999)
  • Indy Testing: Ford Cup teams are scheduled to test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Tuesday and Wednesday(July 13th and 14th). GM teams will test on July 19-20th at Indy for the Brickyard 400 on Aug. 7th(That’s Racin’) — Ford rain date is July 15 and GM rain date is July 21. Testing will run from 9am to 6pm/ct daily(SpeedNet)(7-9-1999)
  • Labonte Article: which in part says: “Despite constant speculation about where he may drive in the future, Labonte points out he has a year left on his contract with the three-car team and that he is discussing extending that. He and crew chief Andy Graves are also discussing how to take more advantage of their multicar setup. Next year, when the new Monte Carlo hits the track, they plan to work more closely with his two teammates.” For the rest of the Times-Dispatch article see: 12th in points, stuck in neutral by Rea McLeroy(7-9-1999)
  • Carter Sponsor: This weeks Winston Cup Scene reports that the #23 Travis Carter team is very close to signing a new primary sponsor to replace Winston, who is leaving at the end of the 1999 season. No companies named or speculated and I have heard nothing. Jimmy Spencer’s situation is the same, he may return or may not. In the article it sounded like both Travis Carter and Spencer want to work things out. Spencer also said he has not talked to anyone, including Cater about the 2000 season. Carter says an announcement would be a few months away(7-9-1999)
  • No #90: Junie Donlavey will not run his #90 Ford at Loudon, NH this week, no sponsor(Inside Motorsports), also noticed no #00-Buckshot Jones(7-9-1999)

    (7-8-1999)

  • Irvan good for 2000+??? UPDATE 2: In an article about a possible MB2 BGN team in 2000, the Winston Cup Scene reports a comment from Jay Frye, GM of the MB2 Motorsports team: that the Winston Cup team with Ernie Irvan and M&M’s would continue intact next season and “We have a multi-year commitment with Ernie and are very pleased with him. And we hope this is Ernie’s last ride of his career. We want him here as long as he wants to continue driving”(WC Scene), note: the irvanfanclub.com reports that Ernie re-signed thru 2001(5-20-1999) — UPDATE: but other sources tell me Irvan has not signed and that his contract is up at the end of this year and Irvan is keeping his options open for 2000, not sure what to make of it. Fans who recently met him at a few appearances said he gave every indication he’d be back in 2000 and even said his contract with the MB2 team is thru 2000. Plus I hear he may drive a few of the BGN events for the team, who plans to start a BGN team for 2000(7-7-1999) — UPDATE 2: MB2 Motorsports announced Tuesday that it has exercised its contract option with driver Ernie Irvan, and the team is set to enter the 2000 season, marking the third year of competition with Irvan(Irvan Fan Club Site)(7-8-1999)
  • McReynolds Team: Larry McReynolds, crew chief for the #31 Lowes team said Tuesday that if his team ownership deal doesn’t come together by this weekend, it will likely never come together. See full NOL story at: Now or never for McReynolds’ new team by Marty Smith(7-8-1999)
  • Allen Out/Hut In UPDATE 3: I hear the #58 SBIII team has made it’s second driver change in the last few weeks. Loy Allen who attempted three events(made 2, 1 DNQ) has been released and Hut Stricklin will drive the car at Loudon, NH this weekend(7-5-1999) — UPDATE 1: I hear Allen has not been released and is still with the team, however Hut Stricklin will run the #58 at NHIS, not idea what the future holds or who will drive in two weeks at Pocono(7-7-1999) — UPDATE 2: Jerry Pitts has taken a crew position with SBIII Motorsports. Pitts has worked with Bill Elliott Racing and more recently with Rick Mast in the #98. It is not clear if Pitts will take over the Crew Chief duties or what the status of current Crew Chief Mike Hillman is — Also from Inside Motorsports: Hut Stricklin tested with the SBII Motorsports team at the Greenville Pickens Speedway this past week, in preparation for the weekend race at Loudon. — UPDATE 3: Jerry Pitts has been hired as the car chief. Mike Hillman is still the crew chief and will continue to be. Hut Stricklin is the #58 driver and will drive the balance of the 1999 season. Loy Allen has not been released from the SBIII team. Allen will be doing testing for the team and possibly some ARCA events(SBIII)(7-8-1999)
  • Martin Status UPDATE: Mark Martin not only broke his wrist but he fractured a rib and injured his left knee and had an MRI the knee Tuesday. Martin still plans to race at Loudon(RPM2Nite)(7-6-1999) also NOL has a story on it at Martin’s additional injuries don’t slow him(7-7-1999) — UPDATE: Martin had surgery Wednesday on a broken tibia plateau in his left knee in New Smynra Beach, FL but will be able to drive at NHIS but Matt Kenseth will be standing by in case Martin cannot complete the race(NOL)(7-8-1999)

    (7-7-1999)

  • CBS Ratings: Saturday night was very good for NASCAR on CBS. The Pepsi 400 was the most watched TV program of the evening, drawing a 5.4 national rating, and seen by 13% of the sets in use (audience share). The race’s final 1/2 hour peaked at a 6.3 rating, 15 share. CBS audience was 26% greater than NBC or Fox and 116% greater than ABC. Also, the viewership for the race was 54% greater than for the CBS programming on July 4 last year(7-7-1999)
  • The Millenium Car? UPDATE Hearing that Ernie Irvan will have a new #36 M&M’s paint scheme in 2000 called the Millenium car. No idea what it’ll look like but it is supposed to be revealed at Charlotte in October(7-6-1999) — UPDATE: I also hear that Irvan will run a special paint scheme at Atlanta with the car painted like a candy wrapper coming off, with the new scheme partly exposed and the present scheme partly exposed(7-7-1999)
  • Toy Story II: hearing that two Toy Story schemes will be out sometime this summer by Hot Wheels: Cheerios/Woody Scheme and a Hot Wheels/Buzz Lightyear scheme. No idea if Kyle Petty in the #44 Hot Wheels car will run the scheme or if Johnny Benson in the #26 Cheerios car will run the schemes in a future race(7-7-1999)
  • Bessey and Cup? Back when the #60 Power Team was formed, it was mentioned that team owner Joe Bessey would likely attempt the two NHIS/Loudon Cup events. That was before the BGN team ran into a little trouble and now I hear that Bessey will not run this weeks ran but MAY consider attempting the September NHIS event, but it is unlikely at this point. Bessey’s next BGN event is at Gateway near St. Louis(7-7-1999)
  • Penalty: NASCAR officials announced today that they have levied a fine for rules violations prior to this past Saturday’s Pepsi 400 at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Scott Eggleston, crew chief for Sterling Marlin’s Chevrolet, was fined $50,000 for an illegal insert in the intake manifold. The infraction was determined during the pre-race inspection process Saturday. Eggleston is also placed on probation until October 20, 1999. Eggleston’s fine resulted from a violation of Rules 12-4 A: Actions detrimental to auto racing; and Rule 12-4 Q: Use of parts that do not conform to NASCAR rules, Inserts not allowed in intake manifolds at Daytona and Talladega(NOL)(7-7-1999)
  • Marlin Update: On NASCAR Onlines teleconference a NASCAR official came on to clarify one point involving the illegal part in Sterling Marlins car. The #40 Coors Light Chevy WAS legal after the race. They found something they didn’t like prior to the race, and the decision now is whether there will be a fine as a result. That decision has not been made, but the 12th place finish will stand as again, the car was legal after the race. Also RPM2Nite said no decision has been made on the outcome. An update on the situation with similar tones at That’s Racin’(7-7-1999)
  • Sadler Tests the #21 CITGO Ford on Wednesday(today) at Greenville Pickens Speedway to test their new car which will race at Loudon this weekend(Cox PR)(7-7-1999)
  • Allison honored: Talladega Superspeeday will name a new backstretch section of seating the Allison Grandstands, in honor of Hueytown, AL native and tribute to retired racer Bobby Allison, who sacrificed so much for the sport. The new 22,000-seat Allison section will be ready in time for the October race(Tennessean)(7-7-1999)

    (7-6-1999)

  • Labonte Scheme: Hearing Terry Labonte may run a Rice Krispies Treat scheme of some sorts on the #5 Kelloggs Chevy, not sure where, but he often runs one in one of the Michigan races(7-6-1999)
  • Tyler Jet News: Tyler Jet Motorsports announced Tuesday the signing of crew chief James Ince and engine builder Claude Queen to a pair of three-year contracts. Tyler Jet runs the #45 10-10-345 Pontiac with driver Rich Bickle. The team is actively pursuing expansion to include a second Cup and a BGN team for the 2000 season. See full story at NOL (7-6-1999)
  • Craven news: Ricky Craven will be back in the #50 Midwest Transit Chevy at Loudon this weekend. He tested at Grennville-Pickens Speedway(SC) on Tuesday in preparation(7-6-1999)
  • Kenseth in 2000: besides moving up to Cup in 2000 in the #17 DeWalt Ford, I hear Matt Kenseth will run twenty races in Robbie Reiser’s #17 BGN Chevy in 2000 with Jason Schuler filling in for the remaining 12. Schuler is currently a top competitor in the NASCAR Re/Max Challange series/ARTGO(www.mattkenseth.com(7-6-1999)
  • More on Marlin: NASCAR inspectors found an illegal part on the Chevrolet of Sterling Marlin during a routine pre-race inspection Saturday night at Daytona and a fine or other penalty may result. Apparently the violation was so minor that NASCAR is undecided whether any penalty is necessary. NASCAR will make a decision in the next few days(in part from the Tennessean/Larry Woody)(7-6-1999)
  • Testing: I hear Michael Waltrip will be testing his #7 Chevy at Greenville-Pickens Speedway(SC) on July 6th(7-6-1999)
  • Did ya know: #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo driver Steve Park is the only driver to race in NASCAR’s top five touring series at New Hampshire International Speedway. Park’s NHIS record includes four victories in the Featherlite Modifieds, one victory in the Busch North car, a second place finish in his only Busch South race, a fourth-place finish in his only Craftsman Truck appearance and a 41st-place finish in his first Winston Cup race in 1998. Park, a native of East Northport, N.Y., lived in Ellington, Conn., about a 3-hour drive from NHIS, when he drove in the modified series and considers NHIS his home track(Pennzoil PR)(7-6-1999)

    (7-5-1999)

  • The Pass UPDATE 2: Getting much email about Dale Jarrett’s pass of the pace car during the caution, saw it didn’t think much about it. Here is a rule: “Cars may not pass the caution car/truck unless directed to do so by an Official in the caution car/truck. Any cars illegally passing the caution car/truck or race leader will be black-flagged”. Not looking to speculate on this, if NASCAR saw a problem they would have given a warning, the way I look at it is he never completed the alleged pass and Jarrett was in the proper position at the start/finish line each time(7-4-1999) — UPDATE: DJ explains ‘the pass’: Why was Dale Jarrett riding around on the track apron as the final two laps of Saturday’s Pepsi 400 were run under caution? He was trying to make sure he had enough gas to make it around the 2.5-mile track to take the checkered flag. By riding on the bottom of the track, he kept the fuel cell level to allow as much gas as possible into the fuel pickup, which is on the right side. As Jarrett drove on the apron, his Ford actually got ahead of the pace car as the field came off of Turn 2. Jarrett says he lost sight of the pace car(see That’s Racin’ for the story) as far as NASCAR is concerned, a pass isn’t a pass until a car crosses the start/finish line — FINAL UPDATE: From NOL: NASCAR Director of Operations Kevin Triplett said the rule regarding passing the pace car is designed to prevent competitors from gaining an advantage, primarily by passing the pace car while pitting, thereby getting to their pit sooner; or passing the pace car in order to pick up a full lap on the competition. According to Triplett, Jarrett did neither. “Jarrett, in an obvious effort to conserve fuel, (dived) to the apron,” Triplett said. “With the pace car remaining on the race track, Jarrett took the shorter distance, thus temporarily moving ahead of the pace car. He slowed down, moved back into place and gained no advantage. It turned out to be a non-issue.”(NOL)(7-5-1999)
  • Gordon Eye Surgery: been getting a few emails about Jeff Gordon going to Lancaster to get Lasik eye surgery. Incorrect, it was taken out of context, here is the snippet from a story in the Lancaster Sunday Times: “Dr. Kerry Givens of Campus Eye Center in Lancaster says the surgery is popular with candidates for training in fields that have specific vision requirements, such as the state police and the military. Pro golfer Fred Funk had the procedure done last winter, and he’s having the best season of his PGA tour career. Givens said he’s heard NASCAR superstar Jeff Gordon is about to have it done.” The Dr ‘hears’ and doesn’t say it’s gonna be in Lancaster. See the story at Sight for sore eyes(Lancaster Sunday News) Johnny Benson had the surgery done in May 1999 in North Carolina(7-5-1999)
  • Interesting Article: In part says: “Since May, 1992, the driver-crew chief team of Jeff Gordon and Ray Evernham has won 46 races and claimed three Winston Cup points titles. But Evernham intimated(to imply subtly-yes I had to look it up) yesterday before pole qualifying for Saturday night’s Pepsi 400 that a shakeup is coming. Saturday could be the duo’s final race together at Daytona as crew chief and driver. While Evernham could be stepping away from the day-to-day care of the cars, he laughed at any talk he would walk away from the Gordon team as a whole.” See the complete article at: Gordon’s crew chief seeking new challenge by David Jones from Florida Today via the Tennessean(7-5-1999)
  • No NFL? heard on the LTN hour yesterday that the NFL will no longer allow any NFL team logos on any cars in the major NASCAR series. They said the NFL is worried about losing some of their sponsorship deals(The LTN Hour NASCAR Radio Show)(7-5-1999)
  • Marlin’s Engine UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials still were inspecting the intake manifold on Sterling Marlin’s Chevrolet more than two hours after the race last night. The intake manifold had been called into question by officials during a prerace inspection. Marlin finished 12th(Times-Dispatch) — NASCAR spokesman Tim Sullivan said early Sunday morning it would be Tuesday before NASCAR would be able to examine everything related to the car it needed to, but he said the outcome would not affect Marlin’s result in the race(That’s Racin’but on TNN’s Raceday it was mentioned that the illegal part was not removed and that there will be a change in the finishing order(TNN’s Raceday)(7-4-1999) — UPDATE 1: NASCAR’s Mike Helton said results of the post-race review of the Sterling Marlin and Joe Nemechek engines won’t be announced until Tuesday. Just as the race began, NASCAR told the Marlin and Nemechek crews they wanted to inspect both engines after the 400, and engine parts were X-rayed, a standard NASCAR search for illegal air holes(PitNow) — UPDATE 2: The OFFICIAL results and standings are up at NOL, still has Marlin in 12th place and no points were deducted, but that could change Tuesday, one mistake noted, they have Loy Allen and Ricky Craven listed in the #58(7-5-1999)
  • It Resurfaces and clarification: From Saturday’s Houston Chronicle: “Sources say Labonte is tired of playing second fiddle to Jeff Gordon on the Hendrick team. Labonte won the Winston Cup championship for Hendrick in the Kellogg’s Chevrolet in 1996 but thinks his standing in the organization hasn’t been the same since Rick Hendrick became ill and his brother took over the team last season. Hendrick has been battling leukemia. Irwin took over the Texaco Taurus last season as a rookie, replacing Ernie Irvan in a car that had its best days when the late Davey Allison was at the wheel. Irwin has been disappointing in his second season, so Yates might want a veteran such as Labonte to take over. If Labonte leaves Hendrick Motorsports, the Kellogg’s Monte Carlo will have plenty of applicants for the driving job. One of them could be Steve Park, who might want to leave the Pennzoil Chevy owned by Dale Earnhardt because Earnhardt likely will be spending a lot of time helping Dale Jr. in his rookie season next year.”(Houston Chronicle) JAYSKI NOTE: This rumor has been floating around for a year now about the Labonte/Irwin deal. Published reports and sources say Labonte is happy at Hendrick, wants to stay there, wants to retire there and has a contract with Hendrick and Kelloggs thru 2000. Also as for Steve Park, sources tell me there are no moves afoot to replace or relieve Park and he as well as Pennzoil have a contract thru 2000 with DEI. Past news on Labonte/Irwin can be seen on their respective Team Past News/Rumors/Links page I have here, see the links below to the left…(7-5-1999)
  • Two Butches? Butch Mock is almost ready to announce his new business partner, and the kicker to his reorganization, according to sources, is that he may be expanding his Mooresville shop to a two-car team. Mock’s new business partner will apparently be Darwin Oordt, a Busch team owner(#40 ChannelLock), but there is no indication as to who the second Winston Cup driver might be. Butch Miller drives for Oordt in the BGN(PitNow)(7-5-1999)
  • McReynolds’ team: Deadline is getting closer, expect news anyday, one of the possible sponsors for McReynolds’ new team is Burger King. One of his possible drivers is Joe Nemechek(PitNow)(7-5-1999)

 


(7-4-1999)

  • Earnhardt Jr/NHIS: Despite a serious wreck in a practice session Saturday at the Milwaukee Mile, team officials maintain Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be in Loudon, N.H., next weekend to attempt his second Winston Cup race in the #8 Bud Chevy(That’s Racin’)(7-4-1999)
  • DW Announcement UPDATE: look for Darrell Waltrip to announce that the 2000 season will be his final one. The announcement will take place in Indy at the Brickyard 400 on Aug 4th. Calling it Calling it “DW’s Victory Tour 2000” will supposedly have merchandise for the announcement and the Brickyard 400 weekend, then put it away until January 2000(6-23-1999) — UPDATE: Darrell Waltrip has scheduled a press conference and breakfast for 9am Aug. 5 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where he is expected to announce his retirement following the 2000 season. Waltrip signed a two-year deal before the start of the 1999 season to run a second team for car owner Travis Carter with Kmart as the sponsor. Waltrip will participate in a “farewell tour” of sorts through the 2000 season with an array of special promotions(That’s Racin’)(7-4-1999)
  • Tyler Jet 2nd Cup Team: On TNN’s Raceday, during an interview with team owner Tim Beverly, it was announced that Tyler Jet Motorsports is looking to start a second Winston Cup team for the 2000 season and even a possible third team if sponsorship is found. Plans are also in the works for a BGN team that they hope to run later in the 1999 season. The team currently runs the #45 10-10-345 Pontiac with Rich Bickle as the driver(TNN Raceday)(7-4-1999)
  • Another Wallace: Mike Wallace, driver of the #2 Ultra Wheels Ford truck in the CTS, is looking to get back into Winston Cup in 2000. His team owner Jim Smith is considering moving the truck operation to Cup if a sponsor can be found(TNN’s Raceday)(7-4-1999)
  • Results Changes: The finishing order for Saturday night’s Pepsi 400 at Daytona was changed early Sunday morning after NASCAR reviewed a tape of the race. Robbie Loomis, crew chief for John Andretti’s #43 Pontiac, asked NASCAR to review the tape because he thought the race’s final caution was taken by cars on Lap 157 instead of Lap 158, as the final race report reflected. Upon review, NASCAR discovered Loomis to be correct, which changed the finishing order of positions 19-26. The new finishing order for those positions are: John Andretti (19th); Ken Schrader (20th); Jeff Gordon (21st); Elliott Sadler (22nd); Bill Elliott (23rd); Johnny Benson (24th); Jeremy Mayfield (25th); and Wally Dallenbach (26th)(That’s Racin’)(7-4-1999)
  • Valvoline Cutback? UPDATE: Valvoline will discontinue its sponsorship of CART’s Walker Racing #5 Gil de Ferran at the end of the 1999 season. The company cited business reasons for the decision and a reallocation of marketing resources toward its SynPower and Eagle One brands and business plans don’t include primary team sponsorship in CART in 2000(SpeedNet/goRacing). Why am I reporting this you ask? Well it was reported on RPM2Nite last night by Robin Miller who also said the Valovline may consider cutting back on it’s Winston Cup sponsorship of the #6 Valovline Ford driven by Mark Martin or Roush Racing itself after their contract runs out at the end of 2000. A package believed to be worth $7.5 million(RPM2Nite) and from the goRacing story: At this time, Valvoline has no plans for primary team sponsorship in either the CART or IRL open-wheel series in the year 2000 and speculation has Valvoline also leaving NASCAR and the Mark Martin #6 car at the end of the 2000 season.(7-3-1999) — UPDATE: Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing, said that Valvoline’s recent announcement that it is cutting back its sponsorship in open-wheel racing programs does not mean that they will in turn cut back on their Cup series program when their contract runs out after the 2000 season(NOL)(7-4-1999)
  • Marcis: Dave Marcis finished 159 laps at Daytona in the Pepsi 400 in Daytona and took over the lead in the miles completed category in the Pepsi 400, with 10,402 miles in the race. He overtook Richard Petty in Saturday night’s event. Petty completed 10,337.5 miles in his career(32 events)(NOL) Marcis also has ran the most laps and now has 4,161 laps completed. Petty racked up 4,135 laps(AP)(7-4-1999)

    (7-3-1999)

  • Fans Ticked: as most readers know, I don’t run campaigns on this site(TV, Track issues etc), many have expressed their displeasure in Tides dropping of Ricky Rudd and going with a new team and new owner in Cal Wells. Many readers have sent email to Tide letting them know of their displeasure of the situation, here is the ‘form’ letter Tide is sending out: “We’re sorry to disappoint you but we’re not renewing our contract with Rudd Performance Motorsports. We made a proposal to Ricky Rudd asking him to remain as driver of the Tide car for the 2000 season. He decided this arrangement doesn’t meet his future objectives. Ricky will continue as driver/owner of the #10 Tide Ford Taurus for the remainder of the 1999 season. He’s been an excellent driver and spokesperson for Tide. We certainly wish him the best in the future. We’re planning to continue our sponsorship of NASCAR racing. In fact, we’re negotiating with Precision Preparation, Inc., for a future sponsorship. We plan to announce a new driver for the Tide car within the next couple months”. To email/leave feedback yourself, go to P&G Feedback or Tide – Tell Us(7-3-1999)
  • #33 News UPDATE: I hear Andy Petree Racing will hold a press conference at Daytona on July 3rd, 1:30pm/et to make a major announcement regarding the 2000 #33 team plans and sponsor(6-30-1999) — UPDATE: as rumored…..Oakwood Homes Corporation, headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., announced today they will sponsor Andy Petree Racing and driver Ken Schrader for the 2000-2001 NASCAR Winston Cup seasons. The car will be the #33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet(Oakwood Homes PR have an image too)(7-3-1999)
  • #25 Sponsor news UPDATE 2: Ever Since DEI announced that Budweiser would sponsor Dale Earnhardt, Jr in the #8 Chevy, Hendrick Motorsports has been in the process of searching for a replacement sponsor for the #25 Chevrolet. According to General Manager John Hendrick, the team should have an answer in the near future as it is close to signing a three year deal and expect to announce it in a few weeks(SpeedVision), I hear it’s some building/contruction company, but that’s all I know, also Food Lion was a rumored sponsor, but I hear that was incorrect(6-26-1999) — UPDATE 1: This weeks Speedway Scene reports that Yamaha or Burger King are the possible sponsors with Yamaha being preferred with Dallenbach back driving(Speedway Scene) — I hear the new sponsor for the #25 car is Yamaha and Wally Dallenbach will remain as driver(6-27-1999) — UPDATE 2: Radio Shack may be the next new Winston Cup tour sponsor, according to NASCAR sources, and Rick Hendrick may be the guy signing the deal(PitNow)(7-3-1999)
  • #28 News: hmmm…a few sites are carrying Kenny Irwin/#28 stories today. From That’s Racin’ – Irwin says he’s #28 driver as far as he knows by Jim Utter, some highlights: Kenny Irwin, whose job security with the #28 Fords owned by Robert Yates has been rumored to be in trouble, said Friday he hasn’t heard “word one” from Yates about any driver changes the car owner may be planning. Yates, who has expressed concern with the #28 team’s inconsistency this season, said now is the time for the team to show it can compete on the same level as Dale Jarrett’s #88 Fords, which Yates also owns. And from SpeedNet – Kenny Irwin has everything but a win by Monte Dutton, some highlights: A sun never sets without another rumor making the rounds that Irwin will soon be replaced by Terry Labonte, Jimmy Spencer, Leonardo DiCaprio or George W. Bush. (For the record, either the Labonte rumor is untrue, or Labonte and those around him are doing some serious lying). Yates stops noticeably short of giving Irwin an unconditional vote of confidence(7-3-1999)
  • Little E hurt? UPDATE 4: just heard this from a source at the Milwaukee Mile: “Dale Earnhardt, Jr was involved in a crash this morning during BGN practice. He was taken from the track in an ambulance to an area hospital for evaluation. Talk in the garage area, unconfirmed by the medical staff, is that he has broken his shoulder.” Hopefully he is ok, more to follow as the facts come in — UPDATE: from NOL – Dale Earnhardt Jr., was injured in a crash in this morning’s practice session at Milwaukee. He’s been taken to Froedtert Hospital for precautionary treatment to his shoulder and ribs — UPDATE 2: more from NOL: Earnhardt is being treated for a chipped right shoulder blade. His status for this weekend’s events is unknown. Jayski Note: no idea how this will effect his planned attempt in the Cup race at New Hampshire next weekend, way to early to speculate. NOL now has a story up on the accident: Earnhardt Jr. injured in crash at Milwaukee in which it mentions – According to sources close to the team, there is little chance Earnhardt Jr. will miss Sunday’s DieHard 250. Ron Hornaday will qualify the #3 AC Delco Chevy. — UPDATE 3: Earnhardt, Jr also had brusied ribs, plans are for him to start the car and Ron Hornaday to relieve him at the first caution, if not sooner(CBS Preview) — UPDATE 4: Earnhardt ran Happy Hour and I hear he felt ok and still plans to start the race on Sunday with Horanday standing by if needed(7-3-1999)
  • More safety? NASCAR, having made front-wheel tethering and additional hood supports mandatory in recent weeks, will turn its attention next to devising a method to increase the structural integrity of the cars’ rears. No reliable means of keeping rear wheels attached has yet been designed, but NASCAR chief operating officer Mike Helton confirmed that experiments were afoot. Teams should soon expect stouter attachments on rear deck lids as well, Helton said(SpeedNet/Monte Dutton)(7-3-1999)
  • Martin Update: Mark Martin was diagnosed with a broken left wrist at 2pm on Saturday but felt fine to start the Pepsi 400 at Daytona and was able to finish 17th(7-3-1999)
  • McReynolds and Tide: As rumored here a week or so ago, Larry McReynolds, currently the crew chief of the #31 Lowes RCR Chevy, said Friday that one of two sponsors he and partner John Dangler had been talking to was Procter & Gamble, the company that makes Tide, about their own Cup race team for 2000. Tide is, of course, leaving the #10 Ricky Rudd team and is negotiating with Precision Preparation, a CART team. McReynold’s says Tide was nervous about going with his ‘new’ team, “They kind of threw that theory out the window yesterday”, in reference to the PPI negotiations. McReynolds said he has one more company he’s working with, but that time for working on his plans for his own team is running out(That’s Racin’)(7-3-1999)
  • Pardus spotting: Dan Pardus, who began the season as the driver of the #50-Midwest Transit Chevy, was touring the Daytona garage in Midwest Transit Racing garb. He said his duties at the MTR shop were varied, including some management. He indicated his next ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series event would be at Pocono Raceway later this month(NOL)(7-3-1999)
  • TV Guide Update BUT..: Last month I reported that a few NASCAR drivers were to be on a June issue of TV Guide Cover, whoops, it’s July 17th. The issue will feature 4 multiple covers of the “Up and Coming Stars of Nascar”. The covers will feature Bobby Labonte, Jeff Burton, Jeremy Mayfield, and Tony Stewart(Tony Stewart Online Newsletter) But, just saw this: “NASCAR’s censorship of TV Guide three weeks ago has come back to haunt it. TV Guide’s hood decal on Kevin Lepage’s car at Michigan Speedway was to have carried the TV Guide cover of sexy female wrestler Sable, in line with a number of similar cover decals this season. But NASCAR officials ruled the photo too sexy for the stock-car audience and demanded it be altered to a more demure pose, in a behind-the-scenes debate that dragged on the entire week. Now TV Guide has canceled its plans for a four-cover NASCAR issue next week featuring the Winston Cup tour’s new young guns, Tony Stewart, Jeremy Mayfield, Bobby Labonte and Jeff Burton. The feature stories on those drivers will still run, but the cover will be women’s soccer instead of NASCAR. NASCAR officials politicked hard to get TV Guide to change the decision, to no avail.”(PitNow)(7-3-1999)

    (7-2-1999)

  • Sacks News, Finally: some news on Greg Sacks from NOL: Greg Sacks was back in the Cup garage area at Daytona and looking exceptionally trim, fit and ready to get back in the seat of a NASCAR Winston Cup car. Sacks said he was analyzing his options and waiting for the “right situation” to present itself before he made his next move. Sacks was sidelined by a violent accident at Texas Motor Speedway in April 1998(NOL Notes)(7-2-1999)
  • Bodine to Yates? UPDATE: TNN’s Raceday reported that Todd Bodine may be headed back to Winston Cup in 2000…..with Robert Yates(Raceday), I heard this AM that it may be in the #28(6-27-1999) — UPDATE: Doesn’t sound like it, per a Winston Cup Scene article this week, Bodine’s present BGN team, Cicci-Welliver Racing, is searching for sponsorship that would allow it to move up to Winston Cup in 2000(7-2-1999)
  • More Tide Stuff: Procter & Gamble is in final negotiations to take its sponsorship to Precision Preparation Inc., a racing company owned by Cal Wells. Wells owns a two-car team in the open-wheel CART series and is starting a BGN team with McDonald’s sponsorship next year. The Indy-car owner is building a shop for his NASCAR team in Hickory, N.C. P&G offered Rudd an opportunity to drive the PPI car if a deal is worked out, but he declined. Wells and Jack Roush were courting P&G, and that was the part of the deal that seemed to upset Rudd(Times-Dispatch)(7-2-1999)
  • McReynolds to TV? UPDATE: “According to an interview published in this week’s Winston Cup Scene, Larry McReynolds says if he can not find a sponsor for his new team, he will re-evaluate his career and perhaps stop being an active crew chief to become a network commentator on TNN.”(6-30-1999) — UPDATE: Actually in the article it mentions he wants the next move is planned as “This is it”, or his last move, whether it be ownership, crew chief or as a broadcaster and from the Times-Dispatch: McReynolds’ deadline is today for acquiring sponsorship for his proposed 2000 team. McReynolds, who makes the calls for Mike Skinner, said he would be hard-pressed to extend the deadline beyond today(7-2-1999)
  • Annoucement UPDATE 2: I hear there be a press conference involving Richard Petty and Danny Sullivan, Thursday, July 1, at Daytona International Speedway. I have no clue or idea’s what this is about, no specualtion needed(6-26-1999) — Not sure how Petty’s illness will effect this announcement as I hear he will NOT be in Daytona(6-27-1999) — UPDATE: Petty couldn’t be there, but the announcement was that Pontiac is making 1000 special Pontiac Grand Prix’s, 5 each for each of the King’s 200 wins(ESPN2 Qual)(7-1-1999) — UPDATE 2: The Petty family announced that Pontiac will produce 1,000 limited-edition Richard Petty cars that will cost $50,000 each and feature 300-horsepower engine, carbon fiber instrument housing, Petty autographed leather interior and high performance suspension and brake package(News and Record)(7-2-1999)
  • Roush/Ford UPDATE: Roush Racing issued a memorandum to venders who sell racing memorabilia of its five drivers that any “Ford, Ford Motor Co., the Ford blue oval, Taurus or any other logos and trademarks relating to or connected with Ford Motor Co. be removed from all Roush Racing licensed products.” The move was made in response to a royalities-licensing action taken by Ford in recent weeks. Roush officials say it is no indication they plan to leave the manufacturer. Although the manufacturer’s logo will remain on diecast models – Ford has its own contracts within the diecast industry – it will not appear on other Roush Racing items(That’s Racin’)(6-28-1999) — UPDATE: Roush Racing and the Ford Motor Co. came to terms this week on a licensing agreement involving team merchandise. A letter was sent from Roush Racing president Geoff Smith to vendors stating they should stop selling all Roush Racing merchandise that included the Ford logo until an agreement with Ford was reached. Sale of the items has now resumed(That’s Racin’)(7-2-1999)
  • Petty Back: Richard Petty, hospitalized last week with bleeding ulcers, plans to be on hand for the Pepsi 400. Petty, 62, was back at work at his team’s shop Monday despite having losing 40% of his blood during the ordeal. His son, Kyle, said Petty planned to fly here in time for the 8pm/et start of tomorrow’s race(The Tennessean)(7-2-1999)
  • Up front at Daytona is important: 65 of the 81 Daytona races have been won from the Top 10 – 80.2% and 12 of all the 81 Daytona races have been won from the pole starter – 15%.(TNN Race Stats)(7-2-1999)
  • Some Facts: If Dave Marcis completes 373 miles Saturday, he will overtake Richard Petty for most miles raced (10,377.5) in the Pepsi 400. … Dale Earnhardt must lead 105 laps to surpass Cale Yarborough as the Pepsi 400 career lap leader. Yarborough has led 645 laps in 17 races(SpeedNet/Monte Dutton)(7-2-1999)
  • #58 Spotter: Tom Colley (Principal in Racing Computers, a NASCAR Data Acquisition Company), will spot for Loy Allen at Daytona Saturday evening and then go on to Milwaukee to spot for Mark Green. Tom has previously spotted for Walker Evans & Johnny Chapman on the CTS, Mike Dillion, & Jimmy Kitchens in the Busch series, Derrick Cope & Ernie Irvan on the Cup side in addition to several drivers in ARCA, SCCA Trans Am and SCCA amateur racing(7-2-1999)

    (7-1-1999)

  • more Happy Hour notes: #41-David Green tagged the #6-Mark Martin car after Martin cut down a tire and hit the wall but there was minimal damage and the car will be repaired in time for the race. Martin left the infield care center with a splint on his left wrist and reported a sore lower left leg and minor contusions from the harness, will be re-examined today but expects to drive. #20-Tony Stewart brushed the wall in his Home Depot(hey, they just opened one down here near Wildwood, NJ) Pontiac after Stewart got into some oil on the track, the car will be repaired and will start the race. #3-Dale Earnhardt also brushed the wall but little damage was done to the car. RIP: Both Ward Burton and Dale Jarrett struck turtles during the practice, damage was minor…to the cars(7-1-1999)
  • Track Star to Own Cup Team? UPDATE 3 the announcment: Heard this on the Winston Cup Today Radio show by PRN and went hunting, found the story in the St Louis Business Journal: Track Star Jackie Joyner-Kersee is roaring into auto racing with an $8 million NASCAR team that might be backed by local corporate sponsors. Joyner-Kersee and her husband, trainer Bob Kersee, have been negotiating for months with potential sponsors, including Ralston Purina Co. and World Wide Technology Inc. They hope to announce a driver and car manufacturer soon and to have the team in place by Sept. 1st. The couple’s race for a NASCAR team comes amid efforts by Gateway International Raceway to attract a Winston Cup by increasing its seating(6-15-1999) — UPDATE: On RPM2Nite Thursday, John Kernan mentioned that an announcement would be made about the team on next Thursday at Daytona(6-25-1999) — UPDATE 2: The car make, driver and sponsors will be announced next week(That’s Racin’)(6-26-1999) — UPDATE 2: Olympic track and field star, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and her husband, Bob Kersee, have scheduled a press conference to announce the formation of Joyner-Kersee Racing on July 1, 1999 at 1:00pm EST at the Benny Kahn Media Center, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL(Motorsport News International)(6-28-1999) — UPDATE 3: Jackie Joyner-Kersee and husband Bob Kersee announced today they have teamed with Kurt Roehrig(#19) to form a NASCAR team hopeful of competing in either the Winston Cup or Busch Series in 2000. They plan to run a Pontiac Grand Prix. A driver and sponsor will be announced at a later date. See the rest of the TNN Motorsports story at: From One Track To Another. Roehrig will run the #19 Bradford-White Pontiac at the August Michigan race with Tom Hubert driving, who is under consideration for the ride in 2000(TNN) also see the SpeedVision story at: Joyner-Kersee becomes car owner(7-1-1999)
  • Tide leaves Rudd: Procter & Gamble, Tide Brand informed Rudd Performance Motorsports (RPM) today that they have pursued other sponsorship opportunities for the year 2000. RPM has several options regarding sponsorship for the future that may encompass a multi-car situation. An expected announcement is scheduled to be released within the next month(RPM PR), hearing that Tide may be the sponsor for Larry McReynolds Cup team if that all works out(see TV story below)(6-30-1999) — UPDATE: RPM2Nite says a new Cup team owned by Cal Wells will have Tide as the sponsor which is interesting as Wells is starting a BGN team with McDonald’s as the sponsor in 2000(7-1-1999)
  • Noticed during qualifying: Sterling Marlin had the Brooks and Dunn paint scheme on the #40 Coors Light Chevy; Looked like Chris Rock on the #16 TV Guide/Primstar Ford hood, looks like they are putting the next weeks TV Guide Covers on the car each week; #00-Buckshot Jones has the Cheez-It on his Pontiac; The #91 Joe Falk owned Chevy with Hut Stricklin driving is totally white with no sponsor; #33-Ken Schrader is in the Gold Skoal paint scheme(7-1-1999)
  • No third Petree team: since Skoal will leave as the #33 sponsor, Andy Petree will not start a third team in 2000. An announcement on his 2000 sponsor for the #33 will be Saturday(ESPN2 Qual)(7-1-1999)
  • #90 Driver UPDATE: Stanton Barrett will drive the #90 Junie Donlavey Ford in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, no word on a sponsor(NOL Entry List)(6-29-1999) — UPDATE: Suburban Lodge will be the sponsor(Times-Dispatch)(6-30-1999) and Sonic Burger(Williams Co) and Donlavey plans to stay with Barrett, at least for the short term(next few races)(NOL)(7-1-1999)
  • Spotter: RaceComm Publisher, Mike Calinoff, has accepted the Spotters position with #50 Midwest Transit Racing and driver Ricky Craven. Calinoff is also the Spotter for two-time Busch Series champion Randy LaJoie(7-1-1999)