July 2001 Busch Series Archive

  • #68 Returns, in the fall: the #68 Priemiere Motorsports team and driver Jay Fogleman plan on running the BGN races at Rockingham and Homestead the end of the year. The team is currently running all Southern Division races in the USAR Hooters ProCup in the #8 car and are 4th in the points. Sponsors for the #68 Ford are Two Minute Warning/RUS Uniforms/Cooper Family Ford (Priemiere Motorsports PR)(7-31-2001)
  • HRT Team plans to return: Hispanic Racing Team (HRT Motorsports) has announced that it will compete in the Miami 300 BGN race held in Homestead on November 10th, 2001. HRT is the first and only all minority owned and minority driven race team in the NASCAR/Busch racing circuit. Colombian brothers Jaime and Roberto Guerrero have been testing with HRT throughout 2001 and will be driving in the 2002 race season. Jaime Guerrero has been racing in the South American TransAm series where he is currently the reigning Transam Series Champion. Jaime has also won championships in other S.A. series, including the famous Six Hours of Bogota race. Roberto’s background includes racing in both the IRL and Formula 1 series. Roberto finished 2nd at the most recognized racing venue in the world, the Indianapolis 500, twice during the 90’s. HRT Motorsports is currently positioning itself to showcase 2 cars for the NASCAR Winston Cup and BGN series. This will be the first time in NASCAR history that a Hispanic driver takes the wheel in either the BGN or Winston Cup Series. Jaime and Roberto will also be the first Hispanic brothers to run in the same race, and it will be the first time these two brothers have teamed up. The team will be highlighted on NBC’s new show “Latin Access” soon to hit the 50 Hispanic Markets and will appear in a segment airing just prior to the Miami 300 race. HRT has partnered with Interactivefanclub.com (IFC) in an 11-year exclusive marketing agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, IFC will develop a marketing platform for merchandising and data base management for HRT Motorsports and the Hispanic racing fans. Creating an interactive platform that allows direct communication with the Hispanic Racing Fans allows HRT to position itself as the only NASCAR team to offer sponsors and advertisers greater value for their sponsorship/advertising programs. For the first time, sponsors can communicate and advertise directly to the fan using breakthrough technology from IFC at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. For the 2002 season HRT and IFC are in negotiations to air a Hispanic Racing show on one of the largest Hispanic Television Networks called “Velocidad” (Speed). This show will have a similar format to “RPM Tonight”, but will predominantly target the Hispanic audience with information about the Hispanic Drivers, as well as the results and highlights of their races throughout the world. This program will add further value for sponsorship product lines and create additional opportunities to grow the database within the Hispanic community.(HRT PR)(7-31-2001)
  • NHIS BGN race moved to September: Race car fans will only have to travel to Loudon for two weekends next year: The New Hampshire International Speedway will hold its BGN race, normally a May event, in September, the day before the New Hampshire 300. Owner Bob Bahre said the track moved the event to save fans and NASCAR inspectors the hassle of traveling to Loudon three times a year. In addition to moving the BGN race, the May Busch North Series race was eliminated entirely because the other two race weekends of the year already had Busch North Series events scheduled. NASCAR has not released the official schedule for next year, but Bahre said the speedway had already signed its contracts with the organization.(Concord Monitor), no exact date given for the BGN or Cup races(7-31-2001)
  • Green to do a Triple at Indy: Jeff Green, driver of the #10 Nestlé Nesquik Ford in the BGN and defending BGN champion, will add two other driving duties to his schedule during the upcoming weekend at Indianapolis. Beside the BGN race at Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP) on Saturday evening, Green will also race the final leg of the International Race of Champions (IROC) on Saturday afternoon and also compete in Richard Childress Racing’s #30 America Online Chevrolet in the Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). Green will practice both his NWC and IROC cars at IMS on Friday, however his schedule becomes quite busy on Saturday, as the BGN is a one day show at IRP(Tailwind Sports PR)(7-30-2001)
  • Santerre Back in the #11 at IRP: Andy Santerre will once again be piloting the #11 Channellock Chevrolet in this weekend’s Busch series race at Indianapolis Raceway Park. No further plans are made for Santerre to drive the car after this weekend. Santerre’s own team Santerre Reece Motorsports is currently in a state of hiatus while they continue to look for a sponsor for the #01 Chevrolet Monte Carlo(Santerre PR)(7-31-2001)
  • Tolsma in the #25 Team Marines car at IRP: Randy Tolsma will run this weekend’s CTS and BGN races at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Tolsma returns for the second week in a row, to the #25 Team Marines Chevrolet, but only after strapping into his #61 “The Big White Truck” NASCAR Craftsman truck on Friday. Team Rensi Motorsports is actively seeking sponsorship for the #25 Team Marines Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo and the #61 Team Rensi Motorsports truck(Team Rensi PR)(7-31-2001)
  • Vickers Returns: 17-year-old Brian Vickers and BLV Motorsports are set to attempt their second BGN start at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The team¹s first BGN start came one month ago at The Milwaukee Mile. Vickers qualified in the 30th position and had moved up to 19th before contact from another competitor ended the team¹s day early. ³We learned a lot in our first race at Milwaukee that we will be able to apply at IRP: Everything from NASCAR routines and rules, to hospitality, and how to set the car up. That is why we are running several Busch races this season – to prepare ourselves because we would like to run the Busch Series full-time next year,² stated Brian. “We are going to have 250 guests of our sponsor – Engineered Machined Products there and hopefully we will give them something to cheer about.”(Brian Vickers PR)(7-31-2001)
  • Purvis wins at Pikes Peak: #21-Jeff Purvis won the bGN race at Pikes Peak, beating #10-Jeff Green(2nd) and #2-Kevin Harvick(3rd). See That’s Racin’ for Busch-NAPA AutoCare 250 Results(7-28-2001)
  • Kenny Wallace wins the pole at Pikes Peak. Kenny Wallace score his first BGN pole since 1994 with a speed of 131.062mph in the #48 Goulds Pumps Chevy. See NASCAR.com for the lineup(7-28-2001)
  • Santerre and the #11, his own #01 and the #8: Andy Santerre will be driving the #11 Channellock Chevrolet at Pike Peak but he will actually be driving his own Chevrolet car that he campaigns for Santerre-Reece Motorsports. “I had my car ready to go for Pikes Peak and when I signed to drive for Armando Fitz, he agreed to let me run my car with his sponsorship and his #11,” said Santerre, who inked with Fitz to drive at Madison, IL(Gateway) and Pikes Peak. Before the two-race deal with Fitz, Santerre was scheduled to make his debut in his Santerre-Reece Motorsports #01 Chevrolet FAN CAR at Pikes Peak. And, to accommodate the fans who sponsored Santerre’s FAN CAR, their names will appear on the #11 car this weekend. Meanwhile, Tom Carey will drive the Santerre-Reece Motorsports backup #01 car in Saturday’s race at PPIR. “Tom works for me at Santerre-Reece Motorsports and I asked him if he wanted to run my second car at Pikes Peak and he did,” said Santerre. “So, he will drive the unsponsored car and it will carry the No. 01.” In addition to Andy Santerre, Armando Fitz’s High Performance Group team is planning to have Michael Dokken drive a second car for them in the Busch Series event at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo. Dokken’s car will carry the #8. Dokken has competed in a limited role in the NASCAR Craftsman Series every year since 1995. Although Fitz will have two drivers this weekend at PPIR, his Busch Series program’s future after Saturday in uncertain. Rumors are Fitz may ask Ron Hornaday to drive in some more Busch races for him this season(NASCAR.com Buzz)(7-27-2001)
  • Nashville gets 2nd BGN race: ESPN2’s RPM 2Night reported Wednesday that Nashville Superspeedway was awarded a 2nd BGN race for the 2002 season, scheduled for a night race on Saturday, June 8th(7-26-2001)
  • Earnhardt in the #99: Kerry Earnhardt will drive the #99 Aarons Rent Chevy at Pikes Peak this coming weekend(ESPN2’s RPM 2Night)(7-26-2001)
  • New BGN Fans Team UPDATE 3: Big Fan Racing has announced Mardy Lindley as their new driver to drive in up to seven BGN races in their #89 Chevy for the 2001 BGN season and plan on running the full season in 2002. The site says that for almost a year now they have been putting everything in place to start a BGN Team and have purchased thier first car (Chevy) and are currently working on a motor program.(Big Fan Racing Site/PR)(2-26-2001)
    UPDATE: Big Fan Racing, along with NFL Star and Heisman Trophy Winner, Hershel Walker, and Herschel Walker’s Aloe Lu-Ya race team are combining efforts to run 3 Busch races with Mardy Lindley as driver of the #89 Chevy and also build the team for next year. Bigfanracing.com has also secured an Associate sponsorship position on the Herschel Walker Aloe Lu-Ya USAR race team with Mardy Lindley as the driver of the 01 Ford in the Northern Series for the remainder of this year(Big Fan Racing Site/PR)(3-11-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Greenville driver Mardy Lindley plans to go Busch Grand National racing in August, and he’ll take hundreds of fans from across the country with him. Lindley has reached an agreement with a local team spawned on the Internet — Big Fan Racing — to run one or two BGN races this season and possibly a busier schedule next year. The team, owned by Mark Watkins of Dacusville, has entered its #89 Chevrolet in the Aug. 4 Kroger 200 BGN race at Indianapolis Raceway Park. If Lindley qualifies, the race will mark his series debut(Greenville News)(6-14-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Big Fan Racing has announced that Herschel Walker’s Aloe Lu-Ya Sports drink will not be in position to offer sponsorship to the team this year. This comes only 12 days before the Big Fan Racing #89 Busch Team is scheduled to make its debut at Indianapolis Raceway Park in the Kroger 200. The tea is offering Hood Space and TV panel up for sponsorship currently on Ebay and would entertain any offers from companies or organizations who would like to be a part of the media coverage they will be getting at IRP. If they cannot find a sponsor for the hood and TV panel, they will run under the Big Fan Racing Logo and Bigfanracing.com. Anyone interested in these sponsorship positions for the Kroger 200 can contact the owner Mark Watkins at 864-859-7673 or email at [email protected]. After 6 months of preparation in building the team and car on the internet with all fan contributions, the team is determined that this is not a setback, but rather an opportunity for someone to get a really great sponsorship deal. Sponsorships are also being sought for other races this season(Big Fan Racing Site/PR)(7-24-2001)
  • Next #10 Rumor UPDATE 3 Official it’s Riggs: hearing CTS points leader Scott Riggs is in the hunt to take Jeff Greens place as the driver of the #10 ppc Racing Ford in 2002(7-13-2001)
    UPDATE #10 Announcement: Nestlé USA and ppc Racing will be announcing the new driver for the No. 10 Nestlé Nesquik Ford Taurus for the 2002 BGN season on Tuesday, July 24, 2001 at their shop in Mooresville, NC(7-16-2001)
    UPDATE 2: “He’s already signed with the Busch Series,” his father Russell said. “They’re going to announce it Tuesday.” Riggs recently signed with PPC Racing to take over for defending series champion Jeff Green, who is moving on to Winston Cup. A formal announcement will be made at a Tuesday press conference. “I think I could probably start knocking on doors and go Winston Cup racing, but not with competitive teams,” said Riggs, 30. “We’ve talked about driving the 7 car, but I’m not ready. My move needs to be to Busch racing first.”(Concord MonitorAND NASCAR Truck series points leader Scott Riggs will be the new driver of the No. 10 Fords for ppc Racing in the Grand National series next season, ThatsRacin.com has learned(That’s Racin’)(7-20-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Scott Riggs, current points leader in the CTS, has signed on as the new driver for ppc Racing and the #10 Nestlé Nesquik Ford Taurus for the 2002-2003 NASCAR BGN seasons.. The driver’s seat was vacated when Jeff Green announced earlier this month he was moving to the Winston Cup Series to drive full-time for Richard Childress Racing starting in 2002. Crew Chief, Harold Holly, will remain at the helm of the Nesquik Racing team and all team members will remain intact for the 2002 season.. Riggs was the number one choice of Holly, considered one of the best crew chiefs in NASCAR. Nestlé USA will also return as primary sponsor with their Nestlé Nesquik brand for the 2002-2003 seasons.. They were big supporters of Scott Riggs being named as the new driver and are thrilled to have him as a spokesperson for their organization.(Tailwind PR)(7-24-2001)
  • #81 Cup Team(was the #55 BGN team) Prepares for Indy UPDATE 4 Green Spotting: Mark Green will put the #81 Davis & Weight Motorsports on the track for the first time next Monday as the team tests the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 16th and 17th. The two-day test session will be used to prepare for the August 5th Brickyard 400, which will be the team’s first attempted Winston Cup race. Green competed in ten events in the 2001 BGN season before the team began building cars for next month’s Brickyard 400. Although he has never been in a Winston Cup car, Green is excited about attempting the August race. “I am excited about trying to make the Brickyard next month, but I also understand how tough it is going to be. It is very competitive in any type of racing, but even more so in Winston Cup. I know it will take time to get where we want to be, but it would be a great confidence booster if we could test well next week and collect some good information in the test to help us run well there in three weeks,” said Green. Davis & Weight Motorsports competed in the Busch Series at the start of the season before announcing they would discontinue their BGN operation after the April 21st Talladega event to focus on their Winston Cup program. The team returned to the BGN one last time to compete in the inaugural race at Kentucky Speedway, where the team matched its season-best finish of 16th.(Davis & Weight Motorsports PR)(7-14-2001)
    UPDATE – will skip Indy: from Mark Green – “I am actually still with Davis & Weight Motorsports and we are going to run four Winston Cup races in the near future,” said Green. “We were looking at going to Indianapolis (Aug. 4), but now we are concentrating on the short track stuff. We will probably enter our first Cup race at either Bristol (Aug. 25) or Richmond (Sept. 8).” Green said he will drive the #81 Ford at those four(?) Cup events, and he and the team are working on getting sponsorship deals(NASCAR.com Buzz)(7-20-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Davis & Weight Motorsports will scale back operations effective immediately, team owner Jerry Davis announced on Friday. The owners will focus on attaining sponsorship for the team’s Winston Cup efforts. “We have decided to pare down our operations in view of the current economic climate until sponsorship is attained. This does not take away from our plans to move to Winston Cup,” said Davis. “During this period we plan to rebuild our team as talent becomes available that is capable of leading us where we want to be.” Davis will work directly on gaining sponsorship for the team’s Winston Cup program, and will entertain interested parties personally. See my Team Address Page for contact info(Davis & Weight Motorsports PR)(7-21-2001)
    UPDATE 3: NASCAR.com Buzz is reporting – Davis & Weight Motorsports, which had high hopes of making its Winston Cup debut at the Brickyard 400 until a less than ideal test session this week, has released its entire crew, including driver Mark Green. The team will remain closed until it has a sponsor signed for either its Winston Cup or Busch programs. D&W, which had 10 crew members working Friday when the news came down, one day after the crewmembers were told they would probably attempt a short track race rather than the Brickyard, has one complete Winston Cup Ford Taurus and another car in the final stages of completion. Its full complement of Busch Series Ford equipment has been retained(7-21-2001)
    UPDATE 4: Mark Green, who lost his possible Winston Cup ride with Davis & Weight Motorsports Friday, was in Madison, Ill., over the weekend helping out his older brother David Green’s Cicci-Welliver team as a spotter for the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Carquest Auto Parts 250 event at Gateway International Raceway. Mark will also be a spotter for David’s #34 AFG/Silver Lines Chevy at the BGN race at Pikes Peak(NASCAR.com Buzz)(7-22-2001)
  • Harvick Wins, Biffle 4th: Kevin Harvick raced to his second NASCAR Grand National victory at Gateway International Raceway on Saturday night, holding off Jason Keller in the CARQUEST Auto Parts 250. Harvick, also driving Sunday in the Winston Cup race in Loudon, N.H., extended his lead in the season standings with his third victory of the year. He edged Keller by 0.165 seconds after taking the lead for the final time with four laps left. See That’s Racin’ for Carquest Auto Parts 250 results(7-22-2001)
  • Dodge Engine Approved for BGN: NASCAR will allow any Busch Grand National teams to use the new Dodge engine after Aug. 1. The new engine replaces the Dodge engines that have been used in the truck series. There are no Dodge BGN teams but there could be a Dodge that runs later in the year in the series(Racing Extra)(7-21-2001)
  • Pardus is resting: Dan Pardus was flown home from Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday. He was fitted at Provena St Joseph’s Medical Center in Joliet, Illinois with a back brace after receiving a crushed vertebra in the accident during the Hill Brothers 300 on Saturday. The CAT scan and other tests performed at the hospital did not show any additional injuries. On Monday in Charlotte, Dan visited with Dr. Jerry Petty. Dr. Petty, a neurosurgeon in Charlotte has treated many Nascar drivers. Early diagnosis indicates complete recovery will be gained with rest and rehabilitation with the aid of the back brace. There will be a reevaluation examination in three weeks. Dan’s next scheduled race is Michigan, August 18th. The team will decide this week if a schedule change must be made to allow Dan adequate time to heal. When contacted by phone today, Dan stated, “I personally want to thank everybody for the support and concern. On Monday, the race shop was flooded with phone calls and emails from fans and friends. Your expressions of care mean a lot to me. My visit to Dr. Petty on Monday was very encouraging. I hope to be back in the car testing in three or four weeks.”(Dan Pardus Site)(7-20-2001)
  • Swaim to run some BGN: WP Motorsports, Inc. and Mike Swaim, Jr. will compete in the first of five BGN races for the year, starting this weekend at Gateway International Raceway. Swaim will also compete in the BGN races at Michigan, Kansas, Lowes Motor Speedway and Homestead. One of the biggest assets WP Motorsports has coming into this race is crew chief Keith Strunk. Keith has BGN experience, previously working with the #37 Brewco Motorsports team. WP Motorsports and Swaim, Jr. will still field the red and white Chevrolet Monte Carlo sponsored by Dynatek Telecommunications, but his car number will be #12, rather than the normal #22. WP Motorsports looks forward to competing in more NASCAR Busch Series races next year. Depending on the success of WP Motorsports finding a dedicated sponsor will determine what lays ahead for them in 2002. WP Motorsports and Mike is also scheduled to compete in the ARCA RE/MAX Series races at Pocono, Talladega and Atlanta. Swaim’s Busch Series debut and only series start to date came at Rockingham in 1999, substituting for the injured Andy Santerre(Trackside Marketing PR)(7-20-2001)
  • Biffle on the Pole at Gateway: Greg Biffle turned a lap at 132.357 mph Friday night to take the pole for Saturday night’s Carquest Auto Parts 250 at Gateway International Raceway. See That’s Racin’ for the Carquest 250 qualifying results(7-21-2001)
  • Notes: Joe Cooksey of Centralia, Ill., earned a provisional spot and will start his first Busch race from the 43rd position. …The field includes two Daytona 500 winners, Geoffrey Bodine (1986) and Derrike Cope (1990). … As grand marshal of the Carquest 250, Rams running back Marshall Faulk will give the command to start engines.(St Louis Post and Dispatch)(7-21-2001)
  • Houston in the #25 UPDATE and more changes: Team Rensi Motorsports announced today, Andy Houston will drive the #25 Team Marines Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo in this weekend’s CARQUEST Autoparts 250 at Gateway International Raceway. Team Rensi Public Relations Representative, Shelly DeCaro stated, “David Donohue will continue his development and relationship with Team Rensi Motorsports by testing and making appearances scheduled for the Marine Corps Recruiting Command.”(Team Resni PR)(7-18-2001)
    UPDATE: A source close to the #25 Team Marines team said they do not foresee Davis Donohue in the car anytime soon, but that the first-year driver will continue to represent Team Marines at sponsor appearances. Also, the source said that crew chief Walter Giles was let go, and that Troy Selberg and Frank Allen will serve as co-crew chiefs for the time being. Andy Houston is driving the car this weekend at Gateway. The source said that Team Rensi CTS driver Randy Tolsma is the logical choice to pilot the car at Pikes Peak and Indy in the next two weekends(NASCAR.com Buzz)(7-21-2001)
  • Holigan and Starr in 2002? Michael Holigan was in the garage at Chicago along with driver David Starr . Holigan said he wants to start a BGN team for Starr next year – as long as someone else is putting up the funding. Holigan made a splash when he hit the scene in 1999, announcing a monster contract to sponsor Jerry Nadeau’s Hendrick Motorsports entry for three seasons. Instead, he ended the deal after one season(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(7-19-2001)
  • #59 Part Owner: Carolina Panthers safety Mike Minter and (#59) ST Motorsports’ Tad Geschickter are finalizing plans for Minter obtain an ownership interest in the longtime Busch Series operation. Minter has played for the Panthers since 1997, when he was drafted in the second round. He and Geschickter were introduced by a mutual friend earlier this year. The name of the Busch team will remain unchanged. An African-American, Minter would be the only minority owner in the Busch Series after Washington Erving Motorsports ceased operations last year. That’s not as important to Geschickter as Minter’s competitive nature, which he feels will help his organization rebound(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(7-19-2001)
  • #92 Seeing Blue: Chicagoland winner Jimmie Johnson and the Excedrin Racing team will proudly display the blue Excedrin PM colors this Saturday for the third night race of the season, at Gateway International Raceway(Eclipse Companies PR)(7-19-2001)
  • #59 Changes Driver: Former NASCAR Winston West Champion Mike Chase has been named the driver for the ST Motorsports #59 Kingsford/Match Light Chevrolet team for the BGN race at Gateway International Raceway on July 21. A disappointing 28th finish at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday prompted the change. “Needless to say, we were disappointed with the way the Kingsford/Match Light Chevrolet performed at Chicagoland throughout the weekend,” stated team owner Tad Geschickter. “We have improved significantly on the smaller tracks, but our performance on the larger tracks has not been commensurate with the amount of money we have spent over the last three months on aerodynamic, personnel and chassis improvements. Rich Bickle has agreed to step aside for several races to see if we can get some new feedback on what needs to be done to the cars to improve our intermediate track performance. Mike Chase is also an accomplished racer who has worked on the team as our shop foreman and done some test-driving for us over the last several years. He is a real team player and we feel confident that his stint in the seat will give us the additional information we need to improve our equipment to the point that we can deliver the type of on track performance that Kingsford and all of our other sponsors deserve.” Chase, a native of Redding, California, was a dominant figure in the NASCAR Winston West Series for a number of years. In 1987, he won the Featherlite Southwest Series NASCAR title and in 1990 was named rookie-of-the–year in the Winston West Series. In 1994, Chase went head to head with Ron Hornaday, eventually winning the battle for the Winston West Series Championship. A year later, he returned to the series on a limited schedule, winning back-to-back events midway through the season. Chase competed in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 1995 and 1996. He returned to the Winston West Series in 1998 and 1999 where he recorded ten top ten finishes in only 17 starts.(ST Motorsports PR)(7-16-2001)
  • Baldwin to form BGN team: NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief Tommy Baldwin Jr.(#22 Bill Davis team) and long-time friend Eddie D’Hondt announced Monday that they are forming a new BGN race team. The team is expected to begin racing in the 2002 Busch series season-opening race in Daytona Beach. Baldwin will continue to serve as crew chief of the # 22 Caterpillar Dodge driven by Ward Burton and owned by Bill Davis Racing. He and D’Hondt will act as CO-owners of “Tommy Baldwin Racing.” D’Hondt, the former general manager of both Bill Elliott Racing and Evernham Motorsports, will run the day-to-day team operations. Baldwin will call the shots at the racetrack. Tommy Baldwin Racing is expected to set up shop in the new Talbert Point Motorsports Complex in Mooresville, NC. “Eddie and I have talked about doing this from the day we moved down here from Long Island, N.Y., some five years ago,” said Baldwin. “We have both worked very hard at learning the sport and polishing our skills. This is a fast-paced business, and together we feel that the time is right for us to get this team started. We have spoken with some very talented drivers, manufacturers and crewmen who are very excited about the possibilities of the dynamic team we have the ability to put together. Right now, we are meeting with companies who have shown an interest in sponsoring this endeavor, and we will continue to do that until we have secured enough financing to be the best team in this series.” Not only does Tommy Baldwin Racing have the experience of Baldwin and D’Hondt to guide its team, it also has help from Winston Cup car owner, Bill Davis. “We have Bill’s blessing and support, and we plan on interacting with Bill Davis Racing quite a bit,” said Baldwin. “We will utilize their engineering and aerodynamic abilities, as well as purchase motors from them. I feel like this association will be a major plus for both my Winston Cup team and our new Busch team. I can’t wait to get started.” Tommy Baldwin Racing is presently fielding any inquires regarding sponsorship and staffing at (704) 655-0611. The team will release further details as they develop(Motorsports Decisions PR)(7-15-2001)
  • Lewis Withdraws from St Louis: Lewis Motorsports, which fields the #46 Lewis Motorsports Chevy in the BGN, has withdrawn their entry from this weekend’s race at Gateway International Raceway. “We are running without sponsorship, and we have torn up four cars in the last three weekends,” said team owner Ashton Lewis, Sr. “Our inventory is depleting and I think it is a good business decision to take a weekend off to help us better prepare for the remainder of the season.” Lewis Motorsports has six race cars in rotation and four of the cars are in the process of being repaired due to accidents at Dover Downs, Milwaukee, Watkins Glen and Chicagoland. “We have 12 full-time employees, and it is almost impossible to repair all of the cars that have suffered damage during the last three weekends,” continued Lewis, Sr. “Upon our return at Pikes Peak, we are planning to run the remainder of the BGN schedule,” said Lewis, Sr. Running the limited schedule or the possibility of closing the doors has been a topic for the past three months, but as of now we intend to run the rest of the 2001 Busch Series season.” Lewis Motorsport’s back-up car that was scheduled to make the trip to Gateway International Raceway is the primary car for Pikes Peak, as well as the primary car for Gateway was scheduled as the back-up car for Pikes Peak, and they do not want to take the chance of destroying either one of the race cars.(Camp & Associates PR)(7-16-2001)
  • Rudd Wins: part time BGN driver, Jason Rudd (#’s 77 and 85) won Friday 7/13 in his late model at SouthHampton Motor Speedway.(Jason Rudd Site)(7-16-2001)
  • First Time Winner at Chicago: Jimmie Johnson, whose #92 Chevrolet team practiced running on a two new tires during Friday’s final practice session, used a two-tire stop to gain track position and held on for a wild win in the inaugural Hills Bros Coffee 300 Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway. Johnson, who will join Jeff Gordon as a teammate at Hendrick Motorsports next season in the Cup series, picked up his first BGN victory of his career. See That’s Racin’ for the Hills Bros Coffee 300 results(7-14-2001)
  • Grubb to Start #100: Kevin Grubb will make his 100th career race in the BGN series at the Chicagoland Speedway race.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-14-2001)
  • Pole goes to Newman: Ryan Newman turned a lap at 181.886mph Friday to claim the pole for Saturday’s inaugural BGN race at Chicagoland Speedway. See That’s Racin’ for Saturday’s Sam’s Club-Hills Bros 300 lineup (7-13-2001)
  • Practice Incidents: Friday’s practice: #7-Randy LaJoie scraped the wall and #46-Ashton Lewis crashed and is now in a backup. Thursday’s Practice: #66-Geoffrey Bodine spun in turn 4 but didn’t hit anything(sources at the track)(7-13-2001)
  • Missing Persons on the #59: Lillian Martin and her 10-year-old grandson Joshua Bryant, who have been missing for two months, will be in front of the eyes of millions Saturday as pictures of their faces circle the new Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., during the track’s inaugural race. Photographs of the pair, who vanished from their Deltona home May 12, will be on the right rear bumper of NASCAR driver Rich Bickle’s No. 59 Chevy in the hope that someone will recognize them during the nationally televised Busch Series race. NBC will televise the race(Orlando Sentinel)(7-13-2001)
  • Hornaday back to BGN..for a race UPDATE 2 rest of season: Ron Hornaday will make his return to the BGN this weekend at The Milwaukee Mile in Armando Fitz’ #11 Channellock Chevy. A source revealed Hornaday, who won twice in the Busch Series driving for Dale Earnhardt, Inc., has been in ongoing discussions with the Highline Performance team about doing a schedule of races for the balance of this season(NASCAR.com Buzz), no word on Marty Houston’s status, he is the regular driver(6-26-2001)
    UPDATE: Ron Hornaday Jr., has been selected to drive the #11 Channellock Busch car. Hornaday will take over driving duties for the next three Busch series events. The Channellock team is hoping the veteran, Hornaday, can help put them back on track. The opportunity for Hornaday to drive for Highline Performance came from discussions between Fitz and current Channellock driver Marty Houston. This will bring Hornaday and veteran crew chief Fred Graves back together once again. Graves joined forces with the Channellock team at the May 19th Nazareth race. Houston added, “We have struggled this year and feel by bringing a veteran driver in, we can really get some good feedback. We just want to make our program better,” stated Houston. The July 1st General Nutrition¹s Centers (GNC) 250 race at The Milwaukee Mile will mark the beginning of Hornaday¹s Busch driving duties, followed by races at Watkins Glen and Chicagoland Speedway.(Global Performace PR)(6-27-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Ron Hornaday will drive the #11 BGN Chevy for the remainder of the season except at St. Louis and Pikes Peak, a team spokesperson said Thursday(NASCAR.com Buzz)(7-12-2001)
  • #61 Crew Chief fined and suspended UPDATE teams shuts down: The crew chief for the #61 BGN team was placed on indefinite suspension Tuesday for violations in the roll cage bars found in the team’s car in Saturday night’s race at Kentucky Speedway. Dave Fuge, crew chief for the #61 car driven by Tim Sauter in the race, was fined $30,000 in addition to the indefinite suspension. Team owner Stephen Coulter was fined 60 car owner points and Sauter was docked the same number of driver points. The team’s car was also dropped to a last-place finish in the race, costing it 39 additional points. Sauter completed 180 laps before going out after a crash and had been credited with a 30th-place finish. Evidence of a problem with the car was apparently discovered when it crashed. NASCAR officials went over the car thoroughly after the race and found that the roll cage bars had been lightened and had holes drilled into them. That would be done to take weight away from that part of the car so it could be added back in other areas in hopes of making it go faster(That’s Racin’)
    UPDATE: Xpress Motorsports, which fields the #61 team in the NASCAR Busch Series with driver Tim Sauter, will discontinue operations of its team and facilities effective immediately, team owner Steve Coulter announced today. Coulter cites economic reasons and the latest decision by NASCAR to penalize their team as reasons for the stoppage. “It is very difficult for an independent team to run and be successful. It is hard to find a sponsor that can cover the high costs that come with racing in the Busch Series,” said Team Manager/Crew Chief Dave Fuge. “Our main focus now is to help our employees find jobs. All of our equipment is for sale, so we will be working to move all of it out. We had a great relationship with Mark Smith of TriStar, who provided engines for us, so we would like to help them find another client as well. Our biggest disappointment is in letting Tim (Sauter) go. He never had the time to showcase his talent and great potential. We really believe that we were about to turn the corner and he could have turned some heads in the second half of the season. I hope teams out there realize what a great commodity Tim can be for their team.” The announcement comes after NASCAR, following Saturday night’s Outback Steakhouse 300 at Kentucky Speedway, penalized the team for rule infractions. “We designed our own chassis with the intent to build a better all-around chassis to control all aspects of safety, competitiveness and consistency. Holes were drilled where all the junctions were, primarily for softening the joint so you don’t have joint failure and to help absorb some of the energy of a crash,” said crew chief Dave Fuge. “It’s a common practice among many chassis builders. It has been represented as just an effort to lighten the chassis and that is not true. Anyone looking at our chassis would know that driver safety is our main concern. We have added and extra door bar on the driver’s side along with other bars that are not required, and the minimal weight reduction we got by drilling the holes was far offset by the added bars for safety. We read the NASCAR rulebook thoroughly, and we thought we were in compliance. NASCAR was unaware of these techniques, but they were tipped off to look for it several weeks ago and found it at Kentucky when they had us cut the car apart after the accident. The severe accident Tim had at Atlanta was a testament to the safety of the chassis we built. The accident at Kentucky was significant as well, but in both instances (the chassis) did bend as designed. We just feel things could have been handled differently given that they knew about the circumstances weeks before.” Dave Fuge will oversee the sale of all team equipment and parts. Please contact Dave at (704) 662-8088 for more information(Trackside Marketing Group PR)(6-20-2001)
    UPDATE 2: On July 10, 2001, NASCAR heard and considered the appeal of Dave Fuge, crew chief for Xpress Motorsports. The appeal pertained to penalties issued by NASCAR concerning the roll cage on the #61 car in the BGN race held at Kentucky Speedway in June of 2001. In regards to the violation, the Appellant argued that the NASCAR Rule Book was not clear in regards to roll cage construction and contained certain “gray areas.” However, after review and consideration, the Commission finds the following: Article 20A-17.4 of the Rule Book clearly spells out requirements for the basic and typical roll cage structure. The regulations do not permit cutting holes in the roll cage bars at all welded intersections throughout the cage structure as was done in this case. Furthermore, the Article requires that specific bars must be “a continuous length of tubing.” The Appellant acknowledged that he did not submit these roll cage modifications to NASCAR for prior approval as required by Article 20A-17.4E. The opening paragraph of Article 20A also requires that “…modifications not specifically addressed in this Rule Book by NASCAR must be submitted to NASCAR Headquarters for approval not less than 60 days prior to the date of intended usage in competition.” The Commission notes that the penalty, while serious, is appropriate for the violation. It is therefore the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the penalty assessed by NASCAR. The Appellant has the right, under Section 15 of the NASCAR Rule Book, to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner(NASCAR PR)(7-12-2001)
  • Cope to run at Chicago: Derrike Cope and the #94 NuHouse Properties race team head to Chicago for this weekend’s Hills Brothers 300 Busch race with a little help from Coinstar, the company who makes self-service coin counting machines located at the front entrances of leading supermarkets nationwide. Joe Bush piloted the #94 Chevrolet last at the Milwaukee Mile two weeks ago, finishing 29th after running out of gas with just several laps to go. Now Cope will join the team in hopes of putting together a strong run at Chicagoland this weekend. “We finished setting up this car very early in the morning. We worked on it all night long to get ready to go to Chicago, and we feel like we have a good car for the weekend,” said crew chief Brian Bass. “Derrike is great on the faster speedways. He drives the car really deep into the corner, and is not afraid to push it to the edge. We are running his shocks, which his company produces, and we have some help from CRD for our engines, so we will just have to see how it all shakes out.” “We are trying to run as many races as we can. Coinstar has come on board for Chicago, and we are hoping they will see the value in joining us in more races later on. Our crew chief is experienced, the car looks good and the crew works very hard to be successful. We are definitely running Gateway and Pikes Peak later on, but the rest will depend on financial backing,” said team owner Fred Bickford. Cope is also focusing on putting his own car on the track in the Winston Cup series later this year in the #37 Quest Motor Racing Pontiac. “We are hoping to run several races later this year. We are actively seeking sponsorship for a Cup deal in the second half of the season. We continue to talk to companies, and we are looking at trying to do five to ten races in the second half at some of the companion events like Darlington and Bristol. Right now we have a couple of cars, and if we can get some financial backing that will really help us reach our goal of running Winston Cup later this year,” remarked Cope(BGN Racing)(7-12-2001)
  • Purvis in the #21 for a few races: Jeff Purvis, released from Joe Gibbs Racing just a week ago after the organization failed to land enough sponsorship dollars to fund two teams, will drive the #21 Richard Childress Racing Chevy in the BGN races at St. Louis and Pikes Peak(NASCAR.com Buzz)(7-12-2001)
  • Hank Jr to the #10? UPDATE NOPE – Denied: hearing Hank Parker Jr may be the driver in the #10 Nestle’s Quik/ppc Racing Ford in 2001 as Jeff Greens replacement
    UPDATE: Hank Parker Jr. today denied rumors that he will replace Jeff Green in the #10 ppc Racing Ford in 2002. “When I agreed to drive for Cicci-Welliver Racing, I signed a two-year contract that will keep me in the #36 GNC Live Well Chevrolet until the end of next season,” Parker said. “GNC Live Well has been a tremendous sponsor, they’ve done a lot for me and their support has not wavered. They’re committed to me, so I’m committed to them. It’s hard to find sponsors like that and I’m grateful to have a relationship with one of the most active sponsors in the sport. To be honest with you, I didn’t even want to respond to this rumor, because that’s all it is — a rumor. Hopefully, by addressing this now, though, I won’t have to answer the same question 20 times when we get to Chicago. My focus is on getting the #36 GNC Live Well Chevy up front every week, period.”(Keystone Marketing PR)(7-11-2001)
  • New BGN Team – Dodge? During 2000, Jesel Innovative Valvetrain was heavily involved in the development to the new Dodge engine program. The brothers were determined to go beyond manufacturing, and were on line to start the final Dodge Cup team, with driver Chad Little, and sponsor John Deere, but the deal was put on hold, just when Chip Ganassi announced that his two teams would be running the new Dodge. Remaining focused on becoming car owners; Wayne Jesel has been working with several teams developing motors for Busch and The craftsman trucks, including Michael Walltrip, and Buckshot Jones under the banner Gasoline Alley Engines. Jesel, and Gasoline Alley Engines recently sponsored the #00 Buckshot Jones Team in Milwaukee. “It is a way for us to do more R & D for the Motor Program”, notes Wayne Jesel. The goal is to have a full time BGN team up and running for the 2001 season. “We are closing in on the sponsors right now, we are working on buying Jimmy Spencer’s Busch shop. We are trying to buy that building and all the equipment to set up and run a two car team.” Jesel would not commit on the drivers, and has not announced if that would bring Dodge into the Busch Grand National Series.(Rappy’s Racing)(7-9-2001)
  • Woodland at Chicago: Rich Woodland will attempt the BGN race at Chicagoland Speedway. The Pontiac will carry the #40 and was purchased from Dale Jarrett and driven by Jason Jarrett and Hut Stricklin last season. No sponsorship has been found yet. Interested sponsors, please visit www.richwoodland.com for contact info and more information on Woodland and the team(7-8-2001)
  • Lewis gets a sponsor – for Chicago: Sara Lee Coffee and Tea has agreed to sponsor BGN driver #46-Ashton Lewis Jr. in the Hills Bros Coffee 300 presented by SAM’S CLUB at the inaugural NASCAR event at Chicagoland Speedway on July 14. Hills Bros Coffee announced in June that it would sponsor the inaugural Busch Series event at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Hills Bros Coffee will serve as the title sponsor of the event for the next three years.(Keystone Marketing)(7-8-2001)
  • Chaffin Returns? Hearing that Chad Chaffin will drive the #16 31W Insulation BGN car for the remainder of the 2001 BGN season starting at Gateway (St Louis). The plan is to run at least 8-10 races and maybe more depending on sponsorship(7-8-2001)
  • Surprise – Ron Fellows wins at The Glen: #87-Ron Fellows won the BGN race at Watkins Glen. BGN regulars, #60-Greg Biffle and #2-Kevin Harvik finished 2nd and 3rd. Pole sitter #71-Scott Pruett ended up 8th. See NASCAR.com for GNC Live Well 200 Unofficial Results(7-8-2001)
  • Lepage Loses Sponsor: Kevin Lepage will not have State Fair Corn Dogs as a primary sponsor on his #71 BGN team in 2002. The hot dog company is pulling sponsorship after this year. He’s looking for a sponsor and a full-time driver next year. “I’m trying to get away from this car to concentrate more on my Winston Cup efforts,” Lepage said, in reference to his #4 Kodak Chevy ride. “So, I’m looking for someone to drive my BGN car next year.”(NASCAR.com Buzz)(7-8-2001)
  • Pruett Wins Pole at Watkins Glen: Scott Pruett driving Kevin Lepage’s #71 State Fair Corn Dogs Ford, broke the BGN track record at Watkins Glen with a pole speed of 121.062mph, breaking the old record of 119.504 mph, set by Ron Fellows last year. Fellows is on the outside pole with a speed of 121.016, with two more road specialists, #21-Robby Gordon and #17-Boris Said starting 3rd and 4th, respectfully. #60-Greg Biffle is the first BGN regular in 5th. See That’s Racin’ for the GNC Live Well 200 – Starting Lineup(7-7-2001)
  • #49 Driver for Watkins Glen: Jay Robinson Racing will travel to Watkins Glen this weekend for the GNC Live Well 200, after all. Brian Weber, a former competitor on the Busch North Series tour will pilot the #49 this weekend with sponsorship from Retail Builders, a nationwide construction company. The 34-year old Weber also competed on the American Canadian Tour, as well as working as a front-tire changer for Mark Krogh. Weber raced in the 1988 Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park before racing in the Busch North Series tour from 1988 through 1990. Weber currently works for Retail Builders, whose logos will adorn the hood and TV panel on the #49 this weekend at Watkins Glen. Weber is currently looking to try to run the final fifteen races of the season if he is able to work out a deal with Retail Builders and one other potential sponsor.(BGN Racing PR)(7-7-2001)
  • Watkins Glen Grand Marshall: Watkins Glen International President Bryan R. Sperber announced today that Scott Welliver, President and CEO of Welliver McGuire Inc. and NASCAR Busch Series car owner, will serve as Grand Marshal for the upcoming GNC Live Well 200 NASCAR Busch Series race. Welliver, a native of Elmira, will recite the four most famous words in motorsports, “Drivers, start your engines,” to the 43 participating drivers during pre-race ceremonies on July 8. Welliver joined fellow Elmira-native Frank Cicci to form Cicci-Welliver Racing in 1991, a business that has grown to three-car operation with #36-Hank Parker Jr., #34-David Green and most-recently, Chemung, NY native #66-Geoffrey Bodine. Since 1991, Cicci-Welliver Racing has enjoyed 16 trips to Victory Circle and 123 top-five finishes with nine different drivers(Watkins Glen PR)(7-3-2001)
  • Gibbs may go to one car UPDATE 3 the #18: After operating two successful NASCAR Busch Series teams throughout the first half of the 2001 season, Joe Gibbs Racing announced today that they may be forced to scale back to a one car operation until a second sponsor can be located. “We have been scrambling to try and find a Busch Grand National sponsor this entire year, unfortunately we haven’t been as successful off the track as our guys have been on the track,” Joe Gibbs Racing President J D Gibbs said. “A final decision on our plans will be made effective following the Busch Series race in Milwaukee on Sunday(Gibbs Racing PR)(6-25-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing it’ll be the #18 team for driver Jeff Purvis that will be scaled back. The MBNA sponsorship will move over to the #20 and driver Mike McLaughlin(6-26-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Joe Gibbs Racing has paired down it’s 2-car BGN operation to one car with driver Mike McLaughlin(6th in BGN points with a win). Gibb’s other driver, Jeff Purvis, who is 7th in BGN points( 25 behind McLaughlin) is left without a driving job at present(Garage Pass)
    UPDATE 3: After searching for sponsorship for the # 20 BGN team since late January, Joe Gibbs Racing announced today that it will scale back from a two car team to a one car team effective immediately. Joe Gibbs Racing also announced that Mike McLaughlin will represent the # 18 car which MBNA has been associated with over the past several seasons. Gibbs also announced that Jeff Purvis will be free to pursue other racing opportunities. Gibbs also expressed his appreciation to Jeff Purvis for his service to Joe Gibbs Racing. McLaughlin will continue to race with his current team under the leadership of team manager Doug Richert and crew chief Tim Shutt. Joe Gibbs Racing will continue to search for sponsorship for the #20 team, both for the remaining 2001 schedule as well as the 2002 season. The team will operate with all its existing employees and will be ready for an immediate return to the track once sponsorship is secured. Vice President of Business, Dean Noble will continue to lead the search for sponsorship, he may be reached at 704-944-5000.(Gibbs Racing PR)(7-3-2001)
  • Jeff Green to RCR #30 Cup team? RPM 2Nights Ray Dunlap reported on Monday’s show, that 2001 BGN Champ and current BGN #10 driver Jeff Green will soon be named as the full time driver of the #30 Richard Childress Racing team for the 2002 season. Green currently is running the #30 AOL car on a limited schedule in Cup for RCR(ESPN2 RPM 2Night)(7-3-2001)
  • Biffle wins at Milwaukee: see results at That’s Racin’ (7-2-2001)
  • Harvick on Pole at Milwaukee: see That’s Racin’ for the NASCAR Busch GNC LiveWell 250 Lineup
  • Info on the GNC Live Well 250 at Milwaukee: at NASCAR.com (entry list, schedule, etc) and at the Milwaukee Mile site. There are only 41 cars on the Milwaukee entry list.
  • Robbie Gordon in a RCR car? UPDATE yes at Watkins Glen: PRN’s Garage Pass interviewed Cup, BGN, IRL team owner Richard Childress who says he may give Robbie Gordon a shot in one of his cars in the future, possibly a BGN car(The #21 at Watkins Glen?). Plus the #30-AOL team still needs a full time driver in 2002(5-16-2001)
    UPDATE: Robby Gordon will drive the #21 Rockwell Automation Racing Chevy for Richard Childress Racing/Brant Motorsports on July 8 in the GNC Live Well 200 race at Watkins Glen. This is not the first time the car owner and driver have teamed up. Childress and A.J. Foyt were the co-owners of the Indy Racing League entry Gordon qualified on the front row (third) for this year’s Indianapolis 500. Gordon led the first 22 laps before finishing 21st. The BGN start will be the first for Gordon, 32, who has extensive racing experience in NASCAR Winston Cup, CART, IRL, IROC, SCORE/HDRA off-road, IMSA GTO/GTU, and SCCA Trans-Am. Highlights include two victories and four poles in the CART Series, two overall victories in the Baja 1000, four straight class victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona and four SCORE Off-Road Championships. Gordon finished a Cup career-best second in the June 24th race at Sears Point driving in a substitute role for the #7 Ultra Motorsports team. Mike Skinner is scheduled to be back in the car for the July 14 BGN race at Chicagoland Speedway(Rockwell PR)(7-1-2001)