July 2001 News Archives


  • (7-31-2001)

  • Simpson Resigns: Bill Simpson, who dedicated his life to making motorsports safer for its participants, told NASCAR.com Tuesday night that he has resigned from the company that bears his name in the aftermath of Dale Earnhardt’s fatal accident in February. Simpson, who less than four years ago sold two-thirds of Simpson Performance Products — a diverse company that makes a wide variety of safety equipment ranging from drivers’ helmets and uniforms to child safety seats — said the decision came from an inability to separate his personal relationships from the business of safety in an inherently violent endeavor. “I can’t separate the two — it’s tough,” Simpson said. “I wrote my resignation letter two weeks ago and it was accepted, reluctantly, yesterday.”(NASCAR.com)(7-31-2001)
  • Bickle in the #50 at Indy, after that? Rick Mast and Midwest Transit Racing have parted ways. Mast was a valuable asset to our team. Mast wanted to compete in all the races this season and at this time we could not commit to that. The team is proud to have Rich Bickle driving for them at Indy in the Brickyard 400. With his experience and knowledge adding to the team, they expect to have a successful run at Indy. This is a one race deal with Bickle at this time. After Indy all will evaluate the race and hopefully put a program together with Bickle. The team is taking the car that was tested at Indy on July 16th and 17th and were very happy with as it ended up 25th in combined test results. The Midwest Transit team also announced that they will have Speedway Records as a sponsor at Indy. Speedway Records was originally founded by Ned Jarrett in 1959. Today, it is a partnership of Wallace Barr Entertainment Group, Inc, Lowery Music Group, Speedway Motorsports, and three other individuals. They were basically given the label by Ned to revitalize it. They are distributing through Walmart and all NASCAR tracks, as well as wholesaling to racing oriented third parties vendors. There first CD is “Thunder Road”, featuring The Charlie Daniels Band, The Atlanta Rhythm Section, The Kentucky Headhunters, Tralena, Tim Wilson, and The Marshall Tucker Band. The label is donating $1.00 per CD to the Speedway Children’s Charities as well.(Midwest Transit PR)(7-31-2001)
  • Blundell to NASCAR? Former CART and Formula 1 star Mark Blundell could be on his way to the NASCAR Winston Cup next year if current plans come to fruition. The 35-year-old is understood to be lining up a deal with a top stock car squad for later this year. His only racing this season has been the Le Mans 24 Hours, which he contested with the new MG squad. NASCAR is renowned for its complete bias towards American drivers, and the most recent ‘foreigners’ to race in the Winston Cup, besides Canadian road circuit regular Ron Fellows, were Australians Geoff Brabham and Dick Johnson. Current British Touring Car Championship leader Jason Plato has also signalled his interest at switching to the Stateside series, in which the leading drivers are household names across much of the US. If I was offered a drive for next year I would consider it. “There is a deal on offer to test,” Blundell told Autosport. “If I was offered a drive for next year I would consider it. I have been in the USA for five years and I know what a huge spectacle NASCAR is. It would be fantastic to get an English guy in there with the European ovals opening up new opportunities for the future. I have plenty of oval experience,” he added.(Autosport.com)(7-31-2001)
  • Watkins Glen Testing UPDATE Monday/Tuesday Speeds: Cup drivers make their much-anticipated return to Watkins Glen for the only test session of 2001 on July 30 and 31. This scheduled test session, which is open to the public on Monday, is in preparation for the August 12th Global Crossing @ The Glen event. Among those testing is: #88-Dale Jarrett, #31-Robby Gordon, #77-Boris Said, #01-Scott Pruett, #43-John Andretti, #33-Joe Nemechek, #87-Ron Fellows, and #68-Anthony Lazarro. Fans that have purchased tickets for the Global Crossing @ The Glen weekend, August 9-12, will be admitted free of charge on Monday. Fans should present their Global Crossing @ The Glen tickets at the gate to gain free admission or pick up a voucher at the ticket office if they have not received their event tickets. All other spectators can take in the action for only $10.00 at the gate. Gate 4 will be open from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Monday only.(Watkins Glen PR)(7-24-2001)
    UPDATE: Speeds from Monday’s testing
    #31-Robby Gordon 122.602mph
    #87-Ron Fellows 122.500
    #77-Boris Said 122.177
    #43-John Andretti 121.354
    #33-Joe Nemechek 121.320
    #01-Scott Pruett 120.822
    #88-Dale Jarrett and #68-Anthony Lazarro – no speeds reported
    UPDATE 2: Speeds from Tuesday’s testing
    #77-Boris Said 123.529
    #87-Ron Fellows 122.500
    #01-Scott Pruett 122.500
    #31-Robby Gordon 122.161
    #43-John Andretti 121.924
    #88-Dale Jarrett 121.790
    #33-Joe Nemechek 121.320
    #68-Anthony Lazarro 120.805
    (Track record is 121.234mph by Rusty Wallace not Mark Martin)(ESPN2’s RPM 2Night and Watkins Glen PR)(7-30/31-2001)


  • Watkins Glen Double Duty: Kyle Petty and John Andretti are stepping out of their Dodge Intrepid R/Ts at Watkins Glen and into something a little bit sportier – a Porsche GT3R. They will team up with Orbit Racing and compete in the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race Friday night, August 10, one of three races slated during the Global Crossing @ The Glen NASCAR Winston Cup Series weekend August 9-12.(Watkins Glen PR)(7-31-2001)
  • NASCAR.com is ‘stickiest’: NASCAR.com can now lay claim to being one of the “stickiest” sites on the Internet. According to Nielsen/Net Ratings, Internet users at work spent an average of almost 20 minutes per visit on the official site of NASCAR, the most of any sports site. For that week, NASCAR.com also attracted 763,000 unique visitors, more than any other official league site.(AJC)(7-31-2001)
  • Race fans in line for rebates on souvenirs: While many people are watching their mailboxes these days for income tax rebates, thousands of Winston Cup fans have started receiving some other rebates as well — payments that settle a souvenir price-fixing case. International Speedway Corp. and 20 other companies that sell NASCAR gear are in the midst of distributing cash payments and coupons that eventually could total $11 million. ISC’s portion of the payout is expected to be about $7.8 million. The payments settle a group of lawsuits filed in 1997 that accused ISC’s concessions unit, Americrown Service Corp., of conspiring with other vendors to keep prices of souvenirs sold trackside at Winston Cup races artificially high. While ISC denies it ever tried to rig prices at Daytona International Speedway or its other tracks, it agreed to join the other vendors in offering refunds on items bought at Winston Cup races from 1991 through 1999. People who have not yet submitted claims can still obtain forms from gift shops at Daytona USA and the Darlington and Talladega tracks.(for more info see the full story at: Daytona Beach News Journal or my Collectible Links page)(7-31-2001)
  • New Crew Chief for Shawna: Tropicana sponsored Robinson over the Chicago weekend two weeks ago, the first time it had sponsored a Winston Cup stock car. The company also sponsored the Chicago race. The Brickyard 400 will be the first race for Jay Born as crew chief for MK Racing’s #84 Winston Cup team, Tropicana Taurus and driver Shawna Robinson. Born, who has been with Akins Motorsports for two years, served as crew chief for Ricky Craven at the Midwest Transit Winston Cup teams prior to that. A multi-champion Late Model crew chief and mechanic early in is career, Born also has vast experience in the ASA Series.(Williams Company)(7-31-2001)


  • Bliss out of the #27? UPDATE 4 Mast in, rest of the year – Bickle in the #50?: hearing driver Mike Bliss and the Eel River Racing team have parted ways. The team has failed to make the last six Cup races(7-21-2001)
    UPDATE: Mike Bliss is the second driver to bite the dust with Eel River Racing in the last three weeks. Kenny Wallace was the first. The team has missed six races, including the last two (actually three) with Bliss attempting to qualify. Sources say Rick Mast will be in the car at Pocono.(Sporting News)(7-23-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Rick Mast is in the #27 Eel River Racing Pontiac at Pocono. Sources tell me it is a one race deal and Mast will return to the #50 Midwest Transit Chevy at Indy after the team skipped Pocono. The team is looking for a sponsor(7-25-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Winston Cup driver Rick Mast said he hopes to have his driving future cleared up early this week, but as of Saturday he still had just a one-race deal to run the # 27 Pontiacs of Eel River Racing(That’s Racin’)(7-29-2001)
    UPDATE 4: Rick Mast will drive the #27 Eel River Racing Pontiac for the remainder of 2001. The #50 Midwest Transit team will announce it’s 2002 plans on Tuesday(FSN Totally NASCAR), hearing Rich Bickle will drive the #50 car at Indianapolis and ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night is reporting the same(7-30-2001)
  • Musgrave back in Cup? UPDATE 3: hearing Ted Musgrave, currently running the full 2001 CTS season for Ultra Motorsports will run a Dodge in some selected races during the year as a teammate to #7 Mike Wallace in Winston Cup, Wallace will supposedly stay in a Ford but the #7 could switch to a Dodge in 2002(3-29-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing the Ultra Motorsports team is going to run a second car at Indy in the Brickyard 400. Supposedly will use the #07 and Ted Musgrave supposedly will drive it, no idea on a sponsor or if it’ll be a Ford or Dodge(5-3-2001)
    UPDATE 2: While Ultra Motorsports owner Jim Smith pursues Gordon to drive his #7 Ford, he also becomes a Dodge team owner in Winston Cup this week when the organization finishes up the Intrepids it will carry to Indianapolis for the Brickyard 400. Ted Musgrave, whose three wins this season are tops in the Craftsman Truck Series(and drives for Smith in the CTS), will be the driver(Sporting News-Inside Dish)(6-25-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Musgave who was to run the #07 Mopar Dodge at the Brickyard 400 for Smith, supposedly will no run at Indy as they are not happy with the car, so plans are supposedly to run in the near future(7-30-2001)
  • Throttle Cut Off Fails? #21-Elliott Sadler said a throttle cut-off switch might have caused him to crash on the third lap. He continued racing and finished 23rd. “That’s two weeks in a row that thing’s cut off on me,” Sadler said of the device developed to shut the engine off when the throttle is stuck. “It made me hit the wall [last week] in New Hampshire and then cost us a lot of points here today. I know it’s a safety device, but that’s two weeks in a row it’s killed us, so we’re going to try to do something different about it.”(Roanoke Times)(7-30-2001)
  • Valvoline and BBBSA: In just 2 1/2 years, Valvoline’s NASCAR team-based fundraising effort on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has topped $600,000 in contributions. Going into this weekend’s (Aug. 3-5) Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, total donations from Valvoline and NASCAR fans are $606,220, one of the most successful cause-related programs in motorsports history. #10 Valvoline Pontiac driver Johnny Benson is the new national spokesman for “Caring Hands”, as well as an honorary Big Brother. Valvoline donates to BBBSA throughout the Winston Cup season, based on Benson’s on-track results: $5,000 for .a race win; $2,500 per pole position; $1,000 for a top-10 finish; $500 for a top-20 finish; and $20 for each lap led. Valvoline will donate $1 million to BBBSA if Benson wins the pole and race on the same weekend for any of this season’s remaining Cup events. In addition, Valvoline pledges to donate $100,000 to BBBSA if race fans and the general public submit 100,000 handprints to Valvoline by the end of the racing season. Fans can submit a trace of their handprint to Valvoline at www.valvoline.com(Vavoline PR)(7-30-2001)
  • Some Paint Scheme Rumors: hearing that #40-Sterling Marlin is running a “Kiss” paint scheme somewhere this year and that #6-Mark Martin is running a Viagra car with special ultra reflective metal flake paint for the upcoming Bristol night race(7-27-2001)
    UPDATE: yes it is a KISS, rock-n-roll band scheme, supposedly it’ll run at Homestead(7-30-2001)
  • SDRC and Hendrick: SDRC announced it has renewed and expanded the company’s marketing alliance with Hendrick Motorsports with a five-year contract effective immediately. Hendrick’s engineering team uses I-DEAS(R) software for design, analysis, and manufacturing requirements on the team’s high-performance racecars. Hendrick sponsors three drivers in the NASCAR Winston Cup including, #5-Terry Labonte, #25-Jerry Nadeau, and #24-Jeff Gordon. “We have very clear objectives in our business,” said Jim Wall, engineering group manager, Hendrick Motorsports. “We want to win races. A critical few seconds make a big difference on the track, and we’re working daily to gain the slight edge needed to win races. I-DEAS provides the technology that enables us to design, test, and manufacture cars and engines — in fact, we build over 700 engines each year. We’ve already gained significant improvements in our processes with I-DEAS, and we’re pleased to be renewing our relationship with SDRC to further expand our use of this technology and our overall business results.”(Business Wire)(7-30-2001)
  • Wells/PPI Motorsports in Trouble? Some who should know believe owner Cal Wells is worse off than many believe and could be out of the game after this season. Wells faces the loss of McDonald’s, sponsor of his #96 team, and is negotiating with Tide, sponsor of his #32. The McDonald’s unrest has kept Andy Houston’s #96 out of the past two races, and although the team will return at Indy, it may run only a limited schedule the rest of the way. McDonald’s plans, meanwhile, remain entirely unclear, although most believe the company will not be a team sponsor next year. Wells is trying to keep a brave face on his two-year-old effort, which began with much fanfare at Daytona in 2000 but has been hobbled by misfortune from the start. He said he expects to be able to clarify the McDonald’s/96 situation by mid-week. He adds that he and Tide are on good terms and that he hopes to have that side solid by the end of the season. Wells recently re-signed Ricky Craven, driver of #32.(SpeedVision)(7-30-2001)
  • 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)
  • Talladega Rules? There are whispers that thought is being given to a larger roll cage and body configuration for cars in the October race at Talladega(Sporting News)(7-30-2001)
  • Dallas Cowboys and RCR? UPDATE 3: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones may not be able to get his team to the Super Bowl, but he could have a car in Daytona. Officials confirmed Thursday that Jones is negotiating to invest up to $10 million in the Richard Childress Winston Cup racing team. Jones has said the goal is to have an agreement in place by February of 2002 when the NASCAR season starts with the Daytona 500. These discussions are the latest example of the Cowboys thrust to market the club beyond the football field. The club attempted to strike a deal to have their colors and logo placed on a car in the Direct TV 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway last year, but the deal fell through(FoxSports)(7-27-2001)
    UPDATE: Jerry Jones, owner of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, has been in discussions with Richard Childress Racing to either invest in or sponsor a Winston Cup team next season(That’s Racin’)(7-28-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Jones has talked with Richard Childress, president of Richard Childress Racing, on issues of NASCAR ownership and the business of securing sponsors to pay the bills. “We’re just in the preliminary discussion stage right now,” Jones said. “We recognize that NASCAR is an outstanding sport and has a great number of fans who have a lot of synergy with Dallas Cowboys fans.” Jones has been told by NASCAR officials that “upwards of $9 million to $12 million a year” can be brought in by sponsors vying for advertising space on the car. “As owners — again, if we’re involved — we will use the credibility and the visibility of the Dallas Cowboys to promote the racing team during its season and have a [marketing] tie-in during our season,” Jones said. “We are going to be sponsored by other companies. That’s the business of racing … to cover your expenses of owning a car. If you do it right, that could mean upwards of $9 million to $12 million a year covered by sponsors. Certainly, we would anticipate that.” Jones wouldn’t hint at possible sponsors. But he has had business associations with Pepsi-Cola, Miller beer and Dr. Pepper, to name a few. “It would be obvious to everybody that this was the Dallas Cowboys’ car out there,” Jones said. “It will done — if we do it — strictly on a business basis.” Jones’ sons, Stephen and Jerry Jones Jr., are involved in the day-to-day operation of the Cowboys, and they also have significant roles in projects such as Dallas’ new Arena Football League team, which begins play in 2002. “Right now, this is the Dallas Cowboys teaming up with people who are in the [NASCAR] business,” Jones said. “But no matter what we might do here, my focus will remain on football. I am the owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys. The car, the visibility, the success of [racing] would be done just like I run the Dallas Cowboys — just not by me.” Jones’ family members will handle all corporate decisions, even the hiring of the driver(Star Telegram)(7-29-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Might we see the silver background and blue star of the Dallas Cowboys on a Richard Childress car in the future? It’s a distinct possibility. “We’d be crazy not to listen to the Cowboys,” says Childress, whose stable includes five cars — three in Winston Cup and two in the Busch Series(Sporting News) and a story at NASCAR.com Childress: On Purvis, Harvick, Cowboys(7-30-2001)
  • Cope at the Brickyard: from the Derrike Cope website: “Quest Motor Racing will be running a Winston Cup car at the Brickyard 400 and it will be a Chevrolet number 37. The sponsor will be Geico Direct. It is a one off sponsorship race. Also DeeZee will continue as the associate sponsor, both on the remaining Winston Cup efforts as well as the Busch Grand National (BGN) events. In addition, IWX Motor Freight (Steve & Joan Coulter) and Stoops Freightliner have been involved, and we are very pleased to be affiliated with them for the Brickyard. We are excited to be going to Indianapolis. We tested there and had a productive test. We have made changes to the car with the hopes of improving some things aero-wise, as well as a substantial increase in horsepower when we return for qualifying.”(Derrike Cope Site)(7-30-2001)
  • Skinner Support: Injured driver Mike Skinner(#31) says the fan support he has received since he incurred multiple injuries an accident July 15 at Chicagoland Speedway has been an eye-opener to him. “The support from everybody has been phenomenal,” said Skinner, who plans to make his return to the #31 Lowe’s Chevy at Michigan in mid-August. “The fans’ support is probably the biggest surprise to me — I didn’t know I had this many fans. I have received so many phone calls, cards and gifts. The outpouring has been amazing and I want everyone to know how much I appreciate their caring, support and sympathy. Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse and Rockwell Automation have been extremely supportive of me during this time and have really showed me how much they care about me, not as just a driver but as a friend.”(NASCAR.com Buzz)(7-30-2001)
  • TRAC Opens Office: Team Racing Auto Circuit (TRAC), the startup stock-car racing series, opened its new 5,000-square-foot headquarters this week at Huntersville Business Park. President Jon Pritchett says the new league — whose board includes TV executive Robert Wussler, former NBA exec Carl Scheer, racing vet Michael Kranefuss and retired driver Cale Yarborough — will benefit from being in the “home of racing’s intellectual capital.” The TRAC office is in the same business park that houses NASCAR’s Joe Gibbs Racing and industry consultant Don Hawk. TRAC is scheduled to launch in spring 2003(The Business Journal)(7-30-2001)
  • Data Recorders Revisited: There again was talk about accident data recorders during the manufacturers’ safety meeting with Winston Cup drivers and crew chiefs last week at Indianapolis. The model discussed would be half the size of a laptop computer and wireless so teams would not be able to use the devices to enhance traction control or telemetry(Sporting News)(7-30-2001)



  • (7-29-2001)

  • Labonte Donates: Bobby Labonte honorary chairman of the Cody Unser First Step Foundation, has sent some valuable racing memorabilia to be auctioned Aug. 6 at the 5-star Hyatt Tamaya Resort and Spa in the high desert north of Albuquerque. Labonte sent an original uniform and a helmet, each autographed, from his championship season in the Winston Cup series to the Fiesta auction. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the First Step Foundation’s programs to generate public awareness, medical cooperation and research for Transverse Myelitis, also know as TM. Cody Unser, 14 and going into her freshman year of high school in Albuquerque, became paralyzed from the chest down in February 1999 when the rare condition TM attacked and disabled part of her spinal cord leaving her in a wheel chair. Since forming her foundation in the fall of 1999 with money donated by Labonte, Cody has become a nationally recognized figure in TM and other issues relating to paralysis with her Cody Unser First Step Foundation. Labonte, who filled in for Cody’s father Al Unser Jr., in the 1999 International Race of Champions series, sent his $60,000 IROC winnings to help Cody. Labonte has been the foundation’s honorary chairman since it began. The Cody Unser Celebrity Golf Fiesta is Monday, Aug. 6, and Tuesday, Aug. 7, at the new championship caliber Twin Warriors Golf Course at the recently completed Hyatt Tamaya, located on the Santa Ana Pueblo reservation between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. For more Golf Fiesta information, see CodysFirstStep.org(Camp and Assoc PR)(7-29-2001)
  • IROC at Indy: Indy Racing League driver Al Unser Jr. will replace Scott Goodyear again in Saturday’s final round of the IROC series. Goodyear is still recovering from a lower-back fracture suffered in the Indianapolis 500. Unser first subbed for Goodyear in the third IROC event of the season at Michigan, and finished second behind Tony Stewart. A victory this week would make Unser IROC’s all-time race winner; he currently shares the record of 11 wins with the late Dale Earnhardt(Charleston Post and Courier)(7-29-2001)
  • One Engine Rule Again? NASCAR is moving closer and closer to a one-engine rule for Winston Cup, which means teams could use only one motor during a race weekend. Such a rule would do away with trick, and expensive, qualifying motors. Said driver Ken Schrader: “I think it’s something we need. I think it would be good for our sport. It’s not to make any difference in the show. It’s just going to save a tremendous amount of money in the garage area. I think that is something that really needs to be addressed — the cost of this sport. It’s getting out of hand.”(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-29-2001)


  • Wendell Scott Memorial Essay Contest: South Boston (Va.) Speedway has created the Wendell Scott Memorial Essay Contest to encourage high school students to learn about African Americans and motorsports. The contest will culminate with the selection of three finalists that will be awarded a share of $5,000 in scholarships. The presentation of the awards will take place during pre-race activities prior to the start of South Boston’s Sept. 28 NASCAR Truck series race. Students wishing to participate can secure information via South Boston Speedway’s Web site, www.southbostonspeedway.com . Eligible high school age participants are encouraged to write an essay between 1000-2000 words that focuses on African Americans and motorsports. Essays must be received by South Boston Speedway (P.O. Box 1066, South Boston, VA 24592) on or before Sept. 10. The late Wendell Scott, of Danville, Va., competed often at South Boston, and considered it one of his home tracks. He was the first and only African American driver, to date, to win a NASCAR Grand National (now Winston Cup) event, Dec. 1, 1963, in Jacksonville, FL(That’s Racin’/PR)(7-28-2001)
  • #12 Crew Member Hurt UPDATE 3: Derek White, a mechanic with the #12 Winston Cup team of driver Jeremy Mayfield, fell off the lift gate of the team’s hauler while loading Mayfield’s car Sunday following race at New Hampshire. White fell 8-10 feet and suffered several injuries, including a possible broken left shoulder and a cut above and beyond his left ear. He was airlifted from the track to Concord Hospital, where he was admitted for treatment. He was awake and alert when admitted and is expected to remain at the hospital for a few days. White, 38, has been with the team since December.(That’s Racin’)(7-22-2001)
    UPDATE: Derek White, 38, of Penske Racing remains in Concord (N.H.) Hospital this morning. He is listed in fair condition with a fractured left scapula, fractured left clavicle, fractured rib, skull fracture and sub-arachnoid hemmorhage. White was apparently injured when he fell from the team.s transporter during the loading of the Jeremy Mayfield car following Sunday.s race at Loudon, N.H.(Williams Company of America PR)(7-23-2001)
    UPDATE 2: White has been upgraded to good condition and they are considering moving him to North Carolina in the next day or so(7-26-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Derek White, the mechanic with Jeremy Mayfield’s team who fell from the lift gate on the back of Mayfield’s hauler following last Sunday’s race at New Hampshire International Speedway, has been moved to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte(That’s Racin’)(7-29-2001)
  • Biffle and Cup in 2002: Greg Biffle said Friday at Pikes Peak International Raceway that he will more than likely run seven Winston Cup races in 2002 to coincide with a full Busch Series slate(for Roush).(NASCAR.com Buzz)(7-28-2001)
  • Spotters at Indy: Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Tony George apparently will open up the top of his new Formula One pagoda to NASCAR team spotters for next week’s Brickyard 400. Spotters have been complaining for several years about poor sight lines from their stand atop the second and fourth turns(Winston Salem Journal)(7-28-2001)
  • Goodyear Troubles? Goodyear engineers are under considerable pressure this week from some drivers and crew chiefs upset with right-front tire problems in the last few races. Goodyear is taking a second look at the tire Mike Skinner blew at Chicago, considering the possibility it might not have been cut after all, as the tire maker first suggested(Winston Salem Journal)(7-28-2001)
  • Gail Davis hurt: Gail Davis, wife of Winston Cup team owner Bill Davis, crashed her motorcycle while driving across Virginia en route to Pocono on Thursday. Davis didn’t break any bones or suffer a concussion, and she returned to her High Point, NC, home(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-28-2001)
  • Hmiel Stays as Crew Chief: Ty Norris, executive vice president of motorsports at Dale Earnhardt Inc., said Friday Steve Hmiel will remain as crew chief for Michael Waltrip’s #15 NAPA Auto Parts team through the end of the season. Hmiel, DEI’s director of motorsports, has been filling in since the team released former crew chief Scott Eggleston in June(That’s Racin’)(7-28-2001)
  • Petty Enterprises Upgrading: Continuing its effort to upgrade its access to the cutting edge of research and development technologies, Petty Enterprises has begun working with Elan Motorsports Technologies Group for its NASCAR teams. Elan is known for its engineering development, including the company that designed and manufactured the first car to exceed the speed of sound. Petty Enterprises fields three teams in NASCAR Winston Cup competition, as well as a team in NASCAR’s Craftsman Truck Series. “This is another step in bringing our organization closer to where it needs to be,” said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. “We’re working hard to make our race teams better in every way. Working together with Elan is a good way to keep that going.” The first project involves scale-model cars developed for wind tunnel research. This allows the engineers to try a large variety of subtle changes in a minimal amount of time, to give a multitude of aerodynamic adjustments a chance in the wind tunnel. Other major development projects are also underway. “This is the type of research and development we need,” Petty said. “In every NASCAR division these days, hundredths of seconds are making the difference. This is another step in finding those hundredths and tenths that we need to move back to where we want to be.” Elan Motorsport Technologies Group is located just north of Atlanta, Ga. Its core business is its motor sport technology center, which provides composites, engineering, engine development, servicing and design, and fabrication facilities(Williams Company of America PR)(7-28-2001)


  • Cookbook to help out: Members of ThatsRacin.com’s stock car forum have joined forces to compile a unique cookbook of their favorite recipes, from appetizers to tailgatin’ staples and everything in between and lend a hand to some children in need at the same time. The book is hard cover and illustrated with artwork by one of the forum posters and has racing quotes and more. The cost of $18.50 includes shipping and handling. The after-cost proceeds of this book, about $5.00 per book, will be donated to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Founded by Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises, and his wife, Pattie Huffman Petty, the camp will serve as a retreat for seriously ill children and will honor of their son, Adam Petty. Orders must be placed in advance, no later than Aug. 31. A minimum of 200 orders are needed in order to submit the cookbook to the publisher. Once the minimum 200 orders have been received, the order will be sent in and the books published in about two months. Once printed, the books will be shipped Priority Mail, hopefully in time to use as Christmas gifts or as recipes for your holiday meals(to order, see That’s Racin’)(7-27-2001)
  • Dodge Rules Change: NASCAR officials announced today that modifications to the front air dam for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series 2001 Dodge Intrepid will go into effect beginning with next weekend’s NASCAR Winston Cup event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This modification will allow Intrepid teams to extend their front air dam two inches forward below the bumper from the current measurement. The front air dam is described as the area below the bumper. The bumper will remain in its standard position(NASCAR PR)(7-27-2001)
  • Dale Jr Believes Broken Seat Belt: Dale Earnhardt Jr. says in an interview in the September issue of “Playboy” magazine that he believes his father’s seat belt broke in the crash that killed Dale Earnhardt in the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18. “He had an impact with the steering wheel,” Earnhardt Jr. says. “That means the seat belt had broken, or he couldn’t have been that far forward. That’s a long way – you could hit your chin on the wheel, maybe, but not your chest. He had broken ribs from the wheel and that has to mean a broken belt.” Earnhardt’s autopsy showed broken ribs on his left side, but questions about a separated seat belt’s role in his crash on the final lap in this season’s first race have been argued since that day. NASCAR is expected to issue its report on the crash sometime next month(That’s Racin’)(7-27-2001)
  • Earnhardt Report Date Pushed Back: NASCAR president Mike Helton said the much-anticipated accident report from the crash that killed Earnhardt at Daytona in February won’t be finished for several weeks. NASCAR initially said the report would be concluded in early August, perhaps before the Brickyard 400. “We’re certainly into the middle of August now (before the release),” Helton said during Brickyard testing at IMS. “It might go to the end of the month, too.” Helton confirmed that the sanctioning body conducted an extensive accident re-creation last week at Daytona International Speedway, although he would not elaborate on the session or discuss the findings that came from it. NASCAR might not be able to pinpoint what killed Earnhardt, given the many elements involved, including the impact of the crash, the driver’s severed seat belt and the lack of a head-and-neck support system(Indianapolis Star)(7-27-2001)
  • Hermie to Help Out: The marketing firm of Body Dynamics Racing Bodies, through their efforts working with America’s Most Wanted, they are able to assist with yet another missing persons case. With the generous efforts of #13-Hermie Sadler and his sponsor the Virginia Lottery, the placement of two little girls’ photos will be on his car for the Brickyard 400 festivities. “Hermie gave me a call and mentioned that he and his sponsor the Virginia Lottery would like to assist in a missing persons case by donating space on his car for the Brickyard,” Stated Scott Davis, Media Relations Director for Body Dynamics, “I took him up on his offer, and placed a call to America’s Most Wanted and took on a case.” The case is that of two young girls missing from South-Side Chicago. Little Tionda, age 10 and her sister Diamond, age 3 was last seen by their mother at 6:30 a.m. on Friday, July 6, 2001, and was last seen by friends in the neighborhood around noon on that same Friday playing outside their apartment complex. “We were glad to help out,” mentioned Hermie, “I took notice when Body Dynamics Racing and America’s Most Wanted placed the picture of Chandra Levy on the #92 car in Daytona during the Pepsi 400 and I thought what a great idea that was, so I contacted Scott and my sponsor to see what we could do to assist in the future. Since the next race for me to compete was to be the Brickyard it was logical to offer space on my car for that event.” The girl’s pictures will adorn the TV panel at the rear of the car as well as the 800-CRIME-TV number, so persons can call directly in with information. America’s Most Wanted will be featuring the story of these two missing sisters on the July 28, 2001 edition of their program. “Since we made our announcement in Daytona, that Body Dynamics Racing Bodies, Inc. and America’s Most Wanted have teamed up for NASCAR competition for 2002 and beyond, some members of the family of NASCAR teams have pulled together and offered their assistance to get things off the ground and start finding missing children as soon as possible.” Said Davis, “This brings attention to the focus of what were are looking to accomplish with the AMERICA’S MOST WANTED TEAM next year as well as shows interested corporations how they can benefit by associating themselves with this project.”(Body Dynamics Racing Bodies PR)(7-27-2001)
  • Pruett to run at Watkins Glen UPDATE 2: on ESPN2’s RPM 2Night, Scott Pruett announced he would drive a Cingular Dodge for Chip Ganassi. No word on if he’ll drive the #01 Cingular Dodge that Jason Leffler drivers like Dorsey Schroader did at Sears Point with Leffler attempting (and missing) the race in the #04 Cingular Dodge(7-23-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing Leffler will sit out the Watkins Glen race and that Pruett will run the #01 Dodge(7-25-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Road racing driver for hire Scott Pruett will be driving the Chip Ganassi Racing-owned #01 Dodge at Watkins Glen for the Winston Cup event on Aug. 9. Jason Leffler, the regular driver, will be stepping aside for the event. Leffler also sat out last month’s Winston Cup road course event at Sears Point Raceway when Dorcey Shroeder drove his car(NASCAR.com) and Leffler missed the race running the #04 Dodge(7-27-2001)
  • Stewart talks to Ganassi about Indy 500 in 2002: Tony Stewart said he has talked to team owner Chip Ganassi about driving his IRL car in next year’s Indianapolis 500, but they have not discussed a Winston Cup partnership, as was rumored at last week’s CART race, where Ganassi’s team competed(Indianapolis Star)(7-27-2001)
  • Sad News: NASCAR official, Ray Judy, passed away Wednesday afternoon at approximately 4:30pm. At his bedside were his loving wife Donna and his supportive family. Ray will be dearly missed by family, friends and the racing community. We all extend our prayers to the family for strength. For those that would like to send their condolences please email [email protected].(RacingWest)(7-27-2001)
  • Teen Hurt at NASCAR School in Philadelphia: A 15-year old Wilmington, Delaware boy has been injured during a NASCAR racing school for urban youth in Fairmount Park. Curt Tori was taken to a local hospital after crashing his race car which is one-quarter the size of a regular NASCAR vehicle. Tori was racing his number 25 car when he swerved to avoid another racer on the makeshift course at Memorial Hall in Philadelphia. His car slammed into a Philadelphia police cruiser. The officer was not hurt, Tori was taken off the course on a stretcher. Witnesses say he was alert and talking. The race has been cancelled. (KYW News), some notes: the race was cancelled due to rain, not the accident. And Dale Earnhardt Jr was there at the event; plus see a story at the Philadelphia Daily News(7-27-2001)


  • Testing at Indy – Tues/Wed UPDATE 2: NASCAR Winston Cup Series testing for this year’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been set according to the car owner point positions as of June 15, 2001. Those teams in the odd-numbered point positions tested last week, July 16 and 17. Those teams positioned in even-numbered positions will test on July 24 and 25.(NASCAR PR), see my Brickyard 400 Testing Chart to see when each team can test and the speeds from last weeks testing. Both #44-Buckshot Jones and #20-Tony Stewart were scheduled to be among the teams to test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last week but the teams were granted permission by NASCAR to test at Indianapolis this week to allow their drivers to recover from their soreness. Also, Robby Gordon will test the #31 in place of injured Mike Skinner and Andy Houston is scheduled to test the #96 car(7-23-2001)
    UPDATE – Speeds the Top five speeds from Tuesday’s testing:
    #28-Rudd 175.809 mph
    #9-Elliott 175.552
    #15-Waltrip 175.128
    #10-Benson 174.706
    #12-Mayfield 173.957
    Other listed: #57-David Keith in a Ford, #84-Shawna Robinson, Morgan Shepherd is listed in the #84 too (probably a typo, should be #80), Ed Berrier is listed in the Sadler Bros #95, Derrike Cope was there in the #37 and Ted Musgrave in the #07(supposed to be a Dodge). #26-Jimmy Spencer had the fastest lap of last week’s test for half the expected entry list at 177.560, followed by #24-Jeff Gordon at 176.481 but tempertures were much higher today(Brickyard400.com)(7-24-2001)
    UPDATE 2: #12-Jeremy Mayfield was the fastest during Wednesday’s testing at 177.312mph. Mayfield ran the lap before ambient temperatures reached 90 degrees and track temperatures hit 134. The session was ended approximately three hours early due to afternoon rain. Mayfield’s speed was just a tick of the watch off of #26-Jimmy Spencer’s 177.560 best in last week’s test. The top five speeds, all run in the morning, were:
    1)  #12A-Jeremy Mayfield, 177.312
    2)  #19B-Casey Atwood, 176.512
    3)  #02-Ryan Newman, 176.291
    4)  #93A-Dave Blaney, 175.864
    5)  #15A-Michael Waltrip, 175.709
    (Brickyard400.com for full list of speeds)(7-26-2001)
  • 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)


  • Hedrick to Return? with Earnhardt? UPDATE: hearing a rumor I have not been able to confirm – that Kerry Earnhardt, oldest son of the late Dale Earnahrdt, will supposedly be driving a BGN car for former #41 team owner Larry Hedrick. Supposedly the team will receive cars, engines, and all engineering help from DEI. The plan is to run BGN and move up to Cup. Not sure when or if the team will run it’s first race(7-24-2001)
    UPDATE: two rumored sponsors are McDonald’s and RealTree(Dale Sr’s Assoc and the #71 Sponsor)(7-25-2001)
  • Well Denies Layoffs UPDATE 2 McDonalds – 5 more races?: Owner Cal Wells denies reports that there were additional layoffs last week at PPI Motorsports despite news that the No. 96 Ford and driver Andy Houston would not compete at New Hampshire or this weekend at Pocono. “Things in racing always evolve, and you have to be prepared for them,” Wells says. “That’s what we’re doing.” Word spread in the garage last weekend that as many as 30 workers had received pink slips. PPI laid off 14 employees earlier in the season. The team will attempt to qualify for the Brickyard 400(Sporting News)(7-23-2001)
    UPDATE: have personally heard from three people who were let go at PPI Motorsports last week, so….(7-24-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hearing the team trainer left this week and that McDonalds will be on the #96 Ford for five more races in 2001 (indy being one) and leave at the end of the year(7-25-2001)
  • Austin Petty UPDATE 2: been asked often about Kyle Petty’s son Austin and his plans for racing, never had much of an answer, her is a good column about Austin and his future plans: Another Petty working to step up by Jim Utter of That’s Racin'(7-13-2001)
    UPDATE: looks like the AP picked up on the story, see CNN/SI for the story with an image: In the blood – Petty teenager considering continuing family tradition – His friends call him “Road Rash” because of the numerous scrapes on his body from a recent spill on his motorcycle. But to everyone else, he’s “another Petty,” viewed as the next in line to continue the family business.(7-19-2001)
    UPDATE: History was made twice Tuesday night during round seven of the OdoBan Summer Shootout Series at Lowe’s Motor Speedway as Austin Petty became the fifth member of racing’s “first family” to visit victory lane at the legendary speed plant and the first races were run on Goodyear’s long-shelved stock car rain tires. Following in the tire tracks of his great grandfather Lee, grandfather Richard, father Kyle and brother Adam, Austin Petty took the checkered flag in the 15-lap Bandolero Outlaws feature. The 19-year-old son of Kyle and Patti Petty, started second in the nine-car feature, took the lead at the green flag and lapped all but three cars en route to the checkered flag in the 15-lap event on the rain-soaked quarter-mile oval. Driving NASCAR Winston Cup–style convertibles fitted with Goodyear rain tires on loan from Hendrick Motorsports, Busch Series drivers Andy Santerre and Mike McLaughlin battled in three three-lap races during the NASCAR Grudge Match. The confrontation came down to the final three-lap shootout with Santerre emerging victorious after both cars spun coming off turn two on the final lap. James Sanders of Concord, N.C., was the lucky fan selected to ride alongside Santerre, who credited his years of experience driving on snow in his native Maine with giving him the edge on the slick track, while Charlotte Observer columnist Tom Sorenson was a passenger in McLaughlin’s machine.(Lowes Motor Speedway PR), Actually it was four Petty’s Lee never won at Lowes/Charlotte Motor Speedway(7-25-2001)
  • Missing Persons Update: Have you ever wondered if any of the missing people that certain teams display on their cars are ever located? Seven-year-old Tori Lynn Wollangur Disappeared in January when her mother did not return her to the custody of her father in Cheboygan, Michigan after a visit. The county sheriff and Michigan State police placed warrants out for the mother while the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children placed Tori’s picture on Internet sites and in law enforcement databases. Don Sak displayed Tori’s photograph on the hood of his Chevy Camaro, in the Trams Am race (for the BF Goodrich Tires Cup), during the June 16-17 race weekend. Thousands of spectators saw her face at the track and on television and thanks to several race fans Tori was spotted her in Guadalajara, Mexico with her mother. Tori was returned to her father safe and sound in the wee hours Friday morning. Her mother was deported to Houston, TX where she was arrested and is awaiting extradition to Michigan for trial.(Race2Win) plus see a column in the Charlotte Business Journal: America’s Most Wanted now has a new target: NASCAR and at That’s Racin’: Sponsorship approach would help missing persons(7-25-2001)
  • Pocono June 2002 date? UPDATE: Tickets.com is reporting – Pocono 500 (June 9, 2002) Tickets Will Be Available For Purchase On July 29, 2001(7-24-2001)
    UPDATE: also hearing billboards around the Pocono Raceway are touting June 9, 2002 and July 28, 2002 as the tracks two Cup dates in 2002(7-25-2001)
  • Rudd on TV: Sunday at 1:30pm on CBS (hmm…during the Pocono race, nice), Ricky Rudd will appear on “Topspin”, a tennis show started by the United States Tennis Association, now in its fourth season. The segment will show Rudd spending time at the Talladega 500 in April, with longtime ATP Tour player Todd Martin, of Ponte Vedra. Martin is a former U.S. Open and Australian Open finalist and Wimbledon semifinalist(7-25-2001)


  • Robby Gordon back in the #31 at Pocono UPDATE: NASCAR.com reports that Robby Gordon, who is on a race-to-race basis with RCR to run the #31 Lowes Chevy, will be back in the car at Pocono next weekend(7-23-2001)
    UPDATE: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports that Robby Gordon will drive the #31 Lowes Chevy in the next three Cup races, Pocono, Indy (where he is testing) and Watkins Glen(7-24-2001)
  • New Hampshire TV Ratings: TNT posted a solid 5.2 rating/12.5 share for NASCAR’s New England 300 (Sunday, July 22, from 2:03 to 5:38 p.m.). The race, from the New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, N.H., delivered 4,248,000 households, the second-most watched NASCAR race in basic cable history. Among the weekly highlights for TNT: NASCAR’s New England 300 was the top-rated sports program on cable for the week, the #1 sports program in delivery of adults 18-49 (3,897,000) and the top program overall in delivery of adults 25-54 (4,223,000). TNT’s 5.2 rating for the New England 300 was a 24 percent increase vs. the same race in 2000 (4.2 rating). For NASCAR, the race was #1 in delivery of adults 18-49 (3,897,000) in basic cable history. The race tied for all-time best delivery of adults 25-54 (The Coca-Cola 600 on May 24, 1998 on TBS Superstation also delivered 4,223,000). The race was the second most-watched ever in basic cable history (TNN’s NASCAR Winston Cup Series delivered 4,524,000 households on Feb. 21, 1999).(NASCAR/Turner Network Television PR)(7-24-2001)
  • Gordon on Millionaire: Winston Cup driver #24-Jeff Gordon, former NBA player Charles Barkley, boxer Laila Ali and tennis player Serena Williams are among the athletes competing in a sports edition of ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” airing Sept. 10. The quiz show will move to Mondays as a lead-in to “Monday Night Football,” while a regular edition will air Thursdays.(AP/That’s Racin’)(7-24-2001)
  • Safety Lug Nuts: A lug nut is, you might think, just a lug nut. But C.D. McGarr has something he believes will change your mind, especially if you’re the owner of a team that races in NASCAR. And he has come all the way across the country to prove it. McGarr, age 70, and his son Chris have been in Charlotte for nearly two weeks now trying to get somebody interested in what McGarr calls his “safety lug.” A couple of years ago he was watching a Winston Cup race and saw loose lug nuts cost Dale Earnhardt a chance for a victory. McGarr wanted very much to see Earnhardt win a record eighth championship, so he went to work. See full story at That’s Racin’: Inventor tries to sell sport on safety lugs(7-24-2001)
  • Target as a Sponsor? The name Target has re-emerged as a potential NASCAR team sponsor in the past couple weeks, and that refers directly to Chip Ganassi Racing, with Sterling Marlin and rookie Jason Leffler. Team officials say, however, that Coors likely is steady as Marlin’s sponsor. A renewal with Leffler sponsor Cingular is “under negotiation”. But Target in NASCAR is at least a year away, they say. Target, of course, is mega-major backer of Ganassi’s CART teams. Target is keeping an eye on its niche, with Kmart and Wal-Mart, sources say. Wal-Mart will not be a player, as that is not in corporate philosophy, sources add. Team owner Travis Carter said he had a good meeting with Kmart officials after the Joliet race and hopes to extend that sponsorship beyond 2002, its present end date. Target’s name may have reappeared on the screen as a result of a test of Indy Racing League-pattern cars by Ganassi at Nashville last week, which came in under the radar. Target likely would be the sponsor of a Ganassi IRL effort(SpeedVision)(7-24-2001)
  • Cup vs MNF? There’s already talk that NBC might ask NASCAR for at least one Monday night race in 2003 to go head-to-head on TV with Monday Night Football(Daily Press)(7-24-2001)


  • Third Ganassi Team? If Chip Ganassi finds proper backing, he might have a third Cup team in the works for next season(Sporting News)(7-23-2001)
  • Bouchard Back? Ken Bouchard, a former Winston Cup Rookie of the Year, was prowling the New Hampshire garage area while taking a break from his most current endeavor, running a driver training school and recreational driving program for NASCAR Modifieds at Thompson (Conn.) Speedway. Bouchard, who formerly worked as a driving instructor for the Richard Petty Driving Experience before starting his own, growing program three years ago, said there is some talk of bringing his program to New Hampshire; but that he would rather be back in his own race car. Bouchard, who had a successful NASCAR Modified career before winning the 1988 rookie award, said he was trying to put together his own Winston Cup program to run a limited schedule of races in the Northeast, including New Hampshire, Dover and Pocono(NASCAR.com Buzz)(7-23-2001)




  • Jarrett wins at NHIS: #88-Dale Jarrett got around teammate #28-Ricky Rudd with 5 laps to go to win the New England 300 at New Hampshire, Rudd ended up 3rd with #24-Jeff Gordon finishing 2nd. It is Jarretts 4th win of the year and he is still tied with Gordon in the Winston Cup but now holds the tiebreaker edge since he has 4 wins to Gordons 3 (Gordon led the most laps and got the same 180 points Jarrett did). #7-Mike Wallace ahd his best non-restrictor plate finish of the year with a 10th, #50-Rick Mast finsihed 14th and #45-Kyle Petty was 26th. See That’s Racin’ for New England 300 results and for Updated Winston Cup points. Also see the story: Sunday’s race rewind (7-22-2001)
  • Magazine Stuff: Nancy and John Andretti are featured in the July 23 edition of Newsweek. The two-and-a-half page spread, which marks the first time a NASCAR-related feature story has been noted on the cover of the prestigious magazine, concerns families in NASCAR racing, and uses Nancy and John, as well as Jarett, Olivia and Amelia, as the example of how families cope with the extraordinary life of travel and competition. The writer was veteran reporter Daniel McGinn. It marks the first time a NASCAR-related feature story has appeared in Newsweek since November, 1999, when the magazine ran a two-page spread on the “Science Of Stock Car Racing,” and featured the Mobil 1 Taurus team of Jeremy Mayfield(Williams Company), see the story online: Married to NASCAR
    AND The marketing firm of Body Dynamics Racing Bodies, Inc., is proud to announce, that through their efforts working with America’s Most Wanted and fulfilling the request of John Walsh to profile the case of missing intern Chandra Levy on a Winston Cup car has gained notoriety for Melling Racing and their driver Stacy Compton. “Organization of this project was through the efforts of multiple talents,” Stated Scott Davis, Media Relations Manager for Body Dynamics, “From Mr. Walsh’s Publicist Avery Mann, to the public relations manager of Melling Racing Andrea Pemberton, we all worked together to place Chandra’s picture on the car for the Pepsi 400. Which yielded eight calls into the 1-800-CRIME-TV phone bank.” The most recent publicity comes from PEOPLE magazine, in the July 23 issue in which the Chandra Levy case in addition to Molly Bish, Amy Bradley and Jill Behrman three other unsolved missing persons cases out of Washington, DC are profiled. In this article an inset photograph of the #92 Melling Race car carrying the picture of Chandra Levy is seen, with a mention that the NASCAR driver Stacy Compton publicized the case in a July 7 race in Daytona Beach, Fla.(Body Dynamics PR)(7-22-2001)
  • Fan Killed. Many Injured: One spectator died and at least 11 others at an auto race were injured late Saturday when two cars went into the stands. Three people were taken from Lorain County Speedway in medical helicopters to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, about 40 miles east of the track. A nursing supervisor at the hospital said Virginia Wyleth, 65, was pronounced dead early Sunday, about five minutes after she was brought into the emergency room. The supervisor said Wyleth had extensive injuries. She did not immediately know Wyleth’s hometown. The names of the two other people brought to the hospital were not available. A nursing supervisor identified them as a 19-year-old man and a 45-year-old woman and said both were listed in satisfactory condition with leg injuries. A third injured person, Ivan Zirkle, 69, of Avon, was flown to the hospital from Community Health Partners, a hospital system in Lorain. He was listed in satisfactory condition with spinal injuries. Others were taken to hospitals throughout the area. Lorain County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Jim Drozdowski said at the track that he was told 12 or 13 people were injured and were taken for treatment in helicopters or ambulances. The accident occurred about 11:30pm Saturday. “Two of the cars accelerated and bumped and the drivers lost control, went over a guard rail, took out a fence and hit a set of stands,” Drozdowski said. Rich Rankin, operations manager for the track, said it has a seating capacity of about 2,700 spectators. He said the crowd at the time of the accident was considerably smaller than that, but he would not estimate a number. He said the two cars involved did not flip and did not catch fire. He also said the two drivers were treated at the scene and did not appear to be badly hurt. A rainstorm at the track about two hours earlier was not a factor because the track was dry, he said. “I can’t really say how the accident occurred. We’ve got to put it together. It’s far too early in the investigation to say what happened, and I think this is going to take a while to sort out,” Rankin said. Bob Hennings said he was driving his car in the race on the speedway’s three-eighths mile banked, oval track when the crash occurred. “Two cars ahead of me shortly after the green flag (to start the race) got involved and hit a guardrail and went up and over into the stands. It was a bad accident. But it’s usually a safe track,” Hennings said. Lorain County Speedway runs Saturday night NASCAR Weekly Racing Series events in five race divisions: NASCAR Racing Series Late Models, Modifieds, Sportsman, Grand Nationals and Spectator Stocks. It features mostly local drivers and is in its 53rd season of racing. Hennings said 17 drivers were racing in a Late Models event when the accident occurred.(ESPN/AP)(7-22-2001)
  • Eyler with Foyt: Skip Eyler, who left (#55-BGN, #81-Cup) Davis & Weight Motorsports’ crew chief position more than a month ago, has hooked up with #14 A.J. Foyt Racing, where he made an immediate impact last week at Chicagoland Speedway in his primary role as shock specialist. Driver Ron Hornaday qualified 16th and exited the race early with a blown engine. On Friday, Eyler’s presence was felt again at New Hampshire when Hornaday qualified a season-best 11th. The veteran mechanic also served as Hornaday’s spotter at Chicagoland and will serve in that role for Sunday’s New England 300.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(7-22-2001)


  • New Seat/Cocoon? UPDATE: An innovative driver’s compartment that could become NASCAR’s most revolutionary safety device sat behind a closed garage door Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Only the most privileged in the Winston Cup division got to see it. What the participants saw of the cocoon-shaped compartment which bolts into the cockpit of a stock car, they liked. Especially the drivers. “It’s real nice and it’s definitely safer,” said former series champion Rusty Wallace, among those testing at the Speedway in preparation for next month’s Brickyard 400. “I can’t wait for NASCAR to let me give it a whirl.” Instead of the simple aluminum seat, which NASCAR has used for decades, the new driver-encompassing device is made of stronger but more forgiving carbon fiber. That’s the same material used in the tubs that protect Indy-car drivers. The compartment on display Tuesday was designed by PPI Motorsports, a Winston Cup team owned by Cal Wells, who came to the series from Championship Auto Racing Teams. Matt McArdle, the team’s technical director who designed the device, declined to discuss his creation. NASCAR has yet to approve it for use in its cars.(Indianpolis Star)(7-18-2001)
    UPDATE: Jeff Burton said he is close to being ready to discuss his data on a new driver compartment and composite seat. Burton has been working with PPI Motorsports on carbon-fiber seats and safety enhancements in the driver area. He’s waiting to go over the final data with a manufacturer, then plans to release his findings. The composite seat he has worked with Cal Wells’ operation to develop will be tested again in another week or two. Once finalized, Burton plans to release his findings(Richmond Times DispatchAND Manufacturer representatives and NASCAR officials met with drivers and crew chiefs this week to discuss safety updates at Indianapolis after one of the days of testing there. A second group of drivers is scheduled to test there next week, and a similar meeting will be held. Teams were shown the capsule seat PPI Motorsports and Jeff Burton have worked on along with Reynard and Dr. John Melvin, a Michigan-based biomedical engineer and one of the leading experts on racing injuries. A capsule seat was bolted into the skeleton frame of a car and many drivers sat in it and tested getting out of the vehicle. Drivers also were told of updated test results on the various head restraint systems and were shown crash-test video. “They had a lot more technical information than they had the first time,” said Todd Bodine, referring to January meetings at Daytona during testing. “They had a lot of experts there that really made everybody understand why certain things were the way they were and why they worked that way. Before, they just kind of told us what was the best. “Everybody was really happy with what they did and why they did it and looking forward to more of them and … making everybody safer.”(Racing Extra)(7-21-2001)
  • 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)
  • #81 Team Prepares for Indy UPDATE 3 Green Released? 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)
  • Brickyard Tribute to Earnhardt: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Chairman Tony George said Friday at Nashville Superspeedway that his track will not over-emphasize the popular driver’s death with tributes at next month’s race. With Teresa Earnhardt ‘s approval, the Speedway will show a pre-race video of its 1995 Brickyard winner and devote a page to him in the race program. Similar things were done last year in honor of Indianapolis native Kenny Irwin Jr., who also was killed in a stock-car crash. “I felt like most of the closure would be when they went back to Daytona (two weeks ago),” George said. “Enough time has passed now, everything has been done (tribute-wise) and people have grieved. It’s time to move on.” George said Teresa Earnhardt asked last week that any tribute the Speedway did be “upbeat,” which George agreed to(Indianapolis Star)(7-21-2001)
  • Sad News: A sprint car driver who lost control of his car on the Deming Speedway (Wash.) straightaway and hit a wall died Friday night. Alex Kope was driving in the second of four heats at the 19th annual Northwest Clay Cup nationals at the speedway near Bellingham, the Bellingham Herald reported. He lived just outside of Bellingham. He was airlifted to St. Joseph Hospital, where he died shortly before 9:00pm/pt. PDT. The crash occurred about 8:30pm. No official cause of death was released late Friday night. Raceway officials speculated he might have suffered a heart attack before the crash(APAND A Whatcom County sprint-car driver died Friday night after racing in the 19th Annual Northwest Clay Cup Nationals at Deming Speedway. Alex Kope was pronounced dead at St. Joseph Hospital shortly before 9 p.m. Kope lost control of his car during a qualifying race Friday and crashed into the wall between turns one and two. Officials who removed from him from the car said he appeared to have had a heart attack before the accident. The official cause of death was not released, pending examination by the coroner. The Clay Cup is one of the largest sprint-car races in the Pacific Northwest. Almost 500 people were at the race Friday(Bellingham Herald)(7-21-2001)
  • Marcis Grand Opening: Dave Marcis, driver/owner of the #71 Realtree Chevy is having the grand opening at his recently purchased restaurant and resort motel in Rib Lake, WI this weekend and will be on hand for it(7-21-2001)
  • Grissom Practices at NHIS: Steve Grissom ran some laps at New Hampshire yesterday, putting him in position to fill in as a relief driver if a Truck or Winston Cup team needs him this weekend. Grissom practiced in the Petty Enterprises truck driven by Carlos Contreras. Because he has Cup experience here and has been on the track this weekend, Grissom could fill in for a driver with approval by Winston Cup Director Gary Nelson(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-21-2001)
  • Russert at NHIS with Mayfield: #12-Jeremy Mayfield, will host Tim Russert, the widely-respected television journalist from NBC.s Meet The Press prior to the New Hampshire 300 race at the speedway. Russert will be attending with his son, Luke. “I don.t get much of a chance to watch television on Sunday mornings but I sure know who Tim Russert is. Of course, so does the President and everybody in the Senate and the House,” Mayfield said. “I hear Luke is a fan, and that.s great too. Everybody on the team is looking forward to having Tim and Luke join us Sunday morning.” The Russerts are expected to arrive at the track in time to meet Mayfield prior to the noon drivers. meeting. Mayfield and crew chief Peter Sospenzo are planning on taking the two with them to it as their guests. Meet The Press is television.s longest-running show, premiering on NBC in 1947 and hosting every U.S. President since then. Russert became moderator in 1990, and is also political analyst for NBC Evening News with Tom Brokaw and Today. Russert also hosts his own show on CNBC, and his senior vice president and Washington, D.C., bureau chief for NBC News and is contributing anchor for MSNBC(Williams Company PR)(7-21-2001)


  • No #50 Sponsor? noticed on the #50-Rick Mast driven MidWest Transit Chevy that there were no Blair.com decals and the car was all red with no decals (excpet the #50 and small decals). Mast qualified 19th(7-20-2001)
  • Jeff Gordon wins the pole at NHIS for the New England 300. #24-Jeff Gordon wins the pole at New Hampshire with a speed of 131.770mph, his fifth pole of 2002. Outside pole goes to #6-Mark Martin with a speed of 131.724. Only one driver missed the race, #27-Mike Bliss of the Eel River Racing team, who miss their 6th straight race as they were not high enough in owners points for ProvisionalLand. #45-Kyle Petty qualified for the race 26th and is driving an all black car in honor of his son Adam, who was killed at NHIS in May 2000. #90-Hut Stricklin was the slowest in practice Friday but gutted out a great lap and will start 16th. The two drivers out of provisionals, #7-Mike Wallace and #14-Ron Hornaday both qualified well enough to make the race (#14 = 11th, #7 = 22nd). Among the drivers using provisional starting spots are #40-Marlin, rookie #01-Leffler uses his first of the year, #4-Lapage uses the team’s 6th and they are now out until Bristol (the 24th race on Aug 25th). The two drivers who had practice accidents and had to go to backup, #11-Bodine and #25-Nadeau had to use provisionals as they were too slow in unpracticed cars. See NASCAR.com for New England 300 Lineup or That’s Racin’ for Friday’s qualifying results or MotorSportsOne – Lineup(7-20-2001)
  • Craven Re-ups with Wells: PPI Motorsports (PPIM) announced today it has extended its relationship with Ricky Craven, driver of the #32 Tide Ford in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, by renewing his contract to drive for the team in 2002. The agreement keeps intact PPIM’s annual option to maintain its contract with Craven for forthcoming seasons. “Ricky’s experience and motivation have been a tremendous asset to both the Tide team and the development of our overall racing program,” said Owner Cal Wells. “By renewing our agreement with him now, we bring some consistency to the #32 team that will help us move closer to our long-term competition objectives.” “I’m having the time of my life racing with Tide and PPI Motorsports,” said Craven. “We’ve already had some great runs, and it excites me to know that the Tide team has the potential to get the job done on any given weekend. I’m looking forward to taking that momentum into next season.” “Ricky continues to be a great representative for Tide on and off the track,” said Tide brand manager Brian McNamara. “We are thrilled that he will be behind the wheel for us next season.”(PPI Motorsports PR)(7-20-2001)
  • Kyle at New Hampshire? UPDATE 5 Will Race: Kyle Petty has not decided if he or the #45 Sprint team will race at the New Hampshire race on July 22nd(CNN/SI-NASCAR Plus TV Show)(6-25-2001)
    UPDATE: Winston Cup driver Kyle Petty, whose oldest son, Adam, was killed in a Grand National series practice session wreck last May at New Hampshire International Speedway, remains unsure whether he will compete in the Winston Cup race at the track next weekend. Tuesday would have been Adam’s 21st birthday. Petty skipped both Winston Cup races at the track last season. “Right now I’m considering Chicago, and when I’m done with Chicago I’ll see about next week. This week has been a hard week because of Adam’s birthday. … There have been so many things this week that have brought back so many memories,” Petty said. “I couldn’t bring myself to go back last year and it’s kind of crept up on me this year. I’ll wait until the first of the week to see where I’m at. Everybody at Petty Enterprises, they know what my position is. They stand behind the whole program.”(That’s Racin’)(7-13-2001)
    UPDATE: Kyle Petty says he’ll announce a decision in a few days on if he’ll compete at New Hampshire International Speedway next weekend for the first time since his son, Adam, died in a crash there May 12, 2000. Petty said that the team’s crew members also have the option of not going. If Petty does not, Steve Grissom will drive for him. Grissom is the team’s test driver and also works as an adviser for Carlos Contreras, who drives for the Petty Enterprises truck series team. The trucks also will race at New Hampshire next weekend, so Grissom already was scheduled to be there(RacingExtra)(7-14-2001)
    UPDATE 2: CNN/SI’s NASCAR Plus reported tonight that Kyle Petty will run at New Hampshire in a black car with some Sprint decals and the #45 on the car. None of Kyle’s family will be at the track(7-16-2001)
    UPDATE 3: sources tell me that contrary to the CNN/SI report, Petty has not made up his mind regarding New Hampshire. As of this morning, he just was not sure. He said it could be as late as Friday morning before he makes a decision(7-17-2001)
    UPDATE 4: FSN’s Totally NASCAR show on Thurs reports that Kyle Petty is expected ro run at NHIS with Steve Grissom standing by(7-19-2001)
    UPDATE 5: A Statement From Kyle Petty: This is going to be a pretty tough week for our family, the 45 team and for everyone at Petty Enterprises. We.re anxious to race and we.re anxious to do well but we are in New Hampshire with mixed emotions. Bob and Gary Bahre are the greatest people in the world. We feel as badly for them as we do anyone. The fans in New England are fantastic and are some of our favorite people. It.s hard to find better and more dedicated fans anywhere. The Bahres and the fans up here are a large part of the reason we.re racing this weekend. But we have one more very big reason. Adam would want me and the 45 team to come here and race. As a tribute to Adam, we’ve repainted his race car. We wanted to do something special. We wanted an on-track memorial to him and to those who love him. This isn’t a Sprint car or a Petty Enterprises car or anything like that. For this weekend, this is an Adam car. I want this car to speak for itself. Adam’s car and this statement will be all we have to say this weekend. Pattie and I, my mother and father, our entire family and the members of the 45 team would just rather not do any interviews at all this weekend, and we appreciate the media.s understanding. The guys at the #43 and #44 have said they would be glad to talk about their race cars but they, too, want to join us in honoring Adam by letting the race car speak for itself. I love Adam, we all love Adam, and miss him terribly. Thank you for letting us come back to New Hampshire with such an understanding and loving manner.(Williams Company PR)(7-20-2001)
  • TNT Coverage: The New England 300 at Loudon will be TNT’s NASCAR (live) debut. Look for a very touching tribute to Kenny Irwin during the second segment of the PreRace show on Sunday. Also for the Saturday night BGN race look forward to “TNT’s Sounds of Racing” where for several laps at a time the announcers will remain silent letting only the noises of the cars and crowd tell the story. Also during this feature TNT will use mostly in-car cameras. (except for lead changes). TNT is also schedule to debut “Through the Field” where our announcers will provide analysis on every car on the track.(7-20-2001)


  • Austin Petty UPDATE: been asked often about Kyle Petty’s son Austin and his plans for racing, never had much of an answer, her is a good column about Austin and his future plans: Another Petty working to step up by Jim Utter of That’s Racin'(7-13-2001)
    UPDATE: looks like the AP picked up on the story, see CNN/SI for the story with an image: In the blood – Petty teenager considering continuing family tradition – His friends call him “Road Rash” because of the numerous scrapes on his body from a recent spill on his motorcycle. But to everyone else, he’s “another Petty,” viewed as the next in line to continue the family business.(7-19-2001)
  • Irwin/Earnhardt/Petty Tribute: NHIS will hold a race-day tribute to the late seven-time champion, Dale Earnhardt. Details are still being worked out and are expected to be announced tomorrow(Union Leader), no word on if they will have a tribute for Kenny Irwin(7-18-2001)
    UPDATE: According to NHIS owner Bob Bahre, track officials are planning a ceremony to honor Dale Earnhardt, Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin Jr. prior to Sunday’s New England 300. Earnhardt, also known as The Intimidator, was one of NASCAR’s best-known drivers. With his trademark black racing suit and aggressive style of driving, Earnhardt quickly gained the respect of his NASCAR peers. The 49-year-old Earnhardt was killed during the Daytona 500 in February, when his No. 3 Chevrolet Monte Carlo hit the wall on the final lap of the race. Earnhardt won a record seven Winston Cup points titles and hd 76 career victories. Petty was killed last May when his car barreled into the wall in Turn 3 at NHIS. Irwin was killed two months later when his car hit the same wall at NHIS, near the spot where Petty’s car hit. Race officials blamed stuck throttles for both incidents. “We’ve got a lot of respect for Dale and the other two kids,” Bahre said. “We couldn’t have a ceremony for Dale and not the other two. That just wouldn’t be right.” The ceremony, which will be performed prior to the race on Sunday, will include a prayer from Bishop Michael Cody of Portland, Maine. Along with the prayer service will be Winston Cup’s season-long ritual of having complete radio silence during Lap 3 in memory of Earnhardt. While race fans and drivers alike will remember Earnhardt for his intimidating character, Bahre said he always will remember a softer side of The Intimidator, one that included regular visits to him and his son, Gary, when the Winston Cup Series was in town. While the death of Earnhardt was a shock for Bahre, the NHIS owner was taken aback this week by the reaction of several Winston Cup drivers following Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s victory at Daytona in the Pepsi 400. Following the race, several drivers voiced concerns that Winston Cup officials and other drivers, specifically Michael Waltrip, fixed the race to let Earnhardt Jr. win. “Earnhardt Jr. has been running strong since February,” Bahre said. “What’s wrong with these people? If he had the best car, he deserved to win the race.”(Fosters Daily Democrat)(7-19-2001)
  • Qualifying Rules Changed UPDATE: ESPN2’s RPM 2Night mentioned tonight that starting at New Hampshire that qualifying would consist of one lap of qualifying instead of the two laps that have been run this year. The exceptions are tracks smaller then one mile (Bristol, Richmond and Martinsville) and the two restrictor plate tracks, Daytona and Talladega(7-5-2001)
    UPDATE: it was mentioned on FSN’s Totally NASCAR show on Thurs that the Cup drivers would run 2 laps of Qualifying for the New England 300 at New Hampshire(7-19-2001)
  • New Hampshire Bread and Breakfast fire UPDATE: The owner of a bed and breakfast was killed in a fire at the inn Tuesday morning and one member of a NASCAR promotional team staying there was critically hurt. Police Chief James McGonigle said six or seven people were staying at the inn. They are members of a promotional crew for a NASCAR sponsor for this weekend’s Winston Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway in nearby Loudon(I understand they are part of the Silverado Truck Racing Tour and the Monte Carlo Truck Tour that do promotions for Chevrolet). ”These people are not the pit crew or anything like that,” Fire Marshal Don Bliss said. The injured person was flown to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in critical condition, he said. Flames broke out around 1:30 a.m. ”When I arrived, it looked like a complete disaster,” fire Chief Albert Dionne said. He said people were running around, yelling that others were still in 2½-story White Rabbit Inn. Bliss said at least two other people were injured, including a firefighter treated and released for heat exhaustion and a civilian admitted to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He said firefighters had to pluck one or two people from a second floor balcony. Another person was carried out.(Boston Globe/AP) and more at That’s Racin’(7-17-2001)
    UPDATE: A man is recovering from critical injuries sustained in the fire that destroyed the White Rabbit Inn and killed its owner. Lonny Klug of Lake Isabella, Calif., is in fair condition, said a Massachusetts General Hospital spokeswoman. A member of a NASCAR promotional team, Klug was staying at the White Rabbit when the fire broke out early Tuesday morning. Emergency workers rushed Klug to Concord Hospital. He was subsequently airlifted to the Boston hospital, where doctors listed his condition as critical. State Fire Marshal Donald Bliss said yesterday the fire started accidentally in the kitchen, either in an electrical outlet or a coffee maker. Officials will continue to investigate(Concord Monitor)(7-19-2001)
  • Skinner Sore but OK UPDATE 6 Gordon in at NHIS, No torn ACL: #31-Mike Skinner took a hard hit when a front tire blew on his car on Lap 23, pitching him hard into the wall. He was taken to a hospital, was found to have a concussion and a fractured left ankle, and was patched up and released. It is not known whether Skinner will be able to compete next week at New Hampshire. Actually Skinner was wearing the HANS device, not Hutchens Device(7-15-2001)
    UPDATE: Mike Skinner suffered a fractured left ankle and a mild concussion Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway after a cut right-front tire sent the #31 Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse Racing Chevrolet into the outside wall. Skinner was transported by ambulance to the Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Ill., for evaluation. He was treated and released Sunday afternoon. “Mike Skinner sustained a fracture in his left ankle that will require a specialist to determine what the next step will be,” said Dr. Marius Katilius of Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center. “The CT scan showed no signs of injury and no abnormalities. He has no head, neck or internal injuries.” The Lowe’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo was running in the fourth position when the right-front tire went down and caused Skinner to hit the wall between turns one and two on lap 23 of the inaugural Tropicana 400. “I passed a few cars as soon as the race started and had set my sights on the #66 car,” Skinner said. “I was catching him and then ‘pow,’ the right-front tire went down on the Lowe’s Chevy. There was no warning at all — just like when I cut a tire at Texas two years ago. I think we ran over some debris on the race track.” A decision will be made regarding Skinner’s status for this weekend’s event at New Hampshire following his appointment with a specialist on Monday afternoon(RCR PR)
    UPDATE 2: am hearing Mike Skinner will NOT drive at NHIS this weekend. No word on who will drive the #31 Chevy. Maybe Jeff Green can hitch a ride with Kevin Harvick from St Louis? also hearing Ted Musgrave could be in the #31? hmm….how about Dave Marcis?(7-16-2001)
    UPDATE 3: another scenerio I am hearing, Robby Gordon in the #31 at NHIS and Ted Musgrave in the #7 Ford for his CTS owner, Jim Smith
    UPDATE 4: hearing from sources that Robby Gordon will drive the #31 Lowes Chevy at NHIS, no word on the #7 Driver AND the Sporting News is reporting: Robby Gordon, who drove last week for Jim Smith in the #7 Ultra Motorsports Ford, will be the relief driver for the #31 Lowe’s Chevrolet. Mike Wallace will be back in the #7 car for the weekend at Hew Hampshire. Because Ted Musgrave is a Dodge factory driver in the truck series, he will be unable to fill in for Smith(no idea why Musgrave was allowed to drive at Pocono in the #7 Ford)(7-17-2001)
    UPDATE 5: Mike Skinner could miss several weeks as a result of injuries sustained from a wreck in Sunday’s Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway(That’s Racin’AND Skinner has a torn ACL in his left knee and a fractured left ankle, and he will have surgery. Yesterday afternoon he was at the doctor’s office in Daytona Beach, his home, discussing medical options. Royce McGee, Skinner’s crew chief, said that Skinner will be out for at least three weeks. McGee said there was a slim possibility that Skinner could be back in the car for the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis but that it was doubtful. He said that Skinner is hesitant about making a return the next weekend at Watkins Glen, a demanding road course that requires a lot of footwork. Gordon is only be substituting in the Childress car for sure this weekend, but if things go well, he would likely be in the car for the races at Pocono and Indianapolis as well. Lowe’s, which sponsors the team, expressed interest in having Jeff Green in Skinner’s car, but Green will be running the Busch tour this weekend in St. Louis. Kevin Harvick, Skinner’s teammate, is making the cross-country run to make both the Cup and Busch events, but he will be giving up a lot at both tracks, in terms of practice and qualifying. Next weekend, the Busch stop is near Denver while the Winston Cup stop is at Pocono.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-18-2001)
    UPDATE 6: Mike Skinner had his fractured left ankle operated on Wednesday morning. Doctors also said the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) that was originally thought torn, was just an aggravation of a 1998 injury. Dr. Craig M. Hankins, of Hankins Orthopedic Center in Daytona Beach, Fla., performed the surgery. He put two titanium screws Skinners left ankle. The doctor chose titanium screws to expedite the healing and rehabilitation process. One was 42 mm long and the other was 30 mm long with each screw being four millimeters in diameter(NASCAR.com)(7-19-2001)
  • #96 to skip NHIS? Pocono? UPDATE 5 Official Statement: hearing that the #96 PPI Motorsports team and driver Andy Houston will not be running at New Hampshire or Pocono and still hearing rumors that McDonald’s is pulling out
    UPDATE: ESPN2’s RPM 2Night is reporting that Houston and the #96 team will not run any races until the Brickyard 400 on August 5th (skipping NHIS and Pocono)(7-16-2001)
    UPDATE 2: on Tuesday’s RPM 2Night it was reported that Andy Houston wanted to make sure folks know that he has not been released from the #96 McDonalds PPI Motorsports ride and has heard nothing official from the team about missing any races. PPI Motorsports says they have having ‘challenges’ regarding the McDonalds sponsorship. Also am hearing PPI released a bunch of employees who worked on the #96 and McDoanlds is very close to leaving the team and it is not sure what their future involvement in the sport is.(7-18-2001)
    UPDATE 3: 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 4: PRN’s Garage Pass radio show reports the reason the #96 McDonalds PPI Motorsports Ford is not running the next two weeks is that McDonalds is not sending anymore payments and feels they have fullfilled their monetary obligations(7-19-2001)
    UPDATE 5: PPI Motorsports and McDonald’s are currently engaged in proactive discussions regarding the McDonald’s #96 Winston Cup entry driven by Andy Houston. While this joint evaluation continues, the decision has been made not to enter the #96 Ford in the next two Cup events at New Hampshire and Pocono. PPI Motorsports is reviewing their staff requirements and is adjusting accordingly. At present, no further comment can be made(PPI Motorsports PR) AND from a McDonalds PR: Statement by Georgina Roy, McDonald’s manager of sports marketing: “Since McDonalds and PPI Motorsports are currently in discussions relating to the sponsorship program in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, the PPI-owned McDonald’s #96 Ford Taurus will not compete in this weekend’s New England 300 at New Hampshire International Raceway and in next week’s Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway.”(7-19-2001)
  • Shepherd Changes his own CTS tires UPDATE: many readers had told me this and it was confirmed on ESPN2’s RPM2Night that #21-Morgan Shepherd changed his own tires during a pit stop at the Kentucky CTS race. I was told by a source that it was done for two reasons: one was that Shepherd had a few volunteers on his crew who had never changed tires before and another reason was he deliberately got out and change the tires to illustrate the fact that he needs a sponsor. He supposedly had hooked it up with the TV crew to be there but then something else happened or he didn’t time it right. Shepherd also plans to go to New Hampshire this week and supposedly is going to rent a Winston Cup crew for the race(7-16-2001)
    UPDATE: Morgan Shepherd was a one-man pit crew during the July 14 truck race at Kentucky, a feat made much more difficult because he was driving the entry. On Shepherd’s lone pit stop of the race, he got out of the truck, jacked up the right side and changed both tires. Before getting back inside, he sat down on pit wall to eat some chips and drink a soda(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read online)
    AND Shepard could be seen working on his truck in his old CITGO driver’s uniform. Shepherd asked the #89 CTS team (Stan Boyd) if they could loan him one impact gun, nitrogen cylinder, hose and jack for the race, which we did. It was Shepherd’s intent to attract attention to his needing sponsorship that he WANTED to pit himself. The #89 team had offered to pit his truck for him, but he had spoken to ESPN, and MRN about his intention and declined the offer. While MRN did mention it on the air, ESPN declined to show it(7-19-2001)
  • Sadlers film a Commercial and Hermie at Homestead too: The Sadler brothers were at Richmond International Raceway yesterday to film a commercial for the Virginia Lottery. Hermie Sadler’s car(#13), sponsored by the Lottery, is featured on a new scratch card due out in August. The “pole position” car offers 11 chances to win by matching car numbers. Elliott Sadler agreed to come to Richmond and join his brother in the ad. For him, it was the latest addition to a busy week. He tested his Wood Brothers car at Greenville-Pickens Speedway Monday and Tuesday in preparation for this weekend’s race at New Hampshire. He’s planning on testing his Richmond car before returning in September. This is a big race for the Sadler family. Hermie is trying to make one of the four remaining races he is planning this season, and Elliott is competing for the million-dollar bonus. He qualified for the No Bull cash by finishing third at Daytona. If he wins at Richmond, he nets the extra million. Hermie Sadler has added to his original schedule. He announced his plans to run the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last month. Now he is adding the November race at Homestead-Miami to the schedule.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-19-2001)
  • Sacks to Race: Greg Sacks a former winner on the Cup and BGN circuits and former Modified Champion will return to his modified racing roots in the TS Haulers #13 at Loudon, New Hampshire on July 20th. Sacks will team with TS Haulers Modified tour driver Bo Gunning for the race. The plan is for Sacks to run one race for longtime friend Ed Partridge ‘s TS Motorsports team. Sacks last drove a modified in 1997 at Loudon in a Curt Chase #77 backup car. Sacks will drive a car recently purchased by TS Motorsports from the 2000 Modified tour Championship team. TS Haulers Motorsports races weekly at Riverhead Raceway on Long Island and fulltime on the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour(TS Motorsports PR)(7-19-2001)
  • NASCAR News: NASCAR officials announced today former Darlington Raceway President James H. (Jim) Hunter has been named Vice President of Corporate Communications for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. Hunter assumed his new duties this week, along with three additional new members of NASCAR’s communications team. Robert M. Copeland, a public relations strategist for the past 25 years, joins NASCAR as its managing director of public relations. Former Director of Communications for the House Budget Committee, Bill Greene, is coming on board as NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division public relations manager. Former Tampa Tribune Assistant Sports Editor Herbert Branham will join Danielle Humphrey on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. John Griffin, who has headed NASCAR’s public relations department for the past six years, will continue to work on special communications projects, including business marketing and television initiatives(NASCAR PR)(7-19-2001)


  • RJR to make NASCAR it’s Sole Sponsorship UPDATE: In a bid to comply with the 1998 tobacco settlement, R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. officials will announce Tuesday that their sole sponsorship next year will be bankrolling stock car racing’s Winston Cup Series and will abandon its relationship with the NHRA Drag Racing Series. No decision has been made concerning RJR’s future with golf’s $1.6 million Vantage Championship. The settlement agreement doesn’t preclude RJR from using the company name in other sponsorship, such as the golf tournament. NASCAR officials have operated all along with the understanding that RJR wouldn’t turn away from a relationship that dates to 1971, but the manufacturer had to reduce its sponsorship to a single cigarette brand by the end of the year to comply with the tobacco settlement. R. J. Reynolds, through its Winston brand, has long been a major supporter of both the NASCAR stock car racing and NHRA drag racing series. The Winston Cup has been the championship trophy of NASCAR’s premier series since 1971, with the company’s support of the point fund growing from $100,000 the first year to more than $13 million this season. Since 1971, when driver Junior Johnson helped bring the parties together, RJR has contributed more than $112 million in NASCAR purse, bonus and points-fund money. It’s not only pumped in money but also was influential in reshaping NASCAR so that it held fewer, bigger races. Studies reveal that Winston is far and away the No. 1-sponsor, in terms of on-air mentions, during televised NASCAR events. That exposure alone would cost Reynolds countless millions, if it were still allowed to buy the airtime. Winston also has significantly benefited from deep fan loyalty. RJR officials acknowledge the brand’s share among NASCAR Winston Cup attendees and fans is five times that of its national share.(CNN/SI)(7-16-2001)
    UPDATE: NASCAR kept its top sponsor Tuesday when R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. picked the Winston Cup stock car series as the one program it can bankroll under the 1998 tobacco settlement. Under the Master Settlement Agreement — with which tobacco companies had to be in compliance by the end of the year — cigarette manufacturers had to reduce their sponsorship to a single program over a 12-month period. RJR had to choose between NASCAR, the National Hot Rod Association and the Vantage Championship, a Senior PGA Tour event. RJR said it would end its 27-year partnership with the NHRA at the end of the year. It is still deciding what to do with the Vantage Championship, a golf tournament held near its headquarters in Winston-Salem, N.C., since 1987. RJR can continue to sponsor the event, but it can’t be called the Vantage Championship because Vantage is another brand of cigarettes.(That’s Racin’/AP) and a story: RJR faced difficult decision on sponsorship(7-18-2001)
  • Ultra Motorsports to Clear Driver Situation this week UPDATE 2 Wallace in the car for the rest of the year: #7 Ultra Motorsports owner Jim Smith on Saturday night said he expected to settle the long-term status of his NASCAR Winston Cup team early in the coming week. “Mike Wallace announced he’s been released — he HASN’T been released,” Smith said. “We have other people involved, such as NationsRent, that have to OK what we’re gonna do. We’ll know definitely Monday or Tuesday, but there’s nothing final there.”(NASCAR.com)(7-16-2001)
    UPDATE: Robby Gordon, who drove last week for Jim Smith in the #7 Ultra Motorsports Ford, will be the relief driver for the #31 Lowe’s Chevrolet. Mike Wallace will be back in the #7 car for the weekend at Hew Hampshire. Because Ted Musgrave is a Dodge factory driver in the truck series, he will be unable to fill in for Smith(Sporting News)(7-17-2001)
    UPDATE 2: The arrangement between Wallace and Ultra Motorsports owner Jim Smith is on a “race-to-race” basis, sources said. Smith has used Ted Musgrave (once),Robby Gordon (twice) and Wallace (once) in the car over the past four races. It appeared that Gordon would remain in the car for this weekend’s race, but that changed when he accepted an offer Monday night from Richard Childress Racing to drive the #31 Loves Chevy at NHIS(That’s Racin’AND both Mike Wallace and Jim Smith were be on ESPN2’s RPM 2Night Tuesday and Smith said Wallace will be in the #7 car for the rest of the season (7-18-2001)
  • NBC TV Ratings UPDATE: The Inaugural Tropicana 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race from the new Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday was the highest rated sports event of the weekend. The race earned a 4.8 overnight rating and 12 share, according to figures released today by Nielsen Media Research. There is no ratings comparison as this was an open date on the NASCAR Winston Cup schedule in 2000. The rating built throughout the race and peaked with a 6.2 during the final 15 minutes from 6-6:15 p.m. ET as rookie Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag for the second time this season after taking over for Dale Earnhardt after his tragic death at the Daytona 500, February 18. The Tropicana 400’s 4.8 rating topped all sports programming over the weekend followed by Major League Baseball on Fox on Saturday (3.9) and the Senior Players Championship final round on ABC on Sunday (2.5). For every half-hour from 3:30-6 p.m. ET the Tropicana 400 beat the combined network sports competition on ABC (PGA/Senior PGA) and CBS (Tennis/NFL Quarterback Challenge/Tour de France). The Tropicana 400 was the second NASCAR Winston Cup race in NBC and TNT’s new six-year agreement with NASCAR to telecast “The Race for the Championship” over the second half of the NASCAR season. National ratings are expected to be available tomorrow morning(NBC PR)(7-16-2001)
    UPDATE: NBC’s coverage of Sunday’s inaugural Tropicana 400 from the new Chicagoland Speedway was watched by 21 million viewers. The Tropicana 400 earned a 5.6 national rating and 14 share, according to figures released today by Nielsen Media Research. There is no ratings comparison as this was an open date on the NASCAR Winston Cup schedule in 2000. The 5.6 national rating is the best NASCAR Winston Cup afternoon delivery for races from May through November since the inaugural running of the Brickyard 400 from the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, August 6, 1994 on ABC. Through its first two races, NASCAR on NBC is averaging a 5.8 rating and 14 share. The national rating peaked with a 6.6 during the final 15 minutes from 6-6:15 p.m. ET as rookie Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag for the second time this season after taking over for Dale Earnhardt after his tragic death at the Daytona 500, February 18. For the second consecutive week NASCAR on NBC has attracted more than 20 million viewers. Last Saturday’s Pepsi 400 attracted a primetime record 25 million viewers. Saturday’s NASCAR Busch Series race from Chicagoland Speedway earned a 2.2 national rating and 7 share. There is also no ratings comparison as this was an open date on the NASCAR Busch Series schedule in 2000(NBC PR) and a story at MotorsportsTV: NBC Final Ratings Skyrocket in Chicago(7-18-2001)


  • Gant to Return for a Race? UPDATE 2: hearing Andy Petree Racing is preparing a car for retired Cup driver Harry Gant to possibly run at Martinsville. Not sure if it to run in the race or as a tribute of some sort. Gant retired from Cup after the 1994 season. That is all I have heard(7-13-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing Gant will not run the race but it is about restoring his old car and giving it to him at Martinsville on Ict 14th(7-14-2001)
    UPDATE 2: There’s been a rumor about APR possibly having a car for a “Harry Gant Day” at Martinsville, Va., in October. The rumor is somewhat true. “The X1 car that Harry drove to four wins in a row has recently been rebuilt by our shop guys. It’s sitting out in our showroom in the front of the shop. We are thinking about having the car at Martinsville for Harry, but not for him to race. It would just be a nice tribute, but nothing’s final on that yet,” Barkdoll said.(Henderson Times)(7-17-2001)
  • New Hampshire Grand Marshal: The dean of American motorsports writers, Chris Economaki, has been named Grand Marshal for the Sunday, July 22 New England 300 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at New Hampshire. Economaki is the editor and publisher emeritus of the racing weekly National Speed Sport News. His featured column, “From the Editor’s Notebook” is considered must reading by the motorsports community and fans. As a long time fixture at televised motorsports events, Chris was a member of the broadcast team when CBS Sports presented the first flag-to-flag coverage of a NASCAR event at the 1979 Daytona 500. In making this announcement NHIS President Gary Bahre said, “To most in the sport and certainly to my family, the name Chris Economaki and auto racing are synonymous. It is an honor for us to recognize his long and on-going contributions to our sport.” Economaki will be the honoree at the annual Grand Marshal’s Dinner on Saturday evening, July 21. Chris will give the command to start engines for the New England 300 at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 22.(NHIS PR)(7-17-2001)
  • Hmiel’s Son Wins: Shane Hmiel won on Saturday night notched his second victory of the season at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, grabbing the Bi-Lo/Lance 150 NASCAR Goody’s Dash series race. Shane’s father, Steve, is the team manager for Dale Earnhardt Inc. and a former crew chief of Mark Martin. Three-time defending Goody’s champion Robert Huffman, driving in his Toyota, finished second for the second year in a row(Greenville News)(7-17-2001)


  • Foyt/Hornaday to switch Manufacturers? If there was any question whether the Pontiacs are aerodynamically challenged, it was answered recently at Daytona. The top Grand Prix started 33rd for the Pepsi 400, and two Pontiacs didn’t make the field. Team owner A.J. Foyt can’t take it anymore. “NASCAR’s going to have to do something,” Foyt says. “We can’t go to another superspeedway like this.” And he won’t. Foyt, whose driver Ron Hornaday took provisionals to make the Daytona 500 and the Talladega 500, has threatened to take a Chevrolet to Talladega this fall if changes aren’t made to help the Pontiacs.(Sporting News)(7-16-2001)
  • Labonte Not Retiring: Though rumors persist, Terry Labonte wants it known he has no intentions of retiring soon. “If anyone has any questions regarding my status, they can ask me,” he says. Labonte says he would like to be the first driver to win championships in three decades. He won titles in 1984 and 1996, but he isn’t looking so hot this decade. He’s 26th in points after finishing 17th last year.(Sporting News)(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)(7-16-2001)
  • Robinson has a sponsor for the Brickyard: #84-Shawna Robinson’s failure to qualify for her second Winston Cup start did not deter sponsor Tropicana. The company announced Saturday night that it will again sponsor Robinson next month when she attempts to make the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis.(That’s Racin’/AP)(7-16-2001)
  • Buckshot OK: #44-Buckshot Jones made a trip to to same hospital after he too hit the wall hard in turn two. Riding along by himself, perhaps five lengths in front of Tony Stewart, Jones’ Dodge lost traction almost instantly and darted into the wall while spinning counterclockwise. The #44 Intrepid did not erupt in flames, a la Skinner, but Jones was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons. There he was released after having his right knee examined(Gaston Gazette)(7-16-2001)
  • Cingular Sponsorship moving? At least four teams are vying for a major sponsorship with Bell Atlantic/Cingular Wireless (Actually it is BellSouth not Bell Atlantic which is Verizon), according to NASCAR sources. The company currently sponsors Jason Leffler and car owner Chip Ganassi. Among the car owners expected to be talking with the company are Richard Childress and Bill Davis. Childress and Mike Skinner are assessing their situation, Childress says, but an announcement could still be a month away, according to Childress. Childress has made it official that Jeff Green will drive an AOL-sponsored car for him next season, ending months of debate(Winston Salem Journal)(7-16-2001)



  • Good Guy – Kyle Petty: Since 1999, the Sporting News ‘rates’ the sports top ‘Good Guy’s’, athletes who are helping their communities, Kyle Petty was chosen as NASCAR’s top ‘Good Guy’, others include: Jeff Gordon. Jeff Burton, Ricky Craven, Jimmy Spencer, Terry Labonte and Rusty Wallace. See full stories at: #1 NASCAR Good Guy – Kyle Petty from the Sporting News(7-15-2001)
  • Harvick wins at Chicago: #29-Kevin Harvick won the Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway, his 2nd win of the 2001 season and the 2nd in his 17th Winston Cup start. #77-Robert Pressley had a great run and finished a career best 2nd, his previous best finish of third came in 1998 at Texas and Pressley’s first top five since Michigan on June 2000 when he finished 5th. The Winston Cup points lead really tightened up with #24-Jeff Gordon and #88-Dale Jarrett tied with the lead at 2,515 points with #28-Ricky Rudd just 18 behind. Gordon is technically still the points leader – based on more second-place finishes that Jarrett so far this year. See That’s Racin’ for Tropicana 400 resultsWinston Cup points (after Chicago), and Winston Cup race points for Chicago (7-15-2001)
  • and Mike Skinner? UPDATE: It was what Richard Childress didn’t say about Mike Skinner on Saturday that will only fuel speculation about the driver’s future in the #31 Chevy. During the announcement that Jeff Green will drive the #30 car sponsored by America Online for Richard Childress Racing next year, the car owner was asked about Skinner. “We have another year with Mike Skinner and another year with (sponsor) Lowe’s,” Childress said. “What we’re doing now is just revisiting our whole RCR organization. …We might be able to make more announcements like that next month.” Asked specifically if Skinner’s contract meant he would definitely be in the car next year, Childress gave a similarly non-definitive answer.(That’s Racin’)
    UPDATE: Richard Childress clarified one piece of his ongoing Winston Cup jigsaw puzzle Saturday when he announced Jeff Green would drive his #30 AOL Chevy in 2002. That still left the status of #31 Lowe’s Chevrolet driver Mike Skinner up in the air. Childress, who at Sears Point last month said he and Skinner would discuss their options and decide if they wanted to make a change in the next few weeks, seemingly extended that “deadline” Saturday. “We have another year with Mike Skinner and another year with Lowe’s,” Childress said. “What we’re doing now is just revisiting our whole RCR organization. We’re in the mix of trying some things that I don’t think other teams have done. We’re going to put all three teams together. We’re going to have all the crew chiefs together. Right now, we’ve got several other things that we’re trying at RCR and this was a huge step to go with AOL and all. AOL was so good to work with through what happened in Daytona and us taking Kevin out of that car and putting him into the No. 29 car and put Jeff into it. We have a lot of things like that to work out. We might be able to make more announcements like that (regarding the No. 31 team) next month.”(NASCAR.com Buzz)(7-15-2001)
  • Sprague Staying in CTS: Jack Sprague emphasized at Kentucky Speedway that not only was he not looking to get out of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series — it was quite likely that he would end his career there. “I’m going to stay in this truck as long as this truck is running unless a good Winston Cup deal comes along — and a good deal would be with Rick or very few others,” said Sprague. “That hasn’t happened. I love what I am doing. I have a great team. Dennis (Connor, crew chief) and I have been together for seven years and that’s very rare.”(NASCAR.com Buzz)(7-15-2001)
  • Nelson Speaks on Penalty UPDATE Stewart Column: Winston Cup series director Gary Nelson, who was involved in the post-race altercations by driver Tony Stewart last week at Daytona, said he isn’t surprised by the varied reactions to the penalty assessed Stewart by NASCAR on Wednesday. NASCAR fined Stewart $10,000 and extended his probation through the end of the 2001 season for confrontations with Nelson and Winston-Salem Journal motorsports writer Mike Mulhern last weekend. Stewart was also told to apologize to Mulhern and NASCAR fans. “I think it’s like any decision NASCAR makes; I’ve heard it both ways. I’ve heard people say it was too much, I’ve heard it wasn’t enough, I’ve heard we should have handled it differently,” Nelson said. “It’s pretty much like we’re batting a thousand with decisions we make. We’re not pleasing everybody. That’s the way it works.”(That’s Racin’)
    UPDATE: Winston-Salem Journal motorsports writer Mike Mulhern has a column up about Tomy Stewart at Tony the Tiger – Stewart brings an unbridled passion to his work(7-15-2001)
  • Jeff Green to RCR #30 Cup team? UPDATE 6 Green is it: 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)
    UPDATE: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports Green will sign with RCR, but it is unknown which RCR car he will drive (#’s 29, 30 or 31), sources tell me that Green will be in the #31 Lowes Chevy for the 2002 season(7-4-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Childress gave no official word Thursday on his driver lineup for next year. According to some reports, Jeff Green will join RCR in one of three cars, but Childress was tight-lipped. “We hope to have things finalized by next week,” Childress said. “We’re hoping that if everything goes well, we’ll be able to have a little press conference and talk about RCR next week in Chicago.”(RacingOne)
    UPDATE 3: Jeff Green will move to Richard Childress Racing next season and drive the #30 Chevrolets sponsored by America Online in the Winston Cup series. Green, who drives for ppc Racing in the Grand National series, is already driving the #30 for RCR this season for seven races. The #30 was originally scheduled to be Kevin Harvick’s Winston Cup ride, but he moved to RCR’s No. 29 following the death of Dale Earnhardt, who was killed in a last-lap wreck in the season-opening Daytona 500. Green is also likely to drive several races in the BGN next season in RCR’s #21 entry, sources said. An official announcement of Green’s plans is scheduled for next Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway. In addition, Harvick is scheduled to continue driving RCR’s #2 entry in the BGN next season, as well as remain in the #29 car. He will run up to 20 BGN races. The future of Mike Skinner, driver of RCR’s #31 Chevy, remains uncertain(That’s Racin’)(7-6-2001)
    UPDATE 4: hearing Green has already signed a 3-Year deal with RCR and while it is unknow which car he will drive, it is looking like it’ll be the #30 Chevy(7-9-2001)
    UPDATE 5: With his team adding a third Winston Cup car next season, Richard Childress will announce the addition of defending Busch series champ Jeff Green to his stable of Cup drivers at a news conference Saturday. Childress previously announced a three-year sponsorship deal with America Online. Green, who qualified the #30 Chevy in the 29th position for Sunday’s Tropicana 400, is assured of the ride when the car races full-time on the Winston Cup circuit next season. “It’ll be official” Childress said after qualifying ended Friday. The ride had been intended for Kevin Harvick, but Harvick stepped into the GM Goodwrench Chevrolet after the death of Dale Earnhardt.(CNN/SI)
    UPDATE 6: Details on the Jeff Green…RCR…AOL deal…3 year contract. “This is an opportunity I got from driving for Dale Eanrhardt’s Busch team in 1995,” said Jeff Green. “I am excited about this chance to win races for Chevy.” Childress Racing News Conference…RCR racing announced that Jeff Green will drive the number 30 AOL Monte Carlo for the 2002 season.(Frontstretch)(7-14-2001)
    AND Saturday, Jeff Green cemented his deal to join Richard Childress Racing as the full-time driver of the #30 Chevy sponsored by America Online for at least the next three seasons. Green has already been working with the team on a part-time basis this season. This weekend is his third of seven races planned for the #30 this season. Todd Berrier, crew chief for Kevin Harvick’s #2 BGN team, will become crew chief for Green’s team. Childress said he has told Berrier he could pick eight people from each of RCR’s two BGN teams to help build his Cup team(That’s Racin’)(7-15-2001)
  • Humpy Bumper News UPDATE: The “Humpy Bumper,” an energy-absorbing safety device that was conceived and developed in Las Vegas, could be on the front ends of Winston Cup cars by the end of next month, according to one of its designers. Jason Schiers, vice president of Las Vegas-based Lew Composites, said the company soon will conduct one final test of the Humpy Bumper for Winston Cup teams at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and then will begin producing the devices for interested teams. Schiers said the on-track crash test would be more of a marketing tool than an actual data-collecting exercise. Lew Composites already has turned over to NASCAR data from earlier computer simulations and sled crash tests conducted at the University of Daytona Research institute and General Motors. “NASCAR understands the quality of the product and have pretty much given us a green light to put the product on the cars.” Schiers said. Although NASCAR will not mandate the use of the Humpy Bumper, it has told the company that it won’t prevent teams from using the device in competition. The Humpy Bumper was designed by Lew Composites founder and president Paul Lew along with Schiers and Ted Love. The device, which is expected to sell for about $6,000, will be produced at the company’s plant at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Research and Development Park. Made of a space-age unidirectional graphite fiber, the bumper has proven to lessen the impact on drivers during head-on and near head-on crashes, and will reduce the types of head and neck injuries that killed NASCAR drivers Dale Earnhardt, Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin and Tony Roper, Schiers said.(Las Vegas Sun)(7-13-2001)
    UPDATE: Winston Cup series director Gary Nelson said he hasn’t seen much testing data on the new “Humpy Bumper,” a front-bumper device made of a unidirectional graphite fiber that is designed to lessen the impact on drivers during head-on and near head-on crashes. The bumper, developed by Lew Composites of Las Vegas, has undergone computer simulations and sled-crash tests at the University of Dayton Research institute and General Motors. Officials at Lew said they recently turned over data on the testing to NASCAR. “Typically, what NASCAR does is not say much about projects in the development stages, and obviously that one is in the development stage,” Nelson said. “Like a doctor, you don’t want to prescribe medicine that could cause further problems, so we feel like we have a responsibility to the competitors. “Before we would mandate something, we want to make sure it doesn’t cause more problems. This is one of many projects in the development stages.” Nelson said it was too early to tell if the device, which costs about $6,000, would be mandated, available for teams to use at their discretion, or perhaps not be approved for us at all.(That’s Racin’)(7-15-2001)
  • McDonald’s on the Move? UPDATE 3: The future of McDonalds’ Winston Cup sponsorship is apparently on the line (currently on the #96 PPI Motorsports Ford with driver Andy Houston), according to NASCAR sources, with #9-Bill Elliott possibly in line to put the golden arches back on his uniform once again. And there are reports that Dodge’s dealers association may only be backing one of Ray Evernham’s two stock-car teams next season(Winston Salem Journal)(7-6-2001)
    UPDATE: The Dodge Dealers might be picking up some primary sponsors on Ray Evernham’s team. According to a garage source, don’t be surprised if McDonald’s rejoins Bill Elliott as his sponsor, and Matt Kenseth comes aboard with assistance from his long-time backer, DeWalt(Sporting News), don’t know anymore on the DeWalt/Kenseth thing(7-9-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Despite published reports to the contrary, Dodge Dealers will remain the primary sponsor of both Ray Evernham Motorsports Winston Cup teams next season with drivers Bill Elliott and Casey Atwood, said Dave Elshoff, senior manager of motorsports operations for Dodge. Elshoff said no changes are expected to the primary sponsors of either team. McDonald’s has been rumored to want to return to Elliott’s team and other reports have said the Dodge Dealers wanted to scale back their involvement. Both are untrue, Elshoff said. Elshoff said the Dodge Dealers have a five-year commitment to sponsor both Evernham-owned teams.(That’s Racin’)(7-14-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Bill Elliott–who was sponsored by McDonald’s for the previous six years, when he owned his own car–denied rumors he and the fast-food franchise are getting back together. ”As far as them coming back to sponsor me, there’s been no dialogue, no conversation, no anything,” said Elliott, who began driving for owner Ray Evernham’s new Dodge program this year. ”[The rumors] really surprise me. They chose to leave me. I don’t know why they’d want to come back.”(Chicago Sun Times)(7-15-2001)
  • Evernham own Chassis: Ray Evernham says his team plans to build its own chassis in the future. That will happen after a new shop is built. Evernham says construction of a 42,000-square-foot building next to his race shop should begin in about two or three months(Racing Extra)(7-15-2001)
  • Payton to be Honored: Bobby Hamilton’s #55 Chevy will carry a tribute to one of Chicago’s favorite sons. Employees from his primary sponsor, Square D, voted to put the word Sweetness” on the car to honor the memory of former Bears running back Walter Payton(Savannah Morning News)(7-15-2001)


  • Gant to Return for a Race? UPDATE: hearing Andy Petree Racing is preparing a car for retired Cup driver Harry Gant to possibly run at Martinsville. Not sure if it to run in the race or as a tribute of some sort. Gant retired from Cup after the 1994 season. That is all I have heard(7-13-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing Gant will not run the race but it is about restoring his old car and giving it to him at Martinsville on Ict 14th(7-14-2001)
  • Kyle at New Hampshire? UPDATE 2: Kyle Petty has not decided if he or the #45 Sprint team will race at the New Hampshire race on July 22nd(CNN/SI-NASCAR Plus TV Show)(6-25-2001)
    UPDATE: Winston Cup driver Kyle Petty, whose oldest son, Adam, was killed in a Grand National series practice session wreck last May at New Hampshire International Speedway, remains unsure whether he will compete in the Winston Cup race at the track next weekend. Tuesday would have been Adam’s 21st birthday. Petty skipped both Winston Cup races at the track last season. “Right now I’m considering Chicago, and when I’m done with Chicago I’ll see about next week. This week has been a hard week because of Adam’s birthday. … There have been so many things this week that have brought back so many memories,” Petty said. “I couldn’t bring myself to go back last year and it’s kind of crept up on me this year. I’ll wait until the first of the week to see where I’m at. Everybody at Petty Enterprises, they know what my position is. They stand behind the whole program.”(That’s Racin’)(7-13-2001)
    UPDATE: Kyle Petty says he’ll announce a decision in a few days on if he’ll compete at New Hampshire International Speedway next weekend for the first time since his son, Adam, died in a crash there May 12, 2000. Petty said that the team’s crew members also have the option of not going. If Petty does not, Steve Grissom will drive for him. Grissom is the team’s test driver and also works as an adviser for Carlos Contreras, who drives for the Petty Enterprises truck series team. The trucks also will race at New Hampshire next weekend, so Grissom already was scheduled to be there(RacingExtra)(7-14-2001)
  • #81 Team Prepares for Indy: 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)
  • Autopsy Photo Update: Medical examiners don’t need a judge’s approval to use autopsy photos in training public officials such as police, but they can’t use them in private universities, Attorney General Bob Butterworth said Friday in a legal opinion. Left unclear is whether autopsy photos can be used in classes at public universities under the so-called “Dale Earnhardt law” that bars release of autopsy pictures in most cases. Hillsborough County officials requested the attorney general’s interpretation of the law, seeking clarification on how it would affect the county medical examiner’s teaching duties. The law was passed this spring after Earnhardt was killed in a last-lap crash at the Daytona 500 in February. His widow sought to block newspapers and Websites from gaining access to the racing legend’s autopsy photos, citing the trauma her family would suffer. A judge has upheld the law, and another judge has denied newspapers’ efforts to obtain the photos under the new law(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-14-2001)
  • Soft Walls: NASCAR continues its involvement in testing of soft-wall technology and NASCAR President Mike Helton says he’s been surprised at some of the results, although he wasn’t specific. “We’ve learned a lot,” Helton said. “We’ve been surprised by a lot, quite frankly. That’s part of research and development. We’ve been surprised at how some things don’t work the way you would think, which makes it a bigger challenge. We keep changing materials, changing density of material to find that right combination that, No. 1, works … and No. 2, doesn’t create a worse-case scenario than the first problem to start with. That’s a very fine line.” Helton wouldn’t put a timetable on when or if soft walls might be seen in NASCAR.(RacingExtra)(7-14-2001)
  • Spencer Apologizes UPDATE: Jimmy Spencer apologized Thursday for saying NASCAR fixed the race won by Dale Earnhardt Jr. last week(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-13-2001)
    UPDATE: see a full story at CNN/SI: Taking it back – Spencer apologizes for comments about Earnhardt win(7-14-2001)
  • #24 Sponsor: Sontara Technologies, an Old Hickory nonwoven wiper manufacturer, will sponsor the Jeff Gordon-driven DuPont car in two NASCAR races this year. The teaming up of Sontara and Gordon are part of a marketing campaign by the local unit of DuPont nonwovens to promote its recently launched line of wiper products for automotive refinishing tasks. Sontara’s brand logo is slated to appear on the deck lid of Gordon’s #24 car at the July 15 race at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. In October, the company’s logo will appear on the car’s TV panel at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.(Nashville Business Journal)(7-14-2001)


  • DeWalt Paint Scheme Winners: Close to 7,000 entries were received… and DeWalt and Matt Kenseth announced the winners at DEWALT Employee Appreciation Day earlier this summer. Jesse “Ed” Pack with his Guaranteed Tough. Carbide Saw Blade Scheme and David Stanley with the DEWALT Yellow Magma Scheme have been chosen as the winners of DEWALT’s 2002 Racing Paint Scheme Contest. Each will receive 2 tickets and 2 pit passes to the race of their choice and an autographed copy of their Paint Scheme. See images of the cars at the DeWalt Site: Paint Scheme Winners(7-13-2001)
  • Austin Petty: been asked often about Kyle Petty’s son Austin and his plans for racing, never had much of an answer, her is a good column about Austin and his future plans: Another Petty working to step up by Jim Utter of That’s Racin'(7-13-2001)
  • Great Quotes by Little E and BP on this ‘fix/conspriacy’ junk being tossed around, bu Earnhardt Jr: “It was a great moment in NASCAR history and it got kicked in the (groin).” Pretty much sums it up, anyhow, Dale Earnhardt Jr held a press conference at Chicagoland Speedway today, many stories on my Story/Column Links Page deal with it. And another great quote by Benny Parsons: “It was a great race,” Parsons said. “For people to diminish that in some way with the notion of conspiracy is disgusting. It frustrates me to no end. And I’m afraid there are going to be some people out there who buy into that nonsense and may not want to watch. But all you’ve got to do is see how Dale Jr. jumped out of the car,” he said. “That wasn’t the reaction of someone who knew ahead of time he was going to win. He can’t be that good of an actor.”(AJC) and from NASCAR VP Mike Helton: “It was so ludicrous, it was humorous.”(7-13-2001)
  • Crew Members Family in Flood: John Dillon, who normally hauls the fuel cans from pit road to the fuel pumps and back for Mike Skinner’s team during Winston Cup races, isn’t at the track this weekend. Dillon is in his hometown of Anawalt, W.Va., helping his family and their neighbors recover from flooding that hit the town last weekend. His grandmother nearly drowned in the floodwaters and is still in the hospital. Employees at Richard Childress Racing collected money along with clothes, bedding, food and other supplies for the flood victims this week. Dillon left the shop Wednesday, taking a truck and trailer full of supplies with him. (That’s Racin’)(7-13-2001)
  • NBC Vows to Get Better: NBC wants NASCAR fans to know it is listening, and not just to the Nielsen folks who said Saturday’s broadcast of the Pepsi 400 was the highest-rated prime time Winston Cup race in history. The numbers notwithstanding — NBC’s own figures estimate 25-million people tuned in to at least part of the race, and it garnered a 6.1 national rating — the network is well aware the first broadcast under its six-year deal with NASCAR didn’t impress the media or, for the most part, the fans. The first two complaints might resolve themselves Sunday. NBC dug itself a hole by going without a commercial for the first 20 minutes of the race, then threw in more ads later in an effort to catch up. That meant fans didn’t get to see many pit stops, which are especially key late in the race. “Some people have said it was lacking,” Benny Parsons said Thursday. “If that is a fact, we need to work together. I think the talent is there.” Communications director Kevin Sullivan said NBC will be placing more of an emphasis on its pit reporters — a smart move, because they clearly are the strength of the broadcast team. Lead pit reporter Bill Weber will have an increased role. (St Petersburg Times)(7-13-2001)
  • Mark and Matt on Cereal Boxes:Mark Martin and his nine-year-old son Matt will be featured on boxes of Life and Cap’n Crunch(one of Jayski’s faves) cereal boxes beginning this month. Matt’s quarter-midgets are sponsored by the two cereal brands, while Mark is sponsored by Gatorade. Mark and Matt will be featured on 15 million boxes of cereal nationwide. They are the first father-and-son celebrities featured on Life cereal boxes, which are typically dedicated to everyday kids. Cap’n Crunch will feature Matt in an on-package promotion and offer limited edition Mark and Matt trading cards on the side panel of every box.(Roush Racing PR)(7-13-2001)
  • Wallace out? UPDATE 3 Gordon In: hearing the NBC station in Charlotte reports that Mike Wallace was released from driving the #7 car earlier Tuesday evening
    UPDATE: no official word yet, but sources tell me Wallace has been released and will concentrate on finding another Cup ride and running in the BGN. No word on the replacement driver, but looks like Robby Gordon
    UPDATE 2: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports that Robby Gordon will drive the #7 Ford at Chicagoland Speedway, crew chief Jim Long says it is presently a one race deal AND ESPN2’s RPM2Night reported that Wallace was informed of his release by the team secretary. Last Thursday the show mentioned Gordon would drive the car at Chicago. Gordon says it is not yet a done deal BUT NASCAR.com is reporting Wallace out, Gordon for Ultra at Chicago(7-11-2001)
    UPDATE 3: One week after Mike Wallace guided the No. 7 Ford to a 10th-place finish at Daytona, he was replaced for this weekend’s race at Chicagoland with Robby Gordon, who finished second in the car for Ultra Motorsports owner Jim Smith at Sears Point last month. Gordon said he was notified by Smith of the driver change on Wednesday. “It’s kind of a pretty last-minute deal,” he said. “Owners do what owners want to do, so I feel for (Wallace). I’m not trying to take his job or anything like that, but Jimmy wants to make a change and it’s Jimmy’s choice.” Smith said he is working out contractual issues with Wallace, Gordon and the team sponsor, NationsRent, and hopes to have the driver situation settled soon. “I’m proud of both drivers the last couple of weeks,” he said. “This team is starting to come alive. The main goal here is to run well.”(That’s Racin’)(7-13-2001)


  • Former Broadcaster Killed: Rick Lewis, the “Voice of Daytona” for NASCAR fans throughout the nation, was killed Wednesday night inside his home in South Daytona, where his wife was found shot in the temple. “It looks like an attempted murder-suicide, but right now we don’t know,” said South Daytona Police Department Sgt. Ron Wright. For nearly 18 years, the 52-year-old Lewis was one of Motor Racing Network Radio’s studio announcers. More than 640 stations carry MRN in the United States and Canada. In Orlando, his program was broadcast on 740 AM (WQTM). He had weekly recordings in MRN Radio’s high-tech studio at the Daytona International Speedway. “I love the sport and don’t miss a race,” he said in the MRN page. “We usually have family over at our house while we listen to MRN’s broadcast while watching TV.” Lewis had been involved in radio since 1983, beginning in his hometown of South Daytona. He was the morning announcer, sold advertising, recorded ads, broadcast football, baseball and basketball games, and announced at the track where his father raced. He also did voice work for Cypress Gardens.(Orlando Sentinel)(7-12-2001)
  • Stewart’s Statement: Tony Stewart Statement Regarding Penalty Levied Against Him by NASCAR – Fined $10,000 and placed on probation for the remainder of the Winston Cup season “While I still disagree with the black flag penalty our team received prior to the finish of the Pepsi 400, I accept the fine and probation that NASCAR has issued to me as a result of my post-race conduct. Specifically, my treatment of reporter Mike Mulhern and Gary Nelson of NASCAR was inappropriate, and for that I apologize. By the time the first practice session gets underway Thursday at Chicagoland Speedway, I’ll have met with Mike and I’ll have apologized to him face to face. I will look for the same opportunity with Gary Nelson as well. For others I may have offended following the race, I regret that also. I will continue to work with all those people who support me on handling these types of situations better in the future. We’ve got a race this weekend in Joliet (Ill.), and that’s what we’re focusing on now. As frustrating as Daytona was for our race team, we’re moving on and putting the past behind us.”(Edelman Public Relations Worldwide)(Mike Mulhern is a veteran reporter with the Winston-Salem Journal, see links to his columns on my Story/Column Links page)(7-12-2001)
  • #5 Gets an Associate at Chicago: Cabot Corporation’s name and logo will be prominently displayed on the rear deck and quarter panels of Terry Labonte’s #5 Kelloggs Chevy. Cabot has enjoyed a special relationship with Terry Labonte and Hendrick Motorsports. Since 1999, Cabot has supported Hendrick Motorsports through the sharing of high performance materials and technical expertise. “In our experience, Cabot is an unparalleled technical player,” said Rick Hendrick, Owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “When a technical issue is difficult to solve, we look to Cabot for solutions and they deliver.” Cabot is no stranger to auto racing and has provided reinforcing materials and technology to all of the major producers of racing tires. “Cabot is proud to join two-time Winston Cup Champion Terry Labonte in competition this weekend,” said Tom Odle, Vice President, Cabot Performance Materials. “We expect to see a great finish this Sunday. Cabot’s customers win with new products when the Hendrick Motorsports team wins on the track.” Cabot Performance Materials (Boyertown, PA), a supplier of tantalum and other performance products for over 50 years, is a unit of Cabot Corporation. Headquartered in Boston, MA, Cabot Corporation is a global supplier of specialty chemicals and performance materials. Cabot also produces carbon black, fumed silica and metal oxides, thermoplastic concentrates, ink-jet colorants, and drilling fluids(Cabot Corp PR) see a small image on my Paint Scheme Gallery(7-12-2001)
  • #77 Assoc? hearing the Jasper Motorsports #77 Ford Taurus will have associate sponsorship from Degree Deodorant for the Tropicana 400 this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway(7-12-2001)
  • Irvan to run a BGN or CTS team? UPDATE looks like CTS: rumors are circulating that retired Cup driver Ernie Irvan is planning on starting a BGN or CTS team with Kevin Conway who drove in the ASA last season. Some sources have the CTS team running as soon as Richmond, another says BGN in 2002
    UPDATE: indications are that it is the CTS/truck series NOT the BGN. Conway is presently working with the Richard Petty Driving Experience and has been running a Vehicare sponsored Legends car in the Pro division during the Summer Shootout series at Lowes Motor Speedway. Conway drove in ASA last year his sponsor was USA Meats.com his number was 61, Conway was going to run ASA in 2001 but a sponsor backed out. Supposedly Conway will run the ARCA race at Charlotte in October and plan on running the rest of the 2001 CTS schedule from Richmond on and the entire 2002 CTS Schedule. AND Hearing that Irvan has a Monday night spot on Winston-Salem’s NBC WXII at 6:00pm/et called Racing With Ernie and comments were made about Conway being Irvan’s protege and to look for Irvan (as owner, not driver) to go racing soon with Conway in BGN & CTS(7-12-2001)
  • Another Andretti? Preston Countryman has had a lifelong passion about auto racing, and now he’s getting an even bigger thrill by participating. First he started driving race cars, then this year he decided to start a NASCAR team. Now he’s having five race cars built, he’s bought a couple of car carriers and he says he’s signed a big-name rookie driver to launch a $1 million effort to win the 2002 Featherlite Southwest Series. Countryman has been in business for 24 years, but his work as a certified public accountant and business consultant doesn’t fire him up like his latest venture: building a NASCAR race team around driver Adam Andretti. Now he says he’s about to employ one, the 22-year-old nephew of racing legend Mario Andretti, to be his lead driver. The hiring of the younger Andretti couldn’t be confirmed by the family, but NASCAR officials did confirm that Countryman has a team owner’s license. In addition to Andretti, Countryman said he will have another driver to race in the 2002 Featherlite Southwest Tour, which is a regional stock car racing minor league to the NASCAR Busch series, which is itself the league of up-and-coming race drivers before the championship NASCAR Winston Cup series(Sacramento Business Journal)(6-25-2001)

    UPDATE: In just three months, Countryman has had three cars built and a fourth on the way for testing as he sets his sights on competing in the remaining four races in the NASCAR Southwest Featherlite Series, the equivalent of Double-A baseball. Key members of the Countryman team are Aldo Andretti and his son Adam. Aldo, 61, the twin brother of racing legend Mario Andretti and father of NASCAR driver John Andretti, is the official adviser to Countryman. Adam, 22, will be Countryman’s driver. Adam and Aldo Andretti recently came to town to view one of the cars and the hauler Countryman had built. Countryman Motorsports is self-funded this year, though Countryman is actively seeking a major sponsor. He budgeted between $500,000 and $750,000 to start his team and is having more cars built for ARCA (American Racing Club of America) and ASA (American Speed Association) races next year that fall between the Southwest Featherlite race dates.(Sacramento Bee)(7-12-2001)

  • Cope to run the Chicago BGN race: 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)


  • Geoffrey Bodine returns to Cup UPDATE 2 Smirnoff Ice the sponsor: FSN’s Totally NASCAR resports that Geoffrey Bodine is expected to run two Cup races for his brother Brett at Bristol and Homestead. Brett is supposedly close to signing two major sponsors. Brett drives and ownes the #11 Ralphs Supermarkets Fords, past rumors had the car number as #91(7-3-2001)
    UPDATE: Since being let go from his #60 Chevrolet Winston Cup ride last year, Geoffrey Bodine has been striving to get back into NASCAR’s top level. Well, it looks like he’s going to do just that for at least one race. The elder Bodine will attempt to qualify for the August 25 night time event at Bristol Motor Speedway in a deal with Brett Bodine. He was supposed to run one race in Charlotte this year, but that deal fell through. “This deal is a definite,” Geoffrey said. “Right now, it looks like it’s going to be a go for the Bristol event.”(NASCAR.com Buzz)(7-8-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Brett Bodine Racing will field a second Ford Taurus for Geoffrey Bodine for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 25th. A premium malt beverage, launched in the U.S. in January of this year, Smirnoff Ice will make its NASCAR debut as the sponsor of the #09 entry from the Mooresville, NC based operation. Owner Brett Bodine looks forward to the opportunity. “I have been committed to assisting my brother in any way possible to stay in this sport. It just took some time to put a deal together that was right for all of us. It’s a great opportunity to introduce a new sponsor to NASCAR Winston Cup racing and at the same time see Geoffrey continue his long Winston Cup racing career. We hope this is a beginning of more things to come,” stated Brett. Geoffrey added his enthusiasm, “This is something my brother and I have dreamed about. Racing together is one thing, but racing together as a team is another. I hope and dream that everything will work out for the best. It’s exciting to have things come together for us and I look forward to showcasing a new sponsor and having Brett as a teammate.” Smirnoff Ice (www.smirnoffice.com) is a lightly carbonated, citrus flavor malt beverage from Guinness Bass Import Co/UDV North America Inc., a division of Diageo plc in the USA and Canada, one of the world’s leading consumer brand companies which operates in over 200 markets worldwide and has international sales of 17.3 billion dollars(Brett Bodine Racing PR), being asked so….Why is Smirnoff Ice ok but Crown was no ok’d by NASCAR for the #27 Eel River Racing team? As far as I know, NASCAR doesn’t allow hard liquior sponsors (Whiskey, Vodka, etc) but allows Beer. Malt Liquior etc, Smiroff Ice is similar to a Malt Liquor, like Zima. Have a problem with that line of thinking? Feel free to contact NASCAR, see my Racing FAQ page for contact info and a link to their feedback form(7-11-2001)
  • Earnhardt Honored: The Legislature honored the family of Dale Earnhardt on Tuesday by approving a resolution praising the late NASCAR driver and his contributions to his home state of North Carolina. Earnhardt’s mother, Martha, and daughter, Kelly, sat in the House and Senate galleries as lawmakers heaped praise upon the seven-time Winston Cup champion killed Feb. 18 in a crash during the Daytona 500(News and Observer/AP)(7-11-2001)
  • Stewart in Trouble UPDATE Suspension? UPDATE 4 Fined and Extended Probation: Tony Stewart faces disciplinary action from NASCAR this week as a result of his confrontations with a member of the motorsports media and Winston Cup series director Gary Nelson following Saturday night’s Pepsi 400 at Daytona. With four laps of 160 laps remaining, Stewart drove his #20 below the yellow line that outlines the start of the racing surface. Drivers were warned before the race by NASCAR President Mike Helton any driver who drove below the line to advance a position would be black-flagged. When the incident happened, NASCAR officials signaled for Stewart to be penalized. However, disagreeing with the call, Stewart failed to report to pit road to answer the black flag and finished the race, crossing the finish line in sixth position. Angry at NASCAR’s decision, Stewart responded to a question about the incident from Winston-Salem motorsports writer Mike Mulhern by slapping Mulhern’s tape recorder out of his hand. When Mulhern went to pick it up, Stewart kicked it under one of the haulers. Stewart then went to the NASCAR hauler to complain about the call. He and his team believe Stewart’s Pontiac was forced below the yellow line by driver Johnny Benson. Stewart found Nelson near the side entrance of the NASCAR hauler and angrily confronted him. He had to be held away from Nelson by his car owner, Joe Gibbs, and crew chief Greg Zipadelli. Stewart then left the area and the track. Gibbs and Zipadelli met with Nelson in an effort to explain their position. NASCAR spokesman John Griffin said NASCAR officials reviewed film of the incident and stand behind their original call. Griffin also said Stewart, who remains under probation for spinning Jeff Gordon’s Chevrolet on pit road following the race at Bristol in March, will face additional penalties for his actions after Saturday’s race. As a result of his failure to answer the black flag, Stewart was moved from sixth to 26th in the finishing order, the last car on the lead lap(That’s Racin’) and story at NASCAR.com: Stewart dropped to 26th. The change cost Stewart 65 in valuable Winston Cup Points. Also an AP story ay the CBS Site: Stewart docked 20 finishing positions for ignoring black flag. Mike Mulhern was pretty kind in today’s column – Earnhardt stuns Daytona(7-8-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing Stewart is facing a suspension of as little as one race to as many as three races, yikes. Remember, Stewart was fined $10,000 and put on probation until 8/29 for bumping Jeff Gordon on pit road after the Bristol race in March (but I can’t believe they will do so). AND NASCAR officials weren’t the only ones upset with Stewart. So was #93- Dave Blaney. “I was right down on the bottom of the race track, and he must have run across the apron and smashed into the side of me,” Blaney said. “It turned my car clear sideways. It was the stupidest thing I’ve seen on his part. I don’t know what he was thinking.”(Winston Salem Journal)
    UPDATE 2: FSN’s Totally NASCAR is reporting that Stewart is facing a probable fine and one race suspension
    AND: Any penalties from NASCAR against Tony Stewart for his post-race blowups at the Pepsi 400 were expected to be handed down Tuesday. That is the same day Stewart was to attend his grandfather’s funeral. Carroll Stewart, 89, died Saturday night in Lafayette, IN. Stewart wasn’t told of the death until after his confrontations with a Winston Cup official and a reporter following Saturday night’s race at Daytona International Speedway, his spokesman, Mike Arning, said Monday. Arning said the funeral services were set for Tuesday(AP)(7-9-2001)
    UPDATE 3: NASCAR officials, out of respect for Tony Stewart’s late grandfather, will wait until Wednesday morning to make a decision on his immediate driving future(NASCAR.com), ESPN2’s RPM 2Night says their sources say the only penalty will be in the wallet (money) with no suspension(7-10-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Tony Stewart was fined $10,000 by NASCAR as a result of confrontations following Saturday night’s Pepsi 400 at Daytona. Stewart’s probation was also extended(That’s Racin’AND additionally, Stewart, who was already under probation by the sanctioning body stemming from an incident at Bristol in March, had his probation extended from Aug. 29, to Nov. 21, 2001. If he further violates the probation, he could be fined and/or lose championship points, finishing positions and suspension from NASCAR. In addition to the fine and the probation extension, Stewart will be required to issue a formal apology to a media member(Mulhern) for his confrontational actions on Saturday night, as well as issue a formal apology to NASCAR fans(NASCAR.com)(7-11-2001)
  • #50 skips Chicago: Rick Mast said the #50 Midwest Transit/Blair.com team had planned to test at Chicagoland last week, but couldn’t and has decided not attempt this weekends Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway in favor of preparing for Indy by testing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway sometime next week. Mast also feels that he and the team are ready to be competitive at the upcoming New Hampshire and Pocono venues(Racin’ with Russ on ESPN 1240-Virginia)(7-11-2001)
  • Sadler at Indy: Hermie Sadler has dreamed of competing at the Brickyard since his days of racing began as a kid in Southern Virginia. Sadler will begin.pursuit of his.dream when he unloads at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a Winston Cup test session on July 16 and 17, in preparation for upcoming Brickyard 400. Since the disappointment of failing to qualify at Richmond, Sadler has moved his Winston Cup operation back to his race shop in South Hill, VA, and has made several changes that he hopes will make a difference. According to Sadler, “I definitely think we will be better prepared for our races in the second half of the season.. In addition to moving the team to South Hill, we are building some new cars and have changed our engine program.. I am very excited about going back to the race track.. Going to Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a dream come true, but more importantly it will be a good indicator of how much progress we have made and what areas we need to work on before we head back to.Richmond and Martinsville, which are big races for my team and the Virginia Lottery.” Sadler will be carrying Lotto Virginia colors on the hood of his car at Indianapolis, but is still seeking primary sponsorship for the Brickyard 400(Sadler Enterprises PR)(7-11-2001)
  • Murry to drive at The Glen? Hearing that veteran road racer David Murry is in negotiations with a single-car Winston Cup operation to run a second car for him at Watkins Glen next month. An Atlanta resident, Murry last drove in a Cup race at Watkins Glen in 1999 for an ARCA team. He got in the show on time and ran as high as eighth, before suffering an oil line problem and finishing 36th. Along with fellow road racers Ron Fellows and Boris Said, Murry has been competing in both the American Le Mans Series and the Grand Am Series this season(7-11-2001)
  • Dodge Motorsports Scholarship Program – extended: Dodge Motorsports has announced that it has moved the application deadline for its motorsports scholarship program from July 11 to July 17, 2001. Dodge continues to seek qualified candidates for its motorsports diversity scholarship program. Applications may be downloaded from the Dodge website at www.4adodge.com/racing or Universal Technical Institute website at www.uticorp.com. Interested persons may also request an application by phoning the toll free scholarship hotline at (866) 256-8954. Dodge’s Motorsports diversity scholarship program aims to attract, recruit and train minorities for positions within the automotive and motorsports industry. Qualified scholarship recipients will receive NASCAR-approved training at Universal Technical Institute (UTI) in Houston, Texas. Scholarships will cover costs associated with tuition and housing for the one-year automotive technology program. Students will receive training in a broad range of technical disciplines including diagnostic analysis and mechanical and electrical systems. Upon successful completion of the training program, graduates may be invited to join the Dodge racing teams as entry level technicians. To be considered for one of the six scholarships available this year, interested minority applicants must have successfully completed high school or be enrolled and in good academic standing at a post-secondary institution. Also, recipients will be required to take the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) examination(Golin/Harris PR)(7-11-2001)
  • America’s Most Wanted to Sponsor a Team? UPDATE: The television show “America’s Most Wanted” may soon be featured on a Winston Cup stock car, provided plans being finalized by the Denver, N.C., (not Colorado) firm Body Dynamics Racing Bodies and Straight Shooter Productions reach fruition. Straight Shooter produces “America’s Most Wanted,” which assists in the recovery of missing persons and apprehension of criminals. The host of the show, John Walsh, said, “To have the opportunity to have the children’s faces out in front of the multitudes of loyal NASCAR fans, we are sure to recover some of these kids, due to the fact that 77 percent of all recovered children are done so by projects similar to this.” “We still have a few issues to finalize,” added Scott Davis of Body Dynamics Racing Bodies, “but once these are in place, this will be a successful project and concept.”(Gaston Gazette). They are on the #92 Dodge this weekend, see next story and image(7-7-2001)
    UPDATE: With the announcement last Thursday from Daytona USA that Body Dynamics Racing Bodies, Inc. and Straight Shooter Productions, Producers of Americas Most Wanted have come together to work towards a NASCAR team sponsorship for 2002 and beyond for Americas Most Wanted program has generated some major interest in the press. While in Daytona, Scott Davis Media Relations Director for Body Dynamics Racing was approached by the Daytona News Journal and the Volusia County Sheriffs office to assist in the missing persons case of a Grandmother and her 10-year-old Grandson, Joshua Bryant and Lillian R. Martin who have been missing since 05/12/2000. “Since we had already made arrangements for Chandra Levy to be placed on the Melling Racing Cup car, I knew we would have to come up with a different venue to cover the same market”, Stated Davis, “So we made an offer to the Volusia County Sheriffs Department to place the photos of Joshua Bryant and Lillian R. Martin on our website www.BodyDynamicsRacing.com as well as work with a team to place the photo’s on their car for the race this weekend such as we did with Melling Racing in Daytona.”(Body Dynamics Racing Bodies PR)(7-11-2001)
  • Gibbs Sponsor: SDRC announced it has renewed and expanded the company’s marketing alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing with a five-year contract effective immediately. The Gibbs’ engineering team uses I-DEAS(R) on Hewlett-Packard Company’s workstation platform for design, analysis, and manufacturing requirements on the team’s high-performance racecars(Business Wire)(7-11-2001)
  • NBC Ratings UPDATE 2 National News: NBC’s coverage of the Pepsi 400 from Daytona on Saturday night delivered a 5.8 overnight rating/11 share for the 8 p.m.-11:15 p.m. broadcast, making it the highest-rated primetime NASCAR race ever, according to figures released today by Nielsen Media Research. The 5.7 overnight rating represents a 41% increase over last year’s 4.1 overnight rating/9 share on CBS and surpassed the previous record 4.9 overnight rating/10 share for the Lowe’s 600 May 27 on Fox to become NASCAR’s highest-rated primetime race to date. The rating, which increased every half-hour until the race’s dramatic conclusion, peaked with a 7.0/13 while Dale Earnhardt Jr. was making his move from sixth-place to first on the race’s final five laps and crossing the finish line to NBC play-by-play announcer Allen Bestwick’s call of “Dale Earnhardt Jr., using lessons learned from his father to go from sixth to first and score the victory in the Pepsi 400.” Earnhardt’s win came on the same track where his father perished in a final lap crash Feb. 18 at the Daytona 500 and, as lead pit reporter Bill Weber told him in his Victory Lane interview, 11 years to the day from his father’s first Winston Cup win at Daytona on July 7, 1990. The Pepsi 400 was the first race in NBC and TNT’s new six-year agreement with NASCAR to telecast “The Race for the Championship” over the second half of the NASCAR season. National ratings are expected to be available Tuesday.(NBC PR)(7-8-2001)
    UPDATE: The overnight rating for the Pepsi 400 on NBC was a 5.8 — a 41 percent increase from last year’s Pepsi 400. It was the first race for NBC as part of the $2.4 billion NASCAR television deal with NBC and Fox. The tune-in increased each half-hour during the race, going from 5.0 to 7.0. An overnight rating measures households in the country’s 50 largest markets, about 60 percent of the country. The market with the largest audience was Greensboro, N.C., at 14.2, followed by Orlando with a 13.5. New York was the country’s lowest market at 2.8.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-9-2001)
    UPDATE 2: NBC’s coverage of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s dramatic victory at the Pepsi 400 from Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night was the highest-rated primetime NASCAR race in history. It delivered a 6.1 national rating/13 share for the 8-11:15 p.m. ET broadcast, according to figures released today by Nielsen Media Research. NBC Sports research estimates that 25 million viewers watched all or part of the telecast, which was network television’s highest-rated program Saturday night. The Pepsi 400 was the first race in NBC and TNT’s new six-year agreement with NASCAR to telecast “The Race for the Championship” over the second half of the NASCAR season. NBC’s 4.4 rating among the highly coveted 18-49 adult demographic from 8-11 p.m. also lapped the field as CBS registered a 1.6, ABC a 2.2 and Fox a 2.5 in that desired demographic Saturday. The strong performance by the Pepsi 400 propelled NBC to a primetime ratings victory Saturday night. From 8-11 p.m. ET, NBC’s 6.1 rating/13 share easily outdistanced the competition. ABC and Fox each averaged an identical 4.1 rating/8 share while CBS posted a 4.0/8. NBC’s 6.1/13 for the Pepsi 400 represents a 17% increase over last year’s 5.2/12 on CBS. The previous primetime record for a NASCAR race was a 5.4/13 for the July 3, 1999 running of the Pepsi 400 on CBS. The rating, which increased every half-hour until the race’s dramatic conclusion, peaked with a 7.4/15 from 10:30-11:00 p.m. ET while Dale Earnhardt Jr. was making his move from sixth-place to first on the race’s final six laps(NBC PR)(7-11-2001)


  • Rusty Cruises: Following the highly successful debut of the first “Rusty Wallace Cruise” aboard the 2,052-passenger “Fun Ship” Fascination last month, Carnival Cruise Lines has announced that the NASCAR Winston Cup champion will host two additional “racing-themed” voyages in spring and fall 2002. The 2002 “Rusty Wallace Cruise” schedule includes a four-day western Caribbean sailing aboard the 2,052-passenger Imagination departing May 9, and a seven-day eastern Caribbean voyage aboard the 2,758-passenger Carnival Triumph departing Dec. 7. Another “Rusty Wallace Cruise” departing Dec. 9, 2001, aboard the 2,052-passenger Sensation from Tampa is nearly sold out.(Catchfence)(7-10-2001)
  • BBBSA Update: Johnny Benson’s performance in the #10 Valvoline Pontiac, combined with contributions from Valvoline and NASCAR fans, has brought the current total raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters since 1999 to $589,829. Valvoline is donating $5,000 for every Winston Cup race Benson wins, $2,500 for each pole, $1,000 for a top-10 finish, $500 for a top-20 result and $20 per lap Benson leads in this “Caring Hands” program. Valvoline will donate $1 million to Big Brothers Big Sisters if Benson is able to win both the Winston Cup pole and race on the same weekend(Valvoline PR)(7-10-2001)
  • TRAC News: Team Racing Auto Circuit (TRAC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Team Sports Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSEI), announced today that it has signed an agreement with NASCAR merchandise leader, Sports Design, Inc. to design, develop and administer a national merchandise licensing program for its new stock car racing series set to begin in 2003. The program will feature a limited line of officially-licensed merchandise to be available over the internet at traczone.com, via direct mail through Sports Design’s catalog, through participating retail outlets and at a multitude of motorsports events where Sports Design sells other licensed motorsports products.(TRAC PR), see more info on the series at my TRAC page(7-10-2001)


  • McDonald’s on the Move? UPDATE and DeWalt? The future of McDonalds’ Winston Cup sponsorship is apparently on the line (currently on the #96 PPI Motorsports Ford with driver Andy Houston), according to NASCAR sources, with #9-Bill Elliott possibly in line to put the golden arches back on his uniform once again. And there are reports that Dodge’s dealers association may only be backing one of Ray Evernham’s two stock-car teams next season(Winston Salem Journal)(7-6-2001)
    UPDATE: The Dodge Dealers might be picking up some primary sponsors on Ray Evernham’s team. According to a garage source, don’t be surprised if McDonald’s rejoins Bill Elliott as his sponsor, and Matt Kenseth comes aboard with assistance from his long-time backer, DeWalt(Sporting News), don’t know anymore on the DeWalt/Kenseth thing(7-9-2001)
  • Brett’s best since 1997: #11-Brett Bodine, who finished 9th, had his first top-10 finish since a 6th at Sears Point in May 1997(7-9-2001)
  • Rules Change in the future? NASCAR officials are talking about ordering a major rules change for the October Talladega race, a physically larger car, as much as three inches taller, with a straighter windshield, to slow the cars aerodynamically and allow drivers to use more powerful engines, hopefully to help break up the large pack(Winston Salem Journal)(7-9-2001)
  • Valvoline and Daytona: Valvoline and Daytona International Speedway have signed a multi-year agreement in which Valvoline will become the official motor oil for the Daytona USA, the Speedway and all of its events including the Daytona 500. As part of the agreement, Valvoline joins seven other companies as official corporate sponsors of the Daytona 500 with Pontiac, VISA, Hot Wheels, Pepsi, Kmart, AT&T and Motorola. Valvoline’s status as official motor oil does not effect 76’s position as the official fuel of NASCAR(SpeedVision)(7-9-2001)
  • Waste Management signs with NASCAR: Waste Management Inc. recently signed a multi-year sponsorship with NASCAR, calling for the Houston-based company to spend between $2 million and $3 million a year on a national marketing campaign. As the exclusive waste services sponsor of the car racing league, Waste Management will be able to use the NASCAR logo in its marketing materials. The company will spend money on rights fees, advertising, marketing programs and marketing deals with various racetracks. There are 140 NASCAR-affiliated tracks — 30 of which host national racing events. The 30-year-old waste retrieval company serves 25 million residential customers and 2 million commercial customers in 48 states. The business is roughly organized as 1,500 separate operating units that serve Waste Management’s various markets. The NASCAR sponsorship is part of Waste Management’s overall marketing plan set to launch in 2002. Knapp, who also will help local markets with their advertising, does not know how much the firm will ultimately spend on its annual marketing budget. One goal of revving up with NASCAR is the chance to do business with other NASCAR sponsors, licensees, tracks and race teams, Knapp says.(Houston Business Journal)(7-9-2001)



  • Incredible – Little E Wins at Daytona in the Pepsi 400. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr wins at Daytona where he lost his Dad in the Daytona 500, a very emotional and popular win. His teammate #15-Michael Waltrip finished 2nd, great celebration by Little E and Waltrip in the infield. #21-Elliott Sadler gets his 2nd career top five, finishing 3rd. #20-Tony Stewart was shown in 6th on NASCAR.com, but was black flagged for going below the yellow line and did not heed the flag, the replay seemed to indicate that Stewart was forced down, but NASCAR upheld the flag and dropped Stewart to 26th, the last car on the lead lap.
    #24-Jeff Gordon still is the leader of the drivers points, but his lead over #88-Dale Jarrett is now 54 points. See That’s Racin’ for Pepsi 400 results by the AP or see NASCAR.com for the Unoffical Results. See That’s Racin’ for Winston Cup points (after Daytona) or NASCAR.com for Unofficial Drivers Standings. Also, see full stories at That’s Racin’: Earnhardt Jr. dominant in Pepsi 400 victory and at the DBNJ: No. 3 would be proud: Earnhardt Jr. wins Pepsi 400(7-7/8-2001)
  • Petty Ride a Success: The Kyle Petty Charity Across America had its most successful year in its seven-year existence, donating $500,000 to its selected charities including the Victory Junction Gang Camp, Starbright Foundation, the Winston Cup Racing Wives Auxiliary and various children’s hospitals. More than 18,000 people were present for the entrance of the 250 Charity Ride participants at Kyle and Pattie Petty’s farm on July 1.(That’s Racin’)(7-8-2001)
  • Melling trying to help: The #92 Melling Racing Dodge, driven by Stacy Compton, will have a photo of missing U.S. Bureau of Prisons intern Chandra Ann Levy on its rear bumper in Saturday night’s race at Daytona. Levy has not been seen since April 30. Beneath her photo will be her name and a toll-free number: 1-800-C-R-I-M-E-T-V.(www.1800crimetv.com)(ESPN/AP) also see story at the AJC: Missing intern case: Everything but answers(7-5/7-2001)
  • Safety Count: by NASCAR’s count, 23 drivers were wearing the HANS (Head and Neck Support) before the start of the race. In addition, 10 drivers were wearing a second device designed by Bobby Hutchens, general manager of Richard Childress Racing. So that means 10 drivers in the 43-car field declined to wear any kind of restraint system. NASCAR doesn’t require drivers to use anything, but more and more of them are open to trying new restraint systems since Dale Earnhardt’s death. Hutchen’s device differs from the U-shaped HANS in that it’s only a series of belts that hook into a drivers helmet and existing seat belt system. The HANS is an actual piece that goes on over the shoulders and hooks onto the helmet(That’s Racin’/AP). More info on my Safety Page(7-8-2001)
  • Trickle News: Lontime Cup and BGN driver Dick Trickle finished 3rd today in the ReMax series race at Road America in WI, yep a road course(HotLaps)(7-8-2001)
  • Racing Chassis Sites: Mike Laughlin, one of the sports premier chassis builders, has launched his first web site. See it at Laughlin Racing Products. Laughlin supply’s many of the chassis to Cup and BGN teams. Also Body Dynamics Racing Bodies is another that does the same and has a cool cam section that is even featured on NASCAR.com(7-8-2001)


  • No Bull 5 at the Pepsi 400 UPDATE the Pairings: The third Winston No Bull 5 event of the 2001 season is the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, July 7, 2001. Five eligible drivers have the chance to earn a $1 million bonus by winning the Pepsi 400. If a qualified driver wins, one fan will also become a millionaire as part of the Winston No Bull 5 “They Win, You Win” fan sweepstakes. The fans are selected through this nationwide program and are randomly paired with one of the eligible drivers prior to the race. The five eligible drivers for the Pepsi 400 are the top-five finishers from the second Winston No Bull 5 event of the season, the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway near Charlotte. The five drivers are Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, Mark Martin and Bobby Labonte. The Winston No Bull 5 fan / driver pairing is set for 11 a.m. on Friday, July 6th in Daytona Beach. The five eligible teams will compete in a beach volleyball tournament at The Ocean Deck. The drivers will coach the teams. The finishing order from the tournament will determine which fans will be paired with which drivers. – The volleyball tournament scheduled for 11:00am/et, at the Ocean Deck with drivers eligible for the No Bull 5 bonus won’t include drivers because of qualifying being delayed until today. Semi-pro players will compete in the tournament instead of the crews and drivers of the eligible teams.(7-6-2001)
    The five eligible fans are: Donald Arp, Orlando, FL; Elaine F. Beatt, Salemburg, NC; Aden B. Robinson, Hagerstown, MD; George Sisak, Dansville, NY; and Robert K. Smith, Ledyard, CT (DIS PR)(6-23-2001) see more info on my No Bull 5 page
    UPDATE: Elaine Beatty of Salemburg, NC will be pulling for Bobby Labonte in Saturday night’s Pepsi 400. That’s because Beatty would win $1 million in Winston’s No Bull 5 contest if Labonte wins the race. Labonte and Jeff Gordon have each been eligible a record nine times for the bonus, but while Gordon has won it four times Labonte has yet to cash in. The driver also wins a $1 million bonus for winning the race. Donald Arp of Orlando is paired with Mark Martin. Arden Robinson of Hagerstown, Md., is paired with Jeff Burton – a three-time bonus winner. Kevin Harvick will be driving for Robert Smith of Ledyard, CT, and George Sisak from Dansville, NY, is paired with Tony Stewart.(That’s Racin’)(7-7-2001)
  • Paramedic Convinced Seatbelt Broke: The paramedic who crawled into Dale Earnhardt’s car after his fatal crash at the Daytona 500 is convinced of a seat-belt failure — most likely upon the car’s impact with the concrete wall — after participating in a re-enactment of the crash scene. Patti Dobler said she reached her conclusion after meeting with experts retained by NASCAR in Hickory, N.C., for the re-enactment. (See full story at the CNN/SI Site)(7-7-2001)
  • Drivers to be Held: Under a new NASCAR mandate, the top five finishers will be held on pit road following a race for exclusive NBC-only interviews(Orlando Sentinel)(7-7-2001)
  • Dillner Starts Site: Bob Dillner, TNN Broadcaster is the brainchild of a newly released web site: www.51SportsRacing.com which brings news, commentary and driver journals from all walks of short track racing, such as ASA rookie Johnny Sauter writes “Johnny’s Journal” and Ryan Zeck pens “Racin’ with Ryan”. Plus, NASCAR Touring Series Coverage, Web polls, and Power Rankings(7-7-2001)


  • #88 in Flames? UPDATE 3: hearing that #88-Dale Jarrett will run a flaming UPS paint scheme at Kansas(Sept 30th), supposedly simular to the flames UPS truck(6-8-2001)
    UPDATE: UPS will unveil a special paint scheme on Friday, July 6, 2001 at 5:00pm/et. Doesn’t say where but probably at Daytona(UPS Site). The car is supposed to run in the Kansas race(6-29/7-5-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Dale Jarrett will be on-hand this Friday outside Daytona International Speedway’s Daytona USA when UPS unveils a special paint scheme for the #88 UPS Ford Taurus. The car will run this paint scheme in the Kansas 400 September 30th but can be seen in person at Daytona USA this weekend (Friday and Saturday) or on-line after 5:00pm/et Friday at the UPS Site UPDATE 3: UPS tomorrow(Saturday) will unveil a special paint scheme for the #88 UPS Ford Taurus driven by Dale Jarrett in NASCAR’s Winston Cup Series – a “Race the Truck” design that reflects the flame-painted package delivery vehicle and continues the company’s popular ad campaign. The race car, painted brown with red, orange and yellow flames, the UPS shield and the words “We Want to Race the Truck, People Love the Truck,” will run in the inaugural Kansas 400 at the new Kansas Speedway on Sept. 30.(UPS Racing PR). See my Paint Scheme Gallery for images of the real car(7-6-2001)
  • Greg Sacks News: Greg Sacks has been unable to set a lasting hook in the upper levels of NASCAR and he says he “has got to race.” So the former dominant driver in NASCAR Modifieds has made a deal to return to his roots in the Featherlite Modified Series race that will run in conjunction with the Winston Cup and Craftsman Truck Series races July 20 at New Hampshire. Sacks, whose last race was the fall 1999 BGN race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, will drive the Modified driven to victory in the season-opening race at South Boston (Va.) Speedway by defending FMS champion Jerry Marquis. Long Island trucking company owner Ed Partridge, who has competed with little success on the FMS this season, bought the car and an engine for Sacks, who plans to piece together a crew from his old Island cohorts. Sacks, who won the 1985 Pepsi 400 and also scored a BGN win at Talladega, won 28 of 38 NASCAR Modified starts in 1982, which earned him the title “Superman.” He has been a valued test pilot of late, including a stint for Ward Burton in January at Daytona, but has been out of Winston Cup racing since he crashed at Texas in its 1997 inaugural race(NASCAR.com’s Buzz)(7-6-2001)
  • Shelmerdine to third Haas-Carter car? UPDATE 4: See original story and Updates on the #26 Team News and Links page. – Haas-Carter Motorsports participated in a two-day test session on Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway with driver Kirk Shelmerdine and the #46 Ford. Owner Travis Carter says he’s unsure whether or not he’ll field a third team for the 43rd annual Pepsi 400 on July 7. “We want to run it sometime, but I doubt (the car) would be ready for the Pepsi race,” Carter said. “Perhaps Talladega. (The test) is a good opportunity to learn something for all the cars. In order to do that, we need a third car to do it. “We hope to learn a little something for the 26 and 66. You’re always looking to expand your operation and that’s what we’re doing, looking to expand to a third car. As much as I hate to say it, it looks like it’s the nature of the beast.” Shelmerdine, a veteran of the ARCA RE/MAX Series, knows his way around tracks like Daytona International Speedway. He won the pole for the 2000 Discount Auto Parts 200 Presented By ACDelco at the “World Center of Racing.” Said Shelmerdine of the test: “You can’t just jump right in there. There’s a lot of research that goes into it. From our standpoint, we’re going to test a lot and see what happens after that. I don’t think there’s time to get prepared even if you had a year. There’s so many more things on the list to get through in order to hit the ground running.” Carter says Shelmerdine would be a potential driver to put into the #46 Ford if the team chooses to enter the car in a race. “If we run the car at one of these races, he would be probably a good candidate to run it,” Carter said. “We’re tweaking the minor stuff,” Carter said. Said Hillenburg: “We’re a lot better than our last trip here. We feel a lot better about this test.”(DIS Site/PR)(6-27-2001)
    UPDATE 4: Kirk Shelmerdine, a four-time champion crew chief with Dale Earnhardt and lately a part-time driver, moved one step closer to a Winston Cup ride last week when he tested one of Carter’s Fords at Greenville-Pickens. “If we get sponsorship, we might run him in a race,” Carter said.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-6-2001)
  • Amoco to end sponsorship of #93 at end of season UPDATE Siemens to step up?: BP announced Tuesday that it will not renew its sponsorship of the #93 Amoco Ultimate Dodge and driver Dave Blaney for the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. “This partnership has been a good one over the past four years and we wish everyone at Bill Davis Racing every success in the future,” said Alan McGown, Manager, Motorsports. McGown said that BP still plans complete support behind the 2001 program, including a three-race schedule in October for a BP-branded car similar to the #93 entry driven by Blaney in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. last month. Amoco joined Bill Davis Racing as primary sponsor of former World of Outlaws champion Blaney for an abbreviated (20 races) rookie NASCAR Busch Series season in 1998. Blaney finished sixth in the Busch Series points in his first full NASCAR season (1999) and collected six pole positions—all in track-record time—in only 59 Busch Series starts. He graduated to the Winston Cup Series last year and finished third in the rookie-of-the-year battle behind Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.(Bill Davis Racing)(7-3-2001)
    UPDATE: Dave Blaney has lost his sponsor for next season. Amoco announced this week that it will end its four-year relationship with Blaney and Bill Davis Racing at the end of the season. Siemens, which is an associate sponsor of the #93 Dodge, might have a more significant role with the team in 2002.(AJC)(7-6-2001)
  • Full Time for Robby in the #7? UPDATE 3 Wallace expects to stay in #7: Ultra Motorsports team owner Jim Smith has offered Robby Gordon the No. 7 Ford ride. Gordon, subbing in the #7 Sunday at Sears Point, posted his best career Winston Cup finish with a second-place run. “I don’t want to come to Winston Cup just to race,” Gordon says. “I want to win.” Gordon, who began the season driving for the #4-Morgan-McClure team but was dropped after five races, might have his pick of offers. One possibility is Richard Childress’ third Cup car(hmm..teammates with Harvick?). Jeff Green has been auditioning that ride but apparently isn’t in Childress’ plans for next season, when the #30 will run the full schedule. Chip Ganassi’s CART program might be another possibility for Gordon(Sporting News-Inside Dish)(6-25-2001)
    UPDATE: Gordon said Tuesday that he has been offered the seat of Jim Smith’s #7 Ultra Motorsports Ford, and that he plans to have an answer for Smith by Wednesday. Gordon said the offer has been extended for the rest of the year, but nothing has been finalized. Gordon was unsure whether or not he’d be in the car at Daytona July 7. He’s slated to race Richard Childress’ #21 Chevy in the BGN event at Watkins Glen that same weekend, and wants to keep that option open, as well(NASCAR.com)(6-26-2001)
    UPDATE 2: but ESPN2’s RPM 2Night reported on Tuesday’s show that Mike Wallace has been told he will be in the #7 Ford for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona(6-27-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Mike Wallace said he has a contract to drive the Ultra Motorsports’ No. 7 Ford for the entire season and expects he will remain in the car the rest of year. Team owner Jim Smith put Ted Musgrave in the car at Pocono and Robby Gordon at the road course race at Sears Point.(That’s Racin’)(7-6-2001)
  • Winston to stay in Charlotte/Lowes: The Winston all-star race will return to Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte next season, but only under a one-year agreement. The previous agreement between R.J.R. Tobacco Co. and the speedway, which concluded following this season’s race, was for three years. Next year’s race is scheduled for Saturday night, May 18. The Coca-Cola 600 will follow the next weekend, on May 26. The speedway recently sent out information to its season ticket holders confirming the dates. Sources said an official announcement of the Winston’s future will be made later this summer, or when NASCAR releases the 2002 Winston Cup schedule. Sources said NASCAR is interested in seeing the event move to other locations, but decided to put off discussion of the matter for at least another season(That’s Racin’)(7-6-2001)
  • Spencer in a Indy Car? Jimmy Spencer has been fitted for an Indy-car and says the machine fits him just fine, even though he’s one of the biggest guys on the Winston Cup tour. But Spencer says he’s not really interested in adding Indy-car racing to his career resume. Carl Haas, who helps back Spencer’s car owner, Travis Carter, on the Winston Cup, has one of the sport’s top CART operations too.(Winston Salem Journal). Doesn’t say if it was an IRL or CART car, but IRL is now considered Indy-cars not CART(7-6-2001)
  • CNN/SI Joins TV Package: Turner Sports, Inc. has expanded its NASCAR coverage to include additional Winston Cup qualifying and happy hour sessions that will air on CNN/Sports Illustrated, it was announced today by Turner Sports President Mark Lazarus. CNN/Sports Illustrated will televise 16 qualifying sessions and eight happy hours, in addition to the 12 happy hours and four qualifying sessions already scheduled to air on TNT.(NASCAR.com)(7-6-2001)
  • Stewart in the Booth: Tony Stewart will work in the television booth for two NASCAR Grand National races on TNT, beginning with Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen. Stewart, who has done a little bit of television work already, will also be in the booth for a race on Aug. 4 at Indianapolis Raceway Park in Indianapolis, the night before the Brickyard 400(That’s Racin’)(7-6-2001)
  • Bad Parts: Several teams were caught Thursday during inspections using altered bolts to hold their fuel cells in place. NASCAR inspectors took bolts from the teams of #1-Steve Park, #31-Mike Skinner, #9-Bill Elliott, #44-Buckshot Jones and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. Parts of the body from the #40 Dodge of Sterling Marlin were confiscated for “streamlining the contours of the car beyond that approved by the series director.” Part of the window which holds the netting on the driver’s side of the #10 Pontiac of Johnny Benson was confiscated because it did not conform to NASCAR rules. Parts of the engine exhaust system from Park’s #1 Chevrolet were also taken for not conforming to NASCAR rules.(That’s Racin’), no idea what the problem with the bolts are(7-6-2001)
  • Marlin Wins Pole at Daytona for Pepsi 400. After a 2 hour rain delay and qualifying being delayed from Thursday night, #40-Sterling Marlin won the pole with a speed of 183.778mph. The outside pole goes to #22-Ward Burton at 183.072. Missing the race are: #14-Hornaday(36th in Owners Points and out of provisionals, wouldn’t had mattered if he had one); #90-Stricklin(40th); #44-Jones(41st); #27-Bliss(43rd); and #49-Hillenburg(57th). #21-Sadler will use his 10th provisional of the season, #11-Brett Bodine gets the final provisional spot, 43rd. See That’s Racin’ for Pepsi 400 lineup/qualifying results or NASCAR.com for the Pepsi 400 Starting Lineup or at Motorsports One.(7-6-2001)
  • Harvick and Hornaday Double Duty: Ron Hornaday will join Kevin Harvick in double duty this weekend. Hornaday will drive the #11 Chevy, usually driven by rookie Marty Houston, for the second consecutive week in the BGN. Hornaday will ride on the same plane as Harvick to Watkins Glen following Pepsi 400 practice Friday night. After BGN qualifying Saturday, they will fly back to Daytona on Saturday afternoon and then back to Watkins Glen either late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. The adjustment in the Winston Cup schedule today because of rain had no impact on their double-duty plans(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-6-2001)
  • Dover PR Rep into Art: Dover Downs public-relations director John Dunlap, who creates works of art by maneuvering the emulsion of Polaroid photographs, will have an exhibition of his work entitled “Hands On: The Hand-Manipulated Polaroids Z John Dunlap” on display during July and August at the Aloysius, Butler & Clark gallery in Wilmington, DE. Some of Dunlap’s subjects are NASCAR scenes, but he also uses shots of nature, flora, fauna, landmarks and monuments(Gaston Gazette)(7-6-2001)


  • Qualifying Rules Changed: ESPN2’s RPM 2Night mentioned tonight that starting at New Hampshire that qualifying would consist of one lap of qualifying instead of the two laps that have been run this year. The exceptions are tracks smaller then one mile (Bristol, Richmond and Martinsville) and the two restrictor plate tracks, Daytona and Talladega(7-5-2001)
  • Marcis to Retire? UPDATE 2 after 2002 Daytona 500: Dave Marcis, a race car driver for 44 years, is approaching a decision about his future in the sport. A competitor in the NASCAR Winston Cup series since 1968 and a starter in 879 races, Marcis, 60, is expected to decide soon if the approaching months will mark the end of his driving career. Marcis operates his own team from a shop located in Arden, NC near the Asheville airport. There may be an announcement about Marcis’ future during Pepsi 400 race activities at Daytona International Speedway next week. But Marcis said Monday he has not made a decision about retirement. Marcis is attempting a limited schedule this year and has raced in one event(Talladega). He said Monday he plans to attempt to qualify for five or six additional races this year, including next week’s race at Daytona Beach. His short-range plans also include driving in the Daytona 500 next February in Daytona Beach. Marcis started in 32 straight Daytona 500s, a streak that ended last year. “I’m leaning toward working something out on saying something soon,” he said. “I don’t want to announce a retirement and then come back and race. Maybe I’ll look at something like a semi-retirement and run a few races a year.” (Greenville News)
    UPDATE: just got this – Team Realtree Announcement, Press Conference on Thursday July 5, 2001at 2:00pm/et, Daytona International Speedway’s Benny Kahn Media Center(Champion Sports Group PR)(6-27/7-5-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Dave Marcis, a 34-year veteran of the Winston Cup circuit, announced Thursday that he will retire after the 2002 Daytona 500. “I will do the Chicago race, Indy, Dover, Darlington, Atlanta [this season], and Daytona 500 next February will be my last race,” Marcis said hours before qualifying for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Marcis Auto Racing will continue with Richard Childress Racing helping ensure the survival of MAR(CNN/SIAND Marcis Auto Racing will operate as an “affiliate” to Richard Childress Racing, and Marcis is looking for sponsorship and a young driver. And Marcis has one other venture he wanted to talk about: “I’ve bought a motel, a restaurant, and a bar in Rib Lake, Wis.,” Marcis said. “It’s a very nice place. It’s a 12-room motel on a lake. Anytime all of you want to get away, come up and have a beer and do a little fishing or hunting, come on up to Rib Lake, Wis.”(RacingOneAND Realtree, his primary sponsor, will also continue its relationship with Marcis but not a primary sponsor of the team. Marcis also plans to keep doing testing for Childress and for the International Race of Champions series(That’s Racin’)(7-5-2001)
  • MW Honored: Michael Waltrip, driver of the #15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, made a stop at DAYTONA USA onWednesday for what he thought was a special fan forum. What his visit turned out to be was a celebration of his victory in this year’s 43rd annual Daytona 500. After being introduced to the guests at DAYTONA USA by Speedway President John Graham, Waltrip was posed several questions from the fans attending the forum, but got interrupted by Dale Earnhardt Inc. teammate Steve Park when asked about how his golf game. Following the fan forum, Waltrip was presented with some gifts and took a look at his winning car, which will continue to be on display until next year’s 44th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 17. Waltrip received a Daytona 500 champion helmet, a scrapbook from his fellow competitors, several framed pictures of his victory from different sponsors and the Speedway. Waltrip’s family, including wife Buffy, daughters Caitlin and Margaret, were in attendance along with NASCAR President Mike Helton and the Chairman of NASCAR Bill France. “This is your day,” France said. Darrell Waltrip, Michael’s brother and 1989 Daytona 500 champion, was traveling to England and left a video message. “You and I are the only brothers to win the Daytona 500,” Darrell Waltrip said. “I’m proud of you. I’m happy for you. Enjoy this ceremony. What an accomplishment to have your car on display for a year. I wish I could be there and give you a hug.” Waltrip was grateful for the day of celebration. His Dale Earnhardt Inc. team were all presented with their Daytona 500 rings by Ty Norris, DEI Executive Vice President of Motorsports.. “We understand the significance of the Daytona 500. We’re truly honored to be your champions,” said a grateful Waltrip. Waltrip, a native of Owensboro, Ky., hopes he can reel in another win at Daytona on Saturday in the 43rd annual Pepsi 400. “We got a great car for this race,” Waltrip said. “It’s the car we ran at Talladega. We led the race and had a good day. Unfortunately, we had problems at the end with the car. We feel confident we can win this race too and do like we talked about on the commercial – win the Daytona 900.”(DIS PR)(7-5-2001)
  • Benson Turns Down Pole At His Track: Johnny Benson turned down the pole before the 50-lap feature last Saturday night in a late model race at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich. Benson qualified 10th fastest, but he could have started on the pole. Berlin, like many short tracks, likes to create a little more excitement by inverting the qualifying order before the race. On Saturday night it used the roll of the dice after qualifying to determine the inversion. Benson’s teammate, Lee Anderson, set fast time, but the dice roll came out 10 so that would normally have moved Benson, the 10th place qualifier, to first. However, Benson passed on the pole and chose to charge through the field. Why would any driver turn down a pole? It’s simple – he owns part of the half-mile, race track. The native of nearby Grand Rapids felt moving to the front might raise the eyebrows of fellow competitors. After three cautions in the first three laps, the race went green. Benson picked his way through the field and ran as high as third, but finished third. Terry Senneker Jr. won the race.(Stock Car Fans Newsletter)(7-5-2001)
  • Triple Duty Crewman: Cole Chitty, a mechanic in Hendrick Motorsports R&D department will pull triple duty this weekend.. Saturday he will change tires for Jack Sprague during the CTS race, then hop on owner Rick Hendrick’s jet and fly to Daytona where he will change tires for Mike Bliss and the #27 car.. He then returns home Saturday night, only to catch the race day flight to Watkins Glen on Sunday morning, and change tires for #46 Ashton Lewis in the BGN race(7-5-2001)


  • Morgan McClure Team makes a boy’s day: Recently Larry Stratton and his son, who is autistic, attended the Cup race at Sears Point Raceway and happened on one of the most inspiring acts of kindness he has ever seen a Nascar crew display. The #4 Morgan-McClure Motorsports crew did that was something the world needs to see, and give thanks to those who made this happen. See full story at RacingPress(7-4-2001)
  • Double Grief: Saturday will not only mark the first return to Daytona since Earnhardt’s death. The race will also mark exactly one year since Kenny Irwin died in a practice crash at New Hampshire International Speedway on July 7th(Gaston Gazette)(7-4-2001)

    Little E – No Interviews:Dale Earnhardt Jr. has decided not to grant interview requests in the days leading up the season’s second visit to the 2.5-mile track where his father, Dale Earnhardt, was killed on Feb. 18. “This may sound strange or hard to believe, but I’m looking forward to racing at Daytona,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “It’s the greatest track we race at for all of its history and the fact it was really the first superspeedway of its kind. You just know it’s special every time you get on the track. Restrictor plate racing is my favorite because you are always two- and three-wide, and the driver can really make a difference. As for anything else, I really don’t have any comments right now. I don’t know how I will feel when I go through that tunnel or how I will feel when I pull onto the track. I will just to wait and see.(Gaston Gazette)(7-4-2001)

  • Kenseth/Police Incident: A State Fair Park police officer grabbed NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth by the shirt and pounded his passenger car Sunday, according to witnesses of the confrontation after a race at the fairgrounds in West Allis. No report was filed, no citations were issued and no complaints were lodged with the department, said Inspector Wayne Romeis, the State Fair Police commanding officer. Kenseth said through a representative that he did not want to comment other than to say “there was no problem at all.” The incident occurred on a road on the grounds that leads to an exit onto W. 84th St. Kenseth was in traffic on his way out of the park after finishing second in the Busch Series GNC Live Well 250. The officer was on foot, witnesses said, when he ordered Kenseth to stop and get out of his car. After a discussion with Kenseth and another man, the officer told Kenseth to get back into his car and leave.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(7-4-2001)
  • Labonte Park Update: City (Corpus Christi, TX) officials have raised about $10,000 of the $60,000 needed to renovate the Nueces River Park and rename it in honor of NASCAR racing brothers Bobby and Terry Labonte. City spokesman Ted Nelson said Monday that donations were better than expected and that the park should be ready to open Sept. 26. The Caller-Times also announced plans to publish a special section on the day of the park’s dedication. Steve Arnold, the paper’s marketing director, said the section will include historical photos and that it’s “not just your NASCAR driver’s guide.” Proceeds from the section will go toward the park fund, he said. The community response to the fund-raising has been strong, said Tom Niskala, chief executive officer for the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce(The Caller). For past news and info on the park, see my #5 Team News and Links Page or my #18 Team News and Links Page(7-4-2001)
  • #43 gets some Helper: General Mills and Petty Enterprises announced that John Andretti will race the Hamburger Helper #43 Dodge Intrepid in the Pepsi 400, Saturday night, July 7, at Daytona International Speedway. The red, white and blue Hamburger Helper paint scheme is a Fourth of July salute to America as well as a way to mark Hamburger Helper’s 30th Anniversary. Hamburger Helper representatives also announced that the brand will donate $10 for every mile Andretti and his #43 completes in the Pepsi 400 to the Victory Junction Gang Camp started by Kyle and Pattie Petty for children with life-threatening illnesses in Randleman, NC.. “This is a great way to help raise money for the camp,” Andretti said.. “I truly understand Kyle and Pattie’s efforts with this project and will do what I can on the track to help out.” Recently, Hamburger Helper representatives presented Kyle and Pattie Petty with a check for $10,300 for Andretti’s performance in the Hamburger Helper No. 43 at The Winston Open at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. In addition to the Hamburger Helper donations, race fans did their part in raising money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp.. Fans donated $1 to paint their handprint on the Hamburger Helper “Helping Hands” Dodge at the Food Lion Speed Street festival during the Coca- Cola 600 weekend.. Race fans and their “Helping Hands” raised $2800 for the camp. The Victory Junction Gang Camp was founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty in honor of their son Adam…. It will be a place where children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses and their families can retreat to rejuvenate their minds, bodies and spirits.. The camp will be located in Randleman, North Carolina, and is scheduled to open in Summer 2004(IMG Motorsports PR). See an image of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery(7-4-2001)
  • Gordon 2nd Quarter DOTY: And if taking over the NASCAR Winston Cup points lead with three wins, three seconds and a third in nine races is not proof enough, Jeff Gordon capped that with victory in his now familiar competition – the American Driver of the Year second-quarter vote. Gordon, winner of the most prestigious award in motorsports in 1995, 1997 and 1998, defeated Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves, 112 points to 99 in balloting by a blue-ribbon panel of 14 national motorsports journalists and fans on ESPN.com. Driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet, the 29-year old Gordon racked up eight first-place votes, while Castroneves finished with five first-place nods. The remaining two first-place votes went to Winston Cup competitor Tony Stewart, who ran the Indianapolis 500 and then, that night finished third in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway; and Championship Auto Racing Team’s Kenny Brack.(DOTY PR/That’s Racin’)(7-4-2001)


  • #3 Will Not be Retired: Despite overwhelming public sentiment, it is unlikely NASCAR Winston Cup series car number “3” ever will be retired. The number synonymous with the late Dale Earnhardt currently belongs to Richard Childress, whose team included Earnhardt’s trademark black Chevrolet. As long as No. 3 remains in Childress’ possession, it almost certainly will be directly associated only with the Earnhardt name. NASCAR owns all of the numbers and determines on a yearly basis which teams will use them. The only imaginable scenario involving the appearance of No. 3 on a Winston Cup car would be if Dale Earnhardt Jr. some day drove for Childress. Undoubtedly, if NASCAR wanted to retire the number as a tribute, Childress would be open to the idea. But it is doubtful NASCAR will make such a decision; the famous No. 43 of Richard Petty, for example, remains active and owned by Petty. NASCAR’s policy is to not retire numbers. For now, “3” safely is in Childress’ possession and, with NASCAR’s approval, was placed in moratorium for a year. “We will never run a No. 3 black Goodwrench [car] again,” Childress said. “We may run a No. 3 car again some day.”(Tampa Tribune)(7-3-2001)
  • Amoco to end sponsorship of #93 at end of season: BP announced Tuesday that it will not renew its sponsorship of the #93 Amoco Ultimate Dodge and driver Dave Blaney for the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. “This partnership has been a good one over the past four years and we wish everyone at Bill Davis Racing every success in the future,” said Alan McGown, Manager, Motorsports. McGown said that BP still plans complete support behind the 2001 program, including a three-race schedule in October for a BP-branded car similar to the #93 entry driven by Blaney in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. last month. Amoco joined Bill Davis Racing as primary sponsor of former World of Outlaws champion Blaney for an abbreviated (20 races) rookie NASCAR Busch Series season in 1998. Blaney finished sixth in the Busch Series points in his first full NASCAR season (1999) and collected six pole positions—all in track-record time—in only 59 Busch Series starts. He graduated to the Winston Cup Series last year and finished third in the rookie-of-the-year battle behind Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.(Bill Davis Racing)(7-3-2001)
  • Earnhardt Accident Investigation on Schedule: As the Winston Cup series prepares to make its first appearance Saturday at Daytona International Speedway since the death of star Dale Earnhardt in the season-opening Daytona 500, NASCAR President Mike Helton said Tuesday the sanctioning body’s investigation into Earnhardt’s accident remains on schedule for completion in August. See full story at That’s Racin’: Helton says crash investigation on schedule(7-3-2001)
  • Austin Petty Injured: Austin Petty, 19-year-old son of Winston Cup driver Kyle Petty, was injured Sunday in a motorcycle accident at his Trinity, NC, home. Petty suffered cuts and abrasions on his back, arms and legs. He was expected to compete Tuesday night in the Summer Shootout Series at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Petty drives the #46 Beattie Racing Bandolero in the Outlaw Division. He is expected to return to action next week. It was not known whether Petty participated in any portion of the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America, however he did participate on June 26 in a Summer Shootout Series event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway(That’s Racin’)(7-3-2001)
  • Geoffrey Bodine returns to Cup: FSN’s Totally NASCAR resports that Geoffrey Bodine is expected to run two Cup races for his brother Brett at Bristol and Homestead. Brett is supposedly close to signing two major sponsors. Brett drives and ownes the #11 Ralphs Supermarkets Fords, past rumors had the car number as #91(7-3-2001)
  • International Truck Challenge? was supposedly held at Sears Point, but have heard nothing about it or any results. It is a a competition showcasing the skills of the drivers behind the drivers, the transporter drivers.NASCAR.com has the standings, but see no results, looks like the #43 driver, Gary Geissman is the standings leader for the three event challenge, so it can be assumed he won(7-3-2001)
  • NASCAR PR Hire: Bill Greene, presently the director of communications for the House Budget Committee in Washington, DC, will join NASCAR’s public relations department at the home office in Daytona Beach. Greene will apparently report to NASCAR veteran Jim Hunter, former president of Darlington Raceway, who is being brought in to rebuild the NASCAR public relations staff. The well-regarded Hunter is expected to add credibility to NASCAR’s communications efforts. At least one high-level NASCAR public relations job remains unfilled, but a hire is expected to be named shortly(SpeedVision)(7-3-2001)
  • Kenny out, Bliss in? UPDATE 5 Bliss Named: Kenny Wallace has told the #27 Eel River Racing team that he didn’t want to quit the team, but if after four races he was unable to qualify the car he would step away and allow ERR to hire another driver for the rest of the year. Rumor is that Mike Bliss will be driving the #27 car for the rest of the season. Also hear that Wallace has already been offered other Cup rides(no idea which ones). Wallace will concentrate on driving the #48 Innovative Gould’s Pump Chevy in the BGN for the rest of the year
    UPDATE: It has been learned that Eel River Racing may be parting ways with its driver, Kenny Wallace. The team has struggled financially and on the race track this year. Wallace has missed four races this year, most noteably the last three. The team began the season sponsorless until Duke’s Mayonnaise came forward in May to back them for the rest of 2001. A team spokesperson said they are “trying to regroup and looking at all aspects of the team.” If and when a driver change decision is made, it would be “sooner than later.”(NASCAR.com Buzz)(6-26-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hearing the #27 ERR team will be getting engine help from DEI in the upcoming races, just watched RPM 2Night from Tuesday night, it is mentioned their that the #27 will use an DEI engine at Daytona and another twist, Robby Gordon is being considered as the driver
    AND Kenny Wallace has secured his release from ERR and an announcement is expected Thursday(PRN’s Garage Pass)(6-27-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Barely a month after his very public campaign helped his race team land a sponsor, Kenny Wallace said Wednesday he’s out as driver of the #27 Pontiacs owned by Eel River Racing. “This is a move that I thought needed to be made so that I can move on,” Wallace said. The team has failed to qualify for the past three Winston Cup races. After missing the race at Pocono two weeks ago, Wallace said he felt the team began to question his ability. “A lot of thought went into this,” said Wallace, who as of Wednesday was still working to get released from his contract with the team. Mike Bliss, who drove for the team owned by Jack Birmingham in 24 races last season, is the apparent replacement for Wallace in the #27 car. Bliss would be the sixth driver in 58 races for Eel River. Calls made to Eel River Racing were not returned on Wednesday. Wallace said he plans to drive the #48 cars owned by George deBidart in the Grand National series for the rest of this year. He plans to enter his own Winston Cup car in a race at Loudon, N.H., on Sept. 16 and seek a full-time Cup ride for the 2002 season. Wallace left Andy Petree Racing after the 2000 season to join Eel River Racing. The team had no sponsor, however, and Wallace confirmed Wednesday that he tried to get a release from Eel River so he could drive the #01 Dodges now being driven by rookie Jason Leffler. Wallace also talked with car owner Larry McClure about taking over the #4 Chevrolets when Robby Gordon was let go after five races this season. Wallace then auditioned for a position on the NBC-TNT announcer team in May when it appeared that Eel River Racing was about to close its doors. On the same day that Wallace had the TV audition, however, the team announced a deal with the C.F. Sauer Co. to have the company’s colors on the #27 for 15 races, giving the team a reprieve.(That’s Racin’)
    AND Kenny was on ESPN2’s RPM 2Night and he and the ERR team have parted ways. Wallace will run a Cup car with his BGN team owner George deBidart in the September New Hampshire race(6-28-2001)
    UPDATE 4 – Interview: See an interview with Kenny by NASCAR.com’s Marty Smith at: Wallace speaks out on departure from Eel River(6-29-2001)
    UPDATE 5: On Monday, the Eel River Racingn team officially announced Mike Bliss will be returning as the driver of its #27 Pontiac. After testing in Kentucky on Monday and Tuesday, he will report for duty beginning with the Pepsi 400 at Daytona this weekend.(NASCAR.com)(7-3-2001)
  • Baby Houston make 4: Lorie Houston, wife of #96 McDonald’s driver, Andy Houston, gave birth Monday, July 2 at 4:17pm/et — to Clark Richard Houston at Catawba Memorial Hospital in Hickory, NC.  Clark’s vitals were 8 pounds and 24 inches long. Both mother and son were doing fine, and are expected to be released from the hospital on Tuesday. Clark joins family teammate – Collin, his older brother, who will turn four in August.(PPI Motorsports PR)(7-3-2001)
  • Nemechek Ready to go: Joe Nemechek felt so good about his Daytona return he cancelled a planned test at Lakeland, FL(Garage Pass), see the #33 Team News and Links page for past info on Nemechek’s injury at Dover(7-3-2001)
  • Testing at Kentucky: Testing at Kentucky today were Mike Bliss in thr #27 Eel River Pontiac, #43-John Andretti, #19-Casey Atwood and Jimmy Johnson in one of Jeff Gordon’s Chevy’s as he preps to make his cup debut(in the #48) at Lowes Motor Speedway in Oct(Garage Pass)(7-3-2001)
  • Cingular and the Special Olympics: This weekend at the Daytona International Speedway, Cingular Wireless and Special Olympics have teamed up to offer a Special Olympics athlete a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the race track. Cingular is racing towards its four-year goal of raising $40 million for Special Olympics and to showcase its commitment, Cingular’s #01 Dodge Intrepid race car, driven by Jason Leffler, will display a Special Olympics paint scheme for all Winston Cup races during June and July. In addition, through it’s “Winning for Special Olympics” pledge for the Pepsi 400, Cingular will donate $100 to Special Olympics for each lap Leffler completes, $1,000 to Special Olympics for each lap Leffler leads, and if Leffler wins, Cingular will donate $100,000 to Special Olympics. To help raise awareness for Cingular’s ongoing $40 million initiative, Special Olympics athletes have had the opportunity to participate first-hand in America’s fastest growing sport during the past three race weekends. They will continue to do so at Daytona and at the July 15th race in Chicago, IL. In addition to spending the weekend at the track, meeting the athletes and learning about the sport, these Special Olympics athletes have performed such track related tasks as honorary starter, honorary team member, riding in the pace car and honorary pit crew member. At the Daytona International Speedway this Saturday, Victor Stewart, one of 12 Sargent Shriver Global Messengers for Special Olympics, Inc., will get an up close and personal orientation to NASCAR and also serve as an honorary pit crew member at the Pepsi 400. As a Global Messenger, Stewart has the opportunity to tell the world about Special Olympics. Cingular is also selling limited edition, souvenir, die-cast versions of the #01 race car to commemorate its unique paint scheme and raise money for Special Olympics. A percentage of the proceeds generated from the die-cast car sales go directly to Special Olympics. Cars are available in Cingular Wireless retail outlets and at many Special Olympics State Summer Games. In addition, Cingular Wireless has launched a 60-day promotional drive to collect donations on behalf of Special Olympics. During the promotional months of June and July, consumers who donate $20 to Special Olympics and sign up for service at a Cingular Wireless retail store are eligible for: · An exclusive $35 rate plan offer, An Internet-ready Ericsson handset,· A co-branded Cingular/Blockbuster gift certificate for five free movie rentals good at participating Blockbuster stores. Donations raised by Cingular will support year-round training and competitions for Special Olympics athletes, who participate in the activities free of charge as well as help send Special Olympics Team USA athletes to the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Ireland.(Ketchum PR)(7-3-2001)


  • PE Changes? UPDATE McReynolds: hearing Petty Enterprises (#’s 43, 44, 45 and #43 CTS team) has parted ways with some of it’s engineering staff and that Larry MacReynolds (Fox Broadcaster) is considering working with the team when the Fox part of the TV deal is up after Sears Point(June 24th)(5-29-2001)
    UPDATE: During the FX broadcast of Sunday’s GNC Live Well 250 NASCAR Grand National series race from The Milwaukee Mile, McReynolds said he will take a consulting job with Petty Enterprises beginning next week. He will work primarily with driver Buckshot Jones in the #44 Dodges(That’s Racin’)(7-2-2001)



  • Night Races in June? Ed Goren, president and executive producer of Fox Sports, said that 24 hours after the final NASCAR telecast on Fox June 24, “we gathered all of the production people in a meeting to review the season and talk about possible changes in 2002. You won’t see us resting on our laurels.” One possible alteration, he said, is an increase in the number of primetime NASCAR telecasts to drive the ratings ever higher, particularly in June, when the May sweeps have wrapped up and the Fox Network is filling its schedule mostly with reruns.(Yahoo Daily News/Reuters/Variety), this years June races were: Dover, Michigan, Pocono and Sears Point, only Dover has been rumored to be looking into installing lights(7-1-2001)
  • Nice Story: When Tony Stewart found out Nicole Childs was waiting to see him at Michigan International Speedway, he immediately stopped taping a radio commercial and went to visit her. Childs was at the racetrack in Brooklyn to get her wish of meeting the NASCAR star. The 18-year-old from Midland County’s Sanford has a rare form of ovarian cancer. But Childs got more than she ever dreamed of that day, which was made possible by True Value and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. What was expected to be a 15-minute meeting between the two turned into a thrilling weekend. Childs met other NASCAR drivers, rode along with Stewart in the Winston Cup pace car, watched the IROC and Winston Cup races from the pits and hung out with Stewart, who also offered to fly her in his private plane to any other race. Childs was impressed because the weekend didn’t focus on her illness, but instead on racing and everyday talk, including fishing and an upcoming wedding in Stewart’s family. She said Stewart, 30, only asked about her illness once. “He asked me where I’m getting treatment and if I like my doctor. If not, he said, he’d get me a new one,” Childs told the Midland Daily News on Tuesday. Stewart also invited Childs to attend the Sunday Winston Cup drivers’ meeting with him, where she and her family were introduced. Many of the drivers, she said, talked with her and gave her autographs(Times Dispatch/AP). Note: this is just one of many stories about how NASCAR drivers go out of their way to help out(7-1-2001)
  • Hammond to Roush? It looks like Jeff Hammond may be close to finalizing some of his plans away from Fox in the second half of the season. At the Milwaukee Mile, Jeff said, “One of the biggest things I’ve got going right now is that I’m trying to put the finishing touches on an agreement to do some product representation for Roush. Jack has come and asked me and said, ‘Hey, I’ve got a lot of technology that I think a lot of racers don’t realize that they can get.’ Maybe they’re not comfortable talking to Jack, or maybe they’re not comfortable talking to who is there at this point in time. He’s given me an opportunity to represent him in that capacity and let people know that, hey, I can be a lead guy and I’m willing to answer questions, and can interact with their team, and it doesn’t conflict with what he’s got going on with his race teams. He feels very comfortable about that, so I’m looking forward to trying to get all of that finalized and put in place where I can do that for him, so I can stay involved. With that opportunity I get a chance to see what’s going on with the latest technology, understanding where teams are still having problems and issues. It keeps me in touch without having to be committed day in and day out like being a crew chief or accepting a full-time role with a team.” Jeff also stated that he has talked to some Busch and Truck teams about serving as a consultant.(MotorsportsTV)(7-1-2001)