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July 2002 Busch Series Archive

  • Grissom in Kirby out: Steve Grissom was named Wednesday to drive Spencer Motor Ventures’ #34 U.S. Air Force Chevy for the rest of the 2002 BGN season.  Grissom will take the reigns from Stuart Kirby beginning with the Cabela’s 250 at Michigan. “We had to make a very tough business decision this week”, said Spencer Motor Ventures’ President, Jimmy Spencer.  “Our responsibility as a race team is to generate media exposure for the United States Air Force, and provide them with marketing tools to recruit young men and women to protect our county.  In my opinion, I feel that our off-track NASCAR programs have been an asset to the Air Force, but our track performance has not met with the same success. I’m confident that Steve Grissom can give us the track performance that this race team needs right now to elevate our program to the next level.  But, this is a tough business where track performance is so critical to our success, and that’s why I had to make this change now.  We are only running sixteen races this season, and that makes it tough when you’re trying to develop a young rookie driver who needs seat time.  I wish Stuart the best of luck.  He’s a fine young man, and I know he’ll be successful in this sport.” Grissom, the 1993 BGN Champion, joined Petty Enterprises in 2000, where he drove the #43 Dodge in the CTS, finishing 10th in the points that year.  He is credited as being the point man for Petty’s return to Dodge.  For much of 2000 and 2001, Grissom spent countless hours in on-track research and development for Dodge Motorsports and Petty Enterprises.  After releasing Buckshot Jones from the #44 Dodge earlier this year, Petty gave the ride to Grissom.  He ran nine Winston Cup races for the Petty’s with his best finish of the season, eighth, in his third start, at Richmond. “I want to thank Jimmy Spencer for giving me this opportunity,” said Steve Grissom.  “Jimmy has put together a good race team, and I’m excited to be part of his organization.  I have worked with their crew chief, Larry Carter, in the past when I drove for Travis Carter’s Winston Cup team several years ago, and that’s always a plus when you start a new deal.  It’s also an honor to be part of the Air Force team, and I’m going do whatever it takes to help them with their recruiting program.” Grissom has 233 starts in the NASCAR Busch Series, posting 11 wins, 42 top-5 and 74 top-10 finishes.  Hi-res images of Grissom and the No. 34 U.S. Air Force NASCAR Busch Series Chevrolet are available online at www.jimmyspencer.com.(Spencer Motor Ventures PR)(7-31-2002)
  • Sadler at IRP Hermie Sadler will make his second BGN start of the 2002 season this Saturday night when he pilots the Little-Trees Chevrolet in the Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park. He also plans to enter other selected BGN races later this year in hopes of putting together a full time return to the series in 2003. “My team has come a long way,” stated Sadler. “Last year we ran a limited Winston Cup schedule and this year we have run very well at the races we’ve entered. Our goal for the rest of this season is to attract a full time Busch Series sponsor so we can return to the series full time in 2003. We can tie those marketing opportunites with our limited 2003 Winston Cup schedule.” Sadler feels like he is ready for a full time return to NASCAR after running limited schedules for the past two seasons.while assisting his youngest daughter, Halie Dru, with school and therapy for autism. “The last few years have been trying and have put things into perspective for me. Now, Halie is doing very well and I am ready to focus back on racing. This business is about performing and we’ve proven we can perform even with a limited budget and limited resources. Once we have a full time commitment the performance will be even stronger.”(Sadler Motorsports PR)(7-31-2002)
  • Chaffin Secures Sponsorship for IRP Event: Chad Chaffin and Day Enterprise will have a new sponsor at this weekend’s Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Laborers International Union of North America – Indiana District, will join Day Racing and Chaffin for the August 3rd event in the one-race sponsorship deal. Laborers International Union of North American (LIUNA) has more than 800,000 members throughout 650 local chapters in North America. LIUNA represents workers in many different ways, including the operation of hundreds of pension, health and welfare, and training funds. LIUNA also initiates programs to create new job opportunities for its members and guarantee safe working conditions at job sites.(Track Side Marketing)(7-31-2002)
  • Compton testing at South Boston: #59 BGN driver, Stacy Compton will be testing at Big Daddy’s South Boston Speedway on Wednesday, July 31st.(7-31-2002)
  • Crew Chiefs fined, one suspended: NASCAR officials have suspended and fined BGN crew chief Michael Kadlecik for a rule violation in last weekend’s NetZero 250 at Pikes Peak International Raceway. Kadlecik, crew chief of the #33 Chevy, was fined $2,500 and suspended from NASCAR competition until Aug. 21. He was penalized under Section 12-4-W in the 2002 NASCAR Busch Series rule book: “Improperly attached weight.” During competition, pieces of ballast (weight) came off the #33, having been improperly secured. Lewis was issued a $1,500 fine for a rule violation under Section 12-4-Q: “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules: front coil spring.” The non-conforming right front spring was discovered in Friday’s post-qualifying inspection for Saturday’s race. A minimum of four and one-half coils is required; the #46 car’s spring was approximately four and one-quarter coils.(NASCAR PR)(7-30-2002)
  • Wood in the #9 at IRP? UPDATE: hearing it was reported during the CTS race at Milwaukee that Jon Wood, who drives the #50 CTS truck, would be in the #9 Gain Ford at the race at Indianapolis Raceway Park in August.(7-2-2002)
    UPDATE: Jon Wood, a Craftsman Truck Series regular, will make his BGN debut Friday night at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Wood will substitute for Jeff Burton in the No. 9 Ford of Roush Racing.(Gaston Gazette)(7-28-2002)
  • Parker wins at Pikes Peak: #36-Hank Parker Jr. used fuel economy to win the NetZero 250 on Saturday, easily holding off Busch Series leader Greg Biffle at Pikes Peak International Raceway. Parker, who started 23rd in his Dodge, beat Biffle by 11.452 seconds after making only two pit stops in the 200-mile race. Parker also gambled on fuel to win last year at California Speedway, his only other Busch Series victory. Biffle, who started 20th, and third-place finisher Jason Keller each made three stops in their Fords, with Biffle falling from first to eighth on his last stop on lap 189. Biffle, 77 points ahead of Keller in the season standings, fought overheating problems. Parker averaged 113.350 mph in the race slowed by only two caution periods. The yellow flag came out on the third lap because of debris on the mile oval, and again on the 29th lap when Bruce Bechtel hit the wall in the fourth turn. #26-Ron Hornaday Jr. finished fourth, followed by #37-Kevin Lepage, #23-Scott Wimmer, #18-Mike McLaughlin, #27-Jamie McMurray, #46-Ashton Lewis Jr. and #59-Stacy Compton. Lepage led a race-high 76, but gave up the lead to Parker on the 232nd lap to pit for fuel.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)
    For results see ThatsRacin.com or BGNRacing.com.(7-27-2002)
  • Kirby Sticker at Pikes Peak: Many of the Busch Series cars have a palm-sized white sticker saluting part-time Busch racer Andy Kirby, who died July19 in a motorcycle accident in Tennessee. The sticker says: In memory, Andy Kirby, 11-30-61, 7-18-02. Kirby was 36th in the Busch season standings and started 12 races this season. He drove the #77 car. His best finish this season was sixth at the Aaron’s 312 on April20 at Talladega Superspeedway. On the #16 car driven by Chad Chaffin, the sticker is a little larger than a football. “I worked for Andy’s granddaddy,” said #16 team owner Wayne Day.(The Gazette)(7-27-2002)
  • Lowell Bennett to run IRP: #02-Bennett Motorsports will be competing in the Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Saturday, August 3 with driver Lowell Bennett. Bennett debuted at the Milwaukee Mile in June, starting 36th and finishing 41st. Joe Shear, Jr. will join the team again as their crew chief for the race.(7-27-2002)
  • Potashnick injured in freak accident misses race: Sammy Potashnick, who was scheduled to drive Jay Robinson’s #49 Chevy in the BGN race at Pikes Peak International Raceway, suffered a minor injury early Friday morning putting a halt to his race weekend. After helping drive Jay Robinson’s race transporter from Charlotte, NC, Potashnick was nearing the end of the drive early this morning. Another team member was driving as Potashnick resituated himself in the back. He ultimately stumbled in the moving vehicle hitting his head on his way down. As a result, Potashnick suffered similar symptoms to those he experienced after his recent head injury. Potashnick was involved in an accident at the end of May at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, CA, which left him with a concussion and contusion to the brain. After arriving at the emergency room, Potashnick was examined by the emergency room Neurosurgeon who determined that he would remain at the hospital under direct observation as the contusion posed a threat of possible seizure. Potashnick was released from the Direct Observation Unit after several days when it was determined that the most dangerous period of time that existed with the contusion had passed. The Neurosurgeon determined that Potashnick would be re-evaluated in several weeks before he would be cleared to race. Potashnick was in fact cleared to race at the time of re-evaluation. He was told that he would be slightly more susceptible than normal to symptoms that would result from the head trauma. He was told that the symptoms would not immediately cease, and that it would be normal to experience them to a small degree; however, Potashnick was directed to consult and/or see a Neurosurgeon or Neurologist immediately if symptoms were to reoccur. Potashnick, his family, and Jay Robinson found it in his best interest to forfeit his driver status this weekend in order to seek immediate attention. Rick Markle is in the car this weekend at Pikes Peak and qualified the #49 in 36th place.(PR)(7-27-2002)
  • Sad News UPDATE fund set up: Busch Series Driver Killed In Crash. A racecar driver has been killed in a local motorcycle crash. Late Thursday night, Busch racecar driver Andy Kirby was killed in the crash on Union Road in White House, Robertson County [Tenn]. The 41-year-old has raced everything from motor cross bikes to late model stock cars and trucks. In addition to his racing career, he was heavily involved in the design of his racecars. Kirby was the NASCAR Winston Racing Series points champion in 1997. He leaves behind a wife and three sons.(Channel 5 siteAND News 2 has learned that a local race car driver was killed in an overnight motorcycle accident. It happened about 11:30 p.m. Thursday night in Robertson County [Tennessee]. Authorities told News 2 that Andy Kirby, Jr. of White House was driving at a high-rate of speed when he lost control on a curve in the road. He slid about 200 feet and hit a tree. Kirby was 39-years-old.(WKRN TV Site), Kirby ran races in the Busch and CTS series.(also see story at ThatsRacin.com)(7-19-2002)
    More – visitation: Kirby is survived by his wife, Dori, and three children. Visitation is today [Saturday] from 2-8 p.m. at the Austin Bell Funeral Home in White House. Funeral services are at 1:00pm Sunday, also at Austin Bell. See a good column and story about Kirby by Larry Woody at the Tennessean.(7-20-2002)
    FUND: Kirby fund: Fairgrounds Speedway is helping generate proceeds for a fund for the children of Andy Kirby, a three-time track champ who died last week in a motorcycle crash. Track president Dennis Grau said drivers will take up a collection for the fund during Saturday’s races, and the track also will donate a portion of its proceeds. Meanwhile, contributions can be made to the Andy Kirby Children’s Fund at Cumberland Bank in White House, 37188, or by calling 615-672-2265. David Price is overseeing the fund. Grau is also organizing a memorabilia sale to benefit Kirby. He said legendary A.J. Foyt, who read the story about Kirby during last week’s visit for the IRL race, has offered to donate some items. The time and place of the sale will be announced when details are completed. Kirby left behind a wife, Dori, and sons Seth, 17, Jonathan, 13, and Ethan 10. The family has little insurance. Kirby was driving a limited schedule in the NASCAR Busch Series at the time of his death.(Tennessean)(7-25-2002)
  • Dallenbach back in the booth – and maybe some future BGN races UPDATE 3 Pizza Hut?: It’s quite possible Wally Dallenbach will drive a few BGN races for NBC later this year. They hoped to get him a Winston Cup ride for the Brickyard 400, “but that didn’t work out,” Dallenbach said. The network plans to make more use of Dallenbach in its second year of a six-year contract with NASCAR. He will have a spot on the pre-race show where he drives a car on the track, showing viewers what the drivers have ahead of them. In the booth, NBC will have a scale model of a race car that Dallenbach can spin 360 degrees and demonstrate problems as well as explain race terminology.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-12-2002)
    UPDATE: NBC-TV NASCAR commentator Wally Dallenbach will announce this week a return to the track as a driver. He’s lined up a part-time BGN ride.(PRN’s Garage Pass)(7-23-2002)
    UPDATE 2: hearing this could be with the #6 Tommy Baldwain team and hearing Pizza Hut will be the primary sponsor.(7-25-2002)
    UPDATE 3: In a deal signed Tuesday July 23rd , Tommy Baldwin Racing and “Pepsi” have joined forces with driver Wally Dallenbach in a (3) three race agreement which will have TBR field Dodge powered cars driven by Dallenbach at the upcoming BGN races at Michigan August 17th, Lowe’s Motor Speedway October 12th and Phoenix November 9th. Dallenbach, color commentator for the NBC and TNT networks (covering Cup and BGN races) along with his broadcast partners, Allen Bestwick and Benny Parsons, will be part of a unique twist of broadcasting tailored to give the television viewers a driver’s perspective. Dallenbach will have voice transmissions to crew chief, Tommy Baldwin, and communication to Bestwick and Parsons, when possible, under caution periods. An “In car Camera” will also be added to the package that will show what Dallenbach views both ahead, behind and beside him, as well as, showing his feet and hand movement.(Motorsports Decisions PR)(7-25-2002)
  • Carlos Contreras to jump to the BGN? UPDATE: hearing Petty CTS driver, #43-Carlos Contreras could be making the move up to the BGN, with Petty Enterprises and sponsor Hot Wheels.(7-20-2002)
    UPDATE: With Carlos Contreras reportedly considering a move to the Busch Series with another organization, Petty Enterprises is considering leaving the truck series at the end of this season. “We don’t know yet,” Richard Petty said July 19. “We’re not really aiming (at returning to the series), but we don’t know what’s going to happen. We’ve still got a month or two to make up our mind as to what we’re going to do.” There’s speculation that Petty Enterprises could field a full-time Busch Series team with a driver to be determined, but nothing is definite. “Right now, we’ve got three or four scenarios,” Petty said. “We’ll see which one comes out.” (Winston Cup Scene – need subscription to read)(7-25-2002)
  • Whatever happed to….Jamie Skinner? RW Motorsports is pleased to announce that they will be making their USAR Hooters ProCup Series debut on July 20, 2002 at New River Valley Speedway with Jamie Skinner as the driver. The RW Motorsports team has been working hard all year on the new #80 car and is excited to begin a relationship with Jamie Skinner. Skinner (son of Winston Cup driver Mike Skinner) has previously raced in several NASCAR events including the CTS and BGN series. RW Motorsports is a new team for 2002 and currently has Porter Paint as their major sponsor although they are looking for additional sponsorships.(KARNAC.com)(7-24-2002)
  • Biagi and NASCAR? Biagi Brothers? Tomas Biagi, who is running for the Euro F3000 Championship with Ghinzani Team is mentioned in a story about being contacted by a NASCAR team: “Q) You’ve been contacted by a Nascar Team recently, what’s happening there? A) Yes, it’s true, I’ve been contacted by a team in the NASCAR Series (didn’t say which series). The Team is owned by a family with the same name and they said that ‘Biagi’ is a very appreciated name in their competition. Naturally this could give me a very special opportunity…”(F-1 Live.com), assuming (oops) he is talking about the Biagi Brothers #4 BGN team who Mike Wallace drives for, there had been rumors of a 2nd car for that team in 2003.(7-23-2002)
  • Gibbs to Chevy and a two car team in 2003: Joe Gibbs Racing plans to go back to a two-car BGN team in 2003, running Chvey’s (as they will in Cup). #18-Mike McLaughlin would remain and Gibbs’ son, Coy, would run the full season. Coy is currently running the full CTS season and five BGN races in the #20 car. Gibbs said his organization is working toward having ConAgra Foods, which is backing Coy Gibbs’ limited BGN schedule this season, as a sponsor.(FSN’s Totally NASCAR/NASCAR.com)(7-23-2002)
  • Kirby Remembered at Gateway: The NASCAR Busch Series has been hit again with tragedy. Driver Andy Kirby was fatally injured on July 18, 2002 in a motorcycle accident in Robertson County Tennessee. Kirby joined the NASCAR Busch Series ranks in 1999 and has raced limited schedules for the past several seasons. He most recently drove for the #77 Ford during the 2002 season. Kirby was 40-years-old and is survived by his wife Dori and three children. Brewco Motorsports, which fields the #27 and #37 entries in the Busch Series has provided decals for the 43-car field to run in Kirby’s remembrance during Saturday night’s Charter Pipeline 250 at Gateway International Raceway. Kirby attempted some races for Brewco Motorsports in 2000. Members of the Busch Series Ladies Association will distribute the decals to the teams. In addition, the Busch Series Ladies Association will distribute stickers for competitors to wear during Saturday’s event. The stickers will simply read, “In Loving Memory”, honoring both Kirby and Barry Caldwell, a Busch Series crewmember who lost a battle to cancer last week. The Decal Source provided the stickers. The Busch Series Ladies Association, founded in 1996, is a non-profit organization that helps injured drivers and crewmembers in the Busch Series family. In addition, the BSLA works to promote other charitable works.(BSLA)(7-20-2002)
  • Brewco looking for a sponsor: Officials of Williams TravelCenters, a division of Williams Energy Partners, have told Team Owner Clarence Brewer the company won’t return in 2003 as [#27] Jamie McMurray’s primary backer. Brewer had a three-year contract with the company, but it chose to exercise an “out” option. According to Brewer, Williams’ travel-store division is for sale as a result of industry analysts advising companies to boost profits. Sponsorship for Brewer’s #37 team, with Timber Wolf, is secure through 2004.(Winston Cup Scene – need subscription to read)(7-18-2002)
  • Keller and Albertson’s re-up with ppc Racing: Albertsons announced it has re-signed with ppc Racing as primary sponsor of Jason Keller and the #57 Ford in the BGN for 2003. Keller’s success in 2002 made him a hot commodity in the NASCAR garage area, but the commitment of Albertsons and a championship caliber race team brought Keller back to the #57 Ford for another year. “Right now I want to do more than win races,” said Keller. “I want to win a championship and I know that I have that opportunity with ppc Racing. Greg Pollex gave me an opportunity to continue to drive in the Busch Series when no one else would.. Greg, Keith (Barnwell) and the entire ppc Racing organization have been very instrumental in my success over the past years and I look forward to continuing our relationship through next season.” The 2003 BGN season will be Keller’s 10th year of competition in the series. While ppc Racing is in its third year of existence on the Busch Series circuit, Keller has raced for ppc Racing co-owner Greg Pollex for five years and co-owner Keith Barnwell for two. In addition to being the primary sponsor of the #57 Ford, Albertsons is planning numerous marketing and promotional programs utilizing Keller and the Albertsons Ford within its family of stores. Albertsons operates in numerous NASCAR markets under several different banners including ACME, Jewel, Osco and Sav-On.(IMG PR)(7-13-2002)
  • Gaita hopes to run some BGN races later in 2002: The Lamb and Robinson Motorsports team will be in Jefferson, Ga., on Saturday for its fourth Hooters ProCup race, but bigger things are in its future. Crew chief Jamie Mosley says the Chesapeake-based team has ordered a new Busch Grand National car for Joe Gaita to drive in selected events. Their first Busch effort has not been set, but Mosley said the team is committed to compete in all remaining Hooters South races this season. “There is no doubt that technology learned by running in the Busch series will help the team in the Hooters series,” Mosley said. “The cars are basically the same.” Mosley’s plan is to enter Busch races only on tracks of three-quarters of a mile to 1.5 miles. That would include Richmond, Charlotte and Dover. The Lamb and Robinson team began the season racing for the Late Model Stock championship with driver Phil Warren. The emphasis changed to the Hooters circuit after Warren resigned and Gaita was hired to replaced him. The team still has the LMS car but has raced it only once since Warren left.(Virginian Pilot)(7-12-2002)
  • Compton stays with #59 car in 2003: Laying to rest many rumors to the contrary, Stacy Compton and ST Motorsports today announced that Compton has signed to drive the #59 Kingsford/Johnsonville Chevy in the BGN for the entire 2003 season.(ST Motorsports PR)(7-10-2002)
  • Dale Jr to start BGN team: Dale Earnhardt Jr. revealed Thursday he was starting a BGN team, and IRL champion Sam Hornish could be the driver, at least part-time. “We are putting together a Busch team,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “Me and my stepmother Teresa are going to be partners in the project, and I personally wanted to do it, No. 1 because I wanted to run the July race in Daytona this year, but we couldn’t get it put together quick enough. The other reason was I wanted to run the July race in Daytona next year and the 300 in February, and the Talladega race as well. I just like running those tracks so much. It was something that I wanted to do actually solely on my own, and Teresa and (DEI vice president) Ty (Norris) thought that it would be better if me and her went into it on a partnership where we could tie it in with DEI a little more as far as employees and how the program developed and how it would complement our Cup teams in the future. With that in mind I plan on running those races next year and bringing in possibly Sam and maybe someone else to run anywhere from six to 10 (races), maybe even more than that. It should be a lot of fun just doing that.”(RacingOne)(7-5-2002)
  • Keller wins pole at Pikes Peak: #57-Jason Keller won the pole at Pikes Peakm his first pole of 2002 and the first since 1999 (96 races) with a track record speed of 131.801mph. Thr rest of the top five are: #38-Mark Green, 46-Ashton Lewis, #48-Kenny Wallace and #25-Bobby Hamilton, Jr. See BGNRacing.com for lineup.(7-26-2002)
  • Biffle wins at Gateway: #60-Greg Biffle raced to his third BGN victory of the year in the Charter Pipeline 250 at Gateway International Raceway. Biffle, the series leader, edged #26-Ron Hornaday by 1.945 seconds after putting his Ford ahead of Hornaday’s Chevrolet during the final series of green-flag pit stops. Hornaday, who led 141 of 200 laps on the 1.25-mile track, gave up the lead when he pitted on the 158th lap, and was about four seconds behind when he got back up to speed. Biffle also won last month in Dover and Milwaukee, and has eight victories in 55 series starts. He leads #57-Jason Keller by 72 points in the season standings. #54-Kevin Grubb finished third, followed by #24-Jack Sprague and #33-Tony Raines.
    Results can be seen at ThatsRacin.com.(7-20-2002)
  • Decals to Honor Crewman: The NASCAR Busch Series will remember Barry Caldwell during this weekend’s Charter Pipeline 250 at Gateway International Raceway. Curb-Agajanian Motorsports, Caldwell’s former employer, will provide decals for the 43-car field to display during Saturday night’s event. The decals will read, “In Memory of Barry Caldwell”. Caldwell worked for Curb-Agajanian Motorsports for four years serving as a tire changer for the No. 43 Busch Series entry. He lost a battle to cancer last Thursday (July 11,2002). Donations may be made in memory of Caldwell to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, 1523 Elizabeth Ave., Charlotte, NC 28207.(Curb-Agajanian Motorsports PR)(7-19-2002)
  • Hmiel wins pole at Gateway but it is Disallowed, so LaJoie gets it: #47-Shane Hmiel matched the BGN record for poles by a rookie, taking his third pole of the season at Gateway International Raceway but then the speed was disallowed when NASCAR inspectors found Hmiel’s car to be 17-19lbs lighter than the allowed weight of 3,300 pounds in post-qualifying inspection. Hmiel had run 132.080mph. 2nd fastest and now the pole sitter was #7-Randy LaJoie at 131.911, followed by #26-Ron Hornaday Jr. at 131.818; #57-Jason Keller at 131.671; #33-Tony Raines at 131.656 and. Hmiel will take the first provisonal and start 37th. Missing the race were #0-Kertus Davis and #22-Drew White.(ThatsRacin.com)
    See results/lineup at BGN Racing or NASCAR.com.(7-19-2002)
  • Green and the #38 have a special scheme at Gateway, update on Elder: Mark Green is coming to Gateway International Raceway with a new paint scheme on his Great Clips #38 Ford and a new approach on how to drive the 1.25-mile egg-shaped oval. In a back-to-school promotion that will turn heads on and off the racetrack, Great Clips is introducing an action-packed computer racing game. Green’s Great Clips Ford will reflect the back-to-school promotion with a special paint scheme to introduce the Great Clips 500 CD-ROM racing game at St. Louis July 20th and at Pikes Peak, July 27th. The Great Clips 500 CD-ROM racing game will be given free to Great Clips customers who purchase a hair cut during the upcoming back-to-school period with timing varying from mid-July to Sept. depending upon the market. Green’s Great Clip’s teammate Christian Elder was involved in a wreck last Friday during qualifying at Chicago. Elder sustained a concussion, fractured right clavicle and a small laceration on his forehead in the wreck. As of Wednesday he is still sore, but feeling better and said, “I want to make it very clear to everyone that the stringent NASCAR rules as to car construction and the execution of those rules by my Great Clips Akins Motorsports crew played a large role in my not being much more seriously injured in the accident.”(PR), see my BGN Schemes page for an image.(7-18-2002)
  • #94 team and Gunselman sign for 14 races: Larry Gunselman and DF2 Motorsports have struck a 14 race deal inclusive of Chicago. Waterloo Tool Storage will be the sponsor for the 14 events. The team is also switching from CRD to Fischer engines for the remainder of the year. (DF2 Motorsports PR via BGN Racing.com)(7-14-2002)
  • No Full time BGN team for Roush in 2003? While Roush Racing will field five full-time Winston Cup teams next year, it may not have a full-time Busch entry. Owner Jack Roush would like to have a team, but it’s dependent on sponsorship. He will, however, field a partial effort for Jeff Burton and possibly a team with Kurt Busch and brother Kyle sharing driving duties during a limited schedule.(Winston Cup Scene – need subscription to read)(7-18-2002)
  • Potashnick to make debut at Gateway: Sammy Potashnick is gearing up to be the driver of Jay Robinson’s BGN #49 car next weekend in the Charter Pipeline 250 at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill. Potashnick, who will make his BGN debut, has been racing since 1996 in ARCA, the USAR Hooter’s Pro Cup, CTS, Winston West, and the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Late Model Division. Potashnick’s most recent career highlights include winning the Winston West Bank One 250 in Salt Lake City, UT, winning a NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Late Model Division race at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, CA, and finishing 2nd at the Winston West race held this February at Phoenix. Potashnick has one previous start at Gateway in ARCA where he qualified 3rd.(Jay Robinson PR)(7-15-2002)
  • Johnny Sauter wins at Chicago: #2-Johnny Sauter won the Twister 300 at Chicagoland Speedway for his first career BGN win after using a two-tire stop on Lap 98 of 200 and then a final stop on Lap 125. Sauter held off #92-Todd Bodine by .420 seconds in a three-lap dash to the finish following a five-minute red flag. #9-Jeff Burton was third, #87-Joe Nemechek was fourth and #26-Ron Hornaday completed the top five. #60-Greg Biffle maintains his hold on the series points lead with a 47-point advantage over #57-Jason Keller. #24-Jack Sprague lost an engine early in the race and #10-Scott Riggs wrecked hard later in the race. Riggs was transported to Provena St. Joseph Hospital in Joliet, Ill., for X-rays on his ribs. He complained of pain in his right rib cage area following the incident. For results see ThatsRacin.com.(7-13-2002)
  • Qualifying is over at Chicago after two red flags – Todd Bodine wins pole: after being delayed due to BGN qualifying running late after two red flags for accidents(see below). #92-Todd Bodine won the pole at Chicago with a speed of 178.772mph. 2nd is #10-Scott Riggs at 178.725, #9-Jeff Burton at 178.719 was 3rd, #21-Jeff Green at 178.619 4th and fifth was #37-Kevin Lepage at 178.200. For Line-up/qualifying results see BGN Racing or NASCAR.com.(7-12-2002)
  • Elder and Pardus injured in qualfying UPDATE Green in the car at Chicago: BGN driver Christian Elder wrecked hard in the middle of Turns 3 and 4 during his qualifying run at Chicagoland Speedway. He was airlifted to St. James Hospital in Olympia Fields, Ill., and was initially diagnosed with a concussion and possible fracture of his right collar bone. Elder was expected to have CT scans of his head and neck. Dan Pardus also wrecked in his qualifying run. His No. 32 Chevrolet caught fire after hitting the wall. Pardus had difficulty in getting out of his car, but eventually got out and was taken to the infield care center for treatment for smoke inhalation.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-12-2002)
    UPDATE: Elder was released Saturday afternoon from the hospital and returned home to Charlotte, NC. Elder spent Friday night in St. James Hospital in Olympia Fields, Ill., with a concussion and broken right clavicle. Elder underwent a CT scan of his head and neck. Both proved negative. Mark Green, who was already sharing the car with Elder this season, will be behind the wheel in Saturday’s Tropicana Twister 300. Green was already slated to drive the car at St. Louis and Pikes Peak during the next two weeks.(NASCAR.com)(7-13-2002)
  • Green back in the #09 car at Chicago: The Hispanic Racing Team (HRT) and former BGN champion David Green will be bringing a little Latin energy to this weekend’s BGN race at Chicagoland Speedway. The duo will run its second race of the year at the 1.5-mile tri-oval, where the #09 CICLÓN Energy Drink entry hopes to earn a victory for HRT, the first and only Hispanic-owned and sponsored team in NASCAR. Green, although he’s not Hispanic, will drive the #09 CICLÓN Chevy for the second time this year after finishing 14th in May at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Green has helped build the HRT Motorsports program in preparation for veteran open wheel driver Roberto Guerrero’s debut in stock car racing. Guerrero takes over the wheel of the #09 later this year for the BGN races at Atlanta, Phoenix and Homestead. With plans to be the first NASCAR team with Hispanic owners, drivers and sponsors, HRT has been a welcome source of diversity in the garage. Since teaming up in April with CICLÓN, a Panama-based energy drink company, HRT has helped introduce NASCAR to Hispanics across the United States. The team recently teamed up with TrackFanTravel.com for an associate sponsorship on the #09. This online travel savings club has NASCAR-specific packages, and they are reaching the fans that support our program to increase their business, as well.(The Motorsports Decisions Group PR)(7-12-2002)
  • Driver to debut in Chicago in the #49 Jay Robinson car: Chicagoland will be the first ever BGN career start for Charlotte, NC native Dan Shaver as a Driver. Through the mid and late 90’s, Shaver owned the #49 BGN team that fielded cars for drivers Kyle Petty, Stanton Barret, Patty Moise and Greg Sacks. The team was sponsored by the NWO and WCW, posting its best run with Kyle Petty who ran 4th at Talladega. Shaver grew up racing go carts and is an accomplished Road Racer, competing in 24 hours of Daytona and numerous other Road Racing endeavors. The thrill of high speeds and close competition drew Shaver back to Stock Cars. In the late 90’s he began to run Goodys Dash speedway events.In 2002 the team expanded into ARCA, posting his best current finish at Michigan in 9th. While building new cars and racing all at the same time is not an easy task, the team takes it very seriously. The team looks forward to Chicago as their weekend for expanding to the next level. Maintaining a competitive race team as a business, and being competitive on the race track is job number one for Shaver and his team. The team is currently sponsored by Petro Express and CITGO.(PR)(7-11-2002)
  • Cicci leaves Spencer: hearing that Frank Cicci and Jimmy Spencer have parted ways effective this week. Cicci served as Vice President and General Manager of Spencer’s Air Force sponsored #34 BGN team. “I just never got comfortable working for somebody else, I have always run my own business. Jimmy and Pat are great people to work for but I have to do my own thing. I am going to start a new Busch team and am presently looking for a shop. I am also working on a couple of sponsors for next year. I have to start now if I want to get something going for next season. I wish Jimmy and the team best of luck and success”. Since 1987, Cicci was majority owner of Team 34/Cicci-Welliver Racing until he sold his share to Welliver in 2001.(7-6-2002)
    UPDATE: Frank Cicci has left Spencer Motor Ventures, and plans to field his own Busch Series operation next season. Cicci has been involved in the division since the late 1980s, and sold his share of the organization then known as Cicci-Welliver Racing in August of 2001. Wayne Jesel recently took complete control of the operation.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(7-11-2002)
  • Barrett injured but will race at Chicago: Although he recently broke 10 bones in his left foot during a movie stunt gone bad, Stanton Barrett plans to go ahead with plans to run the entire Busch Series race at Chicagoland. Barrett was to have jumped from one building to another on a motorcycle, and then to a third, all the while with 60 pounds of mounts and camera equipment strapped to the bike. A camera sheered off, causing Barrett’s motorcycle to flip over in midair. Not to worry, though. According to a press release concerning the incident, Barrett’s “threshold of pain is easily the highest in motorsports.”(Winston Cup Scene– need sub to read)(7-11-2002)
  • Red Fusion at Chicago: The #26 Dr Pepper Chevy and driver Ron Hornaday will run a special scheme in Chicago this weekend. The new scheme celebrates the national launch of Red Fusion, the new brand extension of Dr Pepper. See my BGN Paint Schemes page for the image and two of the #10 Ford.(7-10-2002)
  • #25 Assoc sponsor at Chicago: Chicago-based Connie’s Pizza and ABC Auto Parts have signed on as associate sponsors of the #25 Team Marines Ford driven by Bobby Hamilton, Jr. and owned by two of Chicago’s own, Ed Rensi and Gary Weisbaum, when the BGN heads to the Windy City for the Hills Bros 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 13, 2002. Taking their first jump into the NASCAR Busch Series, the #25 Ford Taurus will feature the Connie’s Pizza logo on-board. Rensi and Weisbaum, who have been a long-time patrons of Connie’s Pizza, saw an opportunity for a strategic marketing partnership between his race team operation and the legendary pizza chain. On Wednesday, July 10, 2002, Bobby Hamilton, Jr., driver of the #25 Ford, will make a special visit to the Connie’s Pizza Fox Valley/ Naperville location to sign autographs, greet fans and of course, indulge in one of Connie’s delicious pizzas. WJOL will be on-site to giveaway two pairs of tickets, one pair for the BGN race and the Cup race at Chicago. Patrons will also have the opportunity to win other Team Marines Racing and Connie’s Pizza prizes including cooler bags and T-shirts. ABC Auto Parts, located in Blue Island, IL, has Chicago’s largest inventory of in-stock late model used parts. This will mark the company’s second year as an associate sponsor on the #25 Team Marines Ford.(Team Rensi PR)(7-9-2002)
  • #21 RCR Assoc: Richard Childress Racing says Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc., a recreational vehicle maker, has signed on as an associate sponsor with the team’s #21 Chevrolet driven by Jay Sauter in the BGN. Dutchmen Manufacturing, a subsidiary of Thor Industries, manufactures Dutchmen, FourWinds, Colorado, Aero Coach and Skamper towable brands of recreational vehicles.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(7-9-2002)
  • Chuck Bown to Compete in 29th Annual Oxford 250: 1990 BGN Champ, Chuck Bown, has entered in the 29th Annual Oxford 250 on July 14th. Bown will be competing in the “83 meanz Smoke-Free” Grand Prix, which will be prepared and crewed by GGM Motorsports of Beverly, MA. 1982 marked Bown’s first Oxford 250 start. Since this time, he has moved on to win the 1990 BGN Championship, to Winston Cup competition, and to the CTS. The list of team owners that Bown has competed for includes Jack Roush, Bobby Allison, and Cale Yarborough. Also to his credit, is the 1976 NASCAR Winston West Championship. In his 11 previous Oxford 250 starts, Bown has scored two wins, three top five’s and five top ten finishes. Team owner Gary Modugno usually drives the car. He has turned over his seat to one of his favorite drivers for this event. Aside from a strong racing program, the team has put together another worth while effort for Oxford 250 weekend. “83 Meanz Smoke Free” is a national campaign being launched this fall aimed at keeping teens smoke-free. Oxford 250 weekend was chosen as the perfect place to let people preview what is in store. Another feature of the effort is a lecture series for high school parents. On behalf of the Be 83 campaign Marshall will be touring the country making sure that parents understand tobacco’s attraction to teenagers. The more knowledge on the subject a parent acquires, the better chance they have at empowering their own children to protect themselves and stay smoke-free. Be83.com, Curtis Black’s Racing Cartoons, Crewschool.com, and RacingNews.org provide sponsorship for the racing effort. A limited number of additional sponsorship opportunities are still available at this time. For more information please contact team representatives at the following email address: Be83@RacingNews.org.(Racing News PR)(7-9-2002)
  • Nemechek wins at Daytona: #87-Joe Nemechek survived a late-race 16-car pile-up Friday night to win the BGN at Daytona International Speedway. Nemechek, who started on the pole, remained near the front most of the night. A 16-car wreck on the backstretch on Lap 96 brought out a red flag for 17 minutes and provided a two-lap dash to the finish. Nemechek held off #60-Greg Biffle by .190 seconds to win the Stacker2 250, his first victory of the season and first at Daytona since the season opener in 1998. It was his 12th BGN career victory. #37-Kevin Lepage was third, #57-Jason Keller fourth and #27-Jamie McMurray rounded out the top five. Biffle took over the series points lead after the previous leader, Jack Sprague, was caught up in the late-race accident and finished 28th. Biffle leads Keller by 39 points. Sprague is third, Scott Riggs fourth and Scott Wimmer fifth. (ThatsRacin.com). For race results, see ThatsRacin.com or BGN Racing.(7-5-2002)
  • Compton’s lap disallowed: NASCAR officials announced today that #59 ST Motorsports driver Stacy Compton’s qualifying time has been disallowed, moving him to the rear of the field for Friday’s Stacker2/GNC Live Well 250, after BGN post-qualifying inspection revealed an infraction involving the car’s right rear shock. The #59 Chevy, which qualified sixth (184.298 mph) Wednesday evening at Daytona, had a right rear shock that violated the NASCAR rule that requires .030-inch diameter bleed holes for the shock absorber tube with an inside diameter of 1.770 inches or less. The rear shock also did not meet the standards of the NASCAR inspection pins, which must be able to be inserted through the bleed holes from the origination of the bleed hole to the inner rebound port wall without any interference. The NASCAR pins also must contact the inner rebound port wall when exiting the bleed hole, which also did not occur during post-qualifying inspection. The Stacker2/GNC Live Well 250 will have a full field, which will drop Compton to the 43rd starting position.(NASCAR PR), actually Compton started 37th.(7-4-2002)
  • Fedawa in a 2nd FitzBradshaw Racing car? Tim Fedewa is the frontrunner for a second FitzBradshaw Racing team, which owner Armando Fitz is confident he can put together beginning with the last few races of the season. The team would then run a full schedule next year. Kerry Earnhardt drives the organization’s other [#12] car, and sponsorship is already in place for 2003. In addition to the full BGN schedule, Hot Tamales and Supercuts will each sponsor Earnhardt in at least one Winston Cup event next year. Fitz plans to run a full-time Winston Cup schedule by 2004.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(7-4-2002)
  • Phillips 66 out? Welliver-Jesel Motorsports to Cup? UPDATE 3: heard this was announced internally at Phillips 66 today: Phillips has agreed to release Welliver-Jesel Motorsports from its obligation for the 2003 racing season. Welliver-Jesel Motorsports is the company that manages the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series racing team sponsored by Phillips. Phillips will continue its sponsorship of the “66” car and driver Casey Mears for the remainder of the current season. In addition, operation of the Phillips hospitality tents at NASCAR Busch Grand National events is not impacted by this decision and will continue as planned for the 2002 season. While Phillips has no further plans for car sponsorships of any kind at this time, the company will continue its tradition of sponsoring and promoting other NASCAR events. Welliver-Jesel Motorsports is considering competition in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.(6-3-2002)
    UPDATE: Phillips 66 has elected not to exercise its option to extend its sponsorship with Welliver-Jesel Motorsports in 2003. Phillips 66 will continue its sponsorship of the #66 Dodge and driver Casey Mears for the remainder of the 2002 season. At this time there are no further plans for Phillips 66 to be involved as a car sponsor.(Phillips66 Racing site)(6-6-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Despite Internet rumors that Phillips 66 will drop its sponsorship of Welliver-Jesel Motorsports and driver Casey Mears at the end of the year, owner Wayne Jesel said June 7 he’s received no official word from the company and hopes their relationship will continue. Jesel has a meeting scheduled with Phillips 66 officials June 12 in Tempe, Ariz., after which he will probably have a better idea of what’ll happen in 2003. Phillips 66 recently purchased Tosco, and is now in the process of merging with Conoco, which Jesel thinks might’ve led to some of the speculation. As for additional speculation that the team would move to Winston Cup next year, Jesel again had no idea where it came from.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(6-13-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Phillips 66, as had been rumored in recent weeks, will not return in 2003 as Mears’ primary sponsor.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(7-4-2002)
  • Nemechek on the pole at Daytona: #87-Joe Nemechek won the pole at Daytona for the Stacker 2/GNC Live Well 250 with a speed of 185.793mph. 2nd is #23-Scott Wimmer in a Dodge at 185.452, 3rd is #7-Randy LaJoie at 184.691, #21-Jay Sauter will start 4th at 184.619 and #37-Kevin Lepage 5th at 184.358. All 43 cars who made the attempts qualified. For starting lineup/qualifying results, see ThatsRacin.com or BGN Racing or NASCAR.com.(7-3-2002)
  • #44 and Harmon gets two assoc sponsors and needs a crew chief: Mike Harmon’s #44 BGN Team announced a new sponsorship deal for the rest of the BGN season. Global Industrial Contractors (GIC) will sponsor the Harmon #44 Chevy, as an associate sponsor for the starting in Daytona and for the remaining 2002 season. GIC will also be the #44 car’s primary sponsor for at least two BGN races. Corporately located in Shafter, CA, Global Industrial Contractors is an industrial construction company that does HVAC, electrical and mechanical design, installation and construction. A concept car paint scheme, created by LeadingMedia.com for GIC, will debut at the primary sponsorship races scheduled for Rockingham and Phoenix. AND Mike Harmon and Mixon Motorsports #44 BGN team has announced a new associate sponsorship relationship with Leading Media, www.LeadingMedia.com. The deal will begin at the upcoming Daytona race and continue for the rest of the racing season. Leading Media is a full service web design and hosting company located in Daytona Beach. The Leading Media Motorsports division specializes in custom racecar designs, online marketing and web site presence. This division of the company also produces custom 1/24 Scale die-cast concept cars for individuals and business for display or client presentations, in small quantities.(Racing Systems Marketing PRs) AND The #44 Mixon Motorsports BGN team is looking for a full time experienced crew chief. Pay will be based upon experience. Please direct serious inquiries to: Kim or Jim Castongia- 219-474-5618 (office) or 219-474-6160 (evenings) or email at www.mikeharmonmotorsports.com or directly to the office at kjc@sugardog.com.(7-3-2002)
  • New Scheme for Riggs at Chicago and IRP: #10-Scott Riggs will “trade” in the Nesquik yellow for Nestea blue in celebration of the iced tea drinking summer season. The Nestea brand will return as the primary sponsor of the #10 at the Chicagoland and Indianapolis Raceway Park races. This marks the third year Nestea has taken advantage of the Nestlé, USA Beverage Division’s relationship with ppc Racing.(Tailwind Sports)(7-2-2002)
  • Wimmer in a Dodge at Daytona for last BGN scheduled race of 2002 before move to Cup: The Bill Davis Racing #23 Team and driver Scott Wimmer are taking a Tommy Baldwin Racing Dodge [ran as #6] to Daytona this weekend. It is the same car David Green sat on the outside pole with at the Daytona season opener and will have a Terry Elledge horsepower motor under the hood. “We are taking Tommy Baldwin’s car down to Daytona,” said Wimmer.. “I’m really excited because we didn’t run as strong as we wanted to in the spring.. Our aero package was a little bit off and now we are taking a car that is capable of winning.” Wimmer has two top-15 finishes in two starts at Daytona.(Bill Davis Racing PR) Wimmer has been racing a Pontiac and will run Dodge in Cup for up to seven races(see Cup site)(7-1-2002)
    BUT: the team will still run in a limited number of BGN races for the rest of the season without a sponsor (unless one signs on)(Fox Sports Net – Totally NASCAR). The team will run a Dodge at Daytona in the BGN, not sure if they will continue that or stay with a Pontiac.(7-2-2002)
  • #19 Crew Chief fined: NASCAR officials announced today that Robert Bakeeff, crew chief of the #19 Chevy in the BGN, has been fined $1,000 for a rule violation discovered during post-qualifying inspection at Sunday’s race at The Milwaukee Mile. Bakeeff was penalized under Section 12-4-Q in the 2002 NASCAR Busch Series rule book, “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules.” Officials found an unapproved front spring in the car, after the team’s qualifying attempt.(NASCAR PR)(7-2-2002)
  • #98 looking for a new Crew Chief UPDATE got one: Tommy Morgan has been released from the #98 RYR BGN team, no replacement has been named to crew chief the car for driver Kasey Kahne.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(6-26-2002)
    UPDATE: Veteran crew chief, Clyde McLeod has been named the new crew chief for the #98 Channellock Ford. Fifty-two-year-old McLeod most recently worked as the team manager for the #66 Dodge of Casey Mears and is excited to be taking over the reins with Channellock’s young driver, Kasey Kahne. McLeod, a native of Southington, CT, began his racing career in 1966, working as a crewmember for a Modified team. He advanced within the team, working with NASCAR drivers, Todd and Brett Bodine and Mike McLaughlin, winning the 1986 Modified Championship with McLaughlin behind the wheel. In his 25 years of Modified racing, McLeod accumulated over 50 wins. McLeod joined Frank Cici in 1991 as the crew chief for the #34 Chevy driven by Todd Bodine. While serving as Bodine’s crew chief, McLeod visited victory lane 10 times. He won two more races when Mike McLaughlin took over for Bodine. McLeod also had the opportunity to work with veteran drivers Tim Fedewa and David Green before moving into the team manager position for the #66 Dodge at the beginning of the 2002 season. McLeod will join Channellock atop the pit box this Friday, July 5 for his first race with the team, as Kasey Kahne makes his Superspeedway debut at Daytona International Speedway.(Global Performance PR)(7-1-2002)
  • Spraker back at the wheel: After taking a hiatus from the driver’s seat to establish a North Carolina location for his consulting/fabrication business, Jeff Spraker will return to compete in the July 5th BGN race at Daytona. Spraker has been tapped to take the wheel of the #94 entry owned by North Carolina businessmen, Fred Bickford and Danny Bost. Spraker says ” I’ve dedicated a substantial amount of time during the last year to my business operation and consulting work for some Cup and Busch teams, but my main focus has always been as a driver, and I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel. We’ve opened a facility in Mooresville, and now that this fabrication/drivetrain/consultation business is up and running, it’s time to go racing again. I’ve been very fortunate in this business from several aspects,” said Spraker. “To have the opportunity to turn my passion and love for this sport into a successful business, then to be able to get behind the wheel and fulfill my goal as a professional driver, is just beyond my own expectations at times.” The humble Latham, NY native splits his time between the foothills of North Carolina and his old stomping grounds in upstate New York to continue to grow his enterprise, and effectively support his customers. Spraker utilizes not only his knowledge behind the wheel, but his keen business savvy, and understanding of the sport, to get results for both his race team, and his clients. Spraker, who began racing on the Featherlite Modified Tour before stepping up to the NASCAR Busch North Series in 1988, has competed on a limited basis in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the NASCAR Busch Series since 1996. Having run both the ARCA event and the Busch Series event during February 2002 Daytona Speedweeks, Jeff is optimistic that this experience will enhance this teams’ chances for success when they visit the tri-oval on July (PR)(7-1-2002)