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July 2002 News Archives


 

  • (7-31-2002)

  • Geoffrey hopes for a full run in 2003: Count Geoffrey Bodine among those looking for a full-time ride in Winston Cup next season, but he said no one should be worried he’s going to try to take someone else’s job. “I’m not trying to get any ride that’s sitting out there today,” said Bodine, who has run several races this season for car owners James Finch and Travis Carter. “I’m not trying to knock anyone out of their seat or influence any owner that’s here.” We have our own program we’re working on. Now, if somebody comes along and says, ‘Hey, we’d like to have you drive the car,’ I’d have to talk to them, but hopefully, I won’t have to do that.” Bodine said he hoped to put a program together for 2003 with Finch or Carter. His best finish this season was third at the season opening Daytona 500 in a Finch-owned car. “As far as I’m concerned, I don’t have anything to prove to anybody. Results are proof enough,” he said. “We’ve had some good ones this year already in the limited schedule that we’ve run.”(ThatsRacin.com)(7-27-2002)
    UPDATE: Bodine says he has a verbal commitment from Miccosukee Indian Gaming for 13 Cup races in 2003 and they are saying they want to do the whole season. Also Miccosukee Indian Gaming will sponsor a Busch car and Truck, along with the Cup car at Homestead in Novemeber.(MRN’s NASCAR Today)(7-31-2002)
  • Fellows at The Glen? Ron Fellows, who was scheduled to test the #87 Nemco Racing Chevy at Watkins Glen on Monday and Tuesday, instead spent his time networking among the teams there, looking for any available rides [no sponsor for the #87]. Some opportunities for Ron Fellows to compete at the Glen surfaced Tuesday. “The word kind of got out yesterday,” Fellows said Tuesday afternoon. “Since yesterday, I’ve had some calls this morning, but nothing’s come together yet. I’m pretty sure it will though.” Later in the day, after he returned to his home in Toronto, Fellows said, “I’m optimistic that we’ll get something for the Glen.” Fellows said he had conversations with a few potential rides for the Glen race, including two full-time Winston Cup teams.(Star Gazette – one day link)(7-31-2002)
    AND Fellows helped yesterday with the Dale Earnhardt Incorporated team of [#15] Michael Waltrip at Watkins Glen, site of next week’s Winston Cup race. Fellows, in an interview from the Glen yesterday, said he has a couple of deals close right now and could have a new race package in place if not today, then by the end of the week.(Toronto Sun)(7-31-2002)
  • Assoc’s for the #57 at Indy: Team CLR Racing, with driver Stuart Kirby, will be entering their second Winston Cup race at the Brickyard 400 this weekend. Stuart Kirby while piloting #57 Ford Taurus in testing at the Brickyard posted some very respectable speeds that had both veterans and rookies taking notice in the garage area. Two local Indiana small business’ have joined together to become associate sponsors on the #57 CLR Ford. LD Mechanical Contractors of Franklin, IN and Over The Wall Diecast of Beech Grove, IN worked out a one race deal to be on the. quarter panels for race.(PR)(7-31-2002)
  • Tide to go Retro at Indy/IRP: Tide Racing will be celebrating 15 years as a primary sponsor in NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing this weekend at the Brickyard. In addition to their regular #32 Winston Cup entry of Ricky Craven, they will also sponsor Darrell Waltrip’s #17 Craftsman Truck in the Friday event at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Both teams will sport Tide’s “retro” look, which goes back to their original Tide “America’s Favorite” logo for the paint schemes and white crew uniforms. Some stats: Tide’s involvement began in 1987 with Hendrick Motorsports and Darrell Waltrip. Tide sponsored teams have raced to 19 victories including the Daytona 500 (Waltrip, 1989) and the Brickyard 400 (Rudd, 1997). Tide drivers have included Darrell Waltrip (1987-1990), Ricky Rudd (1991-1999), Scott Pruett (2000) and Ricky Craven (2001-present). Tide as a sponsor has 5 victories at Martinsville, 3 victories at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, 2 victories at Dover and one victory at Daytona, Atlanta, Bristol, Darlington, Michigan, New Hampshire, Phoenix, Rockingham and Indianapolis -Of the Tide victories, Waltrip won 9, Rudd won 9 and Craven has one.(PPI PR), see my Paint Scheme Gallery for images of the #32 car and #17 truck.(7-31-2002)
  • Special Paint Scheme for the #43 at Indy: To rev students and parents up about the upcoming school year, the Cheerios/Betty Crocker #43 Dodge will feature a special Box Tops for Education paint scheme during the Brickyard 400 on August 4 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Box Tops for Education is General Mills’ acclaimed school fund-raising program. Through the Box Tops for Education program, eligible schools can earn up to $30,000 per school year. To date, General Mills has contributed nearly $70 million cash back to America’s schools through the program. NASCAR Winston Cup driver John Andretti, who will race the Box Tops for Education car, is excited to help promote this celebrated program. “I’m happy to help support Box Tops for Education and raise awareness of General Mills’ efforts to help schools earn cash,” said Andretti. “Families are such an important part of the NASCAR experience which makes it the perfect place to feature a great program like Box Tops for Education.” The special paint scheme features the vibrant Box Tops for Education logo on the hood and TV panel. Additionally, Kroger affirms its commitment to Box Tops for Education through the Kroger Racing logo prominently displayed on the deck lid.
    Introduced in 1996, Box Tops for Education is a school fundraising program run by General Mills, Inc. Box Tops for Education is open to any accredited public, private or parochial school, containing any class with students from Kindergarten to 8th grade, in the United States that is organized and primarily operated for education purposes and to any United States military school, containing any class with students from Kindergarten to 8th grade, worldwide. The Box Tops for Education program provides consumers three ways to earn cash for their school: Clip with the original Box Tops for Education; Shop online at the Box Tops for Education Marketplace; Charge with the Box Tops for Education Visa card. For more information about Box Tops for Education, visit boxtops4education.com.(IMG PR)(7-31-2002)
  • Watkins Glen testing UPDATE Tuesday speeds: #48-Jimmie Johnson, #20-Tony Stewart, #15-Michael Waltrip, #12-Ryan Newman, #31-Robby Gordon(will not test due to injury), #30-Jeff Green, #87-Ron Fellows and Joe Varde will get behind the wheel of the #74 BACE Motorsports Chevy are scheduled to attend a test session, in preparation for the August 11th Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen, at the 2.45-mile road course of Watkins Glen International on July 29-30. Fans that have purchased tickets for the Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen weekend, August 8-11, will be admitted free of charge both days. Fans should present their Sirius Satellite Radio at 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 each day at the gate. Gate 4 will be open from 8:00am – 4:30pm both days. Tickets for the 2002 season at Watkins Glen, including the Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen, August 8-11, are still available.(Watkins Glen International PR)(7-16-2002)
    UPDATE: With one complete day of testing already under their belts, ten NASCAR Winston Cup teams went to work again Tuesday at Watkins Glen in final preparation for the Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen, August 8-11. Over the course of the two days, only one driver came close to touching Dale Jarrett’s record-setting lap of 122.698mph, set during qualifying last year. #48-Jimmie Johnso, the speeds from Tuesday:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, 122.568
    #41?-Scott Pruett, 121.992
    #12-Ryan Newman, 121.321
    #20-Tony Stewart, 120.822
    #15-Michael Waltrip, 120.772
    #17-Matt Kenseth, 120.591
    #74-Joe Varde, 118.389.(Watkins Glen International PR)(7-31-2002)
  • 2003 Monte Carlo Ready For Testing UPDATE/REPOST: Chevrolet officials will present to NASCAR a completed 2003 Monte Carlo for approval on July 29 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The new design, said to look more like a Dodge than a Ford, will undergo on-track testing on July 29 and then be transported to Marietta, GA, for a run in the Lockheed wind tunnel. A group of Hendrick Motorsports employees, led by Eddie Dickerson, built the car to be submitted in Atlanta. The final version is an adaptation of two cars built by Dale Earnhardt Inc. employees. Confidence is high among the Chevrolet camp that the 2003 Chevrolet will sail through the final approval process. Slugger Labbe, crew chief for Michael Waltrip, winner of the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway, already has ordered the body for the new chassis earmarked for the 2003 Daytona 500.(Tampa Tribune)(7-10-2002)
    UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports and driver Terry Labonte will test the 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo at Atlanta Motor Speedway this July 29-30. The test is closed to both the public and the media, per Hendrick Motorsports’ request.(AMS PR)(7-10/29-2002)
    UPDATE 2: have heard nothing on how the test went.(7-31-2002)
  • Paul Tracy to NASCAR? Nope, staying in CART: forget all those rumors about CART driver Paul Tracy switching to NASCAR – ESPN.com has learned that Paul Tracy has signed a contract to join Player’s/Forsythe Racing in next year’s FedEx Championship. “It’s not done yet but Player’s made me a great offer,” said Tracy. “…..I’ve said all along, I’ll do whatever it takes to stay in CART.”(ESPN)(7-31-2002)
  • Toby Keith on the #40: #40-Sterling Marlin will run a Toby Keith (country singer) paint scheme at Phoenix.(7-31-2002)
  • Newspaper Not Giving Up Morbid Fight: The publishers of the Independent Florida Alligator newspaper in Gainesville are asking the state Supreme Court to consider whether the law restricting access to autopsy photos is constitutional. In papers filed earlier this month, Campus Communications asked the high court to review a lower court’s decision that the law barring public access to autopsy materials was constitutional. The law was passed in 2001 following the death of race car driver Dale Earnhardt. Newspapers sought access to the photos as questions arose over how Earnhardt died in a Daytona 500 crash and whether better safety equipment might have saved him.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-31-2002)
  • IRWIN Rough to Finish Award: It was a rough day for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the #8 Budweiser team, as Dale Jr. was a helpless passenger in a multi-car wreck on the first lap during last Sundays Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono. Despite the accident and serious damage to the race car, the Bud team was able to make repairs and return to the track, earning team crew chief Tony Eury this week’s “Irwin Rough to the Finish” Award. Dale Jr., starting 11th, seemed poised for a strong run on Sunday, but high hopes ended almost before they began when contact between the cars of #1-Steve Park and #2-Rusty Wallace sent Park sliding across the track and into the #8 car. The two machines remained together as they slid across the wet infield grass before making horrendous impact with the inside guard rail.. Fortunately, no one was injured. The same could not be said for the #8 Budweiser Chevy, however. As many as 23 crew members representing all three DEI teams pitched in to make significant repairs to the heavily-damaged car, cobbling together parts from all of the DEI teams to replace the entire front body work and much of the mud-caked external engine parts. As a result of their determination and teamwork, Dale Jr. was able to return to the track and finish the race in 37th position. “I could not be prouder of my guys right now if we had won the race,” said Eury. “The fact that we fought through the bad luck, pulled together and put the car back on the track says a lot about this team. This award is a credit to this crew and their ˜never say die” attitude.”
    Each week throughout the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season, Irwin, makers of professional power tool accessories like Marathon Plus saw blades and Speedbor flat bits, is partnering with Performance Racing Network to honor the crew chief who had the toughest day in the pits, but still managed to help his team to a strong finish. The IRWIN Rough to the Finish Award includes an assortment of tools for the crew chief and a $250 check donated to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund in the racing team’s name.. The year-end winner of the crew chief points standings will win a $5,000 check donated to the Fund.. Race fans wanting to make a contribution to the Fund may do so by sending it to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund, PO Box 443, Ellerbe, NC 28338. In addition to the crew chief award, Irwin is also sponsoring the weekly nationally syndicated radio show, “Fast Talk with Benny Parsons“, throughout the upcoming year.(Golin Harris PR)(7-31-2002)
  • Sad News UPDATE: A veteran driver was killed when his car slammed into a wall of tires during a road race Sunday. Robert Kasik, 56, of Roscoe, Ill., failed to brake on a sharp turn at the end of a long straightaway at Road America, track spokeswoman Cheryl Barnes said. “Apparently Mr. Kasik made no attempt to slow down around the turn,” Barnes said. “That leaves a lot of unanswered questions.” Witnesses at the race said he went off course at a high rate of speed at Turn 12, called Canada Corner. Barnes said Kasik was likely driving up to 160 mph in his 1996 Chevrolet Camaro. Kasik, who raced for at least 35 years, was competing in the GT-1 racing class with about 25 others in similar vehicles. Kasik drove off the track and into a 275-foot wide gravel pit designed to slow cars that miss the turn, but his car plowed into a 5-foot high tire barrier instead. Kasik was taken by ambulance to Valley View Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 11:00am. Sports Car Club of America technical inspectors surveyed the car, but could not determine a cause for the crash. Sheboygan County Coroner Dave Leffin planned an autopsy, Barnes said(ThatsRacin.com)(7-28-2002)
    UPDATE: A race car driver suffered a heart attack before he was killed when his car slammed into a wall of tires during a weekend race. An autopsy showed that Robert Kasik, 56, of Roscoe, Ill., was stricken before the accident Sunday at the end of a long straightaway at Road America, track officials said. Witnesses said he went off course at a high rate of speed at Turn 12, called Canada Corner. He drove off the track into a 275-foot-wide gravel pit designed to slow down cars that miss the turn, but his car instead plowed into a 5-foot tire barrier. Kasik, who had been racing for at least 35 years, was competing in the GT-1 racing class with about 25 other racers.(CNNSI/AP)(7-31-2002)


    (7-30-2002)

  • R Gordon hurt but will race UPDATE 2: Winston Cup driver #31-Robby Gordon plans to drive Sunday’s Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway despite sustaining two sprained ankles Saturday afternoon in a motocross incident. Gordon sprained both ankles after jumping a hill at Traxx Motorsports Park at Jack Frost Ski Resort on his Honda CRF450 motocross bike. He was with some members of his #31 Richard Childress Racing team at the time and was immediately evaluated by park physicians. Dr. Jay Golding, RCR’s team physician, evaluated Gordon Sunday morning and concurred with the Traxx Motorsports Park physicians’ diagnosis. Gordon¹s left ankle was injured more severely than his right ankle, and Dr. Golding plans to place an aircast on Gordon¹s left ankle and wrap the right ankle in an ACE bandage for the 500-mile race. Gordon’s team will decide following Sunday’s race whether Gordon will still test Monday and Tuesday at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-28-2002)
    UPDATE: Gordon sprained both ankles Saturday when he overshot a jump at a local motocross park and his bike landed on its chassis. He is scheduled to undergo x-rays Monday morning in North Carolina and his RCR crew chief Kevin Hamlin said the teams scheduled test at Watkins Glen was canceled.(NASCAR.com)(7-29-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Robby Gordon’s injuries from a weekend motorcycle accident are a little more serious than first appeared. Upon further evaluation by doctors Monday in Charlotte, N.C., it was determined Gordon fractured his left heel in Saturday afternoon’s motocross bike incident near Pocono Raceway. Gordon also sustained two sprained ankles in the incident but is still expected to drive the #31 Cingular Chevy in Sunday’s Brickyard 400. The team cancelled this week’s scheduled test at Watkins Glen. Gordon underwent x-rays and an MRI at Carolinas Medical Center Monday, at which time the heel fracture was discovered. Doctors placed an air cast on Gordon’s left foot and taped his right ankle for support. Gordon, 33, was jumping hills on his Honda CRF450 motocross bike Saturday afternoon at Traxx Motorsports Park at Jack Frost Ski Resort near Pocono when the bike landed incorrectly on the top of a hill. Gordon plans to use the aluminum insert in his left shoe this weekend that team members made at Pocono to stabilize his left foot in the race car. He is not expected to miss any races.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-30-2002)
  • Mike Beam Fined: NASCAR officials have fined Mike Beam, crew chief for the #32 Ford, $2,500 for a violation that occurred during Sunday’s Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. Beam was penalized under Sections 9-4A and 12-17-A(3): “The crew chief assumes responsibility for the actions of his team members; crew member Pat Smith entered the car servicing area without a helmet.”(NASCAR PR)(7-30-2002)
  • Only Five Months to go…. The 14th annual T. Wayne Robertson NASCAR Winston Cup Preview will take place Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003 at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem. All NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers are scheduled to attend the event named in memory of its creator, T. Wayne Robertson. Robertson, the president of R.J. Reynolds’ Sports Marketing Enterprises for 13 years, was killed Jan. 14, 1998 in a Louisiana boating accident. As in previous years, NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers will each be available to sign autographs at designated times.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-30-2002)
  • The new version of Dale Earnhardt Boulevard has been approved by the N.C. Department of Transportation. Last week, NCDOT officials wrote city leaders and saying the local request could be approved by the department’s local division employees rather than the state board of transportation. The current one-mile stretch of Dale Earnhardt Boulevard connects to Centergrove Road. Earlier this month, city council approved a proposal to rename Centergrove and South Loop roads after the late racing legend, extending the boulevard up to the city’s West C Street and South Loop Road intersection.(Independent Tribune)(7-30-2002)
  • Double duty for Musgrave: Double duty will be the order of the weekend as Ted Musgrave prepares for a pair of NASCAR events – the Power Stroke Diesel 200 Craftsman Truck Series race at Indianapolis Raceway Park and ninth-annual Brickyard 400 Winston Cup classic at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Musgrave will drive the #07 Kenwood/Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge at the Brickyard 400 and his regular ride, the #1-Mopar Parts Dodge at IRP in the CTS race. Jason Leffler will take care of getting the two Ultra Motorsports Dodge Ram trucks dialed in at IRP. The driver of the #2 Team ASE/Carquest Dodge Ram is a three-time USAC National Midget Champion with a host of experience in the open-wheel ranks on the .686-mile IRP oval. Meanwhile, Musgrave, a veteran of seven Brickyard 400 starts, will be trying to better a career-best finish of 13th posted in the inaugural 1994 event. Without any provisionals to fall back on, Musgrave knows a good lap in qualifying will be the first order of business when he takes to the 2.5-mile Indy oval.(Motorsports Management Group PR)(7-30-2002)
  • #71 at Indy? not with Trickle: Dick Trickle will be in Indianapolis this week for IROC practice and tutoring for the upcoming IROC race this weekend. But Trickle will not be attempting to qualify the #71 Marcis Racing Chevy for the Brickyard 400. Trickle tested with the team a couple weeks ago and felt after the test he wouldn’t have a very good chance of being competitive for the team at Indy. The #71 Marcis team may decide to attempt the race with another driver.(Dick Trickle Fanclub Newsletter)(7-30-2002)
  • Earnhardt’s and Looney Tunes: A new chapter of Looney Tunes lore will be written as Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his brother Kerry Earnhardt square off at the BGN race on Friday, September 6th, at Richmond. The Earnhardt brothers, through a partnership between Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Chevrolet, and Action Performance Companies, Inc., will both race Looney Tunes-themed Chevrolet Monte Carlos in what is sure to be an animated showdown. The #8 Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt Jr. will feature Gossamer [a Jayski favorite!], the orange-haired, lovable Looney Tunes monster, and an assortment of other Looney Tunes characters. Yosemite Sam will grace Kerry Earnhardt’s #12 Chevy. The race in Richmond will mark just the third BGN start in 2002 for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Currently, Kerry Earnhardt is midway through his rookie season in the BGN. The Friday night Busch Series race precedes the Saturday, September 7th Winston Cup event, the Monte Carlo 400 with the Looney Tunes — The Rematch!, which will feature nine Looney-Tunes themed cars driven by some of NASCAR’s finest drivers. The Busch Series race featuring the Earnhardt brothers is an expansion of last year’s successful Looney Tunes program and will serve as the opening act for the main event — the next evening’s NASCAR Winston Cup race at Richmond, the Monte Carlo 400 with the Looney Tunes — The Rematch!(Business Wire), see images of the cars on the Looney Tunes Paint Scheme and News page.(7-30-2002)
  • New Assoc for the #20: Glidden, a leading paint brand, announced that it will join Joe Gibbs Racing as an associate sponsor on the #20 Home Depot Pontiac driven by Tony Stewart, and begin a new promotional relationship with NASCAR.(PR) and check out their cool site: gliddenpaint.com(7-30-2002)
  • Trucks at Pocono? at Talladega? UPDATE: Apparently, a handful of representatives from NASCAR’s Craftsman Truck Series will test within the next few days at Pocono Raceway, the obvious intent being at least one race in that series here in 2003. One of the reasons for the absence of Busch Grand National and truck races here in the past has been the presence of Nazareth Speedway about 30 miles away, but Nazareth no longer holds a truck race.(Gaston GazetteAND rumors have NASCAR considering a CTS race at Talladega for 2003.(7-29-2002)
    UPDATE: Bobby Hamilton, who owns three entries in the CTS, tested a truck Monday at Pocono. Hamilton owns Dodges for Robert Pressley, who won at Michigan Saturday, Brian Rose and Bill Lester. He also competes in the series from time to time. “He’s simply testing some aero stuff, just trying to get Bobby Hamilton Racing a little bit better,” said David Pepper, public relations representative for Hamilton. “It’s a good track to test several different things. To our knowledge we [the CTS] won’t be racing there next year or in the near future.” Track officials confirmed Hamilton’s test, but said it was a one-time deal and that there are no current plans to have the Truck Series compete at Pocono. Trying to make room for the Truck Series at Pocono would be difficult. According to track owner Dr. Joseph Mattioli, every weekend during the season is full because of racing schools and other racing events.(Scranton Times)(7-30-2002)
  • The return of the rumor – Penske to Dodge – pretty much denied…again: Dodge sources are describing the Roger Penske-to-Dodge move as “a done deal,” with the superstar car owner making a long-speculated switch from Ford and putting Rusty Wallace and Newman in Intrepids next season. The Penske camp isn’t saying much, there has been no confirmation out of any of the parties, and some Penske South officials have, in fact, said they expect to field Fords again next year. But they concede they still haven’t signed a new contract. “If we were switching to Dodge,” crew chief Bill Wilburn said with a laugh, “why would we be building a third Daytona-Talladega car? For the sun not to be out, you seem to be running quite a fever.” According to Detroit sources, Pontiac wooed Penske, but balked at the $20 million check he wanted them to write, saying that $11 million was the best they could do. So Pontiac is faced with having maybe only two or three teams lined up to run their cars next season, four or five depending on what Cal Wells does. Ironically, the newly remodeled Pontiac may well be the best model on the track in 2003. But that may not be enough to entice teams to change over, and some drivers in the mix are saying that the bosses in that GM division need to get up off their billfolds.(Winston Salem Journal)(See my #2 Team page for old past rumors, many denied about the ‘switch’)(7-30-2002)
  • More on Muppet-Gate: When executives from motorsports merchandise company Action Performance Cos. Inc. saw the Muppets pop up in a tease for ESPN’s “SportsCenter” recently, they halted dinner to trade high fives. On the TV screen, were the Muppet’s, gathered in a cornfield across from Chicagoland, holding up “We Need Tickets” signs. The plan had been for the characters to spend the Tropicana 400 race weekend within the gates of the speedway, promoting a special Muppet paint scheme featured on eight Cup cars, a standard gimmick the merchandise company uses to sell die-cast cars and apparel. When Chicagoland executives refused to let the characters in, Phoenix-based Action Performance and The Jim Henson Co. quickly crafted a backup strategy. They took the Muppets to a farm across the street, set them up with ” We Need Tickets” signs, and started shooting video. Then, they sent the video up via satellite for use on news feeds. ESPN grabbed it. On July 1, Chicagoland Speedway sent The Jim Henson Co. notification that the Muppets would not be allowed on speedway property because neither the track nor race sponsor Tropicana had been included in the planning of the promotion. Action Performance executives said they didn’t expect access to be an issue because it had not been one at other tracks when they staged similar events. Executives from Action Performance, Chicagoland Speedway and Tropicana said they are in discussions about a similar promotion that could run at the track next year.(Phoenix Business Journal/Sports Business Journal)(7-30-2002)
  • Watkins Glen testing UPDATE 2 speeds and Fellows looking for a ride for the Glen – Pruett in the #41 at the Glen, Spencer in the #42?: #48-Jimmie Johnson, #20-Tony Stewart, #15-Michael Waltrip, #12-Ryan Newman, #31-Robby Gordon(will not test due to injury 7-29-2002), #30-Jeff Green, #87-Ron Fellows and Joe Varde will get behind the wheel of the #74 BACE Motorsports Chevy are scheduled to attend a test session, in preparation for the August 11th Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen, at the 2.45-mile road course of Watkins Glen International on July 29-30. Fans that have purchased tickets for the Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen weekend, August 8-11, will be admitted free of charge both days. Fans should present their Sirius Satellite Radio at 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 each day at the gate. Gate 4 will be open from 8:00am – 4:30pm both days. Tickets for the 2002 season at Watkins Glen, including the Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen, August 8-11, are still available.(Watkins Glen International PR)(7-16-2002)
    UPDATE: The NASCAR Winston Cup Series made their much-anticipated return to Watkins Glen International today in the first of two test days in preparation for the Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen on August 11. Testing concludes tomorrow and is once again open to the public. The speeds:
    #20-Tony Stewart 120.033mph
    #?-Scott Pruett 120.000
    #15-Michael Waltrip 119.626
    #30-Jeff Green 119.561
    #48-Jimmie Johnson 119.480
    #17-Matt Kenseth 119.189
    #62-Austin Cameron 117.600
    #74-Joe Varde 117.584
    #12-Ryan Newman 116.667
    Two drivers originaly scheduled to test the historic road course were unable to participate for different reasons. #31-Robby Gordon was forced to cancel his test session due to the ankle injuries he sustained after a motocross incident in Pocono on Saturday. Ron Fellows was present at the test, but without a car. Fellows is still working on finding a ride for the Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen [guess he won’t be in the #87 Nemco Chevy?]. Tickets for the 2002 season at Watkins Glen, including the Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen, August 8-11, are still available. For tickets, camping, and additional information, please contact the Watkins Glen ticket office at 607-535-2481 or log on to the official Watkins Glen Web site at www.theglen.com.(Watkins Glen International PR)(7-29-2002)
    UPDATE 2 Pruett in the #41; Fellows looking for a ride: Three road course veterans, hoping their skills will give than an advantage against the series regulars in two weeks, were also on hand. Scott Pruett, with experience in Trans-Am and CART Champ cars, had the choice of two, gray-primered Chip Ganassi Racing cars at the test. Pruett, who has competed in Winston Cup, arrived at 10:00am/et after taking a red-eye flight from Vancouver, British Columbia, where he was a commentator for Speed Channel’s coverage of the CART Champ car race Sunday. At the Glen, he’ll pilot the #41 Dodge that Jimmy Spencer normally drives. Spencer will drive the #42 Dodge for Ganassi. “We’re here to get a few more points for the team,” said Pruett, who thinks he has a chance to finish in the top five. He was 11th last year. Joe Varde [#74] and Shane Lewis [no idea of # see info on my Drivers page], successful drivers here in road racing, handled a Winston Cup car for the first time on Monday. “We’ve got a lot of homework to do and, for me, it’s just getting used to a Winston Cup car,” said Lewis, who has a one-race deal with a new team. Noticeably absent was road course specialist Ron Fellows. The Canadian driver, who has had the most success of any nonregular NASCAR driver in recent years, was scheduled to test and compete in two weeks. Fellows was on hand, but his car wasn’t because of a lack of sponsorship. “It’s not going to happen,” said a disappointed Fellows. “Bully Hill was going to participate, as they have, but some of the associate deals haven’t come together. It’s more expensive now than it ever has been, so it’s tough. It’s a reality check.” Fellows nearly won the Glen’s Winston Cup race in 1999, finishing a close second to Jeff Gordon. “I was planning on being here, so I thought I’d come down and just have a look and see what’s going on and be ready if something comes together between now and next week,” said Fellows, who lives in Toronto.(Star Gazette and more at The Leader: Last call: Cup giants pull into The Glen and Wanted: Winston Cup ride)(7-30-2002)


    (7-29-2002)

  • Schrader to run IROC for Lasoski: Long-time friend, Ken Schrader will substitute drive for the injured Danny Lasoski in the final round of the 2002 True Value IROC Series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Saturday, Aug. 3. Lasoski, the 2001 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Champion, was injured on Friday night during hot-laps in Mechanicsburg, PA. He was released today from a local hospital after being held for observation due to suffering a concussion and bruises to the lung, heart, shoulder and ankle. Before his NASCAR Winston Cup career, Schrader won numerous races and championships in various open wheel series’ including USAC Sprint Car divisions. A fellow native of Missouri, Schrader said, “I’ve known Danny a very, very, long time. Before he (Lasoski) started driving, he would come out and help us when I was racing Sprint Cars. I’m very grateful and honored to have this opportunity to drive for him (Lasoski) in IROC at Indy. I’m just sorry it has to be under these circumstances. I was so happy for him when I heard he got the IROC invitation for this year and I know how bad he wants to be in that car himself on Saturday.”
    Lasoski said, “I don’t know what hurts more, my body, or the fact that I have to miss this final race at the Brickyard. But, when the reality of how banged up I am began to sink in I knew somebody else was going to have to do it for me, and the one guy I really wanted to see do it was Kenny Schrader. We’ve been such great friends for so long, knowing that Kenny is going to run the race for me takes a little of the edge off of not being able to do it myself.”
    Schrader will accumulate final points for place Lasoski, whose car, with Schrader at the wheel, will start from the pole position. The final race starting positions are determined by inverting the point standings. Schrader said, “The IROC races are a lot of fun and I want to do a good job for Danny. I ran in the series a few years ago and just need to finish up better in the Winston Cup car so I can get back in it for myself.” The Race-Four finale of the 2002 True Value IROC Series will be broadcast on ABC Sports, Sunday, Aug. 11 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.(IROC PR)(7-29-2002)
  • Park and Earnhardt Jr test at VIR: Just a day after surviving a horrific cash in the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono, both Dale Earnhardt Jr. and teammate Steve Park were back at work today, testing their road-racing cars at VIRginia International Raceway. Despite the accident, and despite being admittedly sore and bruised, both were lapping the 2.225-mile North Course at VIR today in searing heat, as temperatures hovered around the 100F degree mark. Many of the Winston Cup teams have discovered VIR as an ideal place to refine their road-racing set-ups for the races at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA, and Watkins Glen, NY. “We can learn a lot about road-course racing at this track,” said Earnhardt. “When you don’t have a lot of road-racing experience, like me, every lap on a road course counts for something. We’re testing and learning a lot of new things.” He said the proximity of VIR to the team’s home base in Mooresville, N.C., is an important factor. It’s only a two-hour drive from the Dale Earnhardt, Inc., headquarters. Park, whose first-ever Winston Cup win came at Watkins Glen in 2000, was here trying to put things into place for a repeat performance.(VIR PR)(7-29-2002)
  • Sad News: Neil Arendt, 74, died Saturday in the car he had raced more than 50 years ago and had been racing again in recent years. Arendt, a retired dairy farmer from Mazeppa, Minn., was killed Saturday during a race of vintage modified race cars in Marshan Township in southern Dakota County. His son, Steve, said his father was contacted about 10 years ago by a man who had restored the car, which had sat in a pasture for years. The man asked his father if he wanted to drive the race car, built on a Model T frame, again. There was no hesitation. His father had been driving the car in several races each summer for about a decade. The crash apparently happened after a car in front of Arendt’s slowed because of mechanical problems. The front tire of Arendt’s car caught on the other car. Arendt’s car rolled several times. Although he was wearing a safety belt and a helmet, he died from his injuries at the track. Six other cars were participating in the race, which is an annual event and part of the Antique Power Show held at a Marshan Township farm. The race was for race cars from the 1940s and 1950s. Steve Arendt described the event as more of an exhibition than a race. Neil Arendt’s survivors include his wife, Rita; eight children and 20 grandchildren. Services were pending.(Star Tribune)(7-29-2002)
  • Rudd hopes to make an announcment UPDATE: about his future at or just after the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis.(TNT Rain Delay Coverage)(7-28-2002)
    UPDATE: Word in the garage is that Chip Ganassi will field a third Dodge next season with Ricky Rudd as the driver. The announcement might come this weekend at Indianapolis. A sticking point in Rudd’s negotiations with current owner Robert Yates was that Rudd wanted to keep his #28 crew together next season.(Sporting News)(7-29-2002)
  • Smaller Fuel Tanks at Talladega? NASCAR officials are considering requiring smaller gas tanks for the season’s final restrictor-plate race, at Talladega Superspeedway in October. The idea is that, by requiring tanks with a capacity of 13 gallons instead of 22, additional pit stops will create greater space between the cars and reduce the likelihood of multi-car pileups.(Gaston Gazette)(7-29-2002)
  • Stewart visits Lasoski in hospital: Tony Stewart used his afternoon off Saturday to visit Danny Lasoski in a Mechanicsburg, Pa., hospital. Lasoski, who drives a World of Outlaws sprint car owned by Stewart, was injured in a crash Friday night. “Mentally he’s ready to get back in the car, but physically he’s not even close,” said Stewart. Lasoski is in a tight battle with Steve Kinser for the Outlaws title. The crash probably ends his chances of a repeat championship and renders him doubtful for Saturday’s International Race of Champions finale at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(Indianapolis Star)(7-29-2002)

 


(7-28-2002)

 

  • Bill Elliott wins the Pennsylvania 437.5 – seven hours later: #9-Bill Elliott won the Pennsylvania 500 (actually 437.5) after passing a dominent #40-Sterling Marlin with 18 laps to go. #97-Kurt Busch was the runner-up, Marlin ended 3rd and increases his points lead. Elliott’s win was the first win by a pole sitter since Elliott won at Homestead in Nov 2001 and it was the same car as won at Homestead. It is Elliott’s 42nd career win and his fifth win at Pocono, now the all time winner at Pocono, his first win there since 1989. The race was shortened to 175 laps instead of 200 as darkness was looming as there was over three hours of red flag considitions with an accident cleanup and guardrail repairs and the longer one for rain early in the race. The top ten finishers, some info, cautions, notes, re-air dates/times and result links, see my Pennsylvania 500 Race Info Page
    Race Re-air: The Pennsylvania 437.5 will be re-aired on TNT, Tues, July 30th, 1:00am/et; Speed Channel on Wed, July 31st, 8:00pm/et and Thurs, Aug 1st, 1:00am/et.
    Race Results: at ThatsRacin.com or NASCAR.com.(7-28-2002)
  • Dodge has quite a weekend: Dodge posted wins in the Winston Cup and ARCA series at Pocono with Bill Elliott and Casey Atwood(ARCA), in the BGN series with Hank Park Jr, and in the CTS series with Robert Pressley.(7-28-2002)
  • The Golden Benny this week (for NHIS) goes to Tommy Baldwin, crew chief of the #22 Caterpillar Dodge, due to his pit calls at NHIS. Given by NBC/TNT commentator Benny Parsons.(7-28-2002)
  • Ten different winners in the last ten races: in the last ten Cup Races (points races) there have been ten(10) different winners: #20-Stewart, Richmond; #6-Martin, Lowes; #48-Johnson, Dover; #88-Jarrett, Pocono; #17-Kenseth, Michigan; #28-Rudd, Infineno; #15-Waltrip, Daytona; #29-Harvick, Chicago; #22-Burton, New Hampshire; #9-Elliott, Pocono.(7-28-2002)
  • The Pennsylvania 400? Geoffrey Bodine, a three-time winner at Pocono, joined the chorus of those calling for the races here to be whacked from 500 to 400 miles. “We’ve always talked about the fact that they should be shorter, but I guess we’re talking to deaf ears because nobody is listening,” he said. “Nobody understands our reasoning behind that, but this is a hard track on your car. It’s hard on a race fan just to sit there for that long but, believe me, inside that car it will wear you down. It’s a lot of work out here so, yeah, we’re all in favor of shortening this race up. If you look back through the years, you’d see a lot of different finishes if it was 100 miles shorter.” John Darby, NASCAR’s Winston Cup series director, said there has been no discussion of shortening the Pocono races.(Richmond Times Dispatch), Jimmy Spencer and Rusty Wallace have also been quoted as saying with the ne-engine rule the races at Pocono should be cut back to 400.(7-28-2002)
  • Pocono Promotion Winner: Thomas Teague, of Verona, Allegheney County, is the recipient of the Cash 5 NASCAR Weekend at Pocono Promotion grand prize – $20,000 – from the Pennsylvania Lottery. The winner was one of five finalists selected from entries received. The winner was determined in a special pre-race drawing conducted by the Pennsylvania Lottery at Pocono Raceway. Thomas Teague and the other four finalists won trips to the Pennsylvania 500 Winston Cup race weekend at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Monroe County, July 25-28, 2002. In addition, each of the five finalists received a $5,000 check. The lucky Grand Prize winner also will receive an additional $15,000, less 27 percent federal withholding taxes. All five finalists and a guest received a raceway and accommodations package for two that included raceway tickets, superbox seating and pit passes for three days of NASCAR events held at Pocono; track and pit row tours; three-day, four-night hotel accommodations; transportation between the track and hotel; meals and beverages. Pennsylvania Lottery players entered this second CASH 5 NASCAR Weekends at Pocono drawing by completing and mailing in entry coupons generated when a $5 block of CASH 5 tickets for the next available drawing was purchased.(Business Wire)(7-28-2002)
  • Accident on Lap 1: between turn one and two at Pocono, the #1-Park, #8-Earnhardt Jr, #48-Johnson and #2-Wallace cars got together, sending the #1 Chevy flipping after hitting a guardrail. Park got out of the car and walked away with Dale Jr’s arm around him. Both look to be ok. After seeing the tape, looks like #2-Wallace came up on #1-Park after getting past #48-Johnson, Wallace got into Park and then into the wall, but it sent Park across the track, collecting his teammate, #8-Earnhardt Jr, sending them both into the infield guardrail and causing Park to flip over a few times. Whew, it sure looked a lot worse then it ended up. Earnhardt Jr was interviewed just after getting out of the infield care center and Park was also interviewed, seems he got trapped in the car by all the safety equipment and headrest, Dale Jr says they are going to look into a smaller headrest. Nice job by the Pocono safety crew/helpers. #32-Craven got into the rear of Park as Park was heading across the track.(7-28-2002)
  • Chevy Red Flag (#1) Notes and Quotes:
    The race was red-flagged after five laps to repair guardrail following a crash involving STEVE PARK, NO. 1 PENNZOIL CHEVY MONTE CARLO and his teammate DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVY MONTE CARLO. Both drivers were taken to the medical center and released, with no injuries. The track reported, however, that Park, after meeting with the media, will remain in the treatment center for additional observation only (because of his previous injury).
    DALE EARNHARDT JR.: “I was trying to do my damndest to get off of the side of Steve¹s car because I knew once we hit the wall my car was going to probably push him over the guardrail into the infield. It’s a bad deal. There was nothing I could really do. I was kind of in a bad situation.” WHAT HAPPENED? “Steve and Rusty got together on the back straightaway. Rusty really wouldn¹t clear, (he) came up the race track. Steve came back down and passed my car and I drove him into the guardrail. There was really nothing I could do on that wet grass. I was trying to get away from him, because I knew it was going to be a bad wreck once he got into the guardrail. I’m just glad he¹s OK; we’ll be able to go next weekend. Hopefully we can get the Bud car fixed and get back out there, but it¹s going to be a long day.”
    STEVE PARK: “I was on the outside of Rusty and it was the first lap and he started moving up. I backed off and then he pulled back down like his spotter might have said someone was on the outside. I got back up on the outside of him; and he just he came up on me. It was just a first lap deal.” WHAT DID THAT FEEL LIKE? “It didn¹t feel good, I can tell you that. The main thing is I don¹t like getting trapped in a race car. When a race car gets upside down with the head braces that we have and the window openings, I was trapped. I want to thank the safety workers. They came and made sure the car didn¹t go on fire and helped me out. I’m real thankful for them. I think Pocono has a first-class safety crew out there.”
    ON DALE JR. BEING FIRST THERE: “He was just elated I was OK. I got out of the race car and he was happy. I got out of the car and the first thing he said (was), “You OK?” I looked him straight in the face and said “Yeah, I’m OK.” Just don¹t like the fact that I was trapped. So I¹m trying not to have panic set in, just tried to get out of the race car. The safety workers made sure the car didn¹t go on fire and helped me get out. Dale Jr. was definitely a welcome sight and I was glad he was OK too.”
    HAVE YOU EVER BEEN UPSIDE DOWN IN A WINSTON CUP CAR BEFORE? “No, not really. That was the first time. I know how to react when it does go upside down. You don¹t want to just release your seat belt and then hit the roof of the car. I tried to stay calm and do everything I was supposed to do to get out of the race car. I was just disappointed that I was kind of trapped because of the way the safety devices are in the car and the window opening and stuff. I was very, very fortunate that the safety workers were there to one, prevent a fire, and two, to help me get out of the race car.”(GM PR)(7-28-2002)


    (7-27-2002)

  • Nice Gesture: Rookie of the year frontrunner #48-Jimmy Johnson has been running a small decal in memory of Blaise Alexander all season. Johnson and the Montoursville native who died in an ARCA crash last season at Charlotte were close friends when they raced together on the BGN circuit. This weekend at Pocono, Johnson’s car will feature a larger sticker near the rear tires that reads, “In Loving Memory of Blaise Alexander.” “I’m very close to his family and some of his friends went to his parents and said, ‘Let’s do something for the Pocono race,'” Johnson said. “This is the last place he won, and this being his hometown area, it just made sense to do it here.”(Citizens Voice)(7-27-2002)
  • Atwood wins ARCA race: Winston Cup driver Casey Atwood, entered in Saturday’s Automobile Racing Club of America race at Pocono Raceway with an entry from Evernham Motorsports’ R&D team, was clearly the class of the field and won the Pepsi 200 – earning a victory in his first series start. Atwood, who drives the #7 Dodge in Winston Cup for Ultra/Evernham Motorsports, held off ARCA regular Jason Jarrett by .749 seconds. Mario Gosselin was third, Bobby Gerhart fourth and Shelby Howard completed the top five. “We had a great car and was able to come back up through the field,” said Atwood, who started from the pole and led the first 46 laps before stopping for fuel. He restarted 11th after his pit stop and retook the lead on Lap 71 of 80. “It got me a little bit worried when the cautions kept coming out because we needed a long green (flag run) to be able to get back to the front,” he said. “We caught all the cautions right and I was able to make the positions up and get the win.” Series points leader Frank Kimmel challenged Atwood early and took the lead when Atwood elected to pit. However, his car lost a cynlinder soon after and he finished 13th.(ThatsRacin.com)
    For results see the ARCA site.(7-27-2002)
  • Little E Staying at DEI? Looks like it: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., who said at Daytona earlier this month he was still looking over a new contract with Dale Earnhardt Inc., said it was unlikely he could find a better situation in Winston Cup racing. “Nothing’s perfect; nothing’s ever the greatest,” he said. “There’s always something; or something that might not be perfection or not be the way you want it about the company or the way things might be going for the team itself, but there’s not a better situation as far as I’m concerned for me with DEI.” With contract issues with Waltrip complete and Earnhardt Jr. nearly done, only Steve Park’s status remains unfinished at DEI.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-27-2002)
  • Geoffrey hopes for a full run in 2003: Count Geoffrey Bodine among those looking for a full-time ride in Winston Cup next season, but he said no one should be worried he’s going to try to take someone else’s job. “I’m not trying to get any ride that’s sitting out there today,” said Bodine, who has run several races this season for car owners James Finch and Travis Carter. “I’m not trying to knock anyone out of their seat or influence any owner that’s here.” We have our own program we’re working on. Now, if somebody comes along and says, ‘Hey, we’d like to have you drive the car,’ I’d have to talk to them, but hopefully, I won’t have to do that.” Bodine said he hoped to put a program together for 2003 with Finch or Carter. His best finish this season was third at the season opening Daytona 500 in a Finch-owned car. “As far as I’m concerned, I don’t have anything to prove to anybody. Results are proof enough,” he said. “We’ve had some good ones this year already in the limited schedule that we’ve run.”(ThatsRacin.com)(7-27-2002)
  • Rudd….and Petree and Ganassi and Yates…..UPDATE 2 Rudd, Havoline and #28 to Ganassi?: #28-Ricky Rudd is under pressure to make a decision about next season, from car owners Chip Ganassi and Andy Petree, his top two prospects. Petree, in turn, is under pressure from Rudd’s current boss, Robert Yates, to sign both Rudd and Chevron’s Texaco Havoline brand as sponsor. Petree yesterday said he was still waiting to hear from Rudd. If Petree doesn’t take Yates’ offer, then Yates will have to field three teams next season, a prospect the veteran car owner doesn’t relish. However, there are indications that a shakeup may be under way within Yates’ shop. Rudd and his longtime crew chief, Michael McSwain, have been at odds much of the season, and Yates says that McSwain will be taking over the new Elliott Sadler/M&M Mars team next season, probably to be run under the logo of Doug Yates Racing. Doug Yates is Robert Yates’ son. But what will happen to Rudd’s current crew? Will it go with McSwain or stay with Rudd if Rudd stays with Yates? There are signs that a number of crewmen may be siding with Rudd. And there is also the possibility that Doug Yates and McSwain may be moving soon to start organizing their new team. Yates would like to persuade Petree to sign up for a leased-engine program, which would cost about $3 million to $3.5 million a year. And…Ganassi is also trying to woo Chevron-Texaco for his proposed deal with Rudd.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-26-2002)
    UPDATE: In the next few weeks, reports say that Chip Ganassi Racing will announce a third team for the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. The driver will be Ricky Rudd and the sponsor will be Texaco/Havoline coming over in a complete package from Robert Yates Racing. No word on whether the team members will follow, or not. The #28 itself, though owned by RYR, has become greatly associated with Havoline and they have invested millions in building brand awareness with the racing public. It’s believed Havoline would like the number to be a part of the deal if Rudd goes to Ganassi with their sponsorship.(NASCAR.com Buzz)
    BUT – still a chance to retire? Ricky Rudd said Friday retirement from the Winston Cup series remains “a real possibility.” Rudd’s future remains cloudy, with still no decision on whether he will retire, stay at Robert Yates Racing, or move to another team. Rudd said he hoped to have everything cleared up by next weekend’s race at Indianapolis. Although Rudd, 45, has mulled several offers from other teams, he said he will consider retirement if he cannot be with a team that can win races “right out of the box.”(ThatsRacin.com)(7-26-2002)
    UPDATE 2: The Ricky Rudd sweepstakes appear to be over, and Chip Ganassi seems to be the winner. The official announcement could come next week at Indianapolis that Rudd will be in a Ganassi Dodge with Chevron-Texaco’s Havoline brand as sponsor. But Rudd and Ganassi were noncommittal yesterday when pressed on the issue. One major question: Would the Ganassi-Rudd team be the team that Jimmy Spencer currently drives for, or would Rudd drive for a new third Ganassi team? Spencer says he expects a third team, though he says he doesn’t know the driver. However, Ganassi, when asked if he will expand to a third team, replied “No plans right now.” The Rudd-Ganassi deal has been pushed by car owner Robert Yates, according to sources close to the situation, in bargaining between Yates and Ganassi. Rudd said. “I think everything will settle itself by next week, so I’m not going to say a whole lot right now.” Has Rudd in fact made his decision? “Well, I think I pretty much know,” Rudd replied. In fact, the Ganassi-Rudd contract is in the lawyer’s hands, according to team sources. Will Spencer be back for a second season with Ganassi? “I don’t see why not,” Ganassi said, not resolving the third-team question. “I didn’t ask him, so I don’t know, but I expect to come back,” Spencer said. “Maybe there is something up that I really don’t know about. “I know he wants to start a third team. And I know our facility can handle it. Our employees can. We’ve got good people in our organization. Spencer said he has a three-year contract with Ganassi. But Ganassi would not answer questions about that contract. “I don’t talk about my contracts,” Ganassi said.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-27-2002)
  • NASCAR, Craven, Nadeau and the Soap Box Derby: NASCAR’s recently announced affiliation with the All-American Soap Box Derby (AASBD) will be highlighted Saturday, as Jerry Nadeau and Ricky Craven are scheduled to attend the derby’s World Championships in Akron, OH. NASCAR and the All-American Soap Box Derby announced a multi-year partnership on July 5. NASCAR’s involvement with the tradition-rich event is part of NASCAR’s Youth Program initiative, designed to introduce young people to the motorsports industry, and more specifically NASCAR, and its numerous opportunities. NASCAR’s Youth Program initiative also includes the Diversity Summer Internship Program and support of the Urban Youth Racing School. Nadeau and Craven are scheduled to fly from Pocono Raceway to Akron Saturday afternoon, after the final practice session for the Pennsylvania 500. Both are eager to view the AASBD World Championships, being held for the 65th year. The All-American Soap Box Derby is for competitors ages 9-17, who work with family members to build competitive cars, hoping to reach the World Championships. Through their presence on Saturday, Craven and Nadeau plan to send a message that the All-American Soap Box Derby is a huge event and a great American tradition, encouraging young people everywhere to participate. Nadeau competed in the AASBD, and nearly qualified for the Akron event. At the age of nine, he finished third in a regional qualifier in his hometown of Danbury, CT. “I’m excited about going to Akron and seeing the kids there,” said Nadeau, driver of the #44 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge. “I’ve got something to share with them. I can remember my and my dad building my soap box car. And I remember I was so nervous the first year I raced.”(NASCAR PR)(7-27-2002)
  • Final NHIS TV Ratings: New Hampshire 300 on TNT #1 on Cable and #1 in Key Demo The New England 300 was basic cable’s #1 program for the week, turning in a 4.6 rating, representing 3,921,000 households. It beat out WWE Raw Zone and Spongebob for the title. It was also the #1 program among adults 25-54 (3,512,000). Further accolades include the broadcast as the #1 sports program in delivery of adults 18-34 (1,089,000) and #1 among adults 18-49 (3,003,000). The 4.6 result is down 12% from last year’s 5.2.(MotorsportsTV)(7-27-2002)

    (7-26-2002)

  • Furr Officially Named #7 Crew Chief: Tony Furr has been officially appointed as crew chief for #7 Sirius Dodge and driver Casey Atwoood. In the last nine races, since Furr has taken over as crew chief, Atwood’s average finish has been 23.11, an improvement of 8.69 over the first 10 races.(Golin/Harris International-Ultra/Evernham Motorsports PR)(7-26-2002)
  • Hicks Gets Award: Larry Hicks, a retired Marine who saved Jack Roush from drowning after Roush’s ultralight aircraft crashed in Alabama in April, has been named as the second-quarter winner of the National Motorsports Press Association’s Pocono Spirit Award. “The first time I was able to talk to Jack after what happened, he told me that it was time for me to have my 15 minutes of fame,” Hicks said this week. “He told me that as long as he was around, he was going to be talking about me.” The remarkable rescue of Roush, one of Winston Cup racing’s most successful team owners, was made more so by the series of coincidences that made it possible. Roush crashed into a small lake near Hicks’ home in Troy, Ala., on April 19 while piloting a friend’s small plane. Hicks, who saw the plane go down, had spent a career in the U.S. Marines as an underwater rescue specialist. He dived repeatedly before being able to free Roush, then rescuscitated him and administered aid until rescue crews arrived. Retired driver Dave Marcis was the first-quarter nominee.(The State)(7-26-2002)
  • Compton out of the #14 car; Wallace in…for now: Stacy Compton and A.J. Foyt Racing have broken off their contract agreement, so Compton will no longer drive the #14 Conseco Pontiac. Compton said he told Foyt the team needed better equipment and more people in the shop to be more competitive on the circuit. Compton said Foyt believed the team had what it needed to race, so they agreed to part ways. Compton heads to Pikes Peak for Saturday’s BGN race, he also plans to run Jim Harris’ truck in four or five races this year.(WSET TV site)
    AND Mike Wallace will be in the #14 car at Pocono but hasn’t been asked to drive after that. Has spoke to the team after their test at Indy test and probably could be in the car if he wants with a good run at Pocono(Sources).
    AND II: A.J. Foyt made the latest abrupt change of direction in his career as a car owner when he informed Stacy Compton this week that he was released as the pilot of the #14 Conseco Pontiac. Mike Wallace will replace Compton, beginning with this weekend’s Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. Wallace participated in a two-day test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier this week, preparing for the Aug. 4 Brickyard 400. Wallace will be the sixth driver that Foyt has used in his Winston Cup cars in the last two-and-a-half seasons, following Mike Bliss, Dick Trickle, Rick Mast, Ron Hornaday and Compton.(NASCAR.com)
    See much past news on this on the #14 Team page, all the updates were getting toooooooo large.(7-26-2002)
  • Weis Markets joins the #43 for Pocono: General Mills is proud to announce the sponsors on the #43 Dodge of John Andretti at Pocono will be Cheerios/Weis Markets. Prior to the start, attention will focus on victory circle, General Mills and Weis Markets will honor Ned Chamberlain, who has been a Weis over the road truck driver for 35 years. He will be preasented with a framed Cheerios racing jacket, signed by team owner Richard Petty and John Andretti. The award is for his years of service and the remarkable feat of 1.5 million miles of safe driving. Presenting the award will be Norm Rich, President of Weis Markets. Cheerios is the regular sponsor for the #43.(PR)(7-26-2002)
  • Another Andretti: Adam Andretti, younger brother of #43-John Andretti and cousin of CART driver Michael Andretti, plans to make his ASA debut at Madison, WI as part of a limited schedule this year. Adam, 23, will drive a car owned by Jerry Wood, of Madison, and team with Wood’s son, Chad. He has raced since 1995, progressing through karts, U.S. Formula 3, SCCA endurance racing and the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(7-26-2002)
  • More of Park and DEI: Steve Park is mulling over an offer from DEI/Ty Norris, the general manager, to sign a one-year deal, with the possibility of extending it for another year or two in more negotiations next summer. The sticking point for Park, according to those close to him, is Norris’ attempt to pin Park’s salary to incentives, meaning he must run well to make money, because he would draw a small base salary. So far Park has not been pleased with what’s on the table from DEI.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-26-2002)
  • Hills Bros not expected back on the #23 UPDATE:: during an interview on FSN’s Totally NASCAR, #23 (and #22 and #27) team owner, Bill Davis, says he doesn’t expect Hill Brothers Coffee back as a sponsor in 2003 and it looks like it was a one-year deal.(7-24-2002)
    UPDATE: word is that car owner Bill Davis is signing a $12 million sponsorship deal with Stacker2 and driver Kenny Wallace for the #23 ride. Where the Davis-Wallace deal leaves Hut Stricklin, currently Ward Burton’s teammate on the Davis roster, is unclear; Stricklin’s sponsor, Sara Lee’s Hills Brothers coffee, must tell Davis by Aug. 15 if it wants to ante up for another season. But five of Hill’s key racing executives were released in a shakeup in early June, leaving the future of that sponsorship cloudy.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-26-2002)
  • NASCAR changes safety strategy: NASCAR’s top safety official said his critics are looking the wrong way when it comes to protecting stock car drivers in racing accidents. Instead of making the 3,400-pound stock cars more energy-absorptive, Gary Nelson said NASCAR is trying to make the cars stiffer. Rather than reworking the rigid front bumpers of the cars, NASCAR is focusing on maximizing the efficiency of the right door area. And in lieu of concentrating on how the car reacts to an impact with a wall, NASCAR is committed to making the walls softer.(See full story at the Indianapolis Star and a story at The Gazette (Colorado Springs): Putting safety first – So far, NASCAR sanctions working or past news on my Safety News and Links page)(7-26-2002)
  • Atwood Wins ARCA Pole: Casey Atwood’s first appearance in the ARCA series started off as a fast one. Atwood, entered in an Evernham Motorsports #19 Dodge, won the pole for Saturday’s Pepsi 200 at Pocono Raceway, turning a lap at 165.981mph to claim the top starting position. Atwood, who drives for the # 7 Ultra/Evernham Motorsports team in the Winston Cup series, was also fastest in Thursday afternoon’s practice session. Series points leader Frank Kimmel was second fastest and Chad Blount third.(ThatsRacin.com), see starting lineup at ThatsRacin.com.(7-26-2002)
  • Shakeup at the #18? A shakeup is looming within the Bobby Labonte-Jimmy Makar team, according to team sources. Labonte has not been pleased with the team for some time. “It is tough,” Labonte said. “In 2000 it was easy. This year we’re working three times as hard as we did in 2000, and we’re going nowhere. Nothing’s falling into place.”(Winston Salem Journal)(7-26-2002)
  • More tire testing at Richmond UPDATE 2: Goodyear officials plan to test tires July 23-24 at Richmond International Raceway to determine what kind of tire to use at the fall race. In the May Cup race, a second groove did not develop and passing was difficult. Drivers complained about the sealer used, but track officials insisted that nothing different was done in preparing the track for the race. #2-Rusty Wallace and #20-Tony Stewart tested there for Goodyear a couple of weeks after the race, but Goodyear officials decided to return after next weekend’s IRL race. Stewart, #28-Ricky Rudd and rookie #48-Jimmie Johnson are scheduled to test there for Goodyear.(Roanoke Times)(6-23/7-23-2002) – haven’t heard if this is still on or not.
    UPDATE: Three teams are at RIR for a two day Goodyear tire test, the drivers are #20-Stewart, #28-Rudd and #48-Johnson, the test concludes today.(PRN’s Garage Pass)(7-24-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Rudd, Stewart and Johnson staged a 75-lap “race” at Richmond International Raceway on Wednesday to test Goodyear’s tires, after questions about the May race at that track. Track owners had blamed Goodyear’s tires for the poor race and demanded a test and indicated they wanted new tires for the September race at RIR. Drivers and Goodyear engineers pointed to the track sealer as the culprit. This week’s two-day test appeared to back up Goodyear’s contention that the tires were fine and that track officials erred in applying the sealer.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-26-2002)


    (7-25-2002)

  • Bodine’s Souvenir Rig Returns: After missing the last couple of years, the #11 Souvenir Rig will be at Indianapolis.(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)
  • Hamilton to decide his 2003 plans in a month or two; Jr moving up?: Bobby Hamilton, who won his first Winston Cup race driving for the legendary Richard Petty, appears to be headed back. The veteran driver from Nashville yesterday said he will make a decision on who he will drive for next season ”in the next month or two” and confirmed that Petty Enterprises is high on the list of prospects. Hamilton said ”about 12 rides will be open, and about five top drivers available,” which means some opportunities for some newcomers — perhaps including Bobby Hamilton Jr. ”Bobby has talked to some people [about moving from Busch to Winston Cup],” his father said. ”We’ll have to wait and see what’s out there.”(Tennessean)(7-25-2002)
  • FDNY vs NYPD in the pits: A team of New York firefighters will face off against a team of New York police on Aug. 8 in a pit stop battle for charity. The firefighters and police spent several days training at the Dale Earnhardt Inc., race shop in Mooresville, N.C., under the direction of DEI pit crew coach Walt Smith. Proceeds from the Drakkar Noir Pit Crew Competition, in front of the Macy’s department story in Herald Square, will be donated to The Widows and Children’s Benefit Fund. Drakkar Noir is an associate sponsor on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s #8 Chevy.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(7-25-2002)
  • BAM gets an Assoc: BAM Racing announced that Blair.com and Blair Custom Wear have agreed to become associate sponsors of the BAM #49 Dodge for the balance of the 2002 Winston Cup season. Blair VP, Jeff Parnell said, “we were impressed with the unique business to business opportunities our relationship with BAM provides.” The Blair brand will debut with BAM Racing at the Brickyard 400.(BAM Racing PR)(7-25-2002)
  • Nadeau to run the #44 for the rest of 2002 UPDATE: Jerry Nadeau, who nearly pulled out an incredible race victory less than a month ago at Sears Point, Calif., will drive the #44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge for Petty Enterprises the rest of this season. In Nadeau’s only other start in the car, he came within just a few laps at winning the California event, a drive-train problem sidelining him from a near five-second lead two laps from the end. “We’re doing everything we can and making any changes we need to make to bring Petty Enterprises back at the forefront of NASCAR racing,” said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. “This is another step in that direction. We all saw what Jerry did at Sears Point but that is the kind of racing he has been doing throughout his career,” Petty said. “He has won on fast superspeedways, is one of the best road racers out there and is pretty good on short tracks too. He has proven he can win. He brings a lot to this team, to Georgia-Pacific and to Petty Enterprises.” Nadeau has competed with several teams this season with success. “This is a great opportunity to be able to drive again for this team,” said Nadeau. “We had a really good run at Sears Point, and I really respect (crew chief) Greg Steadman and the guys who prepare this car.. Everyone in this organization is really committed to being a champion, and I am ready to win.. We have showed what we can do, and with the people that work at and support Petty Enterprises, I believe we can continue to move this program forward.”(Williams Company PR)(7-23-2002)
    UPDATE: Grissom will once again help with research and development for the [Petty] team’s three Winston Cup cars and its Craftsman Truck team – the same thing he was doing before he got back in the car at Talladega in April.(Anniston Star)(7-25-2002)
  • Former Cup Driver Hospitialized UPDATE 2: Phil Barkdoll, one of the most popular drivers in NASCAR Winston Cup racing in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, is in St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Barkdoll, 64, suffered a heart attack and is considered a probable candidate for open-heart surgery. Barkdoll competed for Helen Rae Racing,.running in races such as the Daytona 500 and Talladega 500. His off-track demeanor captivated the media and public, as well as his fellow competitors. Barkdoll, an auctioneer, always played a role in the Winston Preview and Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind fund-raising campaigns.(Williams Company), Cards can be sent to 2275 58th St. Vinton, Iowa 52349.(7-3-2002)
    UPDATE: Barkdoll is out of the hospital, they are going to run some more test this Friday, and if surgery is needed they will do it in about 10 days. Barkdoll and family want to thank everybody for their well wishes.(7-10-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Good news on Phil, they will not be doing surgery, but will treat Barkdoll medicine and diet. Barkdoll has received numerous cards and thanks the fans.(7-25-2002)
  • Road Racer Shane Lewis to run Watkins Glen: Shane Lewis of Jupiter, FL announced that he will compete in the Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen NASCAR Winston Cup race at Watkins Glen International. The 16-time 24-hour event starter has been selected to pilot the Otto Motorsports’ Ford Taurus in his Winston Cup debut on August 11th. Lewis, a two-time Le Mans-starter, will drive a special tribute car for Edgar Otto, Jr. of Boca Raton, Florida to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the first NASCAR event held at Watkins Glen in 1957. By honoring the first NASCAR race at The Glen, the two-tone blue and yellow entry also honors the recent induction of Edgar Otto, Sr. into the International Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame. Otto Sr., a contemporary of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., promoted several of NASCAR’s early events including the first at Watkins Glen. The car is being prepared by Alton McBride’s Last Lap Motorsports of Denver, NC. “I am thrilled to be a part of this special effort and eager to show that Edgar’s confidence in me is well warranted,” said Lewis who will test on July 29-30th at The Glen. “With our success in the past I am sure Last Lap will give me a great car. I know we have a tough road ahead of us. The quality and professionalism of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series is among the best in the world. This will certainly rank up there with my Le Mans starts as a career milestone.”(Shane Lewis Site)(7-25-2002)
  • Cameron at Watkins Glen? hearing that Winston West driver Austin Cameron will test next Monday and Tuesday at Watkins Glen for TRW Motorsports and will enter the Cup race there if the test goes well.(7-25-2002)
  • Victory Junction Gang Camp – Proud Charity of NASCAR: NASCAR has identified Victory Junction Gang Camp as “A Proud Charity of NASCAR,” it was announced today. NASCAR will work with Victory Junction Gang Camp to build awareness of the camp’s mission through a media campaign that reaches across all of NASCAR’s licensed media. Additionally, NASCAR is planning a fall fundraiser for the camp. Victory Junction Gang Camp, founded by NASCAR driver Kyle Petty and his wife Pattie in honor of their late son Adam, will provide camp sessions year-round for children ages 7-15 with life-threatening illnesses. Like other camps under the umbrella of The Association of Hole in the Wall Gang Camps founded by actor Paul Newman, Victory Junction Gang Camp will have a unique design geared toward making every child’s camp experience unforgettable and empowering. Victory Junction Gang Camp will have a racing theme that allows campers to begin their experience by entering the camp through a tunnel and crossing a starting line into the world of racing.. When complete, Victory Junction’s 65-acre site will have more than 36 buildings, including a dining hall, gym, pool, theater, therapeutic equestrian center, arts and crafts center, race shop and cabins.. Most importantly, the camp will offer a sophisticated medical facility staffed by a team of professionals capable of administering to the needs of these children, up to and including the administering of chemotherapy. The Victory Junction Gang Camp will be located in Randleman, N.C., on land donated by Richard and Lynda Petty.. The camp will be free to children and their families and will be the only year round multi-disease camp of its kind in the Carolinas and Virginia.. It is solely supported by contributions and donations from corporations, individuals and foundations.. For more information or to make a donation to Victory Junction, see my Racing Charity page for the graphic or other info.(NASCAR PR)(7-25-2002)
  • NAPCM Pit Crew of the Week: Consistently fast stops all season (14.8) puts them in the spotlight this week. Very talented pit crew keeps the rookie in the spotlight (and sometimes top 5). Great job #12 ALLTEL crew on being this weeks NAPCM Pit Crew of the Week sponsored by Toxabsorb, Official Spill Response Agent of the National Association of Pit Crew Members. Latest Mechanix Wear Pit Crew of the Year Standings available at www.napcm.com.(7-25-2002)
  • IRWIN Rough to Finish Award: Kurt Busch and the #97 Rubbermaid team showed grit and determination in coming back from three laps down to finish eighth in Sunday’s New England 300.. As a result of their teamwork, crew chief Jimmy Fennig takes home this week’s “Irwin Rough to the Finish” Award, his third of the season. After starting the race in the 23rd position and climbing as high as fourth, the Rubbermaid team suffered its first of two setbacks – a flat left front tire – midway through the race and quickly fell two laps down to 33rd position.. A few laps later, more tragedy struck the #97 team as they discovered a hole in the radiator.. Immediately Busch came into the pits to repair the damage, but the team was now down three laps to the race leaders. But thanks to some well-timed pit stops, determined driving and a season-high 14 caution flags, Busch managed to make it back on the lead lap and gain 24 track positions to finish in eighth-place.
    Midway through the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season, Jimmy Fennig, crew chief of the #97 Rubbermaid Ford, leads a tightly contested race for the Irwin Crew Chief of the Year honors. Fennig has won this weekly honor three times this season (Subway 400, MBNA Platinum 400 and New England 300). The standings as of July 23 are as follows (five points awarded with each honor):
    1)  Jimmy Fennig, #97 Rubbermaid Ford, 15 pts.
    2)  Chad Knaus, #48 Lowe’s Chevy, 10 pts.
    2)  Bill Wilburn, #2 Miller Lite Ford, 10 pts.
    4)  13 crew chiefs tied for fourth-place with 5 pts.
    Each week throughout the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season, Irwin, makers of professional power tool accessories like Marathon Plus saw blades and Speedbor flat bits, is partnering with Performance Racing Network to honor the crew chief who had the toughest day in the pits, but still managed to help his team to a strong finish. The IRWIN Rough to the Finish Award includes an assortment of tools for the crew chief and a $250 check donated to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund in the racing team’s name.. The year-end winner of the crew chief points standings will win a $5,000 check donated to the Fund.. Race fans wanting to make a contribution to the Fund may do so by sending it to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund, PO Box 443, Ellerbe, NC 28338. In addition to the crew chief award, Irwin is also sponsoring the weekly nationally syndicated radio show, “Fast Talk with Benny Parsons“, throughout the upcoming year.(Golin Harris PR)(7-25-2002)


    (7-24-2002)

  • Mike Wallace to test the #14 at Indy? UPDATE’s and at Pocono? Compton released? hearing the #14 Conseco Pontiac will be in Indy again Tuesday and Wednesday testing, but with a twist, the driver will not be Stacy Compton but will be Mike Wallace. No idea if this is just for the test or a possible driver change in the #14.AND also hearing AJ Foyt is fielding a second car for the Brickyard 400 with Mike Wallace as the driver.
    UPDATE: hearing Mike Wallace will run the #14 Conseco Pontiac at Pocono, not sure if Compton is still with the team or if it a conflict with the BGN race at Pikes Peak, Colorado, where Compton will run in the BGN race where he runs full time in the #59 ST Motorsports Chevy.(7-22-2002)
    UPDATE 2: hearing that driver Stacy Compton recieved a certified letter in the mail yesterday informing him that he no longer had a job with AJ Foyt racing. The letter was supposedly mailed last Thursday. They supposedly have hired Mike Wallace to drive the car the rest of the season. He was their second choice to drive the car. Ron Hornaday was supposedly the first choice, but a deal could not be struck. Also being told the team will field only one entry at Indy this year at the Brickyard 400.(7-23-2002)
    MORE UPDATES: Stacy Compton said if things don’t do a 180 soon, he may not drive for A.J. Foyt anymore. Compton is “not real happy” with his team’s current state and hopes things can turn around in a hurry. “We continually get worse and worse,” Compton said. “There needs to be some changes before we can be a competitive race team.” Compton denied a report on NASCAR.com that he would be out of the #14 Pontiac this weekend and that Mike Wallace would be the replacement driver. He said he could remain with his current ride should things work out, but right now, things are extremely fuzzy. “It’s still up in the air,” Compton said. “We need to get some things straightened out. I’ve asked for some things to be changed so that we can be a more competitive race team. Whether I’ll continue to race for A.J. Foyt, I don’t know. I may run Pocono this weekend, I might not. This weekend was the straw that broke the camel’s back. We’ve been struggling and having problems. We had a good run going (at Loudon) and we didn’t finish where I needed to. We all got a little frustrated and it came to a head this weekend. I don’t know what we’re going to do right now.” Compton said he has spoken with a couple other teams to seek spots with them. He said he would only take those rides providing proper funding and a competitive nature were turned in each week.(Lynchburg News and Advance)
    AND Stacy Compton and A.J. Foyt Racing may soon be parting company. Compton told 13 Sports there are problems with the 14 car of which he doesn’t want to be a part. He didn’t specify, but did say the Conseco Pontiac has broken in 10 of the 19 races this season. Compton said the two sides are now looking at ways to solve the problems or end their contract agreement, that he should know something definite by Wednesday afternoon. Mike Wallace is believed to be a possible replacement if Compton and Foyt part ways.(WSET TV)
    AND II: Mike Wallace tested Tuesday at Indy in the #14 Conseco Pontiac.(PRN’s Garage Pass)(7-24-2002)
    UPDATE 4: Wallace has not been asked to drive at Pocono and was at Indy again on Wednesday testing the AJ Foyt Pontiac in preparation for running a 2nd AJ Foyt Racing car there.(ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night)(7-24-2002)
  • Scott Pruett to run Watkins Glen…for Ganassi: Scott Pruett will drive a third car for Chip Ganassi Racing at Watkins Glen.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(7-24-2002)
  • more Rudd and Ganassi: Add the Target/Ganassi team to possible landing sites for ironman Ricky Rudd, who reportedly wants $2 million a year–more than his current owner, Robert Yates, is willing to pay. Target owner Chip Ganassi, who’s employing drivers Sterling Marlin and Jimmy Spencer this season, wouldn’t rule out adding a third car. It’s also possible Rudd could replace Spencer, who’s 23rd in the points list. “I guess that possibility does exist,” Ganassi said when asked about hiring Rudd. “From top to bottom, everything about our organization is about performance, and that includes drivers.” There also has been speculation Rudd might wind up at Dale Earnhardt Inc.(Chicago Sun Times)(7-24-2002)
  • Nemechek not in the #25 after 2002: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports that Joe Nemechek will not be back in the #25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy in 2003.(7-24-2002)
  • Kenseth wins at Slinger: Matt Kenseth hadn’t raced at Slinger Speedway in nearly three years, but his performance Tuesday night in the Miller Lite Nationals made it look as though he’d never left. Kenseth won the race and added another Nationals trophy to display alongside the one the Cambridge native collected in 1994, before he moved to the South to pursue his NASCAR dreams. As a near-capacity crowd of about 7,000 cheered Kenseth’s victory, Lowell Bennett and Eric Fransen waged a whale of a side-by-side battle for second place, but at the checkers, Bennett was nearly half a lap behind. Two of the other visitors were involved in the first caution 20 laps into the feature. Ken Schrader, a longtime Winston Cup competitor, was working on Dave Teske when Teske spun and collected four-time Nationals champion Dick Trickle. The accident wrecked the bleeder valve in Trickle’s left rear tire, causing the tire to loose air pressure. With the tire going down, he fell two laps down before he could get it changed, and he ended up 13th. Scott Wimmer, a Winston Cup and Busch driver from Wausau, ended up sixth despite brake problems and a spin that sent him to the back of the field. Rich Bickle, a two-time Nationals champion now racing in the CTS, struggled with handling and ignition trouble and finished 19th.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(7-24-2002)
  • Electronics on Dashboard? NASCAR put up a display in New Hampshire to illustrate a proposal that all ignition wiring and ignition boxes be mounted on top of the dashboard but out of the reach of the driver, to prevent traction- control tampering. The governing body also proposes to make it illegal for any wiring to run on the right side of the car. Ben Leslie, crew chief for Mark Martin, said putting everything on the dashboard would give cars an ugly look. He suggests wiring and boxes be located on the passenger side of the floorboard.(Tampa Truibune)(7-24-2002)
  • “NASCAR Victory Lane” Now Exclusively on Speed Channel: Beginning this Sunday, July 28, Speed Channel will be the exclusive provider of NASCAR Victory Lane. The series will air on Sundays at 8:00pm/et, with Thursday replays at 5:30pm/et.(MotorsportsTV)(7-24-2002)
  • Fox Helps Out: Fox Sports Net lost one of its own on Sept. 11 when the plane carrying FSN cameraman Tom Pecorelli hit the World Trade Center. The Tom Pecorelli Memorial Fund (link) was established to care for his widow, Kia, and their unborn son, who arrived in March, and Fox employees contributed more than $125,000 to the fund, which was then matched by Fox. “The 10,000 acts of kindness balance the one spectacular incident of evil,” Kia stated. “You have helped honor the memory of … my husband … through your thoughts, prayers, sympathetic ears and generous contributions. Though the written word pales, on behalf of my family and myself, thank you for all you have done.” (Daily Herald thanks to MotorsportsTV for the heads up)(7-24-2002)
  • Congrats: Bryson Parker Byrnes arrived at 12:16 p.m. ET Tuesday afternoon, weighing in at 7 pounds, 4 ounces. Both he and mom Karen are healthy and well. FSN’s Steve Byrnes thanks everyone for their support. Bryson even made his TV debut on Totally NASCAR Tuesday night.(7-24-2002)

    (7-23-2002)

  • Sad News: Tyler McGrath the 8-year-old boy from Lowville, NY, passed away Sunday night at his home. Tyler was the very cute, and brave son of Victoria Tabolt and John McGrath. His mother, Victoria, has posted a heartfelt message to all Tyler’s supporters on their webpage: http://www.caringbridge.com/ny/tylermcgrath. Thoughts and condolences to the family.(7-22-2002)
    AND Tyler McGrath, a young man whose fight against leukemia drew support from race teams and race fans all over the country, died Sunday at his home in Lowville, N.Y., on his ninth birthday. Tyler had been at home for about a week after doctors at Sloan Kettering hospital in New York City determined they could do no more to help him. The son of John McGrath and Victoria Talbot received a hero’s welcome in his hometown, where he was able to spend his final days with his mother; his sister, Morgan; his dog, Wilson, and his family and friends. “I am devastated, but in a sense relieved that he is no longer suffering,” Talbot wrote Monday afternoon on the web site that has chronicled her son’s battle with the disease first diagnosed in April 2001. “He went through so much and fought so hard.”(ThatsRacin.com)(7-23-2002)
  • Bodine to drive for Bodine: Geoffrey Bodine will drive the #26 Discover Card Ford this weekend at the Pocono Raceway. His brother Todd is committed to running the Busch Series event at Pikes Peak International Raceway on Saturday night making it impossible for him to arrive in Pennsylvania in time for Sunday’s Pennsylvania 500. This is not the first time Geoffrey has helped out his younger brother this season. However, it marks his first official driving duty from start to finish for the Discover Card Racing program. Geoffrey is excited to compete this weekend since he boasts an impressive record at the 2.5 mile oval … three wins and two poles. Plus, he holds the track record for the most laps led with 810.(Cox Marketing PR)(7-23-2002)
  • Petree in a truck at IRP: Fresh from a successful test at Indianapolis Raceway Park, Andy Petree will drive his own truck in next week’s CTS race event at the .686-mile oval. “Whether or not we ran wasn’t dependent upon (Tuesday’s) test but I wanted to have tested before we formally announced we were running the race,” said Petree. “We took a Winston Cup car up there and learned some things, got me some time behind the wheel, and I think we’re going to have a good run in the race next week. Darrell Waltrip tested some with us, and that has to help.” Petree will make his second start in the Truck series, having been a major factor in pole qualifying and the race in April at Martinsville. Petree qualified third, and ran among the leaders until late in the race when a mechanical problem sidelined him. He is fielding a truck for Winston Cup star Tony Stewart in September at Richmond, and hasn’t ruled out driving a second truck himself in that event. Petree tested a Winston Cup car at IRP but feels that will help his team not only with the Truck series races at IRP and Richmond, but also to this Winston Cup team at like speedways. One of the team’s associate sponsors is expected to sponsor the Truck for IRP, and Petree said he is still talking with potential sponsors for the race at Richmond.(Williams Company PR)(7-23-2002)
  • Benson Back at Pocono? Nadeau in a 2nd MBV car at Indy? UPDATE Benson back at Pocono: Johnny Benson, out of the #10 MBV ride due to rib injuries from an accident at Daytona in the Pepsi 400, may be back in the car as soon as Pocono. Jerry Nadeau is subbing for Benson and is signed thru Watkins Glen. Originally Benson was to come back at either Indy or Watkins Glen, but during Speed Channel’s Happy Hour coverage, Bill Weber mentioned #10 Crew Chief, James Ince said Benson was healing faster then expected. Also, Weber mentioned that he heard [not from Ince] that the MBV team could field a 2nd car for Nadeau at Indy for the Brickyard 400.(7-21-2002)
    UPDATE – Benson back at Pocono: Johnny Benson will resume his driving duties in the #10 Valvoline Pontiac beginning at this weekend’s race at Pocono. Benson returns to the driving seat after missing the Chicago and New Hampshire races following a July 6 accident in Daytona. Benson broke three ribs in that accident. Mike Wallace substituted for Benson at Chicago and Jerry Nadeau drove at New Hampshire. Sunday’s Pocono race marks the second time this season Benson will make a return from rib injuries at the triangle-shaped track. Benson missed three races after a May 3 accident in a BGN race at Richmond where he suffered two cracked and one broken rib. Benson made his return at Pocono finishing 20th in June. He finished fifth at this Pocono race last year.(MBV PR)(7-23-2002)
  • Park negotiating with DEI to stay: Steve Park, driver of the #1 Pennzoil Chevy, has confirmed he’s in serious negotiations again, for his future with Dale Earnhardt, Inc.(see full story at NASCAR.com)(7-23-2002)
  • Hornaday in the #49 at Indy? Shawna Robinson is the only woman driver competing in NASCAR’s Winston Cup Series, and last season she became the first female to finish a race in more than two decades. The question now, however, is: How much longer will she have a job? Although team officials have not confirmed any driver change, Robinson revealed in a phone interview yesterday that she may have taken her last ride in the #49 Dodge Intrepid. Ron Hornaday Jr., who replaced Robinson at two races earlier this season – failing to qualify for one and needing a provisional to make the other – is ticketed to drive BAM Motorsports’ entry in the Aug. 4 race in Indianapolis. Both drivers were at the Brickyard for test sessions last week, but according to Robinson, “Ron was in a car built for Indy; I was testing a car not made for Indy. “I’m extremely frustrated,” she said. “The owners are very good people and they’ve given me a great opportunity, but I just don’t know where I stand with the team at this point.” Starting fresh with the newly formed BAM Motorsports, which is owned by Beth Ann Morgenthau and her husband Tony, Robinson turned in a career-best finish of 24th in the Daytona 500. But in running a limited schedule, the team has been unable to secure primary sponsorship. Robinson noted that “things keep breaking on the cars,” and admitted that she had just discovered on the Internet that BAM recently hired its third crew chief of the season. Because she is under contract with BAM Motorsports through the end of next season, Robinson is going to do what she is asked to do. In the last month, she said, she has been to New York three times trying to secure sponsorship. If she is released, Robinson will pursue a deal to possibly return to the BGN next season.(Philadelphia Inqurier)(7-23-2002)
  • 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)
  • #71 Team Unsure of Indy Plans: The Indianapolis test didn’t fare as well as #71 Marcis Racing or driver Dick Trickle had hoped. They took a new car and wanted to shake it down and see how it handled and after two days they were still having difficulty getting the car to turn properly. The team will be deciding this week if they’ll still attempt to make the Indy race, and then possibly Dick will have to make his decision after that.(Dick Trickle Fan Club Newsletter)(7-23-2002)
  • Long to skip the Brickyard 400 but plan to be at Pocono: #79 SR Racing and Carl Long have decided not to run the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis next week, because they want to concentrate on the race at Pocono this weekend.(Carl Long Racing site)(7-23-2002)
  • McGlynn to attempt a Pocono Cup race? UPDATE 2: hearing CTS driver Ryan McGlynn and team is preparing a Chevy to run at one or both Pocono Winston Cup events. McGlynn Racing is based in Wilkes-Barre, PA. No word on sponsorship at this time.(5-25-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing McGlynn will attempt the 2nd Pocono race in July, not the race in June.(5-29-2002)
    UPDATE 2: now hearing it is unlikely that McGlynn will be attempting to run Pocono this week but McGlynn may attempt to run New Hampshire in September.(7-23-2002)
  • Kenny Wallace to the #23? UPDATE: Kenny Wallace is expected to drive Bill Davis’ #23 Dodge, with Stacker 2 as the primary sponsor, in 2003. Davis says that if Hills Brothers, the current sponsor on the #23, re-signs during the next two weeks for next season, he might field a third team. Hut Stricklin currently drives the #23.(Sporting News)
    UPDATE: Wallace was on ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night and said he has a deal is basically done and to look for announcement just after the Brickyard 400, but he wouldn’t comment on the specifics.(7-22-2002)
  • IROC to run 11 cars at Indy, Unser not replaced: IROC officials conferred today regarding the July 18 announcement by Al Unser Jr., stating that he would immediately enter into a treatment program for substance abuse. IROC President, Jay Signore made the following statement on behalf of the True Value IROC Series: “We commend Al Unser Jr., on his decision to seek treatment and wish him all the best in his efforts toward recovery. We will run an 11-car field in the August 3 finale at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and will respectfully credit Al Unser Jr., with his current points in the final standings of the 2002 True Value IROC Series. We look forward to Al’s return to autoracing and we’re very confident he’ll soon be adding more race wins and championships to his stellar career resume.”(IROC Racing PR)(7-23-2002)
  • Gordon Wins 2nd Quarter Man of the Year: Jeff Gordon has earned the second-quarter nomination for the NASCAR True Value Man of the Year Award. True Value, the Official Hardware Store of NASCAR, once again is sponsoring the award designed to honor a driver not only for accomplishments on the track but for community service and charitable efforts. Ricky Craven (#32 Tide Ford) received the first-quarter nomination. In December 1999, Gordon – a four-time Cup Series champion – established the Jeff Gordon Foundation. This charitable organization allows Gordon to offer his support, either in the form of a monetary donation, awareness or a simple meet-and-greet. Since April, Gordon has granted 10 wishes to children in the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He also met more than 30 Make-A-Wish children at Michigan International Speedway in June. And earlier this year, Gordon participated in the Association of American Publishers “Get Caught Reading” program. This program is designed to encourage reading among all age groups. Gordon also has teamed up with Sesame Street character “Elmo” to raise money for the Jeff Gordon Foundation. A specially designed collector’s car, which will not be raced, will be released for sale later this summer. In addition to Gordon’s generous donation of his time, the Jeff Gordon Foundation has made monetary donations to St. Jude’s Research Hospital and has raised more than $11,000 through on-line auctions. Monies raised are distributed to the charitable organizations supported by the Jeff Gordon Foundation: Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Marrow Foundation, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Hendrick Marrow Program and Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. For the purpose of determining the NASCAR True Value Driver of the Year award winner, the NASCAR Winston Cup season has been divided into four quarters in which drivers are nominated for off-track efforts. An elite group of panelists will select one of the four quarterly finalists as the NASCAR True Value Driver of the Year. This award will be presented at the NASCAR Winston Cup Series awards ceremony in New York City, along with a prize of $100,000. The prize will be divided evenly between the driver and the charity of his choice. In addition to the NASCAR True Value Driver of the Year, True Value sponsors the Driver of the Race Award, which goes to the eligible driver who wins each of the 36 NASCAR Winston Cup championship events. Each True Value Driver of the Race Award winner receives $2,500 with an additional $2,500 going to the charity of their choice. The third-quarter nominee will be announced on September 16.(NASCAR PR)(7-23-2002)
  • Busch helps the Pooches: Kurt Busch, driver of the #97 Rubbermaid Ford was the Grand Marshal of the Beggin’ Strips A-Mazin’ Bacon Race in Baltimore at the Maryland Science Center on July 18th. Between now and October, professionally trained dogs will race across the country, visiting 20 cities, including Baltimore, on a quest for the great taste of bacon. In each city, a group of dogs will compete against each other and the clock, through a fun and interactive agility course to win the A-Mazin’ Bacon Race and raise money for local charities. At each event along the way, the racing dogs’ times are calculated. The one with the best average at the end of the tour takes home the prestigious Bacon Cup. This race through Baltimore was to help raise money for the Maryland SPCA. Rusty Wallace was the Grand Marshsal in New York City a few weeks ago. Cities the Beggin’ Strips A-Mazin’ Bacon Race will travel through include: Indianapolis, New York, Pittsburgh, Boston, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Denver, Seattle, Sacramento, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, Tulsa, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. For more information on the Beggin’ Strips A-Mazin’ Bacon Race, log-on to www.begginstrips.com.(7-23-2002)

    (7-22-2002)

  • #88 Too Low; #28 Unapproved part UPDATE – Penalties/fines: Dale Jarrett’s #88 Ford was found to be approximately 1/8th of an inch below the 51-inch minimum height requirement following post-race inspection. Jarrett finished third in Sunday’s New England 300. NASCAR spokesperson Danielle Frye said it was likely Jarrett’s team would be penalized driver and car owner points for the infraction. In the past, fines have been the typical penalty for such violations.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-21-2002)
    AND – NASCAR finds unapproved part on #28: NASCAR officials confiscated an unapproved jacking bolt from the No. 28 Ford of driver Ricky Rudd during pre-qualifying inspection on Friday. A fine is likely.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-22-2002)
    PENALTIES ANNOUNCED: NASCAR officials penalized two NASCAR Winston Cup crew chiefs today for infractions discovered during this past weekend’s New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, N.H.
    Todd Parrott, crew chief of the #88 Ford Taurus, was fined $20,000 and his team was also penalized 25 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Championship driver points as well as 25 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Championship owner points. Parrott’s team was penalized under Section 12-4-T of the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book: “Any car that is found to be under the specified height requirement after the completion of time trials, qualifying races, or the race.” The #88 car was approximately one-eighth of an inch too low. The minimum height requirement is 51 inches.
    Michael McSwain, crew chief of the #28 Ford Taurus, was fined $500 and penalized under Sections 12-4-Q and 20-12-1A: “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules; unapproved jacking bolt.”(NASCAR PR)(7-22-2002)
  • More Nadeau to the #36 and Schrader to Petty rumors: Jerry Nadeau, the leading candidate to replace Ken Schrader in the #36 Pontiac next season, gave the #10 Valvoline Pontiac (a sister car to the #36) one of its best rides of the season. Filling in for the injured Johnny Benson, Nadeau led five times for 37 laps before finishing 18th after his two-way radio failed midway through the race. “The car was good enough to win,” he said. “But when you don’t have any communication between the crew chief and driver, what are you going to do? I had no spotter the last 100 laps. It’s just a tough deal.” Nadeau, who was released from Hendrick Motorsports [#25] earlier this year, has filled in for Benson and appears set to become his teammate next year because Schrader is likely to move to the Petty Enterprises team.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)
    AND Jerry Nadeau is a candidate for Cal Wells’ second team. Nadeau is also considered to be a candidate as Johnny Benson’s teammate next season if Kenny Schrader leaves the Jay Frye team.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-22-2002)
  • Rudd’s Son Sick UPDATE better: Ricky Rudd’s son Landon, 7, is in the hospital because of complications he suffered while having his tonsils removed. Rudd said his son has asthma and might have had an allergic reaction to the anesthesia. Rudd said his face swelled and he suffered some bruises to his face when medical personnel tried to help him breathe with a bag system. “It was supposed to be an outpatient deal, but he’ll probably be in there another couple of days,” Rudd said. “It was supposed to be a simple deal.”(Boston Herald)(7-20-2002)
    UPDATE: Ricky Rudd’s son, Landon, was released from the hospital, where he was treated after having an allergic reaction to anesthesia during surgery to remove his tonsils.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-22-2002)
  • What? No More Burnouts? No more post-race burnouts. That’s apparently the word from NASCAR execs after Greg Biffle’s Busch victory burnout in St. Louis, which led a blown tire, which in turn brought Biffle’s car through the post-race inspection station too low. NASCARis telling teams that any driver who does that again and blows a tire risks having the win taken away.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-22-2002)
  • Stewart Ticked: Tony Stewart’s 320-Home Depot Pontiac was a prime contender until lap 122 of Sunday’s New England 300, when, for no apparent reason, the car careened radically outside and into the wall in turn four. Stewart reported via radio there had been no blown tire, and the incident helped set off a firestorm of criticism of the track. Michael Waltrip, Casey Atwood, Kyle Petty and Steve Park had similar crashes in the same area. After limping nearly to the other end of the track, Stewart left the car in the grassy area inside of turns one and two. He then walked to his motorcoach instead of to the infield care center, where drivers involved in accidents are normally required to report for a routine check-up. Initially, Stewart’s crewmen reported to NASCAR officials that they intended to do repairs and put the car back on the track. Officials then informed them Stewart reporting to the infield hospital would be required before he would be allowed to return. A few minutes later, the No. 20 Pontiac was officially retired from the race, and Stewart settled for 39th place.(Gaston Gazette)(7-22-2002)
  • Nelson to talk to drivers about NHIS: Gary Nelson, NASCAR’s managing director of competition, said he would talk with drivers in Sunday’s New Hampshire 300 to see where the drivers feel the problems with the track lie. “We would like the competitors to be able to race and feel comfortable with the way the cars, the tires and the track all work together.” “I have to talk to some of the drivers. My observation was (Turns) 1 and 2 did not appear to be a problem. (Turn) 3 didn’t appear to be a problem. I think when you listen to their interviews they say they couldn’t get any grip, but I want to sit down with some of them and try to break it down into, ‘Was it a Turn 4 problem, or was it bigger than that?’ My observation is it was not a problem on the other end.” “I saw a lot of lead changes, a lot more racing than I’ve seen when I was standing down there.” “We’ll find out what the problem was.”(ThatsRacin.com)(7-22-2002)
  • Rudd to stay in the #28 next year? to Ganassi? Spencer out? Despite rumors to the contrary, Ricky Rudd could be back in Robert Yates’ #28 Ford next season if a deal can be worked out with Chevron [Havoline], the sponsor, and “if I can keep my team together,” Rudd says. Though crew chief Michael McSwain will not be back with the #28 next season, the rest of the crew appears solidly behind its driver. Rudd says he has received pressure from other teams to make a decision, and sources at Ganassi Racing say they thought they would hear from Rudd last week. Whether Chip Ganassi would add a third team to accommodate Rudd or replace Jimmy Spencer in the #41 is unclear.(Sporting News)(7-22-2002)
  • Sadler Announement at Indy? UPDATE: Details of the deal that unites Elliott Sadler and Yates, with M&M’s as the primary sponsor, for 2003 should be divulged at Indy.(Sporting News)
    UPDATE: Yates’ M&M Mars deal for Elliott Sadler next season might not be quite as firm as previously believed, according to some sources; however, the company is expected to announced its deal at Indianapolis during Brickyard 400 week.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-22-2002)
  • No Commercials? There are already some changes in the digital cable pay TV in-car package. According to Cable World (no online link), “The changes include switching a broadcast feed to a sixth channel offering in-car coverage of a single driver, moving to an ad-free atmosphere for the in-car channels and transforming the seventh channel, which was originally used for stats, into a viewing guide. Viewers paying $99.95 for the package ($89.95 if prepaid) are reminded to watch the broadcast feed on the network responsible for that week’s race.”(MotorsportsTV)(7-22-2002)

 


(7-21-2002)

 

  • Ward Burton wins wild race at New Hampshire: #22-Ward Burton passed #17-Matt Kenseth (who had a tire going down) for the lead with 10 laps to go and held on to win the New Hampshire 300. It was Burton’s 2nd win of 2002 and first since winning the Daytona 500. #30-Jeff Green was 2nd, his best ever Winston Cup finish. All three RCR drivers finished in the top ten. For some commentart, caution info, some notes, see my New England 300 Race Info page.
    Re-Air: The race will be re-aired on TNT, Tues, July 23rd, 1:00am/et; Speed Channel on Wed, July 24th, 8:00pm/et and Thurs, July 25th, 1:00am/et.
    Results: at ThatsRacin.com and NASCAR.com.(7-21-2002)
  • Rudd may wait until end of season to make decision: #28-Ricky Rudd said Sunday afternoon a decision on his future at Robert Yates Racing may not come until the end of the season. Rudd said he has tried to remain quiet this weekend preferring not to engage in what he described as the “mudslinging” that has been going on regarding his situation at Yates Racing since the series arrived at New Hampshire this weekend. On Friday, team owner Robert Yates said he was trying to stay out of infighting between Rudd and crew chief Michael McSwain over issues Yates termed “ridiculous.” Rudd said such issues, including a disagreement between Rudd and McSwain over a victory party following Rudd’s win at Sonoma, Calif., had nothing to do with his future with the team. Rudd said Texaco/Havoline’s decision to pick up an option to remain with Yates Racing has put Yates in a position he did not foresee. “The bottom line is Robert, or Robert and Doug (Yates, Robert’s son), never planned to field more than two cars next season.” Rudd said Yates’ decision to hire driver Elliott Sadler and attract another sponsor may have put him in the position of being contractually obligated to field three teams next season. Rudd said he would not quit and leave, giving Yates an out if his sponsor were to decide to follow Rudd to another team. On Saturday, Rudd said the only thing standing between Rudd and a return to the No. 28 Fords next year is an assurance from Yates the team will be kept relatively intact. So far, Rudd has not received any such assurances.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-21-2002)
  • No Petty and Hamilton? ….the situation at Petty Enterprises seems a little more murky today, if word is correct that Bobby Hamilton is no longer a player in the picture for next season.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-21-2002)
  • Petty Has a 2003 Sponsor? Sprint will not return with Kyle Petty next year, but Petty says the team has sponsorship for the #45, and will definitely return with three cars. Petty says he also expects #43 driver John Andretti to re-sign for next year.(Autoweek) Some rumored sponsors include Gateway Computers and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.(7-21-2002)
  • No Decision from Wells yet AND – UPDATE: #32 car owner Cal Wells insisted he still hasn’t signed a deal with Pontiac, although insiders say that deal is all but completed. Will Wells have two teams? He’s still hopeful, and talking with three potential sponsors. “One sponsor is driver-specific, the other two aren’t,” Wells said. “One sponsor says he wants to get things wrapped up in the next two to three weeks … but they told me the same thing two or three weeks ago.”(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND Ricky Craven said Saturday it was “very, very reasonable and realistic” that he would get a teammate at his Cal Wells-owned PPI Motorsports organization next season. Wells originally field two cars in 2000, but scaled back to a one-car operation in the middle of last season. “The whole program at PPI was built around the concept of two cars or perhaps three, but Cal’s done a wonderful job this year scaling down and re-budgeting,” Craven said. “We’ve become much more efficient and I think the results show that. In the long-run we certainly need to be part of a multi-car team.” PPI has also had discussions this season about switching from Ford to Pontiac next season but Craven said he is playing no role in those discussions. “I’m completely removed from it,” Craven said. “I’ve been doing this for several years. I’ve built equity with the people from General Motors, the people from Ford. I’ve built friendships.”(ThatsRacin.com)(7-20-2002)
    UPDATE – Nadeau? Cal Wells’ switch from Ford to Pontiac is probably going to be announced in Indianapolis during the Brickyard 400 weekend in August. What that probably means is that Ricky Craven will have a teammate in 2003. Jerry Nadeau, perhaps?(Gaston Gazette)(7-21-2002)
  • Andretti to the IRL? UPDATE: If talks between Michael Andretti and Tony George lead to the Championship Auto Racing Teams star starting his own team in the Indy Racing League next year, might he try to lure his cousin, John, back to the open-wheel ranks? “You’d have to ask him that,” said a grinning John Andretti, who is in his ninth season on the Winston Cup circuit. “I think he’d be too cheap to pay me.”(Indianapolis Star)(7-19-2002)
    UPDATE: John Andretti is another driver left wondering about his future. He’s not sure if he’ll be back with Petty Enterprises after his contract expires at the end of the year. Asked when he’ll know what he’ll be doing next season, Andretti said: “I guess when there’s only one seat left and I’m the only driver left, then they’ll figure it out.” Andretti had a slight disagreement at Petty this season when Kyle Petty refused to let him run in the Indianapolis 500. Andretti wants badly to run that race again, and it could be a reason why he’d leave the Petty’s three-car operation. But he said if he did go elsewhere, it would be in NASCAR and not an open-wheel series. “I don’t have any plans to leave Winston Cup,” Andretti said. “Other people might have plans for me to leave Winston Cup, but I don’t. I want to still do the 500. I’ve never hidden that, but I haven’t got to do it since I did it in 1994. I’m not the most impossible guy in the world to deal with. There are things I want, but I can appreciate when you sit down and talk about it, I’d like to think I’m rational, and I try to do the right thing.”(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(7-21-2002)
  • Andrews Son Races at NHIS: Whelen Motorsports had Tim Andrews drive their Busch North # 31 Saturday at New Hampshire. Andrews started 15th and finished 6th in his first BGNN start. Andrews is the son of the #1 Pennzoil/DEI team and driver Steve Park, Paul Andrews, who changed front tires for his son on Saturday.(7-21-2002)
  • Benson Back at Pocono? Nadeau in a 2nd MBV car at Indy?: Johnny Benson, out of the #10 MBV ride due to rib injuries from an accident at Daytona in the Pepsi 400, may be back in the car as soon as Pocono. Jerry Nadeau is subbing for Benson and is signed thru Watkins Glen. Originally Benson was to come back at either Indy or Watkins Glen, but during Speed Channel’s Happy Hour coverage, Bill Weber mentioned #10 Crew Chief, James Ince said Benson was healing faster then expected. Also, Weber mentioned that he heard [not from Ince] that the MBV team could field a 2nd car for Nadeau at Indy for the Brickyard 400.(7-21-2002)
  • Grand Marshal and Starter at NHIS: Carolyn Towle of Champlain Oil/Jiffy Mart is the grand marshal and Kenny Shook of Pepsi-Cola North America is the honorary starter.(Union Leader)(7-21-2002)
  • Petty to Honor Fan: Prior to the NHIS Winston Cup race, Kyle Petty will honor Jaclyn Bauer, age 12 of Morton Grove, Ill. and winner of the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America’s Design a Cool Helmet for Kyle contest. Petty wore Bauer’s helmet design on the sixth day of the 2002 Charity Ride as it traveled through Chicago on June 28. Petty will present Bauer with the helmet, which was auctioned off for $20,000 to raise money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp for kids.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-21-2002)
  • Final TV Ratings for Chicago: The final ratings from the smaller markets are in, and that means an even more impressive win for NASCAR on NBC from Chicagoland Speedway. These final numbers resulted in a 5.3 rating and 14 share, up from the 5.1 overnight rating. 5,624,000 households tuned in, according to Nielsen Media Research. This made the Winston Cup race the most-watched sports telecast of the weekend, posting a huge win over second-place Major League Baseball on Fox, which posted a 2.3 rating. However, even these strong results are a 5% decline from last year’s 5.6 rating.(MotorsportsTV)(7-21-2002)

    (7-20-2002)

  • Compton Looking for 2003 Cup ride: Stacy Compton said he’s looking for a Cup ride for next season. “My contract is up at the end of the season and there’s been no talks of renewing it,” said Compton, who drives for [#14] A.J. Foyt Racing. “I’m in the hunt as much as anyone right now.”(Roanoke Times) Compton has signed for two more years to driver th #59 ST Motorports Chevy in the BGN.(7-20-2002)
  • Yates: Rudd and McSwain having problems? UPDATE more to the saga: Things continue to get more and more curious with the #28 Havoline Ford team owned by Robert Yates Racing. Team owner Robert Yates said Friday at NHIS that driver Ricky Rudd and crew chief Michael McSwain have been at odds over something that reminds him of watching “2 and 4 year-olds have little fist fights.” Rudd’s contract is up at season’s end and is considering his options for next season. He said earlier this week that if he comes back to Yates’ team that McSwain and other key members of the #28 crew won’t be back. On Friday, Yates implied that he is not the cause of friction between Rudd and McSwain, saying that the team had a victory party after Rudd’s win at Sonoma at a time when Rudd was in Florida with his family on vacation. “Ricky was invited, but he wasn’t there and they shouldn’t have had it, I guess,” Yates said. “A ‘why did you have it without me?’ kind of thing. There was a lot of foolishness. Here I’m trying to talk about a future and what we’re doing and now they’re playing this 2-year-old deal.” Yates said Rudd is “a good guy” and “fun to hang out with – he’s a fun guy to race with and we feel very comfortable with him sitting in our race car.” But, Yates said, business is business. “I do not want to stand in the way of Ricky having a better job,” Yates said. “If this is his best job, we have no desire for him to do anything different. If there is a better job, go out and research it and come back and tell us where you want to be. We also have the same right. Can we get something better? Then we have a right. It’s just a negotiating year.” Though nothing has been said officially, it appears that Yates already has a deal with Elliott Sadler to drive either for the #28 team or for a team that would be owned by Yates’ son, Doug, next season. Dale Jarrett will also return as driver of the #88 UPS Fords. Rudd, 45, said in May he was considering retirement and that if he did return he would want to sign one-year contracts for the rest of his career. In recent weeks he has seemed to back away from retirement and said he is considering offers from other teams as well as the possibility of returning to the #28 Fords – an outcome that seems increasingly unlikely. Yates said he was waiting on a decision from Rudd on Monday, which was the driver’s self-imposed deadline for a decision. “I don’t know,” Yates said. “I’m just hoping everybody comes out on top. I don’t want to be accused of doing a secret thing like, ‘Why did you break that up?’ I’m not necessarily breaking it up. At some point you get tired of trying to hold it together.”(ThatsRacin.com), see tons on this subject on my #28 Team News and Links page and more stories on my Story/Article/Column Links Page.
    UPDATE: Ricky Rudd swatted the ball back into team owner Robert Yates’ court on Saturday, saying the only thing standing between Rudd and a return to the #28 Fords next year is an assurance from Yates that the team will be kept relatively intact. “The issue right now is that if Robert will give me some assurances to the best of his ability that he’ll keep this team without moving people around, then it’s a done deal,” Rudd said. “It’s that simple. It’s all about assuring that the people we have today will be here next year. That’s the only hold up.” Rudd reiterated Saturday that money issues are not holding up a deal to keep him with his current team for another year. Rudd said money issues among him, Yates and team sponsor Havoline were worked out two weeks ago. As late as Friday morning, some people close to the team believed there would be an announcement sometime this weekend that Rudd and Yates had decided to part ways. Then Yates said Friday that he was trying to stay out of infighting between Rudd and McSwain over issues that Yates termed “ridiculous.” Despite all that, Rudd now says that keeping his team together is the only issue remaining between him and Yates.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-20-2002)
  • Rudd’s Son Sick: Ricky Rudd’s son Landon, 7, is in the hospital because of complications he suffered while having his tonsils removed. Rudd said his son has asthma and might have had an allergic reaction to the anesthesia. Rudd said his face swelled and he suffered some bruises to his face when medical personnel tried to help him breathe with a bag system. “It was supposed to be an outpatient deal, but he’ll probably be in there another couple of days,” Rudd said. “It was supposed to be a simple deal.”(Boston Herald)(7-20-2002)
  • Chevron picks up Options years to continue sponsoring the #28 or maybe to Petree? [Robert] Yates yesterday revealed that Chevron [who owns Texaco Havoline] executives have decided to pick up the option on the final two years of the Texaco sponsorship with Yates, something Yates said he didn’t expect. So Yates has to deal with that situation, too. And it appears Yates is trying to ‘shop’ that Texaco sponsorship to the Andy Petree-Jerry Jones [#33, #55] team. Petree and Jones have been trying to hire Rudd, who also is looking at offers from Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Chip Ganassi, sources say. Yates also would like to sell Petree an engine leasing package; Petree will be making a difficult switch from Chevy to Ford.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-20-2002)
  • Shepherd’s Sponsor: Berlin City Ford is going Winston Cup racing this weekend. Morgan Shepherd’s return to Winston Cup racing is backed by the Dion Brothers of Hudson and their longtime Ford sponsor. Shepherd makes his first appearance in stock car racing’s big league since February of 1999 [Rockingham]. “It’s just a car that we had sittin’ there, and I just thought it would be real neat if we could get together with Dave and all the guys and we could do this deal together. They’re doing the pit crew thing and helping getting the car ready,” Shepherd said. It’s a friendship thing between the North and the South, he said. Shepherd first met the Dion brothers years ago when they all raced together in Bob Bahre’s Oxford 250s, which at the time was one of the richest short track races in America.(Union Leader), see an image of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(7-20-2002)
  • No Bigger Greenhouse? NASCAR officials are telling Winston Cup teams that the ‘big greenhouse’ project, for larger, safer roll cages, is all but dead. Testing will continue, but NASCAR said the ‘big greenhouse’ cars won’t be on the track until the fall of 2003, if then.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-20-2002)
  • Park still considering staying at DEI for 2003: #1-Steve Park, who two weeks ago openly talked of leaving Dale Earnhardt Inc(DEI), says he is now open to the possibility of remaining with the organization next season. Park said he is now more “at ease” with the idea of one-year contract extension – a haggling point in recent discussions with the team. “We’ve talked about doing a one-year deal. I thought at first, being stubborn, I would be in the same position this time next year, so I wasn’t pleased with that,” Park said. “Now, I’m more at ease with stuff. Maybe that’s now a possibility – keep Steve Park and Pennzoil together at DEI for the term of Pennzoil’s contract.” Pennzoil has one year remaining on its contract to sponsor DEI’s #1 Chevy. Both Park and DEI allowed a June 15 deadline to pass that would have given DEI first opportunity to sign Park.(ThatsRacin.com)
    AND Steve Park said he’s been offered a one-year deal to remain with Dale Earnhardt Inc., but he said he’s “stubborn” and wants a longer contract. Park said he’s waiting for Ty Norris, DEI’s team manager, to decide if a two-year deal is possible. Park said he has no particular time frame, but said running for car owner Bill Davis [#23] is a possibility next season if he can’t come to terms with DEI. There is also speculation Park could be moving to the Rick Hendrick [#25] operation in 2003.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-20-2002)
  • Andy Houston returns to racing: On July 27th former Winston Cup/Truck Series driver, Andy Houston will return to the track at Hickory Motor Speedway [NC] to drive the Carolina Motorsports Tech Centers USAR ProCup car at the Naturally Fresh Foods 250. Houston started racing right out of high school in the Limited Late Model division at Hickory Motor Speedway and won Rookie of the Year in 1991, Track Champion in 1994 and is 5th on the All Time Winners list at Hickory. Houston drove PPI’s #96 McDonald’s Ford 17 times in Winston Cup competition during the 2001 season. “This is an excellent opportunity for the team, Andy’s resume speaks for it’s self. These young technicians are excited to work with Andy. The team put their car on the pole at Kil-Kare and realized their first top ten finish. Coming home to Hickory with Andy in the car has the focus level above normal. Once they start to smell success they just work harder. Andy spent Wednesday afternoon working with the team getting the car ready, quickly the team realized they could win Hickory if they do their homework.” states Mark Davis. The Carolina Motorsports Tech Center in Conover, North Carolina will be hosting its first annual Open House July 26, 2002 (for more info, see my Racing/Driving/Mechanic Schools page for more info.(Carolina Motorsports Tech Center PR)(7-20-2002)
  • Three Drivers do the NHIS Cup/CTS double: three drivers will compete in both the Truck Series and Cup races. Kevin Harvick (#29-Cup, #6-CTS); Ken Schrader (#36-Cup, #52-CTS); and Morgan Shepherd (#89 Cup, #51-CTS). Dennis Setzer who is running the CTS race, qualified the #66 Ford for the Cup race but Geoffrey Bodine will run that car. AND two drivers will run both the Cup and BGN races, Todd Bodine (#26-Cup, #92-BGN) and Stacy Compton (#14 Cup and #59-BGN) but they will be traveling as the BGN race is at Gateway Intl Raceway near St Louis.(7-20-2002)
  • Some NHIS facts – 10th or better for Marlin, and other stuff: Seven of the 14 Cup races at New Hampshire have been won by a driver who started in the top 10. The deepest in the field that a race winner has started is 38th, and the average starting position of the race winner has been 13.85.
    Four of the 16 drivers who have competed in all 14 races at New Hampshire have yet to post a top-five finish there: #11-Brett Bodine, Rick Mast(who will not race there), #36-Ken Schrader and #15-Michael Waltrip.
    Should Mark Martin win the New England 300 on Sunday, Sterling Marlin can maintain the lead in the Winston Cup points standings by finishing 10th or better, regardless of lap leader bonus points for either driver.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(7-20-2002)


    (7-19-2002)

  • Bill Elliott wins the pole at NHIS for the New England 300. #9-Bill Elliott won the pole at New Hampshire with a speed of 131.469mph, his third Bud Pole of the year and his 54th of his career. Starting on the outside pole is #4-Mike Skinner, 131.175
    Results/Lineup: can be seen at ThatsRacin.com, or MotorsportsOne or NASCAR.com(7-19-2002)
  • Haas Carter to field 2nd car at NHIS: Haas Carter Motorsports will enter and race two cars at New Hampshire. This will bring the field to 43. Geoffrey Bodine will Qualify the # 26 car for brother Todd , who is at the Busch race [at Gateway]. Geoffrey will start the #66 car on Sunday after someone else qualifies it [Dennis Setzer is listed on the TR qualfying order]. Todd will drive the #26 car on Sunday. Since neither driver will start the race in the car he qualified, both Geoffrey and Todd Bodine will be forced to start from the back.(7-19-2002)
  • Chevy or Pontiac? a draw? UPDATE 3 A Pontiac at Indy: #20-Tony Stewart and #18-Bobby Labonte tested both Chevrolets and Pontiacs in Monday’s opening session of the two-day Winston Cup test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but the results appeared to be a virtual dead heat. Stewart’s best speed was a 175.632mph in his 40 laps in a Chevy, good for 23rd place on the day, but he had a 175.457 in his 39 laps in a Pontiac, which was the 25th best of the session, Labonte had a best of 173.476 in his 39 laps in a Monte Carlo (40th overall) and a 173.43 in 16 laps in a Pontiac (45th of the 54 driver/car combinations). The team announced Sunday it would switch to Chevrolet entries next year and might run them in some events this season.(Winston Cup Scene Newsletter)(7-16-2002)
    UPDATE – looks like a #20 Chevy at Indy: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports that it is likely that Joe Gibbs Racing will run a Chevy for Tony Stewart and the #20 Home Depot team in the Brickyard 400 at Indy, didn’t mention the #18-Labonte team.(7-17-2002)
    UPDATE 2: however, sources with the team tell me that the decision has yet to be made and supposedly the #20 is leaning heavily towards the Pontiac though and not the Chevy. As for the #18 team, there will be another test next week and a decision will be based following that test.(7-18-2002)
    UPDATE 3: during TNT’s qualifying coverage of the New Hampshire 300 on Friday, Stewart and crew chief Greg Zipadelli were interviewed on the war wagon and Zipadelli said they would run a Pontiac at Indy for the Brickyear 400, but would test a Chevy at Kentucky and may run it at a place like Michigan. #18-Bobby Labonte said in a later interview that he would run a Pontiac at Indy also.(7-19-2002)

  • BAM Racing hires new crew chief? hearing that Scott Eggleston has joined the #49 BAM Racing team as crew chief. Eggleston was the Daytona winning crew chief in 2001 with Michael Waltrip and recently was the crew chief of the #4 Kodak Chevy team and driver Mike Skinner.(7-19-2002)

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  • Atwood, double duty at Pocono: Evernham Motorsports has entered Winston Cup driver Casey Atwood in next Saturday’s Pepsi 200 Automobile Racing Club of America series race at Pocono Raceway. Atwood will drive an Evernham Motorsports #19 Dodge. Sammy Johns, who left his position as crew chief for Evernham Motorsports driver Jeremy Mayfield to become director of research and development with the team, will serve as Atwood’s crew chief in the race.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-19-2002)
  • NHIS and softwalls: Since the deaths of Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin in separate crashes here in 2000, New Hampshire International Speedway has been a focal point for NASCAR’s discussion of safety issues. Several drivers criticized NASCAR for not having some kind of energy-absorbing barrier for the track’s outside walls before the race in September 2000, after Petty had died in April and Irwin in July. As the Winston Cup circuit returns to New Hampshire this weekend, two years after the crash in which Irwin died, there still have been no changes to the walls. But in two weeks, when the circuit goes to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Cup cars will see a new generation of “soft wall” called the SAFER barrier in the four turns. New Hampshire International Speedway owner Bob Bahre has said he will install a SAFER (steel and foam energy-reducing) system at his track as soon as he gets approval from NASCAR, but the sanctioning body is proceeding cautiously.(See full story at ThatsRacin.com)(7-19-2002)
  • City May Have Earnhardt Benefit: Kannapolis leaders are discussing the idea of a fund-raising banquet, possibly at Dale Earnhardt Inc. in Mooresville, to help finance the planned Dale Earnhardt Tribute. The late NASCAR star’s widow, Teresa Earnhardt, could become involved in the banquet if an agreement can be reached. The Tribute’s steering committee met Thursday night to discuss the specific site location of the sculpture honoring the late racing legend. The statue still will be on Main Street, said Paul Bessent, Kannapolis city councilman and Tribute committee member. Committee members also hope to unveil and dedicate the Earnhardt statue in October, Bessent said.(Independent Tribune)(7-19-2002)
  • No Long: Winston Cup driver [#79] Carl Long indicated to NHIS and NASCAR that he would compete in Sunday’s New England 300. Then he decided against it, leaving the field at 42 as of yesterday afternoon. Normally, 43 cars start in Winston Cup races.(Concord Monitor)(7-19-2002)

    (7-18-2002)

  • Penalties Announced: NASCAR officials announced penalties against five NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chiefs following this past weekend’s Tropicana 400 at. Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.
    Tony Eury, Sr., crew chief of the #8 Budweiser Chevy Monte Carlo, was fined $2,500 and penalized under section 12-4-Q in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book, “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules: unapproved use of refrigerant near the fuel system.”
    Greg Zipadelli, crew chief of the #20 Home Depot Pontiac and Steven Lane, crew chief of the #45 Sprint Dodge, were both fined $500 and penalized under section 12-4-Q and Section 20-12-1A: unapproved jacking bolts. Lane also received a fine of $2,500 for having unapproved fender braces (adjustable), section 20.3.6.F.
    Brandon Thomas, crew chief of the #43 Cheerios Dodge and Greg Steadman, crew chief of the #44 Georgia Pacific Dodge, received fines of $2,500 each and penalized under section 12-4-Q and section 20-16-4.1: unapproved fuel filler neck that exceeded the maximum size.(NASCAR PR)(7-18-2002)
  • Shepherd, double duty at NHIS: CTS team owner Rick Ware announced today that Morgan Shepherd will drive the #51 Ware Racing Dodge Truck at New Hampshire on Saturday. Shepherd also will attempt to qualify for the Cup race in the #89 Ford.(Catchfence)(7-18-2002)
  • Rudd gone from RYR? McSwain leaving the #28? but staying with Yates? UPDATEs: during an interview on ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night, Ricky Rudd said he has made no decision on his future (today was supposed to be decision day for Rudd), but mentioned the crew chief [Michael ‘Fatback’ McSwain] would be moving on, no word what team McSwain is going to.
    AND Comments made Monday by Winston Cup driver Ricky Rudd and his car owner, Robert Yates, indicate Rudd’s tenure at Robert Yates Racing will likely draw to a close following this season. Monday was a self-imposed deadline for Rudd to make a decision regarding his future in the series. At a test at Indianapolis, he said he still hadn’t made a final decision, but it appeared the option of remaining at Robert Yates Racing was becoming increasingly less likely. Asked if there was room for Rudd at RYR next season, Yates answered: “I’d say it’s slim. I won’t say none, but I’d say slim because I think his best situation would be he goes somewhere that will be very competitive and pay very well. That’s just not in my deal,” Yates said. “My deal is too thin. … In the best year, unless it’s a championship win, it just comes out upside-down.” Rudd, however, said the two had “worked through” any money issues and felt the differences lie in how Rudd’s #28 would be structured next season. “At Yates Racing, regardless of what you read it’s not a money issue and what I will say about that is I wasn’t getting answers that I needed to have,” Rudd said. “I want to make sure that if I come back to the 28 that it is indeed the 28 team as we know it today and not all the people have been moved off my team to a third team.” Asked to clarify the changes that might be made to his team, Rudd said if he were to stay at RYR, Yates indicated Rudd’s crew chief, Michael McSwain, as well as others on his team would not remain. “The crew chief will not be with the 28 team next year, if I stayed,” Rudd said. Asked if a third team would be added – thought to be Elliott Sadler with a team owned by Robert’s son, Doug Yates – Rudd said: “If I move on, there probably won’t be a third team. If I stay, there will be a third team.”(ThatsRacin.com)(7-15-2002)
    UPDATE: Rudd says Havoline, sponsor of the #28 car, pays $6 million less a year than Yates’ other sponsor, UPS. If M&M Mars brings more money than Havoline, Yates might not be able to justify keeping his best crew members on a team that isn’t paying him as much. Rudd says his current crew chief, Michael McSwain, already has been assigned to work with Sadler next season. Rudd has identified other members of his team that would have to stay in order for Rudd to stay, but Yates hasn’t responded.(USA Today)(7-16-2002)
    so what Rudd’s options? New Yates 3rd team
    Stay at he #28 with a new crew
    3rd Ganassi Dodge
    Andy Petree/Jerry Jones team
    From what I hear, DEI is no longer an option.(7-16-2002)
    UPDATE 2: hearing the Petree-Jones team may be the front runner and hearing that Pizza Hut will be involved as a sponsor.(7-17-2002)
    UPDATE 3: McSwain came to Yates with Rudd in 2000, but won’t leave with the driver if Rudd moves elsewhere next year. “I’ve got a contract for two more years,” McSwain said.(Winston Cup Scene – need subscription to read)(7-18-2002)
  • Hornaday back in the #14? UPDATE Conseco safe: hearing Ron Hornaday may run some races in the #14 Conseco Pontiac owned by AJ Foyt. A bit odd since Hornaday was released from that ride at the end of the 2001 season. Not sure if it would be full time or just selected races. Hornaday is running full time in the BGN with the #26 Dr. Pepper team.(7-13-2002)
    UPDATE: A.J. Foyt is non-committal on the status of driver Stacy Compton for 2003. Compton recently signed a new, two-year contract to remain in the BGN, meaning he could try to run both series again next year. “I don’t know what we’re going to do,” Foyt said. “I don’t know if my people want (that). I think they might want somebody to concentrate on one car. I’m not sure. I have to talk to them about it and what we’re going to do. I haven’t made a decision either way.” Rumors are again circulating that sponsor Conseco might pull out due to financial concerns, but Foyt’s not concerned. “We have a four-year deal, they’ve been very fair and nice about the deal,” Foyt said. “I guess I’ve been more upset about the operation than they have.”(Winston Cup Scene – need subscription to read)(7-18-2002)
  • Derrike Cope and Friendly’s? #37-Derrike Cope tested this past week at Indy for the Brickyard 400. The Derrike Cope site has a batch of images of the car, on the car is Friendly’s, the restuarant chain.(7-18-2002)
  • Nadeau signed thru Watkins Glen with the #10 team: Jerry Nadeau will handle the driving duties of the #10 MBV Motorsports Pontiac for the next four events. “We secured Jerry through Watkins Glen, just going off what happened to Johnny in May,” team manager Jay Frye said July 14. “We saw (Johnny) and he looks a lot better than he did in May. The recovery process should be much quicker. I guess the fact that the (latest) injury involved the ribs up front and not in the back (helps). I think anything in your back, it’s harder on you, it makes it harder to breath. “We’ll know more (this) week, but we’ve got Jerry through Watkins Glen for sure, to be safe,” Frye said. “Johnny may come back before then.” At one point, it appeared Nadeau would step back into the Petty car, but a breakdown in communications, he said, prevented that move. “I kind of feel bad,” he said. “We just didn’t communicate real well. Jay Frye called me the day after Johnny got hurt and asked me if I wanted to do the 10 car and I said yes. Then the 44 team called. They were just a little bit too late. They’re good people. I’d love to do something with them, maybe after I’m done with the 10 car.”(Winston Cup Scene – need subscription to read)(7-18-2002)
  • NAPCM Pit Crew of the Week: #24 Dupont Crew – Consistent, quick stops (15.3) kept Gordon in the hunt all day, finishing 2nd. A tough season so far for these guys who got very familiar with Victory Lane last season. This crew is not to blame for the less than the usual near perfect season! The #24 Crew deserves to be the NAPCM Pit Crew of the Week sponsored by Toxabsorb, the 21st Century Spill Magnet for all fluid spilled on Pit Road and the Official Spill Response Agent of the National Association of Pit Crew Members (www.toxabsorb.com). The Mechanix Wear Pit Crew of the Year standings after Chicago: 1st Place – Crew #6 Viagra, Total Points – 86; 2nd Place – Crew #48 Lowes, 74; 3rd Place (tie) – Crew #20 Home Depot, 66; 3rd Place (tie) – Crew #24 Dupont Total Points, 66; 4th Place – Crew #9 Dodge Dealers, 57; and 5th Place – Crew #88 UPS, 56.(National Association of Pit Crew Members PR)(7-18-2002)
  • Stewart wins modified race in CT: Tony Stewart won a Modified race at Thompson International Speedway on Wednesday night, beating old rival Teddy Christopher in a photo finish. Stewart, in the area for the Winston Cup race Sunday at New Hampshire International Speedway, drove a car borrowed from Ed Partridge after an engine failure. “`I told everybody that if I got close to him at the end, that I would put him away,” Stewart said. “We may have had a few bad times back in 1997, but there are few drivers I’ve raced against who have as much God-given talent as Teddy Christopher.” The 20-lap race, hyped as a grudge match between the rivals, featured 10 lead changes before Christopher passed Stewart on the 19th lap, only to see the advantage vanish at the finish. “`So much for all the prerace publicity,” said Christopher, the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series national champion. “All we wanted to do was go out there and race hard. Have some fun and see what happens. I’ll be a gracious host and give him the win.”(CBS Sportsline/AP)(7-18-2002)
  • IRWIN Rough to Finish Award: Last Sunday was a roller-coaster ride for ALLTEL Racing. #12-Ryan Newman sat on the pole for the Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway, led the first 56 laps, fell back, regained the lead, cut a tire and rallied back late in the race to finish fifth.. Quite a day for the ALLTEL Racing team – a day that earned crew chief Matt Borland this week’s “Irwin Rough to the Finish” Award. After running strong all day and leading the race with 28 laps to go, disaster struck the ALLTEL team in the form of a flat tire. In some cases, this would have ended a race team’s chances for a strong finish. But thanks to a great pit stop, Newman was able to stay on the lead lap and fight back to a top-five finish, passing several cars in the closing laps. Each week throughout the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season, IRWIN, makers of professional power tool accessories like Marathon Plus saw blades and Speedbor flat bits, is partnering with Performance Racing Network to honor the crew chief who had the toughest day in the pits, but still managed to help his team to a strong finish. The IRWIN Rough to the Finish Award includes an assortment of tools for the crew chief and a $250 check donated to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund in the racing team’s name.. The year-end winner of the crew chief points standings will win a $5,000 check donated to the Fund.. Race fans wanting to make a contribution to the Fund may do so by sending it to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund, PO Box 443, Ellerbe, NC 28338.(Golin Harris PR)(7-18-2002)

    (7-17-2002)

  • Ford Motorsports Mgr to retire: Sam Scott, Ford Division Motorsport Manager, is planning to retire from Ford Motor Company at the end of the month. Best wishes Sam.(7-17-2002)
  • Compton to the Wood Brothers? Wood to the BGN? hearing that Stacy Compton, current driver of the #14 Conseco Pontiac, has had lengthy discussions with the Wood Brothers to drive the #21 Motorcraft Ford next season. It could be a deal that would include the #59 BGN car to change to Fords from Chevy’s and have a two-car BGN team with Jon Wood in the second car with Roush engines. Compton has recently signed to stay with the #59 ST Motorsports BGN team for 2003.(7-17-2002)
  • Hendrick to assist in launching minority-owned team: Sam Belnavis and Tinsley Hughes sat in a conference room at Hendrick Motorsports going through a stack of paperwork that set the groundwork to making them owners of a Winston Cup race team. Despite their familiarity with racing and their experience in business dealings, the two had always been on the outside. Belnavis and Hughes are both black men, a rarity in a sport that has long been dominated by white Southerners. Both are determined to break the barrier and succeed in fielding a full-time race team. Multi-team car owner Rick Hendrick has agreed to help the group launch BH Motorsports, a team that aspires to run a full season in 2003. He’ll show the duo his blueprint for being a successful team owner and help with everything from engines and parts to sitting in on meetings with potential sponsors. Hendrick, who already fields Winston Cup teams for drivers #24-Jeff Gordon, #5-Terry Labonte, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #25-Joe Nemechek, says he’s offered his help because it’s time for NASCAR to diversify. Both men have an extensive history in racing. Belnavis, a native New Yorker, comes from the business side of racing. He was director of sports marketing when Miller Brewing Co. first signed on as a primary car sponsor in 1982 and has had a hand in the sport ever since. Hughes, raised near a Virginia race track, has spent his time trying to become a successful team owner and until recently was part of the only other black group fielding a Cup team. Hughes was co-owner with [#85] Thee Dixon of Mansion Motorsports, where they have sporadically fielded cars for Carl Long. Mansion Motorsports has struggled to make races this season – Long recently moved on and Hughes opted out to work on the deal with Hendrick. “At Mansion, we were operating at zero. For us to even compete and make a race, that was considered a miracle,” Hughes said. “That’s why this alliance with Hendrick is so appealing. Maybe now we’re not starting at zero.” The goal is to get BH Motorsports further than any other team with an all-black front office has gone. So Hendrick is doing what he can to help. One of the conditions for his assistance is that BH Motorsports help develop a grooming system for more blacks to break into the sport, Belnavis said. As much as Belnavis and Hughes want to put a black driver behind the wheel of a Cup car, both know it’s not possible anytime soon. In NASCAR’s history, six black drivers made it to Winston Cup and none is currently on the circuit. Bill Lester, a 41-year-old racer in the Craftsman Truck series, is the only black driver currently competing on one of NASCAR’s top three levels. Willy T. Ribbs was the first black driver to race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when he ran in the Indy 500 in 1991. He’s tried to compete on NASCAR’s top circuits and spent last season in the truck series, finishing 16th in the final standings, but hasn’t run a race this year. And George Mack, who regularly competes in the Indy Racing League, this year became just the second black driver to compete in the Indy 500. “There just aren’t any black drivers out there right now at this level,” Belnavis said. “That’s something Rick Hendrick wants to see changed, so it will be our goal to help develop that side of it. Maybe it will be through a truck team or a Busch team, but hopefully it will happen.” And that’s all Hendrick can ask for right now. While he hopes his assistance will help BH Motorsports meet its goal of fielding a team next season, he’s a realist and understands that’s a lofty goal that might be hard to reach. But if BH Motorsports gets a sponsor, a driver, shows up at a track and makes a race, Hendrick will be satisfied because it will be a start to something he believes is long overdue.(in part from ThatsRacin.com/AP)(7-17-2002)
  • Bodine to sub for Bodine: Geoffrey Bodine will practice and qualify the #26 Discover Card Ford at New Hampshire for his brother Todd who will be at Gateway running the BGN race. Todd will return NHIS Sunday to run the race.(7-17-2002)
  • DEI leads the league in softball that is, 8-0, for more info see the NASCAR Softball League – brought to you by Race City Resumes.(7-17-2002)
  • Q: Why do some drivers who finished deeper in the field get more prize money then some at the front?, I am all the sports casters and media get his asked all the time. The USA Today as a few stories that may help out:
    Prize plan participation can make big difference and
    NASCAR rewards top teams, win or lose by Chris Jenkins
    plus see my Racing FAQ and Winners Circle pages.(7-17-2002)
  • Carl Long testing at Indy and a new # UPDATE: Carl Long and the SR Racing team were unable to go to the track Monday to test their car for Indianapolis, because they had to register their new team with NASCAR in order to compete in events. They have registered #79 to use in competition. Carl and the team, however, are at Indianapolis testing today. Depending on how the test goes will determine if the team goes to the Brickyard 400 in August or not. Long has acquired a hauler and tools from Haas Carter Motorsports (#26 Ford driven by Todd Bodine) to assist him with testing. Carl helped out Haas Carter Motorsports this week in testing by transporting equipment to and from the track.(Carl Long Site)(7-16-2002)
    UPDATE: Scott Hillis of Lebanon, Tenn., announced Tuesday that he will field a NASCAR Winston Cup Series team with plans to be on the track for the July 28 Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. The new team, SR Racing, will field #79 Dodge Intrepids with Carl Long behind the wheel. Long, who started the season hoping to contend in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year competition, parted company with Mansion Motorsports and [#85] team owner Thee Dixon in July and will race a limited schedule with SR Racing for the remainder of the season, including a possible run at The Brickyard on Aug. 4. “We’ve been testing at Indy,” Hillis said. “If we like what we see during testing, we’ll be there for the race.” Bobby Robinson will be the team’s crew chief, with technical assistance from Norman Negre. The cars will be prepared at Negre Enterprises in Mt. Pleasant, NC. Still in search of a primary sponsor, the #79 will carry the colors of Jaret’s Angels and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at Pocono. Jaret’s Angels is the name of a family and friend support group for Jaret Arneson, a three-year-old Charlotte resident that was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2002. To find out more about the JDRF, visit the organization’s Web site at www.jdrf.org.(SR Racing PR)(7-17-2002)
  • Indy Testing MON/TUE UPDATEs: Indianapolis Motor Speedway has scheduled four days of Cup testing at the track, July 9-10 and July 15-16, and most every Cup team will test. A complete schedule of the teams/drivers for each of the tests can be seen at: www.brickyard.com.(6-28-2002) – No speeds reported as of yet, but rain did delay testing on Tuesday but cars did get on the track. Fans can go watch testing for free. #11-Brett Bodine was scheduled to test this week, but was excused so he could heal up.(7-9-2002)
    UPDATE: Fifty-four driver/car combinations practiced today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The quickest time was set by #10-Jerry Nadeau at 181.324mph. Some other speeds: #25-Joe Nemechek, 178.187; #29-Kevin Harvick, 175.690; #24-Jeff Gordon, 177.299; #48-Jimmie Johnson, 174.913; #15-Michael Waltrip, 174.757; #18-Bobby Labonte (Chevy), 173.476; #20-Tony Stewart (Chevy), 175.457. Will post more speeds/links to speeds as they become available.(GM PR), see a list of cars testing Monday and Tuesday at Brickyard400.com.(7-15-2002)
    Monday Speeds: #10-Jerry Nadeau was the fastest at 181.324 followed by #41-Jimmy Spencer, 180.352; #17-Matt Kenseth at 180.133, #22-Ward Burton at 179.397; and #07-Ted Musgrave at 179.078. Others testing were Dick Trickle in the #71, Tony Raines is listed in the #73, Shawna Robinson tested the #49. See the Brickyard 400 site for Monday’s speeds.(7-16-2002)
    Tuesday Speeds: fastest was #17-Matt Kenseth, 181.956; followed by #2-Rusty Wallace at 181.127; #41-Jimmy Spencer at 181.113; and #12A-Ryan Newman at 181.072; and #07-Ted Musgrave at 180.624. Slowest were #25A-Joe Nemechek at 171.080 (he was 12th in another #25 cat at 179.840) and #79-Carl Long at 168.859(he was 50th of 54 cars in another #79 car 172.671).
    See the Brickyard400.com site for all of Tuesday’s speeds.(7-17-2002)


    (7-16-2002)

  • Ince signs? Benson close? hearing #10 Valvoline/MBV Motorsports crew chief, James Ince, signed his new contract last week. Driver Johnny Benson’s is not done yet, but there supposedly has been “agreement in principal” it is expected that the remaining details to be worked out in the very near future. Benson also is at Indy but not testing and hopes to make his return at the Brickyard 400. Jerry Nadeau is currently driving the car until Benson heals from his rib injuries he got at Daytona in the Pepsi 400.(7-16-2002)
  • Atwood’s Hood at NHIS: Darryl Worley, a hot new country star with the recently released album, I Miss My Friend, will be the third featured artist to take a ride with Casey Atwood and the #7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge in the Sirius Hood program. Both born and raised in Tennessee, Atwood and Worley will join forces this weekend at the New England 300 at the New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, NH. The #7 Sirius Dodge paint scheme will feature Darryl Worley and his recently released album, I Miss My Friend; which was given three stars by USA Today in a recent album review and is Worley’s second album released by DreamWorks Records. Darryl Worley can currently be heard on “New Country” on Channel 31 and Sirius Country Hits on Channel 30 both which fall under the Country genre.(Golin-Harris PR)(7-16-2002)
  • Bobby Labonte forms quarter midget racing partnership: #18 Cup driver, Bobby Labonte has entered a partnership with Ron Stanley of Robbie Stanley Racing Inc. In an effort to assist Labonte with his son Tyler’s aspirations of racing quarter-midgets, the partnership was formed not only to accomplish that, but also in hopes of bringing quarter-midget racing to the Southeast in a bigger and better way. “We want to be able to help Ron start his business here in the Southeast and get his business going more than what it is today,” said Labonte. “It also helps if Tyler (Labonte) decides he wants to do this for several more years. That will help me as I have a lack of time with my current race schedule to do a lot of other things as you can imagine. Ron and his entire family are a lot like the mine in that we grew up racing quarter midgets and have a love of the sport.” Stanley Racing was founded in 1977. Over the next 19 years, they became the leading manufacturer of quarter-midgets in the United States. In fact, most of the technology used in today’s quarter-midgets was first designed and implemented at Robbie Stanley Racing. In 1994 however, the untimely and tragic death Ron’s son Robbie, a three-time USAC Sprint Car Series champion, resulted in Stanley Racing ceasing operation. After a six-year absence though, Stanley Racing has reopened with Robbie’s brother, Ryan, running the family business. Many of today’s accomplished racecar drivers started their careers racing in a Stanley-built quarter midget. Some of the names happen to include Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Stevie Reeves, Andy Hillenburg, as well as the late Kenny Irwin and Robbie Stanley.(Camp and Assoc)(7-16-2002)
  • Shelmerdine enters NHIS: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports that #27-Kirk Shelmerdine has entered the New England 300 at New Hampshire, increasing the short field to 42. 43 cars would be a full field.(7-16-2002)
  • Barrett to run two Cup races: Stanton Barrett is competing in at least 11 BGN races and at least two Winston Cup races this season. The Winston Cup races in which Barrett is scheduled to compete are Oct. 26 at Atlanta and Nov. 17 at Homestead. Barrett ran the Chicago BGN race after breaking bones in a movie stunt recently – he is a hollywood stuntman. Former Cup crew chief is team manager of the team.(Williams Company), for past news, see my New Team past page, will supposedly run the #94.(7-16-2002)
  • Watkins Glen testing: #48-Jimmie Johnson, #20-Tony Stewart, #15-Michael Waltrip, #12-Ryan Newman, #31-Robby Gordon, #30-Jeff Green, #87-Ron Fellows and Joe Varde will get behind the wheel of the #74 BACE Motorsports Chevy are scheduled to attend a test session, in preparation for the August 11th Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen, at the 2.45-mile road course of Watkins Glen International on July 29-30. Fans that have purchased tickets for the Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen weekend, August 8-11, will be admitted free of charge both days. Fans should present their Sirius Satellite Radio at 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 each day at the gate. Gate 4 will be open from 8:00am – 4:30pm both days. Tickets for the 2002 season at Watkins Glen, including the Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen, August 8-11, are still available.(Watkins Glen International PR)(7-16-2002)
  • Foyt looking at Chevy? Ford? from Fox’s Jeff Hammond: “I’ve heard that A.J. Foyt’s team have looked at Chevrolet and have even thought about doing something with Ford. I don’t think they’re totally happy with Pontiac.”(FoxSports)(7-16-2002)
  • 21 Nominated for Hall of Fame: Twenty men and one woman are finalists for the International Motorsports Hall of Fame at Talladega, Ala. Six of the 21 will be picked in the final round of voting among a nationwide panel of motorsports media, and announced in November. Emerson Fittipaldi, a two-time winner of both the Indianapolis 500 and the Formula One championship, led first-round voting. The 21 finalists represent a dozen forms of racing. Janet Guthrie, who raced Indy and stock cars, is the only female on the list. Among the finalists from the stock-car racing field: Red Byron, the first NASCAR champion; engine builder and crew chief Ray Fox; drivers Harry Gant, Ray Hendrick and Jack Ingram; and Cotton Owens, who was successful as both a driver and car builder/owner.(The State)(7-16-2002)
  • Fairgrounds looking to do damage control: As news spread yesterday of Saturday’s prerace plot by male drivers against a female counterpart at Fairgrounds Speedway, the track president and its most successful all-time driver worked at damage control. Dennis Grau, the track president bombarded by phone calls and e-mails from outraged fans, announced a rule change he hopes will deflate such schemes. There was a contrived, calculated ”Get Renshaw” conspiracy orchestrated by some of her rivals. And it succeeded. A scheme was hatched to make sure that Renshaw’s car was protested following the race, and after a lengthy inspection a minor engine violation was found. Her sixth-place finish was thrown out and Renshaw was humiliated. Driver Mark Day [part time BGN driver #16] admitted he planned the whole thing, and said ”almost all” the drivers in the division played along.(See stories at the Tennessean)(7-16-2002)
  • Paul Tracy and Petty? UPDATE: Have heard from some readers that during the CART race at Cleveland, it was reported that Kyle Petty flew to Cleveland to talk to Paul Tracy about his interest in NASCAR and the possibility of driving for Petty in the future.(7-14-2002)
    UPDATE: being told by sources that Petty did NOT go to Cleveland and has not even spoken to Tracy about a possible ride.(7-15-2002)
    UPDATE 2: but hearing from other sources that Petty was at the Cleveland track last Wednesday and stopped by the credential office and asked where Paul Tracy and was directed him to the motorhome area of the track where presumably he met with Tracy(7-16-2002)


    (7-15-2002)

  • Wallace not going to the #1: on ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night, Kenny Wallace said he would not be driving the #1 Pennzoil Chevy for DEI in 2003, that Pennzoil only would be back on the #1 for one more year [2003] and that his 2003 plans would depend on what his current sponsor Stacker2 would do, that he would follow and stay with them.(7-15-2002)
  • The International Truck Challenge runs third race at Chicago: Bill “Stumpy” Lewis, driver of #77-Dave Blaney’s hauler, won the individual event title and a $1,000 check in the International Truck Challengeevent held at Chicagoland Speedway. It was the third of four events, the next and final race will be at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Oct.(See full story, results and standings at NASCAR.com)(7-15-2002)
  • Shepherd to do double duty at NHIS UPDATE: Morgan Shepherd is planning on running his #21 CTS truck in the New England 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway on July 20 as well as planning on running his #89 Winston Cup car at the New England 300 on July 21st.(Catchfence)(7-11-2002)
    UPDATE: Morgan Shepherd announced that plans have changed concerning his decision to run both the CTS and Cup events next weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway. “We have decided to park the truck for a while and concentrate on getting our #89 Cup car ready for New Hampshire, said Shepherd.. “We are looking forward to working with our old friends and competitors Dave and Roger Dion.. I’m not sure exactly when our truck program will resume, but for now we need to put our full efforts into the Winston Cup car. We want to be sure to thank our fans and loyal supporters.. We appreciate their thoughts and prayers and hope they will continue.. We are looking forward to New Hampshire and pray for a good run.” The CTS program will resume when time allows. Plans are indefinite, however details will be released as they become available. “Failing to qualify at Kentucky was very upsetting. The truck needs more work, and we have decided to shift our efforts toward next weekend’s Winston Cup race. We are also planning on additional Cup events this year, as well. We will talk more about that later. I’ve been looking forward to returning to Winston Cup for quite some time now.” The last Winston Cup event Morgan competed in was on February 21, 1999 when he drove the #90 Ford owned by Junie Donlavey in the Dura Lube/Big KMart 400 at North Carolina Speedway [Rockingham]. Associate sponsors for the #89 Shepherd Ford Taurus include Catchfence.com, Motorsportsweb.com, LifeXPrograms, Pitpassmagazine.com, and Racing With Jesus Ministries, among others.(STB Marketing Group PR)(7-15-2002)
  • TV Ratings Good for Chicago: The Tropicana 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race from Chicagoland Speedway Sunday on NBC was by far the highest rated sports event of the weekend. The race earned a 5.0 overnight rating/12 share, according to figures released today by Nielsen Media Research. The 5.0 overnight rating is a four percent increase over last year’s 4.8/12 for the inaugural Tropicana 400. The rating built throughout the race and peaked with a 5.9 during the final half-hour from 5:30-6 p.m. ET as Kevin Harvick took his first checkered flag of the 2002 season and repeated his 2001 Tropicana 400 victory. The Tropicana 400’s 5.0 rating, outperformed all sports programming over the weekend by at least two full ratings points. In a distant second-place was Fox’s regional coverage of three Major League Baseball games on Saturday (3.0/8), followed by the final round of the Greater Milwaukee Open on ABC on Sunday (2.0/5). For every half-hour from 2:30-6 p.m. ET the Tropicana 400 on NBC even beat the combined network sports competition (ABC – PGA/Senior PGA and CBS – CART/NFL QB Challenge/Tour de France). Saturday’s Tropicana Twister 300 NASCAR Busch Series race from Chicagoland Speedway earned a 2.1 overnight rating and 5 share. The 2.1 overnight rating is even with last year’s 2.1 overnight rating for the NASCAR Busch Series race from Chicagoland Speedway.(NBC PR)(7-15-2002)
  • Petty and Andretti: Kyle Petty said Indianapolis native John Andretti has a job driving for Petty Enterprises for as long as he wants it. A contract beyond this year hasn’t been completed, Petty said, because if Andretti “can improve his position or wants to, we want to give him an option.”(Indianapolis Star)(7-15-2002)
  • Rudd’s Decision Today? Ricky Rudd hopes to be able to say something more definitive today, and it appears his top two options are the Chip Ganassi Dodge team and the future Andy Petree-Jerry Jones Ford team.(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND If details can be concluded, Rudd could announce within the next week that he has re-signed with owner Robert Yates at least through next year. Rudd, 45, had hinted he might retire if a) he did not receive a firm commitment from Yates, and b) that his pay be made commensurate with that of other top-team drivers. Yates has been typically obfuscatory about his plans, although he has declared he would like to have Rudd back. Yates also has said that he has encouraged his son, Doug, to set up a team of his own instead of taking over Robert Yates Racing, with concern over long-term tax situations. Doug Yates recently filed incorporation papers in North Carolina, forming Doug Yates Racing. Elliott Sadler, who announced in May his intention to leave the Wood Brothers at the end of his contract this year, appears likely to cast in with Doug Yates. If all goes as predicted, Rudd will re-sign with Robert Yates, with Sadler going with Doug Yates and a sponsor to be named, possibly something connected with Ford.(Speed Channel)(7-15-2002)
  • Crew Member Injured: Tom Hubert, the rear tire changer for Ward Burton ‘s team drilled his left index finger while making repairs on Burton’s car. Hubert was treated at the infield care center and transported by car to a local hospital for X-rays on the finger.(Roanoke Times)(7-15-2002)
  • Larger ‘Greenhouse’ not gonna happen? Some top stock-car racing aerodynamicists say that NASCAR is apparently abandoning plans for a larger “greenhouse” roll cage. Drivers and crews have, for several years, been calling for larger greenhouses as a safety measure to keep the driver’s head away from the roll bars. Detroit car makers have built “common template” versions of the big greenhouse stock car for NASCAR to study and wind tunnel. At one point, the big greenhouse car appeared to be in the cards for this fall’s Talladega 500, as a preview for next year’s Daytona 500. Then the debut date was pushed back to next April at Talladega. And within the past few weeks the date was pushed back even further, to the October race at Talladega in 2003.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-15-2002)
  • Hamilton on possible Petty return from a interview with FSN’s Winston Kelley AND: Winston Kelley: I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask you the latest news. It looks like you’re going to be moving on. What can you tell us about your future?
    Bobby Hamilton: I’m talking to a lot of people right now. Needless to say I need to be in a Dodge. Those people have been very good to me the last three or four years. I have two factory-backed truck teams. Chevrolet has been good to me. You sort of got me on the spot, but good business sense would be to go to a Dodge if I can get there. I’m definitely talking to Kyle (Petty) about that. Seeing what’s happening there, I think their program has really come a long way. They’ve got Robin (Pemberton, vice president of Petty Enterprises) there, and I’ve been listening to what Kyle and Robin have been doing there. Petty Enterprises is fixing to be one of the elite teams in the next year or so I’m real excited about maybe having a shot at that.(FoxSports)(7-15-2002)
    AND Kyle Petty says he doesn’t expect hire a driver for the #44 team for another two to three months. Steve Grissom is driving that car this season.(Roanoke Times)(7-15-2002)
  • Did ya know? Kevin Harvick is the first driver to win the first two races at a new Winston Cup track since Tony Stewart won at Miami-Homestead in 1999 and 2000. Before that, no one had done it since A.J. Foyt won at Ontario, Calif., in 1971 and 1972.(Chicago Sun Times)(7-15-2002)

 


(7-14-2002)

 

  • Harvick wins The Tropicana 400 at Chicago: #29-Kevin Harvick won the Tropicana 400 at Chicago for the 2nd straight year, even after spinning out late in the race. #24-Jeff Gordon was 2nd. Harvick’s win put’s him in the 2003 The Winston and knocks the remaining 2001 winners, who have not won in 2002, out of the All-Star event.
    Re-Air dates/times: The race will be re-aired on TNT, Tues, July 16th, 1:00am/et; Speed Channel on Wed, July 17th, 8:00pm/et and Thurs, July 18th, 1:00am/et and 12:00noon/et.
    Results: for race results, see ThatsRacin.com or NASCAR.com.(7-14-2002)
  • #45 in black at NHIS: #45-Kyle Petty will show up at New Hampshire International Speedway with a special paint scheme. ”Every time we run at Loudon, we run a black car,” he said. ”The Sprint people were supportive and allowed us to do it last year, so we run a solid black car up there. It’s not a diecast deal. It’s nothing like that. It’s a personal deal for me.” So when his #45 Dodge takes the track at NHIS, will it be solid black again? ”Yeah,” Petty said, somberly. ”Always.” [as a tribute to his son Adam who lost his life in a BGN accident there in May 2000](Boston Globe)(7-14-2002)
  • Gibbs Racing to Chevy – it’s official – may run some in 2002: Joe Gibbs made official Sunday his intention to move his two Winston Cup teams [#18 and #20] from Pontiac and Chevrolet next season. Gibbs said his teams would also test both Pontiacs and Chevrolets the remainder of this season and would utilize Chevrolets in some races later this year if the Chevrolets tested better, perhaps as early as the Brickyard 400. “Pontiac has been a great partner for us,” said Gibbs. “We’ve been in Chevrolet before. I don’t think Pontiac could have done anything more for us. We feel like starting next year we will be in a better position as a race team where we can benchmark our cars against a lot of other good cars. It’s just sheer numbers for us.” Gibbs’ organization played a large role in the development of the 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix, which was recently approved for competition by NASCAR, and has also built several Chevrolets. The 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo is still being tested and has not yet been approved for competition by NASCAR. Tony Stewart, driver of Gibbs’ #20 Pontiac, echoed Gibbs’ statements. “I just want what everyone else has. I don’t want to be beat by a rules package,” Stewart said. “If I’m going to get beat, I want it to be by another driver. And I think being in a larger group, where Joe (Gibbs) can go into the NASCAR hauler and plead our case if it needs pleading, will help, because it won’t just be Joe, it’ll be Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick and Dale Earnhardt Inc.” Pontiac officials said Sunday they still plan to field entries in NASCAR. “Pontiac will be racing in 2003. We’re very excited about the new car,” said Doug Duchhardt, NASCAR Group Manager for General Motors Racing. “We’re working on some new teams. We’re in negotiations with some teams. We’re quite confident we’ll have a good lineup next year to campaign for the Pontiacs.”(ThatsRacin.com). Stewart will test a Pontiac and Chevy at Indy on Tues and Wed. Doug Duchardt, NASCAR group manager of GM Racing, and Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), announced today that Gibbs’ two NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams of Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte would switch from Pontiac to Chevrolet for the 2003 Winston Cup season. JGR fielded a Chevrolet from its inception in 1992 through the 1996 Winston Cup season with Dale Jarrett and then Bobby Labonte as its drivers. It started running a Pontiac in 1997 with Labonte, and then two Pontiacs in 1999 when Stewart joined the organization as a rookie. Of the 35 Winston Cup victories and the 26 Winston Cup pole positions earned by JGR in its 10-year history, 29 wins and 20 poles have been won with a Pontiac.(Edleman PR)(7-14-2002)
  • NAPA and Waltrip stay with DEI: NAPA Auto Parts announced Sunday it will stay on as sponsor of the #15 DEI Chevy through the 2004 season, and Waltrip will be along for the ride. “It’s been so much fun being a part of the NAPA family,” Waltrip said. “Over the last year and a half we’ve developed wonderful relationships with NAPA store owners and NAPA customers. NAPA uses NASCAR to sell products. I understand that, and I think we’ve produced a valuable partnership in a short time.”(RacingOne)(7-14-2002)
  • Harvick to race a truck at NHIS: Winston Cup driver Kevin Harvick will return to NASCAR’s Truck series next weekend, when he drives his own entry in Saturday’s New England 200 at New Hampshire. Harvick, as well as several other Cup drives, are planning to run the event in order to gain additional track time. Since last season, speedway officials have added an additional 12-feet of racing surface on the inside of the turns. Harvick’s last appearance in the series was in April at Martinsville, Va., when he got into an incident with driver Coy Gibbs on the track and was “parked” by NASCAR officials. NASCAR extended the “parking” through the next day’s Winston Cup race, forcing Harvick to sit out.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-14-2002)
  • Teams Face Penalties: Several Winston Cup teams face penalties this week for parts confiscated during the inspection process this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. Among the items taken and displayed in the NASCAR hauler were unapproved jacking bolts from the cars of Tony Stewart and Kyle Petty. Petty’s car also was found to have an unapproved fender brace. One of the more odd items taken was a can of “Cold Fire,” an engine cool-down spray, which was taken from Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s garage area. The tag attached stated, “Freon-type chemicals or refrigerants must not be used in or near fuel systems.” In addition, the fuel-neck area of the fuel cells of the cars of Steve Grissom and John Andretti were also confiscated.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-14-2002)
  • Bodine close to re-signing Hooters: Brett Bodine, owner/driver of the #11 Ford, said he’s close to signing an extension with sponsor Hooter’s Restaurants, giving him security for the coming year.(NASCAR.com)(7-14-2002)
  • Hills Bros leaving the #23? UPDATE 2: Hills Brothers will apparently not be returning as a major sponsor next season, according to team sources who say that car owner Bill Davis is searching for a new sponsor [for the #23].(Winston Salem Journal)(7-10-2002)
    UPDATE: Team owner Bill Davis is still working to re-sign Hut Stricklin’s sponsor. Hills Bros Coffee has about 30 days to decide to pick up its option to sponsor Stricklin’s #23 team next season, Davis says.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(7-11-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Hut Stricklin and Bill Davis Racing are negotiating with sponsor Hills Brothers Coffee to extend its contract beyond the 2002 Winston Cup season. Garage buzz has Hills Bros. leaving after 2002. Stricklin says otherwise. “We’re still in the middle of negotiating with Hills. We’ll have to wait and see what the status is on them and see what they do. That’ll probably have a lot of bearing on what I do. I want to stay here. This is the first time in many years that I’ve raced for a team that I really like a lot.”(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-14-2002)
  • Sadler wins match: Hermie Sadler is exploring a new career in pro wrestling. The “Hermienator” was pitted against the notorious K Krush last week in a National Wrestling Association Total Nonstop Action pay-per-view event. Krush got the ring win but after the match he gave Sadler a cheap shot. Referee Slick Johnson disqualified Krush and awarded the victory to Sadler. An NWATNA release summed it up best: “Sadler earned everyone’s respect with his showing in this match.” (Daytona Beach News Journal). For every show Sadler participates in, the NWA is making a cash donation to the Faison School for Autism, a school for autistic children located in Richmond, Va.. Sadler’s youngest daughter, Halie, was diagnosed with autism in February 2000 and started at the school earlier this year.(7-14-2002)

    (7-13-2002)

  • Biffle to stay in BGN for 2002, Cup in 2003 UPDATE:: FSN’s Totally NASCAR it was announced that Roush BGN Driver, Greg Biffle, will drive a full BGN season in 2002 in the #60 Grianger Ford and will run up to seven Cup races in 2002 and move up full time in 2003(8-29-2001)
    UPDATE: Jack Roush announced the expected on Saturday, making it official that Greg Biffle will make the jump from the BGN to Winston Cup with Grainger as the sponsor on the #16 Fords. The move will give Roush Racing five Cup teams next season – #6-Mark Martin, #99-Jeff Burton, #17-Matt Kenseth, #97-Kurt Busch and #16-Biffle. “Greg and (crew chief) Randy (Goss) have been a real quick study,” Roush said. “I expect they will be sponges and suck the information out of the program, but I also expect some youthful leadership from their part. They will bring some fresh ideas to Mark, Matt and Jeff Burton.”(ThatsRacin.com)(7-13-2002)
  • Hornaday back in the #14? hearing Ron Hornaday may run some races in the #14 Conseco Pontiac owned by AJ Foyt. A bit odd since Hornaday was released from that ride at the end of the 2001 season. Not sure if it would be full time or just selected races. Hornaday is running full time in the BGN with the #26 Dr. Pepper team.(7-13-2002)
  • No Muppets at the track? UPDATE 2 Muppetgate: now this makes no sense, seems there is some battle going on between ISC (who owns ChicagoLand Speedway) and the Muppet people and characters not being allowed on speedway property. ?? Tony Stewart mentioned during an interview how ridiculous it is after having the paint schemes on the track, selling the diecasts and making folks buy tickets for all the races. Dale Jarrett said the same thing and feels they are being ‘jerks’ about it. See my Muppet Paint Schemes/PR page for the car images and news.
    UPDATE: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports that the muppets were not allowed in the track due to ‘licensing issues’.(7-12-2002)
    UPDATE 2: When Elliott came into the media center at Chicagoland Speedway to talk about his third-place qualifying run, he turned the tables and asked the media a question. “Isn’t someone going to ask me about the Muppets being in jail?” Elliott asked. “Muppetgate” was on the minds of nearly everyone at the track Friday, and several teams put signs up in the garage that read “Free the Muppets.” Images of the characters who first appeared on the children’s show “Sesame Street” are on eight Winston Cup cars this week, but track officials wouldn’t let the characters participate in the pre-race festivities. Track spokesman Brian Crichton said “Chicagoland Speedway is not part of the Muppet program,” and therefore the characters won’t be allowed inside the track. “We’re not a partner in the program that has been put together with the Muppets,” said Crichton, who was unable to say whether the Muppets were asked to pay a fee to be a part of the festivities.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(7-13-2002)
  • More on Hamilton to Petty – to sign at Pocono? Bobby Hamilton, feeling unwanted at Andy Petree Racing, is disgruntled with his current situation and reportedly will leave the team following the 2002 season. Rumor on Friday had Hamilton moving to Petty Enterprises. He may ink the deal with the Pettys at Pocono in two weeks.(NASCAR.com Buzz). See past news on this on the #55 Team News and Links page.(7-13-2002)
  • Hornaday to test for the #59 at Indy: After securing career-best qualifying and finishing positions in the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 event at Michigan International Speedway, the rookie Price Motorsports, Inc.. NASCAR Winston Cup Series team is now preparing to test at storied Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the August 4th running of the Brickyard 400. The Raleigh-based race team announced Friday morning that Ron Hornaday Jr. will be in the #59 Dodge Intrepid for a two-day test session to be held at Indianapolis July 15th and 16th.(Price Motorsports PR)(7-13-2002)
  • IROC WINNER: The third round of the International Race of Champions (IROC) was today at Chicagoland Speedway. See my IROC 2002 page for winner and race results. The race was televised Sat night and will be re-aired on Saturday Aug 10th at 3:00pm/et on ESPN.(7-13-2002)
  • IRS and Earnhardt UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the late Dale Earnhardt is on a list of several businessmen under investigation for “taking advantage of tax shelters” which “may have violated tax laws”. The IRS released the list after filing suit against KPMG and BDO Seidman LLP, saying the firms scoffed at tax laws, helping hundreds of companies and individuals avoid billions of dollars in taxes, the Wall Street Journal reported. The release of the list is unusual since the IRS has made a practice of guarding the identities of people who have not been accused of any wrongdoing. None of the people on the list have been accused of violating any tax rules.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-12-2002)
    UPDATE: California’s Republican gubernatorial nominee, movie executives and the late Dale Earnhardt, a former NASCAR champion, are among investors identified by the IRS as participants in tax shelters under federal investigation. Among names made public by the Internal Revenue Service are Bill Simon, the GOP nominee; his late father, former Treasury Secretary William Simon; Gary Winnick, chairman of telecom giant Global Crossing Ltd., which has filed for bankruptcy protection; Bob Shaye, chairman of New Line Cinema; and Earnhardt, who was killed in a February 2001 crash at Daytona Beach, Fla. The disclosure was included in court documents that detail the tax shelters in a legal confrontation with accounting firm KPMG LLP. The Justice Department, acting for the IRS, sued KPMG and tax consulting firm BDO Seidman LLP on Tuesday for information about the tax shelters they have promoted.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(7-13-2002)
  • IRWIN Rough to Finish Award: Last week, the #2 Miller Lite racing team posted one of its best finishes of the 2002 season, both at the finish line and in the pits. As a result, team crew chief Bill Wilburn takes home his second “IRWIN Rough to the Finish” award for the team’s efforts at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona Beach. After starting in 37th position, Rusty Wallace, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, quickly made his way through the field, climbing to 11th position by the second lap of the race. Backed by a strong race car and solid effort from crew chief Bill Wilburn and the #2 Miller Lite pit crew, Wallace raced in the top-five most of the night, avoiding “the big wreck” late in the race that took out much of the field. Once NASCAR resumed racing, Wallace continued to battle for first-place, but ran out of time as the race finished under a late-race caution, its ninth of the night. Wallace’s second-place finish is his best restrictor plate race finish of his career. Each week throughout the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season, IRWIN, makers of professional power tool accessories like Marathon Plus saw blades and Speedbor flat bits, is partnering with Performance Racing Network to honor the crew chief who had the toughest day in the pits, but still managed to help his team to a strong finish. The IRWIN Rough to the Finish Award includes an assortment of tools for the crew chief and a $250 check donated to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund in the racing team’s name.. The year-end winner of the crew chief points standings will win a $5,000 check donated to the Fund.. Race fans wanting to make a contribution to the Fund may do so by sending it to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund, PO Box 443, Ellerbe, NC 28338.(Golin Harris PR)(7-13-2002)

    (7-12-2002)

  • Nadeau in the #10 starting at NHIS: Jerry Nadeau will drive the #10 Valvoline Pontiac while Johnny Benson recovers from the three displaced ribs he suffered Saturday night in an accident at Daytona International Speedway. Mike Wallace will drive the Valvoline Pontiac at Chicagoland Speedway this weekend then Nadeau will take over on Monday and Tuesday at a Nascar Winston Cup test in Indianapolis. He will remain the driver until Benson’s return. No determination has been made regarding a timetable for Benson’s return to racing. Nadeau drove the Valvoline Pontiac at Charlotte and Dover earlier this season while Benson recovered from a broken rib and two cracked ribs he suffered in a BGN race at Richmond on May 3. Benson’s Richmond rib injuries are to the right side of his back while Saturday’s injuries were on the right side of his chest. None of the Richmond injuries were aggravated Saturday night.(Johnny Benson Fanclub site)(7-12-2002)
  • Gibbs to Chevy announcement Sunday: Joe Gibbs Racing will make its long-rumored change in manufacturer official on Sunday. Gibbs will announce during a scheduled General Motors press conference at Chicagoland Speedway his two Winston Cup teams will move to the Chevrolet camp beginning with the 2003 season, sources confirmed Friday. The move by drivers Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart to Chevrolets next season will leave just three Pontiac drivers – #14-Stacy Compton, #36-Ken Schrader and #10-Johnny Benson. Pontiac officials continue to court new teams, with their top candidate the PPI Racing [#32] team owned by Cal Wells, sources said. Gibbs ran Chevrolets when his first entered the Winston Cup series but switched to Pontiacs at the start of the 1997 season. Ironically, Gibbs’ organization has been deeply involved in the development of the 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix – last redesigned at the start of the 1996 season. NASCAR recently approved the design of the car for competition beginning next season.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-12-2002)
  • Autopsy Photos: A state appeals court ruled Friday that Florida’s law restricting public access to autopsy photos is constitutional, but said the matter could be appealed further to state Supreme Court. The law, which was passed in March 2001 after race car driver Dale Earnhardt was killed earlier that year in the Daytona 500, is being challenged by several Florida news organizations who contend the law is unconstitutional. In its opinion, the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach said the unauthorized viewing of autopsy photos is a violation of privacy.(more at ThatsRacin.com/AP), see past news on my Dale Earnhardt Tribute site – reactions.(7-12-2002)
  • Simpson vs NASCAR date set: The trial date in safety equipment manufacturer Bill Simpson’s civil lawsuit against NASCAR for defamation following the death of Winston Cup driver Dale Earnhardt has been set for Sept. 13, 2003, Simpson attorney Jim Voyles said.(Indianapolis Star), see past news about this on my Lawsuits page.(7-12-2002)
  • Dallenbach back in the booth this week – and maybe some future BGN races: 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)
  • Irvan hopes to start NASCAR team: Ernie Irvan, hopes to field a NASCAR entry soon for an up-and-coming driver he’s mentoring, still follows the sport closely. Irvan will appear at Portland International Raceway as part of the Portland Historic Races on Saturday. Irvan’s famed 1993 Chevy Lumina #4 Kodak car will be at the event, along with two dozen other famous stock cars raced in the early 1990s, including Jeff Gordon’s 1993 Chevy Lumina #24 Dupont Rainbow Warrior car, and Richard Petty’s 1992 Pontiac Grand Prix #43 STP. Presented by Marathon Coach Co., these cars will be raced as a special feature group, and many will be available for hot lap rides as a charity fundraiser for the Children’s Cancer Association. (see full story at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer). Irvan fields a ARCA car for Kevin Conway at Atlanta earlier this year, started 4th, finished 13th.(7-12-2002)
  • Daytona TV numbers down: NASCAR’s Daytona 400 on Fox did a 5.1 rating, down from last year’s 5.7 on NBC.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-12-2002)

    (7-11-2002)

  • Hermie Sadler to test at South Boston: Hermie Sadler will be testing his #02 Winston Cup car at Big Daddy’s South Boston Speedway on Monday, July 15th.(Big Daddy’s South Boston Speedway PR)(7-11-2002)
  • Poison on the #37? UPDATE: hearing that the rock group Poison will be the feature band on the #37 Ford of Derrike Cope at Pocono. Ozzfest was on the car at Lowes Motor Speedway, Alabama was on the car in the June MIS (not Pocono – oops) race and The Rolling Stones are rumored to be featured at Indy in the Brickyard 400. What no AC/DC?(7-2-2002)
    UPDATE see an image on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(7-11-2002)
  • More on Little and BACE: Chad Little has negotiated an agreement with BACE Motorsports team owner, Bill Baumgardner, that will now allow Little to seek other racing opportunities, while continuing to look for sponsorship for the #74 Winston Cup car in 2002. “We have been unable to secure sponsorship for the #74 car and it doesn’t make good business sense to run the car unsponsored,” said Chad. “As a driver I needed to make myself available to other teams and possible sponsorships for the remainder of the this season and in preparation for the 2003 season.” Little and BACE Motorsports continue to work together to secure sponsorship for the #74 Cup and BGN car. Discussions are ongoing concerning which, if any, races will be run throughout the remainder of the 2002 season. Baumgardner indicated he would not rule out running a couple of more BGN and Cup races and sponsorship would certainly solidify that decision.(Chad Little Site) and see more on the #74 Team News and Links page.(7-11-2002)
  • Earnhardt may be honored: Kannapolis City [NC] Council will consider a proposal Monday to rename one of the city’s major thoroughfares Dale Earnhardt Boulevard. The current one-mile stretch of Dale Earnhardt Boulevard connects to Centergrove Road. The proposal would change the names of Centergrove, Loop and Jackson Park roads as well as Lane Street to make a longer Dale Earnhardt Boulevard, which would loop around the main part of Kannapolis. The proposed boulevard would also connect twice to Interstate 85. If council adopts the proposal, the suggested roadway would then be considered by the N.C. Department of Transportation for final approval. Assistant City Manager Mike Legg said DOT officials seem to be receptive to using one name for Centergrove and South Loop roads. He said state officials, however, are hesitant about continuing the boulevard at the point where North and South Loop Road meet at the West C Street intersection. Local officials could also consider only renaming Centergrove and South Loop Roads as part of a compromise with DOT. Legg said the biggest benefit to having a longer boulevard would be the change from using at least three different names to one name for the roadway. He said the renaming would fit in with the Dale Earnhardt Tribute. Legg also said being located on a road with such name recognition could be good for businesses in that area.(Independent Tribune)(7-7-2002)
    UPDATE: The Intimidator’s reach on his hometown could soon extend farther. The Kannapolis City Council voted 6-1 Monday to push to change the names of two more roads to “Dale Earnhardt Boulevard,” adding three miles to the existing 0.9-mile stretch. It will be up to the N.C. Board of Transportation and its road-naming committee to decide whether to change the name. Earnhardt, who won 76 Winston Cup races, was born and reared in Kannapolis. He died in a wreck on the last lap of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18, 2001. Under the council’s plan, Centergrove Road and South Loop Road would be renamed Dale Earnhardt Boulevard. The existing stretch extends west from Interstate 85. Multiple names for the route into downtown have created confusion for tour-bus drivers and others, said City Manager Mike Mahaney. Officials also hope to help create a sense of identity for the city. City Council member Richard Anderson, the sole opponent, argued the change was being done to benefit the privately owned Cannon Village. City officials’ initial proposal had also included North Loop and Jackson Park roads and Lane Street to the route — creating a loop around the city. Officials say those segments may be considered later. However, the city’s fire and police chiefs and the N.C. Department of Transportation traffic engineer expressed concerns because including those three thoroughfares could have caused confusion at some intersections. Dale Earnhardt Boulevard, for example, would have crossed U.S. 29, Main Street and Ridge Avenue in two different places each. Anderson and Mayor Pro Tem Bob Misenheimer said the council should have held a public hearing on the renaming issue. DOT spokesman Bill Jones agreed, saying the N.C. Board of Transportation wants local governments to get public feedback. Jones said the board uses the feedback to judge public support, Jones said. The changes backed by the City Council would affect more than 48 homes and 41 businesses, according to city figures. Jackson Park Road and Lane Street, which were left out of the proposal, have 176 homes.(Charlotte Observer/ThatsRacin.com)(7-11-2002)
  • Changes at the #19 team: Evernham Motorsports today named Sammy Johns to the position of Test Team and Research and Development Coordinator for the organization’s Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/Ts. Johns, previously the crew chief for Jeremy Mayfield in the #19 Dodge Dealers Dodge, will oversee the organization’s ongoing commitment to delivering excellence on the track by preparing for the future. He will focus on the day-to-day management of Evernham Motorsports test teams and race track activities as well as research and development project coordination including chassis, aerodynamics, suspension, engine and future driver development programs. Johns, who was originally hired for this position in 2001, will work closely with Dodge Motorsports engineering as well as the Evernham Motorsports in-house engineering team headed by Dr. Eric Warren. Evernham Motorsports also announced that the organization is implementing a new management system for the #19 team under which a team manager, a chief mechanic and a rotating team of engineers will run the crew. Dave Skog assumes the role of team manager. Skog formerly served as car chief on the #19 Dodge Intrepid. Mike Kelley was serving as a mechanic as well the front tire carrier on race day for the #19 Dew Crew. Kelley now assumes the role of chief mechanic. He will continue as the team’s front tire carrier as well. Ray Evernham, Dr. Eric Warren and Josh Brown will work with team engineers Derek Jones and Kenny Francis on all engineering aspects for the #19 team as well as the #9 team. Dr. Warren and Brown will assume more of an at-track role in order to work more closely with Evernham, Jones and Francis. These changes are effective immediately.(Evernham Motorsports PR), crew chief duties will be handled by a new management system, with a team manager, chief mechanic and a team of engineers..(7-11-2002)
  • Indy Testing TUES/WED UPDATEs: Indianapolis Motor Speedway has scheduled four days of Cup testing at the track, July 9-10 and July 15-16, and most every Cup team will test. A complete schedule of the teams/drivers for each of the tests can be seen at: www.brickyard.com.(6-28-2002) – No speeds reported as of yet, but rain did delay testing on Tuesday but cars did get on the track. Fans can go watch testing for free. #11-Brett Bodine was scheduled to test this week, but was excused so he could heal up.(7-9-2002)
    UPDATE: Rain disrupted the first of four days of NASCAR Winston Cup testing for the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The test was scheduled to run from 9:00am to 5:00pm Tuesday and Wednesday. Morning rain kept cars off the track until 2 p.m. and the late rain foiled the plan of running an hour past the scheduled conclusion. The revised plan for Wednesday is to run from 9:00am to 6:00pm without an hour lunch break. #4-Mike Skinner was the fastest at 178.298mph.(Indianapolis Star)(7-10-2002)
    Speeds – Day 1: top five were: #4A-Mike Skinner, 178.298 mph; #26A-Todd Bodine, 177.920; #6-Mark Martin, 176.101; #97A-Kurt Busch, 175.453; and #36A-Ken Schrader 175.201. Slowest were #8A-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 170.456 (he was mid pack in a 2nd car); and #55A-Bobby Hamilton, 168.391. See full speed results at www.brickyard400.com with number of laps completed.(7-10-2002)
    Speeds – Day 2: fastest in testing at Indy on Wednesday – #97A-Kurt Busch, 181.777; #26A-Todd Bodine, 181.577; #6-Mark Martin, 179.524; #40T-Sterling Marlin, 179.276; #1A-Steve Park, 179.136. Slowest were #31-Robby Gordon, 172.626 and #8A-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 172.300. See more speeds at the Indianapolis Star or the Brickyard 400 site.(7-11-2002)
  • Hills Bros leaving the #23? UPDATE: Hills Brothers will apparently not be returning as a major sponsor next season, according to team sources who say that car owner Bill Davis is searching for a new sponsor [for the #23].(Winston Salem Journal)(7-10-2002)
    UPDATE: Team owner Bill Davis is still working to re-sign Hut Stricklin’s sponsor. Hills Bros Coffee has about 30 days to decide to pick up its option to sponsor Stricklin’s #23 team next season, Davis says.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(7-11-2002)
  • No wins for NASCAR at the ESPY’s: In the first ESPY award handed out Wednesday night, for “Best Moment,” Barry Bonds won for his 73 home runs in 2001. Bonds beat out Dale Earnhardt Jr., Sarah Hughes, Luis Gonzalez, and Adam Vinatieri for the award, all much more magical moments. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady won the ESPY for “Breakthrough Athlete.” Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevy was nominated. And Michael Schumacher won for Best Driver beating Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Gil de Ferran, Helio Castroneves, Sam Hornish snd John Force. See the ESPY’s page at ESPN for the winners.(7-11-2002)
  • Book signing in Philly: On Saturday, July 20th, Bill Fleishman will be at the Borders bookstore in the King of Prussia Mall, in King of Prussia PA, 7:00pm/et to talk about NASCAR and sign copies of “The Unauthorized NASCAR Fan Guide 2002” (Visible Ink Press), co-authored by Al Pearce. See my Racing Bookstore to order or more info.(7-11-2002)
  • Mobil back: Ryan Newman is driving The Winston winning car this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway and it is the second appearance of the ALLTEL/Mobil 1 paint scheme.(TRPR)(7-11-2002)
  • Good News – Discover Card stays on the #26 for rest of season UPDATE: Haas Carter Motorsports announced that Discover Card has extended its primary sponsorship for the remainder of the 2002 Cup season. Todd Bodine will continue as the primary driver of the #26 Ford. “Discover Card and Haas Carter Motorsports are moving toward a successful future together,” said Carl Haas, co-owner of Haas Carter Motorsports. “Discover Card’s sponsorship is giving our team the opportunity to focus on racing at a competitive level. .In just five events, our performances have steadily improved. With a strong seventh place showing at Daytona, this program is back on track.” Forging ahead for the balance of the 2002 NASCAR season, the Discover Card Racing program will not only hit the race track every week, but also starting July 14th, the credit card company joins NBC as the title sponsor of the network’s pre-race show. Plus, Discover Card race fans will enjoy riding with Todd Bodine courtesy of in-car cameras at all of the races. Initially, the Chicago-based credit card company agreed to sponsor the #26 Haas Carter Ford for six races, beginning on June 2 at Dover. .It was the first sponsorship of its kind for Discover Card in any form of motorsports. The program also included commercial buys during the FOX LIVE broadcasts as well as in-car cameras.(Cox Marketing PR)(7-9-2002)
    UPDATE: Geoffery Bodine will drive the #26 DiscoverCard Ford at Pocono in July as Todd will have a conflict with the BGN race in Pikes Peak Int’l Raceway.(ESPN2’s RPM2Night)(7-11-2002)
  • Open House at School: The Carolina Motorsports Tech Center in Conover, NC will be hosting its first annual Open House July 26, 2002 from 1:00 to 6:00pm. Folks are invited to stop by and take a look at their facility, check out the state-of-the-art labs, meet the instructors and talk with students currently enrolled in classes. The Tech Center offers eleven Core Classes consisting of Fabrication, Assembly, Motorsports Welding, Chassis Dynamics, Team Operations, Graphics, Carolina Team Concept, just to name a few. Several one week classes such at Metal Shaping and Track Tech are also offered as well as one day seminars like Chassis R&D or Short Track Aero Dynamics. These one day seminars are taught be special guest instructors currently working in the Motorsports industry outside of the Carolina Motorsports Tech Center facility. The John Boy and Billy Big Show Grill will be there cooking and serving up Buffalo Nickel Burgers. There will be show cars, a souvenir trailer and many other items of interest. You will find the Carolina Motorsports Tech Center just behind the Ramada Inn off I-40 and Fairgrove Church Road (exit 128) in Conover NC.(Carolina Motorsports Tech Center), more info on this school and others at my Racing Schools page(7-11-2002)
  • #99 Scheme at Chicago: The #99 CITGO Ford, driven by Jeff Burton, will be sporting the Bassmasters Classic paint scheme for the second annual Tropicana 400 at Chicago. “I’m looking forward to Chicago this weekend,” said Burton. “The CITGO car has a special paint scheme to help promote the Bassmasters Classic this weekend. It’s a cool paint scheme and has a lot more yellow than the fans are used to seeing.” The CITGO Bassmasters Classic will take place in Birmingham, AL July 25-27. Burton attended the event last year, along with 20,000 fans, which jammed into the Louisiana Superdome for the annual event. This year’s event features 52 of the top anglers, from around the world, who will be competing for the title of World Champion. The event will take place at the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center and the weigh ins will be held at the venue’s arena. The event is free to the public and in addition to the Classic. Burton will be appearing at the trade show on Thursday, July 25 from noon to 2:00pm at the CITGO booth. Burton will be signing autographs for visitors to the CITGO Bassmasters Classic.(Roush Racing PR)(7-11-2002)
  • The International Truck Challenge to run third race at Chicago: The International Truck Challenge is a four-event competition for Winston Cup transporter drivers – those who drive the tractor-trailer rigs that haul the race cars and parts that put on the show from the shops to the tracks and back each week. It is a long, grueling season for the hauler drivers, and International provides them with an opportunity to show off their skills in public at four race tracks throughout the season. The drivers are required to drive an International semi-tractor attached to a 53-foot trailer through a series of complicated maneuvers. Their score is based on the precision in which they complete each task. Barry Sheppard, hauler driver of the #21 Motorcraft Racing Ford team, won $26,000 on a gray, chilly morning in Atlanta last November. Sheppard is in the middle of this year’s competition, and has the series returns to Chicago. This weekend’s competition at Chicagoland Speedway marks the third of four events this year. Sheppard won the first, at Texas, recording a perfect score of 200 and completing the course in an event-best 1 minute, 14 seconds. He did not fair as well at the second, at Charlotte, and finished toward the bottom – despite again recording the fastest time – when a miscue cost him valuable points. Carl Long (yes the Cup/BGN driver won at Charlotte/Lowes). The finale’ will be held in Atlanta in October. See more at NASCAR.com – International Truck Challenge page.(7-11-2002)
  • Expensive test at Indy: Indianapolis, site of one of NASCAR’s premier events, is the only track on the Winston Cup circuit charging individual teams for test sessions. This year, each team pays $2,500 for the two-day test session. For a five-car operation like Roush Racing, that tally runs to $12,500. Most tracks charge a flat fee for a test date, allowing teams to unite and split the cost. Owners say no other facility charges for a open test session. “That’s a huge rip-off,” two-car owner Bill Davis said. “I think those guys make plenty of money as track operators running their races. I don’t think they need to expect us to show them a profit for a test session.” Teams can’t just skip the Indy test and go to a different track to use that date and most can’t afford to skip the prep session for one of the higher-paying events, such as the Brickyard 400.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(7-11-2002)
  • Shepherd to do double duty at NHIS: Morgan Shepherd is planning on running his #21 CTS truck in the New England 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway on July 20 as well as planning on running his #89 Winston Cup car at the New England 300 on July 21st.(Catchfence)(7-11-2002)

    (7-10-2002)

  • NASCAR announces penalties – Johnson loses 25 points: NASCAR officials levied fines Wednesday against seven Cup crew chiefs and one BGN crew chief for infractions discovered during this past weekend’s races at Daytona. Chad Knaus, crew chief of the #48 Chevy, was fined $25,000 and his team was also penalized 25 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Championship driver points as well as 25 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Championship owner points. Knaus’ NASCAR Winston Cup team was penalized under Section 12-4-A of the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book: “Actions detrimental to stock car racing: offset mounting bolts for the front of the truck trailing arms.” Other NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chiefs fined for various infractions following this past weekend included: Scott Eggleston, crew chief of the #33 Chevy and Jimmy Elledge, crew chief of the #55 Chevy were fined $500 and penalized in accordance to Section 20-2-E: “Underpans will not be permitted”; Newt Moore, crew chief of the #36 Pontiac, James Ince, crew chief of the #10 Pontiac and Lee McCall, crew chief of the #40 Dodge all received $500 fines and penalized under Sections 12-4-Q and 20-12-1A: “Any determination by NASCAR officials that parts and/or equipment used in the event do not conform to NASCAR rules; Section 20-12.1A (3); Unapproved jacking bolts.” Chris Carrier, crew chief of the #4 Chevy, was also fined an $500 and penalized under Sections 12-4-Q and 20-10-6J: “Any determination by NASCAR officials that parts and/or equipment used in the event do not conform to NASCAR rules; Section 20-10.6.J: Magnetic rear axle heating pads.” In the BGN, crew chief Jason Ratcliff of the #27 Pontiac, was fined $2,000 and penalized under Section 12-4-Q in the 2002 BGN rule book: “Any determination by NASCAR officials that parts and/or equipment used in the event do not conform to NASCAR rules; Unapproved rear spring.”(NASCAR PR)(7-10-2002)
  • Hornaday in the #49 car at Chicago UPDATE crew chief resigns: Ron Hornaday will drive the #49 BAM Racing Dodge at Chicago. Hornaday previously drove for BAM at the Winston Open and Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s. He has served as a consultant to the team most of this season. BAM took off the month of June to massage its cars and do some wind tunnel testing. Team manager Eddie Jones said following a test session at Daytona that the team had learned some valuable lessons. Hornaday drove in that test in place of regular driver Shawna Robinson who did run the race, finishing 40th after suffering rear end failure. Jones was unavailable for comment Tuesday afternoon on the one-race change.(NASCAR.com)(7-9-2002)
    UPDATE: BAM Racing announced today that Teddy Brown has resigned as Crew Chief for the team. Brown said, “I have enjoyed working with the BAM organization but I wanted to explore some other options.” Team General Manager, Eddie Jones, stated, “We wish Teddy the best of luck in the future, he worked hard and guided the team effectively.”(BAM Racing PR)(7-10-2002)
  • 2003 Monte Carlo Ready For Testing UPDATE: Chevrolet officials will present to NASCAR a completed 2003 Monte Carlo for approval on July 29 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The new design, said to look more like a Dodge than a Ford, will undergo on-track testing on July 29 and then be transported to Marietta, GA, for a run in the Lockheed wind tunnel. A group of Hendrick Motorsports employees, led by Eddie Dickerson, built the car to be submitted in Atlanta. The final version is an adaptation of two cars built by Dale Earnhardt Inc. employees. Confidence is high among the Chevrolet camp that the 2003 Chevrolet will sail through the final approval process. Slugger Labbe, crew chief for Michael Waltrip, winner of the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway, already has ordered the body for the new chassis earmarked for the 2003 Daytona 500.(Tampa Tribune)(7-10-2002)
    UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports and driver Terry Labonte will test the 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo at Atlanta Motor Speedway this July 29-30. The test is closed to both the public and the media, per Hendrick Motorsports’ request.(AMS PR)(7-10-2002)
  • Stewart to run CTS race at Richmond: A friendship born at a state fairgrounds in Illinois will come to successful fruition in Virginia in September. Tony Stewart will drive the Andy Petree-owned entry in the CTS race at Richmond, Va., Thursday, September 5. Petree’s Chevy was one of the top teams in its sole other start this season, April’s Martinsville, Va., event. That was with Petree himself behind the wheel. The agreement is for the Richmond race only, and the Truck is currently unsponsored. Petree’s debut as a CTS driver was stellar. The highest-qualifying Chevrolet when he took the third starting spot at Martinsville, Petree ran among the leaders throughout the race until a mechanical problem ended his day right at the end of the race.(Williams Company PR)(7-10-2002)
  • Three elected to Hall of Fame: Three of stock car racing’s pit-road innovators and a pioneer racing official have been elected to the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame. Former Winston Cup team owner-crew chief Bud Moore of Spartanburg, former crew chiefs Dale Inman and Leonard Wood and the late NASCAR vice president Ed Otto will join the hall in a ceremony scheduled Aug. 31 in Darlington. The hall is located at Darlington Raceway.(Greenville News)(7-10-2002)
  • More Rudd and Jones: Ricky Rudd met this week with car owner Andy Petree to discuss a possible ride next year with Petree and Jerry Jones in Fords, according to team sources.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-10-2002)
  • Third Yates Team – Domino’s Pizza? M&M’s already signed? Even if Ricky Rudd does leave Yates’ #28 team, Yates may still add a third team to his operation next year, according to sources close to the situation, who say that Domino’s Pizza could provide the new paint scheme. No word on what might happen to Texaco. Yates has already signed a contract with M&M Mars for his second team, according to industry sources. That would presumably be for Elliott Sadler.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-10-2002)
  • Schrader to Petty? If M&Ms is indeed moving to Robert Yates’ team, then Kenny Schrader could be moving on also. He is tentatively being penciled in for a ride at Petty Enterprises, according to sources close to the situation.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-10-2002)
  • NAPA hopes to re-sign with DEI UPDATE hmm…which is it? Pennzoil re-ups: DEI’s contract with NAPA to sponsor Michael Waltrip’s #15 Chevrolet is up for renewal, as is Waltrip’s driving contract. Mike Rearden, director of events and sponsorships for NAPA, says his company plans to re-sign with DEI, though he won’t give specifics.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(7-6-2002)
    UPDATE: NAPA is not expected to return as a sponsor at DEI {#15], but Pennzoil has signed a contract renewal. NAPA could go to Rick Hendrick, who is also looking for a driver, if he doesn’t keep Joe Nemechek.(Winston Salem Journal) [NOTE: for the #25 car but been told Delphi Automotive is signed Thru 2003 as is Kelloggs with the #5, DuPont with the #24 and Lowes with the #48, so not sure where NAPA fits in with Hendrick](7-10-2002)
  • Geoffrey to stand by for Brett:Geoffrey Bodine will be in Chicago to stand by for brother Brett Bodine, driver/owner of the #11 Hooters Ford in case needed. Bodine is still sore from the ‘Big One’ at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona on Saturday night.(Brett Bodine site)(7-10-2002)
  • Pit Crew of the Week: Daytona is not good to the #20 guys. The #20 crew was the hardest working crew at the track on Sunday. Results did not reflect their hard work. They earned the NAPCM Pit Crew Of The Week for their struggle against bad luck.(NAPCM PR)(7-10-2002)

    (7-9-2002)

  • National Anthem at Chicago: Multi-platinum recording artist Jo Dee Messina will perform a one-hour concert Sunday, July 14 prior to the NASCAR Winston Cup Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL. The concert will take place on the start/finish line and is scheduled to begin at 11:30am. In addition to the concert Messina will also perform the National Anthem before the start of the Tropicana 400. Warner Bros. Records and Curb Records have also announced a compilation CD, Inside Traxx, to be released on June 11 including country music artists Messina, Tim McGraw, Hank Williams Jr., Neal McCoy, Travis Tritt, Dwight Yoakam and many others. Messina will contribute her single “Dare to Dream” to the 14 song CD. Other aspects of the program include additional 2002 concerts at Winston Cup facilities with artists from Inside Traxx and an Inside Traxx die cast car series. All Founder PASS and Track Pack ticket holders are invited to the Chicagoland Speedway grandstands, at no additional cost, beginning at 8:00 am to enjoy the Jo Dee Messina pre race concert and other pre race festivities(Chicagoland Speedway)(7-9-2002)
  • Raines in the #74 at Chicago? UPDATE: hearing Tony Raines will driver the #74 Chevy at ChicagoLand Speedway instead of regular driver Chad Littlle (in a limited schedule), why? Raine’s sponsor from the Daytona BGN race, Closetmaid will sponsor the car.(7-9-2002)
    UPDATE: BACE Motorsports announced today that they have elected not to exercise the contract option for driver Chad Little for the 2003 season. “Chad has done an excellent job representing BACE Motorsports over the past two seasons,” said team owner Bill Baumgardner, “As a team, we have been unable to find the right chemistry and consistency on track that it takes to be consistently successful.” Little joined BACE late in the 2000 BGN season, posting two top 5 and six top 10 finishes en route to a 9th-place finish in the 2001 BGN Championship race. Little drove the #74 in the first three BGN races of the 2002 season before the decision was made to make the jump to the Winston Cup level. Little attempted to qualify for three Winston Cup races earning a 36th-place start at Dover, where he finished 33rd.(ignition inc PR), doesn’t say about 2002, but it can be assumed Little will not run any more races for BACE and Little has been removed from the BACE Motorsports web site. But been told that this only means that Little’s contract option has not been picked up for 2003 and that he is still under contract with BACE Motorsports for 2002 and he has not been released.(7-9-2002)
  • Hermie Sadler to Wrestle: Hermie Sadler’s appearances on the upstart NWA-TNA professional wrestling promotion will get in high gear this Wednesday night when Sadler faces NWA Superstar “K-Krush” live at the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. Sadler, who has no wrestling experience, is looking forward to the event.. “I have really enjoyed being on the show.. It is all about entertainment.. Our match Wednesday night will be fun to watch.. All I can say is for everyone to expect the unexpected!” Sadler will be hosting a NASCAR fan Pep-Rally Wednesday afternoon from 5:30-6:00 at the auditorium where he will sign autographs and give away a limited number of tickets to the event. Sadler is also excited because for every show he participates in, the NWA is making a cash donation to the Faison School for Autism, a school for autistic children located in Richmond, Va.. Sadler’s youngest daughter, Halie, was diagnosed with autism in February 2000 and started at the school earlier this year. For more info on this event and many others, see my Racing Charities page.(7-9-2002)
  • Benson released from Hospital UPDATE Mike Wallace at Chicago; Nadeau after that?: #10 Valvoline Pontiac driver Johnny Benson left Halifax Medical Center in Daytona, Fla. Sunday night and is expected to return to his home in North Carolina on Monday. Doctors treated Benson for displacements in ribs 6,7 and 8 on the right side of his chest suffered in an accident Saturday night in the 400-mile Nascar Winston Cup race at Daytona International Speedway. Benson did not aggravate the broken rib or two cracked ribs he suffered in a Busch Series accident at Richmond on May 3. Benson’s timetable for returning to racing will be determined this week by his physician and the Valvoline Racing team. Benson missed the Richmond, Charlotte and Dover races earlier this season because of the injuries from the Richmond accident. On Saturday night, Michael Waltrip made contact with Benson on lap 8 of the 160-lap race forcing Benson into the wall. Benson was taken by ambulance to the infield care center then transported to Halifax Medical Center. Waltrip visited Benson at the hospital a few hours after winning the race.(PR)(7-8-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing Mike Wallace will be in the #10 Valvoine Pontiac at ChicagoLand speedway.(Mike Wallace Fan Club)(7-8-2002)
    UPDATE 2: in Speed Channel’s Inside Winston Cup, Johnny Benson said during a telecon that Wallace would be in the #10 at Chicago and Jerry Nadeau probably would run the car after Chicago until Benson can return. Nadeau is driving the #00 Aaron’s Dream Machine at Chicago.(7-9-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Mike Wallace will drive the #10 Valvoline Pontiac in the Cup race this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway replacing the injured Johnny Benson. “We wanted someone with experience that we knew the team and I could communicate with,” said Crew Chief James Ince. “Mike is just that driver. Our team is devastated about what happened to Johnny Saturday night but we have a job to do and we have every intention of going on and doing the best we can.” Benson is recovering from displacements in ribs 6, 7 and 8 on the right side of his chest suffered in an accident Saturday night at Daytona. Benson’s timetable for returning to racing has yet to be determined by his physician and the Valvoline Racing team. Benson missed the Richmond, Charlotte and Dover races earlier this season because of rib injuries from the Richmond BGN race accident. Saturday’s accident did not reinjure the ribs Benson hurt at Richmond. The Valvoline Pontiac will carry a special paint scheme this weekend. Fozzy Bear’s picture will be prominently featured on the car in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Muppets.(MBV PR)(7-9-2002)
  • Hamilton will NOT return to the #55 in 2003 UPDATE 2 nothing signed: #55-Bobby Hamilton said Saturday he’s not returning to Andy Petree Racing next season. “I just don’t like change. I’m afraid there might be changes in the organization in different areas or whatever. I’m not sure exactly what. I just don’t like change,” Hamilton said. “I know Andy is a good car owner and he’ll land on his feet in the future, but I don’t want to be in the middle of change. It’s too damn hard any more. I like to stay with established stuff.” Hamilton said he and Petree both had until June 30 to notify each other in writing they had intentions to work together next season. Neither exercised that option. Hamilton’s likely destination is Petty Enterprises, sources confirmed Saturday. Hamilton drove for Petty Enterprises from 1995 to 2000, where he won his first series race in 1996 at Phoenix and also had his best finish in the points race, ninth in 1996. “I’m not thinking about retiring. I just won last year. I could have won three races this season,” Hamilton, 45, said. “I don’t want to go through the building process again.” Asked about his destination, Hamilton said there was one team he was especially interested in, but elected not to name it. He did say he would like to join the Dodge camp. Petty Enterprises currently fields three Dodge teams – the #45 with Kyle Petty, the #43 with John Andretti and the #44 with Steve Grissom. Grissom came on board this season when the team released driver Buckshot Jones.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-6-2002)
    UPDATE: WNDB-AM 1150, Daytona Beach reported that a source told them Hamilton will be offered the #44 ride at the end of the season. Apparently this deal is all but done.(7-8-2002)
    UPDATE 2: a source tells me that Petty Enterprises has not signed Bobby Hamilton or anyone else for the 2003 season, nor have they made any decision as to who and/or when they will do so. All options remain open.(7-9-2002)
  • Brett Bodine and wife have tough weekend: The wife of NASCAR driver Brett Bodine was “sore but OK” after a one-car accident here over the weekend, Brett Bodine Racing officials said Monday. While Diane Bodine, 43, was unhurt, her car sustained $10,000 [actually totalled] damage when it flipped and hit a utility pole Sunday morning, said spokeswoman Carolyn Carrier. “She’s mad and upset because she lost her favorite car. Now it’s pretty much junk.” After Saturday night’s Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway, Diane and Brett Bodine decided to wait out traffic before heading back to their beachside condo. They took separate cars, and Brett followed his wife, Carrier said. Just after 5:00am, Diane Bodine told police she swerved to avoid a small animal that ran in front of her and lost control of her car. It hit a curb and crashed into a utility pole in the 1400 block of Peninsula Drive, knocking out power to 33 nearby homes. Police said Bodine was not charged in the accident.(Daytona Beach News JournalPLUS And Brett Bodine’s #11 car burst into flames after coming to a stop following the 14-car accident [The Big One] on Lap 136, a spokesman for Bodine’s team said Bodine’s car burned some seven minutes before firefighters came to douse the flames. But Bodine’s car re-ignited and basically fried the Ford. Bodine is ok, but sore.(7-9-2002)
  • Did Waltrip make a ‘3″? On whether he [Micheal Waltrip] was aware he carved a figure 3 in the tri-oval lawn in doing his victory donuts [at Daytona]. “Hey, that’s pretty cool. That’s a E if you turn it around. I never did donuts before so I didn’t want to do it on pavement because I was afraid I didn’t know how. I figured any idiot could do them in the grass. So I just went out there and did me a couple. I never was a donut guy. I just thought you ought to win and go into victory lane.”(Florida Today)(7-9-2002)
  • Busch in trouble at Daytona UPDATE comments: #97-Kurt Busch had on one-lap penalty for passing under caution turn into a four-lap nightmare during Saturday night’s Pepsi 400. During a pit stop early in the race while trying to enter his pit stall, Busch collided with Robby Gordon, who was exiting his pit. Busch received some damage to his #97 Ford and had to pit again, but ran the stop paddle at the end of pit toad. Incensed at getting the one-lap penalty, Busch ripped off a tirade of words over his radio directed toward NASCAR officials. NASCAR didn’t take kindly to the words and issued a three-lap penalty for “unsportsmanlike conduct on the radio.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-7-2002)
    UPDATE: Statement from Kurt Busch Regarding Penalties for During Saturday`s Pepsi 400: “To NASCAR, my sponsor, my team, and to all of the fans I extend my sincerest apologies for my anguish and temper that I expressed over the radio during the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway this past Saturday night. Racing in Winston Cup is a dream come true for me, and I can’t thank NASCAR, Roush Racing, and Newell Rubbermaid enough for helping my realize that dream. I let my temper get the best of me the other night and the way I handled it was not in any way appropriate, and for that I’m truly sorry.”(Roush Racing)(7-9-2002)
  • Stewart races in Indiana UPDATE: Citing a chance to return to his midget car roots, NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Tony Stewart will race at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, WI on July 7th in the Showdown at the Prairie. Stewart, who was inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame last year at Angell Park, will compete in the midgets portion of the showdown. He will drive the same Stealth midget car he drove to victory Jan. 12 at the Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, OK.
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart took home a souvenir Sunday from his visit to Angell Park Speedway. It was a T-shirt emblazoned with the name and car of a hometown driver who beat him. Sun Prairie’s Brandon Waelti won the 25-lap midgets feature at the Showdown at the Prairie, trading the lead with A.J. Fike and passing him for good on lap 19. He held a .54-second margin of victory over Fike. Stewart started 22nd in the 23-car field, passed six cars on the first lap and eventually finished ninth on the third-mile clay oval. Stewart and CTS regular Jason Leffler drove for car owner Keith Kunz of Columbus, IN. Leffler, who was only slated to run in the midgets feature, retired after flipping his car in turn one on the ninth lap. Stewart conducted an autograph session before practice, but declined interview requests. He won the first midget heat on the race program. Despite the fact that Stewart started on the outside front row for the sprints event, polesitter J.J. Yeley dominated the 24-car field. Stewart bolted to the lead on the first turn of the race, but Yeley took over on the fourth lap and never looked back. With several lapped cars between the two drivers, Yeley steered to a 5.67-second lead at one point and held on for a 3.28-second margin of victory. Attendance: Angell Park race organizer Les McBurney said approximately 5,000 spectators were in attendance. The track has a seating capacity of 6,000.(Capital Times)(7-9-2002)


    (7-8-2002)

  • Kerry Earnhardt to run at Talladega: FitzBradshaw Racing announced Friday that they will field the #83 RacingUSA.com Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 6, 2002.(FitzBradshaw Racing Site)(7-6-2002)
    IMAGES see images of the car from a press conference at Daytona on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(7-8-2002)
  • Geoffrey adds Richmond race to schedule: quote from Bodine: “The Miccosukee Indian Gaming Motorsports Group has signed on to sponsor us for Richmond. They also plan to field a Craftsman Truck entry for Barry at Homestead as well as Busch and #09 Winston Cup entries for me. We will have more details soon. I want to thank everyone for their support. We will be testing new race cars at Indy on July 15th and 16th, and feel very positive about our performance there.”(Geoffrey Bodine Fan Club site)(7-8-2002)
  • Dale Jr still has contract to sign…but don’t look for him to leave DEI: Though you figure #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. has better job security than most drivers in the Winston Cup garage, including teammates Steve Park and Pepsi 400 winner Michael Waltrip, Junior’s contract is up for renewal — and he hasn’t signed a deal. Junior says he has been offered a contract and will “make a few changes” before he returns it, which he says should take a couple of weeks. “I’m a little slow about it, but I just want to make sure that it’s cool,” he says. “I’ve thought about driving for other teams, just always wondered what that would be like. But I always drove for my father or in a roundabout way drove for him.” As the most marketable driver in NASCAR, Junior could write his own ticket, but for now he says he feels it is his duty “to stay with DEI and try to become a bigger part of that company.” One carrot DEI is dangling in front of Junior is part-ownership in a Busch Series team with Teresa Earnhardt, his stepmother and CEO of DEI. Junior says he thinks the experience will prepare him to take a more significant managerial role at DEI in the future.(Sporting News)(7-8-2002)
  • Safety Issue at Tracks? NASCAR and Daytona officials will have to look very carefully this week at the safety operations at the track, because Saturday’s performance was not the finest hour for safety men, who left Brett Bodine’s fiery wreckage to burn to the ground and who couldn’t even find Dale Jarrett until he had already walked halfway back to the Winston Cup garage. It was an angry Jarrett who waved off the ambulance that finally reached him while he was well down the frontstretch, away from the crash site. It’s a good thing those two guys weren’t seriously injured. If NASCAR is going to continue running races at Daytona and Talladega that inevitably lead to mammoth wrecks, the sanctioning body should ensure that those tracks have adequate and trained safety personnel. AND NASCAR and Daytona executives will have to assess this week the ugly finish to Saturday’s race, when a number of fans in the second turn grandstands rained debris on the track while the cars were still running the final laps under caution. A number of drivers returned to the garage with cars dented by the flying debris. While the track’s perimeter security posts were well-manned, with men inspecting bags and car trunks, it is unclear just how many security people were working the grandstands. That dangerous deluge of cans and apparently some bottles during the final miles will certainly be a hot topic inside NASCAR headquarters here this week. Some drivers were outraged by the most irate spectators in the final moments. Others were angry too, but were still so shocked they didn’t know quite what to make of it, or quite what to say.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-8-2002)
  • No Petree/Jones ‘merger’? BUT: The shape of Andy Petree’s operation next season has been the subject of considerable debate the past two months, as Petree negotiates with Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys. However, there are signs that a merger, which once seemed so promising, might not happen at all. There have been reports that the negotiations aren’t going that well. Now there are reports that the operation will likely get Robert Yates’ engines, and Ricky Rudd is considered at the top of Jones’ list of potential drivers. Rudd’s other two offers are figured to be with Chip Ganassi’s third Dodge team and with a DEI’s Chevy team. Where that leaves Petree, of course, is unclear. And where it leaves driver Bobby Hamilton [says he is not returning, see story below] and crew chief Jimmy Elledge is equally unclear. There are signs that Elledge might move back to the Yates camp for the 2003 season. And there are indications that Hamilton will have to sign on with a Dodge Winston Cup team if he is to keep Dodge’s support of his NASCAR truck-series operation; if so, keep an eye on Hamilton, Petty Enterprises and Ganassi.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-7-2002)
    BUT: NASCAR team owner Andy Petree says he and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones are “a week or so away” from formally announcing their new Winston Cup partnership. “We’re trying to get all the details worked out of our deal,” Petree said in the garage area of the Daytona International Speedway before Saturday night’s Pepsi 400. “We’re close to making an announcement. But I’d rather save that and make some impact, if and when we do.” Petree did say that contrary to reports in various media, he has not decided to field Fords beginning in 2003. And Petree said the team definitely will not move from Hendersonville, N.C., to the sport’s hub of Charlotte/Concord, NC. “I know it’s taken a lot longer for us to get this thing done than I’d like,” said Petree, who has been negotiating with Jones since February. “The fact is, we don’t have anything that we can formally announce at this second. It’s going to be soon. We’re still a week or so away.” Petree speculated, however, that the announcement could be made as late as the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the weekend of Aug. 2-4, to maximize national exposure. Petree, whose team has struggled to secure sponsorship to run a full-time two-car operation this season, competed in the Pepsi 400 with the #55 Schneider Electric Chevy driven by Bobby Hamilton and the #33 1-800-CALL-ATT Chevy driven by Mike Wallace. A Chevrolet loyalist, Petree said he “got into trouble” with GM Racing executives following a published report last month that he was going to join the Ford Taurus camp next year. “I do have a good relationship with GM,” said Petree, who is the “A” part of the RAD program that also includes Cup team owner Richard Childress and Dale Earnhardt Inc. The three Chevy teams have shared a variety of aerodynamic information while developing the Monte Carlo, especially for carburetor restrictor-plate tracks like the high-banked, 2.5-mile DIS. “If this thing does turn out not to be with GM, I’d rather be the one to kind of tell ’em,” Petree said. “And that’s a big ‘if.’ If it’s going to be a Ford team, we’ll tell you. Right now, we don’t know. And there’s no doubt we are considering if it’s going to be a Ford team or not.” Petree, 43, was adamant that the team would not relocate from its current base. “We’re in Hendersonville,” said Petree, who won his first two races as a car owner last year with Hamilton and Joe Nemechek. “I’ve heard those rumors all over the place. I don’t know what they are or where they came from.” Petree said he would prefer to run a two-car operation full-time next year, but that “some details” needed to be worked out. A Cup car owner since 1997, Petree was crew chief for seven-time series champion Dale Earnhardt’s Cup-winning seasons at Richard Childress Racing in 1993 and 1994. As a crew chief, Petree has earned 25 Cup victories and 10 pole positions. Earlier this week here, veteran driver Ricky Rudd confirmed that he had met with Jones and Petree in Dallas shortly after winning the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma, Calif., on June 23. “That’s OK if Ricky said that,” Petree said of the meeting. “I didn’t say that.” Rudd said he was impressed with the plan the new partners mapped out for him. Rudd, 45, has set a self-imposed deadline of July 15 to make a decision on his racing future.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(7-7-2002)
    AND Owner Andy Petree and Ricky Rudd were spotted together at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on their way back from Sears Point. Speculation is that Rudd is a leading candidate to drive one of the cars in a possible deal between Petree and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and principals from the Jones camp were in Daytona last weekend. Rudd says he presented a contract offer to Robert Yates to stay in the No. 28 Ford beyond 2002 but is considering other offers because he did not receive a solid response. Rudd might get more money signing with Jones/Petree, but he wouldn’t have a chance to win a championship with a start-up team.(Sporting News)(7-8-2002)

 


(7-7-2002)

 

  • Michael Waltrip wins the Pepsi 400 at Daytona: #15-Michael Waltrip won the Pepsi 400, leading the most laps (99) and pretty much dominating the race. It is Waltrip’s 2nd career Cup win and 2nd at Daytona, 51 races ago. It was #15 crew chief Slugger Labbe’s first win as a Cup crew chief (Scott Eggleston was crew chief for the Daytona 500 in 2001). #2-Rusty Wallace was 2nd, his best ever Daytona finish (he had six 3rd place finishes) and his first top five of 2002. The unofficial top ten finishers:

    (the first five are the No Bull drivers for the race at Richmond on Sept 7th)
    #15-Michael Waltrip (98 laps led)
    #2-Rusty Wallace – first top five of 2002
    #40-Sterling Marlin (18 laps led)
    #41-Jimmy Spencer
    #6-Mark Martin

    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr(1 lap led ?)
    #26-Todd Bodine
    #48-Jimmie Johnson
    #22-Ward Burton
    #09-Geoffrey Bodine

    2001 Champ: #24-Jeff Gordon finished 22nd, 1 lap down
    Pepsi 400 pole sitter: #29-Kevin Harvick finished 11th

    Cars on lead lap: 21
    Off the track/Out of race: #10-Benson(accident); #98-Wallace(accident); #11-Bodine(accident); #1-Park(accident); #25-Nemechek(accident); #18-Labonte(accident); #88-Jarrett(accident); #4-Skinner(accident); #20-Stewart(out); #33-Wallace(out); #49-Robinson(off); #77-Blaney(accident); #12-Newman(accident);

    Injuries: #10-Johnny Benson cracked/fractured two ribs in the accident early in the race and has been tranported to Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach for further observation. #26 rear tire changer, Billy Curwood, injured a leg when he was hit by the #31 car during an incident on pit road, he was treated at the track’s infield care center and is bruised but ok.

    Cautions 9 for 39 laps
    Caution 9, lap 157-160: #12-Newman, #26-Bodine, #09-Bodine got together three-wide and the #09 car hit the #12 and cut a tire down on the #12 who hit the wall and spun around, #77-Blaney got hit from behind and hit the wall.
    Caution 8, lap 151-153: debris on the track in turn two.
    Caution 7, lap 137-143 in the Big One when the #88-Jarrett and #99-Burton got together when Burton got a run on Jarrett and tried to pass, others involved: #17-Kenseth, #11-Bodine, #1-Park, #25-Nemechek, #18-Labonte, #5-Labonte, #4-Skinner, #45-Petty, #09-Bodine, #19-Mayfield, #22-Burton, #28-Rudd, #48-Johnson. Dale Jarrett refused ambulance assistance and walked from the accident site in turn two to pit road.
    Caution 6, lap 126-128: #20-Tony Stewart got loose and spun.
    Caution 5, lap 59-62: #98-Wallace hit the 4th turn wall when he cut down a right front tire.
    Caution 4, lap 26-28: mandatory NASCAR caution to allow teams to check out the cars, this was announced during the drivers meeting before the race. Just before the green flag, #24-Gordon came in with a possible flat left rear tire and changed left side tires.
    Caution 3, lap 18-21: #33-Wallace (with Carrot Top) got tapped by #1-Park and spun into the wall and back into the track. In the pits the #97-Busch got into the #31-Gordon and pushed the #31 into the #26-Bodine, front damage to the #31 and #97, rear damage to the #26. Billy Kirwin, right tire changer was clipped by the #31 and has a leg injury and was taken to local hospital.
    Caution 2, lap 10-12: #10-Benson scraped the outside wall and ended up in the grass after #15-Waltrip got into the back of the #10. Benson walked to the ambulance, but looked stunned. #36-Ken Schrader was in the pits with the hood up as an oil leak got knocked off by debris on the track. #45-Petty, #99-Burton, #14-Compton came in for tires.
    Caution 1, lap 2-5: #20-Stewart got tapped in the back by #21-Sadler after #17-Kenseth came down on Sadler when #45-Petty slowed up.

    NOTES: Green flag pit stops occurred laps 115-120 range. #20-Tony Stewart back on the track, lap 30. Just about all the field came into the pits during the 3rd caution. Many drivers in the rear of the field came in during the first caution.(7-6-2002)
    Results: see ThatsRacin.com or NASCAR.com.(7-6-2002)

  • Marlin retains the points lead:
    #40-Sterling Marlin, 2368
    #6-Mark Martin, 2291, -77
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, 2254, -114
    #2-Rusty Wallace, 2224, -144
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 2218, -150
    For standings, see ThatsRacin.com.(7-6-2002)
  • More Rudd – Announcement Saturday? Ricky Rudd suggested he might announce his intentions for the future immediately after Saturday night’s race. Most figure the 45-year-old driver will retire to devote more time to his children[child].(Augusta Chronicle)(7-5-2002)
    However: It looks as if Ricky Rudd, who is considering retirement, will be around the Winston Cup Series for at least another season or two. Rudd said Thursday that he has offers from several teams for next year and also is negotiating with his current car owner, Robert Yates, to stay in the #28 Ford for another year. One of the hangups with his current team appears to be the length of the contract. Rudd wants to sign only a one-year deal, and he says Yates and the sponsors want a longer one. But he would like to drive the same car next year. “If I could get Robert [Yates] to agree to a one-year agreement, then the retirement would not happen this year,” said Rudd, 45. “One thing is I’ve been spoiled by some good runs here lately.” Rudd expects to make a decision by July 15.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(7-6-2002)
    UPDATE: have not heard anything about an annoucement being made Saturday night.(7-7-2002)
  • Pontiac dropping out? With Joe Gibbs’ two headliner Pontiac teams [#18 and #20] set to switch to Chevrolets next season, perhaps even sooner, GM executives are worried that they won’t be able to fill enough Pontiac slots to keep that division in this sport. Unless there are five solid teams under contract to run Pontiacs next season, GM is expected to pull the plug on that brand, according to Detroit sources. And at the moment only three teams appear in the Pontiac camp and there are questions surrounding the #14 A. J. Foyt operation.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-7-2002)
  • RJ Reynolds wants the Winston to stay in Charlotte: Officials with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., which sponsors the Winston Cup series, have indicated they would prefer the annual Winston all-star race remain at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The Charlotte track has hosted the race every season but one since its inception in 1985. Recently, NASCAR has indicated a desire to see the race move to a different venue each season. Ned Leary, president of RJR’s Sports Marketing Enterprises, said among the reasons Lowe’s Motor Speedway is preferred is the amount of work done by the track to promote and develop The Winston; and the City of Charlotte’s efforts to demonstrate its support of the event.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-7-2002)
  • Busch in trouble at Daytona: #97-Kurt Busch had on one-lap penalty for passing under caution turn into a four-lap nightmare during Saturday night’s Pepsi 400. During a pit stop early in the race while trying to enter his pit stall, Busch collided with Robby Gordon, who was exiting his pit. Busch received some damage to his #97 Ford and had to pit again, but ran the stop paddle at the end of pit toad. Incensed at getting the one-lap penalty, Busch ripped off a tirade of words over his radio directed toward NASCAR officials. NASCAR didn’t take kindly to the words and issued a three-lap penalty for “unsportsmanlike conduct on the radio.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-7-2002)
  • No Room for another off day? Winston Cup drivers [and crew members, teams, media] begin a grueling stretch of 20 consecutive weeks of racing to end the season. Some have complained that the schedule is too unrelenting, and wish NASCAR could schedule an off-week as the season winds down. NASCAR chairman Bill France doesn’t see it happening, however. “I’m not sure where a whole lot of changes are going to come from,” he said Saturday. “There are only 52 weekends in a year. Maybe we can get a legislative group to see if we can make Sundays out of Wednesdays — turn it into 104 weeks, or something.”(NASCAR.com/AP)(7-7-2002)
  • Morons throw stuff on track: was wondering what the heck was all over the track on the last lap, TV showed all the cars dodging objects on the backstretch of the track. From ThatsRacin.com: Although most Winston Cup drivers agreed there was not enough time remaining in Saturday night’s Pepsi 400 for NASCAR to use a red flag to ensure a green-flag finish, apparently some fans disagreed. The caution came out on Lap 158 of 160 for a multicar accident. With safety crews still working on removing cars from the backstretch, NASCAR allowed the race to end under caution with Michael Waltrip the winner. When it appeared the red flag was not coming out, hundreds of fans on the backstretch threw seat cushions, beverage containers and more onto the track. “I know one thing, with two laps to go all those people on the back straightaway – and I don’t know who triggered it – they threw every seat cushion they had on the back straightaway and there was no way we were going to get the race going again,” said Rusty Wallace, who finished second. “I don’t know what that was about,” Jeff Gordon said. “I ran through it real fast and sent it all over the place. And it was just the backstraightaway people.” NASCAR officials said not enough laps remained in the race to red flag it and attempt to end it under green. “We were down to the end and as it turned out with our passionate fans, things got a little crazy,” said NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter. Wallace called the decision not to use the red flag, “the smartest thing that ever happened. You just don’t want to restart races with three laps to go on a superspeedway. It can be very, very dangerous. Not because I was running second, it was just a real smart thing to do,” he said.(7-7-2002)
  • NASCAR Talks – says no Traction Control being used: NASCAR officials spent an hour Saturday explaining why they believe, contrary to rampant rumors in the garage, that electronic traction control is not being used in Winston Cup, Grand National and Truck series racing. “We cannot say anything for sure. But we can say it’s very highly unlikely that anybody has run it,” said Gary Nelson, NASCAR’s managing director of competition. “If they did, they’re pretty slick. Any car that we’ve looked at it hasn’t had anything like that. We would react if we found it.” Nelson, Winston Cup director John Darby and Winston Cup technical director Steve Peterson said the key reason NASCAR believes it can police its rule against traction control is that no electronic processors are allowed in its racing vehicles.(story at ThatsRacin.com and see the Transcript of traction control discussion)(7-6-2002)
    AND NASCAR has started using a special listening device at the curves to monitor engines during races. If they are running on a traction device, it would make a distinct sound and teams could be caught. At least that’s NASCAR’s claim. John Darby of NASCAR said if a team is caught, it “would probably be one of the largest (fines) that NASCAR has ever levied.”(Florida Today)(7-7-2002)
  • Earnhardt may be honored: Kannapolis City [NC] Council will consider a proposal Monday to rename one of the city’s major thoroughfares Dale Earnhardt Boulevard. The current one-mile stretch of Dale Earnhardt Boulevard connects to Centergrove Road. The proposal would change the names of Centergrove, Loop and Jackson Park roads as well as Lane Street to make a longer Dale Earnhardt Boulevard, which would loop around the main part of Kannapolis. The proposed boulevard would also connect twice to Interstate 85. If council adopts the proposal, the suggested roadway would then be considered by the N.C. Department of Transportation for final approval. Assistant City Manager Mike Legg said DOT officials seem to be receptive to using one name for Centergrove and South Loop roads. He said state officials, however, are hesitant about continuing the boulevard at the point where North and South Loop Road meet at the West C Street intersection. Local officials could also consider only renaming Centergrove and South Loop Roads as part of a compromise with DOT. Legg said the biggest benefit to having a longer boulevard would be the change from using at least three different names to one name for the roadway. He said the renaming would fit in with the Dale Earnhardt Tribute. Legg also said being located on a road with such name recognition could be good for businesses in that area.(Independent Tribune)(7-7-2002)

    (7-6-2002)

  • DW to races in the CTS again? UPDATE 2 at IRP: Darrell Waltrip appears poised for another start in the CTS, according to NASCAR driver Stacy Compton. Compton said June 15 he would compete in at least one more truck race (hearing DW is considering IRP) for Jim Harris and Mark Melling this year, and that Waltrip could return for a second stint later this year. Compton, who is competing full time in the Winston Cup [#14] and BGN [#59] series, plans to drive the truck at Milwaukee June 29. Waltrip raced the truck at Martinsville in April, but exited the race after only 86 laps due to mechanical problems.(Winston Salem Journal – need sub to read)(6-20-2002)
    UPDATE: some radio reports have DW in the truck at Milwaukee, that is not so, Compton (as reported here – above) will drive the truck at Milwaukee, DW, if he drives it, is considering IRP – Indianapolis Raceway Park.(6-21-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Tide Racing announced today they will celebrate 15 years as a primary sponsor in NASCAR Winston Cup Racing during the series visit to Indianapolis, August 1-4. A retro weekend will include Tide’s current driver, Ricky Craven, as well as Darrell Waltrip, Tide’s first driver, three-time Winston Cup champion and current NASCAR FOX analyst. Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammond will ride again on August 2 at Indianapolis Raceway Park in the #17 Tide Dodge Waltrip collection /Special to FOXSports.com. Waltrip will kick off the weekend by driving the #17 Tide Dodge Truck in the CTS series on August 2 at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The Truck will feature a retro paint scheme and a decaled hood honoring Waltrip’s and Tide’s 1989 Daytona 500 victory. On Sunday August 4th Craven will take to the track in the #32 Tide Ford sporting a retro theme featuring the original “America’s Favorite” hood decal design. Former Tide crew chief and current FOX Sports analyst Jeff Hammond will join Waltrip for this event. The team will run the #17 which Waltrip made famous when he drove to victory lane nine times for Tide. “Jeff and I want to thank Tide for including us in this special weekend,” said Waltrip. “We are so happy to be reunited with Tide again and I have such fond memories of driving the #17 Winston Cup car to victory lane.”(FoxSports)(7-6-2002)
  • Dale Jr off to Milwaukee after the race: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will fly to Milwaukee Sunday to participate in a variety of activities surrounding the 2002 Major League Baseball All-Star game. In honor of the game (and Budweiser’s status as the official beer of both MLB and NASCAR), the #8 Bud car will carry a special MLB All-Star paint scheme in tonight’s race. Because of testing commitments in Indianapolis, Dale Jr is not able to attend Tuesday night’s game, but will participate in an All-Star celebrity softball game Sunday evening, take. batting practice on the field, and participate in an autograph session Monday afternoon at the “Bud World” display at the park. Dale Jr. will also host the All-Star edition of “This Week in Baseball,” the MLB-produced weekly highlight show. The show airs Saturdays on Fox at 12:30pm.(Budweiser PR)(7-6-2002)
  • NAPA hopes to re-sign with DEI: DEI’s contract with NAPA to sponsor Michael Waltrip’s #15 Chevrolet is up for renewal, as is Waltrip’s driving contract. Mike Rearden, director of events and sponsorships for NAPA, says his company plans to re-sign with DEI, though he won’t give specifics.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(7-6-2002)
  • Park Not Happy: Steve Park said Friday he is not a second-rate driver and will not be “strung along” by Dale Earnhardt Inc. or any other Winston Cup team. Park’s future at DEI has been clouded since his return to the series at Darlington, S.C., in March of this season. He suffered a serious head injury from a wreck in the BGN race at Darlington last September. “If they have ideas or Plan A of what they want and it don’t work out, I’m not going to be around for them to fall back on. If they decide I’m good for the team and we’re going to stick together and try to win races, then that’s fine,” Park said. Park said he is a “free agent” as far as next season goes. He said until June 15, DEI had the right of first refusal as far as signing a contract. Now, he is free to sign with DEI or another team. “They talked about a one-year deal. With a one-year deal, this time next year we’ll be in the same exact boat and that don’t interest me,” Park said. “Either I’m the driver and you have the confidence that I can get the job done, or get somebody else.” See full story at ThatsRacin.com and see A candid talk with driver Steve Park.(7-5-2002)
    UPDATE: Even though Pennzoil is coming back for another year as sponsor of the #1 car, driver Park’s future is still being evaluated. Park told the Associated Press Friday that he’s unhappy with his role at DEI.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(7-6-2002)
  • ‘Big’ cars not until 2003? NASCAR is telling Winston Cup teams not to expect the new low-downforce cars until next season, maybe late next season, depending on the financial health of Busch tour car owners. NASCAR is looking at incorporating the larger “greenhouse” roll cage with the low-downforce tweaks, possibly not rolling out the project until the October Talladega race. Because of serious structural issues in roll- cage welding, apparently discovered during last year’s fatal ARCA crash at Charlotte, NASCAR officials will require the new roll cage to be completely new construction, and will not allow teams simply to cut off the current roll cage and weld a larger greenhouse in place.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-6-2002)
  • Berrier back in the #90 car at Daytona, team will run at Chicago also UPDATE 2 to close up?: Ed Berrier will return to drive Junie Donlavey’s #90 Ford at Daytona this weekend. The Richmond-based team also has committed to running the July 14 race at Chicagoland Speedway. After losing its sponsor, Donlavey’s operation skipped the June 23 race at Sonoma, CA. Berrier, who drove 10 races for Donlavey Racing in the 2000 season, will become the team’s fourth driver this season. Rick Mast started 2002 behind the wheel but has been sidelined since May with an undetermined illness [still no word on his condition]. Hermie Sadler and Gary Bradberry also have driven for Donlavey during the past few races.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-2-2002)
    UPDATE – close up? No Chicago? Donlavey, at 78 one of the most respected and well-liked residents of the Winston Cup garage, plans to close his Richmond, VA., racing shop after this week. As is usually the case, money is the issue. Donlavey has run out of sponsors and says he can’t fund the team from his back pocket.(Greenville News), so Daytona and Done?(7-5-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Junie Donlavey’s #90 team was one of two that failed to qualify for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona. Donlavey said he is reconsidering whether he will take his team to Chicagoland Speedway next week while his team hunts for sponsorship. “I think we’ll back it down the next couple of weeks and see if we can put something together,” the 78-year-old said.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-6-2002)
  • Stewart 5th, Nadeau 6th in road race: James Weaver and Chris Dyson drove the Dyson Racing Team to a victory in the Rolex Sports Car Series Jani King Paul Revere 250 that finished Friday at 12:30am/et. Weaver and Dyson covered the 70-lap, 250-mile distance in a time of 2:16:41.765 in their Ford Riley & Scott. Polesitters Didier Theys and Fredy Lienhard finished second in the Doran Lista Racing Judd- engined Dallara, 4.324 seconds back. NASCAR drivers Tony Stewart and Jerry Nadeau also drove in the event. Stewart finished fifth and Nadeau was sixth.(Tampa Tribune)(7-6-2002)
  • Paul Tracy and Childress? If CART driver Paul Tracy’s team owner Barry Green is forced to move to the IRL by his current sponsor KOOL, Tracy could wind up with another CART team or even in NASCAR. Yes, NASCAR, the stock-car series whose success has grown by leaps and bounds and left both CART and the IRL in its exhaust, particularly in the United States. “I’ve talked for about a year to (car owner) Richard Childress,” Tracy said. “We’ve had an ongoing open dialogue. We talk to each other every couple of months. He’d like to test me in a car, but the timing is not right. But he’s said any time I want to come and test one.” Despite his discussions with Childress, Tracy made it clear he wants to remain in open-wheeled racing for “as long as I can because I really love it. “But I have to be realistic,” he added. “Open-wheeled racing is struggling right now. And while I’m only 33, I’m not 23, so I have to look at my future. I don’t want to stop racing at 38 or 39.” Tracy revealed that his agreement with Green expired in May when Green was unable to pick up the option on his contract because of the uncertainly by KOOL.(Waymoresports.com)(7-6-2002)
  • NASCAR and the Soap Box Derby UPDATE: The All-American Soap Box Derby, which has been looking for ways to get broader national exposure, is about to get a boost from one of the best-known racing organizations in the land. NASCAR, confirmed Tuesday it is planning a “youth initiative” with the Akron-based derby. Neither side would provide details, but said they would make a formal announcement Friday [July 5th] in Daytona, FL. Tony DeLuca, executive director of the All-American Soap Box Derby, also declined to comment. “It’s really premature,” he said. “We really can’t make any statements right now.” The 65-year-old derby, which once boasted a large following and attracted the likes of James Stewart, Rock Hudson and Eddie Rickenbacker to Akron, has seen its popularity wane over the decades. It struggled in recent years to find a large financial backer before Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. agreed to become the national sponsor in 1998, contributing $300,000 a year to the event. Goodyear became the first high-profile national sponsor since Chevrolet pulled out in 1972. The Akron tire maker also helps to promote the race at its retail centers and gives out free tickets. In return, it gets its name prominently displayed at the derby and on derby merchandise. The announcement on Friday will come on the cusp of the next soap box derby. The July 27 championship event will attract 415 racers from 43 states plus Germany, the Philippines, Japan and Canada — a record number, DeLuca said. The event will be held at Derby Downs on Akron’s southeast side, near the Rubber Bowl and Akron Fulton International Airport. NASCAR already has a loose connection to the derby. One of NASCAR’s directors is part owner of Brand Sense Marketing, a Los Angeles-based marketing services company. That firm announced last fall that it had been named the exclusive marketing agent for the derby.(Akron Beacon Journal)(7-3-2002)
    UPDATE: NASCAR announced on Friday, a multi-year partnership with the All-American Soap Box Derby, a national property with grassroots applications founded in 1934, which will benefit from the relationship through NASCAR’s media awareness and resources. The All-American Soap Box Derby, based in Akron, Ohio, is looking forward to working with NASCAR after enjoying so much success with one of its partners, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. The All-American Soap Box Derby maintains a strong relationship with Akron-based Goodyear, which also possesses a long-standing and successful partnership with NASCAR. The All-American Soap Box Derby will become part of NASCAR’s Youth Program initiative, which was established to expose America’s future generation to the motorsports industry, and more specifically NASCAR, and its numerous opportunities. NASCAR’s Youth Program initiative also includes the Diversity Summer Internship Program and support of the Urban Youth Racing School. The Diversity Summer Internship Program, established in 2000, is a 10-week, fulltime, paid summer internship program designed to expose diverse youth to the motorsports industry, which includes NASCAR, sponsors, licensees, teams and tracks. More than 40 interns have participated in the program. Since 1999, NASCAR has been supporting the Urban Youth Racing School, a non-profit organization based in Philadelphia that provides inner-city youth ranging in age from 8-18 with an opportunity to learn about the industry through a 10-week curriculum. Due to the growing number of applicants, the Urban Youth Racing School doubled the number of sessions it was offering to accommodate the interest level. The All-American Soap Box Derby is an annual season-long competition, which runs from March to July. The All-American Soap Box Derby sanctions nearly 350 local events throughout the United States each year that showcases its three major divisions as well as points-accumulating “rally” races. The major divisions are Stock, for first-time builders ages 9-16; Super Stock, for experienced builders ages 9-16; and Masters, for advanced builders ages 11-17. All local winners advance to the Championship Race in Akron in July. The 65th running of this week-long championship event is scheduled for July 27.(NASCAR PR)(7-6-2002)


    (7-5-2002)

  • New Yates Team, the home for Sadler? Doug Yates, son of Robert Yates Racing owner Robert Yates, has started the process toward owning a Winston Cup race team and might be the missing piece to the puzzle surrounding the rumored hiring of Elliott Sadler. New corporation listings printed in The Charlotte Observer on June 24 show a new company called Doug Yates Racing Inc. incorporated in Mecklenburg County (N.C.) between June 10 and June 14. Doug Yates, who oversees the engine department at Yates Racing, confirmed Friday that he hopes his future in the sport would be as a team owner and said the filing of the incorporation documents was the first step in that process. Sources confirmed Friday that the Doug Yates operation would be the much-discussed third team at Robert Yates Racing next season, which would be the new home for driver Elliott Sadler, who is leaving the #21 Fords of Wood Brothers Racing at season’s end. In an interview Thursday, Ricky Rudd, driver of Robert Yates’ #28 Fords, said the following when asked if Robert Yates had told him whether he had signed a new driver: “I think I can honestly say that I think Robert can honestly say that he did not sign another driver and he can say that with a clear conscience.” Doug Yates’ hiring of Elliott Sadler would prove Rudd’s statement correct. Rudd himself is still deciding whether to retire from the sport or remain with the #28 or move to another Winston Cup team. Doug Yates said his team would have ties with his father’s, but he would like to be independent. “I want to be on my own enough to gain the experience he had to go through to get to where he’s at today,” Doug Yates said.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-5-2002)
  • Petty Looking for a 2003 sponsor for the #45: Petty Enterprises is seeking primary sponsorship for the #45 Dodge driven by Kyle Petty for the 2003 season and beyond.. Sprint recently notified Petty Enterprises that it will not pick up the option in its contract to continue as primary sponsor.. Discussions are continuing with Sprint about future involvement with Petty Enterprises, but in the meantime Petty Enterprises is seeking other potential partners for the primary sponsorship of the #45 Dodge. “We continue to keep our options open with Sprint and we fully expect that we will continue to be involved with them in some way,” said Kyle Petty. “They’ve been an important part of our team since 1996 and it’s been a very successful relationship for both parties. The bottom line is that Sprint has not exercised its option to continue as the primary sponsor and so we need to look at other opportunities for the #45 Dodge.” The Petty name continues to be the most recognized in all of motorsports. Kyle Petty is consistently ranked among the top five most popular Winston Cup drivers and received back-to-back honors as Winston Cup Illustrated’s Man of the Year in 2000 and 2001. On the track, General Manager Robin Pemberton, Crew Chief Steve Lane and a new relationship with Mike Ege Racing Engines helped Petty run consistently in the top 15 this season. The team is confident their entire organization is poised for the future. “We’ve had great success delivering a complete marketing platform that helps drive results for our sponsors,” said Bill Scott, Executive Vice President, Petty Enterprises. “The combination of Kyle’s enduring popularity and his current success on the track creates an exciting opportunity for a new sponsor. We feel that companies like General Mills, Georgia Pacific, Sprint, Coca-Cola and Dodge provide us one of the strongest stables of sponsors in all of sports.. Now we’re looking to add another strong partner.” Petty Enterprises offers a wide range of marketing and sponsorship opportunities. In addition to three Winston Cup teams and a Craftsman Truck team, the Richard Petty Driving Experience operates at 24 tracks across the country. The Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America is in its 8th year raising money for children and the Victory Junction Gang Camp for Kids is scheduled to open in the summer of 2004.(Williams Company PR)(7-5-2002)
  • Another Rudd to run at RIR: Jason Rudd Cleared To Drive Winston Cup Short-Tracks; Will Make Debut At Richmond:. Jason Rudd, the nephew of Winston Cup veteran racer Ricky Rudd, has been cleared by NASCAR to compete in the Winston Cup Series on oval tracks that are 3/4 of a mile or less. Rudd will make his Cup debut in September at Richmond. One of the key reasons on making this decision is the hope of driving against his uncle once before his uncle retired. Jason’s father, AJ (Al Rudd Jr.) stated that they will be taking one of their Dodges that Jason drives in ARCA, as it was formerly a Winston Cup car. “We are very pleased,” said AJ. “We can do some testing and begin getting our Dodges ready for the race.”(Catchfence)(7-5-2002)
  • Bolts Seized: NASCAR inspectors confiscated unapproved steel jacking bolts from four teams during pre-qualifying inspection Thursday at Daytona. Bolts from the teams of #10-Johnny Benson, #36-Ken Schrader, #40-Sterling Marlin and #88-Dale Jarrett were tagged and placed on display in the NASCAR hauler.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-5-2002)
  • Rudd and Ganassi? Ricky Rudd is thought to be a top candidate for a ride with Chip Ganassi. One question is what might happen to the Texaco sponsorship if Yates and Rudd can’t come to terms. Yates is said to have a much more lucrative M&M Mars sponsorship in hand for Elliott Sadler, expected to join Yates next season regardless of what Rudd does. There has long been speculation that Yates’ Texaco sponsorship hasn’t been in the $12 million to $15 million a year range of most current team sponsorships.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-5-2002)
  • 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)
  • Sad News: Tragedy struck Florence Speedway for the second time recently when two cars collided during a race over the weekend, killing one of the drivers. Denny Kleier, 40, of Florence, was pronounced dead at the scene Saturday night after his race car collided with a competitor’s car at the crossing point on a figure 8 track — one of three at the speedway. The accident occurred about 9:30 p.m. at the racetrack on Kentucky 42, according to the Boone County Sheriff’s Department. Terry Fannin, of Lebanon, who was driving the second car, was airlifted to a hospital, where he was released after treatment for chest pains, a sheriff’s deputy said. The fatality was the second at the racetrack in about a month, said the owner’s son, Jerry King Jr. Florence Speedway is a half-mile, high-banked, clay track that was built in the 1950s and has been operated by Jerry and Mona King since 1984.(Cincinnati Enquirer)(7-5-2002)

    (7-4-2002)

  • Ward signed? UPDATE 2 it’s done 2 years: getting reports that Ward Burton has signed a multi-year deal to continue driving the #22 Caterpillar Dodge for Bill Davis Racing. Have seen nothing official yet.(7-2-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing it is a 2 year deal and may be announced at Daytona.(7-3-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Ward Burton from a Golin-Harris PR – “I’m done. I’m ready to rock. Caterpillar has signed for five years. A lot changes in the sport and I wasn’t willing to sign a five-year deal (Burton signed for two more years, taking him through the 2004 season). We never even talked about it because I told Cat when we talked that five years is a long time. A lot can change in five years. Three years is a long time in this business. Five years is just too far to look down the future. I don’t even know for me physically to sign a five-year deal if I would even be up for it. I do want options, and I feel like they need to have options.”(Golin-Harris PR)(4th of July 2002)
  • Musgrave at the Brickyard 400? UPDATE: hearing Ted Musgrave, who drives the #1 Truck for the Ultra Motorsports CTS team, will drive a 2nd team car to #7-Casey Atwwod, the #07 Sirius Dodge, looks chrome, see an image of the car in my Paint Scheme Gallery.(7-3-2002)
    UPDATE: Current CTS points leader Ted Musgrave will enter at least five Winston Cup races this season in the #07 Dodge. The new team will be composed of personnel from Musgrave’s Ultra Motorsports Truck team as well as from the team of his teammate, Jason Leffler. Musgrave will work in Cup as a teammate with Ultra/Evernham Motorsports driver Casey Atwood, who drives the #7 Dodge. Both teams are sponsored by Sirius Satellite Radio. Musgrave’s first race will be the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It will mark his 300th career start in the Winston Cup series. “I’m pretty excited, coming back getting my opportunity here,” Musgrave said. “We talked about doing something like this last year but we never really got the chance to get going because of the dedication we put into the Truck series. We’ll start off at the Brickyard 400 and run about four more races [Darlington, Phoenix, Atlanta and Homestead]. We’re building a new car for the race. I’m proud to be with these guys”(ThatsRacin.com)(4th of July 2002)
  • Nadeau may run some more races at PE: Petty Enterprises CEO Kyle Petty said Thursday he would like to see driver Jerry Nadeau run more races for his organization. Nadeau substituted for Steve Grissom at the Sonoma road course race two weeks ago and was leading with two laps to go before his car broke. Nadeau left Hendrick Motorsports earlier this season and has been running for various teams on a short-term basis. “Jerry Nadeau can be and has been a winning Winston Cup driver,” Petty said. “He’s got to put himself in a position to run ovals and other stuff because that’s what this series is. We’d like to have him run some races for us, whether it be oval or whether it be the road courses, but we’ve just got to figure out his plans and where he’s going.”(ThatsRacin.com)(4th of July 2002)
  • Nothing new on Rick Mast: #90 team owner Junie Donlavey said Rick Mast’s medical problem has not been diagnosed. Mast stopped driving after losing weight and suffering from severe fatigue. “They’ve found out a lot of things that’s not wrong with him,” Donlavey said. “In analyzing the problems he’s got, it’s almost like he’s got carbon monoxide poisoning. He’s losing weight. He has no energy. He sleeps all the time. He said it’s hard to concentrate. All they know is he doesn’t have cancer or a lot of other stuff. I’m not sure he’ll ever come back around again.”(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4th of July 2002)
  • More on Wells and Pontiac and 2nd team: Pontiac is luring Cal Wells from Ford. Wells, whose driver is Ricky Craven [#32], is getting help from Pontiac in finding sponsorship for a second team. If Wells is able to start a second team at PPI Motorsports, IndyCar driver Max Papis could wind up being the driver.(Augusta Chronicle)(4th of July 2002)
  • Hornish wants to try Daytona 500: Sam Hornish Jr., the defending IRL champ, said Tuesday he might try to qualify for the Daytona 500 in February, driving a Chevy for the Dale Earnhardt Inc. NASCAR team. If the deal with DEI comes to fruition, Hornish said he would drive in selected BGN races in 2003. He could make a second start in Winston Cup next season at the Brickyard 400. But Hornish doesn’t foresee switching gears and leaving Indy cars to compete full time in NASCAR.(Orange County Register), see past news on Hornish and NASCAR on my Drivers Looking/News page.(4th of July 2002)
  • #7 Hood at DIS: This weekend, the #7 Sirius Dodge will feature DreamWorks Recording stars Papa Roach – www.paparoach.com, with band members including Jacoby Shaddix, Jerry Horton, Tobin Esperance, and David Buckner. The Sirius Hood Program began at the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 in Michigan with DreamWorks Records recording stars Soluna.(Evernham Motorsports site)(4th of July 2002)
  • Eight People Injured in Lightning strike: A lightning strike on the grounds at Daytona International Speedway left eight people in need of medical attention Thursday. Track officials said track employee Walter Williams and race fans Richard Santora, Alfred and Mary Greene and Dwayne and Derek Decoux were treated and released at care centers at the track, where qualifying for the Pepsi 400 was scheduled for later Thursday. Two other guests, Brian and Tina Decoux, were taken to nearby Halifax Medical Center, where they were treated and released. Around 4 p.m., a strong thunderstorm swept through Daytona Beach, drenching the raceway and halting Winston Cup practice.(ThatsRacin.com)(4th of July 2002)
  • Dixon out drags Johnson in Vote: Larry Dixon, who has dominated the National Hot Rod Association’s Top Fuel division for much of this season, edged Winston Cup rookie Jimmie Johnson in the second-quarter voting for Driver of the Year by a 16-member media panel and fans voting on ESPN.com. Dixon, who got eight first-place votes and 96 points in the balloting while Johnson got 88 points, went to the final round in six straight NHRA events from April 28 to June 16 and won four. He’s only the second drag racer to win recognition from the panel. John Force won the annual award in 1996.(ThatsRacin.com)(4th of July 2002)
  • Schrader wins ARCA race at South Boston: Ken Schrader won the pole and the race at South Boston Speedway Wednesday night in the Big Daddy’s Liberty 200. It was Schrader’s 9th ARCA RE/MAX Series victory in his 25th attempt. 2nd was series regular #46-Frank Kimmel and 3rd was #25-Billy Venturini. See ARCARAcing.com for race results and news.(4th of July 2002)
  • Home Depot to host Gold Medalists: The Home Depot will host seven 2002 Olympic Winter Games medalists at Daytona on Saturday, July 6. Derek Parra, Tristan Gale, Garrett Hines, Rusty Smith, Dan Steele, Monte Meier and Danielle Goyette, who all financed their training by working for the home improvement retailer will sign autographs at The Home Depot Experience rig located at the corporate display area from 2-4pm and attend other pre-race activities as a guest of Home Depot Pontiac driver Tony Stewart. The athletes will watch the Pepsi 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race from the air-conditioned comfort of The Home Depot VIP suite.(Edelman/Home Depot PR)(4th of July 2002)
  • Third BDR Team? UPDATE 3 Wimmer to stay in BGN too: Bill Davis Racing might field a third Winston Cup car for Scott Wimmer in selected races this season, Mike Brown said. Wimmer is driving a limited BGN schedule. The team fields [#23] Pontiacs in the BGN but has Dodges in the Winston Cup series, so what Wimmer’s team learns at some tracks does not relate to the Winston Cup teams. Also, a third car gives the team another car to help promote its Cup sponsors. Wimmer’s first race might be at the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis in two months. If that goes well, he could go to other Cup races.(Roanoke Times)(6-10-2002)
    UPDATE – BDR to fold BGN team, moves up to Cup part time: NASCAR Winston Cup Scene reports this week that Bill Davis Racing will fold its #23 BGN team after the July 5 event at Daytona and move driver Scott Wimmer to the Winston Cup Series for seven races. The report says Siemens will sponsor the car, which will make its first appearance in the July 13 Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-19-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Siemens will expand its strong relationship with Bill Davis Racing by moving its primary sponsorship from the BGN to the Cup series beginning July 14 in Chicago. Scott Wimmer, will pilot the #27 Siemens Dodge for a total of seven Winston Cup races, thus preserving his rookie status for 2003. After Chicago, Siemens will compete at Indianapolis, Bristol, Dover, Charlotte/Lowes, Atlanta and Phoenix. Siemens is completing its fifth year as a NASCAR sponsor and fourth with Bill Davis Racing. Siemens is also an associate sponsor with Hills Brothers Coffee on the #23 Dodge driven by race veteran Hut Stricklin. “This is a logical step for the entire organization,” said Bill Davis of Bill Davis Racing.. “Wimmer’s a great driver with a strong future, and Siemens is committed to developing a successful program.” John Dimmerling, director, Corporate Marketing Communications for Siemens Energy & Automation, said,. “We value our relationship with Bill and Gail Davis, and their efforts to expand our racing program. Our goal is to take this increased Winston Cup presence and use it to leverage additional opportunities with our channel partners, as well as to increase the involvement of other Siemens operating companies.” In 17 starts this year, 26-year-old Wisconsin native, Wimmer is sixth in Busch Series points, has.five top-five finishes,.seven top-10s, and 14 top-20s. (Bill Davis Racing PR) see an image of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(NOTE: it was reported a few months ago that the new BBR tean would carry the #27 with Krk Shelmerdine driving, that seems not to be the case.(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)
    UPDATE 3: Scott Wimmer, whose future in the BGN series appears to change daily. Earlier this week, Bill Davis Racing announced Wimmer would discontinue running full time in the BGN series following this race and would run seven Winston Cup races this season. Wimmer’s strong performance of late – he’s moved to sixth following his third-place finish at Milwaukee last weekend – has prompted Davis to leave him in the series for at least the next four races. “We’re a real underfunded team and we just have a lot of people that work real hard. It’s a shame for a team like this not to run,” Wimmer said. “We’re going to give it four more races and if we can’t get ourselves a sponsor, we’ll probably pull out for the rest of the year. If I can keep running well and we can hook a good sponsor, I think we’ll stay.”(ThatsRacin.com)(4th of July 2002)


    (7-3-2002)

  • 2003 Pontiac approved: NASCAR has given final approval to the 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix and Pontiac teams should be able to build cars with the new design within the next few weeks. The car, which has been under development since August 2001, passed a battery of wind tunnel and track tests this spring and was approved last week. Race fans will get their first look at the new car in action at the Daytona 500 on Feb. 16, 2003. Pontiac officials say the new Grand Prix adopts many of the aerodynamic underpinnings NASCAR has established as a competitive baseline for new race cars but also maintains the visual styling representative of Pontiac’s brand character. “The approval of the new Grand Prix is a firm statement that Pontiac is a major competitor in NASCAR,” said Lynn Myers, general manager of Pontiac-GMC.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-3-2002)
  • #55 scheme at Chicago: On July 14th, Inside Traxx invades Chicagoland Speedway for the NBC televised Tropicana 400 as multi-platinum recording artist Jo Dee Messina performs a pre-race concert, sings the National Anthem and has her likeness and Inside Traxx logo on the #55 Schneider Electric Chevy. Bobby and Jo Dee team up at the beginning of the race and hope to end up together in the Winner’s Circle.(Motorsports Decisions Group) see an image of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(7-3-2002)
  • The Goat: She’s only 4 months old, but this kid has all the makings of a star. Race fans have been flocking to Interlachen [FL] to see Lil’ Dale, a 4-month-old goat that sports a No. 3 on her right flank. Meet Lil’ Dale, a goat with one heck of a coat that has race fans flocking to this tiny town west of Palatka. The brown, Nubian goat was born with a distinctive white “3” – the number of racing legend Dale Earnhardt – on her right side. So while poised to become the darling of the NASCAR set, Lil’ Dale’s owners hope this one-of-a-kind kid also can make it in showbiz. Although a Gainesville advertising agency has offered to market Lil’ Dale, Pierson is taking a lighthearted approach to the kid’s potential celebrity status. But this is new territory for Pierson and his wife, Laura, a retired schoolteacher, who have been raising animals for the past 26 years. Ever since Lil’ Dale popped up on a few local newscasts, racing fans and curious onlookers have headed down the narrow road that leads to the Piersons’ farm. “It’s weird,” Pierson said. “I’ve seen people take pictures and get tears in their eyes.” Pierson said there’s no painting, shaving or anything else involved in Lil’ Dale’s signature coat. She was just born that way, he said. The Piersons have no problem with race fans coming to them, just so long as there isn’t a caravan of RVs parked alongside the narrow roadway. See a full story and an image of the Goat at the Daytona Beach News Journal.(note: do not email me the image, it’ll be discarded) and a AP story at ABC News.(7-3-2002)
  • Autopsy Photo Law Upheld: A judge in Broward County Circuit Court has upheld Florida’s so-called “Earnhardt Law” that restricts public access to autopsy photos. The law was passed in March 2001, just more than a month after the death of seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt in a crash during the Daytona 500. Earnhardt’s widow, Teresa, lobbied for the law that makes it a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for unauthorized persons to view or copy autopsy photos without a court order. Judge Leroy Moe’s court order issued Wednesday says the Florida legislature “applied a proper balancing” of “the right to privacy, the right to freedom of press and speech, the right of the people to have access to public records and the right to be left alone,” rights which sometimes clash. The law also was upheld by Volusia County Circuit Judge Joseph Will last year. That ruling was appealed to the 5th District Court of Appeals in Daytona Beach. After Will’s ruling, the Sun-Sentinel newspaper in Broward County requested to see photos from all autopsies performed in five Florida counties in the past year. Broward County, citing the “Earnhardt Law,” said the photos from that county would be provided only if the newspaper got permission from the families involved or showed just cause for the release of the photos. Wednesday’s ruling by Judge Moe came in the newspaper’s challenge of that decision by Broward County.(ThatsRacin.com) and see the history of the law at the Daytona Beach News Journal and Orlando Sentinel.(7-3-2002)
  • NASCAR and the Soap Box Derby: The All-American Soap Box Derby, which has been looking for ways to get broader national exposure, is about to get a boost from one of the best-known racing organizations in the land. NASCAR, confirmed Tuesday it is planning a “youth initiative” with the Akron-based derby. Neither side would provide details, but said they would make a formal announcement Friday [July 5th] in Daytona, FL. Tony DeLuca, executive director of the All-American Soap Box Derby, also declined to comment. “It’s really premature,” he said. “We really can’t make any statements right now.” The 65-year-old derby, which once boasted a large following and attracted the likes of James Stewart, Rock Hudson and Eddie Rickenbacker to Akron, has seen its popularity wane over the decades. It struggled in recent years to find a large financial backer before Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. agreed to become the national sponsor in 1998, contributing $300,000 a year to the event. Goodyear became the first high-profile national sponsor since Chevrolet pulled out in 1972. The Akron tire maker also helps to promote the race at its retail centers and gives out free tickets. In return, it gets its name prominently displayed at the derby and on derby merchandise. The announcement on Friday will come on the cusp of the next soap box derby. The July 27 championship event will attract 415 racers from 43 states plus Germany, the Philippines, Japan and Canada — a record number, DeLuca said. The event will be held at Derby Downs on Akron’s southeast side, near the Rubber Bowl and Akron Fulton International Airport. NASCAR already has a loose connection to the derby. One of NASCAR’s directors is part owner of Brand Sense Marketing, a Los Angeles-based marketing services company. That firm announced last fall that it had been named the exclusive marketing agent for the derby.(Akron Beacon Journal)(7-3-2002)
  • Berggren interviews NASCAR brass for magazine: The August issue of Speedway Illustrated is out and it includes an extensive article from Dick Berggren that is his State of the Union address on NASCAR. Berggren was able to get exclusive interviews with NASCAR powers like Bill France Jr., Mike Helton, Brian France, George Pyne, and Jim Hunter. You’ve got to give credit to Berggren for the questions he poses to NASCAR’s top brass.(MotorsportsTV)(7-3-2002)
  • Fox and DISH Come to Last-Minute Agreement for 21 Cities: NASCAR fans who subscribe to Dish Network in 21 cities should be very happy. They came very close to not being able to watch Saturday night’s race. After marathon talks that went down to the wire, EchoStar Communications (owner of Dish Network) said it reached an agreement to continue broadcasting Fox Network owned and operated stations in 21 cities, the Wall Street Journal reports. A spokesman for EchoStar said the negotiations, which ended just before the 1 a.m. Pacific time deadline, ended with a “multiyear agreement” to continue beaming those stations to viewers in Los Angeles, Denver, Philadelphia, Atlanta and other cities. EchoStar had threatened to cut off the stations after a three-year pact was set to expire. Other details of the new agreement weren’t immediately available.(MotorsportsTV)(7-3-2002)
  • Bobble Heads UPDATE: Race fans are heading to the nearest Arby’s restaurant to grab the sport’s hottest new collectibles, commemorative bobbing head dolls of four popular drivers from the Coca-Cola Racing Family. Arby’s and Coca-Cola have teamed up to offer fans these unique figures, which capture the likenesses of fan favorites and Coca-Cola Racing Family members Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, Ricky Rudd and Tony Stewart. The bobbing head dolls, available while supplies last at participating Arby’s restaurants around the country in July, have a suggested retail price of $3.99 with the purchase of any Arby’s Combo Meal. The hand-painted, 6-inch dolls feature each driver sitting in a Coca-Cola Racing Family stock car, wearing their racing suit and sunglasses and holding a Coca-Cola. The cornerstone of Coca-Cola’s involvement in motor sports is the Coca-Cola Racing Family, a collection of the most popular drivers in stockcar racing and some of the sport’s rising stars. Members of the Coca-Cola Racing Family make public appearances, are featured in advertising campaigns and appear on vending machines, packaging and Coca-Cola merchandise. The drivers have also appeared in fun pre-feature entertainment pieces, seen in thousands of movie theaters across the country.(7-2-2002)
    UPDATE: please note these are participating Arby’s restaurants, I have no idea which of the thousand’s of Arby’s have them and am not gonna post a list, know here in south NJ, I have not seen them. Been told that most of the participating Arby’s are in the Southeast and that some Arby’s are begining the promotion locally at different times in the month. Some Arby’s use Pepsi products, would imagine they would not have them.(7-3-2002)


    (7-2-2002)

  • Harvick set to re-sign with RCR: In one of the first interviews he has granted in several weeks, Winston Cup driver Kevin Harvick [#29 GM Goodwrench Chevy] said Monday night he plans to sign a long-term deal with Richard Childress Racing and remain driver of the team of the late Dale Earnhardt for the foreseeable future. The deal, which owner Richard Childress has said he has been working on in recent weeks, should end the rampant speculation that has engulfed Harvick and Childress since NASCAR “parked” Harvick for the April race at Martinsville. Harvick said he hopes the deal, which he said will be made official and a formal news conference in the coming weeks, will end speculation that his relationship with Childress has gone sour.(see full story at ThatsRacin.com)(7-2-2002)
  • Berrier back in the #90 car at Daytona, team will run at Chicago also: Ed Berrier will return to drive Junie Donlavey’s #90 Ford at Daytona this weekend. The Richmond-based team also has committed to running the July 14 race at Chicagoland Speedway. After losing its sponsor, Donlavey’s operation skipped the June 23 race at Sonoma, CA. Berrier, who drove 10 races for Donlavey Racing in the 2000 season, will become the team’s fourth driver this season. Rick Mast started 2002 behind the wheel but has been sidelined since May with an undetermined illness [still no word on his condition]. Hermie Sadler and Gary Bradberry also have driven for Donlavey during the past few races.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-2-2002)
  • Benson wants whole team intact: Johnny Benson’s name continued to pop up on the rumor mill page last week. One rumor had him resigning with his MBV Motorsports team, but it later pulled back, stating he has yet to renew. Benson stated exactly what’s up during his two days at the Berlin Raceway in Marne this weekend. Benson said he wants to stay with the team, keep the crew intact and expand its resources. It’s no secret that Benson and his crew chief, James Ince, enjoy a great working relationship. Rumors have swirled that Benson and Ince want to remain a team, and Benson said that is true. But Benson also made it clear that the entire crew is a close-knit group. “It goes further than just me and James,” Benson said. “We have a good group of guys, and we have pretty good depth within our race team, and everybody in that shop is important. Our road crew is extremely tight. All but one or two people are the exact same crew when I started three years ago with this team.”(Michigan Live)(7-2-2002)
  • Poison on the #37? hearing that the rock group Poison will be the feature band on the #37 Ford of Derrike Cope at Pocono. Ozzfest was on the car at Lowes Motor Speedway, Alabama was on the car in the June MIS (not Pocono – oops) race and The Rolling Stones are rumored to be featured at Indy in the Brickyard 400. What no AC/DC?(7-2-2002)
  • Sad News: Wissota mod driver Dave Harrison passed away this Friday night.. He was racing at Monster Hall Raceway in Unity, WI. He pulled off during the feature, said he didn’t feel well and lost consciousness.. He was then transported to the local Hospital where he died of an apparent heart attack. Services will be held 7:00pm Tuesday at the Taylor Funeral Home, with the Rev. Bradley Veenendaal officiating. Burial will take place at a later date. He was employed by General Electric as a computer engineer assigned to Mosinee Papers in Mosinee. Harrison served his country from 1976 to 1986 in the U.S. Navy and also served from 1986 to 1996 in the Naval Reserves. He was an avid race car driver, belonging to the Wissota Mods. Memorials may be given to charities chosen by the donors.(more info at Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune)(7-2-2002)
  • Papis in NASCAR? CART driver Max Papis, on the sidelines with no sponsorship the CART team he drivers for, was at Infineon Raceway [Sears Point-Sonoma] at the Winston Cup race. Papis said he talked to #32 Cup team owner Cal Wells who would like to get Papis started in NASCAR, maybe in the BGN series or some road courses [Wells os looking to start a 2nd Cup team in 2003]. Papis is also looking at the IRL and othe CART rides.(June 26th print edition of National Speed Sport News not on the site)(7-2-2002)
  • Harvick gets his MTV: #29-Kevin Harvick has landed a gig with the VH1 music channel. The Richard Childress Racing driver will co-host the “Top Ten All Time Greatest Driving Songs” with Rachel Perry on VH1 twice on Thursday and again on Sunday. VH1 says the hosts will cruise to Ocean Grove, N.J., while listening to “great music and making fun pit stops at places like Springsteen’s famed Stone Pony club.” The show is scheduled to run at 1 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. (Eastern and Pacific times) on Thursday and at 10 a.m. Sunday.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(7-2-2002)
  • NASCAR museum in….Boca Raton? Boca Raton, FL businessman John H. Peddie wants to replace the International Museum of Cartoon Art with a stock-car racing hall of fame. Peddie envisions the three-story, 50,000-square-foot building becoming a museum for the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing with features such as driving simulators, an exhibit on stock car racing history and a NASCAR-themed restaurant.(Sun-Sentinel)(7-2-2002)

    (7-1-2002)

  • Nadeau to the IRL? hearing that Jerry Nadeau, recently released from the #25 Delphi Automotive/UAW Hendrick Motorsports Chevy and close to winning the race at Infineno Racway in the #44, is under consideration for a ride in the IRL [Indy Racing League] in a 2nd Delphi Automotive IRL car either for a race or two late this season or 2003. Nadeau was also in the pits at Richmond with the Kelly Racing/Delphi Automotive/IRL team.(7-1-2002)
  • Kyle’s Ride Ends: Charity was a big winner as the Sprint/Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America wound up at the Petty farm in Trinity, N.C., yesterday with a public concert and other events. Among those benefiting was Brenner’s Children’s Hospital, which received a check for $74,045. In his diary on the ride’s Web site, Petty says several local businesses and civic groups also presented checks for almost $30,000 to Victory Junction Gang Camp.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter) and see links to Kyle’s diary of eacy day on my Story/Columns Links page or see past info at the Sprint/Kyle Ride site.(7-1-2002)
  • Kenseth wins, Stewart Upset…..in Canada: Matt Kenseth pulled past CASCAR driver Don Thomson to ruin a fairy-tale ending at the Canada Day shootout at Cayuga Speedway before more than 15,000 fans — the biggest crowd to watch an oval race in this country. Thomson, who had led most of the race, lost his chance to best Kennseth with eight laps to go in the 100-lap event. Kenseth, who already has won three Winston Cup races this season, was among six NASCAR drivers who raced in the event against Canada’s best. Al Turner started third and finished third while battling Pete Gibbons and Thomson the entire 100 laps. Winston Cup stars Tony Stewart, Ken Schrader, Dave Blaney and Johnny Benson were never a factor in the race. CTS points leader Ted Musgrave ran in the top five for almost the whole race, but a pre-race decision to go light on fuel cost him a chance to win when his #1 Dodge ran out of gas with five laps left. In an incident near the end of the second 50-lap qualifying race Schrader and Stewart got together in turn two with the No. 20 Pontiac of Stewart ending up getting turned around. Once righted, Stewart went after the #36 of Schrader and pushed him into a spin in turn three. An obviously upset Stewart drove his Pete Vanderwyst-prepared Pontiac behind the pit wall for repairs without trying to better his place on the grid. (Toronto Sun and also see a story at WayMoreSports.com)(7-1-2002)
  • Shelmerdine doing more: Kirk Shelmerdine will be on hand at Hickory Speedway on July 27th – standing atop the MJ Motorsports pit box. Shelmerdine, who helped the late Dale Earnhardt win four Winston Cup titles, will call the shots for 19-year-old “Aazie” Zimbelmann who will make his USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series debut in an MJ Motorsports Chevrolet. Zimbelmann is a Rookie candidate in the NASCAR Late Model Super Truck Series at Hickory. “Adding Kirk to the mix was the final ingredient we needed to ensure a solid effort,” said Mike Calinoff, “his influence on our program will be dramatic.” Zimbelmann, who is currently 7th in the Hickory point standings, feels the addition of Shelmerdine will also work to help his confidence. “Mike (Calinoff) and Jenn (Kovach) have given me great equipment in the truck series and we are preparing an awesome car for the Hooters race. Having Kirk on board will certainly help us on pit strategy and adjustments.” Shelmerdine is in the midst of boosting his own Winston Cup driving career. He will compete in at least five events this season with sponsorship from Hooters [actually Naturally Fresh in the #27? Ford]. He is the youngest crew chief ever to win a Winston Cup race and series title[in 1986-87,89-90 – actually thought Doug Richert at 19 years old in 1980 was the youngest].(MJ Motorsports PR)(7-1-2002)