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July 2003 Busch Series Archive

 

  • #54 Owner declares bankruptcy: Bristol toy maker General Creation has given up its fight against creditors seeking to force the company into bankruptcy. On Wednesday, a federal bankruptcy judge in Abingdon granted the company’s request to withdraw its objections to a petition for involuntary bankruptcy filed against the company by the Johnson City, Bristol and Chattanooga, Tenn., divisions of First Tennessee Bank in U.S. District Court in Roanoke. Judge William Stone also granted the company’s request to initiate Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings through which its assets may be liquidated in order to satisfy its creditors. Bristol Creations owner Rick Goodwin and his wife also have filed for personal bankruptcy in U.S. District Court in Greeneville, Tenn., and similar pleadings are reportedly being prepared for three other General Creation companies located in Tennessee, Bermuda and Hong Kong. A NASCAR racing team [#54, last driver was Hermie Sadler] sponsored by Goodwin has not been included in the proceedings. Popular General Creation products invented by the company’s 40-year-old owner include Baby Bear Read Along interactive reading teddy bears and Candy Floss handheld and table top cotton candy machines.(Johnson City Press – need sub to read)(7-31-2003)
  • #26 done at end of 2003? Dave Carroll says he’s tired of spending money hand over fist, and not getting much, if any, in return on his investment. He says his Busch Series team featuring driver Kevin Grubb will probably finish out the season. Past that, though, it’s hard to tell what might happen. There had been speculation that Carroll would cease operations immediately after the Aug. 2 race at IRP and that he would place his Dr Pepper sponsorship with another team.(Winston Cup Scene via BGNRacing.com)(7-31-2003)
  • Tyler to debut in the #22: Brian Tyler will make his first NASCAR Busch Series start of 2003 at the Kroger 200 this Saturday night. Tyler, 32, and a two-time USAC Sprint Car Champion, will drive the #22 Chevy Monte Carlo for Bost Motorsports at the IRP event. Shaver Motorsports of Charlotte, NC will provide the engine for Tyler. Delco-Remy Corporation of Anderson, IN will sponsor Tyler for the event.(PR)(7-31-2003)
  • Vickers and Busch in Philly this week: This week, Vickers and Busch will visit with students from The Urban Youth Racing School (UYRS) in Philadelphia. Created in 1998, the UYRS provides urban youths, ages 8 to 18, with an awareness of the motor sports industry through an introduction to racing. Participants will be trained and given the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a miniature race car.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(7-30-2003)
  • Bennett looking for crew help: Bennett Motorsports is looking for a crew to.perform their over-the-wall pit stops at the Indianapolis Raceway Park this coming Saturday evening, August 2. Our team is willing to pay top dollar for quality crew. The crew will need to supply suits and guns. For more information, call Lowell or Matt at (920) 836-3534.(Bennett Motorsports)(7-30-2003)
  • Green and Brewco Re-up: Brewco Motorsports, announced today that driver David Green and primary sponsor Swedish Match North America have signed to return to the Busch Series team for the 2004 season. “We are extremely excited about continuing our relationship with Swedish Match and its Timber Wolf brand,” team owner Clarence Brewer Jr. said. Green, the 1994 NASCAR Busch Series champion, has two wins this season in the team’s #37 Pontiac and currently is second in the championship.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(7-29-2003)
  • Pike Peak TV Ratings: Nielsen Media Research says NBC’s broadcast of Saturday’s TrimSpa Dream Body 250 Busch Series race at Pikes Peak International Raceway earned a 1.7 overnight rating, making it the weekend’s third most watched sporting event on broadcast stations, today’s Sports Business Daily reports. Last year’s race earned a final rating of 1.8, as did the 2001 race.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(7-29-2003)
  • Wimmer looking to move up to Cup in 2004: car owner Bill Davis is looking for a full Winston Cup sponsor, for Busch star Scott Wimmer, who won Saturday at Pikes Peak. Wimmer is scheduled to move up to Winston Cup next year. Mike Brown, Davis’ general manager, has said that the operation’s current lineup is up for review, because of lackluster results this season. Already there are rumors that Ward Burton could be under scrutiny from owner Richard Childress, if Childress chooses to make a driver change.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-29-2003)
  • Wimmer stacks a win at Pike Peak: #23-Scott Wimmer won the TrimSpa 250 at Pikes Peak International Raceway on Saturday, his first win of the 2003 season and fifth of his career. #57-Jason Keller finished 2nd, followed by #10-Scott Riggs, who took over the points lead by 2, over #37-David Green [who finished 12th] and #21-Johnny Sauter and #27-Joey Clanton [who drove the TrimSpa Pontiac]. Pole sitter, #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. finished 25th. #4-Rick Carelli, making his 2nd career Busch Series start finished 19th. Sixteen cars did not finish the race, including #5-Brian Vickers who lost two spots in the points race.
    See results at Thatsracin.comBGNRacing.comMotorsportsOne or nascar.com.(7-26-2003)
  • Engine deal: Carroll Racing has entered a two-race deal with Labonte Racing Engines, starting this week at Pikes Peak. Freddie Turza heads up the engine program at Labonte Racing Engines. They are credited with providing Brian Vickers the horsepower he needed last year to get noticed by Hendrick Motorsports.(BGNRacing.com)(7-26-2003)
  • Busch on ARCA pole at Pocono: Kyle Busch, driver of the #87 ditech.com Chevy, earned the Pennsylvania 200 pole position during ARCA Series qualifying at Pocono Raceway on Thursday. With a lap of 170.849mph, the 18-year-old shattered Casey Mears’ month-old ARCA track record of 169.802 [that race will run Friday as it was postponed in June due to rain]. The pole at Pocono is the second for Busch in ARCA competition this season [Nashville]. After Saturday’s event, Busch’s next scheduled appearance will be at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Aug. 2 in the Busch Series — his second career start on the circuit. Busch’s car is a Chevrolet Monte Carlo with the 2002 body style. It has been raced by Jeff Gordon and was used as a backup car for Jimmie Johnson last season.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(7-25-2003)
  • Mosley to run more races in the #39: Jamie Mosleyrecently agreed on a deal with Jay Robinson that will allow him to focus the rest of his 2003 season on the NASCAR Busch Series. He made his series debut earlier this year when he substituted for Dan Pardus in Jay Robinson’s #39 car at Nashville Superspeedway. Mosley is now planning to run the maximum number [total of 7] of races he can to round out the 2003 season and keep his rookie eligibility for 2004.(Jamie Mosley SIte/51 SportsRacing PR)(7-25-2003)
  • Hamilton Jr. wins pole at Pikes Peak: #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr., won the pole for Saturday’s TrimSpa Dream Body 250 Presented by Dodge at Pike Peak International Raceway with a speed of 133.319mph. The rest of the top five are #59-Stacy Compton, #2-Ron Hornaday, #5-Brian Vickers and #57-Jason Keller. Point leader, #37-David Green will start 11th.
    See lineups at Thatsracin.combgnracing.com, or nascar.com.(7-25-2003)
  • Did ya know: In the past seven races, no driver has scored more points than Hendrick Motorsports driver #5-Brian Vickers. Dating to the May 31 race at Dover, Del., Vickers has amassed 1,095 points thanks to four top-five and seven top-10 finishes. Over that span, #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. is second with 1,061 points, followed by #37-David Green with 1,050. Green currently leads the series points race.(more Busch notes at Thatsracin.com)(7-23-2003)
  • It’s A girl: Congratulations to Chad and Paula Smith on the birth of their daughter! Ashley Hunter Smith arrived Tuesday July 22 at 7:15 p.m. She weighed 8lbs 5 oz. and is 20 inches long. Mom, Dad, big brother Chase and baby are all doing fine. Paula handles public relations for the Busch Series Ladies Association. Chad works for BACE Motorsports.(BGNRacing.com)(7-23-2003)
  • Pressley back to Busch in 2004 UPDATE 2: #59 ST Motorsports owner Tad Geschickter has signed sponsorship for a second full-time Busch Series team in 2004 and will have veteran Robert Pressley drive as a teammate to Stacy Compton, NASCAR Winston Cup Scene’s Rick Houston reports. Pressley, who has 10 career Busch Series wins, made 33 starts for Geschickter in 1997 and 1998. Geschickter says he will reveal the identity of the new sponsor later.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-2-2003)
    UPDATE: Robert Pressley is making a return to the Busch Series after signing a two-year contract with ST Motorsports and owner Tad Geschickter. Pressley, who owns 10 career Busch Series wins, six poles and a top points finish of 3rd, will pilot the number #47 Chevy starting full time in the 2004 season. For Pressley and Geschickter, it will be a happy reunion. In the 1997 and 1998 seasons, Pressley made a total of 33 starts for Geschickter’s team. “I am real excited to reunite with Tad after five years,” said Pressley. “We have been working on this deal since Homestead last year, we worked hard throughout the winter and finally got it done. I am looking forward to returning to the Busch Series for the next two seasons and we are looking for great things to happen with this team.” Steve Plattenberger will serve as team manager. The team has hopes of running a handful of races in the 2003 season in order to gain owner points for 2004. That hinges on Pressley’s Craftsman Truck Series deal, which is currently operating on a race-to-race basis. An announcement concerning the sponsor for Pressley and the #47 team will be made in July at Daytona.(Robert Pressley site)(6-3-2003)
    UPDATE 2: ST Motorsports will announce Sponsorship for Stacy Comptons 2004 Busch Series teammate on Wednesday July 23rd. Look for updates and pictures on this site later this week.(ST Motorsports PR)
    ANDRobert Pressley has been named to drive a #47 car in the Busch Series in 2004 and 2005 with Clorox as the primary sponsor. Pressley is competing full time in the NASCAR Truck series this year.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-23-2003)
  • Garrow on NBC: PRN’s Mark Garrow will make his network debut with NBC at Pikes Peak [Busch Race] this week, in a roster shuffle at the network. It’s part of a three-race deal that NBC and TNT have with Garrow, a veteran radio man who is considered one of the best in the business.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-22-2003)
  • Skinner in the #7 at IRP: MikeSkinner.com reports that Mike Skinner will drive the #7 Kleenex Chevy at Inidanapolis Raceway Park [IRP](7-22-2003)
  • #94 Team needs help: Pam Bickford-Owner, #94 BGN team: The #94 BGN team is looking for volunteers to work and be considered for employment on either this team or our future Winston Cup team, beginning this weekend at the BGN race in Pikes Peak, Co. If interested, please fax a resume to 704-788-2979.(7-21-2003)
  • Chance 2 Plans Another Race for Parker Jr.: Chance 2 Motorsports has announced plans to enter Hank Parker Jr. in its #8 Chevy in the Oct. 25 Aaron’s 312 Busch Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Remington gun company and Bass Pro Shops will sponsor the car, which is owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Teresa Earnhardt.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(7-21-2003)
  • Fuller UPDATE 2:: been asked, didn’t know, found this….. Chuck Hossfeld got under second-place John Blewett III and leader Todd Szegedy in turn 1 on the final lap to win the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series New England 100. The race was red-flagged on lap 98 after Rick Fuller hit the wall in turn 1. The roof was removed to extricate the Auburn, Mass., driver. NASCAR official Mike Zizzo said Fuller was awake and alert while being evaluated at the infield medical center. He was transported by ambulance to Concord Hospital.(Hartford Courant)(7-19-2003)
    UPDATE: Rick Fuller, 42, of Auburn, Mass., the Featherlite Modified Series driver who was knocked unconscious after his Turn 1 wall crash in Friday’s New England 100, remained hospitalized in Concord with a concussion, according to NASCAR spokesman Mike Zizzo.(Boston Globe)
    UPDATE 2: hearing Fuller had been released from the Hospital this morning – he has a concussion, and he was supposedly cleared him to race this weekend at Adirondack.(7-20-2003)
  • Parker Jr. in the #7 next week? During the TNT’s broadcast of the New Hampshire Busch Series race it was mentioned that Hank Parker Jr. may be driving the #7 Kleenex Chevy next week at Pikes Peak.(7-19-2003)
  • NEMCO/Hendrick/Busch looking to extend: Hendrick Motorsports is considering running Kyle Busch full time in the Busch Series next season in a partnership with Nemco Motorsports. Nemco is a Busch team owned by one of Hendrick’s Winston Cup drivers, Joe Nemechek. Under the proposal, Hendrick would provide the financial backing for the operation, including the sponsorship, while Nemco would provide the cars and personnel, sources said. A Hendrick team spokesman said no final decisions had been made on Busch’s 2004 schedule. Busch currently is running a seven-race Busch schedule under a similar deal this season with Nemco, but Hendrick had planned to move Busch’s full-time effort in-house. That still remains a possibility, sources said. Busch is also running seven Automobile Racing Club of America races this season with a Hendrick Motorsports team.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-19-2003)
  • Kurt Busch to run at Homestead? Cup driver Kurt Busch mentioned on Speed Channel’s Trackside show Friday night that he may run in the Homestead Busch Series race in November to get more seat time at the newly reconfigured track since drivers will have very little time to get accustomed to the track that weekend.(BGNRacing.com)(7-19-2003)
  • All Five Roush Cup drivers to run Busch races in 2004? Roush Racing has had trouble finding sponsors for its part-time Busch teams this year; but Geoff Smith expects that to change next season. “We’re having a great selling season right now,” he said. “And I expect that next year every single one of our guys will be in some kind of a Busch Series ride. That’s my prediction.” Smith said Greg Biffle is willing to run the entire Busch schedule. He also expects Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth, and Kurt Busch to compete in the series.(Winston Cup Scene via BGNRacing.com)(7-19-2003)
  • Green wins at New Hampshire: #37-David Green passed Winston Cup driver #29-Kevin Harvick with 46 of 200 laps remaining in Saturday’s New England 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway and held Harvick off by 0.474 seconds to win his second Busch Series race of the year. The win, combined with a sub-par day by #10-Scott Riggs [who finished 14th], also gave the series points lead back to Green. The 1994 series champion, Green leads Riggs by 36 points after 20 of 34 races. The win is the seventh of his career and first at New Hampshire. He won earlier this season at Nashville. #17-Matt Kenseth finished third, #5-Brian Vickers fourth and #10-Scott Wimmer completed the top five. Harvick led the most laps (152), including the first 141. But Green remained patient, waiting for the opportunity to get around the leader. Harvick’s second-place finish allows his #21 Richard Childress Racing team, for which he shares driving duties with Johnny Sauter, to continue to lead the Busch owner points. The race was slowed six times by caution for 24 laps. There were three lead changes among three drivers. #6-Damon Lusk was the highest finishing rookie and Tim Fedawa brought the #12 Chevy to a 12th place finish.(ThatsRacin.com)
    Races Results can be found at ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.comMotorsportsOne or NASCAR.com.(7-19-2003)
  • Qualifying at New Hampshire rained out and set by the rules books [owners points, NOT drivers points]. So #21-Kevin Harvick and #10-Scott Riggs are on the front row. Only 43 cars were at the track, so all make the race.
    Starting Lineups can be found at ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.com or NASCAR.com.(7-18-2003)
  • Bodine Bows Out UPDATE: it was reported on XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio (Subscription Required) that Todd Bodine would forgo the Busch Series Championship and concentrate on his CUP Series ride.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio – Subscription Required), Joe Nemechek is listed on Entry Lists in the #7 Kleenex Chevy that Bodine was rumored to drive.
    UPDATE: Todd Bodine has decided to concentrate on his Winston Cup team rather than continue his chase for the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series championship. Although his Herzog-Jackson Motorsports team had scaled back its operations, Bodine was expected to continue his quest for the title in Evans Motorsports’ #7 Chevrolet. Former driver Randy LaJoie was [released] earlier this month. “I worked hard to become a Winston Cup driver and this is where I need to focus my efforts now, to make this team better,” said Bodine, who drives the #54 National Guard Fords for BelCar Racing.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-18-2003)
  • Carelli in the #4 at Pikes Peak: Former Truck Series driver, Rick Carelli will drive the #4 RE/MAX sponsored Chevy at Pikes Peak International Raceway on July 26th. “I’ve been racing with Rick since the 1990’s back on the short tracks in St. Louis,” said Mike Wallace who has driven the #4 car in 19 Busch races this year. “I’ve raced with Rick on and off since that time. On the West coast, he was nicknamed the “High Plains Drifter” because he’d go anywhere to race,” Wallace continued. “He’s a very good racer and overall a really good guy.” Carelli is an accomplished veteran with four Truck Series victories. Prior to joining the Truck Series, Carelli won championships in the NASCAR Winston West Series and Featherlite Southwest Series, before making a short-lived stint in Winston Cup. Carelli, an Arvada, CO native will make his 1000th career start while driving the #4 RE/MAX sponsored machine; a first for the duo in the Busch Series. “I just want to thank Mike and Biagi Bros Racing for giving me an opportunity to compete in a top notch Busch car in front of my home town!”, said Carelli. “This is a great way to celebrate my 1000th race with RE/MAX and everyone else who has supported my career over the years.” Wallace will return to the helm of the #4 car at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Saturday, August 2, 2003. The RE/MAX franchise network, now in its 31st year of consecutive growth, is a global real estate system operating in 43 countries. More than 4,500 independently owned offices engage more than 81,000 member sales associates who lead the industry in professional designations, experience and production while providing real estate services in residential, commercial, referral, relocation, and asset management. For more information visit www.remax.com.(Biagi Bros Racing PR), Wallace will be racing in the Cup race at Pocono Raceway on the 27th.(7-17-2003)
  • Tammy Jo Kirk in the #49 UPDATE 2: Jay Robinson Racing has landed sponsorship from Advil Liquid Gels for the rest of the season for its #49, and Tammy Jo Kirk will be behind the wheel beginning with the July 19 event at New Hampshire. Kirk, who drove for Geoffrey Bodine in the Craftsman Truck Series several years ago, will become the eighth female driver in Busch Series history.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter), doesn’t say if Kirk is full time or if she will run for Rookie of the Year(7-7-2003)
    UPDATE: Wyeth Consumer Healthcare, makers of fast-acting Advil Liqui-Gels, announced it is teaming up with Jay Robinson Racing (JRR) and drivers Derrike Cope and Tammy Jo Kirk to sponsor the #49 Advil Ford in the Busch Series for the remainder of 2003 season. The partnership kicked off at Daytona International Speedway on July 4th, with NASCAR veteran and 1990 Daytona 500 champion, Cope behind the wheel.. He will pilot the car for one more race on July 12th at Chicagoland Speedway before Kirk, only the eighth female driver in the history of the Busch Series, takes over for the remainder of the season at the Busch Series’ annual visit to New Hampshire International Speedway on July 19. With 42% of NASCAR’s audience being female, many will have their eyes on Tammy Jo Kirk. Kirk is the former dirt track AMA Expert motorcycle racer from Dalton, GA, and Truck Series driver. She started her racing career on motorcycles and has turned in many solid performances in the Truck Series other NASCAR Series. She was the first woman in the nation to attain the rank of Expert in the American Motorcycle Association and then became the first woman to win an AMA Expert Division event.(JJR PR)(7-11-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Tammy Jo Kirk will attempt to become the eighth woman to compete in the NASCAR Busch Series, driving the #49 Advil Ford for Jay Robinson Racing at NHIS. The last female driver to compete in the series was Tina Gordon, who finished 10th at Talladega Superspeedway on April 5. This will mark Kirk’s Busch Series debut, she competed in the Truck Series in 1997-1998. Other female drivers that have raced in the NASCAR Busch Series include Lisa Jackson, Debbie Lunsford, Patty Moise, Shawna Robinson, Kat Teasdale and Diane Teel.(NASCAR PR)(7-17-2003)
  • What is up with…..Elton Sawyer: Former NASCAR Busch Series driver Elton Sawyer finished ninth in the 200-lap Late Model race won by Denny Hamlin at Southampton Motor Speedway [VA] on Friday night. Sawyer, who hasn’t turned many laps since a runner-up effort at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November 2001, said the itch to drive remains strong. “I just enjoy being out there and exchanging paint with them [drivers],” said Sawyer, 43, who filled in for track regular Chris Perry. “I was pleased with the way [the race] went, but I’m also realistic to know I can’t do this another 10 years.” With a young talent crop, Sawyer, a two-time Busch winner, is interested in building a driver development program at the local tracks. It would be his way of giving back to the sport. “It’s no different than any other racing program,” said the Chesapeake native, who is listed on SMS’ entry list for the next two races. “There’s no substitute for competition.”(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-17-2003)
  • Hamilton Jr in the #7? UPDATE: haven’t heard this, but read it: ….And Bobby Hamilton Jr. could be in the #7 Winston Cup car before the season is over.(Danville Register and Bee)(7-16-2003)
    UPDATE: been told the Hamiltion Jr. to the #7 car is off base and will not happen as Bobby Hamilton Jr. is 100% focused on winning 2003 Busch Series title.(7-17-2003)
  • TV Ratings: Television ratings for the July 4 Winn-Dixie 250 at Daytona International Speedway, televised on TNT, were 19% higher than last year’s race on FX. 1,604,000 households tuned in, 29% more than the 1,247,000 households that watched the race last year. At +19%, the Winn-Dixie 250 achieved the biggest jump in ratings over the previous year for a 2003 event. The Winn-Dixie 250 drew 46% more television viewers than the IRL and 72% more viewers than the CART race on that same weekend. Overall, the first half of the NASCAR Busch Series season televised on Fox and FX produced network ratings comparable to the 2003 ratings for the NBA and Major League Baseball. (Figures compiled by Nielsen Media Research.)(NASCAR PR)(7-17-2003)
  • Some NHIS Notes: The NASCAR Busch Series has never witnessed a repeat winner at NHIS and finishing consistently in the top five has been equally tough. Only six active NASCAR Busch Series drivers have recorded more than one top-five finish there: #7-Todd Bodine, #57-Jason Keller, #34-Mike McLaughlin, #87-Joe Nemechek, no ride-Randy LaJoie and no ride-Kenny Wallace.(NASCAR PR)(7-17-2003)
  • Spotters Team Doing Well: NASCAR Spotter Mike Calinoff (for Matt Kenseth-Cup & Jason Leffler-Truck), along with his fiancé Jenn, own MJ Motorsports which field cars in the Hooters Pro Cup Series and on Wisconsin’s Super Late Model circuit. In the past two weeks, 18-year-old Kelly Bires has won back to back features at The Dells (WI) Motor Speedway, including the 100-lap North America Cup event. He is second in the point standings. This Tuesday night, Bires will compete along with NASCAR Winston Cup stars Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch in the Miller Lite Nationals at Slinger (WI) Superspeedway. Team ASE, CARQUEST and Snap-On Tools sponsor the team.(PR)(7-17-2003)
  • Testing at IRP: #1-David Stremme and #2-Ron Hornaday tested on Monday at IRP in preparation of the Kroger 200 presented by Tom Raper RVs on August 2nd. The teams did not release times or speeds. Testing concluded on Tuesday(IRP PR)(7-16-2003)
  • In the wind: For the first time this season, #46 Lewis Motorsports is taking two cars to the General Motors wind tunnel in Detroit, MI this week.(CAP Racing PR)(7-15-2003)
  • #94 and Alsup: PF2 Motorsports plans to run the Busch race at New Hampshire with A.J. Alsup as the driver for the rest of the season.(7-15-2003)
  • No Sponsor for Bagwell at NHIS for North race: Herbie Bagwell Jr. had a deadline to find sponsorship dollars to go racing at New Hampshire with Bob Brunell Motorsports providing car for the Busch North Series race, equipment crew and leadership, but no sponsor has come forth. Bagwell’s marketing team has been burning up the phones, melting the fax line, and sending emails trying to find him enough money to go racing, but despite some immediate active interest by several companies, no one could commit the money in time for New Hampshire New England 125.(full story at Catchfence)(7-15-2003)
  • Earnhardt Questionable? Safe? UPDATE 3 Fedawa to ‘substitute’ at NHIS..and beyond: Kerry Earnhardt’s future is questionable. His owners, Terry Bradshaw and Armando Fitz, are used to being successful, and they need to perform because they are very much involved with very visible sponsorships, especially Bradshaw. If the driver is not performing, and the teams are not doing well, it’s a direct reflection on him. I just don’t think that you’re going to see someone who has been successful in another sport come into NASCAR and tolerate anything less than success. He’s going to make the necessary changes.(FoxSports)(7-1-2003)
    UPDATE: #12, #14, #82 Team owner Armando Fitz denies rumors that Kerry Earnhardt will be the next to go, possibly as early as after the July 4 race at Daytona. Earnhardt’s team has stuggled to find a footing this year, but for the time being at least, Fitz says he doesn’t have any specific plans to release Earnhardt (Winston Cup Scene – need subscription to read)(7-3-2003)
    UPDATE 2: hearing that Fitz gave a probation period to Earnhardt of 8-10 races (which started app. 6 races ago), and if no improvement, then Earnhardt could be gone. Supposedly Tim Fedewa could replace Earnhardt(7-9-2003)
    UPDATE 3: FitzBradshaw Racing announced that a driver substitution will be made for the upcoming NASCAR Busch Series race Saturday in Loudon, NH. The team will Test Tim Fedewa In #12 Supercuts Chevy for New Hampshire Race. Kerry Earnhardt has driven the #12 Chevy Monte Carlo since the start of the 2002 season. “It’s our desire to field the best teams on the track; it is a commitment we make to ourselves and to our sponsors,” stated FitzBradshaw Racing co-owner Armando Fitz. “Kerry has proven he is a strong driver; he has driven up-front, but the team is simply not gelling right now. And if we want to win, we need to gel.” In June, FitzBradshaw Racing retained a new crew for the #12 Chevy, while moving the previous #12 crew to the #14 Navy Chevy piloted by Casey Atwood. FitzBradshaw Racing’s objective in making both driver and crew changes is to sample driver and crew pairings to ascertain the most competitive combination for each of FitzBradshaw Racing’s cars. “A change right now is in the best interests of everybody,” stated Terry Bradshaw, co-owner of FitzBradshaw Racing.. “Our entire organization appreciates everything Kerry has done for the team and its sponsors. We’ve been able to be very successful for our sponsors in many ways, including marketing, but we want to search to find our best possible on-track combination as well.”
    “Tim Fedewa, we think, is the right choice for the team at this time.. He has four Busch Series wins, so he understands what it takes to grab a checkered flag at this level,” said Fitz. Fedewa, in addition to his driving success, has history with FitzBradshaw. He started spotting for FitzBradshaw Racing during the 2002 season and became a permanent spotter for Earnhardt in 2003. During the pit crew transition, he served as crew chief for the #12 car in Kentucky. “We haven’t made an exact determination of how long Fedewa will be in the seat,” said Fitz. “That depends on the level of success we achieve and how we ultimately evaluate how we can best use our driving talent.. What’s most important right now is that we begin achieving the kind of on-track success that we need for both FitzBradshaw Racing and for our sponsors.”(FitzBradshaw Racing PR)(7-14-2003)
  • #92 Suspends Operations, lays off help: hearing that the #92 Herzog Jackson Motorsports team that was contending for the Busch Series championship has suspended operations. Hearing 16 people from the team were let go and are looking for work.(7-14-2003)
  • Hendrick not moving Vickers up: But Rick Hendrick denies plans to bring Brian Vickers up from the Busch Series.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-14-2003)
  • Driver to debut at Pikes Peak: 19-year-old Jeremy Clements plans to make his Busch Series debut next week at Pikes Peak. The Spartanburg, SC native will be driving for veteran owner Ken Appling with Ricky Pearson filling the role of crew chief. The team will possibly run 4 more races this year. Clements hopes to run the full Busch schedule next season. He has 2 top tens in 5 career ARCA starts and is the current Late Model champion at Cherokee Speedway.(BGNRacing.com)(7-14-2003)
  • Roush Racing to announce Truck Series plans July 15th UPDATE: Roush Racing will announce its plans for current NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers #50-Jon Wood and #99-Carl Edwards on Tuesday, July 15. Roush Racing has been a part of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series since the series’ inception in 1995. “The truck series has been a great place for us to develop sponsors and drivers,” said Roush Racing president, Geoff Smith. “But we have to be mindful that the changing economic dynamic of the series is making it very difficult for us to justify continuing. We are the last of the “major” teams fielding trucks, which illustrates the difficulty that championship driven teams have making the business model work. And, the series is in the middle of a turbulent sponsorship environment created mainly by the increased spending levels brought into the series by Dodge and which we expect to be matched or exceeded by Toyota. Our priority will be to preserve and develop the talent we have with Jon Wood and Carl Edwards, and our decision will be based on whether our economic model to develop these outstanding drivers can be better realized in the Craftsmen Truck or Busch Series.” For sponsorship inquiries, contact John Miller, Roush Racing, (704) 720-4600.(Roush Racing PR)(7-9-2003)
    UPDATE: many sites are reporting that this may be an announcement of Roush leaving the Truck Series and moving the teams to Busch.(7-10-2003)
    UPDATE 2: staying in the Truck Series….for 2003, see my Truck Series Silly Season Site for more.(7-14-2003)
  • Bodine gets a ride for rest of season UPDATE maybe?: It was mentioned during the pre-race for the Tropicana Twister 300 at Chicagoland Speedway that Todd Bodine will likely be in the #7 Kleenex Chevy for the remainder of the season.(BGNRacing.com)(7-12-2003)
    UPDATE – maybe – maybe not: When interviewed following the race, Bodine said that nothing was final yet, but he was hoping to work something out with the #7 team to drive the remainder of the year for them.(BGNRacing.com)(7-13-2003)
  • Earnhardt OK: #12-Kerry Earnhardt’s tests all came back negative at the medical center after his accident at Chicagoland Speedway. He was awake, alert and walking around after the accident.(BGNRacing.com)(7-12-2003)
  • Hamilton Jr. wins at Chicago: #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. won the Tropicana Twister 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday in dominating fashion, leading 186 laps of 200. It is Hamilton Jr’s 2nd win of the season. Finishing 2nd was #17-Matt Kenseth, followed by #5-Brian Vickers, #19-Casey Mears and #99-Michael Waltrip. Only five cars finished on the lead lap. #7-Todd Bodine, who was 4th in drivers points ended up 31st when he lost an engine and dropped to 6th in points, but it was better then not running the race at he, picked up 70 points that otherwise he wouldn’t had gotten, Bodine fell from 43 points behind the leader to 124.
    See results at ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.comMotorsportsOne or NASCAR.com.(7-12-2003)
  • Bodine to start the #88 UPDATE to the #7: during Winston Cup qualifying, Todd Bodine said he would start the #88 NEMCO Chevy at Chicago, doesn’t sound like he will run long in it. Greg Biffle qualified it 12th, seems to be a good car, would like to see him run it.(7-11-2003)
    UPDATE: Todd Bodine will drive the #7 Chevy as Joe Nemechek wants to help Bodine keep his championship hopes alive. Nemechek will move over to the #88.(BGN Racing)(7-12-2003)
  • Richeson to drive the #96: Josh Richeson will drive the #96 in place of Gus Wasson who took a hard hit during practice at Chicago on Friday.(BGN Racing)(7-12-2003)
  • Kmart back? on the quarter panels of the #17 Ford in the Busch Series that Matt Kenseth is driving at Chicago……The big Kmart ‘K’.(7-12-2003)
  • PPM to run final 9 races of 2003: PPM Racing, LLC, a Houston, TX based NASCAR Busch Series race team is pleased to announce its plans for the remainder of the 2003 season. Beginning with the September 5 event at Richmond, VA, the team will compete in the final nine events of the season. The #03 entry will be piloted by 2 different drivers, and will carry logos of Knauf Fiberglass, BG Products, Stay MAD Apparel Company, Among Thorns, Octane 1.0, Gatorz Performance Eyewear, and Suspect Skateboards. Links to sponsor sites are available at www.ppmracing.com. Additional sponsorship discussions are continuing and opportunities with the team are still available. For more information please contact the team at info@ppmracing.com.(PPM Racing PR), doesn’t say who the two drivers, but Anthony Lazzaro is supposed to be one, the other driver is unknown.(7-12-2003)
  • Mears wins pole at Chicago: #19-Casey Mears won the pole for Saturday’s Tropicana Twister 300 at Chicagoland Speedway with a lap of 181.757mph, his first Busch pole in 38 starts. He also has two poles and one win in ARCA this season. “They gave me a brand-new car, and it’s awesome,” said Mears, who drives the No. 41 Dodge for Chip Ganassi Racing in Winston Cup. “These guys have been working their butts off and they’ve had a lot of trouble this year with drivers and sponsors. The reason why I’m doing this is to help over in the Cup side and it really is. I really want to thank Felix (Sabates) and Chip (Ganassi, his car owners) for letting me do this.” #21-Johnny Sauter was 2nd, followed by #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr., #31-Dave Blaney and #99-Michael Waltrip fifth. Series points leader #10-Scott Riggs will start 13th.(ThatsRacin.com)
    For qualifying results/lineup, see ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.com or NASCAR.com.(7-11-2003)
  • Burton to run Busch race at NHIS: In 2002, Jeff Burton raced the #9 Ford in 14 Busch Series races. In 14 starts he chalked up five wins, two poles, and eight top-five and nine top-10 finishes. This brought his career totals in the Busch Series to 20 wins, 10 poles, 61 top-five and 103 top-10 finishes in 233 starts. Burton is hoping to add to his win column in New Hampshire next weekend. Burton will race the Roush Racing #9 Ford, sponsored by SKF and Chicago Rawhide, Saturday, July 19 in the New England 200. Kevin “Cowboy” Starland will serve as the crew chief. Five of the over the wall members come from the #60 team [which suspended racee operations]; Al Tully (rear tire changer), Chris Burger (rear tire carrier), Gary Pierce (front tire carrier), Mike Freeman (gas man) and Eric Gifford (catch can). Burton’s front tire changer, Jason Myers, will come over from the #99 CITGO team to help out and Tony Martin will resume his Saturday duties as jack man for the #9 team. These seven along with Jeff Zarella (tire specialist), Jason Brenkus (pit sign/windshield), Brian Chase (second gas can), Lucas Tucker (support), Jeremy Brickhouse (spotter) and Kim Fisher (scorer) will make for a strong team heading to New England.(Roush Racing PR), see images of the scheme on my 2003 Busch Scheme page.(7-11-2003)
  • #92 Done? UPDATE 3 will NOT go to Chicago: Despite being fourth in the standings and only 43 points out of first, #92 Herzog Jackson Motorsports and driver Todd Bodine only has a couple more races, later in the year, remaining in a limited sponsorship program with ESGR. Owners Randy and Stan Herzog have said for weeks that without a viable sponsorship lead their season would end. Though a team spokesperson said no decision has been made at this point, Liberati said he would probably go to Los Angeles next weekend while the Busch Series is at Chicagoland Speedway to visit former Busch Series driver and Hollywood stuntman Stanton Barrett. Bodine frowned and said he had entertained offers this weekend to drive three different Busch Series cars for the rest of the season, but given his choice he wouldn’t do that. “I have no plans,” Bodine said. “I don’t want to leave this team and I don’t want to leave Tony, but I’ve got to keep the points going.” Neither car owner Randy nor Stan Herzog was at the speedway Friday night. Bodine and Liberati said the owners, who had funded much of the season from their own pockets, “probably couldn’t bear to be here for the last hurrah.”
    “This was our back-up car after we wrecked our primary car at Talladega, and the body wasn’t as good on it,” Bodine said. “I had to have somebody in front of me or behind me so we’re pretty happy with eighth for that car.”(NASCAR.com)(7-5-2003)
    UPDATE: during an XM Radio interview, Bodine said if the team didn’t have a sponsor by the end of Tuesday, they would not be going to Chicago, Bodine is looking for another one-race ride at Chicago to keep his championship hopes alive.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio – Subscription Required)(7-8-2003)
    UPDATE 2 – a real shame: Herzog Jackson Motorsports announced this morning that they will not be attending the Busch Series event this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway due to lack of sponsorship. The team, which has been plagued by sponsorship problems for most of the season, led the driver point standings for nine weeks. However, owner Randy Herzog has stated all along that without a viable sponsor for the rest of the season, the team would not continue racing. “This is a first class organization and we had hoped to continue to compete for the championship, ” stated Randy Herzog. “Unfortunately, as so many other teams are experiencing, the economy has not allowed us to close a sponsor that would take us through the 2003 season. We will continue to pursue several opportunities in the hope that we can return to competition soon.” Initially, Herzog Jackson Motorsports committed to compete in only the first five events of the season. However, when the #92 Chevy stood first in the driver points standings after Bristol (the fifth event on the schedule), the owners decided to continue to race. Just when it looked as if the team were to suspend its racing season, the gpsstore.com and Garmin jumped on board for the Richmond event. From there, both ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve) and Monster split sponsorship of the team through last week’s event at Daytona. Team driver Todd Bodine expressed his disappointment as he was told of the owner’s decision. “In all my years of racing I have never been with a team that has performed so well under such pressure and uncertainty. Randy and Stan [Herzog] have poured money into this team in hopes something would pan out. While I am devastated, I can understand their decision. My hope now is to find a way to race this weekend so I can keep up my driver points.” Looking for the silver lining in the decision, crew chief Tony “Rambo” Liberati reminded his team of the opportunities that lie ahead. “The professionalism and performance of this team has not gone unnoticed. I feel certain that because of our record the right company will come along to partner with us. In the meantime, we will keep building our Chevrolets, perfecting our pit stops and keeping our chins up. Racing is a volatile sport. I am just hoping we climb out of this situation quickly.”(Eclipse Management PR)(7-9-2003)
    UPDATE 2: As of now, there are no immediate plans to layoff the team’s 16 full-time employees at its Charlotte, N.C. garage. Keeping them, however, will be difficult since the team’s long-term stability remains in doubt despite Herzog’s continuing desire to participate in NASCAR racing. Crew chief Tony Liberati remains under contract with Herzog Jackson, while Bodine was given his release to find another Busch Series ride. If Bodine doesn’t race Saturday in the Tropicana Twister 300 —as of Wednesday afternoon, he hadn’t secured a ride — he’ll forfeit any chance of claiming his first-ever Busch Series title. Randy Herzog, who co-owns the team with his brother, Stan, father, Bill, and baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, said the team will likely concentrate now on finding solid backing for the 2004 season. If the team returns to the track this season — Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve will sponsor the No. 92 at Bristol on Aug. 22 and Kansas Speedway on Oct. 4 — it “would be in preparation to get a stepped up effort going for 2004,” Herzog said. And despite the short-term gloom, Herzog’s 2004 hopes include competing in the Nextel Cup Series.(St Joseph News-Press)(7-10-2002)
  • Monsters in Busch UPDATE: hearing that three teams (so far) will run ‘Monster’ schemes, not sure when, maybe near Halloween? #7-Randy Lajoie, #20-Mike Bliss, #23-Scott Wimmer and #87-Kyle Busch [Memphis added to sched].(5-16-2003)
    UPDATE – The Monsters are Roaring to Life, set to invade Memphis During an unveiling event Wednesday at Memphis Motorsports Park, Action Performance Companies Inc. and Universal Studios announced that the classic monsters of Halloween lore will rise again during the Sam’s Town 250 NASCAR Busch Series race on Oct. 18, 2003. Drivers Greg Biffle, Mike Bliss, Scott Wimmer and Kyle Busch will create the scary race-day quartet via a special paint scheme program that features Universal’s Monsters characters. Before the Monsters are set loose at Memphis Motorsports Park this fall, another Monster Bash will take place at Boyd Gaming Corporation’s, Sam’s Town Tunica property, a casino resort in Robinsonville, Miss., on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2003. The Monster Bash will include appearances by all four Monsters program drivers and their creepy counterparts as well as an autograph session, live entertainment in the Sam’s Town Tunica atrium and a silent auction benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Activities kick off at 7 p.m. Media information and photograph opportunities also will be provided.
    The NASCAR Busch Series will be invaded by the likes of The Mummy, Dracula, Frankenstein and The Wolf Man. The following drivers, cars and monsters will be part of the race day action on Saturday, October 18:
    #7-Greg Biffle, Kleenex/The Wolf Man – Wolfman needs a tissue or soft toilet paper?
    #20-Mike Bliss, Rockwell Automation/Frankenstein – Frankie needs to automate some current?
    #23-Scott Wimmer, Stacker 2/Dracula – The Count looking to lose some weight?
    #87-Kyle Busch, ditech.com/The Mummy – needs to finance a new tomb?
    In addition to the monstrous race cars on the track, fans will have the opportunity to get in the Halloween spirit with a World’s Scariest Fan Costume Contest. The contest will be judged prior to the start of the October NASCAR® Busch Series race at Memphis Motorsports Park. Additional details and contest rules are posted on a special “Monsters” section on Action Performance’s corporate Web site, www.action-performance.com.(Memphis Motorsports Park PR) added the images to my 2003 Busch Scheme page.(7-10-2003)
  • #94 Withdraws: been told that due to an illness in the family the #94 Bickford tean has withdrawn from the Chicago race.(7-10-2003)
  • TV Ratings: In addition to a 4% increase in network ratings in the first half of the season despite having three races take place during Operation Iraqi Freedom (Bristol, Texas and Talladega), Tampa“St. Petersburg is the NASCAR Busch Series™ largest marketbased on average number of mid-season households (72,000), up 3% over last season. Meanwhile, Atlanta (+6%), Boston (87%), Philadelphia (9%) and Washington, D.C. (60%), all Top Ten U.S. Metered Markets, experienced an increase in number of mid-season NASCAR Busch Series viewing households. In all, the NASCAR Busch Series increased in 28 out of 53 Markets (53%) over 2002. (Figures compiled by Nielsen Media Research.)(NASCAR PR)(7-9-2003)
  • Stuff: Jimmie Johnson not only won the inaugural NASCAR Busch Series race at Chicago in 2001, but it was his also his first series win. Johnny Sauter followed Johnson with a win at Chicago last year, which was also his first NASCAR Busch Series victory. At new NASCAR Busch Series tracks since 1995, three drivers have won their first series event to go with the first series victory at the venue “ Jeff Green (Las Vegas, 1997), Greg Biffle (Nashville, 2001) and Johnson.(NASCAR PR)(7-9-2003)
  • Busch wins again: Kyle Busch returned to his hometown of Las Vegas for the “Night of Fire” at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Bullring on Thursday night, winning the 75-lap Super Late Model event and the 20-lap Pro/Masters Legends Cars race. Busch has earned more than 80 victories at Las Vegas in Legends Cars and Late Models combined. Next for Busch: he is scheduled to make his next ARCA Series start on Saturday, July 26 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The 18-year-old has won two of the four ARCA events he has entered this season. Busch and his #87 ditech.com Racing team will test at Indianapolis Raceway Park on July 15 and 16 in preparation for his next Busch Series start, slated for Aug. 2 at the .686-mile oval.(HMS PR)(7-9-2003)
  • Smith leaves the #22 UPDATE 2 team suspends operations: Busch Series rookie Regan Smith resigned from Bost Motorsports today, NASCAR Winston Cup Scene Busch Series Editor Rick Houston has learned. After scoring a 34th-place finish in his first restrictor-plate start in last Friday’s Winn-Dixie 250 at Daytona, Smith had moved into second place in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings. He had started all but two races for the team in its #22 Chevy, recording a best finish of 15th at Texas.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)
    UPDATE: BGNRacing.com reports that the team shut down after Daytona. Smith is currently available to sign with another team and is under no other obligations at this time.(7-7-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Regan Smith has resigned as the driver of the unsponsored Bost Motorsports NASCAR Busch Series team to pursue other driving opportunities, as the team’s future is uncertain at this time.  The 19-year-old driver has competed in 16 of the 18 Busch Series races this year in Bost’s #22 Chevrolets.  He moved into second place in the 2003 Raybestos Rookie Of The Year standings following last Friday night’s Busch Series race at Daytona.  Bost Motorsports had competed in all the Busch Series races this year using other drivers at Daytona in February and at Talladega before NASCAR approved Smith to run at those tracks. “I had hoped to finish the year driving for Danny Bost while building a team that would be competitive in the Busch Series this year and in the future,” said Regan Smith.  “I want to thank Danny, George Church and all the guys at the shop that have been behind me to this point as we tried to compete against well financed teams while unsponsored.”AND Danny Bost announced today that his NASCAR Busch Grand National Team, Bost Motorsports that fields the #22 Chevrolet Monte Carlo’s for Raybestos Rookie contender Regan Smith has suspended operation immediately.(BGNRacing)(7-9-2003)
  • Special Scheme for Keller at Chicago: #57-Jason Keller will driving the #57 Albertsons/Jewel-Osco/Got Milk? Ford in Saturday’s NASCAR Busch Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. Jewel-Osco is the Midwest division of Albertsons and the #1 grocery store in the Chicago area.(Elevation Motorsports PR)(7-9-2003)
  • Biffle in a different GM car at Chicago…but just to qualify UPDATE will run the race: Winston Cup rookie and former Busch series champion Greg Biffle is entered in Saturday’s Busch race at Chicagoland Speedway, but not with the team he raced with last weekend at Daytona. Biffle will not drive Evans Motorsports’ #7 Chevy, which he drove last weekend in place of Randy LaJoie, who was released from the team. Instead, Winston Cup driver Joe Nemechek, whose Nemco Motorsports Busch team is partners with Evans, will drive the #7. David Reutimann will drive Nemco’s #87. In addition, Biffle will attempt to qualify Nemco’s #88, a car the team often uses to collect last-place money in races. Biffle can ensure the car will make the field since, as a past series champion, he is guaranteed a provisional. Biffle is not expected to start the race in the #88, however, team officials said. Ford Motor Co. expressed concern with Roush Racing’s decision to allow Biffle, who drives Fords in Cup, to drive a General Motors product in the Busch race at Daytona. Biffle, who won his first Winston Cup race Saturday night at Daytona, agreed to drive Daytona as well as “selected other races for the remainder of the season” for Evans. Ford has not been pleased with Biffle’s decision to drive non-Ford products. Roush and Ford officials met over the weekend on the matter. In May, Ford nixed a one-race deal Biffle had to compete in the inaugural NASCAR Truck series race at Charlotte because Biffle was planning to enter a Dodge truck.(ThatsRacin.com), no word on who will run the #88 in place of Biffle for the race.(7-8-2003)
    UPDATE: Joe Nemechek is entered at Chicago and will drive the #7 Kleenex/Scott Brands Chevrolet. Last week at Daytona, 2002 NASCAR Busch Series champion Greg Biffle finished 23rd in the #7 car and was able to use that experience en route to his first NASCAR Winston Cup Series victory one night later in the Pepsi 400. Biffle will get more series seat time Saturday in the #88 Chevrolet owned by Robert Overman and led by crew chief Brian Pattie, who normally serves as Nemechek’s crew chief with the #87 CellularOne Chevrolet. That car will be driven by David Reutimann with Eric Phillips as crew chief.(NASCAR PR)(7-9-2003)
  • HOF Racing may start in Busch instead of Cup: Bill Saunders, the managing partner of the Hall of Fame Racing team of Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, said Monday the team probably will compete in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2004 instead of Nextel Cup. The former Cowboys quarterbacks announced in January the formation of the team and their plans to race Winston Cup in 2004, which switches naming rights to Nextel Cup. But they have not been able to secure the sponsorship dollars needed to run in the Cup series next season. “Running in Cup next year is unlikely at this point,” Saunders said. “It probably will be 2005, but that’s not to say we won’t be . . . racing in 2004. We are still in negotiations on that and probably will finalize things within 30 days.” Saunders said they don’t know if the team will run one or two Busch cars next year. He said an announcement on a sponsor and a driver, or drivers, probably would be made soon in Dallas. “But we probably would unveil a car at a Busch event later this season,” Saunders said. “All this depends of completing an agreement with a sponsor. Nothing is done yet, but things are progressing.” The going rate to sponsor a competitive team in the Busch Series is $4 million to $5 million a year. The top-tier teams in Winston Cup receive sponsorship dollars in the $12 million to $15 million range. Saunders said Hall of Fame Racing will have a working agreement with an existing NASCAR team but would not reveal which one. Winston Cup team owner Joe Gibbs, the former Washington Redskins head coach, has been a consultant to Staubach and Aikman to help them get started. Saunders said he also hopes the Busch sponsor would be willing to move up to Nextel Cup with the team in 2005.(Mercury News/Dallas Morning News), see past news on the team on my HOF Team News and Links page.(7-8-2003)
  • Braun Racing to double up at Chicago: Winston Cup rookie Casey Mears and Busch Series rookie Lance Norick will be teammates this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway as both drivers will be behind the wheel for Braun Racing. Norick will be piloting the #30 Express Personnel Services Dodge and Mears will be driving the #19 Fujifilm Dodge. Mears has driven in two NASCAR Busch Series races earlier this year for Braun Racing as part of a deal with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in order to get more seat time for the young driver. Mears is a Cup Series rookie of the year candidate and drives the #41 Target Dodge regularly on the Winston Cup circuit. Last year, he was a rookie in Busch Series, finishing the season 21st in points with one top-5 and two top-10 finishes. While Mears has experience with Braun and Chicago, Lance Norick is a rookie with both. Celebrating his independence under the lights at Daytona, Norick got his first start with Braun last week. After qualifying 19th, the team had a strong run going when a late race accident ended Norick’s chance at a Top-15 finish.(Braun Racing PR)(7-8-2003)
  • Parker to drive for Chance 2 at Kansas: Expect an official announcement on Tuesday naming Hank Parker Jr. to drive the Chance 2 Motorsports #8 Busch Series car at Kansas Speedway [in Sept]. Parker has three starts in the Busch Series this season, including one in the 8 car, co-owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. He finished seventh at Charlotte.(FoxSports)(7-8-2003)
  • Column about the #8 team and NASCAR: Jr’s Busch Crew Cheated, NASCAR Looked Away, I Saw It All by Rob Faiella at Inside the Pit Box.(7-7-2003)
  • New Childress Driver UPDATE: Mardy Lindley has an oral agreement with veteran NASCAR team owner Richard Childress to run Richard Childress Racing Busch cars in a few races this season, with a busier schedule to follow next year if the stars align themselves properly. Lindley is one of the top drivers in USAR and a championship threat again this year despite missing the season’s first race. (Greenville News via BGN Racing)(5-8-2003)
    UPDATE: Mardy Lindley plans to make his NASCAR Busch series debut in the Kroger 200 Aug. 2 at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The race will be the first of what could be several this season for Lindley in cars owned by veteran NASCAR team owner Richard Childress. Lindley will attempt to qualify a #29 Chevy, a third entry for RCR at the .686-mile track. The team plans to run two days of tests at IRP July 14-15 to give Lindley some seat time in the car. Lindley said the team could run several more races this year if sponsorship money is found.(Greenville News via BGNRacing.com)(7-5-2003)
  • Mears Busch Plans: Casey Mears will drive the #19 Braun Racing Dodge at the Chicago Busch race next week and plans to drive the car in most of the remaining Buschraces this season that are run in conjunction with Cup events. Mears drove the car twice in June and also has five ARCA races planned with his Chip Ganassi [#77] team.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-5-2003)
  • Chance 2 Plans: Dale Earnhardt Jr. was asked what his plans for the Chance 2 Motorsports team that he owns with his stepmother, Teresa Earnhardt, would be if he had his choice. “I would like to run Martin Truex Jr. in 20 Busch races next season, to give him a chance to really get wound up and show what he’s got,” Junior said. “It would have to be with a sponsor that I approved and wanted to work with, but that’s what I would like to do.”(NASCAR.com)(7-5-2003)
  • Dale Jr. wins at Daytona [Buschwackers take top 3 spots]: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. never gave another driver another chance in Friday night’s Winn-Dixie 250, leading all 100 laps en route to a dominating victory from the pole at Daytona International Speedway. Earnhardt Jr. completed a sweep, winning all three restrictor-plate races in the NASCAR Busch Series this season. He also won the season opener at Daytona and the April race at Talladega. Earnhardt Jr. held off #99-Michael Waltrip, his teammate at Dale Earnhardt Inc. in the Winston Cup series, by 0.161 seconds for the win. It’s also his third consecutive Busch win at Daytona. Earnhardt Jr. and Waltrip were among several drivers who elected to take only two tires on their lone pit stop on Lap 44. #1-Jamie McMurray finished third, #2-Ron Hornaday fourth and #21-Johnny Sauter fifth. #10-Scott Riggs took over the series points lead following his sixth-place finish. He leads #37-David Green by two points. The race was slowed three times by caution for 13 laps.(Thatsracin.com)
    See race results at ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.comMotorsportsOne or NASCAR.com.(7-5-2003)
  • #49 Gets an Assoc sponsors: Western Hardhat International, Inc (WHHI) and Jay Robinson Racing (JRR) have teamed up to create a unique partnership in an effort to increase sales of the “Western Outlaw” hard hat while providing sponsorship dollars for the #49 JRR Busch Series Team. NASCAR fans and loyal customers of the “Western Outlaw” will have the opportunity to help support JRR each time they purchase a hard hat. For every hard hat sold through a special order site set-up at www.westernhardhat.com, JRR will receive $7.50. The price of each hard hat is $29.95 and includes shipping. Incentives have been included to encourage fans to increase their level of support and can be viewed at the above mentioned website. The new site debuted at 12:00midnight/et on July 3, 2003. Western Hardhat is also pleased to be an Associate Sponsor of the #49 Advil Liqui-Gel machine piloted by Derrike Cope. JRR is owned and operated by North Carolina businessman Jay Robinson and is located in Monroe, NC. The team fields two cars in the NASCAR Busch Series, the #49 and the #39, with a variety of drivers. The team has been actively participating in the series since 2001 and is quickly becoming a favorite of fans across the country. More information about JRR is available by visiting www.jayrobinson.com. The “Western Outlaw” is a patented, cowboy shaped hard hat, which was named the “Safety Invention of the Year” in 1998. The Outlaw meets ANSI/OSHA requirements and is certified by the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI). The Outlaw is sold by retailers across the country, including Harbor Freight, Vallen Safety Supply, and United Rentals. For more information visit www.westernhardhat.com or call (661)587-2743.(DBS Management Group PR)(7-3-2003)
    AND La Femme North America announced that they will partner with Jay Robinson racing as an Associate Sponsor for the Winn Dixie 250 at Daytona. La Femme, the final frontier is a revolutionary patented disposable paper product that allows women of all ages the convenience of urinating in any unsanitary public toilet while standing and facing the bowl. Research shows that most women will either avoid using a public restroom or will wait until they are in a more suitable location. Current customers include the United States Army, The British Royal Army, camping supply stores, safety supply locations, sports venues, and night clubs. The product is the brainchild of retired military paratrooper and design engineer Collin Richardson of Surrey, England and can be viewed by visiting www.lafemmena.com or www.lafemme-online.biz.(DBS Management Group PR)(7-4-2003)
  • Earnhardt Jr. on the pole at Daytona: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the pole for the Winn-Dixie 250 at Daytona in the #8 DMP Chevy with a lap of 186.308mph. Starting outside pole is #38-Kasey Kahne, followed by #99-Michael Waltrip, #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. and #20-Mike Bliss. Missing the race were: #73-Jason Schuler, #39-Dan Pardus, #91-Jason Hedlesky, #70-Jimmy Kitchens and #79-Joe Aramendia.
    For lineups/qualifying results see: ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.com or NASCAR.com.(7-3-2003)
  • LaJoie released from #7 ride, Biffle in UPDATE 2: Two-time Busch series champion Randy LaJoie was released Monday from his ride with Evans Motorsports and the #7 Chevrolets, ThatsRacin.com has learned. LaJoie, 41, finished 11th in Sunday’s race at The Milwaukee Mile. He is 16th in points with four top-10 and two top-five finishes this season. He also won poles at Nashville and Nazareth this season. LaJoie could not immediately be reached for comment. Former Busch champion and current Winston Cup rookie Greg Biffle is a candidate to replace LaJoie for the remainder of the 2003 season, sources said. LaJoie has 15 wins in his career and won series championships in 1996 and 1997. He joined Evans Motorsports in 2001. His best season with the team was 2002, when he was 11th in points. Evans Motorsports, owned by Ed Evans, is partners with Nemco Motorsports, owned by Winston Cup driver Joe Nemechek.(ThatsRacin.comAND Evans Motorsports announced this morning that Randy LaJoie driver of the #7 Kleenex Chevy has been released from the team. Evans plans to try several different drivers in the #7 car over the next several weeks. Cup driver and the defending Busch Series champion Greg Biffle will drive at Daytona this week. Biffle will also drive other select races for the remainder of the year. Expect Winston Cup veteran and this year’s only three time Busch Series winner Joe Nemechek to drive a few races as well.(Evans Motorsports PR via BGNRacing.comJAYSKI NOTE: it seems doubtful Biffle would drive since the team fields GM cars, Biffle was to drive a Dodge truck at Lowe’s in May and Ford objected.(6-30-2003)
    UPDATE – LaJoie Fined? Evans Motorsports also said it was fining LaJoie $25,000 for comments it deemed detrimental to the team and Nemco Motorsports, which fields Nemechek in the Busch Series.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(7-1-2003)
    UPDATE 2: XM Radio is reporting that Ford has concerns that Biffle will be driving a GM car in the Busch Race at Daytona, this may end up being a one-race deal only.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio – Subscription Required) AND Ford Motor Co. has expressed concern with Roush Racing’s decision to allow its Winston Cup rookie, Greg Biffle, to compete in the NASCAR Busch series with a team which fields General Motors cars. On Monday, Evans Motorsports released driver Randy LaJoie from its #7 Chevys and issued a news release indicating that Biffle, last season’s Busch champion, would drive the for the team at Daytona and “other select races for the remainder of the year.” However, Ford and Roush officials disputed that claim Thursday. Roush spokeswoman Stephanie Smith said Biffle’s participation was approved only at Daytona and the team and Biffle would discuss any future races next week. “We are disappointed that Greg Biffle will be competing in a (Pontiac) in the Winn-Dixie 250 at Daytona International Speedway and we have had conversations with Roush Racing to air our concerns,” said Dan Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology. Roush currently fields Fords for Biffle, Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch and points leader Matt Kenseth in Winston Cup. In May, Ford nixed Biffle’s plans to compete in the inaugural NASCAR Truck series race at Charlotte in a Dodge owned by Ultra Motorsports. On Thursday, Ford officials again expressed displeasure with Biffle competing in a non-Ford product. “We understand Roush Racing’s desire to find an economical way to get Greg some valuable seat time, especially at an important track like Daytona,” Davis said. “We will resolve this. This will absolutely not have an adverse affect on our long-term racing partnership.” Smith agreed. “It’s about giving Biffle an opportunity to be in an environment where he can go win and get more track time in quality equipment,” Smith said. “Ford is a longtime fabulous partner and we don’t want to do anything to upset them. But we really want to make sure that we do everything we can within reason to help Greg get more track time and improve.”(ThatsRacin.com)(7-3-2003)
  • Bodine to miss next race? Todd Bodine’s Busch Series ride will again be in jeopardy after Friday’s event at Daytona. That’s when the #92 Herzog Jackson Motorsports team’s six-race sponsorship deal with Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve ends. A three-race sponsorship with careers Web site Monster, a brand of Monster Worldwide Inc., ended Sunday at the event in Milwaukee. Bodine said on the Tuesday edition of Speed Channel’s “Totally NASCAR” that his team will not compete at the next event in Chicago on July 12 if it doesn’t find another sponsor. He is third in the Busch points standings.(Elmira Star Gazette)(7-3-2003)
  • So..why did Blount and the #66 make the race at Milwaukee? The field at Milwaukee last week was set per owners points/the rules book [past winners, race attempts and qualifying draw]. No matter how #66 team owner Wayne Jessel figured it out, he was not able to get driver Chad Blount in the race as it was their first race of the season [no owners points of race attempts] and they hadn’t drawn a high enough position in qualifying [34th]. Jessel convinced the teams of #52-Brad Teague [10 attempts, 43rd owners points, 2nd in qualiying order], #70-Morgan Shepherd [4, 53rd, 21st], #97-Kenny Hendrick [3, 73rd, 11th] and #67-Brad Mueller [actually #66 was in better position then this team also attempting it’s first race and was 45 in qual order]…..to withdraw from the event and ensure his team a spot in the race [starting 43rd and finishing 40th]. No one would comment, but it reportedly took a low five-figure range to seal the deals.(Winston Cup Scene – need subscription to read)(7-3-2003)
  • Verizon in Busch? UPDATE Belmont safe in ARCA: hearing that Verizon is set to do a Busch Series deal in 2004, but not with ARCA driver Andy Belmont [his sponsor there].(6-26-2003)
    UPDATE let’s clarify this: Recently when Andy Belmont’s sponsor’s name [Verizon] started popping up in numerous rumors regarding their future within the sport of auto racing, he wasn’t happy. Talk had the sponsor leaving and moving to Busch, minus his team. “I saw all that and I got pretty upset about it. I went straight to the top at Verizon. The president of Verizon responded to me and said ‘somebody is jerking your chain, we are looking at no other opportunities and focus on your job.'” Belmont’s deal, run directly under Verizon’s parent company [as Verizon 1-800 USE-THE-VZ], has nothing to do with Verizon Wireless, so if the wireless logo finds its way into NASCAR, don’t be surprised.(ARCA Racing)(7-2-2003)
  • Wimmer’s Brother injured: Best wishes go out to Tim Wimmer, older brother of Scott Wimmer, who was seriously injured when he fell from a scaffolding last week in Wisconsin. Tim is scheduled to be in the hospital for up to two weeks repairing a severely broken arm, leg and recovering from various other injuries.(51 Sports)(7-2-2003)
  • Mosley says bye-bye to ARCA, hello Busch: Busch Series rookie Jamie Mosley is selling his ARCA RE/MAX series equipment as he will turn his focus to the NASCAR Busch Series. Mosely, a native of Kentucky has been driving for Jay Robinson Racing in a limited schedule this year and will return with the team in the #49 at Chicago. “I’m turning my focus to Busch, we have a lot of good things going right now, and I want to remained focused on that.”(Catchfence via BGNRacing.com)(7-2-2003)
  • #48 gets a sponsor for Daytona: Thermos Grill2Go Fire & Ice announced this week that it will be the primary sponsor for the #48 Busch Series racecar [thos week a Pontiac] driven by Shane Hmiel. The one-race sponsorship deal was coordinated by Player Management International and will take place at the Winn-Dixie 250 in Daytona Beach, FL on July 4, 2003. Team owner, George deBidart, is excited at the partnership with Thermos Grill2Go Fire & Ice. “We are very happy to be associated with such a high quality company. Shane’s personality and character is a perfect fit for Thermos Grill2Go Fire & Ice and their image and we are looking forward to making this sponsorship a productive one for all parties.” A two-in-one grill and 10-gallon cooler, the Grill2Go Fire & Ice is the first combination grill on the market, providing the ultimate in barbecuing convenience. The Grill2Go Fire & Ice features 310 square inches of cooking surface, a DuPont Teflon cooking system and wide-tread rubber wheels and tote-along handle for easy transportation. The removable grill allows for tabletop cooking. The Thermos Grill2Go Fire+Ice is manufactured by Char-Broil, the leading manufacturer of American-made gas barbecue grills, accessories, smokers and charcoal and electric grills. Based in Columbus, GA, the company is a division of W.C. Bradley & Co.(Innovative Motorsports PR), see an image of this very cool looking car on my Busch Series Paint Scheme Gallery.(7-1-2003)
  • Norick to drive the #30 at DIS: Lance Norick has signed on to drive the #30 Express Personnel Services Dodge at Daytona this week in the NASCAR Busch Series. “We’re glad to have Lance and Express onboard with us in Daytona,” said Todd Braun, owner of Braun Racing. “Lance has several years of experience in the [NASCAR Craftsman] Truck Series and at Daytona which will be an advantage.” Norick, 34, from Oklahoma City, OK, is in his first season of NASCAR Busch series competition. This will be his first attempt at Daytona in the Busch Series; however his career best finish in the Truck Series came at the track in 2001 where he finished fourth. “I’m excited to be driving for Braun this weekend,” stated Norick. “They had really good equipment earlier this year at Daytona and I believe the car will be strong again this race too.” Express Personnel Services began its NASCAR sponsorship in the Truck Series with Norick during the 2002 racing season. Having researched racing sponsorships for several years, Express chose to affiliate with Norick and his company L&R Motorsports based on common corporate values. This year the company decided to move up with Norick to the Busch Series. “Lance and Express have a strong partnership and we welcome Express as a sponsor this week because they are committed to their racing program as well as Lance,” stated Braun.(Braun Racing PR)(7-1-2003)
  • Grissom back..for a race: Steve Grissom will drive the #61 Dale Francis Engineering Pontiac at Daytona.(7-1-2003)
  • Upfront Important at DIS: Starting up front at Daytona has its advantages, as 21 of 22 NASCAR Series winners at the track started in positions 1 thru 14. However, one driver managed to do the improbable, coming from nearly dead-last to win; Chad Little started 42nd in the 1995 season-opener, and managed to win. That starting position and end result still stand as a Busch Series record.(NASCAR PR)(7-1-2003)
  • Brian Weber Racing Launches Website: Brian Weber, CEO of Brian Weber & Associates Racing announced today of the official launching of the team’s website www.brianweberracing.com. “I am very excited to have our website off the ground,” said Brian. “David Hahn has done a great job designing the site, and the team is excited to be apart of the world wide web.” BrianWeberRacing.com offers the latest news, press releases, sponsor, driver biography, race results, links, and even photos for the team. “The website is jammed pack with input of the team,” said the driver of the #84 in the NASCAR Busch Series. “Launching the website is another way of upgrading our program, as we intend to jump to the full NASCAR Busch Series schedule in 2004,” he said. “The website is also a great opportunity for everyone to become familiar with our new sponsor PlatinumOneCard.” Brian Weber Racing & Associates will run a limited schedule in the NASCAR Busch Series for the remainder of the 2003 season.(Brian Weber Racing PR)(7-1-2003)
  • Conz to run at Daytona UPDATE: Brian Conz will attempt to make the Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo at Daytona, announcing a 1-race deal to run the #96 Busch Series car. His associate sponsor will be: scenichandrail.com.(Brian Conz site)(6-26-2003)
    UPDATE: Just 3 days before Conz”s Busch ride in Daytona some disappointing news arrives. The motor deal for Conz’s car falls through and the owner of the #96 decides not to enter the car.(Brian Conz site)(7-1-2003)
  • #100 for Hornaday: Ron Hornaday will make his 100th NASCAR Busch Series start at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, July 4th. Hornaday began his Busch series career back in 1998, when he drove the #59 Chevy in four races. Since that time, Hornaday has spent a full season, a partial season, and a here-and-there season in the Busch Series. In fact 2003 is only Hornaday’s second full season in the series- a fact that goes largely unnoticed. Because of his many Truck Series wins and the two championships, Hornaday seems to have “raced forever.” To commemorate his 100th start, Hornaday’s ACDelco Monte Carlo will carry a special decal on the car, to signify the milestone. The team will also have a banner with the same 100th start logo in its garage stall and on pit road.(Falgren/RCR PR)(7-1-2003)
  • Special Scheme for Wimmer at Daytona: #23-Scott Wimmer will sport new paint schemes this weekend at Daytona featuring YJ Stinger, Stacker 2’s new lightly carbonated energy drink.. The drink comes in three flavors:. Pounding Punch, Sinful Citrus and Enraged Raspberry.. Wimmer’s paint scheme features the Sinful Citrus flavor, so his car will be green, while Wallace’s car is red to promote the Enraged Raspberry flavor.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(7-1-2003)
  • Montgomery MotorSports Set For Debut at Daytona: Chase Montgomery heads to Daytona this week, searching for his first win driving for his family owned machine. “We’re excited about launching Montgomery Motorsports this weekend at Daytona,” said Chase. “This is a great opportunity not only for me, but for my entire team and family as we try continuing to break into the NASCAR Busch Series.” Chase, a veteran driver in the ARCA Series will climb behind the wheel of his #80 Chevy as he bids to make his eighth Busch start of the 2003 season. While the team heads to the event sponsorless, it is heading in with confidence on their side. “It’s a shame that we don’t have a sponsor yet, but we’re still looking and something may still come up. Sponsor or not, we’ll be in Daytona in our silver and black car.” he said. Daytona International Speedway, one of the fastest tracks on the circuit has been kind to the 19 year old driver. Montgomery has impressive stats at the 2.5 mile facility. In his ARCA stats, he has claimed a pole back in 2002, driving his #27 machine and is currently the youngest ARCA driver to capture the position. A year later Montgomery scored the biggest win of his racing career as he charged to the front and captured his first win in the series earlier this year (2003) from Daytona International Speedway. It was a special win not only for the Chase and the entire team but also for media spokesperson Rock “N” Roll musician Alice Copper as they launched the Alice Cooper/Montgomery Motorsports team beginning in 2003. It was Coopers’ first ever stock car event. While Chase Montgomery drove for Brewco Motorsports at Daytona in February, he heads to the track working with Brewco in a completely different way. “Brewco Motorsports has been great to all of us, and we will be receiving the knowledge and any assistance possible from them as we prepare to get our Montgomery Motorsports Chevrolet into the field,” mentioned Chase. Along with assistance from Brewco, Chase will have two familiar voices calling the shots from the pits as ARCA crew chief Keith Batson and his former NASCAR crew chief Terry Shirley will be there to coach this “young gun” to the front.. “I am very excited about having both Keith and Terry part of this race team. They are two very intelligent people and with the great chemistry I have with them, I know I won’t have to worry,” said Montgomery.(Montgomery Motorsports PR)(7-1-2003)
  • Kyle Busch in ESPN the Magazine: Kyle Busch, driver of the #87 ditech.com Chevy for Hendrick Motorpsorts, is featured in the current issue of ESPN The Magazine (July 7), on newsstands now. Writer Hali Helfgott and Pulitzer Prize-nominated photographer Les Stone followed the 18-year-old driver to document his Busch Series debut at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May. The piece, entitled “TOTAL ACCESS: TEST DRIVE,” features nine full-color pictures, including Busch brushing his teeth and decaling his own race car.(HMS PR)(7-1-2003)
  • New Driver for #49 to be announced soon: Jay Robinson Racing, LLC hopes to announce a new driver for their Ford Taurus for the remainder of the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series season following the Busch race at Chicago.(Catchfence via BGNRacing.com)(7-1-2003)
  • Nemechek looking for a sponsor for in 2004: NEMCO Motorsports, owned by Winston Cup driver and Lakeland native Joe Nemechek, is pursuing a sponsor for a full-time Busch series entry for driver David Reutimann in 2004. Reutimann, 33, is running seven Busch races this season.(St Petersburg Times)(7-1-2003)
  • TV Ratings first half: Through the first half of the season, the NASCAR Busch Series was the second highest rated motorsports series on both network and cable television, behind only the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. NASCAR Busch Series ratings were up 4%over the 2002 first half, while the season-opening Koolerz 300 was the highest rated, most-watched NASCAR Busch Series race in broadcast history, earning a 4.0 rating while over 4 million viewerstuned in. Also, the key 18-34 male demographic increased 21% over last season at the halfway point (239,000 vs. 198,000), equivalent to approximately 40,000 additional male 18-34 viewers per race. (Figures compiled by Nielsen Media Research).(NASCAR PR)(7-1-2003)