July 2004 Busch Series Archive
- Biffle wins at Pikes Peak: #60-Greg Biffle won the Goulds Pumps ITT Industries 250 at Pikes Peak International Raceway. #59-Stacy Compton was second, followed by #00-Jason Leffler, #21-Clint Bowyer and #8-Martin Truex Jr. The 250-lap race was run without serious incident. Five caution flags fell in all. The third yellow of the day came out as troubles continued for Johnny Sauter and his Brewco Motorsports team. While running second on lap 140, Sauter’s #27 went up in smoke with yet another engine failure. The failure was the sixth of the year for the team in the last seven races. The win moves Biffle into 5th in the Drivers Points Standings.(see race story at BGNRacing.com)
Race results at:
- Keller gets a sponsor for Pikes Peak: ppc Racing officials announced Airplus Insoles will be the primary sponsor with driver Jason Keller for this weekend’s NASCAR Busch Series event at Pikes Peak International Raceway (PPIR). Keller, driver of the No. 22 Airplus Insoles Ford Taurus has three top-five finishes in the last three years at PPIR and has carried the Airplus Insoles colors as an associate sponsor thus far in 2004.(ppc Racing PR)(7-30-2004)
- Mark Green gets a sponsor for Pikes Peak: Guardian Angel Personal Alcohol Test Strips will sponsor the #28 Ford of driver Mark Green and owner Jay Robinson in Saturday’s Gould Pumps 200 NASCAR Busch Series race at Pikes Peak International Raceway. Guardian Angel is based Colorado Springs, Col., just a few miles north of the speedway. Guardian Angel Personal Alcohol Test Strips offer the public a convenient and reliable way to monitor their alcohol level. The test is used by individuals, parents, law enforcement agencies, safe houses, drug and alcohol awareness programs and schools, among other entities. Beihl acquired Guardian Angel as a natural progression from her home drug kit testing company. Further information of both products is found at www.guardianangel.com and www.homedrugtestingkit.com.(Williams Company PR)(7-30-2004)
- McMurray in Rusty’s #66 in 2005? If things go well during the next few races, [Rusty] Wallace and [Jamie] McMurray will talk about a contract for McMurray to run most of the 2005 Busch season. Wallace’s team will run the entire schedule next year and a driver to be determined would run the events conflicting with McMurray’s Nextel Cup schedule. (NASCAR Scene)(07-29-04) Part-time Busch competitor.(NASCAR Scene vai BGNRacing.com)(7-30-2004)
- Truex Jr. breaks track record, winning pole at Pikes Peak: #8-Martin Truex Jr. capitalized on cool weather and a 70-minute rain delay to break the track record in NASCAR Busch series qualifying Friday at Pikes Peak International Raceway for the Goulds Pumps/ITT Industries 250. His speed of 137.478 mph on the 1-mile oval broke the record of 135.629, set by Jeff Purvis in 2000. It was Truex’s sixth pole of the year and the fifth time he’s broken a track standard. In all, 13 drivers surpassed the old record. #5-Kyle Busch, whose lap was run much earlier than that of Truex, had the second-fastest speed at 137.384. #32-David Stremme was third-quickest, turning a fast lap in a Ddoge at 137.221, followed by #27-Johnny Sauter and #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)
- NEWS & NOTES – PIKES PEAK:
New Hampshire race a record-setting hit on TNT … Saturday’s Siemens 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway drew 1.5 million households, an increase of 42% from last year’s event, making the NASCAR Busch Series race the most-watched in the history of NHIS.
Lewis teams with artist for Pikes Peak event … Ashton Lewis (No. 46 RickBroome.com Chevrolet) will sport a one-race deal at Pikes Peak through a friendship with artist Rick Broome. Best known for his aviation art, Broome said his involvement with Lewis Motorsports at Pikes Peak will pay tribute to the Air Force Academy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and all military forces fighting the global war on terrorism. The car will feature a reproduction of Broome’s “To Match My Mountains” painting for the Air Force Academy Class of 2005. It features five Thunderbird F-16 jets flying over the cadet chapel. In addition, the car will sport a paint scheme designed by Ryan Rudolph featuring lightning bolts that evolve into flames and stars.
Shelby Howard, Team Rensi pair for five races … Shelby Howard and Team Rensi Motorsports have agreed to a five-race deal that begins with the Aug. 7 event at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Howard is the youngest winner in the history of the ARCA division, capturing a victory at 17 years, 9 months and 2 days. Now 19, Howard will drive the #35 Team Rensi Ford at IRP, Michigan, Richmond, Dover and Memphis. He has one previous NASCAR Busch Series start, which came in 2003 at Kansas where he qualified 34th and finished 20th. “The rage seems to be the young guy with the desire,” Team Rensi Motorsports President and co-owner Sam Rensi said. “The reality is that there are a lot of these younger guys in respected series that can really get it done in proper situations and equipment. Look at Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch. Our belief is that Shelby has what it takes and is a good fit with our organization. We’re looking forward to the races he will run.”
Chevrolet leads in manufacturers’ standings … Chevrolet has built a fairly comfortable lead in the Bill France Performance Cup standings for manufacturers in the NASCAR Busch Series. Chevrolet has 12 wins and 152 points versus 122 points and six wins for Ford following the recent victory by Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Bayer/CVS Ford) at New Hampshire. Dodge is in third with 93 points and two wins. The standings are determined by a scoring system in which the highest-finishing manufacturer receives nine points, the second-highest six and third-highest four.
Leffler’s team claims New Hampshire McDonald’s POWERade title … The Haas CNC Racing crew of Jason Leffler (No. 00 Haas Motorsports Chevrolet) won the McDonald’s POWERade Drive-Thru Pit Crew of the Race Award for the July 24 event at New Hampshire International Speedway. Leffler’s team leads the BREWCO Motorsports crew of David Green (No. 37 Timber Wolf Pontiac) by 51 points in the season standings.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Jason Keller leads all drivers entered in this weekend’s event with three top-five finishes at Pikes Peak. All have come in his last three appearances and his results have improved each year – fourth in 2001, third in 2002 and second in 2003. Keller’s four races led and four top-five starts are also tops in those categories. … Keller, Bobby Hamilton Jr. and Kenny Wallace (No. 23 Stacker 2/YJ Stinger Chevrolet) have all won the Busch Pole at Pikes Peak. … The four top-10 finishes posted by Ron Hornaday (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet) at Pikes Peak are the most at that track. … Tim Fedewa (No. 12 Supercuts Chevrolet) has three top-10 finishes at Pikes Peak, tied for second most. … Of the six races at Pikes Peak Chevrolet has five wins and Dodge has the other.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
With none of Pikes Peak’s six previous NASCAR Busch Series winners – Matt Kenseth, Andy Santerre, Jeff Green, Jeff Purvis, Hank Parker Jr. and Scott Wimmer – entered in this weekend’s event, a seventh different winner in as many races is guaranteed.
What: Goulds Pumps/ITT Industries Salute to the Troops 250 presented by Dodge (Race No. 21 of 34 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Pikes Peak International Raceway, Fountain, Colo.
When: 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, July 31.
Track layout: 1-mile paved oval.
Race length: 250 miles/250 laps.
Posted awards: $1,303,767.
TV: TNT, 3:30 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: Scott Wimmer.
2003 polesitter: Bobby Hamilton Jr.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday — Practice, 12:45-2:45 p.m.; qualifying, 4:05 p.m.; final practice following NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series final practice.(NASCAR PR)(7-28-2004)
- Judd replaces Houston in NASCAR Busch Series: Tracey Judd has been named Manager of Communications for the NASCAR Busch Series. Judd assumes her new duties immediately. She replaces Rick Houston, who resigned the position. Judd joined NASCAR in June of 2002 as Manager of Communications for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series. Previously, she spent three years as the Director of Media Relations for Major League Soccer’s Tampa Bay Mutiny. Judd’s experience in sports publicity extends to 1984 and includes a 15-year stint in collegiate sports information. She served as assistant sports information director at the University of Texas-El Paso, Director of Public Relations for the Sun Belt Conference and associate sports information director for the University of South Florida, respectively. Judd also served as a U.S. Olympic Press Officer for the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and as a Press Officer for the 1999 NCAA Men’s Final Four basketball tournament. A native of Centerville, Ohio, Judd is a graduate of Ohio University.(NASCAR PR) – Houston formerly worked for NASCAR Scene Magaezine and wrote a book about the Busch Series: Second To None: The History of the NASCAR Busch Series.(7-28-2004)
- Robby Gordon looking to expand team: Nextel Cup competitor and Busch Series team owner/driver Robby Gordon has bought 15 acres in a business park just outside Charlotte to expand his Busch Series team, the Charlotte Business Journal reports. Plans call for a 27,000-square-foot addition to his existing 21,000-square-foot shop on 9 acres in the park, with the work expected to be completed by Jan. 1. The story in today’s issue says Gordon is paying $1.7 million for the new land and says he has signed a 50-year lease on an adjoining 5 acres as well. (NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter via BGNRacing.com)(7-27-2004)
- 2005 Truex Sponsor close: Dale Earnhardt Inc. is close to signing a new sponsor for Martin Truex Jr. for 2005. The current proposal would have Truex Jr. running seven Nextel Cup races and the full Busch Series schedule. Subbing for Dale Earnhardt Jr. at New Hampshire, Truex finished 31st. Truex Jr. has gained recognition throughout his first full season in Busch by leading the points and winning four races and five pole positions.(Foxsports/Sporting News)(7-26-2004)
- Crew Chief for the Ganassi Busch team? UPDATE 2: hearing Brian Pattie, Joe Nemechek’s Busch crew chief, will be the crew chief for Chip Ganassi Racing’s Busch team.(7-22-2004)
UPDATE: supposedly Pattie’d first race with the team is at IRP.(7-26-2004)
UPDATE 2: Brian Pattie, who for the most part has been a partner in NEMCO Motorsports with Joe Nemechek for the last 10 years, has left NEMCO to take a position heading Chip Ganassi’s budding Busch Series operation. Pattie will oversee an eight-race program this season using Discount Tire Dodges for Casey Mears, Jamie McMurray and Reed Sorensen. Ganassi will field a full-time program in the Busch Series next season, Ganassi team manager Andy Graves said Sunday at NHIS.(NASCAR.com)(7-26-2004)
- More on the Mexico Race: NASCAR should have an announcement in the next few weeks regarding a Busch race in Mexico City, which has been the main sticking point of the 2005 Busch schedule. NASCAR also will introduce a 10-year deal to run a touring series at the complex. With plans to race in Canada also in the works, NASCAR could expand its operations to three countries in North America.(Foxsports/Sporting News)(7-26-2004)
- More Mexico News: Former Busck/Truck driver, Carlos Contreras, once again dominated his competition in Mexico with his 3rd win in a row. His win in Sunday’s Mustang Series race in Guadalajara follows 2 consecutive wins in the NASCAR affiliated SELCA series. Contreras made his return to the Mustang Series (where he was a 2 time champion) with the support of sponsors including Herdez. Contreras will look to extend his winning streak to 4 straight victories when he competes in the next SELCA event at the road course in Monterrey on August 1st, 2004.(Vazquez Marketing Group PR)(7-26-2004)
- Hamilton Jr./Holly to PPI in 2005 – OFFICIAL: see the past rumors, news and announcemet on my my #32 Cup Team News and Links page
- Kenseth wins at NH: #17-Matt Kenseth became the 18th different winner in 18 NASCAR Busch Series races after winning the Siemens 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway, however, much of the postrace excitement centered around what happened behind him on a restart on Lap 183. #22-Jason Keller lined up fourth and #5-Kyle Busch was fifth when the green flew, but Busch got an early jump on the start and ran into the back of Keller’s Ford. Keller bounced off the outside wall and came back across the track, clipping Busch. The incident left Busch 25th, Keller 26th and nobody particularly happy. Busch was black-flagged and penalized a lap for aggressive driving by NASCAR. “I got into the back of Jason,” Busch said. “I thought he was going and obviously I was wrong.” Drivers and teams exchanged words on pit road and did so again in the garage when Busch headed over to speak with Keller to try to smooth things over. “I think they were kind of immature about it,” Busch said. “I am a championship contender and I wouldn’t do anything to mess up my own chances. I got into the back of him. OK, I wrecked him, sorry. I am sure there is going to be one for me later on this year, but that’s not the way I race.” The incident did have ramifications in what has become a two-team race for the Busch Series title. Despite hitting the wall and being penalized for having his fuel can stuck in his car on a pit stop, Martin Truex Jr. salvaged an 11th-place finish and picked up 42 points on Busch in the standings. Truex now leads by 94 points. Ron Hornaday Jr., who finished sixth Saturday, is 338 points back in third. Kenseth made his last pit stop on Lap 108 and went the rest of the way on that fuel load to score his 16th career Busch victory and his second this season. #12-Tim Fedewa, winless in the series since a victory here in May 2000, challenged Kenseth on the late restarts but could not wrestle away the lead after Kenseth got it on Lap 151. He held on for second, with #00-Jason Leffler, #38-Kasey Kahne and #21-Kevin Harvick rounding out the top five.(ThatsRacin.com)
Race results at:
- McMurray wins pole at Loudon in Rusty’s car: Jamie McMurray, in his first race in the #66 Durflame Dodge owned by Nextel Cup star Rusty Wallace, won the pole for the Siemens 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway. McMurray, named to replace Parker since the last race [Chicago], has five career victories in the Busch Series but had never won a pole in the series until Friday’s lap at 130.006 mph bumped #2-Ron Hornaday’s lap at 129.428 mph from the top spot. #00-Jason Leffler and #20-Mike Bliss will start behind McMurray and Hornaday, with #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. starting 5th. Busch Series points leader Martin Truex Jr. will start 13th. #44-Justin Labonte, who won last week at Chicago crashed in qualifying and just made the field, starting 42nd. #60-Greg Biffle also crashed on his qualifying run. He will start last in his Ford after taking a former champion’s provisional [since he is in the top 35 of Cup Points, he can’t use a regular provisional].(ThatsRacin.com)
See race results/qualifying results:
- Long John Silver’s to sponsor Truex at IRP; Bashas’ at Phoenix: Long John Silver’s has partnered with one of the most famous drivers in auto racing, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and will sponsor the NASCAR Busch Series car owned by Earnhardt and driven by his protégé Martin Truex, Jr. Truex will drive the #8 Long John Silver’s Chevy Monte Carlo at the Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Aug. 7, and at the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 6. Truex is the current Busch Series points leader. “When Long John Silver’s decided to go NASCAR racing, we figured there was no better place to start than the top. Our customers are NASCAR fans and there is no bigger star in their favorite sport than Dale Earnhardt, Jr.,” said Mike Baker, Long John Silver’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Dale and Martin are the perfect drivers to represent Long John Silver’s, and introduce NASCAR fans to our ‘Dale Jr. Crunchy Shrimp Cruiser.'”
The “Dale Jr. Crunchy Shrimp Cruiser” is a cup filled with Long John Silver’s popular Crunchy Shrimp. The cup is designed for portability – perfect for today’s on-the-go NASCAR fan. The “Shrimp Cruiser” includes the signature and likeness of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., as well as a peel-off game piece. The “Shrimp Cruiser” will sell for $2.99 at participating restaurants. (Price may vary by location.)
The eight grand prize winners in the giveaway will receive expenses-paid trips to Phoenix for the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 Busch Series race on Saturday, Nov. 6, and the NEXTEL Cup race on Sunday, Nov. 7. Included during this race fan’s fantasy weekend will be an opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes tour of the garage and pit area, and to meet both Earnhardt and Truex. As an added bonus, if Truex wins the Phoenix Busch Series race in the Long John Silver’s car, one of the eight grand prize winners will win a brand new, customized Chevy Monte Carlo street car, purchased from Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet in Newton, N.C. The “Dale Jr. Crunchy Shrimp Cruiser” is Long John Silver’s featured menu item from July 26 through Sept. 20. The promotion is supported by a television commercial starring Earnhardt and Truex, which will debut July 26.(Long John Silver’s Restaurants PR/Site)(7-22-2004)
- Irving Oil, Mark Green Team With Jay Robinson: Irving Oil will sponsor Mark Green’s #28 Ford in this weekend’s Siemens 200 NASCAR Busch Series race at the one-mile New Hampshire International Speedway. Green’s #28 Irving Oil Ford is fielded by Jay Robinson Racing, one of NASCAR’s mainstay owners, which also fields the #39 Yahoo! Ford of driver Tina Gordon and the #49 Advil Ford of driver Derrike Cope.(Williams Company)(7-22-2004)
- Cogswell back to the #12..for Loudon UPDATE: hearing former FitzBradshaw #12 crew chief, Gary Cogswell. who recently parted ways with RCR, will handle crew chief duties for the #12 and driver Tim Fedawa at New Hampshire International Speedway. Hearing the regular crew chief, Scott Riefner, parted ways with the team.(7-21-2004)
UPDATE: Scott Riefner, crew chief for Busch series driver Tim Fedewa and the #12 Chevrolets, has decided to move on to pursue other career opportunities, leaving FitzBradshaw Racing. Both FitzBradshaw Racing and Riefner maintain that the spilt is amicable.(Thatsracin.com)(7-22-2004)
- Parker out of the #66, McMurray and Rusty In UPDATE 6 Parker still with team, not racing: hearing Billy ‘Catfish’ Parker and Rusty Wallace Inc [RWI] have parted ways. One possibility I hear is Jamie McMurray driving some races in the car.
MORE another driver rumored is Burt Myers; also the RWI site, www.rwiracing.com has removed Billy Parker’s info.
UPDATE: Billy “Catfish” Parker has been released from Rusty Wallace Inc.’s #66 Dodges in the NASCAR Busch Series effective immediately. Nextel Cup driver Jamie McMurray will drive the #66 in the series’ next race, July 24 at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, N.H., sources said. A RWI spokesman said a news release regarding its driver situation would be issued late Thursday afternoon or Friday. Parker, 27, drove in Late Models across North Carolina and Virginia in 2002 and 2003 before being tapped by Cup driver Rusty Wallace as the driver of his new Busch team. A native of Denver, N.C., Parker is the son of legendary pro fisherman Hank Parker and the brother of Craftsman Truck Series driver Hank Parker Jr.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-15-2004)
UPDATE 2 – Rusty’s Statement: “Taking into consideration the flood of phone calls and emails we have received concerning our driver program, I felt that it was appropriate to comment on the issue. RWI Racing is currently in the process of re-evaluating its driver lineup. I cannot stress enough that no permanent decision has been made in terms of our driver. An announcement concerning our driver lineup for New Hampshire will be circulated by the middle of next week, if not earlier. The team will have no further comment on the issue at this time.”(RWI PR)(7-16-2004)
UPDATE 3: BGNRacing.com reports that McMurray tested with the team at Greenville Speedway on Thursday and is the likely driver for New Hampshire.(BGNRacing.com)(7-17-2004)
UPDATE 4: Jamie McMurray will be pulling double duty this weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway as he will pilot the #66 Dodge in the NASCAR Busch Series race on Saturday before climbing behind the wheel of the #42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge for Sunday’s New England 300.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR), Parker will remain with the team as a test driver and doing R&D work,(7-20-2004)
UPDATE 5: RWI general manager Barry Dodson said he was disgruntled by published reports that the team had released Parker, 27. “He’s still employed here, he’s just not driving the car,” Dodson said. “He still might be used for some testing and some developmental stuff — he’s just not going to drive the car right now. We just need to have some production, mainly for the sponsor, but also for what Rusty and Pattie have put together, and for the race team, because we’ve got a helluva race team here.” The move mirrors what Nextel Cup owner Richard Childress did with his team, replacing Johnny Sauter with veteran Dave Blaney, while keeping Sauter under contract. “Exactly,” Dodson said. “Just making all of the races and finishing them was our goal. We did not put any pressure on (Parker) — we just wanted to qualify for all the races.”(more at NASCAR.com), still no Parker listed on their website.(7-21-2004)
UPDATE 6: Effective immediately, Rusty Wallace and Jamie McMurray will assume primary driving duties for Duraflame RWI Racing in the NASCAR Busch Series. Wallace, a former NASCAR Premier Series Champion and McMurray, a former NASCAR Premier Series Rookie of the Year, will replace 27-year old rookie driver, Billy Parker, at the helm of the #66 Dodge for the remainder of the team’s 2004 NASCAR Busch Series schedule. McMurray will be tapped for the team’s next start at New Hampshire International Raceway.
Said team owner and now driver, Wallace, “This was a really tough decision to make. The team’s performance just isn’t where we think it should be, so we have to start taking a look at what’s going on. In order to do that, we had to get more of a veteran in the car so that we can evaluate our equipment. Jamie McMurray has a great track record in the Busch Series and I think that his input is going to really help this team. He’s an incredibly talented and aggressive driver. Obviously, I’ve been doing this for a long time as well, so hopefully between the both of us, we’ll be able to give the guys some good feedback.”
Billy Parker will remain a vital part of Duraflame RWI Racing, performing testing and development duties for the team.
“Billy Parker is a great person and a great friend of my family. I still believe in him and his ability to drive a race car. He’s one of the most naturally talented people I’ve met in terms of handling fans, sponsors and media. Unfortunately, the team’s communication and performance just wasn’t there, so a change had to be made. With a rookie team, rookie crew chief and rookie driver, there just ended up being too many unknowns. Billy is still going to be a key player on this team. Everyone here at RWI Racing loves him and wants him to succeed. We just have to take things one step at a time. Maybe they’ll be an opportunity for him to run some more races for us in the future if the situation works out right,” Wallace noted.
Wallace’s 2004 Busch Series starts will mark his first starts in the series since Milwaukee in 1993. The 1989 Premier Series Champion and 55-time race winner has eight top-five and fourteen top-ten finishes in 33 career Busch Series starts. His 2004 Busch Series stint will mark his reunification with the legendary number 66, the number he drove to the majority of his over 200 short track victories. McMurray will participate in the New Hampshire, Bristol, California, Kansas, Richmond, Atlanta and Miami NASCAR Busch Series races on behalf of Duraflame RWI Racing and will drive in the Phoenix and Michigan Busch Series races for Discount Tire pursuant to a prior commitment with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. In accommodation of this commitment, Wallace, eighth on NASCAR’s all-time wins list, will take command of the Duraflame Dodge for the Phoenix and Michigan rounds of the series.(RWI PR). NOTE: actually Wallace last ran in the Busch Series at California Speedway in Oct. 1997.(7-22-2004)
- Busch Series to Canada in 2006? BGNRacing.com is hearing that a Busch Series race in Canada for 2006, preferably in Toronto, is under consideration. The Molson Indy, an 11-turn, 1.755-mile temporary road course in the streets of Toronto, is viewed as the front runner for hosting the first NASCAR event in nearly 50 years (anyone remember the sole race held north of the border, won by Lee Petty in 1958?). NASCAR officials recently visited Toronto, touching off rumors they were interested in purchasing CASCAR, Canada’s premiere stock car series. Last month NASCAR announced the creation of NASCAR Canada, a joint effort with Canadian sports network TSN. Stay tuned to BGNRacing.com for further developments.(BGNRacing.com)(7-21-2004)
- Friendly’s to Sponsor Score Motorsports and Hermie Sadler at Loudon: Friendly’s Restaurants and Ice Cream Shoppes, headquartered in Wilbraham, MA, will partner with Score Motorsports and Hermie Sadler for the New England 200 this weekend in Loudon, New Hampshire. Friendly’s has 540 restaurants on the eastern seaboard, and are excited about the association with Hermie Sadler. “We are very excited to be partnering with Score Motorsports right here in Friendly’s backyard,” stated Pete Bell, Senior Director Brand Marketing for Friendly’s. “Becoming a sponsor and getting involved with NASCAR is a great fit for Friendly’s. We believe Friendly’s and Score Motorsports forms a strong partnership and we look forward to a fun and successful weekend in Loudon.” Score Motorsports is co-owned by Hermie Sadler and retired NBA Star Bryant Stith. According to Sadler, “Partnering with a brand like Friendly’s is a tremendous honor for our team. As we continue to search for sponsorship for the remainder of 2004 and 2005, this will be a great opportunity for us to show what we can do for a sponsor. We look forward to representing Friendly’s and their associates at Loudon.” For more information on Friendly’s, visit www.Friendlys.com. For more information on Score Motorsports and Hermie Sadler, visit www.sadlerfanclub.com.(7-21-2004)
- Howard to run 2nd Rensi car? UPDATE: BGNRacing.com has been told by various sources that Shelby Howard will be in the #35 Team Rensi Ford later this year. A team spokesperson neither confirmed nor denied the report. Howard, who turns 19 next week, started the season as the driver of the #23 Bill Davis Racing Toyota in the Craftsman Truck Series [and has since been released]. He has one career Busch Series start, a 20th place finish last year at Kansas.(BGNRacing.com)
UPDATE: Team Rensi Motorsports has announced plans to enter 18-year-old Shelby Howard in the team’s No. 35 Ford in the Aug. 7 Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park and four other Busch Series events. Howard, who will be looking to make his second series start, will also drive for Team Rensi at Michigan, Richmond, Dover and Memphis. The team says sponsorship will be announced later.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(7-21-2004)
- Mears in the #1 at NHIS: Aside from driving the #41 Target Dodge in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race on Sunday, Mears will be making his second appearance in the NASCAR Busch Series this season. He will pilot the #1 Dodge for the Siemens 200 on Saturday.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(7-20-2004)
- Hungry Drivers get an extra race: Tommy Baldwin Racing announced today that Paul Wolfe will drive the team’s #6 Dodge in Saturday’s Siemens 200 Busch Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway. Unilever Foods Division’s Hellmann’s mayonnaise brand will sponsor the car in an extra race added to the team’s “Hungry Drivers Racing” program.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(7-20-2004)
- New Busch Series Director Named: NASCAR officials today named Joe Balash as director of the NASCAR Busch Series. Balash will assume his new duties immediately. He replaces Brian DeHart, who resigned the position. Balash joined NASCAR several months ago as the technical director for NASCAR’s touring divisions. He came to NASCAR from the American Speed Association where he most recently served as that sanctioning body’s senior vice president of race operations. “We are pleased to have Joe on the team,” said NASCAR President Mike Helton. “He brings a lot of experience to our competition department and everyone is looking forward to working with him.” Balash, a 41-year-old native of Hobart, Ind., has been involved in motorsports for nearly two decades in a variety of positions.(NASCAR PR)(7-20-2004)
- Martin Moved to Crew Chief of RCR Special Teams Program: Gil Martin has been named crew chief for Richard Childress Racing’s (RCR) special teams program. Martin’s new responsibilities will include the crew chief roles for the #33 Bass Pro Shops team (with driver Kerry Earnhardt) in the Cup Series and the #29 ESGR team (with an all star cast of drivers) in the NASCAR Busch Series. He has been the team manager for RCR’s #29 GM Goodwrench team since midway through the 2002 season. He served as the team’s crew chief for the first 23 races before handing the reins over to current crew chief Todd Berrier. The three races remaining on the 2004 Bass Pro Shops calendar are Aug. 22 at Michigan International Speedway, Oct. 3 at Talladega Superspeedway and Oct. 31 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The ESGR team is scheduled to race twice more this season — Sept. 25 at Dover International Speedway (with Earnhardt/Air National Guard & Air Force Reserves) and Nov. 21 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (with Harvick/Coast Guard Reserve). Martin has earned two victories as a crew chief in the Cup Series and 11 in the Busch Series. Martin replaced Gary Cogswell, who was released July 13.(RCR PR)(7-20-2004)
- Contreras wins again in Mexico: Chalk up yet another win for Carlos Contreras in the SELCA series, the premier Mexican stock car series. It’s the second in a row for Contreras, NASCAR’s first Hispanic driver (1999). This time Contreras took the checkered flag at Queretaro Mexico’s Road Course, the third event of the SELCA season. Although the favorite to win the SELCA Championship this year, he is expected to return to NASCAR later this season. Contreras intends to run a limited schedule as he prepares for what will be his first full season Busch Series campaign (2005). An announcement from the 8-time Mexican champion is expected soon.(Vazquez Marketing Group PR)(7-20-2004)
- Smith and Hamilton Sr. in the #1: Regan Smith will drive the No. 1 Phoenix Racing Dodge for car owner James Finch at Pikes Peak, while Bobby Hamilton is scheduled to drive it at IRP the night after the truck race.(NASCAR Scene via BGNRacing.com)(7-17-2004)
- Petree Plans: Andy Petree has one more race left as a team owner. There might be a second. There might not. Petree will field a truck in the Craftsman Truck Series race at Indianapolis Raceway Park Aug. 6 and then he doesn’t know what he will do. Petree said closing his shop could happen. “It’s definitely one of the options,” he said. “It’s not something I’ve decided yet what to do”.(NASCAR Scene via BGNRacing.com)(7-17-2004)
- Hamilton Jr. wants to run Nextel Cup in 2005: Busch Series regular Bobby Hamilton, Jr. said he wants to run in the Nextel Cup Series next season, but only if the right opportunity comes along. Right now, he’s negotiating a new deal with Team Rensi but admits he’s heard things about his career as well. “I’ve head a couple of rumors myself,” he said. “I’m not going to lie. There have been phone calls, but that’s about all that they’ve extended to me so far. We’re still negotiating with [Rensi], and as far as I know, I’m here with [Rensi]. As far as hearing a lot of stuff that I’ve heard, none of it is true.”(NASCAR Scene via BGNRacing.com)(7-17-2004)
- Lepage & MacDonald Motorsports Take on the Magic Mile for Racing Against Cancer: MacDonald Motorsports announced that they will be joining forces with the Foxwoods Resort Casino to campaign in the NASCAR Busch Series at New Hampshire International Speedway on behalf of the Racing Against Cancer Team. Driver Kevin Lepage of Shelburne, VT will come back to his roots in an effort to earn a hefty donation for the Racing Against Cancer Program. For the second straight year, Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT entered into a one-race deal at New Hampshire with Randy MacDonald as a fundraising effort to support the Racing Against Cancer Program. Foxwoods will make a donation directly to the American Cancer Society in the name of MacDonald Motorsports and the Racing Against Cancer Program in the equivalent of Lepage’s earnings in the New England 200 on Saturday, July 24. The two had a similar arrangement last year when MacDonald himself raced in the New Hampshire 200 for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Despite engine failure early, MacDonald still earned $7,500 for Racing Against Cancer. Due to rules changes in the Truck Series, MacDonald shifted gears and moved on to the Busch Series for the 2004 season. Having chased and lived his dream of a driving career for over 17 years, MacDonald also decided to concentrate solely on the managerial side of his racing operation. “The best way for me to stay in the sport while giving my family the consideration they deserve,” said MacDonald, “was to be a car owner.” With the seat of his Chevrolet vacant, he went in search of a driver that would help reduce the learning curve of a new car and a new series. “Kevin has been an asset to the team,” said team owner Randy MacDonald. “He is making us step it up. He is a confident and competent driver and that allows us to concentrate on building our knowledge of the car.” The race at NHIS will be the fifth in the new affiliation between MacDonald Motorsports and Lepage. The other Busch Series races included Dover, Charlotte, Daytona and Chicago. A deal has been reached for Michigan as well. “We are so proud to renew our association with MacDonald Motorsports,” said R.A.C. Director of Operations, Scott Gregory. “And we could not be more happy that Kevin Lepage is part of the project this year as well.” Involvement with the NASCAR Busch Series provides a number of significant benefits to the Racing Against Cancer Team including a lucrative prospect for the fight against cancer and national television coverage. This project will have major significance as the Racing Against Cancer strives to set yet another record fundraising year. Unlike the success of the Program, which measures nicely in dollar signs. The Racing Against Cancer Program was established in 1996 with the sole purpose of raising money for the fight against cancer. To that end the program has been a huge success. Since its inception R.A.C. has raised over $331,000 for the American Cancer Society, other cancer related charities, and programs. Raising money for the fight against cancer is only part of the motivation for Randy MacDonald. His father, Marrill “Doc” MacDonald has been battling cancer for years. The “Join the Team” Program, a project of the Racing Against Cancer Team, is open to everyone. Proceeds support the Youth Tobacco Awareness Program that is designed to keep kids from smoking. Details are available on the web at www.racingagainstcancer.com.(PR)(7-17-2004)
- So where is former #10 crew chief James Ince? The addition of veteran crew chief James Ince to Ashton Lewis’ Busch Series team seems to be paying off. Lewis was in contention for the victory in the Tropicana Twister 300 at Chicagoland Speedway and finished a season-best fifth. “We felt like we had a car that could have won the race, but it did not work out in our favor at the end,” Lewis said. “It is evident that we have made tremendous improvements in our program since the beginning of the year. I feel that we can contend at any track.”(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(7-16-2004)
- NHIS News and Notes:
There’s nothing quite as special for a driver as that first win, but when it comes in dramatic fashion like it did for Justin Labonte (No. 44 U.S. Coast Guard Dodge), that just adds icing to the cake. Labonte had closed to the rear bumper of Mike Wallace (No. 4 GEICO/SportClips Ford) as they headed to the white flag at Chicagoland Speedway, but a pass for the win was far from certain. Suddenly, Wallace slowed as he flashed under the starter’s stand on the frontstretch, having run out of fuel. Labonte charged past and scored that precious first victory. Afterward, the son of two-time NASCAR champion Terry Labonte and nephew of 1999 NASCAR champ Bobby Labonte didn’t do a smoky burnout. He simply took the checkered flag dropped to him by chief starter Kevin Moss and slowly toured the track before heading to Victory Lane. “The whole family’s so excited, because everybody is involved in my racing team here and at the shop,” the younger Labonte says. “My dad, my mom [Kim] and grandpa [Bob] have all had so much input on everything, it’s kind of a special win. It’s pretty cool. I couldn’t ask for a better way to win our first race. It surprised us on the last lap there, but we’ll take them any way we can get them.” When Labonte got home to Trinity, N.C., his house and shop had been decorated by his sister, Kristy. “My sister went a little crazy on the decorations in the yard and stuff,” Labonte says. “It was a mess when I pulled in. She got the shop and my house and everywhere. She had that stuff hanging all over the place. I had to cut some banners down to get in my front door.” As thrilling as the win was for Labonte, it was just as important for his sponsor. The United States Coast Guard Adm. Thomas H. Collins, commandant of the Coast Guard, is extremely satisfied with Labonte’s progress. “When the Coast Guard signed on to sponsor Justin, we did it knowing that he comes from a winning tradition,” Adm. Collins said in a statement. “Justin’s action on and off the race track – from the classy way he celebrated after winning to his efforts as our national safe-boating spokesman – clearly reflect that this young man is the right partner for the Coast Guard. The men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard look forward to watching Justin’s many future wins, and we’re proud to say that we were there when it all began.”
NEWS & NOTES, PART II
Chevrolet leads in manufacturers’ standings … Chevrolet has built a fairly comfortable lead in the Bill France Performance Cup standings for manufacturers in the NASCAR Busch Series. Chevrolet has 12 wins and 146 points to 113 points and five wins for Ford. Dodge is in third place with 89 points and two wins following last Saturday’s victory by Justin Labonte at Chicago. The standings are determined by a scoring system in which the highest-finishing manufacturer receives nine points, the second-highest gets six, and third-highest receives four.
Yeley’s team claims Chicago McDonald’s POWERade title … The Joe Gibbs Racing crew of J.J. Yeley (No. 18 Vigoro/The Home Depot Chevrolet) won the McDonald’s POWERade Drive-Thru Pit Crew of the Race Award for the Tropicana Twister 300 at Chicago. The Haas CNC Racing crew of Jason Leffler (No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet) leads the Brewco Motorsports crew of David Green (No. 37 Timber Wolf Pontiac) by 27 points in the season standings.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Ten years ago this week, on July 16, 1994, Kenny Wallace and Ricky Craven were racing hard for the lead at Myrtle Beach Speedway. They made contact, sending Wallace to the garage area for repairs. As soon as Wallace came back onto the track during a subsequent caution, he rammed Craven’s car on the backstretch. As a result, Wallace was penalized five laps for overaggressive driving. Current NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points leader and 2003 runner-up in the championship point standings, Dennis Setzer, went on to win the event for his first NASCAR Busch Series victory.
What: Siemens 200 (Race No. 20 of 34 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: New Hampshire International Speedway, Loudon, N.H.
When: 1 p.m. (ET), Saturday, July 24, 2004.
Track layout: 1.058-mile paved oval.
Race length: 211.6 miles/200 laps.
Posted awards: $1,028,302.
TV: TNT, 1 p.m. (ET).
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: David Green.
2003 polesitter: Kevin Harvick.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday — Practice, 9-11:15 a.m.; Qualifying, 1:30 p.m.; final practice following Featherlite Modified Series, NASCAR Touring Event.(NASCAR PR)(7-16-2004)
- Feese and Reid to make more Busch starts: Blake Feese and Boston Reid will each make multiple NASCAR Busch Series starts in 2004 as a part of Hendrick Motorsports’ driver development program, team owner Rick Hendrick announced Wednesday. Feese, 22, will enter his second career NASCAR event at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Aug. 7, followed by an appearance at Dover (Del.) International Speedway on Sept. 25. A native of Saybrook, Ill., Feese has earned top-10 finishes in each of his three ARCA Series starts this season, including a victory at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway on April 9. He entered his first-ever Busch Series event June 19 at Kentucky Speedway, qualifying 16th and finishing 41st in the #87 Chevrolet.
Making his NASCAR debut, the 21-year-old Reid will compete at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on Sept. 10. He will then race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Oct. 15 and Atlanta Motor Speedway on Oct. 30. Reid, of Logansport, Ind., has three top-10 finishes in as many ARCA starts in 2004.
Hendrick Motorsports has formed a developmental alliance with NEMCO Motorsports that will allow Feese and Reid to drive the organization’s #87 Busch Series entries in their respective events this season. In April, Hendrick Motorsports announced Feese and Reid would be entering select ARCA events through a developmental association with Bobby Gerhart Racing. The program garnered six top-10 finishes in six races. Hendrick also signed 18-year-old Kyle Krisiloff, who is currently competing in the American Speed Association with Hendrick ally SS Racing.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(7-16-2004)
- Green-White-Checker OFFICIAL: A “green-white-checkered” finish format will be used for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series beginning with next weekend’s races at New Hampshire International Speedway, NASCAR officials announced today. “The green-white-checkered format is an attempt to achieve everyone’s goals – a green-flag finish,” NASCAR President Mike Helton said. “This change hopefully will provide competitive finishes in the relatively rare occasions it is warranted. This format has been successful in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, and considering the tight competition week in and week out in the other two national series, we feel the time is right to use the same procedure in all three national series.”
The new procedure will consist of a restart of two laps – green flag for the first lap of the restart and the white flag signaling the final lap leading to the checkered flag. All additional laps will be counted and scored. The new format will not guarantee a green-flag finish. Only one restart under the “green-white-checkered” format will be attempted. If a caution comes out during that period, the race will be complete. This procedure will eliminate the need for a red flag in the final laps to immediately stop the race in an attempt to finish under green-flag conditions. The announcement expands the single attempt “green-white-checkered” format to all three of NASCAR’s national series, beginning next week.(NASCAR PR), for the Truck Series, who have had this procedure since it started, in 48 races with a G-W-C, 6 times has the lead changed [12.5%](Speed Channel)(7-15-2004)
- Pike Peak gets a sponsor for Busch race/Concert: Pikes Peak International Raceway announced that Goulds Pumps ITT Industries has signed on as the title sponsor of the NASCAR Busch Series Race at PPIR on August 31st. The official title of the event will be the Goulds Pumps/ITT Industries Salute to the Troops 250 presented by Dodge. Goulds Pumps is a brand of ITT Water Technology, Inc. – a subsidiary of ITT Industries, Inc., the world’s largest and premier pump manufacturer, and offers the most complete range of pumps available for the residential, municipal, commercial, agricultural, and wastewater markets. ITT Industries, Inc. supplies advanced technology products and services in key markets including: electronic interconnects and switches; defense communication, opto-electronics, information technology and services; fluid and water management and other industrial products. Martina McBride will perform live in concert following the Goulds Pumps/ITT Industries Salute To The Troops 250 presented by Dodge and the Freedom 150 NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series Race. PPIR is the premier motorsports facility in the Rocky Mountain Region. With seating for 42,700 fans and 31-luxury suites PPIR makes for the perfect racing venue be it on the one-mile-paved oval or 1.315 mile road course.(PPIR)(7-15-2004)
- Lewis gets a sponsor for Pikes Peak: Colorado Springs artist Rick Broome and his family will sponsor the #46 car of Ashton Lewis during the July 31st running of the Goulds Pumps/ITT Industries Salute to the Troops 250 presented by Dodge. Broome, best known for his aviation renderings says this is his chance to pay tribute to the United States Air Force Academy. “We wanted to do a sponsorship,” said Broome, “that would be a tribute to the Air Force Academy, the Thunderbirds and our military forces. I’ve been a race fan all of my life and I just wanted to help get some good press for the Academy. I just wanted to get a sponsorship deal put together with the Lewis family that would be a tribute car, and by golly we got it done. I’m hoping this will help the Lewis family get a fulltime sponsor again.” The racecar will be called the “RickBroome.com” car. The racecar will feature a reproduction of Rick Broome’s latest painting for the Air Force Academy Class of 2005 on the hood of the car. Broome’s painting titled “To Match My Mountains” features a view of the cadet chapel with five Thunderbird F-16 jets flying above it as seen from across the former “Bring Me Men… ” ramp. The special paint scheme on the car was designed by Ryan Rudolph of Rudolph Design. Ryan created lightning bolts that turn into flames for the side of the racecar. “Flames are real popular on race cars right now,” said Ryan. “My idea was to design something similar to the Air Force Academy lightning bolts and have them change color as they moved down the side of the racecar.” Broome is a fifth generation Coloradoan. He and his wife Billie live in Colorado Springs where they own and maintain a private wildlife sanctuary. He has been in aviation all his life and has not only a pilot’s license but is also an FAA rated mechanic. Broome was inducted into the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame in 1988 for his decades of contributions to Colorado aviation history. He has been a full-time aviation artist for over thirty-three years. Broome has donated over sixty paintings to the Air Force Academy and his paintings and prints are collected World-Wide.(PPIR)(7-15-2004)
- Hmiel to the #1? James Finch, who has already had six different drivers behind the wheel of his #1 Dodge in the Busch Series, is considering a seventh — Shane Hmiel. “I’ve talked to Shane, but I haven’t made a decision,” Finch said. Jamie McMurray has been driving Finch’s car in races run in conjunction with Nextel Cup events, but others have taken over in stand-alone Busch races. Hmiel, a regular on the Craftsman Truck Series, almost won the Busch race at Milwaukee while filling in for Kahne in the #38 Dodge.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(7-10-2004)
- Justin Labonte wins at Chicago: #4-Mike Wallace was leading and took the white flag with #44-Justin Labonte close behind. But as Wallace entered Turn 1, he suddenly slowed. Labonte and then #22-Jason Keller quickly raced past him. Wallace was out of gas. And Labonte was in Victory Lane. Labonte, 23, finished .419 seconds ahead of Keller to win Saturday’s wild Twister 300 at Chicagoland Speedway, his first NASCAR Busch Series victory in 31 starts. His previous best series finish was 14th in 1999 at Myrtle Beach, S.C. The finish left members of both Labonte and Wallace’s teams stunned on pit road. Labonte, the son of two-time Nextel Cup champion Terry Labonte, took a cue from his father and instead of a more traditional burnout, stopped his #44 Coast Guard Dodge at the start/finish line, took the checkered flag from flagman, and drove it around the track. Keller finished second, followed by #9-Jeff Burton, #38-Kasey Kahne and #46-Ashton Lewis Jr.. Series points leader #8-Martin Truex Jr. finished 14th and holds a 52-point lead over rookie #5-Kyle Busch. The race was slowed eight times by caution for 35 laps. There were 19 lead changes among 10 drivers. The lead was the most for a stock car race at the track. The pole sitter, #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr., lost an engine 8 laps into the race and finished dead last.(Thatsracin.com)
Race results at:
- Hamilton Jr. wins pole at Chicago: Before Friday’s NASCAR Busch Series qualifying session for Saturday’s Twister 300 at Chicagoland Speedway was interrupted by thunderstorms, it was first delayed by two runaway oranges. That’s right, oranges. As the wind increased around the track with the approach of the storms, two large inflatable oranges – the logo of Tropicana, the sponsor of Sunday’s Nextel Cup race – tore loose from their moorings behind Turn 4 and set sail. One broke up and fell over some fans that had set up camp near the fence, the other bounced onto the track in the middle of a qualifying run by #7-Todd Szegedy. Luckily, Szegedy had been warned by his crew chief of a problem and had slowed down. He avoided contact with the giant orange and pulled to pit road, just as the rain began. Once the rain passed and the remains of the inflatables removed from the track, qualifying resumed with Szegedy getting another attempt. Near the end of the session, #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. rooted rookie #5-Kyle Busch from the pole, with a track record lap at 183.611mph. #87-Joe Nemechek, #17-Matt Kenseth and #21-Kevin Harvick round out the top five. Series points leader #8-Martin Truex Jr. will line up 16th. Szegedy performed well at his second attempt around the track – orange free. He was 12th fastest, and will make his first series start.(Thatsracin.com)
- Some News on the #72: Despite the lack of any significant backing, the #72 team now sits 29th in car-owner points. “That’s huge for us,” team owner Randy MacDonald said. “That means we are high enough in the points that we’re pretty much guaranteed a starting spot every race, and that’s important when you are trying to sign a sponsor.” And MacDonald is excited that [Kevin] Lepage will drive the #72 this week at Chicago. “I don’t know how many races he’ll do for us. He wants a contract but he knows we can’t give him that. But he wants to race. And we need to run nearer the front. We are in that situation that we need sponsorship money to really run well, but we need to run well to attract a sponsor.” (High Point Enterprise via BGNRacing.com)(7-9-2004)
- #11 DEI car to be unveiled on Thursday UPDATE: On Thursday, July 8th, the new #11 Menards/Turtle Wax Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and NASCAR Busch Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Paul Menard will be unveiled at the Turtle Wax Car Wash & Auto Appearance Center, 3088 Hennepin Drive, Joliet, Ill., near Chicagoland Speedway around 3:30pm/ct. Fans are invited. Proceeds from each car wash purchased Thursday and Friday will benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Paul Menard will be signing autographs from 3:30-6:30 p.m.(Menards Racing PR)(7-7-2004)
UPDATE: The racing world got its first look at the new #11 Menards Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt, Inc., which Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Paul Menard will take to the track at the NASCAR Busch Series New England 200 July 24 at New Hampshire International Speedway. With an enthusiastic gathering of race fans and customers looking on, Menard and executives from sponsor Turtle Wax unveiled the bright, yellow racing machine at the Turtle Wax Car Wash and Auto Appearance Center. Menard then promptly got into the showcar, revved its powerful Chevrolet motor, and thrilled the crowd – and the TV cameras – with a few celebratory donuts in the parking lot. “This is really exciting,” said the 23-year-old Menard, moving to the Dale Earnhardt, Inc., team after contesting the first half of the 2004 season in an Andy Petree Racing entry. “This is one of the premiere racing organizations in all of motorsports and the outlook for a strong second half of the season looks very promising. I can’t wait to get to New Hampshire.” The New England 200 is the first of 15 races remaining on the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series schedule.(Menards Racing PR), see an image of the car on my 2004 Buach Series Paint Schemes page.(7-9-2004)
- Penalties assessed: Busch Series crew chiefs Jay Guy, Scott Riefner, Kevin Payne, Julian Burgess and Larry Shore were issued fines for rules violations that occurred during the race weekend of the July 2 event at Daytona International Speedway,
Guy, crew chief of the #14 Chevrolet for driver Casey Atwood, and Riefner, crew chief of the #12 Chevrolet for driver Tim Fedewa, were each fined $2,500 for violating Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-Q (Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the NASCAR Busch Series Rule Book for unapproved rear spoilers.
Shore, crew chief of the #71 Chevrolet for driver Kevin Lepage, Payne, crew chief of the #68 Chevrolet for driver Rick Markle, and Burgess, crew chief of the #96 Chevrolet for driver Shane Hall, were each issued $250 fines for violating Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 17.2-C (Seat belts manufacturer’s date expired) of the NASCAR Busch Series Rule Book. All of the infractions were found by NASCAR officials during opening-day inspection.(NASCAR PR)(7-9-2004)
- Craven to run #29 RCR car at Chicago: Ricky Craven will pilot the Richard Childress Racing (RCR) #29 Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves (ESGR) Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the July 10 Twister 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. ESGR is a Department of Defense agency whose mission is to gain and maintain employer support from all public and private employers for the men and women who serve in the National Guard and Reserves. ESGR and RCR have brought together some of NASCAR’s biggest stars for a five-race salute to America’s supportive employers of National Guardsmen and Reservists. Bobby Labonte finished 11th at Texas Motor Speedway and Tony Stewart brought home a second place finish at California Speedway. After Craven’s run at Chicagoland Speedway, Kerry Earnhardt will drive at Dover (Del.) International Speedway (September 25) and Kevin Harvick will run the car at Homestead-Miami Speedway (November 20). RCR has been involved with the ESGR since signing a letter of support for the group at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in October 2002. Since then, Childress has twice visited U.S. military troops stationed overseas on behalf of the ESGR, including a six-day trip this past New Year’s to Kuwait and Qatar. RCR cars carried the ESGR logo at one time or another last season, including all five competing in the 2003 Daytona 500 weekend. ESGR operates through a network of more than 2,000 volunteers throughout 55 committees located in each state, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Europe. For more information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and ESGR volunteer opportunities, please call 800-336-4590 or visit www.esgr.com.
The car is the same car Tony Stewart race to a second-placed finish at California Speedway. Ricky Craven will be sporting a blue-and-white paint scheme saluting the Naval Reserves. Since September 11, 2001, more than 22,000 men and women of the U.S. Naval Reserve have been called to active military duty to fight the war on terrorism. ESGR and RCR have brought together some of NASCAR’s biggest stars for a five-race salute to America’s supportive employers of National Guardsmen and Reservists. In addition to Ricky Craven, are Bobby Labonte (11th place finish at Texas Motor Speedway), Tony Stewart (2nd place finish at California Speedway), Kerry Earnhardt (September 25th at Dover (Del.) International Speedway) and Kevin Harvick (November 20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway). The #29 ESGR Chevrolet will be pitted by the #30 AOL Chevrolet pit crew. The pit crew will be lead by crew chief Gary Cogswell, who also crew chief’s the #33 Bass Pro Shops car in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.(RCR PR), see an image of the car on my 2004 Busch Schemes page.(7-8-2004)
- Carl Long at Chicago: Carl Long will be making the trip to Chicagoland Speedway this weekend to drive the #07 Moy Racing Ford in the Tropicana Twister 300 NASCAR Busch Series race. Joe Reilly, owner of Moy Racing, elected to put Carl in the team’s 2nd entry for this weekend. Jimmy Kitchens will be driving the team’s primary car, the #77 Ford. Kitchens is filling in for Moy’s regular driver of the #77, Donnie Neuenberger, who is on a medical leave of absence.(Carl Long site)(7-8-2004)
- Grissom in for LaJoie at Chicago: FitzBradshaw Racing says Steve Grissom will drive in place of Randy LaJoie in its #82 Chevrolet in Saturday’s Tropicana Twister 300 Busch Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. The team says LaJoie will miss the race because he will be driving for #59 HT Motorsports in the Craftsman Truck Series race at Kentucky Speedway on the same day. The team says LaJoie will also compete in the following two truck events [Gateway and MIS] but return to FitzBradshaw in September.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(7-8-2004)
- Conway to drive the #56 at Chicago: Kevin Conway will drive the #56 Mac Hill Motorsports Air 1 Wireless Chevrolet at the Chicagoland Speedway on July 10th, 2004. This will be Conway’s first Busch Series attempt at Chicagoland Speedway following his recent top five finish in the King Taco 200 Grand National West Series at Fontana. “This is a great opportunity for us. Kevin is a great young man, and a quality individual, which is very important to our team and myself. His diversified background from driving Legend’s, USAC Midgets, ARCA, and Busch we feel is a plus. He just needs to qualify well, settle into our system, and perform well,” owner Jack McNelly said. “I would like to thank Jack McNelly and Mac Hill Motorsports for this great opportunity. I have been waiting to get back into the car since California. We have some really good opportunities for the remainder of this year and next, so a good run at Chicago should help move them forward,” stated driver Kevin Conway. The Mac Hill Motorsports entry will carry sponsorship from and Air 1 Wireless. “We are excited about the partnership with this local Chicago company and look to provide them with a great racing experience”, said owner Jack McNelly. For more information on Kevin Conway, go to www.kevinconway.net. For more information on Air 1 Wireless, go to www.air1wireless.com.(CN Motorsports Management PR)(7-7-2004)
- Chicago News and Notes
Bill Elliott scheduled to race at Memphis this fall … NASCAR legend Bill Elliott is scheduled to compete in the NASCAR Busch Series Sam’s Town ‘He Dared to Rock’ 250 on October 23 at Memphis Motorsports Park. The 1988 NASCAR premier series champion will drive the No. 09 Elvis Presley ‘He Dared to Rock’ Dodge in his first NASCAR Busch Series race since Feb. 19, 1994 at Daytona. Elliott has 36 starts, one win, eight top fives and 15 top-10 finishes. “Just to be a part of an event like this is an honor,” Elliott said. “What a neat deal it’s going to be running with Elvis in his hometown.”
Fedewa tours Kennedy Space Center, gets inside Discovery … Tim Fedewa (No. 12 Supercuts Chevrolet) could only dream of such horsepower. On the morning of July 2, prior to that night’s NASCAR Busch Series event at Daytona, Fedewa was treated to an up-close-and-personal tour of Kennedy Space Center. Fedewa went inside the Vehicle Assembly Building, the second-largest building in terms of volume in the world, to the top of a launch pad and, for the highlight of the trip, crawled aboard and spent a few minutes on the flight deck of the Space Shuttle Discovery. “Words really can’t express how great a time we had with the folks at NASA,” Fedewa said. “You’re struck, first of all, by how big things are. It was amazing the care with which everything was handled. To be able to spend those few minutes on the flight deck of Discovery, the next shuttle to fly [March 2005], was an experience I will never forget. They said we could come back next year when that bird flies and NASA returns to flight, and you’d better believe I’ll be there.”
Wallace’s winnings second-largest ever … Mike Wallace (No. 4 GEICO/Sport Clips Ford) scored a thrilling last-lap victory in last Friday’s race at Daytona, and his paycheck was memorable as well. Wallace’s $101,305 payout was the second-largest winner’s purse in the history of the NASCAR Busch Series. Jeff Gordon took home $113,844 for his October, 1992 win at Charlotte.
Ford breaks Chevrolet win streak … Chevrolet has built a fairly comfortable lead in the Bill France Performance Cup standings for manufacturers in the NASCAR Busch Series despite Ford’s win at Daytona last Friday night. Chevrolet, which had won three straight NASCAR Busch Series races prior to Daytona, has 12 wins and 142 points to six wins and 107 points for Ford. Dodge is in third place with 80 points and one victory. The standings are determined by a scoring system in which the highest-finishing manufacturer receives nine points, the second-highest gets six, third-highest receives four and fourth-highest receives three.
Pressley’s team claims Daytona McDonald’s POWERade title … In addition to grabbing the outside pole for the race, the ST Motorsports crew of Robert Pressley (No. 47 Clorox/Wisk Ford) won the McDonald’s POWERade Drive-Thru Pit Crew of the Race Award for the Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo at Daytona International Speedway. The Haas CNC Racing crew of Jason Leffler (No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet) leads the BREWCO Motorsports crew of David Green (No. 47 Timber Wolf Pontiac) by 33 points in the season standings. The Team Rensi Motorsports crew of Bobby Hamilton Jr. is third, and trails Green’s group by just six points.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Bobby Hamilton Jr. dominated last year’s race at Chicago, leading a total of 186 laps, the most by a winner at the facility. His two top-five starts at the track are also the most of any driver. … Jason Keller (No. 22 Miller High Life Ford) has three top-10 finishes at Chicago, more than any competitor. His best finish at the track is a fifth in 2001. …Johnny Sauter (No. 27 Kleenex/Scott Brand Products Chevrolet) captured the first win of his NASCAR Busch Series career at Chicagoland in 2002. … Mike Bliss (No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet) scored a 10th-place finish at Chicago last year. … Jamie McMurray will be back in the No. 1 Yellow Transportation Dodge for the Chicago race, and is also scheduled to drive the James Finch entry next week at New Hampshire. McMurray finished ninth in the No. 1 car at Chicagoland last year.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Chicagoland Speedway is the second track in Illinois to host a NASCAR Busch Series event, the first being Gateway International Raceway in Madison, near St. Louis. It was the 45th different track at which the series has competed. Chicagoland was the 11th of 12 new tracks to join the circuit since 1995.
What: Tropicana Twister 300 (Race No. 19 of 34 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet, Ill.
When: 2 p.m. (ET), Saturday, July 10.
Track layout: 1.5-mile paved tri-oval.
Race length: 300 miles/200 laps.
Posted awards: $1,367,504.
TV: NBC, 2 p.m. (ET).
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: Bobby Hamilton Jr.
2003 polesitter: Casey Mears.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday – practice, 9-11:15 a.m.; qualifying, 1:30 p.m.; final practice following NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series qualifying.(NASCAR PR)(7-8-2004)
#27 gets New Engine Program: Johnny Sauter will begin running Menard engines this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. The # 27 team is scheduled to use the new motors over the next four weeks. If the “tryouts” go well, expect to see Sauter use Menard engines for the rest of the year.(Catchfence)(7-7-2004)
- Mears to drive APR Busch car at Chicago? UPDATE, no it’s Boyer: Casey Mears, driver of the #41 Target / Ganassi Racing Dodge, has taken over the wheel this weekend of the #1 James Finch Dodge in the Busch Series. Next week, Mears may be back in the Busch ranks, but not in the Finch car. With Andy Petree Racing still owing sponsor Monaco some races, the plan, possibly, is for Mears to pilot the #33 Chevy in Chicago. The #33 APR entry recently lost sponsorship along with driver Paul Menard, to DEI. When asked what his plans with Petree in Chicago were Mears said, “I’m not even sure what’s going on there but it is a possibility.” Problems may however arise with the Mears/Petree partnership since Mears drives a Dodge and Petree generally runs Chevrolets. A former APR employee, who left the team at the time of Menard’s departure, said Monaco was to be on an Andy Petree backed Craftsman Truck in Richmond with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at the wheel. The ride with Mears may override that plan.(BGNRacing.com)(7-2-2004)
UPDATE Clint Bowyer will compete behind the wheel of the Andy Petree Racing #33 Chevrolet. Monaco Coach Corporation will still sponsor the Chevrolet Monte Carlo.(Catchfence)(7-7-2004)
- Walker in the #74 at IRP, WoO on the car: The Outdoor Channel sponsor of the #74 Busch Series Chevrolet fielded by BACE Motorsports, will spotlight its World Of Outlaws television partnership at Indianapolis Raceway Park on August 7th. The California based outdoor lifestyle network will wrap the #74 of WOO driver and California native Tyler Walker in an “Outlaws on Outdoor” paint scheme for the NASCAR Busch Series event at IRP. Walker, the 2002 World of Outlaws Gumout Series Champion, scored a World of Outlaws victory from the pole in the 2004 season-opener at Manzanita Speedway. The fourth-generation open wheel driver is now focused on making his mark on the stock car circuit. Walker got a taste of the NASCAR ranks in 2003 with a trio of solid runs in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (Las Vegas, Richmond & Homestead) and has most recently assisted driver Kasey Kahne by filling in for practice and qualifying in the #38 Busch Series entry. The Outdoor Channel is the broadcast home of The World of Outlaws Series in 2004, presenting over 30 races this season, each airing Wednesday night at 8:00 pm EST. Currently, the World of Outlaws is in the midst of its marathon schedule with a tight points battle between 18-time champion Steve Kinser and Danny “The Dude” Lasoski. For more information, visit The Outdoor Channel web site at www.outdoorchannel.com.(BACE Motorsports PR)(7-7-2004)
- Wallace still looking for a sponsor: #4-Mike Wallace and the GEICO/Sport Clips team, winners of the Winn-Dixie 250 at Daytona International Speedway on July 2 hopes to make it two in a row on Saturday in the Twister 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. For Fred Biagi, the team owner, it was his first NASCAR Busch Series win. For Wallace, the victory was his second at Daytona as he won the inaugural Truck Series race there in 2000, his last win came in 2001 in a Winston West event. The team has only eight full-time employees and only four of them have any real experience. Wallace and Biagi are constantly hunting for more money to grow the program and the car has a lot of room for associate sponsors, GEICO is the team’s primary sponsor at 24 of the 34 Busch Series races. For example, they need a sponsor for the New England 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway on July 24. And after talking with Mike Hillman (crew chief on the #50 Nextel Cup car owned by Don Arnold that Wallace drove Saturday night), they are going to change three or four things on the front end. More info on the team at biagibros.com or mikewallace.com(paraphrased from a PR)(7-6-1004)
- Special Scheme for Elliott UPDATE Memphis Busch race: been told that Bill Elliott will drive the #09 Dodge Elvis Presley “He Dared To Rock” 2004 Dodge in the Memphis Busch Series race.(4-16-2004)
UPDATE and images: On the front steps of Sun Studio, and in harmony with today’s worldwide celebration of “50 Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” officials from Memphis Motorsports Park, along with Elvis Presley Enterprises, the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau and Action Performance Companies, announced that legendary NASCAR driver Bill Elliott will compete in the Sam’s Town ‘He Dared To Rock’ 250 on October 23, 2004 at Memphis Motorsports Park – in a specially-designed race car sponsored by Lucas Oil and Boyd Gaming Corporation’s Sam’s Town Tunica Hotel & Gambling Hall. Elliott and officials from the track unveiled the #09 Elvis Presley ‘He Dared To Rock’ Dodge at the legendary Sun Studio Monday morning, fifty years to the day that a young Elvis Presley stepped inside the studio to record the revolutionary “That’s All Right.” Also on hand at this once-in-a-lifetime celebration of Memphis music were “50 Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll Ambassadors” Justin Timberlake, Isaac Hayes, Scotty Moore and “Sam the Sham” Samudio. Adorned with a logo of Elvis on the hood, the car will carry “Awesome Bill” Elliott in his first race ever in Memphis and his first NASCAR Busch Series race in more than a decade. For tickets or more information on the NASCAR Busch Series Sam’s Town ‘He Dared To Rock’ 250 Benefiting St. Jude on October 23, 2004, call the Memphis Motorsports Park Ticket Office at 1-866-40-SPEED (77333).(Memphis Motorsports Park PR), see images of the car on my 2004 Busch Series Paint Schemes page.(7-6-2004)
- McMurray back in the #1: Jamie McMurray will again drive the No. 1 Finch machine in Chicago and Loudon.(BGNRacing.com)(7-5-2004)
- #59 Crew Chief Resigns: Jeff Chandler resigned Monday as crew chief for Stacy Compton and the #59 Kingsford/Bush’s BakedBeans/Bubba Burgers/Winnebago/Duck Head Footwear team, ST Motorsports owner Tad Geschickter said. Chris Carrier will serve as the interim crew chief at this Saturday’s Twister 300 at the Chicagoland Speedway. “It was a mutual agreement,” Geschickter said. “We’re becoming a more competitive team. We’re driven to win. Jeff brought a lot to this race team and we appreciate everything we accomplished with him.” Chandler echoed Geschickter’s sentiments, “I really appreciated the opportunity to work with Stacy, Tad, and all of the folks at ST Motorsports. I look forward to watching them be successful in the future and I look forward to my next opportunity in NASCAR.” Carrier and Compton have worked together in the past. They competed in a one-race deal with Morgan-McClure Motorsports at the 2003 Pepsi 400 Nextel Cup Series race at the Daytona International Speedway. Geschickter said he is compiling a list of candidates to replace Chandler on a full-time basis.(ST Motorsports PR)(7-5-2004)
- FitzBradshaw and the #24 partner up: FitzBradshaw [#’s 12,14,82] has partnered with James Whitener #24 GIC-Mixon Motorsports team in a deal that could put Randy LaJoie in the #24 car for some Busch races later in the year.(Speed Channel Qualifying Coverage via BGNRacing.com)(7-2-2004)
- Spencer back in Busch UPDATE: During his appearance on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain Wednesday night, Jimmy Spencer said he was going to put USAR driver Jason Sarvis in his revived Busch team at IRP in August. Mr. Excitement himself would also run the Busch race at Bristol later that month. The question is will it be in his own car or in another – possibly the #1? (6-23-2004)
UPDATE: Jimmy Spencer said June 25 that he has his Spencer Motor Ventures Busch Series team ready to go with Jason Sarvis driving at Indianapolis Raceway Park and Spencer taking the seat for the fall Bristol Race. Spencer said he would like to run a limited Busch Series schedule in 2005 with Sarvis and himself.(NASCAR Scene via BGNRacing.com)(7-2-2004)
- Walker in the #38 at Pikes Peak: Tyler Walker, who practiced and qualified the Akins Motorsports car at Kentucky and Nashville, will qualify and drive the car July 31 at Pikes Peak when the Cup cars are in Pocono.(NASCAR Scene via BGNRacing.com)(7-2-2004)
- Marine gets promoted at Daytona: Major General Christopher Cortez, commanding general of Marine Corps Recruiting Command based in Quantico, Va., will promote Sgt. Jeff Blankenship to the rank of staff sergeant in a ceremony before the start of Friday’s Busch Series NASCAR race at Daytona International Speedway. The ceremony will be held in the Team Marines garage at 5:45 p.m (Team Marines PR via BGNRacing.com)(7-2-2004)
- Mike Wallace wins at Daytona, his first in almost 10 years: #00-Jason Leffler did everything he could to win Friday night’s Winn-Dixie 250 at Daytona International Speedway. In the eyes of NASCAR, however, he went too far. Between Turns 3 and 4 of the final of 100 laps, Leffler, the leader at time, moved to the high side of the track to block the fast approach of #81-Dale Earnhardt Jr. Leffler hit the left side of Earnhardt Jr.’s #81 KFC Chevrolet, sending him into the wall. While Leffler and Earnhardt Jr. tangled, #4-Mike Wallace dove to the bottom of the track, passed Leffler exiting Turn 4 and escaped with the victory. It’s the fourth NASCAR Busch Series win of Wallace’s career and his first since August 1994 at Indianapolis. “You never give up. Leffler was leading, he saw (Earnhardt) Jr. go to the outside and I thought about going with him because I wanted to get a top-five,” Wallace said. “But I had a good car and I wasn’t giving up.” Neither did NASCAR, which 20 minutes after the race was over, announced it had penalized Leffler one second for “unnecessary roughness,” sending Leffler from second to 13th in the running order. “I don’t know what to say to that, it’s a shame,” Leffler said of the penalty. “That’s what you get here in restrictor-plate racing, so it’s difficult, but we’ll take that finish and go on.” Earnhardt Jr. finished 17th and was none-too-happy after the race. “We were running up on (Leffler) and I went to the outside and he just run us in the wall, ain’t no other way to put it,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “He took us out, crashed us, wrecked us, whatever you want to call it. I had a run on him and we was going to race to the finish and neither one of us got to do that.” The wild finish was set up in part on the next to last lap, when Leffler battled then-leader #99-Michael Waltrip for the lead. The two made contact, which sent Waltrip spinning and out of contention for the win. “He just slid up in front of me and I just got into him to get him going, trying to ‘bump-draft,'” Leffler said. “He just came out on the bad end of it. He was a little sideways when I got into him. I apologize to Michael and his team. There was no intention to take him out.” Waltrip’s team didn’t appreciate the incident, however, and after the race Waltrip and Leffler’s crews tangled on pit road. NASCAR officials are investigating the incident. After the scoring adjustment, #60-Greg Biffle was credited with second, series points leader #8-Martin Truex Jr. third, #47-Robert Pressley fourth and pole-winner #20-Mike Bliss completed the top-five.(Thatsracin.com Race Report), Wallace led only ONE lap, the most important one, the last one.(7-2-2004)
See race results at:
- Marine gets promoted at Daytona: Major General Christopher Cortez, commanding general of Marine Corps Recruiting Command based in Quantico, Va., will promote Sgt. Jeff Blankenship to the rank of staff sergeant in a ceremony before the start of Friday’s Busch Series NASCAR race at Daytona International Speedway. The ceremony will be held in the Team Marines garage at 5:45 p.m (Team Marines PR via BGNRacing.com)(7-2-2004)
- RYR to try a Busch team again UPDATE..the young driver?: Robert Yates Racing will add a Busch team to its stable for 2005. Yates will run Elliott Sadler, Dale Jarrett and a younger driver in the car. “Our drivers are interested in the companion knowledge that could be gained by running in the Busch races,” Robert Yates says. Although a sponsor has not been announced, Citibank, which recently signed on as an associate sponsor on the #38 (Sadler) and #88 (Jarrett) Nextel Cup cars, could be a possibility.(FoxSports/SportingNews)(6-28-2004)
UPDATE: hearing the younger driver will be David Regan and that their will be an announcement in Daytona on Saturday. Again? remember in 2002 – the #98 ChannelLock team in Busch with…….um…Kasey Kahne?(7-1-2004)
- B.A.S.S. on the #60: B.A.S.S will be the primary sponsor on the #60 Ford Greg Biffle will driver, with Charter Communications as the associate.(Roush Racing PR)(7-1-2004)
- Gordon to run at Daytona: Tina Gordon is expected to make her Busch Series 2nd Busch start of 2004 [ran at Talladega in April finishing 28th] with Jay Robinson Racing at Daytona. She will be driving the #39 car and will bring four sponsors from her former Craftsman Truck Series team with her. (NASCAR Scene/BGNRacing.com), Yahoo will also sponsor the car.(6-24-2004)
UPDATE: Jay Robinson Racing will make history this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. Tina Gordon will make her debut with the #39 Yahoo! Ford team in Friday night’s Winn-Dixie 250 NASCAR Busch Series race at the 2.5-mile speedway, and will be in the driver’s seat the rest of the 2004 season. At that point, Jay Robinson Racing will be the first team in NASCAR history to have placed two female drivers in full-time driving roles. Tammy Jo Kirk was in a full-time driving role for Robinson last season. Gordon comes to the Yahoo! Ford team from the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, but also brings strong experience credentials from the weekly short tracks of Alabama. “The tradition of racing in Alabama is important to me, and I want to help carry on that heritage,” Gordon said. “Being able to work with a consistent team such as Jay Robinson Racing and a cutting-edge sponsor like Yahoo! is important to my career and to my development as a driver.” Microtel Inn and Suites, which has received the J.D. Power & Associates award for highest guest satisfaction the past two years, and Vasarette, a top of the line lingerie manufacturer, will join Jay Robinson Racing as associate sponsors on the #39 Yahoo! Ford.(Williams Company)(7-1-2004)
- The FanZCar To Celebrate One-Year Anniversary At Daytona: When the NASCAR series return to Daytona International Speedway, teams and drivers usually celebrate their success in the first half of the season, or simply look at DIS to get their season back on track. For The FanZCar, it will mark their one-year anniversary of entering the NASCAR Busch Series. Last year, SS Racing, Inc., owners of The FanZCar partnered with GIC-Mixon Motorsports and avid NASCAR Busch Series driver Mike Harmon. The two immediately found solid results. Despite the success the two would depart following the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series season. Prior to the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series opener also at Daytona, Scott Sticker, and Eric Say, founders of The FanZCar announced they were partnering with SCORE Motorsports and driver Hermie Sadler. Sadler, returns to the NASCAR Busch Series full time looking to retain the credentials he rightfully earned in the mid to late 90s. In addition, The FanZCar acquired Fans Motorsports into The FanZCar racing family.(PR)(7-1-2004)
- Bliss wins pole at Daytona: #20-Mike Bliss will start from the pole for the Winn-Dixie 250 at Daytona International Speedway running a fast lap of 181.969, his 2nd pole of his career. The rest of the top 5 are: #47-Robert Pressley, #21-Kevin Harvick, #55-Robby Gordon and #2-Ron Hornaday, Jr. Only two drivers missed the race #56-Jeff Spraker and #0-Brad Teague.
Spraker in, Harmon out of lineup: When Ashton Lewis qualified 15th for the Winn-Dixie 250, Jeff Spraker was bumped out of the field due to entrant John McNelly not having enough owner points to earn a provisional spot. But when Lewis’ qualifying time was disallowed due to the left-rear quarter panel of his #46 Chevrolet being too low, Lewis took the first provisional to start 39th, Spraker’s #56 Chevrolet was back in the field in 38th and Mike Harmon’s #24 GIC/Mixon Motorsports Chevrolet was bumped(NASCAR.com).
The starting lineup at:
- Daytona News and Notes:
This is a pretty amazing statistic for Mike Wallace (No. 4 GEICO/Sport Clips Ford). Wallace recorded top-10 finishes in NASCAR’s top-three series – NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, NASCAR Busch and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series – while driving for three different manufacturers in February, 2003. Wallace began the streak with a sixth-place run in the Truck race, then came home fourth in the next day’s NASCAR Busch Series event. Finally, he capped off the weekend with a ninth-place showing in the Daytona 500. So, it comes as no surprise that Wallace calls himself a “big, big fan” of restrictor-plate racing in general and of Daytona in particular.
“I am really looking forward to Daytona,” Wallace says. “Restrictor-plate racing allows the driver to have a little more control over how the team does than say the mile-and-a-half tracks, where your car has to be almost perfect to run well. I know some guys hate restrictor-plate racing. I’ve always been real fond of racing at Daytona and Talladega. I think I understand the draft and the patience it takes to run well at those tracks. You can’t make passes by yourself. So you have to wait until the right time to make your move. I look on it as a challenge, a high-speed chess match. You have to know when to move and where to move.” Don’t look for Wallace to panic if he finds himself in the middle of a three-wide pack of cars. “I look on it as an easy way to gain positions,” Wallace adds. “This is especially the case if you don’t qualify well.” Qualifying for the Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. Cars will be impounded afterward, which Wallace sees as a benefit. “That will eliminate anything special you would do to the car for qualifying,” Wallace says. “We are not a team that has all that trick stuff to find three or four [tenths of a second] for qualifying. We seem to do better when we just practice, qualify and race. “Daytona is a race track where the GEICO/Sport Clips team has run well. We are taking the same car and running the same chassis that we ran earlier this year at Daytona and Talladega. We had a good car both places. I know exactly the feel I want at those tracks and when I get in the car, I can tell if it is right or not.”
NEWS & NOTES, PART II
Fedewa, Bradshaw to appear on TBS’ ‘Dinner and a Movie’ … The interest Tim Fedewa (No. 12 Mike & Ike’s Chevrolet) has in cooking will be apparent on July 19, when he and FitzBradshaw Racing co-owner Terry Bradshaw will appear on TBS’ “Dinner and a Movie.” Fedewa and Bradshaw will be guest chefs on the show, which will feature the movie “Jerry McGuire.” A recipe is created on the show to compliment the featured movie, and Fedewa and Bradshaw will be working on “Show Me the Bunny,” a play on the movie’s famous “Show me the money” line.
Chevrolet builds on lead in manufacturers’ standings … Chevrolet has built a fairly comfortable lead in the Bill France Performance Cup standings for manufacturers in the NASCAR Busch Series. Chevrolet has 12 wins and 136 points following the June 26 win by Ron Hornaday (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet) at The Milwaukee Mile to 98 points and four wins for Ford. Dodge is in third place with 76 points and one win. The standings are determined by a scoring system in which the highest-finishing manufacturer receives nine points, the second-highest gets six, third-highest receives four and fourth-highest receives three.
Stremme’s team claims Milwaukee McDonald’s POWERade title … The Braun Racing crew of David Stremme (No. 32 TrimSpa X32 Dodge) won the McDonald’s POWERade Drive-Thru Pit Crew of the Race Award for last Saturday’s race at Milwaukee. The Haas CNC Racing crew of Jason Leffler (No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet) leads the BREWCO Motorsports crew of David Green (No. 37 Timber Wolf Pontiac) by just one point in the season standings.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 81 Kentucky Fried Chicken Chevrolet) started from the pole and led every lap of last year’s July race at Daytona, and Earnhardt’s win this February was his third straight in the season opener. … Randy LaJoie (No. 82 Jani-King Chevrolet) has three wins at Daytona, in 1997, ‘99 and ‘01. … Martin Truex Jr. (No. 8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) captured the first Busch Pole of his career this February at Daytona. … Kenny Wallace (No. 23 Stacker 2/YJ Stinger Chevrolet) and Michael Waltrip (No. 99 Aaron’s Chevrolet) are tied for third on the all-time list of top-10 finishes at Daytona, with seven, the most of any driver entered in this year’s Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo. Waltrip’s five top-five finishes at Daytona are fifth all-time, and again, most of any driver entered in this week’s event. Wallace captured his first career Busch Pole at Daytona in February 1989, and went on to finish 10th, his first career top 10. … David Green scored the first Busch Pole of his career at Daytona in February 1991. … In five starts at Daytona, Johnny Sauter (No. 27 Kleenex/Scott Brand Products Pontiac) has an average finish of 7.8. He finished second to Earnhardt Jr. in February. … Chevrolet has 16 wins in NASCAR Busch Series competition at Daytona, to seven for Pontiac and one for Ford.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Even though the organization had won the previous year’s NASCAR Busch Series championship, it wasn’t the happiest of moods around the BACE Motorsports camp when teams checked into Daytona International Speedway for the 1997 season opener. Team owner Bill Baumgardner and Randy LaJoie had been through a round of rather heated contract negotiations, and at times, it was touch-and-go whether LaJoie would continue as the team’s driver. Baumgardner and LaJoie, however, reached a tentative peace and went racing at Daytona. What happened? They won the race, of course, with LaJoie leading twice for a race-high 56 laps. He beat Todd Bodine to the checkered flag by less than 2/10ths of a second. At the end of the year, Baumgardner, LaJoie and the rest of the BACE Motorsports camp celebrated a second straight NASCAR Busch Series championship.
What: Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo (Race No. 18 of 34 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.
When: 8 p.m. (ET), Friday, July 2.
Track layout: 2.5-mile high-banked paved tri-oval.
Race length: 250 miles/100 laps.
Posted awards: $1,389,759.
TV: FX, 8 p.m. (ET).
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2003 polesitter: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Thursday — Practice, 9-10:30 a.m.; Practice, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Qualifying [live on Speed], 5:30 p.m.(NASCAR PR)(7-1-2004)