Skip to content
Jayski Turkey ThanksgivingJayski Turkey Thanksgiving

June 2001 News Archives


(6-30-2001)

  • Helton Says NASCAR is Fine: The president of NASCAR believes Winston Cup racing remains in good shape despite the death of Dale Earnhardt, increased skepticism about driver safety, and scrutiny over how the circuit handled the tragedy. “I think there’s a human factor you attach to sports that prevents you from being completely adequate,” Mike Helton said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Still, I don’t think we would have handled anything differently.” Helton acknowledged that NASCAR’s public-relations effort may have left some room for criticism. The sport once known for catering to the media and its fans was left open to accusations of a whitewash in the Earnhardt case. See interview at ESPN(6-30-2001)
  • Harvick Talked to? UPDATE NO: Hear Kevin Harvick got an earful from NASCAR and from Richard Childress Monday. Someone from NASCAR called him, told him the bumping of Robby Gordon was unnecessary, and also talked about his “no mercy” comments after the race. Apparently, a few drivers besides Gordon talked with Childress, telling him to calm Harvick down in the future. So, hearing Childress sat Harvick down too, explained why the bumping wasn’t smart and told him to make peace with Gordon. Two reasons: (1) it is too early in his career to make enemies and (2) Gordon might be his team mate next season
    BUT another RCR source disputes the other RCR source: Kevin Harvick was not talked to by NASCAR following the Sears Point race on Sunday. Robbie Gordon did not talk to Childress either. Childress was not unhappy with Harvick’s actions. Harvick was racing hard to get his lap back and he’s very comfortable about how things played out. He gained 19 spots by finishing on the lead lap. And that helped him remain 9th in the Winston Cup points standings.(6-26-2001)
    UPDATE: from a NASCAR.com Interview with Kevin Harvick – Is the rumor true that Richard Childress sat you down and talked to you after that? Harvick: “Richard left with 10 laps to go and has been on vacation all week, so I haven’t talked to him at all since Saturday. I read all that, too. Richard pays me to drive his racecar as hard as I can drive it. NASCAR never said anything. Richard never said anything. I don’t think Richard would expect anything less out of me.”(6-30-2001)
  • Johnson’s Plans UPDATE 2: Jimmie Johnson, who is scheduled to run for Winston Cup rookie of the year with Hendrick Motorsports in 2002, will hold off on the Cup series for now as he attempts to improve his BGN performance. Johnson will probably run four to six Cup races, but none before the August race at Michigan Speedway(Gaston Gazette)(2-9-2001)
    UPDATE: Initially, Johnson thought his debut might come at Michigan in August, but it now appears he’ll wait until the October event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. A tentative schedule he won’t divulge calls for at least four races with his future #48 team and possibly as many as seven(Winston Cup Scene)(5-3-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Johnson said Saturday at The Milwaukee Mile that he’ll make his Cup debut at Charlotte in October in the #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy. Johnson also said he plans to run at least four Winston Cup races in 2001, in preparation for his 2002 rookie season, Charlotte(Lowes), Rockingham, Talladega and Atlanta and possible up to six races. Johnson will test a Hendrick Motorsports Chevy for the first time early next week at Kentucky Speedway. He’s never driven a Winston Cup car before. In past weeks, rumors had arisen that, rather than add another team, Hendrick might just replace a current HMS driver with Johnson. Johnson says there’s no truth to it. “I think that’s pretty bogus,” Johnson said. “Terry’s(Labonte) under a long term contract, Jerry(Nadeau), too, and of course Jeff(Gordon) signed a lifetime deal.”(NASCAR.com)(6-30-2001)
  • Robinson In Magazine: Shawna Robinson is featured in the current edition of U.S. Weekly. It’s only the third time the news magazine has done a story on a NASCAR driver(Winston Salem Journal)(6-30-2001) 

    (6-29-2001)

     

  • TV Ratings Up: Ratings for the inaugural season of NASCAR Winston Cup coverage on FOX Sports and its FX cable network rose 29 percent from the first half of last year. FOX, which finished its coverage this season with last weekend’s Dodge/Save Mart 350, said Thursday it averaged a 6.1 rating and rating and 15 share for its 14 Winston Cup Series race. That was up 17 percent from the 5.3/14 last year on ABC and CBS for nine races during the first half of the season. FOX estimated it averaged 19.9 million viewers per race, up 1 million from last year. FOX Sports and FX combined to average a 5.3/13 for 19 races, 29 percent above the 4.1/10 for the first 19 races last season on ABC, CBS, ESPN, TNN and TBS(CNN/SI/AP)(6-29-2001)
  • Kroger colors on the #11: #11-Brett Bodine is working all sponsorship angles trying to convince the Kroger Co., the corporate parent of Ralphs Supermarkets, to take a stronger role in his NASCAR Winston Cup #11 Ralphs/Red Cell Ford. Look for the #11 to carry Kroger colors this fall at least at Richmond and Martinsville; and maybe elsewhere if Bodine gets his wish(NASCAR.com Buzz)(6-29-2001)
  • Stewart Wins, Blaney 4th: Tony Stewart was the winner of the 100-lap DIRT 358 modified race at Lebanon Valley Speedway Thursday night. I Love NY and CARQUEST Auto Parts presented the evenings event. It was two in a row for Stewart fresh off his victory last Sunday in the Winston Cup race in Sonoma, California. It was the first time Stewart has won in a DIRT-modified style car. An overflow crowd saw Stewart take this historic victory. Dave Blaney was also in competition Thursday night as well. Blaney won his heat and finished the feature a very respectable fourth(Lebanon Valley Speedway Site)(6-29-2001)
  • Sad News: A driver was killed in a crash Thursday during a qualifying run for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Witnesses said 31-year-old Ralph Chandler Bruning Jr.’s 1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo crashed three-eighths of a mile from the starting line at 6:50 a.m., race officials said. Race officials said it was the third fatality in the competition’s 79 years. “It is as if we’ve all lost a close family member today,” said race spokesman Tim Bergsten. An autopsy showed Bruning died of chest injures after a tree entered the driver’s compartment through a side window, said Teller County Coroner Debbie Smith. Bruning was pronounced dead at the scene, becoming the first driver to die on the mountain. The other two drivers died in hospitals. Race Director Bill Connor said Bruning’s family asked for the event to continue, and qualifying was to resume Friday. The race is scheduled for Saturday. Bruning’s father, Ralph Senior, was the winningest driver(with 8) in the race’s stock car division. He competed in his last race in 1998 and died from pancreatic cancer in March 2000. This was Bruning’s fifth year driving the race. Tuesday, he said he was dedicating it to his late father. Bruning is survived by his wife Amy, his mother Marsha, and sister Dawn(ESPN/AP). thoughts out to family and friends of Chandler(6-29-2001)
  • Hammer to Evernham? UPDATE: hearing former ST Motorsports crew chief (BGN #59) Phil Hammer is taking a position with Evernham Motorsports. Hammer used to work at Hendrick Motorsports with Evernham(6-8-2001)
    UPDATE – Evernham Motorsports Change: Gene Patient, Chief Fabricator at Evernham Motorsports has parted ways with the team. Forner Cup/BGN Crew Chief will take over the position. Patient is currently weighing out a few options before deciding where to go next(6-29-2001)
  • Contest Goof: Just one lucky fan was supposed to drive away from the big race in a brand new Dodge Ram pickup in a promotion tied to the July 7 Pepsi 400 at Daytona. And just five couples were to get all-expense-paid trips to the race. Now 11 folks will get new trucks, and 55 couples will get free trips. The problem came when Pepsi and Circle K launched the promotion in May. There were supposed to be five winning tickets for the trip; a printing error issued 55. Cost of mistake? $400,000(Orlando Sentinel)(6-29-2001) 

    (6-28-2001)

     

  • Kodiak out a sponsor of #92 after season: NASCAR Winston Cup team owner, Mark Melling, announced today that his team is actively pursuing a primary sponsor for the #92 Dodge, driven by Stacy Compton, for the 2002 racing season and beyond. After more than 20 years of involvement in the sport, Conwood Sales Company, L.P., the parent company for the Kodiak brand of smokeless tobacco, gave notice to Melling that in 2002 they will no longer be a sponsor of a Winston Cup car. “Team owner Mark Melling and driver Stacy Compton have represented the Kodiak brand in an outstanding fashion for the last two years,” said Conwood’s VP of Marketing, Woody Cothren. “We cannot say enough good things about our involvement with Melling Racing. This was purely a business decision.” Sponsorship inquires for the Melling Racing Team should be directed to the Melling headquarters (800-777-8172), attention Steve Brown (x106), or to Lake Speed. Jr. in the Melling Racing shop (704-786-4635).(Melling Racing PR)(6-28-2001)
  • DeWalt Supports Firehouse.com: DEWALT Power Tools is joining forces with Firehouse.com in a collaborative effort to enhance brand and product awareness through the fire community. Firehouse.com is the preferred destination website for the Fire and Rescue community. For three races this year, the #17 DEWALT Ford Taurus driven by Matt Kenseth, will sport Firehouse.com on the rear quarter panel, the Brickyard 400 at Indy, at Dover in Sept and at Phoenix. DEWALT was recently recognized by the Transportation Emergency Rescue Community (TERC) for its outstanding contribution to the field of extrication(Firehouse.com)(6-28-2001)
  • Announcement UPDATE Spiderman Schemes for Elliott/Atwood: There will be a web launch/announcement on www.4adodge.com today at 7:00pm/et and at the same time goracing.com will also be announcing a new special paint scheme with graphics and a press release(6-27-2001)…spiderman maybe?
    Spiderman?/REPOST: hearing the #9-Bill Elliott and #19-Casey Atwood Dodge’s will run a Spiderman (the movie) paint scheme at Charlotte, not sure if it’s in May or Oct(4-3-2001)
    and the UPDATE: found the web launch about the two spiderman cars at www.4adodge.com but no announcement, but it is about #9-Bill Elliott and #19-Casey Atwood driving Spiderman paint schemes at the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowes Motor Speedway on Oct 7th. See images of the cars on my Paint Scheme Gallery and/or get wallpapers at www.4adodge.com(6-28-2001)
  • #31 Car Chief to Return: Kevin Gabard, front-tire carrier and car chief of the #31 Loves Chevy of Mike Skinner, will resume his pit road duties at next Sunday’s Pepsi 400 Daytona after recuperating from knee surgery. Gabard underwent anterior cruciate ligament replacement surgery on his left knee on April 16 to repair an injury sustained on April 8 at the Martinsville race. The 35-year-old crewman was injured during a late-race pit stop when a loose tire from another team rolled into the pit and struck Gabard as he stepped off the pit wall. This latest surgery marked the eighth procedure on his left knee since 1991. He had undergone surgery for a torn meniscus in the same knee seven times previously, the most recent in November 1999(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-28-2001)
  • Get Well UPDATE 3: It was mentioned during Fox’s broadcast of the Coca-Cola 600 by Dr. Dick Berggren, that Shawn Parker’s wife, Tara, is in a Winston-Salem hospital. Mrs. Parker is listed in critical condition and has A-1 status on heart transplant, which means she is the next person on the list when one that will match her comes available. Parker is the Car chief/Rear tire changer for the #6 Roush Racing team and driver Mark Martin(5-29-2001)
    UPDATE: Shawn Parker, was poised to leave the race on a moment’s notice. Parker’s wife, Tara, is on the priority list for a heart transplant. She had two hearts become available in the past couple of weeks, but doctors thought one was too small and the other carried hepatitis. Team owner Jack Roush has his plane on standby to fly Parker out if he receives word his wife is heading into surgery.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-4-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Shawn Parker, the car chief and rear-tire changer for Mark Martin’s #6 Ford has been balancing his time between his race duties, shop duties and husband duties the last few weeks. Splitting his time between the shop just northeast of Charlotte and Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C., Parker said the waiting has been tough. “All she can do is just wait,” he said. “She’s on medicine right now to help her with the congenital heart defect. The best way for me to explain it is, she doesn’t have a full-size heart like most others do. She already had open heart surgery in July last year to put in a new heart valve and make some repairs. As she grows and gets older, it’s tough to keep up with the surgeries because her body changes. Since that surgery, she’s had problems with other organs because the heart can’t provide enough blood to them. As the heart she has now deteriorates, the only thing that can help her is a heart transplant.” Shawn, 27, and Tara, 26, met at Daytona Speedweeks in 1994. He was working on Rusty Wallace’s team and she for Winston promotions. An unplanned meeting between the two clicked and they have been together ever since. Married last November, the couple now reside in Cornelius, NC. Some of the factors involved for matching a heart include blood type, size and age to make a true fit with a donor. Tara currently experiences shortness of breath and fatigue from most types of physical exertion. As she awaits her possible life-saving phone call, Shawn makes a daily 130-mile round-trip from Monday through Wednesday to see his wife, then leaves Thursday for the races.(see full story at NASCAR.com)(6-11-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Shawn Parker’s wife, Tara, remains hospitalized in Winston-Salem, N.C., where she is awaiting a heart transplant. She has now been in the hospital for eight weeks(Winston Cup Scene need sub)(6-28-2001)
  • Pruett Still Looking: Scott Pruett and PPI Motorsports(#’s 32/96) owner Cal Wells have settled their negotiations over Pruett’s release from his contract, freeing him to drive for other teams. His only obligation to PPI is to help the team with its road course preparations, which he did prior to Sears Point. Had Pruett known that his inaugural venture into Winston Cup would last just one year, he probably would have stayed in CART. Pruett is currently considering a full-time return to road racing teams and a move to the Indy Racing Northern Lights Series(IRL). He would like to return to NASCAR, but only with a competitive Cup or Busch Series team. He has had some feelers, he said, but none from teams he is interested in(Winston Cup Scene need sub)(6-28-2001)
  • Chicagoland Testing UPDATE: Seven drivers tested at the new Chicagoland Speedway on Wednesday. #26-Spencer and #66-Bodine joined five drivers who tested Tuesday, #55-Hamilton, #84-Robinson, #30-Jeff Green, #12-Mayfield and #9-Elliott. No word on any speeds but Jeremy Mayfield compared it to Las Vegas with more banking and faster. Joe Nemechek took a few laps in the #55 Chevy of his teammate(Hamilton) to test his progress with his injuries. Usually this is against NASCAR rules (a teammates testing one car) but they relaxed the rules for the injury situation(PRN’s Garage Pass)(6-27-2001)
    UPDATE: Stacy Compton described the track as “the fastest on the circuit, possibly faster than Texas. We’ll all be curious to see how NASCAR attempts to slow things down out here, if at all. After turning 197 mph in the corners, I can honestly say, it’s going to take a lot of confidence and control to get around this place.”(Winston Cup Scene need sub)(6-28-2001)
  • NHIS Testing UPDATE ??: New Hampshire International Speedway on Monday, June 25th, will hold a NASCAR Open Test Session from 9:00am to 5:00pm/et. The testing session is open to teams from NASCAR Winston Cup Series; Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring; and Featherlite Modified Series, NASCAR Touring.(NHIS PR)(6-14-2001)
    UPDATE: no Cup, BGN or CTS teams tested at NHIS, some Busch North teams and a modified team tested there on Monday(6-28-2001) 


    (6-27-2001)

     

  • Congrats: #77 Crew Chief Ryan Pemberton, will spend the final off-weekend of the season getting married. Pemberton will wed Andrea Spruell on Saturday evening in Mooresville, NC(Jasper PR)(6-27-2001)
  • Full Time for Robby in the #7? UPDATE 2 Wallace back for Daytona: Ultra Motorsports team owner Jim Smith has offered Robby Gordon the No. 7 Ford ride. Gordon, subbing in the #7 Sunday at Sears Point, posted his best career Winston Cup finish with a second-place run. “I don’t want to come to Winston Cup just to race,” Gordon says. “I want to win.” Gordon, who began the season driving for the #4-Morgan-McClure team but was dropped after five races, might have his pick of offers. One possibility is Richard Childress’ third Cup car(hmm..teammates with Harvick?). Jeff Green has been auditioning that ride but apparently isn’t in Childress’ plans for next season, when the #30 will run the full schedule. Chip Ganassi’s CART program might be another possibility for Gordon(Sporting News-Inside Dish)(6-25-2001)
    UPDATE: Gordon said Tuesday that he has been offered the seat of Jim Smith’s #7 Ultra Motorsports Ford, and that he plans to have an answer for Smith by Wednesday. Gordon said the offer has been extended for the rest of the year, but nothing has been finalized. Gordon was unsure whether or not he’d be in the car at Daytona July 7. He’s slated to race Richard Childress’ #21 Chevy in the BGN event at Watkins Glen that same weekend, and wants to keep that option open, as well(NASCAR.com)(6-26-2001)
    UPDATE 2: but ESPN2’s RPM 2Night reported on Tuesday’s show that Mike Wallace has been told he will be in the #7 Ford for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona(6-27-2001)
  • Marcis to Retire? UPDATE: Dave Marcis, a race car driver for 44 years, is approaching a decision about his future in the sport. A competitor in the NASCAR Winston Cup series since 1968 and a starter in 879 races, Marcis, 60, is expected to decide soon if the approaching months will mark the end of his driving career. Marcis operates his own team from a shop located in Arden, NC near the Asheville airport. There may be an announcement about Marcis’ future during Pepsi 400 race activities at Daytona International Speedway next week. But Marcis said Monday he has not made a decision about retirement. Marcis is attempting a limited schedule this year and has raced in one event(Talladega). He said Monday he plans to attempt to qualify for five or six additional races this year, including next week’s race at Daytona Beach. His short-range plans also include driving in the Daytona 500 next February in Daytona Beach. Marcis started in 32 straight Daytona 500s, a streak that ended last year. “I’m leaning toward working something out on saying something soon,” he said. “I don’t want to announce a retirement and then come back and race. Maybe I’ll look at something like a semi-retirement and run a few races a year.” (Greenville News)
    UPDATE: just got this – Team Realtree Announcement, Press Conference on Thursday July 5, 2001at 2:00pm/et, Daytona International Speedway’s Benny Kahn Media Center(Champion Sports Group PR)(6-27-2001)
  • Speculation and Rumors UPDATE 2 no about Yates – No About Waltrip: from the AutoRacing1 site:
    Darrell Waltrip: He said a possibility of returning to racing, if he does return look for it too be the third Haas-Carter Motorsports Ford.
    Doug Yates: hearing a rumor from a source that says Doug Yates is strongly considering starting a new team with a good pal of his, Yates would own either a 1/4 or 1/2 interest in the team the number would be #82 possibly sponsors are Mountain Dew, Burger King, Motorola, Square D or Exide.
    Austin Cameron: supposedly one of the top three drivers RCR is looking at to drive the Chevy(doesn’t say which one) next year it is rumored that he is near the top of the list.
    Tom Kendall: If Mike Wallace stays until the Watkins Glen race look for road racer Tom Kendall to drive the #7 Nation Rent Ford for Car Owner Jim Smith.
    Wells looking for replacements for Houston: Rumor is going around that #96 car owner, Cal Wells replacements being considered are Dick Trickle and Scott Pruett(see AutoRacing1 Rumors section).
    Notes and Observations by Jayski: Why wouldn’t Smith bring back Robby Gordon who just finished 2nd for him at Sears Point? Wells disputes that he is replacing Houston, see below. Cameron was rumored a few months ago, possibly for the BGN, Yates has said many times, no third team(6-25-2001)
    UPDATE: sources at Robert Yates Racing(RYR) say there is definitely no truth to the rumor of a third team or Doug Yates starting a #82 team(6-26-2001)
    UPDATE 2: DW contacted me directly and says there is no truth to the speculation that he will get into the #46 Ford(6-27-2001), so three of these five rumors have been squashed
  • Haas-Carter Third Team? UPDATE 3: Haas-Carter Motorsports has booked Daytona International Speedway for two test days next week, but neither of that team’s regular cars is expected to participate in the session. Travis Carter, who co-owns the #26 and #66 Fords with Carl Haas, plans to test his #46 entry at Daytona. No driver has been named to run the car(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-19-2001)
    UPDATE: Also, Haas-Carter Motorsports will test its #46 Ford June 26-27 at Daytona. Kirk Shelmerdine will be at the wheel of the Haas-Carter entry. The grandstand will be open at no charge for the test with entry through the Daytona USA lobby(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-20-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Haas Carter Motorsports has a two-day test scheduled this week(Tuesday and Wednesday – June 26-27th) at Daytona and will use their “third team,” a #46 Ford, to conduct preparation for the July 7 Pepsi 400 rather than either the #26 or #66, driven by Jimmy Spencer and Todd Bodine, respectively. Kirk Shelmerdine, the late Dale Earnhardt’s former crew chief and a race winner in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, will be the designated driver for the test(NASCAR.com Buzz)(6-25-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Haas-Carter Motorsports participated in a two-day test session on Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway with driver Kirk Shelmerdine and the #46 Ford. Owner Travis Carter says he’s unsure whether or not he’ll field a third team for the 43rd annual Pepsi 400 on July 7. “We want to run it sometime, but I doubt (the car) would be ready for the Pepsi race,” Carter said. “Perhaps Talladega. (The test) is a good opportunity to learn something for all the cars. In order to do that, we need a third car to do it. “We hope to learn a little something for the 26 and 66. You’re always looking to expand your operation and that’s what we’re doing, looking to expand to a third car. As much as I hate to say it, it looks like it’s the nature of the beast.” Shelmerdine, a veteran of the ARCA RE/MAX Series, knows his way around tracks like Daytona International Speedway. He won the pole for the 2000 Discount Auto Parts 200 Presented By ACDelco at the “World Center of Racing.” Said Shelmerdine of the test: “You can’t just jump right in there. There’s a lot of research that goes into it. From our standpoint, we’re going to test a lot and see what happens after that. I don’t think there’s time to get prepared even if you had a year. There’s so many more things on the list to get through in order to hit the ground running.” Carter says Shelmerdine would be a potential driver to put into the #46 Ford if the team chooses to enter the car in a race. “If we run the car at one of these races, he would be probably a good candidate to run it,” Carter said. “We’re tweaking the minor stuff,” Carter said. Said Hillenburg: “We’re a lot better than our last trip here. We feel a lot better about this test.”(DIS Site/PR)(6-27-2001)
  • More Testing at DIS UPDATE: besides the #46 Hass-Carter Motorsports Ford and a Goody’s Dash team, I hear that Morgan Shepherd will test the #80 Hover Motorsports Ford Tuesday and Wednesday at Daytona. If the test goes well, the team will try to qualify for the Pepsi 400. The team hopes to run at Indy in the Brickyard 400 and is still looking for sponsor at both races(6-26-2001)
    UPDATE: Other teams testing at Daytona include #80-Stan Hover Motorsports and driver Morgan Shepherd and #49-BAM Motorsports and driver Andy Hillenburg. Both Kurt Shelmerdine(in the #46) and Hillenburg turned laps in the 179 mph range while Shepherd had not turned any laps by late afternoon(DIS Site/PR)(6-27-2001) 


    (6-26-2001)

     

  • Smokey Book: Smokey Yunick, the legendary stock car racer, who passed away on May 9th, 2001, has tell-all book of his life and racing a that was just released. Best Damn Garage in Town — The World According to Smokey is now available for order. That real story is told in four main sections, or “books,” contained in three volumes: Section 1: Smokey’s Life, “Walkin’ under a snake’s belly” (Volume I). Section 2: Stock car racing, “All right you sons of bitches, let’s have a race” (Volume II). Section 3: Indy, “Li’l skinny rule book.” Section 4: Inventions, “Eatin’ an elephant.” (Sections 3 and 4 make up Volume III). Initially, the book will be published in a Racer’s Edition — a boxed set of three volumes of over 400 pages each. Smokey covers it all: growing up on the farm in Pennsylvania, flying B-17s during WWII, the real stories from the early days of racing, his Winston Cup Championships, the glory days of Indy, his inventions and patents, and everything in between. The entire book is just as Smokey wrote it over the past 5 years – he wouldn’t let it be done any other way. For more info or to order the book go to www.smokeyyunick.com(6-26-2001)
  • Harvick Talked to? R Gordon to RCR? BUT Hear Kevin Harvick got an earful from NASCAR and from Richard Childress Monday. Someone from NASCAR called him, told him the bumping of Robby Gordon was unnecessary, and also talked about his “no mercy” comments after the race. Apparently, a few drivers besides Gordon talked with Childress, telling him to calm Harvick down in the future. So, hearing Childress sat Harvick down too, explained why the bumping wasn’t smart and told him to make peace with Gordon. Two reasons: (1) it is too early in his career to make enemies and (2) Gordon might be his team mate next season
    BUT another RCR source disputes the other RCR source: Kevin Harvick was not talked to by NASCAR following the Sears Point race on Sunday. Robbie Gordon did not talk to Childress either. Childress was not unhappy with Harvick’s actions. Harvick was racing hard to get his lap back and he’s very comfortable about how things played out. He gained 19 spots by finishing on the lead lap. And that helped him remain 9th in the Winston Cup points standings.(6-26-2001)
  • Kranefuss to Chevy or Dodge? hearing both Chevrolet and Dodge have made overtures to Michael Kranefuss concerning his Winston Cup(#84) and BGN(#’98 part owner) teams for next season. Apparently, they noticed the tremendous exposure Shawna Robinson and that team have received in two races this season, and are talking to Kranefuss about being part of the picture for next season. Heard Ford wouldn’t talk to Kranefuss about a tractor for the team’s transporter or even a loaner car at the Michigan race. Apparently, so did Chevrolet and Dodge – both mentioned loaner cars almost immediately in their conversations. Since Kranefuss also has the BGN team of Elton Sawyer, talks have included that team has well to some degree(6-26-2001) 

    (6-25-2001)

     

  • Kyle at New Hampshire? Kyle Petty has not decided if he or the #45 Sprint team will race at the New Hampshire race on July 22nd(CNN/SI-NASCAR Plus TV Show)(6-25-2001)
  • What Happened to at Sears Point? #87-Ron Fellows got wrecked with 10 laps to go and went from the top 10 to a 38th-place finish. Terry Labonte suffered the same kind of sad fate, finishing 36th after some of his best racing of the season because he got mussed up in a Turn 11 dog pile on the next-to-last lap.(That’s Racin’) AND John Andretti ran 11th entering the final lap but ran out of gas and finished 30th(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-25-2001)
  • Sad News: Newt Moore, crew chief for #36-Ken Schrader, wasn’t at Sears Point. Moore’s father died Saturday and he returned home(Fox Coverage and Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-25-201)
  • Gilligan’s Island to be Cancelled: The pit areas for the slowest nine cars in qualifying are across from the main pits. The area, dubbed Gilligan’s Island because of its isolated location, will disappear by next year after more track changes. Drivers using Gilligan’s Island lost 18 seconds over the rest of the field, which reflects the extra time it takes to get in and out(Santa Rosa Press Democrat), more explanation of Gillian’s Island on my Sears Point Past News page(6-25-2001)
  • Musgrave back in Cup? UPDATE: hearing Ted Musgrave, currently running the full 2001 CTS season for Ultra Motorsports will run a Dodge in some selected races during the year as a teammate to #7 Mike Wallace in Winston Cup, Wallace will supposedly stay in a Ford but the #7 could switch to a Dodge in 2002(3-29-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing the Ultra Motorsports team is going to run a second car at Indy in the Brickyard 400. Supposedly will use the #07 and Ted Musgrave supposedly will drive it, no idea on a sponsor or if it’ll be a Ford or Dodge(5-3-2001)
    UPDATE: While Ultra Motorsports owner Jim Smith pursues Gordon to drive his #7 Ford, he also becomes a Dodge team owner in Winston Cup this week when the organization finishes up the Intrepids it will carry to Indianapolis for the Brickyard 400. Ted Musgrave, whose three wins this season are tops in the Craftsman Truck Series(and drives for Smith in the CTS), will be the driver(Sporting News-Inside Dish)(6-25-2001)
  • Andretti to the #96? UPDATE 2 No: Rumor has it that John Andretti could be in for a switch to the #96 Cal Wells Ford. According to the source, Andretti could be headed to Cal Wells’ #96 McDonalds Ford in 2002, replacing Andy Houston, who has endured a season full of headaches so far this year, his first in the series(NASCAR.com Buzz)(6-18-2001)
    UPDATE: sources at PPI Motorsports say that this report is false and that Andy Houston is not going to be replaced as the driver of the #96 Ford(6-19-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Cal Wells insists rookie Andy Houston’s job is not on the line, despite rumblings that things were not going well at the Hickory team. “Yes, I’ve heard those same rumors, too,” Wells said. “In fact, I read where John Andretti was going to drive the car. I talked to John two years ago about possibly driving for me, but he said he was going to drive for Richard Petty, so I backed off, and I have not talked to him since, other than to say ‘Hi.’ “So there are a lot of rumors going around. But McDonald’s is solidly behind us; I was with them on Friday. And they are solidly behind Andy Houston. And it is incumbent on me to provide the right package for Andy, and I haven’t done that yet.” So, Houston will be in Wells’ car the rest of the season? “Absolutely,” Wells said. And next year? “I have a five-year contract with him, and he has a one-year contract with me,” Wells said. “In other words, I can option him up. And I would certainly option him before our due date, which is sometime in September. I fully expect him to be in the car next year. I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t be.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-25-2001)
  • Nice to see Benny: thought it was cool to see Benny Parsons interviewed at the end of the Sears Point broadcast and it was handled well by all involved. From the Sporting News: Fox broadcasters passed the torch on air last Sunday to NBC’s Benny Parsons, who says he worked on his golf game the first half of the season. Parsons, who will be joined in the booth by Allen Bestwick and Wally Dallenbach, says he found Fox’s style entertaining and hopes “to keep the excitement level high.”(6-25-2001)
  • Nice Gesture: UltimateTV from Microsoft made a quick transfer of funds following qualifying for Sunday’s race. UltimateTV was to adorn the rear quarterpanels and deck lid of Kenny Wallace’s #27 Eel River Pontiac, sharing the rear of the car with a logo of the Victory Junction Gang Camp, but Wallace narrowly missed the race. UltimateTV took the program, which called for the Victory Junction Gang Camp to receive $50 for every lap Wallace completed on Sunday, and moved it to the #45 team driven by Petty(RacingOne). Petty ran all 112 laps for a total of $5600 donated, thanks(6-25-2001)
  • Another Andretti? Preston Countryman has had a lifelong passion about auto racing, and now he’s getting an even bigger thrill by participating. First he started driving race cars, then this year he decided to start a NASCAR team. Now he’s having five race cars built, he’s bought a couple of car carriers and he says he’s signed a big-name rookie driver to launch a $1 million effort to win the 2002 Featherlite Southwest Series. Countryman has been in business for 24 years, but his work as a certified public accountant and business consultant doesn’t fire him up like his latest venture: building a NASCAR race team around driver Adam Andretti. Now he says he’s about to employ one, the 22-year-old nephew of racing legend Mario Andretti, to be his lead driver. The hiring of the younger Andretti couldn’t be confirmed by the family, but NASCAR officials did confirm that Countryman has a team owner’s license. In addition to Andretti, Countryman said he will have another driver to race in the 2002 Featherlite Southwest Tour, which is a regional stock car racing minor league to the NASCAR Busch series, which is itself the league of up-and-coming race drivers before the championship NASCAR Winston Cup series(Sacramento Business Journal)(6-25-2001)
  • Lowes and the #31 UPDATE 2 Gordon/Lowes Connection: Lowe’s officials admitted last week that they want to find a driver who can compete with the popularity and success of Tony Stewart, who drives the #20 Pontiac for their competition, Home Depot. Lowe’s officials have informed Richard Childress, owner of the #31 Chevy, that they will pay whatever it takes to get a top driver to replace Mike Skinner, who has not won a Winston Cup points race in five seasons as the Lowe’s Chevrolet driver. Lowe’s and Childress would love to get Jeff Burton, who is under contract with Roush Racing, but Burton says he’s staying with Jack Roush’s team. Greg Biffle, who drives the Grainger Ford for Roush’s Busch team, was seen touring the Childress racing facility last week. Childress also is looking for a driver for the No. 30 AOL car, which he will run on a full schedule next season. Jeff Green, the defending Busch series champion who will turn 39 in September, withdrew his name from consideration after AOL officials said they were looking for a younger driver(Dallas Morning News)(6-21-2001)
    UPDATE: Richard Childress, owner of the #31 Chevrolet, said he has made no final decision about whether driver Mike Skinner will be with that team next year. “We have a contract with Skinner through next year,” Childress said. “We both discussed that if we’re not both completely happy here in another few weeks, we’ll sit down and talk about the direction we’re going to go.” Childress plans to have three Winston Cup teams next year, with a #30 car joining the #’s 29 and 31. Rumors about who’ll drive that third car have been circulating for weeks(That’s Racin’)(6-24-2001)
    UPDATE 2: since this question has been posed to me numerous times since the race at Sears Point, it’ll be addressed: Since the #7 Ford driven by Robby Gordon has a Lowes decal on the rear lower 1/4 panel, he must be the next driver of the #31 Lowes Chevy for RCR. Nothing but speculation and a jump to conclusion, the decal has been on the car for months(as NationsRent and Lowes have a marketing agreement and some NationRents stores are located in Lowes), see my Paint Scheme Gallery and an image there of the #7 Ford taken at Martinsville, the decal was on the car then. It has been reported in the past that Gordon may run a BGN car for RCR either in 2001 or 2002 and Gordon is scheduled to drive the #21 BGN car for Richard Childress at Watkins Glen(6-25-2001)
  • #18 and #20 Brakes at Sears Point: #18-Bobby Labonte and race winner #20-Tony Stewart’s Pontiac’s were equipped with AP brakes for the first time this season. AP Racing has been in the racing business making brakes and clutches for over 50 years. Over the last 30 years, Formula one driver and constructors championships have been won on AP brakes. Over the past two months there have been several teams in both Winston Cup and Busch Grand National testing the new brake system. Jimmie Johnson and Hank Parker Jr, two of the fastest cars during testing at Watkins Glen recently had AP Brakes on them. Supposedly the Joe Gibbs Racing Pontiacs are the first Cup cars to run the brakes in a race. Coy Gibbs in the #20 truck in the tested the brakes and has had them on the truck since Martinsville. In the Watkins Glen BGN race, I hear the have the following cars will use the AP system: #43-Jay Sauter, #92-Jimmie Johnson, #56(52?)-Hank Parker Jr, #01-Andy Santerre, and #25-David Donohue(6-25-2001)
  • Fox wants a change? UPDATE 3 Las Vegas/Rockingham to switch? No? There is talk Fox does not want to begin its 2002 telecasts with the Rockingham race, currently second on the schedule. NBC has the rights to the Daytona 500 to open the 2002 season(Sporting NewsUPDATE: hearing the Las Vegas Cup race could be moved to the 2nd wwekend of the 2002 Cup Schedule and Fox would start their 2002 race broadcasts with that race
    UPDATE 2: Sources tell me that Las Vegas will still have the first Sunday of March race date, and that unless NASCAR leaves an open date after Daytona (unlikely) some race will be run between Vegas and Daytona(6-18-2001)
    UPDATE 3: There have been reports that Fox would rather not return at Rockingham, the site for the second race on this year’s schedule, preferring to have Las Vegas moved to the second race in 2002. “We’d be very happy to start with Rockingham,” said Ed Goren, president of Fox Sports. “There are some scheduling issues NASCAR is dealing with. At one point, because it was our first race they were looking at the possibility of going to Vegas but there were some conflicts with hotel space. “We will just sit down with the folks at NASCAR over the next week or so to take a look at next year’s schedule and hopefully try to put together a schedule that works for NASCAR but also produces the best opportunity to continue to increase ratings.”(That’s Racin’)(6-25-2001)
  • Nemechek Eyes Daytona to Return UPDATE: Joe Nemechek said Thursday he will be back behind the wheel (of the #33 Oakwood Homes Chevy) for the July 7 Pepsi 400 at Daytona. “I felt like I could have been back in a car this week (for the Pocono 500), but the doctors wouldn’t release me,” Nemechek said. ‘I’m looking forward to returning.”(Lakeland Ledger)(6-15-2001)
    UPDATE: Nemechek plans to test for as much as 500 laps at the end of the coming week at his hometown USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Fla. The track is a .750-mile oval similar to Richmond International Raceway(NASCAR.com Buzz)(6-25-2001)

 

(6-24-2001)

 

  • DW back racing? Darrell Waltrip isn’t sure what he’ll do the rest of the year after Sunday’s final Winston Cup broadcast on Fox, but he isn’t ruling out getting back into a race car. “I sure wouldn’t mind running Bristol, Martinsville or maybe Watkins Glen,” Waltrip said Saturday. “Just to keep my license current. With the right opportunity, I probably would at the right race track.” Waltrip made some laps Friday at Sears Point Raceway in a Jack Roush-built Mustang and said it felt good. But is he seriously considering a return to racing? “I am not seriously considering anything,” he said. ” We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”(That’s Racin’)(6-24-2001)
  • #44 Qualifying Driver? UPDATE 2: hearing Tom Hubert, who has driven in a few Cup races and is the #93 Bill Davis Racing Car Chief, will qualify the #44 Georgia Pacific Dodge for regular driver Buckshot Jones at Sears Point, but Jones will start and run the car in the race(6-21-2001)
    UPDATE: yep, Hubert qualified the red #44 Dodge 29th and Jones will drive the car in the race, but will have to fall to the back of the field as required when going to a backup or changing drivers after qualifying(6-23-2001)
    UPDATE 2: After he finished 16th on the lead lap in the Featherlite Southwest Series, NASCAR Touring SNAP-ON Tools 200 Saturday at Sears Point, Buckshot Jones pronounced himself ready to run the full Dodge/Save Mart 350 Saturday. Jones entered the race in a FSW team’s car to get track time. He started 39th but had raced up to ninth, when he inadvertently unhooked his safety harness and had to pit.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(6-24-2001)
  • Fox and SpeedVision: FOX Sports chairman and CEO David Hill confirmed Saturday that his network is closing a deal to purchase Speedvision, a 24-hour auto racing network that is currently seen in about 27 million homes. “The ink is still not dry,” Hill said. “We expect to complete the acquisition of Speedvision by mid-July or early August.” Once the sale is final, Hill said viewers can expect to see much more NASCAR content on the channel. “You’ll see NASCAR programming from the [FOX] network repeated on Speedvision,” Hill said. “[And] we’ll be making specific new NASCAR programming for it.”(CNN/SI)(6-24-2001)
  • No New Engine Rules? UPDATE: NASCAR officials have cancelled plans for new engine rules at Loudon, N.H., in three weeks, saying the proposals “have lost momentum.” Some teams pointed to heavy politicking against the proposed changes by the Roger Penske camp. “We’re preparing for a one-engine rule at Loudon, but we’ve heard several different things in the works for Loudon, even a 390 carburetor like they used on the Trucks at Texas,” says crew chief Jimmy Makar of the Bobby Labonte team. “In this sport, you’ve got to be prepared, whether it’s rumor or whether it’s fact.”(Winston Salem Journal)(6-23-2001)
    UPDATE: NASCAR is having second thoughts about using one engine for the entire weekend at a few races this year, beginning with New Hampshire next month. Some teams didn’t like the idea of using the same engines for practice, qualifying and races at New Hampshire, Bristol and Richmond, so it is likely that no such change will be ordered this season. But the one-engine rule for races of 300 miles or less is being considered for the 2002 season.(That’s Racin’)(6-24-2001) 


    (6-23-2001)

     

  • Park Eligible: Steve Park Makes People Magazine’s Top-50 Most Eligible Bachelors in the Country: Who says a good man is hard to find? The July 2, 2001, issue of People Magazine (Available on newsstands on June 25th) reports in a 47-page spread, on the most eligible bachelors in the United States. Golfer Tiger Woods, 25, who’s newly single after a two-year relationship, tops this year’s crop of eligible bachelors from the world of sports. He’s joined by New Jersey Devils hockey player Scott Gomez, 21, and NASCAR driver Steve Park, 33. Park tells People, “Driving 200mph around a track doesn’t scare me. But I’m nervous on a first date.”(Catchfence)..geez they forgot Jayski…(6-23-2001)
  • Robinson’s Sponsor UPDATE 3: #84-Shawna Robinson’s next Cup race attempt will be at the Chicagoland Speedway. Aaron’s will not ne the primary sponsor. A sponsor will be named that week for Robinson’s effort there, no idea who it is (yet)(FSN Qualifying Coverage on Friday). Aaron’s will sponsor Robinson at Indianapolis and Atlanta and possibly at Kansas and Homestead(6-11-2001)
    UPDATE: Event sponsor Tropicana has made a deal with MK Racing to sponsor its #84 Ford in driver Shawna Robinson’s planned second Winston Cup event, the July 15 Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway(NASCAR.com Buzz)(6-19-2001)
    UPDATE 2: not making this up – hearing that Victoria’s Secret os talking to Robinson’s team about sponsoring her and the team in 2002, not sure as a primary or an assoc(6-21-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Shawna Robinson, the first female to compete in Winston Cup since 1989, may be getting Victoria’s Secret as a sponsor next year. Already sponsored by Aaron’s for a four-race deal this year, she will have Tropicana orange juice on the car for her next event in Chicago. Rumor has it that the sophisticated lingerie company, known for its eye-appealing catalogs and retail mall stores, has also entered into sponsor negotiations. A spokesperson for Aaron’s said they are still in negotiations for next year’s sponsorship(NASCAR.com Buzz)(6-23-2001)
  • Kimmel to Cup? Frank Kimmel, current ARCA point leader and two-time champion, may venture into Winston Cup next season for three races. The only track that was mentioned for sure was Charlotte. His current sponsor, Advance Auto Parts, may be the one backing the effort. The 38-year old native of Jeffersonville, Ind., was the series rookie of the year in 1992 and was a runner-up in championship points in 1994, ’97 and ’99.(NASCAR.com Buzz), also Frank Kimmel made his 200th ARCA start in Memphis on Friday, finishing third behind winner Billy Bigley and 2nd place Rick Carelli(6-23-2001)
  • #27 Sponsor: UltimateTV, the Microsoft product, signed on to sponsor Kenny Wallace’s Pontiac for the Sears Point race only(Gaston Gazette), but Wallace failed to make the race(6-23-2001)
  • New Ford Boss: Ford has picked a new NASCAR field director, Linas Orentas, who replaces Jay Novak. Novak, who is moving to a non-racing job after three years as the company’s NASCAR point man, has been popular for his tough, blunt analysis and willingness to tell it like it is.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-23-2001) 

    (6-22-2001)

     

  • Bigger Windows at Daytona: NASCAR plans to widen Winston Cup’s shrinking driver-side window, which will allow drivers wearing neck restraints a faster exit in case of an emergency situation. NASCAR president Mike Helton confirmed the rule specifying a minimum, 17-inch window height will take effect for the July 7 Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Helton said this is the first time NASCAR has instituted a window size for Winston Cup cars. Before this rule, NASCAR only monitored the distance between certain rollcage bars inside the race cars. “The specifics before were the height of the door bars and the height of the halo bar,” said Helton. “What we were finding was that in an effort to create better aerodynamics, that opening was shrinking. We drew a line in the sand and say, ‘OK, this is far as it can go.’ ” Competitors said the new rule makes sense especially for drivers equipped with the bulky HANS device, designed to restrain head and neck movement in the event of a severe accident. Two thirds of Winston Cup drivers now wear restraint devices. NASCAR said drivers needed a larger exit hatch in case of an emergency situation on the track.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-22-2001) 

    (6-21-2001)

     

  • Earnhardt Photos News: Courtroom arguments about Dale Earnhardt’s autopsy photos may have ended for now, but the paper war between lawyers for the stock-car driver’s widow and a student-run newspaper rages on. Tom Julin, attorney for the Independent Florida Alligator, is disputing parts of a proposed 17-page court order submitted Wednesday by Teresa Earnhardt’s lawyers. The document is supposed to express the findings of Circuit Judge Joseph Will, who ruled last week that the Alligator and a DeLand Web site operator should not be allowed to see the pictures.(Full story at That’s Racin’)(6-21-2001)
  • Crawford in Cup? Rick Crawford says he has a need for speed, possibly behind the wheel of a car at NASCAR’s highest level. “The faster I can race, the better I like it,” said the 42-year-old Mobilian, who is in his fifth season driving in the CTS. At an age when many drivers are looking for another profession, Crawford said he isn’t thinking about slowing down his racing career. Instead, he has his sights on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. “Nothing’s etched in stone,” said the driver of the #14 Milwaukee Tools Ford. “But the team owner and I have discussed running two or three Winston Cup races near the end of this season.”(Alabama Live)(6-21-2001)
  • Helping Out: Texaco and the race teams it sponsors have joined together in an effort to encourage relief for the flood victims of Tropical Storm Allison. Ricky Rudd’s Robert Yates Racing Ford displayed a decal at Pocono with the number 1-800-HELP-NOW, the toll free donation number for the American Red Cross..(Winston Cup Scene)(6-21-2001)
  • 2nd Morgan-McClure car at Sears Point? UPDATE 4: hearing that SCCA Trans Am point leader Johnny Miller will test with the #4 Morgan-McClure team at Road Atlanta and has a shot at driving Sears Point either in a second car or the primary for McClure(6-12-2001)
    UPDATE: Hearing if Morgan-McClure runs a 2nd car for Miller, it’ll be #94. See images of the testing at the Miller Racing site and a story on the test: Trans-Am points leader Johnny Miller to test NASCAR Winston Cup car(6-14-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hearing that Johnny Miller was offered the Morgan McClure (#94 2nd car not the #4 car) ride for Sears Point but turned it down due to time constraints on getting a custom seat in the car and a NASCAR license but Miller may run for the team at Watkins Glen, and will continue testing for them(6-19-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Official Statement from Morgan-McClure Motorsports regarding Johnny Miller rumor: Larry McClure, owner of the No. 4 KODAK MAX Film Monte Carlo, states concern over the most recent rumor concerning his Morgan-McClure Motorsports team. Larry McClure quotes “In an unfounded rumor, Johnny Miller was placed in the #4 Chevrolet at Sears Point in the upcoming race event. This is strictly misinformation. Johnny Miller tested for the team at Road Atlanta last week, along with Kevin Lepage. He was there as an asset in gaining valuable road course information. He will continue to test some for the team. Although there might have been a misinterpetation, there was never a plan to field two cars at Sears Point or to have him drive the No. 4 car. Kevin Lepage is the driver. We are in the process of rebuilding and hiring a new crew chief, sometimes that puts a team under more scrutiny. These rumors pop up and they can do a team harm.”(Morgan-McClure)(6-20-2001)
    UPDATE 4:….”I was really thankful and excited to have the chance to test a Winston Cup car last week,” Miller said. “I think things went well.” Miller recently tested the #4 Kodak Chevrolet Monte Carlo for the Morgan-McClure Motorsports team at Road Atlanta. Kevin Lepage is the regular driver for the M-M team. “`I know some of the guys on the Morgan-McClure team and I had asked (M-M general manager) Larry McClure before if I could help him in some way,” Miller said. “Larry gave me the opportunity last week. `We were there to drive and coach Kevin on the finer elements of road racing and to prepare for the Sears Point and Watkins Glen races. Both Kodak cars were quicker than the Penske car driven by Jeremy Mayfield. We were pleased by that.” The final results of Miller’s tutorial session will come Sunday when Lepage competes in the the Dodge-Save Mart 350 on the two-mile road course at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. “I actually thought about going to Sears Point just to be part of the race, but I’m definitely going to be watching on TV,” Miller said. “I had a good time working with Kevin, the Morgan-McClure engineer (Gary Grossenbacher) and their new crew chief (Scott Eggleston). I just hope my experience and feedback will help them have a good race Sunday.” Miller’s immediate goal is winning his first Trans-Am Championship. He hopes to increase his profile and attract more interest from NASCAR power brokers along the way. “Saturday’s race in Detroit was on national TV with CBS and two more races will he shown on CBS later this season,” said Miller, the 1996 Trans-Am rookie of the year. “National TV is a good way to get your name out. And the success of Trans-Am and road racers in various NASCAR series has also helped give more exposure to our style of racing. It’s just a shame that the Trans-Am drivers aren’t included in the IROC Series. I’ve tried to find rides in the Busch Series. I really hope that we can hook up with Morgan-McClure at Watkins Glen in August. I’m confident that we could do well. We’re concentrating on winning that Trans-Am championship right now, though.”(Bristol Herald Courier)(6-21-2001)
  • Labonte Honor Postponed UPDATE 2: Corpus Christi City Council members gave the green flag on Tuesday to renaming Nueces River Park after NASCAR drivers Terry and Bobby Labonte. The unanimous vote to change the name to Terry and Bobby Labonte Park was great news for NASCAR fans like David Gibson, a state construction inspector. In a time when news about athletes often is negative, such as drug abuse or domestic violence, it is great to recognize role models like the Labontes, said Gibson, 56.(Caller-Times 2/28AND A ceremony to rename Nueces River Park in Corpus Christi, TX after NASCAR drivers Terry Labonte and Bobby Labonte has been delayed until June, officials said. The Labonte Brothers Special Recognition Committee initially wanted to rename the park to coincide with the April 1 NASCAR Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth(Caller-Times 3/18)(3-27-2001)
    UPDATE a little old but: A campaign to improve a city park honoring NASCAR champions and Corpus Christi natives Bobby and Terry Labonte began Thursday at City Hall. The centerpiece of the project includes a concrete sign – 8 feet high and 16 feet wide – at the park entrance. John Dykema of Bright and Dykemas Architects Inc. said the sign will be prominent on Interstate 37. The project will also include highway signs promoting the park, which was Nueces River Park until the City Council voted earlier this year to rename it Terry and Bobby Labonte Park. The park is in the north section of Corpus Christi off of I-37. The project is entirely privately funded. Debbie Lindsey-Opel, president of the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce, said organizers need to raise $60,000 to pay for all parts of the project. Donors will be recognized for contributions Dedication of the park is scheduled for June 20th(Corpus Christi Caller)(5-29-2001)
    UPDATE 2: A dedication of a park named for Corpus Christi natives Bobby and Terry Labonte has been postponed to allow more time to raise the money for the improvements that will accompany the ceremony. The dedication was scheduled for today. But organizers behind the project reset the dedication ceremony to Sept. 26 to allow more time to raise the $60,000 for the project, city spokesman Ted Nelson said. The project will include highway signs promoting the park, which was Nueces River Park until the City Council voted earlier this year to rename it Terry and Bobby Labonte Park. The park is in northwest Corpus Christi off of Interstate 37. People interested in contributing may send checks to the Chamber of Commerce Recognition Fund, Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 640, Corpus Christi 78403(Corpus Christi Caller)(6-21-2001)
  • #22 Tests with a Pontiac Engine: During a recent test session at Richmond, Ward Burton and his Bill Davis Racing team decided to stick a Pontiac (Chevy engine, different heads) engine in their Dodge to help figure out why the team has been struggling. The team ran Pontiacs until switching to Dodge for this season. “We (ran) back-to-back some engine stuff, comparing what we had last year to this year just to see if we could get back to where we needed to be,” crew chief Tommy Baldwin said. “We wanted to try out all our variations that we changed from last year to this year. We learned a ton.”Winston Cup Scene)(6-21-2001)
  • New #96 Crew Chief for Sears Point: PPI Motorsports’ Joe Garone, crew chief for the #96 McDonald’s Ford driven by Andy Houston , will leave the company Friday, it was announced today. Garone’s departure follows the team’s May 30th announcement of his pending resignation from PPI Motorsports to take a position with NASCAR. Scott Miller, current race engineer for the #96 McDonald’s Ford, has been named interim crew chief for Houston beginning this weekend at Sears Point. “With Joe leaving, it’s time for us to begin the rebuilding process as a team,” said PPI Motorsports owner Cal Wells III. “Scott has been a key part of our McDonald’s program since it began, and he, Andy and the team have established strong, solid working relationships. We’re confident Scott can provide the leadership we need while we continue to assess our options.” Prior to his current duties, Miller served as the race engineer for the McDonald’s Busch program and Houston’s five Winston Cup races with the team in 2000. He joined PPI Motorsports after several years of industry experience, most recently as a chassis specialist with Richard Childress Racing(PPI Motorsports PR)(6-21-2001)
  • Fox to Contunue Shows: Even though Fox passes Winston Cup TV race coverage off to NBC and Turner starting with the July 7 Pepsi 400 at Daytona, the NASCAR-related shows on Fox Sports Net will continue through the remainder of the 2001 season. “NASCAR This Morning,” the weekly pre-race show featuring analysts John Roberts, Derrike Cope, Bill Ingle and Steve Waid, will continue in its present time slot on Sunday, 10:30am – noon/et, through Sept. 2. From Sept. 9-Nov. 18, the show will air from 9-10:30am/et. “NASCAR Victory Lane,” with Roberts and Cope, will maintain its Sunday slot at 9:00pm local time through Nov. 18. “Totally NASCAR,” with Steve Byrnes and Kirsten Gum, will continue to run Monday-Friday at 6:00pm local time. And “NASCAR Tech,” with Ned Jarrett and Stephanie Durner, will run on Sundays from 10-10:30am/et, through Sept. 2. It will then air from noon-12:30pm/et, from Sept. 9-Dec. 29.(Winston Cup Scene), no word yet on what shows NBC/TNT will have(6-21-2001)
  • Murry at Sears Point: It appears veteran road racer David Murry may join some of his fellow road course specialists at the Watkins Glen Winston Cup race in August and, possibly, this weekend at Sears Point as a late replacement. Apparently, Murry has been actively speaking with teams whose drivers are not particularly comfortable on road courses and he may just land a ride as a result. Some teams have also asked Murry to act as a “coach” for their drivers. Last year, at Watkins Glen, he was a consultant to Jeff Burton. Burton ended up finishing third. Murry, who just returned from the 24 Hours of Le Mans, has been competing in both the American Le Mans Series and Grand Am Series this season(6-21-2001)
  • NASCAR Personnel: Hearing that Exide’s former Director of Racing PR, Chris Dirato, has removed himself from consideration for one of the two media relations jobs which NASCAR is looking to fill for its Winston Cup Series. Apparently, the agency he works for, Kermish-Geylin Public Relations, recently landed a high-profile account in the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series — the United States Army-sponsored Top Fuel dragster with driver Tony Schumacher — and he now oversees that program(6-21-2001)
  • McReynolds spins out Hammond: Fox NASCAR analyst and veteran Winston Cup crew chief Larry McReynolds shared victory lane with seven 600 Racing Legends Car, Bandolero and Thunder Roadster drivers as 187 cars were on hand for round two of the Summer Shootout Tuesday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. McReynolds scored a victory for “The Booth” as he beat fellow Fox analyst and “Hollywood Hotel” representative Jeff Hammond in the NASCAR Grudge Match. The three-race battle came down to the final three-lap run and it was over early when McReynolds got into the back of Hammond, spinning him out of contention. “This ain’t over,” Hammond said after climbing from his Winston Cup-style convertible. George and Lucy Meeks were the lucky fans selected to ride along with the Grudge Match competitors. George was in the passenger seat of McReynolds’ winning car while his wife, Lucy, rode with Hammond. BGN driver Jimmie Johnson, who will move to the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit next season in a fourth Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, will square off against a special mystery driver in next week’s NASCAR Grudge Match.(LMS PR)(6-21-2001)
  • Haas-Carter in the Wind: hearing that the Haas-Carter team (#’s 26,46,66) had two Fords at the wind tunnel at N.A.S.A.’s Langley Research Center located in Hampton, VA on Wednesday(6-21-2001) 

    (6-20-2001)

     

  • McSwain Fined: Michael McSwain, the crew chief for Ricky Rudd’s No. 28 Winston Cup Ford, was fined $250 for an unapproved part found on that car before the Kmart 400 at Michigan on June 10.(That’s Racin’)(6-20-2001)
  • Stewart at IRL RIR race? No but…: The Winston Cup series takes a rare off weekend following Sunday’s race at Sears Point. On the same weekend, the Indy Racing League conducts its inaugural event at Richmond International Raceway. Somebody hold Tony Stewart back. Less than a month after Stewart completed his historic same-day runs in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600, the 30-year-old driver is itching to get back into an IRL car. “I think if I had any guts at all, I’d go up there, get a ride and just spank their butts,” said Stewart, who has won two Winston Cup races at Richmond, including one earlier this year. “I think it would be fun. I’m really anxious for it to get here, and I can promise you I’ll be watching that race. I’m anxious to see what kind of a race it turns out to be. But man, I sure wish I was going to be in a car, because I’ve got a feeling I could really do some damage up there.”(Charleston Post and Courier)(6-20-2001)
  • Long to test at DIS UPDATE – no it was an ARCA team: Skillen Racing, with driver Carl Long, will test at Daytona International Speedway today(Wednesday) from 9:00am to 5:00pm in preparation for the July 7 Pepsi 400. The grandstand will be open at no charge for the test with entry through the Daytona USA lobby(Daytona Beach News Journal), not sure what the Skillen Racing team is and if it is different for the #85 Mansion Motorsports tean he normally drivers for
    UPDATE: Todd Pendergrass tested the #41 Chevrolet Monte Carlo for Skillen Racing at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday in preparation for the Oct. 20 Food World 300 ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Talladega(DIS PR)(6-20-2001) 


    (6-19-2001)

     

  • 2nd Morgan-McClure car at Daytona derailed: Larry McClure, who owns the #4 Chevy, has dropped plans to run a second car in the July 7 Pepsi 400. McClure said he had Loy Allen lined up for the ride but his two-car scheme was derailed by a recent crew chief change. “We’re looking at trying it for Talladega (in October),” said McClure(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-19-2001)
  • Andretti to the #96? UPDATE No: Rumor has it that John Andretti could be in for a switch to the #96 Cal Wells Ford. According to the source, Andretti could be headed to Cal Wells’ #96 McDonalds Ford in 2002, replacing Andy Houston, who has endured a season full of headaches so far this year, his first in the series(NASCAR.com Buzz)(6-18-2001)
    UPDATE: sources at PPI Motorsports say that this report is false and that Andy Houston is not going to be replaced as the driver of the #96 Ford(6-19-2001)
  • 2nd Cingular Car? UPDATE: hearing there will be a third car for Ganassi Racing at Sears Point with road course driver Dorsey Schroeder driving a 2nd Cingular Dodge
    UPDATE: Schroeder will drive the #01 Cingular Dodge usually wheeled by Jason Leffler, while Leffler will drive a #04 Dodge from the Ganassi stable(NASCAR.com Buzz)(6-19-2001)
  • Mandatory Caution UPDATE NASCAR and Drivers Meet: NASCAR planned to give teams some help in Sunday’s Pocono 500, but instead its plan to put out a competition caution on Lap 25 raised the ire of several crew chiefs and drivers. Typically, NASCAR announces the use of a competition caution – a planned caution – at the mandatory driver and crew chief meeting the morning of the race. Sunday at Pocono Raceway, NASCAR officials made the decision to have a caution after evaluating what the enormous amount of rainfall Saturday evening had done to the 2.5-mile triangular track. But they made the decision after the driver’s meeting, and relayed the information to officials on pit road, who were, in turn, to inform crew chiefs. Communications broke down along pit road and some teams found out over their radios, while some didn’t get the information at all.(That’s Racin’)(6-17-2001)
    UPDATE: Several drivers, owners and NASCAR officials met after Sunday’s Pocono 500 to discuss the competition yellow on lap 25. The result was an unlikely admission from president Mike Helton: “There was some comments by crew chiefs that they didn’t get the word in time and made their decisions to go ahead and pit,” Helton said. “Now, we have to give them the benefit of the doubt and figure that our guys didn’t get the message delivered quick enough. This was a situation that we decided after the drivers’ meeting was over with and it could have been a situation where the message wasn’t completely conveyed up and down pit road correctly from our side, so we’ll take this one.”(CNN/SI)(6-19-2001)
  • #77 in the WInd: hearing that Jasper Motorsports has two #77 Daytona Fords at the wind tunnel at N.A.S.A.’s Langley Research Center located in Hampton, VA today(6-19-2001)
  • Eggleston Stays Another Week: Scott Eggleston had his first run with #4 KODAK MAX Film Monte Carlo, serving as crew chief. Eggleston, who first saw the Monte Carlos he would be working with on Friday, improved the race car throughout the 200 lap event on Sunday. Eggleston joins the Kodak crew for a Goodyear tire test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday and Tuesday of this week. He will also lead the crew at Sears Point(Morgan McClure PR)(6-19-2001) 

    (6-18-2001)

     

  • Fox wants a change? UPDATE 2 Las Vegas/Rockingham to switch? No? There is talk Fox does not want to begin its 2002 telecasts with the Rockingham race, currently second on the schedule. NBC has the rights to the Daytona 500 to open the 2002 season(Sporting NewsUPDATE: hearing the Las Vegas Cup race could be moved to the 2nd wwekend of the 2002 Cup Schedule and Fox would start their 2002 race broadcasts with that race
    UPDATE 2: Sources tell me that Las Vegas will still have the first Sunday of March race date, and that unless NASCAR leaves an open date after Daytona (unlikely) some race will be run between Vegas and Daytona(6-18-2001)
  • Goodyear Tire Test at Indy: #4-Kevin Lepage and #28-Ricky Rudd are testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Goodyear(MRN’s NASCAR Today)(6-18-2001)
  • Davis Back at Daytona: #22 and #93 Cup car owner Bill Davis is resting at his Arkansas home as he continues to recover from complications that developed after the removal of a kidney stone. Davis is expected to return to the track for the Daytona race in three weeks(Roanoke Times)(6-18-2001)
  • #30 Will Exist in 2002: Richard Childress says that there will be an AOL Winston Cup team (#30) next season. Theres was some doubt, but he says they have a 3-year deal. Plus RCR driver (#29) Kevin Harvick comments about having run 9,844 miles so far this season…between BGN and Cup he’s averaging a win every 3,000 miles. Harvick says “I guess I’m like a good oil change!”…(PRN’s Garage Pass), the only question remains, who will drive the #30, crew chief? and NASCAR.com reports: Rumor has it that Jeff Green has removed his name from possible candidates to drive Richard Childress’ third Winston Cup car full time in 2002. Sponsor AOL reportedly told Green that they were looking for a hip, upstart driver. Green said last month that he had begun negotiations with ppc Racing, his Busch Series owner, on a new contract(6-18-2001)
  • Mast Nominated: Rick Mast enjoys lending a helping hand to his neighbors in Rockbridge Baths, Va. In 1994, he took on the task of organizing the Rick Mast Classic, a golf tournament and country music concert fundraiser for the Rockbridge Area Free Clinic. It is because of his continued commitment to his community and the clinic that Mast received True Value’s Man of the Year second quarter nomination. True Value, the Official Hardware Store of NASCAR, is once again sponsoring the NASCAR True Value Man of the Year. The award is designed to honor a driver not only for their accomplishments on the track but for their community service contributions and charitable efforts. Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 Pfizer/Viagra Ford, was the recipient of the first quarter nomination. Since Mast, driver of the No. 50 blair.com Chevrolet, began his involvement with the Rockbridge Area Free Clinic, fundraising efforts have reached nearly $300,000. In 2000 alone, Mast and his group of volunteers raised $60,000 for the clinic. For the purpose of determining the NASCAR True Value Man of the Year Award winner, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series season has been divided into four quarters in which drivers are nominated for their off-track efforts. An elite group of panelists will select one of the four quarterly finalists to name the NASCAR True Value Man of the Year. This award will be presented at the NASCAR Winston Cup Series banquet in New York City, along with a prize of $100,000. The prize will be divided evenly between the driver and the charity of his choice. In addition to the NASCAR True Value Man of the Year, True Value sponsors the Man of the Race Award, which goes to the eligible driver who wins each of the 36 NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship events. Each True Value Man of the Race Award winner receives $2,500 with an additional $2,500 going to the charity of his choice. The third-quarter nominee will be announced on August 20.(NASCAR PR)(6-18-2001)
  • Won’t Go Away: Despite the insistence of Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing, that all his drivers are solidly under contract, that he has no plans to let any of them buy out, and that all will back again next season, reports are hotter than ever that some of those Ford stars will be in Richard Childress’ Chevrolet camp next season. Greg Biffle has toured Childress’ shop south of Winston-Salem, according to team sources who insist Biffle is still a very strong candidate for a ride with Childress. However, Bobby Hutchens, general manager for Childress’ racing operations, denied reports that Jeff Burton had signed or was close to signing a five-year contract with Childress to drive a Lowe’s sponsored car. Lowe’s officials have said privately their big goal now is to back a team that can beat Home Depot’s Tony Stewart and that cost is not an issue(Winston Salem Journal), see the #17 Team News and Links page(Kenseth), #6 Team New and Links page(Biffle) and #99-Team News and Links page(Burton) for the past news on these rumors and denials(6-18-2001)
  • Some Notes: Ford and Chevrolet now have seven victories each this season. Pontiac has one. Rudd is the 11th different winner in 15 races. It’s the first time he’s ever won a race when starting from the pole after 26 previous unsuccessful tries. Gordon has now finished in the top eight 13 times in 17 Pocono starts. Jarrett and Mark Martin have now finished in the top five in 11 of the past 12 Pocono races. Gordon has led 610 of the 800 laps in the past three races. Kevin Harvick leads the rookie of the year race by 23 points over Kurt Busch(That’s Racin’)(6-18-2001)
  • Pontiac Gone? Might General Motors consider dropping the Pontiac brand from Winston Cup racing? A new model is expected for the 2003 season, but will GM invest in the redesign of its Grand Prix for NASCAR? Just an ugly rumor that it won’t, said Terry Laise, General Motors competition and aerodynamics manager. “But anything is possible.”(Sporting News)(6-18-2001)
  • Some Notes: Ricky Rudd’s win came in his 710th Winston Cup race, became the 11th different winner in 15 races this year and his 21st victory ties him with Benny Parsons, Jack Smith and Terry Labonte for 24th on the all-time win list. This was Rudd’s first victory starting from the Bud Pole and the first ever win for his crew chief, Michael “Fatback” McSwain. Going up: Ken Schrader, Mike Skinner and Stacy Compton moved up the most by gaining three points positions. Kevin Lepage moved up two. Going down: Ward Burton dropped four spots on the points chart from 19th to 23rd. Bobby Hamilton and Jeremy Mayfield fell two spots.(NASCAR.com)(6-18-2001)
  • Rudd’s Transmission: After seizing the lead on a dramatic move late in yesterday’s race, Ricky Rudd kept his foot to the floor and Jeff Gordon in his rearview mirror, racing hard to the finish line to win the Pocono 500 by a dozen car lengths. Although Gordon had snatched the lead and the win away from him in the waning stages of last week’s race, Rudd regarded his 21st career victory more with relief than revenge. “I just knew something had to go wrong,” said Rudd, who, like the others in the lead pack, wound down the final laps with a dwindling fuel supply. Then, with 10 laps to go, I broke the transmission and couldn’t take it out of third gear. I thought, ‘Man, here we go again, blowing another great chance.’ I didn’t even think about winning until I saw the checkered flag.”(Philadelphia Inquirer), the transmission was stuck in 3rd gear for the last ten laps(6-18-2001)

 

(6-17-2001)

 

  • Rudd Ends Winless Streak: #28-Ricky Rudd wins the Pocono 500, ending a streak of 88 races without a Winston Cup win. #24-Jeff Gordon was the runner up. Rudd’s last win was at Martinsville in Sept 1998. So Rudd is in the 2002 The Winston (or whatever it’ll be called). Gordon slightly increased his points lead over #88-Dale Jarrett (who came in 3rd) to 36 points. Rudd is the 7th pole winner to win in 47 Pocono races. It was the first win for the #28 Texaco team since Ernie Irvan won at Michigan in June 1997(134 races ago). See That’s Racin’ for Pocono 500 Results by the AP and NASCAR.com for 2001 Winston Cup Drivers Points and That’s Racin’ for a story: Finally, it’s Ricky Rudd(6-17-2001)
  • Petree Still Looking: #33 and #55 car owner Andy Petree has many leads but nothing solid yet in his quest to find sponsorship for both of his Winston Cup cars. Petree is hoping strong performances by his Chevrolets will attract the big bucks. Bobby Hamilton won for Petree at Talladega Superspeedway this season. “I’m very concerned about it,” Petree said. “This is a bad year for me to have both of my contracts up going into 2002. With the economy the way it’s been . . . I’m not an economist, but it looks like it’s turning around some. I feel pretty good about the prospects. We’ve got people out there that still want to be involved in Winston Cup. It’s probably one of the best sports marketing programs out there to get value for what you put in it.” Petree said maintaining personnel is the major culprit driving today’s Winston Cup budgets, which typically top $10 million(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-17-2001)
  • Busch to run a CTS race: Rookie Cup driver Kurt Busch(#97) heads back to the CTS in two weeks as he will drive Roush Racing’s #99 truck at The Milwaukee Mile. As a rookie in the CTS last year in the #99 Ford, Busch won at Milwaukee. With Greg Biffle driving next week at Memphis, Roush is hoping its veterans can work with younger drivers Chuck Hossfeld, Nathan Haseleu and Jon Wood(RacingOne)(6-17-2001)
  • Andrews good at Pocono: #1-Steve Park’s crew chief, Paul Andrews, has won races at Pocono Raceway with three different drivers: Alan Kulwicki, Geoffrey Bodine and Jeremy Mayfield. It was Mayfield’s first career victory (1998).(Gaston Gazette)(6-17-2001)
  • ARCA: Tim Steele captured his eighth victory at Pocono, holding off Josh Richeson to win an ARCA race that ended under caution because of rain. Richeson is the son of BGN crew chief Donnie Richeson and the nephew of Cup driver Brett Bodine, who owns the ARCA car(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-17-2001) 

    (6-16-2001)

     

  • NASCAR…Go West? Bear Stearns, a Wall Street brokerage firm, has just released an interesting business analysis of NASCAR and its future, along with some facts and figures, in a 77-page report. The highlights: NASCAR is oversaturated in the Southeast and needs to move several Winston Cup race weekends to the west, moving dates from Martinsville, Pocono and New Hampshire to Texas, Las Vegas, California and Kansas. NASCAR’s proposed new speedways near New York City (at the Meadowlands) and Denver are “not likely.” Some major NASCAR sponsors are disgruntled. Bottom line, the investment firm has long-term optimism for the sport, but is wary in the short-term. See the full story/report at the Winston Salem Journal: Brokerage firm tells NASCAR ‘go west’ and a partial report at the Bear Stearns site and another at Yahoo Biz: Bear Stearns Announces Investment Opinion on International Speedway Corp(6-16-2001)
  • #9 Crew Chief may Miss Pocono UPDATE: Bill Elliott may be without his crew chief for the Pocono 500. Mike Ford flew home to North Carolina Thursday to be with his sick father. It was not known late Friday evening whether Ford would return for Sunday’s race. Serving in Ford’s place during Friday’s qualifying was team owner (and former #24 crew chief) Ray Evernham(AJC)
    UPDATE: it was mentioned during FX’s Happy Hour coverage that Mike Ford will be at the track Sunday and call the shots for Elliott on Sunday. Evernham will once again spot for Elliott(6-16-2001)
  • Newspaper Threatened:: Death threats, vandalism and lost advertising are what the student newspaper at the University of Florida has endured since trying to gain access to Dale Earnhardt’s autopsy photographs. The Independent Florida Alligator went to court this week in Daytona Beach for permission to view photos of the NASCAR legend, who was killed Feb. 18 in a crash at the Daytona 500. On Wednesday, a judge ruled they would remain sealed under a new state law prohibiting release of autopsy photos without a judge’s OK. Most of the death threats to editors at the Alligator have come in the form of e-mails. Some threatened to kill the editors and their families and post their pictures on the Internet.(Orlando Sentinel)(6-16-2001)
  • All Access: Dale Jarrett: On Sunday, June 17 at 9:00pm local NASCAR Victory Lane, the Sunday night primetime wrap-up show on FOX Sports Net, once again has unprecedented access to one of NASCAR’s top drivers. FSN cameras follow three-time 2001 Winston Cup race winner and current runner-up points leader Dale Jarrett during weekend racing at Pocono on Friday, Saturday and all day Sunday, bringing viewers Jarrett’s day at the races from his point of view. In observance of Father’s Day, NVL gets special insight from Dale’s oldest son Jason, an ARCA Series driver who races on Saturday and is currently fourth in the ARCA point standings. Their relationship will be explored. Additionally, there will be an in-car camera in Jarrett’s car, and camera crews will cover his and his team’s every move on race day. The entire one-hour show is dedicated to this exclusive access, with the end of the show still providing a recap of the day’s Winston Cup race. John Roberts serves as host, but the majority of what viewers will see is from Jarrett’s point of view, all edited within hours from the time the action is shot(FoxSports)(6-16-2001) 

    (6-15-2001)

     

  • Nemechek Eyes Daytona to Return: Joe Nemechek said Thursday he will be back behind the wheel (of the #33 Oakwood Homes Chevy) for the July 7 Pepsi 400 at Daytona. “I felt like I could have been back in a car this week (for the Pocono 500), but the doctors wouldn’t release me,” Nemechek said. ‘I’m looking forward to returning.”(Lakeland Ledger)(6-15-2001)
  • Musgrave at Pocono in #7? UPDATE 3 in the #7, Gordon at Sears point: Ted Musgrave, who drives the #1 Mopar Dodge truck for Ultra Motorsports and owner Jim Smith was supposed to drive the #00 Buckshot Racing Chevy in the BGN race at Kentucky. But supposedly called to tell them he had another ride in the Cup race at Pocono this weekend and couldn’t drive the #00 and suggested Tim Fedawa for the ride(which is who will drive the #00). What ride does Musgrave have for Pocono? Before Wally Dallenbach was announced in the #33 Oakwood Homes ride, Musgrave was rumored to be driving the #33. Other rumors floating around are Musgrave as a replacement for current #7 driver Mike Wallace, the #7 is also owned by Jim Smith, or possibly a 2nd Ultra Motorsports Ford as Musgrave is supposed to drive a 2nd Ultra Motorsports Ford(or Dodge at the Brickyard 400(6-13-2001)
    UPDATE: nothing confirmed but again hearing Musgrave in at Pocono and a new twist, hearing Robby Gordon in the #7 at Sears Point
    UPDATE 2: Ted Musgrave is in Ultra Motorsports’ #7 Ford for the Pocono 500 after team owner Jimmy Smith said he needed to have an answer to why his team had struggled to qualify this season with driver Mike Wallace. Smith said Thursday morning Robby Gordon will drive the #7 car at Sears Point next weekend but that he expected Wallace to return for the July 7 Pepsi 400 at Daytona when the team plans to unveil a new speedway car. The owner stressed that Wallace had not been fired.(NASCAR.com)(6-14-2001)
    UPDATE 3: comments from #7 Owner Jim Smith – “It’s no secret that our performance hasn’t been where we want it to be, especially over the past few weeks, and everybody at Ultra Motorsports is doing everything they can to get over this hump and figure things out. We’re grateful to Ted Musgrave, who is going to help us out this week at Pocono, and to Robby Gordon, who is going to help us out next week at Sears Point, by driving the NationsRent Taurus and giving us an independent evaluation of where we need to concentrate our improvement efforts. Ted’s record at Pocono has been a good one, and he can offer our guys a really good evaluation of what we have for that particular track. Robby’s road course record, and his record at Sears Point, speaks for itself, and we think he can offer a lot to what we are trying to do. For the most part, nothing has changed. This will give us some good feedback regarding our team, and we anticipate Mike Wallace being back in the NationsRent Taurus for the race at Daytona.”(Williams Company)(6-15-2001)
  • Chicagoland Testing UPDATE: #6-Mark Martin, #99-Jeff Burton, #97-Kurt Busch, #17-Matt Kenseth, #21-Elliott Sadler and #2-Rusty Wallace were among a group of teams at Chicagoland Speedway this week testing for the inaugural Winston Cup event there on July 15.(That’s Racin’)(6-13-2001)
    UPDATE: The Roush Racing teams spent Monday and Tuesday of this week testing at the new Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IN, just 30 miles southwest of Chicago. Roush drivers Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, Jeff Burton and Greg Biffle were some of the first drivers to test out the new speedway. Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DEWALT Ford, ran the fastest lap during Monday’s test session. The 1.5-mile track has 18 degree banking in the corners, an 11 degree frontstretch and a five degree backstretch. With dimensions like these, Kenseth and crew chief Robbie Reiser knew they would dealing with high speeds. “The track feels like Vegas on some parts but it’s fast like Texas,” said Kenseth. “We got up into the high 190’s at one point during testing.” Despite being the fastest Roush car on the track, the goal of the DEWALT team was not speed. “We ran really good but we didn’t work on making the car fast, we worked on handling,” said crew chief Robbie Reiser. “We ran a total of 350 miles and made 32 changes. We worked on a lot of different set-ups. We changed out spindles and shocks and a couple other things to see how it would respond on the track.”(Roush Racing)(6-15-2001)
  • Newmans Plans Change UPDATE finishes Schoolwork: ALLTEL Team Penske has decided to forgo the remaining ARCA races on their schedule and instead focus on their Busch Series and Winston Cup events. The decision was made after Newman’s fifth-place finish at Michigan on June 10. “We knew at the beginning of the year that the objective for Ryan was seat time,” said John Erickson, Penske Racing South team manager. “We’ve just decided the best thing for Ryan and the team is to concentrate on our Busch and Winston Cup races, in addition to some more testing. The beauty of this program is we can change the schedule to fit our needs, all with the goal of preparing for the full 2002 Winston Cup schedule in mind.”(Tom Roberts PR)(6-14-2001)
    UPDATE: Ryan Newman has completed the two courses he needed to get a degree in vehicle structure engineering from Purdue and expects to graduate in August. Newman took two courses via the Internet through Catawba Valley Technical college in Hickory, completing them last month. The grades will be transferred to Purdue. Newman was a full-time college student before moving to North Carolina to pursue his driving career. He finished fifth in Sunday’s Winston Cup race at Michigan Speedway.(That’s Racin’)(6-15-2001)
  • Pruett at the Glen? UPDATE yes in the BGN: hearing that Scott Pruett will be driving the #71 State Fair Corn Dogs/Ball Park Franks Taurus for Kevin Lepage at the Busch race at Watkins Glen next month. They plan to test there later this month. This is.a one race deal(6-6-2001)
    UPDATE: Matrix Motorsports has reached an agreement with Scott Pruett, a native of Sacramento, Calif., to drive the #71 BGN entry at Watkins Glen, N.Y., on July 8, 2001. Pruett, who was a full time driver of the #32 Ford on the NASCAR Winston Cup Circuit last season, is pleased with the opportunity to drive for Matrix, owned by Donna and Kevin Lepage. Lepage, driver of the #4 Kodak Chevy in Winston Cup, has succeeded in the Busch Series as an owner and a driver. He has two wins (Bristol Motor Speedway in 1998 and Homestead-Miami Speedway in 1996) and 15 top-five finishes in 152 starts. Although he is running a limited BGN schedule of 15 races for the 2001 season, Lepage is looking to expand his team to possibly include a full time driver for the 2002 season. State Fair Brand Ball Park Corn Dogs is the primary sponsor on the #71 driven by the Vermont native. However, Matrix Motorsports is actively seeking a sponsor for the #71 Ford to run a full schedule. Pruett, a former Professional Karting Association World Champion and CART Racing Series winner, stepped into the Cup Series in 2000 for the first time. Now, he is looking to gain valuable seat time in a stock car in the Busch Series(Matrix Motorsports PR)(6-15-2001)
  • Dallenbach has Offers UPDATE 4 It’s Official – to NBC: Wally Dallenbach, left without a ride when the #75 Galaxy Motorsports team closed up, is looking at what might be two out-of-this-world offers to resume his long racing career and is in talks regarding at least two major deals. One is an opportunity to leave Winston Cup and compete full-time in the IRL starting next year, joining Sam Hornish Jr. on the well-financed Indianapolis-based Pennzoil-sponsored Panther Racing team. Dallenbach and Panther have been in negotiations for the last month or so. “Panther and myself have been working real hard on the IRL program,” Dallenbach said. “Things look pretty optimistic there.” But a new player has come into the picture that gives Dallenbach a bit more latitude and another racing option. While he won’t reveal the name of the team or its owner, another Winston Cup situation has been presented to him to consider for next season. “A Winston Cup opportunity kind of has arisen recently, and I think there’s some possibilities there,” Dallenbach said. “Now, this (both the IRL and Cup programs) is all for next year. I would think that if anything was put together as far as next year goes, we’d probably run some races this year … just to get our feet wet(ESPN), actually hearing the Winston Cup offer may be for Wally to be the third person in the NBC booth with Allen Bestwick and Benny Parsons(5-30-2001)
    UPDATE: Wally Dallenbach Jr. is in the running for the third chair in NBC’s racing broadcast booth. Dallenbach received high marks after auditioning for the job and will be part of a mock broadcast of this weekend’s race at Michigan. NBC and TNT start their coverage of Winston Cup and Busch Series racing with the July 7 Pepsi 400 at Daytona(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-5-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Wally Dallenbach will join Benny Parsons and Alan Bestwick in the NBC booth during the second half of the season. Dallenbach, 37, has been on sabbatical since Galaxy Motorsports failed to find sponsorship for the 2001 season. “I’m looking forward to the experience, but if I had a top-10 ride, it would be a different story,” Dallenbach said. Next season Dallenbach hopes to fulfill his dream of driving in the Indianapolis 500 in a car fielded by Panther Racing(Sporting News)(6-11-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Wally Dallenbach will be officially named Thursday to the NASCAR announcer team for NBC and TNT. Dallenbach, 38, spent last weekend rehearsing at Michigan International Speedway with the NBC/TNT broadcast team that will take over Winston Cup and Grand National telecasts beginning with events leading up to the July 7 running of the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. “We rehearsed all day Saturday and Sunday,” said Sam Flood, producer for the NBC/TNT racing team. “It went really well. “Wally has a fresh perspective. He will be racing this weekend, so there’s a real connection there. He and Benny (Parsons) can go back and forth on some issues and we think they will have a nice give and take.” Dallenbach’s path to the job began with a call to Parsons, who along with anchor Allen Bestwick will join Dallenbach in the booth(That’s Racin’)(6-14-2001)
    UPDATE 5: Wally Dallenbach will join the NASCAR on TNT and NBC broadcast booth when the networks begin coverage of NASCAR at the Pepsi 400 from Daytona International Speedway, the networks jointly announced Thursday. Dallenbach will debut with analyst Benny Parsons and play-by-play announcer Allen Bestwick, beginning with Bud Pole Qualifying, July 5 at 8:00pm/et on TNT, and the Pepsi 400, July 7 at 7:30pm/et on NBC.(CNN/SI)(6-15-2001)


    (6-14-2001)

     

  • Louise Smith to Speak: Retired driver Louise Smith of Greenville is scheduled to talk about her racing career and sign autographs at 3:00pm/et on June 23 at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia. Smith, a member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, is among the women featured in the museum exhibit “Dressed for the Occasion: Making a Statement with Clothes.” Smith loaned the museum race trophies, a replica of her car and a black leather jacket she was awarded(Greenville News)(6-14-2001)
  • NHIS Testing: New Hampshire International Speedway on Monday, June 25th, will hold a NASCAR Open Test Session from 9:00am to 5:00pm/et. The testing session is open to teams from NASCAR Winston Cup Series; Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring; and Featherlite Modified Series, NASCAR Touring.(NHIS PR)(6-14-2001)
  • #4 Restructures – new crew chief UPDATE 3 – 2nd car at Sears Point? Morgan-McClure Motorsports has made personnel changes in an effort to restructure its organization and keep pace with the winning competition. Larry McClure, owner of the #4 Kodak Chevy, and crew chief David Ifft, decided to part ways following the Kmart 400 at Michigan. Ifft, who joined the team last November following a long absence from Winston Cup, will return home to spend quality time with his family. Although no permanent replacement for a crew chief has been named, Scott Eggleston will travel with the team to Road Atlanta for a test session on Tuesday and Wednesday. Eggleston will accompany the team to Pocono for the 15th race of the year. Prior to beginning the 2001 season with DEI(#15-Waltrip), 39 year-old Eggleston worked with Team SABCO. Larry McClure, owner of the No. 4 KODAK MAX Film Monte Carlo, quotes: “We have replaced a jackman in the past week. We will tryout some new race cars in the weeks to come. Now we will search for a crew chief. I am going to restructure the team until it is capable of winning again. Chemistry in this sport is more important than people might believe. Once the right combination is found, success will follow.”(Morgan-McClure PR)(6-11-2001)
    UPDATE: Robert Larkins returned to the road crew last week in a familiar position of jackman. Robert had left the road crew at the beginning of the year to focus on shop duties. Six new race cars have been ordered by Larry McClure. They will be a basic design. McClure states the cars will not be reengineered, in an attempt to return to a basic car. The cars will be ready for delivery to the Abingdon, Va.-based shop within the next few weeks. The team will test at Road Atlanta on Tuesday and Wednesday before traveling to Pocono(Morgan-McClure PR), also hearing that SCCA Trans Am point leader Johnny Miller will test with the team at Road Atlanta and has a shot at driving Sears Point either in a second car or the primary for McClure(6-12-2001)
    UPDATE 2: #12-Jeremy Mayfield also tested at Road Atlanta. Hearing if Morgan-McClure runs a 2nd car for Miller, it’ll be #94. See images of the testing at the Miller Racing site and a story on the test: Trans-Am points leader Johnny Miller to test NASCAR Winston Cup car(6-14-2001)
  • Past Kulwicki Scholarship Winner to Drive: Ryan Zeck, an engineer on Dale Jarrett’s Robert Yates Racing Ford, is slated to drive for Herzog Motorsports June 16 in the ASA event at I-70 Speedway in Odessa, Mo. Zeck was the inaugural recipient of the Alan Kulwicki Memorial scholarship for engineering students at UNC-Charlotte(Winston Cup Scene)(6-14-2001)
  • Dana to Help out at NASCAR Technical Institute: Dana Automotive Aftermarket Group, one of the leading producers of automobile replacement parts, will have a leadership role in creation of the new NASCAR Technical Institute, founded to train mechanics and technicians for service outlets across the United States. Groundbreaking for the tech institute, located in Mooresville, was held May 23. The Institute, to open in 2002, is a partnership between Universal Technical Institute of Phoenix and NASCAR. Dana will support the institute in unspecified ways.(SpeedVision)(6-14-2001)
  • #2 Wind Tunnel: hearing that Penske South Racing a #2 Ford, intermediate configuration(Lowes, Michigan,etc) in the wind tunnel at N.A.S.A.’s Langley Research Center located in Hampton, VA today(6-14-2001)
  • TV Ratings UPDATE: The ratings are in for Michigan, and the Winston Cup race was the most watched show ever on FX, receiving a 4.8 share (FX-available universe), representing 3.2 million homes. The final laps of the race received a 5.8 share(MotorsportsTV Newsletter)(6-13-2001)
    UPDATE: FX’s telecast of the Michigan 400 (June 10, 1:13-4:30 PM) was the highest rated, most-watched program in the network’s seven-year history, recording a 4.8 household rating, 3.2 million homes and 4.9 million viewers. In the final 15 minutes of the race (4-4:15 PM), as fans watched Jeff Gordon hold off Ricky Rudd for the thrilling victory, coverage peaked at a 5.8 HH rating, 3.9 million homes and 6.3 million viewers. FX’s Pre-Race show (12:30-1:13 PM) posted a 2.3 HH rating and 1.5 million homes. Race coverage outpaced the networks previous marks, which were a 4.2 HH rating for Terminator 2 (2/1/98) when the network was in 34 million homes; and 2.6 million households and 4.5 million viewers for its telecast of the Pontiac Excitement 400 from Richmond (5/5/01).(NASCAR PR)(6-14-2001)
  • Hermie Sadler adds Indy: Since missing the field for the Richmond race in May, #13-Hermie Sadler has made key changes to his team. He moved it from Lyndon Amick’s BGN in the Charlotte area to his former shop in South Hill, VA. Sadler now can keep an eye on the team and work closely to make improvements. The group is building two new cars and has added a race to the schedule. Sadler competes next in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis, an addition to his original schedule. He also plans to run the fall races at Martinsville and Richmond. The Virginia Lottery is sponsoring Sadler in a select set of races this season(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-14-2001)
  • #22 tests at RIR: Ward Burton was supposedly testing at Richmond International Raceway on Wednesday(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-14-2001) 

    (6-13-2001)

     

  • Get Well: “Papa” Joe Hendrick, father of Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, is scheduled for heart surgery Monday at a Charlotte, N.C.-area hospital. The elder Hendrick, who is listed as the car owner for the #25 Chevrolets of driver Jerry Nadeau, had heart surgery in March. On Saturday, teams working with the three Hendrick cars – those of Nadeau, Jeff Gordon and Terry Labonte – were preparing decals expressing their get-well wishes to run on their cars during Sunday’s Kmart 400 at Michigan(That’s Racin’)(6-10-2001)
    UPDATE: FSN’s NASCAR Today and ESPN2’s RPM Night both reported that “Papa” Joe Hendrick underwent sucessful heart surgery on Monday, no other details(6-11-2001)
    UPDATE 2: “Papa” Joe Hendrick, the father of Winston Cup team owner Rick Hendrick, is beginning the recovery process after having heart surgery on Monday in Charlotte. The elder Hendrick is 83(That’s Racin’)(6-13-2001)
  • Autopsy Photo Update – Ruling Upheld: Lawyers seeking access to Dale Earnhardt’s autopsy photos said Wednesday that allowing public review of the photos could prevent future racing deaths. “We want a safer future where a great good has been served,” said Tom Julin, an attorney for the University of Florida’s student publication, the Independent Florida Alligator. “We want more information because we want to stop these deaths from happening.” Julin spoke during closing arguments at a hearing in which the Alligator and a Web site are seeking access to the autopsy photos of the racing legend, who was killed in a last-lap crash at the Daytona 500 in February.(more of the AP story at That’s Racin’)
    AND A judge ruled Wednesday that Dale Earnhardt’s autopsy photos cannot be made public under a new state law that restricts access to autopsy images. “In this particular case, the release constitutes a serious invasion of the highest degree. There is no question it’s harmful, it’s unspeakable,” said Circuit Judge Joseph Will.(Orlando Sentinel/AP)(6-13-2001)
  • Biffle Staying at Roush: “Take me out of the rumor mill,” says Greg Biffle. “Roush Racing and Grainger have been great to me and I have no intention of doing anything but staying here to try and win more championships for Grainger and for Jack Roush.” With that statement Biffle hopes to end “silly season” speculation about his future. “Jack Roush, Greg Biffle and Grainger have made long term commitments to one another, and all parties are fully engaged in the process of honoring those commitments,” says Geoff Smith, Roush Racing President. “It is a compliment to Greg’s talent that after only a few races in the Busch series he has captured the eyes of other owners—who are recently discovering what we have known and have invested in for several years.” “I’ve been approached by members of the media asking me if I’m thinking of leaving Roush Racing,” said Biffle. “Each time I’ve told them that I am happy where I am, and I look forward to a successful career with Roush Racing. “At this point in the season, the rumors start to fly about which driver is doing what for next season. If there is a hint a driver is leaving a team, the media picks it up and runs with it. Yeah, I’ve had a few calls about going other places, but I’m just not interested in doing so. It’s very flattering to have big name teams calling me at this point in my career, but I’m driving for one of the biggest names in the industry that has a team of racing and marketing people committed to helping my career. “Why would I think about leaving the opportunity that’s been placed in front of me? Roush Racing and Grainger have agreed to take me Winston Cup racing, and whether that takes place next year or the year after is up to them. My job is to get into that race car each week and drive to the best of my abilities, and that’s what I intend to do no matter what series I’m racing in. “Jack Roush and Grainger will make the decision on when it’s time for me to make the jump to Winston Cup. If it’s next year, I’m ready for the challenge; if it’s not, then another year in the Busch Series will only have me that much more prepared for the jump. “I’m working with one of the best crew chiefs in the business (Randy Goss), and we are building a team that has already shown it has what it takes to go Winston Cup racing. Roush Racing gives me everything I need to go out every week and be a contender. I’ve got teammates that are some of the best in the business helping me out each week, and I look forward to continuing to build the relationships with those guys as my career progresses. “If it weren’t for Jack Roush giving me the opportunity to drive for him in 1998, I may not have been where I am today. He took a chance on me and I plan on honoring that. I’ve already won one championship with the organization and I plan on winning more. That’s the bottom line.”(Roush Racing PR)(6-13-2001)
  • Fellows and Nemechek: NEMCO Motorsports announced today plans to compete in three NASCAR events with driver Ron Fellows this season. Fellows, who won the Rolex 24 at Daytona in February, will pilot the Nortel Networks #87 Chevy in next weekend’s Savemart 350 Winston Cup Series event at Sears Point Raceway. From there, the team will move on to Watkins Glen for the BGN race on July 8, and the Winston Cup Series race on August 12. Bully Hill Vineyards will be the primary sponsor for both events at The Glen. Over the past three seasons, Fellows and Nemechek’s team, led by Crew Chief Brian Pattie, have tallied two wins and a second in three tries in the BGN event at Watkins Glen, as well as a second-place finish in the 1999 Winston Cup Series race. Newcomers to the Sears Point event, Fellows insists the team’s goal remains the same regardless of venue or series. “As always, whether it’s Winston Cup or Busch, the main priority is to make the race,” said Fellows. “I’ve raced at Sears Point in the Trans Am Series and in the Corvette, but this will be my first time in a Winston Cup car. We came out to Sonoma to test and were quite pleased with the result,” Fellows added. “It’s a very different track than Watkins Glen. It’s a fun track because of the elevation changes, but generally, the corners are slower. You’ve really got to have a handle on shocks at Sears Point and Brian (Pattie) was able to accomplish that during the test.” A Toronto, Ontario native, Fellows competes in the American Le Mans Series driving the GM Racing Corvette, as well as select NASCAR events with NEMCO Motorsports. Currently he is in France, competing with the GM Racing team in the 24 Hours of Le Mans(NEMCO Motorsports PR)(6-13-2001)
  • Lopez to Stay at #90 UPDATE: Team Consultant Phillippe Lopez will remain with the #90 Hills Bros. Ford team with driver Hut Stricklin for the remainder of the season(National Speed Sport News Print Edition May 30th)(6-5-2001)
    UPDATE: Sara Lee Coffee and Tea and veteran crew chief Philippe Lopez have agreed to work together on the #90 Hills Bros Racing Team. Philippe Lopez will report to the Sara Lea Coffee and Tea Consumer Brands Board of Management on all current and future racing activities in support of the Hills Bros Racing Team. Lopez’s role is to assist crew chief Bobby King at the track, in the shop if needed, and during the testing. Lopez worked with the Hills Bros Coffee crew in Michigan when the Team posted its best effort during the 2001 Season(6th).(Keystone Marketing PR)(6-13-2001)
  • Rolling Stone and Little E: This week’s Rolling Stone magazine features a three-page article about Dale Earnhardt Jr.(Racing Extra), it’s not online, but at their site it has this listed: The Nascar star soldiers on after watching his father die on the track.(6-13-2001)
  • Teresa to Testify UPDATE 4 Law Upheld/Teresa Testify’s: Dale Earnhardt’s widow, Teresa, is expected to testify Monday, June 11th at a much-anticipated hearing June 11 to decide whether Dale Earnhardt’s autopsy photos should be open to public inspection. Teresa, in February won an injunction closing the photos and subsequently won passage of a state law to close all such photos. Teresa Earnhardt has maintained that she sought the injunction to protect her privacy and that of her family(FSN’s Totally NASCAR)(6-7-2001)
    UPDATE: It’s looking more and more like NASCAR president Mike Helton will not be taking the witness stand in Monday’s hearing to decide whether Dale Earnhardt’s autopsy photos should be open to public inspection. An attorney involved says processors have tried for 10 days to serve the Helton with a subpoena and haven’t been able to track him down(CNN/SI) and story on Teresa at the Daytona Beach Journal(6-9-2001)
    UPDATE 2: A judge upheld a new Florida law on Monday that was crafted to seal autopsy photos of racing legend Dale Earnhardt, rejecting arguments that it unfairly prevented access to public information. Circuit Judge Joseph Will said the law was “valid and constitutional” in upholding the law passed by the Florida Legislature in March making it a felony to release autopsy photos without a judge’s permission. Previously, such photos had been public record. Earnhardt’s widow, Teresa, had no visible reaction when the decision was read, but she did whisper “Thank you” to her attorneys. On Tuesday, the judge will hear testimony aimed at reversing his order sealing the photos issued four days after the racer’s death. Teresa Earnhardt had sought the order, saying her family’s privacy would be violated if the photos were released. She was expected to testify Tuesday. The new law not only forbids copying of autopsy photos and records, but also prevents inspecting the records.(more at That’s Racin’/AP and the Orlando Sentinel)(6-11-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Dale Earnhardt’s widow testified Tuesday that she has tried to stop the public release of her husband’s autopsy photos to spare her family “painful emotional distress. The photographs are humiliating, disgusting and negative,” Teresa Earnhardt said. “That could be nothing but harmful and painful to anyone involved with my family, my company, our fans, anyone.” Appearing slightly irritated under questioning from opposing lawyers, Earnhardt said she filed a lawsuit blocking the release of the photos to spare her family from “humiliation and harm.” She said NASCAR didn’t influence her decision. She also said the decision had nothing to do with her interest in protecting her company, Dale Earnhardt Inc., and Earnhardt’s image as a revenue source. “I don’t think it has anything to do with sales. I think it has to do with personal feelings and privacy,” Earnhardt said. “It would affect our state of minds because we would be personally harmed.”(more at That’s Racin’/AP)(6-12-2001)
    UPDATE: see columns at the Dyatona Beach News Journal and at the Orlando Sentinel(6-13-2001) 


    (6-12-2001)

     

  • STATS are all updated. See the LEFT side of this page under the STATS heading. A note about the Drivers Points and the Owners Points/Provisional pages: On this weeks Official NASCAR Winston Cup Results (not the results at NASCAR.com but what NASCAR sends to the press), they have #30-Jeff Green and #84-Shawna Robinson listed at PE which means Post Entry, or that the teams race entry form was received after a certain date (no idea when it has to be in by). So neither the driver nor the team accumulated points for Michigan. Same as last year when Scott Wimmer ran the Atlanta race after ARCA qualifying was rained out and got no points for the race. That is all I know….(6-11-2001)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has revised the results, Robinson will get Drivers and Owners points, but the Green and the #30 will not, have updated the Provisional and Drivers Points pages to show this. AND something I missed on the revised results, #02-Ryan Newman is also classified as PE and will not garner any drivers points and the #02 will not get any owners points(6-12-2001)
  • #4 Restructures – new crew chief UPDATE: Morgan-McClure Motorsports has made personnel changes in an effort to restructure its organization and keep pace with the winning competition. Larry McClure, owner of the #4 Kodak Chevy, and crew chief David Ifft, decided to part ways following the Kmart 400 at Michigan. Ifft, who joined the team last November following a long absence from Winston Cup, will return home to spend quality time with his family. Although no permanent replacement for a crew chief has been named, Scott Eggleston will travel with the team to Road Atlanta for a test session on Tuesday and Wednesday. Eggleston will accompany the team to Pocono for the 15th race of the year. Prior to beginning the 2001 season with DEI(#15-Waltrip), 39 year-old Eggleston worked with Team SABCO. Larry McClure, owner of the No. 4 KODAK MAX Film Monte Carlo, quotes: “We have replaced a jackman in the past week. We will tryout some new race cars in the weeks to come. Now we will search for a crew chief. I am going to restructure the team until it is capable of winning again. Chemistry in this sport is more important than people might believe. Once the right combination is found, success will follow.”(Morgan-McClure PR)(6-11-2001)
    UPDATE: Robert Larkins returned to the road crew last week in a familiar position of jackman. Robert had left the road crew at the beginning of the year to focus on shop duties. Six new race cars have been ordered by Larry McClure. They will be a basic design. McClure states the cars will not be reengineered, in an attempt to return to a basic car. The cars will be ready for delivery to the Abingdon, Va.-based shop within the next few weeks. The team will test at Road Atlanta on Tuesday and Wednesday before traveling to Pocono(Morgan-McClure PR), also hearing that SCCA Trans Am point leader Johnny Miller will test with the team at Road Atlanta and has a shot at driving Sears Point either in a second car or the primary for McClure(6-12-2001)
  • Toyota in the CTS? Toyota is expected to step up to NASCAR’s Truck tour, perhaps as soon as next season(Winston Salem Journal), Toyota already runs in NASCAR in the Goody’s Dash Series(6-12-2001)
  • NASCAR.com adds Cams: NASCAR.com launched a new feature Tuesday that allows fans to get an inside look into one of the industry’s leading racecar manufacturer shops — Body Dynamics Racing Inc. This new enhancement gives fans an opportunity to watch a race car being built from beginning to end. There are five live Web cams placed around the facility where fans can watch the racecars begin to take form. For more, see the story at NASCAR.com: NASCAR.com brings you Shop Shots(6-12-2001)
  • Dallenbach in the #33 at Pocono: Wally Dallenbach will drive the #33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet this week in Sunday.s Pocono 500 at the 2.5-mile, triangular-shaped Pocono International Raceway. Dallenbach is sitting in for regular driver Joe Nemechek, who was injured several weeks ago in a crash during BGN testing at Doverl. Bobby Hamilton, Jr. has been driving the Oakwood Homes Chevrolet but has a conflict this week with a BGN race at Kentucky Motor Speedway. The team has already announced Scott Pruett will drive the Oakwood Homes Chevrolet at Sonoma, CA(Sears Point) on June 24. Dallenbach either qualified or finished in the top 10 in a string of four out of six Pocono races, 1997-1999. Last year, in a much lesser-financed car, that string fell off the pace, even though Dallenbach caught the eye of many racing observers by making the most out of a not-quite-up-to-par situation. He started third in the July, 1997, race at Pocono, and finished fifth in the July, 1999, race – the latter coming while driving Rick Hendrick.s third car.(Williams Company of America)(6-12-2001)
  • Childress to help out DEI? Richard Childress has been asked to take an advisory role at Dale Earnhardt Inc., helping Teresa Earnhardt with the three-car Winston Cup operation, according to sources close to the team(Winston Salem Journal)(6-12-2001)
  • PE Changes? UPDATE 2 Larry Mac?: hearing Petty Enterprises (#’s 43, 44, 45 and #43 CTS team) has parted ways with some of it’s engineering staff and that Larry MacReynolds (Fox Broadcaster) is considering working with the team when the Fox part of the TV deal is up after Sears Point(June 24th)(5-29-2001)
    UPDATE: while hearing there were some personnel changes in the engineering staff are true, have been told by some the part about Larry MacReynold’s coming to PE is not true and others say yes, as a consultant(5-30-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Ex-crew chief Larry McReynolds says he’ll be back in action in somebody’s shop in July after his tour as a Fox TV commentator ends. “But I’m not going to be a crew chief,” McReynolds said, “because I don’t think that would be fair to a race team to walk in and say, ‘OK, here I am, and I’ll be your crew chief the next five months, but then I’m leaving.’ “But I’m definitely going to do something. If I can go in and help a race team and give them some feedback and keep my hand in it, that would be my goal.” McReynolds says the no-compete clause in his contract with Richard Childress “has been worked out. We’re good there. I can do anything I want, except to broadcast with another network.”(Winston Salem Journal)(6-12-2001)
  • Not NASCAR but: Davey Hamilton, an Indy Racing League driver, was in stable condition yesterday with injuries sustained in a crash in Saturday’s Casino Magic 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Hamilton suffered severe injuries to both legs and feet when his car hit the fence. His injuries include damage to bones, muscles, blood vessels and circulation to his feet, said Dr. Henry Bock, the director of medical services for the IRL. Hamilton was transferred Sunday to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis from Parkland Hospital in Dallas by an air ambulance. He had surgery Sunday at Methodist to stabilize circulation and remove damaged tissue. Early reconstruction of the multiple fractures also has begun. Also, Robby McGehee, injured in another accident in the same IRL race, was in good condition at Parkland Hospital after surgery Sunday to repair a broken lower left leg(Winston Salem Journal)(6-12-2001)
  • Wind Tunnel: hearing the #30 AOL car was in Detroit on Monday, being tested in the GM wind tunnel(6-12-2001) 

    (6-11-2001)

     

  • Get Well UPDATE 2: It was mentioned during Fox’s broadcast of the Coca-Cola 600 by Dr. Dick Berggren, that Shawn Parker’s wife, Tara, is in a Winston-Salem hospital. Mrs. Parker is listed in critical condition and has A-1 status on heart transplant, which means she is the next person on the list when one that will match her comes available. Parker is the Car chief/Rear tire changer for the #6 Roush Racing team and driver Mark Martin(5-29-2001)
    UPDATE: Shawn Parker, was poised to leave the race on a moment’s notice. Parker’s wife, Tara, is on the priority list for a heart transplant. She had two hearts become available in the past couple of weeks, but doctors thought one was too small and the other carried hepatitis. Team owner Jack Roush has his plane on standby to fly Parker out if he receives word his wife is heading into surgery.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-4-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Shawn Parker, the car chief and rear-tire changer for Mark Martin’s #6 Ford has been balancing his time between his race duties, shop duties and husband duties the last few weeks. Splitting his time between the shop just northeast of Charlotte and Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C., Parker said the waiting has been tough. “All she can do is just wait,” he said. “She’s on medicine right now to help her with the congenital heart defect. The best way for me to explain it is, she doesn’t have a full-size heart like most others do. She already had open heart surgery in July last year to put in a new heart valve and make some repairs. As she grows and gets older, it’s tough to keep up with the surgeries because her body changes. Since that surgery, she’s had problems with other organs because the heart can’t provide enough blood to them. As the heart she has now deteriorates, the only thing that can help her is a heart transplant.” Shawn, 27, and Tara, 26, met at Daytona Speedweeks in 1994. He was working on Rusty Wallace’s team and she for Winston promotions. An unplanned meeting between the two clicked and they have been together ever since. Married last November, the couple now reside in Cornelius, NC. Some of the factors involved for matching a heart include blood type, size and age to make a true fit with a donor. Tara currently experiences shortness of breath and fatigue from most types of physical exertion. As she awaits her possible life-saving phone call, Shawn makes a daily 130-mile round-trip from Monday through Wednesday to see his wife, then leaves Thursday for the races.(see full story at NASCAR.com)(6-11-2001)
  • TNT Announcement UPDATE 2 an Allison: TNT to announce an important addition to its NASCAR Television On-Air Broadcast team on Monday, June 11th at 11:00am/et on NASCAR.com. Dallenbach to the booth?(6-8-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing the announcement is not Dallenbach(that would be made by NBC) but that Mike Hogwood will be the voice of their stand-alone BGN races on TNT(6-10-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Liz Allison has reached an agreement with Turner Sports to serve as an on-site reporter for TNT’s NASCAR Winston Cup and NASCAR Busch Series races, it was announced Monday on NASCAR.com by Turner Sports executive producer Mike Pearl. Allison, the widow of 1987 Winston Cup Rookie of the Year Davey Allison, will join TNT’s NASCAR broadcast team on July 8 for the Busch Series race at Watkins Glen. Allison will do her first Winston Cup Series event on July 29 at Pocono Raceway(NASCAR.com/That’s Racin’)(6-11-2001)
  • Two More Cup races in 2002? NASCAR president Mike Helton said the sanctioning body is working on the 2002 schedule, but he refuses to comment on the garage rumor that there will be two more races — 38 total — next season. Word is Kentucky Speedway will be awarded an inaugural event and that California will get a second race. Other changes might include moving races at Rockingham, Atlanta and Darlington to dates that are more weather friendly(Sporting News)(6-11-2001)
  • Ganassi Hire: Team owner Chip Ganassi announced that Bruce J. Mosley has joined Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates as vice president. Mosley will be responsible for overseeing all sales, marketing and communication functions for Chip Ganassi Racing’s two NASCAR Winston Cup Series entries – the #01 Cingular Wireless Dodge R/T driven by Jason Leffler and the #40 Coors Light Dodge R/T driven by Sterling Marlin. For the past five years, Mosley has worked as a director of corporate partnerships for the International Speedway Corporation (ISC) in Daytona Beach, Fla. He was responsible for event, series and network marketing for ISC’s 13 motorsports facilities, MRN Radio and the Grand American Road Racing Association. Prior to joining ISC, Mosley worked for Campbell Soup Company as a territory manager in North Florida.(Ganassi PR)(6-11-2001)
  • Robinson’s Sponsor: #84-Shawna Robinson’s next Cup race attempt will be at the Chicagoland Speedway. Aaron’s will not ne the primary sponsor. A sponsor will be named that week for Robinson’s effort there, no idea who it is (yet)(FSN Qualifying Coverage on Friday). Aaron’s will sponsor Robinson at Indianapolis and Atlanta and possibly at Kansas and Homestead(6-11-2001)
  • Stricklin/Donlavey: Hut Stricklin finished sixth in the Junie Donlavey-owned #90 Ford, the team’s best finish since 1998. Since Phillip Lopez, a former crew chief for A.J. Foyt Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc., joined the team as a consultant in April, Stricklin has posted four top-20 finishes in the past six races(That’s Racin‘), it was also Stricklin’s best finish since a 2nd in the Southern 500 at Darlington in 1996(6-11-2001)
  • Kulwicki Scholarship: Terra Marckese, a senior at Bershire High School in Chardon, Ohio, has been named the winner of the Alan Kulwicki Memorial Scholarship at UNC Charlotte. The four-year Kulwicki Scholarship is the highest honor within UNCC’s Motorsports Engineering program. The scholarship is given in memory of late Winston Cup champion, Kulwicki, who lost his life in a place crash in 1992. Kulwicki was an engineer, and a strong supporter of engineering and science education(That’s Racin‘)(6-11-2001)
  • Earnhardt’s Seat Belt UPDATE: The lap belt worn by Dale Earnhardt when he crashed on the final lap of the Daytona 500 was torn, a police report said Friday. After the crash Feb. 18, NASCAR said a broken seat belt was discovered in the car and might have played a role in the death of the seven-time Winston Cup champion. Investigators told The News-Journal of Daytona Beach they examined Earnhardt’s wrecked Chevrolet and its belt system on May 29 just outside Charlotte, N.C., where NASCAR took the car for safe-keeping while the probe continued. Detective Sgt. Steve Szabo said he found the original lap belt in two pieces with torn fibers. He said NASCAR president Mike Helton then used a pocket knife to cut another belt that was the same model, manufactured by Simpson Performance Products. Szabo examined both belts. “The cut belt did not have any similarity to the belt ends that were involved in the crash,” Szabo wrote in a report obtained by the newspaper. Szabo determined Earnhardt’s belt had torn in the area where it is adjusted for tightness.(Full Story at That’s Racin’ by the AP)(6-9-2001)
    UPDATE: see an AP Photo of the belt at: Yahoo News(6-11-2001)
  • the 100 Hendrick Wins: Phil Werz from Charlotte’s NBC 6 ‘s “On Track from Lowe’s Motor Speedway” sent me a breakdown of the 100 wins for Hendrick Motorsports:
    Jeff Gordon 55(currently with Hendrick #24)
    Terry Labonte 11(currently with Hendrick #5)
    Tim Richmond 9(deceased)
    Darrell Waltrip 9(retired with Fox in the booth)
    Geoffrey Bodine 7(currently in the BGN driving the #66)
    Ricky Rudd 4(currently with RYR #28)
    Ken Schrader 4(currently with MB2 Motorsports #36)
    Jerry Nadeau 1(currently with Hendrick #25)
    Gordon has averaged a win every 4.9 races (271 starts)(6-10-2001)
  • Engine Rules Change UPDATE: NASCAR’s plans to go to a one-engine-per-weekend rule at Loudon, Bristol and Richmond this season, with hopes of using the rule everywhere next season except Daytona Speedweeks, will push more Winston Cup teams into buying expensive new ‘race simulation’ engine dynos. Roger Penske has been using one of those dynos for several years now, but most other Cup teams have resisted the effort and expense it takes to design one. Other types of race simulation computer “dynos” are already in use, to help teams put actual parts and pieces, like gears and transmissions, through a race-simulated pace. While some engine men here were wondering yesterday if NASCAR had decided to back off from the engine change, Randy Dorton, head engine man for Rick Hendrick, said he was confident the new rules would go into effect at Loudon(Winston Slaem Journal) and more past news on my NASCAR Past News page(6-9-2001)
    UPDATE: Winston Cup series director Gary Nelson said Saturday that NASCAR is exploring the use of one engine only for qualifying and the race, but that such a change could likely only be made with shorter races. Nelson said NASCAR has not selected a race to test the idea, but acknowledged that the New Hampshire race next month presents a good opportunity. Both New Hampshire races each season are 300 miles, among the shortest in the series outside of the two road course events(That’s Racin’)(6-10-2001)

 

(6-10-2001)

 

  • Gordon wins #55: #24-Jeff Gordon won at Michigan in the Kmart 400. #28-Ricky Rudd finished 2nd. Gordon now has 55 career Winston Cup wins, which puts him in alone in 7th overall, Rusty Wallace and Lee Petty have 54. It is also Hendrick Motorsports 100th Winston Cup win. Gordon becomes the first driver since Tony Stewart in Oct 2000 at Martinsville (19 races) to win a race from the pole. Gordon also takes over the point lead, now ahead of #88-Dale Jarrett (finished 18th) by 26 points. Gordon also wins $60,000 NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus for winning a race and leading the Winston Cup Drivers Points. #02-Ryan Newman gets his first top 5 of his four race Winston Cup career, finishing 5th. #90-Hut Stricklin finished 6th, which is team owner Junie Donlavy’s first top 10 since August 1999. #84-Shawna Robinson finished 34th. See That’s Racin’ for Unofficial Results and Unofficial Standings and see a story at That’s Racin’: Gordon gives Hendrick win No. 100. Team owner Rick Hendrick was not in Michigan to celebrate, however. He remained in Charlotte with his father, “Papa” Joe Hendrick, who is scheduled to have heart surgery on Monday(6-10-2001)
  • Smith Returns to Racing: Stanley Smith speeds around the track tucked into the backwoods of Montgomery, a patch over his left eye and only his crew and two sections of empty bleachers looking on. The former Winston Cup driver, who spent 40 days in a hospital after an accident at the Talladega Superspeedway in 1993, is back doing what he loves best in NASCAR’s minor leagues. “I just wanted to get back in and see how it felt, and make sure it was still fun,” Smith said after the recent test run at Montgomery Motor Speedway. “And it was.” The 51-year-old Smith finally made it to Winston Cup racing in 1990, after 18 years of paying dues. He got a sponsor, Interstate Batteries, in 1992 but the company switched to Joe Gibbs’ new race team midway through the season. Smith went back to racing on his own dime. Then, in a seven-car wreck in the 1993 DieHard 500, his skull was cracked from ear to ear, leaving him unconscious for 10 days(Racing Extra/AP)(6-10-2001)
  • Kerry Wins: Kerry Earnhardt, oldest son of the late Dale Earnhardt won the ARCA race at Michigan. ”This means a lot to me,” Kerry Earnhardt said of his second career ARCA victory. ”I think Dad was right here with me.” After crossing the finish line in his black #2 Chevrolet, Earnhardt turned his car around for a backward victory lap and raised three fingers out the window to honor his father, who was killed in an accident on the final turn of the Daytona 500 in February(AJC)(6-10-2001)
  • No Aero Changes at Daytona: NASCAR is unlikely to make any aerodynamic changes to cars prior to the July 7 Pepsi 400 at Daytona, Winston Cup series director Gary Nelson said. Following the Talladega race in April, NASCAR and driver Sterling Marlin tested some changes, but the results were not helpful. Nelson said NASCAR continues to examine aerodynamic rules and will be go to the wind tunnel next week to test some new ideas. But time is short before a change could be made to cars even if NASCAR was pleased with the results(That’s Racin’)(6-10-2001)
  • 3rd Childress Team: The future of Richard Childress Racing’s third entry in the Winston Cup series next season remains uncertain. Jeff Green is running seven races with the #30 team this season – including Sunday’s Kmart 400 at Michigan – but the sponsor, America Online, has not made a commitment to stay with the team next season. Kevin Harvick was to be the team’s driver next season but took over the driving duties for the #3 team(now #29) after Earnhardt’s death. Green said Sunday he and Childress would discuss the team’s progress after the seven races are completed, but that Childress must also get the backing of the sponsor, both to return to the team and approve a new driver. “The main thing is he hasn’t got the sponsor signed. He had it for Kevin, but not now since everything changed,” Green said. “He’s kind of waiting on them and I’m kind of waiting on him to see what we’re going to do.”(That’s Racin’)(6-10-2001) 

    (6-9-2001)

     

  • Another Roush/Kenseth Rumor UPDATE 3 Kenseth says NO: seen in the June 1st edition of the Speedway Scene magazine – Despite a recent PR that denies any drivers might be leaving the Roush organization, it is expected that Matt Kenseth(driver #17 DeWalt Ford) and Robbie Reiser (crew chief #17 and owner of Kenseth’s BGN team) will depart Roush Racing and ‘do their own thing’ (start own team) with Chevy and DeWalt Tools(6-3-2001)
    UPDATE: and still hearing Kenseth to one of the RCR is close to if not a done deal also(6-4-2001)
  • Website on the #17: StockCarCity.com will appear on the “C” pillars of Matt Kenseth’s #17 Dewalt Ford during this week.s “The Winston” and the Coca-Cola 600. “We are pleased to have StockCarCity on the car for the next two races,” said Jon Howland, Motorsports Manager for DeWALT, “Mike (Calinoff) has been an asset in helping us promote our “Design the Paint Scheme” contest, plus he is also a member (spotter) of the race team.” “This is exciting for us,” said Calinoff, “especially since it is Matt’s first venture into The Winston and we.re defending our Coca-Cola 600 title.”(StockCarCity PR)(5-15-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Winston Cup driver Matt Kenseth is once again battling rumors that he is leaving Roush Racing at the end of the this season. Recent reports have Kenseth leaving Roush for a variety of teams, and the most-recent rumor has Kenseth and crew chief Robbie Reiser leaving Roush to form their own team next season. Kenseth said Friday he has a contract with Roush Racing and has no plans to go anywhere else. “Honestly, when all this stuff started I just laughed about it because I had no idea where it was coming from,” Kenseth said. “When somebody asked me about it, I just said `I don’t know’ and kind of left it alone. It’s like a forest fire – somebody dropped a match and next thing you know the whole woods is burning down. Sooner or later you have to put it out.” Kenseth said he is not happy with the way his #17 team is running this season, but remains happy with the Roush organization. “There are a lot of teams not happy with the way they’re running. We’ve been getting a little bit better. I can’t blame (problems) on what (car owner) Jack (Roush) provides; he gives us anything we want. … All the rumors about going to Richard Childress – there’s no truth to that rumor at all. I’m planning on staying on where I’m at.”(That’s Racin’)(6-8-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Geoff Smith, head of Roush Racing, says there is “no way” that Childress or any other car owner will get any of Roush’s drivers. Smith said he will insist on holding his drivers to their contracts. There have been reports that General Motors officials have talked with Matt Kenseth and crew chief Robbie Reiser about moving to the Childress camp(Winston Salem Journal)(6-9-201)
  • Stewart Staying: Tony Stewart held a team meeting last week to tell his crew he had no plans to leave for the Chip Ganassi operation(Winston Slaem Journal) and more past news on my #20 Team News and Links page(6-9-2001)
  • Earnhardt’s Helmet: A doctor who tried to save Dale Earnhardt’s life testified this week that he wanted to inspect the stock-car driver’s helmet to help get the “big picture” of how he died but NASCAR officials said they didn’t have it. Dr. Steve Bohannon, an emergency room doctor who works part-time at Daytona International Speedway, also said no one asked him to look at Earnhardt’s autopsy photos. But after going to see them, he reported his findings to NASCAR President Mike Helton. Bohannon said he was paid $3,200 to cover lost hospital wages during a trip to North Carolina where he viewed Earnhardt’s car — four days after the driver’s death Feb. 18 during the Daytona 500. He said NASCAR showed him a “very stretched and stressed” seatbelt in the car. One day later, he attended a press conference where NASCAR officials said the belt had failed.( Full story at the Orlando Sentinel)(6-9-2001)
  • Stewart Wins IROC race: Cup driver Tony Stewart passed Eddie Cheever on the 3rd laps and led the rest of the way to win his first IROC race. Stewart crossed the finish line 2.875 seconds ahead of Al Unser Jr., who was substituting for IRL driver Scott Goodyear. Goodyear suffered a back injury in last month’s Indianapolis 500. CART driver Kenny Brack was third, Cheever was fourth and series points leader Bobby Labonte fifth. See That’s Racin’ for the story: IROC race belongs to Stewart and the IROC site for the Race Results(6-9-2001) 

    (6-8-2001)

     

  • #15 Crew Chief Leaves: Scott Eggleston, crew chief for Michael Waltrip’s #15 NAPA Chevy, has parted ways with the team. Steve Hmiel, technical director for Dale Earnhardt Inc., will fill that duty on a temporary basis. Eggleston left the team on Thursday(NASCAR.com)(6-8-2001)
  • #88 in Flames? hearing that #88-Dale Jarrett will run a flaming UPS paint scheme at Kansas(Sept 30th), supposedly simular to the flames UPS truck(6-8-2001)
  • Biffle to Cup? UPDATE 3: Greg Biffle said in his post-race remarks Sunday at Nazareth Speedway(which he won) that his Roush Racing organization was seriously contemplating running at least some Cup races in 2002. Initially, Biffle, the 2000 CTS champ, was seen as competing in the BGN for a couple seasons(NASCAR.com Buzz)(5-21-2001)
    UPDATE: Biffle’s success has prompted interest by car owners to move Biffle to Winston Cup next season. He was planning to make the move with Jack Roush in 2003. “We’re already talking about doing Winston Cup racing next year and not doing the second year of (Grand National). They’re asking questions. Roush is talking about it. I’ve had other offers,” he said. “I don’t have any plans of leaving right now to pursue other Winston Cup opportunities. With our success, it’s got people interested in doing something. I think the proper way of doing it would be to do another year of (Grand National), seven races in Cup, that’s what I think would be best.”(That’s Racin’)(5-25-2001)UPDATE 2: there are reports that Greg Biffle is now on Richard Childress’ list as a possible third Cup driver(#30) next season(5-28-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Greg Biffle has done so well in his rookie year on the BGN that he’s become a candidate to move on to Winston Cup as early as next year. Those numbers, as well as his aggressive driving style, have fueled speculation he’ll be moving on soon. Some publications have mentioned him as a driver for one of Richard Childress’ Winston Cup cars. “Nobody has called and talked to me,” Biffle said. “I’ve heard the rumors, but I haven’t pursued those leads yet, and I won’t until I find out what Roush’s plans are. I’m in a signed contract with (Roush), and I’d hate to break up the relationship I have with him and my crew chief Randy Goss and with my sponsor, Grainger.” But Biffle, 31, said any driver would be foolish to ignore opportunities that might come along. Biffle said it would take more than a fat paycheck to get him to switch teams. “I want to be as successful as possible,” he said. “It’s not all about money for me. I’m more interested in winning Winston Cup races and championships.” One way to get to Winston Cup is to make the jump with his current team and sponsor. The long-term plan has been for Biffle to run two years in the Busch Series, then at least two in Winston Cup. After Biffle’s fast start this season, officials from Grainger are debating whether to accelerate the move to the elite division. A decision is expected by September.(AJC)(6-8-2001)
  • Jarrett to skip IROC race UPDATE Marcis in: due to his rib injury, Dale Jarrett will not race in the third IROC race of the 2001 season. No replacement has been named(FSN’s Totally NASCAR)(6-7-2001)
    UPDATE: Dave Marcis will sub for Jarrett. Marcis also drove as a substitute in the 1999 race at Indianapolis for CART series driver Adrian Fernandez, who had suffered a wrist injury. All points Marcis accumulates in Saturday’s race will be credited to Jarrett. The same applies to Al Unser Jr., who is substituting for the Indy Racing League’s Scott Goodyear in the race. Goodyear injured his back in the Indy 500.(That’s Racin’)(6-8-2001)
  • Wallace named to Council: International Motor Racing Research Center Chairman John Bishop announced that World Champion Jackie Stewart, Indy 500 winner Mario Andretti, Endurance Champion Hurley Haywood and Winston Cup Champion Rusty Wallace have accepted invitations to be founding members of the driver’s council. The IMRRC, the only one if it’s kind in the country, is a research center dedicated solely to the preservation of motorsports history. Housing more than 2,500 rare and reference books, the IMRRC has a vast collection of artwork, programs, magazines and other items that have notable worth in the history of racing. Striving to be a leader in the motorsport community, the IMRRC invited select drivers to be a part of the driver’s council in order to expand the knowledge of the facility. As driver’s council members, Andretti, Haywood, Stewart and Wallace will be able to give input and guidance to the facility and collections in addition to the opportunity to overlook the significant historical data related to the many type of motorsports that encompass the IMRRC. “It’s certainly an honor and a pleasure to serve on the council,” said Wallace, who has captured 54 NASCAR Winston Cup victories. “There is so much history that’s wrapped up in motorsports… to be part of this exciting new project is quite a thrill, it promises to be very interesting.” The International Motor Racing Research center is located on 10 Decatur Street in Watkins Glen, NY. The facility is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. and is closed on Sundays. Additional information can be obtained by logging on to www.racingarchives.org or by calling 607-535-9044.(Watkins Glen PR)(6-8-2001)
  • Busch Tests at Pocono: Earlier this week rookie Kurt Busch had the opportunity to spend a couple of days testing at Pocono Raceway. Pocono is one of the tracks on the Winston Cup circuit that Busch had never seen prior to Monday’s testing session. The #97 Sharpie Rubbermaid team felt that gaining some track experience there would definitely benefit them next weekend in the Pocono 500. Rookies are given the opportunity to test at several additional tracks throughout the season than veteran Winston Cup drivers which often times helps with the already steep learning curve for a rookie driver.(Roush Racing)(6-8-2001)
  • Hammer to Evernham? hearing former ST Motorsports crew chief (BGN #59) Phil Hammer is taking a position with Evernham Motorsports. Hammer used to work at Hendrick Motorsports with Evernham(6-8-2001) 

    (6-7-2001)

     

  • UPDATE – Images – Confirmed Looney Toons Schemes for the Chevy Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond in Sept:
    #1-Steve Park, Sylvester and Tweety
    #5-Terry Labonte, Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner
    #24-Jeff Gordon, Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd
    #29-Kevin Harvick, Tasmanian Devil (Taz)
    #30-Jeff Green, Daffy Duck
    #31-Mike Skinner, Yosemite Sam
    #55-Bobby Hamilton, Marvin the Martian and his space dog, K-9
    the Announcement will be made at Charlotte on June 7th(first reported 4-3-2001and thru 5-9-2001/6-1-2001)
    UPDATE: Currently negotiating with Warner Bros., NASCAR is looking to have Looney Tunes tie-ins with specific races. The first venture could be as many as 11 of WB’s whacky ones on Chevrolets for the September event in Richmond. And of course, one can look for the new collectibles that will show up, too.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(6-1/7-2001)
    UPDATE – story and images: Action Performance Companies Inc., in conjunction with Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Warner Bros. and NASCAR, have partnered to make a day at the races a true family affair with a “Tribute to the American Family” featuring America’s favorite cartoon characters, the Looney Tunes. On Sept. 8, 2001 during the Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 with the Looney Tunes at Richmond International Raceway, several Team Monte Carlo drivers from Richard Childress Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Inc., and Andy Petree Racing will shed their typical paint schemes for race cars featuring that “wascally wabbit” Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, Yosemite Sam, Elmer Fudd, the Tasmanian Devil and many more zany cartoon favorites. “One thing always has been true about racing-it is a sport that families enjoy together,” said Fred Wagenhals, Action’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “There is no better way to showcase the family institution than bringing a true slice of Americana-the Looney Tunes-to the racetrack. No matter if you are 2 or 92, the Looney Tunes can make everyone feel a little bit like a kid again. This simply is a wonderful, fun program, and I am glad Action Performance is part of it.” The Looney Tunes characters themselves will be on hand before the race greeting fans while many of the day’s festivities also will center on children and families. Additionally, a special event car displaying the Looney Tunes characters will be created for the event(Action Performance Companies PR), see all 7 images of the cars on my Paint Scheme Gallery(6-7-2001)
  • No More Winston in ‘Winston Cup’? UPDATE: R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., stands accused of violating the 1998 multi-billion dollar tobacco settlement with state governments by advertising year-round at race tracks. If the signage is struck down, it could cause RJR to re-evaluate its financial support of racing, which industry sources believe approaches $40 million a year. See full story at the CNN/SI site: RJR accused of violating tobacco settlement, to much info to cut down or post here AND also at the CNN/SI site: What’s in a name? – Future of ‘Winston’ Cup remains uncertain some highlights: If by some long-shot, R. J. Reynolds decides to withdraw its NASCAR sponsorship after the season, who’ll fill the Winston Cup void? You might expect several corporate giants — like soft-drink producers, for starters — to eagerly line up and hand over tens of millions, industry sources say. It’s also a fair bet NASCAR would ignore the big-money guys tied to edgier products, such as major beer companies Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brewing.(4-25-2001)
    UPDATE: R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. officials acknowledge a decision has been reached to continue bankrolling stock car racing’s Winston Cup Series beyond this season. A formal announcement of the sponsorship extension is likely within the next two weeks, along with details of the tobacco giant’s future relationships with the NHRA Drag Racing Series and golf’s $1.6 million Vantage Championship — both of which it also presently sponsors. “There is no question that our most valued sponsorship, given the duration of our partnership, has been the NASCAR sponsorship,” said Rick Sanders, president of RJR’s Sports Marketing Enterprises. “We’re still finalizing our plans on how to proceed with all of them, but it’s a fair assumption our Winston Cup/NASCAR sponsorship, in general, will continue on into the future.” RJR has until the end of the year to reduce its sponsorship to a single cigarette brand in order to comply with the 1998 tobacco settlement. It currently has the three sports-related sponsorships.(CNN/SI)(6-7-2001)
  • #17 Special Paint: hearing the #17 DeWalt Tools Ford will carry an AT&T scheme of some sort this year at Sears Points and Daytona in the Pepsi 400(5-26-2001)
    UPDATE: #17 sponsor DEWALT Industrial Tools and AT&T Broadband have formed a marketing alliance that will feature AT&T in a special paint scheme on the #17 Ford Taurus for two races this season, the companies announced today. The relationship will spotlight special AT&T Broadband paint schemes for the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Sears Point Raceway on June 24 and the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 7. The car designs for these two races will feature AT&T as the primary signage on the #17 Ford Taurus driven by Matt Kenseth in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. In addition to the special paint schemes, AT&T will be featured underneath the DEWALT logo on the hood of the car for the duration of the season. AT&T Broadband’s integrated NASCAR program includes its sponsorship as the Official Communications Company of NASCAR, a designation that it shares with Motorola. .Together with Motorola, it has an agreement with NASCAR Winston Cup driver Rusty Wallace. .This year marks AT&T Broadband’s first year as an associate sponsor with two Roush Racing teams, the #17 DEWALT Ford Taurus and the #99 CITGO SUPERGARD Ford Taurus driven by Jeff Burton. In addition, AT&T Broadband has relationships with three International Speedway Corporation tracks including Daytona International Speedway, the new Chicagoland Speedway and Miami-Homestead International Raceway.(Grandstand Communications), see an image of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery(6-7-2001)
  • #27 Sponsor Update: Sauer’s (Duke’s Mayo) will be on the Hood of the Kenny Wallace/Eel River Racing #27 Pontiac in 17 races in 2001. The remainder of those races, the #27 car will be on the track and Sauer’s will appear as an associate sponsor, with a main sponsor yet to be announced. At this point, those races with Sauer’s as an associate include Michigan(both), NHIS(both), Chicago, Kansas City, Sears Point, and Watkins Glen(Kenny Wallace Racing)(6-7-2001)
  • Rusty’s Son to Race UPDATE: Greg Wallace, 21-year-old son of Rusty and Patti Wallace, will get his shot at racing in the late model ranks. He will be teamed up with legendary competitor Jack Ingram, who’ll head the program for the Wallaces, Greg will go to Greenville-Pickens(SC) the first time out next Saturday (June 9).(TRPR.com)(6-4-2001)
    UPDATE: Greg Wallace becomes the second late model driver to run a car built and maintained out of the Jack Ingram Racing stables. The 2001 season marks the third consecutive year that 19-year old Michael Chaney out of Abingdon, VA is competing at Kingsport Speedway. Ingram, who won 29 of his 31 career victories on short tracks, serves as Chaney’s spotter and crew chief at each race. The pair have combined for several pole positions including a track record and tied a career-best 2nd place finish at Chaney’s final race of the 2000 season. They also have competed at New River Valley Speedway in Radford, VA and at Martinsville Speedway. Plans for 2001 include running weekly at Kingsport Speedway and selectively at New River Valley Speedway through out the summer(6-7-2001)
  • Geoffrey to run in BGN, replaces Fedawa UPDATE: Geoffrey Bodine has been named as the new driver for the #66 Phillips 66 BGN team, replacing Tim Fedewa. Bodine will start driving at the Outback Steakhouse 300 in Kentucky June 16th(sorry, not this weekend)(Cicci-Welliver Website)(6-5-2001)
    UPDATE: see my BGN Site for how Bodine and the other BGN drivers did testing at Watkins Glen(6-7-2001)
  • New Motorsports PR company: Daniel Skahen, former managing director of Primedia has announced the launch of his own full-service advertising, marketing and public relations firm. The agency will operate under the name C2R Communications with offices in Norcross, GA. C2R is an acronym for “concept-to-reality.” Former Primedia employees Marty South, Pete Galbiati, Albert Bloser, Jennifer Nowicki and Alia Cory have also joined C2R’s staff. The same team was instrumental in coordinating and producing the 1999 and 2000 NASCAR Image Campaigns, the 2000 NASCAR “The Race Is On” campaign, as well as various promotions and public relations support for DAYTONA USA, Steve Dale Motorsports, The Richard Petty Driving Experience, Seagram Americas, Frito-Lay and PEPSI. The agency will be owned in part by JDC Marketing Group, an outdoor sports presence and marketing management company also located in Norcross, GA. JDC Marketing Group was instrumental in trying to arrange the sponsorship between Crown Royal and Eel River Racing. To date, Seagram Americas, Steve Dale Motorsports, Frito-Lay and Pepsi have expressed interest in coming on board. For more information on C2R, please call 770-662-8070.(C2R PR)(6-7-2001)
  • Winston Cup Banquet: early but here ya go – The Winston Cup awards banquet from New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel will be broadcast live at 9:00pm on Friday, Nov. 30, on TNT. The Grand National series banquet will be held in Los Angeles on Jan. 11 and will be broadcast on tape on TNT on Jan. 23 at 1:00am(That’s Racin’)(6-7-2001)
  • Gibbs Honored: Joe Gibbs has been named this year’s recipient of the Bill France Award . The award is presented annually by Pocono Raceway to the individual or group that it believes has been instrumental to auto racing(Winston Cup Scene)(6-7-2001) 

    (6-6-2001)

     

  • Subway on the #77: Jasper Motorsports has signed Subway Restaurants to a two-race associate sponsorship on the No. 77 Jasper Engines Ford driven by Robert Pressley. The two The Subway logo will be on the hood of the 77 for the Winston Cup races this month at Pocono and Sears Point(SpeedVision)(6-6-2001)
  • Hamilton Jr back in #33 at MIS – UPDATE Pruett in at Sears Point and Watkins Glen: Bobby Hamilton, Jr. returns to the #33 Oakwood Homes Chevy again this week at Michigan. This will be his third NASCAR Winston Cup points race and fourth time out overall for the Oakwood Homes team, including his magnificent runs in The Winston Open. Hamilton, Jr. is driving in the place of regular driver Joe Nemechek, who was injured in a crash during BGN testing at Dover a couple of weeks ago. Nemechek, who has a broken right scapula and broken right arm near his elbow, missed The Winston weekend, the Coca-Cola 600 at Concord, NC, and last week.s MBNA 400 at Dover. Hamilton finished 39th in the 600 but was running consistently before a crash near the midway point of the race. At Dover, Hamilton nearly avoided a wreck in front of him but the front-end damage was enough to cause overheating problems early in the race, retiring the Oakwood Homes Chevrolet to a 42nd-place finish. He will not be back next week at Pocono as Hamilton, Jr. will be competing in the BGN race at Kentucky Motor Speedway, opening up the seat should the Oakwood Homes Chevrolet need a driver at that 2.5-mile, triangular-shaped track.(Williams Company) – Also hear that Wally Dallenbach may drive the car at Sears Point if regular driver, Joe Nemechek, cannot drive there. No word on a driver for Pocono yet, if needed(6-4-2001)
    UPDATE: Scott Pruett will drive the #33 Andy Petree Racing/Oakwood Homes Chevy in the first of two road course races for the series this season. Pruett qualified ninth for the race at Sears Point Raceway last season(in the #32 Ford) before a broken transmission put him out of the race while he was leading. Pruett will run for Joe Nemechek, regular driver of the Oakwood Homes Chevrolet. Nemechek broke his right scapula and right arm at the elbow during a crash in Busch Grand National testing at Dover Downs (Del.) International Speedway last month. He is expected to return to the car soon after the Sonoma race.(Williams Company)(6-5-2001)
    UPDATE 2 Pruett at the Glen: hearing that Scott Pruett will be driving the #71 State Fair Corn Dogs/Ball Park Franks Taurus for Kevin Lepage at the Busch race at Watkins Glen next month. They plan to test there later this month. This is.a one race deal(6-6-2001)
  • Gordon Wants Changes: Jeff Gordon has been quietly lobbying NASCAR to change the rules package currently used in events at Daytona and Talladega. Gordon spent much of Tuesday at the Speedway to shoot a commercial, hold a press conference and participate in a fan forum at Daytona USA. Gordon said the aerodynamic package used in Winston Cup restrictor-plate races needs to be adjusted between NASCAR’s two largest tri-oval tracks. The basic rule package was initiated at Talladega’s October race last year and used this season at Daytona and its sister track in Alabama. The next restrictor-plate race is the July 7 Pepsi 400 at Daytona(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-6-2001)
  • Wallace Tire Changer Double Duty: It’s not quite as strenuous as running 500 miles at Indianapolis and 600 miles at Charlotte in the same day, like Tony Stewart did last month, but the double duty that Pennzoil World of Outlaws racer Billy Wilburn has planned for this weekend is still no small feat. Wilburn, who also works as a tire changer on Rusty Wallace’s NASCAR Winston Cup team, plans to race Friday and Saturday in the ‘‘Channellock Challenge at Bristol” and then hop a plane to Michigan to change tires for Rusty Wallace in Sunday’s Winston Cup event(Kingsport Times News)(6-6-2001)
  • Martin Stuff: Does Mark Martin plan on retiring anytime soon? Did a pinched nerve cause him any problem at Dover? Are there any more special paint schemes scheduled for this year? Answers to these questions and more can be found in the transcript of an online chat that Mark did with NASCAR Online. Oh yes….the answers to the three questions above are: No, No, and No…(thanks to the J-Mar Express newsletter for the heads up)(6-6-2001)
  • Hendrick goes after #100: Hendrick Motorsports is just one win away from becoming only the second motorsports operation to reach 100 Winston Cup wins in NASCAR’s modern era(1972-present). The 17-year-old organization claimed three wins in its first year of operation – the only team in the modern era to do that – and hasn’t slowed since. Hendrick Motorsports claimed win number 99 when Jeff Gordon took the checkered flag at Dover. Only Junior Johnson holds more wins in the “modern era” as team owner than Hendrick Motorsports, with 135 wins from 1972 to 1994. In stock car racing’s early days, Winston Cup – then Grand National – teams raced as many as 61 races in a single season; that changed to 31 races a season in 1972 and has hovered around that number until this year’s increased 36-race schedule. Other teams posting high win numbers in NASCAR’s modern era of points competition include Richard Childress Racing (70), Petty Enterprises (63), Woods Brothers Racing (61), Roush Racing (49) and Robert Yates Racing (49).(HMS SIte – link fixed)(6-6-2001) 

    (6-5-2001)

     

  • Skinner Safe..for 2001: Something is happening on Richard Childress’ second team(#31), where Mike Skinner works, and Skinner’s future has been the subject of conversation in the Winston Cup garage for two weeks. Childress confirmed that he is talking with potential new drivers, but that Skinner will be in his cars the rest of the season. Skinner has been driving for Childress on the Winston Cup tour since 1996 but is still winless. “We’re just trying to get the team running, and we’re doing our best with it,” Childress said. “We’re using all the resources we can come up with at RCR to make it go, and we’re seeing a little improvement. But he’ll be driving the car all year.” And next season? “Well, if he’s not happy and I’m not happy, we’ll talk about it closer to the end of the year. We just both want to win, and neither one of us wants to be in the situation we’re in. We’ve just got to keep digging and get to where we can win races together.” It has been reported that Childress has been talking with everyone from Jeff Burton(doubtful) to Greg Biffle(?), Jeremy Mayfield(who knows? but signed thru 2002), Matt Kenseth(a lock to Childress?) and Tony Stewart(no way).(Winston Salem Journal)(6-5-2001)
  • Dallenbach has Offers UPDATE to NBC? Wally Dallenbach, left without a ride when the #75 Galaxy Motorsports team closed up, is looking at what might be two out-of-this-world offers to resume his long racing career and is in talks regarding at least two major deals. One is an opportunity to leave Winston Cup and compete full-time in the IRL starting next year, joining Sam Hornish Jr. on the well-financed Indianapolis-based Pennzoil-sponsored Panther Racing team. Dallenbach and Panther have been in negotiations for the last month or so. “Panther and myself have been working real hard on the IRL program,” Dallenbach said. “Things look pretty optimistic there.” But a new player has come into the picture that gives Dallenbach a bit more latitude and another racing option. While he won’t reveal the name of the team or its owner, another Winston Cup situation has been presented to him to consider for next season. “A Winston Cup opportunity kind of has arisen recently, and I think there’s some possibilities there,” Dallenbach said. “Now, this (both the IRL and Cup programs) is all for next year. I would think that if anything was put together as far as next year goes, we’d probably run some races this year … just to get our feet wet(ESPN), actually hearing the Winston Cup offer may be for Wally to be the third person in the NBC booth with Allen Bestwick and Benny Parsons(5-30-2001)
    UPDATE: Wally Dallenbach Jr. is in the running for the third chair in NBC’s racing broadcast booth. Dallenbach received high marks after auditioning for the job and will be part of a mock broadcast of this weekend’s race at Michigan. NBC and TNT start their coverage of Winston Cup and Busch Series racing with the July 7 Pepsi 400 at Daytona(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-5-2001)
  • Newman at MIS in Cup? UPDATE yes: heard that #02-Ryan Newman(#27 in ARCA) would run the Cup and ARCA races at Michigan this weekend, but his PR folks say he’ll only run in the ARCA race
    UPDATE: The team had planned to run the ARCA Flagstar 200 at Michigan Speedway, but after a successful outing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May, they opted to try their hand in NASCAR Winston Cup at another track where they have experience. “After running so well at Charlotte, we really thought about bringing that car to run [Winston] Cup in Michigan,” said crew chief Matt Borland. “Our original plan was to run Winston Cup at Michigan, and even though we made some changes in April, our schedule can change based on what we feel we need to do to get Ryan more experience. Our test there was good and Ryan is really comfortable on the track. We just went back to our original plan.”(TRPR)(6-5-2001)
  • Lopez to Stay at #90: Team Consultant Phillippe Lopez will remain with the #90 Hills Bros. Ford team with driver Hut Stricklin for the remainder of the season(National Speed Sport News Print Edition May 30th)(6-5-2001)
  • NHIS Later Start? Night Races at Dover? NBC and NASCAR, going after a larger West Coast audience, have moved the starting time of the Loudon, N.H., race next month to 2:00pm/et, and more such late afternoon starts appear to be coming. With the success of Fox’ prime time coverage of last week’s Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, more prime-time Winston Cup events may be in the cards. Dover executives are looking at Saturday night races in the future(need to install lights), trying to capture some of the excitement of Bristol’s night action(Winston Salem Journal)(6-5-2001)
  • DW to help Compton at Chicago: at the invitation of Stacy Compton and Melling Racing, Darrell Waltrip will help the #92 Melling team as they test at Chicagoland Speedway today and Wednesday. DW will serve as an advisor and will also get behind the wheel(6-5-2001)
  • Bruised Ribs for Jarrett UPDATE nope broken: X-rays taken Tuesday showed that Dale Jarrett does not have a broken rib, according to a team spokesperson. Instead, the NASCAR Winston Cup points leader has bruised ribs. His injury is diagnosed as serratus anterior muscle tear. The type of injury Jarrett has normally takes three to four weeks to heal. The planned treatment is for localized nerve blocks to prevent Jarrett from experiencing the pain when he’s driving. The team has no plans for a relief driver at this point.(RacingExtra)(5-30-2001)
    UPDATE: Dale Jarrett’s medical odyssey continues with his broken, not broken, broken rib. Jarrett was diagnosed with a fractured rib after practice for the Coca-Cola 600 just more than a week ago. This week, his team said the rib was not broken. This weekend, Jarrett confirmed the rib is broken. He also has a torn muscle and underwent treatment for the condition.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-5-2001)
  • Ads almost sold out: TNT and NBC have jointly sold 85 percent of the on-air sponsorship entitlements to their NASCAR Winston Cup coverage, the companies announced Monday evening. NBC and TNT, which will cover 20 NASCAR Cup races, have sold entitlements in 11 of the events so far. Among advertisers signed as title sponsors for other upcoming auto races on the circuit are Tropicana, Mountain Dew, General Motors Corp.’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Pennzoil-Quaker State Co., The Pep Boys and Applebee’s International Inc.(TV Insite)(6-5-2001)
  • New Dodge Engine? UPDATE: Dodge teams might receive help from NASCAR in the near future. Dodge has tested a new engine block that is 26 pounds lighter than the one its teams currently use. Dodge teams have been searching for a way to displace some of the front-end load, and this might be the answer. NASCAR is expected to make a decision soon(Sporting News)(6-4-2001)
    UPDATE: Jim Julow, who heads the Dodge motorsports program, said he’s looking for competitive changes in his Winston Cup fleet of Intrepid R/Ts. The Dodge engine weights more than 25 pounds more than a Ford or GM motor. “We think we got some weight in the engine we can take out, we think there are design changes that will help us in terms of making the car a more credible competitor,” said Julow. “We’re pursuing those . . . I think there are some we can incorporate this year, assuming NASCAR agrees they are not significant or wholesale changes, that they are in the realm of continuous improvement.”(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-5-2001)
  • Shawna to Try again: When she starts the 400-miler this Sunday, Shawna Robinson will become the first female driver since Patty Moise competed at Talladega, AL., on July 30, 1989, to start a NASCAR Winston Cup event. With the addition of four more races currently on her schedule this season – Chicago (July 15); Indianapolis (Aug. 5); Kansas (Sept. 30); and Atlanta (Nov. 18) – she will become the first female to run a regular schedule of NASCAR Winston Cup events since Janet Guthrie in 1980. The last female driver to finish a NASCAR Winston Cup race was Janet Guthrie at Pocono, who was 28th and running at the finish on July 27, 1980. Robinson entered and attempted to qualify the NASCAR Winston Cup race at California Speedway on April 29. Apparently headed to a very quick lap, the rear end gearing broke in her Aaron’s Sales and Leasing Taurus, ending her lap – and her shot at making the race. With no points, she is driving the final car eligible for a provisional starting position. Aaron’s Sales and Leasing of Atlanta is sponsoring MK Racing and Robinson in the races at California, Michigan, Indianapolis and Atlanta. MK Racing is owned by former Ford Racing executive and winning NASCAR Winston Cup car owner Michael Kranefuss. The team is planning on following its six races this season with a full NASCAR Winston Cup schedule in 2002, and Robinson competing for Rookie of the Year honors. Some thoughts of Aaron’s Sales and Leasing Taurus driver Shawna Robinson heading into California: “We tested at California and we tested at Michigan. California and Michigan aren’t identical but there are things we found at California that we’ve been able to use for Michigan. We think we’re going to have a pretty good car. Again, our goals are to have a good practice on Friday, set down a really good qualifying lap Friday afternoon, practice well Saturday and then run a solid race Sunday. If we can do all of that, we will leave Michigan feeling we’ve had a pretty good weekend, and we’ll feel like we’re ready to get things started for Chicago. I have been preparing myself for quite some time on the physical end of things and getting myself ready for that because I know that can do nothing but help. With my preparation and focus for being in shape, being fit, being prepared to run Winston Cup, we have a lot of good things going on. Michael Waltrip putting me in a Busch car for three races has been a really big help. The biggest thing is the seat time. My career has taken a lot of steps over the years to get with good people. I think with (Robert) Yates motors in the cars and Michael Kranefuss putting this team together, and with Aaron’s working with us this year, we have a lot of things going for us. Robert Yates’ record speaks for itself but so does Michael Kranefuss’ I think he has proven he can put a Winston Cup team together that can win races, and that’s pretty exciting. Having (Aaron’s Sales and Leasing President) Ken Butler and the people at Aaron’s come with us and support us, that just means a whole lot. It means a lot financially, sure. But it means a lot that they see the potential we see in this race team and they want us to meet our goals. I know they make dreams come true for people all over the country but they really have made our dreams become a reality.”(see more at Williams Company) and past news at my #84 Team News and Links page(6-5-2001)
  • Dr Testifies about Autopsy Photos and NASCAR – Speedway doctor: Earnhardt photos graphic, disturbing AND threatened?: The chief emergency doctor at Daytona International Speedway told attorneys Monday that NASCAR never influenced him to say that a broken seat belt led to Dale Earnhardt’s death at the Daytona 500. But an attorney for a student-run newspaper that wants access to Earnhardt’s autopsy photos maintained that NASCAR officials put Dr. Steve Bohannon in a position in which he couldn’t say anything else. “NASCAR never told me what to say or what not to say,” Bohannon said. “I got thrown into the public spotlight to help NASCAR explain to the media this terrible event that transpired. I don’t feel like I’ve done anything wrong.” At a conference before Bohannon’s deposition, Circuit Judge Joseph Will denied a request by Teresa Earnhardt’s attorneys to limit the questions to privacy issues. Earnhardt’s attorneys wanted to bar questions about NASCAR’s possible role, which they characterized as a “news-gathering witch hunt.” See Full story at the Orlando SentinelAND A Daytona International Speedway doctor testified in a deposition Monday that the Dale Earnhardt autopsy photos were very graphic and disturbing. Dr. Steve Bohannon, one of the doctors who worked on Earnhardt after his fatal crash Feb. 18, was the only person outside Volusia County’s medical examiner’s office who viewed the photos before they were sealed. He told attorneys on Monday that he talked to Earnhardt’s widow about a week after she filed a lawsuit to stop the photos from being made public. He described the photos to Teresa Earnhardt as graphic and said they showed Earnhardt’s naked body and its dissection. Full AP story at CBS Sportsline
    AND threatened? Dr. Steve Bohannon, one of the first physicians to reach race car driver Dale Earnhardt after his fatal wreck, said Monday the Orlando Sentinel bent the rules of journalism by threatening him to get an interview. Two attorneys for the Sentinel deny his accusations, but give conflicting accounts of what happened. Full story at the Daytona Beach News Journal: Official: physician at Earnhardt wreck threatened by newspaper(6-5-2001)
  • Reenactment of Accident? UPDATE 3: hearing that NASCAR did a reinactment of Dale Earnhardt’s crash Tuesday, that is all I know at present(5-30-2001)
    UPDATE: word is that a recreation of the accident was done, speculation has it that it was done using computer models but there has been no confirmation about the tests. PRN reports that Sled testing has already been done simulating the crash force Dale Earnhardt hit the wall at Daytona. Lap belts were configured per the seat belt manufacturer instructions and didn’t break, but did tear when in a variation used by many drivers(PRN’s Garage Pass Radio Show or Real Audio of the 5-31 show)(6-1-2001)
    UPDATE 2: CNNSI.com has learned NASCAR investigators conducted a re-enactment of the scene of the crash that killed Dale Earnhardt. They did so despite the absence of paramedic Tommy Propst, who said Earnhardt’s lap belt wasn’t broken in the wreck. The other paramedics participated in the re-enactment within the past two weeks(CNN/SI)(6-2-2001)
    UPDATE 3: NASCAR has released no details of its testing at Hickory Speedway last Tuesday and Wednesday, at which it tried to recreate some aspects of Dale Earnhardt’s fatal crash at Daytona. NASCAR has also released no information about any computer simulations of the Earnhardt crash as based on its GPS data from the car.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-5-2001) 


    (6-4-2001)

     

  • Get Well UPDATE 2: It was mentioned during Fox’s broadcast of the Coca-Cola 600 by Dr. Dick Berggren, that Shawn Parker’s wife, Tara, is in a Winston-Salem hospital. Mrs. Parker is listed in critical condition and has A-1 status on heart transplant, which means she is the next person on the list when one that will match her comes available. Also… Winston Cup car owner, Bill Davis of Bill Davis Racing returned to the hospital where he originally was thought to have had Kidney stones, but this time it is thought to be dealing with ulcers(Fox Coverage/Catchfence). Parker is the Car chief/Rear tire changer for the #6 Roush Racing team and driver Mark Martin. Get Well soon Tara and Bill(5-29-2001)
    UPDATE: Car owner(#’s 22 and 93) Bill Davis returned to a High Point hospital Tuesday morning because of pain he continued to suffer after having a procedure performed for kidney stones. Davis, the car owner for Ward Burton and Dave Blaney, was in the hospital Sunday and missed the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday. He was released Monday night before returning the next morning(RacingExtra)(5-30-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Parker’s Wife: Shawn Parker, was poised to leave the race on a moment’s notice. Parker’s wife, Tara, is on the priority list for a heart transplant. She had two hearts become available in the past couple of weeks, but doctors thought one was too small and the other carried hepatitis. Team owner Jack Roush has his plane on standby to fly Parker out if he receives word his wife is heading into surgery.
    Davis: Bill Davis is not expected to return to his regular schedule for several weeks. The owner of Ward Burton’s and Dave Blaney’s teams went into the hospital with kidney stones last week. He underwent a treatment process to break up the stones and was released but developed pain late that night. Davis’ kidneys were bruised in the process. He remains in a High Point, N.C., hospital undergoing treatment(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-4-2001)
  • Counterfeit Earnhardt Story: Almost four months have passed since Dale Earnhardt was killed at Daytona, and Joe Hedrick and Chris Williams are busy fending off bootleggers, folks quick to make a buck pushing unauthorized Earnhardt stuff. Hedrick is director of licensing for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (DEI). Williams oversees track sales for Action Performance Companies, which holds trademark and merchandising rights to more than 20 of NASCAR’s leading drivers — including Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace and Jeff Gordon. See Full story at CNN/SI: Bootleg breakdown – Fight to curb counterfeit Earnhardt goods a daunting taskAND What can you do? If you want to avoid buying counterfeit Dale Earnhardt or other NASCAR goods, it’s probably best to shop traditional outlets and official trailers at the racetrack. Also, check the “Officially Licensed” hang tags and taglines. On apparel such as hats, jackets and sweats, Chase Authentics and Competitors View are the brands primarily endorsed by top drivers. Specific unauthorized Earnhardt products on the market include: T-shirts, plaques, stickers and other items with “1951-2001” scripted on them. If you have any questions or think you may have bought a knock-off item, you can call 1-888-863-7283.(6-4-2001)
  • Another Roush/Kenseth Rumor UPDATE: seen in the June 1st edition of the Speedway Scene magazine – Despite a recent PR that denies any drivers might be leaving the Roush organization, it is expected that Matt Kenseth(driver #17 DeWalt Ford) and Robbie Reiser (crew chief #17 and owner of Kenseth’s BGN team) will depart Roush Racing and ‘do their own thing’ (start own team) with Chevy and DeWalt Tools(6-3-2001)
    UPDATE: and still hearing Kenseth to one of the RCR is close to if not a done deal also(6-4-2001)
  • MIS to honor Earnhardt: Race fans will have a chance to pay their respects to Dale Earnhardt, the late seven-time Winston Cup champion, in a variety of ways during this weekend’s NASCAR Winston Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. MIS is providing two billboard-sized Earnhardt signature murals that fans can sign. The murals also will be available to sign during the week of the Aug. 19 NASCAR race at MIS before they’re sent to the Earnhardt family. One billboard will be behind the main grandstands near gate 29, and the other will be near the Buddy’s mini-mart in the middle of the infield. A ticket is required for access to the billboards, which will be available Saturday and Sunday. There also is a billboard on the back of the grandstand near turn one featuring Earnhardt’s No. 3 and the message, “Thanks for the Memories.” The sign is visible from U.S. 12 outside the 2-mile oval. As has become customary during each race since the Daytona 500, the public-address announcer will ask fans to hold up three fingers on the third lap of the race as a tribute to Earnhardt’s car #3.(Detroit News)(6-5-2001)
  • Biffle Stands by for Martin: Greg Biffle was standing by to fill in for Mark Martin, who possibly pinched a nerve in his left side during last week’s race. Martin suffered some numbness in his left arm during the Coca-Cola 600. The feeling continued last week, so he decided to have a driver standing by during the race. Martin stayed in the car and finished ninth, his fourth top 10 of the season(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-4-2001)

 

(6-3-2001)

 

  • No To The Humpy Bumper? UPDATE 4 More Testing in Detroit: NASCAR officials are saying “no way” to Humpy Wheeler’s crushable “Humpy Bumper,” a $6,000 piece of composite materials designed to bolt into the nose of a Winston Cup car and provide more cushion in a crash(Winston Salem Journal), see full past news on this on my Safety/News/HANS page(5-28-2001)
    UPDATE: Contrary to a report in the Winston-Salem Journal, H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, president and general manager, said NASCAR officials were very receptive to the new frontal impact safety device, nicknamed the Humpy Bumper, developed by Lew Composites and are anxiously waiting to review the data from sled crash tests that will be performed by General Motors. Also, Mr. Wheeler participated in the Speedway Motorsports sanction meetings with NASCAR officials and said NASCAR never suggested that one of the Atlanta Winston Cup dates be moved to Texas as was reported by the Winston-Salem Journal(LMS PR)
    UPDATE 2: Following extensive discussions with NASCAR officials during The Winston and Coca-Cola 600 weekends at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler said today testing is continuing on the frontal impact absorption system, nicknamed the “Humpy Bumper,” that was developed by Paul Lew of Lew Composites. “They are at the University of Dayton this week doing computer simulation testing,” Wheeler noted. “Then, next week they are scheduled to sled test it at General Motors’ facility. From there they will go to the Lockheed wind tunnel to examine its aerodynamic effect on the car. “After all that testing is complete, they plan to do two remote crash tests of Winston Cup cars fitted with the bumper at as-yet-undetermined speedways,” Wheeler continued. Wheeler emphasized NASCAR officials met with him and Lew, head of Las Vegas-based Lew Composites, and are completely aware of the testing that is taking place. “NASCAR officials have been very cooperative,” Wheeler continued. “In fact, there is some specific testing data they want to see and we are complying with their request.” Wheeler said once the testing is complete and the impact absorption system is approved for competition, Lew Composites can build 45 units in 30 days. The unit’s super high-tech production process, known as “3D/DL” (three-dimensional/directional laminate), produces a structure that weighs only 16 pounds, will cost less than $6,000 per unit to manufacture and can be made to sacrifice itself when acted on by a pre-determined amount of force.(LMS PR)(5-30-2001)
    UPDATE 3: the Winston Salem Journal reports – NASCAR executives are privately writing off Humpy Wheeler’s latest safety innovation, the ‘Humpy Bumper,’ a specially designed 16-pound composite bumper that bolts on to a Winston Cup or Busch car. Wheeler, however, is going ahead with more testing. The bumper, designed by Paul Lew, is undergoing computer simulations at the University of Dayton this week, and next week it’s headed for sled testing at GM, and then to Lockheed for wind tunnel studies. Following all that Wheeler says the bumper will be crash-tested. The $6,000 bumper, Lew says, is a directional laminate, meaning the force of the impact is absorbed through the structure in a predetermined road map(Winston Salem Journal), of note, during an RPM 2Night (ESPN2) show this week, Lew was quoted as saying the bumper would cost less then the $6,000 originally mentioned(6-2-2001)
    UPDATE 4: it was reported on Fox’s pre-race show, that the ‘Humpy Bumper’ would undergo more testing this week in Detroit, MI and that NASCAR has been invited and that representatives plans to attend the test(6-3-2001)
  • #30 AOL Car News UPDATE at Michigan: Jeff Green, attempting seven Cup races this season for Richard Childress Racing(RCR) in the #30 AOL Chevy, failed to make the field for Sunday’s race when qualifying was canceled by rain. Team spokesman David Hart said RCR was considering two possibilities to make up the Dover race with Green. The first would have Green compete in next weekend’s Michigan race. The driver will already be at Michigan competing in the International Race of Champions series(IROC). The other possibility would be for Green to compete in the September race at Dover. The team had picked Dover because of its close proximity to the headquarters of sponsor, American Online(That’s Racin’)
    UPDATE: Fox analyst, Larry McReynolds mentioned at the beginning of the Fox coverage of the MBNA 400 at Dover, that Jeff Green would drive the #30 AOL Chevy this coming race at Michigan AND from NASCAR.com Buzz: On Sunday morning, Childress announced he would bring his #30 AOL Chevrolet driven by Jeff Green to Michigan next weekend to attempt to qualify for the June 10 Kmart 400(6-3-2001)
  • Childress News? Green the driver? UPDATE 3 maybe not Riggs in the mix?: Richard Childress has settled on Jeff Green as his new driver next season for his third Winston Cup team, according to team sources. “But nobody’s told me anything yet,” Green said. Green is running seven Cup races for Childress this season. Robby Gordon may drive a Childress car in the July 8th Busch race at Watkins Glen(Winston Salem Journal)(5-26-201)
    UPDATE: Jeff Green said Wednesday morning on a Charlotte-based radio station that he is currently working out a two-year contract extension with ppc Racing and NesQuik. He didn’t totally rule out the chance of taking over Richard Childress’ #30 Chevy fulltime in 2002, however, saying “I’m not getting any younger and I’d still like to get a Winston Cup championship.”(NASCAR.com Buzz)(5-30-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hearing CTS driver, Scott Riggs (#2-Ultra Motorsports truck) is being considered for either a RCR Cup or BGN ride for the 2002 season
    UPDATE 3: “Just rumors,” Riggs said. “Definitely, other people have approached me and talked to me, but I keep telling them the same story: I’m going to stay focused on trying to win this championship this year. Then I feel like the real opportunities will come forth. Jim Smith (Riggs’ NCTS owner) has definitely given me some great opportunities by telling me he wants to stay on with his organization. His Winston Cup team, he looks to the future and wants me to be a part of that future.” Mike Wallace drives for Smith’s Winston Cup team, but Riggs could become a teammate in the future. Riggs’ contract with Smith also runs out at the end of this year(RacingOne)(6-3-2001)
  • Gordon Dominates at Dover: #24-Jeff Gordon won the MBNA 400 at Dover, leading 381 or 400 laps and breaking Mark Martins record of 379 (for a 400 miler) set in Sept 1998. The win is Gordon’s 54th, which ties him for 7th on the all-time list with Rusty Wallace and Lee Petty. #1-Steve Park was the runner-up. #32-Ricky Craven finished 4th for his seasons best and rookie #01-Jason Leffler finished 13th, his best of his 11 race Winston Cup career(he missed two). Winston Cup Points Leader, #88-Dale Jarrett finished 5th and still holds a 50 point lead over Gordon. #20-Tony Stewart failed to win his 3rd straight at Dover but finished 7th for his 6th straight top 10 finish. See That’s Racin’: for the Unofficial Results and Unofficial Standings(6-3-2001)
  • New Pontiac? NASCAR officials have begun studying Pontiac’s plans for a new Winston Cup model for the 2003 season(Winston Salem Journal)(6-3-2001)
  • More – Labonte’s debut 10 years ago and….: Three drivers competing in today’s race at Dover made their first Winston Cup start at there. #18-Bobby Labonte made his big-league NASCAR start there in 1991, the year he won the Busch Series title, while #17-Matt Kenseth showed his future potential in 1998 and #97-Kurt Busch made his debut run just last season. Labonte picked Dover for his inaugural run because the car count is always down after the high-dollar Coca-Cola 600. Labonte raced a car owned by his family at Dover and had his Busch Series crew pull double duty that weekend. Labonte was going to run five Cup races that season but stopped after two events. He finished 34th in his debut at Dover. Kenseth made his first Winston Cup start in place of Bill Elliott, who attended a family funeral(his father passed away) on that weekend in 1998. Kenseth scored a top-10 finish(6th) and showed the makings of a future Cup star. Since that first start, he has completed 1,599 of 1,600 possible laps at Dover. Roush threw Busch into the Cup fire in last year’s second race at Dover. Busch replaced Chad Little in Roush’s #97 entry. He spent most of the 2000 season in the Truck Series. Busch finished 18th and showed enough promise to get a full-time Cup ride with Roush this season(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-3-2001)
  • Schrader to start his 500th Consecutive Winston Cup Race at Dover: #28-Ricky Rudd leads active drivers with with 621 followed by #2-Rusty Wallace at 530, #36-Ken Schrader with 500 and #6-Mark Martin 414. Terry Labonte holds the record with 655. The race Sunday also marks the 10th anniversary of the most recent of Schrader’s four career victories. He won the 1991 Budweiser 500 in Dover(6-2-2001)
  • NASCAR says No to driver switch? UPDATE: hearing that Richard Childress Racing(RCR) tried to put Jeff Green(who was scheduled to drive the #30 AOL car but missed the race when qualifying got rained out) into the #29 and Kevin Harvick(who is the full time driver of the #29 Goodwrench Chevy) into the #30 to get it in the race. Harvick would had gotten the 36th position as a 2001 winner not already in the field and Green would had started 10th/11th where the #29 is in Owners Points. This would had put #27 Kenny Walace out the race. Buthear NASCAR squashed the move(6-2-2001)
    UPDATE: Richard Childress nearly got Jeff Green into the MBNA 400 via an interesting rules technicality. He wanted to put Green into the (#29) car that Kevin Harvick has been running, and using those car-owner points to make the field; and by then putting Harvick into the part-time car Green had been planning to run, and using driver points to make the field(as a past winner this year). NASCAR vetoed the plan. Green, who didn’t make the 400 field when qualifying was rained out Friday, may try again at Michigan.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-3-2001)
  • Wood 2nd in Winston West race at Kansas, Jarrett wins ARCA race: Jon Wood, son of the #21 Cup team owner Eddie Wood, started from the pole in his third Winston West Series race at the new Kansas Speedway and finished in the runner-up spot in the #50 AutoConcierge Ford. The race was won by Frank Kimmel, who may try some Cup races this year with his own team. Jon Wood began racing go-carts when he was 12-years old and has steadily moved through to the competitive stock car ranks. He competed in the USAR ProCup Series last year finishing eighth in the championship points race and third in the rookie standings. Wood is slated to join Roush Racing next season as a driver in the CTS(Wood Brothers PR) AND Jason Jarrett bolted past Frank Kimmel Saturday afternoon with four laps left to win the BPU 200, the inaugural ARCA RE/MAX Series event at Kansas Speedway. Jarrett, a rookie of the year candidate in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, scored his first win in the series. Jarrett, who drives the #67 ML Motorsports Chevrolet, only led seven of the race’s 134 laps(PR), #02-Ryan Newman was the pole sitter but hit the wall and finished 20th(6-3-2001)
  • Melling Racing and Petty Enterprises Team Up: Melling Racing and driver Stacy Compton(#92) have formed a working relationship with Petty Enterprises(#’s 43,44,45) from which both organizations hope to benefit. Compton said it will take a while before the whole plan is in place and results gained. “I’m pretty excited about it. We’ll send one of our guys when they go testing, and they’ll send one of their guys when we go testing,” Compton said. “We’re going to go to Chicago on Monday and Tuesday and, hopefully, what we learn there we can let them know and it’ll help them.”(That’s Racin’)(6-3-2001) 

    (6-2-2001)

     

  • PPI Layoffs? UPDATE 2 changes, crew chief: hearing that PPI Motorsports laid off some employee’s on Tuesday. No word on who or why, supposedly like a dozen were let go
    UPDATE: PPI Motorsports’ Joe Garone has announced his resignation from his position as crew chief of the #96 McDonald’s Ford driven by Andy Houston. Garone has accepted a position with NASCAR’s research and development project in Hickory, NC, but will remain as crew chief on the McDonald’s Ford through July. In a move not related to Garone’s departure, PPI Motorsports has also undertaken a company-wide restructuring resulting in the reduction of 14 staff positions effective today. This reorganization brings the total number of PPI Motorsports employees to 97. The restructuring was based on a thorough evaluation of the company’s organizational chart and department-by-department staffing after observing the operating structures of several top teams in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. PPI Motorsports, LLC, a motorsports company based in Hickory, N.C., also fields the #32 Tide Ford with Ricky Craven as the driver(PPI Motorsports PR)(5-30-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hearing some of the layoffs included some of the pit crew members for one or both teams(6-2-2001) 


    (6-1-2001)

     

  • New Engines for the #27: Eel River Racing has switched from T&L Motors to PME-Pro Motors, not sure if it just for Dover or the rest of the season(Kenny Wallace Racing site). Wallace stated last week after he DNF’d at Charlotte that something had to be done with their motor program(6-1-2001)
  • Nemechek Out Until Daytona(Pepsi 400)? ….Nemechek’s right front tire blew out in the third turn, at the end of the uphill backstretch, and he spent the next few days in hospitals. While he says he’d like to be back in action in a week or two, car owner Andy Petree says it could be Daytona next month, or later, before Nemechek can get back into one of his cars and compete on the circuit(Winston Salem Journal), see past news on this at my #33 Team News and Links Page(6-1-2001)
  • Larry Mac Looking? Fox commentator Larry McReynolds is looking for a job. After the network televises its last race of the season at Sonoma, Calif., on June 24, McReynolds wants to get involved with a NASCAR team for the remaining five months of the 2001 season. “Fox had made it so that where if I wanted to, I could sit on the couch (for the rest of the year) — but that is not me,” McReynolds said Wednesday in Atlanta. McReynolds, 42, served as a Winston Cup crew chief from 1986-2000, including the past four years with Mike Skinner and the late Dale Earnhardt for Richard Childress Racing. McReynolds would like to be a consultant for a team but not a crew chief. He said his aspirations are “something Fox applauds.” “Racing is not like other sports; if you stay out for six or seven months, you get left behind,” McReynolds said. “This is something I want to do so I can stay sharp when I come back (to TV) next year.” McReyolds speculated that his broadcast partner, Jeff Hammond, would do the same thing. Hammond was a crew chief from 1982-2000. From the TV booth, McReynolds said one of the most impressive things he has seen this year has been the driving of Busch Series rookie Greg Biffle, who “always seems to get the most out of his car.” He said the biggest surprise was not seeing defending Winston Cup champion Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin and Jeff Burton in the top 10 of the points standings by late May(Atlanta Journal Constitution), hmm….maybe the Petty rumor isn’t that far fetched(see below)(6-1-2001)
  • New Hauler Challenge? hearing that International Truck And Engine Corp. is re-starting the old “Mayflower Challenge” truck event(this is where Team Hauler drivers run the haulers on an ‘obstacle type course’, whoever scores the most points wins) in NASCAR this year and are calling it the International Truck Challenge. So far, supposedly 13 rig(team haulers) drivers for the Cup teams are participating in the first event to be held at Sears Point. Two additional events will be held at Charlotte in October and Atlanta in November. There is a $25,000 grand prize to the total points winner(6-1-2001)
  • Unser subs for Goodyear in IROC: Two-time True Value IROC champion and fellow Indy Racing Northern Light series driver, Al Unser, Jr., will substitute for the injured Scott Goodyear in the June 9 True Value IROC race at Michigan International Speedway. Goodyear fractured his lower back in an accident during the Indianapolis 500 last Sunday. IROC President Jay Signore said, “We’ll miss not having Scott with us at Michigan; he’s been a joy to work with, a great competitor, and representative of the Indy Racing Northern Light series. He needs to take care of himself, listen to Dr. Terry Trammell, and hopefully, we’ll see him back for the finale at Indy. Unser, Jr., has a great track record in our series and we’re confident he’ll do a great job. We’re grateful to have Al back and thank him for jumping in for Scott.” Al Unser, Jr., has competed 13 times in the True Value IROC series, won the championship in his rookie year, 1986 and repeated the championship in 1988. Four of his 11 total wins have been at Michigan International Speedway. Al Unser, Jr., said, “The most important thing to me right now is that Scott Goodyear has a speedy recovery. As always it is a great honor to be invited to race in IROC, and I am looking forward to a very competitive race in Michigan. Race three of the four part series that matches drivers from various forms of auto racing in equally prepared Pontiac Firebird Trans Ams will be broadcast on ESPN, Saturday, June 9 at 5:00pm/et.(IROC PR)(6-1-2001)
  • Confirmed Looney Toons Schemes for the Chevy Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond in Sept – UPDATE:
    #1-Steve Park, Sylvester and Tweety
    #5-Terry Labonte, Wylie Coyote and the Roadrunner
    #24-Jeff Gordon, Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd
    #29-Kevin Harvick, Tazmanian Devil (Taz)
    #30-Jeff Green, Daffy Duck
    #31-Mike Skinner, Yosemite Sam
    #55-Bobby Hamilton, Marvin the Martian and his space dog(K-9)
    hearing the Announcement will be made today – June 1st(first reported 4-3-2001and thru 5-9-2001/6-1-2001)
    UPDATE: Currently negotiating with Warner Bros., NASCAR is looking to have Looney Tunes tie-ins with specific races. The first venture could be as many as 11 of WB’s whacky ones on Chevrolets for the September event in Richmond. And of course, one can look for the new collectibles that will show up, too.(NASCAR.com Buzz), saw nothing about any announcement on these anyplace(6-1-2001)