June 2002 Busch Series Archive

  • Biffle wins at Milwaukee: #60-Greg Biffle won the GNC Live Well 250 BGN race at Milwaukee. 2nd was #57-Jason Keller, followed by #23-Scott Wimmer, #26-Ron Hornaday and #33-Tony Raines. #47-Shane Hmiel was taking to the infield care center after the race with heat exhaustion. #24-Jack Sprague maintains the points lead with #60-Biffle in 2nd. For results, see ThatsRacin.com.(6-30-2002)
  • Biffle on the pole at Milwaukee: #60-Greg Biffle won the pole at Milwaukee with a speed of 121.770mph. #29-Jim Sauter and his three sons, #2-Johnny, #19-Tim and #21-Jay will start in the top 10 of Sunday’s GNC Live Well 250. #57-Jason Keller will start second at 121.544, #19-Tim Sauter was third at 120.964, fourth was #92-Todd Bodine at 120.907 and #21-Jay Sauter was firth at 120.858. #2-Johnny Sauter was 9th and #29-Jim Sauter is tenth. For the starting lineup, see ThatsRacin.com.(6-29-2002)
  • Big Fan Racing still looking: The Big Fan Racing team in coordination with America’s Most Wanted continues to search for sponsors who are interested in being involved with NASCAR racing at a high level and also help contribute to the program to find missing children. Many BGN teams continue to search for sponsorship and it continues to plague even those that are high profile and successful. The 23rd place finish at Dover for the #89 Big Fan Racing team is a testimony to it’s drive to become more than just another team. While meetings continue and potential sponsors are talking the results still are frustrating. There is just no way for a small team to continue to get to the track and race without the funds to take care of the essentials.(Big Fan Racing PR)(6-29-2002)
  • Tim Sauter sponsor at Milwaukee: Metro Milwaukee Auto Auction and Miller Welding Equipment have agreed to sponsor Tim Sauter and his #19 AP Performance Racing Team for his historic start in the GNC Live Well 250 at the Milwaukee Mile Sunday. Sauter, a Necedah, WI. native signed the one race marketing partnership with the two Wisconsin-based companies. Sauter will be making NASCAR history this weekend by competing on track against three family members, brothers Johnny and Jay, and father, Jim Sauter. It will be the first time four family members have competed in a NASCAR event since the Flock brothers and their sister raced on the Daytona road course in 1949. Metro Milwaukee Auto Auction is one of the premier auto auctions of the Midwest and is located in Caledonia, WI. Miller Welding Equipment is a division of Miller Electric Manufacturing headquartered in Appleton, WI. Miller is a leading manufacturer of welding equipment for the industrial welding community and for the occasional part-time welder.(Motorsports Management Group PR)(6-28-2002)
  • Tina Gordon is well on her way to recovery: The Cedar Bluff, AL, ARCA/BGN driver is progressing ahead of schedule in her rehabilitation from serious leg and foot injuries suffered in an ARCA crash at Charlotte on May 18 and has her sights set on returning to racing in a September 18th test at Talladega. Gordon suffered a broken left tibia and fibula, a fractured left ankle and heel, a broken bone in her left foot, a broken left big toe and a broken right little toe when she was T-boned following a spin on Lap 41 of the Easy Care 100 ARCA/Remax Series race. She is now completing her second full week of three-times weekly rehab and her doctors are amazed at how far she’s already come. “Everybody that has seen my foot is just amazed,” Gordon said. “I’m working a lot with it at home and think that’s what is making things go so much faster is just working it a lot.” Gordon is already up and around on crutches, has begun riding a stationary bike and is working hard to be ready for the September test with her Midway Phoenix Racing team. If that goes as planned, she’ll return to racing in the ARCA/Remax Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 5. Despite her injuries, Gordon said she has never once considered not returning to racing and is looking forward to getting back into a car in September. Gordon would like to thank all the fans who have sent her get-well cards, letters, notes and e-mails and credits them with giving her a big boost on her road to recovery. “I appreciate all the support that I’ve gotten from all the fans,” Gordon said. “It’s been very touching. It’s kind of hard to explain. I would never have imagined that I would get the huge amount of support that I’ve gotten from everybody. It just makes you feel really good down deep inside to know that there are people out there that really care about you and really want to see you back out on the track. It just makes you want to try that much harder.”(Victory Lane Motorsports Management PR)(6-27-2002)
  • Wallace gets a 3-race sponsor: #4-Biagi Bros. and Mike Wallace have agreed to a deal with GEICO Direct that will make GEICO Direct the primary sponsor on their #4 car. GEICO Direct agreed to a three-race deal with Biagi Bros. and Mike Wallace that will include Daytona on Friday, July 5, 2002, Chicago on Saturday, July 13, 2002, and Indianapolis on Saturday, August 3, 2002. Mike Wallace was excited at the news that GEICO Direct was coming on board. “We are very pleased to have GEICO Direct on board as a sponsor with us. They were on Kenny’s car last year and we are excited to have them back in the family,” Wallace said on Monday. “We ran great at Kentucky on Saturday and Sunday and I think we have really proved what we can do on a racetrack.” Wallace also added, “We are very happy to be associated with such a high quality, customer service oriented company. It means a lot to us that a company of GEICO’s stature and credibility would step up and become part of this team. That says a lot about this race team when a company like GEICO steps up and jumps on board. That says it all. We are capable of great things on the racetrack and we have proven that.” We need everyone to call 1-800-342-9070 or email [email protected] and thank GEICO Direct for giving us this opportunity.”(Mike Wallace Site)(6-27-2002)
  • Hornish to NASCAR? UPDATE: heard from a few readers that it was reported on Indianapolis TV channel 13 WTHR/NBC on their 6:30pm newscast that IRL driver Sam Hornish has signed with DEI to drive in some BGN and possibly a Cup race or two in 2003. On ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night, Robin Miller reported that Hornish’s current team, Panther Racing [sponsor Pennaoil], has picked up Hornish’s contract option for 2003 to run the full IRL season. Being told that Hornish will run the full IRL season and a few BGN races for DEI.(6-26-2002)
    UPDATE: Ty Norris, executive vice president for high-profile DEI, confirmed Wednesday plans are being finalized to have Sam Hornish Jr., the defending Indy Racing League champion, compete in “some” stock car races next season. Hornish likely will drive in the BGN, although John Barnes, general manager of Hornish’s IRL team, Panther Racing, said the deal could include Cup races at the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400. “We’re two or three weeks away from knowing our entire lineup for next year,” Norris said. “But Hornish is something we want to do if we can get the details worked out.” Hornish, who turns 23 next week, emphasized he will remain a full-time IRL driver, in part because he’s locked in to Panther through next season. The Indianapolis-based team officially exercised its third-year option on Hornish in January and is negotiating an extension through 2005. Both sides hope to sign the contract by season’s end. Hornish said his priority remains in the IRL with Panther. They are currently third in points with two wins this season. “(NASCAR) might be (worth) more money, but it’s twice as much traveling,” Hornish said. “I’d like to stay with (Panther) for the next 10 years. It might not work out that way, but that’s what I want.”(Indianapolis Star)(6-27-2002)
  • Lepage to finish out the season in the #37? plans are being finalized for Kevin Lepage to finish the season in the #37 Timber Wolf/Brewco Motorsposts car. Lepage has subbed for injured jeff Purvis since he was injued at Nazareth in May.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(6-26-2002)
  • Jesel buys out Welliver: Scott Welliver, President of Welliver-McGuire, Inc. and Wayne Jesel, President of Gasoline Alley Engines LLC announced today that Gasoline Alley Engines LLC has purchased the remaining ownership interest from Scott Welliver. The organization will now operate as Team Jesel. Team Jesel campaigns Dodge Intrepids in the BGN with primary marketing partners General Nutrition Corporation (GNC Live Well) and driver Hank Parker, Jr. (#36) along with Phillips 66 Company and driver Casey Mears (#66).(PR)(6-25-2002)
  • Pardus in the #49: Dan Pardus will drive the #49 for Jay Robinson Racing next week at Daytona (BGN Racing site)(6-26-2002)
  • Woodward to drive for Robinson again Nick Woodward will once again drive the #49 Ford fielded by Jay Robinson at the Milwaukee Mile, Woodward made his BGN debut in the #94 at Dover earlier this month.(Keystone PR)(6-26-2002)
  • Woman driver to test with ppc UPDATE: Danica Patrick, who has built a strong reputation in open-wheel circles and is considered by many to have an excellent shot at being auto racing’s first female superstar, is expected to participate in a stock car test session soon at Greenville-Pickens Speedway. Patrick, a 20-year-old resident of Rockford, Ill., who has been racing Formula cars in Europe, will test a Busch Grand National stock car prepared by the ppc Racing team. Greenville’s Jason Keller, one of ppc’s drivers, is expected to participate in the test. Patrick hopes to race in Formula One and has shown little interest in stock cars but will run the test for Ford Motor Co. Although women have raced in major open-wheel and stock car series, none has produced any significant level of success. Patrick has attracted the attention of movers and shakers at the highest levels, however, and could have an impact in a major series in the next five years. NASCAR teams frequently use Greenville-Pickens for test sessions.(Greenville News)(5-24-2002)
    UPDATE: Danica Patrick completed two very successful days of testing last week with the ppc Racing team at South Carolina’s Greenville-Pickens Speedway. Driving a brand new Ford BGN car, Patrick ran over 285 laps without incident and by all accounts, acquitted herself extremely well in her first experience in this type of car. The test was conducted by ppc crew chiefs Harold Holly and Steve Addington with Albertson’s Ford driver Jason Keller on hand to give Danica some early guidance on getting around the half-mile paved flat track.. After observing Patrick for a few runs, Keller indicated that Patrick was in great shape, “She will be just fine, everything she is telling us about the car is confirmed by the data.” Harold Holly, crew chief on the Nesquick Ford of Scott Riggs was very impressed with Danica’s technical feedback, “She began giving me great information right away and that enabled us to progress quite quickly, we went through a large number of changes to the car and she was able to describe and feel everything we did.” Danica completed 150 laps last Tuesday (June 18) and another 137 on Wednesday.. Running a harder compound for all but the last two runs on Wednesday, Patrick posted very competitive times which were validated on Wednesday when Mark Green showed up for a shake down of the Akins Racing Ford Taurus. Danica ran within four-tenths of Green’s times. After fitting the softer, “Martinsville” tire, Patrick circulated in the low 20 second range without really extending herself or the car. “She stayed well within herself, which was exactly what was needed for the test,” said Holly, “and she ran very consistent laps times every run.” Patrick herself was very impressed with ppc Racing and the Ford BGN car itself, “I totally enjoyed the experience, the team is just incredible, everything ran like clockwork and Harold and Steve are so good, they know just what to do with the car to give me what I need to get around the track quickly. I didn’t feel any pressure from the team and just went out and had a great couple of days. It must be fun to race these cars.” Ford Racing Technology personnel were in attendance and were more than satisfied with the test.. “We know Danica has tremendous ability, but I must say, she exceeded our expectations in every way,” said Dan Davis, director, Ford Racing Technology. “Her speed, feedback and maturity were all very impressive.” Plans are being made now for Patrick to test again for Ford and ppc Racing in the near future at a faster track to continue her development in different types of cars.(Ford Racing)(6-26-2002)
  • U.S. Postal Service Special Stamp featured on #27: Williams Travel Centers Racing, sponsor of the #27 Brewco Motorsports entry for driver Jamie McMurray in the BGN, announced a joint promotional opportunity with the U.S. Postal Service for the upcoming BGN race at Daytona. The joint collaboration will feature a special, one-race only “patriotic” paint scheme design featuring the U.S. Postal Service logo on both rear quarter panels. The U.S. Postal Service’s new semi-postal stamp, “Heroes of 2001”, will also be prominently displayed on the hood. The “Heroes of 2001” stamp was created to help generate funds to provide assistance to families of emergency relief personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty in connection with the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. This affiliation marks the first time the U.S. Postal Service has used a professional stock car to help promote a new fundraising stamp. Postmaster General John E. Potter, along with members of Congress and other special guests, dedicated the stamp June 7 in New York City. He said the stamp is a tangible way for all Americans to become involved. The Heroes of 2001 stamp is now available at all post offices. The price of the self-adhesive, non-denominated stamp is 45 cents. As a semi-postal, it is valid for postage at the First-Class first-ounce letter rate in effect at the time of purchase (currently 34 cents), with the difference between the sales price of the stamp and the underlying postage consisting of a tax-deductible contribution. Funds raised in connection with sales of the stamp, net of the Postal Service’s reasonable costs, are transferred to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Over the next several months, FEMA will develop a program designed to meet the intention of Congress to assist the families of the emergency relief workers killed or permanently disabled as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks. FEMA will announce the details of the program later this summer. Designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, D.C., the stamp features a detail of the famous photograph taken by Thomas E. Franklin of three firefighters as they raised the U.S.flag at “Ground Zero.” Franklinis a staff photographer at The Record newspaper in Bergen County, NJ. In addition to running the special paint scheme at Daytona, Williams TravelCenters will have a simulator/show car replica of the #27 U.S. Postal Service machine that will be making appearances at local post offices in the Daytona area during race week. To see an online image of the Heroes of 2001 stamp, go to www.usps.com/news/2002/philatelic/sr02_029.htm.(Williams TravelCenters Racing PR), see images of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery. go to the BGN section.(6-25-2002)
  • Fittipaldi adds a BGN race: Christian Fittipaldi has added the Charter Communications 250 event at Gateway International Raceway to his limited 2002 BGN schedule. The race will take the green flag under the lights on July 20th. Taking advantage of a weekend off from his full-time CART schedule, Fittipaldi will attempt to qualify the #30 Mike’s Hard Lemonade Chevy on a track that is familiar to the open-wheel star. Fittipaldi has three previous [CART] starts at Gateway with one top-ten finish. He finished ninth in 1999. In addition to Gateway, Fittipaldi is also scheduled to race the mike’s hard lemonade Chevy at Richmond on September 6th, Kansas on September 28 and Phoenix on November 9th. He was scheduled to compete at Miami-Homestead Speedway again in 2002 but a recent change to the CART schedule will put him in Mexico City for the CART season finale on that weekend. Fittipaldi competed in his first NASCAR Busch Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November of 2001. Fittipaldi qualified 33rd out of 55 entries and completed 106 of the 200 laps before being involved in an incident with Hank Parker Jr. which sent Fittipaldi into the turn two wall. He was not injured in the accident and finished 39th on the day. Fittipaldi attempted to compete at Richmond earlier in 2002 and after practicing in the top-20 was unable to qualify due to rain. In May he tried to compete in Charlotte and did not make the top 36 on speed. Fittipaldi is a two-time winner in the CART Fed-Ex Championship driving for Newman-Haas Racing in his Lilly sponsored Lola chassis powered by Toyota that fans from all over the world have become accustomed to seeing him drive at speeds reaching 240 mph. Fittipaldi is taking advantage of gaps in this season’s CART schedule to compete in a limited NASCAR Busch Series schedule.(Christian Fittipaldi PR)(6-24-2002)
  • Keller to sport different scheme at Milwaukee and Chicago: Jason Keller will run a slightly different paint scheme for his sponsor at the Milwaukee Mile, adding a splash of red to his #57 ppc Racing Ford in honor of Albertsons Midwest region and its Jewel-Osco stores. The special paint scheme will make two appearances in 2002, with one each at The Milwaukee Mile on June 30 and Chicagoland Speedway on July 13. “I’m excited about sporting a little more red on my Albertsons Ford for Milwaukee and Chicago,” said Keller. “Red just happens to be my favorite color. I am also very proud to be carrying the Jewel-Osco logos. Jewel-Osco is a big name in the Midwest with very loyal shoppers.” Although the changes to the car are subtle, it is a big step for Albertsons. In a time when paint schemes seem to change on a weekly basis, Albertsons has elected to keep its car consistent. This is the second year that Keller has driven the #57 with Albertsons as his primary sponsor, but this is the first time the car will showcase a new paint scheme. The Albertsons logo will still be prominently displayed on the hood of the #57, but Jewel-Osco logos will occupy the rear quarter panels and the television panel. Keller, along with the Albertsons/Jewel-Osco show car, will make appearances at three stores leading up to the NASCAR Busch Series race in Milwaukee.. Keller will sign autographs for Jewel- Osco shoppers at the Franklin store, 6525 S. 27th St., on June 27 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.; the New Berlin store, 13995 W. National Ave., on June 28th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and the West Allis store, 11111 W. Greenfield Ave., on June 28th from 4 to 6 p.m.(IMG Motorsports PR)(6-24-2002)
  • Sad News: Stuart Kirby’s grandfather passed away on Sunday, Kirby drives the #34 U.S. Air Force BGN car for car owner Jimmy Spencer. Flowers and cards can be sent to:
    J.C. Kirby & Son Funeral Chapel
    832 Broadway
    Bowling Green, KY. 42104
    Phone: 270-843-3111
  • Purvis has a long road UPDATE still getting married: #37 BGN driver Jeff Purvis, slowly mending from a near-fatal crash in a May 29 BGN race [actually it was May 19th at Nazareth], yesterday said he will make a decision about his racing future once he’s fully recovered. That won’t be anytime soon. ”It’s not going to be in five or six months … it’s going to take a lot longer than that,” said Purvis, 43, who is still undergoing rehabilitation and treatment at his home in Clarksville. ”I’m in a lot of pain and I can’t get comfortable with this neck brace I have to wear. I’ve felt a whole lot better, but the good news is that doctors expect me to eventually make a full recovery.” Long before the crash, Purvis and his fiancé Margo Turner scheduled their wedding for June 22. Purvis said the wedding will go on, but the reception is postponed. Turner hopes Purvis will quit racing, but will support whatever decision he reaches. ”Margo has been there for me from the start and I couldn’t have made it without her support,” Purvis said. ”I realize that she wants me to quit, my parents want me to quit and my sons want me to quit. But do I want to quit? That’s a question I can’t answer right now.”(See Tennessean for full story)(6-14-2002)
    UPDATE: Jeff Purvis is getting married on Saturday as scheduled. Purvis and his fiance Margo Turner will exchange vows although they have postponed their reception. ”Margo has been there for me from the start and I couldn’t have made it without her support,” Purvis said.(Tennessean/AP)(6-20-2002)
  • Four Sauters at Milwaukee: The legendary Wisconsin short track racer, father to Richard Childress Racing’s (RCR) BGN drivers Jay and Johnny Sauter as well as BGN regular Tim Sauter, will drive the #29 Rockwell Automation/Advance Chevy for RCR at the June 30 GNC Live Well 250 at the Milwaukee Mile. It’s the first time a father and three of his sons will compete against each other in a major NASCAR event. While [Jim] Sauter has competed in numerous NASCAR Winston Cup events in his storied career, the GNC Live Well 250 will be only his fourth BGN start. He finished 26th at Dover in his first BGN race (Sept. 16, 1989), 16th at Michigan(Aug. 17, 1996) and 16th at Myrtle Beach (July 12, 1997). This will also be Sauter’s second stint behind the wheel of an RCR race vehicle. He drove one race in 1999 in RCR’s #8 GM Goodwrench Service Chevy in a CTS race at Michigan (July 24). His teammate was son Jay, who was the fulltime RCR/GM Goodwrench Service driver in the Truck Series. Jim qualified fifth and finished ninth while Jay qualified sixth and finished second. Nilfisk-Advance, one of the world’s leading suppliers of equipment and services to the cleaning industry, is an overall sponsor of RCR. Advance will be a co-primary sponsor with Rockwell Automation for this one-time event.(PR)(6-20-2002)
  • Sauter not being released from #2 ride: Despite widespread speculation at Kentucky, Richard Childress Racing team manager Will Lind denied June 15 that Johnny Sauter has been given through the end of the month to improve the team’s performance or else be let go. The general consensus was that Sauter would be in the No. 2 Chevrolet through the June 30 race at Milwaukee, in his home state of Wisconsin. After that, 1994 Busch Series champion David Green was said to be a candidate to fill the seat. Still, Lind and Mike Dillon, Childress’ son-in-law and a consultant with the team, both completely dismissed the subject out of hand. “You’ve got the wrong information, because that’s not true,” Lind said.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(6-20-2002)
  • Kahne wins: Kasey Kahne, 21, returned home to the Northwest long enough to claim the win in the Jim Raper Memorial Super Dirt Cup at Skagit Speedway. The BGN [#98] rookie won despite the fact that his team was still repairing a hole in his sprint car’s radiator as the national anthem played minutes before the start.(Seattle Post-Intelligencer)(6-20-2002)
  • BDR folds BGN team, moves up to Cup part time: NASCAR Winston Cup Scene reports this week that Bill Davis Racing will fold its #23 BGN team after the July 5 event at Daytona and move driver Scott Wimmer to the Winston Cup Series for seven races. The report says Siemens will sponsor the car, which will make its first appearance in the July 13 Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-19-2002)
  • Netzero to sponsor Pikes Peak: Pikes Peak International Raceway today announced that NetZero, a leading value-priced Internet service provider, has become the primary sponsor of its BGN race on July 26-27. The event will be known as the NetZero 250 NASCAR Busch Series race. July 26-27 marks the return of the BGN with the running of the NetZero 250 and a post-race concert by comedian and Tonight Show regular Jeff Foxworthy.(Pikes Peak International Raceway PR)(6-18-2002)
  • Todd Bodine wins at Kentucky…a day late: #92-Todd Bodine beat #60-Greg Biffle by inches Sunday at Kentucky Speedway, giving Bodine his first BGN win since March 2001. Third was #33-Raines, #10-Riggs and 5th was #23-Wimmer. The race was postponed a day due to rain. The race will be televised at 5:30pm/et on FX. For results, see ThatsRacin.com.(6-16-2002)
  • BGN Race Postponed until Sunday: the rain has caused the BGN race at Kentucky Speedway to be postponed until 1:00pm/et on Sunday. The race will be televised at 5:30pm/et on FX. See NASCAR.com Race section for a field rundown.(6-16-2002)
  • Bodine in for Bodine: Geoffrey Bodine will drive the #26 Discover Card Ford on Sunday at Michigan in place of his brother Todd who will be finishing the BGN race in Kentucky which was postponed from Saturday night due to rain.(6-16-2002)
  • Nemechek and Compton to run Cup on Sunday: other drivers who were running the BGN race at Kentucky on Saturday night before the rain postponed it were Joe Nemechek and Stacy Compton. Both will be back at Michigan to run the Cup race, Nemechek in the #25 Chevy and Compton in the #14 Pontiac. Nemechek said during an interview that David Reutimann, who qualified the #87 BGN car at Kentucky will drive it Sunday. Mark Green qualified the #59 BGN car for Compton, assuming Green will drive it Sunday.(6-16-2002)
  • New Dad Riggs wins the pole at Kentucky: Scott Riggs won the pole at Kentucky Speedway with aa lap of 174.831mph. 2nd fastest was #21-Jay Sauter at 174.357, 3rd was #24-Jack Sprague at 173.868, 4th was #57-Jason Keller at 173.650 and 5th was #14-Larry Foyt at 173.533. Five drivers missed the race: #16-Chad Chaffin; #96-Brad Baker; #81-Dwayne Leik; #86-Jeff Fultz; and #84-Dion Ciccarelli. See results/qualifying results at MotorsportsOne or NASCAR.com.(6-14-2002)
  • Another Riggs: Jai and Scott Riggs, driver of the #10 Nestle Nesquik Ford in the BGN, became the proud parents of an eight pound baby boy late Tuesday. At 11:56 pm on June 11, Jai gave birth to Lane Griffin Riggs with Scott by her side in the delivery room. Jai and Griffin are both doing well. No word on when mother and son will go home.(Tailwindsports PR)(6-14-2002)
  • Fine Lowered: On June 12, 2002, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Tony Lambert, Crew Chief for Team Bristol Motorsports [#54]. The appeal pertained to a $22,500 penalty issued by NASCAR when the #54 car was found to have been under the specified minimum roof height at the conclusion of the BGN event held at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 25, 2002.
    The Commission finds the following: The Commission notes that the car did not meet the minimum roof height specified in the Rule Book at the conclusion of the race. This fact was not contested by the team. The Appellant made a compelling argument that Team Bristol Motorsports has a long-standing record of adherence to the rules and that the infraction was inadvertent. The Commission found the Appellant’s arguments to be succinct and believable. However, the Commission reaffirms its view that the failure of a part does not excuse a car that fails to meet specifications. Upon reviewing the testimony presented during the Hearing, the Commission has unanimously decided to amend the penalty to a fine of $17,500 in this instance. The Appellant has the right, under Section 15 of the NASCAR Rule Book, to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.(NASCAR PR)(6-13-2002)
  • Gunselman and Waterloo Join DF2 Motorsports for Kentucky: #63 CTS driver Larry Gunselman will drive the #94 Fred Bickford/Danny Bost-owned DF2 Motorsports Chevy with sponsorship from Waterloo Tool Storage in this Saturday’s Kroger 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Gunselman will be attempting to start his third BGN race of the 2002 season after making two starts with the #84 Brian Weber and Associates team earlier in the year. He finished 16th in his first career BGN start in April of this year at Talladega. Gunselman has competed in three CTS races this year with the #63 MB Motorsports team. He joined the team at the start of the 2001 season, where he competed in 19 races and scored a season-best finish of 16th at Kansas Speedway.(Trackside Marketing PR)(6-13-2002)
  • Elder back at Kentucky: Drs. Jerry Petty and E. Hunter Dyer of Carolina NeuroSurgery & Spine Associates have released Christian Elder [driver of the #38 Great Clips Ford] to race after reviewing films of a myelogram conducted on May 30th. Elder had been diagnosed with herniated cervical discs earlier in May and preliminary findings indicated surgery would be necessary to correct the condition. Then the doctors performed the myelogram, which consists of injecting dye into the spinal canal and then examining the area with an MRI scan, and have concluded that the surgery will not be necessary at this time. Elder raced at Kentucky Speedway last year finishing 24th. He has tested at the facility twice. Elder’s last race in the Great Clips Ford was at California Speedway, April 27th.(PR)(6-13-2002)
  • New BGN/CTS team: Elite Motorsports announced the opening of its doors in Huntersville, NC. With the partnership of Donny Morelock, Mark Smith, and Randy Fenley, Elite Motorsports promises to be one of the most cost effective teams in motorsports. Elite Motorsports plans to have a limited CTS and BGN schedule for the 2002 season with two different sponsors and a full BGN schedule for 2003. The team has competitive Ford ARCA, CTS, BGN and Cup cars, which are also available for lease. Donny Morelock has driven in both the ARCA/Re-Max Series and the CTS, finishing 8th in points during the 2001 ARCA/Re-Max Series. Mark Smith is the sole owner of Tri-Star Motors. Tri-Star produces engines currently used by such teams as: Mike Bliss(CTS), Kevin Lepage(BGN), Andy Belmont(ARCA) and Derrike Cope(CTS/Cup).(VLE Media Relations PR)(6-13-2002)
  • Vickers Cuts Back: #40-BLV Motorsports competing in the BGN with driver Brian Vickers, are actively seeking sponsorship for the balance of 2002 and the full 2003 season. Current sponsor, Engineered Machined Products (EMP) will continue to support the team in a reduced role.. EMP’s original 2002 plans were based on business-to-business partnerships to help support the program, which have not materialized to their expectations for various business and economic reasons. The team will also continue their relationship with the. National Automotive Center (NAC). The U.S. Army has been approached about a role with the team for the future and they are currently assessing their options. The team will run at least 10 races for the remainder of the 2002 season (Kentucky is the next event). According to a team spokesperson, “We greatly value EMP’s continued support in light of the current economic climate facing us all.. As BLV Motorsports moves forward, we are targeting events that will enable Brian and this team to showcase their talent in hopes of catching the eye of additional prospective sponsors who are looking for a dynamic, young representative who continues to prove himself each time he competes.” The car will only have the EMP logo on the hood going forward.. There will not be any sponsor markings on the quarter panels, decklid or TV panel unless we secure additional funding.(BLV Motorsports PR)(6-13-2002)
  • Team Bristol Looking for people: The Toys ‘R” Us Racing #54 Team is in the process of hiring for the following positions; car chief, shock specialist and a mechanic. .Interested and qualified people should contact crew chief Tony Lambert at 276-669-0813.(6-13-2002)
  • Fuller to test for Gibbs: Jeff Fuller will be in Phoenix for three days of testing for Joe Gibbs Racing next week. Fuller will be testing the #20 Home Depot Pontiac for Gibbs Winston Cup operation.(Jeff Fuller Fans Page)(6-13-2002)
  • #5 Crewman Hurt: Crewman Jeff McKinney was injured going over the wall during a pit stop for Ricky Hendrick. McKinney, the rear tire changer, suffered soft tissue ligament damage on his right lower leg when his knee buckled during the stop. He finished the stop on his knees because he couldn’t stand up. McKinney will not return this week at Kentucky.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-12-2002)
  • #18 Crew Chief Penalized: NASCAR officials announced that Tim Shutt, crew chief of the #18 Pontiac Grand Prix in the BGN, received a $1,000 fine for a rule violation found during post-qualifying inspection following Saturday’s Inside Traxx 300 at Nashville Superspeedway. Shutt was penalized under Section 12-4-Q in the 2002 NASCAR Busch Series rule book, “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules: unapproved front spring.”(NASCAR PR)(6-12-2002)
  • Assoc sponsor for the #25 at Kentucky: Team Rensi Motorsports and driver, Bobby Hamilton, Jr. will have a one-race associate sponsorship with Ammbusher, Inc. for the June 15, 2002 BGN event at Kentucky Speedway. This will mark the second year of Ammbusher’s association with Team Rensi Motorsports. Located in Aurora, IN, Ammbusher, Inc. was founded in 1992, by its current president Mr. D.L. Ransom. Ammbusher, Inc. is a nationwide manufacturer of skid steer attachments.(Team Rensi PR)(6-12-2002)
  • New Assoc on the #10 and #57 for Kentucky…and beyond?: Pro-Onsite Technologies, a leader in providing computer based technologies for home and business, has reached an agreement to become an associate sponsor of both the #10 Nestle Nesquik Ford with Scott Riggs and the #57 Albertson’s Ford with Jason Keller. The agreement is for the “Kroger 300 presented by Oreo”, the nationally televised NASCAR Busch Series event scheduled for June 15th at Kentucky Speedway.. Pro-Onsite Technologies has the option to become a full-time associate sponsor. Pro-Onsite Technologies has emerged as a leader in computer technology in the Midwest region.(ppc Racing PR)(6-12-2002)
  • Little E not totally Taz at Richmond IMAGE…AND: a month or so ago it was reported that Dale Earnhardt Jr would run a Tasmanian Devil scheme in the BGN race at Richmond in Sept, told it is partially true and that the Orange Monster – Gossamer [a Jayski fave] will also be on the car [hood] along with Bugs Bunny [decklid], with the colors being orange/white/black.(6-7-2002)
    IMAGE: see an image of the #8 (yes #8 JR Motorsports) Gossamer/Bugs car on my Paint Scheme Gallery, the Looney Tunes special page.(6-8-2002)
    AND Word is that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is looking to own a BGN team with him as driver for selected races, possibly by next year. Another driver would take over the wheel for the rest of the schedule. Sponsorship is allegedly in place. The hold-up could be where to house the team. Dale Earnhardt, Inc. has already maxed out space at the Mooresville shop. Earnhardt Jr. already is listed as owner of a Street Stock that T.J. Majors will drive at Concord Motorsports Park.(NASCAR.com), sources tell me that Nabisco (no real surprise) will be the sponsor for some of all the races.(6-11-2002)
  • Purvis goes home UPDATE: Jeff Purvis, seriously injured in a crash last month at Nazareth, was released from an area rehabilitation facility Wednesday and returned to his Clarksville, TN home to continue physical therapy. Kevin Lepage is driving the #37 Brewco Motorsports Chevy in Purvis’ absence. Several Clarksville youngsters signed a huge get-well car for Purvis, including his sons Thomas and Clay, who wrote, ”Please don’t get back in that race car again!”(Tenneseean)(6-8-2002)
    UPDATE: Jeff Purvis is still reluctant to see visitors, but the owner of his Busch Series racing team said the Clarksville driver is making a steady recovery from injuries sustained during an accident in May. ”Our racing program is public, but Jeff’s health is private,” Brewco Motorsports owner Clarence Brewer said. ”Jeff is a private person, and we respect him for that. He doesn’t want people to see him sick and see him hurt. ‘As soon as the halo comes off {in a couple of months], he’ll be 100 percent [physically]. Race car-wise, I don’t know. The doctor will have to say yes or no at that point. Mentally, he’s as sharp as a tack.” Brewer stayed with Purvis in the days following the wreck and has seen a lot of progress. (see full story at the Tennessean)(6-10-2002)
  • Sprague wins at Nashville: #24-Jack Sprague won the BGN race at Nashville Superspeedway and still leads the series points standings. Sprague has raced some in the Busch series since 1989 but had not won in 89 tries. #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. was 2nd, #60-Greg Biffle finished third, followed by #21-Jay Sauter and #57-Jason Keller. See ThatsRacin.com for Inside Traxx 300 race results and a column: Sprague scores first BGN win.(6-9-2002)
  • Bradshaw, Fitz get a scare: A private plane carrying former NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw, his daughter, and his [#12 Kerry Earnhardt] racing team partner, Nashvillian Armando Fitz, almost crashed on takeoff yesterday at a Texas airport. The three, along with two pilots, were departing from Alliance Airport near Fort Worth, bound for Nashville and tonight’s Inside Traxx 300 Busch Series race when both left-side tires of the plane blew as it was taking off. ”I’ve flown all my life, in all kinds of bad weather, and this is the closest call I’ve ever had,” Fitz said. ”As we taxied down the runway for takeoff, the plane began to shake and rattle so bad that the lining overhead was coming loose. ‘We were right at the end of the runway and the pilot had the nose of the plane in the air when the left side tires blew. He got the plane stopped and we all hurried off, and as we were standing there looking, the right-side tires blew, too. ‘We were just a second or two from takeoff. If we’d got airborne, with blown tires, we’d have had to make a crash landing.” Another plane was chartered and the three made the flight without incident. Fitz was on hand for last night’s qualifying. Bradshaw accompanied his daughter, Rachel, to Music Row, where she was making a demo tape. Bradshaw will be at tonight’s race. Bradshaw had been scheduled to address yesterday’s luncheon of the Nashville Sports Council. ”Terry was pretty shaken up,” Fitz said. ”I suppose part of it was because his daughter was on the plane. That made the whole thing even scarier. It was definitely the closest call I’ve ever had in my life.”(Tenneseean)(6-8-2002)
  • Kerry Earnhardt to run Looney Tunes at RIR: with his brother Dale Jr and will supposedly drive a driving the black/yellow/gray #12 Yosemite Sam Chevy in the Richmond BGN race.(6-7-2002)
    IMAGE: see an image of the #12 Jani King/Yosmite Sam Chevy scheme on Paint Scheme Gallery, the Looney Tunes special page.(6-8-2002)
  • Biffle on the pole at Nashville: #60-Greg Biffle won the pole at Nashville Superspeedway with a speed of 161.288mph. 2nd was #66-Casey Mears, 3rd was #21-Jay Sauter, #25-Bobby Hamilton, Jr. was 4th and rounding out the top five was #24-Jack Sprague. For lineups, see ThatsRacin.com, or BGN Racing.(6-7-2002)
  • Message from ARCA injured driver Tina Gordon: Tina would like to thank all of her fans for the cards, flowers and get well wishes she has received since her accident at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. You can send your cards and letters to Tina at this address: Tina Gordon, 8255 AL. Hwy. 9 N, Cedar Bluff, AL 35959.(Gordon Racing)(6-7-2002)
  • The Guitar: When the winner of the Inside Traxx 300 BGN race at Nashville Superspeedway rolls into victory lane on Saturday, June 8, the most memorable reward – along with the prize money and glory – will be a Gibson Les Paul guitar designed by motorsports artist Sam Bass. The guitar is the second in a series of four Bass has designed for the 2002 Nashville race season. The first one went home with Scott Riggs after the April 13 Pepsi 300 BGN race – NASCAR president Mike Helton gratefully accepted a replica from the artist to commemorate the occasion. Guitars three and four will be awarded at the conclusions of the July 20 Firestone Indy 200 IRL race and the August 10 Federated Auto Parts 200 CTS event. Bass started with a beautiful Classic model six-string electric guitar, to which he applied a mural depicting the nighttime skyline of the city of Nashville being visited by a blazing, comet-like stock car.(Sam Bass PR)(6-6-2002)
  • Crew Member Suspended: NASCAR officials announced today that David Goulet, a team crew member [ESPN2 reports the #54 team, he no longer works there] in the BGN, has been suspended indefinitely for violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy. The infraction is a rules violation of Section 12-4-A in regard to: “Any member who performs an act or participates in actions deemed by NASCAR officials as detrimental to stock car racing or to NASCAR.”(NASCAR PR)(6-6-2002)
  • Team Rensi and Yates team up: Team Rensi Motorsports and Robert Yates Racing announced today the formation of a strategic partnership involving the #98 BGN team sponsored by Channellock and driven Kasey Kahne. Team Rensi Motorsports will assume responsibility for the management of the #98 BGN team, currently operated by Robert Yates Racing. This strategic alliance brings a dedicated focus to the development, progression and success of the #98 Channellock team and offers opportunities for continued growth for Kasey Kahne, as well as Bobby Hamilton, Jr., driver of the Team Rensi owned #25 Team Marines Ford. The partnership, effective immediately, has been endorsed by Ford Racing, Channellock, Robert Yates Racing and Team Rensi Motorsports. Sam Rensi, co-owner of Team Rensi Motorsports, considers the transition to be much like the transplanting of a tree. All assets, personnel, technology and proprietary information of the Yates-operated team will be moved to and reside in Team Rensi Motorsports’ shop in Mooresville, NC. Rensi feels that the combined efforts of the two teams will be mutually beneficial for both of their racing programs. Robert Yates, owner of Robert Yates Racing, also feels that the partnership could bring both teams even more success. Channellock, sponsor of the #98 team, is excited about the partnership and the success they feel it will bring to their program.(Team Rensi PR)(6-6-2002)
  • Larry Foyt to Cup in 2003? Motorsport.com reports that Larry Foyt might end up in Winston Cup next season because sponsor Harrah’s wants to be on the top circuit. “Harrah’s definitely, I think their goals are to go to Winston Cup,” said Foyt, son of legendary racer A.J. Foyt. “I’ve been trying to fight it because I’m still pretty new to the stock cars. (I) didn’t really wanna move up to Busch as fast as I did. I’ve always kind of left it up to my dad. He’s directed my career the way it’s gone and I trust his judgment on that.”(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-5-2002)
    AND some more from the interview: MFR: So what is your timetable for going to Winston Cup, and is your sponsor, Harrah’s going to go with you?
    FOYT: I don’t know, we’re kind of in negotiations right now. I’m leaving it up to them and AJ, what they want to do with me. I’m open to anything. If we do go to Cup, I just want to make sure that we do it right, because I know that’s just so tough. That level is the top, and it’s so tough. I’d really like one more year of Busch. I feel like we’ve made a lot of improvements, but we still haven’t done the things we want to do. We’ve gotten some top tens, but we’re not running up front consistently like we want to, so I feel like one more year of Busch would be really good for us.
    And when asked about Indy cars: “The Indy car, when I drove it, is a pretty different feel and I never raced it in a crowd, so I’d be pretty curious to see what it’s like. I’m really pushing to try and run Indy next year before I get too far away from that. That race is still so special to me and I still go every year. I haven’t missed one yet, so I’m really pushing for Indy next year, to give it a shot.(6-6-2002)
  • Green in the #31? UPDATE Benson no more?: hearing that David Green will again drive the Marsh Racing Whelen # 31 at Dover on June 1st as Johnny Benson is still recovering from the broken rib suffered at Richmond.(5-22-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing Johnny Benson will no longer drive the #31 or any other car besides the #10 Valvoline Cup car.(5-23-2002)
    UPDATE 2: David Green will be driving the Whelen # 31 at Dover. Johnny Benson will not be returning to the #31 team for the remainder of the season.(5-27-2002)UPDATE 3: Green will be back in the #31 at Kentucky Speedway, the team is not running at Nashville.(6-6-2002)
  • Mitchell and Baker to attempt Nashville: Richard Mitchell is trying to make his second NASCAR Busch Series start Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway. The two-time NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Northeast Region champion finished 35th in April in his series debut at the 1.333-mile track, driving the #56 Chevy for Mac Hill Motorsports. “We used the first Nashville race to get our feet wet,” the West Virginia driver said. “Despite all of the problems, we were happy with our performance. We certainly don’t have the resources that the full-time teams do, but if we can eliminate the bad luck, I feel we can be competitive with the Busch regulars.”(Daytona Beach News Journal) AND #28-Brad Baker returns to his hometown this weekend and hopes to duplicate his success of earlier this season. In his second series start of the season, Baker finished 17th at Nashville in April. “All we want to do is go out there and give it our best,” Baker said. “We had a good run in April, but we are bringing a new car to Nashville this week and I think we are going to be really good.”(ThatsRacin.com)(6-6-2002)
  • #47 to continue on without sponsor: Although Thomas Pacconi Classics won’t be returning as the primary sponsor of Innovative Motorsports driver Shane Hmiel, team owner George de Bidart says the team will continue racing the full schedule. The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based businessman pulled the former sponsor’s decals from Hmiel’s car at Charlotte, replacing them with Mike’s Hard Lemonade. de Bidart refused to discuss the specifics of the split with Pacconi. “We’ll have a different paint scheme on it next week,” de Bidart said. “We’re probably gonna run another Mike’s brand on it, like their hard ice tea or something like that.”(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(6-6-2002)
  • #25 Crew Chief fined UPDATE: NASCAR officials on Wednesday penalized Fred Wanke, crew chief of the #25 Ford driven by Bobby Hamilton Jr., $20,000 for a rule violation found during post-race inspection following Sunday’s Stacker2 200 at Nazareth Speedway. Wanke was penalized because Hamilton Jr.’s was found to be nearly 1/2-inch under the 50 1/2-inch minimum height requirement.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-21-2002)
    UPDATE – fine stands: On June 3, 2002, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Fred Wanke, Crew Chief for Team Rensi Motorsports. The appeal pertained to a $20,000 penalty issued by NASCAR when the #25 car was found to have been under the specified minimum roof height at the conclusion of the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division event held at Nazareth Speedway on May 19, 2002. The Commission finds the following: The rules violation was clear in light of the fact that both the Appellant and NASCAR confirmed that the car did not meet the minimum roof height requirement specified in Section 20A-12.8.1.A. of the NASCAR Rule Book when measured using the NASCAR measuring device in the standard manner during post-race inspection. The Appellant made a compelling argument that Team Rensi Motorsports has a good record of adherence to the rules and argued that the infraction was the result of the unintentional failure of a suspension component. The Commission found the Appellant’s arguments to be plausible and believable. However, the Commission reaffirms its view that the failure of a part on the racecar does not excuse a car that fails to meet specifications, particularly in a closely contested sport where œequipment failure might be pre-engineered or caused intentionally in some instances. The Commission notes that Section 8-7 of the NASCAR Rule Book provides latitude for NASCAR Officials to use discretionary judgment in cases where post-race deficiencies are deemed insubstantial.. In this case, the Commission concurs the magnitude of the infraction was substantial enough to warrant a penalty. The penalty, while serious, is consistent with penalties for similar rules violations. It is therefore the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the penalty assessed by NASCAR. The Appellant has the right, under Section 15 of the NASCAR Rule Book, to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.(NASCAR PR)(6-6-2002)
  • What happened to… David Donohue, who drove the #25 car in the BGN for part of the 2001 season? Donohue, son of the late Mark Donohue, will be announced Monday as the second driver of a Brumos Porsche-FABCAR slated to compete at the 2003 Rolex 24 At Daytona. Donohue will join Wayne Jackson in one of two cars from Jacksonville businessman Bob Snodgrass, owner of Brumos — a name synonymous with endurance racing championships. Donohue has scored a victory in one of the crown jewels of endurance racing, co-driving a Dodge Viper to a first-place GT-2 class finish at the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans. “I like the uniqueness of the (Daytona Prototypes) formula,” Donohue said. “It allows a much larger spectrum of drivers to compete for the overall win — which in sports car racing has not been available to most people because there are so many classes of cars. I think this will open the door for more people to compete for the overall win, which is much more rewarding and what teams and drivers want.” Daytona Beach-based Grand American introduced the Daytona Prototypes class in late January in an effort to smooth the ups-and-downs of prototype racing participation.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-4-2002)
  • Biffle wins at Dover: #60-Greg Biffle’s first victory this season in the BGN came at team owner Jack Roush made his return to the track this weekend. Biffle beat #21-Jeff Green who finished 2nd. #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. finished third, #23-Scott Wimmer fourth and #24-Jack Sprague rounded out to the top five. Sprague is now the points leader. For results, see ThatsRacin.com – Results from the MBNA Platinum 200.(6-1-2002)