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June 2002 News Archives


(6-30-2002)

 

  • No Toyota soon? Despite claims to the contrary from sources inside NASCAR, and consistent claims from Dodge, Chevy and Ford truck teams, Toyota says it is not entering the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2003 and not necessarily even in 2004.(Autoweek). NOTE: the Jayski Toyota car Don drew is just for fun and a goof, not to be taken seriously.(6-30-2002)
  • Labonte to help out kids racing: There’s a move afoot to start a North Carolina quarter-midget racing association, with Winston Cup driver Bobby Labonte helping push the effort to get a one-twentieth-mile track built where children 5 to 16 can race. Labonte would like for his 8-year-old son, Tyler, and other boys and girls interested in racing the scaled-down versions of U.S. Auto Club midget cars to have a place in the Carolinas to compete.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-30-2002)
  • and whatever happened to….the Humpy Bumper: Lately, talk of the “Humpy Bumper,” has lost a little bit steam, but in a NASCAR.com column, Humpy Wheeler uses his monthly column to update the fans about where development stands. Work continues to proceed on it, but part of Lew Composites, the primary manufacturer of the bumper, is in the process of being sold. Wheeler has met with the potential new owners and they’re excited about getting into this project and progressing it further. Wheeler’s role in the development of the bumper was simply inspirational and he challenged Paul Lew to build it. Well, Paul has since left Lew Composites, and that really stalled the bumper’s development.(see full story at NASCAR.com and past news on my The Humpy Bumper page)(6-30-2002)

    (6-29-2002)

  • RCR Crew Chief to own a NHRA team: supposedly there is an announcement coming this weekend by Mark Whisnant that he is teaming up with NASCAR crew chief Kevin Hamlin to form a two-car Pro Stock team is already paying dividends as Whisnant powered to a fourth-best 6.890 at 200.38 mph. “We’ll take the engineering from over there and put it together with the engineering from over here and we can only get better,” said Hamlin, who was seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt’s crew chief at the time of his death and now heads Robbie Gordon’s [#31] car. “Already I can see a lot of things over here that I’d like to try. It’ll take time but it should be interesting and a whole lot of fun. I owe my career to drag racing and the fact the pits are open. I used to come to the drag races in the early 1970s and I’d just stand there and watch guys until they finally started talking to me. I wouldn’t be where I am today if fans weren’t allowed in the pits. I think it’s so cool.”(NHRA.com, heads up to The Racing Report)(6-29-2002)
  • BAM Racing gets Daytona sponsor: BAM Racing announced today that dakota imaging, inc., a leading provider of high-volume transaction processing systems and services, has signed on as the a primary sponsor of the #49 Dodge driven by Shawna Robinson for the Pepsi 400 NASCAR Winston Cup event July 6th at Daytona. Chuck Ramsburg, dakota imaging Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said, “We were impressed with the ability to showcase our brand and drive sales through the unique business to business aspect of the BAM Racing opportunity. It should be a great night under the lights in Daytona.” BAM Racing General Manager, Eddie Jones said, “We want to thank and welcome dakota imaging on board. As a team, we have committed ourselves to certain goals for the second half of the season. Although we only have a one-race agreement, Dakota¹s support is a sign that we are building a solid program capable of achieving those goals.” Shawna Robinson driver of the No. 49 BAM Racing Dodge stated, “I am really excited to be representing Dakota Imaging. This is a great opportunity for BAM Racing and Dakota Imaging. We hope to give them a good showing at the Pepsi 400 under the lights at Daytona.”(BAM Racing PR)(6-29-2002)
  • Elliott Scheme: Bill Elliott / Dodge Viper ‘2002 – The promotion surrounding this program is related to the launch of the 2003 real Viper car, which goes on sale to the public October 2002. Dodge will be touring a show car of this paint scheme around the country to miscellaneous dealerships. Elliott will race this special paint scheme October 13th in Charlotte.(6-27-2002)
    Image: see an image of the scheme on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(6-29-2002)
  • Special #97 scheme: #97-Kurt Busch will run a Little Tikes paint scheme at Homestead in November, have an inage of the scheme in the Paint Scheme Gallery. This was initially rumored to run at the 2002 Bud Shootout, but didn’t.(6-29-2002)

    (6-28-2002)

  • Indy Testing: Indianapolis Motor Speedway has scheduled four days of Cup testing at the track, July 9-10 and July 15-16, and most every Cup team will test. A complete schedule of the teams/drivers for each of the tests can be seen at: www.brickyard.com.(6-28-2002)
  • New VP for Morgan-McClure: Morgan-McClure Motorsports announced the addition of Jerry Wallner, a business associate of the team for many years, to its staff. Wallner, who recently retired from his position of Director of Sponsorships with the Eastman Kodak Company, will join the Abingdon, Va.-based team on July 1, 2002. Wallner’s role at Morgan-McClure Motorsports will be Vice President of Marketing. His duties will include setting a strategic marketing focus for the team. He will also coordinate all marketing related activities for the Kodak MAX Film Monte Carlo. Wallner is a graduate of Loyola College in Baltimore with a degree in marketing. He also attended graduate school at Syracuse University in Sales and Marketing. While with Kodak, he held a series of positions including marketing, sales management and extensive sponsorship management. He was responsible for partnerships between Kodak and theme parks, sports marketing, entertainment, special events and cause marketing. Familiar with Morgan-McClure Motorsports through many years of working with Larry McClure and the Kodak sponsorship of the team, Wallner looks to help enhance the race program with extended sponsorships and increased marketing ventures. He and his wife Carmen reside in Atlanta, Ga., from where he will work closely with McClure and the veteran race team.(Morgan-McClure Motorsports PR)(6-28-2002)
  • Rudd to retire? UPDATE: Justin Ditmore of WSLS Newschannel 10 reports that Ricky Rudd has made a decision on his future in the 28 car, and in racing in general. Sources tell Newschannel 10 hat the 45 year old has decided to call it quits after the 2002 season. Rudd’s contract with Robert Yates Racing is up after this year,, he’s made no secret he’d like to spend more time at home with his family.(WSLS Newschannel 10-NBC)(6-27-2002)
    UPDATE: ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night reports that Ricky Rudd met with Jerry Jones [who is supposedly buying intp Andy Petree Racing] about driving for him next season.(6-28-2002)
  • NAPCM Pit Crew of The Week: #5-Terry Labonte’s Kelloggs crew earned a much deserved top five finish at Infineon Raceway. Stop times like 15.2 kept the Kelloggs car in the hunt.(NAPCM PR)(6-28-2002)

    (6-27-2002)

  • Petree Announcement UPDATE – 2 AT&T and Carrot Top: hearing a major sponsorship announcement and car unveiling for Andy Petree Racing and driver Mike Wallace in Charlotte, NC on Thursday morning, June 27th, for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona.(6-24-2002)
    UPDATE: For Daytona, Petree will be back to two cars, with Mike Wallace behind the wheel of the #33 Chevy and Bobby Hamilton, as usual, piloting the #55 Schneider Electric Chevy. “We are going to have a press conference Thursday in Charlotte to announce the sponsorship deal on the 33 car for Daytona,” Steve Barkdoll, APR’s executive vice president/general manager, said Monday at the shop. “We are looking forward to a good relationship with that sponsor. The company is well known, and right now, as it has been in the past for us, it’s just a one-race deal.”(Henderson Times)(6-25-2002)
    UPDATE: fans are invited to attend a press conference to unveil primary Sponsorship of the #33 Chevy for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday, June 27, 2002 at 11:00am/et, at Polk Park, Charlotte, NC.(Corner of Trade & Tryon Street in Uptown Charlotte). Take 85 to 77 South, then Exit #11 (Brookshire Freeway.), then take the Tryon/Church Street Exit, next turn right on Tryon Street. Polk Park will be on the right.(6-26-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Watch for the ATT, 1-800-callatt, sponsored Carrot Top car being driven by Mike Wallace at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona on July 6th, 2002 (Mike Wallace SiteAND Car owner Andy Petree and driver Mike Wallace have picked up sponsorship for the July 6 Pepsi 400 at Daytona from 1 800-CALLATT for Collect Calls. The single-event sponsorship has all parties excited, including APR’s honorary crew chief, pitch man Carrot Top. “I’ve tried imagining the excitement of the moment – of seeing my face on the 1 800 CALLATT car, cruising around the track in Daytona in front of the best fans in the world. I’m definitely psyched to be in on the action,” Carrot Top said. “As a huge NASCAR fan, all I can say is that it’s going to be so cool – and my face is more attractive at 200 mph anyway!” For team owner Andy Petree, the highly-visible partnership is an opportunity for a team under his guidance to excel on a superspeedway, something APR teams have done consistently over the past few seasons.(ThatsRacin.com), see images of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(6-27-2002)
  • Wallace back to black? hearing #2-Rusty Wallace will run a MGD (Miller Geniune Draft) black and gold scheme at either Martinsville or Atlanta (or both) and……it may be a preview to the return of the black and gold scheme for 2003.(6-27-2002)
  • Rick Mast’s Condition? been asked quite a bit about ailing #90 driver, Rick Mast, have not heard a thing, if I do, it’ll be posted.(6-27-2002)
  • Sadler is quiet until August/Rudd has options UPDATE Sadler to Yates, but different team?: Although Elliott Sadler has solidified his deal for next year—he signed a confidentiality clause that keeps him mum until August—almost everyone else is waiting to hear Ricky Rudd’s plans for 2003 before more moves are made. Rudd says his preferences, in order, are: remain in the #28 Ford, retire, go to a new team. Rudd says he doesn’t think staying with Robert Yates in the #28 is an option. Rudd says he has been offered several contracts, and Chip Ganassi’s name keeps popping up as a potential new boss.(Sporting News)
    UPDATE: Ricky Rudd said after his victory on Sunday that he still hasn’t made a decision about whether he’ll retire after this season. He said he plans to think about his future on a vacation with his family next week, where he’ll spend the final off weekend of the 2002 Winston Cup season. If he does return for another year, he said his first option would be to remain as driver of the No. 28 Fords at Robert Yates Racing – but he’s not sure if that option is open. This is the final year of his contract with Yates and Rudd said he hasn’t been able to get Yates to tell him for sure if Elliott Sadler has already been picked to take that ride.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-24-2002)
    UPDATE 2: WSLS Newschannel 10 say that Elliott Sadler has signed with Robert Yates Racing, but will drive a 3rd team and not the #28 Havoline Ford. Sadler’s deal has a confidentiality agreement which says he cant say anything about the deal till August. The 3rd team will have M&M’s as the sponsor which is leaving the #36 car after this year.(WSLS Newschannel 10-NBC)(6-27-2002)
  • Nadeau Road Racing at DIS: Jerry Nadeau will test the right-and left-turns at Daytona International Speedway. Nadeau will partner with Indy Racing League driver Anthony Lazzaro in the #7 Nissan-powered Lola of Rand Racing in the Jani-King Paul Revere 250 July 4 road course event at Daytona. “I am really excited about doing this. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Anthony is a great driver, and he’s been doing really well in the series. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get up-to-speed on Wednesday during practice,” said Nadeau, who has extensive road racing experience in various types of race cars. I’m mainly doing this for fun. I want to go out and drive the wheels off it. I would love to do the Rolex 24 At Daytona someday, so hopefully this will open the door for me”(ThatsRacin.com)(6-27-2002)
  • Paul Tracy to NASCAR? UPDATE: Barry Green, who owns the team for which Tracy drives, is rumoured to be following the lead of Roger Penske and jumping to the IRL full-time next season. If he does, Tracy said there’s a good chance he won’t follow, and will try his luck in NASCAR. He’s been approached by Richard Childress, and is lining up a test for later in the summer. “If CART doesn’t survive, I’d have to seriously look at NASCAR,” he said. “I’m a road racer, but if I’m going to be forced to run on ovals, I’m going to do go where I can prosper. There’s more opportunity in NASCAR.”(Globe and Mail(5-26-2002)
    UPDATE: Paul Tracy, if CART is no longer a viable option, he said he would look seriously at finding a ride in NASCAR. “I’d really miss [the road races],” Tracy said amid growing speculation that teams such as his Team Kool Green might jump to the all-oval Indy Racing League. “If I’m going to be forced to run ovals all the time, I’d take a look at NASCAR as well as the IRL. I want to stay in CART, and I know that Barry [Green, the Team Green owner] does, too. But he’s waiting for a decision from Kool, and they’re the ones that pay the sponsorship.” The thought of Tracy, 33, in a stock car might seem unusual. He’s in the 12th year of his CART career and has the second-most victories of any active driver in the series. But despite his strong open-wheel roots, Tracy said he would investigate his NASCAR options. “I’ve got some contacts with a couple of [NASCAR] teams,” he said. “It’s not a real race car, but they’re out there banging doors, so they’re not loafing around. And I’m still pretty young compared to most of them, so I still have some time. They are what they are. But they make a lot of money, and it’s still racing.”(Chicago Sun Times)(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)
  • Daytona testing from Wednesday: Ron Hornaday is subbing for the vacationing Shawna Robinson in the #49 BAM Racing Dodge during this week’s two-day test session at Daytona International Speedway for the July 6 Pepsi 400. While Hornaday is trying to fine-tune the #49 Dodge for BAM Racing, he also hopes to pull away some information for his #26 Dr. Pepper Chevrolet that he races in the BGN with Carroll Racing. Also wrapping up the test session on Wednesday was Phoenix Racing. Geoffrey Bodine tested a Cup car while Joe Ruttman shook down the #1 BGN Chevy and Pontiac that will be used in the BGN race at Daytona with Jimmy Spencer driving. Kasey Kahne, driver of the #98 Channellock Ford for Robert Yates Racing in the BGN, shortened their test and left on Tuesday. In random hand-held times taken on Wednesday, Bodine and Ruttman were fastest, each turning laps in the 182.556mph range.(DIS PR)(6-27-2002)
  • Cup testing at Kentucky on Thursday: Six Cup teams will test at Kentucky on Thursday June 27th. #7-Casey Atwood; #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr.; #15-Michael Waltrip; #19-Jeremy Mayfield; #40-Sterling Marlin; and #41-Jimmy Spencer. No word if it open to the public.(Kentucky Speedway)(6-27-2002)
  • Tryson wins award: Elliott Sadler drove his #21 Motorcraft Ford from a 40th place start to a sixth place finish at last Sunday’s Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway. Fuel strategy, great pit stops and heads-up driving took the Motorcraft Taurus up through the field and kept it up front most of the day, helping earn team crew chief Pat Tryson this week’s “Irwin Rough to the Finish Award.” Each week throughout the Cup season, Irwin, makers of professional power tool accessories, is partnering with Performance Racing Network [PRN] to honor the crew chief who had the toughest day in the pits, but still managed to help his team to a strong finish. The Irwin Rough to the Finish Award includes an assortment of tools for the crew chief and a $250 check donated to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund in the racing team’s name. The year-end winner of the crew chief points standings will win a $5,000 check donated to the Fund. Race fans wanting to make a contribution to the Fund may do so by sending it to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund, PO Box 443, Ellerbe, NC 28338.(Golin Harris PR)(6-27-2002)
  • TRAC to ESPN?: MotorsportTV.com is reporting that TRAC is close to signing an agreement with is ESPN. There’s no word if ABC is included in the mix.(6-27-2002)
  • CTS to Speed Channel? MotorsportTV.com is also hearing that the Craftsman Truck Series is close to signing a deal to be broadcast on Speed Channel. A deal may be done within the next month.(6-272002)
  • New Museum in SC: The people behind the Motor Racing Museum of the South, targeted for a 2005 opening on Pine Street in Spartanburg [SC], hope to return the city to its former prominence as a motorsports hub. Work has begun on the $20 million facility at the site of the former Beaumont Mill, a textile factory. The building and the grounds were donated to the museum by Spartanburg businessman Jimmy Gibbs. The museum complex also may house the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame, an organization without a home. Negotiations with hall officials are continuing. The racing museum has been in design stages for about two years, and fund-raising events featuring Pearson and Moore produced money for planning and administration. More fund-raisers are planned, and museum development director Paul Ianuario said the museum will be built with a combination of public and private funding. The South already is home to numerous racing museums, including the Joe Weatherly Stock Car Racing Museum in Darlington, the new Thunder Road USA museum in Dawsonville, Ga., Daytona USA adjacent to Daytona International Speedway in Florida and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum in Talladega, Ala. The Spartanburg museum will stand apart, Ianuario said, because its proposed design will educate visitors not only about race car drivers and their cars but also about the times and conditions in which they raced. The centerpiece of the museum, as it is currently planned, will be a speedway “straightaway” that will provide a walking avenue through a series of displays dedicated to auto racing in particular decades. Racing dioramas would include replicas of buildings and other scenes from the time period. The 170,000-square-foot facility also might include a large-screen theater, an upscale restaurant and a working garage area that could house a small racing team.(Greenville News)(6-27-2002)

    (6-26-2002)

  • Benson And Ince Re-up with MBV? UPDATE: the Insider Racing site is reporting that inside sources have told them that Johnny Benson, driver of the #10 Valvoline Pontiac, and his crew chief, James Ince, have signed a new contract with MBV for at least one more year. No further details are known at this time.(6-25-2002)
    UPDATE: sources with the team tell me that while MBV is talking with [negotiating] with Benson and Ince, nothing has yet been signed. There have been “exploratory” conversations with a couple of other owners, but the objective all along has been to keep the “gang” together right where they are [the #10 MBV team](6-26-2002)
  • Most Popular Driver Update: Shattering all previous vote totals, the 2002 Grands Biscuits National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award poll has surpassed 1 million fan votes in only four months of online voting. The highest vote total previous recorded for the award is 400,000. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who has led the poll since voting opened in March, continues to be the top vote recipient with nearly 300,000 votes to date.. Bill Elliott is currently in second place followed in the top 10 by Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin, Kyle Petty, Rusty Wallace, Kevin Harvick and Michael Waltrip. NASCAR Winston Cup fans can continue to vote online once per day at www.nascarpopulardriver.com through Nov. 10. The Grands Biscuits NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award will be presented during the NASCAR Winston Cup Awards Banquet weekend in New York [Dec 6th, 2002].(Williams Company)(6-26-2002)
  • Labonte paint to honor hero: hearing that Bobby Labonte will run a special paint scheme on the #18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac, not sure when (hearing Dover or New Hampshire) but it is a September 11th tribute scheme (red, white and blue – no green) to benefit the Todd Beamer Foundation (one of the heroes of flight 93 that crashed in PA), see my Paint Scheme Gallery (link fixed) for a image of the scheme.(6-26-2002)
  • Little E on cover of Sports Ilustrated: This week’s edition of Sports Illustrated Magazine (cover date: July 1, 2002) features Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the cover. The prestigious sports weekly shines the spotlight on “The NASCAR Nation” — and how the explosive growth of the sport is being fueled by Earnhardt Jr’s fame and success. The extensive cover story was written by Jeff MacGregor, who, along with his wife, is traveling the entire Winston Cup circuit in a RV to experience as much of the NASCAR phenomenon as possible. Portrait photographs of Dale Jr. were shot by Walter Iosse Jr. (at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Va.) and Peter Gregoire (at Lowe’s Motor Speedway near Charlotte, NC).(Bud PR)(6-26-2002)
  • Head and Neck Restraints Tested: Wayne State University officials conducted crash tests Tuesday on a new HANS device, a Hutchens device and a new head restraint called a D-cel. Ken Adams, company director at Hubbard-Downing, which produces the HANS, said company officials used the test to try out a new attachment to the helmet that is supposed to make it easier for drivers to hook and unhook the tethers to the helmet. Adams said the new attachment also is stronger and lighter. Once the new piece passes the test, Adams said the company is ready to add those to their head-and-neck restraints. The D-cel being tested is a new head-and-neck restraint device. It’s made by Safety Solutions, which now makes the Hutchens device. The D-cel device wraps around the driver and relies on the pelvis to anchor the system. The harness does not hook into the lap belt as the Hutchens device does. So far, the only head-and-neck restraints approved by NASCAR are the HANS and the Hutchens device.(Roanoke Times)(6-26-2002)
  • Robby Gordon Staying at RCR: It appears neither driver Robby Gordon nor team owner Richard Childress wants to end the relationship [between Gordon and the team/owner]. “As far as I’m concerned, I’d like to see Robby here for a long, long time,” Childress said. “Robby is a lot better driver than the cars we’ve given him.” Said Gordon: “We have until (Aug. 1) to talk about 2003. I really enjoy working for (Childress). Richard Childress is a racer, and I enjoy driving for a racer.”(Arizona Republic)(6-26-2002)
  • Nadeau and Earnhardt Jr test Chicago: #00-Jerry Nadeau and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. tested at Chicagoland Speedway on Tuesday in preparation for the July 14 Cup stop. Nadeau is driving a car owned by Michael Waltrip in a one-race deal. A miscommunication between Nadeau and Waltrip led Waltrip to believe this past weekend that Nadeau would not be in the car for Chicago because of another opportunity.(Roanoke Times)(6-26-2002)
  • Give Kids the World back on the #32: Ricky Craven and 9-year old Vanessa Alvarez of nearby Hayward, CA unveiled the 2002 #32 Tide/Give Kids The World Ford, which will be run later this year [in July] at New Hampshire. Give Kids The World is a non-profit resort for children with life-threatening illnesses whose one wish is to visit Central Florida’s best-loved attractions. More than 4,500 children from around the world visit each year. As part of their stay, children are encouraged to submit a special paint scheme for the Tide Ford. Vanessa, who suffers from a form of leukemia, was selected as this year’s winner. This signature design benefits the Give Kids The World Village through the sale of die-cast replicas of the race car. After unveiling the car at San Francisco’s Chrissy Park, Craven spoke about what the Give Kids The World charity means to him and the fact that the special paint scheme will adorn the #32 Tide Ford at NHIS. “Give Kids The World is such a magical place for these children,” he said. “Being able to run this special paint scheme at New Hampshire in July is really special. I’ve always enjoyed such a great following in New England and, hopefully, this car will bring even more recognition to the Give Kids The World Village,” he added.(PPI Motorsports PR). See my Paint Scheme Gallery for a image of the scheme.(6-26-2002)
  • Marlin Testing: #40-Sterling Marlin is spending this week testing at two different tracks. The Coors Light Dodge team tested at Memphis Motorsports Park on Tuesday and will finish up there Wednesday. Thursday and Friday Marlin will turn laps at Kentucky Speedway. Since the Winston Cup Series does not visit those two facilities, the tests do not count against the teams’ allotment of seven. Why the hectic test schedule? According to Marlin “the stuff has changed so much it’s crazy track set-ups that work, so we have to get back and find out what the cars want and what the cars need and how to make adjustments.”(PRN’s Garage Pass)(6-26-2002)
  • Special Paint Scheme for the #45 – MIB UPDATE: Today, Sprint is announcing a new marketing campaign that leverages the company’s promotional partnership with the highly anticipated summer film “Men in Black II” (MIB II), which opens in theaters nationwide on July 3. In director Barry Sonnenfeld’s “Men in Black II,” agents Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) and Jay (Will Smith) reunite to provide “our best, last and only line of defense” against a sinister seductress. This is the toughest challenge yet to MIB’s untarnished mission of “protecting the earth from the scum of the universe.” Sprint’s newest ad campaign features the Sprint Guy talking to three MIB II worms. In classic Sprint style, the Sprint Guy clears up confusion caused by cellular static that results in miscommunication about bringing home “tangerines … NOT trampolines.” To coincide with the launch of the movie, the #45 Sprint Dodge driven by Kyle Petty will showcase a “Men in Black II” paint scheme designed solely for the July 6 NASCAR Winston Cup race in Daytona, FL.(6-24-2002)
    AND See my Paint Scheme Gallery(link fixed) for a image of the scheme found at the Sprint Site.(6-26-2002)
  • Driver killed at track [not a fan] while loading car in pit area [not stands] UPDATE: One person was killed and another was injured in the stands at the Wythe Raceway [Wytheville VA] Saturday night when a car crash sent a tire from a race car into the stands. Sheriff Kermit Osborne said the incident at 10:00pm Saturday is under investigation. He did not have any information about the two victims or the driver of the car that lost the tire. The track, located in Wythe County off of Interstate 81 at Rural Retreat, was hosting “Children’s Gold Rush” Saturday night. No track officials could be reached for comment Sunday.(Roanoke Times)(6-25-2002)
    UPDATE: A man killed in an accident Saturday night at Wythe Raceway has been identified as a 39-year-old North Carolina man who was loading a race car onto a trailer. Lacy Don McNeill of West Jefferson, N.C., and his son had both driven in earlier races at the track and were in a pit area when a loose wheel struck McNeill on the head. The wheel had come from a broken axle flange when three cars collided on a track straightaway, Wythe County Chief Deputy Doug King said Monday. None of the drivers involved in the crash was injured. A Med-Flight helicopter landed at the track and two paramedics joined members of the Wythe County Rescue Squad in trying to stabilize McNeill, King said . They decided against transporting him to Roanoke by helicopter, and instead took him by ambulance to Wythe County Community Hospital, where he died. “It’s just a freak accident. So sad,” King said. After the wheel struck McNeill, it injured another person in the pit area, Donna Kelley, 33, also of West Jefferson. Kelley suffered minor injuries to her left elbow and wrist, her right hip and her neck. She was treated at the hospital and released, King said. The track is located just off Interstate 81 at Rural Retreat, west of Wytheville. It has been about 20 years since there had been another fatality at the track. The last one was when a flagman was struck by a race car.(Roanoke Times)(6-26-2002)
  • Daytona testing from Tuesday: On Tuesday, #09-Geoffrey Bodine, the 1986 Daytona 500 champion, returned to Daytona International Speedway for a two-day test session with that same James Finch-owned car he finished 3rd in the Daytona 500 back in Feb. Other drivers testing on Tuesday at the Speedway included Ron Hornaday (subbing for the vacationing Shawna Robinson in the #49 BAM Racing Dodge), Kasey Kahne (wheeling the #98 Channellock Ford for Robert Yates Racing in the Busch Series) and Joe Ruttman (testing a Chevrolet and a #1 Pontiac for Finch’s Busch Series team and driver Jimmy Spencer). Despite sone rain showers, the teams were able to squeeze in some laps. In random hand-held times, Bodine was the fastest with a lap of 182.927mph followed by Ruttman (182.186), Kahne (181.087) and Hornaday (180.000). Testing continues on Wednesday and is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.(DIS PR)(6-26-2002)
  • Nadeau in a Waltrip car at Chicago? an Image: ESPN2 RPM 2 Night’s Ray Dunlap reports that Jerry Nadeau will drive a Michael Waltrip owned car at Chicagoland and possibly some additional races.(6-12-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing Nadeau will be driving the Michael Waltrip Racing Inc. #00 Chevy, sponsored by Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership, at Chicagoland Speedway.(6-18-2002)
    UPDATE 2: hearing Waltrip has purchased a Cup car from DEI (a former #15 NAPA car) and will lease DEI engines. Suppoesdly a one-race deal right now, but may end up at the Brickyard 400 also.(6-19-2002)
    UPDATE 3 Nadeau/Waltrip official: Jerry Nadeau will pilot the #00 Aaron’s Dream Machine at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, July 14th. The car will be Michael Waltrip Racing’s second venture as a Winston Cup team owner. Waltrip fielded the #98 Aaron’s Dream Machine driven by Kenny Wallace in the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway this past April. Aaron’s Sales and Lease Ownership will sponsor the #00 Winston Cup entry. Nadeau, a native of Danbury, CT, logged his first Winston Cup start June 15, 1997 and his first win in the 2000 NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Recently, he was behind the wheel of the #10 Valvoline Pontiac while Johnny Benson recovered from injuries sustained at Richmond International Speedway earlier this year. Last weekend at Sears Point, rear-end gear failure with three laps to go cost him the victory in the #44 Petty Enterprises car. Waltrip, whom owns and drives the #99 Aaron’s Dream Machine in the BGN, bought the Winston Cup car from Dale Earnhardt, Inc. “Aaron’s comes to me about everything they do in NASCAR”, said Waltrip. “I wanted to field another Winston Cup car and they were willing to back me.”
    “I don’t know about other companies,” said Ken Butler, President of Aaron’s, “but NASCAR works for us. You have to advertise where demographics show your customers are and NASCAR fans are our customers. We’re using it to drive our customer base. So we’re more than happy to join this endeavor with Michael, Waltrip Racing and Jerry Nadeau.”
    “I’m excited that Michael and Aaron’s are giving me this chance,” said Nadeau. “Especially at a track like Chicago. I almost won there last year. Mile and a half tracks have in general been good to me. And the guys at the shop have been working their butts off to give me a great car to test with. It’s going to be a fun weekend and hopefully if things go well I’ll have more opportunities like this in the future.” For more information on Aaron’s, please visit www.shopaarons.com or call 1-800-950-7368.(Aaron’s PR)(6-25-2002)
    AND See my Paint Scheme Gallery for a image of the scheme.(6-26-2002)


    (6-25-2002)

  • Congrats: Heidi Stoddard brought into the world a 6 lb. 7 oz. baby girl at 7:30am this morning. Heidi and Frank [#99 Crew Chief] named her Alexis Heather Stoddard. Mother and baby are doing great. Heidi does the PR for Ward Burton and the #22 CAT team.(6-25-2002)
  • Stock car documentary beginning production: An independent documentary on stock car racing from inception to present day is in the beginning stages of production. The film, “Walk of Legends: Then and Now”, will feature driver interviews with the likes of Bobby Allison and Joe Nemechek as well as major events in the history of NASCAR.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-25-2002)
  • Ward close to re-upping with Davis UPDATE maybe not: Mike Brown, general manager for Bill Davis’ #22 race team, says he and Ward Burton could come to terms on a contract renewal in the next few days.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-22-2002)
    UPDATE: [#22,#23] car owner Bill Davis says it’s fair to consider the car with Ward Burton as driver to be open for next season after Burton didn’t sign a contract extension before the team’s deadline. “He had a 30-day window to sign a contract and he chose not to do it,” Davis said. Burton said he had planned to sign it but family matters came up and he missed the deadline. Either way, the contract was not signed and Burton’s status at Bill Davis Racing – a place Burton has been since late in the 1995 season – is cloudy. Also, this weekend reports surfaced that Jerry Nadeau would replace Hut Stricklin in Davis’ second team, possibly as soon as Daytona. “I don’t know where that came from,” Davis said. “Hut’s the driver. Hut’s going to be the driver.”(Roanoke Times)
    OR It appears that Ward Burton is ready to sign a new contract with car owner Bill Davis, after haggling for several months. In fact, Burton might already have signed, according to team sources.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-25-2002)
  • Third Ganassi Team? Andy Graves, team manager with Chip Ganassi Racing, said the team continues to look at forming a third team to join those of #40-Sterling Marlin and #41-Jimmy Spencer. Graves said the team has talked with potential sponsors and drivers. Graves said if the team decides to add another team, it would need to be done in about the next 45 days to prepare for next year.(Roanoke Times)(6-25-2002)
  • Fellows at Watkins Glen, NEMCO? or another team? Ron Fellows, who drove for Joe Nemechek at Sonoma last weekend [#87], plans to race in the Winston Cup race at Watkins Glen.in August. However, Fellows has been keeping his options open. While it is most likely that he will drive for Nemechek again at Watkins Glen, he might drive for another team if a better opportunity arose. As for Sonoma, Felllows went out early in the qualifying runs and the times. were all slow in the first few runs; the engine was fine but they had a carburetor problem during the race; and they did not get the car set up right and they had handling problems.(Race Fan TV)(6-25-2002)
  • Petty Sponsor Updates: While General Mills and Georgia-Pacific already have signed contracts to return as sponsors at Petty Enterprises, the organization continues talks with Sprint, which sponsors Kyle Petty ‘s team, for next year.(Roanoke Times)(6-25-2002)
  • Bodine negotiating with Hooters: #11-Brett Bodine says he’s in negotiations with sponsor Hooters for beyond this season. “They want it, I want it, we’ve just got to come to agreement on everything,” Bodine says.(Roanoke Times)(6-25-2002)
  • Cup drivers to run NHIS CTS race? NHIS officials recently hinted that several Winston Cup drivers would likely enter the CTS (truck) race, on July 20th, as a means to get acquainted with the track changes [changes in the corners]. Ken Schrader, who races just about anything on four wheels, is expected to jump into his [#52] truck. Kevin Harvick, who owns a truck team, is likely to do the same [highly doubtful Harvick’s Cup owner, Richard Childress will let Harvick run a CTS race after the Martinsville incident].(Boston Globe)(6-25-2002)
  • BBBSA: Johnny Benson’s performance in the #10 Valvoline Pontiac, combined with contributions from Valvoline and NASCAR fans, has brought the current total raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters since 1999 to $772,957. Valvoline is donating $5,000 for every Winston Cup race Benson wins, $2,500 for each pole, $1,000 for a top-10 finish, $500 for a top-20 result and $20 per lap Benson leads in this “Caring Hands” program. Valvoline has doubled its commitment .to Big Brothers Big Sisters this season by donating the above amount not only to the national BBBSA mentoring program, but also a matching contribution to a local BBBSA chapter selected prior to each Winston Cup event. That chapter for the July 6 Pepsi 400 at Daytona is Richland County, OH.(Valvoline PR)(6-25-2002)
  • 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)
  • Pay for View news: NASCAR’s much-anticipated foray into enhanced television, NASCAR In Car On iN Demand, was unveiled during the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 from Michigan, and one of the corporate entities taking advantage of the subscription coverage was Dale Jarrett’s primary sponsor, UPS, which collected more than $120,000 in “bonus” exposure. According to research conducted by Joyce Julius and Associates, Inc. – which specializes in documentation and analysis of exposure received by corporate sponsors -from the single digital cable channel dedicated to Jarrett’s car, UPS reaped one hour, 36 minutes, 57 seconds (1:36:57) of clear in-focus exposure time and a value of $121,115. Three cameras carried on-board Jarrett’s car – in-car (48:19/$60,355), bumper (45:21/$56,660) and roof (3:17/$4,100) – accounted for all of UPS’ exposure. Exposure value was calculated by comparing the on-screen time to an estimated cost of a commercial spot during the subscription telecast. The estimated commercial rate was determined by taking a percentage of the Fox over-the-air ad rate, based on a projected viewership for the subscription telecast. NASCAR IN CAR On iN DEMAND was provided free to all digital cable subscribers. The package consists of seven sequential channels, including the live network program, five dedicated in-car camera channels with virtual dashboards, and a statistics channel. Also benefiting from the in-car cameras carried by Jarrett were “The Muppets”, as a logo pertaining to a current promotion with UPS was viewed on the dashboard for 45:07 ($56,350). Additionally, the race title sponsor, Sirius Satellite Radio, enjoyed 10:06 of graphics during the coverage of Jarrett, for a value of $12,635. Beginning with this past weekend’s Dodge/Save Mart 350 from Sears Point Raceway, the NASCAR IN CAR On iN DEMAND service is being offered as a $99 package available for the remaining 22 events on the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule.(Joyce Julius and Associates PR)(6-25-2002)
  • NASCAR Kids Race at Odoban Summer Shootout: At Lowe’s Motor Speedway each Tuesday night competing in the Odoban Summer Shootout Series are NASCAR kids. Following is a list of NASCAR kids (and their more-famous fathers) racing Bandoleros, Legends Cars or Thunder Roadsters at LMS:
    Bandolero Bandits (Ages 8-11)
    No. 2 Matt Martin (Mark) Daytona Beach, Fla.
    No. 9 Brandon Setzer (Dennis) Newton, N.C.
    No. 48 Brandon McReynolds (Larry) Mooresville, N.C.
    Bandolero Young Guns (Ages 12-16)
    No. 14 Adam Crawford (Rick) Concord, N.C.
    No. 20 Tyler Green (Mark) Concord, N.C.
    No. 48 Jessie Johnson (Jimmie – brother) Mooresville, N.C.
    Legends Car Semi-Pro
    No. 1 Troy Andrews (Paul) Concord, N.C.
    No. 2 *Stephen Wallace (Rusty) Cornelius, N.C.
    No. 6 Chrissy Wallace (Mike) Concord N.C.
    No. 27 Brandon Evans (David) Mooresville, N.C.
    No. 31 *Kyle Grissom (Steve) Concord, N.C.
    No. 59 Coleman Pressley (Robert) Asheville. N.C.
    (*Stephen Wallace and Kyle Grissom are past champions in Bandolero divisions who are competing in Legends Cars for the first time.)
    Thunder Roadsters
    No. 46 Austin Petty (Kyle) Trinity, N.C.
    Open practice for Odoban Summer Shootout participants takes place on Monday nights from 6-9 p.m. Competitor garages open at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays with heat races beginning at 5:30 p.m.(Lowe’s Motor Speedway PR)(6-23-2002)


    (6-24-2002)

  • Trouble in TV land? Report: TNT May Withhold NASCAR Programming From Operators Who Don’t Pay More. Multichannel News reports that Turner Network Television is looking for at least a 2-cent-per-year increase over at least a five-year period — and it is threatening to withhold marquee programming if it doesn’t get it — as part of an initial new rate-card pitch to operators, several executives have said. Operators are reporting that TNT, which currently costs around 70 cents per subscriber, is pitching a “TNT Plus” package: a five- to six-year agreement that calls for a rate increase of around 2 cents to 5 cents each year to help subsidize costs for recent, expensive and high-profile programming acquisitions. TNT’s current affiliate deal with several operators expires at year’s end. For operators with long-term carriage deals that extend beyond 2002, TNT hopes to renegotiate to reflect terms of the TNT Plus agreement. “Under the new deal, they would have the right to black out some TNT Plus programming without providing any substitute programming,” one MSO programming executive said. Although it’s unclear exactly what programs would be subject to blackout, some operators believe it will most likely include games from the network’s new six-year, $2.2 billion National Basketball Association deal. “TNT could also choose to withdraw its popular National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing programming,” says the report. TNT representatives would not comment on the network’s negotiations with cable operators.(MotorsportsTV)(6-24-2002)
  • Sonoma TV Ratings: The overnight numbers for the Winston Cup race at Sears Point-Sonoma-Infineon Raceway are a 4.5 rating and 11 share, unchanged from last year. The final numbers last year jumped to a 5.0 rating and 13 share once the smaller markets were factored in.(MotorsportsTV)(6-24-2002)
  • Daytona Testing: Testing at Daytona International Speedway for the 44th annual Pepsi 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race on July 6 and the inaugural STACKER 2/GNC Live Well 250 NASCAR Busch Series race on July 5 will be held on Tuesday, June 25 and Wednesday, June 26, from 9:00am to 5:00pm/et. Expected to participate in the two-day test session are #09-Geoffrey Bodine, #49-Ron Hornaday and #98-Kasey Kahne (BGN). Hornaday will test the #49 Dodge for BAM Racing. Shawna Robinson drove the #49 Dodge to a 24th-place finish in February’s Daytona 500. Testing is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.(DIS PR)(6-24-2002)
  • Sad News: Clarence Preston, a fixture at Martinsville Speedway for more than 40 years, died early Monday morning. He was 85 years old. Preston began working for Martinsville Speedway founder H. Clay Earles in the late 1950s on a part-time basis. The two forged a friendship that lasted for five decades until Earles passed away in 1999. Preston’s most visible role was in the Martinsville Speedway press box, which he maintained on race weekends. And while no one is exactly sure when he worked his first race at Martinsville Speedway, he was on hand for the last April’s Virginia 500, working as hard as ever. Several generations of racing writers were befriended by Preston during his decades of work in the press box. Although few outside of the press box knew of his involvement with Martinsville Speedway, journalists from all corners of the country were on a first-name basis with him. Preston’s funeral is scheduled for noon Friday at Hairston Funeral Home in Martinsville. Visitation will be at 11 a.m. Friday, also at Hairston Funeral Home.(Martinsville Speedway Newsletter)(6-24-2002)
  • Wells closer to 2nd team but no M&M’s? M&M’s balks at Yates $$? #32 Car owner Cal Wells is in the market for a second driver, but he says M&M Mars is no longer one of the sponsors he’s negotiating with. Until two weeks ago, Wells was in the running for that sponsorship. “But now they’re going in a different direction,” Wells said. According to one source, M&M has been looking at signing on with Robert Yates, but according to team sources Mars officials balked at the asking price.(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND – more Pontiac news: Joe Gibbs Racing will switch from Pontiac to Chevrolet next year. The official announcement is being held up by Pontiac being willing to announce a new addition to its team lineup to replace the Gibbs teams. Cal Wells, who presently fields Fords for Ricky Craven, said it will probably be four weeks until he makes a decision. Wells would like to add a second team, which Pontiac might be able to assist him in doing, but he is also happy with the Ford engines he currently leases from Robert Yates and is concerned he will not be able to secure as potent a deal with General Motors.(Gaston Gazette)(6-24-2002)
  • Trickle and Marcis Racing at Indy? #71 Marcis Racing had spoke to Dick Trickle a few weeks ago concerning the possibility of driving for them at the NASCAR Winston Cup race in Indianapolis, IN…Engine power is very important at Indy, Trickle told the team if they could lease a motor he felt they could have a good shot at making the race. Marcis Racing has spoke with Richard Childress about leasing a motor for the race. Trickle may go with the team in July to test, but it will be with one of Marcis Racing’s motors. It’s a good possibility the Indy race will be added to their race schedule.(Dick Trickle Fan Club Newsletter)(6-24-2002)
  • More Nadeau at Petty Enterprises? Kyle Petty said he was quite impressed with Nadeau’s performance and Petty said he was interested in having Nadeau run some more races this season for his team.(Watkins Glen maybe?). “Maybe when we get past that point (the Chicago race) we’ll sit down and talk with him again,” Petty said. “He says he’s got a couple of things working for next year, and I don’t think we’ve got a shot at talking to him (about a full-time ride) for next year, but who knows.”(Winston Salem Journal)(6-24-2002)
  • More news on Penske, Ford and Dodge. Denied? or is it Toyota in 2005 UPDATEs now a Pontiac rumor? been told that the equipment that Andy Petree bought from Penske was sold at an open auction. The vast majority of the equipment were surplus items and most of it came from now defunct Jeremy Mayfield team [was #12 last year]. Also been told that the Penske team will be sticking with Ford and are still developing new cars and engines.(6-19-2002)
    UPDATE: Once again, Robin Miller, of RPM 2 Night on ESPN2 said on Wednesdays show that Penske Racing will switch to Dodge.(6-21-2002)
    UPDATE 2 – NO DODGE: Rusty Wallace has dismissed talk that Penske Racing will switch to Dodge for the 2003 Winston Cup season. “There is nothing to that at all,” Wallace said. “We have so much time invested in what we are doing. We are not changing.” Penske Racing has been one of Ford’s flagship teams since 1994, when they switched to Ford from Pontiac.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(6-22-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Might Ford teammates Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman be driving Dodges next season? Penske Engines, a division of Penske Racing South, has been working on a Dodge prototype for the last three months, and owner Roger Penske says the organization must make some decisions soon. The team’s contract with Ford is up at the end of the season. Many in the garage expect Penske ultimately to team with Toyota if the automaker decides to race in Winston Cup beginning in 2005.(Sporting News)(6-24-2002)
    UPDATE 4: Which manufacturer will Roger Penske sign with for next season? He has been penciled in by outsiders for a Dodge deal, but that would make him just one of five NASCAR Dodge operations. And that makes more credible the speculation out of Detroit last week that Penske might instead be moving toward a return to Pontiac.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-24-2002)
  • Traction Control being used? Some engine builders and car owners are becoming increasingly concerned about what they insist is the growing use of illegal traction control devices on Winston Cup cars and what they consider NASCAR’s seeming inability to police it. At Martinsville in April, NASCAR officials announced they were cracking down on the devices, and showed teams some that they had been able to find through distributors. According to crews, one of those devices, about half the size of a pack of cigarettes, would be plugged into the ignition box in the car after the driver climbed in; then after the race the driver could simply unplug it, stick it into his driving suit and crawl out of the car. To stop that, NASCAR inspectors began sealing ignition wiring, to keep drivers from unplugging any wires. Now, however, engine men say they have been offered – surreptitiously, of course – new traction control devices that are supposed to be undetectable. One of the new devices is reported to be inside the ignition box itself and triggered by a cell phone from the pits. “It’s a shame … it’s so blatant right now,” one engine man said. “You can look at last year’s results versus this year’s results, track by track, and see what’s going on. If NASCAR really wanted to police it, they could set up special microphones to listen to the cars coming off the corner; the sound is distinctive enough. And they need to go hire some more sophisticated engineers to analyze these ignition boxes. Or else NASCAR will simply have to make it legal.” Car owner Richard Childress says he’s convinced his teams have been beaten by teams running traction control: “Oh yes, I feel for certain we have.”(Winston Salem Journal)(6-24-2002)
  • Sadler is quiet until August/Rudd has options: Although Elliott Sadler has solidified his deal for next year—he signed a confidentiality clause that keeps him mum until August—almost everyone else is waiting to hear Ricky Rudd’s plans for 2003 before more moves are made. Rudd says his preferences, in order, are: remain in the #28 Ford, retire, go to a new team. Rudd says he doesn’t think staying with Robert Yates in the #28 is an option. Rudd says he has been offered several contracts, and Chip Ganassi’s name keeps popping up as a potential new boss.(Sporting News)
    UPDATE: Ricky Rudd said after his victory on Sunday that he still hasn’t made a decision about whether he’ll retire after this season. He said he plans to think about his future on a vacation with his family next week, where he’ll spend the final off weekend of the 2002 Winston Cup season. If he does return for another year, he said his first option would be to remain as driver of the No. 28 Fords at Robert Yates Racing – but he’s not sure if that option is open. This is the final year of his contract with Yates and Rudd said he hasn’t been able to get Yates to tell him for sure if Elliott Sadler has already been picked to take that ride.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-24-2002)
  • No Changes at the #23 UPDATE 3 Nadeau not in the #00?: Mike Brown, general manager for Bill Davis’ race team, denied a report that a shakeup was imminent on his [#23] second team, with driver Hut Stricklin. According to team sources there has been some discussion about putting Jerry Nadeau in that car, perhaps as early as Daytona. Brown denied those reports.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-22-2002)
    UPDATE: Michael Waltrip says he will not be fielding a Cup car for driver Jerry Nadeau at Chicagoland because Nadeau has indicated to him he has a ride lined up in the series with an established team for the second half of the season. Nadeau is driving Petty Enterprises’ #44 this weekend in a one-race deal and sources said he may have a deal worked out with Bill Davis Racing to move to the #23, currently driven by Hut Stricklin. In two separate interviews Saturday, owner Bill Davis gave varied answers on the subject. He first said, “I don’t know where all that came from about the 23 team. Hut’s the man in the 23.” Then later, Davis said simply, “No comment,” to questions about Stricklin’s future with the team. Nadeau denied having signed with any team. “As far as my racing career, I’m just looking to get planted somewhere, whether it’s the rest of this year or next year and there are opportunities,” he said.(ThatsRacin.com). It was reported that Nadeau would drive a #00 Aarons Rent Chevy at Chicago, owned by Waltrip.(6-22-2002)
    UPDATE 2: on FSN’s NASCAR Today, Nadeau said he was running a car for Michael Waltrip at Chicago.(6-23-2002)
    UPDATE 3: There was talk Jerry Nadeau might replace Hut Stricklin in the #23 Dodge, but crew chief Philippe Lopez says he has been assured by owner Bill Davis that Stricklin is solid through the end of the season. Lopez points to the team missing Daytona and the changing tire compounds as reasons for the slow start. Nadeau will drive a Winston Cup car owned by Michael Waltrip in the July 14 race at Chicagoland Speedway. Nadeau says he has fielded calls from several owners but wants a situation in which he believes he will enjoy the team.(Sporting News)(6-24-2002)

 


(6-23-2002)

 

  • Drivers lobby for less spoiler UPDATE: Rusty Wallace said Saturday that he and other Winston Cup drivers are lobbying NASCAR to reduce the size of the rear spoilers on all of the cars on the circuit to reduce downforce and attempt to limit effects of the so-called “aero push.” “I’m politicking real hard now, and a lot of drivers are, to get the rear spoilers downsized on the cars,” Wallace said. Wallace said that as NASCAR has increased the size of the rear spoilers in recent years, the increased downforce has forced Goodyear to go to a harder tire compound. “Goodyear has the tire real durable, and they have told me that if we can get NASCAR to take the rear spoiler off and get the downforce off, they’ll soften the tires back up,” Wallace said. “When they soften the tires back up, then the tires will wear and we’ll see the passing come back.” Wallace said he is among a number of veteran drivers who’ve tried to resist going to aggressive shock and spring combinations that would have been abusive on the softer tires used before Goodyear’s change to a harder compound. As more drivers have had success with the aggressive set-ups, however, Wallace said more drivers are going to it. Wallace said he thinks cutting a half- to three-quarters of an inch off the rear spoilers would do the trick. He thinks the front air dams should be left alone, however. “The air dam needs to be low to the ground so the front end sticks,” he said. “But you’ve got to take some off the back so you can’t charge into the corner so hard. …We’ve got to keep working on it. We’ve got to get the tire softened back up and get the downforce off so the softer tires can live.”(ThatsRacin.com)(6-23-2002)
    UPDATE: XM Radio reports – that Jim Hunter – NASCAR Spokesman said “I think any time a guy like Rusty Wallace is talking we’re going to be listening to him. And, of course, Rusty is one of the veterans on the circuit and I think John Darby our Winston Cup Director is well aware….actually from an aero-push standpoint you could just take the spoiler off the cars. The drivers don’t want to do that. So I think there’s a balance somewhere in there and I think that’s where Rusty’s coming from that we need to spend some time researching and looking at it…Yes, to answer your question directly we certainly listen to Rusty.” (AM Radio Q:) How soon might we see a solution to the problem? “I think we’ll probably look at some things between now and probably the first of August. Maybe by the time we get to Indianapolis, maybe even earlier. We may share some ideas with the guys when we have them all together for testing at Indianapolis because we’re going to give them an update on some other things while we’re up there – so I think that will probably be a good place to get their input and also to let them know where we’re coming from”(XM Radio – NASCAR Radio)(6-23-2002)
  • Sacks getting closer: Greg Sacks, who has been out of the NASCAR loop for several years since suffering serious injuries in a crash at Texas Motor Speedway, is methodically putting the pieces together to own a team in 2003. “The bottom line is we’re developing this program to run a full Winston Cup schedule in 2003,” said Sacks. Sacks partner is Loren Fossie, an entrepreneur who lives in New Jersey who has has developed a board game called “FRANCHI$IT” which Sacks said is the “Monopoly of the new millennium.” Sacks will become a marketing tool for Fossie’s board game. The plan is to run at least two, but up to 10, races in 2002, before preparing for a full-scale assault next year. Sacks will be majority owner of the team, which will be based in Charlotte, NC. Sacks is talking to people — quietly — about having them join his operation next year. “I’ve been in contact with two crew chiefs, two guys I’ve worked with in the past,” he said. “The guy I want is interested.” The last few years have been tough for Sacks as Winston Cup teams hire younger and younger drivers. He realized he would have to create his own opportunity.(Daytona Beach News Journal), see past news and an image of the car on my #05 Team News and Links page(6-23-2002)
  • No Bull 5 goes to the dogs: R.J. Reynolds’ marketers, ever creative, have come up with another way of pairing their five “No Bull” millionaire prospects at Daytona with the top five finishers at Charlotte last month, who are also competing for another of Reynolds’ $1 million bonuses. The drivers – #6-Mark Martin, #17-Matt Kenseth, #32-Ricky Craven, #28-Ricky Rudd and #24-Jeff Gordon – and the five selected fans will be at the Daytona dog track just outside the first turn at Daytona International Speedway, with the results of a special greyhound race determining which fan is paired with each driver.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-19-2002)
    UPDATE: The Daytona Kennel Club will pair its greyhound race schedule with the NASCAR schedule in a special 12:15 p.m. matinee on July 5. Race 5 will be “The No Bull 5” dog race and will include only five dogs instead of the usual eight. The event is not an exhibition, but a Grade A betting race.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-23-2002)
  • Rusty and Insurance: The announcement last week that Britney Spears will star in a NASCAR-themed movie has created a buzz on the circuit, as well as some skepticism about what kind of film is planned. But Rusty Wallace said he would love a cameo. But it’s not because he wants any added exposure. Wallace said he spends about $250,000 a year on health and disability insurance. But Wallace is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and that means the union’s insurance helps knock down his expenses when he’s actively working in front of the camera. “`That’s the only reason I did `Days of Thunder,’ to keep up the insurance,” Wallace said, referring to the 1990 NASCAR movie starring Tom Cruise.(Mercury News)(6-23-2002)
  • Stewart wins USAC race: Pole sitter Tony Stewart didn’t miss a beat at Altamont Speedway on Saturday. After running his Happy Hour laps at the new Infineon Raceway, Stewart set a track record for USAC Sprint cars at the Tracy track. He later raced to a first-place finish in the 40-lap main event. Track manager Dennis Ortolan said Stewart dazzled everyone at his pre-race autograph “He absolutely endeared himself to everyone,” Ortolan said. “I had a young kid here with some medical problems and Tony was so great with him. I’ve met a lot of people doing this, but he’s something special.”(Modesto Bee)(6-23-2002)
  • More tire testing at Richmond: Goodyear officials plan to test tires July 23-24 at Richmond International Raceway to determine what kind of tire to use at the fall race. In the May Cup race, a second groove did not develop and passing was difficult. Drivers complained about the sealer used, but track officials insisted that nothing different was done in preparing the track for the race. #2-Rusty Wallace and #20-Tony Stewart tested there for Goodyear a couple of weeks after the race, but Goodyear officials decided to return after next weekend’s IRL race. Stewart, #28-Ricky Rudd and rookie #48-Jimmie Johnson are scheduled to test there for Goodyear.(Roanoke Times)(6-23-2002)
  • Inglebright wins third in a row, makes Cup debut: Jim Inglebright is hoping for a “double duty” trip to victory lane this weekend. Inglebright won the Snap-On Tools 200 NASCAR Southwest Tour race at Infineon Raceway on Saturday with a daring pass in Turn 3 on Lap 62 of 64 and held off Kenny Shepherd by 1.116 seconds. It’s the third consecutive season he has won this race – a first for the track – but he hopes for more. Inglebright also qualified for Sunday’s Dodge/Save Mart 350 Winston Cup event. He will start 34th in his first Cup race. The four other drivers entered in the race who are also entered in Sunday’s Winston Cup race didn’t fare nearly as well. Robby Gordon was 25th, Jeff Green 32nd, Kevin Harvick 35th and Boris Said was 41st.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-23-2002)

    (6-22-2002)

  • Petree buying Ford equipment? UPDATE 4 Penske Dodge? Denied by Wallace: But insiders say that this week [Andy] Petree [#’s 33/55] has been on a six-figure shopping spree buying cars and parts from Penske.(Sporting NewsAND Chevy car owner Andy Petree and Jerry Jones, of the Dallas Cowboys, still haven’t announced anything officially, but sources say that Petree and Jones have bought a number of Fords from Penske South.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-15-2002)
    UPDATE: Andy Petree Racing has purchased several Fords from the Penske South team in preparation for switching to the Ford Taurus next season when Petree becomes a partner with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, a Penske official confirmed Sunday. Petree now uses Chevrolets with the No. 55 Schneider Electric car that Bobby Hamilton drives, but the team, which will be back to two cars next year, will switch to the Taurus in 2003 because of a sponsor relationship the Cowboys have with Ford. The fact that Roger Penske is willing to sell some of his cars to Petree could be an indication that the two-car Penske team may switch to Dodge next year as Penske has been talking to Dodge officials for more than a month.(Dallas Morning News – may need to register to read)(6-17-2002)
    UPDATE 2: been told that the equipment that Andy Petree bought from Penskee was sold at an open auction. The vast majority of the equipment were surplus items and most of it came from now defunct Jeremy Mayfield team [was #12 last year]. Also been told that the Penske team will be sticking with Ford and are still developing new cars and engines.(6-19-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Once again, Robin Miller, of RPM 2 Night on ESPN2 said on Wednesdays show that Penske Racing will switch to Dodge.(6-21-2002)
    UPDATE 4 – NO DODGE: Rusty Wallace has dismissed talk that Penske Racing will switch to Dodge for the 2003 Winston Cup season. “There is nothing to that at all,” Wallace said. “We have so much time invested in what we are doing. We are not changing.” Penske Racing has been one of Ford’s flagship teams since 1994, when they switched to Ford from Pontiac.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(6-22-2002)
  • Cope to test at Indy, will skip Daytona and Chicago: Derrike Cope and the Quest Motor Racing #37 team have scheduled a test session for July 15-16, 2002 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “We anticipate having a productive test session at Indy. The data and information from that test will be applicable for us in preparing for Pocono as well as the setups for both tracks are similar. We are looking forward to good runs in both the Pocono 500 [Pennsylvania 500 in July] and the Brickyard 400. I have always gotten around Pocono well,” Cope commented. As the team was not able to schedule a test at Chicago they do not plan on entering the Tropicana 400. Tentative plans are for Cope to run in the Pepsi 400 at Michigan on August 18, 2002.(Derrike Cope Site)(6-22-2002)
  • Sad News – Late Model driver Killed: Super Late Model driver Dwane Shultz, of Meyersdale, Pa., died on Friday night after an apparent fatal accident during the 25-lap feature at The Rock, Allegany Co. Speedway. Details of the injuries to Shultz and the cause of the single-car accident are not known at this time. The accident occurred on lap 22 of the feature event, when, while racing in 13th position, the No. 17 driven by Shultz pulled to the inside on the frontstretch, past the flag stand. The car grazed the inside wall before catapulting across the end of the pit road into a cloud of dust and slamming the outside retaining wall in turn one. At that time, the car burst into flames as it sailed along the upper edge of the wall before finally coming to rest, partially on its side, in the middle of turns one and two. Rescue efforts began immediately from the on-site emergency crew, with assistance from local volunteer fire and rescue companies upon arrival to the scene. Air support did arrive at the speedway shortly after 10:30 p.m., but did not transport Shultz. He was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hospital in Cumberland, Md. Speedway officials will establish a special fund for the family of Dwane Shultz. Monetary donations may be sent by mail with attention to the Dwane Shultz Memorial Fund, c/o Rock Entertainment, 10228 Lincoln Hwy., Everett, PA, 15537. A collection in honor of Shultz will take place at the speedway on June 28.(Allegany Co. Speedway)(6-22-2002)
  • Buckshot Announcement UPDATEs Ganassi?: from the Buckshot racing site: “Look for Buckshot [Jones] to make a big announcement by the end of June”(6-11-2002)
    UPDATE: more from the Buckshot Jones site – The family is growing! Jina, Buckshot, and Kolton are going to have a new addition to the family. Jina is expecting a baby due to arrive in January, 2003. Look for Buckshot to make an announcement about his future racing plans in the near future.
    AND Buckshot Jones said this week that he’ll be able to find a new Winston Cup ride in about two weeks. Released earlier this year from his job as driver of Petty Enterprises’ #44 Dodge, Jones has been talking with several race teams and potential sponsors about a ride for next season. “We don’t have any definite deals, but I have spent at least two days every week meeting with race teams,” Jones said. And to make sure that he hits the tracks in high gear in 2003, Jones plans to enter some races before the end of this season. “We plan to run either the Busch or Winston Cup race at Atlanta in the fall and maybe more,” he said. Since splitting with the Pettys in April, Jones has worked on his family farm in Monticello and vacationed in Florida.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)
    Ganassi involved? hearing this could be a Chip Ganassi Racing third team or could end up taking the sponsorship to #92 Melling Racing.(6-21-2002)
    UPDATE: being told now that Ganassi Racing is not considering Jones to drive a car or start a new team.(6-22-2002)
  • Ward close to re-upping with Davis: Mike Brown, general manager for Bill Davis’ #22 race team, says he and Ward Burton could come to terms on a contract renewal in the next few days.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-22-2002)

    (6-21-2002)

  • Harvick/RCR talking three year extension UPDATE: RCR owner, Richard Childress says “He’s [Harvick] got one year left on his contract, and we’re already in discussion on signing him for another three,” Childress said.(ESPN/AP), yes I know, an earlier report a few days ago with Robby Gordon said RCR only does one year deals, just reporting what is found.(6-18-2002)
    UPDATE: Richard Childress said he and driver Kevin Harvick have talked about extending Harvick’s contract, which currently extends through the end of next season. Harvick has been struggling this season after finishing ninth in points and winning the BGN championship in 2001. “We’re even talking about going further down the road with it. Right now, we want to get our cars back to running where they’re supposed to be. It’ll make the pressure a lot easier on everyone,” Childress said. “When you’re not competitive and you know you’re supposed to be, little things just cause bigger problems. That’s what we’ve got to work on right now. That’s my No. 1 goal is to get these cars back like they’re supposed to be.” When asked if he would allow Harvick to pursue an opportunity with another team, Childress replied: “Commitments, not only in contracts, but in life, are big. I’m a big believer in commitments. We’ve committed. We’ve got 11 or 12 sponsors in that race car and it’s just hard to up and walk from commitments.”(ThatsRacin.com)(6-21-2002)
  • DW to races in the CTS again? UPDATE not at Milwaukee: Darrell Waltrip appears poised for another start in the CTS, according to NASCAR driver Stacy Compton. Compton said June 15 he would compete in at least one more truck race (hearing DW is considering IRP) for Jim Harris and Mark Melling this year, and that Waltrip could return for a second stint later this year. Compton, who is competing full time in the Winston Cup [#14] and BGN [#59] series, plans to drive the truck at Milwaukee June 29. Waltrip raced the truck at Martinsville in April, but exited the race after only 86 laps due to mechanical problems.(Winston Salem Journal – need sub to read)(6-20-2002)
    UPDATE: some radio reports have DW in the truck at Milwaukee, that is not so, Compton (as reported here – above) will drive the truck at Milwaukee, DW, if he drives it, is considering IRP – Indianapolis Raceway Park.(6-21-2002)
  • Myers to Interrogate Gordon: On this week’s Winston Cup pre-race show [Fox], Chris Myers takes a boat ride to San Francisco’s infamous Alcatraz Island [a Jayski favorite] with reigning Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon for an interrogation.(MotorsportsTV)(6-21-2002)
  • New Cup team? Atlanta businessman Gordon Whitener and investor and Texas developer Lee Sanders have announced plans to field a Winston Cup team later this season. SWI Motorsports, which will be based near Charlotte, expects to announce a driver, crew chief and sponsor soon. Whitener is founder and president of the United States Cowboy Tour, a rodeo and sports marketing company. He also has served as president and CEO of Interface Americas, Inc., a Georgia-based floor coverings company.(Atlanta Journal Constitution), Buckshot driver? and also hearing that Jeff Hammond might be involved, but not with Stanton Barrett in the other Cup/BGN team.(6-21-2002)
  • What ever happened to…..Rick Wilson: Former Winston Cup driver Rick Wilson of Bartow is now a Late Model race car owner with a full sponsorship. Edward Howell of Lakeland is Wilson’s driver in the Timberwolf Late Model Chevrolet that competes mainly at Desoto Speedway. Howell is the current Desoto Late Model point leader after seven races with one win and six top-five finishes. “Our racing schedule calls for us to run 16 events at Desoto and we have an additional fives races to run at our choosing,” Wilson said “We made some key changes on our Chevrolet this season and they have proven to be productive thanks in a large part to our crew chief, Jim Wright, and mechanic, Will Callahan.” Wilson’s son, Travis, is also a short-track driver. “My son Travis runs a Super Stock at Auburndale Speedway and he’s doing well in the four events he has run,” said the 49-year-old Wilson, who has been out of competitive racing for three years. “He has a fourth-place effort so far as a rookie and was a Go-Kart driver in the past. My Late Model driver Edward (Howell) also has his son (Jason) ready to go in a Mini Stock.” Greenwood Chevrolet of Fort Meade and Hamilton Equipment Company of Lenior, Tenn., are also on board.(Lakeland Ledger)(6-21-2002)
  • Michigan TV Ratings: The viewing audience in the smaller markets came through in a big way for the Winston Cup race from Michigan. The overnight ratings representing 65% of the country yielded a 4.1 rating, but the addition of the smaller markets for the final rating bumped that final rating all the way to 4.8, meaning that 5,037,000 households tuned in. For the weekend, only the NBA Finals and U.S. Open golf could beat NASCAR.(MotorsportsTV)(6-21-2002)
  • No NASCAR Licenese Plates in Alabama: Alabama state officials didn’t get enough orders after one year to begin production of tags saluting NASCAR drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Sr., Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and the Alabama Gang. “It’s off the table,” state Sen. Gerald Dial, chairman of the Legislature’s license plate oversight committee, said Thursday. Other states are still upbeat about the tags. The legislatures in South Carolina and Mississippi have approved sales, with Mississippi to begin July 1. South Carolina hasn’t set a date because the tag is still under development, public safety spokeswoman Sherri Iacobelli said. Race Plate Marketing, a NASCAR licensing company, originally introduced the NASCAR driver tags in West Virginia in 2000. Last spring, the company got Alabama’s license plate oversight committee to approve them for sale. Tags with the names, numbers and colors of more than 20 of NASCAR’s top drivers were available for order. Alabama’s law on specialty license plates mandates that production won’t begin unless 1,000 motorists put up a $50 deposit within a one-year period. The end of the sales period was May 31. Peytie Bowen, who tracks sales for the state comptroller’s office, said 182 tags were ordered in the first 11 months. Not all counties have reported for May, but so far only five more orders have come in for that month. The $50-a-year tags were supposed to raise money for improvements at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega and to purchase new tag-making equipment for the state prison system. Officials at the Motorsports Hall of Fame were disappointed in the lack of orders, especially after more than 15,000 were sold in West Virginia. Dial, who’s also chairman of the board of the Motorsports Hall of Fame, said the economic slowdown hurt sales, and he might try again once the economy picks up.(Daytona Beach News Journal/AP)(6-21-2002)
  • Mansion Motorsports shuts down UPDATE actually suspends operations, not shutdown: Mansion Motorsports has shut down their race teams due to not having enough money to continue racing. Carl Long is now looking for other teams to join up with and has eleven Dodge engines, including three new BGN engines. Long will work for any team that runs Winston Cup, BGN, or the CTS series. To contact Carl Long, e-mail us at team@mm85.com to receive contact information. In the meantime, Long and SR Racing, with help from Glenn Racing, will team up to run a Dodge in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The team is currently searching for sponsorship.(Carl Long Racing site)(6-19-2002)
    UPDATE: Mansion Motorsports has not shut down, but have suspended their Winston Cup and Truck series (not ARCA) operations. Carl has been released from the team, and is free to explore other options.(Carl Long Racing site)(6-21-2002)
  • Three to Double at Sears Point UPDATE make it seven: Sears Point Raceway says NASCAR Winston Cup drivers #31-Robby Gordon, #30-Jeff Green and #29-Kevin Harvick will pull double-duty as they compete in both the Dodge/Save Mart 350 Winston Cup race and the Snap-on Tools/Jelly Belly 200 NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series events on the weekend of June 20-23.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-5-2002)
    UPDATE: #67-Boris Said, #0-Jim Inglebright, #46-Brandon Ash and #62-Austin Cameron also plan to run both races.(6-21-2002)


    (6-20-2002)

  • Cingular Helps UPDATE: Cingular Wireless says it will donate $100,000 to Special Olympics if Robby Gordon can drive Richard Childress Racing’s #31 Chevy to victory in next Sunday’s Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Sears Point Raceway. Cingular Wireless, which sponsors Gordon’s car, is in the midst of a four-year campaign to raise $40 million for Special Olympics. Cingular Wireless will also donate $100 for each lap he leads and $50 for each lap he completes in the 110-lap event.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-18-2002)
    UPDATE: Twenty Special Olympics athletes will be the special guests of Cingular Wireless and Robby Gordon to watch the road course specialist take another shot at winning after his second-place finish there last year. Beginning this weekend, the #31 Richard Childress Racing (RCR) Chevy will also carry the Special Olympics USA decal for the remainder of the 2002 season. Cingular Wireless, the National Partner of Special Olympics, Inc., and the exclusive telecommunications sponsor of Special Olympics TEAM USA, is in the third year of its support for Special Olympics U.S. Programs. In addition, Cingular Wireless launched a 60-day promotional drive on June 1, 2002, to collect donations on behalf of Special Olympics. Those who donate $20 to Special Olympics at a Cingular Wireless retail store are eligible for a FREE wireless handset or a $50 mail-in rebate. The nationwide effort spearheaded by Cingular is the largest sponsorship in Special Olympics history. Fundraising efforts by Cingular support year-round training and competition for Special Olympics athletes, as well as send Special Olympics Team USA athletes to the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Ireland.(Robby Gordon site)(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)
  • M&M’s Color to be announced on the 19th UPDATE Purple is it: The new M&M’s color will be announced in New York City at 8:00pm/et on June 19th. Why is this important to NASCAR fans? Because M&M’s Pontiac driver Kenny Schrader will have a paint scheme done in the winning color at Bristol in August. The color was chosen by a Global Color Vote promotion held around the world. The choices were purple, pink or aqua (I went with pink). Schrader drove a special “Global Color Vote(tm)” paint scheme earlier this year that featured all the colors on the car. See my Paint Scheme Gallery for the four scheme images.(6-6-2002)
    UPDATE: Purple was introduced today as the new color for the M&M’s candy. So Ken Schrader will drive a purple #36 M&M’s Pontiac at Bristol in August.(Chicago Tribune/AP)(6-19-2002)
    AND More than 10 million people cast their vote via phone, mail and through the World Wide Web as part of “M&M’s” largest promotion ever. After months of sampling the choices in specially marked bags, the world chose purple – with 41% of the vote. Aqua received 38% of the vote, and pink garnered 19% of the vote. The remaining two percent of the vote went to various write-in colors.(M&M’s/IMG PR)(6-20-2002)

  • Melling to return? and happy news: Congratulations to Mark and Leanne Melling, who are expecting their first child in mid-September. Mark, the son of the late Harry Melling, is the youngest owner in the [#92 Dodge] Winston Cup Series and hopes to return his team to competition later this season if sponsorship can be acquired.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(6-20-2002)
  • Chevy Behind UPDATE nope: The development of the 2003 Monte Carlo, isn’t moving forward as smoothly as the Pontiac. The car is nearly six weeks behind schedule, and GM is expected to ask NASCAR for an extension beyond the July 1 submission date. The car has been to the GM wind tunnel three times in the last two weeks.(Sporting News)(6-17-2002)
    UPDATE: According to John Darby, the new 2003 Monte Carlo currently meets all the criteria of a NASCAR submission. This assertion by Darby answers the question on whether the new Monte Carlo will make the July 1 date for new car submissions. “Its initial concept submission has already happened,” says Darby of the 2003 Chevrolet hardware. “We have already been invited to go look at a 2003 Monte Carlo. The concept is there. Actually the car was probably about 70 percent complete. Enough of it was complete that we understood very easily that number one, it was a Chevrolet Monte Carlo and that the car was being built in regards to the NASCAR race car templates and so on and so forth. So that part’s already happened.”(Ford Racing, direct link doesn’t work)(6-20-2002)
  • Sad News: ARCA driver Cavin Councilor, 38, died when the Malibu Piper he owned and was piloting crashed nose-first around 10 a.m., said Naples Police Capt. Victor Morales. “They took off, got up into the air and then the engine started to fail and then they came crashing to the ground,” Morales said. Passengers Shawn Michael King, 31, and Charles Royden Scherer, both of Naples, also died in the crash, Morales said. Scherer’s age was unavailable. The plane crashed beside a large tree near a building housing the Humane Society of Collier County. An official there declined comment.(USA Today/AP)(6-20-2002)
  • Shepherd to test for the #21 team: Former Wood Brothers Racing driver Morgan Shepherd will be filling in for Elliott Sadler next week when the team takes two speedway cars to Talladega Superspeedway to test. According to co-owner Eddie Wood, Sadler will be on vacation so Shepherd was asked to get in the car for the two-day test.. Shepherd will drive the #21 Motorcraft Ford in Talladega on Wednesday and Thursday, June 26 and 27. Shepherd drove for the Wood Brothers from 1992 through the 1995 season.. He also has a tie to Motorcraft, having driven the Motorcraft Ford Thunderbird for Bud Moore Engineering during 1990 and 1991 prior to taking over the driving duties for the Wood Brothers. “Morgan has helped us out with testing several times since he quit driving for us so he was our logical choice for this test when we found out that Elliott would not be available,” said Wood. “We will have taken both of these cars to the wind tunnel before we get to Talladega.. We took the first one we finished to Canada and will run it through the wind tunnel at Marietta to get a base line for the second car before going to Alabama. We wanted to get both of these cars on a super speedway before going to Daytona for the Pepsi 400 the first week of July. And we certainly appreciate Morgan being available to help us out. We know he can get around Talladega, so we are looking forward to the information he will be able to give us on these new cars.” Prior to Sadler’s victory at Bristol last year, Shepherd was the team’s most recent winner with the victory he posted at the Atlanta Motorcraft 500 in 1993.(Motorcraft Racing PR)(6-20-2002)
  • Chocolate back in pits but not gassing: Richard Childress Racing gasman Danny “Chocolate” Myers was in Robby Gordon’s pits for the second straight race, but didn’t’t refuel the car since his injured left arm has not yet healed. Larry Hartle substituted once again, flying from Kentucky, where he’d worked the Busch Series race the night before. With rain forcing that race to be finished on Sunday, Mark Metcalf served as the gasman on Johnny Sauter’s car.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(6-20-2002)
  • TRAC TV: Team Racing Auto Circuit (TRAC) is believed to be close to completing a major TV package for next season and as soon as it is finalized Nashville will be announced as one of 20 host cities. Fairgrounds Speedway already has been assigned a tentative race date of June 28. Track president Dennis Grau is optimistic about the new racing league’s chance of succeeding and will do whatever necessary to make sure his track’s part of it. Grau said TRAC has agreed to install some 25,000 temporary seats for the race to boost capacity to the required 40,000. The largest crowds at the 44-year-old track came during its heydays as a host of NASCAR Winston Cup races. Crowds regularly approached 20,000, and parking was a problem. If 40,000 fans show, where will they park? ”We are already planning for that,” Grau said. ”We are checking into using parking space at an elementary school across the street, as well as running a park-and-ride shuttle from the 100 Oaks shopping mall parking lot. Parking will not be an issue.”(Tennessean)(6-20-2002)

    (6-19-2002)

  • Dewalt Re-ups with Roush: DeWalt Power Tools has decided to return to Roush Racing as Matt Kenseth’s sponsor next season, according to a story in this week’s NASCAR Winston Cup Scene. Roush Racing President Geoff Smith says in this week’s issue that the agreement has been reached with only the final details being ironed out. “Now you can take DeWalt and Matt Kenseth out of the rumor mill,” Smith said. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but the publication says the deal is for 2003 and that both sides hold options for 2004 and beyond.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-19-2002)
  • DeWalt and AT&T work together, special AT&T scheme: DEWALT Power Tools announced it will continue its marketing alliance with AT&T Broadband by spotlighting a special AT&T Broadband paint scheme at three races during the 2002 season. The AT&T Broadband paint scheme will be the primary signage on the #17 Ford driven by Matt Kenseth at the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Sears Point, the Pepsi 400 at Daytona and the New Hampshire 300 at NHIS. In addition to the specially designed cars, AT&T will be featured underneath the DEWALT logo on the rear quarter panels of the car for the duration of the 2002 season.(Adair Promotions)(6-19-2002)
  • No Bull 5 goes to the dogs: R.J. Reynolds’ marketers, ever creative, have come up with another way of pairing their five “No Bull” millionaire prospects at Daytona with the top five finishers at Charlotte last month, who are also competing for another of Reynolds’ $1 million bonuses. The drivers – #6-Mark Martin, #17-Matt Kenseth, #32-Ricky Craven, #28-Ricky Rudd and #24-Jeff Gordon – and the five selected fans will be at the Daytona dog track just outside the first turn at Daytona International Speedway, with the results of a special greyhound race determining which fan is paired with each driver.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-19-2002)
  • 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)
  • Driver to attempt to make Cup debut: Recent NASCAR Winston West Winner Brandon Ash will be making his Winston Cup debut this weekend at Sears Point Raceway in a Ford Taurus previously owned by Robert Yates which was fourth last June with Ricky Rudd behind the wheel. The new team ,”Track Access”, will attempt to run both Sears Point and Phoenix Cup races as the #46 for new team owners Jon Perroton and Scott Yeaman. Long-time engine builder and “Dad” ,Ed Ash, will fill the duties of car chief while Joey Knuckles steps into the crew chief position. Tom Label of Auto Marine Engineering is team manager. Primary team sponsorship is yet to be finalized but associate sponsorship will come from Brandon’s Winston West team in the form of SAS, Fuji Film and Little Tree.(PR)(6-19-2002)
  • Nadeau at DEI? UPDATEs in the #44 at Sears Point and in a Waltrip car: hearinJerryrr Nadeau, recently released from the #25 Hendrick Motorsports ride, is talking to Dale Earnhardt Inc about a ride there for 2003.
    UPDATE: ESPN2 RPM 2 Night’s Ray Dunlap reports that Jerry Nadeau will be in the #44 Petty Racing Dodge at Sears Point in place of regular driver Steve Grissom. Also reported that Nadeau will drive a Michael Waltrip owned car at Chicagoland and possibly some additional races.(6-12-2002)
    UPDATE 2: hearing Nadeau will be driving the Michael Waltrip Racing Inc. #00 Chevy, sponsored by Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership, at Chicagoland Speedway.(6-18-2002)
    UPDATE 3: hearing Waltrip has purchased a Cup car from DEI (a former #15 NAPA car) and will lease DEI engines. Suppoesdly a one-race deal right now, but may end up at the Brickyard 400.(6-19-2002)
  • Gordon/RCR close on a contract? Richard Childress said that he and Robby Gordon, driver of the #31 Cingular Chevy, are close to signing a new contract. The agreement will only be for one year when it is completed. “We are and always have just signed year to year to year contracts,” said Childress, “Robby and I are close to getting that done.”(Insider Racing News)(6-17-2002)
    UPDATE: Gordon and Childress plan to talk over the summer about a new contract, which they both say they hope will be a long-term deal. Gordon’s current contract is up at the end of this season.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-19-2002)
  • New head and neck retraint: On June 12th, Speedway Safety Equipment, an Alabama based company, sucessfully tested it’s re-designed head retraint system at Wayne State University. This device, known as the White Head Restraint System was first designed and manufactured in 1980. Subsequently, it was also copied by other manufacturers. Since then, however, data has become available that has allowed the White Head Restraint System to continue the evolution toward the strongest head and neck safety device available on the market. Dr. John Melvin, NASCAR consultant, helped to oversee the crash tests performed on this device. These tests confirmed that the White Head Restraint System’s results showed a 25% improvement over the same tests performed with the Hutchens Device. These numbers were in agreement with the computer modeling done by Dr. Paul Begeman of Wayne State University, prior to the actual crash tests. The design of the White Head Restraint System, which is comprised of head and body restraints, meets the requirements for all forms of auto racing. This includes NASCAR, open wheel, drag racing, late model series’, and Bandalero. George White, designer of the White Head Restraint System stated that “commercial production began immediately after the tests. This has been a very -important project for the entire team that has worked with the White Head Restraint System, and I am pleased with the results.. Our product is competitively priced, providing the opportunity for use to all drivers.” The White Head Restraint System is now available for purchase.. For more information, please contact: Speedway Safety Equipment, George White, (877) 791-2333.(STB Marketing Group PR)(6-19-2002)
  • Diecast Stolen: Action Performance Companies today announced that a recent shipment of die-cast collectible merchandise bound for Racing Collectables Club of America members was stolen in route from Southern California.
    The shipment contained the following die-cast replica vehicles:
    Item No. Driver Product Description
    401089 Muppets Event Car 1:24-scale. Elite. The Muppet Show
    401057 Rusty Wallace 1:24-scale. Elite. #2 Test Car
    401080 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1:24-scale. Elite. #3 Oreo Test Car
    401023 Terry Labonte 1:24-scale. Elite. No.5/Cheez-It
    401054 Michael Waltrip 1:64-scale. Elite. No. #15 Stars & Stripes
    401053 Michael Waltrip 1:24-scale. Clear Window Bank #15 Stars & Stars
    401052 Michael Waltrip 1:24-scale. Elite. #15 Stars & Stripes
    401044 Kevin Harvick 1:64-scale. Elite. #29 Sonic
    401135 Dale Jarrett 1:24-scale. Clear Window Bank No. 88 UPS/Muppets
    Action Performance remains committed to bringing these pieces to our Club collectors. As such, each product will be reproduced at lower production quantities and issued a collector sequence number with an identifying suffix to differentiate it from the stolen merchandise. Action further requests that collectors be alert for fraudulent sales of the stolen Club product. Any Club product available outside of Action’s official RCCA distribution network should be considered suspect.(Action PR)(6-19-2002)
  • Hammond vs. McReynolds UPDATE: Fox Sports commentators Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds will once again take their playful on-air rivalry to the race track when they square off in the NASCAR Celebrity Grudge Match Tuesday night during round two of the 10-week OdoBan Summer Shootout Series at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The two former NASCAR Winston Cup crew chiefs will drive specially built Winston Cup-style convertibles in three, three-lap races on the track’s frontstretch quarter-mile oval. Tammy Prest of Concord, NC, and Mark Williams of Matthews, NC, were the lucky winners selected from among the fans in attendance at the June 11 season opener to ride along with McReynolds and Hammond during their Tuesday night battle.(LMS PR) Shawna Robinson and Ron Hornaday Jr faced off at the first NASCAR Celebrity Grudge Match with Robinson winning.(6-18-2002)
    UPDATE: Larry McReynolds beat fellow Fox Sports commentator Jeff Hammond for the second consecutive year during round two of the 10-week OdoBan Summer Shootout Tuesday night on the quarter-mile frontstretch oval at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. In a finish reminiscent of the legendary 1976 battle to the checkered flag between Richard Petty and David Pearson in the Daytona 500, McReynolds beat Hammond in the NASCAR Celebrity Grudge Match. Driving Winston Cup-style convertibles, the two former NASCAR Winston Cup crew chiefs tangled in the final turn of the last lap of the best two-out-of-three showdown. Both cars spun into the barrels outside turn four. Hammond recovered first, but spun again due to a flat tire as he approached the finish line and McReynolds limped by to claim the trophy. Highlights of the evening’s action can be seen Saturday at 6:00pm/et on Fox Sports Net. The OdoBan Summer Shootout continues Tuesday night, June 25, with Hardee’s Family Fun Night. The world’s second Riding Lawnmower Destruction Derby is on tap and NASCAR Busch Series teammates Hank Parker Jr. and Casey Mears are scheduled to trade paint in the NASCAR Celebrity Grudge Match.(LMS PR)(6-19-2002)
  • New York Billionaire Looks to NASCAR Development: Adam Hochfelder has a passion you don’t usually find in the sole owner of a Manhattan commercial real estate empire valued at $2.5 billion: stock-car racing. And now that he’s taken full control of Max Capital Management Corp., he plans to steer it into some unlikely new directions. Like maybe, one day, possibly, someplace, a NASCAR track. “We’ve been looking at development sites to build a retail and entertainment site that could include a facility for NASCAR,” he told the New York Post. Not in the five boroughs, or even necessarily close: For the first time, Max Capital is thinking on a national scale. As CEO, Hochfelder doesn’t take his cues from Jeff Gordon or the sport’s other daredevils. From his 17th-floor office at 230 Park Ave. that was once Harry Helmsley’s, he presides with proper reserve over 300 employees and a portfolio of 7.1 million square feet of Manhattan office space backed by Max Capital’s institutional investors, RMB Realty (owned by the Bass family of Texas), CS First Boston and J.P. Morgan Chase. Hochfelder plans to “expand the Max Capital brand and platform” to other cities. But NASCAR? How did a New York-type guy raised in Old Westbury, L.I., get into a mid-American thing like stock-car racing? “Five or six years ago, I was dragged down to a race by a friend who had all-access passes in the pit,” Hochfelder said with a smile. “It’s easy to get hooked. I fly down to three or four races a year and I hang out with NASCAR teams.”(MotorsportsTV.com)(6-19-2002)
  • Sad News: Benny Ertel’s (Mark Martin’s Business Manager) Mother, Emma Ertel passed away June 15th at St. Lukes hospital in Milwaukee Wisconsin of congested heart failure she was 85. In lieu of flowers please send all memorials to: Congregation Beth Jehudah 3100 N. 52 St. Milwaukee WI 53210.(6-19-2002)
  • Jarrett to take batting practice UPDATE add Petty: Dale Jarrett will take batting practice with the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday, June 19, at Pac Bell Park in San Francisco.(PR)(6-18-2002)
    AND Kyle Petty will be appearing at Pac Bell Park before Thursday afternoon’s game between the Giants and Devil Rays after visiting a children’s hospital in Oakland that morning. He will then take part in pregame ceremonies before the 3:30pm (EDT) game. Petty’s appearance will be part of the kickoff festivities for his annual cross-country motorcycle ride for charity, which begins after Sunday’s race at Sears Point.(ThatsRacin)(6-19-2002)


    (6-18-2002)

  • #5 Crew Chief Penalized: NASCAR officials announced that Jim Long, crew chief of the #5 Chevy, has been fined $20,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31, 2002 for a rule violation found during pre-race inspection at Sunday’s Sirius Satellite Radio 400 at Michigan. Long was penalized under Section 12-4-Q in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book, “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules: Fuel Cell.” The penalty was a result of the team attempting to increase the capacity of the fuel cell through pressure.(NASCAR PR)(6-18-2002)
  • #21 close to a new 2003 driver soon? UPDATE 2: The Wood Brothers appear to be closing in on a driver they want for the #21 Ford in 2003, according to team sources, and a decision could come soon. One rumor has them looking at Bobby Hamilton, driver of the #55 Andy Petree Chevy.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-15-2002)
    UPDATE: Owner Len Wood says the team has a short list of candidates to fill the seat in the No. 21 Ford next season, and Bobby Hamilton is among them. “We talked to the head guys at Motorcraft (the team’s sponsor) to get their opinion on what we should do,” Wood says. “Could be a week, could be six weeks, but we know who we want.” Hamilton, who owns three Dodge teams in the Craftsman Truck Series, would prefer to drive an Intrepid in Winston Cup, but says he is listening to all offers.(Sporting News)(6-17-2002)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR.com reports that Winston Cup drivers Bobby Hamilton [#55], Mike Wallace [#33 part time], Johnny Benson [#10] and Jerry Nadeau [looking] are on the Wood Brothers list of drivers for 2003, as well as a handful of unnamed Busch Series drivers [Jason Keller has been one rumor]. “This deal changes every day, and who knows, by nightfall tonight this whole list could be drastically changed,” Eddie Wood said. “As of today, though, we’re down to three or four drivers we’re looking at. Some we’ve talked to, some we haven’t. We haven’t met with everybody yet, but it’s pretty much down to four.”(NASCAR.com)(6-18-2002)
  • Harvick/RCR talking three year extension: RCR owner, Richard Childress says “He’s [Harvick] got one year left on his contract, and we’re already in discussion on signing him for another three,” Childress said.(ESPN/AP), yes I know, an earlier report a few days ago with Robby Gordon said RCR only does one year deals, just reporting what is found.(6-18-2002)
  • Stewart to do double duty at Daytona: Tony Stewart will not only drive his #20 Home Depot Pontiac in the July 6 Pepsi 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race, but he has also signed up to wheel the #2 Home Depot Judd-powered Crawford with road racing veteran Elliott Forbes-Robinson in the Rolex Sports Car Series Jani-King Paul Revere 250. The Jani-King Paul Revere 250 will go green shortly after the conclusion of Bud Pole Qualifying for the Pepsi 400 on July 4. It’s Stewart’s second appearance this season behind the wheel of the #2 Crawford that competes in the Rolex Premier SportsRacing Prototype class. Stewart competed in the 40th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona in February. In February’s Rolex 24, Stewart and the Crawford Race Cars team started in the third position and maintained a spot in the top five of the 80-car field before the car lost its engine in the 12th hour and was forced to retire from the race.(DIS PR)(6-18-2002)
  • NAPCM Pit Crew of the Week #55 Schneider Electric Crew – The #55 Crew had some of the fastest stops on pit road in Michigan (13.44, 14.54, 12.85, 14.3, 14.45) and deserve to be this weeks NAPCM (National Association of Pit Crew Members) Pit Crew of the Week.(NAPCM PR)(6-18-2002)
  • Cingular Helps: Cingular Wireless says it will donate $100,000 to Special Olympics if Robby Gordon can drive Richard Childress Racing’s #31 Chevy to victory in next Sunday’s Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Sears Point Raceway. Cingular Wireless, which sponsors Gordon’s car, is in the midst of a four-year campaign to raise $40 million for Special Olympics. Cingular Wireless will also donate $100 for each lap he leads and $50 for each lap he completes in the 112-lap event.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-18-2002)
  • Two more NASCAR movies in the works UPDATE 2: Britney Spears is to appear in the lead role as a racing car driver in her next film. She is all set to strap on her helmet and put the pedal to the metal in a movie about Nascar racing, the US motorsport where saloon cars race round an oval track. The pop star chose the film, her second, from a pile of offers and will start filming in October. An insider told the Sun: “There is no title yet but the film is inspired by one of Britney’s favourite movies, Days Of Thunder, which starred Tom Cruise. “Tom played a hot-tempered Nascar racer – Britney wants to race too.”(Sky News)
    AND Ice Cube is in negotiations to come aboard to rewrite and executive produce with Matt Alvarez through their company CubeVision the MGM comedy feature “Race” for Hyde Park Entertainment. The project, aiming for a fall start, is set to go out to actors and directors. “Race” reteams Cube with MGM, the studio for which he recently wrapped shooting the lead role in the comedy “Barbershop.” Cube will not take on acting duties in “Race.” Set on the NASCAR circuit, “Race” is a fish-out-of-water story about a cab driver who finds himself the only black participating in a stock-car race.(Sympatico-Lycos)(6-4-2002)
    UPDATE: The rumored Britney Spears-NASCAR project has officially been given a green light. Spears and her newly named production company, Britney Spears Prods., have closed a category-exclusive agreement with NASCAR to develop and produce a dramatic ensemble film set in the world of NASCAR. “Contact” scribe Jim Hart is currently writing the untitled screenplay that would see Spears star in the fictional story as the daughter of a successful, modern-day NASCAR team owner who uses her knowledge and experience in the family business to inspire a former NASCAR driver to return to the sport. Contrary to early reports, Spears will not play a NASCAR driver. The unique part about this deal, however, is that Spears may be sharing some screen time with the real thing. NASCAR, which is very protective of its brand and the values it has come to represent, signed the deal with BSP after the corporation and BSP principals — Spears, her manager Larry Rudolph and “Crossroads” producer Ann Carli — came to an agreement that the story line of the film would stay true to the sport and show its participants in the most authentic light. That means that, in addition to an approved story line, any scenes in the film that are meant to portray a NASCAR race or specific competitions and/or drivers will be plucked from real-life footage, giving an opportunity for the Jeff Gordons and Dale Earnhardt Jrs. of the sport to appear in the film as they compete at race events.(Hollywood Reporter – need sub or to register to read the full story)(6-17-2002)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR and Britney Spears Productions (BSP), a production company formed by her co-manager Larry Rudolph, Ann Carli and Britney Spears, have signed a category exclusive agreement to develop and produce a dramatic feature film set in the world of NASCAR. The announcement was made today by NASCAR Vice President of Broadcasting Paul Brooks,. Rudolph and Carli. The untitled project, currently in the preliminary writing and development stage, will be written by Jim Hart (Contact, Hook). The film will tell the fictional story of the daughter of a successful, modern day NASCAR team owner and will include opportunities to feature real NASCAR drivers, teams, tracks and competition. The film will give an authentic portrayal of the heart and family spirit of NASCAR and Spears is slated to co-star as a young character that uses her knowledge and experience in the family business to inspire a former NASCAR driver to regain his desire to return to NASCAR racing. Spears will not portray a NASCAR driver. This is the first feature under the joint venture. Spears’ previous involvement with NASCAR, as the Grand Marshal for the 2001 Pepsi 400 at Daytona, was extremely positive for NASCAR as it created exposure for the sport within the music and entertainment industry and media.(NASCAR PR)(6-18-2002)
  • Shepherd retains sponsor, to attempt more Cup races: LIfeXPrograms sponsorship will continue with Shepherd Racing [#89]. They are looking at possible plans to do double duty at New Hampshire for both the CTS and Cup races in July. Future 2002 plans may also include the Pocono events in July, as well. Associate sponsors for Morgan Shepherd Racing include Catchfence.com, Motorsportsweb.com, Pitpassmagazine.com and Racing With Jesus Ministries.(Catchefence)(6-18-2002)

    (6-17-2002)

  • Secret rules/template change? NASCAR officials have [supposedly] quietly made a secret rules change to help Pontiacs, and the secrecy is bothersome to several rival teams that insisted that NASCAR should be following a more open policy by announcing any rules changes. That raises the question of what other rules NASCAR might be adding to the rule book from behind closed doors. The new rule is an alteration to the “long” template, which stretches the silhouette of the car from the nose to the tail; the alteration is a new hump in the middle of the hood, which allows Pontiac engine men to run a taller intake manifold. The change, Pontiac team members say, is worth seven to eight horsepower, which some rivals confirmed yesterday.(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND Earlier this week NASCAR announced that the Pontiac Grand Prix was the recipient of a concession on the nose and tail. The changes that NASCAR announced included an additional half-inch of kickout to the nose and an extra quarter-inch on the rear spoiler. But there was another change to the Pontiac that was not announced by NASCAR. This undocumented change allows the Pontiac teams to raise the rear point of the hood by three-quarters-of-an-inch. The modification is in place here at Michigan. The change allows the Pontiac teams more flexibility on how they mount their motors in the Grand Prix with the increase in clearance above the motor. Until this change the Pontiac teams were juggling the motor low in the car to accommodate a larger air filter/spacer /intake setup. Or, if they decided that the motor needed to be raised for some chassis or suspension consideration, a low profile air cleaner and intake arrangement needed to be used. NASCAR officials were not available for comment, but the Pontiac teams seemed excited to have the added headroom.(Ford Racing – sorry, their direct links don’t work)(6-17-2002)
  • Dodge wants some help: After Pontiac got a rule change last week intended to help its teams, Dodge officials were vocal in their need for a some help after Sunday’s race at Michigan International Speedway. #9-Bill Elliott was the top-finishing Dodge, placing 11th. “In talking to the drivers, there seemed to be a universal complaint of a lack of downforce, especially in the front,” said Tim Culbertson, program manager for Dodge’s Winston Cup program. “I think there’s been some changes that have allowed the competition to get a little bit better.”(Roanoke Times)(6-17-2002)
  • Rudd Leaving Yates and not retiring? – Third Yates Team and some M&M’s news: Ricky Rudd has apparently decided not to return to the #28 RYR team next season, but Texaco will apparently remain as Yates’ sponsor. If that’s indeed the case, then Rudd could become a candidate for a Chevy ride with Dale Earnhardt Inc. as well as a Ford ride with Jerry Jones’ proposed new team [well the team(s) #33/#55 of Andy Petree that Jones is expected to buy into]. Ford officials say they would very much like to keep Rudd in the Ford fold. Rudd has said he might retire at the end of the season, but sources close to the situation say that may have been a bargaining ploy. Rudd said last month he hoped to make a decision by the middle of July [15th]. Rudd says he thinks Yates has already signed Elliott Sadler to replace him, though Yates and Sadler both deny any contract signing. If Texaco stays and Rudd goes, then Yates could continue as just a two-team owner, which he says he would prefer to be, rather than a three-team owner, which appeared looming a few weeks ago.
    M&M Mars [#36 sponsor] has been hoping to sponsor that third Yates team, according to NASCAR sources. What might now happen with that sponsorship is unclear. Cal Wells [#32] is one man who is figured to be in negotiations with the company, which could support a second team.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-17-2002)
  • Alabama on Cope’s #37, are the Rolling Stones on at Indy? Derrike Cope’s #37 car carried the colors of the band Alabama on its hood, promoting the country music group’s Farewell Tour 2003. The promotion was arranged by the car’s sponsor, Sound Moves, a company that moves stages and sound equipment for concert tours. The Quest Motor Racing #37 entry carries logos for different bands when it races. In turn, the band gets revenue from the sale of diecast replicas of the car. The Rolling Stones want to be on the car for the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis.(Alabama Live)(6-17-2002)
  • Kyle not Happy: Kyle Petty tied a season best with a 12th-place finish [actually his best was a 10th at Talladega] but wasn’t particularly happy. While making his final pit stop with three laps remaining, Petty’s car was blocked by Joe Nemechek, whose #25 Chevrolet was two laps down. “That 25 has a Busch driver and a Busch crew chief,” Petty said. “They blocked us in the pits, and that really messed us up.”(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-17-2002)
  • Points Instead of Money? NASCAR chairman Bill France said Sunday he would like to see the sanctioning body turn to a penalty system that takes points away from teams instead of the standard fines. NASCAR almost never takes points away from a team because its the core of the race for the Winston Cup championship. Instead, teams are fined and the money is put into the point fund that is split among the drivers at the end of the season. But NASCAR president Mike Helton recently warned teams that deduction of points could become the norm because of a recent rash of cars failing postrace inspections. France said he favored that route because monetary penalties on the lower-tier teams creates a lingering hardship.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(6-17-2002)
  • Dodge Engine Changes: Dodge said it will scramble to change its engine program in time for the July 3 deadline to conform to a rule that limits the size of a cylinder bore. In the past 18 months, teams have had the option of using tall and skinning cylinder bores or short and fat ones. Starting with the Pepsi 400 at the Daytona International Speedway, the maximum size of the cylinders is 4.185 inches, essentially eliminating the short-and-fat combination. Dodge officials said they needed to run a wider cylinder because NASCAR originally approved a heavier engine with bigger bore centers.(Augusta Chronicle)(6-17-2002)
  • 2003 Pontiac close: Pontiac is expected to sign off on its templates from NASCAR this week, the final step in the approval process for the 2003 Grand Prix. #18-Crew chief Jimmy Makar, who was instrumental in the car’s development, says Joe Gibbs Racing almost is finished building the first car and expects to have it in the wind tunnel later this month. Though those test results will determine whether Gibbs’ teams stay with Pontiac or convert to the new Chevrolet, Makar says the focus is on Gibbs’ current program and trying to help Bobby Labonte get back on track.(Sporting News)(6-17-2002)
  • Gordon/RCR close on a contract? Richard Childress said that he and Robby Gordon, driver of the #31 Cingular Chevy, are close to signing a new contract. The agreement will only be for one year when it is completed. “We are and always have just signed year to year to year contracts,” said Childress, “Robby and I are close to getting that done.”(Insider Racing News)(6-17-2002)
  • Chevy Behind: The development of the 2003 Monte Carlo, isn’t moving forward as smoothly as the Pontiac. The car is nearly six weeks behind schedule, and GM is expected to ask NASCAR for an extension beyond the July 1 submission date. The car has been to the GM wind tunnel three times in the last two weeks.(Sporting News)(6-17-2002)
  • Donlavey Retiring/Closing Team? UPDATE: 78-year old Junie Donlavey, who owns the #90 Cup team, said on Saturday that he’s thinking of retiring. Sauer pulled their sponsorship from the team after the Pocono race [actually it was a part season deal]. Driver Rick Mast has been absent from the team for several weeks with an undiagnosed illness. Donlavey has been fielding Winston Cup cars for 52 years and he wants to go to Daytona one more time and is still searching for a sponsor as he says he can’t do it out of his own pocket, but it’s not looking very good. “I’m going to find a way to go to Daytona in July,” said Donlavey, “I just want to be there for one more race.”(Insider Racing News)
    AND Longtime Winston Cup team owner Junie Donlavey said Sunday that his team will not be at Sears Point next weekend and may fold if it can’t find a sponsor. However, Donlavey does plan to take his team to Daytona next month.(USA Today)(6-17-2002)

 


(6-16-2002)

 

  • Kenseth wins at Michigan in the Sirius Satellite Radio 400. It is Kenseth’s first ever win at Michigan, his thrid race win of 2002 and 4th career win. #88-Dale Jarrett almost got him at the end in a close finish after a red flag to allow the race to finish under green. See my Sirius Satellite Radio 400 Race Info page, for a rundown, caution info, some notes on the race, etc. Results can be see at ThatsRacin.com or NASCAR.com.(6-16-2002)
  • Stewart on TV show: On Tues., June 18 at 8:30pm/et, Tony Stewart will become the first race car driver solely featured on ESPN “The Life.” Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Pontiac, granted the four-man television crew unprecedented access to the goings-on of his life May 15-19. In those days surrounding The Winston, the crew showcased Stewart at home, at the track and at various appearances. “The Life” is part of ESPN’s original programming, taking viewers inside the lives of a thumbnail of sport’s most celebrated and intriguing athletes. Some of the athletes profiled this season are Allen Iverson of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, Paul Pierce of the NBA’s Boston Celtics, Brian Urlacher of the NFL’s Chicago Bears, Jeff Garcia of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, Ray Lewis of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, Landon Donovan of the men’s U.S. World Cup Soccer Team and the entire Boston Red Sox organization. Footage of Stewart was taken beginning with him landing at Concord Regional Airport May 15 as he returned from a short vacation in Indiana, to a Home Depot store appearance that night, to a round of media interviews at his home the next day, to qualifying and racing at Charlotte, culminating with a birthday party at his Lake Norman home. Other prominent figures of Stewart’s Winston Cup career appearing on “The Life” are crew chief Greg Zipadelli, team owner Joe Gibbs, teammate Bobby Labonte and NASCAR’s Jim Hunter. Pam Boas and Nelson Stewart, Tony’s mother and father, and his sister, Natalie, are also featured, as well as Willie Boles, Stewart’s USAC Sprint Car sponsor in 1995 – the year Stewart became the only driver to win the USAC Triple Crown in a single season. It took 42 tapes, each containing 30 minutes of air time, to log the 21 hours of footage – an ESPN “The Life” record for most tape shot. However, only 22 minutes of footage will make the final cut, allowing “The Life” to fit into its 30-minute time slot. ESPN “The Life” will re-air Fri., June 28 at 12:30am/et on ESPN, Sat., June 29 at 3:00am/et on ESPN, Tues., July 2 at 1:30pm/et on ESPN2 and Sun., July 28 at 1:00pm/et on ESPN.(6-16-2002)
  • DW and Mikey: Michael Waltrip took a playful jab at his older brother in a TV interview during the final practice. Darrell Waltrip speculated during Fox’s prerace show last week that his brother could be headed to another team. “My brother reminds me of Jerry Glanville,” Michael Waltrip said. “He’s good for entertainment but don’t rely on him for information, for sure.” With his performance at Dale Earnhardt Inc. under scrutiny, Waltrip has reeled off four top-10 finishes in the past six races. He will start a season-best second today.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-16-2002)
  • DEI’s deadline pushed back UPDATE: Ty Norris, the manager of DEI, said he has postponed a decision on contract renewals for #15-Michael Waltrip and #1-Steve Park for another three weeks. “We had set June 15 as a target date, and we’re a little behind, but it’s not the world will be coming to an end,” Norris said. Insiders say that Waltrip’s improving performances in recent weeks have boosted his standing with sponsor NAPA considerably and could help him keep his DEI ride.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-15-2002)
    UPDATE: A Dale Earnhardt Inc. official laughed Saturday at the continuing speculation that Steve Park and Michael Waltrip may not be retained for 2003 and that the company itself is for sale for $300 million. The racing organization doesn’t help the situation. A week ago, Dale Earnhardt Jr. admitted he’s talked with Waltrip and told him to improve his finishes. He also said Park seems to have lost the chemistry with the rest of his teammates since returning from a brain injury sustained last September at Darlington [in a BGN race]. The contracts for both Waltrip and Park are up at the end of the season and the team originally said it would try to have new deals completed by June 15. Now that deadline apparently is being moved back a few weeks. Waltrip sounds like a driver who already knows about his future, saying he knows he will be driving a car next year – if not for DEI, for another race team.(Augusta Chronicle)(6-16-2002)
  • Sad News: A driver and his passenger were killed in a crash Saturday during a time-trial competition on a Nevada highway. Storey County sheriff’s deputies said driver Patrick Michael Jemison, 42, of Incline Village, and passenger Virginia Lynn Davis, 43, of Show Low, Ariz., were pronounced dead at the scene. Deputy John Tyson said the accident occurred on Nevada Route 341 during a time-trial run of the Audi Car Club Hill Climb Race. A preliminary investigation shows the driver went into a curve too fast and lost control of his Dodge Viper. The vehicle slid off the roadway and fell about 250 feet down a ravine. The race course on Route 341 stretches for about 7 miles between Virginia City and Silver City. The event is sanctioned by the Nevada Department of Transportation.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(6-16-2002)
  • Another Donation: Dale Jarrett’s pole win on Friday for the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 at Michigan International Speedway results in another $5,000 donation from Ford Credit to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to help in its mission to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease. Ford Credit, associate sponsor of the #88 UPS Ford, has now donated $600,000 to the Komen Foundation based on Jarrett’s on-track performance and end-of season bonuses since 1998 – including $15,000 this year. Ford Credit gives the Komen Foundation $10,000 for each of Jarrett’s victories, $7,500 for each second-place finish, $5,000 for each third-place finish and $5,000 for each pole position won (as fastest qualifier).(Ford Credit PR)(6-16-2002)

    (6-15-2002)

  • Greg Sacks to return to Cup/BGN UPDATE: Greg Sacks hopes to return to both the Cup and the BGN later this season. Sacks has teamed with Loren Fossie, president of LAF Enterprises and owner of the “FRANCHI$IT” board game to form Team FRANCHI$IT/Sacks Racing. The plan is to do at least two races this year and as many as ten. Sacks will run the #05 Chevy Sacks won the 1985 Pepsi 400 at Daytona and the 1996 Humminbird 500K BGN race at Talladega. Sacks plans could expand to a full season 2003 effort in either the BGN or Cup or both. The car will be unveiled to the public on Monday at The Coffee Beanery Convention at Walt Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort outside Orlando, FL.(NASCAR.com)(6-8-2002)
    UPDATE: see an image of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery which was unveiled to the public recently at The Coffee Beanery Convention at Walt Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort outside Orlando, FL. Also the Greg Sacks Fan Page says “Rumor has it that GS [Greg Sacks] will be entering a car in the BrickYard 400 Cup Race”(6-15-2002)
  • Bodine to meet with Hooters UPDATE: during MRN radio coverage of the MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover, it was mentioned that #11-Brett Bodine will meet with his sponsor hooters this week to discuss the 2003 season and that Hooters seems happy with the team and results so far.(6-2-2002)
    UPDATE: during MRN radio coverage of the Michigan qualifying, they said that Bodine met with Hooters officials and things looks good for an improved sponsorship package in 2003 [ie. more money] and that the meetings went well.(6-15-2002)
  • Davis looking for a new driver? #22-Ward Burton still has not signed the contract renewal offered by car owner Bill Davis, and Davis now is “looking at all our options,” general manager Mike Brown said. One option could be Steve Park, who used to drive for Tommy Baldwin, Davis’ [and Burton’s] crew chief.”(Winston Salem Journal)(6-15-2002)
  • More on Wells to Pontiac – engines from Childress? UPDATE: Owner Cal Wells faces some big decisions in the coming weeks. Should he stay with Ford, where he always will be behind Jack Roush, Roger Penske and Robert Yates in the pecking order, or accept a lucrative offer from Pontiac, where he would have more clout? “There’s a lot of upside to the General Motors relationship, but the power solution (engines) is the biggest factor,” Wells says. Wells has been ecstatic with the motors he has received from Yates and would be hard-pressed to find a comparable deal, but Richard Childress has offered his support should Wells convert to GM. Wells also is courting four sponsors for a possible second team, but the Pontiac deal is not contingent on Wells fielding two cars. Driver Ricky Craven says he thinks a second team would help, but he is pleased with the efficiency of the current operation. “I don’t want it to become counterproductive, worrying about a second team,” he says. “We’re very good at doing more with less.”(Sporting News)(6-11-2002)
    UPDATE: Cal Wells said he should know in four weeks if he’ll switch from Ford to Pontiac next season, and he said he should know in six weeks if he’ll land that sponsor that would allow him to expand to two teams. Wells says he is talking to several potential sponsors, “some not in the sport right now, and some that are not happy with where they are now.” However, Wells’ Pontiac announcement has been expected for three weeks. Richard Childress may be willing to provide engines. Childress hasn’t been in the customer engine business. Wells engines this season are provided by Robert Yates.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-15-2002)
  • More Penske to Dodge rumors: Roger Penske may be getting close to a decision on his car sponsorship [Ford vs Dodge] for next season, and NASCAR sources say he is leaning toward a switch to Dodge. That would fill the Dodge camp with a lot of teams and car owners: Bill Davis has two teams, Kyle Petty has three teams, Chip Ganassi has two teams, and Ray Evernham has two teams. Ford officials insist they expect Penske to stay with Ford. A Penske move to Dodge might not set well with the three original Dodge operations, with Bill Davis, Kyle Petty and Ray Evernham. But Chip Ganassi has been the most productive car owner for Dodge, with Sterling Marlin leading the Winston Cup standings. And now there are serious questions about the pecking order within the Dodge camp and just where Dodge executives might want to budget their racing money.(Winston Salem Journal), and if Petree is buying Penske Fords……..(6-15-2002)
  • Some Pontiac Teams Notes: The big question remains: who will step up to the Pontiac plate and fill the void once [Joe] Gibbs [Racing] leaves? There has been rumors of Johnny Benson and James Ince shopping their package for next year, but Ince says that after investing three years in the #10 program and his contribution to building the new Pontiac, that they would like to stay with Valvoline next year. The M&M’s sponsorship is in question on the #36 car as is Conseco with A.J. Foyt’s #14 team. General Motors has approached several teams in the garage about moving to Pontiac including Cal Wells, Travis Carter (before Kmart left) and Andy Petree. But insiders say that this week Petree has been on a six-figure shopping spree buying cars and parts from Penske. Despite the Pontiac’s struggles up to now, [crew cheif Greg] Zipadelli is optimistic about the 2003 Pontiac and expects the templates by July. But whether he’ll be building a new Grand Prix, remains to be seen.(Sporting News)(6-15-2002)

    (6-14-2002)

  • Kirby to run five Cup races: Stuart Kirby will be making his return to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series for the first time since last October at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte. Kirby will pilot the #57 CLR Racing Ford for five events beginning with the July 14 event at the Chicagoland Speedway followed by four selected Winston Cup races which are yet to be determined. “I would like to thank Spencer Motor Ventures for allowing us to give Stuart some seat time and gain experience on some of these race tracks,” said Ted Campbell, team owner, CLR Racing. “I look forward to helping Stuart further develop his driving abilities alongside Bob Schacht who has worked so well with Stuart in the ARCA RE/MAX Series.” Kirby competed in the CLR Racing Ford at the Kansas Speedway earlier this season during an ARCA RE/MAX Series event where he finished in the second position. Kirby also competed in nine events with Bob Schacht Motorsports in 2001 where he accumulated two poles, five top-five starting positions, five top-five finishing positions and one NASCAR Winston Cup Series start.(LM Motorsports Marketing PR). Derrike Cope made an attempt in the car earlier this year and Ron Hornaday made a few attempts after that.(6-14-2002)
  • Harvick a free agent? Childress switches pitboxes too UPDATE Childress not happy: There was one small item omitted from the team press release that announced Richard Childress changing the #29 and #31 crews. The missing bit of info — the location from which the car’s owner would sit during the Pocono 500. Childress, who has been wrestling with a combination that would make his three-car operation a little more competitive, has taken a real shine to Robby Gordon, driver of his #31 RCR Chevy. Childress has gotten to the point where he’s not hiding his feelings for Gordon; and went so far as to save a chair for Gordon during the Pocono Raceway driver’s meeting. When Gordon walked into the crowded room Childress jumped up waiving to attract Gordon’s attention. The acid test came prior to the start of the race, as Childress’ war wagon mounted chair was set atop the orange and black Cingular war wagon. Then, moments before the race, Childress came and took his seat at the helm, all the while wearing a smirk that carried a great deal of attitude. The Pocono 500 was the first race since Childress took on GM’s Goodwrench Services sponsorship that he wasn’t perched on that team’s toolbox – so say RCR personnel. Apparently Harvick is a free agent at this time, or so one would believe with the number of car owners who claim the driver who has caused a stir in the Winston Cup garage has approached them. One owner, who is looking for talent for next year, was asked if he was tough enough to tame Harvick. After a smile came across the owner’s face he responded, “I don’t know anyone that tough.”(see full story at Ford Racing)(6-12-2002)
    UPDATE: Winston Cup car owner Richard Childress criticized Ford Motor Co. and its FordRacing.com Web site for a posted earlier this week claiming Childress watched last weekend’s race at Pocono from driver Robby Gordon’s pit box because of his disillusion with driver Kevin Harvick. The story, which did not have a byline, also claimed there were “more folks” who said that Harvick’s two Winston Cup victories last season came from “cheated-up cars.” “It’s just like your competition. When you’re down they try to kick you. It surprises me it came off that Web site,” said Childress, who owns three Chevrolet Cup teams that have struggled this season. “It just surprises me that they want to get involved in starting rumors and making accusations when they don’t know what’s really going on.” Last weekend was the first Harvick’s former crew chief and team members from the #29 moved over to Gordon’s #31 team, and Gordon’s crew chief and team went to the #29. Childress said he moved to Gordon’s pit because he has performed duties on the pit box with Kevin Hamlin, now Gordon’s crew chief, and planned to continue in that role. “Yes, I’m going to try to help Robby’s team because that’s the team I’ve been working with. I can’t just desert them and say, ‘To hell with it,’ ” Childress said. “I have just always been on that (#29 team) box. I have always helped call the races with Kevin, that’s just always been my position.” Ford officials say there was nothing unusual about the story, that it is typical of the content of the Web site, which is intended for fans of Ford Racing. “In terms of Childress being disappointed, I’m sorry if he is, but I haven’t heard anyone saying the story wasn’t accurate or the story wasn’t true,” said Kevin Kennedy, public affairs manager for Ford Racing Technology. “The story was done by a professional journalist who is part of the NASCAR scene and is in the garage area every day, and we stand by the story,” Kennedy said the Web site has an agreement with its correspondents not to use their names on the stories, so as not to disrupt their professional careers.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-14-2002)
  • DJ wants Ricky to stay:. Dale Jarrett says he has talked with Ricky Rudd about Rudd’s decision whether to stay with Robert Yates racing, move to another team,.or retire. DJ said, “He’s been at this a long time obviously…and like myself he’s got a young son and a wonderful wife that he would like to spend more time with….and that’s understandable….so if he’s gonna retire we understand that. But, if he’s gonna race, I hope it’s with Robert Yates Racing.”(PRN’s Garagepass)(6-14-2002)
  • DEI, Childress, Eanrhardt Jr reports as transcribed from a sports report at Channel 8 WGHP/Fox High Point, NC by Rich Brenner: From the 6:00pm/et report on Wednesday, June 12th:
    The rumors are out there and at this time they’re just that. Intriguing and to a degree they actually make sense. The hot one running through the race shops and the Internet, “Teresa Earnhardt wants to sell the race teams of DEI – Dale Earnhardt, Inc, Earnhardt’s old car owner – Richard Childress – is interested in buying”. At this time, No, but there are some interesting possibilities. Especially the second part of the equation. Dale Earnhardt, Jr thus, if the deal happens, comes to Childress Racing and gets into the number 3 car, meaning Little E changes his number from 8 to 3, remember he did race number 3 for Childress at the Busch Grand National race at Daytona and won, right now Childress does own the rights to number 3 and while Junior could have it. He hasn’t made any overtures again, so far all this is nothing but speculation. But interesting speculation which makes sense, and something else, the Childress-DEI connection is strong, the organizations work well together, share, and have employees in key positions who have worked for both organizations.
    From the 10:00pm/et report on Wednesday, June 12th:
    If you go by race shop and internet rumors Richard Childress is getting set to buy the Dale Earnhardt, Inc 3-car race team from Teresa Earnhardt. According to Childress insiders this is not the case, but when you come down to it and if Teresa Earnhardt does want to move out of Winston Cup racing this idea makes alot of sense. These two powerful organizations work closely together and share a lot of the same philosophies not to mention history. It would also reuniite “an Earnhardt” and “a Childress” Dale Earnhardt, Jr and Richard Childress and return an Earnhardt with the number 3 which Childress still holds rights to. We all know the number 3 will some day return to Winston Cup competition and that Dale Jr will be the guy behind the wheel. As for Junior taking over DEI, he’ll be the first to tell you, he’s not ready for that end of the business.(WGHP)(6-14-2002)
  • Shepherd back in Cup at MIS UPDATE 2 Withdraws: This weekend Morgan Shepherd will make his return to Winston Cup. Shepherd Racing will bring out the #89 Ford Taurus for Shepherd’s return in the Sirius Satellite Radio 400, at Michigan International Speedway. Shepherd’s last run at Michigan in Winston Cup was in 1999 [actually it was in Aug 1998 in the #91]. The Shepherd Racing Ford will adorn the associate sponsors Pit Pass Magazine, Catchfence.com, MotorsportsWeb along with Racing With Jesus Ministries. Shepherd Racing is seeking major sponsorship.(Morgan Shepherd Site)(6-13-2002)
    UPDATE: For the first time in nearly three years, veteran race car driver Morgan Shepherd will return to Winston Cup racing. He will attempt to qualify his #89 Ford for The Sirius Satellite Radio 400 at Michigan. The last Winston Cup event Shepherd competed in was on February 21, 1999 when he drove the #90 car owned by Junie Donlavey at North Carolina Speedway. LifeXProgram has come on board as the primary sponsor for this race and joins the associate sponsors of Catchfence.com and Motorsportsweb.com from Morgan’s CTS Program. LifeXProgram is a personalized weight loss program that includes no drugs, pills, or special diets. Owners Joan and Chuck Fridell of Virginia are ” …really excited. We enjoyed helping Morgan and working at Dover for the CTS event there, and are looking forward to Michigan.” Visit their website at LifeXPrograms.com for more information. Look for Shepherd to return to the truck series at Memphis on June 22nd.(STB Marketing Group PR)(6-13-2002)
    UPDATE 2 – Shepherd withdraws: Morgan Shepherd announced he has withdrawn his Life X Program #89 Winston Cup entry for this weekends Sirius Satellite Radio 400, at Michigan. A strong team effort was put forth to get the car ready and make it to the track, but not enough time to make the necessary adjustments to the car, required by NASCAR. “We had some weight and safety issues and just no time to correct them. This team has worked so hard for this and we were all looking forward to running in Winston Cup this weekend.” stated Shepherd. “I have to thank the great people of the Life X Program. They have helped so much and we are looking forward to working with them more in our races to come. The fans have shown their support in prayer and letters, I have to thank them from the bottom of my heart.” Shepherd Racing and the Life X Program are planning future Winston Cup and Craftsman Truck series’ races together this season and talks of a limited 2003 schedule. Shepherd is planning on running the next Craftsman Truck Series event June 22nd at Memphis Motorsports Park.(Morgan Shepherd Site)(6-14-2002)
  • #90 Looking for sponsor UPDATE 2 Sadler in, nope it is Berrier OR is it Bradberry?: #90 car owner Junie Donlavey said Sauer will not sponsor the team after this race. Donlavey said that if a sponsor isn’t found, he won’t send his team to Sears Point in two weeks. Donlavey said he probably would leave the Sauer decals on the car next week at Michigan.(Roanoke Times), doesn’t say who will drive at Michigan, Hermie Sadler drove the last three races in place of Rick Mast who is still ill.(6-10-2002)
    UPDATE: Rick Mast continues to rest at home while a battery of doctors try to determine the nature of a mysterious illness that has sidelined him for the last month. Hermie Sadler will drive Junie Donlavey’s #90 Duke’s/Sauer’s Ford at Michigan while Mast remains sidelined. Sadler also plans to make his first BGN start of the season this weekend at Kentucky in his own #02 Little Trees Chevy. The team will skip Sears Point next week, but plans to attempt the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, no driver named.(NASCAR.com)(6-11-2002)
    UPDATE 2: #90 owner Junie Donlavey announced today that Ed Berrier would drive for Hermie Sadler this weekend at Michigan. Berrier, a native of Winston-Salem, N.C., started the 2000 season with Donlavey as a rookie-of-the-year candidate before Donlavey replaced him. Sadler was filling in for the ailing Rick Mast. Donlavey said the scheduling conflicts involved with Sadler’s weekend plans of competing in both the Winston Cup and BGN (at Kentucky) events are the reason for the decision.(Keystone Marketing PR)(6-12-2002)
    UPDATE 3? Gary Bradberry is now listed in NASCAR.com’s entry list as being in the #90 Donlavey Racing Ford, not Ed Berrier.(6-14-2002)
    AND Junie Donlavey will field an ARCA car for Clinton, MI, native Jason Hedlesky this weekend at Michigan. Hedlesky, team manager for Donlavey’s Winston Cup team, will make his third start in as many years at the famed speedway. Hedlesky is coming off of an impressive qualifying run of ninth at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May. Hedlesky finished 15th in the event, fighting a tight handling car all day. Superior Logistics Services, Accuturn and Action Drugs of Michigan will sponsor Hedlesky in the event.(Keystone Marketing PR)(6-14-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Junie Donlavey’s Richmond-based team is scrambling to find a driver for Winston Cup qualifying at Michigan today. Hermie Sadler, who substituted for the ailing Rick Mast in the #90 Ford the past three races, didn’t make the trip because he is focused on the BGN race at Kentucky Speedway tomorrow. Ed Berrier, who drove for Donlavey Racing in 2000, also was contacted but won’t be able to drive.(Richmond Times Dispatch), so I guess Gary Bradberry, listed on NASCAR.com’s Entry List at MIS is in.(6-14-2002)
  • Pocono TV Ratings II: The Winston Cup action from Pocono saw a dramatic increase in ratings, with the Dale Jarrett victory pulling in a 5.1 rating and 15 share. This is up 16% from last year’s 4.4 rating and 12 share. Also, the race was up 18% in average viewers (8.0 million vs. 6.8 million). The total number of households reached was 5,393, 000. For the week, it was beaten only by Games 1 to 3 of the NBA Finals and the Belmont Stakes.(MotorsportsTV.com)(6-14-2002)
  • Farmer to race ARCA: The legendary Red Farmer is preparing to return to the driver’s seat on the ARCA circuit. Farmer, who still races a Late Model dirt car at Talladega Short Track, plans to drive a second car for the team of ARCA driver Jason Jarrett. His first race will be at Toledo, Ohio, on June 23. If that goes well, he’ll also race at South Boston, Va., on July 3, then on the one-mile ovals at Springfield and DuQuoin, two dirt tracks in Illinois. “Right now, we’re just trying to get Jason prepared for some of these short tracks,” said Farmer, who works as a consultant for Jarrett’s ARCA team. “But if we get through Toledo and Springfield OK, my plans are to make a solid effort at Springfield and DuQuoin.” Farmer, who won’t reveal his age [69], hasn’t raced on one-mile dirt tracks in years. “I ran on the one-mile dirt at Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, but that was back in the late 50s or early 60s,” said Farmer, who won three consecutive NASCAR Busch Series championships from 1969-71. Lakewood’s last race was more than 20 years ago. Farmer has three career wins in ARCA, including one at Talladega in 1988 but hasn’t driven an ARCA- type car since 1994.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(6-14-2002)
  • BACE/Little plans change: The upcoming Michigan Winston Cup race has been removed from the BACE’s Chad Little schedule. “We planned on Michigan all along,” said BACE team owner Bill Baumgardner. “We even tested there. However, the sponsor we had planned on for that event didn’t happen and the purse just doesn’t justify the expense without one (sponsor). Our emphasis has been and will continue to be to build a competitive Winston Cup team for Chad, but the numbers for Michigan just don’t make it feasible. Our superspeedway cars are not yet completed and rushing into Daytona with an untested car is not a smart thing to do. For that reason we are also dropping that race from the schedule.” Little’s next race will be in Chicago for the Tropicana 400 on July 14th, 2002. Chad will be piloting the same cars run at Dover with new engines. Several major aero changes are being made to both these cars at this time. Also two complete and brand new cars have been ordered from Ronnie Hopkins. Hopkins is one of the top car builders on the Winston Cup Circuit, building cars for such names as Dale Jarrett, Robby Gordon and many more. These cars will sport engines from the Pro-Motors shop. Both cars will be tested and ready for the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis on August 4th, 2002.(Chad Little Site)(6-14-2002)
  • Dale Jr/Oreo’s/NYC: Dozens of children gobbled up Oreo cookies [a Jayski favorite] and race car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove an Oreo-decorated car down a New York City street on Wednesday to celebrate the cookie’s 90th birthday. New York certainly claims the cookie for itself. A representative for Mayor Michael Bloomberg presented a proclamation making Wednesday “Oreo Cookie 90th Anniversary Day” in New York City, and the city council declared Oreo as the city’s favorite cookie. Dale Earnhardt Jr., an Oreo spokesman, drove a race car decorated with an Oreo topped with a birthday candle across part of 15th Street, or “Oreo Way,” according to the temporary street sign he unveiled. Police officers did not stop Earnhardt, even though he drove against traffic in the one-way street.(New York Times)(6-14-2002)
  • MRN to cover Petty Charity Ride: For the fourth year in a row, Motor Racing Network (MRN) will provide unprecedented coverage of the Sprint / Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America with this year’s focus on raising donations and promoting awareness of the “Victory Junction Gang Camp”, a medical specialty camp founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty in honor of their late son Adam, a 19-year-old, fourth-generation NASCAR driver. The year-round camp, scheduled to open in 2004, is designed to enrich the lives of children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses. MRN’s creative strategy provides exposure for the camp and the annual motorcycle event through MRN Radio programming on nearly 700 affiliate radio stations and trackside Winston Cup Vision screens at all events where MRN broadcasts. The plan also includes weekly stories and updates on various MRN programs including “NASCAR Today” and “NASCAR Live.”(see full story on my Racing Charities page)(6-14-2002)
  • Red Wings win Cup – Will be honored by Rusty: Rusty Wallace and his Penske Racing South crew will be paying a special tribute to the NHL Champion Detroit Red Wings at Michigan. Wallace’s Miller Lite Ford Taurus will carry the familiar Detroit Red Wings logo on the lower quarter-panels in the action this weekend. “The Red Wings took their third Stanley Cup in Game 5 in Detroit on Thursday night,” said Wallace. “We want to salute them for a job well done. We’re hoping that we can put their logo in Victory Lane on Sunday. Now that would really be a cool deal.” Wallace is a five-time winner at the Michigan track.(TRPR) NOTE: actually it is the Red Wings 10th Stanley Cup, the 3rd in the past six years.(6-14-2002)
  • ‘Big Car’ tested in wind tunnel: The larger Winston Cup car, with a larger ‘greenhouse’ (between the windwhield and rear window) was tested at the wind tunnel in Marietta, GA on Monday.(FSN’s Totally NASCAR)(6-14-2002)

    (6-13-2002)

  • Said in 2nd Jasper car at Sears Point: Jasper Motorsports announced today that road racing veteran Boris Said will drive the #67 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford at both road course races on the Cup schedule, beginning with next weekend’s event at Sears Point Raceway. Said joins #77 Jasper Ford driver Dave Blaney under the Jasper Motorsports banner. “These Winston Cup races are like Christmas to me, they only come once or twice a year,” commented Said. “I’m like a little kid. I’ve been waiting all year to get back into one of these cars and I’m ready. Last year, I had my best two Winston Cup finishes with Jasper Motorsports. We’re looking to build on that.” Mark Harrah, one of three co-owners of Jasper Motorsports, will be Said’s crew chief. The over-the-wall crew is a collection of various BGN crewmembers. The car was prepared by Jasper Motorsports and will be serviced at the track by crewmembers who work in the #77 shop on a daily basis. “Boris is regarded as one of the best drivers in road course racing,” said Harrah. “He drove the Jasper Ford to two very solid finishes last year, and we believe that he is capable of winning a Winston Cup race. We tested with both Dave and Boris at Virginia International Raceway in May, and the two of them worked well together. As teammates they can share their individual strengths at the track, Boris as a road course expert and Dave as a Winston Cup Series regular.” The #67 Ford will be sponsored primarily by Jasper Engines & Transmissions of Jasper, Ind. The Jasper Motorsports team is also searching for associate sponsors for Said’s entry. The car will be silver with blue and yellow stripes along the bottom, resembling the #77 Jasper Ford. Said drove the #77 Jasper Ford at last year’s road course events, finishing 11th at Sears Point and 8th at Watkins Glen International. In five career NASCAR Winston Cup Series starts, he has produced one front-row starting position and one top-10 finish. With two wins in three starts, Said currently leads the SCCA Pro Trans Am championship standings, the longest-running road racing series in the United States. He also plans to compete in the NASCAR Southwest Tour race at Sears Point Raceway, driving the #99 Federated Auto Parts Racing Chevrolet owned by Winston Cup regular Ken Schrader. A resident of Carlsbad, Calif., Said is 39 years old.(Jasper Motorsports PR)(6-13-2002)
  • Schrader expects to be back in the #36 in 2003 and M&M’s news: Ken Schrader isn’t concerned with the rumor mill, even if his name has surfaced in recent weeks. Prior to Pocono, reports had the veteran out of the #36 MB2 Motorsports Pontiac, to be replaced by Jerry Nadeau [rumored here incorrectly]. Schrader was on hand at Pocono while Nadeau was nowhere to be seen. A year ago, Schrader signed a one-year extension, a move that occurred near midseason but wasn’t made public until late in the year. With talk of wholesale changes sweeping through the garage, Schrader is hoping a similar accord can be reached this time. Whether anyone outside the MB2 team knows about it or not isn’t his concern. Jay Frye, general manager for MBV/MB2 Motorsports, certainly isn’t talking as if the team was looking to make a move, and it appears the team is actively pursuing a multi-year agreement with M&M’s. “We anticipate everything moving forward with Kenny for next year,” Frye said. “We are awaiting to hear word. When you sign a long-term contract there are multiple options in it and we’re waiting to hear what that’s going to be. It could be one year, it could be two years, it could be no years.”(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read) AND Ken Schrader’s name is all over the Silly Season grapevine on a couple of fronts this week, but a team spokesperson told me [writer Jimmy Creed] Wednesday not to believe everything you hear. One rumor has it that Schrader’s sponsor, M&M Mars, will leave the MB2 team after this season to either go with a high-profile owner like Robert Yates, Cal Wells or Rick Hendrick or become an “official” corporate sponsor of NASCAR itself. Another links Schrader’s name with the #43 ride at Petty Enterprises. According to the team spokesperson, M&M Mars is already a corporate partner with NASCAR and even uses the phrase “the chocolate of NASCAR fans” in its marketing campaigns, a deal that runs through 2003. As for Schrader, his contract with MBN2 is up this season, but it appears his name is just getting tossed about like many other drivers at this point.(Anniston Star)(6-13-2002)
    AND II: hearing that one of the teams M&M Mars is talking to is the #17 Roush Racing team.(6-13-2002)
  • Little E most eligible: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will appear in People Magazine’s “Most Eligible Bachelors” that goes on sale at newsstands this week. With a distribution of more than 40 million copies, this special edition of the magazine is one of the most visible and widely distributed publications of the year.. His selection was kept highly confidential before being revealed Tuesday evening on “Dateline NBC.” The interview for the feature took place at Dale Jr’s own “JR Motorsports” offices in Mooresville, NC, and the photo shoot took place in turn four of Lowe’s Motor Speedway near Charlotte, where Junior posed in front of one of his #8 Budweiser race cars. This marks Dale Jr’s sixth appearance in People Magazine. His first appearance was in October, 2000 when he was selected to appear in the “Sexiest Men” issue. His poise and accomplishments during a very difficult and emotional 2001 also garnered him a mention in the magazine’s “Most Intriguing People of 2001.” Dale Jr. will also be a visible component of this weekend’s programming on MTV. Saturday and Sunday is the “MTV True Life Marathon,” where the most popular episodes of the “True Life” documentary series will be shown. Dale Jr’s one-hour documentary will air with some new interview footage taped recently at California Speedway.(Busweiser PR)(6-13-2002)
  • Long will not be at Michigan: Even though the NASCAR.com had #85-Carl Long on the Entey List for Michigan, he will not be. Thee Dixon, Mansion Motorsport’s owner, is ill and in the hospital at the moment. So the team will withdraw their entry to the race since Dixon will not be able to go to the track.(6-13-2002)
  • Ward’s plans unclear: Ward Burton, who has been with Bill Davis Racing since 1995, says his #22 team needs more consistency, but that he’s leaning toward re-signing for 2003. He’s been presented with a contract, but didn’t sign it by Davis’ deadline, leaving the team with a feeling of uncertainty. Davis said he’s sure crew chief Tommy Baldwin will return, but that he doesn’t know what Burton’s planning on doing. Burton, though, sounds as if returning to the team is his intention.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(6-13-2002)
  • Hamilton Looking – Ganassi? With the future of Andy Petree Racing unsettled, Bobby Hamilton is exploring his options for 2003. Petree has been talking to Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones about becoming a partner in the team. Jones is expected to try to land a high-profile driver and may want a driver with ties to Texas for a possible second team. Hamilton’s heard from several other teams, including Chip Ganassi Racing, according to a source close to the situation. That operation has talked of eventually adding a third team and Hamilton could figure into the mix.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(6-13-2002)
  • More Testing at VIR: As the NASCAR Winston Cup Series’ first road-course race of the season, the June 23 Dodge/Save Mart 350 at California’s Sears Point Raceway, edges ever closer, VIRginia International Raceway continues to welcome more and more teams to its beautiful and challenging 3.27-mile natural-terrain road racing circuit near Danville, VA. Testing at VIRginia International Raceway on Tuesday were Dale Earnhardt, Inc., with #1-Steve Park and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr.; Hendrick Motorsports with #24-Jeff Gordon, #25-Joe Nemechek and #48-Jimmie Johnson; and Target Chip Ganassi Racing, with Scott Pruett driving a #41 Target Dodge. The Winston Cup teams find it convenient to test at VIR, which is about a two-hour drive from the Charlotte area, in order to perfect their set-ups for both Sears Point Raceway and New York’s Watkins Glen International, which will host the Aug. 11 Sirius Satellite Radio at the Glen.(VIR PR)(6-13-2002)
  • DEI and DeWalt? UPDATE: the LTN Radio show reports that Dale Earnhardt Inc is talking to DeWalt Tools to sponsor a team, DeWalt’s contract with Roush Racing and the #17 Matt Kenseth team is over at the end of 2002. Roush is in negotations with DeWalt also.(6-3-2002)
    AND – Roush/DeWalt still negotiating: Roush Racing president Geoff Smith said talks continue with DeWalt, whose contract expires after this season as Matt Kenseth ‘s sponsor [#17 Ford]. The deadline for the two sides to negotiate exclusively with each other ended May 31. “It’s taken a long time for a renewal,” Smith said. “They were talking to other teams as well but they claim they want to be with us. We hope to shortly conclude the business arrangement either way.”(Roanoke Times)(6-10-2002)
    UPDATE: Officials from DeWalt Tools have told Roush Racing President Geoff Smith that it wants to return as sponsor of Matt Kenseth’s Ford for 2003. But until a deal is signed, Smith says he will listen if other perspective sponsors come calling. The contract that expires at the end of this season prohibited DeWalt from negotiating with other teams until June 1. Smith’s heard that the company has talked with Dale Earnhardt Inc. regarding a deal for next year, but isn’t sure if those talks are ongoing. Kenseth’s contract is up following the 2003 season, but it’s expected that talks of an extension will begin following this season.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(6-13-2002)
  • Newman tests IROC car at Indy: Ryan Newman tested an IROC car, today, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The True Value IROC series is racing’s “all-star game.” Twelve of the best drivers from various series compete in equally prepared stock cars in a four-race series that concludes at the Speedway. Newman, a native of South Bend, Ind., joined IROC test drivers Andy Hillenburg, Dave Marcis and Jim Sauter on the famous 2.5-mile oval. Newman isn’t competing in the True Value IROC series this year, but he couldn’t resist an invitation to drive one of the cars at Indy. True Value IROC testing concluded Wednesday. The fifth True Value IROC at Indy race takes place Aug. 3.(Ford Racing)(6-13-2002)
  • Whatever happened to….Lake Speed: Over 140 cars were in the pits this past Saturday, June 8, at Midvale Speedway in Ohio. It was a very special night as all five classes were on hand, kids’ bicycle races at intermission, and the Dale’s Heating & Cooling Figure 8’s at the end of the night. To top it all off, long-time NASCAR driver Lake Speed was on hand to sign autographs and compete in the Late Model division. Speed finished third in the feature event.(Midvale Speedway site)(6-13-2002)
  • North Carolina Plates: NASCAR drivers and other stock car-related insignia could grace some North Carolina license plates under legislation filed in both chambers. The bills would create special NASCAR license plates at a cost of an additional $35 a vehicle.(News and Observer/APAND a story at the Gaston Gazette: Vanity NASCAR plates being considered.(6-13-2002)
  • Sad News – driver killed UPDATE track reconfigures: Driver John Baker was killed Saturday night in a crash during the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest race at Irwindale Speedway (CA). Baker, 49, of Tucson, AZ, was taken to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Baldwin Park, where he died, said Reyna DelHaro, a spokeswoman for the hospital. Baker’s wife was by his side. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Baker family, crew and race team,” Doug Stokes, Speedway spokesman, told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. NASCAR officials did not immediately comment. Baker, who was wearing a neck restraint, was slowing on the second turn of the half-mile oval when his car went headlong into the exit. Baker, who had won the pole position, was the first driver killed in the series during a race. It was the fourth death at the speedway. Casey Diemert of Roseburg, Ore., and Keith Cowherd of Phoenix died in 1999, the track’s opening season. Christopher Shields of San Bernardino died June 7, 2001.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(6-9-2002)
    UPDATE: Irwindale Speedway today announced the postponement of. its Saturday night, June 15 NASCAR racing event. All tickets purchased for that night will be honored at any future event. The oval track will be closed for reconfiguring from Thursday, June 12 through Friday, June 21 and will reopen with its regularly-scheduled racing card on Saturday, June 22. The Demolition Derby and Figure 8 Races which were scheduled for June 15 have been rescheduled and added to the spectacular June 29 ‘4th of July NASCAR and Fireworks Show’. “We’d like to thank all the fans and competitors in advance for their support and understanding,”. said Vice President /Chief Operating Officer Robert DeFazio.. “We look forward to seeing everyone back on June 22.”(Irwindale Speedway site)
    AND The funeral for Tucson driver John Baker, who was killed Saturday in a NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series crash at Irwindale Speedway, is Saturday at 10:00am at St. Pius X Church, located at 1800 N. Camino Pio Decimo in Tucson. The viewing is Friday from 6:00-9:00pm at Bring Funeral Home, 6910 E. Broadway Blvd. in Tucson.(6-13-2002)


    (6-12-2002)

  • Nadeau at DEI? UPDATE in the #44 at Sears Point and in a Waltrip car: hearing Jerr Nadeau, recently released from the #25 Hendrick Motorsports ride, is talking to Dale Earnhardt Inc about a ride there for 2003.
    UPDATE: ESPN2 RPM 2 Night’s Ray Dunlap reports that Jerry Nadeau will be in the #44 Petty Racing Dodge at Sears Point in place of regular driver Steve Grissom. Also reported that Nadeau will drive a Michael Waltrip owned car at Chicagoland and possibly some additional race.(6-12-2002)
  • #25 gets new crew chief: Hendrick Motorsports president John Hendrick named Brian Pattie as crew chief of the #25 UAW-Delphi Chevy through the remainder of the 2002 Cup season, replacing Ken Howes who returns to the role of HMS director of competition full time after seven races as interim crew chief. Pattie will assume the position immediately, leading the team into Sunday’s Winston Cup event at Michigan with driver Joe Nemechek. The Zephyrhills, Fla., native joined Nemechek’s BGN (#87) operation in 1994, working as chief mechanic until going to the #25 team of HMS for the 1996 season as a fabricator and mechanic. In 1997, he returned to NEMCO as crew chief, earning two victories and three pole positions with Nemechek’s Busch Series entry that year. The 27-year-old Pattie has earned 11 victories and nine pole positions in BGN competition with drivers Ron Fellows and Nemechek. In August 1999, he led Fellows to a second-place finish at Watkins Glen International in his first of four career Winston Cup events as a crew.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(6-12-2002)
  • Pontiac/Ford gets a rules change: NASCAR announced a ½-inch increase to the front air dam and ¼ inch rear spoiler increase for the Pontiac Grand Prix beginning with this weekend’s Sirius Satellite Radio 400 at Michigan. The leading edge of the air dam for the Pontiacs now must not extend more than one (1) inch forward of the bumper. Measurements for the rear spoiler will now read at 7 1/8* inches high by 57 inches wide (prior to this, the rear spoiler measured at 6 7/8 inches high by 57 inches wide). This dimension will not be used at Daytona or Talladega. Officials also reduced the spoiler size on the Ford Taurus from 6 inches to 5-7/8 inches for next month’s Pepsi 400 at Daytona. During the Daytona 500 in February, the Ford’s rear spoiler was 5 ¾ inches tall and in April at Talladega, Ford’s measurements were 6 inches tall. The Chevrolet and Dodge teams rear spoiler will remain at 6 ¼ inches tall, while the Pontiac teams will measure at 6 ½ inches tall by 57 inches wide.(NASCAR PR)(6-12-2002)
  • Final Day of Testing at Daytona: During the final day of a two-day test session on Wednesday at Daytona, Kenny Wallace was hopping back and forth between a pair of #98 Stacker 2 Chevys. Wallace will be pulling double duty at Dayotna, in the #98 Cup car and the #48 BGN car. Joining Wallace in the test session at the Speedway were BGN drivers #12-Kerry Earnhardt and #64-C.W. Smith. In random hand-held times taken during the test on Wednesday, both Wallace and Earnhardt posted speeds near 181.818mph while Smith had a speed of 178.218.(DIS PR)(6-12-2002)
  • New Schemes for Atwood/Sirius: Sirius Satellite Radio announced that its #7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge race car will soon trade its Dog Star hood design for stars of another kind – music celebrities – bringing to life the faces behind the 100-percent commercial-free music heard on Sirius. Beginning at the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 in Michigan, Casey Atwood’s #7 Sirius Dodge will become the motorsports version of the cover of Rolling Stone, with the hottest stars of entertainment gracing the hood. This weekend, the car will feature DreamWorks Records recording stars Soluna, the hot new Latin sound sensation with the breakthrough title track hit single, “For All Time” from their debut album For All Time. The unique paint scheme, which features the four band members of Soluna, marks the first time a female recording act has been portrayed in a special paint scheme in NASCAR Winston Cup. The cover artwork from Soluna’s new album, showcasing band members America Olivo, Jessica Castellanos, T Lopez and Aurora Rodriguez, will appear on the hood. The music industry also is getting in gear with the Sirius program and its innovative marketing approach, and a number of top stars are expected to appear on the hood of the #7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge this season. Sirius will run special paint schemes at a number of races during the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season.(Golin-Harris PR)(6-12-2002)
  • New Scheme for Geoffrey Bodine at Daytona: Geoffrey Bodine and Miccosukee Indian Gaming Motorsports will debut this new paint scheme for the #09 Ford Taurus during the Pepsi 400 race on July 6th. See the Geoffrey Bodine Fanclub site for the image.(6-12-2002)
  • Ford Credit Donates More: #88-Dale Jarrett’s victory in the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday results in another $10,000 donation from Ford Credit to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to help in its mission to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease. Ford Credit, associate sponsor of the #88 UPS Ford, gives the Komen Foundation $10,000 for each of Jarrett’s victories, $7,500 for each second-place finish, $5,000 for each third-place finish and $5,000 for each pole position won (as fastest qualifier). Ford Credit has now donated $595,000 to the Komen Foundation based on Jarrett’s on-track performance and end-of-season bonuses since 1998.(Campbell Co/Race Fans for a Cure PR)(6-12-2002)
  • Krista Voda Joins “Totally NASCAR”: Krista Voda joins Fox Sports Net’s NASCAR programming as a reporter for Totally NASCAR. Voda will provide the show with features, interviews and profiles alongside host Steve Byrnes and reporter Sean Pragano, and will also serve as fill-in host at times.(MotorsportsTV)(6-12-2002)
  • Stewart, Benson put on a show at Berlin: Afternoon rain didn’t stop Berlin Raceway from hosting an exciting special event Tuesday night, as Winston Cup stars Tony Stewart and Johnny Benson, in town for the UPS Grand Haven Race Car Festival, entertained a full house crowd of 8,658 in the Festival 100. The non-points Coors Light Late Model event was delayed by afternoon rain, but the skies cleared in time for a full slate of racing excitement. Benson started the evening off in good fashion by qualifying his #61 Port City Racing car at 102.476 mph, the fastest time of the night. Stewart, who had arrived directly from the UPS Grand Haven Race Car Festival at 6:30 p.m. and promptly jumped into the #1 Devrou Chevrolet owned by current points leader Randy Sweet for a few hot laps, turned a quick lap of 101.828, finishing as third fastest qualifier behind Benson and #161 Lee Anderson. Next up was the first of two 50-lap qualifying races. Benson started on the pole by virtue of his qualifying time and led the first half of the race until he got in an accident and spun and hit the wall. Benson’s car had some front end nose damage and he retired from the race to make repairs for the main event, having earned a provisional starting position by his fastest qualifying time. In the second 50-lap qualifier, Stewart jumped out to a huge lead early and won the race running away. The Festival 100, which began shortly after 10 p.m., proved to be an even better show for the fans. After the inversion, Stewart started from the 10th position and Benson from the 25th, meaning Stewart would have to pass traffic for the first time of the night if he were to win the race with his strong car. Stewart went on to win in convincing style, leading Anderson and DeVos across the finish line. #101 Joe Bush finished fourth, followed by #98 Bob Curry and Gritter in sixth. The race lasted 56 minutes and ended with only 11 cars on the lead lap. The race was Stewart’s second appearance at Berlin Raceway, the first coming in a USAC Sprint Car in 1992. Benson and Stewart then signed autographs in the pits. Stewart earned praise for signing autographs for every single person in a long line, lasting past 12:30 a.m.(Berlin Raceway Site)(6-12-2002)

    (6-11-2002)

  • 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)
  • Lawsuit heating up: The lawsuit that seeks a second Winston Cup race for Texas Motor Speedway moved a step closer to a possible court date Monday, when the legal team representing Francis Ferko filed a response to NASCAR’s motion to dismiss. Ferko is a shareholder in Speedway Motorsports Inc., the company that built and operates TMS. Ferko, a Plano resident, sued NASCAR on Feb. 13, accusing NASCAR of breaching express and implied contracts with SMI for a second Cup date at TMS. But NASCAR, in its April 10 filing, made four claims: that no agreement for a second date ever existed; that race sanctioning agreements with SMI make void any previous agreements and offer no guarantees for future dates; that SMI, through its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, admits that NASCAR awards races on a year-to-year basis; and that the four-year statute of limitations on Texas common-law claims has expired since the first TMS Cup race in 1997. Ferko’s response, filed in U.S. District Court, attacks those claims and counters NASCAR’s attempts to refute Ferko’s charge that the sanctioning body monopolizes stock-car racing.(more at Fort Worth Star Telegram)(6-11-2002)
  • Buckshot Announcement: from the Buckshot racing site: “Look for Buckshot [Jones] to make a big announcement by the end of June”(6-11-2002)
  • Park safe for 2002: Dale Earnhardt Jr, who seems to be taking on more of a management role at Dale Earnhardt Inc., says it is unlikely Park would be fired before his contract runs out at the end of the season. But if DEI makes a change, it likely would sign Park’s 2003 replacement in the next few months.(USA Today)(6-11-2002)
  • Safety barriers to be modified for use in Brickyard 400: NASCAR on Tuesday announced it would utilize the SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barrier system currently in place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when its Winston Cup series visits the track for the Aug. 4 Brickyard 400. The “soft wall” technology, stacks of four rectangular steel tubes welded into modules 20 feet long and 38½ inches high and then backed by several inches of polystyrene foam, covers 4,240 feet of the track’s outside wall, 1,060 feet in each turn. It was in place during all practice and qualifying in preparation for the Indianapolis 500 and was tested several times when drivers hit the walls, both in practice and the race. However, Dr. Dean Sicking, who researched and developed the barriers for the Indy Racing League, said the current system is not ready for other NASCAR tracks. Sicking will continue to work on the application of the SAFER barrier to other race tracks and said he hoped to conduct at minimum four more crash tests on the barrier in the coming months. Sicking said the current SAFER system in place at Indy will undergo some slight modifications before the NASCAR event. The change – the insertion of one additional energy absorbing unit every 10 feet – is primarily made because stock cars and far heavier (3,400 pounds to 1,500 pounds) than IRL open-wheel cars.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-11-2002)
  • 2003 New Hampshire Date? hearing from readers that NHIS has sent out renewals for the July 2003 race and the date listed for the Cup race is July 20, 2003, this year it runs on July 21st, the same weekend.(6-11-2002)
  • Daytona Testing UPDATE: A test session at Daytona International Speedway for the 44th annual Pepsi 400 Cup race on July 6 and the inaugural Stacker 2/GNC Live Well 250 BGN race on July 5 will be held on Tuesday, June 11th and Wednesday June 12th from 9:00am-5:00pm/et with #98-Kenny Wallace (Cup) and and #12-Kerry Earnhardt BGN) testing. Wallace competes for Innovative Motorsports in the BGN but will test the #98 Stacker2 Chevy as he preps for the team’s four-race Winston Cup schedule, which kicks off with the Pepsi 400. Earnhardt will wheel the #12 Jani-King Chevy for Armando Fitz and NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw in the inaugural Stacker2/GNC Live Well 250 BGN race. Testing is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.(DIS PR)(6-7-2002)
    UPDATE: Kenny Wallace, testing the #98 Chevy he’ll race for Innovative Motorsports in the July 6 Pepsi 400 ran an unofficial lap of 180.723mph. Two BGN drivers tested, #12-Kerry Earnhardt, who ran an unofficial speed of 182.186mph, and #64 C.W. Smith, no speed given. The start of Tuesday’s test session was delayed by rain and the cars didn’t take to the 2.5-mile tri-oval until the afternoon. Testing concludes on Wednesday and is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.(DIS PR)(6-11-2002)
  • Early Pocono TV Ratings Up: The Winston Cup overnight ratings from Pocono on Fox turned in a 4.6 rating and 11 share. This is a 7% increase over last year’s overnight of 4.3.(MotorsportsTV)(6-11-2002)
  • Cope at Michigan and beyond: Derrike Cope will go to Michigan next and it looks like possibly Chicago, the second Pocono race, and Indy. Cope hopes to get confirmation on the sponsor for Michigan soon(Derrike Cope Site)(6-11-2002)
  • Smaller Spoiler? and Bigger Greenhouse?: NASCAR officials intends to decrease the size of the cars’ spoilers significantly and end what has become an aerodynamic war among manufacturers. If the measure works, the racing should become more mechanically dependent, meaning there will be a greater emphasis on engines and shocks and less on body style. After drivers ran smaller spoilers in recent tests at Kansas Speedway, NASCAR discovered that Goodyear must develop a tire with more grip to accommodate the loss of rear downforce.
    AND NASCAR is working with Altair Engineering in Troy, MI, to develop a larger greenhouse — two inches taller and wider — that should make the cars and drivers safer. GM isn’t thrilled that the design isn’t expected to be ready until next season because it is building and testing 2003 Pontiacs and Monte Carlos and likely will be forced to alter them.(Sporting News)(6-11-2002)
  • Weber branches out: Bill Weber is branching out at NBC. On what was billed as the busiest weekend in televised sports this year, Bill Weber was the anchor of NBC Sports’ Sun America Sports Desk on Saturday and Sunday. The regular anchors of the sports desk, Hannah Storm and Ahmad Rashad, were both with the NBA in Los Angeles and Jimmy Roberts was working golf.(MotorsportsTV)(6-11-2002)
  • Dale Jr on the Tube: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will appear tonight on Dateline NBC to discuss details of an upcoming major magazine feature. And keep an eye on MTV’s True Life marathon Saturday and Sunday for an updated version of True Life, I’m a Race Car Driver detailing Earnhardt’s rookie season. The show will include new interviews since it originally aired in the spring of 2001.(St Petersburg Times)(6-11-2002)
  • Trickle/Evernham Test Cancelled: Dick Trickle will be testing for the Evernham Motorsports team again this month with owner Ray Evernham hoping to have a test June 25 & 26th either at Daytona or Talladega preceding the upcoming July Daytona race. Trickle tested for the team earlier this year before the Talladega race 9and attempted to make the race but missed) This is only a test, the team will not be entering their test car into the Daytona race.(Dick Trickle Fan Club Newsletter)(6-4-2002)
    UPDATE: Trickle was contacted by Ray Evernham, owner of Evernham Motorsports, to test for their team at Daytona before the upcoming Daytona race. The dates that they were hoping to test are not available at the track. At this time they’ve canceled that test, but have told Trickle that they may need him for other testing throughout the season.(Dick Trickle Fan Club Newsletter)(6-11-2002)
  • Driver rams other cars (not NASCAR) pretty wild: A racer who police said spent several minutes ramming the cars of his opponents with his vehicle has been charged with assault and battery with intent to kill. No one was seriously injured in the incident, which happened as soon as the green flag fell Saturday night at the Sumter Speedway in Sumter, SC. Robert L. Disher immediately rammed his car into a rival, then put his car in reverse and began intentionally ramming several other cars, according to a report filed by the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. With the race stopped, Disher, 31, drove around the track, turned around toward the already damaged cars and continued hitting vehicles for several minutes before coming to a stop, deputies said. Deputies then pulled Disher from his car after another racer pinned the vehicle against the wall. Disher also was charged with public disorderly conduct after he “shook his butt at the crowd” as he was being taken away from the track, according to the police report.(ThatsRacin.com/AP) ANDA Sumter race car driver went on a rampage with his car shortly after the green flag dropped Saturday night at Sumter Speedway. Once the race-turned-demolition-derby was over, Robert L. Disher, 31, of 4404 Wrangler Trail was arrested and charged with assault and battery with intent to kill. When the race started, Disher immediately ran into the car of a rival racer, causing a multi-car tangle on the track, according to reports from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. Disher was released Sunday from the Sumter County Correctional Center on a $1,125 bond. He could not be reached for comment.(The Item)(6-11-2002)

    (6-10-2002)

  • M&M’s gone from the #36? UPDATE 2: the LTN Radio show reports [June 2nd show] that M&M’s is rumored to be leaving the #36 MB2 team and that Ken Schrader may be heading to the #43 Petty Racing team AND that M&M’s is rethinking their position with NASCAR and may not sponsor a car/team in 2003 but could be involved in NASCAR in a similar way as Coca Cola is.(6-3-2002)
    UPDATE: M&M Mars is looking to move on at the end of the season, according to team sources. But the company doesn’t plan to leave the Winston Cup series, just move to another team. That lucrative sponsorship may be the one behind that proposed third Robert Yates team and that proposed second Cal Wells team and that proposed fifth Rick Hendrick team. All three operations are pushing hard to add another team, and it seems unlikely that there are three companies in these woods willing to write long term contracts for $12 million to $14 million a year. Meanwhile, General Motors executives are starting to wonder if Wells’ plans to jump to Pontiac {currently run the #32 Ford] next season might simply be a ploy to get more technical help and wind tunnel time from Ford.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-9-2002)
    UPDATE 2: The fate of the M&M Mars sponsorship may be up in the air, according to NASCAR sources who say that the sanctioning body itself is trying to persuade the company to become “the official candy of NASCAR.”(Winston Salem Journal)(6-10-2002)
  • NAPCM Pit Crew of the Week – Pocono: #9-Bill Elliott’s Dodge Crew- very good day on pit road (14.9, 15.9, 15.0, 15.1) helped keep Awesome Bill up front till bad luck stepped in. Current Mechanix Wear Pit Crew of the Year standings updated weekly at NAPCM website.(6-10-2002)
  • More on Petree/Jones: Jerry Jones and Andy Petree still haven’t finished their deal to team up next season, but Jones is pushing hard to land a top-notch driver. One man on Jones’ optimistic list is Tony Stewart [has been denied by Stewart and Gibbs in about every media outlet], according to team sources. Stewart isn’t figured to be interested in leaving the Joe Gibbs camp, but that his name has come up shows that Jones is thinking big. Petree says there’s been no movement on the Jerry Jones front in the last week, but team sources say that General Motors executives are now trying to put together a deal to keep Petree in the GM fold, possibly in Pontiacs next season.(Winston Salem Journal), see past news about this on the #55 Team News and Links page.(6-10-2002)
  • Roush/DeWalt still negotiating: Roush Racing president Geoff Smith said talks continue with DeWalt, whose contract expires after this season as Matt Kenseth ‘s sponsor [#17 Ford]. The deadline for the two sides to negotiate exclusively with each other ended May 31. “It’s taken a long time for a renewal,” Smith said. “They were talking to other teams as well but they claim they want to be with us. We hope to shortly conclude the business arrangement either way.”(Roanoke Times)(6-10-2002)
  • Third BDR Team? Bill Davis Racing might field a third Winston Cup car for Scott Wimmer in selected races this season, Mike Brown said. Wimmer is driving a limited BGN schedule. The team fields [#23] Pontiacs in the BGN but has Dodges in the Winston Cup series, so what Wimmer’s team learns at some tracks does not relate to the Winston Cup teams. Also, a third car gives the team another car to help promote its Cup sponsors. Wimmer’s first race might be at the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis in two months. If that goes well, he could go to other Cup races.(Roanoke Times)(6-10-2002)
  • CAT re-signs, what about Ward? UPDATE: #22 [and #23] car owner Bill Davis, taking good advantage of his Daytona 500 victory, has renewed with sponsor Caterpillar. But will Ward Burton be back as his driver? Davis has given Burton a new contract to look at. But Burton indicates he’s not quite ready to sign, though he says he’ll probably be back.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-7-2002)
    UPDATE: Mike Brown, general manager at Bill Davis Racing, said that Caterpillar has signed a five-year contract extension to remain Ward Burton ‘s sponsor. The contract was to have ended after this season.(Roanoke Times)(6-10-2002)

 


(6-9-2002)

 

  • Dale Jarrett wins the Pocono 500: #88-Dale Jarrett won the Pocono 500, his first 2002 win, his third win at Pocono and first June Pocono win, and also his 29th career win. It was Jarrett’s first win in 30 races, at NHIS last July. #6-Mark Martin was 2nd, followed by #48-Johnson, #40-Marlin and #24-Gordon.
    See ThatsRacin.com for Pocono 500 race results and for Updated (unofficial) Winston Cup points or NASCAR.com official results.
    See my Pocono 500 Race Info page for caution info, notes and narrative of what I saw/heard during the race.(6-9-2002)
  • Sad News – driver killed: Driver John Baker was killed Saturday night in a crash during the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest race at Irwindale Speedway (CA). Baker, 49, of Tucson, AZ, was taken to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Baldwin Park, where he died, said Reyna DelHaro, a spokeswoman for the hospital. Baker’s wife was by his side. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Baker family, crew and race team,” Doug Stokes, Speedway spokesman, told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. NASCAR officials did not immediately comment. Baker, who was wearing a neck restraint, was slowing on the second turn of the half-mile oval when he was hit from behind and his car went headlong into the exit. Baker, who had won the pole position, was the first driver killed in the series during a race. It was the fourth death at the speedway. Casey Diemert of Roseburg, Ore., and Keith Cowherd of Phoenix died in 1999, the track’s opening season. Christopher Shields of San Bernardino died June 7, 2001.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(6-9-2002)
  • Driver change at #59 Price Motorsports: While maintaining total focus on the job at hand at Texas Motor Speedway for the CTS race, Jason Small announced this weekend that he will make his NASCAR Winston Cup Series debut at Michigan Speedway with the #59 Price Motorsports Dodge team. “I am so excited to be going to Michigan next week,” Small said. “They were looking for a young rookie to get in and I am honored they considered me. I was even more honored when they said I got the ride. They have some cars from Ganassi and their engines come from Ernie Elliott. That is good equipment. I am looking forward to get up there and see what we can do.” Small’s Bio: Started racing ATVs at the age of 6, finished third in his first race ever; won half of the season’s races and season championship before moving on to race Odysseys and Go-karts. Finished second in point standings at Mesa Marin Speedway in 1998, while a senior in high-school; won four races, missed championship by 5 points. NASCAR Winston West Series Rookie of the Year in 1999; sat on pole in his first NWWS race at Tucson. Finished 1999 NWWS Series 6th in overall point standings with two top-5 finishes and eight top-10 finishes. Made first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start in 2000 in family-owned truck. Ran limited season in NCTS in 2001 while coming back to Mesa Marin to run a partial Late Model season; won four of ten Late Model races and finished in the top-3 eight times. Joined Green Light Racing for 2002 NCTS season, started season off with a ninth-place finish in the Dodge Dealers 250 at Daytona.(PR), Randy Renfrow had been the driver of the #59 Dodge, making one race, at Richmond [using a provisional] and missing three races.(6-9-2002)
  • DEI Looking for Waltrip replacement? Dale Earnhardt Jr. said Saturday that Michael Waltrip has been informed that Dale Earnhardt Inc. — the race team founded by his late father — is looking at a possible replacement. “His job is in his hands, so to speak,” Earnhardt said of Waltrip. “It’s been a tough situation over the past several weeks for us. We tried to deal with it as best we can.”(Sporting News/AP)(6-9-2002)

    (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)
  • 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)
  • Greg Sacks to return to Cup/BGN: Greg Sacks hopes to return to both the Cup and the BGN later this season. Sacks has teamed with Loren Fossie, president of LAF Enterprises and owner of the “FRANCHI$IT” board game to form Team FRANCHI$IT/Sacks Racing. The plan is to do at least two races this year and as many as ten. Sacks will run the #05 Chevy Sacks won the 1985 Pepsi 400 at Daytona and the 1996 Humminbird 500K BGN race at Talladega. Sacks plans could expand to a full season 2003 effort in either the BGN or Cup or both. The car will be unveiled to the public on Monday at The Coffee Beanery Convention at Walt Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort outside Orlando, FL.(NASCAR.com)(6-8-2002)
  • Sadler says he has not signed anything: Elliott Sadler insisted again Friday that he hasn’t signed any agreement to drive for anybody next season. Sadler won’t be back in the Wood Brothers’ #21 Ford in 2003, but he continues to deny that he and Robert Yates have worked out a deal that would put Sadler in the No. 28 Fords. Ricky Rudd, driver of that car this year, said last weekend at Dover he believes such a deal is done. “I haven’t signed with anybody, I swear,” Sadler said Friday at Pocono Raceway. “I have been talking to people. I had a meeting on Wednesday, in fact.” Sadler said that after he indicated his desire to leave the Wood Brothers a month ago, he has had contact with “six or seven” teams about the future. And he has been surprised by who has been calling. “I thought I might get calls from teams of a certain caliber, but the calls have come from some really top-caliber teams,” Sadler said. “A couple of times I’ve called my father up and said, ‘You’re not going to believe this.'” Officials from Dale Earnhardt Inc. have acknowledged their interest in Sadler. Ford officials have also been working to keep the 27-year-old Virginian in their camp, which Sadler said he finds flattering. “I’ve only got one win and no poles so far, so I guess they see something in me. And that makes you feel good,” Sadler said.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-8-2002)

    (6-7-2002)

  • NASCAR to meet with Indy about SAFER UPDATE: NASCAR is sending a delegation of officials Thursday to Indianapolis to meet with open wheel racing’s top reps for a SAFER barriers briefing. NASCAR president Mike Helton will lead the group on the fact-finding mission. “They’re going to talk to Tony George and Brian Barnhardt and those folks,” said Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of communications. George owns Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy Racing League. Barnhardt is the vice president of IRL operations. It was George and Barnhardt who decided to use the SAFER barriers, or soft walls, at IMS for the Indianapolis 500. The barriers took several hard licks during the month of May. No drivers were seriously injured at Indy this year. Dr. Dean Sicking from the University of Nebraska designed the SAFER barriers and has been analyzing crash data from IMS accidents.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-5-2002)
    UPDATE: Winston Cup competitors will likely get their first look at the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction [SAFER] barrier system when they compete in the Aug. 4 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Dean Sicking, who researched and developed the barriers for the IRL, told NASCAR officials visiting Indianapolis on Thursday he needs to “go back to the drawing board and do testing to see what application will work” at other Winston Cup tracks. Mike Helton, NASCAR president, Gary Nelson, managing director of competition, and John Darby, Winston Cup director, spent the afternoon with Sicking and Kevin Forbes, the IMS director of engineering and construction. Sicking told the NASCAR delegation the SAFER barrier at Indy should work for Winston Cup cars even though it was designed for smaller, faster Indy cars. “Sicking told us ‘This wall will work OK for us at Indy for the Brickyard,’ ” said Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of communications. New Hampshire International Speedway, where two drivers died after crashes 2000, wants to use the SAFER technology as soon as possible. New Hampshire’s next Winston Cup date is July 21. But Hunter said Sicking needs time to tailor engineer the structure for each track. Sicking told NASCAR he needs more time to test different configurations. “Dr. Sicking does not recommend this particular wall be put up at New Hampshire,” said Hunter. “Him saying we can leave this wall up at Indy, in its current configuration, is based on what went on up there in May by the IRL.”(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-7-2002)
  • Wallace has a broken foot: What was thought to be fractured toes on #2-Rusty Wallace’s left foot after his wreck in The Winston, has now been diagnosed as a broken foot. Wallace thought he cracked three toes when he collided with Dale Jarrett during the Winston at Lowe’s on May 18. While filming some commercials for the 2003 Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach, Fla. on Wednesday, Wallace started to feel extreme discomfort on the top part of his foot, after X-rays it was found that Wallace found out that two bones on the top of his foot were broken. Although Wallace said he can still drive the car, he feels discomfort after extended periods of walking. But Wallace isn’t thinking about sitting out a race. Pocono Raceway and Michigan International Speedway don’t require the use of the left foot as much as other tracks. However, the Sears Point race on June 23 could be a problem. One of two road courses on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series circuit, its 11 turns require shifting and heavy braking — and use of the left foot more than other tracks.(NASCAR.com)(6-7-2002)
  • Benson and Ince looking? BUT: #10 MBV crew chief James Ince appears to be throwing Johnny Benson’s name into the hat for a possible new ride next season, noting that neither Ince nor Benson has been offered a new contract. Ince says he and Benson are a package.(Winston Salem Journal), just a few days ago, Benson said he planned to stay at MBV, see my #10 Team News and links page for the story.
    BUT sources close to the team tell me that what is posted concerning Ince/Benson couldn’t be farther from the truth, benson and Ince are very happy at MBV Motorsports and are looking to win a lot of races and finish their careers there, their contracts are up at the end of the year, but there is no reason to believe they won’t be back.(6-7-2002)
  • NASCAR Gives FX Biggest Audience Ever: The NASCAR ratings juggernaut paid off in a big way for FX from Dover. The live coverage of the MBNA Platinum 400 delivered a 4.7 rating, reaching 3.65 million households and 5.6 million viewers. These results made it the most-watched telecast in the history of the network. Additionally, the MBNA 400 was the highest-rated show on cable TV last week, even beating out Spongebob Squarepants and WWE wrestling. It helped that The Osbournes wasn’t on, allowing NASCAR to take the weekly crown. For the four Winston Cup races on FX so far this year, the overall rating is up 6% from last year, 25% in total households, 20% in average viewers, and 12% in they key male demo of 18-49 year-old couch potatoes. The large 20% and 25% numbers are due to the rise in the number of households receiving FX.(MotorsportsTV)(6-7-2002)
  • Ten Years Ago Friday: The late Bill France Sr. William Henry Getty [Bill] France passed away — June 7, 1992.(story at the Daytona Beach News Journal about him)(6-7-2002)
  • CAT re-signs, what about Ward? #22 [and #23] car owner Bill Davis, taking good advantage of his Daytona 500 victory, has renewed with sponsor Caterpillar. But will Ward Burton be back as his driver? Davis has given Burton a new contract to look at. But Burton indicates he’s not quite ready to sign, though he says he’ll probably be back.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-7-2002)
  • Long coming to Pocono: Carl Long will be going to Pocono this weekend to race in the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway. The team decided to go to the track because of the low car count for the race. Only 42 teams now with the #85 team going will be attempting the race, which will put everyone in the field.(Carl Long Racing site)(6-7-2002)
  • Gone Fishing: Six NASCAR drivers and six professional anglers teamed up on Tuesday, June 5, for the first annual CITGO BASSMASTER Celebrity Challenge in Orlando, Florida. NASCAR drivers Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle, Todd Bodine, Jeff Green and Hank Parker Jr. paired up with anglers Kevin VanDam, Marty Stone, Gerald Swindle, Jay Yelas, Earl Bentz and Shaw Grigsby for the made for TV event. The teams headed out early Tuesday morning on a four hour bass fishing excursion on the Walt Disney World property. Each team was in a Triton boat and the anglers provided the equipment. The NASCAR driver had to boat the first keeper and the pros could coach their driver partner all they wanted. However, the anglers could not cast, retrieve, or help their driver partner in any other way during the cast and retrieve. Burton said his partner VanDam gave him this advice, “Kevin said in order to win, his strategy was to cast as much as possible. And that’s exactly what we did. We threw, and threw, and threw. It seemed to work.” Other drivers like Busch had never fished before but managed to come up with some good catches. “It was a lot of fun out there. I think Jay (Yelas) and I did pretty well. We’ll find out when we weigh in.” Each team was limited to three bass per person for a total catch of six per boat. The minimum length was 13 inches and fish measuring less than this would be culled along with a one-pound penalty at the weigh in. Upon completion of the fishing, the teams headed over to the BASS Pro Shop for the weigh in. Burton and VanDam arrived in the CITGO show car to weigh their fish while the other teams arrived in their respective Triton boats carrying their catches. Each team weighed their six fish and the combined total weight would determine the winner. CITGO would also donate $10,000 in the name of the winner to MDA. The winner will be announced July 27 on ESPN2, when the made for TV show first airs before the BASS Master Classic. In the end, the drivers became anglers and the anglers became NASCAR fans. Tune in to ESPN2 on July 27th and see how these two sports interact at this unique event.(Roush Racing PR)(6-7-2002)
  • Park Expects to stay at DEI: Steve Park, worn down by the constant rumors, is looking forward to the day when speculation about his racing career ends. He’s a couple of weeks from knowing his future, but confident his place in Winston Cup racing is secure. Where that place is hasn’t been nailed down, but a meeting last week with team owner Teresa Earnhardt has Park more optimistic than he was a month ago. Less than a month ago, Park talked about being on the hot seat and his need to perform to keep his job with Dale Earnhardt Inc. Now he’s talking contracts, either with DEI or elsewhere. In recent weeks, reports had Park out of the car by the Coca-Cola 600, had his sponsor out the door and his team on the realtor’s pages. Speculation remains rampant that Park’s days with DEI are numbered, but he continues to dispute those reports. “With the rumors and the gossip, that puts everybody in a position where they think A, the team’s being sold, which is untrue; B, the sponsor’s leaving, which is untrue; C, the driver’s leaving, which is untrue; (or) D, the crew chief’s leaving, which is untrue,” he said. “It seems like, if you read it in the paper, it’s like God spoke that.” Park tried not to think about it too much. He has other things on his mind, like working out a contract. Will that contract be with DEI? Park seems to be more confident that he can turn in performances guaranteeing it. “I’m not going away,” he said. “I’m going to race. Either this team is going to win with me here or I’m going to beat them. I still feel we can win. We’ve just got to show that. With Teresa’s support of all of us, it definitely raises all of our spirits.”(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(6-7-2002)
  • Special Stewart Schemes: hearing that #20-Tony Stewart will run Snoopy/Peanuts paint schemes at Bristol in August and at Atlanta in October, one is an orange scheme and one is black, maybe the Great Pumpkin at Atlanta?(5-19-2002)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart’s Peanut’s scheme is scheduled as: Bristol. – Black with orange. “In Search of the Great Pumpkin” and Atlanta – Orange with black. “It’s the Great Pumpkin”. See an image of the Bristol car on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(6-7-2002)
  • What’s in a Name? You’ve heard of NASCAR fans naming their first-born after their favorite driver. Now an Ohio couple has named their child after the whole sport. Malinda Yerian of Logan, Ohio, has been a NASCAR fan as long as she can remember. She had no choice, growing up the daughter of a “race car nut.” Now Malinda has gone a bit bonkers herself, naming her son after her family’s favorite sport. On April 16, Malinda and William II Yerian became the proud parents of a new son that they named, Winston Iroc Nascar Yerian. “My dad (Dirk) is a race car nut,” Malinda told the Lancaster (Ohio) Eagle-Gazette. “He has recorded every race on VHS since he was 18 years old. I’ve been going to races with him ever since I can remember. Hopefully, he (Winston Iroc Nascar) will be a big NASCAR fan.” Winston will likely grow up a NASCAR fan and maybe even a championship competitor. He certainly has the initials for it: WIN.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(6-7-2002)

    (6-6-2002)

  • Going too far…tragic news: Mark Martin’s victory in the Coca-Cola Racing Family 600 was such a hot topic in a Georgia trailer park May 26 that it allegedly led to the shooting death of a NASCAR fan. According to cnnsi.com, 41-year-old James Gregory Fitchjarrell was shot to death at his home while arguing about Martin’s victory at Charlotte. According to cnnsi.com, Johnny Ernest Rodgers, 36, of Valdosta, Ga., was arrested on murder charges after the shooting. According to the Web site, the two men, who apparently lived in the same trailer along with their wives, reportedly spent May 26 watching the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola Racing Family 600, drinking beer and arguing. Sometime after Martin’s victory, the two men were reportedly arguing over the merits of Martin’s victory when, according to the victim’s wife, Rodgers went inside and came out with a gun. He allegedly shot and killed Fitchjarrell and was arrested in Florida later that night.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(6-6-2002)
  • Mast to retire? UPDATE: the LTN Radio show reports that Rick Mast, who took a leave from the #90 Donlavey Racing team for health problems may retire from racing.
    UPDATE: Being told Mast has said that retirement is NOT an option that he is considering at this time. His plan is to get back into the #90 car as soon as possible, but he did say, that is out of his hands at this time. His doctors are continuing his diagnosis, and he says they have ruled out “most of the serious stuff” including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but the problem has not pinpointed yet. Hermie Sadler (as announced last week) will be in the #90 car for Pocono, and beyond that, he does not know. Bobby King will come back to crew chief for the Pocono race, King was not with the team in Dover, and they didn’t make the race.(WTVR-TV Richmond Report)(6-3-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Rick Mast is still visiting doctors and undergoing tests, trying to find the answer for his recent fatigue and weight loss. Mast hasn’t felt well off and on this season. He took a break from Donlavey Racing in late May, missing races at Charlotte and Dover while undergoing a ceaseless string of medical tests. “Basically, what they’re trying to do is rule out different possibilities,” Mast said. “That’s where we’re at, is ruling out things.” Mast’s doctor advised him not to race again until he is well. He is visiting various doctors and clinics trying to go through a list of possible problems. Meanwhile, he remains out of racing. He was home in Rockbridge Baths, Va., during the race weekend at Dover. “The frustrating part is it takes time,” he said. “You have to be patient. That’s just frustrating.” Mast has no idea how long the testing process will take.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(6-6-2002)
  • M&M’s Color to be announced on the 19th: The new M&M’s color will be announced in New York City at 8:00pm/et on June 19th. Why is this important to NASCAR fans? Because M&M’s Pontiac driver Kenny Schrader will have a paint scheme done in the winning color at Bristol in August. The color was chosen by a Global Color Vote promotion held around the world. The choices were purple, pink or aqua (I went with pink). Schrader drove a special “Global Color Vote(tm)” paint scheme earkier this year that featured all the colors on the car. See my Paint Scheme Gallery for the four scheme images.(6-6-2002)
  • #90 to lose sponsor? UPDATE: hearing Sauer/Duke’s Mayo will not sponsor the #90 Donlavey Ford after the June Pocono race. Actually the sponsorship was for part of the season and supposed to end soon with the option of extending, supposedly that will not happen.(6-2-2002)
    UPDATE: being told that the C.F. Sauer company will pull their sponsorship after the Pocono race but no official word has been given.(6-3-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Team owner Junie Donlavey is seeking sponsorship sooner than he expected. Richmond-based C.F. Sauer is expected to cease funding the operation following the June 9 race at Pocono. That clouds the future for the team. Although Sauer’s contract was never for the full season, Donlavey has often said he felt he could keep the sponsor if the team could perform. Now finding sponsorship for a team that is deep in the points could be an overwhelming task. Sauer’s interest appears to have been as much with Mast as Donlavey’s operation. The company is evaluating the team based on performance to this point, including races when the ailing Mast battled fatigue and illness. With Mast out indefinitely, the team turned to fellow Virginian Hermie Sadler. But time will run out quickly for the young driver unless Sauer officials reverse their decision. Sadler finished 29th at Charlotte, his first race with the team. Out of provisionals (until Sears Point or their 16th attempted race), the team failed to qualify at Dover.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(6-6-2002)
  • Pocono Lottery Finalists: Cecelia Auerbeck, Tammy Blankenship, Thomas Jackson, Evelyn Marburger, and Raymond Petrosky tickets were drawn as Grand Prize finalists, each being one of five winners of an all-expense paid trip to the Pocono 500 for the Pennsylvania Lottery’s CASH 5 NASCAR(R) Weekends at Pocono drawing. The five finalists were selected from entry tickets that were generated when players purchased a $5 block of CASH 5 tickets and submitted those entry tickets into a random drawing. Each of the five finalists will receive $5,000 and a raceway accommodations package for two that includes raceway tickets, superbox seating and pit passes for three days of NASCAR(R) events held at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond; track tour; three-day, four-night hotel accommodations; transportation between the track and hotel; meals and beverages. There will be a Grand Prize event during the Pocono 500 pre-race ceremonies. The Grand Prize winner will be announced at the finish line at the track and will win an additional $15,000, bringing the Grand Prize winner’s total to $20,000. Entry tickets for the two CASH 5 NASCAR(R) Weekends at Pocono drawings are generated from April 8 through and including June 26, 2002. Lottery players still can enter the drawing for the upcoming Pennsylvania 500 Race Weekend at Pocono Raceway in July, see my Racing Contests page for more info.(Business Wire)(6-6-2002)
  • Philip Morris Sells Miller Brewing UPDATE: South African Breweries will buy Miller Brewing in a $3.6 billion stock deal that will make it the world’s second-largest brewer. The new company will be called SABMiller PLC and will compete in the U.S. market with Anheuser-Busch, the world’s largest brewer, SAB announced Thursday. Miller spokesman Michael Brophy said the acquisition would not lead to any job cuts at Miller’s seven U.S. breweries. SAB is the world’s fourth-largest brewer by volume, after Anheuser-Busch, Belgium’s Interbrew and Heineken of the Netherlands, according to British beverage consultancy Canadean. Miller ranks sixth. The deal is expected to close as early as July, pending shareholder and regulatory approval, South African Breweries said. SAB has agreed to buy a 64% stake in Miller for $3.6 billion in stock and assume $2 billion in Miller debt. Miller’s parent company, Philip Morris, would initially keep 36%. The Miller deal marks a major step in SAB’s strategy of expanding largely through acquisitions to become a top player in the consolidating global beer business. SABMiller would be headquartered in London, with Miller’s Milwaukee headquarters acting as a subsidiary, said Brophy. Philip Morris has wanted to sell its beer business because Miller has lost market share over the past decade, analysts said. Camilleri told industry analysts last fall that the tobacco and food giant’s beer business has continued to face challenges. Profits have dropped as sales declined and advertising costs increased for Miller’s strongest brands, such as Miller Lite and Miller Genuine Draft. For SAB, the deal would provide a major base in the United States and reduce its dependency on earnings made in the rand, the weak South African currency. Miller was founded in 1855 in Milwaukee, a city renowned for its breweries.(USA Today), no idea how this effects the sponsorship of the #2 Penske Racing Ford and driver Rusty Wallace(5-30-2002)
    UPDATE: Penske Racing South General Manager John Erickson said the recent sale of Miller Lite shouldn’t affect the company’s sponsorship agreement with the operation. Phillip Morris recently sold Miller Brewing Company, which sponsors the Winston Cup cars of Rusty Wallace. “Obviously Miller Lite’s not going to go away and I would think they’re going to keep a lot of their marketing strategy, for now,” Erickson said. “We’ve had a long relationship. I would think everything would stay pretty solid.”(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(6-6-2002)
  • Mobile Home Destroyed – car/people ok UPDATE: A popular part of this weekend’s “Pocono 500” almost didn’t make it to the track. A 42-foot mobile home headed to the track somehow caught fire this afternoon along the north-bound [PA] turnpike extension in Carbon County. It was towing a trailer and inside the trailer was NASCAR’s famous [Fox] “cutaway car”, the car you’ve seen on NASCAR [Fox] broadcasts demonstrating race safety features. Everyone in the motor home was able to get out safely and they dragged the car to safety but the motor home was destroyed and the trailer was heavily damaged.(WBRE-TV)(6-4-2002)
    UPDATE: The Motorhome that burned on Hwy 465 Tuesday carrying the “cut-a-way” car was that of Carolyn Carrier, PR person for Brett Bodine Racing, and her husband. Everything was lost. AND see a story at the Times News: A total loss.(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)
  • Mayfield tests at Nashville UPDATE: #19-Jeremy Mayfield tested at Nashville Superspeedway on Tuesday and Wednesday and had this to say: “I think it’s a great track, it’s very quick, tons of grip and I plan to spread the word to other drivers. I think our Dodge team has learned a great deal testing here on this fantastic concrete track that we’ll use the rest of the season. I definitely plan to return here to test. The facility is tops, the staff are some of the friendliest and best around anywhere. I think Nashville could do super with some kind of Cup event for sure. When I tell all the other Cup drivers how incredibly smooth this track is, they’ll want to come and test here too I think. It’s one of the smoothest, not slick, that I’ve ever tested on, it’s truly a great place.”(6-6-2002)
    UPDATE: Former Fairgrounds Speedway driver Jer-emy Mayfield practiced a Dodge R&D (research and development) Winston Cup car yesterday at Nashville Superspeedway. ”This is my first look at the track and I’m really impressed,” Mayfield said. ”It’s a good smooth racing surface and the rest of the facility looks great.” Mayfield, a teammate of Nashville’s Casey Atwood and veteran Bill Elliott with Evernham Motorsports, said all three teams ”are making good progress and we all get along great. There’s no political stuff between any of the teams.”(Tennessean)(6-6-2002)
  • More testing at VIR: The challenging 3.27-mile natural-terrain road racing circuit at VIRginia International Raceway has been abuzz with activity this week as a number of NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams have been hard at work perfecting their set-ups for upcoming road races. Among those working at VIR over the past two days have been Joe Gibbs Racing, with the #20 Home Depot Pontiac of Tony Stewart; Petty Enterprises with the #45 Sprint Dodge of Kyle Petty; Andy Petree Racing with the #55 Square D Chevrolet of Bobby Hamilton; MB2 Motorsports with the #36 M&Ms Pontiac of Ken Schrader (so looks like those rumors of Schrader being out of the car are incorrect) and the #10 Valvoline Pontiac of Johnny Benson; Roush Racing with the #99 CITGO Ford of Jeff Burton; Target Chip Ganassi Racing with the #41 Target Dodge of Jimmy Spencer and the #40 Coors Dodge of championship points leader Sterling Marlin; Richard Childress Racing with the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet of Kevin Harvick; and Bill Davis Racing with the #22 Caterpillar Dodge of Ward Burton and the #23 Hills Bros. Coffee Dodge of Hut Stricklin. The Winston Cup teams, the vast majority of which are based in and around Charlotte, N.C., find it convenient to test at VIR, which is about a two-hour drive from the Charlotte area, and find the circuit suitable to prepare for both the June 23 Dodge/Save Mart 350 at California’s Sears Point Raceway and the Aug. 11 Sirius Satellite Radio at the Glen at New York’s Watkins Glen International. Some teams may even use the circuit’s high-speed straightaways and challenging corners to work on their braking system set-ups for short oval tracks like Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway, where braking performance is at a premium.(VIR PR)(6-6-2002)
  • Sad News: Stephen Cothran, a short track racer from Loganville, GA, died Wednesday at Grady Memorial Hospital from injuries suffered in a crash at Lanier National Speedway in Braselton last Saturday. Witnesses said Cothran’s Modified Ministock car collided with the car driven by Chris Huff, then struck the concrete retaining wall, driver’s side first. Cothran, 37, suffered several broken bones and a head injury. Cothran is thought to be the first driver to die from a crash at the three-eighths- mile oval. Lanier’s track manager Stan Narrison said Cothran, who owned his own business, leaves behind a wife and three children. “He was a hard-working guy with three young babies,” Narrison said. “We’ll have to be a family to his family.”(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(6-6-2002)
  • Newman tests at Hew Hampshire: Ryan Newman and #12 ALLTEL Team Penske wrap up two days of testing at New Hampshire International Speedway this week.(TRPR)(6-6-2002)
  • #22 tests at Thompson (Conn.) Speedway: Burton’s BDR Cup team recently tested for its short-track program at Thompson (Conn.) Speedway. “We took Mike (Stefanik) because he is the king at Thompson in the Modified series,” crew chief Tommy Baldwin said. “We worked on brakes and other things that can help improve our short track program without using a test session up with Ward.” (Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(6-6-2002)
  • Rusty and Phone: PTN Media a leading developer of branded handheld products announced that it has entered into an agreement with Rusty Wallace to develop branded mobile phones, face plates and mobile content including Wallace news and games. Wallace drives the #2 Miller Lite Ford owned by Penske Racing South. The agreement calls for the creation of Wallace branded mobile phone handsets, phone covers as well as a subscription service which may include premium content, games, and ring tones. Subscribers to premium services will be able to receive messages from on a variety of subjects such as qualifying, race results and fan club information. Additionally, subscribers will be able to use their phones to receive special communications prior to a race or personal appearance.(Business Wire)(6-6-2002)

    (6-5-2002)

  • Petty Changes: New crew chiefs were named for two Petty Enterprises NASCAR Winston Cup cars, CEO Kyle Petty announced today. Brandon Thomas has been named crew chief for the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge of driver John Andretti, while Greg Steadman moved from that team to become crew chief for the #44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge of driver Steve Grissom. Bryant Frazier will shift into the role of car chief for the #44. Thomas, a mechanical engineering graduate of Virginia Tech University, has been most recently with Joe Gibbs Racing. From 1999-2001, he was at Penske Racing South working on the #2 car. While at Penske, Thomas worked closely with Robin Pemberton, Petty Enterprises’ Vice President and General Manager. “Brandon and I worked well together at Penske” said Pemberton. “I’ve seen him with a lot of racers, and he will fit in great with our people. His race experience and background will be a big plus for Petty Enterprises.”
    “This is just another step in continuing our progress at Petty Enterprises,” said Petty. “If we take the good people that we have, like Greg Steadman and Bryant Frazier, and add more quality talents like Brandon Thomas, we keep improving all of our teams. We were fortunate that Joe Gibbs and Jimmy Makar were willing to work with us, as they had Brandon under contract. Coach Gibbs kept asking for a first-round draft choice in 2003 to get the deal done, though,” Petty quipped. The crew changes are effective for this weekend’s race in Pocono.(Williams Company PR)(6-5-2002)
  • Martin in the CTS in 2003…for a few races: Mark Martin will return to the CTS in 2003 and drive the #99 Roush Racing Ford until Las Vegas’ Kyle Busch turns 18 years old. Busch drove the #99 truck in six races last season until he was forced out of the series when NASCAR mandated that drivers in all of its touring series be at least 18. Busch, who turned 17 on May 2, has been driving in the ASA series this season. Martin agreed to drive the truck, which team owner Jack Roush has fielded in only one race this year, to help the team gain owners points until Busch becomes eligible to take over. Martin has not competed in the Truck Series since 1996, when he drove in two races. He posted a victory at North Wilkesboro Speedway and a third-place finish at Richmond International Raceway. If the 2003 NCTS schedule remains the same as this year, Busch would miss only three races before he is able to return to the truck and compete for Rookie of the Year honors.(Las Vegas Sun)(6-5-2002)
  • Petty hopes Andretti stays UPDATE: Kyle Petty said on Saturday that he hopes John Andretti returns for a sixth season in the #43 Cheerios Dodge, but also acknowledged that Andretti is exploring other options. “John’s been out talking, and that’s a fact of life in Winston Cup racing,” Petty said, ” We want him to stay. We would be remiss to change drivers.” Andretti’s contract with Petty Enterprises is up at the end of this year. It’s been a frustrating season for Andretti, 39, who has scored just three top-20 finishes in 12 races this season and is currently 32nd in points. He was 31st last year. Petty also said that the improvement of the #44 Dodge — Steve Grissom finished eighth at Richmond, that car’s best finish since 2000 — has sparked interest among other drivers. Petty is also busy solidifying the future of his own #45 Dodge, whose contract with Sprint runs out at the end of the year. Petty’s other two cars, the #43 and the #44, are fully sponsored for 2003.(NASCAR.com)(6-1-2002)
    UPDATE – Andretti says he’s not thinking about leaving Petty: Petty Enterprises, concerned driver John Andretti will leave the organization when his contract expires at the end of the year, might not have anything to worry about. Andretti admitted Tuesday he’s not happy with his performance this season, but still believes things can turn around with the Petty organization. “It’s too good of an organization to be where we’re at and it’s – I don’t want to use the word embarrassing – but it’s just not what we’re capable of doing,” he said. “I’ve been here for a lot rougher days and I know that everything is coming in the right direction. So I don’t know that I am ready to get off right now because I know things are coming.” Poor performances, coupled with the Indy issue, created speculation that Andretti would not be back with Petty at the end of the season. Petty has heard the rumors and said over the weekend he hoped Andretti would not leave the #43 Dodge. Andretti seemed surprised at all the free agency talk. “If I get to January and they stop paying me, I guess I’d get my contract out and read it,” he said. “In all honesty, I couldn’t tell you how long I’ve been here and how long the contract was for.” He also said while disappointed at not running Indy this year, it would not be a major sticking point to future negotiations with Petty or any other car owner. “I like people to agree to things and not be forced into them, and I’d hate to think I might have to force an issue to do something,” he said.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(6-5-2002)
  • Benson back at Pocono…to test at VIR UPDATE passes test: #10 Valvoline Pontiac driver Johnny Benson and his teammates will test both their road course car and Benson’s health on Tuesday at the Virginia International Raceway. After the road course test the team will go to Pocono International Raceway where Benson makes his return to the NASCAR Winston Cup Circuit. Benson has not raced since he sustained one broken and two cracked ribs in a May 3 Busch Series race at Richmond International Raceway. Benson said he feels better everyday and has no doubts he’ll be able to race the full 500 miles at Pocono. Jerry Nadeau substituted for Benson during his recovery posting a 28th place finish at Charlotte and a 27th-place finish at Dover.(MBV PR)(6-3-2002)
    UPDATE: Johnny Benson reported the only pain he felt during his daylong test at Virginia International Raceway Tuesday came when he climbed into and out of the car. Driving on the twisty course was not a problem and shouldn’t be for Pocono this weekend when Benson makes his first appearance in a race car since he broke a rib and cracked two others in a May 3 Busch Series race in Richmond, Va. Joe Nemechek substituted for Benson at Richmond finishing 12th while Jerry Nadeau posted 28th and 27th place finishes at Charlotte and Dover. Benson spent all three races he sat out watching from the team’s pit box with Crew Chief James Ince.(MBV PR)(6-5-2002)
  • Three to Double at Sears Point: Sears Point Raceway says NASCAR Winston Cup drivers #31-Robby Gordon, #30-Jeff Green and #29-Kevin Harvick will pull double-duty as they compete in both the Dodge/Save Mart 350 Winston Cup race and the Snap-on Tools/Jelly Belly 200 NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series events on the weekend of June 20-23.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-5-2002)
  • Michigan Testing Postponed UPDATE: Testing at Michigan International Speedway got postponed on Monday and they will try again on Tuesday, five drivers are slated to test including #18-Bobby Labonte and #37-Derrike Cope.(FSN’s Totally NASCAR)(6-4-2002)
    UPDATE: #7-Casey Atwood and #37-Derrike Cope gambled on the weather and won, getting a full day of testing in at Michigan International Speedway on Tuesday after rain wiped out Monday’s session. Five teams were on hand Monday “ including 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion #18-Bobby Labonte, #14-Stacy Compton, #14-Larry Foyt(BGN), #7-Atwood and #37-Cope “ but only the latter two decided to stay after the storm washed out the whole day. Tuesday, the drivers were greeted with relatively calm, warm conditions in which to test. Atwood was particularly pleased to get some time on the track in the hopes of doing well in the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 16, at MIS. Atwood made some runs in the 184.620mph range. Cope, operating the #37 Sound Moves Ford, is looking to qualify for a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at MIS for the first time since June 1999. He was similarly pleased with the session, during which he ran laps in the 185.570mph range. Cope, the 1990 Daytona 500 winner, has a five-race package with Sound Moves and is looking to expand that to 14. The second race of the deal is the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 at MIS. His best year at MIS was 1989 when he finished ninth and sixth in the two NASCAR Winston Cup Series races, although he added an eighth-place finish in 1997.(MIS PR)(6-5-2002)
  • Testing at Kentucky UPDATE: Today’s NASCAR Winston Cup Series test line up at Kentucky Speedway includes #88-Dale Jarrett, #18-Bobby Labonte (in Michigan? see below) and #15-Michael Waltrip (Waltrip also said during Speed Channels Inside Winston Cup that he was testing his #99 BGN car today at Kentucky). NASCAR Winston Cup Driver and defending Kentucky and series champion, Kevin Harvick, will serve as the event grand marshal for this years BGN race, the Kroger 300 Presented by Oreo.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(6-4-2002)
    UPDATE: Six drivers representing the NASCAR Cup and BGN were at Kentucky Speedway to preview “The Kroger 300 Presented by Oreo” Busch Series event to be held at Kentucky on June 15. #10-Scott Riggs and #14-Larry Foyt represented the BGN and Cup drivers #88-Dale Jarrett, #15-Michael Waltrip, #18-Bobby Labonte and #14-Stacy Compton, all at Kentucky to test their Cup cars, joined the driver panel that addressed media from Greater Cincinnati and Louisville and Lexington, KY. While Riggs made more notes for his return next Saturday, the quartet of Winston Cup regulars were in the garages working on aerodynamic packages for future series dates at facilities such as Las Vegas.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(6-5-2002)
  • TRAC at Nashville? Nashville yesterday took a step closer to hosting a race in next year’s new Team Racing Auto Circuit (TRAC) when Fairgrounds Speedway President Dennis Grau was given a guarantee that the track will be available. TRAC tentatively had assigned Grau the date of June 28, 2003. And in a meeting yesterday, the Fair Board voted to reserve that week next season for Grau’s use, whether he continues to operate the track’s weekly racing program.(Tennessean)(6-5-2002)
  • Blaney wins for a fan: Dave Blaney, driver of the #77 Jasper Engines Ford, took a couple of minutes to call Jimmy Hoppa and Polly Wogg on the FROGGY 103 Morning Show, to win a Froggy fan a pair of Terrace Club Seats to this Sunday’s Pocono 500. Greg Byers of Wintersville, OH, made a lot of phone calls to win the challenge: be the first listener to get a NASCAR Winston Cup Driver to call Jimmy and Polly, and win these tickets worth $400. Blaney was a great sport – he doesn’t even know Greg – but thought it was a great prize for a NASCAR fan, and says Greg “owes me a beer”. Find out how he finally got Dave Blaney to call when Greg talks to Jimmy and Polly tomorrow (Wednesday) morning on Froggy 103.(Froggy 103)(6-5-2002)
  • Rusty to the Dogs: Rusty Wallace will be in New York on Wednesday “going to the dogs” serving as Grand Marshal for the Beggin’ Strips® A-Mazin’ Bacon Race,which will offer select national dog charities a chance at $1 Million. The event will take place on Wednesday, June 5th at 11:30 am, at the South Street Seaport-Pier 17 (89 South St.) in New York City. The Beggin’ Strips A-Mazin’ Bacon Race will showcase three professionally trained dogs that will compete against each other and the clock, on the racecourse, an interactive agility course. Each dog will race on behalf of pre-selected national dog charity. The dog that wins the race will earn his assigned charity representative the chance to choose from 100 bags of Beggin’ Strips. If the charity representative chooses the correct bag, his or her charity will receive a $1 million donation. If the charity representative does not pick the ‘million dollar bag’, Beggin’ Strips® brand dog snacks will make a $5,000 cash donation to the charity in the winning dog’s name. The A-mazin’ Bacon Race is touring the country this summer visiting twenty cities, and the $1 million donation race honors the fact that most of the dogs racing were adopted from humane societies. `For more information on the Beggin’ Strips A-Mazin’ Bacon Race, log-on to www.begginstrips.com.(TRPR)(6-5-2002)

    (6-4-2002)

  • Didn’t Last Long: Effectively immediately, Scott Eggleston, who was named team manager last week for the #4 Kodak MAX Film Monte Carlo, is no longer with Morgan-McClure Motorsports. Eggleston, who joined the Abingdon, Va.-based team in June 2001, prior to Pocono, resigned from his duties on Tuesday.(Morgan-McClure Motorsports PR)(6-4-2002)
  • Some Trickle News: who was the sponsor on the #71 Marcis Racing Chevy Dick Trickle drove at Dover? Continental Fire & Safety was on the rear quarter panels. Continental Fire & Safety is based out of Trenton, NJ and has been an associate sponsor on several cars that Trickle has competed with since 1994. Greg Gore is the president of Continental Fire & Safety and has been a great supporter of Trickle, his fan club, and the entire Trickle/Bowman family. AND Trickle will be testing for the Evernham Motorsports team again this month with owner Ray Evernham hoping to have a test June 25 & 26th either at Daytona or Talladega preceding the upcoming July Daytona race. Trickle tested for the team earlier this year before the Talladega race 9and attempted to make the race but missed) This is only a test, the team will not be entering their test car into the Daytona race.(Dick Trickle Fan Club Newsletter)(6-4-2002)
  • Two more NASCAR movies in the works: Britney Spears is to appear in the lead role as a racing car driver in her next film. She is all set to strap on her helmet and put the pedal to the metal in a movie about Nascar racing, the US motorsport where saloon cars race round an oval track. The pop star chose the film, her second, from a pile of offers and will start filming in October. An insider told the Sun: “There is no title yet but the film is inspired by one of Britney’s favourite movies, Days Of Thunder, which starred Tom Cruise. “Tom played a hot-tempered Nascar racer – Britney wants to race too.”(Sky News)
    AND Ice Cube is in negotiations to come aboard to rewrite and executive produce with Matt Alvarez through their company CubeVision the MGM comedy feature “Race” for Hyde Park Entertainment. The project, aiming for a fall start, is set to go out to actors and directors. “Race” reteams Cube with MGM, the studio for which he recently wrapped shooting the lead role in the comedy “Barbershop.” Cube will not take on acting duties in “Race.” Set on the NASCAR circuit, “Race” is a fish-out-of-water story about a cab driver who finds himself the only black participating in a stock-car race.(Sympatico-Lycos)(6-4-2002)
  • Tune-Up for Life: More than 50 percent of men and women who participated in Pfizer’s “Tune-Up for Life” free health screening program at Winston Cup stock car races had not seen their doctor in a year or more. Moreover, men–nearly 75 percent of those who were screened–were less likely to visit their doctor for regular check-ups than were women, according to a presentation at the Seventeenth Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension. Conducted at 39 Winston Cup race weekends in 19 states in 2001, Tune-Up-for-Life is an ongoing mobile screening program offering free information and health screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and erectile dysfunction (ED). Screenings of 24,000 people revealed that 56 percent of men and 40 percent of women had not seen their doctor in at least a year. The screenings also found that 43 percent of men and 26 percent of women screened had high blood pressure and 60 percent of men and 22 percent of women had high cholesterol. Both are risk factors for heart disease. In an analysis of those participants who said they did not have hypertension, investigators found that 40 percent of men and 23 percent of women, in fact, had high blood pressure. Of great concern, even among men and women who said they had hypertension, more than half of them had abnormally high blood pressure readings at screening, indicating poor control of blood pressure even among those with known hypertension. In addition to measuring blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, men participating in “Tune-Up for Life” completed the Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM), a standard screening tool to assess the presence of ED. The results revealed that 50 percent of men who reported having high blood pressure also had SHIM scores consistent with possible ED, while only 31 percent of those not reporting high blood pressure had SHIM scores consistent with possible ED. At the screenings, participants received health information, advice on reducing their risk factors and recommendations to see their own physician with the results of the screening as necessary. All were encouraged to see their physician on a regular basis.(Pfizer PR)(6-4-2002)
  • Yates and Action: Action Performance Companies announced an agreement has been reached with Robert Yates Racing to extend their ongoing exclusive licensing and marketing contract until 2017. The new agreement seeks to maintain the diversity and influence of Action’s licensing portfolio while capitalizing on the Robert Yates Racing brand and NASCAR’s enduring market potential. Under the extended agreement, Action Performance has the exclusive rights to produce die-cast race car replicas, apparel and other merchandise for Robert Yates Racing teams, including the #88 UPS Ford, the #28 Havoline Ford and the #98 Channellock BGN Ford. In addition to production exclusives, the agreement also allows Action Performance to continue developing and producing Historical Series vehicles from the storied Robert Yates Racing collection, including cars for celebrated driver Davey Allison.(Business Wire)(6-4-2002)
  • Harvick makes good: Something good has definitely come from Kevin Harvick’s “parking” incident at Martinsville Speedway. Holding an on-line auction from his Web site (kevinharvick.com), Harvick put the hood from the truck he raced in Martinsville April 13 up for bid in order to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In was in the NASCAR Truck series race at Martinsville when Harvick spun driver Coy Gibbs on the track and later was “parked” — sat out — the next day’s Winston Cup race. The auction was open to members of The Kevin Harvick Fan Club and lasted 29 hours. The hood featured the fan club’s logo. Susan Bunce of New York won the hood for a sum of $4,500. “I didn’t want to see the hood of my truck from Martinsville thrown to the side or just reused when I knew I could do something good with it. I figured people collect so many things and this would be something someone would want,” Harvick said. “I figured it’d be a good deal, just to auction it off on the Web site and give the money to St. Jude’s.” St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is world renowned center for the treatment of children’s catastrophic diseases, focusing mainly on pediatric cancer, immunodeficiencies, and genetic disorders. “One of the things that shows St. Jude’s dedication is they treat people with no thought as to whether they can afford the treatment,” Harvick said. “St. Jude’s operates mostly on donations. Anything I can do to drum up support for them is worth it.”(ThatsRacin.com)(6-4-2002)
  • Cup drivers in the Baja 1000: Long-time off-road racer Robbie Gordon will compete in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 this fall. Gordon, who is competing in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series this year, will have another Cup star, Kevin Harvick, as his co-driver in a Trophy Truck for the off-road marathon. Sal Fish, SCORE International chief executive, announced earlier this week that the dates for this year’s Baja 1000 were being moved back by two weeks to Nov. 20-23. The original schedule would have had the Baja 1000 on the same weekend as season finales for the Cup series and the National Hot Rod Association.(Las Vegas Review-Journal)
    AND Kevin Harvick and Robby Gordon, who would make an ornery tag-team pair in world wrestling circles, may have NASCAR company when they team up at November’s Baja 1000. There is some speculation Dale Earnhardt Jr. also may drive a rival Trophy Truck during a portion of the race.(Arizona Republic)(6-4-2002)


    (6-3-2002)

  • Phillips 66 out? Welliver-Jesel Motorsports to Cup? heard this was announced internally at Phillips 66 today: Phillips has agreed to release Welliver-Jesel Motorsports from its obligation for the 2003 racing season. Welliver-Jesel Motorsports is the company that manages the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series racing team sponsored by Phillips. Phillips will continue its sponsorship of the “66” car and driver Casey Mears for the remainder of the current season. In addition, operation of the Phillips hospitality tents at NASCAR Busch Grand National events is not impacted by this decision and will continue as planned for the 2002 season. While Phillips has no further plans for car sponsorships of any kind at this time, the company will continue its tradition of sponsoring and promoting other NASCAR events. Welliver-Jesel Motorsports is considering competition in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.(6-3-2002)
  • #90 to lose sponsor? UPDATE: hearing Sauer/Duke’s Mayo will not sponsor the #90 Donlavey Ford after the June Pocono race. Actually the sponsorship was for part of the season and supposed to end soon with the option of extending, supposedly that will not happen.(6-2-2002)
    UPDATE: being told that the C.F. Sauer company will pull their sponsorship after the Pocono race but no official word has been given.(6-3-2002)
  • Volkswagen in NASCAR? German automaker Volkswagen is considering following Toyota’s lead in joining the NASCAR marketing world, eventually with a Winston Cup effort, according to NASCAR sources. One question now is what model might Volkswagen want to brand and market under the NASCAR logo. NASCAR’s common-template car project makes both a Toyota and VW Winston Cup effort easier. But Honda is not expected to show any interest in NASCAR’s stock-car series, according to industry sources, because that company is not interested in playing the political games that must be played to placate the sport’s rulers. Toyota wants to field a Tundra truck in NASCAR’s Truck series next season, and company engineers are discussing various technical options with NASCAR officials.(Winston Salem Journal). A NASCAR Beetle?(a joke of course)(6-3-2002)
  • M&M’s gone? Schrader out of the #36? Nadeau in? the LTN Radio show reports that M&M’s is rumored to be leaving the #36 MB2 team and that Ken Schrader may be heading to the #43 Petty Racing team AND that M&M’s is rethinking their position with NASCAR and may not sponsor a car/team in 2003 but could be involved in NASCAR in a similar way as Coca Cola is. AND another rumor has Jerry Nadeau in the #36 as soon as Johnny Benson returns to the #10 Valvoline Pontiac.(6-3-2002)
  • Action and Childress extend: Action Performance Companies announced an extension to their ongoing exclusive licensing and marketing contract with Richard Childress Racing. The new agreement, which extends the exclusive license relationship until May 2012, seeks to capitalize on the long-term merchandising value of Richard Childress Racing. Under the revised agreement, Action will have the exclusive right to produce die-cast race car replicas, apparel and other merchandise for Richard Childress Racing team drivers, which currently includes Winston Cup drivers Kevin Harvick (#29), Jeff Green (#30) and Robby Gordon (#31), and Busch Series drivers Johnny Sauter (#2) and Jay Sauter (#21). In addition to the standard personal services clauses and production exclusives, the agreement also allows Action Performance to continue developing and producing Historical Series vehicles from the Richard Childress Racing stable.(Business Wire)(6-3-2002)
  • NMPA Hall of Fame finalists named: Dale Inman, Bud Moore, Glen Wood, Butch Lindley and Ed Otto are finalists in the 2002 voting for the National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame.
    Inman, 65, is from Level Cross, N.C., spent more than 40 years as a crew chief for Petty Enterprises, Osterlund Racing, J.D. Stacy and Billy Hagan. He is the only crew chief to win eight NASCAR Winston Cup championships – seven with Richard Petty and one with Terry Labonte – and his cars went to victory lane a record 193 times. No other crew chief has been to victory lane more than 100 times.
    Moore, 77, is from Spartanburg, S.C., and cars he built, owned and maintained by Bud Moore Engineering won 63 races, seventh all-time, and 43 poles, ninth all-time.
    Wood, 67, and his brother, Glen, formed Wood Brothers Racing in 1949 in Stuart, Va. The team now stands fourth on the all-time win list with 97 victories and has won races in six consecutive decades. Glen Wood was inducted into the NMPA Hall of Fame last year.
    Lindley, from Greenville, S.C., and is widely regarded as one of the top short-track drivers of all time.
    Otto, a nominee in the NMPA Hall of Fame balloting last year, was NASCAR’s first vice president and helped the fledgling Strictly Stock series extend its reach beyond the South. Lindley and Otto are deceased.
    Candidates receiving votes on at least 65 percent of the ballots cast by NMPA members will be elected to the hall. Results will be announced next month and those elected will be inducted on Aug. 30 in conjunction with the Southern 500 weekend at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C. The NMPA Hall of Fame display is located in the stock car racing museum on the grounds of the Darlington track.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-3-2002)
  • DEI and DeWalt? the LTN Radio show reports that Dale Earnhardt Inc is talking to DeWalt Tools to sponsor a team, DeWalt’s contract with Roush Racing and the #17 Matt Kenseth team is over at the end of 2002. Roush is in negotations with DeWalt also.(6-3-2002)
  • Sadler Granted release after 2002 UPDATE 2 to Yates? Rudd Thinks so: [#21 Ford ]Wood Brothers co-owner Eddie Wood confirmed Friday the Wood Brothers have granted an early release to driver Elliott Sadler so he can leave the team at the end of this season. Sadler had a contract to drive for the team through the 2005 season but earlier this month asked the team for an early release. Sadler, 27, has been with the Wood Brothers since joining the Winston Cup series in 1999. He earned his first career victory last March at Bristol, Tenn. “Elliott will be here until the end of the season like we said to start with,” Wood said. “It’s all fixed and bandaged up.” Wood said his team has started the process of searching for a new driver, but hasn’t done too much since the team didn’t originally think it would be in this spot so soon. “It’s hard to do all that and race, too. We’re looking,” Wood said. “We got all the mess done and we’re trying to go on with business. The car has been running great. As far as I’m concerned, it’s business as usual.” When Sadler’s request for a release first became public during the race weekend at Richmond, Va., Ty Norris, executive vice president for motorsports for Dale Earnhardt Inc., indicated Sadler was one of several drivers he had spoken to regarding driving opportunities beginning next season.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-31-2002)
    UPDATE to Yates? The Wood brothers have given driver Elliott Sadler his release from the last year of his contract, leaving him free to sign with another team for 2003. And, according to sources close to Sadler, he has already signed a new contract with Robert Yates to replace Ricky Rudd in the #28 Ford. Sadler, Yates and Rudd all had no official comment.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-1-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Elliott Sadler says he doesn’t know where he’ll race next season, but Ricky Rudd believes he does – the #28 Robert Yates Racing Fords Rudd now drives. “I understand they have signed Elliott,” Rudd said Saturday at Dover International Speedway. “I don’t really know. That’s just kind of the rumor mill but you’re hearing too much of it to disregard it. …I’ve got a good feeling that it’s true.” Sadler, who this week was granted a release effective at season’s end from his contract with the Wood Brothers, denied he has signed with a team for 2003. “I have not signed any contract with any race team,” Sadler said. “I am talking to actually three different teams right now. …I’m more close with one than I am the other ones but have not signed with any of them.” Sadler said he’d like to have a deal for 2003 signed as soon as possible, perhaps as early as next week. But Rudd seems convinced Yates and Sadler already have a deal. Efforts to reach Yates for comment Saturday afternoon were unsuccessful. Rudd, 45, is in the final year of a three-year contract to drive for Yates. He said last month that he would sign only one-year contracts until he decides to retire. “I told Robert I’d let him know in July, which is usually pretty early, about what I was going to do for next year,” Rudd said. “We talked about it. I let him know my timeline and they never really let me know theirs. Evidently, theirs was a little more pushed than mine was. …I guess for Robert some sense of urgency or panic set in there, not knowing what I was going to do.”(ThatsRacin.com)(6-2-2002)
    MORE on this at NASCAR.com: Yates miffed by driver rumors, pit miscue.
    AND – maybe a third team? And the Ricky Rudd story took an unexpected turn yesterday, the day after it was reported that car owner Robert Yates planned to put Elliott Sadler in his legendary #28. Texaco officials have stepped into the picture to say that Rudd could continue as driver of that Havoline-sponsored car as long as he wanted it, according to team sources. Now, according to Ford sources, Matt Kenseth is on Yates’ list of potential new drivers for the 2004 season. Kenseth’s contract with Jack Roush runs through next season. Kenseth is also reported to be under consideration for rides with Dale Earnhardt Inc. In addition, Richard Childress reportedly has shown an interest in signing Kenseth. While Rudd says he understands that Elliott Sadler has indeed signed with Yates to drive one of his cars next season, the Texaco report would seem to leave that issue in some doubt. However, Yates has been working the garage this weekend, lining up some new crewmen, apparently for that possible third team that he reportedly has under consideration for next season.(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND II: Yates said speculation that he is considering a third team is inaccurate.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(6-3-2002)
  • Sad News – three drivers die over weekend: Drag racer Jerry Gannon died Sunday, a day after crashing at Atlanta Dragway. He was 50. Gannon, of Franklin Furnace, Ohio, was driving a jet-powered Funny Car on Saturday when his car hit a wall, then spun around and hit another wall before flipping and bursting into flames. Track officials told Atlanta TV station WAGA that their fire truck hose snapped off and got caught on an ambulance tire as they responded. But they also said the flames were so intense, little could be done to put them out.(ESPN)
    AND Dave Robertson, Super Dirt Stock driver from Florence Speedway (Union,Ky), died last Saturday night of a heart attack while driving.
    AND Charles “Bubba” Beck, who had been racing stock cars since 1956, died Saturday night in a Modified race at Bowman Gray Stadium. The car driven by Beck, 66, of Lexington, veered off the track coming down the backstretch during the final lap of a 25-lap race, sped through the infield grass and crashed into the north turn guardrail. An emergency worker said that Beck showed no signs of life upon being reached. He was taken to Baptist Hospital and pronounced dead at 10:39 p.m. According to a hospital official, a pathologist will do an examination today and make a determination on whether to perform an autopsy. It is uncertain whether Beck died as result of a heart attack or other condition, or if the impact of the crash was a factor.(Winston Salem Journal), thoughts and condolences go out to all family and friends of the drivers.(6-3-2002)

 


(6-2-2002)

 

  • Johnson wins at Dover: #48-Jimmie Johnson wins his 2nd career Cup race (in 16 starts). #9-Bill Elliott was 2nd followed by #99-Jeff Burton. See ThatsRacin.com for Unofficial MBNA America 400 results and Unofficial standings after the MBNA America 400 and a story: Johnson strongest again, picks up win. And for race commentary and casution rundown and some notes along with re-air times for the race, see my MBNA Platinum 400 Race Info page.(6-2-2002)
  • Johnson ties rookie record: #48-Jimmie Johnson has tied the record for the fastest two wins in the Winston Cup modern era (1972 to present), winning two races by his 16th start. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr and Davey Allison also won in their 16th start, Kevin Harvick won his 2nd race in his 17th start. Johnson(2 wins so far), Allison(2), Earnhardt Jr.(2), Stewart(3 the record) and Harvick(2) are the only drivers (modern era) to win two or more races in their rookie year. Some comparisons – Tony Stewart did it in his 32nd race, Dale Earnhardt in his 41st, Jeff Gordon 50th, Darrell Waltrip 65th and Bobby Labonte 77th. Not sure what the all time record is but Red Byron won his 2nd race in his 5th start during the first NASCAR Grand National(Before Winston Cup) season in 1949.(6-2-2002)
  • Points and maybe wins taken away? UPDATE: during FX’s Stacker2 pre-race show and FSN’s NASCAR This Morning, it was mentioned that NASCAR may take championship points and maybe even a win if rules infractions like a car being too low is found during post race inspection as it is happening too often.
    UPDATE: NASCAR President Mike Helton offered a stern warning to Winston Cup owners and crew chiefs during Sunday’s pre-race driver meeting regarding the number of recent violators of NASCAR’s minimum height requirement. Last week, NASCAR fined driver Mark Martin’s crew chief $50,000 after his #6 Ford failed to meet the minimum 51-inch height requirement following Martin’s win in the Coca-Cola 600. In the past year, drivers the cars of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth have failed to meet the minimum height following race victories, as well. Up to now, NASCAR has typically fined the crew chief for the violation. Helton said Sunday that may change. “We seem to have a rash of cars after the race is over with that cannot meet the minimum height,” Helton said. “So far, we have chosen only to use a fine as a reaction. I just want to make sure that everybody understood there are other options NASCAR can use if it keeps going this way.”(ThatsRacin.com)(6-2-2002)
  • Bodine to meet with Hooters: during MRN radio coverage of the MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover, it was mentioned that #11-Brett Bodine will meet with his sponsor hooters this week to discuss the 2003 season and that Hooters seems happy with the team and results so far.(6-2-2002)
  • #30 – No Changes: Jeff Green said he and team owner Richard Childress talked about making changes to Green’s #30 AOL team but elected to keep the team intact. Childress last week announced the crew chiefs and teams of his #29 [Kevin Harvick] and #31 [Robby Gordon] teams – driven by Kevin Harvick and Robby Gordon respectively – will swap next weekend at Pocono.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-2-2002)
  • Some TV stuff: Hank Parker Jr., Kenny Wallace and Elliott Sadler, along with Fox Sports announcer Jeff Hammond, were at World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE, formerly known as the World Wrestling Federation, or WWF) headquarters in Connecticut this week filming two commercials for Stacker 2, the primary sponsor of Wallace’s #48 Busch Series entry and associate sponsor on Parker’s #36 Dodge. ANDParker Jr. and his wife, Wendy Parker, will join several other NASCAR drivers at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando this week for a special fishing show that will be filmed for broadcast on ESPN in late July. The drivers and their significant others will also get to spend a day exploring the Disney World theme parks.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-2-2002)
  • Chocolate Myers Injured Will Sit Out Of Cup Race: Chocolate Myers, longtime spokesperson and safety director for RCR who doubles as the gasman on the #29 GM Goodwrench team, has injured his left arm and will not participate in Sunday’s MBNA Platinum 400 Winston Cup race at Dover. Larry Hartle, who is the gasman for RCR’s #2 ACDelco Chevy on the Busch circuit, has been named as Chocolate’s replacement for Sunday’s race.(Catchfence)(6-2-2002)
  • New Policy at MIS: Due to a recent decision by the State of Michigan Liquor Control Commission, Michigan International Speedway’s alcohol concession policy has changed for this summer’s three weekends of racing, June 14-16, July 26-28, August 16-18. Michigan Liquor Law R 436.1033 prohibits the Speedway from allowing guests to pass through its grandstand ticket gates with their own alcohol, while at the same time, selling alcohol at concessions stands. Simply put, fans can bring in alcoholic beverages, or the facility can sell them, but not both. To comply with the Liquor Commission’s recent interpretation of this law and considering what is in the best interest of its guests, MIS has made the decision to allow its guests to continue to bring their own alcoholic beverages through its grandstand ticket gates. Consequently, for 2002, MIS vendors will no longer be able to sell alcoholic beverages at any of the facility’s concession stands. “MIS has always tried to attain the highest levels of customer satisfaction.. Given the Commission’s recent decision, we felt it was important that MIS continue to be the leader among major sports arenas in Michigan by allowing fans to bring in their own beverages,” said Brett Shelton, MIS president. ‘It is a tradition that we did not want to see interrupted.”(MIS PR)(6-2-2002)

    (6-1-2002)

  • Petty hopes Andretti stays: Kyle Petty said on Saturday that he hopes John Andretti returns for a sixth season in the #43 Cheerios Dodge, but also acknowledged that Andretti is exploring other options. “John’s been out talking, and that’s a fact of life in Winston Cup racing,” Petty said, ” We want him to stay. We would be remiss to change drivers.” Andretti’s contract with Petty Enterprises is up at the end of this year. It’s been a frustrating season for Andretti, 39, who has scored just three top-20 finishes in 12 races this season and is currently 32nd in points. He was 31st last year. Petty also said that the improvement of the #44 Dodge — Steve Grissom finished eighth at Richmond, that car’s best finish since 2000 — has sparked interest among other drivers. Petty is also busy solidifying the future of his own #45 Dodge, whose contract with Sprint runs out at the end of the year. Petty’s other two cars, the #43 and the #44, are fully sponsored for 2003.(NASCAR.com)(6-1-2002)
  • PPI 2nd Team? #32 Tide car owner Cal Wells confirmed he’s working on adding a second team to his operation, and he said it depends on how well Ricky Craven performs.(Winston Salem Journal), also past reports have PPI looking to switch to Pontiac in 2003.(6-1-2002)
  • Well Wishes: Well wishes to 11-year old Derek Kelbalka of Vermont who is currently on life support at Boston Children’s Hospital. Derek, who suffers from a heart condition and has undergone several open-heart surgeries during his young life, has been placed on a national organ transplant list. Derrick is the nephew of Performance Racing Network anchor and FOX Network pitreporter Mark Garrow.(PRN’s Garage pass)(5-31-2002)
    AND A heart was found this morning for Derek and he is currently in surgery. Please keep Derek in your thoughts and prayers as well as the family who lost their son or daughter so Derek may have a second chance at life. Also, BGN driver, #57-Jason Keller has a sign on his dashboard for Derek for the in-car camera for today’s BGN race at Dover.(6-1-2002)
  • New #11 Crew Chief: Brett Bodine has a new crew chief this weekend, with Buddy Cisco taking over in that position in place of Doug Richert.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-1-2002)
  • BAM Racing and Robinson to skip Michigan: BAM Racing [#49 Dodge] announced that the team would not compete at the Michigan 400 in order to launch an intense wind tunnel program to gather aerodynamic information on their fleet of new Dodge Intrepids. Team Manager, Eddie Jones said, “We need to take the time to gather and analyze some valuable wind tunnel information so we can fine tune our aero package and make the team more competitive.” Michigan International Speedway was where Shawna Robinson made her debut in NASCAR Winston Cup racing. “I was looking forward to going back to Michigan, a track where I have a lot of experience, but my focus is now on Daytona. I¹m excited about going back to Daytona where I started 36th and finished 24th in the season opening Daytona 500. I support the team’s decision to by-pass Michigan and prepare the racecars for the Daytona and Chicago events,” stated Robinson. In addition to utilizing the Wind Tunnel the team will test at Chicagoland Speedway in June before competing in the Pepsi 400 in Daytona on July 6th.(BAM Racing PR)(6-1-2002)
  • More Toyota to NASCAR rumors: NASCAR officials have confirmed talks with Toyota about what Toyota would have to do in order to compete on the truck tour in 2003. That effort is seen as a preliminary move toward an eventual move to the Winston Cup tour in 2005. The V-8 Toyota that would have to build to race in NASCAR would, like the current Dodge Cup engine, be a purpose-built racing engine designed to meet NASCAR specifications.(Winston Salem Journal), see past news about Toyota on my NASCAR past news page, also Toyota runs in the NASCAR Goody’s Dash Series.(6-1-2002)
  • Roush at the track Friday UPDATE: Roush Racing will hold a press conference on Friday, May 31 at 12:30pm/et in the infield media center of Dover Downs International Speedway for Jack Roush and Larry Hicks. Dover will mark Roush’s return to the racetrack after being injured in a plane crash in Troy, Ala. on April 19. Larry Hicks, who rescued Roush after the accident, will also be on hand to field questions from the media.(Roush Racing PR), for past news, see my Roush Aircraft Accident page.(5-30-2002)
    UPDATE: Jack Roush came back to a Winston Cup track for the first time since his plane crash in Alabama on April 19 on Friday and was already giving NASCAR some suggestions about ways to change its rules. Roush, of course, is the car owner for Mark Martin’s #6 Ford that won the Coca-Cola 600 last week at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Ben Leslie, the team’s crew chief, was fined $50,000 on Tuesday because Martin’s car was one-eighth of an inch below the 51-inch minimum height requirement in postrace inspection. Roush said he thinks NASCAR should take into consideration what would be a normal amount of changes in cars as they compete in a 500-mile or 600-mile race. To get that information, Roush said NASCAR should check the postrace height of all 43 cars in one or more races to see how much, on average, cars settle from their prerace heights due to the normal course of competition. Then, Roush said, NASCAR could build tolerances into its regulations. Currently, NASCAR inspects only the winner’s car and a sampling of the other cars in the field after a race.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-1-2002)
  • Barrett wins stunt award: Stanton Barrett, driver of the Bojangles/OdoBan Ford in NASCAR’s Cup and BGN, added another trophy to his case. Televised worldwide by ABC Friday night, May 31, Barrett won a World Stunt Award for his work in the hit movie Jurassic Park III. The award was for Best Water Work, and involved being pulled in a cage through the water while “running” from dinosaurs. “It was a pretty neat deal. They taped the (ABC television) show but it was so cool going up on stage,” said Barrett, who is one of the top stunt men and stunt coordinators in Hollywood. He has worked in such recent hit movies as Spider Man and The Patriot with Mel Gibson. “It was neat being there with top actors like Billy Bob Thornton and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and so many others, and picking up an award like that,” he said. “It’s nice recognition. “Plus,” he added, “I’m a pretty competitive person. I want to win anything I’m in. You don’t go into stunt work looking to win awards but, once you are up for it, you want to win it. Barrett owns Red Racing, which fields the Bojangles/OdoBan Tauruses, along with businessman Jody Looney. The team is planning up to 12 NASCAR Busch Grand National and up to four NASCAR Winston Cup starts this season.(Williams Company)(6-1-2002)
  • Martin’s Crew: NAPCM Pit Crew of the Week – #6 – Mark Martin’s Viagra Crew – very good day on pit road (15.3) helped put Mark Martin in Victory Lane. Martin promised his crew before the Coca Cola 600 that if they won the race he would split the Winston No Bull Million Dollar prize with them. Way to go Viagra Crew and kudos to Mark Martin for realizing how important his crew is to victory.(NAPCM PR)(6-1-2002)