June 2003 Busch Series Archive


  • Keller wins at Milwaukee: #57-Jason Keller won the GNC 250 at the Milwaukee Mile. #5-Brian Vickers finished 2nd , followed by #1-David Stremme, #2-Ron Hornaday and #87-David Reutimann. #37-David Green re-takes the points lead over #10-Scott Riggs by 45 points, the top five are now separated by 100 points.
    For race results, see BGNRacing.com or NASCAR.com.(6-29-2003)
  • Qualifying Rained out at Milwaukee: #21-Johnny Sauter will start from the pole for Sunday’s GNC Live Well 250 at the Milwaukee Mile, awarded by owners points since qualifying was rained out. Starting on the outside pole is #37-David Green, followed by #10-Scott Riggs, #1-David Stremme and #92-Todd Bodine. Missing the were were #52-Brad Teague, #70-Morgan Shepherd, #97-Kenny Hendrick, #67-Brad Mueller. The race is scheduled to start at 2:00pm/et on Sunday, June 29th and will be televised live on FX.
    Starting lineup at ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.com, or NASCAR.com (6-28-2003)
  • Wallace to miss Milwaukee? UPDATE No: #4-Mike Wallace, is currently 13th in the Busch Series Standings, may not compete in the June 29th running of the GNC 250 from The Milwaukee Mile. Biagi Bros. Racing’s #4 Chevy will be at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, KY, for Saturday’s Meijer 300 with support from GEICO. The #4 Chevy, owned by Napa, CA-based businessman, Fred Biagi, ran without funding at Nazareth Speedway in May, but has since added 14 events to their schedule, courtesy of GEICO. “We really appreciate their continued support,” said Wallace. “We’re only six races shy of running the full season. Hopefully we’ll be able to gain additional sponsorship that will enable us to run the full schedule.” As sponsorship negotiations continue, Wallace is left to ponder what might happen to his Championship title hopes if forced to miss event in Milwaukee. “We would love to run Milwaukee,” said Wallace by phone last Wednesday. “Back in 1994, I won at Milwaukee in the Busch Series. From a winning perspective we’d like to go there, but the race track has also been remodeled and has a lot of new updates. It’s a really nice track for us. Due to financial constraints, we have to be smart. Milwaukee isn’t one of the highest paying events on the circuit, so we have to take that into consideration. We would love to participate in the event, but we’ll have to see if sponsorship transpires. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.” Those interested in sponsorship opportunities with the Biagi Bros. race team should contact Doug Barnette at (217) 442-8894.(Biagi Bros. Racing PR)(6-10-2003)
    UPDATE: Car owner, Fred Biagi, who owns a large Napa, CA based trucking and warehouse operation, took the initiative to field the #4 car at Milwaukee despite having no sponsorship for the event. For the second time this season, Biagi has picked up the tab. GEICO will return as their primary sponsor for the July 4th event at Daytona International Speedway.(Biagi Bros. Racing PR)(6-27-2003)
  • #300 for McLaughlin: From 1994 through 2002, Mike McLaughlin’s name has been in every NASCAR Busch Series lineup. That’s nine consecutive seasons without a miss spanning 269 races, a career for most drivers but just another day on the job for the diminutive but very popular McLaughlin. On Friday night, July 4, when America celebrates another Independence Day holiday, McLaughlin will establish a milestone for Busch Series drivers by making his 300th career start at Daytona International Speedway in a Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly Chevrolet sponsored by LesCare Kitchens. It will mark McLaughlin’s fourth start in 2003 for the revived Frank Cicci-led operation, one that has been responsible for providing cars for McLaughlin in 175 of those 300 races. Cicci, who was a NASCAR car owner for 17 straight years from 1984 through 2001, was hungry to get back into the sport after sitting out all of 2002. He has joined forces with former NFL star Jim Kelly, now a Hall of Famer, and LesCare Kitchens to form a partnership that will see the team run a limited schedule in 2003. They needed a driver to help ignite a start-up organization, and as fate would have it, McLauglin was available. Only five drivers in Busch Series history have reached the 300-race pinnacle, the last one being Randy LaJoie who attained that mark at Nazareth Speedway last month. For the diminutive but tremendously popular McLaughlin, however, who has started at least two Busch Series races now in 16 consecutive seasons, it’s just another race. “To me it just means that I’ve been around a long time I guess,” he simply said. When asked to pinpoint a specific highlight to his long and now historical career, McLaughlin said the wins, especially the one in his native New York at Watkins Glen, his win in Charlotte and the time when he held off “all of those Winston Cup boys” in winning at Talladega. In his first three races in a Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly machine, McLaughlin had a season-best 13th place finish, and on the lead lap, at Richmond. He crashed out early in the team’s debut in Talladega and was well back in the finishing order at Charlotte, but McLaughlin is still a bit amazed at what his long-time owner/boss has accomplished. McLaughlin and his LesCare Kitchens team did test its re-built super speedway car in Daytona last week, something they were unable to do prior to the Talladega event. Despite limited track time due to rain, everyone was pleased with the results. McLaughlin hopes that it will be a sign to a memorable 300th career start.(Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly PR)(6-27-2003)
  • Clanton out of the #27? UPDATE 2: Hearing that Milwaukee will be Joey Clanton’s last race in the #27. Clanton joined the team back in May and has made 7 career Busch Series starts with the team. His best finish is 15th at Gateway.(BGNRacing.com)
    UPDATE: Now hearing that Clanton will still be with the team when they go to Daytona next week.(BGNRacing.com)
    UPDATE 2: being told ny team sources that Clanton is their driver for the rest of 2003, had heard they were looking at Regan Smith, but told that is not true.(6-27-2003)
  • Grubb in, Norick Out? There are reports that Kevin Grubb will be in the #26 Dr Pepper Dodge of Carroll Racing for the remainder of the year. Lance Norick, who has been splitting time with Grubb, is reportedly talking to other teams about a full-time ride for the rest of the year.(BGN Racing)(6-26-2003)
  • Smith Approved for Daytona: Regan Smith recently got the news he was waiting on. The 19-year-old driver of the #22 Bost Motorsports Chevy recently received approval from NASCAR to race at all Busch Series tracks. Now completely unrestricted, Smith will make his first Daytona start on July 4.(BGN Racing)(6-26-2003)
  • Green to Officate Opening: Owensboro native and Busch Series driver David Green will officiate the gala grand opening of the Owensboro Museum of Science and History’s new Speedzeum on Wednesday, June 25th from 7:00 to 9:00pm. Part of the Owensboro-Daviess County Motorsports Festival, the opening culminates a three-year effort by many local leaders and racers. The Speedzeum celebrates the rich racing heritage of the Owensboro-Daviess County region, covering everything from Soapbox Derby to local dirt track auto racing to NASCAR, motorcycle racing to hydroplane boats. With six active NASCAR drivers and countless crew members in service in NASCAR’s various racing circuits, Owensboro claims one of the highest levels of motorsports participation of any city in the country. The Speedzeum demonstrates and celebrates this connection, beginning in the early 20th century and following the developments right up through present day, featuring displays of racing vehicles, audio/visual presentations and interactive displays, including a full-scale NASCAR simulator. David Green is one of the “O Boys” having grown up in and around Owensboro and honing his driving skills on local tracks such as the 3/8-mile Kentucky Motor Speedway in Whitesville, KY. Currently driving the NASCAR Busch Series #37 Timber Wolf Pontiac for Central City’s Brewco Motorsports, Green, the 1994 NASCAR Busch Series Champion, is well on his way to another championship. David’s career highlights include five wins, 19 poles, 52 top five and 99 top ten finishes in his 253 race Busch Series career. Green will also be signing autographs at Owensboro, KY’s Towne Square Mall on Thursday, June 26th for the “Driver/Sponsor Fan Fest”. This event will also feature a large collection of race cars, motorcycles, go-carts, remote control cars, sports cars and trucks from various series. The Owensboro-Daviess Co. Motorsports Festival, in its third year, has 38 events planned over the 16-day Festival, June 20th through July 6th.(David Green Site)(6-25-2003)
  • #99 Transforms: Fans can watch Michael Waltrip’s #99 Aaron’s Dream Machine transform into the “Terminator 3 – Rise of the Machines” race car live on MW Racing’s web cam: www.michaelwaltrip.com. Motorsports Designs will be “wrapping” two Dream Machines, one for Daytona and the other for Chicago, all day Thursday and Friday of this week.(6-24-2003)
  • Marlin to the trucks Steadman Marlin to run Milwaukee Truck Series race, see my Truck Series site for the news.(6-24-2003)
  • New Crew Chief for the #12; Temple to the #14: Bill Henderson will be the crew chief for the #12 Chevy starting this weekend at the Milwaukee Mile. The car is fielded by FitzBradshaw Racing and driven by Kerry Earnhardt. This will be Henderson’s first crew chief position. Regular crew chief Bob Temple, along with the regular #12 crew, will move to FitzBradshaw’s newest car, the #14 Navy Chevy, driven by Casey Atwood. Sean Haggerty will be the car chief for the #12 machine. This will be his first car chief position. Henderson comes from Chip Ganassi Racing, where he has served as a car chief. Haggerty is from Hendrick Motorsports where he was a mechanic, front tire changer, and engine tuner. Earnhardt will have a new crew chief and car chief along with a whole new crew, aside from front tire changer Scott Warchol. FitzBradshaw Racing is owned by NASCAR veteran Armando Fitz and Pro Football Hall of Fame member and FOX broadcaster Terry Bradshaw. The team fields three cars in the NASCAR Busch Series: the #12 Supercuts/Hot Tamales Chevy; the #14 Navy Chevy; and the #82 Jani-King Chevy. The team also fields the #83 Winston Cup Series car for select races.(FitzBradshaw Racing PR)(6-24-2003)
  • New Assoc Sponsor for FitzBradshaw: Ferris has signed with FitzBradshaw as an assoc sponsor and will be featured on all four FitzBradshaw cars: #12 Supercuts and Hot Tamales Busch Series car; #14 Navy Busch Series car, #82 Busch Series car; and #83 Aaron’s Rents Winston Cup Series car. “We are thrilled that we can continue to produce a product that attracts quality sponsors like that of Ferris,” FitzBradshaw co-owner Armando Fitz said. “It is exciting to see the depth of our sponsorships. For example, we have Supercuts which is a national hair-cutting chain, Just Born which is a candy company, the U.S. Navy, Jani-King which is an international cleaning company and now we are adding a lawn mower manufacturer.”
    . “Ferris Industries not only uses motorsports to promote and sell its products, we also incorporate racing technology into their design,” says Bill Shea, vice president of sales and marketing for Ferris Industries. “Our patented exclusive IS® Independent Suspension system is a direct result of knowledge we’ve gleaned from motorsports and now we’d like to show off our racing heritage to race fans.” Located in Munnsville, N.Y., Ferris Industries builds a complete line of reliable zero-turn, three-wheel riding and walk-behind mowers for the commercial landscaper. Ferris is the inventor of the IS®Independent Suspension – the only suspension system available for riding mowers. The company’s products are sold via a network of independent dealers and distributors. For more information, or to locate the closest dealer, visit the company’s web-site at www.ferrisindustries.com. Ferris Industries is a Simplicity Company.(FitzBradshaw Racing PR)(6-24-2003)
  • Testing at Chicago – June 25th: on Wednesday, June 25, Cup Series drivers #29-Kevin Harvick, #16-Greg Biffle and a driver from Bill Davis Racing (to be named later) will be testing at Chicagoland Speedway in preparation for the July 13th Tropicana 400, NASCAR Winston Cup Series event. Also testing will be Busch Series drivers #18-Coy Gibbs, #23-Scott Wimmer and #4-Mike Wallace for the July 12th Tropicana Twister 300, NASCAR Busch Series event. Two Busch Series drivers will also be on hand testing Winston Cup cars. Johnny Sauter will testing the #4 Kodak Pontiac for Morgan-McClure Motorsports and Jason Keller will be testing the #81 Kraft Chevy. This is the third test session of the 2003 season at Chicagoland Speedway and it is not open to the general public.(Chicagoland Speedway PR)(6-24-2003)
  • #20 to celebrate 100 years of Allen-Bradley: Rockwell Automation announced that it will feature a special paint scheme for the GNC Live Well 250 at The Milwaukee Mile on June 29. As part of a yearlong celebration, the #20 JGR [Joe Gibbs Racing] car will feature a design dedicated to one of Rockwell Automation’s four brands, Allen-Bradley, who is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Headquartered in Milwaukee, WI, Allen-Bradley was formed in 1903 by Lynde and Harry Bradley. With the financial support of Dr. Stanton Allen, Allen-Bradley quickly became known for their precise industrial machine controls. Recognized throughout the industry for their product quality, Allen-Bradley remains a leader in automation controls. “We wanted to create something special for the employees and customers of Allen-Bradley” commented A.G. Barlow, Sport Marketing Manager for Rockwell Automation. “Allen-Bradley has been such an active member of the Milwaukee community with its headquarters located there, it was only fitting to run this car at The Mile.” Bliss has quite a successful history at the legendary track. Since 1996 Bliss has 1 victory, 3 top-5 finishes, 4 top-10 finishes and 1 Bud Pole Award in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In 1999 he also had a top-5 start in his lone appearance at The Mile in a Busch Series car. The #20 car will deviate from its regular red & white design to a black & gold design that will carry signage of Allen-Bradley, Rockwell Automation and the Allen-Bradley clock tower, which has been an icon of the Milwaukee skyline since 1963. The #20 Allen-Bradley / Rockwell Automation Chevrolet will be unveiled at an employee celebration on June 26 at Allen-Bradley headquarters in Milwaukee, WI.(Rockwell Automation PR)(6-23-2003)
  • #95 To Return? David Keith will reportedly drive Sadler Racing’s #95 Busch Car in the upcoming Daytona race.(BGNRacing.com)(6-23-2003)
  • Kahne wins in the dirt: Enumclaw, Wash.’s Kasey Kahne made sprint car history Saturday by becoming the first Washington native to win back-to-back Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cups. The current NASCAR Busch Series star dominated all 40 laps of the Race of Champions and put on a clinic in heavy traffic to give the state of Washington only its fourth victory in the 32-year history of the event.(Kahne PR via BGNRacing.com)(6-23-2003)
  • #56 One Race Sponsor at Milwaukee: Tim Sauter and #56 Mac Hill Motorsports will come into the GNC 250 at the Milwaukee Mile with a new sponsor. Laborers International Union of North America [LIUNA]-Wisconsin District, will join Mac Hill Motorsports and Tim Sauter for the June 29th event in a one-race sponsorship deal.(LIUNA PR via BGNRacing.com)(6-23-2003)
  • Hamilton Jr offered #4 Ride UPDATE: during an interview, #25 Busch Series driver, Bobby Hamilton Jr., talked to #4 Morgan-McClure team owner Larry McClure about the now open #4 Kodak Pontiac ride in Cup, but turned it down as he is committed to Team Rensi and is signed with them thru 2004.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio Subscription Required)(6-17-2003)
    UPDATE: So why did Bobby Hamilton Jr. earlier this week pass up an offer to drive the 4 Kodak Pontiac as a replacement for released Mike Skinner? ”First, it was a matter of loyalty to my Busch Series team,” Hamilton Jr. said yesterday. ”This team has worked hard and come a long way, and I can’t just bail out on it. Also, the Kodak team has been struggling and I’m not sure it’s that good of a situation right now. I may kick myself later, but I turned it down.” Most Winston Cup drivers command starting salaries of $1 million a year, and Hamilton admitted the ”financial part was tempting. But there’s more to this sport than money. ” Hamilton, 25, is coming off his second career Busch Series victory. He intends to run one more full Busch season, then move up to Winston Cup along with the entire Team Rensi Motorsports operation. ”Winston Cup has always been my goal,” he said, ”but I want to take my time and do it right.”(Tennessean)(6-21-2003)
  • Newman and Blount? Not Rusty? UPDATE 3: hearing Chad Blount is going to drive a Busch Series car at Milwaukee. Miller Brewing is going to paint the car up to look just like the #22 Miller High Life car that Bobby drove in 1983, the year he won his and Miller’s only championship, as a tribute and celebration of the 20th anniversary of that winning season. Allison will be present for the Press Announcement and for the race. Miller called him and asked him to take part. Rusty Wallace will not be the owner, but his teammate Ryan Newman will be. Rusty Wallace is building a new shop for a part-time Busch Series team, but doesn’t have a driver for the deal, yet. See past news/rumors on this at my Busch Series site.(6-16-2003)
    UPDATE: other sources say Newman is not part of this deal and FoxSports reports: Chad Blount will drive the 66 Busch car at Milwaukee for Wayne Jesel.(FoxSports)(6-17-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Miller Brewing Company will commemorate High Life¹s 100th Anniversary by bringing together High Life Racing¹s past and present this Thursday at the Milwaukee Mile. A prominent backer of all forms of auto racing in the 1970s and 1980s, High Life sponsored NASCAR legend Bobby Allison during his 1983 Winston Cup championship-winning season. In addition, High Life supported teams that won many prestigious races, including stock car¹s Daytona 500 and endurance racing¹s 24-Hours of Daytona, along with a pair of Indianapolis 500 victories (1984 and 1988). High Life returns to its roots — and the race track — at the June 29 GNC Live Well 250 NASCAR Grand National race in Milwaukee. WHAT: High Life commemorates its 100th Anniversary by bringing together auto racing¹s past and present. On Thursday, June 19, 2003 at Milwaukee, there will be an announcment with Bobby Allison and Chad Blount with the 2003 #66 High Life/Jessel Racing Dodge. Brief press announcement, followed by interviews with Allison, Blount and High Life officials. The No. 66 High Life Dodge will be testing at the track.(Tom Roberts PR)(6-19-2003)
    UPDATE 3 – Allison, Miller High Life and Blount at Milwaukee: Miller Brewing Company announced that it will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of its High Life brand by bringing together High Life Racing’s past and present to sponsor a stock car in the upcoming Busch Series race at the Milwaukee Mile, June 29. High Life was a prominent backer of all forms of auto racing for two decades beginning in the 1970s and sponsored the High Life stock car in which Bobby Allison captured the 1983 NASCAR Winston Cup championship. Now, High Life is returning to the track with the Jesel Racing team and the #66 High Life Dodge, which will be driven by rookie Chad Blount. The car will feature a paint scheme to honor High Life’s 100th Anniversary and a design that resembles Allison’s championship-winning High Life car. This sponsorship commemorating the 100th Anniversary will make High Life the primary sponsor of Blount and the Jesel Racing team at the Milwaukee Mile, June 28-29. Extensive visibility for High Life on the team’s car and crew uniforms, as well as on the driver’s suit, is included in the deal. A 23-year-old driver who has participated in 11 Busch Series race, Blount will be making his first-ever start at Milwaukee’s one-mile oval in the GNC Live Well 250. This season, Blount has recorded one top-five finish (Texas Motor Speedway, March 29) in the series. In 2002, Blount competed in the ARCA Re/Max series and finished second in the championship point standings. Blount, a Walkerton, Indiana native, recorded four ARCA wins, five pole positions and 11 top-five finishes, en route to earning series Rookie-of-the-Year honors. The car driven by Blount will resemble Bobby Allison’s familiar High Life stock car in which he won his 1983 NASCAR Winston Cup championship.(Tom Roberts PR), Matt Kenseth’s spotter, Mike Calinoff will serve as the spotter for Blount.(6-20-2003)
  • Renshaw at Fairgrounds: Her racing career on hold, Deborah Renshaw returns to Fairgrounds Speedway [Nashville TN] tonight, the scene of last season’s turmoil and controversy. Renshaw will participate in an autograph session during intermission of the 6:30 p.m. racing schedule. She said she plans to return to the track to race in two weeks. Of her recent racing struggles, Renshaw said: ”It’s been real tough, but I haven’t given up. I’m looking at some opportunities, maybe something in the truck series. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.” Several male drivers at Fairgrounds Speedway plotted to get Renshaw’s car disqualified last season on a technicality. The story gained national attention and made Renshaw an overnight racing celebrity. She was doing well in the ARCA Series until a crash at Charlotte claimed another driver’s life and left Renshaw hospitalized with a broken foot and other injuries. While she was sidelined, a prospective ride in the Busch Series fell through. Renshaw resumed racing this year on a limited basis but eventually had to park her car for lack of funding. Renshaw said she harbors no ill will against the drivers who plotted against her. ”I don’t think most of them intended it to turn out the way it did … it was not a good experience for them or me,” she said. ”I’m willing to put it behind me and move on.”'(Tennessean)(6-21-2003)
  • Brian Weber Racing Seeks Co-Owner For Busch team: Brian Weber Racing, CEO Brian Weber has announced that he is looking for an investor that will take role in co-owner of his Busch Series team, as the team prepares to run the entire Busch Series schedule in 2004. “We have a lot of things working right now, and I need some help,” said Weber. “Our Platinum One Card sponsorship deal is really taking off and I need to turn my concentration over to the driver and sponsor obligations and leave a co-owner to help handle the owner tasks. We’re aiming for a top twenty finish every weekend next year, I believe that we’ll have the backing to do so with our sponsor, but I need a person that is dedicated and can afford to pour some money into this team as we grow in the secondary series of NASCAR. “I would like to drive for 2-3 seasons while developing into a more competitive team,” says Brian. Weber, who pilots the #84 Platinum One Card Chevy on a limited schedule in the Busch Series, plans to compete in a few more events later this season. “Right now, we’re in a stage of rebuilding, we’re getting things ready to roll, we do not want to struggle anymore, we want to put the hammer down every time we go out,” he added. While, Weber knows that this can be a challenge in finding some help, he believes that this may be one of the best opportunities to open up. “We’re not talking a lot of money, we’re just talking someone who is able to invest and grow with us and we plan to be one of the most competitive teams on the circuit.” He also mentioned “Maximizing exposure for our sponsor both on and off the racetrack.” The former Busch Series North racer mentioned “We have come a long way in a very short period of time, we have cars, we have engines, I have a crew, we are just missing that co-owner to help us with a boost.” Brian, who owns a successful business outside racing said that team, would like to hear from anyone interested as soon as possible. Interested parties can contact Brian at: [email protected] (6-20-2003)
  • Lazzaro to run a Busch race: PPM Racing’s Anthony Lazzaro participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 14 and 15 in France. Lazzaro and teammates Ralf Kelleners and Terry Borcheller brought their Risi Competizione Ferrari to a finish of 9th in class and 27th overall in one of the most prestigious sports car races in the world. Said Lazzaro, “For me, Le Mans is tougher than (the) Daytona (road course), by far. It is a long track, tricky in places, with some extremely fast corners. I just hope I have the opportunity to come back.” Lazzaro is currently scheduled to attempt to qualify the PPM Racing #03 in the NASCAR Busch Series races at Atlanta on Oct 25, and Homestead-Miami on November 15. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact the team at [email protected].(PPM Racing PR), Lazzaro has ran many Busch races off and on in the past few years.(6-20-2003)
  • #82 is now #14: Casey Atwood, driver of the #14 NAVY “Accelerate Your Life” Chevy has finalized his 2004 Busch Series schedule and will enter nine more races this season. Atwood finished ninth at Kentucky last week in his return to the NASCAR Busch Series after a two-year absence. He is entered at Milwaukee, and is also scheduled to compete at Daytona, New Hampshire, Bristol, Darlington, Richmond, Charlotte, Memphis and Homestead-Miami.(NASCAR PR)(6-19-2003)
  • Vasser Back in the #30: Braun Racin announced today that CART Series Driver Jimmy Vasser will again be in the #30 Dodge. Vasser is set to run in the GNC “250” at the Milwaukee Mile on July 29th. This is Vasser’s second run with Braun Racing, his 1st resulting in a strong run at Daytona. “Jimmy has a vast amount of racing experience and we are thrilled to be teaming with him again. We are confident Jimmy will do a great job,” says owner Todd Braun.(Braun PR via BGNRacing.com)(6-19-2003)
  • Marlin leaves Braun UPDATE: Steadman Marlin and Braun Racing parted ways on Monday. No word yet on plans for either party.(6-17-2003)
    UPDATE: Effective immediately Braun Racing & Steadman Marlin have parted ways. After seven races we felt we were not where we needed to be performance-wise. After much consideration, a decision has been finalized to discontinue our current agreement.(Braun PR via BGNRacing.com)(6-17-2003)
  • Testing at Chicago on Tuesday: on Tuesday, June 17, #87-Joe Nemechek, #90-Lance Norick and #88-David Reutimann will be testing at Chicagoland Speedway in preparation for the Tropicana Twister 300, NASCAR Busch Series event on July 12 at Chicagoland Speedway. This is the second test session of the 2003 season at Chicagoland Speedway and it is not open to the general public.(Chicagoland Speedway PR)(6-16-2003)
  • Elliott Sadler to start Busch team? It was mentioned during the ARCA RE/MAX Series coverage on the SPEED Channel that NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Elliott Sadler is considering starting a NASCAR Busch Series team for 2004.(Catchfence via BGNRacing.com)(6-16-2003)
  • Mears hopes to run more Busch races: Casey Mears told Catchfence on Friday that he will be returning to Braun Racing later this season. He said while the team is still looking for sponsorship, the team is still currently talking to Microsoft, the company that sponsored Mears at Lowes and Dover. Mears, who won his first ARCA race on Saturday at Michigan did say that the team will be defintley going to Chicago and he will be the driver. After Chicago, Casey mentioned that if sponsorship can be worked out that he will be driving the #19 in the companion events with the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.(Catchfence via BGNRacing.com)(6-16-2003)
  • ARCA driver to run some Busch races: ARCA RE/MAX Series veteran Vern Slagh will be moving to the NASCAR Busch Series next month. He will drive the No. 65 machine in Busch Series and will attempt Chicago, Michigan, Atlanta, and Lowes. The team is still looking for a primary sponsor, but feels that they are close to a deal. (Catchfence via BGNRacing.com)(6-16-2003)
  • Hamilton Jr. wins at Kentucky: #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. overcame a pit-stop miscue to win the NASCAR Busch Series race Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway. Hamilton passed #57-Jason Keller with three laps to go in the Meijer 300. It was Hamilton’s third straight top-six finish, but his first win of the season and second of his career. Keller took the lead from Ron Hornaday Jr. with 26 laps left, and Hamilton passed Hornaday two laps later. Three laps from the end, Hamilton ducked underneath Keller’s Ford to pass and pulled away. #2-Ron Hornaday finished third, followed by pole sitter #59-Stacy Compton and #23-Scott Wimmer.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)
    See results at ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.comMotorsportsOne or NASCAR.com.(6-14-2003)
  • Compton on the pole at Kentucky: #59-Stacy Compton won the pole and set a track record in Busch Series qualifying Friday night at Kentucky Speedway. Compton took the top starting position for Saturday night’s Meijer 300 with fast lap of 176.384mph for his first career Busch Series pole. The previous track record of 174.831 mph was set last year by #10-Scott Riggs. The rest of the top five are #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr., #37-David Green, #2-Ron Hornaday and #10-Scott Riggs (the points leader). The two drivers running at Kentucky and the Cup race at Michigan, #4-Wallace will start 25th and #92-Bodine will start 14th. NBC/TNT Broadcaster Wally Dallenbach qualified 22nd in the #17 Ford.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)
    For lineup/qualifying results see ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.com, or NASCAR.com.(6-13-2003)
  • Rusty Busch Team UPDATE 3: Rusty Wallace is planning to field a Busch team next season, and the questions now are: Who might drive for the Winston Cup veteran, and will this team be a step toward the expansion of Penske South to a three-team Cup operation?(Winston Salem Journal); Chad Blount?(6-9-2003)
    UPDATE: hearing Chad Blount could be the driver and it will not be a Penske fielded car. The announcement should come this week or next week.(6-11-2003)
    UPDATE 2: hearing Miller beer is involved somehow and that Jessel Motorsports, who ran the #36 and #66 Dodges in the Busch Series last year will be involved somehow or rent cars/equipment/shop. Also of note, some folks think this may a team for his son Stephen, who will run a Late Model at Hickory, NC this year, but he is only 15 and won’t be 18 until Aug 2005, in NASCAR, you need to be 18 to race in the top three divisions.(6-11-2003)
    UPDATE 3 – Rusty’s team? Hearing that Chad Blount will be in the #66 Miller Dodge at Milwaukee and will be testing at that track next week.(BGNRacing.com)(6-13-2003)
  • Salute to Air Force June 14, at Kentucky Speedway: The Moy Racing Ford Team anf driver Jimmy Kitchens will salute the U.S. Air Force on June 14th during the NASCAR Busch Series’ Meijer 300 presented by Oreo at Kentucky Speedway, Sparta, Kentucky. The #77 Ford Taurus has competed in the Busch Series circuit with support from the University of Maryland. This weekend Moy Racing has the honor in supporting the United States Air Force. In addition to the #77 Ford carrying the colors, there will be in attendance several deserving Air Force personnel from bases located throughout the region.(Good Racing PR)(6-13-2003)
  • Testing at Chicago: On Tuesday, June 17, #27-Joey Clanton, #90-Lance Norick and #88-David Reutimann will be testing at Chicagoland Speedway in preparation for the Tropicana Twister 300, NASCAR Busch Series event on July 12 at Chicagoland Speedway. This is the second test session of the 2003 season at Chicagoland Speedway and it is not open to the general public.(Chicagoland Speedway PR)(6-13-2003)
  • Double Duty for Bodine again: Todd Bodine will once again be pulling double duty, as he will be he splitting his time between the Busch Series event at Kentucky Speedway and the Winston Cup event at Michigan International Speedway. Because Bodine will not be able to be in Kentucky in time for Friday’s initial practice, veteran Busch Series driver Mike McLaughlin will be practicing the #92 Monster.com Busch Chevy, something he has done in all non-companion events this season. Bodine is driving the #54 National Guard Ford in Cup.(Herzog Jackson Motorsports PR)(6-13-2003)
  • Wallace double duty: Mike Wallace will run the Cup race at Michigan in the #01 US Army Pontiac and the Busch Series race at Kentucky in the #4 GEICO Chevy, no word on if he will have help practicing or qualifying either car.(6-13-2003)
  • Chase Back: Chase Montgomery will be returning to the Busch Series later this summer. Montgomery will be in his own Chevrolet at Daytona, the site of his best finish this year – a 10th.(BGNRacing.com)(6-13-2003)
  • Barrett out of the #60? UPDATE 4 Roush Statement – Sponsor in trouble? Team Shuts Down:: BGNRacing.com is reporting that Stanton Barrett supposedly won’t be driving the #60 Odoban Ford this weekend at Nashville.(BGNRacing.com)(6-5-2003)
    UPDATE: hearing now that Barrett will be in the car this weekend at Nashville, but a shake up is coming soon for the team.(BGNRacing.com)(6-6-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Geoff Smith, President of Roush Racing, has issued a statement in response to recent rumors circulating the NASCAR garage regarding Stanton Barrett and the #60 OdoBan Taurus. “Roush Racing has not contemplated nor is it considering the replacement of Stanton Barrett as driver of the #60 OdoBan Taurus. The sponsor OdoBan is not considering nor has it requested a change of driver in the program. We are pleased with the outstanding progress Stanton has made in his first full season in the NASCAR Busch Series.” Stanton Barrett is present at Nashville Superspeedway and will driver the #60 OdoBan Taurus in the Trace Adkins Chrome 300 tomorrow night.(Roush Racing PR)(6-6-2003)
    UPDATE 3 Odoban Sponsorship in trouble? Roush Racing lost the Navy sponsorship (on Jon Wood’s Craftsman Truck) to FitzBradshaw, so both of his Trucks are running naked (although they nearly pulled off a one-two at Texas Saturday). In Busch, Roush graduated Grainger to Winston Cup with Greg Biffle, but the Gain (Procter & Gamble) sponsorship for Jeff Burton went away, and he accepted Stanton Barrett’s OdoBan/Bojangles deal to keep that program alive. Now it appears the OdoBan deal may be in jeopardy. Roush Racing representative Stephanie Smith said the OdoBan deal was complicated, involving bank financing based on sales, or something like that. Yet, despite reports the deal was cooked, Smith said not to close the book just yet.(Speed Channel)(6-9-2003)
    UPDATE 4 Shutting Down: Roush Racing is shutting down its No. 60 Busch Series team because of sponsorship issues, NASCAR Winston Cup Scene reporter Rick Houston has learned. Stanton Barrett, who drove the car to seventh in last Saturday’s Trace Adkins Chrome 300 for his fourth top-10 finish of the season, is 16th in the driver point standings. Houston says Roush Racing may add a partial Busch program for Carl Edwards, who drives for the team in the Craftsman Truck Series.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-11-2003)
    UPDATE 5: Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing, announced today that the Roush Racing #60 NASCAR Busch Series team will suspend operations effective immediately. “Roush Racing has been able to successfully execute a 15-race marketing test for Clean Control Corporation, makers of OdoBan Odor Eliminator and has proven to their satisfaction that the NASCAR Busch Series is a viable marketing investment,” said Smith. “It is now up to the marketing staff at Clean Control to take its experience to generate the ancillary marketing initiatives necessary to fully activate the program through their distribution base. While we hoped that we could continue to operate without interruption, we are optimistic that the final marketing plans of OdoBan will include a longer term commitment to Roush Racing and the Busch Series.”
    “OdoBan is pleased with the success on and off the track that Roush Racing and Stanton Barrett have been able to demonstrate,” said Steve Davison, president of Clean Control Corporation. “With their engineering and management capabilities, Roush provided an excellent opportunity for Stanton’s talents as a driver to shine. While we would like to continue, and have every intention of returning to motorsports, this 15-race sponsorship was only a test. We have added substantial in-house marketing talent that is very busy creating the marketing initiatives that can fully exploit the many benefits of this program. Based on the results we have seen, we are expecting to be able to launch a fully committed long term sponsorship in the near future.” In this season’s 15-races, Barrett has earned twice as many top-10 finishes as he had totaled in his previous 52 starts spanning the 10 years before joining Roush Racing. “Contractually, he is a “free agent” and he definitely deserves a chance for a full-time ride with a top team.” Barrett, an accomplished Hollywood stuntman of 15 years, is currently in California working on the set of Spiderman 2. “I appreciate Roush and OdoBan giving me the opportunity to demonstrate my driving abilities with a properly supported team,” said Barrett. “This first third of the season has been the best I have ever run in the Busch Series. We came very close to winning a couple of races and I believe that without a doubt, the remainder of the season would have brought continued success. Right now I am just hoping that another full-time opportunity presents itself.”(Roush Racing PR)(6-12-2003)
  • #0 Gets Sponsor for Kentucky: Jason White and Johnny Davis Racing announceed the signing of Baymont Inn and Suites as sponsor for the up coming race at Kentucky Speedway. Voight Motorsports Management and Jason White are in the process of negotiating a long-term relationship with the company. Baymont Inn & Suites Cincinnati Airport is hosting an autograph signing with NASCAR driver Jason White on Thursday, June 12th beginning at 6 p.m.. NASCAR racing fans will be able to enjoy meeting White, looking under the hood of his Chevrolet Monte Carlo, experiencing the thrills of sitting behind the wheel of an actual Busch Grand National Series race car and learning more about NASCAR racing.. The event will take place in the hotel parking lot at 1805 Airport Exchange Boulevard in Erlanger. White is racing in the Meijer 300 at the Kentucky Speedway this weekend.(Voight Motorsports Management PR)(6-12-2003)
  • Dallenbach to run some Busch races: It appears the deal that former Winston Cup crew chief and current FOX Sports broadcaster Larry McReynolds and driver/broadcaster Wally Dallenbach have been trying to put together to compete in the Busch Series will happen. Dallenbach, the former SCCA Trans-Am champion who works the second half of the NASCAR season for TNT/NBC, plans to compete next weekend in a Reiser Enterprises car when the Busch Series races at Kentucky Speedway. But he and McReynolds are on the verge of announcing a deal to race four times in the fall, in Busch races at Kansas Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway.(NASCAR.com)(6-8-2003)
    UPDATE – Dallenbach to run Kentucky: NBC/TNT broadcaster/driver Wally Dallenbach is entered at Kentucky in the #17 Aleve Ford owned by John Reiser. The car has been driven by NASCAR Winston Cup Series point leader Matt Kenseth in six races this year and has been to Victory Lane twice (California and Charlotte). In three races last year, Dallenbach had two top-10 finishes with his best (seventh) coming at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in October.(NASCAR PR)(6-11-2003)
    UPDATE 2: hearing the sponsor for Dallenbach and McReynolds will be Mr.Clean and the team will be run out the Reiser shop and be #17.(6-11-2003)
  • Atwood, plus a 3rd Team? UPDATE Fedawa may drive: Armando Fitz has sponsorship for Earnhardt’s current team locked in for next year and backing from Jani-King and another sponsor he wouldn’t name already signed for a second team in 2004. Not only that, but Fitz is in serious negotaitons concerning a third full-time operation next year. “If the Navy comes on board [which it did] with the second car, then we have 25 races sold for the third team,” says Fitz. (Winston Cup Scene via Busch Series Racing)(5-23-2003)
    UPDATE: Veteran Busch Series driver Tim Fedewa is anxious to get back behind the wheel. He’s been working as a coach for Kerry Earnhardt and spotting for Bill Elliott. He’s working on coming back later this summer, driving a third FitzBradshaw entry. He made nine starts last season and has four Busch Series wins to his credit since making his series debut in 1992. “I think we’re pretty close right now do firming it up, and hopefully… tentatively, we’d like to start running at IRP in August so if we can do that, I think we’ve got 10 races,” Tim Fedewa said. “If we can do a good job for the sponsor and FitzBradshaw, I think we can get something for next year. That would really be exciting for me.”(Fox Sports Net Totally NASCAR)(6-11-2003)
  • Burton to run NHIS race: Roush Racing announced that it will field Cup driver Jeff Burton in the New England 100 Busch Series race on 18 July 2003 in Loudon, New Hampshire. Burton finished first five times in 14 starts in 2002 in the #9 Ford Taurus. Said Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing, “We want to show sponsors what a great opportunity this program is, and at the same time, show support for the Busch Series. We believe that this type of program, with a Winston Cup star driver and superb equipment, is a huge value proposition for the sponsor. Burton had a tremendous run last year; in 14 starts, he had nine top 10s and eight top fives, including five victories.” Greg Biffle, the 2002 Busch Series champion and Burton teammate, also had five wins en route to his championship. Joyce Julius exposure values for the No. 9 in 2002 showed that Burton garnered the 10th best exposure numbers out of the entire field – and he only raced in 41% of the events. Roush Racing has a phenomenal 23% victory ratio (63 of 278 starts) in the Busch Series since 1993, and claims the honor of housing the winningest driver in the series, Mark Martin.(Roush Racing PR)(6-11-2003)
  • More TV Viewers in 2003: NASCAR Busch Series TV ratings are enjoying an increase on network TV in 2003. The NASCAR Busch Series is averaging 3,717,000 viewers per race, an increase of 8% over 2002.(NASCAR PR)(6-11-2003)
  • Spiderman Too: Hollywood-stuntman Stanton Barrett (No. 60 Odoban Ford) is spending time in California this week, working on the set of “Spiderman 2”.(NASCAR PR)(6-11-2003)
  • Why Fuller in the #87 at Nashville? Many questions arose while Jeff Fuller was driving the #87 Hills Bros Coffee Chevy at Nashville Superspeedway, instead of David Reutimann, the reason was Reutimann is planning on running the full schedule next year [2004 and Rookie of the Year, so no more then 7 races], he was only in the car to get some seat time, (practice) and was not planning on running the event in order to hold his rookie status for 2004. Mechanical failure struck the team on lap four ending Fuller’s day.(Catchfence via BGNRacing.com)(6-10-2003)
  • Reiser Ride? John Reiser, the father of Robbie Reiser, Matt Kenseth’s longtime crew chief, is considering a Busch ride for promising newcomer Joel Kauffman, 17.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-10-2003)
  • Driver debuts at Nashville: ARCA RE/MAX driver Jamie Mosley drove the #39 Three Stooges Beer Ford at Nashville Superspeedway. “It’s unfortunate that Dan [Pardus] could not be with us this weekend,” said car owner Jay Robinson. “The entire team will continue to race this weekend, but we will keep the entire Pardus family in our prayers,” he added. Due to his mother’s illness, Dan Pardus did not drive the #39 Busch car at Nashville. We wish Dan’s mother a speedy recovery.(Fans Motorsports PR)(6-8-2003)
  • Andy Houston back to PPI: Driver Andy Houston is exploring new racing options. Houston began the 2003 season as the driver of the #15 Billy Ballew Motorsports truck in the Truck Series. He posted the team’s best-ever finish in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway, bringing the truck home in the fifth position. Houston and Ballew decided to part ways recently due to the lack of sponsorship for the team. “Since I can’t be in a good quality ride right now, I want to stay on top of things with the latest technology,” explained Houston. “I want to stay sharp in the driver’s seat so I am prepared when a good ride opens up.” While Houston is currently assisting PPI Motorsports in their testing efforts, he continues to look for a successful team to drive for. “I love being back with Cal Wells and the PPI crew, however, I want everyone to know that I am available if a ride opens up. I have agreed to help Cal and Ricky [Craven, driver of the #32 Tide Ford] until I can find a more permanent position within the racing community.” Houston made his Cup debut with Wells in 2001, running 17 races in the #96 McDonald’s Ford before McDonald’s reduced their primary sponsor efforts.(globalPERFORMANCE Company PR)(6-8-2003)
  • Stooges schemes? UPDATE: Michael Waltrip will run a Three Stooges scheme in a Busch Series race.(2-28-2003)
    UPDATE: and #7-Jimmy Spencer will run a Three Stooges 75th Anniversary scheme, not sure where. See images on my Cup page and my Busch page.(5-26-2003)
    UPDATE 2: they will run at the Lowe’s race in Oct.(6-8-2003)
  • Riggs wins at Nashville: #10-Scott Riggs won the Trace Adkins Chrome 300 at Nashville Superspeedway and became the first repeat winner at Nashville, his 4th overall, his 2nd win of the season and he is now the new Busch Series points leader for the first time in his career. The rest of the top five were #37-David Green, #1-David Stremme, #7-Randy LaJoie, and #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. Riggs won by a margin of 0.53 seconds averaging 118.547mph in a race that featured 11 cautions for 42 laps. #21-Johnny Sauter had just passed rookie #1-David Stremme for third when the rookie tapped him, putting Sauter into the wall before spinning out into the infield. NASCAR stopped the cars on the backstretch to clean up the debris and finish under green. Sauter wasn’t happy being put out of the race [drove infront of Stemme and slammed on the brakes a few times before Stremme drove low and went by Sauter]. “As a rookie, I can say I’m still learning,” Stremme said. “But that’s not how I drive. I’ll have to talk to him later. He’s a little hot right now.” #92-Todd Bodine flew back and forth between Pocono where the Winston Cup Series will run Sunday trying to maintain his lead in the Busch Series. He started second but finished 26th when engine trouble knocked him out.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)
    For race results see ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.com or MotorsportsOne or NASCAR.com.(6-7-2003)
  • Qualifying rained out at Nashville: Qualifying was rained out at Nashville Speedway, so the field was set on owners points [the first 35] then per the rules book. The top five starters are: #21-Johnny Sauter, #92-Todd Bodine, #10-Scott Riggs, #37-David Green and #1-David Stremme. 44 drivers were at the track, only #84-Brian Weber missed the race becuase he was a late entry.
    For lineups see ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.com or NASCAR.com.(6-6-2003)
  • Bodine to race at Pocono and Nashville: Todd Bodine driver of the #54 Army National Guard Ford in Cup and the #92 Monstor.com Chevy in the Busch Series will be forced to miss Friday’s first Busch Series practice. Mike McLaughlin, who has been helping with the practicing and qualifying of the #92 in all non-companion events this season, will once again be sitting in the driver’s seat for the initial practice. If it happens that Bodine is not able to arrive in Nashville in time for Friday’s Bud Pole qualifying, McLaughlin will also be qualifying the #92.(Eclipse Management PR)(6-6-2003)
  • Timberland PRO scheme at NHIS on the #25: Timberland PRO who is a major associate of the Team Marines #25 Busch Series entry driven by Bobby Hamilton will sport a special Timberland PRO/Marines paint scheme at New Hampshire International Speedway on July 19th. Timberland’s Headquarters is located in nearby Stratham, New Hampshire and the stands will be full of Timberland employees, friends and families, plus it is the site of Team Rensi’s first Busch series win last year. See an image of the car on my Busch Series Paint Scheme Gallery.(PROtential LLC)(6-6-2003)
  • Bodine gets a three race sponsor: Herzog Jackson Motorsports (HJM) and Todd Bodine will debut a three-race sponsorship deal with Monster this Saturday in the Trace Adkins Chrome 300 at Nashville Superspeedway. The #92 Chevy will also be displaying the famous Monster logo in the Meijer 300 at Kentucky Speedway on June 14th and in the GNC Live Well 250 at The Milwaukee Mile on June 29th. [ESGR will be on the car at Daytona and Chicago]. Because Bodine is splitting his time between the Winston Cup event at Pocono Raceway and the Busch race at Nashville Superspeedway, he will be forced to miss Friday’s first practice. Mike McLaughlin, who has been helping with the practicing and qualifying of the #92 in all non-companion events this season, will once again be sitting in the driver’s seat for the initial practice. If it happens that Bodine is not able to arrive in Nashville in time for Friday’s Bud Pole qualifying, McLaughlin will also be qualifying the #92. For more information regarding Todd Bodine, Herzog Jackson Motorsports and Monster, please visit www.todd-bodine.com, www.hjmotorsports.com, www.reggiejackson.com and www.monster.com.(Eclipse Management PR)(6-6-2003)
  • #43 Adds Assoc: Cary Agajanian, co-owner of Curb-Agajanian Motorsports, has announced the signing of the Kele Cos. as an associate sponsor of the #43 Chevy that Johnny Sauter drives in some Busch Series races. Kele Cos. supply parts to the heating and cooling and building automation industries. Terms of the sponsorship were not disclosed.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-6-2003)
  • Double Duty for Wallace: #01-Mike Wallace will pull double duty for the second time this year as the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series part ways. The Winston Cup Series will be competing at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA, while the Busch Series will be competing in Nashville Superspeedway. Wallace will fly back and forth between the two venues throughout weekend. Mark Green is standing by to qualify the Busch car if Wallace is unable to make it to Nashville prior to qualifying.(Biagi Bros. Racing PR)(6-5-2003)
  • Menard to run at Nashville:.In preparation for his first Busch Series race this weekend at the Nashville Speedway, Andy Petree Racing driver Paul Menard has been working diligently behind the scenes on his summer NASCAR program. He has been working out every morning with his boss Andy Petree, touching and feeling the cars in the shop and using video games to become even more acquainted with the tracks. Menard will be making his third start of the 2003 season in his summer-long ABCT schedule. Two weeks ago at Charlotte, Menard raced in the ARCA series event mounting a serious charge to the front late in the race before motor problems forced him to retire. It was Menard’s first race on a 1.5 mile track. One of Petree’s goals this summer for Menard, aside from winning, is to give him the experience he needs on different tracks and to keep him racing constantly. Nashville, which is Menard’s first Busch Series event, should be a good test. With a background in NASCAR’s Touring Series cars, Menard has been racing on ovals for over three years now with good success. He was a winner in each of the last two years and finished seventh in the ReMax Touring Series points in 2002 capturing two poles in the process. While Nashville is a bigger, faster track than those he is used to, Menard had a good test at the track last month and adapted well to the high banks and high speed of Charlotte. Menard will be driving #55 Turtle Wax Chevy in this weekend’s Trace Adkins Chrome 300.(Menards Racing PR)(6-5-2003)
  • Rudd to attempt Kentucky: Jason Rudd has picked up a new sponsor as he will attempt to make his first Busch Series start of the 2003 season next weekend in Kentucky. The nephew of NASCAR Winston Cup driver Ricky Rudd will have Hampton Inns aboard his #01 Dodge. The former ARCA RE/MAX Series competitor is looking to run a limited NASCAR Busch Series schedule if a sponsor can be obtained.(Catchfence)(6-5-2003)
  • Bingham in accident UPDATE 2: Chris Bingham, the 2001 and 2002 Grand Am Rolex Series GTS Driver Champion & 2003 Busch Series Rookie, was injured in a jet-ski accident on Monday around 3:00pm when Bingham and Robby Gordon were out on Lake Norman [in NC]. Bingham hit a bad wave that caused him to flip over the handlebars and hit his head. He was taken to Lake Norman Hospital where he was admitted into the intensive care unit for testing and treatment due to a head injury. Thoughts go out to Bingham and his family.(6-3-2003)
    UPDATE: After a jet-ski accident Monday afternoon, Chris Bingham, is currently resting comfortably at Lake Norman Hospital. An MRI was performed on Tuesday, and while a blood clot was found, there was no further swelling near the brain which was a major concern Monday night. Bingham is being treated for the blood clot, and is expected to return home sometime this weekend, as well as a complete recovery from this accident is also expected.(Catchfence)(6-4-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Bingham was released from the hospital this morning, although still feeling the effects from the his head trauma, he’s happy to be home. It will be a few weeks before things return to normal. Chris will go back next week for another scan to make sure the swelling has gone down. Because of the location of the clot next to a major artery they fear that if it ruptured it could cause a stroke. Bingham will be monitored closely for the next few weeks. He will make an announcement soon on his plans for his return to racing. Rumor is he will be partnering with Robby Gordon in some sort of program. Possibly in trucks.(BGNRacing.com)(6-05-2003)
  • Kitchins to drive for Barrett at Nashville: Jimmy Kitchens has announced he will be returning to competition in the Busch Series on Saturday, June 7th in the Trace Adkins CHROME 300 at the Nashville Superspeedway. Kitchens will be competing in the #97 Pontiac owned by Stanton Barrett. Veteran Crew Chief Terry Allen will be heading up the efforts for the team. Kitchens last competed on the Winston West Series event on February of this year with a respectable 8th place finish. Kitchens recently worked as both the spotter and advisor to PPI Racing and Ricky Craven of Cup.(PR)(6-4-2003)
  • Record Purse for Kentucky: Kentucky Speedway announced today that drivers in the 43-car “The Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo” Busch Series field will compete for a track record purse of $1,247,798 on Saturday, June 14. The purse and winner’s check of $84,750 for the Busch Series event are expected to attract more than 50 potential qualifiers for the second straight year. The race will be televised live on the FX Network and the green flag will drop at 8:00pm. Kentucky Speedway’s Busch Series winner’s payout ranks first among stand-alone races on the circuit and third overall among the 14 series races completed this season behind Daytona ($96,825) and Las Vegas ($86,575), both of which are companion events with The NASCAR Winston Cup Series. The Kentucky Speedway purse ranks second among stand-alone NASCAR Busch Series races behind Gateway International Speedway ($1,270,992) and sixth overall behind Daytona ($2,000,387), Las Vegas ($1,356,617), California Speedway ($1,356,055), Texas Motor Speedway ($1,284,492) and Gateway. In each of the past two seasons, the NASCAR Busch Series and the 66,089-seat facility have set regional stand-alone sports event attendance records by generating standing-room-only crowds of more than 70,000. Kentucky speedway is on pace to entertain its third consecutive standing-room-only crowd for its NASCAR Busch Series event. Tickets for “The Meijer 300, Presented by Oreo” and all events at Kentucky Speedway are on sale now.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(6-4-2003)
  • Lepage looking to run Daytona in July: On the heels of good performance at the recent Coca-Cola 600, Kevin Lepage looks to put his #71 Ford back on the track at Daytona in July in the Busch Series 250. Lepage, who fielded his car at the Lowe’s race on a minimum budget and a pick up crew, hopes that Daytona will fair better at attracting sponsorship for his Matrix Motorsports operation. To help his sponsorship effort, Lepage has enlisted the services of www.SponsorshipCentral.com, an internet auction website devoted strictly to helping race teams connect with sponsors. On the site, companies remain anonymous during the bidding process and bid on sponsorship packages, or purchase them outright at the asking prices. Lepage thinks this is a good way to reach a lot of potential sponsors.(200mph Media PR)(6-4-2003)
  • Martin to run some Busch races in 2004: #6-Mark Martin, after retiring from competition in the Busch Series in 2000 with 45 wins from 200 starts, will run in four select races in 2004. Not all details are clear yet, but it is known that Martin will run one of those four races with the colors of his Winston Cup sponsor, Viagra, on his Ford Taurus. Martin, who fielded part-time Busch Series entries for nine years, was the man to beat during the Saturday races. Martin last put the hurt on the field at Darlington Raceway in September of 2000, besting teammate Jeff Burton by 0.410 seconds doing so.(Team Ford Racing)(6-4-2003)
  • Atwood’s Schedule Increased UPDATE: FitzBradshaw Racing has announced a revised schedule for the #82 Navy Chevy driven by Casey Atwood. FitzBradshaw Racing will add the June 14 Meijer 300 at Kentucky. FitzBradshaw Racing is also adding on the June 25 GNC 250 at the Milwaukee Mile to the schedule. The race has been added as a make-up race for the missed race in Charlotte. Look for Atwood to feel very comfortable at the Milwaukee Mile, the same track where Atwood won the Diehard 250 from the pole in 1999. “It will be great fun going back to Milwaukee,” said Atwood. “If there was one place I would love to race again it’s the Milwaukee Mile.” Added track time is just what Casey Atwood wants. After sitting out the first 12 races of the season, Atwood says the more time behind the wheel the better. Team owner Armando Fitz says he is very pleased to be able to add on two races for the Navy, “We were all disappointed that the #82 did not qualify in Charlotte so we are excited to be able to provide the Navy with added track time.”(ThatsRacin.com)(6-3-2003)
    UPDATE: the team will NOT run the Talladega Cup race as previsously announced, the race at Kentucky will take the Cup race’s place.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio – Subscription Required)(6-4-2003)
  • Vasser hopes to return to Busch soon: Former CART Indy car champion Jimmy Vasser, who made a startling debut in the NASCAR Busch Series at Speedweeks 2003, said over the weekend that he hoped to return to a stock car later this season. Vasser was running a #30-Braun Racing Dodge in the top-10 in the final five laps of the Koolerz 300 at Daytona International Speedway — an event for which he qualified fifth — when he was hit from behind, setting off a multi-car accident. He said that he would like to get back into a Busch car in “August or September.”
    “I’d like to try to create an opportunity for myself down there,” Vasser said, adding that he’s gotten some advice and assistance from a couple Ganassi Racing insiders, team manager Andy Graves, who formerly was with Ganassi’s Indy car team; and talent scout Lorin Ranier. Vasser has only one free weekend from CART in August, but that coincides with the Busch weekend at Michigan International Speedway, a track he’s familiar with from Indy cars. He has the first three weekends in September free, but it remains to be seen what will be pulled together.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(6-3-2003)
  • Atwood up for a Busch ride? Earnhardt in trouble? UPDATE: Casey Atwood may be a candidate for a Busch Series ride as FitzBradshaw Racing studies the possibility of adding a partial schedule for a second team, this week’s NASCAR Winston Cup Scene reports. Busch Series Editor Rick Houston reports that team owner Armando Fitz has talked to Atwood, who has been out of racing since leaving the joint Winston Cup effort of Jim Smith and Ray Evernham last year. The story says former Busch Series competitor Tim Fedewa is another possibility for the car that would be sponsored by JaniKing in at least five races. The story goes on to say that rumors say Kerry Earnhardt job has been rumored to be in jeopardy but owner Fitz denies it, also the story says Earnhardt may be looking elsewhere for a ride in 2004.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-15-2003)
    UPDATE: see below for the updated story on Atwood’s ride with the team and the US Navy……and….One of the measures the team has taken is adding a second car, driven by Casey Atwood, for a partial schedule. There have been printed reports that Atwood might eventually take over the car driven by Earnhardt. ”I don’t ever say anything about the future,” Earnhardt said. ”You never know what it holds. All I’m interested in right now is doing whatever I can to get this team turned around.” Armando Fitz, co-owns the team with former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw. Fitz recently responded to speculation that Earnhardt might be out: ”He’s still my driver. We’re not as competitive as we would like to be. We’ve just gotta figure out how to get him better. We’ve had some accidents, some things that were completely out of his control.” Atwood has yet to run a race for the team. He failed to qualify in his first attempt two weeks ago at Charlotte, and isn’t in Saturday’s Trace Adkins Chrome 300 [Nashville] because of a Winston Cup commitment at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA. Earnhardt said Atwood will be welcome as a teammate. ”A two-car team is good because it increases the technology,” Earnhardt said. ”It’ll help everybody.”(Tennessean)(6-3-2003)
  • Red Flag? Several Busch series drivers questioned NASCAR’s decision to red-flag Saturday’s MBNA Armed Forces Family 200 with five laps remaining in order to ensure a green-flag finish. Since Daytona, NASCAR has used a “five-lap rule” – saying in each prerace driver’s meeting red flags will not be used to ensure a green-flag finish with five or fewer laps remaining. Saturday, a spin by #81-Martin Truex Jr. while the field was working Lap 195 brought out a caution. NASCAR displayed the red flag while the field was working Lap 196, which would fall within the five-lap limit. However, series director Brian DeHart said since the initial flag for the incident, in this case the yellow, came out before the five-lap limit, NASCAR elected to continue to try to end the race under green. The race restarted following Lap 197, allowing three laps of competition before the conclusion.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-1-2003)