June 2004 Busch Series Archive
- #91 Crew Chief fined: Terry Allen, crew chief for the #91 Pontiac driven by Stanton Barrett in the NASCAR Busch Series, has been fined $500 by NASCAR for a rule infraction that occurred this past weekend at The Milwaukee Mile. Allen was found in violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment that do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the NASCAR Busch Series Rule Book, because of unapproved truck trailing arms. The violation was found during the weekend’s initial inspection process, last Friday (June 25).(NASCAR PR)(6-30-2004)
- Contreras wins in Mexico: NASCAR BUSCH Series driver Carlos Contreras took the checkered flag yesterday in front of thousands of Mexican Stock car fans at the second event of the 2004 Corona Cup (Desafio Corona). Contreras, who has been busy locking up opportunities for the 2005 Busch season, plans on running the full 2004 Corona Cup season and winning his 9th Mexican Motorsports Championship. The 2004 Corona Cup is a stock-car series consisting of 14 races run on Ovals, tri-ovals and road courses throughout Mexico.(Vazquez Marketing Group PR)(6-29-2004)
- Jeff Spraker in the #56 at Daytona: Jeff Spraker and Jack McNelly will combine forces to field the MacHill Motorsports #56 entry for the July 2nd Busch race at Daytona. The car will be prepared at the Spraker shop in Mooresville, NC, with power supplied by Wegner Engines. Spraker, who has driven in this event for the last two years, owns a fabrication and consulting business and is currently retained by several NASCAR and ARCA teams for set-up and race-day consulting work. Jeff began his racing career near his home in upstate New York with the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour. He then spent several years as regular competitor in the Busch North Series before moving south, where he runs in selected Busch and ARCA events in addition to devotoing time to his business (which is celebrating its 25th year of operation). The #56 Chevrolet will carry sponsorship from the following Daytona-area firms: United Construction, Every & McCabe Construction, LandPlanners & Associates, and Dale Williams Company.(Spraker Racing Enterprises PR)(6-29-2004)
- Mears in the #1 Dodge at Daytona: Casey Mears will make his first Busch Series start of the season on Friday night in the Winn-Dixie 250 at Daytona International Speedway in the #1 Dodge owned by James Finch. Mears believes by running both the Busch Series and Nextel Cup events at Daytona that he will increase his chances of having a good weekend. In 49 Busch Series starts during the 2002 and 2003 seasons, Mears’ best finish was fourth at Chicagoland Raceway. Chicagoland was also the site of Mears’ only pole position in the Busch Series.(OgilvyPR Motorsports)(6-28-2004)
- Hornaday wins at Milwaukee: #2-Ron Hornaday Jr. won the Alan Kulwicki 250 Saturday night at the Milwaukee Mile, taking the lead with seven laps to go after rallying from a lap down. Hornaday passed #38-Shane Hmiel on the inside, ending Hmiel’s chance for his first Busch Series victory. Hornaday started in the 10th position, and dropped a lap behind when the first caution flag came out while he was in the pits. Eight drivers led the 250-lap event – run under the lights for the first time – on the 1.032-mile track. It was Hornaday’s fourth career Busch Series victory and first this season. #32-David Stremme finished second, followed by #22-Jason Keller, Hmiel, driving in place of Nextel Cup driver Kasey Kahne and #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. Series points leader #8-Martin Truex Jr. finished ninth to increase his lead over #5-Kyle Busch from 10 points to 28. Busch finished 16th. The race drew 44,386 fans, about double what a Champ Car race drew earlier in the month. The Milwaukee Mile renamed the race to honor Kulwicki, the late Winston Cup champion who grew up blocks from the Milwaukee Mile.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)
See results at:
- Stremme wins pole at Milwaukee: #32-David Stremme won the pole position for the Alan Kulwicki 250 Saturday night at the Milwaukee Mile with a speed of 122.553mph seconds, which broke the track qualifying record set by Kevin Harvick in June 2001. The rest of the top five were #27-Johnny Sauter [changed engines will fall to the rear of the field before the green flag], #14-Casey Atwood, #5-Kyle Busch, and #22-Jason Keller. Points leaders, #8-Martin Truex Jr. starts 17th. No one missed the race as there were only 43 cars to qualify.
See qualifying results/starting lineup at:
- Navy Salute Planned at Milwaukee: The Milwaukee Mile is planning a “Salute to the Navy” in conjunction with Saturday’s Alan Kulwicki 250 Busch Series race. The Great Lakes Naval Station will provide musical entertainment prior to the race, and station personnel will unfurl a 60-foot American flag during the national anthem. Navy Chaplain Brent Scott will give the pre-race invocation, and the Leap Frogs parachute team is also scheduled to jump. FitzBradshaw Racing’s #14 Chevrolet for Casey Atwood, which is sponsored by the Navy, will also carry a Great Lakes Naval Service Training Center decal on its hood.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-25-2004)
- BACE Auction for fans: Become a NASCAR team member at The Chicagoland Speedway – July 9 & 10. Bid to WIN a Weekend Crew Membership with the NASCAR Busch Series (winner & guest must be at least 18) The highest bidder and a guest will join NASCAR Busch Series driver Tony Raines and his #74 Team as honorary crew members at the Twister 300. Come meet Tony and join the team as you get an “inside look” by watching the race from pit road. Winners will also receive crew gear. Auction ends Saturday, June 26th at 1:00pm/et, for more info and to bid goto www.jpfauction.com.(6-25-2004)
- Hmiel in the #38 at Milwaukee: Akins Motorsports team owners Doug Stringer and Brad Akins announced that NASCAR Busch Series driver Shane Hmiel, 24, will pilot the #38 Great Clips Dodge for the running of the Alan Kulwicki 250 at The Milwaukee Mile. Kasey Kahne, driver of the #38 Great Clips Dodge, will be unable to take part in Busch Series activities due to his participation in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in Sonoma, Calif. Kahne will return to action in the NASCAR Busch Series the following weekend at Daytona International Speedway.(Akins Motorsports PR)(6-25-2004)
- Crosby to run Daytona: Kim Crosby is looking to top her Busch Series debut next Friday in the Winn Dixie 250 at Daytona International Speedway. Crosby piloted her #51 Boudreaux’s Butt Paste Dodge to a twentieth place finish in her Busch Series debut in April at Talladega Superspeedway. Before her current position with WARE Racing Enterprises, Crosby competed in both the ARCA Series and the Florida Pro Truck Series. She also spent many years in NHRA and IHRA drag racing. Crosby is looking forward to getting back on the track. “Things have come together nicely for Daytona,” said Crosby. “My sponsors and team have come together for me once again to put together a competitive car.” Boudreaux’s Butt Paste returns as a primary sponsor on the #51 Dodge. Associate sponsors include Golden Flake Snack Foods, Dixieland Electrical, Wadleigh Energy Group, Pepper Source, SuperStops, RacingOne.com, Lil’ Mama, and RacingUSA.com. RacingUSA.com is also the official distributor of Butt Paste Racing merchandise. Of her list of sponsors, Crosby remarked, “I am so thankful to have these people in my corner. Most of them are personal friends which makes sharing the dream that much better.” In addition to her jump to the Busch Series for several races for 2004, she is also in the process of securing funding to be able to race full time in 2005, if not sooner. Kim Crosby will have an official “copilot” for next week’s race as well. RacingOne.com began a lottery that lasted about two months for fans who wanted to make donations to help fund Crosby’s program. The winner of the lottery would get their name on the Daytona car. The winner of the lottery decided to put “Tyler,” a 15-year-old boy who is suffering from cancer, on the car in place of his own name. Crosby’s Dodge will also carry the name of “Jeannie,” another fan who recently died from cancer. According to Crosby, “I will have an angel riding with me next week.”(Kim Crosby site)(6-25-2004)
- Menard to DEI? UPDATE 5 – OFFICIAL: Motorsports.com is reporting that Dale Earnhardt Incorporated racing is set to announce the joining of Paul Menard [current driver of the #33 APR Chevy] to the DEI stable of drivers. Menard will run a yet unannounced numbered car with a Menard Home Improvement stores sponsorship. The sponsorship is stouter than the money deal with NAPA Auto Parts, and for five years. Menard will run three years of Busch and two years of Cup under the new contract. The team’s first Busch event is set to be New Hampshire International Speedway.(from Motorsports.com)(6-6-2004)
UPDATE: “You know more than I do,” was all Menard would tell BGNRacing.com of the rumor regarding his racing future. A team representative for Chance2 said he had not been informed of any plans regarding Menard and was unsure of a possible new DEI entry into Busch.(6-6-2004)
AND hearing that Chance 2 [Dale Earnhardt Jr./Tersa Earnahrdt’s Busch team] has signed Busch north standout Ryan Moore, for seven Busch Series races in 2005, and full time in 2006.(6-5-2004)
UPDATE 2: hearing the deal was signed on Friday, June 4th, a 5-year deal, it would be a DEI deal, not Chance2 and would be the #1 DEI team [for Cup] with the first few years in the Busch Series.(6-7-2004)
UPDATE 3: been told that Paul Menard and Andy Petree Racing have parted ways.
UPDATE 3a: BGNRacing.com is reporting that beginning at New Hamshire International Speedway, Menard will be driving a Busch Series DEI entry for the remainder of the year.(6-9-2004)
UPDATE 4: The three-year racing plan between Wisconsin native Paul Menard and Hendersonville’s Andy Petree was abruptly cut to just five months on Tuesday when Menard announced that he was bolting from Andy Petree Racing [APR] immediately to race for Dale Earnhardt, Inc., leaving APR without a driver, a major sponsor or a clear future midway through the 2004 Busch Series season. Menard signed a three-year deal with APR last fall that had him running two years at the Busch level with Petree with the option of moving up to the Nextel Cup ranks in the third year of the contract. But a five-year offer from DEI was too good to pass up, and Menard broke the news on Tuesday that he was leaving for good and taking his sponsorship with him. Attempts to contact Menard, who has been living in Asheville [NC], were unsuccessful. His telephone number has been disconnected. It was devastating news for APR, which has been struggling to find sponsorship dollars ever since the end of the 2002 season, its final year at NASCAR’s premier level. Lack of money forced Petree, who at one time consistently ran two cars in the Nextel Cup series, to drop full-time into the Busch circuit this year while cutting his staff from more than 100 to around 30 [actuall it was 32]. Now, APR general manager Steve Barkdoll says, Petree will again have to sharply cut his workforce. But Barkdoll insisted Thursday that APR was not shutting its doors and planned to try to run at least two more Craftsman Truck Series races this year. “We went from about 30 employees down to 10 unfortunately,” Barkdoll said. “But we’re not giving up. We still have some truck races to run with (our sponsor) Monaco, and we are going to keep trying to put together some sponsorship deals in the future.” With Menard, Petree thought his money woes were over for a while. The talented young driver from Eau Claire, Wis., had brought some major sponsorship dollars to APR in the form of Menards, a company owned by his father, John. When Petree had two cars racing at the Nextel Cup level three years ago, he had as many as 110 employees working at the shop located off Upward Road in East Flat Rock. He was hoping to get back to NASCAR’s top level some day, and he believed that Paul Menard was his ticket. But the results with Petree weren’t what the young Menard was hoping for in his first full year at the Busch Series level in 2004. In 14 races so far this season, Menard hasn’t had a top 10, with a 13th-place showing on May 23 in Nazareth, Penn., representing his best showing. Menard finished 21st at last weekend’s MBNA 200 in Dover, Del., to stay 22nd in the points standings. Menard is one of 22 drivers to have started all 14 Busch races this year, though he’s ahead of only two in the points standings. Still, among Busch rookies only leader Kyle Busch has more points, and Menard won APR $284,830 this year. The split was a friendly one, Barkdoll said. “We understand his decision. Paul was in the shop on Wednesday talking to everyone, and it really wasn’t a bad deal. We wish him the best of luck,” Barkdoll said. Barkdoll said Petree hasn’t said much following the announcement and still hasn’t released an official statement about Menard’s decision. Petree was unavailable for comment on Thursday.(Henderson Times-News)
HOWEVER been told by sources with the team, that while 20 of 32 employees have been laid off, the shop is still open and will run a few truck races in 2004 while regrouping.(6-11-2004)
UPDATE – OFFICIAL: Menards Super Home Centers and Dale Earnhardt, Inc., (DEI) have joined forces in the NASCAR Busch Series to run rookie driver Paul Menard in 2004 and 2005 as part of a long-term agreement announced today. The 23-year-old Menard, who has driven in 20 Busch Series events the past two seasons, will assume the role of driver of the #11 Menards Chevrolet as part of the DEI stable of drivers and teams beginning with the New England 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway July 24. He will continue in the Busch Series through the 2005 seasons with the intention of moving up to the Nextel Cup Series at a point in time thereafter. In addition to six Busch Series races in 2003, Menard also competed in a mixed bag of Nextel Cup, NASCAR Truck Series and ARCA series events, which featured an ARCA victory at Talladega last September and an ARCA pole at Winchester, Ind., in August. “Dale Earnhardt, Inc., has a long history of partnering with companies that share the same commitment as we do when it comes to motorsports and winning championships,” said Teresa Earnhardt, president and CEO of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. “John Menard and his organization share that passion, which is one of the reasons we have re-entered the NASCAR Busch Series with Paul as our driver. We have both won championships in motorsports and look to continue that winning tradition.” The collaboration of Menards, the largest home improvement chain in the Midwest, with the tremendous racing resources at DEI is something president John Menard hopes will yield the ultimate results both on the racetrack and in the ongoing efforts to drive traffic into Menards stores. The #11 Menards Chevrolet features a family of associate sponsors that include Pittsburgh Paints, Energizer Batteries, Turtle Wax Car Care Products, Moen Faucets, Peak Antifreeze, Quaker State, Morton Salt and Empire Levels.(Menard Racing PR)(6-24-2004)
- News and Notes Milwaukee:
There’s no place like home for Johnny Sauter (No. 27 Kleenex/Scott Brand Products Pontiac). Necedah, Wis., Sauter’s hometown, is about a 2½-hour drive from The Milwaukee Mile and the site of Saturday night’s Alan Kulwicki 250 presented by Forest County Potawatomi Racing. Kimberly-Clark Corp., parent company of Sauter’s primary sponsor, Kleenex, is located in Appleton, Wis., a little more than 100 miles from the track. So, yes, this will be a big weekend for Johnny Sauter. In addition, Sauter will throw out the first pitch at the Milwaukee Brewers-Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball game on Thursday.
“Between my friends, family and sponsor, we should take up about half the grandstands,” Sauter says. “You definitely want to put on a show for the hometown crowd. Knowing that so many of your friends and family are up in the stands is exciting. A lot of the folks that will be watching the race are the same people that cheered me on when I was racing all the local short tracks in the area, so it will be just like old times. It’s a great feeling and I want to give them something to cheer about.”
Two years ago, Sauter had the unprecedented opportunity to race against two brothers – Jay and Tim – and his father, Jim. Tim wound up ninth, Johnny 12th, Jay 13th and Jim 29th.
“It seemed more like a family reunion than it did a race,” Sauter remembers. “To have us all competing together was the thrill of a lifetime. We all qualified in the top 10. Jay, Tim and I all had a pretty good race. We made the top 15. My dad had trouble with his brakes and went a few laps down. Even if we didn’t all get top-five finishes, it was a special race, and I’ll never forget it.” Sauter will give Jim a belated Father’s Day present by fielding an entry for him in Friday’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Milwaukee.
“No doubt about it … my dad is the biggest reason I got into racing,” Sauter says. “I grew up watching him race each weekend, which made me want to do it. I guess it’s kind of like other kids going to their dad’s office and watching them work. I did the same thing, but it was at the race track. I loved everything I saw – the sights, the sounds, all of the excitement from the grandstands. It will be a dream come true to have my dad in my truck at Milwaukee. That’s his Father’s Day gift. It’s neat to think that after all he’s helped me with, I’ll be able to give that to him as a present. It is a gift that I know he’ll love, for sure.”
NEWS & NOTES, PART II
Busch gets big Kentucky payout … The $99,405 Kyle Busch (No. 5 Lowe’s Chevrolet) received for winning the June 19 NASCAR Busch Series race at Kentucky Speedway was the third-largest victor’s payout in the history of the series. Jeff Gordon rang up $113,844 after winning at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in October 1992, while Jeff Green collected $100,020 for his 2001 victory at Kansas Speedway. Additionally, the total posted awards for the July 24 New England 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway have surpassed the $1 million mark for the first time in the history of the event.
Biffle reaches century mark in series starts … Greg Biffle (No. 60 Charter Communications Ford) won the 2002 NASCAR Busch Series championship, to go along with his 14 career wins, 11 Busch Poles, 45 top-five and 59 top-10 finishes. That’s a lot to accomplish over the course of a career, and Biffle has done it in just 99 races. Saturday at The Milwaukee Mile, Biffle will attempt his 100th NASCAR Busch Series start. “I just found out this past weekend that I’d be making my 100th start in the NASCAR Busch Series, and that’s pretty cool,” Biffle says. “I’m very fortunate to reach this point in my career, and I’ve only been able to do it with the backings of good teams and sponsors. I owe Jack Roush and the entire Roush Racing organization a great deal of gratitude for taking a chance on me in 1998. And I have to thank the many sponsors that I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with. Without all of them, none of what I’ve accomplished would’ve been possible. We’ve done some great things together over the years, and it’s certainly been a fun ride.”
Chevrolet builds on lead in manufacturers’ standings … Chevrolet has built a fairly comfortable lead in the Bill France Performance Cup standings for manufacturers in the NASCAR Busch Series. Chevrolet has 11 wins and 127 points following the win by Kyle Busch (No. 5 Lowe’s Chevrolet) last Saturday at Kentucky Speedway, to 94 points and four wins for Ford. Dodge is in third place with 70 points and one win, while Pontiac remains in fourth, with 61 points. The standings are determined by a scoring system in which the highest-finishing manufacturer receives nine points, the second-highest gets six, third-highest receives four and fourth-highest receives three.
Truex’s team claims Nazareth McDonald’s POWERade title … The Chance 2 Motorsports crew of Martin Truex Jr. (No. 8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) won the McDonald’s POWERade Drive-Thru Pit Crew of the Race Award for the Meijer 300 presented by Oreo at Kentucky Speedway. The Haas CNC Racing crew of Jason Leffler (No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet) leads the Brewco Motorsports crew of David Green (No. 37 Timber Wolf Pontiac) by just nine points in the season standings.
v ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Greg Biffle leads all drivers with two NASCAR Busch Series wins at Milwaukee. … The four top-five and six top-10 finishes scored by Jason Keller (No. 22 Miller High Life Ford) at Milwaukee are the most of any other driver. Keller also won last year at the facility. … Casey Atwood (No. 14 U.S. Navy Chevrolet) became the youngest winner in the history of the NASCAR Busch Series when he won from the pole on July 4, 1999. Atwood was 18 years, 10 months old at the time. … David Stremme (No. 32 TrimSpa Dodge) finished a career-high third last year at Milwaukee. Stremme has two other third-place efforts, at Nashville Superspeedway last year and at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this season.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Dick Trickle started from the pole and Alan Kulwicki led twice for a total of 43 of 200 laps on May 13, 1984 at The Milwaukee Mile. Sam Ard, however, wrestled the lead away from Kulwicki on lap 117 and led the rest of the way to capture his fourth win of the season, and his second in as many races. Ard extended his win streak to three the next week, at Dover International Speedway.
What: Alan Kulwicki 250 presented by Forest County Potawatomi Racing (Race No. 17 of 34 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: The Milwaukee Mile, West Allis, Wis.
When: 9:30 p.m. (ET), Saturday, June 26.
Track layout: 1-mile paved oval.
Race length: 250 miles/250 laps.
Posted awards: $1,012,413.
TV: FX, 9 p.m. (ET).
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: Jason Keller.
2003 polesitter: David Stremme.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Saturday — Practice, Noon-1 p.m.; Practice, 2-2:45 p.m.; Qualifying, 5 p.m.(NASCAR PR)(6-24-2004)
- Tim Sauter to run at Milwaukee: Tim Sauter, who has been running full-time with the American Speed Association (ASA) in 2004, will make his Busch Series season debut this week at the famed Milwaukee Mile. Sauter will pilot the #56 Structural Transport / Calypso Chevrolet for Mac Hill Motorsports in the Alan Kulwicki 200. Sauter will join brother Johnny in the Busch Series event. His father Jim will race in the Truck Series event the day before. Sauter has nine career Busch Series top-10 finishes.(Tim Sauter site)(6-24-2004)
- Raines in the #1 car at Milwaukee: Tony Raines has been named to drive the #1 Yellow Transportation Dodge in Saturday night’s Alan Kulwicki 250 at the famed Milwaukee Mile. Raines has been driving for Bill Baumgardner this year on the NASCAR Busch Series, but the Outdoor Channel Chevrolet is not scheduled to compete at Milwaukee. Raines, the 1999 Busch Series Rookie of the Year, is still looking for his first Busch Series win. He has three runner-up finishes to his credit in 151 starts in the series. The Milwaukee race is a one-day show. Practice will run from 1 p.m. to 3:45 (EDT) with qualifying set for 6 p.m. For more information, please visit www.myyellow.com.(Team Yellow PR)(6-23-2004)
- #100 for Biffle: Greg Biffle will reach a landmark in his NASCAR Busch Series career this weekend, as he is set to make his 100th career start at The Milwaukee Mile on Saturday, June 26. The 2002 Champion has amassed some impressive statistics over the last three and a half years on the circuit, including 14 wins. While running full schedules in both the Busch and NEXTEL Cup Series’, Biffle has already racked up three wins in 16 starts in the #60 Charter Communications Ford and he finds himself fourth in the overall standings. He hopes to add to his win total this weekend and inch closer to the lead in the standings with another victory at Milwaukee, a track that has been good to him over the years. This is Biffle’s third full season in the Busch Series driving the #60 Ford. On top of that, he ran the final two races in 1996 for owner Jim Bown and 14 last season for Nemco Motorsports. Biffle has reached great heights during his rather short tenure in the series, which include the 2002 Championship along with Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors in 2001. In 99 starts Biffle has 11 poles, 14 wins, 45 top-five finishes and 59 top-10 finishes, which means he has visited victory lane on average every 7.07 races. He has finished in the top five 45.5% of the time and in the top 10 59.6%. In addition, Biffle has completed 14,534 of 16,087 laps of competition in races he has entered (90.3%) and he has led at least one lap in 55 races for a total of 2586. Biffle is hoping that the final result of his 100th Busch Series start at The Milwaukee Mile is as fruitful as past performances at the historic facility. In five starts in either the Busch or Craftsman Truck Series, Biffle has two poles (1999 Truck, 2002 Busch), three wins (’99 truck, ’01&’02 Busch) and five top-five finishes.(Roush Racing PR)(6-23-2004)
- Kentucky a sellout: The NASCAR Busch Series will take the green flag at Kentucky Speedway in front of a capacity crowd for the fourth consecutive year. Kentucky Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark F. Cassis announced that the last of the 66,089 available grandstand seats for Saturday’s “Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo” sold out just after 5:30pm. Standing-room-only tickets will be available for $30 beginning at 9:00am on Saturday at the Kentucky Speedway Fan Center located outside Turn 3 of the $152-million facility. Tickets also will be on sale at the ticket windows between Gates 15 and 16 at the main entrance of the venue beginning at 2:00 p.m. The annual Kentucky Speedway Busch Series event has attracted an average of 70,333 fans through the past three race seasons. The speedway first hosted the series in 2001 and witnessed its current series and track record crowd of 71,299 on June 15, 2002. The full day of activities at the speedway begins when gates open at 3:00 p.m. The $30 standing-room-only ticket includes a pre-race concert with country music artist Tracy Byrd, K.O.I.L. Tour Legends Series racing on the speedway quarter-mile track and a pre-race celebration honoring the 70th Anniversary of Meijer. Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis is the event grand marshal for the race that will be carried live on FX Network.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(6-19-2004)
- Busch comes from the back to win at Kentucky: #5-Kyle Busch took the lead with two laps to go and held on to win the Meijer 300 on Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway for his third Busch Series victory of the year. The 19-year-old Busch started from the back of the 43-car field after wrecking his car in practice. Busch qualified second Friday, but wrecked his Chevrolet during a post-qualifying practice session. Because he used his backup car Saturday, he had to start at the back of the field. By the 47th lap, Busch had moved into the top 10. He slowly worked his way through the rest of the field, and with 13 laps to go, on a restart after a late caution, he was third behind Greg Biffle and Jason Leffler. After passing Leffler, Busch ducked under Biffle for the lead with two laps left. Busch won by 1.274 seconds over Biffle, who has won three Busch Series races this year. Mike Bliss finished third, followed by Ron Hornaday Jr. and Jason Keller. Busch, who averaged 126.633 mph, remained second in the series points race behind Martin Truex Jr., but closed the gap from 40 to 10 points. Truex finished sixth Saturday. Biffle took the lead from defending race champion Bobby Hamilton Jr. with 77 laps to go, passing him on the front stretch. Biffle, who drives full-time on both the Nextel Cup and Busch Series circuits, extended his lead to more than eight seconds before Johnny Benson’s car slammed into the wall with 19 laps left, prompting a caution. Biffle had entered pit row a lap earlier, but was assessed a black-flag penalty by NASCAR officials for going too fast down pit road. The penalty forced him off the lead lap, but he received a break because of the caution. He left pit row just after the caution came out. He was the only car on the track and still on the lead lap, so he went from 11th to first because the rest of the lead-lap cars were in the pits. Biffle remained angry after the race about the penalty. By the time of the final caution, Hamilton had fallen to third, and he left the race with 19 laps to go because of engine trouble. Hamilton led for 107 laps. “What can you do?” Hamilton said. “It was just an awesome day. We’ve been battling motor stuff all year.” Three cars caught on fire during the race. On the 10th lap, #87-Blake Feese’s car hit the wall in turn two, but he exited the car unscathed and the fire quickly was extinguished. “We just got loose,” Feese said. “I was loose from the start. It got to the point where I couldn’t hang onto it any more.” On lap 71, cars driven by #1-Buckshot Jones and #36-Travis Geisler tangled near the spot where Feese’s car caught fire. Jones’ burning car slid down from the wall to the infield. Jones escaped the car as the fire grew and was able to walk to a waiting ambulance. Jones received treatment in the infield medical center for smoke inhalation, but was otherwise unhurt. On lap 117, Mark Green’s car blew an engine and caught on fire as he headed to pit row. He was not injured and the fire was extinguished. The announced attendance of 72,312 was the largest ever for an event in the five-year history of Kentucky Speedway.(Thatsracin.com/AP)
See results at:
- Kentucky sponsor for Keller: Meijer Stores says it will join Airplus Insoles to sponsor ppc Racing’s #22 Ford for Jason Keller in Saturday night’s Meijer 300 Busch Series race at Kentucky Speedway. Financial terms were not announced.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-18-2004)
- Truex Jr. wins pole at Kentucky: #8-Martin Truex Jr. won the pole on Friday for the NASCAR Busch Series Meijer 300 at Kentucky Speedway, topping a record-setting qualifying session. Truex, the series points leader, reached a top speed of 180.102mph in his Chevrolet around the 1 1/2-mile track in warm, humid conditions. He broke the track and event record held for barely 15 minutes by #-Kyle Busch, who turned in a lap of 179.832mph in his Chevrolet. #23-Kenny Wallace, the first driver to qualify his car, initially broke the mark with an opening lap of 178.089 mph, also in a Chevrolet. But he eventually qualified only sixth, as defending race champion #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr., Lats weeks race winner #00-Jason Leffler, and #55-Robby Gordon passed him after Truex and Busch qualified for Saturday’s race. #59-Stacy Compton set the former record of 176.384 mph last year. Thirteen drivers exceeded that speed in qualifying Friday. The pole is the fifth of the year for Truex Jr. Busch wrecked in Happy Hour practice and had to go to a bacjup car and will fall to the rear of the field before the start of the race on Saturday.(ThatsRacin.com/BGNRacing.com)
For qualifying results/starting lineups, see:
- Rusty helps test the #66: During a recent test at Kentucky Speedway for the Meijer 300, #66 RWI Racing owner and 55-time NASCAR Cup race winner, Rusty Wallace, actually got behind the wheel of the Duraflame Dodge. Said Wallace, “I have all of the faith in the world in Billy Parker. When we started the season, I thought that I had the right guy for the job and nothing has changed. Racing is so fickle; you’ve got to have lady luck on your side and we haven’t the last few weeks. I just wanted to get in the car myself and make sure that we’re giving Billy everything that he needs to succeed.” After some initial laps by Wallace, Parker got in the car and progressively got closer and closer to the baseline lap set by his car owner. “Billy drove the car aggressively and got feeling more and more comfortable with the track and the car as the day went on. At the end of the day, Billy ended up at a 30.60 (-second lap), which was right at the track record. I was a little bit quicker, but that wasn’t the point of the test. The point was to make sure that the car is as good as we need it to be. Honestly, I wouldn’t have changed much, if anything, from where Billy and Blake (Bainbridge, crew chief) had the car set up. They did a great job and I commend them for that,” noted Wallace. Duraflame RWI Racing extends its deepest sympathies to he family of Jim Barna, founder of Jim Barna Log Systems, who recently passed away. Duraflame RWI Racing is proud to have Jim Barna Log Systems as a sponsor of the #66 Dodge.(RWI PR)(6-17-2004)
- 3 crew chiefs fined: Crew chiefs Michael Byrd, Johnny Davis and Tony Tutor were each fined $250 for driver seat belt infractions that occurred during this past weekend’s NASCAR Busch Series event at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway, NASCAR officials announced today. Byrd, crew chief of the No. 61 Chevrolet for driver John Hayden; Davis, crew chief of the No. 0 Chevrolet for driver David Keith; and Tony Tutor, crew chief of the No. 74 Chevrolet for driver Tony Raines, were in violation of Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 17.2-C (seat belts – manufacturer’s date had expired) of the NASCAR Busch Series Rule Book for having their respective cars equipped with seat belts that had an expired manufacturer date. The infractions were discovered by NASCAR officials during Friday’s opening-day inspection for the event.(NASCAR PR)(6-17-2004)
- Blake Feese to run the #87 car at Kentucky for Hendrick MS: Blake Feese, who recently joined Hendrick Motorsports’ driver development program, will enter his first career NASCAR Busch Series event on Saturday at Kentucky Speedway, team owner Rick Hendrick announced Tuesday. A native of Saybrook, Ill., Feese has earned top-10 finishes in each of his three ARCA Series starts this season, including a win at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway on April 9. Feese, who started driving quarter midgets at age 10, is a veteran of World of Outlaws, USAC and All-Star sprint car competition. In May 2003, he went to Victory Lane at Lowe’s Motor Speedway’s Dirt Track in the Outlaws Showdown Feature. Hendrick Motorsports has formed a developmental alliance with NEMCO Motorsports that will allow Feese, 22, to drive the organization’s No. 87 Busch Series entry at Kentucky, with primary sponsorship from ditech.com. In April, Hendrick Motorsports announced that Feese and 21-year-old Boston Reid would be entering select ARCA events through a developmental association with Bobby Gerhart Racing. The program has garnered five top-10 finishes in five races. Hendrick also signed 18-year-old Kyle Krisiloff, who is currently competing full-time in the American Speed Association with Hendrick ally SS Racing.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(6-17-2004)
- Benson gets a ride at Kentucky UPDATE: Johnny Benson will returning to Busch Series competition at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, June 19th. He will be driving the #17 Ford competing in the Meijer 300.(Johnny Benson site)(6-7-2004)
UPDATE: Reiser Enterprises and Bayer HealthCare are pleased to announce that veteran NASCAR driver Johnny Benson will pilot the No. 17 Bayer Ford for the Meijer 300 at the Kentucky Speedway on Saturday night June 19th. Matt Kenseth was unable to fulfill his duties of driving the #17 machine due to constraints on his schedule involving the Nextel Cup event weekend at the Michigan International Speedway. Benson most recently competed in 10 events this season with Phoenix Racing and the #1 Yellow Transportation Dodge on the NASCAR Busch Series circuit before a mutual agreement to pursue other opportunities was made by both parties following the Gateway International Raceway event in May. During his 10 race stint with Phoenix Racing, Benson posted one pole (Rockingham), one-top five and four top-ten finishes. “I am excited to have Johnny in the No. 17,” stated team owner John Reiser. “I believe he is an excellent choice for our team and sponsor that has run well in the Busch Series in the past and will put us in position to run up front. When we started looking at who might be available to fill in for Matt (Kenseth), we were very pleased to find that Johnny was free and was willing to help us out. We have a strong, veteran team that I believe will fit well with Johnny’s experience. I am looking forward to a good weekend at the track.” So far this season, the #17 Bayer HealthCare crew has teamed with Matt Kenseth to produce one win (Texas), three top-five and three top-ten finishes in four events. Kenseth will resume driving duties of the #17 Ford at Chicagoland Speedway next month.(Johnny Benson site)(6-17-2004)
- Buckshot back in the #1 at Kentucky: Buckshot Jones and Jon Wolfe believe they have some unfinished business to take care of Saturday night in the Meijer 300 at Kentucky Speedway. For Jones, it will be his second NASCAR Busch Series start in the Yellow Transportation Dodge and a second chance at getting back to victory lane. For Wolfe, crew chief on the #1 car, the 200-lap event will be a second chance to reward Jones for the good job he did for Team Yellow at Nashville. With Jones again behind the wheel of the #1 Dodge, Wolfe has decided to take the same car that the Yellow team ran at Nashville.(Yellow Transportation PR)(6-17-2004)
- Labonte Motorsports Coast Guard Aux: With assistance from the Kentucky Speedway and local Coast Guard Auxiliary member Phillip Bouckaert, who also belongs to the Kentucky Club at the track, the 14 members of the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Obion will have the opportunity to come to the track on Friday, June 18. They will be able to watch qualifying for the Meijer 300 NASCAR Busch Series race to be held the next night, meet Team Coast Guard driver Justin Labonte and get a close look at the No. 44 Coast Guard Shield of Freedom Dodge. The Obion, which has it’s homeport in Owensboro, Ky., is a 65-foot Buoy Tender that patrols 605 miles of the Ohio River and is responsible for maintaining 233 navigational aids and servicing 272 buoys. Coast Guard buoy tenders are often overlooked as to their importance compared to more visible search and rescue teams often seen in the news. With commerce on the Ohio River moving more tonnage each year than goes through the Panama Canal, it is easy to see what impact the work of the Obion means to the economy of the cities along the river it services that include Cincinnati, Louisville, Evansville, Paducah and Owensboro. When Bouckaert heard that the Obion would be coming up the river with a stop planned just a few miles from the speedway at the Coast Guard Auxiliary port near Warsaw, Ky., Friday June 18, he went to work to see if he could arrange for them to get to visit the track, see the Coast Guard car and meet Labonte, even though they would be heading up the river on Saturday and not be able to attend the actual race. Track officials, eager to support one of the nations military services, cooperated with Bouckaert and Team Coast Guard for the crew to make the visit. “The Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo” will be the sixth Busch Series race of sixteen planned for Labonte and Team Coast Guard on this year’s schedule. It is their only stand-alone event as all of the other races scheduled are companion events with NEXTEL Cup Series races. Justin has not raced at Kentucky Speedway before but did get to attend a test at the track in May with his father, two-time Nextel Cup Series champion, Terry Labonte.(Labonte Motorsports PR)(6-17-2004)
- Chris Horn Looking For Success In NASCAR Busch Series Debut: Former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Chris Horn will make the next step in his NASCAR career by launching his Busch Series team this weekend at Kentucky Speedway. Horn, has shifted his focus from the NCTS hoping to find success and stardom in the secondary series of NASCAR. Aiding Horn in his 2004 NASCAR Busch Series debut will be his 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series sponsor Sea Foam Auto Marine. Sea Foam was developed originally for the marine market. Sea Foam showed Evinrude Outboard Motors how to solve their stale fuel, varnish and carbon problems with its use. Because the product worked so well, and after many years of experimentation, Sea Foam became a great problem solver in the automotive after market as well. It is renowned as the finest, most multifaceted and safest petroleum product of our times. In addition, Stealth Titanium Bells has also joined the #58 Chevrolet Monte Carlo as a sponsor this weekend. “”I’m very excited about hopefully making my NASCAR Busch Series debut,” said Horn from his shop Wednesday night. “We have worked around the clock to prepare for this race, and I think when we unload on Friday, we will prove that we mean business. I am also very fortunate that Sea Foam and Stealth Titanium Bells have agreed to join us for this opportunity and hope that we can capitalize on it. For them.”
The Horn Auto Racing recently participated in a test session at Kentucky Speedway, with spectacular results. “I was really happy with our test results,” continued Horn. “We had a few small problems, but we overcame them quickly and were able to put down some really fast times.” The team does not have any provisonals to fall back on, should weather or a problem interfere during time trials however, the added pressure doesn’t really seem to bother the former American Speed Association competitor. Following Kentucky, the team has two more NBS events locked down on their schedule. The team will look to compete at Chicagoland Speedway next month, followed by Michigan International Speedway in August. “Right now, our schedule is still up in the air, but we know we want to do these three races, hopefully if we perform well, our sponsors, and any potential sponsors will allow us to compete in move events,” replied Horn, a former International Karting Federation Champion.(Horn Auto Racing PR)(6-17-2004)
- New and Notes:
Kentucky Speedway has been very, very good to Tony Raines (No. 74 Outdoor Channel Chevrolet) and Ashton Lewis (No. 46 Lewis Motorsports Chevrolet). Raines finished third in both 2001 and 2002, while Lewis was fifth in 2001 and seventh last year. Both drivers will be looking for more of the same when the NASCAR Busch Series pulls into Kentucky Speedway for Saturday night’s Meijer 300 presented by Oreo. No surprise, but Raines calls the 1.5-mile showcase facility a favorite. “A lot of that has to do with the fact I haven’t finished outside of the top three there,” Raines says. “It’s a given that you like to race on tracks where you’ve had success, but with that comes the pressure to repeat that success. This sport is constantly changing and teams learn new tricks every weekend. Just because you were a rocket in the last race doesn’t guarantee it will be that way again, but it always helps your confidence coming in with a good track record.” While comparing the track’s shape to Lowe’s Motor Speedway and its banking to that at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Raines says the track is also challenging for crew chiefs as well as drivers. “It is hard to keep the car’s handling consistent at Kentucky,” Raines continued. “You have to build adjustment into the car, especially for a night race when track conditions will change. You are not going to win the race during the first 100 laps, so obviously you need your car to run its best at the end when it counts.” Lewis has a list of things necessary for doing well at the track. The Chesapeake, Va., native is the only driver entered in the event who has completed all but one lap of NASCAR Busch Series competition at Kentucky Speedway. “I think one of the keys to Kentucky is being very smooth,” Lewis says. “You need to turn into the corners with really slow hands and be smooth on your throttle, roll-out and brake application. If you can make yourself be smooth in these transitions, it will really help you run an aggressive, fast setup. “Another thing that is very important is track position. And the last thing you need at Kentucky is a good, adjustable setup. Since this is a night race, the track temperature will keep decreasing as the race goes along. You need to have your car where you can free it up as the race goes on. If you start the race a little free, it will put you in a better position to keep up with the track during the race.”
NEWS & NOTES, PART II
Smith, Barrett, Robinson to receive local support … Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, based 40 miles from Kentucky Speedway in Cincinnati, Ohio, will back the NASCAR Busch Series efforts of Regan Smith, Stanton Barrett and Shawna Robinson in Saturday’s race. The company’s Enzyte product will fly its colors on Smith’s No. 50 Chevrolet fielded by Holigan Racing. Stanton Barrett Motorsports will run two cars, a No. 97 Chevrolet for Barrett himself with sponsorship from Rogisen, while Robinson will pilot the No. 91 Altovis Pontiac. Chevrolet builds on lead in manufacturers’ standings … Chevrolet has built a fairly comfortable lead in the Bill France Performance Cup standings for manufacturers in the NASCAR Busch Series. Chevrolet has 10 wins and 118 points following the June 12 win by Jason Leffler (No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet) at Nashville Superspeedway. Ford is second with 88 points and four wins. Dodge is in third place with 66 points and one win, while Pontiac is in fourth, with 58 points. The standings are determined by a scoring system in which the highest-finishing manufacturer receives nine points, the second-highest gets six, third-highest receives four and fourth-highest receives three. Leffler’s team claims Nazareth McDonald’s POWERade title … The Haas CNC Racing crew of Jason Leffler won the McDonald’s POWERade Drive-Thru Pit Crew of the Race Award for the June 12 Federated Auto Parts 300 at Nashville. Leffler captured the first victory of his NASCAR Busch Series career in the event. Leffler’s team trails David Green’s No. 37 Timber Wolf/BREWCO Motorsports team by just one point – 1,012 to 1,011 – in the season’s standings.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Bobby Hamilton Jr. (No. 25 U.S. Marine Corps Ford) started second and led 88 laps on his way to winning last year’s race at Kentucky, his first of four victories with crew chief Harold Holly in 2003. … Stacy Compton (No. 59 Kingsford Ford) holds the NASCAR Busch Series track qualifying record at Kentucky, set last year at a speed of 176.384 mph. Compton went on to finish fourth in the event. … Jason Keller (No. 22 Miller High Life Ford) has led during two of the three races held at Kentucky. He finished second in 2003. … Greg Biffle (No. 60 Charter Communications Ford) has two runner-up finishes at Kentucky, in 2001 and 2002.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Todd Bodine and Greg Biffle staged a furious battle for the win during the rain-delayed conclusion of the 2002 Kroger 300 presented by Oreo held on Father’s Day. The race began on June 15, but a torrential downpour halted the race at 9:10 p.m. local time. The next afternoon, Bodine led the field to a Lap 198 restart, but Biffle charged by to take the lead for the next two circuits. As they roared off Turn 4 on the final lap, they touched doors and Biffle spun to the infield, allowing Bodine to score the victory.
What: Meijer 300 presented by Oreo (Race No. 16 of 34 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Kentucky Speedway, Sparta, Ky.
When: 8 p.m. (ET), Saturday, June 19.
Track layout: 1.5-mile paved oval.
Race length: 300 miles/200 laps.
Posted awards: $1,301,267.
TV: FX, 8 p.m. (ET).
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: Bobby Hamilton Jr.
2003 polesitter: Stacy Compton.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday — Practice, 12:40-2:40 p.m.; Qualifying, 5:05 p.m.; Final Practice, 7:30-8:30 p.m.(NASCAR PR)(6-17-2004)
- Mosley to race at Kentucky Speedway on June 19: Hazard, Ky.-native Jamie Mosley has a new racing team; MacDonald Motorsports of Thomasville, N.C. Mosley’s first race with his new team will be the NASCAR Busch Series “Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo” at the Kentucky Speedway this Saturday, June 19. Mosley, who was racing go-karts at age seven and won his first major track championship at Lost Creek Speedway at age 14, began driving in the ARCA/Remax series in 2002 and moved to the NASCAR Busch Series in 2003. Last year, Mosley scored a top 25 finish in his NASCAR Busch Series debut at the Nashville Super Speedway, finishing 21st. The following companies are sponsors of Mosley for Saturday’s race: CHA Health University of Kentucky Healthcare Southeast Banking Systems Valvoline University of Kentucky Basketball Museum Bluegrass RV Hands On Originals. In addition to his racing career, Mosley is the owner of London, Ky.-based Interstate Sign Supply and is a former Kentucky State Police dispatcher. When he is not at the track, you will find Mosley playing his guitar and spending time with his wife Kristie and daughter Chandler. MacDonald Motorsports was founded in 1985 by Randy MacDonald. Before graduating from the University of Waterloo with Mechanical Engineering degree in 1986, MacDonald had already been named Rookie of the Year in the 1984 NASCAR North Tour. He finished ninth in his first Daytona 300 Busch Series race in 1991. In 2000, MacDonald Motorsports competed full-time in the NASCAR Craftsman truck series finishing sixth at Daytona. Since then, MacDonald Motorsports has finished in the top 20 each year. This year is the first time MacDonald Motorsports has competed full time in the NASCAR Busch Series. They are currently 30th in points. Additional information on MacDonald Motorsports can be found online at www.randymacdonald.com. Additional information on HOST can be found online at www.hostcommunications.com.(Host Communications PR)(6-17-2004)
- Shawna back racing [Large story]: It seems like a gold mine, putting a female driver in a car that promotes products that women use every day. It seems like a gold mine, pulling a female driver out of a sea of male drivers, and helping her win races. Guaranteed coverage, easy name recognition. “But it’s all so much more complicated than that,” Shawna Robinson said. What seems like a gold mine has been more like a series of land mines for one of NASCAR’s few female drivers. Robinson returns to racing for the first time since October at Kentucky Speedway this weekend. Her extra-long layoff is not by choice. Sponsorships have fallen through or gone to other drivers. More than anything, Robinson wants to secure a long-term deal. “I never wanted to get off the racetrack, I just wanted to get back on it in the right way,” she said. This weekend is hardly what she would call the right way, driving in yet another of a slew of one-race deals. In Saturday’s Meijer 300, Robinson’s ride is the #91 Altovis Pontiac, a car owned by fellow Busch Series driver Stanton Barrett. “I’m not jumping up and down about doing another one-race deal,” she said. Robinson only took this one because Barrett called and she will have a chance to work with her former crew chief, Terry Allen, again. Robinson’s struggles to secure anything long-term have started her wondering why some of racing’s top owners and sponsors won’t invest in a female driver. She questions the true intentions of the organization that has recently made a push for more females and minorities in the sport through its “Drive for Diversity” campaign. Barrett, the owner of Robinson’s #91 car this weekend, said one-race deals are dangerous deals for any driver. “You get in a position where you’re running bad equipment a few times and people remember that,” he said. “Everyone remembers your last race. I don’t care how long you’ve been running or how many top 10s (finishes) you’ve had.” Robinson, 40, has had her share of longer deals, but they have led her back to the same place, watching races on TV and remembering when. Her future seemed bright. Early on she had some success in ARCA and as a part of the Goody’s Dash Series. She set two Busch track records and, in 1989, became the first woman in NASCAR history to win a pole in the Dash Series. In 1992, she finished second in the Busch rookie-of-the-year points. She completed a full Busch season in ’93, finishing 23rd in points and making $71,325. She was competing on the Busch level with big names like Jeff Gordon, Joe Nemechek and the Burton brothers before she took three years off to have two children, Tanner and Samantha. The road back has had its share of sputters and stalls, including a gimmicky all-female crew in a truck race last year, which she called “a fiasco.” Maybe Robinson was ahead of her time. In the past year or two, NASCAR has been pressured to and has made advances toward developing minority programs like “Drive for Diversity.” But Robinson isn’t afraid to say what she thinks the program really is. “I don’t think that’s real,” she said. “I think it’s about media and coverage. I think they’re speaking that. They’re talking about it, but they’re not doing it.”
“Drive for Diversity” was launched last fall to give “the best of the best competing on local tracks the training, mentorship, networking opportunities and financial support to climb the NASCAR circuits as far as their talent will carry them, including to the Nextel Cup Series,” according to a NASCAR news release. However, those drivers will start on NASCAR’s lower rungs and might take years to develop. This season, only three women — Terry MacDonald-Cadieux, Tina Gordon and Kelly Sutton — have raced in the Craftsman Trucks Series. Robinson will be the first woman this season to run in Busch [actually Tina Gordon and Kim Crosby both ran at Talladega]. None has raced Nextel Cup. NASCAR officials could not be reached for comment. It’s clear there’s room for females in auto racing. A NASCAR-sanctioned study showed that more than 40 percent of its 75 million fans are women. And the products geared historically toward female consumers are plastered on many cars going around the ovals. In Saturday’s race at Kentucky Speedway alone, products abound that seem to lend themselves to a female spokesperson and driver. Products like Trimspa, Kleenex, Cottonelle, Advil, Clorox and Wisk. Robinson said driving for Altovis, a supplement designed to help women stay energetic, was a big reason she got back in the car. “A female driver should be in this car because it makes sense,” she said. That apparent demand does not mean companies loading big bucks onto the sides of cars and into garages will shell it out. Barrett thinks it’s all about changing perception. “There’s a demand for women drivers,” said Barrett, who is driving the #97 Rogisen Chevrolet this weekend. “But a lot of people think there aren’t a lot of good female drivers, but there are. I’ve known Shawna for almost 15 years and I know what she’s capable of.”
Robinson admits she is jaded and maybe a little bitter about not getting the opportunities that she has seen many of her male counterparts get. But she understands it’s about numbers. By her estimation, there are 200,000 male drivers to every female driver nationally. It’s easier to go for a man, who has won championships at the sport’s many levels, than to take a chance on a woman who may not have had the same opportunities. “I don’t think I deserve to be in a great car if I’m not out there running all of the time,” she said. “It’s kind of a chicken and egg kind of thing. How can you get out there to prove yourself if you don’t have the funding and the backing to be out there and prove yourself?” She speaks for women on all levels of racing. It’s a role she’s become comfortable with. She doesn’t mind rocking the boat. If she could design a program for a female driver, a three-year contract would be optimal, with two years running full-time in the Busch Series and maybe a third at the Nextel Cup level. “It doesn’t have to be the best situation, just a decent, consistent situation,” she said. “A woman who can compete consistently is what we need.”(Lexington Herald-Leader)(6-17-2004)
- Leffler wins at Nashville after a long night: #00-Jason Leffler moved to the front when leader #5-Kyle Busch spun into the infield grass with four laps to go, awarding Leffler the Federated Auto Parts 300 win as the NASCAR Busch Series race ended under caution at Nashville Superspeedway. It was Leffler’s first Busch Series win [in 56 tries]. Pole-winner #8-Martin Truex Jr. was second and #21-Clint Bowyer third. #20-Mike Bliss was fourth and #2-Ron Hornaday took fifth. The race was halted by severe weather after 96 laps. Lightning in the track area emptied the grandstands, then hard rains followed. Two hours, forty-eight minutes later, the race resumed, first under caution, then finally under green. Leffler is the 150th driver to win a Busch Series race and 9th winners of 2004.(Thatsracin.com)
See results at:
- Truex on pole at Nashville: #8-Martin Truex Jr. for Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 300 at the Nashville Superspeedway with a lap of 163.596mph on the 1.33-mile concrete oval. It was Truex’s second straight Busch Series pole on this track, and fourth of the season. He didn’t start on the pole in April because a crash in the final practice forced him to a backup car and the back of the field. Truex is 13 points behind Kyle Busch in the series points race. Busch was the 11th driver on the track, and he held the pole early trying to add to his series-leading four. #00-Jason Leffler will start second followed by #5-Kyle Busch, #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. and rookie #21-Clint Bowyer – who led 104 of 200 laps here in April before a crash on the final lap knocked him to fourth. #37-David Green, #22-Jason Keller, #2-Ron Hornaday Jr., #1-Buckshot Jones and #12-Casey Atwood round out the top 10. The April race ended under caution with #99-Michael Waltrip winning. Waltrip will be racing Saturday night, but he will be at the back along with Robby Gordon and Kasey Kahne because the trio was busy qualifying for the Nextel Cup race in Pocono on Friday. Greg Biffle qualified ninth at Pocono, then flew down to take over his Ford from Mike McLaughlin for qualifying. But he will start 18th in a full field after he overdrove his car into Turn 1 on both of his laps before returning to Pocono for a final practice there. #34-Steven Christian, the ninth car out in qualifying, crashed when his Chevrolet got loose in Turn 1 with the left rear slamming in to the wall. He slid back down the track with the rear catching on fire. He was helped out of the car and treated and released at the infield care center and was one of five drivers to miss the race, also including #16-Justin Ashburn, #53-Joe Buford, #94-Eddie Beahr and #0-David Keith.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)
- Hornaday penalized for cussing on radio, $$ and points: NASCAR Busch Series driver Ron Hornaday [#2 AC Delco Chevy] was penalized with a $10,000 fine and loss of 25 NASCAR Busch Series championship driver points for the use of inappropriate language during a live radio interview at Saturday’s NASCAR Busch Series race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, NASCAR officials announced today. Hornaday, driver of the 2 Chevrolet, violated Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Busch Series Rule Book (Actions detrimental to stock car racing: Use of inappropriate language) for his comments during an interview from the live radio broadcast of Saturday’s 200-lap race that was later postponed by rain after 29 laps and completed Monday. The loss of 25 driver points adjusts Hornaday’s season total to 1,718, but he still maintains eighth place in the NASCAR Busch Series championship.(NASCAR PR)(6-10-2004)
- NEWS & NOTES NASHVILLE:
This time a year ago, Travis Geisler (No. 36 DCT Motorsports Chevrolet) was graduating from Vanderbilt University with a degree in mechanical engineering. Today, he’s heading into the June 12 Federated Auto Parts 300 at Nashville Superspeedway looking forward to returning to his home track. Geisler made his debut with DCT Motorsports when the NASCAR Busch Series made its first stop at the Middle Tennessee venue in April. Since then, he’s made two other starts, splitting time with 1993 NASCAR Busch Series champion Steve Grissom in the ride owned by Cleveland, Ohio businessmen John McGill and Carl Natale. Although he’s a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Geisler’s time at Vanderbilt made Nashville a second home. “Maybe I take this track more personally than some others,” Geisler says. “I think any time you race your home track, you want to do your very best. My confidence level is pretty high going into this weekend. I have a lot more experience at this track. I’ve raced the All Pro Series here, and now the NASCAR Busch Series, too. I have a lot of laps at this track. “It makes you feel comfortable to know that you can race well at a certain track. Just walking around the pits, seeing your friends, being familiar with your surroundings, it makes it more comforting. I can relax a little bit knowing that I’ve got my close friends there to support me, and also knowing what I need to get out of the car for a good race.” Obviously, Geisler’s degree is being put to good use both on and off the track. “I feel having a mechanical engineering degree has really helped me in a lot of ways with my racing career,” Geisler says. “I understand the physics of how the car is handling and can relate that back to the team. Engineering makes you think differently – a little more outside the box. You take big problems, and break them down into smaller problems and fix them. It’s a different thought process that just really fits into preparing a race car. “Having a college degree also helps off the track as well. You have a lot more confidence when you’re speaking with CEOs of major companies, trying to get sponsorship. You understand more of what they are looking for. You have to be articulate and knowledgeable in marketing, sales and public relations. The college degree has already helped me fill that role, and it will just become more and more important as I progress.”
NEWS & NOTES, PART II
Chevrolet builds on lead in manufacturers’ standings … Chevrolet has built a fairly comfortable lead in the Bill France Performance Cup standings for manufacturers in the NASCAR Busch Series. Chevrolet has nine wins and 109 points. Following the June 7 win by Greg Biffle (No. 60 Charter Communications Ford) at Dover International Speedway, Ford has four wins and 84 points. Dodge is in third place with 60 points and one win, while Pontiac is in fourth, with 55 points. The standings are determined by a scoring system in which the highest-finishing manufacturer receives nine points, the second-highest gets six, third-highest receives four and fourth-highest receives three.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Bobby Hamilton Jr. (No. 25 U.S. Marine Corps Ford) leads all drivers at Nashville in most starts in the top five (four), top-five finishes (three) and top 10s (four, tied with Scott Wimmer). He’s also led during all six races held at the track, for a total of 233 laps, both of which are also tops at the facility. Hamilton’s best finish at the track is a second in June 2002. … Martin Truex Jr. (No. 8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) set the track qualifying record at Nashville in April, with a speed of 166.516 mph. Greg Biffle (No. 60 Charter Communications Ford) collected the first NASCAR Busch Series win of his career at Nashville in April 2001. … David Green (No. 37 Timber Wolf Pontiac) finished first and second in last year’s races at Nashville, and 10th in April. … Ford has three wins at Nashville Superspeedway, while Chevrolet has two and Pontiac has one.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
With his 14th-place finish in the June 2003 race at Nashville Superspeedway, Jason Keller (No. 22 Miller High Life Ford) became the first and only NASCAR Busch Series driver to pass the $7 million mark in career winnings. Keller has since passed the $8 million plateau.
What: Federated Auto Parts 300 (Race No. 15 of 34 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Nashville Superspeedway, Lebanon, Tenn.
When: 8:00pm/et, Saturday, June 12, 2004.
Track layout: 1.333-mile banked concrete oval.
Race length: 300 miles/225 laps.
Posted awards: $1,058,203.
TV: FX, 8:00pm/et
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: Scott Riggs.
2003 polesitter: Johnny Sauter.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday — Practice, 1:30-3:30 p.m.; Qualifying, 5:05 p.m.; Final Practice, following conclusion of NASS event.(NASCAR PR)(6-10-2004)
- Badwin team gets full backing for 2005: Unilever Bestfoods (UBF), one of the largest consumer products companies in the world, and Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) announced today that they have agreed to a 34-race sponsorship that will place up-and-coming “hungry drivers” behind the wheel of the #6 Dodge during the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series season. Launched this year, the 12-race Hungry Drivers(tm) program places drivers Paul Wolfe, Tracy Hines, Mark McFarland and Scott Lynch behind the wheel of the Tommy Baldwin Racing #6 Dodge for three NASCAR Busch series races apiece. Of the four current drivers, one will be chosen as the primary driver of the #6 Hungry Drivers Dodge and will compete in 25 companion events in 2005, allowing him to run for the Rookie of the Year honors. In keeping with its theme of uncovering new talent, the program will enable three additional “hungry drivers” to showcase their skills by competing three times each over nine stand alone races. The primary driver will be announced after the end of the 2004 Hungry Drivers competition. UBF is leading the pack of new generation sponsors,” said, team owner Tommy Baldwin. “They’ve provided TBR with the resources to field a very competitive race team, and created unique and effective trackside and national marketing programs to maximize brand exposure with the national racing community. UBF and TBR are on the same page – we’re hungry to translate success here at the track into sales success in the retail environment.” For more information go to www.hungrydrivers.com.(Bulldawg Marketing PR)(6-9-2004)
- Miller to practice and qualify for Gordon at Nashville: Brandon Miller will practice and qualify the #55 Fruit of the Loom Chevrolet in place of Robby Gordon at Nashville Superspeedway June 11, John Story, CEO of Robby Gordon Motorsports said. Miller, 22, of Bakersfield, California has experience with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, the NASCAR Winston West Series and the NASCAR Southwest Tour. Gordon, will not be able to practice or qualify on Friday due to his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series obligations at Pocono Raceway. He will fulfill his obligations to race the car in Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 300. Despite where Miller qualifies, Gordon will have to start at the back of the field for the race due to NASCAR rules that state if a driver change takes place, the car will start at the rear. Gordon remains 11th in the NASCAR Busch Series points after running in 12 of 14 races. The Fruit of the Loom Racing Team will get their horsepower from Richard Childress Racing this weekend at Nashville. This will be Brandon Miller’s first attempt practicing and qualifying behind the wheel of a NASCAR Busch Series race car.(Camp and Assoc PR)(6-9-2004)
- The Return of Buckshot to the Busch Series: Buckshot Jones has been named to drive the Yellow Transportation Dodge in the Federated Auto Parts 300 Saturday night at the Nashville Superspeedway. “I’m really excited about this opportunity,” said Jones. “The Yellow team almost won the race at Nashville a couple of months ago. And I know that the team expects to contend for the win again this time.” This will be the first NASCAR Busch Series start for Jones in two and a half years. During his 145-race Busch Series career, Jones has scored two wins, 13 top-five and 33 top-10 finishes. In the first race at Nashville this year, the Yellow team with Johnny Benson behind the wheel went into next-to-last lap of the race with a chance to win the event. Benson was running third when rookies Kyle Busch and Clint Bowyer, running 1-2, got together on the backstretch. Benson, who was only a car length back of the duo, got caught up in the melee as did fourth-place Robby Gordon. As a result, Michael Waltrip leaped from fifth to first. Benson ended up seventh.(PR), of note, Finch bought Jones old team shop last year.(6-9-2004)
- Sponsor for Hermie at Nashville: Score Motorsports and driver Hermie Sadler will carry sponsorship from East Tennessee Trailers for this weekends Federated Auto Parts 300 at Nashville Superspeedway. The relationship between Score Motorsports and East Tennessee Trailers began this February, and has grown to include several more races during the second half of the 2004 season, including the fall Nextel Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway. In addition, Sadler also announced he will become a dealer for East Tennessee Trailers beginning in mid-July. For more information on sponsorship opportunities at Score Motorsports, please call (434) 348-0267. For more information on East Tennessee Trailers, visit www.ettrailers.com.(PR)(6-9-2004)
- Buschwackers and Nashville: Nextel Cup is at Pocono this weekend so help will be needed at Nashville for teams with Buschwhackers [Cup drivers who drive in Busch]. Buckshot Jones will take over the #1 seat all weekend for Jamie McMurray. Tyler Walker will qualify for Kasey Kahne, Mike McLaughlin will fill in for Biffle, and Johnny Benson will try his hand in the #99 until Waltrip gets there, Johnny Sauter will drive the Busch car and skip the Pocono Cup race. Joe Nemechek will skip the Busch race all together.(BGNRacing.com)(6-8/9-2004)
- Testing at Kentucky on Wed: Some Busch Series teams will test at Kentucky Speedway on Wed., June 9, 2004 from 9:00am to 5:00pm, the following teams are scheduled:
#21-Clint Bowyer in the Reese’s Chevrolet
#5-Kyle Busch in the Lowe’s Home Improvement Centers Chevrolet
#37-David Green in the Timberwolf Chevrolet
#65-Stuart Kirby in the Race Kentucky Chevrolet
#02-Hermie Sadler in the Zapf Creation Pontiac
#56-Jamie Mosley in the MAC Hill Motorsports Chevrolet
#?-Kenny Hendrick for Tri-State Motorsports.(6-9-2004)
- NASCAR Announces Penalties for Lowe’s fractus: NASCAR Busch Series driver Brad Teague, Jeffrey Smith, motor coach driver for driver Kevin Harvick, and James Caldwell, a public relations representative for Harvick, were issued varying penalties for their involvement in an altercation following the May 29 NASCAR Busch Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, NASCAR officials announced today. Teague and Smith each were fined $2,500 and placed on probation until Dec. 31 for their involvement in the incident that occurred in pit lane following the race. Caldwell was suspended until July 21 in addition to being fined $2,500 and placed on probation until Dec. 31. All three were penalized under Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Busch Series Rule Book (Actions detrimental to stock car racing: Involved in an altercation on pit road after the conclusion of the race.)(NASCAR PR)(6-8-2004)
- Biffle wins at Dover: #60-Greg Biffle won the rain delayed MBNA America 200 at Dover Internationals Speedway on Monday, #8-Martin Truex, Jr. [who led the most laps] was 2nd, followed by #37-David Green, #25-Bobby Hamilton, Jr. and #5-Kyle Busch who maintains the points lead. There were eight cautions for 54 [of the 200] laps. And 8 lead changes among 7 drivers.
For race results see:
- McClure loses Busch/Cup backing: Eric McClure passed his first NASCAR Nextel Cup test at Talladega Superspeedway. Although McClure’s sponsor I Can Learn announced a plan for the 2004 season to include primary sponsorship of five races, the #04 team was recently informed that the company will not be able to honor the remainder of the agreement. That decision leaves McClure searching for financial backing for either the Busch Series or Nextel Cup. “We realize Eric has the talent to race in any situation,” said McClure’s father Jerry. “Eric has grown into a mature racer who uses his head. I am proud of what he has accomplished in such a short period of time.” The McClure resume features two ARCA Series starts (Michigan-2003/Daytona 2004), two Busch starts (Rockingham-2003/Las Vegas-2004) and one Nextel Cup start. He finished 26th and on the lead lap at Talladega McClure competed in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Late Model event at Lonesome Pine Raceway in Coeburn Saturday night.(Bristol Herald Courier)(6-7-2004)
- 24 teams missing from a year ago….BUT: Twenty-four Busch teams that ran at Dover last year didn’t make the trip this time.(from the Winston Salem Journal), I did a very rough comparison between 2003 and 2004, didn’t see 24 cars not there, a few like the #22 Bost, #92 team, #28 Baker team, #7 Evans, #26 Carrol have closed up or suspended operations. A few teams were local or one-off teams like #91 Barfield which is Stanton Barrett’s deal, the #60 with Barrett is the same Roush team that ran last year, #48 Innovative moved to the CTS series, ppc Racing moved one of it’s teams to the Trucks, the #77 is not racing as much with driver Neuenberger ill. The little blurb does not take into account some of the new teams: #55-Gordon, #33 APR full-time in 2004, the #19 changed numbers to #32, the #73 is now #10, Fitz-Bradshaw expanded to 2 cars [#12/14], the #17 was sold to Roush, ST Motorsports expanded to two teams [#59/#47], #00 full-time, Chance2 #8 is now full-time, new RWI #66 team – part-time, #44 is now the #24, #02-Sadler is now full-time, #6 Badwin team is a strong part-time team. Sooooooo…..after doing some reaserch, it doesn’t look so bad for the Busch Series.(6-6-2004)
- KFC and Chance 2: KFC will sponsor the Chance 2 Motorsports Busch Series team in six races, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. driving the July 2 race at Daytona and Martin Truex Jr. racing it at Chicagoland, New Hampshire, Michigan, California and Dover. Earnhardt Jr. will appear in commercials for the restaurant chain and his image will appear on commemorative KFC buckets. That will make Earnhardt Jr.’s face the first to appear on a KFC chicken bucket aside from Colonel Sanders.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-5-2004)
AND: KFC says Dale Earnhardt Jr. will become the first person other than chain founder “Colonel” Harland Sanders to appear on buckets of its fried chicken. KFC, which is sponsoring Earnhardt Jr.’s Chance 2 Motorsports team for six Busch Series races this year, says Earnhardt Jr. will appear in racing gear with a Chevrolet painted in KFC colors on the buckets.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-6-2004)
- Fine Likely for Hornaday? A NASCAR penalty is likely for Busch Series driver Ron Hornaday following his use of profanity during a live radio interview in Saturday’s MBNA America 200 at Dover International Speedway. Hornaday was hit from behind by Greg Biffle on Lap 15 of 200 and hit the Turn 2 wall. Motor Racing Network interviewed Hornaday after he brought his #2 Chevrolet to the garage. Asked what happened in the incident, Hornaday replied: “Same Biffle. He said before the race he wasn’t going to take no s**t from nobody. I arced it in there and he tapped me. I hate to say that. He got Robby (Gordon) yesterday because he was upset because he pulled in front of him. They got no patience for nobody I guess.” NASCAR has cracked down on the use of profanity by drivers during live TV and radio interviews. Johnny Sauter was penalized $10,000, placed on probation through the end of the year and was stripped of 25 driver points for the use of profanity during a post-race interview at Las Vegas this season.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-5-2004)
- #12 gets new crew chief: FitzBradshaw Racing today announced the promotion of Scott Riefner from car chief to crew chief for the team’s #12 Chevrolet driven by Tim Fedewa in the Busch Series. Riefner has been car chief for the team since the beginning of the year.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-4-2004)
- Kahne Skipping Milwaukee and Pikes Peak: Nextel Cup driver Kasey Kahne will skip the Milwaukee and Pikes Peak Busch Series races with his Akins Motorsports team to concentrate his efforts on his Cup team those weekends, team officials confirmed Thursday. A substitute driver for Kahne in those Busch races has not been named as yet. Kahne originally planned to run the entire Busch and Cup schedules this season. In addition, Akins plans to use World of Outlaws star Tyler Walker, 24, to run practices and qualify the #38 Dodge in next weekend’s race at Nashville. Kahne still plans to drive the car in the race.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-4-2004)
- David Green wins pole at Dover, Brewco sweeps the front row: #37-David Green unloaded a brand new, never-been-tested#37 Chevrolet that was fast from the start, then got a stern test from his teammate, #27-Johnny Sauter. Sauter was on the pole until Green’s lap two cars later at 157.916 mph knocked him off, giving Green the top starting position for Saturday’s MBNA America 200 at Dover International Speedway. Green and Sauter, who will start second, were two of 12 drivers to break the previous track qualifying record (156.747 mph), set by Joe Nemechek in May 2003. #00-Jason Leffler, who has qualified outside the top-10 only twice this season, was third fastest; #38-Kasey Kahne was fourth; and #2-Ron Hornaday fifth. Series points leader #5-Kyle Busch, fresh off his win at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, NC., last weekend, starts 14th. Brewco Motorsports has been hampered somewhat this season by having to change from Pontiacs to Chevrolets after Pontiac decided not to remain in NASCAR this season.(ThatsRacin.com)
- Kentucky Tix – Print on Demand: Kentucky Speedway has introduced the Tickets.com Tickets@Home print-on-demand feature which allows guests to conveniently print event tickets from their home or business computers. Kentucky Speedway is the first motorsports facility in the country to implement the feature. Tickets@Home is an extension of the Tickets.com Access Control System introduced at the speedway in 2003 through bar-coded event tickets and hand-held admission scanners. Speedway guests can take advantage of the new ticket feature when purchasing tickets through www.kentuckyspeedway.com or www.tickets.com. Guests receive a bar-coded event ticket on paper which can be presented for admission to speedway events. Racing continues at the speedway June 18-19 when the NASCAR Busch Series visits for “The Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo.” Friday night is Insight Communications Pole Night and features NASCAR Busch Series qualifying and a NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division Southeast Series race. On Saturday, country artist Tracy Byrd will perform before the “The Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo,” the Outback Steakhouse “Bloomin’ Onion” Airship will visit and prerace festivities will include an F-18 Fighter Jet flyover. Event tickets are on sale now and can be purchased in four easy ways:
·By phone at 888-652-RACE
·On the World Wide Web at www.kentuckyspeedway.com and www.tickets.com
·In person at the speedway ticket offices in Ft. Mitchell at 2216 Dixie Hwy. Ste. 200, and the Kentucky Speedway Fan Center off Hwy. 35 in Sparta, Ky.
·Through Tickets.com outlets including all Meijer stores.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(6-3-2004)
- Todd Szegedy gets a Hills Bros. Coffee Break of a Lifetime; Nadeau to spot: In 2003, Hills Bros. Coffee, along with grocery chains Jewel in Chicago, Pic ‘N Save of Milwaukee and Meijers in Michigan teamed to create the Hills Bros. Coffee Break of a Lifetime. The program offers unknown drivers a chance to showcase their talent in top-notch BUSCH Series equipment and paves the way toward landing a full-time CRAFTSMAN Truck, BUSCH or NEXTEL Cup ride. The inaugural Hills Bros. Coffee Break of a Lifetime driver was David Reutimann, a highly talented driver who was winning in the minor leagues but could not catch the eye of a big name sponsor to support his move into stock car racing’s major leagues. That all changed when Hills Bros. Coffee placed David in the Joe Nemechek-owned NEMCO MOTORSPORTS Chevrolet for five BUSCH Series races in 2003. Reutimann made the most of his Hills Bros. “Coffee Break of a Lifetime” by leading 24 laps in his first race at Texas Motor Speedway and scoring a top 5 and a top 10 in races at Milwaukee and California. His performance was enough to catch the eye of Darrell Waltrip who put David in his newly formed CRAFTSMAN Truck for 2004. That selection paid off for Waltrip with Reutimann finishing 9th at Daytona and scoring a pole and 3rd place finish at Atlanta.
With this proven track record of uncovering new talent, Hills Bros. Coffee will continue their “Coffee Break of a Lifetime” program by naming the reigning NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series Champion, Todd Szegedy as their 2004 Coffee Break of a Lifetime driver. Szegedy has been given a three-race deal to drive NEMCO MOTORSPORTS Chevrolets at Milwaukee on June 26, Chicago on July 10 and Michigan on August 21. “Todd Szegedy has all of the same qualities we saw in David Reutimann,” noted Nemechek, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver and owner of the team Szegedy will drive for. “Todd comes from the NASCAR modified series where many of NASCAR’s top performers developed their racing skills. He’s their 2003 champion and he won two weeks ago at the Nazareth modified show so we think he can win in the BUSCH Series as well,” added Nemechek. Szegedy’s “curriculum” includes testing and training from Brian Pattie, who will serve as Todd’s crew chief. For 2004, Hills Bros. has added a new “teacher” to the “Coffee Break of a Lifetime” along with a series of promotions that will allow fans to become involved in the program.
The new “teacher” is Jerry Nadeau, the NEXTEL Cup driver injured at Richmond in 2003. Nadeau will spot for Todd at all of the Hills Bros. Coffee races. “Todd and I grew up together racing go-karts” said Nadeau. “When Todd was named as the 2004 Hills Bros. Coffee driver, I called and insisted they let me be Todd’s spotter. This is not only good for Todd but will help me get ready to race again once my injuries are healed,” Nadeau added.
In addition, Hills Bros has added a full slate of promotions to bring the excitement of this program to race fans in each market where Szegedy competes. In Chicago, fans will have a chance to win 1 of 200 Dale Jarrett Racing Adventures at participating Jewel grocery stores. In Michigan, fans have a chance to win a car of their choice at participating Meijers stores. All of the programs are designed to celebrate giving race drivers like Todd Szegedy and David Reutimann as well as race fans a Hills Bros. Coffee Break of a Lifetime.(NEMCO PR)(6-2-2004)
- Brewco to Cup? UPDATE: hearing Brewco Motorsports [#27 and #37 in the Busch Series] have recently purchased a coiple pf DEI cars and plans to run the Richmond race [with Timberwolf] and possible the Brickyard 400 at Indy [may with the USPS]. David Green will supposedly drive the cars, since the #27 and #37 are not being used, I would assume one of the ohter could be ran.(5-26-2004)
UPDATE: The United States Postal Service and Brewco Motorsports Inc. CEO Clarence Brewer Jr. today announced that the United States Postal Service will become Presenting team sponsor for their NASCAR Busch Series team. Under the terms of the agreement, the United States Postal Service will be the presenting sponsor of Brewco Motorsports Inc. as “Team Brewco brought to you by the United States Postal Service,” and associate sponsor of the #27 Kleenex racing car driven by Johnny Sauter. “We are looking forward to the added exposure and cross-promotional opportunities the United States Postal Services brings to our Kleenex racing program” said John Cook, Director of Motorsports Sponsorship for Kimberly-Clark. For one race only, the November 6, 2004, race at Phoenix, the car will carry the National World War II Memorial U. S. postage stamp image on the hood of the car to honor America’s veterans. Included in the agreement, David Green, the 1994 NASCAR Busch Series Champion, will pilot the #37 United States Postal Service car at Dover International Speedway on September 25, 2004. Under the one-race agreement his car will carry a special USPS paint scheme. “Last season, I had the privilege of working closely with the U.S. Postal Service and their customers,” Green added. In 2002 Brewco Motorsports and the United States Postal Service teamed up to present the No. 27 Heroes of 2001 car driven my Jamie McMurray to help raise awareness to the emergency personnel who gave their lives or were injured during the 2001 terrorist attacks.(LMS Site)(6-2-2004)
- NEWS & NOTES DOVER
FitzBradshaw Racing on board with ‘Drive For Diversity’ … FitzBradshaw Racing has embraced NASCAR’s ‘Drive For Diversity’ initiative by hiring two interns who will work in the team’s day-to-day front office and with its on-track performance operations starting Thursday. Stacy Sowell, an African-American, is a first-year graduate student majoring in English at North Carolina A&T University. She will focus the majority of her attention on team travel and sponsor relations. Michael Walker, also an African-American, is a senior Mechanical Engineering major at the University of Virginia. Walker will aid the team in car setup. “We are in the marketing business, and it is quite evident that the United States is comprised of many people from all walks of life,” said FitzBradshaw Racing co-owner Armando Fitz, a Hispanic long involved in the sport. “Additionally, with NASCAR’s rise as a national sport and the tremendous amount of coverage the sport receives on national television, it is apparent that there is a need to reach all pockets of the population. Terry [Bradshaw] and I are excited about our company’s efforts to showcase the team’s diversity push.
Chevrolet has built a comfortable lead in the Bill France Performance Cup standings for manufacturers in the NASCAR Busch Series. Chevrolet has nine wins and 103 points following last Saturday’s win by Kyle Busch (No. 5 Lowe’s/ShopVac Chevrolet) at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, to 75 points and three wins for Ford. Dodge is in third place with 56 points and one win, with Pontiac in fourth, with 52. The standings are determined by a scoring system in which the highest-finishing manufacturer receives nine points, the second-highest gets six, third-highest receives four and fourth-highest receives three.
Jason Leffler’s #00 team claims Charlotte McDonalds POWERade title … The Haas CNC Racing crew of Jason Leffler won the McDonalds POWERade Drive-Thru Pit Crew of the Race Award for last Saturday’s CarQuest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe’s. The Brewco Motorsports crew of David Green (No. 37 Timber Wolf Chevrolet) leads the season standings, with Leffler’s crew in second place.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Mike Bliss (No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet) improved the most positions in last year’s spring race at Dover, after starting 22nd and finishing ninth. Bliss, Bobby Hamilton Jr. (No. 25 U.S. Marine Corps Ford), Kasey Kahne (No. 38 Great Clips Dodge) and Ron Hornaday (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet) all scored top-10 finishes in both races last year at Dover. … Casey Atwood (No. 14 U.S. Navy Chevrolet) collected the second win of his NASCAR Busch Series career at Dover in September, 1999. … Robert Pressley (No. 47 Clorox Ford) won both Dover races in 1992. … Joe Nemechek (No. 87 Cellular One Chevrolet) set the NASCAR Busch Series track qualifying record at Dover last spring with a speed of 156.747 mph. He went on to win the event. … Matt Kenseth (No. 17 One-A-Day Carb Smart Ford) is tied with two other drivers for second on the list of top-five finishes at Dover, with six, while Jason Keller (No. 22 Miller High Life Ford) is tied with four others for third on that list, with five. Keller is also tied with two others for third in top 10s, with nine. … Mike Wallace (No. 4 GEICO/Sport Clips Ford) won at Dover in June 1994. FROM THE ARCHIVES
It was a bizarre turn of events that led to Todd Bodine scoring the first win of his NASCAR Busch Series career. Ernie Irvan was leading the June 1, 1991 Budweiser 200 with less than four laps to go when his engine let go on Lap 197. Irvan spun, bringing out a yellow flag that would end the race under caution. Davey Allison, who had never won a NASCAR Busch Series race, took his turn at the point. Allison, however, dropped off the pace with a fuel pickup problem and came to a stop just short of the start/finish line on the next-to-last lap. Bodine eased by to post the victory.
What: MBNA America 200 (Race No. 14 of 34 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Dover International Speedway, Dover, Del.
When: 1 p.m. (ET), Saturday, June 5.
Track layout: 1-mile banked concrete oval.
Race length: 200 miles/200 laps.
Posted awards: $994,751.
TV: FX, 1 p.m. (ET).
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: Joe Nemechek.
2003 polesitter: Joe Nemechek.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday — Practice, 9-10:55 a.m.; Qualifying, 1:10 p.m.; final practice, 45 minutes following conclusion of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Race.(NASCAR PR)(6-2-2004)
- SpongeBob the Movie to sponsor the LMS Busch race in Oct: Lowe’s announced [Thurs., May 27th] it plans to turn the Oct. 15 night race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway into the most “family-friendly race” in NASCAR history. The first component of the plan is the announcement that “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie” will be the title sponsor for the 300-mile Busch race nationally televised on TNT Friday, Oct. 15 at 8:00pm/et. “Lowe’s Presents The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300” will be the first race of its kind where children at the track will be able to listen to a special radio broadcast of the event. The broadcast, with announcers to be named later, will give children the opportunity to enjoy listening to live action just like their parents, but in a “kid friendly” manner. “This sounds so cool,” said NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver Jimmie Johnson who will join Kyle Busch in driving special “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie” paint schemes during the race. “I know there are a lot of families who will be excited that Lowe’s is doing this. The great thing is there will be something for every type of race fan. Plus how can we go wrong with SpongeBob helping us out on the car?” In addition to the “kid friendly” radio broadcast of the event, Lowe’s and Lowe’s Motor Speedway also will present special race ticket offers for families, give away special SpongeBob merchandise, setup kids activities before the race, provide a designated family section, and create a special kids menu at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway concession stands. “Lowe’s and its 150,000 employees spend most of their time in business helping our customers and their families maintain and improve their homes,” said Bob Gfeller, Lowe’s senior vice president of marketing. “”The Nickelodeon SpongeBob colors we offer at Lowe’s were designed to make children’s rooms and play rooms more exciting. The SpongeBob SquarePants paint scheme is an extension of this and is fueled with bright colors to light up the race track.” Humpy Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe’s Motors Speedway, said bringing together Speedway Motorsports Inc., Lowe’s and Nickelodeon, home of the widely popular animated series “SpongeBob SquarePants”, is significant to NASCAR’s future. “For years we’ve worked hard to build our NASCAR Busch Series program into fun, family-oriented events, including family grandstands, free tickets to local scouts and even a car-eating robotic dinosaur,” said H.A. Humpy Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway. “This partnership with Nickelodeon Movies and Lowe’s is by far the biggest step we’ve taken to bring family value entertainment and combine it with exciting NASCAR racing. I have joked for years, that I’m just a 12-year-old in a man’s body, so this will be special to me as well.”
The race will mark Johnson’s first appearance in the Busch Series since 2001. Johnson’s #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet will sport the SpongeBob character while Busch’s #5 Lowe’s Chevrolet will be outfitted with SpongeBob’s starfish buddy Patrick. “SpongeBob SquarePants The Movie,” produced by Nickelodeon Movies and distributed by Paramount Pictures, is due in theaters Nov. 19, 2004. Information on “The SpongeBob 300” including merchandise, special ticket offers and upcoming appearances, may be found on Lowesracing.com.(Lowe’s PR), see some images of the car on the 2004 Busch Paint Schemes page.(6-1-2004)
- Todd Bodine takes ove the #31: Todd Bodine has been hired by the Whelen Engineering/Marsh Racing team to drive the #31 Ford in the NASCAR Busch Series, beginning with this weekend’s MBNA America 200 at Dover International Speedway. “Todd has been a Busch series stalwart for many years,” said Phil Kurze, director of motorsports for Whelen Engineering. “We are thrilled that he will be bringing his talents to our team. And what adds to the enthusiasm is that he and (team crew chief) Ted Marsh go back a long way with a high-level of respect and understanding for each other.” Bodine replaces Dave Blaney in the Whelen/Marsh ride, which is scheduled to compete in 10 Busch races in 2004. “The situation with Dave was amicable,” said Kurze. “He is in pursuit of a full-time Nextel Cup ride and we didn’t want to restrict him from any opportunities. All of us associated with the Whelen Engineering/Marsh Racing team wish Dave the best and sincerely thank him for his contributions.” Bodine, the youngest of the three racing brothers from Chemung, N.Y., said that he is looking forward to his new Busch ride. “I am pretty excited about joining the Whelen/Marsh team,” said Bodine. “I have known Ted Marsh for nearly 25 years, we’ve always been friends. The team has great cars, a good pit crew and that’s what makes it exciting to go there and race. I wouldn’t get into this ride if I didn’t think we have a shot at winning.” Speaking of winning, Bodine knows exactly what it takes to taste victory in the Busch series, especially at the Dover track. Of his 15 career Busch wins, three have come at Dover, including his first NASCAR triumph. “I always seem to run strong at Dover, even in the Cup series,” explained Bodine. “Dover is one of those tracks where you have to be aggressive and be on top of the wheel every lap. It kind of suits my style. It’s a very intimidating track, but I have never been one to get intimidated.”(DMF Communications PR)(6-1-2004)
- ST Motorsports Announces Changes for the #47 Team: Tad Geschickter, team owner for #47 Clorox/Wisk and #59 Kingsford/Bush’s Best Baked Beans cars at ST Motorsports, announced Saturday Dan Deeringhoff has been hired as the new crew chief for the #47 Ford and driver Robert Pressley. Deeringhoff, who previously worked as the car chief for Ron Hornaday Jr.’s Busch Series team at Richard Childress Racing, was with the team during Saturday’s Carquest Auto Parts 300 at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway. His first race, however, will be next Saturday’s MBNA 200 at the Dover International Speedway. Geschickter also announced that Steve Plattenberger, who had been Pressley’s crew chief, was promoted to a newly-created position where he will coordinate communication at the track between both teams and handle all shock development for both teams. He will work directly with both crew chiefs and drivers to ensure that each team knows what adjustments are being made and how they are affecting the cars.(ST Motorsports PR)(6-1-2004)