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March 2000 Busch Series Archive

  • Gosselin gets sponsors: Mario Gosselin of Lake Wales, FL will have sponsors so he can run in the BGN series. The sponsors are: Carter-Grandle CFI Manufacturing Inc. of Bradenton, FL, a patio furniture manufacturer; Eastern Metal Supply Inc. of Lake Worth, FL a manufacturer of aluminum extrusions, and Western Nonwovens Inc. of Carson, CA, a fabric manufacturer. All three are interwoven into the patio furniture business through aluminum and fabric. Gosselin has run a few BGN races in the past and won an ARCA event last year. Gosselin, a two-time Ledger Driver of the Year and two-time United Speed Alliance Racing(USAR) champion, will run five BGN events in 2000 and several ARCA races(Lakeland Ledger)(3-31-2000)
  • Lake Speed at TMS: BGN driver Bobby Hillin is getting some help from veteran driver Lake Speed, who joined the team this week as a consultant(Dallas Morning News)(3-31-2000)
  • New Sponsor: legalopinion.com has expanded its sponsorship presence in the 2000 NASCAR Busch Series season through an agreement with PPC Racing. legalopinion.com will appear on both PPC Racing entries, Jeff Green’s #10 Nestle NesQuick Chevy and Jason Keller’s #57 Excedrin Chevy, for the twenty-six remaining events in the BGN 2000 season beginning with the race on April 1, 2000 at Texas(Yahoo Biz)(3-31-2000)
  • Jones ok: P.J. Jones, driver of the No. 74 BACE Motorsports Chevy, was treated and released from the infield care center after an accident in Turn 3 during the first BGN practice session on Thursday, an oil line broke(Dallas Morning News) Jones was 52nd in 1st round qualifying(3-31-2000)
  • #81 scheme: #81-Blaise Alexander and the TRACFONE/WCW team are joining forces with seven-time world championship heavyweight title winner, to feature Sting on the #81 Chevy. Sting, who has won many honors including two tag team belts, will wow the crowds with his trademark “Ooooooow!” yell(Team SABCO PR)(3-31-2000)
  • Island Oasis out? UPDATE: hearing that Island Oasis is no longer the primary sponsor of the #96 Perry-Huggins Chevy BGN/CUP teams. The BGN team and driver Gus Wasson withdrew from Texas, no word on the part time Greg Sacks Cup ride with the team. Supposedly team employees were told earlier in the week to seek other employment
    UPDATE: Osland Oasis has left the team as the primary sponosr but will stay on as an associate, but it’s not enough and the team will skip the next few BGN events until a few associate or a new primary sponsors can be found. Gus Wasson is still the driver. No word on the Cup operation(Winston Cup Scene Magazine)(3-31-2000)
  • #61 Chevy? hearing the #61 Xpress Motorsports team will switch from Pontiac to Chevy in the coming weeks, following Buckshot Jones lead(3-28-2000)
  • Bliss has a ride: Mike Bliss will get behind the wheel of the #19 Yellow/Kobalt Mechanics Tools/Pameco Chevy at the mile and a half Texas Motor Speedway for this weekend’s BGN Albertson’s 300 race. It’s a one race deal at present. This weekend’s primary sponsor for the #19 entry is Yellow Freight System, Inc.(Grandstand Communications PR)(3-29-2000)
  • #48 Crew Chief: Darrell Terry has been released as crew chief of the #48 Goulds Pump/Innovative Motorsports Chevy team. Mike McLaughlin drives the cars. Team owner George de Bidart said a replacement is expected to be named later this week(NOL)(3-28-2000)
  • Kelly Denton top rookie: Kelly Denton driver of the #75 Henderson Motorsports Chevy, finished 15th at Bristol and captured the Fastest Rookie Award. When asked to comment on the highly publicized incident involving #97-Anthony Lazzaro, Denton said, “I hate it for the Big Mac guys but Bristol is the type of race track that forces a driver to be aggressive to stay out of trouble. I was trying to be patient with Anthony but I was leading a pack of faster cars who were not going to wait around for the 97 to move over. I sent several messages that I had a better car and that it would be best for everyone if Anthony let me pass. While it was never my intention send Lazzaro into the wall, unfortunately if worked out that way”. Henderson Motorsports race packages are powered by Fischer Engineering engines(SponsorTec Inc. PR)(3-28-2000)
  • Parker and Eel River Crew CORRECTION: In an agreement that is designed to help both racing teams, five pit-crew members from the #27 Eel River Racing Team help on Saturday pit stops in the Busch Series for the #53 Team Marines Busch Series car driven by Hank Parker, Jr. Eel River Racing crew chief Barry Dodson assisted the #53 team last year, and he was willing to offer them assistance this year with some pit crew members on race weekends when the Busch Series competes at the same track on the same weekend as the Winston Cup Series. In addition, Dodson continues to work as a consultant for the #53 team on Saturdays, aiding them with pit strategy and giving advice on chassis adjustments. Dodson lends the #53 team two tire changers, two tire carriers and the jack man for the Busch races(Keystone Marketing)(3-24-2000)
    CORRECTION: The #27 Eel River Racing pit crew (Jeff Fuller/Viagra on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series) performs the over-the-wall race day duties on Hank Parker Jr.’s #53 Rick Rathbun’s Team Marines Racing NASCAR Busch Series Chevrolet. Eel River Racing crew chief Barry Dodson is a close friend of the Parker family. Veteran crew chief Dave McCarty and general manager/spotter Freddie Query “call the shots” on raceday chassis setups and strategy. “Barry’s helping this team by lending us his pit crew, and they give us excellent pit stops,” stated Query. “But perhaps a misconception was born during last season’s Busch Series finale telecast on NBC, when Barry was incorrectly referred to as our crew chief. We value Barry’s help and friendship — there’s no doubt about that. We certainly due not want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but we felt a clarification was in order. The success of our team is due and only due to the hard work and dedication of our team members. It is also due to the excellent level of communication between Hank Jr. and crew chief Dave McCarty and also between Hank Jr. and me. We have a great crew chief in Dave McCarty. He does not get the credit he deserves, simply because he does not demand attention. And we certainly could not have achieved this level of success without the financial support of sponsor Rick Rathbun and his Team Marines Racing program. Of course, I am not content with our current level of success (one pole, one track record and three top-10 finishes in six starts). I want to win — we all want to win. And that will come soon, due to everyone’s hard work and input.”(3-27-2000)
  • Marlin subs and wins: Sterling Marlin subbing for BGN teammate David Steele in the #82 ChannelLock Chevy in the BGN race at Bristil came from 16th to win the race, with Steele serving as his spotter. Why was Marlin in the car? Steele only made 2 of the 5 previous races, so the thought was to let Marlin run the car and Steele to watch. Plans are for Steele to return to the #82 next week at Texas(SpeedVision and other sources)(3-25-2000)
  • Hearn to NASCAR? Richie Hearn had planned on competing in Sunday’s CART season opener at Homestead. Instead, Hearn will be a spectator when the green flag drops on the 2000 CART season — only he won’t be at Homestead. Hearn, who lost his ride Friday with longtime team owner John Della Penna, said he likely would spend Sunday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway watching the Food City 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race. Hearn is not sure what he wants to do yet and is looking at different venues to race(Las Vegas Sun)(3-24-2000)
  • Team Yellow: Jamie Skinner will drive the #19 Team Yellow Chevy at Bristol, his first race since Memphis last October. The team spent the day at Greenville-Pickens Speedway on Wednesday, March 22 to offer Skinner some seat time before heading to Bristol(Grandstand Communications)(3-23-2000)
  • Hines: Tracy Hines will drive Jimmy Spencers #12 Chevy at Bristol in a one race deal(3-23-2000)
  • That’s Racin’: BGN Notebook by Jim Utter(3-23-2000)
  • Waltrip PR: Waltrip Races in Bristol Marathon(Cox Marketing)(3-23-2000)
  • Country Cool: Connecting the Circuits: Schuler Has Big Shoes to Fill by Troy Fletcher(3-22-2000)
  • Overlooked: was looking thru some BGN stats and noticed that PJ Jones is having a nice run in the unsponsored #74 BACE Chevy. Surprised no sponsor has jumped aboard yet(3-22-2000)
  • Tennessean: Ron Hornaday is ‘rookie’ in cars by Skip Wood(3-22-2000)
  • Star Telegram: T. Bodine has cure for Martin by John Sturbin(3-22-2000)
  • CBS Sportsline: So far, so good by Lyndon Amick(3-22-2000)
  • #4 Crew Chief: Mike Bryd has replaced Johnny Allen as crew chief for the #5 Porter Cable team and driver Jeff Purvis(RPM2Nite)(3-21-2000)
  • Texas Testing: Testing at Texas Motor Speedway Monday and Tuesday are #15-Jack Sprague; #18-Jason Leffler; #50-Tony Roper and Rich Bickle in the #91 Popeye’s Pontiac(TMS Site)(3-21-2000)
  • The Leader Column: Ahead of Schedule about Todd Bodine by Chris Gill(3-18-2000)
  • #25 Special Paint: Lance, Inc. is spearheading a campaign to re-launch its “Gold-n-Chees” cracker product with an attractive paint scheme for the #25 Team Rensi Motorsports Chevy for the March 25 BGN Cheez-It 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The Lance Racing Chevrolet will shed its normal orange and white paint scheme for that of a primarily red and gold colored car for the Bristol race(PR)(3-18-2000)
  • Hendrick and Cicci-Weliver Alliance: Hendrick Motorsports announced a new partnership with Cicci-Welliver Racing(BGN teams #’s 34,36,66) designed to enhance the performance of both organization’s BGN teams. As part of the exclusive agreement, the two organizations will share aerodynamic, chassis and certain technical information as well as participate together in in-house testing sessions and those held at outside facilities. They may also join forces to test during a limited number of Winston Cup races using Cicci-Welliver drivers. Hendrick Motorsports will provide Cicci-Welliver access to chassis and engine dyno testing facilities, key personnel and wind tunnel results throughout the season(David Green Site)(3-17-2000)
  • Dodge? UPDATE: hearing there will be a Dodge BGN team but not until 2002. Hearing the #1 Phoenix team, who has built a Dodge could be one team of that Brewco Motorpsorts could be one team(3-15-2000)
    UPDATE: Ray Evernham and Lou Pantane from Dodge met with Caey Atwood, Atwoods BGN team owenr Clarance Brewer and Atwood’s Father. Sources indicate that Evernham will put a yound driver in a Dodge BGN team with Brewco Motorsports in the season 2001(Winston Cup Scene Magazine)(3-17-2000)
  • Tyler Walker News UPDATE 2: Tyler Walker, recently released from Tyler Jet Motorsports, will run 15 races in the BGN with the #28 LAR Motorsports team(TNN Raceday)(2-6-2000)
    UPDATE: Despite televised reports to the contrary, Tyler Walker and the LAR Motorsports NASCAR Busch Series team have not yet come to an agreement to team up for the 2000 racing season. Team spokesperson Jenny Lockamy Dugger, the daughter of LAR Motorsports owner Larry Lockamy, said Tuesday that they were still in negotiations not only with Walker, but “several potential sponsors” for this season(goRacing)(2-9-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Tyler Walker, a 20-year-old native of Los Angeles, has signed to drive in the Busch Series for Nashville-based LAR Motorsports. Walker is scheduled to make his debut in the April 8 BellSouth Mobility 320 at Nashville Speedway. Plans call for the team to run a total of 15 races this season. Dennis Adcock, who co-owns LAR Motorsports with Larry Lockamy, met Walker two years ago during a World of Outlaws race at Las Vegas(Tennessean)(3-17-2000)
  • Bristol Testing Continues: #20-Mike Borkowski and #4-Jeff Purvis are testing at Bristol today getting ready for the Cheez-It 250. Borkowski, Anthony Lazzaro, P.J. Jones, Jason Leffler and Tony Raines tested on Tuesday(Bristol Motor Speedway Site)(3-15-2000)
  • Country Cool: Connecting the Circuits: A Grand Experience by Troy Fletcher(3-15-2000)
  • Bristol Herald Courier: Denton just keeps being patient and Business not in way of Leffler’s pleasure: racing by Allen Gregory(one day links for 3-15-2000)
  • NOL: Ashton Lewis Jr. Diary(3-15-2000)
  • Morgan Back: Morgan Shepherd will drive the #19 Kobalt Tools Chevy in the BGN race at Darlington for Team Yellow. Why no Skinners? Mike Skinner had “minor corrective eye surgery” Monday and will drive in the CUP race(NOL)(3-14-2000)
  • TNN Motorsports: Solid Atlanta Run Gives Good Vibes for Darlington by Jimmie Johnson(3-15-2000)
  • Racing Press: Roush’s Busch romp by Shawn Akers(3-14-2000)
  • Alabama Live: Means’ team means business by Neal Sims(3-11-2000)
  • Tennessean: Chaffin continues to get noticed by Larry Woody(3-11-2000)
  • Whittaker Team: Veteran Busch Series car owners Ed and Maxine Whittaker are talking with potential sponsors to run at least five races this season and the full schedule in 2001 with Burlington, North Carolina native Keith Montgomery behind the wheel of their Jack Roush powered Chevrolets. Montgomery, who is currently working at Mansion Racing as crew chief for driver Carl Long, is a former short track champion at Ace Speedway and has over 20 wins to his credit between 1993 and 98. Whittaker, who has fielded cars in the past for such drivers as Dale Earnhardt, Harry Gant, Davey and Bobby Allison, is looking to enter several BGN short track events with Montgomery even if a full-time sponsor isn’t found right away. Whittaker was running the #7, not sure what number he will use in 2000(3-11-2000)
  • Atlanta Pole: #17-Matt Kenseth is on the pole for the Aarons 312. See the results at NOL(3-9-2000)
  • Country Cool: Featuring NASCAR: A Conversation with Elton Sawyer by Mike Willis(3-9-2000)
  • Darlington Testing speeds for Wednesday. #90-Stefanik 162.888mph; #24-Hendrick 161.920; #20-Borkowski 161.021(ESPN2’s RPM2Nite)(3-9-2000)
  • Country Cool: Connecting the Circuits: Seeing stars a regular Busch experience – Gus Wasson(3-9-2000)
  • Tennessean: Steadman Marlin to make Busch Series debut by Larry Woody(3-8-2000)
  • Darlington Testing: The following drivers/teams will test at Darlington on Tuesday, March 7th: #18-Jason Leffler, #96-Gus Wasson, #90-Mike Stefanik and #46-Ashton Lewis Jr(Times-Dispatch)(3-6-2000) — UPDATE: wasn’t menationed in the above story but #24-Ricky Hendrick was the fastest at 167.836 mph. #31-Steve Park also tested his BGN ride(Tennessean/AP)(3-8-2000)
  • Bristol Testing: #75-Kelly Denton and #?-Tracy Hines are testing at Bristol today (and Denton on Wednesday also) in prep for the Cheez-It 250(BMS)(3-7-2000)
  • Nashville News: BellSouth Mobility will return for a sixth season as corporate sponsor of Nashville Speedway’s April 8 BGN race, likely the last major NASCAR event at the aging Fairgrounds facility. Next year’s BGN race will be moved to new Nashville Superspeedway, assuming construction remains on schedule for the $125 million Wilson County track. The official announcement of the renewed BellSouth Mobility sponsorship will be made Tuesday, Mar 7th a press conference at the downtown NASCAR Cafe. Three generations of drivers — Coo Coo, Sterling and Steadman Marlin — are scheduled to attend the press conference. Both Cool Coo and Sterling are past Nashville Speedway champions. Steadman will attempt to make his first BGN start in next month’s TNN-televised race. Also scheduled to be on hand for the press conference is Kenny Irwin, Sterling Marlin’s Winston Cup teammate, whose car is sponsored by BellSouth(Tennessean)(3-7-2000)
  • Sauter to Cup? UPDATE: Jay Sauter has signed a multi-year agreement with Curb-Agajanian Motorsports to drive the #43 Quality Farm & Country Chevrolet in the BGN series for the 2000 season. Current driver Shane Hall was given notice of his release last month and is himself very close to signing a 2000 contract. Co-owner Cary Agajanian is hopeful of lining up a five-race sponsorship deal to test the Winston Cup waters with Sauter late next season(Racer Magazine-now SpeedVision)(11-2-1999) — UPDATE: from this weeks Winston Cup Scene: Jay Sauter and Curb-Agajanian Motorsports may run five Cup events later this season, in preparation for a possible full tilme Cup effort in 2001. The team’s present sponsor, Quality Farm and County, could be a co-primary sponsor on the car. A project by the country music group Sawyer Brown could be relleased at a concert in conjunction with Sauter’s Cup debut(Winston Cup Scene) unless Evernham snaps up Sauter for his other Cup driver(3-6-2000)
  • Dynos: Grand National officials put seven cars on a chassis dyno after Saturday’s race, won by Jeff Burton. The chassis dyno measures how many horsepower is transferred from the engine to the car’s rear wheels. Cars tested: #9-Jeff Burton, #60-Mark Martin, #87-Joe Nemechek, #66-Todd Bodine, #98-Elton Sawyer, #3-Ron Hornaday and #24-Jeff Gordon. Martin’s Ford was found to be the strongest. It was one horsepower better than Nemechek’s Chevy. BGN cars produce about 400 horsepower with a restrictor plate and about 550 horsepower without it. NASCAR may take some BGN cars to the wind tunnel in 2000(Roanoke Times)(3-6-2000)
  • TachZone: BGN Notes for Saturday’s Race(3-5-2000)
  • Bickle News UPDATE: what’s up with Rich Bickle who drove in the CUP series the last few years? This weeks Winston Cup Scene has a story about him. Bickle will be running his own BGN team in at least 11 races, six with Popeye’s and five with last years sponsor, Aqua Velva. If more sponsorship can be found, Bickle may run more races, also may run a Truck in a few CTS races. Unless things have changed, Bickle will drive the #91 Ford(2-12-2000) — UPDATE: Bickle will switch to Pontiacs for 2000(TNN’s Raceday)(3-5-2000)
  • Here come the Marines: Hank Parker Jr in the #53 Team Marines Chevy takes the pole for the Sams Town 200 with a speed of 166.328mph to get his first BGN pole. 1sr round results can be found at NOL and That’s Racin’(3-3-2000)
  • Texas Sponsor: The BGN race April 1 at Texas is still on the books as the Texas 300, but a sponsorship announcement should be forthcoming. TMS’s Eddie Gossage said he has received three proposals this week. Gossage said the speedway is looking for a company that will work as a partner in promoting the race. Coca-Cola did not renew its contract as the race sponsor after last year(Dallas Morning News)(3-2-2000)
  • NOL: Ashton Lewis diary: Week 2(3-2-2000)
  • NOTE: a few sites are reporting that Mike McLaughlin will be starting his 200 BGN event at Las Vegas, I heard from his PR folks and he has started 193 thru Rockingham, so his 200th BGN start can’t take place any sooner then Talladega on April 15th(3-1-2000)
  • That’s Racin’: Randon BGN Notes by Jim Utter(3-1-2000)
  • An Addition: With the clock winding down for Goulds Pumps NASCAR Busch Series driver Mike McLaughlin’s departure for the Sam’s Town 300 in Las Vegas, all fingers were crossed that the Stork would make a special delivery prior to Mike heading out west. The wish came true for Mike and wife Katie on Tuesday at 8:35pm at The University Hospital in Charlotte. Katie delivered a healthy 7 pound 6 ounce baby boy, Michael Thomas McLaughlin. Max, as he will be called, measured 19 ¾ inches long. Max is the first child between Mike and Katie. The couple have been married for 15 months. Katie has two children, Manning and Hannah Gregory, from a previous marriage. After a full day with Max on Wednesday, Mike will depart on the last flight of the day for Las Vegas. Don’t be surprised to see a proud father sharing photos of his new son between practice sessions at Las Vegas Motor Speedway(Total Sports Marketing PR)(3-1-2000)
  • TNN Story: Daytona Disappointment Leads to Rockingham Redemption – Jimmie Johnson by Glen Grissom(3-1-2000)