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March 2002 Busch Series Archive

  • Bessey Returns to the BGN: Picking up where he left off in 2001, Joe Bessey returns to the BGN at New Hampshire International Speedway on May 11 carrying the colors of Aubuchon Hardware. “NHIS has been a big part of my racing life,” said Joe Bessey “I always look forward to seeing my northern fans and friends. The track has so many great memories for me, and I love racing there. Maine is home and so is NHIS and it is wonderful to be representing a sponsor with such a major presence in New England.” Bessey’s return to New Hampshire will bring a chance to add to his list of accomplishments and personal history at the track, including 3 wins in the Busch North series, (1991,1994, 1995), the NHIS Busch North Series Track Championship in 1996, and a Busch Grand National Pole Award in 1998. Along with his three Busch North wins, Bessey has enjoyed racing at NHIS in three of NASCAR’s premiere racing series: Craftsman Truck, Busch Grand National, and Winston Cup, where he made his debut at Loudon in September of 2000, finishing 27th. Returning to his favorite track also reunites Joe with Aubuchon, who along with Glidden Paint were sponsors of the NHIS track championship award in 1996. Aubuchon Hardware, which operates 144 hardware stores and one lumber yard throughout New England and New York also has impressive racing history in the northeast. In addition to its long relationship with NHIS, Aubuchon Hardware is the primary sponsor of Carey Heath in the Busch North racing series, which returns to action on April 21 at Lee, New Hampshire, and will race in conjunction with the Busch Series on May 11. Aubuchon Hardware, with its familiar motorsport partners, aubuchon.com and Glidden Paint, welcome new racing partners BrickMill Marketing Services of Nashua, New Hampshire, and Pottle’s Transportation of Bangor, Maine. All will share the advertising design on Bessey’s #6 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, as well as the weekend’s activities.(Shamrock PR)(3-28-2002)
  • Mark Green ok: Mark Green was released 6:00pm/et from the hospital and has a bruised left foot. The x-rays & cat scans were all negative. The extra time he was in the car was for the safety team to free his left foot from the pedal area.(3-24-2002)
  • #54 Changes Drivers….NOW UPDATE 4 Sponsor? 2nd team? Cup team?: Kevin Grubb will drive the #54 Team Bristol Motorsports Chevy at Las Vegas today, replacing Kelly Denton, who has been released from the team. Kelly Denton, who drove the #54 GC Toys Chevy at Daytona and Rockingham, was released from the ride Friday and replaced by Kevin Grubb. Rick Goodwin, team owner for nine months, said it was time to make a change and Denton was the result of that decision. Grubb will have to start at the tail of the field. Denton had qualified 34th.(NASCAR.com), doesn’t say if it is a one race deal or longer.(3-2-2002)
    UPDATE: Kevin Grubb is in the #54 full time as of now. Also, crew chief Tony Lambert is looking for a car chief and a couple of fabricators right now and the team is very close on getting a sponsor. See my BGN Team Address page for ways to contact the team.(3-5-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Several other changes are in store for Goodwin’s #54 team, which began operation last season. For starters, he plans to announce a full-time primary sponsor prior to the March 9 Atlanta race. Goodwin said his team will also run five Winston Cup races later this season, and attempt to run the full Winston Cup schedule in 2003. Goodwin said Grubb will be considered for the team’s Winston Cup effort, depending on his performance this year. Goodwin said he is also preparing to start a second team, and is close to signing a sponsor, believed to be the Golden Nugget/MGM-Mirage resorts, for that deal. The Golden Nugget was on Goodwin’s car at Las Vegas for a one-race deal. If everything goes according to plan, he said, the team will make its debut in late April at California Speedway. By landing two primary sponsors, Goodwin is definitely bucking a trend in the sport, as many Winston Cup and Busch team owners are struggling to find financial support. Goodwin said there’s no secret behind his success.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(3-7-2002)
    UPDATE 3 and MORE: The Team Bristol Motorsports BGN team will have new sponsorship when the tour rolls into Bristol on March 23 and series regular Kevin Grubb has been tabbed to drive the team’s Chevrolets, team owner Rick Goodwin said Wednesday. Grubb, who replaced Bristol’s Kelly Denton last weekend in Las Vegas, will complete the 2002 BGN schedule in the car, with sponsorship from Toys R Us, a national toy retailer. The team also plans to run five Winston Cup races this season, Goodwin said. “We’ve signed Toys R Us as sponsor for the 54 car and we will launch that in Bristol. It’s a big deal for us and a big deal for NASCAR,” Goodwin said. GC Toys provides product to Toys R Us, Goodwin said. Despite the current sponsor troubles in Winston Cup and Busch, Goodwin has big plans for the Bristol-based team which also employs longtime BGN car owner Ed Whitaker of Bristol. “With this deal we plan to run five Cup races this year and we want to look to Winston Cup for 2003 or 2004,” Goodwin said. “The cars will continue to be fielded here by Team Bristol. We don’t have a Cup schedule yet, but the one I can tell you we plan to run is the August night race in Bristol. Running here is very important to me. To run and run well. The other races we’ll take one at a time,” Goodwin added. “We’ve already expanded the shop and we are currently discussing a second (Busch) team. We’re in negotiation with a sponsor and are looking at a second team. It may race out of Charlotte.”(Bristol Herald Courier)(3-7-2002)
    UPDATE a sponsor: Team Bristol Motorsports owner Rick Goodwin announced a primary sponsorship agreement between Toys “R” Us and his Bristol, VA based BGN team. Toys “R” Us will serve as the primary sponsor on the # 54 BGN Chevy driven by Kevin Grubb. The Toys “R” Us Chevrolet competed in its first race, the Channellock 250 at Bristol.(Camp and Assoc PR)(3-24-2002)
  • Jeff Green wins wild one at Bristol: Saturday’s BGN race at Bristol brought out the best – and worst – short track racing has to offer. #21-Jeff Green won the Channellock 250 in a race slowed a record-tying 14 times by caution for 88 laps, but Green’s brother, Mark, was involved in a serious accident on the last lap. Mark Green spun exiting Turn 2 and was then T-boned on the driver’s side of his #38 Ford by Larry Foyt. Mark Green remained trapped in his car for nearly half an hour as rescue workers attempted to extricate him from the severely damaged vehicle and take him to the infield care center. Mark Green was airlifted to Wellmont Bristol Medical Center with a likely fractured left foot. If that wasn’t enough, as Jeff Green was celebrating his victory doing burnouts on the frontstretch, Kevin Harvick charged down pit road, climbed over the top of Mike McLaughlin’s car and got into a physical confrontation with Greg Biffle, who had hit and spun Harvick on Lap 240. The two spent nearly a minute locked together as Harvick had his arms wrapped around Biffle’s neck before series officials got them separated. Harvick, his crew chief Kevin Hamlin, and car owner Richard Childress were summoned after the race to the series hauler to meet with NASCAR officials. #24-Jack Sprague joined in the melee as well, trying to confront #1-Jimmy Spencer, who had hit Sprague on the last lap while Spencer dived to the apron of the track while trying to catch the race winner. See ThatsRacin.com for a column: Jeff Green wins a rough BGN race and for Channellock 250 race results.(3-23-2002)
  • Davis team to skip Nashville? #23 car owner Bill Davis said he is disappointed that the purse for the upcoming Busch race at Nashville won’t be at the $1 million level that he says NASCAR promised team owners. “They’d told us every new track coming in would pay a $1 million purse, and it’s only $500,000,” Davis said. “So we’re probably not going to go.”(Winston Salem Journal)(3-23-2002)
  • Riggs wins pole at Bristol: #10-Scott Riggs won his first BGN pole Friday, turning a track-record lap at 126.270mph for the Channellock 250 at Bristol. #21-Jeff Green was second fastest, while Riggs’ ppc Racing teammate and current series points leader, #57-Jason Keller, was third. #1-Jimmy Spencer and #59-Stacy Compton rounded out the top five. See ThatsRacin.com for a column: Riggs gets record, BGN pole
    See BGN Racing, or MotorsportsOne or NASCAR.com for the linup/results.(3-22-2002)
  • Kingsford re-ups with the #59: Kingsford Products Co. and ST Motorsports signed a three-year sponsorship agreement that will extend Kingsford’s involvement in the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series through 2005.. Kingsford Charcoal has sponsored ST Motorsports #59 Chevrolets, now driven by Stacy Compton, since 1998. Grant LaMontagne, Kingsford’s vice president of sales for special products, is quite happy with the marketing and business relationship with ST Motorsports. “When we got involved in racing, we clearly wanted to understand how we were going to get the return to justify the expenditure of that money,” LaMontagne stated, “In doing our post-race analysis, we can actually come up with a hard number and say, ‘This activity generated this many cases at this incremental case rate.’. One of the things we found out is that it’s been a tremendous pay out for us.” According to Rich Conti, president of Kingsford Products Co., the decision to sponsor a NASCAR Busch Series team came about as the result of the company’s need to expand its market share, especially in the Southeast.. A convincing presentation from ST Motorsports owner Tad Geschickter and a trip to the race track helped Conti make the decision to use racing as a marketing tool. Geschickter hopes his successful relationship with Kingsford will encourage other companies to get involved with Busch Series sponsorship.(ST Motorsports PR)(3-22-2002)
  • LaJoie to run some Cup races: BGN driver Randy LaJoie and his BGN team owner [#7 Chevy], Ed Evans, are talking to a potential sponsor about moving up to run four or five Cup races later this season. “I’m not going to go just to ride around,” he says. “I want to go and be competitive. Like when those Cup guys come over here and kick our butt? I want to go over there and kick theirs.” LaJoie, 40, won back-to-back BGN titles in 1996 and 1997. In the past few years, he has turned down several offers to move up to Winston Cup; one would have paid him four times more than he’s making now. LaJoie says the extra money isn’t worth the additional sponsorship, media and testing hassles that would come along with it. He has several friends in Winston Cup and can’t believe how much family time they miss. “I can’t put a price tag on that,” he says. “It kind of cracks me up when you listen to all these (drivers) that are mid-40s now. I think they finally realized that they had kids. By then their kids are teenagers, you know? To me, I’ve had so much fun watching my 6-year-old get his first basket in basketball, my 8-year-old getting a hit in baseball. I can’t replace that.” LaJoie turned down one particularly enticing offer a few years ago after one of his sons asked him why he’d want a job that would take him away from home more often; didn’t he already make enough money? “He’d better not get mad at me when he goes to a state college instead of Duke,” LaJoie jokes.(more at USA Today)(3-21-2002)
  • Crew Chief’s fined: NASCAR announced today that BGN crew chiefs Charles Hylton and Gregg Mixon have been fined $5,000 each for rules infractions that occurred during this past weekend’s event at Darlington Raceway. Hylton, crew chief for the #21 car of Jeff Green, and Mixon, crew chief for the #44 car of Mike Harmon, were cited for actions detrimental to stock car racing and the use of parts or equipment in an event that do not conform to NASCAR rules. Both cars were found to have carburetor-related violations as determined by NASCAR officials.(NASCAR PR)(3-21-2002)
  • Fittipaldi’s 2002 debut delayed: Christian Fittipaldi, who was scheduled to make his 2002 BGN debut this weekend in the Channellock 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway, will instead debut the #30 Mike’s Hard Lemonade Chevy at the Hardees 250 at Richmond on May 3. A conflict arose for Fittipaldi this weekend when his Newman/Haas Racing CART team scheduled a last-minute test session in Sebring, FL, on Thursday and Friday. The CART series remains Fittipaldi’s priority this season, and the session precludes his ability to qualify at Bristol. “I am disappointed that Bristol did not work out,” Fittipaldi said. “I was really looking forward to racing there. We will get everything ready for Richmond, and I am excited about racing under the lights there at night. I’ve raced at night in many parts of the world, in many different types of cars, and I really enjoy it.” Fittipaldi’s first and only BGN start came last November at Homestead. Mike’s Hard Lemonade served as the primary sponsor for that one-time effort with the Innovative Motorsports team.(Innovative Motorsports PR)(3-20-2002)
  • Burton wins at Darlington: #9- Jeff Burton led every lap in winning Saturday’s darlingtonraceway.com 200 at Darlington Raceway. Burton is the first driver since Chuck Bown in 1990 to lead every lap in a series race. He is the first to do so on a superspeedway. See ThatsRacin.com for a column: Burton leads every lap, wins it and NASCAR.com for Race Results.(3-16-2002)
  • Burton wins pole at Darlington: #9-Jeff Burton won the pole for the BGN race at Darlington Raceway, with a lap at 168.250mph. The rest of the top five: #21-Jeff Green, #57-Jason Keller, #10-Scott Riggs and #60-Greg Biffle. 45 cars were to attempt hte race, two failed to make the race: #90-Phil Bonifield (who also missed the CTS race) and #84-Shane Hall. See ThatsRacin.com for Saturday’s BGN race lineup.(3-15-2002)
  • 100 for Hank: #36-Hank Parker Jr. will add his own small footnote to the annals of “The Track Too Tough To Tame” in Saturday’s DarlingtonRaceway.com 200 BGN race. The fourth event of the 2002 season will also mark the 100th time Parker will compete in an BGN race. While celebrating his centennial run, the 27-year old driver from Denver, N.C., will also likely surpass the $2 million mark in career BGN winnings. Going into Saturday’s event, Parker is just $7,162 shy of becoming the 20th driver in BGN history to achieve that mark of distinction.(GNC Racing PR)(3-15-2002)
  • BACE and Little to Cup: BACE Motorsports announced this week that the team will make its NASCAR Winston Cup debut at California Speedway on April 28, 2002 with driver Chad Little in the #74 Chevy. In the coming weeks, Team Manager Terry Wooten will be announcing a crew chief for the Winston Cup team, as well as a strategic alliance with another Winston Cup program that will supply engines to the new venture. Operations of the #74 BGN Team, also piloted by Little, will cease immediately. “We’re excited to make the transition to the Winston Cup level with the #74 Team,” owner Bill Baumgardner said. “We’ve made a strategic change in plan for the No. 74 and are now dedicating 100 percent of the focus of this team to our Winston Cup effort. Since BACE was formed in 1990, we’ve been committed to a standard of excellence that has led our team to success. With the elements we currently have in place, we believe that this is the appropriate time to make the move to Winston Cup.” BACE’s debut marks the return of Chad Little to Winston Cup. Little joined BACE late in the 2000 BGN campaign, posting two Top-5 and six Top-10 finishes en route to a 9th-place finish in the 2001 BGN Championship race. “This is a great opportunity for me to return to Winston Cup with a team that understands how to build a winner,” Little said. “Their success in the Busch Series is undeniable and we have high expectations for Winston Cup,” he added. “I’m excited to be a part of a team with such a great tradition and honored to drive for BACE in their first Winston Cup effort.” Little, a former NASCAR Winston West Champion, will pilot the #74 entry in a limited schedule, initially focusing on intermediate tracks, as the team actively seeks corporate sponsorship. Following BACE’s California Speedway debut, Little will run The Winston Open and Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, then the June events at Dover International Speedway and Michigan International Speedway. Additional events will be named as the 2002 season progresses, with as many as 20 races possible.(Chad Little Site)(3-14-2002)
  • Wallace to run 13 more BGN races: Biagi Bros. Racing and driver Mike Wallace are putting together a rarity in NASCAR racing – a team that says it will run races with or without sponsorship, and means it. The #4 Chevrolet will run 13 more BGN races this season, all in major markets. Wallace will be behind the wheel for all of those events. The goals for the #4 Biagi Bros. team are high – run well and, in doing so, attract corporate attention. The 13 events scheduled are April 6 – Fort Worth, Tex.; Apr. 20 – Talladega, Ala. (Birmingham/Atlanta market); April 27 – Fontana, Calif. (Los Angeles); May 25 – Charlotte, N.C.; June 15 – Fort Mitchell, Ky. (Cincinnati/Louisville); July 5 – Daytona Beach, Fla. (Central Florida); July 13 – Joliet, Ill. (Chicago); Aug. 17 – Brooklyn, Mich. (Detroit); Sept. 28 – Kansas City; Oct. 12 – Charlotte; Oct. 26 – Atlanta; Nov. 9 – Phoenix; and Nov. 16 – Homestead, Fla. (Miami). Interested sponsors may contact the team through a unique “Sponsor Inquiry” section at www.mikewallace.com.(Williams Company PR)(3-12-2002)
  • Houston out of the #92? UPDATE 2 Bodine in: the BGN Racing site is reporting that Andy Houston has been released from the #92 Herzog Jackson ride, effective immediately. The team will test for a replacement driver this week.(3-5-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing that Todd Bodine (of the #66 Haas Carter Ford that is sidelined without a sponsor) will be the new driver and that Bodine and Robby Gordon are at Darlington today testing with the team.(3-5-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Todd Bodine, who sat out last weekend’s Cup race at Atlanta, has been named by Herzog-Jackson Motorsports to drive its #92 Excedrin Chevrolet for the rest of the 2002 BGN season.(NASCAR.com)(3-11-2002)
  • Harvick goes Sonic: Reigning BGN Champ Kevin Harvick, Richard Childress Racing and Sonic announced plans to enter the #29 Sonic Chevrolet in the BGN race at Texas Motor Speedway. The April 6 event marks the first race Harvick will run in the series since clinching the championship title in 2001. The #29 Sonic Chevrolet will be red and black and feature the Sonic logo on the hood and rear quarter panel. The deck lid will feature signature Sonic favorites- Cheese Coney, Tater Tots and Cherry Limeade. Sonic is giving four fans the chance to compete in a go-kart race against Harvick at SpeedZone in Dallas. To win, fans need to stop by a participating Sonic location in Dallas/Ft. Worth and enter the drawing. Sonic, which specializes in made-to-order fast food, is known for its specialty menu items and personal Carhop service. Popular menu items include Toaster Sandwiches (Chicken Club and Bacon Cheddar Burger on this Texas Toast), Extra-Long Cheese Coneys (hot dogs with chili and cheese), hamburgers, fresh-made Onion Rings, Tater Tots (hmm…a Jayski fave – love Sonic – need one in NJ) and a variety of Frozen Fountain Favorites(tm) such as Cream Pie Shakes and Cherry Limades.(Three Wide Marketing PR). See my Paint Schemes Gallery for four images of the car.(3-10-2002)
  • BGN Driver Arrested UPDATE 5 NASCAR ruling: A NASCAR driver in Central Florida for SpeedWeeks is under arrest for drugs. A deputy pulled over Sammy Potashnick in Flagler county. The deputy arrested Potashnick after noticing his car going north in the southbound lane on a divided road… heading right for him. When deputies finally pulled him over, they say he didn’t know where he was at the time. Police say he admitted to taking numerous vicatin painkillers without a prescription and smoking crack cocaine. Both of which were found inside the car. Potashnick who was in town to get more sponsors for his racing company, was scheduled to make his Busch series debut next weekend in Rockingham(NC). No word if that will happen. NASCAR is investigating the incident.(icFlorida/WFTV/Insider Racing)(2-15-2002)
    UPDATE: Sammy Potashnick was arrested Thursday and charged with possession of crack cocaine and prescription drugs without a prescription. Potashnick, 27, of Sikeston, MO., who is second in NASCAR’s Winston West Series and was scheduled to drive in this year’s Busch Series, has won more than $12,000 in the Winston West Series this year in his No. 65 Chevrolet. Potashnick had been scheduled to drive in the BGN for Jay Robinson’s #49 team at the Rockingham 200 in North Carolina next Saturday. Robinson, in Daytona Beach for Speed Weeks, said it was too soon to say whether Potashnick would be allowed to drive the #49 car next week. Potashnick was not scheduled to race this week at Daytona. He was arrested on Old Kings Road about 4:30 a.m. Thursday after what a Flagler County sheriff’s deputy described as a near head-on collision. According to authorities, Potashnick was on the wrong side of the road driving north on Old Kings Road near its intersection with Palm Coast Parkway. When deputy Jason Jolicoeur turned south onto the road, Potashnick swerved to avoid him. Jolicoeur decided to pull Potashnick over. The race car driver was disoriented, carrying prescription drugs of some kind without a prescription bottle and had a rock of crack cocaine in a cigarette box stashed in the center console of his rental car, the Sheriff’s Office said. Deputy David Edmonds, riding with Jolicoeur, arrested Potashnick after the brief interview, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Potashnick was taken to Memorial Hospital-Flagler to be checked out, then to the Flagler County Inmate Facility where he was booked on the charges and subsequently released on $10,000 bail. Officials from Lucas Oil Products Inc., which sponsors Potashnick’s SP Racing team, expressed surprise Thursday night on learning of the news, but said they would have no comment until Friday morning. Jolicoeur said Potashnick told the deputies he had taken some prescription drugs after a family argument.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-15-2002)
    UPDATE: Jay Robinson Racing [#49] is still trying to decide on a driver for the BGN race Saturday at Rockingham. Sammy Potashnick was supposed to drive the car this weekend but was arrested last week on a felony charge of possession of crack cocaine. Potashnick is listed as the driver on the entry list, but the team has an option to change drivers. Team owner Jay Robinson also has entered a car for Kirk Shelmerdine, who placed 31st for the team at Daytona last weekend. NASCAR spokesman Herb Branham said the sanctioning body is discussing the issue but had made no decision on whether Potashnick would be eligible to race Saturday.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-20-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Sammy Potashnick, who was supposed to make his Busch Series debut Saturday at Rockingham, has been suspended by NASCAR following a felony charge of possession of crack cocaine last week in Flagler County. “He has been temporarily suspended pending a thorough investigation of the incident,” NASCAR spokesman Rob Copeland said. Potashnick, a former Winston West driver, was scheduled to drive for car owner Jay Robinson, who also has entered a car for Kirk Shelmerdine in the race this weekend.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-22-2002)
    UPDATE 4: The NASCAR driver arrested on drug possession charges in Palm Coast on Feb. 14 has issued a statement denying wrongdoing. Sammy Potashnick, 27, of Sikeston, Mo., was charged after a traffic stop with possession of crack cocaine and a prescription drug for which he had no prescription. Monday, the Jay Robinson Inc. racing team issued a news release saying Potashnik had a prescription, and that the cocaine found in the car was not his but could have been left by a previous driver of the rental car.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-26-2002)
    UPDATE 5 – statement: NASCAR Winston West Driver Sammy Potashnick made a statement on Monday about the charges against him. See the full statement at BGN Racing.(2-27-2002)
    UPDATE 6: On March 6, 2002, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Samuel Potashnick, II.. The appeal pertained to an indefinite suspension issued by NASCAR following an arrest in Flagler County, Florida in February of 2002. The penalty did not stem from a racing competition. During the hearing, Mr. Potashnick made a strong and persuasive argument for his dedication to the sport. The Commission finds that NASCAR was correct in its decision to suspend Mr. Potashnick in light of the facts available at that time.. Given the nature of high-speed stock car racing, when a serious question arises about the possible improper use of a drug or controlled substance by a competitor, suspension can be and usually is appropriate, even in cases where legal action may still be ongoing.. It is the responsibility of NASCAR to act when compelling information leads to reasonable suspicion.. Such action on NASCAR™s part does not prejudge guilt or innocence, but serves the best interests of the sport and the safety of other competitors. The Commission notes that NASCAR has provided an avenue for possible future resolution of the indefinite suspension if and when pertinent new facts come to light. It is therefore the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the penalty assessed by NASCAR.. The Appellant has the right, under Section 15 of the NASCAR Rule Book, to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.(NASCAR PR)(3-7-2002)
  • Hendrick Injured UPDATE: #5-Ricky Hendrick suffered a dislocated right shoulder in an accident during the BGN race at Las Vegas. On Lap 119 of the 200-lap race, Hendrick and #33-Tony Raines collided and Hendrick’s car went careening into the Turn 1 wall. Hendrick, the 21-year-old son of Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, was taken to University Medical Center for precautionary X-rays.(ThatsRacin.com). AND Hendrick was taken to the infield medical center where it was discovered he had a dislocated right shoulder. The shoulder was re-set and Hendrick then was taken to nearby University Medical Center by his dad and team owner Rick Hendrick, where he was checked out and released. Hendrick returned to his Charlotte home on Saturday evening and canceled his planned test this week at Darlington Raceway and to race at Darlington when the series returns to the track on March 16th.(NASCAR.com)(3-2-2002)
    UPDATE: Ricky Hendrick, who dislocated his right shoulder in Saturday’s BGN race at Las Vegas, will need arthroscopic surgery to repair ligament damage in his injured shoulder. Hendrick is expected to make a full recovery, but will be out approximately six weeks, according to doctors. “Ricky is going to be just fine,” said his father Rick Hendrick, founder and CEO of Hendrick Motorsports. “He’s just disappointed about missing races.” Hendrick’s race car encountered oil on the track and hit the wall as he came into the first turn on lap 117, sliding for more than 500 feet before coming to a stop in turn two. In compliance with NASCAR rules, the #5 car was carrying a “black box” which recorded data on the severity of the crash. According to initial figures, the car sustained 50 G-force impact, exceeding any ever recorded by NASCAR. Hendrick was transported to the track’s Infield Care Center and later transferred to University Medical Center in Las Vegas for precautionary X-rays. After returning home to Charlotte, NC, Hendrick visited specialists who recommended the surgery, to be performed by Dr. David D’Alessandro of Miller Orthopedic Clinic on Wednesday, March 6. Hendrick Motorsports announced that veteran driver Ron Hornaday will replace the 21-year-old Busch Series rookie. The two-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion has two victories, two outside poles, seven top-five finishes and 18 top-10 finishes in more than 50 BGN. “I’m here to do anything I can do to support Rick Hendrick and Ricky,” said Hornaday. “It’s a great feeling to know that Hendrick Motorsports thinks that much of me. I know they have they best equipment in NASCAR racing and I’m proud to be able to get into a Hendrick car to show my talent until Ricky’s ready to come back.” “Ron is a proven veteran who’s been instrumental in the careers of many young drivers, including Ricky’s,” said the elder Hendrick. “Hendrick Motorsports and the team’s sponsors are proud to put him behind the wheel until Ricky’s return.”(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(3-5-2002)
  • Burton wins at Las Vegas, Hendrick injured: #9-Jeff Burton won the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, leading 149 of 200 laps and beating runner-up #99-Michael Waltrip to the finish line by 8.428 seconds. #2-Johnny Sauter finished third – his career-best. Unsponsored #71-Kevin Lepage was fourth and #21-Jeff Green was fifth.
    See ThatsRacin.com for a column: Jeff Burton takes control, wins and for Saturday’s Sam’s Town 300 results.(3-3-2002)
  • Burton on the pole: #9-Jeff Burton won the pole at Las Vegas for his first BGN race of 2002 with a speed of 169.168mph, 2nd is #1-Jimmy Spencer at 169.051, and 3rd was #66-Casey Mears with a speed of 168.945. Missing the race were five drivers: #88-Jeff Fukker, #34-Mike Laughlin, #72-A.J. Alsup, #44-Mike Harmon and #84-Dion Ciccarelli (who wrecked his primary car in practice but is ok). Cup drivers who made the include: #9-Burton, #1-Spencer, #21-Jeff Green, #59-Compton, #99-Waltrip, #87-Nemechek, #48-Wallace, #17-Kenseth and #07-Schrader. #94-Derrike Cope was to run both races, but missed the Cup race. See ThatsRacin.com for the Sam’s Town 300 qualifying results and for a column: Jeff Burton wins BGN pole.(3-1-2002)
  • Mark Green to run 2 races in the #38: EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts and team owner Brad Akins’ car dealership in Winder, Ga. will sponsor Mark Green in the upcoming races at Darlington and Bristol. Those are races not on the team’s schedule with Christian Elder, who’ll swap roles and spot for Green. According to team manager Doug Stringer, Green is free to take a full-time ride with another operation. Green joined Akins Motorsports as a consultant and spotter for Elder during the offseason, serving in a role similar to the one he filled last year with Larry Foyt.(Wisnton Cup Scene – need sub to read)(3-1-2002)
  • #94 Sponsor UPDATE driver change for Vegas UPDATE 2 it’s Cope: The #94 DF2 MotorSports BGN Team will have GIOIA, The Art Of Jewels/Las Vegas as their primary sponsor for the BGN race at Las Vegas. A special four week promotion, on RaceFanFun.com with GIOIA, will “kick off” the week following the race. Race Fans can win $10,000.00 worth of jewelry from GIOIA just by visiting the web site www.racefanfun.com.(DF2 MotorSports PR)(2-26-2002)
    UPDATE: The DF2 Race Fan Fun.com Team will a have a substitute driver for the #94 GIOIA/Las Vegas/Race Fan Fun Car in Las Vegas. Daniel Johnson, who drove the #94 car in Rockingham has not been cleared by NASCAR for the Las Vegas Track. NASCAR informed the team today (Tuesday) that Daniel needed just a few more laps to tackle a track like Las Vegas. A driver selection for the #94 GIOIA race car is underway, “post haste” for the Las Vegas race and an driver announcement is expected soon from the team. Johnson is expected to return to the #94 seat in Darlington.(DF2 MotorSports PR)(2-27-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Derrike Cope, Winston Cup regular and FOX Television Host steps up to the plate to help out the DF2 RaceFanFun.com #94 Gioia BGN Race Team Cope, will be driving the #94 car for DF2 in the BGN Series Sam’s Town 300 this Saturday plus drive in Sunday’s Las Vegas Winston Cup event. The team’s regular driver, BGN Rookie Daniel Johnson has not yet been cleared to drive the Las Vegas Track. The #94 racecar has a primary sponsor for Saturdays BGN Race, “Gioia” a jeweler located in the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas.(DF2 MotorSports PR)(3-1-2002)