March 2003 Busch Series Archive


  • Nemechek wins at Texas: #87-Joe Nemechek started last and finished first in Saturday’s O’Reilly 300 Busch Series race, but for the second straight day that part of the story took a backseat to NASCAR’s version of justice at Texas Motor Speedway. One day after NASCAR took away Tony Stewart’s car after it failed inspection, Brian Vickers felt Saturday that he had a victory taken from him by a black flag for passing a car on the left illegally on a Lap 179 restart. “We had the race won today and it got taken away from us,” said Vickers, the 19-year-old driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet owned by Hendrick Motorsports. Vickers’ disappointment was compounded further a few laps later when, after accepting the punishment he didn’t think was deserved, he got caught up in an 11-car wreck going into Turn 1 that also wiped out several more cars seemingly destined for good finishes. One of those was Todd Bodine’s #92-Chevrolet, which had the lead on a restart following the red flag for that big wreck. Bodine’s car, however, had been clipped in the right rear by the spinning car of Mike Bliss in the wreck, however, and had a flat tire. When Bodine had to make a pit stop to fix that flat, Nemechek inherited the lead and pulled away after the green flew again on Lap 196. After Hermie Sadler got nudged into the wall on Lap 197, Nemechek got to make the final three laps under yellow to take his 14th career Busch series victory and his second this year. “You have to have luck on your side sometimes,” Nemechek said. “Last year here, thunderstorms were coming and going and we came in to pit and decided to take four tires. Jeff Purvis took two and won. You never know.” Nemechek had his own peril to avoid during his afternoon. He’d been forced to start at the rear of the field after changing engines Friday and gradually worked his way into contention when, on Lap 171, Bruce Bechtel bounced off the outside wall and then careened hard into the inside wall on the backstretch, hitting it so hard the temporary barrier cracked and had to be replaced under a red flag. Nemechek ran right through the debris flying from Bechtel’s car, suffering a flat tire that brought him in for a pit stop. That left Vickers, who led 87 laps in his Chevrolet, in the first position but sitting behind several cars on the end of the lead lap in front of him for the restart. Chad Blount was one of those cars, and when the green flew again Blount’s car got loose just in front of Vickers as the cars came toward the start-finish line. When Vickers dove inside to avoid hitting Blount in the rear, the nose of his car was even with the rear wheel well on Blount’s as they crossed the line. NASCAR rules prohibit cars from passing to the left – the inside – until after the start-finish line. Jim Hunter, NASCAR corporate vice president for communications, defended the call, saying there was room for Vickers to stay behind Blount’s car until they had reached the start-finish line. “They normally make really good calls, but I’m sorry, I am going to have to disagree with them,” said Vickers, who wound up 25th. “They really made a bad one. …Nobody’s perfect. We had the race won today and it got taken away from us. I guess that happens.” Scott Riggs, who’d crashed his primary car in practice before Thursday’s qualifying, found his way through the trouble to get second. Shane Hmiel had a career-best third-place finish with Bodine and Blount rounding out the top five. Bodine still leads the Busch Series standings, 104 ahead of Jason Keller, who ran out of gas at one point on his way to an 18th-place finish Saturday. Jamie McMurray, 14th on the day, is three points behind Keller in third.(
    See results at ThatsRacin.comBGN RacingMotorsportsOne or
  • Nemechek’s car finds a problem with spring: During a routine postrace inspection at Texas, NASCAR found a potential problem with a left front spring in the #87 Chevy. Such an infraction, however, wouldn’t take away Nemechek’s win. “The problem was in reference to spacing of the coil,” NASCAR spokesman Herb Branham said Saturday night. “It will not affect the outcome of the race.” NASCAR officials will examine the car further Sunday. Branham said possible penalties are a fine, loss of points or a suspension if an infraction is found.(
  • To the back: #87-Joe Nemechek will have to fall to the rear of the field at Texas after an unapproved engine change, he was scheduled to start 7th.(3-29-2003)
  • Jeff Fuller News: Jeff Fuller will be driving the #88 Nemco Motorsports car April 5th in the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. Also, Joe Gibbs Racing [JGR] is very happy with the results of the tests conducted earlier this month at the Gerneral Motors proving grounds. Fuller drove the Winston Cup cars of JGR in a series of tests conducted by both team and Chevrolet engineers. Fuller has been asked to return to the proving grounds later this season to assist in further testing.(Jeff Fuller site)(3-28-2003)
  • Get Well Message on Kenseth’s car: #17-Matt Kenseth, the Winston Cup points leader who also is racing a Busch car this weekend, will have “Get Well Ginger” on the side of his Busch car this weekend. The message is for Ginger Burns, who is battling cancer. Burns is an employee of the Bayer Company, which sponsors the car.(Kansas City Star)(3-28-2003)
  • Tina Gordon to run Talladega Busch race: CTS driver Tina Gordon announced plans today to compete in the Aaron’s 312 Busch Series race on April 5, 2003, at Talladega Superspeedway. Gordon, driver of the #31 Microtel Inns Dodge in the Truck Series, will drive the #22 Sticks n Stuff Chevrolet for Bost Motorsports next week. Gordon is looking forward to the chance to return to her home track next weekend in a Busch car. “I am really excited about being able to race at Talladega Superspeedway. Talladega has always been a special track to me. I am glad to be bale to have the opportunity to gain more experience and valuable seat time on a Superspeedway,” said Gordon. “It is great to be able to race in a series like the NASCAR Busch Series at Talladega, especially with it being my home track.” Team owner Danny Bost feels very good about having Tina Gordon in the seat next week. “We are really looking forward to having Tina drive for us at Talladega. She has had some strong Superspeedway runs and we feel like we have a solid car for Talladega that will give her the chance to show her abilities in the Busch Series.” Added Bost, “I think there will be some eyes opened to Tina and this team next weekend. I can’t wait to get there.” The #22 Bost Motorsports entry has been building momentum all season. They have competed in all five Busch series races so far and are currently 30th in owner points for the 2003 season. The team crew chief is Matt Groeschl and uses engines from T&L Engine Development. Longtime supporter of Tina Gordon, Sticks n Stuff, will be the primary sponsor of the #22 entry. Gordon is thrilled at their return. “Sticks n Stuff has been a great sponsor with me in the ARCA/REMAX Series at Daytona and Talladega. I’m glad to be able to bring them back to Talladega in the Busch Series,” said Gordon. “Sam Kelley (owner of Sticks n Stuff) has been my sponsor every time I have run at Talladega and we are glad to continue that trend.” Kelley is also glad to be back on board with Tina Gordon. “We started with Tina in ARCA and are proud to move up the NASCAR ladder with her. At Sticks n Stuff, we keep adding locations and growing, just as Tina has been growing in her NASCAR career.” Gordon goes to Talladega after a strong run in the Craftsman Truck Series last week in Mesa Marin that put her in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year points lead and 16th in overall points. She looks to carry that momentum to Talladega and then on to Martinsville with her Brevak Racing truck program. “I’m thankful that the No. 22 team is giving me the opportunity to come here during my off week from the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and race at my home track, Talladega Superspeedway.”(Victory Lane Motorsports Management PR)(3-27-2003)
  • Keller wins pole at Texas: #57-Jason Keller’s lap Thursday in qualifying for the O’Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway wasn’t nearly as fast as the Busch series track record, but it was fast enough, a speed of 187.474mph. Jeff Green won the pole for this race a year ago at 193.493mph. #60-Stanton Barrett will start alongside Keller on the front row Saturday after running 186.916. Rounding out the top five are #25-Bobby Hamilton at 186.793, #10-Scott Riggs, who crashed his primary car in practice and didn’t have a lap on his backup is 4th at 186.657 and #5-Brian Vickers at 186.471. Two drivers missed the race; #00-Troy Cline and #85-Robbie Benton.(story at
    For lineups see ThatsRacin.comBGN Racing or
  • Testing News: 17-year-old hot shots Kyle Busch and Shelby Howard were all alone at the top of the speed chart in yesterday’s open ARCA test at Nashville. Both drivers look to make their Busch Series debuts later this season. Busch has his ride lined up, but Howard has yet to finalize his plans. A pair of 19-year-olds connected to the Busch Series also participated in the test: Rookie Chase Montgomery and Henderson Motorsports crew member Caleb Holman.(BGN Racing)(3-27-2003)
  • Shortened Fields? Some Busch teams would like to see NASCAR shorten the field by a few cars. The reason for doing so is to avoid scrambling to fill the field each week and to eliminate the problem of much slower cars clogging the track. That would likely result in promoters wanting to cut the purse, but if adjustments weren’t made it would ease some of the rising cost problems due to an increased payout per team.(Winston Cup Scene/BGN Racing)(3-27-2003)
  • Carquest on the #5 at Texas: The O’Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway will feature the first special paint scheme of the season for GMAC Racing. The #5 Chevy will highlight CarQuest Auto Parts, with the company’s logo prominently displayed on the hood.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(3-27-2003)
  • Stewart and Kid Rock? UPDATE 5 at Michigan BUT not Kid Rock…3 Doors Down: hearing that Tony Stewart will drive the #8 Kid Rock Chevy in the Busch/BGN race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May.(1-23-2003)
    UPDATE: however, it has been reported that Steve Park will race the #8 BGN car at Lowe’s, so not too sure about this one.(1-24-2003)
    UPDATE 2: getting a bit more info, hearing now, the scheme will race at one of the BGN Richmond races, probably May as there are rumors that Dale Earnahrdt Jr will run all three races at Richmond in Sept (CTS/BGN/Cup) and Martin Truex Jr is scheduled in the #8 BGN car at RIR in May…so this rumor has some holes in it, unless it is a 2nd Chase2 car, what is posted here is all I have heard or know.(1-25-2003)
    UPDATE 3: been told that Tony Stewart will NOT be driving a #8 Kid Rock paint scheme in the May Charlotte BGN race. This is already scheduled to be a cheese nips car to be driven by Steve Park. But could show up elsewhere. However, many diecast sheets are showing the car running in Charlotte, so it could be the Fall race.(1-27-2003)
    UPDATE 4: now being told the scheme will run at the Michigan Busch Series race in August.(3-13-2003)
    UPDATE 5: the Tony Stewart #8 Busch Series program has been changed from Kid Rock to 3 Doors Down. This special program will be racing in Michigan on August 16th. Dale Earnhardt Jr.(car owner) and Stewart both filmed footage to appear in a new rock music video with 3 Doors Down which is due out this summer.(3-27-2003)
  • Bainey Jr to debut at RIR: DRT Enterprises will return to the Busch Series in 2003 starting May 2nd at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, VA entering the “Hardee’s 250.” Tim Bainey Jr. will pilot the team’s Ford Taurus as he attempts to make his debut in the NASCAR Busch Series. The team is very excited, as it has put a great deal into developing the young Pennsylvania driver over the past few seasons. Bainey Jr. started with the team running super late model events in Western PA. They would continue with him into the Northeast’s Iceman Super Late Model Series, and then to the USAR Hooter’s ProCup Series. DRT Enterprises attempted two Busch Series events late last season with Bainey Jr, missing each race by just .2 tenths of a second. He posted the 41st quickest time in qualifying at Bristol. Without any provisional points the team needed to be in the top-36 and failed to make the show. They returned to attempt the event at Memphis where he posted the 43rd quickest time in qualifying, and once again came up short. DRT Enterprises also returned to the USAR Hooter’s ProCup Series for a few events during the 2002 season. Bainey Jr’s best performance in the series would be a 5th place finish on the high banks of Winchester Speedway. Bainey Jr. also competed in a number of NASCAR Weekly Racing Series regional events to fill out his driving schedule for the season. The team is currently offering one-race “trial” sponsorships for a select number of events this season as they look to develop solid relationships to assist them in moving Tim Jr. full-time into the series by 2004. Anyone interested may contact the team at 1-877-DRT-ZONE for more information.(DRT Enterprises PR)(3-26-2003)
  • Renshaw to sport military colors in ARCA race: Deborah Renshaw will sport the colors of the 101st Airborne Division on her car during the April 11 ARCA race at Nashville Superspeedway. ”I’m very proud to represent the 101st Airborne during these tumultuous times,” Renshaw said yesterday at her car’s unveiling, which was attended by representatives from the military base in Fort Campbell, Ky. ”I grew up [in Madisonville, Ky.] close to the base and I have such a deep respect for the sacrifices that these soldiers make to ensure our freedom and our way of life in the United States. I feel like this is a small way to say thanks to them.” Said Maj. Hugh C. Cate III, the division’s public-affairs officer: ”Her demonstrated drive and devotion to her sport is self-evident. She has earned her spot as a Screaming Eagle not only because she travels as fast as a Blackhawk helicopter, but because she does it on the ground.” Cliff Hawks, Superspeedway vice president and general manager, has donated 700 race tickets to the families of soldiers at Fort Campbell. ”As Deborah said, it’s a way for us to express our gratitude for their service to our country,” Hawks said.(Tennessean)(3-26-2003)
  • #48 Team barely hanging on, needs a sponsor: #48 Team owner, George de Bidart was unsure earlier this week if he will send his #48 Chevy team and driver Shane Hmiel to Texas [they are listed on the Entry List]. de Bidart desperatly needs a sponsor to replace the one that left at the end of 2002 [Stacker2]. The team runs Dark Dog, a high-energy drink, but the deal is tied into distribution and only gets paid if the product is sold.(Winston Cup Scene – Subscription Required to read online)(3-26-2003)
  • Greg Ray to drive in BGN UPDATE: Former IRL champion Greg Ray is trying to finalize a deal to run several Busch series races this season as a teammate to Matt Kenseth at Reiser Enterprises. Robbie Reiser, the crew chief for the Winston Cup car Kenseth’s drives, owns a Busch team and wants Ray to drive a second Busch car for them if the sponsorship can be worked out. “We should know something on that by March 1,” Ray said. “If we can finalize things, my first Busch race will be March 29 at Texas Motor Speedway.”(Dallas Morning News – need to register to read)(2-19-2003)
    UPDATE: guess sponsorship never happened as Ray is not listed on the Entry List.(3-26-2003)
  • #22 and Smith get a sponsor for Texas: The Harvey Hotel DFW Airport North will sponsor driver Regan Smith and the #22 Bost Motorsports Busch Series team in Saturday’s O’Reilly 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Bost Motorsports is a first year team with Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Regan Smith as driver. Smith, 19, is a former World Karting Association and Allison Legacy Series national champion. Danny Bost, a Concord based real estate developer, owns Bost Motorsports. Formerly, he was co-owner of the team but assumed sole ownership on Jan. 1. The team has current plains for competing in all 34 Busch Series event. Smith gave the car its best finish at arguably the series toughest track – a 19th at Darlington on Mar. 17. The Harvey Hotel DFW Airport North is a first class hotel located just outside Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. This 15-story high-rise hotel is Irving’s largest hotel and a feature of the surrounding area. The hotel amenities include: an indoor and outdoor pool, an exercise facility, a meeting and a facility, business center, valet service, coin laundry, complimentary USA Today newspaper, gift shop, room service and 2 restaurants.(Bost Motorsports PR)(3-24-2003)
  • Kerry Earnhardt hopes to make 2nd Cup start at Texas; Spencer in a 2nd team Busch car: FitzBradshaw Racing will field the # 83 Aaron’s Dream Machine Chevy in the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 on March 30, 2003 at Texas Motor Speedway. The car will be driven by Kerry Earnhardt. Earnhardt was slated to drive the #83 Aaron’s Dream Machine in select Winston Cup Series races during the 2002 season, however, rain cancelled qualifying for all events. Those were FitzBradshaw’s first attempts in the Winston Cup Series and no owner points had been accumulated. “We’re excited about this race,” Earnhardt said. “We tried a couple times last year to make races in the Aaron’s Dream Machine, and each time we tried we got rained out. It was a pretty big joke around the garage.”
    “This is great for us,” FitzBradshaw co-owner Armando Fitz said. “We’re going to have two Busch Series cars competing in Texas, plus Kerry in the Aaron’s Dream Machine for the Cup race. We’re taking huge steps in the direction we need to in order to be a competitive team in NASCAR.” Earnhardt, who has tentative plans to run several more Winston Cup races this year, will be joined in the Texas Busch Series race by Jimmy Spencer, who will be piloting the #82 Jani-King Chevrolet for FitzBradshaw Racing.(FitzBradshaw Racing PR)(3-24-2003)
  • #75 Crew Member to run ARCA race: Caleb Holman is planning his ARCA debut next month at Nashville with the hope of impressing NASCAR enough to be approved for the Busch race at Richmond. The 19-year-old Holman from Abingdon, VA, is a crew member for the #75 Henderson Motorsports Busch team.(Bristol Herald Courier via BGN Racing)(3-24-2003)
  • McGraw to be Honored: Andy Belmont wanted to try something a little different for this week’s Busch Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. “From a competitive standpoint, nothing has changed. We’re going down there to run as hard as we can run, and see what we can do,” Belmont said. “But, having grown up near Philly, well, I had to do something . . .” Tug McGraw, 58, the tenacious retired major league relief pitcher, just had a brain tumor removed while in a Tampa, FL, hospital. McGraw pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies [Jayski’s team] from 1975 until his retirement in 1984 and threw the last pitch in the 1980 World Series to help win the World Championship for the Phillies. McGraw who works for the team, is also a Pitching Consultant with the Phillies. While with the New York Mets (1965-74) in 1973 he led the team with the phrase, “You Gotta Believe.” The Mets lost the World Series that year to the Oakland A’, but McGraw also pitched for the Mets when they won the 1969 World Series. “So we put ‘Get Well Tug McGraw’ on our car, and ‘You Gotta Believe.’ We have to believe he is going to recover and be fine,” Belmont said of his #91 Pontiac, which is sponsored by Southern Pan Services for this race. Verizon sponsors Belmont’s ARCA entry, the 1 800 CALL VZ Ford. McGraw, whose real name is Frank Edwin McGraw Jr., has long been one of the favorite of major league baseball fans, and was always known as fun loving. “He’s the kind of guy who helped build popularity for baseball at a time when baseball was dragging a little with the fans,” Belmont said. “He was great with kids and great with adults. I don’t know if Tug McGraw was ever at a race in his life but, at heart, I have to believe he is a racer. He is the type of person every professional athlete should aspire to be.”(Williams Company PR)(3-24-2003)
  • Harvick wins at Bristol: #21-Kevin Harvick won the Channellock 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway just beating #33-Tony Raines, who finished 2nd for the third time in his Busch career. It is Harvick’s 9th career Busch Series win. “How about Tony Raines? He’s going to win some races, not just in the Busch series but in Winston Cup, too, before long,” Harvick said. The race was slowed 13 times by caution – one short of the record – for 78 laps. There were eight lead changes among seven drivers. Harvick led 97 of the 250 laps, the most of any driver. The rest of the top five were #57-Jason Keller, #37-David Green and #20-Mike Bliss. Points leader, #92-Todd Bodine finished 9th and is still looking for a sponsor.(
    For results, see ThatsRacin.comBGN RacingMotorsportsOne or
  • Sponsor of #46 Busch car ready to support Operation Liberty Shield: Civil Air Patrol, which sponsors the #46 Busch Series Monte Carlo driven by Ashton Lewis Jr., announced today that its members are fully prepared to support Operation Liberty Shield. The announcement was made by CAP’s National Operations Center, located at Maxwell AFB, Ala. CAP is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. The CAP operations center and CAP members nationwide are ready to support the country in response to the federal government’s “Orange” alert status. Selected CAP members nationwide who form rapid response teams for both ground and air missions have been placed on “High” alert by CAP in order to be immediately available when tasked. All CAP resources, including emergency operations centers, aircraft and ground vehicles, have been inspected for readiness, and CAP radio networks are conducting regular communications tests. Civil Air Patrol performs 95% of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. Its volunteers also perform missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Most recently, CAP members flew security over the launch site of the space shuttle Columbia and later assisted in the Columbia shuttle recovery.(CAP PR)(3-21-2003)
  • #70 News: Effective this week for Bristol, KAR Racing # 70 BGN car (Ken Alexander Racing) has a new driver and crew chief. Jason White will be driving the car until further notice and Jeff Lemon will be the crew chief. The team is seeking any sponsorship opportunities. Any last minute offers for Bristol wil be entertained. Sponsorship inquiries can be directed to Brian Overton (Piedmont Marketing) 336-362-5566 or toll free 1-877-729-3857.(KAR Racing PR)(3-20-2003)
  • To the Back: #5-Brian Vickers wrecked during Happy Hour and will have to go to a backup and fall to the rear of the field before the green flag, Vickers was scheduled to start 10th.(BGN Racing)(3-21-2003)
    UPDATE: #19-Chad Blount crashed in the morning Friday practice session and then sent his backup car into the inside retaining wall on the front stretch during qualifying. Blount managed to get in one clean lap before the accident. He is 26th on the starting grid but will have to go to the back of the field if the team repairs the primary car instead of the backup.(Dallas Morning News need to register to read), no word on any engine changes.(3-22-2003)
  • David Green wins pole at Bristol: #37-David Green won the pole for the ChannelLock 250 with a speed of 126.495mph, a new track record and his 21st Busch Series pole. #57-Jason Keller will start 2nd, followed by #33-Tony Raines, #10-Scott Riggs and #1-Jamie McMurray.
    For starting lineups, see and
  • Food City sponsors Spencer and TBR: Food City has formed a partnership with Tommy Baldwin Racing and driver Jimmy Spencer for a one-race deal at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Channellock 250. “We have been both friends and fans of Jimmy for years,” commented Food City president and chief executive officer, Steve Smith. “Jimmy has a heck of a season going so far in 2003 and we are excited to be a part of his Busch plans at Bristol Motor Speedway.” The Tommy Baldwin Racing #6 Food City Dodge will debut at Cheez-It Pole Day on Friday, March 21st during Channellock 250 qualifying. The Food City logos will adorn the hood and TV panel and the Food City Pharmacy logo will appear on the “C” Post. “Food City and Jimmy Spencer have a long standing relationship that spans over a decade,” commented Smith.(Food City PR)(3-21-2003)
  • Harmon gets a sponsor for Bristol: Mike Harmon has partnered with the Tennessee Highway Safety commission for this Saturday’s Busch race in Bristol. Harmon’s #44 Chevy will have the “Click It or Ticket” logo on his hood. A press conference to announce the deal is set for Friday morning at 11:30am at the Bristol Motor Speedway press room. Harmon, as you know, was involved in that horrible crash at Bristol last August during Busch practice. You can clearly see from the television replays that the seatbelts saved his life. It only makes sense for the two groups to partner this week. If the venture is a success you might see the logo back on the #44 car for Nashville. The team is also working with the national “Click It or Ticket” campaign for a potential partnership.(3-21-2003)
  • Grubb to run the #26 at Bristol: Lance Norick was scheduled to make his Busch Series debut at Bristol Motor Speedway, however plans have changed and Kevin Grubb will drive. A variety of circumstances led to Norick postponing his first Busch race until next week in Texas. Norick has been in Texas testing this week and due to the weather conditions stayed an extra day to finish up the test session in preparation for next week’s O’Rielly 300. In addition, the construction at Bristol Motor Speedway did not allow the Lance to test the Dr Pepper Dodge at the half-mile high-banked concrete oval. Norick also felt that it would be in the best interest of his team with regards to their standings in the point series to swap his Bristol seat time with Grubb in a future race. “This Dr Pepper Team has strung together some quality finishes. We are in the Top-10 early and its best to keep things consistent when you have momentum on your side,” commented Norick. “We’ve been testing here in Texas and it is important for me to get comfortable with this track and the Busch car before bringing the #90 Express Personnel Dodge out here next week. I would have liked to run Bristol, but with the track construction we never got the opportunity to test there and believe it is best for me to wait another week.” The Carroll Racing Team is still searching for either sponsorship to field a second car or to find Kevin Grubb a ride for the ten races he is scheduled to sit, so that he will not be affected in the Drivers Points Standings. Norick wil substitute the Bristol race that he is missing with another race to be determined later in the season. The #26 Dr Pepper Dodge currently resides in the 9th position of the Owners Points Standings.(SportsONE, Inc PR)(3-20-2003)
  • Belmont in the #91 at Bristol: Andy Belmont will drive the #91 Southern Pan Services Ford at Texas next week. Belmont, who currently competes full-time in the ARCA Series, has 4 career Busch starts in addition to Winston Cup experience. Stanton Barrett is listed as the car owner.(BGN
  • Sadler Racing tests with Ray, plans at least five races: Kevin Ray plans to jumpstart his driving career less than five miles from where he grew up. Ray, who has five starts at Talladega Superspeedway on his resume, has teamed with Sadler Racing to compete in at least five NASCAR Busch Series events in 2003. Ray’s return to competitive racing will be in the Busch Series Aaron’s 312 at Talladega on April 5. Ray will drive the #95 car on John Deere Qualifying Day, Thursday, April 3, in an attempt to make the 43-car field. “It’s been really hectic, but it’s also been very nice to be back in this situation,” said Ray, who grew up in Eastaboga, Ala. “I’ve spent the last year sort of re-organizing myself and my family for a return to NASCAR Busch Series racing as a competitive driver,” said Ray. “The program at Sadler Racing has allowed me to fulfill the next part of my career.” Ray drove for Sadler Racing in 1999, competing in the Busch Series and the ARCA RE/MAX Series. Ray blew an engine that year at Talladega in the ARCA RE/MAX Series event and finished 29th. His best finishes at Talladega are fourth in 1995 and sixth in 1998. “We don’t have any sponsorship right now, but we’re all committed to making this happen,” said Ray. “We have another test session next week, and we’re working on a backup car. Ernie Elliott is making us an engine. There’s a lot to be excited about.” Ray was testing at Talladega on Tuesday along with five other teams. Lyndon Amick with Team Amick; C.W. Smith with Smith Brothers Racing; Justin Ashburn with Day Enterprises and Rich Markle and Larry Holenbeck with Rich Markle Racing were also testing Busch Series cars at the track on Tuesday. Doug Hubert with High Rollers Racing and Keith Segars with Keith Segars Motorsports were at Talladega testing ARCA cars. Segars won last year’s ARCA Food World 300 at Talladega Superspeedway.(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(3-19-2003)
  • Get Well: Dennis Punch, PR Man for Brewco Racing [#27 and #37], recently had knee surgery following the Las Vegas Busch Race weekend. He is home recovering.(3-19-2003)
  • Hamilton Jr Fact (and fun): #25-Bobby Hamilton, Jr.’s dog Coco, was recently named by USA Today as “Best Dressed” in an article about America’s athletes and their pets. In other news, Coco made her second appearance in Victory Lane last weekend when Bobby Hamilton, Sr. won the Craftsman 200 at Darlington Raceway.(Team Rensi PR)(3-18-2003)
  • Two Notes on standings: Not sure why, but NASCAR has Eddy McKean listed in the #91 when it should be Ron Barfield and for some reason they have #2-Ron Hornaday listed 21st in Drivers Points, the mistake? for some reason they have him only running 3 races with 385 points while he has started all 4 races and should be listed with 523 points [385 + 138 for the race at Darlington] and in 4th place in Drivers Points.
    UPDATE. both items above have been corrected on
  • WOW another wild finish: #92-Todd Bodine and #1-Jamie McMurray beat and banged to the end, both crossing the stripe sideways, McMurray ended up in the inside wall stopped, Bodine recovered and drove away and to Victory Lane. The unofficial top ten finishers:

    #92-Todd Bodine (how can this team NOT have a sponsor?)
    #1-Jamie McMurray
    #10-Scott Riggs
    #59-Stacy Compton
    #21-Johnny Sauter

    #27-Hank Parker Jr (no ride? how?)
    #5-Brian Vickers
    #38-Kasey Kahne
    #2-Ron Hornaday Jr
    #57-Jason Keller

    Cars on the lead lap: 13 of 42
    Did Not Finish: #99-Waltrip (accident); #44-Harmon (accident); #61-Ashburn; #52-Potter; #39-White; #72-MacDonald(engine); #84-Weber; #16-Gunselman (accident); #87-Nemechek(engine); #20-Bliss(accident); #56-Tim Sauter; #12-Earnhardt(off); #54-Sadler;
    Lap Leaders: #60-Barrett; #23-Wimmer; #21-Sauter; #92-Bodine; #10-Riggs; #5-Vickers; #59-Compton;

    Cautions: 4 for 19 laps
    Caution 4: Lap 61-67: #56-Tim Sauter into the inside wall on the front stretch after breaking loose, slapping the outside wall, then coming across the track, he had cut down a tire.
    Caution 3: Lap 43-47: #20-Bliss into the wall on the restart after making contact with #1-McMurray.
    Caution 2: Lap 38-42: #44-Harmon and #22-Smith got into each other when Harmon drifted up, Harmon went head first into the wall, but is ok.
    Caution 1: Lap 31-34: #99-Waltrip got into the wall after cutting a tire down, #12-Earnhardt couldn’t check up and hit Waltrip in the rear, spinning Waltrip around, #37-Green and #16-Gunselman also were involved.
    NOTES: Green flag stops occurred around lap 123-125 range. Around lap 80, after coming back on the track, #12-Earnhardt cut down a tire, wacked the wall and broght the car back to the garage. On lap 50ish, #23-Wimmer pancaked the right side of the car.
    Results: see ThatsRacin.comBGN or FoxSports or MotorSportsOne for results.(3-17-2003)

  • Auctions for sponsors: With sponsorship dollars getter scarce, NASCAR Busch and Winston Cup driver Kevin Lepage has placed his Matrix Motorsports operation on the auction block, but not to sell equipment. Lepage is seeking sponsorship money to restart his NASCAR Busch team and to field cars in the premier Winston Cup series at selected venues. Lepage, a veteran of over 315 NASCAR races with an excellent driving record and competitive finishes, has had trouble landing a sponsor and sat out the entire 2002 season as a driver/owner. He did drive for Brewco Motorsports as a substitute driver for a good portion of 2002 filling in for injured Jeff Purvis. A recent limited-race sponsor deal went sour, so he’s determined to try whatever it takes to get his team back on the track in 2003. At the newly launched website, potential sponsors register and become anonymous bidders by selecting from among the sponsorship packages offered by participating race teams. The website went online March 6 and was created by 200mph Media, a motorsports marketing company based in North Carolina, and offers race teams like Lepage’s the opportunity to post seasonal and event-specific packages. The unique feature of this process lets teams auction off advertising decal spots on the car individually, increasing the likelihood of getting sponsorship. Normally, race teams send elaborate and expensive proposals to companies and businesses on a blind basis to market themselves, not knowing if the recipients are interested in motorsports sponsorship or not. By way of, race teams speed up the presentation process and companies participate in a way which avoids their being inundated with phone calls and proposals. No team knows who bidders are until the auction is successfully completed. Lepage’s team website is Media PR)(3-17-2003)
  • Buford to run at Bristol: Joe Buford of Nashville, TN will be driving the #53 Tennessee Mountain Boys Racing Chevy at Bristol this week. Buford is very competitive at Bristol and the team looks forward to a good run. They are still looking for a sponsor for the race, but will be there either way. The team hopes to find some sponsorship soon that will allow them to run 10 to 15 races this year.(Jarvis PR via BGN Racing)(3-16-2003)
  • Spencer partners up with Fitz Bradshaw: Spencer Motor Ventured will make its retunr to the Busch Series at Texas on March 29th. The team will be part of an alliance with the #12 Fitzbradshaw Motorsports team [driver Kerry Earnhardt]. The team plans to run 5-6 Busch Series races with sponsorship from JaniKing.(Speedway Scene print mag)(3-16-2003)
  • Burton skips because of no sponsor: #9-Jeff Burton wanted to extend his Busch winning streak at Darlington Raceway to four in a row. But money problems will keep his Roush Ford parked for the 200 Monday. Burton said his team has searched for sponsors to keep it going. “But the economy is tough and there’s a lot of uncertainty in the world,” he said. “That’s just kept corporate America away from racing and we’re one of those teams paying a price for that.”(Sporting News via BGN Racing)(3-17-2003)
  • To the back: so far, only heard of one driver who has to go to the rear of the field at Darlington before the green flag, #37-David Green due to an engine change.(3-17-2003)
  • Darlington race postponed: The 200 has been postponed until Monday, March 17th at 11:00am/et and will be televised on FX live.(3-15-2003)
  • Benton Leaves Alexander: Robby Benton has opted to leave Ken Alexander Racing due to lack of sponsorship. Robby will join his crew chief and now car owner David Lackey of the newly formed Lackey Motorsports as the driver of the number 85 Chevy Monte Carlo. The teams’s first race will be the O’Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway in March. The team has secured sponsorship for that event and will make an announcement regarding that sponsor soon. The team is still actively seeking sponsorship for the remainder of the season and plans to run the remaining races on the 2003 Busch Series schedule. Inquiries pertaining to sponsorship can be directed to Dave Forgash at 704-201-1406.(PR)(3-15-2003)
  • Barrett on pole again as rain nixes qualifying at Darlington: The weather keeps handing Stanton Barrett gifts, so he will continue to take advantage. Barrett will start on the pole for his second consecutive NASCAR Busch series race as rain Thursday canceled qualifying for Saturday’s 200 at Darlington Raceway and the field was set by 2002 car owner points. Greg Biffle won the 2002 championship in the #60 Roush Racing Ford, which Barrett now drives. Barrett used his pole at Las Vegas – also earned by a rainout – to post his best finish (eighth) since 1998. #57-Jason Keller, runner-up to Biffle last season in the title hunt, starts alongside Barrett and hopes to continue his string of strong performances at Darlington. He finished fourth and second in two races last season. #21-Johnny Sauter starts third, followed by #23-Scott Wimmer starts fourth and #20-Mike Bliss fifth.(
    See the lineup at ThatsRacin.comBGN Racing, or at
  • Roush Grand Marshal: Multi-team owner and motorsports icon Jack Roush will serve as grand marshal for the 200 NASCAR Busch Series race at Darlington Raceway on Saturday, March 12. Roush is certainly no stranger to Victory Lane for Darlington’s NASCAR Busch Series events. His 12 wins as an owner in the Busch Series – eight with Mark Martin and four with Jeff Burton – triples the second-place owner, Ed Whitaker. Whitaker’s teams posted four NASCAR Busch Series wins at the track “Too Tough To Tame.” Roush also won his first NASCAR Busch Series championship in 2002, with driver Greg Biffle behind the wheel. His 2003 Busch Series team features former Hollywood stuntman Stanton Barrett, Jr.(Fox Sports)(3-13-2003)
  • Stewart and Kid Rock? UPDATE 4 at Michigan: hearing that Tony Stewart will drive the #8 Kid Rock Chevy in the Busch/BGN race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May.(1-23-2003)
    UPDATE: however, it has been reported that Steve Park will race the #8 BGN car at Lowe’s, so not too sure about this one.(1-24-2003)
    UPDATE 2: getting a bit more info, hearing now, the scheme will race at one of the BGN Richmond races, probably May as there are rumors that Dale Earnahrdt Jr will run all three races at Richmond in Sept (CTS/BGN/Cup) and Martin Truex Jr is scheduled in the #8 BGN car at RIR in May…so this rumor has some holes in it, unless it is a 2nd Chase2 car, what is posted here is all I have heard or know.(1-25-2003)
    UPDATE 3: been told that Tony Stewart will NOT be driving a #8 Kid Rock paint scheme in the May Charlotte BGN race. This is already scheduled to be a cheese nips car to be driven by Steve Park. But could show up elsewhere. However, many diecast sheets are showing the car running in Charlotte, so it could be the Fall race.(1-27-2003)
    UPDATE 4: now being told the scheme will run at the Michigan Busch Series race in August.(3-13-2003)
  • “Buddies of the Busch Series Ladies Association” Launched: The Busch Series Ladies Association is pleased to announce a new membership level for the organization.. The new level is called “Buddies of the Busch Series Ladies Association” and is open to anyone, female or male, not affiliated with the Busch Series. Prior to the 2003 season, membership was limited to any wife, mother or sister of a Busch Series driver, car owner, mechanic, crew member, NASCAR official, track owner, promoter, public relations person or manufacturer or accessory representative on the Busch Series Circuit or any woman who is currently employed by a NASCAR Busch Series team. “We have worked really hard since our organization was formed to get a solid footing in the NASCAR community,” stated BSLA President, Cathy Green. “Now that we feel we are well on our way, we wanted to open the membership to all the fans who continually support the BSLA and what we do.”
    “Buddies of the Busch Series Ladies Association” members will receive a membership card, subscription to the BSLA Newsletter, invitation to the general membership meeting, a BSLA notepad and 10% off BSLA merchandise. The Busch Series Ladies Association, founded in 1996, is a nonprofit organization that helps injured drivers and crewmembers in the Busch Series family.. In addition, the BSLA works to promote other charitable works.. For more information log on to
  • Barfield to run Barrett car UPDATE: #60-Stanton Barrett will own one car and drive another this weekend at Darlington. Ron Barfield is driving for Barrett’s #91 family-owned team. Barrett is in his first year driving for Roush Racing.(Daytona Beach News JournalUPDATE: ZOOM Performance Clutches along with Brute Power and parent company Perfection Clutch have signed on to be the primary sponsor for Ron Barfield’s #91 Ford Taurus. “When I got the opportunity to talk with Ron about sponsoring his car for the Busch Series, I thought it would be the perfect addition to our ZOOM marketing effort, ” explained Tad Dowling, Marketing Services Manager for Perfection Clutch. “We are the Official Clutch of Richard Petty Driving Experience and have also sponsored one of their driving experience cars this year. You will see that affiliation prominently displayed on the hood along with the ZOOM logo. I think Ron will do a great job representing our company, and I look forward to an action packed Busch race at Darlington.”
    “We are very excited to have ZOOM and Perfection Clutch/Brute Power as a primary sponsor,” said Barfield, driver of the #91 ZOOM Ford . “We are looking forward to a long and successful relationship as we ZOOM into victory lane.” Many local sponsors have stepped forward to support their native driver. Sponsors include ZOOM, Palmetto Auto Auction, Jeweler’s Bench, Don’s Car Crushing, K & L Chrome Shop, and Fox 102.1 Race Talk.(PR)(3-12-2003)
  • Vasser sits out at Darlington: CART regular Jimmy Vasser had hoped to race at Darlington, but sponsorship difficulties have forced Braun Racing to field just one car at that event.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-12-2003)
  • Bickford Returns: Fred Bickford, former owner of DF2 Motorsports (#94 last year now #22) has formed a new team which will attempt about five Cup races, starting with Martinsville in April. The team is looking for a marketing partner for the show and also have some Busch cars left so they can do both Busch and Cup on a combination weekend if so desired. They are listed on Rich Bickle will be the driver. A crew chief has not been named yet. (Bickford PR via BGN Racing)(3-12-2003)
  • #84 Team announces schedule: #84 Glidden Motorsports’ Busch Series team and driver Dion Ciccarelli announce the 2003 schedule for the all-volunteer team. The team is continually looking for sponsors, but team owner, Marty Glidden has committed to the following races without sponsorship: the spring Darlington race and both Richmond and Dover races. Ciccarelli has been racing since 1990 in various series’ including: ARCA RE/MAX and NASCAR Winston Late Model and has been a driving instructor for Monster Mile Racing at Dover Downs International Speedway for the past 3 years. Primary & Associate sponsorships available.(Bickford PR via BGN Racing)(3-12-2003)
  • #43 Auction: Gavel Auction is conducting an inventory reduction auction on Tuesday, March 18 at 4:30 p.m. at the #43 BGN Team shop, 218 Chestnut Street, Kannapolis, NC. For more information, visit Racing)(3-12-2003)
  • PPM Announcement: PPM Racing announced today that its Texas-based team would be competing in a selected number of 2003 NASCAR Busch Series races this season. Comprised of American Motorcycle Association Hall of Fame inductee (1999), Brian Winters, and ARCA competitor, Sunny Hobbs, the PPM Racing team enters the Busch Series as fresh faces ready to compete in the 2003 season.(PPM PR via BGN Racing)(3-12-2003)
  • #4 Team gets a 2 race Darlington sponsor: The South Carolina Education Lottery (SCEL) has agreed to come aboard as an associate sponsor of the #4 Busch Series entry of Biagi Bros. Racing and NASCAR driver Mike Wallace. The SCEL has agreed to a two race sponsorship deal that will include both events at Darlington Raceway. The SCEL will be onboard for the 200 on Saturday, March 15, 2003, and the South Carolina 200 on Saturday, August 30, 2003. Player Management International coordinated the sponsorship deal and it was completed on Monday. As of February 13, 2003, the South Carolina Education Lottery has deposited over $201 million into the South Carolina Education Fund. During the 2002-2003 school year, over 64,000 students will receive lottery scholarship funds to help pay for their education. Also, a total of 214 new school buses were purchased with $14 million of the $15 million allocated for fiscal year 2002. Of the 214 buses, 50 were special needs buses. For more information regarding the South Carolina Education Lottery, please visit Bros. Racing PR)(3-11-2003)
  • Wallace gets fined UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials have fined NASCAR Busch Series driver Mike Wallace $3,000 for his use of inappropriate language during the telecast of Monday’s Rockingham 200 at North Carolina Speedway. Wallace, driver of the #4 Chevrolet, was penalized under Section 12-4-A in the NASCAR Busch Series rule book: œActions detrimental to stock car racing.(NASCAR PR)(2-26-2003)
    UPDATE: Mike Wallace claims he was inadvertently caught in a mutual exchange of obscenities following a crash in Monday’s Busch Series race at Rockingham. Wallace and Hmiel, who initially kept his helmet on to confront Wallace, stood nose-to-nose exchanging comments while a TV crew was some 15 feet away, Wallace said. “Every interview I did — on radio and TV — was very polite and proper,” Wallace said. “This is an emotional sport (and) when they’re not interviewing me I don’t expect to get sabotaged from behind like that. I blame the television network (because) it was something they picked up from a distance. It was a two-sided conversation — it wasn’t one-sided.”(
    UPDATE 2: the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the Appeal of Mike S. Wallace. The Appeal concerned a $3,000 fine issued by NASCAR under Section 12-4-A; actions detrimental to stock car racing; use of improper language. The penalty stemmed from the live broadcast of the NASCAR Busch Series race at North Carolina Speedway on February 24, 2003 in which Mr. Wallace was a driver. During the hearing, Mr. Wallace acknowledged that the infraction had occurred, but argued that he had been unaware of the presence of a television camera/microphone during an exchange of words with driver Shane Hmiel in pit lane. Furthermore, he believed that he had just waived off a live broadcast interview. The Commission found Mr. Wallace’s testimony to be succinct and sincere. The Commission notes that Mr. Wallace conducted himself in a professional manner during an ensuing broadcast interview in that same race telecast. In considering the Appeal, the Commission recognized that NASCAR drivers in the top tiers of the sport are high-profile celebrities.. They should expect to be subject to media coverage in all working areas at the racetrack and conduct themselves accordingly. In this specific case, the Commission felt that there were mitigating circumstances and that NASCAR was correct in issuing a lesser penalty than had been issued to others in the past for similar language infractions. A further reduction of the penalty was not warranted. It is therefore the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the original penalty issued by NASCAR. The Appellant has the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.(NASCAR PR)(3-11-2003)
  • Hamilton Jr/Team Rensi may move to Cup in 2004: Bobby Hamilton Jr. who failed to qualify Friday for a Winston Cup race for the first time in 13 tries, hopes to move to Full time Cup in 2004 with Team Rensi [#25 US Marines Ford]. His long-term goal is to race in Winston Cup for a team fielded by his father. Bobby Hamilton Sr. fields three Craftsman Truck Series entries out of his Tennessee shop. The senior Hamilton has said he would like to eventually upgrade his team to Winston Cup.(Tennessean)(3-9-2003)
  • Race Team Benefit Auction: The Jay Robinson’s #49 Busch Series Team and driver Chris Bingham are going all out to help an injured North Carolina paramedic that lost his legs is a freak accident while on an emergency assistance call during the recent severe weather. The team is donating the entire car at the March 15 Darlington race to the Tim Hayes Fund to help raise money. The sale of the decal space is being handled through 200mph Media’s and includes all the quarter panels. The trunk deck/lid has been set up so that forty-five fans can bid and have their names on the car. The hood of the car will feature a photo of Hayes.(200mph Media PR)(3-8-2003)
  • ppc Racing Rounds Up New Associate Sponsor: ppc Racing has been busy rounding up a new associate sponsor for both of their Busch Series teams. The new sponsor made its racing debut in the series’ season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Roundup WeatherMAX, one of the many products of Monsanto Company is joining ppc Racing on the C-post of the #57 Albertson’s Ford and the C-post and B-post of the #10 Nestle Nesquik Ford for the entire 2003 Busch Series season. Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. To learn more about Monsanto and Roundup WeatherMAX visit PR)(3-5-2003)
  • McLaughlin Thanks Fans: The last 45 days have been like a rollercoaster for veteran NASCAR Busch Series driver Mike McLaughlin.. From the low point of finding out the ownership of his new racing team, Angela’s Motorsports wasn’t funded to the high point of a fan based entry into the season opening Daytona Beach Busch Series race. After failing to qualify for the Sam’s Town 300 in Las Vegas after rain washed out qualifying, McLaughlin returned home to North Carolina. McLaughlin has time recently to reflect on the last 45 days and decide on his future plans. “The last 45 days were incredible as far as the support that the many race fans, the XM Nation and my own personal friends and family gave to Katie and I,” McLaughlin said. “I will always owe a huge debt of gratitude to the people that helped us make the Daytona race a reality. However I have realized we can’t go on racing this way and attempting to find funding for selected races without a true race team.” McLaughlin continued on with more thoughts. “I have had a small group of people that have worked alongside me the last 45 days preparing these cars, but I realize they need to move forward and find a home with a full-time racing team.. They have been incredible and I hope to work with them again in the future. For right now, I am going to spend some quality time at home with my family… With that said, I am hoping for another opportunity to race for a competitive, well funded team in the very near future. I know I still have some quality years left and the ability to compete for the Busch Series Championship.”(PR)(3-4-2003)
  • Testing at Texas: #23-Scott Wimmer tested at Texas Motor Speedway on Monday, testing continues Tuesday with Wimmer, #12-Kerry Earnhardt, #87-Joe Nemechek and #59-Stacy Compton.. The test sessions are closed to the public.(TMS PR)(3-4-2003)
  • Testing at Darlington: #18 Coy Gibbs and #21 Johnny Sauter tested at Darlington on Monday, March 3rd. On Tuesday, March 4 testing continues with Gibbs and Sauter, #10-Scott Riggs and #19-Chad Blount. And on wednesday #10-Riggs and #19-Blount.(Darlington Raceway PR)(3-4-2003)
  • Spencer to run 15 races: Jimmy Spencer will run up to 15 Busch Series races in the #07 Chevy, no sponsor named yet, Dan Glauz will be the crew chief.(3-4-2003)
  • Earnhardt to get teammate? UPDATE: hearing it was mentioned on the FX coverage of the Busch Series race at Las Vegas that #12-Kerry Earnhardt would have a temmamte soon. From what I hear the HRT Race Team will be leasing cars for Carlos Contreras to drive under the #09 banner from Fitz-Bradshaw Racing.(3-3-2003)
    UPDATE: FitzBradshaw Racing is working on a second Busch team, which has always been a goal,.but does not have one in place. No driver or team members have been obtained. The team has talked to HRT Motorsports, as they are doing with several other teams but no deal has been formed.(3-4-2003)
  • Nemechek wins at Las Vegas: #87-Joe Nemechek won the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Stopping for fuel only on his final pit stop, Nemechek charged to the front, survived a side-by-side battle with #92-Todd Bodine and finally held off #21-Kevin Harvick by 0.603 seconds to win. Harvick had taken four tires. It was Nemechek’s 15th career Busch series victory, but first at Las Vegas. He previously had finished in the top three at the track three consecutives times (1998, 1999 and 2000). #20-Mike Bliss finished a career-best third, #8-Steve Park fourth and #57-Jason Keller, who started at the rear of the field because of an engine change, rounded out the top five. Bodine appeared to have the race in hand when he took the lead after a side-by-side duel with #99-Michael Waltrip and rain halted the race after 140 of 200 laps. But the rain moved out of the area and the race restarted about an hour later. The race was slowed by caution seven times for 43 laps. There were 18 lead changes among seven drivers.(
    Results at BGNRacing.comMotorsportsOne and