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May 1999 News Archives


 

  • (5-31-1999)
  • Sad and Unexpected News: Harry Melling 54, owner of Melling Racing(#9 Cartoon Network Ford), died Saturday after suffering a fatal heart attack. More info at NASCAR Online(5-29-1999) — UPDATE 1: “Melling Racing has been a second family to me,” #9 driver Jerry Nadeau said Saturday. “It is with heavy hearts that the crew and I will start Sunday’s race (the Coca-Cola 600) as a tribute to Harry.”(That’s Racin’)(5-30-1999) — The Melling Racing team members wore wear black armbands in honor of Melling. The #9 Melling Racing Cartoon Network Ford carried special decals honoring Melling. Additionally, decals were also made available to all NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams, no idea what teams used them. The Melling family will receive friends at Nelson Funeral Home in Gaylord from 4 – 8 p.m. Monday, May 31. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 1, at Hole 6 of the Treetops Resort golf course. The family will also receive friends June 2 at Braun Funeral Home in Brooklyn, Mich., from 2 – 8 p.m. Melling’s funeral will be held at 11 a.m. on June 3 at First United Methodist Church of Jackson, Mich. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to three memorial funds: the Harry Melling Memorial Fund, Reece Endeavors and the Otsego Memorial Hospital Foundation. Donations should be sent to Jerry Alert at Treetops Resort, 3962 Wilkinson Road, Gaylord, Mich., 49735(NOL)(5-31-1999)
  • #25 Sponsor? UPDATE 2: hearing rumors that Food Lion may be the primary sponsor for the #25 Hendrick Chevy(5-29-1999) — UPDATE 1: Expect an announcement sometime this coming week on a sponsor — UPDATE 2: Wally Dallenbach chose not to discuss the rumor of Tony Furr’s future status or how soon the #25 car would announce its’ new sponsor(SpeedVision). I now hear the sponsor is NOT Food Lion and that Sprague will stay in the Truck series next year AND that Dallenbach may not be back with the #25 in 2000(5-31-1999)
  • Nemechek/McReynolds? Saw on PitNow this AM that Larry McReynolds is interested in Joe Nemechek who drives the #42 BellSouth Chevy for Felix Sabates. Also heard from a few sources the same thing. One problem is that Nemechek is signed through 2001(see my #42 Past News page 11-30-98), could get interesting(5-31-1999)
  • Roush, good day: Not only did his #99 team win the Coca Cola 600, the engine in the #14 A.J. Foyt-owned IRL car driven by Kenny Brack to victory in the Indy 500, was built by Roush Racing(many sources, AP/NOL)(5-31-1999)
  • Tethers: NASCAR did not make it mandatory for its teams to use steel cables Sunday to insure that the front wheels did not come off the car. A majority of the 43-car field used the steel cables. Among those who used the steel cables were: Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton, Ricky Rudd, Chad Little, Hut Stricklin, Ted Musgrave, Kyle Petty, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Wally Dallenbach and John Andretti. Among those who didn’t use the cables were: Mike Skinner, Ward Burton, Sterling Marlin, Joe Nemechek, Ken Schrader, Dale Earnhardt, Kenny Wallace and Jimmy Spencer. Kevin Hamlin, crew chief for Earnhardt, said that team didn’t use the steel cables because they didn’t fit well on the car. Tony Glover, team manager for Sabco Racing with Marlin and Nemechek, said the team hadn’t had time to install the devices. Sammy Johns, crew chief for Schrader, said the team didn’t install the devices because they aren’t mandatory. NASCAR officials considered making the devices mandatory but decided more input from teams was needed(News and Record)(5-31-1999)
  • Tony Stewart: Amazing – finishes 9th in the Indy 500 and makes it to Charlotte in time to run the Coca Cola 600 and finish a career best 4th in his 12th Cup race. Stewart was taken out of his car and put on a stretcher, taken to the infield care center for exhaustion, he refused intravenous fluids, drinking water and Gatorade instead. He was released about 15 minutes later(AP)(5-31-1999)
  • #1 Crew Update: Dave Charpentier, who left the #25 Bud team on Thursday, is now with the #1 Pennzoil DEI team and driver Steve Park. Charpentier working in the #1 pits during the Coca Cola 600(TBS Telecast)(5-31-1999)
  • #90 Sponsor: Suburban Lodge and Lucas Oil Products were the sponsors on the #90 Junie Donlavey Ford and driver Hut Stricklin in the Coca Cola 600(5-31-1999)
  • DW Retirement UPDATE 1: This weeks Winston Cup Scene reports that Darrell Waltrip wants to make the 2000 season his last as a driver and expects to make an announcement in June/July of 1999 on his plans(5-29-1999) – UPDATE 1: Dick Berggren also mentioned that DW has 57 races left to run and will retire after the 2000 season(TBS Telecast)(5-31-1999)
  • Kenseth/Roush Announcement UPDATE 2: Jack Roush will officially announce his plans for Matt Kenseth at a 1:00pm/et press conference before the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway this Sunday. Roush is in the process of locating a temporary shop for both Kenseth and fellow teammate Chad Little. In order not to jeopardize his rookie status when he runs the full season in 2000, Kenseth will run only five Winston Cup races this year in the Dewalt Ford Taurus. His current owner and former driver Robbie Reiser will remain in the position as Kenseth’s crew chief.(SpeedVision)(5-25-1999) — UPDATE 1: Rumor in the garage area is that Matt Kenseth will announce a three-year Winston Cup deal with Jack Roush in a LMS press conference Sunday. Kenseth’s current sponsor, Dewalt, is also on-board to the Cup Series. The car will switch to a Ford and will retain the same paint scheme as on Kenseth’s current BGN ride. The team would like to keep the current #17(TNN Motorsports)(5-27-1999) — UPDATE 2, Finally Official: It was announced Sunday that Kenseth would move up to the Cup series in 2000 with his current BGN team. The only switch would be going from Chevy to Ford. The #17 DeWalt Tools Ford will be co-owned by Jack Roush and Mark Martin. Robbie Reiser will be the crew chief and plans to keep his BGN team operating with a different sponsor and driver. Kenseth will run five Cup races in 1999 with the Pepsi 400 at Michigan the first race for the team(against Earnhardt, Jr)(NOL) Other attempts will be at Darlington(9/5), Dover(9/26), Lowes(10/10) and Rockingham(10/24)(5-30-1999) — UPDATE 2: Darrell Waltrip had the #17 reserved, but wanted Kenseth/Martin to have that number because he felt that Matt and Robbie could represent that number well(goRacing), see image at NOL(5-31-1999)

(5-30-1999)

  • Pardus Released UPDATE 1: Driver Dan Pardus was released by Midwest Transit Racing Friday. The 36-year-old driver, who hails from Daytona Beach, Fla., was running for NASCAR Winston Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors, but has been unable to qualify for any of this seasons events. Pardus was given his unconditional release by team owners Hal Hicks and Mike Witters and will be free to pursue other racing opportunities this season. The team owners have offered Pardus the opportunity to stay on with the team in another position. Pardus also races a stock car on ARCA’s Bondo Mar-Hyde Series for Jim and Judie Motorsports. According to team manager Lake Speed, the second-year team is currently looking for an experienced Winston Cup driver and interviewing for an experienced Winston Cup crew chief. Speed said Midwest Transit Racing is looking for the right combination of driver, personnel and equipment to qualify for Winston Cup races this season. Midwest Transit Racing is scheduled to make its next Winston Cup attempt for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona Beach International Speedway. Speed said the team will return to competition only after it has all the pieces to the puzzle firmly in place(Midwest PR)(5-28-1999) — UPDATE 1: Among the drivers being considered for the team are Steve Grissom and Hut Stricklin(That’s Racin’)(5-30-1999)
  • Marlin sponsor: Tracfone, the new Felix Sabates sponsor on the #01 Chevy that missed the Coca-Cola 600 when Jeff Green failed to make the field, will move to Sterling Marlin’s Coors Light car today(Times-Dispatch)(5-30-1999)
  • McLaughlin Spotter? During an interview on TBS with Dale Earnhardt Jr, Dale Jr mentioned that BGN driver, Mike McLaughlin, would spot for Earnhardt Jr in the Coca Cola 600. McLaughlin is also the stand by driver for Tony Stewart if Stewart doesn’t make it back to Charlotte after running the Indy 500, wonder who spots for Earnhardt Jr if that happens(TBS Happy Hour show)(5-29-1999) — UPDATE 1: I hear Mike Calinoff, of RaceComm and regular spotter for Ricky Craven and the #58 team will spot for Earnhardt Jr, and I have confirmed Calinoff will spot because of McLaughlin’s uncertainty of what would happen if Stewart couldn’t get back in time made DEI decide to go with Calinoff instead(5-30-1999)

    (5-29-1999)

  • Hendrick Crew News UPDATE 1: Dave Charpentier, one of the NASCAR tour’s better known engineers, is leaving the Rick Hendrick-Wally Dallenbach camp and is expected to land a job quickly, either in the Dale Earnhardt camp, working with Steve Park and Dale Earnhardt Jr., or with Richard Childress’ team, working with Earnhardt(PitNow) — more info: Dave Charpentier, a shock specialist with the #25 Chevys driven by Wally Dallenbach, left the garage area at Lowe’s Motor Speedway Thursday morning following an argument with crew chief Tony Furr. It was unclear whether Charpentier has quit. According to sources, Charpentier and Furr argued Wednesday night following first-round qualifying in which Dallenbach qualified 41st out of 52 drivers. The argument carried over to Thursday morning after which Charpentier stormed out of the garage(That’s Racin’)(5-28-1999) — UPDATE 1: Crew Chief Tony Furr said that Hendrick Motorsports is close to signing a sponsor to the #25 car. And it could happen this week. The departure of shock specialist Dave Charpentier Thursday morning is expected to be just the first of possibly five members leaving Papa Joe’s team. Charpentier could end up at DEI(SpeedVision)(5-29-1999)

    (5-28-1999)

  • Sad News: Ralph Eury, father of Dale Earnhardt Jr. crew chief Tony Eury Sr., died Friday morning. He was 71. The elder Eury competed against the late Ralph Earnhardt, Dale Jr.’s grandfather, on North Carolina dirt tracks. The association between the Eurys and Earnhardts continued with Dale Earnhardt hiring Tony Eury in 1982 to be the crew chief for his Grand National car. It continues today with Dale Jr. and Tony Eury Sr. and Tony Eury Jr., who also helps prepare the defending Grand National champion’s cars(GoCarolina’s/AP)(5-28-1999)
  • and again…NO Yates 3rd team: #28 and #88 team owner Robert Yates says he will not add a third team, despite offers from potential sponsors. Yates wants to get the #28 program of driver Kenny Irwin on track before he even considers adding a third team(Winston Cup Scene)(5-28-1999)
  • RAD: The aerodynamic alliance of Richard Childress Racing(#’s 3 and 31), Andy Petree Racing(#’s 33 and 55) and Dale Earnhardt Inc.(#’s 1 and 8) – (RAD) placed all six of its Winston Cup teams in the top 15 in qualifying at Charlotte on Wednesday. Four cars occupied the top eight spots. Since its inception in December, RAD has concentrated on the 1999 Monte Carlo, but when its introduction was delayed until 2000, RAD turned its attention to the current Monte Carlos seeking improvement at high downforce tracks like Charlotte. RAD Aero Engineer Louis Duncan said Charlotte is the first test of the technology developed through computer simulations, wind tunnel work, track testing and a great deal of tweaking. Duncan has a long history in racing. His most recent assignment was providing aerodynamic support to the Ford Motor Company stock car programs. Duncan and his son Brad now work exclusively with RAD(Pennzoil PR)(5-28-1999)
  • Stewart to start 43rd anyway UPDATE 1: Because Tony Stewart will be racing in the Indy 500, he will miss the mandatory drivers meeting on Sunday and will have to drop to the back of the field just before the start of the Coca Cola 600(TBS Qualifying)(5-26-1999) — UPDATE 1: Sunday’s meeting is scheduled to start two hours(4pm/et approx) before the race, and it’s unlikely Stewart will have arrived by then(That’s Racin’)(5-28-1999)
  • TNN Buzz: rumor has it that Hendrick Motorsports will move Jack Sprague into a fourth Winston Cup car in 2000 with current NCTS crewchief Dennis Conner coming along as well. This deal is supposedly signed and ready to go. Also look for a sponsorship announcement for the Hendrick Motorsports Winston Cup #25, as Budweiser has moved on(to Earnhardt Jr and the #8). The status of the #24 Truck is variable(TNN Motorsports)(5-27-1999)
  • Carter Crew/Shop News: Travis Carter, co-owner of the #66 Fords of Darrell Waltrip(an owner of the #23), said Thursday veteran NASCAR mechanic Mark Tudor has left Waltrip’s team to pursue another job in the Winston Cup series. Derrick Finley has joined the team as team engineer and will work with new crew chief Philippe Lopez. Work continues on the team’s new headquarters in Statesville. It’s a 28,115-square-foot building located next to the shop of Travis Carter Enterprises, which fields the No. 23 Fords of Jimmy Spencer(That’s Racin’/Jim Utter)(5-28-1999)
  • The Pits: The #28 Texaco/Havoline Ford pit crew earned a $10,000 paycheck and an additional unexpected $5,000 bonus from driver Kenny Irwin last night at Speed Street. During the Second Annual Coca-Cola Racing Family Pit Crew Challenge, NASCAR’s unsung heroes, pit crews, received their chance to shine in front of the more than 15,000 fans, and the 11 competing teams provided plenty of excitement for the crowd gathered to watch. One of Speed Street’s most popular events during Coca-Cola 600 race week, the Pit Crew Challenge invites the pit crews from each of The Coca-Cola Racing Family teams to compete for $10,000 awarded for the fastest pit stop on Speed Street. Each participating seven-member crew completed one stationary, four-tire stop, then raced across the finish line to stop the clock. The #28 team’s winning time of 19.81 seconds was 2.31 seconds faster than the second-place #44 Hot Wheels team. Dale Jarrett’s #88 Quality Care Ford team placed third. Caught up in the excitement of the event, Kenny Irwin sweetened the prize for his pit crew by pledging an additional $5,000 if they won. In addition to Irwin, Dale Jarrett, Steve Park and Kyle Petty were on hand to support their pit teams. The competitors included crew chiefs and pit members from the Coca-Cola Racing Family race teams, including: defending champion Steve Park’s #1 Pennzoil crew; Dale Earnhardt’s #3 GM Goodwrench crew; Ricky Rudd’s #10 Tide crew; Jeremy Mayfield’s #12 Mobil crew; Bobby Labonte’s #18 Interstate Batteries crew; Jeff Burton’s #99 Exide Batteries crew; Kyle Petty’s #44 Hot Wheels crew; Kenny Irwin’s #28 Texaco Havoline crew; Bill Elliott’s #94 McDonald’s crew; Dale Jarrett’s #88 Quality Care crew; and Tony Stewart’s #20 Home Depot crew(Coca Cola PR)(5-28-1999)

    (5-27-1999)

  • More Tethers/Wheel Restraint News: I hear NASCAR officials have issued wheel restraints and required all BGN teams to put them on for the race this Saturday. How do they work? From what I hear one loop will go around the jackbolt between the frame and spring, the other will go around the spindle just below the upper ball joint and only be run on the front wheels. See an image of the ‘tethers’: from the Sugar Free Racing Site – Tether Image. Also from That’s Racin’ – Front-wheel tethers will be required on NASCAR Grand National series cars for Saturday’s CarQuest 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, but the equipment will remain optional for Winston Cup cars, and from SpeedNet/AP – The tether is merely a section of braided steel cable about a foot long and fastened into a loop at each end. NASCAR officials paid $7 for each unit, and because the sanctioning body feels that only the front wheels need to be secured, the cost would be $14 per car(5-27-1999)
  • Short Lived:FAIN Motorsports is no longer involved with Shepherd racing. The Fan based team(who claims to be the first but of course is not, Fans Can Race, Mark III actually made Cup races in the past) brought Wendy’s aboard a sponsor of the #05. All the details are sketchy and I do not have all the facts, but supposedly, FAIN is looking at two other teams(one a BGN team, the other a Ford Cup team)(5-27-1999)
  • Stewart stand in: Mike McLaughlin practiced the #20 Home Depot Pontiac Thursday as Tony Stewart was at Indy for the final practice/carburetion day. McLaughlin will also be available to run the car if Stewart cannot make it back to Charlotte in time for the Coca-Cola 600 start(RPM2Nite)(5-27-1999)
  • Wheaties Returns? UPDATE 1: I hear that the #26 Cheerios Ford and Johnny Benson, will run a Wheaties scheme, possibly in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona(5-20-1999) — UPDATE: I hear that Johnny Benson will drive a Solid Gold Cheerios #26 Ford in a one race deal sometime this summer, not sure when(5-27-1999)
  • Petty Announcement: A celebration of the first 50 years — and the next 50 years — of stock car racing’s most famous entity will continue with unique 50th Anniversary cars in August. Four Petty Enterprises’ teams will race in Indianapolis, Indiana featuring special paint schemes that highlight the beginning of the second 50 years of a winning tradition. The #43 STP Pontiac driven by John Andretti and the #44 Hot Wheels Pontiac driven by Kyle Petty will carry special colors in the Brickyard 400, Saturday, August 7, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Adam Petty’s #45 Spree Prepaid Foncard Chevrolet will compete in the Kroger NASCAR 200 Busch race Friday night, August 6, and Jimmy Hensley’s #43 Dodge by Petty will compete in the IRP 200 Truck series race Thursday night, August 5, both of those at Indianapolis Raceway Park. It is the only time all four teams race in the same major market in front of a “Big Three” network television audience (ABC for the Brickyard 400; ESPN for both IRP events). This marks the first time in NASCAR history that four identically-designed vehicles race in the same city on the same race weekend. The vehicles will be dominated by Petty blue, the color that has won more NASCAR Winston Cup events than any other, with gold trim and gold wheels. The unique design will no be seen again, except on the collectible die-cast vehicles manufactured by Mattel’s Hot Wheels brand. A four-vehicle set that includes the Dodge by Petty truck in 1/64 scale will be sold exclusively at Wal-Mart retailers nationwide. In addition, the Winston Cup and Busch cars will be sold in various scales through online sales, direct mail, hobby shops and trackside sales. In further celebration of the 50th Anniversary, Petty Enterprises is planning a September event to honor all of the 41 former drivers of Petty Enterprises’ cars. Additional details regarding the event will be revealed in the next few months.(The Williams Company), see images of the cars at the Lowes Motor Speedway Site(5-27-1999)
  • NASCAR School: NASCAR plans to develop a $7 million NASCAR Training Institute somewhere in the Charlotte region to train automotive technicians. The institute, to open in 2001, is one of as many as a half-dozen planned nationwide over the next few years by NASCAR and Phoenix, Ariz.-based Universal Technical Institute. See full story at That’s Racin’:NASCAR to open technician training facility with UTI(5-27-1999)
  • Jarrett/Farve: Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre was on hand at the speedway Wednesday to announce his partnership with Dale Jarrett. The two are forming the Jarrett-Favre Driving Adventure, a business that will allow people to ride in or drive Winston Cup cars at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, N.C. Packages start at $75 for a three-lap passenger ride and go to $1,450 for four sessions as a driver. The venture is to open in July(Infobeat)(5-27-1999)
  • Fund: There was an unusual contribution Wednesday to a fund set up by Lowe’s Motor Speedway at Charlotte for victims of a fatal spectator accident at the track earlier this month. Trab Crews, a driver in NASCAR’s Goody’s Dash Series, collected $750 during an open house held at his race team’s shop in his hometown of Leoma, Tenn. More than $35,000 has been donated to the fund, set up after three spectators were killed and eight injured when hit by flying debris from a wreck at an Indy Racing League event on May 1. Most of the donations have come from other spectators who asked that their ticket refunds from the race be targeted for the fund(Speed Magazine) for info on the fund see Jayski’s Racing Charity Page(5-27-1999)
  • Stewart Double: Reports say John Paul Jr. has been fitted for a seat in Stewart’s Indy car. If the Indianapolis 500 should run long or have weather delays, Stewart has a drop dead time that he would turn over the car to Paul to finish the event and leave for Charlotte. His main committment this weekend is to his Gibbs Racing team. No word if there is a backup driver on stand by for Stewart at Charlotte(Inside Motorsports)(5-27-1999)
  • Suspension: NASCAR on Wednesday suspended Rick Burgdoff III, a crew member for Jeff Green’s BGN team(#32) who works for Penske South and Progressive Motorsports, for fighting in the garage area following last Sunday’s race at Nazareth. Burgdoff was involved in an altercation with a track photographer at the speedway. He is suspended from NASCAR events until June 14 and must pay a $2,500 fine. Burgdoff also serves backup tire changer for Winston Cup driver Rusty Wallace(That’s Racin’)(5-27-1999)
  • Hornaday to BGN with DEI: It was announced this morning that RON HORNADAY and sponsor NAPA Auto Parts will be moving from the NASCAR Truck Series to the NASCAR Busch Series in the year 2000. He will drive the #3 Chevrolet that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be vacating. The team has a three-year contract with NAPA and the colors will remain the same as the truck. No decision on what will be done with the #16 truck team.(image and story at the Lowes Motor Speedway, thanks Scott)(5-27-1999)
  • Buckshot Paint UPDATE 1: Buckshot Jones and the #00 Pontiac will be running a special paint scheme for the Coca Cola 600 at Lowes this weekend. The car will feature BSR’s associate sponsor: Brunswick Corp on the hood, quarter panels and TV panel. The #00 will be painted black(5-26-1999) — UPDATE 1: The Buckshot Racing Site has images up of the new look for the Coke 600(5-27-1999)

    (5-26-1999)

  • Star Wars and Gordon: Pepsi-Cola and Lucasfilm unveiled a new, one-race-only paint job on the Gordon-Evernham Motorsports BGN #24 on Wednesday. See the TNN story and an image at: Racing The Phantom Menace #24(5-26-1999)
  • Beer Can: In connection with Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Winston Cup debut in the Coca Cola 600, his sponsor Budwesier is releasing a 16-ounce can featuring the driver’s #8 Budweiser Chevrolet(SpeedNet)(5-26-1999)
  • Nadeau BGN: Jerry Nadeau will serve double duty this weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway at Charlotte. In addition to his regular driving responsibilities for the #Melling Racing Ford, Nadeau will also substitute for injured driver Brad Loney in the May 29 BGN race. Nadeau, 28, will drive the #90 Coyne Textile Services Chevy for GTS Motorsports in the Carquest Auto Parts 300. Loney suffered a concussion during an accident in the First Union 200 at Nazareth last week, and was advised by doctors not to enter this weekend’s race as a precaution(Cotter Group)(5-26-1999)
  • 22nd: is the farthest a driver has started and still won the Coca-Cola 600(TBS Qual)(5-26-1999)
  • Schrader Gold: Kenny Schrader’s #33 Skoal Chevy is painted gold with green and white trim(TBS Qualifying)(5-26-1999)
  • Hills Brothers? Didn’t see the Hills Brothers decals on the #90 during qualifying(TBS Qual)(5-26-1999)
  • Moore to Melling: Newt Moore(former #77 and #81 crew chief) has joined Melling Racing as car chief of the #9 Cartton Network Ford and driver Jerry Nadeau, beginning with the May 30 Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway at Charlotte. Moore’s responsibilities will include car setup, shocks and chassis. He will work closely with crew chief Jeff Buice to prepare the cars and will serve as driver Jerry Nadeau’s spotter on race day(Cotter Group)(5-26-1999)
  • Wheel Restraints/Tethers UPDATE 3: Several Winston Cup teams tested the tire tethers at Charlotte(no idea which ones). The heavy steel cable connects from the jackbolt to the spindle on the front tires, meaning it does not rotate with the tire but will hold the wheel on the car in an accident. If it works, the tethers could become standard by the end of the season(Times-Dispatch)(5-23-1999) — UPDATE 1: “NASCAR officials were handing out steel-cable wheel tethers this weekend, which could become mandatory on Winston Cup cars beginning with the Coca-Cola 600, according to NASCAR sources. The move is seen by some in the NASCAR garage as more of a public-relations move than anything, in reaction to several Indy-car problems over the past year”(PitNow) — UPDATE 2: I hear NASCAR may use tethers in the BGN race at Lowes this weekend(5-24-1999) — UPDATE 3: NASCAR had several teams try the devices in the Winston Open and The Winston Saturday night. Various versions of tethers, which are designed to help keep wheels from coming off cars during crashes, have been put into use for Formula One, Championship Auto Racing Teams and Indy Racing League competition. CART and IRL announced they would require tethers after three fans were killed by debris flying into the stands at a CART event at Michigan Speedway last year and at the IRL’s VisionAire 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway outside Charlotte on May 1. Gary Nelson, NASCAR’s Winston Cup series director, said Tuesday that NASCAR had been looking into the use of tethers before the IRL incident at the Charlotte track. NASCAR spokesman Tim Sullivan said teams were not required to use the wheel restraints in Saturday night’s special events. Some who were asked if they would be willing to try the devices declined. The tethers were connected from the car’s frame to the wheel assembly, but Nelson was reluctant to provide many details about how they were designed to work. Nelson said NASCAR is looking at comments from the teams that used tethers Saturday. He characterized the response as positive. “We will continue to move forward on the project,” Nelson said when asked if the tethers would be used this weekend for the Coca-Cola 600 and if they would eventually become required equipment(in part from That’s Racin’) and a few teams used wheel tethers during The Winston last weekend. Among those were the team owned by Bill Davis with driver Ward Burton and the Wood Brothers with driver Elliott Sadler. Neither team reported problems. NASCAR officials are expected to talk to teams this week about the device’s performance(News and Record) — Check out an image of the wheel restraints at Sugar Free Racing(5-26-1999)
  • No 2nd Team: During Derrike Copes NOL chat on Tuesday, he was asked about a 2nd Bahari race team, which had been rumored in the past. Cope said no plans for Bahari Racing to go to a two car team(NOL Chat)(5-26-1999)
  • Gibbs/BGN?? UPDATE 3: On RPM2Nite, John Kernan interviewed Sprint Car star Jason Leffler. It was mentioned that Leffler has an offer from Joe Gibbs, it wasn’t really announced but more implied that it would be a BGN ride(5-20-1999) — UPDATE 1: I hear that WRTV Channel 13 in Indy reported that Jason Leffler will be named to drive a Busch Series car owned by Joe Gibbs(5-21-1999) — UPDATE 2: Jason Lefler, a promising young open-wheel racing star, is under consideration by car owner Joe Gibbs to run the Busch tour next season, according to sources close to the situation(PitNow)(5-24-1999) — UPDATE 3: Current USAC sprint car driver Jason Leffler will be given his chance to prove his stock car abilities by car owner Joe Gibbs. Gibbs has told Speedway Scene that Leffler will be put behind the wheel of the #18 MBNA BGN Pontiac this season to replace Bobby Labonte, who announced last month that he would not be entering any more BGN events in 1999. If Leffler finds the stock cars to his liking, Gibbs plan is to have the youngster in the car for the full schedule in 2000 and take it from there(Phil Furr/Speedway Scene)(5-26-1999)
  • 200th: Bobby Labonte will make 200th consecutive Cup start at the Coca-Cola 600(NOL)(5-26-1999)
  • Petree Degree: Andy Petree will receive an honorary degree from the Nashville Auto Diesel College during driver introductions for the Coca-Cola 600. It is the first time anyone has received such an honor in the 88 year history of the college. Petree earned a 98 percent average in the automotive phase but left before completing the diesel portion to join the NASCAR Winston Cup series(TNN Motorsports Site)(5-26-199)

    (5-25-1999)

  • DEI Info: Dale Earnhardt Inc has opened their souvenir and showroom area at their shop(see Team Address link to the left for the address and phone numbers)(5-25-1999)
  • Craven News: Ricky Craven’s #58 Ford Taurus will carry the colors of Turbines Solutions, Inc.(TSI) this weekend(Black and Gold). TSI is a privately held aircraft engine parts supplier, owned and operated by CEO and Team Owner, Scott Barbour. Founded in 1992, TSI has established itself as a quality oriented supplier of JT8D engine parts and components. Hollywood Video and StockCar Stocks are both on board for the Coca-Cola 600 as associates sponsors. Hollywood Video will be carried on the television panel, and StockCar Stocks will be displayed on the “B” post(SBII PR)(5-25-1999)
  • Team Jasper(Panther Pit) News: The #77 Jasper Motorsports team has named Charley Pressley as interim crew chief for the Jasper Engines Ford Taurus. Pete Rondeau has been named car chief. Both will work together while the team is in the transition of naming a permanent crew chief. Bob Gulbranson, shop foreman, will continue his duties in order to focus on the preparation of the race cars and interviewing new crew chief candidates. Charley Pressley is Jasper Motorsport¹s driver Robert Pressley¹s brother and this is not the first time they have worked together. Charley was Robert’s crew chief during his 1995 rookie season in the #33 Leo Jackson Skoal Bandit cars. During that tenure, they had four top-fives and sat on the front row twice. For the Coca-Cola 600, the Jasper Motorsports car will sport a much different look. Making use of the black panther mascot of Jasper Performance Products (and the Carolina Panthers), the car includes reflective decals, a mostly yellow paint job, see an image at Paint Scheme Gallery(Jasper PR)(5-25-1999)
  • Mock/Remington News: Remington Arms Company announced today it would not renew its primary sponsorship with Butch Mock Motorsports into the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup season. Tommy Millner, president and CEO of Remington Arms Company, said Remington anticipates an announcement within the next few weeks regarding its future NASCAR marketing strategy. Remington has been the primary sponsor on the #75 Ford Taurus since 1996, and has enjoyed its association with top-notch drivers Morgan Shepherd, Rick Mast, and Ted Musgrave. Since entering the sport, Remington has undertaken several unique promotional efforts, including a sporting clays competition among the drivers; distribution of rifles and shotguns to Bud Shootout participants; promotion of outdoor television shows featuring members of the NASCAR community; and a heavy radio advertising campaign marrying outdoor interests with auto racing. Remington Arms Company, headquartered in Madison, North Carolina, is one of the leading manufacturers of sporting firearms, ammunition and accessories including knives, gun safes and firearm care products. It also markets Stren fishing line, baits and accessories to fishermen worldwide(Remington PR) Jayski Note: I hear Polaris will take over primary sponsorship in 2000 of the #75(5-25-1999)
  • #77 Paint for Indy: The #77 Jasper Motorsports Ford will sport a platinum stripes scheme for Federal-Mogul their biggest associate sponsor at Indy for the Brickyard 400. The scheme will involve one of Federal Mogul’s brand named products. They own several well-known automotive product brands and the car will also revolve around Federal Mogul’s new themed ad campaign. Have no image on that or any idea what it’ll look like(5-25-1999)

    (5-24-1999)

  • Petty/Players Inc UPDATE 1: Players Inc/Petty Enterprises will be unveiling their 1999 special schemes for the 1999 Cup and truck events this coming Monday(May 24th) at a special television taping with the 1999 NFL first round rookies, Jimmy Hensley, John Andretti, and Kyle Petty. The shoot will be at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. The truck will be run at Texas on June 11 and the Cup cars(#’s 43 and 44) will run at Richmond on September 11th, which is the night before the opening day for the NFL. All three drivers will have some wild suits and helmets. All the vehicles will be available as limited edition diecast from Hot Wheels and some pretty wild merchandise is being made, too. Some notable NFL players, present and past, will be in the teams’ pits to help(Pole Position Productions)(5-20-1999) — UPDATE 1 Postponed? New date: Please Join Petty Enterprises! A significant announcement in celebration of 50 years. 10:30am/et on Thursday, May 27, Infield Media Center, Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Kyle Petty, Richard Petty, Adam Petty John Andretti, Jimmy Hensley Robbie Loomis and Doug Hewitt will be there. Announcement followed by interviews, photo opportunities(Williams Company)(5-24-1999)
  • Spencer Unhappy UPDATE 1: After finishing second to Tony Stewart in the Winston Open by a margin of nearly five seconds, a dejected Jimmy Spencer admitted to being a sore loser. His comments: “….They (the #20 Home Depot Pontiac) had a lot of horsepower in that car. A lot of them have a lot of horsepower, unfortunately, the 23 doesn’t. Oh yeah, we had a good motor. It wouldn’t pull my skiboat on Sunday.”(SpeedVision/NOL) by the way, Spencer uses Pro Motors(5-23-1999) — UPDATE 1: Pro Motor Responds: Pro-Motor Engineering’s Peter Guild discussed the engine combination for NASCAR Winston Cup driver Jimmy Spencer’s second-place finish in Saturday’s The Winston Open. “We have had continuing difficulty finding the right engine for Jimmy Spencer at the 1.5-mile Lowe’s Motor Speedway and at other high-speed tracks. Jimmy drives very aggressively and wants the car to have a certain feel when he gets back in the gas, coming off of the corners. However, that style of engine greatly diminishes the higher rpm horsepower, hurting high straightaway speed. In The Winston Open, we gave him the style of engine that he wanted, and all through practice and the 25-lap qualifying race, he was pleased with that combination. Watching the races from above the grandstands confirmed my observation that the engine style that we would like to give him is the one that he needs. The other factor is that the Chevrolet engine, with the new SB2 cylinder head, now produces as much horsepower, if not more, than the best Ford engines. Combine that with the aerodynamic drag advantage that the Pontiac and the Monte Carlo have over the Taurus, and it is hard to keep up with a good GM car on the straightaway.”(Cotter PR)(5-24-1999)
  • Marlin’s Son: Steadman Marlin, eighteen year old son of NASCAR Winston Cup star Sterling Marlin, led all 50 laps en-route to his first ever NASCAR Winston Racing Series Late Model Stock Car main event Saturday night at Nashville Speedway USA. Young Steadman became the third Marlin in the tracks 41 year history to etch his name in the speedway’s record books and the first – third generation driver to win a premiere division feature at the fairgrounds ovalNashville Speedway Site. Jayski Note: I met Steadman in the Talladega infield in Oct 1997 and he was a very polite, respectful teenager, was nice to see, congrats(5-24-1999)
  • Gibbs/BGN?? UPDATE 2: On RPM2Nite, John Kernan interviewed Sprint Car star Jason Leffler. It was mentioned that Leffler has an offer from Joe Gibbs, it wasn’t really announced but more implied that it would be a BGN ride(5-20-1999) — UPDATE 1: I hear that WRTV Channel 13 in Indy reported that Jason Leffler will be named to drive a Busch Series car owned by Joe Gibbs(5-21-1999) — UPDATE 2: Jason Lefler, a promising young open-wheel racing star, is under consideration by car owner Joe Gibbs to run the Busch tour next season, according to sources close to the situation(PitNow)(5-24-1999)

(5-23-1999)

  • #94 Assoc Sponsor trouble? UPDATE 1: Service Merchandise is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It is not known how it will affect sponsorship of the #94 McDonald’s Ford team of Bill Elliott(NSSN)(3-27-1999) — UPDATE 1 Noticed: during the Winston pre-race activities that the Service Merchandise decals were not on the #94 McDonald’s Ford driven by Bill Elliott, did see a patch on his uniform(5-23-1999)
  • Marlin/Morgan-McClure: Sterling Marlin, who it has been rumored may return to a second team at Morgan-McClure Motorsports next year along with crew chief Tony Glover, says there is no truth to that rumor for him or Glover(SpeedVision)(5-23-1999)
  • SABCO 3rd Car returns UPDATE 2 Sponsor: Driver Jeff Green and car owner Felix Sabates will be reunited later this year in the Winston Cup series. Sabates has decided to return to a three-car operation and has obtained sponsorship from a ‘a major communications company’ to run a seven-race schedule this season. And depending on the results, it may translate into a full schedule in 2000. Sabates fielded the #46 Chevys for Green last season. Sabates lost his sponsor, First Union/Money Store, at the end of last season and dissolved the team. The new team will not carry the #46. An official announcement of Sabates’ plans is expected this week in Charlotte(That’s Racin’/Jim Utter) — UPDATE 1: Hearing the sponsor may be Florida based Topps Communication, found a little info on this company on the ‘net, not much, seems they are based in Miami and deal with Sprint(5-17-1999) — UPDATE 2: Felix Sabates has secured backing for Green’s 1999 effort through TracFone, a prepaid cellular telephone service provider. Jeff Green will be the driver, who plans to continue his full-time job as a driver on the BGN. He will drive a #01 Chevrolet sponsored by TracFone, a product of Topp Teleco, a three-year-old company that is a “national leader in prepaid cellular telephone service.” A crew chief for the program has yet to be determined. Sabates said he picked a new number for Green because he was convinced the #46, which Green used in 19 races with Team Sabco last year, was jinxed. The Cup team will run at: Both Lowes/Charlotte, Pocono 500, Brickyard 400, Richmond, Homestead and Atlanta. Sterling Marlin will run three races in the BGN in a #01 TracFone Chevrolet. The crew chief’s position will be a collaboration between Greg Irwin and Bob Temple for races at Michigan, Dover Downs(MBNA Gold 200) and Phoenix. But Sabates isn’t stopping there. He also plans to enter Dave Steele, an driver from the U.S. Auto Club midget, sprint and Silver Crown ranks who is trying to make this year’s Indianapolis 500, in two Automobile Racing Club of America(ARCA) events and three Grand National races later this year. The third Cup team plans to run full time in 2000 but as a separate entity(NOL/Times Dispatch/That’s Racin’)(5-23-1999)
  • Steele Hurt: former Cup driver and ARCA champion, now running the Truck series, crashed hard at Odessa Saturday and broke a leg and fractured some ribs(Inside NASCAR/Raceday/TNN) Get well Tim(5-23-1999)
  • Kyle and Indy: Kyle Petty was asked during the BGN rain delay today about the Indy 500 rumor. He confirmed two teams called him, and he was interested, but decided against it at this time. His quote, “When I was 21 I would have done it. At 38 I had to think about it.” Petty did leave the door open however, saying he’d love to try racing an IRL car some time(ESPN/Matt)(5-23-1999)

    (5-22-1999)

  • Grissom/SABCO? UPDATE 3: I hear Steve Grissom tested a SABCO Winston Cup Chevy Wednesday at Atlanta. No idea which team the test is for, if Grissom is a possible replacement for a current driver or a candidate for the ‘rumored’ third SABCO team(5-19-1999) — UPDATE 1: Grissom was just testing the 3rd car for the team, Jeff Green is slated as the driver, but was not available to test. Also got a Media Advisory today: “Find out which Busch driver is heading back to Winston Cup and which Winston Cup driver is going to spend more time in the Busch Series when Team SABCO owner Felix Sabates announces a limited race partnership for the remainder of the 1999 season. When: 4:30pm/et, Saturday, May 22, 1999 Where: Infield Media Center, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Charlotte, N.C. Photo Opportunity: The NASCAR Winston Cup entry will be unveiled outside the media center following the announcement(SABCO) (5-20-1999) — UPDATE 2: Sabates will begin fielding his own BGN. Sabates will enter Marlin in at least three races the remainder of the season. Sabates is also expanding his Winston Cup operation to three teams, adding BGN driver Jeff Green and running a limited schedule with him this season(That’s Racin’)(5-21-1999) — UPDATE 3: I hear the car of the third team will be #01 (5-22-1999)
  • McReynolds Team: Larry McReynolds has set a drop dead date of June 15th to have a sponsor in place for his new Cup team. He says he has a driver picked out, but won’t comment. If he has no sponsor by the date, he plans on staying with the #31 Lowes team(WC Scene)(5-22-1999)
  • Ford Testing: Work has already begun on the 2000 Taurus, with Jack Roush and Robert Yates working on the downforce model and the Roger Penske-Rusty Wallace team working on the Daytona-Talladega version(PitNow)(5-22-1999)
  • Earnhardt NO Retirement: Dale Earnhardt and team owner Richard Childress already has begun discussions about keeping the team together, including primary sponsor GM Goodwrench Service, through the 2003 Winston Cup season, their current contract expires after next season(2000), see the full AP/WRAL article at Earnhardt, 48, Says Retirement Not a Consideration(5-22-1999)
  • Windshields: A host of Winston Cup cars were forced to replace windshield mounting bolts prior to Winston practice Friday morning. Seems NASCAR technical inspectors, sensitive to the recent incident at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in which three fans perished when hit by debris off an Indy Racing League car, mandated the heavier hardware in an effort to better secure the windshields to the racers. The new configuration utilizes larger bolts, backed by washers, mounted through the windshield and the body where they were secured by lock-washers and nuts. Previously, the mounting hardware, which more resembled small rivets, just screwed into the body’s windshield frame. According to NASCAR inspectors, the new mounting will better keep the windshield affixed to the car in crash situations(TNN Motorsports)(5-22-1999)

    (5-21-1999)

  • Andrews hired: that didn’t take long – Dale Earnhardt Inc. announced Friday the hiring of veteran crew chief Paul Andrews to serve as the crew chief on the #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo driven by Steve Park. Andrews begins his new duties on Friday as the team prepares for Saturday’s Winston Open in Charlotte. Andrews replaces Philippe Lopez, who resigned on May 11(and has been hired by the #66 team). Steve Hmiel filled the crew chief role at Richmond last week, but will now resume his duties as DEI’s technical director(Pennzoil PR)(5-21-1999)
  • Gibbs/BGN?? UPDATE: On RPM2Nite, John Kernan interviewed Sprint Car star Jason Leffler. It was mentioned that Leffler has an offer from Joe Gibbs, it wasn’t really announced but more implied that it would be a BGN ride(5-20-1999) — UPDATE 1: I hear that WRTV Channel 13 in Indy reported that Jason Leffler will be named to drive a Busch Series car owned by Joe Gibbs(5-21-1999)
  • Stewart Crashes: Tony Stewart made contact with the wall in turn three during Indy 500 practice on Thursday. Stewart is OK and the car is repairable(RacingPress)(5-21-1999)
  • Pardus OK: Rookie Dan Pardus, driver of the #50 Midwest Transit Chevy, is coming off hernia surgery, but is OK and will run in the No Bull 25 qualifying races in Friday, the the ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series event on Friday night and the Winston Open Saturday(and with luck, The Winston)(Midwest PR)(5-21-1999)
  • Schrader vs LaJoie? When Ken Schrader came home from Richmond, he was surprised to see a bunch of sheet metal on the front lawn of his home. “Nobody” knows who put it there, but it had Bob Evans decals all over it(RPM2Nite)(5-21-1999)

    (5-20-1999)

  • Wheaties Returns? I hear that the #26 Cheerios Ford will run a Wheaties scheme, possibly in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona(5-20-1999)
  • Irvan good for 2000+: In this weeks Winston Cup Scene an article reports a comment from Jay Frye, GM of the MB2 Motorsports team: that the Winston Cup team with Ernie Irvan and M&M’s would continue intact next season and “We have a multi-year commitment with Ernie and are very pleased with him. And we hope this is Ernie’s last ride of his career. We want him here as long as he wants to continue driving”(WC Scene)(5-20-1999)
  • MB2 BGN Team: The Winston Cup Scene reports that MB2 Motorsports hopes to start a BGN team in 2000. The plan is to get a sponsor and driver, run the team for 2-3 years and move the team up to Winston Cup as a 2nd team to the #36. They have not talked to any current BGN drivers but IRL and Truck drivers so far(5-20-1999)
  • The King Returns? Burger King that is, I hear BK will return to NASCAR as a primary sponsor on a BGN team fielded by a current Winston Cup multi-team(5-20-1999)
  • Lopez and DW? UPDATE 2 – YEP: Speedwords is hearing that Philippe Lopez, who resigned from the crew chief position at Dale Earnhardt Inc. (Steve Park) may turn up in a similar position on the Travis Carter Winston Cup team driven by Darrell Waltrip. DW and Lopez seemed to hit it off when DW drove the #1 Monte Carlo during Steve Park’s recuperation and may be looking to team up again. Speedwords hears Lopez could be in the pits as a consultant as early as this Saturday night at Richmond(Speedwords)(5-14-1999) — UPDATE 1: Philippe, who resigned as Steve Park’s crew chief last week, is talking with car owner Travis Carter about joining his team to work with Darrell Waltrip(PitNow)(5-17-1999) — UPDATE 2: Ok – some sources tell me Lopez will not go to the #66 and others say he will, I guess we wait…(5-19-1999) — UPDATE 2:Carl Haas and Travis Carter, co-owners of Haas-Carter Motorsports, LLC, announced today that Philippe Lopez has been named crew chief on the Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford Taurus driven in NASCAR Winston Cup competition by three-time series champion Darrell Waltrip(PR)(5-20-1999)
  • Another Crew Chief Change UPDATE 2: Veteran Peter Sospenzo will head the competition side of Penske-Kranefuss Racing(#12 Mobil One Ford and driver Jeremy Mayfield) starting with The Winston this weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The announcement was made this morning by team co-owner Michael Kranefuss. A veteran crew chief, Sospenzo, 42, joined Penske-Kranefuss Racing in December, 1997. He has been serving as Car Chief. He replaces Paul Andrews, who has served as crew chief since December, 1997(The Williams Company)(5-19-1999) — UPDATE 1: Dale Earnhardt has been searching for a new crew chief to work with Steve Park, and Steve Hmiel is filling in until Earnhardt can find the man he’s looking for. Andrews, low key and well-respected, might be that man. If Earnhardt and his Chevrolet team land Andrews, it would be a significant plus for Chevy — Andrews has been a Ford man for years. But at least three other teams have been making offers to Andrews, according to sources close to the situation(PitNow) and UPDATE 2from That’s Racin’: Andrews said he was told the team’s performance was the reason for the decision. Mayfield is 13th in the current Winston Cup standings. Andrews said he learned after being fired that the decision to do so had been made at a meeting among the team’s key members on Sunday, the day after Mayfield finished 24th at Richmond(5-20-1999)
  • The 2000 Taurus: see it and read about it at: Ford releases first view of NASCAR ‘Taurus 2k’ at NOL; Ford says new Taurus evolution, not revolution from That’s Racin’ and at the Ford Racing Site(5-20-1999)
  • Wild Rumor UPDATE 1: from SpeedNet: “The rumor of NASCAR Winston Cup driver Kyle Petty coming to Indianapolis in an attempt to make the 500 apparently has merit. Petty called Mike Guglielmucci of Bell Helmet last weekend saying he was “80 percent sure” he had a deal, presumably with either Ron Hemelgarn or John Menard. “His helmet is in the paint shop as we speak, and there’s a white one in my office waiting for him,” Guglielmucci said. Petty has never run an Indy car.”(SpeedNet thanks Fred) I find this hard to believe as Petty never took the rookie test as of yet, he would have to practice before Speedway officials would let him qualify, I guess we’ll see. Maybe it’s for John Andretti??(5-19-1999) — UPDATE 1: see some more info on this situation at Racing Press – Indy Rumors (5-20-1999)
  • Roush Approval: Roush Racing won a battle Tuesday night against a group of more than 200 residents fighting the company’s plan to move its headquarters to Concord. Roush hurdled the first step to building its $75 million facility — a recommendation from the Concord Planning and Zoning Commission to rezone the property to allow the headquarters on U.S. 29, south of Roberta Church Road. See the rest of the story at: Roush Racing’s plans in Concord backed by panel(Charlotte Observer)(5-20-1999)
  • Fastest at Indy: Tony Stewart was the fastest in Indy 500 practice on Wednesday with a speed of 226.683mph(SpeedNet)(5-20-1999)
  • Old, yet new News, UPDATE 1: Mark Thompson’s Phoenix Air ARCA looks like they will do as many as five Cup races in 1999. Two road courses with David Murray and Talladega(both), Pepsi 400 with Bob Stait and at Indy with an unknown driver(Midway Phoenix Race Team(2-2-1999) — UPDATE 1: David Murray recently tested the Mark Thompson Ford at Road Atlanta in preparation for the teams debut at Sears Point in June. The team plans to run Pocono(July), Indy, Watkins Glen and Homestead and step it up to full time in 2000(RPM2Nite). Murray recently won a race at Road Atlanta on May 1st. The car # is 61 and sponsors will be Midway Island(5-20-1999)
  • Mock Crew News: Crew member, Michael Shiplett, mechanic and front tire carrier for the #75 Remington Arms Ford team was involved in a motorcycle accident on his way home from testing at Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 10th. Michael had surgery last week for torn ligaments in his knee. He is expected to make a full recovery within 3 to 6 weeks. Michael just celebrated his birthday. Jeff Silver will take over the duties as front tire carrier for the next two weeks in Charlotte while Michael recuperates. Jeff is the tire specialist and normally is the rear tire carrier for Butch Mock Motorsports. David Doyle will take over the duties as rear tire carrier for Jeff. David is a mechanic for the #75 team(Ted Musgrave Website)(5-20-1999)

    (5-19-1999)

  • From NASCAR: As the excitement of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series turns its attention towards the Lowe’s Motor Speedway for the next two weekends of racing, no one can deny the fact that through the first 11 races of the season, the competition seen on the track has been more exhilarating than ever. With one third of the NASCAR Winston Cup season complete, seven drivers have earned a spot in the 2000 Bud Shootout by winning a Bud Pole Award and eight different drivers have made the trip to victory lane. In addition to those facts, between the green flags flying and the checkered flags falling, there have been 229 lead changes among 34 different drivers. Probably the biggest change is 1999 has been the resurgence of the Pontiac Grand Prix as a force to be reckoned with each week. Through eleven races in 1999, Pontiac has accumulated 12 top-5’s and 29 top-10’s. See the Competition Chart on my Archive Page (NASCAR)(5-19-1999)
  • Labonte Rumors: Interesting rumor floating around that Terry Labonte will move to either a Joe Gibbs third team or a Robert Yates second or third team next season. This has to be taken with a grain of salt as Labonte’s contract runs through 2000, but then we know about “iron clad” contracts(Inside Motorsports) and from PitNow: Ford executives are again heavily seeking drivers, and there ar strong indications that the company would like to steal Terry Labonte away from Chevrolet. Labonte, who won earlier this season at Texas, is under contract with GM’s Rick Hendrick. Jayski Note: Robert Yates has repeated over and over the he has NO plans to start a third team and like reported above Labonte and Kelloggs are signed thru 2000 with Hendrick(5-19-1999)
  • Good News: Haley McGee, injured in the IRL incident at Lowes a few weeks ago has been upgraded to Fair Condition and spent her first full day in rehabilitation Tuesday, see full story at: Girl hurt at speedway begins rehabilitation, likely a long process(That’s Racin’)(5-19-1999)

    (5-18-1999)

  • Bud Moore News: “Without final word on a sponsorship deal with AMVETS, the Bud Moore Engineering team has scrapped plans to run in the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The team missed this week’s testing session at the suburban Charlotte track, and has elected to stay home instead of going in an un-sponsored car. Moore, whose No. 15 Ford hasn’t been on the track since failing to qualify for this year’s Daytona 500, will await a sponsorship deal before attempting to qualify again. Word from AMVETS — a Maryland-based not-for-profit group — on the deal now may not come until mid-June.” See the complete story at: Sponsor-less Moore will miss Charlotte(Herald-Journal/GoUpstate)(5-18-1999)
  • UPDATE on Tires at Richmond: Follow up information from Tony Freund, lead engineer for stock car tire development on May 17, 1999: A number of Winston Cup cars experienced right front tire tread blistering during the Richmond race on Saturday night. We suspect it was heat and chassis setup related, since many of the cars running up front experienced no problems. Goodyear has brought the same tire recommendation to Richmond for four years and it has performed as it should in the past. Normally, at the first pit stop we can see wear of 2/32” to 3/32”, as the tires are working to dissipate heat correctly and avoid blistering. A number of things such as aerodynamics, a variation in the sealer content or application (such as thickness, etc), certain driver styles or some aggressive chassis setups could have contributed to the Richmond situation. Since cars having the trouble all had heat concentration on the inside right front of the tires, our Goodyear engineers were proactive during the race telling teams about some options. One was to work with air pressure, and actually lower it some to work the tire harder and enlarge the footprint. Another was to make a chassis adjustment to loosen the car to work the right rear tire harder and the right front less. Also, since the tires had no giveup, it was suggested they could take a right rear tire with 30-40 laps on it and mount it on the right front. Because it would have a good scuff on it, it could have enabled the cars to double their number of laps. Our engineering group will be working with the teams to evaluate all the input in order to make any needed tire adjustments prior to our return to Richmond this fall(Goodyear PR)(5-18-1999)
  • Morgan-McClure 2nd team rumors: Larry McClure has been playing it close to the vest when questioned about his long-proposed second Winston Cup team. Sources close to the situation say that Microsoft is interested in McClure’s proposal, if he can line up a Daytona winning combination . . . hence the speculation that he might like to bring back Marlin and Glover, who worked well together(PitNow), Jayski Note: I continue to hear Microsoft will not be the sponsor, not sure what Marlin’s contract situation is with SABCO(5-18-1999)
  • Craven and BGN: from his NOL chat – Craven is planning on running five BGN races in the 2nd half of the season including Bristol, Charlotte and Homestead(5-18-1999)
  • Tires: The tire situation at RIR on Saturday evening is being studied by Goodyear and NASCAR officials. But the general consensus is, that improper caster adjustment, and/or improper air pressure were the main culprit for the blowouts. Several teams had the tires go down, but overall, most of the teams didn’t have any problem. Lowering the tire pressure, and changing the caster, which is the angle of the tire in relation to the track, was done in order to create more pressure on the tires for making the turns. This is suspected as the main cause of the blistering. Teams were initially pointing fingers at a combination of the tracks new sealer, the rain, and the falling tempertures as the cause(Victory Lane Online)(5-18-1999)

    (5-17-1999)

  • SABCO Changes? UPDATE 1: Hearing Tony Glover may leave the SABCO team? (Team-Sabco page-unofficial)(5-17-1999) — UPDATE 1: Corrie Stott, crew chief for the #40 Coors Light Chevrolet, and Team SABCO have parted ways, it was announced this morning. The decision was mutual for both parties. Stott was named crew chief in April of last year. His first event with the Coors Light team was the Goody’s 500 at the Martinsville, Va., Speedway. During that time, Marlin posted seven top-10 and 19 top-15 finishes in NASCAR Winston Cup Competition. Team Manager Tony Glover will serve as interim crew chief until a suitable replacement has been named(The William Company), Hmm…I guess the rumor about Glover leaving was incorrect(5-17-1999)
  • Newt leaves: Jasper Motorsports crew chief Newt Moore has resigned his post effective Monday, May 17th. Citing personal reasons, Moore has decided to move on. Jasper Motorsports team owners announced that Bob Gulbranson has been named as the interim crew chief. Bob Gulbranson had previously held the position of shop foreman at Jasper Motorsports and is a member of the JASPER Motorsports Leadership Team for the past 10 months. Before Gulbranson teamed up with Jasper, he served as Hermie Sadler¹s 1998 crew chief in the Busch Grand National Series at the Diamond Ridge Motorsports shop. He has also previously worked a short stint as Robert Pressley¹s crew chief when Pressley drove for the Diamond Ridge in the Winston Cup series in 1997. The team also announced that Charley Pressley, Robert¹s brother, will remain on with Jasper Motorsports as a team advisor. Charley was initially with Morgan-McClure Motorsports and the Kodak Chevrolet team of Bobby Hamilton. “This came as a surprise, but I intend to do the best job I can. With Charley and myself, our goal is to get Robert Pressley up in the top-ten and top-fives so we can move up in the points standings,” said Gulbranson(Jasper PR)(5-17-1999)
  • Ave Age: Average Driver Age Differs In Series Across The World, NASCAR Oldest, F1 Youngest. F-1= 28.9 Ave Driver Age; CART=30.1; IRL 34.1; WINSTON CUP=38.4(Pennzoil PR)(5-17-1999)
  • Gibbs 3rd Team: Joe Gibbs is considering a third Winston Cup team next season, according to sources close to the situation, with MBNA as sponsor. The bankcard company has been sponsoring Gibbs’ Busch team(PitNow), Jayski Note: rumors were flying on a few message bords a few weeks ago about Terry Labonte going to a third Gibbs team, but Labonte is signed with Hendrick and Kelloggs thru 2000(5-17-1999)
  • Yates Sell, No: Robert Yates says he isn’t considering selling his famous #28 Texaco team, though he confirms he has had offers(PitNow)(5-17-1999)
  • Moore? McDonald’s? Greg Moore, one of the newest Indy-car stars(CART not IRL), may be McDonald’s new NASCAR marketing star. According to sources familiar with Moore’s stock-car racing plans, he is under strong consideration to drive for Cal Wells’ planned McDonald’s-backed NASCAR team. Wells will be running Fords, and Moore is considered by some as potentially the next Indy-car crossover talent.(PitNow)(5-17-1999)
  • Hubs? Three Winston Cup teams, including the #12 Fords of Jeremy Mayfield, were asked by NASCAR technical officials over the weekend to discontinue use of rear-end wheel hubs that are typically used in the BGN series. The hubs – legal parts that have been approved for use in either series – are being studied by NASCAR because of repeated problems with them on BGN series cars, according to sources. In an effort to prevent any future problems, NASCAR officials have decided to ask teams to refrain from using them in the Winston Cup series until their review of the parts are complete. The wheel hubs were discovered during Friday’s inspections were not confiscated by NASCAR. Each of the teams agreed to change the wheel hubs on the cars to a design other than that used in the BGN series(That’s Racin’) and The hubs are the same as those being used in the Busch Grand National series. Teams are allowed to run with them, but NASCAR officials recently began studying them to see whether they are safe on the higher-horsepower and heavier Cup cars. Because of uncertainty about whether the hubs could create a safety issue, the teams were asked to replace them and run other Cup-approved parts(Times-Dispatch), also, Speedwords has a image and story on the ‘Hub’ subject at NASCAR looking at Suspension Rules(5-17-1999)

(5-16-1999)

  • Rusty Paint UPDATE 2: hearing rumors that Rusty Wallace will run a Harley Davidson scheme at either the Winston or later in the year??(4-28-1999) — UPDATE 1: Quote from Wallace in a TNN chat: “Nothing at The Winston. We’ll be coming out with a new paint scheme the first week of June that will just blow everybody clear off the map. I think it’s gonna be very exciting, but I’m not gonna give anybody a hint.”(5-15-1999) — UPDATE 2: Sources tell me it will be Harley-Davidson, probably at Michigan on June 13th(5-16-1999)
  • Hills Brothers and the #90 UPDATE 1: Besides being on Junie Donlavey’s #90 Ford at Richmond this weekend, Hill Brothers Coffee will sponsor the car for two additional races, Talladega in Oct. and at Richmond in the fall. Donlavey will receive less than $100,000 per event from Nestle in the name of Hills Brothers(Times-Dispatch)(5-15-1999) — UPDATE 1: The #90 Donlavey Ford missed making the Richmond race but did get some good news yesterday. Roger Bear of Keystone Marketing said Hills Brothers Coffee is interested in extending its sponsorship with Donlavey to the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 30(Times-Dispatch)(5-16-1999)
  • Irvan-Simo: Boris Said will attempt to make the field for the May 30 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte in the #14 Ford owned by Irvan-Simo Motorsports(That’s Racin’)(5-16-1999)
  • Money: By winning the Pontiac Excitement 400 and leading the Cup points, Dale Jarrett won the NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus of $60,000 for leading the points and winning the race(5-16-1999)
  • Top Tens: There have been 31 different Cup drivers score a Top-10 this year…..last year’s total number was 41(Stock Cars Fans Newsletter/Rumblings)(5-16-1999)
  • Short Track Wins: Nine different drivers win the last nine short-track races(Stock Cars Fans Newsletter/Rumblings)(5-16-1999)

    (5-15-1999)

  • Diamond Ridge News: Diamond Ridge Motorsports owner Gary Bechtel(BGN #4) wants to be back in Winston Cup Series racing by the year 2001. Bechtel is taking it slow and has pulled back to ensure it achieves success before it makes the next step. Plans are to have the first Diamond Ridge-built car ready for the October BGN event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Curtis Markham will run the 2nd car, #29, at Gateway International Raceway in September and in the inaugural Diamond Ridge “house car,” at Lowe’s on Oct. 9.(in part from NOL) Bechtel wants Markham back in the car on a full-time basis next season, if he still is available(Times-Dispatch)(5-15-1999)
  • Earnhardt Bar: NASCAR technical inspectors confiscated the “Earnhardt bar” from the #66 Ford of Darrell Waltrip during pre-practice inspections Friday. The “Earnhardt bar” – named for the seven-time Winston Cup champion who first used the device on his cars – is a piece of the roll cage that starts behind the rear-view mirror and down the front of the windshield. Waltrip’s bar was too light and NASCAR ordered his team to replace it(That’s Racin’)(5-15-1999)
  • RIR Announcements UPDATE 1 Special Cope Paint: Bahari Racing and Washington Erving Motorsports(WEM) will hold news conferences at RIR this weekend to make sponsor announcements(Times-Dispatch), I have no idea what either are about…yet(5-12-1999) — UPDATE 1: Jimmy Dean Foods, sponsor of the #30 Bahari Pontiac and driver Derrike Cope, announced plans for a special paint scheme for the #30 at Richmond this weekend. Renowned motorsports artist Sam Bass, who designed all of the paint schemes for the Pontiacs at Bahari’ Racing, also created the 30th anniversary layout on the #30 Pontiac for Saturday’s Pontiac Excitement 400. It features gold metal flake paint serving as the primary color and Jimmy Dean 30th anniversary logos on the hood and rear decklid(Derrike Cope Fan Club Site, see an image there), a new contest was announced and info can be found on my Racing Contest Page — news on a sweet accociate sponsor for the WEM team is on the BGN/CTS news and rumors page(5-15-1999)
  • More Bahari News: Chuck Rider and Derrike Cope, #30 Bahari Racing Team, have hired three crewmen to help try to turn their fortunes around: car chief Ernie Cope, shock specialist John McQueen, and engineer Chris Andrews(PitNow Notes)(5-15-1999)

    (5-14-1999)

  • Kimmel News: ARCA Champ, Frank Kimmel,is going to attempt to run the Winston Open in the #46 Advance Auto Parts Chevy. The opportunity came about when he drove the #23 Travis Carter Winston Ford at Michigan last year when Jimmy Spencer was injured(5-14-1999)
  • Good News: John Ventura owner/editor of “Track Talk” magazine, received a liver transplant May 5th. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers and a special thank you to the donor and their family(5-14-1999)
  • #78 Auction UPDATE 1: The following was seen in the classified section of Sunday’s May 9, 1999’s edition of the Winston-Salem Journal that says Triad Motorsports(#78) is having a Liquidation Auction on Monday, May 17, 1999 at 10:00am/et in Thomasville, NC. Up for sale are eight(8) 1999 Ford Taurus race cars, a show car with truck and trailer, 1998 Kenworth Truck, 1997 Featherlite Transporter along with shop equipment, car parts, pit equipment, 3 acres of land, shop and buildings and many tools and equipment(thanks Joe), also hear auction notices were mailed out(5-10-1999) — UPDATE 1: Saw the Auction Notice in today’s Winston Cup Scene. Address and phone number: Godley Auction Co. Inc, 4918 Rozzells Ferry Road, Charlotte, NC 28216. 704-399-1482(5-14-1999)
  • Shepherd Deal UPDATE 1: Morgan Shepherd announced today that he has entered int a joint venture with FAIN Motor Sports of Lexington, Tn. FAIN Motor Sports is a fan based group with a new concept in NASCAR racing sponsorship. Morgan will drive his first race under the FAIN Motor Sports banner at the Winston Open at Charlotte, on May 22. More information on FAIN Motor Sports and Morgan Shepherd can be obtained at www.fainmotorsports.com or by calling FAIN Motor Sports at (901)968-8100 (Fain PR)(5-14-1999)
  • Noticed on RPM2Nite: Some paint schemes, the #98 has Hobas Pipe as their sponsor and has a white paint scheme with light blue decals. The #90 Junie Donlavey Ford has Hills Brothers Coffee as the sponsor for driver Hut Stricklin and is red with white decals. The #16 Primestar/TV Guide Ford is painted white this week(RPM2Nite)(5-14-1999)
  • Elliott Paint UPDATE 1: I hear Bill Elliott will run an Inspector Gadget(Disney Movie) paint scheme sometime in early in the summer(5-13-1999) — UPDATE 1: I hear the scheme will be run at Loudon, NH on July 11th(5-14-1999)
  • New Benson Crew Chief UPDATE 1: Roush Racing announced today that Pat Tryson has been named crew chief of the #26 Roush Racing Taurus. Tryson comes from a year-long position as the car chief for Chad Little and the #97 John Deere team. He will begin his crew chief duties for driver Johnny Benson this weekend in Richmond, VA. Tryson came on with Roush mid-season in ’98 as car chief/chassis specialist for Chad Little and the John Deere team. This weekend in Richmond, VA Tryson will be the active crew chief for Johnny Benson and the #26 Cheerios racing team(Roush Racing PR). It is unsure what Bobby Leslie, the former crew chief, plans are(RPM2Nite)(5-13-1999) — UPDATE 1: Several key members of Roush Racing’s #26 team, including crew chief Bobby Leslie, reportedly parted ways with the team on Thursday(Power Team Page), Tryson is Geoff Bodines former crew chief(#7) and was Todd Bodines crew chief on the ill-fated Tabasco car(5-14-1999)
  • Pace Car: The 2000 Chevy Monte Carlo will pace the Coca-Cola 600 this year. Richard Childress, owner of the #3 and #31 teams, will mark his 30th year in racing by driving the pace car(NOL)(5-14-1999)
  • DJ’s Winston Car UPDATE 1: The #88 Quality Care/Ford Credit Taurus, in “The Winston” paint scheme, will be displayed in Byrd Park at the Richmond, Virginia Race for the Cure(a 5K run/fitness walk benefitting breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment) this Saturday, May 8. Continuing their assault on breast cancer, Dale Jarrett, Robert Yates Racing, and their sponsors Ford Quality Care Service and Ford Credit will present a new look at NASCAR’s “The Winston” on May 22, designed entirely to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Normally painted all blue with red and white trim, the #88 Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus will circle Lowe’s Motor Speedway pearl-white with blue and red trim for this winners-only NASCAR Winston Cup event in Charlotte. Jarrett’s driver suit and his crew’s hats will be adorned with the signature ‘pink ribbon,’ symbolic of the Komen Foundation. Jarrett, Robert Yates Racing, Quality Care Service and Ford Credit have agreed to donate 100% of the profits generated with the sale of all merchandise associated with this car, including die-cast cars, t-shirts and hats, to the Komen Foundation. For more info see the article at the Motorsport News International site.(5-7-1999) UPDATE 1:, see an image of the car at DieHard NASCAR Fan Site)(5-14-1999)

    (5-13-1999)

  • Craven Assoc. StockCar Stocks will be an associate sponsor of the #58 Hollywood Video Ford driven by Ricky Craven for the two Charlotte Races (The Winston Open and the Coca-Cola 600)(5-13-1999)
  • Phillies and NASCAR: NASCAR is moving into the Philadelphia area a week early. To promote the First Union 200 Busch Grand National race at Nazareth Speedway on May 23, four drivers will participate in “NASCAR Night at the Phillies’ Saturday. Tim Fedewa, last year’s First Union 200 winner, Dave Blaney and Jimmy Kitchens will be joined by Bruce Driver, of the Featherlite Modified Series. Before the Phillies-Mets game at 7:05pm/et on May 15th, the drivers will enter the field in a Nazareth Speedway pace car. Somehow, the four will throw out the ceremonial first pitch(That’s Racin’)(5-13-1999)
  • Pace Car: The 2000 Chevy Monte Carlo will pace the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway near Charlotte. Richard Childress, owner of the #3 and #31 teams, will mark his 30th year in racing by driving the pace car(NOL)(5-13-1999)
  • Elliott Crew Chief UPDATE 1 and crew: Wayne Orme is Bill Elliott’s new crew chief on the #94 Ford(Times-Dispatch/That’s Racin’)(5-11-1999) — UPDATE 1: Bill Elliott Racing has named Wayne Orme (OR-me) crew chief of the #94 McDonald’s Ford Taurus. In addition, the team has added Gordy Arbitter, front tire changer, and Greg Ely, shock specialist, to the Drive-Thru Crew. Orme, 29, joined Bill Elliott Racing in December, 1998, serving as crew chief of the #13 Ford Taurus at the Daytona 500 in February. Since then, he has been a mechanic and chassis specialist on the #94 McDonald’s Racing Team(McDonald’s PR)(5-13-1999)
  • #91 Crew Chief: Nicholas Short has been named the new crew chief for the #91 LJ Racing Chevy and driver Dick Trickle(NASCAR Today Radio)(5-13-1999)
  • Sparky Plug Hears…UPDATE 1 Denied: “One of our garage area spies tells us venerable Dave Marcis will announce his retirement at the July race at Daytona. The rest of the year will be a farewell tour. In honor of Marcis, our source(Sparky source) says, Dale Earnhardt will drive a special camouflage paint scheme — gold and black car with Goodwrench service on the hood — at the Daytona night race. Marcis is expected to be back for one more race next year — the Daytona 500 in February 2000. That would give him a Daytona 500 start” (assuming he qualifies, which he has done every year since 1968) in five decades and two centuries(iRace/SpeedVision)(5-12-1999) — UPDATE 1: On WC Today Radio, Dave Marcis said it was news to him and he’d make an announcement when/if he was to retire. He said there was no retirement planned, nor any decision made about when it would come about(5-13-1999)
  • Engagements: Jerry Nadeau recently announced his engagemnet to Jada and Tony Stewart has announced his engagement to Krista Dwyer.(Sue’s ADNASCAR Newsletter)(5-13-1999)

    (5-12-1999)

  • Charlotte Final Testing Speeds/Tuesday: Elliott Sadler had the fastest speed Tuesday night during testing at Lowes, 181.769mph which betters Dale Earnhardt, Jr’s lap of 181.470mph during the GM test lasy week. The rest of the top five 2) #9- Nadeau 181.087; 3) #75-Musgrave 181.026 4) #12-Mayfield 180.935; and 5) #99-Burton 180.650. Others at the test were Carl Long in the #85, Boris Said in the #14 and Andy Hillinberg(#80?). See the complete list of Ford speeds at SpeedNet – Sadler fastest in testing at Charlotte (5-12-1999)
  • Spencer Paint: Jimmy Spencer will introduce his car for The Winston all-star race sometime this weekend at RIR(Times-Dispatch), I hear it will be a gold paint scheme and have an image in the Paint Scheme Gallery (5-12-1999)

    (5-11-1999)

  • Charlotte Early Testing Speeds: The top five speeds of mandatory Ford testing at Lowes midway through the day: 1) #75-Musgrave 177.959mph; 2) #12-Mayfield 177.825; 3) #9-Nadeau 177.154 4) #6-Martin 176.459; 5) #11-Bodine 176.183 (RPM2Nite)(5-11-1999)
  • New DEI/#1 Crew Chief: Dale Earnhardt Inc. announced today that Steve Hmiel will serve as interim crew chief on Steve Park’s #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo for the remainder of 1999 Cup season. Hmiel replaces Philippe Lopez who resigned Monday(Pennzoil PR) No word on Lopez’s plans(5-11-1999)
  • THE BIG MERGER! UPDATE 1 PROPOSED merger: International Speedway Corporation and Penske Motorsports, Inc. Monday announced they have signed a definitive merger agreement to create America’s largest provider of motorsports entertainment. Upon completion of the transaction, ISC will operate 10 motorsports facilities across the United States with more than 800,000 seats and 400 corporate hospitality suites. In 1999, the two companies will promote more than 100 motorsports events(NOL/ISC PR…). International Speedway Corp. buys 88% of Penske Motorsports, Inc. for $50/share, a deal worth over $700 million. Here are some links to articles on the merger: ISC, Penske propose merger-NOL and the PR at DaytonaUSA – ISC and Penske Motorsports Announce Definitive Merger Agreement. In simple terms that is Bill France and Roger Penske(5-10-1999) — UPDATE 1: the headers at NOL got changed to read Proposed, meaning it’s not a done deal. Plus more articles at: ISC, Penske Motorsports merge to form mega-motorsports company(That’s Racin’) and SpeedNet – Penske will sell tracks to NASCAR chief’s firm(5-11-1999)
  • Testing: I hear David Green and Bobby Hamilton were at Greenville Pickens(SC) Speedway today testing their Cup cars. Green(#41) also tested his BGN car along with Jeff Krogh(#56), Kenny Irwin(#11), Larry Pearson(#00) and Steve Grissom(#22). I hear Jason Jarrett was there but not sure if he tested at all. Question asked: Why do so many teams test at Greenville Pickens? Since it is a track the Cup and BGN series doesn’t run a race on, it does not count against a team to test there. The track, being a short track, is similar to Richmond and used by teams to get ready for tracks such as Richmond and Martinsville(5-11-1999)
  • Kyles Ride: Kyle Petty’s Charity Ride Across America ended Sunday when Petty and his group of 250 riders arrived at his farm after eight consecutive days on the road. The ride started in Fontana, CA, near the California Speedway. All proceeds from the ride, about $500,000, went to children’s hospitals across the country. On Sunday, Kyle Petty donated $100,000 to Brenner Children’s Hospital in Winston-Salem. See the rest of the AP story at Kyle Petty’s cross-country charity ride nets $500,000 (PitNow)(5-11-1999)
  • #90 Junie/Hut UPDATE 1: I hear Hut Stricklin will drive for Junie Donlavey in the #90 at Richmond and they hope to have Hills Brothers Coffee as the sponsor(Inside Motorsports)(5-5-1999) — UPDATE 1: Junie Donlavey has a one-race sponsorship contract with Hills Brothers Coffee for the Pontiac 400(Times-Dispatch)(5-11-1999)
  • Davis 2nd Cup Team: As reported here off and on for the last year or so, Bill Davis Racing will have a 2nd Cup full time team in 2000. The #93 Amoco team with driver Dave Blaney and crew chief Gil Martin will move up from the BGN ranks. The #93 Amoco Ultimate Team 93 and driver Dave Blaney will test its Winston Cup cars at Michigan Speedway next Monday and Tuesday(May 17-18) in preparation for its first WC start at the two-mile oval June 13. Blaney will also enter the Cup events at New Hampshire in July, Indianapolis in August, and Miami and Atlanta in November as the team gears up for a full Winston Cup season in 2000(Bill Davis PR)(5-11-1999)
  • Safety Announcements: NASCAR drivers Jeremy Mayfield and Ward Burton have been picked to participate in a series of highway safety public service announcements by the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program. The invitation was issued by Joe Parker, director of the program, and Governor Jim Hunt. Mayfield and Burton will participate in the program, which is designed to reach young, mostly male motorists. Those are the type “who refuse buckle up and who are most likely to drive after drinking,” according to Jill Warren Lucas, Public Information Officer, Governor’s Highway Safety Program. The two drivers will tape public service announcements to be used for as many as five broadcast PSA’s and many more radio spots(The Williams Company)(5-11-1999)
  • Gordon’s 200th start: Gordon has more poles (25) than Petty (14) and Earnhardt (5) had between them in their first 200 starts. The same is true for victories — Gordon has 45, while Petty had 23 and Earnhardt 13.(That’s Racin’)(5-11-1999)
  • Monday’s Final Test Speeds: Mark Martin had the fastest lap at LMS testing with a speed of 180.911mph, last week Dale Earnhardt, Jr turned a lap of 181.470mph during the GM test. The rest of the top five: 2) #16-Lepage 180.511; 3) #11-Bodine 180.457; 4) #2-Wallace 180.138; and 5) #21-Sadler 179.760. For the rest of the speeds see the article at SpeedNet: Martin leads testing at Charlotte (5-11-1999)

    (5-10-1999)

  • #98 Sponsor: Hobas Pipe will sponsor the #98 Yarborough-Burdette Ford driven by Rick Mast at Richmond, the Winston Open and the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway(NOL)(5-10-1999)
  • Hamilton Tests: The #4 Kodak Chevy was at Greenville Pickens Speedway(SC)testing three cars(5-10-1999)

(5-9-1999)

  • Martin Special Paint UPDATE 1: Some readers saw Mark Martin on a QVC Special Thursday night and said he mentioned that he thinks Eagle One will be the paint scheme for the Winston again this year(2-12-1999) — UPDATE 1: As reported since, Martin will run the Eagle One paint scheme at The Winston and will ALSO run the scheme at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona the the Phoneix Cup race(Speedway Scene)(5-9-1999)
  • Better or Worse: Who’s made the greatest improvement in a year? When you discount drivers who were hurt last year and missed races or didn’t have a full-time ride (Mike Skinner, Wally Dallenbach, Steve Park), the driver who’s moved forward the most positions since California in ’98 is our points leader Jeff Burton. Last year at this point he was 14th, 347 points behind Jeremy Mayfield. Three other drivers are 10 spots higher this year vs last….John Andretti, Kenny Irwin, and Kevin Lepage. The other side of the coin shows the likeness of Jimmy Spencer. He’s fallen from 8th last year at this time to 24th this year. Ted Musgrave’s story is much the same….20th to 35th. Johnny Benson and Robert Pressley are 13 spots lower in the points standings this year. Last year’s points leader after Fontana was Jeremy Mayfield. This year he’s 12th, and has 291 less points. That’s about 9-10 finishing positions per race. Jeff Burton has improved 434 points over the same 10 race time-frame. He’s also scored 87 more points than Mayfield had last year at this same time. For that matter, Dale Jarrett (who’s second this year) has 32 more points now than Jeremy had last year(From Henry’s Ramblings of the Stock Car Fans Newsletter)(5-9-1999)
  • Bill Davis Associate: ProCert has signed on with the #22 Bill Davis Caterpillar team as an associate sponsor and driver Ward Burton. Decals will be postd on the TV Panel and the C-post. The sponsorship by the transportation consulting firm started at Talladega(Speedway Scene Mag)(5-9-1999)

    (5-8-1999)

  • Feebie: the Kmart site, www.Kmart.com is offering a free Darrell Waltrip/#66 Kmart Ford signature card to anyone who registers. Must give name, address, email(5-8-1999)

    (5-7-1999)

  • DJ’s Winston Car: The #88 Quality Care/Ford Credit Taurus, in “The Winston” paint scheme, will be displayed in Byrd Park at the Richmond, Virginia Race for the Cure(a 5K run/fitness walk benefitting breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment) this Saturday, May 8. Continuing their assault on breast cancer, Dale Jarrett, Robert Yates Racing, and their sponsors Ford Quality Care Service and Ford Credit will present a new look at NASCAR’s “The Winston” on May 22, designed entirely to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Normally painted all blue with red and white trim, the #88 Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus will circle Lowe’s Motor Speedway pearl-white with blue and red trim for this winners-only NASCAR Winston Cup event in Charlotte. Jarrett’s driver suit and his crew’s hats will be adorned with the signature ‘pink ribbon,’ symbolic of the Komen Foundation. Jarrett, Robert Yates Racing, Quality Care Service and Ford Credit have agreed to donate 100% of the profits generated with the sale of all merchandise associated with this car, including die-cast cars, t-shirts and hats, to the Komen Foundation. For more info see the article at the Motorsport News International site(Thanks Lynne-DieHard NASCAR Fan Site)(5-7-1999)
  • Rudd Helps Out: Ricky Rudd lent a 30 foot trailer to the Salvation Army in their efforts to help out the folks in the Midwest struck by the killer tornado’s(RPM2Nite)(5-7-1999)
  • Lowes Testing Speeds UPDATE 1:: top 6 speeds so far on Thursday: Steve Park 179-223mph; Bobby Labonte 178.619; Kenny Wallace 178.619; Dale Earnhardt 178.277; Kenny Schrader 177.959; and Geoff Bodine 177.760 (RPM2Nite). Also LMS expects to announce what track changes will be made in response the the IRL tragedy soon. Testing continues tonight until 10pm/et(or until it rains) with the stands being opened to the public from 5-10pm. Tony Stewart only ran a few laps as his feet still hurt badly. NOL reported he went to the hospital to get them looked at, Bobby Labonte tested two cars of his own as well as two for Stewart(RPM2Nite). The TNN Motorsports Sites has some info and images at GM Testing Buzz At Charlotte(5-6-1999) — UPDATE 1: Dale Earnhardt, Jr led the way testing at Lowes Motor Speedway on Thursday night with a speed of 181.470mph, which was almost 1 1/2mph faster then the 2nd best #44-Kyle Petty at 179.982. For the listing of speeds from Thursday see That’s Racin’ – Speeds, some things noticed, Lance Hooper tested a #27 Pontiac(Richard Jackson team?), Ken Bouchard was there in the #84 Chevy and Dan Pardus was 25th fastest of 41 cars in the #50.(5-7-1999)
  • Pardus Paint: Hal Hicks and Mike Witters, owners of the #50 Midwest Transit Chevrolet driven by Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Dan Pardus, have ordered a special red, white and blue paint scheme on the #50 for the Winston Open, a 50-lap race prior to the Winston All-Star race composed of drivers and teams not otherwise eligible for the main event. The patriotic paint scheme, which will include an eagle and red stripes on each side of the car, is in honor of Midwest Transit’s trucks, which log approximately 150,000 miles per day primarily hauling mail for the United States Postal Service. Pardus also plans to compete in the ARCA race prior to the Winston Open in the #42 Jim and Judie Motorsports Chevy. Notes: Crew chief Jay Born says the team continues to work on pit stops and have made considerable improvement, consistently in the low 19 seconds range(Midwest PR) See an image of the car at Jayski’s Paint Scheme Gallery(5-7-1999)
  • Morgan Shepherd Ride? UPDATE 2: Hearing that Morgan Shepherd will attempt to make the Coca Cola 600 with a new fan supported team. The team is Fain Motorsports of Lexington, TN and info on the team can be found at their website: Fain Motorsports Site. Instead of donations or a fan club, they sell stock. No number has been assigned by NASCAR for the team yet and no idea if they will take part in testing Tomorrow and Thursday. Supposedly their shop is close to completion and they have a sponsors, Redneck Wear and Pecker Teez(T-Shirts). The sponsorship is coupled with the selling of stock to race fans. Also more info is on the Unofficial Morgan Shepherd page, the official site hasn’t been updated for a few weeks(5-4-1999) — Morgan Shepherd will be testing at Charlotte Wednesday and Thursday with the rest of the GM teams(maybe the #05 Pontiac?)(5-5-1999) — UPDATE 2: Shepherd did test at Charlotte(Lowes) on Thursday and posted the 39th fastest speed at 174.267mph in the #05 Pontiac(That’s Racin’) I am told Shepherd has sponsorship for the races at Lowes and will make the attempt(5-7-1999)
  • NASCAR vs NHRA: On Saturday, May 8th, four of NASCAR’s top Winston Cup drivers will test their abilities on the 1/4 mile drag strip at National Trail Raceway for the JEG’S Ultimate Day Of Racing presented by Jericho Investments. Winston Cup drivers Sterling Marlin, Chad Little, Jerry Nadeau and John Andretti will be at National Trail Raceway to meet and greet fans as well as take part in a special autograph session with John, Troy, Mike and Jeg Coughlin of NHRA’s JEG’S Mail Order Racing Team from 12:30-2:30 pm. At 3:00 pm the NASCAR drivers will go head to head with the Coughlin brothers on the 1/4 mile in brand new, equally prepared FORD-HO Mustang Cobra five speeds. See rest of story and ticket info at goRacing(5-7-1999)
  • Marlin vs Marlin: NASCAR Winston Cup star and two time Daytona 500 winner Sterling Marlin will compete in Saturday night’s 50 lap NASCAR Winston Racing Series Late Model Stock Car main event at Nashville Speedway USA. Saturday’s race event, sponsored by Sterling Marlin Chevrolet and 98 WSIX marks the first time ever, the past three time Nashville Speedway champion (1980,’81,’82) will compete against his eighteen year old son Steadman, a second year Late Model competitor on the historical .596 high banked oval. Sterling will drive a family owned Chevrolet Monte Carlo that will carry the number 711, a number made synonymous during the 1950’s and ‘60’s by his father Coo-Coo Marlin(Nashville Speedway)(5-7-1999)

    (5-6-1999)

  • #45 Crew Chief: James Ince, former crew chief of the #16 Primestar Roush Racing Ford has been named the crew chief of the #45 10-10-345 Pontiac and driver Rich Bickle(NOL)(5-6-1999)
  • Nadeau Paint: many readers have told me that they saw Jerry Nadeau on Monday Nitro and he said the #9 Melling team would be running a special Bill Goldberg(wrestler) paint job in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona. From the WCW site: Ricky Rackman introduced NASCAR driver Jerry Nadeau, who drives the WCW car and will be driving the new Goldberg car in the next couple of weeks.(5-6-1999)
  • Another Funny UPDATE 2: ESPN2’s RPM2Nite on Wednesday, showed a Coca-Cola commercial of some sort with Dale Earnhardt, Kenny Irwin, Kyle Petty, Dale Jarrett, Jeff Burton and Bobby Labonte doing all kinds of short sketches and voices. Some were Wayne and Garth(Waynes World), Irwin did a pretty good GodFather/Brando voice, Burton as Garth and Labonte as Wayne was pretty funny. — UPDATE 1: The Coke “commercial” was made for use in movie theaters to be run before the movie with previews of other movies, etc.(4-16-1999) — UPDATE 2: a release from Coke and even an image of Jeff Burton and Bobby Labonte as ‘Wayne and Garth’ at NASCAR Goes Hollywood (5-6-1999)
  • Sears Point Testing UPDATE 3: Six Cup drivers tested at Sears Point on Monday. #50-Wally Dallenbach Jr., #20-Tony Stewart, #19-Tom Hubert, #21-Elliot Sadler, #14-Boris Said, and #2-Rusty Wallace. There was a misting light rain in the morning hours as the crews prepared. Rusty Wallace was the only Winston Cup driver to run laps before the track closed at 2pm local time. Tony Stewart stayed in his trailer most of the day. His people said he wasn’t feeling well and when he did get in his car for adjustments to his seat, he was walking with a noticeable limp and discomfort (burnt foot on Sunday). The track brought two buses of local school children in and track officials did bring Wally and Rusty over to meet them(StockCarFans Newsletter, Dan), no idea if testing will continue on Tuesday(5-4-1999) — UPDATE 1: Tony Stewart got a little extra training April 30 along with four other NASCAR drivers. The drivers enrolled in a one-day driver development program and worked on learning the racing line while refining their road racing skills in preparation for the Save Mart/Kragen 350 on June 27 to be held at Sears Point Raceway. Kevin LePage said he attended the school because he won’t be able to attend this week’s NASCAR open test day.(SpeedNet) I hear Elliott Sadler also attended but no word on the other two drivers. I also hear that at Monday’s testing that Hubert was helping out the #20 Home Depot team and Tony Stewart and Said was there with the #21 CITGO team. The teams are able to test thru Wednesday(5-5-1999) — UPDATE 2: more news – Both Stewart (#20 Home Depot Pontiac) and Wallace (#2 Miller Lite Ford) tested on Monday and Tuesday, while Dallenbach (#25 Budweiser Chevrolet) and Sadler (#21 Citgo Ford) tested on Tuesday and plan to run more laps today. In addition to Stewart, other Winston Cup Drivers who took a one-day course from the Russell Racing School last week were Chad Little (#97 John Deere Ford); Kevin LePage(#16 Primestar Ford); Steve Park (#1 Pennzoil Chevrolet) and Derrick Cope (#30 Jimmy Dean Pontiac). See the whole article at NASCAR’s Sears Point road test(Press Democrat), I hear it was the Bondurant School, not the Russell Racing School(5-6-1999)
  • Kyle’s Ride UPDATE 1: Kyle Petty is hitting the road after finishing 26th in the California 500. Petty’s annual charity ride will leave Ontario, Calif., on Monday morning and end May 9 at his farm in Trinity, N.C., a journey of 2,863 miles. Along the way, Petty, his father, Richard Petty, the younger Petty’s son, Adam, Ken Schrader, Joe Nemechek, Geoff Bodine and more than 200 other riders will stop at children’s hospitals to present checks, meet with patients and sign autographs. In the ride’s first four years, more than $1 million has been raised. For more info see the image and link to the left under ‘Racing Charity Spotlite'(Infobeat/AP)(5-3-1999) — UPDATE 1: at GoRacing – Kyle Petty’s Annual Charity Bike Ride Underway and more links to updates can be found at my Racing Charities Page(5-6-1999)

    (5-5-1999)

  • Ingle Gone: After three races, crew chief Bill Ingle and the Tyler Jet Motorsports team have parted ways. The team is expected to name a new crew chief on Thursday(RPM2Nite)(5-5-1999)
  • More Junie/Hut: I hear Hut Stricklin will drive for Junie Donlavey in the #90 at Richmond and they hope to have Hills Brothers Coffee as the sponsor(Inside Motorsports)(5-5-1999)
  • Morgan McClure: the Morgan-McClure team(#4 Kodak Chevy and the rumored new #14 team) is currently talking with three major potential sponsors and hopes to come to an agreement with one that would allow for the hiring of a driver for the much discussed second team. The shop, car inventory, engine stockpile are all ready and awaiting a sponsor go aheadInside Motorsports(5-5-1999)
  • Elliott Crew Chief: Since Jerry Pitts’ who was Bill Elliotts interim crew chief on the #94 McDonalds Ford left to take the crew chief job with the #98 team, Ernie Elliott will handle the duties for right now until a replacement is found(5-5-1999)
  • RIR Testing: The #90 Junie Donlavey Ford tested at Richmond on Tuesday, the Winston Cup team’s first test of the year, with Hut Stricklin driving. Stricklin’s best lap was 123.007mph(Times-Dispatch)(5-5-1999)

    (5-4-1999)

  • #98 Crew Chief: Jerry Pitts, former crew chief at Bill Elliott Racing will take over the crew chief duties at the #98 Yarborough-Burdette Motorsports team and driver Rick Mast. Michael McSwain left the #98 to take the crew chief job with the #10(RPM2Nite)(5-4-1999)
  • New Rudd Crew Chief? UPDATE 1 it’s official: I hear that Michael McSwain, crew cheif of the #98 Yarborough-Burdette Motorsports #98 Ford team will be named Ricky Rudd’s(#10 Tide Ford) crew chief in the next few days(5-3-1999) — UPDATE 1: From the www.rickyrudd.com site: RPM Welcomes Michael McSwain New Crew Chief for Ricky Rudd(5-4-1999)
  • Benson Surgery: RPM2Nite had a segment on tonight where Johnny Benson had laser eye surgery and will no longer have to wear glasses. In fact he still plans to race in the BGN race at NHIS this weekend subbing for Jason Jarrett in the #33 Bayer Chevy. Jarrett is still showing the effects of a concussion from an accident at California(RPM2Nite)(5-4-1999)
  • Sacks Back? From what I hear, Greg Sacks is looking to field a BGN team at Charlotte(5-4-1999)
  • McReynold’s Team UPDATE 1 Goodyear?: Larry McReynolds is closer now to putting together his own Cup team and that he’s optimistic he will be able to get all the sponsorship details worked out within his time frame of the next few weeks(PitNow)(5-3-1999) — One of the possibilities(for a sponsor) is Goodyear — the tire maker is trying to put together a full Cup sponsorship package involving as many of it’s 2,500 hundred retail store as it can sign up. Ricky Rudd is another car owner Goodyear executives are talking with(PitNow)(5-4-1999)
  • Only Gordon: Jeff Gordon is the only driver to finish in the top five in all three California races. He won in 1997 and finished fourth in ’98(SpeedNet)(5-4-1999)
  • Craven Wins UPDATE 1: Ricky Craven won Saturday’s Winston West California 200 over Ken Schrader. See the results and story at Racing West Site(5-2-1999) — UPDATE 1: Pro-Motor Engineering(PME) powered Ricky Craven to victory Saturday in the NASCAR Winston West Series California 200 at California Speedway. Craven leased the same engine from PME for the 200-mile race that driver Jerry Nadeau won with in the NASCAR Winston West Orleans 150 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March(Cotter Group)(5-4-1999)
  • Grissom Returns to the BGN. Steve Grissom has agreed to assist ALLCAR Motorsports with its BGN team. Current driver Jimmy Kitchens will remain with the team but Grissom will drive the #22 Air Jamaica Vacations Chevy in the Cup/BGN combination events, while working with Kitchens, crew chief Todd Lohse and the team. Besides assisting the race team, that schedule keeps Grissom’s personal schedule open as he continues talking with the various NASCAR Winston Cup owners who have approached him. Kitchens’ role as the team’s driver is solid, Carroll said. Grissom starts this week at NHIS, even though it is not a combo event(The Williams Co)(5-4-1999)
  • Neat Story: (I figured since it’s an off week, and this was interesting side we don’t always hear about to post it) — Eddie Jarvis is one of about 40 professional drivers who spend most of their time at NASCAR Winston Cup racetracks across America. But you can’t buy an Eddie Jarvis souvenir hat, he has no T-shirts for sale and he’s never signed an autograph. Most fans haven’t heard of Eddie Jarvis. But if you ask any Winston Cup driver to list some of the most important people in his life, Jarvis and his compatriots are as high on that list as friends, family, and crew members. Jarvis is the motorhome driver for #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo race driver Steve Park. It doesn’t take long for Park to let anyone know his feelings for his coach driver. “Sweet Daddy is the man,” laughs Park whenever asked about Jarvis whom he helped nickname. “I can’t even begin to tell you what my life would be like without him. Sometimes people even mistake him for my Dad.” Jarvis takes his job as seriously as any crew chief, tire changer or mechanic on the Dale Earnhardt Inc. team. “My job is basically to take care of Steve,” said the silver-haired Jarvis. “That means driving to the track, setting up the motorhome, cooking, doing his laundry, making sure he gets to where he needs to be on time and anything he needs done. That’s what I do.” But it’s more than just the work and driving 50,000 miles each year. “We are friends. When Steve broke his leg last year we got real tight. I was at his house every day for about 8 weeks,” said the Paducah, Ky. native. “I’d do just about anything for him.” Jarvis’s typical weekend begins on Thursday when he leaves Dale Earnhardt Inc. in Park’s 50-foot, red and white American Eagle motorhome. Usually he and Jimbo Diggs, Dale Earnhardt’s coach driver, travel together to the track where they setup the motorhomes in a special lot set aside by the racetrack. For the next three days that lot is home for Park and most Winston Cup drivers. Jarvis’s next stop is a local grocery store where he knows just what type of foods to buy for Park. After stocking the refrigerator, Jarvis arranges Park’s clothes, uniforms, hats, autograph pens, and posts his weekend schedule. “Steve is a very organized person and so am I,” Jarvis said. “I try to make that motorhome as much like a regular home as possible. He’s got so many things to worry about during the weekend that it helps when I can take care of a lot of the details.” When Park arrives Thursday night; Jarvis gives him the keys and then heads to a local hotel where he will stay throughout the weekend. But his duties aren’t over. He still cleans the interior and exterior of the motorhome on Fridays and Saturday, helps Park with his scheduling, and even cooks for the second-year driver. “We kind of have a tradition where I cook Steve pasta on Saturday nights and then on Sunday I accompany him to driver introductions and stand with him at the race car,” Jarvis said. When the race is over, Jarvis joins racefans in waiting for traffic to disperse then he fires up the motorhome and returns to North Carolina. He’ll clean the motorhome on Monday and then take a few days off to spend time with wife Dana, and daughters Shannon, 19, and Stacey, 15. Then the schedule begins again. “It’s a rewarding life. I get to go around the country and see places I never thought I would ever see,” said Jarvis. “But the time away from home is tough. You have to have a good wife to do this and I do.” Jarvis worked for Kenny Wallace two years before he joined Park in 1998 and worked for a souvenir company for several years driving a truck all over the country. The 41-year-old likes his life. He and his fellow coach drivers in the “trailer park” as they call it are all friendly and ready to lend a helping hand. They often travel in a convoy to the race and eagerly help the other out whenever there is a problem. “There isn’t a lot of fame or glory but it is rewarding. I kind of share in Steve’s ups and downs. When he hurts I hurt and when he’s happy I’m happy. I told him when we started in 1998 that I’d like to be his coach driver until he retires and I hope that includes many trips for the Pennzoil car to victory lane.”(Pennzoil PR)(5-4-1999)

    (5-3-1999)

  • Elliott in the Money UPDATE 1: Bill Elliott, driver of the McDonald’s Ford Taurus, is in position to reach $20 million in NASCAR Winston Cup career earnings at this weekend’s California 500 in Fontana, CA, if he earns $32,451. This would make Elliott the third driver (Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon) in history to surpass the $20 million mark in career earnings(McDonalds PR)(4-29-1999) — UPDATE 1: With Bill Elliott’s finishing 19th at California, he earned $48,325 to push his Cup career earnings to $20,015,874, joining Dale Earnhardt and race winner Jeff Gordon as the only drivers over the $20 million mark(Infobeat/AP)(5-3-1999)
  • Irvan-Simo add race? Boris Said, who drives for Ernie Irvan’s new Cup team, didn’t make the California 500 because the field was set by point standings, and Irvan’s team has run one race. So Said will be adding a Cup race to his limited schedule this summer, possibly Michigan in June(PitNow)(5-3-1999)
  • More McDonald’s Stuff: Who will be the driver next year when the new McDonald’s team begins participation in the Busch Grand National series? The early favorite in garage-area gossip is Jason Leffler, the United States Auto Club champion who seems on the verge of securing either a CART or an Indy Racing League ride. One of the current CART standouts, Greg Moore, is also thought to be interested in joining the Cal Wells-owned team that will probably become a Winston Cup regular in 2001. Another possibility reportedly is Robby Gordon, who formerly drove for Wells’ CART team(Gaston Gazette/Monte Dutton)(5-3-1999)
  • More on Burton Engine: GM executives are not letting the Jeff Burton engine controversy drop. Several GM teams complained Friday that Burton should have been penalized somehow at Talladega because his engine didn’t pass one of NASCAR’s standard post-race inspections. NASCAR officials said in their view there was no performance enhancement for Burton(PitNow)(5-3-1999)

(5-2-1999)

  • Sad News: Three spectators were killed Saturday night after a three-car crash sent debris into the stands during the VisionAire 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. Others were injured. The crash occurred when John Paul Jr. and Stan Wattles slammed into the fourth-turn retaining wall on lap 61 of the 208-lap race. They spun down the front stretch and into the car of Scott Harrington. The race was red-flagged while emergency workers attended to the injured(SpeedNet) and see the article at: Three Spectators Killed by Debris in IRL Race at Lowes Motor Speedway, the race was then canceled(WRAL/AP)(5-2-1999)
  • Fact UPDATE and CORRECTION 1: Five drivers have qualified for all nine races this season without posting a top-10 finish: Chad Little, Sterling Marlin, Elliott Sadler, Jimmy Spencer and Darrell Waltrip(icFlorida/Cox News)(5-1-1999) — UPDATE 1: This is incorrect – Little(9th-Daytona/Atlanta), Marlin(9th at Texas) and Sadler(a 10th) have all had top 10 finishes. Drivers without top 10 finishes not included in the list – Wally Dallenbach(best 12th), Johnny Benson(11), Kevin LePage(12), Brett Bodine(14), Steve Park(12), Ricky Rudd(19), Joe Nemechek(14) and Ricky Craven(22). May have meant top ten starts in which Marlin, Sadler, Spencer and Waltrip have not started in the top 10. Little has with a 9th place start at Talladega(5-2-1999)
  • Marlin and The Duke: Sterling Marlin is carrying the John Wayne paint scheme at California(5-2-1999)
  • Red #33: Kenny Schrader has the red #33 Skoal Chevy at California(5-2-1999)
  • Monte Carlo News: As General Motors officially announced earlier this month, the new Monte Carlo will not debut until next year’s Daytona 500, but that hasn’t stopped the development process. See complete story at: ’99 debut shelved, but Monte R&D goes on(SpeedVision)(5-2-1999)
  • Greg Moore to NASCAR: see story at Another open-wheel crossover? (That’s Racin’)(5-2-1999)
  • McDonald’s News UPDATE 2: There could be an announcement as soon as Saturday on McDonald’s racing sponsorship plans for 2000 and beyond. Elliott’s deal runs through the end of next season, and McDonald’s plans to honor that contract. It appears likely that McDonald’s will sponsor a second team next season, beginning a relationship that would continue beyond the end of the Elliott deal. One name mentioned as driver for that second car is Matt Kenseth’s, who plans to run for Cup rookie of the year in 2000(That’s Racin’) in a Mark Martin/Roush owned car — UPDATE 1: McDonald’s Corporation announced today it has entered into a sponsorship agreement with Precision Preparation, Inc. (PPI) as a primary NASCAR team sponsor. The sponsorship starts immediately and goes through the year 2003. The agreement calls for PPI to field a McDonald’s NASCAR Busch Series team next season, which will eventually lead into a Winston Cup program. PPI, owned by Cal Wells III, is a multi-dimensional racing company based in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. The company has competitive interests in the SCORE off-road series, the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) FedEx Championship Series and the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship. Wells said he is excited and ready for the challenge of expanding his racing operation to the NASCAR circuit and their first priority is to find a driver who meets the criteria of both PPI and McDonald’s. Wells and his PPI associates have begun preparations to field a Busch car at the 2000 season opener in Daytona Beach, Fla. The company has acquired Tim Wardlaw as program manager and just recently hired Joe Garone as crew chief. Wells has had discussions with car manufacturers, and collectively with McDonald’s, has arrived at the decision to continue the relationship with Ford. PPI is currently in the process of securing a location to base the team in the Charlotte area. Wells currently fields two CART teams under the Arciero-Wells banner — #24 Pioneer Electronics/MCI WorldCom Toyota/Reynard, driven by Scott Pruett and the #25 MCI WorldCom Toyota/Reynard, driven by Cristiano da Matta. Along with Bill Elliott Racing and its new PPI association, the McDonald’s Racing Team includes primary sponsorship in the CART series with the #44 McDonald’s Honda Reynard Champ Car, owned by Gerald Forsythe and driven by Tony Kanaan. McDonald’s is also the Official Drive-Thru of NASCAR(condensed McDonald’s PR) The future of McDonald’s and Elliott after the current contract runs out has not been decided, and that anything reported to the contrary is pure speculation(NOL)(5-1-1999) — UPDATE 2: Although McDonald’s will continue to be car owner/driver Bill Elliott’s major sponsor through 2000, the relationship will end following next season(SpeedNetTimes-Dispatch)(5-2-1999)

    (5-1-1999)

  • Ince Back: James Ince, who left the #16 Roush Racing team a few weeks ago as Kevin Lepage’s crew chief, has signed on as a consultant with the #30 Bahari Racing team and driver Derrike Cope(RPM2Nite/SpeedNet)(5-1-1999)
  • Donlavey Sponsor UPDATE 1: I am hearing Lucas Oil Products out of Corona, CA. will serve as the #90 Junie Donlavey team primary sponsor at California this weekend with driver Hut Stricklin. Lucas Oil Productsis a world leader in heavy duty and high performance lubricants and involved in Motorsports.(4-29-1999) — UPDATE 1: The #90 didn’t amke the show, so Stricklin and Lucis won’t be racing, unless Lucas lines up with another team(like the #98??)(5-1-1999)
  • Rudd to sell? Ricky Rudd says he’s close to selling a portion of his team, Rudd Performance Motorsports. Although Rudd, 42, wouldn’t reveal the name of the investor, he did say the potential partner has a “strong big-business background.” Rudd says the venture will allow him to add a second team next season. He denied speculation that he’s talking with owner/driver Bill Elliott of Dawsonville about forming a multi-car team. Rudd also said he’s in negotiations with Tide to renew their sponsorship, which expires at the end of this season(icFlorida)(5-1-1999)
  • Road Test School: Since the teams are on the West Coast, several drivers are taking time to test at Sears Point, and some of NASCAR’s newest drivers, such as Tony Stewart and Elliott Sadler, have gone back to school for a few days, road-racing school(PitNow)(5-1-1999)