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May 2001 News Archives


  • (5-31-2001)

  • Gordon and GQ: Three-time Winston Cup champion and driver of Hendrick Motorsports’ #24 Chevy Jeff Gordon has been nominated for GQ’s Men of the Year awards in the Sports – Individual Athlete category. There are 18 categories encompassing sports, television, film, music, literature, designering and cooking. Other nominees in the Sports – Indvidual Athlete category include tennis champion Andre Agassi, Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, Supercross champion Ricky Carmichael and PGA Tour player Phil Mickelson. Voting takes place at www.gq.com and ends June 15.(That’s Racin’)(5-31-2001)
  • More on the Autopsy Photos UPDATE: The battle over Dale Earnhardt’s autopsy photos comes down to the public’s right to know vs. the media’s attempt to sensationalize the racing icon’s death, according to lawyers who laid out their legal arguments Tuesday. Attorneys for Earnhardt’s widow said that close family members have “a constitutional right to privacy to prevent the disclosure” of autopsy photos. They also accused the University of Florida’s student-run newspaper, The Independent Florida Alligator, and the owner of a DeLand-based Web site of seeking the photos “to grab public attention and to sell newspapers, all of which would come at the expense of the Earnhardt family.”(See full story at the Orlando SentinelAND Lawyers for the widow of Dale Earnhardt urged a judge Tuesday to keep an injunction in place barring the public release of the race driver’s autopsy photos. But an attorney for The Independent Florida Alligator, a student newspaper at the University of Florida that is seeking to dissolve the injunction, countered that the state has no right to keep the photos sealed. Circuit Judge Joseph Will in Daytona Beach is scheduled to hear oral arguments June 11 over whether the autopsy photos should be made public. The judge also has said he will use the case to test the constitutionality of a new state law that exempts autopsy photos from Florida’s liberal open records law(AP/CNN/SI)(5-30-2001)
    UPDATE: Florida’s new law restricting access to autopsy photos properly balances the public’s right to open records and the privacy rights of survivors, Gov. Jeb Bush said in legal arguments filed Wednesday. Bush filed a friend-of-the-court brief in defense of the Earnhardt Family Protection Act, which is being challenged in Volusia Circuit Court by the Independent Florida Alligator newspaper in Gainesville.(full story at the Orlando Sentinel)(5-31-2001) NOTE: anyone tiring of the Autopsy stories and updates, don’t complain to me, just bypass the story, they are important and will be posted, don’t like it? oh well…….
  • Idiot Tosses Bottle: The best radio chatter at last Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 was heard during the pace laps between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his team: Dale Jr : “Wassup, guys? You guys have fun tonight, all right? Whoa! Somebody just threw a beer bottle at the car.” Ty Norris (team spotter): “Yeah, NASCAR is talking about it too.” Dale Jr: “It musta been Sterling Marlin that threw it cuz it was a damn Coors Light.”(Toronto Sun)(5-31-2001)
  • Harvick to own CTS team: Kevin Harvick is building a shop in Kernersville, N.C., and if everything works out, will run a full-time team for Rick Carelli in 2002. He also plans to make a few appearances on the truck tour himself next year. John Monsam will reportedly serve as the team’s crew chief, with ReMax a possible sponsor. ReMax backed Carelli for several years in various divisions.(in part from theWinston Cup Scene – sub needed)(5-31-2001)
  • Rudd Scheme at Lowes: I saw the scheme but didn’t find much about it – Texaco, Ricky Rudd and Mario Andretti kicked off an awareness campaign for safe highway driving May 24, along with a new CD-ROM interactive racing game that will become available at Texaco stations later this summer. Special die-cast cars also will be available when the promotion begins. Rudd’s Ford had a special paint scheme in the Coca-Cola 600 promoting the campaign.(in part from theWinston Cup Scene – sub needed), see an image of the car in the Paint Scheme Gallery(5-31-2001)


  • Nominees for Hall of Fame: Dale Earnhardt, William C. “Bill” France Jr., A.J. Foyt, Glen Wood and Ed Otto are the five nominees on the National Motorsports Hall of Fame ballots to be mailed to the voting members this week. Earnhardt is the seven-time Winston Cup champion who died Feb. 18 in a crash in the Daytona 500. France is the former NASCAR president and the current chairman of its board of directors. Foyt is a legendary motorsports champion driver who is now a car owner. Wood is a former driver and long-time stock car team owner. Otto was one of the sport’s pioneer promoters. Earnhardt is eligible under the “extraordinary candidates” provision approved by NMPA members in January, established for individuals who have made unusually and overwhelmingly significant contributions to stock car racing. “Extraordinary candidates” must be approved by a unanimous vote of the Hall of Fame nominating committee. Eligible NMPA members may vote for none, some or all of the nominees. All candidates receiving votes on at least 65 percent of the ballots cast will be elected to the hall. Voting ends June 30 and the results will be announced in July(That’s Racin’)(5-30-2001)
  • PE Changes? UPDATE: hearing Petty Enterprises (#’s 43, 44, 45 and #43 CTS team) has parted ways with some of it’s engineering staff and that Larry MacReynolds (Fox Broadcaster) is considering working with the team when the Fox part of the TV deal is up after Sears Point(June 24th)(5-29-2001)
    UPDATE: while hearing there were some personnel changes in the engineering staff are true, the part about Larry MacReynold’s coming to PE is not true
    AND A reorganization within the competitive framework at Petty Enterprises has led to a new position for Chris Hussey and an increased role for Doug Hewitt. Hussey, who serves as crew chief for the #45 Sprint Dodge, will now also be race operations manager for Petty Enterprises, facilitating communications among the three Winston Cup teams, the engine and research and development departments. Doug Hewitt, head of mechanical research and development, will have his role increased. “We are maintaining our system in terms of identical cars and in how we operate each week,” said Kyle Petty, who drives the #45 car as well as serving as CEO of Petty Enterprises. “What we are looking to do is put more ‘racer’ into the decisions of what goes in our cars,” Petty said. “A lot of times things look good on paper but don.t always translate into good race cars. We feel Chris, working closely with Doug, Greg Steadman and Bryant Frazier (crew chiefs for the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge and the #44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge), can put the ‘racing’ into our race cars. That, coupled with the engineering knowledge and expertise we have, will give us better and more consistent race cars each week.” “We’re moving forward. We’re moving ahead,” Petty said. “We’re making whatever changes we need to make to be competitive and to run up front.”(Williams Company)(5-30-2001)
  • Michael, Ken and Johnny back: Responding to the clamor of the fans, Speedvision will present a special one-time only (for now) reteaming of those bad boys of stock car racing, Michael Waltrip, Ken Schrader and Johnny Benson in One More Time With Michael, Ken and Johnny. The program will premiere in their old time slot on Monday, June 25th, 7:00pm/et (8:00pm/pt), with additional runs during the week. Mon, Jun 25 – 7pm, Mon, Jun 25 – 11pm, Tue, Jun 26 – 8am, Tue, Jun 26 – 5pm, Sat, Jun 30 – 8:30am(Speedway Illustrated)(5-25-2001)
    UPDATE: see story at SpeedVision – Speedvision Reunites Mikey, Kenny and Johnny, The one-hour special, entitled “One More Time,” was shot on location at Schrader’s Concord, N.C., race shop and will include a guest appearance by fellow NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Kenny Wallace, a frequent panelist on the popular show, which aired on Speedvision on Mondays through Jan. 2001. (5-30-2001)
  • Dallenbach has Offers: Wally Dallenbach, left without a ride when the #75 Galaxy Motorsports team closed up, is looking at what might be two out-of-this-world offers to resume his long racing career and is in talks regarding at least two major deals. One is an opportunity to leave Winston Cup and compete full-time in the IRL starting next year, joining Sam Hornish Jr. on the well-financed Indianapolis-based Pennzoil-sponsored Panther Racing team. Dallenbach and Panther have been in negotiations for the last month or so. “Panther and myself have been working real hard on the IRL program,” Dallenbach said. “Things look pretty optimistic there.” But a new player has come into the picture that gives Dallenbach a bit more latitude and another racing option. While he won’t reveal the name of the team or its owner, another Winston Cup situation has been presented to him to consider for next season. “A Winston Cup opportunity kind of has arisen recently, and I think there’s some possibilities there,” Dallenbach said. “Now, this (both the IRL and Cup programs) is all for next year. I would think that if anything was put together as far as next year goes, we’d probably run some races this year … just to get our feet wet(ESPN), actually hearing the Winston Cup offer may be foe Wally to be the third person in the NBC booth with Allen Bestwick and Benny Parsons(5-30-2001)
  • Bruised Ribs for Jarrett: X-rays taken Tuesday showed that Dale Jarrett does not have a broken rib, according to a team spokesperson. Instead, the NASCAR Winston Cup points leader has bruised ribs. His injury is diagnosed as serratus anterior muscle tear. The type of injury Jarrett has normally takes three to four weeks to heal. The planned treatment is for localized nerve blocks to prevent Jarrett from experiencing the pain when he’s driving. The team has no plans for a relief driver at this point.(RacingExtra)(5-30-2001)
  • Get Well UPDATE: It was mentioned during Fox’s broadcast of the Coca-Cola 600 by Dr. Dick Berggren, that Shawn Parker’s wife, Tara, is in a Winston-Salem hospital. Mrs. Parker is listed in critical condition and has A-1 status on heart transplant, which means she is the next person on the list when one that will match her comes available. Also… Winston Cup car owner, Bill Davis of Bill Davis Racing returned to the hospital where he originally was thought to have had Kidney stones, but this time it is thought to be dealing with ulcers(Fox Coverage/Catchfence). Parker is the Car chief/Rear tire changer for the #6 Roush Racing team and driver Mark Martin. Get Well soon Tara and Bill(5-29-2001)
    UPDATE: Car owner(#’s 22 and 93) Bill Davis returned to a High Point hospital Tuesday morning because of pain he continued to suffer after having a procedure performed for kidney stones. Davis, the car owner for Ward Burton and Dave Blaney, was in the hospital Sunday and missed the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday. He was released Monday night before returning the next morning(RacingExtra)(5-30-2001)
  • #01 Special Scheme UPDATE: hearing that Jason Leffler will be running a Special Olympics logo in June on the #01 Cingular Dodge. Cingular is a Special Olympics sponsor and it is part of this years promo(4-24-2001)
    UPDATE: see an image of the ‘layout’ of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery(5-23-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Cingular Wireless is racing toward its four-year goal of raising $40 million for Special Olympics by painting its #01 NASCAR Winston Cup race car with a Special Olympics paint scheme, and offering customers the opportunity to support the organization through promotional offers. Cingular, an Official Partner of Special Olympics USA and Official Sponsor of Special Olympics Team USA, is in the second year of its support for Special Olympics. To showcase its commitment to Special Olympics, Cingular’s #01 Dodge Intrepid R/T will display a Special Olympics logo for the months of June and July. The new paint scheme will be debuted at the MBNA Platinum 400 at the Dover Downs International Speedway on June 3. Cingular also will sell limited edition, souvenir, die-cast versions of the #01 racecar to commemorate this unique paint scheme and raise money for Special Olympics(www.specialolympics.org). A percentage of the proceeds generated from the die-cast car sales will go directly to Special Olympics. Cars will be available in Cingular Wireless retail outlets as well as at many Special Olympics Summer Games being held across the United States. In addition, Cingular Wireless is launching a 60-day promotional drive to collect donations on behalf of Special Olympics. During the promotional months of June and July, consumers who donate $20 to Special Olympics and sign up for service at a Cingular Wireless retail store are eligible for: * An exclusive $35 rate plan offer * An Internet-ready Ericsson handset * A co-branded Cingular/BLOCKBUSTER gift certificate for five free movie rentals good at participating BLOCKBUSTER stores. Donations raised by Cingular will support year-round training and competitions for Special Olympic athletes, who participate in the activities free of charge as well as help send Special Olympics Team USA athletes to the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Ireland. Through last year’s “Be a Hero” promotion, Cingular customers successfully raised $8.9 million for Special Olympics.(Cingular PR), see an image of the ‘real’ car on my Paint Schemes Gallery(5-30-2001)


  • Coca Cola 600 an TV: The Coca-Cola 600 from Charlotte on FOX Sports drew a 4.9 overnight with a 10 share. That’s the highest rated prime time NASCAR telecast in history(SpeedVision)(5-29-2001)
  • #11 Sponsors: Brett Bodine Racing is proud to announce that Wells Fargo Financial will join the Ralphs Supermarkets/ RedCell Batteries team for the remainder of the 2001 Cup season. The associate sponsorship started with the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway this past weekend. Wells Fargo Financial, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, is a $15 billion company providing consumer installment and home equity lending, automobile financing, consumer and private label credit cards, leasing to businesses and the medical community, technology services and receivables financing to consumers and businesses in 47 U.S. states, the 10 provinces of Canada and Latin America and the Pacific Islands. The Company has more than 11,000 team members.
    AND The the new action comedy movie “Rush Hour 2” being released by New Line Cinema nationwide on August 3rd will join Ralphs Supermarkets and RedCell Batteries as a sponsor on the #11 Ford of Brett Bodine for 13 NASCAR Winston Cup events. The sponsorship began with the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway this past weekend and will run through the race at Bristol on August 25. In this highly anticipated sequel to the blockbuster comedy that grossed more than $250 million worldwide, Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan are back to reprise their roles as unlikely partner who confront the biggest case of their careers
    See an image of the car on the #11 Team News and Links page(BBR PR)(5-29-2001)
  • Labonte Honor Postponed UPDATE: Corpus Christi City Council members gave the green flag on Tuesday to renaming Nueces River Park after NASCAR drivers Terry and Bobby Labonte. The unanimous vote to change the name to Terry and Bobby Labonte Park was great news for NASCAR fans like David Gibson, a state construction inspector. In a time when news about athletes often is negative, such as drug abuse or domestic violence, it is great to recognize role models like the Labontes, said Gibson, 56.(Caller-Times 2/28AND A ceremony to rename Nueces River Park in Corpus Christi, TX after NASCAR drivers Terry Labonte and Bobby Labonte has been delayed until June, officials said. The Labonte Brothers Special Recognition Committee initially wanted to rename the park to coincide with the April 1 NASCAR Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth(Caller-Times 3/18)(3-27-2001)
    UPDATE a little old but: A campaign to improve a city park honoring NASCAR champions and Corpus Christi natives Bobby and Terry Labonte began Thursday at City Hall. The centerpiece of the project includes a concrete sign – 8 feet high and 16 feet wide – at the park entrance. John Dykema of Bright and Dykemas Architects Inc. said the sign will be prominent on Interstate 37. The project will also include highway signs promoting the park, which was Nueces River Park until the City Council voted earlier this year to rename it Terry and Bobby Labonte Park. The park is in the north section of Corpus Christi off of I-37. The project is entirely privately funded. Debbie Lindsey-Opel, president of the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce, said organizers need to raise $60,000 to pay for all parts of the project. Donors will be recognized for contributions. People interested in contributing may send checks to the Chamber of Commerce Recognition Fund, Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 640, Corpus Christi, Texas 78403. Dedication of the park is scheduled for June 20th(Corpus Christi Caller)(5-29-2001)
  • Nemechek Out 4 Weeks? UPDATE 3 Hamilton Jr in: Joe Nemechek, injured in a test session crash last week at Dover, may miss four to six weeks from the series schedule. Nemechek was at Lowe’s Motor Speedway for a brief time Thursday, but returned to his motorhome late in the afternoon. His mother, Martha Nemechek, said he still suffered pain in his neck but was getting better every day. Nemechek broke his right shoulder blade, right elbow and suffered a small lung bruise in the accident, which totaled his Grand National series car. Bobby Hamilton Jr. is driving Nemechek’s #33 Winston Cup car this weekend at Charlotte, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive his # 87 Chevy in Saturday’s Carquest 300 Grand National race. Nemechek’s Winston Cup car owner, Andy Petree, said Hamilton Jr. would likely drive the #33 at Dover on June 3. Beyond that, he said nothing was set(That’s Racin’)(5-24-2001)
    UPDATE: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports that Joe Nemechek said he won’t race again until at least Pocono on June 17th. Also reported that there was no word on who if anyone will drive Nemechek’s BGN car at Dover next week(FSN’s Totally NASCAR)(5-25-2001)
    UPDATE 2: At this point, Joe Nemechek’s BGN sponsor, Cellular One has graciously allowed the team to sit out the Dover race. Nemechek will be making up that race to them at Kentucky with Jeff Fuller driving the #87 Chevy. Nemechek’s next planned BGN race will be at Chicago. As far as his Cup plans, right now Nemechek is focused on getting healthy and helping #33 team owner Andy Petree obtain a new sponsor for the #33 car, and has not considered or discussed any other options beyond the 33 for the 2002 season and beyond(5-28-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Bobby Hamilton, Jr. returns to the #33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet this week, and will compete for Andy Petree Racing in Sunday’s MBNA Platinum 400 at the one-mile, high-banked Dover Downs International Speedway. Hamilton, Jr. is running for regular driver Joe Nemechek, who was injured in a crash during BGN testing at Dover a couple of weeks ago. Nemechek, who has a broken right scapula and broken right arm near his elbow, missed The Winston weekend and this past week.s Coca-Cola 600 at Concord, N.C. Hamilton finished 39th last week in the 600 but was running consistently before a crash near the midway point of the race. These races are important ones to Petree, who is in the middle of a search for sponsorship for the #33 car next season. Petree and Oakwood Homes announced several weeks ago that due to the current state of the manufactured housing industry, Oakwood Homes will not be a primary sponsor on Joe Nemechek.s #33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet beginning next season. That means Petree is seeking sponsorship for 2002. Oakwood has already said it would look at stepping back should a primary sponsor for next season want to begin this year(Williams Compamy)(5-29-2001)
  • #7 Change? UPDATE: The Sporting News Inside Dish reports – Another driver change possibly in the works: Rick Mast replacing Mike Wallace in the #7 car.(Sporting News), Mast currently drives the #50 Blair.com/Midwest Transit Chevy(5-29-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing that Rick Mast will not be leaving the #50 team and is close to re-signing with the team for the 2002 season(5-29-2001)
  • Engines Rules update: NASCAR president Mike Helton says series officials are talking to teams about possible new engine rules, including one that would force teams to use the same engine for qualifying and the race. That would mean that NASCAR could test a new engine rule at a short track such as Martinsville or Bristol or Richmond, where an engine wouldn’t have more than 600 miles on it during the weekend. The BGN series has a rule that limits teams to one engine for the weekend unless they have problems.(Roanoke Times)(5-29-2001)
  • Harvick to Test at Indy: hearing #29-Kevin Harvick will at the Brickyard for a practice session in mid-June(5-29-2001)
  • Earnhardt Crash Investigation: The accident that killed Dale Earnhardt did not justify a more thorough investigation, Police Chief Kenneth Small says, acknowledging the controversy surrounding the death of the NASCAR racing legend. Small said his Daytona Beach department was far too busy dealing with serious crimes to devote more resources to an accident investigation. Asked whether his department’s investigation of the Feb. 18 accident on the last turn of the Daytona 500 should have been more thorough, Small’s answer was an emphatic, “No.”(much more to the story at the Orlando Sentinel)(5-29-2001)


  • Robbie Gordon in a RCR car? UPDATE 4 Skinner/Lowes to Stay?: PRN’s Garage Pass interviewed Cup, BGN, IRL team owner Richard Childress who says he may give Robbie Gordon a shot in one of his cars in the future, possibly a BGN car(The #21 at Watkins Glen?). Plus the #30-AOL team still needs a full time driver in 2002(5-16-2001)
    UPDATE – Robby Gordon at the Brickyard 400? After struggling in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Robby Gordon was fired by Morgan-McClure Motorsports last month. But he came to Indianapolis and qualified an A.J. Foyt entry for a front-row start in the May 27 race(follow Gordon during the race at www.robbygordon.com). Gordon says, “I’m going to try to put a program together for the Brickyard 400,” he said of the Winston Cup race at Indianapolis in August. “That’s a race I really would like to compete in this year. I feel with the right situation, we can be just as competitive at that race in qualifying as we were for this (Indy 500) race.”(ESPN/AP)(5-17-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Rumors are abound on Gordon’s future, a future that he just coyly smiles at when asked what the short-term holds in store for him. He knows where he’s going; he just can’t say too much about it … at least not yet. One rumor has Gordon heading back to NASCAR to drive for legendary owner Richard Childress. One scenario has Gordon competing in a Childress-owned Busch Series car for the remainder of this season before returning to Winston Cup in 2002. Another scenario has Gordon primed and ready to replace the struggling Mike Skinner in the #31 Lowe’s Home Improvement Chevrolet if Skinner’s mediocre season does not improve dramatically in the coming races. A third scenario has Gordon starting his own Cup team in partnership with Childress, with the likely debut being this year’s Brickyard 400.(ESPN)
    UPDATE 3: Richard Childress very likely will have three teams next year, with solid sponsorships for #29 (Goodwrench with Kevin Harvick), the new #30 (America Online, possibly with Jeff Green), and with Lowe’s recommitted to #31. The future of Mike Skinner in #31 is not clear, and it’s hard to get a clear view from any of the principals. If Skinner does not return (rumors put him in Childress’s #21 Busch car next year), who is available? Childress apparently has talked with several drivers. Jeff Burton’s name came up a couple months ago, but Burton firmly denied he has any interest in leaving Jack Roush’s #99. Others available could be Joe Nemechek and John Andretti, although, again, all this is just rumor(SpeedVision)(5-27-2001)
    UPDATE 4: There are reports that Jeff Green, who has a seven-race Winston Cup deal with Childress this season, may take Mike Skinner’s ride before the year is out, but David Smith, the general manager of Skinner’s team, insists that Skinner will be in the car the rest of the season. However, there are now some questions about sponsor Lowe’s. Last fall, the company fall said it was considering moving to a different team, provoking a sharp debate with Childress over contracts. The Lowe’s questions come just as Home Depot’s Tony Stewart is making big headlines. Meanwhile, there are reports that Greg Biffle is now on Childress’ list as a possible third Cup driver next season. Biffle drives this season on the Busch tour for Jack Roush. A large number of drivers have been mentioned on Childress’ list, including Jeff Burton, Ward Burton, Joe Nemechek and Jeremy Mayfield, and even Tony Stewart.(Winston Salem Journal), some Jayski Notes on the drivers listed: Jeff Burton and Roush have denied any contact or interest, Ward Burton is signed with Bill Davis thru 2002 as is Mayfield with Penske and Tony Stewart is signed with Joe Gibbs thru 2004 and reports a few weeks ago about him leaving the #20 Team were squashed
    AND: Richard Childress is continuing his search for a driver of what is now the AOL-sponsored car in 2002. Roush Racing drivers endured speculation earlier this season about being prime candidates for the job, but both Matt Kenseth and Jeff Burton denied plans to move. Jeff Green is in the car for a few races this season but has not signed for next year. Currently, Green is headlining reports right now. An interesting combination would come if Childress selected Greg Biffle. A Kevin Harvick/Biffle team could be tough to beat. The pair added a much-needed shot of excitement to the Grand National series this season, fighting for wins and championship points on a weekly basis. As teammates, they could assist one another’s run for titles. Biffle could join Harvick in the Winston Cup series this season. Although he is concentrating on the Grand National series, the rookie may enter a few Cup events for the Roush team(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-28-2001)
  • Atwood Sore: Rookie Casey Atwood was the second car out of the Coca-Cola 600 Sunday, when he wrecked on the frontstretch on Lap 51 and severely damaged his #19 Dodge. Atwood, who elected not to wear his HANS device this weekend, suffered neck pain and a headache. “I wore one at Talladega and California and it hurt my shoulder a little bit, just from being pulled down so tight, so I didn’t wear one this weekend. I wish I would have been,” Atwood said.(That’s Racin’)(5-28-2001)


  • Jeff Burton wins Coca Cola 600: #99-Burton wins his first races of the 2001 season, the Coca-Cola 600 and puts him in the 2002 The Winston. Pole sitter #02-Ryan Newman crashed on lap 12 when he got loose and finished 43rd. The top four starters finished 26th or worse (#02-43rd, #24-29th, #66-37th, #9-26th). #20-Tony Stewart who officially started 12th but had to drop to the tail end of the field finished 3rd and was coming strong at the end. Stewart completed all 1,100 miles/600 laps and seemed fine after the Coca Cola 600.
    #88-Dale Jarrett who used his first provisional ever with Robert Yates Racing(1995) was able to finish 8th and increased his points lead to 75 over #24-Jeff Gordon.
    See That’s Racin’ for Coca-Cola 600 results and standings by the AP and for Winston Cup points (after Charlotte)(5-27-2001)

  • Kulwicki Elected to Hall of Fame: Lou Creekmur and Mike Ditka, both members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, were among three former athletes elected to the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame in Orchard Lake. Also elected was the late stock-car driver Alan Kulwicki, the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion. Ditka was the top vote getter, receiving 290 on the 326 ballots cast. Creekmur was second with 191. Kulwicki was selected by the veterans committee. They will be honored at three events June 7-8. A testimonial dinner will be held at 6 p.m. June 7 at the American Polish Cultural Center in Troy, with formal inductions ceremonies at noon the next day at Dombrowski Field House at St. Mary’s College in Orchard Lake. The night of June 8, the inductees will be recognized at Polish-American Night before the Tigers-Brewers game at Comerica Park.(Detroit Free Press), note: this occured May 1st(5-27-2001)

  • First to Last? Both Races? Interesting, when is the last time that the pole sitter of the Indy 500 (Scottt Sharp) finished last (33rd) and the pole sitter of the Coca-Cola 600 (Newman) finished last (43rd this year) on the same day(or weekend).(5-27-2001)

  • Stewart/Gordon at Indy: The Indy 500 is over, the winner is Penske driver Helio Castroneves, a rookie and the 11th Penske driver. #33-Tony Stewart finished 6th and #41-Robby Gordon fell out with an engine problem and finished 21st. Stewart went to the Infield First Aid Center during a red flag for rain to get a cramped right foot looked at and will go there to get IV’s after the race and will make his scheduled helicopter ride as he had to Indy by 4:00pm/et to make it to Lowes Motor Speedway in time. Have to say it pretty cool seeing Castroneves and his crew climbing the fence after the victory (5-27-2001)

  • Jarrett Injured but will race UPDATE: Dale Jarrett suffered an injury to his right side rib area during Happy Hour practice for the Coca-Cola 600 Saturday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The injury was not the result of an accident. Jarrett expects to be able to race in the Coca-Cola 600. According to Jarrett’s spokesperson Kris Johnson, Jarrett felt a “pop just below his right rib area, and is extremely sore.” Johnson also said Jarrett fully expects to race tomorrow and complete the entire 600 miles(NASCAR.com), Jarrett was 10th fastest in Happy Hour with a speed of 175.143mph(5-26-2001)
    UPDATE: Dale Jarrett intends to race in the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday despite a broken rib on his right side. “I was going into Turn 3 and I just felt a pop,” Jarrett said of what happened to him during a Saturday morning practice session at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. “I don’t know if it’s from a previous injury or something from the other night.” Jarrett crashed his #88 during his first qualifying lap on Thursday night, backing it into the Turn 4 wall after spinning in Turn 3. “It’s on my right side, so it doesn’t make sense that it would have happened the other night, but you don’t know,” Jarrett said. “I had no indication. I worked out (Friday) and lifted weights and ran like I normally would and had no problems.” Jarrett said he was going into Turn 3 on a practice lap in the second of two sessions held Saturday morning and felt a pop as he turned the car’s wheel. “It was hard to catch my breath,” he said. “I ran about four more laps and then told them I couldn’t do any more right then.” Jarrett went to a rehabilitation trailer run by Motor Racing Outreach for treatment. He later had it checked by a physician who confirmed the rib was broken. “When you have a broken rib and you know that, there’s not much more you can do for it,” Jarrett said. “I feel I’ll start and my plan is to finish. With the amount of time we have here, we’ll be OK.” Jarrett tried putting on a flak jacket to help him feel better, but said it didn’t help. “The pain really comes whenever I go to turn the wheel,” he said. “The only thing the flak jacket was going to do was to keep from furthering the injury. I need something that is going to help kind of tie this together, so when I do go to turn the wheel that I’m not going to get that much pain. If it’s just some pain and I can breathe, that’s fine. But what I had this morning wasn’t something I would feel comfortable with for 600 miles.” He plans to use electronic stimulation to treat the injury Sunday, then put some extra padding in his seat for the race(That’s Racin’)
    UPDATE 2: FSN reposts that 2000 BGN Champ Jeff Green will stand by for Jarrett(5-27-2001)

  • Stewart to Start 7th in the Indy 500: Tony Stewart ran the 7th fastest qualifying lap at Indianapolis on Saturday with a speed of 224.248mph and will start 7th in May 27th’s Indy 500. Former Cup driver, Robby Gordon qualified 3rd with a speed of 224.994mph(5-13-2001)
    Stewart qualified 12th for the Coca-Cola 600 but will have to fall to the back of the pack as he will miss the driver’s meeting for the race(3:45pm/et). Mike McLaughlin stands by at Lowes and Richie Hearn is the stand-by driver for Indy if Stewart needs it(5-27-2001)

  • Bodine Hurt Too: Todd Bodine joins Dale Jarrett as a driver in discomfort, suffering from lingering pain from a back strain suffered last week. Bodine was cleaning his pool last Saturday when he injured his back, then worsened the injury by racing in both The Winston and The Winston Open later that night. He spent the entire week getting treatment on it in anticipation for the Coca-Cola 600, the longest race on the Winston Cup circuit.(Sporting News/AP)(5-27-2001)

  • Labonte and the Flu: #18-Bobby Labonte battled the flu for three days earlier this week and spent much of the day Friday resting before qualifying. He’ll need all of his strength and plenty of water to make it Sunday night(Sporting News)(5-27-2001)


  • Another #43 Paint Scheme: General Mills and Petty Enterprises announced that the #43 will feature a Honey Nut Cheerios paint scheme that resembles a bee, with BuzzBee featured on the hood of the #43 Dodge for the Brickyard 400 on August 5, 2001, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway(Business Wire/YahooBiz). See an image on my Paint Scheme Gallery(5-26-2001)

  • #17 Special Paint: hearing the #17 DeWalt Tools Ford will carry an AT&T scheme of some sort this year at Sears Points and Daytona in the Pepsi 400(5-26-2001)

  • More Double Duty: Tony Stewart won’t be the only person doing the Indy-Charlotte double this weekend. Tim Shutt, crew chief on Mike McLaughlin’s Busch Grand National car and a long-time friend of Stewart’s, will call the shots for McLaughlin in today’s Carquest 300, then fly to Indianapolis to serve as a spotter for Stewart during the Indy 500. And he’ll be rushing back to Charlotte as soon as the Indy race is over. “I told Tony that the only way I’d do it is if he got me back in time to watch the (Coca-Cola) 600,” Shutt said.(AJC)(5-26-2001)

  • #88 Backup: Todd Parrott would have preferred his driver use the team’s original car built for the Coca-Cola 600, but he’s not too concerned with the backup Dale Jarrett will drive in Sunday’s race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Jarrett hit the wall with his #88 Ford during Thursday night’s qualifying session and the team was forced to use his backup, which his team busily worked on Friday. What is the history of Jarrett’s backup? “Unfortunately, this the car that came from about 15th to 20th at Texas and won the race. It’s the same car two weeks after that won Darlington. And let’s see, at Atlanta we were third or fourth racing up there with all them Chevrolets,” said Parrott, Jarrett’s crew chief. “The 600 car we had was really good. It was a twin to this car right here and it was brand new,” Parrott said. “When I left the shop this morning there was a roll cage going on another one just like the one we wrecked and just like this one.” The team brought the car Jarrett ran in last weekend’s Winston all-star race to the track Friday to use as another backup.(That’s Racin’)(5-26-2001)

  • 1 Million Donation AND the Alabama Gang Honored: In what is believed to be the largest single donation to a motorsports-related charity, officials from The Bennett Foundation presented Speedway Children’s Charities Founder Bruton Smith a check for $1 million today at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. On behalf of Mr. & Mrs. William Bennett (owners of the Sahara Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., and founders of The Bennett Foundation), Craig Hodgkins, president of the Sahara Hotel and Casino, made the check presentation to Smith. “Mr. & Mrs. William G. Bennett of The Bennett Foundation are thrilled to be associated with such a worthwhile and respected charity,” said Hodgkins. “It is their hope that this contribution to the Speedway Children’s Charities will make a profound difference in the lives of many children.” “Since the inception of Speedway Children’s Charities in 1984, we have made great strides in raising money that directly benefits the welfare of children across the country,” said Smith. “However, in all that we do, we strive to do better. This generous donation by The Bennett Foundation really takes us to the next level in our benevolent effort. The children are the real winners here, and I know they will appreciate this newfound support from The Bennett Foundation. “I am now going to personally guarantee that we will raise an additional $1 million in matching funds to support this tremendous gift from The Bennett Foundation,” added Smith. The Bennett Foundation was established in 1996 to benefit various charities and organizations in the Las Vegas area, including the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). Speedway Children’s Charities, with chapters located at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Sears Point Raceway, is a non-profit foundation dedicated to helping children in need of medical, social and educational services. Its primary mission is improving the quality of life for children through the distribution of grants to qualified non-profit charities providing those services effectively.(LMS PR)
    AND Each year the Speedway Children’s Charity Ball pays homage to a different part of NASCAR’s heritage. This year, the annual black-tie affair honored the legendary “Alabama Gang” from Hueytown, AL. The group consists of brothers Bobby and Donnie Allison, Red Farmer, as well as Bobby’s late son Davey and the late Neil Bonnett. They were all paid tribute for their contribution to racing on and off the track. The 21st annual gala was held Friday night at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in downtown Charlotte. Taking place at the center of the universe of stock car racing, the event always draws drivers, crew chiefs and owners from the community. To help kick things off earlier in the day, the Mr. & Mrs. William Bennett, owner of Sahara Resorts in Las Vegas, Nev., donated a record $1 million to the charity(NASCAR.com)(5-26-2001)

  • Bodies Featured: BodyDynamicsRacing.com is featured in the May 24th issue of the “NASCAR Winston Cup Scene”. The article covers owners Tim Suggs and Greg Carpenter and the beginning of Body Dynamics Racing Bodies, Inc. as well as the introduction of the LIVE WEB CAMS in their fabrication facility and the launch of their web site www.bodydynamicsracing.com. This interesting article shows fans how they can get a look into the world of professional racecar fabrication without leaving their seats.(PR)(5-26-2001)

  • Pit Crew Challenge: Steve Park’s pit crew earned a $7,000 paycheck, winning the fourth annual Coca-Cola Racing Family pit crew challenge at the Food Lion Speed Street in downtown Charlotte. Each participating pit crew completed one stationary, four-tire stop on a Coca-Cola car, then raced across the finish line to stop the clock. The #1 crew earned the first-place cash prize. “I can only hope our pit stops will be this good on Sunday,” said crew chief Paul Andrews. “Getting to victory lane twice would make this a great weekend.” Dale Jarrett’s #88 pit crew finished second, earning a $3,000 cash prize as runners-up. Competitors included pit crews from the following teams: Bobby Labonte, Dale Jarrett, Tony Stewart, Jeff Burton, Kyle Petty, Ricky Rudd, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Michael Waltrip, Steve Park, John Andretti and Andy Houston(That’s Racin’)(5-26-2001)

  • Sponsor Turned Down for the #27? heard this was reported in Friday’s Sports Business Daily: Before signing a sponsor yesterday, Eel River Raicng sought a six-figure sponsorship deal with Sportsbook.com, a gambling Web site, for last weekend’s The Winston, but was not allowed by NASCAR to sign the deal. NASCAR Dir of Operations Kevin Triplett told THE DAILY NASCAR did not approve the sponsorship because “there are a lot of things in that category that are still unknown. Is it strictly a gambling site? Is it based outside the country? There were a lot of things we had questions about.” Triplett noted NASCAR had only a few days to make the decision: “(Doing) things in a hurry, in a matter of a few days, that’s not the way we make decisions.” Triplett said he typically discusses potential sponsorships with members of the NASCAR BOD and the competition department, since they “are all involved in what happens in the garage area.” NASCAR also denied Eel River’s request for Sportsbook.com to sponsor Wallace’s car at the Coca-Cola 600. Triplett: “There is not a lot that will happen in four days that will make you change your mind”(5-26-2001)

  • No Back-up after Green Flag: NASCAR officials say there won’t be any switches to backup cars in points races. Once the green-flag falls in points events, the laps start to count and there is no allowed changing of cars(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-26-2001)


  • Last #43 Dnq’d? Looks like the last time the #43 Petty Enterprises car has missed the race was at the Slick 50 300 at New Hampshire Intl Speedway on July 10, 1994. Wally Dallenbach was the driver then and missed 6 races that year in the car.(5-25-2001)

  • Kenny and Eel River Racing have a Year Long Sponsor UPDATE 5 – 15 races: hearing that if the #27 Eel River Racing team does not get sponsorship for the team soon, driver Kenny Wallace will take a job in the booth with Allen Bestwick and Benny Parsons at NBC/TNT for the Cup races, but will still run the #48 in the BGN races. Benny and Kenny, that would be some high energy broadcasts AND Eel River Racing got a one race deal with Geico for The Winston Open/The Wintson this weekend, the team just unloaded the car and will make the 2nd practice this afternoon but missed the first practice. Supposedly Eel River and Geico are still in negotiations for a sponsorship deal for the rest of the season. Contact Geico at 800-342-9070 to show support for Kenny and the #27 team(5-18-2001)
    UPDATE: Barry Dodson, crew chief and part owner of Eel River Racing, Monday said if the beleaguered team could not secure a sponsor by Wednesday, it would not attend this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and would probably have to shut down. Dodson said Wallace would have to be released from his contract by Birmingham if the team is shut down, but he cited his concurrent ride in George deBidart’s #48 Goulds Pumps Chevy in the BGN as one thing that would keep him busy. Wallace on Sunday at Nazareth also said he had a potential television commentary deal in the works for the second half of 2001(NASCAR.com)(5-21-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Kenny Wallace said on Garage Pass that the team is close to signing a ‘big company’ as the sponsor for the team and that they would race in the Coca Cola 600. Wallace also confirmed that he talked to NBC about a broadcasting position(PRN’s Garage Pass)(5-22-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Tomorrow morning at 9:00am/et, Kenny Wallace will announce his new sponsor for the #27 Eel River Racing Pontiac. It will be a light yellow car with the familiar red circular logo of Sauer’s. It’s a family-owned food and spice company out of Richmond, VA called C.F. Sauer(www.cfsauer.com). Also on the car (hood and rear deck) will be the logo of Duke’s Mayonaise, another product produced by Sauer’s. The car will also be shown on “On Track from Lowe’s Motor Speedway” Thursday night. The deal will carry the team through the 2001 season and will allow them to test and do the things the team needs to do to be competitive. “Now with this you can say the death watch of Eel River Racing is over,” says Wallace. The team will be wearing it’s new colors on the track tomorrow as they attempt to qualify for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. from “On Track from Lowe’s Motor Speedway”/NBC6 in Charlotte
    AND Though final details were still being worked out, there has been an agreement reached on a sponsorship deal with C. F. Sauer, a Richmond-based company that markets spices and other food products, that will carry the team through until the end of the season. The formal announcement of the deal could come as early as Thursday at the track, where qualifying for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 begins at 7:15pm/et(That’s Racin‘)(5-23-2001)
    UPDATE 4: The C. F. Sauer Company, Richmond, VA has signed on to support Eel River Racing. Starting this weekend at the Coca Cola 600 and continuing for specified races, Sauer will sponsor the #27 car driven by one of NASCAR’S most popular drivers, Kenny Wallace. Eel River’s 27 car will sport the DUKE’S Mayonnaise logo on a brilliant yellow background. “The C. F. Sauer Company is very excited to sponsor Eel River Racing,”said Mark Sauer Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We have been interested getting involved with a NASCAR team and Eel River Racing was the right opportunity for the Company. NASCAR fans are loyal to the brands in the sport and this sponsorship presents a unique opportunity to promote our products. We look forward to working with Kenny, Barry and the entire Eel River Racing Team, beginning a long and successful relationship.” Kenny Wallace also welcomed the news from C.F. Sauer; thrilled to have the team’s full focus away from the search for a sponsor and back on the race track. The C. F. Sauer Company is 114 years old and is still family owned and operated. Conrad F. Sauer IV, President and CEO, is the fourth generation to manage the venerable spice, mayonnaise, margarine and condiment company. The Company’s brands are Sauer’s, Gold Medal, Spice Hunter, Duke’s, BAMA, Mrs. Filberts and manufacturers a complete line of margarine products. (more and a little itty bitty image of the car at C. F. Sauer Company)(5-24-2001)
    UPDATE 5: The sponsorship is for 15 races, the team is looking for support for the other 10 races in the remaining 25 races(5-25-2001)

  • Penske Jasper Engines Moving: Employees of Penske Jasper Engines will move into their new 28,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in Concord, N.C. within the next several weeks. Approximately 40 people are employed at Penske Jasper Engines, which builds the engines for Penske drivers Rusty Wallace, Jeremy Mayfield and Ryan Newman, as well as Jasper Motorsports driver Robert Pressley. Penske Engines and Jasper Engines merged operations last November. Doug Bawel, President of Jasper Engines & Transmissions also serves as Vice Chairman of Penske Jasper Engines(Jasper PR)(5-25-2001)

  • Labonte/Petty HS Grads: Terry Labonte found time last night, barely, to attend daughter Kristen’s high-school graduation in Trinity, NC, borrowing a helicopter from brother Bobby to make the sprint up, despite heavy thunderstorms. “After sitting in the principal’s office a couple of times for her fighting in school, I never thought I’d get her graduated,” Labonte said with a laugh. Kyle Petty’s son, Austin, was also graduating, but Petty didn’t have the luxury of a possible champion’s provisional. “Austin has really buckled down since Adam’s death and got serious about school,” Petty said. “He wants to be an engineer and he’s set to go to Pfeiffer next year. He was in some kind of honor society, and he got some medal for four years of honor work. He and Montgomery Lee are both a lot smarter than myself and Adam were.”(Winston Salem Journal)(5-25-2001)

  • Autopsy Photos News: Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will send his legal team here(Daytona Beach) to fight for a new law that seals autopsy photos from public view. Circuit Judge Joseph Will on Thursday gave the governor’s attorneys the go-ahead to attend hearings June 11-12 dealing with the constitutionality of the Earnhardt Family Protection Act, which prohibits anyone from viewing autopsy photos without a court order. Attorneys for Bush are expected to attend the hearing at the Courthouse Annex on his behalf. This hearing and others stem from Teresa Earnhardt’s lawsuit against the Volusia County Medical Examiner seeking to prohibit public access to her husband’s autopsy photos. Attorneys for Teresa Earnhardt filed legal papers Thursday objecting to Dr. Steve Bohannon giving a deposition before the hearing. They contend his testimony is not relevant and is designed to generate more publicity. (Daytona Beach News Journal and a story at the Orlando Sentinel)(5-25-2001)

  • Simpson Donates: Bill Simpson, the much-maligned seat belt maker, donated $12,000 worth of firesuits to Lowe’s Motor Speedway Emergency Services on Thursday. The suits, which are valued at $300 each, will be worn by the speedway’s frontline firemen on pit road. Thirty will be used this weekend, with 10 more scheduled to arrive in time for track’s October race(AP/ESPN)(5-25-2001)

  • Charity Recognized: The Mark Collie Celebrity Race for Diabetes Cure last week was recognized for its $1.25 million donation to the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center. Several country music and NASCAR celebrities participated in the past annual charity races and related concerts and auctions. For six years the race was run at Nashville Speedway. This year’s Sept. 4 event will be held at Hardeeville Motor Speedway near Savannah, Ga. Race organizers plan to take the race to the new short track being designed adjacent to Nashville Superspeedway. That track is tentatively scheduled to open in two years(Tennessean), more info, see my Racing Charities page and click on the Mark Collie graphic(5-25-2001)

  • BP is it: The #93 Bill Davis Racing Dodge, which wrecked in Thursday’s practice with it’s special BP paint scheme (as seen on my Paint Scheme Gallery) and qualified in Amoco colors, will use the today’s ‘off-day’ to repaint and decal the car to the BP colors as well as getting it race ready(BDR)(5-25-2001)

  • Fox, SpeedVision and NASCAR: It may not be the “NASCAR Channel” yet, but Fox Cable Networks Group is selling its interests in the Golf Channel and the Outdoor Life Network, planning to use the proceeds to finance its acquisition of Speedvision. Fox Cable Networks Group, a division of Fox Entertainment Group, will sell its minority interest in The Golf Channel to Comcast. The Fox group also is buying the interests in the Outdoor Life Network from AT&T Corporation, Cox Communications and Roger Werner, and will then sell that to Comcast. Fox Cable Networks would then use the money from those sales to buy the interests in Speedvision now held by AT&T, Cox, Werner and Daniels Properties. When all the selling and buying is done, Fox Cable Networks will own all of Speedvision except for Comcast’s minority stake, which Fox Cable is expected to also eventually acquire. Comcast would own Outdoor Life and 92 percent interest in The Golf Channel.(That’s Racin’)(5-25-2001)

  • NASCAR Vitamins: General Nutrition Companies, Inc. (GNC Live Well), the nation’s largest specialty retailer of vitamins and nutritional supplements, has teamed with (NASCAR as the “Official Vitamin Store of NASCAR,” it was announced. The agreement is a multi-year deal beginning immediately, according to Don Smith, executive VP of sales and marketing for GNC Live Well. In addition to its three-year contract as an Official Sponsor of NASCAR, GNC Live Well is in its first season as the primary sponsor of the #36 Chevy driven by Hank Parker Jr. and owned by Cicci-Welliver Racing in the NASCAR Busch Series. Parker, now in his third full season of NASCAR Busch Series competition, claimed his first career NBS victory in April at the California Speedway. GNC Live Well’s NASCAR marketing programs are already shifting into high gear with commercial spots airing on both radio and television. GNC Live Well will also be offering consumer sweepstakes programs and limited-edition premium racing merchandise for motorsports enthusiasts.(Keystone PR)(5-25-2001)


  • Website Sued: Autopsy photos depicting the bloody body of rookie racecar driver Rodney Orr still linger on the Internet. His father, Beacher Orr, is suing the man responsible. A lawsuit making its way through circuit court in Flagler County could eventually force Michael Uribe, the president of a DeLand Web site, to remove the photos and pay punitive damages to the Orr family. Daytona Beach attorney Jon Kaney, who specializes in First Amendment issues, said case law leans in Orr’s favor. Less than a day before Gov. Jeb Bush signed a state law that would outlaw them, Uribe published 38 graphic autopsy photos of Orr either naked or in bloodied racing gear. He said the photos represent the violence NASCAR tries to hide. Uribe also published 48 pictures of veteran driver Neil Bonnett. The two drivers were killed within three days of each other during practice sessions for the Daytona 500 in 1994. Days after the posting, the company hosting Uribe’s Web site and several of his advertisers bailed out. Uribe said he later found another company to host his Web site(Daytona Beach News Journal)(5-24-2001)

  • Irvan Concentrating on Land Development and New House: in part for this weeks Winston Cup Scene – Ernie Irvan, who retired from NASCAR Winston Cup racing in September 1999 and then had his house destroyed by fire in March 2000, has turned his attentions to land development and rebuilding his family’s home. Irvan was in the Winston Cup garage at Lowe’s Motor Speedway the weekend of The Winston, visiting with friends and former business associates. Irvan, wife Kim and their two children are living in a mobile home located on their property while they rebuild their house. The two-story house, which they began building in late November, is expected to be completed in time for Christmas. Irvan’s profession now centers on developing about 85 acres that he owns near Speedway Boulevard, which leads to Lowe’s Motor Speedway and the Concord Mills outlet mall(Winston Cup Scene – need subscription)(5-24-2001)

  • Hamilton Adds Dover: Bobby Hamilton has decided to enter the CTS race at Dover and may also add races at New Hampshire and Phoenix to his schedule. Hamilton is already scheduled to run at Richmond in September(Winston Cup Scene – need subscription)(5-24-2001)

  • #75 Team Almost Sold? UPDATE 2: hearing that the #75 Galaxy Motorsports team is up for sale and are very close to closing the deal with another new owner who has never been in the racing business(5-7-2001)

    UPDATE: MRN’s NASCAR Today Radio show reported Tuesday that Geoffrey Bodine was seen with an African-American Couple in the Lowes Motor Speedway garage area who are reportedly buying the #75 Galaxy Motorsports team, Debra Ward is supposedly buying the team and Ward did confirm something is going on. An announcement is scheduled for May 24th(5-9-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Two Charlotte business people were still negotiating with Darwin Oordt May 21 to purchase Galaxy Motorsports and return the team to NASCAR Winston Cup competition in 2002. Gary Hill, who is involved in various businesses including apparel, and Debbra Ward, an entrepreneur originally from Greenville, N.C., began seriously considering owning a team about 1 1/2 years ago. They began negotiations with Oordt about a month ago. Ward said May 18 their plans were to begin hiring crewmen in August for D. Ward Motorsports. Prior to then, they wanted to concentrate on obtaining sponsorship. She said the team would be based in Mooresville, NC(Winston Cup Scene – need subscription)(5-24-2001)

  • Father’s Day: NASCAR announced plans for a NASCAR-themed month-long promotion in June at more than 2,600 Wal-Mart Stores. “NASCAR Fan Days” will begin June 1 with NASCAR drivers, teams, tracks and sponsor merchandise featured in Wal-Mart Discount Stores and SuperCenters across the country. Each store will support the event with themed signage and thirty-second radio spots for each of the participating brands on the Wal-Mart Radio Network. To keep the momentum going, host Terry Berry of Wal-Mart Radio will broadcast exclusive conversations with NASCAR drivers. On June 16, Father’s Day, Wal-Mart and NASCAR will salute fathers across America. Wal-Mart greeters will hand out 1.5 million NASCAR Fan Days Fan Guides designed exclusively for Wal-Mart customers with NASCAR trivia, driver rosters, fun facts and puzzles, plus special feature stories on NASCAR fathers and sons and the multi-generations of NASCAR families(NASCAR PR)(5-24-2001)

  • Tony Stewart’s Sunday Double Duty II Itinerary: SUNDAY, MAY 27 – SCENARIO “A” Tony Stewart finishes somewhere between 4th and 33rd at Indianapolis
    9:25 a.m. to 9:40 a.m. CT: Hospitality appearance
    9:50 a.m. CT: In Target Chip Ganassi Racing garage stall – changes into firesuit
    10:15 a.m. CT: Driver introductions
    11 a.m. CT: Start of the 85th Indianapolis 500
    2:30 p.m. CT: Estimated end of Indianapolis 500
    2:35 p.m. CT: Stewart taken via golf cart to infield care center
    2:45 p.m. CT: Stewart boards helicopter to Signature/Combs Flight Center
    3 p.m. CT: Stewart departs for Concord (N.C.) Regional Airport
    4:55 p.m. ET: Stewart lands at Concord Regional Airport
    5 p.m. ET: Stewart boards helicopter en route to speedway infield
    5:10 p.m. ET: Stewart lands at speedway in infield grass at start/finish line
    5:15 p.m. ET: Driver introductions
    5:37 p.m. ET: “Gentleman, start your engines!”
    5:45 p.m. ET: Start of the Coca-Cola 600
    SUNDAY, MAY 27 – SCENARIO “B” Tony Stewart wins or finishes second or third at Indianapolis
    same thru 2:30 p.m. CT: Estimated end of Indianapolis 500
    2:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. CT: Victory lane ceremonies or press conference Q&A
    2:50 p.m. CT: Stewart taken via golf cart to infield care center
    3 p.m. CT: Stewart boards helicopter to Signature/Combs Flight Center
    3:15 p.m. CT: Stewart departs for Concord (N.C.) Regional Airport
    5:10 p.m. ET: Stewart lands at Concord Regional Airport
    5:15 p.m. ET: Stewart boards helicopter en route to speedway infield
    5:25 p.m. ET: Stewart lands at speedway in infield grass at start/finish line
    5:37 p.m. ET: “Gentleman, start your engines!”
    5:45 p.m. ET: Start of the Coca-Cola 600(Edelman Public Relations PR)
    Jayski NOTE: Stewart will of course have to fall to the back of the field since he will miss the drivers meeting at 3:45pm/et(5-24-2001)

  • FX and The Winston: FX posted strong numbers in its ratings for Saturday night’s Winston all-star race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, despite the 2 hour, 10-minute rain delay during the middle of the broadcast. FX’s complete race coverage delivered a 3.5 household rating, 2.25 million homes, and an average of 3.9 million viewers for the 5-hour, 34-minute telecast that concluded at approximately 1:10 a.m. Sunday. Although the telecast went deep into the early morning hours of Sunday, viewership rose as the telecast went on. Prerace programming drew a 3.5 household rating; the rain delay broadcast a 3.5 rating; and The Winston race moved to a 3.7. The average of 3.5 for the complete coverage was the same as that of TNN last season, when the race telecast ran from 7:30-11:32 p.m(That’s Racin’)(5-24-2001)


  • Teresa Wants Judge to View Photos: Teresa Earnhardt on Tuesday asked a Volusia(FL) Circuit Court judge to look at her husband’s autopsy photos in the coming weeks so the judge will understand their “gruesome, personal and offensive nature.” Dale Earnhardt’s widow wants Judge Joseph Will to examine the photos at the Volusia County Medical Examiner’s Office, where they have been held since Earnhardt died in February on the final lap of the Daytona 500. Teresa Earnhardt made the request in preparation for a June 11 hearing to decide whether the University of Florida student-run Independent Florida Alligator and DeLand-based Web-site owner Michael Uribe can have access to the photos(more at the Orlando Sentinel)(5-23-2001)

  • Little E to run in the BGN at Lowes: Joe Nemechek announced today that Dale Earnhardt Jr. has agreed to take over driving duties for him in the CarQuest Auto Parts 300 to be held at Lowe’s Motor Speedway this Saturday. Nemechek, who was injured in a Busch Series test at Dover Downs International Speedway on May 15th, said he and Crew Chief Brian Pattie came to a quick decision as to whom they wanted in the seat of the #87 Cellular One Chevy. For Earnhardt Jr., Saturday’s race will be his first Busch Series event since he stepped up to Winston Cup competition following the 1999 season. Heading back to his home track in his first attempt with a different team, Earnhardt Jr. says he’s intrigued by the opportunity. The prognosis for Nemechek, meanwhile, is race-to-race. Recovering from a broken right arm and broken right scapula, he will be relieved by Bobby Hamilton Jr. in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. No further decisions have been made regarding future Winston Cup or Busch Series events.(NEMCO Motorsports PR)(5-23-2001)

  • In the Wind: hearing that the #26 and #66 is testing two intermediate care at the wind tunnel at N.A.S.A.’s Langley Research Center located in Hampton, VA today(5-23-2001)

  • Sad News: Kevin Harvik’s grandfather had been battling a serious illness for the past several weeks. Unfortunately, Joe “Papa” Walker passed away on the morning May 22nd.(Harvick Online) Condolences go out to family and friends(5-23-2001)

  • Moore to Be Honored UPDATE is Honored: NASCAR pioneer Bud Moore will be honored with a “roast and toast” program Tuesday(5-22) night at Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium. Moore, 75, is retired from a long career in NASCAR racing. Among those scheduled to attend Tuesday’s event, scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., are David Pearson, Buddy Baker, Brett Bodine, Ned Jarrett, Cotton Owens, Louise Smith, Bill France Jr., Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Glen Wood and Leonard Wood. Proceeds from the event will go toward a planned South Carolina Racing Museum in Spartanburg. For ticket information, call 864-582-8107(corrected number)(Greenville News)(5-17-2001)
    UPDATE: They came from all points of the NASCAR compass Tuesday night to pay tribute to and tell a few stories on Bud Moore, a stock car racing pioneer who built winning race cars for 50 years. Moore, 75, was the man of the hour as drivers, officials, competing car owners and mechanics and hundreds of fans gathered at Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium to remember one of the sport’s more colorful careers. The Bud Moore Tribute was a fund-raiser for a proposed South Carolina racing museum developers hope to build in Spartanburg. Sharing stories were Cotton Owens, Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Lake Speed, David Pearson, Jack Smith, Buddy Baker, Dick Trickle, Geoffrey Bodine, Roger Mandeville, Chris Economaki, Morgan Shepherd and NASCAR president Mike Helton.(Greenville News)(5-23-2001)

  • The Lottery: MDI Entertainment announced that it has contracted with Indiana’s Hoosier Lottery for a pair of new licensed lottery promotions. An Elvis Presley(R) scratch-off game and a scratch game featuring a group of NASCAR stock car race drivers will be scheduled for release in early summer with second chance promotions, dream trip prizes and exclusive merchandise. Indiana will become the sixth lottery jurisdiction to launch MDI’s NASCAR driver’s racing game, which features Dale Earnhardt(R), Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Roush Racing Team drivers Mark Martin, Jeff Burton and Matt Kenseth.(Yahoo Biz/Business Wire)(5-23-2001)

  • Stewart’s Laps to Help Out UPDATE 2: Tony Stewart will be pulling double duty again by running in both the Coca-Cola 600 and the Indianapolis 500 next Sunday(May 27th) and part of a charity fund-raising effort by running in both events. For every lap that Stewart completes in both races, Home Depot, Target-Ganassi Racing and Stewart will each donate $100 ($300 a lap total x 600 laps could be $180,000 – sorry miscalculated before) to the Victory Junction Camp that is currently being started by Kyle Petty. “When we started the idea of doing the double duty again, we wanted to do something special. So many people have helped us to do this whole thing. We wanted to give something back. This gives us an added bonus to do well, not that we need it. We need to stay on the lead lap all day. To do something positive is my honor to be a part of it.” Kyle Petty was on hand and said how much this meant to have the exposure for the camp that should open in the summer of 2004. “There are not words in my heart to thank Tony and everyone personally for what this means,” said Petty. “It’s a long way to get this camp up and running. We need to get the awareness out there. For Tony to do this and get the exposure on the networks is huge for the Victory Junction Camp. It will cost around 25 to 30 million dollars for the project. We were filming a Coke commercial here at the speedway a couple of weeks ago, and Tony had the idea to do this. We were very excited when we put everything together. We want to make this camp a NASCAR thing, not a Petty thing, and this awareness certainly will help. To help make these dreams come true means more than you could ever know.(LMS Notes)(5-19-2001)
    UPDATE: In Stewart’s second attempt at this racing marathon, he has pledged to donate $100 to charity for every lap he completes. The Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing and Target Chip Ganassi Racing are each supporting Stewart’s offer by matching the driver’s tally. With 600 total laps equaling a possible combined donation of $240,000. The benefactor, the Victory Junction Gang Camp, is a planned extension of the original Hole In The Wall Gang Camp founded for kids by Paul Newman. Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 Sprint Dodge and wife Pattie, who created the annual Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America in 1995, plan to build the Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, NC, in honor of their late son, Adam. Like the Hole In The Wall Gang Camp and its six other sister organizations, the Victory Junction Gang Camp will be a permanent, year-round center that will accommodate children with chronic and life-threatening diseases at no cost to the children or their families. “I’m proud to be a part of this great cause,” said Stewart. “I believe in what Kyle and Pattie are doing, and hope the money we raise in one day helps them build their dream.” Groundbreaking for the camp is slated for the latter half of 2001 with construction complete in the summer of 2004. The camp will be comprised of 36 buildings including a medical center, camper cabins, dining hall, pool, arts & crafts, stables, boathouse, gym and theater.(Motorsports Decisions PR)(5-21-2001)
    PLUS on a side note, Joe Gibbs Racing is holding a blood drive on May 29th (tuesday), see my Racing Charities page for the details(5-23-2001)


  • DW at North Wilkesboro: Darrell Waltrip drove his 1985 Bud car at North Wilkesboro today to shake-down for the trip to the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July. Junior Johnson and Jeff Hammond also there. DW ran a number of hot laps at the track that hasn’t seen a race since 1996. Bunch of the media was there at the invite of General Motors. Plus it was taped for Fox Sports. DW, Hammond and Johnson will be on Totally NASCAR Wednesday night with Steve Byrnes. Some DW/North Wilksboro tidbits: DW won 10 races there. DW’s last win for Junior Johnson came there in 1986. DW’s first win as a car owner came there in 1991.(for more on the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, see my Driver Appearances page(5-22-2001)

  • Driver to Attempt the Coca Cola 600 UPDATE: Jeff Fultz will attempt to qualify for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte next month. Fultz, 30, said Thursday he has landed a one-race deal with car owners Gene DeHart and Mike Clark for the Coca-Cola 600, May 27 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. DeHart’s father, Gary, is crew chief for Winston Cup driver Terry Labonte. “I’ve been waiting for this all my life,” said Fultz, “NASCAR approved me this week, so we’ll give it a good shot.” Fultz is a star on the NASCAR Gatorade All-Pro regional circuit, having finished second in the 2000 points race. He stands third this year. Fultz lives in Mooresville, N.C., where he works as a fabricator in the race shop of Winston Cup driver Robert Pressley. He will drive a Ford Taurus and get some help from Pressley’s main sponsor, Jasper Engines. But his main support will come from two other sponsors, whom he did not name(Cincinnati Enquirer)(4-28-2001)
    UPDATE: Jeff Fultz, 30, will make his first career Winston attempt at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., site of the Coca-Cola 600 next Sunday. “We tested last week at Charlotte, and I was running with Dale Jarrett and Ward Burton,” Fultz said. “In race terms, we were as good as them. I was right in the middle of ’em, not gaining much but not losing much.” Fultz didn’t want to risk much. He has only one car, the #54 Ford Taurus he will try to qualify this week. Fultz also might attempt to run in the Busch race at Kentucky Speedway next month(Cincinnati Enquirer)(5-22-2001)

  • Zelasko Leaving: MotorsportsTV.com is reporting that this weekend will be Fox Pit Reporter Jeanne Zelasko’s final race of the season as she is moving over to Fox’s baseball studio show starting June 2. No word on who Fox will replace her with or if they will replace her(5-22-2001)

  • Winston Open and the Pits: from the PPI Motorpsorts site, an explanation of what happened – Ricky Craven and the Tide team posted a strong run during the first segment of the two-leg Winston Open competition at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Starting fourth, Craven jockeyed between fourth and fifth for most of the caution-filled 30-lap run and stood in third when the race’s third caution flag flew on Lap 28. With only three laps to go, it was clear the first segment would end under yellow – sending then-leader Johnny Benson to The Winston. This also put Craven in second position behind Ricky Rudd for the start of the 16-lap No Bull Sprint, the last race for a wildcard Winston starting position. As the field passed the entrance to pit lane on Lap 29, both Rudd and Craven understood pit lane to be closed and stayed on track. However, a late green flag was displayed at the entrance to pit lane – after Rudd and Craven had already passed it – that allowed the rest of the field to pit on Lap 29. To confuse matters even more, rules for the Winston Open (distributed earlier that evening at the drivers’ meeting) explicitly stated that pit lane would be closed on Lap 29 – causing even more frustration for the Tide team and Rudd’s crew. In spite of valiant efforts by both teams, NASCAR officials would not rectify the situation — forcing both Craven and Rudd to pit out of sequence and forfeit their race-leading positions and any reasonable shot at winning the No Bull Sprint. Craven returned to the field in 22nd position and within 12 laps worked up to a strong 11th (six laps were run under caution), but nothing could quite make up for “what could have been” for the Tide team. Tide team owner Cal Wells on the situation: “It’s just unbelievable. There were two infractions here by NASCAR – one was not opening pit lane for everyone, and the second was breaking their own rules by opening the pits on Lap 29. It’s just incredibly frustrating. The lack of communication was astounding. We had a great Tide car today with a real shot at winning the second race, and it just went away like that. We’ve talked to the officials, and so has Yates, but there’s nothing we can do about it.”(PPI Motorsports Site)(5-22-2001)

  • Richmond Testing UPDATE: Bill Davis Racing will be testing with #22-Ward Burton at Richmond International Raceway on Monday and Tuesday(May 21-22). After lackluster runs in the Pontiac 400 and a recent series of struggles on flat tracks, Davis wants to go back to a track while the actual race still is fresh in the team’s mind. “It’s not just a test for Richmond, it’s a test for that style track, the flatter, lower-banked track, because that’s where so far the Dodge has been the worst,” he said. Davis will work on a variety of possible setups for the car during the two-day session(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-20-2001)
    UPDATE: Bill Davis Racing canceled its two-day test at Richmond International Raceway. The team transporter sat in the garage yesterday, but rain and fog conditions kept the team from getting on the track. With rain predicted for today, and qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600 slated for Thursday, the team decided to call it off(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-22-2001)


  • Hamilton Jr to Run the #33 in the Coke 600? UPDATE yes: hearing that Bobby Hamilton Jr will run the #33 Oakwood Homes Chevy for injured Joe Nemechek in the Coca Cola 600 at Lowes Motor Speedway
    UPDATE: Bobby Hamilton, Jr. passed the preliminaries – he is headed to the “big show.” For one race, at least. Hamilton, Jr. will remain behind the wheel of the #33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet of Andy Petree Racing for the Coca-Cola 600, Sunday night, May 27, at the Lowe.s Motor Speedway near Charlotte, N.C. The 24-year-old is coming off finishes of 12th and fourth in this past weekend’s Winston Open and No Bull Sprint races at the same speedway. Hamilton is driving in place of regular driver Joe Nemechek, who was injured in a crash during BGN testing Tuesday, May 15, at Dover Downs. A tire appeared to have cut and sent his car into the wall between turns three and four, breaking Nemechek’s right arm near his elbow and his right scapula. He will be in a cast for up to two weeks, doctors have told him. Hamilton, Jr. will make his first practice runs Thursday at the Charlotte track, and qualifying Thursday night for the Coca-Cola 600.(Williams Company)(5-21-2001)

  • New Spring Rules UPDATE 2: A fax from NASCAR informed the Cup teams of two changes, effective immediately: 1, that the springs used in the front end must now meet certain height requirements and 2, that the rubber discs that make the springs act stiffer can’t be used until after a race has begun. NASCAR tested its new rules last weekend during the truck race at Darlington and the Busch race at Loudon, N.H., then implemented them for Cup earlier this week(Fayetteville Observer)(5-18-2001)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has implemented new spring rules for its Cup, BGN and CTS series vehicles. The rule went into effect last weekend for the BGN and CTS series and takes effect this weekend at Charlotte for the Winston Cup series. Under the new rules, teams are limited in their selection of front springs and in their mounting; and the use of spring rubbers in both qualifying and prior to the start of a race. The new guidelines prevent teams from mounting a car body on the frame, and also require springs be made of round magnetic wire. The use of spring rubbers – used to increase or decrease the contraction of the springs – is no longer allowed in qualifying and they can’t be used prior to the completion of at least one lap of a race. After the first lap is completed a team can only add a spring rubber that will not exceed the span of one full coil of the spring that is in use. Finally, front springs will be at least 7.5 inches tall but no taller than 8.5 inches(That’s Racin’)(5-19-2001)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR’s new rule that changes spring sizes to a minimum of 7.5 inches and a maximum of 8.5 inches will cost teams between $16,000 and $17,000 in replacement springs(Sporting News)(5-21-2001)

  • Nemechek Injured testing at Dover UPDATE 5 pressure was OK: Joe Nemechek was injured in a crash during testing Tuesday morning at the one-mile, high-banked Dover Downs International Speedway. Nemechek, who was testing his #87 BGN car, has a broken right scapula. He apparently cut a right front tire between turns three and four at Dover, the car sliding up into the wall. No other cars were involved and Nemechek had no other serious injuries. Andy Petree Racing, which fields Nemechek’s #33 Oakwood Homes Chevy in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, was still evaluating the situation Tuesday morning, and had made no decisions regarding Nemechek’s status for The Winston weekend at Concord, N.C., which begins Friday. “Our main concern right now is Joe’s health,” Petree said. “We’re still putting information together and will make any decisions from there.”(Williams Company)
    UPDATE: Joe Nemechek is currently scheduled to remain at Bay Health Medical at Kent General Hospital in Dover, DE, Tuesday night as a precautionary measure. He is expected to be released Wednesday morning. Outside of the broken right scapula and various bruises, Nemechek is reported to be in good spirits(Williams Company) – hearing Bobby Halilton Jr could run the #33 at the Winston Open and if Kenny Wallace and the #27 Eel River Racing team not get a sponsor for the Coca Cola 600 and the team decides not to run it, Wallace could be in line to drive the #33 in the race.(5-15-2001)
    UPDATE 2: PRN’s Garage Pass Radio show reports that Bobby Hamilton Jr will drive the #33 Oakwood Homes Chevy for the Winston Open and No Bull Sprint races and if he advances in The Winston(PRN’s Garage Pass)(5-16-2001)
    UPDATE 3 now worse – miss the Coke 600?: An additional injury to Joe Nemechek has been noted by doctors who examined him Wednesday night at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Nemechek has what doctors termed a “clean break” immediately at his right elbow. He has been fitted with a cast and doctors anticipated it remaining on Nemechek for up to two weeks. “We.re looking at our options again as far as next week and the 600 are concerned,” said Andy Petree, owner of the #33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet. “Guys have driven with casts before in NASCAR Winston Cup racing without a problem but every situation is unique too. We.ll have to take a look at it, talk with Joe, see who is available should we need relief drivers, talk with Oakwood Homes and take it from there. “We.re certainly in no hurry to make a decision. We.re set for this weekend,” Petree added, referring to Bobby Hamilton Jr. being named to drive the Oakwood Homes Chevrolet over the Winston weekend. “We.re not going to prolong things but we.re not going to be hasty either.” Nemechek was injured in a hard crash during Busch Grand National testing Tuesday at the one-mile, high-banked Dover Downs (Del.) International Speedway. Apparently cutting a tire, Nemechek’s car shot up the track and slammed the wall between turns three and four. Nemechek was initially diagnosed with a broken right scapula and a small lung bruise, as well as various other non-serious bruises.(Williams Company)(5-17-2001)
    UPDATE 4 – not a cut tire?: Early indication from Goodyear is that low air pressure, rather than a cut, caused the tire failure that sent Joe Nemechek into the wall at Dover on Tuesday. Air pressure buildup at the tight one-mile creates an ill-handling car, so teams tend to drop air pressure at the start of a run, to minimize the buildup, although at the risk of damaging the tire. There were some questions here about how Dover doctors missed some of Nemechek’s injuries, which were later discovered by doctors at Bowman Gray in Winston-Salem(Winston Salem Journal)(5-19-2001)
    UPDATE 5: sources within Nemechek’s BGN team tell me that the accident was not a result of low tire pressure. Nemechek was over 50 laps into their practice run and 3 laps away from coming in when it happened(5-21-2001)

  • The Winston – some notes: Gordon won The Winston in 1995 and 1997 and went on to win the Winston Cup championship both times. He also won the title in 1998 and would have won The Winston that year, too, had he not run out of gas on the final lap.…Dale Earnhardt also won championships in the three years he won the event (’87. ’90 and ’93), as did Rusty Wallace in 1989 and Darrell Waltrip in 1985.…Chevrolet now has won The Winston 10 times in 17 tries. Gordon has now won $1,385,610 in eight starts in the all-star race. He moved past Dale Earnhardt, the event’s only other three-time winner, who won $1,295,410 in 16 starts(see more at That’s Racin’)(5-21-2001)

  • Valvoline/BBBSA Update: Johnny Benson’s performance in the #10 Valvoline Pontiac, combined with contributions from Valvoline and NASCAR fans, has brought the current total raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters since 1999 to $587,909. Valvoline is donating $5,000 for every Winston Cup race Benson wins, $2,500 for each pole, $1,000 for a top-10 finish, $500 for a top-20 result and $20 per lap Benson leads in this “Caring Hands” program. Valvoline will donate $1 million to Big Brothers Big Sisters if Benson is able to win both the Winston Cup pole and race on the same weekend(Valvoine PR)(5-21-2001)

  • Sad News: Mike Gagliardo was killed Sunday in a two-car crash during the Trans-Am Series 125 at Mosport International Raceway. Race officials said the other driver, Gary Longo, was listed in critical condition after being airlifted to Sunnybrook Medical Center in Toronto. The cars driven by Gagliardo and Gary Longo collided between the first and second turns on the 38th lap of the 50-lap race. Gagliardo was transported to Lakeridge Health Center in Bowmanville, where he was pronounced dead. The race was won by pole-sitter Paul Gentilozzi(AP/ESPN)(5-21-2001)

  • Hover Motorsports/Morgan Shepherd News UPDATE: Stan Hover Motorsports – Team #80 has just completed sponsorships for the (2) upcoming races at Lowe’s Motor Speedway for the Winston Open and Coca-Cola 600 next month. Hayes Jewelers of Lexington, NC and Aramark Uniform Service will be sponsors on the #80 Ford Taurus. Cup Veteran Morgan Shepherd will be driving. Stan Hover Motorsports are very excited about the sponsorships. The #80 team plans are to compete in (16) Cup Races this year. Stan Hover Motorsports shop is based in Salisbury, North Carolina.(DCM Racing/Stan Hover Motorsports PR)(4-17-2001)
    UPDATE: the sponsorship has fallen through and Shepherd nor the #80 team will be attempting the Coca Cola 600 this coming weekend, unsure of what the team plan are for the rest of the season(5-21-2001)

  • JR’s Garage: The grand opening of JR’s Garage retail store is scheduled for May 22-25 with special appearances by all seven Roush Racing drivers throughout the week. The store is located in the Lakeside Industrial Park in Mooresville, NC. The festivities will kick off Tuesday, May 22 with an autograph session by Kurt Busch and Greg Biffle from 9-11 a.m. Wednesday, May 23, Matt Kenseth will sign autographs from 9-11am, and Jeff Burton will sign from 2-4pm. Thursday, May 24 there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony featuring Jack Roush and the Mooresville Chamber of Commerce at 9am. Mark Martin will sign autographs with his son Matt from 10 – 11:30am, and CTS drivers Chuck Hossfeld and Nathan Haseleu will sign from 2-4pm. Tickets for the autograph sessions will be handed out two hours prior to the drivers’ scheduled appearance. Tickets are free, but fans must have a ticket to enter the autograph line(Roush Racing PR)(5-21-2001)


  • (5-20-2001)

  • PPI and Technolgy: Stratasys, Inc., a rapid prototyping equipment manufacturer based in Minneapolis, MN, has joined PPI Motorsports as a key partner in the NASCAR Winston Cup team’s progressive engineering program. Stratasys makes rapid prototyping equipment that builds solid models directly from three-dimensional CAD (computer aided drawing) files. The company’s patented fused deposition modeling (FDM®) technology is used at PPI Motorsports to create highly accurate plastic prototypes that can be tested, analyzed and improved by the team’s design group before the fabrication process begins. This season, PPI Motorsports began designing and building its own race cars for NASCAR Winston Cup competition. As part of this undertaking, the engineering group utilizes a Stratasys FDM 3000® system to develop components – from small parts to larger assembled pieces – for its in-house fleet(PPI Motorsports Site)(5-20-2001)
  • New Sponsor Options: X-TEX, a new technology patented by JAX, Inc. uses a series of thin-film coatings applied on one side of a clear surface to produce a highly visible image that is completely transparent from the other side. This new technology can be seen during the Coca-Cola 600 on May 27 when a dozen Coca-Cola delivery trucks will turn parade laps at Lowe’s Motor Speedway prior to the start of the race to promote the Coca-Cola family of drivers. X-TEX differentiates sponsor images from one another because of the extreme contrast created by the distinctness of the logo and the sheerness of the glass(LMS Notes)(5-20-2001)


  • Another Evernham Motorsports Change? UPDATE: hearing Ed Guzzo, VP and General Manager at Evernham Motorsports has left the team(5-17-2001)
    UPDATE: Eddie d’Hondt, team manager of Evernham’s #9, was released Tuesday, and vp/general manager Ed Guzzo stood down from his position Thursday. Guzzo, a close associate of Evernham’s since his days with Jeff Gordon’s #24 team, remains with the organization for the time being, Evernham said. Evernham would not be specific about the circumstances around d’Hondt and Guzzo. “I had some hard decisions I had to make this week,” he said. “Ed Guzzo, that was just a mutual decision on both of our parts. Actually, Ed is still employed by me. He’s just taking a leave of absence.(SpeedVision)(5-19-2001)
  • Bliss to Stand by for Harvick: Mike Bliss will serve as Kevin Harvick’s stand-in in the seven weekends this season in which Harvick has conflicts with Winston Cup events. Bliss is Richard Childress Racing’s driver of choice to spell Harvick in the seven conflicting weekends he will have this season(NASCAR.com Buzz)(5-19-2001)
  • Harvick/Wallace double duty UPDATE add Hamilton Jr and…: Kevin Harvick and Kenny Wallace plan to fly back and forth between Charlotte and Nazareth, Pa., next week, allowing them to compete in both The Winston (or the Winston Open, in Wallace’s case) and the BGN race at Nazareth. Wallace has not competed in the annual BGN stop at Nazareth in seven years(Gaston Gazette)(5-14-2001)
    UPDATE: Kevin Harvick and Kenny Wallace, and Bobby Hamilton Jr., subbing for the injured Joe Nemechek, plan to use driver Mike Skinner’s private jet this weekend to compete in both the BGN race at Nazareth and in The Winston(or Open) in Charlotte. All three drivers participated in practice and qualifying Friday at Charlotte – Wallace and Hamilton Jr. for The Winston Open and Harvick for The Winston. On Saturday, all three will fly from Charlotte to Nazareth, landing in Allentown, Pa., approximately 9:45 a.m. They will attend practice (11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.) and qualifying (3 p.m.) at Nazareth before returning to Charlotte for The Winston Open and The Winston. On Sunday, all three will return to Nazareth, arriving at 9:45 a.m. The drivers’ meeting starts at 11 a.m. and the race at 1 p.m. (That’s Racin’)(5-19-2001)
  • Long Had Problems: #85-Carl Long blew an engine during afternoon practice, the team had to roll out its back-up car and pull the engine from it before bolting the powerplant into the team’s primary #85(LMS Notes)(5-19-2001)
  • Sad News: Helen Hornaday, mother of Winston Cup driver Ron Hornaday, died early Saturday morning in California. She was 72 and had been ill for several years. Funeral arrangements were incomplete. Ron Hornaday spent part of the past week with his mother and returned to Charlotte to compete in Saturday’s Winston Open. He will return to California sometime Sunday(That’s Racin’), condolences to family and friends(5-19-2001)
  • HANS pioneers honored: Jim Downing and his brother-in-law, Dr. Robert Hubbard, were given the Louis Schwitzer Award Friday by Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The two were recognized for the invention and continual development of the head and neck safety (HANS) device, designed to prevent the type of whiplash that caused the deaths of NASCAR drivers Kenny Irwin, Adam Petty and Dale Earnhardt. “I definitely think they should be commended,” Jeff Gordon said. “I’m wearing it, I’m proud of it. It took a while for me to get adjusted to it, but now I don’t want to go on the race track without wearing it.” About 600 drivers world-wide are using HANS. The company is approaching 1,000 orders for this year. “I can’t see any reason why every driver who races cars and boats with a shoulder harness shouldn’t be wearing one of these things,” Hubbard said. “I think that day will come some day.”(AJC)(5-19-2001)
  • Sad News: Hiram P. Lacroix passed away on May 16 at his home at Genesis ElderCare in Mooresville, NC. Mr. LaCroix was 107 years of age and had lived in three centuries. “Gramps” LaCroix was the Grandfather of four team members of the #11 Brett Bodine Racing Team: Diane Bodine, wife of driver Brett and co-owner of the #11 team, Donna Richeson, Diane’s Twin Sister and #11 Team Office Manager, Dennis Lacroix #11 Team Transport Driver and Gasman, and Jimmy Lacroix, #11 Team Catchcan Man and Bodine Coach Driver. He was the father of Diane & Donna’s mother, Eunice Dallaire and father-in-law of Andy Dallaire. Lacroix was a WW1 Veteran. Services will be held at 11:00am/et on Monday, May 21st at Cavin Funeral Home in Mooresville, NC(Brett Bodine Racing PR)(5-19-2001)
  • Harvick takes NMPA honor: Kevin Harvick, who stepped to drive for Dale Earnhardt’s former Winston Cup team after Earnhardt’s death in a crash during the Daytona 500, has been named the recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association/Pocono Spirit Award for the first quarter. The award recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. NMPA members select a winner for each quarter and then vote on the winner of the annual award at season’s end(That’s Racin’)(5-19-2001)


  • Lawsuit? The likelihood of Dale Earnhardt’s family filing a wrongful death lawsuit against NASCAR is doubtful, because the driver signed an entry form before the Daytona 500 stating that he knew and understood the risks of racing. The form, signed by all race participants when they enter the tracks, protects NASCAR and track owners from legal action in the case of injury or death. Teresa Earnhardt, Dale’s widow, has given no indication that she’s considering a lawsuit. But on Tuesday, an attorney for the University of Florida’s student newspaper suggested that NASCAR officials may have convinced her to have autopsy photos sealed to protect the sanctioning body from legal action. NASCAR has been sued at least twice in recent years over deaths on the tracks, but in both cases the sanctioning body prevailed in court. J.D. McDuffie’s widow filed a $4.25 million suit after McDuffie was killed in a race at Watkins Glen in 1991. A U.S. district judge in New York threw out the suit, saying McDuffie, “was well aware of the dangers associated with auto racing.” The family of Rick Baldwin, who was fatally injured in practice for a Winston Cup race at Michigan Speedway in 1986, sued NASCAR for $150 million. They alleged that NASCAR was negligent because the window net on Baldwin’s car did not prevent his head from hitting the wall when the car crashed. A jury decided in NASCAR’s favor.(full story at the Atlanta Journal Constitution)(5-18-2001)
  • Bridge Collapse: it was one year ago that the Pedestrian bridge collapsed at Lowes Motor Speedway after the Winston, 107 people were hurt. See a story of one survivor: Pedestrian bridge collapse haunts fan at the AJC(5-18-2001)


  • Absorption System for Cars UPDATE 4: Speedway Motorsports Inc. president H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, with assistance from others in the motorsports industry, has been working over the past several months on developing an impact absorption system for NASCAR race cars and plans to present it to the public within the next two weeks. The system would utilize a yet-to-be-named material to be placed in the front end of cars to help absorb the energy of a frontal impact. Winston Cup series director Gary Nelson said Saturday that NASCAR has been involved in a project of its own regarding a front-end impact absorption system, as well as additional testing of new “soft wall” technology. Wheeler, who hopes to display his work before the May 19 Winston all-star race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, said he is excited the prospects of his project. See full story at That’s Racin’(5-6-2001)
    UPDATE: Humpy Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway, says he plans to unveil an impact absorption system for stock cars next week. “I think that’s what these cars really need, the ability to absorb more shock when they hit the wall, particularly the right front,” Wheeler said Tuesday during a break in NASCAR testing at the 1.5-mile speedway. NASCAR’s four deaths in the last year all came in frontal impacts with the vehicles mainly striking the wall with the right front. Questions have been raised that the front of the car is too rigid and that energy in a crash is transferred from the car to the driver, causing serious injuries in some cases. Indy cars absorb energy by having pieces fly off during a crash. Wheeler said his system is more complicated because there is more frontal area on a stock car than an Indy car. Wheeler says the system is being computer tested and then will be sled tested. “We need to eliminate totally the lethal part of this sport, and that’s what everybody’s objective should be,” he said. “If it isn’t, they need to change their objective. I don’t think we’ll ever eliminate injury because this is a contact, high-speed sport, but I do think we can eliminate the lethal part of it.”(Roanoke Times )(5-9-2001)
    UPDATE 2: H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway, and representatives of Lew Composites will be on hand to unveil a new safety concept Wednesday, May 16, at 2:00 p.m. in the Winston Cup garage area at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The new safety concept, which can be adapted to virtually any type of full-bodied racing car, is designed to absorb energy during a frontal impact, thus reducing the G forces a driver sustains(LMS PR)(5-15-2001)
    UPDATE 3: New safety technology, potentially life-saving for stock-car drivers in frontal collisions with concrete walls, could be installed in NASCAR cars within a month. Engineers are working to develop crushable materials that would act as high-impact padding inside the fronts of the cars, and the findings potentially could radically reduce, if not eliminate, the need for energy-dissipating “soft walls.” Humpy Wheeler will unveil a test project using carbon fiber composite materials today at his company’s Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The material could be installed in Winston Cup cars by June, Wheeler said. More promising long range is a material called stabilized aluminum foam, tested at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and being developed for racing by Canadian-based Cymat Corp. Project manager George Daszkowski said the earliest his company’s “crash box” could go into use would be by next February’s Daytona 500. See the Orlando Sentinel for more on this story and an image of how it works(5-16-2001)
    UPDATE 4 – the Humpy Bumper: In an effort to address growing safety concerns about Winston Cup and BGN race cars, Wheeler on Wednesday unveiled a new bumper-like safety device he hopes will diminish driver impact in a high-speed frontal wreck. Several months ago, Wheeler approached Paul Lew, a Las Vegas-based engineer, designer and manufacturer in composite materials. Wheeler said he was looking for something that would help absorb the energy of a frontal impact, but still fit under the skin of a NASCAR stock car with minimum modifications. The result of Lew’s work was displayed Wednesday – a bumper-like unit called the “Humpy Bumper” that would fit neatly in the front of the car, just as a bumper in a passenger car does. The device weighs 16 pounds and would cost approximately $6,000 per unit to manufacture. It is designed to absorb the energy of 20- to 30-degree frontal impacts. The bumper will break under certain force, but would also withstand the common bumps and rigors of normal racing. Wheeler said Wednesday NASCAR officials were sent plans of an early version of the project and are welcome to examine it at any time. Winston Cup series director Gary Nelson was unavailable for comment Wednesday, but when told earlier this month about the project, he said NASCAR was working in a similar area and was involved in additional “soft-wall” technology. See full story and quotes atThat’s Racin’ and more at the Lowes Motor Speedway site, including Diagram – Revolutionary Racing Safety Device Unveiled, and also at NASCAR.com including some pictures: Wheeler unveils bumper system to improve safety (5-17-2001)
  • Compton/Melling to run in CTS: Learnframe, the leading developer of e-Learning infrastructure technologies and KnowledgeE-commerce solutions, today announced their primary sponsorship of Melling Racing for the 2001 CTS with driver Stacy Compton. Learnframe also serves as associate sponsor of the Cup #92 Kodiak Dodge. “We are very excited to be involved with Melling Racing,” said Mike Memmott, Sr., Chairman and CEO of Learnframe. “They have a proven history of success. Learnframe is ready to support Melling Racing and Stacy Compton through a winning season.” “I am absolutely ecstatic about Learnframe joining us in our return to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series,” said Compton, who moved to the Winston Cup ranks in 1999 after competing for three seasons in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. “I really miss the trucks and have been wanting to put a deal together for awhile. It finally all came together. We will run the remaining companion races, and hopefully can grow Melling Racing’s truck program into something bigger.” Compton has an impressive track record in the Craftsman Truck Series with two wins, eight pole positions, 24 top-5 and 35 top-10 finishes in 78 career starts. He will compete in the CTS races that run in conjunction with the NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule, beginning with the MBNA e-commerce 200 at Dover Downs on June 1st(Melling Racing PR), see an image of the truck on my Paint Scheme Gallery(5-17-2001)
  • DEI News: The company founded by seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Dale Earnhardt and his wife Teresa, today revealed its corporate structure, still aimed at long-term development of the company and its three NASCAR Winston Cup teams. The definition of the company’s structure comes after three months of outside speculation regarding the organizational future of one of NASCAR racing’s most competitive operations. The structure is part of a long-term plan to develop the company well into the 21st century. Teresa Earnhardt, owner and CEO of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. has named Doug Swanson to continue as Chief Operating Officer, Ty Norris Executive Vice President of Motorsports, Steve Hmiel Director of Motorsports, Joe Hedrick Vice President of Licensing and Judy Queen Director-Office of the CEO. She stated, “Dale and I had a plan for the long term growth of this company years ago. As DEI moves ahead, we’re placing people in their respective roles to meet the goals that we envisioned. We have people at Dale Earnhardt Incorporated that are very dedicated to their profession and the goals we have as a company. This structuring defines the roles of specific individuals and their responsibilities that will help the company reach our potential. Based on what I’ve seen from our people, we’ll meet our expectations and more in the next few years.” Chief Operating Officer Doug Swanson, 60, brings over 35 years of business management to Dale Earnhardt, Inc. A former partner of a Big Five CPA firm, Swanson, a Greensboro, NC native, has owned his own business and served as an officer with several other corporations before joining DEI in August of 2000. Ty Norris, previously Director of Motorsports, has been promoted to the position of Executive Vice President of Motorsports. All racing-related issues at Dale Earnhardt, Inc. are the direct responsibility of the 35-year-old Norris, both at the track and at the company’s 200,000 square-foot Mooresville, NC complex. The Sumter, SC native has been an integral part of the operation since 1996, when DEI claimed its first championship in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Since that time, DEI teams have claimed an additional truck series crown (1998), two NASCAR Busch Grand National Series titles (1998-1999) and six Winston Cup victories, including the 2000 Winston and the 2001 Daytona 500. Assuming Norris’ former position as Director of Motorsports is Steve Hmiel, DEI’s current Technical Director and longtime NASCAR Winston Cup crewchief. Hmiel’s role as Technical Director will be merged with his new position, creating the title of Director of Motorsports and Technical Development. The 47-year-old, Albany, NY native has been instrumental in guiding DEI’s wind tunnel and chassis development programs and he will continue to do so along with numerous other management responsibilities. In addition to overseeing daily operations at the shop, Hmiel will manage the operation of all three of DEI’s NASCAR Winston Cup teams trackside. On the licensing side of Dale Earnhardt, Inc., 34 year-old Joe Hedrick has been promoted to the position of Vice President of Licensing. Hedrick’s role includes the licensing of the Dale Earnhardt, Inc. brand and the Dale Earnhardt name and likeness, as well as performing similar duties for the three DEI teams and Kerry Earnhardt. Hedrick joined DEI in mid-2000 after a five-year stint at Sports Image, a company Earnhardt owned prior to selling it to Action Performance, Inc. Hedrick, a Lenoir, NC native, will be responsible for maintaining the quality and availability of all Dale Earnhardt and DEI-related apparel and collectables. Judy Queen has been named Director of the Office of the CEO, assisting Teresa Earnhardt directly. Queen, a Dale Earnhardt, Inc. employee since 1998, served as the Earnhardts’ personal assistant since joining the firm. Among her duties are the networking of information relating to the CEO. In addition, Queen serves as Office Manager, overseeing administrative personnel(DEI PR)(5-17-2001)
  • Little sells memoir? Dale Earnhardt Jr. has sold the memoir he had begun working on prior to his father’s death, according to a report. Time Warner Bookmark is said to have purchased the rights to make them into a book. With a scheduled release date of 2002, the book will cover Dale Jr.’s rookie season and how he has dealt with growing up in the world of racing. It will be co-written by Jade Gurss, who handles Earnhardt’s public relations. The selling price was rumored to be in the $1 million range(NASCAR.com)(this was seen on a site called Inside.com but need a password to read it)(5-17-2001)
  • Testing at Dover UPDATE 2: some Cup teams will test at Dover Downs on Monday, including #20-Tony Stewart and a new team I am hearing about #47-Lance Hooper in a car owned by Roger Smith(5-14-2001)
    UPDATE: others I hear were testing – #36-Ken Schrader, #30-Jeff Green, #97-Kurt Busch and BGN teams; #43-Jay Sauter, #38-Christian Elder, #87-Joe Nemechek, #92-Jimmie Johnson and #23-Scott Wimmer(5-15-2001)
    UPDATE 2: #47-Lance Hooper was at the test and ran a fast lap of 152.091mph (qualifying record is 159.964mph)(5-17-2001)
  • Kansas Testing? hearing that #9 and #19 Everham Motorsports and #21 Wood Brothers Racing will be testing Tuesday May 15th at the Kansas Speedway for a Goodyear tire test(5-14-2001)
    UPDATE: also hearing that #21-Elliott Sadler and the #50-Jon Wood Winston West car tested also at Kansas(5-17-2001)
  • Petty/Labonte Announcement UPDATE: Two-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte, his son Justin Labonte, NASCAR Winston Cup veteran Kyle Petty and Kerry Scherer will be on hand in the Winston Media Center at Lowe’s Motor Speedway Thursday afternoon at 2:15pm/et on May 17, to make a special announcement concerning a new ARCA RE/MAX Series program(LMS PR)(5-15-2001)
    UPDATE: Justin Labonte, son of two-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte, has joined the Briggs Cunningham-Kerry Scherer ARCA RE/MAX Series team and will receive assistance from Kyle Petty and Petty Enterprises to run Dodge Intrepids. Although the third-generation driver will debut the new team at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in a Chevy Monte Carlo, Labonte will compete in Dodge Intrepids in ten remaining RE/MAX Series superspeedway events at both events at Michigan and both events at Pocono as well as Kansas(tenative), Kentucky, Chicagoland, Lowe’s, Talladega and Atlanta. ARCA RE/MAX Series veteran Eddie Sharp has been tapped to serve as the team’s crew chief(ARCA Series Site)(5-17-2001)
  • Another Team for the Wood Bros UPDATE: A source close to Wood Brothers Racing said Tuesday that team owner Eddie Wood has bought more land close to the team’s current shop in Stuart, VA, in order to build a second team shop. The shop, which will house Wood’s son Jon’s future effort, is in the formative stages now, according to the source(NASCAR.com Buzz)(5-16-2001)
    UPDATE: Wood Brothers Racing announced today their plans to purchase one acre of land from Patrick County. The land is adjacent to their current #21 Winston Cup operation, which is located in Stuart, Virginia. The procurement will play a major role in the team’s future. According to Team Owner Eddie Wood the land is being purchased to house a potential second NASCAR team. However, Wood says there are no definite details on the second team as of yet. The lead candidate to land in the driver’s seat of the Wood Brothers Racing second team is Eddie’s son, Jon Wood. Thus far in the 2001 season, Jon has competed in various series’ including the NASCAR Winston West Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series(Wood Bros PR)(5-17-2001)
  • #27 and Wallace wait: Kenny Wallace says his Eel River Racing team is still awaiting word from its potential sponsor. Geico Insurance sponsored Wallace’s No. 27 Pontiac in the Winston Cup race at Richmond in what was a one-race deal with an option to continue for the rest of the season. “It is their hands now,” Wallace said. “We have talked back and forth, but we are still waiting on an answer from them. Everybody needs to call Geico and tell them to stay with us. …We need let them know how much it will benefit them to be with us.”(1-800-342-9070)(That’s Racin’)(5-17-2001)
  • Robby Gordon at the Brickyard 400? After struggling in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Robby Gordon was fired by Morgan-McClure Motorsports last month. But he came to Indianapolis and qualified an A.J. Foyt entry for a front-row start in the May 27 race(follow Gordon during the race at www.robbygordon.com). Gordon says, “I’m going to try to put a program together for the Brickyard 400,” he said of the Winston Cup race at Indianapolis in August. “That’s a race I really would like to compete in this year. I feel with the right situation, we can be just as competitive at that race in qualifying as we were for this (Indy 500) race.”(ESPN/AP)(5-17-2001)
  • Racing Champions Opens Shop: Racing Champions/Ertl has opened a retail shop in the Racing Champions building at Lakeside Business Park in Mooresville, N.C. Store hours during Charlotte race weeks are 11:00am to 4:00pm/et Monday-Friday. For more information, call (704) 662-6442.(Winston Cup Scene)(5-17-2001)
  • Moore to Be Honored: NASCAR pioneer Bud Moore will be honored with a “roast and toast” program Tuesday(5-22) night at Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium. Moore, 75, is retired from a long career in NASCAR racing. Among those scheduled to attend Tuesday’s event, scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., are David Pearson, Buddy Baker, Brett Bodine, Ned Jarrett, Cotton Owens, Louise Smith, Bill France Jr., Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Glen Wood and Leonard Wood. Proceeds from the event will go toward a planned South Carolina Racing Museum in Spartanburg. For ticket information, call 864-582-8107(corrected number)(Greenville News)(5-17-2001)


  • ISC to buyout IMS? Hearing that IMS(Indianapolis Motor Speedway) Corporation has been offered a buyout package for their part in the Chicagoland Speedway from ISC(International Speedway Corportation – Daytona, Darlington, Talladega etc)(5-16-2001)
  • Testing at Kentucky: PPI Motorsports Cup drivers #32-Ricky Craven and #96-Andy Houston as well as Morgan-McClure Motorsports Cup driver #4-Kevin Lepge completed two days of testing on Kentucky Speedway’s 1.5-mile tri-oval on Tuesday, May 15. Craven brought two new cars to Kentucky. “We’re testing everything,” he said. “Testing on this tri-oval doesn’t count against us so this track is a commodity. It’s valuable to us. Straight away speeds here are in the range of what we need. We have two brand new cars, so the fastest horse will win. It will probably be our car at Charlotte.” Houston added chassis analysis to his test schedule. “We enjoy coming to test this track because it has good grip and we can go several laps on a set of tires. That gives us a good read,” Houston said. “We’re working on our intermediate track program – testing different shock and spring combinations and doing some chassis related tests. This track is good to test because it simulates a lot of places – Charlotte, and they tell me Chicagoland and Kansas.” Lepage shook down his #4 Kodak Film Chevy to test the attitude of shock and spring combinations. “We’re here trying to get as much information as we can,” Lepage said. “We’re testing the attitudes of springs and shocks, spending more time with our crew chief and getting some help from GM Racing. Once we test the different shocks and springs we can talk back to them to tell them if the changes help or hurt.”(Kentucky Speedway PR)(5-16-2001)
  • #93 and BP UPDATE 2 an image: during a NASCAR.com chat with #93 driver Dave Blaney – Q) any special paint schemes this season? A) Right now, there is a green and yellow BP car in the drawing board. I do not know when or where that will show up(NASCAR.com Chat Transcript)(3-29-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing the BP scheme will run in the Coca-Cola 600(5-13-2001)
    UPDATE 2: The #93 Amoco Dodge Intrepid will feature a new paint scheme for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, highlighting the current reimaging of the Amoco and BP gas stations nationwide with a special green-and-yellow design displaying the BP shield on the car’s hood. The new look for Dave Blaney and the Amoco Dodge will also be featured in three NASCAR Winston Cup Series races in the fall-the UAW-GM 500 at Charlotte on October 7, the Talladega 500 at Talladega (AL) Superspeedway on October 21 and the Pop Secret 400 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, N.C. on November 4.(Bill Davis Racing PR), see an image of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery(5-16-2001)
  • Earnhardt Tribute in hometown: A memorial to racing legend Dale Earnhardt may be in the near future for his hometown. City Council established the Dale Earnhardt Memorial Fund during Monday night’s meeting. The memorial will be located in Village Park. It will feature a statue of Earnhardt and a commemorative wall highlighting the Kannapolis native’s career. Sam Bass, a motorsports artist, will design the wall. City officials hope to raise $700,000 for the memorial. During Monday’s meeting, somecouncil members suggested promoting the fund during race week at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord. Earnhardt grew up in Kannapolis, son of Martha Earnhardt and the late Ralph Earnhardt, an outstanding dirt track track driver. The mayor will head a steering committee which is scheduled to be in place within a week. The committee will oversee the fund-raising effort, select a sculptor for the statue and communicate with the Earnhardt family. Some council members said the Earnhardt family is supportive of the memorial. Contributions can be sent to the City of Kannapolis, c/o the Dale Earnhardt Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 1199, Kannapolis, N.C. 28082-1199. All contributions are tax deductible.(Independent News and Charlotte Observer)(5-16-2001)
  • Evernham Motorsports Changes: Team Manager Eddie D’Hondt and Evernham Motorsports have parted ways(PRN’s Garage Pass) AND Eddie D’Hondt, team manager at Evernham Motorsports, will leave the team to pursue other opportunities. “Evernham Motorsports is restructuring its staff as it moves from a developmental program to ongoing motorsports operations,” the team said in a statement. “As part of these changes, we are eliminating the position of team manager.”(That’s Racin’)(5-16-2001)
  • Robbie Gordon in a RCR car? PRN’s Garage Pass interviewed Cup, BGN, IRL team owner Richard Childress who says he may give Robbie Gordon a shot in one of his cars in the future, possibly a BGN car(The #21 at Watkins Glen?). Plus the #30-AOL team still needs a full time driver in 2002(5-16-2001)
  • Nevada and Motorsports UPDATE: A proposed tax exemption designed to lure key players in the motorsports industry to Nevada will cost the state hundreds of thousand dollars annually until a major racing team or sanction organization moves to the Silver State. The sales and use tax exemption provided in Assembly Bill 657, which is expected to be voted on by the Senate Monday, will take about $400,000 from local and state coffers. That figure, which was provided by the state, is the amount it estimates professional teams already based in the state are paying in sales and use taxes(Las Vegas Review Journal)(5-14-2001)
    UPDATE: The Nevada State Senate voted 15-4 to grant a sales-tax rebate to professional motorsports teams and sanctioning bodies that operate in the state of Nevada. This bill has been approved by both the Nevada State Assembly and Senate. Quote from Chris Powell, executive vice president and general manager of Las Vegas Motor Speedway: “Today’s vote in the Nevada State Senate represents a major step forward for the growth of the motorsports industry in our state. Pending its being signed into law, this legislation can make Nevada a haven for motorsports racing teams and sanctioning bodies — and at the same time bring a tremendous amount of revenue to the state. “As a motorsports-related corporation, we at Las Vegas Motor Speedway plan to work diligently to spread the wordof the new opportunities that await racing businesses in Nevada. Our hope is that we indeed become a mecca for the motorsports industry in the western United States.”(LVMS PR) and see a story at the Las Vegas Review Journal: Senate OKs racing team tax exemption(5-16-2001)
  • NASCAR hire: NASCAR, which in November opened a Los Angeles office with the focus being on broadcasting and new media, today announced that Jeffrey Pollack – the founder and first publisher of The Sports Business Daily – has joined the sanctioning body as managing director of new media. In his new role with NASCAR, Pollack will provide day-to-day management of NASCAR’s new media business initiatives and business development for new technologies and interactive opportunities as well as NASCAR.com. Previously, Pollack was with the National Basketball Association, where he was responsible for helping devise and manage the NBA’s global branding, marketing, and promotional strategies, and for directing the league’s corporate communications(NASCAR PR)(5-16-2001)
  • Teresa Earnhardt may be Questioned: The widow of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt can be questioned about her motives for wanting the autopsy photos of her late husband sealed, a judge ruled Tuesday. Attorneys for a student newspaper trying to get access to the photos will ask Teresa Earnhardt if NASCAR played a role in her decision to get the photos temporarily sealed. An attorney for The Independent Florida Alligator, said he wants to question whether Mrs. Earnhardt had conversations with NASCAR president Mike Helton about the photos between the time of Earnhardt’s death and when the photos were sealed four days later. Attorneys for Mrs. Earnhardt objected to that line of questioning. A hearing is scheduled for June 11. It will also allow a judge to decide the constitutionality of the new state law restricting access to autopsy photos(ESPN/AP)(5-15-2001)
    AND see a story at the Orlando Sentinel: Racer’s widow can be asked why she had photos sealed(5-16-2001)
  • NASCAR School UPDATE: A Phoenix-based auto mechanics school plans to build a $12 million NASCAR-affiliated training center in Mooresville(NC) to tutor students on jobs in the racing industry. Universal Technical Institute Inc. has an agreement to buy 19 acres in Talbert Pointe Business Park for the school, which will house 135 instructors and other employees and train as many as 1,800 students per year. The 145,000-square-foot facility, to be called the NASCAR Technical Institute, will offer UTI’s training for auto mechanics along with 18 weeks of instruction specific to the racing industry. Tuition in UTI programs isn’t inexpensive. Students pay $18,600 for a 54-week car-repair course in Houston. NASCAR Technical Institute prices haven’t been set, says Dennis Hendrix, who will be director of the local school. By comparison, in-state students pay $1,760 for a two-year motorsports program at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. Out-of-state students pay $10,864. (Full story at the Business Journal(4-23-2001)
    UPDATE: Ground will be broken on the first ever NASCAR Technical Institute will take place at Talbert Pointe Industrial Park in Mooresville, NC on May 22nd at 10:00am/et(NASCAR PR), the ground breaking will be held today – rain or shine(5-16-2001)


  • Gordon on Larry King: Jeff Gordon will make his second appearance on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” Tuesday, May 22(5-15-2001)
  • NY City Track Update: story at Newsday with an image: NASCAR on Fast Track to New York(5-15-2001)
  • Added Images: #43-Hamburger Helper Dodge(will run at the Winston and Coca Cola 600); #22-Cattruckengines Dodge; #21-Air Force Ford(another one); #55-Sqaure-D Chevy Lightning; #27-Geigco; #43-Petty Blue practice; and #37 DeeZee and WMHinc schemes; to the Paint Scheme Gallery(5-15-2001)
  • #43 Scheme UPDATE: not sure when but hearing the #43 Cheerios car and driver John Andretti will run a Hambuger Helper (love hambuger helper) scheme sometime this season(4-6-2001)
    UPDATE: the scheme is scheduled to run at the Winston and the Coca Cola 600, see the image on my Paint Scheme Gallery(5-15-2001)
  • Cat Paint at the Winston: hearing Ward Burton will run a special paint scheme at The Winston called “Clear Hood” or something like that. The hood will be pained up tp look like there is a Cat C16 truck engine under the hood(3-29-2001)
    UPDATE: The Winston has long been regarded as Winston Cup’s All Star event. It is a non-points event, which allows drivers and sponsors alike the opportunity to shine. It is no different for Ward Burton and his sponsor Caterpillar. Both Burton and Caterpillar intend on glowing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 19. This year, Caterpillar chose to highlight CAT Truck Engines, while allowing Burton to “borrow” a CAT C-16 from the factory. The special paint scheme gives the illusion of a see through hood with a CAT C-16 engine underneath.(Bill Davis Racing PR) and see the image on my Paint Scheme Gallery(5-15-2001)
  • Tony’s sub? hearing Joe Gibbs Racing #20 BGN driver, Mike McLaughlin will stand by to run the #20-Home Depot Pontiac for Tony Stewart if Stewart doesn’t make it back in time for the Coca Cola 600(5-15-2001)
  • Nelson Rumor Revisited:Circle Racing Online NASCAR sources say the current garage talk about the future of Gary Nelson as Winston Cup Series Director is heating up, yet again. We first got a rippling of a possible “promotion up and out” for Nelson at last year’s Phoenix Winston Cup race. Supposedly, his days were numbered until February of 2001. Well, it’s at tribute to his staying power (or the general infidelity of vile garage talk rumors) that it’s months later and Nelson still stands at the highest position in the Competition section of NASCAR’s staff. But that was before Dale Earnhardt’s death at this year’s Daytona 500. The resulting public relations debacle for NASCAR has lately revived talk of Nelson’s movement to a different position. The latest “best-case” version is that Nelson may head up NASCAR’s new safety R&D facility in Hickory, NC, and that other BGN Director John Darby will move up to take his place. Darby’s vacant BGN position would then be filled by current CTS Director Wayne Auton(Circle Racing Online)(5-15-2001)
  • Testing at Dover UPDATE: some Cup teams will test at Dover Downs on Monday, including #20-Tony Stewart and a new team I am hearing about #47-Lance Hooper in a car owned by Roger Smith(5-14-2001)
    UPDATE: others I hear were testing – #36-Ken Schrader, #30-Jeff Green, #97-Kurt Busch and BGN teams; #43-Jay Sauter, #38-Christian Elder, #87-Joe Nemechek, #92-Jimmie Johnson and #23-Scott Wimmer(5-15-2001)
  • Kerry Earnhardt to run ARCA at Lowes: Officials with the Kannapolis Intimidators, a minor league baseball team based in Kannapolis, N.C., announced Tuesday they will sponsor Kerry Earnhardt, the oldest son of the late Dale Earnhardt, in Saturday’s (NOT Friday) ARCA race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Earnhardt will drive a #2 Chevrolet owned by Dale Earnhardt Inc. and adorned with the colors and logo of the team(That’s Racin’)(5-15-2001)
  • New Stock Car Series? UPDATE 2- Yep in 2003: The formation of a new stock-car racing series will be announced Tuesday at a news conference at Spirit Square in uptown Charlotte. While the founders of the Team Racing Auto Circuit, or TRAC, plan to position the series as a “complementary” series to NASCAR’s Winston Cup circuit, a certain degree of rivalry seems inevitable. The new circuit hopes to attract national television exposure and plans to race on at least some of the same tracks at which the Winston Cup cars compete. Pritchett said he preferred to reserve the details for Tuesday’s announcement, but he did provide some of the framework for the new series. The circuit would run on oval tracks, he said, both at some where no Winston Cup race is now held and at some where there now are Cup races. It would seem unlikely that any TRAC event would be staged at a track owned by International Speedway Corporation, NASCAR’s sister company. Pritchett said NASCAR has been told that Tuesday’s announcement is forthcoming. While Pritchett said Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Bruton Smith will not be a stakeholder in TRAC, it is more likely that his tracks, like Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, would be part of the new venture. Pritchett said TRAC races would be scheduled with an eye toward avoiding conflicts with Winston Cup dates. He said the new circuit’s season would not be as long as the 36-race Cup schedule but would include enough events “to be a significant product.” The Observer has learned that at least two former Winston Cup team owners, Cale Yarborough and Michael Kranefuss, are among those involved in the TRAC project. Another person involved in the deal is Robert Wussler, who has been president of CBS Sports, CBS Television and Turner Broadcasting System(That’s Racin’)(5-14-2001)
    UPDATE: A group of notable executives from the sports, entertainment, media and business industries convened today in Charlotte to announce details of a new stock car racing league. The league, to be known as Team Racing Auto Circuit (TRAC), is the creation of Maxx Motorsports Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Team Sports Entertainment Inc. (TSEI). Among the key individuals involved in the announcement were: Robert J. Wussler, former president of CBS and co-founder of CNN; stock car racing legend, Cale Yarborough; Wendell Starke, former chairman of Invesco; Michael Kranefuss, former director of Ford Motorsports; Carroll Campbell, former governor of South Carolina; Charlie Bradshaw, former chairman of Spartan Foods International and president of Trans World Corp.; Danny Ford, former ACC coach-of-the-year; and 25-year NBA executive Carl Scheer. Seeking to expand the existing base of stock car fans, TSEI has designed TRAC to provide highly desirable content on tracks and television screens across the United States. Initially, the league will consist of multiple car teams that will be strategically positioned in U.S. television markets located near major motorsports venues. Each team will represent the city or state where it is located and will participate in a season long schedule including a post season with a championship race.(more at the TRAC Site) and an AP story at CNN/SI: New rival? NASCAR to have competition in stock-car racing which includes – A new stock-car series hoping to capitalize on the popularity of NASCAR plans to begin racing in 2003. TRAC plans to have 8-12 two-car teams and concentrate on racing at oval tracks. Organizers do not know how extensive the schedule might be, but say they have been in contact with track owners and with ABC, CBS and ESPN. NASCAR spokeswoman Danielle Humphrey declined comment on the group’s plans
    UPDATE 2: during ESPN2’s RPM 2Night as items were listed about the new series: There will be two conferences – National and American, Revenue Sharing, a Salary/Team Cap and a Playoff System where a driver/team has to qualify for the playoffs during the regular season races. Cale Yarborough was interviewed and mentioned a few things about the cars: they will be fuel injected, have the same Aero and Engine packages and would be equipped with Black Boxes(5-15-2001)
  • What is TRAC? TRAC stands for “Team Racing Auto Circuit.” TRAC will own, operate, and sanction a stock car racing league designed to provide high quality race content for television and tracks while working hard to attract new stock car fans(more at the TRAC Site)(5-15-2001)
  • Website on the #17: StockCarCity.com will appear on the “C” pillars of Matt Kenseth’s #17 Dewalt Ford during this week.s “The Winston” and the Coca-Cola 600. “We are pleased to have StockCarCity on the car for the next two races,” said Jon Howland, Motorsports Manager for DeWALT, “Mike (Calinoff) has been an asset in helping us promote our “Design the Paint Scheme” contest, plus he is also a member (spotter) of the race team.” “This is exciting for us,” said Calinoff, “especially since it is Matt’s first venture into The Winston and we.re defending our Coca-Cola 600 title.”(StockCarCity PR)(5-15-2001)
  • Benson 7th at his own track: Johnny Benson Jr.’s return to West Michigan didn’t have a storybook ending, but for 47 laps, it sure appeared that it would. Benson tore through the 36-car field in Saturday night’s Scott Baker Memorial 100 at the Berlin Raceway, moving from his 29th place starting position all the way up to fourth during the first half of the Late Model stock car race. Unfortunately for the Grand Rapids native, Benson eventually had to settle for seventh after fading down the stretch(Michigan Live)(5-15-2001)
  • Action Buys Winner Circle: Action Performance Companies and Hasbro announced they have entered into a definitive agreement for Action to acquire Hasbro’s “Winner’s Circle(TM)” brand name and related die cast inventory and tooling. Action will immediately begin designing, manufacturing and marketing licensed die cast race car toy replicas for the mass retail market, with first deliveries scheduled later this month(Yahoo Biz)(5-15-2001)
  • Hmiel Wins Dash Race: Steve Hmiel, technical director at Dale Earnhardt Inc., watched his son Shane win the Pabst Blue Ribbon 100, a NASCAR Goody’s Dash race, on Saturday, at Darlington Raceway. The younger Hmiel took the lead from Cam Strader with less than 10 laps remaining. The Dash event was a preliminary to Darlington’s Craftsman Truck Series race(Gaston Gazette)(5-15-2001)
  • McClure Wins: Eric McClure, nephew of Winston Cup car owner Larry McClure(#4 Kodak Chevy), won his first Late Model Stock car race on Saturday night May 12th at the Lonesome Pine Raceway in Coeburn, VA.. McClure won in only his 5th start in the #4 Morgan-McClure/Duke’s Printing Oldsmobile Cutlass. He is the son of Morgan-McClure co-owner and spotter Jerry McClure(Team McClure PR)(5-15-2001)
  • Sad News: Len Boehler, three time Featherlite Modified Series, NASCAR Touring Championship car owner, passed away Sunday after a long illness. A pioneer in modified racing, his involvement as a car owner and builder spanned 5 decades with 100’s of victories up and down the east coast. He was also a three time NASCAR Modified National Championship car owner. Funeral services for Len Boehler will take place at the Rock Funeral Home in New Bedford, Mass. on Thursday, May 17, at 10:30 am. Calling hours will be on Wednesday, May 16, from 4:00pm-8:30pm also at the Rock Funeral Home(vintagemodifieds.com)(5-15-2001)


  • New #14 Crew Chief: Donnie Brown has taken over for Fred Graves (who was the interim crew chief after Phillipe Lopez left) as the crew chief for the #14 Conseco Pontiac, owned by AJ Foyt and driven by Rookie of the Year Candidate, Ron Hornaday(ESPN2’s RPM 2Night)(5-14-2001)
  • Steve Grissom? been asked what he was up to – during the CTS(truck) ESPN broadcast of the race on Saturday at Darlington that Grissom was serving as a driver coach and spotter for Petty Enterprises CTS driver Carlos Contreras(#43 Hot Wheels truck)(5-14-2001)
  • Harvick/Wallace double duty: Kevin Harvick and Kenny Wallace plan to fly back and forth between Charlotte and Nazareth, Pa., next week, allowing them to compete in both The Winston (or the Winston Open, in Wallace’s case) and the BGN race at Nazareth. Wallace has not competed in the annual BGN stop at Nazareth in seven years(Gaston Gazette)(5-14-2001)
  • Compton Wins/Irvan Returns UPDATE: Stacy Compton held off Michael Waltrip and Brett Bodine to win the 30-lap celebrity Late Model Stock shootout Saturday in front of about 10,000 customers, the largest audience ever at the .416-mile banked New River Valley Speedway. Fourth went to retired leadfoot Ernie Irvan and last was Kerry Earnhardt. Waltrip, this year’s Daytona 500 winner, was the pole sitter and ran up front most of the first 15 laps. At that stage, the race was stopped and the order inverted. Irvan then started first, followed by Earnhardt, Waltrip, Bodine and Compton.(Roanoke Times)(5-13-2001)
    UPDATE Irvan/Waltrip Win: A crowd of 26,202 at Kentucky Speedway watched several Winston Cup drivers in a celebrity “Legends” race, followed by an ARCA RE/MAX stock race won by pole sitter Frank Kimmel. Saturday, Waltrip and Marlin signed autographs for fans along with another former Daytona winner, Ernie Irvan, and Winston Cup driver Brett Bodine. The foursome later staged a pair of 10-lap Legends races — the Legends cars are scaled-down versions of old hot rods. Irvan won the first race, Waltrip the second(Cincinnati Enquirer)(5-14-2001)
  • Another Busch: Kyle Busch, younger brother of NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Kurt Busch(#97) – will make his full-size stock car racing debut behind the wheel of a NASCAR Late Model at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 12. Busch, currently trailing points leader Spencer Clark Jr. by one point (173-172) in the Bullring’s Legends Cars division, will drive a 1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo (No. 04) owned by Jerry Spilsbury. Older brother Kurt Busch, who drives Fords owned by Jack Roush on the Winston Cup circuit, called to encourage his sibling. Busch plans to continue to compete in his Legends Car while driving Spilsbury’s Late Model.(LVMS PR)(5-9-2001)
    UPDATE: Kyle Busch,“ younger brother of Cup driver Kurt Busch, won his first NASCAR Late Model feature at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Craftsman Night, Saturday, May12.(LVMS PR)(5-14-2001)
  • Evernham’s Crew Helps: Eight members of Ray Evernham’s Winston Cup operation have signed on to handle pit stops for rookie Richard Mitchell in the May 19 ARCA race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway(Gaston Gazette)(5-14-2001)
  • a Million for a sponsor? In an exclusive interview this morning, Speedwayillustrated.com spoke with Scott Bryant, owner of Bryant Motorsports, currently out of Richmond, Virginia. Bryant is the one making the million-dollar offer. Bryant Motorsports has been racing for years, currently competing in asphalt late models, but Bryantt wants to take the next step into the NASCAR Busch series. Bryant relates, “We have a bunch of good people right now, we just need the money to tie it all together.” Bryant is already in negotiations to see if buying Ernie Irvan’s Mooresville, NC shops will fit his needs. So how do you make a million dollars? All you have to do is set Bryant Motorsports up with someone who wants to sponsor the team. When the deal is completed, you get a million dollars for your efforts. At first, giving a million dollars worth of the sponsor money away sounds foolish, but through any of the sponsorship agencies Bryant would have to pay at least that much. Bryant said, “We thought, why not get the general public involved? They know far more people and we could make a fan rich in the process!”(more info at the Speedway Illustrated site)(5-14-2001)
  • Former NASCAR Official Joins Sports Car Ranks: Veteran motorsports executive Dennis Huth has joined the Panoz Motor Sports Group in a newly-created dual role that will include becoming President of Professional Sports Car Racing, Inc., as well as involvement in the Trans-Am Series. Huth, who was a key executive at NASCAR during its explosive growth in the 90s, will execute day to day operations of SPORTS CAR, the sanctioning body for the American Le Mans Series and several other road racing series. Professional Sports Car Racing, Inc., located in Clearwater, Fla., is the premier sanctioning body for sports car racing in North America. Huth was an executive with NASCAR for nearly 20 years, most recentlyserving as Vice-President of Touring Series and International Development until early 2000. He helped to launch the successful NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 1995 and the NASCAR Northwest Tour in 1987. In addition, he helped spearhead the growth of the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series, bringing many weekly race tracks under NASCAR sanction. He started with the organization as Northwest Field Manager in 1982. Prior to joining NASCAR, Huth operated weekly race tracks, including tracks in Portland and Medford, Ore., and several in California(American Le Mans Series PR)(5-14-2001)
  • Change at #15 DEI team? UPDATE: NASCAR.com Buzz is reporting that the #15 DEI team could be making a crew chief change by the time The Winston or Coca-Cola 600 takes place. If that does happen, look for Steve Hmiel, Technical Director at Dale Earnhardt Inc., to take a more involved role in the No. 15 team. Since winning the Daytona 500, the team has fallen from first in points to 26th in only 11 races(NASCAR,com Buzz)(5-9-2001)
    UPDATE: A spokeswoman for Waltrip’s team says there was no truth to the rumor that crew chief Scott Eggleston was being replaced, but his responsibilities might be redirected in the future. Expect to see tech director Steve Hmiel taking a more visible role(Sporting News)(5-14-2001)
  • New Wind Tunnel: NASCAR teams won’t have as far to travel if they’re looking to conduct aerodynamic research in the future. Last month, Auto Research Center opened the first commercially-available wind tunnel in North America, in Mooresville, N.C. It has a yawing, rolling road design to simulate actual race conditions. The project is a partnership between Adrian Reynard and Roger Penske. Mooresville is home to many Winston Cup, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck teams(Sporting News)(5-14-2001)



  • Sad News: condolences to Fox Pit Reporter and Speedway Illustrated Magazine publisher Dr. Dick Berggren on the passing of his father Richard(5-13-2001)
  • Trickle News UPDATE: Dick Trickle, out of work in the Cup and BGN series but tests IROC, will be going to Concord Speedway in Concord, NC to help Mike Miller test his ASA car. Also, Trickle was contacted by Andy Hillenburg to test his #49 Winston Cup car next Monday & Tuesday in Michigan. Hillenburh and his wife are expecting a new baby, and he wants to be home for it’s arrival(Dick Trickle FanClub)(5-9-2001)
    UPDATE: Dick Trickle will test a NASCAR RE/MAX Challenge series 1999 Monte Carlo at the facility May 17th. In preperation for the Touring Series race at the Legendary 14 turn, 4 mile road course July 5th through the 8th. This will be his first race at Road America in his 40 plus year career. Testing is open to the public.(5-13-2001)
  • More Paint Schemes: hearing that #18-Bobby Labonte and #20-Tony Stewart will have Talladega Special paint schemes, something to do with the Coca-Cola polar bears(5-13-2001)
  • #93 and BP UPDATE: during a NASCAR.com chat with #93 driver Dave Blaney – Q) any special paint schemes this season? A) Right now, there is a green and yellow BP car in the drawing board. I do not know when or where that will show up(NASCAR.com Chat Transcript)(3-29-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing the BP scheme will run in the Coca-Cola 600(5-13-2001)


  • FX Ratings: FX’s telecast of the Pontiac Excitement 400, the network’s first NASCAR Winston Cup Series race, delivered the highest viewership of any program in its seven-year history. It ranked #1 among all basic cable programs on Saturday, May 5, finished #3 among all basic cable programs for the week ending May 6 (household rating and HH impressions), and also was the #1 show for the week among Adults 25-54 and Men 25-54. In addition, the FX Pre-race show (7:30-8 PM) ranked #4 among Adults 18-49 and #8 in HH rating/impressions for the week. The 2001 Pontiac Excitement 400 (8-11:25 PM) earned a 4.03 HH rating, which was 14% above ESPN’s HH rating of the same race one year ago. The telecast averaged 2.6 million homes and over 4.5 million viewers. Race coverage peaked at a 5.22 HH rating and over 6 million viewers (11-11:15 PM), and the final hour-and-a-half averaged a 4.4 HH rating. The Pre-race show posted a 2.6 HH rating or 1.7 million homes. While carried in 12.7 million fewer homes(keep calling folks, see number below) than ESPN was in May 2000, FX delivered increased impressions in every key demo versus ESPN’s 2000 telecast – Adults 25-54, +9%; Adults 18-49, +19%; Adults 18-34, +33%; Men 18-34, +13%; Men 18-49, +9% and Men 25-54, +5%.(NASCAR PR) and see SpeedVision’s weekly column: TV – Who Watched What Last Weekend(5-12-2001)


  • #85 Gets a Sponsor for Charlotte: Labor Solutions Inc. is proud to announce that they will be sponsoring the #85 Mansion Motorsports Ford Taurus of Carl Long for the Coca-Cola 600, The Winston Open, and The Winston (if transfered). Labor Solutions Inc. is a employment/staffing service located in Waterbury, CT that is geared towards the training and preparing of employees before they enter the job market. Their specialty is locating jobs for individuals interested in working in the motorsports field. For more info see thier website at www.laborsolutionsinc.com(Labor Solutions PR)(5-11-2001)
  • Sad News UPDATE: Legendary racing mechanic Henry “Smokey” Yunick passed away this morning at his home after a yearlong battle with leukemia. The 77 year old mechanic, who was born in Tennessee, settled at Daytona Beach in 1946 after serving as a bomber pilot with the Air Force during World War II. His first glimpse of Daytona Beach was from the pilot seat of a B-17 bomber plane. After one look, he decided to call this area home once his tour of service was complete. In 1947 he opened an automobile repair shop on Beach Street that he dubbed “The Best Damn Garage In Town.” He closed the garage to the public in the mid-1980s but continued his research and development projects deep in the bowels of the massive structure. According the Stock Car Racing Encyclopedia, Yunick had 61 starts as a car owner scoring eight career victories. He won more than 50 times as a crew chief, chief mechanic or engine builder. He scored 49 victories working with Herb Thomas. He was in the first group of 20 men inducted into the prestigious International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1990. Yunick’s family will announce funeral service information later today.(Daytona Beach New Journal), thoughts go out to family and friends(5-9-2001)
    UPDATE – services: Services are scheduled at the Ormand (Fla.) Funeral Home at 1 p.m. Saturday. The family has requested, in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to the Stewart Marchman Treatment Center at 3875 Tiger Bay Road, Daytona Beach, Fla., 32124.(That’s Racin‘)(5-11-2001)
  • Plates at New Hampshire: NASCAR has no plans to use restrictor plates during Busch Series events this weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway, and it has not made a decision on whether it will use them in the Winston Cup race July 22.(SpeedVision). Back in February it was reported that “Helton also said that restrictor plates won’t return to New Hampshire, where NASCAR used them for the first time last year. “We’ve got some other things we’re looking at to do in general on the race cars,” Helton said without elaboration(see my NHIS Past News Page for the full story)(5-11-2001)
  • Seatbelt News: An Orange County(FL) firefighter will not recreate his efforts to unlatch Dale Earnhardt’s seat belt at the Daytona 500 because NASCAR would not allow it to be videotaped, his lawyer said Thursday. NASCAR lawyers had asked firefighter Tommy Propst to participate in the recreation after he disclosed that Earnhardt’s seat belt appeared to be intact after the driver hit a wall at the Daytona International Speedway. The racing organization, which is investigating the fatal accident, contends that Earnhardt’s left lap belt broke during the Feb. 18 crash. NASCAR has not displayed the belt publicly, however.(Orlando Sentinel), past news on the seatbelt on my Dale Earnhardt Tribute site, main page under news(5-11-2001)
  • Humpy to make his pick UPDATE it’s Jarrett: With an assist from magician Mark Robinson, Lowe’s Motor Speedway presient H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler will gaze into his crystal ball Thursday and reveal his pick to win The Winston on May 19. During the past 13 years, Wheeler has been correct nine times in his annual selection, including his prediction that rookie Dale Earnhardt Jr. would top the veterans in last year’s running of NASCAR’s annual all-star event. Wheeler has spent hours touring the Winston Cup garage areas and talking to sources on the phone and is prepared, with a little magic and illusion, to reveal his selection at 2:30pm/et Thursday(May 10th) at The Speedway Club at Lowe’s Motor Speedway(That’s Racin’)(5-10-2001)
    UPDATE: Every year about this time, Lowe’s Motor Speedway president H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler dons the cloak of the prognosticator and picks the winner of The Winston, next weekend’s NASCAR all-star race. At the speedway near Charlotte on Thursday, the race promoter and ringmaster gazed into the future again and said Dale Jarrett would be this year’s winner of the prestigious race(That’s Racin’)(5-11-2001)
  • Special Paint UPDATE 2: been told that #36-Ken Schrader will have a different paint scheme at Charlotte in Oct and the #10-Johnny Benson will have a speical scheme at the Brickyard 400(5-4-2001)
    UPDATE: See an image of the Daytona/Pepsi 400 #36 car in my Paint Scheme Gallery(5-10-2001)
    UPDATE: hear the Benson scheme will have something to do with the late actor, James Dean(5-11-2001)


  • more Investigation Controversy: Two months ago, a Daytona Beach judge appointed Barry Myers, a Duke University biomechanical engineer, to study autopsy photos and render an independent report on what killed Earnhardt. Now, some medical and legal experts question Myers’ theory that Earnhardt died of a violent whiplash that cracked his skull. And they say the expert’s ties to General Motors, sponsor of Earnhardt’s #3 Chevrolet, impaired his ability to appear independent. GM and other car makers have retained Myers as an expert witness to defend lawsuits. Myers declined to be interviewed but said in a written statement he stood by the independence and accuracy of his report. GM also said in a statement it is not a party to the debate(That’s Racin’)(5-10-2001)
  • Medical Director at Speedway Motorsports Tracks UPDATE: H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway, conducted a “Tire-Side Chat” with media members earlier today. mentioned was: “One of the other things that we’re looking at as a company at Speedway Motorsports is the possibility of hiring a full-time medical director for our tracks and our events which include not only NASCAR, but also Indy Car and drag racing. This medial director post we are looking at would also assist sanctioning bodies with driver records and crewman records—and we haven’t talked much about that and as these pit stops get faster and faster we’re going to continue to see orthopedic-type injuries with the pit crews and we need to be on top of that as much as possible.” You mentioned the possibility of a medical director for the SMI tracks. Can you clarify that? “I think this thing could happen fairly quickly. We’ve been studying it for some time and we still are. We want to make sure we get the right person. We would continue to have the personnel in our trauma centers and the individual track medical directors, but this person would oversee things and make sure we have everything that we need in the trauma centers at our various speedways. This person could also be involved in continued research on making the trauma centers better as well as what’s happening on the track and even to the point of working with the various people who are trying to make the cars safer.” See full story/teleconference at the LMS Site and another story at Racing Extra(4-11-2001)
    UPDATE – SMI Adds Medical Coordinator: Speedway Motorsports Inc. took a step forward for driver safety Wednesday when it added Dr. Jerry Petty to its staff as medical services coordinator. Petty will assist at each of the races at Speedway Motorsports tracks — Atlanta, Bristol, Charlotte (Lowe’s), Las Vegas, Sears Point and Texas. NASCAR, unlike CART and Formula One, doesn’t have a series physician who travels and assists at all of the races. Drivers often are attended to by physicians who know nothing about the drivers’ medical histories. It’s a step NASCAR must take, and perhaps Speedway Motorsports is pushing the sanctioning body in the right direction. (Sporting News)(5-10-2001)
  • #90 in the Wind: The #90 Hills Bros Coffee Racing team has two intermediate cars (for Lowes) in the wind tunnel at N.A.S.A.’s Langley Research Center located in Hampton, VA today(5-10-2001)
  • John Deere back? According to a weekly John Deere newsletter, the company’s relationship with Chad Little might be reborn. This excerpt came directly from the source: “That’s right! I heard it from a very reliable source high up at Deere and Company! Deere is planning on sponsoring Chad Little again in the Busch Series! My source didn’t know an exact date.”(NASCAR.com Buzz)(5-10-2001)


  • Bodine Cancels Charlotte Plans UPDATE 2 with a new owner?: Geoffrey Bodine’s plans to test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 7th & 8th, and to compete in the Coca Cola 600, have been cancelled due to insufficient time to prepare for a competitive run(Geoffrey Bodine Fanclub Site)(5-5-2001)
    UPDATE: Bodine was looking to put together a deal with brother Brett to allow him to run the Winston Open and the Coca-Cola 600, but concerns with sponsorship and his engine program have put the plans on hold for a bit. But, as many racing dreams are, the plans were shelved temporarily by the search for the almighty dollar. Bodine said that he is still talking with the sponsor – who he declined to name – for a possible run later in the season(SpeedVision)
    AND from Winners Magazine(print), part of an interview (used with permission):
    Geoffrey Bodine says he’ll be making an announcement during Charlotte race week:
    Transcript: “You’re getting the scoop. We’ll be making an announcement during Charlotte race week of some plans for next season and beyond and it’s going to be really very exciting. I can’t tell you everything now but things are looking really good for the future.”
    Does it relate to your brothers? “Ahhh no not directly. You know no…nothing direct. I mean it may be some spin offs from all that but its basically myself and some other people but ah it will put me back behind the steering wheel of a race car which is great news.
    On the cup side? “Yes” .”I can’t go any further than that but things are progressing really well and plans are to have an announcement during the Charlotte races.”(Winners Magazine -print not online)(5-8-2001)
    UPDATE 2: MRN’s NASCAR Today Radio show reported Tuesday that Bodine was seen with an African-American Couple in the Lowes Motor Speedway garage area who are reportedly buying the #75 Galaxy Motorsports team, Debra Ward is supposedly buying the team and Ward did confirm something is going on. An announcement is scheduled for May 24th. Hear the show via the Internet on NASCAR.com(5-9-2001)
  • Simo in the #90 at Road Courses: Hills Bros Coffee Racing team owner Junie Donlavey has tabbed Trans-Am Series Champion Brian Simo (SIM o) to run the Hills Bros Coffee Ford at both Sears Point Raceway in June and Watkins Glen International in August. Looking at the opportunity to help his Hills Bros Coffee Racing team gain points in the standings, Stricklin supported the opportunity to put Simo behind the wheel. Simo is looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the #90 car. “Junie Donlavey is the nicest man in racing,” Simo said. “I appreciate the opportunity he’s given me to get back in a Winston Cup car and I’m looking forward to working with the Hills Bros Coffee crew again. I think it’s great that we’ll be doing some testing prior to the Sears Point race. Hopefully, that will translate into a solid starting position, and then we’ll just work it from there.” Donlavey Racing is hoping to get the team’s road-course car ready to test at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) in Alton, Va., prior to making the trip to Sears Point in June. Simo competed in the BGN events at Watkins Glen in 1997 and 1998. Both times, he was leading the race before suffering engine failure. His first Cup start came at Sears Point last June where he qualified 34th and finished 36th, despite a long pit stop to replace a broken gear(Keystone Marketing)(5-9-2001)
  • Autopsy Photos – more: A court order intended to protect the privacy of Dale Earnhardt’s family(and other families) may make it harder for Daytona Beach police to complete their investigation into the crash that killed Earnhardt(at the Daytona 500). The Feb. 22 order issued by Circuit Judge Joseph Will sealed not only autopsy photos of Earnhardt, but also the photos of the inside of his wrecked car that were taken by the Volusia County’s Medical Examiner’s Office. Daytona Beach police may have to go to court to get the photos(Orlando Sentinel)(5-9-2001)
  • Chicago Testing UPDATE: #18-Bobby Labonte and #24-Jeff Gordon will be doing a Goodyear tire test at the Chicagoland Speedway on May 7th and 8th(5-7-2001)
    UPDATE: Monday and Tuesday, May 7-8, #24-Jeff Gordon and #18-Bobby Labonte, took part in a Goodyear tire test at Chicagoland Speedway. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, the official provider of tires for NASCAR, tested several tire compounds that will be used in future races at Chicagoland Speedway. In preparation for thc inaugural Tropicana 400 on July 15th, Goodyear also tested tire compounds from several other similar tracks on the circuit that might possibly be used for the July race. The testing session consisted of both cars running 10 to 15 laps, and then returning to the garage to receive their results and tune their car, as well as give feedback to the Goodyear technicians. Both Gordon and Labonte were pleased with the track and commented on its unique design(Chicagoland Speedway PR). No speeds mentioned(5-9-2001)
  • Lepage Signed? UPDATE 3 YES: Kevin Lepage was scheduled to formally sign a contract with #4 Morgan-McClure Motorsports May 1, a development unaffected by his failure to qualify for the April 29 Napa Auto Parts 500(Winston Cup Scene – need subscrition to read online)(5-3-2001)
    UPDATE: Kevin Lepage, who has already agreed to a deal with the #4 Morgan-McClure Motorsports team, will make his relationship with the team official when he signs a contract this week. Lepage, who joined the #4 Kodak Chevrolet team after the it split with former driver Robby Gordon, is expected to sign a contract Tuesday at Charlotte where the team will be testing for the upcoming Winston all-star race and Coca-Cola 600(That’s Racin‘)(5-6-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Morgan-McClure Motorsports will make a special announcement in conjunction with the annual Lowe’s Motor Speedway press conference. The media event will take place in the Winston Cup garage at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Tuesday, May 8th at 3:30pm/et(Morgan McClure PR), could be Lepage named the driver?(5-8-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Morgan-McClure Motorsports and Kodak have reached an agreement with Kevin Lepage to drive the #4 KODAK MAX Film Monte Carlo. Lepage stepped into the ride in the Food City 500 at Bristol. Following several weeks of “courting”, the team is ready to make the relationship official. A three-year contract will solidify Lepage as the driver of the familiar yellow Chevrolet. Larry McClure, owner of the #4, and Lepage have eluded to the contract for several weeks. However, time constraints and final negotiations kept the deal on the table. Both parties are ready to move forward for the 2001 season. Lepage and McClure feel the chemistry is present to make successful showings in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Kevin Lepage, “official” driver of the No. 4 KODAK MAX Film Monte Carlo, quotes: “I am just honored to be named the driver of the #4 KODAK MAX Film Chevy. We had our trial run and liked each other enough to ink a contract. Larry, Ed, Teddy and Jerry McClure and all of the people over at Morgan-McClure are a great bunch. My wife, Donna, and I are looking forward to working with them and being a part of their racing family(Morgan McClure PR)(5-9-2001)
  • Geico Happy: Ted Ward, Vice-President of Marketing for GEICO Direct, said last Wednesday that he has received a great response since agreeing to the deal with Kenny Wallace. “We have always known what a great opportunity that NASCAR presents and with Kenny Wallace it made it all come together for a perfect fit. We are looking forward to being with Kenny in Richmond this week and getting something put together for the rest of the season.”(KennyWallaceRacing.com)(5-9-2001)
  • Cope Gets a Sponsor UPDATE: Derrike Cope announced that he will be driving in the Winston Open for Dee Zee, Incorporated. Dee Zee will sponsor the Quest Motor Racing Pontiac in the Open and will be an associate sponsor throughout the year. Dee Zee, based in Des Moines, Iowa, specializes in quality light duty truck accessories for the truck enthusiast. Cope will be shooting a commercial for Dee Zee, Inc. in June. The #37 Quest Motor Racing Team will participate in open testing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 7 and 8(Derrike Cope Site)(5-5-2001)
    UPDATE: Derrike Cope is back in his driving suit as the fledgling Quest Motor Sports team prepares for a run at making its first-ever Winston Cup start. The #37 Dee Zee Pontiac took to the test track for the first time Monday, joining 12 other cars in an open test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The team, which is co-owned by five-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Warren Johnson, is running its own engine program and was happy with his early progress(SpeedVision), also see an image of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery(5-9-2001)
  • Autopsy Photo Update: An appeals court denied a Web site operator access to Dale Earnhardt’s autopsy photos. Michael Uribe, owner of a DeLand-based Web site, wanted to overturn a lower court’s decision barring the release of photos(That’s Racin’/AP)(5-9-2001)
  • Simpson Still Wants Meeting: Bob Horn, an attorney representing Bill Simpson, is trying to finalize a meeting with NASCAR’s top officials, Chairman Bill France Jr. and President Mike Helton, in the days between the running of The Winston (May 19) and the Coca-Cola 600 (May 27) at Lowes Motor Speedway. As of Tuesday, he was optimistic, but had not received a commitment from NASCAR’s chief counsel, Gary Crotty(CNN/SI)(5-9-2001)
  • Lowes Testing: #02-Ryan Newman was the fastest in the 2nd day of testing at Lowes Motor Speedway in preparation for the Coca Cola 600 with a speed of 181.208mph. #4-Kevin Lepage was second fastest on the unofficial stopwatches at 181.147 mph, #40-Sterling Marlin was third quickest at 179.700 with #37-Derrike Cope (179.462) and #36-Ken Schrader (179.342) rounding out the top five among the 14 teams. #10-Jeff Green was fastest in BGN testing for the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 by posting the fastest lap of the day among the 21 teams with a speed of 180.060mph. #7-Randy Lajoie was second fastest at 179.820 mph with #87-Joe Nemechek third at 179.402. #26-Bobby Hamilton Jr. (178.808) and #00-Todd Bodine (176.991) completed the top five. #11-Marty Houston was involved in the only incident of the two-day session when he lost control coming off turn four and hit the wall in the #11 BGN Chevrolet. Houston was uninjured and tested the rest of the day in the team’s second car(LMS PR)(5-9-2001)


  • Mark Martin’s Speedway has an accident UPDATE 4 Good News: James Neaves, president of the New Smyrna Quarter Midget Racing Association, is in critical but stable condition with head injuries in the intensive care unit at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, a hospital spokeswoman said. The 35-year-old Spruce Creek Fly-In resident was injured during a caution lap when a slow moving car driven by a 6-year-old Deltona boy hit him from behind. The impact at the ankles threw Neaves in the air and he landed on his head, a Sheriff’s Office report said. Robert Hart, owner of New Smyrna Speedway where the midget track is located, said it was an unfortunate incident. There was no ambulance on site nor an emergency medical technician on duty during the races. The Little New Smyrna Speedway — geared toward children between the ages of 5 and 15 — officially opened during Speed Weeks in February. Founder and Winston Cup driver Mark Martin, Neaves and Dye worked nearly a year to get the track operational for area kids to learn about competitive racing at a young age. Benny Ertel, spokesman for Martin, said the NASCAR driver was upset about the news and rushed to the hospital to be with Neaves’ family late Sunday night when he returned from the race at Texas Motor Speedway. Martin was unavailable for comment Monday.(see full story at the Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-3-2001)
    UPDATE: have heard that James Neaves is doing better, nothing official
    UPDATE 2: The youth auto racing official injured at New Smyrna Speedway Sunday has been upgraded to serious condition, a Halifax Medical Center spokeswoman said Thursday. James Neaves, 35, was thrown into the air after being struck from behind by a 6-year-old Deltona boy during a caution lap. The impact from the car, which weighs about 235 pounds, threw Neaves onto the asphalt track, causing severe head injuries. Neaves is president of the newly formed New Smyrna Quarter Midget Racing Association, which built a track in the infield of the speedway. He had just finished fixing a section of the low wooden wall following an accident during the practice session when he was struck. He was transported by helicopter to the hospital’s intensive care unit where he had remained in critical condition until Thursday morning(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-6-2001)
    UPDATE 3: good news on Jim Neaves – he is sitting up and having limited conversation and things are actually going quite well. The track was back racing last night(4-12-2001)
    UPDATE 4: Jim Neaves went home last Wednesday(May 2). Attended his son’s race at the speedway Wednesday night. Doctors have released him to stay at home and he should be returning to work very soon. Good News(5-8-2001)
  • New #68 Team Tests: TWC Motorsport, Ltd., Inc.’s, #68 Chevrolet Monte Carlo completed its first test this past Thursday and Friday at the Virginia International Raceway(VIR). The team was quite pleased that the initial shake down of the Monte Carlo went very smoothly. Tom Coleman, owner of the newly acquired TWC Motorsport NASCAR Winston Cup car, stated, “We came to Virginia International Raceway to get Anthony (Lazzaro) comfortable with the car.” Coleman went on to explain that once Lazzaro was comfortable with the car the TWC Motorsport team focused on getting the car dialed in. “Anthony hot lapped the car, with times in the high 1.27’s and it’s our understanding that the other NASCAR teams are in the same range,” Coleman said. “We have certainly come a long way in a short time,” stated driver Anthony Lazzaro, “and I know with more testing, TWC could be a factor at any road course.” Always one to give credit where credit is due Lazzaro went on to state, “Coleman has put together an exceptional team who knows what it takes to make these 3,400 pound cars go!” TWC Motorsport, Ltd., Inc., has more testing scheduled in preparation for the demanding road course at Sears Point in June(TWC Motorsport PR). NOTE: VIR is a road course in Danville, VA, which reopened last year after many years of inactivity.(5-8-2001)
  • Martin has Surgery: #6-Mark Martin underwent outpatient surgery Monday morning to remove a screw from his left knee. The screw was inserted in July 1999 after Martin broke a bone in his leg during an accident at Daytona during a practice session for the Pepsi 400. Dr. Chuck Kollmer, the same doctor who operated on Martin’s knee originally, as well as his back in December 1999, performed the minor surgery. The procedure was done in Dr. Kollmer’s office in New Smyrna Beach, FL(That’s Racin’)(5-8-2001)
  • Testing At Lowes UPDATE: Lowes Motor Speedway will host many drivers in a test session on Monday May 7th and Tuesday, May 8th. Cup schedule on both days run from 4:00 to 10:00pm/et. Sceduled drivers so far are: #88-Dale Jarrett, #9-Bill Elliott, #22-Ward Burton, #19-Casey Atwood, #66-Todd Bodine, #36-Ken Schrader, #4-Kevin Lepage, #85-Carl Long and #50-Rick Mast. Others may join(LMS PR), many BGN teams will also test during the day(5-6-2001)
    UPDATE: Todd Bodine and Jimmy Spencer topped the speed charts Tuesday as testing hit high gear for the Coca-Cola 600, The Winston and the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Bodine was fastest among 13 NASCAR Winston Cup teams preparing for the 600-mile run on Sunday, May 27, and NASCAR’s annual all-star battle on Saturday, May 19. Driving the #66 Ford, Bodine posted a lap of 180.602 mph, on the unofficial stopwatches. #02-Ryan Newman, who set the overall Lowe’s Motor Speedway track record last October in an ARCA car, was second fastest among the Winston Cup contingent at 179.104mph. Rounding out the top-five on the stopwatches were #88-Dale Jarrett (178.336), #19-Casey Atwood (178.218) and #36-Ken Schrader (178.100). #1-Jimmy Spencer was quickest on the unofficial stopwatches as 20 NASCAR Busch Series teams prepared for the May 26 running of the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300. Spencer’s team had both a Chevrolet and a Ford in the garage, but his lap of 180.180 mph, came in the Chevrolet. #10-Jeff Green was second fastest at 179.820mph with #26-Bobby Hamilton Jr. third at 179.401. #7-Randy Lajoie (178.218), #87-Joe Nemechek (177.223) and #24-Ricky Hendrick (176.991) rounded the top six. There were no spins or accidents during the 13 hours of testing. Testing continues Tuesday with the Busch Cars in action from 9:00am to 4:00pm/et with the Winston Cup teams running again from 4:00 until 10:00pm/et.(LMS PR)(5-8-2001)
  • #12 in the Wind: hearing the #12 Mobil 1 team has three cars Tuesday and Wednesday. Two for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona(7/7) and an intermediate car for the Coca Cola 600/Winston(5-8-2001)
  • Home Depot to leave #20? UPDATE: AutoRacing1.com is reporting that they hear that Home Depot may move from car sponsorship to more race sponsorship and there is a possibility that Target stores may sponsor Stewart in one of Chip Ganassi’s Dodge Cup cars next year(AutoRacing1). Jayski Note: seems hard to believe as Home Depot and Stewart both have contracts with Joe Gibbs Racing thru 2004(5-7-2001)
    UPDATE: This rumor is downgraded to ‘false’. In checking with Stewart connections, they tell us he is committed to Home Depot and the Joe Gibbs operation through 2004. However, our source(AutoRacing1’s source) maintains that Home Depot is losing a ton of money and with Lowe’s getting out of NASCAR, this is one contract that may be broken.(AutoRacing1)(5-8-2000)
  • More Cup drivers at NHIS BGN race UPDATE: Mike Skinner has joined fellow Cup drivers Kevin Harvick(#29 in Cup, #2 in BGN), Steve Park(#1 and #31), Kenny Wallace(#27 and #48), Jimmy Spencer(#26 and #1), Mike Skinner(#31 and #21), (The #00 will not run at NHIS as reported) in the field for the May 12 CVS/pharmacy 200 Presented by Bayer BGN race at New Hampshire International Speedway(NHIS PR)(5-4-2001)
    UPDATE: Kevin Lepage will drive the #1 Yellow Chevrolet in the CVS/pharmacy 200. Lepage will be stepping in for Jimmy Spencer, who has family obligations that will keep him in North Carolina for the weekend(NHIS PR)(5-8-2001)
  • Been Asked: Stanley Smith, who was critically injured at a 1993 Winston Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway, will attempt to qualify for Saturday’s Express 200, a Gatorade All Pro Series race at Birmingham (Ala.) International Raceway(Gaston Gazeete)(5-8-200)


  • Stewart to run the Indy 500 AND the Coke 600 – same day UPDATE: Tony Stewart will attempt to drive in both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on May 27, ThatsRacin.com has learned. An official announcement of Stewart’s plans will be made Monday in Indianapolis. Stewart will drive an entry for Chip Ganassi in the 500, a Target G-Force/Aurora. Practice for this year’s Indy 500 begins Sunday. Ganassi currently fields two rookie drivers in the Championship Auto Racing Teams series. This will mark the second time in three years Stewart will attempt to run both races.(see full story at That’s Racin’). See more on the progression of this story on my #20 Team News and Links page(5-4-2001)
    UPDATE – Official – Yep: In a press conference in Indianapolis Monday, Tony Stewart announced he will team with CART series driver Jimmy Vasser and pilot a G-Force/Aurora IRL entry for the two-car Target Chip Ganassi Racing organization in the May 27 Indy 500. Stewart and his Joe Gibbs Racing team have also worked on planning to ensure his participation in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway that same evening. “In case of any conflicts, Tony’s number one responsibility will be the #20 Home Depot car and the Coca-Cola 600. We have made all arrangements to assure that Tony will start the Coca-Cola 600,” said Cup team owner Joe Gibbs(full story at That’s Racin’)(5-7-2001)
  • Kmart to Re-new? UPDATE: #26-Jimmy Spencer and #66-Todd Bodine may have added incentive this spring, with word that K-Mart officials are now interested in renewing their sponsorship contract with car owner Travis Carter. Bodine opened the season strong, and the last few weeks, teammate Spencer has been a headliner too(Winston Salem Journal)
    UPDATE: I hear Kmart is showing an interest in staying in stock car racing but isn’t necessarily locked into Travis Carter’s team(#’s 26 and 66) after the contract runs out at the end of next year. They have already put “feelers” out with several teams. They aren’t definitely gone from Carter’s team but they aren’t definitely staying either. They have come a long way from trying to sell the sponsorship and trying to get out of it to now seeing if there isn’t a good way for them to stay in(5-7-2001)
  • Childress changes belts: Richard Childress Racing has removed Simpson seat belts from its Cup and Busch cars except Mike Skinner’s #31. The team says the move was made because of driver preference(Sporting News)(5-7-2001)
  • Dover Testing: #20-Tony Stewart will skip this week’s Charlotte tests but will head to Dover next week for testing for next month’s race there(Winston Salem Journal)(5-7-2001)
  • Trouble at go-cart track: Concord (NC) police are investigating a murder outside a popular gathering place for children and they’re hoping someone will come forward with clues that will help with their investigation. Police are trying to find out who killed a Concord man behind Ken Schrader’s SeeKonk Grand Prix go-cart track. Right now it’s a crime with no motive and no suspects(Charlotte Observer/WBTV News 3)(5-7-2001)
  • #75 Team Almost Sold? hearing that the #75 Galaxy Motorsports team is up for sale and are very close to closing the deal with another new owner who has never been in the racing business(5-7-2001)


  • Wallace and Petree: After #27-Kenny Wallace went out of the race with a broke motor, he was interviewed and said that if the #27 team didn’t go to Richmond, his former owner, Andy Petree(#’s 33 and 55) was goning to field a car for him. But the #27 team got Geico as a one race (hopefully longer) sponsor and was able to go(FX Race Coverage)(5-6-2001)

    LI>Jeff Burton to test restraints: #99-Jeff Burton says he has scheduled to crash test the HANS device, the Hutchens device, the Simpson Decelerator and compare the results(Roanoke Times), no word on where or how(5-5-2001)

  • Stewart Wins at Richmond: #20-Tony Stewart who ran well on long runs, won at Richmond for his and Pontiac’s first win in 2001. #24-Jeff Gordon and #2-Rusty Wallace duked it out for 2nd with Gordon getting the spot, some heated words on pit road. The race was red flagged with 4 laps to go and a few cars had trouble getting started including #88-Dale Jarrett who ran out of gas and wound up 15th. Jarrett now leads Gordon by 14 points in the Drivers Championship with Wallace 62 points behind. See That’s Racin’ for Pontiac 400 results by the AP or NASCAR.com for Unofficial Results and Unofficial Standings(5-5-2001)
  • Racing Student Killed: A 17-year-old Everett, WA girl died Thursday of massive head injuries after a race car she was driving slammed into a concrete wall at the Yakima Speedway racetrack. Ashley Bergman was in the second day of a two-day racing class with Yakima’s Competitive Edge Racing School, said Yakima County Coroner Maurice Rice(Yakima Herald Republic), thoughts go out to family and friends(5-5-2001)
  • Dyno Testing UPDATE: NASCAR put eight cars on the chassis dyno to measure rear-wheel horsepower after the NAPA Auto Parts 500 in California. The cars checked were those of #2-Rusty Wallace, #24-Jeff Gordon, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #40-Sterling Marlin, #28-Ricky Rudd, #9-Bill Elliott, #55-Bobby Hamilton and #33-Joe Nemechek(That’s Racin’). What is Chassis Dyno Testing? See my Racing FAQ page for the explanation(4-30-2001)
    NASCAR’s post-race testing at California showed Wallace the decisive winner with 722 horsepower at the rear wheels, considerably more than runner-up Jeff Gordon’s 702, according to unofficial reports(Winston Salem Journal), these were the only two cars reported in the story(5-5-2001)
  • Worker Injured but Ok: A track worker was injured at RIR. Shirley Mae Lincoln of Richmond was working for the Burns Security group when a dumbwaiter door fell off and hit her in the head. Lincoln was treated at MCV(a local hospital) and kept overnight. She was released last night.(Times Dispatch)(5-5-2001)
  • Playboy and the #27? UPDATE more sponsor news: Kenny Wallace acknowledged that the #27 Eel River Racing Pontiac team recently discussed the possibility of accepting a sponsorship from Playboy magazine. Wallace defended the decision to pursue sponsorship from an adult magazine by stating that Playboy offered a “cleaner” form of nudity. “It was Playboy, not Penthouse. That’s a lot better, because Playboy is a little bit cleaner magazine than Penthouse,” Wallace said. (Playboy publisher) Hugh Hefner is a pretty cool guy.”(in part from the ESPN site)(5-4-2001)
    UPDATE: Barry Dodson and Kenny Wallace said that rumors of the imminent demise of their stock-car team have been greatly exaggerated: “Bust their chops, because we’re not only going to run Richmond but we’ve got a sponsor,” said Dodson, the veteran crew chief and part owner of Eel River Racing. Part of that battle has been in trying to keep rival car owners from getting his driver. “Larry McClure wanted Kenny, but he’s our driver,” Dodson said.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-5-2001)
  • Same Engine? UPDATE more engine stuff: NASCAR is rumored to be considering a “one-engine rule” for races in 2002, meaning that teams would have to qualify and race using the same power plant(Gaston Gazette)(5-4-2001)
    UPDATE: NASCAR officials are seriously considering a common engine rule for next season for their top three divisions, and the engine would be the current Busch series engine, a 358 c.i. with a small 390 CFM (cubic inch per minute air flow) carburetor and 9-to-1 compression, according to NASCAR sources (Jayski NOTE: actually BGN engines are now 12:1 compression now, same as Cup). NASCAR officials are close to ordering the one-engine rule into effect, requiring a team to race the same engine it qualifies. That may go into effect at Loudon, N.H. in July, in an attempt to cut some horsepower. And…NASCAR officials are again considering ordering weight limits on engine parts, to keep teams from going to ever-lighter and more expensive parts to gain horsepower(Winston Salem Journal)(5-5-2001)
  • Aarons and Robinson? more? hearing Aaron’s Sales and Lease Ownership may sponsor #84-Shawna Robinson for her other two planned races. Previous annoument’s had Aaron’s sponsoring on the car for California, Michigan, Indianapolis and Atlanta. The other two planned races for Robinson and MK Racing are Kansas and Homestead(5-5-2001)
  • Sponsors Leaving? At least eight major Winston Cup tour sponsors are talking about buying up their racing contracts and dropping off the tour because of NASCAR’s continuing bad PR over safety issues and the Earnhardt affair, according to NASCAR sources(Winston Salem Journal)(5-5-2001)


  • No Coverup: NASCAR president Mike Helton issued a statement to the media Friday at Richmond, following a meeting with Winston Cup drivers and team owners to answer their questions about the on-going investigation into Dale Earnahrdt’s death in a crash at Daytona on Feb. 18. See That’s Racin’ for the Transcript of Helton’s statement (5-4-2001)
  • Kenseth to RCR? UPDATE: it was reported on ESPN2’s RPM 2Day on Sunday that #17 DeWalt driver, Matt Kenseth could be headed to Richard Childress Racing in 2002. Didn’t say which car, the #30 AOL Chevy or the #31 Lowes Chevy if Skinner leaves(4-29-2001)
    UPDATE: Matt Kenseth comments on Roush Racing.com – “Why would I consider going anywhere else?” Matt Kenseth said. “I have the crew chief of my choice, a great group of people building cars for me, the support of DeWALT and the unlimited resources of the equipment and employees at Roush Racing. I’d be foolish to give this up.”(Roush Racing Site)(5-4-2001)
  • Penalties UPDATE: NASCAR Officials announced today the suspension of a NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief for rules violations discovered in inspection prior to Sunday’s NAPA 500 at California Speedway in Fontana, CA. Mike Beam, crew chief of the #32 Ford Taurus, received a two-race suspension (until May 22, 2001-suspended from the next two NASCAR Winston Cup Series Championship or Invitational Events) and a $5,000 fine for not having the manufacturer’s date visible on the seat belts. Beam was penalized under Section 12-4-Q in the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book, “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform… or have not been approved by NASCAR…” Along with the above-mentioned penalty, Beam was issued another $500 fine for rules violations (roof camera shell not within the proper dimension) discovered in inspection prior to the Talladega 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. He was penalized under Section 12-4-Q, “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform… or have not been approved by NASCAR…” Robin Pemberton, crew chief for the No. 2 NASCAR Winston Cup Series team, was penalized for rules violations (fuel cell top rack) discovered in inspection prior to the NAPA 500 at California Speedway in Fontana, CA. Pemberton was fined $500 and penalized under section 12-4-Q in the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book. Additional fines were levied against the following crew chiefs for rules violations discovered in inspection prior to the Talladega 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and were penalized under Section 12-4-Q in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book: #96-Joe Garone, Roof camera shell not within proper dimension, $500; #28-Michael McSwain, Fuel cell top rack, $500; #8-Tony Eury, Sr, Fuel cell top rack, $500; #15-Scott Eggleston, Fuel cell top rack, $500; #1-Paul Andrews, Lightened lug nuts, $500(NASCAR PR)(5-2-2001)
    UPDATE: PPI Motorsports will not appeal the seat belt related fine and two-race suspension of Tide crew chief Mike Beam announced yesterday by NASCAR. Statement by Cal Wells, owner, PPI Motorsports, regarding the penalty: “As safety conscious as this team is, we would never do anything to impede the safety systems in our race cars. It’s not uncommon – nor against the rules – to remove the manufacturer name labels from seat belts to help tighten the buckles. There was an error in judgment at the car prep stage when the date labels, not just the manufacturer name labels, were also removed from what are essentially new belts. We are extremely frustrated and embarrassed by the penalty and Mike’s suspension, especially since this was not his mistake. However, I have to commend NASCAR for being consistent in enforcing the importance of paying attention to seat belts and other safety elements in Winston Cup cars.” Roy McCauley, race engineer for the No. 32 Tide Ford, will serve as interim crew chief for the next two races(Richmond and The Winston)(PPI Motorsports PR)(5-4-2001)
  • Ward Hospitalized UPDATE 6 Will Race – Wimmer(not Sacks) to stand by: Winston Cup driver Ward Burton was admitted to Loma Linda Medical Center in Riverside(actually in Loma Linda), CA Sunday after he was involved in a wreck during Sunday’s NAPA 500 at California Speedway. Burton and Mark Martin were involved in a wreck on Lap 225 in Turn 2. Martin apparently hit Burton from behind, putting Burton’s car into a spin and then the wall. Burton was diagnosed with a concussion but was awake and alert at the hospital. He was being held for additional CAT scans(That’s Racin’)(4-29-2001)
    UPDATE: A NASCAR official confirmed that Burton was wearing the Simpson Decelerator, a new head-restraint system from Simpson Performance Products. Like the HANS device and other head restraints, the Simpson Decelerator is designed to reduce the violent whiplash a driver can suffer in a crash and lead to a basilar skull fracture, which killed Dale Earnhardt, Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin(Roanoke TimesUPDATE 2:hearing Ward Burton will not the Cup race at Richmond due to the concussion and possible torn neck ligaments he suffered at California. No word on who will be sub for him but am hearing it could be Kenny Wallace if the Eel River Racing team decided not tot run at Richmond
    UPDATE 3: Rumor has it that Ward Burton will sit out this weekend’s Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond International Raceway(NASCAR.com Buzz)(4-30-2001)
    UPDATE 4: Ward Burton, driver of the #22 Caterpillar Dodge, was released from Loma Linda University MedicalCenter last night at approximately 10:00pm/et. He was released following hospitalization for observation and a series of tests after a late-race incident at California Speedway Sunday. Burton was diagnosed with a concussion and was given clearance from the medical staff to return to his home in Virginia(Bill Davis Racing PR). No word on his plans for the race at Richmond this weekend
    AND ESPN2’s RPM 2Night reports that Burton has been cleared to race at Richmond and a team spokeman says Burton is scheduled to run at Richmond, but Burton is still experiencing pain in his neck(5-1-2001)
    UPDATE 5: Winston Cup driver Ward Burton returned to his Virginia home Tuesday following two nights in a California hospital but his status for Saturday night’s Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond, Va., remains questionable. While Burton recovers from injuries he sustained in a wreck in Sunday’s NAPA 500 at California Speedway, NASCAR continues to examine the head-restraint system Burton used in the race. Although Burton’s team hopes he can compete this weekend, it is making contingency plans. Bill Davis, owner of Burton’s team, contacted driver Kenny Wallace this week about driving for Burton at Richmond. Wallace’s team was rumored to be shutting down this week. Wallace, however, informed Davis his team had picked up a sponsor, Geico, and would be racing this weekend. Davis has contacted other potential replacement drivers as well, sources said. Dave Blaney, would likely replace Burton in the team’s scheduled test Monday and Tuesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in preparation for The Winston and Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte later this month(That’s Racin’)
    UPDATE 6: PRN’s Garage Pass radio show reports Ward Burton will run Richmond with Greg Sacks standing by as a back-up driver. Burton was checked out today by a neurosurgeon at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, NC and was cleared to race.(PRN Garage Pass)(5-2-2001)
    UPDATE 6: Scott Wimmer of the Busch Series(#23 Bill Davis Pontiac) will be on stand-by for Ward Burton for Saturday night’s race at Richmond. Burton suffered a concussion after being involved in a crash at Fontana and stayed overnight in a local hospital. He has been cleared by doctors to race(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(5-4-2001)
  • Stewart in the Indy 500 Part II and an UPDATE 4: Tony Stewart is close to heading back to the Indianapolis 500. Sources close to Stewart’s Joe Gibbs racing operation say that Stewart has been granted permission to compete in this year’s 500-miler, provided that he meets several stipulations. Stewart must agree to a rigorous strength and conditioning program to prepare him for the potential 1,100 miles of racing he will put his body through on May 27. Gibbs reasons that such a program will provide his driver with some much needed athletic development that will pay off during the remainder of NASCAR season. The proposed ride for Stewart is rumored to be in the Target car owned by Chip Ganassi Racing. Target’s sponsorship is another stipulation the source indicated needs resolution before Stewart can drive at Indy. Home Depot must have a presence on any car that Stewart races at the Brickyard. As late as last week, Stewart scoffed at his rumored return to the race that first thrust him into national prominence. During FOX TV’s pre-race coverage, Stewart told Chris Meyers that he was “bringing a two-car team to Indy with Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond (two former NASCAR mechanics and current Fox commentators) as my drivers.” When asked about a possible Stewart ride, Chip Ganassi said “the drivers in the cars now are the ones scheduled to run Indy.” Those two drivers are Ganassi’s CART team of rookies Bruno Junqueira and Nicolas Minassian. Previous reports linked both Jimmy Vasser and Paul Tracy as potential Ganassi Indy 500 drivers, but Ganassi denied any move to replace either of his two rookies with Vasser or Tracy.(ESPN)
    (NOTE: I missed this interview, but my understanding is that Tony Stewart’s comments on Fox last week concerning him possibly running the Indy 500 to Chris Meyer’s were.. .that he was bringing a two car team to Indy with Darrell Waltrip and Matt Yocum as the drivers,(not Larry & Jeff), makes more sense, but it was just a tongue in cheek statement by Stewart because of all the rumors). See the past news on this on my #20 Team News and Links page
    UPDATE: Despite recent rumors to the contrary, seeing Tony Stewart in the Indianapolis 500 is wishful thinking, a team spokesman said Friday. The spokesman said that the major conflict with the issue, other than the obvious fact that the Coca-Cola 600 is run the same day, deals in the high-dollar realm of sponsorship equity in drivers(NASCAR.com Buzz)(4-27-2001)
    UPDATE 2: from a story on ESPN’s site by Robin Miller – A story that started out as a rumor on RPM2Night two weeks ago is almost a reality. Tony Stewart will drive for Chip Ganassi in next month’s Indianapolis 500. Despite Ganassi’s contention it’s not a done deal, ESPN.com has confirmed that Stewart will be in a Target G-Force/Aurora for the 85th Indianapolis 500. A source close to the NASCAR star said the contract was agreed on Friday(more at ESPN)(4-29-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Tony Stewart has not finalized a deal with Chip Ganassi to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and said Tuesday that he is running out of time to make it happen. Reached at his home in North Carolina, Stewart said he has until Thursday to pull the Indy Racing League program together. Stewart would not elaborate on the specific obstacles standing between him and a chance at a fifth 500 start. Left unresolved though is the business relationship between Ganassi’s sponsor (Target) and the company that funds Stewart’s Winston Cup ride with Joe Gibbs Racing (Home Depot). Gibbs and Ganassi could not be reached for comment Tuesday(Indianapolis Star)(5-2-2001)
    UPDATE 4: Tony Stewart said Thursday he still does not have a contract to drive one of Chip Ganassi’s IRL cars in this month’s Indianapolis 500, although rumors continue to swirl that he has one. Stewart previously said he wanted the deal finalized before he went to Richmond, Va., for today’s stock-car qualifying. The 500 opens for practice Sunday. Ganassi has been pursuing Indy veterans to possibly replace his CART rookies, Nicolas Minassian and Bruno Junqueira. In Nazareth, Pa., where CART will race this weekend, Minassian said he would be disappointed if he’s replaced at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But he would abide by Ganassi’s wishes(Indianapolis Star)(5-4-2001)
  • TV at California: A NASCAR Winston Cup race on FOX Sports posted an overnight rating under 5.0 for the first time this season. Nonetheless, the 4.8 overnight for the race at California Speedway was up nearly 40 percent from last year and the small-market bump pushed the final national rating to 5.4 with a 14 share, keeping the string of 5m-plus household audiences intact through 10 races.(SpeedVision)(5-4-2001)
  • Foyt and Childress Team Up at Indy UPDATE: A.J. Foyt has taken on a partner for this year’s Indianapolis 500. NASCAR Winston Cup championship team owner Richard Childress is now the co-owner of the No. 41 Dallara/Oldsmobile Aurora Indy car to be driven by Robby Gordon in this year’s Indy 500. A.J. Foyt filed an entry change listing RCR Racing as the co-entrant (along with A.J. Foyt Racing) of Gordon’s car last Saturday. .I was talking to Richard at Talladega,. said Indy’s first four-time winning driver, .and asked him if he wanted to be my partner in the second car at Indy this year. Richard and I have been friends for many, many years and I know he has enjoyed coming to Indy in the past so I figured I.d give him a reason to come again. The difference is he.ll be a team owner this year. “Being involved in some way in the Indy 500 is something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Childress. “A.J. and I have been friends for a long time and there isn’t anyone else I’d rather be a co-owner with for that race. We have both been fortunate enough to get to Victory Lane at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and I think we have a real shot at getting there together this year with Robby, who is a very talented driver.” Childress was a frequent visitor to the Speedway in May during practice and Pole Day qualifying in the 1980’s. Childress won the Brickyard 400 in 1995 with the late Dale Earnhardt, who led the race’s final 28 laps. Foyt last visited Victory Lane at the Speedway in 1999 when Kenny Brack won the 500 in Foyt’s No. 14. Foyt’s last victory as a driver came in 1977 when he became the first man to win the race four times. Eliseo Salazar is driving Foyt’s famed No. 14 Harrah’s entry in this year’s 500. Salazar is currently second in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series standings(Foyt PR)(5-3-2001)
    UPDATE: A.J. Foyt announced that he will team up with his NASCAR marketing partner Conseco for the Indianapolis 500. Robby Gordon will pilot the #41 Conseco/Dallara-Aurora which is co-owned by Foyt and Richard Childress.(Foyt PR)(5-4-2001)
  • NASCAR meets with BGN drivers: NASCAR president Mike Helton met with drivers and car owners from the Grand National series Thursday night to speak of safety concerns raised by a number of media reports over the past week involving the death of Dale Earnhardt. The group left the infield of Richmond International Raceway about 6:20 p.m. in a caravan of vans to a location outside the track and returned at 7 p.m. The Grand National series held qualifying Thursday night in preparation for Friday night’s Hardee’s 250. (Matt Kenseth won the pole). Helton said Thursday night’s meeting was one of two planned for the weekend – a similar meeting will be conducted Friday morning with owners and drivers from the Winston Cup garage. “It was just a conversation with drivers and owners about the current headlines and our issues that we wanted to make sure they knew where we were coming from,” Helton said. “It wasn’t a conversation about us being in a (peeing) match with anybody and it wasn’t a conversation about down-playing anything. It was a very frank conversation between NASCAR and the core of the sport – the drivers and the owners – about where we stood and about why we were doing things the way we were doing them and did they have any questions. We owe them answers. That’s basically what it all boiled down to.” Jeff Green, last season’s Grand National series champion, called Thursday night’s meeting “very productive.”(That’s Racin’)(5-4-2001)
  • Nemechek and Jarrett: The Jarrett/Favre Driving Adventure announced that Joe Nemechek has joined its ranks. Nemechek and Dale Jarrett said the company’s focus is becoming the nation’s premier driving adventure company this year. Nemechek is taking a significant equity position in Jarrett/Favre and has signed a personal services contract with the company that allows the use of his likeness for endorsements as well as personal appearances. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.drivingadventure.com or call the company at 1-888-GO-RACE-1 (1-888-467-2231) with any questions(Williams Co PR)(5-4-2001)
  • NASCAR Lawyers meet with firefighter: NASCAR attorneys met Thursday with an Orange County firefighter who says the driver’s seat belt did not break during a crash at the Daytona 500. During a 75-minute meeting at the firehouse where he works, Tommy Propst continued to insist that he found Earnhardt’s seat belts intact after the #3 Chevy hit the concrete wall of Daytona International Speedway. “He was interrogated, and he told the exact same story he has always told,” said his attorney, Elizabeth Faiella of Winter Park. “They believe Tommy is telling the truth, but that he’s mistaken that the belt is not severed.” Controversy about the belt and whether it broke occupied NASCAR lawyers in Orlando and Daytona Beach on Thursday. While two interrogated Propst, another blocked an attempt by seat-belt maker Bill Simpson to win an apology from NASCAR officials he accuses of maligning his product.(Orlando Sentinel)(5-4-2001)


  • Ride the Rails…with Rusty: Rusty Wallace rode the rails from Charlotte to Richmond on Thursday as part of an Amtrak promotion. Amtrak unveiled plans for a “Monster Mile Express” — a special train to Dover, Del., on June 3. Instead of driving, fans can board the train in New York, Newark, Trenton, Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del., for the ride to the Winston Cup MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover Downs International Speedway. The Monster Mile Express, complete with race stripes and special fares for riders, is promised to be a “party on wheels,” according to the release from amtrak.com. “NASCAR and Amtrak have always been the fastest thing on the tracks,” Wallace was quoted as saying. “Now people can enjoy the speed and ease of both by riding the Monster Mile Express to Dover.” Amtrak claims fans can get to 32 of 38 Winston Cup races via train this season.(NASCAR.com Buzz), more info see the Amtrack Promotions section(5-3-2001)
  • Musgrave back in Cup? UPDATE: hearing Ted Musgrave, currently running the full 2001 CTS season for Ultra Motorsports will run a Dodge in some selected races during the year as a teammate to #7 Mike Wallace in Winston Cup, Wallace will supposedly stay in a Ford but the #7 could switch to a Dodge in 2002(3-29-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing the Ultra Motorsports team is going to run a second car at Indy in the Brickyard 400. Supposedly will use the #07 and Ted Musgrave supposedly will drive it, no idea on a sponsor or if it’ll be a Ford or Dodge(5-3-2001)
  • Yunick Sick: Legendary racing mechanic Henry “Smokey” Yunick was battling for his life April 30 at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. The 77-year-old Yunick was diagnosed with leukemia more than a year ago and had recently started a series of chemotherapy treatments. He was first admitted to the intensive care unit April 22 to fight off pneumonia. He stayed there for three days then was transferred to a private room, where a steady stream of friends and family came to visit(Winston Cup Scene – need subscrition to read online)(5-3-2001)
    Address: Halifax Medical Center 303 N. Clyde Morris Blvd. Daytona Beach, FL 32114
  • Lepage Signed? Kevin Lepage was scheduled to formally sign a contract with #4 Morgan-McClure Motorsports May 1, a development unaffected by his failure to qualify for the April 29 Napa Auto Parts 500(Winston Cup Scene – need subscrition to read online)(5-3-2001)
  • Johnson’s Plans UPDATE: Jimmie Johnson, who is scheduled to run for Winston Cup rookie of the year with Hendrick Motorsports in 2002, will hold off on the Cup series for now as he attempts to improve his BGN performance. Johnson will probably run four to six Cup races, but none before the August race at Michigan Speedway(Gaston Gazette)(2-9-2001)
    UPDATE: Initially, Johnson thought his debut might come at Michigan in August, but it now appears he’ll wait until the October event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. A tentative schedule he won’t divulge calls for at least four races with his future #48 team and possibly as many as seven(Winston Cup Scene – need subscrition to read online)(5-3-2001)
  • Simpson to meet with France and Helton on Thursday UPDATE 4 no meeting: Bill Simpson, founder and chairman of the company that made the seat belts in Dale Earnhardt’s race car, said Tuesday that he will ask NASCAR’s top two officials to issue a statement that the seatbelts in Earnhardt’s car had nothing to do with Earnhardt’s Feb. 18 death in the final lap of the Daytona 500. Simpson told ESPN’s Kelly Neal that he would make the request in a meeting he has scheduled for Thursday morning with NASCAR chairman Bill France Jr. and NASCAR president Mike Helton in Daytona Beach(full story at ESPN)(5-1-2001)
    UPDATE: Word on the street is that, in what appears to be a miscommunication, there will be no meeting Thursday morning between anyone at NASCAR and Bill Simpson of Simpson Racing Products. A spokesperson at Simpson’s office in Mooresville, NC, said she could not reach Simpson or his pilot but “NASCAR apparently had canceled the meeting.” A NASCAR spokesman said, “There never was a meeting — there is nothing on Bill, Jim or Mike’s calendars,” referring to NASCAR chairman of the board Bill France, NASCAR executive vice president/secretary Jim France or NASCAR president Mike Helton.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(5-2-2001)
    UPDATE 2: but the Orlando Sentinel is reporting: With a showdown meeting between Simpson and NASCAR chairman Bill France Jr. looming at 10:00am/et today in Daytona Beach, Simpson offered his version of events in the days after Earnhardt’s death during an interview with the Orlando Sentinel. Simpson wants to be exonerated by NASCAR, whose officials did not return repeated phone requests for comment
    UPDATE 3: Bill Simpson came to Florida on Thursday looking for an apology from NASCAR over remarks that the failure of one of his products may have been responsible for the death of Dale Earnhardt. Instead, he waited alone in NASCAR’s lobby for 15 minutes before being told that his lawyer didn’t want him to have any contact with NASCAR without legal representation.(That’s Racin’/AP)(5-3-2001)


  • Nemechek Racing Book for Kids: To be sure, NASCAR racing attracts all ages. The speeds and sounds can be unbelievably exciting for adults and chilcken alike. Enter, driver Joe Nemachek. A veteran of both the Winston Cup Series and Busch Grand National circuit, Nemechek is promoting a children’s book about NASCAR racing as seen through the eyes of his young son, John Hunter. “Racin’ Buddies,” which recently went into circulation, takes its readers on the road with Nemechek and John Hunter as they travel the racing circuit. “There are so many young race fans, we tbought this would be a fun thing to do for them,” said Nemecbek. “Peter Roe was an integral part of the book’s production. If it is well received, he and John Hunter will be back hard at wwk putting out the next racing adventure.” The thee characters who play the role of John Hunter’s Racin’ Buddies are Woohoo, Dangit’ and Otto Miway. Each character comes to life during the racing action and is appropriately named for the role they play. “Woohoo is the good guy whose name everyone shouts when they come in first”(Kermish Geylin PR), see the Joe Nemechek site to buy the book(5-2-2001)
  • Sponsors TV Exposure Value Way Up: The mid-term exposure report card for the Fox portion of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series broadcast season is out and the results are stellar. Through the first eight events of the season, sponsors have combined for some $880,000,000 of comparable exposure value, up a whopping 114% over the same time period in 2000. According to research conducted by Joyce Julius and Associates’ Sponsors Report – which specializes in documenting exposure received by corporate entities during national television broadcasts – the 409 sponsors monitored during the Fox coverage thus far have filled the screen with their logos for more than 57.5 hours, while also being mentioned on some 2,500 occasions. Exposure value is calculated by comparing the amount of time each sponsor appears clear and in-focus, as well as all mentions of sponsors, to the cost of purchasing a commercial during the network’s broadcast. See the full story at the Joyce Julius and Associates site: Sponsors Exposure Value Way Up During Fox NASCAR Broadcasts(5-2-2001)
  • Wind Tunnel: hearing that Ultra Motorsports has an intermediate #7 Ford at the wind tunnel at N.A.S.A.’s Langley Research Center located in Hampton, VA today(5-3-2001)


  • Earnhardt’s Seatbelt OK? UPDATE 2: Dale Earnhardt’s seat belt did not break during his fatal crash at the Daytona 500, according to one of the first rescuers to come to his aid. Tommy Propst, a veteran Orange County firefighter and emergency medical technician, said he found the NASCAR legend strapped inside his crumpled car in the infield of Daytona International Speedway. Propst said the seat belt was tight enough that he had to pull the seat-belt buckle repeatedly before it popped open. “Somebody hollered, ‘I’ll cut it.’ I said, ‘No, let me try it.’ I reached over, pulled, and I had to really jerk. I pulled hard, and that’s when it come open,” Propst told the Orlando Sentinel. “If it would have been broke, the whole thing would have come open because I was jerking. . . . It was in one piece at the time.” Propst’s account breaks two months of silence by the men and women who tried to save Earnhardt. To this day, Propst said, he has never been questioned by anyone from NASCAR. NASCAR officials Saturday refused to respond to Propst’s statements. See full story at the Orlando Sentinel: Rescuer: Earnhardt seat belt was intact and a 2nd story: Firefighter wrestled over whether to come forward
    UPDATE: The NASCAR Winston Cup series was racing in Fontana, Calif., where director Gary Nelson disagreed with Propst’s account. NASCAR has refused to display the seat belt and hasn’t said if the results of its own investigation by unidentified experts will be made public. The probe is expected to last throughout the summer. “I don’t know of anybody that does a big investigation and tells the world their conclusions on a daily basis until the investigation is concluded,” NASCAR chairman Bill France told the AP.(That’s Racin’/AP)(4-29-2001)
    UPDATE 2: better explainations at NASCAR.com: NASCAR disagrees with seat belt claim and That’s Racin’: Rescuer, NASCAR at odds on belt(4-30-2001)
    UPDATE 3: The woman who climbed into Dale Earnhardt’s car after his fatal crash at the Daytona 500 said Monday that she was too busy trying to save him to tell whether the seat belt was broken. But Patti Dobler, a member of the rescue crew at Daytona International Speedway, said the man with the best view was Orange County firefighter Tommy Propst, who continued to insist Monday that Earnhardt’s five-point safety harness was intact after Earnhardt’s Chevrolet hit the track wall(full story at the Orlando Sentinel)(5-1-2001)
  • Lazarro to run Cup races: After a sudden cease in operations for Cal Well’s PPI Racing BGN #97 Team, half way through the 2000 season, former Toyota Atlantic Champion Driver Anthony Lazzaro, didn’t know whether or not he’d ever get the chance to compete in the NASCAR ranks again. In no more than half a season, Lazzaro was able to make the Busch field for 10 of the 13 races, his PPI Racing Team qualified for. But unfortunately, PPI had other plans for their newly acquired NASCAR operations. So Lazarro chose to sharpen his skills throughout the remainder of the 2000 season competing in the ALMS series. Late last summer, Asheville, NC, based TWC Motorsport, Ltd., Inc., owned by Tom Coleman, who’s team has over 15 years of experience in SCCA, ALMS, USAC, IMSA, Grand-Am and Trans-Am, decided to test Lazzaro in their Trans-Am car with hopes of landing a sponsor for the 2001 Trans-Am Season. But, as the motorsport’s gods would have it, the sponsorship deals began to unravel. And although Coleman and Lazzaro continued to talk, the hopes of finding funding to join TWC’s expertise and Anthony Lazzaro’s experience began to fade. That is until this spring when Dave Marcis, long time Winston Cup driver and team owner of the #71-RealTree Racing Team Chevy, based out of Arden, NC, offered Coleman the opportunity to purchase one of his 2001 Winston Cup Chevys. This was the opportunity Coleman had been considering for years. “When we tested Anthony and Ron Fellows last Fall, there was no doubt in my mind Anthony could drive,” Coleman said, “we just had to find the right deal at the right time. Anthony is fast, technically in tune with the racecar and has the experience and the desire to be a winner. Just look at his record and you’ll see…this guy’s the real deal.” The TWC Motorsport, Ltd., Inc., NASCAR Winston Cup Chevrolet Monte Carlo will make its debut at both Sears Point and Watkins Glen this season. Lazzaro, who has won in everything he’s run from WKA, Formula Fords, and including winning the 1999 Toyota Atlantic Championship, will bring his over 14 years of road course racing experience, to the two tracks he has had success with in the past as well. “I am excited to have the opportunity to get back into NASCAR again,” Lazzaro said, “and I couldn’t ask for a better team than TWC Motorsport, Ltd., Inc. I’ve known Tom (Coleman) for quite some time and he’s always got the best equipment and a great crew. I won’t sugar coat this…it isn’t going to be easy; NASCAR is the premier series in North America. Qualifying for any race in Winston Cup is an enormous hurdle in itself. But once we finish testing, we’ll have the information we need to make sure this car’s ready for the big leagues. And if we can just make the field in both events, I see no reason why we can’t compete nose-to-nose with those guys at Sears Point and Watkins Glen.” Look for the #68 Chevrolet Monte Carlo during both races this season. Future plans also include running a limited NASCAR schedule next year with the hopes of competing full time in 2003 and beyond(TWC Motorsport PR)(5-1-2001)
  • Eel River Racing – dead or alive? which is it? UPDATE 3 At Richmond with Geico not to be confused with gecko:
    from NASCAR.com’s Buzz: Kenny Wallace’s Pontiac will carry the logo of FX’s “The Man Show” this weekend(actually Comedy Central’s The Man Show). Wallace is still seeking primary sponsorship for his Pontiac, but said Wednesday that NASCAR might change its mind on the Crown Royal issue and allow him to sign on with the Seagram Company after all. Earlier this season, Crown Royal was set to hand Wallace and his Eel River Racing cohorts a multi-million dollar sponsorship, but NASCAR shot it down. They may have reconsidered……and…..
    from That’s Racin’: It’s possible that Sunday’s race could be the end of the line for Eel River Racing, the team that fields the #27 Pontiacs for driver Kenny Wallace. The team has not decided if it will be in Richmond next weekend. It has been running without a sponsor so far this season. Wallace did not make the field last weekend at Talladega.
    AND some rumors even have Wallace going to the #4 Kodak Chevy starting at Richmond and that is why the announcement of Kevin Lepage’s signing with the #4 Morgan-McClure team was postponed. But sources say it’s a done deal with Lepage and testing and travel is the reason for the delay
    UPDATE: Hounded by reports this weekend his Eel River Racing team was close to shutting its doors following this weekend’s race at California, driver Kenny Wallace said Sunday he was told by the team’s vice president that the reports were not accurate. “I talked to (team vice president) Devin Birmingham and he said it’s not true,” Wallace said. “He said we’re still scrappin’ and clawin’. I told him I needed to know what was up, because I’m his driver and I got everybody telling me we’re closing up. As of now, he says no,” Wallace said. “I guess if we don’t show up at Richmond next week, we closed up. There’s no announcement. I’m as confused as anybody right now.”(That’s Racin’)(4-29-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Kenny Wallace says his Eel River Racing Team might sit out this weekend at Richmond if a sponsorship deal is not signed. Wallace says that at a rate of $200,000 a race, the team’s budget is being stretched. Wallace is grateful for the support owner Jack Birmingham has offered and would like to continue with the team, but Wallace might be in consideration to get the No. 4 Morgan-McClure car, which is being driven by Kevin Lepage on an interim basis(Sporting NewsAND The demands of running the circuit without sponsorship finally caught up with Kenny Wallace and Barry Dodson. Wallace announced on Sunday that the Eel River team, owned by Jack Birmingham and Dodson, would not be competing next week at Richmond, Va.(Gaston Gazette)(4-30-2001)
    UPDATE 3: “We are very pleased to have 1-800-Geico on as a sponsor with us at Richmond, they came out of the woodwork to save ERR from possibly making a very hard decision this weekend. We will give them something to be proud about.”(Kenny Wallace Racing SiteAND ESPN2’s RPM 2Night interviewed Wallace who says the Geico deal could turn into a full season sponsor if things work out well at Richmond(5-1-2001)
  • Burton’s Safety Equipment Seized: NASCAR officials confiscated the helmet and head restraint worn by driver Ward Burton, who was hospitalized Sunday after a crash at the California Speedway. Burton suffered a concussion and strained tendons in his neck when he hit the concrete wall during the NAPA 500 at Fontana, Calif. He remained hospitalized late Monday at Loma Linda University Medical Center, and his status for Sunday’s race in Richmond remains questionable. Burton was wearing a new head-and-neck restraint designed to slow the forward motion of a driver’s head in a wreck. But some drivers and teams on Monday questioned how well the device performed. Racing safety architect Bill Simpson designed the new restraint and began giving it away at last week’s Winston Cup race in Talladega, Ala. A handful of drivers wore the device during Sunday’s race in Fontana, according to Simpson representatives. Burton’s wreck was the first on-track test of the restraint. One source told The Charlotte Observer that Burton’s head moved forward enough that he hit his chin on something in the car. Monday, several drivers phoned Simpson’s company with questions. Some wondered whether the device contributed to Burton’s injuries or whether it saved his life. Simpson said he couldn’t draw definite conclusions until he studies Burton’s restraint, but he said the device showed promise in a sled crash test. Winston Cup Series Director Gary Nelson, who picked up Burton’s helmet and restraint Monday, was unavailable for comment as he travelled back to NASCAR headquarters in Daytona Beach. It is unclear whether NASCAR will return the restraint to Simpson for research.(That’s Racin’)(5-1-2001)
  • Not Cup but…..Race Car Shot: here is an odd story – The Douglas County(Georgia) Sheriff’s Department is trying to determine whether someone shot at a race driver during the running of a race at Seven Flags Speedway on Saturday night. Chief Deputy Stan Copeland said officers are studying videotape and talking to witnesses to see when the Modified Ministock car driven by Craig Scott was hit by gunfire. Copeland said there was one bullet hole in the left side of the car, behind the driver’s door. Investigators said that if the car was hit during the race, the bullet could have come from the pit area or outside the track(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(5-1-2001)