Skip to content
Jayski LogoJayski Logo

May 2002 News Archives


 

  • (5-31-2002)

  • Sad News: “Uncle Bob” Harmon, founder of the All Pro Super Series in 1980, and one of the greatest short track racing promoters in America, lost his three month battle with lung cancer Thursday afternoon ending a 52-year auto racing career. Harmon, one of the last barnstorming racing promoters, was born in Ensley, Al., Sept 18 1932 later moving to Prattville, Al. in the 50’s. Harmon promoted late model short track racing throughout the south and was the founder of the famous All American 400 late model event held at the Nashville, TN fairground for 19 years. This event attracted drivers from across the United States and Canada. Harmon was proud of the fact that his “Unofficial” Board of Advisors, when he started his racing series, consisted of the Alabama Gang of Bobby and Donnie Allison, the late Neil Bonnet and Red Farmer. Many other notable drivers, who went on to compete with the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, raced with Harmon including David Pearson, Bill Elliott, Harry Gant, Kenny Schrader, Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, the late Butch Lindley and others. In 1990 NASCAR bought the All Pro Series which today is known as the Hills Bros. All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring. Visitation has been set for Monday, June 3, from 6:00 – 9:00 pm at the Prattville Memorial Chapel Funeral Home in Prattville, Al. Graveside services will be Tuesday in Booth, Al.(Fairgrounds Speedway)(5-31-2002)
  • Bobby Labonte Responds To Rumors Of Accident: Rumors of an accident and/or the possible death of 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Bobby Labonte are completely and totally false. Earlier Thursday, reports of Labonte being involved in some sort of accident were being spread nationwide. Contrary to these reports, Labonte has spent the entire week close to his family’s side following the untimely death of his father-in-law this past Sunday. In addition, Labonte spent Thursday with his son for an end of the school year party when the rumors started to circulate. Needless to say, it has already been an emotional week for he and his family and this has just compounded an already fragile situation.
    “To hear these rumors floating out there today is very unnerving,” said Labonte. “I am very upset and disappointed to see this happen again. It has been a very emotional week for my family with the passing of Donna’s father and to think someone could start a rumor like this is just tasteless. I am not really sure how to respond to be honest except to say this makes me very angry. I would think someone would want to have all the correct information before either reporting it or saying anything to anyone else and contributing to the ‘rumor mill,’ but I guess we don’t live in that type of society anymore. Everyone just wants to be the first to report something no matter if there is truth to it or not.”
    When asked if he knew how it might have gotten started, Labonte responded, “No, I have no idea. We went through this same thing last year during the California race weekend and unfortunately we never really figured out how that got started either. It’s just a shame people are not more considerate. When there’s a rumor like that out there, I would think that you would want to call the proper people who would have reliable information and get some type of verification, but that never seems to happen anymore. Now it’s just gets so spread out it becomes a big catastrophe I guess you might say. It’s very sad and disturbing and it has not made the week any easier for my family.”(Joe Gibbs Racing PR), NOTE: no idea what site posted this rumor or why they did.(5-31-2002)
  • New restraint devices on market: The two companies that provide the head-and-neck restraint devices used in NASCAR’s top divisions have new models on the market. Trevor Ashline, the engineer who invented the head-and-neck restraint known as the Hutchens device, is putting the finishing touches on a new model called the D-Cel Harness. Ashline has tested the device in simulated crashes, and several drivers have tried it in test sessions that were not part of a regular racing event. The new restraint differs in that the straps pull more from the driver’s pelvis, and there are fewer adjustments needed once the driver puts the device on. The D-Cel, which is recommended for sprint car and go-kart drivers, will sell for $400, while the Hutchens is $325. NASCAR has not yet approved the D-Cel for use in competition. The makers of the HANS device also have a new model out. It is almost identical to the device now in use, except that is costs less and weighs more. The newer model costs $975 versus $1,275, but is heavier because the materials used to build it are less expensive. Both HANS devices are legal for use in NASCAR.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(5-31-2002)
  • Hawk and PPI: Expanding their services provided, Hawk Sports Management is pleased to announce an agreement with Procter & Gamble (Tide Brand), PPI Motorsports and Ricky Craven to become the administrator of the Team 32’s licensing program. Effective immediately, Hawk Sports Management will be coordinating licensing efforts with existing licensees, working out details with pending programs and seeking out new opportunities. Don Hawk, President of Hawk Sports Management reflects on the addition. “We will provide a “one-stop shop” facility for current and interested licensees. We are focusing on streamlining the licensing and approval process to help facilitate product offerings; thereby, providing a focal point for the three entities, which we call Team 32.” Hawk, well known in the NASCAR world due to his past relationship with Alan Kulwicki and Dale Earnhardt, continues, “Through licensing efforts we will be able to enhance Team 32’s objective of building fan awareness and support.” Craven expressed his satisfaction, “Don and I hooked up some 18 months ago and the relationship has been comfortable and rewarding. I am truly looking forward to this expansion of his services.” “Certainly Don Hawk has been a premier name for representation of drivers and sponsors in this sport, and we are very fortunate to have him on our team from this point on. The wealth of experience that he brings to the table will enable the Tide Brand and Ricky Craven to continue to get the recognition they deserve,” comments PPI team owner Cal Wells. Hawk Sports Management provides consultative services in the area of sponsorship programs, endorsements, licensing, sport celebrity appearances and marketing concepts to a diverse client base. The company, formed in 1998, counsels entities involved in the well-known NASCAR auto racing circle as well as the PGA Tour. Further expansion is anticipated in other sports arenas.(PPI PR)(5-31-2002)
  • #68 Team Changes Focus UPDATE: The #68-TWC Motorsport team, owned by Tom Coleman, will be taking their new Winston Cup equipment to the ARCA Re/Max Series this season. The team has been unable to secure necessary funding to compete in the Winston Cup Series. Austin Cameron will drive the #68 Chevrolet in four ARCA races at Kansas, at Kentucky, Chicagoland, and the season finale on at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Austin Cameron currently competes in the NASCAR Winston West Series where he leads the point standings after winning two out of the first three events so far in 2002.(StockCarScene)(5-14-2002)
    UPDATE – ARCA team with Cup hopes forming: TWC Motorsports, based in Asheville, N.C., is testing 25-year-old driver Austin Cameron in four ARCA series events this season in preparation for a move to the Winston Cup series next season. Cameron, the current points leader in the Winston West series, is entered in Saturday’s ARCA race at Kansas Speedway; as well as July 12 at Kentucky; Sept. 7 at Chicagoland; and Oct. 9 at Charlotte. “ARCA has become a testing ground for all major NASCAR Winston Cup teams, and that is the way weare approaching this season,” said team owner Tom Coleman.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-31-2002)
  • new UPS Commercial: Kermit the Frog and the ever-glamorous Miss Piggy join the growing list of celebrities urging Dale Jarrett to race the truck as UPS unveils its most recent “We want to Race the Truck” commercial during the MNBA Platinum 400 in Dover, Del. this Sunday (FX 12:00 PM ET). The new spot opens with both Muppets poolside. With Miss Piggy sprawling on a chase-lounge, Kermit – the ever demure and kind-hearted frog – reasons with Dale to race the truck. “Dale, I know it’s not easy being you and I sure don’t want to tell you what to do,” begins Kermit. Meanwhile, Piggy mocks his approach upstaging the frog with melodramatic comments like, “Oh brother,” and “You’re blowing it.” Eventually, fed up with the “nice guy/frog,” attitude she bounces off the lounge, plows Kermit (mid-sentence) into the pool and bellows a final demand to the camera, “Race the truck, Jarrett.”(PR)(5-31-2002)
  • LaJoie to run some Cup races UPDATE 2: BGN driver Randy LaJoie and his BGN team owner [#7 Chevy], Ed Evans, are talking to a potential sponsor about moving up to run four or five Cup races later this season. “I’m not going to go just to ride around,” he says. “I want to go and be competitive. Like when those Cup guys come over here and kick our butt? I want to go over there and kick theirs.” LaJoie, 40, won back-to-back BGN titles in 1996 and 1997. In the past few years, he has turned down several offers to move up to Winston Cup; one would have paid him four times more than he’s making now. LaJoie says the extra money isn’t worth the additional sponsorship, media and testing hassles that would come along with it. He has several friends in Winston Cup and can’t believe how much family time they miss. “I can’t put a price tag on that,” he says. “It kind of cracks me up when you listen to all these (drivers) that are mid-40s now. I think they finally realized that they had kids. By then their kids are teenagers, you know? To me, I’ve had so much fun watching my 6-year-old get his first basket in basketball, my 8-year-old getting a hit in baseball. I can’t replace that.” LaJoie turned down one particularly enticing offer a few years ago after one of his sons asked him why he’d want a job that would take him away from home more often; didn’t he already make enough money? “He’d better not get mad at me when he goes to a state college instead of Duke,” LaJoie jokes.(more at USA Today)(3-21-2002)
    UPDATE – LaJoie to Cup? Randy LaJoie’s BGN [#7] team could be moving up next season, team owner Ed Evans said Saturday. LaJoie, the 1996 and 1997 Busch Series champion, stands fourth in the points heading into Saturday’s race. “We believe we’ve got a premier Busch team,” Evans said. “Our standing in the points would indicate that we’re doing things the way we expect to do them right now. We would like to get up to Cup at some point in time. “While saying that, we’re still very committed to Busch and to Kimberly-Clark, and we’re not going to do anything to jeopardize this program or our run for the championship this year. We’ve got a pretty good shot at it. We’re having ongoing discussions. There hasn’t really been any news to report at this point. As we get closer to the fall, we’ll have a little bit more to talk about.”(RacingOne)(5-26-2002)
    UPDATE 2: maybe the team will move to Cup, but LaJoie said during a FSN Totally NASCAR interview that full time Winston Cup “is not for me”.(5-31-2002)


    (5-30-2002)

  • New Book: Race With Destiny by David Poole (of ThatsRacin.com). The book is about one of the most significant junctures in NASCAR history — the final race of the 1992 season. Richard Petty retired, Jeff Gordon came into Winston Cup and Alan Kulwicki won the championship. Poole, one of the top writers in motorsports, does an especially good job covering the rise of Kulwicki — a bright, young independent racer — and his tragic death in a plane crash the year after he captured the title.(Tennessean), for more info on Racing Books/CD’s etc, see my Racing Bookstore page.(5-30-2002)
  • Gordon to run 200th scheme ar Dover: DuPont headquarters are located in nearby Wilmington, DE, and in honor of the company’s 200th anniversary, Gordon will be driving a celebratory paint scheme that signifies DuPont as a leader in science for 200 years. It is the same paint scheme that the #24 team debuted earlier this season during Daytona Speedweeks.(Jeff Gordon Site)(5-30-2002)
  • Stewart does nice for Berggren UPDATE: during FX’s coverage of Cup Happy Hour, Matt Yocum was interviewing Tony Stewart and Stewart announced that he would fly Dr Dick Berggren (Fox pit reporter, publisher of Speedway Illustrated and former sprint car racer) in his private jet to the Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa on June 1st when Berggren will be inducted into the The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, joining the class of 2002. Berggren joins other inductees: Lloyd Beckman; Maynard “Hungry” Clark; Jack Hewitt; Jim McElreath; Everett Saylor; Larry “Smokey” Snellbaker; John Bagley; Galen Fox; Ralph “Speedy” Helm; Sam Traylor; J. Gordon Betz; and Joe Scalzo. Berggren teared up and said it was a spectacular birthday present he could hope for, his birthday is on Monday.(5-25-2002)
    UPDATE: Ever heard Tony Stewart called an ‘angel’? This past Saturday afternoon, Tony Stewart and the FOX Sports team proved that they are indeed angels, as they will be providing the wings for pit reporter Dick Berggren to attend his induction this Saturday afternoon into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa, from the NASCAR Busch Series race in Dover, Del.. Another angel in the wings is Jim Mills of Turbines, Inc., who is flying fellow inductee Jack Hewitt in-and-out of Knoxville so that Jack doesn’t miss Saturday night’s United States Auto Club (USAC) Silver Crown race in Terre Haute, Ind. Berggren, founder of the long-running Open Wheel magazine and current executive editor of Speedway Illustrated, was surprised on-camera Saturday afternoon at Charlotte when fellow NASCAR on FOX pit reporter Matt Yocum and former USAC sprint car champion Tony Stewart started talking about Dick’s upcoming induction into the Knoxville-based Hall of Fame. He was further floored when Tony committed to loaning him his plane for this weekend, and Matt committed to working with Steve Byrnes and getting by without Berggren this Saturday at Dover. Other behind-the-scenes ‘angels’ at FOX Sports are pit producer Pam Miller, main producer Neil Goldberg, and executive producer Richie “Z” Zyontz. Interestingly, Tony Stewart will be honored at Knoxville on Wednesday, August 7, during the Mopar Parts Knoxville Sprint Car Nationals as he and his Jimmy Carr-led WoO team will receive their 2001 National Sprint Car Poll “Team of the Year” awards from the.museum for their World of Outlaws (WoO) title-winning efforts last season with driver Danny Lasoski. Hewitt, one of the most versatile sprint car racing veterans to ever don a helmet, is being flown to Knoxville by his angelic friend Jim Mills of Turbines, Inc.. “Dew It Hewitt” will be inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame on Saturday afternoon on the second floor of the non-profit museum, and then he will be flown immediately to that evening’s USAC Silver Crown race at the Action Track in Terre Haute.(sprintcarhof.com PR)(5-30-2002)
  • RCR Crew Swap? UPDATE 2 Yes and Chocolate too: hearing rumors that the #29 and #31 Richard Childress Racing teams could swap crews in order to try to turn around their season.(5-22-2002)
    UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing (RCR) crew chief Kevin Hamlin and many current members of the #29 Goodwrench Service NASCAR Winston Cup team will swap places with fellow RCR crew chief Gil Martin and many current members of the #31 Cingular Wireless team starting at next weekend’s Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway. In essence, Hamlin and his group will become the Cingular Wireless crew for driver Robby Gordon while Martin and his group will become the GM Goodwrench Service crew for driver Kevin Harvick. “We’re making this move to help the GM Goodwrench Service and Cingular Wireless teams and all of RCR,” said Richard Childress, President and CEO of Richard Childress Racing Enterprises, Inc. “The results of our performances this season have not been up to expectations. Jeff Green and the America Online team have had the best results so far and are showing a lot of promise for the second half of the year so we’re not going to change what they have been building on. But the 29 and 31 teams are down enough in the points right now that it makes the most sense to make some changes between the two. Kevin (Hamlin), Gil and all of the guys in the shop haven’t forgotten how to build and prepare race cars and Kevin (Harvick) and Robby still know how to win races so it’s just a matter of getting the right people in the right places. We’ve made changes like this before and it’s worked out and we’re confident that it will again.” Hamlin is actually moving back to where he began at RCR. He was the #31 team’s crew chief during its inaugural NASCAR Winston Cup season in 1997 until midway through the 1998 season when he swapped places with former RCR crew chief Larry McReynolds.(RCR Racing Site)(5-29-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Danny “Chocolate” Myers, the well-known gasman during all six of the late Dale Earnhardt’s Winston Cup championships with Richard Childress Racing, will fuel the #29 Chevrolet for the final time this weekend at Dover before moving to RCR’s #31 team. RCR announced on Wednesday the crew chiefs and crews would swap between the No. 29 and 31 teams beginning next weekend at Pocono. “Richard (Childress) let me have the choice of staying with the 29 team and I would love to but, on the other hand, I’ve worked with that group of guys moving to the 31 team for so long and so well that I don’t want to break up that deal,” Myers said. “I’ve been at Richard Childress Racing for nearly 20 years and I feel like there are a lot of younger guys coming in that look up to me because I’ve been doing this for so long. By making this change and not having a problem with it, it should give the other guys reason to be able to do the same thing.”(ThatsRacin.com)(5-30-2002)
  • Martin to test at Chicago: #6-Mark Martin will be taking part in a test session on Wednesday June 5th with Roush Racing in preparation for the July 14th NASCAR Winston Cup Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. This test session is not open to the general public.(Chicagoland PR)(5-30-2002)
  • Sadler in a Music Video: Elliott Sadler, driver of the #21 Motorcraft Racing Ford has a role in the video of country music star Blake Shelton’s new song “Ol’ Red” that hit the market and skyrocketed to #1 earlier this month. Sadler plays Shelton’s brother in the video. The two met in Atlanta where Shelton opened a Hank Williams, Jr. concert.(see full story and quotes at: Ford Racing)(5-30-2002)
  • New Roush Headquarters: Roush Racing is expected to open its new state-of-the-art world headquarters in early 2003. The three story, 83,000 square foot building will be located in Concord, N.C., on 25 acres near the Concord Regional Airport. The new corporate headquarters will consolidate several buildings and over 100 employees, currently located throughout North Carolina. The building will house departments such as sponsor operations, licensing, show car and event operations, the business office and internet marketing. JR’s Garage and Team Caliber, the collectibles and merchandising arms of Roush Racing, will also move its warehouse and distribution center to the new location. The structure will have several sustainable building systems including solar shades on southern exposure to reduce solar heat gain and glare, reducing the amount of artificial building cooling required and a system for capturing and containing rain water run off for landscape irrigation reducing the need for potable water.(Roush Racing PR)(5-30-2002)
  • Philip Morris Sells Miller Brewing: South African Breweries will buy Miller Brewing in a $3.6 billion stock deal that will make it the world’s second-largest brewer. The new company will be called SABMiller PLC and will compete in the U.S. market with Anheuser-Busch, the world’s largest brewer, SAB announced Thursday. Miller spokesman Michael Brophy said the acquisition would not lead to any job cuts at Miller’s seven U.S. breweries. SAB is the world’s fourth-largest brewer by volume, after Anheuser-Busch, Belgium’s Interbrew and Heineken of the Netherlands, according to British beverage consultancy Canadean. Miller ranks sixth. The deal is expected to close as early as July, pending shareholder and regulatory approval, South African Breweries said. SAB has agreed to buy a 64% stake in Miller for $3.6 billion in stock and assume $2 billion in Miller debt. Miller’s parent company, Philip Morris, would initially keep 36%. The Miller deal marks a major step in SAB’s strategy of expanding largely through acquisitions to become a top player in the consolidating global beer business. SABMiller would be headquartered in London, with Miller’s Milwaukee headquarters acting as a subsidiary, said Brophy. Philip Morris has wanted to sell its beer business because Miller has lost market share over the past decade, analysts said. Camilleri told industry analysts last fall that the tobacco and food giant’s beer business has continued to face challenges. Profits have dropped as sales declined and advertising costs increased for Miller’s strongest brands, such as Miller Lite and Miller Genuine Draft. For SAB, the deal would provide a major base in the United States and reduce its dependency on earnings made in the rand, the weak South African currency. Miller was founded in 1855 in Milwaukee, a city renowned for its breweries.(USA Today), no idea how this effects the sponsorship of the #2 Penske Racing Ford and driver Rusty Wallace(5-30-2002)
  • Double Duty at Dover: Ken Schrader will attempt to pull off double duty for the fifth time this season at Dover this weekend. In addition to his regular duties as the driver of the No. 36 Pontiac, Schrader plans to run the #52 Schrader Racing entry in the Truck Series race Friday afternoon. Schrader will attempt to run double duty five more times this season.(Daytona Beach News JournalAND
    other double duty drivers at Dover:
    Cup and BGN: Jimmy Spencer (#41 Cup, #1 BGN); Jeff Green (#30, #21); Tony Raines (#73, #33); Stacy Compton (#14, #59); Joe Nemechek (#25, #87); Todd Bodine (#26, #92).
    Cup and CTS: Schrader (#36 Cup and #52 CTS); Carl Long (#85 and #?)
    BGN and CTS: Lance Hooper (#89 BGN, #5 CTS); and Phil Bonifield (#90, #23).(5-30-2002)
  • Wallace’s Son Spots for him at Lowes: Greg Wallace, Rusty’s 22-yr.-old son, served as chief spotter in Sunday night’s race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. With Earl Barban called back to jacking duty and Dave Kenny on vacation, Rusty chose Greg to provide the second pair of eyes. “Greg did a tremendous job and was a big help,” Rusty said after the race. “I had him up there and (Tom) Polansky as a backup and they were a helluva’ team.” Greg graduated from college (Hampden-Sydney) a couple of weeks back. He is racing late models on a limited basis and raced at Greenville-Pickens on Saturday night. He will also be working with a Charlotte area law firm during the summer and plans on entering law school next year.(Tom Roberts PR)(5-30-2002)
  • Gibbs Racing and Chevy – more: Despite reports a decision has already been made, Joe Gibbs insists he has not yet decided whether his two-car Winston Cup team will field Pontiacs or Chevrolets in 2003. Joe Gibbs Racing has been instrumental in construction of a new Grand Prix, which was recently submitted to NASCAR for approval. A source indicated that smooth sailing during the approval process could keep the team in Pontiacs next year. But if the car requires major tweaking, Gibbs could decide to go to the proven Monte Carlo, which may undergo minor modifications of its own prior to next season.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read), see my #20 Team News and Links Page for past rumors/news.(5-30-2002)
  • Coca Cola 600 TV Ratings UPDATE: The overnight ratings from the Winston Cup race at Charlotte show a 4.8 rating and 10 share. This is down 2% from last year’s race in the overnights (4.9/10). However, expect a solid small market bump when Thursday’s final numbers come out, probably a 5.3 or 5.4. Last year’s race finished with a 5.3 rating and 11 share.(MotorsportsTV.com)(5-29-2002)
    UPDATE: It wasn’t the small market bump that Fox was looking for, but the Coca-Cola 600 did a 5.1 rating and a 11 share, up from a 4.8 overnight. That’s down 4 percent from last year’s performance of a 5.3 rating and 11 share. However, the race powered Fox to a first place finish that night in total prime time ratings among adults 18-49, with a 3.7 rating in that group.(MotorsportsTV)(5-30-2002)
  • #90 Driver at Dover? UPDATE 2: Junie Donlavey hasn’t decided who is driving his car [#90 Dukes Mayo Ford] at Dover next weekend. Rick Mast will miss another week of action while continuing to take medical tests to determine the cause of his recent fatigue and weight loss. Donlavey is meeting with sponsor representatives tomorrow to determine the driver for Sunday’s event.(Richmond Times Dispatch). Hermie Sadler finished 29th after starting 41st at Lowes.(5-27-2002)
    UPDATE: being told Hermie Sadler will be in the #90 Ford at Dover and the following weekend at Pocono.(5-28-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Hermie Sadler will drive the #90 Donlavey Racing Ford in the MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover International Speedway this Sunday and in the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 9. Sadler finished 29th in the Coca-Cola Racing Family 600 in his first assignment for Donlavey Racing this past Sunday. Sadler is temporarily spelling Rick Mast, who is ill. Sadler is the 72nd driver to have qualified for a Winston Cup event for legendary team owner Junie Donlavey.(Keystone Marketing PR)(5-30-2002)
  • TRAC and Nashville – Fairgrounds Speedway? First-year Fairgrounds Speedway president Dennis Grau is exploring the possibility of hosting a Team Racing Auto Circuit (TRAC) race next year. That would necessitate expanding seating capacity to 40,000. Nashville Superspeedway has 25,000 permanent seats. The number of temporary seats fluctuates from race to race. Dover Motorsports, the track’s parent company, does not release attendance figures, but crowd estimates at the Superspeedway’s various races so far have ranged from 45,000 for last year’s inaugural Busch Series event to 15,000 for a Craftsman Truck Series race. Grau said Fairgrounds Speedway seats 15,688, and TRAC requires a minimum of 40,000 seats for one of its events. Grau said additional seats can be installed to meet that requirement if the track gets a race. If Fairgrounds Speedway expanded to 40,000 it could surpass Nashville Superspeedway’s seating, depending on how many temporary seats are in place at any given time. TRAC official Charlie Jeter said the association hopes to place one of its 10 teams in Nashville, and said he ”is very interested” in Fairgrounds Speedway as a potential racing site. The new league has already secured the use of some of the nation’s top tracks: Las Vegas, Atlanta, Bristol, Texas and Lowe’s (Charlotte).(Tennessean)(5-30-2002)
  • Kenseth and Phones: PTN MEDIA, INC.announced that it has entered into an agreement with driver Matt Kenseth, to develop branded mobile phones, face plates and subscription services including Kenseth news and games delivered to mobile phones. Kenseth drives the #17 Ford which is owned by Roush Racing. The primary sponsor of his Ford Taurus is DeWalt Tools. The agreement calls for the creation of Matt Kenseth branded mobile phone handsets, phone covers as well as a subscription service which may include premium content, games, and ring tones. Subscribers to premium services will be able to receive daily messages from him on a variety of subjects such as qualifying, race results and fan club information. Additionally, subscribers will be able to use their phones to receive special communications prior to a race or personal appearance.(Business Wire)(5-30-2002)
  • Winner of the Charity Ride Robert “Bob” M. Felts Jr. has always followed the Petty family, off and on the track. A month from today, Felts will be following Richard Petty and Kyle Petty on the final leg of this year’s Charity Ride with a wonderful view from a touri ng sidecar of a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle. Felts’ winning bid of $3,550 goes to the Victory Junction Gang Camp, a camp to be built on 62 acres in Randleman, N.C. An employee of the Harley-Davidson Test Facility in Talladega will drive Felts on the final leg from Hot Springs, Va., to Trinity, N.C. on June 30. Talladega Superspeedway will pay all expenses for Felts and the Harley-Davidson employee, including roundtrip airfare, lodging and meals plus all expenses relating to the Charity Ride.. In all, there were 28 bids for the Charity Ride spot. All 200 slots for the Ride have been filled. NASCAR stars Kyle Petty, Richard Petty, Steve Park, Ken Schrader, Jeff Green and Matt Kenseth plan to make the Ride.(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(5-30-2002)
  • Seat Company Signs Deal: Toronto’s Globe & Mail newspaper is reporting that NASCAR has signed a two-year licensing deal with Toronto-based back rest maker Obus Forme, according to today’s Sports Business Daily. Obus Forme paid about $200,000 for the NASCAR mark, as well as for the signature and car number of four drivers — Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart. Obus Forme will also pay NASCAR a royalty of 10 to 12 percent of sales. The standard driver’s seat model retails in Canada for C$44 (about $29 in U.S. currency), while the deluxe model, with heat and massage features, sells for C$90 (about $59).(Winston Cup Scene Newsletter)(5-30-2002)
  • Nemechek to be honored at a school: Joe Nemechek will be honored at the Milford Public Library in Milford, Delaware tomorrow as he kicks off the library’s “Summer Reading 2002” program. Mayor Ronnie Rogers will be on hand to present Nemechek with the key to the city. Nemechek, who will be in town for the Cup and BGN races at Dover International Speedway, first visited the library during race weekend last September. During that visit, he autographed copies of his book “Racin Buddies,” a book written with Peter Roe and Nemechek’s young son John Hunter about traveling the racing circuit. The overwhelming response from the town prompted the return visit. “We are so pleased to have Joe Nemechek visit our library again,” said Director Kay Hudson. “He’ll be here to help kick off our Summer Reading Program themed ‘Join the Winner’s Circle – Read!’ Joe’s visit in September was a great hit with everyone. Milford has adopted him!” The summer reading program is an annual reading incentive that runs throughout the summer months encouraging children of all ages to read. Children reading ten or more books receive special awards including a certificate from Delaware’s Governor Minner. Nemechek will sign autographs tomorrow from 4:00-6:00pm/et at the Milford Public Library located at 11 S.E. Front Street, Milford Delaware. The Cellular One Showcar will also be on location from 3:00-6:00pm.(NEMCO Motorsports)(5-30-2002)
  • Republicans visit Richard Petty Driving Experience at LVMS: U.S. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nevada, brought his Battle Born Classic fundraiser to the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Las Vegas Motor Speedway today. Ensign is chairman of the Battle Born PAC (political action committee) and his decision to add a 160-mph racing experience to the golf tournament and reception was a popular one, especially with Congressman Jim Talent, R-Missouri. “That was cool — really neat,” exclaimed Talent, who is challenging for a U.S. Senate seat in his home state. “I enjoyed the experience.” “It was awesome,” said Ensign, who drove an RPDE stock car around Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s 1.5-mile oval “I’m ready to come back (to the school) for the next level. It was scary — a thrill — yet you feel safe. I know that’s a contradiction, but to feel the power of the engine under the hood…” Ensign explained why he added motorsports to the Battle Born Classic, a fundraiser for Republican candidates who are challenging for U.S. Senate seats. “We were looking for something that would be unique,” Ensign said. “Everybody does golf tournaments. This is the experience of a lifetime for these people. They’ll be talking about it when they get back to Washington and they’ll still be talking about it a year from now.” “Since we added the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, participation from Washington has doubled, and we expect it to double again next year,” said Battle Born PAC Director Mike Slanker.(LVMS PR)(5-30-2002)

    (5-29-2002)

  • Renfrow and the #59 at Dover: The next stop for the #59 Price Motorsports team and driver Randy Renfrow will be this week’s MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover International Speedway. Coming off spirited runs in the Pontiac Excitement 400 and the Winston Open before missing the Coca-Cola Racing Family 600, the team will be attempting to qualify for the event at the concrete oval Friday May 31. After searching for the set-up for tricky 1.5-mile Lowe’s Motor Speedway for the last two weeks, the team is pleased to be on their way to the 1-mile oval affectionately known as the “monster mile”.(Price Motorsports PR)(5-29-2002)
  • Park in at Dover: All of the Steve Park fans can rest easily this week. According to Ty Norris [of DEI], Park will be in the #1 Pennzoil Chevy at Dover this weekend. That rumor was absolutely FALSE. He said that the team is looking stronger and Park is trying harder than ever. Norris is also impressed with the performance of Michael Waltrip and the NAPA team as well. He gives a lot of the credit to Waltrip and the leadership role he has taken with the team.(TeamDEI)(5-29-2002)
  • More new Chevy/Pontiac for 2003 news: Richard Childress [owner of the #’s 29,30,31] says he expects NASCAR to approve a significantly modified Chevrolet Monte Carlo body style for 2003. Pontiacs also are due for a change (has submitted a 2003 Grand Prix body to NASCAR for approval, Chevy has not). Childress hopes the new Monte Carlo will narrow a perceived aerodynamic disadvantage to rival Ford and Dodge teams. NASCAR cars’ bodies are only loosely based on street cars’, and NASCAR officials regularly tinker with the aerodynamic characteristics of different car makes’ bodies to keep competition equal. That causes teams to argue over which make has an advantage and lobby for changes. Winston Cup series director John Darby hopes to reduce the bickering next year by making all four car makes almost identical, primarily different in the nose and tail. The current Ford and Dodge bodies already are similar; Chevys and Pontiacs likely will get more rounded-off roof sections in 2003. Darby says making the cars more similar also will make it easier to accomplish NASCAR’s broader goal of making its cars less dependent on aerodynamics to stick to the track, a move it hopes will make racing more competitive.(USA Today)(5-29-2002)
  • Pocono Testing: some Cup drivers tested at Pocono Raceway on Tuesday, including #2-Rusty Wallace, #40-Sterling Marlin and #48-Jimmie Johnson. Add #12-Ryan Newman and #43-John Andretti, no speeds listed.(Pocono Record)(5-29-2002)
  • McGlynn to attempt a Pocono Cup race? UPDATE: hearing CTS driver Ryan McGlynn and team is preparing a Chevy to run at one or both Pocono Winston Cup events. McGlynn Racing is based in Wilkes-Barre, PA. No word on sponsorship at this time.(5-25-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing McGlynn will attempt the 2nd Pocono race in July, not the race in June.(5-29-2002)
  • #71 at Dover: hearing Dick Trickle will drive the #71 Marcis Racing Chevy at Dover this weekend, the team is looking for sposnors.(5-29-2002)
  • Car Works for AMV: The America’s Most Wanted/Body Dynamics Motorsports program with Big Fan Racing Team solicited 19 calls from the car appearing on America’s Most Wanted TV Program for Samantha Kibalo last Saturday. More info on the team on my BGN Site.(5-29-2002)
  • Gordon and Elmo: Four-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon will team with Sesame Street’s Elmo character to raise money for The Jeff Gordon Foundation, but don’t expect to see the car on a Winston Cup track. NASCAR artist Sam Bass will design the special car, which won’t be raced, and Action Peformance Cos. will create diecast replicas that will go on sale in August. The initial 2001 diecast program was a great success for The Jeff Gordon Foundation generating revenues in support of the Foundation’s mission. The Jeff Gordon Foundation benefits The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, The Marrow Foundation and Riley Hospital for Children.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter), see an image of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery and a full press release on my Racing Charities page.(5-28/29-2002)

    (5-28-2002)

  • Shawna Back in the #49 at Michigan: The BAM Racing Dodge team next head to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Shawna Robinson will take back over the driving duties of the #49 Dodge after yeilding to Ron Hornaday at Lowes Motor Speedway. Hornaday was in the car to help provide feedback to the team and Robinson.(BAM Racing PR)(5-28-2002)
  • Sad News: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevy, lost his grandmother, Nana Walker on Friday morning.(Kevin Harvick Site). Thoughts and condolences out to the the family.(5-28-2002)
  • Martin’s car too low UPDATE crew chief fined:: Mark Martin’s #6 Ford failed post-race inspection, measuring about an eighth of an inch below the minimum height. The win and points will likely stand, given NASCAR’s recent history on such infractions, but the driver could face penalties. NASCAR is expected to announce sanctions, if any, early in the week.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-26-2002)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has announced that Ben Leslie, crew chief of the #6 Viagra Ford, received a $50,000 fine for a rule violation found during post-race inspection following Sunday’s Coca-Cola Racing Family 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. Leslie was penalized under Section 12-4-T in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book, “Any car that is found to be under the specified height requirement after the completion… of the race.” The minimum height requirement is 51 inches – the No. 6 car was approximately 1/8 of an inch too low.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-28-2002)


    (5-27-2002)

  • Cope to attempt Dover and Michigan: Derrike Cope announced that he will be driving the #37 Sound Moves Ford in Dover and Friendly’s Ice Cream will remain an associate sponsor and will test at Michigan next week to prepare for the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 on June 16, 2002.(Derrike Cope Site)(5-27-2002)
  • NASCAR observes National Moment of Remembrance: At 3:00pm, local time Monday, NASCAR joined millions of Americans in the National Moment of Remembrance, a moment of reflection dedicated to those who served, fought for, and died for American freedom. Hence, NASCAR has requested that fans worldwide take a moment to acknowledge those who have selflessly protected our freedom. ” Probably, for their whole lives, people have heard names like Omaha Beach, Iwo Jima, Saigon, and all the wars we’ve fought and all the people that have died to give us our freedom, but they couldn’t find those places on the map,”said NASCAR director of operations Kevin Triplett. On December 28, 2000, by P.L. 106-579, the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance was established. It has the personal support of the President of the United States.(NASCAR.com)(5-27-2002)
  • Labonte races with a heavy heart: As if racing in the season’s longest race yesterday was not enough of a challenge, Bobby Labonte, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac was going to have to do it with a heavy heart after his father-in-law, Don Slate, passed away earlier in the day Sunday. In typical Labonte fashion though, he tried his hardest to put on a strong face and take care of the task that lay before him. Not only was Labonte able to do that, he overcame numerous obstacles throughout the course of event to finish a very respectable 14th. With as tough as the 2002 season has been so far for Labonte, the finish was actually not too bad considering everything Labonte and the team faced during the evening Sunday. “Tonight was a tough race for all of us,” said Labonte. “With the way our season has gone so far, I was not surprised by anything we encountered out there. In addition to all of that on the track, it was tough for me personally to be here and have Donna (Labonte’s wife) and the rest of our family back home grieving and not be able to be with them right now. That’s what hurts the most. As far as the race was concerned, we were able to come back and have a decent finish,” continued Labonte. “It’s a finish that I am not too happy with, but am very proud of the team overall considering everything we went through today. This finish was a total team effort and that is very important. There are other things that take a higher priority in life and I am going home to attend to those things right now.”(Joe Gibbs Racing PR) Thoughts and condolences out to the the family.(5-27-2002)
  • The Winston future will wait until 2003 sched is set: NASCAR says it won’t decide on the future of The Winston all-star race until after it sets its regular schedule for next year. “That’s what we typically do with special events like The Winston,” said Herb Branham, NASCAR’s communication manager at Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. That could mean several months of uncertainty about the event, which NASCAR might move next May after a 16-year run at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord.(Charlotte Observer), already getting many questions on the 2003 Cup sched, have heard nothing to report, the 2002 season is only 1/3 the way done, NASCAR releases the schedule in Aug/Sept usually. As renews come in I build an unofficial schedule, but it is too early in the season right now to do so.(5-27-2002)
  • Rudd to the Wood Brothers? Andretti? Elliott Sadler will get his long-sought release from Wood Brothers Racing this week, but won’t be leaving until the end of this NASCAR season. Sadler wants to leave the Stuart-based team to pursue a new Winston Cup ride. Some feel that means Dale Earnhardt Inc., which seemingly will fire Steve Park within the next week or so. But there’s growing sentiment in the garage that Sadler might join Robert Yates Racing. If that happens, look for RYR driver Ricky Rudd to join the Wood brothers for the last year or so of his career. Team co-owners Eddie and Len Wood have been working with Motorcraft and the Air Force for several weeks.(Daily Press), another rumor floating around has John Andretti going to the Wood Brother’s #21 Ford.(5-27-2002)
  • New #4 Morgan McClure Crew Chief: Morgan-McClure Motorsports has switched around jobs on its #4 Kodak Chevy team, moving Chris Carrier into the crew chief position. Scott Eggleston, the former crew chief, will now serve as the team manager. Owner Larry McClure has also served as team manager this season and will now relinquish that role. Driver Mike Skinner has struggled this season, his first with Morgan-McClure. He finished 24th in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. He is currently 27th in the series points race.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-27-2002)
  • Rudd Breaks Streak: #28-Ricky Rudd took the green flag in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowes Motor Speedway to break Terry Labonte’s iron man record with his 656th consecutive start. Before the race, Labonte presented Rudd with an Iron Man trophy and Havoline, sponsor of Rudd’s #28 Ford, gave him a trophy made out of a huge chunk of iron. All the attention overwhelmed Rudd, who finished fourth. “I’m kind of a low-key guy, I just come to race,” he said. “To be honest, today doesn’t feel like any other day. It’s just another day at the office, as far as I’m concerned.”(Tampa Tribune), other current consecutive streaks: Rusty Wallace at 565, Ken Schrader with 535, Mark Martin with 450 and Jeff Gordon has started 306 consecutive races (and NEVER used a provisional). Dale Earnhardt had 648 consecutive Winston Cup starts until his death at Daytona in 2001.(5-27-2002)
  • Benson looks to stay at MBV: Johnny Benson, sidelined since breaking a rib in a Busch Series race May 3 at Richmond, expects to be back in his Cup car June 9 at Pocono. Benson’s contract runs out at the end of the year, and though he is having his worst season in the #10 Valvoline Pontiac, he says he’d like to come back. “No matter where you go, you’re always going to have issues,” he says. “If we can get them worked out, I think we’ll be here a long time.” (Sporting News)(5-27-2002)
  • Goodyear re-evaluating Richmond tire: Goodyear officials say they will wait until after an Indy Racing League event in late June at Richmond to decide whether to change the tire they will provide for Winston Cup teams to race on there in September. #20-Tony Stewart and #2-Rusty Wallace participated in a special test last week at Richmond comparing the tires used there earlier this month and ones used at the track last year. Drivers complained about how the tires and a sealer used on the track surface interacted at this month’s race, which was marred by several wrecks and featured less side-by-side racing than seen there in recent years.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-27-2002)
  • Ford Rumors: Ford officials, including racing boss Dan Davis, have been in high profile over the weekend, amid scores of rumors of shake-ups, changes and additions to that manufacturers’ lineup. The latest report from the Ford front is that car owner Robert Yates is considering buying out a fellow car owner, according to top Ford sources. Yates has been offered numerous sponsorship options in recent years to expand his two-car operation but has so far resisted those efforts.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-27-2002)
  • NASCAR to go check out Indy walls: NASCAR officials hope to travel to Indianapolis this week to inspect how the energy-absorbing barriers fared in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500. Indianapolis Motor Speedway became the first U.S. race track earlier this year to pad portions of its walls with an energy-absorbing barrier, which is meant to reduce the deadly G-force spikes in a crash. Speedway officials had the outside walls in all four corners padded. Gary Nelson, NASCAR’s managing director of competition, says series officials want to inspect the barrier soon and talk to the University of Nebraska experts who designed the barrier. “We want to make sure that there are no surprises at the Indy 500,” Nelson said. “We’ve talked to the designers and they’re thinking of making some design changes.” NASCAR officials have said that they would wait until after the Indianapolis 500 to determine their next step.(News and Record)(5-27-2002)
  • Lowes wanting out? UPDATE 2: A Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist says a Speedway Motorsports roundup of Tony Stewart merchandise may be a sign that the Lowe’s Home Improvement chain wants out of its 10-year, $35 million naming rights deal with Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Jeff Wolf writes that all SMI tracks have returned to SMI headquarters the souvenirs of Stewart, who is sponsored by Lowe’s rival Home Depot. “One fly on the wall hinted that Lowe’s might be trying to get out of its contract with the Charlotte track, and SMI is doing whatever it can to keep Lowe’s from finding a way to back out of the deal,” Wolf wrote Friday. Lowe’s bought the naming rights to the former Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1999 for a reported $35 million over 10 years.(Winston Cup Scene daily newsletter)(5-11-2002)
    UPDATE: The ongoing marketing feud between Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouses and The Home Depot has spilled over into the two companies’ investment in Winston Cup racing, with merchandise of driver Tony Stewart — sponsored by The Home Depot — no longer displayed prominately at the gift shop at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. With the Winston Cup series spending the next two weekends at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, the rivalry has the potential to heat up even further. Lowe’s has a large investment in racing, owning naming rights at the Charlotte speedway and has agreements with other Speedway Motorsports Inc. tracks and also sponsors the #48 Chevrolet of rookie Jimmie Johnson. The Home Depot has sponsored driver Tony Stewart’s entry in Winston Cup since he joined the series in 1999 and has also been involved in his foray in the Indianapolis 500 his rookie season. The Home Depot also owns the designation of the “official” home improvement warehouse of NASCAR. In recent months, as SMI and Lowe’s have worked to expand their relationship, SMI tracks are taking a more active role in promoting their involvement with Lowe’s, including no longer displaying merchandise at tracks’ stores of rival driver Stewart. Lowe’s Motor Speedway spokesman Jerry Gappens emphasized Monday there is no conflict between the speedway and Stewart, but rather the sponsors. “Tony Stewart’s merchandise is still available for sale in our gift shop, it’s just not being displayed prominately,” he said. “Race fans can still purchase Tony Stewart items here.” Gappens said, however, that speedway and event-specific merchandise is the majority of the merchandise sold at the speedway’s shop. The speedway store maintains inventory of driver merchandise for fans’ convenience. Gappens said he did not know exact policies for other SMI tracks involving Stewart’s merchandise, but believed they had made similiar changes.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-14-2002)
    UPDATE 2: The rivalry between sponsors is never more evident than here, with two home improvement stores battling for attention. Since Lowe’s sponsor’s the track, that store tries to take all the attention and had all weekend when rookie Jimmie Johnson, also sponsored by Lowe’s, won the pole for the race. But Home Depot, the official home improvement store of NASCAR, greeted fans outside the track with a monstrous billboard featuring Tony Stewart, the driver they sponsor, with the words “We’ll see who really owns this track.” Home Depot also handed out close to 100,000 orange glow sticks to the fans shopping in the souvenir aisle in an effort to create an orange atmosphere when the sun went down on the race.(CNNSI/AP)(5-27-2002)

 


(5-26-2002)

 

  • Paul Tracy to NASCAR? Barry Green, who owns the team for which Tracy drives, is rumoured to be following the lead of Roger Penske and jumping to the IRL full-time next season. If he does, Tracy said there’s a good chance he won’t follow, and will try his luck in NASCAR. He’s been approached by Richard Childress, and is lining up a test for later in the summer. “If CART doesn’t survive, I’d have to seriously look at NASCAR,” he said. “I’m a road racer, but if I’m going to be forced to run on ovals, I’m going to do go where I can prosper. There’s more opportunity in NASCAR.”(Globe and Mail, thanks to the Stock Car Fans Newlsetter for the heads up)(5-26-2002)
  • #26 sponsor? UPDATE 4 announcement Sunday: hearing that Discover Card may come aboard to sponsor the #26 Haas-Carter Motorpsorts team, not sure when or who will driver. Frank Kimmel currently is driving the car in select events.(5-14-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing it could be a six race deal for 2002, no idea of a driver.(5-16-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Car owner Travis Carter, who lost his sponsor at the start of the season when Kmart filed for bankruptcy protection, appears to be set to race on through the summer. Frank Kimmel, who has driven Carter’s #26 Ford in several Winston Cup races this season, said he’ll run the Coca-Cola Racing Family 600 next Sunday, then step aside so another driver, most likely Todd Bodine, can drive the car for five or six races. A press conference has been scheduled for next week to announce the sponsor.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(5-17-2002)
    UPDATE 3: An announcement will be made on Sunday at 3:00pm/et at Lowes Motor Speedway by Haas Carter Motorsports regarding Todd Bodine and the #26 Ford for six races. Haas Carter Motorsports have obtained a sponsor for six races starting at Dover and ending at Chicagoland. The sponsor was gotten for former #26 driver Joe Nemechek who took the #25 ride because it was for the rest of the year – so Travis Carter let him out of his contract. Bodine has a contractual obligation to both Haas-Carter and Herzog Motorsports [#92 BGN] with Herzog being the primary. So now Todd will run the six Cup races from Dover to Chicago along with the BGN races. There are two conflicts after Dover, Nashville vs. Pocono and Kentucky vs. Michigan. Todd’s brother Geoffrey will qualify the Cup car at both Pocono and Michigan and Todd will fly back and forth for Happy Hour. Also mentioned is that there is the potential for this to become a full sponsorship [DiscoverCard?](from the Todd Bodine site and forum)(5-21-2002)
    UPDATE 4: NASCAR Winston Cup Scene reports in this week’s issue that Discover Card will sponsor Haas/Carter’s No. 26 Ford for six Winston Cup events. Details of the arrangement are expected to be disclosed in a press conference on Sunday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The report says Todd Bodine has been picked to drive the car, beginning with the June 2 race at Dover and running through the July 14 event at Chicagoland Speedway. Discover Card’s corporate headquarters is located in Chicago. The team started the year with sponsorship from Kmart, but lost it when the discount retail chain filed for bankruptcy protection.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter), Bodine was scheduled to test with the team at Dover May 21-22.(5-23-2002)
    UPDATE 5: Rich Lalley, vice president of advertising for Discover Card, announced on Sunday his company’s alignment with Haas-Carter Motorsports. During the six-race partnership, which begins next weekend at Dover International Speedway, a black and orange #26 Ford will carry the Discover Card logo. Todd Bodine will drive the car in all six events, and will be crew chiefed by Donnie Wingo. After Dover, the team will compete at Pocono, Michigan, Sears Point and Daytona before concluding at Chicagoland on July 14th.(NASCAR.comAND Haas Carter Motorsports announced today that it has partnered with Discover³ Card, one of the nation¹s leading credit card companies, for a six-race NASCAR Winston Cup Series sponsorship. Todd Bodine rejoins Haas Carter Motorsports as driver for its #26 race team. This announcement marks the Chicago-based credit card company’s first involvement in NASCAR. To further drive home the point that its commitment goes beyond its name on a car, Discover Card has purchased in-car cameras for each of the six races in which the #26 Ford Taurus will attempt to qualify. In addition, commercials will begin airing during races on the FOX and NBC networks beginning June 2. Discover Card has also signed an agreement with NBC that, starting July 14, will make them the title sponsor of the network¹s pre-race shows.(Cox Marketing PR)(5-26-2002)
  • ThatsRacin.com wins Coca-Cola Family Pit Crew Challenge media division, the #20 Home Depot takes prize: The good folks at Coke dangle several thousand dollars in front of a bunch of honest-to-Bobby Allison Winston Cup pit crews to get them to compete. And they do so on the main stage right slap in the middle of Speed Street, a thoroughfare in Charlotte, N.C., better known as Tryon Street the rest of the year. The media thing is just a warm-up act, an under-card kind of thing that pits media folks against the Charlotte mayor, currently Pat McCrory, and a top Food Lion executive. Food Lion, like the Coca-Cola organization, does a ton for racing and helps bring Speed Street to town. ThatsRacin’s team won last year by ripping off a less-than-exemplary 52-second stop, changing only two tires and barely beating Hizzoner and his Food Lion pal. This years team at ThatsRacin, Chad Sitler, ThatsRacin.com’s content manager, and ThatsRacin’s Bob Henry were first out on Friday, with a couple of Charlotte Observer sports department guys and two television personalities from WBTV to follow. The mayor and the grocery chain exec would finish things off. Their ordeal was finally over after an excruciating 45 seconds. And we had to stand by and watch to see if any of the other teams would beat it. Every one of them came really close, and without benefit of the professional help we’d had. But no one did it under 45 seconds – until the real pits crews took the stage. They had two more tires to change and other duties to perform as well. And they did it in a third of the time. No, less than a third of the time. So next time you go to a race and they’re introducing the drivers, applaud as politely as you always do. Or boo, as the case may be. But next time you go to The Winston and they introduce the whole crew, clap until your hands are raw and cheer until you’re hoarse. I’m not saying that the drivers aren’t way good and worthy of your praise. Or your jeers, as the case may be.(see full story at ThatsRacin.com)

    Pit Crew Challenge winners Bob Henry and Chad Sitler. (Fay Theos Photo)

    AND The #20 Home Depot team took home a $7,000 paycheck at the Coca-Cola Racing Family 600 Festival Friday afternoon. During the Fifth Annual Coca-Cola Racing Family Pit Crew Challenge, NASCAR pit crews received their chance to shine in front of the fans, and the competing teams. The Pit Crew Challenge invited the crews from each of the Coca-Cola Racing Family teams to compete for $7,000 for the fastest pit stop on Speed Street. 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 No. 20 Home Depot crew earned the first-place cash prize with a time of 16.51 seconds. Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s #8 Budweiser crew finished second with a time of 16.70 seconds, earning a $3,000 cash prize as runners-up. The defending champion, Steve Park’s #1 Pennzoil crew, finished in third place.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-25-2002)

  • Robby Gordon at the Indy 500 and at Lowes UPDATE: Robby Gordon ended up 8th as Roger Penske won his 12th Indy 500 as an owner with Helio Castroneves winning his 2nd Indy 500, the only driver ever to do so in two starts and the first back to back winner since Al Unser in 1970-71. There was a fire in Gordon’s pits around lap 80 when the fuel hose didn’t get disconnected and the top blew off the fuel cart/tankin the pits when it cuaght fire but was put out immediately, they had to restart Gordon’s car as it stalled , but Gordon left the pits and is back on the track and no one got injured. The team will be moved to Greg Ray’s pits and use that fuel tank, Ray is out of the race. Weather at Indianapolis was perfect and will not cause Gordon to be late or miss the Coca Cola 600. See results at ThatsRacin.com.(5-26-2002)
    UPDATE Gordon arrived at Charlotte and started the race, but had to start from the rear of the field, cramped up a bit but stayed in the car for the whole race and finished 16th one lap down.(5-26-2002)
  • LaJoie to run some Cup races UPDATE: BGN driver Randy LaJoie and his BGN team owner [#7 Chevy], Ed Evans, are talking to a potential sponsor about moving up to run four or five Cup races later this season. “I’m not going to go just to ride around,” he says. “I want to go and be competitive. Like when those Cup guys come over here and kick our butt? I want to go over there and kick theirs.” LaJoie, 40, won back-to-back BGN titles in 1996 and 1997. In the past few years, he has turned down several offers to move up to Winston Cup; one would have paid him four times more than he’s making now. LaJoie says the extra money isn’t worth the additional sponsorship, media and testing hassles that would come along with it. He has several friends in Winston Cup and can’t believe how much family time they miss. “I can’t put a price tag on that,” he says. “It kind of cracks me up when you listen to all these (drivers) that are mid-40s now. I think they finally realized that they had kids. By then their kids are teenagers, you know? To me, I’ve had so much fun watching my 6-year-old get his first basket in basketball, my 8-year-old getting a hit in baseball. I can’t replace that.” LaJoie turned down one particularly enticing offer a few years ago after one of his sons asked him why he’d want a job that would take him away from home more often; didn’t he already make enough money? “He’d better not get mad at me when he goes to a state college instead of Duke,” LaJoie jokes.(more at USA Today)(3-21-2002)
    UPDATE – LaJoie to Cup? Randy LaJoie’s BGN [#7] team could be moving up next season, team owner Ed Evans said Saturday. LaJoie, the 1996 and 1997 Busch Series champion, stands fourth in the points heading into Saturday’s race. “We believe we’ve got a premier Busch team,” Evans said. “Our standing in the points would indicate that we’re doing things the way we expect to do them right now. We would like to get up to Cup at some point in time. “While saying that, we’re still very committed to Busch and to Kimberly-Clark, and we’re not going to do anything to jeopardize this program or our run for the championship this year. We’ve got a pretty good shot at it. We’re having ongoing discussions. There hasn’t really been any news to report at this point. As we get closer to the fall, we’ll have a little bit more to talk about.”(RacingOne)(5-26-2002)
  • Ned Jarrett OK: NASCAR Legend and father of Dale Jarrett, Ned, had a mild health scare when he experienced shortness of breath earlier this week. Jarrett, a two-time Winston Cup champion, was admitted to a hospital in Newton Thursday for a catherterization and angioplasty on an artery that was 95 percent blocked. He was released from the hospital on Friday and Dale Jarrett spent time with him at his home. “I went and saw him last night at home and he’s doing well,” Dale Jarrett said. “As a matter of fact, if they weren’t having a member-guest golf tournament, he was going to play golf today, so he’s doing well.”(Daytona Beach News Journal/AP)(5-26-2002)
  • Childress in Indy: Winston Cup car owner Richard Childress will be attending his first Indianapolis 500 today. And despite his lack of experience in open-wheel racing, he’ll be calling the shots in the pits for driver Robby Gordon in the Indy 500.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(5-26-2002)

    (5-25-2002)

  • Two BACE cars at Dover: BACE Motorsports has posted two entries for the race next weekend at Dover International Speedway. Tony Raines will pull double-duty on the high-banked cement, as he and teammate Chad Little attempt to put a pair of BACE entries in the MBNA Platinum 400. “This is exciting and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to run a Winston Cup event at a place where we’ve had a fair degree of success in the Busch Series,” Raines said. “Bill and Brian (Baumgardner) have really pulled out the stops in their effort to make a transition to the Winston Cup Series. Running the second car in Dover gives Chad and I the opportunity to compare notes and flatten the learning curve as our program moves forward.” Also of note for the team: Bayer Consumer Care has informed team owner Brian Baumgardner that the company will not be returning to BACE Motorsports as primary sponsor of Tony Raines’ BGN program in 2003.(Tony Raines site)(5-25-2002)
  • Stewart may buy a track: Tony Stewart, Ted Johnson (World of Outlaws) and attorney Cary Agajanian visited the famed dirt track Eldora Speedway in Ohio recently to initiate discussions possibly purchasing the legendary dirt track from owner Earl Baltes.(DirtAmerica)(5-25-2002)
  • More on Sadler-Wood Bros, Sadler to the #1?: Expect hard feelings until Elliott Sadler and the [#21 Motorcraft Ford] Wood brothers settle their dispute over his efforts to quit ASAP. They won’t come to an agreement before Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600, but Sadler would love to get it done next week. He wants to pursue a ride with Dale Earnhardt Inc. That may come early next month, when Steve Park likely will be released. When it happens, look for Sadler to go even though the Wood brothers don’t want a mid-season change.(Daily Press)(5-25-2002)
  • Stewart does nice for Berggren: during FX’s coverage of Cup Happy Hour, Matt Yocum was interviewing Tony Stewart and Stewart announced that he would fly Dr Dick Berggren (Fox pit reporter, publisher of Speedway Illustrated and former sprint car racer) in his private jet to the Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa on June 1st when Berggren will be inducted into the The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, joining the class of 2002. Berggren joins other inductees: Lloyd Beckman; Maynard “Hungry” Clark; Jack Hewitt; Jim McElreath; Everett Saylor; Larry “Smokey” Snellbaker; John Bagley; Galen Fox; Ralph “Speedy” Helm; Sam Traylor; J. Gordon Betz; and Joe Scalzo. Berggren teared up and said it was a spectacular birthday present he could hope for, his birthday is on Monday.(5-25-2002)
  • Park to Lose the #1 Ride? UPDATE 2: The Sporting News has learned that Steve Park will be released from the Dale Earnhardt Inc. No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet following the Coca-Cola 600 later this month. Kenny Wallace is expected to take the seat at Dover. While Park has continued his recovery following his crash in last September’s Busch race at Darlington, his results in the car are not what the team had hoped for since his return. Park’s best finish this season was 20th at Texas, but his average showing is 27th. Park may not be the only driver facing dismissal at DEI. Sources say that teammate Michael Waltrip’s job isn’t necessarily secure either. Although Waltrip’s contract is up for renegotiation, it has been inferred that Elliott Sadler, who asked for his release last Sunday night from the Wood Brothers team, will be in the car in 2003. Ty Norris, executive VP of motorsports for DEI, denied that Park will be replaced or that Waltrip’s status is in jeopardy. But Norris did say that he has talked to several drivers and “there are 43 available in either (the Winston Cup or Busch) garage.” He expects to have a decision by June.(Sporting News), heard from sources that DEI is adamant Park will not be released.(5-4-2002)
    UPDATE: Reports that Winston Cup driver Steve Park will be released by Dale Earnhardt, Inc. following the Coca-Cola 600 in three weeks are false, DEI executive vice president Ty Norris told NASCAR.com. “It was irresponsible reporting … to make a ridiculous comment like that, when they asked me point blank and I said ‘Absolutely no way,'” Norris said. “That rumor is very, very false.” Norris also said that conversations between DEI and any future talent are focused solely on the future.(NASCAR.com)(5-4-2002)
    UPDATE 2: still hearing that Park will be out after the Coca Cola 600.(5-25-2002)
  • AJ on a Wheaties Box: A.J. Foyt, a four-time Indianapolis 500 race winner and owner of the #14 Conseco-backed Pontiac driven by Stacy Compton in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, will be featured on special-edition boxes of Wheaties cereal. The 18-ounce package will be available throughout Indiana, Michigan and the Southeastern United States beginning next month.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-25-2002)
  • New Coke/NASCAR commercials: Coca-Cola’s newest NASCAR-themed TV commercial, entitled, “Race You,” offers a humorous glimpse into how competitive the drivers are off the track – even when it comes to doing yard work or taking out the trash. “Race You,” one of two new spots featuring Coca-Cola Racing Family drivers that will debut nationally on FOX during the Coca-Cola Racing Family 600 on May 26, opens with Bobby Labonte and Jeff Burton in a fictional scene, depicting them as next-door neighbors. Standing on their driveways with full garbage cans in their hands, all it takes is a challenge by Labonte and the two are off and running, racing to drop their trash at the end of their driveways. The two continue to race in other routine, everyday situations, like mowing their lawns and grabbing the newspaper. The spot concludes when Dale Jarrett shows up and offers each an ice-cold Coke, igniting a final challenge. To reinforce Coca-Cola’s ongoing commitment to NASCAR families, the spot also features cameo appearances by some of the drivers’ family members.
    The second new Coca-Cola spot to debut during the Coca-Cola Racing Family 600, entitled “Sal Fooskoe,” makes a hero out of a real Coca-Cola delivery truck driver. In the lighthearted spot “Sal Fooskoe,” some of NASCAR’s top drivers – all members of the Coca-Cola Racing Family – are being interviewed about their favorite driver, and all choose Fooskoe, who apparently has earned legendary status behind the wheel. One-by-one the drivers, including Tony Stewart, Bill Elliott, Kyle Petty and Kevin Harvick, pay their respects to Fooskoe, who in the closing scene is humorously revealed to be a Coca-Cola delivery truck driver and not a Winston Cup racer. Adding to the uniqueness of the spot is the fact that the role of Fooskoe is played by Mike Cox, a real-life delivery truck driver for Coca-Cola Consolidated in Charlotte. Cox doesn’t have any lines in the spot, but he does appear in the closing scene, surrounded by the drivers and rewarded with pats on the back and an ice-cold Coca-Cola.(LMS PR)(5-25-2002)
  • Cars Supplied: America’s Most Wanted, Body Dynamics and Carolina Motorsports Team Concept joined forces to fight crime and find missing and exploited children. The show taped at Concord Motorsport Park will air this Saturday night May 25th at 9:00pm/et on Fox. Jon Kerley worked with America’s Most Wanted production crew as the pit crew coordinator while the team preformed mocked pit stops for action sequences for John Walsh and America’s Most Wanted. To see pictures of the filming go to www.carolinateamconcept.com. And see my BGN Site for and announcement concerning the America’s Most Wanted BGN team.(5-25-2002)

    (5-24-2002)

  • Gibbs to Chevy (again)? UPDATEs: [Joe] Gibbs [Racing] has decided to switch from Pontiacs back to Chevrolets for the 2003 season, according to Chevrolet sources. The move comes after 18 months of intransigence by NASCAR officials for rules relief requested by Pontiac teams. That would put Stewart and teammate Bobby Labonte back in Monte Carlos, which would be a serious blow to General Motors’ Pontiac division, perhaps serious enough for the division to leave this branch of the sport and take it’s $35 million racing budget somewhere else.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-4-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing an announcement could come as soon as Charlotte/Lowes during The Winson/Coca Cola 600 weeks.(5-5-2002)
    ANOTHER UPDATE: a story in the Winston Salem Journal pretty much states: “Stewart, despite a few early season bobbles, is still only 251 points behind points leader Sterling Marlin, and he already has two wins. Stewart, who with teammate Bobby Labonte will be switching from Pontiacs to Chevrolets for the 2003 season, will be one of five men going for an R. J. Reynolds $1 million bonus in the 600.” Have not seen any official announcement yet, so it is still a rumor at this point.(5-24-2002)
  • Lawsuit Update: …..a federal lawsuit is gaining momentum in New York, Washington, D.C., and Texas, threatening NASCAR’s financial fiefdom and accusing the stock-car racing body of operating as an illegal monopoly. Bill France Jr., the son of late NASCAR founder “Big” Bill France, is up against some of America’s most feared lawyers in a suit that could force unprecedented disclosure of NASCAR’s closely guarded balance sheets. Johnnie Cochran is the high-profile front man. Another name, well known only in American’s legal and corporate circles, signifies that Cochran is hoping for a long, fierce fight. See Newsday for the full story: Lawsuit Against NASCAR Picks Up Speed.(5-24-2002)
  • Save The Winston: Leaders from three counties will unveil an ambitious plan today to position the Charlotte region as the heart of auto racing and keep The Winston all-star race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway next year. Billing The Winston as a homecoming for drivers and their teams, most of whom live in the Charlotte area, leaders will lobby NASCAR and lavish more than $1 million to promote next year’s race — if the sport decides to keep it here.(see more at The Charlotte Observer)(5-24-2002)
  • Barrett up for Stunt Award CORRECTION: Stanton Barrett, who plans to make his season debut in the BGN series Saturday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, has been nominated for a World Stunts Award, a worldwide program that honors the best in movie and television stunt work. The awards show will be televised live by ABC Saturday night. Because of his work in the movie, Jurassic Park III, Barrett was nominated in the “Best Water Work” category. Other movies nominated are Apocalypse Now Redux, American Outlaws, The Animal and Rush Hour 2. Promotion of ABC’s telecast of the World Stunt Awards will be on the rear deck lid of Barrett’s car this weekend. Barrett, a stuntman who has competed in BGN and Cup races previously, formed Red Racing with businessman Jody Looney this year. Red Racing is led by team manager Jeff Hammond, a former Winston Cup crew chief and now Fox Network television commentator, as well as veteran crew chief Richard Lasater. “We have a lot of great things planned this year, and even greater things in 2003. I think we’re off to a great start,” Barrett said. Barrett is scheduled to compete in up to 12 BGN races and four Cup events this season with his new team.(ThatsRacin.com), actually the World Stunt Awards aren’t on TV Saturday night but will be televised on ABC, Friday, May 31, at 8:00pm/et.(World Stunt Awards Site)(5-24-2002)
  • Mast Ailing – Hermie Sadler In the #90 for the Coke 600 UPDATE: Hermie Sadler will replace ailing driver Rick Mast this weekend in the #90 Donlavey Racing Ford Taurus, according to car owner Junie Donlavey. Mast said he has not felt good physically for several weeks and is undergoing tests to determine the cause. The doctors have recommended he step out of driving at least for this weekend’s Coca-Cola Racing Family 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Mast competed in The Winston qualifying races last Saturday night at the Charlotte track. Donlavey said Sadler was a natural choice to drive the car this weekend at Charlotte. The team is billed as an all-Virginia team. Donlavey’s Winston Cup team has called Richmond, Va., home for six decades, and C.F.Sauer’s Company is also located in Richmond. Sadler is a native of Emporia, Va., and races occasionally on the Winston Cup Series with a team he owns.(Keystone Marketing PR)(5-22-2002)
    UPDATE: Car owner Junie Donlavey said he doesn’t know what ails Rick Mast and isn’t sure when or if Mast would be back in the #90 Fords. Hermie Sadler has taken over driving duties for this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway while Mast undergoes tests to determine what his medical condition is. Mast isn’t at the track this weekend. “Rick called me (Tuesday) night, and he said he had to take some time off because he had a bunch of tests he had to go through,” Donlavey said. “We’ve noticed that he’s lost a lot of weight recently, and we’re just hoping that everything is all right. But until he goes through all of his tests, we won’t know. We’re just going to take things one day at a time because we don’t know really know anything.” Sadler said he was happy to get the call from Donlavey, who is a Virginia native like Sadler. “Emporia (Sadler’s hometown) is only about 60 miles away from Junie, so I was able to buzz over there pretty quick and get my seat in there and talk to all the guys,” Sadler said. “I know many of those guys because a lot of them worked for me when I had my Busch team, so in a lot of ways, it’s like old times. It’s a great honor and a great opportunity, so we’ll see what happens.” Sadler said he’s “just filling in until (Rick’s) ready to come back.”(RacingOne), also of note, it was reported during FX’s qualifying coverage that crew chief Ernie Cope had left the #90 team (after a week or so), he is supposedly helping out the #37 and #38 Derrike Cope teams, former #90 crew chief Bobby King is back working with the team.(5-24-2002)
  • TV in the 2nd half of the season: Speed Channel will broadcast up to 11 Winston Cup qualifying sessions and 12 final practice [Happy Hour] sessions in the second half of this season, taking the place of the CNN/SI cable network that carried that programming last season. The CNN/SI cable network went off the air earlier this month, so Speed Channel will take on the coverage during the NBC-Turner Sports portion of the Winston Cup season that does not air on Turner’s networks. Speed Channel is primarily owned by Fox, which does racing in the first half of the season.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-24-2002)
  • Bodine’s sponsor shifts: Brett Bodine Racing says Timberland Pro will shift its backing from associate sponsorship of the #11 Ford in the Winston Cup Series to primary sponsorship of the team’s #11 car in the BGN for some races. The team’s Web site says the shift, which will be for an unspecified number of races starting in August, will be part of a marketing strategy to give Timberland Pro “better visibility… within the race community.” The #11 BGN car is owned by Brett Bodine and driven by his nephew Josh Richeson.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-24-2002)

    (5-23-2002)

  • Looney Toons and Taz to return? UPDATE’s and IMAGES and a new page: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr will run a #3 Taz scheme at Richmond in the BGN race and that there is a chance the Looney Toons schemes may return at the Richmond Cup race.(5-10-2002)
    UPDATE: The Sports Business Journal reports that Chevy is set to reprise the promotion that put Looney Tunes characters on seven NASCAR Winston Cup cars last season.(5-14-2002)
    UPDATE – the announcement: On Thursday, May 23rd (TODAY), some of NASCAR’s biggest stars, including Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Green, among others, will be seen LIVE on NASCAR.com as their cars are unveiled with Looney Tunes character art. NASCAR.com, the official site of NASCAR, will provide fans the opportunity to see the new paint scheme unveiled live via Web cast from Food Lion Speed Street in Charlotte, NC, at 12:00noon/et. In addition, fans will be able post questions for the Winston Cup drivers to answer after the unveiling. Users will also have the chance to purchase limited edition die casts of these unique cars.
    The drivers listed below will race their Looney Tunes paint schemed cars at the Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 at the Richmond International Raceway on September 7.
    Drivers participating in the Looney Tune promotion include (to date):
    *Jeff Gordon – Bugs Bunny
    *Jeff Green – Daffy Duck
    *Bobby Hamilton – Marvin the Martian
    *Kevin Harvick – Tasmanian Devil
    *Joe Nemecheck – Speedy Gonzales
    *Mike Skinner – Yosemite Sam
    Robby Gordon – Pepe Le Pew
    (What? No Gossamer? The big orange Monster)
    (* Drivers who are attending the unveiling on Thursday)
    (NASCAR PR), also, see my Paint Scheme Gallery – Looney Tunes PR, News and Schemes page for the images and PR’s.(5-23-2002)
  • Wallace to stand by for Gordon if needed: Richard Childress Racing will have Mike Wallace standing by for the team’s #31 Cingular Chevy team Sunday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in case Robby Gordon doesn’t return from the Indianapolis 500 in time for the start of the Coca-Cola Racing Family 600. The Indy 500 is scheduled to start at 12:00noon/et on Sunday, while the 600 is scheduled to begin at 5:30pm/et, about three hours after the end of the Indy race. Gordon’s itinerary shows him arriving at Lowe’s Motor Speedway at about 5:15pm/et.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-23-2002)
  • NASCAR looking at Gordon-Busch incident UPDATE Busch fined: An incident in the final segment of The Winsotn involving drivers #97-Kurt Busch and #31-Robby Gordon has Gordon still steaming and has raised the ire of NASCAR officials. With #12-Ryan Newman seemingly driving away from the rest of the field in the final 20-lap segment, Busch had closed in behind Gordon, who was trying to move #20-Tony Stewart from second place. Busch then tagged Gordon’s car from behind, spinning him out and causing a caution. In addition to the accident itself, Gordon was even more upset with Busch’s comments after the race. “It was just a good learning deal for us and we had a shot at the win and hated to use Robby Gordon as a yellow, but I think we needed a yellow there at the end,” Busch said. “Cars were checking up. Stewart got a little loose in the middle of one, Robby Gordon got underneath him. When two cars race side-by-side that third car picks up the draft. He got loose right before I hit him. I bumped him, that’s part of it. I think we needed a yellow so we could put on a good show there at the end.” NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said Wednesday the sanctioning body was reviewing both the incident on the track and Busch’s comments following the race. “It is safe to say we’re looking into it,” Hunter said. In the past, NASCAR has come down hard on drivers who intentionally attempt to bring out a caution flag. Although some leeway is a given for an all-star event like The Winston, Busch’s willingness to admit to his intent has several in the sport. Even before the Busch-Gordon incident, NASCAR was already unhappy with several drivers’ actions on the track. Elliott Sadler, Kevin Harvick and Newman were all admonished for incidents during the race. Newman pushed Sadler up into the wall causing a wreck. Sadler responded by waiting for Newman’s car to come back around the track and Sadler threw his helmet at the car. Harvick and Newman got into their own bumping match while under a caution. Lowe’s Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler said he was surprised Busch admitted to his actions.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-21-2002)
    UPDATE: NASCAR penalized Kurt Busch $10,000 Thursday for intentionally driving into Robby Gordon’s Chevrolet with five laps remaining in The Winston last Saturday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Busch was fined under section 12-4-A in the 2002 Winston Cup Series rulebook, which cites “actions detremental to stock car racing…” “It was a bit harsh for what happened in a non-points event, but that was Saturday and this is Thursday,” Busch said. “It was for the remarks after Saturday’s event.”(NASCAR.com). See many driver comments at ThatsRacin.com: Busch fined $10,000; reaction is harsh(5-23-2002)
  • Ward to Hendrick? UPDATE nope: Dodge executives say they are worried that Chevy’s Rick Hendrick may be ready to make another run at Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-19-2002)
    UPDATE: Ward Burton denied rumors he’s leaving.the Caterpillar Dodge team.at the end of the season for Hendrick Motorsports and UAW-Delphi Monte Carlo team. Burton said “The fact is I’m still with Bill Davis Racing and plan to stay there, so it’s a done deal I’m gonna be here for quite a few more years”.(PRN’s Garagepass Radio Show)(5-23-2002)
  • Gordon Back to clean shaven: Jeff Gordon is clean shaven this week after sporting a mustache and goatee last weekend at The Winston. Gordon said, “I liked it, it was fun, but it was just really for that weekend. My sister was getting married the next day so I didn’t want to be too scruffy for her pictures.”(PRN’s Garagepass Radio Show)(5-23-2002)
  • Sadler’s Release Update: Elliott Sadler was on PRN’s The Pitreporters Wednesday afternoon and had this to say: In an effort to speed-up the release from his contract with the Wood Brothers, Elliott Sadler has offered to forfeit his half of the earnings for the rest of the year if they can come to an agreement by Friday. “That’s how eager I am to get my release so I can get it behind me so we can race” said Sadler. He says it’s hard being at the track wondering if it’s going to happen and when it’s going to happen, and wants to get it done so when they show up at the racetrack they’re ready to race 100-percent. Sadler says he’s real, real close to getting it done, however.added that it’s been a touchy subject for the Wood Brothers and Motorcraft because the sponsor (Motorcraft) needs to approve his replacement.” If he obtains his release by this weekend, Sadler thinks an announcement could be made in the next few weeks as to his future driving plans. The 27-year old Virginia native said “I’m talking with 2 or 3 different teams and I’m really pretty close with all of them.. I’ve kind of narrowed it down…and we’ll see what happens.AND Kevin Harvick thought Elliott Sadler was mad at him during The Winston when Sadler threw his helmet and hit Ryan Newman’s car after Sadler was wrecked during NASCAR’s All-Star race. In the trailer after the race, Harvick asked Sadler if he was throwing at him. Sadler said…”No sir, I hit my target! We kinda laughed about that.” Sadler said because Newman was on the outside of Harvick it.made it.a hard throw.(PRN’s Garagepass Radio Show/Pit Reporters)(5-23-2002)
    UPDATE: In response to Elliott Sadler’s offer that he would forfeit his half of the earnings for the rest of the year if.the team.came to an agreement by Friday on his release, Eddie Wood said “It’s a nice gesture, but I’ve got to think about what’s best for our race team…and that’s.what I’ll do. To us it’s not about.the money. He’s in quite a hurry to get his stuff done, but he’s one person and I’ve got 50 employees. I want to make sure we get the right guy to replace him and it’s so early.I don’t want to do something just for the sake of having it done and the next day a situation that would work better comes up”.(PRN’s Garagepass Radio Show)(5-23-2002)
  • Buckshot deciding, has a sponsor: The next month could determine if Buckshot Jones ever races again. The Georgia native, released in April by Petty Enterprises, says he has a sponsor and has talked with seven or eight teams about driving. But if those teams aren’t willing to take the money his unspecified backer will pay, he’ll go into land development and put his racing career on hold, possibly permanently. “If there’s no ride out there, I’ve gotta do something,” Jones said. “I do not want to quit racing by no means. … (But) I’m not gonna jump back into racing if I think that the team doesn’t have everything they need. There’s a lot of teams out there that are good teams, but they don’t have that little bit extra that they need. If I think it’s somewhere where the team’s got the potential to get there, man, I’m willing to do that. But if I think they’re not gonna be able to get to that potential, then I probably wouldn’t do it. I just want to have a little more say-so on things than what I’ve been able to do.” Time is also a big a factor in determining Jones’ racing fate. His pending land development deal has a deadline as well, so whatever happens has to happen quickly. “The sponsor definitely wants to do something within a month,” Jones said. “Let’s just say if every person we’ve talked to wants more than what the sponsor’s willing to pay, then I’d go into land development. I’ve gotta start earning a paycheck. I don’t receive a paycheck any more, so I’ve got a lot of bills to be paid. That would probably be one of the hardest things for me to do, to get out of racing. If I don’t have a choice, I don’t have a choice. If you get out of racing, and you’ve been out of it, most of the top people are not gonna try and hire you. They’re gonna pick somebody else. It’s bad sitting out of a race car … but there’s something else (land development) that I can get involved in within the next two to three months, or it’s gonna pass by.” (Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(5-23-2002)
  • Wally Wins, well sort of: NASCAR driver and broadcaster Wally Dallenbach won an $11.3 million court judgment Wednesday against his former race team owner in a breach-of-contract lawsuit. Dallenbach sued Darwin Oordt, head of Galaxy Motorsports, in Mecklenburg Superior Court last year, accusing the Tennessee-based team owner of reneging on a multimillion-dollar racing contract. Superior Court Judge Susan Taylor issued the $11.3million judgment against Oordt on Wednesday after he failed to show up Monday for a one-day bench trial. “I’m glad it’s over,” Dallenbach said. “I think the judgment speaks for itself.” Oordt didn’t immediately return a message left at the Murfreesboro, Tenn., number listed in his name. His lawyer, Wilbur Linton Jr. of High Point, issued a statement. “Mr. Oordt chose not to defend the case based upon financial reasons,” the statement said. “It would not matter if it was $1million or $11million. Not a penny will be paid.” It wasn’t clear how Oordt intended to avoid payment. “We intend to vigorously pursue collection efforts,” said Dallenbach’s attorney, John Buric of Charlotte. “Literally at the 11th hour the defendant decided not to come to court. It’s indicative of the way this man has conducted his personal life.” Dallenbach said he signed a three-year guaranteed contract in 1999 with Galaxy Motorsports worth at least $3.6million. Oordt stopped paying him his monthly installments in January 2001, the suit said. Oordt, who bought the team in 1999, suspended his Winston Cup operation last year after failing to find a sponsor. Dallenbach did race commentary for NBC and TNT for the second half of last season. Buric argued that the driver could have signed on with other teams, but that Oordt led him to believe new sponsors were lined up. “You can’t give somebody a three-year dream and after a year shut the doors and say everybody go home,” Dallenbach said. “They didn’t do their homework, and the rest of the team and I paid for it.” Dallenbach said he is still hoping to return to racing, but NASCAR’s youth movement makes it difficult for a 38-year-old driver to get a ride.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(5-23-2002)
  • Shawna out? UPDATE 2: hearing Shawna Robinson may not return to the #49 BAM Racing Cup ride. Ron Hornaday is in the car for the Lowes Motor Speedway Coca Cola 600 and was in the car at The Winston Open.(5-22-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing that BAM Racing could field a BGN team for Robinson and keep Hornaday in the #49 Cup car. Hornaday also supposedly may have a sponsor for a team in 2003….NAPA, if they do not re-sign with the #15 DEI team. AND from the Winston Cup Scene: Shawna Robinson will likely return to the BAM Racing Dodge at Michigan June 16, after yielding to Ron Hornaday for the last two events. Robinson’s focus, though, may shift to the Busch Series in an effort to help her adjust to an ill-handling race car. “The owners support me 100 percent, they’re very much saying that this is still my ride,” Robinson said May 17. “We’ll see what happens after these two events and what direction we’re going to go. Right now, I’m just holding my head high and walking forward.”(5-23-2002)
    UPDATE 2: sources at BAM racing tell me “Everythig is exactly the same here as it has always been Shawna will be back in the car for the Michigan race it was never our intention to remove her from the car.. Ron Hornaday came on board for two races to help Shawna. and the team and we would like to thank him for all that he has helped us accomplish in the last two weeks.”(5-23-2002)
  • Harvick and Yates? UPDATE: There are persistent reports that Yates would like to hire Kevin Harvick away from Chevy’s Richard Childress, although Childress and General Motors executives say that won’t happen.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-18-2002)
    UPDATE: [Robert] Yates said he hasn’t talked with Harvick. And Richard Childress, who owns Harvick’s Chevrolets, said his driver isn’t going anywhere. This despite numerous sources indicating the relationship between Harvick and his crew is anything but rosy. Childress, meanwhile, insists otherwise. “I’ve heard the same rumors, read the same things,” Childress said in regard to overtures to Harvick. “All I can say is you need to go ask (Yates). All I know is Kevin’s under a contract for another year. We plan on keeping him. He’s happy. We’re happy. Everything’s happy.”(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(5-23-2002)
  • DEI for sale? Speculation is increasing that a possible sale of Dale Earnhardt Inc. or parts of DEI may be under consideration, with word that owner Teresa Earnhardt may be considering a move to Florida. Finding anyone willing to finance such a sale might be difficult, particularly with the uncertainty surround two of DEI’s three teams. But there are indications that Anheuser-Busch might be involved in however the situation might play out, possibly as part-owner, to protect its investment in star Dale Earnhardt Jr. It is unclear how much of a financial stake Earnhardt Jr. has in the company his father built.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-18-2002)
    UPDATE: Rumors have also cropped up that Teresa Earnhardt is looking to sell all or part of the DEI operation. Norris said those statements are false and Park concurs. “I’ve talked to Teresa quite a bit and there’s no indication that the team’s going to be sold,” Park said. “I think that’s part of the rumor mill we’re all kind of suffering through right now. We’ve got Dale Earnhardt Jr. (and) Teresa Earnhardt and they plan on being around the sport for quite a long time.”(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)
    AND Dale Earnhardt Inc. may be sold. TV and several news sources are reporting that Teresa Earnhardt, widow of Dale Earnhardt, is interested in selling all or part of the three-team operation in order for her to take up a permanent residence in Florida. Two of the team’s three drivers – Steve Park and Michael Waltrip – have contracts that expire at the end of the season. Only Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains a fixture. Anheuser-Busch, reportedly, is very much interested in what happens at DEI, to a point where they might buy in to protect their investment in Earnhardt Jr. and his future with the company.(Danville Register Bee)(5-23-2002)
  • More on Rudd’s possible retirement: #28-Ricky Rudd says he’ll make a decision about his racing future by July. With his record-setting 656th consecutive start on the Winston Cup circuit set for Sunday, Ricky Rudd, at 45, said he’s finally taking a look at retiring. He said he’ll make a decision on his future by July. Today, the only decisions he and car owner Robert Yates will be making concern tonight’s qualifying runs for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, the longest race of the season. “As far as making a decision about what I’m going to do next year, well I’m at the end of a three-year contract with Robert Yates and Havoline, and when you start coming to the end of a contract, clearly you want to start weighing your options,” Rudd said. At the moment, Yates is also considering his options. Complicating the entire situation is the fact that Havoline, although a Texaco product, has been marketed by rival Shell to get around some merger issues. And now that Shell has bought Pennzoil-Quaker State, it plans to begin marketing those oil products instead of Havoline. While Yates ponders the sponsorship issues, Rudd is pondering his own options. “The options are staying with Robert; right now that is an option,” Rudd said. “The other options, if Robert can’t afford to wait for me to make a July decision, then obviously there are some other teams out there that would like to have me. But my No. 1 priority would be to stay where I am.” But with Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Rick Hendrick looking at picking up Rudd if he does become a free agent, Rudd would seem to be in the driver’s seat.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-23-2002)
  • Pepsi Can…oops: A misprint on the back of a Pepsi can has prompted hundreds of pop-drinking, auto-racing fans to call Roger Zabel’s house at all hours, day or night, in search of answers to their most pressing questions. Zabel filed a lawsuit in Will County Circuit Court last week against Pepsico, Inc., and the owners of Joliet’s Chicagoland Speedway over the misprint on the backs of what he believes are millions of Pepsi cans. The promotional cans encourage fans to call the NASCAR track for information about the July 14 race featuring driver Jeff Gordon. The number is Zabel’s unlisted telephone number.(more at the Herald News)(5-23-2002)
  • Totally NASCAR news: There will be an announcement that Krista Voda has been hired as a reporter/anchor for Totally NASCAR. Krista has been the weekend sports anchor at WLEX-TV in Lexington, Kentucky since 1999. She is expected to start no later than mid-June. Her motorsports background includes covering Daytona Speedweeks, the Indy 500 for WLEX, as well as everything that has ever been on the track at the Kentucky Speedway. After a half dozen Kentucky Derbys, she also knows a little about the other kind of horsepower. A native of Clinton, Iowa, Krista got her start in radio, working for the hometown AM station before heading off to college. She attended the University of Northern Iowa (Alma Mater of Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner) and majored in Electronic Media and Communications. While a student, Krista worked for the public access television station in Cedar Falls. In late 1996, Krista moved to Lexington for a job with radio station WKQQ. She then worked for WVLK radio and the Kentucky Thoroughblades before finding her way back into television at WLEX.(MotorsportsTV) Voda replaces Kirsten Gum who left the show for other duties a few weeks ago.(5-23-2002)
  • Wallace, Innovative and Stacker2 to Cup UPDATE 2: Jeff Hammond reported on FSN’s Totally NASCAR that Kenny Wallace and the BGN team he drivers for, Innovative Motorsports, will run four Winston Cup races this year. The tentative schedule is: Daytona in July, Chicagoland, Indianapolis and Watkins Glen. DEI will supply techincial support to the team which is currently running the full BGN season. No number mentioned but it won’t be #48 (#81 maybe?).(4-15-2002)
    UPDATE: IMI Announces that it will race 4 Winston Cup Races with Stacker 2 and Kenny. Those races will be Daytona, Chicago, Indy and Watkins Glen. IMI will purchase some cars from DEI and possibly other organizations to speed along the process. The Cars number used will be #98.(Kenny Wallaces Racing site)(4-16-2002)
    UPDATE 2: If all goes according to plan, Innovative Motorsports owner George de Bidart will move Kenny Wallace to Winston Cup full time in 2003, while at the same time continuing to field two full-time BGN (#’s 47 and 48) teams. The #48 team will attempt to make its Winston Cup debut at Daytona July 6, where it will have a car and engine from Dale Earnhardt Inc. Also on tap are the Cup races at Watkins Glen, Chicagoland and Indianapolis. As for next year, de Bidart expects to have everything nailed down by the end of August. There’s been speculation in recent weeks about the futures of Michael Waltrip and/or Steve Park at DEI, and most assume that Wallace, who subbed for Park at DEI late last year and early this season, could replace either driver. Whatever happens at DEI, however, is out of de Bidart’s hands. Should Wallace make the move to DEI, de Bidart could still attempt to make the move himself to Winston Cup with the blessings of his potential sponsor.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read), see more on the #98 Team News and Links page.(5-23-2002)
  • Latest NASCAR/Toyota news, CTS in 2004? UPDATE: Toyota’s invasion of NASCAR continues to evolve. And Wade Lopez is on the front lines. The Abingdon businessman fields Toyota Celica’s for drivers Tim Nichols (Abingdon) and Reece Milton (Blountville) in the Goody’s Dash Series. While industry insiders speculate when Toyota will make its next move up the NASCAR ladder, Lopez is building and learning with his Bristol-based Highlands Motorsports team. “My goal is to have serious advancement in this sport every year and I feel we can do that through our relationship with Toyota,” Lopez said. “Toyota is hoping to debut in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2004. That’s where I want to be.” Toyota has sent a factory representative to each Dash race, including Saturday night’s event at LPR.(Bristol Herald Courier)(5-14-2002)
    UPDATE: Toyota, which has tested the waters in NASCAR with several entries in the Goody’s Dash Series, is looking at the possibility of competing in the Truck [CTS] series. Lee White, vice president of Toyota Racing Development, said Wednesday, “Toyota is participating in a cooperative study with the NASCAR organization expanding our NASCAR involvement to include the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with our made-in-America full-size Tundra pickup trucks.” NASCAR has traditionally limited participation in its premier series to American-made vehicles. White, participating in a panel discussion during the Open-Wheel Racing Summit at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was asked if TRD would build a new engine for the truck series. “What we end up doing motorwise, I don’t think anyone expects NASCAR to change their rules for us, so you can draw your own conclusions.” Currently Dodge, Ford and Chevrolet compete in the truck series. Several teams are running Toyota Celicas in the six-cylinder Dash Series. “Frankly,” White said, “it’s given us good exposure for the Celica throughout the Southeast in addition to being a venue and a vehicle for developing relationships with the NASCAR organization.”(ThatsRacin.comAP), see my NASCAR Past News page for more on this.(5-23-2002)
  • #26 sponsor? UPDATE 3 announcement Sunday: hearing that Discover Card may come aboard to sponsor the #26 Haas-Carter Motorpsorts team, not sure when or who will driver. Frank Kimmel currently is driving the car in select events.(5-14-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing it could be a six race deal for 2002, no idea of a driver.(5-16-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Car owner Travis Carter, who lost his sponsor at the start of the season when Kmart filed for bankruptcy protection, appears to be set to race on through the summer. Frank Kimmel, who has driven Carter’s #26 Ford in several Winston Cup races this season, said he’ll run the Coca-Cola Racing Family 600 next Sunday, then step aside so another driver, most likely Todd Bodine, can drive the car for five or six races. A press conference has been scheduled for next week to announce the sponsor.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(5-17-2002)
    UPDATE 3: An announcement will be made on Sunday at 3:00pm/et at Lowes Motor Speedway by Haas Carter Motorsports regarding Todd Bodine and the #26 Ford for six races. Haas Carter Motorsports have obtained a sponsor for six races starting at Dover and ending at Chicagoland. The sponsor was gotten for former #26 driver Joe Nemechek who took the #25 ride because it was for the rest of the year – so Travis Carter let him out of his contract. Bodine has a contractual obligation to both Haas-Carter and Herzog Motorsports [#92 BGN] with Herzog being the primary. So now Todd will run the six Cup races from Dover to Chicago along with the BGN races. There are two conflicts after Dover, Nashville vs. Pocono and Kentucky vs. Michigan. Todd’s brother Geoffrey will qualify the Cup car at both Pocono and Michigan and Todd will fly back and forth for Happy Hour. Also mentioned is that there is the potential for this to become a full sponsorship [DiscoverCard?](from the Todd Bodine site and forum)(5-21-2002)
    UPDATE 4: NASCAR Winston Cup Scene reports in this week’s issue that Discover Card will sponsor Haas/Carter’s No. 26 Ford for six Winston Cup events. Details of the arrangement are expected to be disclosed in a press conference on Sunday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The report says Todd Bodine has been picked to drive the car, beginning with the June 2 race at Dover and running through the July 14 event at Chicagoland Speedway. Discover Card’s corporate headquarters is located in Chicago. The team started the year with sponsorship from Kmart, but lost it when the discount retail chain filed for bankruptcy protection.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter), Bodine was scheduled to test with the team at Dover May 21-22.(5-23-2002)


    (5-22-2002)

  • Autopsy Photos News: Whether records that were once open to public scrutiny can be sealed retroactively was the key issue between attorneys arguing both sides of the Dale Earnhardt autopsy photo debate before an appeals court today. “The right exists when the record is created,” insisted Tom Julin, a Miami attorney representing The Independent Florida Alligator, a student-run newspaper in Gainesville. The Alligator wants the 5th District Court of Appeal to reverse a ruling last year by Circuit Judge Joseph Will that sealed the Earnhardt photos. The Florida Legislature then adopted a new law restricting access to such photos. Theresa Earnhardt attended the hour-long hearing, along with an entourage of attorneys and media relations specialists. She declined to talk before or after the hearing, during which only attorneys were allowed to argue their respective points before the three-judge panel. The appeals judges could rule anytime from a week to six months or could pass the issue on to the Florida Supreme Court.(more at Daytona Beach News Journal)(5-22-2002)
  • Winston Rules to be ‘tweaked’? R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. officials are already looking at how they might adjust the new rules used in The Winston this year to make them better in 2003. While no such decisions can be made without NASCAR’s approval, RJR will considering proposing that the number of cars to will be inverted before the final segment be selected randomly next year, instead of by a fan vote. Although officials like giving fans a voice in the race, it’s clear that fans are always going to vote to invert the maximum number they’re allowed to choose. Randomly choosing the number of cars to invert could discourage drivers from laying back in the second segment to get a better starting spot for the third. RJR will also look at making the Winston Open slightly longer and requiring teams to make a pit stop during that preliminary race to stir competition. Jeremy Mayfield led all 30 laps in the Open last weekend.(ThatsRacin.com), no mention changing the way a pit stop is made in the first segment of the Winston.(5-22-2002)
  • DEI Employee Charged: Joseph George Katula III, of Concord, NC, has been charged with seven counts of felony larceny by employee in the theft of $500 worth of auto parts from the racing enterprise, Iredell Sheriff Phil Redmond said this morning. He was taken to Iredell County Jail on a $10,000 bond and has a June court date. Katula started working at Dale Earnhardt Inc. nine months ago, Redmond said. Katula worked in the shop area rebuilding rear axle gears, the sheriff said. The owner of a local used parts store called DEI when a man sold auto parts to the owner for $1,000. The owner wanted to make sure the man had permission to sell the DEI items, Redmond said. Rex Garrett, a DEI supervisor, found that the parts had been stolen, the sheriff said. Sheriff’s Detective Sgts. Allen Sipes and Neil Hayes arrested and charged Katula this week.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-22-2002)
  • Burton tests at road course: #99- Jeff Burton was at Virginia International Raceway Tuesday testing his road course #99 CITGO Ford in preparation for the upcoming race at Sears Point on June 23 in Sonoma, CA.(Danville Register Bee)(5-22-2002)
  • RCR Crew Swap? hearing rumors that the #29 and #31 Richard Childress Racing teams could swap crews in order to try to turn around their season.(5-22-2002)
  • Rusty Injured but ok: Broken Toes and all #2-Rusty Walace participated in NASCAR’s special test at Richmond Wedneday and will be behind the wheel of his new car (PC-43) at Lowe’s on Thursday. Wallace sustained three broken toes on his left foot in the grinding crash on lap 14 in the first segment of last Saturday night’s “The Winston” all-star race at Lowe’s. “It’s about as hard as I’ve ever hit and that includes that head-on deal at Pocono a couple of years back,” Rusty said. “What made it worse was the fact that I saw the whole thing unfold right in front of me and couldn’t do anything about it. I saw the wall and knew it was going to be a hard hit.and it definitely was that.”(Tom Roberts PR)(5-22-2002)
  • More NASCAR Rock: on the heels of NBC’s Rock CD NASCAR: Full Throttle released late in 2001 (yes Jayski has it), Fox has one of their own, NASCAR on FOX brings your favorite race feature, NASCAR: Crank It Up. Fueled with new songs and rare tracks from some of rock’s most potent stars, in partnership with MCA Records, the NASCAR on FOX Crank It Up CD goes green. For more info, see the Fox Sports site or order one or both from my Racing Bookstore.(5-22-2002)

    (5-21-2002)

  • NASCAR Softball: There are 16 NASCAR race teams preparing for competition this summer on the softball diamond, as follows: Joe Gibbs Racing; Innovative Motorsports; Ganassi Racing; DEI Intimidators; Roush Racing (Winston Cup); Jasper Motorsports; Hendrick Motorsports 1; Hendrick Motorsports 2; BACE Motorsports; Ultra Motorsports; Robert Yates Racing #28; Welliver-Jesel Motorsports; Roush Racing (Busch); DEI… Michael Waltrip Racing; Robert Yates Racing #88; Racing Champions. The 2002 Race City Resumes, Inc. Totally Racin Softball League is into its 5th Season. DEI… Dale Earnhardt Inc. Intimidators are looking to defend their 2000 & 2001 Championships. All are welcome to come out and support their favorite team.(Race City Resumes)(5-21-2002)
  • Sad News – Campers Die UPDATE: After receiving a call from a woman Sunday who said her husband had not returned home from a campground at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, more than a dozen Concord police officers started a search. They discovered two men dead inside a tent around 2:00am/et at a campground outside Lowe’s Motor Speedway in a lot where hundreds of fans of The Winston have parked their campers for race activities. Officers found a small charcoal grill burned out inside the tent near the victim’s bodies. It was likely being used as some type of heat source when temperatures began to dip Saturday night, investigators say. Investigators say the death of the two men is accidental. The victims are from North Carolina and nearby campers say they believe they are from the Marion area. The camper and truck were towed from scene Monday morning and taken to the Concord Police Station as evidence. Investigators say they are contacting family at this hour. They plan to release more details later this afternoon.(NBC6.com) and an update on the story posted a little while ago at NBC6.com: Bodies found at Lowe’s Motor Speedway campground.(5-20-2002)
    UPDATE: Early Monday morning, security officers found the bodies of two N.C. men in their tent at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, apparently victims of carbon monoxide poisoning from a charcoal grill they were using to stay warm. The cause of death has not been officially determined for Todd Stewart Loftis, 37, of Marion and Joseph Dylan Rumfelt, 24, of Old Fort. But police say the brothers-in-law probably died from inhaling carbon monoxide from the grill as the temperature dropped into the 40s. It’s not the first time the deadly gas has killed camping race fans. In campgrounds at speedways across the country, thousands of racing fans pitch tents and park recreational vehicles, enjoying cheap lodging and campground camaraderie. But in the past eight years, the combination of burning fuel and small, enclosed sleeping spaces has killed at least 10 campers in at least six incidents at major speedways. “It just tore me to pieces,” said Shane Burton of Kings Mountain, who had set up camp a few rows away in the Peninsula campground on speedway property. “The way people are in the campgrounds, if they would have just said they were cold, (somebody) would have brought them in.” Speedway officials estimated that between 10,000 and 15,000 people camped on their property for The Winston — equal to about one-fourth Concord’s population. But something tragic happened just two weeks ago, when, after the NASCAR Pontiac 400 at Richmond International Speedway in Virginia, a 20-year-old woman died from inhaling exhaust that leaked into her camper from its gas-powered generator. Carbon monoxide — a colorless, odorless gas produced by burning fuel — replaces the body’s oxygen when inhaled, slowly suffocating the victim. Lowe’s Motor Speedway officials said that until now, nobody had died there from carbon monoxide poisoning. But they do get several rescue calls each year from people experiencing symptoms of it: dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea and irregular breathing. The Concord Fire Department began Monday posting fliers warning campers how to prevent carbon monoxide inhalation.(more at ThatsRacin.com)(5-21-2002)
  • Sadler out of the #21? UPDATEs $11 million sponsor?: ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night reports that Elliott Sadler has asked for his release from the #21 Wood Brothers team. Sadler supposedly is looking at an opportunity with Dale Earnhardt Inc (#15? – no idea). The Wood Brothers have not granted his release yet.(4-30-2002)
    UPDATE: Word around some shops [and from ESPN] is that Elliott Sadler has asked for a release from his contract from the #21 Motorcraft Wood Brothers Ford. Sadler has supposedly been approached by several teams and wants out of the contract he has had with the team since 1999 to explore those options. One of the teams rumored to be interested in Sadler is Dale Earnhardt Inc., the home of Dale Earnhardt Jr, Steve Park and Michael Waltrip. Kenny Wallace, who filled in for the Park after his Darlington injuries last September, is still under contract to DEI as well.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(5-1-2002)
    UPDATE: Thursday’s ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night reported that Sadler has sponsor’s worth $11 million to bring to a team and has talked to DEI about taking the sponsor there.(5-3-2002)
    UPDATE 5: Elliott Sadler, according to several sources, has come up with an $11 million sponsorship with the World Wrestling Federation (actually the WWE not WWF) and is shopping that deal around. Two weeks ago DEI’s Ty Norris, who is in renegotiation talks with sponsor NAPA and Pennzoil (now owned by Shell), confirmed talking with Sadler. Now word from Ford Motor Company sources is that Ford officials are trying to keep Sadler in their camp by trying to put together a new Ford ride for him. One of the Ford options being raised is a ride with Robert Yates, even though neither of Yates’ two current drivers, Dale Jarrett and Ricky Rudd, has expressed any interest in moving on. According to one source, Sadler has not been satisfied with the horsepower he’s been getting from Roush Racing.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-18-2002)
    AND nore: just speculation but here it is – Several WWE superstars are friends with Elliott Sadler and his brother Hermie (who races cars also) and in his bio Hermie says he will sometimes travel with the WWE and a couple of the wrestlers participated in a golf tournament the Sadlers had. This just adds to the fact that the WWE will likely sponsor his car. According the the Honolulu Advertiser, which looks at the Rock returning to Hawaii (he went to high school there) on June 15th for the WWF event there, where Rock will take on Chris Jericho in a no DQ match.(prowrestling.com) BUT on Speed Channel’s Inside Winston Cup (a jayski must see) Elliot Sadler denied have any sponsorship in hand with any company, then Michael Waltrip asked Sadler if he ever read Jayski, which Sadler replied “everyday”, pretty cool, but anyhow….the point is, Sadler said he has no sponsor in place.(5-21-2002)
  • NASCAR Technical Institute grand opening UPDATE: The NASCAR Technical Institute has its grand opening at 6:00pm/et on Monday, May 20th at Talbert Pointe Business Park in Mooresville, NC. The Institute is the first-ever technical training school that combines a complete automotive technology program and a NASCAR-specific motorsports program. The Institute can train 1,900 students daily in core entry-level automotive technology and NASCAR expertise. The Institute, which will be housed in a $12 million, 146,000 square-foot facility, will have around 150 employees and will be aimed at addressing the shortage of qualified auto service technicians in the automotive industry.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-18-2002)
    UPDATE: NASCAR continued its rapid expansion Monday at the grand opening of a school designed to specifically train mechanics and help them break into auto racing. The NASCAR Technical Institute is a sparkling 146,000-square foot training facility located on 19 acres in the heart of NASCAR country. The school is capable of training 1,900 students a day and ready them for jobs in auto racing. The school offers two programs – one lasts 57 weeks, the other lasts 69 – and consists of traditional technology training, as well as NASCAR specific training. Tuition starts at $24,350 and the first session begins July 1. NASCAR teamed with Universal Technical Institute to build the school, which requires only a high school degree or a General Equivalency Diploma and has an age requirement of at least 18 years old. Coursework includes engine construction, electrical, fuel and lubrication systems, drive trains, body and chassis fabrication and racing theory principles. Students will also learn the history and rules and regulations of NASCAR. Graduates are expected to easily find work, whether its with a race team, a car dealership or a garage.(Augusta Chronicle/AP).(5-21-2002)
    AND With the grand opening of the NASCAR Technical Institute this summer in Mooresville, N.C., UPS extends its NASCAR partnership with UPS Racing Technical Edge Scholarships offered for financial assistance to minority students seeking careers in racing and automotive technology. The scholarship program unites two important UPS goals: to encourage diversity and advance educational opportunity. UPS supports the sport’s growing and diverse fan base with active participation on the NASCAR Diversity Council and a paid 10-week summer assignment for a student from one of the nation’s historically black colleges as part of NASCAR’s Minority Internship Program. UPS will provide scholarships to students based on financial need with attention to automotive work experience and automotive-related career goals. Applicants must be high school graduates or be completing their senior year and be registered or planning to enroll in the 57-week North Carolina-based program by November 1, 2002. Scholarship Management Services of St. Peter, Minn., will administer the program with applications posted on the UPS Racing web site in June.(Business Wire)(5-21-2002)
  • Penalties at The Winston? UPDATE: ThatsRacin.com is reporting: #21-Elliott Sadler, #29-Kevin Harvick and race winner #12-Ryan Newman were all told to report to the NASCAR hauler following the race for incidents each was involved in during Saturday night’s Winston. On Lap 43, Newman edged Sadler up the track and Sadler hit the Turn 2 wall, sending him to the garage. Before Sadler left the scene of the wreck, he took off his helmet and threw it at Newman’s car as he passed by. Newman was called to the hauler for hitting Sadler, while Sadler was called in for throwing the helmet. Harvick and Newman traded bumps while under caution and Harvick was called in for that incident. NASCAR spokesperson Danielle Frye said Sadler will likely receive a penalty for his actions, which would be announced Monday.(5-19-2002)
    UPDATE: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports that Elliott Sadler was fined $5,000 by NASCAR for throwing his helmet at Ryan Newman’s car during The Winston.(5-20-2002)
    AND NASCAR officials announced that driver Elliott Sadler has been fined $5,000 for his actions this past weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Sadler, driver of the #21 Ford, threw his helmet at another competitor’s car [#12 Ryan Newman] and was penalized under Section 12-4-A of the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rule Book: œActions detrimental to stock car racing.(NASCAR PR)(5-21-2002)
  • New Sam Bass site: Although motorsports artist Sam Bass relocated his gallery and design studio to a new facility across from Lowe’s Motor Speedway in 2000, Bass announced recently that his business is expanding again. To the 10,000-square-foot building Bass is adding100…megabytes? While one-tenth of a gigabyte may not seem like much – hardly a blip on the hard drive of a new desktop computer – it’s the Web site residing within that Bass expects to spark the interest of race fans and art collectors alike. Sambass.com has been newly built for ease of navigation and downloading speed. It is well-stocked with news about the latest releases, information about the artist, and, of course, hundreds of paintings and car designs created by Bass. “A lot of people who buy our art don’t live close enough to conveniently visit us,” said Sam Bass. “This new site will give those folks a chance to ‘look around’ the gallery and even purchase a fine-art print or poster without leaving their house.” Brad Bowling and Brad Spry – two Concord-based Web developers who build sites as “The Brads” – created sambass.com with supervision from Bass’ in-house graphics specialist Phillip McCollam. “We realize that not all race fans are comfortable getting around the Internet,” said Brad. “Our whole approach to designing a site for Sam Bass was to make it as simple as possible, but still have an elegance that constantly reminds the viewer that he is looking at an art gallery and graphic design firm.” For more information about Sam Bass’ motorsports art and latest race car designs, visit the new Web site at Sambass.com.(5-21-2002)
  • Sad News: Delaware Speedway Truck division competitor Stan Harborne of Chatham died last night (May 18, 2002) at London Health Sciences Centre. After a single vehicle incident at Delaware Speedway during the Truck division feature race, track emergency personnel attended to Harborne until he was transported to hospital by Provincial ambulance. The incident is being investigated by Ontario Provincial Police. An autopsy is being performed to determine the cause of death. Harborne, age 61, was in his second year of competition at Delaware Speedway. Another news release will be forthcoming as further information becomes available.(5-21-2002)
  • Earnhardt’s Mother Honored: Martha Earnhardt, wife of the late Ralph Earnhardt, the mother of seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt, and the grandmother of Kerry, Dale Jr., Kelley and Taylor Earnhardt, is the grand marshal for the May 21 UAW-GM Teamwork Parade in Charlotte. This year’s theme is Racing Legends and is a tribute to those who paved the way for today’s Winston Cup circuit. Among those scheduled to appear in the parade are current and former drivers Ned Jarrett, Junior Johnson, Morgan Shepherd, Rex White, Brett Bodine, Jim Vandiver, Neil “Soapy” Castles, Ken Ragan, Kirk Shelmerdine, Ashton Lewis, Shawna Robinson, and Elliott Sadler; the Earnhardt family; the first Miss Winston Marilyn Chilton Green; Leonard Wood; Neil Bonnett’s daughter Kristen; Fireball Roberts’ daughter Pam; Frances Flock, wife of the late Tim Flock; and Wanda Lund, wife of the late Tiny Lund. The parade is scheduled to begin at 8:00pm/et.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(5-16-2002)
    AND Charlotte’s annual celebration of NASCAR gets under way tonight with the UAW-GM Teamwork Parade through the streets of the business district. The parade, which is scheduled to start at 8:00pm/et and end with a fireworks display, is expected to feature NASCAR drivers, show cars, marching bands, clowns, floats and local celebrities. The celebration continues on Thursday when the Food Lion Speed Street is scheduled to open its three-day run, featuring entertainment on three stages, driver appearances, NASCAR show cars and simulators and a variety of vendors.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter). More info on this and other driver appearances/links/chats see my Driver Appearance/Chats Page.(5-21-2002)


    (5-20-2002)

  • Cars, Drivers wanted: America’s Most Wanted is looking for drivers and cars, because they will be taping a complete show at the Concord Motorsports Park on Wednesday May 22, which is scheduled to air on Saturday May 25th, 2002 which is National Missing Children’s Day (the set will be closed to the public). They are looking for anyone within the area with a Winston Cup, BGN, or Hooters Cup series showcar or racecar and driver that is capable to do limited choreographed driving simulations and pit stops for segments on the show. They will be featuring and unveiling their America’s Most Wanted/www.BigFanRacing.com missing children’s BGN car on the show and showing segments on Missing Children cases, and they are offering visual exposure opportunities to the teams that would like to participate for their sponsors and drivers. Spaces are limited, for further information contact Scott Davis at sdavis@bodydynamicsracing.com and send a color photo of your car. Drivers can get their sponsor added National exposure and sponsor representatives are encouraged to inquire as well. For additional contact information go to www.bodydynamicsracing.com.(5-20-2002)
  • A 5th Hendrick team with Sprague? UPDATE 3 will NOT run at Lowes next week: been told that Hendrick Motorsports BGN driver, Jack Sprague, will drive the #60 Haas Chevy in the Coca Cola 600 at Lowes Motor Speedway in May and possibly up to six more Cup events. See an image of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery.(3-19-2002)
    UPDATE: Dr Jerry Punch interviewed Jack Sprague on ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night and it was mentioned that the team just got the new #60 car in the shop and plans to test at Charlotte/Lowes Motor Speedway in a few weeks. Other races include New Hampshire, both Lowes races and Homestead. Rick Hendrick will be part owner of the team.(4-9-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Three-time CTS champ Jack Sprague will run five Cup races this season with a new team owned by Haas Automation. The team will use engines and cars built by Hendrick Motorsports, who Sprague currently drives in the BGN. The team will move full-time to Winston Cup in 2003. The team will debut at the Coca-Cola 600 next month in Charlotte. Other races scheduled are: New Hampshire in September; Charlotte in October; Atlanta in October; and Homestead, Fla., in November. Additional races may be added. “I have been waiting a long time to get the right opportunity to go Winston Cup racing,” Sprague said. “I’ve had opportunities in the past, but they just weren’t structured in a way that would give me and the team all the ingredients needed for success.” “This new association with Haas Automation has everything needed to make the deal go, both on and off the track. This deal is worth the wait.” Sprague’s current and long-time crew chief, Dennis Conner, will also serve in that capacity with his Cup team. Joe Custer will serve as the team’s general manager.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-19-2002)
    UPDATE 3: The new Haas CNC Racing Chevy Cup team, owned by Gene Haas, that was announced a month ago at Talladega Superspeedway, entered a #60 Haas Automation Chevrolet for BGN driver Jack Sprague in the May 26 Coca-Cola Racing Family 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, was withdrawn May 13, after the team tested at the 1.5-mile Lowe’s oval. “We just didn’t feel like we were prepared enough and quick enough to go there and do it,” Sprague said. “So we’re going to hold off and get our stuff better prepared and go test again.” Dennis Connor, crew chief for both of Sprague’s programs, said there was no quick fix for the Cup team’s planned first outing. HCR initially announced a five-race program for this season, after which it will run a full Winston Cup schedule in 2003. But Connor stressed that both operations agreed that the Winston Cup team, which employs Hendrick Motorsports cars, engines and technical support — as well as most of Sprague’s Busch Series crew — should not impact this year’s Busch championship run while preparing for next season. Connor said team manager Joe Custer and Haas put no pressure on he and Sprague to run at Charlotte, even though the team’s announcement was geared toward the high profile 600 race week. Connor said both of thier Cup cars would ultimately be taken to a wind tunnel, the team would build another new car and then take an existing car from Hendrick’s #24 (Jeff Gordon) or #48 (Johnson) stable and test at Kentucky Speedway July 29 and 30. He said the team also had tests scheduled at Darlington Raceway and Kansas Speedway and would make a decision after that on which race to run to replace the Lowe’s event — with the possibility it would do both. If it is to run five races this season, it has to also replace the September New Hampshire 300. The additional races the team originally planned to run are in conjunction with Busch Series events at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Atlanta and Homestead.(NASCAR.com)(5-20-2002)
    AND The team won’t race at Lowes after a disappointing test session two weeks ago at the speedway. The team will also skip their next scheduled Cup race which would have been New Hampshire in July, aiming to debut at Chicagoland.(PRN’s Garage Pass)(5-20-2002)
  • Less Young Men watch NASCAR: Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal says NASCAR appears to be losing some appeal “in the key demographic of males 18 to 34 years old,” with the races on Fox down 22 percent in that category this year. The decline comes at the same time that “amost every major sports property has seen ratings among young men — the audience many advertisers covet most — fall disproportionately with general household ratings.” Writer Andy Bernstein says that even for NASCAR’s April 21 Aaron’s Rent 499 at Talladega, which drew 9 percent more viewers than last year, the ratings fell 29 percent among men 18 to 34. Other sports have suffered similar drops, with the NHL down 38 percent among the group, the PGA Tour off 21 percent and Major League Baseball on ESPN off 30 percent. The story says that overall ratings for races on Fox are down 2 percent this season.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-20-2002)

 


(5-19-2002)

 

  • One Engine Rule in place for the Coca Cola 600: NASCAR is expected to leave its single-engine rule in place for Coca-Cola 600 activities this week, meaning cars will have to use one engine for all practice, qualifying and the Winston Cup circuit’s longest race. Teams were not held to the rule for the Daytona 500, and when the rule was put in place NASCAR officials said its use would be studied for the 600.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-19-2002)
  • The The Coca-Cola Racing Family 600 is a No Bull 5 Program event. #40-Sterling Marlin and #20-Tony Stewart wowed the crowd during preliminary ceremonies Saturday when they finished 1-2 in a competition matching the five drivers eligible for the No Bull Five $1 million bonus in next week’s Coca-Cola 600. Each drove a Winston Cup transporter around an obstacle course, and Marlin and Stewart managed to do so without making any mistakes. Marlin’s time (1 minute, 13.99 seconds) was faster. #20-Stewart was second, #12-Ryan Newman third, #19-Jeremy Mayfield fourth and #6-Mark Martin fifth.(Gaston Gazette)(5-19-2002)
  • The Winston – won by #12-Ryan Newman: after starting last (27th) in Segment 1, #8-Earnhardt Jr made it quite exciting at the end and almost caught Newman. Newman is the 2nd driver to transfer from The Winston Open/No Bull Sprint races to win The Winston, Michael Waltrip did it in 1996, Newman is also only the 2nd rookie driver to win The Winston, Earnhardt Jr was the first in 2000. See my The Winston 2002page for results of The Winston, each segment, the Winston Open and the No Bull Sprint along with news, info, rules, qualifying, starting lineup, etc. Also see my Paint Scheme Gallery for many The Winston images, added quite a few images.(5-18/19-2002)
  • Ward to Hendrick? Dodge executives say they are worried that Chevy’s Rick Hendrick may be ready to make another run at Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-19-2002)
  • Special Stewart Schemes: hearing that #20-Tony Stewart will run Snoopy/Peanuts paint schemes at Bristol in August and at Atlanta in October, one is an orange scheme and one is black, maybe the Great Pumpkin at Atlanta?(5-19-2002)
  • Sad News: At approximately 2:00pm/et on Thursday, WTQR’s Big Paul Franklin was fatally injured in a wreck involving three motorcycles and two cars on US 64 West of Asheboro, NC. Franklin, morning show host and Program Director, was traveling with his wife Susan who was injured but is recovering at Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem, NC. Franklin has held the position of Program Director at WTQR for nearly 8 years and during that time has been host of the popular morning show program with longtime friend Aunt Eloise. Details will be released soon on where and how you can make a donation in lieu of flowers.(5-17-2002)
    UPDATE: Donations can be made to any Wachovia Bank or BB&T Bank in the triad of North Carolina or donations can be sent to the studio at: Paul Franklin Donations, 2-B PAI Park, Greensboro, N.C. 27409.(5-19-2002)
  • Pontiac Awaits NASCAR OK: After completing wind tunnel and on-track testing last week, Pontiac officials have submitted the completed 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix for NASCAR approval. Former Winston Cup champion Bobby Labonte tested the car last week at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Gary Nelson, Winston Cup managing director of competition, said NASCAR was working on “mostly minor testing.” “We have to make templates and compare them” to the other manufacturer entries, Nelson said. Jimmy Makar, Labonte’s crew chief, said the test went smoothly. “There were a few little things, nothing major. We’re still working through the templates with (NASCAR),” he said. “We’ve already gone up there one time and worked over somethings with them. They were all pretty minor issues.”(ThatsRacin.com)(5-19-2002)
  • ARCA Driver Injured: Tina Gordon suffered a serious leg injury and underwent surgery at a Charlotte, NC, hospital Saturday after a crash in the ARCA/Remax Series EasyCare 100 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Gordon suffered a clean break of her left tibia and fibia, a broken bone on the side of her left foot, a broken left heel, a broken left big toe and a broken right little toe. It was Gordon’s first race with a new HANS device after previously using the Hutchens device, and Gary Gordon said he was very thankful his wife was wearing the safety device. “To be honest with you, I think it saved her life,” he Gordon said. “I was at the race where Steve Park got hurt last year and it was a lot like that. She took a harder lick than Steve Park did and she doesn’t even have a concussion.” Doctors were uncertain how long Gordon would be hospitalized following her surgery. In the race, Jeff Fultz passed ARCA points leader Frank Kimmel on Lap 62 and held on to post his first ARCA series victory.(Anniston Star), Fultz is a fabricator at Jasper Motorsports [#77] and it was only his second career ARCA start driving the #55 C&C Boilers Ford, powered by Penske/Jasper Engines. His wife Angela is the Office Manager at Jasper Motorsports.(5-19-2002)
    Update at the Anniston Star: Gordon’s injury list grows.(5-20-2002)


    (5-18-2002)

  • Drivers to Test at Richmond UPDATE: A few drivers (doesn’t say which ones) are participating in a closed Winston Cup test at Richmond International Raceway on Tuesday [May 21]. The public and media are not allowed to attend the session in which Goodyear and NASCAR officials plan to test both tires and the sealer that drew complaints following the Pontiac 400 on May 4.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-17-2002)
    UPDATE: NASCAR is sending #20-Tony Stewart and #2-Rusty Wallace to Richmond International Raceway next week to figure out what, if anything, is wrong with the track. Winston Cup director John Darby said NASCAR isn’t convinced the sealer is the problem, which is why the sanctioning body asked Stewart and Wallace to test the track. One possibility is that Goodyear, which switched the type of tire it is using this season, has given the teams rubber not compatible with Richmond, Darby said. So Stewart and Wallace will test the track Tuesday with tires from both this year and last in an effort to rule that out. NASCAR asked several teams to test the track, but could get only those two drivers. Darby said he was disappointed a Chevrolet will not be represented. Four-time Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon was asked to take his Chevy there, but declined and then expressed frustration over the demands on drivers.(Daytona Beach News Journal/AP)(5-18-2002)
  • DEI for sale? Speculation is increasing that a possible sale of Dale Earnhardt Inc. or parts of DEI may be under consideration, with word that owner Teresa Earnhardt may be considering a move to Florida. Finding anyone willing to finance such a sale might be difficult, particularly with the uncertainty surround two of DEI’s three teams. But there are indications that Anheuser-Busch might be involved in however the situation might play out, possibly as part-owner, to protect its investment in star Dale Earnhardt Jr. It is unclear how much of a financial stake Earnhardt Jr. has in the company his father built.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-18-2002)
  • Kenseth and DEI? Word from team sources that Dale Earnhardt Jr. would like to have Matt Kenseth (#17) as a teammate. Earnhardt and Kenseth were good buddies their rookie season, and Kenseth – who is low-key and would be unlikely to overshadow Junior – is a very solid driver who rarely tears up equipment.(Winston Salem Journal), NOTE: see my #17 Team News and Links page for past news on Kenseth’s contract.(5-18-2002)
  • New Engines for Little and BACE: #74-BACE Motorsports has contracted with PME-Pro Motors Engineering to provide Chevy engines for their Winston Cup cars starting with the Coca Cola 600 (APR was supplying engines). In ARCA, Jason Jarrett, Damon Lusk, and Michael Vergers use their Chevy and Ford engines. Stuart Kirby practiced very well at the Charlotte BGN practice in his #34 Air Force Sponsored Chevy. PME also supplies engine for CTS teams of #90-Lance Norick and #88-Matt Crafton.(5-18-2002)
  • Penske to Stick with Ford? UPDATE: Although Penske Racing’s contract with Ford runs out at the end of the season, don’t expect the #2 (Rusty Wallace) and #12 (Ryan Newman) teams to jump ship to another manufacturer anytime soon. Roger Penske has been mentioned as a possible candidate to field Toyotas when the auto manufacturer comes to NASCAR because he owns the greatest number of dealerships. But Toyota isn’t targeted to introduce its first North American V-8 until 2003. Insiders at Penske South expect the teams to renew with Ford.(Sporting News)(4-29-2002)
    UPDATE: Roger Penske, a Ford man for nine years, is looking at negotiating a new Detroit contract some time this season. Penske team officials have said they expect Penske to sign again with Ford. However, Detroit sources suspect Penske will move to Dodge.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-18-2002)
  • Sadler out of the #21? UPDATEs $11 million sponsor?: ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night reports that Elliott Sadler has asked for his release from the #21 Wood Brothers team. Sadler supposedly is looking at an opportunity with Dale Earnhardt Inc (#15? – no idea). The Wood Brothers have not granted his release yet.(4-30-2002)
    UPDATE: Word around some shops [and from ESPN] is that Elliott Sadler has asked for a release from his contract from the #21 Motorcraft Wood Brothers Ford. Sadler has supposedly been approached by several teams and wants out of the contract he has had with the team since 1999 to explore those options. One of the teams rumored to be interested in Sadler is Dale Earnhardt Inc., the home of Dale Earnhardt Jr, Steve Park and Michael Waltrip. Kenny Wallace, who filled in for the Park after his Darlington injuries last September, is still under contract to DEI as well.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(5-1-2002)
    UPDATE: Thursday’s ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night reported that Sadler has sponsor’s worth $11 million to bring to a team and has talked to DEI about taking the sponsor there.(5-3-2002)(more updates on this on the #21 Team News and Links page)
    UPDATE 5: Elliott Sadler, according to several sources, has come up with an $11 million sponsorship with the World Wrestling Federation (actually the WWE not WWF) and is shopping that deal around. Two weeks ago DEI’s Ty Norris, who is in renegotiation talks with sponsor NAPA and Pennzoil (now owned by Shell), confirmed talking with Sadler. Now word from Ford Motor Company sources is that Ford officials are trying to keep Sadler in their camp by trying to put together a new Ford ride for him. One of the Ford options being raised is a ride with Robert Yates, even though neither of Yates’ two current drivers, Dale Jarrett and Ricky Rudd, has expressed any interest in moving on. According to one source, Sadler has not been satisfied with the horsepower he’s been getting from Roush Racing.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-18-2002)
  • Harvick and Yates? There are persistent reports that Yates would like to hire Kevin Harvick away from Chevy’s Richard Childress, although Childress and General Motors executives say that won’t happen.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-18-2002)
  • Big News…for some reason: Four time Cup Champ, #24-Jeff Gordon is sporting a goatee (like Jayski), seems the AP, FX and all other news outlets are picking up on it. Anyhow, see pictures at ThatsRacin.comor Gaston Gazette or NASCAR.com.(5-18-2002)
  • Cup Award Ceremony Moved: The storied and spacious Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City’s Manhattan Center will serve as the site for this year’s NASCAR Winston Cup Series 2002 awards ceremony, set for the evening of Friday, Dec. 6. The annual season-ending ceremony, which honors the NASCAR Winston Cup champion and the rest of the season’s final top 10 drivers, was previously held since 1981 at the Waldorf=Astoria, another New York landmark. In 1981, the ceremony took place in the historic hotel’s Starlight Roof. In 1982, the ceremony was moved to the Grand Ballroom. The Waldorf-Astoria will continue to serve as headquarters for NASCAR’s week-long stay in New York that leads up to the awards, and once again will host the annual NASCAR Press Luncheon and the National Motorsports Press Association/Myers Brothers Awards Breakfast. Also, immediately following the awards ceremony, the œChampion’s Party will be held in the Waldorf’s Grand Ballroom. NASCAR’s unprecedented growth in popularity, reflected by increasing attendance and media coverage at the year-end awards ceremony, has necessitated the move to the Hammerstein Ballroom. The 20,000 square-foot facility will boost seating for the ceremony to approximately 1,600. Red carpets will greet guests at the Hammerstein’s elegant entrance, part of what promises to be an Academy Awards-type of atmosphere. The Manhattan Center is located in Midtown, on West 34th Street near the theatre district and Madison Square Garden. The Hammerstein Ballroom formerly was known as the Manhattan Opera House, which was built in 1906 by composer Oscar Hammerstein, who envisioned it as competition to the Metropolitan Opera House. Throughout its history, the facility has hosted giants of the entertainment industry. The 2002 awards ceremony will include theater-style seating, with doors to the Hammerstein Ballroom opening at approximately 7:00pm/et. The ceremony will be televised live on TNT and broadcast live by MRN. NBC also will televise portions of the ceremony on a tape-delayed basis at a later date.(NASCAR PR)(5-18-2002)

    (5-17-2002)

  • Some Dale Earnhardt Jr stuff: On Sunday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will fly to Los Angeles for four days to participate in a music video with pop superstar Cheryl Crowe.(Garage Pass Radio ShowAND Earnhardt Jr was featured on ESPN’s Outside the Lines, will be re-aired on ESPN, Sat, May 18 at 3:30pm/et and on Monday, May 20 at 2:00pm.(ESPN)(5-17-2002)
  • Nadeau in the #10 longer? UPDATE thru Dover: Jerry Nadeau’s role as the substitute for the injured Johnny Benson in MBV Motorsports’ #10 Valvoline Pontiac may be extended beyond Saturday’s running of the Winston Open at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Nadeau, who left Hendrick Motorsports’ #25 Chevy earlier this month, was named as Benson’s sub for the Open, but Benson is saying his recovery from a rib cracked in a BGN race at Richmond may take awhile. “The Open is a race I wanted to race because we won it last year, but getting well is my main goal right now…. I don’t know when I will return. Everybody keeps telling me it is better to take my time and get healed instead of rushing back. I’m pretty much going to listen to what the doctors say and what my body says.”(Winston Cup Scene daily newsletter)(5-16-2002)
    UPDATE: Johnny Benson, who suffered a broken rib and two cracked ribs in an accident during the BGN race at Richmond, said Friday he will likely remain out of his #10 MBV Motorsports ride at least until the June 9 race at Pocono. Jerry Nadeau, who left his Hendrick Motorsports team last week, is subbing for Benson in the #10 Valvoline Pontiac until Benson’s return. “The type of break that I have, the doctors say can take seven or eight weeks to heal, but being a race car driver, I hope to be back before then,” Benson said. “I’ll sit out Charlotte and with Dover being Dover, they don’t want me to hit anything. We figure Pocono may be a good place to try to come back. I’ve cracked ribs before and they hurt, but until you break one you don’t know how much that hurts.”(ThatsRacin.com)(5-17-2002)
  • #48 Scheme at Lowes UPDATE: hearing the #48 Lowes Chevy will carry a Power of Pride scheme at The Winston and Coke 600, see my Paint Scheme Gallery for a possible scheme.(5-16-2002)
    UPDATE: In an effort that began May 3 at the Pontiac Excitement 400 race in Richmond, Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse and Team Lowe’s Racing are touring a giant thank you card to the U.S. military. Military supporters will be able to write their personal messages and signatures on the card at multiple sporting events and Lowe’s stores throughout the spring. There is a special kind of pride American military supporters feel for the men and women serving in the U.S. armed forces and many have never had the chance to personally express their gratitude. Now, thanks to this larger than life military tribute, thousands will finally get that chance. “We want to give Americans an opportunity to express their personal gratitude to the men and women serving our country,” said Bob Tillman, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO. “The Power of Pride is a way for all of us to salute these brave Americans and thank them for all they do.” Culminating the tour Memorial Day Weekend, Lowe’s will display the fully assembled 140 by 48 foot Power of Pride themed card during the Coca-Cola 600 at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 26. Of special note, actor Owen Wilson, the Coca-Cola 600 grand marshal, will add the ceremonial final signature to the card before it’s shipped to a military location to be determined. Each person who signs the giant card will receive a commemorative Power of Pride marker and bumper sticker, and for racing fans, the Team Lowe’s #48 Power of Pride show car will be on display. Lowe’s created the Power of Pride initiative as a way to pay tribute to the men and women serving in the armed forces and local police and fire departments. In the wake of Sept. 11, Lowe’s, its employee owners and customers raised more than $6 million for relief organizations and U.S. military, police officers and firefighters who put their lives on the line to save others.(Golin-Harris PR)(5-17-2002)
  • #59 Gets a Sponsor for Lowes: Price Motorsports, Inc. announced Thursday that the team has secured primary sponsorship for the Winston Open and the Coca-Cola 600 races from Key West Aloe based in Key West, Florida. The popular company specializes in aloe spa care, skin care, suncare, fragrances and cosmetics and has been in business since 1971. The company is well know for its over 150 different skin care selections and has retail store locations in Texas, Florida, Hawaii, Germany, Italy and The United Kingdom. The company’s web site can be visited at www.keywestaloe.com. The site features user friendly online shopping. A free catalog can also be ordered online. Although not a full year deal, Car Owner Foster Price was pleased to close the deal going into the festivities that are to take place the next two weekends at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. “We’re glad to bring Key West Aloe on.(Price Motorsports PR)(5-17-2002)
  • Earnhardt Hometown Tribune Gets a Boost: The effort to build the Dale Earnhardt Tribute in downtown Kannapolis has received a major boost, with Atlantic American Properties owner David H. Murdock’s agreeing to pay for the $200,000 sculpture. Kannapolis City Manager Mike Mahaney made the announcement Thursday afternoon in the 600 Room of the Speedway Club at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Murdock will also fund renovations for the Cannon Village Visitor’s Center to transform 2,000 square feet into a Tribute Center, Mahaney said. Another $300,000 to $400,000 will be required to complete the project. The visitor’s center will feature Sam Bass prints of Earnhardt. Over time the collection should change, and will feature seven Bass originals that will illustrate Earnhardt’s life story, chronicling his childhood in Kannapolis to his days of NASCAR prominence. Mahaney said the fall unveiling could come to fruition if there aren’t any hitches in the project. Arizona-based artist Ross Morgan is in charge of developing the statue, but widow Teresa Earnhardt has the final say on what goes and what doesn’t. Contributions for the project can be sent to the City of Kannapolis, care of The Dale Earnhardt Tribute Fund, P.O. Box 1199, Kannapolis, NC 28082-1199.(Independent Tribune)(5-17-2002)
  • Rudd Retirement update: Sitting at a table with co-Ironman Terry Labonte yesterday, Ricky Rudd was lauded for more than his streak of 655 Winston Cup starts. But in comments by speakers and a video honoring Rudd and Labonte, the two sharing the record until Rudd starts the Coca-Cola 600, were gentle reminders that many think Rudd could be leaving the sport at the end of this season. Rudd deflected the talk early but later commented directly on the issue. He carefully waded through the questions, trying to make his position clear. He doesn’t know yet what he’s doing in 2003. Rudd’s options are numerous. He could sign another contract with Robert Yates – his current one ends this season – or move over to another top operation. Or, at 45, he could walk away from racing. Rudd said he plans to make a decision by the end of July.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-17-2002)
  • #26 sponsor? UPDATE 2: hearing that Discover Card may come aboard to sponsor the #26 Haas-Carter Motorpsorts team, not sure when or who will driver. Frank Kimmel currently is driving the car in select events.(5-14-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing it could be a six race deal for 2002, no idea of a driver.(5-16-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Car owner Travis Carter, who lost his sponsor at the start of the season when Kmart filed for bankruptcy protection, appears to be set to race on through the summer. Frank Kimmel, who has driven Carter’s #26 Ford in several Winston Cup races this season, said he’ll run the Coca-Cola Racing Family 600 next Sunday, then step aside so another driver, most likely Todd Bodine, can drive the car for five or six races. A press conference has been scheduled for next week to announce the sponsor.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(5-17-2002)
  • Special #21 Scheme: The legendary Wood Brothers Racing #21 Ford Taurus, driven by Elliott Sadler and sponsored by Motorcraft, will be sporting a special paint scheme honoring Air Force bomber aircraft during Coca-Cola 600 race, 26 May, at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC. The paint scheme features the B-1 Lancer on the right side of the car, the B-52 Stratofortress — the venerable workhorse of the Air Force bomber fleet — on the left side and the stealthy B-2 Spirit on the hood of the car. The United States has used all three of these aircraft in its war on terrorism. At the Coca-Cola 600, a B-2 from Whiteman Air Force Base, MO will do a fly-by after country and western singer George Jones finishes “50,000 Names,” a song about the Vietnam Wall. A four-ship formation of F-15 Eagles from Seymour Johnson AFB, S.C., will also conduct a flyover after Jones finishes singing the National Anthem. Additionally, an Air Force honor guard, a bugler playing TAPS and the USAF STARS Parachute Jump Team will perform at the Coca-Cola 600. Gen. Hal M. Hornburg, Air Combat Command commander, will be attending the race and will address the crowd and administer the Oath of Enlistment to 50 new recruits prior to the start of the Coca-Cola 600. Additionally, Hornburg will be accepting the Stonewall Jackson award – given yearly for patriotism in the military – on behalf of Gen. John P, Jumper, Air Force Chief of Staff, who is unable to attend. The Air Force continues to use its involvement in NASCAR to interest more young men and women, especially those with mechanical and electronic skills, in considering a career in the military.(Air Force PR), see a layout of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(5-17-2002)
  • Roush Doing Better: NASCAR team owner Jack Roush — who has already visited several of his racing facilities — continues his impressive recovery from serious injuries suffered in an airplane crash on April 19. On Thursday, Roush, 60, spent some time in meetings at his stock car complex in Concord, N.C., that houses his four Winston Cup teams. Earlier in the week he visited the Craftsman Truck Series operation in Livonia. The only thing left is for Roush to return to a race track, and it’s a safe bet that will occur sometime in the next 10 days at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. A spokesperson said Larry Hicks, the former U.S. Marine who saved Roush’s life by diving into a lake in Troy, Ala., to rescue him from his inverted light aircraft planned to be at the 600 as well. Hicks attended his first race at Richmond International Raceway May 3. Roush is concentrating at this time on strengthening his upper body and right leg while maintaining flexibility in his left leg, which suffered massive damage including a compound fracture of the femur. Roush was transferred from the University of Alabama/Birmingham Medical Center on May 1, to the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor for rehabilitation work. From there he was released to his Michigan home on May 8.(NASCAR.com)(5-17-2002)

    (5-16-2002)

  • No #26 in the Winston/Open UPDATE Kimmel’s last race in the #26 at Lowes: The #26 Haas-Carter Motorsports team will run the Coca Cola 600 with Frank Kimmer, who has been in the car for most of the recent Cup races, but the team will NOT run in The Winston.(FSN’s Totally NASCAR)(5-15-2002)
    UPDATE: Three-time ARCA champ Frank Kimmel said next week’s Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway will be his final appearance in Cup series this season with Travis Carter Enterprises’ #26 Ford. Kimmel, with assistance from his sponsors in the ARCA series, has entered four events this season with Carter, who lost primary sponsor Kmart after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. “The 600 is the end of our sponsorship deal with Travis. It’s been a very educational run for me,” Kimmel said. “We haven’t had the success that we wanted. We’ve had some problems, some driver-induced and some car-induced. It’s been a learning experience. I think I’m a lot better ARCA racer because of it. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.”(ThatsRacin.com)(5-16-2002)
  • New Team? UPDATE 2: hearing a new Winston Cup/BGN team is going to be announced next week. Jeff Hammond is heavily involved. Hear they have one of the top people from Haas-Carter Motorsports coming in as crew chief. Understand they are going to run up to four Winston Cup races and at least seven BGN races the rest of this season, setting themselves up for a full run in BGN with a partial Winston Cup schedule in 2003. Sponsorship is in place too.(5-7-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing the driver will be Stanton Barrett and the team will use Rosuh cars and engines.(5-8-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Beginning with the BGN race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway Saturday, May 25, Stanton Barrett will compete in up to 12 BGN and four Cup races this season. Jeff Hammond, who has led some of the top teams in Cup racing, is serving as team manager. Veteran winning crew chief Richard Lasater, who has built a top reputation in the BGN garage, will head up the competition side of the team. Terry Allen, a veteran of several NASCAR series, serves as team coordinator. Bojangles’, one of the country’s top restaurant chains known for its Cajun-style chicken and fresh buttermilk biscuits, and OdoBan, the fastest-growing cleaner, disinfectant and deodorizer on the market, will sponsor Barrett’s Red Racing team for much of that. The three Winston Cup races in which Barrett is scheduled to compete are Oct. 10 at Lowe’s; Oct. 26 at Atlanta; and Nov. 17 at Homestead. His BGN schedule following next week’s race will include June 8 at Nashville, Tenn.; July 13 at Chicago; Aug. 31 at Darlington, S.C.; Sept. 21 at Dover, Del.; Oct. 12 at Lowe’s; and Nov. 2 at Rockingham, N.C. “We are also looking at adding the Winston Cup race at Kansas City (Sept. 29) and five more Busch races,” Barrett said. Those additional Busch races would be July 20 at Gateway (St. Louis); Aug. 27 at Brooklyn, Mich.; Aug. 23 at Bristol, Tenn.; Oct. 19 at Memphis, Tenn.; and Nov. 9 at Phoenix. Red Racing, co-owned by Barrett and businessman Jody Looney, is fielding the Bojangles’/Odoban team. The organization, led by Hammond, is the culmination of several years’ work by Barrett to develop a top program. Barrett is one of the top stunt men in Hollywood, having appeared in movies and television. Coming from what some have referred to as “the Earnhardts of Hollywood stunts,” he has used his talents in that area to build his racing career.(Williams Company)(5-16-2002)
    AND The team is based in Concord, N.C., and will get chassis and engines from Roush Racing.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read), no word on a car number.(5-16-2002)
  • Earnhardt’s Mother Honored: Martha Earnhardt, wife of the late Ralph Earnhardt, the mother of seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt, and the grandmother of Kerry, Dale Jr., Kelley and Taylor Earnhardt, is the grand marshal for the May 21 UAW-GM Teamwork Parade in Charlotte. This year’s theme is Racing Legends and is a tribute to those who paved the way for today’s Winston Cup circuit. Among those scheduled to appear in the parade are current and former drivers Ned Jarrett, Junior Johnson, Morgan Shepherd, Rex White, Brett Bodine, Jim Vandiver, Neil “Soapy” Castles, Ken Ragan, Kirk Shelmerdine, Ashton Lewis, Shawna Robinson, and Elliott Sadler; the Earnhardt family; the first Miss Winston Marilyn Chilton Green; Leonard Wood; Neil Bonnett’s daughter Kristen; Fireball Roberts’ daughter Pam; Frances Flock, wife of the late Tim Flock; and Wanda Lund, wife of the late Tiny Lund. The parade is scheduled to begin at 8:00pm/et.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(5-16-2002)
  • Hornaday in the #49 at Lowes: Two-Time Craftsman Truck Series Champion and veteran Winston Cup Series and current Busch Series driver, Ron Hornaday Jr., has been selected to drive the #49 BAM Racing Dodge Winston Cup car. Hornaday will take over driving duties for the next two Winston Cup races. The BAM Racing team is hoping that Hornaday can provide input to improve the team¹s performance. “I am looking forward to being a part of the BAM Racing team,” said Hornaday. “I¹m excited about the entire program and hope my experience will help the team become more competitive.” The opportunity for Hornaday to drive for BAM Racing came from discussions between team manager, Eddie Jones and current BAM Racing driver Shawna Robinson. “Hornaday is an experienced veteran driver,” said Jones. “We believe his experience in a Winston Cup car will be valuable in assessing our overall program. BAM Racing is committed to Shawna Robinson and we are searching for ways to achieve better results. Additionally we have added a new shock technician that we believe will improve our team.” The May 18th Winston Open race at Lowe¹s Motor Speedway will mark the beginning of Hornaday¹s Winston Cup driving duties, followed by the Coca Cola Family 600 at Lowe¹s Motor Speedway on May 26th.(BAM Racing PR)(5-16-2002)
  • New #25 Driver? UPDATE: Expect official word that Joe Nemechek will replace Jerry Nadeau as driver of the #25 Chevy for the rest of the 2002 season, beginning with The Winston Saturday night. Nemechek is eligible to run in The Winston by virtue of a victory in the #33 Chevy owned by Andy Petree at Rockingham last fall. He tested last week to run the all-star race in a car owned by Dale Earnhardt Inc., but instead will make the #25 the fourth Rick Hendrick-owned entry in the race.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-15-2002)
    UPDATE: Joe Nemechek picked up a ride for the remainder of the 2002 Winston Cup season on Wednesday, while Hendrick Motorsports added a fourth entry to the field of Saturday night’s Winston all-star race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Nemechek, who lost his ride with Travis Carter Enterprises earlier this season when sponsor Kmart filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, was named driver of Hendrick’s #25 Chevy for the remainder of the season. That move includes Nemechek driving the #25 in The Winston. Nemechek is eligible by virtue of his win last fall at Rockingham. He was originally going to drive a car provided by Dale Earnhardt Inc., but has dissolved that plan. Hendrick’s three other teams – those of Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte and Jimmie Johnson – were already qualified for The Winston. Nemechek replaces driver Jerry Nadeau who parted ways with Hendrick last week after two-plus seasons with the #25 team. Nadeau won one race with the team, the fall Atlanta race in the 2000 season. (ThatsRacin.com)(5-16-2002)
  • Looney Toons and Taz to return? UPDATE 3: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr will run a #3 Taz scheme at Richmond in the BGN race and that there is a chance the Looney Toons schemes may return at the Richmond Cup race.(5-10-2002)
    UPDATE: The Sports Business Journal reports that Chevy is set to reprise the promotion that put Looney Tunes characters on seven NASCAR Winston Cup cars last season.(5-14-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Chevrolet is set to reprise the promotion that put Looney Tunes characters on seven NASCAR Winston Cup cars last season, this time expanding it to include 11 cars in a one-race blast tied to the automaker’s itle sponsorship of the Sept. 7 Chevy Monte Carlo 400 in Richmond. The promotion, titled “Looney Tunes, The Rematch” and scheduled for announcement this week, will tie together all but one of the 12 Monte Carlos that run in the series, with sponsors of those cars sharing space with Looney Tunes characters including Bugs Bunny, Taz, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote and Daffy Duck. The program will extend to support races at the track, with characters also placed on two entries in both the CTS and BGN events run on Thursday night and Friday night, respectively. Looney Tunes characters will cover about one-fourth of the 43-car field, appearing in tandem with the following driver/character/sponsor combinations: Jeff Gordon, Bugs Bunny, DuPont; Mike Skinner, Yosemite Sam, Kodak; Kevin Harvick, Tazmanian Devil, GM Goodwrench; Jeff Green, Daffy Duck, America Online; Robbie Gordon, Pepe Le Pew, Cingular Wireless; and Bobby Hamilton, Marvin the Martian, Square D. The program also will include Michael Waltrip (Napa Auto Parts), Steve Park (Pennzoil), Jimmy Johnson (Lowe’s Home Improvement), Terry Labonte (Kellogg’s) and an as yet undetermined driver of the #25 car sponsored by UAW-Delphi. Details of those entries still are being negotiated. One notable exception: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be left out of the equation because his car is sponsored by Budweiser. Warner Bros. did not want its characters connected to a beer.(Sports Business Journal – need sub to read)(5-15-2002)
    UPDATE 4 an image: see an image of the #24 Bugs Bunny car on my Paint Scheme Gallery, have heard the #55 will run the Marvin the Martian again.(5-16-2002)
  • Marcis Honored: Dave Marcis has been named the recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association/Pocono Spirit Award for the first quarter of 2002. Marcis, 61, retired as a driver following the Daytona 500, but continues to field the #71 Marcis Auto Racing Chevy in selected events. The award recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports and is voted on by the NMPA press membership.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(5-16-2002)
  • Kulwicki Scholarship: Alan Kulwicki Memorial Scholarship Selects Josh Sell – The University of North Carolina at Charlotte has awarded its Alan Kulwicki Memorial Scholarship to Josh Sell, a top academic high school student and race car driver from Urbana, Ohio. Sell, the son of Mark and Beth Sell, will graduate next week from Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Ohio. The four-year Kulwicki Scholarship, named in memory of the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup champion who died in a plane crash in 1993, is the highest honor within UNC Charlotte’s Motorsports Engineering program. California native Ryan Zeck, the first Kulwicki scholarship winner, set the standard for the program and is now an engineer with Robert Yates Racing and a competitive race car driver in late model stock car and part-time American Speed Association competition. Sell will be presented his scholarship as part of pre-race activities Saturday night at The Winston.(LMS PR)(5-16-2002)

    (5-15-2002)

  • Ripken honoring Earnhardt at game: One of the greatest names in baseball history is going to help the Kannapolis Intimidators celebrate one of the greatest night’s in their history. Cal Ripken Jr., baseball’s all-time ironman and certain Baseball Hall of Famer, will be part of the ceremonies tonight when the Intimidators officially retire Dale Earnhardt’s #3 before Kannapolis’ South Atlantic League game with Hagerstown. Earnhardt bought a share of the Intimidators in the fall of 2000, just months before his death in the February 2001 Daytona 500. Ripken Jr. ended a 20-year major league career with the Baltimore Oriole last fall.(Independent Tribune)(5-15-2002)
  • Shelmerdine Start Pushed Back Kirk Shelmerdine’s plans to try to qualify the #27 Ford for the Coca-Cola Family 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway are being scrapped. “Testing showed us that our level of performance and our state of preparedness were not where we thought they should be,” Shelmerdine says on the Brett Bodine Racing Web site. Atlanta-based Eastern Foods Inc. has agreed to sponsor Shelmerdine as part of a two-car team effort with #11-Brett Bodine.(Winston Cup Scene daily newsletter)(5-15-2002)
  • Shepherd back in the #21 – for a movie UPDATE: Morgan Shepherd Driving #21 Wood Brothers Car For Daytona USA Movie In Daytona This Week: Morgan Shepherd is in Daytona this week driving the #21 Wood Brothers car for a new movie Daytona USA is producing. The first shoot for this film was during speed weeks this past February. He will be there through Wednesday.(Catchfence), I was at Daytona Untl Speedway/DaytonaUSA on Sunday and also saw a Hendrick Motorsports hauler pull in.(5-14-2002)
    UPDATE: Daytona International Speedway has been turned into a movie set this week as Mentor Films completes the filming of the remake of “The DAYTONA 500.” Mentor Films, which did a good portion of its filming during Speedweeks 2002, will have “The DAYTONA 500” completed in time for its debut during Speedweeks 2003 in the Pepsi Theater at DAYTONA USA. This week at the “World Center of Racing,” Mentor Films has been filming on-track racing as well as an in-depth pit stop sequence with the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevy fielded by Richard Childress Racing. In addition to the #29, cars on loan by team for the filming include the #88 UPS Ford, the #24 DuPont Chevy, the #40 Coors Light Dodge, the #19 Dodge, the #10 Valvoline Pontiac, #20 Home Depot Pontiac and the #21 Motorcraft Ford. Morgan Shepherd is among the stunt drivers participating in this week’s filming. He’s wheeling the #21 Motorcraft Ford for the famed Wood Brothers. Shepherd, who drove for the Wood Brothers between 1992-95 and picked up a NASCAR Winston Cup victory, enjoys being back in the driver’s seat of the #21 at Daytona.(DIS PR).(5-15-2002)
  • Ganassi Racing on the pole at Indy: Chip Ganassi Racing kicked off a busy two weeks of racing with Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver, Bruno Junqueira, winning the pole for the Indianapolis 500. Chip Ganassi has three cars entered in the Indianpolis 500 and two cars entered in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. While Junqueira, Kenny Brack and Jeff Ward work towards an Indy 500 win; #40-Sterling Marlin and #41-Jimmy Spencer will compete in The Winston Open/The Winston and the Coca-Cola 600. Junqueira was the first driver to make a qualifying attempt and his speed of 231.342 mph held up for almost 7 hours. This is the second straight pole position for the 25-year old Brazilian, who won the pole at the last CART event in Motegi, Japan. The pole for Junqueira is worth $1,000 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Target House. So far this year, Target Chip Ganassi Racing has donated $8,525 to St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Target House. Fellow Team Target pilot Jeff Ward qualified 15th with a speed of 228.577 mph, and Kenny Brack qualified his No.22 Target car in the 21st position with a 4-lap average of 227.240 mph.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(5-15-2002)
  • Andretti a clone? UPDATE 3 image and some Star Wars/Cheerios PR: hearing the #43 Cheerios Dodge and driver John Andretti will sport a special Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones movie scheme in 2002. The movie is scheduled for release in May, been told the scheme will run in The Winston and the Coca Cola 600 at Lowes Motor Speedway(2-5-2002)
    UPDATE: Got an image of the scheme, check it out on the Paint Schemes page.(2-6-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Cheerios announces three special edition Star Wars paint schemes and have designed a special paint scheme for Episode I, Episode II and a Trilogy edition. On their site [www.starwars.cheeriosracing.com], folks can check out each new car design, view them from different angles, pick a favorite and compare them with other. Images can be downloaded. Beginning in May in select states, specially marked packages of Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Honey Nut Chex and Golden Grahams will be offering a FREE mail in for three collectible 1:64 die cast cars with #43 Cheerios Star Wars special edition paint schemes. Collect all three special edition paint schemes: Episode I, Episode II and the Trilogy car. In conjunction with the FREE mail-in offer, John Andretti will be driving a new, one-time-only Light Side vs. Dark Side Star Wars paint scheme in May at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway to commemorate the movie premier.(PR)(3-18-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Star Wars fans, outfitted as Star Wars storm troopers, stood guard at a Charlotte movie theater today…but they weren’t waiting in line for tickets to Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones. Instead, they helped NASCAR driver John Andretti unveil a special Star Wars paint scheme for the Cheerios #43 Dodge commemorating the May 16 release of the epic film. Andretti will race the Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones paint scheme at The Winston on May 18 and Coca-Cola 600 on May 26, both at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte. In addition to the Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones car, General Mills has created paint schemes representing the original Star Wars trilogy and Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. Fans can check out the three different paint schemes and choose their favorite at www.starwars.cheeriosracing.com. Plus, select limited-edition packages of Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Honey Nut Chex and Golden Grahams will feature a mail-in offer for all three collectible 1:64 die-cast Star Wars #43 cars. In addition to the NASCAR excitement, General Mills has created a number of fun and exciting limited-edition Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones products. With special-edition products in categories including cereal, yogurt and fruit snacks, innovative packaging and valuable premiums, General Mills is helping kids incorporate the magic of Star Wars into their daily routines. Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones will be in theatres nation-wide May 16 and was written and directed by George Lucas(IMG PR)(5-15-2002)
  • Renfrow to run at Lowes: The next stop for Price Motorsports, Inc. and driver Randy Renfrow will be the Winston Open NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway Saturday May 18. The team, coming off a slightly disappointing Pontiac Excitement 400 event at Richmond, is eligible for the Winston Open by virtue of their successful qualification into the 400-lap Richmond contest—their first NASCAR Winston Cup Series start. In addition to The Winston and Coca-Cola 600 events in Concord, the team is still planning to compete in several additional races in 2002. Also on the team’s schedule will be races at Indianapolis, Bristol, Atlanta and second trips to Rockingham, Richmond and Martinsville(Price Motorsports PR)(5-15-2002)
  • Racing Education and Literacy Project: Racecarnuts.com has launched their new “Racing Education and Literacy Project.” The REAL project, which consists of online learning modules based on auto racing, hopes to challenge youth and adults alike through quizzes and questions. While the quizzes are designed to increase the math literacy of K-12 students, adults will also have fun coming up with the correct answers. REAL, which was developed by Robin Turner at 200mph MEDIA, has 10 learning modules online now and at least 8 more are in the development stages. Robin, who is also a professor of accounting, economics and business at the Rowan-Cabbarus Community College in North Carolina, designed the lessons to increase critical thinking and analysis, as well as basic math skills. The questions are formulated to meet existing Standards of Learning. The individual questions are both educational in that they provide information, and contain an element of challenge to come up with the right answer. Racecarnuts.com enourages race fans to challenge their children with these questions based on REAL autoracing scenarios. Teachers are free to use the materials in their classroom to sharpen math skills of their students. Teachers can also forward links to Racecarnuts.com for their literacy programs and recommend additional topical material for development. Use of a calculator in problem solution is recommended. The link: REAL.(5-15-2002)
  • Book Signings: Coca Cola 600 Week book signing of Men and Speed at 6:00pm/et on Wednesday, May 22, at Books A Million, 8301 Concord Mills Blvd., Concord Mills, NC near Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch (not Jeff Burton) and author G. Wayne Miller.(Men and Speed site), AND On May 27, Earnhardt Jr. will be signing his book “Driver #8” at the Sam’s Club in University Shopping Center from 1:00 to 3:00pm/et. He will sign one book per person with the first 800 people guaranteed an autograph, also see more books and info on my Racing Bookstore page.(5-15-2002)

    (5-14-2002)

  • Humpy to make pick for The Winston UPDATE – picks Jeff Gordon: Utilizing the Theory that the Hungriest Lion Gets the Steak, “Humpy” Wheeler Will Predict The Winston Winner. During the past 14 years, H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway, has been correct nine times in his annual “Pick The Winston Winner” selection. Once again this year, Wheeler has spent several hours perusing the Winston Cup garage areas and is prepared, with the help of a little magic, to reveal who will win this year’s running of NASCAR’s annual all-star event. He will reveal his prediction in gala fashion Tuesday afternoon, May 14, in the Queen Room (5th Floor) of The Speedway Club at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(LMS PR)(5-10/14-2002)
    UPDATE: H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway, believes Gordon’s race win drought will end when NASCAR’s annual all-star event, The Winston, takes the checkered flag Saturday night, May 18, at the 1.5-mile superspeedway. Wheeler tabbed Gordon as his selection to win the event during his annual “Pick The Winston Winner” press conference today at The Speedway Club. If Wheeler’s prediction holds true to form, Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet, will become the only four-time winner of The Winston and be the first driver to score back-to-back victories since the late Davey Allison won the all-star event in 1991 and 1992.(LMS PR)(5-14-2002)
  • Burton denies rumors – update: Though his name has been mentioned among the list of drivers changing rides in 2003, Jeff Burton says he has no intention of leaving Roush Racing. “I can tell you that I am 100 percent committed to Roush Racing and Citgo,” Burton said. “I have not sat down with Rick Hendrick to discuss me driving his cars nor anyone else. I am committed to where I am. I have a true dedication to Roush Racing that has developed and shown over time and to give all that away would be stupid.” The current rumor, which began to swirl last week at Richmond, is that Burton had met with Hendrick to discuss driving the #25 Chevy. Interestingly, he wasn’t even in North Carolina at the time of the alleged meeting. “In Richmond I was asked about the Hendrick deal and that I was supposedly over there talking to somebody, and the time that was mentioned I happened to have been in Boca Raton,” Burton said. “So I am confused about where I am supposed to be and where I actually am on any given night.” This isn’t Burton’s first foray into the Winston Cup rumor mill. Last year, he was rumored to be leaving Roush for Richard Childress Racing. That was also inaccurate. “I stand by what I said last year. I have no idea at all where all this is coming from,” Burton continued. “We have a team running second in points, a car that’s third in points, a car that’s fourth in points and a car that’s ninth in points. There is no other team right now that can boast those credentials. For me to say that I need to go somewhere else really doesn’t make any sense. If my teammates are out performing us, then we need to get off our butts and get where we are second in points. Where I am is where I need to be.”(NASCAR.com), see the past rumors on the #99 Team News and Links page.(5-14-2002)
  • Latest NASCAR/Toyota news, CTS in 2004?: Toyota’s invasion of NASCAR continues to evolve. And Wade Lopez is on the front lines. The Abingdon businessman fields Toyota Celicas for drivers Tim Nichols (Abingdon) and Reece Milton (Blountville) in the Goody’s Dash Series. While industry insiders speculate when Toyota will make its next move up the NASCAR ladder, Lopez is building and learning with his Bristol-based Highlands Motorsports team. “My goal is to have serious advancement in this sport every year and I feel we can do that through our relationship with Toyota,” Lopez said. “Toyota is hoping to debut in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2004. That’s where I want to be.” Toyota has sent a factory representative to each Dash race, including Saturday night’s event at LPR.(Bristol Herald Courier)(5-14-2002)
  • John Andretti To Aid Easter Seals: John Andretti will get a few new sidekicks before he takes to the track for the Coca-Cola 600 on May 26, and will be meeting them and the public in an appearance in Charlotte on May 22. Andretti will be teaming with Petty Enterprises sponsor Sprint and Easter Seals of North Carolina for Project Connect, which recycles used cellular telephones for money that will be donated to the local Easter Seals chapter. The driver of the #43 Cheerios Pontiac will also be welcoming area YMCA children as his “Sidekicks” for the evening. Children from the YMCA raced in a NASCAR simulator to earn the honors of VIP treatment and the chance to meet Andretti. Andretti will be appearing at the Sprint store at 230 East WT Harris Blvd. from 6-8 p.m. on May 22 and will be meeting and signing autographs for the public as well as for the children. Fans that bring a used phone to donate to the program will receive VIP treatment and placement in the front of the line.(Speed Channel)(5-14-2002)
  • TRAC news: Team Racing Auto Circuit [TRAC] recently announcing five of its tracks for next season. Darlington Raceway will not be one of the venues. Darlington Raceway President Andrew Gurtis said his track, along with the 12 other major International Speedway Corporation tracks, will take a wait-and-see approach before housing a TRAC event. TRAC kicks off its first season next April. “I haven’t been contacted about Darlington Raceway in particular,” Gurtis said. “I do think they talked to ISC. But, like all motorsports tracks, we want to bring out fans, have safe competition and we want to add value for our stockholders. We look at all of those things. We’re open to it, just taking a wait-and-see approach.”(Florence Morning NewsAND A new racing league that will field three-car teams representing host cities hopes to place a team in Nashville, and is exploring the possibility of running a race next year at Fairgrounds Speedway. Team Racing Auto Circuit (TRAC) is scheduled to open its season April 5, 2003, and plans to have a team — the Tennessee Express — headquartered in either Nashville or Knoxville.(Tennssean)(5-14-2002)
  • Robby Gordon starts 11th in the Indy 500: Robby Gordon, who is seeking to win the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, qualified 11th at Indy on Saturday. “I’m a little disappointed with 11th because it’s the farthest back in the field that I have even started from…,” says Gordon, who will also drive Richard Childress Racing’s #31 Cingular Chevy in the 600 that night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. “All qualifying 11th means is that there will be that many more cars I have to pass on the outside as I head into turn one on the first lap.” This week, Gordon expects to test his Indy car on Wednesday and Thursday before flying back to Charlotte for practice Thursday night for The Winston, which is scheduled for Saturday night.(Winston Cup Scene – Daily Newsletter)(5-14-2002)
  • #68 Team Changes Focus: The #68-TWC Motorsport team, owned by Tom Coleman, will be taking their new Winston Cup equipment to the ARCA Re/Max Series this season. The team has been unable to secure necessary funding to compete in the Winston Cup Series. Austin Cameron will drive the #68 Chevrolet in four ARCA races at Kansas, at Kentucky, Chicagoland, and the season finale on at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Austin Cameron currently competes in the NASCAR Winston West Series where he leads the point standings after winning two out of the first three events so far in 2002.(StockCarScene)(5-14-2002)

    (5-13-2002)

  • Hermie Sadler to run at Lowes: #02-Hermie Sadler announced today that his team would compete in the Winston Open this Saturday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Sadler, who is coming off an impressive 18th place finish at Richmond, thinks the Winston Open is a big opportunity for him and his team. According to Sadler, “Every time I go to the track I am auditioning for a ride and there’s no bigger stage than Lowe’s Motor Speedway and the Winston. Silly season is starting early this year and so far my name hasn’t been mentioned and a good run at Charlotte may change that.” Sadler had a sponsor lined up for both the Winston Open and the Coca-Cola 600, but as has happened frequently, the money did not come through. “It’s tough right now but we just have to keep digging,” stated Sadler. “People need to know that I want to race and race competitively. If no sponsor is found, we will run the Open and then make a decision about the 600. Maybe our performance in The Winston Open will lure a sponsor for the 600.”(Elliott Sadler Enterprises PR)(5-13-2002)
  • Richmond Ratings: FX’s live coverage of last Saturday and Sunday’s Pontiac Excitement 400 from Richmond drew the 3rd largest audience of any program in the network’s history, delivering a 4.1 household rating, 3.1 million homes, and 4.9 million viewers. The race marked a 20% increase in households and a 7% jump in total viewers compared to FX’s Richmond Winston Cup race last season. The Pontiac Excitement 400 posted the largest audience of any live sports telecast on cable television for the week ending May 5, topping NBA playoff coverage on TNT and TBS; Major League Baseball on ESPN, TBS, and WGN; the NHL on ESPN and ESPN2; the Kentucky Derby coverage on ESPN; and NHRA drag racing on ESPN2. Saturday’s scheduled coverage started 2 hours and 10 minutes late due to rain in which FX posted a 2.9 HH rating, or 2.2 million homes. Both the 66-lap telecast on Saturday and the completed race on Sunday averaged a 4.1 HH rating and 3.1 millions households. Fueled by the two-day coverage of the Pontiac Excitement 400, FX also set a record for the 2nd highest-rated and 2nd most-watched weekend for total day in the network’s history, averaging a 1.25 HH rating, 1 million homes and 1.4 million viewers for the two days. Additionally, FX was the highest-rated basic cable network in total day for the weekend (5/4/02-5/5/02) among Adults 18-49 (0.8 HH), Men 18-49 (1.0 HH), Adults 25-54 (1.0 HH), and M25-54 (1.2 HH). On Friday, May 3, FX’s telecast of the Busch Series race from Richmond posted a 1.7 HH rating, which is a 45% increase compared to the same race a year ago. Season-to-date, Busch Series races on FX are averaging a 1.7 HH rating, up 21% from the 1.4 HH rating through the equal five Busch races of 2001. (MotorsportsTV.com via an FX Press Release)(5-13-2002)

 


(5-12-2002)

 

  • Cope to run at Lowes, has a sponsor, and a 2nd car for…Lepage: Quest Motor Racing (QMR), owned by NASCAR Winston Cup driver, Derrike Cope, will field two (2) Winston Cup cars for the upcoming Charlotte races. GEICO Direct agreed to a two-race deal with QMR that will include The Winston Open on Saturday, May 18, 2002 and the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 26, 2002. Late Thursday, Quest Motor Racing agreed to a deal with Kevin Lepage for Lepage to drive the #38 GEICO Direct Ford in both The Winston Open and the Coca-Cola 600. Cope’s #37 Ford will be sponsored by Sound Moves, a global freight orchestration company. Cope will be providing more detail regarding his upcoming plans for Charlotte in his announcement on this weekend’s Victory Lane Show aired on Fox Sports.(Derrike Cope Site)(5-12-2002)
  • New Pontiac testing UPDATE: Pontiac, seeking approval of its 2003 Grand Prix, had Bobby Labonte test the car Thursday before NASCAR officials at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Labonte, who drives Pontiacs for Joe Gibbs Racing in Winston Cup competition, completed 22 laps at more than 180 mph before the new car was taken to the wind tunnel in Marietta, Ga., for the final part of the submission test. “This is a whole new car,” said Ray Smith, Winston Cup program manager for Pontiac. “We think it’s a good one.” The Grand Prix being campaigned in NASCAR’s top series is the oldest current model in use. If approved, the new Grand Prix would be introduced at the start of the 2003 season.(AP/Sporting News)(5-10-2002)
    UPDATE: Bobby Labonte completed 22 laps, averaging in the mid-180s (mph), during a submission test with NASCAR for the 2003 Pontiac on Thursday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. After the half-day test was completed, the new Pontiac was headed to the wind tunnel in Marietta to complete the submission test. “This is a whole new car,” said Ray Smith, Pontiac Winston Cup Program Manager. “We think it’s a good one, but we’ll know more by the end of the day.”(Atlanta Motor Speedway)(5-12-2002)
  • Drivers Push Safety In Campaign: On playgrounds and ballfields nationwide, kids are imitating Kobe’s latest circus shot and Nomar’s latest laser to first from his knees, deep in the hole. But when fans imitate their favorite NASCAR drivers, things can get messy. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) enlisted NASCAR drivers’ help — among them Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and Terry Labonte — in their recent campaign lauding seatbelt usage. “The best drivers in the world — on a track with the other best drivers in the world — still need to protect themselves,” said Rae Tyson, a spokesman for NHTSA. “I would hope that’s a positive message. And from the standpoint of getting out a safety message, you can’t overlook NASCAR.”(ESPN via Insider Racing)(5-12-2002)

    (5-11-2002)

  • Martin offers team a deal: #6-Mark Martin is offering a big incentive for his Roush Racing crew to help him win the $1 million No Bull 5 bonus by capturing the Winston Cup Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 26. “I told them I’d split up the money with them if we can get the win,” said Martin, who has 18 top-10 finishes in 34 starts at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. He has won the fall race tbere three times but has never won the 600. Martin is eligible for the No Bull 5 program by virtue of his top-five finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. He posted times in the top five both Monday and Tuesday in testing at the track.(Winston Cup Scene daily newsletter)(5-11-2002)
  • WD-40 Vote: WD-40 Company announced its candidates for the WD-40 Fan Club Board of Directors. The 11 lucky candidates have embarked on a mission to earn a seat on the WD-40 Fan Club Board of Directors. Fans can log on to http://fanclub.wd40.com to place their votes for their favorite candidates. The ballot, which is made up of 11 WD-40 Fans, contains Fan Club members from all walks of life. Those vying for a seat on the board range from a truck driver to a school teacher to a volunteer fire chief. WD-40 launched its search earlier this year for seven lucky WD-40 Fan Club members to earn a seat on the Board next to Daytona 500-winning NASCAR driver Ward Burton; Linda Cobb, the self-appointed Queen of Clean; and Jim and Tim, the Duct Tape Guys. The candidates selected will serve as a voice for Fan Club members across the globe.(PR)(5-11-2002)

    (5-10-2002)

  • Jarrett special scheme at Lowes UPDATE: Look for a special paint scheme recognizing the Race Fans For A Cure program on Dale Jarrett’s car in the Winston and the Coca Cola 600 in May at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte. To Find Out More About Race Fans For A Cure or to get the booth track schedule, go to www.Racefansforacure.com.(NASCAR.com)(4-27-2002)
    UPDATE: For the past two-plus years, thousands of race fans have shown their support for Race Fans for a Cure(tm) by wearing pink ribbons. For the next two races, Dale Jarrett’s famed #88 UPS Ford will do the same. In support of Race Fans for a Cure(tm) – a joint initiative involving Ford Credit, Dale and Kelley Jarrett and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation – the 7½” x 14″ ribbon decal will replace the Ford Credit decal behind the “88” on both sides of Dale Jarrett’s Winston Cup Taurus for The Winston on May 18 and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 26. More info on the cause at www.racefansforacure.com. Ford Credit, associate sponsor of Jarrett’s #88, sponsors Race Fans for a Cure(tm) display booths at various race-related events – including the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 25, and Sunday, May 26. Display booths will also be at the 600 Festival in downtown Charlotte from May 23 to 25; Dale Jarrett Ford in Monroe, N.C. on May 16; and Dale Jarrett, Inc., in Newton, N.C., on May 24.(campbell Co/Ford Racing PR)(5-10-2002)

  • Looney Toons and Taz to return? #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr will run a #3 Taz scheme at Richmond in the BGN race and that there is a chance the Looney Toons schemes may return at the Richmond Cup race.(5-10-2002)
  • Marilyn Monroe scheme? UPDATE 3: hearing #9 Bill Elliott will run a Marilyn Monroe scheme of some sort this season, no idea where or why(1-22-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing the scheme will be run at the California Speedway Cup race(1-26-2002)
    UPDATE 2: now hearing it will be at Sears Point in June.(5-4-2002)
    UPDATE 3: now hearing this scheme has been pushed back to sometime in 2003.(5-10-2002)
  • ‘Bigger’ car tested at Kansas UPDATE: In an attempt to make racing safer and better, NASCAR has been looking into making the “greenhouses” of Winston Cup cars larger. An experimental car with a bigger greenhouse took to the track for the first time this week, and the track was Kansas Speedway. Those taking part in the test said things went well. Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates has been recruited by NASCAR to help develop a test car. That car was at Kansas Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday. Ganassi driver Jimmy Spencer was driving it, and NASCAR’s managing director of competition Gary Nelson was monitoring the tests. Andy Graves, team manager for Ganassi, said, “It was a pretty successful test.” Graves said the car was loose at first, but “We got mechanical grip to bring it back.” Mechanical grip is applied with shock absorbers, springs and tires. The greenhouse of the test car is 2 inches taller and 4 inches wider than that of a standard Winston Cup car.(more at the Kansas City Star)(5-9-2002)
    UPDATE: NASCAR officials got their first feedback from this week’s testing at Kansas Speedway of an experimental Winston Cup car with an enlarged “greenhouse.” And the feedback was mostly positive. “We’re on the right track,” NASCAR vice president for corporate communications Jim Hunter said. “The drivers said it was OK.” The car with the bigger greenhouse — which is the part of the car surrounded by the windows — was tested on a race track for the first time by Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Despite the positive results of the test, Hunter said, don’t expect to see the car in a race this year. He said the earliest that such a car would see race conditions would be early next year. “We’re shooting to have the bigger car at the earliest, in February at Daytona,” he said. “At the latest, Talladega or Daytona later in the year.”(Kansas City Star)(5-10-2002)
  • Dawsonville Museum to Open: Beginning Saturday [May 11th], visitors to Dawsonville, GA will find a new, state-of-the-art museum and racing attraction called Thunder Road USA. Inside the $12 million, 40,000-square-foot facility are tributes to racing greats past and present as well as interactive games, a track where visitors can race remote-controlled cars, racings simulators, a theater, gift shop and diner.
    Information: Thunder Road USA in Dawsonville, Ga. Go north on Ga. 400 from Atlanta to the intersection of Ga. 53. Go west on Ga. 53 (toward Dawsonville) for about six miles.706-216-7223 or thunderroadusa.com.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(5-10-2002)
  • Buckshot Racing Closed? hearing the #00 BGN team owned by former #44 driver, Buckshot Jones has been closed and that Jones may not return to BGN or Cup racing.(5-10-2002)
  • Gordon Divorce update: Jeff Gordon has asked that his estranged wife and anyone involved in his divorce be compelled to sign a confidentiality agreement. Gordon contended that his employment is “highly competitive” and much of his financial information requires confidentiality, according to court documents filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court. Gordon wants to protect trade secrets, research and commercial information from becoming public during his divorce from Jennifer Brooke Sealey Gordon, the documents show. The confidentiality order would continue even after the divorce is final. Circuit Judge Peter Blanc will decide in a hearing next month if the court’s proceedings must remain confidential. A person at the family division of the Palm Beach County Clerk of Courts said that a notice for a June 10 confidentiality hearing was filed on May 2. (USA Today/AP)(5-10-2002)
  • Evernham denies rumors: Reports that DaimlerChrysler officials are planning to field a Dodge development team in the Busch Series are untrue, according to Winston Cup flagship owner Ray Evernham and Wayne Jesel, co-owner of the only organization currently running full-time Dodges on NASCAR’s junior circuit. Although he says he’s not involved in any kind of program, Evernham says the idea of running young Dodge drivers in the Busch Series is a good one.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(5-9-2002)

    (5-9-2002)

  • Long to help out UPDATE: Team Will Carry “Jaret’s Angels” Logo in Charlotte To Help Raise Awareness of Juvenile Diabetes. Carl Long doesn’t want the space on his # 85 Dodge to go to waste, so while the Roxboro, NC native continues to pursue sponsorship opportunities for a full NASCAR Winston Cup Series ride, he will carry the “Jaret’s Angels” logo on his cars beginning in Charlotte for the BGN race, the Winston Open and the Coca-Cola 600. The logo, a family emblem designed by artist Jim Hunt in support of 3-year-old Charlotte resident Jaret Arneson, who was diagnosed with juvenile (Type 1) diabetes in December of 2000, will be accompanied by the logo and Web site address for the national office of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation — www.jdrf.org. At Charlotte, Long will try to qualify the #64 Dodge of owner Rick Glenn, with team owner Thee Dixon and Mansion Motorsports providing the #85 Dodge for entry in the Winston Open and the Coca-Cola 600. SR Racing of Lebanon, TN, supplies the team’s engines for all of Long’s cars.(Carl Long Racing Site)(4-12-2002)
    UPDATE: see an image of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery and a story at ThatsRacin.com: Long’s paint scheme boosts juvenile diabetes efforts.(5-9-2002)
  • CIngular Scheme: hearing the #31 Cingular Chevy will run the Special Olympics Logo in conjunction with a promotion the month of June and July. Cingular did a similar promotion in 2001.(5-9-2002)
  • Rudd Special Scheme for Coke 600? UPDATE: hearing #28-Ricky Rudd will have a special paint scheme for the Coca Cola 600 at Lowes Motor Speedway in May.(4-3-2002)
    UPDATE: Rudd will run an Iron Man scheme in the Coca Cola 500, see an image on my Paint Schemes Gallery.(5-9-2002)
  • Roush Drivers Locked In thru 2003 UPDATE 3 But: Roush Racing President Geoff Smith says all his drivers are under contract through next season. The only negotiations he’s involved in now are with Matt Kenseth’s sponsor, DeWalt. And those talks are proceeding without any outside interference – the two have a “good faith” negotiation policy in effect until May 31. After that, each becomes a free agent. Smith was involved in the original contract between Elliott Sadler and Wood Brothers Racing. He said that contract can only be dissolved if it is beneficial to both.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-5-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing a bit ‘out there’ rumor from many sources saying Jeff Burton currently driving the #99 CITGO Ford and his crew chief may move to the Hendrick #25 Chevy. BUT last I heard Burton is signed thru 2005 with Roush.(5-6-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Rumors had Jeff Burton possibly taking over in the #25 car after reports of Burton being spotted at Hendrick Motorsports. Burton told reporters Wednesday he’s confused about where he’s supposed to be because the day he was supposedly seen at Hendrick he was in Boca Raton, Florida. Burton says he’s 100% committed to Roush racing and sponsor CITGO. “Rick Hendrick and I have had no sit down conversation about me driving his cars nor anyone else. I’m committed to where I am. I have a true dedication for Roush Racing which I’ve shown over the period of time, and to give all that away would be stupid. Where I am is where I need to be and that’s where I intend to stay”. Noting that all of the Roush cars are currently top-10 in the point standings, Burton said “For me to say that I need to go some place else and race doesn’t make any sense”. Burton spent part of Wednesday pumping gas and giving away Coca-Cola at a Citgo station near Lowes Motor Speedway as drivers lined up around the block waiting for Burton to fill-up their cars.(PRN’s Garage Pass)(5-8-2002)
    UPDATE 2: When the Winston Cup Series arrived at Richmond, Jeff Burton and Matt Kenseth were part of a rumor mill that has cranked up just 10 races into the season. According to garage-area gossip, both drivers are talking to Hendrick Motorsports about replacing Jerry Nadeau on the #25 team, with each taking their crew chiefs with them. Both were also mentioned as possible replacements for Ricky Rudd at Robert Yates Racing if Rudd retires. Like Smith, Burton and crew chief Frank Stoddard shrugged off the rumors as nothing more than gossip. “The truth is, I’ve had absolutely no conversation about driving the 25,” Burton says. “I have not been to Hendrick Motorsports to sit down and talk. That’s what I heard yesterday, that I was over there the other night. None of that’s true.” According to Kenseth, neither has he. “That’s the first time I heard that one,” he said. “I don’t really pay too much attention to all that stuff to tell you the truth. The same thing happened to me last year and I’m still in the same place that I was last year, so I don’t really get too concerned over it.” For the record, Kenseth has a contract with Roush through 2004. Burton, meanwhile, has a long-term contract that was just extended two years ago, Smith said. Burton’s sponsor, Citgo, is signed through 2003, but the agreement for DeWalt Tools to sponsor Kenseth ends after this season. Smith says, however, that he is in negotiations with DeWalt on a new deal.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(5-9-2002)
  • Nadeau and Hendrick Part Ways: Hendrick Motorsports and driver Jerry Nadeau on Wednesday agreed to part ways, effective immediately, ending Nadeau’s tenure with the #25 team. Sources said Joe Nemechek, who lost his ride earlier this season with Travis Carter Enterprises when sponsor Kmart filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, is the top candidate to replace Nadeau for the remainder of the season. Hendrick said no one has been chosen to fill the vacancy, although a search is under way. Nadeau, 31, scored the only win of his Winston Cup career in November 2000 at Atlanta at the conclusion of his first full season with Hendrick. In 150 starts, he has one win, eight top-five and 18 top-10 finishes. Just last week, the 25 team replaced crew chief Tony Furr with Ken Howes. “Both Hendrick Motorsports and myself as a driver are dedicated to the same goal – winning races,” Nadeau said. “But after we sat down and evaluated the situation, it was obvious that we were not making the kind of progress we owe our fans and sponsors and decided it would be best to go our separate ways. Driving for Hendrick Motorsports was a great experience for me. At the end of my first season with the team, I really felt that we were on our way, but the results we were capable of just weren’t there.”(ThatsRacin.com)(5-8-2002)
    UPDATE: Jerry Nadeau, who parted ways with Hendrick Motorsports Wednesday says he’s in no rush to jump into a situation right away. With the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte coming up, Nadeau if he has to sit in the stands with his wife at Charlotte he’ll do that and watch a good race. As for the UAW-Delphi Monte Carlo team, Nadeau said Hendrick gave him a heck of an opportunity, but unfortunately things just didn’t work out. “We just seemed like we’ve always had tons and tons of bad luck. I was really discouraged and I think they were discouraged at their side because we didn’t have a crew chief in line for the team, but things were starting to fall apart. I was not happy because I really felt that team should be a lot better than it is and I felt there were areas in which we could improve but we never had a lot of good luck. I hate to say that as a team, but we just seemed like we always had situations happen to us and it never really seemed like it happened to a lot of other teams. I’m not here to gripe about it, but it was a matter of everything working together and obviously there was some situations that just wasn’t working right. Nadeau also says it’s disappointing because he got his first win his first year there and “then it just seemed like it started downhill from there”. They were really good to me…they were like family to me, but things just didn’t happen. I’m sad to go for sure because they’re great people.(PRN’s Garage Pass)(5-8-2002)
    UPDATE 2: hearing the new driver will be be Joe Nemechek.(5-9-2002)
  • Sadler in video: #21-Elliott Sadler will make his music video debut this Thursday, May 9, on CMT Most Wanted Live at 7:00pm. Sadler joined country music vocalist Blake Shelton in the filming of his new release “Ol’ Red”. “I’m going to call some of my friends and kick back in the living room and watch the debut,” stated Sadler. “I always enjoy listening to music so it’s pretty cool that I’m actually going to be in a video. I haven’t seen the video yet but have heard many good things about it. Hopefully all of the CMT viewers tomorrow night will enjoy it. If they enjoy the video, they’ll be able to visit CMT.com and vote to see the video again each night on CMT Most Wanted Live.”(PR)(5-9-2002)
  • Hamilton in Video: #55-Bobby Hamilton, who owns the #’s. 4, 8 and 18 Dodge trucks, is expected to make a cameo appearance in country music singer Jo Dee Messina’s music video for Dare To Dream, which will be shot at the Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tenn., formerly known as Nashville Speedway. (Daytona Beach News Journal)(5-9-2002)

    (5-8-2002)

  • Kenny Wallace in the #10 at the Winston Open for Benson UPDATE make it Nadeau: Kenny Wallace will be driving the Valvoline #10 Pontiac Grand Prix in The Winston Open and hopefully the Winston. “It’s a geat chance to help out a good friend and drive the Winston Open” Wallace said.(Kenny Wallace Racing Site)(5-8-2002)
    UPDATE: being told now that Jerry Nadeau will drive the #10 car as Wallace has other commitments.(5-8-2002)
  • New Team? UPDATE: hearing a new Winston Cup/BGN team is going to be announced next week. Jeff Hammond is heavily involved. Hear they have one of the top people from Haas-Carter Motorsports coming in as crew chief. Understand they are going to run up to four Winston Cup races and at least seven BGN races the rest of this season, setting themselves up for a full run in BGN with a partial Winston Cup schedule in 2003. Sponsorship is in place too.(5-7-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing the driver will be Stanton Barrett and the team will use Rosuh cars and engines.(5-8-2002)
  • Rudd to retire? UPDATE: #28-Ricky Rudd, one race away from breaking the NASCAR record for consecutive starts, might not have too many more events in his future. Rudd, in his 21st season of Winston Cup racing, said Monday he has not ruled out retiring at the end of this season — partly because of the changing face of NASCAR and the way the sport is being marketed. “I have a lot of options, one of them is retirement, and it’s something I’ll give a lot of thought too,” Rudd said while testing his Robert Yates Ford at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. “I’m 45 years old and I certainly don’t see myself doing this when I’m 50, so it’s something I’ll be thinking about.” Rudd is set to make his 656th consecutive start at the Coca-Cola 600 on May 26, which would break Terry Labonte’s Ironman record. He tied the mark Saturday when he started the race at Richmond International Raceway. Rudd’s name has repeatedly come up in a recent rash of rumors concerning driver movement. It started when Elliott Sadler asked for a release from Wood Brothers Racing and Rudd’s #28 is one of the cars Sadler could reportedly end up in. Rudd’s three-year contract with Yates is up at the end of the season. “There’s a lot of stuff being said and I know I’ve been linked to it,” Rudd said. “Half the people have me retiring, have the people have me going to another team. The truth is, I don’t know what I’m going to do.” Retirement is viable because of Rudd’s disenchantment with where NASCAR is headed, he said. He dislikes the toll the schedule takes on family life and knows that as his 7-year-old son gets older, it will be harder to take him on the road for 36 races. “Everyone says NASCAR is a family sport, and for the fans in the grandstands it is,” he said. “But for us, the travel and time on the road, it doesn’t really lend itself to a family life and I guess that’s the way NASCAR wants it.” Rudd is particularly annoyed with the way the sport is now being marketed, pointing out an emphasis TV coverage has given to the young drivers. A group of twentysomethings, led by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Sadler, Kevin Harvick and rookies Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman, have burst onto the Winston Cup scene. Rudd thinks NASCAR is steering its image toward them. “I have no problem with the youth movement, I really don’t,” Rudd said. “But I’ve seen with this TV deal older guys getting ignored.”(Sporting News)(5-7-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Ricky Rudd says he doesn’t know when he’s going to retire from Winston Cup racing. “Sometime between 45 and 50 I am going to retire,” Rudd said Tuesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, where he was testing his No. 28 Ford in preparation for The Winston on May 18 and the Coca-Cola 600. “Is it at the end of this year or next year? I don’t know.” Rudd is 45 and will be 46 at the end of the 2002 season, when his three-year contract with Robert Yates Racing runs out. Rudd said that would be the last multiyear deal he has to drive in NASCAR’s top series. “I am 45 years old and I am at the end of a three-year contract and I’ve fulfilled all of my obligations,” he said. “From here on out, I am going to do a one-year contract at a time. I don’t want to get myself locked in to a point where I’m in an environment that I can’t get out of without fulfilling my obligations. I am taking it one year at a time.” Rudd has 22 victories and 27 poles in 742 career starts – the last 655 of them in succession. If he takes the green flag in the Coca-Cola 600 on May 26, he will break Terry Labonte’s record for consecutive races.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-8-2002)
  • Crew Chiefs Fined: NASCAR officials announced that crew chiefs Todd Parrott of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and Marc Reno of the NASCAR Busch Series have been fined $2,500 each for rules infractions that occurred this past weekend at Richmond International Raceway. Parrott, crew chief for NASCAR Winston Cup driver Dale Jarrett, was issued the fine for having an improperly attached weight on the #88 car, which was found during qualifying inspection for the Pontiac Excitement 400. Reno, crew chief for the NASCAR #1 Busch Series entry of Jimmy Spencer, was fined for having hollow rear axle “U” bolts on the car during Friday’s Hardee’s 250.(NASCAR PR)(5-8-2002)
  • Johnson fastest at Lowes on Tuesday: #48-Jimmie Johnson posted a lap at unofficial 181.512 mph in the Lowe’s Home Improvement Chevy, claiming the top spot on the speed chart as 18 teams prepared for The Winston on May 18 and the May 26 Coca-Cola 600. Dave Blaney was second fastest in the Jasper Engines Ford at 179.820mph, but his night ended in a shower of sparks against the turn two wall when he cut a right-front tire. #57-Darrell Lannigan looped the #57 Ford coming off turn four early in the evening Winston Cup session, but did not make contact and #85-Carl Long spun and backed into the wall (per ThatsRacin.com). Top unofficial speeds NASCAR Winston Cup Series:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, 181.512
    #77-Dave Blaney, 179.820
    #31-Robby Gordon, 179.223
    #28-Ricky Rudd, 177.281
    #6-Mark Martin, 177.049
    #9-Bill Elliott, 176.182
    #90-Rick Mast, 175.953
    #55-Bobby Hamilton, 175.610
    #19-Jeremy Mayfield, 175.496
    #60-Jack Sprague, 175.325.
    (LMS PR)(5-8-2002)
  • Reiser wins Irwin award: Matt Kenseth and the DEWALT racing team showed their determination and resilience in fighting their way back from adversity early on in Sunday’s rain-delayed Pontiac Excitement 400 to finish in sixth-place. As a result, team crew chief Robbie Reiser takes home this week’s “IRWIN Rough to the Finish” award for the team’s efforts at Richmond International Raceway.Body Dynamic PR)(5-8-2002)
  • Marlin to test short tracks: #40-Sterling Marlin said Tuesday that his team plans to test later this season at Richmond and Martinsville because it is not pleased with its short-track performance. Marlin was 11th Sunday at Richmond. He finished 12th at Martinsville and 19th at Bristol in the other short-track races this season.(Roanoke Times)(5-8-2002)

    (5-7-2002)

  • Fox Crew to Wander: This Friday [May 10th] afternoon, the FOX cameras and commentators are headed north from New Hampshire International Speedway on route 106 and west on US 4 to the twin quarter-mile ovals in Canaan, NH. Its opening night at the Canaan dirt track, and promoter Chuck Elms expects full fields of 358 modifieds, late models, and fast four cylinders. But the FOX cameras are drawn to Canaan by the fan favorite coupe-bodied modifieds that race weekly there and at Canaan’s sister Saturday-night track, Vermont’s Bear Ridge Speedway. “The Bear Ridge and Canaan coupes are the last link to racing’s golden rra in New England,” enthused NASCAR on FOX lead announcer Mike Joy. “When those coupes are running on dirt, beneath the glow of the 300 watt bulbs suspended over the track, the viewer is transported back in time 30, maybe 40 years. Its a great sight to behold.”
    “Chuck Elms has put his heart and soul into these two tracks, and where lesser promoters have had little success, he has done a great job,” Fox’s Dick Berggren said. “We’re all really excited about going up there, helmet in hand, this Friday.” Elms has arranged a match race among the FOX commentators, including Larry McReynolds, Jeff Hammond and Matt Yocum. Joy’s business, New England Racing Fuel and Berggren’s magazine, Speedway Illustrated, will sponsor the event. Berggren has a mantel full of trophies from his dirt track victories, while none of the others have ever raced on dirt. So you might see a Busch series driver or two in the pit area to add some needed coaching. The “highlights” or otherwise, will be shown on the FX telecast of the New England 200 Busch Series race on Saturday.(5-6-2002)
  • Gibbs to Chevy (again)? UPDATE 2 Pontiac testing at AMS: [Joe] Gibbs [Racing] has decided to switch from Pontiacs back to Chevrolets for the 2003 season, according to Chevrolet sources. The move comes after 18 months of intransigence by NASCAR officials for rules relief requested by Pontiac teams. That would put Stewart and teammate Bobby Labonte back in Monte Carlos, which would be a serious blow to General Motors’ Pontiac division, perhaps serious enough for the division to leave this branch of the sport and take it’s $35 million racing budget somewhere else.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-4-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing an announcement could come as soon as Charlotte/Lowes during The Winson/Coca Cola 600 weeks.(5-5-2002)
    UPDATE 2 but…. Officials from Joe Gibbs Racing said they’ll test the new 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix Winston Cup race car at Atlanta Motor Speedway on May 20. The car will be driven at speed on the track and then taken by NASCAR officials to the Lockheed wind tunnel in Marietta for further tests. Gibbs’ team is leading the development of the new Pontiac body, but if the new car doesn’t turn out to be as competitive as they hope, the team is preparing to switch to the Chevrolet Monte Carlo before the start of the 2003 season.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(5-5-2002)
    UPDATE 3: NASCAR and Pontiac Racing will conduct a developmental test for the 2003 Pontiac Thursday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The test will be closed to both the public and the media.(AMS PR)(5-7-2002)
  • Gordon’s Streak Jeff Gordon’s streak of races without a victory climbed to career high 19 when he finished seventh at Richmond.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(5-7-2002)
  • Sad News UPDATE 2: Race Fan Passes Away At Campsite Near Track: At 3:30pm (est) on Sunday, a young woman in her twenties was found by 7 friends in a camper that was located at a campsite facility near the Richmond Int’l Raceway. Emergency personnel were called to the scene, and upon arrival the woman was found to have expired. The 7 friends were taken to the Memorial Regional Medical Center where two were released, three are anticipated to be released tonight, and the two remaining are being kept overnight for observation. Carbon monoxide poisoning is the initial diagnosis, but the cause of death will be finalized upon further investigation. At this the time the case is being ruled suspicious.(Catchfence)
    UPDATE: Shortly after the race ended, at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, officials discovered an apparently accidental death occurred in one of the satellite parking and camping areas used for races. Fans from such areas are shuttled to the track via buses. A woman, not yet publicly identified as of dusk Sunday, was found dead in a motorcoach, apparently as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. Seven others were found “sick and dizzy,” in the words of local police spokesman Tom Shumate, and transported to a nearby hospital.(Gaston Gazette)(5-6-2002)
    UPDATE 2: A 20-year-old Stafford County woman was found dead in a camper and seven others were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning after the NASCAR Pontiac 400 at Richmond International Raceway, police said Monday. Kelly Turco was found dead about 3:30 p.m. Sunday by two friends who returned from the race to the camper in a satellite parking lot. Others in the camper were complaining of feeling dizzy and lightheaded. Her cause of death will be determined after an autopsy being done Monday, said Henrico County police Sgt. Thomas Shumate. Two people were hospitalized overnight and the rest were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning and released, Shumate said. All were from northern Virginia, he said.(Daily Press/AP)(5-7-2002)
  • Rudd Fastest in Lowes Testing: #28-Ricky Rudd and BGN driver #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. topped the unofficial speed charts Monday as testing shifted into high gear at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Rudd was fastest among 17 NASCAR Winston Cup drivers preparing for the May 26 Coca-Cola 600 while Hamilton led the speed parade among the 22 BGN teams preparing for the May 25 CARQUEST Auto Parts 300. Stacy Compton’s test ended shortly after sunset when he lost control of the #14 Pontiac and slammed the outside. Compton was uninjured, but the A.J. Foyt team had only one car on hand for the Winston Cup test. Testing for both the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series continues Tuesday. NASCAR Winston Cup Series Speeds:
    #28-Ricky Rudd, 179.223 mph
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, 178.571
    #6-Mark Martin, 178.159
    #7-Casey Atwood, 177.924
    #55-Bobby Hamilton, 177.223
    #77-Dave Blaney, 176.817
    #9-Bill Elliott, 176.471
    #19-Jeremy Mayfield, 176.355
    #31-Robby Gordon, 176.298
    #90-Rick Mast, 175.781
    (LMS PR)(5-7-2002)
  • NASCAR Plans New Safety Test Center: The Charlotte Business Journal says NASCAR plans to open an expanded safety research and testing operation in Concord, N.C., next January with a staff of 20 technicians and administrative personnel. Sources told reporter Ken Elkins that the NASCAR Research and Development Center will cost up to $8 million. Employment could eventually double to 40 as the sanctioning body develops ways to make the sport safer and refines its race car of the future, Kevin Triplett, NASCAR managing director of business operations, told the paper. A Conover, N.C.-based NASCAR R&D center that opened in January 2001 will remain in operation, but the bulk of its work will shift to the Concord center.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-7-2002)
  • #28 Crew Honored: NAPCM Pit Crew of the Week is the #28 Havoline Crew for consistent fast pit stops all year but bad string of luck. The #28 Havoline Crew is one of the best crews at the track each Sunday.(NAPCM PR)(5-7-2002)
  • Roush Letter: a letter from Jack Roush:
    Dear Friends, Fellow Competitors, Employees and Fans:
    This letter is to express my heart-felt thanks for all of the cards, flowers and especially the prayers I have received since my accident on April 19. Your generous outpouring of support has made a huge impact on the success and speed of my recovery. I wish there were a way to thank each of you personally.
    I have come to realize that I am not only blessed to have survived this accident, but I am equally blessed to have so many people who care so much about my family and me. You will never know how much that means to me.
    I am anxious to get back to work, and look forward to seeing each and everyone of you again as soon as possible. Thank you again for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers through my perilous time. Sincerely, Jack Roush.
    See more on yje accident at my Roush Aircraft Accident page.(5-7-2002)


    (5-6-2002)

  • Schrader misses CTS race: Ken Schrader planned to be racing yesterday. He just didn’t know it would be in his Winston Cup car. Schrader originally planned to head to St. Louis for the Truck series event, but a rain delay at Richmond International Raceway forced him to stay in town an extra day. Mike Wallace, who qualified Schrader’s truck, stayed in St. Louis for that race.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-6-2002)
  • Gordon misses Indy practice: Saturday’s postponement forced Robby Gordon to miss opening day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Gordon is attempting to compete in both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.(Roanoke Times)(5-6-2002)
  • Third Ganassi Team? Team manager Andy Graves said that car owners Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates have talked about expanding the team to make it a three-car organization. “It’s something that if a good driver becomes available and we can find money to do it, that they would be interested in doing a third team,” Graves said. “We’d have to add on some people and space might be a little bit of a concern, but as far as equipment and everything, we’re basically geared to handle it pretty easily.” The key could be sponsorship since, based on talk in the garage, there could be a few quality drivers available for next season. Graves said a third team could provide additional resources for the team’s research and development program. Such departments can be the difference between a team winning and one struggling. Sterling Marlin continues to lead the points standings after Sunday’s rain-delayed Richmond race, while teammate Jimmy Spencer is 20th. Graves said that if needed, the organization could run a few races this season with a third team, using personnel from its test team.(Roanoke Times)(5-6-2002)
  • Sad News: Tony Furr, serving as crew chief this weekend for [#7] Ultra/Evernham Motorsports driver Casey Atwood, returned to Charlotte late Saturday to attend a funeral Sunday for his mother-in-law, who died on Friday. Mike Shiplett, the team’s car chief, served as acting crew chief. Co-owner Ray Evernham also assisted in making pit calls. Furr, who last worked for driver [#25] Jerry Nadeau at Hendrick Motorsports, is currently working on a “week-to-week” basis with Ultra/Evernham.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-6-2002)
  • GM Announcement: hearing there will be some sort of General Motors (GM) announcement during the Coke 600 week, but it has nothing to go with Joe Gibbs Racing.(5-6-2002)

 


(5-5-2002)

 

  • Benson injured in BGN race UPDATE 3 will NOT race at RIR, may miss Winston Open: Johnny Benson was injured in an accident Friday night in the Hardee’s 250 BGN race. Benson and rookie Brian Vickers got together in Turn 3 on Lap 23 of 250, which sent Benson’s #31 Chevy hard into the wall. It was Benson’s first BGN race of the season. Benson was transported to Memorial Regional Medical Center where he was diagnosed with a broken rib on his right side. A CT scan of his head was negative for injuries. He was undergoing additional tests late Friday. Benson’s status for Saturday night’s Winston Cup race remained unclear. He qualified 16th fastest during time trials earlier Friday.(ThatsRacin.com), hearing no decision will be made about Benson’s status until later this afternoon.(5-4-2002)
    UPDATE: Statement From Jay Frye, General Manager MBV Racing: #10 Valvoline Pontiac driver Johnny Benson will not race in tonight’s #Pontiac Excitement 400 due to injuries suffered in last night’s Busch Series race. “Johnny took a very tough hit. The doctors at here in Richmond decided to hold him overnight for precautionary reasons. We support their decision. There is a long way to go in the season and we feel it is in Johnny and the team’s best interest to have him sit out tonight. Johnny said he is going to watch the race on television from the hospital. Joe Nemechek will drive the Valvoline Pontiac tonight. We are very grateful that Joe has agreed to drive for us. Johnny and James Ince our crew chief put our car at the top of the practice sheets in both sessions yesterday and we know Joe is a top caliber driver so our goals for tonight’s race remain the same. We appreciate all that the hospital, track and NASCAR officials have done in the last 24 hours.
    Statement From Richmond International Raceway: “Johnny Benson suffered a broken rib. He was admitted to Memorial Regional Medical Center for observation. His release is anticipated in the next 24 to 48 hours.”(MBV Racing PR), Nemechek will have to fall to the rear of the field before the green flag.(5-4-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Benson was released from the hospital Sunday and is at the track today.(5-5-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Johnny Benson was out of the hospital and back at the track Sunday, sore but excited to be out of the bed and on pit road. MBV Motorsports team manager Jay Frye said that he didn’t expect Benson would return in time for the Winston Open in Charlotte two weeks from now. Benson won The Winston Open in 2001. He did, however, say he plans to be back in the # Valvoline Pontiac in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte.(NASCAR.com)(5-5-2002)
  • Keller in the #21? UPDATE: Don’t be surprised, by the way, if BGN points leader Jason Keller, who won Friday night’s Hardee’s 250, becomes one of the drivers seriously considered as Sadler’s replacement in the Wood Brothers’ #21. As it stands now, of course, Sadler figures to remain in the car through the end of the season. Keller has been around for years but only recently turned 32. After taking his knocks and being dismissed as a BGN lifer, Keller, all of a sudden, finds himself in the unlikely position of being an overnight sensation. When asked about the potential for finding a Winston Cup ride, Keller was cautious. “It would have to be a place where I felt like I could win races,” he said. “There have been some brief discussions, but nothing serious. I’m happy where I am, and right now there’s no reason to think anything is going to change. I love this team, and I’m comfortable where I am.”(Gaston Gazette)(5-5-2002)
    UPDATE: BGN points leader Jason Keller, who got his third win of the season on Friday at Richmond, may be headed for the Winston Cup Series as soon as next season. Keller said he has been getting inquiries from Winston Cup teams interested in hiring him to drive one of their cars. “The phone’s starting to ring more and more, and I’m sure it’ll be ringing this week,” he said. “But it’s going to take a good situation to get me out of where I am now.” He said he wouldn’t leave his present team unless he felt he was going to a Winston Cup team that was capable of winning races right away. “I don’t think the grass is greener on the other side just because it’s Winston Cup,” he said. “I’m happy where I am now, and we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.” He said before he held any serious talks with a Winston Cup team owner, he’d go to his current owner, Greg Pollex, and tell him what he was doing. “I’m not the kind of person that would go behind anybody’s back,” he said. “Greg has been very good to me.”(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(5-5-2002)
  • Park Speaks Out: The news that Dale Earnhardt Inc. officials have spoken to Elliott Sadler put DEI drivers Steve Park and Michael Waltrip on the spot this week. Both are in the final year of their contracts. Park took advantage of the spotlight to share his perspective on the story. “`DEI has to do what’s right for their company,” Park said. “It’s a great company and I wish them only the best, but I’d hate to see them make a lateral move. If Jeff Gordon was available, there wouldn’t be nobody happier than myself to see him come to DEI. But to make a lateral move that has uncertainty behind it, I just don’t agree with that.” Park has competed in six races this season and missed the final 12 of last season after a bad crash in Darlington, S.C. He’s won two races for DEI, one in each of the past two seasons. Sadler has one career win. “`I think what we have … is a winning race team, a winning driver. We’ve proved that in the past and we’re definitely going to prove that in the future,” Park said. “I feel like we have unfinished business.”(Tampa Tribune/AP), see my #1 Team News and Links page for more on this ‘rumor’.(5-5-2002)
  • Blaney’s Track Opens: Winston Cup driver [#77 Ford] Dave Blaney made his debut in a new role last night. His track in Hartford, Ohio, opened [Sharon Speedway]. Blaney spent the winter months renovating the facility in preparation for a season of sprint cars and dirt Modifieds. “They pulled the racetrack up that was there, and we made a smaller track and doubled the seating,” he said. Taking over a small track is a risky proposition, at best. Blaney joked that he was keeping his day job but said he thinks his place should be a success. “It seems like there’s some that do well and others that just struggle,” he said. “We knew that going in, so we tried to make something that was very nice.”(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-5-2002)
  • Petty to bring back BGN team? Kyle Petty said a goal at Petty Enterprises is to form a BGN team and run a few races this season. Petty said the goal had been to put Steve Grissom in the team’s BGN car or align with a BGN team. That was before Grissom replaced Buckshot Jones in one of the team’s three Winston Cup rides [#44]. Petty said the team continues to work toward restarting a BGN program by the end of the year. If a team is developed, Petty said it probably won’t have a young driver. “At this point in time we are probably 80% sure, unless it’s a phenomenal younger driver, we’re not going to put a younger driver in the car,” Petty said. “We don’t have the luxury of a Hendrick or the luxury of a Roush organization or a Gibbs or a Yates to train a driver and bring a driver along. We’ve got to get guys in here that can win races. I think that was the main reason we made the change with Buckshot. We just felt like to move forward with Petty Enterprises we just didn’t have time to bring Buckshot along at the rate we needed to come along.”(Roanoke Times)(5-5-2002)

    (5-4-2002)

  • Park to Lose the #1 Ride? UPDATE: The Sporting News has learned that Steve Park will be released from the Dale Earnhardt Inc. No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet following the Coca-Cola 600 later this month. Kenny Wallace is expected to take the seat at Dover. While Park has continued his recovery following his crash in last September’s Busch race at Darlington, his results in the car are not what the team had hoped for since his return. Park’s best finish this season was 20th at Texas, but his average showing is 27th. Park may not be the only driver facing dismissal at DEI. Sources say that teammate Michael Waltrip’s job isn’t necessarily secure either. Although Waltrip’s contract is up for renegotiation, it has been inferred that Elliott Sadler, who asked for his release last Sunday night from the Wood Brothers team, will be in the car in 2003. Ty Norris, executive VP of motorsports for DEI, denied that Park will be replaced or that Waltrip’s status is in jeopardy. But Norris did say that he has talked to several drivers and “there are 43 available in either (the Winston Cup or Busch) garage.” He expects to have a decision by June.(Sporting News), heard from sources that DEI is adamant Park will not be released.(5-4-2002)
    UPDATE: Reports that Winston Cup driver Steve Park will be released by Dale Earnhardt, Inc. following the Coca-Cola 600 in three weeks are false, DEI executive vice president Ty Norris told NASCAR.com. “It was irresponsible reporting … to make a ridiculous comment like that, when they asked me point blank and I said ‘Absolutely no way,'” Norris said. “That rumor is very, very false.” Norris also said that conversations between DEI and any future talent are focused solely on the future.(NASCAR.com)(5-4-2002)
  • DEI Shakeup Coming? UPDATE 2: A shakeup appears to be looming at Dale Earnhardt Inc., with word that DEI boss Ty Norris is talking with Elliott Sadler about driving for the company next season, presumably replacing either #15-Michael Waltrip or #1-Steve Park. Norris says that DEI will make a decision on next year’s drivers lineup by the end of May. Sponsor demands may be the key to Norris’ calls. The NAPA sponsor is considered one at stake, with other car owners looking to make a bid for it. But Geoff Smith, the head of Roush Racing and the man who helped write Sadler’s contract with the Woods brothers, says the decision on Sadler is up to Eddie Wood. “There have been rumors coming out of DEI about Michael Waltrip and Steve Park for some time,” Smith said. “I think this is their logical time table to address change.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-3-2002)
    UPDATE: Michael Waltrip said Friday morning at Richmond he intends to be back in the #15 Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevy in 2003. “I fully expect that I’ll be driving this car next year,” Waltrip said. “That’s my intention. If it’s a forgone conclusion that I won’t be, then I don’t know about that.” Dale Earnhardt Jr., now part-owner in DEI, didn’t completely deny that the team was thinking about putting Sadler in a DEI car next year, and that changes wouldn’t be made. “It’s not the truth until you hear from us or him (Sadler),” Earnhardt Jr. said. “I don’t know why everybody has to believe stuff like that. It’s kind of funny. I don’t know if we’re looking at Elliott; we’re just looking at ways to improve our team. I look at our teams myself individually as if they were stock, and we have to continue to raise the value of the team and try to improve the team as far as members, crew members, or any area that we see needs to be improved. We either try to take this guy and help him along or try to improve him or give him the things that he thinks he needs to succeed or we make a change. That’s the nature of the beast. As far as Elliott goes, I wouldn’t worry about posting anything until you hear it from us.”(RacingOne)(5-3-2002)
    AND from NASCAR.com -DEI executive vice president Ty Norris told NASCAR.com Friday that the Nos. 1 and 15 teams need one of two things: improved results or a personnel shakeup within the organization. Norris said that DEI has a set deadline for its decision, but would not disclose that date. The current contracts for drivers Steve Park and Michael Waltrip expire following the 2002 season, and Norris said DEI is exploring the possibility of hiring other drivers. Norris said that sponsor input will play a large role in the decision, and that drivers aren’t the only individuals in question. “We basically have two drivers with contracts up and the end of the year,” Norris said. “So we’re feeling things out, seeing who is available and what is available.” Among the candidates is Elliott Sadler, who asked for his release from Wood Brothers Racing last weekend. Norris said Sadler was “very high” on his short list of possibilities.(5-3-2002)
    UPDATE: Norris – “I’m thinking by the beginning of June we’ll know what we’re going to do, for the end of this and for next year, because both Michael and Steve have a renegotiating deadline of June 15.”(ThatsRacin.com)(5-4-2002)
  • Spencer’s Dad faces charges: The father and brother of NASCAR racer Jimmy Spencer [#41 target Dodge] are facing conspiracy charges for what police say was a scheme to steal truck tires for resale at their junkyard. The Luzerne County district attorney’s office approved conspiracy charges Thursday against Edgar Spencer and Edgar Spencer Jr., who own and run Ed Spencer Auto Parts in Berwick. Facing the same charges are the racer’s uncle and cousin, Edgar W. Spencer and Edgar W. Spencer Jr. of Spencer’s Auto Parts in Hunlock Creek. Authorities said they received a complaint from officials at a Wilkes-Barre business alleging that truck tires from their plant were being sold at the Spencers’ businesses. McCarthy Tire identified its tires through a code at the plant, a police report says. Edgar Senior and Junior are in Richmond this weekend to watch Jimmy race. Investigators expect all four Edgar Spencer’s to surrender either Monday or Tuesday and face theft charges in court.(CNNSI/AP and Newswatch 16)(5-4-2002)

    (5-3-2002)

  • Sadler out of the #21? UPDATE 4 staying thru 2002: ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night reports that Elliott Sadler has asked for his release from the #21 Wood Brothers team. Sadler supposedly is looking at an opportunity with Dale Earnhardt Inc (#15? – no idea). The Wood Brothers have not granted his release yet.(4-30-2002)
    UPDATE: Word around some shops [and from ESPN] is that Elliott Sadler has asked for a release from his contract from the #21 Motorcraft Wood Brothers Ford. Sadler has supposedly been approached by several teams and wants out of the contract he has had with the team since 1999 to explore those options. One of the teams rumored to be interested in Sadler is Dale Earnhardt Inc., the home of Dale Earnhardt Jr, Steve Park and Michael Waltrip. Kenny Wallace, who filled in for the Park after his Darlington injuries last September, is still under contract to DEI as well.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(5-1-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Elliott Sadler confirmed Wednesday afternoon that he has asked Wood Brothers Racing for a release from his contract, starting at the end of the 2002 season, so that he might begin pursuing other options for 2003. Sadler was adamant about the falsity of reports that he asked for an immediate release, and said that, barring extenuating circumstances, he’ll be in the #21 Motorcraft Ford for the remainder of the year. “The only official thing right now is that, Sunday night, I did ask for my release from the Wood Brothers so that I can pursue other options for the 2003 season,” Sadler said. “All that other stuff about (Dale Earnhardt, Inc.) or anyone else is way too premature at this point.” Wood Brothers Racing declined comment. Ty Norris, DEI executive vice president, seconded Sadler’s statement. He also suggested that May will be a pivotal month in DEI’s future. “There’s nothing really to say at this point,” Norris said. “We have talked to Elliott and we have talked to other drivers as well — including our own. We will make a lot of decisions about the face of DEI’s future by the end of May.”(NASCAR.com)(5-1-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Thursday’s ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night reported that Sadler has sponsor’s worth $11 million to bring to a team and has talked to DEI about taking the sponsor there.(5-3-2002)
    UPDATE 4: Wood Brothers Racing made clear Friday no matter what the future holds with driver Elliott Sadler, it is expected he will remain as the team’s driver at least through the end of the 2002 season. Sadler confirmed Thursday that he has asked to be released from his contract to explore driving opportunities with other teams. He said he and his team lacked the “chemistry” to build a successful program. Eddie and Len Wood, co-owners of the Wood Brothers Racing team, issued a statement Friday morning in which they acknowledged that Sadler had asked for a release from his contract, but said Sadler would remain as the team’s driver for the rest of the 2002 season. “It was rumored that he was being released or wanted the release immediately. Both of these statements are false,” the statement said. “As far as the issue of the release is concerned, we are working toward a solution that will satisfy both Elliott Sadler and Wood Brothers Racing.” Eddie Wood said later that Sadler’s request caught the team by surprise. “Every day you come to the race track, it’s a new surprise,” he said. “It just happens to be my week. Next week, it will be somebody else’s turn.” Wood said Sadler’s contract runs through the 2005 season. “We’re going to try to work this thing out and if it works out (with Sadler leaving), then we got to figure who is going to be our next guy and we haven’t started yet,” Wood said.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-3-2002)
  • Baseball scheme for Dale Jr UPDATE: hearing Dale Earnhardt Jr will run a 2002 Major League Baseball All Star scheme at Daytona in the Pepsi 400 in July. The car is mostly red with a baseball bat on the rear quarter panels. Last year Earnhardt Jr ran a MLB All Star scheme last year at the Pepsi 400 with a white scheme, and won the race.(3-26-2002)
    IMAGE see a diecast image of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(5-2-2002)
    UPDATE: As Major League Baseball readies for the 73rd All-Star Game on July 9 in Milwaukee, Wisc., Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #8 Budweiser car, is preparing for some all-star performances of his own. Budweiser – the “Official Beer” of Major League Baseball (MLB) and NASCAR – will celebrate the 2002 All-Star Game with a special paint scheme on Earnhardt Jr.’s Budweiser car during the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Pepsi 400 race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., on July 6.. Additionally, the “King of Beers” has unveiled a new 16-ounce Budweiser can available nationwide that features Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt Jr.’s car paint scheme features a red color and white baseball stitching with the official Budweiser / 2002 MLB All-Star Game logo on the hood. A white #8 appears on the car’s doors and roof, and the “Budweiser” script is displayed on the car’s left and right rear quarter panels.. The sides feature a baseball bat and baseballs while the rear television panel features “Budweiser – Official Beer of Major League Baseball” and “MLB on FOX” graphics. Additionally, Earnhardt Jr.’s racing suit for both races will be red at the top with white “Bud” lettering and “2002” in blue, along with black pants highlighted by gold trim.. The “Bud” script is featured across the chest and on the shoulders, and the 2002 MLB All-Star Game logo appears on the back of the uniform.. Earnhardt Jr.’s helmet is red with the 2002 MLB All-Star Game logo and baseball imagery. To honor Earnhardt Jr.’s achievements in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Budweiser is featuring his image on 16-ounce cans this summer.. The commemorative package is available nationwide from May 1 through the summer along with other can panels highlighting Budweiser as “America’s beer” and the brand’s sponsorship of 2002 FIFA World Cup(tm). Budweiser also produced a series of commemorative 16-ounce cans in 2000, highlighting Earnhardt Jr.’s Winston Cup rookie season.(Budweiser PR), also there is a contest, see my Racing Contest page for info.(5-3-2002)
  • Note on the #54 Toys R Us team UPDATE 2: Rick Goodwin owns the team, the team will run the #54 and will lease Chevy’s and engines from Andy Petree Racing with some Petree team member assistance. The Toys R Us sponsorship is 100% Rick Goodwins and will remain that way. The team is simply leasing cars and engines from the APR organization. Goodwins BGN crew chief Tony Lambert will crew chief Cup car for driver Kevin Grubb, starting at Richmond and a few more Cup races in 2002. Petree is NOT a part owner as some publications have reported.(5-1-2002)
    UPDATE: Andy Petree’s sponsorship package with Toys R Us looks like one of those big-buck breakthrough deals he has been hoping for, to put his Asheville operation in better financial shape. The package could be a full ride, including not just a Winston Cup team but also Busch and truck teams.(Winston Salem Journal). Once again the TEAM tells me Petree has no ownership ties at all to this team or the sponsor and is just supplying cars and engines, not sure why it is being reported otherwise..(5-3-2002)
    UPDATE 2: from an APR spokesperson – The Toys R Us deal is not an Andy Petree Racing deal or sponsor. Rick Goodwin owns the #54 BGN and Cup car and they are his sponsor. APR has entered in to an agreement to rent him the #33 team, but the entry is under his name and his sponsor. They are concentraing on their BGN effort, and looked to APR to help with this. Its a good deal for APR as it helps out the #55 APR team with extra data and let’s them work with new ideas.(5-3-2002)
  • Driver of the Year Voting: Thanks to two wins in three IRL starts, Sam Hornish Jr. narrowly edged NASCAR Winston Cup Series leader Sterling Marlin to become the first-quarter winner in Driver of the Year voting. A nationwide panel of 15 racing journalists, and fans voting online, gave Hornish seven first-place votes to six for Marlin. Each panelist selects six drivers in order of preference, and points are awarded on a 9-6-4-3-2-1 basis. Fan voting also counts for one vote. Hornish finished with 107 points. Marlin, who was inexplicably left off one panelist’s ballot, received 102 points. Matt Kenseth was a distant third with 65 points. Despite winning the Daytona 500, Ward Burton did not receive a single vote.(Arizona Republic)(5-3-2002)
  • #17 Crew Member needs surgey: Car chief and jackman of the #17 DeWalt Racing crew, Jeff Vandermoss, sustained a lower back injury that requires immediate surgery to repair. While recovering, Russ Strupp, crew chief of the Reiser Enterprises #17 BGN car, will fill in as jackman and assist crew member Dave Smith with car chief duties. Vandermoss is expected to resume his car chief duties approximately two weeks after his surgery, but will be unable to function as jackman for at least two months.(Roush Racing)(5-3-2002)
  • Craven Named First Quarter Winner True Value Person of the Year: Ricky Craven, driver of the PPI Motorsports #32 Tide Ford, has been named the recipient of the True Value Person of the Year for the first quarter of 2002. This award is presented to the driver who most exemplifies the strong combination of on-track performance with off-track contributions to society. In the performance category, Craven already has two Bud Pole Position Awards, coming at Rockingham in February and Darlington in March. He also has two top-five finishes in 2002, at Rockingham and Atlanta. As for his off-track contributions, Ricky Craven hosted the 5th annual Snowmobile Ride for Charity in his home state of Maine on January 21st. The charity ride raised over $114,000, which went to benefit charities such as Give Kids The World, Make-A-Wish Foundation, The Marrow Foundation, Children’s Miracle Network and the Travis Roy Foundation. He was also the recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association’s Pocono Spirit Award and received an honorary certificate from the 25th annual PRIDE Conference’s Race Against Drugs Program for spending a day speaking to students at their conference. “It’s truly an honor to receive such recognition, even though I personally don’t relish the attention,” said Craven. “What is most important is the attention it brings to the charitable foundations that I support,” he added.(PR-PPI Motorsports)(5-3-2002)
  • Where is Buckshot? Since losing his ride in the #44 Dodge three weeks ago, Buckshot Jones has kept busy working on his family’s farm in Monticello. He says that if the right deal for a Winston Cup ride doesn’t come along, he’ll be happy with whatever turn his career takes. He’s talked to several teams and to some of NASCAR’s power brokers and expects to make a decision soon. “By next week, I’ll have a pretty good reading on whether I continue on in racing or get into land development with my dad,” Jones said. Jones said he wishes his old team the best, but he hasn’t been watching Winston Cup races on TV. “All of the guys on the 44 team are my friends, so I don’t want to see them do bad,” he said. And as far as watching the races, “I was working at the farm and came back to the house about three times and watched for about 10 minutes.”(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(5-3-2002)
  • DEI to Honor Singer: Dale Earnhardt Inc. will honor the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, of the popular R&B group TLC, this weekend at Richmond by carrying special stripes on all three of the company’s Winston Cup Chevy’s (#’s 1,8,15). Lopes, 30, was killed instantly in a traffic accident in Honduras on April 25. Within days, morgue photos of Lopes were circulated on the internet, striking a nerve within the Earnhardt organization. Teresa Earnhardt, wife of seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Dale Earnhardt, was drawn into extensive courtroom battles protecting the privacy of her family and memory of her late husband following his death in February of 2001. Several news organizations and a website unsuccessfully tried to obtain autopsy photos of Earnhardt following his fatal accident. “We want to express our deepest sympathy to her family, friends and fans. She has a huge following here at our shop,” said Steve Crisp, Director of Media Relations for the Mooresville, NC-based company. As a trademark, Lopes, an Atlanta, GA native, often performed with a single black stripe under her left eye. The Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevys, driven by #1-Steve Park, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #15-Michael Waltrip will each carry a similar stripe under the left headlight. In addition, over the wall pit crew members on all three teams will wear black stripes under their left eye in Saturday night’s event.(DEI PR)(5-3-2002)

    (5-2-2002)

  • Jayski News with Ford Racing: Knight Ridder Digital (KRD), the operator of the Real Cities network of local media Web sites, today announced the launch of the Ford Racing advertising campaign in which Ford Racing is featured as a major sponsor of KRD’s stock car racing online properties, ThatsRacin.com and Jayski.com. ThatsRacin.com, a member of the Real Cities Network, is the leading independent stock car racing Web site on the Internet. Ford Racing’s newly redesigned Web site, FordRacing.com, will be promoted through the sponsorship. Ford Racing will become the presenting sponsor of ThatsRacin.com’s “Photo Gallery” section, which provides users with photo snapshots from race tracks on a weekly basis. Additionally, Ford Racing will be a presenting sponsor of ThatsRacin.com’s partner, Jayski.com, the insider’s NASCAR news and rumor site. The Jayski.com sponsorship will also include sponsorship of the site’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series section. Ford Racing branding will appear on the biography pages of ThatsRacin.com and Jayski.com for Ford drivers including Dale Jarrett, Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth and Rusty Wallace.

    “We’re pleased that Ford Racing has chosen ThatsRacin.com and Jayski.com,” said Stan Kleine, sports channel manager Digital. “In selecting our sites to promote FordRacing.com, they’re not only zeroing-in on their target audience, they’re giving our users the opportunity to visit the Web site for one of the top racing organizations in the world.” The campaign began May 1 and will run through November 30, 2002. For the rest of the release, see my Press Release page.(5-2-2002)

  • Vote for the Winston UPDATE: heard on the MRN Radio coverage of the NAPA Auto Parts 500 Sunday – sometime this week, fans can vote on NASCAR.com on the method to be used inverting the field at The Winston.(4-29-2002)
    UPDATE: Once again race fans will have the authoritative voice in selecting the inversion order for the final segment of The Winston at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Saturday night, May 18, as speedway officials announced today that fans may vote their preference on NASCAR.com. NASCAR fans may go online at www.nascar.com and vote on how many cars to invert for the final 20-lap segment, worth at least $750,000 to the winner of NASCAR’s annual all-star event at the 1.5-mile superspeedway. Voting will begin Friday, May 3, and end at the conclusion of the first segment of The Winston. Interactive kiosks will be available at Lowe’s Motor Speedway for fans to vote on site during The Winston weekend May 17-18. Under the new format for The Winston, drivers will be eliminated following the first and second segments. The largest field in the history of the event, at least 27 cars, will be trimmed down to the top-20 finishers after the first 40-lap segment and then will be reduced to the top-10 finishers after the second 30-lap segment. To add an additional dose of excitement, the starting lineup for the final 20-lap segment will be determined by voting on NASCAR.com. The fans will determine whether four, six, eight or the entire 10-car field will be inverted. (i.e. if the fans vote to invert 10 cars, then the car finishing first in the second segment will started 10th and the 10th-place car will start first, the second-place car would start ninth and so on.) In addition, Winston Cup practice for The Winston will available to fans live on NASCAR.com via RaceCast. This feature is being offered to users for the first time. For fans wanting to attend The Winston, tickets are still available starting at just $20 and can be obtained online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS. Cable station FX will televise The Winston live with coverage beginning at 7:00pm/et(NASCAR.com)(5-2-2002)
  • No TRAC at Nashville: Nashville Superspeedway said thanks but no thanks to a radical new racing league that wanted to compete there. Officials from Team Racing Auto Circuit (TRAC) met recently with Dover Motorsports to discuss the possibility of holding some races on the Superspeedway when the new series starts next year, but were turned down.(Tennessean)(5-2-2002)
  • Petree, Jones, Ford (from one of one of the many updates on this rumor on the #33 Team page) and an UPDATE : [Jerry] Jones is expected to announce soon that he will purchase controlling interest in the two-car Winston Cup team of Andy Petree. Some of the details still need to be worked out, but Jones is close to breaking new ground by making the Cowboys the first NFL franchise with a full-time presence in NASCAR. By 2003, a blue and silver car with the Cowboys star could be turning laps. The Petree cars are Chevrolets now, but don’t be surprised to see a switch to Fords next season when the new arrangement begins.(Dallas Morning News – need to register)(2-20-2002)
    UPDATE: The Dallas Morning News reports that Ford executives have spoken with Winston Cup team owner Andy Petree about switching from Chevrolet to Ford next season after he completes a deal to sell part of his team to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Ford wants to make “the Petree-Cowboys organization one of its manufacturer-supported teams, which could be worth as much as $7.5 million a year,” the paper says.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-2-2002)
  • Gatorade out, Powerade in: Gatorade is out of the race — and Powerade is in — as the official sports drink of NASCAR. Pepsico owns Gatorade, the biggest-selling sports drink and a longtime NASCAR sponsor. Coca-Cola owns the far smaller Powerade brand and has been trying to mount a challenge to Gatorade on several fronts, from advertising to sponsorship. On Wednesday, Gatorade said it will not renew its sponsorship of NASCAR, which dates to 1984. The company will stay involved in the sport in other ways. Gatorade spokesman Andy Horrow said NASCAR wanted too much money. “NASCAR can’t deliver what we want and, hence, we’re walking away,” he said. Coca-Cola, however, has had a relationship with NASCAR for several years, and getting a bigger role for Powerade is another step ahead. Besides Powerade, the company has three other “official” designations with NASCAR: Coca-Cola soda, Dasani water and Minute Maid juices. Coke’s director of motorsports, Bea Perez, said the company will tie Powerade to NASCAR via a variety of promotions. The cost of the sponsorship was not disclosed. Gatorade will remain the official sports drink at several big racetracks, including Daytona International Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway. Powerade also has deals with some tracks, including Atlanta Motor Speedway and Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(5-2-2002)
  • Furr to the #7 UPDATE: Former #25 Hendrick Motorsports crew chief Tony Furr will become the new crew chief for the #7 Sirius Dodge team and driver Casey Atwood. Furr replaces interim crew chief Buddy Barnes who was released from Ultra-Evernham Motorsports on Tuesday. Furr, 45, worked on the #25 Hendrick team since 1998 when he was the pitboss for Ricky Craven. Until he resigned earlier this month, Furr most recently worked with Jerry Nadeau and led him to his first win at Atlanta in November of 2000. Under Cale Yarborough’s [#98] roof, Furr also guided John Andretti to his first career win in the 1997 Pepsi 400 at Daytona. Atwood, 21, joined the #7 team after a rookie season with Ray Evernham [#19]. The team is currently 37th in points and Atwood’s best finish was 18th at Bristol. While Atwood started the season under the tutelage of Kevin Cram, the owners decided that the driver needed a more seasoned crew chief. Furr brings nine years experience as a crew chief to the team and worked with Evernham at Hendrick.(Sporting News)(4-30-2002)
    UPDATE: Ray Evernham, co-owner of Ultra/Evernham Motorsports, today announced that Tony Furr would be assisting the #7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid R/T during this weekend’s race at Richmond International Raceway. Furr, former crew chief of the No. 25 Winston Cup team, will be consulting with the team, assuming the role of crew chief. “I’ve known Tony for a long time, and I have a lot of respect for him as a leader and a crew chief,” Evernham said. “He’s stepping in to help us out this weekend at Richmond. He will be a tremendous asset to the team.”
    “Ray and I have the same winning vision for this team,” said Jim Smith, co-owner Ultra/Evernham Motorsports. “We think Tony will make a strong contribution this weekend.”
    “This team has the potential to be a great team,” Furr said. “Ray and Jim have asked me to help identify some areas where they can make some changes, and help get this team moving up each week. I’m excited for the opportunity and looking forward to Richmond.” Buddy Barnes had been acting as crew chief since March 11, but is no longer with Ultra/Evernham Motorsports.(Evernham Motorsports/Golin-Harris)(5-2-2002)
  • Richmond One Lane? After two weekends of superspeedway racing, NASCAR’s Winston Cup and Busch Series drivers will be short tracking this weekend in Richmond. But there are concerns that the sealer that has been applied to the track may have created a one-groove racing surface that won’t accommodate the side-by- side racing that Richmond International Raceway and other short tracks typically produce. Terry Labonte, who tested his No. 5 Chevrolet in preparation for Saturday’s Pontiac Excitement 400, said Tuesday that he and other drivers were surprised by the conditions. “It was definitely just a one-lane race track, which was a little bit different than we’ve seen in the past,” Labonte said. Labonte said the sealer, which is applied to the track to provide more adhesion for the tires, doesn’t seem to be working as planned. “What normally happens is the sealer actually wears off the lower groove,” he said. “The sealer has so much grip, so the groove moves up. I don’t know if that’s going to be the case this time or not.”(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(5-2-2002)

    (5-1-2002)

  • Elledge back at Andy Petree Racing: As the Schneider Electric Racing Team heads to Richmond International Raceway this weekend, they will welcome back Crew Chief Jimmy Elledge to lead the #55 team. Elledge returns after logging one top-10 finish in his brief stint at Robert Yates Racing and the #88 team. “Working at Andy Petree Racing was a great situation from day one, but sometimes the grass is greener on the other side,” Elledge said in the shop on his first day back. “I think there were a lot of things here that were really good. But there were a lot of things I questioned here, that by being away I was able to answer. The bottom line is you have to be happy at the end of the day,” Elledge continued. “I feel wanted here. These guys are big supporters of me. When you feel wanted by the people around you, it makes you feel good.” While driver Bobby Hamilton looks forward to working with Elledge again, he also appreciates all of the hard work and effort put in by former Crew Chief Charley Pressley. “Being a car owner myself I understand where Andy (Petree) is coming from,” Hamilton said. “But then again I had complete confidence in Charley and think he is a really smart crew chief. Charley and I are tight and I wish the best for him. But because of the relationship I have already established with Jimmy, I know I’m in good hands.”(Motosports Decisions PR and Crew Chief Club), no word on Pressley’s plans.(5-1-2002)
  • #90 and crew chief part ways UPDATE new crew chief: Effectively immediately Mark Tutor and the #90 Donlavey Racing team have parted ways. “It is in both our best interest that this happens as we have drastically different views on racing in the year 2002. I have the utmost respect for Rick Mast and the Sauers’ companys. I wish them both the best. I am looking for a team committed to and willing to do what it takes to be competitive, and not at what they do not have to spend,” said Tutor.(5-1-2002)
    UPDATE: Donlavey Racing has hired Ernie Cope to serve as crew chief on the #90 Donlavey Racing Ford and driver Rick Mast. Cope had been head mechanic since last October on the #9 Evernham Motorsports Dodge driven by Bill Elliott. Prior to joining Evernham Motorsports, Cope was the car chief for the #27 Pontiac fielded by Eel River Racing. Before his stint at Eel River, Cope called the shots for Geoff Bodine Racing in the CTS. “I’m real excited about the opportunity with Donlavey Racing and Rick Mast,” Cope said. “I spoke with Junie and Rick before I decided to make the move. I felt this is an opportunity I could not pass up.” Cope’s first race will be this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. Cope is replacing Mark Tutor.(Keystone Marketing PR)(5-1-2002)
  • Wallace, APR and Preen at the Winston: Andy Petree Racing, Preen Lawn and Garden Products and Mike Wallace will teqam up again at The Winston. Wallace will drive the #33 Preen Chevrolet for Petree in The Winston, NASCAR’s version of the All-Star Game, Saturday night, May 18, at the 1.5-mile Lowe’s Motor Speedway. “As good as that trioval grass looks at Lowe’s, Preen has probably been to The Winston before,” said Wallace. “For me, it’s my first time in the sport’s All-Star Game. I’m pretty excited.” Wallace has started three events for Andy Petree Racing this season, including the season-opening Daytona 500, the Rockingham 400 and the Talladega 500 (where Preen sponsored the car). Preen, America’s leading weed preventer for lawns and gardens, has sponsored Andy Petree Racing in two previous NASCAR events. A product of Greenview, the consumer products division of Lebanon Seaboard Corporation, Preen was on Petree’s #33 Truck at Martinsville on Saturday, Apr. 13, in a race which saw Petree run second for a long time and in the top 10 throughout the race until late in the event. Preen sponsored Wallace behind the wheel of the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega on Apr. 21.(Williams Company PR)(5-1-2002)
  • Oordt-Denny Green team delayed UPDATE 2 Oordt out? Mock regains control and will Auction off equipment: Darwin Oordt Galaxy Motorsports – was the #75 team is not sure when he and new team partner Dennis Green will put a car on the track. ”We’re working on a couple of things, but there’s nothing new,” Oordt said this week. Oordt suspended his Winston Cup operation early last year due to a lack of sponsor. Green, the former Vikings coach, last month became partners with Oordt. Oordt said they hope to begin competing at some point this season in either Cup or BGN, or both.(Tennessean)(3-7-2002)
    UPDATE: [former owner] Butch Mock reportedly has retaken possession of the team he sold to Darwin Oordt and intends to auction off everything in early May.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(4-11-2002)
    UPDATE 2 – #75 Team up for Auction: Charlie Sentman Auctions in Indiania will hold the Butch Mock Special Sale from Tuesday May 7th thru Saturday May 11th (viewing day May 6th), selling off the entire #75 Cup team. The auction will be held in the Mooresville, NC area.(Charlie Sentman Auctions site)(4-30-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Over the past year, Darwin Oordt’s grandiose NASCAR dream gradually dissolved into a nightmare. Apparently not even a partnership with former Minnesota Vikings Coach Dennis Green was able to keep Oordt’s Winston Cup team afloat. An auction company has announced that the entire Mooresville, N.C., racing complex and all equipment will be sold next week. According to newspaper reports out of North Carolina, Butch Mock — from whom Oordt acquired the team two years ago — has reclaimed it and intends to auction it off. It will be sold by Charlie Sentman Auctions from May 7-11.(Tennessean)(5-1-2002)
  • Note on the #54 Toys R Us team: Rick Goodwin owns the team, the team will run the #54 and will lease Chevy’s and engines from Andy Petree Racing with some Petree team member assistance. The Toys R Us sponsorship is 100% Rick Goodwins and will remain that way. The team is simply leasing cars and engines from the APR organization. Goodwins BGN crew chief Tony Lambert will crew chief Cup car for driver Kevin Grubb, starting at Richmond and a few more Cup races in 2002. Petree is NOT a part owner as some publications have reported. More info on the team, see my #54 Team News page.(5-1-2002)
  • Knaus wins award: Chad Knaus, the crew chief of the #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy that Jimmie Johnson drove to his first Winston Cup win in Sunday’s NAPA Auto Parts 500, has won this week’s Irwin Rough to the Finish Award for crew chiefs. Knaus, who had also won the award for the March 3 UAW/DaimlerChrysler 400 at Las Vegas, won for his pit work and strategy throughout the race at California Speedway, including a late-race call to take only fuel on Johnson’s final pit stop.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-1-2002)
  • Update on the Winston UPDATE to Bristol?: Rich Habegger, Winston Cup director for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco’s Sports Marketing Enterprises, said there has been no discussion of moving The Winston, the sport’s all-star race currently conducted at Lowe’s Motor Speedway outside Charlotte, N.C. “Our focus has been the concept and format of this year’s race,” Habegger said about the May 18 special event. “Hopefully, we’ll start talking to NASCAR in June about where it may be located next year. Our contract with Lowe’s was up last year, thus the talk about a possible move, but there have been no discussions along that line.” California Speedway was mentioned by NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter as a possible new site for the event. But, according to Habegger, such talk is premature at this point.(Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)(4-29-2002)
    UPDATE: Talk about moving racing’s all-star event is stirring again. And early speculation is that it could come to Bristol. If some members of the NASCAR family have their wish, NASCAR’s all-star event would soon move to Bristol Motor Speedway. According to a story in the April 25 edition of NASCAR Winston Cup Scene, BMS would be the most likely candidate if The Winston is moved from its current location at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte. BMS General Manager Jeff Byrd has mixed feelings about that scenario. “I personally think The Winston needs to stay in Charlotte,” Byrd said. “But if the event is going to be moved, we would love to have it.”(Bristol Herald Courier)(5-1-2002)
  • Renfrow ready to takle Richmond: For the Price Motorsports Cup Series #59 team, the third time may actually prove to be a charm. Led by veteran NASCAR driver Randy Renfrow, the team recently came up just short of qualifying for both the Subway 400 at Rockingham and at Martinsville. Hopefully, given the experience factor at Richmond International Raceway, Friday May 3 may be a different story. Renfrow, a former full time CTS series driver, has run extremely well at RIR in the past. He scored a top ten finish at RIR in 1999 after leading a good portion of the event. “Richmond is one of my best tracks,” Renfrow said recently. “I have led races there and feel like I can run with anybody there. I think the hard work this team has done will put us over the top.(Foster Price PR)(5-1-2002)