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May 2004 Busch Series Archive

 

  • Some Post-Race action at Lowe’s: #21-Kevin Harvick had a run-in with a NASCAR official on pit road: “As far as I know the rule is the tire has to be on the inner side of pit lane. So I had to sit there and wait until my guys went and caught the tire. That’s the same way we’ve done pit stops all year long. We have one official that’s mad because we pulled a fast one on them at Talladega with the spoiler issue, so I guess he’s trying to get his revenge. He just needs to worry about doing his job right.”
    Busch veteran Brad Teague took issue with Harvick and Tony Stewart after the race and had to be restrained. NASCAR officials had no immediate comment on the issue.(Wisnton Salem Journal)
    UPDATE: A scuffle broke out on pit road following Saturday’s Carquest 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, involving driver Brad Teague and James Caldwell, who works for driver Kevin Harvick. According to witnesses, an angry Teague approached Harvick, who was sitting on the pit road wall, to complain about Harvick directing an obscene gesture toward him during the race. Harvick listened and after telling Teague to leave, threw water in his direction. Teague became incensed and moved toward Harvick, but instead ran into Caldwell, knocking him to the ground while throwing punches, witnesses said. Teague was then pulled away from Caldwell and left the area. Busch Series spokesman Rick Houston said officials were aware of the incident and that it was under investigation.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-30-2004)
  • Harmon still looking, Hmiel in the #24 for rest of year: Mike Harmon wanted to race this weekend, but that wasn’t going to happen during NASCAR events at Lowe’s Motor Speedway near Charlotte. So the driver from Birmingport headed to Georgia, where he can wheel a race car around a dirt track. Meanwhile, Shane Hmiel stayed behind the wheel of what had been Harmon’s #24 Chevy until the GIC Motorsports team left Talladega in April. Harmon’s future with the team that races in NASCAR’s Busch series remains uncertain, and he is looking at possibilities for another ride elsewhere. James Whitener, owner of the team, confirmed that Hmiel is his driver for the rest of the season. As for Harmon, Whitener said, “He’s definitely looking. He wants to drive. There is no doubt about that.” Whitener put Hmiel in the car when sponsor Quality Service Plus soured on the 46-year-old Harmon, a former track champion at Birmingham International Raceway who has 84 career starts in the Busch series. The plan is for Hmiel, 24, to run the rest of the schedule except for races that conflict with Hmiel’s full-time ride in NASCAR’s truck series. “Unfortunately, in this day and age,” Whitener said, “it’s not about the racer anymore. Now, it’s all about money. Corporate America wants the young guns, and that’s what we’re doing. Mike and I are good friends,” he said. “Mike’s still with the team, working in the shop.” The possibility remains that the team may field a second car with a different number for Harmon on a limited schedule. “There will be a few races that we run with Mike,” Whitener said. “I might do it out of my own pocket for him.” The Busch race at night at Daytona in July may mark Harmon’s next NASCAR appearance. “We don’t have anything definitely on the books,” Whitener said. “We’re just seeing how it shakes out.” Whitener pointed out that he has made four crew chief changes with Harmon as the driver over the past few seasons. “They just couldn’t get the chemistry, so I just had to see what else I had,” Whitener said. “For whatever reason, we’re running better.” Qualifying is the key, especially for a team low on budget and points and sponsors demanding the car make the race. “Mike has always been better at racing,” Whitener said. “He’ll tell you he hasn’t been great at qualifying. Right now, it’s about getting in the show and getting money on the car.” Whitener said performance is not always about the driver. “Team attitude may be a little different,” he said. “Being down on the mat, not getting everything to go together, just weighs on everybody.”(Alabama Live)(5-30-2004)
  • Busch wins at Lowe’s: #5-Kyle Busch won the CarQuest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, just creeping around the track under the yellow the last two laps after #74-Raines was involved in a wreck. Just before that, #87-Nemechek who was running 2nd, ran out of fuel. The rest of the top five were #1-Jamie McMurray, #21-Kevin Harvick, #00-Jason Leffler and #29-Tony Stewart.
    See Results at:
    BGNRacing.com
    MotorSports One
    NASCAR.com.(5-29-2004)
  • Labontes Add Extra Race to Their Schedule Memorial Day Weekend to Thank Coast Guard For Support: #44-Labonte Motorsports announced a 15 race NASCAR Busch Series program with driver Justin Labonte and the United States Coast Guard in December. The Coast Guard through the partnership with Labonte Motorsports is looking to gain visibility as a military service, plus recruiting and outreach programs designed to meet the commandant’s goal of recruiting and retaining a quality, diverse workforce. The agreed on schedule did not include the two races at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, the track closest to the Labonte Motorsports shop in Trinity, NC. The Coast Guard had chosen races located near to their major areas of operation or key recruiting centers.
    Earlier this week Terry Labonte, father of the Coast Guard’s 23-year-old driver, decided that with the importance of Memorial Day to our nations five military services, that the Coast Guard should not be the only one of them not represented on the track at Lowe’s Motor Speedway at such a highly visible time. “Our whole family has become so impressed with the Coast Guard as we have visited their facilities, met the many men and women who serve and learned about the vital missions they constantly perform for this nation,” said Terry Labonte. “We wanted to thank them for all they do for the country and for supporting our team, so we just decided we would put their colors on the track this weekend with all the other services. They have many brave men and women who have also served.”
    Justin Labonte feels the same way, “Memorial Day is all about recognizing and remembering the sacrifices that many have made to keep this nation and other nations free. The Coast Guard has played a big role in this in the past and now that they are part of the Department of Homeland Security they are even more involved. They have not always received the credit they deserve and our program is about changing that. It will mean a lot to me and our team to carry their colors on the track on the biggest racing weekend of the year.” Justin has no Busch Series starts at Lowe’s Motor Speedway but has run four ARCA races at the track. In those races he has a best finish of fourth and has started in the Top Ten twice. In the May 2002 race he was running third with eight laps to go when he had an ignition problem on a restart. He finished second in an ARCA race at Atlanta November 18, 2000. Justin will be running the same Coast Guard #44 Shield of Freedom Dodge that he ran this year at Texas and California. He has run three of the twelve Busch Series races this year.(Coast Guard Racing PR/Site)(5-29-2004)
  • Biffle on the pole at Lowe’s: #60-Greg Biffle took a big step toward his second consecutive Busch Series victory at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Biffle turned a lap at 183.542mph on Friday to claim the pole for Saturday’s Carquest 300 withstanding fast laps from rookie #5-Kyle Busch and Nextel Cup rookie #38-Kasey Kahne, who were second and third fastest, respectively. Biffle won last October’s race at the track in a car owned by Nextel Cup driver Joe Nemechek. This season, Biffle is in a Roush Racing entry and is running full-time schedules in both series. #21-Kevin Harvick and #87-Joe Nemechek rounded out the top five. Series points leader #8-Martin Truex Jr. was seventh fastest. Busch’s second place starting position will be his third consecutive on the front row. He won the pole for the series’ two most recent races, at Nazareth and Richmond. #29-Tony Stewart qualified sixth in the car owned by Kevin Harvick Inc. Stewart has two planned races with Harvick’s team, which also fields a full-time entry in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Joe Gibbs Racing driver #18-J.J. Yeley failed to qualify after wrecking during his qualifying laps, but will instead drive the #51 Chevrolet, replacing Dana White. Gibbs is providing the car and sponsor for White’s team.(ThatsRacin.com)
    For Qualifying Results/ Starting Lineups, see the following sites:
    ThatsRacin.com
    BGNRacing.com
    NASCAR.com.(5-28-2004)
  • Smith takes over #50 Enzyte Ride; Barrett and Shawna Robinson:
    Holigan Racing has a new driver for the #50 Enzyte car, and the team will make NASCAR marketing history during the NASCAR Busch Series race team on June 19. Those were the major points announced today by Michael Holigan, owner of Holigan Racing, which is sponsored by Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, the country’s leading provider of quality nutraceuticals. Smith, 20, will begin driving for Holigan’s #50 Team Enzyte in the team’s next race, the June 12 Federated Auto Parts 300 at Nashville, Tenn. Team Enzyte is running a partial NASCAR Busch Series season this year, preparing for a full-season assault in 2005. During the June 19 race at Kentucky Speedway, Berkeley will become the first corporation to promote three of its products on three different cars in a single NASCAR race of any division. Besides Smith’s Enzyte Chevrolet, Stanton Barrett will drive the Rogisen Pontiac, and Shawna Robinson will drive the Altovis Pontiac. Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals is the trusted brand for consumers who want non-prescription options for maintaining and improving their health. Enzyte is the once-daily tableHeadquartered in Cincinnati, Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals is just 40 miles from the Kentucky Speedway.
    Holigan also changed his planned schedule to accentuate Team Enzyte’s preparations for a full 2005 season. The team added a race to the originally planned 15-event schedule too. “We are concentrating on the one-to-two mile speedways, since that is where most of the Busch Series races run,” Holigan said. “Thiswill keep us focused and improving our cars and team, and additional seat time for our driver.”(Williams Company PR)(5-28-1004)
  • Means Fined, loses points: NASCAR Busch Series owner Jimmy Means was penalized with a loss of 25 championship owner points and a $5,000 fine while the team’s driver Jason Rudd will endure a loss of 25 championship driver points for a rule infraction discovered during Opening Day Inspections May 23 at Nazareth Speedway, NASCAR officials announced today.(NASCAR PR)(5-28-2004)
  • Busch Team to Debut: Hirschfeld Motorsports says it will make its Busch Series debut at Lowe’s Motor Speedway with Chad Blount driving its #78 idialdirect.com by Global Net Dodge in a joint venture with Braun Racing. The car will be sponsored by two telecommunications companies, iDialDirect and IDT. Todd Lohse will be the crew chief for Blount, who will be looking to make his 20th career Busch Series start.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-27-2004)
  • BACE / Outdoor Channel Add Charlotte To 2004 Schedule: Tony Raines the #74 BACE Motorsports Team will compete in the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 this weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway after The Outdoor Channel exercised their option to add their sponsorship to an unbranded event. “As the hometown track for many of the NASCAR teams, Charlotte obviously is an important race on our schedule,” said Raines. “Originally we did not have a primary sponsor for this race, but as a team we believe this event is one you have to go to. We called The Outdoor Channel early this week and asked if they would like to add this race to their program and they agreed to do it.” Additionally, BACE Motorsports continues its search for primary sponsorship to finish out open dates on the 2004 Busch Series schedule. The races scheduled at The Milwaukee Mile (6/27) and at Daytona International Speedway (7/2) are the next events on the NASCAR Busch Series list that BACE will need to acquire sponsorship in order to attend. Raines has a top-five and a top-10 finish to his credit in his last two trips to the Milwaukee Mile, with a top-15 finish in his last Busch Series start at Daytona. Events also available to a sponsor interested in partnering with the three-time Busch Series champions are Indianapolis, New Hampshire, the Richmond return, Kansas, Memphis, Atlanta and Phoenix. For sponsorship inquiries, please contact BACE Motorsports at 704-944-7619.(BACE PR)(5-25-2004)
  • Truex Jr. wins final Busch race at Nazareth: #8-Martin Truex Jr. led for just one lap in the final NASCAR Busch Series race at Nazareth Speedway on Sunday, yet still managed his series-best fourth win of the season. Truex battled lapped traffic and cut underneath #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. down the backstretch on lap 200 in a thrilling finish Sunday in the Goulds Pumps ITT Industries 200. Truex started gaining ground on Hamilton in the final 10 laps. Hamilton had dominated since taking the lead on lap 75 and seemed poised to earn his first win of the season. Instead, it was Truex who started chipping away and took advantage of lapped traffic. About 20 laps into the race, the leaders started passing some of the cars at the back of the field. It stayed that way until the end when Hamilton took one of the corners too hard, got lost in some side-by-side traffic and couldn’t stay in control. Hamilton was visibly angry over the ending and compared Nazareth to an ARCA track. “That’s the way it goes here. You can’t pass here,” Hamilton said. “We can take our top-five finish and go to a real race track and race. He got lucky with the traffic.” The one lap that Truex led was the fewest ever for a winner in a Busch Series race at Nazareth Speedway. He won by only 0.140 seconds with an average speed of 110.616mph. The win pushed Truex past pole-sitter #5-Kyle Busch for the lead in the Busch Series points standings. Truex has 1,803 points; Busch, who led the first 54 laps, has 1,772. Truex’s four wins are as many as Hamilton had last season when he led the Busch Series in victories. It was the 17th and final Busch Series race at Nazareth Speedway. The speedway will close after the 2004 season and International Speedway Corporation plans to move the speedway’s NASCAR Busch and IRL IndyCar series events to other tracks. The track, about 50 miles north of Philadelphia, sometimes hosts driving schools, Boy Scout jamborees and other events. It will host the Firestone Indy 225, an Indy Racing League event, on Aug. 29. There were only two cautions on a hot day at the 0.946-mile, tri-oval track. #37-David Green was third, followed by #22-Jason Keller and #32-David Stremme.(ThatsRacin.com)
    See results at:
    ThatsRacin.com
    BGNRacing.com
    Motorsports One
    NASCAR.com.(5-23-2004)
  • Jeff Purvis to drive the No. 1 this weekend? UPDATE 3 cleared to race: Jeff Purvis has been tentatively scheduled to drive the #1 Yellow Transportation Dodge this weekend at Nazareth. He tested with the team today at Greenville Pickens Speedway.(BGNRacing.com)(5-19-2004)
  • UPDATE: Jeff Purvis, who suffered a serious head injury in a crash at the Nazareth Speedway in 2002, will make his comeback at that track this weekend. Purvis made some test runs Wednesday at the Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina…this while NASCAR was giving him his final medical clearance. Purvis said “The one thing I didn’t want to do was come back before I was ready. I work out on a regular basis and I really felt like the timing was as good as it’s going to be for me to come back hopefully and I’m excited about coming back and doing it.” Purvis will drive the #1 Yellow Racing Dodge for James Finch who had an opening after releasing Johnny Benson and Jamie McMurray’s cup conflicts in Charlotte. The Purvis-Finch combo won more than 300 races during their early years in the sport.(PRN’s Garage Pass radio show)(5-20-2004)
    UPDATE 2: Jeff Purvis is attempting to make a return to the Busch Series this weekend at Nazareth, Pa., but has yet to receive medical clearance from NASCAR. Purvis suffered serious injuries in a wreck in May 2002 at Nazareth, including a fractured vertebra in his neck, a broken leg and a severe head injury. He has not raced in NASCAR since the incident. James Finch plans to enter Purvis in Sunday’s Goulds Pumps/ITT Industries 200 in his No. 1 Dodge, if he receives clearance. Late Thursday, Purvis told XM Satellite Radio’s Claire B. Lang in an interview that he expected to be able to race at Nazareth. “Do I have a (NASCAR) license yet? No, I do not,” Purvis said. “But I will have one when I get to Nazareth.” Reached late Thursday, NASCAR officials said they had yet to receive a letter from a second doctor who evaluated Purvis and reiterated Purvis’ medical clearance was not “a formality.”(ThatsRacin.com)(5-21-2004)
    UPDATE 3: Jeff Purvis received final medical clearance Friday morning from NASCAR to run in Sunday’s Busch Series race at Nazareth. Purvis, 45, is attempting to run his first race since he suffered serious injuries in a wreck in May 2002 at Nazareth, including a fractured vertebra, broken left leg and severe head injury. Purvis has not raced in NASCAR since the incident. Purvis has 186 Busch starts, including four wins, 25 top-five and 57 top-10 finishes.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-22-2004)
  • Busch wins pole at Nazareth: #5-Kyle Busch won the pole for the NASCAR Busch Series race at Nazareth Speedway, turning a fast lap at 131.167mph in hot conditions Saturday. The 19-year-old Busch raced to his first career Busch Series victory last week in Richmond, and leads the season standings. #38-Regan Smith qualified second at 130.875 in place of Kasey Kahne, racing Saturday night in the Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. Because Kahne did not qualify the car, he will start from the back of the field Sunday. #99-Shane Hmiel, driving Michael Waltrip’s car, was third, followed by #22-Jason Keller, #12-Tim Fedewa, #14-Casey Atwood, #23-Kenny Wallace, #00-Jason Leffler, #2-Ron Hornaday Jr. and #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr.(Thatsracin.com/AP)
    For qualifying results / starting lineup, see:
    ThatsRacin.com
    BGN Racing.com
    NASCAR.com.(5-22-2004)
  • Miss Northeast Pennsylvania to Sing National Anthem: Known to many as “Miss Northeast,” recently appointed Katherine (Katie) Christopher, will tour the Lehigh Valley to explain why she makes the best candidate for the state Miss Pennsylvania title. During her tour she will stop by Nazareth Speedway on Sunday, May 23 to participate in their nationally televised pre-race ceremonies by singing the national anthem from Gatorade Victory Lane. “I am so excited to have been given the opportunity to sing there (at the Speedway)” said Christopher during a phone call explaining to her that she ‘got the part’. Speaking of acting * this 18 tear old Bethlehem native is not a stranger when it comes to performing on stage. She has been involved in community and school theater for nine years. In April she stared in the Freedom High School musical Guys-N-Dolls and aspires to sing at the Metropolitan Opera someday. “I’ve always loved to sing and this is a great chance to really be heard.”
    Keep your eyes open, because this blue-eyed-beauty will be back in Nazareth to compete for the Miss Pennsylvania title during the week of June 26th. She is a senior at Freedom High School and will attend Bucknell University, majoring in Vocal Performance, in the fall.
    Pre-race ceremonies will be live on FX starting at 12:30 PM * however seeing is believing. Tickets are still available for the FINAL Goulds Pumps ITT Industries 200, NASCAR Busch Series and the Service Electric 100, NASCAR Featherlite Modified races and can be purchased at any Wegmans food store, at the Speedway ticket office, online at www.nazarethspeedway.com, or by calling 888-629-RACE. A complete schedule containing all of the weekend activities can also be found on the website.(Nazareth Speedway PR)(5-21-2004)
  • #22 Looking for a sponsor: This will be the fifth race of the season that Jason Keller will enter the field with a white hood on the #22 Ford. Thus far in 2004, ppc has obtained sponsorship for the other four races where Miller High Life has been an associate. The Miller High Life sponsorship is a primary for 19 of the 34 races on the schedule in 2004. The High Life brand will return to the hood of Keller’s race car in next week for the Carquest Auto Parts 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(ppc Racing)(5-21-2004)
  • Car restriction if there are road cources in 2005? If NASCAR adds one or two road courses to the 2005 Busch Series Schedule in 2005, the teams may get a cost-cutting break from NASCAR. Busch Series team owner Frank Cicci, an Elmira native, said Wednesday that he was told NASCAR is looking at having Busch teams use one of their short-track cars for the road courses instead of building special cars. “They’re looking at ways at putting restrictions on what they can do with the car,” said Cicci, who said he discussed the topic through e-mail with Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s director of business operations for its competition department.(Elmira Star Gazette)(5-20-2004)
  • Wes Ward Promoted to Director of Competition at ppc Racing: On Wednesday, ppc Racing announced the promotion of crew chief Wes Ward to the Director of Competition for it’s #22 NASCAR Busch Series car driven by Jason Keller and the #10 NASCAR Craftsman Truck driven by Terry Cook. The Hickory, N.C. native came to ppc Racing at the start of the 2004 season to assume the role of crew chief on Keller’s #22 Miller High Life Ford. Since then, Keller has posted five top-10 finishes, two top-5 finishes and currently sits sixth in driver standings. Ward came to ppc Racing from Akins Motorsports after finishing the 2003 season with a victory at Homestead Motor Speedway with driver Kasey Kahne. In addition to his role as crew chief on Keller’s ppc Ford, Ward has temporarily taken over the responsibility of crew chief for the #10 NASCAR Craftsman Truck of Terry Cook until ppc finds a replacement for former crew chief Fred Wanke. After leading Keller to his second consecutive top-5 finish of the season this past weekend at Richmond International Raceway; Ward flew to Mansfield, Ohio to bring Terry Cook a third place finish in the Ohio 250. Ward’s pit strategies earned both drivers top-five finishes and additional momentum heading into this weekend’s events. Ward’s role as Director of Competition at ppc Racing will involve overseeing all internal department decisions regarding performance. “I appreciate what Greg’s done for me and the opportunity he has presented to me. ppc has a lot of tradition and we want to keep that tradition going throughout the 2004 season. This is a championship team and I think this is a step in the right direction to bring us back to where we need to be,” Ward said upon commenting on his promotion. “I want to do a good job for Greg and Keith. I feel privileged that they put the trust in me to carry this team back to a championship.”
    Team owner, Greg Pollex feels this may be just what his organization needs to bring it back to the championship caliber they experienced in 2000 with driver Jeff Green. “Wes Ward has the knowledge, dedication and attitude to lead ppc Racing back to championships in both the Busch Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Wes has the ability to organize and manage people into a cohesive group all working towards the same goal,” Pollex said. “We are proud to announce this well earned promotion for Wes.”(Miller High Life Racing PR)(5-19-2004)
  • Nazareth Tickets and Kids Zones: Nazareth Speedway will not only offer free tickets to children 12 and under this year but they will also provide families with additional entertainment, aside from racing. The Nazareth Speedway Kids’ Zone, designed to provide race fans 12 and under with a fun and safe sanctuary amid the hustle and bustle of race day, will make its debut during the Goulds Pumps ITT Industries 200 event weekend. The Kids’ Zone will feature five of the most popular inflatable children’s attractions – including the Giant Slide, Obstacle Course and, for the more adventurous, the Bungee Run * as well as a variety of carnival games and face-painting and temporary tattoo stations. “NASCAR has always been a family sport,” said Nazareth Speedway President Craig Rust. “And Nazareth Speedway wants to do its part * not only to promote a family focus, but to provide a family-friendly environment here at our own facility.” The Kids’ Zone, located adjacent to Nazareth Speedway’s tunnel ticket office and near the driver souvenir trailer area, will be open on Saturday, May 22, from 10am to 2pm, and on Sunday, May 23, from 8am to 1pm.
    In addition to providing such an exciting, on-site children’s entertainment section, the Speedway also offers FREE general admission tickets to children 12 and under when accompanied by a paying adult. Sunday-only adult admissions start at just $30.
    “Sporting events can get expensive,” said Rust. “Especially for a family of four or more. Nazareth offers a cost-effective solution for families that want the NASCAR experience for themselves and for their kids.” Two events are featured on the 2004 schedule at Nazareth Speedway, highlighted by the Goulds Pumps ITT Industries 200, NASCAR Busch Series this weekend, May 22-23, where NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle and Michael Waltrip will compete for the trophy. The Indy Racing League IndyCar Series, also returns on August 29 in the Firestone Indy 225 with three supporting USAC races. For tickets and information, please contact the Nazareth Speedway ticket office at 888.629.RACE or log on to the official Nazareth Speedway website at www.nazarethspeedway.com. Nazareth Speedway.(5-19-2004)
  • Busch Series News and Notes: There’s still a long way to go in the NASCAR Busch Series season, so Kyle Busch (No. 5 Lowe’s Chevrolet) doesn’t want to hear any talk about the championship just yet. Busch won the first race of his young NASCAR Busch Series career May 14 at Richmond International Raceway by holding off noted hard-charger and 2002 series champion Greg Biffle (No. 60 Charter Communications Ford). It was a night in which everything went perfectly for the 19-year-old Las Vegas native, and it was the kind of night that wins championships – in the long run. So, yes, it’s great to be atop the point standings right now. But there’s a lot of time left to go in the season. Given the fact that there’s been a different leader in the title chase after each of the last three races, maybe Busch is right in trying not to get his hopes up just yet. “It’s definitely exciting, and leading the points is where we want to be, but it’s way too early to get too excited about it,” Busch says. “We just want to stay focused on getting top fives and top 10s, and the points situation will take care of itself. You see it happen way too often, where a team gets the points lead and then lets their guard down. They don’t stay on top for long.”
    Driving the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports entry definitely has its advantages. Brian Vickers won last year’s NASCAR Busch Series driver’s championship with the team – which has stayed largely intact – including crew chief Lance McGrew.
    Busch is also the leader in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings. Busch has a sizable 73-point lead over fellow first-year contender Paul Menard (No. 33 Menards Chevrolet) after his Richmond win. A NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year has never won the series’ crown in his first year on the circuit.
    “I’m lucky to be with a team that has been in this situation before, and they know how to handle themselves,” Busch continues. “You just keep working and digging to get the best finishes you can every week, and don’t concern yourself with the points so much. You can worry about the point standings when you get to Homestead.
    “Everybody’s tremendously happy,” he said. “They’re excited, not only for me, but for the team as well. We got that first win out of the way, and they won with a rookie, so they’re happy about that. They’re just ready to keep moving on, and that’s what it’s all about. There’s a lot of racing to do this season, and we want to get after it.”
    NEWS & NOTES, PART II
    Hamilton’s team claims Richmond McDonald’s POWERade title … Bobby Hamilton’s (No. 25 U.S. Marines Ford) Team Rensi Motorsports crew won the McDonald’s POWERade Drive-Thru Pit Crew of the Race Award for the May 14 Funai 250 at Richmond International Raceway. David Green’s No. 37 Timber Wolf-sponsored Brewco Motorsports team leads the season standings, with Hamilton and Team Rensi in second. Jason Leffler (No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet) and his Haas CNC Racing team are third, followed by Ron Hornaday (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet) and Richard Childress Racing in fourth and Jason Keller (No. 22 Miller High Life Ford) and ppc Racing in fifth. Chevrolet builds on lead in manufacturers standings … Chevrolet has built a fairly comfortable lead in the Bill France Performance Cup standings for manufacturers in the NASCAR Busch Series. Chevrolet has seven wins and 85 points following the May 14 win by Kyle Busch at Richmond International Raceway, to 65 points and three wins for Ford. Dodge is in third place with 47 points and one win, with Pontiac in fourth, with 45 points and no wins so far this year. The standings are determined by a scoring system in which the highest-finishing manufacturer receives nine points, the second-highest gets six, third-highest receives four and fourth-highest receives three.

    ON THE RIGHT TRACK
    Ron Hornaday and Tim Fedewa (No. 12 Hot Tamales Chevrolet) are tied for most wins at Nazareth, with two victories each. Both drivers won the first race of their NASCAR Busch Series careers at Nazareth – Fedewa in May 1995 and Hornaday in July 2000. Hornaday is the defending winner at the track, and has also led the most laps at the facility – 254. Fedewa is just 17 laps shy of Hornaday’s mark, with 237 laps at the front of the field. Fedewa recorded his first NASCAR Busch Series top-10 finish at Nazareth, a seventh-place showing in May 1993. … Jason Keller is tied with Fedewa for most top-10 finishes at Nazareth, with seven. His four top-five finishes – including a win in the May 2002 event – are tied with Fedewa for third in that category. This year’s Goulds Pumps ITT Industries 200 is slated to be the 11th career start for both Keller and Fedewa at Nazareth, tying them with Elton Sawyer for most at the track. In 10 races at Nazareth, Keller’s average finish is 8.0, second only to David Green’s 7.1 in eight starts. … David Green is tied with younger brother, Jeff, for most top-five finishes at Nazareth, with five each. His best finish at the track is a second in May 1996. He and Jeff are also tied for most Busch Poles at Nazareth, with two each. David’s 7.1 average finish at Nazareth in eight races is the best of any driver with five or more starts at the facility.

    FROM THE ARCHIVES
    The First Union 200 on May 23, 1999 at Nazareth Speedway was one for the ages. Jeff Green dominated the first half of the race, the start of which was delayed five hours due to rain. He failed to pit under caution with the rest of the leaders due to a miscommunication, and never found his way back to the front. As they darted past an accident on the backstretch, Tim Fedewa ducked under Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the lead on lap 140. Matt Kenseth dove under Earnhardt and Fedewa in Turn Three on lap 151. That move and Fedewa’s earlier one didn’t sit well with Earnhardt, who then passed Todd Bodine for second coming to the final caution flag on lap 154. That angered Bodine, who responded by jolting Earnhardt from behind. The contact demolished the front of Bodine’s car and removed him from contention. Kenseth was flagged the winner with 168 laps complete, the race called early due to darkness.

    Fast Facts
    What: Goulds Pumps ITT Industries 200 (Race 12 of 34 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
    Where: Nazareth Speedway, Nazareth, Pa.
    When: 1 p.m. (ET), Sunday, May 23, 2004.
    Track layout: 1-mile paved.
    Race length: 200 laps/200 miles
    Posted awards: $889,854.
    TV: FX, 1 p.m. (ET).
    Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
    2003 winner: Ron Hornaday.
    2003 polesitter: Randy LaJoie.
    Pre-race schedule (all times local): Saturday — Practice, Noon-2 p.m.; Qualifying, 3:35 p.m.; final practice, following conclusion of NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series practice.(NASCAR PR)(5-19-2004)

  • Robby Gordon skipping Nazareth: BGNRacing.com has confirmed that Robby Gordon has tentatively decided not to run the Busch race this weekend at Nazareth. Plans could change, but the team currently plans on skipping the race and forgoing the chase for a Busch Series championship.(5-18-2004)
    UPDATE: Robby Gordon, who is in the midst of a grueling schedule of races that include several NASCAR Cup Series races as well as the famed Indianapolis 500, will not attempt to make NASCAR Busch Series starts at Nazareth Speedway or Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Given the complexity of his schedule, as well as his continuing commitment to his NASCAR Cup Series, Indy 500 and NASCAR Busch Series sponsors, Gordon has chosen to channel all of his energy toward his original objectives. Those include being within the top 10 in NASCAR Cup Series points by Sept. 11 thus making a run at the Series championship, winning the Indianapolis 500 and running a limited schedule in the NASCAR Busch Series. The reduced May schedule will allow Gordon to practice several additional days at Indianapolis, as well as attend several Meijer store appearances in the Indianapolis market. Gordon will practice at Indianapolis Wednesday and Thursday as well as Saturday prior to the start of the NASCAR All-Star Challenge at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The reduced schedule does not alter his NASCAR Cup Series schedule in any way, as he was not intending to miss any practice or qualifying sessions at either Charlotte race. “We didn’t qualify where we wanted to at Indy, but I have complete faith in my guys that by race time we’ll have one of the cars to beat. They’re doing everything we ask of them, and now as the driver, I need to run as many laps as possible in order to have a great car for the race. We’ve got a good shot a making history by winning both races, and that’s the goal. We had the schedule worked out to do it all, but by taking two races off the schedule I think we’ll be better prepared for Indy and Charlotte.” After 11 starts, Gordon is fifth in points with four top-five finishes and six top-10 finishes.(Team Gordon)(5-18-2004)
  • Mark Green to run the #49 at Nazareth: Sunday’s Goulds Pumps 200 NASCAR Busch Series race at the one-mile, triangular-shaped Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway is pretty important to Jay Robinson Racing and the #49 Advil Ford team. While it is the final race at the legendary speedway, Nazareth is the closest to Wyeth headquarters in Madison, N.J. Wyeth markets Advil, which sponsors Robinson’s #49 car. Mark Green of Owensboro, Ky., will drive the Advil Ford this weekend. Derrike Cope, who had been driving, will be at the NASCAR all-star race in Concord, NC. “These next few races are pretty important to us for a number of reasons. Nazareth and Dover (which hosts its Busch Series race Saturday, June 5) are about as close as we get to Wyeth’s headquarters,” Robinson said. “You always want to do well in your sponsor’s backyard. Add in the fact that this is the final Busch race at Nazareth, which is a sentimental thing, and the importance of the race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway (Saturday, May 29), and it’s a pretty big three weeks for us. Two backyard races for Advil, and a backyard race for Jay Robinson Racing too,” he added. “Every race is important but these are three we point towards.” Of course, you throw in the fact that Nazareth is close to the fourth-largest market in the country with Philadelphia, and about 80 miles from downtown New York City, the country’s largest market, and those things alone means we want that Advil Ford running well,” Robinson added. “From a number of standpoints this is a big weekend for us.” The Advil Ford, one of two cars fielded by Robinson on the NASCAR Busch Series, is not among the “high-buck” operations but you would never know by watching the team, on and off the track. Its cars and haulers are as high-quality as anything in the series, and both teams carry themselves as well as any on the circuit. Jay Robinson Racing, in its fourth season of operation, is one of the fastest-growing teams in NASCAR. Robinson, a Charlotte, N.C., native who is a successful businessman, founded the team as a high-value endeavor that offers high-end equipment and efforts, while proving to be one of the most cost-efficient teams in the sport. Robinson fields two sponsored cars fulltime on the Busch Series: the #49 Advil Ford and the #39 Yahoo! Ford.(Williams Company PR)(5-17-2004)
  • No Busch RCR engines for Gordon at Nazareth: Robby Gordon will run triple duty, racing in the Indy Racing League, Nextel Cup and the Busch Series. Gordon had initially planned to run a partial Busch schedule, and his Cup owner, Richard Childress Racing, had agreed to supply the engines. But when Gordon decided to stretch his Busch schedule beyond 25 races, Childress told Gordon he needed to find another power source. Enter his former IRL owner/sponsor John Menard, who will build Gordon’s engines for this weekend’s race at Nazareth Speedway.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(5-17-2004)
  • Busch wins at Richmond: #5-Kyle Busch’s first NASCAR Busch Series win came in dominating fashion. Busch, who turned 19 on May 2, led four times for 236 of 250 laps and then held off #60-Greg Biffle by .150 seconds to earn his first series victory in Friday night’s Funai 250 at Richmond International Raceway. The win comes in the rookie’s 18th career start. He also takes over the series points lead, holding a 15-point advantage over #8-Martin Truex Jr. Biffle said he could have attempted to root Busch out of the way, but elected to try to pass cleanly. #21-Kevin Harvick finished third, #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. was fourth and #22-Jason Keller completed the top five. Truex, who held the points lead entering the race, was involved in an early wreck and finished seventh. #1-Jamie McMurray appeared to have a car capable of winning and briefly took the lead on Lap 88, then cut a tire and hit the wall, ending his shot at a victory. The race was slowed 11 times by caution for 69 laps. There were six lead changes among four drivers.(ThatsRacin.com)
    Race Results at:
    ThatsRacin.com
    BGNRacing.com
    MotorsportsOne
    NASCAR.com.(5-14-2004)
  • Busch wins pole at Richmond: #5-Kyle Busch lead a group of 14 drivers to best the previous track record (126.868 mph set in 2002 by Dale Earnhardt Jr.) with a lap of 129.348mph t owin the pole for the Funai 250 at Richmond International Raceway, his 3rd pole of the season. The 3/4-mile track underwent a resurfacing in the off-season. #1-Jamie McMurray was second and #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. third. #14-Casey Atwood and #00-Jason Leffler completed the top-five. Series points leader #8-Martin Truex Jr. will start 17th. Four drivers failed to qualify: #94-Eddie Beahr, #90-Chad Beahr, #10-Gus Wasson and #53-Butch Jarvis.(ThatsRacin.com)
    ThatsRacin.com BGNRacing.com
    NASCAR.com.(5-13-2004)
  • Law Firm to Sponsor Nemechek at Richmond: NEMCO Motorsports announced that associate sponsor Jenkins & Jenkins Law Firm has signed on as primary sponsor for this Friday’s Funai 250 NASCAR Busch Series event at Richmond International Raceway. Team owner Joe Nemechek will pilot the #87 entry. “We’re very pleased that Jenkins & Jenkins has given us the opportunity to compete in the Busch Series race this weekend,” said Nemechek. “Our plan was to run the full schedule this year and they’re allowing that to continue another week. With their home office located close by in Maryland, we’re hoping to put on a good show for the firm and their clients.” Jenkins & Jenkins Law Firm was founded in 1955 by Louis P. Jenkins, Sr. Today, he operates the firm alongside his sons, Louis P. Jenkins, Jr. and Frank P. Jenkins. Located in La Plata, Maryland, Jenkins & Jenkins offers a full range of legal services. Visit their website at www.racinglaw.com.(NEMCO Motorsports PR)(5-13-2004)
  • #22 Sponsorship Update: This will be the fourth race of the season that #22-Jason Keller will enter the field with a white hood on his race car. The Miller High Life sponsorship ppc Racing obtained for the 2004 season will be an associate sponsor on Keller’s car this weekend, along with his weekly associates, Bear Creek Soups and Airplus Insoles. The Miller High Life brand will return to the hood of Keller’s race car in two weeks for the Carquest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(ppc Racing PR)(5-13-2004)
  • #31 ‘Police Car’: Dave Blaney’s Whelen Engineering/Marsh Racing Ford will pay tribute to police officers in Friday night’s NASCAR Busch Series race at Richmond International Raceway. The special paint scheme adorning the #31 Ford will coincide with National Police Week, May 9-15, a tribute to law enforcement officers both past and present who have faithfully devoted their lives and service to their communities. The tribute continues 90 miles north of the Richmond track in Washington D.C. Police departments from all parts of the world will gather at the National Law Enforcement Memorial to pay respect to their brothers and sisters who were killed in action. The Whelen/Marsh Ford will be painted black and white, the universal symbol of a police car. The rear quarter panels will be decorated with a badge and wording that will read, “America’s Hometown Heroes.” The lettering on the trunklid of the car will be “Tribute to Police.”
    “We felt this would be the opportune time to dedicate our car to police and to raise people’s awareness of the sacrifices that police officers make everyday – those who have retired or passed on and those who are still out there protecting our homeland,” said Phil Kurze, director of motorsports for Whelen Engineering.” Kurze also noted that police officers are like a member of the family at Whelen Engineering, a maker of emergency lighting and early warning sirens, based in Chester, Conn.
    “The departments of police, fire and emergency medical services (EMS) are the biggest part of Whelen’s business with rotating beacons, strobe and warning lights for vehicles,” said Kurze. “We are honored to pay tribute to the police with our Richmond racecar and hope to do the same in the future for firefighters and emergency medical services personnel.” Blaney, who finished ninth in the Whelen/Marsh Ford at last year’s fall race in Richmond, is both excited and proud to drive a car recognizing police officers. “This is pretty special to drive a car paying tribute to an outstanding group of people, who are always there “24/7 to protect us.” said Blaney. “I would like nothing better than to put on a good show in Richmond and gain as much recognition and awareness to police officers all over the world.” Blaney tested at the Richmond ¾-mile track last week and according to crew chief Ted Marsh it was a productive session. “The test was good, but we wanted to be excellent” said Marsh. “I think we figured out the front-end setup for Dave. The tires seemed to be the problem, but I think we have it isolated now. The tire issue is a continuing learning process and we’re at somewhat of a disadvantage because we’re not out there every week. We’re kind of playing catch up with the other teams. But, we normally can run pretty well at Richmond, it is one of our favorite tracks.”(Whelen Motorsports PR) see an image of the car on my 2004 Busch Paint Scheme Page.(5-12-2004)
  • David Starr Leaves #50 Holigan Racing UPDATE: Holigan Racing and driver David Starr have parted ways, owner Michael Holigan announced this morning. The new driver for the #50 Enzyte Chevrolet in the NASCAR Busch Series has not been determined. “Because of his responsibilities to his Truck series team, David asked to be released from the rest of the races this year with our team,” Holigan said. “We are great friends with David and, while we are sorry he will not be with our team, we totally understand his need to be with a team running the full season. We wish him the best.” Holigan Racing is beginning discussions with possible successors for the remainder of this year’s partial NASCAR Busch Series schedule and next season’s full schedule. “We are beginning to interview Cup and Busch drivers to finish the season for us and to help us continue to prepare for next year’s full schedule,” Holigan said. “We want to find the right driver to help us continue to build our fleet and to help us in our testing and preparation for next year’s full season.” Team Enzyte, along with its sister Samsung/Radio Shack AMA Motocross team, is the subject of television’s most-watched motorsports reality show, The Reality Of Speed, which airs at 10:30 a.m. Eastern and Pacific times, and 9:30 a.m. Central time, on Spike TV. There has been a new show every single week since it debuted Saturday, Jan. 3.(Williams Company PR)(5-10-2004)
    UPDATE: was at Lowe’s Motor Speedway practice on Tuesday [5/11] and Tim Sauter and Regan Smith practiced the #50, Sauter backed the car into the wall. No word on if either driver will be the new driver.(5-11-2004)
  • Richmond Notes and Facts:
    WHAT: NASCAR Busch Series race at Richmond International Raceway. Race 11 of the 34-race schedule.
    WHEN: Friday, May 14, 2004; Green Flag will be approximately 8:10 p.m. EDT “Under the Lights.”
    WHERE: Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, VA.
    TV/RADIO: Live on FX and on the MRN Radio Network: WRNL 910 AM Richmond; WKAV 1400 AM, Charlottesville; WKCY AM 1300, Harrisonburg; WBYM 1490 AM, Hampton.
    NBC12 POLE QUALIFYING: Thursday, May 13, 4:00 p.m.
    RACE LENGTH: 250 laps (187.50 miles).
    DEFENDING CHAMPION: Kevin Harvick
    DEFENDING POLE SITTER: Michael Waltrip
    QUALIFYING RECORD: Dale Earnhardt Jr., 126.868 mph, (21.282 seconds) 9/6/02
    (This is the track record for the spring and fall races).
    RACE RECORD: Dale Jarrett, 1 hr. 47 minutes, 13 seconds; 104.928 mph 9/8/95
    (This is the track record for the spring and fall races).
    TICKETS: Renewable, reserved tickets to the FUNAI 250 are only $40 and general admission tickets are $35,with kids free in the G.A. sections with a ticketed adult. Race ticket also includes practice and Wawa Pole Qualifying for sold out Chevy American Revolution 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race on Saturday. Contact the Richmond International Raceway at 866-455-RACE (7223) or to purchase tickets on line, visit www.rir.com.
    PARKING: Free on Richmond International Raceway property.
    NOTES OF INTEREST: Moving Over: Among the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series regulars scheduled to race in the FUNAI 250 are defending race winner Kevin Harvick along with Joe Nemechek, Robby Gordon, Michael Waltrip and a trio of drivers pulling season long duty in both series: Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne and Johnny Sauter.
    Close racing: Sixteen of the 30 NASCAR Busch Series races at Richmond have been decided by less than one second since the track was reconfigured to a .75-mile in 1988.
    Governor Warner and Track to Team Up: Virginia Governor Mark Warner will visit the track on Thursday, May 13 at 11:00 a.m. to announce a partnership with Richmond International Raceway and the “Race to GED” program. The program is designed to help young adults obtain their high school equivalency diploma. The track will serve as an official GED testing site and host graduation ceremonies for students who complete the program. As an incentive, all students who complete the course by September will receive a free pair of tickets to the Crown Royal IROC Series/NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series doubleheader on Thursday, September 9.
    Race Sponsor: FUNAI Corporation, which has sponsored the last two fall NASCAR Busch Series events at the track, is the new sponsor of this race. The company has also agreed to continue sponsoring the fall race and the new name of that race will be announced during the upcoming race weekend. FUNAI is the world’s largest volume manufacturer of DVD/VCR players, DVD Players and TV/DVD/VCR combination units.
    Testing One, Two, Three Testing: Drivers who tested their NASCAR Busch Series cars on Richmond’s new surface prior to race weekend were Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, Bobby Hamilton, Jr., Eric McClure, Justin Labonte, Kyle Busch, David Stremme, Mike Bliss, Paul Menard, Jay Sauter and J.J. Yeley.
    Cool Stuff for Pole and Race winner: The pole and race winners for the race will each receive a Sylvania 27″ triple combo tv/dvd/vcr player courtesy of Funai.(RIR PR)(5-11-2004)
  • Open Testing at Lowe’s: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series, ARCA RE/MAX Series and IPOWER DASH Series teams will be testing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway Monday, May 10, through Wednesday, May 12, in preparation for the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge on May 22, the May 30 Coca-Cola 600 and the other stock car events scheduled this month at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Monday, May 10th, Busch Series, 9:00am to 3:00pm, NEXTEL Cup Series, 4:00 10:00pm Tuesday, May 11th, Busch Series 9:00am to 3:00pm, NEXTEL Cup Series, 4:00 10:00pm Wednesday, May 12th, IPOWER DASH Series, 9:00am to 4:00pm, ARCA 5:00 to 10:00pm NASCAR Busch Series: #60-Greg Biffle, #5-Kyle Busch, #49-Derrike Cope, #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr., #21-Kevin Harvick, #?-Kenny Hendrick, #2-Ron Hornaday, #46-Ashton Lewis, Jr., #33-Paul Menard, #66-Billy Parker, #39-Andy Ponstein, #50-David Starr, #?-Tony Stewart.(LMS PR)(5-6-2004)
    UPDATE: Ten NASCAR Busch Series drivers, including series point leader Martin Truex Jr., also tested Monday for the May 29 CARQUEST Auto Parts 300. The Busch Series cars were on track from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in preparation for the only daytime race scheduled during Coca-Cola 600 Weeks. The 10 Busch Series teams had 15 cars in the garage area with one-third of them belonging to Richard Childress Racing. Kevin Harvick, who claimed the pole for last year’s CARQUEST Auto Parts 300, tested a pair of #21 RCR Reese’s Chevrolets while Ron Hornaday was in his familiar ACDelco #2 and Clint Boyer drove two plain black #29 RCR Chevrolets. Kyle Busch, who finished second in last May’s 300, was also among those testing aboard the #5 Lowe’s Chevrolet.(LMS PR)(5-11-2004)
  • Lowe’s Busch Testing: 16 NASCAR Busch Series teams were preparing for the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 on Saturday afternoon, May 29. Paul Menard, driving the #33 owned by Andy Petree, slammed the SAFER Barrier between turns three and four just before the lunch break. Despite heavy damage to the rear of the car, Menard was checked at the Carolinas HealthCare Infield Care Center and released. “The SAFER Barrier was definitely softer, but it was still a hard impact,” Menard said as he surveyed his badly damaged machine. “I had actually been tight and it just snapped around.” Sauter, testing the #50 Busch Series car owned by Michael Holigan, also slammed the SAFER Barrier in turn four shortly after 1 p.m. The second-generation driver visited the Carolinas HealthCare Infield Care Center where he was checked and released. #60-Greg Biffle and #20-Mike Bliss were among those on hand who did not participate in Monday’s Busch Series session. Bobby Labonte visited and took some laps in the #18 driven by Joe Gibbs Racing teammate J.J. Yeley and Tony Stewart drove the black #29 Chevrolets that were wheeled by Clint Boyer on Monday.
    Testing continues Wednesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and fans can watch the action from the main grandstand free of charge. IPOWER DASH Series drivers will be on the track from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with ARCA RE/MAX Series teams testing for the May 27 Quaker Steak & Lube 100 from 5 to 10 p.m.
    Tickets for all May events at Lowe’s Motor Speedway are still available and can be obtained online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(5-11-2004)
  • New #12 Crew Chief UPDATE: Veteran mechanic Kevin Caldwell stepped into the crew chief’s role for driver Tim Fedewa on FitzBradshaw Racing’s #12 Supercuts Chevrolet this week after Gary Cogswell abruptly left the team to go to work at Richard Childress Racing.(NASCAR.com)(5-1-2004)
    UPDATE: Mike Hillman crew chiefed the #12 Chevy at Gateway and is the interim crew chief.(Speed Channel’s NBS/24)(5-11-2004)
  • Ganassi Racing to have a Busch team in 2005: been told that Ganassi Racing will run a full time Busch program next year in house and possibly a second team for 15 – 20 Busch races also. Supposedly the drivers will be some combination of their current three Cup drivers (Marlin, McMurray and Mears) and possibly David Stremme and/or Reed Sorenson. Ganassi Racing also plans to move into their new building by the Concord [NC] Airport in July.(5-10-2004)
  • Benson leaves the #1 team: been told that Johnny Benson and Phoenix Racing have parted ways. Benson drove the #1 Yellow Frieght Dodge in the Busch Series and #09 Miccosukee Indian Gaming for the team.
    AND it is also posted on the Johnny Benson website.
    AND II BGNRacing.com has confirmed that Johnny Benson has been released by Phoenix Racing and Jamie McMurray will drive the #1 Dodge this weekend at Richmond in the Busch Series race. A news release will be sent out Tuesday.(5-10-2004)
  • Cope Wrecks in practice UPDATES: Derrike Cope was involved in an accident in turn three bringing out the red flag. He was cut out of the car, but is reportedly awake and alert. He was taken to a local hosiptal, via helicopter, for further evaluation. The accident stopped practice for about 30 minutes.
    UPDATE: Reports from the hospital are positive, but nothing official has been released yet. A replacement driver for tonight has not been named.
    UPDATE 2: Josh Richeson will be in the #49 tonight. Cope is alert.(BGNRacing.com)
    See more details at the St Louis Post Dispatch.(5-8-2004)
    UPDATE – Sunday: Derrick Cope [#50 Cup, #49 Busch] was injured in a crash Saturday morning at Gateway International Raceway [while practing for the Busch race held Saturday night]. Cope, 45, of Spanaway, Wash., who pilots the #49 Jay Robinson Racing Ford Taurus, slammed into the wall in Turn 3 on the driver’s side in the first of two practice sessions on the 1 1/4-mile oval in Madison. Safety workers had to cut the roof off Cope’s car to remove the injured driver, who was momentarily knocked unconscious by the accident. Cope was wearing a head and neck restraint (which is required). Busch Series spokesman Rick Houston said Cope “was awake and aware” when he was airlifted to St. Louis University Hospital. When he arrived at the hospital, Cope was “awake and alert and responding appropriately,” Houston said. Cope was in stable condition after reportedly suffering a concussion and was kept overnight for observation. NASCAR officials immediately impounded the vehicle, covered it with a trap and were carefully inspecting the engine compartment as well as the cockpit looking for obvious mechanical problems. Cope was practicing for the Charter 250 when his brakes locked up entering Turn 3, causing the car to spin 180 degrees. It went up the track and hit the wall smashing the driver’s side of the car from front to back. “It would be speculation to say why, or how or what caused the crash,” Houston said. “But we are looking into the accident.” Robinson Racing used Josh Richeson, 22, of Davidson, N.C., to drive the team’s backup car. Richeson finished 27th.(St Louis Post Dispatch.(5-9-2004)
    UPDATE – Monday: Derrike Cope shook off a rough weekend and is ready to go in the #49 Advil Ford in Friday night’s Funal 250 NASCAR Busch Series race at the .750-mile Richmond International Raceway. Cope was taken to a St. Louis, Mo., hospital following a crash in practice Saturday at Gateway International Raceway. Though his injuries were diagnosed as minor, he was held a few hours for observation and released Saturday evening, about the time of the start of the race. Josh Richeson substituted for Cope, driving the Jay Robinson-owned car. “It was ‘Praise the Lord and pass the Advil,'” Cope said. “The brakes didn’t burn in the way I thought they had. They locked and spun me around, and I hit the wall there pretty hard. I’m grateful everything turned out okay, but I’m ready to get back in the car. You never know how easy you have things. I wanted a good run at Gateway, and didn’t get to drive at all. I thought it was going to be bad enough watching the race on television Saturday night but the hospital didn’t have cable. I was on a flight anyway, so missed hearing any of it. Believe me, I’d much rather have been driving,” he said.(Williams Company PR)(5-10-2004)
  • Robby looking for sponsor to run full Busch season: At the start of the 2004 NASCAR season, Robby Gordon and Fruit of the Loom were content to compete together in 24 NASCAR Busch Series races. As a result of a better-than-expected start, the objectives have changed. In its first effort on the track, the Gordon-owned #55 entry qualified fifth and finished third at the season-opening Hershey’s Kisses 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Since then, the team has performed consistently, recording three top-fives and five top-10 finishes in only nine races. Through the Stater Bros. 300 at California Speedway, Gordon sits just 90 points out of the NASCAR Busch Series championship lead. Being close enough to reach out and touch a championship has changed the full-time NASCAR Cup driver’s outlook. “We didn’t even consider making a run at the full 34-race schedule when the season began,” Gordon admitted. “My focus was, and continues to be, on winning a NASCAR Cup Series championship with my Cingular Wireless team, and on winning as many Busch Series races as possible for Fruit of the Loom. To be honest with you, we didn’t necessarily expect to be this close to the points lead after nine races with a brand new team. Now that we are, and given that we’re getting better as a team every time out, we’ve added winning a Busch Series championship to the objectives for the year.” In order to make those goals a reality, however, Gordon, and his Robby Gordon Motorsports team, is seeking primary sponsorship for the nine races Fruit of the Loom did not plan for at the start of the season. The first open date on the team’s NASCAR Busch Series schedule is the Goulds Pumps ITT Industries 200 at Nazareth Speedway on May 23, followed the next week by the Carquest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 29. Both races fall within the time frame Gordon will undoubtedly garner tremendous media attention as he tackles the high-profile Double Duty effort for the third-consecutive year, which will see him compete in both the IRL’s Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 on the same day (May 30). A sponsor participating in all nine available NASCAR Busch Series races will also receive a position on the Gordon-owned Indianapolis 500 car. “This season is coming together nicely for us,” Gordon said. “We’re climbing back into the championship hunt in the Cingular Wireless Cup car, we’re right there for the championship in the Busch car, we’ve got a legitimate shot at winning both the pole and the race in the Meijer Stores Chevrolet Dallara in the Indy 500 and we’re going to finish the season by trying to win the Baja 1000 again in the Red Bull Chevy Trophy Truck. If a few things go our way, we can have a great year for ourselves as well as our corporate partners that help make our goals possible.”(Robby Gordon Motorsports PR)(5-9-2004)
  • Memphis event name and logo: Memphis Motorsports Park officials unveiled a new event name and logo for the NASCAR Busch Series race in Memphis. The Sam’s Town 250 benefiting St. Jude will become the Sam’s Town 250 ‘He Dared to Rock’ 250 benefiting St. Jude. ‘He Dared to Rock’ is the campaign that Elvis Presley Enterprises is using to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of Elvis Presley’s first recording at Sun Studios on July 5, 1954.(Memphis PR via BGNRacing.com)(5-8-2004)
  • Truex wins at Gateway and takes points lead: #8-Martin Truex Jr. raced to his third Busch Series victory in six races, leading 123 of 200 laps in the Charter 250 on Saturday night to take the season points lead. Truex started from the pole and finished 6.601 seconds ahead of #2-Ron Hornaday Jr. on the 1.25-mile Gateway International Raceway. The New Jersey driver moved 11 points ahead of Nextel Cup driver #99-Michael Waltrip in the season standings. Waltrip finished 14th on Saturday night. “We had a superior car tonight,” said Truex, also the winner in Talladega and Bristol. “Once we got it freed up, we were flying. It seemed like the longer we went, the more we pulled away.” #22-Jason Keller was third, followed by #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr., #5-Kyle Busch, #00-Jason Leffler, #60-Greg Biffle, #32-David Stremme, #12-Tim Fedewa and #55-Robby Gordon. Truex easily outdueled Hornaday to become the first driver in eight Busch Series races at Gateway International to win from the pole. The winner averaged a track-record 134.112 mph in the race slowed by six caution periods that lasted 35 laps. “It was fun racing with him,” Truex said. “We ran into each other a little bit out there.” Hornaday was impressed with Truex and his crew. “If they’ve got that same car next week, they’re going to be awesome,” Hornaday said.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)
    See race results at:
    ThatsRacin.com
    BGNRacing.com
    MotorsportsOne
    NASCAR.com.(5-8-2004)
  • Truex Jr. wins pole at Gateway: #8-Martin Truex Jr. won the pole for Saturday Nights Charter 250 at Gateway International Raceway with a new track record of 134.112mph. The rest of the top five are #37-David Green, #60-Greg Biffle, #5-Kyle Busch and #22-Jason Keller. Failing to qualify were: #90-Clint Vahsholtz, #53-Brad Teague; #63-Shane Wallace; #84-Dion Ciccarelli; and #85-Randy Briggs.
    See qualifying results/starting lineup at:
    ThatsRacin.com
    BGNRacing.com
    NASCAR.com.(5-8-2004)
  • Mark Green in the #39 at Calif: Jay Robinson Racing has hired Mark Green, who will drive the #39 Ford at California and possibly more races this year. Green, who has 173 career Busch Series starts, will replace Andy Ponstein at least for one race and also work full time in the shop. “I’ve been given a good opportunity from Jay,” said Green. “He has his sponsorship situation resolved, and they can start getting better stuff. He can make his program better; and that’s what we’re going to attempt to do.” Robinson has hired Green to work full time for the team. Green could drive the #49 car if Derrike Cope gets higher than 35th in Nextel Cup points, making him ineligible for a provisional. Cope would then move to a third JRR car in the #28, which could also be driven by Green.(NASCAR Scene via BGNRacing.com)(4-30-2004)
    However that rule was changed when Kenny Wallace missed the Rockingham race cause of the top 35 rules nnd it was changed to the top 25.(5-8-2004)
  • Renshaw Teaching AND an Owner: Former Fairgrounds Speedway racer Deborah Renshaw has joined the Richard Petty Driving Experience as an instructor. Renshaw, who resides in the Charlotte [NC] area, will help conduct a driving school at Kentucky Motor Speedway later this month. Renshaw currently has no ride but has not given up on her driving ambition. She is scheduled to visit Music City Motorplex on Saturday night and may run some races there later on.(Tennessean)(5-5-2004)
    AND Deborah Renshaw left Music City Motorplex two years ago as a successful race driver. Tonight she returns as a successful car owner. Chevy White has driven one of Renshaw’s cars to two wins this season, and holds the lead in the premier Late Model division. Going into tonight’s 75-lap feature White holds a 35-point lead over Travis Trotter. Mark Day is in third, seven points behind Trotter. Renshaw was White’s teammate two years ago when she became the first woman to win a pole in the feature division and lead the series point standings. She moved to the Charlotte area to pursue her racing career, and currently works as an instructor with the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Renshaw will sign autographs from 5:30-6:30pm.(Tennessean)(5-8-2004)
  • NASCAR Busch Series News and Notes – St. Louis: It will be all in a day’s work, literally, for the NASCAR Busch Series this weekend at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis. Practice, qualifying and the Charter 250 will all be held on Saturday. Indianapolis Raceway Park has been the only “one-day show” the last few years in the NASCAR Busch Series, but this year, Gateway is host to the first of three – in addition to The Milwaukee Mile June 26 and August 7 at IRP. Drivers Bobby Hamilton Jr. (No. 25 U.S. Marine Corps Ford) and David Green (No. 37 Timber Wolf Pontiac) are all for the new schedule. “We are really looking forward to racing at Gateway, now that it’s a one-day show,” Hamilton says. “I really believe that when practice time is limited, it falls right into our hands due to my crew chief, Harold Holly. Harold is one of the best chassis men in the sport, and generally, he is one of the first to get the track figured out. With the limited time we are going to have this weekend, I feel like we will be strong and contend for our first win of the season. It’s been an up-and-down year so far, but we are capable of winning two or three races in a row if luck will fall our way.” Green, fourth in the NASCAR Busch Series driver standings heading into Gateway, won’t be concentrating on a qualifying setup as he and his Brewco Motorsports crew prepare for the event. There won’t be time for such luxuries. “The new schedule should give us a better indication of what we’ll have for race time,” Green says. “I think it’s a great format that allows us to work solely on race setup. It’ll make for a better race for the fans.” Gateway’s 1.25-mile layout presents a challenge for Green and others. Some have gone so far as to compare it to a road course. “Gateway is a little like Darlington, in that both ends are very different, which to me, makes it a lot of fun,” Green continues. “Being odd-shaped like that creates an opportunity to do a lot of cool stuff from the driver’s seat, like shifting as many as four times a lap. It’s definitely a driver’s race track. You have to get the car to turn well in Turns One and Two, but typically, that makes it too loose through Turns Three and Four.”
    New and Notes II:
    Chevrolet builds on lead in manufacturers standings … Chevrolet has built a fairly comfortable lead in the Bill France Performance Cup standings for manufacturers in the NASCAR Busch Series. Chevrolet has five wins and 67 points, compared to 53 points and three wins for Ford following the Greg Biffle (No. 60 Charter Communications Ford) win at California Speedway. Dodge is in third place with 40 points and one win, with Pontiac in fourth, with 38 points and no wins. The standings are determined by a scoring system in which the highest-finishing manufacturer receives nine points, the second-highest gets six, third-highest receives four and fourth-highest receives three.
    On the Right Track:
    Jason Keller (No. 22 Miller High Life Ford) has more top-five finishes than any other driver at Gateway, with five. His best finishes at the track are a pair of runnerup efforts, in the 1997 inaugural event and in 2001. Only once in seven Gateway starts has Keller finished outside the top 10. He was 37th in 1998. … Ashton Lewis (No. 46 Lewis Motorsports Chevrolet) scored the first Busch Pole of his career last year at Gateway. … Casey Atwood (No. 14 U.S. Navy Chevrolet) holds the track qualifying record at Gateway, with a speed of 132.423 mph set in July 1999. … Ron Hornaday is second on the list of laps led at Gateway, with 142. … Greg Biffle won a 1999 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Gateway, and then won the track’s NASCAR Busch Series race in 2002.
    From the Archives:
    Few who were there will ever forget the inaugural NASCAR Busch Series race at Gateway International Raceway, on July 26, 1997. Temperatures for the early-afternoon green flag approached the 100-degree mark, and the track surface crumbled in several places. That contributed to 14 cautions for a total of 81 of the event’s 240 laps – at the time, the race was 300 miles, rather than its current 250. When all was said and done, it took race winner Elliott Sadler 3 hours, 48 minutes, 25 seconds to complete the event. It was the longest race, in terms of time, in the history of the NASCAR Busch Series. The next year, the race was moved to October to combat the high temperatures. In 1999-2002, the race was moved back to July, but held at night. Last season was the first for Gateway in its current May slot.
    Fast Facts
    What: Charter 250 (Race No. 10 of 34 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
    Where: Gateway International Raceway, Madison, Ill.
    When: 8 p.m. (ET), Saturday, May 8, 2004.
    Track layout: 1.25-mile paved oval.
    Race length: 250 miles/200 laps.
    Posted awards: $1,352,029.
    TV: FX, 8 p.m. (ET).
    Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
    2003 winner: Scott Riggs.
    2003 polesitter: Ashton Lewis.
    Pre-race schedule (all times local): Saturday — Practice, 9:45-10:45 a.m.; Practice, 11:45 a.m.-12:50 p.m.; Qualifying, 3:05 p.m. (All cars will be impounded after qualifying for race lineup.)(NASCAR PR)(5-7-2004)
  • Ram Tough Pace Truck To Lead Charter 250: Gateway International Raceway announced that the Viper-powered 2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10 would be the pace truck for the Charter 250 NASCAR Busch Race that will run this Saturday night, May 8 at 7 pm. The ultimate performance pickup, the 2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10 brings a massive dose of Viper power to the performance pickup segment, with a class-demolishing 500 horsepower and 525 lb.-ft. of torque. Topping 150 mph in maximum speed and reaching 60 mph in approximately five seconds, Dodge has recalibrated expectations for truck performance. “The Dodge Ram SRT-10 may be the first halo truck, but trust me, this truck is no angel,” said Wolfgang Bernhard, Chief Operating Officer, Chrysler Group.  “The Ram SRT-10 is true to the performance ideals that created the original Dodge Viper, keep it simple and make it fast.”(GIR PR)(5-7-2004)
  • Cup drivers in the Busch race at gateway: with the Cup Series having an ‘off-weekend’ a few will be racing at Gateway International Raceway in the Busch Series race Saturday night [Full time Cup drivers racing]:
    Greg Biffle [#16 Cup; #60 Busch]
    Derrike Cope [#50; #49]
    Robby Gordon [#31; #55]
    Kasey Kahne [#9; #38]
    Johnny Sauter [#30; #27]
    Michael Waltrip [#15; #99](5-6-2004)
  • Fans Encouraged To Arrive Early For One-Day NASCAR Busch Race Event: Gateway International Raceway announced that they are expecting one of the largest crowds in the track’s history for the Charter 250 NASCAR Busch Race this Saturday night, May 8. Fans are encouraged to Arrive Early for the one-day event that includes practice and qualifying all on Saturday.  Parking gates open at 8:30 am, spectator gates open at 9:30 am and practice runs will begin at 9:45 am.  Qualifying will begin at 3 pm and the green flag will drop at 7 pm. Metro Link and the St. Clair County Transit District will run buses to and from the race from the Emerson Park station.  The last buses will leave the track at 11:10 pm.  If weather becomes an issue, the last buses will leave one hour after the race ends.  In any situation no one will get stranded. Questions concerning getting to and from the race via Metro-Link and St. Clair County Transit can be answered by calling (618) 628-8090.  Follow the prompts and hit the number 3 for information about Gateway International Raceway. Purchase the best seats and receive great perks in a Gateway season tickets package, starting at only $115. Season Ticket packages include the ARCA RE/MAX Series race on July 16, and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race and Travis Tritt concert on July 17. To purchase tickets call Gateway at 1- 866-35-SPEED or log onto www.gatewayraceway.com.(GIR PR)(5-7-2004)
  • #50 Team Looking for crew members: Continuing to build its operation, Holigan Racing is in search of two mechanics and two fabricators for its #50 Enzyte Chevrolet NASCAR Busch Series team, driven by David Starr. The team, the only NASCAR team based in Texas, is also the only one the subject of a weekly motorsports reality television show – The Reality Of Speed – which is broadcast nationally every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Eastern and Pacific (9:30 a.m. Central) on Spike TV.(Williams Company PR)(5-7-2004)
  • 3-race sponsor for the #36 team: National City Corporation announced today its sponsorship of three NASCAR Busch Series races this season:
    May 8 at Gateway International Raceway in St. Louis, Missouri
    July 10 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois
    August 21 at Michigan Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan
    “When it comes to winning the race in banking, National City’s success is linked to teamwork and collaboration,” said Karin Stone, National City senior vice president of marketing. “Just as pit crews look for fast-paced, competitive solutions, National City works diligently to deliver the best banking experience to every customer we serve. Having recently entered the St. Louis and Chicago markets, the NASCAR sponsorship provides National City with a unique opportunity to introduce our company to new customers through the increasingly popular auto racing industry. The fast-growing enterprise of DCT Motorsports is a good match for us,” explained Stone. National City will sponsor the DCT Motorsports “#36 Chevrolet.” Businessmen John McGill and Carl Natale own DCT Motorsports. Based in the heart of NASCAR country — Spartanburg, South Carolina – the DCT racing team is led by crew chief Ricky Pearson and general manager Steve Grissom. Grissom and talented rookie Travis Geisler are driving for the team this season, with Geisler slated to drive the National City events. “We are thrilled to have National City join us for these three races,” said McGill. “Having a company with their status and commitment to customer service become a part of our operation is exciting for DCT Motorsports.”(Williams Company PR)(5-7-2004)
  • New Crew Chief for the #32: Randy Cox will take over crew chief duties for driver David Stremme and the #32 TRIMSPA X32 Dodge beginning this weekend at Gateway International Raceway. Cox led Jamie McMurray to victory earlier this season at North Carolina Speedway in just his first race as a Busch Series crew chief. Former crew chief Todd Lohse, who called the shots as Stemme posted two top-five finishes and an outside pole so far this season, will continue working and traveling full-time with Team TRIMSPA in a management role. Cox formerly changed tires for Sterling Marlin and continues to handle Gannasi Racing’s research and development team. “This is a positive move for Braun Racing,” said owner Todd Braun. “It will allow both Randy (Cox) and Todd (Lohse) to focus on what they do best as well as reinforce our relationship with Ganassi Racing.”(Braun Racing PR)(5-6-2004)
  • Lynch the last Hungry Driver: Scott Lynch, the reigning champion in NASCAR’s Grand National Division, West Series champion, has been named as the final driver in the “Hungry Drivers” program run by the Busch #6 team of Tommy Baldwin, who serves as crew chief for Cup driver Kasey Kahne. Lynch joins Tracy Hines, Mark McFarland and Paul Wolfe in the program in which each gets three races in the Busch series in Baldwin’s #6 Dodges. Lynch will debut May 14 at Richmond. “I’m really exciting about trying to make the field at Richmond. While I always want to win, my realistic goal is to qualify in the top 20 and finish in the top 20,” Lynch said.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-5-2004)
  • Remember Angela’s Motorsports? As president of The Ad Ranch, Chris Greta heard a lot of bold startup ideas from high-tech companies. But even he was surprised and intrigued by the plan that Angela Harkness and Gary D. Jones pitched to him in June 2002. “They said Angela had been a bikini model at some races, and they wanted to get into NASCAR,” said Greta, who was hired to create their promotional material. Harkness, a former stripper who said she had taught kindergarten, and Jones, a bank vice president, both from Austin, had no experience in racing, where running a team on the second-tier Busch Series circuit can cost $6 million a year. But five months later, after little background checking by NASCAR and the Ford Motor Co. and other suppliers, they had put together a dream team for the 2003 racing season. They hired a veteran driver [Mike McLaughlin], they bought cars, and they outfitted a garage in the heart of NASCAR country. As a woman and an African-American man, they were bright new faces who brought diversity to NASCAR, a sport rapidly growing beyond its Southern good ol’ boy roots. Doors swung open. Jones and Harkness walked through. Others followed. Then, just days before the 2003 season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway, the team’s checks, some for thousands of dollars, began bouncing. “It went up in smoke in just a few days,” Jay Robinson, another racing team owner, said shortly after the demise of Angela’s Motorsports. Now, a year later, Jones is in federal custody in Waco, set to stand trial May 17 on charges that he embezzled almost $1 million while working at a Wells Fargo branch in Austin and funneled money to his failed racing team. Harkness has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bank fraud and embezzlement and had agreed to testify against Jones. She was set to be sentenced May 21, but prosecutors think she recently left the country and have issued a warrant for her. If convicted, Jones faces up to 30 years in prison. Harkness agreed to plead guilty to one conspiracy count and seemed to be in line for a light sentence in exchange for her information about Jones, but that deal likely changed when she disappeared this month. She failed to report to authorities April 6, and one of her sisters later told a court officer that Harkness left the country in March, according to a court order seeking her return.(this is a HUGE column, see it at the Austin American-Statesman, but you need to register to view it all)(5-4-2004)
  • Michael Waltrip to Give Testimonial at Charter 250: Gateway International Raceway announced Michael Waltrip would give a testimonial prior to the start of the Charter 250 as part of Christian Family Day on Saturday, May 8.  In addition, contemporary Christian musical act Caedmon’s Call will perform in concert before and after the testimonial. All Christian Family Day activities will take place in the Family Fun Zone located at the end of the Expo area next to the tunnel.  The stage will be directly across from the Family Fun Zone at the end of Gateway’s Championship Drag Strip.  The concert starts at 5:15 pm.  Waltrip will give his testimonial at 5:45 pm, and Caedmon’s Call will resume playing until 6:30 pm.
    Ticket prices for the Charter 250 range from $45-$60 (1/2 price for kids 12 and under). You can also purchase the best seats and receive great perks in a Gateway season tickets package, starting at only $115. Season Ticket packages include the ARCA RE/MAX Series race on July 16, and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race and Travis Tritt concert on July 17. To purchase tickets call Gateway at 1- 866-35-SPEED or log onto www.gatewayraceway.com.(5-3-2004)
  • Bobby Labonte to run Busch race at MIS; Bliss to run 2 Cup races: Bobby Labonte and his long-time sponsor ConAgra Foods, Inc. announced that Labonte will return to the Busch Series for the Cabela’s 250 Race on August 21, 2004 at Michigan International Speedway. He will be driving the bright red #19 Banquet Chevrolet featuring the Banquet brand and logo. This car was unveiled at the 2004 Food Market Institute Show (FMI) at McCormick Place in Chicago. This extended partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) highlights ConAgra Foods’ growing involvement in the sport of NASCAR. Having recognized the power of NASCAR to reach families nationwide almost a decade ago, the company was an early supporter of Labonte’s racing team. Under this new agreement, Labonte will appear in advertising and promotions as well as provide personal appearances and publicity for Banquet and ConAgra Foods. The Cabela’s 250 Race marks Bobby’s return to the Busch Series [JAYSKI NOTE: Actually Labonte ran the Texas Busch race in the #29 ESGR/Army Nat’l Guard-Reserve RCR Chevy and finished 11th]. “I’m excited to run the #19 Banquet Chevrolet in the Busch series later this summer,” said Labonte. “My goal is to take Banquet and ConAgra Foods to the winner’s circle at the Cabela’s 250.” ConAgra Foods will continue to maximize its association with NASCAR in 2004 with a series of sponsorships and promotions. Banquet’s title sponsorship of the Banquet 400 Nextel Cup Series race at Kansas Motor Speedway in October continues for the second year, and the partnership with JGR will offer several ConAgra Foods brands in the snack and grocery categories the opportunity to appear on the #80 car driven by Mike Bliss during two Nextel Cup Series races. Bliss will race the #80 Slim Jim Chevrolet at the Tropicana 400 in Chicago this July and he will run the #80 Hunts Chevrolet at the Chevy Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond International Raceway in September [NOTE: Gibbs would get to use the car #80 over the #80 Hover Motorsports team and driver Andy Hillenburg as that team is listed as #280 in Owners Points]. This summer Banquet will be rolling out a retail promotion called “0 to Dinner with Banquet,” which gives fans the opportunity to collect five proofs of purchase from frozen and grocery products and receive a die cast #19 Banquet Chevrolet. For more information, please visit us at www.conagrafoods.com.(Ketchum PR)(5-3-2004)
  • Crewman Injured: NASCAR Busch Series driver #51-Stan Boyd, his crew chief and another crew member were involved in a pit road accident in Saturday’s Stater Bros. 300 at California Speedway. Boyd was attempting to pit on Lap 64 of 150 when he lost control entering pit road, spun backwards, and slammed into the pit wall, where his crew was waiting to perform a pit stop. Boyd and his crew chief, Daniel Kolanda, went to the infield care center and were treated and released. Crew member Eric Sainer was transported to Loma Linda Medical Center for further evaluation. “I guess I’m not used to the speed the cars carry in the corner compared to the trucks and you have to use a lot more brake here than you do on the trucks,” Boyd said. “When I came into the pit to make a stop, I hit the brakes, and I locked up the back tires. It spun be around and that was it.”(ThatsRacin.com)(5-2-2004)
  • Biffle wins at California: #60-Greg Biffle was the first of the race leaders to run out of gas Saturday but, luckily for him, not the last. That distinction went to #17-Matt Kenseth, whose team thought he could make the distance but instead required a fuel stop with four of 150 laps remaining. After Kenseth pitted and then stalled on pit road, Biffle took the lead and held on for a 5.323 second victory over #29-Tony Stewart in Saturday’s Stater Bros. 300 at California Speedway. It was Biffle’s second win of the season and 13th of his career. The win also ended teh driver’s string of three consecutive races with finishes of 21st or worse. #59-Stacy Compton, who last stopped for fuel on Lap 90, made it to the end and finished third. Kenseth was fourth and #38-Kasey Kahne fifth. Series points leader #99-Michael Waltrip finished sixth and leads rookie #5-Kyle Busch by 52 points. The race was slowed four times by caution for 21 laps. There were 16 lead changes among 10 different drivers.(ThatsRacin.com)
    Race Results at:
    ThatsRacin.com
    BGNRacing.com
    MotorsportsOne
    NASCAR.com.(5-1-2004)