May 2005 Busch Series Archive
- Congrats: J.J. and Kristen Yeley are proud to announce they are the parents of a baby girl, Faith Anne Yeley. She was born today, May 31st at 7:33 AM in Indianapolis. Mother and baby are both doing very well. Faith Anne was born 6 lbs 1 oz, and is 19″ in length.(PR) J.J. Yeley drives the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy in the Busch Series.(5-31-2005)
- All Three Wallace’s to race at Gateway UPDATE: Mike Wallace will join his brothers #64-Rusty and #22-Kenny in the NASCAR Busch Series Race at Gateway International Raceway on July 30th, 2005, driving the #6 Evernham Motorsports Dodge.(Motorsports Lounge PR)(4-26-2005)
UPDATE – Shop ‘n Save To Sponsor Wallace Family Tribute 250 Race: Gateway International Raceway announced that Shop ‘n Save will be the presenting sponsor of the Wallace Family Tribute 250 NASCAR Busch Series race on Saturday, July 30, 2005. The St. Louis-based grocer headlines the weekend with the Shop ‘n Save 150 ARCA/RE- MAX Series race on Friday night July 29 and the Wallace Family Tribute 250 presented by Shop ‘n Save on Saturday night July 30. “The Shop ‘n Save customer is looking for great value at a fair price and that is what we believe we offer to the race fans of the Midwest,” said Matt Strelo, Gateway Vice President and General Manager. “Shop ‘n Save is committed to the communities that their 36 stores serve and they understand that those communities want to be a part of what is sure to become the most significant motorsports weekend in the history of this region.” Shop ‘n Save will host many in-store promotions and sweepstakes with participating vendors leading up to the events of July 29-30. These events will also be a significant fundraising program for the Special Olympics of Missouri and Illinois- including the raffling of an Official Pace Vehicle – a 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab Truck. The green-flag will drop for the Wallace Family Tribute 250 presented by Shop ‘n Save at 7:00 PM on Saturday night July 30. It will be followed by a spectacular fireworks show and a concert by country music star Chris Cagle. Friday’s Shop ‘n Save 150 ARCA RE/MAX series race will begin at 8:00 PM on Friday night, July 29.
Ticket prices for the Wallace Family Tribute 250 presented by Shop ‘n Save range from $45-$65 (1/2 price for kids 12 and under). Tickets for the Shop ‘n Save 150 ARCA RE/MAX Series race on July 29 are $20 general admission tickets with children 12 and under $10. To purchase tickets call Gateway at 1-866-35-SPEED or log onto www.gatewayraceway.com.(5-31-2005)
- Kyle Busch wins at LMS: #5-Kyle Busch won the CarQuest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. It was Busch’s 2nd spring race win at LMS. #40-Sterling Marlin was 2nd, followed by #39-Ryan Newman, #66-Greg Biffle and #41-Reed Sorenson. Points leader, #60-Carl Edwards finished 35th but holds on to the points lead by 171, only losing 9 points to #2-Clint Bowyer who finished 32nd. Pole sitter #6-Casey Kahne led 40 laps until he had a tire go down and hit the turn 1 wall, ending his day at 41st. There were 11 for 49 laps [record] and 13 among 9 drivers.
Race results at:
- Angela arrested in Mid East: A Texas woman who fled the country after she pleaded guilty to fraud in connection with a scheme to fund her NASCAR racing team has been arrested in the Middle East, the U.S. Marshals Service said Friday. Fatemeh Angela Harkness, 29, admitted in January 2004 that she conspired with Austin banker Gary Jones to embezzle more than $1 million from his bank between 2000 and 2003. Jones, a former Wells Fargo business banker who was vice president of his branch, prepared about 12 loans using several people’s names and kept the money for himself, court documents show. Jones and Harkness, a former stripper from Round Rock, used the money to assemble a NASCAR team called Angela’s Motorsports. The #03 racing team, featuring driver Mike McLaughlin, entered cars in the Busch Grand National Series starting in late 2002. The Marshals Service learned Thursday that Harkness had recently been arrested in the United Arab Emirates on a U.S. warrant, agency spokesman Tim Hughes said. The agency is working with the government in Dubai on her extradition to the United States. When she returns to the U.S., Harkness will be sentenced on the original charge and likely also will face charges for violating her bond, Hughes said. Jones was sentenced to just under four years in prison in August after he pleaded guilty to fraud, theft and embezzlement charges.(ESPN.com/AP)(5-28-2005)
- Davis picks up sponsor for LMS: Kertus Davis and the #”0″ Johnny Davis NASCAR Busch Series Team qualified 34th out of 50 entries for Saturday’s CARQUEST 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Southpawracing.com joins the NRA and Sequia Express Trucking as Associate Sponsor with Primary Sponsor goRACEGIRL.com – Fashion Apparel, for the Saturday night event.(hufcopromotion.com PR)(5-28-2005)
- Tragic News: Brenda Coley, 48, the wife of Toby Dale Coley, the truck driver, mechanic and spotter at #34 Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly and the Dollar General Race Team of driver Randy LaJoie in the NASCAR Busch Series, will be buried on Thursday morning according to information released by the Hartsell Funeral Home in Albemarle, North Carolina where the Coleys resided. A viewing will be held on Wednesday night from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Hartsell Funeral Home located at 522 N. 2nd Street. Thursday’s funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m.
Mrs. Coley was found dead in her driveway early Sunday morning by a passerby who contacted police. It is suspected that Mrs. Coley, who had just recently opened a small crafts store in Albemarle and had been working late at night for several days, closed her shop at around 11 p.m. on Saturday night. She was apparently followed home by someone who robbed her, struck her and left her to die in the driveway. Mrs. Coley’s handbag and wallet were missing according to an account printed in Monday morning’s Charlotte Observer.
An autopsy was to be performed in Charlotte on Tuesday, but the authorities have yet to release the findings and actual cause of Mr’s Coley’s death. Police are continuing their investigation. Toby Coley was away for the weekend enjoying some time off from his racing duties and did not find out about his wife until he arrived home on Sunday morning. The couple had been married for nearly 24 years and have three adult children and two grandchildren.(Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly)(5-24-2005)
AND The Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly racing organization will memorialize the late Brenda Coley during this weekend’s NASCAR Busch Series race activity at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. A special decal will be displayed on the #34 Dollar General Chevy of driver Randy LaJoie during practice, qualifying and the running of Saturday night’s CarQuest Auto Parts 300 during the Speedway’s Memorial Day race weekend. The decal will pay tribute to Mrs. Coley, the wife of Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly truck driver, mechanic and spotter Toby Coley who was found dead earlier in the week near her place of business in Albemarle, North Carolina.
The cause of Mrs. Coley’s death has not yet been released by police who continue their investigation into the incident that occurred late last Saturday night or early Sunday morning. It was reported that Mrs. Coley had closed up her new crafts business at around 11 p.m. Saturday night, but she never made it to her home. Her body was found by a passer-by in the parking lot of the plaza where her business was located at around 5 a.m. Sunday morning lying next to her car. Her pocketbook and wallet were missing, speculating that robbery may have been the motive for the killing. Toby Coley was in South Carolina during the weekend during a rare off week from racing as the Busch Series race teams were idle last weekend. The Coleys were married for nearly 25 years and had three children. They had two grandchildren. Brenda Coley was 48 years old.
“Toby has worked on and off for my race teams for many years, and he was considered a member of our family”, Frank Cicci said. “My family and every member of the Dollar General race team share in Toby’s loss, and memorializing Brenda Coley by displaying her name on our race car during this race weekend is the least that we can do to show how much we cared for Brenda and how we sympathize with Toby and his family on their loss”, Cicci added. Several other NASCAR Busch Series race teams have also expressed their desire to show their respect for Toby and his family by also requesting decals to display on their race cars this weekend.(Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly)(5-27-2005)
- Kahne wins pole at LMS: #6-Kasey Kahne won the pole for the Carquest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway with a new track record speed of 186.735mph, beating the old record set by Kevin Harvick of 184.445mph. 13 drivers beat the old record. #66-Greg Biffle is on the outside pole, the rest of the top-5: #60-Carl Edwards, #1-Martin Truex Jr., and #11-Paul Menard.
Missing the race were: #30-Scott Riggs, #7-Jeff Fuller, #43-Todd Bodine, #52-Eric McClure, #72-Kevin Lepage, #88-Brian Sockwell, #46-Robert Pressley.
See Starting lineups:
BGNRacing.com – Starting Lineup
- Conagra to sponsor Bobby Labonte in eight races NEW website: Bobby Labonte, the only driver to win NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series titles, will compete in eight Busch Series races for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2005. All eight races will be sponsored by brands of ConAgra Foods, Inc. ConAgra Foods’ Banquet, Eckrich, Hunt’s and Slim Jim brands will each serve as the primary sponsor of the #19 Chevy for selected races this season. ConAgra Foods has been an associate sponsor on Labonte’s #18 Interstate Batteries Chevy NEXTEL Cup Series car since 2003 and Slim Jim was a sponsor of Labonte’s Busch Series team in the early 1990’s. In addition to Charlotte, Labonte will compete at: Chicago, July 9 (Banquet); Brooklyn, Mich., Aug. 21 (Eckrich), Bristol, Aug. 26 (Hunt’s), Richmond, Sept. 9 (Banquet); Kansas, Oct. 10 (Banquet), Texas, Nov. 6 (Slim Jim), and Phoenix, Nov. 12 (Slim Jim). For more information, visit www.conagrafoods.com.(PR)(5-24-2005)
LAUNCHES SITE: Conagra Foods Racing Launches Web SITE For NASCAR Fans in Conjuction with 2005 Busch series debut in Charlotte, see www.ConAgraFoodsRacing.com for more…(5-27-2005)
- Former Cup Crew Chief to run ARCA race: The #2 Petro Express/Shaver Motorsports entry for this weekends ARCA/ReMax race at the Lanier National Speedway will have a familiar face to the team behind the wheel for his first ARCA ReMax start. Jeff Buice, veteran crew chief for Shaver Motorsports, has been tapped by owner/driver Dan Shaver to pilot the Petro Express entry this weekend giving Buice a chance to experience the thrill of driving in the ARCA/ReMax series. Owner/driver Dan Shaver will assume crew chief responsibilities to make the driver/crew chief swap complete for this weekend’s event. Buice served as crew chief for the #9 Melling Racing Winston Cup Series with drivers that included Lake Speed and Jerry Nadeau.
But Buice’s experience is not just limited to just working on the car. Jeff Buice raced in and around the Atlanta area from the time he graduated from high school until he went to work in the Winston Cup series in 1989. During the past 2 years, Jeff has been racing in the SCCA, running in the ITS and GT2 classes, as well as serving as the crew chief for Shaver Motorsports since November 2002. More info on Jeff’s driving career can be found at www.genesnipes.com. Buice has also been busy raising the next generation of the family into the world of Motorsports, his son Dalton. At age 13 he has become a major threat in karting events all along the south east and in both dirt and pavement races.(PR)(5-26-2005)
- National Guard on the #60 at LMS: The #60 Ford driven by Carl Edwards will be sporting a different look for this weekend’s CarQuest Auto Parts 300 Busch Series event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. For the Memorial Day Weekend (May 28), Charter Communications will take an associate role on the car and the normal purple and yellow colors will take a back seat to red, white and blue. Charter is honored to salute our Nations Hero’s by sporting the National Guard colors. The #60 Team will run the National Guard as their primary paint scheme on the car for this event. The #60 team has teamed up with Edwards’ Roush Racing teammate Greg Biffle and the #16 team that runs the National Guard paint scheme in the Nextel Cup series for this Memorial Day weekend.(Roush Racing)(5-26-2005)
- Pressley back in the #46: Robert Pressley will be back in the #46 ST Motorsports Ford with Edy’s Ice Cream as the sponsor at the Carquest 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. This will be Pressley’s second NASCAR Busch Series start of the season. He has 10 career victories. Pressley will be making his 241st career start – 20th-most in series history – on the NASCAR Busch Series circuit.(ST Motorsports)(5-25-2005)
- NASCAR Busch Series News and Notes: Lowe’s Motor Speedway
It’s back to work for the competitors in the NASCAR Busch Series following the second off-week of the season. The site of Saturday night’s race – Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. – is NASCAR’s proverbial “backyard,” housing a majority of the sport’s team shops and driver residences. That makes Lowe’s a “home track” for many participants, and is a key reason behind the 53 entries for the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300, second only to Daytona’s 54.
David Stremme (#14 U.S. NAVY Dodge) is one of those entrants, and returns to this event carrying the highest finish – eighth – of the NASCAR Busch Series regulars in the field who also raced one year ago. And despite his 27th-place finish at Richmond last time out, Stremme is arguably riding the best streak of his young NASCAR Busch Series career, having registered top-10 finishes – two of those consecutive third-place efforts – in the three races prior to Richmond. “Even though we’ve had some good finishes, we’re still not where we want to be,” Stremme said. “The team is showing a lot of progress and we get more competitive each week, but we don’t plan to settle for top-five finishes. We are definitely focused on that first win.” The 27-year-old native of South Bend, Ind., the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year, is also firmly entrenched in eighth place in the series point standings, and has been in the Top 10 for six of the season’s 12 race weeks. Not a bad climb considering Stremme started the season in 40th position after an engine failure at Daytona. “I’ve matured a lot as a driver and I think that’s helping this team run consistently,” he said. “We’re going to tracks I’ve been on before and I learn more and more each week. The guys just keep giving me fast racecars and I think we’re finally showing what this team is capable of.”
NASCAR Busch Series champions throughout the field … Ten former NASCAR Busch Series champions – led by reigning titlist Martin Truex Jr. (#8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) – are entered in Saturday night’s race, representing series crowns won in 11 of the last 14 years, and the last five in succession. Others include: Brian Vickers (#57 Ore Ida Chevrolet) – 2003; Greg Biffle (#66 Duraflame Ford) – the defending Busch Pole winner at Charlotte – ’02; Kevin Harvick (#21 Reese’s Chevrolet) – ’01; Jeff Green (#4 GIECO Chevrolet) – ‘00; Randy LaJoie (#34 Dollar General Chevrolet) – 1996-97; David Green (#27 Kleenex Ford) – ’94; Steve Grissom (#49 Advil Ford) – ’93; Joe Nemechek (#87 Cellular One Chevrolet) – ’92 and Bobby Labonte (#19 Hunts Chevrolet) – ’91 are entered as is Mark Martin (#9 Pennzoil Ford), the all-time leader in NASCAR Busch Series wins (47).
NEWS & NOTES, PART II
NASCAR Busch Series Top 10 – Second win offers Edwards breathing room … Coming off his second win of the season – a thrilling last-lap pass of Elliott Sadler (#90 Citifinancial Ford) at Richmond – Carl Edwards (#60 Charter Communications Ford) comes to Charlotte leading second-place Clint Bowyer (#2 ACDelco Chevrolet) by 180 points, 1,797-1,617. Reed Sorenson (#41 Discount Tire Co. Dodge) remains in third with 1,526 points, and will try to reverse a mini-slump that has seen him finish 31st or worse in three of his last four races, enabling fourth-place Martin Truex Jr. (1,479) to climb to within 47 points of the rookie’s position. Ashton Lewis Jr. (#25 U.S. Marine Corps Ford) remains in fifth for the third week in succession, but Kenny Wallace (#22 Stacker 2 Ford) is only 19 points behind in sixth with 1,424. Denny Hamlin (#20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet), one of three Raybestos rookies in the NASCAR Busch Series Top 10, is seventh, just five points behind Wallace. David Stremme is eighth, while Greg Biffle, despite missing two races, is ninth with 1,379 points. Lewis’ teammate, Jason Keller (#35 McDonald’s Ford), who was ranked 10th in the standings following the Mexico City event but fell to 24th after Las Vegas where he finished last due to engine failure, has steadily climbed back into contention, regaining the 10th position with 1,308 points. David Green is tied with Keller in points, but is in 11th place; Keller has one more top-10 finish than Green. Fedewa, Wallace look to share milestone … They entered the NASCAR Busch Series five years apart, but Kenny Wallace and Tim Fedewa (#12 Supercuts Dodge) are scheduled to make career start #325 together in the NASCAR Busch Series Saturday night. Both drivers will be searching for their first win – and first top-five finish – at Charlotte as well. A start by each would put them in a tie for seventh all-time on the series career list. Tommy Houston is first with 417, followed by Elton Sawyer (392), Jason Keller (368), David Green (333), Randy LaJoie (328) and Dale Jarrett (327). Wallace made his first series start in 1988 at Martinsville, while Fedewa began his NASCAR Busch Series career in ‘92 at Darlington.
Truex represents NASCAR Busch Series in NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge … Martin Truex Jr. became only the second NASCAR Busch Series regular to participate in the 21-year history of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge when he was voted by the fans to drive in last Saturday’s event, providing he finished on the lead lap of the NEXTEL Open. Truex didn’t disappoint, finishing 10th in the NEXTEL Open and on the lead lap, he transferred to the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge where he was relegated to 22nd place after being involved in a nine-car accident on Lap 35. Tommy Ellis, the 1988 NASCAR Busch Series champion, participated in the 1991 all-star race for Junior Johnson, finishing 14th.
Bowyer back to racing roots … Taking advantage of an off-week in the NASCAR Busch Series schedule last Friday, Clint Bowyer returned to the track where he won the 2002 NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Midwest Region championship – Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. Bowyer climbed into a Dirt Modified for the track’s 25-lap feature event and finished a close second to local star Kerry Davis. For Bowyer, Lakeside Speedway’s all-time feature winner with 31 victories, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. After borrowing a car from 2004 track champion Tim Karrick, Bowyer had mechanical problems during his heat race and was forced to compete in the “B Main” to earn a transfer spot into the “A Main” where he finished second to Davis. “It was fun to go back and I [nearly] won the race in a guy’s car I had never driven before,” Bowyer said. “It was a heck of a race.”
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Mark Martin has the most NASCAR Busch Series wins at Charlotte (six); he is also the leader in top fives (13), top 10s (13), races led (18) and laps led (1,257) in 26 career races. … Greg Biffle has the best average finish among all NASCAR Busch Series drivers at Lowe’s Motor Speedway with five or more starts (4.7 in eight races). … Michael Waltrip (#99 Aaron’s Sales & Lease Chevrolet) is tied for second among all drivers with 11 top-five and 12 top-10 finishes in 30 races at Lowe’s. He is second all-time in series starts at the track.
Justin Labonte and the #44 U.S. Coast Guard Chevrolet team will host Admiral Thomas H. Collins, the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, this weekend as a prelude to Memorial Day. … Chief Naval Officer Vern Clark will also be in attendance as a guest of FitzBradshaw Racing’s #14 US NAVY Dodge team. …Kevin Harvick has competed in eight NASCAR Busch Series races at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. He has yet to record a win, but he has three Busch Poles, two top-five and five top-10 finishes in those starts. He also holds the qualifying record (184.445 mph in May 2003). … Michel Jourdain Jr. (#10 ppc Racing Ford) can now call Lowe’s Motor Speedway his “home” track. The Mexico City native and former Champ Car standout, who is attempting to become the first Hispanic driver to compete fulltime in the NASCAR Busch Series, is now settled in Mooresville, N.C. with his wife, Nora, and three-month-old son, Michel. … Ryan Newman (#39 ALLTEL Dodge) will attempt to make his first appearance in the NASCAR Busch Series since the 2001 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. … Carl Edwards’ win at Richmond May 13 allowed Ford to build on its lead in the competition for the Bill France Performance Cup. With a two-victory lead over Chevrolet, Ford has the largest lead of the season and heads the manufacturer’s standings entering Charlotte with six wins and 86 points. Chevrolet is second with four wins and 76 points, while Dodge is third with two wins and 66 points. … Hendrick Motorsports development driver Boston Reid, a Logansport, Ind., native, attended a number of Indianapolis 500s with his grandfather, Harold Reid. For the elder Reid, the trek is an annual event – this weekend’s race will mark the 77th consecutive Indy 500 the 94-year-old will attend. “My grandfather’s a pretty amazing guy,” Reid said. “I think it’s awesome that he’s still able to get out and do the things he loves at his age.”
FROM THE ARCHIVES
The 1990 spring NASCAR Busch Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway saw Dale Jarrett pick up his second series win at the track. Dick Trickle won the second Busch Pole of his career with veteran Harry Gant starting on the outside of the front row.
Included in the stellar field were NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champions Darrell Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt along with the likes of Mark Martin, Ernie Irvan, Davey Allison, Kyle Petty, Michael Waltrip and Ken Schrader. A young NASCAR Busch Series regular named Bobby Labonte was in the process of making a name for himself.
Trickle led for a race-high 114 laps, going to the front on four different occasions. He took the lead for the final time on Lap 167 and seemed destined to record his first series win. But it was Jarrett who slipped around Trickle on the last lap, winning the race by a margin of three feet. It was the only lap Jarrett led, and he is still the only NASCAR Busch Series winner to lead only one lap in an event at Lowe’s. Crew chief John Ervin guided the second-generation driver to the win just as he had assisted Jarrett’s father, Ned, to the 1965 NASCAR premier series championship.
ON DECK: DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
The NASCAR Busch Series will make its first of two trips to Dover International Speedway next Saturday, June 4 for the MBNA NASCAR RacePoints 200. Greg Biffle is the defending champion, while David Green was the Busch Pole winner one year ago, his first since March 22, 2003 at Bristol.
Next Race: CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 (Race #13 of 35 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
When: 7:10 p.m. ET, Saturday, May 28.
Track Layout: 1.5-mile oval.
Race Length: 300 miles/200 laps.
Posted Awards: $1,159,088.
TV: FX, 6:30 p.m., ET.
Radio: PRN, XM Satellite.
2004 Winner: Kyle Busch.
2004 Polesitter: Greg Biffle.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Fri., May 27: Practice – 9 – 10:30 a.m.; 11 a.m. – Noon. Qualifying – 5:05 p.m. Cars impounded after qualifying.(NASCAR PR)(5-26-2005)
- Travis Geisler parts ways with DCT Motorsports: NASCAR Busch Series driver Travis Geisler announced Monday that he has parted ways with DCT Motorsports effectively immediately. Geisler, a native of Cranberry Twp, PA, competed in 12 events for DCT Motorsports in 2004 with seven Top-25 finishes and worked full-time for the team. This season Geisler was slated to again run a limited schedule with DCT Motorsports. “As this season has developed, John and Nancy McGill have become more interested in DCT’s position in the points standings than in the past and having two drivers did not align with that goal in the short-term,” said Geisler. “They asked me to continue to be a part of the team for the future, but I did not feel that I could effectively pursue my driving career goals and still give 100% at DCT Motorsports, which wouldn’t be fair to John and Nancy or the rest of the team. Working in the shop full-time has taught me a lot about the NASCAR Busch Series that I believe has made me a better driver and teammate. Leaving the team was a difficult decision, but I leave feeling confident that my contributions made a difference and those that were watching saw my commitment to doing whatever was necessary to advance my driving career. Now, it is time for me get back behind the wheel.” Geisler, a mechanical engineering graduate from Vanderbilt University added, “I wish nothing but the best for the team in their future endeavors. I’m excited about some of the opportunities that have been presented to me recently and I hope to announce something in the near future.” Anyone interested in contacting Travis Geisler can reach him at www.travisgeisler.com.(5-24-2005)
- Yellow Transportation and Sprint to sponsor Kansas Busch race on behalf of United Way: In an unprecedented event, two leading Kansas City area corporations – Yellow Transportation and Sprint – today announced that they would sponsor this year’s NASCAR Busch Series race at Kansas Speedway on behalf of the Greater Kansas City United Ways. The race, to be run on Oct. 8 and televised nationally on NBC, will be known as “United Way 300 presented by Yellow Transportation and Sprint.” Representatives of the two corporations said the goal of their partnership would be to raise the visibility of and level of contributions to this fall’s community-wide fundraising campaign for the Kansas City area’s largest charity. Under terms of the agreement, the Greater Kansas City United Ways – including five United Ways in Kansas and Missouri – will receive numerous assets that will help United Way remind the community of the important role it plays in the everyday lives of thousands of people in the community. The sponsorship package includes race tickets, the right to use the mark/logo in promotional materials and other tools that will assist the United Way in this year’s campaign. In addition to the sponsorship package, Kansas Speedway and the Midwest Ford Dealers are also donating a Ford F150 truck to United Way for use in an upcoming fundraising promotion and the Speedway is contributing an additional block of tickets for the United Ways to use during qualifying day. Yellow Transportation will further enhance the branding effort by converting its #1 Yellow Transportation car [Johnny Sauter] into a special United Way-themed car for the October race. For ticket information, call Kansas Speedway at 913.328.RACE or toll free at 866.460.RACE, visit www.kansasspeedway.com or come by 400 Speedway Blvd., Kansas City, Kan.(Kansas Speedway)(5-24-2005)
- Brown leaves #34 Team UPDATE: Effective today, Teddy Brown, crew chief for the # 34 Frank Cicci racing team has decided to pursue additional racing opportunites. Although the driver and crew chief were both pleased with the positive direction that the team had accomplished, Brown’s decision was made for the best interest of the team at their early building stages. A crew chief has not yet been named at this time. Brown is looking for other opportunites. To contact Teddy Brown, email at email@example.com.(5-18-1005)
UPDATE: NASCAR Nation reports that Wayne Carroll will be the new crew cheif, Carroll was the car chief.(5-19-2005)
AND: Car Chief Wayne Carroll has been appointed Crew Chief on an interim basis for the #34 Dollar General Chevys of veteran driver Randy LaJoie in the NASCAR Busch Series. Carroll succeeds Teddy Brown who is no longer with the organization. The 36-year-old Carroll had served as Car Chief for Reiser Enterprises and the Busch Series cars of Matt Kenseth before moving over to the Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly operation in Mooresville, North Carolina last December. Prior to his tenure at Reiser Enterprises, Carroll had served in a similar post for Michael Waltrip, Inc. and Waltrip’s Busch Series machines. He has also worked on the teams of drivers Geoff Bodine and the late Blaise Alexander since moving south from his native Springfield, Massachusetts. “We are fortunate to have someone with the level of experience that Wayne has to step into such an important position at this juncture of the season”, Cicci said. “Our performance after 12 races has been mixed, and we believe that Wayne has the ability and leadership qualities that we need to get the most out of our equipment and personnel in an effort to get us to the next level.” Carroll’s first event as Crew Chief will be the CarQuest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, NC on Saturday, May 28.(Frank Cicci Racing PR)(5-24-2005)
- Busch Grand Marsahel and Starter at Lowe’s: CARQUEST Auto Parts announced that Al Duebber will serve as Grand Marshal and Richard Robb will be Honorary Starter for the NASCAR Busch Series CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 on Saturday, May 28 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Each year, CARQUEST presents its Excellence Award and selects a TECH-NET Professional/ASE Technician of the Year to those deserving professionals in their chosen field. These awards are unique and act as an industry benchmark as they recognize not only superior performance, but also the continued education of the auto service dealer. Duebber, a 32-year veteran of the automotive repair industry, is the recipient of the 14th annual CARQUEST Excellence Award, which recognizes an independent automobile service business that exemplifies the professionalism and image of people working in the auto service industry. Robb, a 29-year veteran of the automotive repair industry, is the 2004 TECH-NET Professional/ASE Technician of the Year. This annual award recognizes an ASE Certified Master Technician who excels on the ASE automobile certification exams and works at a TECH-NET Professional Service Center. With L-1 certification, Robb owns Hi-Tech Automotive in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. For the nearest CARQUEST location, visit www.CARQUEST.com.(PR)(5-24-2005)
- Congrats: NASCAR Driver Casey Atwood married long-time girlfriend Laura Pride Saturday, May 21st. At present, Atwood doesn’t have a full time gig after running a few Truck Series race for Bobby Hamilton Racing.(5-23-2005)
- New crew chief for the #12 team: FitzBradshaw Racing announced that it has hired Mike Greci as crew chief for driver Tim Fedewa and the #12 SuperCuts/Hot Tamales Dodge Charger. Greci comes to FitzBradshaw Racing from Dale Earnhardt, Inc. where he served as car chief and shock specialist for 2004 NASCAR Busch Series champion Martin Truex Jr. and the #8 team. “My main priority at this time is to organize the team and make sure that we are utilizing all of the skills and talents of each crew member,” said Greci. “I want us to move forward and reach our full potential this season.”
“We are excited to have a permanent crew chief to guide this team,” said team owner Armando Fitz. “I am very proud of the way this team pulled together with all of the changes occurring so early in the season. We now feel that we have a crew chief in place that will stabilize the team and focus its efforts on the track.”
“I think Mike will have a positive impact on this team,” said Fedewa. “He understands the importance of leadership and the value of teamwork. We hope to work together as a team to improve our racing program and earn the finishes that we are capable of.”(FitzBradshaw Racing)(5-20-1004)
- Helping out a buddy: Brian Tyler will drive the Rich Woodland Racing prepared Chevy Monte Carlo in the ARCA Race at Toledo Speedway on Sunday afternoon, May 22nd and will be televised LIVE on SPEED Channel at 2:00pm/et. Lynch Pro-Formance Products based in Redmond, OR will be the Primary Sponsor of the car, with Jayski.com as a major associate sponsor. “It’s great to be teamed up with Brian at a track where we both have some history, and I believe we both have something to prove me as an owner, and Brian as a driver,” said Woodland, whose family coincidently has a history of owning and racing Sprint Cars. “We’re fortunate to be supported by Gary Lynch and his premium line or automotive products and chemicals, and by Jayski.com, one of best known Websites in all of racing.” And what does the future hold for Brian Tyler? “To drive as many races as I can, and to learn all that I can, about stock cars,” said Tyler, a native of Parma, MI. Tylerb s wife, Donna, is the daughter of three-time ARCA Champion Dave Dayton.(Rich Woodland PR) – NOTE: Jayski is helping out friend Rich Woodland in this effort an also sponsors Jason Haynes in the Summer Shootout [#19 Jayski Bandalero] at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and plans to help out Frank Parrish’s kart ride [Parrish is Billy Standridge’s old team manager]….I not looking to sponsor other teams, I am helping a few friends I know and trust and who have helped me in the past.(5-20-2005)
- Purvis back racing: Jeff Purvis has spent three decades on a career roller-coaster ride, from basking in NASCAR’s Victory Circle to fighting for his life after a near-fatal crash. Now he’s going back to where it all began. Purvis ran his first race 30 years ago on Clarksville Speedway, a little dirt track, and that’s where he plans to return for a race Memorial Day weekend. “I chose 15 for my first car number because of how old I was when I started racing,” said Purvis, 45, who won an estimated 350 dirt-track races before moving into NASCAR’s big leagues. “It is my home track. I’ve run a lot of races there and it’s going to be fun to come back.” The May 29 race will be the second dirt track race for Purvis this year. In February he entered a race in Brunswick, Ga., and ran as high as eighth before blowing a tire. Last spring Purvis made national news when he returned to racing after a two-year recuperation from a near-fatal crash. After running the NASCAR Busch Series race at Nazareth, Pa. — the site of his crash — he said he would “sit down and decide” whether to race again. “I’m having trouble deciding what people do without racing,” Purvis said this week as he joked about his “second comeback.” Purvis, who became independently wealthy through business ventures, said he “began racing for the fun of it, not to make a living, and that’s what I’m doing now. I’ve always loved this sport and I guess I always will. I didn’t know how much it meant to me until I lost it.”(Tennessean)(5-18-2005)
- NASCAR Busch Series News and Notes: Off Week
Saturday nights NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge at Lowe’s Motor Speedway is billed as a premier series event, but many of the participating drivers bring solid ties to the NASCAR Busch Series.
Carl Edwards (#60 Charter Communications Ford), who won his second NASCAR Busch Series race of the season at Richmond and has led the point standings for eight consecutive weeks, will participate in the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge due to his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win at Atlanta. Edwards also collected his first NASCAR Busch Series win there, marking the first time in NASCAR history a driver claimed his first national series wins during the same weekend. Edwards is attempting to become the second driver to run a full season in both the NASCAR Busch Series and the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series – duplicating the feat of his Roush Racing teammate and 2002 NASCAR Busch Series champion Greg Biffle (#66 Duraflame Ford).
Martin Truex Jr. (#8 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Chevrolet), the defending NASCAR Busch Series champion, is entered in the NEXTEL Open via his top-50 rank in the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup points standings. Truex is currently fourth in the NASCAR Busch Series points standings, only 47 behind third-place Reed Sorenson (#41 Discount Tire Co. Dodge). Truex also is in the running for a spot in the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge via fan vote, where the driver receiving the highest number of fan votes who also finishes on the lead lap of the NEXTEL Open transfers to the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. Five former NASCAR Busch Series champions – including Biffle – are in the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge field. One, two-time series champion Dale Earnhardt Jr., won the event in 2000. Kevin Harvick, Joe Nemechek and Bobby Labonte also represent former NASCAR Busch Series champions in the all-star field. Brian Vickers, the 2003 champion, and Jeff Green, the 2000 titlist, are entered in the NEXTEL Open along with Truex. “I never thought this would happen,” Truex said of his opportunity to race his way into the All-Star Challenge. “I remember last year at Nazareth all the guys came over to my RV to grill out and watch the All-Star race on TV. Who would have ever thought one year later, we would have the chance to be in the big show?”
NEWS & NOTES, PART II
Former NASCAR Busch Series standouts in all-star form … The 20 drivers qualified for the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge have won a combined total of 190 NASCAR Busch Series races. Jeff Gordon, the four-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion, first made his mark in the NASCAR Busch Series. He has three all-star victories to his credit (1995, ’97, 2001), which ties him with Dale Earnhardt for most all-star wins. Gordon has five wins in 73 career NASCAR Busch Series starts. Earnhardt has the distinction of winning the first NASCAR Busch Series race. Matt Kenseth, the defending NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge champion, has 17 wins in 168 NASCAR Busch Series starts, including his latest two weeks ago at Darlington. Mark Martin, the all-time NASCAR Busch Series wins leader (47) won the all-star event in 1998 – two of those victories came at California and Las Vegas this year.
NASCAR Day celebrated on Friday … NASCAR Day, the second annual nationwide celebration of NASCAR spirit, is set for Friday. For a $5 charitable donation, participants receive a commemorative pin plus the option to wear their favorite NASCAR-themed gear to work. All proceeds benefit Speediatrics, Victory Junction Gang Camp and Speedway Children’s Charities. To date, nearly 2,000 companies nationwide have pledged support, and the offices of 25 governors were expected to make official proclamations of May 20 as NASCAR Day in their states. Pins are available at NASCAR.com, all AutoZone stores and southeastern SunTrust Bank branches.
TV numbers up thanks to Richmond thriller … Viewers tuned to last Friday’s FUNAI 250 at Richmond were treated to an exciting finish as Carl Edwards’ last-lap pass of Elliott Sadler secured his second NASCAR Busch Series win of the year. The event, broadcast on FX, aired directly against the NBA playoffs and showed increases in households and viewers over the 2004 race, also broadcast on FX. Households increased 35% over last year (1,602,000 – 1,189,000) while viewers increased 24% versus the 2004 race (2,099,000 – 1,698,000). Figures are provided by Nielsen Media Research.
Yeley gearing up for fatherhood … Following last week’s race at Richmond where he finished 24th, J.J. Yeley (#18 Vigoro/Home Depot/Chevrolet) headed back to his home in Indianapolis to join his wife, Kristen, who is expecting their first child on June 6. The Yeleys will have a girl, and have chosen the name Faith Anne. Yeley will be participating in a birthing class with his wife this weekend. Following the birth, the family will relocate to Charlotte. “The off-weekend is coming at a great time for me from a personal standpoint because it allows me to spend some time with my wife as we prepare for the birth of our first child,” he said. “We are very excited about the upcoming arrival of Faith Anne, and we appreciate all of the thoughts and prayers from everyone in the NASCAR family.”
Martin Truex Jr. will run a special paint scheme on his #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet in the NEXTEL Open commemorating the 25th anniversary of Dale Earnhart Inc. “It really is a great honor to support [DEI] this weekend,” he said. “That’s a big motivation for us. It will be really cool if we can win the Open and race against Michael [Waltrip] and Dale [Earnhardt] Jr. in the All-Star race. I’m just very fortunate to be a part of this race, but mainly a part of this great organization.” … David Green (#27 Kleenex Ford) is 11th in the standings, but is tied with Jason Keller (#35 McDonald’s Ford) in points with 1,308. Green was 10th following the California race in February, but had a string of sub-par finishes that have forced him to steadily climb to his current ranking. “As we head into our off-weekend, being tied for 10th is a good boost for me and the team,” the 1994 NASCAR Busch Series champion said. “No question, we’re not happy with our results so far and we’re determined to keep on moving up.” … Kenny Wallace (#22 Stacker 2 Ford) will run his dirt track car, “The Herminator,” May 17-19 at various tracks in Illinois and Kentucky. … David Stremme (#14 U.S. NAVY Dodge) was scheduled to land on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt on along with FitzBradshaw Racing teammate Tim Fedewa (#12 Supercuts Dodge) and Team Rensi’s Ashton Lewis Jr. (#25 U.S. Marine Corps Ford) to participate in various activities with the crew. Lewis will continue on to Washington, D.C., where he will take part in ceremonies surrounding the U.S. Marines Memorial Foundation.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Although many NASCAR Busch Series graduates have made a mark in the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge race over the years, Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains the only NASCAR Busch Series champion to win the all-star event. Earnhardt Jr. captured back-to-back NASCAR Busch Series championships in 1998-99 before joining his famous father, Dale Earnhardt, on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series circuit fulltime the following year. The 2000 all-star race consisted of two 30-lap segments and a 10-lap “shootout.” Legendary driver Bill Elliott sat on the pole and won the first two segments. Two laps into the final segment, the caution came out, giving Earnhardt Jr. a chance to pit for four new tires. He was sixth when the green flag flew. Hardly “intimidated,” young Earnhardt passed his father and Jerry Nadeau with three laps remaining to take second place behind Dale Jarrett. Earnhardt Jr. moved into the lead with two laps left and held on for the win, becoming the first rookie to take all-star honors. In an unforgettable moment, the young driver was met in Victory Lane for a congratulatory hug from his father.
ON DECK: LOWE’S MOTOR SPEEDWAY
The NASCAR Busch Series returns to action next weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway for the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300. The series has visited the track twice a year since the series inception in 1982. Kyle Busch is the defending race champion, while Greg Biffle won the pole one year ago.
Next Race: CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 (Race #13 of 35 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
When: 7:10 p.m. ET, Saturday, May 28.
Track Layout: 1.5-mile oval.
Race Length: 300 miles/200 laps.
Posted Awards: $1,159,088.
TV: FX, 6:30 p.m., ET.
Radio: PRN, XM Satellite.
2004 Winner: Kyle Busch.
2004 Polesitter: Greg Biffle.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Fri., May 27: Practice – 9 – 10:30 a.m.; 11 a.m. – Noon. Qualifying – 5:05 p.m. Cars impounded after qualifying.(NASCAR PR)(5-18-2005)
- Two Crew Chiefs Fined for Violations at Richmond: NASCAR officials announced Tuesday that fines have been issued to two NASCAR Busch Series crew chiefs resulting from rule violations during opening day inspection at Richmond International Raceway on May 12. Teddy Brown, crew chief of the #34 Chevy driven by Randy LaJoie and Gordon Gibbs, crew chief for the #57 Chevy driven by Kyle Busch, were each fined $2,500 after being found in violation of Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-CC (unapproved gear ratio).(NASCAR PR)(5-17-2005)
- Edwards bumps to win at Richmond: #60-Carl Edwards gave leader #90-Elliott Sadler, who thought he may have a tire going down, a nudge on the last lap and slid on by to win the FUNAI 250 at Richmond International Raceway on a Green-white-checkered finish after a late wreck involving #12-Stremme and #57-Busch. It is Edwards 2nd win of the season and of his career. Sadler was not happy with the bump and felt it was a dirty move by Edwards. Sadler ended up 2nd followed by #1-Johnny Sauter, pole sitter #79-Kasey Kahne and #66-Greg Biffle. Edwards only led one lap, the final one. #2-Bowyer led the most laps with 66. The win coupled with #2-Bowyer finishing 9th, increases Edwards points lead to 180. 2004 Champ, #-8-Truex Jr. is now a whopping 318 points back in 4th after finishing 38th. There were 13 cautions for 66 laps, including a 13 minute red flag for oil on the track and 10 lead changes among 7 drivers.
Race results at:
- Hank Parker Jr. to sub for Edwards at five races: There are five races on the 2005 Busch Series schedule that are going to require someone other the Carl Edwards to be behind the wheel of the #60 Charter Communications Ford Taurus. That someone will be Hank Parker, Jr. and he is set to fill in for Edwards when his NEXTEL Cup Series obligations prevent him from being in two places at one time. Ideally Parker will only be needed to practice and qualify the car at times, but consequentially he will have to race if weather prevents Edwards from making it to a Busch Series event. Currently there are no scheduling conflicts that would keep Edwards from taking the green flag.
The current NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series schedules present five race challenges for the #60 Team. The first one starting June, 12th at Nashville followed consecutively by Kentucky and Milwaukee. Then Parker assists with Pikes Peak on July 24th and Memphis on October 23rd. Each event has a different set of circumstances and Edwards, Parker and Crew Chief Brad Parrott are coming up with a game plan to make sure they are prepared for each race. They definitely have their challenges. It becomes very tricky when Edwards starts criss-crossing the nation from Milwaukee to Sonoma and from Pocono to Pikes Peak.(Roush Racing)(5-13-2005)
- Kahne wins pole at Richmond: #79-Kasey Kahne won the pole for the FUNAI 250 at Richmond International Raceway with a lap of 128.977mph, the rest of the top five are: #2-Clint Bowyer, #4-Jeff Green, #8-Martin Truex Jr. and #60-Carl Edwards. Missing the race were: #00-Kertus Davis; #58-Brent Sherman; #52-Eric McClure; #7-Jeff Fuller; #72-Geoffrey Bodine.
See Starting lineups:
BGNRacing.com – Starting Lineup
- East’s Busch debut delayed: USAC standout Bobby East was set to make his Busch Series debut in the #46 ST Motorsports Ford in Richmond. However, during a recent test session held on the short track Concord Motorsports Park, East wrecked, canceling his debut.(BGNRacing.com)(5-13-2005)
- More Crew Chief changes at the #12: Mark Tutor, who was the interim crew chief for Tim Fedewa, has parted ways with FitzBradshaw Racing. “The chemistry wasn’t there,” team owner Armando Fitz said.(NASCAR Scene via BGNRacing.com)(5-13-2005)
- New crew chief for Sherman: Chris Wright, a car chief at Brewco Motorsports, is the new crew chief for #58-Brent Sherman. Steve Plattenberger will focus on being competition director for Glynn Motorsports.(NASCAR Scene via BGNRacing.com)(5-13-2005)
- Newman fastest at Lowe’s again: Ryan Newman once again recorded the fastest unofficial speed Tuesday afternoon at Lowe’s Motor Speedway as 29 NASCAR Busch Series teams tested for the inaugural nighttime running of the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 on Saturday, May 28. Scheduled for six hours, the final pre-race test session was cut in half as rain moved into the area just prior to the scheduled dinner break at 6 p.m. Newman, who plans to make his first NASCAR Busch Series start since 2001 in the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300, was clocked at 29.711 seconds, 181.750 mph, in the afternoon heat. His lap was considerably slower than the 184.281 mph speed he recorded in cooler conditions Monday evening aboard the #39 Penske Racing Dodge. Raybestos rookie-of-the-year contender Denny Hamlin was second fastest at 181.068 mph in the #20 Rockwell Automation Chevy. Team owner Robert Yates was in the garage area keeping a close eye on his Busch Series team and driver Elliott Sadler was third fastest on the unofficial stopwatches at 180.505 mph in the #90 CitiFinancial Ford. The session was marred by two single-car crashes. The first came early when Jimmie Johnson lost control of the #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevy in turns three and four and backed into the outside wall. Johnson was able to drive back to the garage area, but the car suffered heavy rear-end damage. The second accident came less than an hour later when a flat left-rear tire sent Jamie McMurray’s #64 Dodge hard into the third-turn wall. McMurray was checked at the Carolinas HealthCare System Infield Care Center and released while members of the Rusty Wallace Inc. team loaded the badly damaged car. The testing session concluded on-track activity prior to the May races at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
The top-10 unofficial speeds:
Showing driver, car number and speed:
1. Ryan Newman, #39, 181.750;
2. Denny Hamlin, #20, 181.068;
3. Elliott Sadler, #90, 180.505;
4. Joe Nemechek, #87, 180.216;
5. Clint Bowyer, #2, 179.928;
6. Carl Edwards, #60, 179.868
7. J.J. Yeley, #18, 179.856;
8. Michel Jourdain Jr., #10, 179.790;
9. Johnny Sauter, #1, 179.658;
10. Jon Wood, #47, 179.545.(Lowe’s Motor Speedway)(5-11-2005)
- NASCAR Busch Series News and Notes: Richmond
Four rookies in top 10 … With the influx of young talent in the NASCAR Busch Series, it should be no surprise that four Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidates are in the top 10 in the points standings. Carl Edwards (#60 Charter Ford) has led the NASCAR Busch Series standings for the last seven weeks, and won at Atlanta. Reed Sorenson (#41 Discount Tire Dodge) is currently third in points and won at Nashville. Hamlin (eighth) and Wood (10th) are the other two rookie candidates in the top 10.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Johnny Sauter (#1 Yellow Dodge) made his first career NASCAR Busch Series start at Richmond International Raceway in 2001 and finished fifth. Sauter won at RIR in the fall of 2003. … Jason Keller (#35 McDonalds/McGriddles Ford) has 22 starts at Richmond and has started on the front row four times. He won the spring race at Richmond in 2002. … Greg Biffle (#66 Duraflame Ford) has an average RIR start of 11.1. … Mark Martin (#9 Pennzoil Ford) will attempt to make his 23rd NASCAR Busch Series start at Richmond.
Ford leads the Bill France Performance Cup standings with 77 points and five wins. Chevrolet is second with 72 points and four wins; Dodge has 60 points and two wins. … Eight former Richmond winners are entered in Friday’s race, including the last three winners of the spring race (Jason Keller, Kevin Harvick – #21 Reese’s Chevrolet and Kyle Busch – #57 Spectracide Triple Strike Grass-Weed-Root Killer Chevrolet). … Busch’s win from the pole at Richmond last year was his first career win. … All three Green brothers (Mark, Jeff and David) will attempt to race against each other again this weekend. At Darlington, David Green (#27 Kleenex Ford) was the highest finishing brother with a 15th-place finish. … In 1989, the spring race at Richmond (which was the second race of the season that year) was canceled because of snow. The race was moved after the 1991 race.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Richmond International Raceway opened in October 1946 as a half-mile dirt track. It was paved in 1968 and became a three-quarters mile speedway in 1988. The last NASCAR Busch Series race to be held on the old half-mile track took place on Sept. 12, 1987.
The 1987 Freedlander 200 was won by Mark Martin and was the first of his record-setting five NASCAR Busch Series wins at Richmond. Driving a Ford owned by B.A. Lawmaster, Martin sat in 16th position as pole sitter Larry Pearson led the 32-car field to the green flag.
Tommy Houston dominated the first half of the race, leading 106 laps. Pre-race favorite Dale Earnhardt, dropped out after 28 laps due to handling problems and never led a lap. Taking the lead at Lap 142, Martin led for two laps before L.D. Ottinger took over. Harry Gant went to the front for 17 laps before Martin took the lead for good on lap 167 (of 180 laps). Martin took home $8,000 for his third career NASCAR Busch Series victory.
What: FUNAI 250 (Race #12 of 35 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, Va.
When: 8:05 p.m. ET, Friday, May 13.
Track Layout: Three-quarter mile oval.
Race Length: 250 laps/187.5 miles.
Posted Awards: $1,023,776.
TV: FX, 7:30 p.m., ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2004 Winner: Kyle Busch.
2004 Polesitter: Kyle Busch.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Fri., May 13: Practice – 9:30 – 11:50 a.m.; p.m. Qualifying – 4:35 p.m. Cars impounded after qualifying.(NASCAR PR)(5-10-2005)
- Wolfe back in the #6 for Richmond: Unilever Foods and Evernham Motorsports announced today that Paul Wolfe will be back in the driver’s seat of #6 Hungry Drivers Dodge Charger for this weekend’s Funai 250 at Richmond International Raceway as well as NASCAR Busch Series events at Dover and Nashville. Kasey Kahne will drive the #6 Dodge at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Wolfe, who shared driving duties of the #6 Hungry Drivers Dodge in 2004 with three other up and coming drivers, ran the first three NASCAR Busch Series events of the 2005 season including Daytona, California and Las Vegas. Jeremy Mayfield and Kasey Kane [and Mike Wallace] have since split driving duties of the #6 Dodge. The team’s highest finish of the season is an eighth-place finish this past weekend at Darlington Raceway with Jeremy Mayfield behind the wheel.(Hungry Drivers Racing)(5-10-2005)
- Newman fastest at Lowe’s, today final day: #39-Ryan Newman showed he is a threat to win the pole no matter the division, posting the fastest unofficial lap Monday evening as 29 NASCAR Busch Series teams tested at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in preparation for the inaugural nighttime running of the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 on Saturday, May 28. NASCAR Busch Series point leader #60-Carl Edwards was among four drivers who walked away from grinding crashes during the six-hour testing session. #14-David Stremme, #38-Tyler Walker and #88-Brian Sockwell were the others who tested the SAFER barriers. The unofficial watches caught Newman with a lap of 29.303 seconds, 184.281 mph, in his new #39 Penske Racing Dodge. Newman, who plans to makes his first Busch Series start since 2001 in the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300, did not participate in the last week’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series testing sessions and this was his first time on the recently renovated 1.5-mile superspeedway. Shane Hmiel was second fastest on the unofficial stopwatches at 183.032 mph in the #32 WIN Fuel Chevy. Greg Biffle recorded the third fastest lap at 182.729 mph in the #66 Duraflame Ford with defending Busch Series champion Mark Truex Jr. next on the chart at 182.716 mph in the #8 Bass Pro Shops Chevy Stremme was the first to make wall contact when his #14 Dodge slammed the wall early in the session. Stremme was able to drive back to the garage, but the car suffered heavy right-side damage and he was finished for the evening. Sockwell was next to find the wall when he spun the #88 Chevy shortly after the dinner break. Like Stremme, Sockwell was able to drive back to the garage area. Edwards was checked and released from the Carolinas HealthCare System Infield Care Center after a hard crash when his #60 Ford slammed the turn four wall near the end of the session and Tyler Walker crashed the #38 Dodge with less than 15 minutes remaining.
NASCAR Busch Series teams will be on the track again Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The six-hour session concludes testing for the track’s slate of May races.
Fans can attend the final NASCAR Busch Series testing session free of charge. Lowe’s Motor Speedway’s frontstretch grandstand will be open and fans should enter through Gate 5A, located next to the main ticket office.
The top-10 unofficial speeds:
Showing driver, car number and speed: 1. Ryan Newman, #39, 184.281;
2. Shane Hmiel, #32, 183.032;
3. Greg Biffle, #66, 182.729;
4. Martin Truex Jr., #8, 182.716;
5. Reed Sorenson, #41, 182.402;
6. Jimmie Johnson, #48, 182.303;
7. Kevin Harvick, #21, 182.205;
8. Bobby Hamilton, #95,181.855;
9. Tyler Walker, #38, 181.415;
10. Paul Menard, #11, 181.342.(Lowe’s Motor Speedway)(5-10-2005)
- Two Crew Chiefs Fined for Darlington Violations: NASCAR announced Tuesday that fines have been issued to two NASCAR Busch Series crew chiefs resulting from rule violations during opening day inspection at Darlington Raceway on May 5.
Blake Bainbridge, crew chief of the #64 Dodge driven by Jamie McMurray, was fined $2,500 after violating Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-CC (unapproved rear end gear ratio) of the NASCAR Busch Series rule book.
Ronnie Griffin, crew chief of the #0 Chevrolet driven by Kertus Davis, was fined $500 after violating Sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components, and/or equipment that do not conform to NASCAR rules) for an unapproved jacking bolt.(NASCAR PR)(5-10-2005)
- Testing at Lowe’s: More than 25 NASCAR Busch Series teams will be testing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway Monday and Tuesday on Monday, May 9, and Tuesday, May 10 in preparation for the inaugural nighttime running of the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 on Saturday, May 28. Testing will run from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Teams fielding cars for the following drivers have indicated their intention to participate with more expected:
Clint Bowyer, Ryan Hemphill, Martin Truex Jr., Michel Jourdain Jr., Paul Menard, J.J. Yeley, Bobby Labonte, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Kenny Wallace, Mark Green, Scott Riggs, Dave Blaney, Shane Hmiel, Tony Raines, Kasey Kahne, Reed Sorenson, Jimmie Johnson, Brent Sherman, Greg Biffle, Elliott Sadler, Michael Waltrip, Ryan Newman and A.J. Fike. Fans can attend both of the NASCAR Busch Series testing sessions free of charge. Lowe’s Motor Speedway’s frontstretch grandstand will be open both days and fans should enter through Gate 5A, located next to the main ticket office.(Lowe’s Motor Speedway)(5-7-2005)
- Kenseth wins at Darlington: #17-Matt Kenseth won the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 at Darlington Raceway, his 18th career Busch Series win. The rest of the top five were #22-Kenny Wallace, #8-Martin Truex Jr., #66-Greg Biffle and #21-Jeff Burton. #60-Carl Edwards maitains the points lead with a 11th place finish. There were no changes in the top five in drivers points. Pole sitter #5-Jimmie Johnson finished 23rd.
Race results at:
- Johnson wins the pole at Darlington: #5-Jimmie Johnson won the pole for the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 at Darlington Raceway with a speed of 168.186mph. The rest of the top-5 are #57-Brian Vickers, #46-Robert Pressley, #40-Sterling Marlin, and #32-Shane Hmiel. Only one driver missed the race, #52-Eric McClure.
See Starting lineups:
BGNRacing.com – Starting Lineup
- Special Scheme for J.J. at Darlington: J.J. Yeley will sport a new look this week in Darlington. Yeley’s #18 Chevy will feature a similar decal scheme, but the traditional white and orange paint will become black and orange for Friday evening’s Diamond Hill Plywood 200 at “The Lady in Black”, Darlington Raceway.(Vigoro Racing PR)(5-6-2005)
- Vickers in the #57 with Pizza Hut: On Friday at Darlington Raceway, Brian Vickers will begin a limited 2005 NASCAR Busch Series schedule in the #57 Chevrolets of Hendrick Motorsports, Pizza Hut will be the sponsor at Darlington. Vickers next Busch race will be at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the scheme on my Busch Series Paint Scheme page.(5-6-2005)
- Mayflower and Burton at Bristol: Jeff Burton will drive the #29 Mayflower Chevy in the August Bristol Busch Series race. See an image of the scheme on my Busch Series Paint Scheme page.(5-6-2005)
- Rain washes out Thursday practice: Rain caused practice for the NASCAR Busch and NEXTEL Cup Series at Darlington Raceway to be delayed until Friday morning. Busch Series practice is scheduled to run from 9:30 to 11:00am/et and Cup practice from 11:10am to 12:30pm/et. Busch Pole Qualifying remains scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET with Nextel Cup Bud Pole Qualifying to follow and the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 set to go green at 8:05pm/et.(Darlington Raceway site/NASCAR.com), however, rain is in the forcast all day until around 6:00pm/et on Friday. For weather info at Darlington, see Raceweather.net or The weather.com.(5-5-2005)
- New #6 Crew Chief? UPDATE: It was mentioned on Speed Channel’s Busch Series Qualifying that the #6 Team recently hired Trip Bruce as the crew chief, Elton Sawyer was the crew chief, not sure what is up there.(4-22-2005)
UPDATE: Evernham Motorsports and Unilever Foods officially announced today that Trip Bruce has been named Crew Chief of the #6 Hungry Drivers Racing Dodge team and will lead the organization’s NASCAR Busch Series program. Elton Sawyer, will take over as Team Manager, overseeing Evernham Motorsports NASCAR Busch Series program and the day-to-day operations of the #6 Hungry Drivers team. (Hungry Drivers PR)(5-4-2005)
- McGriddles on the #35: The # 35 McDonald’s Racing Ford , driven by Jason Keller will run a special McGriddles Paint Scheme the next two races [Darlington and Richmond]. Participating McDonald’s restaurants nationwide now offer McGriddles breakfast sandwiches as permanent menu items. McGriddles breakfast sandwiches provide an innovative way for customers to eat warm golden griddle cakes (with the sweet taste of maple syrup baked right in), and different combinations of savory sausage, crispy bacon, fluffy eggs and melted cheese in a convenient sandwich.(Team Rensi)(5-4-2005)
- Penalties from Talladega: NASCAR announced Wednesday that rule infractions this past weekend at Talladega Superspeedway have resulted in probation for two NASCAR Busch Series competitors. Kevin Lepage, driver of the #71 Chevrolet, was placed on probation until July 6, 2005. Lepage violated Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Busch Series rule book (actions detrimental to stock car racing) by failing to follow a directive from a NASCAR official while stopped on pit road.
Kenneth Campbell, crew chief of the #23 Chevrolet driven by Mark Green, was fined $10,000 and placed on probation until December 31, 2005 after violating Sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used that do not conform to NASCAR rules) for an unapproved roof flap modification. The violation was determined during pre-qualifying inspection.
In addition, Gregg Mixon, crew chief of the #7 Chevrolet driven by Greg Sacks, was fined $500. During pre-qualifying inspection the #7 was found to be in violation of Sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q for an unapproved air directional device.(NASCAR PR)(5-4-2005)
- J.J. Yeley to Sport a New Look at Darlington: J.J. Yeley will sport a new look on his #18 Vigoro/Home Depot Chevrolet this weekend for the NASCAR Busch Series race at Darlington Raceway on Friday night. Yeley’s ride will feature a similar decal scheme, but the traditional white and orange paint will become black and orange for Friday evening’s Diamond Hill Plywood 200 at “The Lady in Black”, Darlington Raceway.(Vigoro Racing)(5-4-2005)
- Toyota to Busch Series in 2006: NASCAR has confirmed that Toyota intends to compete in the Busch Series in 2006 and is an active participant in discussions about the next generation of Nextel Cup cars and engines, which are slated to debut in 2007, or perhaps 2008. Bill Davis Racing, the lead development team in Toyota’s truck project, is likely also developing Toyota’s Busch entry, though little specific information has come to light yet.(Speed Channel)(5-4-2005)
- Hemphill out, Green in: Jeff Green, the 2000 NASCAR Busch Series champion and winner of the spring 2001 race at Darlington, will replace Ryan Hemphill in the #4 GEICO Dodge this weekend.(NASCAR PR via BGNRacing.com)(5-4-2005)
- 2nd Braun team? UPDATE 2: hearing there could be a 2nd full time Braun Racing team soon with the American Legion as the sponsor, no word on a driver.(4-7-2005)
UPDATE: Kerry to have a Busch ride? Kerry Earnhardt, who has been a test driver for DEI since being released from his ride in #15 Billy Ballew’s entry in the Craftsman Truck Series, is on the verge of signing a contract to return to the Busch Series, where he was a regular competitor in 2002 and 2003.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution), hearing Earnhardt will be driving the 2nd Braun Chevy, makes sence with the DEI connections.(4-29-2005)
HOWEVER: Kerry Earnhardt has not been in discussion with Todd Braun about driving a second entry for Braun Racing in the Busch Series. There are a number of opportunities under consideration for Kerry to continue racing in both the Busch Series and Truck Series during the 2005 season.(Earnhardt PR via BGNRacing.com)(5-4-2005)
- NASCAR Busch Series News and Notes: Darlington
Already labeled as the track “Too Tough to Tame,” yet another challenge awaits at Darlington Raceway on Friday night. The first race under the lights at the historic track will be contested by the drivers and teams of the NASCAR Busch Series. And Darlington’s trademark unpredictability – now heightened by the flip of a switch – will play directly into the hands of the season to date. A prime example: Although Carl Edwards (#60 Charter Communications Ford) held on to the lead in the points standings for the sixth consecutive week, he lost 42 points off that advantage to Clint Bowyer (#2 ACDelco Chevrolet), who now stands in second place. Edwards finished out of the top 10 in a race for the first time this season at Talladega (33rd), while Bowyer managed to bypass Reed Sorenson (#41 Discount Tire Co. Dodge) despite his 19th-place finish. Sorenson finished 32nd for the second consecutive race and fell from second to third in the standings. In fact, drivers ranked in positions two through 10 prior to Talladega find themselves in different slots heading to Darlington. One of those – Greg Biffle (#66 Duck Tape Ford), the defending champion of this race, dropped out of the Top 10 and was replaced by Jon Wood (#47 Clorox/Wisk Ford). However, David Stremme (#14 U.S. NAVY Dodge), who gained the most places in the standings following his third-place finish at Talladega and finished fifth in this event last year, is not at all deterred by the venue famous for tagging drivers – veterans and rookies alike – with a “Darlington stripe.”
“We’re on a real roll coming into Darlington,” Stremme said. “We’ve had two third-place finishes in a row, and we’re looking to do at least that well this week. It’s going to be a really challenging event as we run under the lights for the first time. This team thrives on challenges, so we’ll really enjoy whatever is thrown at us this weekend.”
Talladega race boasts near-record numbers … Based on preliminary national results from Nielsen Media Research, the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega last Saturday was the second-most viewed non-Daytona NASCAR Busch Series event in broadcast history, based on both average number of households and viewers who tuned in. An average of 5.0 million viewers and 3.6 million households watched the race aired on FOX, an increase of 78% and 63% respectively, over the 2004 event also broadcast on FOX. The 2005 Telcel Motorola 200 in Mexico City is the most-viewed non-Daytona event in NASCAR Busch Series history.
NEWS & NOTES, PART II
Keller, Davis represent Palmetto State … South Carolina will be represented at Darlington by Jason Keller (#35 McDonald’s Ford), who hails from Greenville and Kertus Davis (#0 RACEGIRL Chevrolet), who is from Gaffney. Keller, who has finished in the NASCAR Busch Series Top 10 eight times in his 11 fulltime seasons, has yet to win at Darlington in 23 series races, and says a victory at the egg-shaped oval would be a career highlight. “It would be right there, one or two on the list,” he said. “People say it’s a hometown track for me. It’s not really a hometown track, but it is very special in that any time people compare me in the state of South Carolina – there’s not a whole lot of South Carolina natives out here – but with Darlington being the South Carolina race track and kind of the symbol of NASCAR racing in South Carolina, it would be extremely special. I’ve had some good runs there, but I’ve never really been able to contend for the win. It’d be huge, and I don’t know any other way to describe it.” Davis, meanwhile, heads home after collecting his first NASCAR Busch Series top-10 finish last week at Talladega (10th).
Veteran NASCAR Busch Series official Babb recovering … Pete Babb, NASCAR’s senior official who has served the sport for more than 50 years working in a variety of capacities, is recovering from cardiac surgery that was performed on Monday, May 2 at Carraway Methodist Medical Center in Birmingham, Ala. Babb, who celebrated his 78th birthday on April 30, has most recently been a fixture in the NASCAR Busch Series garage. He was at his post at Talladega Superspeedway last weekend before being transported to the hospital. Babb will remain at Carraway before returning to his home in Chesapeake, Va., to continue his recovery. “Pete is a beloved and respected figure,” said NASCAR Vice President of Communications Jim Hunter. “He will be in everyone’s thoughts and prayers. We wish him all the best. People like Pete Babb helped make NASCAR the great sport it is today.”
Mother’s Day weekend celebrated at Darlington … Mother’s Day is Sunday and the drivers in the NASCAR Busch Series are remembering how their moms helped shape their lives and careers. “I’m going to tell my mother how much I love her and take her out to eat,” Kenny Wallace (#22 Stacker 2 Ford) said. “I’m going to show my appreciation to my mother because she’s so wonderful. She raised two great brothers in Rusty and Mike and I am thankful for that. I’m going to gather everybody up and have a great old time. She was a good driver in her day. She won a lot of ‘Powder Puff’ races.” … Stanton Barrett (#36 Tuscon Tobacco Chevrolet) credits his mother for his competitive nature. “We’re all lucky my mom didn’t decide to try stock car racing,” Barrett said. “With her drive, no doubt she could beat all of us.” Penny McCoy, Barrett’s mom, remains the youngest person to win a medal in World Cup skiing, and was a member of the 1964 U.S. Olympic Ski Team. “I get a lot [of competitive drive] from my dad,” Barrett said, “but my mom is so competitive, and she learned that on a world stage. That carried over to me.” … Michel Jourdain, Jr. (#10 ppc Racing Ford) will be off for Mother’s Day in the United States, but will be working on Monday, May 9, Mother’s Day in his native Mexico. Jourdain is scheduled to test at Richmond.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Jeff Burton (#21 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Chevrolet) seeks his 22nd series start at Darlington. Among drivers entered, he has the most wins (four), is tied for third in Busch Poles (three), is third in top fives (nine) and top 10s (13), second in laps led (684) and fourth in races led (10). His average finish of 10.4 is fifth; Matt Kenseth (#17 Waste Management Ford), who won at Darlington in the spring 1999 event, leads that category with a 5.0 finish in his previous 10 races. … Dale Jarrett (#90 Citifinancial Ford) will attempt to make his 28th NASCAR Busch Series start at Darlington Friday night, breaking a tie with Tommy Houston for most series starts at the track. Jarrett has consecutive NASCAR Busch Series wins at Darlington to his credit – the fall, 1990 race and again in the spring of 1991.
Jeff Green, the 2000 NASCAR Busch Series champion and winner of the spring 2001 race at Darlington, will replace Ryan Hemphill in the #4 GEICO Dodge this weekend. All three Green brothers are now entered at Darlington, with 1994 NASCAR Busch Series champion David (#27 Kleenex Ford) the only one guaranteed a starting position in the race. Mark will have to qualify the #23 Vassarette Chevrolet on time as will Jeff in the #4. … Jimmie Johnson, the current NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series points leader, will drive the #5 Lowe’s Chevrolet in the NASCAR Busch Series event at Darlington. … Robert Pressley (#46 Edy’s Ford), who won at Darlington in the spring 1992 race, will attempt to make his first appearance in the NASCAR Busch Series this year and his first since the final race of the 2004 season at Homestead-Miami. Pressley is driving a third entry for ST Motorsports – he competed for the team last year on a fulltime basis, his first season-long ride in a decade. Pressley is currently running in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series where he is 16th in points. … Bobby Hamilton (#95 Sadler Motorsports Dodge), the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion who is second in that series’ point standings, is also entered in Friday night’s race. … NASCAR Busch Series teams will have an opportunity to test at New Hampshire International Speedway from July 4 – 6. The New England 200 is scheduled for July 16.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Darlington Raceway has been on the NASCAR Busch Series schedule since the series’ inaugural season of 1982. The spring race, known today as the Diamond Hill Plywood 200, has been run 22 times. This event has produced six winners from the pole position, the most of any race on the circuit. In 1984, Ron Bouchard was the first pole winner to capture this race. Bouchard set the fastest time with a speed of 151.815 mph. He led 21 laps and dodged 10 cautions to win over fellow NASCAR Modified Series graduate Geoffrey Bodine by just a half of a car length. Bodine won poles and races in the both 1988 and 1989 events, beating Harry Gant and Mark Martin, respectively. Martin became the third driver to win Darlington’s spring race from the pole. He led the most laps and won over Larry Pearson by just .57 of a second in 1994. Martin repeated the feat in 2000 when he wheeled his Jack Roush Ford to victory over Matt Kenseth by a mere .192 of a second. Jeff Burton is the most recent driver to win the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 from the Busch Pole. Burton took the front spot for the 2002 event with a run of 168.250 mph and led every lap of the 147-lap race. He is one of only 10 NASCAR Busch Series race winners to have led every lap.
What: Diamond Hill Plywood (Race #11 of 35 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Darlington Raceway, Darlington, S.C.
When: 8:05 p.m. ET, Friday, May 6.
Track Layout: 1.366-mile oval.
Race Length: 200 miles/147 laps.
Posted Awards: $1,006,587.
TV: FX, 7:30 p.m., ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2004 Winner: Greg Biffle.
2004 Polesitter: Kyle Busch.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Thur., May 5: Practice – 4 – 5:00 p.m.; 6:20 – 7:05 p.m. Fri., May 6: Qualifying – 3:30 p.m. Cars impounded after qualifying.(NASCAR PR)(5-4-2005)
- Finch to Chevy? The fallout and hard feelings from the big-carburetor episode at Texas may see #1 Busch Series car owner James Finch switch from Dodge to another manufacturer, possibly Chevy.(AJC)(5-2-2005)