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November 1999 News Archives


 

  • (11-30-1999)
  • No Martin at Banquet: Due to his strict orders of bed rest, #6 Valvoline Ford driver Mark Martin will not be able to attend Friday’s NASCAR Winston Cup Awards Banquet in New York, but will tape his speech in advance to be shown during the banquet. Martin finished 3rd in the Drivers Standings(JMar Express Newsletter)(11-30-1999)
  • #9 and Skoal? UPDATE, NOPE: the CTS StockCarFans newsletter reports that Stacy Compton will have Skoal and US Tobacco as his sponsor on the #9 Melling Ford in the Winston Cup Series. And along with Compton leaving Impact Motorsports(#86 RC Cola Dodge truck team), it reports that crew chief Kevin Cram will be joining the #31 team(Cup?) but not sure in what capacity(StockCarFans CTS Newsletter). I have heard it was Kodiak who is made by Conwood Brands. Plus Skoal said when they announced they were leaving the #33 that they were probably be out of the sport and would probably stay in the Rodeo(That’s Racin’), so we’ll see which it is if either(11-29-1999) — UPDATE Compton Signs: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series star Stacy Compton became the sixth NASCAR Winston Cup Series 2000 “Rookie of the year” candidate today when he announced he will drive Mark Melling’s #9 Fords in the 2000 Winston Cup season sponsored by Conwood Company of Memphis, TN, a marketer of smokeless tobacco products. Earlier this year, the Melling team moved into a new facility, and started building their own chassis in-house. They also reunited with Ernie Elliott, and the team will once again have Elliott engines under the hood of the #9. Team Manager Jeff Buice said other off-season changes include adding a few experienced employees and a chassis dyno at the team’s Concord, NC shop. Conwood Company officials said they will meet in December to determine some of the promotional aspects of their 20th anniversary in NASCAR Winston Cup competition(Melling PR) Note: Conwood makes Kodiak smokeless tobacco products among others….not Skoal(US Tobacco)(11-30-1999)
  • Musgrave News? hearing Ted Musgrave should be making his announcement for his new 2000 ride this week and I hear it will not be a Cal Wells R&D deal(11-30-1999)
  • WoO and Cup UPDATE: Three Pennzoil World of Outlaws(WoO) Series races will be run in conjunction with the Cup Series events in 2000. They will run twice at Lowe’s Motor Speedway(Charlotte) and once at Texas Motor Speedway in conjunction with Winston Cup events. Ground was broken in August for dirt tracks at TMS and LMS, both owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc(SpeedNet) — UPDATE: oops on the WoO…they will also run at Las Vegas the same weekend as the Cup cars(11-30-1999)
  • #75 Sponsor: Redmond Capital Corporation has entered into an agreement with Galaxy Motorsports to co-sponsor the #75 Galaxy Motorsports Ford with Turner Broadcasting for the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup series. Turner Broadcasting, via Cartoon Network, has been a primary Winston Cup sponsor for the past four seasons(#’s 29 and 9). During the 1999 season, Turner Broadcasting introduced other assets to the race team, including TBS Superstation and its popular franchise Dinner & A Movie, the Atlanta Braves and WCW. Of the 34 races in the Winston Cup series, Redmond Capital’s subsidiary, Redcell Batteries, will appear as cosponsor with Cartoon Network at the Daytona 500 on February 20, 2000 and at Darlington on September 5, 2000. Redcell will appear as the primary sponsor at six major races and will be an associate sponsor for a further 19 races. Redmond Capital expects this association to provide a multitude of opportunities to generate brand recognition for Redcell Batteries as well as corporate recognition for Redmond Capital as it forges a presence in the NASCAR Winston Cup community. Redmond Capital finances and develops companies in the family entertainment multimedia sector. Subsidiaries of the company include Sirius Animation, Shoozoo.com, Cybergarden.com and Redcell Batteries(PRN Newswire/Yahoo/PR)(11-30-1999)
  • #75 News: hearing Team Manager, Troy Selberg has left the #75 Galaxy Motorsports to pursue other opportunities including returning as a crew chief(11-30-1999)
  • Hut gets a Gig: Xpress Motorsports, the team that fielded the #61 IWX Motor Freight Pontiac in the BGN series in 1999. Veteran driver Hut Stricklin will drive the #61 Pontiac in a complete BGN schedule in 2000. Along with making the announcement about Stricklin as the driver, the team is also making a change in the crew chief position. Craig Huartson will assume the crew chief position with the team effective immediately. Dave Fuge will continue as the team manager for Xpress Motorsports. Huartson, 41, has been the car chief for Xpress Motorsports since July. Prior to coming to Xpress, Huartson was the Technical Support Group Manager for Diamond Ridge Motorsports since 1997. The team is actively seeking sponsorship programs for next season and beyond. While that search is ongoing, the crew is busy rebuilding the fleet of eight Pontiac cars that Stricklin will have at his disposal next season(Xpress PR)(11-30-1999)
  • Not NASCAR but.. Alex Zanardi is expected to be dropped by the Williams team after a disastrous return to Formula 1 this season which saw the 33-year-old two-time CART champion fail to score a single point(Racer Magazine) just thought this was shocking, have heard NO rumors on Zanardi going to Cup by the way(11-30-1999)
  • Branch Closing? UPDATE hearing that Mirachem Corporation which competes with Safety Kleen in the parts washer business has closed the Mooresville, NC branch office, checked their website but saw nothing pertaining to this — UPDATE: Just heard from the Mirachem folks who say the Mooresville office is being relocated to a new Service Center in Concord, NC, whicch is one of several Service centers that are opening in the region(11-30-1999)

    (11-29-1999)

  • None

(11-28-1999)

  • Kersee/Daytona: Bob Kersee, who co-owns a Winston Cup team with his wife, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Kurt Roehrig, said he still plans to debut the team(#19?) at the 2000 Daytona 500 despite the fact he has no major sponsor. Kersee, who would be the only black owner of a full-time Winston Cup team, said he has held talks with some major companies, but still hasn’t been able to come up with the estimated $8 million it will take to run the team in 2000Las Vegas Sun(11-28-1999)
  • Leffler wins: Irwindale Speedway closed its inaugural racing season Thursday night before a capacity crowd of 6,500 by showcasing one of the most intense and entertaining races in the 59-year history of the Home Depot Turkey Night Midget Grand Prix. Tony Stewart and Jason Leffler, three-time U.S. Auto Club midget car champion–and soon to be Stewart’s NASCAR teammate–raced nose to tail and sometimes side by side for 100 laps around the half-mile paved oval. After swapping the lead six times officially and numerous other times when they passed and repassed each other on the same lap, Leffler swept past Stewart on the first turn of the 99th lap to win midget car racing’s most prestigious event after Stewart’s engine failed. Kenny Irwin also ran the ran(LA Times)(11-28-1999)

    (11-27-1999)

  • Team Gordon looking for help: Due to the creation of their new NASCAR Winston Cup team, Team Gordon/Irvan-Simo have a number of open positions. If you have Winston Cup experience, you can fax your resume, see the Team Gordon Site for the number and info(11-27-1999)
  • Cope to Replace Compton: Mike Cope will drive an Impact Motorsports Dodge truck in 2000 replacing Stacy Compton who is expected to drive the #9 Ford for the Winston Cup Melling team in 2000(Winston Cup Scene)(11-27-1999)

    (11-26-1999)

  • Yarborough Sold? UPDATE Yep: hearing the #98 Cale Yarborough team has been sold, no word on the buyer but I hear it is not Robby Gordon or Bob Lane(11-23-1999) — UPDATE: Cale Yarborough has sold his Winston Cup #98 team to a group of investors headed by Tampa, FL, businessman Tony Misuraca. Misuraca, who also owns motocross and supercross motorcycle teams, was at Yarborough’s shop in Concord, NC, Wednesday and is trying to tie up some loose ends. Yarborough will still have a part ownership role and the team will be known as Misuraca-Yarborough Enterprises. Among Misuraca’s first jobs, he said, will be to try to get driver Rick Mast back for the 2000 season, and to keep Universal Studios on as the team’s sponsor. Mast has been rumored to be headed for Larry Hedrick’s #41 Chevrolet team next season(The State, SC)(11-25-1999) — UPDATE 2: similar story at Racer Magazine(11-26-1999)
  • Martin Update 2: Mark Martin(#6 Valvoline driver), who underwent successful lumbar fusion surgery Monday, will remain in the Bert Fish Medical Center in New Smyrna Beach, FL, over Thanksgiving. He’s scheduled to be released Friday and will return to his home in Daytona Beach to begin therapy, a six-week rehabilitation regimen(Racer Magazine)(11-25-1999) — UPDATE: For those who’d like to send get-well wishes to Martin, here’s the address: Mark Martin c/o Roush Racing 122 Knob Hill Road Mooresville, NC 28115(J-Mar Express Newsletter)(11-26-1999)
  • Neil’s son to ASA: David Bonnett will run for the rookie title on the American Speed Association circuit next year. Bonnett, whose late father, Neil, won 18 Cup races, will be sponsored by Focus Golf System, the licensee for Dunlop’s North American market(Fayetteville Observer)(11-26-1999)
  • NASCAR Water: Director of Special Projects Barry Richards today that Millennium Spring Water is now the water of choice for 16 Winston Cup and 31 Busch Series teams! Also announced was the completion of a deal with Winston Cup driver, Rusty Wallace to market a signature edition of Millennium Spring water featuring the Champion’s signature and photo. This product is expected on store shelves before year end. Fans and consumers are encouraged to visit the company’s website at: www. millenniumspringwater.com, photos from the recent Phoenix races and pictures of the Signature Series bottles may be viewed under the NASCAR heading displayed on the home page. Richards welcomed The Wood Brothers into Team Millennium as their newest member after discussion at PIR and was pleased to note they were supplied with spring water for the Homestead festivities. Barry and company officials were at Homestead this past weekend to visit with the teams personally and explore marketing opportunities(Millennium Spring Water PR)(11-26-1999)
  • Habitat for Humanity: In addition to having the best rookie season in NASCAR Winston Cup history, Tony Stewart found time to do a good deed. Stewart and his team owner, Joe Gibbs, participated in a Habitat for Humanity project with the support of sponsor Home Depot. Stewart and Gibbs rolled up their sleeves, pitched in, and helped build a house for a family who needed a home but couldn’t afford one. It was a good deed by a couple of good guys, and because of their help a family in Charlotte, N.C., has a new home this winter(The Tennessean in part)(11-26-1999)

    (11-25-1999)

  • Irvan-Simo Racing: from what I understand, Irvan-Simo Racing will run Robby Gordon full-time in the #13 and, assuming sponsorship is secured, will run Boris Said in a second car in selected races(11-25-1999)
  • Not NASCAR but… Championship Auto Racing Teams owners voted unanimously last week to retire the number 99 worn on the car of the late Greg Moore, who was killed in an accident during the 1999 Marlboro 500 at California Speedway(Racer Magazine)(11-25-1999)

    (11-24-1999)

  • Winners: This is the fifth straight year that there have been 11 different winners in a season (1995-99). Every winner in 1999 was from a multi-car team. The last time a single-car team scored a victory was by Ricky Rudd at Martinsville in September 1998(NOL)(11-24-1999)
  • Ford leads: Fords claimed 49.4 percent of all top-five finishes this season with Pontiac at 25.9 percent and Chevrolet at 24.7 percent(Depot)(11-24-1999)

    (11-23-1999)

  • More Irvan-Gordon UPDATE: Ernie Irvan said he is considering leasing the shop he co-owns with Mark Simo to Robby Gordon’s team next season. Gordon also could buy the four or five cars that are built and ready in the shop. Irvan planned to run the team but has not found a 2000 sponsor. About a week ago he was contacted by Gordon about the potential lease. Simo is meeting with Gordon later this week, and Irvan expects everything to be finalized in the next few days. The plan also could benefit the Irvan-Simo team. Current employees could be kept on and gain needed experience working with Gordon. Irvan said any potential role with the team has not been clarified. There is the possibility that he could work with Gordon during the upcoming year(Times-Dispatch)(11-23-1999) — UPDATE: Robby Gordon announced Tuesday he has entered into a relationship with Irvan/Simo Racing that allows use of all Irvan/Simo assets next season, with an option for 2001, while Team Gordon constructs its own, new North Carolina facility. Those Irvan/Simo Racing assets include the Mooresville, N.C., facility, equipment, cars, employees and a merchandising program through the Mark Simo-owned clothing company, No Fear. Team Gordon also announced plans to campaign the Ford Taurus for the upcoming season. The car will use “lucky” number 13, a number it hopes fans will find endearing. The Irvan/Simo relationship also extends Gordon’s association with Mark Simo and the No FearClothing Company, which will assemble and operate the team’s merchandise program, both trackside and in retail outlets. On the racing front, Ernie Irvan comes on board as an advisor to Gordon and co-owners Held and John Menard. His role will be as a mentor, to ease the transition from the CART series, where Team Gordon successfully debuted in 1999, to the extremely competitive 34-race NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule. Lee Morse, Irvan/Simo Racing general manager, will lead the ship, rekindling a relationship Gordon had with Morse during his sedan years with the Ford Motor Company. The team is also working on one of the last pieces to the puzzle — hiring a crew chief to couple with Jerry Baxter and Doug Louth. An announcement is expected in the next two weeks(in part from the Official Ernie Irvan Site)(11-23-1999)
  • Burdette Back? sources tell me that former #98 team part owner, Wayne Burdette is looking to come back into the Cup Series with…get this…Baywatch (yep the show) as a sponsor in some way(11-23-1999)
  • DW Just Frustrated: Darrell Waltrip said he was speaking out in frustration when he told an Atlanta TV station last weekend that he might not return for next season’s planned farewell tour(Tennessean by Larry Woody)(11-23-1999)
  • Benson has a new ride? UPDATE 2: On Monday night’s “This Week in NASCAR,” a Speedvision show(7 and 11pm/et) hosted by Allen Bestwick, Johnny Benson will announce that he has signed a contract to drive the #45 Pontiac owned by Tim Beverley’s Tyler Jet Motorsports(SpeedNet/Monte Dutton) — UPDATE: Tyler Jet Motorsports announced on Monday that Winston Cup veteran Johnny Benson has agreed to drive for the team for the 2000 season. Benson has spent the last two seasons behind the wheel of the #26 Cheerios Jack Roush Ford. Benson’s association with Tyler Jet will return the 1995 BGN Champ to the seat of a Pontiac, something the 36-year-old driver is excited about. “Getting on board with Tyler Jet Motorsports is a great opportunity for me,” said Benson. They have a solid program in place with good cars and a great engine program. There’s opportunity for a lot of people there and I’m looking forward to that. I’m also looking forward to getting back in a Pontiac. I had a lot of success in a Pontiac when I was at Bahari Racing. We missed the Top-10 in points by just one point in 1997 and I think a return to Pontiac will give me a great shot in getting into the Top-10 in 2000. That’s something we definitely want to do next season, get back into the Top-10 in points.” “We think we have the equipment and believe Johnny is the driver to get us on the stage at the NASCAR Winston Cup banquet in New York at the end of next season,” stated Tyler Jet Motorsports team owner Tim Beverley. “To say were looking forward to going to Daytona in February is an understatement. It is going to be a great year and a great situation for everyone involved. We’re all looking forward to it.”(Tyler Jet Motorsports PR) no mention of a sponsor(11-22-1999) — UPDATE 2 A sponsor has not been secured yet as the team is talking to several companies. Johnny Benson admitted on SpeedVision’s Inside Winston Cup TV show that they are talking to UPS and the number on the Tyler Jet Motorsports Pontiac will not be #45(Adam Petty will be using that number when he competes in his 5 Winston Cup Races)(Johnny Benson Fanclub Site)(11-23-1999)
  • Nadeau roofing: Michael Holigan, President of Michael Holigan Companies and host of the national television series Michael Holigan’s Your New House, and Jerry Nadeau, driver of the No. 25 Michael Holigan Chevrolet NASCAR Winston Cup stock car for the Hendrick Motorsports Team will videotape a segment for an upcoming episode of Michael Holigan’s Your New House national television program. The two will be roofing Nadeau’s house! Nadeau learned the roofing trade at an early age, working alongside his father, Gerard, in the roofing industry. The elder Nadeau also will be on hand Monday assisting with the project. Michael Holigan’s Your New House is syndicated to more than 130 broadcast television stations around the nation each week and a one-hour daily version also can be seen on The Discovery Channel. The taping will take place Monday, November 29 at Jerry Nadeau’s Residence in Mooresville, N.C. Nadeau and Holigan continue to “Build for 2000” as Nadeau will make his debut behind the wheel of the No. 25 Michael Holigan Chevrolet in the Feb. 20 Daytona 500 at Daytona(NE Racing Site via PR)(11-23-1999)

    (11-22-1999)

  • Michael Waltrip Update: After Waltrip hit the wall, he was taken to the infield care center , then airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center for precautionary X-rays/CT Scan. He was awake, alert and moving his arms(EPSN Race Coverage) — Waltrip was released from the hospital Sunday night(RPM2Nite)(11-21-1999) — UPDATE: see story at PitNow: Waltrip avoids serious injury after high-speed crash in finale. Waltrip suffered a slight concussion(11-22-1999)
  • Stewart to sign: Tony Stewart was scheduled to sign a new contract with Joe Gibbs Racing on Sunday night. Stewart’s agent, Cary Agajanian, completed negotiations with Gibbs Saturday night. The signing should put an end to rumors that Stewart will leave Gibbs to join the new Dodge teams of Ray Evernham in 2001(SpeedNet/Monte Dutton)(11-22-1999)
  • Martin off to surgery UPDATE: Mark Martin left Atlanta Motor Speedway immediately following Sunday’s NAPA 500 for his home in Florida to prepare for back surgery Monday. Martin is scheduled to undergo a bone fusion in his back at 7:30am/et. He is expected to remain in a Florida hospital for at least a week(That’s Racin’) — UPDATE: This report on Mark Martin’s back surgery from Lori Halbeisen at Roush Racing: Mark Martin underwent a successful lumbar fusion this morning to hopefully relieve a majority of the back pain he has dealt with for years. Dr. Chuck Kollmer performed the procedure in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. Dr. Kollmer is the same physician who performed surgery on Martin’s knee in July. “Mark did very well through the surgery,” Dr. Kollmer said. “There was no nerve damage from the procedure and now it is just a matter of the bone healing. His back pain should be much better, although not entirely gone.” Martin suffered from a condition called spondylolisthesis in which part of the bone in the back is broken which causes instability and causes the bone below it to slip. That puts pressure on the nerves in the back and causes pain. During the 3 1/2-hour procedure, Dr. Kollmer removed the portion of broken bone and inserted hardware and additional bone which will fuse together to stabilize his lower back. Martin is expected to remain in the hospital until Friday. “He will be laying down today and we hope to start him walking by tomorrow,” Dr. Kollmer said. “Once the pain is under control, we will be able to send him home. We will take X-rays several times over the next two months to make sure everything is healing properly. We hope to start a slow rehabilitation program of his extremities next week. He will wear a lower back brace to keep that area stable.” The full recovery time for this type of procedure is usually about one year. Dr. Kollmer said Martin should feel better in about six weeks once the bone heals. At this time, Martin does not plan on climbing into a race car until Feb. 10 at Daytona(J-Mar Express Newsletter)(11-22-1999)
  • Hendrick Announcement UPDATE 2: hearing there will be some sort of Hendrick Motorsports announcement this afternoon, will post when I hear it — UPDATE: According to sources close to the situation, expect an official press release later this afternoon detailing that former #5 crewchief Gary DeHart is coming back into the Hendrick organization to once again be the lead wrench with driver Terry Labonte. The Labonte/DeHart pairing brought Hendrick Motorsports the Winston Cup championship in 1996. DeHart had left the #5 in 1997 to open his own chassis-building business. His former business shop is likely to become the new location of the Jeff Gordon BGN team prepping cars for young Ricky Hendrick. (That’s probably not going to be in the press release.) Current #5 crewchief Andy Graves is being offered a re-assignment opportunity at Hendrick. Although, country.com Motorsports also heard (along with anyone within earshot of Robbie Gordon) that Gordon had offered young Graves the opportunity to crew his new Winston Cup team. That seems unlikely(TNN Motorsports Site) — UPDATE 2: One of NASCAR’s more successful tandems, veteran crew chief Gary DeHart and driver Terry Labonte are back together again. DeHart, who as crew chief helped lead Labonte to his second Winston Cup Championship in 1996, returns to Hendrick Motorsports as team manager/crew chief of the #5 Kellogg’s/Quaker State/GMAC/Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet team. The 1996 title was the second time DeHart was involved with a Labonte championship. He was chief fabricator for the Billy Hagan team when Labonte won his first title in 1984. DeHart takes over for Andy Graves, who has accepted another key position at Hendrick Motorsports working with all the teams. He has served as crew chief of the #5 team since 1997(Hendrick Motorsports Site)(11-22-1999)
  • DW back in 2000? UPDATE: TNN’s Raceday interviewed Darrell Waltrip and he mentioned one possibility for changes in the #66 2000 season that he may not be back, but don’t bet on that(11-21-1999) — UPDATE:“With Darrell Waltrip missing seven races this season, intense focus has been put on his upcoming Victory Tour 2000. Owner Travis Carter has worked all season to understand the problems that have haunted Waltrip’s team. He’s a bit mystified as to what to change next. Adding to the frustration has been speculation about the upcoming retirement tour. Announced in August, the Kmart-sponsored season includes a variety of merchandising campaigns. Carter said nothing is ever guaranteed in this sport but that he has no plans for an early Waltrip retirement or knowledge of Waltrip considering that option”(Times-DispatchAND Travis Carter, co-owner of the No. 66 Ford, said on Sunday that he is not taking seriously the comments Darrell Waltrip made about retiring immediately. Waltrip, who failed to qualify for Sunday’s race, told a TV station he may not return next season(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(11-22-1999)
  • Compton and the #9? hearing Stacy Compton has asked for and was granted his release from the #86 Impact Motorsports CTS team and will drive the #9 Melling Ford in 2000(many readers in a VA newspaper)(11-22-1999)
  • #41 News: #41 Car owner Larry Hedrick said Sunday morning that he has a new sponsor and driver for next season. He declined to identify either, saying an announcement will come in mid-January. Hedrick was looking for a new sponsor because Kodiak is leaving, and driver David Green left two months ago. Since then, Hedrick has had different drivers in the car. Reports have stated that Mast will drive for Hedrick next season who had no comment Sunday. Hedrick said he’s trying to secure associate sponsors for next season(Roanoke Times) rumors have Exxon as the primary or an associate and even Universal moving with Mast but report refute that(11-22-1999)
  • Virgina Tech Car? Virginia Tech has approached Rockbridge Baths native Rick Mast about driving with a Tech-themed car next year at Martinsville and Richmond(The Daily Press) no idea what team or how this would be accomplished…yet(11-22-1999)
  • Gordon Offer: Jeff Gordon has extended an offer to purchase Ray Evernham’s interest in the Gordon-Evernham Motorsports(GEM) BGN team(SpeedVision)(11-22-1999)
  • Nadeau in trouble: NASCAR officials apparently were not pleased with the on-track performance of driver Jerry Nadeau during Sunday’s NAPA 500 at Atlanta. Following the race, Nadeau and his crew chief with the #36 Pontiacs, Ryan Pemberton, were called to the NASCAR hauler for a verbal reprimand(That’s Racin’)(11-22-1999)

(11-21-1999)

  • Provisional Finishes: In 231 provisional starts(33 races x 7, none at Calif), drivers have accumulated Two Wins10 Top 5’s and 22 Top 10’s. Jeff Burton was the first driver to win from a provisional starting spot EVER at New Hampshire(on July 11th 1999) and that is the farthest back any driver has won from since Kyle Petty won from 37th at Dover in June 1995(in 1995 37th was not a provisional starting spot). Bill Elliott also won from 38th spot in the 1988 Pepsi 400(7-11-1999) — UPDATE: Add Bobby Labonte as the 2nd ever provisional winners by winning the 1999 NAPA 500 at Atlanta from the 37th starting and provisionals spot. See my Provisional Finishes Page(11-21-1999)
  • 1998 winners who didn’t win in 1999: Bobby Hamilton, Jeremy Mayfield and Ricky Rudd are the drivers who earned victories in 1998 who did not win in 1999. Rudd failed to keep his 16 straight seasons with at least a win streak intact and was not able to extend it to 17 seasons. #2-Rusty Wallace is now the active leader with a win in 14 straight seasons(11-21-1999)
  • Mast and DNF’s: Rick Mast was the only driver in 1999 who has made ALL the Cup races and did not record at least one DNF(Did not finish), for the DNF standings see my DNF page. Team co-owner Cale Yarborough won the 1977 championship while running at the end of all 30 races. Dale Earnhardt finished all 32 races in 1997 while finishing fifth in the standings(11-21-1999)
  • Championship and no poles? ever happen? With Dale Jarrett winning the Cup championship and not scoring any poles in 1999, I was asked, has it ever happened before? Yep, five times, most recently, in 1991 when Dale Earnhardt won the Winston Cup Championship with four wins and NO poles. It also happened in 1983-Bobby Allison; 1980-Earnhardt; 1973-Benny Parsons; and 1950-Bill Rexford(The Stock Car Racing Encyclopedia)(11-14/21-1999)
  • Lap Leader/Bonus Points: 44 drivers who have led at least one Winston Cup lap in 1999. To see who has led laps and who led the bonus points, see my Bonus Points Leaders Page(11-21-1999)
  • The NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus was $140,000(only Dale Jarrett could have won it) at Atlanta for leading the points and winning the race.(Dale Jarrett last won the award, $20,000 at Indy) The $340,000 annual award is paid at $10,000 per race to the point leader at the end of each event if he is also the winner. The award increases by $10,000 each week the it goes unclaimed. If the point leader is not the race winner at the end of the year, the balance of the award is distributed among the top-10 finisher in the point standings(Jayski’s 1999 Stats/Next Race Page)(11-21-1999)
  • 76 Challenge Award: The 76 Challenge Bonus for winning the race from the pole is $136,800 at the 2000 Daytona 500. (Jeff Gordon last won the bonus of $22,800 at Sears Point). The bonus starts at $7,600 and is increased by the same amount until won and carries over to the next season(as it did this year when Jeff Gordon won the Daytona 500 from the pole and a bonus of $60,800)(Jayski’s 1999 Stats/Next Race Page)(11-21-1999)
  • Roush Auction: Roush Racing has fliers up in the Winston Cup garage area advertising an auction of some of its cars and equipment from the two teams it operates out of a shop in Liberty, N.C. Roush is building a new shop in the Charlotte area and will move its Liberty operation there. Kevin Lepage and Johnny Benson have had their teams housed at that shop. The auction, set for 10 a.m. on Nov. 29, is scheduled to include 18 Ford Taurus race cars along with other car parts and shop equipment(That’s Racin’)(11-21-1999)
  • Kersee Team: Bob Kersee, who co-owns a NASCAR Winston Cup team(#19) with wife, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Kurt Roehrig, said the team will debut at the Daytona 500 regardless of its sponsorship situation. The team has not sighned a primary major sponsor. Kersee said he’s close to announcing a group of investors that will put more than $1.5 million into the team. Kersee said he needs about $8 million to operate his team next year(Roanoke Times)(11-21-1999)
  • DW/Spencer Switch? UPDATE 2: Dr Jerry Punch interviewed Darrell Waltrip and he mentioned that Jimmy Spencer and he may switch cars for the race as they both practiced each others cars and like them better, now whether DW was joking around or not who knows, that is all I know on it(ESPN Qualifying)(11-19-1999) — UPDATE: During practice yesterday morning at Atlanta, Darrell Waltrip was uncomfortable with the handling of his #66 car. He asked teammate Jimmy Spencer, who had tested the car at Atlanta, to take it out for a few laps. He went out for a few practice laps, posting a faster speed than Waltrip’s(Times-Dispatch)(11-20-1999) — UPDATE 2: obviously this didn’t happen as DW failed to make the race but the Times-Dispatch reports this: Waltrip did not plan to be the only driver practicing his car yesterday. Robby Gordon prepared to drive a few practice laps and possibly qualify Waltrip’s car. But according to Waltrip’s team, Gordon’s co-owners did not want to risk the driver crashing, and asked him not to attempt any laps AND In an effort to figure out what was wrong with his car, Waltrip asked teammate Jimmy Spencer to drive Waltrip’s car during practice. According to one team member, Spencer’s lap times were seven-tenths of a second faster than Waltrip’s. That’s the difference between the 41st-fastest qualifying spot — where Waltrip ended up — and the fifth-fastest(News and Observer)(11-21-1999)
  • Tyler Jet Motorsports: Tim Beverley said his team definitely will run the 2000 Daytona 500, regardless of whether they have a sponsor. He has already signed Lycos as an associateTimes-Dispatch, have also heard that the team will have a meeting for all personnel on Monday to discuss organization changes within the team(11-21-1999)
  • Another Martin: His car is painted just like his dad’s and his uniform would remind one of a pint-sized Mark Martin, but he was shy about wearing it to the track for a family news conference. Matt Martin, 7, won the Mid-Florida Quarter Midget Association Junior Novice championship Friday night in Apopka, FL(Atlanta Journal-Constitution/That’s Racin’)(11-21-1999)
  • Buckshot News” #00-Buckshot Jones hired Ronnie Silver to be his crew chief for today’s race(Atlanta Journal-Constitution) Silver is Michael Waltrips BGN crewchief(11-21-1999)
  • Labonte blows engine in practice: #18-Bobby Labonte blew an engine in Happy Hour practice but the team says it was not his race engine(The State)(11-21-1999)

    (11-20-1999)

  • Mast to the #41? UPDATE 3: Rick Mast is set to become Larry Hedrick’s new driver of the #41 Chevy. Mast, who has been driving Fords for Cale Yarborough and a new partner from Orlando, has signed a letter of intent with Hedrick. Universal, which is sponsoring the #98 for which Mast currently drives, may come over to Hedrick’s next season(PitNow) What? no Exxon? AND If owner Cale Yarborough really is closing his shop after this season, his team doesn’t know it. Driver Rick Mast continues to weigh his options, which could include Yarborough Motorsports. The team’s sale to Bob Lane hasn’t failed yet, but Mast isn’t counting on that. He plans to make a decision about where to drive next season sometime this week(Times-Dispatch)(11-16-1999) — UPDATE: Rick Mast tested Larry Hedrick’s #41 at Homestead-Miami Speedway Monday, and it appears likely Mast, and possibly the Woody Woodpecker sponsorship, will migrate from Cale Yarborough’s team to Hedrick’s for 2000. Team sources say Hedrick and Mast had met and that Mast had refused to participate in the test without a commitment. The fact that Mast was at the test indicates that a deal has been made. Mast also likely will drive the car in the season-ending race this week at Atlanta. Mast was in Atlanta and could not be reached(Racer Magazine)(11-17-1999) — UPDATE 2: From what I hear and what this weeks Winston Cup Scene reports, Mast tested the #41 chevy as a favor to team owner Larry Hedrick and engine builder David Evans. Also hear that Universal Studios is signed with the #98 team and is not moving even if Mast were to leave(11-19-1999) — UPDATE 3: Rick Mast, driver this season of Cale Yarborough’s #98 Fords, will know by Saturday morning whether he has a deal to drive Larry Hedrick’s #41 Chevrolets next season, Hedrick team members confirmed Friday(Racer Magazine)(11-20-1999)
  • Petty and Dodge: Richard Petty said Friday he still has not decided whether he will switch his two-car operation from Pontiac to Dodge once the new make comes to Winston Cup in the 2001 season. “Right now, it’s in limbo,” Petty said. “We’re just letting it lay. When we decide what we want to do and they decide what they want to do, we’ll make an announcement. But, right now, we’re just waiting around.”(News and Observer)(11-20-1999)
  • Both Graves gone? UPDATE 3 DeHart back to the #5?: hearing that #5 Crew Chief Andy Graves and his father Fred will leave Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the season?(anon source)(11-16-1999) — UPDATE: After a dismal second half of the season Hendrick Motorsports’ #5 team, with driver Terry Labonte, is under evaluation and significant changes in personnel could come as soon as next week, team sources revealed Friday. Reports in the past week have indicated that crew chief Andy Graves and co-chief Fred Graves (Andy’s father), could be headed elsewhere after the season. Kellogg’s spokesman John Singler said last week at Homestead that such rumors were news to him(Racer Magazine: NASCAR: Hendrick’s Labonte Team Under Evaluation)(11-19-1999) — UPDATE 2: Hendrick Motorsports will undergo several more personnel changes before the end of the year, The Charlotte Observer has learned. Andy Graves, who has served as Hendrick driver Terry Labonte’s crew chief since October 1997, will likely leave the team before the start of the new season. His departure is related, at least in part, to the lackluster performance of the #5 Chevrolets team this season, sources said. Graves has already emerged as a top candidate for the crew chief duties for the new Winston Cup team starting next season by open-wheel star Robby Gordon(in part from That’s Racin’) — UPDATE 3: Hendrick Motorsports is expected to hire Gary DeHart as the new crew chief for former Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte, The Charlotte Observer has learned. DeHart was Labonte’s crew chief during Labonte’s 1996 championship season and the announcement of his move will likely take place during the annual Charlotte media tour in January. Andy Graves, is expected to leave the team at the end of next month.(That’s Racin’/Jim Utter)(11-20-1999)

    (11-19-1999)

  • Toy Story 2: As reported before, the #26-Johnny Benson, #44-Kyle Petty and #94-Bill Elliott are running Toy Story 2 paint schemes (got the #26 and 44 at the Paint Schemes page). Also the Toy Story 2 Website: www.toystory2.com will have in-car cams and audio feeds during the race on Sunday(11-19-1999)
  • Gordon and Irvan? here is a new one: Sources indicate that (Robby) Gordon is maneuvering to acquire the building and assets of Irvan-Simo Racing, which has produced part-time efforts in Craftsman Trucks, Busch Series and Winston Cup this season. Irvan said Friday that “there’s a lot of details to work out. We’re looking at maybe leasing our building and people and maybe selling our cars, and I’d stay around as a consultant.” Irvan stressed, however, that no deal has been done yet. See the full story at the Racer Magazine site(11-19-1999)
  • Brett Bodine sale close UPDATE 3: Brett Bodine is close to selling his #11 Cup team, all terms are agreed upon, just the paper work to do(RPM2Nite). Rumor has it that the new owner is Winston West owner Richard Hilton and will bring along Ralphs/Kroger as a sponsor(10-15-1999) — UPDATE: should be announced at Phoenix(NASCAR2Day)(10-17-1999) — UPDATE 2 Brett Bodine had tentatively scheduled to announce the sale of his Winston Cup team to Richard Hilton, a Winston West team owner, this weekend, but that announcement has been postponed until Friday, Nov. 19, at Atlanta(That’s Racin’)(11-6-1999) — UPDATE 3: It’s official, Bodine has sold his team to Hilton and Ralphs Food 4 Less will be the sponsor(RPM2Nite) also see the story at: Racer Magazine(11-19-1999)
  • Foyt and Bliss…finally: A.J. Foyt and Conseco announced Friday that Team Conseco has selected CTS driver Mike Bliss to drive its #14 Conseco Pontiac for the 2000 season, he’ll run for ROTY honors(NOL)(11-19-1999)
  • Polaris Switch? UPDATE: Hearing that Polaris will leave the #75 Cup Butch Mock(?) owned Ford and driver Ted Musgrave at the end of the year. Supposedly Polaris is forming some kind of co-operative marketing deal with DeWalt Tools and will be moving to the #17 Ford sponsored by DeWalt and the #22 Caterpillar Pontiac of Ward Burton(6-23-1999) — UPDATE: Polaris all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) will be increasing its involvement in NASCAR next year by joining Bill Davis Racing as an associate sponsor of the #22 Caterpillar Pontiac driven by Ward Burton for the 2000 season. Polaris also will become a primary sponsor of Burton’s BGN car. During the 2000 season, Polaris ATVs will be the primary sponsor for five BGN races. Ward Burton will be the newest member of “PRO Team” Polaris, an organization of top motorsports stars that represent Polaris products in the marketplace. Other “PRO Team” members include Richard Petty, Al Unser, Jr., and Rusty Wallace(Polaris PR)(11-19-1999)
  • New Associate? UPDATE: hearing that Cooper Lighting will become an associate sponsor for APR Racing and the #55 Square D car with driver Kenny Wallace, not sure when(10-15-1999) — UPDATE: Cooper Lighting, one of the world’s largest lighting fixture manufacturers, has teamed-up with Square D to become a major associate sponsor on the #55 Chevrolet of Andy Petree Racing and driver Kenny Wallace beginning with the 2000 Winston Cup season. Cooper Lighting’s logos being implemented into the design of the car(quarterpanels and upper TV panel only), uniforms and equipment of the #55 team(PR)(11-19-1999)
  • No Surprise: As rumored for months, Kenny Irwin will drive #42 BellSouth Chevys for Team SABCO in 2000 after agreeing to multi-year agreement. Tony Glover will serve as the crew chief and Irwin will also drive 16-18 BGN races in the #42 BellSouth Mobility Chevy for SABCO. The Cup car is bright green(NOL)(11-19-1999)
  • #75 Crew Chief: the new crew chief for the #75 Turner Broadcasting Galaxy Motorsports Ford for 2000 driver Wally Dallenbach is expected to be Richard ‘Slugger’ Labbe who currently works on the #25 Hendrick Motorsports team with Dallenbach. Labbe was the crew chief on the #28 RYR Ford in 1998(Winston Cup Scene)(11-19-1999)
  • #94 Crew Chief? UPDATE 2: hearing that #94 crew chief Wayne Orme and the #94 McDonalds team with driver/owner Bill Elliott has parted ways, and that Elliott plans to move his team back to Georgia(11-17-1999) — UPDATE: Have confirmed Orme is out and Elliott Racing reports that the team IS NOT moving to Georgia(11-18-1999) — UPDATE 2: The crew-chief duties for Sunday will be a “team effort” between the driver, team engine-builder Ernie Elliott and general manager Eddie D’Hondt(Atlanta Constitution-Journal)(11-19-1999)
  • Spencer 300th: This weekend’s race will mark Jimmy Spencer’s 300th career NASCAR Winston Cup Series start. Spencer’s first start came on June 4, 1989 in the Budweiser 500 at Dover(NOL)(11-19-1999)
  • Gordon Update: Robby that is. Hearing from sources that Team Gordon/Menard has NOT bought any part of the #98 Cale Yarborough team and the Racin’ My Butt Site and some other sources reports that Burger King will not be Gordon’s sponsor, but I hear they may come aboard with another Cup team(11-19-1999)
  • Hasbro Signs Drivers: Hasbro Sports announced today that it has reached agreements with 29 NASCAR drivers enabling the leading publisher to develop interactive games featuring the drivers, their vehicles and teams. Hasbro Sports plans to release several NASCAR titles for a range of gaming platforms and audiences beginning in 2000 as a result of these agreements and a previously announced licensing deal with NASCAR. Hasbro Sports has multi-year contracts with the following drivers: John Andretti, Johnny Benson, Jeff Burton, Ward Burton, Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Bill Elliott, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Hamilton, Ernie Irvan, Kenny Irwin, Dale Jarrett, Chad Little, Bobby Labonte, Terry Labonte, Kevin Lepage, Sterling Marlin, Mark Martin, Jeremy Mayfield, Joe Nemechek, Steve Park, Adam Petty, Kenny Schrader, Mike Skinner, Tony Stewart, Kenny Wallace, Rusty Wallace, and Michael Waltrip. In addition, Hasbro Sports has signed Richard Petty, the undisputed “king” of NASCAR, to be featured in its NASCAR games(Hasbro PR)(11-19-1999)
  • #15 at Atlanta UPDATE: Derrike Cope will return to the #15 Fenley-Moore Motorsports Ford for Atlanta, I hear the team will be sponsored at Atlanta by Harrah’s Las Vegas. Cope has signed to drive the #15 for a full 2000 season(11-15-1999) — UPDATE: sources tell me they have seen the car and Harrah’s will be the sponsor at Atlanta(11-19-1999)
  • Rules UPDATE repost: Winston Cup director Gary Nelson said Sunday changes are likely in store for the Pontiac Grand Prix before the start of the 2000 season. Nelson said, however, NASCAR would wait to evaluate Sunday’s race results before deciding what changes needed to be made(That’s Racin’)(11-14-1999) — UPDATE: NASCAR’s spoiler rules will not change for the Pontiacs, at least not until after the spring Atlanta race in 2000, according to sources. NASCAR officials are expected to take the top finishers at the season finale to the Lockheed wind tunnel for testing, as they did this year, before deciding on any rules changes(PitNow)(11-15/19-1999)

    (11-18-1999)

  • Valvoline Colors: On RPM2Nite Mark Martin showed off his 2000 colors, very similar to this year, more red, sort of shark like red teeth/fins around the front(RPM2Nite) haven’t seen any images of it yet online(11-18-1999)
  • Pruett Testing and a kids Book UPDATE: hearing Scott Pruett will continue his testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Wednesday, testing the PPI Racing/Cal Wells Winston Cup Ford(anon source), yes look for Musgrave to be there helping out in preparation for the CarsDirect.com 400 next season(11-15-1999) — BOOK: Pruett and his wife Judy have written a childrens book: Twelve Little Race Cars by World Weaver books, looks cute(thanks Mark for the heads up)(11-16-1999) — UPDATE: Pruett and Musgrave tested a 1999 Ford Taurus and a 2000 Taurus with a 99 nosepeice. Musgrave was a tad faster then Pruett with speeds in the 163-164mph range. Luckily no wrecks and the team had a slew of computers and people there at the test. Pruett left early as he had the flu, but Misgrave finished up the testing. The LVMS site(11-17-1999) — UPDATE:Full report on the test at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Site – PPI Test(11-18-1999)
  • #50 Sponsor Hunting: Ricky Craven and the #50 MidWest Transit Racing team hope to have a solid finish in the season-ending NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday to provide a springboard for the 2000 season and to help lure a primary sponsor. MidWest Transit Racing, with Craven as their driver, has qualified for each of the 12 races entered together without the luxury of a provisional or a primary sponsor(SpeedNet)(11-18-1999)

    (11-17-1999)

  • Irvans Lap: Ernie Irvan is one of NASCAR’s 50 all-time greatest drivers. But Irvan never got a farewell tour or retirement party, after suffering career-ending injuries during a practice session wreck at Michigan Speedway three months ago. But Atlanta Motor Speedway will pay a final tribute to him Sunday, just before the start of the NAPA 500. Irvan and his wife, Kim, will circle the track for a farewell lap in a specially designed M&M’s “Millennium” Pontiac. Irvan’s career ended after he wrecked during a practice session Aug. 20. Irvan, 40, who had to be cut out of his car by safety workers, was diagnosed later with a bruised lung and a concussion. Because of his health problems, Irvan said it was undecided whether he or his wife will drive the car for Sunday’s farewell lap(Palm Beach PostBUT I got an M&M’s Press Release that says: Retired “M&M’s”® Racing Team driver Ernie Irvan will make his final lap around a Winston Cup race track on Sunday, November 21, prior to the start of this weekend’s event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Irvan, driving a Pontiac Grand Prix pace car painted with a matching Millenium paint scheme, will use the time to salute his legions of fans and fellow competitors for their support since his retirement on September 3, 1999(Ernie Irvan Site)(11-17-1999)
  • Morgan Shepherd returns: to Cup as he will attempt to make the NAPA 500 at Atlanta in the #05 Delco Remy Pontiac with engines from Richard Jackson(former Cup owner). Shepherd will be crew chiefed by Bruce Saunders. Shepherd is looking for additional sponsorship help. Atlanta has been a good track for him, winning three of his four Cup wins at Atlanta(Morgan Shepherd Site)(11-17-1999)
  • Robby Gordon Announcement UPDATEs(#98?): on Friday, CART and past Winston Cup driver, Robby Gordon will make an announcement at Atlanta on Friday. Gordon will be on ESPN’s RPM2Nite Wednesday (note: at 6:00pm/et) to give a sneak preview, see the story below for some various rumors…(11-16-1999) — UPDATE: Country.com Motorsports has learned that these potential sponsors are ready to help bankroll Gordon into a full-time Cup program in 2000: Hot Wheels, Menards and Energizer. The lead candidate for major sponsorship of Gordon’s effort continues to be Burger King — but while pens are poised, no signatures are drying yet. Gordon is also investigating ownership options/linkages with existing Winston Cup teams. Time is basically out to begin a Cup team start-up. Don’t be surprised if Gordon representatives show up at the auction of Ricky Rudd’s Cup hardware. On the other hand, don’t be astounded if/when Gordon and a current Winston Cup team form a two-car alliance for the 2000 season — all these options are being examined. Gordon plans to sell his CART team to devote his full attention to Cup in 2000, if he can put a competitive package together(TNN Motorsports SiteAND Robby Gordon has announced his return to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series full-time beginning in the 2000 season. Team Gordon, headed by the 30-year-old driving veteran and co-owners Mike Held and John Menard, is currently moving its Southern California-based operation to the Charlotte, NC area. Current Team Gordon sponsors Menards, Turtle Wax and Hot Wheels remain on board as it prepares for the 2000 Winston Cup season. Speculation has Burger King joining the team as its primary sponsor(goRacingAND a Robin Miller story at SpeedNet AND from SpeedVision: Robby Gordon to jump from CART to NASCAR, seems like all the reports are close to the same and most mention that Gordon will participate in next year’s Indianapolis 500, also. Sources tell me the team could very well be the #98 Cale Yarborough team in a partnership or complete buyout — UPDATE: On RPM2Nite Gordon said he would drive Fords and his CART sponsors would follow him to Cup as associates(11-17-1999)
  • More Engines? hearing something is amiss in the Hendrick Motorsports department, more to follow as I hear it(11-17-1999)
  • Earnhardt and Food: Famous Fixins, Inc., a leading producer of athlete and celebrity-licensed food, candy and promotional products, today announced that it has reached an agreement with all-time NASCAR racing great Dale Earnhardt and The Henry Licensing Group, to produce a new beef jerky product bearing his name(Business Wire/Catchfence)(11-17-1999)
  • David Green Chat: NOL had #45 driver David Green in NOL Chat yesterday, didn’t see or hear about it until it was already taking place, anyhow NOL has the Transcript up now. In it Green says he hopes to be in the #45 Tyler Jet Motorsports Cup car full time in 2000 and didn’t bring up a BGN ride in the chat(11-17-1999)
  • Tyler Jet Plans UPDATE Benson rumors: TNN’s Raceday reports that Tyler Jet Motorsports, currently running David Green in the #45 10-10-345 Pontiac, expects to run two teams in 2000. One full time with Johnny Benson the rumored driver and David Green in a part time situation(TNN Raceday)(11-14-1999) — UPDATE: from what I hear and what has been reported on TNN’s Raceday as well as Channel 8 WOOD-NBCin Grand Rapids, MI, Johnny Benson is rumored to be either going to Tyler Jet Motorsports OR the second Galaxy Motorsports team(currently run the #75) with Pizza Hut as the sponsor(11-17-1999)
  • #9 Engines: Ernie Elliott, brother of driver Bill Elliott, agreed to provide engines for the #9 Ford of Melling Racing for Sunday’s NAPA 500 and the entire 2000 season. It will be a reunion for owner Mark Melling and Elliott, who worked together for seven years before parting ways in 1992(Tennessean/Cox News Service)(11-17-1999)
  • Rudd Auction UPDATE: Ricky Rudd is putting one of the most consistently successful racing teams in motorsports history on the auction block beginning Wednesday, December 1, and continuing until every part and piece is gone. That will definitely include Thursday, December 2, and probably part of Friday, December 3 as well. Rudd’s team has won every year of its existence but the loss of sponsorship for next season, which Rudd found out late in the fiscal year for most corporations, cost the team a chance to compete next season. Rudd and some team members are moving to Robert Yates Racing, the NASCAR Winston Cup championship team, beginning next year. The auction will begin at Rudd Performance Motorsports at 8 a.m., Wednesday, December 1, and will continue until everything is sold. A preview day is scheduled Tuesday, November 30, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. The shop is located in Lakeside Park, just off of Exit 36 on I-77 in Mooresville. The address is 292 Rolling Hills Road, which is the main thoroughfare through Lakeside Park(Williams Company)(11-16-1999) — UPDATE: while the Ricky Rudd website, www.rickyrudd.com is under construction, they do have a list available for download(in Excel) of the items up for Auction(11-17-1999)
  • IROC Tests: The International Race of Champions tested at Daytona International Speedway on Monday. Four Pontiac Firebirds(really IROC cars) were turning laps on the 2.5-mile tri-oval with test drivers Andy Hillenberg, Dave Marcis, Jim Sauter and Dick Trickle(Speed Magazine)(11-17-1999)
  • Sabates Honor: Felix and Carolyn Sabates became members of the philanthropic Dream Makers Society of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County, Florida recognizing their 11-year commitment, personal contributions, and development and support of special fund-raising events through the years. In their honor, the naming of the Felix and Carolyn Sabates Athletic Center will be dedicated in a formal ceremony at the NFL YET Center/Lester White Boys & Girls Club in Fort Lauderdale. The formal installation of the Felix and Carolyn Sabates Athletic Center will be held in early 2000. In addition to the naming, the Sabates will be recognized on a Dream Makers Society sculpture to be placed in a public location in the community. The Dream Makers Society ceremony took place on November 13 at the Power & Motoryacht Rendezvous at Fisher Island, Florida, an event attended by the Sabates since 1988. The award was presented by business tycoon and philanthropists, Wayne and Marti Huizenga, in a surprise ceremony attended by 300 guests including NASCAR owners Bill and Betty Jane France, NASCAR Team Owner Jim Mattei, actor Burt Reynolds, television’s “Just Shoot Me” star Enrico Colantino, and 30 mega-yacht owners and their guests. After the ceremony 14 year old protege’ Ashley Ballard sang in the Sabates’ honor a heart-warming rendition of My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion(SABCO PR)(11-17-1999)
  • TV Rating Poor UPDATE but: NBC’s first NASCAR broadcast didn’t do so well, rating wise, as the Pennzoil 400 drew the lowest preliminary ratings of any Winston Cup race in at least four years. The broadcast drew a 3.0 overnight rating (approximately 2.8 million households) and a 7 share(Tennessean)(11-16-1999) — UPDATE: While the NBC telecast of the inaugural Winston Cup race from Homestead-Miami Speedway Sunday did not make up in ratings what it lacked in production values, it did draw a fair sized audience. See story at Racer Magazine with Racing rating sand info(11-17-1999)

    (11-16-1999)

  • Both Graves gone? hearing that #5 Crew Chief Andy Graves and his father Fred will leave Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the season?(anon source)(11-16-1999)
  • Sad News: A NASCAR racing pioneer and legend has passed away. H. Clay Earles died this morning after a yearlong illness. Earles spent 53 years making Martinsville Speedway one of the nicest facilities in racing. Earles and friends Sam Race and Henry Lawrence opened the speedway in 1947 on a 30-acre site just south of Martinsville, VA. Racing, at that time, was done mostly on fairgrounds and a facility specifically for racing was unusual. The H. Clay Earles family will receive guests at Collins McKee-Stone Funeral Home at 109 Broad St. in Martinsville on Wednesday, November 17 from 7-9 p.m. The funeral, also at Collins McKee-Stone Funeral Home, will be Thursday, November 18 at 11:00am. The Martinsville Speedway Site has a nice photo gallery about Mr Earle at: H. Clay Earles Photo Gallery(11-16-1999)
  • Nemechek Accident UPDATE: #42 Cup driver Joe Nemechek was involved in a single vehicle accident just after leaving Concord Regional Airport on Sunday. Nemechek was not injured, his wife Andrea was hospitalized at Northeast Regional Medical Center with minor injuries and but is expected to be released Tuesday. Andrea is 8 months pregnant with their 2nd child, but none of the injuries, described as bruises and possible broken ribs, affecting the pregnancy. Nemechek’s mother and and father were also in the car as well was Nemechek’s son John Hunter. Nemechek’s mother was treated and released at the hospital, his father and son were not injured. According to the Nemco spokesperson, Nemechek was leaving the airport on Poplar Tent Road and, unaware that the street had been reconfigured to include a new abrupt turn, drove the vehicle into a ditch(NOL/AP)(11-15-1999) — UPDATE: Joe Nemechek will not be testing the #33 in Talladega on Tuesday to be with his wife, I hear Bobby Hillin is testing the #33 car for Petree Racing(11-16-1999)
  • #75 Driver: Hut Stricklin will drive the #75 Galaxy Motorsports Ford at Atlanta in place of Ted Musgrave who left the team at Homestead(many sources, story on NOL)(11-16-1999)
  • TV News: Speedvision’s Inside Winston Cup TV program featured NASCAR’s vice president of broadcasting and technology(Bray Cary) on their program on Monday night to answer questions about the new television package for 2001. Some key points were covered: Approximately 75% of the races will be on NBC or FOX. The remaining 25% will be on either TBS or the FX channel. A brand new NASCAR channel is in the works for the near future. There are no plans to shorten any of the races to stay within typical sports time constraints of 3 hours. FOX will do a one hour pre-race show before each of the races they broadcast. NBC will do one 30 minute pre-race show and one 30 minute post-race show on each of the races they broadcast. NASCAR has put a limit on the number of commercials that NBC and FOX will be allowed to run, which will be “slightly” less than what we currently see on network television broadcasts(Catchfence)(11-16-1999)
  • The Nomads Salary? the five crewmen formally to be known as the Rainbow warriors who are going to the #88 RYR team in 2000, Barry Muse, jack man; Mike Trower, front tire changer; Kevin Gilman, rear tire changer; AND Jeff Knight and Darren Jolly, tire carriers — will continue in the same roles for Robert Yates Racing. A source close to the crew said their base salaries on race day were bumped from $200 at Hendrick’s to $550 at RYR(SpeedVision) thought that was interesting(11-16-1999)
  • Female Driver PR: Tina Gordon, a top 20 driver in the NASCAR Slim Jim All-Pro Series and rising female star, recently announced her association with Slingshot Motorsports, LTD. of Providence, RI. Slingshot Motorsports, LTD. will provide marketing, sponsorship development and publicity/public relations services to Tina Gordon and Tina Gordon Racing beginning immediately. Gary Gordon, Tina’s husband and General Manager of Tina Gordon Racing, had this to say about the relationship, “With the recent hiring of Jody Ridley as Crew Chief, we have come to realize that Tina and this team will have all the necessary elements to be a formidable force on the track. In order for Tina to realize her dream of becoming a successful female NASCAR Winston Cup driver, we also realized that marketing, publicity and sponsorship development will be an integral part of her career growth. Tina Gordon added, “NASCAR is big business. Sponsorship and publicity are two very important elements to any successful racing team. Working with Slingshot Motorsports will provide this team and me the ability to focus on continued successes at the track. My dream is to be in Winston Cup. Every stock car driver has that dream. What makes my dream different is that I am a female in a sport where the overall majority of the stars are male. Therefore, I have to be a little bit better in all areas – from my driving, to the equipment and the way we present ourselves to sponsors and the public. With the help of Slingshot Motorsports, we feel that this team has covered all the bases.”(Slingshot Motorsports PR)(11-16-1999)
  • Chevy Test UPDATE 2: Several Chevrolet drivers will run the 2000 Chevy Monte Carlo in a test session Monday at Miami-Homestead Speedway, following the Cup race(That’s Racin’)(11-11-1999) — UPDATE: Not all Chevy teams will be testing at Homestead. Andy Petree’s team will be testing its 2000 Monte Carlo at Talladega(PitNow)(11-15-1999) — UPDATE 2: Chevy drivers testing at Homestead were: #31-Mike Skinner, #24-Jeff Gordon, #60-Geoffrey Bodine, #1-Steve Park, #4-Bobby Hamilton, #5-Terry Labonte, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., ?-Rick Mast(#41? he sure wasn’t in the #98 FORD) and #25-Jerry Nadeau(Times-Disptach)(11-16-1999)
  • Lowes Bomber Caught: remember the Lowes bombings just before the Cup race at Charlotte in October? Well they caught the bomber and it had nothing to do with the IRL tragedy in which three spectators were killed in May, even though the suspect supposedly wrote that they were. From the AP: A Greensboro man was charged with bombing two Lowe’s Home Improvement stores and an attempted bombing at a third store, apparently in retaliation for his arrest in 1998 for relabeling Lowe’s merchandise. Full story at: Man charged in Lowe’s store bombings(Charlotte Observer)(11-16-1999)
  • Compton and the #9: TNN’s Raceday reported on Sunday that Stacy Compton would likely get the #9 Melling Ford Cup ride in 2000 with Kodiak as the rumored sponsor(11-16-1999)

    (11-15-1999)

  • #45 Paint: The #45’s sponsor 10-10-345 isn’t renewing its sponsorship for next season, but the Tyler Jet Motorsports team is running a send-off paint scheme for the last race at Atlanta to thank the sponsor for it’s one year of sponsorship. The TNN Motorsports site has images of the car at: Going Out In Style(11-15-1999)
  • Gordon’s sponsor? UPDATE 5: hearing it was reported on Benny Parsons Fast Talk radio show that Burger King would be Robby Gordon’s sponsor of his new Cup team for 2000(11-9-1999) — UPDATE: Although nothing official has been announced, country.com Motorsports has learned that ace wheelman Robby Gordon is very, very close to signing Burger King as a primary Winston Cup sponsor for his own team next season. He could return in a Ford Taurus co-owned by one of his Indy car partners, Mike Held. Ryan Pemberton is rumored to be the new crewchief(TNN Motorsports)(11-10-1999) — UPDATE 2: Pemberton is supposed to announce his 2000 plans sometime Saturday at Homestead — UPDATE 3: It won’t be Pemberton as he will go to the #77 Jasper Engines team(11-13-1999) — UPDATE 4: Ryan Pemberton said Gordon is close to a sponsor deal, and that it is not Burger King, as widely rumored. Gordon was supposed to be at Homestead on Saturday but did not arrive, Pemberton said he would be in the Charlotte area Monday. One option would be for Gordon to buy into an existing Winston Cup team and become driver, with an option for total ownership in 2001. Another option would be to buy Ricky Rudd’s equipment (to be auctioned in two weeks), which would give Gordon a head start. Also, Jack Roush indicated his #26 team may be available for a cooperative venture with someone. Rudd said he expected no bid from Gordon. He said he had talked to Gordon a month ago, but that Gordon at the time did not have the money he was said to have(Racer Magazine)(11-14-1999) — UPDATE 5: back to the old rumor of Gordon teaming up with Fenley-Moore Motorsports as a partner, hearing the sponsor may be Pioneer Auto Systems(anon source)(11-15-1999)
  • Stewart sets record UPDATE: Tony Stewart becomes the first rookie in Winston Cup history to win three races in their rookie season with his win today at Homestead(he also won at Richmond and Phoenix). He and the late Davey Allison had both held the record at two(11-14-1999) — UPDATE: and yes, since Stewart and Allison are the only rookies to win at least two races in their rookie season and Allison did not to it in a row, Tony Stewart is the first Cup rookie driver to win two and a row. Stewart is also the first driver besides Jeff Gordon to win consecutive races in a Cup season since Mark Martin in 1997(11-15-1999)
  • Musgrave Quits? UPDATE: Ted Musgrave, driver of Darwin Oordt’s #75, abruptly quit the team just past halfway in Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Musgrave was due out of the car after the season, with only the race at Atlanta to go. Musgrave said he will take time off to evaluate matters and, he hopes, “come back next year with something competitive.” He said he would spend this week “testing some cars at Las Vegas(for the CarsDirect.com 400),” but would not give details(Racer Magazine)(11-14-1999) — UPDATE: From the TNN site: “Most Ridiculous Season”(11-15-1999)
  • 10th Clinched: Both #22-Ward Burton and #31-Mike Skinner clinched their first career top 10 finish in the Winston Cup points. Burton is ninth in the points and Skinner is 10th. #12-Jeremy Mayfield, who is 11th in the standings, is 288 points behind Skinner which can’t be made up with only one remaining race(Roanoke Times)(11-15-1999)

(11-14-1999)

  • Congrats to DJ: Dale Jarrett has clinched his first Winston Cup Championship with a 5th place finish at Homestead. Dale and Ned Jarrett become the 2nd father-son tandem to win the Championship. Lee(3) and Richard(7) Petty were the first(11-14-1999)
  • Championship and no poles? ever happen? got that question: If Dale Jarrett wins the championship and ends up with no poles, has it ever happened before? Yep, five times, most recently, in 1991 when Dale Earnhardt won the Winston Cup Championship with four wins and NO poles. It also happened in 1983-Bobby Allison; 1980-Earnhardt; 1973-Benny Parsons; and 1950-Bill Rexford(The Stock Car Racing Encyclodepia)(11-14-1999)
  • DNF’s: Rick Mast is closing in on a feat managed only twice since 1977. So far, Mast, who drives for the #98 Yarborough Motorsports Ford, has been running at the finish of all 33 Winston Cup races this season. Team co-owner Cale Yarborough won the 1977 championship while running at the end of all 30 races. Dale Earnhardt finished all 32 races in 1997 while finishing fifth in the standings. Mast, who has only two top-10 finishes and no top-fives this season, is 31st in the points. see who has DNF’s on my DNF(Did Not Finish) Page(11-14-1999)
  • Tire Testing at Texas: Three drivers – one from each car make – will take part in a Goodyear tire test Nov. 29 and 30 at Texas Motor Speedway. Mike Skinner, in the No. 31 Chevrolet, Ward Burton in the No. 22 Pontiac and Jeremy Mayfield, in the No. 12 Ford, will participate in the test. At the Texas race this season, Skinner, Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin all blew right-front tires, prompting Goodyear to take another look at how its tire performs on the track(That’s Racin’)(11-14-1999)
  • #7 Sponsor Deal UPDATE 3: I hear the #7 Mattei Motorsports deal will be structured like this: Philips Lighting goes on rear quarter panels (where Klaussner is now), the decklid(trunk) and TV Panel(rear), NationsRent will be the hood, and Klaussner stays as an associate in from of the rear wheels. At Dover, Richmond and The Winston, I hear they will run an all-Philips Lighting scheme. NationsRent supposedly signs on for a three year deal(anon source)(11-10-1999) — UPDATE: Will be announced Saturday at Homestead(NOL)(11-11-1999) — UPDATE 3: NationsRent, a leading construction equipment rental company, confirmed Saturday that it would become sponsor of Mattei Motorsports’ #7 and driver Michael Waltrip, replacing Philips Electronics, Mattei’s partner this season. The deal was announced as being for three years. Waltrip is contracted to Mattei through 2000(Racer Magazine). Cool looking car, see image and story at NOL. Omniquip-Textron, New Holland, JLG, Philips Lighting Company, Klaussner Furniture Industries and Bostrom Seating will serve as associate sponsors(11-14-1999)
  • Warriors or Nomads? Catchfence.com is reporting that the five pit crew members from the #24 team that will be joining the #88 team in 2000 will only stay one year as Catchfence hears that they will be joining Ray Evernham in 2001(Catchfence)(11-14-1999)
  • Pemberton to the #77? UPDATE 2: Ryan Pemberton, crew chief for the #36 M&M’s MBII team, has made his decision about where to work next season, but he’s not commenting until next weekend. Pemberton is expected to join the Doug Bawel-owned #77 team with driver Robert Pressley(Times-DispatchBUT on Sunday’s Raceday(TNN) Bob Dillner reported that Pemberton will be announcing soon that he will be crew chief for Robby Gordon’s Cup team in 2000. Supposedly a sponsor announcement as well. It was reported that Pemberton was at the CART finale last week with Gordon(TNN’s Raceday)(11-8-1999) — UPDATE 2: Jasper Motorsports announced today that Ryan Pemberton will take over the Crew Chief duties next year for the #77 Jasper Engines Fords driven by Robert Pressley. The team made the announcement from Homestead Motorsports Complex. Ryan Pemberton, a member of the prestigious Crew Chief Club, comes to the Jasper Motorsports team after three years at the helm of the MB2 Motorsports M&M’s Pontiac with driver Ernie Irvan, and more recently, Jerry Nadeau(Jasper Engines Team PR)(11-14-1999)
  • New Title Sponsor? PitNow reports that NASCAR has been negotiating with AT&T to possibly replace R.J. Reynolds(Winston) as the sponsor for NASCAR’s premier stock-car racing series, according to sources. Coca-Cola is also said to be in the running for a major sponsorship role in what has been called the Winston Cup series since 1972(PitNow)(11-14-1999)
  • Petty Announcement Update: RPM2Nite reported that Adam Petty will run five Cup races in 2000 starting at Texas. NASCAR Online shows the #45 Sprint Chevy, not sure what the deal is with #45 which Tyler Jet Motorsports presently uses, also would think he’d run a Pontiac since Petty Enterprises uses Pontiac for Cup and Chevy for BGN. The car shown in the pictures at NOL and the Adam Petty site is a BGN car(note, the BGN sticker on the front 1/4 panel). See stories at NASCAR Online: Adam Petty to make Winston Cup debut in 2000 and the Adam Petty Site which also says that Petty will run the Cup races at Charlotte in the Coke 600, Bristol in August, the fall Martinsville race and Homestead. Nothing mentioned about Dodge(11-11-1999) — UPDATE: Joe who runs the Petty Page was able to ask Kyle Petty two questions in reference to Adam Pettys Winston Cup plans in 2000. Kyle Petty answered lots of questions at a short Hot Wheels promotional autograph session. 1) What make of car will Adam run the 5 Winston Cup races in 2000? Kyle’s answer was that they would most likely be Pontiacs since they already have Pontiac cup cars in their shops. 2) What number will Adam run in Cup since the 45 is on another car this year? Kyle said Adam would run the #45. The Petty Page also has a batch of images from the weekend at the Homestead-Miami Speedway so far at the Petty Page(11-14-1999)
  • Reiser out? UPDATE: hearing the garage gossip has Robby Reiser not being the crew chief for the Roush Racing #17 DeWalt Tools Ford to be driven by Matt Kenseth in 2000(11-7-1999) — UPDATE: Robbie Reiser is is working to leave his current #17 Busch team intact when he and Kenseth move into their new Roush Racing shop. Reiser has acted as owner and crew chief on Kenseth’s Busch team. But when he becomes Kenseth’s Winston Cup crew chief, he’ll need a replacement on the Busch team(Times-Dispatch), doesn’t sound like a guy looking to leave the Cup team(11-14-1999)
  • Grissom/Petty? Steve Grissom, who is expected to announce a double Dodge deal in the near future. According to sources close to the situation, Grissom, who has competed fairly regularly on the Winston Cup circuit, will move to the Petty Enterprises truck next season and will become a test driver for the new Intrepids. Kyle Petty says he has made Grissom an offer to drive the #43 CTS entry, but he has yet to sign the deal(SpeedVision)(11-14-1999)
  • Hut back? Tri-Star back? UPDATE: hearing rumors that Tri-Star Motorsports in some form will be resurrected with #58 SBIII engine builder and former #19 Tri-Star Motorsports owner, Mark Smith as at least a part owner. Hut Stricklin will supposedly be the driver with Donnie Allison as the Team Manager. And get this…..Motorsports Safety Technologies is the rumored sponsor. The #58 Motorsports team was housed in the old Tri-Star building, this whole thing could get interesting, if true(11-3-1999) — UPDATE: Mark Smith, a co-owner in Tri-Star who has never fully closed his shop or his dream of being a Winston Cup owner, is looking into restarting his team with Barbour’s assets. If he does, Allison plans to join him. Motorsports Safety Technology could be the sponsor. The company signed a four-year contract with Barbour, but miscommunication between the two led to the deal failing and Barbour’s shop closing six days later. Stricklin had signed on to be the driver for the team. Smith’s former crew members spoke highly of the owner yesterday and said they had spoken with him about a return to the sport(Times-Dispatch)(11-14-1999)
  • Craven Engine: In 2nd round qualifying Ricky Craven ran at lap at 152.096mph to get the 33rd starting spot after his #50 team struck a deal with Tyler Jet Motorsports to use the engine on Saturday that David Green had used in Friday’s first-round qualifying(That’s Racin’)(11-14-1999)
  • Sad News UPDATE 2: Thomas “T.L.” Stiles of Charlotte, N.C., 45, a fabricator with Team Sabco for the past eight years, was killed Thursday afternoon in an automobile accident on Interstate 77 north of Charlotte. Also injured in the accident was Team Sabco fabricator Len Sherrill of Kannapolis, N.C., who is listed in critical condition at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Sherrill, 37, has worked with Team Sabco for 11 years. Team Sabco owner Felix Sabates closed his race shop Thursday and will keep it closed Friday. Sabates is making plans to fly his race teams back to Charlotte for the funeral, expected to be held Saturday(That’s Racin’)(11-11-1999) — UPDATE: The funeral for Team Sabco fabricator Thomas “T.L.” Stiles, who was killed in an automobile accident north of Charlotte Thursday, is 1 p.m. Monday at Blair Road Methodist Church in Mint Hill, NC. The visitation is 7 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday at McEwen Funeral Home in Mint Hill. Len Sherrill, also a Team Sabco fabricator and injured in the accident, was upgraded to good condition Friday at Carolinas Medical Center and released from the intensive car unit. He remains in the hospital. A college fund for Stiles’ children has been established. Donations can be made to the Thomas Stiles Children College Fund, care of BB&T, 7716 Matthews-Mint Hill Rd., Charlotte, NC 28227 Both Sabco teams, that of Joe Nemechek and Sterling Marlin, were scheduled to test their 2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlos at Homestead-Miami Speedway Monday and Tuesday, but the team has canceled those plans(That’s Racin’)(11-13-1999) — UPDATE: Team Sabco fabricator Len Sherrill of Kannapolis, who was injured Thursday in an automobile accident that killed fellow Team Sabco fabricator Thomas “T.L.” Stiles, was released from Carolinas Medical Center on Saturday and returned home. Sherrill suffered shoulder, neck and head injuries in the accident, which took place on Interstate 77 north of Charlotte(That’s Racin’)(11-14-1999)

    (11-13-1999)

  • Gordon-Evernham Split UPDATE: The Pepsi-sponsored NASCAR Busch series team co-owned by driver Jeff Gordon and his ex-crew chief, Ray Evernham, will not continue as planned into 2000 with Evernham as a co-owner, despite the team’s first victory last Saturday in Phoenix. See full story at Racer Magazine(11-12-1999) — UPDATE: After the win at Phoenix,while the car was being torn down in post-race inspection, Gordon told Evernham that it would be best to end the partnership. “He just told me that he didn’t feel comfortable working with me anymore,” Evernham said Friday from his shop in Harrisburg, N.C. “He told me he wanted to offer to buy me out, and I have not spoken to him since. “But whatever he wants to do is fine. I’m not upset.” Gordon, at Homestead-Miami Speedway for Sunday’s Pennzoil 400, said that “nothing is set in stone.” But with Evernham entrusted with developing the Dodge Intrepid for Winston Cup racing in 2001, and the Gordon-Evernham Busch team running Chevrolets, it wasn’t difficult to see that there could be problems(News and Observer)(11-13-1999)
  • A Campers Dream: Coleman, the outdoors equipment company, announced a three-year partnership with NASCAR in which it will repair appliances and deliver water to fans who camp out at NASCAR events(St Petersburg Times)(11-13-1999)
  • Ned to retire: Ned Jarrett plans to retire from the booth once his current contracts run out. He’s signed with CBS through next season. His ESPN deal ends after this season, but he has talked with them about being back again for one more year and expects that to happen(That’s Racin’)(11-13-1999)
  • No Bull Five Change: Richmond International Raceway’s Paul Sawyer has confirmed that his track will replace Darlington next year in Winston’s No Bull Five program. Under the latest realignment, the program will consist of the Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, Las Vegas 400, Exide 400(fall race) at Richmond and Winston 500 at Talladega. Richmond’s selection is based on a desire by Winston to have a short track in the five-race series, which offers $1 million payoffs to designated drivers and fans. The reason Richmond was selected over Bristol was apparently NASCAR’s unwillingness to have Speedway Motorsports represented with three races in the program. Richmond is outside the control of either SMI or International Speedway Corporation, which owns Daytona and Talladega(SpeedNet)(11-13-1999)
  • DW Notes: #66-Darrell Waltrip wrecked his primary car in the AM practice Friday and had to go to the back-up car. The back-up had been raced at Martinsville earlier in the season but it didn’t have enough speed to make the field in the first round(DW Site)(11-13-1999)

    (11-12-1999)

  • Kyle Petty Honored: Kyle Petty, the driver of the #44 Hot Wheels Pontiac out of Petty Enterprises on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, has bee named the NASCAR Winston Cup Illustrated Person of the Year. The award, given annually by NASCAR Winston Cup Illustrated, is given in recognition of acheivement, sportsmanship and contributions to charity and community. Petty, an eight(not five)-time winner on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, has conducted his Charity Ride Across America for five consecutive years. The ride is a group motorcycle trip across the country that raises money for various charities, among them the NASCAR Winston Cup Racing Wives Auxiliary. The WCRWA, among its other functions, establishes a fund that assists NASCAR competitors and their families in cases of deblitating injury. Over the years, the ride has earned thousands of dollars for selected charities. Additionally, the charity ride visits children’s hospitals and other sites across the country, promoting good will. Over the past few seasons, Petty has established a food bank drive to assist in feeding the hungry. Donation stations have been established a selected speedways, among them Lowe’s Motor Speedway, North Carolina Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway, at which fans can donate unpershiable foods and goods in return for discounts at Petty’s Hot Wheels souvenir trailers. Petty was presented a handsome NWCI Person of the Year trophy and an enlarged copy of the December cover of NWCI, in which he is featured. The NWCI Person of the Year Award is determined by a vote of NASCAR fans, a special panel of competitors and members of the NWCI staff. The first award, in 1997, was presented to Jeff Gordon and Darrell Waltrip. Last year’s winner was Ray Evernham(Winston Cup Illustrated)(11-12-1999)

    (11-11-1999)

  • NOL and TV: NASCAR Online has the teleconference link that fans can listen to: NASCAR’s television deal news conference(need Real Audio) and a story about the deal: NASCAR announces multi-year TV deals, NASCAR agreed to a six-year television contract with NBC Sports and Turner Sports, with the two media companies combining to develop a joint venture, and an eight-year agreement with FOX, and its FX cable network, effective with the 2001 season(11-11-1999)
  • TV News? CORRECTION/UPDATE: I hear he Winston Cup/Busch TV deal will likely be split into three packages: spring, summer and fall. The spring package is likely to be kept by CBS, given their long association with the Daytona 500. The fall package probably goes to either ABC or NBC, because the other networks have Sunday NFL football. That leaves the summer package, which could go to NBC or Fox. The big losers will be the cable networks (ESPN, TNN) as NASCAR has supposedly told the networks that it wants at least 80% of the Cup races on network TV, and only 20% on cable(anon source) — UPDATE: on tonights RPM2Nite, John Kernan reported that Fox had won the rights to televise the first 1/2 of the 2001 season including the Daytona 500 and NBC would televise the 2nd half of the 2001 schedule, ESPN/ESPN2 will still televise the CTS(trucks) and RPM2Nite(11-10-1999) and the AP Story link, The Fox network, NBC, and cable channels FX and TBS will televise the races, expected to be a 6-year deal worth $2.4 billion($400 million a year)(11-11-1999)
  • #75 Sponsor: TBS has decided to return to the Winston Cup series as a sponsor in the 2000 season. TBS decided earlier this season it would not renew its sponsorship agreement with the #9 Fords owned by Melling Racing. But Tuesday, the company announced it will sponsor the #75 Fords owned by Galaxy Motorsports and driven by Wally Dallenbach next season. TBS will continue with the rotating sponsor program next season with Galaxy Motorsports. The initial agreement is for one season(That’s Racin’)(11-11-1999)
  • Gibbs BGN: Joe Gibbs Racing will have a press conference to announce a new sponsor in NASCAR Busch Grand National Division. The announcement is scheduled to be held at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, November 13, 1999 9:15am/et(Stock Car Fans BGN Newsletter)(11-11-1999)

    (11-10-1999)

  • Pruett Tests at Talladega UPDATE: hearing that Scott Pruett is testing the #32 Tide PPI/Cal Wells Ford at Talladega on Monday and Tuesday(Nov 8-9th)(11-8-1999) — UPDATE: Scott Pruett and the PPI Motorsports team wrapped up a two-day test session Wednesday at Talladega Superspeedway. Pruett is making the jump from CART to Winston Cup in 2000, and this week’s testing at Talladega marked only the second time Pruett’s team has been together to prepare the Cal Wells-owned Ford Tauruses for their rookie season. No Speed listed(Talladega Superspeedway Site)(11-10-1999)
  • #50/Craven News: #50 MidWest Transit Racing has signed Charley Pressley as their team manager, effective immediately. Pressley and MidWest Transit Racing driver Ricky Craven previously worked together at Larry Hedrick Motorsports during the 1996 Winston Cup season(Ricky Craven Online)(11-10-1999)
  • Petty Press Conference UPDATE 2: Petty Enterprises has scheduled a press conference for Nov 11th at the All Star Cafe on Miami’s South Beach to discuss the future(Winston Cup Scene)(11-5-1999) — UPDATE:There’s an announcement scheduled for Thursday night in Miami’s South Beach involving the Petty family, but sources say it will not have anything to do with any of the Petty Enterprises teams converting to Dodge. The announcement will concern Adam Petty’s racing plans – perhaps a five-race Winston Cup deal in 2000 in preparation for a move to the top series in 2001(That’s Racin’)(11-7-1999) — UPDATE 2: “there is a Petty press conference scheduled for this Thursday in Florida, but it’s more likely about plans for Kyle’s son, Adam, to run five Cup races in 2000. Kyle said that Adam’s Busch sponsors – Sprint, Nike and Coca-Cola – are expected to ante up enough money to let Adam get a taste of Winston Cup next year, then run for rookie of the year in 2001(Steve Smith/Racer Magazine)(11-10-1999)

    (11-9-1999)

  • Petty’s to Switch? UPDATE 2: Pontiac officials have been notified that Petty Enterprises will switch its Winston Cup teams to Dodge beginning with the 2001 season, according to a source within the General Motors camp. Another source in the NASCAR garage said Sunday that the Ray Evernham-owned cars are likely to carry the numbers 01 and 19. The 01 car would signify the year of Dodge’s return. The 19 is a number Evernham used in his days as a modified driver in New England.(That’s Racin’)(11-8-1999) — UPDATE: now an Associated Press(AP) story: Report: Petty Enterprises switching to Dodge in 2001(SpeedNet) — UPDATE 2: At the top, General Motors and Pontiac say they have heard nothing official from Petty. Pontiac program manager Fred Simmonds and GM Raceshop spokesman Dave Hederich said Monday they had heard nothing official from any of the Pettys. Petty, or others in the Petty group, could not be reached Monday or Tuesday. Dodge officials and spokesmen all were said to be out of their offices. See full story at:(Racer Magazine(11-9-1999)
  • Mast and the #98 Close: #98 driver Rick Mast says he’s close to finalizing a deal with his current team, Cale Yarborough Motorsports(Roanoke Times)(11-10-1999)
  • Irvan Honor: To honor Ernie Irvan’s retirement and career after suffering a career-ending injury at Michigan almost three months ago Irvan will cruise one lap around the Atlanta Motor Speedway in a specially designed #36 M&M’s car after driver introductions are completed on Nov 21st in the Cup season finale. It will be a final and fitting tribute to Irvan, who won 15 races during his 13-year career. Irvan, who is looking into a career in TV broadcasting at racing events, reportedly is still feeling the lingering effects from a concussion(Atlanta Constitution/Mike Carvell)(11-9-1999)
  • Another Gordon Rumor?: CART driver Robby Gordon made the rounds in the garage area on Sunday at Phoenix and is looking for a Winston Cup ride next season, has been mentioned as a candidate for the #30 Pontiac of Eel River Racing. Gordon is also considering starting his own team(Atlanta Constitution/Mike Carvell)(11-9-1999)
  • Club NASCAR? NASCAR has broken new sponsorship ground by signing time-share giant Club Sunterra as the “Official Vacation Clubs/Destination of NASCAR.” The four-year deal involves an annual rights fee of approximately $1.5 million, according to a Club Sunterra official who said the company will probably spend at least an additional $3 million each year on NASCAR-related marketing. See full story at the SportsBusiness Journal(thanks Ryan for the heads up)(11-9-1999)
  • Stewart to WoO UPDATE: Tony Stewart is close to making a deal that would enable him to own his own, but not drive for, World of Outlaws sprint-car team next year. Stewart is also going to make a rare appearance in an open-wheel car when he races in a USAC-sanctioned event at the Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, CA., on Thanksgiving weekend(Gaston Gazette)(11-7-1999) — UPDATE: hearing Kenny Irwin, Jr will also run the race in Irwindale, if so, that could be quite a show(11-9-1999)
  • Racing Champions diecast: NASCAR die cast vehicle replicas are huge among the giants of holiday toy sales. But, this holiday season, Racing Champions is encouraging consumers to think small as it introduces its Radio Control NASCAR Die Cast Set, the smallest toy of its kind ever produced. The first release include: the Mobil 1, McDonald’s and Valvoline teams(Catchfence/PR Newswire) I have seen these cars first hand, very cool(11-9-1999)

    (11-8-1999)

  • More TV: NASCAR could have at least a handshake agreement by Tuesday on the blockbuster television package it is negotiating this week at an undisclosed location in New York. NASCAR representative John Griffin did confirm that negotiations have come down the the bid stage, and that the meetings Monday and Tuesday were to evaluate money offers from four major broadcast entities. The figure most widely quoted for the taking bid is $400m, possibly over three years, bringing to NASCAR a $1.2b jackpot. High-level network sources, however, indicated that the money numbers now have “gone north of $500m”, perhaps even as high as $600m per year. See the rest of the story at Racer Magazine(11-8-1999)
  • Cope to the #41? UPDATE: not sure what is up, but am hearing reports that Derrike Cope will drive the #41 in 2000(and the final two races in 1999). A few weeks ago there was an announcement that Cope would drive the #15 Fenley-Moore Motorsports Ford, but have heard little about it since. Cope did test the #15 at Atlanta a few weeks ago. That’s Racin’ also reports that Todd Bodine will drive the #30 Pontiac at the final two Cup races in Homestead and Atlanta but Bodine was to drive the #41 at Atlanta, so it looks like something has changed…maybe the #15 has not found that sponsor yet — UPDATE: I hear Cope is still signed to drive the #15 and supposedly sponsorship is close to be announced for the #15 Fenley-Moore team and Cope will still drive the #15 at Atlanta. If the #15 deal were to fall through then the #41 could be an option for Cope. Also Todd Bodine has decided not to drive the #41 at Atlanta and will drive the #30 instead. No driver named yet for the #41. Oh yeah, another catch to the #15 deal, Robbie Gordon may be part of the deal as a 2nd team(11-8-1999)
  • MST Racing UPDATE: Motorsports Safety Technology, the one race sponsor of the defunct #58 SBIII Motorsports race team has this on their website: “Who is MST RACING ? When will they arrive ? What will they bring to the NASCAR table ? All these questions will soon be answered as the newest and most diverse team is ready to be released for the 2000 race season. What car will MST run – Chevy, Ford, Pontiac, or Chrysler ? Stay tuned for more details to soon unfold…!” Interesting, what does it mean? unknown…see the site at www.mstsafetyzone.com — UPDATE a source tells me that the deal SBIII/Motorsports Safety Technologies deal was not broken due to a bad check but due to issues about SBIII that the new sponsor did not feel was in their best interest to continue a relationship with SBIII and peruse other potential teams for sponsorship(anon source), those issues? don’t know(11-8-1999)
  • Martin and BBBSA: Mark Martin’s on-track performance in the Valvoline Ford, combined with contributions from Valvoline and NASCAR fans, has brought the current total raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters to $172,630. Valvoline is donating $5,000 for every Winston Cup race Martin wins this season, $2,500 for each pole, and $20 for every lap he leads in this “Caring Hands” program. The 14th of 15 planned trackside fund-raisers, where fans can put their handprints on a canvas wall, receive a commemorative button, and make donations, will be Saturday at Homestead(Valvoline PR)(11-8-1999)
  • Beer can and Jarrett: Someone threw a beer can onto the front straight at Phoenix International Raceway Sunday. Race leader and Winston Cup points leader Dale Jarrett ran over it, puncturing his right-front tire. Jarrett made up a lost lap and finished sixth despite the incident(Racer Magazine Thumbs Down/PitNow)(11-8-1999)
  • Career Finish: David Green finished 12th at Phoenix and got his career-best finish. Green’s previous best was 16th twice (Charlotte 5/97 and Talladega 10/97)(StockCarFans/Rumblings)(11-8-1999)
  • Stewart again UPDATE: Tony Stewart by winning at Phoenix, is the first driver since Davey Allison(in 1987) and it’s only the second time a rookie has won two Winston Cup races in a season(11-7-1999) — UPDATE: Stewart is also fourth in Winston Cup drivers points with two races to go, the highest finishing rookie in the modern era was Jody Ridley, who was seventh in 1981. When Davey Allison won two races in 1987, he ran only 22-of-31 races and finished out of the top 20 in points(Infobeat NewsletterAND if he holds his spot, it will be the best finish for a rookie since James Hylton was second in 1966(Times-DispatchANDStewart started 11th, meaning eight of the 12 race winners at Phoenix have come from outside the top 10(News and Observer)(11-8-1999)
  • Race Record: Tony Stewart’s winning speed of 118.132 mph at Phoenix, which was slowed by just two caution flags for a total of 10 laps, broke the race record of 110.825, set by Dale Jarrett in 1997(Infobeat Newsletter)(11-8-1999)
  • Ford Complains: Ford officials are wondering why NASCAR has rejected a proposed new cylinder head. The head, offered five weeks ago, would have had beefier port heights to match what Chevrolet has had with its SB2-plus-2 engine for the last two seasons. Ford’s Robert Yates has been key in the push for taller ports, and, of course, his team is running away with this season’s championship. So Yates says he understands, but, he adds, NASCAR’s new templates for the 2000 Monte Carlo will actually provide an engine edge for Chevrolet(PitNow)(11-8-1999)
  • Chevy Complains: Chevy teams howl about lack of downforce on their cars. see the complaints at: Chevy teams disgusted with results by David Poole(That’s Racin’)(11-8-1999)
  • Ill Drivers: at Phoenix, Geoffrey Bodine and Elliott Sadler both has the flu all weekend and Johnny Benson had food poisoning. But all toughed it out and ran the complete race(many sources)(11-8-1999)
  • Cale a Honored Guest: During the recent Vanderbilt-South Carolina football game the University of South Carolina paid a nice tribute to NASCAR. Part of the halftime homecoming ceremony was dedicated to NASCAR, and former champion Cale Yarborough — a South Carolina native — was the game’s special guest(Tennessean)(11-8-1999)
  • Pit Road Incident: Defending Phoenix race winner #2-Rusty Wallace lost any chance of repeating in an incident with #1-Steve Park and #60-Geoffrey Bodine as they left pit road during a caution-flag pit stop on lap 121. All three cars made contact and suffered sheet metal damage. Wallace’s car also was damaged in the front. Wallace took the blame, saying he didn’t see Park(Roanoke Times)(11-8-1999)
  • New NASCAR Apparel Company: AMPRO Racing a division of AMPRO Sports of Philadelphia, PA has entered into the NASCAR arena, and has big plans for 2000. They have a private line of apparel for motorsports called “IN THE PITS” (R) TM (amproracing@alltel.net) and is working on driver lines and team lines for 2000. AMPRO Racing was issued a apparel license by NASCAR back in June and with its other licensing from Ford and GM, it will combine special new designs and printing processes not seen in motorsports. AMPRO Racing is a division of AMPRO Sports which is the nations third largest provider of printed apparel. They have extensive distribution working with Kmart, Wal-Mart and other mass retailers and have plans on going trackside for 2000 with several drivers. AMPRO Racing division is headed by Alan Winninger who has worked in NASCAR racing for over 12 years and brings extensive experience in apparel. Watch for their website to be up soon (www.amproracing.com) and other information online and in Winston Cup Scene on their products and services(PR)(11-8-99)

(11-7-1999)

  • Reiser out? hearing the garage gossip has Robby Reiser not being the crew chief for the Roush Racing #17 DeWalt Tools Ford to be driven by Matt Kenseth in 2000(11-7-1999)
  • Zipadelli signs: Dick Berggren announced on the Phoenix race broadcast that #20-Tony Stewart’s crew chief, Greg Zipadelli, signed a five year extension to stay with Joe Gibbs Racing(TNN Race broadcast) It is expected that Stewart will be doing the same in the next few weeks(11-7-1999)
  • Manufacturers Championship: Ford has clinched the Manufacturers Championship with Mark Martins 2nd place finish at Phoenix. For the standings, see my Manufacturer Champions Standings page(11-7-1999)
  • Petty Press Conference UPDATE: Petty Enterprises has scheduled a press conference for Nov 11th at the All Star Cafe on Miami’s South Beach to discuss the future(Winston Cup Scene)(11-5-1999) — UPDATE:There’s an announcement scheduled for Thursday night in Miami’s South Beach involving the Petty family, but sources say it will not have anything to do with any of the Petty Enterprises teams converting to Dodge. The announcement will concern Adam Petty’s racing plans – perhaps a five-race Winston Cup deal in 2000 in preparation for a move to the top series in 2001(That’s Racin’)(11-7-1999)
  • Roush News: Kevin Lepage and the #16 team will remain in the organization next season regardless of what happens with the car’s TV Guide sponsorship. The sponsor is waiting until the end of the year to make a decision on returning, but Lepage and crew chief Pat Tryson are staying put. If no sponsor is signed, Roush plans to take an unsponsored car to the Daytona 500. Smith is talking to other companies about sponsoring the team. If he signs a new sponsor and re-signs TV Guide for the #16, Roush Racing will be able to keep its #26 team on board. Johnny Benson, driver of the #26, is leaving Roush after the season, along with sponsor Cheerios. In two weeks, the Roush teams of Chad Little and 2000 rookie Matt Kenseth(#17) will move into a shop at the Concord Airport. Roush also will enter contract negotiations with #97 driver Chad Little and sponsor John Deere(Times-Dispatch)(11-7-1999)
  • Drivers Looking around: Pep Boys IRL drivers Billy Boat and Buddy Lazier were both seen in the NASCAR Busch Series garages Friday scoping out the fendered machines. Also on hand was an extremely low key NHRA Winston Funny Car champion and banquet speaking legend John Force, who meandered all over the lot(NOL). Force also is scouting the NASCAR circuit for a test driver next season. He is going to field a Funny Car team that will do only testing next year and said he’s talking to a female candidate. “She’s here (at PIR),” Force said. “She’s not a (NASCAR) driver. Just say there’s some NASCAR involvement.”(Arizona Republic)(11-6-1999) — UPDATE: hmm…some garage reports have Patty Moise, former BGN driver and wife of #98 BGN driver Elton Sawyer as being the new John Force test driver(Racin’ My Butt Site)(11-7-1999)
  • Rudd to Auction: Ricky Rudd, who will shut down the team he owns at season’s end to go drive the #28 Fords for Yates next season, has decided to auction off his equipment. Rudd said the auction will likely be held the week after Thanksgiving, just a day or two(Dec. 1-2) before the Winston Cup awards banquet in New York City. Rudd sold the shop and the land surrounding it to Yates. The #28 team will be headquartered there next season(That’s Racin’)(11-7-1999)
  • Gordon/Earnhardt Jr win: Jeff Gordon won the BGN event at Phoenix, his first win in the series since 1992(he left the series after the 1992 season). Dale Earnhardt, unofficially, clinched the BGN championship(11-7-1999)
  • Irwin signs with SABCO? UPDATE: Kenny Irwin has signed with Team Sabco to take over the driving duties of the #42 Chevys beginning next season. An official announcement with car owner Felix Sabates and Irwin is not expected until the weekend of the Nov. 21 NAPA 500 at Atlanta, the headquarters of the car’s sponsor, BellSouth, according to sources close to the driver(That’s Racin’)(9-7-1999) — UPDATE: from Kenny Irwin in an NOL story – “It’s really not much of a secret anymore that I’m going to be driving for the BellSouth team,” Irwin said. “The deal will be officially announced at Atlanta.”(NOL)(11-7-1999)
  • NASCAR TV UPDATE: NASCAR’s television negotiators will meet Monday and Tuesday, according to NASCAR sources, when the four network bidders, NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox, are scheduled to make their final presentations in major two-hour sessions in New York City. The winners and losers are expected to learn their fates ”within a week,” according to one source, though NASCAR officials are expected to try to keep the package as secret as possible until the New York awards banquet in early December(PitNow)(11-6-1999) — UPDATE: another story at That’s Racin’: Big week for NASCAR’s future on TV(11-7-1999)

    (11-6-1999)

  • 2nd Galaxy Motorsports team: hearing Pizza Hut will be the sponsor of the 2nd Darwin Oordt/Galaxy Motorsports team with Johnny Benson rumored as the driver. Oordt’s first team is the #75 Ford team with Wally Dallenbach as the driver and the Cartoon Network as the rumored sponsor(11-6-1999)
  • Speedway Motorsports Stock falls UPDATE: Speedway Motorsports Inc(28-3/4, down 17-3/16 @ 11:10 am ET) announced that net earnings for the quarter ended September 30, 1999 will be approximately $6 mln below expectations. The results are attributable to Indy Racing League and National Hot Rod Association events, continued carrying costs of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Industrial Park, and start-up expenses of Oil-Chem Research Corp. The Company estimates that these shortfalls will result in a loss for the quarter, although a record profit will be generated for the nine months ended September 30, 1999(Infobeat Stock Alert) and this story: Speedway shrs drop after earnings warning mentions The remainder of the $6 million shortfall is evenly balanced between a “rain plagued” National Hot Rod Association event, expenses from its Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which is for sale, and marketing costs for its Oil-Chem Research Corp. start-up(Yahoo) and a Racer Magazine story(11-5-1999) — UPDATE: LVMS dources tell me that the business park has beenfor sale ever since Bruton bought the place and that LVMS is not for sale(11-6-1999)
  • Stewart Extension: Expect news shortly of a contract extension among driver Tony Stewart, crew chief Greg Zipadelli and owner Joe Gibbs. Zipadelli said Friday he had not actually signed his contract but that he planned to do so shortly. His decision was related to a similar decision by Stewart. Some observers had read into the absence of new contracts with Gibbs an indication or suspicion that the two might be headed elsewhere. Undoubtedly such reports fueled rumors that Dodge might be wooing Stewart and Zipadelli(SpeedNet/Monte Dutton)(11-6-1999)
  • SBIII/Hut News: Hut Stricklin, left out on the street by the abrupt collapse of SBIII Motorsports, said rumors of a resurrection were premature(SpeedNet/Monte Dutton)(11-6-1999)
  • Brett Bodine sale close UPDATE 2: Brett Bodine is close to selling his #11 Cup team, all terms are agreed upon, just the paper work to do(RPM2Nite). Rumor has it that the new owner is Winston West owner Richard Hylton and will bring along Ralphs/Kroger as a sponsor(10-15-1999) — UPDATE: should be announced at Phoenix(NASCAR2Day)(10-17-1999) — UPDATE 2 Brett Bodine had tentatively scheduled to announce the sale of his Winston Cup team to Richard Hylton, a Winston West team owner, this weekend, but that announcement has been postponed until Friday, Nov. 19, at Atlanta(That’s Racin’)(11-6-1999)
  • #7 News UPDATE 2: Mattei Motorsports is still hoping that sponsor Philips will stay on board for 2000, but it looks like they have already firmed up a relationship with NationsRent for next season(Inside Motorsports)(9-9-1999) — UPDATE: I hear Mattei Motorsports will announce that Nations Rent will be their 2000 primary sponsor at Homestead(11-2-1999) — UPDATE 2 Look for Mattei Motorsports to announce a new primary sponsor next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The team, which fields the #7 Chevrolets for Michael Waltrip, is expected to announce that NationsRent will replace Philips as its top backer(That’s Racin’)(11-6-1999)
  • Hamilton in Late Model race: Bobby Hamilton will race in the Alabama 300 Late Model race at Montgomery Motor Speedway in Montgomery, AL. The race is set for Saturday, Nov 27th(WLWI 92.3FM via a reader)(11-6-1999)
  • Sad News: Ruby Parrott, the mother of Roush Racing’s Buddy Parrott and grandmother of Todd Parrott, Dale Jarrett‘s crew chief, died on Thursday(Times-Dispatch)(11-6-1999)
  • Inspections at Phoenix: At least half the cars entered in the Checker 500 Winston Cup race had to do a little work on their cars after their first pass through NASCAR’s inspection line Friday morning. Most of the problems stemmed from the placement of the rear spoilers on the cars. Several other cars, most of them Pontiacs, had to do some minor tweaking on the noses of their cars(That’s Racin’)(11-6-1999)

    (11-5-1999)

  • #16 Hood: At many races throughout the season, driver Kevin Lepage has raced with a celebrity emblazoned on the hood of his #16 TV Guide Ford Taurus. This weekend it’s Gina Gershon, who appears on the ABC series Snoops(Arizona Republic)(11-5-1999)
  • Rent-A-Wreck Debut: Rent-A-Wreck of America will be joining forces with driver Bob Strait and the #61 Mark Thompson’s Phoenix Air Racing team Ford, out of Cartersville, GA for the Cup race at Homestead on Nov 14(PRN Newswire/Yahoo/Catchfence)(11-5-1999)
  • Martin BGN News UPDATE: Mark Martin, all-time leading winner in the BGN Series, took a rare few minutes of free time to reflect on his career in NASCAR racing and to reveal that he’ll back away from Busch over the next year(Racer Magazine)(10-24-1999) — UPDATE: Mark Martin is leaning toward withdrawing from competition in the Busch Series after the 2000 season. However, Martin, the all-time leader in victories on the junior circuit, prefers not to use the “R” word(retire)(Tennessean/Cox)(11-5-1999)
  • #30 Sponsor at Atlanta: Rudy’s Farm will sponsor the #30 Eel River Pontiac with a yet un-announced driver at Atlanta. Rudy’s Farm is one of four Sara Lee companies serving as rotating sponsors of the car this season, joining Jimmy Dean, Bryan and State Fair Corn Dogs(Tennessean). Todd Bodine will drive the #30 at Phoenix and Homestead but is committed to the #41 Kodiak Chevy at Atlanta. Andy Hillenburg recently tested the #30 at Atlanta(11-5-1999)

    (11-4-1999)

  • Elder Andretti Passes: Alvise Andretti, the 90-year-old father of Mario and Aldo Andretti and grandfather to Michael, Jeff and John Andretti, died of cancer at his home in Nazareth on Nov. 2.(Racer Mag)(11-4-1999)
  • Penske to buy out Kranefuss? UPDATE 2 Nope: according to reports, Roger Penske is ready to buy out Michael Kranefuss, half owner of the #12 Mobil One team and driver Jeremy Mayfield. Supposedly Penske wants complete control so he can switch both teams to Dodge at the end of the 2000 season. Dodge would then have six Cup teams, two with Evernham, two with Petty and two with Penske(Speedway Scene Mag/Jack Flowers)(11-3-1999) — UPDATE: I hear that Roger Penske, Michael Kranefuss and Walter Czarnecki recently denied any desire on anyone’s part to buy anyone out and that they recently said it was completely and totally untrue and they planned on continuing together and planned on winning together — UPDATE 2/REPOST: Rumors of tension between NASCAR team owner Roger Penske and partner Michael Kranefuss are greatly exaggerated, both sides said over the weekend at North Carolina Speedway. Kranefuss, half-owner (with Penske) of the #12 team with driver Jeremy Mayfield, said Sunday morning at Rockingham that he and Penske intend to keep to course as co-proprietors of one of NASCAR’s better racing organizations. Walt Czarnecki, vice president of Penske Racing, strongly reinforced the point(Racer Mag)(11-4-1999)

    (11-3-1999)

  • Pruett Testing Day II: Before Tuesday, Lake Tahoe, Nevada native Scott Pruett didn’t even know where Darlington, SC was on a map. But he met the infamous wall of Darlington Raceway face-to-face after coming to town for the first time. Pruett, a long-time racer, is making his debut in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series next year, and he chose Darlington Raceway to be the place of initiation for his 2000 Winston Cup ride with PPI Motorsports. On Tuesday and Wednesday he tested at the track “Too Tough To Tame,” (which is not known for a friendly welcome to rookies), and actually, other than a brief encounter with the Turn 4 wall, he faired pretty well. At the end of the day Wednesday he was running a 29.40, which converts to 167.265 mph, and would have been barely quick enough to enter him into the field of 1999 Pepsi Southern 500 competitors. Not bad when you consider he wasn’t even running on a qualifying set-up. The performance is not all that surprising when you consider Pruett’s racing background. He has been involved in motorsports for more than 18 years, and has excelled in the CART series in the last decade. He is a two-time SCCA Trans-Am champion, and has experience in virtually every type of race car. On top of that, he has some of the best in the business by his side with Cal Wells of PPI Motorsports as team owner, Doug Richert as crew chief, and long-time Winston Cup sponsor Tide backing him up. But even so, why start out at Darlington, the toughest track on the NASCAR circuit? Well, Pruett just figured that if he could drive at Darlington he could drive anywhere. Team Manager Joe Garone said that the crew was pleased at the end of testing Wednesday, and that Pruett has a natural feel for driving Darlington Raceway and a Winston Cup car. “It’s amazing how quickly he has adapted to the differences of open-wheeled driving to that of Winston Cup,” he said. “We feel like he’s just a natural. We were just hoping to leave here with the cars in tact,” he laughed. Veteran Winston Cup driver Ted Musgrave was on hand both days to give Pruett some pointers on driving the track(Darlington PR)(11-3-1999)
  • Morgan-McClure 2nd Team? from the Morgan-McClure Website Pit Boeard: when asked about a 2nd team…..”at this point it doesn’t look like a second team will be put together for next year. Not that we haven’t been trying, but we will only do a second team if we have a first-class, multi-year sponsor. Unfortunately there just aren’t an abundance of those companies lining up with checks right now. We are talking to several companies still, and have had offers for second team sponsorship which we determined were unsatisfactory”(11-3-1999)
  • Kodiak to the #9? reportedly Kodiak has met with Melling Racing about sponsoring the #9 Ford with driver Stacy Compton being the driver. Kodiak currently sponsors the #41 Hedrick Racing Chevy but is leaving at the end of the year(Speedway Scene Mag/Jack Flowers)(11-3-1999)
  • Hendrick Honored: Rick and Linda Hendrick received the Leadership for Life Award from The Marrow Foundation for their work on behalf of the National Marrow Donor Program. After Hendrick, founder of Hendrick Motorsports, was diagnosed with leukemia in 1996, he began the Hendrick Marrow Program to encourage volunteers to have their names added to the national donor program’s registry. More than 20,000 have done just that, with money raised by the Hendrick program paying for the cost of tissue typing many of those(That’s Racin’)(11-3-1999)
  • Hut back? Tri-Star back? hearing rumors that Tri-Star Motorsports in some form will be resurrected with #58 SBIII engine builder and former #19 Tri-Star Motorsports owner, Mark Smith as at least a part owner. Hut Stricklin will supposedly be the driver with Donnie Allison as the Team Manager. And get this…..Motorsports Safety Technologies is the rumored sponsor. The #58 Motorsports team was housed in the old Tri-Star building, this whole thing could get interesting, if true(11-3-1999)
  • Atlanta Testing: Stacy Compton had the fastest car Tuesday in the second of two days of testing at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Compton, a regular on the Craftsman Truck Series who will drive the #9 Ford of Melling Racing Enterprises in the final three Winston Cup races, was clocked at 189.600mph. Other Winston Cup drivers practicing at the track for the season-ending NAPA 500 on Nov. 21 were #94-Bill Elliott(186.666mph), #12-Jeremy Mayfield(186.666) and #50-Ricky Craven(182.970)(Atlanta Journal-Constitution) also #31-Mike Skinner had a speed of 186.666mph and #30-Andy Hillenburg was at 184.800mph(SpeedNet)(11-3-1999)
  • Tires: Goodyear is providing its new generation Eagle racing tire for the Checker Auto Parts/Dura Lube 500. The left-side tires haven’t been raced at any previous stops on the circuit, but the right-side tires have been raced previously at Richmond and NHIS(Arizona Republic)(11-3-1999)

    (11-2-1999)

  • DEI Grand Opening: A daylong celebration is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, November 9th at Dale Earnhardt Inc. starting with a Ribbon Cutting ceremony scheduled for 9:30 AM. Dale Earnhardt, his wife and business partner, Teresa Earnhardt, along with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Steve Park and Ron Hornaday will all be in attendance and fans are invited to witness this historic ceremony. For more info see my Driver Appearances page(Pennzoil PR)(11-2-1999)
  • 2nd Dodge Team Announcement TODAY? NOPE will be announced at the SEMA Automotive Industry Show on Nov 2nd in Las Vegas OR no later then the Homestead Cup/BGN weekend(Nov 13-14th). The teams mentioned in the article: Petty Enterprises, Joe Gibbs Racing and Roush Racing. But on the same page of the Winston Cup Scene, there is a story the mentions “Gibbs Says He’s Staying With GM.” On the Roush Racing site classifieds there is an add seeking a Chrysler mechanic, but that could mean anything. Sources tell me the team will be Petty’s(10-30/11-2-1999) — UPDATE: just heard from a source that Dodge now does not expect to make an announcement for a new team today, and probably not will not at Homestead as planned, guess we wait(11-2-1999)
  • Mast News: Rick Mast has been offered a 3-yr contract by the Woody Woodpecker team(#98 Cale Yarborough), but he has also been offered deals by a couple of other owners. He admitted he would like to stay put. The obstacle in signing is ownership uncertainty as a group has offered to buy out Cale Yarborough. Also: Since Mark Tudor was released as the crew chief they have been going without a leader. Several candidates interviewed but no decision has been made(The News-Gazette(Lexington VA) story not online)(11-2-1999)
  • Wells Testing UPDATE: hearing that the #32 Cal Wells’ Winston Cup team is testing at Darlington today and tomorrow(Tuesday and Wednesday) — UPDATE: Scott Pruett’s first day of testing got off to a late start because of rain, but overall the team was pleased with the apparent results. Pruett did not get a Darlington stripe on his debut day, and seemed to be catching on to driving a Winston Cup car by the end of the day. Pruett plans to test all day on Wednesday, November 3rd. Ted Musgrave is at Darlington helping the team test(11-2-1999)
  • Rudd Engines: hearing that Ricky Rudd will have Yates power (engines) in his #10 Tide Ford for the final Cup races of 1999(11-2-1999)
  • #7 News UPDATE: Mattei Motorsports is still hoping that sponsor Philips will stay on board for 2000, but it looks like they have already firmed up a relationship with NationsRent for next season(Inside Motorsports)(9-9-1999) — UPDATE: I hear Mattei Motorsports will announce that Nations Rent will be their 2000 primary sponsor at Homestead(11-2-1999)
  • more Sad News: NFL great and CART team owner, Walter Payton passed away in a Chicago-area hospital Monday afternoon. The NFL Hall of Famer, who joined Dale Coyne to run Payton/Coyne Racing in December of 1994, died due to a rare liver disorder that had affected him over the last 18 months. Payton also drove in the SCCA Sports 2000 and Trans-Am(Racer Magazine)(11-2-1999)
  • Sad News: John Sears, who raced on the NASCAR circuit during the 1960s and 1970s, died Monday in Hamlet, N.C. of an apparent heart attack. He was 63(SpeedNet/Mike Snow)(11-2-1999)
  • Sauter to Cup? Jay Sauter has signed a multi-year agreement with Curb-Agajanian Motorsports to drive the #43 Quality Farm & Country Chevrolet in the BGN series for the 2000 season. Current driver Shane Hall was given notice of his release last month and is himself very close to signing a 2000 contract. Co-owner Cary Agajanian is hopeful of lining up a five-race sponsorship deal to test the Winston Cup waters with Sauter late next season(Racer Magazine)(11-2-1999)
  • #91 Rumor: two different sources say that unless a sponsor comes forward, Joe Falk’s #91 LJ Racing team is done for the season. There is still no word on what will happen next year with the Winston Cup team. Falk supposedly does have something in the wings for a possible Busch team effort with Tim Fedewa for 2000(Victory Lane Online)(11-2-1999)
  • #58 Closed?? UPDATE 3 Yes: not sure what to make of this, but am hearing from many sources that the #58 SBIII team has closed up shop??? and only a week after signing a new sponsor. Nothing on their website about the closure: www.sbiiimotorsports.com(10-29-1999) — UPDATE: Nothing official but…. I hear from more sources that the #58 team shut down Friday at 2pm. The business manager had a team meeting, owner Scott Barbour was supposedly not there but would meet with the team on Monday to explain things, that’s all I hear. The SBIII Website is now nothing but a gray screen(10-30-1999) — UPDATE 2: from NOL – the sponsorship check wasn’t any good and owner Scott Barbour says he isn’t in a position to run the team any more out of his own pocket(10-31-1999) — UPDATE 3: More story links at: SpeedNet: SBIII shuts down operations and an AP Link: Stricklin out of Winston Cup ride(11-2-1999)
  • Rainbow Warriors, gone? UPDATE 2 yep(some of them): not sure what to think of this rumor, it’s from a few very good sources but seems a bit odd, anyhow, here it is: Hearing that Robert Yates Racing has hired the entire “Rainbow Warrior” crew to do pit stops for the #88 team and Dale Jarrett in 2000, so that his mechanics can stay home on weekends — UPDATE: just got this – Robert Yates Racing has acquired the services of five new team members for the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup season, team owner Robert Yates announced today. Barry Muse, Mike Trower, Kevin Gilman, Jeff Knight and Darren Jolly will primarily serve as the pit crew for Dale Jarrett’s #88 Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus. “This opportunity was presented to us earlier this year and after much thought between myself, Todd (Parrott, crew chief ) and Dale (Jarrett), we elected to take advantage of it,” Yates said. “This sport has been driven to the point where every situation tends to get more specialized. We compared notes and felt this would be a positive move. When a job is performance driven, it’s only smart to have specialized people in those positions. “Not only will this allow our guys that have been in these positions each and every weekend to concentrate on doing what they are assigned better, but more efficiently. This was just the next step to take.” The five new members will continue their same responsibilities for the #88 team, as they have carried out in the past with Hendrick Motorsports, pitting the #24 car, driven by Jeff Gordon. Muse – jackman, Trower – front tire changer, Gilman – rear tire changer, while Knight and Jolly are tire carriers. Rob Cappetta, Robert McInnis and Jason Burdett will remain as the gas man, second gas man and catch can, respectively(TNN Motorsports)(11-1-1999) and see the Racer Magazine Column: Over the Rainbow(11-2-1999)

    (11-1-1999)

  • SAD NEWS: CART driver, Greg Moore, 24, who had been rumored earlier this year to be looking at some NASCAR rides before signing on to drive with Roger Penske’s CART team, passed away today after sustaining head injuries during the California 500 in Fontana, CA(ESPN Race Coverage), condolences to the Moore family(10-31-1999). The CART website has an area to send condolences as does the Players Racing Site(11-1-1999)