November 2000 Busch Series Archive

  • Hillin still on the hunt: Bobby Hillin hasn’t found a ride for 2001, but he says that while he may be down right now, he’s not planning on leaving the sport any time soon. Hillin formed his own team in 1998, along with several Major League Baseball players. The Texan found some success at first, but the 2000 campaign wasn’t kind. Hillin failed to qualify for several events and then ceased operations late in the year, having since auctioned off all his equipment. Hillin has concentrated on landing a Busch Series ride, but has also talked to teams in the Winston Cup and Craftsman Truck Series garages(Winston Cup Scene)(11-30-2000)
  • Bickle to the #59? UPDATE 2 yes: hearing from readers that it was reported during MRN’s broadcast of the Phoenix BGN race that Rich Bickle would take over the wheel of the #59 Chevy for the 2001 and 2002 seasons, also hearing Bickle will have Popeye’s and AquaVelva as the sponsors on the #59. No word on what would happen to current driver Phil Parsons(11-6-2000)
    UPDATE: hearing Kingford Charcol will remain the primary with Popeyes and Aqua Velva being associates(11-7-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Rich Bickle will be driving full time in the BGN for 2001. Bickle was announced as the new driver for the #59 Kingsford/Match Light Chevrolet for ST Motorsports. He will be reuniting with his old friend, Phil Hammer, as the team’s crew chief(NOL)(11-30-2000)
  • #55 Driver Change UPDATE 2 Green to Drive: The #55 Davis & Weight Motorsports team released driver Michael Ritch Monday, team owner Jerry Davis announced. The release of Ritch comes on the heels of the team failing to qualify for the final race of the NASCAR Busch Series season at Homestead. “We want to move this team forward for the 2001 season, and we need to make a change to help us move in the right direction. We want to operate a team that runs in the top-ten consistently, and in order for that to take place we needed to change drivers. We are currently in discussion with several drivers about next year, and we expect to make an announcement on the selection of a new driver in the next few weeks,” said team-owners Jerry Davis & Tony Weight. Davis & Weight Motorsports will experience another change for next season as its in-house engine program moves into a new 15,000 square-foot facility for the 2001 season. The team’s engine program will operate in a new facility located directly adjacent to the team’s current body shop in Concord, North Carolina. The new engine shop will add to the team’s existing 20,000 square-foot race shop. Davis & Weight Motorsports currently seeks sponsorship for the 2001 BGN season.(for more info see the Davis & Weight Motorsports site)(11-13-2000)
    UPDATE: Mark Green is reportedly in the running for the ride, along with a handful of others(Winston Cup Scene)(11-23-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Mark Green has signed a contract to compete in the 2001 BGN season with #55 Davis & Weight Motorsports. Green brings five years previous experience in the BGN to the #55 Ford. Green completed his first full year of competition in the BGN in 1997 by finishing a career-best 11th in the final point standings with 1 top-five and 5 top-ten finishes. Green continued success in his young Busch Series career in 1998 by finishing 13th in the final point standings, collecting 4 top-10 finishes along the way. The team currently seeks corporate partners for the 2001 BGN(Davis & Weight Motorsports PR)(11-28-2000)
  • #48 Crew Chief: Innovative Motorsports Team Owner George deBidart announced the hiring of Gere Kennon as crew chief for the #48 Goulds Pumps Chevrolet driven by Mike McLaughlin in the BGN. Kennon, 43, joins the organization after leading Ron Hornaday to two wins and a 5th place BGN Points Championship finish in 2000. Kennon has worked with many of the top organizations and drivers in NASCAR, including, Dale Earnhardt Inc, Roush Racing, Junior Johnson, and Brett Bodine. Kennon also led Sam Ard to back-to-back Busch Series Championships in 1983 and 1984. McLaughlin is coming off a rollercoaster of a year that saw the Waterloo, NY native finish outside the top-ten in points (24th) for the first time since 1994(Total Sports Marketing)(11-28-2000)
  • Testing: Busch Series teams testing at Kentucky Speedway November 27-28th: #10-Jeff Green, #57-Jason Keller, #34-David Green(only on the 28th), #87-Joe Nemechek, #7-Randy Lajoie, #60-Greg Biffle, #81-Blaise Alexander and #82-Marty Houston(11-27-2000)
  • #90 Closed Up UPDATE: hearing the #90 GTS Motorsports / Fred Maggio owned BGN team has cease operations leaving driver Mike Stefanik, crew chief Corrie Stott and the crew looking for jobs. Maggio is looking for either a partner or someone to buy the team/equipment(11-25-2000)
    UPDATE: The CTS #90 team has closed up shop. Stefanik has been talking to different teams but does not have set 2001 plans yet(Mike Stefanik Site). see above for Auction details(11-27-2000)
  • Team Gordon to the BGN? #13-Team Gordon will change its focus to running a limited Busch Series schedule with Robby Gordon(Winston Cup Scene)(11-23-2000)
  • Little Tress Gone UPDATE: Little Trees will not return as the sponsor of the #30 Chevy in 2001. Team owner George de Bidart’s and driver Hermie Sadler are working together to find a replacement. de Bidart plans to continue two teams, #48-Mike McLaughlin drivers de Bidart’s other car(Winston Cup Scene Magazine)(11-16-2000)
    UPDATE: hearing that McLaughlin’s new crew chief for 2001 will be former #3 DEI crew chief Gere Kennon(11-22-2000)
  • Wallace and Lambert team up with Rensi: Crew Chief Tony Lambert wrapped up a phenomenal 2000 season with Mark Martin and Roush Racing’s #60 Winn-Dixie Busch Series team achieving 4 poles, 5 wins, 12 top-5’s and 13 top-10’s in only 13 BGN starts. Looking ahead to 2001, Lambert has decided to Part Company from Roush Racing to become an integral portion of Team Rensi Motorsports. Tony has been assigned as Crew Chief to driver Kenny Wallace as he competes in an abbreviated Busch Series schedule for Team Rensi Motorsports. This is one of two Busch Series teams the Rensi’s have in position for next season. The second team will run a full-time schedule in 2001 with Chad Chaffin as driver of the #25 Chevrolet and Greg Ely residing as Crew Chief. Wallace will run an abbreviated schedule next year of 18 races (more or less)(Kenny Wallace Site)(11-14-2000)
  • #2 Adds Sponsor: OSRAM SYLVANIA, a leader in the home and commercial lighting industry, has expanded its sponsorship involvement with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) to include a major endorsement program with the #2 ACDelco Busch Series team through 2002. OSRAM SYLVANIA’s involvement with the #2 ACDelco Chevrolet Monte Carlos, driven by 2000 NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year Kevin Harvick, will include logo placement on the upper hood, rear quarter panels, deck lid, and “B” posts. The Danvers, Mass., based company will also include Richard Childress, president of RCR, and Harvick in its overall promotion and advertising campaigns. RCR Promotions will handle the program’s show car schedule.(RCR PR)(11-14-2000)
  • APR and the BGN UPDATE not so fast: Andy Petree Racing announced it may not field a NASCAR Busch Series team in 2001, instead focusing all efforts on its two Winston Cup teams. APR is currently running a limited Busch Series schedule with two part-time sponsors. It will field the #15 car with sponsors Albertson’s and Hot Tamales in a total of 20 races in 2000. The team also is not ruling out starting a third Winston Cup team for 5-15 races in 2000, but it would have to be under the best of circumstances. If a sponsor comes to the team and would like to run a limited schedule in the Winston Cup, they would entertain the idea(APR PR)(10-3-2000)
    UPDATE, it lives: APR will be sending out a press release later this week (possibly today) to media outlets about its plans for the Busch Series in 2001 about Mike Skinner driving their Busch car next year, but we are still actively searching for a sponsor. As of right now they don’t have a schedule set, but are going to go forward with trying to find him a 10- to 15-race deal(Hendersonville News)(11-14-2000)
  • Lance Looking UPDATE ARCA: former Winston West Champ. Lance Hooper is currently talking with several BGN and CTS teams to drive for year 2001(10-25-2000)
    UPDATE: Hooper will run the ARCA race at Atlanta in the #39 Car sponsored by Ingles Markets, a grocery store based in Atlanta(11-14-2000)
  • #83 Done? UPDATE yes: hearing that the #83 Grubb Motorsports operation is shutting down its Richmond, VA, team. Supposedly Link-Belt told the team they would not return to the team or the series in 2001. The #26 Bobby Hamilton Jr Chevy had Link-Belt decals on it at Homestead(see story below)(11-8-2000)
    UPDATE: Grubb Motorsports is closing its doors after four years of competition in the BGN, team owner Bill Grubb said Monday. Sponsor deals fell through and Grubb knows his team cannot survive without one. Grubb is working to sell the assets of Grubb Motorsports(NOL)(11-13-2000)
  • BGN Preview: The Busch Series Ladies Association (BSLA) has scheduled its annual “Busch Series Preview,” the organization’s biggest event, for Friday, January 5, 2001. The 2001 season kick-off event will be held at the Charlotte Convention Center at 501 South College Street in the heart of uptown Charlotte. The Busch Series Preview is a day of non-stop activity including show-cars and simulators, a live and silent auction of racing memorabilia, a variety of games, vendors and exhibits. The highlight as always is the driver autograph session, and this year, many drivers from the NASCAR Busch Series will be on hand to meet the fans. Fans need to begin making plans now to attend The Ninth Annual Busch Series Preview. The fun begins on Friday, January 5th at 1:00 p.m. and concludes at 9:00 p.m. Admission is a $10 donation to the Busch Series Ladies Association and children under 12 are offered free admission. Proceeds go to support the many efforts of the BSLA. The BSLA, founded in 1996, works to promote the sport of stock car racing through its programs of assistance and support for all Busch Series families. This effort includes raising funds to provide financial help for all race participants suffering injury or tragedy. To learn more information about the organization and the Busch Series Preview, click on the Busch Series Ladies Association (BSLA) Graphic Link on the left side of this page towards the top(11-13-2000)
  • an Unser to the BGN? hearing that Al Unser Jr’s cousin Robby Unser who has run in the IRL is looking for a BGN ride(11-11-2000)
  • #74 helps out: The National Childhood Cancer Foundation logo will be featured on the rear quarter panels of both the #33 and #74 BACE Motorsports Chevys driven by Tony Raines and Chad Little, respectively. BACE has invited representatives of the foundation, including children with cancer, their parents and selected doctors, to attend the race weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The National Childhood Cancer Foundation (NCCF) supports cancer treatments and research programs at 250 of the most prestigious medical centers in the United States. Their specialists treat 90% of the children and teens with cancer in North America. The unique coordinated research effort is responsible for an amazing rise in the cure rate for infants, children, and teenagers with cancer. Forty years ago, leukemia was almost-always fatal in children. Now the cure rate is nearing 80%, and constantly rising. However, other types of childhood cancer have been more resistant to new cures. Scientists who conduct their research with the support of NCCF say there is much yet to be done, since cancer still kills more children than any other disease. Team owner Bill Baumgardner is extremely pleased to don the National Childhood Cancer Foundation’s logo on his team’s Chevrolet, “what these parents go through, having a child who is ill, is tremendous. Speaking from experience, knowing that your child is sick and there is little you personally can do about is a tragedy itself. Handing over your child’s life to someone else is the most frightening thing in the world. Something I’d never wish upon anyone.”(Champion Sports Group)(11-9-2000)
  • Schneider Gone from the #5: Schneider National, Inc. announced it will end its sponsorship in NASCAR’s Busch Series beginning with the 2001 season. Dick Trickle has been driving the familiar orange “Schneider Trucking” car for the past three years, the last two with car owner Jimmy Spencer. In his 82 races in the Schneider car, Trickle posted one win, two Bud Poles, four top-five and 13 top-10 finishes. He also captured his career-best finish in the NASCAR Busch Series championship last season, finishing 11th. Spencer Motor Ventures fields two NASCAR Busch Series teams out of their new 37,000 square foot facility in Mooresville, NC. Spencer’s teams have posted three wins, 20 top-five and 35 top-10 finishes in their 93 Busch Series starts(Spencer Motor Ventures PR)(10-27-2000)
    UPDATE: Dick Trickle will leave Jimmy Spencer’s #5 BGN team at the end of the season and is seeking a new ride for 2001. Trickle said he is exploring rides in both the BGN and CUP Series for 2001(NOL)(11-9-2000)
  • #63 news – Exxon Gone? UPDATE 4 a Ford and a NEW SPONSOR: hearing Exxon Superflo will not return in 2001 as the sponsor for Mark Green and the #63 Hensley Motorsports Chevy (Ford in 2001?)(10-7-2000)
    UPDATE: Exxon Superflo won’t return to Jeff Hensley’s #63 BGN team next season, leaving the the teaml looking for a replacement. Ocean Sun Travel Inc. has already been signed as an associate sponsor, and onwer Jeff Hensley says the company is “kinda chomping at the bit to step up” to a primary role. Hensley, however, will explore all of his options before going that route. He also hopes to have driver Mark Green back in 2001 if adequate sponsorship can be secured. His team is going ahead with plans to switch its fleet of cars from Chevrolets to Fords(Winston Cup Scene)(10-26-2000)
    UPDATE 2: hearing the #63 car will supposedly be driven by Shane Hall in 2001 and that sponsorship is in place and will be announced in the coming weeks(10-30-2000)
    UPDATE 3 to a Ford: the #63 HMV Motorsports team is putting aside its General Motors products and will have Mark Green driving a Superflo #63 Taurus at the season-ending race in Homestead(NOL) no more word on the sponsor or driver for 2001(11-7-2000)
    UPDATE 4 – Lance Snacks: Lance, Inc. announced today that they have reached an agreement with Hensley Racing to be the major sponsor on the #63 Ford to be driven by Shane Hall for the 2001 BGN season. Hensley Racing will also receive associate sponsorship support from Ocean Sun Travel, Exxon-Mobil, The Club, Knauss Snack Food Company and SMP. Hensley Racing will be a full, factory backed Ford team for the 2001 Busch Grand National season(Hensley PR)(11-8-2000)
  • Chaffin to Team Rensi UPDATE: Chad Chaffin, former driver of the #77 Ford, will drive for Team Rensi in 2000. Owner Ed Rensi expects Lance Snacks to return to the #25 Chevy and may field a 2nd car, no driver mentioned(Winston Cup Scene)(9-29-2000)
    UPDATE: Lance Snacks will not return as the primary sponsor as it goes to the #63 Hensley Racing Ford in 2001(11-8-2000)
  • Labontes 2001 Plans: Looks like Justin Labonte, who drove the #44 SlimJim BGN Chevy part time in 2000 will probably run in some ARCA races in 2001 and could also could run a limited BGN schedule(Roanoke Times). No word on Terry Labonte’s plans or what the #44 team will do as they do not have a sponsor for 2001(11-8-2000)
  • Lawsuit: this is different – AT&T Broadband said its NASCAR race car sponsorship was left “black and blue” by the unsportsmanlike conduct this year of driver Mike Borkowski(#20 Bill Davis Racing Pontiac). Seeking the return of nearly $600,000 in sponsorship payments, AT&T Broadband is suing Borkowski and his Ohio marketing company in Denver federal court. The breach-of-contract suit, filed Friday, alleges Borkowski and ESBG Marketing Inc. of Dublin, OHo, broke the terms of their sponsorship agreement in May when Borkowski was involved in several nationally televised “on-track altercations, at least three of which resulted in crashes.” Borkowski, 26, who reportedly has moved from Ohio to northern California, could not be reached for comment. ESBG Marketing was not listed in Ohio phone directories. The suit said Borkowski’s behavior at the Busch 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway was “condemned by members of the media” and prompted his release from Bill Davis Racing after competing in just eight races for the season. See more on this in the Rocky Mountain News(11-7-2000)
  • #34 Assoc Sponsor: Miami, Florida-based Lawson Industries joins the AFG Glass Racing team as an associate sponsor of the No. 34 Chevrolet Monte Carlo for Saturday’s 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway(Vertical Horizons PR)(11-7-2000)
  • Carroll Racing Sponsor: Link-Belt Construction Equipment has partnered with the #26 Carroll Racing team for a one-race sponsorship agreement at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The announcement came after the #83 decided not to run in the final race of the 2000 BGN(Carroll Racing PR)(11-7-2000)
  • Finch to Ford..and Chevy: In preparation for Phoenix Racing’s 2001 BGN season, the team opted to bring a Ford Taurus for the season finale at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. Randy LaJoie will drive the #51 Bob Evans Ford while P.J. Jones will pilot the #1 Yellow Exact Express Chevy.(SFX/Cotter Group PR) Looks like Finch will run a Ford, not a Dodge or Chevy in 2001(11-7-2000)
  • Engines: Dennis Fischer, President of Fischer Engineering, made the announcement this morning John Wilson has been released from Fischer Engineering effective immediately(Cox Marketing)(11-7-2000)
  • McFarland to run at Homestead: Mark McFarland, the 2000 Old Dominion Speedway NASCAR Weekly Racing Series points champion, has agreed to drive the #84 BGN car for Beau Petty of Petty/Huggins Motorsports in the 300 Busch Grand National race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 11th.(
  • LaJoie to leave Finch UPDATE 4 to NEMCO: it was reported in this weeks Winston Cup Scene that Randy LaJoie, driver of the Bob Evans #1 James Finch owned Chevy, will leave that team at the end of the 2000 season. Rumors I have heard was that he would be going back to the #74 BACE team (seems highly unlikely considering they didn’t part on the greatest terms – but you never know) or going to a Richard Childress owned BGN team(new??). Finch plans to cut back to a part time status(unless a sponsor is found) while LaJoie wants to drive for a full time team(9-2-2000)
    UPDATE – LaJoie to team with Nemechek? hearing the Norwalk Hour is reporting that Randy LaJoie will be driving a Joe Nemechek owned #7 Chevy in the 2001 BGN season. Nemecheck would still run selected events in the #87 (and maybe Ron Fellows at Watkins Glen?). No word on a sponsor. The Norwalk Hour is online but does not post any news(9-4-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Randy LaJoie has signed a letter-of-intent with Joe Nemechek’s Busch Grand National team for next season(Times Dispatch)(9-9-2000)
    UPDATE 3: LaJoie has signed a letter of intent to drive a full Grand National schedule next season for a team owned by Ed Evans and Winston Cup driver Joe Nemechek. The team called Evans Motorsports will be housed in Nemechek’s shop in Mooresville, N.C. Nemechek plans to continue to run a limited Grand National series schedule in 2001(That’s Racin’)(9-18-2000)
    UPDATE 4: Two-time series champion Randy LaJoie’s move to Nemco Motorsports next season will be made official at a news conference Friday at Phoenix. LaJoie has agreed to a two-year deal to drive a full schedule for Winston Cup driver Joe Nemechek. Kleenex has agreed to a one-year sponsorship deal with the team, with options for additional years. LaJoie has one victory this season and is seventh in the series points race. He won series titles in 1996 and 1997(That’s Racin’)(11-2-2000)
    UPDATE 5: hearing the number of the car will be #7 AND Kimberly-Clark Corporation announced its sponsorship plans today for the 2001 NASCAR® Busch Grand National Series season with several of its consumer and Away from Home brands. A Busch Series sponsor for seven years, KLEENEX® and SCOTT® Brand Products, including COTTONELLE® Toilet Paper and Flushable Moist Wipes and VIVA® Paper Towels, BLOCK-IT™ Fabric, HUGGIES® Baby Wipes and new SPLASH’N GO!™ Hand and Face Wipes, will sponsor the Evans Motorsports #7 Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by Randy LaJoie. Evans Motorsports will operate as a team venture with NEMCO Motorsports, Joe Nemechek’s Busch Series team. The NEMCO facility in Mooresville, North Carolina will become the new home for the Kimberly-Clark racing effort and Nemechek’s crew chief, Brian Pattie, will oversee race operations for both teams(Sales and Marketing LLC PR)(11-3-2000)
  • GMAC News: GMAC, a longtime member of the Hendrick family of racing sponsors, announced today a comprehensive sponsorship agreement with Hendrick Motorsports for 2001 that includes involvement in NASCAR’s Winston Cup, Busch Grand National and Craftsman Truck Series. GMAC, which will expand its presence on Hendrick entries in NASCAR’s three major touring series, will be the primary sponsor on the #17 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Ricky Hendrick in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as well as a major associate sponsor on the #24 Chevrolet of Jack Sprague. In 2001, will assume primary sponsorship of the #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet truck now driven by Sprague. Additionally, GMAC will also serve as the primary sponsor for Ricky Hendrick in a select number of NASCAR Busch Grand National and ARCA events during the 2001 season. Dennis Connor, the all-time winningest crew chief in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series history, will oversee the new GMAC racing operation, which will operate out of its own separate facility. And as it has since 1993, GMAC will continue to be an associate sponsor on all three HMS Winston Cup cars: the #24 DuPont Chevrolet driven by three-time champion Jeff Gordon, #5 Chevrolet of two-time champion Terry Labonte and the #25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet of Jerry Nadeau(RaceWorks, LLC)(11-3-2000)
  • #43 News: Sport Management, Inc. has announced a new marketing promotion that will enhance the business partnership between Quality Stores, Inc. and Morton Salt for the 2001 NASCAR Busch racing season. And, as part of the new relationship, the famous Morton Umbrella Girl and the familiar blue and white colors will be the primary design on the #43 car for a partial schedule of events. In addition to Quality Stores marketing, Morton Salt plans to advance its position in NASCAR by taking primary identity on the #43 Jay Sauter entry in market areas key to Morton during the 2001 season(Sport Management, Inc PR)(11-2-2000)
  • #11 News: Hut Stricklin will practice and qualify the #11 car in Phoenix and Miami and Jason Jarrett will run it in the race. Jarrett doesn’t have any laps on either track and the team has struggled on the flat tracks historically(Mach One)(11-3-2000)
  • Carelli, BGN Debut CORRECTION: #66 CTS driver, Rick Carelli, who made a dramatic return to Victory Lane at Phoenix in February, will make his BGN debut at Phoenix this weekend. Carelli will drive the #86 Room Store Chevy fielded by Ken Schrader Racing, using an engine from Fischer Engineering(NOL)(10-31-2000)
    Correction: Carelli actually raced in the BGN back in June 1998 at Pikes Peak, finishing 42nd in the #41 Bull and Hannah Chevy(NOL)(11-3-2000)
  • Sad News: Kevin Harvick’s grandfather, Charlies Harvick passed away, thoughts and prayers go out to the family. For more info and to send condolences, see the Harvick Online site(11-1-2000)
  • Homestead Time Change: Next weekend’s Miami 300, the 2000 BGN season finale, will have a new starting time, Homestead-Miami Speedway officials announced today. The race will take the green flag at 1:10 p.m., 20 minutes earlier than previously announced. The change was made to accommodate NBC Sports, which will air the race live, followed by the Notre Dame football game(HMS PR)(11-1-2000)
  • Bandolero Series: The 2000 season National Champions in the Bandolero Series received their trophies at Lowe’s Speedway on Sunday. The winners are: Bandits – John Gottsacker (9 years old), Young Guns – Alan Happel and Outlaws – Rick Godfrey, Sr.(11-1-2000)
  • New Innovative Personnel: Dana Dorman has been named Team Manager for Innovative Motorsports. Dorman, a McGaheysville, VA native will oversee the racing operations for both the #48 Goulds Pumps Chevrolet and the # 30 Little Trees Chevrolet. Dorman is a former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Owner and has been with Innovative Motorsports for a year. Curtis Brown has been named the General Manager of Innovative Motorsports. Brown, and Orlando, FL native comes to Innovative Motorsports from the Charlotte Hilton where he served as General Manager. Brown spent 20 years working for the Hilton Corporation(Total Sports Marketing)(11-1-2000)
  • Lewis Sponsor Proposal: BGN #46 car co-owner Ashton Lewis has devised a unique way to attract sponsors to his team, driven by his son Ashton Lewis Jr.. A sponsor’s first payment for next season wouldn’t be due until the season’s midpoint. If the team is not ranked in the top 25 at that time, the sponsor does not have to make that payment(Roanoke Times)(11-1-2000)