November 2001 CTS Archive

  • More Hamilton UPDATE Lester Official: Bobby Hamilton, hopes to campaign three trucks full time next year. The main concern is finding a sponsor to replace Dana, which is leaving the sport. Hamilton wants to keep Joe Ruttman’s [#18] team alive, but a sponsor is paramount. Bill Lester will drive the #8 truck sponsored by Dodge as part of its diversity program, replacing Willy T. Ribbs, who is contemplating a movie career. Hamilton will field a third truck if the right young driver and sponsor can be secured [Brian Rose, see story below].(Winston Cup Scene column)(11-8-2001)
    UPDATE: Dodge Motorsports and Bobby Hamilton Racing announced that Bill Lester will join the 2001 CTS Manufacturers’ title-winning Dodge factory racing program for the 2002 CTS season. Lester will drive the #8 Dodge Dealers Ram 1500 for Bobby Hamilton Racing. Lester was selected from a number of experienced candidates. The Oakland, CA native tested with the Hamilton team and competed in five races in Hamilton’s #4 Dodge Ram during the 2001 NCTS season.(Golin/Harris PR)(11-27-2001)
  • #55 and Crime Stoppers at Daytona: The #55 Powers Motorsports Dodge, with driver Tom Powers, will display the Crime Stoppers logo along with a picture of Rachel Hurley for the February 15th, 2002 Truck Race in Daytona Beach. Website links to the full story and Crime Stoppers can be found on the teams website, and at Racing Consultants. Anyone with information on this crime or any other can call Crime Stoppers and remain anonymous. Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County 1-800-458-8477. The murder has been turned over to the Cold Case Department of the Palm Beach County Florida Sheriffs Office. “It still remains high on our list to solve this case” said Crime Stoppers Program Coordinator Sgt. Jim DeFago “and we know there are people out there that must know something” The case he is referring to is the murder of 14-year-old Rachel Hurley who was killed at Carlin Park in Jupiter on March 17, 1990.(Racing Consultants PR)(11-27-2001)
  • Catchfence Life With Jason White by Chris Knight(11-23-2001)
  • Starr in the #75? UPDATE: Buzz is reporting that Billy Bigley Jr has been released as the driver of the #75 Spears Manufacturing Chevy and that David Starr will drive the truck in 2002(11-10-2001)
    UPDATE: It was officially announced today that David Starr of Houston, Texas, will take over the driving duties of the #75 Spears Manufacturing Chevy during the 2002 CTS season. Starr replaces rookie Billy Bigley who finished the 2001 season 13th in the point championship. With 47 Truck Series starts to his credit, his best finish is a third place at Texas this past June during the O’Reilly 400. Starr has three top-5 finishes and four top-10 finishes, all of which came in just five starts during the 2001 season. In his racing career, Starr has also participated in five BGN races with a best finish of 17th at Texas in an A.J Foyt-prepared Pontiac. As time allows, Starr works as an instructor at the Team Texas High Performance Driving School at Texas Motor Speedway. In related news, Spears Motorsports recently signed Ron Hutter as the engine supplier in an effort to enhance the program. The team is currently searching for a crew chief and expects to name one prior to participating in an open Chevrolet test session at Atlanta on Dec. 11-12.(David Starr Site/PR)(11-21-2001)
  • Wanke Out at Ultra: Crew chief Fred Wanke was let go from his position at the #1 Ultra Motorsports team last week, although Ted Musgrave will be back as the driver next year.( Buzz)(11-21-2001)
  • That’s Racin’: Sprague picks up his largest check from the AP(11-9-2001)
  • Hewlett to leave PE UPDATE 2: Doug Hewitt is leaving his position with Petty Enterprises as the head of its Research and Engineering Developmental Program. He is expected to go work for Joe Gibbs Racing as crew chief for Coy Gibbs in the BGN series, Gibbs currently runs in the CTS(truck) series( Buzz)
    UPDATE: sources tell me that Gibbs will STAY in the CTS and NOT move up to the BGN series(10-31-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Joe Gibbs Racing’s CTS Team announces the hiring of Doug Hewitt as crew chief of the #20 MBNA America Chevrolet Silverado driven by Coy Gibbs. Effective immediately, Hewitt will take over crew chief duties on the #20 MBNA Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet Silverado.(Camp and Assoc PR)(11-8-2001)
  • Bristol returns – 2 less races in 2002: Have not seen a 2002 CTS Schedule as of yet, as far as I know it has not been announced but in a Winston Cup Scene column: The tentative 2002 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule includes 22 events, with up to half of them expected to be run in conjunction with Winston Cup races. That’s up from seven companion events this year, including a race at Indianapolis Raceway Park while the Winston Cup Series is at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. While the official schedule won’t be released until all sanctioning agreements have been signed, the preliminary one has been well received. While down from 24 races, the companion events – including a race at Bristol in August and the season-finale at Homestead in November – are considered vital by those in the series. The will be no CTS race in Nazareth in 2002(11-8-2001)
  • Hendrick AND Sprague to the BGN? UPDATE: during the opening of the CTS race at Phoenix, ESPN mentioned that Hendrick CTS drivers, Jack Sprague and Ricky Hendrick, will both up to the BGN series, no more details(10-26-2001)
    UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports’ two-truck entry is slated to move to the Busch Series(Winston Cup Scene column)(11-8-2001)
  • Portenga full time in 2002: Steve Portenga plans to run the entire 2002 CTS schedule with backing from Roto-Rooter(Winston Cup Scene column)(11-8-2001)
  • Penalties Announced: NASCAR announced penalties against two drivers for their actions during the Nov. 3 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Auto Club 200 at California Speedway. Officials announced that Jack Sprague has been fined $5,000 and Scott Riggs $2,500 under Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rule Book, actions deemed detrimental to stock truck racing; hitting another competitor.s truck on pit road.(NASCAR PR)(11-7-2001)
  • Musgrave wins at California – Sprague wins Championship:: #1-Ted Musgrave raced away to a season-high seventh victory and Jack Sprague wrecked but still wrapped up an unprecedented third NASCAR Truck series championship Saturday in the Auto Club 200. See That’s Racin’ for Saturday’s Auto Club 200 results(11-4-2001)
  • Riggs on the pole at California: #2-Scott Riggs won the pole at California Speedway with a speed of 173.678mph. #60-Travis Kvapil is on the outside pole at 172.542. Roiunding out the top five are #14-Rick Crawford third, #46-Dennis Setzer in fourth and #3-David Starr will start 5th. See That’s Racin’ for NASCAR Truck series lineup(11-3-2001)
  • Kyle can’t drive? #99-Kyle Busch was forced to give up the seat in his Roush Racing Ford Truck at California Speedway after weekend sponsor Marlboro objected to the 16-year-old driver racing in the CTS race there. “He didn’t qualify today and possibly he might not race,” said Kevin Triplett, director of operations for NASCAR. The objection from Marlboro was based on an interpretation of the agreement between big tobacco companies and state attorneys general that precludes the involvement of persons under 18 years old in events sponsored by the companies. Marlboro is the overall sponsor of the weekend that includes the Auto Club 200 truck race Saturday and the Toyota 500 CART race and the Dayton Indy Lights event Sunday. Busch, the younger brother of current Winston Cup rookie Kurt Busch, was replaced in the truck by Tim Woods, who has driven Winston West stock car events for Jack Roush’s team. Representatives of the sponsor, the team, NASCAR and California Speedway met for 31/2 hours Friday without resolving the situation. However, Roush agreed to replace Busch in the truck at least for qualifying while the discussions continued.(That’s Racin’/AP)(11-3-2001)
  • #14 Sponsor Hunting: Circle Bar Racing has announced that Milwaukee Electric Tool will not return for the 2002 CTS as a primary sponsor. The primary sponsorship of the #14 Ford has come to an end after two successful seasons. Milwaukee Electric Tool cites the current economic environment as the main reason for ending their current status as a primary sponsor in the NCTS. “We have been very pleased with our relationship with Circle Bar Racing over these last two years,” said Joe Smith, Vice President of Marketing for Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation. “This was our first experience as a primary racing sponsor. Rick Crawford and the Heavy Duty Crew have been first class all the way. We’ve seen this team get progressively better each year and I expect them to compete for the NCTS championship in 2002. While a primary sponsorship does not fit into our 2002 plans, we intend to maintain a strong relationship with Rick and Circle Bar for the future,” continued Smith. “Circle Bar Racing has enjoyed the relationship with Milwaukee Electric Tool. Joe Smith, Noreen Brooker and everybody at Milwaukee Electric Tool have been great to work with. Milwaukee Electric Tool produces quality products and I was extremely proud to represent them on and off the track. They have been a great sponsor and have been very good to our team,” stated Rick Crawford. The news arrives when the #14 Ford of Rick Crawford and Circle Bar Racing are having their best season to date. The #14 Ford recently switched to Ernie Elliott Incorporated engines. Since switching to Ernie Elliott the team has made noticeable improvement on the track. During the last nine races the team has seven top-five finishes and a top-ten. Of those finishes, there have been three top-three finishes. Crawford and the team head into the final stretch of the 2001 NCTS on a roll. “Ray Stonkus and the Heavy Duty Crew have been working hard and the results are showing on the track. We have a strong team and our focus will be on winning races,” stated Crawford. The team will be concentrating efforts in the off-season in preparing for their sixth full season of competition in the CTS in 2002. Between testing and building new trucks, team officials will be concentrating on filling the primary sponsorship vacated by Milwaukee Electric Tool.(Circle Bar Racing PR), see my Team Address page for contact info(11-2-2001)

Born On Date: Dec 26, 2001

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