November 2001 News Archives



  • The Money Awarded: the Top 10 drivers and the money announced at the Banquet:
    10th   Jeff Burton $363,404
    9th  Kevin Harvick $484,469 and Rookie of the Year Award (put a yellow rookie srtipe on the podium)
    8th  Dale Earnhardt Jr $441,715 and $1 million for the No Bull Five win at Talladega
    7th  Rusty Wallace $514,946
    6th  Bobby Labonte $645,528
    5th  Dale Jarrett $857,876
    4th  Ricky Rudd $880,224
    3rd  Sterling Marlin $1,077,572
    2nd  Tony Stewart $1,444,920 while wearing a Hutchens Device under his tux
    1st  Jeff Gordon $3,787,681and $1 million for the No Bull Five win at Las Vegas
    and a column at That’s Racin’: Gordon hailed as champion, Earnhardt honored(no word on the top 25 list)(11-30-2001)
  • Voting Over Most Popular – UPDATE 3 – IT IS DALE EARNHARDT and the Award to be named after Elliott: the voting for NASCAR’s “Most Popular Driver” award is over. When I hear, it’ll be posted, nothing has been announced yet, usually is around the time of the Winston Cup Banquet, which is Nov 30th(see above for info)(11-21-2001)
    UPDATE: from a RacingOne column by Monte Dutton – “What could be more emblematic of his legacy than the fact he was named the Winston Cup Series’ Most Popular Driver more than nine months after his life had ended?”, hmmm…sounds like Earnhardt won?(11-29-2001)
    UPDATE 2: It was announced that NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver Award will be named for Bill Elliott, a 15-time winner, after he retires. Elliott took himself out of the running this year in the fan vote in order to make sure somebody else was able to win the honor.(That’s Racin’), no OFFICIAL word on the winner of the 2001 Most Popular Driver yet(11-30-2001)
    UPDATE 3: it was announced during the banquet and within Teresa Earnhardt’s appearance and speach, Dale Earnhardt was named MOST POPULAR DRIVER for 2001 and from That’s Racin’: Earnhardt was named the winner of the National Motorsports Press Association’s Most Popular Driver Award, getting more than 56 percent of nearly 400,000 votes cast online on or via the mail. Jeff Gordon, with 14 percent of the votes, was second in the balloting.(no futher results posted)(11-30-2001)
  • Some Awards:
    True Value Man of the Year: Jeff Gordon
    Bill France Award of Excellence: Jack Roush(11-30-2001)
  • Crew Chief and Engine Builder Awards: Gordon’s Hendrick Motorsports #24 team added more honors and money. Crew chief Robbie Loomis received $50,000 for leading the Plasti-Kote Qualify Finish Award with the best average finishes in the 36-race season, while engine builder Rick Wetzel was given $55,000 as the Clevite Engine Parts Engine Builder of the Year.(That’s Racin’), see my Race Awards page for the breakdown on the awards(11-30-2001)
  • Earnhardt Honored: Dale Earnhardt was named winner of the Myers Brothers Award by the National Motorsports Press Association. The award, named for two of NASCAR’s pioneers and presented annually to a person or organization making an outstanding contribution to the sport, was accepted by Dale Earnhardt Jr.(That’s Racin’)(11-30-2001)
  • Bud Pole Award: Series champion Jeff Gordon was given a check for $100,000 for winning the Bud Pole Award. He led the series with six poles. Gordon also won the $75,000 Gatorade Front Runner Award for leading the most laps and $76,000 from Tosco for the Official Fuels of NASCAR Award. Sterling Marlin also won $76,000 from Tosco.(That’s Racin’), see my 2002 Budweiser Shootout page for poles and race info(11-30-2001)
  • Rudd’s Back? UPDATE Surgery: #28-Ricky Rudd could be headed for the same back surgery that Mark Martin had during a recent offseason. “I didn’t hurt my back when I hit the wall, I think I must have the Mark Martin syndrome, my back has been bothering me for a little while,” Rudd said. “I might have to get it fixed this winter. It hurts when I sit in the seat for a long time.”(SpeedVision)(11-19-2001)
    UPDATE: Ricky Rudd will undergo exploratory surgery next week to investigate the source of back pain that bothered him for nearly the entire season. Though the seriousness of his back injury isn’t known, Rudd said he expected a recovery period of only two weeks. It’s possible Rudd could need six months of rehab, depending on what next week’s arthroscopic procedure uncovers. Rudd said the injury is probably just some inflammation in his back – something many other drivers have experienced during the grueling schedule of races.(Arizona Republic)(11-30-2001)
  • RCR/Gordon present winnings: Team owner Richard Childress and driver Robby Gordon presented a check for $203,924 to the Uniformed Firefighters Association’s Widows and Childrens Fund. That is what Gordon and the #31 team earned with their victory last Friday in the season-ending NASCAR race in Loudon, N.H. — Gordon’s first Winston Cup victory.(Daytona Beach News Journal/AP)(11-30-2001)
  • Mike Wallace to the #33? UPDATE: Charlotte’s NBC 6 reported Tuesday night that “we hear that Mike Wallace met with Andy Petree today to discuss driving the #33 car and possibly a deal coud be hammered out very soon for the entire 2002 season. Sources also tell us that Mike [Wallace] will at least drive the #33 at daytona with or without sponsorship unless something better falls in his lap.”(
    UPDATE: “Andy [Petree] and I have agreed to at least run the Daytona 500 next year,” Wallace said. “If a sponsor comes on board before that for a full-year deal, then I’ll be there for the year. If not, then we’ll see what happens after Daytona.” In addition to the APR deal, Wallace will also be driving the No. 4 Biagi Bros.-owned Chevrolet in the Busch Series. In addition, Wallace is planning on defending his 2000 truck win in the inaugural race at Daytona. “Kenny Schrader and I hooked up for me to drive for him in the Craftsman Truck race at Daytona,” Wallace added. “That’s a Federated Auto Parts-sponsored deal in a truck that Kenny owns.”(
  • Marcis wins award: Veteran Winston Cup driver and car owner Dave Marcis received the Buddy Shuman Award from Champion Spark Plugs on Thursday for his career contributions to the advancement of NASCAR. The award, named for a former driver who died in a hotel fire in 1955, has been presented annually since 1957.(That’s Racin’)(11-30-2001)
  • New 2002 Scheme for the #28? UPDATE: Next season Rudd’s car, the legendary black #28, will likely sport a dramatically new color scheme, because of the Texaco-Chevron merger.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-11-2001)
    UPDATE: during Ricky Rudd’s speech at the Winston Cup awards banquet, Rudd mentioned the #28 Ford would have a different look in 2002 but had no idea what irt would look like(11-30-2001)
  • Crew Chief Looking: When Joe Gibbs Racing made the decision to go to just one full time BGN team it left crew chief Doug Richert without a team to crew chief. He is presently in the role of Research and Development for the BGN program. Richert is looking to find a crew chief position with a BGN or Cup team and get back to the week to week racing. He has the blessing of JGR in doing so.(11-30-2001)
  • Nadeau Sprints: Jerry Nadeau hopes to field the No. 28 USAC Silver Bullet Series team for 2001 USAC Western Sprint Car Series Champion Tony Hunt. Open-wheel racing is nothing new to Nadeau, who has been racing since he was four years old in everything from go-carts to Formula racers in Europe to NASCAR stock cars. This season was his fourth full year in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and his second with Hendrick Motorsports. Hunt captured the 2001 USAC Western Sprint Car Series championship with three victories, 12 top-five finishes and 15 top-10 finishes. He also received the Hard Charger Award, which is presented to the driver in each USAC series who passes the most cars throughout the year. Hunt is the all-time leading winner in the USAC Western Sprint Series with 10 feature wins, and is also the all-time leader in number of pole starting positions with 14 first-place starts in the last four years.(CMI PR)(11-30-2001)
  • Sad News: Two men were killed after a fire ripped through a racing garage on Gus Hill Road (Davidson County, NC) Wednesday evening. According to the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Delbert Myers, 51, of Broad Street, and Carlton E. Garrison, 63, of Gus Hill Road, were killed in a fire at the Garrison Racing Shop.(Lexington Dispatch)(11-30-2001)
  • NASCAR TV: Speedvision, the first and only 24-hour cable network devoted exclusively to the excitement and heart-pumping action of motorsports, and NASCAR today announced the launch of NASCAR TV, the first channel-within-a-channel devoted to a single sport. NASCAR TV is scheduled to premiere on Monday, Feb. 11, when the cable network now known as Speedvision officially re-launches as SPEED Channel. NASCAR TV features complete behind-the-scenes. access to NASCAR, enhanced race replays and highlights and qualifying for NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series events.. Also included in the exclusive block are classic and historical races, original news and lifestyle programs, season previews and reviews, special event coverage, talk shows, FSN.s Totally NASCAR, NASCAR Victory Lane and NASCAR Tech, and coverage of the NASCAR Touring and NASCAR Weekly Racing Series. Available in 45 million homes, NASCAR TV on SPEED Channel provides NASCAR fans with an unprecedented, dedicated block of NASCAR-related programming. NASCAR TV augments the hundreds of hours of NASCAR Winston Cup and NASCAR Busch Series racing and related programs already slated for telecast on FOX, FX, Fox Sports Net and NBC/TNT. Come February [2002], NASCAR TV airs between 3:00 PM and Midnight ET on weekday afternoons and evenings. SPEED Channel’s NASCAR TV also features the return of the popular INSIDE WINSTON CUP program that provides highlights and results from the week’s NASCAR action and unique, in-depth access to series. drivers.. Other NASCAR-themed programs are in development and should be announced before SPEED Channel.s February re-launch.(NASCAR PR)(11-29-2001) 



  • #12 Decision next week(today) UPDATE 5 Closed and done – Official – Sospenzo to the #7? or #5?: Peter Sospenzo, crew chief for the No. 12 Fords now being driven by Mike Wallace, said he hopes to hear about the future of the team next week. Sospenzo said Walt Czarnecki, president of Penske Racing, is expected to notify the team of its plans when he visits the shop in Mooresville, NC., on Tuesday. “I really believe that (owner) Roger (Penske) will look at doing the right thing, and that’s keep everything just as it is,” Sospenzo said. “It really hasn’t been easy. But we all know we’ve got a job to do and we have to focus on the job at hand.”(That’s Racin’)(11-24-2001)
    UPDATE: sources tell me the #12 Penske Racing team has shut down effective today
    AND from the Sporting News: The first pink slips went out on the Penske South #12 Mobil Ford on Monday. Despite a valiant effort to resuscitate the team by driver Mike Wallace after Jeremy Mayfield’s departure on October 8, sources close to the team say that Roger Penske will announce on Tuesday morning that he will indeed shut down the operation. Ryan Newman, who is running for rookie of the year in 2002, is expected to move his operation out of Penske South’s #2 shop that he currently shares with Rusty Wallace and into the #12 car’s building. Newman might assume the #12 and the owner’s points that accompany that team.(11-26-2001)
    UPDATE 2: If the team is disbanded, Penske likely will split the personnel between the #2 Ford of Rusty Wallace and the #02 of rookie Ryan Newman.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(11-27-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Penske Racing, LLC today announced that it will consolidate team operations with Penske Racing South, effective immediately. The result will be a two-car entry in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series with drivers Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman. Miller Brewing Company will be the primary sponsor of Wallace’s Miller Lite Taurus while Alltel will be the primary sponsor of Newman’s Alltel Taurus. ExxonMobil will be an associate sponsor on both cars with its Mobil 1 brand.(Williams Company PR)(11-27-2001)
    UPDATE 4: sources tell me there were approximately 60 full-time employees with the #12 team who stayed until the end of the year hoping they would run next year. Appoximately 20 of them remain for the new team, the others were let go. Crew Chief Peter Sospenzo is supposedly one of those looking and could end up with the #7 team(11-28-2001)
    UPDATE 5: The word on the street — it’s not official and could just be part of the rumor mill — is Peter Sospenzo, the crew chief for the 12 car, is going to be the crew chief for Terry Labonte.(FoxSports)(11-29-2001)
  • Melling Layoffs UPDATE: #92 Cup team owner, Mark Melling, announced today that in order to reduce operating costs at his facility, while continuing to seek sponsorship for the 2002 season, it was necessary to layoff many of his employees. Though still searching heavily, to date, the team has not secured a sponsor, and without proper funding Melling cannot continue to operate, full-scale, throughout the off-season. “My greatest concern is that current Melling Racing employees have the best possible chance at landing on their feet,” explained Melling. “If nothing were to materialize, sponsor-wise, in the near future, the employees would be out looking for a job after all the other teams have filled their positions. I don’t want that on my conscience. I would like to think that Melling is known as and organization and family that is fair to its employees.”
    “My marketing department is still working full-tilt,” continued Melling, “and I am talking to everyone possible about putting something together for next year. I feel confident that if something were to materialize, we will still be able to put a quality product on the race track, as our facilities and equipment remain in place. My family has owned a car in the Daytona 500 field for the past 20 years. It’s going to be a heartbreaker if that string is snapped. However, we need something in place very soon to make it 21 years.” During 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, Melling Racing sat on the outside pole and finished 10th in the Daytona 500, captured the pole position for both Talladega races, and registered five top-15 finishes with Stacy Compton as their driver(Melling PR) AND Stacy Compton has been offered the ST Motorsports ride by team owner Tad Geschickter, but Compton is still waiting to see what happens with his Winston Cup ride with Melling Racing. Geschickter set a deadline for the week of Nov. 26. Other possibilities for the ride include Mark Green, David Green and Kevin Grubb, as well as Elton Sawyer. (Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)
    UPDATE: Melling Racing may consider a partner if they bring a sponsor, Compton says he has a deadline of Dec 1st and he homes to have ride by then(PRN Garage)(11-29-2001)
  • Shepherd trying to help: Morgan Shepherd is trying to put together his annual Christmas tour through the mountains of south central Virginia, but it’s difficult after a season spent largely on the sidelines. He’s planning to send a registered letter to those in racing who have helped with the event in the past, and is also accepting donations from the general public. Shepherd has distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations and gifts to the area’s underprivileged since the tour began in the late 1980s. Those interested may send donations to The Morgan Shepherd Charitable Fund, P.O. Box 623, Conover, NC 28613.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(11-29-2001)
  • NASCAR Official and Helmets: It appears NASCAR officials assigned to pit road may be required to wear helmets next year. (Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(11-29-2001)
  • New Seat Ready: After more than a year of development, a composite seat that provides a cocoon for the driver is ready for use in NASCAR’s 2002 season. The seat, created by PPI Motorsports and Reynard Motorsports of England, was submitted to NASCAR this fall. It has yet to be approved, but is expected to receive the go-ahead in time for use during Speedweeks in February. Once approved the seat will be manufactured by Reynard and distributed, certified and serviced by C&R Racing in Indianapolis. The seat’s cost hasn’t been determined.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(11-29-2001)
  • Teresa to appear: Teresa Earnhardt, widow of the late seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt, is scheduled to attend Friday night’s NWCS awards ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria, the evening’s schedule of activities shows. She is expected to take part in a special audio and video tribute to Earnhardt that will include a performance by country western performer Garth Brooks.(
  • Murry in 2002 – in NASCAR? While plans are still being finalized, it appears road racer David Murry may have opportunities in two of NASCAR’s major series – Winston Cup and trucks – as well as in sports car’s two major United States-based series. He will try to juggle as many opportunities as he can to fill his book up. “I’m having discussions with a number of teams right now,” added Murry. “On the NASCAR front, I’m already speaking with some Winston Cup team owners about the two road course races at Sears Point and Watkins Glen as well as some owners in the truck series. The interest level is clearly there. In sports car, there are a handful of teams I’m speaking with. So, we’ll see what happens there. There are some options to consider, that’s for sure.” Murry’s stock car racing experience has been sprinkled around over the years. He’s competed in both ARCA and Winston Cup. Murry is best known for being a Porsche racing ace. However, last year at the Petit Le Mans, he sampled a different German marque – BMW.(Kermish-Geylin PRAND hearing the following teams have had discussions with Murry about the 2002 season: The #27 Eel River Racing team – should it be revived for Cup. Welliver Racing for a possible Busch opportunity and/or Cup road course entry at both Sears Point and Watkins Glen and maybe the CTS as Murry in the middle of negotiations with one of his sports car buddies to start up a team to either run a partial season or a full season.(11-29-2001)
  • Penske at NASA? hearing that Penske South had the 2001 Daytona 500 #2 Ford in the X-38 building at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston on Wednesday. Supposedly being scanned a40% scaled car can be made to test in their wind tunnel.(11-29-2001) 



  • Smuckers to sponsor Bodine? hearing Smucker’s Jelly will somehow sponsor the #11 Ford of Brett Bodine, not sure if as a primary or associate sponsor. May actually run a Smucker’s scheme at a race or two if it is as an associate sponsor(11-28-2001)
  • Petty Ride Alongs TODAY: The Richard Petty Driving Experience is planning a fund-raiser on Wednesday, Nov. 28, for families affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The event, called “Ride-Along for Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund Day,” will feature a free ride-along in a Winston Cup-style car to anyone who donates at least $50 to the fund. The fund-raiser will take place 8 a.m.-noon at five driving school locations – Atlanta, Las Vegas, Lowe’s Motor Speedway and Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla(That’s Racin’)(11-27/28-2001)
  • NHIS TV Ratings: NBC’s final broadcast of the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup season from New Hampshire attracted a 3.2 overnight rating with an 8 share.(SpeedVision)(11-28-2001) 



  • Roush Changes? UPDATE: hearing that effective on Monday, Dec 3rd: #97 crew chief Ben Leslie and the entire #97 crew will start working on the #6 car for Mark Martin and that #6 crew chief, Jimmy Fennig and the entire #6 crew will now be working on the #97 car for driver Kurt Busch.(11-27-2001)
    UPDATE: In preparation for the 2002 Cup season, Roush Racing announced today the reorganization of two of its teams. Crew chiefs Ben Leslie (#97)and Jimmy Fennig (#6) will swap positions within the organization. Fennig has been crew chief of the #6 Viagra Taurus driven by veteran Mark Martin since 1998. Leslie recently finished his first year as crew chief for the #97 Sharpie/Rubbermaid Taurus driven by rookie Kurt Busch and has worked for Roush Racing since 1994. Shawn Parker, car chief of the #6 team, will also move with Fennig. Leslie is searching to hire a car chief for the Mark Martin program.(Roush racing PR)(11-27-2001)
  • TV Loses on NASCAR: Fox, NBC and Turner Sports lost more than $100 million on NASCAR during the first year of a six-year, roughly $2.5 billion television contract even as ratings skyrocketed, network sources have told The Sports Business Journal. The NBC/Turner joint venture lost close to $50 million, according to the business paper’s sources, while Fox, which paid a higher rights fee for the more attractive first-half coverage, is widely thought to have lost even more.(more at That’s Racin’)(11-27-2001)
  • Bodine’s crew member injured UPDATE 2: Matt Groeschl, tire carrier for #11-Brett Bodine, was injured on pit road when he was supposedly hit by #43-John Andretti. Have seen nothing official (and will not post message board fodder or hearsay) about Matt, but have heard everything from a broken leg to being carted off the the hospital and ok, just shaken up. It was mentioned briefly during NBC’s broadcast, but have not heard how badly injured Groeschl is
    UPDATE: been told by sources that – Groeschl, #11 front tire carrier was hit by the #43 of John Andretti. Originally, it was thought he had suffered a broken leg and torn ligaments in knee. After an MRI on Saturday, the doctors do not think it is broken but Groeschl went to an orthopedic specialist today for an evaluation. Even if leg is not broken, the knee will require surgery (date not determined at this time).(11-26-2001)
    UPDATE 2: the Otho Specialist does not want to operate right now – wants to see if he can treat it – Groeschl is in leg brace and will begin physical therapy. The MCL was torn and the ACL damaged in his knee but he should be able to return to work next week(11-27-2001)
  • Gordon Busy in NYC – AND: Jeff Gordon, the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup champion, has a busy schedule next week. Gordon, a four-time winner of the Winston Cup, will be participating in several special activities during a weeklong media tour in New York City, concluding with the NASCAR Winston Cup Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria on Friday, Nov. 30. On Thursday, Nov. 29, the annual photo shoot at Times Square will include a special ceremony involving the New York City Mayor’s Office. John Dyson, representing Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, will present a proclamation declaring Friday, Nov. 30, as NASCAR Winston Cup Series Day in New York City. Following the ceremony, Gordon and crew chief Robbie Loomis will participate in a photo shoot with the #24 DuPont Chevy at Times Square. Gordon’s schedule also includes appearances on The Today Show, The Late Show with David Letterman and Live with Regis and Kelly.(Sports Marketing Enterprises PR)(11-21-2001)
    AND Gordon, crew chief Robbie Loomis and team owner Rick Hendrick will visit with firemen and clean-up crews at Ground Zero, the site of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, today. That visit will be low-key.(The State)(11-27-2001)
  • Softwall Test by NASCAR: Safari Associates announced that its Molecuthane motorsports “soft wall”, which the company successfully demonstrated on September 26th at the Indianapolis Speedrome, is now being tested by NASCAR. On October 24th, NASCAR officials contacted Safari Associates and asked them to ship the Molecuthane “soft wall” to their new safety facility in North Carolina for extensive testing. The wall was delivered to NASCAR on October 30th. After NASCAR concludes its in-house tests, they plan to ship the “soft wall” to the University of Nebraska for further study. NASCAR has encouraged Safari to continue its own testing as well. NASCAR has agreed to supply Safari with all test data including its test procedures. NASCAR and Safari Associates are working together to study the use of Molecuthane for “soft walls” and applications on and inside the vehicles, wherever high-energy dampening is required for safety or comfort.(Yahoo Biz/Business Wire)(11-27-2001)
  • NASCAR and the Soap Box Derby? Goodyear has something in the works pertaining to the All-American Soap Box Derby. The company isn’t saying what, because nothing has been finalized. But it’s almost certain to involve some level of participation in the derby on the part of NASCAR racing. Goodyear supplies tires for the popular NASCAR stock car racing circuit, and the company clearly has interest in the idea of a Goodyear-NASCAR derby.(Akron Beacon Journal)(11-27-2001)
  • Harvick named Rookie of the Year(ROTY): Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet, claimed the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award. He finished the season with a total of 331 points, 66 points ahead of second-place Kurt Busch. A native of Bakersfield, Calif., Harvick took over the Richard Childress-owned ride after the death of seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion, Dale Earnhardt. During the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, Harvick visited the winner.s circle twice (Atlanta – 3/11 and Chicago – 7/15) and collected six top-five finishes and 16 top 10s. He also topped the season off with a ninth-place finish in the final point standings (Harvick is the only driver to finish in the top-10 in points that only competed in 35 events)(NASCAR PR). See my ROTY Page for results, rules and breakdown(11-27-2001)
  • Congrats to Buckshot: Buckshot Jones and his wife Gina are the proud parents of a son, Kolton Ray, who was born at 7:10pm/et, Monday, Nov. 26th. Young Mr. Jones was 8 pounds, 4 ounces at birth. He is the first child for the couple. Mother and child are both doing well. The elder Jones drives the #44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge for Petty Enterprises(Williams Company)(11-27-2001)
  • Sad News: Albert Roy Richmond, 79, died Friday, November 23, 2001 at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte. Born on December 10, 1921, in Marshall County, WV, he was the son of the late Milford and Myrtle Miller Richmond. He was a veteran of WWII having served in the US Army, Company B, 411th Combat Engineers in the Pacific. He was the founder and owner of Richmond Manufacturing Company of Ashland, OH, where he and his wife resided until moving to Mooresville in 1989. Mr. Richmond was the father of the late NASCAR driver, Timothy L. Richmond who preceded him in death on August 13, 1989.(Charlotte Observer)(11-27-2001)
  • Earnhardt Race Re-Air’s supplies exposure: ESPN2’s Thanksgiving Day re-broadcast of five classic NASCAR races won by the late Dale Earnhardt delivered an exposure bonus to the legendary driver’s long-time sponsor Goodwrench Service Plus, which collected nearly $600,000 during the 10-hour holiday special. According to research conducted by Joyce Julius and Associates’ Sponsors Report – which specializes in documenting exposure received by corporate entities during national television broadcasts – Goodwrench Service Plus amassed more than 26 minutes of on-screen time and 20 verbal references during the telecasts. Exposure value is calculated by comparing the amount of time the sponsor appeared clear and in-focus, as well as all mentions of the sponsor, to the cost of purchasing a commercial during the ESPN2’s Thanksgiving broadcasts. See full story at the Joyce Julius and Associates site(11-27-2001) 



  • Melling Racing/Compton back in 2002? UPDATE 2: it was reported during NBC’s coverage of the NAPA 500 at Atlanta, that Melling Racing and driver Stacy Compton may have good news to report soon for the 2002 season and that the #92 team may be around for the full 2002 Cup season, sounds like a sponsor(11-19-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing crew chief Chad Knaus is considering offers to crew chief the #48 Jimmie Johnson driven/Hendrick Motorsports Lowe’s Chevy and the #7 Casey Atwood driven/Ultra Motorsports-Evernham Motorsports Dodge for next season(11-23-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hearing Knaus will go to the #48 Hendrick Motorsports team(11-26-2001)
  • Pressley back to Petree? UPDATE 2: FSN’s NASCAR this Morning reports that Robert Pressley is the leading canadiate for the Andy Petree Racing #33 ride for the 2002 season. Pressley drove for Petree in the #33 from 1995-1996(10-28-2001)
    UPDATE: it was mentioned during the race at NHIS that Pressley could drive the #33 for Petree in 2002 for the first few races without a sponsor while Petree continues to hunt for one (unless a sponsor is found sooner) and that Pressley has an offer from a ‘top’ CTS team to run trucks in 2002(11-24-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Pressley is expected to start the first four races of the 2002 season in the No. 33 car for Andy Petree Racing, but anything after that is contingent on sponsorship(Sporting News)(11-26-2001)
  • What happened to….Stanley Smith? It happened in 1993, but for Stanley Smith it seems like yesterday. He was racing at Talladega Superspeedway when the field of cars thundered into the first turn — the fastest stretch on the track, where speeds reached 200 mph — when his car collided with another. Jimmy Horton hurdled over the wall. Smith’s car slammed head-first into the concrete retainer. His skull was crushed and a major artery was severed in his neck. ”I almost didn’t make it,” Smith recalls. ”They gave me nine units of blood on the way to the hospital. They managed to put my skull back together, but I lost the use of my left eye. I can see a little bit out of it, but I can’t move it and at times I have double-vision.” Smith’s biggest comeback hurdle, aside from overcoming his physical problems, was convincing his wife, Delphia, and three grown children to let him back in a race car. Since his near-fatal crash, Smith has been content to compete in NASCAR’s lower divisions. Smith admitted his left eye sometimes presents problems. See full story at the Tennessean(11-26-2001)





  • IRL and NASCAR to share engines? the AutoRacing1 site is reporting that both Ford and Chevy have suggested to NASCAR that they adopt the IRL 3.5 L normally aspirated engine as a replacement for their current 1950’s technology pushrod and carburetors engines. They suggest this will save money…to have a common platform in both series. NASCAR is also looking for a way to cut their engine size and HP to rid themselves of restrictor plates. The smaller IRL engine might do it for them. Overhead cams? Fuel injection?(AutoRacing1)(11-25-2001) 



  • Penalty? Officials could assess a penalty on [#31 Robby] Gordon and his crew for using “old” tires in the closing laps. A NASCAR rule, dating to the days when teams would soak tires in softening chemicals for extra speed, appears to require teams to finish the race on tires actually mounted at the track, according Andy Graves, manager of Marlin’s runner-up [#40] team. Gordon finished the race on a set of tires that had been originally mounted at Martinsville last month; the tires would have been slightly harder than fresher tires – normally that would be a significant disadvantage, but here, on a day when tires were actually too soft, older and harder tires would have been a bit of an edge, not in speed but durability. NASCAR officials offered no word on the issue.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-24-2001)
  • Hornaday/Foyt to part ways – Mast to the #14? UPDATE 2: The New Hampshire 300 at NHIS will be Ron Hornaday’s last race in A.J. Foyt’s #14 Conseco Pontiac. Hornaday will announce his 2002 plans in the future (may include the #43 BGN ride) and Foyt and Conseco will decide on a new driver for 2002 in the near future(ESPN’s RPM 2 Night), rumors include Rick Mast (who drove for Foyt in 2000)(11-19-2001)
    UPDATE: FSN’s NASCAR This Morning reports that Rick Mast could be headed back to the #14 in 2002(11-23-2001)
    UPDATE 2: but on Friday’s RPM 2 Night (ESPN2) it was reported that Rick Mast said he would be in the #90 Ford in 2002(11-24-2001)
  • Yunick’s stuff on sale: History is for sale at Henry “Smokey” Yunick’s “best damn garage in town,” where spark plugs are a buck and a one-of-a-kind 429-cubic-inch motor is a mere $40,000. The family of the late legendary mechanic and racing innovator has opened his giant grease-monkey library at 957 N. Beach St. and placed a price on practically everything. The sale ends Sunday. See full story at the Daytona Beach News Journal(11-24-2001) 



  • Robby Gordon wins at New Hampshire: #24-Jeff Gordon dominated the race but after an altercation with #31-Robby Gordon and Robby bumping Jeff, Jeff retaliated and got black flagged, Robby went on and won the race, his first ever Winston Cup start (in 62 starts). Robby Gordon is the 5th first time winner in 2001, the first points win for Lowe’s as a sponsor (and their last one as the sponsor of the #31) and for the #31 RCR team. Robby Gordon is also the 19th different winner in 2001, which ties the all-time record. See That’s Racin’ for the New Hampshire 300 Results and for Winston Cup drivers points. Robby Gordon also announced that all the winnings from the race will be donated to the NYC Firemans fund. Gordon is now the 160th driver to win a Cup race in 1957 races. Also for more info on the race, see my New Hamshire 300 Race Info page(11-23-2001) 



  • Pay Per View: NASCAR is exploring pay-per-view opportunities for its national races beginning as early as next year. The circuit is looking at several PPV options, including offering different camera angles during its live 2002 races, sources close to the situation said. ‘We’re looking to understand the marketplace and looking into potential business models,’ NASCAR managing director of new media Jeffrey Pollack said, declining to provide specifics.(TVinsite)(11-22-2001)
  • Earnhardt Bios: Following the tragic death of Seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Dale Earnhardt on February 18, the Earnhardt organization has found itself quite busy, trying to keep facts straight on the life of the legendary driver. The most recent controversy stems from a number of unauthorized biographies, most of which contain erroneous or false information. While Earnhardt’s family and friends feel that no malicious attack was intended, the false information is misleading and contradictory to many of the facts surrounding Earnhardt’s life and colorful career. Financial gain has prompted several writers to exploit this American hero. Some have even resorted to creating fictional events to enhance their book’s appeal.
    Dale Earnhardt Inc. commented on the unauthorized biographies and the potential damage they could do to the Earnhardt legend. The majority of the unauthorized works contain ludicrous content. The primary concern with that is the fact that the fans, who purchase these books looking to learn more about Dale, are not getting accurate information.
    There is a lot of second, third and even fourth-hand information that has been manipulated and dramatized for the sake of generating more sales. DEI management has talked about the issue of these books and the way a great deal of the information is presented. While the number of mistakes in some of these stories is unbelievable, the fact remains that they are just plain wrong. People who were close to him are being upset by some of these tales. The majority of Earnhardt’s family and close friends have yet to reflect publicly on the man who influenced the lives of those around him.
    Dale’s fans are handing over their hard-earned money and being taken advantage of. We all want to remember Dale and share our thoughts on him, and we will when the time comes. In the meantime, we want to make sure the stories surrounding him are correct. So far, there’s only a handful of people who have their facts straight and are interested in telling the truth. Our hopes are that the fans remember Dale’s commitment to personal integrity and DEI’s commitment to accurate and authorized materials and consider that as part of their purchasing practices.(Falgren PR)(11-22-2001) 



  • Gordon Makes TV Appearance’s: Jeff Gordon, the 2001 Winston Cup champion will appear on The Late Show with David Letterman on Thursday night, November 29. Gordon will also have a cameo in the November 28th episode of The Drew Carey Show. The show’s plot is that Drew resorts to drag racing as a way to save his manhood—and shut down Mimi—after Christine starts treating him like her personal errand boy. Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider also has a cameo(Motorsports TV)(11-21-2001)
  • Roush Contribution: NASCAR team owner Jack Roush, was one of the charitable individuals that has shown his support in acknowledgement of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, on New York City and Washington, DC. Roush elected to make a contribution to the Uniformed Firefighters Association Widows’ and Children’s Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated help relieve financial hardship experienced by widows’ and children of firefighters who die in the line of duty. The contribution to the fund comes in two parts. First, Roush has matched all contributions made by its 1,800 employees of the three main operating companies, Roush Racing, Roush Engineering and Roush Performance. Second, a percentage of souvenir sales made from the last 10 Winston Cup races will be directly contributed to the fund. The total contribution from these two donation campaigns has come to approximately $70,000 with one race still remaining. Additionally, Roush invited all of its licensees to participate in their effort through product donation for Christmas presents for the Widows’ and Children’s Fund. The response for the licensees has been incredible. To date, the following licensees have donated hundreds of gifts: Wenger, Mattel, USAopoly, Checkered Flag, Valley Forge Flag Co., Seven Sons, Inc., Palmer Candies and Mine Safety, Inc. Next Friday, November 30, 2001, at 1pm at the UFA Headquarters in NYC Roush along with drivers, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth, and Kurt Busch will make a check presentation and gift delivery on behalf of Roush to the UFA Widows’ and Children’s Fund.(Roush Racing PR)(11-21-2001)
  • NASCAR and Coca-Cola: NASCAR and The Coca-Cola Company have extended their partnership designating Coca-Cola as the Official Soft Drink of NASCAR. The new multi-year deal expands the relationship to add Dasani as the Official Water of NASCAR and Minute Maid as the Official Juice of NASCAR. The cornerstone of Coca-Cola’s involvement in NASCAR, the Coca-Cola Racing Family, is a collection of the most popular drivers on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and a few of the sport.s rising stars. Extended family members also include team owners and spouses. As part of its NASCAR relationship, Coca-Cola will continue to aggressively market the relationship through NASCAR-themed packaging, point-of-sale, advertising (including dedicated media on both television and Internet), promotions and premium merchandise. Coca-Cola Classic is the Official Soft Drink of NASCAR and the sponsor of the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte. Through its association with tracks and race teams, The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners have been involved in NASCAR for more than 30 years. The Company sponsored cars from 1969-76 and 1990-94 under the Coca-Cola and Mello Yello brands, respectively.(NASCAR PR)(11-21-2001) 



  • New Hauler Challenge? UPDATE 2: hearing that International Truck And Engine Corp. is re-starting the old “Mayflower Challenge” truck event(this is where Team Hauler drivers run the haulers on an ‘obstacle type course’, whoever scores the most points wins) in NASCAR this year and are calling it the International Truck Challenge. So far, supposedly 13 rig(team haulers) drivers for the Cup teams are participating in the first event to be held at Sears Point. Two additional events will be held at Charlotte in October and Atlanta in November. There is a $25,000 grand prize to the total points winner(6-1-2001)
    UPDATE: Everyone knows that stock car drivers can handle a steering wheel with unfathomable skill. But for the first time this weekend, over 25 race team rig drivers will take the wheel of International(r) 9000i Series trucks, start their engines and maneuver the turns with a chance to collect the purse at the “International Truck Challenge.” International Truck and Engine Corporation is hosting the “International Truck Challenge,” a competition showcasing the skills of the drivers behind the drivers, at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., June 24. The challenge is part of the International sponsorship agreement with NASCAR. The course will demand precision from the race team drivers as they show off the truck-driving prowess that gets their team’s car and equipment from race to race all season long. The competition awards points to drivers for skillfully maneuvering International trucks through an obstacle course while racing against a clock. Truly exceptional driving is awarded with bonus points, but mistakes result in deductions. The winner of the challenge receives $1,000 and a boost toward the $25,000 grand prize, given to the point leader after three challenges throughout the season. For driver standings throughout the racing season, or more information on the International Truck Challenge, go to and at
    International Truck Challenge Participants:
    Bob Hannagan, #01 Ganassi Racing; Rick Johnson, #02 Penske Racing South; Thomas McCrimmon, #6 Roush Racing; Joey Benson, #7 Ultra Motorsports; John Bobbette/Tracy Cumplain, #9 Evernham-Elliott Motorsports; Jerry Hess, #10 MBV Motorsports; Dennis LaCroix, #11 Brett Bodine Racing; Rodney Pickler, #12 Penske Racing LLC ; Mike Jennings, #14 A.J. Foyt Racing; Jeff Miles, #15 DEI; Peter Jellen, #18 Joe Gibbs Racing; Leroy Treadwell, #19 Evernham Motorsports; Dan Heidtke, #20 Joe Gibbs Racing; John Pounds, #22 Bill Davis Racing; Barry Sheppard, #21-Wood Brothers; Ricky Simmons, #26 Haas/Carter Motorsports; Jim Baldwin, #29 Richard Childress Racing; George Hoult, #31 Richard Childress Racing; Bart Starr, #32 PPI Motorsports; Gale Wilson, #36 MB2 Motorsports; Chris Sweeny, #40 Ganassi Racing; Gary Geissman, #43 Petty Enterprises; Michael Butcher, #44 Petty Enterprises; Stephen Mitchell, #45 Petty Enterprises; Rocky Boggs, #66 Haas/Carter Motorsports; Bill Lewis, #77 Jasper Motorsports; Mike Smith, #90 Donlavey Racing; Mark Parrish, #93 Bill Davis Racing Robby Maschhaupt, #96 PPI Motorsports(NASCAR PR)(6-19-2001)
    UPDATE 2 The third and final race for the prize UPDATE Sheppard wins: in the International Truck Challenge, a three-event competition showcasing the skills of race team tractor trailer drivers and the International vehicles that help them haul equipment across the country, will be held at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, Nov 17th. The first two events were at Sears Point and Lowes Motor Speedway. There is a $25,000 grand prize to the total points winner. The winner at Sears Point was #43 driver Garry Geissman, at Lowes Motor Speedway was Ricky Simmons driver of the #26 rig. See more at – International Truck Challenge(11-15-2001)
    UPDATE 3: #21-Wood Brothers transporter driver Barry Sheppard won the International Truck Challenge Championship this weekend. The contest pits 22 Winston Cup truck drivers in a series of driving tests. Sheppard won this weekend’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, clinching the 2001 title(Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-20-2001)
  • Elliott 4th Quater Man of the Year: Bill Elliott has been selected as the fourth quarter nominee for True Value.s Man of the Year. True Value, the Official Hardware Store of NASCAR, is once again sponsoring the NASCAR True Value Man of the Year. The award is designed to honor drivers, not only for their accomplishments on the track, but for their community service contributions and charitable efforts. Mark Martin, driver of the #6 Pfizer/Viagra Ford, Rick Mast, former driver of the #27 Pontiac and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont Automotive Chevrolet, respectively, were the recipients of the first, second and third quarter nominations. Elliott, the 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion and 15-time winner of the fan-voted Most Popular Driver Award, is a regular contributor to the MD Anderson Research Center in Texas in memory of his nephew, Casey Elliott. The younger Elliott lost his battle with cancer at the age of 21. He is also involved with the Brain Tumor Foundation and has been selected as the grand marshal of Georgia.s Special Olympics opening ceremonies. Elliott meets with children and their families at racetracks throughout the country through the Make-A-Wish program.(NASCAR PR)(11-20-2001)
  • Essay Winner: Kylee Nielsen, 16, won the essay contest,part of “Drive to Read @ your library” – a program developed by Morningstar Foods Inc. and the American Library Association. NASCAR driver Ward Burton is the spokesman. Kylee’s essay was on Lance Armstrong’s book about his successful battle against testicular cancer: “It’s Not About the Bike … My Journey Back to Life.” The book struck a nerve because Kylee’s father, Dennis, died of colon and liver cancer last December after an intense, 18-month battle. He was 50. Kylee’s essay topped a 100-plus field from 25 states. From Nov. 9 to 12, she and four family members, along with Anderson and her son, enjoyed her prize-winning perks: a red-carpet weekend in Miami, a day at Homestead-Miami Speedway and a meeting with Burton. The essay contest was launched in August at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It asked teens to check out one of 75 recommend books and write an essay about how it was meaningful and inspiring to them.(Omaha World-Herald)(11-20-2001) 



  • Irwin Memorial Campground: Reva and Kenneth Irwin Sr. are working to transform the former Lakewood and Gypsies’ Paradise campground south of New Castle into the Kenny Irwin Jr. Memorial Campground. The campground, located at 75 W. Road 500S, is to become a facility for disabled and underprivileged children. The request to complete the work was officially approved Thursday at the Henry County Planning Commission meeting. The board unanimously granted a commission-approved use rating to operate the facility on the 27-acre campground. Irwin Sr. told the board he and his wife had known little about their son’s charitable givings until shortly after his death in July 2000 at the New Hampshire Speedway. The Winston Cup driver had always kept those dealings to himself.(Courier Times)(11-19-2001)
  • Atlanta Ratings: Sunday’s NAPA 500 from the Atlanta Motor Speedway on NBC earned a 4.0 overnight rating and 9 share, a 100 percent increase over last year’s 2.0 national rating (converted cable to network – plus the race last year was on Monday) for the NAPA 500 on ESPN. The rating peaked with a 5.0 in the final half-hour as Bobby Labonte took his second checkered flag of the 2001 season and Jeff Gordon clinched his fourth NASCAR Winston Cup Championship. The NASCAR on NBC pre-race show hosted by Bill Weber, continued its strong performance by delivering a 2.5 overnight rating/6 share.(NBC PR)(11-19-2001)
  • Autopsy Photos News: Five journalism advocacy organizations are asking a state appeals court to declare unconstitutional a law limiting access to autopsy photos. The Florida Legislature passed the law in March, weeks after the death of NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt in a last-lap crash in the season-opening Daytona 500. The groups’ brief, filed with the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach on Monday, supports the University of Florida student newspaper’s attempt at having the law struck down.(ESPN/AP)(11-19-2001)
  • Hornaday/Foyt to part ways: The New Hampshire 300 at NHIS will be Ron Hornaday’s last race in A.J. Foyt’s #14 Conseco Pontiac. Hornaday will announce his 2002 plans in the future (may include the #43 BGN ride) and Foyt and Conseco will decide on a new driver for 2002 in the near future(ESPN’s RPM 2 Night), rumors include Rick Mast (who drove for Foyt in 2000)(11-19-2001)
  • Update about the #28 Crew UPDATE 2: Bobby Burrell, tire changer, 30 years old from Huntersville, N.C. Bobby Burrell has been upgraded from serious to good condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.
    Crew Update for Sunday: Pitting the No. 28 Texaco/Havoline Taurus on Sunday will be:
    Front Tire Changer: Rick Burgdoff (of the #10 BGN Team)
    Front Tire Carrier: Scott Kircher (of the #10 BGN Team)
    Jack Man: Chris Wright (fabricator of the #28)
    The team has pit stop practice each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening. They started using helmets in Monday’s practice.(Ricky
    UPDATE – Crew Member Moved: Bobby Burrell, the front-tire changer on Ricky Rudd’s #28 Fords who was the most-seriously injured in last Sunday’s pit-road incident at Homestead-Miami Speedway, returned to Charlotte on Friday. Robert Yates, owner of Rudd’s team, said Burrell was taken by NASCAR plane from Baptist Hospital in Miami to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. He remained in good condition. Yates, whose two Winston Cup teams will use helmets for their over-the-wall pit crew members this weekend, said last weekend’s accident was “extremely scary.”(That’s Racin’)(11-16-2001)
    UPDATE 2 – Burrell Released from Hospital: Bobby Burrell, tire changer, 30 years old from Huntersville, N.C. Bobby Burrell was released from Carolinas Medical Center today. He will continue his recovery from injuries at home. He still has some minor dizziness and many bruises, but is in good spirits and looking forward to being home.(Ricky
  • Hooper and Petree UPDATE: it was reported during NAPA 500 Happy Hour coverage on TNT that the #47-Lance Hooper car is from Andy Petree Racing and is being used to test the new one engine rule for 2002, practice, qualifying and racing on one engine, so APR can get results and see how it works out, get a head start for 2002. Hooper starts from 36th(11-17-2001)
    UPDATE: The #47 Chevrolet fielded by owner Andy Petree attempted to run the same motor for qualifying, practice and the race in anticipation of next year’s single-engine rule. The engine blew 106 laps into the race.(St Petersburg Times/AP)(11-19-2001)
  • 2nd Morgan McClure team? UPDATE 2: Along with signing Mike Skinner taking over behind the wheel for #4 Chevy there is speculation that Hamilton Jr. will become the driver of a second M-M Winston Cup team in 2002, pending a sponsorship. Hamilton Jr. will not be able to race the #4 car at Martinsville Oct. 14 due to the fact the BGN series will be racing in Memphis that weekend. McClure said he will be looking for a more experienced driver who has run at Martinsville before(BGN does not run there – Rich Bickle will drive).(Bristol Herald Courier), Dr. Pepper maybe. And yes, if Hamilton Jr runs all 7 races, he will had run 10 races in 2002 and will not be eligible for any future Rookie of the Year awards(10-2-2001)
    UPDATE: As for the ever-present question of a second M-M team involving Hamilton, McClure said stay tuned. “We’re looking at that,” McClure said. “We’ve been wanting to do a two-team deal. I certainly don’t know of anybody that I would like to have anymore than Bobby Hamilton Jr. `We will just look and see how we do together, and then see if some deal comes around. If something surfaces and we feel like it will compliment our Kodak deal, we would certainly look at it (a second car) real hard.”(Bristol Herald Courier)(10-3-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Morgan-McClure Motorsports is reportedly looking for a second, primary sponsor in hopes of keeping Hamilton Jr.( Buzz)(11-19-2001)
  • Special #29 Scheme: The Hershey Foods Corporation is putting its newest candy bar creation – Reese’s FastBreak – on the fast track with Hershey’s Racing driver Kevin Harvick. Reese’s FastBreak candy bar will break into Winston Cup racing on the #29 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo, driven by Harvick and owned by Richard Childress Racing (RCR), on November 23, 2001, at the New Hampshire 300. Hershey is celebrating the November introduction of Reese’s FastBreak with a one-time version of the #29 Chevrolet sporting the Reese’s FastBreak logo and a special color scheme featuring the Reese’s FastBreak design(RCR PR/Site)(11-19-2001)
  • Little E’s Eye Problem: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr got debris in his eye during his final pit stop that hampered his vision for the last green-flag run. The initial discomfort was so great that he thought he had a piece of metal in his eye, and he went directly to the infield care center to have his eye irrigated and checked after the race. Ironically the debris got in his eye while he was wearing a full-face helmet, something he went to last week(SpeedVisionAND He was taken to the infield care center after the race where he was treated. He was sent home with eyedrops.(RacingExtraAND Earnhardt spent most of the remainder of the race driving with just one eye open. He finished seventh after starting from the pole. Following the race, Earnhardt was taken to the speedway’s infield care center, where he was examined and had his eye washed out. A team spokesman said he may have been bothered by a small piece of metal, but whatever it was did no damage to his eye.(That’s Racin’)(11-19-2001)
  • Rudd’s Back? #28-Ricky Rudd could be headed for the same back surgery that Mark Martin had during a recent offseason. “I didn’t hurt my back when I hit the wall, I think I must have the Mark Martin syndrome, my back has been bothering me for a little while,” Rudd said. “I might have to get it fixed this winter. It hurts when I sit in the seat for a long time.”(SpeedVision)(11-19-2001)
  • Melling Racing/Compton back in 2002? it was reported during NBC’s coverage of the NAPA 500 at Atlanta, that Melling Racing and driver Stacy Compton may have good news to report soon for the 2002 season and that the #92 team may be around for the full 2002 Cup season, sounds like a sponsor(11-19-2001)
  • Sospenzo Looking: The #12 team isn’t the only organization waiting to see whether owner Roger Penske keeps the doors open. Several teams, including Rick Hendrick’s #48 (Jimmie Johnson), have expressed interest in crew chief Peter Sospenzo if the #12 shop shuts down. Sospenzo says he has spoken with the Hendrick organization.(Sporting News)(11-19-2001)





  • Jeff Gordon Wins the Winston Cup Championship: with one race to go, #24-Jeff Gordon clinched his 4th Winson Cup Championship and is the youngest to ever have four (30 years old). Only two drivers have more: Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. #20-Tomy Stewart now is 2nd in the drivers tandings, see That’s Racin’ for the 2001 Unofficial Drivers Standings(11-18-2001)
  • Bobby Labonte wins as Nadeau runs out of gas: #18-Bobby Labonte won the NAPA 500 at Atlanta when #25-Jerry Nadeau ran out of fuel in turn four, Nadeau wiggled the car trying to get some fuel to pick up but could not, Labonte sped by for his 2nd win of the 2001 season. Labonte started from the farthest back (39th) then any Winston Cup race winner has since 1953. Labonte has now won four races after starting with a provisional (only 4 drivers have done that six times). #24-Jeff Gordon was 6th and clinced the Championship, all he needed was a 32nd or better today. See That’s Racin’ for NAPA 500 Results(11-18-2001)
  • Yunick Award: Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s earliest multicar team owner, is the winner of this year’s Smokey Yunick Racing Pioneer Award presented by Atlanta Motor Speedway for early contributions to the sport of auto racing. Parks owned cars driven by Fonty Flock, Bob Flock and Red Byron, who won NASCAR national championships from 1947 until 1949. Previous winners of the award were Jack Smith, Fireball Roberts and Red Voigt.(That’s Racin’). Want to know more about Smokey Yunick? Checkout a book about him on my Racing Bookstore page(11-18-2001)
  • Provisionals Stay in 2002: NASCAR president Mike Helton said in a chat on this week that the series wouldn’t change its provisional system for next year. The final seven starting spots each weekend are provisionals. Helton: It is a program designed to help someone who competes every week, but is having a bad week. The evolution of that process is that we have 7 provisionals in a 43-car field. We will keep looking at it and tweaking it, but we will not change anything for the 2002 season. (11-17-2001)
    Some Facts: from my Provisional Page: #24-Jeff Gordon has never used a provisional in his Winston Cup career, he started 40th at Talladega in 1994 when there were only two provisional spots, 41 and 42. And in Nov 1997, Gordon started 37th at Atlanta but then NASCAR only used four (plus a champs) provisional. AND:
    how provisionals have progressed over the past few years:
    before 1994 not sure how it was handled
    1994 – two
    1995 – four
    1996 – four plus 1 champs(if no champ used it, it went unused)
    1997 – four plus 1 champs(if no champ used it, the next team in owners points got it)
    1998 – six plus 1 champs(if no champ used it, the next team in owners points got it)
    1999 – six plus 1 champs(if no champ used it, the next team in owners points got it)
    2000 – six plus 1 champs(if no champ used it, the next team in owners points got it)
    2001 – six plus 1 champs(if no champ used it, the next team in owners points got it)(11-18-2001)
  • Haas Carter Motorsports annoucements UPDATE 2 – surprise it’s Nemechek: Kmart and Haas Carter Motorsports Will Announce Their 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Plans With A Very Special Guest (Joe Nemechek?) on Saturday November 17, 2001 at 12:30pm/et at the Atlanta Motor Speedway Media Center(11-15/17-2001)
    UPDATE: As has long been rumored (see my #26 Team News and Links page), Joe Nemechek will drive the #26 Haas-Carter Motorsports Ford in 2002, the team announced Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(
    UPDATE 2: Kmart announced it will continue its support of two Winston Cup cars in 2002 and will be an official sponsor of the Daytona 500. The two Kmart-sponsored cars will be prepared by Haas Carter Motorsports, which is owned and operated by Travis Carter. The two-car team features the #26 Kmart Ford driven by newcomer Joe Nemechek and the #66 Kmart BlueLight Special Ford driven by Todd Bodine. Haas Carter Motorsports recently announced their #26 Ford will have a new driver for the 2002 season, NASCAR veteran Joe Nemechek. Todd Bodine, driver of the No. 66 Kmart Blue Light Special Ford, will start his third [actually 2nd – raced one race for the team in 2000] season with Haas Carter Motorsports in 2002. Kmart also is an official sponsor for the 2002 Daytona 500. As part of Kmart.s effort to reach a wider NASCAR audience in 2002, Kmart will not sponsor the Kmart 400 [Michigan]. Instead, the company will focus its marketing efforts across the entire NASCAR schedule, rather than concentrating on just one race.(Haas Carter Motorsports/Golin-Harris PR)(11-18-2001)
  • Jones Honors Girl: Winston Cup driver Buckshot Jones will run Sunday’s race with a hair bow in his #44 Dodge given to him by Bobby and Pam Simmons, the parents of a 13-year-old girl, Alicia Simmons, who died June 7 of a congenital heart defect. Alicia, of Homestead, Fla., was a Jones fan and had first seen him race in a Grand National event at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Alicia’s 15-year-old brother, R.J., suffers from the same ailment.(That’s Racin‘), ALSO The weekend also has the possibility of becoming Jones, most memorable and exciting week, as he and his wife Jina are expecting their first child. The child is due November 21st, but may come earlier than doctors expect(Williams Company)(11-18-2001)
  • IROC Special: True Value IROC 25th Anniversary Show Sunday on ESPN2. Lingner Group Productions has completed a documentary honoring the 25th Anniversary of IROC. The first airing of the program will be this Sunday night at 9:00pm/et on ESPN2. This is a one hour program that looks though the history of one of sports first “made for TV” events. A simple concept presented by Roger Penske, Mark Donahue [it’s Donohue], and Les Richter has become a motorsports institution. This program includes interviews with more than 25 IROC competitors. Drivers interviewed include early champions like Bobby Unser, Bobby Allison and Mario Andretti. The complete IROC library of 100 races was screened for this program, and that includes the inaugural season when the drivers competed in Porsches. Many famous voices will be heard from the early days of motorsports on TV including Keith Jackson, Jim McKay, Al Michaels, Chris Economaki, and Jackie Stewart. Bob Jenkins, the current ESPN and ABC play by play announcer for IROC, is the host and narrator for the program.(IROC PR)(11-18-2001) 



  • Park Not Ready? Wallace to Stay? 4th DEI car? UPDATE 3 Kenny signs with DEI but: There’s nothing official yet, but it appears that Steve Park may not be ready to run in next year’s season-opening Daytona 500. Ty Norris, who runs Dale Earnhardt Inc. with Teresa Earnhardt, isn’t saying much about Park, who was injured at Darlington in September, but insiders said that this week’s scheduled announcement in Atlanta could be to say that Kenny Wallace will continue running the DEI car for Park next spring and that when Park does come back, it will be in a second Pennzoil-sponsored car.(Winston Salem JournalAND Though team representatives have said that Park’s recovery is proceeding well if somewhat slowly, there is still no clear idea if Park will be able to drive the car in Daytona next February. As a result, Dale Earnhardt Incorporated has set a deadline of this week to come to a decision about who will be driving the car at the start of next season. A spokesman for DEI said Sunday that an announcement will be made later this week in Atlanta. Kenny Wallace, who has two top-10 finishes in his past three starts in place of Park, is expected to be named to drive the car until such time as Park is able to return(CNN/SI)(11-12-2001)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt, Inc. to announce 2002 plans for the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet on Friday, November 16 at 9:30am/et at Atlanta Motor Speedway(Pennzoil PR)(11-15-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Kenny Wallace has signed a 1 year contract to drive with Dale Earnhardt Incorporated (DEI) and Pennzoil. Wallace will compete in the 2002 season with the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet until Steve Park returns to DEI. At that point he may run selected or all the events in a fourth DEI car. Kenny Wallace and IMI will compete in the 2002 BGN series, running 22 races the #48 Chevrolet.(Kenny Wallace Racing Site)(11-16-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Norris said that Wallace is guaranteed a ride in a DEI car only in the season-opening Bud Shootout at Daytona and that if Park is ready to return when the 2002 season opens the team would not field four Cup cars on a full-time basis.(That’s Racin’AND The contract guarantees Wallace nothing except a ride in the 2002 Budweiser Shootout, but he will be paid handsomely. The money and a shot at winning convinced Wallace not to accept a two-year deal to drive for another team, apparently A.J. Foyt’s.[#14](Gaston Gazette)(11-17-2001)
  • Burtons team to wear helmets too: Ward Burton’s [#22] crew will apparently wear helmets of some kind in Sunday’s NAPA 500. “It is very tight on pit road everywhere we go,” Burton said. “We’re (drivers) all doing everything we can to get that extra spot on pit road. That’s the nature of the business. Things just get bottled up and that’s when there is a greater chance of accidents happening on pit road. Those guys that go over the wall are so vulnerable to injury; they’re out there doing their jobs, and they can’t pay attention to what anyone else is doing and that puts them at greater risk.” Crew chief Tommy Baldwin bought three different kinds of helmets to try out, hoping to balance safety with a model that does not impede movement.(Gaston Gazette)(11-17-2001)
  • Penske to Dodge? UPDATE 2: on Wednesday’s(8-15-2001) ESPN2’s RPM2 Night. Robin Miller mentioned to look for Penske Racing(#’s 02,2,12) to go to Dodge in NASCAR for 2002. But back in Jan 2000, it was announced that Penske had signed with Ford to run the manufacturer thru 2002(8-16-2001)
    UPDATE? from an ESPN’s (Robin) Miller Mailbag – “Is there any truth to what you said a few weeks ago,that that Penske NASCAR is going to run a Dodge in 2002?” – answer: “A.J. Foyt told me Penske would be in a Dodge next year”(ESPN – Robin Miller Mailbag), back in late 1999 it was reported that Penske signed a three year deal with Ford that would last thru 2002.(11-13-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Roger Penske, according to A. J. Foyt, is considering a switch from Ford to Dodge. But crew chief Robin Pemberton said, “If we’re switching, somebody better tell me. Take that as a no.”(Winston Salem Journal)(11-17-2001)
  • Earnhardt Auction: The Dale Earnhardt Tribute Auction, a silent and live auction of race items to raise money for the Dale Earnhardt tribute planned in Kannapolis, N.C., is 2-7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, in Cannon Village. The auction will include like autographed uniforms, tires, pictures, hats, shirts, sheet metal and items from local businesses. There will also be games and radio-controlled race cars available. Items for auction are still being accepted. A list of what’s been donated can be found at’s Racin’), the Dale Earnhardt Steering Committee is sponsoring its first fundraising event- the Dale Earnhardt Auction. Media support is being contributed by WSOC FM 103.7(11-17-2001)
  • Police Investigate Pitroad Accident: Following last Sunday’s pit road accident at Homestead, Miami-Dade Police Department detectives began an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident, which sent two members of Ricky Rudd’s [#28] team to hospitals. The investigation included interviewing the crews and photographing the scene and the cars involved. The haulers of two teams – those of Ward Burton and Rudd – were stopped on the highway on their return to North Carolina so photos could be taken of the race cars. NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter termed the investigation routine and said Miami-Dade officers had conducted a similar inquiry following the death of NASCAR Truck series driver John Nemechek at the South Florida track in 1997. Hunter said the investigation was for all practical purposes over since Burrell is apparently recovering.(That’s Racin’)(11-17-2001)
  • Gordon and the Indy 500: After being announced as the driver for the #31 Cingular Chevy for the 2002 season, Robby Gordon says he may still run the Indy 500 if the right deal can be worked out (and it is with Richard Childress)(Insider Racing News/FSN’s Totally NASCAR)(11-17-2001) 



  • Spencer, Ganassi and Target? UPDATE 2 #41? YEP Official: Chip Ganassi will announce this weekend (Saturday) that Jimmy Spencer will drive the #01 Dodge next season with Target as the primary sponsor.(Sporting News)(11-12-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing the number of the #01 Dodge will change to #41? The #41 Target Dodge(11-13-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hearing from readers that the Friday edition of the Atlanta Journal Constitution has a Target ad with a picture of the #41 Target Dodge in it(11-16-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced that Target Stores will serve as primary sponsor of the #41 Dodge Intrepid R/T in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series, and NASCAR veteran Jimmy Spencer will drive the Target car. Target Stores and Jimmy Spencer are not the only newcomers to the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team. Doug Randolph will take over crew chief duties for the #41 Target Dodge in 2002. Former crew chief Matt Chambers will move into a new role overseeing the team’s testing program.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Site), see an image of the car on the Paint Schemes Gallery(11-16-2001)
  • Evernham Announcement at Atlanta – UPDATE it’s Official: scheduled for Friday, November 16th at 8:30am/et (11-14-2001)
    New Website: the Evernham Motorsports website: will launch at 8:40am/et on Friday, Nov 16th. Currently there is an image and some links to sponsors posted. Now has some info listed including a Jermey Mayfield link and bio, but no announcement there…yet
    UPDATE the announcment: Evernham Motorsports and Ultra Motorsports today announced the formation of a new partnership. This partnership agreement represents the continued growth strategy of the president and CEO of Evernham Motorsports, Ray Evernham, and his Winston Cup organization, further expanding his quest for a championship. The agreement for 2002 outlines plans for Evernham Motorsports to field the #9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T with Bill Elliott as the driver as well as the #19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T with Jeremy Mayfield as the driver. Ultra Motorsports will field with the #7 Dodge Intrepid R/T with Casey Atwood as the driver, with a sponsor to be named later. The partnership, which joins Dodge’s Winston Cup Series development partner with the manufacturer’s lead Craftsman Truck Series team, involves support from team owner Ray Evernham and Evernham Motorsports for team owner Jim Smith and Ultra Motorsports. This support includes the transition of rookie driver Casey Atwood to the #7 Dodge, production of engines for the #7 team, and support from Evernham Marketing Services for sponsorship development. Ray Evernham also will provide consultation and management of competition personnel. Ultra Motorsports will provide management of day-to-day operations of the No. 7 team, which will be based out of Ultra Motorsports current headquarters in Mooresville, NC. Dodge and the Dodge Dealers will continue their sponsorship of the #9 and #19 Dodge Intrepid R/Ts from Evernham Motorsports. The #7 car will be an additional Dodge Intrepid R/T competing in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series.(Evernham Motorsports Site)(11-16-2001)
  • RCR Announcements at Atlanta UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing is scheduled to make a pair of announcements next weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway concerning drivers for its #31 Cup team and #2 BGN team. On Friday, Robby Gordon, who has substituted frequently in the #31 this season in place of injured driver Mike Skinner, will be named the team’s new full-time driver for 2002. In addition, RCR is expected to announce ASA champ Johnny Sauter will run a full schedule and compete for rookie of the year honors in the #2 Chevy next season. Originally, Harvick was going to run most of the races held in conjunction with Winston Cup events, while Sauter would run the remainder of the schedule. Harvick, who won the series title this season in the car, will run few, if any, races with the team while Sauter will compete full time.(That’s Racin’)(11-12-2001)
    UPDATE: from website, Cingular’s newsroom is reporting the signing of Robby Gordon: Robby Gordon will drive the #31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet Monte Carlo for Richard Childress Racing (RCR) in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. “Driving for Richard Childress Racing and Cingular Wireless is the perfect opportunity for me,” said Gordon. “RCR has made winning races and championships a tradition for three decades and I’m confident we’ll be able to contribute our share of success to the program. Cingular Wireless is about creativity and self-expression and it’s no secret that I’ve been known to creatively express myself throughout my career. I’m still learning a lot in Winston Cup racing so I appreciate Richard’s confidence in me to get the job done and I look forward to getting the Cingular Wireless team on the winning track.”
    “Robby’s a winner and a champion,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing Enterprises, Inc. “He understands what it takes to be successful – and that will give the Cingular Wireless program a big head start for next season. Robby’s experience in the No. 31 car this year allowed him to get comfortable working with Gil (Martin, crew chief) and the crew and got him more seat time in a NASCAR Winston Cup car. I think it’s just a matter of time before he starts consistently getting finishes like the one he had in Phoenix.”, see an image of the car on the Paint Schemes Gallery(11-16-2001)
  • Papis to NASCAR? No: Contrary to published reports, two-time 2001 CART race winner Max Papis does not yet have a test day scheduled in which the open-wheel driver will try his hand in a NASCAR stock car. Various reports had Papis set to take part in a test with Cal Wells’ PPI Motorsports team, but the Wells team said that they had no test sessions scheduled with papis. Papis was at the Homestead Cup race last weekend as a guest of the Wells team – for whom he started his Champ Car (CART) career back in 1996. (SpeedVision)(11-16-2001)
  • Donlavey sues Hill Bros: #90 Cup owner Junie Donlavey has filed suit against Sara Lee, parent company of former sponsor Hills Brothers Coffee. Donlavey’s case argues that Sara Lee wrongfully withheld $300,000 that is owed to the team, wrongfully terminated the contract and is not entitled to reimbursement of sums previously paid to Donlavey’s team. Sara Lee, in a letter dated Oct. 26, has demanded restitution of $138,888.89 for each of the five races in which driver Hut Stricklin did not run. The total contract for the team is $5 million this season. The suit stems from an ongoing dispute about whether Donlavey had the right to replace Stricklin.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-16-2001)
  • Mast 2002 plans? Rick Mast received some good news recently. For the first time in three years, he will end the season knowing exactly where he will be next year. Mast did not divulge the identity of his new owner or car, but he said an announcement probably will be made early in December. “Everything is done,” he said. “We’ll be going into Christmas knowing what we’re going to do for a change. That makes going into the holiday season a whole lot easier.” Meanwhile, Mast will finish out the 2001 campaign with the No. 90 team. Two races remain on the schedule, one this weekend in Atlanta and the rescheduled race in New Hampshire over the Thanksgiving holiday.(News-Gazette)(11-16-2001) 



  • Gordon honored: Jeff Gordon is the third-quarter winner of the National Motorsports Press Association/Pocono Spirit Award for his work along with his wife, Brooke, on behalf of charities for children through his Jeff Gordon Foundation(That’s Racin’)(11-15-2001)
  • Points System to Stay: NASCAR officials are content with the points distribution system currently in place in the Winston Cup Series and say they have no plans to overhaul the formula. That, despite the fact that there have been occasions when the points race has been decided well before the end of the season, and other occasions when a driver with the most wins in a season has come out on the short end of the overall battle. But Jim Hunter, NASCAR’s vice president of corporate communications, says it’s highly unlikely any changes will be made anytime soon to the current points structure.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(11-15-2001)
  • Chex car at Atlanta: the #43 Chex Party Mix Dodge will be driven by John Andretti at the NAPA 500 at Atlanta, see an image of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery(11-15-2001)
  • Change in the 2002 Rulebook? NASCAR President Mike Helton said that they were taking safety equipment under review. As far as apparel, there are no requirements as far as the drivers or the crew members are concerned as listed in the NASCAR 2001 Rule Book, but look for this to change in 2002. Since the beginning of the season, the requirement of a head and neck restraint device has gone into effect, and I would think that NASCAR will make more additions before the season starts in Daytona.(Sporting News). NOTE: the rulebook is not available to the public or found online(11-15-2001)
  • Dallenbach Unsettled on Plans for 2002: NBC/TNT analyst Wally Dallenbach is still looking at all of his options for 2002. During Wednesday’s media conference call, he said, “I’m not sure which direction I’m going in. I’m glad that I have some options. I have the option to continue doing TV and I also have the option to go back to racing. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve done this year more than I could ever imagine and really had no idea coming into this thing as basically a complete rookie.. I’m really impressed with how everything did work and how hard these guys work. These guys spend a lot of time with their noses buried in computers, making notes and getting prepared for this..I’m proud to be apart of this team and I’m proud to see what we’ve built.”(MotorsportsTV/NBC PR)(11-15-2001)
  • DeWalt and Watch The Bulls, Win the Tools: DeWalt Industrial Tools has partnered with the Professional Bull Riders Association (PBR) and NBC Sports to create the “Watch The Bulls, Win the Tools” promotion. DeWalt will use its NASCAR Winston Cup sponsorship of the #17 DeWalt Power Tools Ford Taurus to advertise the November 25th live telecast of the PBR Bud Light Challenge on NBC. The #17 DeWalt Ford, driven by Matt Kenseth, will sport the PBR World Challenge and NBC Sports logos on the hood of the car. NBC announcers will promote the event as Kenseth vies for a victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway and New Hampshire International Speedway. The “Watch the Bulls, Win the Tools” promotion will allow race viewers a chance to enter to win $5,000 in DeWalt Power Tools. Viewers will be given a password at the World Challenge intermission and will have to log on to in order to register to win. DeWalt is thrilled about the partnership and the opportunity to combine two successful organizations, NASCAR and the PBR.(Grandstand PR)(11-15-2001)
  • Rusty and Elvis ride again: Race fans help celebrate the legend of Elvis Presley in 2002. As part of the Elvis Presley 25th Anniversary program,, Action Performance Companies, Inc., Rusty Wallace, and Miller Brewing Company will bring the King of Rock N. Roll back to the track. Rusty Wallace’s #2 Miller Lite Ford Taurus at the Las Vegas Cup race on March 3, 2002. The special program will mark the second time in five years Wallace features Elvis Presley on his racecar.(Action PR), see an image of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery (11-15-2001)
  • hmm..a switch in the Mayfield to Evernham ‘rumor’ UPDATE 2: If things unfold according to plan, Jeremy Mayfield will drive an Evernham Motorsports Dodge as Bill Elliott’s teammate in 2002. Rookie Casey Atwood will also remain in an Intrepid, though it will be fielded by Ultra Motorsports [#7] with technical assistance from Ray Evernham(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(11-1-2001)
    UPDATE: Rumors still persist that Jeremy Mayfield will unseat [#19] Casey Atwood at Evernham Motorsports. Ultra Motorsports owner Jim Smith, who runs the #7 NationsRent Ford, is talking to Dodge about a car make switch for 2002, under the guidance of Evernham. If that happens, expect Atwood to move to the #7 and Mayfield to take over the #19(FoxSports)(11-2-2001)
    UPDATE 2 – Mayfield to join Evernham: Jeremy Mayfield will join Evernham Motorsports to drive the #19 Dodge in 2002, according to ESPN2’s RPM2Night. Casey Atwood, current driver of the #19 ride, will move to Jim Smith’s #7 Dodge. Team owner Ray Evernham also would buy a part of Smith’s team, which is switching from Ford to Dodge for next season. An announcement is scheduled for Friday morning at Atlanta Motor Speedway, site of Sunday’s NAPA 500.(ESPN)(11-15-2001)
  • Harvick, Waltrip and the NBA and the NHL: Kevin Harvick and Michael Waltrip will make a guest appearance on TNT’s Inside The NBA on Thurs., Nov. 15, at approximately 11:30pm/et, with TNT host Ernie Johnson, and analysts Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley. Harvick is bringing his remote control cars to the studio so he and Waltrip can take on Johnson, Smith and Barkley in a race around the studio.. Both drivers are in town for the NAPA 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. AND On Friday, Harvick will drop the puck at the Atlanta Thrashers hockey game against the Nashville Predators, which airs on Turner South at 7:30 p.m., with the pre-game show beginning at 7 p.m.(NBC PR)(11-15-2001) 



  • Two Martins at Atlanta: Mark Martin will not be the only Martin competing at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. Matt Martin, Mark’s nine-year-old son, will also be aiming for a win. While Mark will be concentrating on the Winston Cup race on Sunday, Matt will be focused on his Bandolero race after Saturday’s ARCA event. Matt has just started racing a Bandolero this year and earned a third place finish at Lowe’s Motor Speedway earlier this month. Both Martins are still looking for their first win of the season in their respective divisions, so hopefully Atlanta can be a family sweep for them.(Roush Racing PR)(11-14-2001)
  • TV Ratings at Homestead: This past weekend, NBC carried both Cup and Busch races from Homestead, the Cup race Sunday pulled a 3.8/8 overnight, up 23% from the 2000 NBC telecast. The Busch, however, was pretty much level with 2000, registering a 1.6/4. Last November, when it aired the Homestead Winston Cup/Busch weekend the Cup race pulled 3.1 overnight rating with a 7 share, while the Busch race did a 1.7/4.(SpeedVision)(11-14-2001) 



  • Air Dam Rules Change: A technical bulletin to Winston Cup teams allows Fords to add one-half inch to the air dams of their race cars while removing one inch from the two-inch extension given to Dodges in August. But no change was made to the Pontiac Grand Prix (or the Chevy Monte Carlo) by Tuesday’s NASCAR bulletin.(That’s Racin’AND On Tuesday, NASCAR officials informed teams that, effective immediately, the Ford Taurus will receive a half-inch kickout on its nose, while the Dodge Intrepid will have that same area reduced by one inch(
  • Yates Crew to wear helmets: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports that the Robert Yates Racing teams (#28 and #88) crew must wear helmets if they go over the wall AND Robert Yates said Tuesday he would equip his two Winston Cup teams with helmets beginning with Sunday’s NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Roush Racing experimented with helmets, but its crews have not been using them this year. Jeff Burton said he’d like to see that change as soon as possible.(That’s Racin’)(11-13-2001)
  • Penske to Dodge? UPDATE: on Wednesday’s(8-15-2001) ESPN2’s RPM2 Night. Robin Miller mentioned to look for Penske Racing(#’s 02,2,12) to go to Dodge in NASCAR for 2002. But back in Jan 2000, it was announced that Penske had signed with Ford to run the manufacturer thru 2002(8-16-2001)
    UPDATE? from an ESPN’s (Robin) Miller Mailbag – “Is there any truth to what you said a few weeks ago,that that Penske NASCAR is going to run a Dodge in 2002?” – answer: “A.J. Foyt told me Penske would be in a Dodge next year”(ESPN – Robin Miller Mailbag), back in late 1999 it was reported that Penske signed a three year deal with Ford that would last thru 2002.(11-13-2001)
  • Pit Crews and Helmets? UPDATE: NASCAR president Mike Helton says all pit crew members who go over the wall might be asked to wear helmets in the future.(Sporting News)(11-12-2001)
    UPDATE: NASCAR is considering mandating helmets for pit crew members during races. “Helmets are optional now, but we’re taking a hard look at either mandating them or strongly recommending them,” said Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president for corporate communications. Some teams are planning to move forward in that direction regardless of NASCAR’s decision, including Michael Waltrip’s #15 NAPA Chevy crew. Waltrip’s team has already budgeted crewmember helmets for 2002, according to a team spokeswoman. One team, Cal Wells’ #32 Tide Ford group, has long been required to wear helmets when going over the wall. Wells brought the idea of helmets for crew members with him from CART, where such devices are mandated.(
  • Foyt to field 2nd car at Atlanta: Mark Green will make his Cup Series debut driving a second Conseco Pontiac this weekend in the NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Team owner A.J. Foyt is fielding the #41 Conseco Pontiac as a thank you to Green for helping out Foyt’s son Larry in his rookie year in the BGN. Larry Foyt finished 22nd in the standings in his Harrah’.s No. 14 Chevy. “Mark has been very helpful as a driving coach to Larry this year at those events that I could not make,” said Foyt, who fields the #14 Conseco Pontiac for driver Ron Hornaday. “I wanted to thank Mark and the timing worked out for me to do it this weekend. Now that the Busch season is over, we’re borrowing Larry’s crew so there will be no strain on my regular Conseco NASCAR team. In fact, I think it can help my whole Team Conseco operation because we’ll be getting feedback from two teams.”
    “I’m tickled to be driving in this situation,” said Green. “I really enjoyed working with Larry this year. I drove for him at Richmond when he was hurt in September so we already have that communication going with his crew chief Jon Wolfe and his guys. It’s great to be associated with such good people and, on top of that, to be driving for A.J. Foyt just makes it extra special.”(Foyt Racing PR)(11-13-2001)
  • Pitroad Accident UPDATE 3 Crewman Better: Three members of the #28 pit crew and one NASCAR official were injured during a pit-road accident on Lap 111 of Sunday’s Pennzoil Freedom 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. During a round of pit stops under caution, #22-Ward Burton pulled out from his pit stall and into the left side of #19-Casey Atwood. Burton then cut to his left and into Rudd’s pit stall, where his crew was still performing a four-tire and gas pit stop. Bobby Burrell, Rudd’s front-tire changer, was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami for treatment of head injuries. John Bryan, jackman for Rudd’s team, was taken by ambulance to Baptist Hospital in Miami for treatment of knee injuries. Bryan is the brother-in-law of Todd Parrott, crew chief for Dale Jarrett, Rudd’s teammate. Kevin Hall, the team’s front-tire changer, was treated for bruises at the infield care center and released. NASCAR official Kenny Lawson, who was overseeing Rudd’s pit stop, was seen and released from the infield car center. He was knocked onto the hood of Rudd’s car. See full story and updates at That’s Racin’ and Allen Bestwick reported during the race that Burrell is awake and listed in serious condition(11-11-2001)
    UPDATE Jackman John Bryan was treated at Baptist Hospital for knee injuries and a concussion, front tire carrier Kevin Hall was banged up and NASCAR official Kenny Lawson was not injured in the incident. Ward Burton headed to the hospital after the race. NASCAR officials said it was just a racing accident and no penalties would be assessed, but they are considering requiring helmets on pit road. It’s a move several crew chiefs advocated after the race. Richard Childress Racing crew members Kirk Almquist (front tire carrier) and Scott Naset (front tire changer) moved over from working as backups for Rudd’s team. The two have been working with Childress’ Busch team. Jarrett jackman Shane Callis helped as well.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-12-2001)
    UPDATE 2: reports (as of 10:56am/et today) that “two of the three injured crew members of the No. 28 Ford driven by Ricky Rudd have been released from the hospital while a third is still under medical care in Miami. Bobby Burrell, the front tire changer who resides in Huntersville, N.C., is listed in serious condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital with a head injury.(
    UPDATE 3: Update on Crew Members of No. 28 Texaco/Havoline Team (as of 12:55 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2001). Bobby Burrell, tire changer, 30 years old from Huntersville, N.C. Bobby Burrell remains in serious but stable condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. On Tuesday morning, he was moved from the Neuro Intensive Care Unit into a regular room. He remains conscious and continues to communicate verbally with family. The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation for the outpouring of prayers and support from across the country. John Bryan, jack man, 31 years old from Charlotte, N.C. John Bryan is resting at home with bruises. Bryan suffered a mild concussion on Sunday. He flew home Sunday evening after being treated at Baptist Hospital in Miami. Kevin Hall, tire carrier, 31 years old from Charlotte, N.C. Kevin Hall is resting at home with bruises. Hall was treated and released from the Infield Care Center on Sunday and returned home with the team on Sunday evening.(
  • Dodge to sponsor weekly series? UPDATE: Dodge and NASCAR are on the verge of announcing that the automobile manufacturer is to be the new sponsor of the Weekly Racing Series, the short-track series played out on nearly 100 local venues throughout the United States. NASCAR has been futilely seeking sponsorship for the series ever since the negotiated Tobacco Agreement effectively ended the long run of the Winston Racing Series, a program in which the cigarette company chipped in millions of dollars not only to reward short-track drivers but also to upgrade facilities by painting fences and building scoreboards.(Gaston Gazette)(11-10-2001)
    UPDATE: Dodge today announced that it has reached an agreement with the NASCAR to become the presenting sponsor of NASCAR’s Weekly Racing Series, beginning immediately and continuing through a multi-year agreement. The announcement comes near the end of Dodge’s first season back in NASCAR Winston Cup racing in 16 years, and a year in which the brand captured its first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Manufacturers Championship. The NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge is America’s premier weekly stock car racing series, encompassing 10 geographic regions and nearly 90 of the finest short-track racing facilities across America. Many competitors in NASCAR’s three national series – Winston Cup, Busch and Craftsman Trucks – began their careers in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series, including each of those series champions in 2000. Dodge drivers Ward Burton, Sterling Marlin, Casey Atwood, Stacy Compton, Buckshot Jones, Scott Riggs and Ted Musgrave are also NASCAR Weekly Racing Series graduates.(Golin/Harris PR)(11-13-2001)
  • No Top 10 for Martin in 2001 UPDATE: Simply by starting Sunday’s race, #99-Jeff Burton assured himself of at least a 10th-place finish in this year’s NASCAR Winston Cup drivers points standings. That means that for the first time since 1988, Mark Martin will not finish among the circuit’s Top 10 drivers. Martin was 15th in 1988.(Miami Herald)(11-12-2001)
    UPDATE: actually after looking at the numbers, this is not true. It’ll be tought for Martin to get into 10th, but he and #10-Benson, who is in 11th still have a shot at 10th. Burton has 4132 points, if he finished last in the next two races (worth 34 x 2), he would end up with 4211 points. If Benson, who has 3931 points, wins and leads the most laps (185×2) he would end up with 4301 points. Martin currently has 3860 points, if he wins and leads the most laps (185×2) he would end up with 4230 points. So while inprobable, there is still a chance for Martin and a much better chance for Benson if Burton falters(11-13-2001 – nice heads up Alan)
  • Blaney ties best: #93-Dave Blaney matched his career-best finish of sixth place Sunday at Homestead. Blaney has finished sixth three times this season and is still looking for that first career top five(11-13-2001)
  • NASCAR/Petty Movie: Dennis Quaid is revved up by a film project delving into the story of NASCAR legend Richard Petty and his complicated relationship with his father Lee, who was an up-and-coming driver until he was injured in a crash. “Any Given Sunday” producer Dan Halsted has put together the funds to develop a “Great Santini”-like story of a son trying to measure up to his father. The younger Petty went on to become NASCAR’s winningest driver, but had to go a long way to prove himself to Lee, who’ll be played by Quaid. The pic will be exec produced by John O’Hurley, John Myrick and Robin Sharp, and they’re out to writers right now.(Yahoo Entertainment – thanks Matt)(11-13-2001)
  • Petty and Teen Newsweek: Petty Enterprises is the focus of a column in Teen Newsweek this week, a national publication for children in grades six through nine. The column, My Turn, is a regular reader-written feature of all Newsweek publications. The column was written by Cortney Cameron, a 10-year-old girl from Hays, N.C., who released a helium-filled balloon from her home soon after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. She and her younger sister, Cassidy, tied a note to the balloon expressing patriotism, and asking for whomever found the balloon to notify them. The balloon ended up at Kyle Petty.s farm in Trinity, N.C. Not long afterwards, Cortney and her family were invited to Petty Days in Randleman, N.C., where they met the Petty family. A photograph of the girls, along with their mother, and Kyle and Austin Petty ran in the edition of the magazine.(Williams Co PR)(11-13-2001)
  • IROC, testing, Harvick, another driver and some rules changes: Also testing at the Speedway on Monday was the True Value/IROC Series and test drivers Dave Marcis and Jim Sauter. Harvick, whose Busch Series title earned him a spot in the exclusive All-Star field, plans on hopping in one of those cars before the end of his testing session. On Tuesday, True Value/IROC testing will continue with open-wheel drivers expected to arrive, including Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr., Helio Castroneves(CART) and Scott Sharp. Guests can watch both Harvick’s test session and True Value/IROC testing free of charge with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.(DIS PR)(11-12-2001)
    UPDATE: Returning to the 2000 aerodynamic package by removing the roof blade and reconfiguring the rear spoiler area to more closely adhere to the recent NASCAR mandate for Winston Cup cars, long-time test drivers Dave Marcis, and Jim Sauter are leading the driver corps so that each of the twelve race cars are equally prepared and competitive come race day. Also on the test schedule is the larger, Demon carburetor, first used at Indianapolis last year, with hopes that by adding 30-horsepower even more will be required of the driver by giving him an extra tool to work with in the ultra-competitive all-star series.(IROC PR)(11-13-2001) 



  • Harvick Tests at Daytona: #29-Kevin Harvick tested at Daytona International Speedway on Monday, preparing for the season-opening 44th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 17 with a pair of #29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolets in a two-day test. Crew chief Kevin Hamlin and the rest of the team were trying to figure out the new superspeedway rules package for Harvick’s first Daytona 500 start. “We haven’t had time to use a lot of our tests this year,” said Harvick, who’ll also win Winston Cup Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors. “They changed the rules on the superspeedway cars so we wanted to get a head start. We’ve already finished our car for the Daytona 500 and decided to come down here and use one of our tests. ” Harvick tested the car he’ll run in next year’s Daytona 500 and the car he ran at Talladega in October. Also testing at the Speedway on Monday was the True Value/IROC Series and test drivers Dave Marcis and Jim Sauter. Harvick, whose Busch Series title earned him a spot in the exclusive All-Star field, plans on hopping in one of those cars before the end of his testing session. On Tuesday, True Value/IROC testing will continue with open-wheel drivers expected to arrive, including Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr., Helio Castroneves(CART) and Scott Sharp. Guests can watch both Harvick’s test session and True Value/IROC testing free of charge with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.(DIS PR)(11-12-2001)
  • Robby and the Baja 1000 UPDATE: don’t know much about the Baja 1000 Robby Gordon will run in this weekend (Jeff Green will the #31 Lowes Chevy at Homestead), but a few sites that readers can follow his, and the races progress, are: including realtime coverage of the events. Also the site has info(11-9-2001)
    UPDATE: Robby Gordon failed to finish last Friday’s Baja 1000 due to electronic problems.  Gordon was leading the race when the problems first surfaced and he worked on his Trophy Truck for six hours before withdrawing from the race.
    Robby Gordon’s Thoughts on the Baja 1000: “I was leading the Baja when the ‘electronic gremlins’ bit me, kind of like what happened to the Lowe’s car at Watkins Glen.  All the wires are sealed in my Baja truck like in an airplane.  Everything is electronic and that’s supposed to be the best way to go, but if I run the Baja again, I may not do that. Most of the cars and trucks in the Baja don’t run an all electronic system like I do. When the ignition shuts off, you don’t really know where to start looking for the culprit because you really need to hook the truck up to a computer to find the problem.  I worked on it for six hours and finally gave up.  I did get the truck running again but then it misfired.  I couldn’t get 12 volts, even after I changed batteries.  Months of effort went into preparing for the Baja so I’m pretty upset right now.  I guess you could say I’m becoming a good loser under unusual circumstances, especially when they’re related to electrical problems. It looked like the race was going to fall into my lap but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”(RCR PR)(11-12-2001)
  • Atwoods Comments on the rumors: “I’m all right with everything that’s going on,” was all Atwood would say. “There really isn’t a whole lot to talk about right now. I think everybody’s been doing a great job and, uh … Ray [Evernham is] just trying to make his team a better team. I’m not. I’m going to be with Evernham Motorsports, I don’t know which way or which car I’ll be driving, but that’ll be discussed later. But I’ll be driving for him and I plan on being with him for a long time.”(CNN/SIAND Jeremy Mayfield’s move to the #19 Dodge and Casey Atwood’s alignment with Jim Smith’s #7 Dodge (it’s a Ford until the end of the season) for 2002 likely will be announced this week. Atwood says he will still be involved with current owner Ray Evernham next year, which likely means Evernham and Smith will have some kind of partnership on the #7.(Sporting News)(11-12-2001)





  • Bill Elliott wins at Homestead: #9-Bill Elliott won the Pennzoil Freedom 400 at Homestead, his first win in 226 races (Darlington in the 1994 Southern 500 in the #11 Budweiser Ford) and the first for Ray Evernham as a Team Owner. It was Elliott’s 41st career Winston Cup win. #19-Casey Atwood was leading with a few laps to go, but Elliott caught him and Atwood ended up with his best career finish of 3rd, #15-Michael Waltrip finished 2nd. Points leader #24-Gordon finished 28th and 2nd in points #28-Rudd was 21st, so Gordon failed to clinch the Winston Cup Championship this week. Gordon needs to leave Atlanta with a 185 point lead to clinch. See That’s Racin’ for Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 results and Updated Winston Cup points(11-11-2001)
  • Irvan to Carry Olympic Torch: The Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC), Coca-Cola and Chevrolet announced that former Winston Cup driver Ernie Irvan has been selected to carry the Olympic Flame on its 65 day, 13,500 mile journey from Atlanta, GA to Salt Lake City. Torchbearers were nominated earlier this year by family members, friends, or co-workers by writing a 50-100 word essay describing how the nominee embodied the Olympic spirit and inspired an individual or a community. Irvan was one of 7200 torchbearers selected from more than 210,000 nominees. The Olympic Flame will be lit during a ceremony in Olympia, Greece before traveling to Atlanta – where the flame last rested on American soil – and starting its cross-country journey through 46 states on December 4, 2001. An average of 180 torchbearers will each carry the flame approximately two-tenths of a mile. Irvan has been notified that. he will carry the flame either December 4, 5, or 6 in either Charlotte, NC; Hickory, NC; or Rock Hill, SC. The exact time and place will be announced later this month. Irvan stated he is really looking forward to participating in the Olympic Torch Relay and considers it a true honor to be selected to carry the Olympic Flame.(
  • New 2002 Scheme for the #28? Next season Rudd’s car, the legendary black #28, will likely sport a dramatically new color scheme, because of the Texaco-Chevron merger.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-11-2001)
  • New #10 Scheme in 2002? hearing the #10 Valvoline Pontiac will run a new paint scheme in 2002, supposedly quite a dramtic change(11-11-2001)
  • Earnhardt Jr’s Helmet: Dale Earnhardt Jr mentioned during an interview on Saturday that he would wear a full-face helmet at Homestead. He had been wearing an open faced helmet favored by his late father Dale and Jimmy Spencer(11-11-2001)
  • Little E’s fragrance: Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced the signing of a fragrance company, Drakkar Noir (what Jayski uses too) as an associate sponsor(Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-11-2001) 



  • WCI Person of the Year: The readers of NASCAR Winston Cup Illustrated have spoken loudly, naming Teresa Earnhardt the magazine’s 2001 Person of the Year. For the past five years and now with the support of UPS, NASCAR Winston Cup Illustrated has encouraged its readers to nominate an individual within the NASCAR industry who has best represented the spirit and integrity of the sport. Readers made their nominations by telling in 50 words or less why their candidate should be recognized. “It is an understatement to say Teresa Earnhardt has endured a difficult year. Yet she has done more than persevere. She has excelled in many areas and under trying circumstances. She has earned the respect and support of all NASCAR fans who overwhelmingly voted her the recipient of this award,” said Steve Waid, vice president of Editorial Development for NASCAR Winston Cup Illustrated. Criteria considered in the nomination process include bringing positive attention to NASCAR Winston Cup racing through achievement, technology or safety; representing NASCAR Winston Cup racing in a favorable light through service to the community or charities; and contributing to the growth of NASCAR Winston Cup racing. Teresa Earnhardt’s efforts and actions in 2001 make her the ideal recipient for the award. “It’s quite an honor to be named NASCAR Winston Cup Illustrated Person of the Year. It’s particularly flattering to know that the fans voted on this award and that there are so many distinguished recipients of this award in the past,” Mrs. Earnhardt said. Since her husband’s death at Daytona in February, Mrs. Earnhardt has been thrust into the spotlight. She waged a very public battle to keep autopsy photos private and in doing so, she rallied thousands of fans across the country to her cause. She was instrumental in the Florida legislature’s decision to take action. Mrs. Earnhardt helped to promote a positive image for NASCAR in a very difficult time for herself and the sport. After February, there were also questions about the future of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Under Mrs. Earnhardt’s leadership, the company has flourished and continues to be one of the top organizations in NASCAR. The three-car DEI team has posted four wins to date this season, and Mrs. Earnhardt has contributed significantly to its positive competitive status. The 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Illustrated Person Of The Year will be presented by UPS during pre-race ceremonies at Atlanta Motor Speedway on November 18. Ty Norris, executive vice president of motorsports at DEI, will accept the award on behalf of Teresa Earnhardt. Previous winners of the award include Jeff Gordon and Darrell Waltrip (1997), Ray Evernham (1998), Kyle Petty (1999), and the Petty family (2000).(IMG Motorsports PR)(11-10-2001)
  • 2002 Fox/FX/FSN Winston Cup Schedule Released: NASCAR Winston Cup racing returns to FOX, Sunday, Feb. 24 (12:30pm/et), live from “The Rock,” North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, NC. NASCAR on FOX race coverage begins Saturday, Feb. 23 (1:00pm/et) with Rockingham’s NASCAR Busch Series event. NASCAR racing legend Darrell Waltrip and former crew chief Larry McReynolds return to provide race analysis for all NASCAR on FOX NASCAR Winston Cup and NASCAR Busch Series events, and Mike Joy returns as race announcer. Prerace coverage is again hosted by Chris Myers with analyst Jeff Hammond. In its second season as the home of NASCAR, FOX Sports airs 13 NASCAR Winston Cup races. FX airs four NASCAR Winston Cup races in 2002, up from three in 2001. FX once again airs the Richmond, “The Winston”, Martinsville and Dover. See my 2002 Fox/FX/FSN Scheulde Chart for times and dates(NASCAR PR)(11-10-2001)
  • Harvick in IROC: BGN champ and likely Winston Cup rookie of the year Kevin Harvick has accepted an invitation to compete in the four-race International Race of Champions (IROC) series in 2002. Harvick was extended the invitation that is traditionally given to the Grand National champion. Reigning series champion Jeff Green competed in the four-race series this season.(That’s Racin’)(11-10-2001)
  • More on Ultra Motorsports(#7) UPDATE more Atwood: “About the only thing nailed down is the #1 Mopar truck and Ted Musgrave,” [Ultra Motorsports owner Jim] Smith said of the storm of rumors that is swirling about his teams in two of NASCAR’s three national touring series. Smith said the plans for his second Dodge factory truck, whose primary sponsorship package with Team ASE will also remain unchanged with Jason Leffler the rumored driver, is “99 percent done.” “That should be done and signed any day now,” Smith said. “We are just trying to get some other issues finalized. Everything is agreed on, but until it’s signed it’s not a done deal.” “As far as NationsRent is concerned, we’re under a lawsuit,” Smith said. “They outright refuse to pay or to continue the program as we were contracted to do. They owe me a lot of money. It’s a nasty situation to the point I may not even have NationsRent on the car this weekend if they don’t pay some of what they owe me.”(NASCAR.comAND [Casey] Atwood, meanwhile, is reportedly not interested in driving a Dodge for Ultra Motorsports, which is where current owner Ray Evernham would like Atwood to land. With Jeremy Mayfield expected to replace Atwood [in the #19 Dodge], a move to Ultra Motorsports would keep Atwood in the Dodge program.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(11-8-2001)
    UPDATE: ……Atwood, whose status in the #19 Dodges owned by Ray Evernham has been the subject of much conjecture in the past few weeks. The uncertainty stems from the likelihood that Evernham will add Jeremy Mayfield to his operation, perhaps with a swap of Atwood to an affiliate Dodge team for 2002. “I’ll be driving for Ray Evernham in some way, shape or form,” Atwood said. “I don’t know exactly what’s going on right now, but I’ll be with him.”(That’s Racin’AND Atwood appears to be headed, once again, toward a ride next season with car owner Jim Smith, under a Dodge-backed switch, according to Dodge sources. Car owner Andy Petree says he’d hire Atwood, but Petree is still searching for a sponsor.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-10-2001)
  • DW to race again? hearing from readers that NBC 17 in Fayetteville/Raleigh NC is reporting Darrell Waltrip is considering running a few cup races next year. They did do a short interview with him and he specifically mentioned Martinsville and also other small tracks – of course this would be in the 2nd half of the 2002 season, if it happens, as Waltrip is part of the Fox braodcast crew(11-10-2001)
  • Melling? Compton? Atwood? UPDATE 2 Melling to BGN?: Stacy Compton’s car [#92 Dodge ]owner, Mark Melling, doesn’t have a sponsor for next season and may have to shut down, although there are reports that Atwood might be able to put together a deal for the Melling ride(Winston Salem Journal)
    UPDATE: also been told by sources that Action Performance has cancelled their diecast run for the 2002 #19 Dodge with Casey Atwood as the driver(11-8-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Compton could stay with his current team but move out of Winston Cup next season. Owner Mark Melling, still seeking sponsorship for next season, said he would consider running in the BGN or CTS next season. Right now he has no options for a full-time sponsorship but is considering some part-time offers. Melling said he can hold on until December before he starts to make changes within his operation. Compton says he’d like to ride out the search and stay with the team next season. He wouldn’t mind running in any of the three series as long as the team is competitive.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-10-2001) 



  • The Grinch on the #26? UPDATE 2: been sent an image of the #26 Kmart/The Grinch Ford diecast, not sure if it will run at Homestead, Atlanta (NHIS?) or if it just a diecast deal. The movie will be released on video/DVD, Nov 20th, it was a huge hit (and great movie) last holiday season and was featured on the #5 Chevy(thanks J. Parker)
    UPDATE: been told this scheme will run at Atlanta next weekend(11-8-2001)
    UPDATE 2: One of the world’s most infamous holiday characters will be making a very special appearance at the Atlanta Motor Speedway’s NAPA 500. “THE GRINCH ™” from Universal Studios Home Video’s “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! ™,” will adorn Jimmy Spencer’s No. 26 Kmart Ford November 16-18 as Kmart and Universal celebrate the release of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! ™” on Video and DVD. Capitalizing on the record-breaking box office opening in 2000 and a total box office gross of $265 million, “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! ™” is poised to set new records with its Video and DVD release on November 20th.(Golin/Harris PR)(11-9-2001)
    AND for fun: What if we took NASCAR and made it Who-ville for a day, who would be the GRINCH and what role would he play? Who would be the Mayor of Who-ville NASCAR? Won’t forget Cindy Lou-Who, she wouldn’t be too far. Oh there’s one more, we aren’t quite done, THE GRINCH’s trusty dog Max could add to the fun. He’s coming to NASCAR get ready young and old, to promote the home release of THE GRINCH so the story is told. Here are Jimmy Spencer’s picks: Grinch: Kyle Petty; Max: Kenny Schrader; Mayor: Tony Stewart; Cindy-Lou: Cielo Garcia(11-9-2001)
  • Head and Neck Devices at the Lower Level UPDATE: NASCAR, having made head and neck restraint devices man-datory for its top three touring series — Winston Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck — is considering extending the rule to its Weekly Racing Series. Some 10,000 drivers participate in the series at more than 100 tracks around the country. NASCAR will announce its decision on local requirements before the start of the spring season, although it could mean added expense for drivers.(Tennessean)(11-8-2001)
    UPDATE: been informed that the cost of the HANS device mentioned in the Tennessean is incorrect. The device does not cost $1,500-$1,800 but $1,275(11-9-2001) 



  • Not NASCAR but great news: The comeback of Alex Zanardi has begun, far faster than it might have for many an ordinary human, as Zanardi drove himself from his Monte Carlo home to the Italian office of Dr. Claudio Costa in a specially modified road car. Zanardi, who lost both of his lower legs in a terrible crash at the German Lausitzring six weeks ago, drove a car that was fitted with hand controls to meet the renowned Dr. Costa as the Italian surgeon performed a routine checkup on the two-time CART champion’s injuries.(SpeedVision)(11-8-2001)
  • Wind Tunnel Time? How important is aerodynamic development of Winston Cup cars to the big auto manufacturers? We have been told that one of the “Big Three” has assigned sufficient importance to it’s Winston Cup wind tunnel program that product managers seeking tunnel time for street car development are finding Winston Cup teams penciled into time slots traditionally reserved for production vehicles. In the past, Winston Cup teams generally had to wheel their cars into the wind tunnels at night, after the production cars left. Now, more and more Winston Cup teams are getting onto the daytime schedules as the manufacturers pull out the stops to improve their aerodynamics in the face of impending rules changes for the upcoming 2002 Daytona 500.(Speedway Illustrated)(11-8-2001)
  • Hall of Fame UPDATE: Jackie Ickx, the only six-time Le Mans winner, heads a group of 21 finalists for induction next year to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. A panel of international motorsports media will choose six finalists for induction April 4, 2002. Ickx was the leading vote-getter in the diverse group that includes drivers, owners and mechanics, as well as a pilot. Included from NASCAR: Cannonball Baker, world record holder, NASCAR commissioner; Red Byron, the first NASCAR champion; Ray Fox, stock car builder and crew chief; Ray Hendrick, 500 wins in NASCAR modifieds, LM sportsman cars; Jack Ingram, five-time Busch Grand National champion; Cotton Owens, stock car driver/car builder; Maurice Petty, crew chief/engine builder for brother Richard; Tim Richmond, Indy/Winston Cup racer; Glen Wood, NASCAR driver, car builder and owner; LeeRoy Yarbrough, stock car driver.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-28-2001)
    UPDATE: Former Winston Cup champion Alan Kulwicki and long-time NASCAR driver and car owner Glen Wood highlighted the six inductees in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame Class of 2002 that was unveiled Wednesday. Also to be honored in an April 18, 2002 induction ceremony are former Grand Prix champion Jacky Ickx, late Winston Cup driver Tim Richmond, long-time Formula I and Indy car driver Denis Hulme and racecar builder Ettore Bugatti.(Anniston Star)(11-8-2001)
  • Rolex 24 and Cup Drivers: Kyle Petty, John Andretti, Jeff Burton will race together in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Petty, Andretti and Burton will drive an Orbit Racing Porsche in the GT class, while Wally Dallenbach will take the wheel of Robinson Racing’s prototype for the race Feb. 2-3. Petty helped Orbit Racing to a fourth-place finish last year in the GT class, and teamed with Andretti in Orbit’s Porsche GT3 RS to win the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 at Watkins Glen International. Dallenbach will join team owner George Robinson, Jack Baldwin and Steve Knapp in a Judd-powered Riley & Scott Mark III-C.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(11-8-2001)
  • New Fuel Cell: NASCAR and Safety Technologies are preparing a Kevlar fuel cell bladder that could limit fuel leaks and resulting fires, especially the near-explosions that rear impacts can cause. The 1/16th-inch flexible Kevlar shroud encloses the current fuel cell, protecting it from puncture. Contained within the Kevlar bladder is a special material that absorbs gasoline. The fuel cell bladder is reportedly the first of its kind in motorsports and, according to Van Norman, could help eliminate fire in “99 percent of the rear-end collisions that we’ve been seeing right now.” So far Van Norman and BSR Products President Butch Stevens have worked closely with NASCAR Winston Cup Director Gary Nelson in an effort to get the device approved for competition. The cell has already been run in the rear clip of Jason Jarrett’s #67 ARCA car in that series’ October Talladega race and has been subjected to destructive testing with water in the fuel cell.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(11-8-2001)
  • #4 Team Member doing better: Lonnie Hill, a veteran employee of Morgan-McClure Motorsports, continues to heal from surgery performed on his lung two weeks ago. Hill had been diagnosed with a lung disease, Bullae, in September. Electing to have surgery earlier than first expected, Hill is recuperating at home and is doing great.(Morgan McClure Newsletter)(11-8-2001)
  • 17th Different Winner in 2001 a record UPDATE 3 and ties an ALL Time Record: when #22-Ward Burton won the 2001 Southern 500, he became the 15th different Winston Cup winner in 2001, which breaks the record for NASCAR’s modern era (which began in 1972) of 14 set in 2000 and 1991. Winners in 2001: #15-Waltrip, #1-Park, #24-Gordon, #29-Harvick, #88-Jarrett, #21-Sadler, #55-Hamilton, #2-Wallace, #20-Stewart, #99-Burton, #28-Rudd, #18-Labonte, #40-Marlin, #22-Burton, #8-Earnhardt Jr.(9-2-2001)
    UPDATE – Make it 16 in 2001: #32-Ricky Craven becomes the 16th different winner in the Cup series in 2001, extending the record(10-15-2001)
    UPDATE 2 – Make it 17 in 2001: #33-Joe Nemechek becomes the 17th different winner in the Cup series in 2001, extending the record(11-4-2001)
    UPDATE 3 – ties an all time record from 1956: there was one other year in which 17 drivers won races. Of course, they weren’t called Winston Cup races. For most of NASCAR’s history, the top division was called Grand National. In the early years, it was called Strictly Stock. Seventeen different drivers won races in 1956, 45 years ago. They were, in order of points standings and with number of wins in parentheses: Buck Baker (14), Speedy Thompson (8), Herb Thomas (5), Lee Petty (2), Jim Paschal (1), Billy Myers (2), Fireball Roberts (5), Ralph Moody (4), Tim Flock (4), Marvin Panch (1), Paul Goldsmith (1), Curtis Turner (1), Jack Smith (1), Lloyd Dane (2), Eddie Pagan (1), John Kieper (1) and Fonty Flock (1).(GoCarolinas/Monte Dutton)(11-8-2001)
  • Elliott after 2002? Speculation continues as to whether 2002 will be Bill Elliott’s final year. Elliott says he has “no plans” to retire, but with a line of die-cast cars tracing his career set to be released next year, talk of a “farewell tour” isn’t likely to subside. If he is planning on hanging it up, it would be wise not to play poker with Elliott, who contends, “I’ve got a two-year deal with Ray (Evernham). And (another) two-year option after that. That’s what my contract is.” But Elliott knows that contracts don’t mean much these days. Teammate Casey Atwood also had a long-term deal, but is likely to be driving elsewhere next season.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(11-8-2001) 



  • Some IROC Drivers named: 2001 IRL champ, Sam Hornish, Jr., 2000 IRL champion, Buddy Lazier, and the 1996 inaugural IRL co-champion, Scott Sharp have all accepted invitations to participate in the 2002 True Value IROC series. Hornish, Lazier, and Sharp finished first, second and third respectively, in the 2001 IRL. In 2001, Sharp served as an expert commentator for the ESPN broadcasts of True Value IROC races. In 2002, Sharp will trade in his microphone for a steering wheel as a returning participant. Additional driver participation announcements will be made over the next several weeks. The 2002 four race schedule is as follows: Race 1, Daytona International Speedway, Friday, February 15, Race 2, California Speedway, Saturday, April 27, Race 3, Chicagoland Speedway, Saturday, July 13 and Race 4, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Saturday, August 3.(IROC PR)(11-7-2001)
  • Compton in the #59 at Homestead: Stacy Compton will drive the #59 ST Motorsports Chevy at Homestead. Jeff Purvis was scheduled to drive the car, but says he has an offer from a team closer to home(FSN’s Totally NASCAR) AND “We thought we had settled a deal with Jeff Purvis to drive for the next two seasons,” commented team owner Tad Geschickter. “We have run up front during our trial period together and everyone communicated well. On Tuesday, he surprised me with a call to say that he had an offer closer to his home in Tennessee and that it was real persuasive. I was shocked, we had agreed to a deal, but we hadn’t signed any documents yet.” Compton’s Winston Cup [#92 Dodge] team is still in search of sponsorship for next season and Compton is leaving his options open.(ST Motorsports PR)(11-7-2001) 



  • hmm..a switch in the Mayfield to Evernham ‘rumor’ UPDATE 3 an announcement? NOPE: If things unfold according to plan, Jeremy Mayfield will drive an Evernham Motorsports Dodge as Bill Elliott’s teammate in 2002. Rookie Casey Atwood will also remain in an Intrepid, though it will be fielded by Ultra Motorsports [#7] with technical assistance from Ray Evernham(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(11-1-2001)
    UPDATE: Rumors still persist that Jeremy Mayfield will unseat [#19] Casey Atwood at Evernham Motorsports. Ultra Motorsports owner Jim Smith, who runs the #7 NationsRent Ford, is talking to Dodge about a car make switch for 2002, under the guidance of Evernham. If that happens, expect Atwood to move to the #7 and Mayfield to take over the #19(FoxSports)(11-2-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hearing an announcement on Mayfield’s 2002 plans could come as early as Tuesday, Nov 6th – tomorrow(11-5-2001)
    UPDATE 3: ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night reports that Ray Evernham said there was no announcement planned for today, has no word how that rumor got started and has nothing to announce(11-6-2001)
  • Atwood and Petree? or Pressley? One man [Andy] Petree has his eyes on is rookie Casey Atwood, who appears to be on the verge of being released by Ray Evernham [announcment TODAY? – see below]. Atwood – who, like Petree’s other driver, Bobby Hamilton, comes from Nashville – was thrust into the Winston Cup world perhaps a year or two too early. After all, he just turned 21. But Atwood has shown considerable promise; he won the pole at Phoenix and contended for the win.(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND Steve Barkdoll, APR’s executive vice president/general manager, said that the team is still close to a deal, but that nothing’s been finalized yet. As far as a driver goes, the top candidate for the #33 car now appears to be Robert Pressley(Hendersonville Times News)(11-6-2001)
  • #77 and the Fans: Race fans will have the opportunity to support America’s Armed Forces and see their own names emblazoned on the deck lid of the #77 Jasper Engines Ford during the Cup race at Homestead Miami Speedway on November 11, 2001. Doug Bawel, President of Jasper Motorsports, announced the team will take an innovative approach to honoring United States veterans on Veterans Day, which falls on the same day as the event. Names of individual persons or businesses that make a $50 donation to the Department of Defense Pentagon Relief Fund will be placed on the deck lid of the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford driven by Robert Pressley. In addition to the financial contributions gathered by the $50 donations, Jasper Engines & Transmissions, based in Jasper, Indiana, will match dollar for dollar the first $20,000. In an effort to assist families of casualties in the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon, the funds will be split between the four charities that make up the Department of Defense Pentagon Relief Fund. Those charities consist of the Air Force Aid Society September 11 Attack on America Fund, The Army Emergency Relief Society Pentagon Victims Fund, the Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society Pentagon Assistance Fund and the Federal Employees Education and Assistance Fund. The #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford will have a brand new paint scheme for the event and will honor our veterans and active duty personnel in our Armed Forces. The deadline to make contributions is [was] October 29, 2001. For more info and to donate, see the Offical Robert Pressley site(10-8/11-6-2001)
  • Daytona Testing in Dec UPDATE no – whew: NASCAR has scheduled a one-day test in Daytona the week after the banquet (in New York City is set for Nov. 30. TV-TNT), probably on Dec. 5, with some of the possible rules packages that are expected to be debated at the meeting today. That would give teams barely 30 days to build the new cars and test them in wind tunnels before Daytona testing officially opens on Jan. 7.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-1-2001)
    UPDATE: Drivers told NASCAR last week that they did not want a December test session at Daytona to see if the new rules announced last Thursday would work well for the Daytona 500. NASCAR officials were ready to conduct a December test session, much like the Daytona test session in August 2000 after drivers complained about the inability to pass in restrictor-plate races and the Talladega test session this past August to limit the ability to run three-wide in the draft. Daytona and Talladega are the tracks where restrictor plates are used to slow the cars. “Everybody voted against going there in December — we’ve been racing all year, why would we want to go do something else in December?” said driver Dale Jarrett. “We’ll have three days in January to get this done.” There will be a pair of three-day test sessions at DIS in January. Unlike past years where each manufacturer had a test session, this year drivers’ testing dates will be determined by their position in the points standings.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(11-6-2001)
  • Atlanta Tuesday Testing: #30-Jeff Green set the fast lap Tuesday in a test of 12 Cup drivers preparing for the Nov. 18 NAPA 500 at Atlanta. Green’s quickest lap around the 1.54-mile quad-oval was 188.124mph. #45-Kyle Petty and #13-Hermie Sadler, attempting to make his second Cup race of the season, clocked identical laps at 187.108mph to grab the second-fastest time of the day. #93-Hut Stricklin, putting in a lap of 186.103mph in the Bill Davis Dodge he’ll drive next season. Stricklin said Monday he will make his debut with the Bill Davis team in the Nov. 18 NAPA 500. Stricklin will drive a third car, teaming with Dave Blaney and Ward Burton. His Atlanta car will be #23, the same number he will drive next year.
    #30-Jeff Green, 188.124
    #45-Kyle Petty, 187.108
    #13-Hermie Sadler, 187.108
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, 186.792
    #1-Kenny Wallace, 186.604
    #15-Michael Waltrip, 186.604
    #4-Bobby Hamilton Jr, 186.353
    #93-Hut Stricklin, 186.103
    #46-Frank Kimmel, 184.985
    #12-Mike Wallace, 184.431
    #32-Ricky Craven, 181.890
    #47-Lance Hooper, 181.354 (AMS PR)(11-6-2001)
  • Race Rock Auction: The defunct Race Rock restaurant in downtown Las Vegas has turned over its extensive collection of racecars and other racing memorabilia to an Arizona-based company to be auctioned off in Scottsdale in January. Among the cars going on the auction block will be the NASCAR Winston Cup cars of Jeff Gordon, Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt; Formula One cars of Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna; CART cars of Mario Andretti, Jacques Villeneuve and Juan Montoya; and Joe Amato’s Top Fuel dragster and John Force’s Funny Car. The cars will be auctioned at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Classic Car Auction from Jan. 17-20. The 30,000-square-foot, two-level Race Rock closed in April.(Las Vegas Sun)(11-6-2001) 



  • Atlanta Testing UPDATE: NASCAR Winston Cup drivers #29-Kevin Harvick, #45-Kyle Petty, #15-Michael Waltrip, #1-Kenny Wallace, #12-Mike Wallace, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #93-Dave Blaney, #30-Jeff Green, #32-Ricky Craven, #47-Lance Hooper, #46-Frank Kimmel and #13-Hermie Sadler are expected for a two-day test Nov. 5-6 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(AMS PR)(11-2-2001)
    UPDATE: Kyle Petty set the fast lap Monday in a test of 12 NASCAR Winston Cup drivers preparing for the Nov. 18 NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Petty’s quickest lap around the 1.54-mile quad-oval was 29.2 seconds (189.863 mph). Petty’s laps were the quickest of the fall testing period and are not far off last spring’s pole run, recorded by Dale Jarrett, was 28.76 seconds (192.748 mph). The speeds Monday:#45-Kyle Petty, 189.863
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, 186.040
    #1-Kenny Wallace, 185.418
    #12-Mike Wallace, 184.186
    #30-Jeff Green, 184.186
    #13-Hermie Sadler, 183.576
    #4-Bobby Hamilton Jr, 182.970
    #15-Michael Waltrip, 182.970
    #93-Hut Stricklin, 182.368
    #32-Ricky Craven, 180.586
    #46-Frank Kimmel, 180.586
    #47-Lance Hooper, 180.000(AMS PR)(11-5-2001)
  • Wallace has a car for the Budweiser Shootout: Kenny Wallace needed a Bud Pole Award and a car in order to compete in the 2002 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. Last weekend at North Carolina Speedway, Wallace not only got the Bud Pole Award in the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400, but he also got word from Dale Earnhardt Inc. that they’ll supply a car. Wallace, subbing for the injured Steve Park in the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet fielded by DEI, turned a fast lap of 154.690 mph to win the Bud Pole Award. After qualifying, Wallace found out from DEI’s Executive Vice President of Motorsports Ty Norris that the team will have a car for him to drive in the All-Star race. Wallace, who finished second to his brother Rusty in his only Budweiser Shootout start in 1998, becomes the record 23rd driver to date to be eligible for the Feb. 10 Budweiser Shootout. If all 23 drivers choose to participate in the Budweiser Shootout, it would set a record for most starters in the field since the inception of the event back in 1979. The previous mark was 18 drivers, set in last year’s Budweiser Shootout.(DIS PR)(11-5-2001)
  • APR Head Engine Builder: Jon Dysinger has been named Head Engine Builder for Andy Petree Racing, which builds all engines for the #33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet of driver Joe Nemechk and the #55 Square D Chevrolet of driver Bobby Hamilton. Dysinger has been in the engine department of Andy Petree Racing since 1998. Andy Petree Racing is the only team in NASCAR Winston Cup racing with its entire operation under one roof. The team builds its own cars and builds its own engines, as well as offering a full marketing, licensing and public relations program for its sponsors.(Williams Company PR)(11-5-2001)
  • Musgrave at Homestead? hearing former Cup driver, Ted Musgrave, who currently drives the #1 Mopar Dodge in the CTS, may drive a 2nd Ultra Motorsports car at Homestead this coming weekend, the #07 Dodge. Musgrave has tested the car in the past and was to run at Indy but did not. Also hearing Musgrave has recently re-signed with Ultra Motorsports to continue driving in the CTS(11-5-2001)
  • Stewart and the Indy 500: [Chip] Ganassi said Sunday that he is close to firming up a deal with NASCAR star Tony Stewart for the Indy 500. They teamed up to finish sixth this year.(Indianapolis Star)(11-5-2001)
  • Hermie to run at Homestead and Atlanta: #13-Hermie Sadler announced today sponsors for his final two Winston Cup events in 2001. Sadler will compete at Homestead and Atlanta with sponsorship from Little Trees and Lotto South respectively. In Homestead, Sadler will sport the colors of Car-Freshner Corporation, makers of the popular “Little Trees” air fresheners. In Atlanta, Sadler will introduce “Lotto South,” a new multi-state lottery game involving Georgia, Kentucky and Virginia. Car-Freshner Corporation sponsored Sadler in the Busch Series for Innovative Motorsports in 2000 and the Virginia Lottery has sponsored Sadler in numerous Winston Cup races this season. Sadler is also proud to initiate the marketing efforts of Lotto South.. “Being a part of the launch of Lotto South is a tremendous honor for me and my team,” stated Sadler. .”We plan to create a great deal of exposure and excitement for Lotto South in the Southeast, and participating in the Winston Cup Season’s race in Atlanta will do just that.. In addition to having the Lotto South car on the track, we will also have a booth at the track, selling Lotto South tickets and Georgia Lottery tickets.. I’ll be visiting the booth throughout the weekend and all of the events with the Lottery.have been.a lot of fun.” Sadler is still unsure of his plans for 2002 but knows these two races are very important. “As I’ve said many times, I just want to race competitively. Finishing the season with two good runs will help.. We’ll just see what happens.”(Sadler Enterprises PR) AND The Hermie and Elliott Sadler Fan Club has a limited number of die-cast cars of the #13 Original Virginia Lottery Chevrolet Winston Cup Car. Just recently, they have been available to the general public.. The Fan Club is now offering these cars to the general public, autographed by Hermie Sadler. For more info on how to order, see my Collectible News and Links page(11-5-2001)
  • IROC at Chicago in 2002 UPDATE and California: IROC (International Race Of Champions) will be heading to at least new venue next season, announcing that it would run the third of its 2002 four-race schedule on the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway oval. The track will host the 12-car IROC race as part of its July 12-14 NASCAR weekend, and will run a 100-lap event on July 13. The series will open in its customary Daytona setting and will likely end at Indianapolis, with a fourth track yet to be worked out. The series has been unable to finalize its driver lineup, although IROC p.r. chief George Signore said Friday that the series will look at the top three or four drivers from the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch series, as well as CART and the IRL. This year’s Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr. is one of the drivers that has been contacted, and will be part of an IROC test at Daytona Nov. 12-14.(SpeedVision), ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night reports that the four tracks will be Daytona, Michigan, Chicago and Indy(11-1-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing that Michigan is out and California Speedway will take its place(11-3-2001)
    UPDATE 2: The IROC Series will return to California Speedway after a three-year absence on Saturday, April 27, 2002, for a 100-mile race. California Speedway President Bill Miller and IROC Chairman Les Richter made the announcement Sunday during a morning press conference prior to the speedway’s CART FedEx Championship Series season finale Marlboro 500. The race, which is race two of a four-race series, will be part of the April NASCAR weekend at the speedway. The IROC Series was part of the speedway’s inaugural race weekend in June of 1997, with Mark Martin capturing the first event. Known to many as auto racing’s “All-Star Event,” the cars are identically prepared Pontiac Firebirds with 12 drivers from a variety of disciplines invited to participate(California Speedway PR)(11-5-2001)
  • Stewart’s WOO Team wins Championship: Tony Stewart, who fields the sprint car driven by Danny Lasoski, locked up the World of Outlaws (WOO) title with Lasoski’s ninth-place finish in Saturday night’s season-finale in Las Vegas. He got the phone call informing him of the championship around 3 a.m Sunday(That’s Racin’/AP)(11-5-2001)





  • Kenny’s 2002 plans UPDATE: Kenny Wallace said on Friday that he will reveal his 2002 plans at Atlanta in two weeks. Wallace did not give any indication whether his plans lie in the Busch Series or in Winston Cup. He has been driving the #1 Pennzoil Chevy since September, when Steve Park was injured at Darlington.(, but has been reported on my BGN Site: Goulds Pumps will return next year to the #48 BGN car driven by Kenny Wallace in 2002, BUT NOT as the primary sponsor. Goulds will become a major associate sponsor and Innovative is currently searching for a primary sponsor for the 48 car.(11-2-2001)
    UPDATE: Kenny Wallace is facing a similar situation, and he hints he might have finally gotten his answer to the 2002 question. There are indications he could be running a Pennzoil-sponsored car again next season for Dale Earnhardt Inc., as a teammate with Steve Park when Park finally does come back.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-4-2001)
  • #12 Team Decision soon? Mike Wallace said he thinks car owner Roger Penske will make the critical decisions about the future of the #12 Ford team after Penske wraps up the CART season Sunday in California.(That’s Racin’)(11-4-2001)
  • Petree’s 2002 Plans: Car [#33 and #55] owner Andy Petree says he’s looking at ways to fielding his second [#33] team without a sponsor for at least the first four races of next season. Petree is searching for a driver and sponsor for next season for the car driven by Joe Nemechek, who will join [#26] Travis Carter Racing next season. Petree says he continues to search for a sponsor.(Racing Extra)(11-4-2001)
  • Shawna in a Pontiac? New Team? Shawna Robinson tested at Homestead Speedway this past week in hopes of getting back behind the wheel of a Winston Cup car. She drove a Pontiac for a possibly newly forming team out of Florida. Robinson has attempted to qualify for four Winston Cup races [with MK Racing and owner Michael Kranefuss], but has only made one of them– the June event at Michigan. She started 32nd and finished 34th.( Buzz)(11-4-2001)
  • Upset! Nemechek wins at The Rock: #33-Joe Nemechek, who started 13th (yes 13th NOT 14th, Waltrip was 14th, qualifying time was tied, the #33 is higher in OWNERS points), won the Pop Secret 400 at Rockingham. It was Nemechek’s first top 5 of the 2001 season and his 2nd career win, and first since Sept 19,1999 at New Hampshire, 69 races ago. Nemechek is the 17th different winner in 2001 (see below). Nemechek’s victory puts him in 2002 The Winston. #-Kenny Wallace was 2nd after starting on the pole. Winston Cup points leader, #24-Jeff Gordon finished 25th and 2nd place #28-Ricky Rudd gained some ground on Gordon but with three races to go, Gordon only needs to finish 28th of better to clinch(see below). See That’s Racin’ for Pop Secret 400 Results and a column: Nemechek posts another lame-duck winand see my Drivers Points Standing page(11-4-2001)
  • Pit Crew Competition at the Rock UPDATE #17 WINS and results: The annual Union 76/Rockingham World Pit Crew Competition will be held Saturday, November 3rd at North Carolina Speedway, and Jeff Burton along with his #99 Citgo SUPERGARD Ford crew are preparing to defend their title as the “Fastest Pit Crew” in NASCAR racing. Burton and team won last fall’s pit crew competition and set a new world record with a time of 18.355 seconds. They defeated fellow competitors John Andretti, Dale Jarrett and Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win the $26,000 prize and bragging rights for a year as the best pit crew in the business. There will be a few changes in the line-up for this year’s competition. Only those crews and cars of the top 25 car owners in the current 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Championship car owner point standings as of the completion of the October 28 NASCAR event will be eligible to participate. Total prize money for this year’s event is $76,000, with $30,000 going to the winner and a $1,000 bonus if they set a new world record. The object of the competition is for each crew to empty 14 gallons of gas into the tank of the race car from two cans, each holding seven gallons, and change left and right-side tires in as short a time as possible. Penalties will be applied for loose lug nuts, fuel spills, and fuel left in can. Time will be added to each team’s speed based on penalties they receive. The team with the fastest time becomes the new champion. The Union 76/Rockingham World Pit Crew Competition is the only NASCAR sanctioned pit crew contest on the circuit. The event has been held annually at North Carolina Speedway since 1967. See more at the North Carolina Speedway site(10-31-2001)
    UPDATE: Matt Kenseth’s #17 team kept the Union 76-Rockingham Pit Crew Competition championship in the Roush Racing family on Saturday, ripping off a record-time to beat 24 other teams at North Carolina Speedway. Kenseth’s team, led by crew chief Robbie Reiser, changed four tires and emptied two gas cans, each containing seven gallons of fuel, into the #17 Ford in 17.695 seconds. That broke the record of 18.355 seconds set by Jeff Burton’s team, also part of Roush Racing, in last year’s competition.(See Full story at That’s Racin’) and see the National Association of Pit Crew Members site for the Rank and Times of 2001 Pit Crew Challenge(11-4-2001)
  • BIGGER car in 2003 UPDATE 2 or 2002?: NASCAR also had startling news for competitors about future stock car design. Helton told the assembly that NASCAR plans to introduce a “bigger” stock car into the Winston Cup Series beginning in 2003. “Mike discussed going to a bigger car in the future,” said Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of communications. “We’re looking at racing cars with a bigger greenhouse (expanded driver compartment). That’s the car of the future. We can’t expect teams to trash what they have run the last several years. We’re looking at 2003. They’ll be driving a lot different car than they’re driving today. But we need to phase it in, probably at the bigger tracks.” Hunter didn’t elaborate about the reasons for the larger car but within the last two years NASCAR has tested a larger car hoping it would reduce speeds.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(11-2-2001)
    UPDATE: NASCAR’s plans for a bigger car that could roll out on the Winston Cup tour next fall at Talladega. The crews are trying hard not to look too far ahead to when NASCAR’s proposed bigger race car is coming, possibly for next October’s Talladega 500, as a preview for the 2003 season opener. But the bigger car would be a safer car, with more room for the driver. The roof would be three inches taller, the greenhouse would be four to five inches wider, and the driver’s door bars could be four inches to the left.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-3-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president for corporate communications, confirmed Saturday that NASCAR president Mike Helton broached the subject of enlarging the “greenhouse” of Cup cars at Thursday’s meeting of drivers, crew chiefs and car owners in Huntersville. Hunter said that the larger car might be used at Daytona or Talladega in 2003, then phased in at other tracks over time. The cars would allow for more room between the driver’s compartment and structural elements of the car’s roof and side panels.(That’s Racin’)(11-4-2001) 



  • Long at the Rock UPDATE gets help: NASCAR’s #85 team, owned and operated by Mansion Motorsports, whose shop is located halfway between Raleigh and Durham (NC), will take their Dodge to Rockingham. Driver Carl Long has tested and raced there and is looking forward to the opportunity. “I am looking forward to running at Rockingham,” said Long, “We made it into the race last year on a provisional but we started to run real strong at the end.” The weekend after that, the team might try Homestead if they don’t have too much work to do on the Dodge. The next weekend they will bring the Dodge to Atlanta.(Triangle Sports Journal)(11-1-2001)
    UPDATE: #85 Carl Long qualified 29th in his unsponsored Dodge, thanks to some assistance from fellow driver Kyle Petty and an experienced crew chief, Brad Parrott. Petty loaned Long an engine and helped him with the chassis set-up. “Kyle drove the car in the test last week and told me what he thought about it,” Long said. “He was very accurate on what was wrong, and we fixed it.” Parrott simply walked up and offered his services. “We told him the pay wasn’t real good,” Long said. “He said he just wanted to help.”(Atlanta Journal Constitution/That’s Racin’)(11-3-2001)
  • No Wreck, No Changes: NASCAR president Mike Helton admits that aerodynamic rules would probably not have changed before next season’s Daytona 500 if the last-lap accident at Talladega Superspeedway had not happened.(That’s Racin’/AP)(11-3-2001)
  • Little ‘E’ eligible? An innocent remark made on “The Tonight Show” has turned Dale Earnhardt Jr. into the most sought after bachelor in NASCAR. see full AP story at That’s Racin’ – Remark on Leno’s show draws a response(11-3-2001)
  • New Wind Tunnel: Gary Eaker, on November 2, 2001, broke ground on the site for his venture, AeroDyn Wind Tunnel, located in Barley Park, Mooresville, NC. While not everyone has a need for a full-scale wind tunnel test facility, the large number of NASCAR teams located in and around Mooresville, NC certainly do and Mr. Eaker is determined to provide those services in a convenient and cost effective setting. The nearly half acre building which will house the wind tunnel is small by comparison to other, “conventional” wind tunnels. “While the need for a local facitlity has been obvious to any observer of NASCAR activities” says Eaker, “the problem has been in the perception that one has to be on the scale of those currently in use. (Lockheed in Georgia, General Motors in Michigan, and NRC in Ottawa, Canada) Our facility is going to produce similar wind velocity and greater measurability of the type that these racing teams are looking for. The tunnel will incorporate some unique ideas that I have been working on for the past few years that will allow us to offer a more affordable package, making these services available to more of the teams.” Mr. Eaker knows his business. Since 1994, he has been the Chief Aerodynamicist for Hendrick Motorsports. Prior to his joining Hendrick Motorsports, Eaker spent nearly 20 years operating the GM Wind Tunnel in Michigan. He even applied his theoretical knowledge to a land speed record run at Bonneville Salt Flats, breaking the existing world record for his class, running at nearly 300 mph in the measured mile. Prestige Building Company of Troutman, NC has been chosen by AeroDyn to construct the building which will house the wind tunnel and architectural duties have been assigned to Wilber Associates of Davidson, NC. Mike Clark, owner of Prestige Building, expressed his excitement in being chosen to contract the construction of such a unique structure. “No one has built a full scale wind tunnel in the past 20 years and a building of such a specialized design has provided some interesting challenges.” said Mr.Clark. “It has been enjoyable working with an engineer like Gary, since you know his calculations for some of the more intricate parts of the puzzle have been thoroughly planned and double checked.” The NASCAR community is eagerly awaiting the completion of the wind tunnel for more than one reason. AeroDyn has already signed up some of the top Winston Cup teams for more than 1,000 test hours. Foremost in the minds of the teams is the location. AeroDyn Wind Tunnel expects to open for testing in September 2002(AeroDyn PR)(11-3-2001) 



  • Kenny’s 2002 plans: Kenny Wallace said on Friday that he will reveal his 2002 plans at Atlanta in two weeks. Wallace did not give any indication whether his plans lie in the Busch Series or in Winston Cup. He has been driving the #1 Pennzoil Chevy since September, when Steve Park was injured at Darlington.(, but has been reported on my BGN Site: Goulds Pumps will return next year to the #48 BGN car driven by Kenny Wallace in 2002, BUT NOT as the primary sponsor. Goulds will become a major associate sponsor and Innovative is currently searching for a primary sponsor for the 48 car.(11-2-2001)
  • Gordon Tribute: #31-Robby Gordon will continue to pay tribute to the efforts of the United States Navy in the war against Osama bin Laden and the Taliban government of Afghanistan by wearing a crew hat from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) during this weekend’s NASCAR events at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham. Last week at Phoenix International Raceway, Gordon and crewmembers of Richard Childress Racing’s #31 Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse team wore crew hats from the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) and other ships in the Battle Force Seventh Fleet, including the guided missile frigates USS Gary (FFG-51) and USS Vandegrift (FFG-48). The Lowe’s team finished seventh at PIR, a season-best and Gordon’s NASCAR Winston Cup career best on a track other than a road course.(RCR Site)(11-2-2001)
  • New #31 Crew Chief: Richard Childress Racing announced on Friday that Gil Martin has been named crew chief for the # 31 car, effective immediately. Martin has been crew chief for the #21 team in the BGN and has been a consultant to the #31 Cup team since midseason. Royce McGee, previously the crew chief on the #31 car, was named Winston Cup shop manager at RCR and will oversee the three-team operation next year.(That’s Racin’/RCR PR)(11-2-2001)
  • Stewart at Vegas: Tony Stewart will return to his open-wheel roots and compete in the USAC Worldcom Midget Car Series at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Nov. 24, traveling to Las Vegas after the New Hampshire 300 Winston Cup race Nov. 23. Stewart has competed in only one USAC Midget race this year. He won the 50-lap race earlier this month at South Boston Speedway. Stewart has over 260 USAC starts in a 10-year period, of which 98 have been in the Midget Series.(more info at
  • WD-40 and NASCAR: NASCAR and WD-40 Company announced a promotional partnership and automotive aftermarket licensing agreement at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas this week. In addition, WD-40 Company will enter into agreements with NASCAR veteran driver Ward Burton and various tracks to be named later. Commencing with the 2002 NASCAR racing season, the product used by millions of consumers to solve problems on their cars and the products that clean their hands afterwards will be marketed through programs involving the country’s No. 1 spectator sport. WD-40 and Lava heavy-duty hand cleaner, both made by WD-40 Company, will become a part of the NASCAR Officially Licensed automotive aftermarket program(Business News)(11-2-2001)
  • hmm..a switch in the Mayfield to Evernham ‘rumor’ UPDATE: If things unfold according to plan, Jeremy Mayfield will drive an Evernham Motorsports Dodge as Bill Elliott’s teammate in 2002. Rookie Casey Atwood will also remain in an Intrepid, though it will be fielded by Ultra Motorsports [#7] with technical assistance from Ray Evernham(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(11-1-2001)
    UPDATE: Rumors still persist that Jeremy Mayfield will unseat [#19] Casey Atwood at Evernham Motorsports. Ultra Motorsports owner Jim Smith, who runs the #7 NationsRent Ford, is talking to Dodge about a car make switch for 2002, under the guidance of Evernham. If that happens, expect Atwood to move to the #7 and Mayfield to take over the #19(FoxSports)(11-2-2001) 



  • NASCAR/Teams to meet UPDATE Rules Changes for Daytona: During Sunday’s prerace driver and crew chief meeting at Phoenix International Raceway, NASCAR officials announced a meeting would take place Thursday, Nov 1st, at Joe Gibbs Racing headquarters in Huntersville, NC, in which ideas for improving the aerodynamic package for the superspeedways would be discussed. Drivers, crew chiefs and car owners are invited to attend. NASCAR spokeswoman Danielle Humphrey said the meeting would serve as a “brain-storming” session, in which all ideas would be considered. Humphrey said NASCAR officials would take what comes from Thursday’s session and determine the next step in the process.(That’s Racin’)(10-28/11-1-2001)
    UPDATE: Winston Cup drivers, crew chiefs and car owners agreed Thursday on rule changes for races at Daytona and Talladega. NASCAR officials met with the teams at Joe Gibbs Racing headquarters in Huntersville, NC, to gather ideas after a 16-car wreck on the final lap of the EA Sports 500 at Talladega two weeks ago. The sanctioning body has been under increasing pressure from the teams to find a way to make the racing safer at the two tracks, the only two on the schedule where carburetor restrictor plates are used. Gone will be the thin metal strip across the roofs of Winston Cup cars and a spoiler angle of 55 degrees will be mandated. Cars will go to Daytona for testing in January with 57-inch-wide rear spoilers laid back from 70 to 55 degrees and with a maximum height of 6½ inches. The cars will continue to run with seven-eighths-inch carburetor restrictor plates. The dimensions of spoilers and air dams will be determined through pre-Daytona 500 testing during the off-season. The clearance of the front air dams for each of the four makes of cars used in Winston Cup will be finalized after January’s manufacturers’ tests at Daytona. The meeting was closed to the media, but drivers and NASCAR officials spoke with reporters afterward.(That’s Racin’)
    AND: The new Daytona spoiler package will include a 55-degree spoiler angle rather than the 45-degree spoiler angle (actually it was 70 degrees) used at Talladega two weeks ago. This new package will allow a maximum spoiler height of 6 ½ inches and a maximum width of 57 inches. The size of the restrictor-plate remains at 7/8″. The roof air deflectors and forward-facing flange on top of the spoiler used during restrictor plate races since last October will be removed. Teams will test this new combination in January during their scheduled testing period at Daytona International Speedway.(NASCAR PR)(11-1-2001)
  • #93 Crew Chief on the move? UPDATE: hearing current #93 Bill Davis Racing crew chief, Doug Randolph will be moving over to Chip Ganassi Racing in 2002, supposedly as the crew chief of the #01 car (Jimmy Spencer?)(10-21-2001)
    UPDATE: Beginning with this weekend’s race at Rockingham, Philippe Lopez has joined the #93 Amoco/Siemens Dodge team as Crew Chief for driver Dave Blaney. Lopez, 38, comes to the Bill Davis Racing Team after serving in the same capacity for several NASCAR Winston Cup Series standouts, including three-time Winston Cup champion Darrell Waltrip, Steve Park and Ward Burton. Lopez and new BDR driver for 2002, Hut Stricklin will again join forces in the 2002 Cup season as Crew Chief and driver of the Hill Brothers Coffee Dodge at BDR. Stricklin will also join Burton and Blaney in a third BDR Dodge Intrepid for the Winston Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in two weeks. In addition to Lopez, Jimmy Penland will take over as Car Chief for the #93 Dodge, replacing Car Chief Tom Hubert who assumed the job on an interim basis in mid-summer. Penland moves to the #93 team from a similar role with Crew Chief Tommy Baldwin, Jr. with the #22 Caterpillar Dodge team at BDR. Doug Randolph, Crew Chief for the #93 team since July, 2000, has left BDR for another position in the sport. Lopez joins the #93 Amoco/Siemens team on a weekend when they return to a track (NCS) where Blaney performed well during in the spring, qualifying 16th and finishing ninth. The team will also feature its green-and-yellow BP car design at Rockingham for the fourth and final time during the 2001 season.(BDR PR)(11-1-2001)
  • Shepherd buying PPI cars? hearing long time Cup driver, Morgan Shepherd, is in the process of buying some of the #96 Fords from PPI Motorsports and housing the cars in his shop(11-1-2001)
  • Phoenix TV Ratings: Sunday’s coverage of the Cup race on NBC from Phoenix generated a 4.0 national rating/9 share (2:43-6pm/et), according to figures released today by Nielsen Media Research. This represents an 82% increase over last year’s 2.2 converted national household rating on TNN. Sunday’s rating peaked at a 4.7/10 from 5:30-6:00pm/et as Jeff Burton took the checkered flag for the second time this season. The NASCAR on NBC pre-race show continued its strong showing, delivering a 2.3/8 from 2:00-2:43pm/et. Through 16 telecasts, NASCAR Winston Cup coverage on NBC and TNT has produced a 4.0 national rating/10 share, a 36 percent improvement over a 2.9/8 for the comparable period last year.(NBC PR)(11-1-2001)
  • DEI Tests at Kentucky: DEI tested a pair of Cup cars at Kentucky Speedway on Wednesday, Oct. 31. Michael Waltrip, in the #15 NAPA Chevy, and Kenny Wallace, in the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet, rarely left their driver’s seats while working over their machines on Kentucky’s 1.5 mile tri-oval during the day-long test. “We’re trying to find out some things, ” a busy Wallace said. Kentucky Speedway is currently offering 2002 season ticket. All packages include preferred parking and can be reserved by calling 1-888-652-RACE.(Kentucky Speedway)(11-1-2001)
  • Daytona Testing in Dec: NASCAR has scheduled a one-day test in Daytona the week after the banquet (in New York City is set for Nov. 30. TV-TNT), probably on Dec. 5, with some of the possible rules packages that are expected to be debated at the meeting today. That would give teams barely 30 days to build the new cars and test them in wind tunnels before Daytona testing officially opens on Jan. 7.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-1-2001)
  • Leffler to the CTS: Ultra Motorsports [#7 Cup, #1 and #2 in the CTS] owner Jim Smith may be ready to introduce Jason Leffler as the driver of his #2 Dodge in 2002. Leffler, a rookie with Chip Ganassi Racing this season, is losing his ride in favor of veteran Jimmy Spencer and has been told he can search for another team. Smith said the deal is virtually done, but won’t be announced until the contracts are signed.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(11-1-2001)
  • Dale Jr and Smash Mouth: Budweiser is teaming up with national recording act Smash Mouth on an exclusive concert on Friday, Nov. 2nd, in Charlotte, NC. Tickets for the invitation-only concert can be won through radio station WEND-FM (106.5) in Charlotte. The band will attend Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s “Happy Hour” practice the following day and watch the action from the Budweiser Racing team’s pit during the Pop Secret 400 race on Sunday, Nov. 4. Additionally, the logo of Smash Mouth’s latest album titled “Smash Mouth,” will be displayed on the #8 Bud Chevy’s rear decklid and dashboard during the event. The album will be released Tuesday, November 27.( PR)(11-1-2001)