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November 2003 Busch Series Archive

 

  • Yeley’s NASCAR Debut at Vegas? New Joe Gibbs Racing hire JJ Yeley likely will make his NASCAR debut in March at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Yeley, 27, said Wednesday in a conference call that tentative plans are for him to make his stock car debut in a Busch Series race [#18 MBNA Chevy]. “Originally, there was some talk about doing the ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America) race at Daytona (International Speedway in February), but ARCA rules are quite different than NASCAR rules, and it would be hard to get a car ready,” Yeley said.(Arizona Republic)(11-28-2003)
  • Baker Racing Sponsorless For 2004: Catchfence.com has been informed that TrusJoist will not return as the primary sponsor of the No. 28 Dodge for Brad Baker in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2004. The team had been in serious negations with TrusJoist to run the full NASCAR Busch schedule in 2004, but they have pulled out leaving the Tennessee based team hunting for a sponsor. The team did inform us that they are talking to other potentional sponsors and are remaining optimistic.(Catchfence.com)(11-27-2003)
  • Shane Wallace Plans For 2004: Ned Wallace, father of driver Shane, has established plans for his sons Busch series run next season. We plan on starting after Daytona and running the next 10 races, hopefully by then we will have secured financial backing to continue on the remainder of the season. The team has 2 cars and engines, and placed an order for a new third car to enter the stable. Shane recently turned 19 yrs old, but at a young age, has already proved himself in late models, Hooters Pro-Cup, ran 7 truck races in ‘03 along with 1 Busch race. Shane feels confident with the right opportunity and the right stuff, he can succeed in the Busch series as well. Parties interested in sponsorship of this team can contact Rick Russell (704) 662-9570.(11-26-2003)
  • Crew Chief Switch at RCR: Next season, #21 RCR Crew chief Butch Hylton and his crew will move to RCR’s #2 AC Delco team and attempt to capture the driver’s title with Ron Hornaday, ThatsRacin.com has learned. Hornaday’s current crew chief, Rick Viers, and the crew from the #2 will move to the #21 Reese’s Chevy and work with Harvick and new driver Clint Boyer, sources said. An RCR official reached Wednesday would neither confirm nor deny the team swap. A formal announcement on the swap is expected as early as Monday, sources said.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-26-2003)
  • #10 Cup Crew to be replaced? with #10 Busch Crew? UPDATE 2 Randolph named #10 Cup crew chief: The #10 MBV Motorsports crew may be facing a major shakeup, according to sources who say that incoming driver Scott Riggs may be bringing his Busch crew and crew chief Doug Randolph along with him. Current crew chief, Jay Guy, says he and the crew haven’t been told what’s in the future.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-1-2003)
    UPDATE – Randolph leaving the #10: #10 ppc Racing crew chief, Doug Randolph will leave the team at the end of the 2003 season. The driver of the #10, Scott Riggs is leaving also, moving up to the Cup Series.(FoxSports Net’s Totally NASCAR) Rumors have Randolph going to the #10 MBV Cup team with Riggs.(11-5-2003)
    UPDATE 2: MBV Motorsports has named Doug Randolph crew chief for the #10 Valvoline Racing Chevys that will be driven by Scott Riggs in 2004. Randolph comes to MBV Motorsports from ppc Racing where he was crew chief for Riggs’ efforts in the NASCAR Busch Series. Together, they posted wins at Nashville Superspeedway and Gateway International Raceway, on the way to a sixth-place finish in points in 2003. “Doug is going to be a great asset to both of our NEXTEL Cup team operations,”said Jay Frye, CEO/General Manager of MB2/MBV Motorsports. “He already has an established relationship with Scott, which should make for a seamless transition to the Valvoline team.” Randolph began his motorsports career while he was a student at the University of Tennessee, where he received a bachelor’s degree in wildlife and fisheries biology in 1988. During college, he worked for L.D. Ottinger’s NASCAR Busch Series team, and later for legendary team owner Junior Johnson. In 1995 Randolph joined Hedrick Motorsports and earned the role of car chief. He moved to Bill Davis Racing in 1999 and was named crew chief for Davis’ second team just one year later. In 2001, Randolph joined Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates as crew chief. The 38-year-old native of Morristown, Tenn., currently lives with his wife Diana; daughter, Morgan; and son, Nick in Mooresville, N.C. The 2004 season marks the fourth year of Valvoline’s partnership with MB2 Motorsports, not only as a sponsor but as 50-percent owner of the #10 race team. MB2 Motorsports also fields the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolets for driver Joe Nemechek.(MBV Motorsports PR)(11-26-2003)
  • Changes at Gibbs? hearing Joe Gibbs Racing has been interviewing potential crew chiefs for #18 Busch/ARCA Chevy for J.J. Yeley and the #20 Busch Chevy for Mike Bliss. Been told the Busch #18 and #20 teams have recently merged into the same location and Doug Hewitt will crew chief one of the teams.(11-26-2003)
  • Rockwell Automation Announcement: Rockwell Automation announced the availability of a unique “Guaranteed Value” NASCAR Busch Series Major Associate Sponsorship opportunity with the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy. The #20 Chevy is piloted by former Craftsman Truck Series Champion Mike Bliss.
    “We believe we have one of the most attractive NASCAR associate sponsorship opportunities available right now, and we’re willing to back it up with a guarantee to deliver the value,” said Jay Lee, Director of Business Communications, Rockwell Automation Power Systems. According to Lee, Rockwell Automation’s contract with Joe Gibbs Racing gives them control of virtually all of the sponsorship space on the #20 Chevy, providing uncommon flexibility in working with associate sponsors. “Since we have the entire car, we can be very creative in sharing the space with our major associate sponsor,” said Lee. “Pretty much anything is possible, from special paint schemes to full primary space for selected races. And, since our program is already fully-funded, we can be very aggressive and flexible with regards to major associate sponsorship pricing.”
    The “Guaranteed Value” will be based on total media value, as measured by a leading independent research firm. “Simply put, if we don’t deliver 100% of your sponsorship investment back to you in the form of media value, we’ll refund the difference,” said Lee. “And media value is just part of the story. The opportunity to partner with Joe Gibbs and his team, the relationship-building opportunities at-track, and the ability to build marketing and advertising programs around the sponsorship provide the chance to significantly multiply the return on investment.”
    Rockwell Automation’s internal sports marketing team, Matrix®, has more than seven years experience developing and managing NASCAR Sponsorship programs, and would be available to assist a major associate sponsor in developing programs to leverage their investment. “Rockwell had more than 5000 customers at track this year, and developed numerous marketing, advertising and training programs around their NASCAR sponsorship,” said Joe Gibbs, Owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “The Matrix staff handled it all, both for their company and a number of outside clients, and did a great job of involving myself and the Joe Gibbs Racing Team.”(Rockwell Automation PR)(11-26-2003)
  • Roush team hires crew chief? hearing that former #92 Busch Series team crew chief, Tony Liberati has been hired as the crew chief of the Roush Racing #9 Pennzoil Ford that Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, and Matt Kenseth as the drivers.(11-24-2003)
  • AMW still looking: America’s Most Wanted Motorsports once again is offering a unique motorsports sponsorship opportunity.  Along with their exclusive and never heard of Guaranteed multi million dollar media package, they have partnered with two other motorsports entities to offer a total NASCAR motorsports program.  That program will include a Nextel Cup Team, a Busch Series Team, and a Craftsmen Truck Series team for the amount that some Nextel Cup sponsors are currently spending with one team.  “We have negotiated, partnered and organized this package so it can be affordable to a corporate sponsor.”  Stated Scott Davis of AMW Motorsports, “These teams that we have partnered with have committed to running next year with limited funding so that is what makes this possible.”  “Each team will be associated with the America’s Most Wanted Motorsports Program.” Continued Davis, “Which the sponsor will benefit from a multiple facetted on-track program, the relationship with John Walsh and the multi Million Dollar media campaign.”  “This is the best, most detailed sponsorship package being offered in NASCAR to date, and the corporation that invests in this program will reap the benefits.”  For more information visit www.bodydynamicsracing.com view the AMW Motorsports Marketing video and contact Scott Davis for details.(11-24-2003)
  • Black Cat Racing to “Spawn” at Daytona: Black Cat Racing (BCR) has signed a Deal Memo with McFarlane Toys and will feature a Spawn themed entry when they pounce the field in their Busch Series debut at Daytona in February. Without a doubt, this will be the hottest car at Daytona,” reported Gary Benton, co-owner of BCR. “We’re excited about this opportunity to partner with Todd McFarlane and Spawn.” Black Cat driver Conrad Burr will pilot the car [#13 Chevy], which will also be made available as a die-cast collectable. Check out more McFarlane Toys/SPAWN offerings at www.spawn.com.(Black Cat Racing PR), see an image of the scheme on my 2004 Busch Series page.(11-23-2003)
  • Busch Money News: NASCAR Busch Series 2003 driver champion Brian Vickers won a total of $1,987,255 for his efforts this season, with the bulk coming from his race winnings ($1,112,255) and his share of the series point fund ($855,000).
    The balance of Vickers’ season total came from $20,000 via various contingency awards. Vickers captured the 76/NASCAR High Performance Motor Award, worth $10,000 and the Goodyear Tire Award, worth another $10,000.
    Other season wrap-up, money-related highlights:
    Four other NASCAR Busch Series drivers exceeded $1 million in race winnings – series runner-up David Green ($1,135,360), fourth-place Bobby Hamilton Jr. ($1,167,465), fifth-place Jason Keller ($1,117,840) and sixth-place Scott Riggs ($1,122,030).
    Keller, whose total payout of $1,488,340 places his career winnings at $8,050,615, is the NASCAR Busch Series’ all-time leading money winner.
    The $5,700,000 point fund included a $2.9 million contribution from series sponsor Anheuser-Busch. It’s the largest points fund in the 22-year history of the NASCAR Busch Series. Anheuser-Busch’s commitment has more than quadrupled since 1998, when the company contributed $650,000 to the point fund.(NASCAR PR)(11-22-2003)
  • #21 Part-Timer? UPDATE 2 Bowyer new #21 Driver: hearing Clint Bowyer has been talking to Childress about driving the #21 Reese’s RCR Busch Chevy in races that Kevin Harvick doesn’t compete in. Bowyer is 24 years-old and has dominated dirt and paved tracks in the area for the last several years having won Lakeside Speedway and I-70 Speedway track titles as well as NASCAR Regional championships. He competed as a rookie in the NASCAR Elite International Truck & Tire Division this past season. Jason Keller is rumored to be thinking about running the #21 in races Kevin Harvick does not, but supposedly wants a full time gig.(11-7-2003)
    UPDATE: Clint Bowyer, a 24-year-old star on dirt and paved tracks in the Midwest, will test Sunday with Richard Childress Racing in Lakeland, Fla., hoping to team with Winston Cup star Kevin Harvick in RCR’s #21 Busch Series entry in 2004. Bowyer has been on hand with the #21 team all weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He has competed at Lakeside and I-70 speedways and has a career-best finish of second in the ARCA event in August at Nashville. “We were racing some ARCA races and I think we caught Richard’s eye. Then I got a call and here I am,” Bowyer said. “I’m going to go up to Lakeland and drive the wheels off of that car and, hopefully, if I can do that, I’ll get a chance.” RCR’s #21 won the 2003 Busch owner’s championship with Harvick and Johnny Sauter splitting time in the car.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-15-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Richard Childress Racing has chosen 24-year-old short-track ace Clint Bowyer to drive its championship Busch series car next year, crew chief Butch Hylton said Wednesday. Bowyer will replace Johnny Sauter, who teamed with Kevin Harvick to win the 2003 car owners title for RCR with the #21 Chevy. Brian Vickers of Hendrick Motorsports won the drivers championship. Plans call for Bowyer to drive the car in 14 races and for Harvick to drive in the other 20. Bowyer, from Emporia, Kan., tested with RCR on Sunday at Lakeland’s USA International Speedway. “I started the car out a certain way [with the setup], and he knew immediately what it was,” Hylton said. “I tried to fool him and go the other way, and he knew immediately what it was.” Hylton was part of a Busch champions entourage that NASCAR’s public relations staff brought to the Tampa Marriott Westshore for media interviews. Unlike a few of the recent young drivers who’ve practically bypassed the minor leagues en route to Busch, Bowyer has an extensive background in several types of racing. He won the NASCAR Weekly Racing Midwest Region modified division in 2002, and he scored a second-place ARCA finish this year at Nashville. “I always look for a guy who’s won a lot,” Hylton said. “A lot of guy can drive these cars fast, but to have the instinct to go on and win is really important. You look at his record, he’s won a tremendous amount of races in motorcycles, dirt cars, asphalt cars, super late models, IMCA modifieds, the Midwest truck series and so forth.” RCR again will field two Busch cars next year, with Ron Hornaday returning in the #2 AC Delco Chevy. Hornaday missed the drivers championship by 46 points this year. Hylton said the emphasis with the #21 team will shift to research and development for RCR’s Nextel Cup program and training young pit crew members.(Tampa Tribune)(11-20-2003)
  • Both Hmiel’s to Petty Enterprises? or Green? or Benson? UPDATE 2: A combination deal might land Steve Hmiel, technical director for Dale Earnhardt Inc., and his son Shane Hmiel, a Busch Series driver, at Petty Enterprises in 2004. Steve worked for the Pettys early in his Winston Cup career. Shane was supposed to drive the #43 Dodge in the Pepsi 400 in July at Daytona but failed to qualify. Jeff Green has run well recently in the #43 and also is a candidate to drive it. Johnny Benson, who will be released from the #10, might be in the mix because of his previous relationship with General Mills, the primary sponsor for the 43 car. “We’re still looking, we’re still evaluating, and we’re still working in that direction whether it’s Benson, Jeff Gordon, the guy sitting in the third row of the grandstands or Jeff Green,” says Kyle Petty, the team’s general manager. Petty says Christian Fittipaldi will drive the team’s #44 if a sponsor is secured for next season.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(10-20-2003)
    UPDATE: Kyle Petty wants to put Shane Hmiel in a Petty Enterprises car as soon as possible. When that would be, he doesn’t know. Hmiel’s father, Steve, said he is optimistic Shane will have the suspension lifted by the time NASCAR testing begins at Daytona in January so Shane can sign with a team for next season.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read via BGNRacing.com)(11-13-2003)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said the sanctioning body has made no decision “when or if” Busch Series competitor Shane Hmiel will be reinstated. Hmiel was suspended indefinitely in September for a violation of NASCAR’s substance-abuse policy. He was eighth in series points at the time. In recent weeks, there has been a lot of speculation that car owners in different series were trying to hire Hmiel to drive for their teams. Hunter said Hmiel had been following the procedures and plans set forth by NASCAR president Mike Helton for his reinstatement.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-18-2003)
  • #38 to Dodge in 2004 UPDATE: Busch Series owner Brad Akin would like to have Kasey Kahne drive for him again next year. But Akin is switching the #38 from Ford to Dodge in 2004, and Kahne is under contract with Ford. Kahne says that if he were released from that Ford commitment, he would jump to Nextel Cup and drive the #9 Evernham Motorsports Dodge. But Bill Elliott might not retire from that #9 seat after having a solid late-season run, which included winning at Rockingham and leading 189 laps at Homestead before he cut a tire.(FoxSports/Sporting News)
    UPDATE: Akins Motorsports says Doug Stringer, the team’s general manager for the past five years, will become a co-owner of the team with Brad Akins. The team also announced plans to use Dodges for its #38 Busch Series entry and said Evernham Motorsports will prepare the team’s engines in the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Rookie Kasey Kahne drove the team’s #38 Ford to victory in Saturday’s Ford 300 Busch Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The team ended the season seventh in driver points with one win, four top-five and 14 top-10 finishes.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(11-17-2003)
  • ppc Racing has one sponsor; Keller expects to stay; team to field a Truck team UPDATE 4 all DENIED: pcc Racing, looking for sponsor for the #10 and #57 teams, has a letter of intent for a sponsor for one of its teams. The team had not revealed the name of the sponsor and doesn’t plan to until after the season. The team will need at least one driver as Scott Riggs is leaving for Cup, and maybe two as Jason Keller could leave [rumors have him at RCR in the #21]. ppc expects to field two teams in 2004.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(11-5-2003)
    UPDATE: Jason Keller said Friday he is “99.9-percent” certain he will return to ppc Racing next season and the #57 Fords. Both ppc teams, the #57 and #10, have been searching for sponsorship for 2004 and during the process Keller has been recruited by other teams. Team co-owner Keith Barnwell said although the organization is still working on several sponsorship opportunities, it does appear the organization will field two full-time Busch programs next season. The team says there “may very well be” an expansion of ppc Racing, which could include an entry in the NASCAR Truck series next season with more on that forthcoming in the next week.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-7-2003)
    UPDATE 2 ppc Racing sponsors?: hearing Implus Footcare will be a primary sponsor of one of the ppc Racing [#10 or #57] Fords in 2004, they are currently an associate sponsor.
    AND and hearing TrimSpa is a possible sponsor for the #57 Ford and Jason Keller. Rumored drivers to the #10 include the return of Jeff Green and CTS driver Terry Cook, although it looks like he’ll stay in the CTS with Roush.(11-15-2003)
    UPDATE 3: Jason Keller will return to the No. 57 Ford he drove in the Busch Series this year but with new sponsorship. Trim Spa has agreed to sponsor the PPC Motorsports entry in 2004.(Gaston Gazette)(11-16-2003)
    DENIED: according to a team source the info about IMPLUS is not true and the info about Trim Spa with Jason Keller is also not true. Trim Spa has not agreed to sponsor ppc Racing.(11-17-2003)
  • USPS and Subway? The U.S. Postal Service is expected to become an associate sponsor next season, along with Subway, possibly in a package.(Winston Salem Journal), doesn’t say what teams, have heard USPS and Brewco [#37] in Busch then to Cup in a year or two.(11-16-2003)
    UPDATE: A team source tells us there are no sponsorship plans in store for 2004 with USPS.(BGNRacing)(11-17-2003)
  • Truex back with Chance2: #8-Martin Truex Jr. posted an impressive second-place finish in Saturday’s Busch race, but team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he’s in no rush to push him. “We’re planning on running no more than 24 races next year,” Earnhardt says. Truex, 23, competed in five events for Earnhardt’s Chance2 Motorsports in 2003, and his finish at Homestead matched his career best.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(11-17-2003)
  • More Weight in 2004: Busch Series teams have been informed that rules changes for next season [2004] will include an increase in the minimum car weight requiement from 3300 to 3400 pounds starting at the February race in Daytona.(Speedway Scene Magazine – print)(11-16-2003)
  • Kitchens and Safety: Jimmy Kitchens was introduced at the track on Saturday during a presentation by the National Safety Council of its “Safety Wins” program. The organization, with an OSHA grant and backing from Alabama-based Cavalier Homes, will offer driver training courses at eight tracks during Busch and Nextel Cup race weekends next season. The grant is limited to the safety program, but plans are in the works to find sponsorship to enter a car for Kitchens in the Busch events. “We anticipating running with Jimmy,” Ben Langley, safety director for Cavalier Homes, said. Kitchens, a former track champ at Birmingham International Raceway [AL], has run occasionally on the Busch circuit during the past few years. “This opportunity is with a quality team,” the Hueytown racer said. “I’ve won a lot of races at Birmingham and other tracks. I want to go to the Busch series and try to be as competitive as I was at Birmingham.”(Alabama Live)(11-16-2003)
  • #66 to test: Rusty Wallace, owner of the #66 Duraflame Dodge that Billt ‘Catfish’ Parker will drive in 2004, said the team will test at Lakeland – USA International Speedway [FL] on Tuesday and Wednesday [Nov 18-19th].(11-16-2003)
  • ASA in for ARCA? The American Speed Association’s [ASA] move to Bruton Smith’s tracks has provoked comment in the Winston Cup garage. The ASA will apparently be replacing ARCA as standard Saturday shows on the Winston Cup tour on weekends when the Busch Series is playing elsewhere. The ASA has announced 2004 races at Charlotte and Atlanta, and Texas may also be added. It is unclear if backstretch chicanes will be added to those tracks to slow speeds.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-16-2003)
  • Cook to leave the #29? to Roush or ppc? UPDATE 2 to Roush: #29-Terry Cook says he’ll likely remain with K-Automotive Motorsports, there’s a much better chance both Cook and sponsor Power Stroke Diesel will move to either Roush Racing or ppc Racing. It is believed that Cook’s interest in ppc Racing revolves around the fact that he could eventually move to that organizations’s Busch Series team. Keith Barnwell, ppc Racing’s GM, had no comment when asked if the organization could move to the truck series next year.(Winston Cup Scene)(11-6-2003)
    UPDATE: Roush Racing has agreed to the contract proposal offered by Power Stroke Diesel and driver Terry Cook to field a Truck Series team for Cook next season.(Winston Cup Scene need sub to view), no idea if this will be the #50? a third Truck team? or what happens to the #29 team.(11-14-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Jack Roush intends to enter driver Greg Biffle in both Winston Cup and Busch Series championship races next season, with full sponsorships for both programs, Roush said Friday. Like Kevin Harvick in 2001 with Richard Childress, Biffle would run full seasons in both series, Roush said. Grainger, the industrial supply company, will continue to sponsor the Cup effort, with the sponsor for the Busch car not declared. Also, Roush said, the company will continue with the two Craftsman Truck teams for Jon Wood and Carl Edwards and will have a second Busch car, which would be run by up to four different drivers [The Pennzoil sponsorship]. The total effort for Roush Racing would be the five Cup teams, two in Busch and two in Trucks. Biffle, 2000 champion in Trucks, won the Busch championship in 2002 and was graduated to Cup this year, running second to Jamie McMurray in rookie points and winning the summer race at Daytona. Since mid-year, he has run part-time in Busch with Ed Evans’s #7 team. The second Busch team is interesting. Roush said he already has backing to run three of his Cup drivers part-time, those being Mark Martin, Jeff Burton and Matt Kenseth, in about 20 races. Sponsorship may also be available to run one of the Truck jockeys in the remaining races, bringing the team up to full-year status. Roush also says the means may be available to do a third Truck team with a driver to be named.(Speed Channel)(11-16-2003)
  • Youngest Busch Driver to win a championship; and youngest Owner: At 20 years old, #5-Brian Vickers is now the youngest champion in the modern-era history of NASCAR’s top three divisions, supplanting Rob Moroso, who was 21 when he won the Busch Series title in 1989. Ricky Hendrick, 23, became to the youngest car owner to field a championship-winning driver in one of NASCAR’s top three divisions. Hendrick was introduced as owner of the GMAC Racing team following the 2002 season and handpicked Vickers to pilot the # 5 Chevrolets.(HMS PR)(11-15-2003)
  • Kahne wins at Homestead; Vickers wins the Championship: #38-Kasey Kahne [with Ray Evernham spotting] held off #8-Martin Truex Jr. to win Saturday’s Ford 300 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, while 20-year-old #5-Brian Vickers grabbed the NASCAR Busch Series championship. It was Kahne’s first career Busch Series win. Truex Jr. ended up 2nd, followed by #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr., #00-Jason Leffler and #46-Ashton Lewis. Vickers finished 11th hold off #37-David Green, who finished 9th and 14 points behind Vickers on the points. There were six drivers with a mathematical chance at the series title entering Saturday’s race. #2-Ron Hornaday ended up third, 46 points back after finishing 15th. The Busch Series championship was the first for Hendrick Motorsports and becomes the third team to win a championship in each of the three Nationals Series [Cup,Busch,Truck] along with Richard Childress Racing and Roush Racing. Childress clinched the owner’s title last weekend with the No. 21, in which drivers Kevin Harvick and Johnny Sauter split time.(see full story at ThatsRacin.com: Kahne wins race as Busch title goes to Brian Vickers)
    For race results, see ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.com or NASCAR.com.(11-15-2003)
  • Team Marines Back with Rensi in 2004: Team Rensi Motorsports announced today the renewal of its marketing agreement with the United States Marine Corps. The Marine Corps will return to Team Rensi Motorsports for the fourth consecutive NASCAR Busch Grand National racing season. The partnership is among the longest running in the Busch Series. Bobby Hamilton, Jr. , in his second year with Team Rensi Motorsports has driven the Team Marines Ford Taurus to four wins and a sixth place standing in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2003. With one of the strongest organizations in the Busch Series, the Marine Corps and Team Rensi Motorsports form the perfect combination. Team Rensi Motorsports is owned by brothers Ed and Sam Rensi and Gary Weisbaum. Bobby Hamilton, Jr. returns to the Team Marines driving seat and Harold Holly will enter his first full year with the organization. It was also announced today that Timberand PRO Series and Pioneer Services will serve as associate sponsors for the #25 Team Marines Ford in 2004.(Team Rensi/Camp & Associates PR)(11-15-2003)
  • Brewco to Chevy: Brewco Motorsports, which fields the #37 and #27 Pontiacs in the NASCAR Busch Series, will move to Chevrolets next season, team sources confirmed Friday. Pontiac announced earlier this month it would pull manufacturing support from NASCAR after this season. Brewco was the only Busch team receiving factory support from Pontiac. Brewco, which has used engines from Dale Earnhardt Inc. late this season as driver David Green has battled for the championship, hopes to have DEI power for both its teams in 2004, team sources said. Green is second in the championship race, 22 points behind leader Brian Vickers with only Saturday’s Ford 300 remaining. Johnny Sauter will drive the No. 27 next season.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-15-2003)
  • Robby Gordon to run 2004 Busch Series: Fruit of the Loom announced that it has teamed up with three-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series race winner Robby Gordon to compete in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2004. Beginning with the season-opening Hershey’s Kisses 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, Gordon will drive the Fruit of the Loom-sponsored #55 Chevy in 24 NASCAR Busch Series races. Robby Gordon Motorsports will own the entry and will operate from its new facility in Huntersville, NC.(Robby Gordon site)(11-14-2003)
  • 3 of 6 contenders have problems in Happy Hour, Hornaday to a backup: Three of the six contenders for the Busch Series championship rumpled their cars in Friday’s Happy Hour practice session at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Ron Hornaday was forced to go to a backup car. #2-Ron Hornaday said he likes his team’s backup car better than its primary car. Hornaday, who is third in the championship, 39 points behind leader Brian Vickers, flattened the right side of his #2 Chevrolet in the 1.5-mile speedway’s Turn 1. Hornaday’s Richard Childress Racing team pulled out its backup, which Hornaday tested extensively here Tuesday, but Hornaday didn’t return to the racetrack. Early in the session, fifth-place #10-Scott Riggs and sixth-place #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. collided on the frontstretch as Hamilton passed Riggs. Neither car spun and the body damage to each was minimal. Riggs’ car had a black doughnut squarely on its left-side #10 and a second doughnut further back on the side panel. Neither fender was damaged.(NASCAR.com)
    For Happy hour speeds, see BGNRacing.com or NASCAR.com.(11-14-2003)
  • old track layout record was 152.031, new track layout set Thursday was 177.416, 25.385mph faster.
  • Biffle to run all Cup AND Busch races in 2004? New Crew Chief? #16-Greg Biffle is considering running the full NASCAR Busch series schedule in 2004 in Roush Racing’s #60 Fords – the same team with which he won the 2002 series championship. In an interview Thursday, Biffle said at first he would run “a lot of races” next season. Then later, he added running the whole season was “a definite possibility.” Biffle also said he expected Brad Parrott to be his crew chief next season [Busch].(ThatsRacin.com)(11-14-2003)
  • Biffle wins pole at Homestead: #7-Greg Biffle captured the pole for the season ending Ford 300 at Homested Miami Speedway with a new track record of 177.416mph. Starting on the outside pole will be #25-Bobby Hamilton, Jr., #38-Kasey Kahne, #21-Kevin Harvick, and #1-Jamie McMurray. Where did the championship contenders qualify?
    #5-Brian Vickers (6th)
    #37-David Green (12th)
    #2-Ron Hornaday (17th)
    #57-Jason Keller (30th)
    #10-Scott Riggs (20th)
    #25-Bobby Hamilton, Jr. (2nd)
    For qualifying results/starting lineups, see:
    ThatsRacin.com
    BGNRacing.com
    NASCAR.com.(11-13-2003)
  • Gibbs to retire? not in the #18 in 2004? Joe Gibbs Racing driver Coy Gibbs has decided to retire, according to team sources. (Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)
    UPDATE: Gibbs has not decided to retire, but will not run in the #18 next year. An official announcement on his plans will be made at a later date.(BGNRacing.com)(11-13-2003)
  • Grubb looking; Carroll Racing not to run in 2004: For the second consecutive year, a team Kevin Grubb started the season with won’t return. #26 Carroll Racing won’t field a team next season.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read via BGNRacing.com)(11-13-2003)
  • HRT gets sponsor for Homestead UPDATE 2 in the #48: Scünci (pronounced skun-see), the number one hair accessory company, is proud to announce that it has come aboard as primary sponsor of NASCAR Busch Series team HRT Motorsports for the season finale race at the new Homestead Miami Speedway on November 15, 2003. Scünci will sponsor the team’s entry featuring Mexican driver, Carlos Contreras, NASCAR’s first and only Hispanic driver. They join the Citizen Watch Company, an existing team sponsor, in supporting Carlos for this last race of the season at the newly remodeled Speedway. Also making an appearance at the race on behalf of Scünci will be Mexican superstar Pilar Montenegro, an award winning singer and soap opera star, exemplifies Scünci’s belief in supporting extraordinary talents and the Hispanic people. Pilar will not only be at the track for the race, her image will be on the car as well. It marks the first time a Latin Superstar adorns the hood of a NASCAR vehicle. Models will be at the race showing off Scünci hairstyles created by using Scünci’s ÜStyle Kit which contains seven new hair tools designed to simplify styling with professional results as well as a step-by-step video and styling book. Representatives from Scünci will also be on hand to distribute samples of the ÜStyle Kit and other Scünci hair products. As for Contreras, who will be making his first of many media appearances this Thursday giving pace car rides to members of the press, he is grateful for all the support he has received. “I can’t say enough good things about the people at Scünci for stepping up in support of our team. Neither can my wife. Scünci has given her tons of hair accessories, including their new ÜSTYLE product, and I honestly don’t know who is more excited!” He adds, “With Pilar joining us, it brings the right kind of attention to the team, to our sponsor and to what we are trying to accomplish.” The Scünci ÜStyle kit costs $29.99 and is available in food, drug and mass retailers nationwide. For more information about associate sponsorships, contact The Goldberg Agency, LLC at tel: 305-717-3327.(HRT Motorsports PR)(11-5-2003)
    UPDATE: HRT Motorsports announced that it has agreed to terms with George deBidart of Innovative Motorsports for driver Carlos Contreras to pilot the #48 car for the season finale at the NEW Homestead-Miami Speedway. It will be Carlos’s first ride in the #48 car, and his second race of the season. Commented Contreras after his visit yesterday to Innovative’s facilities in North Carolina, “The car looks great, but it’s no surprise. The 48 runs well week after week. All of us at HRT want to make this another great week for George and Innovative.” Carlos’s primary sponsor for the race will be Scünci, creators of the original “Scrunchie ™” hair accessory. On raceday the 48 will be dressed up as the USTYLE by Scünci car, to promote their new USTYLE hair styling kit which offers 25 hairstyles in one box. Joining in for the excitement will be Latin sensation, singer Pilar Montenegro, who will be on hand for the race. Her image will be on the car as well. It was actually Pilar who was responsible for introducing HRT Motorsports to Scünci, who in turn made it possible for Carlos to compete. As if all this wasn’t enough to make it an exciting weekend for Contreras, the English version of his Citizen Watch Eco-Drive commercial will air on the 17th during the Monday Night Football game between the Packers and the Eagles. The Spanish version has been airing since August during Mexican Futbol (soccer) league matches. Contreras’s print ads, in both English and Spanish, have been circulating since early Fall in magazines ranging from Sports Illustrated to People En Español.(HRT Motorsports PR)(11-7-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Latin Superstar Pilar Montenegro, whose image adorns the hood of the Scünci Üstyle # 48, will be on hand at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday November 16th for the NASCAR Busch series race in support of Carlos Contreras as he takes the green flag. Ms. Montenegro arrived at the speedway earlier in the week to a warm greeting from over 40 members of the media, including members of national and international Spanish media. She was there during the Busch series open practice to meet with Contreras and to see her likeness for the first time on the Scünci Üstyle 48, sponsored in part by Goulds Pumps and The Citizen Watch Company. s if the thrill of having Ms. Montenegro’s full support was not enough, also on board the Scünci Üstyle 48 for Saturday’s race will be the logo of none other than the 2003 MLB World Champion Florida Marlins.(HRT Motorsports PR)(11-13-2003)
  • New Spottor for Vickers: Ricky Hendrick, owner of the #5 GMAC Busch Chevy, has assumed Winston Cup spotting duties for Brian Vickers, driver of the #25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet. Hendrick made his spotting debut last week at North Carolina Speedway and will continue at Homestead.(Hendrick Motorpsorts PR)(11-13-2003)
  • Speeds? haven’t seen a list but saw this: About 50 Busch drivers getting a first look yesterday at the radically new “progressive” banking at the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami track, and Busch speeds were considerably higher than Monday’s truck speeds. Fierce crosswinds in the corners hampered drivers, but the fastest managed laps at 175.3 mph in qualifying trim, 173.6 mph in race trim. Wally Dallenbach will drive in Saturday’s Busch race before Sunday’s Winston Cup booth-work for NBC: “You know when you say ‘It takes your breath away’? This takes your breath away. It’s fast.”(Winston Salem Journal)(11-12-2003)
  • APR Looking for Help: Andy Petree Racing (APR) fresh off of their announcement of a three year program with Paul Menard is looking for help. “We are in a unique situation of having a long term program and are looking for key personnel to fill in the voids that we have in our team” said Steve Barkdoll, Vice President of APR. “We will be excepting resumes by fax and email for the next two weeks”. “We need experienced fabricators, pit crew members, and a truck driver to fill out our roster”. Resumes can be sent to APR by fax (828-698-8052) or other contact info on their site: www.andypetreeracing.com [click on Interact].(11-11-2003)
  • NASCAR BUSCH SERIES OPEN PRACTICE SESSION QUOTES FROM THE NEW HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY FROM TUESDAY NOVEMBER 11, 2003

    Points-leader NBS Points Championship Brian Vickers (driver of the No. 5 GMAC Chevrolet)
    On brushing the wall early in practice “It’s just another example of this team not giving up. I messed up on the second lap. What happened, I’m still not sure. I came off the corner and the car didn’t stick. I’m sure I did something wrong but the rest of the day I’ve been driving five car lengths deep. It was a bad deal but I appreciate the support of my GMAC crew. Everybody stayed calm, we got the other car out and we got some really good times and ended the day on a good note.”
    Second-place in NBS Points Championship David Green (driver of the No. 37 Timber Wolf Pontiac):
    “This place is picture perfect. The people who did the construction and paved this place- everything that’s happened- they deserve a lot of credit. It just shows how much technology has changed over the years. We were a bit concerned that the transition into the corners might be a bit rough. I think it will be exactly what the doctor ordered for two wide racing.”
    Will coming to a new track where no driver has an advantage affect the title chase?
    “Yes and no. I think this test day is a huge positive, but any of these guys who go drive Cup cars tomorrow will have a distinct advantage. Track time will be a benefactor, but I do kind of like it because we can come here and be on equal footing with the RCR’s, (Richard Childress Racing) the Hendrick’s (Rick Hendrick’s team). But come tomorrow, we’ll be here going through ‘tech’ (technical inspection) and having a fun day and some guys will be out there testing and have information flowing. One guy said I was a crybaby because we don’t have a Winston Cup affiliation, but I think that makes our team more special. We are just a small team out of Kentucky and we don’t have all of that, and you know what, that might make us the underdogs and work harder.”
    Will your experience winning a Busch title and Ron Hornaday’s experience winning two Craftsman Truck titles help this weekend against the other drivers who haven’t had that experience?
    “When I won and Ron won his, things were different. Maybe experience will come into play. Like Brian Vickers- his first lap on the track today- he hit the wall. It’s just one of them deals- he’s eager, he’s excited and I hope he’s nervous. I doubt he is nervous, but we’ll take any advantage we can, if we can. I think a lot of it goes out the window with the competition nowadays. Everybody knows what’s going on. I don’t know whether experience will get you anywhere right now, but it may help during the course of the race.”
    Third-place NBS Points Championship Ron Hornaday Jr. (driver of the No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet):
    “The track is smooth, fast, it’s awesome. My hat is off to what they’ve done in such a short amount of time. We brought two different body styles to try and figure it out. We’ll see what the track likes and we’ll go from there. It’s a perfect day to be out here. It’s hot and there are a lot of racecars, so by the end of the day, we’ll know what we need.”
    Fourth-place Scott Riggs in NBS Points Championship (driver of the No. 10 Nesquik Ford):
    “With all the banking, it makes the track seem a lot shorter, actually, because you go down the straightaway so much quicker, and you’re through the corners so much quicker. It’s really fun. It’s forgiving, it’s really smooth. They did an excellent job on the paving.”
    Did he get his bad luck out of the way running for the championship last weekend?
    “We got our bad luck out of the way, but we just about got our championship out of the way, too. It was a pretty hard hit, and of all places, Rockingham, where they had only five cars drop out of the race all day. We were the fifth to drop out, so that put us 38th – with only 40 laps to go. That hurt us pretty bad, so we’re just going to come here and see if we can win this race and make ourselves feel better.”
    Does this change the strategy from worrying about points to going for a victory?
    “We’re just thinking about winning the race now. We’re still mathematically in it, but we need to concentrate on doing the best we can to win the race. We’re out of the conservative part. We’re definitely going to be full throttle, doing 150 percent, taking the chances to do whatever we can to win the race. It’s an excellent championship for all the fans. It’s not excellent for all the people in the race, but it’s definitely excellent for all the fans.”
    Fifth place in NBS Points Championship Jason Keller (driver of the No. 57 Albertons’s Ford):
    “It’s not even the same place. You come down here with expectations of how it was before. You can’t even compare the two. For us, unfortunately we haven’t been able to be as comfortable as we need to be. We’re still working on things so this test day is definitely a good use for us. We better figure it out quick because some of these guys are going to figure it out quicker than others. They’re going to figure out the setup and the gear ratios. I don’t think it’s the car, I think it’s more me. I haven’t been felt like I figured out where I need to be on the racetrack. We’re going to work more on driver this afternoon than car.
    On expectations for Saturday’s Ford 300 and his title hopes:
    “I’m definitely looking forward to it. You always look forward to a race when your running good and hopefully we’ll be there by Saturday. I’ve really put it (the championship race) out of my mind because to win the thing, we’ve got to have some luck. You have to have guys that finish 30th or below. Really what we have to do is the best we can and hope for the best.”
    Sixth place in NBS Points Championship Bobby Hamilton Jr. (driver of the No. 25 Team Marines Ford)
    “Right now, everybody is fighting the wind, but the track has got great grip. Everything is a plus.” Re: Can he win the title despite being in 6th place with one race to go?
    “We’re just trying to win the race. We can’t fall back, so all we can do is run our race and put our necks on the line and see what happens. My wife is in there looking at it and she just about gave up. I need to do this and the other guys need to do that, so I’m not going to worry about it. We just need to get our car ready. We’ll be a bit down. Kevin (Harvick), for example, will be out there testing for three straight days (in all three series). He ought to be good enough to win the race. If he ain’t, then somethin’s wrong.”
    Kevin Harvick (driver of the No. 21 PayDay Chevrolet and No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series):
    “Its really fast. Right now the groove is not real wide, you can run on the bottom and you can run almost three-quarters of the way up the racetrack, it just depends on where you want to run. It’s really fast and really smooth and I think once we get some rubber on it that it will be much more fun to race on.” On the driver’s championship battle (Harvick and Johnny Sauter shared the duties of the No. 29 PayDay Chevrolet. Harvick and Sauter have already clinched the owner’s championship for car owner Richard Childress) I hope we see the twenty-one car just go out and dominate the race, that’s what I’m looking for. I think right now that the drivers championship is something that could come down to anything. The first lap Brian (Vickers) went out and ran his car into the wall. Everybody’s going out and doing everything they can because you can’t just ride around. You have to race for everything you get.”
    Kasey Kahne (driver of the No. 38 Great Clips Ford):
    “So far its pretty neat. I haven’t run too many laps so it’s hard to say because we’ve been fighting our car. It’s a pretty fun place. There’s so much grip that the cars that are going to be really fast are going to be tough to pass, we need to keep working on ours because we are a little ways off right now.”(Homestead-Miami Speedway PR)(11-11-2003)

  • Sharpie to sponsor March Bristol Busch Race: Sharpie values its relationship with Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) and race fans, so much in fact, the popular brand of permanent markers today announced it has inked a three-year title sponsorship of yet another major event at “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile.” The “Sharpie Professional 250” is now the March stop for the Busch Grand National Series at BMS and will be headlined by the next generation product from the leader in permanent markers – the Sharpie Professional – a rugged new chisel tip marker that writes on wet and oily surfaces. Sharpie is also the title sponsor of the Sharpie 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup event at BMS, the premiere summer night race. Sharpie recently extended its sponsorship of the August race through 2008. Sharpie is planning the race week’s activities now that will include 40th anniversary festivities, sampling of the new markers, multiple interactive areas, exciting consumer promotions and the return of BMS defending champion Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 97 Sharpie Ford. “We have won three out of the last four times at Bristol,” said Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 97 Sharpie Ford in the Winston Cup series. “I look forward to seeing if another Busch – my brother Kyle – can sign victory lane at the Sharpie Professional 250. Sharpie is such a great sponsor to be aligned with since they truly focus their efforts on the fans.” The Sharpie Professional marker, in stores in December, comes in 1-, 2- and 3-packs (black, blue and red) and starts at a suggested retail price of $2.09. For more information on Sharpie and Sharpie racing, visit Sharpie.com.(Sanford North America PR)(11-11-2003)
  • Regan Smith to run at Homestead: Twenty-year-old Regan Smith will join with Jack McNelly’s Mac Hill Motorsports team for the NASCAR Busch Series final 2003 event at Homestead-Miami Speedway. McNelly’s team is in only its second year of operation, running four 2002 Busch Series races in preparation for a projected twelve race run for 2003. The Mac Hill team is named after the Mac Hill dairy farm McNelly grew up on in Waynesburg, PA, reminding many NASCAR veterans of Jack Beebe’s Race Hill Farm team that came out of New England in the 1980’s. That team had drivers Harry Gant and Ron Bouchard, with Bouchard claiming the team a Winston Cup victory at Talladega in 1981. McNelly, a long time race fan, had a successful bus company in western Pennsylvania that sponsored local drivers at the asphalt and dirt tracks in the area before moving to North Carolina to start the Busch Series team. The recently turned twenty-year-old Smith has had a short but impressive run in the NASCAR Busch Series this year. Though he started the season with a team that said it was dedicated to running the complete schedule, economics forced a change in plans leaving the talented young driver on the sidelines following the summer Daytona race. Regan has competed in 17 of the Busch Series races this year and had moved into second place in the 2003 Raybestos Rookie standings after Daytona.(PR)(11-11-2003)
  • Racing Hauler Fire in Florida UPDATE FitzBradshaw Racing: An early morning truck fire briefly shut down the southbound lanes of Interstate 95. The fire was reported at 5:52am/et today near mile marker 228 in Mims, a dispatcher for the Florida Highway Patrol in Orlando reported. Both southbound lanes were closed to facilitate fire and emergency response and the highway reopened shortly before 7 a.m. Brevard County Fire-Rescue spokesman Orlando Dominguez said the fire began in an upper compartment of the trailer of a semi-tractor trailer that was carrying two race cars. Dominguez did not know what team the race cars belonged to or who the driver was. It took two engines as well as the county’s special response team to extinguish the blaze. No injuries were reported, however an ambulance was sent as a precaution. After the fire was out and the trailer was considered safe, it was driven to a nearby rest area so the highway could reopen.(Florida Today)
    UPDATE: FitzBradshaw Racing confirmed today that the transporter for the #82 Chevrolet Monte Carlo caught fire overnight in route to Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. No one was hurt in the incident. The transporter housed the #82 Jani-King Chevrolet, which was scheduled to compete in the NASCAR Busch Series Ford 300 Saturday. The primary race machine was saved, however the back-up car, along with crew uniforms, helmets, tools and other equipment, were destroyed. FitzBradshaw Racing will withdraw its #82 entry for the race due to the incident. “The most important thing is that no one was hurt,” said FitzBradshaw Racing co-owner Armando Fitz. “It’s unfortunate that we have to withdraw our entry, but I’ve spoken with the sponsor and we feel that it is in everyone’s best interest at this point.” The occurrence took place on a stretch of I-95 approximately 200 miles north of Miami, Florida. The transporter for the #14 Chevrolet, also a FitzBradshaw Racing machine, was behind the #82 transporter when smoke was first noticed. The drivers were able to get the truck to a rest area where they opened the doors of the transporter and were met by flames. Fire officials were called to the scene and were able to extinguish the fire. FitzBradshaw Racing will still field the #12 Supercuts Chevrolet, piloted by Tim Fedewa, and the #14 Navy “Accelerate Your Life” Chevrolet, driven by Casey Atwood. Jani-King will receive an additional primary sponsorship race in the 2004 season to make up for the missed event.(FitzBradshaw Racing PR)(11-10-2003)
  • Green in the #43 in 2004? UPDATE: hearing that current #43 Petty Enterprises driver, Jeff Green, has a contract in hand to drive the 43 next year and the team is waiting for his decision.(11-6-2003)
    UPDATE: hearing that Green may not return to the #43 and head back to the Busch Series and run in the #10 ppc Motorsports Ford that Scott Riggs is vacating. Word is that Johnny Benson could end up in the #43.(11-10-2003)
  • Still Looking: America’s Most Wanted Motorsports is still in search for a sponsor for 2004. The racing team is offering close to a $3 million dollar media package that includes NATIONAL Prime Time Television, John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted, as a team participant and spokesperson, online marketing and an outstanding cause that will fit with any consumer oriented corporation. All this, plus a championship quality racing team and facility! The complete package is definitely affordable to any corporation that is considering a move or to try team sponsorship for the first time, due to the fact that the team is asking the typical price and in some cases probably less than any other team searching for sponsors. When asked, why hasn’t anyone stepped in as a sponsor up till now? Scott Davis of AMW Motorsports answered, “It may be possible that corporations feel that our program is not within their budget, or to good to be true.” Stated Davis, “Either could not be further from the truth, we can deliver what we are proposing and it will not cost more than the typical team sponsorship and they get a race team and a multi million dollar media package. For more information please visit www.bodydynamicsracing.com.(11-10-2003)
  • Elliott Sadler to run the Busch race at Homestead: Elliott Sadler will drive the #35 Team Rensi Motorsports Ford in the Busch series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Sadler currently drives the #38 M&M’s Ford Taurus in the Winston Cup Series for Robert Yates Racing. Sadler will team with Bobby Hamilton, Jr. who is sixth in points, 89 points behind series leader Brian Vickers. Pioneer Services will serve as primary sponsor for Sadler in the Ford 300. “We are real excited about Pioneer Services coming on board with Team Rensi Motorsports two car effort for Homestead. We have enjoyed our partnership with Pioneer Services this season and look forward to racing the No. 35 Pioneer Services Ford with Elliott Sadler,” Rensi said. “Elliott is a talented race car driver and we are working hard to put together a part-time Busch Series effort for him in 2004.”(ThatsRacin.com)(11-10-2003)
  • Owners Championship decided: The goal of the PayDay team entering the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series season was to win the Owners’ Championship for Richard Childress. That goal was achieved, as the team clinched the 2003 Busch Series Owners’ Championship at North Carolina Speedway. In doing so, the team etched its name in the NASCAR record book, becoming the first team in Busch Series history to win the team title with two drivers. Kevin Harvick and Johnny Sauter shared duties at the helm of the #21 car this season. There is still one race left in the season, but the PayDay Racing team clinched the Owners’Championship Saturday by virtue of Harvick’s 14th-place finish.
    “This was a goal we set at the beginning of the season for our Busch program at RCR, to win the Owners’ Championship with two different drivers,” Childress said. “Butch Hylton and the entire PayDay team worked very hard week in and week out to achieve this goal with Kevin Harvick and Johnny Sauter. The #21 team has been a top performer throughout the year, and are well deserving of this championship. I’m extremely happy for Hershey Foods and the PayDay brand. It’s their first year as a primary sponsor with RCR, so to be able to win the Owners’ Championship is an incredible accomplishment. We’re really looking forward to celebrating our Owners’Championship in Homestead next week.”
    En route to its championship, the PayDay team garnered three wins, one each at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Michigan International Speedway and Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. The team collected 16 top-five finishes and 23 top-10 finishes.
    The PayDay team’s success also comes from the crew, led by crew chief Butch Hylton. Hylton began his crew chief career in 1998, but quickly moved to the Winston Cup Series. He was the car chief of Bobby Labonte’s 2000 Winston Cup Championship team. That expertise no doubt helped him lead the PayDay team to this title. The members of the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series Owners’ Championship team also include: Chris Chase, Daniel Blizzard, Dan Deeringhoff, Dennis Gammons, Greg Dahl, Jake Lind, Jim Stugart, Karen McNew, Paul Flury, Phil Gould, P.J. Bryant, Ronald Jones, Steve Brown, Stephen Ellis and Will Lind.(Keystone Marketing PR)(11-10-2003)
  • Grissom entered at Homestead: #36-DCT Motorsports, the new Busch team based in David Pearson’s shop near Spartanburg, SC is scheduled to make its fifth appearance of the season in Saturday’s Busch finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Alabama driver Steve Grissom and veteran crew chief Ricky Pearson, who lives in Spartanburg, are the competition principals for the team, which is owned by two Cleveland businessmen. In previous races this year, Grissom has finished 29th at Daytona Beach, Fla.; 26th at Bristol, Tenn.; 14th at Richmond and 28th at Charlotte. The team, searching for sponsorship, plans to run 20 to 24 races in 2004 and a full schedule in 2005.(Greenville News)(11-10-2003)
  • McMurray wins at the Rock; Vickers takes points lead: #1-Jamie McMurray won the Target House 200 at North Carolina Speedway, his third straight Busch Series win at Rockingham. #8-Martin Truex Jr. was 2nd, followed by #25-Bobby Hamilton, Jr, #79-Jeremy Mayfield, and #30-David Stremme. #5-Brian Vickers finished 6th and takes over the Busch Series lead by 22 over #37-David Green who finished 10th. #10-Scott Riggs crashed late in the race and finished 38th. #2-Ron Hornaday finished 17th. Six drivers go for the championship next week at Homestead.
    For results see ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.com or NASCAR.com.(11-7-2003)
  • Bootie gets a gig: former #77 crew chief, Robert ‘Bootie’ Barker, is the new crew chief for Jason Leffler and the #00 Haas CNC Racing Busch Series team, starting this weekend at Rockingham and for the 2004 season.(Speed Channel’s coverage of Busch Series Qualifying)(11-7-2003)
  • Evernham, why a Busch team? Evernham Motorsports, running their first Busch race this weekend at Rockingham, is running the Busch Series to get Jeremy Mayfield get some track time and because team owner Ray Evernham plans to start building Busch Series engines to lease in 2004. Also of note, former Busch Series driver is working with the team as a consultant.(Speed Channel’s coverage of Busch Series Qualifying)(11-7-2003)
  • Lusk and sponsor not back with the #6? BGNRacing is hearing that Damon Lusk and Sta-Rite Pumps will not be returning to Tommy Baldwin Racing in 2004. Lusk and Sta-Rite will reportedly move to another Busch team with an announcement coming in the next two weeks. As far as the #6 TBR team goes, they seem to be switching gears and will become a development team (for Dodge? See note below) for up-and-coming drivers. Busch North driver Paul Wolfe and up to 3 other drivers will share seat time for at least 15 races next season.(BGNRacing.com)(11-7-2003)
  • McMurray wins at the Rock; Vickers takes points lead: #1-Jamie McMurray won the Target House 200 at North Carolina Speedway, his third straight Busch Series win at Rockingham. #8-Martin Truex Jr. was 2nd, followed by #25-Bobby Hamilton, Jr, #79-Jeremy Mayfield, and #30-David Stremme. #5-Brian Vickers finished 6th and takes over the Busch Series lead by 22 over #37-David Green who finished 10th. #10-Scott Riggs crashed late in the race and finished 38th. #2-Ron Hornaday finished 17th. Six drivers go for the championship next week at Homestead.
    For results see ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.com or NASCAR.com.(11-7-2003)
  • Vickers wins the pole at the Rock: #5-Brian Vickers won the pole for Target House 200 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, NC with a speed of 155.037mph, Vickers first pole of his career, followed by #7-Greg Biffle, #79-Jeremy Mayfield, #30-David Stremme and #37-David Green. The other Busch Series Drivers Points Championship contenders start: Points leader #10-Scott Riggs starts 10th; #57-Jason Keller starts 18th; #2-Ron Hornaday starts 16th and #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. starts 20th.
    #57-Jason Keller wrecked in happy hour practice and probably will have to go to a backup and fall to the rear of the field before the start of the green flag on Saturday.
    For lineups see BGNRacing.com or NASCAR.com.(11-7-2003)
  • Some News and Notes – The Rock: With nothing to lose, #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. has thrown caution to the wind and put together the hottest of hot streaks in the last few weeks. The Nashville, Tenn., native has seven top-five finishes in the last 10 races, eight top 10’s and two wins in the last three events, including the most recent, the Nov. 1 Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. Considering that he was in an accident on the last lap Oct. 4 at Kansas Speedway while going for the win, the streak is that much more impressive. He’s sixth in the NASCAR Busch Series driver standings, 125 points behind leader #10-Scott Riggs and 65 points behind fifth-place #57-Jason Keller. The championship is a long-shot, to be sure, but he’s still going to give it a shot at North Carolina Speedway, and in the Nov. 15 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and let the chips fall where they may.(NASCAR PR)(11-6-2003)
  • Black Cat Racing Names Driver: Black Cat Racing (BCR), located in Jackson, TN., has named Conrad Burr as the driver for their 2004 Busch Series car. Conrad moves up from the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series where he drove for the #87 National Peening team in 2003 and the #28 FDNY team in 2002. “Conrad is a talented driver who deserves the opportunity to prove his skills in the Busch Series and I’m proud to announce that he will be driving our BCR car in 2004,” reported Gary Benton, co-owner of Black Cat Racing. Black Cat Racing plans to run a full season in the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series. Several sponsorships have been secured; however, others are available. To inquire, contact Joanne Taylor at 731-267-0035 or by e-mail at spdwy@bellsouth.net. For more information, visit the BCR website at www.bcr13.com.(Black Cat Racing PR)(11-6-2003)
  • Cook to leave the #29? to Roush or ppc? #29-Terry Cook says he’ll likely remain with K-Automotive Motorsports, there’s a much better chance both Cook and sponsor Power Stroke Diesel will move to either Roush Racing or ppc Racing. It is believed that Cook’s interest in ppc Racing revolves around the fact that he could eventually move to that organizations’s Busch Series team. Keith Barnwell, ppc Racing’s GM, had no comment when asked if the organization could move to the truck series next year.(Winston Cup Scene)(11-6-2003)
  • Stremme takes lead in rookie chase: #1-David Stremme has fought a long, uphill battle in 2003 while trying to overtake #18-Coy Gibbs for the lead in the Raybestos Brakes Rookie of the Year standings. Going into Phoenix, Stremme had made only 15 starts for car owner James Finch, as opposed to 31 for Gibbs. Yet Stremme’s 13th-place finish in the “Valley of the Sun” was good enough to put him atop the freshman standings, 211-207.(NASCAR PR)(11-6-2003)
  • Only Two Sweeps, final chance: Mark Martin and Todd Bodine are the only drivers who have swept both the spring and fall NASCAR Busch Series races at Rockingham. The most consecutive wins at the track is four by Martin, who scored back-to-back victories in 1996 and ‘97. Martin also won three straight by winning in the fall of 1992 and both 1993 races. In all, Martin has a series high 11 wins at Rockingham. Jamie McMurray has a shot at the final fall race at Rockingham.(NASCAR PR)(11-6-2003)
  • Close Race: Only one other first-to-second margin in the history of the NASCAR Busch Series has been closer with two races to go in the season. Rob Moroso led Tommy Houston by nine points at that point in 1989. Houston reclaimed the lead in the standings with one race to go, but Moroso took the championship in the season finale at Martinsville Speedway. The 60-point spread between first-place Riggs and fifth-place Keller, teammates at ppc Racing, is the closest margin in the history of the NASCAR Busch Series with two races to go.(NASCAR PR)(11-6-2003)
  • Earnhardt back in the #48 at the Rock? UPDATE 3 Bodine in the #48; Earnhardt in the #74: hearing Kerry Earnhardt will be back in the #48 Innovative Motorsports Chevy ar Rockingham with Smith and Wesson as a sponsor? See an image of the car on my Busch Series Paint Schemes page.
    HOWEVER: looking at the Entry List for Rocingham at ThatsRacin.com, Todd Bodine is listed in the #48, and been told that Smith and Wesson may be on the #33 car with Tony Raines at the Rock BUT may be the #48 sponsor in 2004…..confused? me too.
    MORE: Hawk Sports Management is working with Kerry Earnhardt, Smith & Wesson and Action Performance on this special one race program at Rockingham. More details on this one race deal and any future plans will be announced shortly.(Hawk Sports Management)(11-4-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Kerry Earnhardt is now listed in the #74 BACE Chevy at Rockingham with Smith and Wesson as the sponsor.(NASCAR.com).(11-5-2003)
    UPDATE 3: Kerry Earnhardt who is known as an outdoorsman and handgun enthusiast will be driving the Smith & Wesson sponsored BACE Motorsports #74 Chevrolet at Rockingham in the Target House 200 on November 8, 2003. The car will be carrying Smith & Wesson logos along with promoting the S&W 500 Series, which is their newest and most powerful firearm. Kerry is looking forward to racing with BACE Motorsports and making his presence felt on the track in 2003 in order to prepare for the 2004 season. “I’m so excited that Smith & Wesson is going to be featured on this car. Their handguns are the best in the business and offer incomparable quality. The BACE Motorsports team and I are looking forward to making our mark this weekend both on and off the track with this car.” The owner of BACE Motorsports, Bill Baumgardner, echoes the anticipation. “For me it is an honor to help Kerry Earnhardt in this one race deal with Smith & Wesson. I recently returned from a trip where I used a Smith & Wesson handgun and know the superiority of their brand.”(Hawk Sports Management PR)(11-5-2003)
  • Mayfield in the #79 Dodge at the Rock: Evernham Motorsports will field the No. 79 Mountain Dew Dodge in the Busch Series at Rockingham. Mayfield will drive the entry and Sammy Johns will serve as crew chief. In addition to Mountain Dew, Dodge, Ingersoll-Rand, Cometic Gaskets, Action Performance, Freightliner, Siemens, Valvoline, and PPG will serve as associate sponsors on the No. 79 Dodge. The entry is the first for Evernham Motorsports in the Busch Series.(Evernham Motorsports PR)(11-5-2003)
  • Jon Wood to run Homestead Busch race: ppc Racing, who fields the #10 and #57 Fords, will field a third car for Truck Series driver Jon Wood.(FoxSports Net’s Totally NASCAR)(11-5-2003)
  • #10 Cup Crew to be replaced? with #10 Busch Crew? UPDATE: The #10 MBV Motorsports crew may be facing a major shakeup, according to sources who say that incoming driver Scott Riggs may be bringing his Busch crew and crew chief Doug Randolph along with him. Current crew chief, Jay Guy, says he and the crew haven’t been told what’s in the future.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-1-2003)
    UPDATE – Randolph leaving the #10: #10 ppc Racing crew chief, Doug Randolph will leave the team at the end of the 2003 season. The driver of the #10, Scott Riggs is leaving also, moving up to the Cup Series.(FoxSports Net’s Totally NASCAR) Rumors have Randolph going to the #10 MBV Cup team with Riggs.(11-5-2003)
  • Beans for the #59: Famous Bush’s Baked Beans spokesman Jay Bush, along with his dog Duke, announced that America’s favorite brand of baked beans will increase their support of the ST Motorsports #59 NASCAR Busch Series Car. Under the terms of the Agreement, Bush’s Baked Beans will move to the major associate sponsor spot on the car beginning with the 2004 race season. Jay Bush commented, “We are excited to continue our partnership with Kingsford Charcoal and ST Motorsports . Our first year in NASCAR was a great experience for us. In 2004, we will increase our involvement with the #59 race team, with our retailers, and with NASCAR’s brand loyal consumers.” Plans include storefront sampling and couponing of Bush’s Baked Beans and in-market appearances by Jay and Duke and by Stacy Compton. “Duke and I became buddies with Stacy Compton over the last year and I know I speak for Duke when I say we are very excited to be back with Stacy in 2004. I just hope that Duke doesn’t tell him the Secret Family Recipe,” added Bush. Stacy Compton is currently ranked 10th in the NASCAR Busch Series standings. Cookouts taste better with Bush’s Baked Beans, America’s favorite brand of baked beans. The delicious secret family recipe is available in nine varieties — Original, Country Style, Onion, Homestyle, Vegetarian, Bold & Spicy, Barbecue, Maple Cured Bacon and Boston Recipe (available regionally). For recipes and more information, visit www.bushbeans.com.(PR)(11-4-2003)
  • Morgan McClure Busch car to run at Rockingham: Morgan-McClure Motorsports will stay busy this weekend at “The Rock”, with cars fielded for both the NASCAR Busch Series and Winston Cup events. Eric McClure, son of Jerry McClure-a team owner, will make his NASCAR Busch Series debut at the upcoming Target House 200 at North Carolina Speedway. McClure will drive the #05 Monte Carlo Chevrolet in his first Busch Series attempt. Qualifying for the Busch race takes place on Friday, November 7 and marks the first time the 24-year old will drive with the I CAN Learn Education Systems primary sponsorship on his race car. He competed at Michigan in the June ARCA/REMAX Series event in the No. 4 car by starting the race fifth and finishing in the eighth position. He was poised to compete in the ARCA race at Lowes Motor Speedway recently in the No. 4 I CAN Learn Chevrolet, however, his hopes were thwarted when the field was set by ARCA owner points because of rain. The young McClure stayed busy testing for Morgan-McClure during the summer. He is ready to take the next step towards accomplishing his aspirations of driving in the NASCAR Busch Series and eventually the elite Winston Cup Series. He recently tested the #05 I CAN Learn Monte Carlo at Rockingham. McClure’s strong sense of family and education values pairs well with his new sponsor. The I CAN Learn Education Systems (Interactive Computer Aided Natural Learning) is a teaching program which offers a computerized Algebra curriculum designed to help students primarily in grades 7-10, who are ethnically diverse, inner-city youth, achieve impartiality in mathematics and thinking skills. A key goal of the program is to have students interact with their counterparts across the world to learn proficiency in problem solving in a competitive, peer-oriented atmosphere. The unique program is a complete education software system that has been recognized by the US Department of Education. It began by teaching Algebra to 200 students in an inner-city school in New Orleans during the 1994-95 school year. Today the I CAN Learn program has expanded to cover 15 states and over 50,000 students. Its range is also expanding to include school grades K-12 and Colleges. To find out more about this exciting program, visit its website at www.icanlearn.com.
    Morgan-McClure Motorsports veteran Robert Larkins will handle crew chief duties. The Winston Cup crew will pit his car on raceday. Kevin Lepage, driver of the No. 4 Kodak Pontiac, also plans to pitch in with driving advice.
    Eric McClure quotes:
    “Being able to go to The Rock to try my first NASCAR Busch Series event is so exciting. I want to accomplish making the race, then we will go from there. I CAN Learn has been so supportive. We have gotten E-mails from the employees who cannot wait to see their company name on a race car going around the track. I fell so fortunate to have a positive sponsor backing our efforts. I think we can really help get the kids who participate in the program pumped up about the race also. This is just a tremendous opportunity and we are going to give it our best abilities.”
    Jerry McClure quotes: “Having Eric participate in a NASCAR Busch Series event for the first time is exciting and nerve-racking. As a car owner, it is exciting to watch a young new talent showcase his abilities. As a Dad, whew, it is a combination of pride and nerves. “He is going to a tough track. I think there are about 53 cars entered. It will not be a cakewalk for him if he makes the race. We are trying to be real about his accomplishments. This is a good opportunity for Eric. It will teach him an awful lot. The entire team is behind him. I CAN Learn has been great to work with on this endeavor. I think they are all as excited and nervous in New Orleans as we are here. They have called and sent E-mails to wish Eric and the team the best this weekend.(Morgan-McClure Motorsports PR), See images of the car on my Busch Series Paint Schemes page.(11-4-2003)
  • Mark Green in the #39: Jay Robinson Racing announced today that NASCAR Busch Series veteran driver Mark Green will pilot the team’s second entry this weekend from North Carolina Speedway. Green, will pilot the #39 Dekka Batteries Ford Taurus as a teammate to Tammy Jo Kirk in the #49 Advil Ford Taurus.(Jay Robinson Racing PR)(11-3-2003)
  • Pennzoil and Roush in 2004: Acting to position Pennzoil motor oil squarely at the forefront of NASCAR competition, Roush Racing and Pennzoil have announced a lubrication sponsorship and technology partnership across all Roush Racing teams in all NASCAR series. The program will include Pennzoil participation and associate identification on all Roush Racing NASCAR Nextel Cup (NNC) teams, beginning with the Daytona 500 in 2004. Additionally, Roush Racing will feature a special Pennzoil design and paint scheme on the #16 Greg Biffle NNC entry at Pocono Raceway next June. Capping the sponsorship announcement was the news that Mark Martin, the winningest driver in the history of the NASCAR Series will ‘unretire’ to race the Pennzoil colors as part of a three driver Busch Series ‘Pennzoil Super Team’ consisting of Martin, Matt Kenseth and Jeff Burton. The three drivers will combine to race different Pennzoil entries in nine Busch Series events during 2004, beginning with Mark Martin at Daytona in February. The Pennzoil-Roush partnership draws on Pennzoil’s advanced lubrication technologies, and will provide Roush Racing with not just lubrication products but also with the expertise to maximize the performance side of the engineering equation. An announcement regarding the entire nine race ‘Pennzoil’ Busch Series schedule for Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth and Jeff Burton will be made at a later time. Mark Martin will kick off the 2004 Busch Series season at Daytona in a Pennzoil Roush Ford.(Pennzoil PR)(11-2-2003)
  • Petree Menard full time Busch in 2004/2005: Andy Petree Racing [APR], which ran driver Paul Menard in a partial schedule of ARCA, Truck Series, Busch Series and Cup races this season, has signed Menard to a three-year deal that could move the 23-year-old to the Cup series by 2006. APR’s plan for Menard is to run for rookie of the year honors in Busch next season, run a second season in the series in 2005 and, if both parties agree, move to Cup in 2006. “It’s been a change of pace this year for sure, but you can’t build momentum week-to-week for a team without running a full schedule,” Petree said. “Running the whole Busch schedule, we should be a much better race team.” Petree, a former crew chief for the late Dale Earnhardt, has operated as many as two Winston Cup teams, but scaled back to a part-time schedule this season with Menard, who has Trans Am, road racing and ReMax Challenge series experience. “This was a big learning experience this whole year,” said Menard, who has an ARCA pole and win to his credit this season. “We’ve got a pretty good thing going right now and next year we’re going to keep building on it.”(ThatsRacin.com)(11-1-2003)
  • Hamilton Jr. wins at Phoenix: #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. won the Saturday’s Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway, after a nearly 2½-hour rain delay. Pole-winner #21-Kevin Harvick dominated early, but when Hamilton Jr. made his way to the lead on Lap 60, he relinquished it for only two laps the remainder of the race. NASCAR officials cut 10 laps off the 200-lap race because of the late hour, but it wasn’t necessary. The race was halted a final time after 181 laps for rain again, with Hamilton in the lead. The NASCAR Busch Series win is Hamilton Jr.’s fourth of the season – the most of any driver – and the fifth of his career. All four of Hamilton Jr.’s wins this season have come since the addition of crew chief Harold Holly in May. Harvick finished second, #5-Brian Vickers third, #87-Joe Nemechek fourth and #2-Ron Hornaday completed the top five. Harvick’s #21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, with which he shared driving duties this season with Johnny Sauter, continues to hold a hefty advantage in the series’ car owner points, providing the distinct possibility of a split championship this season. The series’ drivers’ race took another wild turn as #10-Scott Riggs, with his sixth-place finish, moved back into the lead, holding a 17-point advantage over Hornaday with two of 34 races remaining. Vickers moved from fifth to third in points, while #37-David Green, who led entering the race, finished 16th and fell to fourth. Sixty points separate the top five drivers – the closest race in series history with two races left. The race was slowed five times by caution for 34 laps. There were five lead changes among three drivers.(ThatsRacin.com)
    For race results see ThatsRacin.comBGNRacing.comMotorsports One or NASCAR.com.(11-1-2003)
  • Regan Smith and Bang Racing? BGNRacing.com is hearing that 20 year-old Busch Series driver Regan Smith had been interviewed to drive the second truck in the Larry McReynolds Toyota Truck team along with Mike Skinner. Smith ran a partial Busch Series [#22 team] schedule this year with several impressive finishes. Smith has generated interest among several other top Truck and Busch team owners.(BGNRacing.com)(11-1-2003)
  • Braun, Ganassi, Mears and McMurray in 2004? #19/#30 Busch Series team owner Todd Braun said he would like to have two teams next year, with a 25-race program for Casey Mears and 20 race for Jamie McMurray. Part of the Ganassi Racing development program, Braun’s team also could see American Speed Association driver Reed Sorenson in the car at times.(Winston Cup Scene via BGNRacing.com)(11-1-2003)
  • Stremme looking to run rest of 2003 races: As the chase for Raybestos Rookie of the year gets closer, David Stremme will drive a Braun Racing car at Rockingham. He’s trying to run a car at Homestead, but currently doesn’t have any plans set. Phoenix is his last race this year in the Miccosukee / Yellow Dodge.(Raybestos PR via BGNRacing.com)(11-1-2003)