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October 2001 News Archives


 


  • (10-31-2001)

  • Spencer in a Ford? during Wednesday’s FSN’s Totally NASCAR, Jimmy Spencer said he might be in a Ford for the 2002 Cup series. Rumor had Spencer going to Ganassi Racing [#01?] who fields Dodges(10-31-2001)
  • Hewlett to leave PE UPDATE: Doug Hewitt is leaving his position with Petty Enterprises as the head of its Research and Engineering Developmental Program. He is expected to go work for Joe Gibbs Racing as crew chief for Coy Gibbs in the BGN series, Gibbs currently runs in the CTS(truck) series(NASCAR.com Buzz)
    UPDATE: sources tell me that Gibbs will STAY in the CTS and NOT move up to the BGN series(10-31-2001)
  • Changes at Ford? The Ford Motor Company will announce the departure of Jacques Nasser as the company’s CEO Tuesday morning according to numerous news reports, a firing that will send tremors throughout the automotive world, and could have ramifications for the racing business as well. Nasser will give up the position that he has held for nearly three years in favor of William Clay Ford Jr., who is the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford. The ascension of Ford into the CEO position marks the first time in 20 years that a Ford family member has overseen the company. Ford has its tendrils in many different forms of auto racing and it remains to be seen how the new CEO, himself an avowed environmentalist, will affect any changes on the company’s racing outlook. Ford is also entrenched in NASCAR, CART and the World Rally Championship, with some questions remaining over their level of participation in those series.(SpeedVision)(10-31-2001)
  • Stricklin to the #93? UPDATE Yep and #23?: It appears [Hut] Stricklin is headed for Bill Davis’ #93 Dodge, which is without a sponsor and driver (Blaney) for 2002. You can bet the sponsor [Hills Bros Coffee] weighs heavily in the decision. (Sporting News)(10-24-2001)
    UPDATE: Bill Davis Racing will field the #93 Dodges for Hut Stricklin in 2002, ending the long period of rumors and speculation concerning Stricklin’s move. He joins Ward Burton at Bill Davis Racing, replacing the departing Dave Blaney. Hills Brothers coffee comes along as the sponsor(SpeedVision), no word on Phillipe Lopez as the crew chief(10-26-2001)
    AND Stricklin and Hills Brothers have a letter of intent with Bill Davis Racing for 2002. Lopez said he is meeting with Davis about his potential role this week.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-27-2001)
    UPDATE 2: rumor has it that Bill Davis Racing will switch from the #93 to #23 for the 2002 season(10-31-2001)


    (10-30-2001)

  • Penalty Upheld: NASCAR has denied Larry Carter’s appeal of his $10,000 fine following the race at Talladega. Carter, crew chief for the #66 Kmart Ford driven by Todd Bodine, was involved in an altercation in [#29] Kevin Harvick’s pit area after Harvick’s car struck Bodine’s from the rear, spinning Bodine into the wall and out of the race. On Harvick’s next pit stop, Carter jumped over the pit wall and shouted something at Harvick through the window net.(SpeedVision)(10-30-2001)
  • Hornish to IROC: IRL champ Sam Hornish Jr. took a few laps at Phoenix International Raceway yesterday. Hornish is getting ready to expand his driving experience next season – he’s testing an International Race of Champions car on Nov. 13-14 at Daytona. Hornish, by virtue of his IRL title, is competing in the IROC series next season. It’s not his first experience in a stock car, though. Hornish once raced an ASA car on a three-eighths-mile oval.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-30-2001)


    (10-29-2001)

  • Tires at Phoenix: Goodyear will have to go back to the drawing board on the tire it uses for Phoenix. Despite the teams’ experience with using the same compound at New Hampshire and Richmond, temperatures in the 90s at Phoenix played havoc with the tires. Goodyear spokeswoman Caroline Ashbee said temperatures were 30 degrees hotter than they were for the Phoenix race last season. Leaders Rusty Wallace and Casey Atwood, plus Bobby Hamilton, Sterling Marlin, Ken Schrader, Michael Waltrip, Kenny Wallace (twice) and Nemechek, blew tires.(Sporting News)(10-29-2001)
  • Gordon to the #31 in 2002? Richard Childress is planning a shakeup in the Robby Gordon [#31 Lowes] team this week. But Childress is giving Gordon himself a vote of confidence. In fact, Childress confirmed Gordon as his man for next season: “He did a great job for us all day. He’s what I expected, and he’s going to do a hellava job next year. To me, watching him, with his talent and ability, he reminds me a lot of Tim Richmond. We’ve helped him, we’ve kept him calmed down. We told him just be smooth. “We’re going to approach this thing (next season) different from how he’s ever approached it.”(Winston Salem Journal)(10-29-2001)
  • More Dyno Testing: NASCAR officials tested nine cars on a chassis dyno after the race. The dyno measures horsepower. NASCAR did the same thing after last weekend’s race at Talladega. Sunday, NASCAR officials tested the cars of #12-Mike Wallace, #2-Ricky Rudd, #24-Jeff Gordon, #20-Tony Stewart, #22-Ward Burton, #17-Matt Kenseth, #19-Casey Atwood and #31-Robby Gordon(RacingExtra)(10-29-2001)
  • #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: Doug Randolph, crew chief for the Dave Blaney [#93] team, is moving to Chip Ganassi’s program next season.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-29-2001)

 


(10-28-2001)

 

  • Jeff Burton wins at Phoenix: #99-Jeff Burton wins the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix. It is Burton’s 2nd win of the 2001 season and 17th career Cup win and the 50th Cup win for Roush Racing. Burton is only the 2nd driver to have two wins at Phoenix (Davey Allison in 1991-92). #12-Mike Wallace continues his nice run in the #12 Mobil One Ford with a 2nd place finish, his best ever career finish and his first top five since Atlanta in Nov of 1994 when he finished 5th. Points leader #24-Gordon finished 6th and now leads #28-Rudd by 380 points (4662 to 4282) with four races to go. See That’s Racin’ for Sunday’s Checker 500 race results and Jeff Burton picks up 2nd win of ’01 amd my 2001 Drivers Cup Points Page(10-28-2001)
  • Dyno Info UPDATE more testing: According to sources, the engines of #20-Tony Stewart’s Pontiac and polesitter #92-Stacy Compton’s Dodge topped the list and were within one horsepower of each other in the Chassis Dyno testing at Talladega . However, the #55 Chevy of Bobby Hamilton was not nearly as strong as the top two, and #99-Jeff Burton’s Ford was 20 horsepower off the leaders. On Monday, NASCAR took the same four cars to the Lockheed Wind Tunnel in Marietta, Ga., and the results were the exact opposite of the chassis dyno. Burton’s Ford proved to have the best aero package, followed by Hamilton’s Chevy, Compton’s Dodge and Stewart’s Pontiac. It’s no surprise that the Pontiac tanked given that it has lagged behind the other makes in terms of aerodynamic concessions from NASCAR.(Sporting News)(10-26-2001)
    UPDATE: NASCAR officials will do more wind-tunnel testing this week in an effort to find ways to thin the packs in restrictor-plate races at Daytona and Talladega. NASCAR informed the above mentioned four teams this weekend that they want to take those same cars back to the wind tunnel this week for more testing. NASCAR has been looking at different rear spoiler angles, taking the roof air deflector off, and changes to the front of the cars in the air-dam area. Also, NASCAR is asking some teams to work on particular areas for a future on-track test, expected to take place in December.(Roanoke Times)(10-28-2001)
  • Pressley back to Petree? 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)
  • Lepage in #7 for rest of 2001: Kevin Lepage says that he’ll be driving for [#7 Ford] Ultra Motorsports for the rest of the season but has no deal for next year(Roanoke Times)(10-28-2001)
  • Jr’s thoughts on #3: If NASCAR ever retires Dale Earnhardt’s No. 3, it will be against the wishes of his son and namesake. Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he doesn’t think it would be fair to Richard Petty, the sport’s other seven-time champion, if NASCAR were to retire Earnhardt’s No. 3 and not Petty’s No. 43. For the record, Petty has always opposed the retirement of the number he made famous.(Gaston Gazette)(10-28-2001)
  • More Mayfield UPDATE 4 #7? at the Rock? Evernham NO to a 3rd team: Jeremy Mayfield expects to make his plans known within two weeks. Contrary to rumors that have been running wild, Mayfield has spent the past few weeks at his Mooresville home, according to a spokesman who has been in contact with Mayfield on a daily basis. A quick resolution of Mayfield’s status would logically indicate a deal that would put him in a Dodge for 2002, either a third Intrepid fielded by Ray Evernham or another car that would receive additional assistance from Evernham. Possible slots for Mayfield might include the #92 currently being driven by Stacy Compton or the #7, currently a Ford but expected to switch to Dodge in 2002.(Gaston Gazette)(10-20-2001)
    UPDATE: Jeremy Mayfield has not been in the garage since parting ways with the Roger Penske-owned team at the end of September but is quietly working on a deal. Mayfield should have an announcement in the next couple of weeks. He’s expected to sign with the Jim Smith-owned team and the group transfer to Dodges, with Ray Evernham offering guidance to the program.(Richmond Times DispatchAND #7 team owner, Jimmy Smith, still is searching for a sponsor to continue his Winston Cup operation, which is expected to race Dodges in the future.(Sporting News)(10-22-2001)

    UPDATE 2: Jim Smith, however, has said he plans to switch to Intrepids for 2002. And at Talladega, Smith didn’t deny he may be working on a deal to land Mayfield, one that may see him give up at least partial ownership in his team, most likely to Evernham. “There’s a lot of stuff going on, but it’s all just hearsay right now,” Smith said Oct. 20. “I’m talking with everybody. … There’s some talk, there’s some stuff (out there) and if it happens, it will be great. If it doesn’t, we’ll do the best we can.” Smith said any talks he’s engaged in are in the ‘What if?’ stage and aren’t worth commenting on. He talked with Mayfield about taking over his Ultra Motorsports Ford following his departure from Penske Racing, but Mayfield opted to take some time off. There’s now speculation Mayfield could return to the circuit at Rockingham, possibly with Smith’s team.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(10-25-2001)
    UPDATE 3: hearing that Evernham went to Dodge and asked for more money for a third team for Mayfield and Dodge said NO, that they have and only want 10 Factory teams. No idea how this would effect the #7 team move to Dodge(10-26-2001)
    UPDATE 4: Car owner [#9, #19] Ray Evernham said he’s talked with #7 car owner Jim Smith about the possibility of working together next season. Smith’s team, Ultra Motorsports, runs Fords but could switch to Dodge, which are used by Evernham’s two-car team with drivers Casey Atwood and Bill Elliott. “With the one-engine rule if I’m going to keep going, I’ve got to look at taking on another engine program to at least stay competitive and I have talked to Jim Smith, and I don’t know what he’s doing as far as Dodge is concerned,” Evernham said. “I don’t want to do a third Winston Cup team and will not do a third Winston Cup team, but if I can find a good technology partner to offset the costs of some of the development we have to do, I would be interested in doing that.”(Roanoke Times)
    AND Jayski NOTES: The #7 has been planning to switch over to Dodge all season, and Dodge has encouraged it because of the truck teams of Jim Smith [#1 and #2]. Plus, there are serious questions regarding whether or not the #92 team will be back next season (but owner Mark Melling said the team will run in 2002). Heard Dodge is planning support in sheet metal, engines, parts and pieces, and is helping find additional sponsorship to Nations Rent – which has another year on its contract.(McDonald’s?)(10-28-2001)


    (10-27-2001)

  • Little E in the #3 – in the BGN? UPDATE 2: heard from quite a few readers that Dale Earnahrdt Jr. will run two BGN races in 2002 in a #3 Chevy with Nabisco’s and Ritz brand as sponsors in the 2002 BGN race at Daytona and a 2nd un-named BGN race(10-13-2001)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will return the #3 to racing next season, using his late father’s number in two BGN races, sources told The Associated Press on Wednesday. An official announcement is scheduled for Friday at Phoenix, where the car and paint scheme will be unveiled. Earnhardt Jr. will debut the #3 Chevy in February in the BGN race at Daytona. Daytona is the last place the number was used — Dale Earnhardt was killed in a fatal crash on the final lap of the season-opening Daytona 500. The car will come from Richard Childress Racing, the team Dale Earnhardt won six of his seven championships with, and will be sponsored by Nabisco Co. The second grand National race in which Earnhardt Jr. will compete next season has not been decided. Earnhardt Jr. ran under the #3 during the two seasons he spent in the BGN, but he currently uses the #8 in Winston Cup. That’s the same number his grandfather, Ralph, ran with, and Earnhardt Jr. appears unlikely to change that.(That’s Racin’/AP). Hearing it’ll feature Nabisco’s Oreo, and Ritz brands, no word on the 2nd race yet and the car will NOT be black(10-24/25-2001)
    UPDATE 2: the other BGN race is Lowes in May running the Vanilla Wafers yellow colors(10-27-2001)
  • Inside Winston Cup to return: the Inside Winston Cup program, shelved earlier this year, will return to the Speed Channel (will formally be SpeedVision) network’s weekly programming line-up. The new and improved show will benefit from Fox Sports’ national television partnership with NASCAR. Inside Winston Cup provides highlights and results from the week’s NASCAR action from the unique, in-depth perspective of the racers themselves. Other NASCAR-themed programs are in development.(SpeedVision)(10-27-2001)
  • NASCAR to test in Dec? NASCAR officials are tentatively planning a major one-day Daytona 500 test of proposed new rules at the Florida track the first week of December, and are expected to invite a number of Winston Cup teams. Officials in December are expected to have drivers re-test the lower 60-degree spoiler rules package, without the roof spoiler, that drivers tested in August. With that rules package, cars cut a smaller hole in the air, and drivers expect to see only two-wide racing, not the three-wide racing with runs up the middle that the rules allow. It is not clear what other rules options NASCAR might test.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-27-2001)
  • Alltel Official for 2002: Alltel announced their official sponsorship of his 2002 Winston Cup effort and Rookie of the Year bid for Ryan Newman in the #02 Penske Ford. Alltel recently held an employee day at their Little Rock, Ark. headquarters, where they unveiled next year’s paint scheme, saw several pit stop demonstrations, and interacted with the team.(Tom Roberts PR)(10-27-2001)
  • Andretti Staying at PE: #43-John Andretti said he would return to Petty Enterprises next season. He has been the subject of several driver-change rumors this season, in part because of the struggles at Petty. “I made a commitment to Kyle and `The King’ (Richard Petty) way back when. They asked me if that was going to be OK, and I told them I’m going to stay,” Andretti said. “I believe in the guys on this team. It’s a great team and once we can close in on the parts and pieces part of it we’ll be in good shape.”(That’s Racin’)(10-27-2001)
  • Decals off the #90: Car owner Junie Donlavey’s crew spent Saturday morning removing the Hills Bros. Coffee logos from the #90 Ford as the final chapter in that relationship. The sponsor announced several weeks ago that it would be leaving the team for 2002, and on Friday said that it will go along with driver Hut Stricklin to the #93 Dodges owned by Bill Davis. Donlavey decided earlier this week to put Rick Mast in his car in place of Stricklin for the rest of the 2001 season. “We received a registered letter today informing us that Hills Bros. Coffee does not agree with my decision and is terminating their contract with us effective immediately,” Donlavey said. “They asked us to remove all identification from the car and we are complying.”(That’s Racin’). During TNT’s Happy Hour coverage, the car was shown in a Salute to American Heroes, with the USA Flag on the hood. Also TNT pit reporter mentioned that Sara Lee has asked Donlavey for their money back for the remianing Cup races(10-27-2001)


    (10-26-2001)

  • New Pontiac Testing: Currently, Joe Gibbs Racing is working on the new model for 2003 based on the Dodge Intrepid.(Sporting News)(10-26-2001)


    (10-25-2001)

  • Benson likes the HANS: In the last-lap accident at Talladega, #10-Johnny Benson was wearing a HANS device for the first time (he had been wearing the Hutchens Device). His car went head-on into the backstretch wall at close to 200 mph. “It was pretty big because my neck doesn’t hurt at all,” Benson said after walking away. “My chest hurts a little bit from the HANS device because it’s going to work in that area, but I’d rather have my chest hurt than my neck hurt. My neck is in perfectly good shape. At first I criticized everybody saying when they’d get in a wreck, ‘Oh man, that thing saved my life,’ but I’ll tell you what, I’m going to go right behind them now and say that that was a damn good thing I had that thing on because I hit the wall awful hard.”(Gaston Gazette)(10-25-2001)
  • Park Speaks: from the Steve Park site – Dear Fans and Friends….. from #1 Pennzoil Chevy driver Steve Park(10-25-2001)
  • Stewart to quit? Unlikely: rumor….#20-Tony Stewart, unhappy about being forced to wear a head-and-neck restraint system by NASCAR, will quit Joe Gibbs and go back to open-wheel cars running the IRL series for Ganassi with maybe a few Winston Cup races thrown in. So far, the IRL has not made head-and-neck restraints mandatory, and the IRL’s premier event is the Indy 500, a race Stewart wants to win above all others. While this could happen, it seems pretty unlikely. It’s just out there.(Lakeland Ledger)(10-25-2001)
  • NBC Changes in 2002? Dallenbach back? UPDATE: NBC is planning at least one major change in its announcing booth for next season, which the network will open at Daytona. It is not clear who the new man in the booth might be, but some people in the garage are suggesting Barney Hall, the veteran Motor Racing Network radio announcer.
    AND NBC and Fox officials are ordering unspecified cutbacks in next year’s Winston Cup coverage, according to TV sources. Fox has already been talking with NASCAR officials about renegotiating its contract because of the difficult ad sales market.(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND Former Winston Cup driver Wally Dallenbach said this morning [Sunday] that NBC has picked up his option for next year, which means that NBC will employee him if he agrees to the terms. Dallenbach also said that he didn’t feel like the offer from NBC was strong enough to keep him out of a race car. Once again, he is trying to put together a deal for an Indy Racing League ride. It will be another week or so before he has an answer to that and will continue with NBC, should the IRL deal not pan out.(Insider Racing News)(10-22-2001)
    UPDATE: driver-turned-broadcaster Wally Dallenbach’s plans are uncertain. NBC has picked up his option for 2002, but Dallenbach said that doesn’t necessarily mean he agrees to return to the broadcast booth. “At the moment, I would say there’s probably a pretty good chance I won’t be doing the TV thing next year,” Dallenbach said. “I’m looking for a full-time ride here and I’m also very close to a full-time Indy car deal. We’ll see what comes up first.”(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(10-25-2001)
  • Parrott and the #7: Brad Parrott is in the middle of a three-race deal as a consultant with Ultra Motorsports, having left Robert Yates Racing earlier this month. Parrott hopes to announce his 2002 plans by Oct. 31. He could have remained part of Dale Jarrett’s crew under brother Todd Parrott, but decided to make a change.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(10-25-2001)


    (10-24-2001)

  • Sponsor for the #70: The #70-Rick Bogart, The Pacesetter Group, LLC., has signed a one race deal sponsor for the Phoenix Cup race. It will be Purex and Bogart will be running a Dodge.(10-25-2001)
  • Hooper at Atlanta: hearing Lance Hooper will test at Atlanta in the next few weeks in preparation for the NAPA 500 Cup race. He will attempt the race in the # 47 DarkHorse Motorsports Ford(10-24-2001)
  • TRAC picks car manufacturer: Team Racing Auto Circuit (TRAC) announced that it has signed an agreement with race car manufacturer, Riley & Scott Race Car Engineering to design and manufacture the cars to be used for its motorsports racing league debuting in 2003. The development and production of the cars will begin immediately at the Riley & Scott manufacturing facility in Indianapolis, IN. Since the announcement of TRAC five months ago, league officials and consultants have been researching various car designs and manufacturers. It has been TRAC’s desire to engineer the safest possible race car while incorporating designs that have broad-based visual appeal. Research indicated that these two requirements could best be achieved with versions of America’s current “muscle-car” offering. After an exhaustive and comprehensive search, TRAC has selected Riley & Scott Race Car Engineering to design and manufacture these cars. The first three prototypes will be completed within 20 weeks, and Riley & Scott will produce approximately 100 race cars for TRAC for the 2003 season. Stock car legend and TRAC National Spokesman, Cale Yarborough commented, “As soon as I saw these cars, I knew we were on to something. The fans and drivers will love them.” The cars will be designed to the highest available safety standards and go through numerous tests including crash-testing and other scientific verifications. TRAC anticipates that at least three major automobile manufactures will be represented in the 2003 season(TRAC PR), for more info, car specs and links, see my TRAC page(10-24-2001)
  • Hammond to Roush? UPDATE: It looks like Jeff Hammond may be close to finalizing some of his plans away from Fox in the second half of the season. At the Milwaukee Mile, Jeff said, “One of the biggest things I’ve got going right now is that I’m trying to put the finishing touches on an agreement to do some product representation for Roush. Jack has come and asked me and said, ‘Hey, I’ve got a lot of technology that I think a lot of racers don’t realize that they can get.’ Maybe they’re not comfortable talking to Jack, or maybe they’re not comfortable talking to who is there at this point in time. He’s given me an opportunity to represent him in that capacity and let people know that, hey, I can be a lead guy and I’m willing to answer questions, and can interact with their team, and it doesn’t conflict with what he’s got going on with his race teams. He feels very comfortable about that, so I’m looking forward to trying to get all of that finalized and put in place where I can do that for him, so I can stay involved. With that opportunity I get a chance to see what’s going on with the latest technology, understanding where teams are still having problems and issues. It keeps me in touch without having to be committed day in and day out like being a crew chief or accepting a full-time role with a team.” Jeff also stated that he has talked to some Busch and Truck teams about serving as a consultant.(MotorsportsTV)(7-1-2001)
    UPDATE: former Cup crew chief and current Fox broadcaster, Jeff Hammond has reached an agreement with Jack Roush and Roush Industries to be a manufacturers representative for them.(Jeff Hammond site)(10-24-2001)
  • Gordon NOT signed: Robby Gordon denied rumors posted on various NASCAR Internet sites that he has already signed with Childress Racing for next season. As for “Silly Season” rumors that have Gordon already filming commercials for RCR’s new sponsor Cingular Wireless, Gordon said flatly, “Absolutely not true. This is a great team, and I think I could do some great things with this team, but I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’ve got several offers on the table, one here and several in Indy cars,” he said. Gordon, who has filled in for RCR since Mike Skinner’s season-ending knee surgery following a crash at Chicago in July, said Childress will make his decision on the permanent replacement for Skinner in the #31 Chevy by next month’s race in Atlanta.(TimesDaily)(10-24-2001)
  • Mast to the #90? now? UPDATE 2 Stricklin NOT happy: Word has it that Rick Mast was in Richmond today being fit (for seat) in the #90 Donalvey Ford and that Mast will be in the car for the rest of the 2001 season getting prepared for 2002. Supposedly Hut Stricklin is ok with the move. No word on if Hill Bros will sponsor the car for the rest of 2001 or if Philipe Lopez will be with the team(www.mastfans.com – site down?). Also, no word on if Sauer will be the sponsor on the car, they sponsored the #91 Ford Mast attempted to get in the race at Talladega(10-22-2001)
    UPDATE: #90 team owner Junie Donlavey and driver Rick Mast, have formed a pact to compete at this weekend’s Winston Cup event at Phoenix. Hills Bros. has announced they will not be with Donlavey in 2002. Donlavey, 77, who has owned race teams for virtually all of NASCAR’s 53-year history, said taking this step was the only way he saw he had any chance of keeping his team, based in Richmond, viable past the end of this season. “With the future of this team going down the drain, I decided I needed to make this move,” Donlavey said of his decision to take driver Hut Stricklin out of the car and replace him with Mast. “Our sponsor, Hills Bros is leaving at the end of the year with Hut, and that was fine — we appreciated what they’d done. But if we stayed together until the end of the season and they left, how could I get anyone to come and sponsor this team when the first thing they would ask is, ‘Who’s gonna drive?’” Hills Bros Coffee, a division of the Sara Lee Company, has allied itself with Stricklin and former crew chief Philippe Lopez, the company’s director of racing who worked with Donlavey and Stricklin only on the weekends. Donlavey said Lopez probably would not be with the team at Phoenix.(NASCAR.com)(10-23-2001)
    UPDATE 2: contrary to what was reported here, Hut Stricklin is NOT ok or happy with being released from the #90 Donlavey Racing ride.(see story at NASCAR.com), also no word on if Hills Bros will be on the car at Phoenix(10-24-2001)


    (10-23-2001)

  • The King launches a website: “The King of NASCAR,” Richard Petty, and his crew chiefs brought their best practices for engine maintenance to the world of technology by launching the premiere car care web site, All3Every3.com. The web site is an extension of the “All 3 Every 3” engine maintenance education program, launched by Petty Enterprises earlier this year, which recommends that Americans practice proper engine maintenance by following three easy steps every 3,000 miles: Change Your Oil, Clean Your Fuel Injectors and Check Your Belts, Hoses and Fluids. Built on the heels of the “All 3 Every 3” 13-city tour that Petty and his crew chiefs are currently supporting, All3Every3.com reinforces the messages of proper engine maintenance and allows the program to reach a wider audience. For more information, visit www.All3Every3.com(10-23-2001)
  • SpeedVision = Speed Channel: Speedvision, the first and only 24-hour cable network devoted exclusively to motorsports, is being re-launched early next year as Speed Channel, it was announced Tuesday by the network’s president, Jim Liberatore. In addition to the network’s new name, Liberatore unveiled Speed Channel’s new logo and set Feb. 4, 2002 as the official date for the network’s new programming and look to debut.(SpeedVision)(10-24-2001)
  • Trickle in the #71 at the Rock UPDATE: Dick Trickle will be going to Rockingham, NC on November 2, 2001 with the #71 RealTree team owned by Dave Marcis to attempt to qualify for the Winston Cup event. If Trickle can make the race, he’ll be in the drivers seat on Sunday. Trickle did such a great job for the team at Martinsville getting them into the race, that he talked with the Real Tree sponsors and they agreed to give Trickle a shot at racing in Rockingham. Trickle qualified the #71 Real Tree Chevy recently in Martinsville as Marcis had a previous engagement for Friday, but flew back and was at the track on Saturday for practice and for the race on Sunday.(Dick Trickle Fan Club Newsletter)(10-22-2001)
    UPDATE: this does NOT mean that RealTree is leaving Marcis Racing. Trickle will be driving the car FOR Marcis Racing and RealTree as a way of helping out the sponsor for some of the missed races in 2001 and helping out a friend. Due to previous commitments, Marcis has arranged to have Dick Trickle qualify the car for Rockingham. Marcis will attempt to qualify the car at Atlanta(10-24-2001)


    (10-23-2001)

  • The ‘Gate’ being used in Victory Lane UPDATE 2: many readers noticed the while ‘gate or fence’ Winston Cup Officials held above Jeff Gordon so he couldn’t get on the roof of the car in the winners circle/victory lane. On CNN/SI’s NASCAR Plus, Benny Parsons was asked about the ‘gate’ and said he wasn’t sure why, but that it was probably to keep the driver off the top of the car so a proper insepction could be done. Last year at California, the #12 Team was penalized for having a car that was too low and it was caused by Mayfield jumping on the roof of the car, denting the spot that the inspectors measure. Otherwise have seen nothing official on the reason for the gate(10-2-2001)
    UPDATE: sources have confirmed that NASCAR doesnt want the drivers on the roof tops after the race for saftey and technical reasons(10-3/8-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Benny Parsons confirmed on CNN/SI’s NASCAR Plus that NASCAR took so much heat from everyone about the PVC Pipe fence they decided not to use it anymore. Ironic they stop using it and the #8 is too low, the thing they were trying to avoid, but Earnhardt Jr did not get on top of the car, so it is a moot point, but the ‘gate’ is gone(10-23-2001)


    (10-22-2001)

  • NASCAR announces Penalties: NASCAR Officials announced that Tony Eury, Sr., crew chief of the #8 Chevy received a $25,000 fine for a rule violation found during post-race inspection following Sunday’s EA Sports 500 at Talladega. Eury, Sr., was penalized under Section 12-4-T in the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book, “Any car that is found to be under the specified height requirement after the completion& of the race”. The minimum height requirement is 51 inches – the #8 car was 1/8 of an inch under this requirement.
    Larry Carter, crew chief for the #66 Ford Taurus, was fined $10,000 and placed on probation (until the end of the season) for being involved in an altercation in another competitor.s pit area. Carter is suspended from NASCAR until all fines are paid.
    Terry Spalding, team member of the #26 Ford Taurus, was fined $5,000 and placed on indefinite suspension from NASCAR for the unauthorized use of his NASCAR License – selling credentials.
    Additional fines were levied against the following crew chiefs for rules violations discovered in inspection prior to the EA Sports 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and were penalized under Section 12-4-Q in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book: “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform& or have not been approved by NASCAR”.
    Crew Chiif, Car#, Rule Violation, Fine
    Bobby King, #90 Ford, Rear Deck Lid, $5,000
    Michael McSwain, #28, Rear Deck Lid, $5,000
    Peter Sospenzo, #12, Fuel Cell, $5,000
    Peter Sospenzo, #12, Underpans, $500
    Chad Knaus, #92, Windshield clips (too small), $750
    Jimmy Elledge, #55, Travel limiting devices (bump stops), $2,500
    Slugger Labbe, #15, Rear window braces, $250
    Paul Andrews, #1, Rear window braces, $1,000
    Paul Andrews, #1, Unapproved air deflector, $1,250
    Donnie Wingo, #26, Unapproved air deflector, $250(NASCAR PR)(10-22-2001)
  • Post Race Inspection Finds #8 Chevy Too Low: A post race inspection of the cars at Talladega Superspeedway found that the #8 Budweiser Chevy, that Dale Earnahrdt won the EA Sports 500 in, did not meet the minimum height requirements. It was found to be 1/8 of an inch to low. NASCAR said that they will deal with any penalties or fines tomorrow.(Insider Racing NewsAND Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s winning car [#8 Chevy] failed post-race inspection following Sunday’s EA Sports 500 at Talladega. The car was measured as being under the required 51-inch minimum height from the roof of the car to the ground, NASCAR spokeswoman Danielle Humphrey announced some two hours following the conclusion of the 188-lap event. Humphrey went on to say that NASCAR has never taken away a win for such an infraction, and that the issue will be dealt with Monday morning. She also said Earnhardt Jr. did not jump on the roof during his Victory Lane celebration.(NASCAR.com)(and there were no PCV Pipe Fence this week)(10-21-2001)
    UPDATE: The last time a winner had the same problem was in the 2000 season when Jeremy Mayfield [then in the #12 Ford] won at California Speedway. His win stood and his crew chief, Peter Sospenzo, was fined $25,000.(10-22-2001)
  • Earnhardt Jr wins at Talladega in a wild ending and the big wreck on the very last accident. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr wins his 2nd restrictor plate race and 3rd overall race of the 2001 season and the $1 million No Bull Bonus for his team and for a fan Carrie Richter of Conneaut, OH. #20-Tony Stewart was 2nd with #99-Jeff Burton in 3rd. #7-Lepage and #1-Wallace got their first top 10’s of 2001. The #7 Ford team finished in the top 10 of all four restrictor plates races (Daytona and Talladega), three with Mike Wallace and one with Lepage. #4-Bobby amilton Jr had his best career finish, a 14th. Sixteen cars/drivers were involved in ‘the wreck’ when #55-Hamilton and #18-Labonte got together, with Labonte ending up on his roof, Labonte is ok and have heard no reports of any drivers being injured. #24-Jeff Gordon increased his points lead to 395 points over #28-Ricky Rudd with #20-Tony Stewart now in 3rd.
    See That’s Racin’ for EA Sports 500 race results and for the Unofficial Points Standings and the race story: Earnhardt Jr. wins, but inspectors find a problem(10-21-2001)
  • More Mayfield UPDATE #7?: Jeremy Mayfield expects to make his plans known within two weeks. Contrary to rumors that have been running wild, Mayfield has spent the past few weeks at his Mooresville home, according to a spokesman who has been in contact with Mayfield on a daily basis. A quick resolution of Mayfield’s status would logically indicate a deal that would put him in a Dodge for 2002, either a third Intrepid fielded by Ray Evernham or another car that would receive additional assistance from Evernham. Possible slots for Mayfield might include the #92 currently being driven by Stacy Compton or the #7, currently a Ford but expected to switch to Dodge in 2002.(Gaston Gazette)(10-20-2001)
    UPDATE: Jeremy Mayfield has not been in the garage since parting ways with the Roger Penske-owned team at the end of September but is quietly working on a deal. Mayfield should have an announcement in the next couple of weeks. He’s expected to sign with the Jim Smith-owned team and the group transfer to Dodges, with Ray Evernham offering guidance to the program.(Richmond Times DispatchAND #7 team owner, Jimmy Smith, still is searching for a sponsor to continue his Winston Cup operation, which is expected to race Dodges in the future.(Sporting News)(10-22-2001)
  • Leffler to the CTS? Reports have Jason Leffler (current driver of the #01 Cingular Dodge and rumored to be out of that ride for Jimmy Spencer) taking over the #2 Dodge Truck in the CTS next year. The #2 CTS team is owned by Jim Smith [who also owns the #7 Ford — to be Dodge in 2002] and he is losing Scott Riggs to the #10 BGN Ford of ppc Racing(NASCAR.com Buzz)(10-22-2001)
  • Atwood Safe? There have been reports that Nashville rookie Casey Atwood [#19 Dodge] might be replaced by former Nashville Speedway driver Jeremy Mayfield next season, but Atwood’s father, Terry, says he has been assured by team owner Ray Evernham that that will not happen. Evernham has dismissed the reports, but admitted that Mayfield would be an attractive driver. Mayfield is expected to make an announcement about his 2002 plans within the next two weeks.(Tennessean)(10-22-2001)
  • Shell as a sponsor? Royal Dutch/Shell, the world’s second biggest oil company ($221 billion). Shell has been a bit player in the sport for several years, and two years ago the company pressured car owner Joe Gibbs to make it a full car sponsor on the Cup tour. Shell is again pushing for a full Winston Cup car with a sponsorship deal(Winston Salem Journal)(10-22-2001)
  • No Bull Fan: been asked, where was the No Bull Five fan winner? It took a while to get Earnhardt’s partner, Carrie Richter of Conneaut, Ohio, notification of her prize. In most cases, the individuals paired with the drivers attend the races, but due to circumstances beyond her control, Richter couldn’t attend. That created a problem. When the race ended at approximately 3:23 p.m., Winston officials were not able to reach Richter. At 3:30 p.m., still no Richter. And at 4:00 p.m., it was the same deal. It wasn’t until around 4:30 p.m. that Richter was reached via phone from the infield media center. Richter indicated she would take her winnings and purchase a small farm for her and her two children.(Anniston Star)(10-22-2001)
  • NBC Changes in 2002? Dallenbach back? NBC is planning at least one major change in its announcing booth for next season, which the network will open at Daytona. It is not clear who the new man in the booth might be, but some people in the garage are suggesting Barney Hall, the veteran Motor Racing Network radio announcer.
    AND NBC and Fox officials are ordering unspecified cutbacks in next year’s Winston Cup coverage, according to TV sources. Fox has already been talking with NASCAR officials about renegotiating its contract because of the difficult ad sales market.(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND Former Winston Cup driver Wally Dallenbach said this morning [Sunday] that NBC has picked up his option for next year, which means that NBC will employee him if he agrees to the terms. Dallenbach also said that he didn’t feel like the offer from NBC was strong enough to keep him out of a race car. Once again, he is trying to put together a deal for an Indy Racing League ride. It will be another week or so before he has an answer to that and will continue with NBC, should the IRL deal not pan out.(Insider Racing News)(10-22-2001)
  • To the Wind Tunnel: Stacy Compton’s #92 Dodge, Tony Stewart’s #20 Pontiac, Jeff Burton’s #99 Ford and Bobby Hamilton’s #55 Chevrolet were tested on the NASCAR chassis dyno [at the race track] and will be taken to a wind tunnel [Lockheed – Marietta, GA] for testing.(That’s Racin’)(10-22-2001)
  • Interesting Tidbit: There is this ironic footnote to the safety debate: Being shown in Winston Cup trailers yesterday morning was a video clip of a 20-year-old film short that was pretty shocking – crewman George White, at the wheel of a late model stock car, Oct. 30, 1980 on a Florida short track, deliberately running into a concrete barrier at 59 mph in a dramatic test of a head-and-neck restraint White himself had devised. White survived, with a broken leg but no other serious injuries. The restraint device was quite similar to the current Autoliv-Hutchens device, with straps attached to the helmet and to a special body harness that in part resembles the current six-point seat belt. White says that he attempted to market his device to the racing world, but with no success. White wrote to General Motors on April 21, 1981, about the safety device but got the cold shoulder. He also wrote to USAC and NASCAR that same year and got the cold shoulder from both.(See more at the Winston Salem Journal)(10-22-2001)
  • #66 Crew Chief to be penalized UPDATE: Larry Carter, crew chief for Todd Bodine’s #66 Fords, will be penalized this week by NASCAR for his conduct on pit road following an accident that started between rookie Kevin Harvick and Bodine on Lap 95 in Sunday’s EA Sports 500 at Talladega. Following the incident in which it appeared Harvick hit Bodine from behind, Carter left his pit stall and went to Harvick’s pit stall to confront Harvick’s car owner, Richard Childress. The two were separated before it got out of hand.(That’s Racin’)(10-21-2001)
    UPDATE: NASCAR penalties could be forthcoming this week for a number of minor rules violations here over the weekend and for a temper tantrum or two by irate crew chiefs, including Michael McSwaim, of the Ricky Rudd [#28] team, and Larry Carter, of the Todd Bodine [#66] team(Winston Salem Journal)(10-22-2001)
  • Testing at Daytona changed and set: NASCAR announced it has changed how it will conduct pre-Daytona 500 testing in January. Previously, each manufacturer has been scheduled two testing days and a make-up day for bad weather. Starting next season, all car makes will be bunched together. Winston Cup teams with odd numbers in year-end car owner points will test Jan. 7-9, with Jan. 10 as a rain date. Teams with even numbers in owner points will test Jan. 14-16, with Jan. 17 as a rain date.(That’s Racin’)(10-22-2001)
  • 2002 Testing at Indy set: Testing dates for next season’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway have also been set, and car owner points will be used to set those dates as well. Odd number teams will test at Indy July 9-10, while even number teams will test July 15-16.(That’s Racin’)(10-22-2001)

 


(10-21-2001)

 

  • NASCAR plans changes: NASCAR vice president Jim Hunter said Sunday the sanctioning body is “going back to work” to try to find a way to eliminate the close, packed racing that has become common on the Winston Cup series’ biggest tracks. Sunday’s EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway – which along with Daytona International Speedway requires the use of carburetor restrictor plates to reduce speeds – ended with a last-lap wreck that included more than 15 cars. Bobby Labonte, Dale Jarrett and Ricky Rudd’s crew chief, Michael McSwain, were among almost a dozen drivers, crew chiefs and car owners who visited with NASCAR President Mike Helton following the race to vent their anger over the current aerodynamic package used at Talladega and Daytona. “There was a lot of complaining that we didn’t do anything before this race and as long as we don’t, there is the possibility of the big wreck,” Hunter said. “Our response is. `What should we do?’ and we don’t have the answer right now. “We’re going to work with the teams between now and Daytona (in February 2002) and figure this out. We’re just as concerned as the drivers are about this.” Hunter said the primary focus will be to develop a way to allow drivers and teams’ abilities to show through during races. “We need a way for different abilities of drivers to come through and make their cars handle so they have to back off (the throttle) in the corners,” Hunter said. “We need to make their cars work.”(That’s Racin’)(10-21-2001)
  • #93 Close to a deal? #93 car owner Bill Davis said he’s close to putting together a driver and sponsor deal for his second Winston Cup team for next season, after Dave Blaney’s decision to move to the [#77] Doug Bawel-Ryan Pemberton team, replacing Robert Pressley.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-21-2001)
  • Hut and the #96? UPDATE: #90-Donlavey Racing plans to continue running next season but has not announced sponsorship or driver. Driver Hut Stricklin, team advisor Philippe Lopez and sponsor Hills Brothers are looking for a Charlotte team to work with. They could land with Cal Wells, whose second team ran its last race of the season last week(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-5-2001)
    UPDATE: #32 Team Owner Cal Wells is trying to revive his second team [#96], with a possible Hills Brothers’ sponsorship. Now at least he’ll have a tour win to promote [#32-Craven’s win]. Wells said, “The good thing about (a second team with) the Hills Brothers’ deal with Hut (Stricklin) is he’s got experience and he can do some testing. But Andy is a rookie and we couldn’t benefit that much. My total focus is this, and hopefully getting back to running two cars. The only thing we’ve got cooking is that Hills Brothers deal. It does look like they’re playing the field. I think they’re still talking to Bill Davis and Andy Petree. I don’t know if they’ll pick us or not. I don’t know if I’m competitive, price-point-wise. I try to be.” Of course if it comes down to price alone – and the Sara Lee brand sponsorship is worth over $6 million – Petree would likely win, because he’s vowed to beat any rival’s price. “We were talking to Hills a couple of months ago about becoming an associate on the McDonald’s car (with Houston), because they were thinking about doing some coffee business with McDonald’s,” Wells said. “Then at Dover I thought it was all dead, but someone walked into my trailer and said they wanted to talk about it again. I don’t know if it will happen.”(in part from a column about Wells at the Winston Salem Journal)(10-21-2001)
  • Little E’s Helmet: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains one of the few drivers not to use a full-face helmet. Earlier this year, Earnhardt Jr. wore a full-face helmet in the 24 Hours of Daytona race and used one in the first Cup practice at Daytona before his father saw it. “My father asked me to put it up and not use it anymore,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “He was really adamant about that.” The late Earnhardt used an open-face helmet. Part of his reasoning was that he felt an open-face helmet was lighter and was less weight on the neck in a severe crash. Earnhardt Jr. says that he’d like to use a full-face helmet soon.(Racing Extra)(10-21-2001)
  • Gordon’s streak in jeopardy UPDATE streak ends: #24-Jeff Gordon has won at least one restrictor-plate race in each of the past six seasons, and that streak is on the line in Sunday’s EA Sports 500 at Talladega. The streak began with a victory in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona in July 1995, and Gordon’s most recent restrictor plate win was at Talladega in the Talladega 500 in April 2000.(Gaston Gazette)(10-20-2001)
    UPDATE: Gordon’s streak ends as he did not win at Talladega; Gordon also did not win a short track race in a season for the first in six seasons(10-21-2001)
  • Stewart wears Hutchens AND: A few minutes before 11, Tony Stewart and crew chief Greg Zipadelli came from the hauler and walked to the car. Zipadelli helped Stewart latch on the Hutchens device, under the unblinking eye of competition director Steve Peterson.(SpeedVision)
    UPDATE: After some tense moments early Friday, Tony Stewart finally relented and wore a head and neck restraint device before he began practice at Talladega Superspeedway. NASCAR on Wednesday mandated the use of either the HANS or Hutchens device by all drivers in its top three series – Winston Cup, Grand National and Trucks. Stewart was the only regular Cup driver who did not wear one of the devices on a regular basis. After the practice session started, Winston Cup series director Gary Nelson stood by Stewart’s car and asked him if he had received the bulletin about the use of head and neck restraints. Stewart replied, “Yeah, but I didn’t get the one about helmets being required.” Stewart then left his car and went to the NASCAR hauler, where he had a heated exchange with Nelson. When it was over, he returned to his hauler, removed his uniform, dressed in street clothes and went to his motorhome. After a short while, he returned to his hauler, put on his uniform, put on a Hutchens device and got into his car. After exchanging words with NASCAR official Steve Peterson, he pulled out of the garage and onto the track. He ended up posting the 40th-fastest speed.(That’s Racin’), Stewart will start 37th at Talladega, using a provisional to make the race(10-19-2001)
    COLUMN: a few interesting columns about Stewart – Tony Stewart, back to the wall, is raging in solitude by Monte Dutton of the Gaston Gazette; and There’s another side to the Stewart story by David Poole of the Charlotte Observer/That’s Racin'(10-21-2001)
  • #12 Team to go away? UPDATE 3: Mike Wallace will replace Mayfield in the #12 Fords for the rest of this season. The future of that car beyond that point is undetermined. It’s possible that Roger Penske’s operation could be a two-car team again next year with Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman and the #12 team’s sponsor, Mobil, as an associate on both cars or sharing primary sponsorship with Alltel on Newman’s Fords(That’s Racin’)(10-5-2001)
    UPDATE: Officials at Penske’s shop say that there will be a No. 12 team next season, despite the loss of Mayfield. For one thing, Mobil’s sponsorship, an $11 million a year deal, has another season to run.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-7-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Rusty Wallace held court yesterday at Martinsville Speedway, offering his opinion on everything from the surface of the track to the future of the #12 team that recently cut loose driver Jeremy Mayfield. Wallace said he would not be surprised if Roger Penske’s No. 12 team did not run next season. “We don’t know if we’re going to continue on with the [12] car or not,” said Wallace, who co-owns his team with Penske but has no financial interest in the other Penske Racing teams. “We might just take the 12 car and shut the team down. . . . I wouldn’t bet against it and I wouldn’t bet for it. Right now, they’re trying to find out what they want to do.”(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-13-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Rusty Wallace said the fate of his brother Mike’s [#12] team is still up in the air, and he’s not convinced a three-car team is the way to go. Ryan Newman will be stepping up to a full Winston Cup deal next season, leaving the Penske team that Mike Wallace drives for under an uncertain cloud. “If they want to keep the 12 car team going, I’m all for it,” Wallace said. “But if Mike wasn’t in the car, I’d say just close the sucker down.”(Winston Salem JournalAND Whether Mike Wallace’s performance will pay off in that car is undetermined. Roger Penske, who owns both Rusty’s #2 and Mike’s #12, is considering shutting the #12 team down and pairing the #2 next year with rookie Ryan Newman, whose car at present wears #02.(Gaston Gazette)(10-21-2001)


    (10-20-2001)

  • Nemechek to the #26? UPDATE 6 Announced: hearing Joe Nemechek will take over the #26 Kmart Ford ride that Jimmy Spencer is vacating at the end of 2001(10-1-2001)
    UPDATE: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports that Nemechek will not be back in the #33 APR Chevy in 2002(10-2-2001)
    UPDATE 2: sources tell me that Nemechek agreed to drive the #26 Haas-Carter Motorsports car in 2002(10-3-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Travis Carter is close to signing Joe Nemechek as Jimmy Spencer’s 2002 replacement in the #26 Ford owned by Carter and Carl Haas(Gaston Gazette)(10-5-2001)
    Nemechek and the #26 UPDATE 4: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports #26 team owner Travis Carter says that he is strongly pursuing Joe Nemechek to drive his 26 car next year.(10-10-2001)
    UPDATE 5: Travis Carter confirmed that Joe Nemechek would be his driver next season, barring any unforeseen problems, pairing Nemechek as Bodine’s new teammate. Car owner Andy Petree, who would be losing Nemechek, said he had nothing new to report on his driver-sponsor search(Winston Salem Journal)(10-13-2001)
    UPDATE: Travis Carter confirmed Friday at Talladega that Joe Nemechek will replace Jimmy Spencer in the Haas-Carter Motorsports #26 Kmart Ford next season. Nemechek will leave the #33 Andy Petree Racing team, where he’s been for two seasons. The team’s contract with sponsor Kmart runs out after the 2002 season.(RacingOne). #66-Todd Bodine drives for Haas-Carter also, in the #66 Kmart Ford(10-20-2001)
  • Mast in the #90 in 2002: Car owner Junie Donlavey has announced that Rick Mast will drive the #90 Ford next season. Mast will replace Hut Stricklin, who is moving to another, still-undetermined team along with sponsor Hills Brothers Coffee.(Birmingham Post), supposedly C. F. Sauer, who sponsored the #27 car in 2001 and was on the #91 Ford Mast attempted (but failed) to get into the race at Talladega, will be the sponsor of the #90(10-20-2001)
  • Brett Bodine full time in 2002 UPDATE: hearing that #11-Brett Bodine plans to run the full 2002 Cup season even though he is losing sponsor Ralph’s Supermarkets. Hearing Bodine will run with “five or six” sponsors, depending on race and location, but have not heard who any of the sponsors will be and have not heard if Geoffrey Bodine will run as a teammate of his brother or not in 2002(10-19-2001)
    UPDATE: during the qualifying show on CNN/SI, Brett Bodine was interviewed and says his team is about 25% funded for 2002 and is still looking for sponsors. Bodine also said he is looking to field his brother Geoffrey in a 2nd team once his #11 team is funded. They could run Geoffrey in a limited schedule also(10-20-2001)
  • Pennzoil on the move? there is evidence that some other sponsorships may now be in play. Pennzoil’s sponsorship, with Steve Park and Dale Earnhardt Inc., may be one of them.(Winston Salem Journal). But as far as I know, Pennzoil is signed with DEI at least thru 2002(10-20-2001)
  • #31 Announcement at Atlanta: Richard Childress continues to insist his plans for his #31 Chevrolet will not be announced until sometime around the Nov. 18 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway(Gaston Gazette)(10-20-2001)
  • Doctor, Doctor: NASCAR is in the process of hiring “three or four doctors,” all specialists in trauma and emergency medicine, to care for drivers at Winston Cup races, NASCAR President Jim Hunter said Friday. In what Hunter called “a major philosophical change,” NASCAR also will hire at least four engineers to work at its new research-and-development center near Conover, N.C. “Safety is going to be the primary focus of the R&D center,” he said. NASCAR stopped short of creating a full-fledged, highly specialized, traveling medical and emergency team, such as those employed by all other major motor racing series in the world. Pressed on that issue, Hunter said, “You got your HANS,” meaning NASCAR’s mandate Wednesday of head-and-neck restraints for drivers.(Orlando Sentinel)(10-20-2001)
  • Sad News: former Grand National (now Winston Cup) driver Jack Smith died Wednesday. He was 78. A winner of 21 NASCAR races over a 15-year career and member of the National Motorsports Press Hall of Fame in Darlington, Smith was a native of Illinois. Smith is survived by his wife, Betty DeLay, three sons and two daughters. Smith won his first race at Martinsville Speedway in 1956, won the Most Popular Driver Award in 1959 and moved to Spartanburg in 1960 to work with legendary team owner Bud Moore. His 21 wins are 24th all-time. Smith was also known as an innovator. In a race at Charlotte in 1960, he became the first driver to use a two-way radio with Moore. Smith’s son said his father was going to be inducted into the Daytona Beach Hall of Fame in February.(GoUpstate)(10-20-2001)
  • Rudds Engine Woes: [#’s 28 and 88] Car owner Robert Yates said that a broken piston and broken valve caused Ricky Rudd ‘s two blown engines at Martinsville last weekend. Yates said the piston was a lightweight piece for the qualifying engine. With component weight limits for next season, that shouldn’t be a problem next season. He said team was working on ways to avoid future valve problems.(Roanoke Times)(10-20-2001)
  • Biffle to debut in Cup at Daytona? during the rain delay at Memphis for the BGN race, Greg Biffle was interviewed and said it looks like he would run the 2002 Daytona 500 for his Winston Cup debut in a Roush Ford and probably run at Las Vegas and both Charlotte races(10-13-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing Biffle will run #16 in Cup for 2002 (Roush used this number in the past)(10-20-2001)
  • Skinner at Talladega: Mike Skinner returned to the Winston Cup garage yesterday, hobbling around on a crutch as he continues to recover from knee surgery two weeks ago. Skinner said it was tough being at the track and watching everyone else drive. “I sit on the couch and try to drive everybody’s car at home on Sundays,” he said. Skinner said he “probably” will not start driving for the Larry McClure’s team until testing for the Daytona 500 next season.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-20-2001)
  • More Hills Bros: The sluggish U.S. economy has left Sara Lee’s Hills Brothers coffee sponsorship as the hottest item in the Winston Cup garage, although it’s estimated to be only a $6 million deal, not that much in a sport where top teams spend as much as $15 million a year. The battle for that deal is down to car owners Bill Davis [#93], Andy Petree [#33] and Cal Wells [#96]; the sponsorship comes with a driver, Hut Stricklin. According to team sources, Sara Lee wants to see some serious financial numbers from those owners before making a commitment.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-20-2001)
  • Inspection Troubles: Several teams had trouble with Winston Cup inspectors Friday morning. The rear deck lids of two cars, the #90 Ford of Hut Stricklin and the #28 Ford of Ricky Rudd, were confiscated. A “front suspension travel limiter” was taken off the #55 Chevrolet of Bobby Hamilton and an unapproved fuel cell container and “underpans” removed from the #12 Ford of Mike Wallace. Several teams had to make adjustments to their cars before they were cleared. The #8 Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt Jr., the #26 Ford of Jimmy Spencer, the #10 Pontiac of Johnny Benson and the #91 of Rick Mast required extensive work.(That’s Racin’)(10-20-2010)
  • Elliott Wins: Bill Elliott started second in a 22-car late model field at the 3/8 mile clay oval Sugar Creek Raceway in Blue Ridge, GA Friday night October 19 and proceeded to lead all 50 laps in front of a packed house. Elliott led by as much a straightaway at times but the margin of victory was three car-lengths over polesitter David Payne at the checkers as Elliott was pinned behind some cars he was attempting to lap. His dirt late model was white and Friday evening carried the #9 and plus Coca-Cola logos on each quarterpanel. Immediately following Elliott’s win, the siren switch was turned on at the Dawsonville Pool Room. The marquee in front of the Dawsonville Pool Room informed those passing through town about Elliott’s dirt track win Friday evening.(10-20-2001)
  • Sad News II: Daytona International Speedway claimed the life of a third racing competitor this year when a motorcycle rider crashed and died on pit road Friday. Stuart Stratton, 35, who carried an Expert motorcycle racing license, struck a Championship Cup Series race official at the start of the GTO Expert warmup lap then careened headlong into the pit road wall. More at the Daytona Beach News Journal(10-20-2001)


    (10-19-2001)

  • NASCAR Changes: NASCAR announced a restructuring and expansion of its Competition Department, with special emphasis on NASCAR.s new Research and Development Center in Hickory, N.C. These changes are aimed at facilitating further advancement in the areas of research, development and race-site management involved in America.s fastest-growing sport. As part of this restructuring, several longtime NASCAR officials are moving into new positions, assuming new and/or additional responsibilities.
    Gary Nelson, formerly NASCAR Winston Cup Series Director, has been named Managing Director of Competition.. Nelson will be responsible for on-track race activities, rules and off-track research and development programs.. He primarily will be based at the Research and Development Center.
    Kevin Triplett, formerly NASCAR Director of Operations, has been named Managing Director of Business Operations.. Triplett will be responsible for schedules, sanctions, credentials, timing and scoring procedures, plan development, point fund management and all other business aspects of NASCAR.s three national divisions (Cup, BGN, CTS).
    John Darby, formerly the BGN Series Director, will replace Nelson as Winston Cup Series Director, overseeing all competitive aspects-including technical inspections, rules changes and rules enforcement-on the Winston Cup Series.
    Brian DeHart, formerly a Technical Inspector on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and Busch Grand National Series, will replace Darby as Busch Grand National Series Director. DeHart will oversee all competitive aspects of the Busch Grand National Series.
    Wayne Auton, Director of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series since June 1995, is continuing in that position.
    Joe Garone, a longtime crew chief in various NASCAR divisions, including Winston Cup, has been named the Research and Development Center Director.
    All of these individuals will report to NASCAR President Mike Helton and NASCAR. Senior Vice President George Pyne.(NASCAR PR)(10-19-2001)
  • Hermie Diecast: 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. To this point, they have not 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(10-19-2001)
  • Subway to the #77 in 2002? UPDATE3 or is it #33? or is it Hills Bros?: hearing Subway (sandwich shops) will be the primary sponsor of the #77 Jasper Motorsports Ford and driver Robert Pressley in 2002(8-21-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing Subway could be announced as the primary sponsor of the #77 for 2002 within the next few weeks, of course, the driver will be Dave Blaney in 2002(10-18-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hmm…now hearing Subway could be the 2002 sponsor of the #33 APR Chevy. Anyhow, looks like Subway will sponsor a car in 2002 but most sources say it’ll be with the #77 NOT the #33(10-18-2001)
    UPDATE 3: and also hearing that Hills Bros Coffee (currently on the #90), could end up on the #77, without Hut Stricklin as the driver. But still continue to hear the best bet is Subway as the sponsor of the #77 with Jasper Engines(10-19-2001)
  • Sad News: Steve Crowe, who covered auto racing, boxing and sports broadcasting for the Detroit Free Press, died in his sleep Wednesday evening. He was 47. His death was attributed to heart disease. Crowe died while taking a nap before a scheduled appearance of his rock band, Skillet, at Motor City Casino. Besides his wife Sandy and siblings, Crowe is survived by his mother, Joyce; his son, Ricky, 15; and daughter, Mallory, 14. Visitation is 1-8 p.m. Saturday and noon-8 p.m. Sunday at Harry J. Will Funeral Home, 37000 Six Mile in Livonia. Funeral is 11 a.m. Monday at Grace Lutheran Church, 25630 Grand River in Redford Township, followed by burial at Glen Eden Cemetery in Livonia, MI.(see full story at the Detroit Free Press), have linked many of Steve’s columns on the site and he was a regular contributor to That’s Racin’, Jayski’s partner, he will be missed(10-19-2001)
  • Boris Said Injured UPDATE: Driver Boris Said of Carlsbad, Calif., was hospitalized Thursday following a testing accident in an American Le Mans Series car at Road Atlanta. Said, 39, suffered a minor skull fracture when the Panoz LMP-1 Prototype he was driving crashed in turn 11 of the circuit. He climbed from the car on his own and was awake and alert when transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, Ga. Said was to be held overnight for observation.(Trans Am Series Site)(10-19-2001)
    UPDATE: Boris Said was released from a Georgia hospital this morning after suffering a minor skull fracture in a testing accident yesterday at Road Atlanta. Said was held overnight for observation at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, Ga. Said, 39, from Carlsbad, Calif., was driving a Panoz LMP-1 Prototype when the car crashed in turn 11 of the Road Atlanta track. He exited the car on his own and was awake and alert when transported to the hospital.(Professional Sports Car Racing Site).
    Why do I post this? Said has driven this year and others in the Winston Cup series and was a full time CTS driver for a few years(10-19-2001)
  • Park visits DEI: Ty Norris, executive vice president of motorsports for Dale Earnhardt Inc., said driver Steve Park – injured in a Grand National series race last month at Darlington, S.C. – has made marked improvement in recent weeks. Kenny Wallace has been substituting for Park in the DEI-owned No. 1 Chevrolets in the Winston Cup series since the accident. Park suffered bruising of his brain and a moderate concussion and has battled double vision. Park visited DEI headquarters the Wednesday before the Martinsville race, meeting with team members and owner Teresa Earnhardt. “He really lifted everybody’s spirits. He looked so good. He was himself, had his personality about him and he really got everybody excited at the shop again because obviously a lot of the stories have been going on around him,” Norris said. “It’s one thing to hear it from someone in a team meeting and say, `Everything is going to be fine,’ but it’s another thing when Steve walked in the door. It’s been devastating to lose him at this time of year.” Norris said Park is still struggling with double vision, but has been able conduct this physical therapy at his personal trainer’s, rather than at the hospital. “He’s getting better every week we see him,” Norris said. “We’re completely compared to not have him not race for us again until the Daytona race next year. If he’s ready, he will race as soon as he’s ready.”(That’s Racin’)(10-19-2001)
  • New Crew Chief for Kyle and more hires for PE: The #45 Sprint Dodge of driver Kyle Petty has added new leadership. One of the top young minds in stock car racing will become crew chief for the team beginning next week in Phoenix, Ariz. In addition, Richard Buck has joined the team as Technical Director. Steven Lane, 30, at native of Winston-Salem, N.C., now living in Mooresville, has been named crew chief for the team. Chris Hussey, who had been in a dual role, will move into an overall operational role. “We’ve been looking for someone with Steven’s capabilities and attitude. His expertise and new ideas will help us on the track. His personality and demeanor is going to be great for us off the track too,” said Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. Lane joins Petty Enterprises from Penske Racing, where he was car chief for the #12 car of driver Jeremy Mayfield. Buck joins the team from Andy Petree Racing, where he was Team Manager. Prior to that position, Buck spent 17 years in Indy car racing – 14 years as a crew chief and chief mechanic with Penske Racing and four years as Director of Operations with PPI Motorsports(Williams Company)(10-19-2001)
  • Rudd Walks: The current driver of the #28 Ford will be honored this race weekend during festivities at the park named for the driver that got the ride rolling. Ricky Rudd won the fans’ voting as the active driver to be inducted at the Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame. He’ll take the stage during ceremonies at Davey Allison Memorial Park in downtown Talladega at 8:00pm on Saturday. Two inactive drivers, Buck Baker and Joe Weatherly, also will enter the Walk of Fame. The ceremonies are free and open to the public(Alabama Live)(10-19-2001)
  • Wheeler defends the Bumper: Lowe’s Motor Speedway president H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler took issue Thursday with NASCAR’s comments regarding the so-called “Humpy Bumper,” an energy-absorbing bumper designed by Lew Composites of Las Vegas. The bumper, which would fit on the front of NASCAR race cars, is made of a composite material called directional carbon fiber. “With all due respect to NASCAR’s `experts,’ we obviously need to do a better job of explaining how this energy-absorbing bumper works,” Wheeler said. “The difficulty in understanding this bumper is that it is made of directional carbon fiber. “Only five percent of all carbon fiber usage is directional. Therefore, only those who work closely with it really understand its remarkable ability to redirect energy.” Wheeler also took issue with statements from Pyne that testing conducted with the bumper had not been done at speeds close to those in accidents that have killed five stock car drivers over the past 17 months. “While some tests were run at slower speeds, most were in the proper range. The crash test at Charlotte, witnessed by the media, was at a wall speed in excess of 40 mph, similar to Dale Earnhardt’s accident,” Wheeler said. Wheeler said he hoped NASCAR officials and Lew and his associates could meet to help establish “better communication” regarding the bumper(That’s Racin’)(10-19-2001)
  • TV Ratings – Memphis beats Martinsville: last weekend’s Memphis Busch race had roughly three times the audience of the Cup race from Martinsville. One could say that fans tuned in to the Busch race, expecting a Cup race and stuck around. No matter. Those that did stick around comprised the second largest audience for a Busch race this season – the largest being FOX’s July [actually February, not July] Daytona race, which was viewed in 2.964m households. Memphis had a audience of 2.657m households. The 1.295m households that tuned in to the Cup race Monday morning is about what you’d expect under the circumstance.(SpeedVision)(10-19-2001)


    (10-18-2001)

  • Green helping out: Jeff Green, driver of the #10 Nestlé Nesquik Ford in the BGN, believes so strongly that NASCAR drivers should be wearing a head and neck restraint device, that he’s willing to put his money where his mouth is. Green wasn’t sure why some drivers were not wearing any type of device, so he decided to do a little investigating. He knew that most full-time BGN regulars were wearing some sort of system, either a HANS device or Hutchins device, but he wasn’t sure about the other drivers; the ones competing in the series from time to time, not necessarily every weekend. He guessed that the drivers who competed on a limited basis possibly did not have the funds available to purchase a head and neck safety restraint system. The costs for a HANS device can range anywhere from $1,500 to $1,800 and the cost of a Hutchins device is lower, around $300. Either can hurt a budget when money is so tight trying to make a name for yourself. After doing some research with NASCAR, Green found out his theory was true. Most drivers not using a device were the drivers that did not compete full-time. He did not want cost to be the reason a driver would not be wearing this essential safety equipment. So Green decided to take it upon himself to offer to pay for a system for any driver who does not have the means to do so(Speedway Illustrated)(10-18-2001)
  • #50 Team Done? UPDATE: Employees of the #50 Midwest Transit Racing team were forced to hit the streets in search of employment this week when a long-running dispute between former trucking company and race team partners Mike Witters and Hal Hicks apparently came to a head. The team’s closing unfortunately came after Rich Bickle made a respectable run in the Brickyard 400, starting 17th and finishing 32nd in the Speedway Records Chevy(NASCAR.com Buzz)(8-9-2001)
    UPDATE: The 50 team is not closed. Due to not having a sponsor they have streamlined (laid off employees) the team. The team will not run the full schedule this year and is getting ready for Bristol and Richmond at this time with Rich Bickle driving at Bristol(ESPN2’s RPM 2Night) AND The #50 Chevrolet, driven by Rich Bickle, will take the next two weeks off to prepare for the Sharpie 500 at Bristol on Aug. 25. Tammy Paxon, office manager, said reports that the team has shut down are not true. “We’re just regrouping and getting ready for Bristol,” she said.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(8-10-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hearing from sources and many former team members that the #50 Midwest Transit Racing team owned by Hal Hicks will not return to racing and has closed up with all employees being released (ands owed paychecks). Supposedly there is litigation between Hicks and former co-owner and the team’s lack of sponsorship. The team’s website has been disbanded also(10-18-2001)
  • An Earnhardt Honor by Chevy: Chevrolet has decided to honour racing legend Dale Earnhardt, and has done so by creating a limited edition Monte Carlo in his name. The 2002 Monte Carlo SS Dale Earnhardt Signature Edition makes its debut this month at select high-volume Monte Carlo dealers in the US and Canada, and only 3,333 units will be made.(AutoNet)(10-18-2001)
  • Bill Davis Racing Keeps Two: Bill Davis Racing is now looking for both a sponsor and a driver for its # 93 Dodges after Tuesday’s announcement that Dave Blaney would leave the team at season’s end to drive the #77 Fords for Jasper Motorsports in 2002. Bill Armour, a team spokesman for the #93 team, said Wednesday that Davis intends to field a two-car Dodge team next year, filling the seat Blaney is vacating with a new teammate for Ward Burton and his #22 Dodges.(That’s Racin’)(10-18-2001)
  • #51 Team gets a 2002 sponsor: Lance Snacks has reportedly agreed to sponsor Phoenix Racing and driver Jeff Purvis in four to eight Winston Cup races next year. Purvis and owner James Finch are slated to run the Oct. 21 Winston Cup race at Talladega.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(10-18-2001)
  • #85 News: The #85 Mansion Motorsports team and driver Carl Long will skip the next two Cup races and plans are to run at the North Carolina Speedway on November 4th. The team will run the Dodge and Petty will supply the engines.(MM Site)(10-18-2001)
  • Special Shoes: Red Wing Shoes has developed a Limited Special Edition Richard Petty Series boot, which will soon be available only at Red Wing dealers and only for a limited time. The boots are embossed with Petty.s likeness and the number 43, and are unique in motorsports. Red Wing Shoes, an associate sponsor on the Petty Enterprises 43 and 45 cars of John Andretti and Kyle Petty, developed the limited edition boot with assistance from Petty(Williams Company)(10-18-2001)
  • NASCAR: No to Humpy Bumper…at this point: The energy-absorbing bumper nicknamed the “Humpy Bumper” is not close to being approved for use in NASCAR because of inadequate testing and concerns about the material used in its construction, NASCAR officials said Wednesday. “The data that is available and testing that has been done do not allow us to draw any conclusions that are meaningful because of speed at which the tests have been done will not allow us to,” said George Pyne, NASCAR senior vice president.(more at That’s Racin’)(10-18-2001)
  • Hutchens Responds: Hutchens Comments on NASCAR’s Mandate of Head and Neck Restraints(10-18-2001)


    (10-17-2001)

  • NASCAR mandates head and neck restraints: NASCAR on Wednesday made mandatory the use of a head-and-neck restraint device by drivers in its top three series – Winston Cup, Grand National and Trucks – effective immediately. NASCAR has encouraged drivers to wear such devices, either the HANS or Hutchens device, this season, but had not required their use. “NASCAR has worked closely with safety experts, drivers and manufacturers to address issues that led some drivers to feel that these devices might make them less safe,” said George Payne, NASCAR senior vice president. “NASCAR’s decision making drivers’-side windows wider and our educational seminars for drivers have created greater comfort with using these devices. The willingness of the manufacturers to work with drivers in addressing potential drawbacks and explaining benefits also has allayed drivers’ concerns. We will continue our educational efforts.” A majority of all NASCAR drivers currently use a head and neck restraint device. In Winston Cup, only one driver, Tony Stewart, currently does not use such a device. “This is a smart decision that will make racing safer for all drivers,” said three-time Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon. “NASCAR’s efforts to connect drivers with safety experts and its willingness to work with manufacturers has helped most drivers recognize the benefits of these devices.”
    Pyne also updated the progress of other safety initiatives:
    An occupant-restraint study announced in August is under way. The results of the study will be implemented prior to the 2002 season.
    Progress continues to be made in the driver compartment, including seating and additional padding throughout cockpit area.
    Accident-data recorders have been tested in all three major NASCAR series. NASCAR remains on schedule to have the data recorders in full use for the 2002 season.
    Interviews are in progress for a full-time medical liaison that would attend every Winston Cup event and keep detailed medical histories on all drivers.
    Candidates for the position of full-time accident investigator are being reviewed. Pyne also said Wednesday that NASCAR currently has no data that would indicate the so-called “Humpy Bumper,” designed by Lew Composites of Las Vegas and initiated by Lowe’s Motor Speedway president H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, would provide additional safety for cars. Pyne said NASCAR would continue to look at additional data as more crash testing is done with the bumper. NASCAR also will continue to work with the Indy Racing League in the development of new “soft-wall” technology and with manufacturers in addressing concerns with the designs of the cars as well as energy absorbing materials.(That’s Racin’/NASCAR PR) for more info see my Safety Section – Restraint page, with past news, columns, pictures and links(10-17-2001)
  • Stewart’s Response to Head Restraints: On the second day of a two-day test at Atlanta, [#20] Tony Stewart took time to respond to NASCAR’s mandate that drivers use either a Head And Neck Support (HANS) or Hutchens device beginning this weekend at Talladega. “I think a head and neck restraint is a good idea,” said the driver of the #20 Home Depot Pontiac in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, “and I think it’s great that a lot of drivers are wearing them. But I also believe that a head and neck restraint has to be right for each individual driver. What is right for one person may not be right for another. I want to wear something, but I haven’t found anything yet that I’m comfortable with. It’s not that I don’t want to wear it, and I’m not being bull-headed about this, but there is nothing right now that I’m comfortable wearing inside the race car. When I ran Indy cars, there was a time once when I had the foam headrest that goes around the rim of the driver’s cockpit touch the top of my shoulders. I ran one lap, pulled in and bailed out of the car because I felt like I was getting trapped inside the car – just because the headrest was touching the top of my shoulders. It wasn’t because of anything mechanical, it was because of my own anxiety that comes from being claustrophobic. That’s how the HANS device makes me feel. If I have a helmet device that doesn’t fit properly or isn’t comfortable, then how comfortable am I going to be six inches from guys who are on all four corners of my race car? I tried out the Hutchens device during a Talladega test back in August, put it on three different times, and it was on me three different ways. It was never in the same spot on my body twice. That concerned me, because there didn’t seem to be any consistency in how it formed to my body. I’m still committed to finding an appropriate head restraint system that suits my safety needs, while at the same time allowing me peace of mind inside the race car.”(Edelman PR), one of Stewart’s biggest problems with using a device is that he is extrememly claustrophobic(10-17-2001)
  • 2nd Donlavey Car at Talladega? UPDATE 2: Junie Donlavey’s team could have an increased presence at Talladega next week. The Richmond-based team is considering running a second Cup car (No. 91) with driver Rick Mast and a C.F. Sauer product logo.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-13-2001)
    UPDATE: [Rick] Mast said he’ll be at Talladega next weekend, but he didn’t say which team he’ll be with. Any deal would be for that weekend only. In the past two weeks, Mast has served as a standby driver for Dale Jarrett and driven for Harvick.(Roanoke Times)(10-15-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Winston Cup team [#90] owner Junie Donlavey will field a second car for driver Rick Mast in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Mast will drive the #91 C.F. Sauer/BAMA Ford, a Richmond-based company that sponsored the #27 Pontiac for several Winston Cup events this season. Donlavey received permission to use the #91 from Joe Falk, who owns the rights to use the number in Winston Cup events.(Keystone Marketing)(10-17-2001)
  • AMS Testing day 2: Johnny Benson set the fast lap of the day in a test with four other NASCAR Winston Cup drivers preparing for the Nov. 18 NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The speeds:
    #10-Johnny Benson, 184.493
    #19-Casey Atwood, 184.309
    #20-Tony Stewart, 183.942
    #18-Bobby Labonte, 183.273
    #28-Ricky Rudd, 181.949 (AMS PR)(10-17-2001)
  • #92 Done? UPDATE not according to the team: from FSN’s Jeff Hammond column: “With all the speculation that Jeremy’s [Mayfield] going to go to Ray Evernham’s third deal since the 92’s going to close up, it looks like Evernham Motorsports is going to absorb a lot of the 92 team’s stuff. It’s still probably next week or if not next week, the week after for sure before we get some of this stuff laid to rest.(FoxSports)(10-17-2001)
    UPDATE: per a PR from Melling Racing – “We are not closing the shop, and we are not merging with Evernham Motorsports. We have a Winston Cup team and a Craftsman Truck Series team. Both teams are going forward, and I’m confident that we can secure sponsorship for both teams. “Silly Season” rumors are an enemy to every team, and we will not let an unfounded lie go unchallenged. We’ve got a great driver in Stacy Compton and a great Crew Chief in Chad Knaus. This team has really pulled together recently, and it is showing on the race track. We’ve qualified and raced well over the last four or five races, so we know we have a solid race team to offer our sponsors. Melling has been in NASCAR for over 20 years, and we plan on being here at least another 20 years. We’ve won poles, races and a championship over the course of our involvement in NASCAR, and with the assistance of Dodge and our sponsors, we will continue our winning tradition.”(Melling Racing)(10-17-2001)
  • More on Stricklin: With Hills Bros.’ backing, [Hut] Stricklin is considered a serious contender to replace Joe Nemechek in Andy Petree’s #33 Chevy. Petree has been seeking sponsorship for that team almost all season after Oakwood Homes announced it was pulling out after 2001. Stricklin confirmed that Hills Bros. has also talked with Cal Wells about the #96 team that lost McDonald’s as its primary sponsor and ran its last race of the season two weeks ago at Kansas. Stricklin may also be in the mix for the #93 car of Bill Davis and several others.(Anniston Star)(10-17-2001)
  • Autopsy Photos UPDATE: Citing a loophole in a law named for racecar driver Dale Earnhardt, Volusia County’s medical examiner on Friday sought access to autopsy photos and videotapes so they can be used for education and training. The motion filed late Friday afternoon asks for court permission to use post-mortem photos and videotapes at an upcoming conference of medical examiners in Volusia County. The request did not specify which autopsy photos Dr. Thomas Beaver wants to use at the conference, which begins Oct. 31, but they will not include Earnhardt’s. A hearing on the request has not been scheduled(Orlando Sentinel)(10-14-2001)
    UPDATE: The attorney for a student-run newspaper filed an appeal Tuesday with the 5th District Court of Appeal, hoping to overturn a judge’s ruling denying it and two other parties access to autopsy photos of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, who died in February’s Daytona 500. The appeal was filed by Miami attorney Tom Julin on behalf of Gainesville’s Independent Florida Alligator. It wants the appeals court to overturn Circuit Judge Joseph Will’s June 13 ruling upholding the constitutionality of a new state law and barring the newspaper from gaining direct access to the photos.(Daytona Beach News Journal), for past news on this, see my Dale Earnahrdt: Reactons page(10-17-2001)
  • Earnhardt Diecast: Action Performance, together with Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Richard Childress Racing Enterprises Inc., announced a special tribute program that will honor seven-time NASCAR(R) Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt and give Earnhardt’s “legendary fans” a special way to be a part of history. The Dale Earnhardt Legendary Series will start with a series of die-cast replicas crafted to commemorate key moments in the racing legend’s stellar career. Thanks to months of research — including interviews, referencing personal photo albums, and securing the cooperation of many other individuals in the racing industry — each Dale Earnhardt Legendary Series collectible will include the history behind the replica(Yahoo Biz)(10-17-2001)


    (10-16-2001)

  • Blaney in the #77? Pressley Out UPDATE 3 YEP: Latest silly season rumors have Dave Blaney moving to the #77, but insiders say he could be trying his hand at Indy cars next season if Bill Davis doesn’t find a sponsor for the #93 team.(Sporting News)(10-8-2001)
    UPDATE: The word around the Winston Cup garage Friday was that Robert Pressley would be out of the #77 Jasper Engines Ford following the 2001 season. Rumor has it Dave Blaney is set to take over the ride(NASCAR.com BuzzAND Robert Pressley said he most likely would not be back with the Jasper Motorsports team after this season(Roanoke Times)(10-13-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Pressley has informed the Jasper Motorsports team that he will not return next season. Crew chief Ryan Pemberton is staying, though, and has signed a multiyear contract. The team also appears to have additional sponsorship for 2002(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-14-2001)
    UPDATE 3: ESPN2’s RPM 2Night reports that Dave Blaney has been named the driver of the #77 Jasper Engines Ford in 2002. No word on where Pressley will go or who will drive the #93 Bill Davis Racing Dodge if they find a sponsor for 2002. Pressley will drive the #77 for the remainder of the 2001 season(ESPN2’s RPM2Night)(10-16-2001)
  • Atlanta Speeds: Tony Stewart set the fast lap of the day in a test with four other NASCAR Winston Cup drivers preparing for the Nov. 18 NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The speeds:
    #20-Tony Stewart, 183.942
    #18-Bobby Labonte, 183.273
    #19-Casey Atwood, 183.031
    #10-Johnny Benson, 182.789
    #28-Ricky Rudd, 180.234
    Last spring’s pole run, recorded by Dale Jarrett, was 192.748mph(AMS PR)(10-16-2001)
  • M&M’s Re-ups with MB2: “M&M’s”® Chocolate Candies announced today it has renewed its sponsorship of the #36 MB2 Motorsports Pontiac. Driver Ken Schrader will also be back behind the wheel of the “M&M’s”® Pontiac next season. The extension will mark the sixth year together for both MB2 and M&M/MARS. When MB2 Motorsports debuted in 1997, it took to the track bearing the rainbow colors of SKITTLES® Brand candies. The 2002 season will mark Ken Schrader’s 18th year of full-time competition in the Winston Cup ranks and his third season with the “M&M’s”® Racing Team.(IMG Motorsports PR), on a paint scheme note, I hear the car will be slightly different in 2002 with the Red M&M hanging onto the rear bumper with both hands, like he is being blown off the car. Ms Green is on the driver’s sign with her thumb up, holding a sign that says “going my way?” Yellow is doing something but unknown at this time(10-16-2001)
  • Burton says never: The longstanding rumor that has Jeff Burton leaving Roush Racing [to the #12 or #31] at the end of the year has already been denied by Burton dozens of times. After Monday’s race, Burton went a step farther, going so far as to say he would “never” leave Roush’s Ford team.(Gaston Gazette)(10-16-2001)
  • Testing at AMS UPDATE: #29-Kevin Harvick, #18-Bobby Labonte, #20-Tony Stewart, #19-Casey Atwood and #10-Johnny Benson are expected to test at Atlanta Motor Speedway during a three-day test Oct. 15-17. Stewart and Labonte will test on Monday, Oct. 15, and Tuesday, Oct. 16. Harvick, Atwood and Benson are expected to test on Tuesday, Oct. 16, and Wednesday, Oct. 17.(AMS PR)(10-12-2001)
    UPDATE: Due to the rain delay at Martinsville, Monday’s test session at Atlanta Motor Speedway has been cancelled. Testing is expected to resume Tuesday and Wednesday, with Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte, Kevin Harvick, Casey Atwood and Johnny Benson scheduled to run(AMS PR)(10-16-2001)
  • Testing at Homestead: Winston Cup testing sessions at Homestead-Miami Speedway will be open to the public beginning Tuesday, October 16. Testing runs from 9:00am – 5:00pm. Admission to the testing sessions is free to the public. Driver participation is subject to change. Teams scheduled to test on Tuesday, October 16 and Wednesday, October 17 include: Chip Ganassi Racing (#01-Jason Leffler, #40-Sterling Marlin); Dale Earnhardt Inc. (#8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #15-Michael Waltrip); Hendrick Motorsports (#24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #25-Jerry Nadeau); MB2 Motorsports (#36-Ken Schrader); Penske Racing South (#02-Ryan Newman), and Roush Racing (#17-Matt Kenseth, #6-Mark Martin). On October 22-24, Joe Gibbs Racing (#24-Tony Stewart) will be at Homestead-Miami Speedway.. Robert Yates Racing (#28-Ricky Rudd) will test on October 22-23, while Evernham Motorsports (#19-Casey Atwood) will test on October 23-24.. Hendrick Motorsports (#24-Ricky Hendrick) Busch Grand National team will visit Homestead-Miami Speedway, October 29-30. Cup teams will be preparing for the Pennzoil 400 and the BGN Miami 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, November 9-11. Tickets remain for both races.(HMS PR)(10-16-2001)
  • Elliott in 2002? UPDATE 2: Bill Elliott remains one of the question marks in the Winston Cup garage. He’s under contract for another year with car owner Ray Evernham, who insists that Elliott will be back with the Dodge team next season. However, there are strong reports that Elliott may be setting up his own satellite shop and team in Dawsonville, GA, next season. A complicating factor is Jeremy Mayfield, who appears in the running for a ride with Evernham next season. According to sources close to Mayfield, he and Evernham had long been talking about teaming in 2003, when Mayfield’s contract with Roger Penske was scheduled to end, and the two have just moved that whole program up a year now. However it seems unlikely that Evernham would be prepared to expand to a three-car operation next season.(Winston Salem Journal), and also hearing Mayfield will replace Casey Atwood in the #19 Dodge(10-14-2001)
    UPDATE: Evernham’s plans for next season remain unclear. He is expected to sign Mayfield, probably this week; but will Evernham expand to a three-car team with Bill Elliott and Casey Atwood, or will one of those two of his drivers move elsewhere?(Winston Salem Journal)(10-15-2001)
    UPDATE 2: sources tell me that BOTH Elliott and Atwood will drive for Evernham Motorsports in the Cup series in 2002. If Mayfield goes with Dodge, it’ll be a 3rd Evernham team or a single car operation (#7?) with help from Evernham Motorsports(10-16-2001)
  • Bigs Cars: Now that NASCAR has agreed to the one-engine per weekend rule (though the details are yet to be precisely laid out), the sanctioning body is looking again at the proposed “big car” option, a Winston Cup car four or five inches wider and three inches taller than current models(Winston Salem Journal)(10-16-2001)
  • Mayfield in the #31? #7? Evernham? UPDATE:(maybe the Jayski Studabaker?) – A source close to Richard Childress said Sunday night that Mayfield is the lead candidate to take over the #31 Chevy. The major issue, according to the source, is sponsor Cingular, who apparently requested that Robby Gordon drive the car. Mayfield has been rumored in virtually every car on the circuit, including one rumor that has him in a Ray Evernham Dodge. Interestingly, a source close to Jim Smith’s Ultra Motorsports team said he was told Mayfield would be in the #7 with McDonald’s as sponsor.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(10-15-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing that Mayfield is NOT a top choice for Richard Childress and that Gordon is still the front runner for the #31 ride(10-16-2001)


    (10-15-2001)

  • One Engine Rule for 2002: starting in the 2002 season, Cup teams must use the same engine to qualify and race, NASCAR announced Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. In the event the engine used to qualify the car does not start the race, then at the desretion of the Winston Cup Series director, the starting position will be relinquished and the car will drop to the rear of the field prior to the start of the race. According to NASCAR, certain events during the 2002 season may require ammendments to this rule, such as the Gatorade Twin 125-mile qualifying races and the Coca-Cola 600, due its length.(NASCAR.com)(10-14-2001) AND see an AP story at That’s Racin’: Race rained out; NASCAR adopts one-engine rule(10-15-2001)
  • Craven wins at Martinsville in the Old Dominion 500, his first ever career Winston Cup win and PPI Motorsport’s first ever Cup win. Craven’s win came in his 174th career Cup start and the 159th driver to win a Cup race. The win puts Craven into the 2002 The Winston. The top 10:
    1)  #32-Craven
    2)  #88-Jarrett
    3)  #22-Burton
    4)  #18-Labonte
    5)  #99-Burton
    6)  #10-Benson
    7)  #6-Martin
    8)  #12-Wallace
    9)  #24-Gordon
    10) #40-Marlin
    Some notes: the #’s 4-Bickle,13-Salder(twice), 25-Nadeau, 2-Wallace, #93-Blaney have spun. #77-Pressley had something break, spun and backed into the wall. The #’s 43, 01, 71 and 14 got togther with the #43 and #01 spinning; #8-Earnhardt spun and backed into the wall doing slight damage; #66-Bodine got spun out by #22-Burton on pitroad; #33-Nemechek and #1-Wallace got together and Nemechek spun out. #55-Hamilton bumps #29-Harvick and passes Harvick and then #29-Harvick spins out Hamilton who loses many positions, Harvick was then held for a lap by NASCAR for rough driving
    See That’s Racin’ for Old Dominion 500 results and see my Driver’s Points page for the standings(10-15-2001)
  • Sauter in the #31 at Homestead? UPDATE 2, no it’s Green: hearing ASA Champ and RCR BGN driver, Johhny Sauter could be in the #31 Lowes Chevy at Homestead. Robby Gordon will likely miss next month’s race at Homestead, due to a commitment to run the Baja 1000 off-road race(10-11-2001)
    UPDATE: Rick Mast is also under consideration to drive the #31 at Homestead. Gordon will NOT drive the car there(FSN’s Totally NASCAR)(10-12-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Jeff Green will drive the #31 Lowes Chevy at Homestead as Gordon will miss the race. Gordon will be in the #31 for the other remaining five Cup races this year. Team Owner Richard Childress hope to make an announcement on the 2002 #31 driver within the next week(TNT Race Coverage)(10-15-2001)
  • Waltrip and the #15 UPDATE rumor update from beginning to end(?): Will Michael Waltrip be with Dale Earnhardt Inc. in 2002? there are rumors that NAPA, the sponsor of his #15 car, is not happy with his performance(CNN/SI – Burning Questions)(10-3-2001)
    UPDATE: the Oct 3rd issue of the National Speed Sport News print edition reports that “Michael Waltrip is rumored to be considering retirement. Waltrip is said to be in contact with broadcast executives about possible employment that would take him out of the driver’s seat”
    AND FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports the DEI is denying that Waltrip will be leaving the #15 car and that Waltrip still has a year to go on his two-year deal with DEI(10-5-2001)
    UPDATE 2: “As of today, he [Michael Waltrip] still has a job for next year,” DEI vice president Ty Norris said. “We have not talked about next year and he has not told us he wants to go into broadcasting, but with him being just 38 years old, I can’t really see retirement being an option.” But Norris said Waltrip has been called in three times this season to talk about on-track performance and gently reminded of the urgency to turn things around. Waltrip has another year left on his contract and the team has one more year on its sponsorship deal with NAPA.(That’s Racin’/APAND Michael Waltrip says he has two more years on his contract with BGN sponsor Aarons [#99 Chevy], but he is unsure whether he’ll drive the car. Many expect Waltrip to move into the TV booth next year(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-7-2001)

    UPDATE 3: Also at DEI, according to [FSN] sources, the 15 car is Michael Waltrip’s for next year. Some things have got to change, especially Michael’s attitude and how he works with the team. If he doesn’t change his attitude toward the team, it will definitely be his last year there.(FSN’s Totally NASCAR)(10-10-2001)
    UPDATE 4 Waltrip Stays: Michael Waltrip will be back with Dale Earnhardt Inc. next season. Teresa Earnhardt, after listening to several weeks of rumors about Waltrip’s future, held a team meeting Thursday and laid down the law to the crews – her late husband had signed Waltrip to a two-year deal, and she was going to hold to Dale’s wishes. But, according to team sources, Teresa also had a private meeting with Waltrip to try to help him regain his focus. At Charlotte last week, DEI men were scouting the garage for potential new drivers, focusing on Jeremy Mayfield, Johnny Benson and Kenny Wallace. Mayfield, however, appears headed to Ray Evernham’s Dodge team, a deal the two have been working on for much of the year. Benson, according to team sources, wouldn’t be willing to leave his current team without being able to bring along crew chief James Ince and the rest of the crew; that option, sources say, was vetoed at DEI.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-15-2001)

  • Chevy Nose: A new Chevrolet nose is turning heads in the garage. The new nose has been wind-tunnel tested, but it’s not clear if NASCAR will approve the new piece.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-15-2001)
  • Trickle in the #71? UPDATE: Dave Marcis asked Dick Trickle to qualify his car for the Old Dominion 500, saying he might come back if Trickle was able to get the ride in the race. Trickle did just that, but now Marcis may let him drive it anyway. “We’re still waiting to see what’ll happen,” Trickle said. “I might get my chance yet.”(News and Observer)
    UPDATE: no, Marcis is running the #71 Realtree Chevy(10-15-2001)
  • UPDATE – Why can Harvick drive in the Cup race since he is a rookie and ‘supposedly’ a rookie must practice and qualify the car they compete in? My understanding is that NASCAR may determine the rookie status of a driver based on experience at a race track or in the series. Since Harvick has ran 28 of the 29 previous Cup races, won two and is leading the BGN points, it was probably decided he could handle it. Plus he has already raced at Martinsville. ALSO it is my understanding that a rookie driver did not get rookie points for a race unless he also qualified the car. That means Harvick would not get points or money for winning or anything else rookie-wise, if this is the case.(10-13-2001)
    UPDATE: been informed that Harvick will NOT receive the customary 1 point for attempting to qualify for the Martinsville event, but he WILL still retain any rookie points for his finishing order.(10-15-2001)

 


(10-14-2001)

 

  • Leffler in 2002? #01-Jason Leffler could be out at Chip Ganassi’s unless Ganassi can land yet another sponsor for that team. Jimmy Spencer is expected to join Ganassi next season with an unnamed sponsor, and it appears unlikely Ganassi would run a three-car deal. However, Ganassi is expected to field a Daytona 500 car for Kenny Brack(Ganassi’s CART driver in 2002)(Winston Salem Journal)(10-14-2001)
  • Aero Changes for Talladega? UPDATEs: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports that Ford’s spoiler size will be decreased and that the change would help the Pontiacs (??)(9-27-2001)
    UPDATE: NASCAR officials do not plan to make a change to the aerodynamic package used at Talladega Superspeedway prior to the Oct. 21 race, but they are giving a break to the Ford teams. The Fords are getting an allowance on the rear spoiler, cutting three-quarters of an inch from each side. This change is designed to help the manufacturer remain competitive with other makes. “[There’s] a possibility of one other small tweak to another make of the same thing,” Nelson said. “We’re waiting on one other piece of data to make that decision.”(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-8-2001)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR will make aerodynamic alterations to the Ford Taurus and Pontiac Grand Prix for the upcoming Winston Cup race at Talladega. The Ford’s rear spoiler will be reduced from 57 inches to 55 ½ inches, while the Pontiac’s roof air deflector will be lowered 1/8 of a inch, from 1 3/8 inches to 1 ¼ inches.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(10-13-2001)
    UPDATE 3: NASCAR has informed Winston Cup teams of two slight rules changes for the package that will be in place at next week’s EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Ford teams will be allowed to trim the width of their rear spoilers from 57 inches to 55½ inches. The 1½-inch reduction is designed to reduce the drag on a Taurus as it races on the 2.66-mile track. Pontiac also will be allowed a slight reduction on the size of the roof blade of its Grand Prix. The blade will be trimmed one-eighth of an inch to 1¼ inches. Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge will continue to race with 1 3/8-inch blades.(That’s Racin’)(10-14-2001)
  • Stewart wins at South Boston: Cup driver Tony Stewart won a USAC Midget race at South Boston Speedway Saturday night, see WhoWon for the story(10-14-2001)
  • Roush Team Intact for 2002: [#6-Mark] Martin is not retiring, moving on, slowing down or considering the end of his career. He is spending next season racing with Roush Racing teammates Jeff Burton and Matt Kenseth. According to Martin, neither is considering leaving the Roush fold. They plan to figure out the problems that have caused each of the teams to struggle this season. Martin’s contract runs through 2005 – he’s not thinking that the end of that contract will be the end of his commitment to racing.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-14-2001)


    (10-13-2001)

  • Biffle to debut in Cup at Daytona? during the rain delay at Memphis for the BGN race, Greg Biffle was interviewed and said it looks like he would run the 2002 Daytona 500 for his Winston Cup debut in a Roush Ford and probably run at Las Vegas and both Charlotte races(10-13-2001)
  • Little E in the #3 – in the BGN? heard from quite a few readers that Dale Earnahrdt Jr. will run two BGN races in 2002 in a #3 Chevy with Nabisco’s and Ritz brand as sponsors in the 2002 BGN race at Daytona and a 2nd un-named BGN race(10-13-2001)
  • Engine News: NASCAR officials have finally decided on weight limits on some key engine parts, including the piston, rods and pins, for next season in an attempt to keep the rampant escalation in engine technology and expense under control.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-13-2001)
  • Nemechek to the #26? UPDATE 5: hearing Joe Nemechek will take over the #26 Kmart Ford ride that Jimmy Spencer is vacating at the end of 2001(10-1-2001)
    UPDATE: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports that Nemechek will not be back in the #33 APR Chevy in 2002(10-2-2001)
    UPDATE 2: sources tell me that Nemechek agreed to drive the #26 Haas-Carter Motorsports car in 2002(10-3-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Travis Carter is close to signing Joe Nemechek as Jimmy Spencer’s 2002 replacement in the #26 Ford owned by Carter and Carl Haas(Gaston Gazette)(10-5-2001)
    Nemechek and the #26 UPDATE 4: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports #26 team owner Travis Carter says that he is strongly pursuing Joe Nemechek to drive his 26 car next year.(10-10-2001)
    UPDATE 5: Travis Carter confirmed that Joe Nemechek would be his driver next season, barring any unforeseen problems, pairing Nemechek as Bodine’s new teammate. Car owner Andy Petree, who would be losing Nemechek, said he had nothing new to report on his driver-sponsor search(Winston Salem Journal)(10-13-2001)
  • Tires at NHIS: Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company announced today that the tires normally used at Martinsville will be the set for the delayed race at New Hampshire International Speedway. The tire codes used at Martinsville are D-5692 for the left side tires and D-5704 on the right side.(SpeedVision)(10-13-2001)
  • #12 Team to go away? UPDATE 2: Mike Wallace will replace Mayfield in the #12 Fords for the rest of this season. The future of that car beyond that point is undetermined. It’s possible that Roger Penske’s operation could be a two-car team again next year with Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman and the #12 team’s sponsor, Mobil, as an associate on both cars or sharing primary sponsorship with Alltel on Newman’s Fords(That’s Racin’)(10-5-2001)
    UPDATE: Officials at Penske’s shop say that there will be a No. 12 team next season, despite the loss of Mayfield. For one thing, Mobil’s sponsorship, an $11 million a year deal, has another season to run.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-7-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Rusty Wallace held court yesterday at Martinsville Speedway, offering his opinion on everything from the surface of the track to the future of the #12 team that recently cut loose driver Jeremy Mayfield. Wallace said he would not be surprised if Roger Penske’s No. 12 team did not run next season. “We don’t know if we’re going to continue on with the [12] car or not,” said Wallace, who co-owns his team with Penske but has no financial interest in the other Penske Racing teams. “We might just take the 12 car and shut the team down. . . . I wouldn’t bet against it and I wouldn’t bet for it. Right now, they’re trying to find out what they want to do.”(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-13-2001)
  • Childress not Happy: Car owner Richard Childress took offense yesterday at claims by Felix Sabates that Childress stole sponsor Cingular Wireless. “I don’t get in a public debate with a skunk. I don’t handle situations like this in the media. If Felix has a problem with me, if he’s a man, he’ll come up to me face to face and we’ll talk about it.”(Winston Salem Journal)(10-13-2001)
  • Newman crashes at Phoenix: #02-Ryan Newman crashed in testing Tuesday at Phoenix, destroying a Cup car. He was uninjured. The team was testing in preparation of the Cup race there in two weeks(Roanoke Times)(10-13-2001)
  • Wallace to double dip: With the BGN and Cup series competing in different cities this weekend, driver Kenny Wallace, who continues to fill-in for injured Steve Park in the #1 Pennzoil Chevy, will make the trek between Memphis and Martinsville along with several other drivers who are performing “double duty.” Wallace, who also races in the BGN in the #48 Goulds Pumps Chevy. “The plan is for me to qualify the Pennzoil car for the Old Dominion 500 on Friday and then leave for Memphis to compete in the Busch Series race on Saturday. We’ll have somebody else in the Winston Cup car on Saturday just to shake it down and wear in the brakes, and then I’ll be back on Sunday.” “We are going to practice for qualifying and race set ups on Friday,” said crew chief Paul Andrews. “We took Kenny to Caraway to practice a couple of weeks ago and that gave us some good data for Martinsville. If we’re good on Friday, I feel we’ll be just fine for Sunday. We have a couple of options available to us on Saturday,” continued Andrews. “We may even put Kerry Earnhardt in the car to help get it ready for Sunday. We’ll just have to see.”(Raceworks PR)(10-11-2001)
    UPDATE: Earnhardt will practice the #1 for Wallace on Saturday(CNN/SI’s Qualifying Coverage) and Shane Hmiel [Steve’s son], drove Kenny Wallace ‘s car during BGN practice in Memphis on Friday(Roanoke Times)(10-13-2001)


    (10-12-2001)

  • Park? Steve Park is still on the sidelines, with more rumors swirling about his health, while recovering from a bad crash at Darlington[BGN race] last month.(Winston Salem Journal), some rumors that Park will not be ready for the Daytona 500 in Feb 2002 to rumors that Park will not be back racing at all(10-12-2001)
  • Humpy Bumper News: Paul Lew, President of Lew Composites said, “Lew Composites’ officials had a meeting with NASCAR officials (last) Sunday morning at Lowe’s Motor Speedway before the Winston Cup race. We agreed to work together in determining the next step with the “Humpy” Bumper. I see this as a very good sign in communications because up until now the communication was not very good. We agreed to convene at a future date yet to be determined with a group of experts and peers, and discuss the bumper device Lew Composites has created. Encouraged, Paul added, “It’s my belief that NASCAR has had a concern for safety first and we hope to be a big contributor to their campaign of creating a safer race car.” See full column at Catchfence: NASCAR, Lew Composites Agree To Work Together On Next Step Of Bumper(10-12-2001)
  • Pearson Recovering: David Pearson, second all-time in Winston Cup victories with 105, underwent heart surgery last week in his hometown, Spartanburg, S.C. The “Silver Fox,” considered by some to have been NASCAR’s greatest driver, is said to be recovering nicely.(Gaston GazetteAND Racing legend David Pearson successfully underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery over the weekend and is resting comfortably in his Spartanburg home. “He’s wonderful, mean as ever,” Pearson’s son Larry said by phone Thursday. “There wasn’t but one (artery) messed up, but when they got in there they found some more that were about 20 percent, so they went ahead and fixed those, too. He’s fine. He’s home, and everything.” The 66-year-old three-time Winston Cup champion retired after the 1986 season with 105 career victories, a mark exceeded only by Richard Petty.(The State)(10-12-2001)
  • NASCAR Softball: DEI Won the Summer 2001 Totally Racin Softball Season Championship. Hendrick Motorsports were undefeated all season till the last game with DEI during the playoffs.(Totally Racin Softball Page)(10-12-2001)
  • Elliott gets a present: Bill Elliott, who turned 46 on Monday, got a thrill ride as a birthday present from his car owner Ray Evernham. Evernham presented Elliott with a certificate for Dale Blaney’s Outlaw Driving Experience. Blaney, a former sprint car racer who now drives the #93 on the Winston Cup Series, also runs a company that offers rides in sprint cars. Evernham said a few laps in a sprint car should help Elliott with his new hobby — driving a dirt Late Model.(AJC) (10-12-2001)
  • Testing at AMS: #29-Kevin Harvick, #18-Bobby Labonte, #20-Tony Stewart, #19-Casey Atwood and #10-Johnny Benson are expected to test at Atlanta Motor Speedway during a three-day test Oct. 15-17. Stewart and Labonte will test on Monday, Oct. 15, and Tuesday, Oct. 16. Harvick, Atwood and Benson are expected to test on Tuesday, Oct. 16, and Wednesday, Oct. 17.(AMS PR)(10-12-2001)


    (10-11-2001)

  • Kirby Plans…and a sponsor? Stuart Kirby made his Winston Cup debut at Charlotte. Kirby drove for Bob Schacht Motorsports [#75 Ford], a team he ran six ARCA races with earlier this year. Kirby hopes to run the car at Atlanta next month, but plans for 2002 depend on sponsorship. He’d like to stay with Schacht in either the Busch or Winston Cup Series.(Winston Cup Scene), hearing Kirby is close to signing Mac Tools as a sponsor, not sure if it is for Cup or ARCA and also hearing Combos/M&M Mars is interesting in working with Kirby, unsure of what level(10-11-2001)
  • Skinner begins Therapy: Mike Skinner, the newly announced driver of the #4 Kodak Chevy for the 2002 Cup season, began an intensive therapy regimen this week. Skinner, who underwent surgery on his knee and ankle last Wednesday, is anxious for a speedy recovery. Says Skinner: “I completed my first physical therapy session on Monday. The doctor says it is going to take four months to heal and I am beginning to realize why. We primarily worked with muscle stretches. The therapist explained to me the importance of keeping the muscles mobile during this critical time. No weights were used in the therapy. Because of the surgery performed on my ankle, weight training will not be incorporated into the sessions for a few more weeks. I will attend the physical therapy session three times a week for about an hour each time. Then, I have exercises to complete at home. My goal is to be 100% and back in a race car by the middle of January. We would like to go to Abingdon [VA] sometime during the next few days. Angie [Skinner’s wife] and I are looking at buying a second home near the race shop. We want to be close to Morgan-McClure.(in part from a Morgan-McClure Motorsports PR)(10-11-2001)
  • #7 to be around in 2002 and a Dodge: Once on the brink of extinction, Jim Smith now expects Ultra Motorsports to field a Winston Cup team next season. His two CTS teams will also remain, but a proposed full-time BGN team is now on hold until 2003. Smith is in litigation with Winston Cup sponsor NationsRent and isn’t sure who will sponsor the team next year. But after a 13th-place finish in the UAW-GM Quality 500, new driver Kevin Lepage figures to be in the running when Smith considers who will drive what will be Dodge Intrepids in 2002. Lepage, released by Morgan-McClure Motorsports Oct. 1, signed with the team two days later after Mike Wallace left to join Penske Racing. Smith said Lepage is in the car for the time being and figures he’ll be there for the final seven races. As for the BGN, sponsors Carquest and ASE have elected to run just a handful of events next year, while moving to a full-time team in 2003. The companies will remain as the full-time sponsor of one of Smith’s two truck teams as well(Winston Cup Scene)(10-11-2001)
  • Mike Bliss News: former Cup driver, Mike Bliss, will replace Brian Tyler in the Kroger/Folgers/Pringles/Sunny Delight Gaerte/Beast for this Saturday night’s “USAC 200” Sprint car race at South Boston Speedway in Virginia. Team owner Dick Hoffman selected Bliss after Tyler confirmed his participation in this weekend’s BGN race at Memphis. Bliss is a 14-year veteran of USAC competition with eight career wins in the Stoops Freightliner Sprint Car Series. He last competed in the Sprint cars at Salem, IN in April of 1995. He scored his initial USAC Sprint win in 1993 and added seven more in 1994.(South Boston Speedway PR)(10-11-2001)
  • #81 Cup Team News: The #81 Davis & Weight Motorsports team has devised a sponsorship plan called Race Shares that allows sponsors to become primary sponsors for a specific number of races with associate sponsorship in all other races at a rate lower than other primary sponsorship packages(Davis & Weight Motorsports Site)(10-11-2001)
  • #31 News? When Mike Skinner vacated his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet for season-ending knee surgery, Robby Gordon was named as his replacement. Yet Gordon, who failed to qualify for the UAW-GM Quality 500, may be replaced by Rick Mast at Martinsville – at least for qualifying. And Gordon will likely miss next month’s race at Homestead, due to a commitment to run the Baja 1000 off-road race. This in the wake of speculation that RCR may try to sign Jeremy Mayfield to drive the #31 entry in 2002. Childress was non-committal about his Martinsville plans, but indicated they may well vary from the norm(Winston Cup Scene)(10-11-2001)
  • #48 Crew Chief…for now: Ken Howes, the director of competition for Hendrick Motorsports and a former full-time Winston Cup crew chief, was the crew chief for Jimmie Johnson in his Winston Cup debut at Charlotte. He also will be Johnson’s crew chief at Homestead and Atlanta(Winston Cup Scene)(10-11-2001)


    (10-10-2001)

  • Burton Rumor Squashed..again: [#99-Jeff] Burton once again finds himself the center of attention, according to rumors and at least one report, ready to jump ship to Penske Racing in place of the recently departed Jeremy Mayfield. This just in: Not happening. Period, end of story. First of all, there are reports that Burton has a financial stake in the organization, and while it’s certainly true that he could divest himself of those interests (if, in fact, they exist), there also is the fact that on numerous occasions Burton has claimed that he hopes to become a member of Roush Racing’s management when his driving days are done. And if neither of those bits of data seems compelling enough to keep Burton honest, there’s this: Geoff Smith, President of Roush Racing, is known to write contracts that are exceedingly difficult to break(CNN/SI), BUT Jeff Hammond of FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports: One of the biggest rumors right now has to do with the 12 car, and Jeff Burton’s name has been mentioned as a defector from the Roush camp.(10-10-2001)
  • Park to the #93? here is a new one – There’s also a lot of speculation around if and when Steve Park returns to the 1 car at Dale Earnhardt Inc. The Dave Blaney ride doesn’t have a sponsor, and I know Tommy Baldwin, Ward Burton’s crew chief for Blaney’s teammate Ward Burton, would like to have Steve Park come drive for Bill Davis(FSN’s Totally NASCAR)(10-10-2001)
  • More on Mikey and the #15: Also at DEI, according to my sources, the 15 car is Michael Waltrip’s for next year. Some things have got to change, especially Michael’s attitude and how he works with the team. If he doesn’t change his attitude toward the team, it will definitely be his last year there.(FSN’s Totally NASCAR)(10-10-2001)
  • Kenseth Testing: #17-Matt Kenseth completes a two-day test at Rockingham today(Roanoke Times)(10-10-2001)
  • Jarrett Wants Mandate: Dale Jarrett said Tuesday that he thinks it’s time for NASCAR to make head-and-neck restraints mandatory. “We’ve looked at these things, we’ve learned what they do and we know they can save lives,” Jarrett said. “It’s time to stop playing around and get them on everybody.” Tony Stewart is the only driver among full-time Winston Cup competitors who is not now using either the HANS or Hutchens device(That’s Racin’)(10-10-2001)
  • Sacks at Martinsville…in a Featherlite car: Greg Sacks will be going back to his roots this weekend when he attempts to make the field for Saturday’s Advance Auto Parts 200 NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour race at Martinsville Speedway. Sacks racing career began in the NASCAR Modified division in New England. He made a name for himself throughout the Northeast in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but his couple of trips South each year to Martinsville Speedway back then were his biggest races. It was at Martinsville where Sacks first caught the eye of Winston Cup team owners when he won the Dogwood Classic in 1982. By 1983 he was in a Winston Cup car. A year later he set the circuit on its ear when he won the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Raceway. Sacks’ career never took off in a big way after that win, even though hestayed in Winston Cup racing for the next dozen years or so. Then in 1998, while driving for Cale Yarborough Motorsports, Sacks was injured in a hard crash. That was his last fulltime Cup ride.(Martinsville Speedway PR)(10-10-2001)
  • Spotter on TV? Mike Calinoff, spotter for Matt Kenseth, has joined Charlotte’s NBC 6 “On Track from Lowe’s Motor Speedway” a weekly.half-hour.television show covering NASCAR. Calinoff will begin filming his “Miked Up” segment, which will feature the lighter side of the sport, this week at Martinsville. “We have been looking to infuse a little levity into the show,” said On Track. Producer, Phil Werz, “and Mike.s background and personality fit perfectly.” The show, hosted by Sports Director Chuck Howard, airs each weekend. Clips may also be viewed on the Internet by logging onto www.nbc6.com((NBC6 Sports)(10-10-2001)
  • Jarrett says no driver standby: #88-Dale Jarrett, who won the spring race at Martinsville, says he doesn’t plan to have a standby driver this weekend. Jarrett is recovering from a concussion and broken rib he suffered in a crash at Kansas Speedway on Sept.30. Rick Mast was Jarrett’s standby driver at Charlotte last weekend. Jarrett admits he’s about 60 percent healthy but says he should be fine to go all 500 laps(Roanoke Times)(10-10-2001)
  • No Bull 5 pairings and 2002 plans UPDATE: R.J. Reynolds officials have a news conference scheduled for Tuesday in Charlotte to pair drivers and fans for the next No Bull 5 race at Talladega on Oct. 21 and to announce plans for the No Bull 5 program and The Winston in 2002. The Winston all-star race will return to Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 18, and the same five races will be in the No Bull 5 program next year – Las Vegas in March, Charlotte in May, Daytona in July, Richmond in September and Talladega in October.(That’s Racin’)(10-7-2001)
    UPDATE: Rusty Wallace’s pit crew turned in the fastest time for a four-tire change on The Square in Uptown Charlotte at midday Tuesday, topping the crews for Dale Earnhardt Jr., Dale Jarrett, Ricky Rudd and Kevin Harvick. Those results were used to pair the eligible drivers with fans for the No Bull 5 program for the EA Sports 500 at Talladega on Oct. 21. Fans from California, Maryland, Ohio, Texas and Missouri are eligible to win $1 million if their driver wins that race. The winning driver would also get $1 million. R.J. Reynolds officials also confirmed that next year’s No Bull 5 races will be March 3 at Las Vegas, May 26 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, July 6 at Daytona, Sept. 7 at Richmond and Oct. 6 at Talladega – the same lineup as this year.(That’s Racin’), no names of the 5 fans…yet(10-10-2001)
  • Winston, No Bull 5 plans set for 2002 UPDATE: R.J. Reynolds officials have a news conference scheduled for Tuesday in Charlotte to pair drivers and fans for the next No Bull 5 race at Talladega on Oct. 21 and to announce plans for the No Bull 5 program and The Winston in 2002. The Winston all-star race will return to Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 18, and the same five races will be in the No Bull 5 program next year – Las Vegas in March, Charlotte in May, Daytona in July, Richmond in September and Talladega in October.(That’s Racin’)(10-7-2001)
    UPDATE The Winston: Lowe’s Motor Speedway president H.A. (Humpy) Wheeler said the track is working with Charlotte officials to turn next year’s running of The Winston on May 18 into a week’s worth of activities surrounding Winston Cup’s all-star race.(That’s Racin’AND R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company released the schedule for the 18th anniversary of The Winston, NASCAR’s Winston Cup all-star race. The race will be staged at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 18, under a similar schedule as in recent years. (SpeedVision), for the rules and 2002 drivers eligible, see my 2002 The Winston page(10-10-2001)


    (10-9-2001)

  • Mast in the #31? UPDATE 2 in the #29 for practice/qualifyng: hearing Rick Mast will run the #31 Lowes Chevy at Martinsville in a one race deal(10-7-2001)
    UPDATE: Rick Mast, who lost his Winston Cup ride when his Eel River Racing team folded last week, is testing the No. 31 Chevrolet this week for Richard Childress Racing at South Carolina’s Greenville-Pickens Speedway, team officials confirmed. It remains unclear whether Mast will drive the car at Martinsville, Va., next weekend. Robby Gordon has been driving the #31, but failed to qualify for Sunday’s s race, the first time the #31 missed a race since 1998.(That’s Racin’)
    AND Two of Childress’ cars missed the race this weekend, and it was the first time that the #31 car was not in the field since the Coca-Cola 600 in 1997. Childress says he has “a whole different plan that we’re going to approach with Kevin (Harvick and his car) and the #31 car” but wouldn’t expound on the details other than to say that Robby Gordon “would be in Martinsville on Friday.”(Sporting News)
    AND FSN’s Totally NASCAR reported that the team went to Greenville-Pickens Speedway with both Robby Gordon and Rick Mast, Larry McReynold’s said that at the end of the two day test, the team may consider having Mast qualify the #31 Chevy for the race. Would assume then that Gordon would run the race to gain experience(10-8-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Rick Mast will practice and qualify the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevy for regular driver Kevin Harvick at Martinsville. Harvick will be in Memphis for the BGN race on Saturday. Harvick will drive the #29 Chevy in the race, but will have to fall to the back of the field before the start of the race(ESPN2’s PRM 2Night)(10-9-2001)
  • Hills Bros leaving Donlavey UPDATE 2 Officially Leaving: Hills Brothers Coffee and Donlavey Racing are parting ways at the end of this Winston Cup season. Team owner Junie Donlavey stayed in Virginia to fulfill an obligation to visit a school and wasn’t at Kansas Speedway this weekend, but Donlavey does seem to be making plans to have sponsorship next season. Hills Brothers could be close to signing a deal with an established Winston Cup team. Driver Hut Stricklin and veteran crew chief Philippe Lopez, both employees of Hills Brothers’ parent company Sara Lee, plan to remain with the sponsor next season. Stricklin said the sponsor wanted Donlavey to move his team to the Charlotte, N.C., area, but Donlavey remained loyal to his hometown of Richmond. “I really have to commend Junie for being very loyal to the city of Richmond and to the state of Virginia because, let’s face it, this is big business and he didn’t turn his back on his homeland,” Stricklin said. “It’s a deal for me that I felt like I had to do what I had to do to survive.”(Richmond Times Dispatch)(9-29-2001)
    UPDATE: Petree and Nemechek could have different colors the rest of the season, if Petree can finish a deal with Hills Brothers Coffee, to replace Oakwood on the car the last two months of the season(Winston Salem Journal)(9-29-2001)
    AND Phillipe Lopez, team manager of Donlavey’s #90 and of the Sara Lee NASCAR endeavor, confirmed Friday that Hills likely will move up a step or two. “They’re talking to every team without a sponsor,” Lopez said. “They have a lot of meetings scheduled over the next two weeks. After that, I don’t know what they’re doing. They may narrow it down to two or three for call-back meetings.” The catch is that Sara Lee apparently intends to package driver Stricklin with the deal, although that is not beyond negotiation. “That’s what they’d like to do,” Lopez said(SpeedVision)(9-29-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Sara Lee Coffee & Team Consumer Brands announced today that Hills Bros coffee will not return as the primary sponsor of the #90 Donlavey Racing NASCAR Winston Cup Series team in 2002. “Our experience with Donlavey Racing during the past two seasons has been every bit as exciting as we thought it would be,” said Henk de Back, President and CEO of Hills Bros Coffee, “Junie Donlavey is every bit the NASCAR statesman and gentleman that everyone in the sport knows him to be. We are honored to have had the chance to work with him and we wish his team continued success. Hills Bros Coffee is committed to participating in the Winston Cup Series and to being an active sponsor in NASCAR. To that end, Sara Lee Coffee & Tea Consumer Brands has announced its intention to continue racing with Philippe Lopez, NASCAR Director for Hills Bros Coffee racing team, and Hut Stricklin, team driver. Currently, Sara Lee Coffee & Tea Consumer Brands Board of Management is actively researching for top performing racing team sponsorship options and will make its decision in early November.(Hills Bros Racing Site)(10-9-2001)
  • Long at Martinsville? UPDATE: #85-Carl Long who made the race at Lowes Motor Speedway last weekend, may attempt the Cup race at Martinsville this weekend(10-9-2001)
    UPDATE: The #85 team and driver Carl Long will be attempting the Martinsville race this weekend. They will be using the Ford Taurus short track car for the events at Martinsville(Mansion Motorsports)(10-9-2001)
  • Sadler Back at Martinsville – looks ahead: #13-Hermie Sadler is fresh off of his second career Winston Cup Start and confident Martinsville will be chalked up as his third.. Sadler is running a limited number of races on the NASCAR Winston Cup schedule this season and believes the recent addition of veteran crew chief Jim Long has made a big difference in the future success of his race team. “We’re more prepared for Martinsville this time around,” stated Sadler.. “I don’t believe in doing things the same way and expecting different results. We’ve made some personnel changes and the progress we’ve made over the past month was shown when we qualified for the race at Dover. We tested Martinsville last week and I’m optimistic about our chances this weekend.” According to Sadler, “We have a lot of things going on right now.. I am talking to sponsors about sponsoring my car and I’m talking to various owners about driving their cars.. I just want to race and run well whether it’s in the Winston Cup Series, the Busch Series, or the Craftsman Truck Series. I hope to know within a few weeks what the Virginia Lottery plans to do next year.. We’ve had a great promotion that has benefited everyone involved. If we’re unable to put together a full season next year with a sponsor or another team, I would like to run at least 12 to 15 races.. I think there are several sponsors that would find that beneficial and can tailor their marketing programs around the different markets where NASCAR events are held.. Not all companies have 12 million dollars to spend in advertising and the Virginia Lottery has shown this year that a successful marketing program can still exist in NASCAR without running the full schedule.” In addition to running Martinsville this weekend, Sadler also plans to race in Homestead and Atlanta(Sadler Enterprises PR)(10-9-2001)
  • Mayfield to Evernham? UPDATE 4 McDonalds as sponsor? to RCR?: hearing Jeremy Mayfield will be with Evernham Motorsports for 2002, not sure if it for one of the existing teams, #9 or #19 or a third team(10-3-2001)
    UPDATE: Sources are saying that Jeremy Mayfield get the chance behind the wheel of an Evernham Motorsports Dodge in 2002. Mayfield will sit out the next few weeks to attend to personal issues, but could be in a Dodge before the season’s end. Although there has been speculation of Elliott’s retirement, but he could not be reached for comment. Ray Evernham insists that in 2002 “Bill Elliott will be driving the No. 9 Dodge Intrepid and Casey Atwood will be driving the No. 19 Dodge Intrepid. PERIOD.” But what about a third team at Evernham’s?(Sporting News)(10-3-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Ray Evernham said Thursday that he’d like to see Jeremy Mayfield driving a Dodge next season, maybe even in one Evernham owns. Evernham said he has spoken to Mayfield, released Tuesday from Penske Racing. “Jeremy and I are friends and I think he’s a good race car driver,” Evernham said. “If he’s going to drive something, I’d like to see him drive a Dodge next year. If the timing is right, it would be great to have Jeremy. …If the timing isn’t right, I’m not going to hurt what I already got going.” Mayfield issued his first statement since Tuesday’s announcement of his departure, saying he and the #12 team were disappointed in the way their season had been going. “The chemistry just wasn’t right and I didn’t think it could be fixed,” he said. “I asked to be released at the end of the year…but it just seemed to make more sense to do it now if we were going to do it. …I think there are opportunities out there, but I want to make sure the ‘fit’ is right next time.”(That’s Racin’)
    AND ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night reports that McDonald’s could be the sponsor for Evernham’s third possible team and Jermey Mayfield PLUS sources tell me that Mayfield should be in a third Evernham Dodge next season with a McDonald’s sponsorship. Mayfield and Evernham have reached an agreement, and are putting the final paperwork together on it now.(10-5-2001)
    UPDATE 3: [Roger] Penske said he expects Childress to hire Mayfield. Childress and Mayfield have talked about doing a deal for the past two months, but Mayfield had been unable to get out of his contract with Penske. Childress said he won’t announce his new driver until the November stop in Atlanta. Dodge’s Ray Evernham is reported to be trying to sign him for next season too. And Ford officials are trying to find a place for Mayfield to land and stay within that camp, probably with some help from Robert Yates. Now comes word that Dale Earnhardt Inc. is also trying to hire Mayfield. DEI has also reportedly made overtures to Johnny Benson. The DEI moves come as Michael Waltrip’s future with that operation appears increasingly shaky. The Evernham situation is intriguing. While Evernham said that no big changes are coming next season, that Bill Elliott and Casey Atwood will both be back, there are indications that over the season, Elliott’s laid-back style of racing has been at odds with Evernham’s high-intensity approach. According to one source, Elliott might be interested in opening a shop in Dawsonville and running next season as a “satellite” Evernham team. And there are still reports that McDonald’s is trying to hook up again with Elliott as his sponsor.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-7-2001)
    UPDATE 4: still hearing Mayfield to Evernham but now that McDonald’s will NOT be part of the deal and that McDonald’s is re-evaulating their motorsports involvement and will not sponsor a Cup car in 2002 as a primary or associate sponsor(10-9-2001)
  • Hornaday back to the CTS? A new rumor has Ron Hornaday leaving his [#14] Winston Cup ride to return to his Craftsman Truck roots. With Scott Riggs departing the #2 Dodge CTS ride after this season to move into the #10 BGN ride, Hornaday has been mentioned as taking Riggs spot.(NASCAR.com)(10-9-2001)


    (10-8-2001)

  • Lepage in the #7 for at least another week: Kevin Lepage finished 13th in his first race with #7 Ultra Motorsports and owner Jim Smith said that Lepage most likely would drive for the team the rest of the season.(Racing Extra)(10-8-2001)
  • Helton sets timetable UPDATE: NASCAR president Mike Helton, criticized this week for moving too slowly on safety issues, said it likely will be more than a year before there are major modifications to race cars. “I would have rather had something two years ago, but I don’t think we’ll have significant changes in the cars by 2002,” he said. Helton said NASCAR already was working on a better race car before Blaise Alexander Jr.’s fatal crash in an ARCA race Thursday. “If you have a series of critical angle impacts that cause basal skull fractures that kill drivers, then something needs to be done,” he said. “That’s what we’re doing, but it’s not an easy fix.” He said the Big Three automakers and the major race teams are working with NASCAR on safety issues. “Everybody agrees that we can massage the front ends of the cars and make them better,” Helton said. “But we need to start from scratch and manage the entire car differently than we do today and create crush areas.”(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(10-7-2001)
    UPDATE: NASCAR President Mike Helton said Saturday that head-and-neck restraints could become mandated if development of those systems continues to progress. “Once we’re sure that there’s not some hidden element, and we haven’t seen yet, it may need to be looked at one day to be mandated,” Helton said specifically of the HANS device. “The development has been elevated and a huge gap closed in that process through input of the drivers. Once we’re certain about it, it’s a different issue.” Helton said the HANS device has been made more comfortable and more adaptable for drivers of different sizes.(That’s Racin’)(10-8-2001)
  • Flag Beef: After Marlin crossed the finish line, his crew ran to him with an American flag, but NASCAR refused to let Marlin take the customary victory lap. He instead drove straight to the winner’s circle, carrying the flag out his window. “I was going to make a lap around the track with the flag, from what went on this morning we just wanted to show support overseas and for the armed forces,” Marlin said. “But the NASCAR posse got us.” NASCAR said it prohibited Marlin from taking the lap because it was unsafe due the amount of people who had raced out to the finish line. The decision disappointed the crew, which sent partial team owner Felix Sabates to express that to NASCAR.(CNN/SI) and from the Gaston Gazette: NASCAR manages to stifle patriotism; AND Felix Sabates, who maintains a minority interest in the team, said NASCAR President Mike Helton later apologized for series officials disrupting their celebration(Racing Extra)(10-8-2001)
  • The ‘Gate’ at Kansas and Lowes UPDATE: many readers noticed the while ‘gate or fence’ Winston Cup Officials held above Jeff Gordon so he couldn’t get on the roof of the car in the winners circle/victory lane. On CNN/SI’s NASCAR Plus, Benny Parsons was asked about the ‘gate’ and said he wasn’t sure why, but that it was probably to keep the driver off the top of the car so a proper insepction could be done. Last year at California, the #12 Team was penalized for having a car that was too low and it was caused by Mayfield jumping on the roof of the car, denting the spot that the inspectors measure. Otherwise have seen nothing official on the reason for the gate(10-2-2001)
    UPDATE: sources have confirmed that NASCAR doesnt want the drivers on the roof tops after the race for saftey and technical reasons(10-3/8-2001)
  • No Changes at Talladega? UPDATE 4 Ford Spoiler change?: NASCAR officials are telling some teams that there will be no rules changes for next month’s Talladega 500, but Ford teams and Pontiac teams say they haven’t been told a thing yet(Winston Salem Journal)(9-22-2001)
    UPDATE: The Winston Cup series will make no “significant” changes to its current aerodynamic package for the season’s final restrictor-plate race, the Oct. 21 race at Talladega. NASCAR sources said Sunday if any changes are made at all, they wouild be minor spoiler or air-dam alterations to the Ford Taurus to make the car more in line in performance with the Pontiacs, Chevrolets and Dodges.(That’s Racin’)(9-24-2001)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials announced that they will be giving Pontiacs a slight aerodynamics break for the Talladega 500 and that they will be “tweaking” the Fords, probably pruning the rear spoiler on both makes. GM’s Doug Duchardt says that it’s time for NASCAR to take all the makes back to the wind tunnel to get some new baseline numbers before ordering any changes. NASCAR hasn’t done a wind tunnel test since March.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-26-2001)
    UPDATE 3: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports that Ford’s spoiler size will be decreased and that the change would help the Pontiacs (??)(9-27-2001)
    UPDATE 4: NASCAR officials do not plan to make a change to the aerodynamic package used at Talladega Superspeedway prior to the Oct. 21 race, but they are giving a break to the Ford teams. The Fords are getting an allowance on the rear spoiler, cutting three-quarters of an inch from each side. This change is designed to help the manufacturer remain competitive with other makes. “[There’s] a possibility of one other small tweak to another make of the same thing,” Nelson said. “We’re waiting on one other piece of data to make that decision.”(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-8-2001)
  • Stewart Presents Check: Back in May, Tony Stewart pledged to donate $100 to charity for every lap he completed when he ran both the Indy 500 and Coca Cola 600, The Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing and Target Chip Ganassi Racing agreed to match Stewart’s total. The charity of Stewart’s choice was the Victory Junction Gang Camp, a planned extension of the original Hole In The Wall Gang Camp founded for kids by Paul Newman. Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 Sprint Dodge and wife Pattie, who created the annual Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America in 1995, plan to build the Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, N.C., in honor of their late son, Adam. Stewart wound up completing all 1,100 miles that day in May, which translated to a total of 600 laps. The magic number for each pledge was $60,000, and with the combined support of Stewart, The Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing and Target Chip Ganassi Racing, the total amount donated to the Victory Junction Gang Camp was $240,000. Nearly five months later at the track where Stewart’s marathon day concluded, the $240,000 check was presented to Brian Collier of the Victory Junction Gang Camp, along with Kyle and Pattie Petty. The 65-acre site in Randleman is currently being logged, with construction slated to start in the summer of 2002. The camp will eventually be comprised of 36 buildings including a medical center, camper cabins, dining hall, pool, arts & crafts, stables, boathouse, gym and theater. (Edelman PR). For additional information on the Victory Junction Gang Camp see my Racing Charities page(10-8-2001)
  • #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 October 29, 2001. For more info and to donate, see the Offical Robert Pressley site(10-8-2001)
  • DW, Newman and Wendy’s UPDATE: Darrell Waltrip and Dave Thomas are back together. DW and Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas are in Charlotte today and tomorrow filming another round of national Wendy’s commercials. Joining them in at least one commercial is NASCAR rising star, Ryan Newman. Look for these new series of commercials to air nationally in a few months. Waltrip and Thomas filmed a set of wildly popular commericals last year too that aired in the Super Bowl and the World Series(6-26-2001)
    UPDATE: Starting this month Wendy’s is running a commercial that features Ryan Newman, Darrell Waltrip and Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas. The commercial is scheduled to run on national television and cable networks specifically during televised NASCAR events. Newman appears in his ALLTEL racing uniform with an actual #02 ALLTEL Ford out of the Penske Racing stables.(Tom Roberts PR)(10-8-2001)
  • Foyt/Hornaday to switch Manufacturers? UPDATE Yep…for Talladega: If there was any question whether the Pontiacs are aerodynamically challenged, it was answered recently at Daytona. The top Grand Prix started 33rd for the Pepsi 400, and two Pontiacs didn’t make the field. Team owner A.J. Foyt can’t take it anymore. “NASCAR’s going to have to do something,” Foyt says. “We can’t go to another superspeedway like this.” And he won’t. Foyt, whose driver Ron Hornaday took provisionals to make the Daytona 500 and the Talladega 500, has threatened to take a Chevrolet to Talladega this fall if changes aren’t made to help the Pontiacs.(Sporting News)(7-16-2001)
    UPDATE: A.J. Foyt will make good on his threat to race a Monte Carlo at Talladega. His team was to test Chevrolets there this week with assistance from Richard Childress Racing. Foyt’s #14 Pontiac, driven by Ron Hornaday, failed to qualify at Daytona and Kansas City and used seven provisionals, including in the last race at Talladega. The team also will bring Pontiacs for comparison but expects to race the Chevrolet in October 21 at Talladega, a restrictor plate race. Monte Carlos have won all three restrictor plate races this season(Sporting News)(10-8-2001)
  • Blaney in the #77? Latest silly season rumors have Dave Blaney moving to the #77, but insiders say he could be trying his hand at Indy cars next season if Bill Davis doesn’t find a sponsor for the #93 team.(Sporting News)(10-8-2001)

 


(10-7-2001)

 

  • Marlin wins at Charlotte: #40-Sterling Marlin won the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowes Motor Speedway. Marlin’s crew met him on the frontstretch after the checkered flag, bringing two large American flags with them. Marlin took one of the flags and drove with it to victory lane. #20-Tony Stewart was 2nd. Points leader #24-Jeff Gordon finished 16th but increaded his points lead to 237 over #28-Ricky Rudd. The last time a Dodge won Charlotte’s fall race was in 1975, when Richard Petty won. See That’s Racin’ for UAW-GM Quality 500 results and for Winston Cup points standings and for a column: Marlin takes a race win on a strange day(10-7-2001)
  • Sad News: Lena Winebarger Bowman, 92-year-old maternal grandmother of Winston Cup driver Dale Jarrett, died Saturday after a period of declining health. Survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Martha Jarrett and Mrs. Revonda Rockett, and a son, Sterling Bowman. The funeral is at 2:00pm/et Monday at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Conover, N.C. Visitation is one hour prior to the service. Memorials may be made to St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 3916 Springs Road, Conover, NC 28613, or Lutheran Nursing Home, 1265 21st St. NE, Hickory, NC 28601.(That’s Racin’)(10-7-2001)
  • Spencer/Leffler UPDATE: during an interview on TNT’s Cup Qaulifying coverage, Jimmy Spencer said his new deal that starts in 2002 is for three-years with his new team (supposedly Chip Ganassi Racing) but he won’t say. Plus from a That’s Racin/AP story: “Jason Leffler then all but confirmed it when he said team owner Chip Ganassi let him go earlier this week. “I was told I was free to start looking for a new ride,” said Leffler, who won his fist career pole last week at Kansas Speedway. “It came as a little bit of a surprise because I have two years left on my contract, but I’ll be OK.” And Spencer said in that his new team was still trying to secure a sponsor for next season(10-4-2001)
    UPDATE: Car owner [#01 and #40] Chip Ganassi is disputing driver Jason Leffler’s account that he told the rookie he was free to look for another job. Ganassi confirmed the two talked this week over concerns Leffler had with his security. The #01 Dodge is losing its sponsorship at the end of the season. “I am continuing to look for a sponsor for that car and for Jason,” Ganassi said. “He came to me and asked about the situation and that’s what I told him. He then asked if he should look for something else and I told him if he found something, I wouldn’t stand in his way.” Leffler apparently interpreted it as he was being let go from Ganassi despite having another two years left on his contract. That fueled the speculation that Jimmy Spencer has left his Haas-Carter Motorsports team to drive for Ganassi. Ganassi declined to address that, saying only he would announce his drivers for next year at the end of the season. Another scenario could be that Ganassi will field a Grand National car next season and put Leffler in that. Ganassi said that wasn’t imminent(That’s Racin’/AP)(10-7-2001)
  • #12 Team to go away? UPDATE: Mike Wallace will replace Mayfield in the #12 Fords for the rest of this season. The future of that car beyond that point is undetermined. It’s possible that Roger Penske’s operation could be a two-car team again next year with Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman and the #12 team’s sponsor, Mobil, as an associate on both cars or sharing primary sponsorship with Alltel on Newman’s Fords(That’s Racin’)(10-5-2001)
    UPDATE: Officials at Penske’s shop say that there will be a No. 12 team next season, despite the loss of Mayfield. For one thing, Mobil’s sponsorship, an $11 million a year deal, has another season to run.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-7-2001)
  • Winston, No Bull 5 plans set for 2002: R.J. Reynolds officials have a news conference scheduled for Tuesday in Charlotte to pair drivers and fans for the next No Bull 5 race at Talladega on Oct. 21 and to announce plans for the No Bull 5 program and The Winston in 2002. The Winston all-star race will return to Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 18, and the same five races will be in the No Bull 5 program next year – Las Vegas in March, Charlotte in May, Daytona in July, Richmond in September and Talladega in October.(That’s Racin’)(10-7-2001)
  • #27 Done? UPDATE 3: hearing the Eel River Racing #27 Pontiac team has closed up shop and will not race anymore in 2001. No word on if it’ll try in 2002. Rick Mast is rumored to the #90 Ford if Hut Stricklin follows the Hill Brothers Coffee sponsorship to a new ride and Sauer/Dukes Mayo could follow
    UPDATE: Rick Mast, who has been driving the #27 Pontiacs owned by Eel River Racing, is also looking for a ride after that team, which failed to qualify for the Protection One 400 at Kansas Speedway over the weekend, suspended operations(That’s Racin’)(10-2-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Eel River Racing, with driver Rick Mast, closed its doors yesterday. The team has struggled this season, missing races and falling to 43rd in the owner’s points. With C.F. Sauer, the former sponsor of Eel River, and Junie Donlavey’s team both located in Richmond, speculation about a pairing between the two has been rampant. Driver Hut Stricklin, sponsor Hills Brothers and adviser Philippe Lopez already announced plans to leave Donlavey’s team at the end of the season. Mast has been rumored to be moving to Donlavey’s team, but the driver said he hasn’t made a decision. He could be driving this weekend, though. Mast is standing by for Dale Jarrett, who was knocked unconscious in a crash last weekend and might be unable to complete the 500-mile race at Lowes(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-3-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Barry Dodson, part-owner and crew chief for Eel River’s defunct #27 team, said Saturday that sponsor C.F. Sauer wants to remain involved in Winston Cup racing but could not stay with the 27 team under conditions presented. The team shut down Tuesday after Sauer, which used its Duke’s Mayonnaise brand on the cars, decided not to continue its support. That leaves hard-luck driver Rick Mast again on the street. Dodson, who won the 1989 championship as crew chief for Rusty Wallace, said he had received some calls about his services but would be careful how he chose(SpeedVision)
    AND The troubled Eel River Racing team has closed its doors — apparently permanently, leaving driver Rick Mast without a ride and the rest of the team scrambling for employment. Barry Dodson, the team’s crew chief, said Saturday the collapse of the team “boils down to a matter of dollars and the way they were spent.”(Greenville News)(10-7-2001)
  • Long to run at Dodge at LMS UPDATE 2 Picks Up a Sponsor and a crew: Carl Long and Mansion Motorsports have announced that they will race a Dodge in this weekend’s UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.. Working with Petty Enterprises R&D,. a new car has been prepaired for the # 85 Team out of Durham, North Carolina.(Mansion Motorsports Site)(10-3-2001)
    UPDATE: Motorsports Designs, the leading manufacturer of racing graphics in NASCAR, signed on at the llth hour on Friday to sponsor rookie Carl Long in his first Cup start of 2001 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The company is located in High Point, NC and has been serving the auto racing industry with vinyl graphics since 1982.(Motorsports Designs PR)(10-6-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Petty Enterprises is providing an engine and Kyle Petty’s [#45] pit crew will service Long’s #85 Dodge(Racing EXtra)(10-7-2001)
  • Kenny in the #15? Waltrip to retire? UPDATE 2: DEI has an announcement set for Friday [Oct 5th] morning. Could it be Kenny Wallace in the 15 car for 2002?(NASCAR.com)(10-4-2001)
    UPDATE: the Oct 3rd issue of the National Speed Sport News print edition reports that “Michael Waltrip is rumored to be considering retirement. Waltrip is said to be in contact with broadcast executives about possible employment that would take him out of the driver’s seat”
    AND FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports the DEI is denying that Waltrip will be leaving the #15 car and that altrip still has a year to go on his two-year deal with DEI
    AND Chevrolet and Dale Earnhardt Inc. have elected to postpone Friday’s media event at Dale Earnhardt Inc. scheduled at 9:00am/et(10-5-2001)
    UPDATE 2: “As of today, he [Michael Waltrip] still has a job for next year,” DEI vice president Ty Norris said. “We have not talked about next year and he has not told us he wants to go into broadcasting, but with him being just 38 years old, I can’t really see retirement being an option.” But Norris said Waltrip has been called in three times this season to talk about on-track performance and gently reminded of the urgency to turn things around. Waltrip has another year left on his contract and the team has one more year on its sponsorship deal with NAPA.(That’s Racin’/APAND Michael Waltrip says he has two more years on his contract with BGN sponsor Aarons [#99 Chevy], but he is unsure whether he’ll drive the car. Many expect Waltrip to move into the TV booth next year(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-7-2001)
  • Speedway Vs Network UPDATE: oh boy…..Officials of Lowe’s (Charlotte) Motor Speedway learned Saturday morning that NBC/TNT, televising networks for this weekend’s NASCAR events, would not refer to the track as “Lowe’s” during its broadcasts, including the Winston Cup qualifying show Thursday night. The announcers Thursday simply said words to the effect, “We’re here in Charlotte.” Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse has a 10-year deal for naming rights to the speedway under an arrangement which began in 1999. The Charlotte track is the only one on the NASCAR circuit with a naming rights agreement. As the conflict escalated, speedway officials pulled tow trucks up to the compound enclosing NBC’s satellite trucks, threatening to pull them off the lot. Officials from the networks and the speedway reportedly met on the seventh floor of Smith Tower, the Speedway’s on-site office complex, in efforts to resolve the situation before the Busch race started. A Speedway spokesman told speedvision.com, “Essentially, what we’ve told them is that we will not permit them to continue the broadcast until they give us assurance the facility will be called by its legal name.” The Busch race started after a 2hr10min and is being aired live by TNT – with the tow trucks still hooked up to the networks’ two satellite trucks. The announcers continue not to call Lowe’s Motor Speedway by name. See full story at SpeedVision(10-6-2001)
    UPDATE: Cooler heads ultimately prevailed in a dispute between Lowe’s Motor Speedway and NBC/TNT that for much of Saturday had tow trucks parked behind the network’s satellite trucks and threatened to cut off broadcasts of this weekend’s races. Since Lowe’s did not buy advertising, TNT announcers referred to Saturday’s Grand National event as “NASCAR Busch Series racing from Charlotte” with no further identification of the track. The announcers are expected to follow the same policy during NBC’s telecast of the UAW-GM 500 this afternoon. Things finally were settled around 7:00pm/et, after track security arrived at the TV compound outside the track’s frontstretch grandstands and threatened to cut cables to two satellite transmission trucks. Track president Humpy Wheeler then met with NBC Sports president Ken Schanzer, who had flown to Charlotte after the dispute broke out. “After meeting with NBC officials, we feel somewhat better about the issue being resolved,” Wheeler said. “Whether it is or not, Sunday’s telecast will run as scheduled.” Wheeler had said earlier that he considered cutting the power to TNT’s telecast of Saturday’s Little Trees 300 and might have done it Sunday if NBC insisted on not referring to the track by its proper name. NASCAR senior vice president George Pyne said the television contract allows networks to elect not to identify a facility by name, but that if a name is used it must be the proper name. That means NBC could not call the track Charlotte Motor Speedway or any other name other than Lowe’s Motor Speedway, but that the contract allows the network not to use any name at all. NBC spokesman Mike McCarley said the network plans to identify Sunday’s race as the UAW-GM Quality 500 from Charlotte. McCarley said the broadcast rights agreement signed by NBC and TNT with NASCAR is specific on such issues and that Lowe’s Motor Speedway knew the policy. Wheeler contends he first learned the track would not be called Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Friday. Upon finding out that was the case Saturday he went to NBC/TNT producer Sam Flood to discuss it. “He said that was it and gave me no reason at all,” Wheeler said. (That’s Racin’)
    AND NBC/TNT Sports and Lowe’s Motor Speedway came to an agreement just prior to the UAW-GM 500 on Sunday that will have the network referring to the track by its proper name.[Lowe’s Motor Speedway](NASCAR.com)(10-7-2001)
  • Firefighters at Lowes – 5,000 heros: A group of 5,000 firefighters will be the guests of Lowe’s Motor Speedway and will lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance during Sunday’s prerace ceremonies. The track’s prerace show will be a tribute to American firefighters and money will be collected during the weekend for a donation to the children of emergency workers lost in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City. Speedway Children’s Charities will coordinate that fund-rasing effort. Lowe’s will donate to the Fireman’s Benevolent Fund $100 for each lap Jimmie Johnson’s car completes in the race and $1,000 for each lap led. Lowe’s employees are also distributing 200,000 “Power of Pride” bumper stickers and banners featuring the American flag at this weekend’s activities(That’s Racin’)
    AND Blaise Alexander was a close friend to many of Shepherd’s Fire Dept. members in Mooresville, NC. To pay tribute to him, they have put on the side of their newest engine, “In Memory of Blaise Alexander”, which will be displayed at the Pre-race Festivities at Lowes Motor Speedway prior to Sunday’s NASCAR Winston Cup race.(10-7-2001)


    (10-6-2001)

  • Sad News – Alexander killed in ARCA race UPDATE 2: Blaise Alexander, 25, died Thursday of severe head injuries sustained in an accident during an ARCA race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. With four laps remaining in the Easy Care 100, Alexander and Kerry Earnhardt collided as Alexander passed Earnhardt for the lead. Just past the start-finish line, the right rear of Alexander’s car made contact with the left front of Earnhardt’s, sending the cars spinning and Alexander head-on into the wall. Earnhardt’s car flipped and skidded upside-down along the frontstretch. Alexander’s car came to rest in the infield grass. When emergency medical technicians arrived, Alexander had no pulse and showed no life signs. He was transferred to the track’s infield care center, where doctors tried to revive Alexander for 25 minutes. They pronounced him dead at 10:20pm/et. ARCA President Ron Drager said Alexander had been wearing the required “horse collar,” a foam device designed to restrict the movement of the driver’s head in an accident. The collar was manufactured by Simpson Performance Products, and there was no apparent failure of the collar. Alexander wasn’t wearing any other head-and-neck restraint system. Kerry Earnhardt was taken to the track’s infield care center but was not injured. He later returned to the facility and found Norris. The two went inside to be with Alexander’s family. Wednesday’s race was called after the accident and Earnhardt declared the winner, having led the last completed lap. Alexander was credited with second.(Full story at That’s Racin’ and more news at the ARCA Racing site)(10-5-2001)
    UPDATE: Preliminary autopsy results show Alexander, 25, of Mooresville, died from a skull fracture similar to those that killed Dale Earnhardt and at least four other NASCAR drivers in the past 17 months. Alexander’s funeral is Tuesday in his hometown of Montoursville, Pa. Plans are being made for a local memorial service.(That’s Racin’) and some good columns: Car owner helped young racer’s career and Blame difficult to pin down, may depend on where you stand
    UPDATE 2: Funeral services for Blaise Alexander, who was killed in a crash during the EasyCare 100 ARCA race Thursday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, have been set for Tuesday, Oct. 9th at 10:30am/et, at Our Lady of Lords Catholic Church in Montoursville, PA. A visitation service will be held from 2:00 – 10:00pm/et, Monday at Spitler Funeral Home in Montoursville. For directions, please call (570) 368-8352. Also, a memorial service will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 10th at 11:00am/et, at Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Charlotte, NC.(NASCAR.com)(10-6-2001)
  • The Alexander family has asked those who wish to make donations in honor of Blaise, should send them to:
    “Make-A-Wish” Foundation of Northeastern Pennsylvania
    c/o 515 Sandhill Road
    Montoursville, PA 17754
  • Humpy Upset: Reacting angrily to Thursday’s racing crash that killed driver Blaise Alexander, Lowe’s Motor Speedway president H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler said he’s “sick” of waiting for safety changes in stock-car racing. “Action has to be taken quickly because this could happen again tomorrow, it could happen Sunday, it could happen next week,” said Wheeler. “It has just got to stop.” Wheeler has unsuccessfully pushed to add energy-absorbing bumpers to stock cars to reduce the impact of violent crashes. “I have lost patience with the people in this industry who are dragging their feet,” he said. “I’m sick of it.” Preliminary autopsy results show Alexander, 25, of Mooresville, died from a skull fracture similar to those that killed Dale Earnhardt and at least four other NASCAR drivers in the past 17 months..(That’s Racin’)(10-6-2001)
  • Lew Comments: Coomets from Paul Lew, President of Lew Composites, maker of the “Humpy Bumper” following the Thursday evening death of ARCA driver Blaise Alexander at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. “I and every one here at Lew Composites send our heart felt sympathy to the Alexander family because we are very passionate about motorsports and we have several engineers here who are personal friends of Blaise. If this (Alexander’s death from a right frontal impact) doesn’t make NASCAR approve the bumper, then they are acting irresponsibly because (the use of the bumper) would greatly swing the driver’s odds of survival in his favor.” See more at Catchfence(10-6-2001)
  • Ward in the #12? or is it Spencer? UPDATE: NASCAR.com Buzz is reporting “if Jimmy Spencer does leave the #26 Ford team at the end of the season as rumored, he could be working out a deal with Chip Gannasi Racing for 2002. If not there, he’s a prime candidate to grab the #12 seat for next season and that if Spencer goes to Ganassi, then Ward Burton may be headed to the #12 [Mobil Ford](NASCAR.com)(10-3-2001)
    UPDATE: been told by sources that Burton has a year left on his contract and is not looking to switch rides for 2002 or leave the #22 CAT team(10-6-2001)
  • Wallace signs with DEI..until Park comes back: Kenny Wallace said he has signed a contract with Dale Earnhardt Inc. to remain as driver of the No. 1 Chevrolets until the team’s regular driver, Steve Park, returns. Park continues to recover from injuries sustained in a wreck in the Grand National race at Darlington last month(That’s Racin’)(10-6-2001)
  • RCR Sues UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing, the owner of the late Dale Earnhardt’s Winston Cup team, has filed suit in federal court accusing a Charlotte-based company of stealing the design of Earnhardt’s former car number and profiting from his Feb. 18 death in a last-lap wreck at the Daytona 500. Barry Baker and Billi Jo McCall Baker and their Heavenly Designs of N.C. Inc. company are named in the lawsuit filed Sept. 13 and reported Friday by Bloomberg News. Earnhardt won six of his seven Winston cup titles while driving for Childress and since 1980 competed in cars bearing a slanted No. 3. The lawsuit accuses the Bakers of selling memorabilia with the number combined with wings and a halo to symbolize Earnhardt’s death. “We’re going to do what we have to do to protect our rights,” Childress said Sunday. “We do have the trademark and the service marks on the stylized 3. We’ll do what we have to do to protect that. We’ve had an unbelievable amount of illegal stuff being made. What we usually do is have a cease-and-desist (order) and that pretty much stops it. We’re just trying to protect what Dale and I have built over the years.” After being told to stop selling the items, the suit contends, the Bakers modified the design and then incorporated Heavenly Designs on July 11 to continue selling items. “As a result of these unlawful activities, defendants have received substantial profits to which they are not entitled, resulting in corresponding losses to RCR,” the lawsuit contends. RCR is seeking a court order recalling infringing items from shelves and blocking future sales, along with any profits, damages and court fees. The racing group also asks that the Bakers be held personally liable for the infringements, saying they set up Heavenly Designs to protect themselves from a lawsuit. No court date has been set to hear the case.(That’s Racin’)(9-23-2001)
    UPDATE: Heavenly Designs of N.C. Inc., owned by Charlotte residents Barry and Billi Jo McCall Baker, claim a “winged” No. 3 decal the business produces and sells does not violate a federal trademark held by Richard Childress, owner of the Winston Cup team of the late Dale Earnhardt. The Bakers filed a response Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Greensboro, N.C., to a lawsuit originally filed Sept. 13 by attorneys for Richard Childress Racing. Company owner Barry Baker said there is no basis to “outlaw” his design, which he says does not use the “slanted” No. 3 trademarked by Childress. Baker said he has always told customers they weren’t buying Dale Earnhardt products, Richard Childress products, or NASCAR products, but those of Heavenly Designs. He said he has operated as an independent souvenir vendor at Winston Cup tracks since 1995.(That’s Racin’)(10-6-2001)


    (10-5-2001)

  • Nemechek to the #26? UPDATE: hearing Joe Nemechek will take over the #26 Kmart Ford ride that Jimmy Spencer is vacating at the end of 2001
    UPDATE: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports that Nemechek will not be back in the #33 APR Chevy in 2002(10-2-2001)
    UPDATE 2: sources tell me that Nemechek agreed to drive the #26 Haas-Carter Motorsports car in 2002(10-3-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Travis Carter is close to signing Joe Nemechek as Jimmy Spencer’s 2002 replacement in the #26 Ford owned by Carter and Carl Haas(Gaston Gazette)(10-5-2001)
  • Sad News: Mickey Stavola, who with brother Billy owned the long-lived Stavola Brothers team which fielded cars for Bobby Allison and others, died over the weekend of a heart attack near his home in New Jersey.(SpeedVision), the Stavola Brothers last fielded the #8 car in 1998 at Atlanta with Morgan Shepherd driving(10-5-2001)
  • Jarrett sore but will race, Mast to stand by: #88-Dale Jarrett, who suffered a concussion, broken rib and multiple bruises in a crash last week at Kansas City, made sufficient laps in practice and qualifying Thursday and tentatively feels fit enough to go the distance in Sunday’s UAW/GM 500 at Lowe’s (Charlotte) Motor Speedway. Pronounced well by a physician and armored in rib protectors, Jarrett qualified 25th and said, “I feel good, like nothing ever happened, really. I’ve got another day of rest, then a pretty easy day Saturday, so I should be all right Sunday.” Jarrett’s main concern, he said, was g-forces in the car at speed, which can re-stir effects of a concussion. “I’ve never been knocked out in my life,” he said, “so I really didn’t know what to expect. Rick Mast, freed when the #27 [Eel River Racing] team suspended operations after Kansas City, will stand by in case Jarrett needs help.(SpeedVision)(10-5-2001)
  • McSwain breaks arm: Michael McSwain, crew chief for Ricky Rudd, broke his left arm Thursday morning while leaving his motorhome in the infield of Lowe’s Motor Speedway. McSwain has a half-cast on his arm and is expected to get a full cast next week.(That’s Racin’)(10-5-2001)
  • Hornaday and Foyt? Ron Hornaday has a letter of intent from A.J. Foyt [Hornaday’s current team, #14 Pontiac], but he has not signed a 2002 contract.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-5-2001)
  • Hut and the #96? #90-Donlavey Racing plans to continue running next season but has not announced sponsorship or driver. Driver Hut Stricklin, team advisor Philippe Lopez and sponsor Hills Brothers are looking for a Charlotte team to work with. They could land with Cal Wells, whose second team ran its last race of the season last week(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-5-2001)


    (10-4-2001)

  • Black Box Update: NASCAR expects most of the cars in Sunday’s field at Charlotte to be carrying crash-recorder boxes, as part of its continuing preparation to mandate the devices on all cars next season. . . . Detroit engineers have long believed that more crash data can be gathered, much faster, in NASCAR than when recorders were instituted in Indy cars in the mid 1990s. Why? Because Cup cars run a lot more laps and crash a lot more often(Orlando Sentinel)(10-4-2001)
  • Silly Season in full swing – Mayfield out of #12 NOW UPDATEs Wallace in: Penske Racing, LLC has released Jeremy Mayfield, effective immediately, from all obligations as a driver for the #12 Mobil 1 Taurus. The team plans to name another driver later this week for the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe.s Motor Speedway.(Williams Company PR)(10-2-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing Mike Wallace could be in the #12 Ford this weekend at Charlotte, after that ??
    UPDATE 2: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports Wallace is trying to get out of his contract with Ultra Motorsports to drive the #12 Ford for the rest of the 2001 season(10-2-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Penske Racing LLC announced today that Mike Wallace will drive the #12 Mobil 1 Taurus for the remainder of the season, beginning with this week.s UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe.s Motor Speedway.(Williams Company)(10-3-2001)
    UPDATE 4: There are hints from inside the Penske camp that Mayfield’s team may simply vanish at the end of the season, its crew being absorbed within the vast Penske camp. Rookie Ryan Newman will be driving the Winston Cup tour full-time for Penske next season(Winston Salem Journal)(10-4-2001)
  • Wallace out of the #7? UPDATE 4 Lepage In: hearing that Mike Wallace and the #7 Ultra Motorsports team may part ways before the race this weekend at Lowes Motor Speedway
    UPDATE: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports Wallace is trying to get out of his contract with Ultra Motorsports to drive the #12 Ford for the rest of the 2001 season(10-2-2001)
    UPDATE 2: could see Jermey Mayfield in the #7 for a race or two, also hearing rumors that Scott Riggs and or Ted Musgrave, Smith’s CTS drivers may get a race or two behind the wheel(10-3-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Mike Wallace may be moving from the #7 Ford into Mayfield’s #12 Ford for Charlotte, which would make him a teammate to brother Rusty. If Wallace does that, then Kevin Lepage could end up in the #7 this weekend(NASCAR.com)
    UPDATE 4: Mayfield could have filled in at the #7 Ultra Motorsports Ford. Mike Wallace was granted his release from the #7 earlier on Wednesday to drive the #12 for the remainder of the season. Now Kevin Lepage will drive for Ultra Motorsports on a race-by-race basis(Sporting News)(10-3-2001)
  • 2nd Morgan McClure team? UPDATE: 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)
  • Record TV Ratings at Kansas: NBC’s coverage of the inaugural Cup race from Kansas Speedway on Sunday generated a 4.7 national rating/11 share, (1:15 p.m.-5:15pm), according to Nielsen Media Research. This represents a 104% increase over last year’s comparable rating and is the highest national rating ever for any auto race in competition with professional football. The previous record rating for an auto race televised at the same time as an NFL game was the 4.5 rating delivered by NBC’s coverage of the MBNA Cal Ripken, Jr. 400 on Sept. 23, 2001 and the DieHard 500 from Talledega, Ala. on CBS on Oct. 12, 1997. Sunday’s rating peaked at a 5.7/12 from 4:30-5:00pm/et as Jeff Gordon took the checkered flag in Cup’s debut at the Kansas Speedway. Last year on the comparable weekend, NASCAR Winston Cup racing produced a 2.3 converted national household rating for the NAPA Autocare 500[Martinsville], which aired on ESPN on Oct. 1, 2000. NBC’s 45-minute NASCAR pre-race show scored an impressive 2.5/7 from 12:30-1:15pm/et.(NBC PR)(10-4-2001)
  • Lowe’s Helps Out: Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse and Richard Childress Racing (RCR) driver Robby Gordon are “Racing For Relief” this weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway to raise funds for the families of the firefighters killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. As part of its “Power of Pride” campaign, Lowe’s will donate to the New York Firefighters’ 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund $100 for every lap Gordon completes and $1,000 for every lap he leads in Sunday’s UAW-GM Quality 500. In conjunction with the donation-per-lap campaign, the #31 Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse Chevrolet will carry special decals including the American Flag and a N.Y. Firefighters’ decal on the #31 Chevrolet.(RCR Racing), the #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy and driver Jimmie Johnson will also run Lowes [his sponsor for 2 more races in 2001 and full-time in 2002] colors and do the same “Power of Pride” campaign(10-4-2001)
  • Earnhardt Tribute in hometown UPDATE: A memorial to racing legend Dale Earnhardt may be in the near future for his hometown. City Council established the Dale Earnhardt Memorial Fund during Monday night’s meeting. The memorial will be located in Village Park. It will feature a statue of Earnhardt and a commemorative wall highlighting the Kannapolis native’s career. Sam Bass, a motorsports artist, will design the wall. City officials hope to raise $700,000 for the memorial. During Monday’s meeting, somecouncil members suggested promoting the fund during race week at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord. Earnhardt grew up in Kannapolis, son of Martha Earnhardt and the late Ralph Earnhardt, an outstanding dirt track track driver. The mayor will head a steering committee which is scheduled to be in place within a week. The committee will oversee the fund-raising effort, select a sculptor for the statue and communicate with the Earnhardt family. Some council members said the Earnhardt family is supportive of the memorial. Contributions can be sent to the City of Kannapolis, c/o the Dale Earnhardt Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 1199, Kannapolis, N.C. 28082-1199. All contributions are tax deductible.(Independent News and Charlotte Observer)(5-16-2001)
    UPDATE: City officials plan to build a memorial that both honors the man who put Kannapolis on the map and provides a place for fans to gather, celebrate and remember the legendary driver. Over the summer, an advisory group selected an Arizona sculptor to create a statue, which will be situated in a 16-acre park downtown. Motorsports artist Sam Bass will design a commemorative wall. City officials estimate the cost at $700,000, which they hope to raise through contributions from Earnhardt’s racing fans. Organizers had planned to launch a festive fundraiser during this weekend’s race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in nearby Concord. But after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, they are toning down efforts. Racing fans will find fliers throughout Kannapolis and at spots around the track, including souvenir trailers.(USA Today), for more info see Dale Earnhardt Tribute Fund Site(10-4-2001)


    (10-3-2001)

  • New Hampshire 300 Update: Been asked a few questions, got some answers about the lineup for the postponed New Hampshire 300 on Nov 23rd. Since the NHIS race was postponed, no qualifying attempts were made. Therefore, teams will obtain another provisional at the 32nd event of the year which will now be Phoenix, rather than Talladega (which would had been the 32nd race before the postponement). And the field for NHIS has been set. Should any team fail to show up at this event, NASCAR will not fill that team’s vacancy. Therefore, a team doesn’t show up (like the #27 that has suspended operations), NASCAR would start the race with less the 43 cars normally run in a Cup race. Any teams that have replaced drivers ( like the #4, #7, #12 and #31 teams) or will replace drivers in the timeframe between now and Nov 23rd, the new driver will start in the car, the field is set on Owners Points NOT Drivers Points, but will have to drop to the rear at the start of the race. For more info on the race at my NHIS Race Info Page and see the New Hampshire 300 Starting Lineup page(10-3-2001)
  • Park back by Daytona 2002: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports that DEI expects driver Steve Park back by Daytona Speedweeks 2002(10-3-2001)
  • Shepherd Announcement: Morgan Shepherd is hoping to make an announcement [soon] about his Cup team going to Martinsville(NASCAR.com)(10-4-2001)
  • Melling scheme at Lowes: Melling Racing’s #Dodge will carry the familiar colors of Conwood Sales Company’s Levi Garrett brand in the upcoming Cup races at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and Talladega (Oct. 21). Driver Stacy Compton will be the first to pilot the gold, brown and white Levi Garrett colors since 1990. “The paint scheme sure conjures up some memories,” said Compton. .”It’s painted very similar to the Levi Garrett car that Geoffrey Bodine won the Daytona 500 with in 1986. .There were days when you would see that Levi Garrett car up front every week, and Charlotte and Talladega are certainly places where we feel we can bring it back.” After concluding Levi Garrett’s title sponsorship, Conwood Sales Company remained active in the Winston Cup Series with its Kodiak brand. Kodiak has sponsored Melling Racing since 2000. Conwood’s era of NASCAR sponsorship will come to a close at the end of the 2001 season. Melling Racing is currently searching for primary sponsorship for the 2002 Winston Cup Series season(Melling Racing PR)(10-3-2001)
  • The ‘Gate’ at Kansas UPDATE: many readers noticed the while ‘gate or fence’ Winston Cup Officials held above Jeff Gordon so he couldn’t get on the roof of the car in the winners circle/victory lane. On CNN/SI’s NASCAR Plus, Benny Parsons was asked about the ‘gate’ and said he wasn’t sure why, but that it was probably to keep the driver off the top of the car so a proper insepction could be done. Last year at California, the #12 Team was penalized for having a car that was too low and it was caused by Mayfield jumping on the roof of the car, denting the spot that the inspectors measure. Otherwise have seen nothing official on the reason for the gate(10-2-2001)
    UPDATE: sources have confirmed that NASCAR doesnt want the drivers on the roof tops after the race for saftey and technical reasons(10-3-2001)
  • #27 Done? UPDATE yes, Mast to stand by for Jarrett: hearing the Eel River Racing #27 Pontiac team has closed up shop and will not race anymore in 2001. No word on if it’ll try in 2002. Rick Mast is rumored to the #90 Ford if Hut Stricklin follows the Hill Brothers Coffee sponsorship to a new ride and Sauer/Dukes Mayo could follow
    UPDATE: Rick Mast, who has been driving the #27 Pontiacs owned by Eel River Racing, is also looking for a ride after that team, which failed to qualify for the Protection One 400 at Kansas Speedway over the weekend, suspended operations(That’s Racin’)(10-2-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Eel River Racing, with driver Rick Mast, closed its doors yesterday. The team has struggled this season, missing races and falling to 43rd in the owner’s points. With C.F. Sauer, the former sponsor of Eel River, and Junie Donlavey’s team both located in Richmond, speculation about a pairing between the two has been rampant. Driver Hut Stricklin, sponsor Hills Brothers and adviser Philippe Lopez already announced plans to leave Donlavey’s team at the end of the season. Mast has been rumored to be moving to Donlavey’s team, but the driver said he hasn’t made a decision. He could be driving this weekend, though. Mast is standing by for Dale Jarrett, who was knocked unconscious in a crash last weekend and might be unable to complete the 500-mile race at Lowes(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-3-2001)
  • Bodine to Honor Victims: Two entries in this weekend’s events at Lowe’s Motor Speedway will display the website address for The New York Police & Fire Widows’ & Children’s Benefit Fund. The #11 Ralphs/Wells Fargo Financial Ford, owned and driven Brett Bodine, and the #6 Ford, owned by Brett Bodine Racing and driven by Brett’s nephew, Josh Richeson, in this weekend’s BGN race, will both carry the website address for this non-profit organization for the families of fallen New York City firefighters and police officers. The Fund provides funding at the time of a death to assist with immediate expenses. In addition, the benefit fund distributes an annual check to each of the surviving families. “This is such a tragedy! With so many of us here at BBR, myself included, being from the New York area, this hit close to home. I think all of us want to do something to help and this is a great way to contribute. Hopefully, the Fund will get extra attention by being on our cars. I urge everyone to consider making a donation,” said Bodine. The web address: www.nypfwc.org.(BBR PR)(10-3-2001)
  • Stewarts Helmet and Suit: Tony Stewart, along with Jason Beam of Beam Designs (Tony’s helmet designer), recently collaborated to come up with something they could do to help raise money for all those affected by the tragedies that occurred September 11th, 2001. The result of their effort is the new “Stars & Stripes” themed helmet and drivers suit which Stewart wore at Dover and was auctioned on eBay. The “Auction for America” items have closed and raised: $8,601.00 for the Dover race-day uniform and $10,100.00 for the “Stars & Stripes” helmet. Thanks(10-3-2001)
  • Trickle to help out Marcis at Martinsville: Dave Marcis contacted Dick Trickle last week to see if he’d possibly be able to practice and qualify his #71 Realtree Chevy at Martinsville Speedway the weekend of October 12-14, 2001. Marcis has a previous engagement planned for Friday, but will be able to drive the car in the race on Sunday. Trickle agreed to help Marcis out and was up to his race shop near Ashville, NC last week to make sure the seat and pedals would fit him. Martinsville hasn’t been one of Trickle’s best qualifying tracks, but he’s always raced well there. Marcis felt they’d make the race on points if not on time(Dick Trickle Fan Club Newsletter)(10-3-2001)
  • NASCAR, NHRA and the Army: The United States Army Top Fuel drag racing program is going NASCAR, it was announced today. With its 6,000-horsepower Top Fuel (show car) dragster, an interactive display and a group of recruiters in tow, the United States Army will be a visible element at NASCAR Winston Cup Series tracks the rest of the season. Beginning with last weekend’s race at Kansas Speedway through the race at Atlanta in November, the Army will set up a 50×75 interactive area and four additional 10×10 areas at all of the race venues, primarily, for recruiting purposes. Additionally, the U.S. Army Top Fuel (show car) dragster will be on display each weekend and is scheduled to be started at most of the tracks prior to the Winston Cup race. The U.S. Army has been the primary advertiser on Schumacher’s Top Fuel dragster since the 2000 U.S. Nationals last September(Kermish-Geylin PR)(10-3-2001)


    (10-2-2001)

  • Cup car stolen UPDATE 3 Petty and Yates? new Petty engine supplier: At sometime over the past weekend someone stole an official Winston Cup race car from a race team’s parking lot. Investigators are not saying which team owns the car. But they are saying the car is worth $200,000. Investigators say it was locked inside a white trailer when someone pulled up, hooked it up and drove off. The team is expected to announce the theft soon, ask for help finding it, and offer a very substantial reward to get it back.(NBC6.com)(9-28-2001)
    UPDATE: quite a twist from NASCAR.com’s Buzz – The Buzz has learned that the car was stolen from the property of Robert Yates Racing. It wasn’t a Yates car, though, but a dyno chassis car owned by Petty Enterprises. So, what was a Petty car doing at Yates? Well, the two teams may be making some sort of announcement in the next couple of weeks regarding either a joint venture or new ownership of an existing division of Yates. The current ownership of all race teams for both teams will remain the same.(NASCAR.com)(9-29-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hearing that Yates is helping Petty design heads and is looking at supplying Dodge engines to Pettty next year
    UPDATE 3: Petty Enterprises will get engines for its 2002 Winston Cup teams (#’s 43,44,45) from a company being spun off of Robert Yates’ engine manufacturing business. Mike Ege, general manager and chief engine builder at Robert Yates Engine Manufacturing, has acquired that company and will rename it Mike Ege Racing Engines. That company will supply engines to the three Petty Enterprises Cup teams beginning next season. Ford teams (#’s 7, 11, 26, 32, 66, 90) that had been getting their engines from the subsidiary operation Ege was leading for Yates will start getting their motors directly from Robert Yates Racing, Inc., which also builds the engines for the two Yates-owned Cup teams of drivers Dale Jarrett and Ricky Rudd(That’s Racin’)(10-2-2001)
  • Martinsville Testing: #29-Kevin Harvick, #55-Bobby Hamilton, #5-Terry Labonte, #36-Ken Schrader, #32-Ricky Craven, #13-Hermie Sadler, #2-Rusty Wallace and #20-Tony Stewart were at Martinsville Speedway on Tuesday trying to get their cars dialed in for the Old Dominion 500. All but Wallace and Harvick will be back today for another day of testing, which will be open to the public at no charge. The eight teams worked on race setup Tuesday and because of that, times were well off of Tony Stewart’s track record of 95.371mph set last fall. All teams reported times in the neighborhood of 91.900 to 92.370mph. Wednesday will be spent working on going fast instead of stopping quick.All the teams that are returning plan on spending a good portion of Wednesday dialing in qualifying setups, the speeds:
    #55-Bobby Hamilton, 93.326mph
    #36-Ken Schrader, 91.922
    #2-Rusty Wallace, 91.922
    #32-Ricky Craven, 91.922
    #29-Kevin Harvick, 91.700
    #13-Hermie Sadler, 91.567
    #5-Terry Labonte, 91.039(Martinsville Speedway PR)(10-2-2001)
  • Lepage and Morgan-McClure part ways UPDATE 4 Hamilton Jr in for 7 races – Skinner signs for 3 years: Morgan-McClure Motorsports and Kevin Lepage have agreed to terminate their relationship for the remainder of the 2001 Cup season, effective immediately. Larry McClure states he feels the team needs to explore all avenues in preparation for the 2002 season. McClure enjoyed working with Kevin Lepage and his wife, Donna. Morgan-McClure wishes them the best in the future.(M-M PR), no word on who will drive at Lowes this week, but one report has Bobby Hamilton Jr
    AND FSN’s Totally NASCAR reported that Hamilton Jr will be the driver for the remainder of the season with the exception of Martinsville
    UPDATE: Morgan-McClure Motorsports announces Bobby Hamilton, Jr., as the driver for the upcoming UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte. Hamilton, Jr., who drives the #26 Carroll Racing BGN entry on a full time basis, will step into the #4 KODAK MAX Film Monte Carlo for the remainder of the 2001 season, with the exception of Martinsville. Hamilton, Jr., who became familiar with the Abingdon-based team while his father served as the driver from 1998-2000, has three Winston Cup Series starts this season at Charlotte, Dover and Michigan. The starts came in the #33 as a result of an injured Joe Nemechek. While continuing his driving duties in the BGN, Hamilton, Jr., will concentrate on working with Morgan-McClure in the Cup Series. He hopes to gain seat time and experience, not only in Cup, but in gaining knowledge to help in his BGN efforts as well(Morgan-McClure PR)(10-1-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hearing Rich Bickle could be the driver for the Martinsville race(10-2-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Along with Skinner, former driver of the No. 31 Richard Childress-owned Chevrolet, taking over behind the wheel for M-M, 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).(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 4: Morgan-McClure Motorsports has signed Mike Skinner to a three-year deal that will put him behind the wheel of the #4 Chevy starting in 2002. Skinner is scheduled to undergo knee surgery in Florida on Wednesday morning. He delayed the surgery a day, he said, in order to participate in a teleconference to make the announcement. He said he anticipated being ready for pre-season testing in January at Daytona.(NASCAR.com)(10-2-2001)
  • Rusty to be penalized? UPDATE: NASCAR is expected to issue a penalty against Wallace by Tuesday for his bump and spin of Rudd during last weekend’s race at Dover, Del. Rudd was the race leader at the time. Sources said the penalty is being issued for Wallace’s “unrepentant” attitude following the incident. Rudd and Wallace got into a mostly verbal confrontation in the garage area after the race. The two sat down with NASCAR officials for a private conversation this weekend about the matter.(That’s Racin’)(9-30-2001)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has opted not to penalize Rusty Wallace for his involvement in a late-race wreck with Ricky Rudd at Dover .Wallace was expected to be assessed a fine this week for his bump and spin of Rudd, then the race leader, in the Sept. 23 race at Dover. Rudd was attempting to put Wallace a lap down at the time of the incident. The two got into a physical confrontation in the garage area following the race. Sources confirmed Wednesday NASCAR has decided not to penalize Wallace following his speeding penalty during last Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway(That’s Racin’)(10-2-2001)
  • New Pit Crew Competion Rules UPDATE: NASCAR officials announced during Sunday’s driver and crew chief meeting that the entry rules will be changed for this season’s pit crew competition scheduled for Nov. 3 at North Carolina Speedway at Rockingham. Previously, any team that wished to participate could enter. Beginning this season, only those teams in the top 25 of car owner points will be eligible. The points used will be those from the previous race weekend, in this case following the Oct. 28 race at Phoenix(That’s Racin’)(10-1-2001)

    UPDATE: The National Association of Pit Crew Members (NAPCM) disagrees with NASCAR’s decision to change the rules governing November 3rd’s Pit Crew Challenge in Rockingham, N.C. The Pit Crew Challenge is about the NASCAR Winston Cup Pit Crews getting to compete against each other to decide who is the best. Owner points have no bearing on this. As anyone knows, owner points depend on many variables. What NASCAR is doing is penalizing half of the crews by not allowing them to participate in the event that they look forward to all season.(NAPCM PR/site)(10-2-2001)

  • New Pontiac? NASCAR officials have begun studying Pontiac’s plans for a new Winston Cup model for the 2003 season(Winston Salem Journal)(6-3-2001)
    UPDATE: – Pontiac Gone? Might General Motors consider dropping the Pontiac brand from Winston Cup racing? A new model is expected for the 2003 season, but will GM invest in the redesign of its Grand Prix for NASCAR? Just an ugly rumor that it won’t, said Terry Laise, General Motors competition and aerodynamics manager. “But anything is possible.”(Sporting News)(6-18-2001)
    UPDATE 2: during the Cup at Kansas, NBC mentioned that Joe Gibbs Racing had tested a new 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix in a wind tunnel and expects to present it to NASCAR for approval in mid 2002. Also have heard rumors that Pontiac would switch from a Grand Prix to their Bonneville model(10-2-2001)


    (10-1-2001)

  • Spencer on the Move? UPDATE 2 Spencer leaving: Dodge is making a run at Jimmy Spencer, who could be moving from Travis Carter’s #26 team to Chip Ganassi’s next season, according to sources close to the situation(Winston Salem Journal)(9-29-2001)
    UPDATE: Car owner [#26 and #66] Travis Carter says Jimmy Spencer has told him he won’t be back next season, after five years together, a move that caught Carter by surprise and that has him scrambling for a new driver as teammate with Todd Bodine next season. “Jimmy just told me he’s going to drive for somebody else next season,” Carter said yesterday. “But I intend on having two teams again next season. So now I need a new driver.” Spencer’s apparently will move to Chip Ganassi’s operation [#01 and #40] as teammate to Sterling Marlin(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND Jimmy Spencer says this is his last season in the #26 Ford. Those moves will launch discussions about other drivers — Joe Nemechek, Jeremy Mayfield, Kevin Lepage and Hut Stricklin among them(Sporting News)(10-1-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Although there is no official word, Spencer has been rumored to be interested in either the #12 Ford currently driven by Jeremy Mayfield or the #33 Chevrolet piloted by Joe Nemechek(NASCAR.com)(10-1-2001)
  • Jarrett in the Hospital UPDATE released Sunday: Dale Jarrett was listed in fair condition at Kansas University Medical Center following a hard crash on Lap 247 of Sunday’s Protection One 400 at Kansas Speedway. Jarrett was airlifted to the hospital and was awake and alert when transported. He briefly lost consciousness in his car. He also complained of pain in his right arm. Jarrett was scheduled to receive a CT scan late Sunday and the track was awaiting word of the results.(9-30-2001)
    UPDATE: Winston Cup driver Dale Jarrett was released after he was examined at Kansas University Medical Center following a hard crash on Lap 247 of Sunday’s Protection One 400 at Kansas Speedway. Jarrett was airlifted to the hospital and was awake and alert when transported. He briefly lost consciousness in his car. He also complained of pain in his right arm. Jarrett received a CT scan Sunday evening and was released. He was expected to rerturn to his home in North Carolina.(That’s Racin’)(10-1-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Dale Jarrett has been released from KU Med Center and will return to his home in Hickory, N.C. He sustained a concussion and a left chest contusion.(Kansas Speedway PR)
    AND ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night reports that Jarrett will not miss any time this weekend at Charlotte/Lowe’s Motor Speedway and Jarrett will be in the car there(10-1-2001)
  • Interesting and heartwarming Story UPDATE III: A chance meeting with a fallen hero by Marty Smith of NASCAR.com(9-20-2001)
    UPDATE on the story: story at That’s Racin’ via the Kansas City Star – Pilot’s son to fulfill NASCAR wishA Brief Review: How do you tell the wife of one of the pilots who perished in the terrorist hijackings that only a day earlier you and he had become fast friends, bonded by family stories, a love for NASCAR and a crazy devotion to Jeff Gordon?(9-25-2001)
    UPDATE II: On Sunday, something truly heartwarming will happen. Matt Dahl, the son of the captain of Flight 93, will meet his hero — Jeff Gordon. See full story at NASCAR.com: A renewed faith in the human race by Marty Smith(9-27-2001)
    UPDATE III: and the followup – Lessons learned from an atypical 15-year-old by Marty Smith, about Matt Dahl meeting the drivers and much more(10-1-2001)
  • #29 Stays, New Colors, #3 Retired? UPDATE 2: Richard Childress Racing will unveil the 2002 paint scheme for the #29 Chevrolets driven by rookie Kevin Harvick, but there will be no change in the team’s number. The news conference is scheduled for 10:00am/et on Sunday at Kansas Speedway, site of Sunday’s inaugural Protection One 400. Sources said the car’s general design will remain the same, but there will be some color changes. Also, owner Richard Childress is expected to reveal his intentions to seek the retirement of the #3 – the number used by that team when Dale Earnhardt was its driver. Earnhardt, who won six of his seven Winston Cup championships with Childress, was killed in a last-lap wreck at the season opening Daytona 500. Harvick has driven for Earnhardt’s former team with the #29 and a predominantly white color scheme on the car since the February race at Rockingham(That’s Racin’). JAYSKI NOTE: hearing the car will feature a red scheme(9-29-2001)
    UPDATE: In a pre-race press conference from the Fan Walk inside Kansas Speedway, Richard Childress announced this morning the #29 of Kevin Harvick will carry some familiar colors for 2002. The Monte Carlo unveiled combined the familiar black with a new gray scheme giving the car a touch of the old, with a dash of the new. The announcement was greeted by applause from the fans in attendance. Richard Childress Racing will field the #’s 29, 30, and 31 Winston Cup cars for Kevin Harvick, Jeff Green, and supposedly Robby Gordon.(Frontstretch). So much for the red rumor(9-30-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Richard Childress, owner of the No. 29 Chevrolets driven by Kevin Harvick, said Sunday he is trying to persuade NASCAR to retire the No. 3 made famous by the late Dale Earnhardt. “The numbers belong to NASCAR and it’s not their policy to retire numbers,” Childress said. “But we’re talking to them heavily about retiring the number 3. If not, we have some plans for the No. 3 that we have registered and stylized that Dale Earnhardt made so famous.” Childress said he expects NASCAR’s decision by the end of the season.(That’s Racin’). See images of the car at my Paint Schemes Gallery for more images (and the new 2002 Cup page there)(10-1-2001)
  • Kansas TV: NBC’s coverage of the inaugural NASCAR Winston Cup Kansas 400 on Sunday generated a 4.0 overnight rating/8 share, (1:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.), according to Nielsen Media Research. This represents a 74% increase over last year’s 2.3 converted national household rating for the NAPA Autocare 500, which aired on ESPN on the comparable weekend (10/1/00). NBC’s 45-minute NASCAR pre-race show also scored an impressive 2.8 overnight rating, 7 share (12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.). National ratings are expected Thursday.(NBC PR)(10-1-2001)
  • NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway’s back: The NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway Racing Center at Katy Mills Mall (Houston, TX) is back on track. On Sept. 4, a group of private investors reopened the shuttered store formerly owned by Silicon Entertainment Inc. The new owner, Indianapolis-based Perfect Line, also reopened stores in Nashville, Charlotte and six other locations nationally. Mace Hirt, general manager of Katy Mills Mall, says the store is one of the most popular attractions in the mall. “A lot of people come to the mall just for that store,” says Hirt. “It’s a unique store because it’s rare to find anything like it in the city, so it does very well.” The Katy Mills store features NASCAR simulators mounted on a specially developed hydraulic platform with 3-D screens displaying the driver’s performance from a computer-generated race. The store also sells official NASCAR merchandise and speedway clothing. Perfect Line is currently re-negotiating contracts with several NASCAR drivers as sponsors.(Houston Business Journal)(10-1-2001)
  • Some more driver rumors UPDATE 3 Skinner signed – Tuesday announcement?: Mike Skinner to the #77 Jasper Engines Ford with current driver, Robert Pressley possibly headed to the #4 Morgan McClure Kodak Chevy. Skinner is also rumored to the #4 team and the #33 Andy Petree Racing team if a sponsor is found(9-18-2001)
    UPDATE: and also hearing Robert Pressley as a stong candidate to the #4 Kodak Chevy for 2002 as well as Skinner(9-23-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Larry McClure hopes to be able to strike a deal with [Mike] Skinner that will put the veteran behind the wheel of his Chevrolets in 2002. “That’s fair,” McClure said Sept. 21 when asked if Skinner was his leading candidate. “We’d like to get something done here directly. (But) if you’ve got a deal done, it would take you two weeks to get it all done.”(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(9-27-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Mike Skinner signed last week with car owner Larry McClure, according to team sources. Skinner is scheduled for reconstructive surgery on his left knee Wednesday, and his recovery could take three months.(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND Larry McClure is putting Mike Skinner in the #4 Chevrolet next season. The announcement will come Tuesday because Skinner is having surgery on his left ankle [actaully knee not ankle] Wednesday(Sporting News)(10-1-2001)
  • Black Boxes at Dover, Kansas, Lowes UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials were uncertain whether drivers would be using black boxes this weekend. Last week, the boxes were in the cars of Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Jeremy Mayfield, Kenny Wallace and Sterling Marlin. Mayfield’s was not set up to record crash data, but NASCAR officials will study information from Labonte’s. Next week at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, a total of 25-30 Busch Grand National and Winston Cup teams are expected to be running with the devices. The boxes will be mandatory for teams next season.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(9-28-2001)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Winston Cup director Gary Nelson said the sanctioning body’s first use of data recorders, in three divisions last weekend at Dover Downs International Speedway, was a successful first step toward comprehensively using the devices in its three national touring series in the 2002 season. Nelson said the recorders did fine in acquiring data, including readings from the car of defending Winston Cup champion Bobby Labonte, which was involved in a crash early in the 400-lap race. Nelson declined to elaborate on what was found on Labonte’s recorder, though he did say “we got data from that.” The devices were used in the Busch North Series, cars of race winner Dale Shaw and Tom Carey Jr.; the Busch Series machines of Jimmie Johnson and Jason Keller; and the Cup cars of Labonte and Jeff Gordon. Nelson said the devices would not be used at Kansas Speedway this weekend. He did say he was looking at using them in an upcoming Craftsman Truck Series race, possibly Oct. 5 at Texas Motor Speedway. (NASCAR.com)(9-29-2001)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said Sunday the sanctioning body is expecting to test several more “black boxes,” or accident-data recorders, during next weekend’s Grand National and Winston Cup races at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(That’s Racin’)(10-1-2001)
  • No Word on #31 Driver until Atlanta? UPDATE Next Week? Car owner Richard Childress said he hoped to have a decision on the future of the # 31 car by the Atlanta race in November. There was some media speculation that Sunday’s announcement would involve Robby Gordon, filling in for injured Mike Skinner in the Lowe’s Chevrolet. Skinner is to have knee surgery Wednesday.(That’s Racin’/AP)(9-30-2001)
    UPDATE: Robby Gordon is expected to be announced this week as Richard Childress’ newest driver, taking Skinner’s spot next season in the #31 Chevy(Winston Salem Journal)(10-1-2001)
  • Stewart and Goodyear: Tony Stewart may be in trouble both with Goodyear and his sponsor Home Depot for his latest controversy – post-race comments at Dover critical of Goodyear’s tires. Stewart is not alone in complaining but he has been the most vocal, and now there are indications Goodyear may be ready to pull its tire sponsorship of Stewart and Joe Gibbs’ second team too, with driver Bobby Labonte. “That’s between us and them, and it’s nobody’s business,” Goodyear’s Greg Stucker said. A Goodyear sponsorship is worth over $600,000 a year. Goodyear is the only tire company NASCAR allows to sell tires to Winston Cup teams. Goodyear’s exclusive position in the sport keeps most drivers and teams from criticizing tires, no matter how angry they might be. NASCAR’s Bill France, after discussions with executives of Home Depot, a significant NASCAR sponsor as well as primary sponsor of the Joe Gibbs-Tony Stewart team, overruled plans to levy a hefty penalty on Stewart for an angry post-race encounter with NASCAR officials at Daytona in July after being blackflagged for going below the no-passing line, according to sources close to the situation. A three-race suspension and significant fine, perhaps $100,000, had been proposed. NASCAR wound up fining Stewart $10,000 and extended an earlier probation to Dec. 31.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-1-2001)