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October 2002 News Archives


 

  • (10-31-2002)

  • Ford Credit Re-Ups with the #88: Ford Credit has agreed to terms with Robert Yates Racing on a one-year associate sponsorship package involving Dale Jarrett and the #88 Robert Yates Racing Ford Taurus beginning in 2003, as announced today by Phil Gordon, Motorsports Marketing Manager. Co-sponsor of the #88 Ford in NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition from 1996-2000 and associate sponsor since 2001, Ford Credit is a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company and the world’s largest provider of automotive finance. It serves more than 10 million customers in 40 countries. During its association with Robert Yates Racing, Ford Credit has donated over $630,000 to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation based on Dale Jarrett’s race finishes and pole qualifying. Two years ago, Ford Credit added an initiative called Race Fans for a Cure, where fans may make donations to the Komen Foundation at select races and events. Race Fans for a Cure has raised over $230,000 — often a dollar at a time — for the Komen Foundation since 2000.(Ford PR)(10-31-2002)
  • Guaranteed Return On Investment: This is a statement hardly ever used in a motorsports sponsorship proposal. Just like everyone else America’s Most Wanted Motorsports is searching for a sponsor, but they have a different approach than any other team out there. They are offering a guaranteed media exposure/cause-marketing package. America’s Most Wanted Motorsports is offering an estimated ($2.5 Million plus) return in media exposure. That’s in addition to the exposure they will receive on the racetrack. Their package includes in show content on America’s Most Wanted, endorsements from John Walsh, 26 weeks of televised advertising, content placement on three major websites, in show content on two major sports shows and most important, assisting Missing Children. If any corporation has ever shown interest in sponsoring a team in Winston Cup or BGN, now is your chance with very little or no risk. For more info visit www.bodydynamicsracing.com.(10-31-2002)
  • Been asked – What are jacking bolts? thanks to Scott of Body Dynamics for an answer: A Jack Bolt (jack Screw)(Screw jack) is positioned at all four corners of the car on top of the springs. They are used to compress and release compression on the springs to adjust and fine tune the suspension setup of the car. They are also used to position the ride heights of the car. When you remove the springs you car turn the Jack bolt back to the original position which is usually done by counting the rounds or turns of the bolt then adjust from there. Also they are a quick alternative to replaces springs quickly.(10-31-2002)
  • Martin Tops Homestead Test: #6-Mark Martin posted the fastest lap as a two-day test session wound up Wednesday at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a lap of 149.089mph. Second among the seven Winston Cup cars testing was #40-Jamie McMurray at 147.945. Scott Wimmer was the faster of the two BGN drivers testing at 146.381.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter) and
    #6-Mark Martin, 149.089
    #40-Jamie McMurray, 147.945
    #45-Kyle Petty, 145.592
    #23-Kenny Wallace, 145.513
    #21-Elliott Sadler, 145.474
    #88-Dale Jarrett, 144.811
    #43-Kyle Petty, 144.115
    #09-Geoffrey Bodine, 142.593
    BGN
    #23-Scott Wimmer, 146.381
    #92-Todd Bodine, 143.847 (HMS site)(10-31-2002)
  • No more DiscoverCard? UPDATE Bodine with new team? hearing that DiscoverCard will not be back as the #26 Haas-Carter Motorsports sponsor in 2003.(10-30-2002)
    UPDATE: Todd Bodine may join a Winston Cup start-up team for next season. Bodine has been scrambling to put his 2003 season together after learning three weeks ago his Winston Cup team’s [Haas Carter Motorsports #26] sponsor, DiscoverCard, will not be back next season. Bodine said a new, well-funded Winston Cup team approached him to be its driver for 2003. He wouldn’t say who the owners are behind the team. “There is a good possibility I’ll be driving for them,” Bodine said Wednesday from his home in North Carolina. “We’re in negotiations; we could agree on a contract by this weekend.” Bodine had hoped to continue to drive the #26 Ford for Haas Carter Motorsports in 2003. That changed when Discover Card agreed not to exercise its option. Bodine said Discover hasn’t made a formal announcement, but he said Discover has told the team it won’t be back as a sponsor. Bodine said that Discover’s decision, made before the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway earlier this month, was based on advertising budget cuts. Travis Carter is pursuing new sponsors and other racing options, but Bodine said the team’s Winston Cup future is uncertain. “I really wanted to stay with Haas Carter,” Bodine said. “This new team is a real deal and not a fly-by-night operation. It’s unfortunate for me because I’ll be starting all over again. It’s tough to establish any consistency when you’re new.” Bodine rejoined the Herzog Jackson Motorsports #92 BGN team on Tuesday and immediately began a two-day test session at Homestead, FL. Bodine left that team following the event at Kansas Speedway on Sept. 28 to concentrate on his Winston Cup effort with Haas Carter, thinking Discover Card would be back. In renewing his ties with Herzog Jackson Motorsports this week, Bodine is keeping his options open with that team for 2003. He’ll compete in the #92 Excedrin QuickTabs Chevy for the remaining three races of the 2002 Busch Series season, beginning this weekend with the Sam’s Club 200 at Rockingham. “There are really not a whole lot of options out there,” said Bodine, who said that Herzog Jackson is still trying to sign a sponsor for next year. Excedrin, the team’s current sponsor, announced earlier this season that it will not return in 2003. Herzog Jackson was also keen on entering Winston Cup and wanted Bodine to be a part of it. The team had planned to put Bodine in a few Winston Cup races this year before he returned to Haas Carter full time in June. Bodine said if he signs with the new Winston Cup team, he probably won’t continue in the BGN next year.(Star Gazette), no word on which ‘New’ team it is(10-31-2002)
  • More on Atwood: A spokesperson for Casey Atwood yesterday denied a flurry of Internet and TV reports that the young racer from Nashville has been fired as the driver of the No. 7 Dodge co-owned by Ray Evernham. ”None of that was true,” said Ultra/Evernham Motorsports spokesperson Amy Hunerberg. ”Casey has not been fired, re-hired and fired again.” So even though the swirl of rumors has so far been unfounded, all indications are that it’s unlikely that Atwood will remain with Ultra/Evernham Motorsports. Hunerberg said yesterday that, ”as we speak,” Atwood is scheduled to drive the car in Sunday’s race at Rockingham, N.C. Attempts to contact Atwood have been unsuccessful. His father, Terry, yesterday said: ”Ray told him he’s still in the car.” Adding to the complexity of the issue is the fact that Jim Smith, the car’s other co-owner, is mired in legal problems in California. He’s fighting charges of illegally dumping unapproved waste material at his manufacturing plant. Atwood canceled his usual weekly teleconference with media on Tuesday, fanning rumors that had already been swirling. Earlier, Hank Parker Jr. was selected by Evernham to drive a ”research and development” car in this Sunday’s race in what is widely considered to be an audition for Atwood’s job. Kevin Le-page, who recently left Brewco Motorsports, is also reported to be in contention for the ride. If Atwood is fired, there could be a breach-of-contact issue. He has one year remaining on a three-year contact he signed with Evernham. Atwood was not consulted when Evernham added Smith as a partner and demoted Atwood to the #7 car. ”It’s been a mess,” Terry Atwood said. Casey Atwood has talked to Brewco Motorsports owner Clarence Brewer about returning to the Busch Series team for which he once drove. Atwood said he would like to run Busch races ”on a limited schedule” but hopes to remain in Winston Cup full-time.(Tennessean)(10-31-2002)
  • Petty Jet Makes Emergency Landing UPDATE 2: Petty’s corporate jet makes emergency landing: A corporate jet reportedly owned by Petty Enterprises and carrying race car driver Christian Fittipaldi has made an emergency landing at Sky Harbor International Airport.(AZ Family)(10-30-2002)
    UPDATE: the Petty plane that made an emergency landing did so safely and with no injuries, info suggests that they blew a tire on takeoff, and after dumping fuel made a safe landing with minor damage to the wheel hub. Nobody was hurt.(Petty Enterprises source)
    UPDATE 2: A private plane carrying members of Petty Racing made a successful emergency landing.Wednesday evening at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, AZ. No injuries were reported. The team had just completed two days of testing at Phoenix International Raceway with driver Christian Fittipaldi, Fittipaldi was not on the plane.(Williams Company PR)(10-31-2002)
  • Go Cart Accident at Charity Event: A charity go-cart race among Valley mayors at Phoenix International Raceway went awry Wednesday when Litchfield Park Mayor Woody Thomas’ go-cart overturned, leaving him with a gash in his head and knocking him unconscious. Thomas, 48, was flown to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, but firefighters on the scene said he was talking and responding normally. He was in fair condition Wednesday afternoon and spent the night at the hospital. The accident created a chilling scene at the raceway, where seven mayors raced roll-bar-equipped go-carts against four-time Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon for charity. As the race ended, Thomas’ go-cart was bumped by another and flipped over. Thomas’ go-cart landed on its side, with an unconscious mayor still strapped in, bleeding from his head. Thomas regained consciousness after about 30 seconds and was talking to paramedics and the other mayors while being treated. “I feel fine,” Thomas said. PIR President Bryan Sperber would not comment on whether the track considered offering helmets. All of the mayoral participants signed liability waivers. Before the race, Thomas took a few practice laps in the go-cart and jokingly asked a nearby track worker, “What’s the roll factor on these?” Fountain Hills Mayor Jon Beydler won the mayors’ race, well behind Gordon, but the accident delayed the awarding of the $1,000 prize, which will go to charity.(Arizona Republic)(10-31-2002)
  • 2003 GM cars test at Talladega: The 2003 version of the Chevrolet Monte Carlo and Pontiac Grand Prix hit the track running fast on Wednesday for the first of a two-day General Motors test session at Talladega Superspeedway. “I think it’s better. I really do,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr., the driver of the #8 Chevy Budweiser team and the winner of the past three races at the track. “It’s a little too early to really tell, but it’s fast.” Dale Jr. and the #8 Budweiser Dale Earnhardt Inc. team were among 11 General Motors teams testing at Talladega. Junior was joined by fellow DEI drivers Michael Waltrip with the #15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevy team and Steve Park with the #1 Pennzoil Chevy team. “We were just working on qualifying runs this morning,” said Dale Jr., while taking a break playing solitaire and eating a few crackers and cheese. Asked what the major changes were, he looked over the car front to back and replied, “All of it; it’s all new.” Dale Jr. isn’t kidding. When fans see the new Monte Carlo, they will easily recognize its sloping hood, short rear deck and rear quarter glass panels. The car also appears to be sleeker in overall shape. The nose of the car is also new, with a continuing slope from the hood of the car. Eleven General Motors Teams Put 2003 Models Through a Workout at Talladega Superspeedway. Joining the three DEI teams on Wednesday were fellow GM drivers Jeff Green with the #30 America Online Richard Childress Racing team, Ron Hornaday with the #31 Cingular Wireless RCR team, Mike Skinner with the #4 Kodak Film Morgan-McClure Motorspo rts crew, Jack Sprague with the #60 Haas Automation Hendrick Motorsports team, David Green with the #5 Kellogg’s Hendrick Motorsports crew, Andy Hillenburg with the #10 MBV Valvoine Racing team, Ricky Craven with the #32 Tide PPI Motorsports crew and Bobby Labonte with the #18 Interstate Batteries Joe Gibbs Racing team. The two-day GM test ends Thursday. NASCAR approved the 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix in late July and the 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo about a month later. Since that time the teams have been working on the 2003 cars. DEI, RCR, Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports were credited with pooling their talents to aid in the design of the new Monte Carlo. Joe Gibbs Racing will make the switch from Pontiac to Chevrolet in 2003 and PPI Motorsports switches from Ford to Pontiac.(Talladega Superspeedway)(10-31-2002)
  • #43 special scheme at the Rock: General Mills’ Pop Secret Popcorn. The popcorn is the title sponsor for Sunday’s Pop Secret 400 at the 1.017-mile North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham. John Andretti will be driving a specially-painted #43 Pop Secret Dodge for this weekend’s race. General Mills and its cereals and snack foods have sponsored Petty Enterprises and the #43 team since the summer of 2000.(Willams Company PR)(10-31-2002)
  • Nice Gesture: New Milwaukee Brewers Manager, Ned Yost, an avid NASCAR fan, will wear #3 in honor of his good friend Dale Earnhardt, who was killed during the final laps of the 2001 Daytona 500.(Atlanta Braves Site)(10-31-2002)
  • Gordon and Baja: Robby Gordon will fly to Loreto, Mexico, Monday morning following the Rockingham race to participate in a pre-run session for the Tecate/SCORE Baja 1000 on Nov. 4-6. He is scheduled to pre-run the lower half of the Baja course during that time in a vehicle other than the #31 Trophy Truck he will compete in in the Baja. The pre-run session gives the competitors the opportunity to get the “lay of the land” and familiarize themselves with the track. Gordon will run from San Ignacio to La Parisma the 4th, La Parisma to La Paz the 5th and repeat La Parisma to La Paz the 6th. Gordon is scheduled to test his Trophy Truck along the upper part of the Baja course on Nov. 11-12.(RCR Racing)(10-31-2002)
  • #97 Scheme at Phoenix: Kurt Busch will compete in the #97 Stain Shield Ford at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, November 10. Stain Shield is Rubbbermaid’s new line of very affordable food containers, which resists staining from tomato-based products.(Roush Racing Fan Newsletter)(10-31-2002)

    (10-30-2002)

  • Well..that was fast – McSwain named #18 Crew Chief: Almost one month ago, Joe Gibbs Racing announced the search was to begin for a new crew chief to handle the duties for driver Bobby Labonte and the #18 Interstate Batteries Racing Team. Through a very determined and deliberate process the search is over. Beginning with the 2003 season, Michael McSwain will take over the reigns of one of the most successful teams in NASCAR Winston Cup racing in recent years. “We are all very excited that we are able to announce Michael joining our organization,” said team owner Joe Gibbs. “We feel as though he will be a good fit with everyone else we already have in place here. And most importantly, we all think he will be able to work very well with Jimmy (Makar) in his new role, along with Bobby (Labonte) and Zippy (Greg Zipadelli).”
    “I am excited about the chance I am being given to join Joe Gibbs Racing,” said McSwain. “All of this is happening so fast and it probably hasn’t quite sunk in yet. I know what I am being brought into to accomplish and I am looking forward to working with everyone to get Bobby and the #18 car back to the head table in New York. I especially need to thank Ricky (Rudd) for giving me an opportunity back in 1999 and then bringing me with him over to Robert Yates Racing,” added McSwain. “I also need to thank Robert and Carolyn (Yates) for everything they did for me. Without those people, I would not have the opportunity I do today.”(Joe Gibbs Racing PR) NOTE: Jimmy Makar will finish the season as the crew chief of the #18 car. McSwain will be in an observatory role listen and watching Labonte and Makar interact with one another.(10-30-2002)
  • Latest on McSwain to the #18 UPDATE released – Fox to crew chief #28: Expect an announcement within a day or so that Michael McSwain has left Robert Yates Racing to become #18-Bobby Labonte’s crew chief in 2003. Apparently, a deal has been struck between Yates and Joe Gibbs to get McSwain out of his contract.(Gaston Gazette)(10-30-2002)
    UPDATE: Michael “Fatback” McSwain has been released from Robert Yates Racing. McSwain, who had been the crew chief for Ricky Rudd and the #28 Havoline Ford since 1999, was released from his contract on Wednesday. The move, the latest by Yates in a progression that has included purging himself of driver Ricky Rudd and Yates’ longtime sponsor Chevron/Texaco, frees McSwain to pursue other career options. Yates had previously said that, due to McSwain’s contract, which ran through next season, he did not anticipate him leaving. “We’ve negotiated a release for Michael from his contract,” said team owner Robert Yates. “This will allow him to pursue other opportunities and allow us to look at our options for the future. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.” For this weekend’s race at North Carolina Speedway, car chief Raymond Fox will take over the crew chief duties for the #28 Ford.(NASCAR.com)(10-30-2002)
  • Sad News: Mary Stofflet, grandmother of John Andretti, has passed away. Arrangements are being handled by George Bensing Funeral Home in Mooretown, PA. The viewing is scheduled tonight from 7-9 p.m., and the funeral Thursday, Oct. 31, at 1:00pm/et. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be sent to: Salem United Church of Christ, 2218 Community Drive, Bath, PA. 18014.(10-30-2002)
  • Sad News: Eoline “Mom” Leatherman Jarrett, 92, of Hickory-Lincolnton Highway, died Oct. 27, 2002, at her residence. She is the mother of NASCAR great Ned Jarrett and grandmother to Dale (driver of the #88 UPS Ford) and broadcaster Glenn.(full obit at the Hickory Record)(10-30-2002)
  • APR looking for sponsor partner for #55: Andy Petree Racing, a team that went to Victory Lane twice last year with two cars [#33 and #55], one coming at Rockingham, where Joe Nemechek drove the #33 Chevy to win the race [it no longer exists, a victim of sponsorship woes, except for a few one-off deals], could be in trouble if money doesn’t soon materialize for Petree’s other car, the #55 driven by Bobby Hamilton. “It’s been a very frustrating year, especially since we were coming off our most successful year,” Petree said. “We won two races with two cars operating on a budget that was less than what some teams spend on one car. But we used what money we had to run an efficient program. I truly believe if we just could have maintained sponsorship levels, we’d be a contender to win every week.” So Petree has launched a sponsor search that could ultimately become a new trend in NASCAR. Desperate to keep the #55 on the track — and ever hopeful the #33 can come back — he’s looking at every way possible to scrape together the necessary dollars. Square D, an electrical distribution company that sponsors the #55, has told Petree it can’t afford the $8 million he needs to run a full Winston Cup schedule. But the company still wants to be involved, and Petree is looking for co-sponsors to help pick up the tab. “Square D can do about a third of that, maybe I can stretch them to do a half,” Petree said. “So my goal is to find some other companies who want to get into the sport, but also can’t afford to do a full sponsorship deal, and bring them in on a smaller price tag.” That’s almost unheard of in NASCAR, where some sponsors pay upward of $16 million a year to splash their product on the hood of a car for 36 weekends a year. But Petree has never required that kind of money to function, finding ways to cut corners and stretch every dollar while still being competitive. The basis behind Petree’s new plan is to bring at least one other company on to the #55, and find a way to give the sponsor the most value. For example, Square D can be the primary paint scheme and host the hospitality tents at races that fit its market, while another company can hit the cities that it wants.(CBS Sportsline/AP)(10-30-2002)
  • Petty Looking for sponsor combo’s for the #44: Petty Enterprises is looking to have co-sponsors [such as the #12 in the BGN does] for the #44 Dodge that Christian Fittipaldi will pilot next season. Because Fittipaldi will make his stock-car debut by racing in Cup, BGN and ARCA next season, the Pettys are open to allowing various companies to sponsor the car based on series, or markets, to meet the estimated $10 million-$15 million they need for the program. “There are sponsors out there who have $2 million or $3 million to spend on a program and just can’t afford to do anymore,” CEO Kyle Petty said. “This is a way to open doors for those companies to come into the sport.” The search has Bill Scott, head of Petty Marketing, working overtime in finding ways to sell the team to potential investors. At issue is finding new and inventive ways to give the sponsor the most for its money. The Pettys are at an advantage — they’re a household name in racing and can offer a lot to sponsors. “We have a brand name that we’ve built over 50 years in motorsports,” Petty said. Companies who sign on with the family are often rewarded with employee rides at the Richard Petty Driving Experience, and they host weekend sponsor conferences in which their investors get together to brainstorm how they can work together to better benefit themselves.(CBS Sportsline/AP)(10-30-2002)
  • NASCAR Yearbook: the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Yearbook “ the 31st Anniversary Edition “ is now avialble for order. Appropriately, the yearbook, produced by UMI Publications, is presented to the NASCAR Winston Cup champion each year, at the season-ending awards ceremony in New York City. Just as appropriate, though, is the fact that NASCAR fans are able to secure their own copy. From the season-opening Daytona 500 to the season-ending “NASCAR Championship Weekend” at Homestead-Miami Speedway the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Yearbook provides fans with an “insider’s look” into the trials and triumphs of the season. It’s all there: nearly 300 pages covering 36 races, involving 23 racetracks, and a schedule shared by 19 states; a coast-to-coast-to-coast championship chase involving the world’s greatest race car drivers, in the nation’s No. 1 motorsports series. Prefacing the detailed descriptions of the weekly battles is a section devoted to past NASCAR Winston Cup champions, such as Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace and Bill Elliott, and Jeff Gordon, who is amid a chase all his own, trying to tie “ or break “ the record of seven career championships shared by Petty and Earnhardt. Orders are now being taken for the yearbook’s 31st Anniversary Edition. Delivery is guaranteed by Christmas. “This yearbook,” said former NASCAR Winston Cup champion Benny Parsons, “is the ultimate gift for any race fan.” To order visit UMI Publications’ website, www.umipub.com. The yearbook is available only through UMI and is not sold in bookstores.(NASCAR PR)(10-30-2002)
  • #11 Crew Chief: Brett Bodine Racing announced today the hiring of Jon Wolfe to fill the Crew Chief position for the #11 Hooters NASCAR Winston Cup team. Wolfe, 39, has an extensive 20-year background in racing and worked with Bodine at King Racing in the early 1990’s. He had filled in temporarily for the #11 Hooters team in Darlington, Richmond and New Hampshire this season. “I am excited to get Jon on board for the rest of the season and to prepare for the off-season testing and the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup season. In the time we have spent working together, it seemed the chemistry was really good and that he worked well with members of our organization,” stated Bodine. Jon offered, “I’m pretty excited about working with Brett again. We worked together years ago and had some success. I know this is a smaller team and we will have struggles, but I hope with the experience I bring, we can turn things around. This is a good group of guys and I am eager to work with them.” Wolfe resides in Mooresville with wife, Kim and daughter, Sydney Nicole.(BBR PR)(10-30-2002)
  • Beam Fined: NASCAR officials announced today that Mike Beam, crew chief of the #32 Ford in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, has been fined $500 for a rule violation last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Beam was 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 to NASCAR rules.”) for use of unapproved jacking bolts.(NASCAR PR)(10-30-2002)
  • More on the #7 Team: hearing Ray Evernham has been looking at ending the partnership with the #7 Ultra Motorsports team and owner Jim Smith, over the lack of competitiveness of the team. Also supposedly driver Casey Atwood was released, but Atwood’s reportedly contract states Smith has to pay him for the remainder of the year. Kevin Lepage came in and was fitted for a seat, met the team, etc. But when Atwood’s lawyer supposedly contacted Smith and told him to send a check, Atwood was put back in the car and until they reach an agreement, Atwood will drive because Smith won’t pay two drivers at the same time. They are apparently trying to work that out.(10-30-2002)
  • Lepage in? Atwood out at the #7? UPDATE 3 Maybe?: hearing Kevin Lepage, who recently left the Brewco Motorsports in the BGN [Elton Sawyer in the #37 BGN car this week] will take over the #7 Sirius Dodge driving duties this week at Rockingham, Casey Atwood will supposedly go back to Brewco Motorsports and the BGN. Supposedly Lepage will run the final three Cup races in the car and possibly drive the full 2003 season.(10-29-2002)
    UPDATE: PRN’S Garagepass Sources Have Confirmed That Car Owner Ray Evernham And Driver Casey Atwood Are Parting Company. Kevin Lepage, In A One Race Deal, Will Drive The Sirius Satellite Dodge, At Rockingham.
    UPDATE 2: Contrary to electronic reports, Casey Atwood will remain behind the wheel of the #7 Sirius Satellite Dodge for the rest of the 2002 season. A team representative told NASCAR.com late Tuesday that Atwood would indeed drive in the three remaining races this year. Kevin Lepage will not drive the car, as reports stated.(NASCAR.com)(10-29-2002)
    UPDATE 3: There may be a driver change for this weekend’s Winston Cup race at Rockingham. There is action at Ultra Evernham Motorsports. Sources close to the team said that Casey Atwood was fired Tuesday morning as the driver of the #7 car. Kevin Lepage was at the shop on Tuesday and was set to replace Atwood this weekend. By Tuesday afternoon, Atwood was back in the car because of contractual snag, but if the situation is cleared up, Lepage may in fact be in the 7 car this weekend.(FoxSports)(10-30-2002)
  • Martha Earnhardt Suffers Possible Stroke: Martha Earnhardt — mother of NASCAR racer Dale and grandmother to Dale Jr., Kerry, Kelly and Nicole — was admitted to NorthEast Medical Center Saturday with what the family believed to be a stroke, according to a family friend. A hospital spokesman said she is now in good condition. The Earnhardt family matriarch still lives in the Kannapolis home where she raised Dale, who later became one of NASCAR’s most decorated drivers. She recently attended the unveiling of a statue in downtown Kannapolis to honor her son, who died in a crash in the Daytona 500 in February 2001.(Stock Car Gazette Newsletter)(10-30-2002)
  • Phoenix Testing and Fittapaldi to run #44 next week UPDATE: Out West #24-Jeff Gordon Was Practicing at Phoenix along with #10-Johnny Benson, #49-Derrike Cope, and CART driver Christian Fittapaldi, Who is going to attempt to qualify the Petty Enterprises #44 Georgia Pacific Dodge there next week.(PRN’s Garagepass Radio Show)(10-29-2002)
    UPDATE – Teams Complete First Day of Testing at PIR: Four Cup Series teams and one BGN team rolled into Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) on Tuesday for the first of a two-day test session. #24-Jeff Gordon, #10-Johnny Benson, #44-Christian Fittipaldi, #49-Derrick Cope and [BGN] #97-PJ Jones all took to the one-mile oval in preparation for the NASCAR Checker Auto Parts 500 presented by Pennzoil Weekend, November 7-10. Gordon turned the fastest time of the day with a speed of 130.910mph, followed by #49-Cope at 129.032. Both #10-Benson and #44-Fittipaldi tested in race trim and had best speeds of 128.571. Fittipaldi will attempt to qualify the car for the November 10th Checker Auto Parts 500 presented by Pennzoil. Meanwhile, PJ Jones was the lone Busch Series competitor testing at PIR today in the new #97 Tuttle Motorsports entry. Jones lapped the track in 125.000mph. Testing for all teams will conclude tomorrow.(PIR PR)(10-30-2002)
  • NASCAR Addresses TNT Concerns: It looks like NASCAR is very confident that NASCAR fans won’t miss any programming on TNT in 2003. Paul Brooks, NASCAR VP of Broadcasting, tells us, “Turner has informed NASCAR that they are going through their normal cycle of negotiations with cable affiliates and they feel confident that these negotiations will result in renewed agreements and that NASCAR programming will not be affected. We look forward to giving NASCAR fans even more NASCAR programming in 2003”.(MotorsportsTV)(10-30-2002)

    (10-29-2002)

  • Homestead Testing: Seven Cup and Four BGN Teams Have Begun a Two Day Test at The Homstead-Miami Speedway. Kyle Petty Is Turning Laps in his #45 Car and Teammate John Andretti’s #43. Andretti Is In Pennsylvania Where His Grandmother Is Gravely Ill. Also at Homestead, #25-Joe Nemechek, #6-Mark Martin, #88-Dale Jarrett, #21-Elliott Sadler, #23-Kenny Wallace, and #40-Jamie McMurray.(PRN’s Garagepass Radio Show)(10-29-2002)
  • IROC back at ‘Dega in 2003: The International Race of Champions [IROC] will return to Talladega Superspeedway next season, track officials announced Monday. The IROC race, which will be held during the speedway’s April Winston Cup race weekend, returns after a one-year absence. Next season will mark the 13th IROC event at the track since 1984. “We’re thrilled with the return of the IROC series at Talladega,” said Grant Lynch, the track’s president. “Talladega Superspeedway’s knack for delivering competitive races is a perfect fit for the IROC series and its group of world-class drivers. We are also thrilled for our fans who will get to watch one of the most action-packed hours in auto racing.” IROC is a four-race series composed of 12 drivers from various forms of motorsports. Winston Cup driver Kevin Harvick won the 2002 IROC championship. In 2002, IROC races were held at Daytona, California, Chicagoland and Indianapolis.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-29-2002)
  • Boogity boosts Pop Warner team to playoffs Thanks to offensive line coach Andy Cospito’s friendship with NASCAR on FOX analyst and three-time Winston Cup champion Darrell Waltrip, players on the Ormond Beach (Fla.) Panther Pop Warner Junior Midgets football team have taken their DW devotion to a new level. Check out photos of the team: The offensive linemen — seventh and eighth graders at Ormond Beach Middle School — wear “Boogity, Boogity, Boogity” t-shirts under their pads on game days and have rallied around Waltrip’s trademark phrase to a playoff berth. Cospito has been DW’s bodyguard at the Daytona International Speedway in nearby Daytona Beach, Fla. for several years, and he and his players watch NASCAR on FOX races, chanting along with Waltrip at the start of the races. The linemen took the chant from green-flag racing to the gridiron, protecting quarterback Troy Danhower as Cospito protects DW. The Panthers, led by head coach Gibb Danhower, were 9-0 through October 29, the opening day of the playoffs. All the members of the team are big FOX and Hollywood Hotel fans, always asking questions about NASCAR on FOX race analysts Jeff Hammond, Larry McReynolds and, of course, DW. As the joke goes and the kids say, Cospito is one of DW’s BIGGEST fans.(All Waltrip.com)(10-29-2002)
  • Labonte to build track: Bobby Labonte along with the North Carolina Quarter Midget Association and members of the Rowan County Board of Commissioners unveiled plans for a state of the art racing facility to be built in Salisbury, N.C. The facility, which will be the first of its kind in North Carolina, will play host to quarter midget racecars. Quarter midget racing events are held throughout the United States at venues as large as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, all the way down to mall parking lots. For Labonte, the opportunity to help build this facility is a chance for him to be able to give something back to the sport of auto racing which has been very good to him over the years. As plans started to move forward, he knew it was going to have to stay centrally located and easily accessibly in order to be successful. The location in Salisbury is exactly what Labonte was looking for and he couldn’t be more excited about making the announcement. Plans for the facility are still being worked on and finalized.(see fulls tory and quotes at ThatsRacin.com/AP)(10-29-2002)
  • Parker gets sponsor: USG Corporation, a leading manufacturer of building materials for the construction and remodeling industries, will be the primary sponsor on the Evernham Motorsports #91 Dodge for this weekend’s NASCAR Winston Cup race — Pop Secret 400 at North Carolina Speedway. As was announced by Evernham Motorsports, BGN [#36 GNC Dodge] driver Hank Parker Jr. will drive the car as an ongoing research and development commitment to Dodge. It will be a double-duty weekend for Parker. Along with making his first Winston Cup entry, he will also compete in Saturday’s Sam’s Club 200 BGN race at the track. The USG logo will be displayed on the red, white and blue #91 Dodge along with three of the company’s flagship brands — SHEETROCK(®) (drywall), DUROCK(®) (cement board tile backer) and DONN(®) (ceiling suspension system). “USG has been a supporter of NASCAR for several years as the official building materials supplier,” said Fareed Khan, vice president, marketing USG Building Systems. “We are excited about supporting Hank Parker Jr.’s introduction into the Winston Cup Series. “The Rock” could not be a better race for us given the nice tie-in with our key brands — SHEETROCK(®), DUROCK(®), FIBEROCK(®) and DONN(®).”
    “We welcome this partnership with USG,” said Ray Evernham, president and CEO Evernham Motorsports. “The Evernham Motorsports research and development operation is essential to remaining on the cutting edge of innovation in our sport and our alliance with USG is a perfect fit. As a leader and innovator with highly successful brands for the construction and remodeling industries, our partnership with USG allows us to further enhance Evernham Motorsports commitment to excellence with our Dodge research and development program.” USG Corporation, based in Chicago, is a Fortune 500 company with subsidiaries which are market leaders in their key product groups: gypsum wallboard, joint compound and related gypsum products; cement board; gypsum fiber panels; ceiling panels and grid; and building products distribution. For more information about USG Corporation, visit the USG home page at www.usg.com. (USG Corporation PR), see my Paint Scheme Gallery for an image of the car.(10-29-2002)
  • Shootout at night in 2003: The Budweiser Shootout, a non-points race that has kicked off the Winston Cup season since 1979, will be run at night, under the lights at Daytona International Speedway beginning next season. The Shootout will swap days with the traditional date of Winston Cup qualifying for the Daytona 500, with the Shootout running next season on Saturday night, Feb. 8, and Cup qualifying for the 500 on Sunday, Feb. 9, sources said. Fox is scheduled to broadcast Speedweeks events in 2003, but it is unclear at this time whether the Shootout will be televised on Fox or FX. The change will make the Shootout the second new night race for the 2003 season. Lowe’s Motor Speedway announced earlier this season its fall Cup race next year would move to a Saturday night. When asked Monday if the 2003 Budweiser Shootout would be a night race in 2003, Daytona International Speedway officials wouldn’t comment specifically about the change. “An announcement regarding the schedule of activities for Speedweeks next season will be forthcoming very soon,” said Glyn Johnston, Daytona’s director of public relations. The Shootout is a 70-lap race featuring the previous season’s pole winners as well as former winners of the event. Tony Stewart, who currently leads the Winston Cup series points race, has won the past two Shootouts. The late Dale Earnhardt leads all drivers with six victories in the event.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-29-2002)
  • Schrader and Federated Auto Parts to Petree? Ken Schrader might be headed back to Andy Petree Racing, primarily because he is bringing a sponsor. Federated Auto Parts, which sponsors Ken Schrader Racing’s trucks and late model programs, is expected to move to Winston Cup in 2003. Schrader, who last drove for Andy Petree in 1999, is losing the #36 ride he has had since 2000. Bobby Hamilton is leaving Petree’s #55 Chevy (of APR)(Sporting News)(10-28-2002)
    UPDATE: Ken Schrader and Bob-by Hamilton have been keeping a low profile recently as they scramble to line up rides for next season. Insiders figure that Schrader will likely wind up back with car owner Andy Petree, although Petree himself is scrambling for more sponsorship money.(Winston Cup Journal)(10-29-2002)
  • Ford can clinch at Atlanta UPDATE clinched and Stuff: Ford can clinch its third manufacturer’s championship in the last four years and 15th overall by finishing first, second or third among the four car makes in Sunday’s race. The only way Ford will not clinch the title in Atlanta is if Chevrolet wins and Ford finishes fourth among the manufacturers. A Ford has not won on the Atlanta track since Dale Jarrett’s Taurus took the checkered flag in the 1997 spring race, the last event run before the track was redesigned.(Daytona Beach News Journal/AP)(10-24-2002)
    UPDATE the NAPA 500 at AMS was won by #97-Kurt Busch driving a Ford, thus clinching the Manufacturers Championship for Ford. For standings and race by race coverage, see my Manufacturers Championship page.(10-27-2002)
    STUFF – facts: Kurt Busch’s first-place finish the NAPA 500 enabled Ford Racing to clinch the 2002 manufacturer’s championship. Ford now holds an insurmountable 26-point lead over second-place Chevrolet with three races remaining. The championship marks the third time in Taurus’ five-year history that Ford has won the manufacturer’s top prize and 15th overall. Ford’s depth proved to be a key factor this season as 9-of-13 full-time drivers scored points, led by Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch. Those three have been Ford’s highest finisher six times each.
    Tidbits:
    Ford has won the manufacturer’s championship three times in the last four years (1999, 2000, 2002).
    Ford is the only manufacturer to have at least one car finish in the Top 5 of every race.
    Ford has had only one fourth-place manufacturer finish and has been either first or second 27 times.
    Ford has won a series-best six manufacturer’s championships since 1992.
    Ford has had nine different drivers score manufacturer points.
    Season Highlights
    Ford leads the NASCAR Winston Cup Series with 12 wins.
    Ford driver Matt Kenseth leads all drivers with four wins this season.
    Ford has had six different drivers win races – most among manufacturers.
    Ford drivers Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman registered their first series wins.
    Ford’s Pevious Manufacturer Championships (Modern Era Only)
    1992 – Clinched at North Wilkesboro by Geoffrey Bodine (Won Holly Farms 400)
    1994 – Clinched at Martinsville by Rusty Wallace (Won Goody’s 500)
    1997 – Clinched at Martinsville by Jeff Burton (Won Hanes 500)
    1999 – Clinched at Phoenix by Mark Martin (Finished 2nd in Checker Auto Parts/DuraLube 500K)
    2000 – Clinched at Rockingham by Dale Jarrett (Won Pop Secret 400)
    2002 – Clinched at Atlanta by Kurt Busch (Won NAPA 500)
    Ford Drivers Who Scored Manufacturer’s Points This Season:
    #17-Matt Kenseth (six times); #12-Ryan Newman (six times); #97-Kurt Busch (six times); #2-Rusty Wallace (four times); #6-Mark Martin (three times); #88-Dale Jarrett (three times); #28-Ricky Rudd (two times); #21-Elliott Sadler (two times); #99-Jeff Burton (once). Ford’s Manufacturer Championship Seasons (15): 1956, 1957, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2002.(Ford Racing), for standings and race by race coverage, see my Manufacturers Championship page(10-29-2002)
  • New #32 Crew Chief UPDATE: during an interview with Ricky Craven by NBC’s Matt Yocum, it was mentioned that Engineer Roy McCauley would become the crew chief for the team in 2003. Mike Beam will be the spotter and is already doing so.(10-27-2002)
    UPDATE: Ricky Craven said Sunday that crew chief Mike Beam will be his spotter next year and that engineer Roy McCauley will be the team’s crew chief.(Roanoke Times)(10-28-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Ricky Craven has a new crew chief, with car owner Cal Wells – an engineer-oriented man – promoting chief engineer Roy McCauley to the job and moving current crew chief Mike Beam to another position.(Winston Cup Journal)(10-29-2002)
  • Nemechek to stay in the #25 in 2003? During the rain delay at Atlanta, owner Rick Hendrick said he has no plans to change the lineup on the #25 Chevy — and that was before driver Joe Nemechek finished second. Hendrick says the addition of crew chief Peter Sospenzo has brought new focus to the team.(Sporting News)(10-28-2002)
    UPDATE: Rick Hendrick gave Joe Nemechek a vote of approval to stay with his team next season. Since putting Peter Sospenzo in as crew chief, Nemechek’s team has come alive. Nemechek said that the new design of the cars he has been driving recently is key.(Winston Cup Journal)(10-29-2002)
  • Still at it: A law passed after the death of race car driver Dale Earnhardt that restricts public access to autopsy photos should be tossed out as unconstitutional, the attorney for a student newspaper has urged the Florida Supreme Court.(Full story ay the Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-29-2002)
  • Dead celebrities whose estates produce the most income: For two years, Forbes Magazine has compiled an annual list of the dead celebrities whose estates produce the most income. This year, Elvis remained the king 25 years after his death, with $37 million in income, followed by “Peanuts” comic strip creator Charles Schulz at $28 million. New to the list was NASCAR icon Dale Earnhardt, whose death in a crash at the 2001 Daytona 500 stunned race fans across the country. Earnhardt debuted on the Forbes list in a third-place tie with Beatle John Lennon at $20 million. The totals included licensing deals as well as book and record sales during a one-year period ending in June.(AP/South Ben Tribune), thought this came out a few months ago, but..(10-29-2002)

    (10-28-2002)

  • Wells Fargo moving: #11-Brett Bodine Racing was surprised and very disappointed to hear over the weekend, and confirm this morning that Wells Fargo Financial will be going to another team for 2003. Supposedly the other team is the #45 Petty Enterprises team, can see the partial logo on the 2003 Scheme.(10-28-2002)
  • Marlin to know Monday UPDATE: Sterling Marlin heads back to the doctor Monday for an examination of his neck. His C-2 vertebra was cracked after two hard crashes, and he was told to take the rest of the season off. However, he’s opened the door to an earlier return. “But if it’s not 100 percent, I’m not going to mess with it,” Marlin said.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-26-2002)
    UPDATE: Dr. Jerry Petty, neurosurgeon, and Dr. Dom Coric, spinal injury specialist, of the Carolina Neurological and Spinal Injury Clinic, performed a medical update on Sterling Marlin the morning of Monday, October 28. Marlin, who suffered a non-displaced fracture of the #2 cervical vertebra as a result of his accident at Kansas Speedway on September 29, is progressing well with the healing. Marlin’s MRI clearly showed the first steps of healing of the C2 vertebra. He must continue to wear the Aspen collar, which keeps the cervical vertebrae stable, for two more weeks and will then be reevaluated. Marlin is on schedule to be back in the #40 Coors Light Dodge for 2003 Winston Cup testing. “The MRI showed the best case scenario,” said Dr. Dom Coric, M.D. “Sterling is on target to make the recovery we want him to make.” Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates certified athletic trainer, Al Shuford M.Ed,A.T.,C.-L, will begin the first steps of physical training in re-strengthening Marlin’s neck. Jamie McMurray will continue to replace Marlin in the #40 Coors Light Dodge for the remainder of the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season. McMurray will pilot the Havoline Dodge for the Ganassi team in the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(10-28-2002)
  • Atlanta TV Ratings: NBC Sports’ coverage of the NASCAR Winston Cup NAPA 500 from the Atlanta Motor Speedway, the fastest track on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit, earned a 4.2 rating/8 share in the overnights for its rain-delayed coverage (3:30 – 6:15 p.m. ET), according to Nielsen Media Research. The NAPA 500, which was delayed for 2-1/2 hours and ultimately shortened to 248 of the scheduled 325 laps due to rain, clocked a five percent increase over last year’s 4.0/9 in the overnights. The race peaked at a 4.9/9 at 5:30 p.m. ET as Kurt Busch, who also won last weekend at Martinsville, claimed his third victory of the year.(NBC PR)(10-28-2002)
  • Stuff: Rusty Wallace is winless in his last 59 races, tying his longest drought between victories. He went 59 races between a win at Richmond in 1997 and a victory at Phoenix in 1998. Eight drivers who won at least one race last year still have yet to win this season: Ricky Craven, Jeff Burton, Robby Gordon, Bobby Hamilton, Joe Nemechek, Steve Park, Elliott Sadler and Rusty Wallace.(Roanoke Times)(10-28-2002)
  • NAPCM Pit Crew of the Week – #19: For winning the Golden Benny and Benny Parson’s $700 with a lightning fast 12.85 second pitstop at Kansas Speedway on September 29th this weeks NAPCM Pit Crew of the Week Award goes to the #19 Dodge Dealers Crew. Congratulations #19 Dodge Dealers Crew on earning this week’s NAPCM “Pit Crew Of The Week” award, sponsored by Toxabsorb www.toxabsorb.com), “Instant non-skid pit stall prep, creating grip for faster pit stops” and “Official Spill Response Agent of the National Association Of Pit Crew Members”. Check out the latest Mechanix Wear “Pit Crew Of The Year” standings and latest, NEW NAPCM member benefits, available at the National Association Of Pit Crew Members website(www.napcm.com).(10-28-2002)
  • Biffle in the #44 at the Rock: Greg Biffle will be substituting in the #44 Petty Enterprises entry at North Carolina Speedway on Nov. 3.(Roush Racing Site)(10-23-2002)
    UPDATE: The probable BGN champion will take another shot at the Cup Series in this week’s Pop Secret Popcorn 400 at the 1.017-mile North Carolina Speedway. Greg Biffle will drive the #44 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge for Petty Enterprises in the 400-mile race. He drove a Winston Cup car earlier this year in a relief role for Andy Petree Racing [#55], showing an ability to take the car towards the front. “We’re excited to have a driver with Greg’s ability and enthusiasm drive the Georgia-Pacific Dodge,” said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. “Ted (Musgrave) did a really solid job for us at Atlanta and we appreciate that. We feel Greg is going to do very well for us at Rockingham, too.” Musgrave drove the car last week at Atlanta, replacing Jerry Nadeau who has been injured in a private accident. “There is a lot of history that surrounds Petty Enterprises and it’s a privilege to drive for them” Biffle said. “I appreciate the opportunity, and I’m glad I’m available to help out. Rockingham is a very technical track, and the extra track time in the Winston Cup car should help me out in the Busch car. The experience will also give me a jump start on my rookie season next year, especially since Rockingham is the second race of the season.” Biffle leads the Busch standings by 119 points, and appears on his way to the championship before running Winston Cup full time for Roush Racing next season. He has four race victories in the series this year.(Williams Company PR)(10-27-2002)
  • New Cup Team? UPDATE: A new NASCAR Winston Cup series race team has designed an innovative and creative way for sponsors to get involved with NASCAR motorsports. The new team is the #93 GIC MotorSports NASCAR Winston Cup series racing team based out of Mooresville, NC. The team also has business offices in Bakersfield, CA and Daytona Beach, FL. James Whitener from Bakersfield, California is the owner of this new Winston Cup team. Whitener, also owns and operates Global Industrial Contractors, corporately located in Shafter, CA. Global Industrial Contractors is an industrial construction company that does HVAC, electrical and mechanical design, installation and construction. The GIC MotorSports #93 Ford Taurus NASCAR Winston Cup race team will be attempting two NASCAR Winston Cup races this season. The team’s first race will be the Phoenix International Raceway scheduled for November 10th. The second race scheduled for the team will be the season finale NASCAR Winston Cup Series Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 17th. The #93 GIC team also is planning to be running the full Winston Cup series schedule next year beginning with Daytona 500 in February 2003. The GIC team’s Ford Taurus racecars, motors and other equipment have been purchased from several of the top name players in the motorsports business. The team plans to have driver announcements coming soon. The GIC team is currently seeking sponsorships on all scalable levels for either of the two NASCAR Series races and welcome any inquires regarding participation. Interested parties may contact the team at: lee@gicmotorsports.com or by calling the team at 386-566-3972. (GIC MotorSports PR), looks like Wihiener has/has some involvement with Mike Harmon in the BGN series.(10-24-2002)
    UPDATE: Mike Harmon, BGN (#44) regular, has signed a two-race deal with a new NASCAR Winston Cup Team, GIC MotorSports. The GIC MotorSports’ #93 Ford Taurus will be attempting Winston Cup races in Phoenix and Homestead with Harmon behind the wheel. Mike Harmon has over 350 short track Victories, 5 short track Championships, including one NASCAR Weekly Racing Series championship. He has also raced in the ARCA, Featherlite Modified, CTS and BGN. This is his first attempt at the Winston Cup Series (actually Harmon was slated to run the #90 Donlavey Racing Ford in 1999 during the Big Daddy’s BBQ mess but was released before the Daytona 500). The GIC MotorSports #93 Winston Cup team is based out of Mooresville N.C. with business offices in Shafter, CA and Daytona Beach, FL. GIC team owner, James Whitener said, “We have been looking at Mike for a long time and I firmly believe he can do the job for us. He not only has the experience but he also has the heart and drive we need to achieve our goals in racing. We have assembled excellent cars, engines and equipment for Mike, we are positive that we can be competitive in.Cup with this combination.” Mike Harmon will make his Cup debut at Phoenix, scheduled for November 10th. The second race scheduled for Harmon and the GIC #93 team will be the season finale Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami on November 17th. The GIC #93 team is planning to be running the full Winston Cup Series schedule next year, beginning with Daytona 500 in February 2003. The GIC team is currently seeking sponsorships on all scalable levels for either of the two races. The team welcomes any inquires regarding sponsorship participation. The team also is offering a “make the race guarantee” bonus program that gives clients a risk-free financial investment if the team fails to qualify for the race. Scaleable sponsorship programs are available on a single or multiple races with special rate programs structured exclusively for the client’s budgets.(GIC MotorSports PR)(10-28-2002)
  • New Dodge Nose? Dodge has submitted a new nose to NASCAR for approval. The new nose is reported to be based on the new Chevrolet nose. There is no word if NASCAR might approve it.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-28-2002)
  • PPI Tests 2003 Pontiac: PPI Motorsports, which will run Pontiacs next season, built a downforce and superspeedway Grand Prix and tested both at the wind tunnel. Driver Ricky Craven ran 10 laps in the downforce car last week at Homestead and was scheduled to test the other car at Talladega. Owner Cal Wells expects the team’s first in-house engine to be completed by December. Richard Childress Racing will build the team’s restrictor-plate engines.(Sporting News)(10-28-2002)
  • McSwain to the #18? Baldwin to RYR #38? UPDATEs: hearing that current #28 Robert Yates Racing crew chief Michael “Fatback” McSwain will go to the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing team (to take over for Jimmy Makar who is assuming team manager of the Gibbs operation).and that former #22 crew chief, Tommy Baldwin will replace him at the #28 (will be #38 with Elliott Sadler in 2003).(10-25-2002 – 8:00am/et)
    UPDATE: Michael “Fatback” McSwain has emerged as a top candidate for the crew chief job with Joe Gibbs Racing’s #18 team and driver Bobby Labonte. Labonte’s current crew chief, Jimmy Makar, who will move into a team manager role next season and is leading the search for his replacement, acknowledged Friday that McSwain was among “four or five” candidates with crew chief experience who have expressed interest in the job. McSwain, 35, has worked with driver Ricky Rudd at Robert Yates Racing since December 1999 and was expected to remain with the team next season with the team’s new driver, Elliott Sadler. Among the other candidates the #18 team is considering are Todd Berrier, crew chief for #30-Jeff Green, and Gil Martin, crew chief for #29-Kevin Harvick, sources said. Both Berrier and Martin work for Richard Childress Racing. McSwain declined to comment on his future Friday. “I can’t talk about it right now,” he said. Makar said the search has narrowed to those with crew chief experience and the team is no longer looking at “in-house” candidates.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-25-2002)
    UPDATE 2: McSwain wasn’t saying much, and team owner Robert Yates wasn’t around to take questions, but team sources said that the veteran crew chief has told Yates he’d like to move on at the end of the season. Other sources indicate that he’s applied for the same role with Bobby Labonte at Joe Gibbs Racing. Other Yates team sources say that Baldwin has interviewed for the job with Yates, who has also been interested in trying to hire crew chief Robbie Reiser. When pressed on the McSwain option, Jimmy Makar, Gibbs’ team manager, played it all with a very good poker face. Makar was also asked about reports that he might be taking a TV role of some sort next season while continuing as boss of Gibbs’ two teams. Makar wasn’t offering many hints or and confirmation on any of it. However, Makar says he may have a new crew chief signed sooner rather than later. Todd Berrier is also on Makar’s list, according to team sources.(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND Michael McSwain, crew chief for #28-Ricky Rudd and Robert Yates Racing, interviewed with Joe Gibbs Racing and could be in line to become Bobby Labonte’s new crew chief. Current crew chief Jimmy Makar will move into a management role with the team next season. “I can’t deny that he’s one of the guys we talked to,” Maker said. “There’s five guys we’ve talked to, all qualified and all potentially good candidates. We’re excited there’s that many people with an interest in our team.” Makar wouldn’t identify the others he had interviewed. He said a couple of them, including McSwain, were under contract for next season with their current team. All the final candidates would come from outside of Joe Gibbs Racing, Makar said. McSwain declined comment, but Yates said he expects him to stay. “That’s what we’re signed up to do,” Yates said. “It’s nice to have people after you, it means you’re doing something right. But I think we can put that (rumor) to bed.”(Daytona Beach News Journal/AP)(10-26-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Sources close to Robert Yates Racing say crew chief Michael McSwain’s decision to begin a job search came after he tested with 2003 driver Elliott Sadler recently at Kentucky Speedway. Sadler, who was endorsed by McSwain to replace Ricky Rudd, ran four-tenths of a second slower than Rudd ran in a similar test earlier at the track. Sadler says McSwain told him things weren’t going to work out. “I was surprised more than anything, but if his heart isn’t in it, then he needs to go somewhere else,” Sadler says. Rumors are that somewhere else for McSwain might be as crew chief for Bobby Labonte because Jimmy Makar is moving into a different role after the season. The question is whether McSwain would be a good fit with Labonte, who is generally more reserved.(Sporting News)(10-28-2002)

 


(10-27-2002)

 

  • Busch wins the NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. #97-Kurt Busch won the rained shortened NAPA 500, his third win of the season and his career, and 2nd win in a row. #25-Joe Nemechek ended up 2nd after running strong all day. Points leader, #20-Tony Stewart ended up 4th and increased his points lead to 146 over #6-Mark Martin (was 82 over #48-Johnson). Race Results: at ThatsRacin.com orNASCAR.com.(10-27-2002)
  • Rumblings – Atlanta: Kurt Busch’s win is the 8th for Roush Racing this season. Joe Nemechek (2nd….and ride shopping) had his best finish since he won at Rockingham last November. Kyle Petty (14th) had his best finish since he was 13th at Darlington in September. Tony Raines (29th) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was 31st…at both Dover races this season.
    STREAKIN….Dale Earnhardt Jr has 5 Top-10’s in a row. Ryan Newman has 8 Top-10’s in the last 9 races. Tony Stewart has 6 Top-10’s in the last 7 races.
    This week’s Elevator….UP: Operator of the week is a lonely Joe Nemechek (+34). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Ricky Rudd (-22), followed by Bill Elliott (-21), and Jimmie Johnson (-20).(Stock Car Fans)(10-27-2002)
  • Eury Jr to assume crew chief duties of the #8: during the rain delay of the NAPA 500 at Atlanta, NBC Pit Reporter said that Tony Eury Jr, driver Dale Earnhardt Jr’s cousin, would be the crew chief of the #8 Bud Chevy in 2003 with current crew chief Tony Eury Sr assuming a different role.(10-27-2002)
  • 2003 GM Test Scheduled The GM teams will test their new cars at Homestead-Miami Speedway the day after the season finale at Homestead, Fla. No 2002 models will be allowed during the open test session. It is expected the GM teams will thoroughly test the front downforce in the new noses.(Ford Racing)(10-27-2002)
  • Toyota News – lots of money: Toyota’s NASCAR plans have been a hot topic ever since the Japanese car maker announced that it wanted to join the Truck tour, probably in 2004. Who might get the Truck deal is unclear. But there is a heck of a lot of money involved – $100 million, according to one source. Toyota’s Indy-car deals have been high-dollar deals. Cal Wells’ Toyota Indy program was reported to be a $25 million package, and Chip Ganassi’s Indy program was reported to be a $40 million package. “When the Japanese go racing,” Ford’s Jack Roush said, “it’s like going to war.”(Winston Salem Journal)(10-26-2002)
    UPDATE: According to industry sources the new kids on the block, Toyota, are trolling the garage looking for help with their start-up NASCAR motor program. What are they using for bait? A $25 million, three-year contract. The plan calls for a Craftsman Truck entry in 2004 and a Cup car ready for the 2005 or ‘06 season.(Ford Racing)(10-27-2002)
  • Ford Last: As difficult to as it may be to believe, the oldest body style in Winston Cup was the last to get the 2003 templates. The first complete 2003 template sets were made available to the GM teams at a Sept. 8 meeting where NASCAR showed all the teams what would be expected of them in the 2003 inspection process. NASCAR gave the Ford teams the majority of their 2003 templates in late September. The delay came in the templates that measure the front cowl and the rear window areas. The delay has hampered Ford aero engineers who couldn’t hit their early October wind tunnel reservations, where the changes to the car bodies were to be tested. The delay with the templates, however, is nothing compared the past when teams often didn’t know which way to go with their car building chores until after January’s Daytona International Speedway testing. The only area of the body that unknown to Ford is the chassis nose as NASCAR and Ford officials continue to work on a new nosepiece for the Taurus. However, it is expected the Ford piece will in no way match the “world sports car” style noses on the new Monte Carlo and Grand Prix.(Ford Racing)(10-27-2002)

    (10-26-2002)

  • #77 Hauler Driver wins championship: Bill Lewis won the International Truck Challenge competition at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, is the only driver among 28 who competed in the four 2002 events who regularly drives an International tractor in his regular job, as driver of the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford Team. With over 65,000 miles logged annually safely delivering Dave Blaney’s Winston Cup cars to 38 events and numerous tests coast-to-coast, Lewis felt like driving familiar machinery in the season-finale had to be an advantage as he entered the final morning’s competition on the course along the front-stretch at AMS. “We all drive thousands of miles every year in our trucks, and you just get to know the feel of what’s under you,” said Lewis, who shared the title with wife Cindy, his partner in life and his co-driver for every Winston Cup mile he drives annually. “On my run today, I knew just how deep I could drive the International truck into the two tight corners we had on the course, and what it would probably feel like when the trailer leaned way into the corner. It probably looked a lot more exciting than it felt to me. I had a really smooth lap, and no real problems anywhere. It’s hard coming in as the leader, and knowing that several guys have a chance to knock you off. It’s all a big dream for me, to win this championship.” Lewis entered the AMS finale with a slim 10-point lead over several title contenders, including Rodney Pickler (#2), Kelly Stewart (#28), Tim Beaver (#45) and Tracy Lumpkin (#9). Lewis not only clinched the season championship but also won the Atlanta event, with a score of 175 points (of a maximum 200) and a two-lap-time of 116.909 secs., third quickest of the day’s 22 drivers. By matching his Round-Three event win at Chicagoland Speedway with an impressive win at Atlanta, Lewis stretched his final seasonal margins to 30 points over runner-up Beaver, 45 points over third-place Lumpkin and 50 points over fourth-place Stewart, who had the quickest elapsed time at AMS (105.848 secs.). Pickler, the runner-up entering the final round, fell to sixth overall in the 2002 standings after hitting a barrier during his run.(Jasper Racing PR)(10-26-2002)
  • Andretti Signed? by Petty UPDATE: Car owner Kyle Petty said John Andretti has a contract to sign to remain with Petty Enterprises. “We’ve pretty much agreed to most everything we’re going to agree to,” Petty said. “We’re just going through formalities.” … (Roanoke Times)(10-20-2002)
    UPDATE: Petty Enterprises CEO Kyle Petty said a contract is nearly completed to keep John Andretti with the team next season. “We’ve agreed to everything,” Petty said. “We just haven’t sat down and put it on paper.”(NASCAR.com)(10-26-2002)
  • Papis in NASCAR? UPDATE: CART driver Max Papis, on the sidelines with no sponsorship the CART team he drivers for, was at Infineon Raceway [Sears Point-Sonoma] at the Winston Cup race. Papis said he talked to #32 Cup team owner Cal Wells who would like to get Papis started in NASCAR, maybe in the BGN series or some road courses [Wells os looking to start a 2nd Cup team in 2003]. Papis is also looking at the IRL and othe CART rides.(June 26th print edition of National Speed Sport News not on the site)(7-2-2002)
    UPDATE: Unemployed driver Max Papis, who drove for Roger Penske in the IRL season finale at Texas Motor Speedway, roamed through the BGN garage Saturday at Atlanta. “I don’t know many people over here, so I’m just walking around trying to meet people,” Papis said. “I don’t have a job right now, so my options are very open.” He started the season in CART driving for Tom Weiringa, but a lack of money forced the team to shut down. Papis won the Rolex 24 sports car race at Daytona International Speedway this season, and finished 23rd in the Indianapolis 500. Last month, he tested a Winston Cup car for team owner Travis Carter at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, FL. “That was the first time I had ever been in a car with a roof over my head,” Papis said. “It went really well. I was happy with it, and I think Travis was happy, too.”(NASCAR.com/AP)(10-26-200)
  • Dodge Engine: Reaction to a new Dodge engine block, some 30 pounds lighter and possibly with better interior cooling, has been subdued so far. Detroit sources told the Winston-Salem Journal last weekend about the new block, which according to reports was cast by Caterpillar.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-26-2002)

    (10-25-2002)

  • Nadeau announcement soon: Jerry Nadeau was on Speed Channel’s Trackside and was asked about his 2003 plans and said to expect an announcement within the next week or so and that is would be in Winston Cup. Rumor has Nadeau in the #36 (to swithc to #01) Pontiac with the U.S. Army as the sponsor.(10-25-2002)
  • #45 Georgia Pacific car to be unveiled at AMS UPDATE: Georgia-Pacific and Petty Enterprises will unveil new #45 G-P Dodge at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday afternoon, Oct 25th. In September, Georgia-Pacific and Petty Enterprises announced plans to shift G-P’s NASCAR sponsorship to the #45 car in 2003, with Petty Enterprises’ lead driver, Kyle Petty, behind the wheel. This will be the first look at the 2003 #45 car and the new identity created to launch the relationship between Kyle and G-P.(Williams Company PR)(10-23-2002)
    UPDATE: Executives from Georgia-Pacific and Petty Enterprises today celebrated Georgia-Pacific Qualifying Day at Atlanta Motor Speedway with the unveiling of the 2003 #45 G-P/Petty Enterprises Dodge. A. D. (Pete) Correll, Georgia-Pacific chairman and CEO; Richard Petty, seven-time Winston Cup champion and Petty Enterprises chairman; and Kyle Petty, Petty Enterprises CEO and the driver of the #45 car, introduced a striking patriotic design that envelops their NASCAR entry with a dramatic image — an American flag waving in motion. “The #45 now bears the only flag I like better than a checkered one,” quipped Richard Petty, seven-time Winston Cup champion and Petty Enterprises chairman.(Georgia-Pacific Site), see images on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(10-25-2002)
  • AOL 8.0 Scheme? UPDATE at AMS: hearing the #30 AOL Chevy car will sport a AOL 8.0 scheme in one of the final races of the season, being mostly white (similar to the AOL Broadband/Neil McCoy scheme at Lowe’s).(10-23-2002)
    UPDATE: the scheme is being run at Atlanta this weekend, no images yet (there is a small one on NASCAR.com)(10-25-2002)
  • The King at an AFB: NASCAR legend Richard Petty visited Seymour Johnson Air Force Base to eat lunch and visit with Tech-Sergeant Stephen Peterson. Peterson won the grand prize in TNT’s “Win the King” Sweepstakes. Petty also signed a go-cart replica of his famous number 43 car for the on-base Thunder-Trakz Raceway. After lunch, Petty and Peterson toured the base, which gave Petty the chance to meet a lot of airmen. TNT’s camera crew shot footage of the visit. It will air November 3rd during NASCAR’s Winston Cup Pop Secret 400 at Rockingham. Peterson and his family also won tickets to the race.(News 14 Carloina)(10-25-2002)
  • Hauler Drivers Going for the Championship at AMS: The lesser-known drivers of NASCAR Winston Cup teams will again take the wheel – and the spotlight – in a fierce skills competition of their own. International Truck and Engine Corporation is once again calling upon NASCAR Winston Cup race team drivers to exhibit their skills for the second year of the “International Truck Challenge,” a series of timed obstacle courses designed to showcase the talents of NASCAR’s big rig drivers, as well as the powerful trucks they rely on to get them from race to race. The International Truck Challenge is part of the Official Sponsorship agreement International has with NASCAR. The competition is designed to provide the NASCAR tractor-trailer drivers that transport the race teams from track to track, a chance to prove that driving is not only a skill shared by Winston Cup drivers. The course, specifically designed for the International Truck Challenge, demands pinpoint precision and nerves of chrome from race team drivers as they show off their truck-driving prowess in a handsome new International 9400i with a 53-foot trailer, all decked out for the NASCAR season. Testing a variety of tough truck driving skills with two intricate 180-degree turns, two slalom runs, a series of tethered barriers and a simulated loading dock, the competition awards points to drivers for skillfully maneuvering the obstacle course while racing against a clock. Truly brilliant driving is awarded with bonus points, but mistakes result in deductions. The winner of each of this year’s four competitions receives $1,000 and a shot at the end-of-season $25,000 jackpot from International, awarded to the points leader after the season’s final event at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Races in 2002 took place during Winston Cup Series events at Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas/April 6, 2002 (won by Barry Sheppard of the #21 team); Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Charlotte, N.C./May 18, 2002 (won by Carl Long, then of the #85 team, now of the #59 team); and Chicago Motor Speedway, Chicago, Ill./July 13, 2002 (won by Bill “Stumpy” Lewis of the #77 team).
    On Saturday, Oct 26th, the final race of the 2002 season will be held at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Haven’t see the standings, NASCAR.com used to have a page for it but seems to be gone and not found in a search.(AMS Site)
    AND from CNNSI, who has a nice section of Hauler driver columns today: Winston Cup hauler drivers usually don’t make the news, but they might this weekend. The fourth and final leg of the International Truck Challenge is scheduled for Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the site of Sunday’s NAPA 500. Those competing must negotiate an obstacle course to test their skills, among other things, and Bill Lewis, the driver of Jasper Motorsports’ #77 hauler is the man to beat. Lewis — or “Stump,” if you prefer his CB moniker — seized a 10-point lead in July, during the competition’s third round at Chicago. One of the guys he beat that day was Barry Sheppard, last year’s Challenge champion who drives the #21 hauler for the Wood Brothers. Among the people Lewis needs to defeat this week: The #28’s Kelly Stewart, and the #2’s Rodney Pickler. Aside from the obstacle course, all drivers must simulate a loading-dock maneuver and execute pinpoint turns. Cumulative time counts, too, but the biggest thing at stake may be the crowing afterward.(CNNSI)(10-25-2002)
  • Stock Car Racing Collection: The Appalachian State University Library has initiated a program to create a collection of materials relating to the history of stock car racing, and has named an advisory committee to guide its growth. The Stock Car Racing Collection is building an extensive racing collection of books and other documents available both to research scholars and fans of the sport. Suzanne Wise, a librarian at Appalachian, is spearheading the effort to build the collection. The Collection currently includes more than 350 books and videos, racing periodicals, a clippings file covering 1,100 subjects and a growing collection of race programs and photos. Motorsports photographer Don Hunter, who covered motorsports for the Charlotte Observer for many years, has donated several historic photos of racing action at the Asheville Speedway in the 1950s.. Additional gifts of materials from personal collections are welcomed, and are recognized appropriately. Seven people with strong ties to the stock car racing industry have been named to the Stock Car Racing Collection advisory committee.. They are:
    -Len Batycki, former vice president of development for Richard Childress Racing and currently a principal with Strategic Advisors, a motorsports industry consulting firm;
    -Chris Economaki, publisher emeritus of National Speed Sport News;
    -Mike Epley, executive director of the University’s Appalachian Consortium and instructor of a motorsports history course;
    -Rick Gambill, president of Carrick Public Relations, which represents motorsports clients;
    -Ted Hagaman, former director of Lowe’s Motorsports for Lowe’s Home Improvements Inc. and current director of hospitality services at Wilkes Community College;
    -Ben Trout, senior communications manager with Bristol Motor Speedway; and
    -Deb Williams, editor of the NASCAR Winston Cup Scene.
    The group’s first meeting will be held in December at the University in Boone. For more information contact Suzanne Wise at 828-262-2798, or visit the Collection’s Web page at www.library.appstate.edu.(PR)(10-25-2002)
  • Soap Box Derby gets another sponsor – Home Depot: The All-American Soap Box Derby — the original build-it-yourself sport — has nailed a new national sponsor: The Home Depot. According to sources, the Atlanta-based chain of home improvement stores is joining Goodyear and NASCAR to provide national exposure to the rejuvenated racing event. The Home Depot and All-American officials would not confirm the deal, but both said they expect to make an announcement soon. The derby has also landed a new local sponsor in the Akron Beacon Journal. John Murphy, director of marketing communications for the Beacon Journal, said the newspaper’s role as “host sponsor” will amount to a promotions trade.(Beacon Journal)(10-25-2002)
  • Some Costs: Dick Berggren, the executive editor of Speedway Illustrated writes a column in the monthly magazine. He recently did a piece on the cost of NASCAR racing. Did you know Cup drivers, owners and team members don’t have to pay to get into the pits, I mean the garage area? They do, however, have to buy a NASCAR license at the beginning of the season. The fees are $1,100 for an owner, $800 for a driver and $475 for the crew guys. And, of course, you can’t buy a license if you’re not affiliated with a team. There is also an entry fee the team owner has to pay for every race. It’s $1,825 per event if they file a timely entry. If you sign up late the fee jumps to $3,425. And if a team has to go to a back-up car the cost increases to $3,420.(Caledonian-Record)(10-25-2002)
  • Double Duty at AMS: Twelve drivers are scheduled to run both Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 BGN race and Sunday’s NAPA 500 Winston Cup race. The list includes Scott Wimmer (#27 Cup/#23 BGN), Jimmy Spencer (#41/#1), Mike Wallace (#14/#4), Kenny Wallace (#23/#48), Kerry Earnhardt (#83/#12), Jeff Green (#30/#21), Michael Waltrip (#15/#99), Greg Biffle (#16/#60), Tony Raines (#74/#33), Jamie McMurray (#40/#27), Jack Sprague (#60/#24) and Joe Nemechek (#25/#87).(AMS PR)(10-25-2002)
  • Kimmel in the #66: Frank Kimmel, the 2002 ARCA champion, will return to Atlanta for this weekend’s NAPA 500 Winston Cup race. Kimmel, who attempted the make the race in March, will drive the #66 Pork The Other White Meat Ford.(AMS PR)(10-25-2002)
  • #27 Hood? hearing that Schindler Elevator Corporation will be on the hood of the #27 Siemens car driven by Scott Wimmer at Atlanta. If Wimmer does not make the race, then the logo could end up on the #23 Hills Brothers Coffee car instead, possibly on the deck lid/truck.(10-25-2002)
  • Larry Mac to spot for Buckshot: former Crew Chief and current Fox broadcaster, Larry McReynolds will be the spotter for Buckshot Jones at Atlanta, Jones is driving Michael Waltrip’s #00 Charter Chevy.(10-25-2002)
  • Not Cup, but a few interesting Dash tidbits: Seventeen years ago, Ray Paprota was paralyzed from the waist down in an automobile accident. And in a way, that was the day his life began. Since losing the use of both legs, Paprota has counseled other disabled people, encouraging them to continue to live – not just exist. He has traveled the world playing wheelchair basketball. And this week, Paprota will try to realize another dream. This weekend, Paprota, 38, will attempt to become the first wheelchair-bound driver to make a NASCAR race in Friday’s Georgia-Pacific 150 Goody’s Dash race on the quarter-mile Thunder Ring. Paprota started out helping out a friend, who was racing Legends cars. After a few months of working on the car, Paprota figured if he was going to be at the track every weekend, he might as well try to drive. He refitted a Legends car so that he could drive it completely with his hands, then competed for the next five years on short tracks around the south, including Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Thunder Ring. Paprota’s Legends racing career caught the attention of legendary NASCAR driver Bobby Allison, who lives nearby. “Bobby Allison saw me race Legends cars and saw that I was real competitive,” Paprota said. “He asked if I had an interest in competing at a higher level. We tried to step up and run in the ARCA series, but the controls of a Legends car are completely different, and we weren’t ready to make that leap. We tried, but we never got comfortable with it. So we tabled that for a bit and tried to reengineer things.” That’s when Paprota hooked up with Danny Bagwell, another Alabama resident. Bagwell had a Craftsman Truck that he tried to outfit for Paprota, but NASCAR nixed that idea because of Paprota’s relative inexperience on bigger tracks. Instead, Bagwell – a 10-year veteran of the Goody’s Dash Series – offered to help build a car for Paprota. The two have worked out a system of modifications, which have been adjusted through months of trial and error. They include a CO2 bottle that runs all of the hand controls, a cable throttle that functions as a motorcycle linkage and a clutch system that is located on the shifter. Finally the team has constructed a working model, which Paprota tested for the first time last month at a track in Pennsylvania. After a few laps of real on-track experience, Paprota had a host of changes to make in order to make the car comfortable enough to drive. The crew – made up of a few volunteers, Paprota and Bagwell – went to work, then brought their final creation to Atlanta for an open test. Paprota logged more laps than he ever had before, suggested a few more modifications, and prepared himself to race.(AMS PR)
    AND Kelly Sutton travels to the Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend to finish her first full season on the Goody’s Dash Series. But, unlike the other drivers, she can claim a victory without taking the checkered flag. The third-generation driver, and 30-year-old mother of two, is the first person with a known diagnosis of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) to compete in a NASCAR series.(AMS PR)(10-25-2002)


    (10-24-2002)

  • Gordon and Earnhardt Jr lead in Marketability: While the NASCAR Winston Cup Series has enjoyed increasing popularity over the last few seasons, only four-time Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. possess broad national commercial appeal, according to the results of a new survey by The Sports Business Daily, which show that Gordon and Earnhardt Jr. are by far the most marketable drivers in NASCAR. The rest of the top five, which includes Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart and Dale Jarrett, may be household names within the NASCAR community, but our survey suggests that they still lack national appeal outside of the sport. The Sports Business Daily surveyed close to 100 marketing, advertising and PR execs, sponsorship consultants, sports business journalists, NASCAR analysts and other experts over the past month. All were asked: “In your opinion, who are the five most marketable drivers in NASCAR?” Drivers were awarded points on a sliding scale – with five points given for a first-place vote down to one point for a fifth-place vote. The survey results for the top ten drivers are:

    Gordon – whose corporate partners include DuPont, PepsiCo, Chevrolet, and FosterGrants – received 49 first-place votes and was listed on 98% of the ballots. A close second was Earnhardt Jr., who received the second-most first-place votes with 41, but was named on 99% of the ballots. Earnhardt Jr.’s partners include Budweiser, Drakkar Noir, Nabisco and Chevrolet. “Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are clearly laps ahead of their competition in terms of marketing appeal on Madison Avenue,” said Abraham Madkour, Editor-in-Chief of The Sports Business Daily. “Gordon posseses a unique cross-over appeal and is a proven winner for corporate America, while Earnhardt Jr. delivers the rare combination of a rock-star image and a legendary family name.” Rounding out the top five are: Johnson, who received three first-place votes and was named on 62% of the ballots; Stewart, who received two first-place votes and was named on 64% of the ballots; and Jarrett, who received one first-place vote and was named on 42% of the ballots.(Sports Business Daily – need sub to read)(10-24-2002)

  • #11 Crew Chief at Atlanta: Jon Wolfe will be Crew Chief for #11 Hooters Ford this weekend in Atlanta. Geoffrey Bodine had been crew chiefing foir his brother Brett but will attempt to make the race at Atlanta in the #09 Ford.(10-24-2002)
  • Geoffrey Bodine plans 12-20 Cup races in 2003: Geoffrey Bodine said he is working on a deal to run 12 to 20 races in 2003. Miccosukee Indian Gaming has agreed to sponsor 12 races and Bodine is talking with several other tribes that are considering sponsoring the team in additional events. Bodine will run the BGN and Cup races at Homestead and his son Barry will run the CTS race there also.(Winston Cup Scene – need subscription to read online)(10-24-2002)
  • Yunick to be Honored: Yunick will posthumously be named the 2002 Smokey Yunick Racing Pioneer. Atlanta Motor Speedway began its ARP Smokey Yunick Racing Pioneer Award five years ago as a way to honor some of auto racing’s most important founding members. Atlanta officials named to award in honor of perhaps its most inventive, versatile and creative member, Smokey Yunick, who passed away last year at the age of 77. During this weekend’s NAPA 500, Yunick will posthumously be awarded the Smokey Yunick Auto Racing Pioneer award for his contributions to the sport of auto racing. His daughter, Trish Yunick Brown, will accept the award on his behalf.(AMS site)(10-24-2002)
  • Martinsville TV Ratings UPDATE: NBC’s coverage of the Old Dominion 500 from Martinsville garnered a 3.9 overnight rating and 6 share. There is no comparison to last year, which was rain-delayed on TNT on a Monday.(MotorsportsTV)(10-22-2002)
    UPDATE: NASCAR ratings on NBC & TNT are up 13 percent to a 4.3 national rating/10 share, building on last year’s impressive growth when ratings for the 2001 season on NBC & TNT, grew 34 percent over 2000 (3.9/10 vs. 2.9/8). The 4.3/10 through 15 telecasts on NBC & TNT (excluding this year’s Daytona 500 and last year’s primetime Pepsi 400 – the two races which alternate between NBC and Fox each year), represents a 13% increase over a 3.8/10 for the comparable races last year. While season-to-date ratings are up in many markets, the biggest increases over last year belong to Chicago, which is up 46% to a 3.5/7, Richmond (plus-41% to a 7.9/16) and St. Louis (plus-28% to a 4.6/9). Last Sunday’s coverage of Old Navy Presents the Old Dominion 500 from Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, delivered a 4.4/11 from 12:24 – 4:14pm/et. That represents a 267% jump over a 1.2/5 last year, when the race was rained out on Sunday and moved to TNT for a Monday, Oct. 15, 2001 telecast. The Martinsville rating built steadily throughout the telecast, peaking with a 5.0/11 from 3:30-4:00pm/et as Kurt Busch won his second race of the season.(NBC PR)(10-24-2002)
  • Shepherd Withdraws: Morgan Shepherd announced today that he has decided to withdraw his #89 Racing With Jesus Ford from the entry list for the NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Shepherd also announced that he will be taking his #21 Racing With Jesus Ford truck to California next week for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 200.(Catchfence)(10-24-2002)
  • Hooters/Brooks could be part owner of the #11 UPDATE 3: Brett Bodine is poised for a change in the direction of his NASCAR Winston Cup team. Bodine began the year without a primary sponsor and was on the verge of closing his doors before signing Hooters restaurant chain to a small but team-saving contract. He has a verbal agreement from Hooters owner Bob Brooks for sponsorship for 2003. “He’s basically told me you’ve got a deal for next year and possibly more,” Bodine said. “They’re in a process to evaluate the program and how much they want to invest in a Winston Cup sponsorship. We’d like more sponsorship,” Bodine added. “You’ve got to look at what is going to be a good investment to be competitive. We’re hoping to get them signed up for a long-term deal.” One scenario would have Hooters become a partner in the team. If that happened, Bodine said, “I wouldn’t have to ever look for a major sponsor again.” He said he hopes to have a deal in place within the month. Bodine is also trying to add to or re-sign his associate sponsors. And he knows that if everything he hopes for happens, then there will be more pressure on him and his team.(Star Gazette)(8-8-2002)
    UPDATE: Brett Bodine says he may sell part of his Winston Cup team to the Hooter’s Restaurant chain, according to a story in this week’s NASCAR Winston Cup Scene. Reporter Kenny Bruce writes that Bodine and Hooters CEO Bob Brooks have “basically agreed that we have a deal,” but details, which include the possibility of the sale of part of the team, remain to be worked out.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(8-14-2002)
    UPDATE 2: hearing Bodine has signed a contract with Robert Brooks [owner of Hooter’s] that calls for Brooks will own 51% of the team, Brett Bodine will own 24.5% and wife Diane will own 24.5%.(10-15-2002)
    UPDATE 3: While Brett Bodine continues negoatiating with Hooter’s Restaurants’ owner Bob Brooks, he’s yet to make a deal for Brooks to buy into his team.(Winston Cup Scene – need subscription to read online)(10-24-2002)
  • Ford can clinch at Atlanta: Ford can clinch its third manufacturer’s championship in the last four years and 15th overall by finishing first, second or third among the four car makes in Sunday’s race. The only way Ford will not clinch the title in Atlanta is if Chevrolet wins and Ford finishes fourth among the manufacturers. A Ford has not won on the Atlanta track since Dale Jarrett’s Taurus took the checkered flag in the 1997 spring race, the last event run before the track was redesigned.(Daytona Beach News Journal/AP) see my Manufacturers Championship/Wins page for the rundown and standings.(10-24-2002)
  • Rusty Tests at Gateway: Testing for Phoenix and Homestead, but not at Phoenix and Homestead. #2-Rusty Wallace and crew tested Tuesday & Wednesday (Oct 22nd & 23rd) at Gateway International Raceway, the 1.25-mile track near Madison, Ill., in preparation for the upcoming races at Phoenix and Homestead. “We were out of tests and it was a logical alternative,” reports Penske Racing South shop foreman Gary Brooks. “Rusty and the guys are testing today (22nd) for Phoenix and tomorrow (23rd) for Homestead. They carried the (PC-) 51 car and the (PC-) 27 up there. The plan is to race the 51 at Homestead and we’ll run the 49 at Phoenix. We used the 49 at Martinsville on Sunday and couldn’t get it turned around in time, so we sent the Martinsville backup (27) to the test. They’re saying that St. Louis (Gateway) has similar characteristics of both Phoenix and Homestead, so we’ll see how it benefits. On thing for sure is that testing there is better than no test at all, isn’t it?”(Tom Roberts PR)(10-24-2002)
  • New Cup Team? got this today – A new NASCAR Winston Cup series race team has designed an innovative and creative way for sponsors to get involved with NASCAR motorsports. The new team is the #93 GIC MotorSports NASCAR Winston Cup series racing team based out of Mooresville, NC. The team also has business offices in Bakersfield, CA and Daytona Beach, FL. James Whitener from Bakersfield, California is the owner of this new Winston Cup team. Whitener, also owns and operates Global Industrial Contractors, corporately located in Shafter, CA. Global Industrial Contractors is an industrial construction company that does HVAC, electrical and mechanical design, installation and construction. The GIC MotorSports #93 Ford Taurus NASCAR Winston Cup race team will be attempting two NASCAR Winston Cup races this season. The team’s first race will be the Phoenix International Raceway scheduled for November 10th. The second race scheduled for the team will be the season finale NASCAR Winston Cup Series Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 17th. The #93 GIC team also is planning to be running the full Winston Cup series schedule next year beginning with Daytona 500 in February 2003. The GIC team’s Ford Taurus racecars, motors and other equipment have been purchased from several of the top name players in the motorsports business. The team plans to have driver announcements coming soon. The GIC team is currently seeking sponsorships on all scalable levels for either of the two NASCAR Series races and welcome any inquires regarding participation. Interested parties may contact the team at: lee@gicmotorsports.com or by calling the team at 386-566-3972. (GIC MotorSports PR), looks like Wihiener has/has some involvement with Mike Harmon in the BGN series.(10-24-2002)
  • 6 Millionth Taurus to pace field at AMS: A very special Ford Taurus is headed for NASCAR’s NAPA 500 race this weekend.. It will take on the role of the pace car at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The car is the six millionth Taurus sold, built by employees at Ford Motor Company’s Atlanta Assembly Plant (AAP) in Hapeville. At today’s ceremony marking the sales milestone, James Padilla, Group vice president, Ford North America, drove the white pace car off the assembly line. NASCAR Ford Taurus Driver Dale Jarrett, riding in the front passenger’s seat, accompanied him. Atlanta Assembly Plant Manager Patricia Reid and UAW Local 882 Building Chairman Mitch Smith also participated in the landmark event. Hundreds of AAP employees cheered during the “drive-off ceremony” at the end of the chassis line, knowing that the six millionth Taurus sold will not only go through its paces at a NASCAR event, but will also make a sprint for charity. The new pace car is being donated to the Georgia Juvenile Diabetes Foundation to raise money to find a cure for the disease. The foundation will sponsor a raffle among Atlanta Ford employees in conjunction with this year’s Atlanta Walk to Cure Diabetes, scheduled for Saturday, October 26, 2002. On October 27, when the Taurus does laps at the NAPA 500, it will carry Ford President and Chief Operating Officer Nick Scheele, the Grand Marshall for the race.(Ford PR)(10-24-2002)
  • IRWIN Rough to Finish Award #28 Team: Ricky Rudd, driver of the #28 Havoline Ford, overcame a two-lap deficit early in Sunday’s Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville Speedway to finish third, helping to earn crew chief Michael McSwain this week’ s IRWIN “Rough to the Finish” award. The No. 28 team suffered an early setback Sunday, cutting a tire in the first ten laps of the race. After falling two laps down due to the incident, the next few caution flags fell in the team’s favor, and they were able to gain back both laps by lap 150. From that point on, the name of the game was track position. Rudd quickly raced into the top-10, climbing to third position, but troubles exiting pit road in good position throughout the second half of the race would eventually take the team out of contention. “Unfortunately, track position really cost us the win today,” said McSwain. “We suffered a bit of bad luck early, but this team fought back and had a shot at the win in the end. My hat’s off to all the guys in the pits. This award is a credit to their hard work and determination.”
    Each week throughout the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season, Irwin, makers of professional power tool accessories like Marathon Plus saw blades and Speedbor flat bits, is partnering with Performance Racing Network to honor the crew chief who had the toughest day in the pits, but still managed to help his team to a strong finish. The IRWIN Rough to the Finish Award includes an assortment of tools for the crew chief and a $250 check donated to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund in the racing team’s name.. The year-end winner of the crew chief points standings will win a $5,000 check donated to the Fund. Race fans wanting to make a contribution to the Fund may do so by sending it to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund, PO Box 443, Ellerbe, NC 28338. In addition to the crew chief award, Irwin is also sponsoring the weekly nationally syndicated radio show, “Fast Talk with Benny Parsons“, throughout the upcoming year.(Golin Harris PR)(10-24-2002)
  • Dale Earnhardt Highway to be official UPDATE: North Carolina Governor Mike Easley will sign legislation that designates a 28-mile stretch of Highway 136 in Iredell and Cabarrus counties as the Dale Earnhardt Highway (State Highway 3) on Wednesday.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-23-2002)
    UPDATE: Legislation to renumber a state road in Iredell and Cabarrus counties as N.C. 3 in honor of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt was signed into law Wednesday. The 28-mile stretch of road now is N.C. 136, but that number would be swapped with the N.C. 3 now in Currituck County. Earnhardt, who died in a wreck at Daytona International Speedway in 2001, drove a No. 3 Chevrolet. He lived in Cabarrus County and ran his business enterprises in Iredell County.(NASCAR.com/AP)(10-24-2002)


    (10-23-2002)

  • Biffle in the #44 at the Rock: Greg Biffle will be substituting in the #44 Petty Enterprises entry at North Carolina Speedway on Nov. 3.(Roush Racing Site)(10-23-2002)
  • #45 Georgia Pacific car to be unveiled at AMS: Georgia-Pacific and Petty Enterprises will unveil new #45 G-P Dodge at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday afternoon, Oct 25th. In September, Georgia-Pacific and Petty Enterprises announced plans to shift G-P’s NASCAR sponsorship to the #45 car in 2003, with Petty Enterprises’ lead driver, Kyle Petty, behind the wheel. This will be the first look at the 2003 #45 car and the new identity created to launch the relationship between Kyle and G-P.(Williams Company PR)(10-23-2002)
  • Fans get to ride with drivers: Ten lucky NASCAR fans will experience heart-pounding rides in real stock cars with NASCAR’s top drivers as part of the grand-prize package of the Coca-Cola Racing Family Reunion. With family and friends looking on, each winner will take a turn riding with a Coca-Cola Racing Family driver on a 160-mph ride around the lightning-fast 1.54-mile track at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Thursday, Oct. 24. In addition to receiving four “hot” laps in a Winston Cup stock car, each grand-prize winner will attend a Friday evening reunion dinner celebration with members of The Coca-Cola Racing Family and their families. The prize package also includes a 5-day, 4-night trip for each winner and five family members or friends to Atlanta, 3-day admission tickets for the entire family to the NAPA 500 race and $2,000 spending money. Grand prize winners are: Brenda Cohen of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Frederick Martin of Albuquerque, N.M., Margaret Pritchard of Elizabeth City, N.C., Paula Ludemann of Sahuarita, Ariz., Lori Browning of Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, Kristina Goin of Independence, Mo., Timothy Costick of Mary Esther, Fla., Beckie Thompson of Seadrift, Texas, and Virginia Kueker of Belton, Mo. Winners earned their trip through the Coca-Cola “Meet Our Family and Ride Along” instant win promotion. A 10th winner, Kathleen Gereg of Chicago Heights, Ill., was chosen via an interactive game on CocaColaRacingFamily.com. The Coca-Cola Racing Family is the cornerstone of Coca-Cola’s involvement in NASCAR. Members include 2000 Winston Cup Champion Bobby Labonte, 1999 Winston Cup Champion Dale Jarrett, Tony Stewart, Steve Park, Ricky Rudd, Kyle Petty, Bill Elliott, Jeff Burton, John Andretti, Michael Waltrip, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Teresa Earnhardt, Kurt Busch, Elliot Sadler, Pattie Petty, Ned Jarrett, Glenn Jarrett, Kelley Jarrett, Jason Jarrett, and Greg Biffle.(Coka Cola PR)(10-23-2002)
  • Drivers at the Movies:The Coca-Cola Racing Family of drivers are on the big screen again this fall, and as they’ve demonstrated in past pre-feature spots, they seem to be getting just as comfortable in front of the camera as they do behind the wheel. But are they good enough yet to start critiquing others? Some of NASCAR’s top drivers recently made the move from the driver’s seat to the critic’s seat in the newest Coca-Cola Racing Family pre-feature movie short, entitled, “Critics,” which was filmed in Charlotte in May and is set to debut in more than 10,000 theaters nationwide this week. “Critics” features the Coca-Cola Racing Family drivers dishing out their opinions following a movie screening. And like many movie reviewers, the drivers disagree on various aspects of the film. While Kyle Petty compliments the film’s use of metaphor and Bobby Labonte praises the dream sequence, according to Bill Elliott, “that dog stunk like a hound.” The new short also features Coca-Cola Racing Family drivers Jeff Burton, Dale Jarrett, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Steve Park, Ricky Rudd, Kurt Busch, John Andretti and Michael Waltrip providing valuable film insight and critiques – and adding a lot of fun to the movie experience.(Coca Cola PR)(10-23-2002)
  • Testing at the Rock: North Carolina Speedway Testing: The following drivers will be at North Carolina Speedway. Tuesday – Wednesday, October 22 – 23 testing for the upcoming NASCAR weekend November 2 – 3…2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series: #24-Jeff Gordon; #45-Kyle Petty; #40-Jamie McMurray; #25-Joe Nemechek (listed as in a Chevy and a Pontiac); #4-Mike Skinner; #16-Greg Biffle and #91-Hank Parker, Jr. Grandstand gates are open 9:00am – 4:00pm/et, General Public is invited to view the test session from the grandstand.(Catchfence via PR)(10-23-2002)
  • CASCAR to air on Speed Channel: Speed Channel will air the 2002 CASCAR Super Series races beginning with the Mopar 250 on Nov. 22 at 8 p.m. ET. The CASCAR Super Series consists of 12 races – nine short track ovals and three road courses. For the Canada Day Shootout at Cayuga Speedway, NASCAR regulars Ken Schrader, Tony Stewart, Dave Blaney, Matt Kenseth, Johnny Benson and Ted Musgrave were in the field. The Canada Day Shootout will air on Dec. 27 at 8:00pm/et.(MotorsportsTV via Speed PR)(10-23-2002)
  • AOL 8.0 Scheme? hearing the #30 AOL Chevy car will sport a AOL 8.0 scheme in one of the final races of the season, being mostly white (similar to the AOL Broadband/Neil McCoy scheme at Lowe’s).(10-23-2002)
  • Schrader fastest at Homestead: ESPN2’s RPM2 Night reported Tuesday that #36-Ken Schrader was the fastest car at Homestead testing on Tuesday with a speed just over 148mph.(10-23-2002)
  • DW wants to race a few races in CTS in 2003 and bye, bye goatee: Darrell Waltrip would like to do four [CTS – Truck] races next year. They’re going to have two truck races at Martinsville. He’d like to do both of those. Then back to Indianapolis [IRP] and maybe one other one, Richmond or Phoenix. Also mentions he got rid of his goatee: “It took me a month — four weeks — to grow that mess, and I had it a couple of weeks. I’ve shaved it off because I didn’t like it either. It was just an experiment.”(Fox Sports)(10-23-2002)

    (10-22-2002)

  • #22 Docked 25 points and fined $10,000: NASCAR officials announced that NASCAR Winston Cup Series owner Bill Davis, along with team crew chief Frank Stoddard and driver Ward Burton, received penalties for an infraction that occurred at Sunday’s NASCAR Winston Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. The #22 Caterpillar Dodge of Bill Davis Racing was found to have unapproved front springs during post-race inspection and all three individuals were penalized under Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book, “…Actions detrimental to stock car racing…” and Section 12-4-Q, “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules.” The coil winding of the front springs was not evenly spaced and did not meet the standards set forth in the rule book. Davis was penalized 25 NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship car owner points; Burton was penalized 25 NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship driver points; and Stoddard was fined $10,000. Davis now has 2,966 championship car owner points and drops from 26th to 27th in the standings. Burton also has 2,966 points, and drops from 24th to 25th in the drivers’ championship standings.(NASCAR.com)(10-22-2002)
  • Martinsville TV Ratings: NBC’s coverage of the Old Dominion 500 from Martinsville garnered a 3.9 overnight rating and 6 share. There is no comparison to last year, which was rain-delayed on TNT on a Monday.(MotorsportsTV)(10-22-2002)
  • Harvick to test at Kentucky: Kevin Harvick will prepare for the race at Atlanta at Kentucky Speedway on Tuesday, October 22, and Wednesday, October 23. In three career Winston Cup starts at Atlanta, Harvick has earned his first career series win, a third-place finish and a 39th place finish. Fans can view all tests sessions from the area outside of the speedway’s Turn 3 Fan Center.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(10-22-2002)
  • No More Dash? Catchfence.com got a tip some three weeks ago that the NASCAR Goody’s Dash Series would be nonexistent after the 2003 season, Series Director, Tom Ballos was contacted to shed light on this subject. This series has been around since 1975 and will host some 14 races at the end of the 2002 season, the last being a 150 lap event on October 25 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In the Dash Series, the cars run 6 cylinder engines and their events are held on dirt and paved tracks from a quarter mile in length to the famous Daytona International Speedway. Said Ballos: “NASCAR has said that they would be willing to do all they could do to help find a home for this series. As it stands right now, it looks as though 2003 will be the last year for NASCAR with this series. The final decision announcement will be made at Atlanta at the last race of the season. They are looking at several things…at maybe finding a sanctioning body to take the series over. They’re also looking at making the Dash cars a style of car that will be adaptable to different series, so they are working towards a happy medium on this.” Money is always an issue in racing, regardless of the series, divisions or sanctioning body. Many Goody’s Dash teams and drivers struggle for every available sponsor dollar to assist them in the season. It is the same in all series, but deep pocketed sponsors always go for the premiere series because of media coverage and television exposure for their product. Look for NASCAR’s official decision during this season’s last event at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(Catchfence)(10-22-2002)
  • Newman and Hot Wheels: Mattel, Inc. has renewed an exclusive licensing deal with #12-Ryan Newman to continue creating Hot Wheels die-cast merchandise. Mattel has extended Newman’s multi-year contract for exclusive mass retail channel distribution of all die-cast vehicles associated with Newman and the #12 Alltel/Penske team. Marketing rights include usage of the #12, Ryan Newman, and his likeness, photograph and signature.(Business Wire)(10-22-2002)
  • Irvan the land owner: NASCAR legend Ernie Irvan could soon see high priced homes go up on his 60-acre tract of land off Odell School Road [North Carloina]. County commissioners Monday unanimously approved a new gated subdivision with combined prices for lots and houses estimated at upwards of $600,000. Each home will sit on an average of three acres with 20 homes planned for the entire neighborhood, developers said. Irvan Enterprises and Charlotte developers Simonini Builders will likely partner on the new subdivision, Alan Simonini, said Monday. The Planning and Zoning Department recommended the zoning request be approved, but cited school overcrowding as a possible hindrance to moving forward with the development,said Kelly Sifford of the Cabarrus County Planning and Zoning Department. To compensate, the builders have agreed to provide $500 per lot to “advance school adequacy.” According to a letter sent to Sifford last month, the builders anticipate that most of the residents will “send their children to private schools…” as the development will be close to Cannon School. Simonini Builders have built homes in neighborhoods such as The Peninsula on Lake Norman and Ballyntyne in Charlotte.(Independent Tribune)(10-22-2002)

    (10-21-2002)

  • Mast Update: On ESPN2’s RPM2Night it was mentioned that Rick Mast, while still having no firm idea on what is wrong, the Doctor’s suspect he has long term carbon monoxide poisioning. Mast says he feels 50% and has no idea when he will be able to race again.(10-21-2002)
  • Gordon in IWC: Jeff Gordon will be on Speed Channel’s NASCAR Inside Winston Cup tonight (Oct 21st) at 7:00pm/et (re-air on Tues at 12mid/et, 4:30pm/et and Wed at 11pm/et). This popular series, hosted by Allen Bestwick and featuring NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers Michael Waltrip, Ken Schrader and Johnny Benson, features weekly recaps and analysis of Winston Cup racing action. From the pits to victory lane Inside Winston Cup provides up-to-date coverage of all the important develop-ments on the Winston Cup circuit. Tonight their special Hot Seat guest will be Jeff Gordon and they’ll have highlights from Martinsville and the Busch race at Memphis.(10-21-2002)
  • Cope back in the #49 at Atlanta UPDATE and rest of 2002: Derrike Cope will return to driving duties at Atlanta in the #49 BAM Racing Dodge.(BAM Racing Site)(10-18-2002)
    UPDATE: Derrike Cope will take the wheel of the #49 BAM Racing Dodge for the rest of the season, beginning with this week’s NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Beth Ann Morgenthau, owner of the NASCAR Winston Cup team along with her husband Tony, made the announcement. Cope will be returning to NASCAR competition for the first time since he was injured in a violent crash during a BGN race in September at Richmond. The former Daytona 500 winner had been talking with Morgenthau about finishing this season with the team at that point. “Derrike did a tremendous job for us at Michigan, the first time he had driven our equipment,” Morgenthau said, “and continued to run well at Bristol the next week. We were off for two weeks with our partial schedule and had decided at that point to have him in our car for the rest of our year. Unfortunately, he was injured at Richmond in the Busch race. We used that time period to look at a couple of other drivers but anticipated Derrike’s return,” she said. “He is back and ready to race. We’re excited to have him drive the BAM Racing Dodge the rest of the season.” BAM’s schedule includes this week’s race at Hampton, Ga., and the final two events of the season – Nov. 10 at Phoenix, Ariz., and Nov. 17 at Homestead, FL. “These final three races of the season are opportunities for us to continue advancing and continue fine-tuning our team,” Morgenthau said. “The feedback we will get from Derrike, like what he has offered our team previously, will help us to grow, and to get ready for a strong charge next season.”(Williams Company PR)(10-21-2002)
  • Ward Communication Problem: #22-Ward Burton, who speaks with a slow Virginia drawl, and his new crew chief Frankie Stoddard, a fast-talking New Hampshire native, have become quite the odd couple during their first few races together. Communication during races seems to be somewhat of a problem. Twice during the early laps of the Old Dominion 500, Burton didn’t come into the pits even though Stoddard and the crew were expecting him. “I couldn’t understand a thing Frankie was saying,” Burton said. “And I can’t understand [car owner] Bill Davis either.” Burton, who finished fifth, said the problem isn’t the accents. “My hearing from shooting so much as a kid without ear plugs is shot,” Burton said. “I’ve got to get the volume up on my radio.”(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-21-2002)
  • #77 Crew Member wins All-Pro Championship: Jeff Fultz, a full-time member of the #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford Team with driver Dave Blaney, won the NASCAR All-Pro Series championship in the rain-delayed season-finale in Memphis Sunday, starting second and leading all 125 laps of the race. Fultz, who entered the race five points behind David Reutimann, was assured the title when the leader suffered engine failure on Lap 44. In his quest for the 2002 NASCAR All-Pro title, Fultz enjoyed a 101-point lead two weeks ago before finishing 13th and 11th, respectively, in races at Greenville-Pickens, S.C. and Kenley, N.C., while new leader Reutimann won both events and moved ahead of Fultz—who had finished in the top-five in the All-Pro points in each of the past three seasons including second in 2000—with his slight advatnage entering the season-finale at Memphis Motorsports Park. A Cincinnati, OH. native, Fultz, a fabricator and wind-tunnel specialist, brought 179 overall career wins and seven series championships into 2002 and added All-Pro wins at Nashville and Myrtle Beach (as well as an ARCA Series win in May at Charlotte) this season, but the All-Pro championship had eluded him until Sunday, despite several close calls. Fultz will receive the All-Pro Series championship trophy and champion’s checks next Saturday night in ceremonies at the Atlanta Airport Hilton, part of a busy NASCAR weekend in the city that includes the Winston Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(Jasper Racing PR)(10-21-2002)
  • Berrier to Gibbs? Richard Childress may be losing a crew chief to the Bobby Labonte-Jimmy Makar team, according to team sources, and there has been speculation that it could be Todd Berrier [#30 AOL Crew Chief/driver Jeff Green], who has been Childress’ top performing crew chief this year. But Childress says no, because Berrier has two more years on his contract. If the Joe Gibbs operation can’t make a deal for Berrier, then the team is expected to look to the Indy-car ranks.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-21-2002)
  • Musgrave in the #44 at the Rock? UPDATE nope, Atlanta hearing Ted Musgrave will drive the #44 Georgia Pacific Dodge at North Carloina Speedway in Rockingham, NC on Nov 3rd. Sounds like a lot of traveling if this is true as Musgrave is scheduled to run the Truck Series race at California Speedway on Nov 2nd.(10-19-2002)
    UPDATE: now hearing it’ll be next week at Atlanta NOT Rockingham.(10-20-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Jerry Nadeau’s season ended after he injured a shoulder and ribs in a go-kart accident last week. Nadeau will drive the #36 Pontiac next season. Ted Musgrave will sub for Nadeau in the #44 Petty Dodge this weekend at Atlanta. Musgrave is committed to drive the #07 Dodge, owned by Smith, at Phoenix and Homestead.(Sporting News)(10-21-2002)
  • More on Nadeau to MB2: As for [Jerry] Nadeau, expected to be announced as the new driver for Thomas Moore’s #36 [rumor has it being #01] Pontiac for next season, Petty has told him to plan on taking the rest of the year to recuperate and prepare for that ride. “He doesn’t owe it to us. He’s done a phenomenal job for us,” said Petty, the CEO of Petty Enterprises. “But he’s got a deal next year with the 36 car and it would be better for him to heal up and get ready.”(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-21-2002)
  • NASCAR Legend Junior Johnson To Appear In Dawsonville, Ga: The most famous moonshiner of them all plans for the first time to take part in a reunion of his liquor-hauling peers. NASCAR racing legend Junior Johnson will serve as Grand Marshal Saturday, Oct 26th during the 35th Annual Moonshine Festival at Dawsonville, Ga. At age 14 Johnson could drive a car so fast and well that he was transporting illegal moonshine whiskey from his father’s stills in the mountains of Wilkes County, N.C.,to thirsty customers celebrating the recent end of World War II. This talent for speed made Johnson a natural to join the colorful cast of competitors when stock car racing was born in North Carolina in the late 1940s. For most of the next half-century Johnson was a central character as NASCAR progressed from .jalopies and dusty short tracks to become the most popular form of motorsports in the world. .First as a driver rated by Sports Illustrated as the greatest ever, then as one of the top team owners of all time, Johnson maintained the fullbore philosophy that prevented him from ever being outrun on a highway by the revenuers. Johnson won 50 races at NASCAR’s major level as a driver, including the Daytona 500 in 1960. However, Junior made his greatest mark as a team owner, scoring 140 victories, including six when Dawsonville hero Bill Elliott drove for him during the1992-94 seasons. Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip won three Winston Cup championships each while driving for Johnson. Elliott finished second in the ’92 title chase to the late Alan Kulwicki, losing by only 10 points, the smallest margin in history. Johnson will be Grand Marshal of the Moonshine Festival’s parade at 10 a.m. .Activities are scheduled 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and feature antique cars, racing displays and vendors in the city streets, at the square and at the Thunder Road Museum. From noon- 2 p.m. Johnson will autograph copies of his authorized biography, “Junior Johnson: Brave In Life,” which will be for sale in a booth at the square. Junior will be joined in Dawsonvile for the signing by co-authors Tom Higgins and Steve Waid, who also will autograph the books. Now in a fifth printing, the 200-page book on Junior features anecdotes and photos from his moonshining days, his driving career and his four decades as a team owner fielding cars for such drivers as Charlie Glotzbach, Terry Labonte, Bobby Allison, Neil Bonnett and LeeRoy Yarbrough in addition to Elliott, Waltrip and Yarborough. Higgins is a a retired motorsports writer for The Charlotte Observer who started covering NASCAR in 1958. Waid is vice-president for editorial development at Street & Smith Sports Group, which publishes Winston Cup Scene and Winston Cup Illustrated. He is a co-host of NASCAR Today, the Fox television network’s show preceding each Winston Cup race. One reviewer wrote the following of the Johnson biography: ..”The photos alone are worth the price of admission, including mug shots of Junior, his mother and his two brothers from revenuers’ files, massive stills and previously unpublished racing shots from NASCAR’s earliest days.” Also pictured is the pardon from a moonshining conviction that Johnson received from President Ronald Reagan in 1985. .”The pardon is a measure of the incredible life Junior has led,” said Higgins. “As far as we can determine, Junior is the only American ever to receive a presidential pardon in person in the Oval Office.” Johnson, 71, sold his racing operation and retired from motorsports in 1995. He now spends his time overseeing private businesses, including a large cattle farm in Yadkin County, N.C. Junior lives on the farm with his wife Lisa and young children Robert and Meredith.(10-21-2002)
  • Carter/Fukuyama/sponsor deal in place for 2003? #66-Hideo Fukuyama got his second taste of NASCAR racing yesterday, and it didn’t go that well, but not all that badly either. Fukuyama ran at the back of the pack until his day ended when he backed into the wall 50 miles from the finish. Car owner Travis Carter is providing Fukuyama’s Cup cars this fall, at Dover, Martinsville and at Rockingham, in anticipation of persuading enough Japanese companies to come up with enough sponsorship money to back Fukuyama on the full tour next season. And during the weekend Carter was told the deal for 2003 has been given the OK by the potential sponsorship backer, so far unnamed.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-21-2002)
  • AOL looking to leave? AOL Time Warner’s financial problems have raised the prospect that the media giant may drop off the Winston Cup tour as soon as its current contracts expire. The company’s stock has fallen from $39 a share to $12 during the past year. AOL and Time Warner merged in January 2001, but the new corporation has been in trouble for quite a while. AOL stock has fallen 70 percent since the merger. A new boss took over in May. Third quarter results are due Wednesday.(Winston Salem Journal). Jayski Note: last I heard AOL is signed thru 2004.(10-21-2002)
  • Stewart’s health a concern? Tony Stewart complained of a severe headache during the race at Martinsville because too much carbon monoxide was getting into the cockpit after he was involved in a three-car incident that caved in the crush panels on his Pontiac. The track physician and a NASCAR nurse attended to Stewart, who finished 11th, after the race, and he received oxygen before leaving the track, nearly two hours after the race. This has been an issue at other times this season for Stewart, who appears more susceptible to carbon monoxide than most. NASCAR director John Darby said he is aware of the situation and that NASCAR is conducting studies to assess “what’s going on in the cockpit.”(Sporting News)(10-21-2002)
  • More Vasser Rumors: CART driver Jimmy Vasser has been in Charlotte the last few weeks looking to put together a NASCAR deal of some sort, Busch or Winston Cup, possibly with Chip Ganassi in a Busch ride.(Winston Salem Journal), See my Drivers MISC news page for some past rumors.(10-21-2002)
  • Wimmer to Cup in 2003? in an AP BGN story on ThatsRacin.com it is reported that “[Scott] Wimmer now has eight top-10 finishes since his Busch team lost its sponsor in July. Team owner Bill Davis has been paying the bills while the crew prepares to move up to Winston Cup if a sponsor can be found.”(ThatsRacin.com).(10-21-2002)
  • Rumblings – Martinsville: Johnny Benson (2nd) had his best finish since he was 2nd at Dover in September of 2000. This is the 3rd time Benson has been the bridesmaid. Ward Burton (5th) had his best finish since he won at New Hampshire in July. John Andretti (13th) had his best finish since he was 11th at Watkins Glen in August. Mike Bliss (14th) had his best finish since he was 9th at Talladega in October of 2000 (only 4 races). Casey Atwood (21st) had his best finish since he was 18th at Bristol in August.
    STREAKIN…Dale Earnhardt Jr has 4 Top-10’s in a row. Jimmie Johnson has 4 Top-10’s in the last 5 races.
    This Week’s Elevator….UP: Operator of the Week is Kurt Busch (+35), followed by John Andretti (+27) and Tony Stewart (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Bill Elliott (-39), followed by Jeff Gordon (-34), Hermie Sadler (-27), and Mike Skinner (-24).(this uses OFFICIAL starting spots)
    Geoffrey Bodine [in the #23 Dodge] led a lap today for the first time since New Hampshire in July of 2000. He’s the 46th different driver to lead a lap this season…. last year we had 48 of ’em.
    32 down and 4 to go….Tony Stewart’s lead shrinks by 15 points but another race comes off the calendar. Tony’s Magic Number is now 3rd vs Jimmie Johnson…only the Top-15 are still in contention. Busch’s win moved him ahead two spots in the standings (9th to 7th) while Bill Elliott fell three spots (8th to 11th).(Stock Car Fans Newsletter)(10-21-2002)

 


(10-20-2002)

 

  • Homestead Testing: Some Cup drivers will be testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Tuesday, Oct. 22 and Wednesday, October 23, from 9 am – 5 pm each day. Admission is free to the public for the test sessions with open seating in the Speedway Club level. Drivers scheduled to test: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #99-Jeff Burton, #97-Kurt Busch, #32-Ricky Craven, #1-Steve Park and #36-Ken Schrader. The drivers and teams will be preparing for the first-ever Ford Championship Weekend, the season-finales for the NASCAR Winston Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series, November 14-17, at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Additional test sessions will take place Oct. 28-30 and Nov. 4-5 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Drivers expected to participate in the upcoming tests include #6-Mark Martin, #20-Tony Stewart, #40-Jamie McMurray, #25-Joe Nemechek, and #23-Kenny Wallace.(HMS PR)(10-20-2002)
  • Andretti Signed? by Petty: Car owner Kyle Petty said John Andretti has a contract to sign to remain with Petty Enterprises. “We’ve pretty much agreed to most everything we’re going to agree to,” Petty said. “We’re just going through formalities.” … (Roanoke Times)(10-20-2002)
  • Nice Gesture by Stewart: In a gesture of good will and true character for potential Winston Cup Champion Tony Stewart, Midget driver Dave Darland’s father passed away from a heart attack on Friday night and Stewart provided his plane to fly Darland and his wife home to Indiana to be with family. Darland was the current USAC Midget Series point leader going into the South Boston event. Due to this sudden loss, he was unable to compete. The thoughts and prayers of the South Boston Speedway Family go out to David Darland and his family.(South Boston Speedway PR)(10-20-2002)

    (10-19-2002)

  • Parker in an Evernham car at the Rock UPDATE: BGN driver Hank Parker Jr. is set to make his Winston Cup debut in a third car for Ray Evernham in the Pop Secret 400 at Rockingham in two weeks. That has many in the garage wondering if Parker is being auditioned to replace Casey Atwood, who now drives the #7 Dodge, co-owned by Evernham and Jim Smith. For months there has been speculation that Atwood, who once was billed as the driver of the future for Evernham, is losing his job at the end of the season. Evernham declined to elaborate on Atwood’s status, but he has said recently that Atwood has until the end of the season to improve his performance.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution), Parker is also rumored to be in the #49 BAM Racing Dodge in 2003.
    UPDATE: Hank Parker, Jr. is scheduled to drive the #91 Dodge for Evernham Motorsports in the Winston Cup race at North Carolina Speedway November 1-3. Parker, who currently drives a Dodge [#36 GNC] in the BGN, is scheduled to compete in both series that weekend. Parker will run the #91 Dodge as part of Evernham Motorsports ongoing commitment to research and development for Dodge. “We feel Hank deserved a shot at driving this car for us,” said Ray Evernham, President and CEO of Evernham Motorsports. “He gave Dodge their first victory in the Busch Series and we feel he deserved to be rewarded for his loyalty to the Dodge program.” Sammy Johns, research and development coordinator for Evernham Motorsports, will serve as crew chief for the team. The pit crew will be made up of backup pit crew members for Evernham Motorsports. Dick Trickle attempted to qualify the #91 Dodge at Talladega in April.(Golin Harris PR)(10-19-2002)
  • Cope’s team to attempt Phoenix with Jeff Jefferson: Quest Motor Racing owners Derrick Cope and Warren Johnson, have announced that Jeff Jefferson will drive the #37 Xtreme Motorsports Marketing Pontiac in the November 10 NASCAR Winston Cup event at Phoenix International Raceway, located in Avondale, Arizona. Jefferson, a native of Naches, WA, recently completed the Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series, NASCAR Touring season with four Bud Pole Awards and two victories. He also wrapped up a top-20 points finish in the NASCAR Winston West series, and has one career victory on the prestigious touring division. Xtreme Motorsports Marketing is based in Victorville, CA, and specializes in motorsports marketing from Winston Cup to NASCAR Weekly Racing Series, presented by Dodge competitors. “I’m very excited about this wonderful opportunity to drive for Derrick and Warren,” Jefferson said. “It’s a dream come true and I will work very hard for the #37 Xtreme Motorsports Marketing Pontiac team.” Jefferson picked up his first Winston West victory in July of 2000 at the final asphalt-racing event for the historic Portland (Ore.) Speedway. This season, after competing at California Speedway in a Winston West machine, Jefferson boarded a plane and flew to West Richland, Wash. where he captured his first career Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series, NASCAR Touring victory. The 30-year old driver will be making his first start on the NASCAR Winston Cup series but not his first start on the one-mile paved oval in Avondale, Arizona. Jefferson is a past qualifying record holder behind the wheel of a Winston West machine at the famed speedplant.(southwesternstockcar.com)(10-19-2002)

    (10-18-2002)

  • Nadeau injured? Grissom in the #44 at Martinsville UPDATE 2 advised to site out rest of 2002: hearing Jerry Nadeau who driver the #44 Georgia Pacific Dodge for Petty was injured in some sort of Go Cart accident, was injured and will not be able to race at Martinsville, Stevee Grissom will supposedly sub for Nadeau in the #44.
    UPDATE: Steve Grissom will drive Petty Enterprises’ #44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge at Martinsville, Va., this weekend. Jerry Nadeau, who had been driving for the NASCAR Winston Cup team since mid-July, was injured in a go-kart accident late Thursday, and his rib injuries have sidelined him. “Steve has done a great job for us before and he has good Winston Cup experience,” said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. “Martinsville has been a good track for him, and we think he will do a great job for us and Georgia-Pacific. We really appreciate him stepping in and helping us out so quickly.” Grissom has Petty Enterprises’ best short-track finish this season, taking eighth at Richmond, Va., in May.(Williams Company PR)
    UPDATE 2: Jerry Nadeau, injured Thursday while riding go karts, will not drive the #44 Dodge again this season, team president and CEO Kyle Petty said Friday. “He called me, said he was riding go-karts and was in the hospital,” said Petty just before qualifying at Martinsville Speedway. “Then he called back later and said it was probably going to be (out) four to six weeks. Jerry’s not driving for us next year, so the best thing for him to do is sit at home and do his stuff so he can come out strong next year. If he’s smart he’ll sit out the rest of the year. I think he will sit out the rest of the year. He hurt his shoulder and I think he tore some ligaments or some tendons or muscles. So it’s going to have to repair itself. I think the doctors can do something for him, rehab and stuff. But it’s a time thing. When you look at that, he should just take his time and heal himself.” Nadeau is rumored to be taking over MB2 Motorsports’ #36 Pontiac in 2003. Petty is uncertain whether Steve Grissom will drive the car in the coming weeks, due to his obligations with Jimmy Spencer’s #34 BGN team. He was elated Grissom could drive this weekend.(NASCAR.com)(10-18-2002)
  • Musgrave to run Phoenix and Homestead in the #07: Sirius Satellite Radio announced that it will continue its partnership with Kenwood USA Corporation and field a second NASCAR Winston Cup team at three additional races this season – Martinsville, Phoenix and Homestead-Miami. “We’re pleased to be continue our partnership with Kenwood in this endeavor,” said Joseph P. Clayton, President and CEO of Sirius. “Kenwood is a leader in their industry and one of our key hardware partners. Sponsoring a second NASCAR team with Kenwood is a perfect fit for Sirius as we continue to bring our 100 percent commercial free music and outstanding entertainment programming to race fans and consumers across the country.” Joining Sirius teammate Casey Atwood, driver of the #7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge, CTS driver Ted Musgrave once again will pilot the #07 Kenwood/Sirius Dodge. Earlier this year, Musgrave competed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he finished 21st in the Brickyard 400, and Darlington Raceway, where he finished 27th in the Mountain Dew Southern 500. During the final two stops of the season, Musgrave will pull double duty, competing in both the NASCAR Winston Cup and Craftsman Truck Series events.(Golin/Harris International PR)(10-18-2002)
  • Marlin back at Phoenix? The Kansas wreck that brought the curtain down on Sterling Marlin’s best season in the Winston Cup Series, given that the original prognosis said he wouldn’t race again until 2003. But if everything goes according to plan, Marlin could be back in the car in time for the Phoenix race on Nov. 10. “The doctor said four to six weeks, so we’ll have to see what he says,” Marlin says. “I know I can’t get back in the car at Atlanta or Rockingham, but if the doctor says I’m healed up, it’s possible I could be back at Phoenix. I want to get back. This is all I’ve ever done since 1987 — full time. I want to drive. I want to run. I want to go, but right now I can’t do it.”(Sporting News)(10-18-2002)
  • Cope back in the #49 at Atlanta: Derrike Cope will return to driving duties at Atlanta in the #49 BAM Racing Dodge.(BAM Racing Site)(10-18-2002)
  • Record $100,000 Purse Posted For Union 76/Rockingham World Pit Crew Competition: Teams participating in the Union 76/Rockingham World Pit Crew Competition on November 2 at North Carolina Speedway will square off for a record purse of $100,000 which includes a $10,000 bonus being awarded to the team who sets a new world record. The increased payout represents a 16% increase over the prize money posted in 2001.. In addition, the $10,000 bonus being awarded for a new world record is 10 times greater than the bonus offered just one year ago. One team stands the chance to walk away from this year’s pit crew competition with a. $40,000 check, provided they can win the event and set a new world record. Matt Kenseth’s #17 pit crew are the defending champions and currently boast the world record time of 17.695 seconds. Held annually during the fall race weekend at North Carolina Speedway since 1967, the object of the Union 76/World Pit Crew Competition is for each crew in the top 25 in NASCAR Winston Cup Series points to empty 14 gallons of 76 Gasoline into the car (two cans holding seven gallons each) and change both left- and right-side tires in as short a time as possible.. Time penalties are assessed for various infractions including loose lug nuts, fuel spills and fuel left in the gas can.. The team with the fastest time becomes the new world champion. Children 12 and under will be admitted Free to the General Admission section for Qualifying on Friday and Saturday’s Sam’s Club 200 and Union 76/Rockingham World Pit Crew Competition when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Tickets may be purchased by calling the North Carolina Speedway ticket office at (910) 582-2861 or by visiting online at www.northcarolinaspeedway.com.(IMG Motorsports PR)(10-18-2002)
  • J.J. Yeley to NASCAR? has test lined up UPDATE: J.J. Yeley, a Phoenix, Ariz., native who could lock up his first Silver Crown points title by finishing seventh or better in the season-ending Little Trees Salt City 100 on Saturday at Syracuse. Yeley, who has driven IRL cars and finished ninth in the 1998 Indianapolis 500, said he is leaning toward trying to follow former USAC stars such as Stewart and Newman into NASCAR racing rather than pursuing an open-wheel series. Yeley said he already has a test lined up in a Busch Series car, one step below Winston Cup. “I think the opportunities are a little easier or better in NASCAR right now,” Yeley said. “I would love to do a Craftsman Trucks race.”(Post Standard)(10-11-2002)
    UPDATE: Yeley hoped this season’s combined performances might lead to an Indy Racing League ride, and it still might. But with nothing firm on the table, he’s beginning to look toward NASCAR, the current home of past USAC Silver Crown champs Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart. “I’ve got a couple of Busch Series tests lined up in December with (ppc Racing), and I’ve been assured that it’s going to happen,” said Yeley, a Phoenix native who moved to the Indianapolis area two years ago. “The doors are finally starting to open for me. Hopefully, I’ll get through one of them.”(Arizona Republic)(10-18-2002)
  • Last time a driver won and not be at the following race? #40-Jamie McMurray won at Lowe’s Motor Speedway last week, but due to a committment to his #27 BGN team, he will not race at Martinsville. It marks the first time a race winner has not started the next event since 1984 when it happened twice. In March 1984, Benny Parsons won the Coca-Cola 500 at Atlanta but did not start the next race (Valleydale 500 at Bristol). In April 1984, Cale Yarborough won the Winston 500 at Talladega but did not start the next race (Coors 420 at Nashville Fairgrounds). Both Parsons and Yarborough were running limited schedules at the time focusing on the larger tracks.(Jeff Gordon Online)(10-18-2002)
  • Benny to drive at Martinsville: Sunday, NBC analyst Benny Parsons will drive the NBC [Ford No Boundries Taurus] car that will preview the track for NASCAR’s Old Dominion 500, Wally Dallenbach usually does the driving.(USA Today)(10-18-2002)
  • Rookie Stuff UPDATE Gordon out: If the season ended now, #12-Ryan Newman would be on top of the series’ rookie standings — largely because he has more top-five finishes — even though he trails 348-Jimmie Johnson in Winston Cup points. But the winner could be a matter of choice for NASCAR. Though Newman holds the edge in rookie points, there’s another factor in the equation. A panel of four NASCAR officials can add or subtract points based on each rookie’s conduct on and off the track. The Winston Cup champion was on that panel last year, but that policy is under review because of Gordon’s affiliation with Johnson.(Sporting News), also been asked alot if Jamie McMurray will be eligiable for Rookie of the Year in 2003, as far as I know, as long as he doesn’t run more then seven Cup races (impossible for him at this point) he will be a 2003 Rookie of the Year candiate, and no, no other driver has run for Rookie of the Year and won the year before.(10-17-2002)
    UPDATE: been told – NASCAR has already elminated Jeff Jordon (defending champion of series) from the post-season rookie of the year voting panel. It will be now be four NASCAR officials.(10-18-2002)
  • Coor’s and the Marine’s at Martinsville: Coors Light will honor and celebrate at Martinsville Speedway this weekend with the United States Marines as they celebrate their 227th anniversary. In support of the anniversary, the #40 Coors Light Dodge will sport a commemorative U.S. Marines paint scheme during the Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville Speedway. “The Coors family and Coors Brewing Company have a long history with honoring all divisions of the United States Military. With our Marine Corp paint schematic we are paying tribute to the Marines and their unwavering nobility in defense of our country,” said Carl Barnhill, Senior Vice President of Sales for Coors Brewing Company and former Marine. Coors Brewing Company is very committed to honoring United States military services and veterans. The veteran employees at Coors came up with a plan to honor all five divisions of the military with a statue called “Defenders of Freedom.” This statue stands proudly at the entrance of the brewery in Golden, Colorado. It is the only memorial that honors all five divisions of the U.S. Military to stand on corporate campus. General James Jones, the Commandant of the Marine Corp, will be present at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, October 20 and will be recognized and address the crowd during the Winston Cup pre-race ceremonies. Mike Bliss will drive the #40 Coors Light Dodge in the Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Bliss will be in the car for one race only; Jamie McMurray will resume driving responsibilities in Atlanta.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(10-18-2002)
  • Gordon GQ: Jeff Gordon was honored on Wednesday evening at the GQ Magazine ‘Men of the Year’ awards at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. Gordon accepted the award for Individual Athlete of the Year. Hosted by comedian Dennis Miller, the seventh annual GQ Men of the Year Awards recognized 18 men of distinction from the worlds of music, fashion/style, film, literature, sports, comedy, television, theatre and the culinary arts. In the other sports category, New Jersey Nets guard Jason Kidd was honored as the Team Athlete of the Year. Among the other celebrities in attendance were Denzel Washington, Naomi Campbell, Kiefer Sutherland, Hugh Grant, Samuel L. Jackson, Heidi Klum, Ralph Lauren, Elijah Wood and Tom Brokaw. Gordon, along with Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr, was featured in the October issue of GQ Magazine.(Gordonline), The show will air on NBC on Saturday, December 14, at 10:00pm/et.(10-18-2002)
  • Conz plans to attempt the Daytona 500: ARCA driver, Brian Conz, BC Motorsports and Carb-R-All Racing plan to enter and run the 2003 Daytona 500. At this time their Winston Cup car number will be #78 and they are putting together a team and purchasing new equipment. Thier shop is located in Tennessee.(Brian Conz Site)(10-18-2002)

    (10-17-2002)

  • #60 Team adds race: Jack Sprague and the #60 Haas CNC Racing team will attempt to qualify for the Napa 500 at Atlanta on October 27. The decision to add the Atlanta venue to their 2002 schedule was made after qualifying was rained out last weekend in Charlotte. It will mark Sprague’s second Winston Cup qualifying effort of the season in the #60 Haas CNC Racing Chevy. Sprague and the Haas CNC Racing team are also scheduled to run races at North Carolina Speedway on November 3 and Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 17 as they prepare for the 2003 Winston Cup season.(Motorsports Management Group PR)(10-17-2002)
  • ARCA Accident Invesigation News: An investigation of last Wednesday’s fatal accident at Lowe’s Motor Speedway concluded there was a delay in transmitting information about Eric Martin’s crashed car to Deborah Renshaw, who slammed into Martin’s stalled vehicle seconds later and killed him, ARCA President Ron Drager said yesterday. ”We feel that a spotter in the spotters’ stand could have prevented what happened,” Drager said.(Tennessean)(10-17-2002)
  • Been Asked – Has a team ever won a Owners Championship when the Driver did not won the Driver Championship: Last time was 1963 when Joe Weatherly won the Drivers Championship (driving for 9 different teams) and the #21 Wood Brothers team (with 6 different drivers in 23 of the 53 races) won the Owners Championship.(thanks to Jeff Hammond for the heads up on Weds Totally NASCAR). Why do folks ask? Because the #40 Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates team is 4th in Owners points…and yes they could win the Owner’s Championship while another driver wins the Drivers Championship, but the top 10 in DRIVERS points would be the drivers you see on stage at the Winston Cup Banquet.(10-17-2002)
  • #77 Update: With the 2003 switch from Ford to Dodge announced last weekend at Charlotte by the Penske South Team, the future of the two-year alliance between that team and the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford team of driver Dave Blaney has moved into a more complicated set of elements as the power-plant relationship between Roger Penske and Jasper co-owners Doug Bawel, Mark Harrah and Mark Wallace projects toward next season. Recently, Harrah—also Team Manager for the #77 Jasper team—commented on the plans for the Penske-Jasper Engine program as well as the current state of his race team, now 19th in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series owner and driver point standings entering this weekend’s Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Harrah’s comments: “In the discussions we’ve had as a group about the Penske South switch to Dodge, the technology we share will be common between the engines. We’ll still be with Ford in 2003. I’m dedicated to the Ford people, and we’re staying Ford at least through next year. It will certainly be interesting to see, with Penske’s move to Dodge, how the different trials and tribulations will play out. But a lot of the technical things we do will still be the same, just under different shell bodies. Even aero-wise we’ll be able to take some things off the Dodge and use it on our Ford. From an engine standpoint, Larry is prepared internally to do both programs. Our engines are pretty unique, and a lot that is in the drive train. With our involvement with Ilmor Engineering, they’re very involved with Mercedes, and a lot of that technology is carried over into our engines. I think our engines set the standard in the garage for fuel mileage and power. Last year we’d go three, four or five laps ahead of everyone else, for fuel mileage. The Penske-Jasper engines get great fuel mileage, and we would play it real conservative, play with the jetting to trade some power for fuel mileage. And it paid off quite a few times last year.”(Jasper Racing)(10-17-2002)
  • Bodine placed on Probation UPDATE Statement: NASCAR officials announced today that Todd Bodine, driver of the #26 Ford in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, has been placed on probation until Dec. 31. Bodine was penalized under Section 12-4-A in the NASCAR Winston Cup rule book (“Actions detrimental to stock car racing: careless driving”). If, during the remaining NASCAR events in 2002, there is another action by Bodine that is deemed by NASCAR officials as detrimental to the event or is disruptive to the orderly conduct of an event, he will receive an indefinite suspension from NASCAR. “We’ve noticed numerous on-track incidents involving Todd and we felt this was the proper step to take at this time,” said John Darby, NASCAR Winston Cup Series Director. On Sunday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Bodine was involved in a multi-car accident on Lap 231.(NASCAR PR)(10-16-2002)
    UPDATE: Statement on Probation – “I respect NASCAR’s decision and I am putting what happened in Charlotte behind me..I made a mistake and that’s it. Right now I am concentrating on Martinsville and this Haas-Carter race team. I’ve got a pole to defend and if all goes well, a chance to win the race.” -Todd Bodine.(10-17-2002)


    (10-16-2002)

  • Book Signing: Meet Legendary NASCAR Crew Chief, Larry McReynolds, signing his new autobiography, Larry McReynolds: The Big Picture, at Waldenbooks at Liberty Fair Mall, 240 Commonwealth Blvd in Martinsville, VA, on Saturday, October 19 from 6:00-7:00pm.[David Bull Publishing] more books on my Racing Bookstore page.(10-16-2002)
  • #9 Crew Chief Fined: NASCAR also issued a fine to Mike Ford, crew chief of the #9 Dodge because team member Phil Gould went onto pit road during the race without a helmet. Ford was fined $2,000 and penalized under Section 9-4-A (“The crew chief assumes the responsibility for the actions of his team members.”) and Section 12-17-A3 (“Crew member entered the car servicing area without a helmet”)(NASCAR PR)(10-16-2002)
  • FitzBradshaw Racing add Homestead to Cup sched: FitzBradshaw Racing will field the #83 Aaron’s Dream Machine Chevy in the Ford 400 at Homestead Miami Speedway on November 17, 2002. The car will be driven by Kerry Earnhardt. Earnhardt was originally slated to drive the #83 Aaron’s Dream Machine Chevy in the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, however for the second weekend in a row inclement weather forced drivers to start the race by owner points. This was FitzBradshaw’s second attempt in the Winston Cup Series. The team’s first attempt was the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 6, 2002. Qualifying for that race was also rained out. Earnhardt is also scheduled to drive the #83 Aaron’s Dream Machine in the NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 27, 2002.(FitzBradshaw Racing PR)(10-16-2002)
  • #97 Scheme Announcment: #97 Rubbermaid Racing driver Kurt Busch will spread the Christmas cheer on October 25, 2002, at Atlanta Motor Speedway. A 2:30pm press conference and unveiling is scheduled in the Media Center of Atlanta Motor Speedway. The #97 Rubbermaid Ford will be transformed into the #97 Little Tikes Coupe for the season-ending race at Miami-Homestead Speedway on November 17, and the upcoming press conference in Atlanta will be the first time the new ‘sled’ will have ever been seen. Little Tikes, a division of Newell Rubbermaid, launched an internal paint scheme contest in March, lasting three weeks (5th-22nd). Little Tikes employees had the opportunity to create their own idea of what the ultimate #97 Little Tikes Ford would resemble.. The winning paint scheme, created by Pat Cieplinski, a Little Tikes employee since 1977, features one of the best-selling Little Tikes productsthe Cozy Coupe. Pat Cieplinski, the winner of the #97 Little Tikes Special Paint Scheme Contest, has been working with the company since 1977. As a result, Pat will win a trip for two to the Miami-Homestead race on November 17 along with airfare and hotel accommodations. Pat will have “behind-the-scenes” access at the track along with a Meet-and-Greet with Rubbermaid driver, Kurt Busch.(Pro Sports Management and Marketing PR), see an image of the scheme on the Paint Scheme Gallery.(10-16-2002)
  • Vasser to NASCAR? UPDATE 2: Jimmy Vasser, the 1996 CART champion while driving for Chip Ganassi, nearing the end of his first season at Team Rahal, chances are slim he’ll be back for a second. With primary sponsor Shell either cutting back or going away, Rahal is unlikely to be able to meet Vasser’s asking price. That has the 36-year-old driver knocking on doors. “Team Rahal is not in position to keep the team intact, or so I’m told,” Vasser said. “There’s interest all around the paddock, but nobody’s able to make a commitment.” Vasser was tempted to go to NASCAR a few years ago and is looking that way again. He said a BGN deal that would allow him to continue to run the Indianapolis 500 would appeal to him. “My goals are still long-term. Nobody’s ever won a CART championship and a Winston Cup championship, and I’d like to be the first,” he said. “But at this point, it’s hard to make choices until there’s some options on the table.”(Indianapolis Star)(10-7-2002)
    UPDATE: Chip Ganassi [#40, #41 owner] has been keeping a low profile in the two weeks since Sterling Marlin was forced out of the Winston Cup championship race. But now comes word he may be looking once again at putting Jimmy Vasser in a Winston Cup car next season.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-14-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Open-wheel/CART veteran Jimmy Vasser, who has expressed interest in a stock car career, was in the ARCA RE/MAX garage at Lowe’s talking things [this past weekend] over with ARCA/BGN team owner Todd Braun. Braun fielded the #77 Dodge driven by ARCA Rookie of the Year Chad Blount in ARCA competition.(ARCA Site)(10-16-2002)
  • IRWIN Rough to Finish Award #18 Team: In a season marked by disappointment and heartache, Bobby Labonte’ s second-place finish in Sunday’s UAW-GM 500 was the lift that the #18 Interstate Batteries team needed. After wrecking two cars two weeks ago in Kansas City, the Jimmy Makar led crew worked tirelessly to prepare one of the team’s older cars for this weekend’ s race and their hard work paid off, helping to earn Makar this week’s IRWIN “Rough to the Finish” award. Labonte’ s second-place finish was his best finish since he won the Virginia 500 at Martinsville earlier this season. Labonte also led three times for a total of 53 laps during the event, marking the first laps Labonte has led since the Coca-Cola Racing Family 600 in May. In addition, this was his ninth top-five and 13th top-10 in 20 career starts at Lowe’s. “This is an old race car with a new setup and it worked pretty good for us tonight,” explained Makar. “I know Bobby still would have liked to win, but this is one of our better racetracks and we like coming here, so second place isn’ t bad. This whole crew deserves all the credit for tonight’ s effort.”
    Each week throughout the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season, Irwin, makers of professional power tool accessories like Marathon Plus saw blades and Speedbor flat bits, is partnering with Performance Racing Network to honor the crew chief who had the toughest day in the pits, but still managed to help his team to a strong finish. The IRWIN Rough to the Finish Award includes an assortment of tools for the crew chief and a $250 check donated to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund in the racing team’s name.. The year-end winner of the crew chief points standings will win a $5,000 check donated to the Fund.. Race fans wanting to make a contribution to the Fund may do so by sending it to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund, PO Box 443, Ellerbe, NC 28338. In addition to the crew chief award, Irwin is also sponsoring the weekly nationally syndicated radio show, “Fast Talk with Benny Parsons“, throughout the upcoming year.(Golin Harris PR)(10-16-2002)
  • The King inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame UPDATE: NASCAR legend Richard Petty is making history tonight as he is officially inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame. Petty, the first NASCAR driver to receive this honor, was nominated and selected for his contributions to the automotive world, both on and off the track. etty, who stepped out of his racecar for the final time nearly ten years ago, is a seven-time Winston Cup NASCAR champion and winner of a record 200 races. Throughout the last decade, he has remained active within the racing community through his daily responsibilities at Petty Enterprises. Off the track, Petty has lent his automotive wisdom to educate Americans on the importance of engine maintenance through the All 3 Every 3 education initiative. “The name Richard Petty is synonymous with winning on the race track,” says Automotive Hall of Fame President Jeffery Leestma. “However, if you look at his contributions to other initiatives such as highway and vehicle safety, they are equally as impressive and of enormous importance.”
    “When I first started out, there were no Halls-of-Fame, you just did something because that was what you loved,” said Petty. “It’s really an honor for me, not only to be nominated but to be inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame. To be associated with the same group of people who have changed the automotive industry forever is really an unbelievable honor.” The Automotive Hall of Fame, located in Dearborn, Michigan, is the only industry-wide means to honor the men and women of the global motor vehicle and related industries. It is dedicated to preserving the history of mobility by celebrating the creativity, toil and genius of the individual. The Automotive Hall of Fame is both a visitor attraction and an educational resource for inspiring others to higher levels of achievement in their own work and lives.(PR)(10-15-2002)
    UPDATE: NASCAR legend Richard Petty made history last night as he was officially inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame. Petty, the first NASCAR driver to receive this honor, was nominated and selected for his contributions to the automotive world, both on and off the track.(Yahoo)(10-16-2002)
  • Three Paintings of Motorcraft Ford to be Presented at Air Force Art Program: This Friday, October 18, 2002, Eddie Wood and his wife, Carol, and Len Wood, and his wife Nancy, will leave Martinsville Speedway after practice, and fly to Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C., to have dinner with a number of generals and high-ranking officers of the United States Air Force. The Wood’s are co-owners of the #21 Motorscraft/Air Force Ford. Following the reception and dinner the Woods’ hosts will receive some 150 paintings representing various activities involving the men and women of the American armed forces. At least three of these pieces of art portray the famed #21 Motorcraft Racing Ford Taurus. The United States Air Force became an associate sponsor with the race team at the beginning of the 2001 season and uses the team’s Winston Cup race program as a key ingredient in current recruiting and retention efforts at race tracks, schools and recruiting offices nationwide. The Air Force logo is prominently displayed on the car each week, and at two races this year the Wood Brothers Taurus carried an Air Force paint scheme. “We are so very proud of our association with the U.S. Air Force,” said Len Wood. “It has given us such a great opportunity to get to know so many of this elite group of men and women. We have visited Air Force bases all over the United States, seen the planes that defend this country and met the people who fly them and take care of them. And almost every race we get to host recruiters and the pilots and crews of the planes that do the flybys for that event. And we hope that this association is helping in the recruitment of talented young men and women in this country to join the Armed Forces to defend all of our freedoms. I cannot begin to tell you how proud this whole team is to be represented at the 2002 Air Force Art Program. We understand that the paintings from this year’s program will be distributed to various Air Force locations for display throughout the country, including the Pentagon. This is such an honor.” The three paintings that will be given to the Air Force Art Program on Friday evening were created by artists Lee Bivens, Lori Crane and Michael Goettner over the past two seasons, and portray the 21 Ford Taurus in both the Motorcraft Racing and Air Force paint schemes.(Wood Bros/Ford Racing PR)(10-16-2002)

    (10-15-2002)

  • Earnhardt Honored: Three to four thousand people attended the unveiling Monday morning of a 9-foot statue honoring racing legend and Kannapolis, NC native Dale Earnhardt. In the memorial, Earnhardt sports his signature grin and has his arms crossed. He’s dressed in Wrangler blue jeans, cowboy boots and a button-down short-sleeved shirt. Members of the Earnhardt family, including widow Teresa and son Dale Jr., uncovered the statue to applause. The statute is at the Dale Earnhardt Plaza, off South Main Street between West A and West B streets. It is open to the public.(Charlotte Observer and another story at the Independent Tribune and a story with images on my Column/Story Links page)(10-15-2002)
  • 2002 Winston West Champ Crowned: Eric Norris clinched the NASCAR Winston West Series championship for 2002 with a second-place finish in The Orleans 150 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Austin Cameron, who entered the event just 36 points behind Norris in the championship standings, finished 25th after dropping out of the race with an oil leak. He fell to third in the final standings, just four points behind Kevin Richards.(Racing West) Congrats. NOTE: Norris is son of actor Chuck Norris. Also check out Norris’ site www.norrisracing.com (be warned – heavy duty ‘flash’ site)(10-15-2002)
  • McMurray not to run at Martinsville, Bliss in: Jamie McMurray, who won at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Sunday in just his second career Winston Cup start, apparently will not drive the #40 Coor’s Light Dodge in this week’s race at Martinsville. A NASCAR spokesman said Tuesday that Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, which owns the car, had notified NASCAR to change the driver’s name on the team’s entry blank from McMurray to Mike Bliss. When McMurray was called on to replace the injured Sterling Marlin before the race at Talladega, Martinsville’s race loomed as a conflict because the BGN races this weekend at Memphis. McMurray is committed to finishing the season in the #27 Chevys owned by Brewco Motorsports. After Sunday’s victory, McMurray said he hoped it could be arranged for him to compete in the BGN race on Saturday while another driver practiced and qualified the Winston Cup car at Martinsville, then go to Martinsville and start the Winston Cup race from the rear of the field. Although McMurray has never raced at the .526-mile Martinsville track, he and Bliss both tested with the #40 team for two days at Martinsville earlier this month.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-15-2002)
  • TV Ratings for Lowe’s: NBC Sports’ rain-delayed coverage of the NASCAR Winston Cup UAW-GM Quality 500 from Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte earned an impressive 5.0 national rating/10 share (3:33 p.m. – 7:32 p.m. ET), NASCAR’s highest rating ever against professional football, according to Nielsen Media Research. The 5.0 rating is all the more significant as the race also faced 2-1/2 hours of head-to-head competition from the deciding game of baseball’s American-League Championship Series in which Anaheim eliminated Minnesota 13-5. The previous NASCAR rating high against a professional football telecast came last week at Talladega, when the race earned a 4.8/11. The 5.0 represents a 127 percent increase over last year’s race, which was moved to TNT due to NBC’s war coverage and generated a converted national household rating of a 2.2/5. The UAW-GM Quality 500 steadily built its audience to a peak of 6.3/11 at 7 p.m. ET when rookie Jamie McMurray took the checkered flag in only his second Winston Cup race start. Through 14 telecasts (excluding the Daytona 500), NASCAR Winston Cup coverage on NBC and TNT has produced a 4.3 national rating/10 share, an eight percent increase over last year’s record breaking average of a 4.0/11 (excluding the primetime Pepsi 400) through the comparable weekend.(NBC PR)(10-15-2002)
  • Hooters/Brooks could be part owner of the #11 UPDATE 2: Brett Bodine is poised for a change in the direction of his NASCAR Winston Cup team. Bodine began the year without a primary sponsor and was on the verge of closing his doors before signing Hooters restaurant chain to a small but team-saving contract. He has a verbal agreement from Hooters owner Bob Brooks for sponsorship for 2003. “He’s basically told me you’ve got a deal for next year and possibly more,” Bodine said. “They’re in a process to evaluate the program and how much they want to invest in a Winston Cup sponsorship. We’d like more sponsorship,” Bodine added. “You’ve got to look at what is going to be a good investment to be competitive. We’re hoping to get them signed up for a long-term deal.” One scenario would have Hooters become a partner in the team. If that happened, Bodine said, “I wouldn’t have to ever look for a major sponsor again.” He said he hopes to have a deal in place within the month. Bodine is also trying to add to or re-sign his associate sponsors. And he knows that if everything he hopes for happens, then there will be more pressure on him and his team.(Star Gazette)(8-8-2002)
    UPDATE: Brett Bodine says he may sell part of his Winston Cup team to the Hooter’s Restaurant chain, according to a story in this week’s NASCAR Winston Cup Scene. Reporter Kenny Bruce writes that Bodine and Hooters CEO Bob Brooks have “basically agreed that we have a deal,” but details, which include the possibility of the sale of part of the team, remain to be worked out.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(8-14-2002)
    UPDATE 2: hearing Bodine has signed a contract with Robert Brooks [owner of Hooter’s] that calls for Brooks will own 51% of the team, Brett Bodine will own 24.5% and wife Diane will own 24.5%.(10-15-2002)
  • Geoffrey Bodine in the #23 at Martinsville for practice/qualifying: Kenny Wallace, who is the primary driver of the #23 Hills Bros. Coffee Dodge, will be unable to be at Martinsville on Friday and Saturday this weekend, as he will be in Memphis competing in the BGN race. Wallace took over the full-time driving duties for the #23 car at Darlington earlier this year; however, his primary obligation for the remainder of the 2002 season is to the #48 Stacker 2 car in the BGN Series. Geoffrey Bodine has been chosen to fill in for the absent Wallace. “When Kenny agreed to take over the driving duties for the No. 23 car earlier this year, we knew there would be two races, Talladega and Memphis, in which he had conflicts with the schedule,” said car owner, Bill Davis. “At Talladega, we chose a Bill Davis Racing driver, Scott Wimmer, to substitute for Kenny.. We couldn’t use Scott at Memphis, as he had the same conflict that Kenny does. Both those drivers are in a points battle in the Busch Series, so both of them need to put their full attention to that event. Fortunately, Geoffrey (Bodine) agreed to fill in for Kenny and we are very grateful to him coming in and helping us out in this situation.. The plan is to have Geoffrey practice and qualify the No. 23 car and then have Kenny start from the rear on Sunday. His knowledge and experience at a track like Martinsville will be an asset to this team.”. Equipment:. Wallace and the Hills Bros. Coffee Racing Team are taking the same car to Martinsville that competed earlier this year at the fall Richmond event where it finished 14th and at the fall Loudon event where it finished 18th.(Bill Davis PR)(10-15-2002)
  • Hermie on Pay Per View: Hermie Sadler, driver of the #02 Cup car, will be making another appearance at the NWA-TNA Pay-Per-View this Wednesday night and will be involved in a tag-team match involving Jeff Jarrett and BG James. The PPV airs live Wednesday night at 8:00pm/et and a camera crew from NASCAR Images will be at the event to shoot footage for a segment on “NASCAR This Morning” which will air Sunday morning on Fox Sports Net prior to the Winston Cup race at Martinsville. NWA makes donations to the Faison School for Austism for Sadler’s appearances.(10-15-2002)
  • McGlynn to attempt a Pocono Cup race? UPDATE 3 At Martinsville: hearing CTS driver Ryan McGlynn and team is preparing a Chevy to run at one or both Pocono Winston Cup events. McGlynn Racing is based in Wilkes-Barre, PA. No word on sponsorship at this time.(5-25-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing McGlynn will attempt the 2nd Pocono race in July, not the race in June.(5-29-2002)
    UPDATE 2: now hearing it is unlikely that McGlynn will be attempting to run Pocono this week but McGlynn may attempt to run New Hampshire in September.(7-23-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Ryan McGlynn will be attempting his Winston Cup debut at Martinsville Speedway. McGlynn has driven at Pennsylvania’s Mountain Speedway and also competed at New Jersey’s Flemington Speedway and Tioga Speedway in New York and more recently has been a regular in the CTS. “I’m really excited about this opportunity and I’m ready to go. We’re still pounding some things out on the car to get it all finished,” said 27-year old McGlynn who resides in Wilkes-Barre and is the manger of McGlynn’s High Performance Auto Parts. McGlynn had hoped to be able to race earlier this year at both Pocono Raceway Winston Cup events but due to lack of superspeedway experience required by NASCAR he has to settle for the .526-mile at Martinsville. “We actually had quite a bit of sponsorship to go to both Pocono races with the Cup car. We felt that we had as good a shot as anybody to run well there due to the fact that I have run a lot of laps there as an instructor for the Stock Car Racing Experience school. They (NASCAR) shot me down and said that I didn’t have enough speedway experience in the Truck Series. They told me had I run a Busch car at the bigger tracks it would have been a different story. After that we lost the sponsorship we had to go to Pocono but we still have a brand new car sitting here and that’s how it came about that we are going to Martinsville,” said McGlynn. Although McGlynn would have much rather debuted at Pocono in front of the home crowd, he feels just as comfortable at Martinsville where he had raced numerous times with the trucks. “I’ve been to most of these tracks at least once and most of them several times so as far as that goes it’s pretty easy anymore. I like Martinsville because it’s a tight little track and it’s what I was accustomed to when I raced at Mountain Speedway,” said McGlynn. McGlynn’s maiden voyage will come behind the wheel of a brand new 2002 #80 Chevy. CRD Engineering of North Carolina has put together the motor. This will be CRD’s first venue into Winston Cup as well. Their presence has been primarily in the BGN and CTS Series. It will no doubt be a task getting the car into the race. McGlynn’s first time out with the car will not take place until he arrives for practice on Friday. “I’m just going off by what everybody else says that came from the trucks and went to the cars that it’s like night and day. Nine out of ten guys who where in the trucks and went to the cars or moved up to the Cup said they (cars) are a 100 times easier to drive so I’m just going on that. It’s not like I never raced cars before,” explained McGlynn. “Opptomisticly speaking I’m hoping for a decent qualifying position. I’m not going to go down there and expect to get into the top-15. But if I can qualify, get in the race, run 500 laps and be there at the end then we reached our goal. If everything works out well for Martinsville then McGlynn said the team would possibly make a run at Phoenix in November. As far as his Craftsmen Truck goes, there are no plans to park it. They are already mapping out their game plan for 2003.(Open Wheel Racing)(10-15-2002)
  • NAPCM Pit Crew of the Week – #18: High-performance pit stops all day led the #18 Interstate Batteries team to an impressive 2nd place Lowe’s Motor Speedway finish from a 18th place start. Congratulations #18 Interstate Batteries Crew on earning this week’s NAPCM “Pit Crew Of The Week” award, sponsored by Toxabsorb www.toxabsorb.com), “Instant non-skid pit stall prep, creating grip for faster pit stops” and “Official Spill Response Agent of the National Association Of Pit Crew Members”. Check out the latest Mechanix Wear “Pit Crew Of The Year” standings and latest, NEW NAPCM member benefits, available at the National Association Of Pit Crew Members website(www.napcm.com).(10-15-2002)
  • No Changes at RYR #88: Although Dale Jarrett could finish outside of the top 10 in points for the first time since 1994, he says he’s “not expecting any changes” next season despite rumors of a crew chief swap. Todd Parrott decided to move from crew chief into the front office at the end of last season, but he returned as crew chief in April because the team was struggling and outside the top 20 in points. Jarrett, with two victories since, is making a late push for the top 10.(Sporting News)(10-15-2002)
  • #59 Sponsor for Martinsville: Check-into-Cash, a national advance pay chain, will continue their sponsorship of the Price Motorsports # 59 driven by Carl Long at Martinsville Speedway this coming weekend. Representatives from Check-into-Cash were present at qualifying for last weekend’s race in Charlotte and considered their penetration into NASCAR Winston Cup Series a positive experience despite qualifying being canceled due to rain. According to Becca Whitmire, National Marketing Manager for Check-into-Cash, “We’ve already seen an increase in business activity as a result of our exposure in NASCAR.” The field for the UAW-GM 500 at Charlotte ended up being set by Owner points, not qualifying times, which placed Price Motorsports 44th on the 43 car list. However, the Price Motorsports team once again proved that they could compete in this top series. According to Mike Chance, Crew Chief for the Check-into-Cash Dodge, ” I was pleased with our practice times at Charlotte. I’m confident that our qualifying set-up would have put us in the race if it had not been for the rainout.” Check-into-Cash has over 650 offices across the USA and is expanding rapidly. Check-into-Cash operates within the parameters of the Best Practices of the Community Financial Services Association of America. For more information on Check-into-Cash, please see checkintocash.com.(PR)(10-15-2002)
  • Testing at the Rock: The Following Drivers Will Be Testing At North Carolina Speedway: Monday – Tuesday, October 14 – 15 testing for the upcoming NASCAR weekend November 2 – 3, 2002. NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Jack Sprague – #160 Chevrolet, Ron Hornaday – #154 Chevrolet and Mike Harmon – #193 Ford (Cup or BGN?). Grandstand gates are open 9:00am – 4:00pm. The general public is invited to veiw the test session from the grandstand.(North Carolina Speedway PR via Catchfence)(10-15-2002)

    (10-14-2002)

  • Testing at Atlanta: Searching for a combination that works on Atlanta Motor Speedway’s fast, high banks, Robby Gordon topped 184 mph while testing Monday for the Oct. 25-27 NAPA 500 weekend. Gordon sped his #31 Cingular Chevy around the 1.54-mile quad-oval at 184.308 mph. #81-Dwayne Leik also participated in Monday’s test, running a lap of 175.387mph as he tested for the Oct. 26 Aaron’s 312 BGN race.(AMS PR)(10-14-2002)
  • Junie Honored: Longtime team owner Junie Donlavey of Richmond got another lifetime achievement award Sunday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The latest is the Smokey Yunick Award, named for the late NASCAR pioneer.(Daily Press)(10-14-2002)
  • Gordon hurt…but ok: #31-Robby Gordon hurt his ankle in the big crash that took out 10 cars, but it wasn’t from the wreck. He made the comment that his foot “is hurt a little bit.” To clarify, he aggravated an injury he suffered on a dirt bike earlier this year by putting a lot of pressure on it while braking hard during the accident. It is sore, he said, but not a further injury.(The State)(10-14-2002)
  • Ganassi wants Spencer in full face: #40/41 team owner, Chip Ganassi, said he’s been bugging driver Jimmy Spencer all season to start using a full-face helmet for safety reasons.(Daytona Beach News Journal/AP)(10-14-2002)
  • Tires at Martinsville: Goodyear officials, who insist that they were not told about the recent grinding of Martinsville Speedway’s turns are bracing for a projected high demand for tires in the 500-lap event. Phil Holmer, Goodyear’s point man, called local distributor asking that every tire in the warehouse with Martinsville specifications be shipped to the track for next week’s event. Under normal circumstances Holmer says that Goodyear would bring 1,000 sets of left side tires and 1,000 sets of right side tires to Martinsville. But for next week’s event, on the surface which has no rubber worn into the newly reworked surface, Goodyear will bring 1,465 sets of lefts and 1,465 sets of rights for the event.(Ford Racing)(10-14-2002)
  • Even Smaller Fuel Tanks? NASCAR officials are considering even smaller fuel cells for the Daytona 500, according to NASCAR sources. The cells would be small enough, perhaps, that crews would only need to take one 11-gallon can over the wall. Some teams at Talladega got in as many as 14 gallons on a stop.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-14-2002)
  • McMurray and Miss Winston: Miss Winston Cielo Garcia has been absent in Victory Lane, the Indianapolis Star reports that Cielo is now the lady formerly known as Miss Winston. She is currently dating Jamie McMurray, and his promotion to Winston Cup forced Ms. Garcia to choose between her job as Miss Winston and McMurray. The rules do not allow Miss Winston to date any Winston Cup drivers. The new Miss Winston is Shannon Wiseman.(MotorsportsTV)(10-14-2002)
  • Elledge to the #18? Jimmy Makar’s search for a crew chief for #18-Bobby Labonte for next year continues, and one of the men he’s talked with, according to team sources, is Jimmy Elledge [presently with the #55 team].(Winston Salem Journal)(10-14-2002)
  • Rumblings – Lowe’s: #40-Jamie McMurray becomes the 17th different winner this season….last year we had 19. And, he became the 45th different driver to lead a lap this season….last year we had 48.
    Bobby Labonte (2nd) had his best finish since he won at Martinsville in April.
    Jerry Nadeau (13th) had his best finish since he was 8th at Bristol in March.
    STREAKIN….Ryan Newman has 7 Top-10’s in a row. Tony Stewart has 5 Top-10’s in a row.
    This Week’s Elevator….UP: Operator of the week is Jerry Nadeau (+26), followed by Mike Wallace (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Ricky Rudd (-29), followed by Matt Kenseth (-27), Bill Elliott (-26), and Ricky Craven (-20). This is the first time either Nadeau or Rudd have graced the “shaft” this year.
    #20-Tony Stewart padded his points lead today….he’s now 97 markers up on #48-Jimmie Johnson. We can now hang up our first “Magic Number” of the year (the position that Tony can finish and still win the Championship….no matter what that particular driver does), and it’s the minimum. In other words, if Tony finishes 6th every race, #2-Rusty Wallace can’t beat him. With Jimmie Johnson, its 2nd.(Stockcarfans Newsletter)(10-14-2002)
  • Earnhardt Tributes 9-14th UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt’s hometown is ready to unveil the Tribute to the racing legend and hometown hero that has been in development since March 2001. “Kannapolis Celebrates A Legend” begins Wed., Oct. 9 in the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Center by motorsports artist Sam Bass and concludes Mon., Oct. 14 with the unveiling of the Dale Earnhardt statue by sculptor Clyde Ross Morgan. More info at City of Kannapolis Site.(repost 10-9-2002)
    OCT 9th: Motorsports artist Sam Bass (www.sambass.com)unveiled several new wall murals Wednesday morning in the Dale Earnhardt Tribute section of Cannon Village Visitors Center. Bass also presented a slide show chronicling his portrayals of Earnhardt throughout the past 20 years to a crowd of approximately 100 people. “All I’ve ever wanted to do in my life was make Dale Earnhardt proud,” he said. “… This is my Sistine Chapel.” H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, president of Lowe’s Motor Speedway, said the friendship Bass forged with Earnhardt long ago made him the obvious choice for Kannapolis officials to select to work on the tribute. “This is a great tribute to one of America’s greatest athletes,” Wheeler said. “Dale Earnhardt has become one of the most recognized athletes in the history of mankind.” Bass said it was Earnhardt who helped him when he was just another struggling artist looking for a break. For that reason, he said he will always feel indebted. Earnhardt’s sister Cathy Watkins said if it wasn’t for the numerous works crafted by Bass, many memories of her brother could have easily slipped away as the years passed. At the end of the ceremony, officials in Kannapolis presented Bass with an honorary key to the city.(Independent Tribune)(10-10-2002)
    MORE plans for the rest of the tribute:
    Oct 10th: Dale Earnhardt statue arrives for installation.
    Oct 12, 2:00 to 9:00pm. Remembering Dale . . . Cool Car Cruise and Show in Cannon Village. Sponsored by the Kannapolis Business Council. All proceeds from the juried car show will go to the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Fund. There will be a Tribute booth. Call 704-938-6538 for more information about the car show.
    Oct 14 at 10:00am Kannapolis Celebrates a Legend: The Dale Earnhardt Tribute Statue Unveiling The 900 pound, nine foot tall, bronze statue of Dale Earnhardt will be unveiled during an hour-long program. Former Winston Cup Champion and NBC racing commentator Benny Parsons will be the master of ceremonies, a Kannapolis Tribute video will be debuted and others who knew Dale Earnhardt will share their memories and thoughts of Dale Earnhardt.(10-10-2002
    UPDATE 2: The wait is nearly over, as officials in Kannapolis are set to unveil the highly-anticipated Dale Earnhardt statue downtown in Cannon Village Monday morning. It’s been almost 20 months since Earnhardt’s death at Daytona International Speedway. The soon-to-be unveiled statue, created by Arizona-based sculptor Clyde Ross Morgan, will be a mark for all time on downtown Kannapolis. Danny Earnhardt, Dale’s youngest brother, said it was good to see the plans to build the tribute finally started to take shape several months ago following the $200,000 contribution from L.A. businessman and Kannapolis business owner David Murdock. Fans wanting to get an early glimpse of the statue will have no such luck. Officials at the Kannapolis Police Department said officers will monitor Dale Earnhardt Plaza “24-7” until its unveiling Monday at 10:00am/et.(Independent Tribune)(10-13-2002)
    TODAY: The statue accompanying the Dale Earnhardt Tribute will be unveiled today at 10 a.m., but get there early because it’s expected to be crowded. Festivities will take place at Dale Earnhardt Plaza, formerly Funderburk Park, on Main Street in downtown Kannapolis.(more directions and info at the Independent Tribune)(10-14-2002)

 


(10-13-2002)

 

  • Oh My! HUGE Upset – Jamie McMurray wins in his 2nd career race!: in what has to be one of the biggest upsets in NASCAR in quite sometime, Jamie McMurray won in only his 2nd career Winston Cup start in the #40 Coors Light Dodge at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and is the third Rookie to win in 2003. The win also puts McMurray in the 2003 The Winston. #18-Bobby Labonte gave it a good run and ended up 2nd. Points leader #20-Tony Stewart finished up third and extends his points lead to 97 over #48-Jimmie Johnson. The race didn’t start until 4:45pm/et or so after a rain delay. See my Race Info Page.
    Results: at ThatsRacin.com or NASCAR.com.(10-13-2002)
  • Penske to Dodge announcement soon? TODAY It is OFFICIAL: Penske Racing South is expected to announce its long-rumored switch to Dodge during Oct 10-13 race week at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read), am hearing it’ll be Sunday morning, Oct 13th.
    AND Penske Racing’s long-rumored move to the Dodge camp appears complete. Dodge officials have scheduled a news conference for 9 a.m. Oct. 13 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., when they are expected to announce Penske’s addition to the Dodge organization beginning with the 2003 season. Penske and Dodge officials declined to comment on Friday. The partnership between Penske Racing and Jasper Motorsports, which includes Jasper’s #77 Ford team utilizing Penske-built engines, will continue at least for the 2003 season, sources said.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-4-2002)
    UPDATE: Dodge Motorsports announced today that Penske Racing South will join the Dodge family of NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams for the 2003 season. Legendary team owner Roger Penske will field the #2 Miller Lite Dodge and #12 ALLTEL Dodge with Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman driving the respective cars, beginning at the 45th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 16, 2003. “This is yet another great moment in Dodge’s quest for the NASCAR Winston Cup championship,” said Jim Julow, Vice President, Dodge Motorsports Marketing. “The addition of Penske Racing South brings even more championship-caliber talent to what is already a first-class group of teams that make up the Dodge Motorsports family.” No stranger to the Chrysler Group’s racing heritage, Penske visited victory lane five times in the early 1970s with AMC Matadors, courtesy of drivers Mark Donohue and Bobby Allison. Since returning to NASCAR’s Winston Cup Series in 1991, Penske Racing South has compiled an impressive 37 wins and 32 pole positions in more than 400 team starts. “Joining forces with Dodge Motorsports for 2003 is a natural extension of our existing business relationship with DaimlerChrysler,” Penske said. “In less than 24 months, Dodge has become a major player in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. They’ve won key races. They’ve led the drivers’ points standings most of the year. And just as importantly, they have incredible resources and an enviable, unique approach.” The 2002 season marks Dodge’s second year in its return to NASCAR’s Winston Cup Series racing after a 25-year hiatus, and the Dodge One Team approach has paid big dividends quickly. Dodge Intrepid R/Ts have reached victory lane six times — including wins at this year’s Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 — courtesy of Sterling Marlin, Ward Burton and Bill Elliott. Penske Racing South joins Evernham Motorsports, Petty Enterprises, Bill Davis Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, and Ultra-Evernham Motorsports in the Dodge lineup.(Dodge Motorsports Site)(10-13-2002)
  • Sad News: Eric Behling, 38, brother of the Wisconsin radio show host, Todd Behling, of “The LTN Hour,” a syndicated listener call-in show on WAUK-AM (1510) at 11:00am/et on Sundays was one of the 10 killed in the 45-vehicle I-43 crash on Friday. Eric Behling’s music will live on. He played drums – and brother Brian played bass – for the recorded theme music for “The LTN Hour.(see full story at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), thought’s go out to the Behling family and friends as well as families and friends of the other nine who passed away.(10-13-2002)
  • BAM Racing sponsor? hearing the #49 BAM Racing had planned on announcing a primary sponsor for next season on Sunday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway but postponed it because all the contracts were not going to be finalized in time.(10-13-2002)
  • DiscoverCard and Carter close for 2003? hearing that the #26 Haas-Carter Motorsports team may be close to finalizing a 2003 sponsorship deal with current sponsor DiscoverCard.(10-13-2002)
  • National Guard Announcement: Officials of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) took the first step toward creating a marketing program/sponsorship in the BGN for 2003. Winston Cup owners Travis Carter, Bill Davis, Richard Childress and Ray Evernham were among the luminaries signing a Statement of Support. The purpose was to encourage civilian employers to support the National Guard members who work for them. Forty-seven percent of the country’s active fighting force is derived from the Guard and Reserves, according to Lt. Col. Michael Lovitt, director of marketing for ESGR. An announcement of team sponsorship is expected to follow within a few weeks.(Gaston Gazette)(10-13-2002)

    (10-12-2002)

  • Spotter Changes Could Be in the Works UPDATE New Rule: NASCAR says it will make a decision on whether to mandate a spotter presence during practices. Currently, NASCAR does not require drivers to have spotters during practices.(NASCAR.com)
    UPDATE: NASCAR announced Saturday morning it will now require teams in the Cup, BGN and Truck series to have spotters in the designated spotters’ stand before any practice session. The new rule comes after a crash Wednesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in which ARCA driver Eric Martin was killed. Deborah Renshaw’s car hit Martin’s in the driver’s compartment several seconds after Martin’s car had come to a stop off Turn 4 of the Charlotte track. Renshaw did have a spotter stationed on top of her team’s transporter in the ARCA garage, but there have been questions about whether that spotter could see the Turn 4 area where Martin’s car had come to rest from that spot. ARCA had a rule requiring a team to have a spotter either on top of the hauler or in the spotters’ stand. While most NASCAR teams had spotters posted for practices, however, NASCAR had no rule requiring them until now. BGN and National series director Brian DeHart told BGN drivers and crew chiefs about the new rule at the drivers’ meeting before Saturday’s Little Trees 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Winston Cup teams will be similarly notified before Sunday’s UAW-GM 500 and the rule will be in effect next weekend. DeHart said at Saturday’s meeting that all teams must have a spotter pick up a pass permitting them to go to the designated spotter’s stand before a team’s car is allowed to practice. Roll call will be taken before each practice and if a team does not have a spotter that team’s car cannot go on the track.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-12-2002)
  • Autopsy Photo Hearing Postponed: Teresa Earnhardt won a 30-day extension from the Florida Supreme Court on Friday to respond to a brief by the independent Florida Alligator newspaper, which wants to reverse a lower court decision upholding a law that restricts public access to autopsy photos. The request drew no objection from the attorneys for the Alligator, which means Earnhardt’s attorneys will have until Nov. 13 to file their response. The student-run newspaper in July opted to pursue an appeal of the state law enacted after the death of Teresa’s husband, race car driver Dale Earnhardt, in the 2001 Daytona 500. Parker Thomson of Miami, one of Teresa Earnhardt’s attorneys, pointed out to the state’s high court that Alligator attorney Tom Julin was not opposed to the extension. The law enacted last year makes it a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for unauthorized persons to view or copy autopsy photos without a court order. (Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-12-2002)
  • Burton Wants Safety Changes: Jeff Burton hasn’t always had a spotter in the spotters’ stand when he’s practicing his Cup and BGN cars, but he will from now on. And he thinks NASCAR should require everyone else to do the same. “I think mandating that is a good idea,” Burton said Friday after qualifying second for Saturday’s Little Trees 300 BGN race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Most teams have spotters in place during practices, but there currently is no NASCAR rule requiring that. Spotters most often work from the tops of teams’ transporters in the garage area in practices. Teams must have a spotter in the spotters’ stand during a race. The spotting role has become an issue this week after Wednesday’s crash during an ARCA. Burton said he thinks requiring spotters be in the spotters’ stand for each practice is only part of what should be done to help prevent similar accidents. He supports the installation of more and brighter warning lights in turns so drivers will be more likely to see them when they indicate trouble on the track. He also thinks NASCAR cars should have onboard warning lights, similar to ones used in the IRL and other series, that come on when the track’s lights are activated. He also believes NASCAR should begin penalizing drivers who attempt to make passes while racing back to the yellow flag. NASCAR encourages drivers to adhere to a “gentleman’s agreement” not to race back to the flag, but has no rule preventing it. “The same thing that happened here the other night could happen on Sunday,” Burton said of the ARCA incident. “This gentleman’s agreement crap is just that, it’s crap. There is no gentleman’s agreement. People race back to the line. You’ll be racing for sixth and a guy will beat you to the line with 50 laps to go. It only takes two or three people to screw it up. That’s generally what happens. There are two or three people out there who don’t give a damn. They’ll pass you no matter what. I think NASCAR should step in and stay enough is enough. If they catch you racing back to the flag they should penalize you five laps I don’t think it should be a gentleman’s agreement. I think it ought to be a rule. If they don’t make a rule, we’ll never do the right thing. You’re competitiveness overrides your brain. It puts you and your competitors in situations you don’t need to be in.”(ThatsRacin.com)(10-12-2002)
  • Another Rudd and a new team UPDATE: Rick Glenn of Glenn Racing and Jim Edwards of JE Performance announced that they have officially combined operations to form JAGER Motorsports. This newly formed group will compete in both NASCAR’s BGN and Winston Cup Series. The team will be headquartered in Stuart, Florida with Race facilities located in Forest City, NC, just 1.5 hours from Charlotte, NC. Ricky Pearson, son of NASCAR legend David Pearson will assume Crew Chief duties and manage day-to-day operations of the race team. Jason Rudd, nephew of #28 Cup Driver Ricky Rudd will join JAGER Motorsports to run a limited schedule for the 2002 and 2003 seasons.(JAGER Motorsports PR)(10-7-2002)
    UPDATE: Veteran NASCAR Busch Series crew chief Ricky Pearson denied Friday that he was crew chief for the new JAGER Motorsports team. It was reported that the team would compete on a limited basis in both the BGN and Cup Series in 2002 and 2003 with driver Jason Rudd, nephew of Winston Cup regular Ricky Rudd. “I am looking at many opportunities,” said Pearson, who was in Charlotte this week. “I don’t know how this came out but I am not with this team. I have been in the garage talking to a lot of people and I hope to have something nailed down in the upcoming weeks. I want to be back in NASCAR in 2003, but nothing is concrete yet.”(Pro Sports Management and Marketing PR)(10-12-2002)
  • More on the #36/01, Nadeau and the Army: The Pontiac Winston Cup team that Kenny Schrader has been racing with the past two years has finally signed a new sponsorship contract, with the U.S. Army, a multi-year deal according to team sources. However, Schrader will apparently not be the driver; that is expected to be Jerry Nadeau. The team is owned by Thomas Beard and managed by Jay Frye. Next year’s color scheme and driver won’t be the only things new – also the car number, which will be changed from 36 to 01. Where Schrader might wind up is still unclear.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-12-2002)
  • Earnhardt Tribute Tree: Chuck and Vallery Carver of Casstown, Ohio, decided to pay tribute to fallen NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt by transforming an old tree into the likeness of the late racing legend. Last June, the Carvers were going to have an artist carve a number three, Earnhardt’s Winston Cup race car number, into a dead tree in their yard. They talked to local artist Johnny Bookwaller and he suggested they make a full size statue of Earnhardt. Chuck Carver said it cost a lot to turn their tree into a memorial but has been well worth it.(Independent Tribune)(10-12-2002)

    (10-11-2002)

  • New 2003 Scheme for the #99: More than 3,000 CITGO marketers witnessed the unveiling of the #99 CITGO Ford 2003 paint scheme at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN. Roush Racing team owner, Jack Roush, made the trip to the Opryland Hotel for the unveiling as CITGO driver Jeff Burton remained at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Roush unveiled the new paint scheme with W.A. DeVore, senior vice president of marketing, light oils and lubricants for CITGO. The paint scheme was revealed in conjunction with CITGO’s annual President’s Meeting. The President’s Meeting is an intense, four-day event where CITGO’s top marketers learn about product and retail development as well as new ways to leverage the CITGO brand through various promotional platforms, including NASCAR.(Cox Marketing). See this car and a few others on my new 2003 section of the Paint Scheme Gallery.(10-11-2002)
  • Final Talladega TV Ratings and some news: NBC Sports’ coverage of the EA Sports 500 from Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday (1:15-4:30 p.m. ET) tied last year’s 4.8/12, the highest national rating ever for any auto race in competition with professional football, according to the national ratings released today by Nielsen Media Research. The EA Sports 500 from Talladega, which saw #20_Tony Stewart move into the Championship lead for the first time in his four-year Winston Cup career, peaked from 3:30-4 p.m. ET with a 5.0/11 as Dale Earnhardt Jr. took his third consecutive Talladega checkered flag. Through 13 telecasts (excluding Daytona 500), NASCAR Winston Cup coverage on NBC and TNT has produced a 4.3 national rating/10 share, a two percent increase over last year’s record breaking season average of a 4.2/11 through the comparable weekend. This increase is an impressive gain considering the 34 percent ratings increase last year.
    Wally Races, Stewart in the Booth: TNT begins the race weekend on Saturday with Winston Cup Happy Hour at !2noon/et followed by BGN at 1:00pm/et. NBC & TNT analyst Wally Dallenbach takes the wheel of his #6 Pepsi Dodge for his second BGN race of the season. Current Winston Cup point leaders Tony Stewart will fill in for Dallenbach in the booth while Dallenbach is racing.(NBC PR)(10-11-2002)
  • Cope and the #49 to test at Kentucky: Derrike Cope will drive the #49 BAM Dodge at a test session scheduled for next week in Kentucky. Cope said “I am getting around well and have been ambulating without the aid of a cane. I am going regularly for therapy and notice improvement every day. I am still somewhat sore however, but that is diminishing. If my physician gives me the OK, I plan on driving for the BAM team at the Atlanta race.” Cope is holding off making a decision on future BGN starts while he continues to monitor his improvement.(Derrike Cope site)(10-11-2002)
  • Special Scheme for the #43: #43-John Andretti will be carrying the colors of blue and white with him this weekend as General Mills’ Pillsbury Brand – and Grands! – will be highlighted at Lowe’s Motor Speedway with a specialty paint scheme.(Williams Company). See my Paint Scheme Gallery for an image.(10-11-2002)
  • Chevy Donates $666,600 to the Foundation For The Carolinas: Representatives of Chevrolet and Team Monte Carlo presented a check in the amount of $666,600 to the Foundation For The Carolinas as a donation from the sale of the limited edition 2002 Monte Carlo SS Dale Earnhardt Signature Edition. Accepting the check of behalf of the Foundation and the Earnhardt Family Fund it manages was Teresa Earnhardt, wife of the late seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion who died in February 2001 while competing in the Daytona 500. Also on hand for the ceremony were Bart Landess, representing the Foundation For The Carolinas, and Richard Childress, owner of Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and of the #3 Goodwrench Monte Carlo made famous by Dale Earnhardt. The entire production run of 3,333 units was marketed through select Chevrolet dealers with high-volume Monte Carlo sales in the United States and Canada. When introduced, the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the Dale Earnhardt Signature Edition was $29,500, including destination charge.(GM PR)(10-11-2002)
  • Rusty Stuff: some pretty heavy stats when Rusty Wallace is behind the wheel of a black car, 30 of 54 wins (56% of his total career wins in black cars), 82 of 187 top-5s (44%) and 120 of 306 top-10s (39%). He won 14.3% (30 of 210) of all his races in a black car. AND congratulations to #2 car rear tire changer/mechanic Rob Fuller & wife Monica on the arrival of their first child.Damon Anthony Fuller was born last Friday (Oct. 4) at 8:40 a.m. at University Medical Center in Charlotte.weighed in at 7 pounds, 10 ounces & 20 inches long, said to have already been seen with toy air gun in hand.(TRPR)(10-11-2002)

    (10-10-2002)

  • 2003 Chevy to be unvieled Thursday: Race fans will get their first look at the 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo when the car is unveiled during a news conference Thursday afternoon at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Chevrolet officials confirmed.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-4/10-2002)
    UPDATE: Chevrolet and Richard Childress Racing unveiled the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Chevy Monte Carlo Thursday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. RCR also used the opportunity to show off a new paint scheme for Kevin Harvick on the #29 Chevrolet for next year.(NASCAR.com)(10-10-2002)
  • US Army and Nadeau…to the #36? UPDATE 6 Number Change too?: The U.S.Army is expected to be on the quarterpanels of the #36 Pontiacs owned by Nelson Bowers and Thomas Beard [MB2] and driven by Ken Schrader the past two seasons. Jerry Nadeau is expected to get that ride. It is unclear where Schrader might wind up.(Winston Salem Journal)
    UPDATE: been told that the Army was at Richmond over the weekend and has spoken to many teams concerning sponsorship.(9-9-2002)
    UPDATE 2: There is still no official word about the U.S. Army sponsorship that the Jay Frye-Nelson Bowers-Thomas Beard team is expected to sign for next season. The U.S. Army – after watching the Navy, Marines and Air Force get such good publicity through NASCAR sponsorships – has decided to step on to this PR playing field, according to Detroit sources. Ken Schrader has been driving for the team the past two seasons, but Jerry Nadeau is expected to get that ride for 2003. Where Schrader might wind up is unclear.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-16-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Sources indicate that the U.S. Army is talking with MB2 Motorsports and Andy Petree Racing about a potential sponsorship deal for 2003. The Army is apparently looking to sponsor a car for half the schedule, if a sponsor can be fouind for the rest of the schedule. Jerry Nadeau could move to the #36 MB2 Pontiac if the deal is signed.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read online)(9-20-2002)
    UPDATE 4: The United States Army will sponsor the #36 Pontiac in 2003, industry sources told NASCAR.com Wednesday morning. The source said they are unsure whether Ken Schrader will drive the car. Details regarding length of sponsorship were not known.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(10-9-2002)
    UPDATE 5: hearing they may change the number of the car from #36 to #01 (yes they would keep the Owners Points as does the #38 M&M’s when it switches from the #28)
    UPDATE 6: Fox Sports Net’s Totally NASCAR announced that the US Army will be the sponsor on the MB2 Pontiac and to expect Jerry Nadeau to be announced as the driver, no word on car number or Kenny Schrader’s 2003 plans.(10-10-2002)
  • Hendrick Engine Problems: on ESPN2’s RPM2Night (gonna miss that show in 2003) Hendrick Engine Builder, Randy Dorton was interview by Mike Massaro, the part that caused the engine failures in all 6 engines (#’s 5,10,24,25,36,48) at Talladega was a valve retainer clip that broke/failed.(10-10-2002)
  • Special paint for the #10 at Atlanta UPDATE: #10-Johnny Benson will run a University of Kentucky scheme at Atlanta.(Johnny Benson Fanclub)(8-8-2002)
    UPDATE: see two images of the scheme on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(10-10-2002)
  • Wallace not worried about loss of points: Rusty Wallace says the loss of 25 points won’t kill his chances in the chase for the championship, however he says “We’ve got a long way to make up a lot of points…it’s just frustrating that happened, but it doesn’t kill it for sure.” NASCAR docked Wallace 25 points, Roger Penske 25 owner points and fined crew chief Billy Wilburn $25,000 for an unapproved spoiler found during pre-race inspection at Talladega. Wallace says “I can understand $25,000 thousand dollars, but I sure the hell don’t understand why the driver lost 25 points in the deal.” Since the part was found prior to practice at Talladega, Wallace said “It’s really hard to understand…it’s basically that if anybody unloads anything that’s questionable you get fined and points taken away if you have any intent, so it’s different. I’ve never seen it.”(PRN’s Garage Pass)(10-10-2002)
  • Special M&M’s Scheme at Lowe’s: It’s become an annual tradition for the M&M’s Racing Team. Just like Oct. 31st means ghouls, goblins and candy, the fall Charlotte race means a special Halloween paint scheme for the #36 Pontiac. This year’s paint scheme features Yellow on the back of the car trick-or-treating in a ghost costume, Red dressed as a vampire and Crispy camping out in a pumpkin patch. The paint scheme also features the festive orange and black M&M’s that you’ll find in a bag of M&M’s during the Halloween season.(IMG PR), see image of the scheme on my Paint Schemes Gallery(10-10-2002)
  • Dodge looking for help: Dodge officials head into the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway this weekend contending the Intrepid’s engines are underpowered and the cars are at an aerodynamic disadvantage. Sterling Marlin’s injury has left Dodge without a championship contender this season — Bill Elliott is a distant eighth in the points and Marlin, the only other Dodge even in the top 20, will continue to plummet in the standings as he misses the final six races. NASCAR allowed the Chevrolets and Pontiacs to extend their front air dams, and Dodge officials believe they’ve suffered from it. It’s not clear where the Dodges need the most help. They’ve been complaining to NASCAR for months that their engines are underpowered, but deficiencies in aerodynamics have become a new issue since Chevrolet got its help in August. But NASCAR, which heard the latest Dodge complaint on Tuesday, is unlikely to provide any assistance before the end of the season. “If they are talking about being at a disadvantage with the motor, then they have been all year,” NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said. “It’s the same motor all year and they led the points most of the year with that motor. So we just don’t think it’s appropriate, with as few races as there are left on the schedule, to do anything. There’s not much we can do to help them.”(CNNSI/AP)(10-10-2002)
  • Penske thinks Cup drivers should be limited in BGN: Team owner Roger Penske says it’s time to put a limit on the number of Winston Cup drivers who compete in Busch series events: “If a driver doesn’t run half the races in Cup, he should be able to drop down to Busch. If it’s more than half, he should only be in Cup and give the other guys in Busch a chance.”(Dallas Morning News)(10-10-2002)
  • Martinsville Testing concludes Wed: Surrounded by big-budget Winston Cup teams, Brian Rose and his Ware Racing team looked a bit out of place at Martinsville Speedway Wednesday. But the 22-year-old Rose felt right at home, even though he was working onvery short notice. Rose and the #51-Ware Racing team showed up Wednesday morning for the second day of a two-day test session, joining #30-Jeff Green, #55-Bobby Hamilton, #40-Jamey McMurry and #66-Hideo Fukuyama on the half-mile oval. Rose was getting some help from his former truck owner Bobby Hamilton, who was pitting a few stalls away from the Ware team Wednesday. “My relationship with Bobby Hamilton has helped a lot. He’s been helping with our shocks and springs today. He’s been a great supporter of my career,” said Rose, who is the third or fourth driver to fill the seat of Ware’s racer this season. Some speeds: #51-Brian Rose at 90.257mph, #55-Hamilton at 90.603 and #66-Fukuyama at 88.985.(Martinsville Speedway PR)(10-10-2002)
  • NAPCM “Pit Crew Of The Week” #1 Team: Consistant performance on Talladega’s pit road all day contributed to the #1 Penzoil team’s march from 35th in the field to a 6th place Talladega finish. Congratulations #1 Pennzoil Crew on earning this week’s NAPCM “Pit Crew Of The Week” award, sponsored by Toxabsorb(www.toxabsorb.com), “Instant non-skid pit stall prep, creating grip for faster pit stops” and “Official Spill Response Agent of the National Association Of Pit Crew Members”. Check out the latest Mechanix Wear “Pit Crew Of The Year” standings and latest, NEW NAPCM member benefits, available at the National Association Of Pit Crew Members website(www.napcm.com).(10-10-2002)
  • IRWIN Rough to Finish Award #1 Team: Steve Park, driver of the No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet, topped his season best finish at Indy with a sixth place run last weekend at the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. As a result of the team’s efforts, new crew chief Tony Gibson takes home this week’s IRWIN “Rough to the Finish” Award. Due to a rained out qualifying session, the field was set by points, forcing Park to start 35th. He maneuvered the Pennzoil Chevrolet to the front quietly throughout the course of the caution-free event. Gibson helped call the shots Sunday, and he led the team to lightning-fast pit stops, taking only two tires each time. The car got steadily better as the day went on, and Park was in the front pack for the entire race. His sixth place finish is his best of the 2002 season and moves him up one spot in the Winston Cup points. “I couldn’t be happier how things turned out for this team today,” said Gibson. “It is a credit to this team to overcome the things it has this season and turn out a performance like this. Everybody in the pits works hard each week; no one ever gives up. This award is a credit to their efforts week in and week out.”
    Each week throughout the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season, Irwin, makers of professional power tool accessories like Marathon Plus saw blades and Speedbor flat bits, is partnering with Performance Racing Network to honor the crew chief who had the toughest day in the pits, but still managed to help his team to a strong finish. The IRWIN Rough to the Finish Award includes an assortment of tools for the crew chief and a $250 check donated to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund in the racing team’s name.. The year-end winner of the crew chief points standings will win a $5,000 check donated to the Fund.. Race fans wanting to make a contribution to the Fund may do so by sending it to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund, PO Box 443, Ellerbe, NC 28338. In addition to the crew chief award, Irwin is also sponsoring the weekly nationally syndicated radio show, “Fast Talk with Benny Parsons“, throughout the upcoming year.(Golin Harris PR)(10-10-2002)
  • Atlanta Testing Wednesday: Bobby Hamilton Jr. was fastest Wednesday during a test of three Winston Cup and Busch teams testing for the Oct. 25-27 NAPA 500 weekend at Atlanta. Hamilton Jr. improved his speeds from Tuesday, steering his #25 U.S. Marine Corps Ford at 181.530mph under Wednesday’s cool, overcast conditions. #98-Kasey Kahne also improved his speeds from Tuesday, rounding the track at 180.750mph). #27-Kirk Shelmerdine, preparing for the Oct. 27 NAPA 500, turned in the second-fastest speed of the day with his #27 Naturally Fresh/Jackaroo Sauces Ford at 180.999mph. Testing will continue next Monday and Tuesday with Richard Childress Racing driver #31-Robby Gordon.(AMS PR)(10-10-2002)

    (10-9-2002)

  • Brian Rose to run Martinsville Cup race in the #51: Brian Rose [CTS driver] will make his Winston Cup début at the Martinsville Speedway October 20, 2002. “Rick Ware gave me the opportunity of a life time when he offered me the ride for the up coming Old Dominion 500. What a birthday present, every racer dream’s about his first chance to race in the Winston Cup Series and on my birthday weekend it’s a dream come true. We have been testing at Martinsville all week and we have a good car.”(Voight Motorsports Management PR)(10-9-2002)
  • Atwood out at end of season? UPDATE 2 not according to Atwood: the Augusta Chronicle is reporting – Sources close to Casey Atwood’s team [#7 Sirius Satellite Dodge] said the driver probably will be [released] at the end of the season. Atwood already has struck a deal to drive a limited schedule on the BGN #27 Brewco?] next year. The team may not hire a replacement driver since one of the car owners, Jim Smith, was [charged] this week and charged with illegally dumping hazardous materials at his chrome plating plant in California.(Augusta ChronicleAND Atwood said he ”has heard reports” about his job being in jeopardy but the 21-year-old driver said he has one year remaining on his contact and expects Evernham to honor it. ”As far as I know I’ll be back. Ray hasn’t told me anything different,” Atwood said. ”We haven’t talked about it.”(Tennessean)(10-6-2002)
    UPDATE: Dodge has expressed its disappointment with the #7 team’s performance this season. Casey Atwood’s best finish this season was 11th, in June at Pocono, and he has been higher than 30th in points just once this season. “We’re looking for the performance of this team to get better over the next six races,” co-owner Jim Smith says. “Sirius is locked in for next year and wants to extend the contract, but they told us we need to make improvements.” Atwood, 22, has hinted he would be happier back in the Busch Series, but he is under contract for another year. Smith says he and partner Ray Evernham have notdiscussed bringing in a replacement driver.(Sporting News)(10-7-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Casey Atwood said yesterday that he has not been told by team owner Ray Evernham to run well or else. Atwood said he is aware of Evernham’s apparent ultimatum last week at Talladega, when he told reporters Atwood had six races remaining this season to prove himself. ”I don’t know what that meant,” said Atwood. ”Ray hasn’t told me anything. We haven’t talked about any changes.” There have been printed reports that Evernham — contrary to his promise not to put pressure on his young driver when he signed Atwood two years ago — has ratcheted up expectations. After his comments late week Evernham was asked by The Tennessean if he expected Atwood to return to the team next season. He declined to answer, except to repeat his comment that Atwood had the remainder of the season to ”prove” himself. Amid growing speculation that Atwood’s job is in jeopardy, his car owner, Jim Smith, reportedly is having serious business problems. According to published reports, Smith has been charged with illegally dumping unapproved material at his chrome plating company in California. Atwood’s PR director, Amy Hunerberg, said yesterday that, ”We’re not in a position to comment” on the report. Atwood said neither his team owner’s legal problems nor the increased pressure from Evernham have affected him. Atwood said he has explored running a few BGN races next season for his former Brewco Motorsports team, but that does not mean that he expects to be out of Winston Cup.(Tennessean)(10-9-2002)
  • Gordon and Bugs again? hearing that #24-Jeff Gordon will run the Bugs Bunny Looney Tunes schemes at Lowe’s Motor Speedway this weekend, see my 2002 Looney Tunes Schemes page for an image of the car. BUT also being told the scheme will NOT run again, including this week.(10-9-2002)
  • Testing at Martinsville UPDATE 3 Bliss in the #40 at Martinsville? yes, No DW: #28-Ricky Rudd is testing Monday at the Martinsville Speedway. Among those expected at the track Tuesday and Wednesday are #30-Jeff Green, #55-Bobby Hamilton, #7-Casey Atwood, #26-Todd Bodine, #02-Hermie Sadler and #28-Ricky Rudd (Tuesday only)(10-7-2002)
    UPDATE: Mike Bliss is testing at Martinsville in the #40 Dodge today and Jamie McMurray will be testing it on Wednesday. . Bliss is testing today because McMurray had a prior commitment with his BGN [#27] team today. Bliss could be the driver of the car at Martinsville as McMurray will not drive the #40 at that race due to a BGN race at Memphis.
    AND NASCAR.com’s Buzz reports other candidates for the car at Martinsville are Rich Bickle and Darrell Waltrip.(10-8-2002)
    UPDATE – Tuesday testing: #66-Hideo Fukuyama made a quick discovery at Martinsville Speedway Tuesday morning, one that didn’t need English to convey. When asked through an interpreter the most difficult thing he had experienced during his first couple of hours of testing at Martinsville Speedway, the Japanese driver furiously pumped his right leg to show the need for brakes on the half-mile track. “It is very slippery,” Fukuyama said through his interpreter Yumiko Maeta. “I have never hit the brakes so hard. A driver need to be really brave here. A driver has to do a lot of work here.” Fukuyama was one of four drivers testing at Martinsville Speedway Tuesday, preparing for the Old Dominion 500 NASCAR Winston Cup test on October 20. Other drivers testing included #30-Jeff Green, #55-Bobby Hamilton and #40-Mike Bliss, filling in for the injured Sterling Marlin. All four teams will be back Wednesday for a second round of testing, but Jamey McMurray will be in Marlin’s #40 Dodge. Fukuyama hopes to make the Old Dominion 500 field. If he does, it would be his second Winston Cup start in the Haas-Carter Motorsports Ford. Fukuyama struggled early with the tight Martinsville turns Tuesday, but had improved dramatically by late in the day. His best lap speed was around 88.693mph. Bliss and Hamilton ran quick laps of 90.603 while Green’s best lap was 90.300.(Martinsville Speedway PR)(10-8-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Darrell Waltrip has no plans to run the #40 car at Martinsville.(Fox Sports). Mike Bliss will drive the #40 at Martinsville.(10-9-2002)
  • Fuji Film Scheme on the #41 at Lowe’s: Target Chip Ganassi Racing will feature a new paint scheme for the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on October 13. The recognizable green, white and red of Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc., will be the featured artwork on the #41 Dodge driven by Jimmy Spencer for this one event. The UAW-GM Quality 500 will mark the first time that Fujifilm has had primary sponsorship on a NASCAR Winston Cup car. To support Target and Chip Ganassi Racing, Fujifilm will bolster its presence at Lowe’s Motor Speedway with the FinePix “Picture of America(tm)” Tour truck and the famous Fujifilm blimp. Race fans can stop by the FinePix truck for a hands-on digital photography learning experience and catch a glimpse of the blimp overhead. “It’s great to have a company like Fujifilm on board for our home-race in Charlotte,” Spencer said. “It’s a cool paint scheme and it will really stand out on the track. I’m hoping we’ll drive it to Victory Lane and that all the photographers will be taking my picture with Fujifilm products.” For more information on Fujifilm USA Web site at www.fujifilm.com.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR), see images of the car at my Paint Scheme Gallery.(10-9-2002)
  • Sad News: Bill Smith, whose company Keller/Smith supported the #14 Circle Bar Racing team in the CTS team all season through an associate sponsorship passed away recently. The team will wear black arm bands in memory of Mr. Smith and run a special decal on the side of the #14 Circle Bar Ford this weekend in Las Vegas.(10-9-2002)
  • Victory Junction Gang Camp breaks ground: Two years after Adam Petty’s death, the NASCAR community honored the late racer in a celebration to mark the start of construction on a children’s camp being built in his honor. Winston Cup champions Dale Jarrett and Bobby Labonte, car owners Rick Hendrick, Joe Gibbs and Felix Sabates and NASCAR president Mike Helton headlined dozens of NASCAR celebrities who joined actors Paul Newman, Andie MacDowell and close to 1,000 other supporters in celebrating the Victory Junction Gang Camp on Tuesday. “When we topped the hill, I was humbled and in awe at the people who are here,” Kyle Petty said as he choked back tears. “You will never know how much this means for me to see you guys here.” Petty’s 19-year-old son was killed in an accident while practicing for a Busch series race at New Hampshire International Speedway in May, 2000. He had made his Winston Cup debut just a few weeks before his death, and his participation in that race made the Pettys the only four-generation family of racers in NASCAR. Before the wreck, his parents had been active in trying to start a camp for children with life-threatening illnesses modeled after Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camps. Those efforts were sidelined in the months following Adam’s death, but his mother, Pattie, eventually rekindled them as a way to honor her oldest son. The Petty’s then went to work raising money for the camp and have collected $10 million of the needed $24 million to complete the efforts. Many of the funds have come from the NASCAR community as drivers have either made donations, participated in the Petty’s annual charity motorcycle ride or held their own fund-raisers. Ken Schrader recently held a celebrity night of racing at a track he owns in Missouri that raised $100,000 for the camp. And when Tony Stewart competed in both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day last year, he teamed with sponsor Home Depot and Gibbs to donate a combined $300 for every lap he completed during the double-duty. “This was never supposed to be a Petty thing,” said seven-time Winston Cup champion Richard Petty. “This was supposed to be a NASCAR thing and it’s just so incredible to see our community help out the way it has. We’ve got 10 to 12 drivers here, car owners, crew chiefs, all people who have their own things to do and instead, they came out to celebrate this day with us.” The 65-acre camp will be located on land donated by Richard and Lynda Petty and will be the seventh member of Newman’s camps, which were founded in 1988. The camp will provide children with chronic or terminal diseases a weeklong haven to ride horses, swim, paddle canoes or perform on a stage. Medical staff stand by at all times to provide everything from insulin to chemotherapy. Goodys Headache Powder presented the Petty’s with a $1 million check at the celebration in support of the medical center. “This is about luck, the brutality of luck in some cases served as the impetus to bring this camp to life,” Newman said. “The brutality of luck, especially in a young kid who may not have a lifetime¼ and luck on the other end of the spectrum, especially being born in this country with good health and the wherewithal to be able to create something like this.” The Petty’s camp, which is scheduled to open in 2004, will serve children from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. “I think the one thing people will always remember about Adam was his smile,” Pattie Petty said. “This camp is going to bring a lot of smiles to a lot of children and that’s what Adam would have wanted.” After the ceremony, the Petty’s took a group of supporters, including Newman and Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford to a local race track for a day of racing. Others were invited to ride horses on the family farm as the Petty’s mingled with their extended family and shared memories of Adam. “On one hand it’s hard because we want to move on and get past this,” Richard Petty said. “But it makes you feel real good to see how many people are here for us and how many people want to share with us in Adam’s memory.”(AP/ThatsRacin.com)(10-9-2002)
  • Buddy Baker’s Book and a few signings: Buddy Baker will sign copies of his book that was released last week, “Flat Out and Half Turned Over: Tales from the Pit Road ” from Sports Publishing at the Memory Lane Motorsports Museum in Mooresville, NC from 12noon to 3:00pm/et Friday, Oct 11th. Charlotte Observer racing writer David Poole co-authored the book, which is a collection of humorous racing stories, memories and anecdotes.(10-9-2002)
    ALSO: signings at:
    Friday, Oct 11th at Concord Pkwy. North Kmart from 9:00-10:30am/et
    Friday, Oct 11th at the Memory Lane Museum in Mooresville, NC from 12:00noon-3:00pm/et
    Saturday, Oct 12th at the Sports Publishing tent across from the track on the corner of Concord Pkwy and Moorehead Rd. from 9:00-11:00am/et
    Saturday Oct 12th at the NASCAR Speed Park in the Concord Mills Mall, Concord, NC from 1:00-2:00pm/et
    Sunday, Oct. 13 at the Sports Publishing tent across from the track on the corner of Concord Pkwy and Moorehead Rd. from 9:00-11:00am/et. More info on my Racing Bookstore page.(10-9-2002)


    (10-8-2002)

  • Larry McReynolds Book News and signings: No personality in the history of NASCAR Winston Cup racing has taken a roller-coaster ride of triumph and tragedy like superstar crew chief and television broadcaster Larry McReynolds. As a color analyst on FOX’s popular NASCAR broadcast team, McReynolds has helped FOX win some of NASCAR’s highest television ratings ever. As a Winston Cup crew chief for 15 years, McReynolds won 23 races, including two Daytona 500s, and worked with the sport’s greatest drivers, including Dale Earnhardt, Davey Allison, David Pearson, Ernie Irvan, Neil Bonnett, Ricky Rudd, and Cale Yarborough. Through it all, McReynolds kept his eye on the Big Picture-the greater achievement of long-term goals and accomplishments, especially in the face of setbacks. McReynolds’s story, his own Big Picture, is one of a remarkable career jam-packed with thrilling successes, heartbreaking defeats, grief, comebacks, and above all, a willingness to work hard and a determination to never give up. McReynolds story is told with the same perceptiveness and attention to detail that McReynolds shows in the FOX broadcast booth. You’ll fly with McReynolds on that final, poignant airplane trip from New Hampshire with the late Davey Allison after two years of amazing ups and downs. You’ll take the frantic ride in the NASCAR pace car out to turn two at Michigan after the devastating crash that nearly killed Ernie Irvan. You’ll join McReynolds in victory lane with Dale Earnhardt after his most dramatic victory-the 1998 Daytona 500-and learn the truth about his troubled times with the Intimidator. And you’ll read insider stories as only McReynolds can tell them, including more than one blow-by-blow visit to the dreaded NASCAR “woodshed” for a bawling-out by NASCAR chairman Bill France himself. Reaching back to his earliest days in racing as a volunteer mechanic in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, McReynolds and co-author Bob Zeller weave a fast-paced narrative that takes readers and race fans on a high-speed ride through some of NASCAR’s most dramatic and memorable moments. Larry McReynolds: The Big Picture; My Life from Pit Road to the Broadcast Booth by David Bull Publishing retails for $24.95 and is a 6″ by 9″ hardcover, 400 pages, with 25 color photos. On Thursday, October 10, Larry McReynolds and Bob Zeller will be at the infield media center at Lowe’s Motor Speedway for a 3:00pm/et press conference to introduce this new autobiography. Then on Friday, October 10, from 3:00-4:00pm/et, they will sign copies of their book at the Action Pit Stop, located across from the speedway at 6301 Performance Drive SW, Concord, NC 28027. The phone number is 704-454-4200.(PR) or see DWStore.com. More info on my Racing Bookstore page.(10-8-2002)
  • Johnson Cookbook Flossie Johnson, known within the NASCAR community for her extraordinary southern cooking, will share her culinary secrets when she introduces a new cookbook, “Flossie’s Favorites Too”, Wednesday, Oct. 9, at The Speedway Club at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Johnson, the former wife of NASCAR legend Junior Johnson, will host a private signing for several special guests including Darrell and Stevie Waltrip, Bill and Cindy Elliott and “Humpy” and Pat Wheeler at 11 a.m. in The Speedway Club restaurant. A public signing will begin at 2:00pm/et in the lobby “living room” area on the first floor of Lowe’s Motor Speedway’s Smith Tower.(LMS PR). The book can be ordered at her site: Flossie’s Favorites. More info on my Racing Bookstore page.(10-8-2002)
  • Penalties announced, Rusty Wallace and team loses 25 points: NASCAR officials announced today that three members of the #2 Miller Lite Ford team in the Cup Series have been either penalized or fined because of rule violations last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Rusty Wallace, driver of the #2 Ford, has been penalized 25 series championship points. In addition, Wallace’s car owner Roger Penske has been penalized 25 car owner points and the team’s crew chief Bill Wilburn has been fined $25,000. All three were in violation of Section 12-4-A in the NASCAR Winston Cup rule book (“Actions detrimental to stock car racing.”) and Section 12-4-Q (“Any determination by NASCAR officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules.”) because their car was found to have an unapproved spoiler. The spoiler was found to have an inconsistent thickness. (Wallace’s point total is now 3786 (was 3811) but he maintains 5th in Drivers Points, but drops to 6th in Owners Points)
    NASCAR also issued three other fines because of rule violations at Talladega. All violations were found during the weekend’s initial inspection process on Oct. 4. The other fines:
    A $1,000 fine, under sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q to Ben Leslie, crew chief of the #6 Viagra Ford. The car was found to have unapproved rear window straps.
    A $1,000 fine, under sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q to Mike Hillman, crew chief of the #14 Conseco Pontiac. The car was found to have an unapproved lower rear coil spring mount.
    A $1,000 fine, under sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q to Thomas Klein, crew chief of the #11 Hooters Ford. The car also was found to have an unapproved lower rear coil spring mount.(NASCAR PR)(10-8-2002)
  • Burton fastest in Tuesday testing at Atlanta: #99-Jeff Burton was fastest Tuesday during a two-day test of 12 Winston Cup and Busch teams testing for the Oct. 25-27 NAPA 500 weekend. With overcast skies and a cool breeze blowing, Burton improved his speeds from Monday, steering his #99 CITGO Ford around the 1.54-mile track at 185.716mph. Former NAPA 500 winner #44-Jerry Nadeau also picked up speed from Monday, taking the second spot on the speed chart Tuesday with a lap of 185.418 mph. Testing will continue Wednesday with Kasey Kahne and Bobby Hamilton Jr. The speeds:
    Winston Cup
    #99-Jeff Burton, 185.716
    #44-Jerry Nadeau, 185.418
    ARCA:
    43 Christian Fittipaldi, 179.825
    BGN:
    10-Scott Riggs, 181.005
    88-Joe Nemechek, 181.651
    57-Jason Keller, 179.942
    24-Jack Sprague, 179.359
    25-Bobby Hamilton Jr, 179.128
    15-Lyndon Amick, 177.749
    88- David Reutimann, 177.408
    5-Ricky Hendrick, 177.068
    #98-Kasey Kahne, 175.388.(AMS PR)(10-8-2002)
  • Hermie Sadler gets a Cup sponsor for Lowe’s and the Rock: MW Windows & Doors has announced that they will be the primary sponsor of Hermie Sadler’s #02 Winston Cup car for the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on October 13th and the Pop Secret 400 at Rockingham on November 3rd. MW also sponsors Pole Day at Martinsville Speedway.(PR)(10-8-2002)
  • Carlos Contreras to jump to the BGN? UPDATE 2 To HRT in 2003 and Two Cup races in 2003: hearing Petty CTS driver, #43-Carlos Contreras could be making the move up to the BGN, with Petty Enterprises and sponsor Hot Wheels.(7-20-2002)
    UPDATE: With Carlos Contreras reportedly considering a move to the Busch Series with another organization, Petty Enterprises is considering leaving the truck series at the end of this season. “We don’t know yet,” Richard Petty said July 19. “We’re not really aiming (at returning to the series), but we don’t know what’s going to happen. We’ve still got a month or two to make up our mind as to what we’re going to do.” There’s speculation that Petty Enterprises could field a full-time Busch Series team with a driver to be determined, but nothing is definite. “Right now, we’ve got three or four scenarios,” Petty said. “We’ll see which one comes out.” (Winston Cup Scene – need subscription to read)(7-25-2002)
    UPDATE 2: The Hispanic Racing Team (HRT Motorsports) has signed truck series veteran Carlos Contreras to compete in the NASCAR Busch Series for the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Contreras will drive a full schedule of races, starting in 2003, in the #41 with a yet-to-be announced sponsor. Contreras comes to HRT after competing in the CTS with Petty Enterprises. HRT Motorsports, the first and only Hispanic-owned, -sponsored, and -driven team in NASCAR, will expand to a two-car team with the addition of Contreras.. The team is currently running a limited BGN schedule this year for the #09 CICLON Energy Drink entry. Former BGN champion David Green and open wheel veteran Roberto Guerrero have been sharing driving duties thus far this season. Green took the #09 CICLON entry to 14th and 19th place finishes at Charlotte and Chicago, respectively. Guerrero is slated to take over driving duties of the CICLON Racing entry at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Oct. 26. Contreras and the #41 team are scheduled to run next season’s full 34-race schedule. HRT also plans to field a car for Contreras at the NASCAR Winston Cup Series events at Watkins Glen and Sears Point, both road courses. Contreras started his racing career in Mexico. After his 1999 debut in the CTS, he ran a full season in 2000 and finished second in the Rookie of the Year standings. In 2001 Contreras headed to Petty Enterprises, where he drove the #43 Dodge to a 14th-place finish overall. He is currently 16th in the 2002 driver’s standings.(The Motorsports Decisions Group PR)(10-8-2002)
  • Jim Kelly to announce affiliation with BGN team: A News Conference will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, October 11, in the Infield Media Center at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC to officially welcome recently inducted NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly to NASCAR. Kelly will announce his new affiliation with a touted, BGN race organization and will detail his level of involvement. The owner of the race team will also be present. Kelly, a 4-time Super Bowl participant during his long and successful football career with the Buffalo Bills, will be available for one-on-one interviews and photo opportunities.(On Track Marketing PR)(10-8-2002)
  • Buckshot to race at Atlanta UPDATE: Buckshot Jones will test a Chevrolet owned by Michael Waltrip on Tuesday and Wednesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in preparation for the Oct. 27 NAPA 500. Jones said the sponsorship deal he has is for one race, but there could be others added to the schedule if adequate funds can be secured. “Until you get the sponsorship, you can’t do anything,” Jones said. He said he feels comfortable returning to the circuit in Waltrip’s car. “I know Michael and I know he’s got good equipment,” Jones said. “And He’s capable of doing what I want to do.” Since leaving the Petty Enterprises #44 Dodge after the Martinsville race, Jones has spent his time trying to work out a deal to continue racing. He’s also trying to build a career as a land developer, but his desire to race is foremost at this point. In addition to driving the #15 NAPA Chevy, Waltrip has fielded Winston Cup cars this season for Kenny Wallace [#98 Aaron’s at Talladega] and Jerry Nadeau [#00 Aaron’s at Chicago].(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(9-28-2002)
    UPDATE: Charter Pipeline will be the primary sponsor for the Michael Waltrip owned #00 Chevy that Buckshot Jone’s will driver at Atlanta.(Buckshot Jones site)(10-8-2002)
  • Rubbermaid at Lowe’s: Rubbermaid Commercial Products, a division of Newell Rubbermaid, will be featured on the #97 Rubbermaid Ford with driver Kurt Busch at the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. “The employees at Rubbermaid Commercial Products are excited about the special paint scheme on the #97 car driven by Kurt Busch, which will run at the NASCAR Winston Cup event in Charlotte on October 13th,” Vice President of Human Resources for Rubbermaid Commercial Products Jeff Bahr said.. “All of our associates will be presented a 1:64 scale die cast of the No. 97 Rubbermaid Commercial Products Ford to commemorate this event. We at Rubbermaid Commercial Products have conducted various contests internally leading up to this, and the winners received tickets to the upcoming race. In addition to several busloads of our employees, numerous customers will be attending the race. This is truly a memorable event for all of us at Rubbermaid Commercial Products.” The #97 Rubbermaid Commercial Ford features a tri-colored paint scheme of yellow, black and red with the logo prominently displayed on the hood. Other Newell Rubbermaid divisions highlighted on the Rubbermaid Commercial Ford include Sharpie, Little Tikes Commercial Play Systems and Eldon office supplies. The #97 Rubbermaid Commercial Ford is only the third special paint scheme for the #97 team this season.. The “Sharpie Win a Million” Ford competed this past Spring at Bristol Motor Speedway and ended the race celebrating in victory lane. The second special paint scheme occurred at the same track during its Fall event, the Sharpie 500. Busch had an impressive showing in the #97 Sharpie 500 Ford as he finished in sixth position.(Pro Sports Management and Marketing PR)(10-8-2002)
  • Kerry Earnhardt adds a Cup race: FitzBradshaw Racing will field the #83 RacingUSA.com Chevy in the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix on November 10, 2002. The car will be driven by Kerry Earnhardt. Earnhardt was originally slated to drive the #83 RacingUSA.com Chevy in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega, however inclement weather forced drivers to start the race by owner points. Talladega was FitzBradshaw’s first attempt in the Winston Cup Series and no owner points have been accumulated (they now have 22 ownerss points). The car’s paint scheme was designed by Sam Bass and will boast the number 83.. The number 8 represents Kerry’s grandfather Ralph, and the number 3 represents his father, Dale Sr. Earnhardt currently drives the #12 Chevy in the BGN. The RacingUSA.com decal will also be positioned on the C-Post of Earnhardt™’ #83 Aaron™s Dream Machine this Sunday at the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. FitzBradshaw Racing is co-owned by Fitz and Pro Football Hall of Fame member and FOX broadcaster Terry Bradshaw.(FitzBradshaw Racing PR)(10-8-2002)
  • #59 gets sponsor for Lowe’s: the #59 Price Motorsport’s Dodge will have Check Into Cash as a sponsor at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Carl Long will driver the car.(Price Motorsport’s PR), see an inage of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(10-7-2002)
    UPDATE: Price Motorsports, Inc., the only NASCAR Winston Cup team based in Raleigh, NC continues pushing forward with the support of the national cash advance chain, Check-into-Cash, as primary sponsor of its Car # 59 driven by Carl Long this weekend for the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway just north of Charlotte, NC. Check-into-Cash has over 650 offices across the USA and is expanding rapidly. Check-into-Cash operates within the parameters of the Best Practices of the Community Financial Services Association of America. For more information on Check-into-Cash, please see checkintocash.com. According to Foster Price, owner of Price Motorsports, “This is the beginning of what we hope will be a long-term relationship with Check-into-Cash.” Price added, “We are committed to creating the optimum sponsorship value for our corporate partners. We’re using a methodical approach to ensure that we build a racing organization with a strong foundation.” The crew chief for the Check-into-Cash # 59 is Mike Chance, a 20 year racing veteran. Chance stated that “Carl and I are really looking forward to being back on the track at Charlotte after testing there earlier in the month.”(Price Motorsport’s PR)(10-8-2002)
  • Safety Maven Brian Butler Earns Bobby Isaac Memorial Award: Brian Butler, founder and president of ButlerBuilt Motorsports Equipment, will receive the Bobby Isaac Memorial Award during pre-race ceremonies for the Oct. 13 UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The Bobby Isaac Memorial Award is presented annually by Lowe’s Motor Speedway to an individual or group in recognition of outstanding contribution to short-track racing. Isaac, one of the sport’s outstanding racers, was well known for his short-track exploits and commitment. Involved in motorsports for 37 years, Butler has worked as a fabricator, crew member and chassis builder. He also spent several years driving drag racing machines, midgets and late model stock cars. Butler opened Concord, N.C.-based ButlerBuilt Motorsports Equipment in 1985 and has spent the past 17 years designing and developing racing seats and other cockpit-related safety items for all levels of motorsports. Butler’s latest innovations include new seat bottoms and stronger head, shoulder and leg supports which have contributed to the design and development of the ButlerBuilt Advantage seat. Previous winners of the Bobby Isaac Award include journalists Chris Economaki and Tom Higgins; promoters Hugh Deery, Henry Furr and John Moose; drivers Jack Ingram and Harry Gant; and World of Outlaws founder Ted Johnson.(LMS PR)(10-8-2002)
  • Tim Steele returns to racing this week: Tim Steele’s last race was back on July 19 at his “home” track, Berlin Speedway in Marne, MI. Since then, he has dealt with sponsorship problems, personnel issues and personal obstacles.chief of which included overcoming a dependency on prescription drugs. “I had to come to grips with the fact that I was hooked on the pain killers (oxycontin) and I had to finally do something about it,” said Steele, a three-time ARCA series champion. “So I checked myself into a clinic in Troy (Michigan) a couple of weeks back and now I’m totally clean and plan on staying that way for the rest of my life. The whole problem dated back to the big crash I had testing the (Winston) Cup car at Atlanta back in ’97,” said Steele of his Nov. 5, 1997 practice crash at Atlanta Motor Speedway behind the wheel of a Bud Moore-prepared Ford. Steele had to be cut out of the mangled car and the accident left Steele with multiple wounds, but the most severe being a closed head injury. The consensus among witnesses was that Steele was fortunate to have survived the crash. “The pain I had from that one was so great that I had the doctor give me something for it,” Steele continued. “Most of the pain in all the bones and joints went away after that crash, but I had a couple more run-ins with concrete walls since then that irritated some of those prior injuries. But the biggest thing for me was the fact that I continued to have headaches that hurt so bad that I would just about say, ‘go ahead and shoot me and put me out of this pain,'” said Steele. “The headaches would come and I’d fall back on taking the pain medication. It wasn’t until Dawn (his wife) started doing some research on her own that we finally determined what my big problem was. It turns out that this is the absolutely worst drug possible for anyone who’s ever experienced a closed head injury. The thing was that the drug, while entering and exiting my system, helped to bring on the headaches. I took them thinking that I was getting relief, but it was only adding to the problem. It was just one big vicious cycle that I was tied up in. We immediately started looking for help and found the clinic in Troy,” said Steele. “It was a hard time and a tough deal to go through, but I knew I had to do it. But probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life is to come clean and publicly admit that I’ve had a drug problem. I’m doing that now and we’re hoping that my going public with it all might help others out there. It’s like an epidemic in the world today and statistics show that one out of three narcotics users become addicted. But it’s nice to know that there’s help out there and light at the end of the tunnel,” said Steele. “I know that the problem is behind me now and it can be the exact same case for others.” Steele cited the following internet web sites as being perhaps most important in his handling of this health issue: www.oxyabusekills.com and www.detox911.com. Steele is planning a return to ARCA competition this week at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. “I can’t wait to get back,” said Steele, “Rest assured that I know how fortunate I am to be able to come back.”(ARCA Racing site)(10-8-2002)

    (10-7-2002)

  • New NASCAR Team? An effort to locate a NASCAR shop in the Princeton [West Virginia] area is still in the works, officials say. Several weeks ago, it was announced that NASCAR – in the form of an organization known as Team West Virginia – was coming to town. The team, it was said, was planning a facility for an area just outside Princeton off Interstate 77 at Exit 9, near the Ramada Inn. David Barker is president of Team West Virginia. Barker has said that initially the Princeton project would call for the construction of a race shop at the site. This would be the anchor for what Team West Virginia envisions as a 45,000 square foot facility that also would include a restaurant, office space and a gift shop. Initially, team sponsors applied to the state Economic Development Grant Committee for $2.7 million needed to construct an access road from I-77 necessary before the project could become reality. The committee turned down that request, but Barker has said efforts to obtain the funding is ongoing. This week, Barker said he has been working with state economic development representatives out of the governor’s office on the project. “They are still deeply involved in trying to make this happen,” he said. “Lots of people think it’s really a neat idea. It’s just a matter of when and how. I think it’s going to happen. I still feel real good about it. I feel good about the support we’re getting from Charleston on this. They’ve been very supportive. They’re trying their best to make some things happen.” Gov. Bob Wise earlier announced a partnership with Team West Virginia, Inc., and the West Virginia Division of Tourism for a special four-race NASCAR Busch Grand National project featuring Winston Cup driver and NBC-TNT color commentator Wally Dallenbach. The car is a Dodge R/T carrying the Pepsi brand as a primary sponsor.(Bluefield Daily Telegraph)(10-7-2002)
  • Testing at Martinsville: #28-Ricky Rudd is testing Monday at the Martinsville Speedway. Among those expected at the track Tuesday and Wednesday are #30-Jeff Green, #55-Bobby Hamilton, #7-Casey Atwood, #26-Todd Bodine, #02-Hermie Sadler and #28-Ricky Rudd (Tuesday only)(10-7-2002)
  • Atlanta Testing UPDATE speeds: not sure what other drivers are there, but Christian Fittipaldi is testing a Petty Enterprises Dodge today at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It was the first time the former Formula One and current CART driver had driven a Winston Cup-style car at a NASCAR Winston Cup Speedway. The team is talking with companies now regarding sponsorship.(Williams Company PR) AND Also testing were Cup drivers #99-Jeff Burton and #44-Jerry Nadeau. Busch drivers testing included #5-Ricky Hendrick, #10-Scott Riggs, #87-Joe Nemechek, #24-Jack Sprague, #57-Jason Keller, and #15-Lydon Amick. All are expected back on Tuesday.
    UPDATE: Defending Aaron’s 312 winner Joe Nemechek brought his BGN car back to Atlanta for the first time since his win last March and immediately took over the speed charts Monday during a two-day test of 11 Cup and BGN teams testing for the Oct. 25-27 NAPA 500 weekend. Nemechek turned a lap at 185.356 mph in his team’s second car, the #88 NEMCO entry. Nemechek was shaking the car down for David Reutimann, who will also compete in the Oct. 26 Aaron’s 312. Reutimann also ran the first BGN race at Richmond this season, finishing 16th. The only other driver in the 180-mph range was Christian Fittipaldi, who is testing a Petty Enterprises car in preparation for next season, when he will drive a mixed schedule of ARCA, Busch and Winston Cup races. Monday he tested an ARCA car to prep for the ARCA 400 next March in Atlanta. The speeds:
    Winston Cup:
    #44-Jerry Nadeau, 179.708
    #99-Jeff Burton, 179.595
    ARCA Speeds
    #43-Christian Fittipaldi, 180.175
    BGN Speeds:
    #87/88-Joe Nemechek, 185.356 #57-Jason Keller, 179.417
    #15-Lyndon Amick, 177.465
    #10-Scott Riggs, 177.465
    #24-Jack Sprague, 177.465
    #5-Ricky Hendrick, 177.124
    #88-David Reutimann, 176.729
    #79-Keith Murt, 173.467.(AMS PR)(10-7-2002)
  • Schrader and the #36? some news UPDATE: The future of the #36 Kenny Schrader-Jay Frye team, owned by Thomas Beard, remains cloudy as the sponsor search continues. An Army sponsorship is on the table, but negotiations have been stalemated for several weeks for reasons that are unclear. If the team can’t clinch the sponsorship soon, it may wind up with car owner Andy Petree. Meanwhile, there are reports that IMG is interested in buying into the Schrader-Frye operation, in what could be a similar deal to the Valvoline buy-in to the sister team of Johnny Benson and James Ince. IMG, Mark McCormack’s sports marketing agency, has been involved in Winston Cup marketing for three years.(Winston Salem Journal)
    UPDATE: sources at IMG tell me – “At this time, IMG has no plans to purchase any interest in a NASCAR Winston Cup race team.”(10-7-2002)
  • Hendrick to debut at Rockingham UPDATE 2 car #05: During an interview on Speed Channel’s NASCAR Victory Lane on Sunday night, Hendrick Motorsports CEO Rick Hendrick said that his son, Ricky, would drive a fifth Hendrick Motorsports entry in the Winston Cup race at Rockingham on November 3rd. Ricky Hendrick, 22, is currently in his first full season in the BGN after two years in the CTS.(Gordonline)(9-23-2002)
    UPDATE: Ricky Hendrick, son of Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, will test a Winston Cup car at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham,N.C., in preparation for his series debut at the track later this season. Ricky Hendrick will be joined at the test by four-time Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon. “I’m looking forward to giving him some horsepower under the rear wheels,” Gordon said. “The Busch cars have less horsepower, so I’m interested to see how he’ll do with all that horsepower. I think it’ll be fun and exciting for him.” Asked if Hendrick was going to jump in his car, Gordon replied: “That’s what he thinks. I don’t know what they’ve planned.”(ThatsRacin.com)(9-29-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Ricky Hendrick tested last week at Rockingham to prepare for his Winston Cup debut in the Pop Secret 400 on November 3. Hendrick, who finished 21st in the Busch race at Rockingham in February, will drive the #05 Chevy with Lance McGrew as crew chief.(Sporting News)
    CORRECTION: been told from sources that Ricky Hendrick has not yet tested at Rockingham. Hendrick Motorsports has schedule time at the track on Oct14th-15th and the 22nd-23rd. Hendrick is expected during one or several of those dates along with Jeff Gordon. Hendrick did spend Monday testing his BGN car at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(10-7-2002)
  • Talladega TV Ratings: NASCAR Pre-Race Show Outperforms CBS’ “NFL Today”. NBC Sports’ weekend coverage of the NASCAR Winston Cup EA Sports 500 from Talladega Superspeedway posted year-over-year ratings increases, according to the overnights released today by Nielsen Media Research. NBC’s exclusive coverage of the EA Sports 500 from Talladega on Sunday (1:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET) generated a 4.6 rating/10 share, marking a five percent increase over last year’s race (4.4/10). Additionally, NBC’s pre-race show, “Discover Card Countdown to Green” logged an impressive 3.3/8 from 12:30 – 1:15 p.m. ET, outperforming CBS’ “NFL Today,” which earned a 2.5/5 from noon – 1 p.m. ET.(NBC PR)(10-7-2002)
  • Another Rudd: Rick Glenn of Glenn Racing and Jim Edwards of JE Performance announced that they have officially combined operations to form JAGER Motorsports. This newly formed group will compete in both NASCAR’s BGN and Winston Cup Series. The team will be headquartered in Stuart, Florida with Race facilities located in Forest City, NC, just 1.5 hours from Charlotte, NC. Ricky Pearson, son of NASCAR legend David Pearson will assume Crew Chief duties and manage day-to-day operations of the race team. Jason Rudd, nephew of #28 Cup Driver Ricky Rudd will join JAGER Motorsports to run a limited schedule for the 2002 and 2003 seasons.(JAGER Motorsports PR)(10-7-2002)
  • Compton back in the #49 at Lowe’s: In his first Winston Cup race since August, Stacy Compton placed 22nd, the last car on the lead lap. Compton will drive again for #49 BAM Racing this weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(Richmond Times Dispatch), see images of car Compton drove at ‘Dega in my Paint Scheme Gallery.(10-7-2002)
  • Atwood out? UPDATE: the Augusta Chronicle is reporting – Sources close to Casey Atwood’s team [#7 Sirius Satellite Dodge] said the driver probably will be [released] at the end of the season. Atwood already has struck a deal to drive a limited schedule on the BGN #27 Brewco?] next year. The team may not hire a replacement driver since one of the car owners, Jim Smith, was [charged] this week and charged with illegally dumping hazardous materials at his chrome plating plant in California.(Augusta ChronicleAND Atwood said he ”has heard reports” about his job being in jeopardy but the 21-year-old driver said he has one year remaining on his contact and expects Evernham to honor it. ”As far as I know I’ll be back. Ray hasn’t told me anything different,” Atwood said. ”We haven’t talked about it.”(Tennessean)(10-6-2002)
    UPDATE: Dodge has expressed its disappointment with the #7 team’s performance this season. Casey Atwood’s best finish this season was 11th, in June at Pocono, and he has been higher than 30th in points just once this season. “We’re looking for the performance of this team to get better over the next six races,” co-owner Jim Smith says. “Sirius is locked in for next year and wants to extend the contract, but they told us we need to make improvements.” Atwood, 22, has hinted he would be happier back in the Busch Series, but he is under contract for another year. Smith says he and partner Ray Evernham have notdiscussed bringing in a replacement driver.(Sporting News)(10-7-2002)
  • Hornish visits Hendrick? UPDATE 2: just before signing off on Tuesday’s show, it was reported on ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night that Robin Miller would have news on Wednesday show why IRL Champ Sam Hornish Jr recently visited Hendrick Motorsports.
    UPDATE: basically it was an exploratory meeting in case Hornish is interested in NASCAR in the future, Miller reported Hornish will be in the IRL nest year. Also was reported that CART driver Kenny Brack met with DEI, also exploratory.(ESPN2’s RPM2Night)(10-2-2002)
    UPDATE 2: At the IRL’s banquet Sam Hornish Jr discussed a recent visit to the shop of Hendrick Motorsports. Hornish, who spent the summer being courted by Dale Earnhardt Inc., wants to compete in the Daytona 500, perhaps as soon as next season. “I was offered a chance to go to [Charlotte] and see how [Hendrick’s] operation works,” Hornish told AutoWeek. “I had heard stories about the engine shop and we got a tour.” Hornish said time is running out for a chance at the next Daytona 500, although he will keep the dream alive for 2004. Running in some selected NASCAR races (or a full season) likely will be a factor in Hornish’s contract extension negotiations with Panther Racing. 2003 is the final year of an original three-year deal.(Autoweek)(10-7-2002)
  • Vasser to NASCAR? Jimmy Vasser, the 1996 CART champion while driving for Chip Ganassi, nearing the end of his first season at Team Rahal, chances are slim he’ll be back for a second. With primary sponsor Shell either cutting back or going away, Rahal is unlikely to be able to meet Vasser’s asking price. That has the 36-year-old driver knocking on doors. “Team Rahal is not in position to keep the team intact, or so I’m told,” Vasser said. “There’s interest all around the paddock, but nobody’s able to make a commitment.” Vasser was tempted to go to NASCAR a few years ago and is looking that way again. He said a BGN deal that would allow him to continue to run the Indianapolis 500 would appeal to him. “My goals are still long-term. Nobody’s ever won a CART championship and a Winston Cup championship, and I’d like to be the first,” he said. “But at this point, it’s hard to make choices until there’s some options on the table.”(Indianapolis Star)(10-7-2002)
  • Mixed Reviews on Smaller Fuel Tanks: NASCAR officials called the smaller fuel cells used for Sunday’s EA Sports 500 a “partial success.” The move, which reduced the size of the fuel cells from 22 gallons to about 13, was made to try to spread out the tightly packed racing at Talladega. The cars did spread out some for a few laps during the cycle of stops, but bunched back up within a few more laps. A few teams were able to make the 500-mile race on five stops, while most had to come in a sixth time for a gulp of gas in the final laps. That did dramatically reduce the number of cars running for the win at the end of the race. “Tony (Stewart) and Ricky (Rudd) both said it gave them an opportunity to run single-file long enough to sort of catch your breath before anybody caught up,” NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said. Asked what he thought the fuel cell change did, sixth-place finisher Steve Park replied: “Looked like one big pack to me.”
    “I think the only thing it did was separate the race at the end,” said Jeff Burton. “Some people couldn’t go as far as others (on a tank of gas), so it made the end of the race not so hectic.” Hunter said NASCAR plans to continue to evaluate the new rule with the possibility of continuing its use at the 2003 Daytona 500.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-7-2002)
  • Alabama Illustrator Criswell Accomplishes Mission Plus: Kevin Criswell, the Centre, AL, illustrator who set out to tackle the unheard-of task of providing original illustrations of all the competitors in the EA Sports 500 starting field at Talladega did just that. In addition, by special request from the speedway, Criswell “burned the midnight oil” in finishing a special original of team owner Jack Roush and his “guardian angel” Larry Hicks. Hicks is credited with saving Roush’s life in Alabama back in April when Roush crashed an experimental aircraft into a lake some 75 miles south of the track. During the pre-race activities, Talladega Superspeedway President Grant Lynch unveiled Criswell’s offerings and introduced Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, who made the presentations to Roush and Hicks. “It was definitely a labor of love,” said Criswell, who suffers from debilitating rheumatoid arthritis. “But to be able to see all the drivers and team members enjoy my work made it all worthwhile. To be able to help Grant and Talladega Superspeedway show their gratitude and acknowledgement of Jack and Larry like that just put the icing on the cake. It’s a weekend I’ll treasure for the rest of my life.”(PR)(10-7-2002)
  • Carter still waiting on DiscoverCard: #26 (and #66) car owner Travis Carter had expected to hear by now if his sponsor, Discover [DiscoverCard], would be renewing for next season, but there is still no word. So driver Todd Bodine is starting to check his options. “I’m trying to wait as long as I can,” Bodine says. “I don’t want to go anywhere. But they haven’t told me anything yet.”(Winston Salem Journal)(10-7-2002)

 


(10-6-2002)

 

  • Earnhardt Jr wins at Talladega: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr won the EA Sports 500 at Talladega, his third straight win at the track, his 7th career win. Earnhardt Jr is the first driver to sweep both Talladega races since his late fateher, Dale, won both in 1999. #20-Tony Stewart finished 2nd and takes over the Winston Cup drivers points lead by 72 points over #6-Mark Martin. There were NO cautions during the race. Earnahrdt Jr also was a Winston No Bull five driver and wins $1 million for him and the #8 team and for a fan, Debra Polzun of Manchester, CT a brand new millionaire.
    Results: at ThatsRacin.com or NASCAR.com and see my EA Sports 500 Race Info page for my race breakdown, notes and cautions (none this week).(10-6-2002)
  • Foam in the front ends? The smaller fuel cells being used are packed in the regular-sized containers but are padded with Stabilized Aluminum Foam, which could be seen in the front of cars in the future to help dissipate the deadly forces in a crash. Jim Hunter, a NASCAR vice president, says this could be the first stage of using the energy-absorbing product elsewhere in the cars. “It’s a good opportunity to try it,” Hunter said. Hunter also said that tests of a SAFER barrier that could be used on high-banked walls and on corners with a short radius would take place sometime next month. The energy-absorbing barrier has been installed only along the outside wall of the four corners at Indianapolis and the inside walls in turns 1 and 4 at Talladega.(Roanoke Times), the Humpy Bumper was one idea that seems to have dimmer, more info on my Humpy Bumper page.(10-6-2002)
  • Alabama on the #49 at ‘Dega: The #49 Dodge with driver Stacy Compton will feature the titles of some of the biggest hits of the country music group Alabama on the back bumper and hood. Gus Larkin, program manager for the team, said, “The program is based on a salute to the fans of the band Alabama. We just thought it would be a nice gesture to do.” Larkin believes the fans will like the car. “It’s crimson red in gold trim, and it should be a pretty sharp race car,” he said.(Alabama Live)(10-6-2002)

    (10-5-2002)

  • Pit road access restrictions set for 2003 UPDATE NASCAR says nothing decided: NASCAR will restrict fan access to the garage area and pit road next season with a new pass system, an official said yesterday. ”We have been studying the situation for quite awhile,” said Jim Hunter, NASCAR’s vice president of corporate communications. ”We’ve decided this is the direction we need to go.” Congestion in the pits has created security concerns for drivers and safety concerns for fans, with cars roaring in and out of the garage area during practice and qualifying sessions. Hunter said beginning with the Daytona 500 in February, NASCAR will issue ”hot” and ”cold” passes for each race. Only licensed competitors and accredited media members will be issued hot passes, which will give them access to the garage and pit road while racing activities — practice, qualifying, the race itself — are in progress. Cold passes will allow access to the garage area and pit road only during periods of inactivity —between practice sessions and qualifying sessions and before and after the race on race day. Hunter said garage passes currently are issued by NASCAR, tracks, teams and sponsors. Generally, such passes are not on sale to the public. Other details about the new pass system will be announced later. Hunter said he does not anticipate a major fan backlash.(Tennessean)
    UPDATE: NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said Saturday no decisions have been made about when or how garage and pit road area access may be restricted to race fans next season, despite published reports to the contrary. “We’re looking at all the information that we’ve gathered and we’re continuing to discuss it,” Hunter said. “There is no new policy in place at this time.” NASCAR officials have considered several ideas, among them requiring those on pit road during the race to wear protective fire suits; and the restricting the times during which fans with garage passes may enter to periods when there is not activity on the race track.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-5-2002)
  • Plate Points: #15-Michael Waltrip is the leader in Restrictor plate driver point earned in 2003, 32 is #40-Sterling Marlin who is injured and will not race at Talladega. Here’s the Top-10 in plate races this season:
    #15-Michael Waltrip, 520
    #40-Sterling Marlin, 482 (injured will not race)
    #22-Ward Burton, 436
    #09- Geoffrey Bodine, 426 (missed making the race due to the rain)
    #2-Rusty Wallace, 421
    #8-DaleEarnhardt Jr, 416
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 405
    #97-Kurt Busch, 400
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, 386
    #6-Mark Martin, 362 (Stock Car Fans – Ramblings – Talladega)(10-5-2002)
  • Presidential Invite: Tim Suggs and Scott Davis of America’s Most Wanted/Body Dynamics Racing received a highly prestigious opportunity this week. They received a Presidential invitation to Washington, DC to take part in the first ever, White House Conference on Missing, Exploited and Runaway Children. This conference was designed by President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush to focus on this tragedy of this horrific epidemic and to discuss what can been done to protect our youth and future. Tim and Scott were invited because of their missing children’s motorsports program with America’s Most Wanted Motorsports and they were among some of the most prominent people today such as President and Laura Bush, John Ashcroft, Colin Powell, and John Walsh . “We were excited to be there, stated Davis, “It is heartbreaking to see the families that were there that we all have seen in the news lately telling their stories, I know our program can help, but we are still looking for a sponsor to get these stories on the track and in front of the loyal fans of NASCAR.” While there, they were given the opportunity to meet President Bush in a private meeting, and was able to mention the America’s Most Wanted program to President Bush and he responded with support and excitement. For more go to www.amw-racing.com.(10-5-2002)
  • Championship Chase: Sterling Marlin isn’t the first NASCAR driver to lose a shot at the championship late in the season because of an injury. Herb Thomas lost the 1956 championship after a late-season crash [with 2 races to go]; Buck Baker won that title.(Winston Salem Journal) [Ernie Irvan was also running for the Championshio in 1994 after 20 races when he had his near fatal accident at Michigan] AND The points leader after the 20th race of the season went on to win the championship in each of the last nine years, but it won’t happen this year. Sterling Marlin was the leader after 20 races this season. The winner of the Brickyard 400 has gone on to become the champion in each of the last four years, but 2002 Brickyard winner Bill Elliott would be a long shot to do it this year. He is ninth, 201 points back.(Dallas Morning News)(10-5-2002)
  • #7 in trouble? The future of the Casey Atwood-Jim Smith team is in some question after charges of illegal dumping of toxic materials at Smith’s Ultra Wheels plant in southern California. Smith and his business partners have been charged with 17 counts of hazardous waste dumping.(Winston Salem Journal) see my #7 Team News and Links page for the story on the dumping.(10-5-2002)
  • Nice Gesture by Ward UPDATE: Six-year-old Dusty Duncan went out Friday night to get Ward Burton’s autograph. What he may have gotten in addition to the autograph was a new shot at life. Dusty suffers from a cleft palate. It’s a condition that doesn’t threaten his life, but because of the way it affects his personal appearance, it does threaten his self-esteem. Especially for a 6-year-old. When Burton’s helicopter landed at the Grandview autograph session, he immediately noticed Dusty. Sonja Duncan, Dusty’s mother, said of Burton: “He looked two or three times at Dusty. All Dusty could say was, `That’s Ward Burton.’ ” Dusty stood in line with his mother and father, Billy Duncan, and got his autograph. Afterward, as they were entering a nearby store, a security guard stopped them. The guard said that Burton wanted their name, Dusty’s age and a phone number. They complied. Shortly after, the guard returned and said Burton wanted to talk to them after the autograph session was over. The Duncan family was ushered into a room at the store where they met Burton. They talked. Then Burton pulled Billy Duncan aside. “He asked what was wrong with Dusty,” Sonja Duncan said. “He asked if it could be fixed and then he offered to pay for it. I was shocked,” she said. Burton said Sunday: “I’m going to help him. I’m going to help with some funds.” Burton said something about the boy just touched him. “I got kind of emotional when I saw him,” Burton said, becoming emotional again. “I’m a sucker when it comes to children.” Burton said he was impressed with the boy’s attitude and said it was very evident he had the love of his mother and father. Dusty has already had eight surgeries in unsuccessful attempts to correct the problem. Dusty’s sister, Angie, also was born with a cleft palate. Hers was successfully dealt with by two surgeries. Rita Ferguson, a friend of the Duncan family who was with them at the autograph session, said the Duncans “are not in position to take Dusty to a specialist.” She also said that Dusty is at the age where he’s been hearing about his appearance from friends. The Duncans said Burton told them he would be in touch early this week to work out the details of getting Dusty’s life turned around. “I can’t help everybody,” Burton said. “This was something that just touched me.”(Kansas City Star)(9-30-2002)
    UPDATE: Last week during an autograph session in the Kansas City area, Ward Burton met Dusty Duncan. The boy touched Burton in a way that surprised even his parents. After the autograph session, Burton sent a security officer after the parents, desperate to know what was wrong with their son. The security officer tracked down the parents and Dusty and brought them back to Burton. Burton wanted to know what type of infliction their son, Dusty, had. The parents explained to Burton that Dusty, along with his sister Angie, both had a cleft lip. Burton wanted to help the family get the proper care that their children needed. He spoke with the father about how he could help Dusty. The Kansas City Star ran a story on the meeting between Burton and Dusty and an outpouring of support to help Dusty ensued. The Shriners Hospital for Children contacted Burton and told them that they would handle the surgery for both children and do whatever they could to assist in treatment. Many fans have contacted Burton asking to help Dusty and his family. Since the Shriners Hospital for Children will handle the surgery for both Dusty and Angie, you may make donations in their names at your local Shriners or mail your donation to: Shriners Hospital for Children, 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607-1460.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(10-5-2002)
  • Roush Engine Problems at Kansas: Jeff Paxton, head engine tuner for Roush Racing, said the three Roush cars that had engine failures last weekend at Kansas City all had different problems with the valve train. He said Martin’s engine suffered a broken rocker arm. Jeff Burton’s engine broke a valve, and Kurt Busch ‘s engine broke a rocker arm stud. Paxton said he had not seen those problems this season until last weekend. Since those engines are similar to what the team will use at Charlotte next weekend, he’ll have changes made. “The Charlotte motors are already built but we’re going to change items Monday or Tuesday to hopefully prevent another failure from happening,” he said.(Roanoke Times)(10-5-2002)

    (10-4-2002)

  • 2003 Chevy to be unvieled next Thurs: Race fans will get their first look at the 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo when the car is unveiled during a news conference Thursday afternoon at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Chevrolet officials confirmed.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-4-2002)
  • Penske to Dodge announcement soon? Penske Racing South is expected to announce its long-rumored switch to Dodge during Oct 10-13 race week at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read), am hearing it’ll be Sunday morning, Oct 13th.
    AND Penske Racing’s long-rumored move to the Dodge camp appears complete. Dodge officials have scheduled a news conference for 9 a.m. Oct. 13 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., when they are expected to announce Penske’s addition to the Dodge organization beginning with the 2003 season. Penske and Dodge officials declined to comment on Friday. The partnership between Penske Racing and Jasper Motorsports, which includes Jasper’s #77 Ford team utilizing Penske-built engines, will continue at least for the 2003 season, sources said.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-4-2002)
  • Debut of different #4 scheme at Talladega: Eastman Kodak Company’s newly wrapped NASCAR Winston Cup Series race car featuring new Kodak Perfect Touch processing, will race for the first time on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2002 at the Talladega, AL NASCAR Race. Kodak Perfect Touch processing is a revolutionary new photofinishing service that individually scans and corrects each negative giving consumers pictures that reveal richer detail, fewer dark shadows and more vibrant color. The new paint scheme will hit the track for practice and qualifying on Friday, Oct. 4, 2002 with Mike Skinner piloting the entry. Traditionally, Kodak’s NASCAR design has focused on film. The last revamp — which occurred in 1986 — featuring Kodak Max film and was one of only a few throughout Kodak’s 17-year primary sponsorship of the #4 Chevrolet. The new design is in line with a company-wide priority to generate more prints of pictures and driving processing volumes for retail partners. Midwest retailers who have signed up for Kodak Perfect Touch processing have the option of integrating the Kodak Perfect Touch processing NASCAR in their in-store promotions including the opportunity to showcase the car on-site. Additional markets will have this option as the service rolls out regionally between October 2002 and July 2003. Kodak is the longest running, continuous primary sponsor in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Kodak began its relationship with Larry McClure and Morgan-McClure Motorsports 10 races into the 1985 season. Rick Wilson drove for team at the time. Additional Kodak Perfect Touch processing NASCAR Winston Cup races include: Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Martinsville, Atlanta, Rockingham, Phoenix and Homestead.(Morgan McClure Motorsports PR), see an image of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(10-4-2002)
  • Marlin Update: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates certified athletic trainer, Al Shuford M.Ed,A.T.,C.-L, explains Sterling Marlin’s health following racing accidents at Richmond International Speedway on September 7 and Kansas Speedway on September 29. “Following Sterling’s accidents at Richmond and Kansas he participated in the same evaluation procedure with Dr. Petty, neurosurgeon of the Carolina Neurological and Spinal Injury Clinic, each time. The non-displaced fracture of the #2 cervical vertebra showed up in the evaluation procedure following the Kansas accident. The fracture did not show up following the Richmond accident. Sterling is currently wearing an Aspen collar which keeps the cervical vertebrae stable. He is expected to wear it for a minimum of four weeks. The fracture will heal naturally and Sterling is currently not scheduled to undergo surgery. Following Sterling’s accident at Richmond, I suggested to Sterling to try the HANS device. Prior to this he had only worn the Hutchens device. Sterling was fitted for it and tested two days in Kentucky with it prior to the Dover race. We modified the seat at this time and he felt comfortable with it going into the Dover event. Sterling wore the HANS device for the first time during the Dover race weekend. The week following the Dover race, Sterling said that his chest was sore. He decided to go back to wearing the Hutchens device during the Kansas weekend due to the fact that the HANS device was uncomfortable because his chest was sore. There is no way to determine if either device would have prevented this injury.”(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(10-4-2002)
  • Oops, parts confiscated ay ‘Dega: NASCAR inspectors confiscated several parts from Winston Cup teams prior to Friday’s first practice. A rear spoiler that did not fit the template was taken from Rusty Wallace’s #2 Miller Lite Ford. Unapproved straps used to secure the rear window were taken from Mark Martin’s #6 Viagra Ford. In addition, two unapproved trailing arm rear-spring buckets – on which the rear springs are mounted – were taken from both the #14 Conseco Pontiac of Mike Wallace and the #11 Hooters Ford of Brett Bodine.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-4-2002)
  • Biffle on stand by…at Lowe’s: Driver Bobby Hamilton is scheduled to return to his #55 Chevy next weekend at Charlotte [Lowe’s Motor Speedway], but BGN points leader Greg Biffle, who has substituted for Hamilton the past four races, will stand by as a relief driver, if needed. Ron Hornaday is in the car this weekend at Talladega.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-4-2002)
  • Testing at Phoenix: #48-Jimmie Johnson, #24-Jeff Gordon and #2Rusty Wallace teams have scheduled October tests at Phoenix International Raceway in preparation of the Nov. 10 Checker Auto Parts 500, the 2nd to last race of the 2002 season.(Arizona Republic)(10-4-2002)
  • Manufacturer News: Oct. 1, was an important day in the stock car world. The date was big because it was the final day for 2003 hardware submissions from the manufacturers to NASCAR. All three companies did submit “hard parts” to NASCAR for its consideration. The length of time between submittal and approval, or rejection, can run the gamut from mere moments for the far-fetched requests to several weeks for a part that catches NASCAR’s attention. Ford, in their submittal, offered NASCAR a new nose, tail and manifold. The nose is rumored to be part of the “common” template NASCAR is eyeing for 2003. The tail or rear bumper cap, which covers the fuel cell area, on the current fleet of Taurus cars was not symmetrical when it was submitted several years ago and has been the topic of discussion at about every superspeedway event since. The new piece addresses these concerns. The final Ford piece submitted was an intake manifold. Dodge’s wish list was rather short and limited to a new nose. Again, this nosepiece was submitted to comply with the 2003 common template design. The Dodge nose has a small detail ridge on the front bumper cap, allowing the Dodge teams an additional half-inch of kickout. That half-inch ridge reportedly was removed from the newly submitted piece. GM went for the full Monte, as it were, with their block, head and manifold submission. The GM men didn’t say what issues the new block addressed, but teamfordracing.com knows they’d love to get the fuel pump swung around from the right to the left side, which would help with vulnerability issues during a crash. This certainly doesn’t address the heads and manifold, but the reason for those requests will likely become clearer during the Talladega, Ala. weekend. Keep in mind that the GM factory effort will bring common template cars to the track for 2003 with both the Monte and Grand Prix getting sheetmetal worked over during the spring and summer of this year. All the teams, regardless of make, will be busy during this year’s off-season bringing the cars into compliance for the 2003 common template. That’s right, even though the Ford and Dodge cars will go principally unchanged both marks will need total re-skinning to address rear window and cowl concerns of NASCAR. Ford also submitted a new nose for the F-150 in the Craftsman Truck Series. It is not known what the other brands offered to NASCAR for that series.(Ford Racing)(10-4-2002)
  • Army looking at other options: In addition to continuing talks with MB2 (#36 Pontiac) and Andy Petree Racing (#33 and #55) about a 2003 sponsorship package, the U.S. Army is also talking to Roush Racing. MB2 and APR would likely be 1/2 season primary sponsorship deals with another company running the other 1/2 while Roush would be a major associate sponsorship deal on the #17 DeWalt Ford.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(10-4-2002)
  • Donlavey Racing to run at Lowe’s Motor Speedway: #90 Winston Cup Series car owner Junie Donlavey could not make it back to the track in time for his hometown race at Richmond International Raceway, he figured making his return in NASCAR’s unofficial hometown would be the next best thing. Lucas Oil will sponsor Donlavey’s #90 Ford Taurus in the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway near Charlotte, NC. Donlavey will also receive backing from Suburban Franchise, Superior Logistics Services, and Hawk Sawblades. In typical Donlavey fashion, he is putting a rookie behind the wheel of the Lucas Oil Ford. Jason Hedlesky, who has competed in five ARCA events in the last three years at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, will slip into a Winston Cup car for the first time as a driver.. He has been an ARCA competitor for the past three seasons and had two 14th-place finishes (Atlanta and Michigan) in 2000, which represent his career-best efforts.. Hedlesky qualified ninth and finished 15th in the ARCA event at Charlotte this season. Hedlesky has also been Donlavey Racing’s team manager since 1999. Hedlesky had a great run in the ARCA series race earlier this year at Michigan.. Hedlesky qualified 14th and was in third place when he came to pit road for a scheduled stop and was trapped on pit road by a caution period.. Hedlesky finished 17th. The Clinton, MI native also has one CTS start, at Michigan he started 22nd and finished 31st earlier this season. Prior to the Oct. 13 event, Donlavey will receive the Smokey Yunick Award, recognizing his lifetime achievement in auto racing, which has spanned the life of NASCAR.. Previous winners of the Smokey Yunick Award include Bill Simpson, Ralph Moody, Banjo Matthews, Bud Moore and Cotton Owens.(Keystone Marketing PR)(10-4-2002)
  • Childress and Marcis Racing team up at Talladega: Realtree announced a one-race sponsorship of the #71 Marcis Racing Chevy, with engine and body provided by Richard Childress Racing(RCR). RCR BGN driver Jay Sauter, will attempt to make his second Winston Cup start this season. “I’m delighted to see that Realtree is going to be returning to our race program,” says Marcis, who has been involved with NASCAR for over 25 years. “They have been such a big part of my life and have always been so loyal to me. I appreciate everything that they have done for me over the years, and look forward to continuing our relationship. Of course, Richard Childress has been a huge help too over the years, providing engines, cars and so much more.” Marcis and Realtree’s NASCAR marriage dates back to 1997, when the camouflage retail giant became primary sponsor of his #71 Chevy. Their association continued until Marcis’ retirement this year from racing after the season-opening Daytona 500. Since his last official start at Daytona, Marcis has fielded a car for eight Winston Cup races. Most of his cars have been his own, but this time he will be provided with RCR equipment, including a driver. Sauter, who made his Winston Cup debut at Texas Motor Speedway in April. Realtree is also as an associate sponsor on the #29 Goodwrench Service Plus Chevy, owned by Richard Childress and driven by Kevin Harvick.(PR)(10-4-2002)
  • New Stock Car Series/Race track in Canada/Cup drivers to race: A new stock car series was announced in Canada, International Stockcar Alliance, with six $1-million first-place purses being offered by the series in 2003. The launch of the ISA yesterday also came with the announcement that Kawartha Downs soon will break ground on a three-quarter mile superspeedway to seat 48,000 fans at its track near Peterborough where three ISA events will be held. And Bob Singleton, vice-president of Molson Sports and Entertainment and general manager of the Toronto Molson Indy, said the ISA will take over the Saturday headline show from the CASCARSuper Series at both Toronto and Vancouver in 2003. Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch joined eight other drivers yesterday in lauding the formation of the ISA and its grand plans for stock car racing in Canada. ISA president Mitch Mortimer outlined just how he plans to make that a possibility in his series. “The ISA will present a special format for six of its events,” Mortimer said. “The Super Six, as they’ll be called, will offer a prize of $1 million to a driver and a race fan matched up before the race.” Like the Winston No Bull Five Million in NASCAR, ISA will select six drivers and six fans before each of the Super Six events with title sponsor Exide batteries. If the selected driver wins the race, he and a fan will win $1 million each. This format was the deal maker in getting the Toronto and Vancouver Molson Indys involved. The other four events with the $1-million promotion are Kawartha Superspeedway, which will have two events, Sanair Speedway in Montreal and Race City Speedway in Calgary. Besides Kenseth and Busch, the other Winston Cup drivers who will race in the big-money ISA events are Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Dave Blaney, Dale Jarrett, Johnny Benson, Jeff Green and Ken Schrader. Leading the pack of Canadian drivers in the series is former national CASCAR Super Series champion Kerry Micks and his #02 Ford team. A unique part of the ISA will be the introduction of import cars into stock car racing. On display was a racing chassis equipped with a fuel-injected 4.7-litre Toyota engine that will power Toyota Corollas in the series.(Toronto Sun)(10-4-2002)
  • Barrett in for Biffle in the #60 BGN car in 2003? Stanton Barrett is the first choice to replace Greg Biffle in the #60 Rosuh Racing Ford in 2003. Biffle will move up to full time Cup in 2003, running the #16 Grainger Ford. Barrett met with team owner Jack Roush at Dover in September.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(10-4-2002)
  • Gibson already at DEI? The Buzz has learned that Tony Gibson may already be working at Dale Earnhardt Inc. as he prepares to take over the crew chief duties for Steve Park and the #1 Pennzoil Chevy team. Gibson has already been announced as the crew chief to replace the departed Paul Andrews. However, Gibson wasn’t scheduled to start with DEI until the end of the season while Dave Charpentier and Steve Hmiel shared the crew chief duties for Park. Gibson has been the car chief for Jeff Gordon and the #24 Chevrolet team of Rick Hendrick Motorsports, and was believed to remain there while Gordon and team are in the hunt for its fifth Winston Cup Series championship.(NASCAR.com’s Buzz)(10-4-2002)

    (10-3-2002)

  • Shepherd withdraws the #89, will run the #51 at Talladega: Today, Morgan Shepherd released the information that he will be the scheduled driver for Ware Racing’s #51 Ford Taurus this weekend at Talladega. Details were finalized today.   Earlier it had been reported that Tim Fedewa would be driving for Rick Ware this weekend. Those plans have changed. This will be Shepherd’s ninth Winston Cup attempt for the 2002 season.(STB Marketing Group PR)(10-3-2002)
  • Will Baldwin go to Joe Gibbs Racing? Tommy Baldwin probably will be one of the top candidates to take over the crew chief duties for the #18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac, which will be a Chevrolet next season. Joe Gibbs Racing announced Tuesday that Jimmy Makar would step down as crew chief for Bobby Labonte and concentrate on his duties as team manager. (Dallas Morning News)(10-3-2002)
  • #92 Melling Racing and Pressley to run at Talladega: Robert Pressley will reunite with Melling Racing this weekend at Talladega to drive the #92 Dodge, sponsored by Melling Engine Parts. Pressley drove for Melling at this year’s Daytona 500, where, during time trials, he qualified in 4th position. He finished the race in 22nd. Chip Ganassi Racing and Melling had originally put together a collaboration, entered by Chip Ganassi, for Talladega, whereby rookie Jamie McMurray was scheduled to drive the #42 Melling-owned and prepared car. In a quick and unfortunate turn of events, Pressley takes over the wheel from McMurray, who is now scheduled to drive in the #40 car for the injured Sterling Marlin. The car now becomes the #92 Melling Racing entry, with assistance from Chip Ganassi Racing. The #92 Melling Racing Dodge captured both pole positions at Talladega in 2001, and in it’s last five superspeedway races, has qualified no worse than 4th. Robert Pressley currently drives the #18 Square D / Dickies Dodge Ram in the CTS, and Pressley has scored two victorie’s Daytona and Michigan in his first season in the trucks.(Melling Racing PR)(10-3-2002)
  • North Carolina Senate OK’s road change to honor Earnhardt: The North Carolina state Senate gave its final approval Wednesday to legislation renumbering a state road in Iredell and Cabarrus counties as N.C. 3 in honor of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt. The road now is N.C. 136, but that number would be swapped with the N.C. 3 now in Currituck County. Earnhardt, who died in a wreck at Daytona International Speedway in 2001, drove the No. 3 Chevrolet. He lived in Cabarrus County and ran his business enterprises in Iredell County. The bill now returns to the House, which approved an earlier version without the Earnhardt road and must decide whether to accept the changes.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(10-3-2002)
  • IRWIN Rough to Finish Award #48 Team: The No. 48 Lowe’s racing team’s performance had its ups and downs in Sunday’s Protection One 400 at Kansas Speedway. But thanks to a great pit strategy and some excellent driving, the Lowe’s team left Kansas as the leader in the NASCAR Winston Cup championship standings, helping to earn team crew chief Chad Knaus this week’s IRWIN “Rough to the Finish” award. The Lowe’s team ran the majority of the first half of Sunday’ s race in the top-five, until driver Jimmie Johnson radioed in to Knaus on lap 170 that he felt the right rear tire was going down. Johnson was forced to pit under green to change the tire, causing team Lowe’s to go down one lap. Following the pit stop, Johnson returned to his top-five form, turning fast lap times while making up valuable time on the leaders. Johnson finally was able to gain his lap back, but fuel mileage soon became an issue, forcing the team to pit with just 33 laps to go. Despite the turn of events, Johnson was able to salvage his 18th top-10 finish of the season and take an 11-point lead in the championship race. “For us to finish in the top-10 after having a flat tire is a great accomplishment for this whole team,” said Knaus. “It shows what teamwork and determination can do. Everybody in the pits is working hard each week; this award is a credit to their efforts week in and week out.”
    Each week throughout the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season, Irwin, makers of professional power tool accessories like Marathon Plus saw blades and Speedbor flat bits, is partnering with Performance Racing Network to honor the crew chief who had the toughest day in the pits, but still managed to help his team to a strong finish. The IRWIN Rough to the Finish Award includes an assortment of tools for the crew chief and a $250 check donated to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund in the racing team’s name.. The year-end winner of the crew chief points standings will win a $5,000 check donated to the Fund.. Race fans wanting to make a contribution to the Fund may do so by sending it to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund, PO Box 443, Ellerbe, NC 28338. In addition to the crew chief award, Irwin is also sponsoring the weekly nationally syndicated radio show, “Fast Talk with Benny Parsons“, throughout the upcoming year.(Golin Harris PR)(10-3-2002)


    (10-2-2002)

  • Big News – Marlin out for the rest of 2002: #40-Sterling Marlin has been diagnosed with a fractured vertebra and will miss the remainder of the 2002 racing season. Team co-owner Felix Sabates confirmed Marlin’s status Wednesday and said BGN driver Jamie McMurray would be in the car for the rest of the Cup season. McMurray, expected to join join Marlin and Jimmy Spencer on the Chip Ganassi Racing team, will also run the rest of the BGN season [in the #27 Brewco Chevy]. “It is unfortunate that Sterling has to end his season early due to his injury,” Ganassi said. “Sterling has dominated the championship points race, and we were looking forward to helping him win his first NASCAR Winston Cup title. We are expecting Sterling to make a full recovery and be ready to go for the title chase again in 2003.”
    “Sterling, obviously, is very upset becasue he felt like he had a legitimate chance at winning his first championship,” Sabates said. “Yes, the team had fallen off a little bit over the past couple of weeks, but with the tightness of the points race, he had as good a shot as anyone.” NASCAR President Mike Helton said, “Right now, Sterling’s well-being is everyone’s primary concern. His health is certainly more important than anything else. Even though he’s sidelined for the remainder of this season, we wish him the best for a full recovery that will put him back in the championship hunt next year.” A second-generation driver from Columbia, Tenn., Marlin has suffered accidents in two recent Winston Cup races, at Richmond and Kansas City. He had fallen to fifth in the season standings. Doctors in Charlotte, N.C., diagnosed Marlin with a fracture in his C-2 vertebrae – in the neck – Wednesday morning.(ThatsRacin.com/NASCAR.com) NOTE: The #42 Dodge that McMurray was to drive at Talladega has been withdrawn or removed from the entry list. Also McMurray will NOT run the Cup race at Martinsville as he has a BGN commitment that weekendm a driver will be named at a later date.(10-2-2002)
  • Atlanta Testing: For the second straight day, #00-Buckshot Jones led the speed charts during a two-day test of ten Winston Cup and Busch teams testing for the Oct. 25-27 NAPA 500 weekend. Jones, driving for Michael Waltrip Racing, turned a lap of 187.869mph). Just a tick behind Jones was #16-Greg Biffle, who will be attempting to run both the Aaron’s 312 BGN race and the NAPA 500, with a lap of 187.108. After a successful stint as a stand-in for the injured Bobby Hamilton, Biffle will attempt to qualify Roush’s #16 Grainger Ford in the NAPA 500. Third fastest in Wednesday’s test session was #9-Bill Elliott at 183.333. Testing will resume next week, when at least a dozen Winston Cup and BGN teams are expected to test for the upcoming NAPA 500 weekend. Among those expected for the Oct. 7-8 test are Winston Cup drivers #7-Casey Atwood, #99-Jeff Burton, #44-Jerry Nadeau and #83-Kerry Earnhardt, and BGN drivers #5-Ricky Hendrick, #24-Jack Sprague, #57-Jason Keller, #87-Joe Nemechek and #30-Christian Fittipaldi. The speeds:
    CUP
    #00-Buckshot Jones, 187.869
    #16-Greg Biffle, 187.108
    #9-Bill Elliott, 183.333
    #09-Geoffrey Bodine, 178.145
    #27-Scott Wimmer, 178.092
    BGN
    #99-Michael Waltrip, 181.532
    #2-ohnny Sauter, 178.378
    #1-Jimmy Spencer, 178.378
    #21-Jeff Green, 179.534
    #66-Casey Mears, 176.280 (AMS PR)(10-2-2002)
  • Hornish visit’s Hendrick? UPDATE: just before signing off on Tuesday’s show, it was reported on ESPN2’s RPM 2 Night that Robin Miller would have news on Wednesday show why IRL Champ Sam Hornish Jr recently visited Hendrick Motorsports.
    UPDATE: basically it was an exploratory meeting in case Hornish is interested in NASCAR in the future, Miller reported Hornish will be in the IRL nest year. Also was reported that CART driver Kenny Brack met with DEI, also exploratory.(ESPN2’s RPM2Night)(10-2-2002)
  • Daytona Testing Set for January 2003: NASCAR released today its 2003 testing schedule for the month of January at Daytona International Speedway for the Cup, BGN, CTS and Dash Series. The NASCAR Winston Cup and NASCAR Busch Series 2002 final car owner point standings will determine when teams will test at the 2.5 mile tri-oval. NASCAR Winston Cup car owners finishing in odd-numbered positions in the final standings will test on Jan. 7-9, with Jan. 10 reserved as a rain date. Those car owners finishing in the even-numbered positions will test on Jan. 14-16, with Jan. 17 the rain date. Car owners in the BGN finishing in an odd-numbered position will test Jan. 20-21 (rain date is Jan. 22) while owners who finish in an even-numbered spot will test Jan. 23-24 (rain date is Jan. 25). CTS teams will test Jan. 11-13. Testing for Dash Series teams will be Jan. 18-19.(NASCAR PR)(10-2-2002)
  • Martin to be inducted into Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame: Mark Martin heads the list of the inductees in this year’s Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame located at Davey Allison Memorial Park in uptown Talladega. Martin led the fans’ vote for active driver to be inducted into the Walk of Fame. Two other men included in that list of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers will also be inducted into the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame as the inactive drivers of 2002. Robert “Red” Byron and Bobby Isaac led the fans’ vote in that category. The 2002 induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Davey Allison Memorial Park in uptown Talladega, a block south of the town square. The annual induction ceremony takes place on Saturday night during the EA SPORTS’ 500 Weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. The ceremony and all festivities – including a concert – are free to the public. Find out more about the Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame on www.talladegawalk.com (u can buy a brick). The Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame was created in 1994 after the death of Davey Allison. Since 1995, one active driver and two inactive drivers have been inducted into the Walk of Fame based on the fans’ vote.(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(8-3-2002)
    UPDATE: One of the most determined and talented drivers to ever compete in the NASCAR ranks heads the list of the inductees in this year’s Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame located at Davey Allison Memorial Park in uptown Talladega. Throughout Mark Martin’s stellar career, his strong determination to succeed – and win – has set him apart from his fellow competitors. It is the reason he is included in the list of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers. Martin led the fans’ vote for active driver to be inducted into the Walk of Fame. Two other men included in that list of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers will also be inducted into the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame as the inactive drivers of 2002. Robert “Red” Byron and Bobby Isaac led the fans’ vote in that category. The 2002 induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Davey Allison Memorial Park in uptown Talladega, a block south of the town square. The annual induction ceremony takes place on Saturday night during the EA SPORTS’ 500 Weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. The ceremony and all festivities – including a concert – are free to the public. NASCAR Stars Mark Martin, Red Byron, Bobby Isaac, Enter Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame as Class of 2002. “It’s really an honor to be inducted into the Talladega Walk of Fame,” said Martin. “I’ve been going there to race for 20 years now, and we have some good memories over the years. Some of the best of all time are on that Walk-of-Fame and rt’s really nice to be included in there.” Fans can find out more about the Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame on www.talladegawalk.com. The Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame was created in 1994 after the death of Davey Allison. Since 1995, one active driver and two inactive drivers have been inducted into the Walk of Fame based on the fans’ vote. Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Neil Bonnett, Red Farmer and Davey Allison were inducted as the inaugural class in 1994 by decree of the board of directors.(Roush Racing)(10-2-2002)
  • Park to run a BGN car in 2003? UPDATE: hearing Steve Park will run a Teresa/Dale Earnhardt Jr owned #8 Maxwell House Chevy at Las Vegas for the 2003 BGN race there and will run another BGN race in a yet un-named sponsored #8.(9-27-2002)
    UPDATE: Steve Park will return to the BGN on a limited basis next season in a car owned by Winston Cup teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt Jr. said Tuesday that Park will drive about five races next season in the Busch car, co-owned by Earnhardt Jr. and his stepmother Teresa. Earnhardt Jr. will drive in the three events on restrictor-plate tracks, while another driver will compete in about seven races. Earnhardt Jr. said he’d like to see the team go full-time for 2004. After that? “I don’t see that team becoming a Winston Cup team in the near future, but it’s a good possibility down the road,” said Earnhardt Jr., who has won twice in the car already. “It just depends. At this point, it’s just a start-up to bring drivers and crew chiefs and crew members in and work with them and move them up the company into the Winston Cup programs.”(Charleston Post and Courier)(10-2-2002)
  • Sad News II: Allen Fletcher died Tuesday morning at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor after suffering a head injury during a crash in his pro-stock class race car in Saturday night’s 35-lap feature race at Unity Raceway (in Maine). The accident occurred when Fletcher lost control of his car in turn one on the 23rd lap of the race. Fletcher’s car spun and hit driver’s side first into banking on the backstretch. The jaws of life were used to help in removing Fletcher from his car. Fletcher received treatment from the track’s emergency team, the Unity ambulance crew and EMTs, and then was taken by helicopter to EMMC where he was placed in the intensive care unit.(Bangor Daily News)(10-2-2002)
  • Sad News: Modified Driver of car #56, George Handley Jr. of Springfield, IL was fatally injured on lap four of the feature event in a multi car accident at Illinois State Fairgrounds. The other drivers taken to the hospital, #33 Ron Cusack and #3s Dan Schlup Jr. were treated and have been released. A trust fund for the Handley children has been set up at Illinois National Bank. Donations can be made at any branch, Handley’s family said the money will be used for their college educations.(Track Enterprises)(10-2-2002)

    (10-1-2002)

  • Atlanta Testing: In his first laps back in a NASCAR Winston Cup car since April, #00-Buckshot Jones turned the fastest lap of nine Winston Cup and Busch teams testing for the Oct. 25-27 NAPA 500 weekend. Jones, driving for Michael Waltrip Racing, turned a lap 184.493mph. Second-fastest was BGN regular #27-Scott Wimmer, who will be attempting to run both the Aaron’s 312 Busch race and the NAPA 500, with a lap of 183.152. Jones has a one-race deal with Waltrip’s race team to run the NAPA 500 at Atlanta, and Jones said there is a possibility of running a few more races in the future. After spending the day helping Jones with the test session, Fox Sports race analyst Larry McReynolds said it should be no surprise Jones wants to return to Atlanta. Jones will pilot the same Dale Earnhardt Inc.-owned car that Dale Earnhardt Jr. used to win the Dover race last fall. Speeds:
    #00-Buckshot Jones, 184.493
    #27-Scott Wimmer, 183.152
    #16-Greg Biffle, 182.970
    #9-Bill Elliott, 182.789
    #09-Geoffrey Bodine, 179.883 (AMS PR)(10-1-2002)
  • Compton in the #49 at Talladega: The only driver to win a NASCAR Winston Cup pole at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway last year will be behind the wheel of the #49 BAM Racing Dodge in this week’s EA Sport 500. Stacy Compton hasn’t started worse than sixth at Talladega since his rookie season. He won both poles in the Mark Melling Dodge last year, and started sixth in the Spring in a Pontiac. BAM Racing has used several drivers this season, utilizing them at various tracks to help with the development of the race team, as well as researching driver possibilities for the future.(Williams Company)(10-1-2002)
  • Baldwin out? UPDATE 3 yes, and Stoddard in: hearing #22 crew chief Tommy Baldwin and Bill Davis Racing have parted ways, no word on a replacement or where Baldwin will go.(9-30-2002)
    UPDATE: Tommy Baldwin and Bill Davis Racing have parted ways, effective immediately, and Frank Stoddard will now take over crew chief duties for the #22 Dodge of Ward Burton. Reports said that Baldwin and team owner Bill Davis got into heated argument on Sunday morning prior to the Protection One 400 at Kansas Speedway. Sources said that Baldwin reportedly told some team members that Sunday would be the last day he ever calls a race for Bill Davis Racing. On Monday morning, Baldwin didn’t show up for work at the team’s shop. Later in the day, Davis called a team meeting to report that Baldwin was no longer working at BDR and that Frank Stoddard would be taking over. Baldwin was seen cleaning out his office Monday afternoon, as well. Stoddard was recently released from Roush Racing where he had been Jeff Burton’s crew chief since 1998.(NASCAR.com)
    UPDATE 2: hearing on a radio show, the Morning Buzz, that Stoddard said he is not an employee of BDR at this time, and he still has some issues still have to be woked out with Roush Racing.
    UPDATE 3: Last week, discussions began between Frank Stoddard and Bill Davis about possibilities of joining forces in the months ahead. Stoddard became interested in the potential that Bill Davis Racing had to offer. “In the past few weeks, Bill and I have spoken about a position within his organization for the 2003 season,” said Stoddard. “He has a first class facility and I believe that his teams have the potential to win a lot of races. They have won twice this year in the 22 and are building the 23 for the 2003 season. Obviously, I was caught off guard by the opportunity to work with Ward, but at the same time I am excited about the opportunity to pick up and begin working with a winning team. These are a great group of guys and they are already a great team. We’ll see how things work the rest of this season. We have seven races left in this year to see if Ward and I can form a relationship that can be successful. At the end of the season, Bill, Ward and I will sit down and talk about how we feel about where the program is at and how we’re going to progress with the future.”(Bill Davis Racing PR)(10-1-2002)
  • Wimmer in the #23 at Talladega: Scott Wimmer, Bill Davis’ BGN driver, will drive the #23 Hills Bros. Coffee Dodge at Talladega this weekend. Kenny Wallace took over full-time driving duties of the #23 car at Darlington earlier in the season, but before he signed on with Bill Davis, Wallace had already committed to driving for car owner, Andy Petree, and the #33 car for the Talladega event.. BDR needed to find someone to fill in for Wallace at the Talladega event due to the conflict, and felt Wimmer was the logical choice. Martinsville is the only remaining event that Wallace will be unable to compete in the #23 car, as his first priority for the remainder of the 2002 season is the Stacker 2 BGN car and he will be racing in Memphis that weekend. A driver has yet to be named to fill the vacancy.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(10-1-2002)
  • Makar to steps down as Crew Chief of #18 at end of 2002, will be full time Team Manager for Gibbs: Over the last several years, Jimmy Makar has maintained two very important roles within the Joe Gibbs Racing organization. He has not only served as the crew chief for the # 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac, currently driven by Bobby Labonte, since the teams inception in 1991; but he has also been the Team Manager of the racing program at Joe Gibbs Racing. Given the demands on a crew chief within the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, due to schedule length and the amount of testing needed to be a championship caliber team, everyone agreed that Makar’s management and leadership skills would be best suited solely in the role of team manager. “As a result of our continued expansion at JGR and the magnitude and scope of racing today, Jimmy will be focusing his full-time attention on his role as Team Manager in 2003,” added team owner Joe Gibbs. “Jimmy will be initiating the search for his replacement as crew chief on the # 18 car for the 2003 season and while that is on going, he will continue to handle both roles through the end of the 2002 season.” For Makar, the announcement of a change from the role of crew chief to that of team manager is something that had already been planned. Though not expected to make the change for a couple of more years, Makar decided it was best to make the transition now in order to help ensure the continued success of Joe Gibbs Racing for many years to come. For driver Bobby Labonte, the upcoming change is bittersweet, as he and Makar have become very close friends over the years. They have shared many of the highs and lows the sport of auto racing has to offer and have always been able to find a way to see the positive in any situation. “This is a tough one,” admitted Labonte. “Jimmy has been more than a crew chief for me the past eight years. He has become a best friend. We have been through a lot together, both good and bad. We have lost a championship together and we have won a championship together. We lost races that we should have won and we won races that we should have lost. Eight years is a long time to be in our position.”(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(10-1-2002)
  • Hornaday in the #55 at Talladega: Ron Hornaday will drive the #55 Andy Petree Chevy this week in Talladega. For the first time in two months, Petree will have two cars on the track at a Winston Cup event, thanks to 1-800-CALL-ATT and Kenny Wallace. Wallace, who will drive the 1-800-CALL-ATT #33 Chevy at Talladega, will be Hornaday’s teammate for a day. Greg Biffle [the sub in the #55 for the last few races], who has a Busch commitment [not sure what that is as the Busch Series is off this weekend] this week and was unavailable to drive for Petree at Talladega. #55 crew chief Jimmy Elledge had to sit out Sunday’s Protection One 400 due to a suspension from NASCAR. Elledge was suspended and fined $5,000 for unapproved air directional devices found a week ago during pre-qualifying inspection at Dover. Elledge’s suspension ends Wednesday.(Hendersonville Times-News)(10-1-2002)
  • Earnhardt Tribute Scheduled: Dale Earnhardt’s hometown is ready to unveil the Tribute to the racing legend and hometown hero that has been in development since March 2001. “Kannapolis Celebrates A Legend” begins Wed., Oct. 9 in the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Center by motorsports artist Sam Bass and concludes Mon., Oct. 14 with the unveiling of the Dale Earnhardt statue by sculptor Clyde Ross Morgan. The Dale Earnhardt Tribute Center by Sam Bass opened in the Cannon Village Visitor Center, 200 West Ave., in May 2002 with an exhibit of 15 of Bass’ most recognized portraits of Earnhardt. On Wed., Oct. 9 at 10 a.m., Bass will unveil three additional paintings of Earnhardt from his collection that he is adding to his Tribute Center exhibit. The additional pieces will be wall size and signify the beginning of a lifetime commitment to developing the Tribute Center into the most comprehensive record of Earnhardt’s life and career. Bass’ work in the Tribute Center will eventually culminate with a series of original murals that depict Earnhardt from his childhood in Kannapolis to his greatest victories as a driver. Bass was chosen in July 2001 by the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Steering Committee as one of the artists to create the Tribute because of his friendship and professional relationship with Earnhardt. Sculptor Clyde Ross Morgan of Sedona, AZ was also chosen last summer. He created the 900 pound, nine foot tall bronze statue of Earnhardt that will be unveiled on Mon., Oct. 14 at 10 a.m. at Dale Earnhardt Plaza, 164 S. Main St., in Cannon Village, downtown Kannapolis. Morgan designed the statue from the input of Teresa Earnhardt and the Earnahrdt family in Kannapolis and neighboring Mooresville. The unveiling event will focus on the Kannapolis connection to the Earnhardt family and stockcar racing. The event will include a Kannapolis tribute video produced by Time Warner Cable that will showcase photographs donated by fans and the Earnhardt family. Benny Parsons, former Winston Cup Champion, member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and NBC racing commentator will be the master of ceremonies. City of Kannapolis Mayor Ray Moss, Executive Vice President of Lowe’s Motor Speedway Doug Stafford, U.S. Congressman Robin Hayes and L.A. businessman and Kannapolis business owner David Murdock, who paid $200,000 for the statue’s creation as a contribution to the Tribute, will speak. The Earnhardt family will unveil the statue and Cathy Earnhardt-Watkins, one of Earnhardt’s sisters, will speak on behalf of the family. Additional speakers have not yet confirmed. The statue will arrive in Kannapolis on Thurs., Oct. 10 at 10 a.m. There will be a brief program before the statue is installed to thank the companies that volunteered time and materials to prepare the statue site. The statue will remain covered until the unveiling. Site development will continue after the statue is unveiled. Steering Committee members and Morgan will be at Lowe’s Motor Speedway at Gate 4 near the main entrance from 3 pm to 7 pm before qualifying for the UAW/Goodwrench Quality 500 to talk with fans about the Tribute. Sat., Oct. 12, 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. the Kannapolis Business Council is sponsoring “Remembering Dale . . .Cool Car Cruise and Show” in Cannon Village. All proceeds from the juried car show will go to the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Fund. Contributions can be made to the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Fund/City of Kannapolis, P.O. Box 1199, Kannapolis, N.C. 28082-1199.(City of Kannapolis PR)(10-1-2002)
  • Kansas TV Ratings: The overnight rating on NBC for the Protection One 400 from Kansas Speedway was a 3.9, down 3 percent from last years overnight rating of 4.0. The final national rating for the 2001 Protection One 400 was a 4.7. This year’s final rating will be released on Thursday.(MotorsportsTV)(10-1-2002)
  • Illegal dumping: A man who helped start the NASCAR truck series and the operators of a chrome-plating company face allegations that they dumped corrosive acid and toxic metals into the sewer system illegally. Jim Smith [CTS owner and #7 Cup team part owner], Michael Schott, Jerry Welti and Paul Mayasich are each charged with 17 felony counts of hazardous-waste dumping, which carries a maximum prison term of more than 11 years and fines that could exceed $1 million. All four men are expected to surrender to authorities Tuesday. Prosecutors said employees of Ultra Wheel Co., in Buena Park, allegedly poured acid and toxic, heavy metals into the sewer system. Schott, Welti and Mayasich are managers at Ultra Wheel. Smith is one of the originators of the NASCAR truck series and co-owner of a NASCAR Winston Cup racing team. Welti’s attorney said the business has made improvements to prevent further releases into the storm drains.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-1-2002)
  • NAPCM Pit Crew Of The Week #25 Crew: Consistant pit road performance all day helped take the under-recognized #25 UAW/Delphi team to a 4th place finish from a 12th place start 267 Kansas Speedway laps later. Congratulations #25 UAW/Delphi crew on earning this week’s NAPCM “Pit Crew Of The Week” award, sponsored by Toxabsorb (www.toxabsorb.com), “Non-skid pit stall prep for faster pit stops” and “Official Spill Response Agent of the National Association Of Pit Crew Members”. Check out the latest Mechanix Wear “Pit Crew Of The Year” standings and exclusive NAPCM member benefits, available ONLY at the National Association Of Pit Crew Members website:(www.napcm.com)(10-1-2002)