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October 2003 News Archives


 

  • (10-31-2003)

  • Didja Know? that #5-Terry Labonte is the only driver who has been running at the finish of all 15 NASCAR Winston Cup Series races run at Phoenix International Raceway, which will host Sunday’s 312-lap event. His 1994 victory was Chevrolet’s last win on the one-mile desert oval.(HMS PR)(10-31-2003)
  • StockCarFans.com – Ramblings Phoenix: Ryan Newman picked up Bud Pole #10 for the season today at Phoenix International Raceway for Sunday’s Checker Auto Parts 500 presented by Havoline. It’s the third pole in the last four events for Newman, and the 17th of his Winston Cup career. He’s now hitting a lusty .218 for the top-spot. Remember last week when we said that #25-Brian Vickers was setting the bar pretty high? Well, he raised it today. In only his 3rd career Cup start, he’ll start from the outside front row on Sunday, besting that 4th place start he had at Atlanta last week. A strong qualifying day for the Hendrick Motorsports Chevies….2nd, 3rd, and 4th…bookended by those Penske Dodges.
    #77-Dave Blaney (8th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 8th at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May. #6-Mark Martin (12th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 3rd at Richmond in September. STREAKIN….Jeff Gordon has 8 Top-10 starts in the last 9 races. Jimmie Johnson has 7 Top-10 starts in the last 8 races. The Trouble Train contained only two cars today. Derrike Cope (for the 8th time this season) gets the looong ride home, while for Brandon Ash it’s a little shorter but none too sweet. Ash has attempted three West Coast events this season (Las Vegas, Infineon, and today) with no success.
    Provisionals went to: Matt Kenseth, Ricky Craven, Dale Jarrett, Steve Park, Tony Raines, Jeff Green, and Kevin Lepage. This marks the 12th freebie the #43 has had to take this season.
    Seems like every driver loves the re-design of this racetrack….lets see if they’re still as happy come Sunday.(StockCarFans.Com Winstoncup Newsletter)(10-31-2003)
  • 2004 IMHOF Inductees Named: The next inductees into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame include competitors in NASCAR, CART and drag racing, plus a racing executive and the first member who drove boats. Officials of the Talladega-based hall announced Thursday in Birmingham that the Class of 2004 will be:
    —– Charles “Red” Farmer, who raced and won in seven different decades starting in the 1940s. Farmer, who still runs dirt tracks every weekend, has won four NASCAR Touring Series Championships and was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers.
    —– Bill France Jr., who took over as NASCAR’s top executive from his father in 1972 and turned it into a national sport and hot television commodity. He handed the presidency to Mike Helton in 2000 and the CEO position to his son, Brian, this year.
    —– Shirley Muldowney, who has won four Top Fuel national championships in drag racing and has been named to drag racing’s All-American team five times. A crash in 1984 nearly ended her career, but she returned to racing 18 months later.
    —– Bill Muncey, who won eight Gold Cups, seven national championships, and four world titles in hydroplane racing. Muncey, who had a record 62 wins, died at age 52 from crash injuries. He is the first power boat racer to be chosen for the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
    —– Bobby Rahal, who has won three CART championships, 24 races and 18 poles. He won the 1986 Indianapolis 500, as well as the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 House of Sebring, and was selected by RACER magazine as one of the 20 Greatest Drivers of the 20th Century. The five will be inducted on April 22, bringing the total membership to 106.(AJC/AP)(10-31-2003)
  • Robby Gordon at Baja: Robby Gordon is again returning to his off-road racing roots as he gears up to pre-run the Baja 1000 course in preparation for the legendary Nov. 21 race. Gordon, a two-time Baja 1000 champion, built his #31 SCORE Trophy Truck (Chevrolet CK500) in his off-road shop in Anaheim, Calif., and will take it to Phoenix this weekend for testing Saturday following NASCAR Winston Cup Happy Hour in the No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet. The vehicle Gordon will use this weekend is his pre-runner truck, not the actual Trophy Truck he will race in the Baja 1000. As soon as he completes the Nov. 16 NASCAR Winston Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Gordon will board a plane to Baja California, Mexico. He will pre-run the Baja 1000 course, which starts and finishes in Ensenada, Mexico, Nov. 17-Nov. 19 in order to familiarize himself with it. Gordon will compile notes about the lay of the land, which measures only 765 miles this year instead of the traditional 1,000. The 34-year-old drew a 20th-starting position out of a current 20 Trophy Trucks entered in the competition, which commences at 8:30 a.m. local time on Nov. 21. For further information on the 36th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, go to www.score-international.com.(RCR PR)(10-31-2003)

    (10-30-2003)

  • Special Scheme at the Rock for Petty – and – Petty/Stewart to appear in NYC: The Victory Junction Gang, a Proud Charity of NASCAR, and Toys “R” Us will join together this week for a special event to unveil the #45 “Hands to Victory” Dodge, which will be driven by NASCAR Winston Cup driver Kyle Petty at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, NC, on November 9. The car features hand-prints of 46 NASCAR Winston Cup drivers. Petty will join 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart at the Wednesday, November 5 event taking place at Toys “R” Us Times Square at Broadway and 44th Street. Both drivers will be on hand for a private autograph session signing “Hands to Victory” die-casts following the presentation and unveiling of the car. Those who purchase a “Hands to Victory” die-cast from Toys “R” Us Times Square, while supplies last, will receive a ticket to attend an autograph session, being held from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. To receive a ticket for the signing session, purchasers must bring their “Hands to Victory” receipt to Personal Shopping on level three of the Toys “R” Us Times Square location. Proceeds from purchases of the “Hands to Victory” die-casts will benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp, founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty, which is due to open 2004 in Randleman, N.C. The camp, the only year-round multi-disease camp of its kind in the Carolinas and Virginia, was founded in honor of their late son Adam. Victory Junction Gang Camp will be geared toward making every child’s camp experience unforgettable and empowering. For more information, visit their site at www.victoryjunction.org.(NASCAR PR), see an image of the car on my Cup Paint Schemes Gallery – Cars #’s 24-99.(10-30-2003)
  • Huge Victory for the Southern New York Racing Association: The Southern New York Racing Association came up big for the Victory Junction Gang Camp at their annual reunion. For the second straight year, the Reunion Committee chose Victory Junction as their charity of choice. This year, SNYRA raised $45,000 for the Victory Junction Gang Camp, a camp for kids with life- threatening and chronic illnesses. SNYRA was formed in the mid-1940’s as a group of individuals who had a passion for racing – but they have continued through the years to also display a passion for charity. On September 28, 2003, the group held its annual reunion in Danbury, Connecticut. The event was filled to the brim with good will and classic cars, all with the goal of helping to make a dream come true in North Carolina. Millie Godfrey, chair of the Reunion Committee, presented SNYRA’s donation to Pattie Petty at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina on October 10th. Their generous donation to Victory Junction makes SNYRA a member of the 45 Club.(Victory Junction Gang Camp PR)(10-30-2003)
  • DEWALT’s Million Dollar Challenge contest at Phoenix: Earn $1,000,000 in 6.5 seconds. That’s what the fastest 14 drill slingers in North America will try to do as they compete November 1-2 in the DEWALT “Million Dollar Challenge” cordless screwdriving contest, sponsored by Chevy Trucks. The challenge is to see who can drive five screws into a piece of wood the quickest with a DEWALT cordless drill. Contestants must start a timer, pick up the drill, drive the screws, and then stop the timer with the drill.
    Contestants include:
    Ben Palmer – Russelville, AR – 7.03 seconds
    Dan Rancourt – Wilton, NH- – 7.19 seconds
    Jaime Mills – Holland, OH – 7.23 seconds
    Eric Howard – Concord, CA – 7.47 seconds
    Mike Rennie – Kirkland, WA – 7.51 seconds
    Kane Powell – Panora, IA – 7.7 seconds
    Mark Martin – Ostrander, OH – 7.7 seconds
    Mike Fischer – Huntley, IL – 7.99 seconds
    Rocky Lane – Loudon, TN – 8.18 seconds
    Tom Holland – Philadelphia, PA – 8.42 seconds
    James McAnally – Longwood, FL – 8.68 seconds
    Sergio Romero – Tucson, AZ – 8.7 seconds
    Alex Mealer – Columbus, OH – 8.9 seconds
    Kevin Brunette – Calgary, Alberta (Canada) – 10.09 seconds
    The 13 Americans and one Canadian will be seeded tournament-style according to their times. Contestants will be eliminated until the last two men clash head-to-head in the final “screw off” November 2. The “King of the Drill” is guaranteed to win $25,000 and a premium Chevy Silverado pick-up truck. To win the $1,000,000 grand prize, the champion must sink five screws under 6.5 seconds during the final round in front of thousands of spectators at the Phoenix International Raceway. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Most of the contestants built their own screwdriving practice stations using plans posted on DEWALT’s web site. Some of the finalists have driven more than 450,000 screws in practice, while a few have even videotaped themselves to see where they can cut time. This is the second year for the national screwdriving challenge. Earlier this year DEWALT staged qualifying contests in more than 100 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada where people tested their prowess driving screws. More than 100,000 people entered. Regional contests were held last month to finalize the top 14 competing in Phoenix. The 2003 DEWALT Million Dollar Challenge is presented by DEWALT Power Tools and Accessories, Chevy Trucks, the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, Bombardier ATV, Richard Petty’s Driving Experience, Carhartt contractor clothing, Greenlee storage boxes, and Adrian Steel commercial van and truck equipment. Visit www.DEWALT.com for contest information.(DeWalt PR)(10-30-2003)
  • DEWALT Donates To “Race For Relief”: DEWALT announced that they plan to donate several of their tool lines to California Speedway’s “Race For Relief” fund today. The wildfires that have plagued the area of Southern California recently necessitated the gift to the men and women on the frontlines of the fires. Roush Racing driver Matt Kenseth, who is scheduled to make a media stop through Los Angeles on Monday, echoed their sentiments. “From what we’ve all seen on television lately, it’s been a tragedy for the homeowners out in the area,” stated Kenseth. “I hope that the donation will be well received. DEWALT has been a wonderful sponsor for me throughout my career and gestures like this one remind me that they are a class organization,” he added. Kenseth also had some words of encouragement for the front line firefighters currently battling the blazes. “I think the job they do is remarkable considering the circumstances and we wish them safety and success during this tough time,” he stated. The DEWALT tools were sent to the firefighters via California Speedway and their fund as of Wednesday, October 29th.(Roush Racing PR)(10-30-2003)
  • Busch’s ‘Hard Card’ Revoked UPDATE ‘no comment’: #97-Kurt Busch has had his “hard card” – an annual credential used to gain access at tracks – revoked by NASCAR for the remainder of the season as punishment for an incident on pit road during the Oct. 19 race at Martinsville. The move doesn’t affect Busch’s participation in Cup races, but the absence of a hard card does add several inconveniences during a race weekend. Each Friday, including this week at Phoenix International Raceway, Busch must sign in at the NASCAR registration hauler outside the track and receive paper credentials. He then must take those to Winston Cup series director John Darby, who will issue Busch a hot pass good for the weekend. Busch must return the pass after the race on Sunday. “Our president, Mike Helton, is trying to make a point,” said Jim Hunter, NASCAR’s vice president for corporate communications. “We need to do what is necessary to get Kurt’s attention.” After his #97 Ford blew its engine during the Martinsville race, Busch came down pit road and spun in his own oil. He then spun several more times while pit crew members worked on other drivers’ cars. NASCAR officials called Busch, his crew chief, Jimmy Fennig, and owner, Jack Roush, to the NASCAR hauler after the race, but Busch failed to attend. Busch claimed he did not know of the meeting, NASCAR sources said. NASCAR rescheduled the meeting with Busch for last Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway and had it coincide with the start of Winston Cup practice. Busch missed most of the practice session while attending the meeting, which was directed by Helton, NASCAR sources said. It was during that meeting that Busch turned over his hard card and had to go outside the track and receive paper credentials for the rest of the Atlanta race weekend. Roush Racing officials were unavailable for comment Thursday afternoon. Busch was expected to arrive at the track sometime Thursday or Friday morning. Hunter said he could not recall a driver ever having his hard card revoked previously. Some drivers’ hard cards have been confiscated when they were suspended.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-30-2003)
  • IRL Driver to Cup? Hearing that former IRL driver, George Mack, and former Indy car team owner, Gary Trout, are joining forces to compete in the 2004 Nextel Cup Series. Also, hearing that Trout, who bases his racing operation out of Friendship, Ind., has lured a major sponsor that has not been involved in Cup before. Apparently, the sponsor was interested in a diversity program utilizing Mack, who is currently preparing for an intense testing schedule leading up to Speed Weeks at Daytona.(10-30-2003)
  • Brett Bodine Close? #11-Brett Bodine told Ford officials last weekend that the financial commitment from a multi-year sponsorship package for his NASCAR Winston Cup team is due Saturday. That was reported on the Web site www.fordracing.com. If the money comes through, Bodine said he may be able to debut his yet-to-be named sponsor at the season finale Nov. 15 in Homestead, Fla. Bodine has been unusually closed-lipped about the sponsorship since he signed the contract back in mid-August. Perhaps it’s because he doesn’t want to jinx the deal, which he has said would be the largest in the team’s eight-year history. Or it could be that the deal is indeed in jeopardy. Bodine told Ford officials he is tempering his excitement until the sponsor honors its commitment. On Tuesday, the Web site www.jayski.thatsracin.com reported that Bodine’s crew chief, Mike Hillman, has left and joined the Arnold Motorsports Winston Cup team. Could that be another bad sign for Bodine’s sponsorship deal? The team has been running on a shoestring budget. Many of its employees have been laid off. With the expected new sponsor signing, Bodine had hoped to be back racing by mid-September. That didn’t happen, but Brett said several weeks ago that he might compete in the final three races of the season.(Star Gazette)(10-30-2003)
  • Story on Traction Control – Electronics to be exposed in 2004: NASCAR has had it with the finger-pointing, accusations and fruitless investigations about the use, uh, make that alleged use, of illegal traction control systems in its Winston Cup Series. Starting next season, Nextel Cup teams will have to mount all of their wart-ugly ignition parts, pieces and wires so that anyone strolling through the garage area can inspect the system through the front windshield. “They will be in full display on the dashboard,” Winston Cup director John Darby said this week. “The Busch Series and Truck Series are going to have the same rule.” Any traction control system utilizes the ignition system to send the right amount of torque and power to the rear wheels. With a traction control system in place, a driver would have a distinct advantage over other competitors with a regular ignition system, especially at NASCAR flat tracks. Prior to this season, most of the ignition system was hidden from sight under the dashboard area. Those in the know say all it would take to convert a plain old ignition system into a traction control beast is a preprogrammed computer chip. They say such a chip could be inserted into the ignition system by the driver just before the race and quickly removed after the checkered flag, making traction control virtually undetectable.
    NASCAR doesn’t want this kind of technology infesting its circa-1950s motor and electrical setups, but even after issuing a you-will-never-race-with-us-again-if-caught ultimatum about traction control, the whispers continued. When Darby talked about NASCAR’s plans to bolt these electrical parts to the dashboard, he never uttered the words “traction control.” He said the purpose of the rule is to let everybody else know what a team is running in their car. “Right now ignition systems are not in full view of every competitor,” Darby said. “It goes along with our open garage, open inspection philosophy. With the ignition systems in clear sight of everyone, all the competitors can look at it just like they look at the body, springs and chassis.”Most everybody thought this was going to happen before the 2003 season because traction control was such a hot topic during most of 2002.(see full story at the Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-30-2003)
  • Sad News:
    Tom Wilson, former short-track driver, track announcer and a longtime supporter of racing in the Kansas City area. suddenly passed away on Wednesday. Wilson, 56, complained of chest pains in the morning and was taken by ambulance to Research Medical Center. At the hospital, Wilson collapsed and died. “I guess what always appealed to me about Tom was that he was a champion for local short-track racing,” said Marc Olson, owner of Lakeside Speedway. “Everybody in the Kansas City area owes him a debt of gratitude for what he has done.” Wilson drove for years at places such as I-70 Speedway in Odessa, Mo. He later served as track announcer at Lakeside when it was located on Leavenworth Road. He was the current track announcer at Central Missouri Speedway in Warrensburg and State Fair Speedway in Sedalia, Mo. Wilson was known for the nicknames he would give drivers. He also was a frequent contributor to racing radio programs in Kansas City. He has held several positions in the Central Auto Racing Boosters organization, was on the CARB board of directors during 1995-97 and was a leading proponent to bring CARB to Central Missouri Speedway. Wilson is survived by his wife, Valerie, and daughters Valerie and Stephanie. A visitation will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at Floral Hills Funeral Home in Raytown. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Floral Hills.(Kansas City Star)(10-30-2003)
  • Tony Stewart Driver and RAD: On behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense and the Race Against Drugs (RAD) program, Eric Saunders, a fifth-grader at LaVille [IN] Elementary School, accepted an invitation to participate this week in the Pentagon’s Inner Courtyard National Red Ribbon Week Celebration. The RAD exhibit is one of several recognizing and celebrating drug prevention programs and initiatives throughout the United States. Saunders also has something special that not many other young racers have: sponsorship. Besides Suzuki, several others are sponsoring Eric. He also has a bond with NASCAR Winston Cup 2002 champion Tony Stewart. Eric rides for Tony Stewart Racing.(see full story at the South Bend Tribune)(10-30-2003)
  • Elliott’s Pit Crew Wins For Seventh Time: Bill Elliott’s No. 9 pit crew took first place honors in Atlanta, scoring its seventh win of the season in the McDonald’s Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade. It was also the fourth win in the last nine races for Elliott’s crew, which has pocketed a series-leading $140,000 in the inaugural championship that recognizes the unsung heroes on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit. In the McDonald’s/POWERade season point standings, the pit crew for Dale Earnhardt Jr. has seriously cut into the lead of Michael Waltrip’s crew. With Waltrip’s crew placing 25th in Atlanta and Earnhardt’s crew sixth, the point differential is now at 19. The season champion of the McDonald’s Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade will earn a $200,000 bonus. Elliott’s crew narrowly edged Bobby Labonte’s No. 18 crew in Atlanta for the weekly prize. The No. 9 Dodge spent the least amount of time on pit road – 199.037 seconds. Labonte’s Interstate Batteries Chevrolet was a few ticks away with a time of 200.176. Third was Kurt Busch’s Ford at 202.485. “I told the guys on the radio during the race that they were doing an awesome job,” said Elliott. “They kept me up front when it mattered. I can’t say enough about how this team has come together. These guys deserve every bit of recognition for the hard work they’ve put in, not just the past few months, but all season.” Elliott’s over-the-wall crew consists of: Todd Colburn (jackman), Nick Bailey (front tire carrier), Jim Pohlman (front tire changer), Eric Wakeland (rear tire carrier), Joe Kruschek (rear tire changer), Rodney Rhodes (gasman) and Steve Lawrence (catch can). The team’s crew chief is Mike Ford and the pit crew coach is Greg Miller.(DMF Comminications PR), see results from Atlanta and Season Standings on my Pit Crew Page.(10-30-2003)

    (10-29-2003)

  • #0 Team Penalized; Points and $$: NASCAR Winston Cup Series team Haas CNC Racing was fined, and forfeited championship driver and owner points for rules infractions during the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend (Oct. 24-27) at Atlanta Motor Speedway, NASCAR officials announced today.
    The #0 Haas CNC Pontiac was found to have an unapproved carburetor modification (to the venturi) during opening-day inspection. The result was a $25,000 fine for crew chief Tony Furr, the loss of 25 NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship driver points for Ward Burton and the loss of 25 NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship owner points for Gene Haas.
    All parties were in violation of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rule Book, Section 12-4-A: Actions detrimental to stock car racing and Section 12-4-Q: Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules: Unapproved carburetor modification.(NASCAR PR)
    The deduction in drivers points move Burton from 20th to 21st in drivers points and moves #40-Marlin to 20th.
    The deduction in owners points moves the #0 team from 37th to 38th in owners points and the #49 up a spot.(10-29-2003)
  • GM Strengthens Chevrolet NASCAR Program in 2004; No Pontiac Support UPDATES: Following the end of the 2003 NASCAR season, GM will consolidate its resources in NASCAR to exclusively support the Chevrolet Monte Carlo and further advance and solidify the dominant position enjoyed by Chevrolet in this series. “GM Racing will focus its 2004 NASCAR program on the Chevrolet Monte Carlo, and will no longer race or support the Pontiac Grand Prix race car,” said Doug Duchardt, director of GM Racing. “This transition will enable GM Racing to strengthen its Chevy Nextel Cup program and, at the same time, work with Pontiac on its future racing plans.”
    “Given Pontiac’s long association with NASCAR and our many great accomplishments over the years, the decision to withdraw from NASCAR was not an easy one,” said Lynn Myers, general manager of Pontiac-GMC. “Consistent with GM efforts to focus its racing programs, Chevrolet will carry the NASCAR banner while Pontiac can now devote resources to developing future racing and marketing programs consistent with our new performance products, including the GTO, Grand Prix Comp G, G6 and the GXP performance series. We are proud of our racing accomplishments and we recognize that it is a powerful engineering, people development and marketing tool. Pontiac is investigating new opportunities to highlight the performance of our vehicles on the track.” Coming into the 2003 season, the Pontiac Grand Prix won two of the past three NASCAR Winston Cup drivers’ championships: Bobby Labonte in 2000, and Tony Stewart in ’02. Chevrolet has an ongoing record of dominance in NASCAR’s modern era. Chevrolet has won 23 of the last 31 NASCAR Winston Cup manufacturers’ championships including the 2003 title with 10 different drivers capturing 17 wins in 33 races so far this year. Through 2003 in the NASCAR Busch Series and Craftsman Truck series, Chevrolet has won 10 of 13, and five of nine NASCAR manufacturers’ titles respectively. With 2003 drivers’ titles still to be determined in both series, Chevrolet has won 11 of 21 in Busch and seven of eight in Craftsman Truck.(GM PR)
    NO word on what the Pontiac Teams of #0 Haas CNC Racing, #01-MB2 Motorsports, #4-Morgan McClure, #10-MBV Motorsports, #32-PPI Motorsports. Would expect the #0, #01 and #10 to field Chevy’s as Hendrick Motorsports, who fields Chevy’s, provide those teams with technical support, the #4 team used to run Chevy’s, the #32 was with Ford before switching over to Pontiac and having the only 2003 Pontiac win.(10-28-2003)
    LOOKS LIKE CHEVY’s: been told the #01, #0 and #10 will run Chevy’s; the PPI Motorsports site has a statement by #32 owners Call Wells: “We’re disappointed, as PPI Motorsports is very proud to be a part of the Pontiac family. It was a tremendous honor to take the Pontiac Grand Prix to Victory Lane at Darlington Raceway in March. We’re continuing our preparations for 2004 and beyond, and we’re looking forward to the opportunities available to us with Chevrolet.” No word from the #4 team what their plans are.(10-28-2003)
    UPDATE: What those teams will drive next season is unclear except for PPI Motorsports, which had a contract through 2006 and will switch to Chevrolet. #4-Car owner Larry McClure declined comment. An official for #0-Haas CNC Racing says the team plans to run Chevrolets next season. The team runs Chevrolets in the Busch series. An official from MB2/MBV Motorsports was unavailable.(Roanoke Times)
    HOWEVER on FSN’s Totally NASCAR, #01 crew chief was interviewed and said they would likely switch to Chevrolet.(10-29-2003)

  • Pontiac facts:
    · The first Pontiac to drive in Winston Cup competition was in 1950 when Will Albright finished 19th at Daytona’s beach/road course.
    · Pontiacs have scored 154 victories in Winston Cup, fifth all-time.
    · Pontiac’s first Cup win was in 1957, with Cotton Owens on Daytona’s beach/road course.
    · In 1961 and 1962, Pontiac scored 30 and 22 wins, respectively, headed by Daytona Beach’s Fireball Roberts winning the ’62 Daytona 500.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-29-2003)
  • More Rockingham Testing today: The following drivers will be at North Carolina Speedway Wednesday, October 29 testing for the upcoming NASCAR weekend November 7 – 9, 2003:
    Cup: #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr.; #15-Michael Waltrip; #18-Bobby Labonte; #9-Bill Elliott; #45-Kyle Petty;
    Busch: #8-Martin Truex, Jr.; #05-Eric McClure; and #79-Elton Sawyer [Evernham Busch car?]
    Grandstand gates are open 9:00am to 4:00pm/et and the general public is invited to view the test session from the grandstand.(North Carolina Speedway PR)(10-29-2003)
  • Johnson Helping Out: Jimmie Johnson will donate $48 – he drives the #48 Chevrolet – for every lap he completes Sunday in the NASCAR Winston Cup Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. The money will be ticketed to help those families affected by the wildfires in Southern California. Johnson grew up in the city of El Cajon, near one of the fires burning in San Diego County. In addition, Lowe’s, the sponsor on his Hendrick Motorsports Chevy, will donate $100,000 to the American Red Cross.(Orange County Register)(10-29-2003)
  • Tire Testing at Homestead UPDATE 3: NASCAR has picked [2004 Cup] rookie Scott Wimmer and Johnny Benson for Goodyear’s Homestead tire test. The choice of Wimmer has raised eyebrows in the Winston Cup garage because Bill Davis’ new driver has virtually no Cup experience. Goodyear is under the gun – it will have to pick the Homestead tire before the test. But Goodyear was on the mark at Chicago and Kansas City when they opened two years ago.(Winston Salem Journal)
    UPDATE or is it Blaney? or all three? #77-Dave Blaney is scheduled to do the Goodyear tire test at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Oct. 28-29. Blaney will be the only Cup driver to run on the reconfigured track before an open test session two days before qualifying there Nov. 14.(News and Record)(10-18-2003)
    AND other reports I have heard have it being Wimmer and Benson, Benson is for sure as he missed IWC to head down to Homestead after the race at Atlanta on Monday.
    UPDATE 2: Dave Blaney and the #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Racing Team made a brief stop in the Carolina’s before departing Tuesday morning at 5:30am to head to Miami for the Goodyear tire test.(10-28-2003)
    UPDATE 3: You would think that a driver who won at a Speedway might not be in favor of it being torn up and re-configured into a completely new racetrack. Not so with NASCAR Winston Cup driver Scott Wimmer, who won the Ford 300 NASCAR Busch Series race last November at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Wimmer and fellow NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers Johnny Benson and Dave Blaney were at the NEW Homestead-Miami Speedway today in a Goodyear Tire Test, becoming the first drivers to test on the track’s new surface featuring 20-degree, variable banking.
    “I think it’s a big improvement,” said Wimmer of the NEW Homestead-Miami Speedway. “It’s a lot different. I’ve already driven a couple of different lines out there and there are a couple of different ways around the track. The high side seems real good and so does the middle groove. I’m excited about coming back. The more rubber we get down and the more time we get on the track, it will have a lot of grooves and should be really good for racing.”
    Benson and Blaney agreed with Wimmer’s assessment of the new track.
    “I’m really impressed with it, although it still doesn’t have any rubber on it since we’re the first ones here,” said Benson. “This place will become really fast and I’m sure you’ll see two-wide racing.”
    “I think we all like it,” said Blaney. “I can’t really compare it to any other track since it kind of has its own personality. Right now, it’s got more of a middle groove than I thought it would. I thought we’d be running predominately on the bottom, but we really aren’t. So far, it looks great. It’s a cool track. It’ll be a great show for the fans and that’s what matters.”
    The drivers will continue the Goodyear tire test tomorrow [Wed, Oct 29th] before the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Winston Cup Series return for their respective series finales during Ford Championship Weekend November 13-16 at Homestead Miami Speedway. Open practice for all drivers begins Monday, November 10 with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, followed by the NASCAR Busch Series on Tuesday, November 11 and the NASCAR Winston Cup Series on Wednesday, November 12.(HMS PR)(10-29-2003)
  • Some Benson Stuff: Johnny Benson will have at least one solid option for 2004. Cal Wells is hoping — contingent upon sponsorship — to start a second team. Atop the list of driving candidates for the possible second PPI Motorsports team is Benson. Ricky Craven currently drives Wells’ #32 Tide car. Benson is also rumored to be a candidate for the RCR #30 AOL Chevrolet and potentially one of the Petty Enterprise cars.(ESPN)(10-29-2003)
  • Rusty has his replacement: #2-Rusty Wallace has offered no solid hints on when he will retire, but he has his replacement in mind. Billy Parker, a Late Model star who will drive for Wallace’s new Busch team in 2004, apparently is being groomed to take over Wallace’s No.2 Dodge at Penske Racing South. Stephen Wallace, Rusty’s 16-year-old son, then would replace Parker in the Busch car. “I really like this kid,” Wallace said yesterday of Parker. “He’s good looking and going to be great for the sport. I’d love for two to three years down the road, or whenever I decide to get out of the car, that Billy would drive the No.2, and Stephen would get in the [Busch] car.”(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-29-2003)
  • Hot Wheels Hall of Fame: Five Automotive Legends, Rides and Moments to be Honored at Star-Studded November 11 Induction Gala with Master of Ceremonies Jay Leno. Celebrating the 35th anniversary of Hot Wheels cars, Mattel, Inc. announced the five inaugural inductees into the Hot Wheels Hall of Fame, a new installation being added to the permanent Hot Wheels exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Museumin Los Angeles. An invitation-only induction ceremony on Nov. 11, 2003, with “The Tonight Show” host Jay Leno as Master of Ceremonies will honor these significant people, vehicles and moments and reveal the permanent displays that will remain in the Petersen Automotive Museum. The evening will benefit RADD (Recording Artists, Actors and Athletes Against Drunk Driving), the entertainment industry’s voice on road safety.
    Selected by a blue-ribbon panel of auto journalists, manufacturers, designers and drivers, the inductees were chosen as the embodiment of the Hot Wheels tradition of speed, power, performance and attitude in three categories:
    Legends: People who have designed or driven the coolest cars:
    Wally Parks: A trailblazing drag racer and motorsports editor
    Richard Petty: Synonymous with class, excellence and NASCAR championships, Petty’s 200 victories, seven wins at the Daytona 500, an amazing 27 wins in a single season, and seven NASCAR championships earned “The King” his throne in the Hot Wheels Hall of Fame.
    Greatest Rides: Cars that epitomize the Hot Wheels attitude of speed, power and performance:
    1932 Ford V-8: The first popular eight-cylinder automobile offering brisk performance at a reasonable price
    1964 Pontiac GTO: The original muscle car.
    Milestone Moments: Historic automotive event that captures the Hot Wheels essence:
    Jan. 16, 1953: The introduction of the Chevrolet Corvette at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York Two special awards also will be presented during the evening, including an honorary award to Mattel founder Elliot Handler, the “father of Hot Wheels,” and the Hot Wheels People’s Choice Awards(tm) based on the public’s selection from the above three categories after months of voting at www.hotwheels.com.
    The Hot Wheels Hall of Fame opened in April 2003.(Golin/Harris International PR), see much more about this on my Hall of Fame/Museum Page.(10-29-2003)


    (10-28-2003)

  • Bigley Out? UPDATE: hearing Bill Bigley Jr. and the #79 Arnold Motorsports team have parted ways. no word on the new driver, hearing Homestead is the the next race planned.(10-27-2003)
    UPDATE: been told that Bigley is out at Arnold Motorsports and that Rich Bickle, who tested with the team earlier this year, is one of the drivers on the list, also hearing the team has a new crew chief, Mike Hillman, formerly of Brett Bodine and Foyt Racing.(10-28-2003)
  • Testing at the Rock UPDATE: The following drivers will be at North Carolina Speedway Tuesday, October 28th testing for the upcoming NASCAR weekend November 7 – 9, 2003. Cup drivers #25-Brian Vickers and #43-Jeff Green; Busch Series #7-Kyle Busch, #75-Jay Sauter and #2-Ron Hornaday. Grandstand gates are open 9:00am to 4:00pm/et and the general public is invited to view the test session from the grandstand.(North Carolina Speedway PR), supposedly Evernham Motorsports will test too.(10-28-2003)
    UPDATE: Eric McClure will test Rockingham Tuesday and Wednesday in a Morgan-McClure prepared Busch car for his upcoming Busch Series debut. MMM veteran Robert Larkins is overseeing the 24-year old’s efforts in the #05 “I CAN Learn” Chevrolet Monte Carlo.(10-28-2003)
  • RJR merges: R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and rival Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. are uniting their U.S. operations in a $2.6 billion deal aimed at weathering an onslaught of discounted brands and lawsuits. The deal announced late Monday vastly expands the reach of two tobacco companies that together produce about one of every three cigarettes smoked in the United States. The merged operation will be called Reynolds American Inc., with about $10 billion in annual sales. R.J. Reynolds makes Camel, Winston, Salem and Doral, while Brown & Williamson’s top brands include Kool, Lucky Strike and Capri. The combined company will still trail industry giant Philip Morris USA, whose market-leading Marlboro and other brands command about half the U.S. cigarette market.(AP/Charlotte Observer)(10-28-2003)
  • Hmiel back in 2004? Shane Hmiel appears to be on the road back into NASCAR racing, and people close to him believe he will be back in a NASCAR machine – truck or Busch car – or an ARCA car at Daytona next February. Hmiel was parked by NASCAR officials last month for violating the sport’s substance-abuse policy.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-28-2003)
  • Kahne signed…sort of? Kasey Kahne, a 23-year-old Busch racer, is reported to have signed a tentative contract with car owner Ray Evernham and Dodge, and Kahne, according to sources, feels that the only real debate is over who pays for the buyout. However, Ford officials are adamant about keeping Kahne in their camp. Kahne may have an out – he feels his contract says that Ford must match an offer from any other manufacturer with equal equipment. Ford, according to sources, has offered Kahne a deal with Travis Carter’s two-car team [#66 TorqueSpeed Carter team?]; the offer from Dodge, those sources say, is to take Bill Elliott’s ride.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-28-2003)
  • Driver Dies at Track UPDATE: A race car driver, 50, died Saturday at the New Smyrna Speedway, officials said. Homer Gordon of Orlando, driving in last place in a 10-lap race, drove his Monte Carlo into the outer wall around 9 p.m., said track spokesman Don Narrone. Gordon was found slumped over the steering wheel by the track’s workers.Paramedics pronounced Gordon dead at the scene. The track canceled all other races after the death. Volusia County Sheriff’s deputies could not immediately confirm what caused the man’s death. An autopsy was scheduled for today.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(10-27-2003)
    UPDATE: An autopsy showed Monday that an Orlando race car driver who died Saturday night during a race at New Smyrna Speedway did not die as a result of a collision with a wall. Homer Charles Gordon, 50, was pronounced dead shortly after the race. Investigators have not concluded how Gordon died.(Orlando Sentinel)(10-28-2003)


    (10-27-2003)

  • Jeff Gordon wins at Atlanta: #24-Jeff Gordon wins the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, his 2nd Cup win in a row, the 18th time in his career that he has won back-to-back races, it is his 3rd win of 2003 and his 64th career win. #20-Tony Stewart took 2nd place, followed by #48-Jimmie Johnson, #9-Bill Elliott and #18-Bobby Labonte. Points leader, #17-Matt Kenseth finished 11th and now leads the Drivers Points by 258 points with three races to go. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [finished 6th] moves back into 2nd in the points race. #01-Joe Nemechek had a nice run in his first race in the U.S. Army Pontiac and nice run by #4-Kevin Lepage, who came home 14th. Pole sitter was running 6th with three laps to go when he hot wiggly in front of the #8 and got tapped by Earnhardt Jr. and hit the wall hard [he is OK and showed his displeasure].
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: on Speed Channel:
    one-hour recap/Fast Forward on Wednesday, October 29th at 7:00pm/et and again on October 30th at 1:00am/et;
    and a full three-hour race show will re-air at 3:00pm/et on Thursday, October 30th
    Jayski’s Atlanta race rundown: [result links, caution narritive, notes, lucky dog stuff, lap leaders, DNF’s, etc] on my Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Race Info Page.
    Race Results at Jayski’s Atlanta Race Results Page
    See full driver standings at Jayski’s Drivers/Owners Points After Atlanta page.(10-27-2003)
  • StockCarFans.com – Rumblings – Atlanta: Jeff Gordon held off Tony Stewart to take the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 one day late at Atlanta Motor Speedway this afternoon….and, as is often the case, it came down to pit stops. Tony’s crew had a problem two stops from the end and he couldn’t catch up. If was the 3rd victory for Gordon on the season, the 64th of his career (he’s 12 wins behind the late Dale Earnhardt in 7th on the all-time list), his 4th at Atlanta, the 117th for Hendrick Motorsports….and it was worth $249,978 from the over $5.3M in posted awards.
    Bobby Labonte (5th) had his best finish since he was 5th at Daytona in July.
    Jimmy Spencer (9th) had his best finish since he was 8th at The Brickyard in August.
    Ward Burton (13th) had his best finish since he was 13th at Bristol in August. This was also the best finish for the NetZero “0” car in it’s brief history….their previous best was 14th at the Daytona 500 with Jack Sprague.
    Kevin Lepage (14th) had his best finish since he was 10th at Talladega in October of 2001
    Tony Raines (18th) had his best finish since he was 16th at Pocono in July.
    STREAKIN….Jeff Gordon has 6 Top-5’s in a row. Tony Stewart has 6 Top-5’s in a row. Jimmie Johnson has 6 Top-10’s in the last 7 races.
    This Week’s Elevator…UP: Operator of the Week (for the 4th time this season) is Matt Kenseth (+26), followed by Sterling Marlin (+24), and Tony Stewart (+22). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Brian Vickers (-39), followed by Todd Bodine (-35), Ryan Newman (-28), and Michael Waltrip (-25).
    Tony Raines led a lap today (#289 to be precise) for the first time in his Cup career. He becomes the 47th different driver to lead a lap this season, surpassing last year’s number of 46.
    What little chance Kevin Harvick had of catching Matt Kenseth disappeared today with his 20th place finish. Dale Earnhardt Jr has now moved past Kevin into second place…but still 258 points out of the lead. The “Magic Number” has now ballooned to 21st place. Even in Matt finishes last the final three events, Jr would still have to run 14th or better to win. Matt needs a lead of 370 to be crowned Champion next week (unlikely)…a lead of 302 (only 45 more than he has now) would give him a clinch just by starting the final two events.(StockCarFans.Com Winstoncup Newsletter)(10-27-2003)
  • Stewart Blows Off Interviews: Members of the print media were enraged to learn following today’s race at Atlanta that second-place finisher Tony Stewart and highest-finishing rookie Jamie McMurray both blew off ther post race press conferences. McMurray said he had to catch a flight. It was announced McMurray was excused. Stewart said he had a previous engagement to attend. This comes on the heels of the Kansas race where second-place finisher Bill Elliott failed to appear before the media. NASCAR said after Kansas that fines could be imposed if it happened again. NASCAR’s Jim Hunter went into the Winston Cup garage after the race today searching for Tony Stewart. The driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet was nowhere to be found. Ironically while third-place finishing Jimmie Johnson, driver of the Lowe’s Chevrolet, sat and fielded questions, Stewart, sponsored by Atlanta-based Home Depot quickly exited the premises. Hunter said he would look into the matter this week. Stewart did field an interview with TNT and PRN radio after the race.(source)(10-27-2003)
  • No Restrictor Plates in NASCAR’s future? Gary Nelson, NASCAR’s managing director of research and development, says engines could run free of restrictor plates at Daytona and Talladega in the near future. Nelson, a former crew chief, always has thought restrictor-plate races are a pain, and he’s looking at other ways to decrease horsepower without restricting the airflow to the carburetor.(Fox Sports/Sporting News)(10-27-2003)
  • Raines to the #30? UPDATE 2 on the #30 – Benson? Dixon? Andretti?: One new name being mentioned for the #30 seat is that of Tony Raines, who is completing his Winston Cup rookie season in the #74 Chevrolets owned by BACE Motorsports. America Online has another year on its deal, so team owner Richard Childress needs a driver who’ll take a one-year commitment. “I’ve heard that I’ve been talking to him,” said Raines, who starts 33rd in today’s Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. “I don’t know how to answer that.” Raines’ current team, owned by Bill Baumgardner, has run without a primary sponsor all year. His best finish was 14th at Richmond, Va., in May. He’s made the field for 32 of 33 races.(Charlotte Observer), so if Raines leaves does Johnny Benson consider the #74 ride since he drove for BACE in the Busch Series and won a champiobship with the team?(10-26-2003)
    UPDATE: the Winston Salem Journal reports that Jeff Burton or Greg Biffle have been on Richard Childress’ radar scope, according to sources, although the two are under a tight contract with Jack Roush [Jayski Note: and there is supposedly a coming announcement about Roush fielding a Busch team for Biffle…see below]. Childress says he’d like to have Biffle; and there have persistent reports for two years now that Childress would like to hire Burton. While Burton rolls his eyes and dismisses the Childress talk as old news, sources close to the situation say that Burton may indeed be caught in the middle of a waiting-game power play between Childress and Roush. Burton’s loyalties are with Roush, but Geoff Smith, head of Roush Racing, still hasn’t signed a sponsorship for Burton, and there are indications that if a sponsorship isn’t signed by a certain, unknown, date, then Burton could be a free agent. Childress, according to those close to him, may try to wait for that date. Burton has long insisted that he has no plans to leave Roush. Childress has only one year remaining on that AOL contract, but he is trying to persuade AOL to extend.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-27-2003)
    UPDATE 2: “We’re back to square one”. Those were the words from one member of Richard Childress Racing after he was asked about Jeremy Mayfield staying put with his current #19 for the 2004 season. Apparently Childress, along with GM officials, was somewhat surprised as word spread through the NASCAR Winston Cup garage that Mayfield had inked a deal keeping him in Evernham’s Dodge. It’s not known how far down the path Mayfield had gotten in his talks with Childress, but judging by the amount of concern shown in the affected camps it was likely very far. With Mayfield off the table names that were advanced included Johnny Benson, who was formally told this week that he’d not be returning to the #10 Valvoline Pontiac in 2004 and John Andretti. Also talked about was 2003 Indy Racing League Champion, Scott Dixon, who recently tested very well in a Cup car, at Kentucky.(Team Ford Racing)(10-27-2003)
  • Points Change? Next season’s race winners will likely receive a 10 or 15 point bonus, and drivers finishing 37th or lower will likely receive the same points, if NASCAR goes ahead with its plans to revise the Winston/Nextel Cup point system. But then maybe the point system doesn’t need revision. After all, the Busch tour uses the same system, and five men still have a shot at the title.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-27-2003)
  • Ford Engine Updates: Ford has been working very diligently with NASCAR to try to improve their engine program. That’s going to consist of a new cylinder head, and they’ve also requested a new block. NASCAR has not approved either one yet.(FoxSports). This is all I know about the Ford Heads, see past news on my Ford page or my Engine Rules page.(10-27-2003)
  • Parts Confiscated from Two Teams: NASCAR inspectors confiscated the carburetor from the #0 NetZero Pontiac driven by Ward Burton during pre-qualifying inspection Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The size of the venturis – components in the carburetor that can dictate the flow – exceeded the maximum diameter under NASCAR rules. NASCAR officials said the #0 team likely faces a penalty, which should be announced sometime this week. Also taken this weekend were unapproved valence spacers from BACE Motorsports’ #74 Chevrolet driven by Tony Raines.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-27-2003)
  • Wilburn to be re-assigned? UPDATE 2 will be back in 2004: hearing current #2 crew chief, Bill Wilburn, will not be the #2 Miller Lite Dodge crew chief in 2004, but will be be re-assigned within the organization, no word on any candidates yet.(10-24-2003)
    UPDATE: during rain delay coverage, NBC interviewed Rusty Wallace, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, and Wallace said Wilburn would be back in 2004 as his crew chief and that they have 2-years invested in working together.(NBC Rain Delay Coverage)(10-26-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Rusty Wallace refuted recent reports that crew chief Bill Wilburn would be leaving after the season. Wallace hasn’t claimed a victory since Wilburn became his crew chief at the beginning of 2002. “We’ve got a lot of time and effort invested in Billy Wilburn, but we’re getting better and better together,” said Wallace, who is winless in 94 races. “There’s been a lot of controversy on the Internet about Billy, but he’s a friend of mine. He’s a good kid, and we’ve got a good race team.”(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-27-2003)
  • More on another Wood: Keven Wood, son of Wood Brothers Racing co-owner Len Wood, added another highlight to his blossoming career by winning the semipro division of the Legends Nationals on Saturday night at Southern National Speedway in Kenly, N.C. The 19-year-old, who also started and won his first race at the 0.4-mile track, qualified on the pole by beating out 58 drivers in his class. He led every lap of the main event, which his father watched after catching a last-minute flight to North Carolina from the airport adjacent to Atlanta Motor Speedway. Wood became the first rookie to win the Legends national championship in semi-pro this year, beating out 622 drivers from around the country.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-27-2003)
  • And just when ya think all the talk was exhuasted: the Winston Salem Journal reports that #9-Bill Elliott wants to cut back his schedule dramatically next season and run only a handful of races, probably five to eight. But he has reluctantly agreed, according to sources, to run the full 2004 Nextel Cup tour one more year if car owner Ray Evernham and Dodge can’t find a suitable replacement. Busch racer Kasey Kahne has been mentioned for the Elliott seat, but Ford officials are adamant that they intend to hold him to his contract, which they say has another two years to run. The entire situation has put intense pressure on both Evernham and Elliott, most vividly on Evernham, who has lashed out at reporters over the issue. But Evernham and Elliott aren’t alone; Dodge executives have been putting pressure on all their teams the past several months.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-27-2003)
  • Baldwin to Gibbs…not Evernham? UPDATE 2 1/2: now hearing that #7 Ultra Motorsports [Jimmy Spencer driver/Sirius Satellite Radio sponsor] may not be a lock to go to Evernham Motorsports to crew cheif the #9 Dodge in 2004. Hearing he is also talking to Joe Gibbs Racing about the third Cup team that Gibbs plans to start to run full time in 2005. The team supposedly will have J.J. Yeley as the driver, doing an ABC [ARCA/Busch/Cup] program in 2004.(10-24-2003)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs’ planned third Winston Cup team may no longer be on the fast track, at least not with Sprint star J. J. Yeley. Jimmy Makar, general manager, says that it might be a 10-race deal for next season, or a 20-race deal. Yeley, who has tested for Gibbs, is sometimes difficult to deal with, according to those who have worked with him. “A lot depends on who we pick for the driver,” Makar says. “Best-case scenario we could go to Daytona with an ARCA car.”(Winston Salem Journal)(10-25-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Lots of talk and speculation have surrounded crew chief Tommy Baldwin’s future during the past several weeks and time has brought little closure to the talk. Baldwin has been rumored to be moving to Ray Evernham’s operation and more recently to Joe Gibb’s shops. “The only reason that Tommy left is because other teams were pressuring him,” says Baldwin’s current employer, Jim Smith. Making the statement all the more interesting is Baldwin’s presence here at Atlanta with Smith’s team as their crew chief. “He’s got a family to feed. And you know what? That’s a difficult position to be in. You can’t blame a guy for securing his family’s economy,” Smith said. TFR asked Joe Gibbs Racing technical honcho, Jimmy Makar, about Baldwin and learned that there’s been no talk between the two parties, as of yet. That might change down the road if Gibbs moves on his tentative plans for rookie J.J. Yeley. Evernham refused to talk about Baldwin, saying during yesterday’s press conference, “This is about Jeremy and Bill,” said the team owner of the press conference.(TFR/Ford Racing)(10-26-2003)
    UPDATE 2 1/2: Joe Gibbs’ new third team could well be headed by veteran crew chief Tommy Baldwin, according to sources. If the driver is sprint star J. J. Yeley, the 2004 schedule could be a mix of ARCA, Busch and Nextel Cup events. The prospect of Yeley on the Cup tour has some car owners and drivers, and some of Gibbs’ own crewmen, shaking their heads because the 26-year-old Yeley is considered high-strung.(Winston Salem Journal – little condradiction between the two WSJ posts)(10-27-2003)
  • Sad News: Myrtle Beach Speedway lost a big part of its heart and soul Friday when longtime general manager and promoter Roy Gore died from an extended illness. Gore passed away at the age of 55 on Friday afternoon at his home in Florence after battling cancer and other health problems in recent years. But he never let it interfere with his life’s work and love – racing. Gore was a fixture at Myrtle Beach Speedway since 1989 and helped the track play host to the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series for more than a decade. But his true passion was in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series that he oversaw every weekend. The family will receive friends at 6-8 p.m. today at Waters-Powell Funeral Home in Florence, and services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Myrtle Beach Community Church behind Waccamaw Pottery. But the most fitting tribute will likely come at the Nov. 20-23 Myrtle Beach 400 at the track. Just the way Gore would have wanted it, the show will go on.(Myrtle Beach Sun Times)(10-27-2003)

 


(10-26-2003)

 

  • What is up with Steve Park? during the rain delay, PRN Radio [www.goprn.com], interviewed Steve Park, current driver of the #30 AOL Chevy for RCR, who said is working on a possible Winston Cup team to run in 2004, but the deal hinges on a sponsor. Park also said he has talked to some Busch teams too.(PRN Radio)(10-26-2003)
  • What is up with Brett Bodine? Brett Bodine is at Atlanta working the garage. Unfortunately for Bodine, his role this weekend is that of radio broadcast announcer rather than race car driver. Bodine says that he’ll know more on Nov. 1, when the financial commitment from a sponsorship package is fulfilled. Asked when he might return to the track Bodine said, “hopefully at Homestead.” Bodine is tempering his excitement, as he needs to see the sponsor come through on its commitment before he can open the spigots to outfit his team.(Ford Racing)(10-26-2003)
  • #49 Still Looking for a 2004 Sponsor; letter of intent?: #49-Ken Schrader may be the oldest regular driver, but he’s also one of the most versatile, racing everything from ARCA cars at South Boston, Va. last Saturday to a dirt Late Model at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock last night. And he’s one of the most frankly honest of the lot, even when the subject is a touchy one like the lack of a full-time sponsor for the #49 Dodge he drives in Winston Cup. “The phone doesn’t ring a whole lot when you’re 48,” he said. “We’re kind of on hold here waiting to see what happens. There are a couple of other little deals out there, a couple of opportunities maybe.” Schrader said that if all else fails, he has a back-up plan in place that would allow him to run his own truck on the Craftsman Truck Series with backing from his long-time sponsor, Federated Auto Parts. “I guess that would be option one,” he said. “But there’s been way too much conversation on [car owners Tony and Beth Ann Morgenthau’s] part and the whole team with other companies to really be in panic mode.”(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
    AND #49 Team owners Tony and Beth Ann Morgenthau got a heavy-handed dose of NASCAR reality in June, when, just as they sensed a sponsorship breakthrough with AT&T, NASCAR executives issued a controversial, and legally questionable, “No.” The Morgenthaus are still not happy with the way that played out, but they’ve resigned themselves to playing by NASCAR’s business “rules.”
    “NASCAR got into the middle of something they should never have been in the middle of, really,” Tony Morgenthau said. “They tried to work that out. They have helped us tremendously trying to get sponsors. They’ve gone to presentations for us. They’ve had a lot of data. They’ve encouraged existing sponsors to talk with some of our people to show it really has helped their sales. NASCAR has been extremely helpful. The only problem we’ve had has been the Nextel problem. It’s really not a problem. We’ll overcome it and survive.” With Kenny Schrader.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-26-2003)
    AND II: Tony Morgenthau, co-owner of the No.49 Bam Racing car with Ken Schrader, says the team has a letter of intent from a company to be a sponsor next season.(Roanoke Times)(10-26-2003)
  • Roush Back in Busch: According to garage sources Roush Racing will announce, at Phoenix, new NASCAR Busch Series team effort for 2004. Roush Racing’s three senior members will drive the car on Saturdays next year with Mark Martin, Jeff Burton and Matt Kenseth all taking turns behind the wheel. Sponsorship will come from oil company Pennzoil/Quaker State for the program. Additionally, Roush Racing will soon announce a fulltime NBS effort for Greg Biffle. He is expecting to make the show in all but two of the races when the #60 returns to the track fulltime in 2004. A suitable replacement will handle the car in the two races Biffle can’t drive. No word on who will sponsor the Biffle package.(Ford Racing)(10-26-2003)
  • Barker to be honored and UPDATE: This year Robert ‘Bootie’ Barker (crew chief for the #77 – currently on leave) will be one of only eleven receiving a 2003 ARETE. The ARETE Honors is a tribute to athletes who, by overcoming adversity, or by displaying pure excellence, exemplify the spirit of ARETE. Whether over an extended period or one heroic instant, their performance was such that humankind could not fail to recognize it. Known as the most inspirational award in sports, the ARETE Honors for Courage in Sports will pay tribute to select individuals who, by their refusal to accept limitations, demonstrate the best of mankind. The ARETE Honors will be hosted by Jim Nantz and aired on November 2, 2003 on CBS.(Intersport PR)(10-24-2003)
    UPDATE: Robert (Bootie) Barker, no longer Dave Blaney’s crew chief in Cup, is working for the rest of the season with the Busch Series team of Ashton Lewis Jr. Barker will likely work at Bill Davis Racing in some capacity next year.(Gaston Gazette)(10-26-2003)
  • Akins to Dodge? Busch Series car owner [#38] Brad Akins is considering a switch to Dodge for his team in 2004, which seems odd in light of the fact that his driver is Kasey Kahne. Kahne, you may remember, has a contract with Ford Motor Company that prevents him from driving other makes, or so Ford Racing’s Greg Specht declared in widely circulated comments a few weeks back. Specht, by the way, made himself unavailable for comment on Saturday, although he was present at the track.(Gaston Gazette)(10-26-2003)
  • Harvick beats Spencer: Kevin Harvick beat Jimmy Spencer by six inches to win Saturday night’s 20-lap Winston Cup match race at Lanier National Speedway. Split into two 10-lap sprints, Kerry Earnhardt won the first race by narrowly edging Harvick, Spencer, and Michael Waltrip. After inverting the field for the final 10-lap dash, Harvick and Spencer spent much of the second event side by side and swapping the lead. Spencer passed Harvick for the lead on lap six. Harvick reassumed the lead on lap seven and held on by inches at the checkered flag. Earnhardt finished one-car length behind in third while Waltrip collected fourth.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-26-2003)
  • Huffman wins Dash Series Title..then to the Trucks? Robert Huffman’s fifth-place finish in Friday night’s NASCAR Dash series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway – won by Justin Hobgood – clinched his fifth and final series championship. NASCAR is no longer sanctioning the series after this season and Huffman, who has so far driven Toyota’s only entry in a NASCAR series, will move to the Truck Series next season, where he will debut in one of Toyota’s Tundras. “To be involved in the Craftsman Truck series with Toyota is a lifelong dream. I want to be able to race for a living as long as I can race and Toyota has given me the opportunity to do that, recently in the Dash series and moving to Trucks,” said Huffman, of Claremont, NC. “It’s been fun for me to help Toyota get their program started and to see where it’s at now. It’s great. Toyota doesn’t owe me anything, but it’s great for me that they feel like they do.” Huffman declined to name the team he will drive for in 2004, but he is expected to be one of seven Toyota drivers running in the series next season.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-26-2003)

    (10-25-2003)

  • Martin helps out Rudd: Mark Martin, driver of the #6 Viagra Ford for Rosuh Racing, drove a few laps in the #21 Air Force car at Atlanta for Rciky Rudd to help get the handling correct and also said the car was way too loose as Rudd had reported. The #21 is woned by the Wood Brothers but is a Roush chassis and engine and gets engineering help from Roush.(TNT’s Happy Hour Coverage)(10-25-2003)
  • Smokey Yunick Award to White: Fayetteville’s Rex White, the 1960 Winston Cup champion, is expected to receive the Smokey Yunick Award at AMS this morning. The award, given annually at the track, recognizes pioneers of the sport. White won 26 Winston Cup races, but his only superspeedway victory came at AMS in the 1962 Dixie 400. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-25-2003)
  • Kodak talking to teams: The Kodak sponsorship question is still unanswered, but company officials are expected to meet with potential car owners this weekend. Larry McClure [owner of the #4 Kodak Pontiac] has reportedly agreed to Kodak’s buy-back of the final two years of his contract; however the two sides are apparently at odds over other aspects of that deal. Kodak is being bombarded with sponsorship bids, and the top two teams in the running appear to be DEI and Roush Racing. Ty Norris, DEI general manager, won’t talk specifically about Kodak but says “We’ve had some movement in the last 10 days.”(Winston Salem Journal)(10-25-2003)
  • Mayfield’s Options: Jeremy Mayfield’s decsion came down to length of contract [and of course how well the #19 team has been doing of late], supposedly RCR offered Mayfield as one-year deal to drive the #30 AOL Chevy, while Evernham offered Mayfield a two-year extension to stay where he is and is running good of late.(Speed Channel Coverage of Cup Qualifying and see a NASCAR.com article: Mayfield came close to leaving Evernham)(10-25-2003)
  • Evernham to field a Busch car? It was mentoioned during qualifyig when #9 and #19 team owner, Ray Evernham was congratualting Bill Elliott on his top five qualifying run, that Evernham was asking Elliott to sponsor his Busch car at Rockingham [the sponroship thing was a joke] but seemed the running a Busch car was the real thing.(10-25-2003)
  • Petty asks Inman to help out: Kyle Petty won’t discuss reports he may be interested in hiring Robbie Loomis or Steve Hmiel to help run Petty Enterprises, but Petty says he has tried to lure Dale Inman out of retirement to become an adviser. “We need someone, we know that,” Petty says. “I asked Dale to come to a few races to study things for us. We know we’re missing something at the track.” And Petty says he may have a new driver at the wheel of 43 next season: “We gave General Mills a list of four or five names. There are guys in the market now, Jeff Green, Johnny Benson, Kenny Schrader, Jimmy Spencer, you have to look at. We’ll just ride it out for a while.”(Winston Salem Journal)(10-25-2003)
  • Sadler Paint Scheme gets Passion at Atlanta: Masterfoods USA, makers of M&M’S Chocolate Candies, encouraged its 6,900 associates at 21 corporate sites across the country to etch their way into NASCAR history by signing their names to a decal signifying the “Passion” shared by everyone involved with the company. Masterfoods USA associates will present this proclamation to their driver of the No. 38 M&M’s Taurus, Elliott Sadler, at Sunday’s Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. The #38 Ford will sport a “passionate” new design with associate signatures adorning the entire car and heart logos on both rear quarter panels. Passion is one of six core principles upon which Masterfoods USA defines its operating structure. “Passion Week”, a celebration of this key principle, kicks off with the introduction of the newly designed Nascar vehicle. Twenty-two associate incentive winners from sites across the country were chosen to make the trek to Atlanta and share their ‘passion to win’ with Sadler. “Passion is something we all share at Masterfoods,” said Roula Kamhawi, President of Chocolate for Masterfoods USA and the unofficial Director of Passion. “It’s a very personal belief, but we all share the common vision of a passion to win. When looking to reward our associates for employing this principal, we naturally looked to our NASCAR involvement. Elliott and the entire M&M’s Racing Team share the same passion for motorsports that our associates share for making a high quality product. The two groups really do compliment one another because Elliott and all of our associates are great ambassadors for Masterfoods USA.” Kamhawi will be on hand as the winners and Elliott Sadler sign the car before it takes the green flag.(Elevation Group PR) see an image of the car on my 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes – Cars #’s 24-99 page.(10-25-2003)
  • Ince helping out in Winston West: hearing former #10 MB2 Motorsports crew chief will be heading out west, consulting for Performance Motorsports, and driver Steve Portenga at Fontana, CA next weekend, trying to win the race and help them capture the Winston West Championship [no idea what the WInston West will be called in 2004 since Winston is leaving – Nextel West?]. Ince won a race in the WInston West with Johnny Benson at Fontana. The “World Famous Gunfighters” Marines HMLA-369 Light Attack Helicopter Squadron based out of Camp Pendleton will be there for morale support as #77-Steve Portenga and the King Taco, Cardenas Markets Ford Taurus prepares to conquer the two mile California Speedway. The King Taco 200 Winston West Grand National race will be run on Saturday November 1, 2003 at California Speedway in what the Performance Motorsports Team hopes will be a repeat of the race they won in April. Portega enters the event in third place in the championship hunt fourteen points out of second and thirty three points out of the lead. Scott Lynch [who drives for Brendan Gaughan’s father’s team] is leading the Winston West points, and Mike Duncan is in second. Another close points race, looks like they use the same or similar points system as Cup/Busch/Trucks. Want more info on the Winston West Series? see the site www.racingwest.com.(10-24-2003)
    More on Winston West: No Nextel West – NASCAR’s Winston Cup will become the Nextel Cup next year, but the Winston West series will not be Nextel West. Next Saturday’s Winston West race at California Speedway, the King Taco 200, will be the last under the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. sponsorship in a relationship that began in 1971. “The series that is now Winston West will remain an important part of NASCAR’s Grand National Division next year, but with a different name,” said Jeremy Davidson, NASCAR manager of communications. “We are negotiating with several potential sponsors at the moment, but Nextel is not one of them.”(L.A. Times)(10-25-2003)
  • Elliott Part Time in 2004? UPDATE 4: now hearing that Bill Elliott will semi-retire and run five Cup races in 2004, assuming it’ll be in the #9 Dodge.(10-2-2003)
    UPDATE: The Winston Cup garage is rife with rumors about Bill Elliott’s possible retirement, but Elliott himself says it’s still too early to announce his plans for 2004 and beyond. “There’s too much going on to say anything right now,” Elliott said. There apparently are several scenarios in play, but at this point, none of them have Elliott walking away from the sport at the end of this season. He is expected to either run the full season next year for car owner Ray Evernham or run a limited schedule — possibly five major events. Elliott’s plans hinge on several factors, including what Evernham does with Elliott’s team car, the No. 19 Dodge now driven by Jeremy Mayfield. Evernham said there are no firm plans in place yet for either of his two teams. “Everything’s not settled,” Evernham said. “We hope to have it settled by the time we roll into Atlanta, but right now we’re concentrating on it race-by-race, trying to win some races here.”(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-4-2003)
    UPDATE 2 – An odd Elliott rumor: hear a hot rumor circulating around the garage area at Martinsville this weekend is that Ford and Dodge are working on a swap. Ford will release Kasey Kahne from his contract to drive for Evernham Motorsports. In exchange, Elliott will run one last season in a Ford in 2004 with a team to be determined. Unsure if it would be a full season or a partial season as had been rumored.(source)(10-19-2003)
    UPDATE 3: After weeks of speculation, Totally NASCAR has learned that 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup champion Bill Elliott will retire from full-time competition at the end of this season. Elliott will reportedly run five races next year at tracks significant to his career. Sources say Elliott, who has 43 wins and 55 poles in 726 starts, might make it official this weekend in Atlanta. Elliott is from nearby Dawsonville, GA.(FoxSports)(10-21-2003)
    UPDATE 4: Bill Elliott held a press conference Thursday morning in Atlanta [see story below], and while many in the media assumed he would make an announcement about an impending retirement, he instead announced a line of snack food he’s endorsing. He did acknowledge the concern about his racing future. “It has been a pretty good kick,” Elliott said. “It’s understandable of what the fans want to know, but right now, I don’t know so how do you say what you’re going to do when you don’t know. We’ll see. It’s been a lot of fun. A lot of different things have been thrown at me. There’s still a lot of things on the table as far as next year’s concerned. Right now, I just need to decide what Bill Elliott wants to do.”(FoxSports – Totally NASCAR)(10-24-2003)
    Plus see articles at ThatsRacin.com: Evernham speaks of Elliott’s uncertainty, says options in place either way; and NASCAR.com: Evernham: Elliott still figuring out future plans.(10-25-2003)


    (10-24-2003)

  • Hendrick buying the #01 and half of the #10? UPDATE Denied: hearing Hendrick Motorsports/Rick Hendrick may be purchasing the #01-US Army MB2 team and half of the #10 MBV Valvoline team. Joe Nemechek drives the #01 Pontiac and Scott Riggs will drive the #10 Valvoline Pontiac in 2004. Johnny Benson is the current driver.(10-24-2003)
    UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports [HMS] officials on Friday denied an Internet report that it was considering buying into MB2/MBV Motorsports which currently fields Pontiacs for Winston Cup drivers Joe Nemechek and Johnny Benson. Hendrick spokesman Jesse Essex said HMS is not interested in buying any or all of the MB2/MBV teams. The interest in Hendrick’s relationship with MB2/MBV has been fueled by several arrangements recently between the two organizations, including the move of Hendrick’s former driver, Nemechek, to MB2’s #01 team. Hendrick also had a tentative arrangement to place its Busch driver, Brian Vickers, in MB2’s #01 the final four races of this season. That deal was nullified when Nemechek left for the #01, and Vickers moved to HMS’ #25, which he will run full time in 2004. Also, HMS currently provides all the engines for the MB2 and MBV teams.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-24-2003)
  • Domino’s to be an assoc sponsor on the #15: Domino’s Pizza, the world’s recognized leader in pizza delivery, which became the “Official Pizza of NASCAR” earlier this year, has expanded its involvement in NASCAR and announced a partnership with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (DEI). Under the agreement, Domino’s will become an associate sponsor of the #15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet driven by Michael Waltrip. The relationship with DEI and Waltrip will allow Domino’s to ramp up its NASCAR-themed advertising and promotions, which began earlier this year. Waltrip will debut his #15 NAPA race car with the Domino’s logo on the right panel, behind the number 15, and the left panel behind the rear tire during a press conference at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Throughout 2004, the #15 show car will make a cross-country tour and be displayed at 90 Domino’s stores. Other details of the agreement include Waltrip’s participation in Domino’s advertising, online marketing initiatives and promotions. “Partnering with Domino’s will be a fun and exciting ride,” said Michael Waltrip. “In February, days after Domino’s unveiled the commercial featuring my family at a press conference in Daytona, we won the Daytona 500. I’m looking forward to more great wins together.”(Domino’s Pizza Site)(10-24-2003)
  • Lipton Sides Joins the #77 as an Assoc for Atlanta: Lipton Sides, a Unilever Bestfoods brand, is joining forces with Jasper Motorsports this weekend in Atlanta to take advantage of the sponsor benefits NASCAR has to offer by promoting Lipton Sides. Lipton Sides will be displayed prominently on the hood and quarter panels of the #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford Taurus in an effort to increase brand awareness among the 100,000 plus fans that will converge at Atlanta Motor Speedway, not to mention the millions of race fans who will attend by proxy through national television coverage on NBC. Understanding the hectic everyday life most Americans lead, Lipton Sides is positioned as an option to complete a meal in a hurry. They have harnessed the consumers’ need for an easier side dish and with more than 40 varieties of rice, pasta and noodle flavors the options are virtually endless. Cindy Lewis who looks after the Jasper Engines and Transmissions Racing Team as ‘Team Mom’ and prepares their meals is excited to about partnering with Lipton Sides. “The schedule does not always allow a lot of time for the guys to eat but I make sure they always have a good meal,” said Lewis. “With Lipton Sides all I have to do is worry about the main course. Lipton® Sides take 10 minutes [to prepare]. That leaves a lot of time for me to make sure the whole team eats.”(Jasper Motorsports PR)(10-24-2003)
  • The King and the Blue Angels: Seven-time Winston Cup Champion Richard Petty may think he knows fast. Long-time sponsor STP wants to make sure of it. Petty is gearing up to test his mettle with a supersonic jet ride courtesy of the elite U.S. Navy Blue Angels. Video footage of Petty’s sound barrier-breaking experience with the Blue Angels will appear as part of the pre-race activities for the Checker Auto Parts 500 at the Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, November 2. Just like he did during his racing days, Petty will again be traveling at warp speeds. This time however, he did it at 20,000 feet in the air, in a two-seat Navy Blue Angel F/A-18-Hornet. Petty seems excited for his latest challenge, even though he’ll be trading in his signature cowboy hat and sunglasses for aviator shades and flight helmet.
    “In all of my years of driving, I’ve never experienced anything like a ride in an F/A-18 fighter jet,” Petty said. “I know what quality ingredients like jet fuel can do on the ground, that’s why I have put STP in my trucks tank for so long.”
    STP uses jet fuel as a carrier fluid for active ingredients in all of its fuel additives. Jet fuel is highly regulated and thoroughly tested to meet the demanding standards of military jets and commercial aircraft. It is high standards like these that help STP deliver unmatched consistency during the manufacturing process for all of its products. The partnership between Richard Petty and STP, now in its 32nd year, is the longest running sponsorship in sports history. Beginning in 1972, STP and Richard Petty teamed up to win a NASCAR record 200 races. Petty, who stepped out of his legendary #43 STP car for the final time in 1992 still maintains an active sponsorship with STP. In fact, Petty and STP recently agreed to extend their record sponsorship into 2004. “STP is very fortunate to have a sponsorship with a living legend like Richard Petty,” said Dan Dahlgren, Vice President/Category Manager, STP. “Since Richard is already a master of the road, we felt that putting him up in the sky would elevate ‘The King’ to a whole new level.”
    At the end of the PR it has: This year, Petty Enterprises will field two NASCAR Winston Cup teams: Jeff Green’s #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Intrepid, Kyle Petty’s #45 Georgia- Pacific Brawny Dodge Intrepid. In addition, Christian Fittipaldi, driving the #44 Petty Blue Dodge Intrepid, will run a limited schedule in Winston Cup, Busch and ARCA for 2004.(STP PR)(10-24-2003)


  • Stock Car Fans – Ramblings – Atlanta: Oh gee! What a suprise! Ryan Newman won a Pole! The broken record (ya’ll remember those big round black things that used to make music? Well, maybe some of you don’t.) that is the mighty Bud Pole Machine inside that #12 Alltel Dodge just keeps on rolling along. Ryan Newman grabbed his 9th pole of 2003 (he’s a clincher for the most in that category) and 16th of his Winston Cup career tonight at Atlanta Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Ryan’s time of 28.534 (194.294 mph) was far from a record, but quick none the less. When you figure that’s on a mile & a half oval it’s hold your breath time. Ryan will be joined on the front-row by Bobby Labonte. He gained his best starting spot since he had the pole at Michigan in August.
    #25-Brian Vickers (4th) is setting the bar pretty high in just his second Cup start.
    #54-Todd Bodine (7th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 6th in the Daytona 500.
    #01-Joe Nemechek (8th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 7th at The Brickyard in August.
    #1-John Andretti (11th) had his best qualifying run since he timed in 11th at The Brickyard in August [in the #81 car].
    #37-Derrike Cope (23rd) has his best starting spot since he started 12th at the Daytona 500 in February of 2000!
    #02-Hermie Sadler (34th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 18th at Michigan in June (only 6 races).
    STREAKIN….Jimmie Johnson has 6 Top-10 starts in the last 7 races.
    Bill Elliott has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.
    Elliott Sadler has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.
    Provisional Land looks like Roushville tonight….3 Roush Fords and one quasi-Roush team. Matt Kenseth, Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, Sterling Marlin, Scott Wimmer, Ricky Rudd, and Ken Schrader all took freebies to make the field. I can’t say I’m surprised to see Kenseth back there….at this time of the season you can expect that the motor in that #17 car isn’t gonna be wound too tight with a Championship on the line and only 4 races to go.
    The Trouble Train included 6 cars tonight….primary among them the #43 of Jeff Green. He was joined out the gate by Buckshot Jones, Larry Foyt, Mike Wallace, Billy Bigley, and Shelby Howard. The #50 car was withdrawn.(StockCarFans.Com Winston Cup Newsletter)(10-24-2003)
  • HPI and MindSHAPER Suite on “NASCAR This Morning” Huntersville, NC (October 23, 2003) – Human Performance International (HPI) and the MindSHAPER Suite to be showcased on Sunday, October 26th from 11:00am to 12:00noon/et on NASCAR This Morning on FOX Sports Net. Ex-Winston Cup racer and host Chad Little visits with the performance team at HPI to find out about the revolutionary new MindSHAPER Suite software program shown to significantly improve the mental skills of their high-performance clients. This unique program, unlike anything available in the marketplace today, is an integrated suite of four program elements that is specifically designed to improve the following mental skills: concentration or focus, memory, visual scanning ability, and speed and accuracy of mental processing. Little examines how this proven technology, developed in the high-performance world of NASCAR and beyond, can benefit people in the general population. Current MindSHAPER users have been drawn from every walk of life and level of functional ability:
    · Top-level racers for whom split-second decisions can mean the difference between success or injury
    · Golfers wanting to improve their performance on the links
    · Athletes from a broad cross-section of the sport world striving to achieve a competitive advantage
    · High-risk professionals seeking to develop their mental skills
    · Students striving for better grades in school
    · Children and adults with ADD/ADHD
    · Stroke patients looking to regain cognitive function and coordination
    · Older adults working to keep their minds sharp
    Their new website is now live at: www.mindshaper.com.(Human Performance International PR)(10-24-2003)
  • Dale Jarrett Extends Contract With RYR Through 2006: Robert Yates Racing announced today that Dale Jarrett has extended his contract to drive the #88 UPS Ford Taurus through the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season. Jarrett is in the process of wrapping up his ninth season with RYR, and his eighth as the driver of the #88 Robert Yates Racing Team. Jarrett’s contract extension insures that he and UPS will both be part of the #88 Robert Yates Racing Team through 2006.
    “We couldn’t be happier to have Dale’s contract done through 2006,” said team owner Robert Yates. “We’ve had a great relationship with Dale Jarrett and it’s one we look forward to continuing. Dale and I started the #88 team together and I am lucky to still have him in the car. Dale and I both knew this contract extension was going to happen, it was just a matter of finding the time to sit down, putting everything out on paper and getting it signed.”
    “The biggest thing for everybody to understand is even though things have been difficult this year we weren’t about to give up on this team and our goals,” Jarrett said. “It’s gratifying for me to know that Robert and Doug Yates and UPS want to continue this and believe in this to continue. I’m looking forward to seeing this team back where it belongs and that’s winning races and contending for championships.”(Elevation Motorsports PR)(10-24-2003)
  • Wilburn to be re-assigned? hearing current #2 crew chief, Bill Wilburn, will not be the #2 Miller Lite Dodge crew chief in 2004, but will be be re-assigned within the organziation, no word on any candidates yet.(10-24-2003)
  • Miller leaving the #2? NO: heard a rumor earlier on Thursday that Miller Lite would be leaving as the sponsor of the #2 Penske Racing Dodge and driver Rusty Wallace [Wallace also has a long term personal services contract with Miller]. After some checking around, found out that Penske Racing, Wallace and Miller are close to signing a two year extension and it is all but a done deal.(10-24-2003)

    (10-23-2003)

  • Victory Lap tribute honors “Awesome Bill” at Atlanta: Bill Elliott will close out an impressive month of October by being honored in the NASCAR Victory Lap tribute prior to Sunday’s Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. The program, honoring R. J. Reynolds and past NASCAR Winston Cup champions, will make its sixth stop of the season during pre-race ceremonies, where Elliott will run a few laps in his #9 Dodge Dealers/Victory Lap Dodge. With two recent top-five finishes, including a second at Kansas Speedway and a fourth at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Elliott sits 10th in NASCAR’s Top 10. Last Sunday’s ninth-place finish at Martinsville continued his autumn upswing. The 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup champion, Elliott has 43 career victories. His most recent were back-to-back wins in 2002, which included the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(NASCAR PR)(10-23-2003)
  • Elliott Announcment UPDATE: Bill Elliott will be making an announcement about his future plans involving a project outside of racing on Thursday, October 23 – 11:00am/et. NOT RACING found out this announcement will have nothing to do with Racing or Elliott’s 2004 Racing plans.(10-23-2003)
    UPDATE: 1988 Winston Cup champion Bill Elliott today announced the formation of a new company to manufacture and distribute a line of snack foods that will feature his image. Elliott Championship Products LLC, a partnership between the driver and Championship Group Inc. of Atlanta, will launch the Bill Elliott’s brand of products in convenience stores and supermarkets late this year. The line, which will initially be distributed in the Southeast, includes three flavors of beef jerky, a hot sausage, a spicy meat stick, a kippered beefsteak and three flavors of pork rinds.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-23-2003)
  • Official – Riggs to the #10 in 2004: MBV Motorsports announced today that Scott Riggs has signed a multi-year agreement to drive the #10 Valvoline Pontiac in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, beginning with the 2004 season-opening Daytona 500. The announcement was made by James Rocco, designated team owner and senior vice president of The Valvoline Company. Riggs replaces Johnny Benson, who will complete the 2003 season in the #10 car. “Johnny Benson is a tough, talented driver with a lot of heart, “said Rocco. “He gave the team its first win and is a good ambassador for Valvoline Racing. We wish him the best. Scott Riggs is a winner, Rocco said. “He is a hard-charger who has excelled in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the NASCAR Busch Series. He has the talent to compete at the NASCAR Nextel Cup level and continue Valvoline’s winning legacy.”
    “I’ve been blessed to have had some great rides in my racing career and some great people helping me along the way,” Riggs said. “I explored several excellent NASCAR Nextel Cup opportunities as well as offers to remain in the Busch Series and I decided the Valvoline Pontiac was the best place for me to be at this stage of my career. I appreciate the confidence Valvoline and MBV Motorsports have placed in me,” Riggs explained. “I’m going to work with the team to get everything I can out of the cars and hope to reward them with some wins.”(Scott Riggs site), see past news and rumors on my #10 News and Links page.(10-23-2003)
  • Tires Changing in 2004: Goodyear plans to produce an entirely new line of tires for the 2004 season, company officials revealed Tuesday, in response to NASCAR’s trim of the rear spoilers on the cars. The intent of the new car spec is to reduce reliance on aerodynamic grip and increase the utility of mechanical grip, thus, in theory, putting the racing more in control of drivers and teams. NASCAR and Goodyear have worked closely on the project since early this year. There had been speculation that Goodyear could accommodate most of the change by shuffling some of its current tire codes, but Rick Campbell, Goodyear’s lead engineer in NASCAR, said the company will offer a clean sweep of the D-codes, which designate left- and right-side tires at each race. The changes are not major in most cases, Campbell said, with recompounding in most cases to produce a softer, grippier tire. For the past three seasons, in response to immense aerodynamic downforce developed by teams and manufacturers, Goodyear had hardened the tires until they had virtually no give-up at all. The change offered by NASCAR is a 3/4-inch reduction of the rear spoiler height. NASCAR estimates that the change could take away 75 to 100 pounds of rear downforce, which the teams likely will recover in time. NASCAR says it will consider further cuts. The main change for Goodyear will be in its left-side sets. That, Campbell said, will help with the loose feel in the cars as a result of diminished rear downforce. However, he added, “We will not carry over one single code into next year. This is a new construction package that’s been under development the last year or so,” Campbell explained. “It gives a driver a very progressive, very easy to drive kind of fee, not a knife-edge situation where you’re constantly jumping back and forth between loose and tight.”
    The first group of the new tires will be tested on the new surface at Homestead, Fla., next Tuesday and Wednesday, likely with teams not involved in the points race. If all goes as planned, the new tires will be used in the Homestead races Nov. 14-16.(Speed Channel)(10-23-2003)
  • SMI Partnership: Checker Flag Lightning of Grandville, Michigan and Perfect Line, Inc. have entered into a revenue share agreement which allows Checker Flag to become the new owner-operator of Checker Flag Lightning featuring NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway Simulators. The new store will be located in the RiverTown Crossings Mall in Grandville, Michigan inside of the former NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway space. Checker Flag brings to the venture a 10-year history of being one of West Michigan’s premier retailers of officially licensed NASCAR racing apparel, souvenirs and collectables.(SMI Site)(10-23-2003)
  • Coordinating Producer Hired at Speed: Pete Richards has joined SPEED Channel as a Coordinating Producer, working on projects including 2 Wheel Tuesday and SPEED’s coverage of AMA road racing, ARCA and USAC events. No stranger to SPEED, Richards was on hand for the launch of the network in February of 2002, producing studio shows during Daytona SpeedWeeks as well as some of SPEED’s early coverage of live races. A native of Gary, Ind., and a graduate of Indiana University, Richards also produced a pair of high-profile SPEED Channel specials — “Robby Gordon’s Double Duty” and “Backstage at the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert.”(Speed Channel PR)(10-23-2003)
  • Increased Overseas Exposure Expected: NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne told the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Tuesday that the sport has room to grow in the U.S. but said he also foresees international opportunities. “Obviously we believe we still have a lot of room to grow here in the domestic market, but we also believe that our sport resonates well abroad,” Pyne said. “We are seeing great feedback and interest in our international broadcasts. We are reviewing the opportunities for expanding our international business.” After the speech, Pyne also told USA Today that NASCAR will launch a “Drive for Diversity” to provide “opportunities in racing’s grass-roots levels” for minorities. “We want to represent America, and we’re committed to a number of different programs that will help make NASCAR representative of America.”(Winston Cup Daily Newsletter)(10-23-2003)
  • Testing at Phoenix: Once again, Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) testing was done under record-breaking temperatures. On Tuesday, a new record was set at 103. Wednesday, drivers ran with temperatures hovering near 102 degrees. Still, most teams found themselves running faster testing times than last year. While official times weren’t kept by PIR, cars were clocked around 27.5 seconds [130.909mph] on some of the late morning and early afternoon runs. Drivers testing were #31-Robby Gordon, #16-Greg Biffle, #25-Brian Vickers and #24-Jeff Gordon.
    Ticket sales have been hot for the Checker Auto Parts 500 NASCAR Weekend at Phoenix International Raceway in two weeks. There are a limited number of very good seats remaining for all four races over the weekend, and they can be purchased by calling the PIR Ticket Office (602) 252-2227, 1-800-PIT-SHOP or via the internet at www.phoenixraceway.com.(10-23-2003)
  • Waltrip’s Pit Crew Wins in Martinsville; Closing In On Season Championship: The pit crew for Michael Waltrip’s team moved one step closer to claiming the inaugural McDonald’s Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade and the $200,000 bonus that goes to the season champion. The #15 crew, which has led in the point standings the entire season, captured its fourth McDonald’s/POWERade win of the year with a resounding victory in Sunday’s (Oct. 19) 500-lap event at Martinsville Speedway. The victory, worth $20,000, lifted the #15 crew’s season prize money total to $80,000. With four NASCAR Winston Cup races remaining, Waltrip’s pit crew holds a 38-point lead over DEI teammate – the #8 crew for Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    “It’s getting personal here – a downright grudge match between the #15 and the #8 teams,” said DEI pit crew coach Walt Smith. “Both teams are really fired up about the McDonald’s/POWERade championship. I tell the (No.) 15 team to stay focused and then go over to the (No.) 8 team and tell them don’t give up – you’re not out of the championship. This program is great for everyone. The drivers are even talking about it during the race.”
    By winning in Martinsville, Waltrip’s team gained only one point on Earnhardt’s team, which finished second. Waltrip’s NAPA Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on pit road – 229.765 seconds. Earnhardt’s Chevy was clocked at 283.984. Tony’s Stewart’s team finished third with a time of 291.004.
    The over-the-wall pit crew for Waltrip’s team consists of: Brian Chase (jackman), Jeff Opal (gasman), Chris Crumley (front tire changer), Greg Osborne (rear tire changer), Shawn Ward (front tire carrier), Chad Walter (rear tire carrier) and Pete Rondeau (catch can). The team’s crew chief is Richard “Slugger” Labbe.(DMF PR) for top 10 at Martinsville, Season Standings and each race winner, see my Pit Crew page.(10-23-2003)
  • Kentucky Testing; Kahne to test for Evernham? UPDATE and no Kahne spotted: On Tuesday, October 21st, #99-Jeff Burton will test at Kentucky Speedway. On Wednesday, October 22nd, #19-Jeremy Mayfield and #9-Bill Elliott, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #0-Ward Burton will test.(Kentucky Speedway site)
    also hearing that Kasey Kahne will test an Evernham Motorsports Dodge there Tuesday or Wednesday.(10-21-2003)
    UPDATE: Ward Burton and his new #0 Netzero Pontiac team continued their new beginning with a one-day test at Kentucky Speedway today. Burton joins Haas CNC Racing after ending a seven-season relationship with Bill Davis Racing just two days ago. Davis helped Burton earned two of his five career wins last season, including the Daytona 500 title. Today’s test is Burton’s second with Crew Chief Tony Furr. The veteran driver said the more the team works together, the more confidence it builds. Fellow circuit drivers #48-Jimmie Johnson, #19-Jeremy Mayfield and #9-Bill Elliott also tested at the track. No speeds were reported.(Kentucky Speedway site), also been told Kasey Kahne was NOT at the track nor testing for Evernham Motorsports.(10-23-2003)
  • AMW Motorsports Video: America’s Most Wanted Motorsports has received a lot of additional attention over the last few weeks thanks to FoxSports’ Totally NASCAR, Foxsports.com and Jayski.com and their efforts to bring the Fan’s That Care Program to the racing family of supporting fans.  Now Foxsports.com has gone one step further by placing the video link to the story of the America’s Most Wanted motorsports Fan’s That Care program on their site.  “The team at Totally NASCAR, Foxsports.com and Jay from Jayski.com has been very supportive of our program”, stated Scott Davis, of AMW motorsports, “Now the fans that missed the airing of our story can go online and see what we are about through the video link on Foxsports.com.  We are excited and we have received a great deal of support from the fans!”For more visit www.bodydynamicsracing.com and click on the Totally NASCAR link.(10-23-2003)
  • C-SPAN Video: At the National Press Club, George Pyne, Chief Operating Officer of NASCAR, speaks on “A Classic American Success Story.” 10/21/2003: WASHINGTON, DC: at C-SPAN site.(10-23-2003)

    (10-22-2003)

  • Mayfield staying with Evernham: Jeremy Mayfield, the subject of much speculation regarding his future in the series, has signed a contract extension with his current owner, Evernham Motorosports, to remain in the #19 Dodge, ThatsRacin.com has learned. An official announcement of Mayfield’s re-signing with Evernham is expected later Wednesday afternoon. Mayfield, 34, joined Evernham following the 2001 season. He owns three career Winston Cup wins, but none since joining Evernham. He is currently 20th in points, with nine top-10 and three top-five finishes, including two runner-up finishes. Mayfield’s first Cup win came in 1998 with Penske Racing, when he also finished a career-high seventh in points. He earned two more wins in 2000 and left the organization near the end of the 2001 season. Mayfield struggled at the start of this season, but in recent weeks his No. 19 team has improved dramatically. All three of his top-fives this season have come in the past seven races. Mayfield has grown increasingly frustrated recently as his job status appeared to be up in the air, and other Cup teams began expressing interest in his services. “All we need is to be left alone for a while,” Mayfield said following his second-place finish at Dover, Del. “Let us race. We’ve fought rumors since I’ve been there. I’ve been in the rumor mill forever. Now, the 9 car is. … Let us race.”(ThatsRacin.com)(10-22-2003)
  • Tragic News: Race driver Tony Renna, taking his first laps with his new team at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during a tire test, was fatally injured Wednesday morning, a Target Chip Ganassi Racing spokesman confirmed. Renna, who would have turned 27 years old next month, was going into Turn 3 when his car jumped sideways and became airborne. According to witnesses, the car cleared the four-foot concrete wall and smashed into the catch fence — breaking in half in the cockpit area. The Indy Racing League medical team reacted instantly and tried to revive Renna but could never establish a heartbeat. In becoming the 40th driver to lose his life at Indianapolis, the native of Deland, Fla., was the first Indy-car racer to die since Greg Moore perished in a CART race at Fontana, Calif., in 1999.(ESPN/AP)(10-22-2003)
  • Top 10 for Most Consecutive Weeks in the Top 10 of Drivers Points:
    Seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt’s modern-era record of 174 consecutive weeks among the top 10 in the championship is certain to remain unreachable for the next two seasons, but #48-Jimmie Johnson is the primary active driver who is in position to mount a challenge at that mark. Johnson, in his second full NASCAR Winston Cup season, will crack the NASCAR Top 10 for consecutive weeks in the top 10 in the championship following Sunday’s Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Johnson enters Sunday’s race having been among the top 10 in the NASCAR Winston Cup championship for 65 consecutive weeks. Regardless of his race finish, he will extend his streak to 66 consecutive weeks and allow him to crack the NASCAR Top 10 modern-era list for that category. The streak, which is tops among active drivers, will move him into a tie for 10th with Sterling Marlin. See more and the Top 10 list on my Stats and Stats Links page.(10-22-2003)
  • PPI to the Wind Tunnel: PPI Motorsports [#32 Tide Pontiac] will take two cars to the Aerodyne Wind Tunnel in Mooresville, NC. on Wed., Oct. 22. The two new chassis have bodies that incorporate the rules changes NASCAR has instituted for the 2004 season. Crew Chief Scott Miller, on the Wind Tunnel Test: “We’re taking two ‘down force’ cars to the tunnel. The main reason we’re doing that is just that that’s the way it shook out in terms of scheduling. This is a baseline test to see the difference in down force the new rules package creates. We expect to see less down force than we presently have, due to the tighter tolerances on the templates and the smaller rear spoilers. We’ll use this test as a benchmark to determine which areas we need to improve on.”(PPI Motorsports)(10-22-2003)
  • Wallace Testing? AND: hearing #2-Rusty Wallace is testing at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill. on Tuesday and Wednesday in preparation for the race at Phoenix International Raceway.(10-21-2003)
    AND heard this was in conjunction with a “Season Ticket Holder” appreciation party held on Tuesday, 21 Oct 2003. Wallace ran laps while season ticket holders at Gateway watched from the stands. There was a Autograph session following the laps, and Wallace stayed until he had signed autographs for everybody who wanted them. Free food and drinks were also provided, as well as a special sale of leftover souvenirs from 2003. Track GM Matt Strelo had a Q&A session with Season Ticket Holders, briefed them on plans for 2004, and gave away prizes, including two tickets to the 2004 Daytona 500. The Track will be open on to the public on Wed for more of Wallace’s practice.(10-22-2003)


    (10-21-2003)

  • #800 for Rudd: #21-Ricky Rudd is scheduled to make his 800th career Winston Cup start this weekend at Atlanta. Rudd is currently 4th all time in the number of Cup races run. First is Richard Petty at 1177, then Dave Marcis at 881 and Darrell Waltrip at 809, those three drivers are all retired. Right behind Rudd in 5th place is Terry Labonte who currently has 777 starts.(10-21-2003)
  • Elliott Part Time in 2004? UPDATE 3: now hearing that Bill Elliott will semi-retire and run five Cup races in 2004, assuming it’ll be in the #9 Dodge.(10-2-2003)
    UPDATE: The Winston Cup garage is rife with rumors about Bill Elliott’s possible retirement, but Elliott himself says it’s still too early to announce his plans for 2004 and beyond. “There’s too much going on to say anything right now,” Elliott said. There apparently are several scenarios in play, but at this point, none of them have Elliott walking away from the sport at the end of this season. He is expected to either run the full season next year for car owner Ray Evernham or run a limited schedule — possibly five major events. Elliott’s plans hinge on several factors, including what Evernham does with Elliott’s team car, the No. 19 Dodge now driven by Jeremy Mayfield. Evernham said there are no firm plans in place yet for either of his two teams. “Everything’s not settled,” Evernham said. “We hope to have it settled by the time we roll into Atlanta, but right now we’re concentrating on it race-by-race, trying to win some races here.”(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-4-2003)
    UPDATE 2 – An odd Elliott rumor: hear a hot rumor circulating around the garage area at Martinsville this weekend is that Ford and Dodge are working on a swap. Ford will release Kasey Kahne from his contract to drive for Evernham Motorsports. In exchange, Elliott will run one last season in a Ford in 2004 with a team to be determined. Unsure if it would be a full season or a partial season as had been rumored.(source)(10-19-2003)
    UPDATE 3: After weeks of speculation, Totally NASCAR has learned that 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup champion Bill Elliott will retire from full-time competition at the end of this season. Elliott will reportedly run five races next year at tracks significant to his career. Sources say Elliott, who has 43 wins and 55 poles in 726 starts, might make it official this weekend in Atlanta. Elliott is from nearby Dawsonville, GA.(FoxSports)(10-21-2003)
  • Crew Chiefs Looking: seems to be quite a few crew chiefs available and out there looking at oppurtunities in NASCAR:
    James Ince parted ways with the #10 MBV team is is activly looking for a new team
    Marc Reno will leave #09 Cup/#1 Busch Phoenix Racing teams at the end of the year
    Tony Liberati of the pretty much closed up #92 Herzog-Jackson Busch team is looking around and has some irons in the fire.
    Robert Barker who is on a leave of absence from the #77 Jasper Motorsports team is in the rumor mill too [see below](10-21-2003)
  • NASCAR Levies Fines: NASCAR has issued the following penalties for various infractions that occurred during last weekend’s NASCAR Winston Cup Series event at Martinsville Speedway, NASCAR officials announced today.
    The following were fined accordingly:
    Todd Berrier, crew chief for the #29 NASCAR Winston Cup Series car of Kevin Harvick, was fined $5,000 for violation of Section 12-4-A: Actions detrimental to stock car racing and Section 9-4-A: The crew chief assumes responsibility for the actions of his team members. Infraction occurred during pre-race.
    Marc Smith, crew member for the #29 NASCAR Winston Cup Series car of Kevin Harvick, was suspended until Oct. 29, 2003. He was in violation of Section 12-4-A: Actions detrimental to stock car racing: Attempting to circumvent a NASCAR inspection process. Infraction occurred during pre-race.(NASCAR PR)(10-21-2003)
  • Riggs signed? to drive the #10? UPDATE 3 Riggs to make announcement: hearing Scott Riggs has signed to drive the #10 MBV Valvoline Pontiac in 2004. See past news on the rumor on my #10 Team News and Links page, Hearing Riggs Busch crew chief, Doug Randolph, could be headed to the #10 team with him.(10-15-2003)
    UPDATE: been told that that Scott Riggs has signed, and will replace Johnny Benson in the #10 Valvoline Pontiac for 2004. Benson has a year left on his contract, and the team would honor their financial commitment if Benson does not land another ride. The team has no plans to run a third car in 2004. This will be a complete makeover for the MBV #10, a partnership of MB2 Racing and the Valvoline Company, following crew chief James Ince’s release a few weeks ago. Ince and Benson have been with the team since its formation.(10-15-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Johnny Benson said he’s just been told by General Manager Jay Frye he won’t be back as a driver next season, so Benson is putting out his resume. Richard Childress and DEI are the top two car owners working the market — DEI had considered hiring Busch star Scott Riggs, but Riggs is expected to take Benson’s place at the Frye team, which is now being run by mega-owner Rick Hendrick. Benson is also under consideration by car owners Cal Wells and Kyle Petty.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-18-2003)
    UPDATE 3: Fox Sports Net’s Totally NASCAR reported on Monday’s show that Scott Riggs will make an announcement on Tuesday concerning his 2004 plans: Expect Scott Riggs to make an announcement on Tuesday at noon ET that he’ll be making it official he’ll be going to the MB2 Motorsports team to drive the Valvoline Pontiac.(Fox Sports Net’s Totally NASCAR)(10-20-2003)
    UPDATE 4: the announcement will now come later this week, NOT today.(10-21-2003)
  • Union 76/Rockingham World Pit Crew Competition at the Rock: Pit crews, rather than drivers, are in the spotlight November 8, 2003, at North Carolina Speedway for the 36th annual 76/Rockingham World Pit Crew Competition. The purse for this year’s event is $100,000, with $30,000 going to the winning team. Setting a new world record will result in a $10,000 bonus. Reigning champion – winning consecutively in 2001 and 2002 – is Roush Racing’s #17 DeWalt pit crew for current Winston Cup points leader Matt Kenseth. The DeWalt crew bettered their own world record last year by .862 seconds, becoming the first crew to break the 16-second barrier since teams began changing four tires. The current world record, and the time teams will aim to beat in 2003, is 16.823 seconds. Since 1967, the Union 76/Rockingham World Pit Crew Competition has been the only NASCAR sanctioned pit crew contest on the circuit. Giving world-class pit crews a time to shine, this event rewards the best of the best with the coveted ‘World Championship Pit Crew’ title. Held annually during the fall race weekend at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, the object of the competition is for each crew in the top 25 in 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.(North Carolina Speedway PR), for last years results, current news and the Pit Crew Chart, see my Pit Crew Page.(10-21-2003)
  • Howard in the #27 at Atlanta UPDATE: Shelby Howard will attempt to make his Winston Cup debut this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He will drive the #27 Bill Davis Racing Chevy.(Shelby Howard Site)(10-21-2003)
    UPDATE: Bill Davis Racing has entered its #27 Chevrolet into the NASCAR Winston Cup event this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway with ARCA RE/MAX Series driver, Shelby Howard behind the wheel. Howard, a native of Greenwood, Indiana, started racing at the age of 11 in Junior Sprint cars. From there, Howard competed in Mini-Cup, Modified Midget, 600 Mini-Sprint, Jasper Modified and Kendall Late Model before taking on the ARCA RE/MAX Series at age 16, becoming the youngest driver ever to enter an event. 2003 was Howard’s second full-season running the ARCA RE/MAX Series and the 18 year-old driver posted three wins and set the record for the youngest driver to win an ARCA RE/MAX event. Bill Davis, known for having an eye for young driving talent, has signed Howard to a driver development deal. Although this weekend’s event at Atlanta will be Howard’s first turn in a Winston Cup car, he has three ARCA RE/MAX starts at the 1.54-mile tri-oval. In last year’s event he started fourth and finished second. Mack Trucks will serve as the primary sponsor this weekend on the #27 Chevrolet.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(10-21-2003)
  • Motorsports Caucus Creation: With bi-partisan support in the House, Senate, and Governor’s Office, the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA) announced the creation of the Motorsports Caucus. Representative Karen Ray serves the Motorsports Caucus as Chairman and Senator Tony Rand serves as Vice Chairman. Membership of the Caucus is a coalition of Representatives and Senators who realize the impact of motorsports in North Carolina and know the importance of maintaining and growing the industry.
    “The Motorsports Caucus is dedicated to providing a healthy economic climate in North Carolina,” said Representative Ray, “that meets the needs of our current motorsports businesses and attracts others to our state.”
    Governor Easley has given the Motorsports Caucus the green flag at a reception held welcoming Nextel Communications into the motorsports family. “The Motorsports Caucus will serve as a vehicle to strengthen the industry in our state as it relates to jobs, tourism and revenues,” Easley said.
    Faced with competition from other states to lure the motorsports industry away from North Carolina, the Motorsports Caucus hopes to add horsepower to existing efforts of the North Carolina Motorsports Association (NCMA).
    “We have an economic engine to which we must provide fuel for horsepower.” NCMA Chairman Richard Petty said recently. “Vice Chairman Rick Hendrick and I know that the Motorsports Caucus will serve as a catalyst to keep the engines running in North Carolina.”
    Senator Tony Rand agreed. “Prosperity of the motorsports industry as a whole in North Carolina is foremost on our agenda, and the Motorsports Caucus will ensure its viability for decades to come.”(10-21-2003)
  • Fan’s Face Finds Hood Of 1 800 CALL ATT Dodge: Robert Underwood probably never figured he could take the place of nationally-known comedian Carrot Top. But the native of South Elgin, Ill., located just outside of Chicago, will do just that this weekend at the 1.54-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway. His face will adorn the hood of the #49 1 800 CALL ATT Dodge of driver Ken Schrader and his BAM Racing team. Underwood won a nationwide consumer promotion by 1 800 CALL ATT, and will have his face on the hood of the car where Carrot Top’s has been. nderwood will also be at the NASCAR Winston Cup race this weekend as guest of 1 800 CALL ATT and BAM Racing. The winner was chosen at random last week from amongst the hundreds of thousands of callers who placed collect calls using 1 800 CALL ATT during the promotion, which began right after Labor Day.(Williams Company PR)(10-21-2003)
  • Dodge Dropping Teams? UPDATE: Dodge may cut back its Nextel Cup operations by limiting car owners to a single team sponsorship, which could be why Jeremy Mayfield has felt under such pressure lately with car owner Ray Evernham.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-18-2003)
    UPDATE: Evernham Motorsports has been the center of various rumors lately but team owner Ray Evernham wants to put one of them to rest. During an interview for RPM2Day he made it clear that his team will definitely field two cars full time next season. There were rumors that he would field just one.(ESPN)(10-21-2003)
  • Special Scheme for Marlin at Atlanta: Coors Light will be highlighting their support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital this race season with a special paint scheme at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Sterling Marlin, driver of the #40 Coors Light Dodge will display a special pumpkin themed paint scheme at the Georgia 500 at the end of October. Coors Brewing Company has been a national sponsor of the St. Jude Halloween Pin-Up Program since 1994. The program, in which nearly 600 Coors Light distributors and 35,000 Coors Light retail accounts participate, allows patrons to purchase a paper pumpkin cut out with the proceeds donated directly to St. Jude’s. Through this eight year program, Coors has raised more than $17 million during the month of October to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(10-21-2003)
  • #77 to display flag and decals: On Thursday, October 23, 2003, the # 77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Racing Team along with driver, Dave Blaney, and team co-owner, Mark Harrah, will land at Robins Air force Base to attend a ceremony where they will receive a flag that was flown during Operation Iraqi Freedom in April and express their gratitude to Air Force and the Air National Guard for their services in support of the ground force troops. Prior to the flag presentation from Colonel James Jones, Commander, 116th Operations Group, Harrah and Blaney will unveil the #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford Taurus the team plans to run at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The deck lid of the car will boast special decals honoring the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center and 116th Air Control Wing logos on the trunk. The ceremony will take place in front of the E-8C aircraft, also known as the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (J-STARS). JSTARS is the airborne battlefield management and peacekeeping system. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, JSTARS flew more than 50 missions in the skies of Iraq and Afghanistan.(Jasper Motorsports PR)(10-21-2003)
  • No Elliott Fan Day: from www.billelliott.com: “We will not be having Fan Appreciation Day this year in Atlanta. However, we are focusing all our efforts on a spectacular 2004! Save all your frequent fly miles as you will not want to miss out!”(10-21-2003)
  • NASCAR Returns to Canada: For the first time since 1989, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) will sanction stock car racing events in Canada. Delaware Speedway in Ontario and St. Eustache Speedway in Quebec will join the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series in 2004. Although NASCAR has sanctioned events in Canada, Mexico, Australia and Japan in the past, this marks the first time that NASCAR will have weekly events in Canada for an entire season. Delaware Speedway is a half-mile (0.8045 km) oval located near London, Ontario. The speedway first opened in 1952 as a quarter-mile (0.40225 km) dirt track. The track was paved in the 1960s and expanded to its current size. Delaware hosts four divisions of racing on Friday nights: Late Models, Trucks, Modifieds and Street Stocks. Delaware is also the home track to 1974 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year Earl Ross, the only non-American driver to win a Winston Cup Series race. Ross, who resides in Ailsa Craig near London, earned the distinction by winning the Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville Speedway in 1974.
    St. Eustache Speedway, a 4/10-mile (0.6436 km) oval, was originally built in 1964 and remains the only facility in the greater Montreal area to offer a weekly schedule of stock car racing. St. Eustache Speedway features Sportsman, Super Series, Trucks, Street Stocks and Four-Cylinder cars on Saturday nights. Owner Claude Aubin is a popular racing figure in Quebec and a familiar figure in the history of NASCAR. Aubin was the NASCAR Busch North Series champion in 1978 and raced at traditional NASCAR venues including Martinsville and Daytona during his driving career. Competitors at both facilities will now be eligible for NASCAR’s prestigious regional and national championships, as well as a share of the $1.7 million (U.S.) NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series championship point fund that is paid out annually. Drivers race at their respective home tracks on a weekly basis and compete for individual track championships as well as the regional and national awards. Founded in 1982, the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series features 75 race tracks in the United States and more than 8,000 participating drivers. Dodge became the title sponsor of the series in 2003.(NASCAR PR)(10-21-2003)


    (10-20-2003)

  • Early Martinsville TV Ratings: NBC’s broadcast of Sunday’s Subway 500 from Martinsville Speedway drew an overnight 3.5 rating and 8 share from Nielsen Media Research, today’s Sports Business Daily reports. The race trailed two World Series baseball games, as well as NFL and college football contests. Last year, the Martinsville race earned final figures of 4.4/11.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-20-2003)
  • Get The Broom Out:
    1) The Martinsville sweep by #24-Jeff Gordon was the first by a driver since Rusty Wallace won both races there in 1994 and first Chevy driver since Darrell Waltrip did it in 1989.
    2) The Martinsville sweep from the POLE by Jeff Gordon has only happened once before, in 1964 by Fred Lorenzen.
    3) Jeff Gordon became the fourth driver to sweep two races at one track this season. He joins Kurt Busch (Bristol), Johnson (New Hampshire) and Newman (Dover).(10-20-2003)
  • Busch out, Elliott in: #97-Kurt Busch dropped out of the top 10 in the points standings for the first time since the first Atlanta race on March 9. #9-Bill Elliott moved into the top 10 in points for the first time this season.(Gaston Gazette)(10-20-2003)
    See Points Standings on my Jayski’s Driver/Owners Points after Martinsville page.
  • Wood Brothers to Move? After racing out of Stuart, Va., for more than 53 years, the [#21-Ricky Rudd] Wood Brothers Racing Team is considering moving its shop to the Charlotte area. “We’re looking at a lot of options to make our race team better, and moving to the Charlotte area is definitely one of the things we’ll have to look at,” said Eddie Wood, who runs the team with his brother Len and sister Kim. “That’s where everything is; all the technology is there.” Wood said the family likely will make a decision by the end of the year. He also said the team would like to field two cars, but getting the #21 Motorcraft/Air Force/Rent-A-Center Ford back in Victory Lane on a regular basis is its first priority. “Whatever it takes to make our race team better, that’s what we’re going to do,” he said. Even if the Woods move their shop to the Charlotte area, they’ll still have a presence in Stuart, their home- town. “The museum and the business part will always be in Stuart even if the cars and the teams are somewhere else,” he said.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-20-2003) – maybe they can rent Jayski a room
  • Gillette Marketing Campaign: Gillette is “close to taking the wraps off a new NASCAR sponsorship” and will have a marketing campaign featuring “Young Gun” drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman and Jimmie Johnson, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal reports. “While details of the plans remain scant, there will be a major TV component featuring the drivers,” columnist Terry Lefton says.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-20-2003)
  • Al User Jr Injured: Two-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser Jr. was hospitalized in serious condition Monday after being injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident. He was riding the ATV alone in the woods Sunday when he went over an embankment and broke his pelvis, his father, four-time Indy winner Al Unser Sr., told KOAT-TV on Monday. Unser said his son called for help for about an hour before some boys heard him. A spokeswoman at the University of New Mexico Hospital confirmed Unser, 41, was in serious condition but she wouldn’t release any details of his injuries. He won the Indianapolis 500 in 1992 and 1994 and was a two time CART champion in 1990 and 1994. Unser’s father and uncle, three-time Indy winner Bobby Unser, live in Albuquerque, NM.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(10-20-2003)
  • Mears will be back in #41: Ganassi Racing G.M. Andy Graves confirmed that Casey Mears, who is 34th in points, will return to the #41 Target Dodge next year. “The sponsor (Target) loves him,” Graves says.(Foxsports/Sporting News)(10-20-2003)
  • Barker to Wells? or Roush? Andrews to Martin’s team? Robert “Bootie” Barker, on leave of absence from Jasper Motorsprts #77, might be a crew chief candidate for one of Roush Racing’s cars or Cal Wells’ second car next season. Paul Andrews, crew chief for Jeff Burton, could be headed to teammate Mark Martin’s #6 Ford, though owner Jack Roush says there has been no discussion about a change.(FoxSports/Sporting News)
    AND Robert (Bootie) Barker’s is expected to go back to Bill Davis Racing, his former employer.(Gaston Gazette)(10-20-2003)
  • Both Hmiels to Petty Enterprises? or Green? or Benson? A combination deal might land Steve Hmiel, technical director for Dale Earnhardt Inc., and his son Shane Hmiel, a Busch Series driver, at Petty Enterprises in 2004. Steve worked for the Pettys early in his Winston Cup career. Shane was supposed to drive the #43 Dodge in the Pepsi 400 in July at Daytona but failed to qualify. Jeff Green has run well recently in the #43 and also is a candidate to drive it. Johnny Benson, who will be released from the #10, might be in the mix because of his previous relationship with General Mills, the primary sponsor for the 43 car. “We’re still looking, we’re still evaluating, and we’re still working in that direction whether it’s Benson, Jeff Gordon, the guy sitting in the third row of the grandstands or Jeff Green,” says Kyle Petty, the team’s general manager. Petty says Christian Fittipaldi will drive the team’s #44 if a sponsor is secured for next season.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(10-20-2003)
  • National Guard to Roush? #54 car owner Travis Carter says he’s worried he may lose the National Guard sponsorship at the end of the season, and it appears that sponsorship could be moving to the Jack Roush camp.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-20-2003)
  • Kodak to BAM? UPDATE: Hearing Kodak has given up on the high-dollar teams at Bill Davis and DEI, and is working a deal to bring BAM Racing into the picture. The main reason is BAM can give them a solid race team at a much lower price than the other two. That way, they can ease out of the #4 Morgan-McClure situation and pay him more to buy their way out but still have a somewhat solid team. They like Ken Schrader as driver and the fact the Morgenthau’s have enough money to make a lower-price sponsorship work for Kodak. Still too early to call but the good price for the sponsorship and the fact Kodak is impressed with the team might make this one work.(source)(10-18-2003)
    UPDATE: Kodak officials may be on the verge of announcing a buyout of the final two years of the company’s sponsorship contract with car owner [#4 Pontiac] Larry McClure. Those negotiations have been sharp, according to sources. But Kodak appears ready to make a move to another Winston Cup team. The top option is the third DEI team — however, Kodak, after doing an exhaustive review of the costs of fielding a Cup team, may not be willing to pay the price DEI wants, and rival car owners are moving in quickly with lower bids, among them Beth Ann Morgenthau, Bill Davis, and Jim Smith. And then there is unexpected a new third Joe Gibbs team in the making, looking for a sponsor.(Winston Salem Journal)
    HOWEVER: Owner Larry McClure says Kodak is staying put through 2005 as sponsor for the #4 Pontiac and that Kevin Lepage will drive it the rest of the season. McClure hasn’t made a decision on a driver for 2004 but says Lepage is a candidate.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(10-20-2003)
  • Lucky Dog now gets one pitstop: NASCAR is amending its “Lucky Dog” rule, which allows the first car one lap down to get the lap back when there is a caution. Starting Sunday at Atlanta, a driver who gets a lap back because of the rule can’t make a second pit stop during that caution to top off with fuel. Ryan Newman used that strategy in his September win at Dover.(FoxSports/Sporting News), see the rule, past news and info on the rule on my Caution Rule page.(10-20-2003)
  • New Testing Rules in 2004? NASCAR may change its policy for official track tests in 2004. The plan it is considering would allow a team to test a total of 15 days, with three mandatory for the Daytona 500. Teams would have the option to test at 12 different tracks for the remaining days.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(10-20-2003)
  • Fed-Ex to the #99? hearing that Fed-Ex could be the next sponsor for the #99 Roush Racing team and driver Jeff Burton.(10-18-2003)
    UPDATE: FedEx executives would like to get into NASCAR racing, and they’ve crunched the numbers, according to Daytona sources, and FedEx is willing to pay the sponsorship costs for a top-notch team. However, FedEx officials don’t want to budget as much advertising money to any NASCAR deal as UPS has, which sources say would run the total to more than $40 million.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-20-2003)
  • Movie Folk at Martinsville: The director, two producers, the writer and a production designer working on a movie about the Petty family were at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. Director Callie Khouri says that pre-production is taking place now and that hopes are for the movie to be released in Feb.2005. The Disney-backed movie, which will star Dennis Quaid as Richard Petty, will detail the family’s legacy from Lee Petty to Richard Petty to Kyle Petty and Adam Petty. Khouri says no particular locations have been picked yet for filming.(Roanoke Times), see past news on the movie and others on my Media/Movie News page.(10-20-2003)

 


 

  • (10-19-2003)

  • Gordon sweeps 2003 Martinsville races, winning the Subway 500: #24-Jeff Gordon won the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway, his 2nd win of the 2003 season, both coming at Martinsville. It is Gordon’s 63rd career Cup win which is 7th all time. #48-Jimmie Johnson was 2nd, followed by #20-Tony Stewart, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., and #12-Ryan Newman. There were 15 cautions for 117 laps, the previous record for caution laps in a Martinsville race was 111 in April of 2000. There were 117 run on Sunday. Points leader #17-Matt Kenseth finished 13th and lost a little bit of his points lead over #29-Harvick, now a lead of 240 points with fours races to go, so Harvick needs to score more then 60 points a race to catch Kenseth.(full story at ThatsRacin.com)
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: on Speed Channel:
    one-hour recap/Fast Forward on Wednesday, October 22nd at 7:00pm/et and again on October 23rd at 1:00am/et;
    and a full three-hour race show will re-air at 3:00pm/et on Thursday, October 23rd.
    Race Results on Jayski’s Martinsville Race Results page
    For my race rundown, results links, cautions narrative, notes, lap leaders, DNF’s, and stuff; see my Subway 500 Race Info/Rundown page See full standings at Jayski’s Driver/Owners Points after Martinsville page.(10-19-2003)
  • Kahne, Baldwin to Debut at Homestead? hearing Tommy Baldwin [current crew chief on the #7 car] will crew chief a third Evernham Motorsports Dodge [#91?] at Homestead with Kasey Kahne driving. Kahne supposedly will drive the #9 full time in 2004. Bill Elliott will supposedly run a select number of Cup races in 2004, expect that announcement to come next week in Atlanta. Akins Motorsports, Kahne’s current Busch Team [#38] and currently a Ford will work with Evernham Motorsports and Kahne will drive at most companion races in a Dodge.(source)(10-19-2003)
  • Stock Car Fans – Rumblings – Martinsville:
    Break out the brooms….we’ve got another sweeper! #24-Jeff Gordon completed the Martinsville Speedway sweep in today’s Subway 500 in dominant style. He led 311 of the 500 laps and made it a Hendrick Motorsports 1-2 by finishing a little over one second ahead of teammate Jimmie Johnson. Gordon’s 5th win at Martinsville was his 63rd career triumph (he’s 7th on the all-time win list) and second of the season. We’ve had the winner come from the pole five times this season….but only three drivers have accomplished that feat. Today was Gordon’s second occasion, joining Ryan Newman’s two efforts and Kevin Harvick did it once. This was win #116 for Hendrick Motorsports.
    A bit of a tempest in a teapot with that pit flag situation today. Might want to move that flagman a little up the backstretch….and remind the teams that the pits could open at any moment. There are still a few of us who remember what it was like when you could pit whenever you wanted. Nothing like being half a lap behind and getting lucky on the yellow and ducking into the pits waaaay before the leader. That’s when it used to take NASCAR 10-15 laps to figure out who was where…..
    #88-Dale Jarrett (11th) had his best finish since he was 7th at Bristol in August.
    #30-Steve Park (12th) had his best finish since he was 5th at Michigan in August.
    #23-Kenny Wallace (16th) had his best finish since he was 15th at Bristol in August.
    #74-Tony Raines (23rd) had his best finish since he was 20th at Bristol in August.
    #02-Hermie Sadler (30th) had his best finish since he was 23rd at Richmond in September of 2002. (Only 12 races)
    STREAKIN….Ryan Newman has 7 Top-10’s in a row. Jeff Gordon has 5 Top-5’s in a row.
    Tony Stewart has 5 Top-5’s in a row. Kevin Harvick has 5 Top-10’s in a row.
    This Week’s Elevator….UP: Operator of the Week was Steve Park (+29), followed by Dale Jarrett (+28), Terry Labonte (+25), and Jimmie Johnson (+24). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Sterling Marlin (-34), followed by Jimmy Spencer (-32), Kurt Busch (-26), Rusty Wallace (-22), and Bobby Labonte (-21). This was Park’s 3rd Op of the season, and Sterling’s 4th BD….both equal to the top of their division.
    Kevin Harvick only took 24 markers off Matt Kenseth’s lead today….it’s still a healty 240 points with four races to go. Our mathematically eliminated line is creeping further to the top….we lost five more drivers today. If you’re 9th or further back, it’s time for the Cubs mantra.
    Bill Elliott (12th to 10th) and Johnny Benson (25th to 27th) were the only multi-position movers this week. But if you like action, check out spots 19th to 22nd and 25th to 27th in the standings. Four positions separated by only six points and three more spots separated by that same margin. Think that’ll change a couple more times?(Stock Car Fans Winston Cup Newsletter)(10-19-2003)
  • Bye-Bye MotorsportsTV.com: Mike McCarthy has turned his hobby, a popular Web site devoted to motor sports and the media who cover it, into a full-time job in sports. McCarthy said he will put his MotorsportsTV.com Web site on permanent hiatus Oct. 25 after taking a job with NASCAR in its public relations department. For McCarthy, getting a job with the Daytona Beach, Fla.-based sanctioning body is a dream come true. McCarthy will manage NASCAR’s new media Web site, which will cater to journalists covering the ever-growing sport. McCarthy launched MotorsportsTV.com in May 2000 after being unhappy with the amount of NASCAR coverage available on the Internet.( Daily Herald)(10-19-2003)
  • An odd Elliott rumor: hear a hot rumor circulating around the garage area at Martinsville this weekend is that Ford and Dodge are working on a swap. Ford will release Kasey Kahne from his contract to drive for Evernham Motorsports. In exchange, Elliott will run one last season in a Ford in 2004 with a team to be determined. Unsure if it would be a full season or a partial season as had been rumored.(source)(10-19-2003)
  • Glanville to attempt Cup races in 2004: Earlier this week Black Cat Racing (BCR), located in Jackson, TN., announced plans to run in two to three NEXTEL Cup events with the first to take place in Las Vegas on March 7, 2004. The driver of the BCR NEXTEL Cup car, which will attempt to qualify for the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, is former NFL coach and part time ARCA driver Jerry Glanville. The National Rifle Association’s, red, white and blue Chevrolet Monte Carlo as well as team support will be provided by Black Cat Racing. The car will be prepared in Coach Glanville’s shop located in Dawsonville, GA. For more information, visit the BCR website at www.bcr13.com. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available for this race. Announcements regarding Black Cat Racing’s Busch Series driver and sponsor are expected within the next two weeks.(BCR PR)(10-19-2003)
  • Not NASCAR but pretty cool UPDATE: Former CART champion Alex Zanardi will race at Monza this weekend in the FIA European Touring Car Championship, his first competition since losing both legs in a crash in September 2001 in Germany. Zanardi will drive a specially modified BMW 320i ETCC for Ravaglia Motorsports. The idea for the one-off race started as a joke when Zanardi took his road-going BMW 540i to the team, based in Italy, for modifications to allow him to drive it on the street. But team engineer Roberto Trevisan, who worked with Zanardi in Formula 3000, suggested the modifications could be made to a race car built for the 2001 season and last used for winter testing. For the weekend, the throttle has been moved to the steering wheel and Zanardi will use his left hand to operate it, while he uses his right hand to operate the gear shift lever.(Chicago Sun Times/AP)
    AND mark it down — SPEED Channel is airing the full 2003 FIA European Touring Car Championship in order this winter, with a replay of this weekend’s race featuring the return of racing great Alex Zanardi scheduled for Dec. 27 at 6:00pm and 3:00am.(Speed Channel PR)(10-18-2003)
    UPDATE: In his first competitive race since losing both legs in a crash in a CART race in Germany two years ago, Alex Zanardi was involved in a six-car pileup Sunday in the first race of the closing event of the FIA European Touring Car Championship. Then he finished seventh in the second race at the Monza circuit, coming back from an eighth-row start. Riding a specially modified BMW, the former Formula One driver said he wanted to show he could race competitively again. More than 30,000 fans crowded the track and hundreds mobbed him for autographs before the race. “I still remember how to drive and I will see next year whether to repeat this experience,” he said. “I enjoyed it. I’m not enthusiastic about the result, but I enjoyed racing.” Zanardi last raced in Monza with the Williams Formula One team in the 1999 Italian Grand Prix. The 36-year-old Italian hand operated the car’s accelerator and clutch, which are attached to the steering wheel, and used his thigh to apply special brakes. In Race One, Zanardi started from the sixth row following his 11th place in qualifying. He was caught in a pileup of six cars at the first curve, ending the race after about a half-mile. Starting from behind in Race Two, Zanardi climbed to seventh place by the end of the nine-lap event, 15.3 seconds behind BMW German teammate Jorg Muller, who won ahead of Tom Coronel of the Netherlands and Gabriele Tarquini of Italy. U.S. drivers Jimmy Vasser and Tony Kanaan flew to Monza to support Zanardi.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(10-19-2003)
  • Streak on the Line UPDATE not no more: Since 1994, #24-Jeff Gordon has enjoyed multiple win seasons for the last nine years, but with five races left on the Winston Cup schedule, that streak may be in jeopardy. Gordon has 62 career wins but only one victory this season, in the spring race at Martinsville. He’s looking for his fourth career “sweep” today at racetracks with two Winston Cup dates each year. His other sweeps were at Darlington, Dover and Rockingham.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-19-2003)
    UPDATE: Gordon won at Martinsville for his 2nd win of 2003, so ten years in a row he has multiple wins.(10-19-2003)
  • Racer dies after Daytona accident: Motorcycle racer Bryan Cassell died Saturday after an accident that occurred in a pre-race practice session at Daytona International Speedway earlier in the day. Cassell, 28, of Cape Coral, was pronounced dead after being transported to Halifax Medical Center.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-19-2003)
  • Gibbs Looking for a new crew chief? UPDATE: Car owner Joe Gibbs is interviewing potential new crew chiefs to run his planned third Winston Cup team, and rivals are reminded that General Manager Jimmy Makar pulled big surprises when hiring Greg Zipadelli and Michael McSwain. It is unclear yet if Tommy Baldwin might be on Gibbs’ list.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-18-2003)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs’ proposed third Winston Cup team caught many rivals by surprise, and it’s still taking form. In 2004, it would run a limited schedule, possibly run by General Manager Jimmy Makar for a while, until a new crew chief is hired for a full-time run in 2005. J.J. Yeley, a sprint star, is a top candidate to drive.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-19-2003)
  • Spencer Wants Rid of the ‘Winners Circle’ Plan: Jimmy Spencer thinks NASCAR’s “winners’ circle” plan, which distributes money each race to teams that have won in previous years, has outlived its usefulness. “They need to find another way to disperse the money to the car owners,” Spencer said. “A lot of car owners are struggling right now, and without sponsorship money they’re in trouble. NASCAR isn’t going to change the winner’s circle, but it’s the biggest joke there is right now,” Spencer said. “Even if I were on it, it would be a joke. The money goes to certain car owners, and it should be spread out to other owners that are 20th on back. Those are the guys who’re hurting.”(ThatsRacin.com), what is the “winners’ circle” plan? see my Winner’s Circle page for info, money is a bit outdated but have not seen updates in quite a while.(10-19-2003)
  • Schrader wins at South Boston; Sadler third: Winston Cup veteran, Ken Schrader (#99) started where he left off from his last ARCA Series visit to “America’s Hometown Track”. Claiming the Old Milwaukee Pole for the Bank of America ARCA 200 presented by Fox 21/27, Schrader was the only driver to top 90 mph. Hermie Sadler (#02) started in third with the Bailey’s Chevrolet and immediately went to work when the green flag waved. Schrader scooted to the lead, but Sadler tracked Schrader’s trail through three cautions in the first 50 laps. Lap 60 saw another caution, but Sadler took advantage for a charge on the restart. Schrader went low, Sadler went high, but was unable to power around Schrader. Rookie, Alex Whitman (#56) wormed his way into the Top 5 in only his second ARCA start. Lap 84 saw Series Champ, Frank Kimmel (#46) slide sideways in four with two other machines bringing out another caution. Pit stops cycled through on lap 86 with Hermie Sadler beating Schrader off pitroad. Jason Jarrett (#67) remained on track to pick up the lead and keep valuable track position. Brent Sherman (#44) lost the handle on the restart, resetting the field on lap 97. Several cars got crossed up on lap 99, bringing out yet another caution at midway. Lap 119 saw caution for debris as Jarrett had company near the front in the form of Hermie Sadler and Ken Schrader lying in wait in second and third. Sadler claimed the lead on lap 125, but caution flew for debris on the frontstretch only two laps later. Schrader lined up behind Sadler, as Jarrett resisted pitroad again in third. Schrader worked under Sadler in turn four for the lead on lap 134, to reclaim his frontrunning position. Lap 138 slowed the charge again for a lap car, backstretch spin. Schrader pulled Sadler on the restart and built a healthy lead by lap 150. Sadler began to close in traffic by lap 155, but caution waved on lap160 for Billy Venturini’s spin in turn three, resetting the field and Sadler’s charge. After a lengthy clean up, only 25 laps remained with Schrader in control. Lap cars again entangled a lead lap ride on lap 181, this time Terry Jones (#30) snared Whitman, who was running a strong seventh on the lead lap. With 10 laps remaining the field was again under caution, after several cars dodged and darted for position. Sadler shuffled back to fourth, as Kimmel moved to second followed by Jarrett. Schrader restarted with only 8 laps remaining and a win hanging in the balance. A late lap caution in front of the leaders caused a green, white, checkered restart after the posted distance clicked on the board. Schrader felt the pressure of a charging Frank Kimmel and Hermie Sadler sailed under Jarrett to advance in the final lap, but Schrader held on for the win, followed by Kimmel, Sadler, and Jarrett.(South Boston Speedway PR)(10-19-2003)

    (10-18-2003)

  • Drivers on game show: Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Jeremy Mayfield and Christian Fittipaldi are scheduled to appear on the game show “Pyramid” next month. The show, hosted by Donny Osmond, will match the drivers with regular contestants. The NASCAR-themed shows are scheduled to be aired Nov. 10-14 in national syndication.(News and Record)(10-18-2003)
  • Dodge Dropping Teams? Dodge may cut back its Nextel Cup operations by limiting car owners to a single team sponsorship, which could be why Jeremy Mayfield has felt under such pressure lately with car owner Ray Evernham.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-18-2003)
  • Fan’s That Care Gets a Supporter: In light of the airing of the story of the America’s Most Wanted Motorsports, Fan’s That Care program on Fox Sports Networks Totally NASCAR and its posting on www.Jayski.com a rekindling of a relationship creates a supporter and secondary associate sponsor for the America’s Most Wanted Racing team.  Rapid Alert.net a Global Online Protection and Prevention Network family protection Services Company has entered and agreement with the America’s Most Wanted Racing team to contribute 50% of each of their Protection and Prevention packages to the America’s Most Wanted racing team! What a great way to support the efforts of the race team and protect your family. To get more information on this please visit www.bodydynamicsracing.com. The segment will re-run on Sunday mornings Totally NASCAR, scheduled to air at 9:30am.(10-18-2003)
  • Schrader to the Trucks? hearing Ken Sschrader may run the full Truck Series schedule in 2004. No word if he will still run the #49 BAM Racing Dodge, which will have Dodge backing in 2004.(10-18-2003)
  • Wallace/Stacker2 Push Safety: Kenny Wallace regularly pushes his speedometer beyond 100 mph while he’s working, but his message to Martinsville High School students on Thursday was about obeying the speed limit. “I have to hold a valid driver’s license to drive in Winston Cup races,” he said, “so I can’t go out on the streets driving like Speed Racer. I tell the kids there’s a time and place for these things.” Wallace drives the #23 Stacker 2 Dodge on the Winston Cup circuit, but he seemed equally enthusiastic about taking time off from his duties as a professional driver to talk to kids about driving smartly and avoiding accidents by following traffic laws. And though his lecture was filled with humorous anecdotes and jokes, his message was a serious one: “Kids are excited to get their driver’s licenses, but there’s a lot of responsibility that goes along with driving.” Wallace’s appearance at Martinsville High was part of a new program called “Race to Bee Safe.” The program is supported by – and named after – one of Wallace’s sponsors, Y.J. Stinger, an energy drink manufactured by NVE Pharmaceuticals of Newton, NJ, that features a yellowjacket as its logo. Martinsville Police Officer Brian Lawson, the school’s resource officer, also participated in the safe driving program and gave students some statistics about car accidents. In 2002, 178 people between the ages of 16 and 20 were killed in car accidents in Virginia, he said. Of those accidents, 50% of the victims were not wearing seatbelts and 44 percent of the accidents were speed-related, he said. “You may not like getting tickets,” Lawson said. “But when you start taking money out of people’s wallets, they pay attention.” The students, most of whom indicated they planned to get their licenses within a year, said they thought the program was informative and will make them think when they drive. Lizzie Holyfield, a junior, admitted to being in a couple of minor accidents in which she backed into other cars. She said she will pay more attention when she drives and found the program to be informative. “I learned that just because you’re a NASCAR driver doesn’t mean you’re out speeding all the time,” she said.
    Of course, with a world-renowned Winston Cup driver on the stage, the event wasn’t limited to only talk. Wallace brought along a NASCAR-certified racing seat and coaxed a volunteer – Hope Dodson, daughter of Robert and Beth Dodson of Martinsville – onto the stage to demonstrate the seat and get a feel for how NASCAR drivers are constrained during the four-hour races. Following his talk, Wallace handed out T-shirts, signed autographs and fielded questions from the audience. When asked if he had ever been in a wreck while not racing, Wallace admitted to one accident. While driving to a wedding – in the bride’s car – he tried to pass a camper on a two-lane road, accidentally bumped it and ended up in a ditch, he said.
    He also answered ‘yes’ when asked if he ever had received a speeding ticket, saying he had gotten them usually when he was late for something or not paying attention to his speed. He followed by once more cautioning students to start out early enough to be on time and watch the speedometer. Another student – as concerned with racing as safety – asked Wallace to name his favorite and least favorite tracks. He said his least favorite was Atlanta, simply because he hardly ever finishes in the top 10 there. When talking about his favorites, he named several short tracks – Martinsville, Bristol, Richmond and Phoenix. “I grew up on short tracks,” he said, adding that he likes the way his car feels and runs on these tracks. So while Wallace will spend several hours in Martinsville on Sunday at speeds quite a bit higher than the 55 mph limit on most Virginia highways, he said when on those roads, it is smart to stay at the limit. “I don’t finish a race and get out on the road and floor it,” he said. “Just remember, a license is a privilege. It can be taken away at any time.”(Martinsville Bulletin)(10-18-2003)
  • More on Diversity: General Motors officials are trying to step up their own diversity program and trying to find a Busch ride for Shante Rhodes, 27. Car owner Joe Gibbs, who is expanding to a third Cup team, is being courted by GM to put together a team for Rhodes.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-18-2003)
  • Goody for Petty: Seven-time Winston Cup champion Richard Petty has signed an agreement to continue endorsing GlaxoSmithKline’s Goody’s Headache Powders through 2005, with an option for two more years, the Sports Business Daily reports. Petty will continue to appear in electronic and print ads for the company. Financial terms were not disclosed.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-18-2003)
  • Tire Testing at Homestead UPDATE: NASCAR has picked [2004 Cup] rookie Scott Wimmer and Johnny Benson for Goodyear’s Homestead tire test. The choice of Wimmer has raised eyebrows in the Winston Cup garage because Bill Davis’ new driver has virtually no Cup experience. Goodyear is under the gun – it will have to pick the Homestead tire before the test. But Goodyear was on the mark at Chicago and Kansas City when they opened two years ago.(Winston Salem Journal)
    UPDATE or is it Blaney? or all three? #77-Dave Blaney is scheduled to do the Goodyear tire test at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Oct. 28-29. Blaney will be the only Cup driver to run on the reconfigured track before an open test session two days before qualifying there Nov. 14.(News and Record)(10-18-2003)
  • Sad News: People who worked with him said James Lewter, who died earlier this week in Charlotte at the age of 83, was a magician with metal. There has to be a better word for him than machinist,” Larry McReynolds said of Lewter, who was named to a NASCAR “all-pro” team at that position for 10 straight years at one point during his long career. “He was a craftsman, an artist. There wasn’t a problem he couldn’t solve. I would match him with just about any engineer out there.” Lewter died Monday and was laid to rest on Thursday. He’d begun his career as a motorcycle racer and eventually went to work at the legendary Holman-Moody racing facility at Charlotte. He later worked for the NASCAR team owned by Harry Ranier, which was eventually bought and is still run by Robert Yates. McReynolds worked with Lewter when he was a crew chief at Robert Yates Racing. As a machinist, it was often Lewter’s job to build a part that someone could only describe in theory. Today’s teams have high-tech computer-driven machines that can reproduce identically to microscopic tolerances every part on a car, but the cars have to be built first. Memorials may be made on Lewter’s behalf to the Victory Junction Gang Camp, 311 Branson Mill Road, Randleman, N.C. 27317, or to Steele Creek Presbyterian Church, 7407 Steele Creek Road, Charlotte, N.C. 28217.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-18-2003)
  • Kasey Kahne Article at Ford Racing: Worth Fighting For: What’s A Nascar Contract Worth? Series Road To Sports Big Time Could Leave Drivers, Manufactures Paying Price

    (10-17-2003)

  • NCHOF Induction – Moody Inducted: Ralph Moody Jr. first made his mark as a driver before devoting his time and energy as part of a well-known racing and laboratory team that left an even larger and longer-lasting impression on the business. It’s for that all-around mark he has left in the sport’s history that he has become the eighth member to be inducted into the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame, based in Mooresville. The list of honorees reads like a Who’s Who list among revered stock car racing pioneers. Richard Petty, with 200 career wins and record-tying seven series points championships, was the charter inductee in 1997. Others who have followed include Bobby Allison in 1998, Tim Flock in 1999, Johnson and France in ’00, Ned Jarrett in 2001 and Cale Yarborough just a year ago. Dedicated to all types of racing, from drag racing to NASCAR, the N.C. Auto Racing Hall of Fame museum houses more than 35 donated cars that represent and help relive some of racing’s greatest moments. Numerous racing displays and showcases are rotated in an effort to promote North Carolina’s motor sports heritage. In the facility’s short history, it has welcomed over one million race fans. This year alone, more than 270,000 guests have visited the outpost. In addition to receiving the induction award, the Moody family was also presented with a commemorative racing hood courtesy of HiRev, LLC representative Brad Perrigo, also a member of the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors. Don Miller, owner of Penske Racing South and Chairman of the N.C. Auto Racing Hall of Fame Board of Directors, again provided opening and closing remarks. Benny Parson, also on the facility’s board and a former NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion who is now a motor sports broadcaster, once again filled the role as the evening’s master of ceremonies. Among the guest speakers were Al Jones, Mooresville Mayor, and Deb Williams, a member of the host facility’s board and editor of NASCAR Winston Cup Scene, who provided a tribute to the late Bob Latford.(full story at the Mooresville Tribune)(10-17-2003)
  • Baldwin Resigns? UPDATE 4: The resignation of Tommy Baldwin from Ultra Motorsports and Bill Elliott’s expected move to a part-time schedule next season fueled speculation Baldwin and Kasey Kahne [see below story] will team up at Evernham Motorsports next year.(Augusta Chronicle) and see my #9 Team News and Links page for past news.(10-6-2002)
    UPDATE: been told Baldwin is still with Ultra Motorsports and workign for the shop, no idea if this meant at the end of the season. ALSO see a NASCAR.com/Buzz.(10-7-2003)
    UPDATE 2 – Done after Lowe’s race? hearing the Cup race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway will be the last for Baldwin at Ultra Motorsports, #7.(10-8-2003)
    UPDATE 3: hearing Baldwin will stay with the #7 team for the rest of the season.(10-15-2003)
    UPDATE 4: this weeks Winston Cup Scene reports that Baldwin has left the team and is expected to sign a multi-year contract with Evernham Motorsports. Gene Nead, crew chief of Ted Musgrave’s team with Ultraa Motorsports will server as Spencer’s crew chief for the final five races.[Doesn’t say who will crew chief Musgrave’s team, that is running for the Truck Series Championship]. WCS also reports the #7 Cup team may not run a full 2004 season if a sponsor is not found.(Winston Cup Scene Magazine – need sub to view)(10-16-2003)
    UPDATE 5: Tommy Baldwin is at the track and with the #7 Ultra Motorsports team this weekend at Martinsville and all reports are that he will remain with the team for the rest of the season.(10-17-2003)
  • Goss leaves Roush; to GM: GM recently hired former #16 Cup Crew Chief Randy Goss to oversee the Chevrolet Silverado Truck fleet and to help transition the body changes every team will undergo for 2004.(Speed Channel)(10-17-2003)
  • Congrats: Scott Eggleston, Crew Chief for the BAM Racing #49, and his wife Michelle had their first child on Tuesday, October 14th. Mitchell Kent Eggleston arrived at 3:45pm without a hitch. Mom and Baby Boy are doing well.(10-17-2003)
  • StockCarFans.Com – Ramblings – Martinsville: Jeff Gordon’s gotta feel like he’s home whenever he rolls into Martinsville Speedway. He completed his Bud Pole sweep of the 2003 season today by capturing his 4th pole of the year and the 46th of his Winston Cup career for Sunday’s Subway 500. His time of 20.220 (93.650 mph) was over 1/10th of a second quicker than Ward Burton. Gordon’s four poles have come on shorties (3 of ’em) and one road course. Ryan Newman has both Gordon & Bobby Labonte dormie (a four pole lead with four to go).
    #22-Ward Burton (2nd…and in his last ride with Bill Davis Racing), has his best starting spot since he had the pole at Richmond in May of 2002
    #23-Kenny Wallace (4th) has his best starting spot since he had the pole at Rockingham in November of 2001
    #7-Jimmy Spencer (12th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 4th at Darlington in March.[in a back up car]
    #21-Ricky Rudd (12th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 8th at Bristol in August.
    STREAKIN….Jeff Gordon has 7 Top-10 starts in a row.
    45 cars on hand this week….the DNQ’s were Mark Green (in the #14 again this week and OOP), and Morgan Shepherd (they were too light and never got through tech).(StockCarFans.Com Winstoncup Newsletter)(10-17-2003)
  • Elliott Sadler to run #84 truck at Martinsville UPDATE Combos to sponsor: Long Brothers Racing is partnering with Virginia driver Elliott Sadler at Martinsville Speedway. The combination will be featured in the #84 Long Brothers Racing Ford during the Advance Auto Parts 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event Oct. 18 at 2:30pm/et. “We’re hoping that we can have some of the success we’ve had at Martinsville in the past,” said crew chief and co-owner Charlie Long. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to get Elliott qualified up front and have another good finish there.” Long Brothers Racing, co-owned by Robert Long, enjoyed a win at the .526-mile flat track just two weeks ago as their #2 Late Model car won the Taco Bell 300 – an event that typically sees more than 100 Late Model entries. “That was a big weekend for Long Brothers Racing,” Charlie Long said. “We had a top-15 finish in the truck race with Nick Woodward at South Boston and won the Late Model race just down the road at Martinsville. I wouldn’t mind seeing that victory lane again.” Sadler and Long Brothers Racing have teamed together twice before at Richmond International Raceway in 2000 and 2001. Both of those events resulted in early exits thanks to engine and brake failure, respectively. Long Brothers Racing also competes regularly in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series with Woodward.(Keystone Marketing PR)(10-14-2003)
    UPDATE: Elliott Sadler will sport the COMBOS logo as he competes in the Advance Auto Parts 250 Craftsman Truck Series race at the Martinsville Speedway this weekend. Earlier this season COMBOS made its debut on Sadler’s #38 M&M’S Ford Taurus under the lights at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Cup race. Sadler’s night ended early on the high banked half-mile oval at Bristol but he has high hopes his #84 Long Brothers Racing ride will fare better on the paper clip shaped half mile nestled his home state of Virginia. In addition to the Combos logos, Sadler’s truck ride will pay tribute to the Dale Jarrett Foundation, the Tia and Trey Dodson Memorial Golf Classic and feature the puzzle ribbons of the Autism Society of America.(Elevation Group PR)(10-17-2003)
  • Testing at Phoenix UPDATE: no speeds or official report, but hear that #29-Kevin Harvick, #20-Tony Stewart and #19-Jermey Mayfield tested at Phoenix Intel Raceway this week.(10-16-2003)
    UPDATE: With more than $10 million in track improvements completed at Phoenix International Raceway, the first wave of NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series drivers tested the newly remodeled one-mile oval, and were impressed with changes. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Kevin Harvick, Jeremy Mayfield, Tony Sewart, Sterling Marlin, Scott Wimmer and Casey Mears, put the track to the test. Changes at the track include the widening of turn two from 48′ to 60′ and the addition of an infield tunnel under turn four for teams, medical personnel and fans with infield access. The change in turn two begins at the center of the turn and continues into the entrace of turn three.
    With temperatures near 100 degrees during the three days of testing, most teams found themselves running faster testing times than last year. The Busch Series cars averaged testing times of about 28.4 (126 mph). The track record is 27.233 sec. (132.193 mph) set last year by Greg Biffle. Cup cars were around 27.9 (129 mph) on Tuesday and 27.1 on Wednesday (132.841 mph). The track record is 26.830 sec. (134.18 mph) was set by Rusty Wallace in 2000.
    Next Tuesday and Wednesday, Jeff Gordon, Robbie Gordon, Joe Nemechek, Greg Biffle and Brian Vickers will be testing their machines on the re-configured one mile oval. For tickets or more information call the PIR Ticket Office at 602.252.2227.(PIR PR)(10-17-2003)
  • Where was the post-race coverage? [from a NASCAR.com column] Less than five minutes after Tony Stewart took the checkered flag, NBC’s broadcast was over. There was no victory lane interview, no comments from the top finishers, just a quick talk with Joe Gibbs, a run through the results and the standings with a Stewart victory doughnut as background and a hearty farewell. So what gives?
    “We know how passionate NASCAR fans are and we understand their frustration,” said a spokesman for the network. “In a perfect world we would have loved to provide our usual, comprehensive post-race coverage which we know is important to fans. We attempted to schedule the race so we could provide complete post-race coverage similar to the nearly 40 minutes of post-race coverage that followed the Pepsi 400 from Daytona, but the race took longer than anticipated. Before signing off the air, we interviewed Joe Gibbs, showed Tony Stewart’s on-track celebration, showed the complete final order of finish and the updated NASCAR Winston Cup points standings.”
    The spokesman added that while prime-time races have a definite upside, they come with a price.
    “Airing a race in primetime is great for the sport, but there are many complications associated with night racing including additional network obligations such as late local news and on-time starts for other live programming,” he said. “Hopefully fans will understand that we had to manage all of these different factors given the complicated situation.”(NASCAR.com) since I posted this info, I probably need to repost this
    …. complaints regarding NBC cutting away from the race at Charlotte before victory lane
    celebration with Stewart and driver interviews can be referred to NBC – NOT ME – I do NOT start campaigns, polls
    or any of that stuff, but feel free to contact NBC or NASCAR with your displeasure at:
    NASCAR Contact info on my Racing FAQ page [1st FAQ]
    NBC Contact info on my TV/Media Contact page.(10-17-2003)


    (10-16-2003)

  • Rumored now fact – Skinner to the trucks: Bang Racing announced today NASCAR Champion Mike Skinner will drive the #3 truck in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for the 2004 through 2006 seasons. See more on my Truck Series page.(10-16-2003)
  • A Month Left to Vote: With one month remaining in the nationwide fan voting, Dale Earnhardt Jr. continues to lead the Grands! Biscuits NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award balloting. More than 2.5 million votes have been cast this season. Voting will continue through 11:59am/et on Monday, November 17, 2003 – the day after the final NASCAR Winston Cup race of the season. Also while voting, fans can continue to enter online for a chance to win the Petty Driving Experience at one of these locations: Atlanta, Ga.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Brooklyn, Mich.; and Fort Worth, Tex. One winner will be randomly drawn from all eligible entries received.
    Earnhardt Jr., who finished second in the 2002 Most Popular Driver Voting to 16-time Most Popular Driver Award winner Bill Elliott, has led since voting began in February. Four-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon is second, followed closely by Kevin Harvick. Steve Park is fourth in the voting, followed by Tony Stewart, Michael Waltrip, Mark Martin, Dale Jarrett, Kyle Petty and Bobby Labonte.(Williams Company) For more info, past updates and link to vote, see my Awards and Voting page.(10-16-2003)
  • Diversity News: good and bad: the good – Access Marketing and Communications, a company that was formed by Omnicom’s The Radiate Group and Calhoun Enterprises, will serve as the agency for NASCAR’s “Drive for Diversity,” a training program developed to enhance the skills of minority drivers and crew members. “NASCAR has the utmost confidence in the team Access has established,” said George Pyne, chief operating officer of NASCAR. “They [should] make ‘Drive for Diversity’ successful by developing the growing number of minority drivers and crew members competing on local tracks around the country into successful NASCAR competitors.”(Delaware News Journal)
    AND the bad: Bill Lester, the only African-American driver regularly competing in any of NASCAR’s top three divisions, is out looking for a new ride. Lester has been driving on the Craftsman Truck Series in a #8 Dodge owned by Bobby Hamilton and sponsored through a diversity program funded by Dodge. But Dodge is dropping the diversity program and Hamilton isn’t going to run the truck without a sponsor. Dodge spokesman Todd Goyer said the company started the diversity program three years ago with the hope that some other corporation would step in and pick up the program. That never happened, although in July, General Mills put Lester’s picture on boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios. “We started with a two-year program and extended it for a year,” Goyer said. “But the bottom line is that we can’t carry the flag alone.” Lester has been Dodge’s minority driver for the past two seasons and has shown promise. He runs best on superspeedways and won the pole at Charlotte earlier this year. He’s 13th in points heading into Saturday’s race at Martinsville and has an average start of 13th and an average finish of 18th (usually 36 or so drivers are in Craftsman fields). Goyer said the failure of Dodge’s diversity program shouldn’t be blamed on Lester. “Bill certainly represented us well,” Goyer said. While Lester said he’s unsure where he’ll be racing next year, NASCAR officials are certain he’ll be back behind the wheel of a competitive truck. “I feel confident that Bill Lester will be competing again next year,” said NASCAR vice president Jim Hunter. Lester said he’s appreciative of what Dodge’s program did for him but disappointed that other companies didn’t follow Dodge’s lead. “Everybody talks about diversity but very few step up and put their money where their mouth is,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that Dodge is dropping this program, but you can’t fault their position. No one else came forward.”(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-16-2003)
  • Grand Opening of the Richard Petty Museum on Friday: the Petty Family will hold an Official Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening of the Beautiful New 12,000 sq. ft. Richard Petty Museum now located in Downtown Randleman, NC. This will kick-off the 15th Annual NASCAR Day Festival weekend in Randleman. Friday, October 17, 2003, starting at 10:00am/et at 142 W. Academy Street, Randleman, NC (Take Randleman Exit off of 220-By Pass and follow directional signs). You may direct any questions to the Richard Petty Museum: (336) 495-1143 or more info at the Petty Racing site.(10-16-2003)
  • NASCAR sponsors are happy: When it comes to making a sponsor happy, no other sport does it better than NASCAR, according to a study from Sports Business Journal. The magazine talked with national sponsors that are involved in professional sports throughout the country and found NASCAR sponsors have more satisfaction with they way they’re being represented by race teams than any other sport. Overall, NASCAR, the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour and the NHRA drag-racing series ranked as favorites among sponsors who spend billions a year in advertising, the magazine said. The IRL IndyCar Series, CART Champ Car World Series and the WNBA were ranked as the least-favorites.(Augusta Chronicle)(10-16-2003)
  • Dawsonville Museum heading to foreclosure: When the sparkling new auto racing museum ThunderRoad USA opened in May 2002, civic pride soared in this town of 617, about 60 miles north of Atlanta. ThunderRoad was to be a huge tourist attraction in an area that claims to be the birthplace of stock car racing and is the home of NASCAR driver Bill Elliott, known as “Awesome Bill.” A study projected more than a quarter-million fans of the hottest sport in America would visit the museum, owned by an authority created by the city and Dawson County, during its first year. Instead, 48,000 showed up. ThunderRoad USA has revved up a debt of more than $10 million, creating another awesome bill in Dawsonville. The museum — which includes Georgia’s Racing Hall of Fame, memorials to NASCAR greats, interactive games, a track for remote-controlled cars, racing simulators, a theater, a gift shop and a diner — was built for $12.2 million. ThunderRoad was put up for sale at the end of this summer, but drew no offers. Dragging more than $10 million in unpaid loans guaranteed by the federal government, the museum is headed into foreclosure. Last month, a citizens group gave the county commissioners a petition with 1,634 signatures supporting ThunderRoad. More than 100 people showed up at the commission meeting, which usually attracts one-tenth that number. (see full story at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution(10-16-2003)
  • Wednesday Testing at Atlanta – Ward fast: Winston Cup Series driver Ward Burton spent a second day testing at Atlanta Motor Speedway, preparing for his inaugural run in the #0 Netzero HiSpeed Pontiac for the Oct. 26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. After turning his first laps in the car Tuesday, Burton and his new crew spent Wednesday looking for more speed. They found it, gaining .35 of a second to turn a fast lap Wednesday in 29.48 seconds, or 188.060mph. Burton began the season with Bill Davis Racing but was announced this week as the new full-time driver for Haas Carter’s # 0 machine, beginning with the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Busch Series driver Mike Bliss also continued to test on Wednesday, besting his Tuesday speeds by almost five miles an hour. His fastest lap was clocked at 186.353 mph (29.75 seconds).
    Tickets are still available for all three days of racing action during the Oct. 24-26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Weekend. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211 or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(10-16-2003)


    (10-15-2003)

  • Victory Lap at Martinsville: A fitting close to a busy weekend will take place Sunday for three-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Darrell Waltrip [DW], as the NASCAR Victory Lap tribute program makes its fifth stop at Martinsville Speedway. Prior to the Subway 400, Waltrip will pace the field in the #11 Victory Lap Chevrolet, in a tribute honoring longtime series sponsor R.J. Reynolds and its past champions. It will be Waltrip’s second time on the track during the weekend, as he plans to race in Saturday’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville, the Advance Auto Parts 200. Martinsville Speedway was good to Waltrip throughout his 19-year NASCAR Winston Cup career, as 11 of his 84 victories came at the .526-mile short track, including three consecutive in the fall race from 1987-1989. Waltrip – series champion in 1981, ’82 and ’85 – picked up his first victory at Martinsville in the spring of 1976. His 84 career victories rank third on the all-time list, tied with Bobby Allison.(NASCAR PR), more info on the Victory Lap program can be found on my Victory Lap page, which includes some past PR’s, diecast and real images of the cars.(10-15-2003)
  • Short Track Success: Bobby Labonte has earned 757 points in five short-track races, more than any other driver. He also has three top-five short track finishes, more than any other driver. Kurt Busch is the only driver with two short-track victories (both Bristol races) this season. Winston Cup points leader Matt Kenseth is second in short-track points earned (724). Jeff Gordon leads all drivers with 711 laps led in five short-track races. Busch is a distant second leading 254 laps.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-15-2003)
  • Elliott’s Pit Crew is Awesome Again; Captures Record Sixth Victory With Strong Performance in Charlotte: Bill Elliott’s No. 9 pit crew became the first six-time winner of the McDonald’s Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade with its narrow victory in Saturday night’s (Oct. 11) NASCAR Winston Cup race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte.
    The six McDonald’s/POWERade victories also put Elliott’s crew on top of the prize money list with a season total of $120,000. In the overall point standings, Elliott’s pit crew is ranked sixth.
    Michael Waltrip’s No. 15 crew, which finished second to Elliott’s team in Charlotte, continues its season points lead in the McDonald’s Drive-Thru Pit Championship. Waltrip’s team has 1089 points, 37 more than the second-place crew for Dale Earnhardt Jr. The season pit crew champion will earn a $200,000 bonus.
    Elliott’s Dodge edged Waltrip’s Chevrolet for least amount of time spent on pit road during Saturday’s UAW-GM Quality 500. The No. 9 Dodge, owned by Evernham Motorsports, was clocked with a pit road time of 216.244 seconds. The time for Waltrip’s NAPA Chevy was 216.573. Earnhardt Jr’s Chevy was third with 220.870.
    “This is great, we’re jelling and knew we had a good race in Charlotte,” said Greg Miller, pit crew coach for the No. 9 team. “The McDonald’s/POWERade championship means a lot to the crew. It’s kind of our way of gaining the hidden respect. The guys really look forward to this every week and it makes everybody want to be at their best.”
    Elliott’s over-the-wall crew consists of: Todd Colburn (jackman), Nick Bailey (front tire carrier), Jim Pohlman (front tire changer), Eric Wakeland (rear tire carrier), Joe Kruschek (rear tire changer), Rodney Rhodes (gasman) and Steve Lawrence (catch can). The team’s crew chief is Mike Ford.(DMF Communications PR), for Charlotte results, season standings and who won each week , see my Pit Crew News page.(10-15-2003)
  • Riggs signed? to drive the #10? UPDATE: hearing Scott Riggs has signed to drive the #10 MBV Valvoline Pontiac in 2004. See past news on the rumor on my #10 Team News and Links page, Hearing Riggs Busch crew chief, Doug Randolph, could be headed to the #10 team with him.(10-15-2003)
    UPDATE: been told that that Scott Riggs has signed, and will replace Johnny Benson in the #10 Valvoline Pontiac for 2004. Benson has a year left on his contract, and the team would honor their financial commitment if Benson does not land another ride. The team has no plans to run a third car in 2004. This will be a complete makeover for the MBV #10, a partnership of MB2 Racing and the Valvoline Company, following crew chief James Ince’s release a few weeks ago. Ince and Benson have been with the team since its formation.(10-15-2003)
  • Bootie Leaving? UPDATE 2 on leave of absence: hearing crew chief Robert ‘Bootie’ Barker and the #77 Jasper Motor Team will part ways at the end of the season?(10-11-2003)
    UPDATE: hearing Barker will not be with the team at Martinsville and team owner Mark Harrah will handle crew chief duties.(10-15-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Doug Bawel, Mark Harrah and Mark Wallace, co-owners of Jasper Motorsports, announced yesterday that they have come to a mutual agreement with Robert ‘Bootie’ Barker, crew chief for the #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions NASCAR Winston Cup Series entry. Effective immediately, Barker is on leave of absence but still under contract with Jasper Motorsports. The decision came following the event in Charlotte.(Jasper Motorsports PR)(10-15-2003)
  • New Earnhardt Book: The publisher of Dale Earnhardt: Determined, the ONLY book Dale ever authorized is proud to announce the publication of a second book, Dale Earnhardt: Victories. Ride along and remember each and every one of Dale’s thrilling 76 NASCAR Winston Cup victories, his 12 Twin 125 wins, and seven NASCAR Winston Cup Series championships, and much more in this 240-page, leather-bound, hardcover book from UMI Publications.
    Dale Earnhardt: Victories celebrates, remembers and documents each of Dale’s visits to victory lane, from his first win at Bristol in April 1979 all the way to the unforgettable charge at Talladega in October 2000.
    In addition to his NASCAR Winston Cup wins, who can forget his dominance of the Daytona qualifying races, including 10 straight from 1990 through 1999? Victories also details Dale’s IROC career and 1990, ’95, ’99 and 2000 IROC championships. Victories also contains memorable quotes and tales regarding Dale’s career from fellow drivers and friends.
    This beautiful book is destined to be a true collector’s item.
    The DELUXE EDITION is priced at $99.95 plus $6.00 S&H and must be ordered with an order card available from UMI. STANDARD EDITION copies are available at $49.95 plus $6.00 S&H.
    To honor Dale’s memory, UMI will be donating portions of the sales of this book to the Dale Earnhardt Foundation. This foundation helps a variety of children’s causes, educational and scholarship opportunities, as well as wildlife preservation.
    Dale Earnhardt: Victories is a limited edition, so order your copy today. Your book will be shipped in October 2003. As with all books from UMI, your satisfaction is guaranteed or your money will be cheerfully refunded. Order at www.umipub.com for more books, video and music, see my Jayski’s Racing Bookstore.(10-15-2003)
  • Subway on the #54 at Martinsville: The National Guard is once again joining forces with Subway Restaurants. Subway was the #54 Ford’s quarter panels for Watkins Glen but at Martinsville Subway will have the primary spots on the car maximizing its presence during the Martinsville Subway 500 weekend. Instead of the usual car 54 flag theme, they’ll be sporting yellow, green and blue colors.(Cox Marketing PR)(10-15-2003)
  • Crawford to run Cup races in 2004? hearing Truck Series driver Rick Crawford [#14 Circle Bar Motel and RV Park Ford] will be attempting some Cup races in 2004 with Yates possibly supplying the horsepower, probably Cup/Truck Series companion races.(10-15-2003)
  • Testing at the Rock: #5-Terry Labonte is testing at North Carolina Speedway Wednesday, October 15 for the upcoming NASCAR weekend November 7 – 9, 2003. Grandstands are open and the public is ivnvitied to attend.(North Carolina Speedway PR)(10-15-2003)
  • BAM Testing: #49 BAM Racing and Ken Schrader are testing today at Greenville Pickens Speedway in SC.(10-15-2003)
  • Shelmerdine Article: Just a few days ago Kirk Shelmerdine added another victory to his modest resume as a driver, winning Charlotte’s ARCA race. Today, the winning car – a vintage three-year-old model, in a sport where last month’s model is usually already out of date – is in the middle of Shelmerdine’s modest shop. The shop is right across the street from Richard Childress’ spiffy new shop [Welcome NC], a giant racing factory in the heart of Childress-ville, a massive conglomeration of NASCAR shops that is a far, far cry from that Waughtown shop where Childress started. Shelmerdine continues to say that he’s a racer and not a crew chief, even though he hasn’t been doing much of either this season. He ran for Junie Donlavey at Daytona in February but failed to finish high enough in his 125 to make the 500. He ran the Winston Open in May. And he won last week at Charlotte. A Hooter’s sponsorship vanished quickly, leaving Shelmerdine picking and choosing his spots. And pondering his future. See full story at the Winston Salem Journal; how ’bout a ride in the #30 AOL car?.(10-15-2003)
  • Totally NASCAR on Wed: Airing tonight on Fox Sports Net’s Totally NASCAR is a story on the America’s Most Wanted Racing Team.  Krista Voda and the Totally NASCAR crew visited Scott Davis at Body Dynamics Racing where the America’s Most Wanted Motorsports is managed from, and they had a candid conversation about their commitment to their racing team, the AMW Motorsports missing children’s program and what they have to offer to a potential sponsor as well as their new Fan’s That Care Program.  “I look forward to the fans and sponsors out there seeing what we have to offer and what we are about, “stated Davis, “We have more to offer than any other racing team out there as far as media exposure and marketing opportunities with John Walsh, as well as a campaign that positively effects children and their families.”   For more information on America’s Most Wanted/Body Dynamics Racing visit their website at www.bodydynamicsracing.com, see below for Totally NASCAR’s schedule today..(10-15-2003)
  • DJ Person of the Year nominee: Dale Jarrett’s contributions to the community have been well documented over the course of his racing career. Those efforts were recognized in 1997 and 2000 when he won the True Value Man of the Year award for his efforts with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Jarrett’s efforts have been recognized again as he has been selected as the third quarter nominee for the USG Person of the Year award for 2003. Each year, NASCAR recognizes drivers, not only for their accomplishments on the track, but for their community service contributions and charitable efforts. For the purpose of determining the NASCAR USG Person of the Year Award winner, the NASCAR Winston Cup season is divided into four quarters in which drivers are nominated for their off-track efforts. A select group of panelists selects one of the four quarterly finalists as the NASCAR USG Person of the Year. This award will be presented the week of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Awards Ceremony in New York City, along with a prize of $100,000. The prize will be divided evenly between the driver and the charity of his/her choice. Jarrett joins teammate Elliott Sadler and fellow Winston Cup driver Ricky Craven as three of the four nominees that will be decided between for the final award. Sadler was named as the second quarter nominee, while Craven was recognized for his efforts during the first quarter of the season.(see full story at the UPS Racing site)(10-15-2003)
  • Phoenix testing nest week: Robby Gordon and the #31 Cingular Wireless team are scheduled to test at Phoenix on Oct. 21 and 22.(10-15-2003)
  • Double Duty for Biffle: #16-Greg Biffle is set to run Cup and Busch races on both the Saturday and Sunday, pulling double duty at Memphis and Martinsville. Biffle’s weekend is going to consist of qualifying at Martinsville, Va., on Friday, a trip to Memphis, Tenn., to run the Busch race on Saturday and then back to Martinsville to compete in the Subway 500 on Sunday. Biffle’s plan of attack requires quite a bit of travel back and forth to each track. He’ll arrive in Martinsville on Thursday evening and get a good night’s sleep before tackling the big weekend. Friday he’ll participate in the first Winston Cup practice followed by qualifying in the No. 16 Grainger Ford. Afterwards, he’s got a helicopter lined up to fly him to Memphis so he can run Happy Hour practice in the #7 Kleenex Chevy Busch car. At the completion of Happy Hour he’ll go back to Martinsville for the evening. Saturday consists of a full day as Biffle is scheduled to run both practice sessions in Martinsville before making the trip over to Memphis to compete in the Sam’s Town 250. Immediately following the race, Biffle will make the trip back to Martinsville to get rested up for Sunday’s big event. Biffle has four starts at Martinsville, three in the Craftsman Truck Series and one in Winston Cup. He has one pole, one top-five and two top-10 finishes at the track. Biffle’s first win in the Craftsman Truck Series came at Memphis Motorsports Park, where he went to Victory Lane after starting from the pole position. He has a total of three poles, one win, two top five and three top-10 finishes in six starts at the track in the Craftsman Truck and Busch Series. He’s led on 10 different occasions in races run at Memphis for a total of 330 laps.(Roush Racing PR)(10-15-2003)
  • NASCAR.com’s Smith heading to Ireland: Snickers Marathon is running into the NASCAR family in a unique way as it sponsors NASCAR.com writer Marty Smith as he travels to Ireland to conquer the 26 miles that encompass the Dublin Marathon, but the product is already a ‘distant relative’ to stock car racing. Masterfoods USA, which produces Snickers Marathon, also produces its sister product and high profile NASCAR sponsor M&M’s Chocolate Candies. M&M’s currently sponsors Elliott Sadler and the #38 RYR Ford Taurus. “I decided about a year ago that running a marathon was a challenge that I wanted to conquer, and here I am headed to Dublin to take on the 26 most grueling miles of my life,” Smith said. “I’ve never attempted anything the magnitude of a marathon before, but with a hectic lifestyle and an intense job, I’ve had days where I honestly felt like I had logged 52 miles in a day, so I really felt like I could do this. People everywhere are like me and put in a lot of miles in an ordinary day,” Smith continued. “They don’t intend to cover so much ground…it just kind of happens. Snickers Marathon not only helps me in training, it helps me get through a normal day.” Snickers Marathon didn’t target Smith for a sponsorship, but as an ‘everyday marathoner’ he was the perfect fit to represent their new product abroad in the 24th Adidas Dublin Marathon in an effort to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation as a member of the “Joints in Motion” training team.
    Smith follows the NASCAR circuit around week to week translating the day to day happenings into words for 8 million fans that frequent the official website of NASCAR – NASCAR.com. Smith’s usual sit-down job is very time consuming and the travel involved is intense. Being on the road for 30 weekends a year means logging hundreds of miles in airport terminals, from parking lots to media centers and chasing driver celebrities for interviews. Though he’s never run 26 consecutive miles, there is not doubt he worn out more than one pair of sneakers in his ‘ordinary’ line of work.(Elevation Group PR)(10-15-2003)


    (10-14-2003)

  • One win and a championship? with one wins and a heavy duty points lead, one asks….when was the last time a driver won the Winston Cup Drivers Championship with only one win [none have won it with no wins]?
    1973 Benny Parsons; David Pearson led with 11 wins (28 races)
    1961 Ned Jarrett; Rex White had 7 wins (47 races)
    1950 Bill Rexford; Curtis Turner has 4 wins (17 races)
    Only Parson’s was in the modern era [1972-present] and NONE using the current points system [1975 to present]. Richard Petty has the most wins in a season without winning the championship with 18 wins in 1970, Booby Issac won the championship and had a 11 victories. 2002 Winston Cup Updates Book – see my Racing Bookstore for info and more championship info on my All-Time Top 10 Points/Cup Championship page and check out a CNNSI column with a good chart: One for history: Kenseth next on cusp to win Winston Cup with fewest victories.(10-14-2003)
  • Testing at Atlanta: Cup and Busch teams will test on Monday Oct 13th and Tuesday Oct 14th at Atlanta Motor Speedway in preparation for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Weekend, drivers expected to test are: Kyle Petty, Jason Leffler, Brian Vickers, Kyle Busch, Mike Bliss, Ashton Lewis, David Stremme and others. The test is closed to public.(AMS PR)(10-13-2003)
    Tuesday Testing at Atlanta – Hamilton Jr. fastest again: NASCAR Busch series regular and occasional Winston Cup driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. led the speed chart Tuesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway as 13 drivers and teams prepared for the Oct. 24-26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend. Hamilton Jr. turned a lap of 189.473mph, the fastest of this week’s two-day test session. Hamilton will run both races next weekend, the Oct. 25 Aaron’s 312 Busch Series race and the Oct. 26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Other Winston Cup drivers testing Tuesday included Winston Cup drivers #0-Ward Burton and #09-Mike Wallace.
    Car#, Driver, MPH
    #35-Bobby Hamilton Jr., 189.473
    #8-Hank Parker Jr., 186.604
    #0-Ward Burton, 185.853
    #5-Brian Vickers, 184.677
    #87-Kyle Busch, 183.515
    #20-Mike Bliss, 181.532
    #79-Billy Bigley Jr., 181.117
    #6-Paul Wolfe, 180.645
    #09-Mike Wallace, 180.175
    #2-Ron Hornaday, 179.417
    #46-Ashton Lewis Jr., 178.723
    #09-David Stremme, 178.551
    #51-Jeremy Clements, 169.128
    Tickets are still available for all three days of racing action during the Oct. 24-26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Weekend. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211 or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(10-14-2003)
  • Elliott Sadler to run #84 truck at Martinsville: Long Brothers Racing is partnering with Virginia driver Elliott Sadler at Martinsville Speedway. The combination will be featured in the #84 Long Brothers Racing Ford during the Advance Auto Parts 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event Oct. 18 at 2:30pm/et. “We’re hoping that we can have some of the success we’ve had at Martinsville in the past,” said crew chief and co-owner Charlie Long. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to get Elliott qualified up front and have another good finish there.” Long Brothers Racing, co-owned by Robert Long, enjoyed a win at the .526-mile flat track just two weeks ago as their #2 Late Model car won the Taco Bell 300 – an event that typically sees more than 100 Late Model entries. “That was a big weekend for Long Brothers Racing,” Charlie Long said. “We had a top-15 finish in the truck race with Nick Woodward at South Boston and won the Late Model race just down the road at Martinsville. I wouldn’t mind seeing that victory lane again.” Sadler and Long Brothers Racing have teamed together twice before at Richmond International Raceway in 2000 and 2001. Both of those events resulted in early exits thanks to engine and brake failure, respectively. Long Brothers Racing also competes regularly in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series with Woodward.(Keystone Marketing PR)(10-14-2003)

    (10-13-2003)

  • Update on Benson; shopping around? hearing that Johnny Benson, current driver of the #10 Valvoline Pontiac has been shopping himself around with Richard Childress Racing [#30], Petty Enterprises [#43] and the possible second team for Cal Wells.(10-13-2003)
  • Testing at Atlanta: Cup and Busch teams will test on Monday Oct 13th and Tuesday Oct 14th at Atlanta Motor Speedway in preparation for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Weekend, drivers expected to test are: Kyle Petty, Jason Leffler, Brian Vickers, Kyle Busch, Mike Bliss, Ashton Lewis, David Stremme and others. The test is closed to public.(AMS PR)(10-13-2003)
    Monday Testing at Atlanta – Hamilton Jr. fastest: Eight NASCAR drivers made laps Monday on the high-banked 1.54-mile oval at Atlanta Motor Speedway, preparing for the Oct. 24-26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Weekend. #35-Bobby Hamilton Jr. was the fastest in the Team Rensi Ford with a speed of 187.551mph. “We were fast out of the box, even in a race setup mostly leftover from Kansas,” Hamilton said. “It’s given us a chance to just have a fun, relaxing day and tinker around and just try some things we’ve been thinking about.” Hamilton will be running both the Oct. 25 Aaron’s 312 Busch race and the Oct. 26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500, a natural since Atlanta is one of his favorite tracks. #87-Kyle Busch was the fastest Busch driver at 185.047mph. Mike Wallace tested the #1 Yellow Transportation Dodge at 180.881mph, regular driver David Stremme was there watching Wallace and learning. “This place doesn’t seem like the fastest track on the circuit unless you get loose or come to a fast stop,” Wallace said. “But when you do either of those things, you automatically know it’s the fastest track.” Wallace also tested the #09 Miccosukee Indian Gaming Dodge that he will run at Atlanta in the Cup race. Another Cup team testing was #79-Billy Bigley at 177.285. Other’s testing were Busch drivers #5-Brian Vickers at 184.064, #2-Ron Hornaday at 182.549, #8-Hank Parker Jr. at 180.528, #46-Ashton Lewis at 180.528. Tickets are still available for all three days of racing action during the Oct. 24-26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Weekend. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211.(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(10-13-2003)
  • Rusty’s Son Wins First Feature: Stephen Wallace, 16-year-old racing upstart and son of former Winston Cup Champion Rusty Wallace, claimed his first career Late Model Stock Car win in a 200-lap feature event yesterday at the new Friendship Motor Speedway, a paved four-tenths-mile racetrack near Elkin, NC. “It was a helluva impressive performance,” said Billy Parker, who served as Stephen’s crew chief and who will drive for the senior Wallace’s new Busch Series team in 2004. “Stephen started sixth in a tough field of more than 30 cars. He came from the back to the front three different times. He was tenacious, to say the least. It was a rough bunch there yesterday, but Stephen didn’t back down from anybody. Greg was spotting and we both worked to keep Stephen focused,” Parker said of Stephen’s 23-year-old brother who has also spotted for his famous racing father. “By the end of the race, Stephen was missing the hood and a lot of the sheet metal was either missing or bent up. He got airborne once and broke the right front shock. He was able to keep his poise, though, and finally made the winning pass with less than 10 laps to go. When you can beat the likes of Wayne Grubb, Jason York and Rock Harris, you’ve put in a heck of a day’s work. That’s what Stephen was able to do at Friendship on Sunday and we’re all so proud of him. He had the crowd all standing and screaming and definitely created a ton of Stephen Wallace fans with his performance yesterday.”
    “Now that’s the way I’d always hoped that Stephen would win his first big race – with sparks flying, emotions running high and a packed grandstand screaming their lungs out,” said proud father Rusty, who was at the IRL finale at Texas Motor Speedway rooting on his Penske Racing teammates Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves and unable to witness his son’s victory. “I’m so proud of him. He’s gonna be a great one, I’ll tell you that.”
    “It was a real cool deal,” summed up Stephen of his first big win and eerily sounding almost identical to the elder Wallace.(Tom Roberts PR)(10-13-2003)
  • Nemechek close to 2004 ride? UPDATE 3: not sure who, but hearing Joe Nemechek, currently in the #25 Hendrick Motorpsorts Chevy, is close to signing a deal with an established Cup team, not PPI Motorsports 2nd team. Hearing it could be the #01 US Army team.(10-11-2003)
    Nadeau part time in 2004? UPDATE Nemechek in the #01; Vickers to the #25 after Martinsville: Hearing an announcement will come Monday morning regarding the #01 and the driver for next year, with a rehab program for Nadeau that will encompass 12-15 races in 2004.(10-12-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Joe Nemechek will leave his #25 UAW-Delphi Chevy team following next weekend’s race at Martinsville, and run the final four races of the season with MB2 Motorsports and its #01 US Army Pontiacs. In addition, Nemechek will remain with MB2 as the team’s driver for the 2004 season, sources said. A formal announcement of the driver change is expected as early as Monday. Hendrick’s Busch Series driver, Brian Vickers, has already been named as the driver of the #25 in Cup in 2004 and was planning to run the final four races this season in the #01. He will now run those races with his new team, Hendrick’s No. 25, sources confirmed. Officials with Hendrick and MB2 could not be reached for comment Sunday night. Jerry Nadeau started the season in the #01, but suffered serious head, lung and rib injuries in an accident in practice May 2 at Richmond. In recent weeks, officials with MB2 have said they were holding Nadeau’s seat for him in the #01. Nadeau has undergone extensive rehabilitation but is not yet ready to run a full Cup schedule. Instead, MB2 is expected to announce a plan to provide Nadeau opportunities to drive in various NASCAR events in 2004, sources said.(ThatsRacin.com)
    UPDATE 3: As Jerry Nadeau continues to recover from a head injury he suffered in a May 2 accident at Richmond International Raceway, MB2 Motorsports announced today that Joe Nemechek has agreed to drive the #01 U.S. Army/MB2 Pontiac in the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup season and in the final four races of the 2003 season. MB2 Motorsports also announced it has teamed with Hendrick Motorsports and NEMCO Motorsports to establish a recovery driving program for Nadeau that will most likely include a mixture of Nextel Cup, Busch and ARCA races during the 2004 season. “We were faced with circumstances that none of us wished we had to deal with,” said Jay Frye, general manager of MB2 Motorsports. “But due to the reality of our current situation, we felt in the best interests of Jerry and of the race team this was the right path to take as we head into the 2004 season. Jerry continues to make progress and once he is ready to return to driving, we’ll have a program in place that will allow him to gradually make his comeback to Cup racing. The uncertainty of how long his full recovery will take is difficult for everyone, but Jerry is a young (33-years-old) and determined individual who has many years of racing ahead of him.” Nadeau said he is frustrated at times by his recovery progress, but he is ready for the challenge and looks forward to the day when he will be able to get behind the wheel of a racecar and be competitive. “I have repeatedly said that I will not rush back,” said Nadeau. “I still have a ways to go, but I will get there. To be honest, the reality of not being able to come back sooner than I would have liked, is hard to take. But I want to do this right and I am grateful to MB2, Hendrick Motorsports and NEMCO Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to work my way back to the Cup series.” Nemechek, who has been racing full time on the NASCAR Cup circuit since 1994, most recently in the No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports entry, has three career victories, including a win at this year’s spring race in Richmond.(US Army PR)(10-13-2003)
  • and….Vickers to drive final four Cup races in the #25: Brian Vickers will drive the #25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet in the final four NASCAR Winston Cup Series races of 2003 it was announced today by Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick. Vickers will succeed Joe Nemechek, who was named driver of the #01 Winston Cup entry this afternoon. Nemechek, 40, will compete at Martinsville Speedway in the #25 Chevy before moving full-time to MB2 Motorsports the following week at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “This opportunity affords both Brian and Joe the chance to get a jump on next season with their new teams,” Hendrick said. “It’s something that we all feel is mutually beneficial for the drivers and organizations alike. Joe led the #25 team back to Victory Lane and handled himself like a genuine professional from Day One. We truly appreciate everything he’s done for Hendrick Motorsports, both on the race track and off.” Originally scheduled to drive the #01 car in the final four Winston Cup events of 2003, Vickers will pilot the #25 Chevy at Atlanta, Phoenix, Rockingham, N.C., and the season finale at Homestead, Fla. He will drive the car full-time next season with primary sponsorship from GMAC Financial Services. Vickers, who will turn 20 on Oct. 24, made his Winston Cup debut at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Saturday, starting 20th and finishing 33rd in the #60 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(10-13-2003)
  • #12’s secret? smaller carb? With all the talk about Ryan Newman’s race strangling fuel runs of late it’s no wonder that many of his peers are frustrated to the point where they’re hurling accusations. But the story behind Newman & Company’s fuel secret crawled out of the bag and into the lap of TFR [Team Ford Racing]. The secret to the formula — bigger is not always better in Winston Cup. The NASCAR specifications for a carburetor allow a carburetor will flow up to 830 cubic feet per minute maximum. Newman’s men have found if they run a carb that flows 750 cfm that they give up only two horsepower to what the bigger carb delivers. That smaller carb, without 2 hp, brings the team about 0.5 miles per gallon extra in fuel consumption. Taking that 0.5 mpg and working it with the 22-gallon NASCAR-specified fuel cell, you see that Newman has an 11-mile cushion compared to his competitors. Meaning that Newman could run an extra seven laps at a 1.5-mile track, such as is found at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Unfortunately for the Alltel team the secret is starting to filter out to some of the other teams, however, the power lost to the smaller carb is not quite at the level that the Penske motor men are capable of recapturing, but darn close. Give those who have started to experiment with the smaller carb a few weeks and any deficit should soon disappear.(Ford Racing)(10-13-2003)
  • SAFER Barrier Named To “R&D 100 Awards”: Research & Development Magazine, a leading publication covering the latest breakthroughs in practical, hands-on technology, has named the SAFER Barrier to its prestigious “R&D 100 Awards” list for 2003. The SAFER (Steel And Foam Energy Reduction) Barrier, developed at the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was first installed in May 2002 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The barrier was created in collaboration between the Indy Racing League and UN-L that began in 1998. NASCAR joined the effort in September 2000. R&D Magazine, based in Oak Brook, Ill., caters to scientists, engineers and administrators in the private business, public administration and academic sectors that engage in applied research and development.(Research & Development Magazine via racinnews.com)(10-13-2003)
  • Richert in the hospital UPDATE: Doug Richert, crew chief for Winston Cup rookie Greg Biffle, complained of chest pains Friday and was admitted to Carolinas Medical Center, team officials confirmed. He was expected to be held overnight for observation and released Saturday. The team’s car chief, Mike Hillman Jr., and former Cup crew chief Robin Pemberton, who now works for Ford Racing, oversaw the work on Biffle’s #16 Grainger Ford on Friday.(ThatsRacin.com), no updates on Saturday or Sunday.(10-10-2003)
    UPDATE: Doug Richert, crew chief for rookie driver Greg Biffle, returned to the track Saturday after a visit to the hospital the day before for chest pains. “I had some pressure in my chest and I don’t know if it came from a virus or some kind of chest cold,” Richert said. “Everything came back A-OK as far as the treadmill and all the blood work, so I was happy about that.” Richert said his family has had a history of heart problems and didn’t want to take any chances when he didn’t feel well Saturday.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-13-2003)
  • Ward testing the #0 at Atlanta: Ward Burton is testing the No. 0 Pontiac at Atlanta ahead of his October 26 debut with Haas CNC Racing at the track. Bill Davis Racing told Burton last month at Talladega that he would not be brought back in 2004, ending his nine-year association with the team. Scott Wimmer will replace Burton in BDR’s No. 22 car.(Sporting News/Yahoo Sports)(10-13-2003)
  • 3rd Cup team for Gibbs in 2005 UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing [#18-Labonte and #20-Stewart] will add a third full time Cup team in 2005.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio – Subscription Required). Assume the team will run part time in 2004 [has attempted/run a few 2003 Cup races in the #80 with Mike Bliss], so who drives? Mike Bliss? Coy Gibbs? J.J. Yeley?; Bliss and Gibbs run full time for Gibbs in the Busch Series now and Yeley supposedly will run Busch for Gibbs in 2004.(10-11-2003)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing was so impressed by J.J. Yeley’s tryout at Lakeland (Fla.) Speedway last week that he is expected to run an ABC (ARCA, Busch, Cup) schedule with the organization next year. Yeley, a protege of Tony Stewart, is attempting to win the USAC Triple Crown (Silver Crown, Sprint, Midget).(Sporting News/Yahoo Sports)(10-13-2003)

 


 

  • (10-12-2003)

  • The Alan Kulwicki Memorial Scholarship: while listening to the race on PRN it was mentioned that UNC Charlotte is looking for applicants to apply for the Alan Kulwicki Memorial Scholarship, more information and links on my Racing Schools/Jobs News/Links page.(10-12-2003)
  • Chevy Clinches Manufacturers Championship: #20-Tony Stewart’s victory in the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway clinched the 2003 Manufacturers’ Championship for Chevrolet in NASCAR’s premier division. With five races left in the season, Chevrolet clinched its 27th Manufacturer’s crown and the 23rd of NASCAR’s modern era, which began in 1972.(GM PR), for the standings, rules, how it works and other news, plus manufacturers wins list, see my 2003 Manufacturers Championship page.(10-12-2003)
  • English team buying into Cup team? UPDATE Travis Carter: Leading Days of Thunder racing team Torquespeed UK/dsiAnyDoc have announced the sensational news that they will be racing on the US ovals as well as in the 2004 Days of Thunder at Rockingham. The team have also announced that dsiANYDOC boss Asa Burrows has taken over the major shareholding of Torquespeed UK [their website: www.torquespeed.com says it is coming Oct 10th.
    In preparation for a full-blown assault in oval racing on both sides of the Atlantic in 2004, Torquespeed will join forces with a major NASCAR Winston Cup team to become the first British team to race in the world’s leading saloon car championship. The NASCAR Winston Cup Series is the pinnacle of North American Stock Car Racing. The series will have a new title sponsor in 2004, when North American communications giant NexTel Communications take over the proud legacy of Winston. The 2004 NexTel Cup will be contested over 37 rounds and starts with the blue-riband event on the calendar, the Daytona 500 in February.
    Asa Burrows, Managing Director of Torquespeed UK’s 2003 partners dsiAnyDoc, has purchased a major shareholding in Torquespeed UK Limited and joins the board as Commercial Director. Burrows acquired the controlling interest in the NASCAR team in his first major decision since taking over the role. The launch will be announced officially at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10.
    “I am very excited about the global future of Torquespeed,” said Burrows. “We have some clearly defined plans for the future and a strategy that will ensure these plans are brought to fruition.” Torquespeed Managing Director and Days of Thunder driver, John Mickel said: “I am delighted that Asa is now a formal figurehead within the company. He brings experience and new skills that will be of major benefit to the Torquespeed organisation.”(ascar Days of Thunder site)(10-8-2003)
    UPDATE: Travis Carter, who co-owns BelCar Racing and its #54 National Guard Fords driven by Todd Bodine, has entered into an alliance with a United Kingdom-based motorsports operation, Torquespeed. The group will become the first UK-based and funded team to be majority owners of a Winston Cup operation. The team will be known as TorqueSpeed Carter and operate from the existing Travis Carter Enterprises complex in Statesville, NC. “We are committed to achieving success both on the track and for the marketing partners that will participate in this unique program,” Carter said. “With our combined resources, I know we can achieve the business and racing goals we’ve set for TorqueSpeed Carter Racing in 2004.” The team hopes to run a limited Cup schedule next season. A driver has not been selected.(ThatsRacin.com)
    AND Travis Carter has formed an international alliance to add a second Winston Cup car next season. The longtime owner is partnering with Torquespeed, an England-based motorsports team that has raced on 1.5 to 2-mile ovals in Europe since 2000. Carter mostly has fielded only one car since sponsorship problems forced him to downsize in 2002. He joined with Sam Belnavis before this season. “We would like to be a two-car operation, and this helps,” he said. “The thing that is most intriguing about Torquespeed is they are one of the few groups that come to you with a true business plan. They have the funding to support their goals.” Torquespeed spokesman Paul Musselle said the team has secured enough investors for a four-year commitment to Winston Cup. The new team would like to field a European driver, and John Mickel of Cambridge, England, will be testing the team’s car.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-12-2003)
  • Stock Car Fans – Rumblings – Cgarlotte: Now, that’s the way racing is supposed to be. We [SCF] used to call this formful….the fastest car (and the one that led the most laps) won, and the runner-up and 3rd place finishers were the cars that led the next most laps. Maybe a trend? (Well, for one week anyway) Tony Stewart tracked down Ryan Newman (making up close to 8 seconds in less than 30 laps) and zoomed past with less than 10 laps to go tonight at Lowe’s Motor Speedway to lay claim to the UAW-GM Quality 500. It’s been a long time since we saw fresh tires make a difference, but we sure returned to that tonight.
    It was the second win of the season for Tony (he captured the June event at Pocono) and the 17th of his Winston Cup career. He’s now in a 4-way tie for 36th on the all-time win list (with Jeff Burton, Marvin Panch, and Curtis Turner). This was win #39 for Joe Gibbs, and it clinches a spot on the 2004 Winners Circle plan for the #20 car (and bumps, at least for the moment, teammate Bobby Labonte from that plan).
    Jeff Gordon (5th) is in a rut. This is 4 straight 5th place finishes for him.
    Mark Martin (11th) had his best finish since he was 10th at Watkins Glen in August.
    Tony Raines (25th) had his best finish since he was 20th at Bristol in August.
    STREAKIN….Ryan Newman has 6 Top-10’s in a row. Tony Stewart has 4 Top-5’s in a row.
    Jeff Gordon has 4 Top-5’s in a row. Kevin Harvick has 4 Top-10’s in a row.
    This Week’s Elevator….UP: Operator of the Week is Matt Kenseth (+21) followed by Jeremy Mayfield (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Elliott Sadler (-36), followed by Mike Skinner (-29), Kurt Busch (-24), Robby Gordon (-23), and Todd Bodine (-21). This was Op #3 for Kenseth (tying him with Jamie McMurray for the lead in that category) and BD #4 for Sadler (tying him with Ryan Newman for most BD’s this season).
    It certainly wasn’t a surprise to see Matt Kenseth pass the re-scheduled Busch race this afternoon. 800 miles in a day is a tad much for somebody with as much on line as he has. And that was before he knew he was gonna have power steering trouble.
    Kenseth tacked another 8 points onto his lead tonight….it’s now at 267. But, we’ve still got some close races elsewhere in the Top-10. 3rd to 6th is separated by 83 points, 7th Place (Tony Stewart) is one point ahead of Bobby Labonte, and brother Terry (9th place) is just five markers ahead of Kurt Busch.
    We’re down to just 13 drivers with a mathematical (though unrealistic) chance at the Championship. We lopped another four off tonight. Matt Kenseth’s “Magic Number” grew as well. It’s now 10th (the highest its been since Dover….in spite of his problems the last two races). No driver made a multi-position move forward this week. Robby Gordon (12th to 15th) made the only major move downward.(StockCarFans.Com Wcup Newsletter)(10-12-2003)
  • Congrats to Matt Borland and his wife Stacy on the birth of thier 2nd daugther Alexandra who arrived Tuesday, October 7th.
  • Plane Crash Before Race, Everyone OK: Before Saturday night racing started, the Concord [NC] airport was closed to handle a crash landing. It was a six passenger, single engine plane. Because of a malfunction, the pilot did not know the landing gears were not deployed, so the plane crash landed on its belly. All five people on board walked away without injury. All on board ten went directly to the race track. We’re told no one on board had any direct connection to NASCAR or any racing teams.(WWOC-TV)(10-12-2003)

    (10-11-2003)

  • Stewart wins at Lowe’s: #20-Tony Stewart won the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in the Home Depot Chevy, his 2nd win of 2003 and 17th of his career and first since Pocono in June, a 16 race dry spell. #20-Stewart was the leader at halfway, which means he won the MBNA Mid-Race Leader Bonus of $10,000 PLUS the $75,000 bonus in addition to his race winnings. #12-Ryan Newman was the runner-up and led until his tires gave out when he had to pit early for their last stop and Stewart made up Newman’s eight second lead with 30 to go. The rest of the top five were #48-Johnson, #9-Elliott and #24-Gordon.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: on Speed Channel:
    one-hour recap/Fast Forward on Wednesday, October 15th at 7:00pm/et and again on October 16th at 1:00am/et;
    and a full three-hour race show will re-air at 3:00pm/et on Thursday, October 16th
    AND and extra Fast Forward on Friday, October 17th at 2:00pm/et
    For the race rundown, results links, lap leaders, dnf’s, cars on the lead lap, caution info, notes and some narratives on my UAW-GM Quality 500 Race Info page and Jayski’s Lowe’s Motor Speedway Race Results and
    See full standings at Jayski’s Drivers/Owners Points after Lowe’s.(10-11-2003)
  • Benson out? Riggs In? or Riggs in the #01? UPDATE 3 Benson staying in #10: here is a new one – BGNRacing.com site and NASCAR.com is reporting that ‘Besides [Kasey] Kahne, another driver whose name has been heating up the rumor mill is Scott Riggs. The latest chatter has him going to the #10 MBV Motorsports ride, now occupied by Johnny Benson.(BGNRacing.com)
    AND Another driver who has supposedly been quietly looking for a job is Johnny Benson, who is in the #10 Pontiac. Benson and MBV Motorsports could be splitting soon, with Benson replaced by … Busch Series driver Scott Riggs? Riggs has gotten a few Cup offers for 2004, but he apparently is headed to MBV to team with whoever is in the #01 — which might be Jerry Nadeau, if he is healthy.( NASCAR.com Buzz)
    and from another NASCAR.com column: The #01 Army racing program was built around Jerry Nadeau, and the hope remains that the veteran driver will return to the car in 2004. But if he’s unable to recover quickly enough from injuries sustained in a May accident at Richmond International Raceway, the team has to have a backup plan. So they’re looking. Intensively. “In our situation, we have to be proactive, always have to be looking,” said Jay Frye, general manager of MB2/MBV Motorsports’ #01 and #0 teams. “We needed to be testing by now with Jerry and we’re not. We have to be prepared either way.” Frye admitted the team has talked with highly sought-after Busch Series driver Scott Riggs. Riggs, currently second to David Green in the Busch Series point standings, has been rumored in nearly every car currently available. From the No. 1 at Dale Earnhardt, Inc., to the No. 30 at Richard Childress Racing, he is rumored to be on everyone’s short list. Including MB2. The #01 and #10 Pontiacs are both presently in a state of limbo. Citing personal reasons, No. 10 crew chief James Ince recently left the organization, and driver Johnny Benson could soon be looking to move, as well.(NASCAR.com)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR Busch Series driver Scott Riggs, who has been rumored for several Winston Cup rides for 2004, appears headed for the MB2/Valvoline Racing organization next season, ThatsRacin.com has learned. Riggs, currently second in the Busch points race, is expected to drive either the #10 or #01 Pontiac next season, sources confirmed Thursday night. Jay Frye, general manager for MB2 Motorsports, confirmed Thursday that Riggs was “under consideration” for a ride with the organization in 2004. He declined to comment further. Riggs’ move to MB2/Valvoline Racing would be a surprise since garage area speculation most of the season had him matched with other Cup teams, including rides with Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Evernham Motorsports.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-10-2003)
    UPDATE 3: Johnny Benson said he intends to be back in MBV Motorsports’ No. 10 Pontiac in 2004, despite rumors that he could be replaced. Rumors surfaced this weekend [at NASCAR.com] about Benson’s status with the team when MBV/MB2 Motorsports general manager Jay Frye said the team has talked to Busch Series driver Scott Riggs. But Benson said no one at MBV has talked to him about losing his ride. “I have a contract here with another year on it, and I have a ride for next year, so unless we’re going to have three cars, there’s too many drivers in the mix,” Benson said. “I’ve heard all the talk, but nobody has said anything to me. Unless they come to the right people, we’re going ahead as planned.”(NASCAR.com)(10-11-2003)
  • Tide and Craven re-up with PPI Motorsports: Longtime NASCAR Winston Cup Series primary sponsor Tide has extended its sponsorship of the #32 Tide Pontiac fielded by PPI Motorsports through 2006. Tide representatives made the announcement today during a team gathering at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. Downy has also extended its commitment to PPI Motorsports with a renewal of its longtime associate sponsorship of the Tide Racing Program, and 2004 marks the introduction of a new Procter & Gamble brand to the PPI Motorsports stable: Mr. Clean AutoDry Carwash. Newly-launched Mr. Clean AutoDry Carwash, a revolutionary car care system that gives you a spot free clean and shine with no need to hand dry, is currently being introduced to NASCAR through a five-race NASCAR Busch Series program [with #17/98 Wally Dallenbach]. The brand’s blue and green logo will appear on the #32 Tide Pontiac beginning next February at Daytona.(PPI Motorsports PR)
    AND PPI Motorsports announced today it has extended its contract with Ricky Craven to serve as driver of the #32 Tide Pontiac in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series through 2006. Since joining PPI Motorsports in 2001, Craven helped earn the team’s two wins to date: a career first for both Craven and PPI Motorsports in Martinsville (October 2001); and this season’s dramatic, .244-second-margin victory in March at Darlington Raceway. Currently in his ninth season of NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition, Craven has earned a total of two wins, six pole positions, 17 top fives, and 24 top tens. He also owns Rookie of the Year titles in NASCAR’s Winston Cup (1995), Busch (1992), and Busch North (1990) series, along with the 1991 Busch North Series Championship title.
    “I’m very proud to be part of the Tide team, and I’m excited about our future,” Craven said. “We’ve already established some pretty incredible milestones together, and I’m looking forward to achieving even more of our goals as a team in the years to come.”(PPI Motorsports PR)(10-11-2003)
  • Hermie Sadler to run full Busch Series in 2004: Gaining a new co-owner in former U.Va. star Bryant Stith, Hermie Sadler will run a full Busch season in 2004 with the newly-formed Score Motorsports. The Emporia native has dabbled in Busch and Cup the past three years with his own team. He also is moving his shop from South Hill to the Charlotte, N.C., area. Zapf Creation, a doll company, has signed on as primary sponsor for four races and an associate sponsor for the remainder of the season. Sadler will announce more specifics, such his car model, crew chief, engine supplier and other sponsors, at Homestead, Fla., next month. Stith was drafted by the Denver Nuggets and also played for the Boston Celtics before retiring from the NBA. The Lawrenceville resident was approached by Sadler, a childhood friend, about team ownership this summer. “I’ve always been a big Hermie and Elliott Sadler fan, but I’ve gotten more caught up in NASCAR mania the last couple of years,” Stith said.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-11-2003)
  • Another Wood: Keven Wood, son of Wood Brothers Racing co-owner Len Wood, made a splash in his entry into competitive auto racing this year. The 19-year-old became the first rookie to win the national championship in the Legends semi-pro division, beating out 622 drivers from around the country. Wood had raced in go-karts only twice before trying Legends. He needed a few months before earning his first top-five but closed the season on a roll. Wood sewed up the title by winning 15 of his final 20 races. He captured 32 victories at tracks scattered across six states. “They said once I learned how to win, it would get a lot easier, and it did,” he said. He will move into a higher division next year and hopes to follow his first cousin, Jon, into the NASCAR touring ranks. Jon races in the Craftsman Truck Series. “I had no expectations of succeeding this well,” said Wood, who is enrolled in a motorsports technology program at Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville. “It’s up to Dad, but I want to go as far as I can.”(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-11-2003)

    (10-10-2003)

  • Ford Keeping Kahne: There has been a lot of conversation and rumors this past week regarding the status of Kasey Kahne and his contract with Ford Racing and Robert Yates Racing. Greg Specht, Ford’s North American Racing Operations Manager, made a statement regarding Kahne’s contract status with the manufacturer and outlined Ford’s history with Kasey and its future plans for him.
    GREG SPECHT, MANAGER OF NORTH AMERICAN RACING OPERATIONS, FORD RACING TECHNOLOGY
    “I’ve been hearing a lot of speculation around Kasey’s status and, as far as Ford Racing is concerned, we have a multi-year contract in place with him and we intend on honoring that. We feel Kasey Kahne is a future star in this sport. That’s why we went ahead and signed him to a multi-year contract. We’re flattered that other teams and manufacturers are interested in him because that means we must know how to evaluate promising young talent. We’ve developed a plan for Kasey, along with Robert Yates Racing, and that includes having him run a full Busch Series schedule next season because we feel he’s primed for a run at the championship. In addition, he would compete in seven Nextel Cup events for RYR with the plan being that he would run a full-time series schedule in 2005. Kasey has told us in the past that Ford has delivered on every promise it has made to him, and we intend on continuing with that by ensuring he remains in competitive equipment with an eye towards becoming a future champion.”(see full quote at Ford Racing Site/PR)(10-10-2003)
  • Roush to be honored: On Sunday, October 12, hometown boy [Manchester, OH] Jack Roush [owner of the #6,#16,#17,#97,#99 Cup cars] will return to Manchester for an event in his honor. Main Street, (SR 136) will be renamed Jack Roush Way. Festivities will start at 2:00pm with a ribbon cutting ceremony and parade. Participants with classic, antique, Mustang and racing cars are asked to line up at 1:30pm on 7th and 8th streets for the parade. The parade will conclude at the Riverbarn on US 52 and festivities for the rest of the afternoon will include an autograph session by Roush, entertainment, a concert by Bobby Mackey beginning at 6:30, and raffles to benefit the Manchester Christmas Light Fund. (People’s Defender)(10-10-2003)
  • Rusty off to Texas on Sunday: Rusty Wallace will fly to Fort Worth, TX Sunday morning after competing in Saturday night’s UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Wallace will be cheering for IndyCar Series “teammates” with Penske Racing, Helio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran, along with his longtime car owner Roger Penske. Castroneves and de Ferran are title contenders in the Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Castroneves and Scott Dixon are tied for the IRL IndyCar Series point lead entering the Chevy 500 with Tony Kanaan, Sam Hornish Jr. and de Ferran still in contention for the championship.(TMS PR)(10-10-2003)
  • Prilosec to be an associate sponsor on the #40 in 2004: Prilosec OTC will sponsor two time Daytona 500 winner Sterling Marlin and the #40 NASCAR Cup team owned by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Beginning with the 2004 Nextel Cup season, Prilosec OTC will integrate its Associate sponsorship into a variety of marketing and promotional activities. “Frequent heartburn is a condition that affects many racing fans”, said Scott Mautz, Prilosec OTC Brand Manager. “This is a perfect way to reach those race fans and educate them about the first and only over-the-counter treatment for frequent heartburn.” The sponsorship will be highlighted by a unique one-race paint scheme each season that will transform the silver Coors Light Dodge into a purple Prilosec OTC racing machine. Throughout the Nextel Cup season, Prilosec OTC will also receive logo placement on Sterling Marlin’s firesuit and a logo position on the #40 Coors Light Dodge. Financial terms and length of sponsorship contract were not disclosed. In addition to its sponsorship of Sterling Marlin and the No. 40 team, Prilosec OTC unveiled its Prilosec OTC Racing logo and race day firesuit and helmet. The logo will serve as the brand’s identity within its racing related marketing efforts. The Prilosec OTC Racing logo will appear in a number of applications including apparel, merchandise and point-of-purchase materials. Sterling’s Prilosec OTC firesuit and helmet will also be seen on point-of-purchase materials.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(10-10-2003)
  • Bodine back in the #54 in 2004: Sam Belnavis, co-owner of BelCar Racing, #54 Ford, said he should know within several weeks whether the National Guard will return to sponsor the team in 2004. Belnavis, who said he is very optimistic, said Todd Bodine will remain as the team’s driver.(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to view)(10-10-2003)
  • DEI and Feed The Children help out: The Dale Earnhardt Foundation (DEF) joined today with international hunger relief organization Feed The Children (FTC), to deliver two semi-tractor trailer trucks of food to children and families in need in the Kannapolis, NC area. At a press conference before the distribution, DEF announced a national program with the Oklahoma City-based Feed The Children. The Dale Earnhardt Foundation/Feed the Children program is designed to help hungry children and their families across the United States. Through FTC, the DEF will sponsor the delivery of trucks of food to feeding agencies in communities located in or around the areas where Dale Earnhardt visited throughout his racing career. These tractor-trailers will travel in conjunction with the NASCAR schedule and be distributed by FTC volunteers.(more at DEI site/ PR or on my Racing Charities page)(10-10-2003)
  • VISA to sponsor a team? hearing VISA may be sponsoring a Cup team in 2004, #99?. Speaking of VISA, who won Visa’s Debit Dash for Charity Challenge: Rusty Wallace or Kurt Busch on my Racing Charities page.(10-10-2003)
  • More Safety from Simpson: Safety innovator Bill Simpson was making the rounds in the Winston Cup garage Thursday, showing off a new fireproof material he says could be worn under a driver’s uniform and would greatly increase the protection offered in case of fire. Simpson said the carbonized material would offer 90 seconds or more protection to a driver. Current material lasts only for about 12 seconds, he said.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-10-2003)
  • New Jersey Driver to the #1? Martin Truex, Jr.’s name has been thrown into the mix for the #1 DEI car, possibly to help draw a sponsor with his youth.(BGNRacing.com)
    AND Dale Earnhardt Inc.’s #1 is still open, but that car doesn’t have a sponsor signed yet, so drivers are apparently waiting on DEI to get a sponsor before committing to that ride. Current driver John Andretti might be the leading candidate, with or without a sponsor. Or maybe a potential sponsor would want a young driver, and DEI might look in-house to Chance 2 Motorsports driver Martin Truex Jr.( NASCAR.com Buzz)(10-10-2003)
  • Evernham losing sponsor? Jeremy Mayfield could be on the way out of the #19, mostly because Evernham could have sponsorship troubles.( NASCAR.com Buzz), but it doesn’t expand on it, have not heard anything about Dodge Dealers leaving Evernham.(10-10-2003)
  • Ince Racing: so what is former #10 crew chief doing now? Ince raced Thursday afternoon at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway in the O’Reilly Southern All Star Late Model race. Ince was 9th in the second heat and 6th in the first consolation, which I guess didn’t qualify him for the feature which was won by Jeff Cooke. Troy Cline won the USAC sprint car race which had Tony Stewart and J.J. Yeley in it.(LMS PR)(10-10-2003)
  • NASCAR Hire: NASCAR has hired Justin Johnson, Major League Baseball’s vice president of corporate sales and marketing, today’s Sports Business Daily reports. Johnson will join NASCAR as managing director of partnership marketing in the New York office, reporting to Brett Yormark, vice president of corporate marketing.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-10-2003)

    (10-9-2003)

  • #18 Crew Wins Award at Kansas: The #18 crew for Bobby Labonte’s Interstate Batteries team notched its third victory in the McDonald’s Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade by taking first-place honors at Sunday’s Banquet 400 in Kansas City, Kan. Labonte’s crew narrowly defeated its Joe Gibbs Racing teammate and last week’s winner (in Talladega) – the No. 20 Home Depot crew for Tony Stewart. Labonte’s Chevrolet spent 178.515 seconds on the Kansas Speedway pit road compared to 182.148 for Stewart’s Chevrolet. “That’s awesome,” said Paul Alepa, team trainer and pit crew coordinator for Joe Gibbs Racing. “We were just talking earlier today how cool it would be to someday have the No. 18 and the No. 20 teams finish one and two, so to find out it happened in Kansas is just great. It’s a tribute to the guys and how hard they are working. They practice every Tuesday and Thursday, as well as a lot of Wednesdays and all the hard work is paying off.” Labonte’s pit crew, which scored back-to-back victories earlier in the season at Martinsville and California, has now earned $60,000 ($20,000 for each win) and is within striking distance for the season championship and the $200,000 bonus that goes with the title. With six races remaining, Michael Waltrip’s No. 15 crew continues to lead the McDonald’s Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade with 1047 points. Dale Earnhardt Jr’s crew is second, 36 points behind at 1011. Kurt Busch’s team is third (1002) and Labonte’s crew is fourth (1001). Labonte’s team got back into the mix by picking up 24 points on Waltrip’s team in Kansas. Labonte’s crew earned the maximum 43 points while Waltrip’s crew earned 19 points for finishing 25th. “We have a deficit to overcome (46 points), but it’s still possible to grab that title and the $200,000 purse,” said Michael “Fatback” McSwain, crew chief for the No. 18 team. “The McDonald’s/POWERade championship has sure been a great incentive for our pit crew.” Labonte’s over-the-wall crew consists of: Jason Lee (jackman), Todd Meredith (front tire carrier), Mark Armstrong (front tire changer), Alan Copley (rear tire carrier), Barry Cook (rear tire changer), Tom Lampe (gasman) and Tom McCrimmon (catch can). The car chief is Scott Zipadelli and the windshield duties are handled by Adam von Olhausen.(DMF PR), see top 10 results at Kansas and the full standings on my Pitcrew News and Links page.(10-9-2003)
  • Mark Green in the #14 for the next two races: Mark Green will drive A.J. Foyt Racing’s #14 Harrah’s Dodge this weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and at Martinsville next weekend. Green replaces rookie Larry Foyt, who continues to suffer from a kidney bruise suffered in an accident at Talladega two weeks ago, according to a Foyt team spokesman. Doctors advised Foyt to sit out the next two weeks, meaning he’ll return to the car for Atlanta. Green has served the past couple seasons as a driver coach and consultant to Foyt. Mark Green’s regular job this season has been as a shock specialist and driver coach at Akins Motorsports, working with promising newcomer Kasey Kahne. He has also made three Busch Series starts.(NASCAR.com)(10-9-2003)
  • Dale Jr Signed? UPDATE 2 Official – Done: Sources tell [PRN] after two recent meetings between Teresa Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., thet he has signed a contract with Dale Earnhardt Inc.[DEI], The first one the 28-year-old has ever had with the team his Dad started. The deal is said to be for five years and they’ll make an official announcement at Charlotte later this week.(PRN’s Garage Pass Radio Show/Sporting News)
    AND ….Now that Junior finally signed his contract — the announcement was delayed by his injury at Dover — everyone can get back to business. DEI probably will announce the deal this week: Junior will drive the No. 8 for the next five years.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(10-6-2003)
    UPDATE: Contrary to recent reports, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has signed no contractual agreement with Dale Earnhardt, Inc., a source close to DEI told NASCAR.com Tuesday. The source said that, while the deal is nearly done, Earnhardt’s “name is on no papers yet.” Earlier this week, it was reported that Earnhardt had two meetings with Teresa Earnhardt — DEI team owner and Junior’s stepmother — and that he had signed a five-year contract with DEI.(NASCAR.com)(10-8-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Dale Earnhardt, Inc. has reached an agreement with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for the next five years to remain as the driver of the #8 DEI Chevrolet. The young Earnhardt has been driving for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. since 1998 and entered NASCAR’s premier Winston Cup Series as a rookie in 2000. The agreement between Teresa Earnhardt, CEO and president of Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and Earnhardt, Jr., solidifies the driver’s future with the organization created by his father, seven-time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt, and his wife, Teresa. “Dale and I built this organization with a long term plan in place,” Teresa said. “Dale Jr. has always been an intricate part of that plan and this agreement represents our commitment to one another in reaching the goal of winning championships.” The agreement is Earnhardt Jr’s first ever Winston Cup contract as a driver, the terms are private, and is based on a five-year partnership through the 2007 season. Currently, he holds a career-high ranking of third place in the Winston Cup Series, matching his career best of 17 top-10 finishes with six races remaining.
    “This is the first time I have had a contract in four years,” Dale Jr. said “We had a hand shake and that was sufficient. But, in today’s business world you need written agreements and now we have one. It was an interesting process that was very educational. What it really came down to was Teresa and myself being in the same place at the same time and sitting down to talk about it. Once that happened, it was taken care of in no time at all. We have a lot of good people here at DEI that are committed to this company. Now we can set out to achieve those goals without any distractions.”(DEI Site/PR)(10-9-2003)
  • Stock Car Fans – Ramblings – Lowe’s Motor Speedway: Well, what did you expect? He hadn’t had a pole in a month! Ryan Newman (who else) set a new track record tonight at Lowe’s Motor Speedway as he toured the 1 1/2 mile quad oval in 28.930 seconds (that’s only 186.657 mph) and grabbed the Bud Pole for Saturday Night’s UAW-GM Quality 500. This is pole #8 for Ryan this year (with only 5 more poles available he’s near to closing out the competition for that contingency in ’03) and the 15th of his Winston Cup career.
    He’ll be joined on the front row by Jeff Gordon. Wonder if they’ll exchange fuel-mileage recipes?
    Bill Elliott (4th) has his best starting spot since he started 3rd at The Brickyard in August.
    Tony Stewart (6th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 4th at Watkins Glen in August.
    Todd Bodine (8th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 6th for the Daytona 500.
    Brian Vickers (20th) makes his first Winston Cup start this weekend. The latest Hendrick phenom will bear watching the rest of this season as he prepares for 2004.
    STREAKIN….Jeff Gordon has 6 Top-10 starts in a row. Jimmie Johnson has 5 Top-10 starts in a row.
    47 cars on hand….the Trouble Train contains four cars this week. Ken Schrader (for the third time this season), Hermie Sadler, Mark Green (in for Larry Foyt who’s nursing a bruised kidney and will miss next week as well), and Jeff Fultz are the DNQ’s this weekend. Our first time at night here in the fall should translate to good numbers for NBC & NASCAR….and it never hurts to have a “cooler” fan in the stands, either.(Stock Car Fans)(10-9-2003)
  • So where is Ward headed? UPDATE 4 to the #0: Ward Burton said Wednesday that he is in the closing stages of finalizing a full-time deal for 2004, but that he preferred to defer most of his comments to the appropriate time for that announcement.(NASCAR.com), rumors have him a candidate in the #30 RCR AOL Chevy, the #9 or #19 Evernham Dodges.(10-8-2003)
    UPDATE: He’s been rumored to be heading to Richard Childress Racing, but a source told us Wednesday night that he definitely will not be in that car next year. His final destination — and he does have a signed contract — could be a surprise.(FoxSports.com)(10-9-2003)
    UPDATE 2: and a new rumor…..to the #0 NetZero Pontiac. Current driver Jason Leffler may be running for the Haas team full time in the Busch Series in 2004 instead of the Cup car, with Burton in the #0.(10-9-2003)
    UPDATE 3: Sources at Haas CNC Racing tell Sporting News that Ward Burton has signed on to drive the No. 0 Net Zero Pontiac in NASCAR’s Nextel Cup Series for 2004. Burton, 40, could be driving the car as soon as Phoenix. The 10-year veteran has six poles and four wins including the 2002 Daytona 500. Jason Leffler, who has been behind the wheel since August, is expected to run the full Busch Series schedule and selected Cup events next year. In eight starts this season, Leffler’s best finish was 25th at Dover.(10-9-2003)
    UPDATE 4: NetZero HiSpeed and Haas CNC Racing announced today that NASCAR veteran Ward Burton will be behind the wheel of the #0 NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac during the 2004 Nextel Cup Series season. “This is a great opportunity for me to bring my experience to an up and coming, young team,” stated Burton. “I’ve watched the team grow and progress in its first year and it’s definitely come a long way in a short time. Gene Haas runs a first-class organization, NetZero HiSpeed is a great sponsor and Tony Furr is an outstanding crew chief. I feel like we can take this team to the next level together and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. There’s no end to the possibilities for this race team.”
    “We’re thrilled to have someone of Ward’s caliber joining our team. It says a lot for our race team,” said Haas, owner of Haas CNC Racing. “The experience that he brings is something that will help us in so many ways. I just can’t say enough about how excited we are about our future. We’ve had a lot of great people come on board our organization this year and we’ve made steady progress in our efforts to be successful. Ward Burton is the icing on our cake.” In a related move, Haas CNC Racing and NetZero will expand their partnership for 2004, with NetZero joining the team’s new Busch Series program for current NetZero driver Jason Leffler as an associate sponsor for all 2004 events and primary sponsor of the effort for three races. “We’ve been really impressed with Jason’s performance so far, and look forward to being with him and Haas CNC Racing in the Busch Series next year as they compete for race wins and the championship,” said Woods. “Jason is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the Busch Series next year, and the experience he gains there will certainly help when he returns full time to the Nextel Cup Series in the future.”
    “The combination of Ward Burton and Jason Leffler is going to be a tremendous boost to our entire program,” said Haas. “Jason will have a tremendous resource in Ward’s experience, and Ward is committed to helping Jason in any way he can. Our long term goal would be to have Jason and Ward running together as teammates in the Nextel Cup Series, and I’m confident that in the not too distant future, that’s exactly what we’ll do.”(NetZero Racing PR)(10-9-2003)
  • BAM Racing gets a sponsor for Lowe’s: SEM Products, Inc., celebrating its 50th year of automotive product research, production, manufacturing and distribution, will sponsor the #49 BAM Racing Dodge of driver Ken Schrader in the upcoming NASCAR Winston Cup stock car race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. SEM Products sponsored BAM earlier this season in the second races at Brooklyn, Mich., and Bristol, Tenn. “We are very pleased SEM Products will return to our car for the race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway,” said Beth Ann Morgenthau, who owns BAM Racing along with her husband Tony.(Williams Company)(10-9-2003)
  • Dale Jr. visits Army base: About 1,000 people crowded into the Sports USA club Wednesday on Fort Bragg for a close look at one of sports’ most popular athletes, NASCAR Winston Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. Prior to the autograph session, Earnhardt got a limited view of Fort Bragg as he rode in one of the Army’s UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters. Low clouds and rain limited his view, but he came away impressed with the machine and its crew. “I’ve been in a lot of helicopters, but nothing like that. It was pretty cool,” he said. “There was some teamwork going on inside that kind of reminded me of what we do on Sunday. The guys on their crew are spotting for each other just like I have a spotter watching the track for me. It’s really overwhelming to come around military bases and see the different way of life.”(more at the Fayetteville Observer)(10-9-2003)
  • Morgan McClure gets Busch/ARCA sponsor [future for Cup?] Morgan-McClure Motorsports [#4 Kodak Pontiac in Cup] will compete in the upcoming ARCA Series event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and a future NASCAR Busch Series race with a young gun and a newly secured sponsor. Eric McClure, son of team owner Jerry McClure, will attempt to qualify for his second ARCA RE/MAX Series event. He competed at Michigan in June in the #4 car by starting the race fifth and finishing in the eighth position. I CAN Learn Education Systems (Interactive Computer Aided Natural Learning) will sponsor the #4 Chevy in the EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 150 on Thursday, October 9 at the 1.5-mile quad-oval located in Concord, North Carolina. I CAN Learn is a teaching program which offers a computerized Algebra curriculum designed to help students primarily in grades 7-10, who are ethnically diverse, inner-city youth, achieve impartiality in mathematics and thinking skills. A key goal of the program is to have students interact with their counterparts across the world to learn proficiency in problem solving in a competitive, peer-oriented atmosphere. The program is a complete education software system that has been recognized by the US Department of Education. It began by teaching Algebra to 200 students in an inner-city school in New Orleans during the 1994-95 school year. Today the I CAN Learn program has expanded to cover 15 states and over 50,000 students. Its range is also expanding to include school grades K-12 and Colleges. To find out more about this exciting program, visit its website at www.icanlearn.com. McClure, who competes on Saturday nights in the NASCAR Late Model Stock Division at Lonesome Pine Speedway in Coeburn, Va., will have Morgan-McClure Motorsports veteran Robert Larkins as his crew chief. The Winston Cup crew will pit his car on raceday. The 24 year-old will also debut in the NASCAR Busch Series with the I CAN Learn sponsorship prior to the end of the season. A race venue will be announced at a later date.(Morgan-McClure Motorsports PR)(10-9-2003)

    (10-8-2003)

  • Ward out of the #22 after Martinsville, Wimmer in, rest of year and in 2004: Scott Wimmer, the current Busch Series driver for Bill Davis Racing, will make the move to NASCAR’s premier series effective October 20, 2003 and compete in the final four races of the 2003 season before becoming the full time driver of the #22 Caterpillar sponsored entry in 2004 and beyond. It is a natural progression for Wimmer into the Winston Cup Series. Wimmer, a native of Wausau, Wis., began racing three-wheelers at age eight and progressed to racing stock cars by the time he was 15. He raced around the state of Wisconsin racking up accolades at all the local short tracks, ranging from rookie of the year at State Park Speedway to Driver of Tomorrow at State Park Speedway to the Miller Triple Crown Champion. Wimmer then moved to Hooter’s Cup in 1997, where he won rookie of the year before moving onto American Speed Association (ASA) in 2000. Wimmer is a logical fit for Caterpillar, as well as Bill Davis Racing. His family owns a construction company and they own and operate CAT equipment.(Bill Davis RacingAND Ward Burton and team owner Bill Davis reached an agreement Wednesday that will put BDR’s Busch Series driver, Scott Wimmer, in the #22 CAT car at Atlanta Motor Speedway in two weeks. Burton will drive the car this weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and the following weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Wimmer will be the driver of the #22 car for the rest of the 2003 season and full-time in 2004. Wimmer previously tested both a Chevrolet and a Dodge at Atlanta for the Oct. 26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. BDR has no current agreement with a manufacturer that would require it to run a certain body style.(NASCAR.com)(10-8-2003)
  • #74 gets sponsor for Lowe’s: Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership will rejoin BACE Motorsports and NASCAR driver Tony Raines for this weekend’s UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. For the second time this season, the Atlanta-based corporation will transform the #74 BACE Chevrolet into the Aaron’s Dream Machine. “It’s a great honor to have Aaron’s back on our car,” said Raines. “Their first race with us was at the Brickyard in August, obviously a prestigious race and special to me hailing from Indiana. This weekend they’ll join our team again at another key race for our sport, as Charlotte is home to a majority of the teams. We’ve worked hard all year to be competitive and earn sponsorship for this team,”Raines added. “So when a company like Aaron’s rewards our efforts with another sponsorship program, it’s a great compliment to our team and it makes the hard work worthwhile – especially for two of the most prominent races on the schedule.” Raines first ride in the Aaron’s Dream Machine this season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Brickyard 400 resulted in a 25th place finish, one of 10 top-25s posted by the Raybestos Rookie candidate this year. “Tony Raines and the BACE Motorsports team did a tremendous job representing Aaron’s at the Brickyard,” said Ken Butler, President, Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership. “When the need arose for us to expand our presence in the sport this weekend, it was only natural that we would return to BACE to run the Dream Machine in Charlotte. It’s really hard to believe that this is the first year for Tony and BACE in Winston Cup, and that they’ve been able to be consistently competitive each week on the strength of their internal funding.” For more information on Aaron’s visit www.shopaarons.com.(BACE Motorsports PR)(10-8-2003)
  • Special Scheme for Kenseth add another scheme for the Lowe’s Motor Speedway Cup race, Matt Kenseth will run the #17 Carhartt scheme, they are an associate sponsor for the team.(Roush Racing PR), see image of the scheme on my 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes – Car #’s 0-23 page.(10-8-2003)
  • Foyt Eligible [Jayski Not :(]: Cosmopolitan magazine has named Larry Foyt, driver of A.J. Foyt Racing’s #14 Harrah’s Dodge in the Winston Cup Series, as North Carolina’s hottest bachelor. Foyt, a 26-year-old rookie, and the other 49 bachelors appear in the November issue of Cosmopolitan, which is scheduled to go on sale next Tuesday.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter), yes Jayski is single, and cranky but not in NC…yet, until Jan.(10-8-2003)
  • The new ‘Preview’ in Daytona: NASCAR announced plans today for a new preseason fan-oriented event that will coincide with the annual NASCAR Preseason Thunder test sessions in January at Daytona International Speedway. “NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan-Fest at Daytona”will involve drivers from all three of NASCAR’s national series – the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, the NASCAR Busch Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Those three series test Jan.6-22 at Daytona. All three series open the 2004 season at Daytona International Speedway in February. Combining the preview event with the other activities surrounding NASCAR Preseason Thunder will give fans more opportunities to enjoy NASCAR in the city where the sport was founded in 1948 – Daytona Beach. Fans will be able to watch their favorite teams test cars for the new season, see and interact with their favorite drivers, visit the Daytona USA attraction and tour Daytona International Speedway. In addition, the new event will continue to benefit multiple charities. NASCAR will release more details on the “NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan-Fest at Daytona” in the near future.(NASCAR PR)(10-8-2003)
  • English team buying into Cup team? Leading Days of Thunder racing team Torquespeed UK/dsiAnyDoc have announced the sensational news that they will be racing on the US ovals as well as in the 2004 Days of Thunder at Rockingham. The team have also announced that dsiANYDOC boss Asa Burrows has taken over the major shareholding of Torquespeed UK [their website: www.torquespeed.com says it is coming Oct 10th.
    In preparation for a full-blown assault in oval racing on both sides of the Atlantic in 2004, Torquespeed will join forces with a major NASCAR Winston Cup team to become the first British team to race in the world’s leading saloon car championship. The NASCAR Winston Cup Series is the pinnacle of North American Stock Car Racing. The series will have a new title sponsor in 2004, when North American communications giant NexTel Communications take over the proud legacy of Winston. The 2004 NexTel Cup will be contested over 37 rounds and starts with the blue-riband event on the calendar, the Daytona 500 in February.
    Asa Burrows, Managing Director of Torquespeed UK’s 2003 partners dsiAnyDoc, has purchased a major shareholding in Torquespeed UK Limited and joins the board as Commercial Director. Burrows acquired the controlling interest in the NASCAR team in his first major decision since taking over the role. The launch will be announced officially at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10.
    “I am very excited about the global future of Torquespeed,” said Burrows. “We have some clearly defined plans for the future and a strategy that will ensure these plans are brought to fruition.” Torquespeed Managing Director and Days of Thunder driver, John Mickel said: “I am delighted that Asa is now a formal figurehead within the company. He brings experience and new skills that will be of major benefit to the Torquespeed organisation.”(ascar Days of Thunder site)(10-8-2003)
  • Ganassi Racing Moving? Chip Ganassi Racing [#40, #41, #42 Dodges] is considering moving its headquarters to Concord from Mooresville, Concord city officials announced Tuesday. The move would add to Concord’s racing credentials, giving the city three of the largest NASCAR racing teams. Already, Winston Cup teams Roush Racing and Hendrick Motorsports have their headquarters in Concord. The city is also home to Lowe’s Motor Speedway and a NASCAR research and development complex. Ganassi is looking at a 59-acre site at Poplar Tent and Derita roads adjacent to Concord Regional Airport. The land is large enough for expansion or for the company to sell off to related businesses, said City Manager Brian Hiatt. The company would invest $15.5 million and employ 150 initially. That could grow to 350 within five years, Hiatt said. In addition to a headquarters building, the company also would build an airport hangar at Concord Regional, a city-owned airport. Construction is expected to be finished in 2004, according to the city. In return, Concord is likely to dangle a total of $242,690 in grants over four years for real and personal property taxes. That follows the city’s incentive policy for this size investment. The council will consider the incentives Oct. 20, and Padgett said he expects them to be approved. An official with Ganassi declined to comment.(Charlotte Observer)(10-8-2003)
  • Energizer Paint Scheme: #41-Casey Mears will have a special Energizer paint scheme this weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(10-8-2003)
  • NASCAR Tops for Marketing: NASCAR leads all major sports by a substantial margin when it comes to innovative and aggressive marketing, according to the 2003 League Report Card from Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal. NASCAR scored at least a 4 or 5 on the 5-point scale from 83 percent of the 195 sports marketing executives who filled out a 12-page survey that was mailed to 1,290 sports marketers nationwide. The score was slightly better than the 81 percent who gave the sanctioning body the same grades in the weekly magazine’s initial survey in 1999. The National Football League ranked second this year, scoring a 4 or 5 from 59 percent of respondents. It was followed by minor league baseball (56 percent) and the NBA (51 percent) on the list of 16 organizations, which included all major professional sports and the NCAA.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-8-2003)
  • What was on the #49 hood at Kansas? Blue Ox was one of the sponsors on the #49 car of Ken Schrader’s for Sunday’s Banquet 400 presented by ConAgra Foods at Kansas Motor Speedway. Blue Ox had the main logo on the hood of the # 49 BAM Racing Dodge. BAM Racing has partnered with Blue Ox for this race.(Blue Ox Site)(10-8-2003)
  • Baldwins Resigns? UPDATE 2: The resignation of Tommy Baldwin from Ultra Motorsports and Bill Elliott’s expected move to a part-time schedule next season fueled speculation Baldwin and Kasey Kahne [see below story] will team up at Evernham Motorsports next year.(Augusta Chronicle) and see my #9 Team News and Links page for past news.(10-6-2002)
    UPDATE: been told Baldwin is still with Ultra Motorsports and workign for the shop, no idea if this meant at the end of the season. ALSO see a NASCAR.com/Buzz.(10-7-2003)
    UPDATE 2 – Done after Lowe’s race? hearing the Cup race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway will be the last for Baldwin at Ultra Motorsports, #7.(10-8-2003)

  • RCR cars have “SOWF” decals this week All five Richard Childress Racing entries scheduled to compete in Friday night’s NASCAR Busch Series’ Little Trees 300 and Saturday night’s UAW-GM 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway will carry decals of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF). The SOWF began in 1980 as the Col. Arthur D. “Bull”Simons Scholarship Fund and was created after the Iranian hostage rescue attempt to provide college educations for the 17 children that survived the nine men killed or incapacitated at Desert One. A tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, SOWF is dedicated to providing college scholarships and educational counseling to the children surviving Special Operations personnel killed as a result of an operational mission or training accident. These services are provided throughout the United States, or overseas, depending upon where the surviving children reside. To date, 455 children of fallen Special Operations personnel are involved in the program, of which 65 are currently attending college. RCR’s relationship with the SOWF is a continuation of the support Richard Childress and Richard Childress Racing have for the United States armed forces. Childress and long-time RCR crew member Danny “Chocolate” Myers visited with U.S. troops in Europe last January as guests of the Tennessee Air National Guard.(SOWF site)(10-8-2003)
  • Kenny Wallace will visit Concord High School Oct. 9th as part of “YJ Stinger’s Race to Bee Safe” program. The Race to Bee Safe program is designed to teach teenagers the importance of safe driving and good car maintenance. The tour will visit high schools in six markets that host Winston Cup races this fall. Students will sign a promise to practice safe driving. The promise will act as an informal contract between the student and the student’s parents. The promises will also be used in a drawing for prizes, including tickets to the Oct. 10th Little Trees 300 NASCAR Busch Series event at Lowe’ s Motor Speedway.(PR)(10-8-2003)

    (10-7-2003)

  • In Concord for the races? Check out….. “Shades Of Greatness…”, one of the most popular trios of paintings Sam Bass has ever created to commemorate the Earnhardt racing legacy, will be displayed for the first time during the days leading up to the UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The three-part “Shades” set comprises Dale Earnhardt in “Ready To Rumble!”, Dale Earnhardt Jr. in “Tradin’ Paint!” and both drivers in “…The Shadow Of Greatness.” This triad of fan favorites, which has recently been released in a framed collage format featuring a specially displayed title created by Bass for this piece – “Shades of Greatness…” – will occupy a prominent place in the gallery’s entrance during race week. The walls of the Sam Bass art gallery, located less than a lap away from Lowe’s Motor Speedway’s high-banked oval, are alive with vivid recollections of racing’s most exciting and endearing events. The 10,000-square-foot building on Performance Drive in Concord that is currently home to the Sam Bass collection of original paintings and fine art, limited-edition prints also gives visitors a look at some of the artist’s rare personal racing mementos such as historic driver helmets and uniforms, diecast cars, models and a display of memorabilia paying tribute to his second passion – rock ‘n’ roll. A tour of the Sam Bass Gallery is a pilgrimage thousands of race fans a year eagerly anticipate. Adjacent to Lowe’s Motor Speedway, the gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, year round. Visit www.sambass.com on the Internet or phone 800/556-5464 for more information about tours or the “Shades Of Greatness…” series. Admission is free. Tours may be arranged through the gallery coordinator.(PR)
    Other places to check out: [Jayski just got back from Mooresville, lots to see for a race fan]:
    Visit many of the race shops, for address’ see my Team Address page; some shops I have toured in Dec 2002 and Sept 2003 include: Ganassi Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Petty Enterprises, just last week I checked out DEI and the brand new Richard Childress Racing Museum. All are worthwhile to say the least. Earnhardt Fans may wanna make the trip up to Welcome. NC and check it out, it is worthwhile and maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of Chocolate Myers there.
    some local museums in Mooresville include the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame [see the #7 Underbird there] and Memory Lane Museum. Plus Lowe’s Motor Speedway itself has a lot to see.
    Also race fans visiting the UAW-GM Motorsports display this week at Lowe’s Motor Speedway will not only receive a free fine art poster created by NASCAR artist Sam Bass, they’ll also have a chance to meet the artist himself during a round of autograph sessions. The painting, Bass’ eighth in a series celebrating the theme of teamwork, uses a split screen effect to combine the on-track action of the UAW-GM Quality 500 Winston Cup race with the people who create, assemble and own General Motors products. Bass will be signing autographs at the UAW-GM display from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 6 to 7 p.m. on Saturday.(10-7-2003)
  • Testing at Martinsville Tuesday: Eight Winston Cup drivers testing at Martinsville Speedway Tuesday. Testing at the .526-mile oval Wednesday were #97-Kurt Busch, #45-Kyle Petty, #0-Jason Leffler, #14-Larry Foyt, #4-Kevin LePage, and #22-Scott Wimmer in the Bill Davis Caterpillar Dodge usually driven by Ward Burton. #12-Ryan Newman tested Monday and Tuesday but will not return Wednesday. Scott Wimmer was the surprise of the day … not his speed, but that he was in the Bill Davis Dodge normally driven by Ward Burton. But he said that no one should read anything into the fact he was in his teammate’s car for the test, even though Burton was not onsite. Testing resumes Wednesday at Martinsville Speedway at 9 a.m. Spectator gates open at 9 a.m. with no charge to the public.(Martinsville Speedway PR)(10-8-2003)
  • Ince on leave UPDATE 2 Ince Leaves? Yes: James Ince, crew chief for driver Johnny Benson and the #10 Valvoline Pontiacs, has taken an indefinite leave of absence to deal with family matters, the team said. Jay Guy, who has served as the car chief for the team, will take over the interim crew chief duties and started this weekend.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-3-2003)
    UPDATE: #10 Pontiac Crew Chief James Ince did not travel with the team to Kansas this weekend. Ince is taking an indefinite leave from his duties in order to deal with family matters in Charlotte. Car Chief Jay Guy will serve as crew chief until Ince’s return.(GM PR)(10-4-2003)
    UPDATE 2: hearing that Ince and MBV have parted ways and that Ince is no longer with the team.
    UPDATE 2 1/2: Valvoline Racing announced Tuesday that Jay Guy will serve as crew chief of the #10 Valvoline Pontiac for the remainder of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup season. Guy, who served as car chief this season, replaces James Ince. The team granted Ince his requested release on Tuesday. Guy and driver Johnny Benson worked together Sunday at Kansas where Benson ran as high as third before an accident. Benson said he obviously has mixed feelings about the change. “James Ince is a very good friend of mine and we have been through a lot together since 2000,” Benson said. “Somebody somewhere is going to get a good crew chief. But, things change in this sport and I’m really looking forward to working with Jay. We did well Sunday not just in the race but in our communication and everyone’s attitude was really positive. We still have a goal of winning a race and I think it would be awesome if we could do that this season.” Guy’s duties begin this weekend at Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte.(Valvoline Racing PR)(10-7-2003)
  • STAT: incomplete research but interesting; #12-Ryan Newman won his 9th race in his 74th career start. How does that stack up in history? Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Bobby Allison nor Darrell Waltrip did it; neither did Jeff Gordon, who won his 9th race in his 84th start. From what I can figure, Fonty Flock was the fastest to 9 wins, doing it in 42 races back in the early 1950’s. His brother, Tom Flock did it in 48 races, Dick Hutcherson did it in 54 races, Junior Johnson did it in 67 races. As for the modern era [1972 to present], looks like Tony Stewart was the fastest, 9th win in his 68th start.(10-7-2003)
  • Fans Injured: At least two people who were in the pit area of the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway on Friday night were seriously injured when a race car driven by Jason Thoma jumped a concrete wall and crashed into them. The accident, which happened at about 9:40pm, occured during an Area Sportsman feature race. Thoma’s car was involved in a crash on the front straightaway of the track, then crashed into and flew over a three-foot-high concrete retaining wall that separates the race track from the pit area. Both victims were members of a Modified race team, according to a track official. According to several witnesses, the car hit, then popped over the retaining wall and crashed into an area used by other drivers and teams as a staging area. Two of the victims were thrown an estimated 25 feet before landing on the inside of the wall, according to witnesses. Three ambulances were on the scene, and the Gundersen Lutheran Med-Link helicopter landed on the Turn One area of the track at 9:55 p.m. One victim was transported to a local hospital by ambulance, while the other was taken by Med-Link at 10:12 p.m. A condition report was not available on either victim. The driver suffered minor injuries, according to medical personnel on the scene, and was not immediately transported to a hospital.(La Crosse Tribune)(10-4-2003)
    AND see updated columns and info at:
    Pastor aids those at scene of Speedway accident and
    Racing fans pray for injured buddies.(10-7-2003)
  • Who? Forget all of these newfangled hard-on-the-ears bands that NASCAR is pumping up as part of the tragically hip 2003 target key demo world of NASCAR. The new bosses don’t look a lot like the old bosses. We’re finally talking about a true music superstar who will enter the NASCAR world. A future episode of Extreme History on the History Channel [gotta love Mail Call] will find The Who’s Roger Daltrey “surviving” NASCAR.(MotorsportsTV.com)(10-7-2003)

    (10-6-2003)

  • Early Kansas TV Ratings: Nielsen Media Research says NBC’s broadcast of Sunday’s Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway drew a 4.0 overnight rating and an 8 share, according to today’s Sports Business Daily. The race trailed a variety of NFL games on Fox and CBS, NCAA football on ABC and two Major League Baseball playoff games on Fox, according to the figures. Last year’s Kansas City race, which was also broadcast on NBC, drew final figures of 4.4/11. Saturday’s Mr. Goodcents 300 Busch Series race on NBC drew an overnight 1.8, well ahead of last year’s 1.5 final rating.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-6-2003)
  • Quaid Tests at Las Vegas: Dennis Quaid was out at the speedway this morning to drive a race car for the Richard Petty Driving Experience. He was getting background for a new Disney movie [about the Petty’s] he will star in. He went 160 miles per hour, which was much faster than Brittney Spears went last year. The band Fuel was also there.(LVMS), for more info on the movie Quaid will be doing, see my Media-Movies Page.(10-6-2003)

    Actor Dennis Quaid at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
    (click on image for larger image)

  • Davis Racing down to one team in 2004? Owner Bill Davis is expected to scale back to one Cup team next season. Ward Burton is leaving the #22 Dodge, and Scott Wimmer, who is seventh in Busch Series points, is the favorite to take the ride in 2004. Kenny Wallace, who drives Davis’ #23 in Cup, will drive Davis’ Busch car in 2004 with Stacker2 as the sponsor.(Sporting News/Yahoo Sports)(10-6-2003)
  • Kahne to Cup; Evernham? UPDATE 4 third Yates team?: Busch Series driver Kasey Kahne has received several Winston Cup job offers for the 2004 season, with the most serious coming from Evernham Motorsports, sources said Thursday. Kahne, reached Thursday by phone, confirmed he has received “five or six Cup offers from top-20 teams,” but he declined to name them. Kahne, 23, drives the #38 Great Cuts Ford for Akins Motorsports. He is eighth in points with three top-five and 11 top-10 finishes this season. He won his first pole at Michigan in August. Evernham Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing and Richard Childress Racing were among the top Cup teams expressing interest, with Evernham the most serious, sources said. Of the three, only RCR currently has an opening for the 2004 season, in its #30 AOL Chevy. Gibbs has Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart under long-term contracts and Evernham currently has Bill Elliott and Jeremy Mayfield under contract. However, there has been a lot of speculation about Elliott’s future and whether he would retire at the end of the season. Mayfield’s job performance has also been under scrutiny this year. A spokesperson for Evernham Motorsports declined to comment Thursday on any connection between Kahne’s Winston Cup plans and Evernham Motorsports. Kahne, who is under contract with Ford Motor Co. through the 2005 season, said he has spoken to Ford officials about the Cup teams’ interest. None was a Ford team, he said.(ThatsRacin.com)
    UPDATE: Robert Yates Racing PR folks tell me that: Not only is Kasey under contract with Ford Racing but he remains under a multi-year contract with Robert Yates Racing. He’s driven the Great Clips Ford for Akins Motorsports this year on basically a “loaner” basis. Both Ford and RYR expect Kasey to be racing Ford’s for years to come. They haven’t been contacted by Kasey or another team about releasing him from his contract.
    AND Kahne said during an interview on Speed Channel’s Busch Series Qualifying that he will run a full Busch Series schedule in 2004, driving the #38 Great Clips car.(10-3-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Ford’s Kenny Kahne is suddenly a hot item among rivals who would like to hire the Busch driver to run Winston Cup next season. Among the car owners reported to be interested: Dodge’s Ray Evernham. Kahne has a contract with Ford however that runs another two years, though he said he’s getting Winston Cup offers. So Ford officials may now be looking for a Ford team willing to give Kahne a ride. Kahne has a contract with Robert Yates too, so he would be the logical pick, but Yates’ two Cup teams aren’t doing all that well at the moment so it seems unlikely he would want to expand.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-4-2003)
    UPDATE 3: what I hear is that while Kahne is under contract with Ford, supposedly his contract says he can entertain offers but Ford can match those offers, but supposedly Dodge’s offer is pretty steep and may be tough to match, been told this is for the #9 Dodge and Mayfield would stay in the #19 next year.(10-6-2003)
    UPDATE 4 – Yates 3rd team? Kasey Kahne, who is eighth in Busch points, is a candidate to drive one of Evernham’s Dodges in Cup next season, but there’s a conflict. Sources say Kahne’s current contracts include two years with Ford and three years with Robert Yates Racing. Both organizations have nurtured Kahne, whose No. 38 Ford is powered by Yates engines, and are not pleased he is listening to offers outside the Ford camp. Kahne, 23, says he doesn’t think there are Cup options for him in a Ford, but Robert Yates says he has a sponsor and plans to run a limited Cup schedule with Kahne in 2004 and full time in 2005.(Sporting News/Yahoo Sports)(10-6-2003)
  • Avis and Petty? UPDATE: AutoRacing1.com insiders have learned that Petty Enterprises has been courting Avis Enterprises (Car Rental) heavily to sponsor the #44 Dodge for next year. A day at the Petty driving school and a massive hospitality event at the upcoming Atlanta race are part of the courtship.(AutoRacing1.com need subscirtion to read)(10-4-2003)
    UPDATE: being told this is not true and that there is no massive hospitality event scheduled for the Atlanta race and that Avis has no plans on sponsoring any race team.(10-6-2003)
  • Brett Bodine to run finals three 2003 races: #11-Brett Bodine was at the Kansas Speedway, but he left shortly before the command to start the engines. “I’m not a good spectator,” he said. Bodine has a new sponsor signed for the 2004 season, but he plans to run the final three races of this year so his team can get used to working with each other.(Augusta Chronicle)(10-6-2002)
  • NASCAR Looking to Change Scoring System: NASCAR vice president Jim Hunter said the sanctioning body has been looking at ways to upgrade its scoring system after the current system came under question on the last lap of Saturday’s Mr. Goodcents 300 Busch Series race. The race was restarted with one lap to go, but a crash between Bobby Hamilton Jr. and Greg Biffle forced NASCAR to throw the caution. Under rules implemented two weeks ago, cars don’t race back to the yellow, even on the last lap. But several drivers, including race winner David Green, raced to the yellow and checkered flags anyway. That meant the results on NASCAR’s scoring computer — which records where the cars are at the finish line — were incorrect. The new rules dictate the cars being scored exactly when the yellow flag comes out. That’s the problem. Hunter said NASCAR knew it was going to be difficult to score the cars “because we cannot freeze the cars at the exact moment that the yellow is displayed. We’re simply telling all those competitors that we’re looking for a better system,” Hunter said. Hunter said NASCAR is considering two systems. The first will use electronic lines under the racetrack, just like the one currently at the start-finish line, in quadrants around the track. The second is an effective global positioning satellite system that would freeze the field when the caution is waved. NASCAR has a GPS system, but Hunter said exact positions can’t be determined. Asked when either of the new systems could come online, Hunter said. “I think next year is realistic,” and “possibly” by Daytona. Hunter also said NASCAR would not reconsider its decision to allow racing back to the yellow, even on the last lap.(NASCAR.com)(10-6-2003)
  • Martinsville Testing this week: Several teams are scheduled to test at Martinsville Speedway this week in preparation for the Oct.19 Subway 500 race there. #12-Ryan Newman is scheduled to test today and Tuesday. Series points leader #17-Matt Kenseth, #97-Kurt Busch, #45-Kyle Petty, #57-Jason Leffler [Busch team], #77-Dave Blaney, #14/50-rookie Larry Foyt and Andy Petree [#33 Truck team] are scheduled to test Tuesday and Wednesday.(Roanoke Times)(10-6-2003)
  • Drivers Snub Media at Kansas; Penalties in the future? NASCAR may be considering penalizing drivers who fail to meet media obligations following race events, said Jim Hunter, NASCAR’s vice president for corporate communications. Hunter said Sunday the sanctioning body will review the policies of of other professional sports regarding media responsibilities of participants. His comments came after driver #9-Bill Elliott refused to attend a post-race news conference Sunday. Elliott finished second in Sunday’s Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway. #42-Jamie McMurray, the rookie of the race, also failed to attend the post-race news conferences. Typically, the top-three finishers in each race, along with the highest-finishing rookie, are required to attend post-race media news conferences.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-6-2003)
  • Newman’s Gas Mileage: ….[#12-Ryan] Newman’s amazing gas mileage has become the topic of much debate among rivals, wondering if he’s got some tricks in his car. The typical engine gets 4.5 mpg, good enough for 100 miles on the average 22-gallon tank. However NASCAR specifies the size of the fuel cell box, not the number of gallons. So teams try numerous ways to expand that box, some even to the point of pressurizing it, or using sliding walls. NASCAR, though, has been quite strict about policing all those tricks for several years. Still, according to sources, Newman’s car took 23.2 gallons of gas during one fill up this weekend, when the tank wasn’t empty.(Winston Salem Journal)
    Newman’s Dodge, by the way, was not the only car to go 78 laps on a tank of fuel. Six others on the lead lap pitted for the final time with Newman, including third-place finisher Jeremy Mayfield, eighth-place Jamie McMurray and 10th-place Ricky Rudd, the highest-finishing Ford driver.(Gaston Gazette)(10-6-2003)

 


 

  • (10-5-2003)

  • Newman wins at Kansas: #12-Ryan Newman won the Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway, for his 8th win of the year and 9th of his 74 race career [12%]. #9-Bill Elliott, who let the most laps [115] ended up 2nd, with #19-Mayfield 3rd and #20-Stewart and #24-Gordon rounding out the top five. #17-Matt Kenseth wrecked early in the race, got the car fixed and was able to finish 36th, cutting his points lead to 259 points over Kevin Harvick with 7 races to go.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: on Speed Channel:
    one-hour recap/Fast Forward on Wednesday, October 8th at 7:00pm/et and again on October 9th at 1:00am/et;
    and a full three-hour race show will air on FRIDAY, Oct 10th this week [not Thurs as usual] at 2:00pm/et.
    Kansas Race Rundown on my Banquet 400 Race Info page for info, along with the top ten, cautions, lucky dogs, lineup links, notes and narritives, drivers off track or out of the race and lap leaders.
    Race Results at JAYSKI’s Kansas Race Results page, official results from NASCAR, also links to other results pages and points.
    For Drivers Points Standings, see JAYSKI’s Drivers/Owners Points (after Kansas) or
    ThatsRacin.com or NASCAR.com.(10-5-2003)
  • Stock Car Fans Newsletter – Rumblings – Kansas: If you thought the rumblings about the #12 car’s fuel mileage was loud before, get ready for a deafening roar this week! Ryan Newman stretched his fuel (yet again) for a smooth 78 laps today and held off Bill Elliott to take his 8th victory of the Winston Cup season in this afternoon’s Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway. His 9th career win moves Newman into a tie for 47th on the all-time win list with Paul Goldsmith, Cotton Owens, and Bob Welborn.
    Bill Elliott (2nd) had his best finish since he won at The Brickyard in August of 2002.
    Todd Bodine (11th) had his best finish since he was 8th at Pocono in July.
    Bobby Hamilton Jr (14th) tied his career-best finish today. He was 14th at Talladega in October of 2001.
    STREAKIN….Ryan Newman has 5 Top-10’s in a row. Rusty Wallace has 5 Top-10’s in a row. Jeff Gordon has 4 Top-10’s in the last 5 races.
    This Week’s Elevator….UP: Operator of the Week is John Andretti (+21), followed by Jeff Burton (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Elliott Sadler (-32), followed by Mike Skinner (-27), Jason Leffler (-24), and Dale Jarrett (-20). Twice as many downs as ups this week.
    Matt Kenseth has lost 177 points off his lead the last two weeks. It’s still a healthy 259 markers, but the “Magic Number” has swung to the competitors side the last couple races. It’s now down to 8 vs Kevin Harvick….it was double digits two weeks back. Matt’s crew busted their butts int the garage for 21 points. Remember that in November.
    We lopped another four drivers off the list today for Championship material. Everybody from 18th (Greg Biffle) on down is now out of the running. Jeremy Mayfield (24th to 21st) made a three position upward move today. Elliott Sadler (20th to 23rd) made the same move in the negative direction.(StockCarFans.Com Wcup Newsletter)(10-5-2003)
  • McReynolds Re-ups at Fox: Larry McReynolds, former crew chief for drivers Dale Earnhardt, Davey Allison and Ernie Irvan, recently signed a three-year extension with FOX that will keep him in the broadcast booth through 2007. McReynolds, who is attending the weekend’s events at Kansas Speedway, serves as a commentator during Fox-televised races. He also is co-host of the Speed Channel show “Trackside,” which airs on Fridays. In addition, McReynolds, 44, works on Winston Cup and Busch Series qualifying shows. He’s been with Fox since 2001, although his mind remains in the pits. “I certainly miss being a crew chief,” McReynolds said. “You don’t do something for as long as I did it and not miss it. But I certainly enjoy doing what I’m doing. There are days I’m up there in that booth and I feel like I’m crew chief of 43 different teams.”(Kansas City Star – need to register to view)
    AND hearing that Jeff Hammond has also finalized a 3-year extension with FOX Sports too. Darrell Waltrip’s extension with FOX was finalized some time ago.(10-5-2003)
  • Loomis Safe at the #24: Jeff Gordon scoffs at the notion that Robbie Loomis’ job is in jeopardy, as has been speculated — and continually discounted — in recent weeks. Gordon said Saturday at Kansas Speedway that Loomis is at Hendrick Motorsports for the long haul, regardless what anyone thinks they know. “It cracks me up,” Gordon said. “I was on MRN (radio) the other night and somebody called in and asked, ‘Is it true Chad Knaus is going to be your crew chief next year?’ It’s just ridiculous. It’s so funny.(NASCAR.com)(10-5-2003)
  • Chevy Could Clinch Today: If a Chevrolet wins Sunday’s race, the company will all but clinch the 2003 Winston Cup manufacturer’s title. A victory Sunday at Kansas Speedway would give Chevrolet 216 points. Provided Ford finishes second (worth six points), the margin would be 37 points with six races remaining. Even if Ford won the remaining six races and Chevrolet finished fourth in all six, Chevrolet would still finish one point ahead. Chevrolet leads all manufacturers with 26 championships since 1952, and GM Racing brands have won 34 of the 51 manufacturer’s titles in NASCAR history. That’s a .667 winning percentage.(ThatsRacin.com). For the standings, rules and what drivers have scored points for their manufacturer, and all time manufacturer wins see my Manufacturers Championship page.(10-5-2003)

    (10-4-2003)

  • Wawa on the #35: U.S. Marines and Wawa are sponsoring the #35 Team Rensi Ford of Bobby Hamilton Jr. in the Cup race in Kansas. What is Wawa? [one of the best convinence stores chains in the Northeast, not quite as good as the GEM Store in Dennisville, NJ] see more info at www.wawa.com. Also on the car [hood and 1/4 panels] is Ronald McDonald House Charities.(10-4-2003)
  • Hamilton Jr to Cup? UPDATE: One of Sunday’s story lines could be Bobby Hamilton Jr., the son of Bobby Sr. Bobby Jr., 25, would like to make the full-time step up from the Busch series.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-4-2003)
    UPDATE: Busch Series driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. will make his first Winston Cup start of the 2003 season in Sunday’s Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway. The driver has made 12 starts in NASCAR’s top series, but this will be his first since the 2001 season, when he ran three races for Andy Petree Racing and seven for Morgan-McClure Motorsports. He qualified 18th fastest in the #35 Ford of Team Rensi, the same organization that fields Hamilton Jr.’s #25 Busch team. “We’re just testing the waters,” Hamilton Jr. said. “We’re trying to work on sponsorship to go (to Cup) in 2005 and we’re just trying to test and see what we need and where we can help ourselves.”(ThatsRacin.com)(10-4-2003)
  • NetZero Re-ups with the #0: NetZero HiSpeed and Haas CNC Racing announced today the pair would team up for another season of Winston Cup racing. 2004 will mark the second year of the partnership between the two, and NetZero’s fourth season of competition in NASCAR. “We’re looking forward to another year with Gene Haas and Haas CNC Racing,” stated Brian Woods, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of NetZero. “Our first year in Winston Cup was definitely a learning experience. There were ups and downs, but through it all we knew we were building for the future. We’re looking forward to our sophomore season in this series. Gene Haas has put together a strong team and we couldn’t imagine not being a part of its ultimate success. The excitement NASCAR and our association with Haas CNC Racing have brought to our organization and our program is second to none.”
    “We’re very happy to have NetZero HiSpeed back on board,” said Haas, owner of Haas CNC Racing. “2003 was a more difficult year than anyone could have imagined. The competition in this series is fierce and we made a lot of changes to every aspect of our program to find the best fit. I think the combination we have now, with Jason Leffler, Tony Furr and NetZero HiSpeed is a match to be reckoned with. Everyone involved with Haas CNC Racing appreciates that the leadership at NetZero HiSpeed have been behind us with every twist and turn this year. I see 2004 as a year of great success and can’t help but be excited about the possibilities for the future.”(Netzero Racing PR/site)(10-4-2003)
  • Fans Injured: At least two people who were in the pit area of the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway on Friday night were seriously injured when a race car driven by Jason Thoma jumped a concrete wall and crashed into them. The accident, which happened at about 9:40pm, occured during an Area Sportsman feature race. Thoma’s car was involved in a crash on the front straightaway of the track, then crashed into and flew over a three-foot-high concrete retaining wall that separates the race track from the pit area. Both victims were members of a Modified race team, according to a track official. According to several witnesses, the car hit, then popped over the retaining wall and crashed into an area used by other drivers and teams as a staging area. Two of the victims were thrown an estimated 25 feet before landing on the inside of the wall, according to witnesses. Three ambulances were on the scene, and the Gundersen Lutheran Med-Link helicopter landed on the Turn One area of the track at 9:55 p.m. One victim was transported to a local hospital by ambulance, while the other was taken by Med-Link at 10:12 p.m. A condition report was not available on either victim. The driver suffered minor injuries, according to medical personnel on the scene, and was not immediately transported to a hospital.(La Crosse Tribune)(10-4-2003)
  • Questions about NASCAR post-race inspections: Questions about NASCAR’s post-race Talladega inspection, with rivals wondering about a possible NASCAR tilt toward DEI stars #15-Michael Waltrip and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. Waltrip and Earnhardt have dominated Daytona and Talladega for three years now, and Waltrip’s win Sunday in Alabama was DEI’s ninth in the past 12 at the two plate tracks. So rivals are suspicious, and when NASCAR inspectors surprised Talladega’s runner-ups by not checking the rear-quarterpanel heights of the Waltrip and Earnhardt Chevys, there were howls. NASCAR’s no check was all the more surprising because Earnhardt and Jason Keller, in a third DEI car, were busted in Friday inspections for being too low.(full story at the Winston Salem Journal)(10-4-2003)
  • Ince on leave UPDATE: James Ince, crew chief for driver Johnny Benson and the #10 Valvoline Pontiacs, has taken an indefinite leave of absence to deal with family matters, the team said. Jay Guy, who has served as the car chief for the team, will take over the interim crew chief duties and started this weekend.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-3-2003)
    UPDATE: #10 Pontiac Crew Chief James Ince did not travel with the team to Kansas this weekend. Ince is taking an indefinite leave from his duties in order to deal with family matters in Charlotte. Car Chief Jay Guy will serve as crew chief until Ince’s return.(GM PR)(10-4-2003)
  • Elliott Part Time in 2004? UPDATE: now hearing that Bill Elliott will semi-retire and run five Cup races in 2004, assuming it’ll be in the #9 Dodge.(10-2-2003)
    UPDATE: The Winston Cup garage is rife with rumors about Bill Elliott’s possible retirement, but Elliott himself says it’s still too early to announce his plans for 2004 and beyond. “There’s too much going on to say anything right now,” Elliott said. There apparently are several scenarios in play, but at this point, none of them have Elliott walking away from the sport at the end of this season. He is expected to either run the full season next year for car owner Ray Evernham or run a limited schedule — possibly five major events. Elliott’s plans hinge on several factors, including what Evernham does with Elliott’s team car, the No. 19 Dodge now driven by Jeremy Mayfield. Evernham said there are no firm plans in place yet for either of his two teams. “Everything’s not settled,” Evernham said. “We hope to have it settled by the time we roll into Atlanta, but right now we’re concentrating on it race-by-race, trying to win some races here.”(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-4-2003)
  • Jeff Burton to RCR? UPDATE: here is one I haven’t heard from a while, but being told Jeff Burton, driver of the #99 Citgo Ford and Roush Racing, could be headed to Richard Childress Racing in 2004 – however – it was announced just about a month ago that Burton had re-signed with Roush Racing a multi-year contract, so ??(10-1-2003)
    UPDATE: An Internet rumor this week linked Jeff Burton to Richard Childress Racing, but the South Boston native said he is staying put. “I just signed an extension of my contract and told everybody we signed,” Button said. “Now I’m going somewhere else to drive. I don’t know how [the rumors] get started. I do talk to Richard Childress. I don’t talk about driving his race car, but I have conversations with Richard Childress. I don’t think there’s anything wrong talking to car owners I respect. I guess people see that and get things going in their head.” Roush Racing is hunting for a company to sponsor Burton’s No. 99 Ford next year, and Burton said the search was going well.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-4-2003)
  • Kenny to the Truck Series? #23-Kenny Wallace will be back with Bill Davis next season, but apparently as the team’s new Toyota Truck tour driver rather than in Davis’ second Cup car.(Winston Salem Journal); have heard Stacker 2 will continue to sponsor Wallace, wearever he ends up.(10-4-2003)
  • Goodyear Explains Tire Flap at Dover: Goodyear Tire officials on Friday blamed a mismatched set of tires for any problems reigning Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart had in the final laps of the Sept. 21 Winston Cup race at Dover, Del. Following the race, in which Stewart finished third but could not make up ground on the race leaders after a late-race pit stop, Stewart lashed out at Goodyear, accusing the tire manufacturer of costing him a chance at victory.(see full story at ThatsRacin.com)(10-4-2003)
  • Salder speaks about rescue at Talladega: Elliott Sadler adler said he met with NASCAR officials Friday morning to thank them for a two-week-old rule preventing cars from racing back to the yellow flag, saying he felt that greatly reduced the time it took rescue workers to get to him once his car finished five snap rolls that followed a one-and-a-half somersault in the #38 M&M’s Ford. But he also pressed those officials on the issue of having a traveling team of doctors to supervise medical care of drivers at each NASCAR track. “One thing I would really like to see, and we’re all asking for it, is to have some doctors in the infield care center who we know and who travel with this sport,” Sadler said. “To have somebody there who knows me and knows that I don’t like needles – some people are just scared of certain things, and I’m scared of needles.”(See more on the ThatsRacing.com)(10-4-2003)
  • Kahne to Cup; Evernham? UPDATE 2: Busch Series driver Kasey Kahne has received several Winston Cup job offers for the 2004 season, with the most serious coming from Evernham Motorsports, sources said Thursday. Kahne, reached Thursday by phone, confirmed he has received “five or six Cup offers from top-20 teams,” but he declined to name them. Kahne, 23, drives the #38 Great Cuts Ford for Akins Motorsports. He is eighth in points with three top-five and 11 top-10 finishes this season. He won his first pole at Michigan in August. Evernham Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing and Richard Childress Racing were among the top Cup teams expressing interest, with Evernham the most serious, sources said. Of the three, only RCR currently has an opening for the 2004 season, in its #30 AOL Chevy. Gibbs has Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart under long-term contracts and Evernham currently has Bill Elliott and Jeremy Mayfield under contract. However, there has been a lot of speculation about Elliott’s future and whether he would retire at the end of the season. Mayfield’s job performance has also been under scrutiny this year. A spokesperson for Evernham Motorsports declined to comment Thursday on any connection between Kahne’s Winston Cup plans and Evernham Motorsports. Kahne, who is under contract with Ford Motor Co. through the 2005 season, said he has spoken to Ford officials about the Cup teams’ interest. None was a Ford team, he said.(ThatsRacin.com)
    UPDATE: Robert Yates Racing PR folks tell me that: Not only is Kasey under contract with Ford Racing but he remains under a multi-year contract with Robert Yates Racing. He’s driven the Great Clips Ford for Akins Motorsports this year on basically a “loaner” basis. Both Ford and RYR expect Kasey to be racing Ford’s for years to come. They haven’t been contacted by Kasey or another team about releasing him from his contract.
    AND Kahne said during an interview on Speed Channel’s Busch Series Qualifying that he will run a full Busch Series schedule in 2004, driving the #38 Great Clips car.(10-3-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Ford’s Kenny Kahne is suddenly a hot item among rivals who would like to hire the Busch driver to run Winston Cup next season. Among the car owners reported to be interested: Dodge’s Ray Evernham. Kahne has a contract with Ford however that runs another two years, though he said he’s getting Winston Cup offers. So Ford officials may now be looking for a Ford team willing to give Kahne a ride. Kahne has a contract with Robert Yates too, so he would be the logical pick, but Yates’ two Cup teams aren’t doing all that well at the moment so it seems unlikely he would want to expand.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-4-2003)
  • Raine’s loses engine and wrecks #74 car: What Happened in Practice [at Kansas]? #74-Tont Raines responsed:
    “It blew an oil plug out of the oil pump and oiled down the entire engine bay so it wouldn’t turn and it wouldn’t slow down and it hit the wall pretty hard. Other than that, it was pretty uneventful (laughs).”
    HOW HARD DID YOU HIT? “I was kind of ready for it because I knew I was going to hit it, obviously, and the car was going head-first into it so I jacked the brakes and the wheel and got it to where I thought it was going to flat or brush it and I thought that would be better. It just hit a lot harder than I expected it to. I thought I had slowed down some by then but it was all good. Everything worked well. The car is not very good though, now. It’s pretty well destroyed. We’ll just get the backup out andhopefully it will be as good. I just smelled smoke, oil burning, right when I went past the start finish line. Just as I was getting ready to turn in, I could tell by the feel of the wheels that there was oil on something, the right front tire had gone down, something was happening bad. When I turned in, it wouldn’t turn, obviously, and then I rolled off the gas and got on the brake and it wouldn’t slow down. I knew then that it was either blowing up or something had happened big. At that point it wasn’t about saving the car, it was about how I was going to hit. I’ve listened to these guys and they tell me how to wreck so I kind of leaned forward and got my HANS belts taught and then bounced her off the fence. I’m like ‘Wow, that didn’t feel so good’ but everything worked really good. I think all the improvements that we’ve made inside the car, I’ve not looked at it real close but looked at it a little bit, and it looks like it did everything that you’d hope for it to do.”(Camp and Assoc PR)(10-4-2003)
  • Childress down to two drivers: Richard Childress said he’s narrowed his list of drivers for his third Cup [#30 AOL] team to two, and he said that Busch racer Kasey Kahne isn’t one of them. ‘It takes a little time to get everything put together,’ Childress said. ‘We’re still talking.'(Winston Salem Journal)(10-4-2003)

    (10-3-2003)

  • Final Talladega Ratings: NBC Sports’ broadcast of last Sunday’s EA Sports 500 from Talladega Superspeedway set a record as the highest national rating ever for any auto race in competition with professional football, a 5.5 national rating/ 12 share, according to Nielsen Media Research.(NASCAR PR)(10-3-2003)
  • Ward released from 2004 contract with Davis? Marty Snider [of NBC] was interviewed on XM Radio – NASCAR Radio [subscription required] by Chris McClain, Snider reported the he was told by Bill Davis Racing’s GM Mike Brown, that Ward Burton was told last Sunday that Burton would not return to the #22 CAT Dodge in 2004. Burton told #30 AOL Chevy owner, Richard Childress, that he was available. Supposedly Childress wants Burton in the car, but sponsor AOL is not so sure. Burton expects to hear within a week of so.(10-3-2003)
  • #14/50 Foyt Racing crew shakeup? UPDATE 2: hearing that the #14/50 crew chief, Craig “Butch” Lamoreux, General Manager Mike Chase and Foyt Racing have parted ways. Have not heard who will take over the jobs.(9-19-2003)
    UPDATE: Ben Holm is now the crew chief of the #14/50 team and driver Larry Foyt.(9-29-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Larry Foyt, who suffered a crack in his left wrist and bruised right kidney in an accident in last Sunday’s Winston Cup race at Talladega, Ala., will have part-time Busch Series driver Mark Green standing by this weekend should he need a relief driver for his #14 Harrah’s Dodge. In addition, the A.J. Foyt Racing team added Winston Cup veteran Greg Conner as its new crew chief, at least in the short-term. “We’re going to be trying him for a couple of races and see how it goes,” Foyt said. “I might try a couple of people. We’re just going to see how it goes.” Foyt said he is working to surround himself with strong nucleus of a team in preparation for his sophomore season next year.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-3-2003)
  • Johnson backs up practice and wins pole at Kansas: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the pole at Kansas Speedway for the Banquet 400 in record breaking fashion with a speed of 180.373mph. That breaks the old track record of 177.924mph set last year by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Eighteen other driver qualified faster then the old record. It is Johnson’s 2nd pole of 2003 and the 6th of his career. Starting on the outside pole is #01-Mike Skinner. Other good runs by #0-Jason Leffler [6th] and #43-Jeff Green [9th]. Looks like provisionals WERE charged this week even thou the new rule saying non would be charged if the number of entrants that are eligible for a provisional starting position for the event is equal to or less then the number of starting positions available [usually 43], as provided by the Official Entry Blank, provisionals assigned to fill starting positions 37 through 43 under those conditions will not count toward the maximum season allotment, which should had been the case since four teams were out with 45 cars entered. So #14-Foyt and #4-Sauter missed the race and DNQ’d. Two part time teams used provisionals: #37-Cope and #09-Wallace. #49-Schrader got the last provisional over #4-Sauter as the #49 is higher in owners points, race attempts is the first criteria, which both have 30. For the speeds, the starting lineup and other lineup links, see the Jayski’s Kansas Qualifying/Grid page.(10-3-2003)
  • StockCarFans.com – Ramblings – Kansas: #48-Jimmie Johnson shattered the track record today and captured his second Bud Pole of the season for Sunday’s Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway. His time of 29.938 (180.373 mph) was over 1/10th of a second quicker than #01-Mike Skinner. In fact, if you wanted to start in the Top-20 for Sunday’s event, you just about had to break the previous track record to do it. The top 18 in the rundown today did just that! Nothing like cool and overcast conditions to create some speed. This is the second top-spot for Johnson this season (he started from the point at Pocono in June), and the 6th of his short career.
    Had a rarity today…..a three-way tie on time. And, NASCAR.com hopefully will get it corrected before race time. #97-Kurt Busch, #16-Greg Biffle, and #54-Todd Bodine all ran 30.372 (177.795 mph) and ties are broken by owner points, so it’s Kurt in 21st, Biffle in 22nd, and Todd in 23rd.
    #18-Bobby Labonte (4th) has his best starting spot since he grabbed the pole at Michigan in August.
    #2-Rusty Wallace (5th) has his best starting spot since he started 5th at Watkins Glen in August.
    #6-Jason Leffler (6th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 6th at Michigan in June.
    #9-Bill Elliott (8th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 3rd at The Brickyard in August.
    #43-Jeff Green (9th) had his best qualifying run since he grabbed the pole for the Daytona 500.
    #30-Steve Park (17th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 16th at Pocono in July.
    #35-Bobby Hamilton Jr (18th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 15th at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May of 2001! (only 10 starts)
    STREAKIN….Jeff Gordon has 5 Top-10 starts in a row. Jimmie Johnson has 5 Top-10 starts in the last 6 races.
    Matt Kenseth crashed in practice this morning, and had trouble getting the backup up to speed….so, for the second week in a row he used a provisional to make the field. He’s joined at the back by: Mark Martin, Ward Burton, John Andretti, Derrike Cope, Mike Wallace, and Ken Schrader. The Trouble Train is a short one this week….Larry Foyt and Johnny Sauter get the gate.(StockCarFans.Com Wcup Newsletter)(10-3-2003)
  • Tony Stewart Launches New Website: For race fans looking for a behind-the-scenes look into the life of Tony Stewart, look no further than SmokeVIP.com. The recently launched subscription-based site provides an array of web entertainment including streaming audio/video, candid photos, screen savers, and e-postcards just to name a few of the features. Tonystewart.com will remain a free and up-to-date website where information about the #20 Home Depot Racing Team and the #20 World of Outlaws team can be obtained. All other aspects of tonystewart.com – message boards, appearance listings, pre and post-race reports and the online store – will also remain the same. However, for those who can’t get enough of Tony Stewart, SmokeVIP.com is the place to be.(10-3-2003)
  • #77 to Dodge in 2004: many sources indicate that the #77 Jasper Motorsports team, just losing Ford suppoer for runnign a Dodge at Talladega, will make the switch ti Dodge in 2004.
    AND When Penske jumped from Ford to Dodge this season, he had 90 Ford engines race ready for Ryan Newman, Rusty Wallace and Blaney. But Penske didn’t want his secret-engine technology falling into anyone else’s hands, so Blaney was to continue running the Ford stuff until it was all used. And Blaney would then be switching to Dodge for 2004.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-3-2003)

    Kansas Drought: Dale Jarrett (30th and 39th) heads the list of four drivers who have posted DNFs in both races at Kansas Speedway He is joined by Johnny Benson (37th and 23rd), Todd Bodine (42nd and 34th) and Ward Burton (41st and 43rd).(Kansas Speedway Site)(10-3-2003)

  • Kansas Doubles:
    Jeff Gordon has scored victories in both races at Kansas Speedway.
    Ryan Newman has finished second in both races at Kansas Speedway.
    Tony Stewart has finished eighth in both races at Kansas Speedway.
    Mike Wallace has finished 19th in both races at Kansas Speedway.(Kansas Speedway Site)(10-3-2003)
  • Strange Kansas Manufacturer Consistency: A Chevrolet has won both races at Kansas Speedway. A Ford finished second and third in both races while Dodge has scored two fifth-place finishes. Pontiac could not be denied, scoring eighth-place finishes in both races at Kansas.(Kansas Speedway Site)(10-3-2003)

    (10-2-2003)

  • Changes at the #9 Evernham Motorsports team? UPDATE: hearing there could be some crew changes at the #9 Evernham Motorsports team, which could include crew chief [compitition director] Mike Ford.(9-18-2003)
    UPDATE: hearing Tommy Baldwin Jr. could move over to the #9 team, he is currently with the #7 and driver Jimmy Spencer.(9-19-2003)
    UPDATE 2: hearing Baldwin to the #9 is a done deal and will be announced soon.(10-2-2003)
  • BAM to get Manufacturer Support in 2004: The #49 BAM Racing Dodge, currently driven by Ken Schrader, has received a pledge of support from Dodge for the 2004 season. That is great news for the unsponsored team, which is owned by Kansas City native Beth Ann Morganthau.(Kansas City Star)(10-2-2003)
  • Riggs to Decide in two weeks: Busch Series driver [#10] Scott Riggs has given himself two weeks to make a major, and enviable, decision. Second in a tight Busch Series points race behind Brian Vickers, the 32-year-old has received “way more than 10” offers to drive in NASCAR’s Nextel Cup series next year. “I still haven’t whittled everything down to where I can figure out the most competitive ride and where I feel the most comfortable,” Riggs said Wednesday during a trip to Tampa. “I’ve had a lot of calls about my future and people wanting me to be a part of theirs. I’m almost ready to make (the decision) so I can go on and focus on winning a championship.” Contrary to numerous published reports, he said no offer has come from Richard Childress Racing, which fired Steve Park on Tuesday. “I’ve not heard from Richard Childress,” he said. “I had a great opportunity with them two years ago; he offered me a chance to go Busch racing with him, but it wasn’t the best choice for me because it was going to be a rookie team. I felt like as a rookie, going into a new series with an all-rookie team would be more than I could bite off, so I decided to go with (ppc Racing).”(St Petersburg Times), heaviest rumors seem to be with DEI [#1 Chevy], Evernham [#9 or #19] and a smaller team, #57 CLR, which he tested for at Lowe’s last month.(10-2-2003)
  • Kenseth contributes: Winston Cup points leader #17-Matt Kenseth finished a season-worst 33rd at the EA Sports 500 last Sunday, but still donated $25,000 to the Recording Artists/Actors/Athletes Against Drunk Driving (RADD) program. Kenseth was to donate $250 to RADD for every lap he led at Talladega. He led only one lap, but a minimum donation of $25,000 was set aside.(Delaware News Journal)(10-2-2003)
  • Dale Jr. dislikes new pit rules: Dale Earnhardt Jr. was one of a half dozen drivers involved in a pit road collision on pit road at Talladega. In part, he blamed the problem on the rule calling for a single-file entry. “We’re coming down pit road like a bunch of idiots who’ve never done it before,” he said. “My problem was the single-file deal and the pit stall I had. But that’s our fault for not qualifying. I was really pretty ticked off the whole time in the car.” Earnhardt, who finished second, had to take a provisional and start 38th after his No. 8 Budweiser Chevy failed a post-qualifying inspection. Teams get to select their pit road locations based on qualifying results. They want pit stalls that have open spaces in front or behind them.(Dallas Morning News)(10-2-2003)
  • Ford Cuts Loose the #77: Ford Racing Technology has dissolved its formal association with Jasper Motorsports in NASCAR’s Winston Cup Series. Jasper Motorsports, which was under contract to field the #77 Jasper Engines Ford Taurus for the entire 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, violated a fundamental provision in its agreement with Ford Motor Company by competing in last Sunday’s EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in a Dodge car. Over the weekend, Ford informed the team that it was in breach of contract. On Tuesday, the automaker declared the contract null and void and informed the team that it would repossess all existing Ford assets and discontinue further operational support. “What happened at Talladega was unacceptable,” said Greg Specht, manager of Ford Racing Operations. “To be a Ford team, you have to run a Ford.”(Ford Racing)
    And the response from the team: Jasper Motorsports has acknowledged Ford Racing’s option to terminate their contingency contract for running a competitors car in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway last week. Prior to running a Ford competitor’s product at Talladega, Mark Harrah, co-owner of Jasper Motorsports, called Greg Specht, manager of Ford Racing Operations. Specht informed Harrah that doing so would be cause for termination of the agreement between Ford and Jasper Motorsports. “I spoke with Greg, before we even made the decision,” said Harrah. “We meant no disrespect to Ford, but our contract was a minor contingency contract. The tangibles stated within the Ford contract were not enough to influence our decision,” he continued. “We were forced to look out for our sponsor. We took a chance in hopes to run more competitively and it paid off. It was our best finish at a superspeedway since February 2001.” Currently, Jasper Motorsports plans to run the Ford Taurus through the end of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Season. Despite Ford’s decision to negate the contract, Jasper Motorsports accepts and respects the resolution as a business decision. Currently the team is working with Ford to gratify the Termination Clause established in the contract of record that provides 30 days to acknowledge and close out the relationship.(Jasper Motorsports PR)(10-2-2003)
  • Green stays in the #43 for Kansas, Fittipaldi in the #44; possibly longer: Jeff Green will be behind the wheel of the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge again this week when the NASCAR Winston Cup Series heads to the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway. And he will be in the car on a race-to-race basis the rest of the season. Following two steady runs in the #43, Green has been named driver of the Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge on a race-to-race basis. Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises, made the announcement. Christian Fittipaldi will drive the #44 Bugles Dodge in the races already scheduled for 2003. “Jeff has done a good job for us the past few weeks, and we are excited to have him in the car at Kansas,” Petty said. “His winning attitude, the way he has quickly adapted to Petty Enterprises and the way he has been readily accepted by the guys on the team has already shown on the race track. Jeff’s history as a winner is already showing. Christian also has some good results this year, including qualifying seventh at Michigan and running well in several races,” Petty continued. “He has done an amazing job jumping in for us this year earlier than we had planned. Christian is a big part of our program going forward. We already had Christian scheduled for a few more #44 Bugles races the remainder of this season, and keeping the #43 team together with one driver should help us finish strong,” Petty added.
    “I am really excited to be able to continue what we’ve started,” said Green. “I’ve started to get to know the ‘Helping Hand’ crew some over the past two weeks, and they’ve gotten to know me. We’re starting to get a pretty good relationship going, and that’s going to help us as we move on to Kansas and, hopefully, on down the line.”(Williams Company PR)(10-2-2003)
  • Ribbon on the #88: Along with tens of thousands of race fans [including Jayski], Dale Jarrett’s #88 NASCAR Winston Cup Taurus will again wear the pink ribbon of breast cancer awareness in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Race Fans for a Cure. For this weekend’s Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway, the 7½” x 14″ Race Fans for a Cure decal will replace the Ford Credit decal behind the “88” on both sides of the car. Race Fans for a Cure is a charitable initiative which benefits the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and is sponsored by Ford Credit (Ford Racing). More info about Race Fans for a Cure and the Ford Credit’s Fan Challenge/Race Fans for a Cure on my Racing Charities page.(10-2-2003)

    (10-1-2003)

  • Sponsor Rumor #1: Domino’s Pizza to the #1 DEI Chevy?(10-1-2003)
  • #20 Crew Wins Pit Crew Award at Talladega: #20-Tony Stewart’s pit crew took first-place honors in the McDonald’s Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade in Sunday’s (Sept. 28) EA Sports 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. It was the first victory of the season for the No. 20 pit crew, which earned $20,000 for the win. Stewart’s pit crew also became the 15th different winner of the season to capture the McDonald’s Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade. Stewart’s Home Depot/Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on pit road for participating teams in Talladega – 238.941 seconds. Ken Schrader’s No. 49 BAM Racing Dodge was second with a total pit-road time of 248.257. Third was Dave Blaney’s Jasper Engines Dodge at 257.022. “The crew did a great job on our last pit stop — got us out first of the cars that pitted,” said Stewart, who posted a third-place finish in Talladega. “We restarted 10th and got up to fourth or fifth — something like that – and just stayed around the top-10. Their performance gave us the track position we needed to make our run during those last four laps. They definitely deserved to have won the McDonald’s/POWERade contest.”
    Stewart’s over-the-wall crew consists of: Mike Lingerfelt (front tire changer), Tom Dean (front tire carrier), Todd Foster (rear tire changer), Jay Barry (rear tire carrier), Brian “Shaggy” Larson (catch can), Jeff “Gooch” Patterson (gas man), Chuck White (jackman) and Scott Geerts (windshield). The team’s crew chief is Greg Zipadelli and the pit crew coach is Paul Alepa.
    With a strong pit crew performance at Talladega (fourth), Michael Waltrip’s team increased its lead in the season standings for the McDonald’s Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade. Waltrip’s team has 1028 points and leads by 44 over the No. 97 crew for Kurt Busch’s team, which moved into second place following Talladega. Dale Earnhardt Jr’s team dropped to third, 47 points behind the leader. The season pit crew champion will earn a $200,000 bonus.

    (DMF Communications PR), see top 10 results and full season standings on my Pit Crew News page.(10-1-2003)

  • Sponsor Rumor – Wells 2nd team: Subway [Jared and Subs] to the 2nd Cal Wells/PPI Motorpsorts team?(10-1-2003)
  • #38 and the Roof Flaps: A safety flap on the roof of Elliott Sadler’s #38 M&M’s Ford failed to deploy at Talladega, which likely contributed to the frightening flight that destroyed the Robert Yates Racing entry. “If you look closely at the video, the roof flap on the right side didn’t appear to do everything it was supposed to do to keep the car on the ground,” Nelson said. “That’s where our focus is right now.” Nelson, NASCAR’s managing director of competition, has initiated an intense investigation into the accident. Nelson called his engineering team together Monday to review video tape of the accident and inspect every inch of Sadler’s mangled machine, now parked in the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C.”It raised a lot of questions that we’re now trying to work out the answers,” Nelson said. Nelson stressed the flaps of Sadler’s car were examined during NASCAR’s inspection procedures before Sunday’s EA Sports 500. Two pop-up flaps and a pair of metal strips are installed on the roof of every Winston Cup car, designed to keep the 3,400-pound racers on the ground during a spin. NASCAR added an additional metal strip along the rear window for more down force in a spin after Ryan Newman’s Dodge flipped through the air during the Daytona 500. Asked if NASCAR needs to go back to the drawing board to find a fix to keep stock cars from going airborne, Nelson said his current investigation will likely tell the story. “Our analysis will tell us that,” he said. “But knowing the No. 48 car went through the same thing and did not get airborne tells us that the rules made to keep the cars on the ground worked on one and one got airborne.”(Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-1-2003)
  • Shorter Weekends at the Track? Race teams are encouraged that NASCAR is looking into two-day weekends next season for restrictor-plate races other than the Daytona 500. NASCAR’s goal is to eliminate the special setups teams used for qualifying, which are very different from the race setups. By eliminating the qualifying setups, series officials could reduce the time at the track from three days to two days. Series officials are considering a plan where teams would come to the track with their cars in race setup. Teams would have drafting practice, be given time to make some minor changes and then qualify. The race would be the next day. This is being examined for both Talladega races and the July Daytona race next year. Series officials also are looking at reducing race weekends to two days at other tracks. NASCAR tried it a few years ago but bad weather hindered those schedules and ended the experiment.(Roanoke Times)(10-1-2003)
  • Testing at Atlanta UPDATE Speeds: Less than 12 hours after leaving Talladega, Waltrip was at Atlanta Motor Speedway, testing his #15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet in preparation for the Oct. 26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Also testing Monday was Georgia native Buckshot Jones, who will drive the #00 Aaron’s car for Waltrip in the Oct. 26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Waltrip’s fastest lap was 185.666mph), Jones’ quick lap was 185.109mph. Busch Series racer David Green, who is fourth in points, also tested. His fastest lap was 180.293mph. Waltrip is running both the Oct. 25 Aaron’s 312 Busch race and the Oct. 26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Winston Cup race. All three drivers will continue testing Tuesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in preparation for the Oct. 24-26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend. Tickets are still available for all three days of racing action by calling the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211.(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(9-30-2003)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Winston Cup veteran Michael Waltrip led the speed chart Tuesday at Atlanta, caught on the unofficial stopwatches at an average speed of 191.701 around the 1.54-mile superspeedway. Waltrip also tested his #99 Aaron’s Dream Machine — turning a lap in 182.129mph. Georgia native Buckshot Jones also turned laps Tuesday, trying to get comfortable in his #00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Chevrolet. Jones, driving a car owned by Waltrip, ran a speed of 181.711mph. Busch Series title contender David Green had the second fastest time of the day at 183.333mph in the #37 Brewco Motorsports Pontiac [Busch](Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(10-1-2003)
  • Testing at Kentucky: #38-Elliott Sadler will test at Kentucky Speedway today and plans to race at Kansas Speedway this weekend.(FSN’s Totally NASCAR)(9-30-2003)
    UPDATE: Elliott Sadler rebounded from his wild Sept. 28 ride at Talladega with a one-day test at Kentucky Speedway today. Sadler shook down two new M&M’s Fords in preparation for this weekend’s race at Kansas while Crew Chief Todd Parrott commented on his driver’s physical condition and the spectacular incident that sent the #38 airborne and flipping down the Talladega backstretch. “He’s (Sadler) doing fine,” Parrott said. “Sunday night he called me and said the CAT Scan and everything came back negative and he felt fine. He had a heck of a headache, but other than that, he had no broken bones and everything was good. He came by the shop yesterday a bunch of times and we were shocked that he felt as well as he did. It goes to show you how ready these guys are to prepare a car. He went through one of the wildest rides I’ve ever seen at Daytona or Talladega, and I’ve seen some wild ones.” Parrott credits Sadler’s health to NASCAR safety measures. “The inside of the car and the driver’s cocoon are probably the most unscathed parts of the racecar. Everything did its job,” Parrott said. “He was awake for the whole ride. He kept telling himself, ‘don’t black out, don’t black out, don’t black out.’ He’s having a good test here today.”(Kentucky Speedway) and on my #38 Team News and Links page for Elliott Sadler Speaks About Talladega Wreck.(10-1-2003)
  • Jeff Burton to RCR? here is one I haven’t heard from a while, but being told Jeff Burton, driver of the #99 Citgo Ford and Roush Racing, could be headed to Richard Childress Racing in 2004 – however – it was announced just about a month ago that Burton had re-signed with Roush Racing a multi-year contract, so ??(10-1-2003)
  • Special Decal on the #77 in Oct: Throughout the month of October, Dave Blaney will run a special purple ribbon decal on the hood of his #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness month. In addition to the hood decal, the team will run a specially decorated deck lid on their NASCAR Winston Cup Series entry at Phoenix International Raceway on November 2 adorned with the names of individuals and companies who support an area volunteer-based victims assistance program, The Crisis Connection. The team is counting on the loyalty of NASCAR fan’s everywhere to take a stand in this fight. The names displayed on the deck lid will be agencies, companies or individuals who have donated $25 to The Crisis Connection, a not-for-profit organization. The funds will go towards the operational budgets of comprehensive, community-based outreach programs in the counties of Dubois, Spencer, Perry, Crawford, and Orange in southern Indiana. There are several sources to aide in the education on Domestic Violence. One of those sources is the National Domestic Violence Hotline – 800-799-SAFE (7233), or for TDD users -800-787-3224 (TDD).(10-1-2003)
  • Park to visit Chevy Plant: Prior to heading to Kansas Speedway for the Banquet 400, Park will be making a visit to the Chevy Malibu Assembly Plant, just outside of Kansas City, KS. On Thursday, October 2, he will be given a plant tour then visit with and sign autographs for plant employees.(RCR PR)(10-1-2003)
  • Park out? UPDATE 3: being told to expect an announcement soon that Steve Park will not return to the #30 AOL Chevy and Richard Childress for the 2004 season, not sure if that will include the announcement of the 2004 driver or not, some to be rumored for the ride include: Ward Burton, Jeremey Mayfield, Ron Hornaday, Johnny Sauter, Joe Nemechek.
    AND also hearing that Park may not drive the #30 at Kansas, have not heard who would.
    UPDATE: Richard Childress is expected to decide this week who will be the driver next season for No. 30 Chevrolet, which Steve Park failed to qualify in at Talladega. Three drivers are being mentioned: Jeremy Mayfield, Ward Burton and Scott Riggs. If Mayfield bolts from Evernham Motorsports’ #19 team, it will raise a bigger question: Which two drivers would compete for Evernham in 2004? If Bill Elliott runs a limited schedule of five to seven races and Mayfield departs, chances are that Burton and/or Riggs could figure in the Evernham equation. An interesting combination would be Riggs, a rookie, with a veteran crew chief, such as Tommy Baldwin, in one of EMS’ primary cars.(Sporting News/FoxSports)
    UPDATE 2: Seve Park will complete the 2003 Winston Cup season with the Richard Childress Racing (RCR) team as driver of the #30 AOL Chevy. Park will not return to RCR in 2004 and intends to explore his options for the upcoming NEXTEL Cup season immediately. To date in 2003, Park has won two poles (Fontana & Daytona) and scored one top-five and three top-10 finishes. “I’ve had a great experience with RCR and Richard has been very supportive throughout our relationship. I greatly appreciate him giving me the opportunity to drive for his organization this season,” stated Park. “I feel that I am in the best physical shape I have ever been and I know that I still have a lot to look forward to as a winning driver.” Park’s career statistics during his six year career in the Winston Cup Series include two wins, four poles, 12 top-5 finishes and 35 top-10 finishes.(Elevation Group PR)(9-30-2003)
    UPDATE 3: NASCAR team owner Richard Childress announced today he would not extend the current contract of Steve Park, driver of the #30 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, for the 2004 Nextel Cup season. Park joined Richard Childress Racing (RCR) in May 2003 to drive the #30 Chevrolet after driving for Dale Earnhardt, Inc., since 1996. He has 174 starts with two victories and four poles since he began his NASCAR Winston Cup Series career in 1998. His best finish in the championship point standings was 11th in 2000. “I want to thank Steve for stepping in and helping us with the #30 team. But this is a performance-driven business and the team’s performance has not been up to our expectations so we decided to make a change for next season,” said Childress. “We’re announcing this decision now so Steve will have time to find another ride for 2004 and we will have time to find a driver for the team for next season. I also want to point out that the performance of the #30 team at Talladega last weekend in no way played a role in this decision and our goal is still to win a race with Steve before the season ends.” Childress has yet to reach a decision on the new driver of the No. 30 Chevrolet for the 2004 season. An announcement will be made when plans have been finalized.(RCR PR)(10-1-2003)