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September 1999 News Archives


 

  • (9-30-1999)
  • Craven signs for 2000: Midwest Transit Racing co-owners Mike Witters and Hal Hicks together with Winston Cup driver – Ricky Craven, announced the signing of Craven to drive the #50 Midwest Transit Racing Chevy for the 2000 Winston Cup season(Midwest Transit Racing Site)(9-30-1999)
  • Finally…Wells, an announcement: A spokesperson for Cal Wells’ Precision Performance Inc. said Wednesday the team will announce its Winston Cup plans for the 2000 season next week at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte. The name most often being mentioned lately as the likely driver is Scott Pruett(from CART).(That’s Racin’)(9-30-1999)
  • Gilliland News: NASCAR Winston West Series driver Butch Gilliland is looking for a 2000 ride. Gilliland, who formerly co-owned the #1 Winston West car he currently drives for Jenn West Motorsports, a California Corporation of multiple owners, confirmed Wednesday afternoon that he was ride hunting for 2000. Gilliland has been talking with several Winston Cup and Craftsman Truck team owners but no plans are set, but he will not drive for Jenn West Motorsports in 2000. The car Gilliland is stepping out of will be driven by Gilliland’s son David, as he makes a run for Rookie-of-the-year in the Winston West series(Racing West) Gilliland has attempted and ran a few 1999 Cup races in the #38 Ford(9-30-1999)
  • Shepherd News: Morgan Shepherd will have Delco-Remy as the sponsor and former Cup team owner, Richard Jackson will be helping Shepherd out(Morgan Shepherd Site)(9-29-1999) — CORRECTION: I am now told that Shepherd will have Delco Remy sponsorship at Charlotte next week, and possibly at Martinsville, not sure yet(9-30-1999)
  • Kulwicki Schloarship: If recent University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) graduate Ryan Zeck has his way, the legacy of the late Alan Kulwicki will continue well into the next century. Officials from Lowe’s Motor Speedway and UNC Charlotte announced Zeck would make his superspeedway debut in a car painted in UNC Charlotte colors carrying number 49 in honor of the UNC Charlotte 49ers. The car and plans were unveiled on the UNC Charlotte campus. Zeck’s quest to emulate Kulwicki’s on-track success begins next Wednesday, Oct. 6, during Winston Pole Night activities at Lowe’s Motor Speedway as he plans to compete in the EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 100, featuring the ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde stock car series. A 23-year-old California native, Zeck was the first recipient of the Alan Kulwicki Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship was established in 1994 after the tragic death of Kulwicki in a 1993 airplane crash. Kulwicki was the first NASCAR Winston Cup driver with an engineering degree and won the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Championship operating his own team(Lowes Motor Speedwat Site)(9-30-1999)

    (9-29-1999)

  • The Official Release from Hendrick: Hendrick Motorsports Honors Evernham Request, Promotes Whitesell with information about Ray Evernham’s release and about new crew chief Brian Whitesell(9-30-1999)
  • It’s Official – Evernham Released: Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick announced Wednesday he has granted Jeff Gordon’s crew chief, Ray Evernham, a provisional release from his contract effective immediately. Hendrick said he decided to “assist Ray with a lifelong dream which he shared with me of pursuing his own team.” Brian Whitesell takes over as the crew chief of the #24 DuPont Chevy and driver Jeff Gordon. See full stories at That’s Racin’ and NASCAR Online(9-29-1999)
  • Press Conference: A special press conference with NASCAR’s Ricky Rudd and Tide Racing will announce the launch of a charitable fundraising program for Give Kids The World, an organization that aids children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. The #10 Tide Ford Taurus will race bearing a paint scheme designed by Tiffany Rich, a 10-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis. Beginning with trackside sales at the NAPA Autocare 500, collectible die-cast replicas of the car donated by Action Performance Companies, Inc. and Hasbro, Inc. will generate funds for the charity. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Give Kids the World. Immediately following the press conference, there will be a ribbon cutting in front of the car. Takes place at Martinsville on Saturday at 10:40am(Martinsville Speedway Site)(9-29-1999)
  • #30/Bliss/Cup: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Mike Bliss will attempt to qualify the Jimmy Dean Pontiac for Sunday’s NAPA Autocare 500 at Martinsville. Bliss reunites with Barry Dodson, who served as his crew chief from 1996-98. Dodson now heads the NASCAR Winston Cup operation at Eel River Racing. Bliss has two Winston Cup starts in his career, both coming last season. He drove for Buzz McCall at Martinsville last fall, qualifying and finishing 25th. He also made the field at Phoenix last year(Hoagland Communications PR) Bliss was released from his CTS obligations for 2000 earlier today, see story below..(9-29-1999)
  • Martinsville Appearance: Earl Ross may have only driven the NASCAR Winston Cup Series one season, but he made the best of it and is now returning to the site of his only win. Ross, 58, will attend the NAPA AutoCare 500 on Sunday which is the 25th anniversary of his 1974 win in the Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Ross was the 1974 NASCAR Rookie of the Year and finished eighth in the final Winston Cup standings that year(Martinsville Speedway Newsletter)(9-30-1999)
  • Bliss/Roush Part: Roush Racing announced Wednesday that Mike Bliss will complete the current season in the CTS driving the #99 Exide Batteries Ford and will then pursue other opportunities. Roush and Bliss have mutually agreed to separate(NOL). Hmm…wonder where he’ll go?? maybe the #30/27 Eel River Pontiac??(9-29-1999)
  • #91 News: BGN driver Tim Fedawa(#36 Stanley Tool Pontiac) will drive the #91 Larry Homes Chevy at Martinsville and recently tested at Greenville-Pickens(SC) Speedway(9-29-1999)
  • #75 Sponsor? UPDATE 4: hearing that Turner Broadcasting/Cartoon Network etc will be the new sponsor for the #75 Galaxy Motorsports team and new driver Wally Dallenbach(9-25-1999) — UPDATE: another source tell’s the sponsor will be Disney and Pizza Hut(Pizza Hut was rumored months ago), but most reports I hear say Turner Broadcasting/Cartoon Network and the #75 owner himself said it was an existing primary sponsor, which Disney/Pizza Hut is not, but sure would be nice if it was for the possible 2nd team and Ted Musgrave(9-27-1999) — UPDATE 2: Sources tell me it’ll be Turner Broadcasting/Cartoon Network, not Pizza Hut or Disney — UPDATE 3: hmmm, maybe I was too hasty with that last update……Pencil in Pizza Hut as the key sponsor in the deal that will have Wally Dallenbach driving the #75 Fords owned by Darwin Oordt beginning next season. Pizza Hut will not be the car’s only primary sponsor next year, but will be one of two or three major backers for 2000 and is expected to assume the primary sponsor’s role in 2001(That’s Racin’)(9-29-1999)
  • More on Evernham/Chrysler: from TNN: The latest rumors swirling around the Winston Cup grapevine center around Evernham’s office effects and tools have left the Hendrick complex, and his chief wrench Ed Guzzo will also soon be departing the #24. Brian Whitsell will reportedly fully assume the crewchief duties on the #24, and it’s highly unlikely that Evernham will be at Martinsville this weekend. He’s supposedly working to own and lead a Dodge Intrepid team into the Winston Cup ranks in 2001. Supposedly, an announcement on their future Cup racing effort will be forthcoming by Dodge no later than Oct. 31. See full story at TNN: Rumors, Strong Rumors, Reality: Part 2 Some expect Chrysler to announce its Cup plans at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Accociation) show in October at Las Vegas(SpeedVision)(9-29-1999)
  • Evernham/Chrysler/Wells: On Monday, team owner Cal Wells said Evernham turned down his job offer because he was already committed to a Chrysler deal. And a Chrysler motorsports executive told AutoWeek magazine he couldn’t confirm Evernham’s arrival until a press conference next week. It’s no secret Chrysler wants to renew its Winston Cup presence, and what bigger name to head the fledgling effort than Evernham’s? Among the celebrities being mentioned as business partners: New York Jets coach Bill Parcells. It’s expected that Richard Petty will at least consider switching his Cup teams from Pontiac to Dodge. And even Bill Elliott has been linked to Chrysler in 2001, the year his McDonald’s backing disappears(Daily Press) Wow, the Elliott deal is different, other teams I have heard include Penske and Morgan-McClure(9-29-1999)
  • But…..: Check out the transcript of the 10 o’clock news at KVOA-TV(channel 4, NBC) in Tucson, AZ, that mentions Evernham will go to Wells….WITH Chrysler: KVOA 10pm Transcript. NOTE: this make no sense as Wells will be getting supplied FORD engines from YATES, unless it’s only a one year deal???(9-29-1999)
  • NY License Plates: A new line of custom license plates featuring eight NASCAR drivers from the Winston Cup Series will be made to New York drivers beginning mid-November, according to the state Division of Motor Vehicles. #99 Driver Jeff Burton, joined DMV Commissioner Richard Jackson, Jr. and Lt. Gov. Mary Donohue in launching the new NASCAR plates on Tuesday. Burton will be featured on the first license plate with Mark Martin, Tony Stewart and Bobby Hamilton as some of the other eight NASCAR driver available. The NASCAR logo will appear on all the plates. New York is the first state to feature NASCAR drivers on its custom plates. Jackson said the DMV plans to add more NASCAR drivers to the line(Syracuse Online/AP)
  • Wells Driver? Scott Pruett may actually get Cal Wells ride in NASCAR Winston Cup, with Pruett’s CART seat going to an Indy Lights driver, perhaps Didier Andre or Felipe Giaffone(SpeedNet), hear this was reported on ESPN2’s CART2Day pre-race show on Sunday(9-29-1999)
  • Galaxy Motorsports: #75 General Manager Jimmy Johnson and Owner Darwin Oordt have just signed Wally Dallenbach to a three-year contract, and they’ve signed a lease-engine program with Robert Yates for motors to be built on-site at the Mooresville shop, next door to Michael Kranefuss’ shop, just across the road from the Ricky Rudd-Robert Yates operation, and just down the street from where Rusty Wallace and Roger Penske hold forth. Ryan Pemberton is one of men they’re considering for crew chief. Oordt and Johnson say they’re not going to be content with just a one-car team but are planning a two-car program(Cup), to go with their already-in-place Busch team, and then add a second Busch team, see the full and long but interesting story at PitNow(9-29-1999)
  • Bruton/NHRA: Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports, has made an offer to buy the National Hot Rod Association(NHRA), but the organization’s president has told him that the NHRA is not for sale(Racer Magazine Site)(9-29-1999)
  • Martin at Charlotte: Mark Martin will drive a special car when the series returns to Charlotte. Martin will have the car Jeff Burton(#99) drove to victory at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May. The change will be made because Martin is second in points to Dale Jarrett and Burton is fifth(The Depot)(9-29-1999)

    (9-28-1999)

  • T Bodine: Todd Bodine today extended his long relationship with Cicci-Welliver Racing, and will continue as driver of the Phillips 66 Chevrolet for the 2000 BGN season(Cicci-Welliver Racing Site), so count Bodine out of the running for the #30 Eel River Racing Pontiac ride(9-28-1999)
  • Waltrip to be honored: NASCAR Winston Cup Series three-time Champion Darrell Waltrip will be one of 12 athletes honored in the fourteenth annual Great Sports Legends Dinner to benefit the Buoniconti Fund in support of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis the evening of Tuesday, October 5, 1999. Former NFL great Frank Gifford will be the Master of Ceremonies for the event, which will be held in the Grand Ballroom at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Waltrip, driver of the Haas/Carter Motorsports Route 66/Big Kmart Ford, will be the only auto racing figure included in this years star-studded line-up. Sports legends Jack Nicklaus, Martina Navratilova, jockey Julie Krone, Jerry Lucas, Jim Palmer, John Thompson, Olga Korbut, Marcus Allen, Pat LaFontaine, Olympic star Dan O’Brien and Gifford will also be honored. Former honorees include Hank Aaron, Muhammad Ali, Julias Erving, Mario Andretti, Wayne Gretsky and Johnny Unitas, to name a few. Individuals and corporations pay up to $25,000 for the opportunity to attend the event, which will include a silent auction of autographed sports memorabilia(Kmart PR)(9-28-1999)
  • Evernham Update: Hendrick Motorsports representatives failed to return calls yesterday to answer questions about whether Ray Evernham will appear with driver Jeff Gordon at Martinsville Speedway this weekend. Meanwhile, sources confirmed that Evernham will spend the 2000 season building cars for the 2001 Chrysler Dodge Intrepid team that the crew chief will own. The cars should be ready for NASCAR approval in time to debut for that season. Reportedly, Evernham will be present, but Brian Whitesell will make race-day calls. Of course, that was supposed to be the arrangement last weekend as well and although Evernham did little with the team throughout most of the weekend, Sunday belonged to the crew chief. As Winston Cup teams work to understand how the magic pairing of the driver and crew chief could possibly be ending, another partnership involving the pair seems to be coming to a close. Sources say that Gordon is taking possession of Gordon-Evernham Motorsports, the Busch program the pair started for this season(Times-Dispatch)(9-28-1999)
  • No Cup for Little Al: IRL team owner Rick Galles says two-time Indy winner Al Unser Jr. and he have agreed to run next season together in the Indy Racing League. However, they have not signed a contract, Galles said(SpeedNet)(9-28-1999)
  • Junie takes a break: #90 Ford team owner Junie Donlavey had a great weekend at Dover Downs(made the race and finished 31st), but that wasn’t enough to encourage him to make the trek to Martinsville. The team is skipping the race and then heading to Lowe’s Motor Speedway(next week). The team has not named a driver yet(Times-Dispatch)(9-28-1999)

    (9-27-1999)

  • New Cup Team: IRL Team owner Tom Kelley said plans are under way to expand Kelley Racing with a one-car team in NASCAR’s Winston Cup Series, starting with the 2001 season. Kelley said no official announcement is expected until next spring, when sponsors will be identified. Jim Freudenberg, general manager of Kelley Racing, said the team is looking for a race shop in the Charlotte, NC, area. Team representatives contacted veteran NASCAR owner-driver Ricky Rudd about buying the assets of that team before it was sold to Robert Yates Racing as part of his agreement to drive there next season. Both Kelley and Freudenberg stressed that the new Winston Cup team will not dilute Kelley Racing’s commitment to its IRL program. While Kelley and his father, Jim, basically financed the IRL team out of their own pockets for the first two years, Tom Kelley said that won’t be the case should they decide to run in NASCAR. Kelley Racing is the third open-wheel team this year to announce intentions to branch out by adding a stock car division. Fellow IRL owner A.J. Foyt and Cal Wells, an owner in the rival CART series, have both made headlines with deals in the past two months. Unlike Wells, who drew the ire of the NASCAR community by supposedly “stealing” sponsors away from veterans like Rudd and Bill Elliott, the Kelley team would be backed by sponsors who would be new to the Winston Cup series, Freudenberg said. The Winston Cup team would become the third branch of Kelley Racing, joining the IRL team and a new American Speed Association team that was announced over the weekend. Mark E. Dismore, whose father, Mark, was the first employee of Kelley Racing, will drive a Chevrolet in the series for the 2000 season. The monster.com-sponsored car will be based in Fort Wayne. Ron Heck, the former crew chief for the elder Dismore’s IRL car, will help oversee the new ASA program. Mechanics at all of the Kelley auto dealerships will be invited to work on the car as an introduction to stock car racing(in part from the Fort Wayne News Sentinel)(9-27-1999)
  • #11 Sold?? UPDATE 3 Yes? SPONSOR? Hearing that Brett Bodine is looking to sell his #11 Winston Cup team. Sponsor Paychex leaves at the end of the 1999 season. One rumor has Richard Hilton, who owns Butch Gilliland Winston West team buying it(9-10-1999) — UPDATE: Brett Bodine will be selling his Cup team. On 9/18, Bodine said that he was working out a sales agreeement with a party that will bring sponsorshop to the team and hopes to hevae the deal done within a week(Winston Cup Scene). I continue to hear it’s the #1 Winston West owner Richard Hilton who is buying the team. No word on if Bodine would be retained as the driver(9-24-1999) — UPDATE 2: RPM2Nite reported that there is a good chance Bodine would remain the driver AND from the Racer Magazine Site: Brett Bodine is a week away, he says, from selling the #11 team. Bodine, like Ricky Rudd an owner-driver, will lose sponsor Paychex after this season and notes that his team has been underfunded, even with sponsorship. The buyer apparently is West Coast racer Richard Hilton, and Bodine left the impression Hilton would bring sponsorship. He said a stipulation of the sale is that he remain as driver(9-25-1999) — UPDATE 3/Sponsor? Hearing that Kroger, Ralphs/Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Quality Food Centers supermarkets will be the sponsor in some manner. Bodine mentioned there may be a 2nd car for the team, that may actually run at a race this year, could be Butch Gilliland from what I hear. Gilliland has attempted and run a few Cup races in the #38 Ford for Hilton(9-27-1999)
  • Nemechek news UPDATE: Joe Nemechek, who scored his first Winston Cup victory last weekend in New Hampshire, is the leading candidate to take over the driving duties of the #33 Chevrolets next season, The Charlotte Observer has learned. Nemechek spoke with car owner Andy Petree this weekend in Dover about the ride, but no final agreement has been reached, sources said(That’s Racin’)(9-26-1999) — UPDATE:Winston Cup Today Radio reports that Joe Nemechek is the likely driver for the #33 Oakwood Homes Andy Petree Chevy. Andy Petree said it looks that way if they can come to an agreement(9-27-1999)
  • Jarrett Hurting UPDATE: Dale Jarrett was walking with obvious discomfort Saturday morning with an aching back he’s blaming on a charity golf tournament he played in on Thursday(That’s Racin’)(9-26-1999) — UPDATE: Jarrett saw a chiropractor on Monday and is feeling much better(RPM2Nite)(9-27-1999)
  • Elliott: what happened to Bill Elliott and the #94 McDonald’s Ford? had this question a few times and had no clue, didn’t mention it on the tube, anyhow: A piece of debris came up and punctured Bill Elliott’s radiator, so they had to replace the radiator(9-27-1999)
  • About DW’s attempt at Dover: got many questions on this: Despite valiant efforts, Darrell Waltrip and the Route 66/Big Kmart Racing team were unable to make the field for the MBNA Gold 400 last weekend at Dover. Waltrip and the team pulled out all the stops, including asking BGN driver Elton Sawyer to run several laps in the #66 Ford Taurus in an effort to gain more information about the set-up of the car. Unfortunately, the team came up short and packed up a day early. Car Owner Travis Carter: “I believe in Darrell, and I believe in our people and our cars,” Carter said last weekend. “I also believe there is a solution to every problem. I may not have that answer right now, but we’re going to do whatever it takes to build this team.”(VanDercook & Company PR in part)(9-27-1999)
  • Shepherd Returns: I hear Morgan Shepherd will run his own #05 Pontiac at Martinsville, he is looking for sponsors and the Official Morgan Shepherd site is back online(9-27-1999)
  • Evernham at Dover: Ray Evernham ran the show from Jeff Gordon’s pit on Sunday at Dover Downs International Speedway, but afterward nobody would say whether he’d be doing that again next week at Martinsville. See full story at That’s Racin(9-27-1999)
  • Good Day for Roush: Four Jack Roush-owned cars finished in the top 10 at Dover (Martin – first, Matt Kenseth – fourth, Jeff Burton – sixth, Chad Little – seventh) and all six of Roush’s cars finished in the top 20. Kevin Lepage came home in 13th and Johnny Benson finished 18th(Mark Martin’s J-Mar Express Newsletter)(9-27-1999)
  • Overlooked: Elliott Sadler, mostly overlooked in his rookie season this year because of the phenomenal season Tony Stewart is having, has averaged 92.51 points per race. Compared to the past five rookies of the year, only Johnny Benson and Ricky Craven averaged a higher point accumulation during their rookie season(CITGO PR)(9-27-1999)
  • Mast stays running: #98 Rick Mast, despite mechanical problems, was running at the end and finished 34th. He is the only driver to have been running at the end of every race this season(The Depot)(9-27-1999)
  • Evernham and Parcells? Evernham reportedly is starting a Chrysler team in 2001. He is said to be partnering with Bill Parcells in an ownership agreement as the Dodge Intrepid debuts in Winston Cup racing. Still, Evernham has not confirmed anything, and Hendrick Motorsports President John Hendrick has stated only that the crew chief has a contract through 2006 and that he will be with Gordon’s team through this season(Times-Dispatch)(9-27-1999)
  • Fine: Tommy Baldwin Jr., the crew chief for Ward Burton’s #22 Pontiac’s, will be fined $250 by NASCAR for being late to Sunday morning’s pre-race mandatory driver and crew chief meeting(That’s Racin’)(9-27-1999)
  • Penalty: Kyle Petty and Dave Marcis were each penalized a lap for pitting outside the box. It’s the same penalty given Jarrett at New Hampshire last weekend(The Depot)(9-27-1999)
  • Wells Crew Chief: Cal Wells has talked to several prospective drivers and crew chiefs in the Winston Cup garage. As he prepares to start his team in 2000, Wells has offered top dollar for a stellar pair. The latest addition to his wish list is Hendrick Motorsports’ Andy Graves, crew chief for Terry Labonte(Times-Dispatch)(9-27-1999)
  • Hispanic Team: Auto-racing entrepreneur Rudy Rodriguez is building the first Hispanic-owned, Hispanic-sponsored, Hispanic-driven team in NASCAR history (the WHOLE package here, owner-sponsor-driver, not just owner). Rodriguez originally targeted the 2001 Nascar season for a first run. Instead, HRT Motorsports Inc. will debut at a BGN race at Homestead in a Chevy. HRT, which stands for “Hispanic Race Team,” has allied itself with a veteran Nascar owner, Larry Hedrick, to put its team on the track. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines has signed on as a secondary sponsor, as has coffee maker Cafe Bustelo. Negotiations continue for a primary sponsor, one that will underwrite most of the team’s major expenses. The driver will be Colombian driver Jaime Guerro(Dallas Business Journal)(9-27-1999)(originally reported on this on 8-6-1999, see New Teams page)
  • Irwin Hot: #28-Kenny Irwin, who was 10th, scored his third consecutive top-10 run(The Depot)(9-27-1999)

(9-26-1999)

  • More Evernham: here is the basic rundown of what happened this past week with Hendrick Motorsports and #24 crew chief Ray Evernham(most of this has been reported some not) – on Monday, Ray Evernham asked for a meeting with Rick and John Hendrick. Supposedly he then proceeded to ask Rick to choose between he and his brother John. Supposedly Rick asked Jeff Gordon what to do and Gordon chose John Hendrick. In turn, Rick Hendrick chose his brother and acted upon Gordon’s request. At that point Evernham tore his 2006 contract up and threw it in the air and followed by cleaning his office on Tuesday. Also hearing that Gordon is selling the Pepsi team as to disassociate himself from Evernham and buying into the Hendrick Motorsports operation. As we pretty much know, Brian Whitesell has been named crew chief (not to the press yet)(9-26-1999)
  • Sad News: World of Outlaws driver Kevin Gobrecht, 29, was killed Friday night in a race in Nebraska while driving the sprint car co-owned by #93 BGN driver Dave Blaney, see the story at: GoRacing. Also TNN has a story up before the accident about Gobrecht: Gobrecht Seeks Return To WoO Success. Also Keith Cowherd, 49, of Phoenix, died of head injuries after a Saturday night collision in a race at Irwindale Speedway(AP)(9-26-1999)
  • Sad News: Tommy Morgan’s father, Thomas F. Morgan, passed away Friday afternoon after a short illness at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Baltimore. Morgan was at Dover for the race after heading home to be with family. Morgan is the crew chief of the #26 Cheerios Ford(9-26-1999)
  • Martin’s win: Mark Martin’s win at Dover was his third MBNA Gold 400(9-26-1999)
  • Kenseth: #17-Matt Kenseth scored his first ever top-5 Winston Cup finish at Dover with a 4th place finish. That means there have been 27 different Cup drivers score a top-5 this year….last year’s total number was 27. Also was Kenseth’s first top 10 of the 1999 season, so there have been 40 different Cup drivers score a top-10 this year…..last year’s total number was 41(Stock Cars Fans Newsletter/Rumblings)(9-26-1999)
  • More Evernham and Chrysler: The latest news on Ray Evernham, according to some of his closest friends, is that he won’t be taking any Chrysler deal and that he definitely won’t be taking a Cal Wells’ Ford deal. But Evernham still isn’t talking, and some say that the legal situation over Evernham’s contract is keeping all the principals quiet. Jeff Gordon indicates that his new crew chief probably will be promoted from within the team. Brian Whitsell is expected to make the pit-road calls today. What Evernham will do is not clear. Also, the latest on the Chrysler front is that Ernie Elliott, Bill Elliott’s engine-building brother, is in the running to head up a Dodge research and development program(PitNow)(9-26-1999)
  • The Evernham Saga: Jeff Gordon will have Ray Evernham as his crew chief for the rest of the year, but other crew members will take on added responsibility and work with the driver, Hendrick Motorsports sources say. Evernham is tied to the team by a contract that owner Rick Hendrick has refused to relinquish. In fact, sources say that if Evernham can make his move to owning a 2001 Chrysler team, some sort of contract buyout would be required. Evernham has been open about his desire to work in a different capacity and spend more time with his family. Without the management move in Hendrick, he would have no career change without leaving the company. While he is exploring a variety of options, he does have a contract through 2006. The decision concerning his future may not be Evernham’s. Reportedly it has been made by Rick Hendrick. Mechanic Brian Whitesell, the heir apparent to Gordon’s team, is set to work with the driver for the rest of the season. Evernham remains the official crew chief, but Whitesell is said to be more actively involved in qualifying and race decisions. Yesterday at track, Whitesell and Evernham were on the radio with Gordon(Times-Dispatch)(9-26-1999)
  • Benson: Johnny Benson does not seem concerned about his future and believes he will have more to say in a week or two. He admits he has talked with owner Andy Petree about his vacancy (apparently open for Joe Nemechek). Also on the horizon are possible driving jobs for Cal Wells, A.J. Foyt, and several lower-rung teams currently active. Benson also said he had heard from an Indy Racing League owner, whom he would not name, “the same one who called Musgrave,” he said. But Benson says he intends to remain in NASCAR(Racer Magazine Notes)(9-26-1999)
  • Gordon, Robby that is: John Menard, who hinted early in the summer he was interested in NASCAR racing, may be for real – and in concert with mercurial open-wheel star Robby Gordon. More than one top crewman in the garage here said Saturday that they have heard from representatives for a Menard-Gordon combo, apparently attempting to assemble a Winston Cup group. Menard’s IRL ace Greg Ray has also been mentioned as a possible stock car driver for the new team(Racer Magazine Notes), Menard will be starting a CTS team with driver Bryan Reffner(9-26-1999)
  • Musgrave to the…IRL? UPDATE: On RPM2Nite, Ted Musgrave says he has an oppurtunity to race in the IRL with a good team in 2000 and has tested. He stopped short saying that it was for sure but…(9-24-1999) — UPDATE: an NOL story mentions that #75 team owner Darwin Oordt is looking at starting a 2nd Cup team and Musgrave may drive that car. Also it is mentioned the sponsor for the #75 is an existing Cup sponsor that wanted Dallenbach as their driver BUT a That’s Racin’ article has this: A team spokesperson said Ted Musgrave, who is driving the #75 Fords this season, was told Thursday night team owner Darwin Oordt would not retain him beyond this season(9-25-1999) — UPDATE: no IRL for Ted….Owner Darwin Oordt, who is replacing driver Ted Musgrave with Wally Dallenbach for the 2000 season, said the decision was sponsor-driven. The owner said he was in a hurry when he told Musgrave he was being replaced and that it wasn’t until Friday afternoon that he had time to sit down and explain that Musgrave might still have an opportunity to work with the team. Oordt says he is about 30 days from having a sponsor for a second Winston Cup team and that he would definitely be interested in Musgrave driving for that group. He did admit, however, that he would be interested in other drivers as well(Times-Dispatch)(9-26-1999)

    (9-25-1999)

  • New Cup Team..eventually? UPDATE: Doc Watson, a Pennsylvania racer who has driven in the ARCA series, is combining with Minnesota Vikings coach Dennis Green to start a new racing team. Known as Watson Green Motorsports, the team plans to enter five or six ARCA races this year, according to Watson. Next year, they’ll run a full ARCA schedule. Eventually, they hope to move into NASCAR’s BGN or Cup series(That’s Racin’)(8-6-1999) — UPDATE: Doc Watson plans to open a team shop in Richmond, Va., this fall. Watson, who co-owns a team with a group that includes Minnesota Vikings coach Dennis Green, said he is looking for a site near Junie Donlavey’s 26,000 square-foot facility off Midlothian Turnpike. Watson plans to run two ARCA teams and eventually a Winston Cup team. Sprint car driver Rebecca Anderson, who has won three 360 Sprint races this season, is testing an ARCA car for Watson this week. The owner says he is not buying into or competing with Donlavey’s current operation. If he can have his Winston Cup effort ready in time, he plans to run the races that run concurrently with ARCA events next season. The two series are paired at the Daytona, Talladega, Charlotte, Pocono and Michigan tracks(Times-Dispatch)(9-25-1999)
  • Retraints: NASCAR mailed bulletins to each Cup team stating that cable restraints for each car’s trunk will be required by Oct. 6 when the series arrives at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte(The Depot)(9-25-1999)
  • Buckshot and Irvan: Buckshot Jones, who started the 1999 season running for the Winston Cup rookie of the year title, will return to the series next month to run a one-race deal with Irvan-Simo Motorsports and the #14 Ford in the Oct. 10 UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway(That’s Racin’) NOTE: Federated Auto Parts remains Irvan-Simo’s sponsor for the 1999 races the team will run in(9-25-1999)
  • Yates Power: Ricky Rudd won’t have a Robert Yates engine for his final #10 runs for another few weeks or so(SpeedVision)(9-25-1999)
  • Nemechek UPDATE…whoops: hearing Joe Nemechek turned down the #33 Andy Petree ride over concerns with Oakwood Homes financial woes(9-23-1999) — UPDATE – incorrect: #33 car owner Andy Petree, looking to replace departing Ken Schrader, says he is close to a deal with Joe Nemechek, first-time winner last week at New Hampshire. Petree met with Nemechek for more than an hour Thursday night and hopes to make it official in a few days. Nemechek admitted he had talked to Petree and is interested, but he hinted he’s also talking to others and that “it’s nice to have choices.”(Racer Magazine Site)(9-25-1999)
  • Dover Downs responds to Felix: Winston Cup team owner Felix Sabates, expressing his opinion of Dover Downs, said this week that he’d “rather drink a bottle of laxative than go to Dover. I don’t like that place. You go out and wear out tires and have a lot of wrecks and the purse pays nothing.” Dover Downs chairman Denis McGlynn posted this response in the press room Friday: “Dear Felix: Hope the laxative helped. Thank you for staying home and not stinking up our garage area. Your teams seem to do better in your absence anyway. Get well soon. Denis.”(Racer Magazine Site) meow…(9-25-1999)
  • Micro Racing: Members of the #31 Lowe’s Chevy team for driver Mike Skinner will compete in a special Micro Sprint Car race Saturday night in New Castle, DE. RCR’s #31 team manager David Smith and catch-can man Gary Gafgen will battle four Cup in the 10-lap race at Airport Speedway. The event is scheduled in conjunction with the MBNA Gold 400. Also scheduled to participate are RCR’s #3 crew chief Kevin Hamlin, head engine builder Danny Lawrence and two members of Rusty Wallace’s team. The men will be available to sign autographs and chat with fans. The crewmembers will drive Micro Sprint Cars owned by teams who regularly race at the one-eighth-mile Airport Speedway. The Cup feature race will take place between Micro Sprint qualifying and race time. Qualifying begins at 6pm/et. Airport Speedway is located in New Castle, Del., on Speedway Drive in New Castle Corporate Commons. For more information, call (302) 328-8302(NOL Friday Notes)(9-25-1999)
  • #71: from NOL – Dave Marcis closed the second practice of the day by spinning off Turn 4 and impacting the wall with his Realtree Chevrolet. The car was damaged badly enough that Marcis declined to present the car for Bud Pole Qualifying. He will be forced to qualify the car in Bud Second-Round Qualifying on Saturday morning. It was the only accident in two series practices and Bud Pole Qualifying(NOL Friday Notes)(9-25-1999)

    (9-24-1999)

  • Evernham AP report: Ray Evernham is quitting as crew chief for Jeff Gordon after helping him win three Winston Cup championships in the last four seasons, CNN-SI reported Friday. Evernham was asked about the report Friday at the site of this weekend’s MBNA Gold 400 but would not respond to questions. Hendrick Motorsports plans an announcement next month concerning Gordon’s team. CNN-SI, citing no sources, said Evernham will act as Gordon’s crew chief at Dover Downs International Speedway but mechanic Brian Whitesell will make the race-day calls. Whitesell then will replace Evernham when he leaves, perhaps before the end of this season. CNN-SI said Gordon is expected to sign a long-term contract with Hendrick, which would include partial ownership of all three Hendrick teams(AP/Infobeat)(9-24-1999)
  • Dallenbach Announcement? UPDATE 5, to the #75: hearing Wally Dallenbach will announce his 2000 Cup plans on Tuesday, Sept 21st — UPDATE: Wally Dallenbach said that he expects to have next year’s negotiations wrapped up this week. He indicates he won’t be running for Cal Wells, and he says that he’s not taking a ride with either Jim Mattei or AJ Foyt. Dallenbach has inquired about a ride with the #30 Barry Dodson-Jack Birmingham team(PitNow)(9-20-1999) — UPDATE 2: On NASCAR Today radio it was mentioed that Wally Dallenbach hopes to know by the end of this week his 2000 plans, one would not be the Cal Wells Tide team(9-21-1999) — UPDATE 3: no announcement made on Tuesday(9-23-1999) — UPDATE: Winston Cup Today Radio reports that Wally Dallenbach has signed a three-year deal with a yet to be named car owner, Dallenbach expects to make an annoucnement sometime this weekend at Dover — UPDATE 5: Wally Dallenbach is going to the #75 car – Galaxy Motorsports owned by Darwin Oortt. The General Manager is Jimmy Johnson. The car will have the Yates motor program and all new exciting major sponsors which will all be announced later in the year. It is a three year contract(Official Wally Dallenbach Site) Note: no word on Ted Musgrave but the #45 and #33 teams could be involved there(9-24-1999)
  • Yates Engines: Besides building Ford engines for his #28 and #88 teams, Robert Yates Racing will build engines in 2000 for the two Travis Carter teams(#66 and #23?), the #75 Butch Mock-Galaxy Motorsports team and the new Cal Wells Tide team(Winston Cup Today Radio) Yates is looking into leasing Butch Mock’s engine shop(Winston Cup Scene)(9-24-1999)
  • Chrysler Buzz: from the Car and Truck news site: ….. most of it has been dubious at best. For example, one reader wrote in asking about whether the item they had read about Jeff Gordon signing up to drive for DC was true. It’s not. Another reader had seen an item somewhere that DC would definitely be returning to the Winston Cup for the 2000 season. They’re not. See the full story at: NASCAR Update – Mega Buzz 2000(9-24-1999)
  • RPM2Nite/Evernham: Tonight on RPM 2Night, John Kernan had this to say about the Ray Evernham leaving the #24 RUMOR: “Ray Everham says there are no plans for his immediate departure from Hendrick Motorsports. Evernham also says there are no plans for any immediate changes within the #24 team. I spoke with Ray a couple of hours before he left for Dover on Thursday afternoon and he says there is no friction at all between him, Rick Hendrick, and Jeff Gordon. He says they are giving each other their full and 100% support. Evernham says, ‘we don’t have a direction yet as far as my future is concerned with Hendrick Motorsports, we are still discussing that.’ He also says that the truth is not nearly as good as what the media is making up. Ray says the team is going to Dover this weekend to try to win another race for Jeff Gordon and Rick Hendrick.”(Tina’s Gordon Newsletter and RPM2Nite) AND The rumors flying around concerning Evernham’s departure include a decision by Dupont to keep him in his successful spot as crew chief and not let the veteran leader move into upper management(Racin’ with Russ)(9-24-1999)
  • 2nd Half Leaders: It’s not an official category, but the top 10 in points accumulated in the Winston Cup season’s second half (since the Pepsi 400 at Daytona) makes an interesting conversation topic. Rookie Tony Stewart leads with 1,422 points, followed in order by Dale Jarrett (1,298), Jeff Gordon (1,274), Mark Martin (1,260), Dale Earnhardt (1,233), Bobby Labonte (1,221), Jeff Burton (1,157), Rusty Wallace (1,110), Steve Park (1,064) and Wally Dallenbach Jr. (1,027).(Gaston Gazette/Monte Dutton)(9-24-1999)
  • Richest Americans: Not really racing but thought this was interesting. Forbes recently released it’s list of the 400 richest people in America(USA). Race track owner(Atlanta, Bristol, Charlotte/Lowes, Las Vegas and Sears Point), Bruton Smith was in a tie at 199th with $1.2 billion. Bill France and his brother Jim have a net worth of $1 billion and rate #243. See the list at Charlotte.com or at Forbes(9-24-1999)
  • NASCAR News: NASCAR tops the chart in 18 of 20 categories rating sports sponsorship, according to a survey published by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal(NOL)(9-24-1999)

    (9-23-1999)

  • More Evernham UPDATE: Readers tell me that a Charlotte television station WCNC-TV (Channel 36) cited a source saying that Ray Evernham could wind up with Cal Wells’ new team, but I have not seen it so….AND a story on Racer Magazine says: A return call from the PR department of Hendrick Motorsports resulted in the statement, “Ray Evernham has a contract with us through the year 2006.” No mention of what capacity that contract calls for Evernham to serve in was made, nor was any answer given to the question of whether or not anyone at Hendrick expected him to honor that contract — UPDATE: from the ESPN site/John Kernan – Ray Evernham will be Jeff Gordon’s crew chief this weekend at Dover Downs International Raceway. But the partnership that produced three Winston Cup championships may be in its final days. In an interview Thursday with ESPN’s John Kernan, Evernham did not deny reports that he could be leaving Gordon and the Hendrick Motorsports Team. But when asked about reports he could leave as early as this week, Evernham said he would be in Gordon’s pits for Sunday’s MBNA Gold 400. See the full ESPN story at: Evernham isn’t leaving Gordon just yet(9-23-1999)
  • Evernham Done? UPDATE 3: Ray Evernham’s stint as Jeff Gordon’s crew chief may be drawing to an end. Evernham met with members of Gordon’s team Sunday morning and informed them he would be discontinuing his role as Gordon’s crew chief in the near future, according to sources. It was not clear whether Evernham would continue to work with Hendrick Motorsports in another role or leave the organization altogether. See the complete That’s Racin’ article at Evernham appears ready to move on by Jim Utter(9-19-1999) — UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports has contacted Lowe’s Motor Speedway about scheduling a news conference at Evernham and Gordon’s BGN shop during the October race weekend at Concord, NC. Following yesterday’s team meeting, Hendrick Motorsports representatives said that it was not “out of the realm of possibility” to suggest that Evernham soon would be changing his role. They would not speculate on whether Evernham would remain in a management role with Hendrick Motorsports or leave the organization. The crew chief has a contract with Hendrick Motorsports through the 2006 season(Times-Dispatch)(9-20-1999) — UPDATE 2: Ray Evernham’s future with Jeff Gordon seems cloudy today. Evernham told his crew Sunday he wouldn’t be back as crew chief, according to members of the team. John Hendrick, however, insisted that Evernham isn’t leaving, at least not until the end of the year. Evernham has been searching for a crew chief for Gordon for next year. His first two choices turned down the offer. It’s unclear now whether Evernham is turning that job search over to Hendrick(PitNow) AND from GoRacing(an arm of Action Performance): Speculation centers on Evernham and Gordon forming their own Winston Cup team in the near future, under the umbrella of the Hendrick organization. Sources out of Charlotte say they already have their eye on a young open-wheel driver who is already being groomed to become a teammate to Gordon(GoRacingAND Evernham appears to be working toward a logical move for this stage of his career. He has two very sound options: a move up in management at Hendrick Motorsports or a move to full-time car ownership at Gordon-Evernham Motorsports. Some combination of those two seems the most likely. Hendrick Motorsports is reportedly planning a press conference – subject unknown – during the Oct. 8-10 Lowe’s Motor Speedway race weekend(Racer Magazine)..well, I think that covers it…..for now(9-21-1999) — UPDATE 3: RPM2Nite reported that a Charlotte TV station reported that Evernham had cleaned out his office at Hendrick Motorsports and would serve his last race as the #24 crew chief at Dover, but RPM2Nite said a crew member told host John Kernan that Evernham had not cleaned out his desk/office and would be at Dover. I am hearing that Dover could be Evernham’s last race as crew chief of the #24, also a story on the subject at TNN: Rumors, Strong Rumors, And Reality(9-23-1999)
  • Rules: Last fall a proposal to limit the number of crew members a race team could bring to the track each weekend caused quite a stir in the garage area. But after a couple of weekends the talk died down and the topic has not been broached since AND Another idea that has been discussed in the garage area is changing rules governing qualifying. Some feel that allowing teams to stand on first-round speeds makes it unfairly difficult for anyone to make a race during second-round time trials, which are often held in conditions that make the track slower than it had been in the first round. Gary Nelson doesn’t make it sound like any changes are imminent, however, see the rest of the story and quotes at That’s Racin’(9-23-1999)
  • Baldwin/#91: Although Tom Baldwin’s Winston Cup debut didn’t go quite as he hoped(at Richmond), several high-profile insiders in the Richmond garage area did think Baldwin did one heck of a job with the #91 LJ Racing Monte Carlo. The Modified Tour regular did make some very impressive strides with the Joe Falk team and is currently looking to continue driving either with Falk or another Cup organization providing a marketing partner/sponsor can be found(Ash Motorsports PR via the Stock Car Fans Newsletter)(9-23-1999)
  • PECO merges: not sure how this will effect PowerTeam(a division of PECO) or it’s sponsorship of the #60: Unicom Corp. and PECO Energy Co. said Thursday they agreed to merge into a holding company that will be the nation’s No. 1 electric utility based on roughly five million customers and the industry’s No. 3 firm with a market capitalization of $15.2 billion(Yahoo Biz)(9-23-1999)
  • Andretti and Kids: John Andretti met with 22 Albert Harris Elementary School fourth and fifth graders Wednesday at Martinsville Speedway who won the “Why I want to meet John Andretti” contest. The approximately 400 students who attend Albert Harris in Martinsville wrote a story of why they wanted to meet Andretti and the 22 winners got their chance in Martinsville’s Victory Lane. Andretti was at Martinsville for Media Day for the NAPA AutoCare 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race on Sunday, October 3. Andretti read some of the stories written by the students. The students presented Andretti with a school shirt and a book containing all of the more than 350 stories written, and pictures drawn by the children(Martinsville Speedway)(9-23-1999)

    (9-22-1999)

  • AJ’s Driver and Cars? UPDATE 2: AJ Foyt is reported to be leaning toward Scott Sharp as his new NASCAR driver, according to sources(PitNow) and I am hearing AJ Foyt’s Cup team will campaign #14 Chevy’s(9-12-1999) — UPDATE: Foyt was turned down by Ford in his bid for a major Cup factory sponsorship package because of his IRL ties, according to sources. (PitNow)(9-20-1999) — UPDATE: AJ Foyt’s Conseco-sponsored NASCAR Winston Cup team is taking shape for the 2000 season, and a key piece of the puzzle — which car the team will compete with — will likely be announced this week. But don’t expect a driver announcement just yet, according to A.J. Foyt Enterprises Vice President Tommy Lamance. Asked if a driver had been selected, Lamance said no, and that it probably would be a while before that step is taken(TNN)(9-22-1999)
  • Tobacco Suit: The Justice Department plans to file a mammoth civil lawsuit against the major tobacco companies as early as today, alleging that cigarette smoking costs the federal government billions of dollars annually, see full story at U.S. plans massive tobacco civil suit from Charlotte.com. No idea how or if this will effect RJR’s sponsorship of NASCAR, too early to tell(9-22-1999)
  • Schrader Tests UPDATE: Testing for October’s Winston 500 at Talladega continued Tuesday as Ken Schrader tested his #33 Andy Petree-owned Chevys. Schrader has won the pole for the last two Winston Cup Series races at Talladega, and has two top-10 finishes in his four starts at the 2.66-mile track. Schrader tied his best performance this season when he finished sixth at the DieHard 500 at Talladega in April(Talladega PR)(9-21-1999) — UPDATE: Schrader’s testing at Talladega concludes Wednesday(SpeedNet)(9-22-1999)
  • McSwain to the #28? Current #10 crew chief, Michael ‘Fatback’ McSwain has not signed with Robert Yates to follow driver Ricky Rudd over to the #28 Texaco ride, sourcres tell me this will happen, but nothing is official at this point(9-22-1999)
  • New Series UPDATE: Plans for a new sports-car racing series will be unveiled today at a news conference in New York attended by Roger Edmondson, president of the new sanctioning body, and Jim France, president of International Speedway Corp(USA Today)(9-21-1999) — UPDATE: A press conference held at Sardi’s restaurant in New York City this morning formally announced the creation of International Speedway Corporation’s Grand American Road Racing Association, a new sanctioning body whose primary focus will be the organization of professional road racing throughout North America. More info and the schedule at: Racer Magazine(9-22-1999)

    (9-21-1999)

  • Irvan Announcement UPDATE: There is an Ernie Irvan Press Conference Set for Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 3pm/et. With Irvan and Lowe’s Motor Speedway President H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler. An announcement regarding Ernie Irvan and other news-related items for the upcoming UAW-GM Quality 500 Week activities. Maybe the Millenium car??(9-20-1999) — UPDATE: Irvan was named to the Lowes Motor Speedway’s Court of Legends, the track’s Hall of Fame. With his induction, Irvan becomes just the 17th driver to be honored in the Court of Legends in the track’s 40-year history. The ceromony will take place on Oct 6th(NOL)(9-21-1999)
  • Sabates Chat: #01, 40 and 42 SABCO team owner, Felix Sabates was in NOL Chat Tuesday. A few of the highlights were “No” to Joe Nemechek staying with SABCO, and when asked about the third team(currently the #01 Chevy), he said “probably going to run 5-8 races in 2000 with a third car” and about #40 driver, Sterling Marlin: “We’ve signed a new three-year deal with Coors and Sterling will be back with us for the next three years”, so forget the earlier rumor of Marlin leaving. As for Tony Glover: “Tony will be team manager, but on Sunday he will be crew chief of the 42 car”(9-21-1999)
  • #30 Driver News UPDATE: Todd Bodine, currently driving the #30 Jimmy Dean Pontiac, would like to stay with the #30 next year, if it finds a sponsor for 2000. And, crew chief/part owner would like to keep Bodine in the car but would also like to try Mike Bliss, a driver with whom he worked in the Truck Series — but that Bliss is tied up in a contractual dispute with team owner Jack Roush(#99 Exide Ford)(NOL)(9-20-1999) — UPDATE: Sources close to team tell me the candidates for the Eel River Racing #30(#27?) ride for next season are Mike Bliss(if he can get out of his Roush contract), Wally Dallenbach and Todd Bodine(9-21-1999)
  • Larry/Derrike/Mike and Little Joe: The #91 LJ Racing/Little Joe’s Autos Chevy will be at Dover with Derrike Cope behind the wheel, Mike Hillman as thew crew chief and Larry’s Homes as the primary sponsor(LJ Racing Site)(9-21-1999)
  • Crew Chief Shuffle: “With the late-season swaps under way, it’s not just drivers changing teams. Sammy Johns is moving with Ken Schrader to the Tom Beard-owned Pontiac, and Michael McSwain is reportedly heading to Robert Yates team with Ricky Rudd for the 2000 season. With Ray Evernham likely leaving as Jeff Gordon‘s crew chief, another opening will be created. Unlike the current trend of drivers changing cars in midseason, these changes should not happen until after this season is completed”(Times-Dispatch)(9-21-1999)
  • More Unser: Al Unser Jr. is concentrating on the immediate future — his final three CART races of the season — and holding off on any decisions about the more distant future. Unser said Monday that Rick Galles is one of several car owners with whom he’s negotiating for the 2000 season. Unser, who has been linked to Galles’ IRL team and Cal Wells’ new NASCAR Winston Cup team, also has been negotiating with other teams. Galles said Unser has received significant offers from teams in Winston Cup, CART and the IRL. Asked for specifics, Unser declined to name names(Racer Magazine)(9-21-1999)

    (9-20-1999)

  • Hamilton to Stay? UPDATE YEP: Bobby Hamilton said Friday team owner Larry McClure has presented him with an option for a third year on his contract to keep him in the #4 Kodak Chevy next season. Hamilton said if he and McClure agree, he hopes to have the deal finalized by next weekend’s race at Dover(That’s Racin’)(9-17-1999) — UPDATE: Bobby Hamilton finalized a two-year contract extension with Morgan-McClure Motorsports over the weekend that will keep Hamilton in the #4 Chevys through the 2001 season(That’s Racin’)(9-20-1999)
  • Nemechek and… It may have taken 180 races, but Joe Nemechek broke his maiden today with a convincing win at New Hampshire International Speedway. His previous best finish ever was only a 4th(on two occasions), the last coming at Texas Motor Speedway in April of 1998….51 races ago. The win is the first for SABCO Racing since Kyle Petty won at Dover in June of 1995. Nemechek’s victory gives us 7 different race winners in a row. He also became our 11th different winner this year, making 5 years in a row we’ve had 11 different drivers to win races. You’ve got to go back to 1994 (12) to find more(Henry’s Ramblings, Stock Car Fans Newsletter)(9-20-1999)
  • Irvan-Simo Team: Ernie Irvan, who announced earlier this month his retirement from the Winston Cup series, said Sunday he hopes to run a 14-race Winston Cup schedule next season with Irvan-Simo Motorsports. Irvan said he hopes to put driver Boris Said behind the wheel of what have been the #14 Fords. Motorsports legend A.J. Foyt announced his plans earlier this month to field a Winston Cup team next season and asked NASCAR for permission to use the #14, which Foyt used in his driving days. Foyt would get preference because he plans to run a full schedule(That’s Racin’)(9-20-1999)
  • #12 crew? Car owner Michael Kranefuss may be interested in adding Ryan Pemberton(present #36 crew chief, rumored to be out there) to his crew. Pemberton is younger brother of Robin Pemberton, veteran crew chief for Rusty Wallace(teammate to the #12)(PitNow)(9-20-1999)
  • Marlin Looking? Sterling Marlin, who drives for Felix Sabates(#40 Coors Light Chevy), has been calling car owners about possible openings for next season, according to car owners who have talked with him(PitNow)(9-20-1999)

    (9-20-1999)

  • What Happened to Stewart? Tony Stewart, who was trying to become the first rookie in 29 years of Winston Cup racing to win consecutive races, had something break in the motor with 25 laps in the race. While not terminal, it caused problems on the many restarts towards the end of the race. Stewart felt that if it stayed green the final 20 laps, he probably would have been able to catch Nemechek, but the restarts hurt him(Infobeat)(9-20-1999)
  • Pontiac Notes: After 26 races, Pontiac Grand Prix teams have combined to post 32 top-five and 69 top-10 finishes. At the same point last season, Pontiac had 12 top-five and 36 top-10 finishes(Pontiac PR)(9-20-1999)

(9-19-1999)

  • Nemechek Wins: Joe Nemechek’s win at New Hampshire was his first ever career Winston win and it was the first time since 1970 that two first time winners(Tony Stewart won last week) have won in consecutive races when Pete Hamilton won at Daytona and James Hylton won at Richmond(TNN TV coverage)(9-19-1999)
  • Crew Member Fined: Shawn Parker, a crew member for Mark Martin, has been fined $5,000 for pulling an official out of the way while NASCAR was detaining the Ford on pit road on Sept. 11 in Richmond(Infobeat Newsletter/AP)(9-19-1999)
  • Roush to buy Track? UPDATE 3: Heard that Jack Roush(owner of the #’s 6,16,26,97,99 Cup teams) may buy the Concord (NC) Motorsport Park Speedway, close it down(for Sat. night racing), and use it for shops and a test track. Riush was recently turned down for zoning where he wanted to build mega race shops and a test track at some property he owns near Lowes Motor Speedway — CORRECTION: I am told by the folks at the Concord Motorsport Park that the track is not being sold and to correct the info on the Roush Shops – from June 10th: Roush Racing’s new headquarters may not be coming to Concord, after the company Tuesday withdrew a controversial rezoning request to build its new facility and test track there. The $75 million proj-ect drew opposition from hundreds of Concord residents who live near the proposed 106-acre facility on U.S. 29. The residents feared the test track would generate too much noise. See the rest of the Charlotte Observer article at: Roush Racing abandons rezoning effort, Concord site.(7-22-1999) — UPDATE-MAYBE?Jack Roush is reported to be interested in buying Concord Speedway, according to sources close to the track. Roush had considered trying to build a test track near his new Charlotte-area race shop but was rebuffed by local officials(PitNow)(9-18-1999) — UPDATE 3: Once again the folks at the Concord Motorsport Park are saying that the track is not being sold and they added that the track is being expanded(9-19-1999)
  • What Happend to the #79: Andy Belmont was the morning’s only terminal casualty, as he withdrew the #79 AOL Ford after posting the slowest time of the cars that practiced, about 1.5 seconds off Rusty Wallace’s practice pace(NOL Notes)(9-19-1999)

    (9-18-1999)

  • New Taurus: Ford has scheduled a wind-tunnel test for the end of the month to hammer out the details of its new Taurus race car. NASCAR officials will be on hand to review the data, with the intention of getting a body configuration approved for the 2000 season. Ford has had its race teams work on the proposal it will submit to the sport’s governing body. Penske Racing South, Roush Racing and Robert Yates Racing have all made contributions(Gazette/Monte Button)(9-18-1999)
  • AJ’s Driver and Cars? UPDATE Pontiacs? AJ Foyt is reported to be leaning toward Scott Sharp as his new NASCAR driver, according to sources(PitNow) and I am hearing AJ Foyt’s Cup team will campaign #14 Chevy’s(9-12-1999) — UPDATE: A.J. Foyt will apparently be running Pontiacs next season, according to sources. Foyt (supposedly) has ordered 12 new Pontiacs from one of the tour’s top outside chassis vendors(PitNow)(9-18-1999)
  • Petree Crewchief News: #33 Team owner, Andy Petree, was upset to learn last weekend that Ken Schrader would be leaving his team at the end of the season, so imagine what he must be saying now after learning that crew chief Sammy Johns is also leaving, apparently to follow current #33 driver Ken Schrader to the #36 M&M’s team in 2000. Johns says he is exploring his options and that nothing is official yet. But, Jimmy Elledge, Petree’s other crew chief on the #55 Square-D Chevy, confirmed that Johns has told Petree he’ll be leaving at the end of the season. Elledge says Petree may return to the crew-chief ranks. Where would that leave Ryan Pemberton, the current #36 crew chief? And the word in the garage is that current #36 driver Jerry Nadeau and Rick Hendrick, who owns the #25 team Nadeau will drive for in 2000, may want Pemberton to follow Nadeau there(in part from PitNow) and Schrader is apparently taking crew chief Sammy Johns with him, leaving Ryan Pemberton open to make a move, with Nadeau, to the Hendrick Motorsports #25 Chevy(SpeedNet)(9-18-1999)
  • Craven? Ricky Craven faces a difficult decision. He has performed admirably for a team that is near the bottom of the Winston Cup Series in terms of resources. Having pulled off a virtual miracle at Midwest Transit Racing(#50 Chevy), does he now try to rise up through the ranks with this team or try to use his limited success to secure a more prestigious ride?(SpeedNet/Monte Dutton)(9-18-1999)
  • Unser to the IRL: A meeting this week in Indianapolis between Tony George, Al Unser Jr. and Rick Galles left Galles feeling “very carefully excited” about the prospect of Unser returning to his Pep Boys Indy Racing League team. At Unser’s request, the three men met Monday to discuss the future — Unser’s and the IRL’s. Galles indicated Friday that Unser is ready to sign with his team, and expected something to happen within the next three weeks. Unser, who could not be reached Friday, apparently is weighing his options. Galles said Unser has received significant offers, particularly in NASCAR. The rumors have been across the board — CART, NASCAR and the IRL. Among the most intriguing were whispers about Unser drivng Cal Wells’ Winston Cup car (or CART car, depending upon the source), and another about Unser joining Ron Hemelgarn’s IRL team to rejoin crew chief Owen Snyder and cousin Robby Unser(see rest of story at Racer Mag Site)(9-18-1999)

    (9-17-1999)

  • Rudd?Yates UPDATE: Team owner Robert Yates has signed Ricky Rudd of Chesapeake, Virginia, to drive the #28 Texaco/Havoline Ford, starting in the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season(In part from a Texaco in house release) no term or other details just comments from all involved but I do hear Yates has purchased Rudd’s building, so it looks like Rudd’s #10 team will cease to exist. Also hear Rudd’s crew chief, Mike McSwain is part of the deal and will be the #28 crew chief — IT’s OFFICIAL: Ricky Rudd Signs Contract to Drive #28 Texaco/Havoline Ford for Robert Yates Racing(Texaco PR)(9-13-1999) — UPDATE: Michael McSwain, who has served as Ricky Rudd’s crew chief since May, will move with Rudd to the #28 Fords at Robert Yates Racing next season(That’s Racin’)(9-17-1999)
  • From NOL: Just three days after driving his #20 Home Depot Pontiac to Victory Lane at Richmond, Tony Stewart joined volunteers from Home Depot in Charlotte, NC, to drive nails for Habitat for Humanity. Stewart was at the construction site Wednesday morning along with team owner Joe Gibbs to help build the first of more than 100 Habitat for Humanity houses that Home Depot plans to build over the next two years with the help of its NASCAR partners. See full story: Stewart pitches in for Habitat for Humanity. Stewartm will also drive a special Habitat for Humanity paint scheme at Charlotte in Oct(9-17-1999)
  • Rookie Stuff: Rookie Tony Stewart can set a Winston Cup record if he can win at NHIS on Sunday. No first-year driver has won races consecutively in Cup(That’s Racin’/AP)(9-17-1999)
  • Irvan story: talks about his plans as a Cup owner including – “Right now what we’re looking for next year is to put things together to run a 12-race Winston Cup schedule. We’re not trying to do a lot of races, because it’s so late in the year”. See full story at: Retirement Plan by Mike Mulhern(9-17-1999)
  • Benson UPDATE: hearing that Johnny Benson has turned down the #45 and #9 teams as well as the possible BACE ride. Supposedly Benson will talk to Andy Petree about the vacant #33 Oakwood Homes ride — UPDATE: Looks like I heard wrong on a few of these points, sources tell me Benson has not talked to the #9 Melling team and that BACE will not race in Cup in 2000(9-17-1999)

    (9-16-1999)

  • Schrader Official UPDATE: MB2 Motorsports confirmed Thursday that Ken Schrader is leaving Andy Petree Motorsports at the end of the season and will drive its #36 M&M’s Pontiacs in 2000. The news follows Ernie Irvan’s recent retirement announcement after a crash at Michigan Speedway last month. There exists the possibility Schrader will leave Petree’s team prior to the end of the season to get a jump on next season. Jerry Nadeau, already committed elsewhere for 2000, is driving the car this weekend at New Hampshire(TNN Site) AND NOL has a similar story: Schrader deal with M&M’s car announced — UPDATE: Bill Weber mentioned on RPM2Nite that present #33 crew chief Sammy Johns will go with Schrader to the #36 MB2 team. No word on current crew chief Ryan Pemberton’s plans(9-16-1999)
  • #12 Paint Scheme UPDATE: hearing that Jeremy Mayfield will run a special paint scheme on the #12 Mobil One Ford, celebrating the 25th anniversary of Mobil One, the synthetic oil. I hear the car will be red and blue, not sure what race it will be run at(9-16-1999)
  • Petty 2000 Paint: For the first half of 2000, the #43 Petty Pontiac will look much like it does now with General Mills as an associate sponsor with stickers on the car using Cheerios, Popsecret, and Betty Crocker. Beginning with the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, the car switch to the Cheerios/Betty Crocker #43 Pontiac, with STP moving to an associate sponsor. I hear the car is designed and Richard Petty is considering several options right now. The car will be Cheerios yellow, Petty blue, Betty Crocker red, and Popsecret blue in the final paint scheme. The car will be veiled at Charlotte on October 10(9-16-1999)
  • Rensi buyout of Elliott? No: Today’s Winston Cup Scene mentions a rumor about #25 BGN and #83 ARCA Owner Ed Rensi buying the #94 Bill Elliott Team. Hadn’t heard this before, but it says Rensi, a retired president of McDonald’s, insisted that the rumors are just speculation. Rensi said he’d like to be a Cup owner at some time but feels he has a lot to learn and has to pay his dues first. Bill Elliott’s wife, Cindy also denied the rumor. Elliott will lose the McDonald’s sponsorship AFTER the 2000 season(9-16-1999)
  • #33 Driver UPDATE: Andy Petree said he’s determined to find the best driver possible for the #33 Oakwood Homes Chevy and he’s even willing to hire a driver from the open wheel series — CART and the IRL. Petree is most concerned with getting a driver that will help the team to achieve to a level to satisfy the team’s sponsor, Oakwood Homes(SpeedNet)(9-15-1999) — UPDATE: Petree has reportedly has narrowed the list of prospective candidates down to three to pilot his Oakwood Homes Chevy. Petree is planning to meet with the brass of Oakwood Homes so they can decide together which driver will be behind the wheel next year. An announcement is expected soon(CountryCool)(9-16-1999)
  • Cope signs new deal UPDATE: The #15 Fenley-Moore Motorsports announced that Derrike Cope has been hired to drive for the team in at least two races this season, and will run a full season in 2000. Cope will drive the #15 at Lowes Motor Speedway and Atlanta. 2001 and 2002 will be option years in the contract(NOL)(9-15-1999) — UPDATE: Shortly after Fenley acquired Moore’s team, the car was entered with Winston West Series driver Jeff Davis in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis, but did not qualify for the race. The car carried #62, but Fenley said he has received permission from NASCAR to resume using the #15 Moore’s cars carried the past two decades. Fenley said he is involved in negotiations with several potential primary and associate sponsors for the team, and hoped to be able to make an announcement during the Charlotte race weekend or soon after. Joey Knuckles is the crew chief(SpeedVision)(9-16-1999)
  • Willie T: it’s not NASCAR news, but Willie T Ribbs, who was in the NASCAR news earlier in the year trying to secure a Cup ride will drive an IRL car at Las Vegas in the #30 Dennis McCormack owned GForce/Aurora sponsored by Cole Bros. Water(Racer Mag Site)(9-16-1999)

    (9-15-1999)

  • Bessey Leaves Power Team UPDATE: from the Power Team site – President of Power Team Nancy Bessey announced she would be leaving the company. It doesn’t mention how it would effect the sponsorship of the #60 Winston Cup team, owned by her husband Joe and driven by Geoffrey Bodine. It has been rumored earlier that Power Team may not sponsor their IRL or BGN teams in 2000 — UPDATE: I am told that Nancy Bessey’s departure from Power Team will have no effect on the sponsorship of the #60 car and that it is business as usual for the rest of 1999 and beyond(9-15-1999)
  • LJ Racing Driver: Derrike Cope will drive the #91 LJ Racing Chevy at NHIS with Mike Hillman serving as crew chief. It’s a race-to-race deal at this point(LJ Racing) also hear Invinca-Shield will NOT be on the car this weekend at NHIS(9-15-1999)
  • #79 T.R.I.X. Racing Returns UPDATE: New Jersey based T.R.I.X. Racing and America Online Racing ARCA Bondo/ Mar-Hyde Supercar Series driver Andy Belmont announced the formation of a NASCAR Winston Cup Series partnership. Belmont and T.R.I.X. Racing, Inc. owners Ted Walters and George Pywowariw are combining their resources for three Winston Cup races beginning this weekend at New Hampshire. Belmont will drive a Ford Taurus carrying the T.R.I.X. Racing #79 and the familiar America Online Racing blue and yellow paint scheme. T.R.I.X. Racing, headquartered in Toms River, N.J., plans to participate with Belmont in the MBNA Gold 400 at Dover Downs (DE) International Speedway on September 26th and the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 at the North Carolina Speedway(The Rock) on October 24th. Belmont has ten previous Winston Cup starts and was runner-up to Jimmy Hensley in the 1992 Rookie of the Year standings. He is currently seventh in championship points in ARCA. Ted Walters of T.R.I.X . Racing will assume crew chief duties for the three planned events(TRIX PR)(9-13-1999) — UPDATE: Also, a Jayski advertiser, www.TheHutt.Com logo will be on the #79 America Online Ford as an associate sponsor — UPDATE 2: I was mistaken, TheHutt.com will NOT be on the car(9-15-1999)
  • Press Release: see the David Green/Tyler Jet Motorsports PR at the TJM Website or at the David Green Site(9-15-1999)
  • TNN Announcers: TNN has contracted Mike Joy to anchor their national telecast of the NASCAR Featherlite Modified and Busch North races this weekend at Loudon, NH. Buddy Baker and Brett Bodine(not Dick Berggren) will partner Joy for the Saturday afternoon telecast(NE Racing). Eli Gold takes over the Winston Cup duties on Sunday as he will be in Alabama doing the Crimson Tide’s football game(9-15-1999)

    (9-14-1999)

  • Green Out? AND IN UPDATE Trickle: Hearing the #41 Larry Hedrick team and driver David Green have parted ways, Dick Trickle is supposed to take the wheel at NHIS this weekend. Have not been able to confirm this — UPDATE: TNN’s motorsports site reports that David Green has signed with Tyler Jet Motorsports to pilot the #45 for the rest of the 1999 season starting at NHIS in the Dura Lube/Kmart 300 at Loudon. Green will continue an association with his former Cup boss Larry Hedrick by driving the #41 AFG BGN car for the rest of 1999. No word on who will drive the the #41 at NHIS, but rumor has Trickle in the car — UPDATE: Larry Hedrick Motorsports announced today that long time NASCAR Winston Cup veteran Dick Trickle will take over the wheel as driver of the #41 Kodiak/Larry Hedrick Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo for the remainder of the 1999 season. Trickle, 57, and a native of Wisconsin Rapids, WI, will begin his driving duties in this week’s Dura Lube/Kmart 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway at Loudon, NH(TNN Motorsports/Muhleman Marketing)(9-14-1999)
  • #10 Yates Power CORRECTION: Ricky Rudd will use Robert Yates engines for the rest of the 1999 season in the #10 Tide Ford, CORRECTION this was reported on WC Today Radio, not RPM2Nite(9-14-1999)
  • Foyt Driver? IRL driver native Scott Sharp had been rumored to be the leading candidate to drive for Foyt, who makes his return as a Winston Cup owner in 2000, but a source close to Foyt confirmed that Ted Christopher (BGNN/BGN/Modified) is under consideration. Foyt could not be reached for comment. Sharp, who is under contract with his current IRL team through 2000 and would not be able to run full time for Foyt. Christopher, who has is looking for a full-time BGN ride, said he hasn’t been contacted by Foyt. Sharp said there is very little, if any, chance he will be in a Winston Cup car next season for Foyt. Foyt’s first choice for his Cup team was reportedly Kenny Irwin, who will be released from the #28 Yates Ford after this season. But Irwin reportedly will sign a deal with Felix Sabates. Sharp did confirm he may do some testing for Foyt’s Winston Cup operation(The Hartford Courant)(9-14-1999)
  • More Rudd: Ricky Rudd has not decided exactly what he’ll do with his existing team, and is considering everything from selling it outright to auctioning it off. “I don’t think I could do my team justice and do the #28 team justice if I continued to own a team on the side,” Rudd confessed. “I don’t see how Dale Earnhardt drives for the 3 and owns the 1. It’s just too much going on.” See the full story at Racer Mag Site. Also, it is a three-year deal to drive the #28 Fords(That’s Racin’) also Victory Lane Online is reporting that Yates has also purchased Rudd’s RPM operation for $10 Million(9-14-1999)
  • Hamilton to Wells? UPDATE 2: A new name has risen to the forefront in Cal Wells III’s search for a Winston Cup driver — Bobby Hamilton. Hamilton, winner of three Winston Cup races, is suffering through a woeful season driving Larry McClure’s #4 Chevrolet. This year he has only one top-five finish and is 15th in the point standings. With Al Unser Jr.’s decision not to pursue the ride, Hamilton has apparently replaced Wally Dallenbach Jr. as the frontrunner to drive Wells’ Tide-sponsored Ford in 2000(SpeedNet/Monte Dutton)(9-11-1999) — UPDATE: Hamilton hasn’t commented on his status with Morgan-McClure Racing, but the veteran is in a contract-signing year with the Virginia-based team(Times-Dispatch)(9-13-1999) — UPDATE 2: Hearing Morgan-McClure has spoken with Steve Grissom about driving for the team, not sure if this in case Hamilton leaves or for the ‘rumored’ 2nd team(9-14-1999)
  • #30 News: Eel River Racing is benefiting from a rotating sponsorship from four Sara Lee Corp. brands — Jimmy Dean, Bryan, State Fair Brand Corn Dogs and Rudy’s Farm. The four brands will not return as primary sponsors next year. One or more, however, could return as associates. Team owner Jack Birmingham hopes to retain them in an associate capacity for next season, but is also aggressively pursuing a primary sponsor for next year. Todd Bodine will once again drive the car at NHIS(Eel River Racing PR)(9-14-1999)
  • Waltrip honored UPDATE: Darrell Waltrip on Monday Sept 13th will become the first race driver inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame, joining such legends as Muhammad Ali, Pee Wee Reese and Paul Hornung. The induction will take place at the Galt House in Louisville. The Hall of Fame is located in Freedom Hall at the Kentucky State Fair and Exposition Center. Waltrip was a high school track star who set some state records before launching his NASCAR career(Tennessean)(9-12-1999) — UPDATE: see story at the Kentucky Herald-Leader/Hall crowd greets `The Greatest’(9-14-1999)
  • Lanier/Brown team UPDATE: Willie Lanier says his plans to get a Winston Cup team up and running for next season aren’t going quite as fast as he’d hoped when he and Jim Brown, another NFL legend, announced their NASCAR goals back in February. But Lanier, now an investment banker here for First Union, says his dreams are just as bright as ever. See the rest of the PitNow story at: Lanier’s NASCAR plans stalled, but he says he’s still optimistic(9-12-1999) — UPDATE: Willie Lanier remains enthusiastic about getting involved in the sport. But as a businessman, he realizes the window is closing for getting involved in Winston Cup next season. At the Daytona 500 in February, Lanier announced the formation of Celebrity Motorsports with Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown and Bill Futterer of Berea, Ohio. The group wants to become involved in ownership of a Winston Cup team through an alliance with an existing team. Lanier reportedly has spoken with NASCAR owner Felix Sabates, and he’s had several meetings with potential sponsors. By getting involved with an established owner such as Sabates, the group hopes to cut down on start-up costs. Lanier and Brown are part of a new wave of minority ownership in NASCAR. Former Redskins running back Joe Washington formed a Busch Grand National team with Julius Erving in 1997, and track star Jackie Joyner-Kersee has formed a Winston Cup team with her husband. Minnesota Vikings coach Dennis Green is part of a group that will run Cup races next season Lanier isn’t necessarily seeking a minority-themed sponsor, however. Lanier has been in the investment banking business for nearly 20 years, and he still sees potential for an influx of more sponsorship money(in part – Times-Dispatch)(9-14-1999)
  • Martinsville Testing: Test Schedule for the NAPA AutoCare 500 on Sunday, October 3 at Martinsville Speedway. (There are normally additional teams on each test date, but they don’t know who else will test on each date. The team listed is the team which has rented the track.) September 14-15: Sabco Racing, Ron Hornaday and September 21-22: Larry Hedrick Motorsports, David Green(Martinsville Newsletter)(9-14-1999)
  • Stewart vs Gordon: While Tony Stewart is oft times compared to three-time champion Jeff Gordon, Stewart’s rookie statistics are actually far better. After 25 races, Stewart has one win, eight top-five and 16 top-10 finishes with only one DNF. At the same point in his rookie year, Gordon had six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes with eight DNFs(SpeedNet)(9-14-1999)

    (9-13-1999)

  • Yates Press Conference TODAY UPDATE 2: #28 Texaco Ford owner, Robert Yates has scheduled a Monday, Sept 13th, 1:30pm/et news conference for the Speedway Club at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte to make “a major announcement.” Notification of that announcement came through Performance PR Plus, the company that handles public relations for the Texaco account, the sponsor of the 28 car(That’s Racin’) presumably to announce his new driver, Ricky Rudd(many sources)(9-10-1999) — UPDATE: Team owner Robert Yates has signed Ricky Rudd of Chesapeake, Virginia, to drive the #28 Texaco/Havoline Ford, starting in the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season(In part from a Texaco in house release) no term or other details just comments from all involved but I do hear Yates has purchased Rudd’s building, so it looks like Rudd’s #10 team will cease to exist. Also hear Rudd’s crew chief, Mike McSwain is part of the deal and will be the #28 crew chief — IT’s OFFICIAL: Ricky Rudd Signs Contract to Drive #28 Texaco/Havoline Ford for Robert Yates Racing(Texaco PR)(9-13-1999)
  • Texaco and #28 renew: Texaco/Havoline today announced it will remain the primary sponsor of the Robert Yates Racing Team and its famed #28 Texaco/Havoline Ford Taurus through the 2004 NASCAR season(Texaco PR)(9-13-1999)
  • Melling News: Mark Melling, owner of the #9 Cartoon Network Ford, announced today(9-13) that driver Rich Bickle has been hired on an interim basis to replace Steve Grissom. “We’re simply evaluating drivers in an effort to find the right combination,” explained Melling. “Steve’s got a lot of talent, but at this point, we need to test another driver. We certainly wish Steve all the best in his future endeavors.”(Melling PR)(9-13-1999)
  • SBIII Crew Chief Resigns UPDATE: Effective Sept 13th, Mike Hillman has resigned as Crew Chief of the #58 SBIII Motorsports team. He feels that he has brought this team to a competitive level in Winston Cup racing and he would like to explore other opportunities at this time. He wishes the best to the team and would like to thank everyone at SBIII Motorsports for the opportunity that he has experienced during this season(SBIII PR) — UPDATE: Jerry Pitts has been promoted to Crew Chief of the #58 Federated Auto Parts Ford Taurus and driver Hut Stricklin. Jerry’s experience in Winston Cup racing will greatly benefit SBIII Motorsports. In addition, Greg Conner and Robert “Banzai” Hewitt have been promoted to Car Chief and Team Manager, respectively. Scott Barbour, owner of SBIII Motorsports, feels that these changes will move the team to a more competitive level of Winston Cup racing and is confident that these individuals have the necessary background and abilities to accomplish the goals necessary for each week at the track(SBIII PR)(9-13-1999)
  • Pontiacs: Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte, finished 1 and 2, giving Pontiac its first 1-2 sweep since Rusty Wallace finished first and Kyle Petty second at North Wilkesboro in April 1993(SpeedNet)(9-13-1999)
  • Points: Rookie Tony Stewart moved up to fourth in the point standings. No rookie has finished in the top five in drivers points since James Hylton was second in 1966(SpeedNet)(9-13-1999)
  • Tide dyed UPDATE: Hearing Ricky Rudd will have a special Give Kids the World paint scheme on the #10 Tide Ford at Martinsville(8-30-1999) — YEP: the car was shown on Sunday’s RPM2Nite show and it’s pretty cool looking. The car was designed by 9-year old Tiffany Rich during her vacation at the Give The Kids The World Village in Orlando, FL. Give The Kids The World is a non-profit organization that creates colorful memories for terminally ill children. See the car at: SpeedMall(fixed)(9-13-1999)
  • Rookie Wins: Stewart’s first career win came in the 25th start of his rookie season. Other modern-era drivers who won in their rookie season and the number of races it took to post their first victory: Davey Allison, 1987, 14 starts; Ron Bouchard, 1981, 11; Morgan Shepherd, 1981, 15; Dale Earnhardt, 1979, 16; and Earl Ross, 1974, 21.(NOL)(9-13-1999)
  • #16/TV Guide UPDATE: Roush Racing driver Kevin Lepage said Saturday he and car owner Jack Roush have agreed to work together through the 2000 season, provided a sponsor is secured for the #16 Fords. TV Guide is still debating whether to continue its sponsorship of the team beyond this season(That’s Racin’)(9-12-1999) — UPDATE: Unofficially, the Team Roush Fans Site has learned that TV GUIDE has signed with Jack Roush and the #16 team at least for 2000 season…The deal is estimated to be worth about $7 million to the team. TV GUIDE was initially going to sign a 3-year deal but wanted to see what the status of the #26 Car was going to be before committing to the 16 car. Could have an official announcement sometime before the NHIS race(Team Roush Fans Site)(9-13-1999)
  • Musgrave sick too: Ted Musgrave and the #75 Butch Mock Motorsports team had their second best finish thus far this season at Richmond Saturday night. Musgrave, while suffering from a possible case of food poisoning, drove the #75 Polaris ATVs/Remington Arms Ford from the 12th starting spot to an 8th place finish(Off Ted Musgrave Site) winder if he ate at the same place as Rudd(9-13-1999)
  • Musgrave status: Ted Musgrave says he has a contract through the end of this season with Butch Mock but is waiting on word from new co-owner Darwin Oordt about next season. He says that he would like to stay with his current team(#75 Ford team)(Times-Dispatch)(9-11-1999) — UPDATE: At RIR this weekend, Ted Musgrave said he has a contract with Butch Mock through the end of the season. Mock sold part of the team to Darwin Oordt earlier this year, and the co-owners haven’t sat down with Musgrave to discuss next season. Despite reports that he has tested cars for other teams, Musgrave wants to stay if he is given the opportunity(Times-Dispatch)(9-13-1999)
  • More Schrader: Kenny Schrader is leaving the #33 Andy Petree Racing Team, supposedly at the end of the season, but possibly as soon as next weekend at New Hampshire. The Missouri native will move to the #36 MB2 Motorsports, M&M’s Pontiac, Team for the 2000 season replacing Ernie Irvan(who retired). The move was a big surprise to garage onlookers and to Petree himself, who, to say the least, was not pleased with Schrader’s decision. Rumors had been circulating that Petree’s 2000 sponsor, Oakwood Homes, has been experiencing financial problems, putting the backing in jeopardy(Inside Motorsports) Petree has said that the backing of Oakwood Homes is not in trouble and Schrader went out and won the ARCA race in Salem, IN on Sunday(9-13-1999)

(9-12-1999)

  • The Countdown Car: In a tribute to Ernie Irvan and the millennium, Jerry Nadeau will drive the M&M’s Countdown car in Charlotte on Oct. 10, 1999. See an image from the RCCA site on my Ernie Irvan Site(9-12-1999)
  • WOW! congrats to Tony Stewart on his first Winston Cup win of his career. He is the first rookie to win a race since Davey Allison won at Talladega (also won at Dover) in 1987, a span of 376 races. Also it’s the sixth straight year there has been a first time winner in Cup(9-12-1999)
  • Irvan Visits: Ernie Irvan visited his former team this weekend, hanging out in the team’s transporter and chatting with replacement driver Jerry Nadeau. In his first week of retirement it’s been business as usual — lots of interviews and media appearances(Times-Dispatch) He was also interviewed during qualifying on Friday by ESPN2 after helping push the car out to pit road(9-12-1999)
  • Spencer/Kmart: National Speed Sport News reports that it is expected that Kmart will sponsor a 2nd Travis Carter owned car (the other being #66-Darrell Waltrip). The car is also expected to change numbers from #23 to something ending in a six(6), #56 is mentioned(NSSN) #’s 46,76,86 and 96 are also available and #26 may be also(9-12-1999)
  • Short Track Wins UPDATE: Nine different drivers win the last nine short-track races: Dale Jarrett, John Andretti, Rusty Wallace, Ricky Rudd, Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, Terry Labonte, Bobby Hamilton and Jeff Gordon(8-25-1999) — UPDATE Make it Ten drivers, add Dale Earnhardt to the mix(8-29-1999) — UPDATE: Make it Eleven different drivers now as Tony Stewart won at Richmond(9-12-1999)
  • Little E: Dale Earnhardt had a 10th place finish at Richmond, the first top 10 of his four race Cup career and the 39th different driver to score a top ten this year(9-12-1999)
  • AJ’s Driver and Cars? AJ Foyt is reported to be leaning toward Scott Sharp as his new NASCAR driver, according to sources(PitNow) and I am hearing AJ Foyt’s Cup team will campaign #14 Chevy’s(9-12-1999)
  • Mock/Yates Engines: Robert Yates has been doing a lot of outside engine work but says he’ll be cutting down on that. He will have his engines in only one Winston Cup team(Wells?) other than his own two teams. That outside team, Yates said, would not be Butch Mock’s(Darwin Oordt’s). Mock, who is selling his team(sold), is looking for a new sponsor, and he may also be looking for a driver. Ted Musgrave, who drives for Mock, may be on Tim Beverly’s(#45) list of potential drivers for his own team, now that he has released Rich Bickle(after Darlington)(PitNow)(9-12-1999)

    (9-11-1999)

  • Sad News: not NASCAR, but Penske CART driver, rookie Gonzalo Rodriguez was killed Saturday during a practice crash at Laguna Seca Raceway. Team owner Roger Penske(also a Cup team owner) immediately withdrew his team, including veteran driver Al Unser Jr., from the event(AP)(9-11-1999)
  • Schrader to the #36 UPDATE 2: Ken Schrader will take over the driving duties next season for the #36 Pontiacs owned by MBII Motorsports, The Charlotte Observer has learned. An official announcement of Schrader’s move is expected at New Hampshire International Speedway next weekend, sources said. Schrader has driven for car owner Andy Petree since 1997. In two-plus seasons, he has five top-five and 20 top-10 finishes and five poles. Schrader and Petree announced an agreement with a new sponsor, Oakwood Homes, in May for Schrader’s #33 Chevrolets. However, according to sources, the company’s financial stability has declined recently and its future in the sport is in doubt(That’s Racin’)(9-10-1999) — UPDATE: Schrader has two years remaining on his contract with Petree and incoming sponsor Oakwood Homes, but the company has suffered financial setbacks in recent weeks that could affect the deal. Sources say he has already signed to be Irvan’s replacement(Times-Dispatch) — UPDATE 2: Eight weeks after announcing that he had secured a primary sponsor for his #33 Chevrolet, Cup team owner Andy Petree announced that Ken Schrader will not be back in the car next season. Schrader declined comment on the situation earlier in the day. He also would not say whether recent negative financial news for Oakwood Homes affected his decision(NOL)(9-11-1999)
  • Morgan-McClure 2nd Team: Was wondering was was up with this – Car owner Larry McClure says he’ll run a second car at Talladega in October and possibly at Homestead in November. No driver has been selected. Asked if he has a sponsor for those races, McClure said, “We think so.” McClure said he continues to look for a sponsor to run a second car part time next year(News and Record)(9-11-1999)
  • #41 Sponsor: Car owner Larry Hedrick, whose team loses its Kodiak sponsorship, said he hopes to have a sponsor deal by mid October(News and Record) no word on if David Green will return as the driver(9-11-1999)
  • TV Money: It’s been the buzz this week: TNN and corporate partner CBS Sports (both now owned by Viacom) have put anywhere from $1.2b to $5b on the table for the NASCAR unified television rights deal. What’s the real story? See the story at Racer Magazine: Big Money On Table from TNN for NASCAR TV Deal? by Bill King(9-11-1999)
  • Bickle in the #10? UPDATEs Rudd Better: I hear Rich Bickle will drive the #10 Tide Ford in place of ill Ricky Rudd. Not sure why it’s not Trickle who qualified the car. Also if Rudd can’t make the race, his streak of 564 consecutive races which is 3rd longest, would come to an end — UPDATE: Ricky Rudd was feeling better and back at the track Saturday morning after spending the night in a Richmond hospital. While Rudd plans to drive his #10 Ford in Saturday night’s Exide 400, a relief driver will be standing by in case Rudd is unable to complete the race. Rudd did not qualify his car in Friday night’s time trials at Richmond International Raceway after taking ill overnight. Rudd visited the track’s infield care center Friday morning and received treatment for a possible case of food poisoning. Just after noon, he left to the track to go the hospital(That’s Racin’) — UPDATE 2: Ricky Rudd is doing much better, practiced the car in the early Saturday test and the team does not intend to have a relief driver standing by on Saturday night. The #10 did not run in Happy Hour(NOL)(9-11-1999)

    (9-10-1999)

  • Compton and Dodge? Truck Series driver Stacy Compton has his own tough decision to make. Chrysler officials have hinted strongly to the Hurt, Va., driver they plan to bring Compton and Dennis Setzer to the Winston Cup Series in 2001, when Dodge is likely to debut a team of Intrepids. Compton and Setzer currently drive Dodge Ram trucks in the NASCAR touring series. Meanwhile, Compton is weighing offers from a existing Winston Cup teams. The choice is between waiting for Dodge to make its plans public or taking a ride with a Ford or GM team that might not have as much long-term potential as the eventual DaimlerChrysler team(Gaston Gazette/Monte Dutton)(9-10-1999)
  • Gettin’ Sillier:(maybe I should call it Jayski’s Sillier Season Site) check this out – From Racer Mag Site: …..with the sudden revelation that Ken Schrader, now with Andy Petree’s #33 (Skoal Chevy) team, will take over the seat in the #36 M&Ms car. Petree revealed that Schrader had informed him Thursday morning of his decision to leave, although it is not known whether he will stay the season or move sooner. A #36 team official, who preferred not to be named, refused to confirm the Schrader reports but indicated something was afoot. Skoal spokesman Brian Buchauer said Schrader’s intended move was sudden and very disappointing to Petree, who hired Schrader three years ago. Skoal, Petree’s long-time sponsor, will leave after this season, although Buchauer said Petree had told him the team has “an iron-clad deal” with new sponsor Oakwood Homes(Racer.com/Ben Blake) Note: Oakwood is having some finacial problems(see yahoo biz)(9-10-1999)
  • #11 Sold?? Hearing that Brett Bodine is looking to sell his #11 Winston Cup team. Sponsor Paychex leaves at the end of the 1999 season. One rumor has Richard Hilton, who owns Butch Gilliland Winston West team buying it(9-10-1999)
  • and More: there were rumors that Ted Musgrave, facing an uncertain future with Butch Mock’s recently-sold #75, had made a deal with the Tyler Jet #45 for next year(Racer.com/Ben Blake) Rumors have #45 Crew Chief testing Musgrave in the #45 sometime early last week(9-10-1999)
  • Roush News: Jack Roush likely will have five Winston Cup teams next season, one way or another. Team officials say the outlook has brightened for the #16 car, driven by Kevin Lepage, but more serious questions now hover over Johnny Benson’s #26. Benson will leave the team after the season, and sponsor Cheerios will a) transfer its primary sponsorship to Richard Petty’s No. 43, and b) scatter among the Roush teams as an associate, leaving the #26 with no primary sponsor and no driver. Roush representative Stephanie Marquez said it appears very possible there will be no #26(Roush team) next season, although “anything can happen,” she added. Meanwhile, TV Guide appears enthusiastic about stepping up its efforts around Lepage and the No. 16, Marquez said. In addition, Roush will add the #17 team of Matt Kenseth, with Roush superstar Mark Martin at some level of ownership. Roush’s other three teams – those of Martin, Jeff Burton and Chad Little – will continue unchanged at least for one more year, Marquez said(From Racer Magazine Site by Ben Blake)(9-10-1999)
  • Bliss to Stay? I hear that NASCAR Live 9/8/99, Mike Bliss said he has a truck deal through 2000 that he will honor. So maybe he won’t go to the #30 Cup ride?(9-10-1999)
  • Rudd Sick UPDATE and YATES no?: I hear Ricky Rudd has food poisioning and may miss out on practicing the #10, unsure if he’ll qualify the car — UPDATE: Ricky Rudd, whom everyone hoped to question Friday about his pending deal to drive Robert Yates’ #28 next year, took sick overnight and did not participate in Winston Cup practice Friday. Elton Sawyer practiced Rudd’s #10 in the morning session. Team spokesman Kirby Boone said Rudd had food poisoning and had visited the infield care center, but that he planned to practice in the second session and qualify in the evening. Rudd later was seen being loaded into a car as if to leave the track. Later, however, team manager Jeff Kirk said Rudd would not return the rest of the day and said the team’s situation for the rest of practice and qualifying had not been determined(Racer.com/Ben BlakeALSOThat’s Racin’ reports, Rudd has been approached by a sponsor that could keep his team viable and complicate any deal with Robert Yates, see the story at: Rudd in hospital; Yates deal in doubt. Dick Trickle will qualify the #10 Ford this evening, Sawyer had a sponsor conflict and cannot do it(9-10-1999)
  • Scorer: Morris Metcalf, the chief NASCAR scorer for most of its 50-year history, plans to retire at the mid-point of next year’s Daytona 500 and turn the job over to Tim Hudson(Daily Press)(9-10-1999)
  • Burtons wreck in BGN practice: Ward and Jeff Burton had an incident in BGN practice with Ward having to go to a backup #47 Monro Chevy, Jeff’s #9 car was undamaged(Racer Mag)(9-10-1999)

    (9-9-1999)

  • Rudd to Yates? BIG UPDATE: Now comes word that Robert Yates might be interested in hiring Ricky Rudd. Rudd said Yates hasn’t talked to him, but he finds the idea intriguing. Yates has moved the Texaco team out of Charlotte up to a shop leased near the speedway, but he has looked at putting a shop in the Mooresville sports complex where Rudd has his own shop and another six acres of prime undeveloped land. Rudd talked with Yates last year about doing an engine program(PitNow)(7-12-1999) — Rudd signs with….YATES: surprise! RPM2Nite reported at the end of the Thursday show that word out of Richmond has Ricky Rudd signing with Robert Yates to drive the #28 Texaco Ford in 2000, also see the story at NOL(9-9-1999)
  • Cope Returns: Derrike Cope has a new ride and has been signed to drive the #15 Ford Taurus being prepared by the new Bud Moore/Fenley Motorsports team in its Winston Cup debut at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Oct. 10th. Cope tested with the team at Lowes this week and ran at 180mph. According to owner Randy Fenley “there is no commitment” beyond the UAW-GM Quality 500 event for either Cope – or the team. Fenley, 39, brother Robert, 43, and their father, Ron, are Fenley Motorsports – a California-based company that built its fame and fortune in the dynamic Southern California construction market. They own a Winston West team and acquired the majority ownership of the venerable Bud Moore Engineering team in August. Fenley says the new team – to be officially called Fenley-Moore Motorsports – is focusing on fielding a competitive team for the 2000 season, beginning at Daytona in February. Moore is working with the team as a consultant(Country Cool) Note: the team attempted to make the Brickyard 400 in the #62 Ford with Big Daddy’s as the sponsor(9-9-1999)
  • #58 Sponsor: Federated Auto Parts will sponsor the #58 SBIII Motorsports Ford and driver Hut Stricklin at Richmond, New Hampshire, Dover and Martinsville(SBIII Motorsports’ PR). Federated Auto Parts sponsors Boris Said’s #44 Craftsman Truck owned by Irvan-Simo Racing and have been involved in other Winston Cup races as recently as Watkins Glen, where Boris was on the outside pole. Irvan-Simo’s next Cup race scheduled is NHIS, no idea if Federated Auto Parts will still be aboard or not, the PR didn’t say(9-9-1999)
  • Irwin signs with SABCO? UPDATE and Gordon: Kenny Irwin has signed with Team Sabco to take over the driving duties of the #42 Chevys beginning next season. An official announcement with car owner Felix Sabates and Irwin is not expected until the weekend of the Nov. 21 NAPA 500 at Atlanta, the headquarters of the car’s sponsor, BellSouth, according to sources close to the driver(That’s Racin’)(9-7-1999) — UPDATE:RPM2Nite also reports they hear the deal is done, just need Irwin to sign. Supposedly, Irwin will also run selected BGN events for SABCO. Also mentioned was that CART driver and former SABCO #40 driver Robby Gordon could be a third Cup driver for SABCO if he can bring a sponsor with him(9-9-1999)
  • Nemechek: From Wednesday’s NOL chat with Joe Nemechek – The Question: In your search for a new team, how much does a manufacturer make in your decision? The Answer: “I think it does factor in. But mainly, it’s trying to find a good Cup ride. Our Busch program will most likely remain Chevrolet. We’re putting new 2000 sheet metal on them, and we’re skinning them that way. Chevrolet has been good to me, and my plan is to continue on with Chevrolet.” Makes you wonder about the Nemechek to the #28(Ford) rumors(9-9-1999)
  • Rudd News UPDATE 2 no press conference: Ricky Rudd has meetings planned for Monday and Tuesday with two potential sponsors, at least one of which he hopes will provide him a good enough deal to continue running his own team for the next several years, according to sources. Rudd has tentatively scheduled a news conference Friday at Richmond International Raceway to announce his future plans. Sources say should Rudd’s effort fail, he will likely move into the #28 Fords owned by Robert Yates Racing(That’s Racin’)(9-6-1999) — UPDATE: I hear the announcement will be Rudd going to the #28. Had heard that he was talking to a few sponsors: Dell, Georgia-Pacific and UPS but they must have fell through. I guess we’ll find out on Friday for sure(9-8-1999) — UPDATE 2: hearing that Rudd will announce he will drive the #28 BUT is also looking for a ‘good’ driver to drive his #10 Ford in 2000, maybe found a sponsor? AND from the Times-Dispatch today – Ricky Rudd will not make an announcement this weekend concerning his team. The owner-driver has spent the week meeting with team owners and potential sponsors. Rudd has said that if he does not find a sponsor this month, he will sell the team. Rudd reportedly is the leading candidate to replace Kenny Irwin on Robert Yates’ team(9-9-1999)
  • #7 News: Mattei Motorsports is still hoping that sponsor Phillips will stay on board for 2000, but it looks like they have already firmed up a relationship with NationsRent for next season(Inside Motorsports)(9-9-1999)
  • #16 News UPDATE?? Kevin Lepage has a September 7, deadline to secure sponsorship for the #16 TV Guide Ford Taurus(TNN Motorsports Site)(8-31-1999) — ?? The 7th has came and passed, no word either way…..(9-9-1999)
  • Letterman UPDATE Tonight: Louise Smith, one of the newest members of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame will be a guest on the Late Show With David Letterman on September 8 at 11:30pm/et. Smith, who lives in Greenville, SC was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega AL on April 22, 1999. Smith won dozens of Modified races while competing in the Pioneer years of stock car racing in the 1940-50’s including competition on the beach/road course in Daytona. She retired from driving in 1956(a few readers) — UPDATE: I hear Smith has been moved to Thursday night, September 9th, yes it’ll be Thursday(CBS Letterman/Pantsnews page)(9-7/9-1999)
  • Sad News: #90 Ford Cup owner, Junie Donlavey’s mother, Esther Mary Donlavey, 93, died Sunday. Her funeral is today(Times-Dispatch)(9-9-1999)

    (9-8-1999)

  • More Tyler Jet News UPDATE 2: hearing that AT&T/10-10-345 Lucky Dog will not return to Tyler Jet Motorsports in 2000, so it looks like the team is looking for a driver and a sponsor. Jeff Purvis, rumored to be in the car at Richmond, supposedly has turned down the team as did Randy LaJoie and Robby Gordon. Hearing CTS driver Jack Sprague may be in the car at Richmond(9-7-1999) — UPDATE: Tyler Jet Motorsports announced Jack Sprague will handle the team’s driving chores in this weekend’s Cup race at Richmond. Sprague replaces Rich Bickle in the 10-10-345 mount, the latter parting ways with the team after the Pepsi Southern 500 at Darlington. Sprague will continue his NCTS Hendrick Motorsports duties throughout this season. TJM is currently negotiating with other drivers for remaining events on the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup tour(Tyler Jet Motorsports PR) — UPDATE 2: Despite speculation that 10-10-345 would not be back with TJM in 2000, team sources said negotiations are currently under way with the company to return next season. The three-year sponsorship package, signed last year, called for a one-year contract with two option years. A proposal from the team is currently in the sponsor’s hands, and an answer is forthcoming within a month. Sprague may also drive the car at NHIS next week(TNN Motorsports)(9-8-1999)
  • Hornaday: CTS Champ Ron Hornaday will fill the driver’s seat of Team SABCO’s #01 Cup TRACFONE Chevy for this weeks race at Richmond and at Martinsville(BellSouth PR). Not only will he race against his boss, Dale Earnhardt, his teammates at DEI, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Steve Park but his CTS nemesis, Jack Sprague will attempt to get the #45 10-10-345 Pontiac in the RRI event(9-8-1999)
  • Dallenbach: Despite reports that Wally Dallenbach has spoke with the management at MB2 Motorsports(#36 M&M’s Pontiac), he insists that simply isn’t the case. He spoke to crew chief Ryan Pemberton to let them know he was interested, but not the owners. He says if he had the choice, he’d be leaning towards the #36 ride, if offered to him. Dallenbach, as reported in the past, has been speculated as the lead candidate for the Cal Wells Cup ride. Although Dallenbach was expecting to hear from Wells on Monday, their signals were crossed and never touched base. Hopes to speak on Tuesday or Wednesday. Wells said personal committments in California and this week’s CART race in Monterrey, would keep him from making a final decision until next week, but he has pared down the applicants to Dallenbach, Al Unser Jr., Scott Pruett, and an unnamed Winston Cup driver with contractual considerations. Dallenbach plans to have his mind made up by the time he leaves for Richmond(in part from SpeedVision)(9-8-1999)
  • Wood Bros/Donlavey Honored UPDATE: In honor of the Wood Brothers longevity with Ford Racing, Edsel B. Ford II will present the Wood Brothers with the Spirit of Ford Award in honor of their accomplishments in Racing. The reception and ceremony is scheduled for 6:00pm/et on Thursday, September 9, 1999 in the Virginia World Building at the Richmond International Raceway. Ford representatives will be in attendance, along with NASCAR drivers, members of the media, Winston Cup and Richmond track officials. The Wood Brothers Racing Team is one of the most successful and historical teams in NASCAR. The Wood Brothers have made their mark on NASCAR by setting many records that still stand today. Records such as 80 superspeedway wins, 53 500-mile wins, 87 superspeedway poles and 26 superspeedway races won from the pole. The Wood Brothers have accumulated a total of 96 wins and 112 pole positions. When NASCAR named the 50 greatest drivers from 1948-1998, seventeen of those 50 drivers had piloted a Wood Brothers racecar. The team is headquartered in Stuart, Virginia and is owned by Glen Wood, Kim Wood Hall, Len Wood and Eddie Wood(Cox Marketing PR)(9-7-1999) — UPDATE: Ford will also honor Junie Donlavey, owner of the #90 Ford, who is celebrating his 50th year in NASCAR and has been in a Ford for most of them(9-8-1999)
  • The Glen: Historic stock cars will be competing on the 3.77 mile Grand Prix course at Watkins Glen in the US Vintage Grand Prix Friday through Sunday. Driver Brian Redman will be among the competitors. Several significant stock cars are scheduled to compete including the 1993 Kodak Chevy Lumina originally driven in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series by recently retired driver Ernie Irvan and the 1993 Quaker State Ford Thunderbird driven Brett Bodine(Watkins Glen Newsletter)(9-8-1999)

    (9-7-1999)

  • Nadeau OK: Jerry Nadeau is ready to get back on the track after a hard hit at Darlington last weekend in the #36 M&M’s Pontiac. Nadeau was airlifted to Carolinas Hospital System in Florence, S.C., after an accident early in Sunday’s Pepsi Southern 500. Nadeau sustained a mild concussion and a laceration to his tongue when he blew a right-front tire and hit the turn-two wall. He was kept overnight for observation. He was released from the hospital Monday afternoon and returned to his home on Lake Norman(Cox PR)(9-7-1999)
  • #50 Changes? UPDATE 2: nothing confirmed on this but I hear that Lake Speed has left his position as Team Manager at the #50 Midwest Transit Racing Chevy team — UPDATE: The team informs me that Speed is still with the team, just took a vacation to spend time with the family(8-19-1999) — UPDATE 2: Sources close to Lake Speed acknowledged today that he indeed has resigned as General Manager of the Midwest Transit Racing team. This occurred nearly two weeks but has not been made public. Lake has been on vacation with his family since he resigned nearly two weeks ago. Lake has spent the last several months revamping the #50 Chevrolet team and driver Ricky Craven to the level they are now competing. In only their second outing with the team Craven scored the teams first top performance after spending most of the afternoon in the top ten. “Lake still wants and has a very big determination to drive again on the Winston Cup circuit,” our source explained. “We will just have to wait and see what doors might open.” As of today, no offers have been made to Speed(www.lakespeed.net)(9-7-1999)
  • #77 Sponsor News: Jasper Motorsports #77 Cup team announced today that they have signed a new associate sponsor for the Jasper Engines Fords driven by Robert Pressley. Fit America is an all-natural weight loss program headquartered in Deerfield Beach, FL. The new sponsorship agreement includes a four race deal(Charlotte, Pheonix, Homestead and an unknown race at this point)for the remainder of 1999 and a full season in the year 2000. Debi Davis, Founder of FIT AMERICA made the announcement from the company¹s headquarters. Fit America¹s all-natural weight loss and wellness products are sold at retails locations in 17 states nationwide. There are currently 74 franchise stores in operation with additional stores in Arizona, North Carolina, New York, Texas, Connecticut, Florida and New Jersey scheduled to open before year¹s end(Jasper Team PR)(9-7-1999)
  • Hall of Fame: Sam Ard, who in only three seasons became one of the greatest competitors in the NASCAR Busch Series, and the late Alan Kulwicki, a Wisconsin-born driver whose tenacity led him to the pinnacle of NASCAR Winston Cup racing, have been elected to the National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame. Both drivers received the required majority of votes cast by the Press Membership of the NMPA. They will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame at a special banquet and ceremonies at Darlington Country Club on Sept. 4, the night before the running of the 50th Pepsi Southern 500 Winston Cup race at Darlington Raceway. For the first time, TOSCO 76 will serve as the host of the banquet and ceremonies. TOSCO Corp. owns the 76 brand, which has been the Official Fuel of NASCAR for 49 years(WC Scene)(7-20-1999) — CONGRATS:the ceromonies took place and Ard and Kulwicki were inducted on Firday night(9-7-1999)

    (9-6-1999)

  • Bickle Out? UPDATE 2 yes: hearing from many sources that Rich Bickle and Tyler Jet Motorsports have decided to part ways after the Darlington Southern 500. I hear BGN driver, Jeff Purvis will drive the #45 10-10-345 Pontiac for the rest of the year. Rumored replacements for 2000 are Johnny Benson or Ted Musgrave(9-5-1999) — UPDATE: Rich Bickle may be the next driver working the job market. Less a month after agreeing to a new driving contract with car owner Tim Beverly, Bickle will apparently be out of the ride this week, according to sources. If Beverly opts for a driver change, Johnny Benson could be his pick, according to sources. Might such a change be made before the end of the season? Roush, who owns the cars Benson drives, did make a driver change during the middle of last season, putting Kevin Lepage in Ted Musgrave’s car. James Ince, Beverly’s crew chief, came over from the Roush team earlier this season(PitNow). Jayski Note: Source tells me Bickle has left the team, mutual decision and lack of chemistry – UPDATE 2: it is official, Rich Bickle will no longer drive the #45 car, no driver named yet(Tyler Jet Site/PR). May be more changes on the way, stay tuned(9-6-1999)
  • #36 Rumors UPDATE 2: already…Johnny Benson and Todd Bodine are being rumored around the garage area as possible drivers for the #36 M&M’s Pontiac in 2000(9-4-1999) — UPDATE: Drivers under consideration for the #36 include Todd Bodine and Johnny Benson. Wally Dallenbach met with MBII Motorsports over the weekend to discuss the job, sources said(That’s Racin’)(9-6-1999)
  • Bodine, Todd that is: Todd Bodine continues to chart his future in racing. The ten time winner in the Busch Series would like to get a another shot at Winston Cup and has discussed a move with a couple of Winston Cup owners. His owner, Frank Cicci, has plans, eventually, to move the #66 team, en masse, to Cup, but it is probably too late for that move to happen for the 2000 season. There is no sponsor currently in place for a run in Winston Cup and it is probably too late in the season to get one lined up now for next season. Bodine stated that he would not move to Cup, just to be IN Winston Cup and would feel very comfortable running the Busch Series for the Cicci-Welliver team again in 2000. Bodine’s name had been linked with Yates Racing and with the new Cal Wells Winston Cup (Tide) team as a potential driver, but now it appears he may get a shot in Felix Sabates’ #01 Chevy(Inside Motorsports) Note: Sabates has said he doubt’s he’ll run a third team in 2000, Bodine may get considered for the #42 ride if Irwin goes elsehwere(9-6-1999)
  • FirstPlus sued: Elliott-Marino Motorsports L.L.C. — the Atlanta-based team put together by Nascar driver Bill Elliott and NFL quarterback Dan Marino — filed the lawsuit in Dallas district court on Aug. 26. The suit claims that FirstPlus has failed to make $1.7 million in payments on its 1997 contract with Elliot-Marino, plus $200,000 on a separate contract to promote a FirstPlus subsidiary, Vanstar Corp. Full story and background at: Dallas Business JournalNote: Jerry Nadeau ran the #13 FirstPlus Ford for most of the year, he was released, took over the #9 and the #13 was driven by various drivers. The team attempted the 1999 Daytona 500 with Dick Trickle, failed to make the race and disbanded(9-6-1999)
  • Cooking: General Mills and its Betty Crocker brand have created the “Betty Crocker Racing Family” – a group of women who are involved in racing who will work to recognize the female fan base in the sport. Nancy Andretti, Debbie Benson, Kim Burton, Flossie Johnson, Andrea Nemechek, Pattie and Lynda Petty and Stevie Waltrip are the founding members. The Betty Crocker Racing Family and their recipes will show up on packaging and in TV and magazine advertising for several Betty Crocker products(That’s Racin’)(9-6-1999)
  • Wells Driver: Cal Wells and his Precision Performance Inc. are close to signing a driver for their Tide-sponsored car for next season. Wally Dallenbach remains at the top of Wells’ list and is expected to hear from Wells Monday, sources say. Dallenbach is also under consideration for the #36 M&M’s Pontiacs. Driver Ernie Irvan announced Friday he was retiring from the Winston Cup series effective immediately. Jerry Nadeau is driving the car for the remainder of the 1999 season. Dallenbach met with MBII Motorsports over the weekend to discuss the job, sources said(That’s Racin’) — AND Wally Dallenbach said that he’s going to wait another week before making a decision on next year’s team. Dallenbach, according to sources, is looking at the Wells team and the Ryan Pemberton-Jay Frye team. Wells is debating between Dallenbach and Al Unser Jr. for his Cup team, but Unser has taken himself out of consideration, according to sources. Dallenbach is to meet this week with Wells(PitNow)(9-6-1999)
  • Nadeau UPDATE: per Bob Jenkins on the ESPN race coverage, Jerry Nadeau was airlifted to Carolina Medical Center in Florence, SC, said their was nothing serious but that they will keep Nadeau overnight for observation(9-5-1999) — UPDATE: RPM2Nite reported that Nadeau was released from the hospital early Monday, is ok, only bit his tongue, and is ready to go race at Richmond this coming weekend(9-6-1999)
  • Irwin/Nemechek Swap: For several weeks, it has been speculated that Felix Sabates and Robert Yates would simply trade drivers, much like Cale Yarborough and Michael Kranefuss did with Jeremy Mayfield and John Andretti in 1996. But according to Yates, his selection of drivers is not conclusive. Yates has participated in ongoing discussions with Ricky Rudd, but the veteran’s ability to find a sponsor has delayed a final decision. Sabates is not interested in a mid-season swap whatsoever, unless his sponsor BellSouth or Nemechek requests a driver change. Although he has spoke with Robby Gordon, Sabates says that Irwin is on top of his list(SpeedVision)(9-6-1999)
  • Dallenbach UPDATE 3 Nadeau swap? Wally Dallenbach met again with owner Cal Wells last week. Wells and sponsor Procter & Gamble(Tide) are meeting Monday to decide whether to hire Dallenbach or Al Unser Jr. to drive for the team next season. Meanwhile, Dallenbach has been approached by representatives of Robert Yates and by the Read Morton team left without a driver by Ernie Irvan’s sudden retirement(Times-Dispatch) and More and more, it looks as though Cal Wells plans to place Al Unser Jr. in the Tide-sponsored Ford he will debut on the Winston Cup Series next year. Jerry Nadeau, currently in the #36 M&M’s ride, will drive at Hendrick Motorsports(#25) next year, replacing Wally Dallenbach Jr. Dallenbach is also looking for a ride, and he could immediately fill the Irvan vacancy with Nadeau finishing up the year in the #25. Such a move is being considered, according to sources at both teams(SpeedNet/Monte Dutton)(9-4-1999) — UPDATE: Jerry Nadeau tested in Tony Furr’s #25 Bud Chevy in St. Louis(Gateway) last week, and Furr was impressed. Enough so, apparently, that a Nadeau-for-Wally Dallenbach swap may be under consideration, with Nadeau taking the ride with Furr in the next couple of weeks and Dallenbach moving to Ryan Pemberton’s #36 M&M’s Pontiac. Both teams are Hendrick Motorsports operations(PitNow) — UPDATE 2: sources tell me that the Budweiser contract would probably not allow for a driver swap, so look for Dallenbach to say in the #25 through the end of the season(9-5-1999) — UPDATE 3: Might a Dallenbach-for-Jerry Nadeau swap be in the cards? Dallenbach says he doubts that would happen as he doesn’t think Budweiser(sponsor of the #25) would allow it(PitNow)(9-6-1999)
  • Bliss to Cup? UPDATE 4: I am hearing Mike Bliss may move up to a Cup ride on 2000 and this would be a logical choice since he worked with Barry Dodson in the CTS and BGN series(8-25-1999) — UPDATE:CTS series driver Mike Bliss is the leading candidate to take over the driving duties with the #30 Pontiacs of Eel River Racing, according to team sources. The move may not become full-time until the 2000 season, but Bliss would likely run some events before the conclusion of the 1999 season, sources said. Eel River Racing owner Jack Birmingham parted ways with former driver Derrike Cope last week and had Todd Bodine fill in on a one-race basis for Saturday night’s Goody’s 500(That’s Racin’) — UPDATE 2: Mike Bliss is the odds-on favorite to be the driver of the #30 Eel Racing Pontiac next year. When Jack Birmingham bought the team from Chuck Rider, one of his first moves was to hire Barry Dodson to run the operation. In the Craftsman Truck Series, Dodson worked with Bliss for three years, and Bliss is Dodson’s choice for the Cup operation. The team is expected to change its car number from 30 to 27 in deference to the number used by Rusty Wallace when he won the 1989 Winston Cup championship with Dodson as crew chief(SpeedNet/Monte Dutton)(8-29-1999) — UPDATE 3: Per the 9/2 edition of the Winston Cup Scene, Mike Bliss has asked for his and was granted his release from his contract at Roush Racing, supposed to move up to the #27/30 Cup team. Bliss will likely finish out the season with the #99 Roush CTS team(9-3-1999) — UPDATE 4: Hmm…Todd Bodine, who has ran the #30 Pontiac the last two Cup races, is expected to stay with Eel River Racing next year. Bodine missed the Southern 500 because the distributor broke during 1st round qualifying and the track slowed down for 2nd round(SpeedVision)(9-6-1999)

(9-5-1999)

  • Martin Surgery: Mark Martin says he’s scheduled to have back surgery the day after the season finale at Atlanta on Nov. 21. Martin was scheduled to have back surgery at the end of last season but canceled(News and Record)(9-5-1999)
  • Two Million Dollars: With Jeff Burton’s Southern 500 win, he wins one million dollars in the No Bull 5 program. His ‘partner’ Phyllis Farmer from Hillsboro, MO also won one million dollars, congrats to both. See my No Bull Five Page for info on the program and the contest(9-5-1999)
  • No Bull 5 drivers: for the Winston 500 in Talladega are #99-Jeff Burton, #22-Ward Burton, #12-Jeremy Mayfield, #6-Mark Martin and #16-Kevin Lepage, see my No Bull Five Page for info on the program and the contest(9-5-1999)
  • Lepage Finish: #16-Kevin Lepage had a career day at Darlington with his first top FIVE(not ten) finish in his short Winston Cup career(54 starts), plus he is eligible for one million dollars in Talladega. It was Lepages first top 10 of 1999 and now every driver who has started all 24 races has recorded at least one top 10 finish(9-5-1999)
  • Best Provisional Finish: Steve Park had the best finish of a provisional starter at Darlington with a 10th place finish in the #1 Pennzoil Chevy. See my Provisional Finishers Page for a race to race breakdown in 1999(9-5-1999)
  • No Little Al? During coverage of the CART qualifying in Vancouver, Bobby Unser said, that Al Unser Jr. will not be in NASCAR next year. He expects Al Jr, his nephew to end up in IRL. The reason? Little Al has too many family concerns and the 34 race schedule would be too much for him at this time(9-5-1999)
  • Rudd/Yates: Ricky Rudd has another 10 days or so to get a sponsor lined up to keep his Cup team running. Rudd is one of the top two men in the running for Robert Yates’ ride, along with Joe Nemechek, according to sources close to the situation(PitNow)(9-5-1999)
  • Foyt Cars: AJ Foyt has not decided on a car make for his 2000 Winston Cup team, but he met with Doug Duchardt from General Motors and Ford’s Jay Novak this weekend. Foyt is also expected to talk to Dan Davis, Ford’s Director of Motorsports, next week in Dearborn, MI(SpeedVision)(9-5-1999)
  • Jarrett: Dale Jarrett has been awarded the True Value Driver of the Year third-quarter award. Prevous winners this year were Jeff Gordon and CART FedEx Championship Series rookie phenom Juan Montoya(Racer Magazine)(9-5-1999)

    (9-4-1999)

  • Irvan Announcement UPDATE 3: Ernie Irvan and MB2 Motorsports will make an announcement Friday at 12:30pm/et at Darlington Raceway regarding Irvan’s future plans in racing(NOL) I have heard rumors saying Irvan will return to driving and rumors that he is retiring, looks like we (an I) will have to wait it out, he may retire, may sit the rest of the year or be back in a few weeks — UPDATE: From That’s Racin’ – Ernie Irvan, who has suffered injuries in numerous accidents recently in his career, has called a news conference for noon (EDT) Friday at Darlington Raceway to announce his retirement from Winston Cup racing. See the full story at: Irvan to announce retirement at That’s Racin’. Irvan is also co-owner of Irvan-Simo Motorsports, which has fielded entries in NASCAR’s Truck, Grand National and Winston Cup series this season. Irvan is expected to continue his role as a car owner(9-2-1999) — could Johnny Benson be a candidate for this ride? Irvan gave him his BGN start — UPDATE-ANNOUNCEMENT: NASCAR Winston Cup Series veteran Ernie Irvan, the 1991 Daytona 500 champion, announced his retirement from racing today. Irvan’s career was marked by remarkable success and three major wrecks, including one that nearly took his life. See the full story at NOL: Ernie Irvan announces retirement. No word on a full time replacement for Irvan in the #36(9-3-1999) — UPDATE: I have added a written transcript to Irvan’s Retirement Press Conference at my Ernie Irvan Site, as many readers know, Ernie was ‘my’ driver and I have added a rarity to the site, my thoughts and opinion on Ernie and the retirement(9-4-1999)
  • AJ Announcement UPDATE 3: I hear AJ Foyt will make the announcement on his Cup team Friday at 10:30am/et in Darlington — UPDATE: NOL reports – Conseco set to make announcement at 10:30am/et, hmm…AJ’s rumored sponsor….(9-2-1999) — UPDATE 2 ANNOUCEMENT: happened early, per NOL – United States auto racing legend A.J. Foyt announced Friday morning prior to the opening of practice for NASCAR’s oldest superspeedway race at Darlington Raceway that he would return to the sanctioning body in 2000 as the owner of a fulltime NASCAR Winston Cup Series team. No plans to race in 1999, Foyt’s nephew Tommy LaMance, is the VP of the team, Waddell Wilson is already serving as general manager. Story also mentions no driver has been talked to, no crew chief chose(Wilson will do that) and no car manufacturer has been chosen. See full story at NOL. There is an image of a car, but it’s an old tbird, has a #14 on it which was supposedly assigned to the 2nd Morgan-McClure team(if it happens) and the Irvan-Simo team have ran in 1999(of course we know the #14 was made famous by AJ in his Indy Car days and he still uses it in the IRL on Bracls car). Also there is a Press Release on the Conseco Site(9-3-1999) — UPDATE 3:Foyt said he had not picked a driver as yet, but had spoken to “one or two” in the past week. He has also purchased a 30,000 square-foot building to house his team in a new industrial park north of Charlotte. Veteran NASCAR crew chief Waddell Wilson will head up Foyt’s Winston Cup operation and has begun to hire employees and set up the shop. No car make has been selected as yet, Foyt said, though he has asked NASCAR to use the #14(That’s Racin’)(9-4-1999)
  • Stewart Cars UPDATE: I hear the special paint scheme for Habitat for Humanity diecast car will be sold at Home Depots within the next few weeks with all proceeds will go to the Habitat for Humanity(9-2-1999) — UPDATE: The car will be run at Charlotte in Oct, see an image of the car in Jayski’s Paint Schemes Gallery(9-4-1999)
  • The Decision: NASCAR’s top official said Friday the decision not to penalize Dale Earnhardt for his bump of Terry Labonte on the final lap of last week’s race at Bristol was a judgment call based on a desire to see door-to-door racing. See full That’s Racin’ story: Helton defends NASCAR’s ruling at Bristol by David Poole(9-4-1999)
  • AJ/Irwin/Rudd: AJ Foyt’s car will be green with the #14, the number Foyt made famous as an Indy-car. Foyt said he’s talked to a couple of drivers. Kenny Irwin, who leaves Robert Yates Racing after this season, said he has talked with Foyt. The car owner is looking for a particular type of driver. Foyt said he was interested in purchasing Ricky Rudd’s team but couldn’t wait for Rudd to decide what to do. Rudd has set a Sept. 15 deadline on finding a sponsor. If he doesn’t find a sponsor by that date, he will allow his employees to look elsewhere for other jobs. Rudd is looking for a sponsor after Tide announced in June it would not stay with the team after this season(News and Record) Jayski Note: Looks like Rudd is close to sponsorship, see earlier story(9-4-1999)
  • Nadeau news: Jerry Nadeau will continue to drive the #36 M&M’s Pontiac on a race-by-race basis. Nadeau had filled in the last two races for injured Ernie Irvan, who yesterday announced his retirement(Tennessean)(9-4-1999)
  • No Bull Five Drivers at Darlington: where did they qualify? #18-Bobby Labonte starts 7th, #99(not #24)-Jeff Burton 15th, #6-Mark Martin 16th, #20-Tony Stewart 19th and #88-Dale Jarrett still to qualify(9-4-1999)
  • Irwin: Kenny Irwin said his future is far from a done deal. Irwin says he has talked to Felix Sabates about the #42 car, but nothing is done yet. Irwin also says he has not talked to anyone outside of Winston Cup about a ride(SpeedNet/Monte Dutton)(9-4-1999)
  • #94 and the Wind Tunnel: Bill Elliott’s plans to bring a new #94 McDonalds Ford to Darlington this weekend came close to falling apart on the car’s trip to the track. Elliott’s team took the new car to the wind tunnel in Marietta, Ga., earlier this week before leaving for Darlington. Once the car was inside the tunnel, a switch that controls the power malfunctioned and caused a fire. There was no major damage to the facility, but the team canceled the test without gaining any new information on the car(That’s Racin’)(9-4-1999)
  • Jarrett and the BGN: During the BGN race, after Dale Jarrett fell out of the race at Darlington, it was mentioned that DJ said that it was his final BGN race as a driver, ever(9-4-1999)
  • Buckshot’s Plans: Buckshot Jones, who started the 1999 season running for the Winston Cup rookie of the year title, will return to a full-time schedule next season in the BGN series with the #00 Pontiacs. Jones started the season with intentions of running a full Winston Cup schedule but his team began scaling back its efforts after Jones failed to make several races. He is still planning to run in this season’s Winston 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and the season finale at Atlanta. Buckshot Racing, owned by Jones’ father, Billy Jones, is considering fielding two Grand National teams next season and may enter Jones in some Winston Cup events in 2000(That’s Racin’)(9-4-1999)
  • Bodine a Legend: the 1999 Legends of The Glen fan voting and track Marketing Director, Roger Curtis, announced Geoffrey Bodine as the fans choice for 1999. Geoffrey Bodine, winner of the ‘96 Bud at The Glen NASCAR Winston Cup Series race, pulled another stunning upset at The Glen by edging front runner and three-time winner at Watkins Glen, Jeff Gordon, to carry the majority of votes in the 1999 Legends of The Glen program. Geoffrey Bodine will be inducted as a Legend of The Glen on Sunday, September 12th at the Zippo U.S. Vintage Grand Prix. See more info at The Glen’s official Website at www.theglen.com(9-4-1999)
  • Bodine and the bird: It took the life of a bird, but Geoffrey Bodine has earned another top fifteen start for the #60 Power Team racing team. Bodine ran a quick enough lap in first round qualifying for the Southern 500 at the Darlington Raceway to take the 14th starting position for Sunday’s event. On his qualifying lap, the Bodine’s Chevrolet struck a bird with predictably dire results. By the time that the car returned to the pits, there were only a few stray feathers left in the front end of the car(Power Team Site)(9-4-1999)
  • Irony: #3-Dale Earnhardt is parked right next to….#5-Terry Labonte in the Darlington garage area(9-4-1999)
  • Some Cup in ASA: I hear Tony Raines will drive Rick Scelzo’s (Motorsports of Rice Lake) Toby Nuttleman prepared Miller Lite Ford Thunderbird at an ASA Labor Day event at the Minnesota State Fair, in St. Paul, MN on September 6th which will be on TNN television 1:30p,/ct(8-24-1999) — UPDATE: Clean Burn, Inc., Leola-based manufacturer of used-oil furnaces and burner, will again be an associate sponsor on driver Tony Raines car at the Labor Day Miller 300 on September 6, at the Minnesota State Fairground in Minneapolis, MN. Clean Burn’s logo with the words, “The smart use for used oil,” will appear on the hood of the blue and white #74 Ford Thunderbird. Other drivers that I hear will race there include: 1986 ASA Rookie of the Year Kenny Wallace, Scott Hansen, Ted Musgrave and Ted Musgrave, Jr(9-2/4-1999)

    (9-3-1999)

  • Petty Announcement UPDATE: Richard Petty and #43 driver John Andretti will have an announcement on Friday in Darlington at 9:40am/et. I hear it will be a sponsorship announcement with Cheerios and STP(9-1-1999) — UPDATE: hear they may run STP half the season and Cheerios the other half, with the other acting as an associate when not the primary sponsor, anyhow should be interesting(9-2-1999) — UPDATE-ANNOUNCEMENT: Petty Enterprises owner Richard Petty announced today that STP would continue to serve as the team’s sponsor until next year’s Pepsi 400 at Daytona. From Petty paraphrased: That’s when General Mills will step on board as the team’s primary sponsor. The basic deal for the next two or three years, STP is going to be the primary sponsor for the first part of the season up until Daytona. Then General Mills will come on as a sponsor for the next two or three years after that with General Mills and Cheerios. There will be a lot of promotions going on on all fronts and they are working on the paint schemes. The car is still going to have 43 on the side of it and it’s still going to be blue. It used to be a blue car when I went with STP and then it went half and half. I figure we’ll wind up the same way with… blue and yellow. General Mills will also have a little sticker on our other vehicles, too, Kyle’s car and Adam’s(Hoagland Communications PR)(9-3-1999)
  • Crew Chief Swap: Pat Tryson will take over crew chief responsibilities on the 16 car and Tommy Morgan will move over to the 26. Expect an official announcement sometime this weekend(Team Roush Fans Site)(9-3-1999)
  • Gordon Streak: Jeff Gordon has won the last four Southern 500s. He is the only driver to win four straight. No other driver has even won three straight(TNN Motorsports Site)(9-3-1999)
  • More AJ Updates: With financial backing from Conseco, an Indiana-based insurance and investment firm, Foyt will launch a one-car team at Daytona in February. No driver has been hired. The team will be based in Charlotte while Foyt continues to run his Indy Racing League operation out of Houston. Foyt plans to continue on the IRL circuit with current drivers Kenny Brack and Billy Boat(Tennessean/Garnett) Also a few readers tell me there is a full page advertisement in todays New York Times (Back of Sports Section ) that has a picture of the #14 Conseco car. Caption reads Why would AJ Foyt Want to Work with a financial services company? You should see the company car. The ad also says that after years of following NASCAR, they are introducing Team Conseco with team leader AJ Foyt. Conseco is now the Official Financial Sevices Provider of NASCAR and is running a sweepstakes, see www.conseco.com(9-3-1999)

    (9-2-1999)

  • BACE to Cup? this weeks Winston Cup Scene reports that BGN #33 and #74 team owner Bill Baumgardner is considering fielding a Cup team in 2000 and that it is a 50-50 possibility. His first choice for driver is Johnny Benson who is available. If not Benson someone like him. Sponsorship would be the hold up but Baumgardner is meeting with potential sponsors next week(9-2-1999)
  • Power Team News: this weeks Winston Cup Scene reports that Power Team will withdraw it’s sponsorship from it’s IRL and BGN teams and concemtrate it’s efforts on Winston Cup and the #60 team driven by Geoffrey Bodine(9-2-1999)
  • Ironic: Hut Stricklin replaced Loy Allen Jr in the #58 Cup car and replaced Glenn Allen Jr(no relation) in the #38 BGN car(9-2-1999)
  • No Bull Five UPDATE2: The Pepsi Southern 500 is the fourth of five Winston No Bull 5 events during the 1999 season. The top-5 finishers from the Coca-Cola 600 will compete for the million-dollar bonus at Darlington. Jeff Burton, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin, Tony Stewart and Dale Jarrett are the eligible drivers. The drivers and fans will be paired at NASCAR Speedpark in Myrtle Beach, SC on Sept. 2. The drivers will compete in a go-kart race to determine which driver will be paired with which fan. The five fans are Johnny Bowser from Charlotte, NC, Phyllis Farmer from Hillsboro, MD., Glen Keck from Knoxville, TN., Gerard Walsh from Coral Springs, FL., and Amy Bourdonnay from Knoxville, TN. If their driver wins they win a million dollars(NOL)(8-29-1999) — UPDATE: The Winston No Bull 5 fan/driver pairing at NASCAR Speedpark in Myrtle Beach Thursday is open to the public. The NASCAR Winston Cup drivers will compete in a 30 lap go-kart race. Doors open at 1pm. The actual race begins at 7pm(8-30-1999) — UPDATE 2: Tony Stewart won the race and will be paired up with Amy. The other pairings: Jeff Burton with Phyllis, Mark Martin with Johnny, Bobby Labonte with Gerard and Dale Jarrett with Glen(RPM2Nite)(9-2-1999)
  • Irvan: During the Ricky Craven chat at the Ricky Craven Fans Site the question was asked: Has anyone from MWT talked to Ernie Irvan? How is he doing? Craven’s response: “I saw Ernie when I dropped my daughter off at school yesterday morning, he was looking good. That’s a big relief for all of us”(9-2-1999)
  • Crispy Returns: I hear that it was announced on QVC that Irvan/Nadeau would drive the #36 Crispy Pontiac at Talladega in October(9-2-1999)
  • AJ visits? I hear AJ Foyt along with Waddell Wilson visited Joe Nemechek’s shop on Wednesday. Supposedly just taking a look at Nemechek’s operation(9-2-1999)
  • TV Deal: All Cup and BGN television rights holders (ABC, CBS, NBC, ESPN, TBS and TNN) have released their contractual rights for all events beginning with the 2001 season. The announcement allows NASCAR to begin the process of securing a consolidated television package immediately with negotiations expected to begin later this year(NOL)(9-2-1999)
  • The Pit Tour Road Show UPDATE takes race fans behind pit wall and makes them part of the racing action. Cotter Promotions, a mobile marketing agency which specializes in motor sports, has created The Pit Tour Road Show — a live, interactive racing exhibit and show that takes fans over the pit wall and educates them about NASCAR’s past and present. Throughout the 30-minute show, a professional announcer recruits fans from the audience, puts them ‘through the paces’ of a live pit stop and mixes in little-known NASCAR facts and trivia. The Pit Tour Road Show features an authentic NASCAR Winston Cup show car, race-ready air guns, racing tires, authentic race flags, tool boxes, technical inspection equipment, starter’s flag stand as well as eye-catching displays. The Pit Tour Road Show is one of more than 20 mobile marketing and racing simulators that Cotter Promotions manages for Fortune 500 companies. More than 600,000 people attend Cotter Promotions’ events each year. The next scheduled stop for the show will be in Pickerington, Ohio(Cottor Group PR)(8-31-1999) — UPDATE: no idea of dates or times(9-2-1999)
  • Rusty News: Tom Knox has joined Rusty Wallace, Inc., in the newly created position of Director of Marketing. Knox comes to RWI after a two-year stint as an account executive with NASCAR. Based out of NASCAR’s New York corporate offices, Knox was responsible for sales and renewals in working with the sanctioning body’s official status and partner status sponsors. Knox’s new spot at RWI will see him dealing primarily with new business development and personal endorsements(PR)(9-2-1999)

    (9-1-1999)

  • Petty Paint: In celebration of the start of pro football’s 1999 season, PLAYERS INC and Petty Enterprises will showcase special NFL player paint schemes on John Andretti’s #43 STP Pontiac and Kyle Petty’s #44 Hot Wheels Pontiac during the Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 to be held on September 11, 1999, at Richmond International Raceway. Some of the greatest NFL stars of all time will visit the Richmond facility to root the offensive (“Playmakers”) and defensive (“Gamebreakers”) teams to victory. Linebackers Dick Butkus (Hall of Fame, Chicago), Willie Lanier (Hall of Fame, Kansas City) and defensive end L.C. Greenwood (Pittsburgh) will help out in the Petty pit. In the Andretti pit will be running back Tony Dorsett (Hall of Fame, Dallas) and wide receiver Charley Taylor (Hall of Fame, Washington), along with running back Craig “Ironhead” Heyward (Indianapolis). In addition to the Petty’s “Gamebreakers” scheme and Andretti’s “Playmakers” scheme, Petty and Andretti will wear custom drivers suits and helmets which represent a distinct NFL player flavor. To further celebrate the season kickoff and this special event, PLAYERS INC has developed a unique PLAYERS INC/Team Petty Charity Challenge in which favorite charities of Petty and Andretti will be the benefactors of PLAYERS INC contributions, based on Andretti’s and Petty’s finishing order in the Richmond race. PLAYERS INC will donate $500,000 to charities nominated by Petty and Andretti if they finish first and second in the Richmond race ($400,000 to 1st place, $100,000 to 2nd place). If John and Kyle do not finish first and second, but one wins the race, his charity will receive $100,000. If neither of the drivers win the racing event, the highest finishing driver’s charity will receive $10,000. Andretti has established the Riley’s Children’s Hospital and Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis as his charity and Petty has named Samaritan’s Purse as his charity(Williams Co PR)(9-1-1999)
  • Rudd’s sponsor UPDATE: hearing one of Ricky Rudd’s possible sponsors is Georgia-Pacific, the other rumored is Dell Computers and it looks like Nations Rent who was rumored will go to the #7 Mattei Motorsports team(8-31-1999) — UPDATE: hearing Georgia-Pacific is the front runner(9-1-1999)
  • Bickle more BGN: besides running a few races in his own #91 BGN car, HVP Motorsports today announced Bickle will take over the team’s #63 Exxon Chevys at Darlington and Richmond. Bickle replaces rookie Bobby Hamilton, Jr. who earlier this season assumed the driving chores in the Exxon Superflo Motor Oils racer from Chuck Bown(Tyler Jet Motorsports PR)(9-1-1999)
  • SABCO Test: Cuban car owner Felix Sabates(#’s 01,40 and 42) will have Mexican driver Jimmy Morales test for Team Sabco at Martinsville Speedway Sept. 14-15. Also testing for Team Sabco will be Ron Hornaday, who will attempt to qualify for races at Richmond and Martinsville this season(in the #01)(News and Record/The Depot)(9-1-1999)
  • TV Stuff: The ESPN telecast of the Goody’s 500 from Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday night pulled a 3.7 rating with a modest seven share and 2.8m households viewing according to Nielsen Media Research. The controversy surrounding the Bristol finish should prove a huge ratings boost for the Pepsi Southern 500 to be carried on ESPN this coming Sunday. See the ratings for the Racing events at Racer Magazine(9-1-1999)