September 2000 Busch Series Archive

  • Another Donohue: David Donohue son of racing legend Mark Donohue will drive a Team Rensi Motorsport Pontaic in the ARCA race at Charlotte. The team recently obtained two Pontiacs from MB2 Motorsports(9-30-2000)
  • Ford to Boost BGN Effort: Ford Motor Company will increase its involvement in the BGN series in 2001. In 2000, the only Ford BGN team to make all the races has been the #98 Akins Motorsports team. A possible lineup of Ford teams in 2001: #98-Akins Motorsports with Elton Sawyer, no sponsor yet; #55-Davis and Weight Motorsports with Michael Ritch driving, needs a sponsor; #?? Roger Penske effort with Ryan Newman as the driver, ALLTEL as the sponsor; #50? Roush Ford with Greg Biffle and Granger; #63 Hensley Racing with Mark Green and Exxon(could switch over by Memphis this year). Ford is also supposedly courting the ppc Racing teams of Jeff Green(#10) and Jason Keller(#57) as the team is talking to both Chevy and Ford about 2001Winston Cup Scene)(9-29-2000)
  • BGN Testing at Lowes: Mark Martin led BGN testing at Lowes on Monday and Tuesday. Top-10 speeds overall: 1) #60-Mark Martin 176.875mph; 2) #9-Jeff Burton 176.470; 3) #57-Jason Keller 176.125; 4) #87-Joe Nemechek 175.325; 5) #57-Jason Keller 175.317(2nd car); 6) #27-Casey Atwood 175.154; 7) #45-Kyle Petty and #66-Todd Bodine 174.757; 9) #92-Jimmie Johnson 174.700; and 10) #24-Ricky Hendrick 174.193(LMS PR)(9-27-2000)
  • Morris wins: part time BGN driiver Phil Morris won the Taco Bell 300 Late Model race last weekend at Martinsville, taking home $20,000(Phil Morris site)(9-27-2000)
  • Another Hamilton? Bobby Hamilton still is planning to have his son, Bobby Hamilton Jr., attempt to qualify for two Winston Cup races this year. Hamilton is picking up one car Monday and a second one the next week for his son to drive. Hamilton Jr. could compete in the races at Homestead and Atlanta(Times-Dispatch)(9-24-2000)
  • Little Looking: Chad Little was in the Winston Cup garage Saturday, but it wasn’t to talk to team owners. Little was being interviewed and photographed for People magazine. Little, who will drive his final race for Roush Racing at Talladega, has been talking to various owners, trying to find a ride for next season. Although he still is considering a couple of Winston Cup teams, Little said he is focusing on the BGN(Times-Dispatch)(9-24-2000)
  • Grissom/Petty to the BGN? UPDATE: Petty Enterprises is trying to put together a deal for Steve Grissom to drive in the BGN in 2001. “When Steve came to work for us, I gave him my word that we’d run him in (the Craftsman Truck Series) and move him along as quickly as possible,” Kyle Petty said. “We had planned to move (the late) Adam Petty up next year, freeing up the Busch program for Steve Grissom. Now that I am moving up with Adam’s car, we’re actively searching for a new Busch sponsor for Steve and that car. We’re also looking for a truck driver now.”(AJC). NOTE: as seen on my CTS Site: hearing Petty Enterprises has signed both Hot Wheels South America and Carlos Contreras to drive the #43 CTS Dodge(9-22-2000)
    UPDATE: Kyle Petty said Saturday that Petty Enterprises plans to continue to field a Chevrolet entry in NASCAR’s Grand National series next season with driver Steve Grissom, if a sponsor can be found(That’s Racin’)(9-24-2000)
  • NASCAR Rules at NHIS: NASCAR officials announced today additional safety-related measures for use at the Sept. 16th Busch North, NASCAR Touring event and the Sept. 17th NASCAR Winston Cup Series event at New Hampshire International Speedway. Teams in both series will be required to use one-inch restrictor plates for practice, qualifying and the races. Additionally, both Series will take pre-practice laps behind the pace car to ensure proper brake temperature prior to full-speed practice runs(NASCAR PR)(9-22-2000)
  • New Hendrick Driver? UPDATE: hearing #92 BGN driver, Jimmie Johnson, will do testing for Hendrick Motorsports(HMS) in 2001 and run in Cup for HMS in 2002, a fourth HMS team?…but would still run in the BGN with the #92 Herzog Motorsports team in 2001
    UPDATE: Jimmie Johnson has signed with Hendrick Motorsports as driver for a full-time Cup team in 2002, Hendrick Motorsports CEO Rick Hendrick announced today. Johnson, who currently drives the #92 Alltel Chevy owned by Herzog Motorsports on the BGN, will compete in four Winston Cup events for Hendrick Motorsports next season before assuming full-time driving duties in 2002. In addition to four Winston Cup races, Johnson will run a full Busch schedule next season with his team at Herzog Motorsports(Hendrick Motorsports Site)(9-22-2000)
  • Engine Info: hearing the #66 Chevy driven by Todd Bodine will be testing with one of the newly configured SB2 engines at Lowe’s Motorspeedway during the Busch test on Monday and Tuesday. The engine will be supplied by Fischer Engineering which has been Todd’s engine supplier throughout the 2000 season along with Tim Fedewa(9-22-2000)
  • #82 and the Olympics: Channellock, Inc. and Team SABCO have come together in an effort to support the U.S. Diving Team, which is readying for competition at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. The No. 82 Channellock Chevrolet will feature the U.S. Diving Team logo on the hood for the NASCAR Busch Series 200 at Dover Downs International Speedway. A smaller version of the logo will remain on the Channellock Chevrolet for the duration of the 2000 season. The 200 event will run the same day as the beginning of the US Diving Team Finals. See an image of the car on the Paint Schemes Gallery, choose the BGN section(9-22-2000)
  • Green Wrecks in HH: #10-Jeff Green wrecked during Happy Hour practice and will have to fall to the rear of the field before the start of the race(RPM 2Night)(9-22-2000)
  • #77 News: I hear the #77 Team Lear/UAW Ford team has withdrawn from the BGN race at Dover this weekend(9-21-2000)
  • No more Slim Jim: GoodMark Foods Inc., parent company of Slim Jim and Penrose Meat Snacks, will end its car sponsorship in the NASCAR Busch Series of the #44 Chevy of Justin Labonte at the end of the 2000 racing season. GoodMark will also end its title sponsorship of the Slim Jim All Pro NASCAR Touring Series(Winston Cup Scene)(9-21-2000)
  • #55 gets a sponsor: Kimberly-Clark Corporation revealed their plans today to sponsor Michael Ritch for four out of the six remaining races in the 2000 NASCAR� Busch Series season. KLEENEX� and SCOTT� Brand products, along with KOTEX� feminine care products and HUGGIES� baby wipes have reached an agreement with Davis & Weight Motorsports to sponsor the #55 Ford Taurus, driven by Ritch, in the Dover, Rockingham, Memphis and Homestead races(Davis & Weight Motorsports PR)(9-21-2000)
  • Spotter News: Mike Calinoff has accepted the position as the Spotter for Mike McLaughlin’s Innovative Motorsports Busch Series team for the remainder of the season. Calinoff is the reguar Spotter for Matt Kenseth’s Roush Racing #17 Winston Cup Series team. Visine Racing car owner, John Reiser, spots for Kenseth in the Busch Series. Calinoff, who worked this season part-time for Ricky Craven and P.J. Jones, assumed the position in Richmond(IMS)(9-17-2000)
  • Rayovac to leave #11: Jarrett / Favre Motorsports announced today that Rayovac Corporation will not be extending their primary sponsorship of Jason Jarrett’s #11 Chevrolets into the 2001 Busch Series season. Jarrett, the son of defending Winston Cup champion Dale Jarrett and grandson of NASCAR Hall-of-Famer Ned Jarrett, struggled early on during his first full season of Busch Series competition, enduring a change of crew chief and car make, as well as stepping out of the car for a pair of races in favor of veteran driver Hut Stricklin. The young team kicked into gear when Jarrett returned to the car with a solid run in Indianapolis, followed by a 22nd-place finish in his summer rematch with Bristol and a 6th-place starting spot on the grid in Richmond last week. Jarrett intends to run the BGN sereiss in 2001(Mach One)(9-18-2000)
  • Butler to the #83: hearing that Brandon Butler will be driving the #83 Link-Belt Cranes Chevy for the remainder of the 2000 schedule, replacing Wayne Grubb(9-18-2000)
  • New #20 Crew Chief: Bill Davis Racing announced today that Robert Barker has been hired to lead its #20 AT&T Pontiac Busch Series team for the remainder of 2000. Barker, whose most recent experience comes from Rick Hendrick’s stable as a shock specialist for Jeff Gordon’s Winston Cup team, is a 1994 graduate from Old Dominion University with a mechanical engineering degree(RMI/Atlanta/BDR PR)(9-18-2000)
  • Brewco News? UPDATE: hearing that crew chief of the #27 Brewco/Casey Atwood Chevy, Kip McCord, has left the team and is working with the #18 Bobby Hamilton team and driver Joe Ruttman(9-3-2000)
    UPDATE: McCord has left the team to be closer to home. He had served as team manager this year, the crew chief for 2000 has been Jason Radcliff(9-13-2000)
  • Hermie’s Plans: Hermie Sadler will be again driving in the CTS as he will race at Dover for Bob Keselowski in a second truck, #29 as at Richmond. After a successful debut (Qual. 3rd/ Fin. 12th.) they decided to run Dover to try attract a sponsor for K Automotive for 2001 as they are losing Mopar and Dennis Setzer. The truck at Dover will be sponsored by Sadler is also finishing the season for the #30 Innovative Motorsports team in the BGB, but his plans are undecided for 2001(9-13-2000)
  • Grubb Leaves: Wayne Grubb, driver of the #83 Link-Belt Cranes Chevy fielded by family-owned Grubb Motorsports, offered his resignation today. After a difficult season, Grubb’s decision comes after missing Friday’s BGN race at Richmond. Grubb began his racing career with Grubb Motorsports in 1997, driving in a few select BGN events. Grubb has no immediate plans for the future, but wants to pursue other interests. He doesn’t plan to lose touch with the racing community, though, and will continue to be involved with Grubb Motorsports. A driver for Grubb Motorsports’ #83 entry will be named later this week(Grubb MS PR)(9-11-2000)
  • Raines Update: Tony Raines was released today after being treated for a mild concussion and fractured shoulder blade following Friday night’s accident with Hank Parker Jr and Jimmy Spencer in the BGN race. Raines is being treated by the same doctor who treated Terry Labonte recently, and is expected to be ok for Dover in two weeks. Raines hopes to meet with an orthopedic Monday to see what sort of treatment is needed if any(9-10-2000)
  • #19 to skip races: Because of a loss of one of its primary sponsors, the #19 Emerald Performance Group team and driver PJ Jones, has scaled down its involvement the BGN for the rest of the season. When the team’s original driver, Mike Skinner, left earlier this season, so did Kobalt, which was planning to sponsor 10 of the team’s races. Without the sponsor, the team and driver P.J. Jones have pulled out of four events – last week’s race at Darlington, this week’s Richmond race, and the upcoming events at Memphis and Rockingham. The team plans to participate in races at Dover, Charlotte, Phoenix and Homestead(That’s Racin’AND the Winston Cup Scene this weeks reports that Yellow Frieght will not return as the teams primary sponsor in 2001 and PJ Jones plans with the team is up in the air(9-9-2000)
  • Labonte Changes Engines: Starting at Richmond, Justin Labonte will be using Roush Racing engines in the #44 Slim Jim Chevy he drives in the BGN. The team had been running motors built at the Labonte Racing shop(NOL)(9-8-2000)
  • #61 News UPDATE 2: 1999 ASA Champion Tim Sauter tested for the # 61 Xpress Motorsports team last Tuesday and Wednesday at South Boston and will run the event for the team(6-4-2000)
    UPDATE: hearing Sauter will not be driving the #61 the Milwaukee race and them may run a few more races that do not conflict with teh ASA schedule(6-9-2000)
    UPDATE: Sauter is listed in the #61 car on the Richmond Entry List at NOL(9-7-2000)
  • Different Drivers: a few non-regulars are on the Richmond Entry List at NOL. #61-Tim Sauter who was the 1999 ASA Champ(and Jay’s brother and Jim’s son); #54-Forrest Urban, Jr who is 2nd in points races in the Atlantic Seasboard division of the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series and attempted but failed to make the South Boston race in June; #52-Brandon Butler, who raced to 29th in the spring RIR race, #96-Mark McFarland runs a one race deal(see story below); #93-Bill Hoff attempts to make his first BGN race this year, he has made a few attempts this year at other tracks(9-7-2000)
  • McLaughlin Thanks: On behalf of the entire McLaughlin family, Goulds Pumps BGN driver Mike McLaughlin wants to pass along his thanks to all the friends and fans that have expressed their concern and sympathy to the McLaughlin family over the last few weeks. McLaughlin’s father, Tom, passed away on Friday September 1st. “The support of everyone in the NASCAR garage, Motor Racing Outreach and all of our friends has been incredible the last few weeks,” McLaughlin said. “It’s been a really tough time for our entire family, my father was a great man that taught me a lot about life and being a hard worker. He left us with a lot of special memories. Hopefully I can go out here soon and win a race for him.” McLaughlin will return to the seat of the #48 Goulds Pumps Chevrolet this weekend at Richmond(Total Sports Marketing)(9-7-2000)
  • Hendrick News: Dennis Conner, the crew chief for two-time CTS champ Jack Sprague, will become Ricky Hendrick’s full time crew chief effective immediately for the remaining events on Hendrick’s BGB and CTS schedule this year. In the truck races that Hendrick and Sprague will both be racing in, Conner will be doing double duty to prepare the 20-year-old driver for a full season in the CTS series next year. Ken Howes, who took over as interim crew chief in late August after Patrick Donahue left the organization, has returned to the Hendrick Motorsports R&D department(Gordonline)(9-7-2000)
  • Benning to run BGN/BGNN: ARCA and part time Cup driver Norm Benning has announced he will be making a foray into the Busch Series this fall. Benning tested the #68 Busch Grand National North car at NHIS. Benning, of Level Green, PA near Pittsburgh, will drive the car in the 125-lap BGNN on September 16th. The team then plans to enter a handful of BGN races with Benning driving with Dover Downs as a possibility, but looks like Rockingham will be Bennings BGN debut. Benning has never raced in the BGN or BGNN series. Benning has competed in Winston Cup races, and is a regular on the ARCA circuit(currently 8th in ARCA points). Bennings team bought a Monte Carlo from Jimmy Spencer�s BGN team(Motorsports Fans Report)(9-7-2000)
  • #4 Paint: Porter-Cable announced the introduction of its 19.2 volt cordless reciprocating saw – the model 9837 Tiger Saw® Kit – to be displayed on the Joe Gibbs Racing #4 BGN Pontiac for the race at Richmond on Friday. The Cordless Tiger Saw will be showcased on the quarter-panels and hood of the Porter-Cable Pontiac for the 250-lap event. Its 19.2 volt NETWORK™ battery is interchangeable with a complete family of cordless power tools including a circular saw, cordless drill, cordless hammer drill, and flashlight(Total Sports Marketing)(9-7-2000)
  • Ruttman to run some BGN? UPDATE: hearing that #18 CTS driver Joe Ruttman will drive a second James Finch Busch car at Richmond and Charlotte, teaming with Marc Reno(8-29-2000)
    UPDATE: it was reported in this weeks Winston Cup Scene that Ruttman will drive a Finch Ford (yep, it says Ford not Chevy) at Charlotte, doesn’t mention Richmond. But Ruttman recently tested a second Finch car at Atlanta that he may race at Richmond or Lowe’s(9-4-2000)
  • Missing Kids: Beginning at Darlington, with every mile their transporter rolls Matrix Racing is spreading the word about a pair of missing girls. Matrix is co-owned by Kevin Lepage and Steve Plattenberger and fields Lepage’s Red Man and State Fair Corn Dogs cars in the BGN. Promoting public awareness of the plight of missing children has long been a pet project of team co-owner Plattenberger, who first contacted the North Carolina Center for Missing Persons several years ago. This year, after the announcement that Lepage was going to be sponsored by State Fair Brand Corn Dogs in several races late in the season, Plattenberger again contacted the Center, looking for a new case to publicize. As a result of this contact, the images of two sisters, ages six and eight, were placed on the rear liftgate of Matrix Racing’s hauler Wednesday morning before the trek to Darlington. See images and full story at: SpeedVision(9-4-2000)
  • Ward to help out McLaughlin UPDATE 2 Sad News: Ward Burton, driver of the #22 Caterpillar Racing Pontiac, will fill in for Mike McLaughlin in the #48 Goulds Pumps Chevrolet in this weekend’s Busch Series event at Darlington. “Mike’s father has been very ill for some time and Mike needed to be with him in New York,” said McLaughlin’s car owner George deBidart. “Everyone at Innovative Motorsports and Goulds Pumps are very appreciative that Ward is stepping in and helping us out. It is a difficult time for Mike and hopefully with Ward filling in for him, he’ll have one less thing to worry about(Bill Davis Racing PR)(9-1-2000)
    UPDATE Sad News: Mike McLaughlin’s father passed away Friday night in New York(9-2-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Visitation will be held on Sunday from 5 – 8 p.m. at Doran Funeral Home; 30 Center St.; Waterloo, N.Y. The elder McLaughlin will be laid to rest Monday at 10:30 a.m. following a service at the St. Mary’s Church in Waterloo. Tom McLaughlin is survived by his wife Katie, daughter Kathy of Waterloo and Mike, who now resides with his family in Harrisburg, N.C. Mike McLaughlin plans to return to the series next weekend at Richmond(NOL)(9-3-2000)
  • McFarland/Petty Huggins team up: Mark McFarland of Mark McFarland Motorsports has agreed to a contract to drive the #96 BGN car for Beau Petty of Petty/Huggins Motorsports of Mooresville, NC in the BGN race at Richmond on September 8th. McFarland has won 12 races this year and holds a commanding lead in the points Championship race at his local track, Old Dominion Speedway, Manassas, VA. He looks to move up to a full time ride on the Busch Series in 2001. McFarland will be sponsored in Richmond by Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits of Washington, Wampler Foods, Inc., Coca-Cola and Lustine Chevrolet of Hyattsville, Maryland(
  • #43 News:, an online subsidiary of the nation’s largest agricultural retail specialty store Quality Farm & Country, announced that it will be an associate sponsor on car #43 driven by Jay Sauter in the BGN. Located on the rear TV panel, the logo will first appear on Sauter’s Quality Farm & Country Chevrolet in the Dura Lube 200 at Darlington be there for the remainder of the 2000 season(Sport Management PR)(9-2-2000)
  • ARCA Hauler in Crash: A multi-car accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike closed both eastbound and westbound lanes near Pittsburgh on Friday. It was reported that a tractor-trailer operated by the crew chief for NASCAR(actually ARCA) driver Andy Belmont slammed into 16 cars. Several cars had stopped, but the tractor-trailer could not, causing a chain reaction. For more info and a bunch of images, see The Pittsburgh Channel abd from the Channel 11 Site(Pittsburgh): The driver of the truck was Scott Warchol. He drove for Belmont Motorsports, based in Columbus, GA(9-2-2000)
  • Hendrick Crew Chief: Jack Sprague’s CTS crew chief Dennis Connor is serving that role for #24-Ricky Hendrick this weekend in the Busch race at Darlington(Gordonline)(9-1-2000)