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September 2000 News Archives


 

  • (9-30-2000)
  • Coors Re-Signs with the #40: Chip Ganassi Racing/Team Sabco have renegotiated and extended the sponsorship deal between Coors Light and driver Sterling Marlin. An official announcement of the new deal is planned for Oct. 7 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Ganassi Racing is also working on a similar renegotiated and extended sponsor contract with BellSouth for its #01 Chevy’s(to be Dodges in 2001)(That’s Racin’)(9-30-2000)
  • Rules to be Spelled out: Kevin Triplett, NASCAR’s director of operations, said Friday the governing body planned to “spell out” in its 2001 version of the rule book with what material all car parts need to be made. The material of some parts is not specifically denoted in the current rule book, including the intake manifold which became an issue with Jeff Gordon’s team at the Sept. 9 race(That’s Racin’)(9-30-2000)
  • Engine Submitted: Ray Evernham, the lead developer of the Dodge Intrepid that will debut at the 2001 Daytona 500, said Friday he submitted the Dodge engine to NASCAR for approval on Wednesday(That’s Racin’)(9-30-2000)
  • 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)
  • #91 and Alexander in Cup? UPDATE 3: According to a news release from Joe Falk that was published in Friday mornings Daily Press (printed edition), Falk intends to revive his dormant #91 LJ Racing team this fall with financial help from Felix Sabates. According to the report, Falk will have #81 BGN driver Blaise Alexander make his Winston Cup debut later this season, and run up to five races towards the end of this season. It wasn’t disclosed what races those would be, but Falk mentioned to Victory Lane in the past that he want’s to run at Richmond this fall, as well as at Charlotte and possible other Cup races. The news release also confirmed reports that Falk has rented the LJ Racing shop out to Felix Sabates until the end of the season. The reason given, was that Ganassi/SABCO senior owner Chip Ganassi was going to be switching the Winston Cup team over to Dodge for 2001, and wanted the BGN cars and equipment out of the way in order to have room to build the new fleet. No mention was made as to what will follow for next year. Family members have told Victory Lane that Falk is at Indianapolis Raceway Park this weekend overseeing Blaise Alexander’s BGN team. Falk also mentioned that he was going to try and find a BGN ride for Jody McCormick, who runs in the LMSC division at Langley Speedway(VA)(Victory LaneAND Sabates is also investing resources and equipment in a partnership with Joe Falk, bringing along the remnants of his Busch Grand National teams(Gaston Gazette)(8-5-2000)
    UPDATE: Blaise Alexander, who drives for Team Sabco in the BGN, is planning on driving at least one Winton Cup race this season with his team, ThatsRacin.com has learned. The race is likely to be the Winston 500 at Talladega in October. Alexander may drive in other races as teammates to Team Sabco(Ganassi Racing) drivers Sterling Marlin and Ted Musgrave, depending on the sponsorship situation(That’s Racin’)(8-27-2000)
    UPDATE 2: some notes from a source – the #91 team will not run without a sponsor, they would like to run a few races with Todd Bodine in the car, Joe Falk has no partners but is working with Team Sabco on its BGN efforts with his primary concern being #81 Tracfone car with all Team Sabco BGN teams are being moved to the LJ Racing shop. The Cup effort by Falk is separate from the Team Sabco deal and Falk hopes to run at Charlotte(Lowes), Talladega and Atlanta, if a sponsor can be found. If Alexander does run a Cup race, it’ll be a Team Sabco car, not an LJ Racing/Joe Falk car(8-29-2000)
    UPDATE 4: Blaise Alexander, who currently drives a Team Sabco BGN #81 Chevy, will drive an Ericsson-sponsored Chevrolet prepared by Team Sabco in the Oct. 15 Winston 500 Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway(That’s Racin’). Am hearing it’ll be a SABCO car but use the #91(9-30-2000)


    (9-29-2000)

  • Gordon, Manifold, Appeal UPDATE 5 Appeal fails, Penalty Upheld: #24-Jeff Gordon and his team will face a NASCAR appeals panel either this week or next in the case of their use of a magnesium intake manifold. And General Motors racing people may be in the dock, too, because the part in question was a GM-manufactured piece(PitNow)(9-20-2000)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has announced that the appeal hearing requested by Hendrick Motorsports has been set for Thursday, Sept. 28th – no mention of what time(NOL)(9-21-2000)
    UPDATE 2: if Hendrick Motorsports wins its appeal over Jeff Gordon’s intake manifold this week, the driver will move into ninth in the drivers and owners points standings(Times-Dispatch)(9-26-2000)
    UPDATE 3: the appeal will happen today(9-28) no word on when a verdict will be announced
    UPDATE 4: The Hendrick Motorsports appeal of NASCAR penalties levied after Jeff Gordon won the Chevrolet 400 at Richmond was heard on Tuesday. There was no announcement from the stock-car racing sanctioning body on when a decision was expected(That’s Racin’)(9-28-2000)
    UPDATE 5: hearing it was just announced at Martinsville that the fine/penalty will stand. Yes the appeal has failed and the fine and penalty(100 points) will stand. See full stories at That’s Racin’NOL and SpeedVision. That’s Racin’ has the Commission statement on team’s appeal from NASCAR(9-29-2000)
  • #98 News: Jeff Fuller will attempt to make the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowes Motor Speedway in the #98 Chip MacPherson Ford. MacPherson bought the team from Cale Yarborough earlier in the year. John LaCross will oversee the team’s engine department but has a co-op with Bob Fisher. The team’s new shop is under construction across from the Concord(NC) Regional Airport. Also, Cathi Brandt has joined the team as its business manager(Winston Cup Scene). It had been announced that the team would make its debut at Atlanta, for more info, see the #98 Team News and Links page(9-29-2000)
  • DJ Paint at Atlanta? hearing #88-Dale Jarrett is running a special paint job at Atlanta as a tribute to the five year relationship Quality Care/Ford Credit(have seen no images yet)(9-29-2000)
  • #50 Paint: Ricky Craven will have the same paint scheme as was on the #50 Chevy at Loudon at Martinsville – black body w/red trim – but w/o the name of Craven’s store on the hood(9-29-2000)
  • Johnson Returns to Hendrick: Former VP of Hendrick Motorsports, Jimmy Johnson (not to be confused with recently signed driver Jimmie Johnson), is back with Hendrick. Not as VP but with the race teams on acquiring and servicing the organization’s sponsor(Winston Cup Scene)(9-29-2000)

    (9-28-2000)

  • Atlanta Testing: Many drivers from the Winston Cup and ARCA series have scheduled test sessions at Atlanta Motor Speedway for Oct. 10-12th. #18-Bobby Labonte, #5-Terry Labonte, #20-Tony Stewart, #10-Johnny Benson, #1-Steve Park and #97-Kurt Busch are among drivers expected to test next month in preparation for the Nov. 19 NAPA 500. Several ARCA drivers are also expected to participate in a Hoosier Tire test early next month as they ready for the Nov. 18 Georgia Boot 400. Atlanta Motor Speedway will open the grandstands for fans to watch several test sessions, which are generally closed to the public, free of charge(see the AMS site for info and tickets)(9-28-2000)
  • #25 Sponsor? while Lowes is making the rumor rounds as the next sponsor of the #25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy with driver Jerry Nadeau (see next story), hearing that Delphi Automotive may be the next sponsor for the #25 team(9-28-2000)
  • Lowes Gone – Totally? The LTN Radio show is reporting that Lowes may leave NASCAR as a whole, no more name on the Charlotte race track, now known as Lowes Motor Speedway and no sponsorship of any NASCAR team(9-28-2000)
  • Yates/Galaxy to Merge? UPDATE 3: this is an interesting one – hearing that Galaxy Motorsports(#75-Dallenbach) and Robert Yates Racing are talking merger and are putting together BGN programs for 2001 involving Ron Hornaday and PJ Jones. Also, supposedly will run a six race R&D Cup team with Hornaday as the driver(I assume that in addition to the #28 and 88 Yates cars and the #75 Galaxy car). Also still hearing that Pizza Hut will be part of the primary sponsorship on the #75 in 2001. Yates supplies engines to the #75 Galaxy Motorsports team(9-22-2000)
    UPDATE: Robert Yates may be acquiring part-ownership of the Darwin Oordt team for which Wally Dallenbach drives(PitNow)(9-25-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Although members of Darwin Oordt’s Galaxy Motorsports team seem to believe otherwise, Robert Yates says he has no interest in acquiring any part of the #75 group. Dallenbach said Saturday that a deal with Yates was in the works, and “when it happens I’ll be real happy, but I’m not counting chickens. It’s what this team needs. That’s what’ll take this team to the next level, the right level.” According to Dallenbach, certain prerequisites had to fall into place, such as sponsorship. Dallenbach confirmed that Pizza Hut, a Pepsi subsidiary( a spin off company called Tricon Global Restaurants-YUM-NYSE), is on the list. Yates, however, is on the Coca-Cola plan, which would seem to create difficulties(SpeedVision)(9-26-2000)
    UPDATE 3: my understanding is that Yates contract with Texaco prevents him from owning more than two Winston Cup Teams. So, supposedly RYR would make Doug Yates the partner with Galaxy, which then they will be like a three car team, but legally RYR will have two teams (#28, #88) and Galaxy/Doug Yates will have a team. This also gets Yates around the Coke/Pepsi conflict. Pepsi spun off Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC a few years ago. The three restaurants are now a publicly held company called Tricon. Pepsi owns a lot of Tricon stock(9-28-2000)
  • #7 Driver? UPDATE 3: looks like the Bobby Hamilton rumor was incorrect(choke) and ESPN2’s NASCAR 2Day is reporting that Ron Hornaday and Randy LaJoie(didn’t he just sign with Joe Nemechek for a BGN ride?) are the two rumored drivers(9-17-2000)
    UPDATE: One of the men #7 owner Jim Smith is looking to sign to drive for him next season is Busch driver Randy LaJoie. However, Lajoie has insisted he’s not interested in a Cup ride(PitNow)(9-18-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Sources say Ron Hornaday will become the driver of (#7) Ultra Motorsports’ Winston Cup effort next year. Hornaday likely will be reunited with crew chief Fred Graves, who recently left Petty Enterprises. Hornaday and Graves won two Truck championships with DEI and are said to work very well together. Owner Jim Smith has hinted at two Truck teams next year (Mike Wallace and Dennis Setzer are the drivers now, but Smith has not committed) and possibly two Cup teams. The Trucks will be Dodges, but Smith has not said finally that the Cup team or teams would switch to Dodge(SpeedVision)(9-26-2000)
    UPDATE 3: The LTN Radio show is reporting that Ron Hornaday is a done deal as the driver for the #7 Ultra Motorsports car and that the team will stay with Ford (from Talladega on) and Penske engines for the 2001 season and NOT switch to Dodge(9-28-2000)
  • #16 Gone? The LTN Radio show is reporting that the Denny’s/Hank Aaron deal will now NOT happen and the team may not exist in 2001(9-28-2000)
  • Sad News – Not NASCAR but: Bob Hurt, the driver who broke his neck trying to qualify for the 1968 Indianapolis 500 and became a paraplegic, has died. He was 61. Hurt died in his sleep in a Toronto hotel room Sept. 23, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced Wednesday. Hurt never accepted being a paraplegic for the rest of his life. Since the accident, he made trips to Russia and Sweden to undergo radical experimental treatments and also participated in special treatments in the United States. During his long ordeal, Hurt never once blamed racing or lost interest in the sport. He regularly appeared at the Indianapolis 500. Survivors include his brother, Doug; and sisters Ann DeFranceaux of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Linda Andrieux of Paris.(Total Sports/AP)(9-28-2000)
  • No More Rainbow on the #24? UPDATE: Following this season, the paint scheme that Jeff Gordon has taken to 52 victories and three Winston Cup championships will not be seen on the racetrack again. Gordon’s #24 Chevy will feature a new DuPont paint scheme next season(Gordonline)(8-28-2000)
    UPDATE: There was a brief sneak peak at the #24 DuPont Chevrolet for 2001. Yes, the paint scheme is different. At first glance there are some similarities to the current paint scheme. The concept car is same blue and neon red as the current version, but it has the addition of flames. Time will tell if that is the final version or whether additional changes will be made(Gordonline) NO IMAGE (9-28-2000)
  • #77 News: the #77 Jasper Motorsports team has hired a new General Manager, George Stephens, to handle the day-to-day activities at the race shop. Stephens comes to the #77 the #75 Galaxy Motorsports team, where he functioned as the Team Manager. Previously, Stephens worked for the Hendricks Motorsports organization from 1993-1999. Stephens will work closely with Ryan Pemberton on issues such as personnel, travel schedules and front office management(Jasper Motorsports Site)(9-28-2000)
  • Bickle in the #60 for Martinsville: Rich Bickle will drive the #60 Power Team Chevrolet fielded by Bessey Motorsports in this weekend’s NASCAR Winston Cup event at the Martinsville Speedway. In preparation for the event, Bickle and the #60 team tested at the Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, North Carolina on Wednesday. Bickle has made one previous start for the team this year, at Martinsville and finished 30th. Bickle won the 1997 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Martinsville, earned one pole position at the half-mile track in the NASCAR All Pro Series and recorded his best career NASCAR Winston Cup finish, a fourth, there in 1998(Power Team PR)(9-28-2000)
  • 2001 Schedule UPDATE 4 IT’s OUT what is FX?: Bray Cary, NASCAR’s vice president for broadcasting and technology, said Sunday morning that the long-awaited 2001 Winston Cup schedule is due out this week, with Busch Series and Craftsman Truck schedules to follow. No changes, other than those already announced, are expected in the 2001 calendar. The major changes are the additions of dates for new tracks in Kansas in September and at Joliet, IL in July(SpeedVision). See my 2001 TENTATIVE UNOFFICIAL Winston Cup Schedule page, all races dates have been confirmed from ticket holders or at the Race Track site – but it is still not official(9-24-2000)
    UPDATE: NASCAR is expected to release its 2001 Winston Cup series schedule Monday and it will include at least one previously unannounced race date change: One race traditionally held on Saturday will be moved to Sunday. The Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis will become a typical Friday-Sunday race weekend next season, with the prestigious race now scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 5th(That’s Racin’)(9-25-2000)
    UPDATE: look for the schedule to be released today
    UPDATE 2: the Official 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Schedule is out, see it, the TV lineup and a story here – Cup Schedule from NASCAR PR(9-26-2000)
    UPDATE 3: getting much email on the fact that many people do not have Fox’s FX cable channel and what to do about it. Simply, contact your cable company and contact Fox and state your complaint(9-27-2000)
    UPDATE 4: more info from MotorsportsTV – FX will be at 54 million households by the end of 2000. That represents an addition of 17 million over the past two years. The NASCAR contract should get that number even higher. In comparison, the most popular cable channels like ESPN, CNN, and TBS are at about 75-80 million households. ESPN2 just passed 70 million households, ESPN is at 77 million, and TBS is at 80.8 million. There are about 100 million TV households in the U.S. Of course, many of those do not get cable or satellite. Also for info on FX, see my TV/Media page for the web link AND see a story/interview at MotorsportsTV: Kempner to Give Fox Its NASCAR Direction in 2001 AND see my Story/Column Links page, go towards the bottom of that page, look for the heading: Some Past Interesting Articles and a few that answer some questions and see the last story from That’s Racin’ about the TV Contact including: “Will we still get to see qualifying and practice sessions the way we have in recent years?” Answer: Yes. NASCAR negotiated that kind of coverage into the deal.(There are other story links concerning the TV Contract there) ALSO: I have no idea how this will affect satellite dish users or if folks will still be able to watch via satellite, check with your system representatives(9-28-2000)


    (9-27-2000)
    none this day, all ended up being updated


    (9-26-2000)

  • #99 and #21 Sponsor News UPDATE 3: as reported a few weeks ago, CITGO will be the primary sponsor on the #99 Ford in 2001, hearing the paint scheme will not be the familiar red-orange/white/black but would be red, white, and blue. The #21 Wood Bros Ford is supposed to get Ford Quality Credit and be announced at Charlotte(9-10-2000)
    UPDATE: hearing that starting with the race at Charlotte in October, the #99 Ford will carry the CITGO colors for the balance of the 2000 season as CITGO has purchased the space from Exide. Exide continues to downgrade it’s motorsports expenses and while they have expressed interest in remaining as an associate sponsor on the #99 for the 2001 season, it’s only a slight chance as they continue to downsize in the company(9-11-2000)
    UPDATE 2: hearing the Ford ‘brand’ that will be featured on the #21 Ford will be Motorcraft which used to be featured on the #15 Bud Moore Fords back into the early 90’s(9-14-2000)
    UPDATE 3: CITGO Petroleum has scheduled a press conference for Tuesday October 3, 2000 in Charlotte where they will announce their sponsorship for the remainder of the 2000 series and the 2001 campaign. It is speculated that they will move to Roush Racing and sponsor the #99 Jeff Burton driven car. Ford is expected to be moving to the #21 Wood Brothers team next season with the Motorcraft banner(Racin’ Network)(9-26-2000)
  • 1000 Races: Wood Brothers Racing celebrates the start of their 1,000th race this weekend and will sport the colors of the team’s founder, Glen Wood. The solid red racecar flashes back to the 1950’s when Wood owned and piloted the famed Wood Brothers racecar. Glen Wood founded Wood Brothers Racing as a hobby, now it’s their life and has been for the past five decades. He and his brothers decided they wanted to go racing and nominations moved that Glen be the driver. Since the team’s origination, Glen has won as a driver, car owner and grandfather over the past 50 years. His list of driver’s speaks for itself with 17 of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers listed on the Wood Brothers Racing resume. Elliott Sadler currently pilots the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford and is delighted to be able to represent the team in such a memorable year(Cox Marketing Group), see an image of the car in the Paint Schemes Gallery(9-26-2000)
  • 400th Start: This week’s race at Martinsville will become another milestone in Brett Bodine’s racing career. Bodines’s 400th NASCAR Winston Cup career start will come on Sunday at Martinsville in the #11 Ralph’s Supermarket Ford. Martinsville is also where Bodine began his professional racing career in a 1979 Modified race. Bodine’s first Cup start was in May in 1986 at Charlotte, driving for Rick Hendrick (started 32, finished 18th). 1988 marked Bodine’s first full year in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series (in Bud Moore’s #15 Motorcraft car).(Brett Bodine Racing PR)(9-26-2000)
  • Joe Gibbs Racing Changes? UPDATE 2 Home Depot STAYS: PitNow is reporting that if Bobby Labonte wins the Winston Cup Championship, team owner Joe Gibbs may move his crew chief, Jimmy Makar to a Team Manager role, move Tony’s Stewart’s crew chief, Greg Zipadelli over to Labonte’s #18 Interstate Batteries team and hire a new crew chief for Stewart’s #20 Home Depot team, one name mentioned in the article is the #55 APR crew chief Jimmy Elledge(PitNow). Also still no word on if Home Depot will re-sign with Gibbs for the #20 Tony Stewart team, one rumor has Home Depot leaving and MBNA stepping up from a major associate sponsor to a primary sponsor on the #20 Pontiac(9-15-2000)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs have been trying to renegotiate the #20 Team’s contract with Home Depot, which has another year to run. Home Depot executives have declined to comment on the talks. Home Depot’s sponsorship is nowhere near the $12 million to $15 million level that UPS and Pfizer are going to be paying Robert Yates and Jack Roush next season, and Gibbs wants Home Depot to up its ante(PitNow) NOTE: I had heard and thought the deal was good thru 2000, not 2001(9-22-2000)
    UPDATE 2: have confirmed that Home Depot’s contract with Joe Gibbs Racing goes thru 2001 and they are in the final stages of renewing their contract and have NO plans to leave the #20 team. An announcement may come in the next two to four weeks(9-26-2000)
  • Holigan to the CTS and BGN: Michael Holigan, who has sponsored the #25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy driven by Jerry Nadeau in 2000 but will leave after the 2000 season is working with driver David Starr about basing a team in Texas and running in the Craftsman Truck Series. Holigan also is interested in fielding a Busch Grand National team out of Charlotte(Times-DispatchAND Holigan said he plans to make an announcement during Charlotte race week in October regarding plans to start a BGN team in 2001 and said he will also be involved in a CTS team, based in Texas, with driver David Starr(That’s Racin’)(9-26-2000)

    (9-25-2000)

  • Lowes In? Lowes Out? UPDATE 4 – the #25?: many readers emailed me a Lowes in-house memo saying that Lowes was leaving the #31 Richard Childress Team and driver Mike Skinner after the 2000 season, ESPN2’s RPM 2Night also reported the memo. I was told as was RPM 2Night, that owner Richard Childress says he spoke with Lowes on Wednesday and was assured that Lowes would honor the remaining two years of their contract with the team. The memo goes on to say that Lowes would not leave the sport but move to another team. There is nothing on the Lowes site concerning this
    UPDATE: Richard Childress admits he has learned sponsor Lowe’s will leave his #31 Chevy after this season, but he insists he still has a two-year contract with the company and intends that it be honored by both sides(SpeedVision)
    AND from NOL: One way to put rumors to rest in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series is to simply hold a press conference and set the record straight. Richard Childress did just that Friday regarding Lowe’s sponsorship of Mike Skinner’s #31 Chevy. According to Childress, he met with Lowe’s Wednesday, and was told they would honor the remainder of their deal with Richard Childress Racing. Thursday, however, Lowe’s sent a company-wide memo to its employees stating they would no longer sponsor the car(NOL). Note: Still leaves some questions, in-house hoax at Lowes?? Lowes response??
    UPDATE 2: Reached Friday by telephone, Lowe’s spokesperson Chris Ahearn said the company would honor its financial commitment to the team for the next two years, but “the Lowe’s name will be off the car at the end of the season.” Ahearn said the team had not performed up to expectations, though she said that was not the only reason the company was leaving. She said Lowe’s remains committed to NASCAR and will likely sponsor another team next season. Ahearn also said Lowe’s decision to leave Richard Childress Racing would not affect the company’s 10-year naming rights deal with Lowe’s Motor Speedway(more at That’s Racin’)(9-21-2000)
    UPDATE 3: One possibility making the rounds at Dover was that Jack Roush either has or is on the verge of making off with the Lowe’s account. Roush has at least two teams open(#’s 16, 97) and earlier nabbed Pfizer/Viagra away from Eel River Racing(#27) for Mark Martin’s #6 Ford(Gaston Gazette) AND Lowe’s will be backing another team next year, apparently moving to the Rick Hendrick camp to sponsor Jerry Nadeau(#25 Chevy)(PitNow)(9-23-2000)
    UPDATE: Jack Roush and Geoff Smith, the manager of Roush Racing, say they haven’t talked with Lowe’s executives about acquiring that company’s NASCAR sponsorship. However, Roush said, since Richard Childress’ announcement Friday that Lowe’s plans to leave the Mike Skinner team, Smith has begun pursing Lowe’s. However, Lowe’s has already agreed to a deal with car owner Rick Hendrick for next season, with Jerry Nadeau(#25 Chevy), according to sources(PitNow)(9-25-2000)
  • Dodge Testing UPDATE: Dodge Winston Cup teams test at Daytona for a critical, two-day manufacturer’s test scheduled to start on Halloween day. Ray Evernham will lead the Dodge charge on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. The Speedway expects the entire Dodge roster to gather for this preliminary shakedown of the Intrepid in preparation for the 2001 Daytona 500 where the car will make its competitive debut. The teams and drivers invited by Dodge and expected to participate include Evernham Motorsports (Casey Atwood, Bill Elliott), Petty Enterprises Inc. (Kyle Petty, Buckshot Jones, John Andretti), Bill Davis Racing (Ward Burton, Dave Blaney), Team SABCO (Sterling Marlin, Ted Musgrave) and Melling Racing (Stacey Compton). This probably will be the first time all the teams representing the incoming Dodge brand will assemble at the same track together. The test comes immediately following Winston Cup’s next(an last) off weekend(Speed Magazine)(9-22-2000)
    UPDATE: the #93 Bill Davis Racing team and driver Dave Blaney will put their Dodge on the track for a major test this week at Kentucky Speedway(PitNow)(9-25-2000)
  • Mast Crewman OK: Scott Glasscox, jackman with Rick Mast’s #14 team, caught his left hand in the jack during a pit stop and had to be transported to Kent General Hospital for X-rays, but after the race, fellow crew members reported that he had been treated and released(Gaston Gazette)(9-25-2000)

(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)
  • 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)
  • Sad News: Three Canadian race fans in town for the Formula One race in Indy died overnight of carbon monoxide poisoning after a tailpipe in their RV became clogged, leaking gas into the motor home(see the CBS story)(9-24-2000)

    (9-23-2000)

  • #15 for DEI? hearing Michael Waltrip will run the #15 on the NAPA Auto Parts DEI Chevy in 2001(9-23-2000)
  • Mayfield Notes: “This has been such an up and down season, a real roller coaster. Everytime something goes bad, when it seems like we’re at the bottom of the world, something really good happens. We went from just struggling all day long at New Hampshire to winning the pole(Friday). And when things are going great and we’re at the top of the world, something bad has been happening. Like we won the pole at Darlington and were dominating the race, and everything fell apart there in the fourth turn. It even affected our cars. This car (Dover car) we ran at Bristol. The poor thing had a rough night there and then ended up getting torn up in a wreck on the frontstretch (when he was rear-ended by Bobby Hamilton at the start-finish line while Hamilton was racing back to the caution flag). For a car, you couldn’t have a worse night – not run so good AND get wrecked. But this car was at the bottom of the world at Bristol and, first time back out, it’s sitting on the pole at Dover. We’re going to try to change the way our luck’s been going and win the race Sunday. We’ve run really well here in the past, and we think we’re going to run really well here Sunday. The two races we won (California and June Pocono), we started back in the pack. We think we can finish this deal off by winning this race. We’ve had good cars a lot of places. We’ve been a real threat in a ton of places. We should have won two or three races easily, circumstances just cost us. We’re going to make our own luck Sunday and do everything we can to win this thing. This is a good place for us. We’ve run well here. We’re on the pole. ExxonMobil isn’t too far away (Fairfax, Va., on the other side of Washington, D.C.). We have a lot of incentives but the biggest incentive of all is that this team wants to get Mobil 1 into victory lane worse than anything.”(Williams Company)(9-23-2000)
  • Dodge Engine News: Ray Evernham, owner of Evernham Motorsports and leading the development of the Dodge Intrepid, said he plans to present the new Dodge engine to NASCAR for approval in early October(That’s Racin’)(9-23-2000)
  • Martin BBBSA update; Mark Martin’s on-track performance in the Valvoline Ford, combined with contributions from Valvoline and NASCAR fans, has brought the current total raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters since 1999 to $533,678. Valvoline is donating $5,000 for every Winston Cup race Martin wins, $2,500 for each pole, $1,000 for a top-five finish, and $20 per lap Martin leads in this “Caring Hands” program.(Valvoline PR)(9-23-2000)
  • Little to BACE for a race? UPDATE: hearing that Chad Little will drive Bace Motorsports #74 BGN Chevy at Charlotte with Winston Cup Veteran Crew Chief Terry Wooten(9-22-2000)
    UPDATE: Winston Cup Scene reports that Clarence Brewer, owner of the #27 BGN tream is interested in signing Chad Little or Ron Hornaday to replace Casey Atwood(going to Evernham’s Cup team in 2001). Brewer hopes to have a driver signed for 2001 within the next few weeks(9-23-2000)
  • NASCAR Channel News: NASCAR officials have told executives at Street & Smith’s Charlotte television office that NASCAR has bought the company and that it would be renamed NASCAR Productions. NASCAR officials here declined to comment on the issue. The Street & Smith division has a large body of Winston Cup archives that NASCAR executives have been eager to acquire for use on the proposed NASCAR Channel(PitNow)(9-23-2000)

    (9-22-2000)

  • #44 Changes: Fred Graves, crew chief for #44-Steve Grissom and Petty Enterprises, left the team earlier this week. Graves had worked with Grissom and Petty Enterprises, both in the Winston Cup series and the CTS. The plans to fill Graves’ role this weekend by committee, with Grissom calling the shots on race day(That’s Racin’)(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)
  • AJ OK UPDATE: A week after undergoing angioplasty, an operation to open blocked arteries to the heart, AJ Foyt is back in Indianapolis to host tonight’s True Value Hulman/Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. See the full story by Robin Miller at Indianapolis Star
    UPDATE: AJ Foyt was rushed to the hospital in Indy with stomach pain during Friday’s activities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Foyt was checked at the hospital, released, and returned to the track(RPM 2Night)(9-22-2000)
  • Geoffrey to the Cicci-Welliver Racing Cup/BGN? Cicci-Welliver Racing(#’s 34,36 and 66 in the BGN) made a last-ditch effort to get its potential sponsor to sign a letter of intent when all parties involved, including Todd Bodine, met in New York City last Friday to try to hammer out a deal. While the sponsor wasn’t prepared to commit at that time, team owner Frank Cicci said it’s still interested in the proposal and will make a decision within the next 30 days. If the deal comes to fruition, Cicci said the team will seek a veteran Winston Cup driver to replace Bodine. In fact, it may turn to another Bodine, Geoffrey, to fill the Cup seat. Bodine was recently released from his Bessey Motorsports ride(#60 Power Team). In any event, Cicci-Welliver’s Winston Cup opportunity will not affect its Busch Series operation, which is still unsettled for 2001. Of its three Busch cars, the only done deal is with David Green in the #34 Chevy(Star Gazette)(9-22-2000)
  • I want my MTV: Casey Atwood along with Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be the subject of an upcoming MTV documentary that focuses on what it’s like to be a hot young NASCAR star(Tennessean)(9-22-2000)

    (9-21-2000)

  • Sad News UPDATE: Ted Musgrave’s Father passed away today of a heart attack. Musgrave drives the #01 BellSouth Chevy in the Cup series(Ted Musgrave Site), thoughts and prayers to the Musgrave family(9-20-2000)
    UPDATE: Elmer Musgrave, father of NASCAR Winston Cup driver Ted Musgrave, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday in Gurnee, Ill. He was 72 years old. In honor of his father and his wish(that Ted race), Ted will pilot the #82 Channellock Chevy in the MBNA.com 200 Busch Series race this weekend at Dover. He will also drive the #01 BellSouth Chevy in the MBNA.com 400 Winston Cup event. The viewing for Mr. Musgrave is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 24, 2000, from 2 to 6 p.m. CDT at Gurnee Marsh Funeral Home, 305 Cemetery Road, Gurnee, Ill., 60031, (847) 336-0127. Funeral services will take place Monday, Sept. 25, 2000, at 10:30 a.m. CDT at Milburn Congregational Church, Milburn, IL(SABCO PR)(9-21-2000)
  • Musgrave/#01 to Test: #01 Ted Musgrave will test at Talladega on Wednesday, Sept 20th(Talladega PR)(9-18-2000)
    UPDATE: Musgrave and #10 Johnny Benson tested on Wednesday, see an image of #01 driver Ted Musgrave talking with crew chief Tony Glover at Testing Image, notice the roof flange(9-20-2000)
    Added another image to the Testing Image page, show’s the aero changes(9-21-2000)
  • Buckshot to Petty and the #44? UPDATE 5 It’s Official: hearing Buckshot Jones will be the driver for the #44 Petty Enterprises Dodge in 2001 and is bringing a sponsor along(9-13-2000)
    UPDATE: Billy Jones, owner of Buckshot Racing, confirmed Wednesday that his son is considering offers from two current Winston Cup teams and could make a decision as early as next week. The latest speculation has Jones driving the #44 car of Petty Enterprises, with Georgia Pacific as the primary sponsor(Atlanta Journal Constitution), not sure who the second team is but I reported back on July 7th: hearing that Buckshot Jones has a sponsor that will allow him to return to Winston Cup. Supposedly they will not run their own team but look to hook up with an existing team. Some rumors have Jones father talking to Yates Racing and Hendrick Motorsports(9-14-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Buckshot Jones will join Petty Enterprises next season as the driver of the #44 Dodge and the team has landed a primary sponsor, Georgia-Pacific, for next season. An announcement of the driver hire and sponsor addition will be made in the next few weeks(That’s Racin’)(9-15-2000)
    UPDATE 3: Petty Enterprises is expected to announce this week that Buckshot Jones will drive for the organization’s third Cup team next season(Roanoke TimesAND as rumored here last THURSDAY – Petty Enterprises is expected to announce tomorrow(Thurs) afternoon that Buckshot Jones will be its driver and Georgia Pacific its sponsor for the #44 car next season
    UPDATE 4: The Georgia-Pacific Corporation will put its family of brands on the fast track next year, entering Winston Cup competition in the 2001 season. This Fortune 100 company with Georgia roots will team with Petty Enterprises as a primary sponsor. Richard and Kyle Petty will join Georgia-Pacific leadership to make the formal announcement, including the introduction of driver Buckshot Jones, this Thursday, September 21st at 1:30pm/et at Georgia-Pacific Center in Atlanta. Georgia-Pacific’s history of motorsports involvement includes a sponsorship role in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 1996, also with Petty Enterprises. The company’s Winston Cup sponsorship, a multi-year agreement, again unites the two organizations for NASCAR’s premier series(Williams Co)(9-20-2000)
    UPDATE 5: Georgia-Pacific Corp. is officially off to the races, announcing plans to enter the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup season as a primary sponsor with Petty Enterprises. Richard and Kyle Petty joined Georgia-Pacific leadership for the announcement, introducing Georgia-native Buckshot Jones as the team driver of the new #44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge Intrepid R/T. The Georgia-Pacific name and those of its brands will adorn the new Winston Cup entrant from Dodge Motorsports — the Dodge Intrepid R/T. Buckshot Jones’ addition to the Petty team is the next step in a career that started as a college hobby and now is clearly on the fast track. Nicknamed as a child for being “tough as buckshot,” Jones has driven the #00 Pontiac on the NASCAR Busch Series this season. During the past five years in the Busch Series, he has won two Busch races, captured two poles and finished in the top ten 21 times. Brands to be featured on the #44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge will include Sparkle paper towels and napkins, Angel Soft bath tissue, Unisource, Pacific Garden soap and Georgia-Pacific building products and office papers(Buckshot Jones Site)(9-21-2000)
  • From NASCAR:The following is a statement from Mike Helton, NASCAR’s Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, regarding the rules modifications announced by NASCAR that the Ford and Pontiac teams will be required to increase the width of their rear spoiler from 57 inches to 59 inches, while the Chevrolet teams will remain at 57-inches wide. These modifications are for the Winston 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on October 15, 2000: “The aero-package that NASCAR developed for the Talladega NASCAR Winston Cup Series race had a more adverse effect on the Chevrolet Monte Carlo than it did on the Ford Taurus and the Pontiac Grand Prix. “The intent was to create a package that has the same adverse effect on all three car makes, but it had a greater effect on the Monte Carlo. While Ford and Pontiac have to increase the width on their rear spoilers, the adjustments being made for Chevrolet are basically putting the Monte Carlo back in its relative position in relationship to the other two car makes as it was in the three previous restrictor-plate races this season (Daytona 500, DieHard 500 and Pepsi 400). Our decisions are based on results from wind-tunnel testing held by NASCAR. “We are going to stick with our original track schedule of opening up for practice on Friday morning at 11:00 a.m. Depending on how everything goes on Friday, we may elect to extend happy hour practice on Saturday afternoon.”(NASCAR PR)(9-21-2000)

    (9-20-2000)

  • New #25 Sponsor? UPDATE 2: hearing that Hendrick Motorsports may be announcing a new 2001 primary sponsor of the #25 Jerry Nadeau team within the next few weeks, hearing it may be GMAC, who sponsors Hendrick Motorsports in the CTS and BGN series. No idea what Michael Holigan’s plans are(9-18-2000)
    UPDATE: hearing it will not be GMAC on the #25 Cup car but they and the #24 CTS Hendrick Motorsports team will both have new sponsors in 2001. GMAC will stay with Hendrick on their 2nd CTS team with Ricky Hendrick(9-19-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Michael Holigan has informed Hendrick Motorsports that he will not sponsor the #25 Cup team or driver Jerry Nadeau in 2001. Holigan is talking to Hendrick about maintaining a role with the team(RPM 2Night)(9-20-2000)
  • Hamilton leaves the #4, #7 Driver? #55? UPDATE 6 #55 Official: who will drive the #7 Ultra Motorsports Ford now that Michael Waltrip is leaving to drive a third DEI car? It was thought that Mike Wallace would get the ride, but am hearing he will not be back with the team in either the Truck or Cup rides. Two rumors have cropped up, is Ron Hornaday in either the #7 Cup car or the #2 Ultra Wheels Truck ride AND get this: Bobby Hamilton to the #7? Wasn’t it just reported last week that he staying with the #4 team for sure? Yep, and wasn’t Waltrip announced staying with the #7 for 2001? This is getting crazy…(9-13-2000)
    UPDATE: hearing that Bobby Hamilton may be the new driver for Ultra Motorsports(9-14-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Bobby Hamilton and car owner Larry McClure(#4 Kodak Chevy) have decided to part ways at the end of the season. Hamilton says he has not signed a deal for 2001 yet(That’s Racin’)(9-15-2000)
    UPDATE 3: While no deal been finalized, Hamilton is expected to take the wheel of the #55 Chevrolet owned by Andy Petree next year(Gaston Gazette/Monte Dutton)(9-16-2000)
    UPDATE 4: as Monte Dutton reports above, I hear Hamilton to the #55 Sqaure-D Chevy. Also hearing that Ron Hornaday is being considered for the #7 Ultra Motorsports Dodge/Ford and the #4 Kodak ride. AND Bobby Hamilton is incensed over reports that he talked to the Ultra Motorsports team. Hamilton, who announced yesterday that he is parting ways with Larry McClure at the end of the season, was linked to the Ultra Motorsports team in an Internet report. He says that is not the case(see quotes at: Times-Dispatch)(9-17-2000)
    UPDATE 5: Bobby Hamilton and Andy Petree won’t confirm anything but sources close to the two say it’s a done deal that they will team next season, with Hamilton becoming Joe Nemechek’s teammate(PitNow)(9-18-2000)
    UPDATE 6: Andy Petree Racing (APR) announced today the signing of Bobby Hamilton to a two-year contract which will put the Nashville, TN native behind the wheel of the #55 Square D Chevy in 2001. Hamilton will join current APR driver Joe Nemechek, who pilots the #33 Oakwood Homes Chevy. Hamilton replaces Kenny Wallace who will depart at the end of this season(Motorsports Decision)(9-20-2000)
  • Aero Rules UPDATE 4: Expect aerodynamic rules changes to be announced by NASCAR for Talladega (Oct 15th) sometime this weekend(RPM 2Night)(9-9-2000)
    UPDATE: the rules were never announced, not sure when we will hear anything(9-12-2000)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR Senior Vice President Mike Helton said a rule change for the Talladega race will be announced this week. Officials have considered a variety of changes to the cars after an aerodynamics test at Daytona this summer. Winston Cup Director Gary Nelson said a spoiler change is one of the options being considered(Times-DispatchAND NASCAR still hasn’t announced its Talladega rules, but the new rules are now expected to include a break for Chevrolets, which will be allowed to run a 57-inch-wide rear spoiler while Ford and Pontiac teams will have to run a larger 59-inch spoiler(PitNowAND a column at That’s Racin’: Rule changes expected for Talladega AND the print version of the Speedway Scene reports that the spoilers will be 53 inches for the Chevy and 55 inches for the Ford and Pontiac. Also says there may be a raised air dam(bottom front of the car), a roof spoiler(have to say, these look weird) and the rear spoiler supposedly have a higher angle of 65-70 degrees as compared to the normal setting of 45 at Talladega/Daytona and be a 2-inch taller rear spoiler. The restrictor plate would be increased from 7/8-inches to 1-inch(9-17-2000)
    UPDATE 3: NASCAR announced a series of rule changes for the Oct. 15 running of the Winston 500 at Talladega, they are:
    Rear Spolier: will change from 57 to 59 inches on Fords and Pontiacs, while the Chevy stays at 57 inches and all manufacturers will be required to all have rear spoiler angles of between 70 and 71 degrees, an increase from the mandated 45 degrees
    Resrtictor Plate: an increase from the 7/8-inch plates used in the previous restrictor-plate races this year at Talladega and Daytona to a 1-inch carburetor restrictor plates
    Flange(wickerbill): all three manufacturers will have to use 1-inch-deep forward-facing flanges on top of their rear spoilers
    Front Air Dams: increased to a 4-inch minimum ground clearance, from 3 1/2 inches
    Roof Deflectors: use 1 3/8-inch-tall and 40-inch-wide air deflectors located 10 inches behind the windshields on the car roofs(That’s Racin’)(9-19-2000)
    UPDATE 4: NASCAR is also opening the Talladega race weekend a day early and allowing teams all day Thursday, Oct. 12, to practice in preparation for the race(That’s Racin’)
    AND Driver Johnny Benson tested at the track Tuesday with the changes in place and turned a fast lap that would have qualified him in the first round at last spring’s event. After that session, Benson and crew chief James Ince both said they don’t believe the changes will alter the quality of the race noticeably(Anniston Star)(9-20-2000)
  • Lowes Testing UPDATE 2: In preparation for the Oct. 8 UAW-GM Quality 500 Cup race, Lowe’s Motor Speedway has invited all NASCAR Winston Cup teams to participate in a two-day open testing session at the 1.5-mile superspeedway on Tuesday, Sept. 19th from 4:00 – 10:00pm/et and on Wednesday, Sept. 20 from 8:00am – 4:00pm/et. The following drivers/teams are scheduled to test: #11-Brett Bodine, #16-Kevin Lepage, #21-Elliott Sadler, #22-Ward Burton, #27-Mike Bliss, #33-Joe Nemechek, #36-Kenny Schrader, #44-Steve Grissom, #85 Carl Long(was there, had reported he was not), #93-Dave Blaney, #96-Andy Houston and #98-Jeff Fuller(LMS PR)(9-15-2000)
    UPDATE: add #9-Stacy Compton and #97-Kurt Busch who tested. See the story and a few images at TachZone(9-19-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Thirteen Cup teams participated in a two-day testing session Tuesday and Wednesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and crew members and drivers found the two sessions to literally be as different as night and day. Tuesday night’s runs were conducted under the lights, simulating conditions for the Oct. 4 Winston Pole Night, while Wednesday’s laps were made in the heat of the day, similar to conditions expected for the Oct. 8 UAW-GM Quality 500. Driving a new #21 Citgo Ford Taurus built by Roush Racing and fielded by the Wood Brothers, Elliott Sadler was unofficially the fastest Tuesday evening, stopping the watches with a lap of 183.112mph. #11-Brett Bodine was 2nd at 183.050mph, others: #16-Kevin Lepage 182.741; #33-Joe Nemechek and #97-Kurt Busch ran 182.063. #22-Ward Burton, #36-Kenny Schrader and #9-Stacy Compton were among the drivers who concentrated on chassis setups Tuesday and never made a simulated qualifying lap. Other drivers participating in the test were #27-Mike Bliss, #98-Jeff Fuller, #85-Carl Long, #93-Dave Blaney and #96-Andy Houston. Busch and Houston were forced to skip the Wednesday portion of the test due to Craftsman Truck Series commitments in Dover. Houston’s teammate, Scott Pruett, took over the #96 Ford Wednesday while Busch’s #97 team skipped Wednesday’s activities.
    SOME NOTES: Kurt Busch spun the #97 Ford coming off turn four early Tuesday evening, but did not make wall contact. Recently named to take over as driver of the #27 Eel River Racing Pontiac next season, Kenny Wallace turned several laps in one of the team’s two cars Wednesday. Wallace was watching from atop the team’s transporter Tuesday evening as Mike Bliss put the two #27 Pontiacs through their paces when crew chief Barry Dodson decided to let Wallace try one of the cars during the daytime session. With Wallace doing most of the driving Wednesday, he, Dodson and Bliss talked extensively throughout the day as Wallace offered suggestions on setup changes. The two-day test marked the first time Jeff Fuller and the new MacPherson Motorsports tested at a Winston Cup track. Geoffrey Bodine, recently released from the #60 machine owned by Joe Bessey, was in the garage area Tuesday evening chatting with drivers and crew members. Kevin Lepage’s team suffered an engine failure in one of their #16 Fords early Wednesday morningLMS PR(9-20-2000)
  • Elliott OK: After crashing on Sunday, #94-Bill Elliott said he planned to have X-rays taken of his left knee. Elliott broke his left kneecap in a home accident last month. Elliott decided not to have X-rays taken after returning home. He reported a little swelling and stiffness but stated that otherwise he felt fine(Roanoke Times)(9-20-2000)
  • Bodine’s Combine? am hearing that Brett Bodine is considering fielding a second car for a few races with brother Geoffrey driving. Geoffrey was recently released from the #60 Power Team ride(9-20-2000)
  • #97/Busch Crew Chief: Kurt Busch’s CTS crew chief, Matt Chambers, is moving up to Winston Cup with Busch to the #97 Roush Racing Ford(Roush Racing Site)(9-20-2000)
  • Bye-Bye TNN, Hello TNN: it was announced Tuesday that TNN(The Nashville Network) would be re-branded as TNN: The National Network. The re-branded network will evolve to include more general entertainment programming that will target a younger and more diverse audience. Long-term plans for the network will include the addition of off-network comedies and dramas, the development of new, original series and movies, the expansion of existing sports and outdoor franchises, like motor sports, and the acquisition of new ones(TNN Site). NASCAR of course will not be covered by TNN as they have a new contract with NBC/TBS and Fox/FX starting in 2001(9-20-2000)
  • Shepherd at Dover: four time Cup winner, Morgan Shepherd, will be at Dover to run the #80 Hoover Motorsports Truck in the CTS race there(9-20-2000)

    (9-19-2000)

  • #66 Driver UPDATE 5: hearing that Todd Bodine is the preferred choice of Carter for the #66 ride(9-11-2000)
    UPDATE 5 Todd Bodine and car owner Travis Carter are close to signing a deal to team next season, with Bodine as Jimmy Spencer’s teammate. Carter says he should know something within the next two or three days(PitNow) see progression(orig story and Updates of this news at my #66 Team News and Links page(9-18-2000)
    UPDATE 6: BGN driver Todd Bodine will take over the driving duties of the Travis Carter-owned #66 Fords next season in the Cup series, according to his brother, Brett Bodine. Todd will take over for veteran Darrell Waltrip, who is retiring at the end of the season. Brett Bodine was among 13 Winston Cup teams testing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway Tuesday night in preparation for the Oct. 8 race at Charlotte(That’s Racin’)(9-19-2000)
  • More Plates? Restrictor plates could be used at other tracks until better safety methods are found, says Mike Helton, NASCAR’s senior vice president and chief operating officer. Three tracks, Atlanta, Texas and Michigan, have had faster pole speeds this year than Daytona and Talladega. NASCAR is studying other options, including smaller engines, which would produce fewer horsepower; padded walls; and aerodynamic changes to the cars(Roanoke Times). NOTE: am hearing that NASCAR may test restrictor plates soon at Lowes Motor Speedway(9-19-2000)
  • Testing at Martinsville: Kyle Petty tested with the #45 Sprint Chevy race team on Tuesday at Martinsville Speedway in preparation for the team’s first Winston Cup race with Kyle at the wheel. Petty along with #99-Jeff Burton, #19-Casey Atwood, #31-Mike Skinner, and #75-Wally Dallenbach began a two-day test session for the NAPA AutoCare 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race on October 1. Petty will make his first Winston Cup start with the team for which his son, Adam, was the driver before his fatal crash earlier this year at New Hampshire. Kyle has been driving the Sprint Chevrolet in the Busch Series, but testing with the team is a new experience(Martinsville Speedway PR)(9-19-2000)
  • Engine Parts? Rumors say NASCAR is strongly looking at putting minimum weight requirements on engine parts during the off season in the wake of the rush to lighter parts by several of the big budget teams. The rush started after Jeremy Mayfield and Rusty Wallace began using “legal”, but not “typical” engine parts like cam shafts and connecting rods. The teammates immediately began winning a large number of poles and running even more strongly than they had been. That is one reason for the open tear down of Wallace’s engine at Sonoma, following qualifying. More teams are looking to newer, lighter parts without too much regard for endurance, or cost. It should not surprise that 7 engines expired at Richmond. The event at Louden, complete with air-robbing restrictor plate, was expected to produce a record number of blown engines. That did not come about as engine builders went with the tried and true parts. To attempt to hold down ever escalating costs, NASCAR is contemplating introducing minimum weights for key engine parts following Atlanta(Inside Motorsports)(9-19-2000)
  • Denny’s to the #16? Hank Aaron? UPDATE 2: Speedway Scene (print edition) reports that there is expected to be an announcement in the near future that Denny’s Restaurants will sponsor the #16 Roush Racing Ford and driver Kevin Lepage in 2001(Jack Flowers/Speedway Scene)(9-14-2000)
    UPDATE: I hear there is more to this deal: hearing Roush will have a partner with the Denny’s sponsorship for the #16 car next year. Hank Aaron? Yes, the all time MLB Homer king, who was mentioned back at Atlanta in March as looking into becoming an owner with a Cup team. Also. some possible crew changes with the team: Crew Chief could be Jim Long, now of the #60 Power Team, and Team Manager being Garth Finley(9-15-2000)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR’s search for a black star driver, or a driver from another minority group, has been fruitless, but not for lack of interest or effort. Now Jack Roush is joining the search. Roush is working on a new sponsorship and driver development program with the goal of finding a talented minority driver and bringing him up to the Winston Cup tour over the next three years. Part of the current effort could involve Hank Aaron as they are talking about merging the #16 Kevin Lepage team into a company owned and managed by Hank Aaron….Hank Aaron Motorsports(PitNow)(9-19-2000)
  • Martin and a speedway: Mark Martin is branching out to a new venture in his racing career, becoming a track promoter. Martin has been working all summer on the construction of a brand new quarter-midget track located in the infield of New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, FL. The inspiration for this project was Martin’s eight-year-old son Matt, who began racing a quarter-midget last year near Orlando, FL. Martin wanted to have a track closer to home for many of the local kids(Speedway Scene)(9-19-2000)

    (9-18-2000)

  • #27 UPDATE 4: (see full story on the #27 Team News and Links page)..Wallace will join Eel River Racing and drive its #27 Pontiacs(Eel River Racing) next season. An official announcement about Wallace’s new team is expected Friday. Eel River Racing, owned by Jack Birmingham, may also undergo several changes as crew chief(and part owner) Barry Dodson said last week the team may change manufacturers in 2001(That’s Racin’)(8-31-2000)
    UPDATE 4: ESPN2’s RPM 2Night reports that the #27 Eel River Racing Team will stay with Pontiacs in 2001 with Kenny Wallace as the driver, it had been rumored that the team was possibly switching to Ford(9-18-2000)
  • #7 Driver? looks like the Bobby Hamilton rumor was incorrect(choke) and ESPN2’s NASCAR 2Day is reporting that Ron Hornaday and Randy LaJoie(didn’t he just sign with Joe Nemechek for a BGN ride?) are the two rumored drivers(9-17-2000)
    UPDATE: One of the men #7 owner Jim Smith is looking to sign to drive for him next season is Busch driver Randy LaJoie. However, Lajoie has insisted he’s not interested in a Cup ride(PitNow)(9-18-2000)
  • #4 driver? UPDATE: also reported on ESPN2’s NASCAR 2Day was that Chad Little could end up in the #4 Kodak Chevy fielded by Morgan-McClure(9-17-2000)
    UPDATE: Larry McClure says he’d like to find a young driver to run for his team next season. Two men he’ll be looking at: Ron Hornaday and Ed Berrier(PitNow)
    AND Larry McClure, owner of the #4 Kodak Chevy, said he has not started looking for a new driver yet. McClure and current driver, Bobby Hamilton, agreed Friday to part ways at the end of the season. McClure said if settles on a driver by the end of the season, and that driver isn’t already in the series, he may run that driver in a second car in the season finale at Atlanta(That’s Racin’)(9-18-2000)
  • Only Two Left: #22-Ward Burton is listed in NASCAR’s unofficial results as having an DNF(Did Not Finish) due to an Accident. This would be Burton’s first DNF of the 2000 season, leaving only #3-Dale Earnhardt and #18-Bobby Labonte as the only drivers who have made all 26 races so far this season and not have a DNF. See my DNF page for race by race rundown of the DNF’s and who have the most and least(9-18-2000)
  • Unapproved Parts: NASCAR officials confiscated two unapproved parts during Friday’s prequalifying inspections. An unapproved axle part was taken from the #8 Bud Chevy driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr., while an unapproved fuel system safety valve on the #66 BigKmart Ford driven by Darrell Waltrip. The parts was tagged and on display at the NASCAR hauler(That’s Racin’)(9-18-2000)
  • Garage Entrance Incident UPDATE 2: getting a ton of questions on this so….When #4-Bobby Hamilton entered the garage area at NHIS, a woman was walking near the car as he turned in, the woman walked into the side of the car and fell down, pretty hard. Hamilton stopped, the woman got up and TNN cut away and went back to the race. No mention was made on-air about the incident and I have seen nothing about it or know the condition of the woman or if she got hurt. If I do, I will post it
    UPDATE: Bobby Hamilton was involved with a little scuffle during Sunday’s Cup event which forced him to pilot his #4 Kodak Chevy into the garage area. On the way, he bumped a lady, an innocent bystander. The slow speed of the vehicle meant nothing but a small bump for the woman (and maybe a look of embarrassment for not hearing the bellowing vehicle beside her), but that’s one of the infield dangers presented at a NASCAR race(Foster’s Daily DemocratAND A team near-by member thought she was just fine, more surprised than anything. The car did not pass over her foot or leg but rather bumped her to the side(Speedway Illustrated)
    UPDATE 2: All reports I hear and RPM 2Night reports the woman is ok(9-18-2000)

(9-17-2000)

  • #77 Changes? ESPN2’s NASCAR 2Day is reporting that there may be changes at the #77 team, Penske Engines and a new driver were reported, no names mentioned(9-17-2000)
  • Craven’s Colors: #50 Ricky Craven has a bit of a different paint scheme at New Hampshire, a black hood, couldn’t tell exactly what it is, but have been told it is the logo of Ricky Craven Motorsports North, Belfast, Maine,(see the Ricky Craven site for the logo), looked to me like a battleship but I saw it quickly. Couldn’t tell as it was the first video(on ESPN2’s NASCAR 2Day) I have seen of any racing action at NHIS this weekend(9-17-2000)

    (9-16-2000)

  • Wilson Hired: Legendary crew chief and team manager Waddell Wilson has joined the staff at Jerico Performance Products as a consultant to racing teams and other customers. Waddell Wilson adds an unprecedented level of expertise to our customer service that reaffirms Jerico’s role as the leader in top-quality racing transmissions. Waddell Wilson will work out of Jerico’s Concord, North Carolina facility.(Speedway Illustrated)(9-16-2000)
  • Safety Devices at NHIS: Roush Racing owner Jack Roush said that all five of his teams plus the Woods will be carrying his new brake-pedal engine-cutoff switch this weekend, along with Ricky Rudd, Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart and he has 14 more available(PitNow)(9-16-2000)
  • Melling Changes UPDATE: hearing that Team Manager, Jeff Buice, and the #9 Melling Team have parted ways(9-13-2000)
    UPDATE: Stacy Compton said he has been approached by several teams about driver vacancies next season, but his preference would be to stay with Melling Racing(#9 Kodiak/Cougar team) in 2001. Melling is moving into the new Dodge program next season and Compton hopes that change will help improve the team. But Melling has lost team manager Jeff Buice, who has decided to pursue other opportunities. Compton said Buice has agreed to work with the team while it searches for his replacement. Buice spent a lot of time this week talking with Compton as the team prepared for the use of the restrictor-plate in this weekend’s race at New Hampshire(That’s Racin’)(9-16-2000)
  • TV News: As the broadcast schedules for the 2001 season begin to take shape, sources confirm that NBC has elected to pass on broadcasting Saturday night races at Bristol and Richmond on prime-time network television. Those races will be shown on TBS, the cable network partner for NBC in the second-half of the season. NBC does, however, plan to kick off its Winston Cup coverage with prime-time coverage of the Pepsi 400 from Daytona International Speedway in July(That’s Racin’)(9-16-2000)

    (9-15-2000)

  • Buckshot to Petty and the #44? UPDATE 2 Yep: hearing Buckshot Jones will be the driver for the #44 Petty Enterprises Dodge in 2001 and is bringing a sponsor along(9-13-2000)
    UPDATE: Billy Jones, owner of Buckshot Racing, confirmed Wednesday that his son is considering offers from two current Winston Cup teams and could make a decision as early as next week. The latest speculation has Jones driving the #44 car of Petty Enterprises, with Georgia Pacific as the primary sponsor(Atlanta Journal Constitution), not sure who the second team is but I reported back on July 7th: hearing that Buckshot Jones has a sponsor that will allow him to return to Winston Cup. Supposedly they will not run their own team but look to hook up with an existing team. Some rumors have Jones father talking to Yates Racing and Hendrick Motorsports(9-14-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Buckshot Jones will join Petty Enterprises next season as the driver of the #44 Dodge and the team has landed a primary sponsor, Georgia-Pacific, for next season. An announcement of the driver hire and sponsor addition will be made in the next few weeks(That’s Racin’)(9-15-2000)
  • John Deere to leave? UPDATE yes: been hearing many rumors that John Deere would be leaving the #97 Roush Racing Ford, nothing concrete. When the Little departure was announced a few weeks ago, it was reported that Roush and John Deere were negotiating as the contract is up at the end of 2000, but that John Deere would have a say in the selection of the new driver, which will be CTS driver Kurt Busch
    UPDATE: hearing it will be announced today that John Deere will leave the #97 as a sponsor and will not sponsor another team as they adjusting their promotional spending to better align with business objectives. John Deere will remain on the #97 until the end of the season
    UPDATE 2: It’s offical, reported on the John Deere site, pretty much what is in UPDATE 1 above(John Deere Site)(9-15-2000)
  • Joe Gibbs Racing Changes? PitNow is reporting that if Bobby Labonte wins the Winston Cup Championship, team owner Joe Gibbs may move his crew chief, Jimmy Makar to a Team Manager role, move Tony’s Stewart’s crew chief, Greg Zipadelli over to Labonte’s #18 Interstate Batteries team and hire a new crew chief for Stewart’s #20 Home Depot team, one name mentioned in the article is the #55 APR crew chief Jimmy Elledge(PitNow). Also still no word on if Home Depot will re-sign with Gibbs for the #20 Tony Stewart team, one rumor has Home Depot leaving and MBNA stepping up from a major associate sponsor to a primary sponsor on the #20 Pontiac(9-15-2000)
  • Busch to test at Dover? UPDATE 5 an in at Dover: hearing that Roush CTS driver, Kurt Busch, who is rumored to be taking the #97 John Deere Ford ride in 2001, will test a Roush Cup car(no idea what #) at Dover this week. If owner Jack Roush decides after the test that Busch is ready, he could make his Cup debut at Dover or Martinsville(9-11-2000)
    UPDATE: hearing again (see the #97 Team News page) that Busch will take over the #97 John Deere Ford at Dover for the rest of the year, not sure what Chad Little will do(if it happens)(9-12-2000)
    UPDATE 2: hearing day one of testing the #97 at Dover went well for Busch and unless something changes in Wednesday’s testing, Busch will probably be in the car at Dover and supposedly for all the remaining Cup races with the exception of Talladega(9-13-2000)
    UPDATE 3: noticed…the Chad Little section has been removed from the Official Roush Racing site
    UPDATE – a note from Chad: I have two more races in the #97 car, Loudon and Talladega. I will try my best to conclude my season with strong finishes. John Deere has been a great Sponsor and I will support their continued success in NASCAR. I want all of you to know that I am still very positive and confident that things will turn around. Roush Racing and I agreed it was best for both parties to start concentrating our efforts on next year. I am currently talking with several teams and will work very hard in securing the best possible ride for 2001(Chad Little Site)(9-14-2000)
    UPDATE 5: hearing Busch turned laps at Dover this week that would had put him on the front row/outside pole at Dover in June(9-15-2000)
  • Cruises Cancelled: the headline from the ABC News site: “Hundreds of passengers were stranded on cruise ships in the Bahamas, Mexico and Canada today after creditors seized control of the beleaguered Premier Cruise Lines company.” What does this have to do with NASCAR you ask? Because, Premier Cruise Lines, is the “The Cruise Line of NASCAR (see the NOL Story),” as promoted on their site. So just in case folks didn’t know, I have heard there were a few “NASCAR Themed” cruises that were to sail in the next weeks including the original “Alabama Gang” for a special “Legends of NASCAR” cruise on the Big Red Boat on September 18 and supposedly a “Wallace Brother’s” Cruise. So folks with plans with Premier may wish to contact them or your travel agent(the ABC News story says Officials at Premier, based in Cape Canaveral, FL, did not return telephone calls, but there is a voice message.(9-15-2000)
  • Exide PR? With Exide, basically, leaving motorsports all together, wonder what becomes of Exide Racing PR person, Chris Dirato? Am told Dirato and the agency he works for, NYC-based Kermish-Geylin Public Relations, will be considering team and/or sponsor PR program opportunities in the NASCAR community (Winston Cup, Busch or Trucks) for 2001. For contact info see a PR on my Press Release page: Jeff Burton PR(9-15-2000)
  • The No Bull fan? been asked by many what her plans were with Gordon’s penalty being announced: Shari Robertson of Savannah was paired with Dale Earnhardt in the No Bull five at Richmond on Saturday, and she would have won $1 million if the driver had won the race. Earnhardt finished second, but winner Jeff Gordon was penalized for using an “unapproved part.” However, NASCAR allowed Gordon to keep the victory, which kept a seven-figure check out of Robertson’s hands. Robertson said she has been contacted by lawyers wanting to represent her but has “no intention of seeking legal action.” A representative from Jeff Gordon’s team has promised to send some autographed souvenirs to Robertson’s 6-year-old son(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(9-15-2000)
  • Sharp to demo at Richmond UPDATE: IRL driver Scott Sharp will turn demonstration laps Saturday in his Kelley Racing/Delphi Automotive Systems/WorldCom Dallara/Aurora during this weekend’s NASCAR event, hoping to build interest for the IRNLS event, which runs at Richmond on June 30, 2001. Sharp will practice from 9:30-10:00am/et and then turn hot laps from 3:00-3:30pm/et and then lead a parade lap in front of packed grandstands at 6:30pm/et shortly before Cup cars enter the track(SpeedVision)(9-8-2000)
    UPDATE: Scott Sharp made a few show laps for the crowd mid-afternoon at Richmond and estimated that speeds could go as high as 170mph when the IRL debuts at the track next June. Sharp made four or five demo laps with only second and third gears and with his tires gobbling up rubber from a day of Winston Cup practice. Team members timed him at 19.8sec (136.1mph), but the idea more was to show the car in NASCAR-land(SpeedVision)(9-10-2000)
    UPDATE 2: see an image of the IRL car on my Richmond Track News Page(9-15-2000)
  • Testing for NHIS UPDATE: The #3 RCR team of driver Dale Earnhardt spent most of the day Tuesday at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, a 1/2-mile flat track located outside of Greenville, SC, to test their engine setup for New Hampshire. The two Winston Cup teams Earnhardt owns – those of #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #1-Steve Park – are planning to test Wednesday at Milwaukee. Richard Childress, Earnhardt’s car owner, had booked Greenville-Pickens in advance so his BGN driver, Kevin Harvick, could test. Earnhardt’s team joined Harvick’s Tuesday, with Harvick taking turns with both cars, and turning more than 50 laps with Earnhardt’s #3 Chevy(That’s Racin’)(9-13-2000)
    UPDATE: #99-Jeff Burton and #1-Steve Park tested the new NHIS restrictor plate engines and configurations at the Milwaukee Mile, simulatating restart and qualifying scenarios. In between sessions, Roush Racing and DEI crew members changed transmissions and worked specifically with transmission and rear end gear changes. Park had both cars on hand which will leave Milwaukee and go directly to New Hampshire(TNN and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Speeds? hearing from a source at the test that the speeds were in the 116mph area, the BGN pole this year at the track was 121.572mph(9-15-2000)
  • Irwin Tribute by Stewart: Tony Stewart, who raced against the late Kenny Irwin since their teenage years in Indiana, plans to honor his longtime rival on Sunday. Stewart is scheduled to wear a race helmet painted like Irwin’s in the Dura-Lube 300(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(9-15-2000)

    (9-14-2000)

  • #99 and #21 Sponsor News UPDATE 2: as reported a few weeks ago (see the #99 or #21 pages), CITGO will be the primary sponsor on the #99 Ford in 2001, hearing the paint scheme will not be the familiar red-orange/white/black but would be red, white, and blue. The #21 Wood Bros Ford is supposed to get Ford Quality Credit and be announced at Charlotte(9-10-2000)
    UPDATE: hearing that starting with the race at Charlotte in October, the #99 Ford will carry the CITGO colors for the balance of the 2000 season as CITGO has purchased the space from Exide. Exide continues to downgrade it’s motorsports expenses and while they have expressed interest in remaining as an associate sponsor on the #99 for the 2001 season, it’s only a slight chance as they continue to downsize in the company(9-11-2000)
    UPDATE 2: hearing the Ford ‘brand’ that will be featured on the #21 Ford will be Motorcraft which used to be featured on the #15 Bud Moore Fords back into the early 90’s(9-14-2000)


    (9-13-2000)

  • DEI and Walrtip…the PR and…: Dale Earnhardt announced today that Dale Earnhardt, Inc. will be expanding its motorsports program with the addition of a third Cup team in 2001. The newest DEI entry will be driven by Winston Cup veteran Michael Waltrip while carrying the blue and gold of NAPA AUTO PARTS. DEI currently has two NASCAR Winston Cup teams featuring drivers Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Steve Park. Terms of the multi-year agreement were not disclosed.(in part from a Champion Sports Group PR). No images of the car or car # yet
    UPDATE: It is not yet known what the car number will be, as Earnhardt indicated he’s currently working that out with NASCAR, nor who will be the team’s crew chief. Waltrip will continue to campaign his own Busch Team while driving for DEI(SpeedVision)(9-13-2000)
  • PR from Ultra Motorsports UPDATE and Dodge? statement from Jim Smith, Owner of #7 Nationsrent/Ultra Motorsports team: “We wish Michael Waltrip nothing but the best in his new ride. He is a fine person and a good race car driver, and we think he will do a fine job for his new owners. Everyone at Ultra Motorsports is moving forward and we’re planning on a big year in 2001. We’re working hard every day, and we feel we’re making some real progress. The finishes the past several races haven’t been indicative of how good the cars have been. Once the finishes start matching that, this NationsRent team is going to be a team to reckon with. My goal from the minute I purchased this team was to run up front and that goal hasn’t changed at all. Everything we do, including bringing in a new driver, will be with that goal 100 percent in mind.” and from Gary Stewart, Nationsrent Sr VP: “Michael Waltrip has been a great ambassador for the NationsRent team and we wish him only the best in his future with Dale Earnhardt Inc. Ultra Motorsports is working with NationsRent to continue to do everything possible to elevate the team’s level of performance, including securing a driver for our team in 2001. We are anticipating positive results for the remainder of the season and beyond.”(Williams Co)
    UPDATE: Michael Waltrip indicated that his parting with current team Ultra Motorsports was an amicable one. He had not yet signed a contract to continue with the Jim Smith-owned operation, and he said that Smith had decided to change marques to Dodge for the 2001 season, and he felt the opportunity with Earnhardt was too good to pass up.(SpeedVision). See the #7 Team News and Links page, for the history of the Dodge and #7 rumor(from August)(9-13-2000)
  • 3rd DEI team? it’s Back UPDATE 5, press conference and….: Rumor on the distant horizon: A third team for Dale Earnhardt Inc.?(SpeedVision) currently run the #1-Steve Park and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr teams. No drivers mentioned(5-28-2000)
    UPDATE: Ty Norris, head of DEI, isn’t enthusiastic about expanding with a third Cup team next season, but says he can’t rule it out. Michael Waltrip’s name has been coming up in connection with a third Cup team and other possibilities, following Jim Smith’s Ultra Motorsports merger with Mattei Motorsports. Smith, who runs Mike Wallace in the #2 CTS Ford truck, might want to put Wallace in a Cup car(PitNow)(5-29-2000)
    UPDATE 2: thought this rumor was dead and buried, but even though it was announced a few weeks ago that Michael Waltrip would be staying with the #7 Ultra Motorsports team (and switching to Ford), am hearing strong rumors that Waltrip will take a ride with DEI in a third team car for Earnhardt, becoming teammate with #1-Steve park and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr
    UPDATE 3: DEI has scheduled a 2:00pm/et news conference on Wednesday to announce it will field a third Winston Cup team in the 2001 season, with Waltrip being the apparent selection as the new team’s driver. The news conference has been scheduled for the DEI headquarters in Mooresville, N.C., where the Winston Cup cars driven by Steve Park and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are currently prepared(That’s Racin’). Note: also hearing that DEI will not field a BGN team in 2001 and Ron Hornaday will not be back but will finish out the 2000 season(9-11-2000)
    UPDATE 4: hearing that NAPA will move up from Earnhardt’s BGN team to sponsor the new third DEI team and Waltrip(9-12-2000)
    UPDATE 5: must be pretty real, now the AP is reporting it: Michael Waltrip to join Earnhardt stable, all that is left to know, is the car # (03?, 30?) and the crew chief? Kennedy? Kennon?(9-13-2000)
  • Bodine Released from the #60 UPDATE: after a week to week rumor for months, Geoffrey Bodine has been released of his driving duties at Bessey Motorsports today, the story from ESPN(in part): Geoffrey Bodine, who missed the first 10 Cup races this season as he recovered from injuries suffered in a horrific CTS crash at Daytona, was fired Monday as driver for Joe Bessey Motorsports #60 Power Team Chevy. Bessey, an occasional driver on the BGN, called Bodine and told him he would take over the car for the remaining nine Cup races this season. Bessey was not available for comment and team manager Mark Stinson said he preferred to let Bessey discuss the decision. The 51-year-old Bodine was in his second season driving for Bessey. The firing was not completely unexpected. Bessey also had previously suggested he might drive the car himself next season. Bodine said the truck accident — and Bessey’s failure to land a sponsor for next year — caused the team to struggle this season. With only nine races left this season, Bodine was unsure what he will do the rest of the year. Bodine had been talking to team owners about next year, but is now going to start looking for the rest of this year(ESPN site)(9-11-2000)
    UPDATE: Bodine says he’s contacted car owners about finding another ride for this season and next. He said he’s also contacted NBC about working as an analyst for the network’s coverage of Cup races next season, although Bodine added he wants to continue to race(Roanoke Times)(9-13-2000)
  • Gordon’s Engine…problem?? UPDATE 6 THE PENALTY, the Appeal, the reactions: am hearing that NASCAR officials said Sunday morning during post-race inspection that it found “issues” with the engine of Jeff Gordon’s car. Gordon won the Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night. Racing officials said “issues” with the #24 DuPont Chevy’s intake manifold. The “issues” will not affect the race’s official results, and any possible penalties will not be announced before Monday(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
    UPDATE: also see story on SpeedVision: ‘Issues’ Found in Gordon’s Engine by Ben Blake; AND the LTN Hour Radio Show reported the intake was made of magnesium, which would make it lighter. They will probably fine the team and possibly deduct points(9-10-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Winston Cup officials impounded the intake manifold from Jeff Gordon’s winning car at Richmond after finding an “issue” with the piece during the post-race inspection early Sunday morning. A NASCAR spokesperson said the outcome of Saturday night’s race at will not be affected if something is found wrong with the intake manifold. An announcement could come today(Monday) on NASCAR’s findings. If something is found to be wrong, NASCAR officials could issue a fine and take away driver and car owner points. Kevin Triplett, NASCAR’s director of operations, said series officials will further study the intake manifold, which helps the air flow into the engine and provide horsepower. Triplett would not say what the issue with the intake manifold is. Crew Chief Robbie Loomis thinks it is “just a thing with the manufacturer”(Roanoke Times)(9-11-2000)
    UPDATE 3: NASCAR doesn’t take away Winston Cup victories. That won’t be any different whenever NASCAR gets around to announcing penalties against Jeff Gordon’s race team for having an unapproved intake manifold on the #24 Chevy that won Saturday night’s race at Richmond(That’s Racin’)
    UPDATE 4: Jeff Gordon was interviewed on the John Boy & Billy radio show Tuesday morning and said the part in question wasn’t a Hendrick part, but manufactured by General Motors. Gordon said the team has been using the intake since May and that it has been through inspection before and never questioned. Gordon said that the measurements are not what is in question and that as far as the #24 team is concerned, it’s perfectly legal
    UPDATE – THE PENALTY: NASCAR officials announced today they have levied penalties for rules violations found during post-race inspection following the September 9, 2000 Cup race at Richmond. Robbie Loomis, crew chief for the #24 NASCAR Winston Cup Series team, has been fined $25,000 for violations of the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book, Section 12-4-Q: “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform… or have not been approved by NASCAR…” In addition to the fine, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 car, will suffer a loss of 100 driver points. A reduction of 100 owner points also has been levied against team owner, Rick Hendrick. “The General Motors intake manifold that the #24 team used during Saturday night’s race in Richmond has not been approved,” said Mike Helton, NASCAR’s Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “The GM part number on the casting was the same, however, a different material was used which altered the properties of the casting. “The changed casting was not resubmitted by GM for NASCAR’s approval in accordance with our procedures.”(NASCAR PR). I have made the adjustment to the Drivers Points and the Owners Points chart on the Provisional page. Gordon still retains 10th place in Drivers and Owners points with 3070 (down from 3170).
    AND from Hendrick Motorpsorts: “We have notified NASCAR that we will appeal the penalty imposed on the No. 24 team following our victory Saturday night in Richmond. Not only do we feel a full hearing on the facts will exonerate our team from any intentional wrong doing, but it will remove any cloud of suspicion cast over a great victory.” See full story at the Hendrick Motorsports Site(9-12-2000)
    UPDATE 6 – GM’s Response: see it at That’s Racin’: Text of General Motors Racing’s response.(9-13-2000)
  • Kyle, Safety and Fox: As the Winston Cup circuit returns to Loudon, New Hampshire, the National Sports Report’s weekly NASCAR feature will deal with safety in the sport. Earlier this year, two NASCAR drivers were killed in separate practice accidents at the Loudon track. Thursday night’s show will feature Alex Flanagan’s report on what NASCAR is trying to do to make the sport safer. Friday night, Winston Cup veteran Kyle Petty will join our Chris Myers to talk about how their family is dealing with the tragic loss of 19-year old Adam. The National Sports Report airs on Fox Sports Net nightly at 10pm and Midnight in each time zone(9-13-2000)

    (9-12-2000)

  • Bodine vs Spencer: Brett Bodine said he regrets on-track incidents that seem to be affecting his relationship with driver Jimmy Spencer. The pair has tangled twice on the track in two weeks. Bodine said he called Spencer twice last week after the incident at Darlington and that the calls were not returned. He took the blame for a Lap 184 accident Saturday that left Spencer fuming(see more at the Times-Dispatch)(9-12-2000)

    (9-11-2000)

  • Fine: #55 crew chief Jimmy Elledge was fined $10,000 by NASCAR for trailing arms that were modified to be lighter than the specifications in the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book. The infraction was discovered in preliminary inspections on Friday for last Saturday’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond(NOL/NASCAR PR)(9-11-2000)
  • #66 ride – Carter Waiting on Gordon UPDATE 4 Gordon stays with the #13 – Bodine in? as reported on ESPN2’s RPM 2Night, #66 team owner, Travis Carter, is waiting on Robby Gordon’s decision to either drive the #66 Big Kmart/Rt 66 Ford in 2001 or if Gordon will stay with the #13 Team Gordon team that he partially owns, which is looking for a primary sponsor. Also see story at the Kingsport Times News. Hearing Gordon has until the end of today to give his answer. Supposedly Todd Bodine is also in the running for the #66(9-5-2000)
    UPDATE: well, the end of Tuesday came and went, have heard nothing on Gordon’s decision(9-6-2000)
    UPDATE 2: starting to hear that Gordon will not be the driver in 2001 and that now Stacy Compton, driver of the #9 Melling Ford is under consideration but I thought he was pretty much a done deal with Melling and the teams move to Dodge and the #92 in 2001. Also in a story Compton is quoted recently: “We’ve already started hiring people, I was down at the shop and we’ve got a lot of new guys in place that I hadn’t met. They’ve kept us pretty busy lately and I’ve been on the road doing things and testing and hadn’t had a chance to go by the shop, but we’re already putting people in place and hiring people. The ball has started rolling now. We’ve got a ways to go, but we’re already starting to put people in place because the season is winding to an end and next year is gonna be here before you know it.’’(DIS PR)(9-9-2000)
    UPDATE 3: Robby Gordon said Saturday he has no plans to move to another team next season, saying he was going to “stay the course and maintain the status quo” with his current operation. The next race his team plans to enter is at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. In the past few weeks, Gordon has been among the drivers that car owner Travis Carter has discussed the opening that will occur next season in his #66 Fords following Darrell Waltrip’s retirement(That’s Racin’)(9-10-2000)
    UPDATE 4: hearing that Todd Bodine is the preferred choice of Carter for the #66 ride(9-11-2000)
  • Testing for NHIS: since teams cannot test at NHIS this week (until practice on Friday), some teams are testing at other tracks: #1-Steve Park, will test at Milwaukee this week(PitNow); #21-Elliott Sadler tested a restricotr plate in a test run on Saturday in Richmond, the run slowed Sadler’s car by more than a second a lap compared to the lap times without the restrictor plate(which equates to 6-10mph less)(Cox Marketing PR)(9-11-2000)
  • Hut’s Plans: Hut Stricklin has plans for a $1 million, 10-acre motorsports complex across the street from his Rowan County(NC) home, with the idea to launch a BGN race team at the site. Stricklin, who drives the #90 Hills Brothers Ford for Junie Donlavey’s Richmond-based team, wants the facility to be large enough for two cars and the teams to support them. But those plans have encountered problems before the first bolt can be turned in the proposed race shop. The agricultural zoning on the site allows construction only on 10% of the acreage, meaning only an acre of land could contain buildings at the site. And a rezoning to allow industrial use seems unlikely after Rowan County planners said the complex wouldn’t fit with the agricultural uses around the proposed site. Stricklin says he wants to pursue the idea but not at the expense of offending his neighbors along Caldwell Road near the Mount Ulla community. Stricklin’s plans call for two structures on the property: a 43,000-square-foot main shop where finishing work would be done and a 30,000-square-foot fabrication shop where the Busch cars would be assembled as a preliminary step. Stricklin says he’s heard that neighbors are concerned about engine noise at the site, but he doesn’t plan an engine shop, which are the loudest of race operations, at the site(Charlotte Business Journal)(9-11-2000)
  • Stewart to help out: #20 Home Depot driver, Tony Stewart (along with former president Jimmy Carter) will be in Harlem, NY on Tuesday, working with Habitat for Humanity to help build a house there(9-11-2000)
  • Sad News: Michael Schumacher’s F-1 win in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix in Monza was tempered by the death of a track worker. Paolo Ghislimberti, 33, a track crew member, was killed by flying debris after a first-lap chain collision. The crash that killed Ghislimberti came on the second curve on the course. Seven cars were sent off the track, leaving 15 drivers in the race. Schumacher could not stop sobbing following the awards ceremony(AJC/AP)(9-11-2000)

(9-10-2000)

  • Restrictor Plates at NHIS? UPDATE 5 it’s OFFICIAL: hearing that NASCAR officials will announce Saturday that they will run 1-inch carburetor restrictor plates at next weekend’s Duralube 300 Winston Cup race at the New Hampshire. The restrictor plates will cut approximately 250-300 horsepower from the engines, in turn slowing speeds down by 15-20 mph
    UPDATE: NASCAR has decided to use restrictor-plates on Winston Cup cars during next weekend’s Dura Lube 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway, several sources confirmed Friday. Restrictor plates have been used since 1988 to slow down Cup and BGN cars at Daytona and Talladega. As a result, pole-winning speeds at the two tracks dropped from the 210-mph range to the 195-mph(more like 185 now) range. But Daytona and Talladega are high-banked tracks, while Loudon is nearly flat(CNN/SI and That’s Racin’)
    UPDATE 2: Although NASCAR officials deny that any decision has been made on the matter, word throughout the Richmond garage Friday was that the matter is a go, and some teams say they already have gone to work on the engines for next week(SpeedVision)(9-8-2000)
    UPDATE 3: NASCAR is expected to announce today that Winston Cup cars will use restrictor plates when they race next weekend at New Hampshire. Several drivers said NASCAR officials told them that various “soft wall” barriers were tested at the New Hampshire track this week, but that the results were unsatisfactory. Drivers said they were told the problems included debris from foam blocks flying into the grandstands or back across the track in these tests. As news of the change spread Friday morning, teams began scrambling to get ready for restrictor plates at a track where they’ve never used them before. None of the teams will be allowed to test at New Hampshire – testing is banned at a track for the seven days preceding a race there – so calls were being placed to other tracks to arrange for testing time early next week. Helton said it is possible next weekend’s schedule at New Hampshire will be altered to allow more practice time.(That’s Racin’)
    UPDATE 4: NASCAR officials announced additional safety-related measures for use at the Sept. 16 Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring event and the Sept. 17 NASCAR Winston Cup Series event at NHIS. Teams in all will be required to use one-inch restrictor plates for practice, qualifying and the races. And all will take pre-practice laps behind the pace car to ensure proper brake temperature prior to full-speed practice runs. Teams can expect a reduction of approximately 10 mph at top speed.(in part from NASCAR Online), No idea if they will run more then one qualifying lap (as Daytona and Talladega do), more articles on the NHIS plate at my Story/Article Link Page(9-9-2000)
    UPDATE 5: NASCAR Discusses Plate Issue by Ben Blake of SpeedVision; and What’s being said about safety in the garage area by David Poole of That’s Racin'(9-10-2000)
  • Wreckers: just an observation – never saw two tow trucks ‘tow’ a car like they did with Michael Waltrip’s car. One going forward, hooked to the back of the #7 and one going backwards, hooked to the front of the car. I understand this is used quite a bit at smaller tracks, but had never seen it during a Cup race before(9-10-2000)
  • Switch Test at Richmond UPDATE: NASCAR also approved a live test of an ignition interrupter system – the so-called “dumb switch” – in this weekend’s races at Richmond. The switch, originally devised in CART by chief steward Wally Dallenbach, has been developed for NASCAR applications by Jack Roush. The system provides for an involuntary kill of the engine in cases of a stuck throttle. NASCAR has mandated throttle-linkage stops and auxiliary kill switches on all cars since the death of Kenny Irwin in a crash at New Hampshire July 7. It also has evaluated several other options, including so-called “soft wall” technology, but has not found a fail-safe one(SpeedVision)(9-8-2000)
    UPDATE: my understanding is, the switch was used in practice only and not in the race, results so far are inconclusive AND Jack Roush said Saturday morning that some teams had changed their minds about their plans to use the ignition interrupter system his company has developed in Saturday night’s race. A problem with a sensor in the system that had been installed on Bobby Labonte’s car apparently caused the decisions to be reconsidered. Six teams were originally scheduled to run the system, which shuts off an engine when sensors detect 850-900 pounds of brake pressure and a throttle at or nearly at fully open at the same time.(That’s Racin’)(9-10-2000)
  • Tires: NASCAR announced last night it was banning tire-rating machines but would finally let Goodyear engineers provide that data to Winston Cup teams. The $40,000 machines have been proliferating in the garage as spring-rating of tires has become increasingly important to crew chiefs(PitNow)(9-10-2000)
  • Bodine Subs: Brett Bodine, who went out midway in the race at Richmond, relieved Chad Little, driver of the #97 John Deere Ford as Little suffered from exhaustion when the cooling system in his car failed(That’s Racin’)(9-10-2000)

    (9-9-2000)

  • Long News: #85-Carl Long, did not go to Richmond because his motor was not ready. Long had been on the Entry List. Long plans to make a run at Dover on Sept 24th(9-9-2000)
  • Sad News: A volunteer usher at Richmond International Raceway died from a heart attack during Thursday night’s race. Coleman E. Potteiger, 62, of Glen Allen, VA was at the race with his son. He was planning on working as a volunteer usher at last night’s Autolite 250. Potteiger is survived by his wide, Gloria, and son Coleman E. Potteiger II(Times Dispatch)(9-9-2000)
  • Dodge Engines: NASCAR supposedly has decided not to limit the bore size of the new Dodge engine, according to NASCAR sources, and that means the new engine could be this sport’s first 10,000RPM motor. The design of the new Dodge has worried both Ford and GM engineers, who have politicked NASCAR to put some limits on the design(PitNowAND see a story at That’s Racin’: Evernham says engine work `coming along’(9-9-2000)
  • #99 Crew: Jeff Burton’s #99 Exide team will use two new over-the-wall pit crew members at Richmond. Burton’s car chief, Pierre Kuettel, will serve as the team’s front-tire changer this week, while Fred Martin, who works for Jason Keller’s #57 BGN team, will serve as front-tire carrier. The positions are week to week(That’s Racin’)(9-9-2000)

    (9-8-2000)

  • #7 to Dodge?? UPDATE 3 maybe? here is a wild one, hearing the Ultra Motorsports #2 CTS team will become a two truck team in 2001 with Dennis Setzer driving the 2nd truck and having Mopar as the sponsor. Supposedly, both CTS teams will switch to Dodge and…get this….the #7 Ultra Motorsports Winston Cup team, with driver Michael Waltrip, may switch to Dodge. Interesting as they are presently switching to Ford from Chevy starting at Talladega for the rest of 2000 and are buying Fords for showcars…plus, the thought was that ten Winston Cup cars/teams were Dodges goal for 2001 and they have reached that(8-28-2000)
    UPDATE: The Ultra Motorsports Truck team will switch to Dodge in 2001, Dennis Setzer is supposedly going to drive the truck unless he moves up to BGN or Cup. The #2 Ultra Motorsports CTS team will switch from Fords to Dodges. Mopar will be the sponsor of Setzers team and Setzer’s crew cheif, Howard Comstock is expected to switch to Ultra Motorsports. Mopar, Setzer and Comstock all were with KMotorsports the last two years. Ok, as for the Cup team? Ultra Motorsports owner, Jim Smith, says that the move to Dodge trucks will not affect his Winston Cup program, which is converting from Chevy to Ford at present and will start running Fords at Talladega in Oct 2000(Winston Cup Scene Print Version)(8-31-2000)
    UPDATE: Dodge Motorsports and Ultra Motorsports announced Thursday they have formed an alliance whose goal is the 2001 CTS championship. Ultra Motorsports, which currently fields the #2 Team ASE Ford for Mike Wallace in the CTS and #7 NationsRent Chevy for Michael Waltrip in the Cup, will field a two-truck Dodge factory-supported team from its race shop in Mooresville, NC. Team ASE will remain as primary sponsor on the #2 truck while Mopar sponsorship and the number “1” will move to the other truck(NOL). No mention of the Cup team changing(9-7-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Jim Smith, owner of Ultra Motorsports, Thursday announced plans to expand to a two-team operation in Craftsman Trucks and to change over from Ford to Dodge. He also indicated his Winston Cup team, the #7 with Michael Waltrip, could expand and join Dodge as well. The announcement said only that Ultra will have the #1 and #2 Trucks next season. Dennis Setzer drives the #1 this season for the Keselowski team, and it appears that Ultra and/or Dodge somehow will take over the Keselowski’s assets. Smith said the idea is to continue with Wallace and Setzer in Trucks, but that nothing is assured yet. The complication, he hinted, is his Winston Cup effort. This summer, Smith bought the #7 from Jim Mattei and converted the cars to Fords. Smith has indicated he may run Wallace in a second Cup car next year, which could skew the picture in Trucks. Waltrip is said to be solid(actually signed thru 2001). How about Dodges in Cup? “There’s a good chance we could go with the Intrepid,” Smith said. Dodge officials have said 10 teams is the maximum the “factory” effort will support, and Dodge already has a roster of 10 for its 2001 Cup debut. Dodge officials say all teams are welcome to run the car(in part from SpeedVision)(9-8-2000)
  • Grand Marshall: Retired NASCAR champion Ned Jarrett, now a TV commentator, will serve as grand marshal for the Oct. 11 Mark Collie Celebrity Race for Diabetes Cure at Nashville Speedway(Tennessean)(9-8-2000)

    (9-7-2000)

  • Driver Strike?? UPDATE 4: from Ed Hinton of the Chicago Tribune/Orlando Sentinel – “Rumblings of the first NASCAR drivers strike in 31 years began at Darlington Raceway Saturday–not regarding Sunday’s Southern 500, but the Sept. 17 race at New Hampshire International Speedway, the site of fatal crashes by Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin earlier this year. Meanwhile, a management shakeup is imminent in NASCAR, according to well-placed sources, which would put Jim France, younger brother of cancer-stricken NASCAR President Bill France Jr., firmly and visibly in charge of the organization, which has experienced a difficult season on several fronts.” See full story at the Chicago Tribune: NASCAR Drivers Hint Boycott(9-3-2000)
    UPDATE: Bobby Labonte and other drivers indicated Sunday that they will compete at New Hampshire on Sept. 17 whether changes are made at the track or not, but they won`t be happy about it. Clearly, drivers intend to keep up the pressure on both NASCAR and New Hampshire officials to put up “soft walls” in the sharp turns at the one-mile track(Ed Hinton/Orlando SentinelAND see RacingOne’s story: Cup Drivers Revolt by Lee Spencer(9-4-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Being interviewed by satellite from the High Point, NC studios of WGHP, Bobby Labonte was asked during Jeanne Zelasko’s interview on Tuesday’s “National Sports Report” on Fox Sports Net: “How realistic is this boycott?”, see the MotorsportsTV site for the answers, pretty interesting(9-6-2000)
    UPDATE 3 a followup: Drivers undergo attitude adjustment by Ed Hinton(Orlando Sentinel) AND a story and thoughts at the Speedway Illustrated site: Winston Cup Drivers Boycott at Loudon?(9-7-2000)
    UPDATE 4 Drivers…no boycott/strike: Drivers: There hasn’t been talk of a boycott by Al Pearce(Daily Press) PLUS more columns/articles about safety on the Story/Article Links page(9-7-2000)
  • Elliott to Race at RIR: After missing the last two Cup races due to a fractured left kneecap, Bill Elliott will practice on Friday in hopes of attempting to qualify for this weekend’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond. Elliott suffered a multi-fracture of his left kneecap in a home accident, Aug. 22, in Blairsville, Ga. He had surgery the same day at HEALTHSOUTH Medical Center in Birmingham, Ala. The 90-minute surgery was performed by Dr. James Andrews, who inserted three steel pins and a steel wire to repair the fractured kneecap. The injury forced Elliott to miss Bristol and Darlington. David Green drove the McDonald’s #94 Ford in Elliott’s absence(McDonalds PR)(9-7-2000)
  • Marcis Speaks: Dave Marcis, when he’s asked about last weekend’s race at Darlington Raceway, where he was involved in at least two wrecks, he won’t duck the issue. About the incident with leader Jeremy Mayfield, Marcis claims innocence. “I was not a lapped car,” Marcis said. “I was going to be if he got me, but I wasn’t yet. I had a good car. You can’t tell me any of those guys haven’t raced just as hard to try to stay on the lead lap at one time or another. That’s what racing is all about.” See more at Total Sports(9-7-2000)
  • #55 Like Lightning: The #55 Square-D/Cooper Lighting/Halo Chevy, driven by Kenny Wallace, will have a different look this week at Richmond. It’ll have lightning bolts in the paint scheme. See a few images of the car in the shop on my Paint Schemes Gallery(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)
  • DW Help: CTS driver/owner, Jeff Spraker will be working with Darrell Waltrip this weekend at Richmond as a chassis consultant. Spraker worked with Waltrip earlier this year (in July for three races – Pocono, NHIS and Indy). Spraker has a vast amount of experience in racing, as he started his career in 1979 running Modifieds on asphalt tracks back east and experience in BGN, the CTS and operates his own shop(9-7-2000)

    (9-6-2000)

  • Kyle and Cup in 2000? UPDATE yep: saw in a testing story at the Martinesville Speedway site that Kyle Petty would be testing the #45 car at the track on Sept 19th and 20th. Hearing that Petty will run two Cup races for Sprint in the #45 Chevy/Pontiac this season, looks like Martinsville will be one of the two(9-6-2000)
  • Andrews Fined: Paul Andrews, crew chief for the #1 Pennzoil Chevy driven by Steve Park, has been fined $7,000 by NASCAR for improperly attached weight found on Park’s car in prerace inspection at Bristol(That’s Racin’)(9-6-2000)
  • Double/Triple Duty at RIR: Many drivers will run in two of the three Richmond NASCAR events this weekend. Attempting double duty are:
    Bobby Hamilton – #4 Kodak Chevy(Cup) and #4 Dana Dodge(CTS);
    Ken Schrader – #36 M&M’s Pontiac(Cup) and #52 Federated Auto Parts Chevy(CTS);
    Mark Martin – #6 Valvoline Ford(Cup) and #60 Winn Dixie Ford(BGN);
    Steve Grissom – #44 Hot Wheels Pontiac(Cup) and #43 Dodge Dodge(CTS);
    Sterling Marlin – #40 Coors Light Chevy(Cup) and #01 BellSouth Chevy(BGN);
    Michael Waltrip – #7 Nations Rent Chevy(Cup) and #7 Band Aid Chevy(BGN);
    Ted Musgrave – #01 BellSouth Chevy(Cup) and #82 ChannelLock Chevy(BGN);
    Dave Blaney – #93-Amoco Pontiac(Cup) and #20 AT&T Pontiac(BGN);
    Jeff Burton – #99-Exide Ford(Cup) and #9 Northernlight.com Ford(BGN);
    Jimmy Spencer – #26 Kmart Ford(Cup) and #12 Zippo Chevy(BGN);
    Kenny Wallace – #55 Square-D/Cooper Lighting Chevy(Cup) and #25 Lance Snacks Chevy(BGN);
    Steve Park – #1 Pennzoil Chevy(Cup) and #31 Whelen Chevy(BGN); Kevin Lepage – #16 FamilyClick.com Ford(Cup) and #71 Redman Ford(BGN); Casey Atwood – #27 Castrol Chevy(BGN) and #19 Motorola Ford(Cup);
    Matt Kenseth – #17 DeWalt Ford(Cup) and #17 Visine Chevy(BGN), will NOT race in the CTS;
    Hermie Sadler – #6 Hotjobs.com Chevy(BGN) and #29 Dodge(CTS);
    Mike Wallace – #2 Ultra Wheels Ford(CTS) and #77 Lear Ford(BGN);
    David Green? – #34-AFG Chevy(BGN) and if Elliott can’t go – #94 McDonalds Ford;
    And one driver, Elliott Sadler, will try to run in all three events: #21 CITGO/VA Tech Ford(Cup), #15 Hot Tamales Chevy(BGN), and #84 Fordracing.com Ford(CTS)(9-5/6-2000)
  • Man of the Year: Jeff Gordon is the third-quarter nominee for NASCAR’s Man of the Year award, which recognizes a driver for his contributions to the community off the race track. Ward Burton was the first-quarter nominee and Jeff Burton was the second-quarter selection. The winner of the year’s award gets $100,000 to be split between the winner and his designated charity(That’s Racin’)(9-6-2000)
  • Marcis Part time in 2001 UPDATE 2: this weeks Winston Cup Scene mentions that Dave Marcis says this could be his last season he runs the Cup circuit full time and that he may go to a limited schedule in 2001(7-27-2000)
    UPDATE: Dave Marcis, driver of the #71 Realtree Chevy, said Thursday he plans to run only about 10 races in 2001. A sponsorship deal for next year has not been finalized, and instead of attempting to stretch his limited resources throughout an entire season, Marcis said he plans to focus on a handful of tracks next year where he thinks he can muster some good finishes. As for his plans after he gets out of the driver’s seat, Marcis says they’re still up in the air. He’s not ready to stop driving yet. Marcis has competed in 871 races, which is the most of all active drivers and second overall behind Richard Petty’s 1,177(Kingsport Times News)(8-25-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Dave Marcis says that he plans to drive in only 10 events next year and that Kerry Earnhardt, son of Dale Earnhardt, could drive in some of the other races. Kerry Earnhardt drove Marcis’ car at Michigan last month(Roanoke Times)(9-6-2000)
  • Martinsville Testing UPDATE: the #01-BellSouth Chevy and driver Ted Musgrave will test at Martinsville Speedway on Tues Sept 5th and Wed Sept 6th(Martinsville Speedway PR)(9-5-2000)
    UPDATE: see an updated story at the Martinsville Speedway Site(9-6-2000)
  • Whatever happened to… Dave Despain? I get asked this often too. Despain was the first host of ESPN2’s NASCAR 2Day a few years ago. He now covers motorcycle racing for SpeedVision and even writes a column there. Bad news is, that he recently got in an accident, good news is, he is going to be ok. Read about it in his latest SpeedVision column: Devil Inside(9-6-2000)

    (9-5-2000)

  • Hamilton to Stay at the #4: Bobby Hamilton and the Morgan-McClure Motorsports team may not be enjoying the success they hoped for this year, but team owner Larry McClure said that there are no plans to make a driver change in the #4 Kodak Film Chevy as Hamilton is signed through 2001 and they have no intentions of making a driver change. Hamilton’s name has come up in recent weeks as a possible driver for several teams, including the #01 BellSouth Chevy fielded by Chip Ganassi(Kingsport Times News)(9-5-2000)
  • Atwood’s Cup Debut REPOST: Casey Atwood will attempt to make his Winston Cup debut on Sept 9th at Richmond. Atwood who will drive Ray Evernham’s #19 Dodge in 2001 will drive a #19 Elliott Ford as the Dodges will not run until 2001(Tennessean) Sponsor will be Motorola(7-25/9-5-2000)
  • Hunter and NASCAR? Jim Hunter, a veteran NASCAR official, after several years at Darlington, is being pressed into a much more high-profile role, lately as head of the France family’s Darlington, Rockingham and Richmond tracks, next perhaps as new head of the NASCAR’s public-relations operation(PitNow)(9-5-2000)
  • 2nd Ultra Motorsports at RIR? REPOST UPDATE: #7 Ultra Motorsports owner Jim Smith said he will run a second Cup car for Wallace at Richmond on Sept. 9 and may enter Wallace in a Chevrolet at Charlotte, Phoenix or Homestead in the final weeks of the season. Plans to move Wallace over to a full-time second Winston Cup team, however, would depend on finding sponsorship(That’s Racin’)(7-26/9-5-2000), Wallace is not listed on NOL’s Entry List
  • TV Show: on The Learning Channel – Crunch: Sports Collisions and Recoveries Crash and Smash(9:00pm). The description: Travel the long road to recovery with injured athletes. An Australia Rules Football sensation snaps his leg bones; a skydiver collides mid-air with a teammate; a NASCAR driver wrecks at 200 mph.; an NHL hockey player shreds his knee ligaments. The description sounds a tad morbid, but I understand it is actually more about the player’s recovery process, I hear the NASCAR accident is about Ernie Irvan’s Michigan wreck(The Learning Channel Site)(9-5-2000)

    (9-4-2000)

  • #21 Sponsor: look for the #21 Wood Brothers team and driver Elliott Sadler to announce their new primary sponsor at Charlotte in October. Quality Care/Ford Credit(or some sort of Ford sponsorship), who is rumored to be leaving the #88 RYR team, will supposedly be named the new sponsor(RPM 2Day on Sunday)(9-4-2000)
  • Labonte and a Ford Part: Bobby Labonte will have a part prepared by a Ford team installed on his Pontiac before the race at New Hampshire in two weeks. Labonte, who wrecked his primary car in practice on Friday when the throttle stuck, plans to use an electronic device developed by Roush Racing. Using sensors on the brakes and in the intake manifold, the device automatically shuts off the engine when it is running wide open and the driver is pushing the brake pedal extremely hard. Jeff Burton plans to run one too, as soon as it is ready(AJC)(9-4-2000)
  • #01 2001 Driver: Ted Musgrave, who will finish the season in the BellSouth-sponsored car driven earlier this year by Irwin(when it was #42), is reportedly one of the finalist to drive the car full-time in 2001. Other drivers mentioned as potential pilots of the #01 Chevrolet include Bobby Hamilton and Chad Little(AJC)(9-4-2000)
  • Jarrett’s Streak Continues: #88-Dale Jarrett extended his streak of fifteen straight top-10 finishes (20th top-10 finish of 2000) at Darlington, finishing 5th. The streak goes back to the race at California(9-4-2000)

(9-3-2000)

  • Sacks Appears: Former Cup and BGN race winner Greg Sacks was in the Darlington garage area Saturday morning walking around and letting everyone know he is “in great health and available” for a driving job. Sacks said he had several sponsorship opportunities brewing and that it was easy to get “out of the loop” if not in the garage area on a weekly basis so he was on hand to meet with as many people as possible regarding possible opportunities(NOL)(9-3-2000)
  • Penske to BGN with Newman? to CUP? UPDATE 3: Stan Herzog of Herzog Motorsports announced Sunday that primary sponsor ALLTEL has decided to leave his #92 BGN team and driver Jimmie Johnson after the 2000 season. The company was expected to renew its sponsorship this past weekend with a plan to expand into Winston Cup in 2001. The deal fell through on Friday when ALLTEL called Herzog and informed the team of its intentions to switch sponsorship to Team Penske in 2001(St Joseph News-Press(MO)). I hear Ryan Newman will drive the Penske BGN car. He has tested Cup and ARCA cars recently and run in a few ARCA races for Penske
    UPDATE: hmm…hearing now that this will be another Penske Cup team, with Newman driving(7-5-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Penske Motorsports is planning on expanding its operation and will field a BGN entry next season with Ryan Newman, an open-wheel racing star, ThatsRacin.com has learned. Newman’s team will run a full schedule next season in the BGN with Alltel as sponsor and plans are to move to the Winston Cup series in 2002. John Erickson, general manager of Penske Racing South, said Friday he would not comment on the BGN plans, but did say Newman will drive in four more Automobile Racing Club of America series events this season for the team – Pocono, Talladega, Charlotte and Atlanta. Newman ran in the ARCA race at Michigan for Penske(That’s Racin’)(7-8-2000)
    UPDATE 3 Newmans Plans: Ryan Newman is planning on adding some BGN races to his schedule this season. Newman is on track to be Rusty Wallace’s and Jeremy Mayfield’s Winston Cup teammate in 2002. Next season, Newman is planning to run five ARCA, five Cup and 14 BGN races. He moves to Cup with Penske in 2002 with Alltel as a sponsor(Times-Dispatch)(9-3-2000)
  • Less Power? AJC is reporting that NASCAR’s Chief Operating Officer Mike Helton said Saturday that the sanctioning body is considering dropping the maximum cubic inch limit from just over 355 to around 305. The changes are being contemplated in an effort to slow the cars, which should make for more side-by-side racing. But Helton said changes to the car’s aerodynamics probably would be part of the change(Atlanta Journal Constitiution/AJC)(9-3-2000)

    (9-2-2000)

  • Safety Disagreement Articles at That’s Racin’: NASCAR’S Helton defends safety efforts by Jim Utter; AND 3 Top drivers question interest in safety at New Hampshire by David Poole, which says in part: Three of Winston Cup racing’s top stars disagree strongly with NASCAR chief operating officer Mike Helton, who said Saturday the sanctioning body doesn’t believe New Hampshire International Speedway must have a soft-wall barrier in place before the Winston Cup circuit returns to that track. Dale Jarrett, Jeff Gordon and Rusty Wallace all said they would be upset if there are no changes to the walls at the New Hampshire track in time for the race there on Sept. 17.(9-2-2000)
  • MRN and PRN? UPDATE No: hearing some talk about the possibility of the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and the Performance Racing Network (PRN) combining operations so there is only one radio network covering all Winston Cup races. NASCAR’s official position may be that it’s taking back the radio rights just like it took over the TV rights. Assuming that it’s MRN who wins the battle, NASCAR would have to give Bruton Smith and SMI something in return because it would mean the end of PRN. This speculation has led some to believe the “something” that Bruton is asking for is . . . the much ballyhooed second Winston Cup date for Texas(MotorsportsTV)
    UPDATE a source tells me: The folks at PRN have met recently with NASCAR and nothing is going to change except PRN will take over Las Vegas in 2002. Fact is both networks are integrated heavily into each company’s marketing program and could not easily be combined. At this point no one is going to even try(9-2-2000)
  • Testing Changes? There has been speculation in recent weeks on whether NASCAR would curtail or even eliminate testing before next season, but chief operating officer Mike Helton said he thinks the current system works well. Before the start of the 1999 season, NASCAR changed the testing policy to limit teams to seven tests per season on Winston Cup tracks(10 for rookies). Teams can test as many times as they wish on tracks not used in the series(That’s Racin’)(9-2-2000)
  • Rules Changes? NASCAR Director of Operations Kevin Triplett said a change may be made to the Cup cars before Talladega. The cars of Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Ricky Rudd were tested in the wind tunnel on Monday. Triplett said the decision on a change would be made before a high number of Cup teams tested for the final time before the race. Teams begin testing for the race as early as Sept. 11(Times Dispatch)(9-2-2000)
  • Eel River Racing, Two Cars in 2001? during an interview with ESPN, current #27 driver Mike Bliss said he has not been told to look around for a new ride and that there is a chance the Eel River Racing #27 team could expand to a have two teams/cars in 2001(ESPN Qualifying Show)(9-2-2000)
  • Cup Schedule: now hearing that the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup schedule will be released in two week, in the mean time, check out my Unofficial 2001 Cup Schedule(9-2-2000)
  • Wallace scheme: hearing Rusty Wallace will run a special Miller scheme on the #2 Ford at Atlanta in November’s season finale. Supposedly a 10th Anniversary car (between Miller and Wallace)…this is all I have heard and do not have an image of it(9-2-2000)
  • Irwin Honored: The late Kenny Irwin was to be inducted into the Darlington Record Club for winning the pole at the 1999 Southern 500(AP)(9-2-2000)
  • Ward to help out McLaughlin UPDATE 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)


    (9-1-2000)

  • Fuller/#98 back to Cup UPDATE: Jeff Fuller will be back in Winston Cup, probably at Atlanta(2000) in the #98 MacPherson Motorsports Fords. Chip MacPherson bought out Cale Yarborough recently. Veteran Crew Chief Vic Kangas will be the crew chief of the operation(Speedway Scene Print Edition). NOTE: I had mistaken MacPherson Motorsports with Millennium Motorsports in an earlier story, see more below(8-30-2000)
    UPDATE: After having been dormant since the end of the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, the #98 will once again return to full-time competition in 2001. MacPherson Motorsports, which purchased the assets of the #98 Cale Yarborough Motorsports team in June, formally announced their plans to run the entire 2001 Winston Cup schedule. Rookie driver Jeff Fuller from Auburn, MA, will run Ford Tauruses for the Concord, N.C.-based team with veteran crew chief Vic Kangas heading the effort. Fuller will contend for Rookie of the Year honors in 2001, as he competed in only six Winston Cup races for (#27)Eel River Racing in 2000. The maximum number of races a driver is allowed before he loses his rookie status is seven. According to Fuller, the #98 team enjoyed a very successful test at Kentucky Speedway on Aug. 17, running competitive lap speeds with other Winston Cup teams in attendance. The team has two more test sessions planned – Sept. 5-6 and Oct. 4-5 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The team does plan on competing in the season-ending NAPA 500 at Atlanta as part of their preparation for the 2001 season. The final race of the 2000 season will mark Fuller’s seventh start for the year, the maximum number of races a driver is allowed to maintain his rookie status. As an Atlanta-based developer, team owner Chip MacPherson is enjoying the challenge of revitalizing the #98. “It means a great deal to build on the success of Cale Yarborough’s history in this sport,” said MacPherson. “Our team is motivated and driven. We are looking forward to creating our own place in the record books.” To help secure sponsorship, MacPherson Motorsports has retained the Charlotte, N.C.-based Motorsports Decisions Group, Inc. The full-service sports marketing and public relations agency will handle all of the team’s media and public relations needs and assist in the marketing efforts to acquire primary and associate sponsors for the team(Motorsports Decisions Group PR)(9-1-2000)
  • West Virginia Licenese Plates: A licensing agreement with NASCAR allows West Virginians to purchase license plates bearing the signatures of Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Ricky Rudd and Rusty Wallace, as well as a generic NASCAR plate. West Virginia is the second state in the nation, after New York, to allow driver loyalty to be displayed on registered vehicles. NASCAR is talking with North Carolina and South Carolina about similar licensing agreements. New York announced its plate last September and New Yorkers have 14 drivers to choose from. West Virginia’s selection of drivers was based on surveys that showed them to be among the top fan favorites. New York has sold only 288 plates so far. New York has 10 million registered drivers and the state offers several specialized plates. West Virginia has had 3,000 requests for plates that tentatively go on sale Sept. 11.(Charleston Gazette)(9-1-2000)
  • DW Honored on Walk of Fame and #800: The latest inductees to be added to the Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame in October have been decided and they are Darrell Waltrip, Bobby Hamilton, Tim Flock and “Fireball” Roberts. Some 1.3 million race fans registered their votes at the memorial’s official website www.talladegawalk.com and voted Hamilton in as an active driver and Flock and Roberts as inactive drivers. Waltrip will be inducted as an active driver by decree of the Walk of Fame board of directors. Induction ceremonies at the Davey Allison Memorial Park in Talladega will be held on Friday, Oct. 13 at 8:00pm. ALSO – If Darrell Waltrip takes the green flag Sunday in the 51st Southern 500, it will be the 800th start of his NASCAR Winston Cup career(Anniston Star)(9-1-2000)
  • DW Song: Nashville singer-songwriter-comedian Jimmy Travis is composing a farewell song for Darrell Waltrip to commemorate his final race Sunday at Darlington, site of Waltrip’s last victory. Travis, who has written three songs about Darlington Raceway, will perform Waltrip’s song this weekend at the annual Union 76/Darlington Record Club dinner before Waltrip’s last Darlington ride(Tennessean)(9-1-2000)

    UPDATE 4: Eel River Racing announced the signing of NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Kenny Wallace to a three-year contract beginning in 2001. The agreement with Wallace reunites the St. Louis native with veteran crew chief and Eel River Racing part-owner Barry Dodson. Dodson, the championship-winning crew chief in 1989 with Kenny’s older brother Rusty, first worked with the younger Wallace for three races in 1991 at Team III Racing. The most recent pairing of Dodson and Wallace came in 1998 at FILMAR Racing, where Dodson chiefed the recent hire to a strong eighth-place finish at Phoenix while subbing for interim crew chief David Ifft(Eel River Racing PR) and see SpeedVision story(9-1-2000)

  • Some Darlington Stats: 19 of all the 94 Darlington races have been won by the pole starter – 20%. 85 of the 94 Darlington races have been won from the Top 10 – 90%. Last Southern 500 won by the pole winner: 1990 by Dale Earnhardt. Lowest start of a Southern 500 winner: 43rd in 1950 (first Southern 500 – get this: three abreast starting, 75 cars). Only two Southern 500 winners in the last 40 races started outside the Top 10: 1983 (14) and 1995(15)(TNN, see link on Southern 500 Race Info Page)(9-1-2000)
  • ASA Driver Injured UPDATE: ASA Driver David Anspaugh of Michigan was badly injured in a wreck during practice last weekend at the Milwaukee Mile. All i have heard is that he is in critical condition but stable with a closed head injuy. The ASA site has no info I could find on him but SpeedVision has an update on Anspaugh: David Anspaugh remains in the Intensive Care Unit at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital with critical closed head injuries he suffered in a crash early in practice. In addition to the head trauma, Anspaugh, the superintendent for the Waldron, Michigan area schools, suffered a fractured left arm in the wreck(SpeedVision)(8-29-2000)
    UPDATE: Veteran ASA driver David Anspaugh’s condition has not changed from initial reports, and the Michigan native remains listed in critical condition, but has stabilized. He remains in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital following a practice crash on Saturday, August 26 at the Milwaukee Mile. Tests show his vital signs are stable, although his condition may remain the same for the next several days. Those interested in sending David and his family cards or letters may send them to the hospital at the following address: Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, C/O Patient David Anspaugh, SICU, 9200 West Wisconsin Avenue,Milwaukee WI 53226(Speedway Illustrated)(9-1-2000)