September 2002 CTS Archive

  • Truck TV Coverage to move to Speed Channel? UPDATE Official: NASCAR is moving its truck racing series to the Speed Channel from ESPN, leaving the sports network without a NASCAR connection for the first time since 1979, according to motorsports sources. NASCAR and Fox-owned Speed reached an agreement this week. NASCAR and ESPN still are working on exit details that would allow the switch to take place beginning next season. ESPN’s contract to carry the truck series was scheduled to run through 2003, but the two sides likely will agree to terminate early to avoid the “lame duck” scenario they ran into when NASCAR shifted its Winston Cup and Busch series to Fox, NBC and Turner. ESPN carried Winston Cup and Busch racing in 2000, but NASCAR felt it promoted less than it had in previous years because such promotions no longer offered a long-range benefits. A NASCAR spokeswoman refused to comment, saying “it would be inappropriate to make any announcement at this time.”(Sports Business Journal need sub to read)(9-20-2002)
    UPDATE: Beginning next season, Speed Channel will televise all CTS races live, including prerace and postrace shows, NASCAR officials announced Sunday. ESPN has been home to the series since its inception in 1995. “To first know that every race is going to be live, to have a consistent start time every weekend and to be able to promote the Truck series – that collective momentum is important,” said Paul Brooks, NASCAR’s vice president for broadcasting. “It’s a good opportunity for the Speed Channel, as it grows, to be able to have a live NASCAR product. For us, it seems like a win-win situation.” Since Fox owns Speed Channel, Brooks said there will be several opportunities to promote Truck series races during Fox’s Cup and BGN broadcasts. ESPN will conclude its run with the series with the season finale Nov. 15 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Speed Channel, formerly Speedvision, is the first 24-hour cable network devoted exclusively to motorsports. It is now in 58.5 million homes in the United States and Canada.(
  • #00 Crew Chief Fined: NASCAR officials announced that Robert Kocher, crew chief for the #00 Chevy in the CTS, has been fined $500 for rules infractions prior to last Saturday’s race at South Boston Speedway. During the weekend’s initial inspection process, the #00 Chevy was found to have two aluminum drive plates. NASCAR rules require the drive plates be made of steel. Kocher was fined $250 for each plate. Kocher was fined under Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rule book: “actions detrimental to stock car racing” and Section 12-4-Q: Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules.(NASCAR PR)(9-26-2002)
  • Bliss wins at South Boston: #16-Mike Bliss won the Hardee’s 250 at Big Daddy’s South Boston Speedway. Bliss, who started second in the 36-truck field, pitted on the 92nd lap and dropped to 13th place. Bliss, who entered the race with a 40-point lead over #14-Rick Crawford, extended the advantage to 55 as Crawford finished third in his Ford. Pole starter #1-Ted Musgrave, who led the first 92 laps, wound up a lap behind in 14th and fell 112 points back in third. #20-Coy Gibbs finished fourth with #60-Travis Kvapil fifth. For results see
  • Musgrave on the pole: #1-Ted Musgrave is on the pole with a speed of 91.831mph for this afternoon’s John Boy & Billy’s Hardee’s 250 Presented by Textilease CTS race at South Boston Speedway. Rounding out the top five are points leader #16-Mike Bliss, #46-Dennis Setzer, #14-Rick Crawford and #29-Terry Cook.
    See lineup at
  • Hemphill to drive the #4 at South Boston: Bobby Hamilton Racing has signed 20-year old Ryan Hemphill to drive the #4 Dodge at South Boston Speedway. In the search to find a suitable replacement for the No. 4 truck for the 2003 season, BHR decided to give Hemphill the opportunity to drive one of their trucks.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(9-19-2002)
  • More Drivers to debut at South Boston: Competitors from the ranks of NASCAR’s Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge will be making their first attempts at big time NASCAR racing this weekend.. Scott Kirkpatrick will rustle with Southeastern Coastal Regional Champion Jamie Caudill and Regan Smith along with the Craftsman Truck Series regulars attempting to qualify for the HARDEE’s 250 with John Boy and Billy presented by Textilease. Scott Kirkpatrick will be piloting the TUMS Antacid, TUMS Cool Relief #5 Dodge for Thomasville, NC based Ware Motorsports. Ware has employed drivers like Michael Ritch and most recently Lance Hooper to make competitive starts in the CTS. Kirkpatrick is no stranger to victory lane at the .400 mile oval, he tasted victory in 2000 in the Late Model division, while putting the hammer down in the #52 Bailey’s sponsored late model machine. His hopes and dreams will be realized this weekend as he works to secure a starting spot in the field for Saturday Night’s HARDEE’s 250. In 2000, Kirkpatrick drove his Bailey’s machine to victory at both South Boston Speedway and Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, NC.(South Boston Speedway PR)(9-18-2002)
  • The Winston – an announcement on Wed UPDATE CTS to Lowes: Lowe’s Motor Speedway Officials to Unveil An Exciting Addition to The Winston Weekend. With work underway on several fronts to grow activities surrounding the 2003 running of The Winston, officials of Lowe’s Motor Speedway and NASCAR will announce an exciting addition to the weekend during a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 18. Lowe’s Motor Speedway President and General Manager H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler will make the announcement and event participants will be on hand to talk about what it means to be part of NASCAR’s annual all-star weekend.(LMS PR), this will be the official announcment of a CTS race during the Winston weekend.(9-17-2002)
    UPDATE: Lowe’s Motor Speedway has added yet another element of excitement to the 2003 running of The Winston, NASCAR’s annual all-star weekend, with the announcement of the Hardee’s 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Friday night, May 16. The Hardee’s 200, which will run under the lights following qualifying for The Winston Open and The Winston, will mark the Truck Series’ first appearance at the 1.5-mile superspeedway. The 134-lap event will also be the first Truck Series race in North Carolina, home to many of the teams, since the Lowe’s 250 took the checkered flag at North Wilkesboro Speedway on Sept. 28, 1996. Reserved seats for the Hardee’s 200 range from $20 to $30 and can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at LMS(9-18-2002)
  • Driver to Debut: 18-year-old NASCAR hopeful Regan Smith will make his CTS debut this Saturday at Big Daddy’s South Boston Speedway in the #63 MB Motorsports Ford truck. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to compete in the No. 63 truck for owner Mike Mittler and everyone at MB Motorsports,” Smith said. “There have been several drivers that have gotten their starts in NASCAR with MB Motorsports. Hopefully this can be a launching pad for my career as well.” MB Motorsports has fielded entries for NASCAR drivers such as the late Kenny Irwin, Jr., Jamie McMurray and current driver Carl Edwards. The team plans to run Edwards for Rookie-of-the-Year honors next season in the CTS. For Smith, this will mark a return to Big Daddy’s South Boston Speedway. Smith, who competed the past two seasons on the USAR ProCup Series, has raced at South Boston on several occasions.(PR)(9-17-2002)
  • Rules Change: NASCAR announced three rule changes for competition on the CTS. Effective Sept. 19, front air dams for Dodges must have a minimum ground clearance of four inches. The clearance is reduced from 4¼ inches. Chevrolets and Fords must maintain a ground clearance of 3¾ inches. Effective Sept. 19, teams are permitted to utilize electronic oil and fuel pressure gauges as long as the gauges are wired separately and are completely independent of the truck’s ignition system. Also effective Sept. 19, the minimum number of active coils for each front spring must be 4½ coils. All coils must be evenly spaced after the first coil on the closed end of the spring. All coils must have the same inside and outside diameter. The electronic gauge and spring rules are identical to rules governing NASCAR Winston Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division competition.(NASCAR PR)(9-17-2002)
  • Houston back in a Truck: CTS team owner Jim Harris announced today that Andy Houston will pilot the #17 Hardee’s Dodge Truck in the Hardee’s 250 at South Boston Speedway with sponsorship from Boddie-Noell Enterprises – the largest franchise owner in the Hardee’s restaurant chain. “I’m excited to return to the Craftsman Truck Series with Jim Harris and Hardee’s,” said driver Andy Houston – a three time winner in truck series competition. “I’ve enjoyed a lot of success in the Craftsman Truck Series, and the HT Motorsports team always fields a competitive truck. Plus, Hardee’s has a winning tradition in NASCAR with guys like Cale Yarborough and Ward Burton, so we’re looking forward to adding to that legacy in the Hardee’s 250 at South Boston Speedway.” Crew Chief Dean Johnson and the HT Motorsports team, which runs out of Mark Melling’s Winston Cup shop, is coming off an 8th place finish at Richmond International Raceway – the team’s 6th top 10 performance in 7 starts. “Hardee’s is pleased to be associated with such a respected truck team as that of Jim Harris and driver Andy Houston and to have the opportunity to field a truck in the Hardee’s 250 Craftsman Truck Race at South Boston Speedway,” said Randy Pritchard, Vice President of Marketing for Boddie-Noell Enterprises. “We are very excited about being in the race and look forward to a great event.”(Melling PR)(9-16-2002)
  • Gaughan wins at Texas: #62-Brendan Gaughan won his 2nd career CTS race and swept both races at Texas in 2002 becoming the the first two-time winner in the ten truck races at Texas Motor Speedway. #20-Coy Gibbs was 2nd (aa career best) followed by #75-David Starr, #14-Rick Crawford and #60-Travis Kvapil. Polesitter #16-Mike Bliss fell off the pace when he got caught up in traffic at start and never lead a lap. Bliss finished ninth, but maintained the series points lead, 40 ahead of Rick Crawford and 63 ahead of #1-Ted Musgrave.(
    See results at (9-14-2002)
  • To the back: #50-Jon Wood and #79-Jerry Hill were involved in separate accidents on the backstretch during “Happy Hour” on Thursday night. Both drivers will go to backup trucks and have to start at the rear of the field for Friday’s Silverado 350 Craftsman Truck race. Wood qualified 14th, and Hill was 22nd.(Dallas Morning News)(9-13-2002)
  • Bliss wins pole at Texas: #16-Mike Bliss won the pole at Texas with a speeds of 179.695mph, winning his third pole of the season. Thr rest of the top five are #75-David Starr, #20-Coy Gibbs, #14-Rick Crawford and #62-Brendan Gaughan.
    For lineup see, MotorsportsOne or
  • Ruttman to drive the #4 at Texas: Joe Ruttman, who has won 13 CTS races, gets a one-time try at another in Friday night’s Silverado 350K at Texas Motor Speedway. Ruttman will drive the #4 Dodge owned by Bobby Hamilton. “Bobby called me on Monday and asked if I was available, and I asked him if I needed to come by right now,” Ruttman said. “This is just a one race deal, but it gives me a chance to get in a first-class truck and show people I can still get the job done. I just really appreciate Bobby (Hamilton) giving me a call. I hope I can help them out this week with a solid finish.”(” TARGET=”new”>Gaston Gazette)(9-11-2002)
  • Rose’s family’s house fire: Joyce Rose [Brian Rose’s Mother] was home alone in the couple’s house at 696 Rivergreen Lane when the house’s smoke detectors began going off. Upon investigation, she noticed smoke pouring out of the attic and called 911. It took about 30 minutes for firefighters to reach the house, by which time her home was fully engulfed in flames, Joyce Rose said. After calling the fire department, Joyce Rose was able to save some small personal items from the house and the cars from the attached garage before the fire got too far out of control, she said. The fire was still smoldering Saturday evening as the sun went down. Wilkinson estimated that it would take several more hours for it to completely die out. The blaze apparently began in the attics and crawlspaces of the house and spread quickly. The 6,500-square-foot home and its contents were valued at between $1.9 million and $2.4 million. It was virtually a total loss. The Roses were insured and an adjuster had already been to the scene, along with a Kentucky State Police fire marshall, he said. The Roses’ son, Brian, is a race car driver on the NASCAR circuit, and had just moved all his driving suits and other equipment to his parents’ house last week. David Rose was working at the time of the fire, but his wife called him after calling 911 and he arrived about the same time as the firefighters got to the scene. The hydrant nearest the house didn’t work at all, and firefighters ultimately had to draw most of the water used to fight the fire from the nearby lake, David Rose said. “They fooled with that (hydrant) for 30 minutes while my house burned down,” he said. “We seem to have a pressure problem out here.” Another neighbor, Kirby Loid, said a similar fire destroyed a house being built for Jim Scott, another area resident, a few years ago before firefighters could stop it. “There’s just no pressure out here at all,” Loid said. “When these things start, it’s hard to stop them.” The Roses’ home is located in Rivergreen, a gated community off Cemetery Road, and when the subdivision was developed, the developer installed a 4-inch water line to feed the houses and fire hydrants in the community, Wilkinson said. The fire department uses 5-inch supply hoses to connect to hydrants and fight fires, he said. (see full story at Bowling Green Daily News)(9-9-2002)
  • Stewart wins CTS race at Richmond: #33-Tony Stewart avoided an eight-truck wreck that unraveled in Turn 2 on the final lap and held off a charging #6-Kevin Harvick by .259 seconds to claim the win in the Virginia is for Lovers 200, his second series start. His last appearance in the series came in 1996. It was Stewart’s second race this week driving a vehicle owned by Winston Cup car owner Andy Petree. Stewart finished second in an ARCA race at DuQuoin, Ill., on Monday driving a Petree-owned car. Series points leader #16-Mike Bliss finished third, #14-Rick Crawford fourth and #29-Terry Cook rounded out the top five.(
    See results at
  • Leffler wins pole at Richmond: Using a backup truck, #2-Jason Leffler won his eighth CTS pole of the season by winning the pole at Richmond for Thursday night’s Virginia is for Lovers 200. Leffler had wrecked his primary truck during Thursday afternoon’s practice session. Using his backup, he still turned a lap at 123.378 mph, setting a track record in the process. #16-Mike Bliss is 2nd, 3rd is Lefflers teammate #1-Ted Musgrave followed by #14-Rick Crawford and #29-Terry Cook. Winston Cup drivers #6-Kevin Harvick (6th), #4-Bobby Hamilton (7th), #52-Ken Schrader (14th), #33-Tony Stewart (25th), #21-Morgan Shepherd(26th) and #51-Carl Long(21st) all qualified for the race.(
    See for the lineups.(9-5-2002)
  • Rose has a ride for RIR: Billy Ballew Motorsports and Pro Motion Motorsports have joined forces and will enter Brian Rose in the #15 truck for the Virginia is for Lovers 200 CTS race at Richmond. The Perry Connection will be the sponsor and Gary Showalter will be the Crew Chief. Rose replaces ARCA competitor Mark Gibson in the seat of the #15 Ford and team owner Billy Ballew thinks the team has a chance to be competitive right out of the box. “I am very pleased to join forces with Randy Briggs at Pro Motion Motorsports and to have a driver with the capabilities of Brian Rose behind the wheel. When you add a crew chief with the skills of Gary Showalter then you know the team has the chance to be competitive at Richmond,” said Ballew. “I want to thank Mark Gibson for all his efforts in our truck. We were not able to give him the opportunity to be as successful as he could have been because of the loss of our sponsor. Mark is a great driver, a great person and I will continue to support him in any way that I can in his racing career.” Billy Ballew Motorsports currently sits in 14th position in the CTS owners point standings. Pro Motion Motorsports has entered two CTS races during the course of the 2002 season with Owner Randy Briggs behind the wheel. The two teams are combining resources to form a more competitive team.(PR)(9-5-2002)
  • Hooper to rin World Police & Fire Games Logo at RIR: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Lance Hooper will once again race with the logo of the World Police & Fire Games on his 180-mph race truck when the series takes to the track at Richmond International Speedway on Thursday, September 5 for the “Virginia is for Lovers” 200. Hooper first carried the logo at the Indianapolis Raceway Park event leading up to the Brickyard 400 in early August. The association provides much needed exposure for the World Police & Fire Games, while giving Hooper and his crew the feeling of giving something back to police offices and fire fighters from around the world. “I became aware of the Games last year when I raced in Indy,” Hooper said. “The name of the event was “Heroes of the Heartland,” and then in September we all saw just how heroic these police officers and fire fighters are. I started thinking about ways to give them some recognition. So for the race in Indy and again now at Richmond, we are displaying the Games logo on my truck.” The World Police & Fire Games is the world’s second largest sporting event, after the Olympics, with nearly 10,000 participants. The Games are contested every two years at locations around the world. In 2001 the Games were held in Indianapolis. Future Games are scheduled in Barcelona in 2003, Quebec City in 2005 and Adelaide in 2007. Events include traditional sporting events as well as competition in events specific to police and fire fighters. “The Games have not gotten the awareness they deserve and hopefully by showing the World Police & Fire Games logo now, it will work to get interest in the Games and start to lay the groundwork for a large audience to watch it on television next August,” adds Randy Schwoerer of Schwoerer & Associates, who handles marketing and television production for the Games. Hooper will pilot the #86 TEAM Racing entry owned by Phil Bonifield. Associate sponsors on the program include Red Line Oil, Lane Automotive, and Ingles Markets. Hooper came to the team after running a limited schedule early in the season Ware Racing, and he has finished in the top 20 in each of his first three races with the new crew. Team owner Phil Bonifield is impressed with Lance’s performance. “I needed a driver that could elevate my team. We are looking for a sponsor for next season, and I needed a driver with winning experience. So far he’s proving we made the right choice.” and “Everyone at the World Police & Fire Games Federation is so excited and thankful about being recognized by Hooper at the races” says Duke Nyhus former President of the WPFGF. “Hopefully we can somehow return the favor for Lance and his manager Lisa Jackson in the future.”(PR)(9-3-2002)
  • Bennett to run at RIR: Brad Bennett and REYBEN Racing have entered their CTS Chevy in the Virginia is for Lovers 200 at the Richmond International Raceway. The September 5th event will be Bennett’s first CTS race since 2000. Bennett, who relocated his family-owned racing operation from Stamford, CT to Mooresville, NC one year ago, is very excited about returning to the NCTS. “We are thrilled to be racing our Craftsman Truck at Richmond especially after having raced so well there a couple of years ago,” Bennett commented, “Our goal is to run well and secure sponsorship for next year” he continued. REYBEN Racing and Bennett have been competing a limited schedule on the American Speed Association tour. They made their return to NASCAR just a few weeks ago when they competed in the BGN North race at Watkins Glen, where they finished 4th. REYBEN Racing welcomes back their longtime associate sponsor, Interstate Lumber & Mill Corp. from Greenwich, CT.(REYBEN Racing PR)(9-3-2002)

Born On Date: September 5, 2002

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