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September 2003 News Archives


 

  • (9-30-2003)

  • Foyt transported to hospital UPDATE 2: #14-Larry Foyt was transported to a local hospital to be checked out after getting hit hard by #19-Mayfield early in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega. Mayfield had a cut tire that caused him to go up the track, which is where Foyt was.(9-28-2003)
    UPDATE: Larry Foyt was flown to University Hospital in Birmingham for precautionary measures after separate crashes. He was evaluated and released Sunday evening.(ESPN/AP)
    AND Larry Foyt was taken to UAB hospital after crashing early in Sunday’s EA Sports 500. Jeremy Mayfield blew a tire on lap 11 and ran up into Foyt’s #14 car, forcing it into the wall. Foyt was released Sunday night. “You could tell that he got the wind knocked out of him,” crew chief Ben Holm said. “He said that he would be OK, but that’s about all he said.”(Charleston Post and Courier)(9-29-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Foyt has a cracked/broken wrist but has been cleared by NASCAR to race at Kansas.(FSN’s Totally NASCAR)(9-30-2003)
  • Rudd Staying at the #21: Ricky Rudd doesn’t know how the rumors started [not on Jayski], but he has every intention of finishing the remaining two years of his contract with Wood Brothers in the No. 21 Ford. “I’ve had several people approach me,” Rudd says, “but I’m obligated to see this through.” Team owner Eddie Wood has made several crew changes over the last month.(Sporting News/FoxSports)(9-30-2003)
  • Hot Seats – Crew Chiefs: Several crew chiefs are on the hot seat, including Bill Wilburn with the #2 Dodge. Someone mentioned as a possible replacement is Todd Parrott, who returned to Robert Yates Racing last month as Elliott Sadler’s crew chief after a lengthy sabbatical. Parrott says any talk of his leaving is “crazy.” “Not in this lifetime,” Parrott says. “I’m back at home, and this team is starting to come together.” Parrott believes Sadler and the team are gaining confidence in him, and winning the pole at Talladega is an example of the crew’s potential. Sadler was running third before he was involved in a spectacular crash. The wreck forced the race to be red-flagged with six laps remaining.(Sporting News/FoxSports)(9-30-2003)
  • Pruett wins Trans-Am Championship: former #32 Cup driver, Scott Pruett, driver of the #7 Jaguar R-Performance XKR, secured his third Trans-Am drivers’ championship with a first-place finish at the Motorock Trans-Am Tour for the BF Goodrich Tires Cup in Miami.(See more at Ford Racing)(9-30-2003)
  • Wally, Larry Mac, Trucks and Toyota? UPDATE Denied: Wally Dallenbach may be in line for a Toyota ride, possibly with Larry McReynolds, according to sources. And Dallenbach may also be in the running for a part-time Winston Cup ride as an R& –D driver, possibly with Richard Childress.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-29-2003)
    UPDATE: One report yesterday from the NASCAR beat said that “Wally Dallenbach may be in line for a Toyota ride, possibly with Larry McReynolds. Team sources confirm with [MotorsportsTV] that McReynolds is not in any discussions with Wally Dallenbach for a ride in 2004.(MotorsportsTV.com), Dallenbach announced last weekend that he would run a five race Busch deal with Mr. Clean in the #17 Ford.(9-30-2003)
  • Tethers Hold Steady: NASCAR’s tether rules was one of the most impressive success stories was the tethers, those strong cables designed to keep parts from flying off a car in a crash. #38-Elliott Sadler’s crash tested every tether, and all held – the wheel tethers, the hood tethers, and the rear-deck tethers.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-30-2003)
  • Autopsy Photos Back in the news: The student-run newspaper is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to get access to NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt’s autopsy photographs. Tom Julin, an attorney for the student-run newspaper at the University of Florida, has argued to the high court that the decision barring the newspaper access violates the First Amendment. He made a second point in the appeal, which was mailed Monday, that the law restricting access to autopsy photos is unconstitutional. Autopsy photographs had been public records for decades when Earnhardt died at the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18, 2001. After his family obtained a court order sealing photos from his autopsy, the Orlando Sentinel sued for access to the pictures. The newspaper said it did not want to publish the photos but to examine them as part of its ongoing investigation into racing safety. The newspaper reached an agreement with the Earnhardts allowing an independent medical expert to view the photos and write a report on how the driver died. Only the expert saw the pictures, and none were published.(Orlando Sentinel/AP)(9-30-2003)
  • Biffle and DEI? Biffle says he is staying at Roush UPDATE 4 – signed with Rosuh thru 2005?: an odd one I am hearing from a few sources this morning….Greg Biffle is negotiating with DEI for the #1 Chevy beginning with 2004. He supposedly has an out with his Roush contract, one apparently his lawyers found, and is getting ready to make the move. DEI is waiting for a sponsor to sign off, supposedly it could be Kraft [who sponsored the #81 DEI car at Indy and also sponsored some Roush teams in the Winston and Bud Shootout].(9-23-2003)
    UPDATE – Biffle says he is staying at Roush: “Take me out of the rumor mill,” says Greg Biffle. “I have won two championships and two rookie titles with Roush Racing and for Grainger, and my hope is simply to stay here to try and win more championships for Grainger and for Jack Roush.” With that statement Biffle hopes to end “silly season” speculation about his future. “I have time remaining on my current contract and we’ve begun negotiations for an extension,” added Biffle. “At this point in the season, the rumors start to fly about which driver is doing what for next season even when he’s under a contract that he intends to honor. It’s way too easy to start a rumor these days. I’ve had a few calls about going other places, but I’m just not interested in doing so. It’s very flattering to have big name teams calling me at this point in my career, but I’m driving for one of the biggest names in the industry that has a team of racing and marketing people committed to helping further my career and reach my potential.”(Roush Racing PR)(9-25-2003)
    more updates: see my #16 Team News and Links page for Updates 2 and 3
    UPDATE 4: Greg Biffle is sending mixed signals about his commitment to stay with car owner Jack Roush, and Biffle’s name has been mentioned as a possible driver for Dale Earnhardt Inc. next season. However, Geoff Smith, who runs Roush Racing, says Biffle has a contract to drive for Roush for 2004 and 2005. That’s a year longer than had been previously revealed. ‘The thing that’s causing the commotion,’ Smith said, ‘is that we are in discussions with his agent to extend that. And his agent is checking the marketplace, so they can line up their best negotiating position with us. We’re talking about something that’s three years off. ‘Greg has an agent who’s going through the garage, Fred Lexie, who is Kevin Harvick’s agent. Fred, every time he walks by a trailer, it’s ‘Hey, what have you got for my boy?’ That’s his job.'(Winston Salem Journal); if Biffle is signed thru 2005, and the contract iron-clad, why is this such an issue???(9-29-2003)
    UPDATE 5: sources tell me Biffle is signed only thru 2004 NOT 2005.(9-30-2003)


    (9-29-2003)

  • #14/50 Foyt Racing crew shakeup? UPDATE: hearing that the #14/50 crew chief, Craig “Butch” Lamoreux, General Manager Mike Chase and Foyt Racing have parted ways. Have not heard who will take over the jobs.(9-19-2003)
    UPDATE: Ben Holm is now the crew chief of the #14/50 team and driver Larry Foyt.(9-29-2003)
  • The ‘Preview’ at Charlotte? Not Daytona? UPDATE Looks like Daytona: NASCAR’s Brian France and Nextel officials are trying to decide what to do with the annual preseason preview that has been held in Winston-Salem the past 15 years, and it’s looking like Charlotte, not Daytona, will be the host city for the preview, which typically draws a sellout of 25,000. ‘If they try to have the preview at Daytona during testing,’ one top driver says angrily, ‘they’ll have a mutiny on their hands.'(Winston Salem Journal)(9-27-2003)
    UPDATE – at Daytona: The preseason fan event previously known as the Winston Cup Preview will move to Daytona Beach, Fla., next year, a source confirmed Saturday. The event, held the past 14 years in Winston-Salem, N.C., drew about 20,000 spectators last year for driver autographs, a souvenir auction and showcar display. The most popular aspect was that all Cup drivers were required to attend and each had a two-hour autograph session. NASCAR officials have not determined all the details for this January’s event, although it will be called something different. One proposal that seems likely is that the fan event will be held the first night of testing at Daytona International Speedway.(Roanoke Times)(9-28-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Most Cup drivers dont want the “Winston Preview” moved to Daytona. Here are some of the rumblings around the garage area. Winston-Salem is a convenient location, a short car ride from most of the drivers’ homes. With the short “off-season”, its a bad time to have to stay several extra days in Daytona after testing. Past previews donated their revenues to Brenner Childrens Hospital, part of Wake Forest/Baptist Medical Center. These hospitals and staff are utilized by much of the Cup community, so there is a real win-win relationship between drivers donating their time, and benefitting from the direction of the donations. Who would profit from a Daytona preview? Winston’s T. Wayne Robertson was a good friend of the sport and the people in it. The Preview is his legacy and carries his name. Would that continue if it is moved?(source)(9-29-2003)
  • Stewart Files Lawsuit Against Alleged Seller of Fake Racing Helmets: Reigning NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart has filed a lawsuit against Gary McColgin, a 45-year-old Florida native, accusing him of selling fake racing helmets and other non-licensed memorabilia featuring Stewart and his Winston Cup sponsor – The Home Depot. The lawsuit added to an already long list of charges against McColgin. In June at his home in Woodstock, Ga., McColgin was arrested by Detective Burt Love of the Cherokee County (Ga.) Sheriff’s Office for selling fake Rolex watches on E-bay. Specific charges against McColgin include theft and counterfeiting, among others. Thanks to Stewart’s lawsuit, which has been joined by Home Depot, police and the FBI are now investigating McColgin in connection with his alleged sale of fake racing helmets over the Internet. Fake Tony Stewart racing helmets have reportedly sold for over $4,000.
    “We’ve been trying to track this guy down for a while now,” said Stewart. “It looks like fake racing helmets weren’t the only things he was selling. The fake Rolexes were the first things to get him in trouble, but my management group has been gathering evidence and we’ve charged Mr. McColgin with selling fake racing helmets. “I want to be on the record in saying that selling fake racing merchandise of any kind will not be tolerated by me or anyone affiliated with Tony Stewart Motorsports. It’s deceptive, and it hurts race fans and teams alike – race fans because they’re not getting authentic merchandise for which they paid, and teams who are unable to secure the royalties from racing merchandise so they can’t re-invest that money back into the race team. Mr. McColgin’s antics are about to stop, as are any other persons looking to follow in his footsteps.”
    The specific causes of action against McColgin regarding the sale of fake Tony Stewart racing helmets include federal trademark infringement, federal copyright infringement, federal false advertising, federal and state unfair competition, and violations of the Georgia Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The basis for McColgin’s arrest regarding the sale of fake Rolexes are: two counts of theft by deception; two counts of theft by taking; possession of tools for commission of a crime; forgery in the first degree; making of a terroristic threat; forgery/counterfeiting of registered trademarks and copyrighted designs; and violation of Georgia RICO statute. Georgia RICO carries up to 20 years in prison, forgery in the first degree up to 10 years, and theft carries up to five years. McColgin has not yet been indicted, therefore, a date for trial has not been set yet, but it is likely to take place in Cherokee County unless the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office decide to take over the case. In the event the federal government takes over, the case will most likely be tried in federal court in Atlanta.(PR)(9-29-2003)
  • More on Tires: Last week’s Dover International Speedway tire problems are again the talk in the garage here at Talladega Superspeedway. Dover is traditionally one of the tracks where allegedly inconsistent tires become the post-race issue for the teams that fail to reach Victory Lane. With so much at stake for each team it is not unexpected for those with unattained top-10 hopes to complain, but it is also important to know what’s being discussed.
    Albeit unofficial, the problem, according to several high-profile crew chiefs, deals with the tire vintage uncorked at the abrasive Dover track last week. Specifically, the wide differences in tire build dates left some teams scratching their heads. The tires allegedly carried production tags and codes representing tires three weeks old or nine months old or maybe even 18 months old. And it is generally accepted that a newer tire compound more effectively sticks a car to the track than an older tire.
    The tire specialist from the Motorcraft Ford team countered, however, that reading the codes is not rocket science. “It’s getting a little overblown,” said the tire engineer. “All the information is right on the tires.”
    The tire engineer continued, telling TFR that he could see that there were a number of tires from various tire runs and that he was able to identify and match sets to prevent or minimize any surprises. Other teams found a scapegoat for the weekend performance.
    “Where the problem lies is that an older tire will amplify any problem that you have with a car — or if it’s pushing a little with a new tire it will absolutely plow with an older one,” said one of the Ford crew chiefs. “Same with a loose car — or if it’s a little loose on new tires it’ll want to snap around on the driver in a heartbeat on old tires.”
    Another crew chief told TFR that he’d bought 17 sets of tires trying to find five good sets in the lot. “And we threw away four of those sets. They were totally useless to me or anyone in this sport,” the irritated crew chief said.
    A NASCAR source told TFR today that beginning in 2004, when Goodyear brings out a new softer compound tire, a date code will be stamped onto the tire as part of the production process. The NASCAR source also said that he understood “the good business sense” that Goodyear is using in clearing out their warehouse of the aging tires before they become obsolete.(Ford Racing)(9-29-2003)
  • NetZero on the #60 at Talladega: Saturday morning, a frantic search was on for NetZero decals and someone to place them on the #60 Chevrolet, driven by David Green. The #0 NetZero Pontiac driven by Jason Leffler, did not make the field for the running of the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Green’s car is red and white, problem may arise as NetZero decals are white. UPDATE A twelve inch strip of black contact paper was place across the hood, making it possible for the white NetZero letters to show.(Insider Racing)(9-29-2003)
  • Owners trying to reverse 2004 car changes? Winston Cup team owners are banding together in making an appeal to NASCAR officials to cancel plans for new body rules for 2004, and tour crew chiefs are hoping the car owners are successful.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-29-2003)
  • IMAX NASCAR 3D Date Set: NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience is scheduled to open on March 12, 2004. Experience speeds of more than 200 miles per hour. With screens up to eight stories tall and 12,000 watts of pure digital surround sound, you feel the thunder of the engines and your heart will be pounding not to mention your head so don’t forget the Goody’s Powder. It was announced this week the film will be narrated by actor Kiefer Sutherland.(Insider Racing)(9-29-2003)
  • Tire contract explained: from Speed Mail on Fox Sports by Jeff Hammond, since I been asked, here ya go: “Teams do have a contract with Goodyear, like a Joe Gibbs. I’m sure they are on some kind of bonus program with Goodyear because he has two past champions. Does everybody get in on the deal? No, it doesn’t work out that way. And yes, NASCAR does get paid by Goodyear to be the official tire of NASCAR. Are any other companies allowed to be involved? No. NASCAR restricts involvement. A few years ago, we did have another company involved, Hoosier. It didn’t work out quite like NASCAR wanted it to so Goodyear is the tire manufacturer for Winston Cup and NASCAR. With that being said, Goodyear works very, very hard to keep what happened at Dover from happening again. They work very hard to fix that problem. It’s just a tough part of our game.”(FoxSports)(9-29-2003)
  • Kodak to PPI with Nemechek? UPDATE: Kodak was expected to make an announcement this week about its future in NASCAR, but that has apparently been delayed. The company has just announced a major change in its business, away from film toward digital, and it’s unclear how that might play in its marketing plans. Kodak apparently won’t be back with [#4 Morgan McClure] Larry McClure next season. Kodak could sponsor Cal Wells’ proposed second team, with Joe Nemechek.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-28-2003)
    UPDATE: According to a Cal Wells team member, the rumor of Joe Nemechek driving a second Pontiac for the team sponsored by Kodak, appears to be absolutely false. The unnamed source said that no additional parts, tools or evidence of a second car have been spotted anywhere on the Wells premises.(Insider Racing); seems to be an odd rumor as Wells himself has stated he is close to signing a sponsor for a 2nd team.(9-29-2003)
  • Looks like Riggs to Cup in 2004; either Evernham or DEI? Scott Riggs [driver of the #10 ppc Ford in Busch] has been debating between Winston Cup offers from Ray Evernham and DEI, according to sources. If Riggs takes the DEI ride, as expected, Jeremy Mayfield could remain with Evernham. Doug Randolph could become Riggs’ crew chief at DEI. Shane Hmiel had been No. 2 in line for the DEI ride behind Riggs until he ran afoul of NASCAR’s drug-abuse policy. NASCAR has still not offered any timetable for the Richmond drug test that Hmiel took or any details of the drugs involved or what medical treatment program would be acceptable.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-29-2003)
  • Sadler OK after horrible looking accident UPDATE: on lap 182, #38-Elliott Sadler came down the track, after #8-Earnhardt Jr. moved over, Sadler came accross the front of #97-Busch, Sadler then went airbourne after going sideways and hitting an edge of grass which caused him to flip over a few times, Sadler climbed out, was alert and seems ok. NASCAR red flagged the event to clean up and insure a green flag finish. Sadler was then taken to a local hospital as a precaution and to get checked out.(9-28-2003)
    UPDATE: Elliott Sadler was examined and released from the University of Alabama-Birmingham Medical Center late Sunday after a violent accident on Lap 182. “The main thing is he is OK. He said he was alert through the whole ride,” said crew chief, Todd Parrott. “He’s upset because he had a great race car with a car capable of winning the race, but the main thing is he’s OK.”(ThatsRacin.com)(9-29-2003)
  • #43 Jackman gets tossed in the pits, but seems OK: During caution 3 pit stops, the #43 and #38 got together, sending the #43 jackman, Archie Kennedy about 10 feet, after being stunned and helped up, he walked over to the pitwall and sat down and was talking to Richard Petty [owner of the #43], pretty scary looking. Kennedy was chekced by parametics and is alert and says he is ok. He was put on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital to be checked out.(9-28-2003)
    UPDATE: Pit road was nearly as chaotic. Several fender-benders fractured the fronts of these aerodynamic-sensitive cars, including that of Earnhardt Jr. Jeff Green’s spinning car hit jackman Archie Kennedy, who was treated and released from the infield care center.(Roanoke Times Dispatch)(9-29-2003)
  • Foyt transported to hospital UPDATE: #14-Larry Foyt was transported to a local hospital to be checked out after getting hit hard by #19-Mayfield early in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega. Mayfield had a cut tire that caused him to go up the track, which is where Foyt was.(9-28-2003)
    UPDATE: Larry Foyt was flown to University Hospital in Birmingham for precautionary measures after separate crashes. He was evaluated and released Sunday evening.(ESPN/AP)
    AND Larry Foyt was taken to UAB hospital after crashing early in Sunday’s EA Sports 500. Jeremy Mayfield blew a tire on lap 11 and ran up into Foyt’s #14 car, forcing it into the wall. Foyt was released Sunday night. “You could tell that he got the wind knocked out of him,” crew chief Ben Holm said. “He said that he would be OK, but that’s about all he said.”(Charleston Post and Courier)(9-29-2003)
  • “NBC Nightly News” Feature on “NASCAR Dads” Tonight: Tonight’s [9-29] edition of the NBC Nightly News will include a feature on the “NASCAR Dad” political demographic.(Motorsportstv.com)(9-29-2003)

 


(9-28-2003)

 

  • Waltrip wins at Talladega and pops up thru the hatch [was that cool or what?]: after a red flag for a rough looking accident involving #38-Elliott Sadler, #15-Michael Waltrip held off his teammate #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. The rest of the top five were #20-Tony Stewart, #12-Ryan Newman and #24-Jeff Gordon. Two of the top five drivers were ‘Lucky Dog Packers’m getting their laps back after being the first car a lap down and getting their lap back, #8-Earnhardt Jr. and #12-Newman. The win is Waltrip’s 2nd of the year, the first time he has multiple wins in a season and his first win not at Daytona. It is Waltrip’s 4th career win. It is the tenth straight win for Chevy at Talladega. Points leader, #17-Matt Kenseth had his first DNF [did not finish] of 2003 and first since Homestead in Nov 2002. Kenseth finished 33rd, his worst finish of the year [his previous was 22nd at Martinsville]. Kenseth’s lead shrinks from 436 to 354 points over #29-Harvick.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: NOTE: Speed Channel changed their lineup starting in August – so there will be a one-hour recap [called Fast Forward] of the race scheduled for:
    Wednesday, October 1st at 7:00pm/et and again on October 2nd at 1:00am/et;
    and a full three-hour race show will re-air at 3:00pm/et on Thursday, October 2nd
    For results see JAYSKI’s Talladega/EA Sports 500 Race Results page
    See my Talladega Race Info/Rundown page, for the top 10, caution info and narritive, notes about the race, lap leaders, drivers off/out and other results links. Also links and info on my 2003 Race Results pageand 2003 Practice Links page
    See full standings at JAYSKI’s Drivers/Owners Points after Talladega page.(9-28-203)
  • Nemechek has many options: Joe Nemechek, who has lost his ride with [#25] Hendrick Motorsports after this year, is reportedly under consideration to drive a Dodge [I think teh author meant Pontiac and made a mistake, have heard nothing about Wells switching to Dodge] for Cal Wells if Wells is successful in adding a second team for 2004. Neither Wells or Nemechek has said much about the possibility, although Wells has said he is working with a potential sponsor for a second car. Wells, a highly successful owner in Indy Car racing, started a NASCAR team with driver Ricky Craven. Wells has long felt that singlecar teams are at a distinct disadvantage in Winston Cup racing and feels he needs a second team to be competitive. “I feel real good about next year,” Nemecheck said. “We’ve got a lot of things going. I talk with Rick (Hendrick) almost every day. He’s really trying to help me out. In fact, if they get another sponsor, there’s a possibility something could happen here.” In addition to Wells and Hendrick, Nemechek has been in contact with DEI and Richard Childress.(Lakeland Ledger)(9-28-2003)
  • True Heroes: in part from a column at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
    The 1975 Talladega 500 was only seven laps old when a multicar crash began to unfold on the backstretch. Tiny Lund spun around and came to rest with the driver’s side of his car exposed to oncoming traffic. As Lund sat in his disabled car, it was hit in the left door by the car of Terry Link.
    Lund died instantly, while Link’s car, its driver unconscious, came to rest near the inside wall on the backstretch.
    Flames began to show under the hood of Link’s car, but there was no rescue team in sight.
    David Garmany and Richard Simpson, two brothers from Rossville, Ga., were watching the race from the infield near the spot where Link’s car came to rest.
    “When we saw the car on fire and nobody helping [Link], we jumped over the fence and started getting him out of car,” Garmany, now 58, said this week from his home in Lakeland, Fla. But a track worker, apparently upset that the two fans had scaled the fence, began beating them with a stick as thousands of horrified spectators looked on. “He hit me on the shoulder and the back of the head, so I took that stick out of his hand and threw it over next to the dirt bank,” Garmany said.
    Then driver Walter Ballard, who also had slammed into the wall, staggered to Link’s car and persuaded the track worker to let Simpson and Garmany continue their work. Ballard said the two fans were Link’s only hope. “I had to have some help because I wouldn’t have been able to get [Link] out of the car by myself,” Ballard, the 1971 rookie of the year, said this week from his home in Charlotte. Garmany said Ballard, staggering from his own injuries, pleaded with the track worker to leave them alone.
    “Walter Ballard said, ‘He’s trying to save the man’s life, for God’s sake,'” Garmany said. Finally, Garmany and Simpson were able to cut Link’s seat belts and remove him from the car. Still, the only official rescuers in the area were attending to Lund.
    “We stood there a long, long time,” Ballard said. “They finally got another ambulance back there, but it was quite a while.”
    Garmany burned his hands in the rescue, so he was carried to the track’s infield care center in the same ambulance as his hero, Lund. “We tried to massage his chest in the ambulance, but there was no response,” Garmany said. “At that time I was just focused on Tiny, hoping he’d live through that.” Simpson, who is now 59 and living in Chattanooga, and Garmany never received any formal recognition for their heroics. “We asked one of the policemen to take us back to where we were,” Simpson said at the time. “He told us we would have to get back the best way we could.” An unidentified racer overheard the conversation and offered the brothers a ride in his personal car. “I don’t even remember who he was,” Garmany said. “But he apologized for the ignorance of the people we’d dealt with and said he hoped that if he ever got in a bad crash that someone like us would be there for him.”(Atlanta Journal-Constitution), all I can say is wow.(9-28-2003)
  • Still No word on Elliott’s plans: #9-Bill Elliott, according to those who’ve talked with him, is no closer to a decision about his future than he was months ago. But the longer he delays making a decision about retirement, the more likely he is to stick with car owner Ray Evernham for another year. Complicating the situation for Evernham is his second team – will Jeremy Mayfield return for a third year? Will Dodge officials ask Evernham to make a change?(Winston Salem Journal)(9-28-2003)
  • #1 Sponsor Sort of Update: Ty Norris, who runs DEI for Teresa Earnhardt, said that things haven’t changed much in the past three weeks in negotiations for a new sponsor for the #1 Chevy team. ‘A lot of conversations took place over a two- or three-week stretch, and now they’ve taken a two or three week break,’ Norris said. ‘The two companies we’ve been in conversation with still seem to be there… but they’re timing is a little slower than we thought it would be. But I’m still very confident we’re going to secure sponsorship for next year.’ Scott Riggs is still rumored to be the man DEI wants. ‘That’s for others to speculate about,’ Norris said.(Winston Salem Journal). Biffle? Kodak? Kraft? Jayski?(9-28-2003)
  • Stock Car Fans – Rumblings – Talladega: It was a wild one….it was a plate race….and it was Talladega! What more can be said? In a rough race (both on the track and in the pits) Michael Waltrip prevailed in a four lap sprint to the finish today at Talladega Superspeedway in the EA Sports 500, holding off his DEI teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr (who was going for five in a row) to take his second win of the season (Mikey won the Daytona 272.5 back in February) and the 4th win of his career. With every one of ’em a plate win, Mikey is now locked in a 16-way tie for 65th on the all-time win list. This was also win #14 for Dale Earnhardt Inc., and means that DEI has now won seven of the last nine plate races.
    Rough you say? Larry Foyt to the hospital, Elliott Sadler to the hospital, and the Petty Enterprises jackman sprawled on pit road…..I’d call that rough.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr (2nd) had his best finish since he won here back in April.
    Mike Wallace (10th) had his best finish since he was 9th at Daytona in February.
    Jason Keller (26th) had his career-best (albeit only his second start) today. His only previous effort was subbing for Jerry Nadeau at Richmond in May when he finished 32nd.
    Christian Fittipaldi (28th) had his best finish since he was 24th at Pocono in July.
    And, on the flip side, Matt Kenseth (33rd) had his worst finish since he was 40th at Homestead last November.
    STREAKIN….Rusty Wallace has 4 Top-10’s in a row. Ryan Newman has 7 Top-10’s in the last 8 races.
    The Rookie Report: Jamie McMurray (16th) was the top-finishing freshman again this week (for the 15th time this season). He was followed by Greg Biffle (24th), Tony Raines (31st), Casey Mears (37th), and Larry Foyt (43rd). If anybody’s taking a poll, register my vote for running that Davey Allison retro paint job forever. It sure brought back great memories!
    This Week’s Elevator….UP: The Operator of the Week is Dale Earnhardt Jr (+36), followed by Kurt Busch (+33), Dave Blaney (+25), Rusty Wallace (+24), Kevin Harvick (+23), and Robby Gordon (+22). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Sterling Marlin (-35), followed by Jimmie Johnson (-31), Elliott Sadler (-29), Casey Mears (-29), and Buckshot Jones (-24). A wild day on the track translates to a wild day in the shaft. For Jr, this was Op #2 on the season, and for Sterling this was BD #3.
    Buckshot Jones led today for the first time since he led one lap at Michigan in June of 2001. He’s the 46th different driver to lead a lap this season….the same number as last year.
    It would appear that Matt Kenseth suffered little more than a hiccup today. His blown engine cost him 82 points off his lead (it’s now down to 354), but didn’t make a major change in his “Magic Number” vs Kevin Harvick. It’s still a very healthy 9. Everybody from 22nd on down is now out of the running. Ward Burton & Ricky Craven made multiple position moves forward today, while Ricky Rudd, Jeremy Mayfield, and Kyle Petty (a dnq this week) made the same trek downwards.(StockCarFans.Com Winston Cup Newsletter)(9-28-2003)
  • #98-Jason Jarrett’s sponsor is C.H.I. Overhead Doors on the #98 RYR Ford.(9-28-2003)
  • Petree Racing and Menard win ARCA race at Talladega UPDATE no sell: Andy Petree Racing’s Paul Menard, 23, ended a tumultuous weekend by holding off Billy Venturini by 0.151 seconds Saturday to capture his first ARCA victory in the Food World 300 at Talladega Superspeedway. He earned his first pole earlier this season at Winchester, Ind. Menard had the fastest speed in Thursday’s qualifying session but it was disallowed when his #33 Chevrolet failed post-qualifying inspection. Since Menard is running only a limited schedule this season in ARCA, he had no provisionals to fall back on. So, his Andy Petree Racing team bought the car #26 from driver Brad Smith and took his place in the field. “We had the best car all weekend. We had a problem in qualifying. You live and you learn,” Menard said. “This is a new deal for us and these guys gave me a hell of a car. We were just hanging on there at the end. Billy Venturini and Tony Ave are my buddies. They probably could have gotten a run on me, but they stuck with me.” Menard has run a combination of ARCA, NASCAR Busch, Truck and Winston Cup races this season. He entered the Talladega race to become qualified to run on superspeedways as he starts his first full season in the Busch series in 2004. Two drivers involved in a multicar accident on Lap 69 of 113 were taken to area hospitals. Ken Weaver was taken to the University of Alabama-Birmingham Medical Center, and Keith Segars to Northeast Medical Center in Anniston, both for observation.(ThatsRacin.com), NOTE: Kurt Busch, who started on the pole finished 28th [accident] and Boris Said, being coached by Ernie Irvan finished 24th [accident] in his first superspeedway race. And Christi Passmore finished 5th.[see full results at the ARCA Racing site](9-27-2003)
    UPDATE – didn’t sell ride: Brad Smith didn’t sell his ride, but was injured and couldn’t race, from his site: The owner/driver of the #26 Ford was injured Thursday when his ride caught fire during his qualifying run at Talladega Superspeedway. He spent two nights at the Medical Center at the University of Alabama in Birmingham before beginning his trip back to Michigan Saturday morning. So the #26 team had a 38th place provisional starting spot for Saturday’s Food World 300, but they had neither a car nor a driver for the event. What do you do in a case like that? You find someone who has both. Wisconsin native Paul Menard, who was fastest in Thursday’s qualifying session, found his time disallowed when his rear quarter panel didn’t pass inspection. His car owner, Andy Petree, didn’t have enough points for a provisional, as the team had run only three other ARCA events this season. The 26 got the owner’s points for the event, as well as a little extra exposure for the team.(Brad Smith site)(9-28-2003)
  • Dodge leader comes in 2nd: John Fernandez, Director of Dodge Motorsports, raced to a second place finish in the Showroom Stock SSC class race at the SCCA National Championship Valvoline Runoffs at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, last Friday [9-19]. Fernandez held the class’s fastest qualifying time (1:48.153) through the first two days of time-trials, but was bumped to second on the third an final day of qualifying for the Valvoline Runoffs on Wednesday. Residue of Hurricane Isabel kept race conditions damp and windy for Friday’s 20-lap event, but Fernandez battled to a runner-up finish while running in the top-three throughout the course of the race. He dropped from second to third by lap four of the race but was able to re-claim second place on his 11th lap around the 11-turn roadcourse. Fernandez also posted the fastest lap of the day (1:50.053) en-route to his second-place run. “My car was a little better in the wet,” Fernandez said. “Tom Long was able to get around me and as we battled Mike Kramer got away. The track was drying and it was very tricky driving.” Mike Kramer, of Franklin, Tenn., led from flag-to-flag to earn his first ever Runoffs Championship.(Golin Harris PR)(9-28-2003)
  • Stewart sits out practice; Kyle practices the #20 UPDATE and Kyle will stand by Sunday: #20-Tony Stewart was on the sidelines Saturday morning as Winston Cup practice rolled off at Talladega Superspeedway. Migraine headaches were to blame, the driver’s No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team said. Kyle Petty was in the car for the two Saturday sessions on the 2.66-mile Alabama speedway.(Mercury News)(9-27-2003)
    UPDATE: Kyle Petty practiced the car during the first session, and Bobby Labonte drove the car four laps after crew chief Greg Zipadelli made a carburetor change for the second practice. Petty is standing by to fill in for Stewart should he not be able to race on Sunday.(GM PR). No idea why #80-Mike Bliss, who attempted to make the race in a third Gibbs car is standing by.(9-28-2003)


    (9-27-2003)

  • Most Hated Sport? Dog Fighting, NASCAR is 8th of 10: Popularity polls come and go. As the baseball playoffs begin, the NFL is boasting that one poll shows it is more than twice as popular as the national pastime. But a new survey looks deeper into the American psyche, rating the sports that are loathed the most. No. 1 on the list, by far, is dogfighting, hated or disliked a lot by 81 percent of the public, according to a poll conducted by the Sports Marketing Group in Atlanta. Makes you wonder what the other 19 percent were thinking. The PGA Tour is the No. 5 most hated and disliked sport (30.4 percent), followed by the PGA seniors’ Champions Tour (29.9), the LPGA Tour (29.2), [8th] NASCAR (27.9), Major League Soccer (27.6) and the ATP men’s tennis tour (26.5). That’s a lot of people who hate or dislike events that sponsors are backing with billions of bucks.[Jump tp NASCAR section] NASCAR turns off almost as many with the opposite image: red, white and blue — or as some see it, redneck, blue collar and white skin — even if it is has broadened its appeal to millions who don’t fit that description. For most of the sports, with the exception of NASCAR, which has grown both in popularity and unpopularity with increased exposure on television, there was little change from the Sports Marketing Group’s study that asked the same questions 10 years ago.(see full AP story at Yahoo)(9-27-2003)
  • Stewart loses Goodyear support? more on the growing Goodyear tire controversy, following Tony Stewart’s angry complaints after losing at Dover. Goodyear officials fanned the debate when they again refused to respond to numerous questions about the issues: Was Stewart correct in claiming that a problem with the freshness of his tires cost him the race? Was crew chief Greg Zipadelli correct that the age of the tires used this season is a significant problem on the Winston Cup tour? Is Goodyear wrong to have special sponsorship deals with some of the top teams? Is NASCAR wrong to give Goodyear a monopoly and then allow Goodyear to make those special deals? Goodyear also declined to respond to complaints by some crews that the top six or seven teams are provided secret technological information unavailable to the other teams. NASCAR stayed on the sideline, but did fine Stewart $5,000 for using foul language on TV. Goodyear is expected to cancel Stewart’s tire deal. After a similar tirade, Stewart lost his Goodyear sponsorship for 2002, making him the first to win a Winston Cup championship without a Good-year deal. Goodyear will return to its ‘Born-on’ tire dating next season, but Goodyear appears unlikely to reveal its current secret dating codes this fall. Goodyear yesterday was offered the opportunity to confirm or deny Greg Zipadelli’s complaint that its Dover tires came from different batches, but the company declined. Goodyear sells on a no-return policy, and NASCAR selects tires at random for each team. So there is an underground economy among Winston Cup crew chiefs who trade tires with each other, trying to match sets.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-27-2003)
  • Dale Jr still owns the lead of Most Popular Driver: More than 2.3 million votes have been cast in the Grands! Biscuits NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award balloting, and fan-favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. continues to lead. After placing your daily vote for your favorite driver at www.mostpopulardriver.com, click to the “Experience of a Lifetime” section of the Web site for your chance to win a trip for two to a Richard Petty Driving Experience. Now through November 17, 2003, at 11:59 am CST, people can enter online for a chance to win the Petty Driving Experience at one of these locations: Atlanta, Georgia, Las Vegas, Nevada, Brooklyn, Michigan, and Fort Worth,Texas. One winner will be randomly drawn from all eligible entries received. Official sweepstakes rules are available at www.mostpopulardriver.com. Earnhardt Jr., who finished second last year to 16-time Most Popular Driver Award winner Bill Elliott, has led since voting began in February [Elliott took himself out of the running]. Four-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon is second, followed closely by Kevin Harvick. Rounding out the top 10 are Tony Stewart, Michael Waltrip, Mark Martin, Dale Jarrett, Kyle Petty and Bobby Labonte [actually just 9 listed, no idea who #10 is].(Williams Company PR)(9-27-2003)
  • Waltrip alone with the hatch: It was Micheal Waltrip that helped test the new roof escape hatch system NASCAR has been working on for the last six month or so and it was Waltrip’s car that gets to test it out first under race conditions. The #15 is the only car equipped with the new device this weekend at Talladega. Everyone in the garage area gathered around it at one point before inspection to get a look to see how it worked. The hatch, which measures approximately 24 inches by 24 inches on the driver’s side roof, is controlled by steel cable pull cords in the cockpit that are connected to a latch system. By pulling on one cable, it will allow the driver to open the exit to the front or rear of the car. By pulling on both cables, it will allow the driver to completely remove the piece. The system is controlled by the driver, but safety crews also will be able to release the system as well, if needed. Jack Roush said their teams had no immediate interest in installing the devices unless NASCAR made it mandatory or if one of his drivers requested one. “We want to see what the hatch will do in actual conditions before we even consider it,” said Roush. The kits will be available through independent vendors, will cost approximately $150.00 and will take the teams about 15 hours to install. Gary Nelson displayed the device on TV a couple of weeks ago and the one he demonstrated showed the hatch opening from side to side but the one on the No. 15 car clearly opened from front to back, or back to front. The escape hatch will allow drivers an additional exit through the top of the vehicle should they be unable to utilize the traditional window exit.(Insider Racing)(9-27-2003)
  • Fastest at Talladega since 2000: #38-Elliott Sadler put his Ford on the pole position at Talladega with a lap of 189.943mph, which was the fastest the Cup cars have run here since 2000 [Joe Nemechek, 190.279 in Oct 2000], but far from the record run of 212.809 mph set in 1987 by Bill Elliot or the restrictor plate Talladega record speed of 199.388 also by Elliott in May of 1990.(Alabama Live and Jayski’s Restrictor Plate page)(9-27-2003)
  • Judge awards compensation to doctor who treated Earnhardt: Dr. Stephen Bohannon, who tended to Dale Earnhardt at Halifax Medical Center immediately after the crash at Daytona in Feb 2001, was back in court Friday seeking fees from the Gainesville-based Independent Florida Alligator for the time he spent preparing for and giving what his attorney described as “expert” testimony at depositions and at trial. Circuit Judge Joseph Will agreed and ruled Bohannon should receive fees to be determined later. Bohannon testified in a civil trial in June 2001 about the value of autopsy photos, while Earnhardt’s widow, Teresa, tried to stave off media requests for access to her husband’s photos.(see full story at the Daytona Beach News Journal)(9-27-2003)
  • Ward hopes to know 2004 ride by end of next week: Ward Burton says he wants to have a decision on a 2004 ride: ‘It needs to be done by the end of next week.'(Winston Salem Journal)(9-27-2003)
  • More on Mayfield and RCR: While Jeremy Mayfield has been hot with car owner Ray Evernham this month and is bidding to hold his Dodge ride, insiders say that Mayfield continues to be a front-runner for a ride with Richard Childress. Steve Park, Childress’ third driver, failed to make the 500 field yesterday.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-27-2003)

    (9-26-2003)

  • Sadler wins pole at Talladega; Earnhardt Jr’s and Keller’s times disallowed: #38-Elliott Sadler won the pole at Talladega for the EA Sports 500 with a speed of 189.943mph, his second pole for Sadler in 2003 and his career. Rookie #42-Jamie McMurray put the special paint scheme Dodge on the outside pole. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., who ran a lap of 188.382mph which would had put him starting 11th was disallowed when inpsectors found the rear quarter panels of the #8 Chevy 5/16″ too low, the tolerence is 1/4″, so Dale Jr. has to use a provisional to make the field and will start 38th. The penalty allowed #14-Foyt to stay 36th and make the field and knocked #30-Steve Park out of the race. Other missing the race are: #54-Bodine; #4-Lepage; #80-Bliss; #45-Petty and #0-Leffler.
    UPDATE: also #1-Jason Keller’s qualifying time/speed was disllowed for the sme infraction as Earnahrdt Jr., the rear quarter panels on their Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolets were deemed too low in post-qualifying inspection. The required height for rear quarter panels from the ground is 35 inches minimum on the right side, with a quarter-inch tolerance after their qualifying run. Keller was to start 33rd.
    For qualifying results, who used provisionals, pole progression, where the rookies are and other links to lineups at JAYSKI’s Qualifying/Grid page.(9-26-2003)
  • Testing at Atlanta Next Week: The NASCAR drivers will descend on Atlanta Motor Speedway next week, ready to start testing for the Oct. 24-26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Cup [#15] and Busch [#99] driver Michael Waltrip, NASCAR Busch Series driver #37-David Green and Georgia native #00-Buckshot Jones will all be on hand next Monday and Tuesday, testing their cars. Waltrip’s test will serve a dual purpose, as he will be competing in both the Oct. 25 Aaron’s 312 and the Oct. 26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Jones will be testing a Waltrip-owned car also sponsored by Aaron’s for the Oct. 26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Jones also tested the car last October, hoping to make his return to Winston Cup in the machine. Qualifying was rained out, however, and with no owner points, Jones was left out of the field. Busch driver David Green will be at Atlanta to test his car for the Aaron’s 312 Busch race. Great seats are still available, with three-day ticket packages starting at just $69, from the ticket office at (770) 946-4211. The two-day test session is closed to the public.(AMS PR)(9-26-2003)
  • Parts Confiscated: NASCAR officials confiscated unapproved springs from the cars of Jimmy Spencer, Ken Schrader and Ward Burton during pre-qualifying inspection on Friday at Talladega.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-26-2003)
  • Dale Jr’s wreck the hardest hit? Though Dale Earnhardt Jr’s late-race accident last weekend at Dover International Speedway wasn’t overly spectacular in appearance, the data from the crash could prove otherwise. Earnhardt said Friday at Talladega Superspeedway that, though he was unsure of specifics, the crash may have been the worst recorded to date by black box technology.(see full story at NASCAR.com)(9-26-2003)
  • Stewart and Mayfield fined: [been asked enough why there were no fines for this, like I would know….here ya go:]
    NASCAR officials have fined NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers Jeremy Mayfield and Tony Stewart $5,000 for use of inappropriate language during the telecast of Sunday’s MBNA America 400 at Dover International Speedway. Mayfield, driver of the #19 Dodge Dealers Dodge, was penalized under Section 12-4-A in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book: “Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Improper use of language.” Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevy, was penalized under Section 12-4-A in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book: “Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Improper use of language.”(NASCAR PR)(9-26-2003)
  • Home Depot stays with Gibbs until 2009: The Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, has extended its contract with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) through 2009 as primary sponsor of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet driven by reigning NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart. Home Depot’s extension parallels Stewart’s new contract with JGR, ensuring Home Depot’s involvement with JGR and Stewart well into what will soon become the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. “Home Depot is pleased to extend its relationship with a partner that mirrors our culture. Winning 16 races and a national championship requires a team that has a passion for leadership, performance, and attention to detail. On behalf of our 315,000 Home Depot associates, we look forward to six more years of a great partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing and Tony Stewart,” said John Costello, executive vice president for merchandising and marketing of The Home Depot. “The growth and success of our race team wouldn’t have been possible without the support of The Home Depot,” said Gibbs, who formed his race team more than 11 years ago. “Home Depot’s drive to win is just as strong as ours, which is why there’s so much pride built into those orange and black race cars. Our relationship with Home Depot allows us to perform at our best week in and week out, something that will continue for many years to come.”
    “In my 23 years of racing I can honestly say that Home Depot has been the best sponsor I’ve ever had,” said Stewart. “The support they’ve given to our race team has been excellent, and it’s great to know that Home Depot will continue to be a part of our efforts to win more races and another championship.”(True Speed Communication PR)(9-26-2003)
  • More on Villeneuve to NASCAR? 1997 F-1 Champ Jacques Villeneuve has been thinking about taking his dyed blonde locks and rich racing pedigree to NASCAR next season if things don’t work out in Formula One. “Why not? It’s not something I know or understand, but it would be worth looking into — anything can be good and fun if it’s done the right way,” he said. “The problem with NASCAR is that if you’re from the outside, you are in a battle of your own, aren’t you? From what I hear, the drivers make a lot — not directly — but it’s not too bad.” Villeneuve admitted yesterday that he’s mulling a number of options outside F-1, including driving in the 24-hour sportscar race at Le Mans, but added quickly that the two open-wheeled racing series in the United States are not on his radar screen. With Championship Auto Racing Teams floundering and soon to be under new management, Villeneuve is interested to see how things turn out for the series, but he won’t be part of the rebuilding process. When asked about the possibility of driving in CART’s rival Indy Racing League, run by U.S. Grand Prix promoter Tony George, Villeneuve pulled no punches. “I would never race in IRL because it has destroyed open-wheeled racing in North America, which is too bad because the Indy 500 has always been the biggest, most important race in the world and now it’s been tainted by the fact that there’s now two series.” But, despite his stock car dreams, a reliable source in the U.S. Grand Prix paddock said the Canadian wouldn’t be looking too far for his next employer after F-1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone approached Jaguar this week about hiring Villeneuve for 2004.(Globe and Mail), see past news on my Drivers Looking page.(9-26-2003)
  • #77 ‘Dodge’ at Talladega? UPDATE Yep: hearing the #77 Jasper Motorsports team may run a Dodge instead of a Ford at Talladega at the end of the month. Penske-Jasper builde both Dodge engines [for the #2 and #12] and Ford engines [the #77].(9-6-2003)
    UPDATE: Jasper Motorsports has elected to field a Dodge for its driver Dave Blaney in this weekend’s Winston Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. The team, which has used Fords since its inception, built a Dodge and sent it along with one of its Fords for a wind-tunnel test, and the results favored the Dodge, said Robert “Bootie” Barker, the team’s crew chief. “We have had one of each built because we’ve struggled so bad at the restrictor-plate tracks. We took them to the wind tunnel and put both on the chassis dyno and the Dodge seemed to be a little better,” he said. “Our deal is to bring the best piece you can to the track because we’re here to win races. We were dead last before.” Asked if Jasper was considering a permanent move to the Dodge camp, Barker said: “We’re going right back to Ford, of course, for the next few races and try to do the best job we can, but you never know.” In three restrictor-plate races at Daytona (two) and Talladega this season, Blaney has finished 24th, 23rd and 35th. He is 28th in series points.(ThatsRacin.com), am hearing that the team will switch to Dodge for 2004.(9-26-2003)
  • Vickers adds another 2003 Cup race: Hendrick Motorsports is planning to move up the Winston Cup debut of its Busch Series driver, Brian Vickers. Vickers, who leads the Busch points race, was already planning to run this season’s last four Cup races with MB2 Motorsports [#01 US Army Pontiac]. He will move full time to Cup next season in Hendrick’s #25 Chevrolet [with GMAC as a sponsor]. However, Vickers, 19, now hopes to make his Cup debut in the Oct. 11 UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., where he will run the #60 Chevrolet, Hendrick’s research and development team. Hendrick officials confirmed the plans Friday. The Busch Series is off this weekend and Vickers was away testing and unavailable for comment.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-26-2003)
  • Dover TV Ratings: Nielsen Media Research says NBC’s broadcast of last Sunday’s MBNA America 400 from Dover International Speedway drew a 4.2 rating and a 10 share, MotorsportsTV.com says. The story says the race drew 4,591,000 households, which is 27 percent more than last year’s household reach when the race was on TNT. Because direct comparisons can’t be drawn between cable and broadcast viewership, the story says the Dover race compares favorably with NBC’s broadcasts last year from New Hampshire and Kansas City, which earned 3.7 and 4.4 ratings, respectively. The Dover race outdrew all college football broadcasts and trailed only four NFL games, the Web service says.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter/MotorsportsTV.com)(9-26-2003)
  • Hamilton Jr. to attempt Cup race at Kansas: it was mentioned during TNT’s Busch Series race coverage while reporting on the full field that Bobby Hamilton Jr. would be attempting to make the Cup race at Kansas Speedway in Oct.(TNT’s Race coverage of the Busch Series race)(9-6-2003)
    UPDATE: “I want to see how we stack up.” Those were the words of Team Rensi Motorsports Crew Chief Harold Holly when asked why the team would attempt the Banquet 400 Winston Cup race at Kansas Speedway. Since Holly has joined Team Rensi Motorsports and driver Bobby Hamilton, Jr. the organization has been on fire with two wins, seven top-fives and ten top-ten finishes in 14 starts in the Busch Series. Now the organization owned by brothers Ed and Sam Rensi and Gary Weisbaum will make a step up to the Winston Cup Series for the 400-mile race. Bobby Hamilton, Jr. currently sits in sixth position in the NASCAR Busch Series Point Standings and is eager to compete with the Winston Cup drivers. “Everyone here at Team Rensi is excited about the opportunity to see what we can do in Winston Cup. We feel like we have put together a real strong Busch Series team and now we want to see what we can do in Winston Cup. It’s everyone’s goal here to eventually run full-time in The Winston Cup Series. This will be a good test to see where we stand.” Earlier this year, prior to the arrival of crew chief Harold Holly, the team failed to qualify for the Winston Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race marked the first time Hamilton, Jr. had failed to qualify for a Winston Cup race in 12 previous attempts. His best career finish came in 2001 at Talladega Superspeedway where he finished 14th. Hamilton, Jr. will pilot a #35 Ford Taurus with Robert Yates horsepower in the Banquet 400. The team spent two days earlier this week testing at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway. Team Rensi is currently searching for sponsorship for the event. Interested companies, check the team site at www.teamrensimotorsports.com for more information.(9-26-2003)
  • Testing at Kansas: hearing #49-Ken Schrader and #35-Bobby Hamilton Jr. are testing Cup cars at Kansas Speedway in preparation for the Oct 5th Banquet 400. Also testing at Kansas this week is #88-Dale Jarrett on Wednesday and Thursday and #40-Sterling Marlin on Tuesday and Wednesday at Kansas.(9-23-2003)
    UPDATE: also been told that #97-Kurt Busch, #21-Ricky Rudd, and #2-Rusty Wallace were testing at Kansas also.(9-26-2003)
  • Forbes LIst: The new Forbes 400 list is out, and NASCAR’s big three are even richer: Bill and Jim France are pegged at $1.2 billion each, just ahead of Bruton Smith at $1.1 billion.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-26-2003)

    (9-25-2003)

  • Elliott’s Crew Wins Pit Award: Bill Elliott’s No. 9 pit crew notched its fifth victory in the McDonald’s Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade by edging Elliott Sadler’s team in Sunday’s MBNA America 400 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The No. 9 pit crew became the second team to capture five McDonald’s/POWERade wins and season prize money of $100,000 ($20,000 for each win). The crew for Dale Earnhardt Jr. also has five victories. The four other first-place finishes for Elliott’s crew were at: Bristol (March), Talladega (April), New Hampshire (July) and Darlington (August). Elliott’s No. 9 Evernham Motorsports Dodge spent the least amount of time on pit road for participating teams during the Dover race – 197.400 seconds. Sadler’s No. 38 M&Ms Ford was a close second with a total pit road time of 197.728. Third was Jeff Burton’s Citgo Ford at 230.933. “The guys certainly earned it this week,” said Elliott. “They were on their game. We gained several positions on pit road, not just once but throughout the day. I am proud of them.” Elliott’s over-the-wall crew consists of: Todd Colburn (jackman), Nick Bailey (front tire carrier), Jim Pohlman (front tire changer), Eric Wakeland (rear tire carrier), Joe Kruschek (rear tire changer), Rodney Rhodes (gasman) and Steve Lawrence (catch can). The team’s crew chief is Mike Ford and the pit crew coach is Greg Miller. Though Michael Waltrip’s No. 15 Chevrolet had an early exit in the Dover race, the team hardly lost any ground in the McDonald’s Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade point standings. The team’s closest challenger – the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet team for Dale Earnhardt Jr. – also posted a DNF. Waltrip’s pit crew has a 32-point lead over Earnhardt’s crew. Kurt Busch’s team is third – 42 points behind. The season pit crew champion will earn a $200,000 bonus.(DMF Communications PR), for season results, other race results and pit crew news I find, see my Pit Crew page.(9-25-2003)
  • Goodyear’s NASCAR tire program continues on target: “The overall performance of our Goodyear’s Eagle racing radials in NASCAR’s top three series this season is right on target. The cornerstone of that program is the design and production of a safe, high-quality tire that meets NASCAR’s criteria for demanding racecars and diverse tracks, and provides the broadest possible compatibility with the particular driving styles of all 43 Winston Cup drivers on any given race weekend. To ensure absolute fairness, the tires are distributed at random to teams under strict guidance of NASCAR officials. Goodyear’s reputation for race tire quality is well grounded. Every Winston Cup tire produced in our Akron, Ohio, Technical Center Manufacturing facility undergoes rigorous quality control procedures before it leaves the plant. “Our company takes that responsibility very seriously. For the last year, we have even placed a fulltime race tire engineer at the NASCAR R&D center in Concord, NC, to ensure that Goodyear and NASCAR work together seamlessly as the sport evolves. Last weekend, Dover race winner Ryan Newman described the Goodyear tires as “awesome,” after running the same set through the final 106 laps. However, also at Dover after finishing third, Tony Stewart voiced his displeasure with our product. While we appreciate that he is a dedicated, passionate driver, we don’t take such comments lightly and we fully intend to investigate his concerns. “This week, our engineers will be talking with him and his team to get into the actual data.(Goodyear PR)(9-25-2003)
  • Hendrick Named NCMA Vice Chairman: Richard Petty, chairman of the North Carolina Motorsports Association (NCMA), announced today that Rick Hendrick has been named vice chairman of the NCMA board of directors. “It is an honor to accept the position of vice chairman of the North Carolina Motorsports Association,” Hendrick said. “I look forward to working with Richard and the board of directors in promoting and growing our sport statewide. The NCMA has served as the unifying voice for the racing industry in North Carolina for more than a year, and I’m proud to be a part of that continuing effort.” Hendrick succeeds Keystone Marketing Co. Inc. president Roger Bear as the NCMA vice chairman. Bear will continue to serve the organization as an active board member. “Many thanks to Roger for his efforts and support in getting this great organization off the ground,” said Ed McLean, NCMA executive director. The North Carolina Motorsports Association is a nonprofit corporation designed and structured to be an effective representative and proponent of and for the motor sports industry in North Carolina. The NCMA is a trade association of businesses and individuals involved in motor racing in North Carolina. Further information on the NCMA can be accessed via the organization’s Web site, located at www.ncmotorsportsassociation.org.(North Carolina Motorsports Association PR)(9-25-2003)

    (9-24-2003)

  • Dale Jr. to the Hospital and Released; need NASCAR Approval to race UPDATE 6 Dale Jr cleared and WILL drive:: NBC is reporting that #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. is being flown by helicopter to a local hospital [in Dover], he is conscious and talking.
    Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was airlifted to a local hospital on Sunday after being knocked unconscious in an accident at Dover International Speedway. He was alert and talking upon exit from the track, but NASCAR officials chose to transport him by air rather than ground due to traffic concerns. He was later treated and released from Bay Health Medical Center.(NASCAR.com)
    UPDATEs 1-4 can be found on my #8 Team News and Links page.
    UPDATE 5: NASCAR has yet to clear Winston Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. for competition this weekend after he suffered a minor concussion and sprained right foot in an accident in last Sunday’s race at Dover. NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said Tuesday the sanctioning body would not likely decide whether to allow Earnhardt Jr. to race until sometime Wednesday. Hunter said NASCAR was evaluating the results from Earnhardt Jr.’s follow-up doctor visits Monday in Charlotte, N.C.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-23-2003)
    UPDATE 6: Team officials confirmed Wednesday afternoon that NASCAR has cleared Dale Earnhardt Jr. to race in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega on Sunday. The driver suffered a minor concussion and sprained right foot in an accident in last Sunday’s race at Dover. NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said Tuesday the sanctioning body was evaluating the results from Earnhardt Jr.’s follow-up doctor visits in Charlotte, N.C. According to team officials, Earnhardt Jr. is using crutches and has been told by doctors to stay off his feet. He canceled a planned appearance at a news conference Tuesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-24-2003)
  • Morgan-McClure Motorsports names drivers for remainder of 2003: Morgan-McClure Motorsports named Kevin Lepage and Johnny Sauter as the drivers of the #4 Kodak Pontiac for the remainder of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup season. Tim Brewer will serve as team manager and crew chief. Lepage, who has competed in two races for the Abingdon, Va.-based team in 2003, will be in the car for six of the remaining races. The Shelburne, Vt.-native has 133 career Winston Cup starts with two top-fives, eight top-10s and one pole position. He drove for Morgan-McClure in 21 races during the 2001 season, turning in four top-15 finishes. With consistency as a key element of his driving style, Lepage has improved his starting positions by 13 and 26 spots in the two races he has driven the #4 Kodak Pontiac. Johnny Sauter will compete in the #4 Kodak Grand Prix at Kansas City and Phoenix. The two races will bring Sauter’s total career Winston Cup starts to seven, which leaves him eligible for Rookie of the Year status when he moves to Winston Cup full time [wonder with who? the #4 team or to the #30 AOL car?] . Sauter, born on May 1, 1978, in Necedah, Wisconsin, currently sits seventh in the NASCAR Busch Series point standings. He has 64 Busch Series starts with two wins, nine top-fives, 18 top-10s and three pole positions. His best Winston Cup finish is 23rd at Loudon.
    Kevin Lepage quotes: “It is good to be back in a Winston Cup car. It gets pretty lonely on weekends watching the races from home. Being in the Winston Cup garage with all of my friends and co-workers is important to me. Racing on Sundays is my desire and passion. “This is a great opportunity to be back in the No. 4 Kodak Pontiac. We had some decent runs a few years ago and hope to continue that this year. It is also nice to be back with friends we made while with the team. We have had some success with the two races I have run so far. At Darlington we just kept working on the car and never gave up. We had a good finish because the entire worked their tails off and never lost focus. I think the weather hurt us at Dover by not being able to qualify. Due to a tire problem, we got down a few laps and did not have the finish we had wanted. The car was easily in the top-15 to top-20 range. We are looking for some really solid runs during the remainder of the races.”(Morgan-McClure Motorsports PR)(9-24-2003)
  • Changes in the All-Star Race? Unknown: Lowe’s Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler said he doesn’t know if next season’s NASCAR all-star race, held at LMS every year but one since 1985, will change in format with the departure of series sponsor R.J. Reynolds. RJR’s Winston brand played a large role in developing the all-star race and sponsored it. Nextel Communications is taking over sponsorship of what is now known as the Winston Cup series beginning in 2004, and will co-sponsor the event with NASCAR. NASCAR recently announced the race would remain at the Concord track at least one more season. “No one has had a conversation about it with me yet. I met with Tim Donahue (Nextel’s CEO and president) last week and we didn’t even talk about the all-star race. We’re probably going to have a meeting up in New York,” Wheeler said. “I don’t think there will be any substantial changes. Nextel is probably going to say, ‘NASCAR, speedway work it out. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.’ “(ThatsRacin.com)(9-24-2003)
  • Petty Enterprises safe with Dodge: DaimlerChrysler officials denied reports that Petty Enterprises was losing its top-tier status with Dodge. Although there have been concerns regarding the performance of the Nos. 43 and 45 cars this season, Dodge is committed to honoring the remaining years on Petty’s contract.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(9-24-2003)
  • more on Wells 2nd team effort: Cal Wells has been working on a second team, and though the team isn’t any closer to announcing its plans, Wells says, “Decision time is imminent.” More from Wells: “We have to have the money to do this, but we are really, really close. Our organization is developed to a point where we could really get things done if we have the opportunity with a second team.” Wells says he has talked to Joe Nemechek about driving for his team and adds that his objective is to find the “proper teammate” for driver Ricky Craven.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(9-24-2003)
  • McFarland wins NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Championship: Twenty-five year old Mark McFarland, of Winchester, Va., has won the 2003 NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series national championship and is set to collect the richest payout in series history. McFarland won the series’ Atlantic Region championship after recording 16 wins and 18 top-five finishes in 18 starts in the Late Model Stock Car division at Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas, Va. McFarland’s racing record was the best among the eight NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series regional champions, as determined by NASCAR’s Competition Performance Index (CPI) and he will receive $170,000 as the series’ national champion. McFarland will also collect bonuses of $27,500 from Dodge, plus an additional $16,000 for finishing fourth in the series’ Southeastern Coastal Region standings. McFarland earned the second regional award for his performance at Southampton Motor Speedway in Capron, Va., where he competed on Friday nights in addition to his Saturday schedule at Old Dominion. The bonus awards pushed his post-season winnings to $213,500, the largest point fund award ever won by a single driver in the 21-year history of the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series. McFarland is the first driver from Virginia to win the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series national championship and he is the second-youngest driver to claim the national title (Robert Powell was 23 when he accomplished the feat in 1988). McFarland is the first driver to win the national championship in an asphalt Late Model Stock Car since 1997. McFarland, who has competed in selected NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events in his career, will also get a few opportunities to showcase his skills in some top-notch equipment. As the 2003 national champion, McFarland will participate in two “test & tune” sessions courtesy of Dodge and Whelen Engineering. First, McFarland will spend a day testing one of Ray Evernham’s NASCAR Winston Cup Series Dodge Intrepids, a benefit he earned for winning the national title behind the wheel of his own Dodge race car. After that, McFarland will spend another full day testing with the Whelen Engineering-sponsored No. 31 NASCAR Busch Series car. McFarland’s post-season schedule also includes several special events for Late Model Stock Cars plus a host of media appearances as 2003 national champion. The festivities will continue through the NASCAR Winston Cup Series awards banquet – Dec. 6 in New York City – where he’ll be an honored guest along with the 2003 champions from every other NASCAR series.
    2003 NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Regional Champions
    Driver, Home Track, Region,Starts, Wins, Top 5
    1. Mark McFarland, Old Dominion Speedway, Atlantic, 18, 16, 18
    2. Tom Seets Sr., Tri-City Speedway, Heartland, 18, 17, 17
    3. Mark Wertz, Langley Speedway, Southeastern Coastal, 18, 13, 17
    4. Jerry Robertson, Colorado National Speedway, Northwest, 18, 11, 16
    5. Rip Michels, Irwindale Speedway, Sunbelt, 18, 10, 14
    6. Kyle Berck, Nebraska Raceway Park, Midwest, 18, 6, 15
    7. Ed Dachenhausen, Chemung Speedrome, Northeast, 19, 12, 17
    8. Dennis Gada, Waterford Speedbowl, New England, 18, 6, 11
    (NASCAR PR)(9-24-2003)


    (9-23-2003)

  • Dale Jr. and Lorenzen Voted to the Walk of Fame: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be enshrined in the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame in nearby Davey Allison Memorial Park. On the eve of the EA SPORTS* 500, Dale Jr. will be inducted into the Walk of Fame after receiving the most votes by the fans. This is the quickest any driver has been inducted into the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame. This is only Dale Jr.’s fourth full season in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. His father, Dale Earnhardt, was the first active driver to be inducted into the Walk of Fame, in the inaugural class of 1995. Fred Lorenzen, voted as one of the 50 greatest drivers in NASCAR history, will be enshrined into the Walk of Fame as the inactive driver of 2003. The 2003 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame Induction Ceremony is on Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Davey Allison Memorial Park in uptown Talladega , a block south of the town square. This year’s ceremony marks the 10th anniversary of Davey Allison’s death. Joining emcee Benny Parsons on stage will be Larry McReynolds and special guests Liz Allison, along with children Robbie and Krista Allison. The induction ceremony begins at 7 p.m. and is free to the public.(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(8-6/9-23-2003)
  • Irvan back at Talladega: Former NASCAR great Ernie Irvan will be at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend to coach road racing specialist Boris Said in his superspeedway debut. Said will compete in Saturday’s Food World 300 ARCA race as a means of gaining NASCAR’s superspeedway approval that will allow him to drive in the 2004 Bud Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. He earned his berth in the Bud Shootout – a special race for the previous season’s pole winners – when he captured the pole as the hired gun driver for the U.S. Army/MB2 Motorsports team at the June Winston Cup road race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Said’s ride in the ARCA race will be a joint effort between MB2 Motorsports and Ken Schrader Racing. He will drive the Ken Schrader-owned USG Sheetrock Brand #99 Pontiac. Irvan, who retired as a Winston Cup driver due to injuries with 13 races remaining in the 1999 season, joined Said in Talladega at a recent test session. “No doubt, Boris will be able to handle this,” said Irvan, whose career record at Talladega includes two wins and five poles. “He did a good job at the test session. He knows how to go fast but I did tell him it doesn’t matter how fast you go,“ the most important thing is to get approved for Daytona. I explained to him that he can’t get over-anxious and try to set the world on fire. It’s all about getting approved for Daytona. Sometimes patience is the hardest thing to learn and the easiest thing to forget.” Said, who raced for Irvan in the Craftsman Truck Series in 1997 and 1998 and also for two Winston Cup races in 1999 — Watkins Glen and Homestead said he feels fortunate to have Irvan as a coach. “Ernie and I have built a solid relationship over the years,” offered Said. “He gave me sound advice at the test session and I am sure counting on him for this weekend. This is not going to be easy as I’ve never drafted before or driven in a restrictor plate race. I am also thankful to Ken Schrader for his help and to USG Sheetrock brand for its sponsorship support. Dale Jr. has also offered advice and that’s really cool since he’s been the dominant driver recently at Talladega. I really want the shot at driving in the Bud Shootout in Daytona. That would be a dream come true. To be truthful, winning the pole in Sonoma still hasn’t sunk in.” While his main focus will be on how well Said adapts to the 2.66-mile oval, Irvan said he is also looking forward to meeting old friends and getting back into the racing mix. “When I was at the test session with Boris it was like a homecoming for me,” said Irvan, whose Winston Cup career record includes 15 wins and 22 poles. “I not only got to mingle with security and medical people who I got to know through my accidents, but the laid-back atmosphere of a test session also enabled me to talk to crew members on this team and other teams. It was sure fun to rekindle some of my old relationships. If time permits, I hope to do more of the same.during.race weekend,” he added.(DMF PR)(9-23-2003)
  • Kenseth Racing for Charity at Talladega: #17- Matt Kenseth will be racing for more than a trip to Victory Lane during the EA Sports 500 on September 28 – he’ll be racing for charity as well. As part of Smirnoff Ice Triple Black’s “Race for Charity,”. $250 will be donated to R.A.D.D. for every lap Kenseth leads at the Talladega Superspeedway. This event is part of the Smirnoff Ice Triple Black “Be Smart, Drink Responsibly” program to promote responsible drinking. At a minimum, Smirnoff Ice Triple Black will donate $25,000 to the organization. “Smirnoff Ice Triple Black’s Race For Charity is part of our multi-faceted motorsports presence to promote our social responsibility programming to devoted adult NASCAR fans,” said James Stammer, Smirnoff senior brand manager. “From a charitable standpoint, I don’t think R.A.D.D. would want to have any other driver racing than the points leader racing for their cause.” The EA Sports 500 is the fifth of seven races this year that Smirnoff Ice Triple Black will serve as primary sponsor of Kenseth’s No. 17 Ford, furthering its “Be Smart, Drink Responsibly” program. To help fans at Talladega get more involved in the “Race For Charity,” Smirnoff Ice Triple Black will distribute 10,000 flags on designated seats in the track’s grandstand, instructing fans to wave the flags each time Kenseth leads a lap during the race.. Smirnoff Ice Triple Black will also have giant flags and banners on hand to ensure fan participation. During Winston Cup’s only other visit to Talladega earlier this year (April 6), Kenseth finished ninth.. For the year, he has finished in the top 15 in all but two races, has 20 top 10 finishes, 10 top five finishes, and has held the Winston Cup points lead in 23 of 26 races.(Alan Taylor Communications PR)(9-23-2003)
  • Testing at Kansas: hearing #49-Ken Schrader and #35-Bobby Hamilton Jr. are testing Cup cars at Kansas Speedway in preparation for the Oct 5th Banquet 400. Also testing at Kansas this week is #88-Dale Jarrett on Wednesday and Thursday and #40-Sterling Marlin on Tuesday and Wednesday at Kansas.(9-23-2003)
  • Driver Gets to Fly Over at Dover: Busch Series driver Donnie Neuenberger drove the number #52 car in Saturday’s Busch Series race at Dover and then flew in one of the F-16’s piloted by Col. Robert Montgomery of the DC Air National Guard 121st Fighter Squadron for the fly over during the pre-race ceremonies prior to Sunday’s cup race. Jayski’s old Air Force roommate, John Baden, is with the 121st Fighter Squadron.(see images and more on the Donnie Neuenberger Site)(9-23-2003)
  • All-Star Crew: Every sport names its All-Star teams, so why not NASCAR? FoxSports/Sporting News Insider Lee Spencer surveyed countless folks, some with grease under their fingernails, others with manicures, and came up with a team of the best people at key positions on race day. See the chart at FoxSports: Roush puts three on Sporting News’ All-Star crew.(9-23-2003)
  • Testing at Kentucky: #12-Ryan Newman and #48-Jimmie Johnson are scheduled to test at Kentucky Speedway on Wednesday, Sept. 24. Teams will be on the track at approximately 9:00 a.m. and are expected to test for the remainder of the day. Other drivers on the docket include #79-Billy Bigley, Jr., #?-Tom Hubert [probably Bill Davis Racing], #?-Damon Lusk and ?#91-Hank Parker, Jr. Fans can view testing outside the speedway Fan Center located in Turn 3.(Kentucky Speedway PR) AND #32-Ricy Craven and the Tide team will spend Wednesday, Sept. 24, testing at Kentucky Speedway. The main purpose of the test is to give driver Ricky Craven a chance to “shake down” two different cars and decide which one PPI Motorsports will use as its primary in the upcoming NASCAR Winston Cup (NWC) event at Kansas Speedway. In addition, the team will work on gathering information that can be used at several of the 1.5-mile facilities the NWC Series will visit during the remainder of the season.(PPI Motorsports PR)(9-23-2003)
  • Dale Jr. to the Hospital and Released; need NASCAR Approval to race UPDATE 5: NBC is reporting that #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. is being flown by helicopter to a local hospital [in Dover], he is conscious and talking.
    Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was airlifted to a local hospital on Sunday after being knocked unconscious in an accident at Dover International Speedway. He was alert and talking upon exit from the track, but NASCAR officials chose to transport him by air rather than ground due to traffic concerns. He was later treated and released from Bay Health Medical Center.(NASCAR.com)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the Budweiser No. 8 team led 48 laps before a late-race crash left Dale Jr. with minor injuries. Earnhardt Jr. was transported to Bayhealth Medical Center in Dover, Del. for observation following the race, and was released at approximately 7:00pm/et. He will fly home immediately this evening to Mooresville, NC. His injuries were listed as a minor concussion and a bruised right foot. Dale Jr. will be re-examined tomorrow by Dr. Jerry Petty. Any further updates will be released Monday.(Budweiser PR)(9-21-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was observed at Bayhealth Medical Center in Dover, Del. and released by doctors on Sunday night with a mild concussion and a bruised right foot. He returned to his North Carolina home later that evening where he is now resting. Dale Jr. was dealing with a loose-handling car during the latter part of MBNA American 400 at Dover International Speedway when the back end of the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet broke loose. The car spun around making contact with the outside wall flush on the driver’s side before coming to rest on the track’s apron. Upon arriving on the scene, track emergency personnel took the precaution of assisting Dale Jr. from the car and transported him to the track’s Infield Media Center. Medical personnel then decided to transport the 28-year-old driver to the local hospital for further tests. Dale Jr. was alert and talking with doctors prior to his departure via helicopter to the hospital. Air transport was utilized because the race had just ended and traffic was heavy outside the track. Dale Jr. walked to the helicopter and strapped himself in before takeoff.(DEI SiteAND from the front of the Dale Jr. site: Dale is expected to race this weeked in Talladega.
    UPDATE 3: Dale Earnhardt Jr. was examined today (Monday) by Dr. Jerry Petty as follow-up to his crash yesterday at Dover. Dale Jr. suffered a minor concussion and a right foot sprain in the crash. NASCAR must approve his return to competition, and as of 5:30 pm ET today, that process was underway. When approval is given, we will follow-up with more details and a full update on the extent of his injuries. Despite initial reports and rumors to the contrary, Dale Jr. was unconscious for only a brief time after yesterday’s crash, and was awake and alert while being removed from the race car.(Budweiser PR/fingerprint inc.)(9-22-2003)
    UPDATE 4: As of Tuesday morning, Winston Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. had yet to be cleared by NASCAR for competition this weekend following a follow-up doctor visit in the Charlotte area on Monday. NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said Tuesday morning the sanctioning body had not cleared Earnhardt Jr. for competition and was waiting further information from the driver’s doctor visit. He is using crutches and has been told by doctors to stay off his feet, according to team officials. He had to cancel a planned appearance at a news conference Tuesday afternoon at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. Dale Earnhardt Inc. officials still believe Earnhardt Jr. will be able to compete in Sunday’s EA Sports 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, where the driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet has won the past four Cup races.(ThatsRacin.com)
    UPDATE 5: NASCAR has yet to clear Winston Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. for competition this weekend after he suffered a minor concussion and sprained right foot in an accident in last Sunday’s race at Dover. NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said Tuesday the sanctioning body would not likely decide whether to allow Earnhardt Jr. to race until sometime Wednesday. Hunter said NASCAR was evaluating the results from Earnhardt Jr.’s follow-up doctor visits Monday in Charlotte, N.C.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-23-2003)
  • An Update on Davey Allison’s Helicopter Accident: Birmingham attorney Jim Thompson was the lead attorney in a lawsuit filed on behalf of the Davey Allison estate that claimed a flawed part called a collective yoke – not pilot error as the National Transportation Safety Board ruled – caused the July 1993 crash at Talladega Superspeedway that took Allison’s life and injured his Hueytown neighbor, Red Farmer. McDonnell-Douglas, the California-based aircraft manufacturer that owns Hughes Aircraft, which built the helicopter, settled the suit for an undisclosed sum in 1996 without admitting fault. “We deny that any defective condition contributed to the accident,” George S. McCall, the attorney for McDonnell-Douglas, said last week. Both McCall and Thompson say they are prohibited by the court to discuss the settlement in the case. Both the Allison estate and Farmer were part of that settlement. Thompson, who has tried numerous air-crash cases, said he has declined numerous cases when it was evident that pilot error was the cause. He said he agreed to take the Allison case after his investigation concluded that a failed part caused Allison’s accident. “Tommy Allison (Davey’s cousin and the executor of the Allison estate) said that he couldn’t believe Davey made a mistake, because he was such an excellent pilot,” said Thompson, outlining what triggered the investigation and finally the lawsuit. “He said Davey was accustomed to running 200 mph. He said Davey didn’t make a mistake at 10 mph.” The NTSB ruled in 1994 that pilot inexperience was the cause of the crash. The report said Allison had just 2.8 hours of flight instruction on the Hughes 369HS helicopter and had not practiced downwind landings like the one he was attempting in the media center parking lot of the race track infield. The report said Allison had 54 hours of helicopter flight time at the time of the crash, but 45 of those hours were in a less-demanding Robinson R-22 helicopter.
    A flight instructor who trained Allison testified before the board that Allison had “average” flight skills and tended to make his approaches too fast and too shallow as a result of having trained on the smaller and slower Robinson R-22. Witnesses to the crash said Allison was hovering just a few feet off the ground when the helicopter suddenly shot straight up, stalled and fell back on its tail. When the main rotor struck the asphalt, the helicopter spun and the left side of the cockpit slammed onto the parking lot. Allison suffered fatal head injuries when his head struck either the inside of the cockpit or the asphalt. The eyewitness accounts pointed to something failing in the control apparatus of the helicopter, Thompson said. Investigators hired by Thompson dismantled the helicopter and found that the collective yoke, the device that controls the pitch of the rotor blades, was broken.
    “We knew McDonnell-Douglas would argue that it was broken in the crash,” Thompson said. “The helicopter wasn’t that badly damaged in the crash and the yoke was located between the seats in an area that had no damage at all. The cables going to the yoke and hydraulic lines in the area showed no signs of damage.” Thompson said he hired a retired Hughes Aircraft test pilot to recreate a failure of the yoke. With a back-up system in place to prevent a crash, the yoke was disconnected, Thompson said. “The helicopter did exactly what Davey’s did,” Thompson said. The broken part was sent to a metallurgist in Florida. He testified that a dissection of the part found that the cast metal contained air pockets that made it fail, according to Thompson. Paint like that found on the outside of the yoke was found inside the part during dissection, he said. “That meant the part was defective the day it left the factory,” Thompson said. The attorney believes metal fatigue finally caused the part to fracture and that occurred just as Allison was about to put the helicopter down.(Alabama Live)(9-23-2003)
  • Former NASCAR Official to run for Office: Former NASCAR corporate official Kevin Triplett turned his exploratory look at running against Ninth District U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher into an official candidacy on Monday. Triplett traveled from his hometown of Clintwood to Abingdon, Wytheville, Dublin and Christiansburg to announce that he wants to be the 11th Republican to try and unseat the 11-term Democrat in 2004.(Bristol Herald Courier)(9-23-2003)
  • Nice Take: Nearly 1,300 motorcyclists from Greater Cincinnati and Louisville, Ky., converged on Kentucky Speedway to raise an estimated $50,000 for the March of Dimes on Saturday, Sept. 20. Riders contributed funds through registration donations and individual sponsorships. The charitable trek concluded with “victory laps” on the 1.5-mile tri-oval at the speedway.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(9-23-2003)
  • Not NASCAR but interesting: Cody Unser, daughter of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr., will drive the victory lap truck Sunday at the end of the CART Grand Prix Americas race at Miami. Cody, 16, suffers from transverse myelitis and is wheelchair-bound. But that hasn’t stopped her from attending races and becoming a certified scuba diver. Cody also helped establish the Cody Unser First Step Foundation, which is pursuing a cure for the crippling disease. Cody will be fitted with special hand controls in the truck. “I’ve traveled with my brother to many of his races this season, and this is where I became convinced I could drive on a track, too,” she said. Albert Unser, Cody’s brother, drives in the Barber Dodge Pro Series, a feeder to CART and the Indy Racing League.(Detroit Free Press)(9-23-2003)
  • Kiefer Sutherland to narrate NASCAR film: Kiefer Sutherland, star of the [exellent and Jayski Fave] show “24”, will narrate the IMAX 3D NASCAR film, NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience. The groundbreaking IMAX 3D film will be distributed exclusively to IMAX theatres by Warner Bros. Pictures and IMAX. The film is scheduled to open on March 12, 2004. “With The IMAX Experience putting you in the driver’s seat at a series of exciting NASCAR races,” said Kiefer Sutherland, “you can virtually feel the speed of the cars and the thunder of the engines, and that’s why this film lends itself perfectly to the technology that IMAX provides.”
    NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience will transport fans directly into the driver’s seat to explore the world of today’s elite NASCAR drivers and teams. The film will briefly take fans into reverse to review the history of this legendary sport, told from the viewpoint of some of its most revered drivers, and will then thrust into high gear with a look at the thrilling phenomenon that is NASCAR today. Featuring rare behind-the-scenes glimpses, as well as gripping footage of the unpredictable action on the track, NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience will provide a close-up look at what motivates NASCAR drivers in and out of competition.(MotorsportsTV.com)(9-23-2003)
  • More Realignment Coming: NASCAR’s Brian France said he’s going to step up the pace of ‘realigning’ the Winston/Nextel Cup tour to feature newer markets. ‘We are moving a date to California for 2004 — we think that will work better in the long run. And there’ll be more of that,’ France says. But he said that the moves will be considered ‘carefully,’ and that the moves will come ‘in a slow, methodical way. We’re just not going to shred it up to where we lose that continuity.’
    The next step is expected to be adding a second Cup date at either Kansas or Phoenix in 2005, or perhaps both, at the expense of races in Rockingham and Darlington. But France has offered no details on that or on any plans he might have for dealing with Bruton Smith and that contentious second Texas race date. However there has been speculation that, as swiftly as France is moving in his first days on the job as NASCAR CEO, that the 2004 tour schedule might not be cast in stone. There is an open date in July … and the Labor Day Southern 500 was not a sellout, despite all the hype.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-23-2003)
  • Meeting the President: Tim Suggs and Scott Davis on one of their visits to Washington, DC fostered the opportunity for Davis, Director of Motorsports Affairs for Body Dynamics/America’s Most Wanted Racing to meet and talk with President George Bush. They were visiting Washington as part of a conference covering the media and corporate america’s participation in the recovery and education of missing and exploited children throughout the United States. Their program consist of assisting in the recovery and education of missing and exploited children through their professional motorsports efforts, which they are actively looking for a sponsor to initialize their program on the racetrack. www.bodydynamicsracing.com .(9-23-2003)

    (9-22-2003)

  • New Color Scheme for Cup: It appears NASCAR’s premier series will not only get a name change next season, but also a new color scheme. Nextel Communications signed a 10-year deal to begin sponsoring what is now known as the Winston Cup series beginning in 2004. The change will also include the series’ marketing colors, from traditional red and white to predominantly yellow and black [HEY – just like Jayski!!], ThatsRacin.com has learned. The change in color would be new for NASCAR as well as Nextel, which uses primarily maroon now in its advertising. The change will be made in part to make Nextel’s involvement more distinctive, sources confirmed. The Winston Cup series’ logos and colors can be found all over the country, including billboards, souvenirs, signage at tracks and even the colors of NASCAR’s mobile headquarters haulers.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-8-2003)
    UPDATE – NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Logo Unveiled:NASCAR unveiled the official logo for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series that will begin in 2004. Sporting a bold yellow-and-black look, the distinctive logo will be the brand identifier for the nation’s most popular form of motorsports and the nation’s second-most popular sport overall. “We think this design will be appealing to our drivers, team members, tracks and, of course, our fans,” NASCAR President Mike Helton said. The new logo will be utilized beginning in January, when NASCAR NEXTEL Cup teams come to Daytona International Speedway for NASCAR Preseason Thunder, the annual test sessions leading up to the season-opening Daytona 500. “We’ve worked with NASCAR to create a logo and identity that exudes the strength of the athletes and the power of the sport,” said Nextel Senior Vice President of Marketing Mark Schweitzer. “Since announcing the 10-year partnership between NASCAR and Nextel, one of the most-asked questions we’ve received has been about the logo. It’s bright, bold and forward moving “ just like the sport it represents.”(NASCAR PR), see past news and the rumors and announcement on my Nextel Sponsorship News page.(9-22-2003)
  • New Driver for the #30? Richard Childress says he’s picked a new driver for his team, but he isn’t saying who it might be.(Winston Salem Journal); Ward? Jeremy? Park? Hornaday?
    AND Car owner Richard Childress said he’ll decide within the next few weeks if he’ll retain Steve Park as a driver. Park and Jeff Green essentially swapped rides after Richmond in May. Childress signed Park through this season.(Roanoke Times)(9-22-2003)
  • Stewart not happy with tires at Dover: Although it had been some time since Tony Stewart said anything critical of Goodyear and its tires, he did not hold back Sunday, accusing Goodyear of costing him a shot at victory in Sunday’s MBNA America 400 at Dover International Speedway. Stewart, who has sparred verbally with Goodyear in the past, took four fresh tires on his final pit stop on Lap 326 of 400 but could not keep pace with the race leaders. He finished third after leading 97 laps. “You can’t adjust on a car because it won’t do the same thing from one set of tires to another set of tires. They sponsor all these teams and basically what it is, is ‘hush money’ to keep us from talking about it and I’m tired of covering their [expletive],” Stewart said after the race. “It’s pretty bad when the sets of tires are so bad that you can’t make an adjustment on the car and go out and win the race when you have the fastest car on the track. We’ll just salvage third.” When asked if the sets of tires were completely different from set to set, Stewart said: “Ask Goodyear, they’re the ones who build the pieces of [expletive].” Goodyear officials met with team owner Joe Gibbs and Zipadelli after the race. Campbell said Goodyear would be talking more with the team this week about the issue.(more at [NOTE: adult content on this link] ThatsRacin.com)(9-22-2003)
  • More on the ‘Winston’ Preview: The future of the Winston Cup Preview, a daylong, fan-oriented event with NASCAR’s top drivers, remains uncertain next season since series sponsor Winston will be replaced by Nextel. Winston has sponsored the event, held each January in Winston-Salem, N.C., the past 14 years and it has grown into the largest single-day charitable event held in North Carolina each year. New NASCAR CEO and chairman Brian France said Sunday NASCAR would do “what made sense” for Nextel, as well as fans and the series’ drivers in determining the future of the Preview. “(The Preview) is a great fan interaction with our drivers. We’re going to have to figure out a way to preserve that, and I think we will,” France said. “Just where it goes is also a function of our schedules, making sure we don’t put another undue time constraint on our drivers.” France said Daytona Beach, Fla., home to NASCAR’s headquarters, was a possible site if the Preview were relocated. “The drivers are already there with the testing (in January), so that’s going to be something we’re looking at hard, but it’s not the only thing we’re looking at,” he said. “Although, it may very well end up there.”(ThatsRacin.com)(9-22-2003)
  • Mayfield sounds like he is staying at the #19: Runner-up finisher #19-Jeremy Mayfield hopes that his recent streak of five finishes of 11th or better will dispel persistent rumors his job with team owner Ray Evernham is in jeopardy. “Ray and I want the team to stay together, and that’s best way to say it,” he said. “It would be a shame, and whoever would split this team up is crazy. That’s how confident I am about it.”(Richmond Times Dispatch)(9-22-2003)
  • Nextel hiring from RJR? Nextel officials are moving quickly to put together a new NASCAR operations staff, and some RJR [Winston] veterans are expected to get the call.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-22-2003)
  • Buy A Brick; Build A Museum: Personalize a brick with your name and put it in the racing museum for a lifetime. Your brick will be placed in the decor/landscape of the Motor Racing Museum of the South in Spartanburg, SC. The museum will be housed in the old Beaumont Mill, located off Pine Street in the heart of historic downtown Spartanburg. 100,000 square feet of space for exhibit galleries and retail operations. The Museum will focus on racing from the 1940s to the present, including a gallery for each decade, Hall of Champions, SC Textile Gallery, Interactive Gallery, etc. The Museum will be a 3-D, interactive experience showcasing the latest in automotive innovation and technology. Exhibits will include 100 television screens showing the greatest races of all time, hands-on experiments on G-force and robots demonstrating car assembly. Why Spartanburg?
    Spartanburg has a rich motor racing history. Legends, including Bud Moore, Cotton Owens and David Pearson, grew up racing the back roads of the “Hub City.” The textile industry, racing and automobile manufacturing all have deep roots in Spartanburg. The past, present and future of automobile racing is centered within a 100-mile radius around Spartanburg. Spartanburg’s history in textiles and racing and future in automotive technology make it a perfect location for the Motor Racing Museum of the South. Get your name along with the legends of stock car racing like David Pearson, Cotton Owens and Bud Moore. More info at These Bricks will be placed in the Motor Racing Museum of the South.(9-22-2003)
  • Johnson Will Race at Dover to Support the American Red Cross UPDATE: In response to Hurricane Isabel, Lowe’s and NASCAR Winston Cup driver Jimmie Johnson are Racing for Relief to generate funds for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Lowe’s will donate $50,000 to the American Red Cross at the beginning of this weekend’s Dover 400, and for every lap that Johnson completes, Lowe’s will donate an additional $48 (Johnson’s car number). If Jimmie wins the race, Lowe’s will round the donation up to a total of $100,000. Lowe’s first introduced Racing for Relief in April of 2000. To date, the program has helped disaster relief efforts for hurricanes, tornados and floods raising more than $156,000. “Racing for Relief allows me the opportunity to pitch in and lend a hand, while I do what I do best – driving,” said Johnson, driver of Lowe’s Team 48 car and member of the American Red Cross Celebrity Cabinet. “I’m glad I can do my part to support the American Red Cross and the people affected by hurricane Isabel.”
    Racing for Relief programs will include the following:
    · September 21 Dover 400 Race
    · Customer Donation Program at all Lowe’s stores
    · Online contributions for the American Red Cross will be accepted at Lowes.com and Lowesracing.com
    Lowe’s supports the American Red Cross as part of its commitment to help people prepare for and recover from natural disasters. Lowe’s serves as an official American Red Cross cash donation site and responds to disasters by contributing to local and national Red Cross disaster relief funds, donating vital emergency products and supplying volunteers for local cleanup efforts.(Golin/Harris PR)(9-20-2003)
    UPDATE: Lowe’s total is $50,000 + $19,200 ($48 x 400 laps) = $69,200.(9-22-2003)

 


 

  • (9-21-2003)

  • Newman sweeps Dover: #12-Ryan Newman won the MBNA America 400 at Dover International Speedway, sweeping both Cup races at the Monster Mile and winning his 7th race of the 2003 season and 8th of his career. Newman got a lap down early when he cut down a tire early in the race while leading, but was the first car a lap down when the 5th caution happened [lap 287], allowing him to get back on the lead lap. Newman last pitted on lap 294 and went the rest of the way to win. Finishing 2nd was #19-Jeremy Mayfield [who wasn’t happy with 2nd and was quite colorful on his TV interview, guess NBC has no ‘bleep’ button?], it was Mayfields 2nd runner up finish in a row. The rest of the top five were #20-Stewart, #29-Kevin Harvick [who led the most laps] and #24-Jeff Gordon. Points leader #17-Matt Kenseth finished 9th and now leads the points by 436 points over #29-Harvick who moved up a spot. #8-Earnhardt Jr. only took two tires on the pit stop during the 6th caution and the car was not right and he faded badly, trying to keep on the lead lap when Newman was in the process of passing, Earnhardt Jr. went up the track, lost it and spun around, slapping the drivers side hard against the wall. He was unconscious for a few moments and then groggy.
    To see my rundown of the race at Dover, see my MBNA America 400/Dover Race Info page for the top 10, lap leaders, cautions, narritives/notes and other things.
    Race Re-air: NOTE: Speed Channel changed their lineup in August – there will be a one-hour recap [called Fast Forward] of the race on Wednesday, September 24th at 7:00pm/et and again on September 25th at 1:00am/et; a full three-hour race show will re-air at 3:00pm/et on Thursday, September 25th
    Race Results at JAYSKI – MBNA America 400/Dover Results other links at 2003 Winston Cup Race Results.
    See full drivers points standings at JAYSKI – Driver/Owners Points after Dover.(9-21-2003)
  • Three Pole Limit Starting at Talladega: Beginning with next weekend’s race at Talladega, Ala., NASACAR will limit the use of poles in the pit area. The following poles will be permitted: an overhead camera, the sign board, a brush, a pole used to clean the windshield; and one used to service the driver. NASCAR announced the change in Sunday’s pre-race driver meeting at Dover International Speedway. Poles with hooks, which have been used by team members to help collect and keep track of tires after they are changed, will not be allowed.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-21-2003)
  • Parker back: #88 UPS/Robert Yates Racing’s crew chief, Shawn Parker, who lost his wife in a tragic car accident ten days ago. Good to see him back.(TNT practice coverage)(9-20-2003)
    Nice Column on NASCAR.com by Marty Smith: Parker humbled by support of NASCAR community and by Jim Utter of ThatsRacin: Shawn Parker returns to track, voices appreciation.(9-21-2003)
  • TRUST FUND: A trust fund has been established on behalf of Tara and Shawn Parker’s son, Jagger Alexander Parker. Individuals wishing to make a donation may do so by sending to the Jagger Alexander Parker Fund, c/o Wachovia Bank, P.O. Box 2519, Cornelius, NC 28031. Condolences can be sent to Shawn Parker c/o Robert Yates Racing, 112 Byers Creek Road, Mooresville, NC 28117.
  • Green in the #43 at Talladega and Lowes: Jeff Green will be in Petty Enterprises’ #43 Cheerios Dodge two more times this season, a team spokesman confirmed Saturday. Green will be behind the wheel of the #43 next weekend at Talladega Superspeedway and Oct. 11 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Green is driving the car this weekend because regular driver Christian Fittipaldi was slated to drive the #44 in a sponsor deal reached before the Petty’s released John Andretti.(NASCAR.com)(9-21-2003)
  • Stock Car Fans – Rumblings – Dover: Ryan Newman stretched his fuel for 106 laps and captured his 7th victory of the season in this afternoon’s MBNA America 400 at Dover International Speedway.
    Newman’s 8th career win moves him into a 4-way tie for 50th on the all-time win list with Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Kyle Petty. This is win #52 for Roger Penske (if you count the three for partner Michael Kranefuss).
    Newman’s sweeper at Dover (he’s the third this season) was not without controversy however. As the new NASCAR rule about racing back to the caution was brought into play, Ryan was certainly a beneficiary of that new edict. Getting his lap back more than halfway through the race, he proved not to be intimidated when Jeremy Mayfield tried to “rattle his cage” (remember that line?) in the waning laps and held on for the win.
    Sterling Marlin (13th) had his best finish since he was 10th at Pocono in July.
    Jeff Green (16th) had his best finish since he was 16th at Chicagoland in July.
    Jason Leffler (25th) had his best finish since he was 10th at Homestead in November of 2001 (only 10 races).
    STREAKIN…
    Matt Kenseth has 7 Top-10’s in the last 8 races.
    Ryan Newman has 6 Top-10’s in the last 7 races.
    Jeremy Mayfield has 4 Top-10’s in the last 5 races.
    Jamie McMurray has 4 Top-10’s in the last 5 races.
    Jimmie Johnson has 4 Top-10’s in the last 5 races.
    The Rookie Report: Jamie McMurray (6th) is the top-finishing first year driver for the 14th time this season. He was followed by Greg Biffle (7th), Tony Raines (30th) and Casey Mears (36th). Larry Foyt’s low owner point standing prevented him from making today’s field.
    This Week’s Elevator…UP: Operator of the Week is Jeff Green (+25), followed by Jeremy Mayfield (+23). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Dale Earnhardt Jr (-35), followed by Michael Waltrip (-32), Kurt Busch (-31), and Bobby Labonte (-23). It was first-time honors for both principals this season.
    We’ve got a new second place man in the points after today. Kevin Harvick has moved up to #2, but the “Magic Number” for Matt Kenseth vs Kevin is still at 10. If Matt finishes 10th or better the rest of the way (and he has 22 of those this season in 28 races) then Kevin can’t catch him. Our mathematically eliminated line has now moved up to 27th & below. Jeremy Mayfield (25th to 22nd) made the best move forward today. Four drivers fell two spots each.(Stock Car Fans Winston Cup Newsletter)(9-21-2003)
  • Long Streak: #49-Ken Schrader extended his winless streak to 400 with his 37th-place finish at New Hampshire last week. Schrader will be at the site of his last Winston Cup win today. He won the June 2, 1991, race at Dover. He tied #11-Brett Bodine who also has 400 since his last, and only, Cup win, for the longest active streak without a win since winning a race. Bodine is running a partial schedule in 2003 and we all await the announcement of his new sponsor which hopefully will allow him to race full time in the series soon.(DBNJ/Jayski’s Stats Page)(9-21-2003)
  • Special Scheme at Dover for the #97: While #97-Kurt Busch has competed in six Cup events at Dover International Speedway, Sunday’s 400-mile event will be his first at the one-mile track in the yellow and black colors of Rubbermaid Commercial Products and its “tough” Brute brand. It marks the third time that the #97 Roush Racing Ford has been sponsored by Rubbermaid Commercial Products and the Brute brand. Busch competed in the special paint scheme car in last year’s fall race at Lowes Motor Speedway as well as the spring Richmond event earlier this season. The Brute brand, which features Brute Totes and Brute Containers, is known for its toughness and durability allowing consumers to work smarter and handle without care. Rubbermaid Commercial Products began a national advertising campaign focused on its Brute products in May. Television advertising has been seen during NASCAR races as well as on other network and cable shows. For more information on Rubbermaid Commercial Products, go to rubbermaidcommercial.com.(PR), see images of the car on my 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes – Cars #’s 24-99.(9-21-2003)
  • Interesting…but false: from the AutoRacing1.com site – rumors section [need sub to read] – CART to sponsor Winston Cup car: AR1 spies have uncovered secret schematic drawings of the paint scheme of a possible CART Champ Car sponsored NASCAR Winston Cup car (click to enlarge). This is marketing genius at its best. With NASCAR’s popularity, we can’t think of a better way for CART to gain much needed exposure for its Champ Car Series with millions of race fans. However, we doubt NASCAR would allow such a thing unless they were allowed to sponsor a Champ Car in return. Why not? We don’t hold much hope that there’s a lot of truth in this rumor.
    UPDATE from AR1: This rumor is downgraded to ‘false’ as we suspected it would be. We heard from someone connected with the #91 car who says they know nothing about such a sponsorship, which is too bad because there was a lot of reader feedback on the concept.(AutoRacing1.com)(9-21-2003)
  • NASCAR Themed Tavern Opens: Pit Row, complete with a NASCAR car hanging from its ceiling, opened this week in the former Old Hickory House Tavern, 207 S. Vine St., Heyworth. IL. Owners Brian Smith and Lisa Gambrel have been working on the building since October to create its auto racing theme. The tavern blends NASCAR with cocktails, music and eight televisions, as well as other amusements including pool tables, dart boards, shuffle boards and video games. The inspiration for Pit Row came from the partners’ love of motor sports.(more at Pantagraph)(9-21-2003)

    (9-20-2003)

  • Mikey OK? Been asked so here ya go: Q: Many fans are concerned that you [Michael Waltrip] are sick because you appear to be losing so much weight. Why have you lost so much weight recently?
    A: “I had a birthday coming up and back last December was back when I decided I wanted to lose weight. My 40th birthday was this past April 30th. I just decided that when I turned 40 I wanted to be lighter and be able to run faster and lift more than I ever could so that I didn’t feel 40. I tend to be rather goal-oriented, so my goal was to weigh less than 200 pounds and I accomplished it. And I’ve maintained it by a low-carb diet and lots of exercise.”(Delaware News Journal)(9-20-2003)
  • More on the Hall of Fame Racing Driver UPDATE still needs a Busch driver: Hall of Fame Racing, the new NASCAR team owned by former Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, has signed its first driver – Dallas resident Alex Whitman. Whitman, 29, is the son of Paul Whitman, who is part of the ownership group for the team. Alex Whitman will compete in the Busch Series in 2004 if adequate funding is secured. “We have a couple of things lined up, and we’re cautiously optimistic about it,” said Starke Taylor, the team’s marketing director. “But as far as having a Busch primary sponsor, we’re not there yet. Time is a big factor now, and we’re pushing very hard to get it done.”
    “We’ve been high on Alex for a long time. He’s aggressive and he’s smart, but we wanted to test him. He couldn’t have done better. He’s not ready to step in a Busch car tomorrow, but there’s a lot of people in this business who feel he has a bright future,” said Bill Saunders, managing partner for Hall of Fame Racing. Whitman has raced at lower levels for several years, including late model stocks, Sports Club Car of America road races and Skip Barber Dodge events. He will compete in the ARCA race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway near Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 9, in a car owned by Winston Cup veteran Ken Schrader. Whitman will continue to drive in selected events for other teams until Hall of Fame Racing is ready to make its debut. Competing in 2004 remains uncertain. “I would say it’s 50-50,” Saunders said. “We have sponsors involved, but we just haven’t found the right deal yet, and we’re going to do this right. We will not race next year without proper funding, but we are in this for the long haul, even if that means 2005 before we get going.” Saunders said the team will have more to say in early November about hiring a director of racing, possibly partnering with an existing NASCAR team and acquiring a shop near Charlotte.(Dallas Morning News)(9-19-2003)
    UPDATE – still needs Busch driver: Dallas resident Alex Whitman has a future with Hall of Fame Racing, but not as its first NASCAR Busch Series driver. Bill Saunders, managing partner of the first-year racing organization owned by former Cowboys quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, said Friday that various media reports stating that Whitman had been hired as a Busch Series driver were wrong. “It’s the wildest thing,” Saunders said. “Alex is one of our drivers, but he’s not going to go in our Busch car. He doesn’t have the experience to go into a Busch car.” Whitman, 29, made his ARCA Re/Max Series debut with a sixth-place finish in the Eddie Gilstrap 200 on the Salem (Ind.) Speedway last Saturday. “He did a great job in our first ARCA test,” Saunders said. “That’s the first time he was in an ARCA car, so there’s no way he could step into the Busch car.” Saunders said Whitman will drive a car owned by NASCAR Winston Cup regular Kenny Schrader in an ARCA event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., on Oct. 9. “Then we’ll be looking for money for him for ARCA or [NASCAR] Craftsman Truck in 2004,” Saunders said. “But he will not be driving our Busch car.” Saunders reiterated that if the team cannot sign a primary sponsor for its Busch Series effort on or around Nov. 1, there will be no need to hire a driver for 2004.(Fort Worth Star Telegram) (see past news on my Team News and Links Page – Hall of Fame Racing)(9-19-2003)
  • Rusty to start Busch team: Winston Cup driver [#2] Rusty Wallace formally announced plans Saturday to begin fielding his own Busch Series next season, which will run Billy Parker in 17 races in the #66 Dodge sponsored by Duraflame. Wallace is constructing a new race shop in Mooresville, N.C., for this team. He formally owned a series team for three years beginning in 1989 with his younger brother Kenny Wallace as the driver. Parker, 26, currently competes in the NASCAR Late Model series at Hickory (NC) Motor Speedway and has made three Busch starts in his career. “This chance to drive a race car for Rusty Wallace is an unbelievable opportunity, and I’m already looking forward to next season,” said Parker, brother of Busch series driver Hank Parker Jr. “This year, I raced against Rusty’s son, Stephen, at Hickory and we became pretty friendly. One day, Stephen asked me if I wanted to have lunch with his father. Next thing I know, I’m driving a Busch car for Rusty Wallace.”(ThatsRacin.com) and see past news and rumors on this at my #2 Team News and Links page or my Busch Series page and see image of the car on my 2003 Busch Schemes page and a full PR and image at Tom Roberts site.(9-20-2003)
  • Appalachian Library Receives Donation, UPS Delivers: United Parcel Service and Belk Library at Appalachian State University in Boone partnered recently to preserve materials documenting the history of stock car racing. A Connecticut couple offered a sizeable donation of racing documents to the Stock Car Racing Collection at Appalachian, but had no way to transport the materials to Boone. UPS, primary sponsor of the Robert Yates Racing #88 NASCAR Winston Cup car driven by Dale Jarrett, stepped in and offered to deliver the collection free of charge. Twenty-three boxes were picked up from donors Bruce and Liz Kuchta of Niantic, Conn., and delivered to Belk Library a few days later. The Stock Car Racing Collection is an initiative by Appalachian State University to create a comprehensive repository for printed materials, photographs and videos that document the history of stock car racing in America.. The collection, maintained and preserved under the care of professional librarians, is open to the public for review and research free of charge. The Kuchta donation includes nearly 1200 issues of various racing magazines and newspapers, plus books, videos, race programs, pamphlets, and promotional materials.
    The Kuchtas have been involved in racing for nearly 35 years.. Bruce Kuchta crewed for Grand National and Modified teams at Connecticut tracks in the 1970s and 1980s, and owned a Busch North team in the early 1990s.. Son Mike was a Quarter Midget driver and crew chief for Busch North and Late Model race cars.
    For more information about the stock car racing collection, contact Wise at 828-262-2798, or visit the Stock Car Racing Collection’s web page at www.library.appstate.edu/stockcar/index.html.(9-20-2003)
  • Cup – Busch Sweep: The only time a driver has ever swept both ends of a NASCAR Busch Series/NASCAR Winston Cup Series weekend doubleheader at Dover was in September 1991, when Harry Gant accomplished the feat. Gant was in the midst of an incredible streak, in which he won four NASCAR Winston Cup races in a row: Darlington, Richmond, Dover, Martinsville, as well as three consecutive NASCAR Busch Series events: Richmond, Dover, Charlotte.(NASCAR PR) So what drivers will run both races at Dover this weekend: Kevin Harvick [#21 Busch, #29 Cup]; Jamie McMurray [#1,#42]; Greg Biffle [#7, #16], Casey Mears [#19, #41], Tony Raines [#33, #74], Jeff Green [#48, #43] and Joe Nemechek [#99, #25] (9-18-2003)
    NOTE didn’t happen this week either as #5-Brian Vickers won and he is not running the Cup race.(9-20-2003)
  • Stock Car Fans – Ramblings – Dover: At least we didn’t have to sit around and watch the raindrops fall today, Isabel took care of that for us. With the onset of a hurricane, NASCAR decided (and you can bet it wasn’t a hard decision to make) that we should line up by points this weekend….and a cheer was heard from just about everybody starting in spots 38-43! Those hisses are coming from the #12 team and Ryan Newman. The only other time we got rained out of quals this year was at NHIS in July. As he did at that time, Matt Kenseth will lead us to green on Sunday for the MBNA America 400 at Dover International Speedway.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr (2nd) has his best starting spot since he lined up on the outside pole at Martinsville in April.
    Kevin Harvick (3rd) has his best starting spot since he had the pole at The Brickyard in August.
    STREAKIN….Ryan Newman has 6 Top-10 starts in a row. Jeff Gordon has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.
    Lining up by points left six teams disappointed, but at least they saved the expense of a trip and that pesty tire bill. Missing the field were: Larry Foyt, Scott Wimmer, Morgan Shepherd, Billy Bigley, Christian Fittipaldi (scheduled to be in the #44 this weekend), and Tim Sauter.
    I won’t say we didn’t see it coming. NASCAR decided yesterday to end the practice of racing back to the yellow….mostly because they told us they would if the driver’s couldn’t hash it out themselves. So, after proving repeatedly that drivers are not gentlemen (and maybe that shouldn’t be expected anyway), NASCAR has stepped in. We’ll get full details by tomorrow, but it’s gonna be interesting to see how they handle the latest pit problems.
    I’m sure we’ll here some complaints about the changes, but it probably had to come (and this coming from somebody who didn’t like it when they instituted the pit-road speed limit back at the start of the 1991 season). But, in retrospect, it’s maybe the safest thing NASCAR ever did for the over the wall gang. I was at Atlanta Motor Speedway that November day in 1990 when we lost Michael Rich (Bill Elliott’s rear tire changer), and I’ve never forgotten it. We’ve come a long way since then, and we’re gonna have to continue to evolve if we’re gonna keep this sport where it belongs. Good Luck, Brian France…..you’ve got major shoes to fill.(Stock Car Fans)(9-20-2003)
  • Don’t Like: most comments heard from drivers seem to like these rules, however, two Truck Series drivers do not: Despite their obvious concerns for safety, Gaughan and Crawford believe series officials overreacted in terms of the Truck Series. “I don’t believe it’s the right way to go, but I do believe there is an issue there,” said Gaughan, driver of the #62 Dodge Ram. “I think there’s a bunch of interesting people last weekend that blew something that really has been good for all of NASCAR. I think it’s going to cause lappers to race us harder; I think it’s going to cause lappers to take other lappers out to stay on the lead lap and I believe it’s going to make the people on the double-file restarts – who already race hard enough to get a lap back – now there’s going to be no more deals. “We all say, ‘No deals in racing.’ But this gentleman sitting right here (Crawford), I got my first win at Texas because he gave me a lap back. And I was a backmarker in this series for many years.” Crawford said the situation should have been “handled with the drivers,” not the sanctioning body. “If you listen to the rules every week in the drivers’ meeting, it says that the leader of the race, he’s the only person that races somebody else to give them his lap back,” Crawford said.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-20-2003)

    (9-19-2003)

  • Changes at the #9 Evernham Motorsports team? UPDATE: hearing there could be some crew changes at the #9 Evernham Motorsports team, which could include crew chief [compitition director] Mike Ford.(9-18-2003)
    UPDATE: hearing Tommy Baldwin Jr. could move over to the #9 team, he is currently with the #7 and driver Jimmy Spencer.(9-19-2003)
  • #14/50 Foyt Racing crew shakeup? hearing that the #14/50 crew chief, Craig “Butch” Lamoreux, General Manager Mike Chase and Foyt Racing have parted ways. Have not heard who will take over the jobs.(9-19-2003)
  • Why #75 for the 4th RCR car? UPDATE Andretti and the 4th RCR team, #90 AOL [not #75]: John Andretti will drive a fourth RCR entry at Talladega, using the #75, sponsor to be announced. Why #75? The number was chosen as a nod to the late Neil Bonnett, a close friend of team owner Richard Childress. Andretti is currently in the #1 DEI chevy, but had committed to RCR before he got that ride. Jason Keller will drive the #1 at Talladega.(Winston Cup Scene page 22 – need sub to read)(9-18-2003
    UPDATE – Andretti and the 4th RCR team, #90 AOL: John Andretti will drive the #90 America Online/Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) Chevy for Richard Childress Racing (RCR) in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series’ EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sept. 28. The fourth RCR Winston Cup entry will be a research and development car in preparation for the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup season. Bobby Leslie will be the crew chief and the over-the-wall crew will be RCR’s #21 PayDay NASCAR Busch Series team. Legendary NASCAR team owner Junie Donlavey agreed to allow RCR the use of his famed #90 for the race to tie into the recent introduction of the AOL 9.0® Optimized service, the most compelling upgrade in AOL history.
    “John’s current driving situation with DEI was not in place when he committed to drive the fourth car for us at Talladega so I’m glad we were able to work this deal out,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. “We’re running the fourth car to get a head-start on the 2004 season so I appreciate John helping us out with the work we’ll need to have done before testing at Daytona in January. Being able to tie AOL and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation together on the car is very important to me personally because of my respect and admiration for everyone in the military, and especially those in Special Operations. We’re just doing what we can to help raise awareness for the group and the work they do to provide college scholarship grants and counseling for the children of Special Operations personnel who are killed in action or training exercises. I also want to thank Junie Donlavey for letting us use his #90. That number has a great history in NASCAR because of Junie, so I hope we can get a good finish for him.”
    Andretti was named as the driver of the Dale Earnhardt Incorporated (DEI) #1 Pennzoil Chevy in late August after already committing to drive the RCR entry at Talladega. He has two NASCAR Winston Cup victories, 13 top-five and 37 top-10 finishes since becoming a fulltime Winston Cup driver in 1994 and finished 18th in last year’s EA Sports 500.
    . The SOWF began in 1980 as the Col. Arthur D. “Bull” Simons Scholarship Fund and was created after the Iranian hostage rescue attempt to provide college educations for the 17 children that survived the nine men killed or incapacitated at Desert One. A tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, SOWF is dedicated to providing college scholarships and educational counseling to the children surviving Special Operations personnel killed as a result of an operational mission or training accident. These services are provided throughout the United States, or overseas, depending upon where the surviving children reside. To date, 455 children of fallen Special Operations personnel are involved in the program, of which 65 are currently attending college.(RCR PR)(9-19-2003)
  • Owens and Pearson racing again: David Pearson and Cotton Owens, once teammates at the highest levels of NASCAR Winston Cup racing, are scheduled to recreate a slice of motorsports history Saturday night at Riverside Speedway [in Travelers Rest, SC]. This time, however, they will be on opposite sides of the competition fence. Pearson and Owens, who teamed to win the Winston Cup championship in Dodges in 1966, will race in a 10-lap shootout in vintage race cars as part of Riverside’s Saturday [9-20-2003] night program. Other vintage-car racing also is scheduled on the 7:30 p.m. program, and other former drivers, including Jeff Hawkins, Rex White and Roger Mandeville, are expected to attend. The vintage-car racing will be in addition to Riverside’s usual weekly schedule. A portion of the night’s proceeds will be donated to the planned motorsports museum in Spartanburg, SC. Owens, 79, drove Modified and Winston Cup cars before becoming a successful NASCAR team owner in the 1960s. Pearson, 69, won three Winston Cup titles and 105 races before retiring in 1986. Owens will drive a restored 1937 Ford owned by Freddy Brookshire. Pearson will race a vintage car he restored. Owens, who calls Pearson the greatest stock car driver ever, said he was able to teach him a thing or two when they campaigned Dodges in NASCAR racing. In 1964, Owens’ last year as a driver, he entered a second car (Pearson drove the team’s No. 1 car) in a race at Richmond, Va. and outran Pearson.(Greenville News)(9-19-2003)
  • Keller tests at Talladega: Jason Keller tested the #1 Pennzoil Chevy he will run in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Tuesday and Wednesday. Keller won at Talladega last spring in the NASCAR Busch Series Aaron’s 312 with his ppc Racing team. Keller will attempt to make the EA SPORTS 500 field during Discount Food Mart Qualifying Day on Friday, Sept. 26. Seats in the Allison Grandstand out of Turn 2 are also still available for one $60 ticket and good for all the action on the track Saturday and Sunday. For one $60 ticket, fans can watch the final two NASCAR Winston Cup Series practice sessions and the ARCA RE/MAX Series Food World 300 on Saturday and return on Sunday for the EA SPORTS 500. For fans staying on track property during the EA SPORTS 500 Weekend and interested in a reserved spot, plenty of Park sites remain, including spots in the newly built Legends Lane Family Reserved Park. Fans can call 1-800-PITSHOP or (256) 362-RACE or visit the track’s official website at talladegasuperspeedway.com.(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(9-19-2003)
  • Here She Comes…..dressed in NASCAR Stuff: Miss New Hampshire Candace Glickman will be wearing an elaborate parade get-up — a NASCAR-themed costume consisting of a red pantsuit, sequined black collar and sneakers adorned with racing flags and miniature cars — in Friday’s Miss America Pagent Parade on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ.(turnto10.com)(9-19-2003)

    (9-18-2003)

  • Special Scheme for the #12 at Dover: #12-Ryan Newman’s paint scheme will be a bit different for this weekend’s race. Along with the ALLTEL decals, the #12 Dodge will feature a special design with the Sony Handy Cam logo on the hood and quarter panels.(Tom Roberts PR), see an image of the car on my 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes – Car #’s 0-23.(9-18-2003)
  • ARCA Postponed: With Hurricane Isabel bearing down on the east coast, officials at South Boston Speedway and officials from the ARCA series has been forced to postpone the upcoming ARCA RE/MAX Liberty 200 presented by Bank of America. The ARCA event has been rescheduled for Saturday October 18 and will run in conjunction with the USAC Mini Indy Midget 200.(SBS PR)(9-18-2003)
  • Preview at DIS? The late T. Wayne Robinson, who headed the R.J. Reynolds’ sports marketing division for many years, came up with the Winston Cup Preview idea as a fundraiser for charities in the Winston-Salem, N.C., area. For the last 14 years, the Preview has allowed race fans to get a sneak peek at new stock car designs and meet NASCAR drivers. Daytona International Speedway wants to host the annual event in conjunction with Winston Cup testing held each year in January. Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of communications, said Daytona does have a horse in the running for this major preseason-racing prize. “We are considering several options, one of which is hosting the Preview here in Daytona,” Hunter said. Since Winston has sponsored the Preview, it was always held in Winston-Salem, most recently at Lawrence Joel Memorial Coliseum. It has grown to become a valuable cog in the preseason mix. Through the years, Winston raised more than $2.5 million for charity with the Preview. The company kept expenses at a minimum because volunteers ran the event. At the end of this season, Reynolds will step aside as NASCAR’s primary title sponsor and be replaced by Nextel, a wireless communications company based in Virginia. NASCAR has not made a decision about the 2004 Nextel Cup Preview. The sanctioning body is weighing different proposals, which include leaving it in Winston-Salem. R.J. Reynolds has put a hold date on Joel Coliseum in January as a courtesy to NASCAR and Nextel, but chances are the reservation won’t be needed. The Nextel Cup Preview at Daytona is a great opportunity, but it’s not a done deal.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(9-18-2003)
  • Stuff Cancelled/Postponed: Delaware’s projected brush with Hurricane Isabel had already forced NASCAR and Dover International Raceway to cancel all on-track activities scheduled for today and Friday. That means Winston Cup qualifying and Busch Series qualifying rounds were wiped out, as well as the MBNA America 150 Busch North Series race scheduled for Friday. Now, the anticipated heavy rain and wind in the region have forced postponements of a pair of other events scheduled for today. The 5th annual NASCAR Racing Collectibles Charity Auction that is held by the Auxiliary of the Milford Memorial Hospital has been called off for tonight. Winston Cup driver Kyle Petty was also scheduled to appear at Milford and Lake Forest High this morning to help promote Georgia- Pacific’s Teen Safety 500 safe driving program. Petty’s appearance has also been postponed and will be rescheduled.(Delaware News Journal)(9-18-2003)
  • Not NASCAR but good to hear: Alex Zanardi is making a one-race comeback, two years after losing both legs in a crash in Germany. Zanardi will drive a specially designed BMW 320i car Oct. 19 at the FIA European Touring Car Championship race in Monza, Italy. The car will have its accelerator and clutch attached to the steering wheel, BMW said.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(9-18-2003)
  • More on the ‘Escape Hatches’ UPDATE: Also, a technical bulletin authorizing installation of safety-escape “roof hatches” is expected to be issued to all competitors today. The new trap doors in the roofs of cars will be recommended but not mandated. Teams probably won’t have time to install the systems by this weekend, but majority adoption is expected by the Sept. 28 EA Sports 500 at Talladega.(Orlando Sentinel)(9-17-2003)
    UPDATE: NASCAR completed another of its priority safety projects today as officials announced an option to NASCAR Winston Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series teams for the design and components of an alternate exit that can be implemented beginning with the Sept. 28 NASCAR Winston Cup race weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.
    ……….. The recommendation completes a 13-month project at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. for a safety initiative that will provide drivers with an alternate exit through a hatch in the roof of the car in the event of an emergency situation. The alternate exit project, guided by NASCAR Managing Director of Research and Development Gary Nelson, had its overall design and components created at the NASCAR Research and Development Center.
    ……….. NASCAR has made the installation of the alternate exit optional for both the NASCAR Winston Cup and NASCAR Busch Series. NASCAR Winston Cup teams will have the option to use the alternate exit at Talladega while the NASCAR Busch Series teams, which are idle the Sept. 28 weekend, will have the option beginning with the Oct. 4 weekend at Kansas Speedway. The kit, which will be available through independent vendors, will cost approximately $150 and will take teams about 15 hours to install on a car.
    ……….. The alternate exit will allow drivers an additional exit through the top of the vehicle should they be unable to utilize the traditional window exit. The hatch, which measures approximately 24 inches by 24 inches on the driver’s side roof, is controlled by steel cable pull cords in the cockpit that are connected to a latch system. By pulling on one cable, it will allow the driver to open the exit to the front or rear of the car. By pulling on both cables, it will allow the driver to completely remove the piece. The system is controlled by the driver, but safety crews also will be able to release the system as well, if needed.
    Under the direction of Dr. Dean Sicking, director of the University of Nebraska’s Midwest Roadside Facility, NASCAR conducted numerous crash tests at the facility. The final crash test was held Aug. 6 at the Midwest Roadside Facility and this test included a crash dummy and simulated a rollover-type accident. The test generated positive results and data on the integrity of the design.(NASCAR PR)(9-18-2003)
  • Kodak to a new team? Announcement soon? UPDATE to DEI or both? Kodak officials could announce sponsorship of a new team by the time the tour reaches Talladega later this month, according to sources.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-13-2003)
    UPDATE:Sources from two other sources tell Winston Cup Scene that DEI has completed a deal with Kodak beginning in 2004. If so, it is unclear what that would mean for [#4] Morgan-McClure Motorsports, which has been sponsored by Kodak for years. Crew chief Tim Brewer said at New Hampshire that they still had two more years on the deal with Kodak. It is possible that Kodak could sponsor both teams.(Winston Cup Scene page 22 – need sub to read)(9-18-2003)
  • Ultra Close to a sponsor? #7 Ultra Motorsports owner Jim Smith hopes to reach a deal soon that will KEEP Sirius Satellite Radio on the #7 Dodge and should know within the next week or so. It would involve working with some of Sirius’ partners, like Best Buy.(Winston Cup Scene page 22 – need sub to read)(9-28-2003
  • #50 for Labonte: Dave Marcis (54) and Darrell Waltrip (53) are the only drivers to have topped the 50-start mark at Dover in their NASCAR Winston Cup careers. #5-Terry Labonte will attempt to make his 50th career start at Dover on Sunday and would join #21-Ricky Rudd (52) as the only active drivers with 50 or more starts at the track. Labonte is also searching for his first career victory at Dover International Speedway.(NASCAR PR)(9-18-2003)
  • Book Announcement: UMI is proud to present “Turning Points” by Angela Skinner, wife of NASCAR driver Mike Skinner. “Turning Points” is a collection of defining moments in the lives of NASCAR superstars – those life lessons that shape who we are and teach us about overcoming challenges and reaching our goals. More info at Mikeskinner.com.
  • Allison Book Annoucement: Soon to be released, Bobby Allison: A Racer’s Racer by Bobby Allison with Tim Packman; Forward by Rusty Wallace. Allsion will also have some book signings coming up:
    Saturday, September 27 @ International Motorsports Hall of Fame, Talladega 4 – 6 PM
    Friday, October 10 @ Books-A-Million, Concord Mills Mall, Charlotte 4 -6 PM
    Wednesday, October 15 @ Big Al’s Restaurant in Mooresville, NC 6 – 8 PM
    Now, for the first time ever, Allison reveals the stories that used to be reserved for those fortunate enough to attend racing banquets in Bobby Allison: A Racer’s Racer. This new book is a collection of Allison’s favorite stories and funny happenings throughout his career on and off the track, told in his own words. More information at Bobby Allison site.(9-18-2003)
  • #32 Crew Gets $700 From Benny: The seven PPI Motorsports crewmen who go over the wall to service the No. 32 Tide Pontiac received a very special award prior to the start of the Sylvania 300 last weekend. NBC/TNT announcer Benny Parsons presented the crew with a check for $700, or $100 per crewman. When Parsons was at PPI’s shops last week to interview team members for an unrelated piece that was to air during the New Hampshire race broadcast, he was shown a replay of one of the Tide crew’s pit stops from the recent race at Richmond International Raceway. The videotape showed the Tide crew performing a four-tire pit stop in 12.9 seconds. Parsons has an ongoing “wager” with all NASCAR Winston Cup teams, in which any crew that completes a four-tire stop in under 13 seconds receives $100 per man. What did Parsons say about forking over the cash? “I guess I’ll have to keep a closer eye on these guys.”(PPI Motorsports PR)(9-18-2003)
  • New Hampshire Winston Cup Race Draws 3.2 Million Households: Sunday’s Sylvania 300 from Loudon, New Hampshire on TNT drew 3,214,000 TV households, according to Nielsen Media Research. It was the #6 ranked program on basic cable for the week, finishing behind the Bears-Vikings NFL contest, NFL Prime Time, a Lifetime Movie, a Spongebob episode, and WWE. The national rating (not cable rating) was 3.0. Last year’s race was on NBC and drew 3,965,000 households, but there is no accurate year-to-year comparison because that was on an over-the-air network. However, last year’s Dover race was on TNT, and it pulled in 3,497,000 households, meaning that a comparable weekend from last year drew slightly higher ratings.(MotorsportsTV.com)(9-18-2003)
  • #8 Crew Wins Pit Crew Award at NHIS: The No. 8 crew has now scored back-to-back wins with the latest coming in Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon. The victory gave Earnhardt’s crew its fifth McDonald’s/POWERade victory of the season, the most of any team participating in the inaugural championship. The five victories, worth $100,000 ($20,000 for each win), has put the No. 8 crew in a contending position for the season championship and the $200,000 bonus. Earnhardt’s crew remains in second place, but the gap is closing against its DEI teammate – the No. 15 crew for Michael Waltrip. With nine races remaining, the No. 8 crew is 36 points behind Waltrip’s crew. Three weeks ago following the Bristol race, Earnhardt’s crew trailed Waltrip’s crew by 72 points. “It’s getting really tense over here at DEI,” said Walt Smith, pit crew coach for the DEI teams. “We all get along here at DEI, but there’s also a rivalry, trying to out-do each other. This is a fabulous deal that McDonald’s and POWERade have put together. Our teams are really into it. The money that is being put out means a ton to these guys. It’s huge — $20,000 each week plus the big $200,000 bonus at the end of the year. I don’t have to get them pumped up for this deal.” In Sunday’s (Sept. 14) Sylvania 300, Earnhardt’s Budweiser Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on pit road for participating teams – 118.175 seconds. Second was Bill Elliott’s Dodge – 134.352 and third was John Andretti’s Pennzoil/DEI Chevrolet – 135.759. Earnhardt’s over-the-wall crew consists of: Jeff Clark (gasman), Kevin Pennell (jackman), Phil Drye (front tire changer), Danny Earnhardt (front tire carrier), Jay Guarneri (rear tire changer), Troy Prince (rear tire carrier), Bill Snyder (catch can). The team’s crew chief is Tony Eury and the car chief is Tony Eury Jr.(DMF Communications PR) see the standings, the top 10 at the race on my Pitcrew Page.(9-18-2003)
  • Next Race for the #79: the Next Trial event for the #79 Don Arnold Motorsports Team will be Talladega.(Arnold Motorsports site)(9-18-2003)
  • Stacker 2 cars to run decal: The Station #23 program was developed to pay tribute to the fallen firefighters of Station 23 FDNY (Midtown Manhattan), who were performing their jobs of saving lives when tragedy struck on September 11, 2001. The name of their station is “The Lion’s Den.” Through the common grief following September 11th, a special bond was created between Station 23 FDNY and Station 23, Grand Terrace (San Bernardino County FD) in Grand Terrace, California. The two have become “sister stations” and Station 23, Grand Terrace, has since adopted the name “The Lion’s Den” in honor of the fallen firefighters. “The Lion’s Den” decal being placed on the #23 Stacker 2 Busch and Cup cars feature both “sister stations” and will be included on the team cars throughout the month of September.
    AND Stacker 2 will play host to several celebrities this weekend. In addition to drivers Scott Wimmer and Kenny Wallace, the ever-popular sponsor will entertain Chris “Y2J” Jerrico of the WWE on Saturday. Sunday it is the all-star lineup of HBO’s popular series, The Soprano’s. Guest will include: Vince Curatola, who plays Johnny Sack; Jeff Marchetti, who plays Petey; and Joe Gannascoli, who plays Vito Spatafore. Vince Curatola will sing the national anthem for Sunday’s All America 400. Also, FDNY fire captain John Benedict will be on hand to participate in the pre-race festivities.(Bill Davis Racing)(9-18-2003)
  • Racing Back to the Yellow to be Dropped? as of Dover? UPDATE: Racing back to the caution flag, long one of NASCAR’s most controversial procedures, could be eliminated as early as Sunday’s MBNA America 400 at Dover, Del., according to sources. New NASCAR Chairman Brian France said Tuesday there would be announcements later this week that required “tough decisions,” but he would not elaborate. But other NASCAR sources said both France and the sanctioning body’s president, Mike Helton, favor banning “racing back to yellow,” unless their race-official lieutenants can present satisfactory arguments to the contrary.(Orlando Sentinel)(9-17-2003)
    UPDATE: NASCAR is seriously considering revising its long-standing policy of allowing drivers to race back to the yellow flag. Discussions about changing the rule, which gives competitors a chance to earn laps back on the leader, are taking place at the highest levels of NASCAR’s management team. Racing back to the yellow is considered dangerous because many times the race leaders and those attempting to get a lap back must pick their way through an accident site. The current yellow flag rule also inhibits response time by emergency crews, who must wait until the field gathers up behind the pace car.(Daytona Beach News Journal)
    AND New NASCAR Chairman Brian France, who took over from his father, Bill France Jr., on Monday, is said to be leaning heavily, along with Helton, toward banning the practice. Unless lieutenants who directly conduct the races can give the two top executives sufficient rationales for status quo, the bedlam’s days are numbered. Whether an announcement comes before the Dover races, or is deferred, may depend on whether the younger France, 41, is worried about being perceived as changing too much, too fast.(Orlando Sentinel)(9-18-2003)


    (9-17-2003)

  • Vickers in the #01 for last 2003 Cup races UPDATE: MB2 Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports have tentatively reached an agreement to have Hendrick’s 19-year-old Busch Series driver, Brian Vickers, run in the final four races of the 2003 Winston Cup season in MB2’s #01 US Army Pontiac. Vickers, second in points in Busch this season, has already been announced as the new driver of Hendrick’s #25 GMAC Chevrolet in Cup next season, but the team has been looking for ways to get him some Cup experience this season. MB2 has been using temporary drivers in the #01 since regular driver Jerry Nadeau’s injury at the May race at Richmond, Va. Mike Skinner has been driving for the team most recently. “We’ve talked with Hendrick Motorsports and having Brian in the car is definitely a possibility, that’s part of the reason we signed Mike only through Talladega,” said Jay Frye, manager of MB2 Motorsports. “Brian’s deal has not been set yet and if he doesn’t end up doing the race, Mike will remain with the team the rest of the season. He has been doing a good job for us.” Hendrick officials confirmed Saturday Vickers driving four races for the No. 01 was a possibility this season.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-13-2003)
    UPDATE: MB2 Motorsports announced that arrangements have been completed to have Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Busch Series standout, Brian Vickers, drive the #01 U.S. Army/MB2 Pontiac in the final four races of the 2003 Winston Cup season. The 19-year-old native of Thomasville, N.C. will be subbing for Jerry Nadeau, who is recovering from injuries sustained in a May 2 accident at Richmond. The U.S. Army/MB2 ride will be an experience-builder for Vickers, who will join the Cup Series on a full-time basis next season, driving the #25 GMAC Hendrick Motorsports entry. Mike Skinner, who joined MB2 Motorsports in early August, will continue as the team’s substitute driver through the Oct. 19 race in Martinsville. The four Winston Cup races Vickers will drive the U.S. Army car in are:. Atlanta (Oct. 26), Phoenix (Nov. 2), Rockingham, N.C. (Nov. 9) and Homestead, Fla. (Nov. 16). The four events will be double-duty weekends for Vickers, who will also be competing in the Busch Series races. Vickers’ Busch ride last year was associated with the U.S. Army in 10 events through a relationship with the Army’s National Automotive Center (NAC).(US Army Racing PR)(9-17-2003)
  • Bang Racing? UPDATE: hearing that a new Winston Cup team – Bang Racing was in line to receive the AT&T Wireless sponsorship – not Roush Racing. Bang Racing is a new team founded by Alex Meshkin, a young technology executive from Reston, VA. Ironically – the same city where Nextel is headquartered. Meshkin founded a software company that he sold when he was just 19 years old – he is now 23. Also hearing that Bang Racing is not just another race team – but a technology-based team that enables corporations to make NASCAR sponsorships interactive and measurable using a patented wireless technology. Apparently, this technology will allow fans to interact with teams and sponsors using any wireless phone – not just Nextel phones. Have heard that Bang Racing has been in talks with Nextel about a car sponsorship deal – but Nextel decided to become the title sponsor instead. Nextel and Bang Racing are still talking about a technology deal that would allow Nextel to exclusively offer this technology to their subscribers. Also, hearing that Larry McReynolds may be one of the owners along with Alex Meshkin and other technology executives from Reston, VA.(6-19-2003) UPDATE: Bang! McReynolds back racing:Bang LLC – a global organization providing marketing services and technology solutions announced today the launch of Bang Racing. Bang LLC is the brainchild of Alex Meshkin, a pioneer of interactive marketing strategies and strategic sponsorship marketing. Meshkin was profiled in numerous North American business publications when at the age of 19 he founded the first startup company in the space of Internet usage rewards, the first of several startups earning him industry praise as a leading marketing entrepreneur. Meshkin’s company Bang LLC recently partnered with renowned NASCAR Crew Chief and FOX Sports Broadcaster Larry McReynolds to create Bang Racing, with the goal of making corporate sponsorships in NASCAR interactive and measurable.(Bang Racing PR), see full press release on my Truck Series page, as they will start off in the Truck Series with a two-truck Toyota backed team.(9-17-2003)
  • Another Jarrett? UPDATE 2: hearing Jason Jarrett, son of Dale Jarrett, may run a third Robert Yates Racing entry at Talladega next week. Jarreatt recently tested for Yates at the track.(9-16-2003)
    UPDATE: Jason Jarrett, son of the 1999 Winston Cup champion Dale Jarrett, will attempt to make his first Winston Cup race next weekend at Talladega. Jarrett will run a third Robert Yates Racing Ford with the #98. Decisions on sponsorship and paint scheme are expected to be made over the next several days. The 27-year old Jarrett, who is current second in the ARCA championship chase, competed in 40 Busch Series races between 1997 and 2000.(PRN’s Garagepass radio show/Jason Jarrett Site)(9-16-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Robert Yates Racing and Jason Jarrett have teamed up for the upcoming Winston Cup race event at Talladega Superspeedway on September 28, 2003. After extensive testing last week at Talladega, Yates Racing decided to enter a third car in the race to be piloted by Jason Jarrett, along with regular team members, Dale Jarrett and Elliott Sadler. This will be the first attempt to qualify in a Winston Cup event for the third-generation member of the Jarrett racing family. The car number will be #98; crew chief will be Bill Riley. Over-the-wall crew responsibilities will be picked up by members of Jarrett’s ARCA RE/MAX Series ML Motorsports race team; sponsorship and paint scheme are currently being determined and will be announced shortly.(see the Jason Jarrett site for more and a Q&A with Jarrett)(9-17-2003)
  • Hall of Fame Racing signs a driver for 2004: Alex Whitman made his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut on Saturday running in the Eddie Gilstrap 200 at the half-mile, high-bank of Salem Speedway and turned the heads of many ARCA RE/MAX Series regulars with his strong run to a sixth place, lead lap finish. Whitman qualified his Venturini Motorsports prepared Wave Worms Chevrolet in the seventh position after having a strong practice run right off the truck.. Whitman competed in the top ten throughout the 200-lap event and brought the car home in the sixth position. Whitman has signed with Hall of Fame Racing for the 2004 season where he intends to run events in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the NASCAR Busch Series.. Hall of Fame Racing is owned by NFL Hall of Fame members, Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. Whitman, a 29-year old resident of Dallas, Texas got his racing start behind the wheel of go-karts before moving up to Skip Barber Dodge cars, SCCA Road Racing and Late Model Stock cars at the Nashville Fairgrounds.. Whitman plans to compete with the series again this weekend at the .4-mile- Big Daddy’s South Boston Speedway and at the series finale at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlottewhere he has logged numerous laps as a driving instructor for the Richard Petty Driving Experience.(LM Motorsports Marketing PR), see more about the team on my Hall of Fame Team News and Links page.(9-17-2003)
  • Wine for Childress UPDATE: NASCAR Championship Team Owner [#29,#30,#31,#75 Cup] Richard Childress will break ground on Childress Vineyards on Wednesday, September 17th at the Childress Vineyards construction site, at the northwest corner of the intersection of Highways 52 and 64 in Lexington, NC.(RCR PR)(9-16-2003)
    UPDATE: Childress Vineyards broke ground today on the winery portion of the new Childress Vineyards complex in Lexington, NC. Childress Vineyards is a 60-acre facility located at the junction of Highways 52 and 64 in Lexington, N.C. The Childress Vineyards winery will be a 34,000 square foot facility. Approximately 25 acres of grapes will be grown at the site. Other facilities planned for the site include walking trails, an amphitheater, and separate retail and hotel space. The projected completion date for the winery is Aug. 1, 2004. Plans call for the production area to be fully operational by April or May of next year with the retail sector open in August. Childress Vineyards will produce 10 different wines. Childress has more than 25 acres of grapes (Vidal, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah) growing on the grounds surrounding his home in nearby Clemmons, N.C. His business partner, Greg Johns, owner of Johns Plumbing in Greensboro, has five acres of grapes (Sangiovese) growing in Summerfield, northwest of Greensboro in Guilford County. Production plans call for Childress Vineyards to produce wine from its own grapes and purchased grapes in 2004. Approximately 8,500 cases will be produced in 2004 and the 2005 vintage will also be produced from a combination of estate-grown and purchased grapes.(RCR PR)(9-17-2003)
  • Cope makes good for a fan UPDATE: The Friendly’s sponsorship of #37-Derrike Cope ended this weekend at New Hampshire. Cope failed to make the race and the car was a special fan deisgned paint scheme [very cool, ice cream cones designed by 12 year old Seneca Tedford] – Cope doesn’t owe Friendly’s anything, but am hearing that he is going to run the fan designed scheme at Dover next weekend of his own expense.(9-13-2003)
    UPDATE: Seneca Tedford, 12, of Lebanon, CT, Seneco won a coloring contest, sponsored by a restaurant chain [Freinedly’s], and #37-Derrike Cope was to use her design of royal blue and hundreds of ice-cream cones on his car at Sunday’s Winston Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway. But Cope failed to qualify. He wasn’t planning to race in Dover, Del., this weekend because he doesn’t have a sponsor. But Cope has decided to go to Dover at his expense and race the car because of Seneca.(Seatlle Times/Williams Company PR), note: the girls name is Seneca not Seneco; and since qualifying was hurricaned out, Cope is assured a starting spot due to his owners standings.(9-17-2003)
  • Lepage back in the #4 for Dover: Kevin Lepage will compete in the No. 4 Kodak Easy Share Pontiac at Dover International Speedway this weekend. He will start the event in the 40th position. The field of the MBNA America 400 was set by owner points due to NASCAR’s Hurricane contingency plan. Friday activities for the Winston Cup Series were canceled due to the threat of weather. As Hurricane Isabel churns closer to the East Coast, preparations remain active at Morgan-McClure Motorsports in Abingdon, Va. to race at the Monster Mile this weekend. The team plans to travel to Delaware on Friday and begin work at the track on Saturday morning when the garage opens. Kevin Lepage: “We are taking the same car that we finished 15th with at Darlington. Tim Brewer makes excellent pit calls, so we should be in for a good day on Sunday with the Kodak team. I just hope Mother Nature cooperates and lets us get the race in this weekend. Maybe Isabel will take a turn away from Dover.”(Morgan McClure PR)(9-17-2003)
  • Jeff Green in the #43 at Dover; Fittipaldi in the #44 UPDATE 2: Jeff Green, who has wheeled cars this year for Richard Childress and Dale Earnhardt Inc., will drive the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge of Petty Enterprises for this race. Christian Fittipaldi, who normally drives the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge, will drive the #44 Bugles Dodge this weekend for the MBNA America 400 Cup race at the one-mile Dover (Del.) International Speedway. “There isn’t any doubt Jeff Green can drive a race car, and he can drive it well,” said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. “Having the opportunity to have him behind the wheel of the #43 this week is great for Petty Enterprises, for General Mills and for our entire program. Jeff will do a super job for us.”(Petty Racing/Williams Company PR)(9-15-2003)
    UPDATE: have heard nothing [yet] about Green NOT driving the #43 at Dover and Fittipaldi going back in it since the #44 team didn’t have enough race attempts/owners points to make the field at Dover since qulaidying has been canceled due to Hurrican Isabel.
    UPDATE 2: been told that Green will stay in the #43 Dodge and race it Sunday.(9-17-2003)
  • Sad News: Joe Granatelli, Andy Granatelli’s older brother who helped fabricate the famed turbine race car that nearly won the 1967 Indianapolis 500, died Sept. 13 in Woodland Hills, Calif. He was 84. Joe and youngest Granatelli brother Vince were involved with their flamboyant brother from the time they first purchased a gas station together in Chicago and then first brought a race car to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1946. Joe Granatelli was the chief mechanic on the Novis when Andy became involved at Indianapolis as a car owner and head of STP Corp. The elder Granatelli was listed as the entrant for Hotel Tropicana Spl. that Bobby Unser drove as a rookie in 1963.(more at Open Wheel Racing)(9-17-2003)
  • AOL name being dropped: AOL Time Warner plans to drop “AOL” from its name, symbolizing the giant media company’s effort to put the failings of the biggest merger in history behind it and begin a new phase of its corporate identity, company executives said yesterday. The corporation’s board of directors is scheduled to approve the name change at its monthly meeting in New York tomorrow, people close to the board said. Richard D. Parsons, chairman and chief executive, strongly supports the change and intends to move quickly to implement it. The company’s logo will be changed and its stock-ticker symbol will revert to “TWX,” which Time Warner used before its $112 billion merger with America Online in January 2001. America Online Inc. was flying high when the Dulles-based firm co-founded by Steve Case bought venerable Time Warner with what turned out to be vastly inflated stock. But Case has been ousted, America Online is a mere division of a media behemoth, and the online unit is struggling to keep subscribers, many of whom have abandoned AOL dial-up service in favor of faster Internet connections provided by cable television and telephone companies. The decision to drop “AOL” from the corporate name is not a precursor to a sale or spinoff of the America Online division, sources said. (Washington Post). No idea what this means for the #30 AOL team in 2004.(9-17-2003)

    (9-16-2003)

  • Team Nadeau makes donation: The Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center has received a donation from Team Nadeau in honor of Jerry Nadeau’s 33rd birthday. The donation specifically has been earmarked for the Neurotrauma Research Program at the Harold F. Young Neurosurgical Center. The NASCAR Winston Cup driver was admitted to the VCU Medical Center May 2 after a crash at the Richmond International Raceway. Nadeau sustained a head injury, fractured shoulder blade and lung and rib injuries, and was treated in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit and Rehabilitation Center of the VCU Medical Center until his release May 26.
    “Team Nadeau is very proud to support the VCU Medical Center’s Neurotrauma Research Program by giving this donation in honor of Jerry Nadeau’s 33rd birthday,” said Nichole Burke, Team Nadeau coordinator. “Team Nadeau will be forever thankful to the wonderful doctors and nurses who treated and cared for Jerry after his accident. VCU played a crucial role in Jerry’s life this year and we, his fans, are just trying to do what can to show our gratitude.”
    VCU Medical Center officials acknowledged the generosity of the fans at Team Nadeau and expressed their gratitude. “Their gift will go to help others, like Jerry, who have experienced major neurological problems as the result of a head injury,” said Dr. Harold F Young, chairman of Neurosurgery. “It is through private gifts like this one from Team Nadeau that we can undertake new clinical research projects that will benefit not only professional race car drivers, but the general public as well.”
    Team Nadeau has requested that the amount of the gift remain confidential. Burke said Team Nadeau hopes to make the donation an annual event.(VCU News Release)(9-16-2003)
  • NASCAR Personnel News: Richard Glover, a 20-year veteran of broadcasting and media, has joined NASCAR and NASCAR Digital Entertainment as vice president of broadcasting and new media. Glover will manage NASCAR’s television, media and entertainment activities out of its Los Angeles office. Most recently, Glover served as executive vice president and managing director, Olympics for ABC/ESPN and The Walt Disney Company where he was responsible for managing all Olympics-related business for ABC, ABC Sports, ESPN and The Walt Disney Company.
    AND Paul Brooks has been named senior vice president for NASCAR, reporting directly to NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian France. Brooks will interface with all NASCAR departments, direct long-term strategic planning while also overseeing special projects and industry relations. In addition, Brooks has been named president of NASCAR Broadcasting and NASCAR Digital Entertainment and will continue his leadership of NASCAR’s broadcast, new media and entertainment initiatives. Brooks, who has worked within the sport for over a decade and currently manages NASCAR’s Los Angeles office, will return to NASCAR headquarters in Daytona Beach, Florida. Brooks started his motorsports career in 1989 working with NASCAR drivers and media outlets. Joining NASCAR in 1993, he has held several key positions within the company and was responsible for developing and managing several of the company’s significant marketing, licensing and media initiatives. In 1998, Brooks was named vice president, office of the president, reporting directly to then-president Bill France. Most recently, Brooks has served as vice president of broadcasting for NASCAR and NASCAR Digital Entertainment, managing all broadcasting, new media and entertainment business for NASCAR. Brooks opened NASCAR’s Los Angeles office and under his leadership, quickly established close-working relationships throughout the television and entertainment industry that have benefited NASCAR’s drivers, teams, tracks and partners.(NASCAR PR)(9-16-2003)
  • Testing at Kentucky: #21-Ricky Rudd, #6-Mark Martin and #99-Jeff Burton are testing today at Kentucky Speedway. “Our weak point is the intermediate, ‘Kentucky-size’ tracks. What I foresee happening the rest of the year is a lot of ˜hit-and-miss.’ We’ll be doing a lot of experimenting because we don’t have a lot to lose. One thing I’m sure of, by the time we get to the end of the season on ˜Charlotte-size’ tracks, we’ll be a lot better off”, Rudd stated(Kentucky Speedway PR)(9-16-2003)
  • Bud #1 and more on advertising: It’s a matter of loyalty… Despite all the attention surrounding the announcement of Nextel’s foray into NASCAR in next year, the telecommunications company has only been mentioned one time ($41,000) during Winston Cup Series event telecasts this season. Casey Mears’ winning of both ARCA RE/MAX Series races held at Pocono Raceway this season proved extremely profitable to his sponsor Target. The retailer rang up more than an hour of on-camera time and secured 41 mentions during the Speed Channel race telecasts, good enough for the nearly $200,000 in comparable exposure value and top five status among the series’ primary sponsors. Weighing in with more than $47 million of combined exposure value at mid-year was NASCAR Winston Cup Series and Busch Series team sponsor Stacker2. Robby Gordon’s annual double dip at the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 led to an exposure payout of more than $2.2 million. Gordon’s 22nd place finish in the Indy 500 brought in $878,150 for his sponsor Archipelago, while his 17th place showing in the nightcap Coca-Cola 600 landed Cingular Wireless $1,336,600. On the day, Gordon averaged nearly $2,015 of television exposure value per racing mile for his two main sponsors.
    Year-To-Date Top-5 NASCAR Winston Cup Team Sponsors
    1) Budweiser $143.6*
    2) NAPA At. Pts. 69.2
    3) Lowe’s 61.1
    4) UPS 60.1
    5) Cingular Wireless 49.0
    *Comparable exposure value reflected in millions. Values based on clear, in-focus exposure time and verbal references received during event telecasts through the Sharpie 500.( Joyce Julius and Associates Newsletter)(9-16-2003)
  • Buckshot to test at Talladega and Atlanta: hearing that Buckshot Jones will be testing at Talladega today and Wednesday in Michael Waltrip’s #00 Chevy AND that Jones will also test a Michael Waltrip Chevy at Atlanta on Monday, Sept 29th and Wed Sept 30th, Aaron’s will sponsor Jones in the car at Atlanta.(9-16-2003)
  • Sabates to own part of the Bobcats: An influential group of local Charlotte investors has joined majority owner Robert L. Johnson as minority partners in Bobcats Basketball Holdings, LLC, the ownership group of the Charlotte Bobcats of the National Basketball Association and the Charlotte Sting of the Women’s National Basketball Association the team announced Monday. Felix Sabates, owner of NASCAR Winston Cup racing teams and the Charlotte Checkers minor league hockey club, and chairman of Trinity Yachts, the largest yacht builder in America, is a member of the ownership group.(WSOC.com)(9-16-2003)
  • Dale Jr. to run the Daytona 24 hour race in 2004 UPDATE NOPE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will run in next year’s Daytona 24 hour with the Freisinger Porsche team. Earnhardt Jr., who made his debut in the sportscar classic in a factory Chevrolet Corvette in 2001, has agreed to a deal to race the German team’s lead 911 GT3-RS in the Florida event next February. Freisinger team leader Stephane Ortelli will join him in the car. Team boss Manfred Freisinger said, “We have a mutual friend who contacted us about Dale. Everything has been agreed and the deal will be signed this week.”(Autoweek)(9-16-2003)
    UPDATE: Been told by DEI folks that is zero accuracy to the Autoweek report regarding Dale Jr. in a Porsche at the 24-Hours of Daytona.(9-16-2003)
  • Another Lawsuit: Greg Moore’s wrongful death lawsuit will be back in a U.S. court later this year or early 2004. Lawyers representing Moore’s estate filed an appeal earlier this summer arguing the wrongful death lawsuit resulting from the Maple Ridge, B.C., driver’s fatal crash in 1999 shouldn’t have been dismissed. The brief, filed with the Riverside, Calif., County Court of Appeals, names Championship Auto Racing Teams and California Speedway Corp. as defendants. The appeal is an attempt to overturn an earlier decision by a lower court to dismiss the suit. Moore, 24, died when his car crashed into a wall during the Marlboro 500 at California Speedway. Lawyers representing the Moore estate maintain the death was caused because when the car left the course, it skidded on grass in the track’s infield and slammed into a concrete wall that was void of any energy-absorbing material.(Toronto Sun/CP)(9-16-2003)
  • Been asked, so here it is: Question – I understand Chad Knaus’ concern for his crew members, but shouldn’t Jimmie Johnson have gotten a penalty when Chad went over the wall with no helmet and for having too many men over the wall? I’m glad no one was seriously injured.
    Answer Larry McReynolds: With all the rules in NASCAR being black and white or red and green, yeah, there’s no question that Chad Knaus probably did look at the right front fender when he went over there. But, trust me, I know Chad, and I would have been the same way. He went over there to see if any of his crew members were laying on the ground. He didn’t do any work. If he had pulled on the fender, rubbed on the grill or did anything, then I would say certainly that a penalty should have been assessed. But he didn’t do that. He went to check on his fellow crew members.
    Answer Jeff Hammond: In hindsight, it would have given them too many men over the wall. I was only privileged to see a couple different angles of it, but I didn’t see Chad Knaus do anything to the race car. If he was going out there to pick up somebody off the ground, check them out or see if his guys were OK, common sense prevails, and it’s OK. Granted, the helmet wasn’t on Knaus’ head, but this was a unique circumstance. He didn’t have the helmet, but he did, at least, have the fire suit. If he went over and did something to the race car and really participated in the pit stop, then I would say NASCAR blew a call. But from the different angles that I saw, all I could see was a concerned crew chief running over to see if everybody was OK. Everybody was getting up, moving and getting going again so he got back out of the way. A NASCAR official was there, but probably at about that time, he was too busy trying to think about what happened because he was trying to get out of the way. There were a lot of things going on, and the official probably just missed the call. But it was a common sense situation, and Knaus didn’t do anything.(FoxSports)(9-16-2003)
  • Stewarts IRL Trophy Auctioned Off: Items commemorating Tony Stewart’s 1997 IRL title were auctioned off on Sunday. The memorablia was owned by a former team manager who embezzled more than $1 million from Team Menard. Collectors paid thousands of dollars for auto racing memorabilia once owned by former Indy Racing League team manager Larry Curry. Curry was manager of Team Menard from 1996-98 and won the IRL title with driver Tony Stewart in 1997. A federal judge in June 2001 sentenced Curry to 33 months in prison for helping to embezzle more than $1 million from the racing team. Curry also was fined $250,000 and ordered to make restitution to team owner John Menard of Eau Claire, Wis. Menard took possession of Curry’s championship rings and watches, trophies, racing crew and driving suits, helmets and framed pictures. They were auctioned Saturday in Indianapolis. The rings, leather jackets, Rolex watches and ladies jewelry fetched tens of thousands of dollars from hundreds of buyers. Police stood watch as visitors looked over the items. “How often it is it that you could get to see a championship ring, let alone own it,” said John Sears, a collector. “Who knows what they are worth?” (Charlotte Observer/AP)(9-16-2003)
  • Marcis Racing UPDATE: hearing the #71 Marcis Racing Chevy will attempt to make the race at Dover Sept 21st with Tim Sauter driving.(9-11-2003)
    UPDATE More on #71 Marcis Racing at Dover: from the new look Marcis Racing site: Our next stop on the Winston Cup circuit will be the upcoming race at Dover International Speedway on September 21st. Tim Sauter will be driving the #71 Continental Fire and Safety Monte Carlo. We’d like to welcome the New Jersey based Continental Fire and Safety as our primary sponsor for the Dover, Delaware event.(Marcis Racing Site)(9-16-2003)
  • Cope Announcement and news for Dover UPDATE: it is posted on the Derrike Cope site that “Derrike will be announcing his sponsor for the 2004 Winston Cup season on this week’s NASCAR This Morning broadcast.”[Sunday on Fox Sports Net at 11:00am/et](9-9-2003)
    AND The Friendly’s sponsorship of Cope ended this weekend at New Hampshire. Cope failed to make the race and the car was a special fan deisgned paint scheme [very cool, ice cream cones designed by 12 year old Seneca Tedford] – Cope doesn’t owe Friendly’s anything, but am hearing that he is going to run the fan designed scheme at Dover next weekend of his own expense.(9-13-2003)
    UPDATE: Cope made the announcement on NASCAR This Morning, the sponsor is PHM – Paramount Hospitality Management has signed as a sponsor/marketing partner to run a full season in Nextel Cup in 2004.(FSN NASCAR This Morning), for an image for the car and press release, see the Derrike Cope site.(9-14-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Paramount Hospitality Management LLC is a South San Francisco-based international corporation which owns or manages 56 lodging properties in the United States, and is one of the top hospitality, lodging and resort consulting companies in the world with over 200 hotel clients. PHM will utilize sponsorship of the car for branding, not only of its current activities and logo but also a unique new reservations product that will become available in 2004.(Williams Company)(9-16-2003)


    (9-15-2003)

  • Evernham, Ward and Baldwin? Ward Burton and crew chief Tommy Baldwin could be back together again if talks with car owner Ray Evernham prove fruitful, according to Dodge sources. However, Baldwin denies any such plans are in the works with Evernham. Burton will likely leave car owner Bill Davis at the end of the season, but Dodge wants to keep the 2002 Daytona 500 winner in the Dodge fold.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-15-2003)
  • No Rudd for Davis? Bill Davis is looking for a driver for 2004 [for the #22], but he denies reports he might be interested in Ricky Rudd.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-15-2003)
  • RCR wants Ward? On the Richard Childress front, Childress, according to sources, would like to hire Ward Burton, but sponsor AOL would prefer a younger driver. Burton is 42. ‘We don’t know what we’ll do,’ Childress said. The time frame for a decision: ‘The next couple of weeks.’ (Winston Salem Journal)(9-15-2003)
  • Dale Jr. to Sit Down and Talk Contract With Teresa UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. is scheduled to sit down with car owner Teresa Earnhardt next week and Dale Jr. expects he’ll have a contract worked out with DEI. The only reason he says he has yet to sign a contract is that he and Teresa haven’t had time to do so. Dale Jr. says there are no disagreements, it’s just they need about four solid hours to get it done and both are so busy they haven’t had the time, not a minute to do it.  Earnhardt Jr. says, “When me and Teresa have our meeting we’ll defiantly have a clear, direct path once we’re finished. Me and her really work well together and when we sit down and we’re hashing out something we always have been able to come to a decision very easily. She’s a classic businesswoman, she does a great job making those decisions and telling you and showing you certain reasons for this and certain reasons for that, and she’s very compromising too. I don’t have any doubt in my mind that I’ll be able to walk out of there very satisfied with my end of the deal.”(PRN’s Garage Pass Radio Show/Lee Spencer of FoxSports)(9-12-2003)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he expects to meet with Teresa Earnhardt, his stepmother and the president of Dale Earnhardt Inc., this week to complete his contract. Junior, second in points to Matt Kenseth, says he never expected the negotiations to cause such a stir. “I want to get this out of the way because I feel responsible for the distraction,” Junior says. “This should restore confidence to the team.” Earnhardt says he is disappointed that people would question his commitment to the company his late father founded and says Teresa is “a classic businesswoman.” Junior says completing the contract is simply a matter of the two finding four hours together to iron out the details.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(9-15-2003)
  • 2nd Team for Wells in 2004? UPDATE 2: #32-Ricky Craven, whose single-car team has struggled at times in a sport dominated by multi-car operations, may soon get some help. “I believe Cal is well on his way to having a second team, as early as next year,” Craven said this week at Darlington, referring to car owner Cal Wells III. Wells fielded two cars in 2001, but dropped back to one after losing a sponsor.(Charleston Post and Courier)(8-24-2003)
    UPDATE: hearing Busch Series driver Scott Riggs [#10 Nesquik/ppc Racing Ford] could end up in the 2nd PPI Motorsports Ride and the team is close to signing a sponsor.
    However being told that the team has brought in at least two other drivers to talk to in the past week who were not Riggs.(9-2-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Cal Wells may again be close to a second Winston Cup team, and if he can put it together, Joe Nemechek has a good shot at the ride.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-15-2003)
  • Newman wins 3rd Quarter Vote: Ryan Newman the Winningest driver in the NASCAR Winston Cup series this year, turned up the heat this summer and melted the opposition winning the vote for the third quarter Speed Channel presents DRIVER OF THE YEAR 2003. The 25-year old from Indiana burned up the tracks in his ALLTELL Dodge with three wins and one pole for Penske South Racing. He had an enviable record of seven top-ten finishes in his last ten starts during the quarter that just ended. In only his second year in the top series of NASCAR Newman, was clearly affected by the history of the award and the fact he beat the competition in every major series in the United States in the eyes of the voters. His ten first place DRIVER OF THE YEAR votes was underscored the professionals vote of excellence as his points total of 123 was nearly double that of the second place finisher. Although Canada’s Paul Tracy failed to get a single first place ballot, the CART series points leader was a consistent vote getter on all professional ballots finishing second with 66 points. Driving the Players Forsythe Lola Ford-Cosworth Tracy had three wins, Toronto, Vancouver, and Mid-Ohio, four poles and a total of six podiums. Tracy was voted DRIVER OF THE YEAR for the first quarter of 2003. Larry Dixon, driver of the Miller Lite Top Fuel dragster, finished third with 46 points and took three first place votes as he won the Pontiac Excitement, Mopar Mile-High, CARQUEST and FRAM-Autolite Nationals. His winning average was 75 percent for the third quarter and he leads the POWERade series points standings.(Speed Channel PR)(9-15-2003)

 


 

  • (9-14-2003)

  • Johnson wins at New Hampshire: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire. It is Johnson’s third win of 2003 and 6th of his career. Johnson is the first driver to sweep both season races at New Hampshire. #21-Ricky Rudd finished 2nd, his 2nd top five in a row. #25-Joe Nemechek ended up third, followed by #9-Elliott and #8-Earnhardt Jr., who was running down a cylinder. Points leader, #17-Matt Kenseth finished 7th, and lost a few points to Dale Jr., but still leads the points standings by 404 points with 9 races to go. A scary moment early in the race while coming in to pit during the 1st caution, #24-Gordon mis-calculated and hit #15-Waltrip while they were going to their pit stalls, Waltrip had to go around #48-Johnson, Gordon, who is pitting right in front of Waltrip didn’t realize that and tried to go inside Waltrip, hitting two of Johnson’s pit crew members. TNT is reporting both are ok but one crew member Cory Quick went to the infield care center, has a bruised shin. Gordon had to wait for the rest of the cars to come in, back up and proceed to his pit. Waltrip’s crew was able to fully complete their stop and go on. The crew was back to full strength for the next stop. See my Sylvania 300 Race Info page for my race run down, includes top 10, cautions and narrative, notes, cars off track.
    Race Re-air: NOTE: Speed Channel changed their lineup starting in August – so there is now a one-hour recap [called Fast Forward] of the race, scheduled this week for:
    Wednesday, September 17th at 7:00pm/et and again on September 18th at 1:00am/et;
    a full three-hour race show will re-air at 12:00pm/et on Thursday, September 18th.
    Race Results at JAYSKI’s New Hamsphire/Sylvania 300 Race Results and see full standings at JAYSKI’s Driver/Owners Points after New Hamsphire.(9-14-2003)
  • Stock Car Fans – Rumblings – New Hampshire: #48-Jimmie Johnson became our second “Sweeper” of the season today at New Hampshire International Speedway as he captured the Sylvania 300 in fine fashion. It was his 6th career win (he’s now solo in 59th on the all-time win list) and 3rd of the season. It was also win #115 for Hendrick Motorsports.
    In what can only be termed as a “wild time” in the pits, Johnson joins Kurt Busch as the only repeaters this year (he swept Bristol). After having three of his crewmembers hitch a ride on top of Jeff Gordon’s car, the Lowe’s team (appearing completely unflustered considering how dangerous that situation could have been) came through at the end with a flawless “gas and go” and they were home free.
    #21-Ricky Rudd (2nd) had his best finish since he won at Infineon Raceway in June of 2002.
    #25-Joe Nemechek (3rd) had his best finish since he won at Richmond in May.
    #9-Bill Elliott (4th) had his best finish since he was 4th at Infineon Raceway in June.
    #38-Elliott Sadler (8th) had his best finish since he was 5th at Martinsville in April.
    #1-John Andretti (12th) had his best finish since he was 8th at California in April.
    #77-Dave Blaney (14th) had his best finish since he was 9th at Pocono in July.
    #41-Casey Mears (17th) had his best finish since he was 16th when we were here in July.
    #43-Christian Fittipaldi (31st) had his best finish since he was 24th at Pocono in July.
    STREAKIN….Matt Kenseth has 6 Top-10 finishes in the last 7 races. Ryan Newman has 5 Top-10 finishes in the last 6 races. The Rookie Report: Jamie McMurray (10th) captures the top award for the 13th time this season (he’s got a 13-9 lead over Greg Biffle). He was followed by: Casey Mears (17th), Tony Raines (33rd), and Greg Biffle (43rd). Larry Foyt was a DNQ again this week. Time for Biffle to get on his horse or this race will be over.
    This week’s Elevator….UP: Operator of the Week is Ricky Rudd (+29), followed by Joe Nemechek (+22), and Bobby Labonte (+21).
    DOWN: The Big Dropper was Greg Biffle (-39), followed by Jeff Burton (-27), Michael Waltrip (-21), and Sterling Marlin (-20). A relatively slow day in the shaft.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr sliced 14 points off Matt Kenseth’s lead today….but he’s gonna need bigger pieces of the pie than that if we’re gonna have a race past Halloween. Matt’s lead is down to 404 markers, and that “Magic Number” is up to 8th. Got a few more emails this week wanting to know just what that means….it’s the position that Matt can finish every week and can’t be caught, no matter how good you do. If he finishes 8th or better, Jr can’t win the Championship.
    Elliott Sadler (22nd to 19th) made the best move forward this week, while Johnny Benson (23rd to 26th) fell the same number of spots.(Stockcarfans.com)(9-14-2003)
  • Keller in the #1 at Talladega: Busch Series driver [#57] Jason Keller will drive Dale Earnhardt Inc.’s #1 Pennzoil Chevy in the Sept. 28 Winston Cup [EA Sports 500] race at Talladega, Ala., ThatsRacin.com has learned. John Andretti has been driving the #1 in recent weeks, but has a prior commitment for the Talladgea race [Richard Childress Racing #75 Chevy]. Keller attempted to qualify a DEI [#81] car at the Winston Cup race at Chicagoland earlier this season, but failed to make the field. He also filled in for Jerry Nadeau in the #01 US Army Pontiac in the May Cup race at Richmond, Va., after Nadeau suffered serious injuries in a practice session accident at the track.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-14-2003)
  • Roof Hatches to debut at Talladega: No less than three NASCAR Winston Cup teams will have roof escape hatches in place for their drivers by the time the series goes to Talladega Superspeedway at the end of this month. Development of the “alternate exit” has been ongoing at NASCAR’s research and development center in Concord, N.C. A NASCAR spokesman said managing director of research and development Gary Nelson had a bulletin prepared that would allow teams to begin installing the hatches and its release was imminent.(NASCAR.com)(9-14-2003)
  • Villeneuve and NASCAR? Unlikely: Jacques Villeneuve is getting antsy about his future in Formula One racing. The Iberville, Que., native is still awaiting word on whether he will be offered a new contract with the BAR-Honda team, which is under pressure from Honda to hire Japanese driver Takuma Sato. The possibility looms that the 1997 world champion will be left without a drive in Formula One next season. Villeneuve said there was little chance of getting a drive with another team and that if he is forced out of Formula One, he will consider driving in another series next year. Villeneuve told Le Journal de Montreal he may even consider NASCAR, although no inquiries in that direction have yet been made by either side.(Winnipego Sun/AP/CP)(9-14-2003)
  • Harvick/Rudd Talk: Kevin Harvick and Ricky Rudd finally had a little talk on Saturday. The main participants in last week’s late-race crash and post-race melee at Richmond spent about three minutes talking, apparently amicably, while leaning on a pile of tires in the garage area at New Hampshire International Speedway. Winston Cup president Mike Helton stood nearby, listening, but didn’t join the conversation. “It was just time,” Rudd said. “We needed a couple of words with each other. Having Mike standing there, I guess, didn’t hurt.” Neither Harvick nor Helton were available to comment.(Charlotte Observer/AP)(9-14-2003)

    (9-13-2003)

  • How many drivers have won a race in the Cup Series, Busch Series and Truck Series? With his Truck Series win at New Hampshire, Jimmy Spencer becomes the seventh driver to win a race in all three of NASCAR’s national series [Cup, Busch, Trucks]. The club also includes Greg Biffle, Mark Martin, Bobby Hamilton, Kevin Harvick, Terry Labonte and Ken Schrader. Biffle owns Busch and Truck championships.(from my Racing FAQ page via FoxSports.com). NOTE: Geoffrey Bodine’s Truck win was an exhibition race and doesn’t count.(9-13-2003)
  • Vickers in the #01 for last four 2003 Cup races: MB2 Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports have tentatively reached an agreement to have Hendrick’s 19-year-old Busch Series driver, Brian Vickers, run in the final four races of the 2003 Winston Cup season in MB2’s #01 US Army Pontiac. Vickers, second in points in Busch this season, has already been announced as the new driver of Hendrick’s #25 GMAC Chevrolet in Cup next season, but the team has been looking for ways to get him some Cup experience this season. MB2 has been using temporary drivers in the #01 since regular driver Jerry Nadeau’s injury at the May race at Richmond, Va. Mike Skinner has been driving for the team most recently. “We’ve talked with Hendrick Motorsports and having Brian in the car is definitely a possibility, that’s part of the reason we signed Mike only through Talladega,” said Jay Frye, manager of MB2 Motorsports. “Brian’s deal has not been set yet and if he doesn’t end up doing the race, Mike will remain with the team the rest of the season. He has been doing a good job for us.” Hendrick officials confirmed Saturday Vickers driving four races for the No. 01 was a possibility this season.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-13-2003)
  • NASCAR Unveils Modified All-Time Top 10: Four drivers who are among The 50 Greatest NASCAR Drivers of All Time are members of the “NASCAR Modified All-Time Top 10” announced Friday by the sanctioning body. Richie Evans, a nine-time NASCAR champion, heads the NASCAR Modified All-Time Top 10. Six-time champion Jerry Cook is No. 3, with Ray Hendrick at No. 4 and Geoffrey Bodine at No. 5. All four also are part of “The 50 Greatest NASCAR Drivers of All Time” list compiled in 1998. Mike Stefanik, one of two active Modified drivers on the NASCAR Modified All-Time Top 10, is No. 2 on the strength of his six titles and 65 career Featherlite Modified Series victories. The list:
    No. 1 Richie Evans
    No. 2 Mike Stefanik
    No. 3 Jerry Cook
    No. 4 Ray Hendrick
    No. 5 Geoffrey Bodine
    No. 6 Tony Hirschman
    No. 7 Bugs Stevens
    No. 8 Fred DeSarro
    No. 9 Jimmy Spencer
    No. 10 Reggie Ruggiero.(NASCAR PR)(9-13-2003)
  • Kodak to a new team? Announcement soon? Kodak officials could announce sponsorship of a new team by the time the tour reaches Talladega later this month, according to sources.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-13-2003)
  • NASCAR announces additions to PR staff: NASCAR has expanded its public relations staff to include three individuals who bring respected credentials from their previous positions within motorsports. Rick Houston, Denise Maloof and Buz McKim are the newest members of the NASCAR Public Relations Department. Houston is the new Manager of Communications for the NASCAR Busch Series. Until his recent appointment with NASCAR, he spent nearly a decade writing for NASCAR Winston Cup Scene, including the last seven years as the publication’s NASCAR Busch Series editor. Houston is also a published author, having written the book, “Second to None: The History of the NASCAR Busch Series.”
    Maloof, named a Manager of Communications, spent the last year with SI.com where she was the beat writer responsible for all original NASCAR coverage for the dual Sports Illustrated-CNN worldwide website. She was a member of the original start-up staff for the site and also contributed as a writer/package producer for CNN’s “Sports Tonight.” Maloof also spent over 10 years as a writer for both the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Gwinett Daily News, covering the sports and education beats.
    As NASCAR’s Coordinator of Statistical Services, McKim will manage NASCAR’s Historic Database, which includes the sports’ vast historical and statistical archives. McKim, a former racer and car sign-painter who also created artwork for the likes of NASCAR, Daytona International Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has been involved in the history of NASCAR for most of his life.(NASCAR PR)(9-13-2003)
  • France in for France? MORE: ESPN.com has learned that 70-year-old chairman and CEO of NASCAR, Bill France Jr., is stepping aside and putting his 37-year-old son, Brian, behind the wheel of the stock car series that has mushroomed into a marketing monster and America’s No. 2 sports pastime behind pro football. A source close to Nextel, which assumes title sponsorship of NASCAR in 2004, confirmed this changing of the guard will be announced early next week. “Only a few people know but it’s not really that big a surprise when you think about it,” said the source. “And Big Bill will still be around to show Brian the ropes.” Bill France Jr. denied the report that he is about to retire and turn over control to Brian, but did say he will cut back further on his daily activities. Brian France couldn’t immediately be reached for comment in his Los Angeles office on Friday afternoon. Currently president of NASCAR’s broadcasting and digital entertainment, France will assume the duties of chairman and CEO immediately and move back to company headquarters in Daytona Beach, Fla. He will also leapfrog current NASCAR boss, Mike Helton, and that could explain the recent rumors that Helton is going to leave NASCAR for a job with Dale Earnhardt Inc. In an interview with USA Today earlier this year, Big Bill was asked about who might replace him: “Mike Helton has come on, his name is not France, and I think he’s done an excellent job in the competition area,” was his reply.(more at ESPN.com/Robin Miller)
    AND NASCAR chairman Bill France Jr. denied a report that he is about to retire and turn over control of the racing circuit to son Brian, but said he will cut back further on his daily activities. “I’m still going to work and have an office, but it’s time for me to get out of the way a little bit,” France told The Associated Press by telephone Friday night from his home in Daytona Beach, Fla. He was responding to a report earlier Friday that he would relinquish all control. The report from ESPN.com cited a source close to Nextel, which assumes title sponsorship next year of the world’s largest auto racing circuit. He did concede that his son would be the logical replacement should he retire, and said some organizational changes have been decided on. He would not reveal what they were, but said president Mike Helton would continue to head daily operations. “All that will be cleared up on Monday,” France said. “Mike’s been doing the day-to-day stuff for some time now.” Helton denied reports last month that he would leave NASCAR to run Dale Earnhardt Inc., one of the sport’s top teams. Brian France, 37, is president of NASCAR’s broadcasting and digital entertainment division in Los Angeles. The source said he would assume the duties of chairman and CEO immediately and move back to company headquarters in Daytona Beach. He is the youngest of the France children. His sister, Lesa France Kennedy, is the president of family-controlled International Speedway Corp., which owns and operates 12 of NASCAR’s major tracks. Jim France, who is Bill Jr.’s younger brother by 18 years, serves as NASCAR vice chairman and executive vice president.(more at ThatsRacin.com/AP)(9-12-2003)
    AND II William C. France’s 31-year reign as NASCAR’s benevolent dictator is expected to wind down as a shift of power and responsibilities within the organization begins next week. The 70-year-old NASCAR chairman is expected to give his son, Brian Z. France, more control of the company. Bill France Jr. denied reports that he is about to retire and give complete control of the racing empire to his son, but admitted he plans to cut back on his daily business activities. But a confidant of the France family, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Friday night that “ESPN.com doesn’t have it completely right, but there is something going on” within NASCAR’s leadership. The lack of response from any of NASCAR’s top officials was deafening Friday evening. Phone calls to NASCAR’s public relations department here and its entertainment office in Los Angeles were not returned to The News-Journal.(more at the Daytona Beach News Journal)(9-13-2003)
  • a crew member short? One option that NASCAR is considering [to stop crew members from getting in altercations] is, if a crewman is suspended, that team will have to race a man short over the wall.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-13-2003)
  • New Discovery Channel Show to Feature Roush Airplane Story in October 10 Debut: Brainbox Productions recently wrapped production on a new original series, Vital Scan, for Discovery Channel. The series has taken the Brainbox crew across the U.S.A. to tell incredible stories of traumatic injury and miraculous recovery. Interviews with survivors and medical professionals are combined with recreations and graphic animation. Episode 1 features the story of Jack Roush’s plane crash and rescue by Larry Hicks. The show will air on October 10th at 10 p.m. and features interviews with Jack, Larry, and Mark Martin.(MotorsportsTV)(9-13-2003)
  • NASCAR Garden: There are NASCAR fans and then there’s Victoria Kowaleski of Livonia, MI. She’s taken her love of auto racing from the track to her garden. The NASCAR Garden contains 23 handmade cement racetracks. Kowaleski said she created it in the memory of Dale Earnhardt and to honor some important children’s charities. Kowaleski hopes people who visit her garden will send to the various charities on her site [she does NOT accept donations]. In five months, she has cultivated all 23 tracks on the Winston Cup circuit not to mention a deck decked out in a checkered flag. If you’d like to see and find out more about Victoria’s garden, go to www.nascargarden.com. (Click on Detroit)(9-13-2003)

    (9-12-2003)

  • Crew Chief for the #88 at NHIS: Winston Cup driver Dale Jarrett’s #88 Ford team will be led this weekend by a “crew chief by committee.” Jarrett’s regular crew chief, Shawn Parker, is not in New Hampshire this week as his wife and two of her sisters were killed in a car wreck near Greensboro, N.C., on Wednesday night. Leading the #88 team this weekend will be team owner Robert Yates; Shane Callis, who assists in car set-up; tire specialist Scott Elkins; and car chief Jason Burdett. Funeral plans for Parker’s wife, Tara Parker, remained incomplete Friday. The team does not know when Shawn Parker will return.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-12-2003)
  • Jarrett Speaks about Parker: Dale Jarrett says the only reason Robert Yates Racing is at New Hampshire is because they have to be. Commenting on the death of crew chief Shawn Parker’s wife Tara and her sisters in a Wednesday night traffic accident. “Certainly our minds are with Shawn and his family and with Tara’s family, she was just a wonderful person that’s going to be missed tremendously. Shawn’s a good leader here and these guys are doing their job, but it’s going to be a difficult weekend because we’re certainly just thinking about him.”(PRN’s Garage Pass Radio Show)(9-12-2003)
  • #29 Replacements: Two members of Richard Childress Racing’s Busch Series teams will join the pit crew on Winston Cup driver Kevin Harvick’s team this weekend at New Hampshire. Nick Terry, who works on Ron Hornaday’s #2 Chevrolets in Busch, will serve as Harvick’s jackman. Steve Brown, who works on RCR’s #21 Chevrolets in Busch, will join Harvick’s team as a tire specialist this weekend. Mike Scearce, Harvick’s jackman, and Gene Pasquale, Harvick’s tire specialist, were both suspended for this weekend’s race for their involvement in the post-race pit road incident between Harvick and Ricky Rudd at Richmond, Va., last Saturday night.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-12-2003)
  • New rule for measuring minimum height: NASCAR issued a technical bulletin this week outlining changes in how the minimum height is measured of Winston Cup cars in pre-qualifying and pre-race inspections. Beginning with this weekend’s race at New Hampshire, teams presenting cars for inspection of the minimum body height and minimum ground clearance must remove their front shock absorbers before the measurements are taken. The absorbers can be reconnected after the car has passed inspection.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-12-2003)
  • Escape Hatch Close to being a reality: Gary Nelson was in his Concord, N.C., office Thursday putting the finishing touches on a technical bulletin which will allow competitors to use a roof escape hatch. “My goal is to get this bulletin out by the first of next week,” Nelson said. “This will be optional this year, at least, that’s the direction we’re headed.” The first use of the hatch in competition will likely be the EA Sports 500 at Talladega, scheduled Sept. 28. Nelson, NASCAR’s managing director of competition, said the hatch design passed two critical tests over the last two weeks. Nelson and his engineering staff at NASCAR’s Research and Development Center have spent a year designing and testing the hatch. A stock car outfitted with the escape door was crash-tested at the University of Nebraska two weeks ago and the hatch retained its integrity. “The car flipped six times and the escape door worked just fine after the car came to a stop,” Nelson said. The final test was performed by driver Michael Waltrip and his #15 NAPA/Coca Cola/RitzKlaussner Chevy during a two-day tire test at Daytona International Speedway earlier this week. “We wanted to do a high-speed track test and see if the aerodynamic forces caused it to flutter or leak air into the car or anything like that,” Nelson said. “The report we got back from the team was it was steady. It didn’t move at all. To me that was a key test.” Nelson said he was scheduled to meet with engineers at Dale Earnhardt Inc. for a final debriefing to “make sure they didn’t find any negatives.” “In an early conversation with them, they had no negatives,” Nelson said. “They were all very high on the design. We’re getting very close.” Waltrip, who stands 6-foot-5, is one of the drivers eager to have an alternative escape route from the cockpit of his car. This will be the fifth major safety improvement introduced to NASCAR competitors this season. Other safety measures include the placement of a fire extinguisher near the fuel cell; stronger tether supports on hood; an extra air deflector to keep cars from going airborne; and the recent installation of SAFER barriers at Richmond and New Hampshire.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(9-12-2003)
  • Did You Know? Entering the weekend, #32-Ricky Craven has completed more laps at New Hampshire International Speedway than any other NASCAR driver, making his way around the Magic Mile 6,673 times throughout his days on the Busch North, Busch and Winston Cup series. He will relinquish his lead temporarily today, when Mike Stefanik (6,609 laps) gains 100 in the Featherlite Modified competition, but Craven will regain his distinction when he climbs into his No. 32 Tide ride for Sunday’s Sylvania 300.(Concord Monitor)(9-12-2003)
  • Nadeau Story and Pics: Almost four months after he was admitted to the hospital following a violent collision with a concrete wall, NASCAR Winston Cup driver Jerry Nadeau returned to the VCU Medical Center to say thank you to the many doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and other staff members who helped care for him. “Being back here brings back a lot of memories – some of them aren’t too clear…but it’s nice to come back and say hello to everybody and say thanks,” Nadeau said. See the full story with images at VCU News Site.(9-12-2003)
  • StockCarFans.com – Ramblings – New Hampshire: Friday’s would really be boring if we had one driver dominate qualifying, glad nothing like that is happening this year. #12-Ryan Newman and company have got this deal down to a science. Newman grabbed his 7th Bud Pole of the season today at New Hampshire International Speedway. He’ll lead ’em to the green for Sunday’s Sylvania 300 for the 14th time in his short career (only 71 races). No other driver has more than four poles this year.
    #5-Terry Labonte will start outside the front row on Sunday. That’s his best starting spot since he had the pole at Richmond in May.
    #42-Jamie McMurray (3rd) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Rockingham in November of 2002.
    #49-Ken Schrader (20th) has his best starting spot since he started 7th at Daytona in July.
    STREAKIN….Ryan Newman has 5 Top-10 starts in a row.
    We had a pretty good car-count of 47 this weekend….four on the Trouble Train out of town already. Derrike Cope (that’s a shame cause it was easily the best paint job we’ve seen in quite awhile), Larry Foyt, Morgan Shepherd, and Carl Long get the early out.
    Provisionals were taken by: Bobby Labonte, Kenny Wallace, Steve Park, Kyle Petty, Jason Leffler, Tony Raines, and Christian Fittipaldi. It’s been near impossible to figure out what’s charged and what’s a freebie since NASCAR changed the rules in midstream, but Jayski’s got as good a handle on it as anybody…..my database looks like chicken scratch. Best I can figure, the #4, #43, and #49 should now be OOP…but nothing etched in stone here. Always be safe and check your stats against Jay….in this case the url is: http://www.jayski.thatsracin.com/stats/2003/2003usedprov.htm.[the best I have it figured the OOP is correct, the provisionals were charged this week since there were 47 cars and only 2 were not eligible for provisional spots, if it 43 or less who are not eligible, then they do not count, which has happened 4 times this year]
    This place has got a tough act to follow. We’ve had a couple good races and a couple good brawls the last month, and that’s the stuff our sport was built on!(StockCarFans.Com Wcup Newsletter)(9-12-2003)
  • PRI’s Steve Lewis to Receive Bobby Isaac Memorial Award: Steve Lewis, publisher of Performance Racing Industry magazine and organizer of the annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show, will receive the 2003 Bobby Isaac Memorial Award during pre-race ceremonies for the UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race Saturday night, Oct. 11, at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The Bobby Isaac Memorial Award is presented annually by Lowe’s Motor Speedway to an individual or group in recognition of outstanding contribution to short-track racing. Isaac, one of the sport’s outstanding racers, was well known for his short-track exploits and commitment, and it is in his honor the award is named. Launched in 1986 and based in Laguna Beach, Calif., Lewis’ Performance Racing Industry magazine has a monthly circulation of over 26,000 racing industry professionals. The PRI Trade Show, held each December in Indianapolis, features 1,300 companies and has developed into the worldwide meeting place for over 40,000 racing businesspeople. In addition, Lewis has been a USAC midget owner since 1979. His white No. 9 midgets, driven by such stars as Stan Fox, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Jason Leffler, Mike Bliss, Kenny Irwin Jr. and Kasey Kahne, have earned over 110 feature victories and eight USAC National Midget Series championships. In 2002, Lewis became an auto racing promoter, creating the Twin 25s midget spectacular. Now held at Indianapolis Raceway Park and California’s Irwindale Speedway, the unique Twin 25s have generated increased exposure for USAC midget racing.(LMS PR)(9-12-2003)
  • Announcement today: Sylvania will be making a very special announcement at New Hampshire International Speedway today concerning the Victory Junction Gang Camp – A Proud Charity of NASCAR.. Victory Junction Gang Camp is a free year-round camp for children with life-threatening illnesses slated to open in summer 2004.(PR)
    UPDATE: Lighting leader Osram Sylvania today announced that the company has officially pledged its support to the new Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, North Carolina, a free year-round camp for children for Osram Sylvania to provide lighting expertise, along with technical and product support for the camp.. Charlie Jerabek, president and CEO of Osram Sylvania, joined Kyle Petty, founder of Victory Junction Gang Camp, in with life-threatening illnesses, slated to open in summer 2004.. Terms of the commitment call making the announcement. “Our sponsorship of the Sylvania 300 continues to be an extremely rewarding experience for Osram Sylvania,” said Jerabek. “Through this growing association we have been able to learn more about tremendous organizations like the Victory Junction Gang Camp. We whole-heartedly applaud the incredible work that Kyle Petty and his family are doing with this charity and immediately jumped at the opportunity to lend our support.” The seventy acre camp will serve to provide a safe, fun-filled and medically sound camp experience for 1,200 children each summer and a total of 2,800 year round.. Due to the camp’s variety of buildings that plan to offer the kids an array of diverse functions, Osram Sylvania will consequently be donating some of the lighting industry’s most innovative and energy efficient indoor and outdoor light sources. In particular, the company will be supplying its newest and most exciting lines of entertainment, theatrical, and disco lighting products. “We are extremely grateful to Osram Sylvania for donating their top notch lighting products and expertise to the camp,” said Kyle Petty. “Our goal is to make a stay at Victory Junction Gang Camp the best possible experience for all of the kids who come. Having SYLVANIA products help light their way definitely helps to further that goal.”(NHIS PR)(9-12-2003)
  • Tony Stewart DVD: Continuing a trend of blending NASCAR’s wildly successful form of motorsports with mainstream pop culture, NASCAR Images recently unveiled production details for the forthcoming DVD release entitled: “Tony Stewart: SMOKE.” The new production will include narration by multi-platinum artist and racing enthusiast Kid Rock, coupled with a dynamic soundtrack provided by top-selling rock group 3 Doors Down. As driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet, the Indiana native’s forthright nature and overriding passion for winning is the backdrop for a career marked equally by success and controversy. In “Tony Stewart: SMOKE”, NASCAR Images looks beyond the headlines to present a sincere and intimate look at the driver known as the “Rushville Rocket.” Groomed for stardom at an early age on the dirt tracks of Southern Indiana, Stewart’s rise to the pinnacle of racing achievement is a story which traces the “win at all cost” philosophy that is at the core of his pubic persona. As told via exclusive and insightful interviews with family, friends, rivals, teammates and Stewart himself, “Tony Stewart: SMOKE” will take viewers well beyond the headlines to examine the championship-winning driver’s well-chronicled temper, his often bitter relationship with the media, and his lifelong obsession to reach Victory Lane. Perhaps the most misunderstood star in NASCAR, the new production also probes how Stewart’s conflicts with the sport’s establishment have made him both a hero and a catalyst for controversy. Set for release in October, 2003 (with pre-sales beginning September 1), “Tony Stewart: SMOKE” represents the fourth release in a series of increasingly popular NASCAR-themed video productions created to bring motion picture-quality home entertainment to a dedicated audience estimated at 75 million NASCAR fans. Earlier this year, the NASCAR Images / SMG partnership released “A Decade at the Brickyard” and “Road to Daytona 2003,” following the 2002 debut of “Winston Cup 2002 Year in Review” – NASCAR’s first-ever DVD home video release. In addition to the featured production video, consumers of the new “Tony Stewart: SMOKE” DVD will also enjoy special bonus material including a 3 Doors Down music video featuring Tony Stewart and rival NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. More info at their site: www.SportsDVDHeadquarters.com or by calling (800) 856-4266. Price of the DVD is $24.99.(Shoreline Media Group PR)(9-12-2003)
  • A School, A Race Car, Friendly’s Ice Cream – 12-year-old Connecticut girl reaps rewards of designing NASCAR car: Seneca Tedford admitted she had a little trouble sleeping Wednesday night but she was more than ready to go this morning at Lebanon Middle School. The excited 12-year-old was guest of honor for a visit by NASCAR Winston Cup driver Derrike Cope and his #37 Friendly’s Chevrolet. The car, the actual one that will run in Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway Sunday, was unloaded and shown to every student at the school. Seneca designed the car as part of a coloring contest at Friendly’s Restaurants throughout the eastern United States, one of thousands of entries. Her design – royal blue covered with ice cream cones – will run in Sunday’s NASCAR race.
    “Yeah, it was pretty exciting. I could hardly believe it when they told me I had one,” Seneca said Thursday morning, while showing off the car. Every student at Lebanon Middle School had the chance to see the car, meet Cope and participate in a Friendly’s Ice Cream party at the front of the school.
    “Hey, she did a great job with her design, and she deserved to show it off,” said Cope, a two-time NASCAR Winston Cup race winner who includes the prestigious Daytona 500 among his major victories.
    Cope and his Friendly’s Chevrolet team helped Seneca do just that. The team’s huge transporter arrived at the school early Thursday morning. The team unloaded the Friendly’s Chevrolet and moved it to the front of the school. The design included a “Designed by: Seneca Tedford” logo on each side of the car. Hundreds of children from the school flocked around the car and Cope, asking questions and offering advice. “The car is cool but the ice cream is better,” admitted one seventh-grader. Another offered a marketing idea to Cope for Friendly’s. “Why don’t you just smother the car in ice cream and then people could come up and grab a handful when they want it?” Others asked questions. “Have you ever been in the Daytona 500?” one sixth-grader asked Cope. “Yeah,” he replied. “I’ve won it.” The crowd around oooohed appreciatingly at the response. “This is what Friendly’s is all about – kids and families,” said Pete Bell, Senior Director, Marketing. “We wanted a promotion within our NASCAR sponsorship that really peaked kids’ interest, and that enhanced their visit to Friendly’s Restaurants. The results were phenomenal.. Seneca was the winner but thousands of children entered the contest, and were very interested in being a part of our promotion.. Friendly’s Ice Cream and its restaurants have always been dedicated to serving families, especially children,” Bell continued.. “This contest was a way to involve the entire family, kids and parents, in a wholesome promotion surrounding a wholesome sport.”
    “I assure you no one has ever seen anything like this on a race track ever before,” Cope said. “It is really going to show up well for the fans in the stands and those watching on national television. I’m excited to be driving it, and I’m grateful to Seneca for the wonderful job she did. “To be honest, there were a lot of really good designs and color schemes used by thousands of kids. It was tough to pick just one,” he added. “But this will be one nobody will ever forget.” Seneca has already received $100 worth of Derrike Cope gear as part of her prize package.(Williams Company PR). See two images of the car on my Cup Paint Scheme Page – Cars 24-99.(9-12-2003)
  • Wally’s World Gets Newsy This Week: Robin Meade, lead news anchor for CNN Headline News’ morning show Robin & Company, will ride in the passenger seat of TNT/NBC analyst Wally Dallenbach’s car for a few laps around New Hampshire International Speedway to air during TNT’s Wally World, on Sunday, Sept. 14, during the network’s coverage of NASCAR Winston Cup Racing from Loudon beginning at 12:30pm/et). Wally World highlights the differences in NASCAR’s tracks around the country and features celebrities from sports and entertainment. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to ride with Wally for this weekend’s NASCAR festivities,” Meade said.. “My career in journalism has afforded me numerous experiences, but this ride-along will be my first venture into racing. I couldn’t be more excited.” Other guests who have accompanied Dallenbach for the popular piece include former NFL quarterback Jim McMahon, NASCAR Winston Cup driver Robby Gordon, two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves, actor David Spade and Three Doors Down lead singer Brad Arnold.(Turner Sports PR)(9-12-2003)
  • Racing Reality Show on Spike TV: With the ever-increasing popularity of auto and motorcycle racing, Spike TV presents The Reality of Speed, the first reality series to chronicle the lives of race car drivers off the track. Premiering in January 2004, The Reality of Speed stars the riders, driver and team members of the Holigan Racing teams competing in the AMA Supercross Series and the NASCAR Busch Series. Race car drivers live on the edge. Each weekend they strap themselves into the world’s fastest machines and challenge the laws of speed in the most intense and high-risk major sport. The Reality of Speed will take an unblemished look at their day-to-day lives and illustrate all the hard work that goes in to be a champion driver – and each episode leads up that week’s race. Holigan Racing LP is a newly formed motorsports team that will be competing in the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series. The team was created by Michael Holigan, former NASCAR Winston Cup team sponsor [#25 Chevy that Jerry Nadeau won with at Atlanta]. Michael’s new Busch Series crew chief is Todd Myers, who has worked in the past with NASCAR drivers Jamie McMurray, Brendan Gaughan and David Starr. Holigan Walters Racing, LP is a new AMA Supercross team formed by Michael Holigan, Dave Walters, and Robert Nichols. Dave Walters is the owner of Central Yamaha in Plano Texas. Robert “Lucky” Nichols is the owner of LCS Racing in Dallas Texas. Holigan Walters Racing, LP will field three riders in the 125 East Series and three riders in the 125 West Series. The program will be produced as weekly originals by Michael Holigan, in association with Television Marketing Partners, who have worked together for the last 10 years producing and marketing Michael Holigan’s Your New House in national broadcast syndication.(PR)(9-12-2003)
  • Richmond TV Ratings: Nielsen Media Research says TNT’s airing of last Saturday’s Chevy Rock & Roll 400 from Richmond was viewed in 3.3 million households, MotorsportsTV.com reports. The story says the number represents a drop of 8 percent from last year’s 3.611 million households. This year’s race aired opposite several high-profile college football games on broadcast and cable stations.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(9-11-2003)
  • Vickers not the Youngest UPDATE well…looks like he is: Brian Vickers will come to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series next season driving for Rick Hendrick [#25]. When the season begins he’ll be 20 years old, making him one of the youngest full-time drivers in series history. But he won’t be the youngest. That distinction belongs to Bobby Hillin Jr., who was 19 years old at the start of the 1985 season. Of course, you could also throw in Richie Panch, who was 19 and drove 28 races during the 1974 season. Panch, though, gets an asterisk in this statistical category: there were 30 races in the 1974 season, leaving him two short of true full-time status.(NASCAR PR)(9-10-2003)
    UPDATE: According to research, if Brian Vickers starts every Winston Cup race next season, he will be the youngest driver ever to run a full season [all 36 races] in the modern era. Panch was younger in 1974, but he didn’t start every event on the schedule that year [28 of 30]. Actually Hillin was born in June of 1964, so he turned 21 in June of 1985, his first full season. Vickers will turn 21 in October of 2004. Some asked about Kyle Petty, his first full year was 1981 and he turned 21 in June of that year.(9-11-2003)


    (9-11-2003)

  • Sadler to be featured: Elliott Sadler will be featured in the September 16th – Country Weekly, available at newsstands everywhere.(M&M’s Motorsports PR)(9-11-2003)
  • Did ya Know? Ryan Newman won his first NASCAR Winston Cup race last year in the September event at New Hampshire International Speedway in only his 35th start in NASCARs premiere series. Since then, Newman and his #12 ALLTEL team have made 35 more starts and won six times in the Dodge Intrepid out of the Penske Racing South shop. Newman’s seven career victories in 70 starts give him a 10 percent winning percentage, and only one driver in NASCAR’s Modern Era has achieved seven victories faster than Newman. Defending series champion Tony Stewart won seven races in his first 61 starts, an 11.47 percent winning percentage. Fourteen other drivers in NASCAR history reached their seventh win quicker than Newman. According to figures supplied by NASCAR Statistical Services, A.J. Foyt, Junior Johnson, Fireball Roberts, Curtis Turner and Tim and Fonty Flock are some members of that elite group. Newman has a very impressive winning percentage of 23 percent (six wins in 26 starts) this season, and he leads the circuit with victories and poles (six.).(Dodge Motorsports.Golin Harriss PR)(9-11-2003)
  • Rally Driver Denies Rumors: World Rally star Colin McRae says he will not walk away from the World Rally Championship at the end of this season, regardless of whether he is retained or not by his current Citroen team. McRae told Autosport that recent rumors suggesting he was considering retiring and/or switching to circuit racing are not true. He says he will even find sponsorship to buy a WRC drive with one of the top four teams if necessary. “I have still got some unfinished business here,” said the Scot. “If I don’t stay with Citroen, then there are lots of options for me to look at.” With Sebastien Loeb already signed up for 2004, Citroen boss Guy Frequelin must choose between McRae and Carlos Sainz for the second seat. “For my heart, the decision between Colin and Carlos is very difficult,” Frequelin said. “They’re both fabulous drivers who should be in the sport—but we only have room for one.”(Speed Channel)(9-11-2003)
  • No Winston Preview in Winston Salem? Officials at the Joel Coliseum said they are not sure if the T. Wayne Robertson NASCAR Preview Show will go on in Winston-Salem or go on at all. It is a huge event loved by thousands of race fans. On a mid-January Saturday for the past 14 years, crowds averaging 15,000 get up close and personal with their favorite drivers. The show also raised millions of dollars for charity and pumped millions more into local hotels and restaurants. But last June everything changed when NEXTEL took over the lead sponsor role from RJ Reynolds. NEXTEL, based in Reston, Va. has no ties to Winston-Salem. When NASCAR released its 2003 schedule Tuesday, there was no mention of the preview show. NEXTEL has given no committment and the Coliseum needs a decision soon. WXII 12 News calls to NEXTEL Headquarters were not returned. Coliseum officials said they are prepared to sign a back-up event, a family entertainment show, if NEXTEL backs out.(WXII12.com)(9-11-2003)
  • Traction Control? Traction control is the hottest illegal trick on the stock car tour this season, to hear drivers and crew chiefs talk. But who’s using it? It’s probably easier to pinpoint who isn’t – clearly Tony Stewart and Dale Jarrett. The two have been unable to run with the leaders much of the summer at many tracks. Some teams say that if NASCAR can’t police traction control, then it should legalize the trick, which keeps rear wheels from spinning wildly off the corner. But don’t try selling that to Greg Zipadelli, Stewart’s crew chief, or Doug Yates, Jarrett’s car owner. Both men want NASCAR to crack down with stiffer inspections.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-11-2003)
  • Why Chevy Engine Not Approved? Doug Duchardt, GM’s new racing boss, said that NASCAR’s decision not to legalize the new R-99 engine for truck racing next season will put Chevrolet teams at a disadvantage to newcomer Toyota. ‘We want to be on an equal footing when we race against Toyota, and the thing we’re most disappointed in is we think we’ll be put at a technical disadvantage off the bat, and we’re not comfortable with that and don’t like it,’ Duchardt said. Duchardt said he doesn’t know why NASCAR is barring the R-99, an engine under development since 1999. ‘They were comfortable where we were with the dimensions. But it was never officially approved for competition. Jack Roush said we were, but he doesn’t make that decision.’ GM resubmitted the R-99 a few weeks ago, in machine-cast versions, to give NASCAR the opportunity to OK it if Toyota’s V-8 blows away the competition. Duchardt denied the report that NASCAR’s decision to kill the R-99 engine was made when GM wouldn’t agree to supply the engines to all truck teams next season.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-11-2003)
  • More on Elliott and Mayfield: Where Jeremy Mayfield may drive next season could depend on Bill Elliott’s decision on retirement that his expected later this month. Mayfield’s second place at Richmond was his best run with car owner Ray Evernham, but in their nearly two years together Mayfield has all but vanished on race days, leading to rumors he was looking for another ride, possibly with Childress. Why the Mayfield-Evernham team hasn’t clicked any better has been a mystery. Sources close to Elliott have said that he will announce his retirement. If so, then Evernham may have to make some tough decisions. Mayfield said he has signed a contract renewal and given it to Evernham and is waiting to see what Evernham does.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-11-2003)
  • Special Paint on the #43 at Talladega: Bringing the excitement of Yu-Gi-Oh!, the popular animated TV show and trading card game, to NASCAR, Cheerios/Betty Crocker Racing has partnered with Petty Enterprises and 4Kids Entertainment to create a special Yu-Gi-Oh! paint scheme for the #43 Dodge. The #43 Yu-Gi-Oh Cheerios Dodge is scheduled to race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sept. 28. The Yu-Gi-Oh! paint scheme, created by celebrated motorsports designer Sam Bass, will look dramatically different than the yellow and “Petty blue” paint scheme typically seen on the No. 43 Dodge. The special design features a blue background that covers the entire car with the main character from Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yami Yugi, and the well-known Yu-Gi-Oh! logo displayed prominently on the hood. The rear quarter panel on the driver’s side features one of Yami Yugi’s main Duel Monsters rivals, Kaiba, with the other rear quarter panel featuring Yami Yugi himself. The back of the car features the phrase known to Yu-Gi-Oh! enthusiasts nationwide, “Let’s Duel!”(Williams Company PR) – who will drive the #43 at Talladega? I am hearing it will be Busch Series driver Shane Hmeil, who will also run the car at Dover and Lowe’s as Christian Fittipaldi, the regular driver is committed to run the #44 Bugles Dodge for PE.(9-11-2003)
  • Baldwin and the #7: #7 Ultra Motorsports crew chief Tommy Baldwin said he’ll decide by the end of the month if he’ll be back with Jimmy Spencer and car owner Jim Smith or move on.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-11-2003)
  • #88 Jackman Returns to the Track: John Bryan will reassume duties as jackman for the #88 UPS Racing Team this weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway. Bryan has been on the sidelines since getting hurt at Indianapolis Motor Speedway the first of August. Bryan has been working out with the pit crew and practicing for the last three weeks and returns to action for the first time this weekend.(UPS Racing PR)(9-11-2003)
  • Only the Cup race for Wimmer: With the Busch Series off this weekend, #27-Scott Wimmer can focus all of his time on the Cup effort. “Only running one series will be good for our Winston Cup effort from a time factor standpoint,” said Wimmer.. “The companion races take a lot out of everyone having to jump back and forth.. We can concentrate solely on making our Cup car competitive.. But on the downside, having that extra that extra track time with the Busch car does help out a lot.”. The #27 YJ Stinger Chevy team is taking a car that tested at Lowe’s Motor Speedway earlier this month.(BDR PR)(9-11-2003)

    (9-10-2003)

  • Twelve Live Races on TV in Canada in 2004: Twelve NASCAR events will be shown live on network TV in Canada next season. NASCAR’s two-year deal reached Wednesday with Craig Media Inc., Canada’s largest privately held TV broadcaster, marks the first time the series’ events will be shown in the country on anything other than cable TV. The coverage will begin with the Feb. 15 Daytona 500 and feature all 12 events that NBC will broadcast. Craig Media will broadcast the races in the provinces of Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba.NASCAR’s global reach includes television broadcasts in more than 100 countries in 21 languages each week.(ThatsRacin.com/CNNSI/AP) and see more at RaceFans TV.(9-10-2003)
  • ‘Herman’ announces teen help program with Stacker 2: NVE Pharmaceuticals and NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Kenny ‘Herman’ Wallace announced Sept. 9 the launch of a new program designed to teach teen-agers the importance of safe driving and car maintenance. “YJ Stinger’s Race to Bee Safe” program will bring the driver of the #23 Stacker 2 Dodge to high schools in six markets that host Winston Cup races this fall. The markets are Dover, Del.; Charlotte, N.C.; Martinsville, Va.; Atlanta; Rockingham, N.C.; and Miami. Local law enforcement representatives will also participate. Students will sign a promise to practice safe driving. The promise will act as an informal contract between the student and the student’s parents. Students that sign the promise will become eligible to win prizes, including a pair of tickets to one of the weekend’s races in their area. Wallace will speak to students about safe driving and routine car maintenance. He will draw from his own knowledge as a licensed driver for 24 years and more than 20 years of racing experience. Wallace is also the father of three young daughters, one of them a 16-year-old newly licensed driver. The Race to Bee Safe program also launches a contest in which students can design the trunk art for Wallace’s car. One winner will be selected from the six markets. The winning design will appear on Wallace’s car in a 2004 Nextel Cup race at the winner’s home track. The winner will also receive four VIP tickets to the race and diecast replicas of the No. 23 Dodge, featuring the winning design. YJ Stinger is Stacker 2’s extreme energy drink, totally ephedra-free and available in three lightly carbonated flavors: Sinful Citrus, Pounding Punch and Enraged Raspberry. Enraged Raspberry is also available in a Sugar Free formula [and is very tasty]. This product is not intended to be a meal replacement or a dietary supplement. NVE Pharmaceuticals of Newton, N.J., exclusively manufactures, distributes and markets the entire Stacker 2 line of products (The World’s Strongest Fat Burner) and YJ Stinger.(Keystone Marketing PR/Stacker2racing.com)(9-10-2003)
  • New Tide site: New Look for Tide Racing Website – Procter & Gamble, Tide’s parent company, recently relaunched the Tide Racing website, which features a newly revamped design. Fans visiting the site can find information on the Tide Racing team, read about the history of Tide’s 16-year involvement in NASCAR, and purchase Tide Racing merchandise. Fans can see the new design of the site by visiting www.tideracing.com.(PPI Motorsports PR)(9-10-2003)
  • Terry Labonte in top 10, first time in 121 races: #17-Matt Kenseth has been No. 1 in the NASCAR Top 10 since the fourth race of the season (Atlanta, March 9), a run of 23 consecutive race weeks. The big news this week is the appearance, at No. 9, of #5-Terry Labonte. Labonte is in the NASCAR Top 10 for the first time since May 2000, 121 races ago.(NASCAR PR)(9-10-2003)
  • Dale Jr’s Pit Crew Wins in Richmond; Fourth Victory Narrows Point Gap: The pit crew for Dale Earnhardt Jr’s Chevrolet scored its fourth victory of the season in the weekly McDonald’s Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade at the recent NASCAR Winston Cup race in Richmond, Va. The victory, worth $20,000, moved the No. 8 Budweiser team closer to first place in the pit crew season standings. With 10 races remaining, Earnhardt’s crew trails DEI teammate – the No. 15 crew for Michael Waltrip by 47 points. The McDonald’s/POWERade season pit crew champion will receive a $200,000 bonus. “We have a rivalry going with the No. 15 team,” said Tony Eury Jr., car chief for the No. 8 Chevrolet. “Our guys are really excited about this and feel they can catch the 15 team. The $200,000 bonus gives us something to really shoot for. I think it’s great that McDonald’s and POWERade stepped up to recognize the crews with this championship.” In Saturday night’s (Sept. 6) Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway, Earnhardt’s car spent the least amount of time on pit road for participating teams – 200.796 seconds. Second was Jeff Burton’s Citgo Ford – 206.850 and third was Bobby Labonte’s Interstate Batteries Chevrolet – 250.575. Earnhardt’s over-the-wall crew consists of: Jeff Clark (gasman), Kevin Pennell (jackman), Phil Drye (front tire changer), Danny Earnhardt (front tire carrier), Jay Guarneri (rear tire changer), Troy Prince (rear tire carrier), Bill Snyder (catch can). The team’s crew chief is Tony Eury and the car chief is Tony Eury Jr.For the season standings, who has won each week, the top 10 last race, see my Pit Crew Page.(DMF Communications PR)(9-10-2003)
  • Drivers at Petty Enterprises today: Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Ken Schrader, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Green, Dale Jarrett and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. were at Petty Enterprises in Randleman, NC today filming a commercial for Victory Junction Gang Camp.(9-10-2003)
  • Harvick tests at Kansas: #29-Kevin Harvick tested at Kansas Speedway this week, not sure of the particulars and no speeds.(9-10-2003)
  • Testing at Talladega this week: #60-David Green was part of a two-day test at Talladega Superspeedway on Monday and Tuesday along with #80-Mike Bliss with Joe Gibbs Racing, #75-John Andretti with Richard Childress Racing, Jason Jarrett with Robert Yates Racing and Tom Hubert with Bill Davis Racing. Defending ARCA RE/MAX Series Food World 300 winner Keith Segars in the #04 car as well as Mark Thompson in the #66 were also on hand for the test. Green said the R&D side of the #60 team has concentrated on Talladega and Daytona International Speedway. Two-day tickets start at $60 for the EA SPORTS 500 Weekend, Sept. 25-28. For one $60 ticket, fans can watch the final two NASCAR Winston Cup Series practices and the ARCA RE/MAX Series Food World 300 on Saturday and the NASCAR Winston Cup EA SPORTS 500 on Sunday. Alabama International Auto Show Qualifying Day is Thursday, Sept. 25, to set the field for the ARCA RE/MAX Series Food World 300. Tickets to both qualifying days are $10, children 11-and-under free. Fans can call 1-800-PITSHOP or (256) 362-RACE or visit the track’s official website at talladegasuperspeedway.com. Fans can also go online for a 3D Virtual Tour of the grandstand and tower seats as well as the infield spots for those who wish to stay overnight inside the track.(TSS PR/Site)(9-10-2003)
  • Smirnoff and the #99? or to Penske? UPDATE 2 to the #29?: hearing that Smirnoff Ice/Triple Black could end up being the sponsor for the #99 Roush Racing team and driver Jeff Burton, either in a full time capacity or similar to what they are doing with #17-Matt Kenseth this year [seven races as a primary sponsor on the car], OR could re-up with Kenseth for another year OR could do a similar deal with #12-Ryan Newman [not sure how Miller Lite would like that] also being a sponsor on one of Penske’s IRL cars [who is losing Marlboro] with one of their hard liquior labels, which is allowed in the IRL but not in NASCAR. While mulling over this one, kmowing it looks like a sponsor will stick with NASCAR, check out their contest: Smirnoffice.com – Hang With Matt & The Crew.(7-28-2003)
    UPDATE: now hearing the sponsorship [7-8 races, like it is for this year] is between staying with the #17 team or going to the #29 RCR team and Kevin Harvick.(8-28-2003)
    UPDATE 2: hearing Smirnoff Ice will end up going to the #29 team, running seven or so Cup races as the primary, as it did with the #17 in 2003.(9-10-2003)
  • Testing at Dover UPDATE: hearing some teams are testing at Dover this week, Cup and Busch: #24-Jeff Gordon, #43-Christian Fittipaldi in Cup and #57-Jason Keller, #46-Ashton Lewis, #59-Stacy Compton, and the #87 NEMCO Chevy among others.(9-9-2003)
    UPDATE: The drivers testing were: Jimmie Johnson and Christian Fittipaldi in Cup; and Busch Series drivers #48-Shane Hmiel, #87-Kyle Busch, #46-Ashton Lewis and Mike McLaughlin, in Jason Keller’s #57 Ford.(Delaware News Journal)(9-10-2003)
  • Tire test at Daytona Wraps Up: #15-Michael Waltrip and #97-Kurt Busch wrapped up a two-day Goodyear tire test on Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway. Waltrip and test driver Tim Fedewa drove Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolets while Busch tested his Roush Racing Ford as the trio of drivers helped Goodyear develop a new tire for next year’s “Great American Race” on Feb. 15. Both Busch and Waltrip participated in 30-lap drafting sessions while Fedewa did single-car laps in a Chevrolet Monte Carlo that’s expected to be Waltrip’s Daytona 500 car in 2004. “It’s been real productive,” said Waltrip’s crew chief Richard “Slugger” Labbe. “We’re trying to get a new generation tire for Goodyear developed. So far, it’s gone good. The tires are holding up. The lap times are pretty quick and consistent and not much fall off. The cars generally push here after 20 laps and so far we’ve been able to stay pretty neutral.” Tickets for the Daytona 500 and other Speedweeks 2004 events are available online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(9-10-2003)

    (9-9-2003)

  • #21 team working on car to ready it for NHIS: It didn’t take long for the Wood Brothers Race team to get a handle on the damage done to the #21-Motorcraft Ford following Saturday night’s Rock and Roll 400. The damage, while limited to small areas of the car, will require repair in the body shop. TFR spoke with Len Wood Sunday afternoon and learned that the hood and cowl needed to be replaced and that the right, front fender needed repair before the car could be prepared for the upcoming New Hampshire International Speedway event. The damage, which Wood described as “no big deal,” was incurred when team members from Kevin Harvick’s team decided that the Motorcraft Ford would make a better doormat than race car. “It didn’t need to happen,” said Wood, disappointment clear in his voice, “What happened after the race didn’t need to happen.” Wood said the car was getting attention Sunday and would go to the body shop Monday. He hoped to have it back in the shop Tuesday morning so he could have it ready to leave for the long trip to New Hampshire. Not letting the post-race folly take away from his team’s accomplishment Wood remained happy with the on-track results. “We were catching the leader at the end of the race,” said Wood. “I’m not saying we had anything for him [Ryan Newman], but we were closing the distance to him. We were coming on strong right there at the end. That’s what’s more important.” After thinking a moment, Wood added, “It’s unfortunate. In this day and time there’s more expected from us than that. This is a major sport with major TV coverage and we just don’t need to be doing stuff like that.”(Ford Racing)(9-9-2003)
  • Hermie Sadler adds to schedule: #02-Hermie Sadler announced today that he will add several NASCAR Winston Cup Series and Busch Series races to his teams schedule for the remainder of 2003. The team is still.searching for sponsorship for 2004. According to Sadler, he.feels his team needs to be visible at the track. “It gets a little frustrating that we are not talked about when people start discussing teams needing sponsors. We would like to run the Busch Series full time in 2004, so we need to show potential sponsors what we can do and that we are available.” Sadler will enter NASCAR Winston Cup Series events in Loudon, Dover, Kansas City, Charlotte, Martinsville, Atlanta, Rockingham, and Homestead. The NASCAR Busch Series races planned are Charlotte, Rockingham, and Homestead.(PR)(9-9-2003)
  • RIR Penalties Announced: Driver Kevin Harvick, along with five Richard Childress Racing crew members from the No. 29 team, and Pat Tryson, crew chief for Ricky Rudd, received a varying range of penalties for their involvement in an altercation following Saturday evening’s NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, NASCAR officials announced Monday.
    Harvick, driver of the #29 GM Goodwrench/Sugar Ray Rock and Roll Chevy, was fined $35,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31 for his role in the post-race incident. He was in violation of Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing: Hitting another competitor’s car on pit road after the completion of the race, use of improper language) of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rule Book.
    Todd Berrier, Harvick’s crew chief, was fined $10,000 for violation of Sections 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 9-4-A (The crew chief assumes responsibility for the actions of his or her driver, car owner and team members).
    #29-Crew member Mike Scearce was suspended from NASCAR competition until Sept. 17 [misses one race], placed on probation until Dec. 31 and fined $5,000. He was in violation of Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing: Involved in an altercation on pit road after the completion of the race, damaging another competitor’s car following the completion of the race, use of improper language).
    #29-Crew member Gene Pasquale was suspended from NASCAR competition until Sept. 17 [misses one race], placed on probation until Dec. 31 and fined $2,500. He was in violation of Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing: Involved in an altercation on pit road after the completion of the race, throwing an object at another competitor, use of improper language).
    #29 Crew member Kirk Almquist was placed on probation until Dec. 31 and fined $2,500. He was in violation of Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing: Involved in an altercation on pit road after the completion of the race, use of improper language).
    #29-Crew member Ken Barber was placed on probation until Dec. 31 and fined $2,500. He was in violation of Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing: Involved in an altercation on pit road after the completion of the race, throwing an object at another competitor, improper use of language).
    Tryson, crew chief for Rudd’s No. 21 Ford, was issued a $5,000 fine for use of improper language, which is in violation of Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing).(NASCAR PR)(9-9-2003)
  • Childress’ Statement Regarding Post-Race Incident at RIR: The following is a statement from Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing (RCR), regarding the post-race incident involving Kevin Harvick and members of the No. 29 team on Sept. 6 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway: “NASCAR Winston Cup racing is a very emotional sport, whether it’s on a short track or a superspeedway, racing for the lead or racing for 30th place. In no other sport does an athlete have to stay in the game for three or four hours straight like a driver does. As a result, emotions can run high and that is part of what fuels a driver’s and crew’s desire to be the best. Sometimes, though, in the heat of battle, those emotions can get the best of you and things happen that you regret later. I apologize for the actions taken by some members of the #29 team on pit road after the race. I called the Wood Brothers to apologize and told them that I would pay for the damage done to their race car by those crew members. While I understand the emotions of our pit crew, the action they took was uncalled for. I want to say, however, that I understand and support Kevin Harvick’s feelings for wanting to have a few words with Ricky Rudd after the race. Kevin knows the mistakes he made and I’m sure he would do some things different if he had to do it over again but I stand behind him because I’ve been in the same situation as a driver.”(RCR Racing PR)(9-9-2003)
  • Tire Test at DIS UPDATE: Goodyear is having a tire test in preparation for the “Great American Race” 46th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 15, 2004. The test will be held on Monday, Sept. 8 and Tuesday, Sept. 9 at Daytona International Speedway with expected drivers being 2003 Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip, driver of the #15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet and 2003 Daytona 500 second-place finisher Kurt Busch, driver of the #97 Rubbermaid Ford for Roush Racing. The test is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand available through DAYTONA USA, the official attraction of NASCAR.(DIS PR)(9-6-2003)
    UPDATE: Michael Waltrip and Kurt Busch kicked off a Goodyear tire test on Monday at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 15, 2004. Waltrip, the 2003 Daytona 500 champion, and test driver Tim Fedewa turned laps in Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolets while Busch shook down a Roush Racing Ford. The objective of the test, which included an afternoon drafting session, is to help Goodyear develop a tire for next year’s “Great American Race.” “We’ve got a baseline on the car and began to search through different constructions and tire compounds that Goodyear wanted us to run,” said Waltrip, who also won the Daytona 500 in 2001. “This is my first tire test in a long time. So far we just do whatever they tell us to do.”
    “We’re testing for next year’s 500,” said Phil Holmer, Goodyear’s marketing manager for stock car racing. “We’ve had this same tire for seven years right now. We’ve got new materials, new compounds, new fabrics that weren’t in existence a few years ago and we want to try those out and find the best tire we can for the 500.” Goodyear obtains information and data from both the tires and the drivers during the test. While the test is beneficial to Goodyear, it’s also a big plus for both Waltrip and Busch as the last restrictor-plate race of the season is the Sept. 28 EA SPORTS 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and the Daytona 500 is just six months away. The Goodyear tire test will continue on Tuesday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA, the official motorsports attraction of NASCAR.(DIS PR)
    NOTES: and been told that the teams are testing the new spoiler height and larger plates proposed for use later this month at Talladega and that if the package works well at Taladega they’ll be using it at Daytona in Feb 2004.(9-9-2003)
  • Lowe’s Speeds? while it was reported that #42-Jamie McMurray was the fastest at Lowe’s Motor Speedway testing last week, being told that the #55 Ford of Jeff Fultz, in a car prepared by Jasper Motorsports was clocked electronically with a speed of 178.867mph which betters McMurray’s speed of 177.282 for day two. McMurray was the fastest overall, running a lap last Monday at 181.002 mph [Fultz was thrid day one at 180.391.(9-9-2003)
  • Speaking of Bush, President Bush’s comment about DW: Remarks by the President at Bush-Cheney 2004 Reception at Loews Vanderbilt Plaza Hotel in Nashville, TN, where Darrell Waltrip was a guest at the Reception: “There’s less road-rage at NASCAR now because Darrel Waltrip is retired, but I’m still glad to call him — (applause) — I’m glad he’s here. But most of all, I really want to thank you all for being here, it means an awful lot.”(Whitehouse.gov)(9-9-2003)
  • 12-year-old Connecticut girl wins Ultimate Show-And-Tell: 12-year-old Seneca Tedford visited her local Friendly’s Restaurant in July, and colored and designed a #37 Chevrolet. Her design was picked as the winner from among thousands of entries. The paint scheme and design was the work of the 12-year-old girl as part of a major promotional contest. The race car – with her design – as well as driver Cope, a former Daytona 500 winner, will visit her school, Lebanon Middle School, Thursday morning at 9:30am/et. The actual #37 Friendly’s Chevrolet of driver Derrike Cope that will run in Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Raceway in Loudon – will be unloaded in the parking lot. Seneca’s design will be unveiled publicly for the first time, giving her and her schoolmates the first look. Cope and Friendly’s will host an ice cream party immediately afterwards for the entire school. “Hey, she did a great job with her design, and she deserves to show it off,” said Cope, a two-time NASCAR Winston Cup race winner who includes the prestigious Daytona 500 among his major victories. Cope and his Friendly’s Chevrolet team will help Seneca do just that – the team’s huge transporter will stop by Lebanon Middle School at 9:30 Thursday morning and unload the newly-designed car, giving Seneca and her friends an opportunity to see the finished product, meet Cope and his team, and possibly even sit behind the wheel. “We might crank it for her but I don’t think the school would be too happy with us letting her take a couple of laps around the parking lot,” Cope laughed. “This is what Friendly’s is all about – kids and families,” said Pete Bell, Senior Director, Marketing. “We wanted a promotion within our NASCAR sponsorship that really peaked kids’ interest, and that enhanced their visit to Friendly’s Restaurants. “The results were phenomenal.. Seneca was the winner but thousands of children entered the contest, and were very interested in being a part of our promotion.. Friendly’s Ice Cream and its restaurants have always been dedicated to serving families, especially children,” Bell continued.. “This contest was a way to involve the entire family, kids and parents, in a wholesome promotion surrounding a wholesome sport.” Seneca’s design will certainly be one of the most unique in motorsports history. The Friendly’s Chevrolet at New Hampshire will sport a royal blue base color covered with ice cream cones – strawberry, chocolate and vanilla. The Friendly’s logo and the number 37 will be a tie-dyed design. “I assure you no one has ever seen anything like this on a race track ever before,” Cope said. “It is really going to show up well for the fans in the stands and those watching on national television. I’m excited to be driving it, and I’m grateful to Seneca for the wonderful job she did. To be honest, there were a lot of really good designs and color schemes used by thousands of kids. It was tough to pick just one,” he added. “But this will be one nobody will ever forget.” Seneca has already received $100 worth of Derrike Cope gear as part of her prize package. Additional information on Friendly Ice Cream Corporation can be found on the company’s web site (www.friendlys.com).(Williams Company PR)
    ALSO it is posted on the Derrike Cope site that “Derrike will be announcing his sponsor for the 2004 Winston Cup season on this week’s NASCAR This Morning broadcast.”[Sunday on Fox Sports Net at 11:00am/et](9-9-2003)
  • Sauter back in the #4 at NHIS: Johnny Sauter returns to Loudon, New Hampshire with Morgan-McClure Motorsports for the upcoming NASCAR Winston Cup Series event. The Sylvania 300 will be Sauter’s fifth career Winston Cup race. In July at New Hampshire International Speedway, Sauter started the #4 Kodak Pontiac in the 41st position (field set under rain-out rules) and completed the event 23rd. Tim Brewer will work with Sauter as his crew chief. Johnny Sauter quotes: “I look forward to returning to a track where I have worked with the Kodak team this year. I think that will help us out with the set-up tremendously. We can build from the notes acquired in July. We had one of the fastest cars during that race.”(Morgan-McClure Motorsports PR)(9-9-2003)
  • Veteran Broadcaster Ken Squier Earns Prestigious Smokey Yunick Award: Ken Squier, a pioneer in motorsports broadcasting, will receive the 2003 Smokey Yunick Award recognizing lifetime achievement in auto racing during pre-race ceremonies for the UAW-GM Quality 500 Saturday night, Oct. 11, at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The award, instituted several years ago by legendary car owner and mechanic Smokey Yunick who passed away May 11, 2001, annually recognizes an individual whose lifelong efforts have had a major impact on the motorsports industry. Squier was literally born into broadcasting. His father, Lloyd, owned and operated radio station WDEV in Waterbury, Vt., and the younger Squier was an on-air announcer by age 12. By age 15, he was working as the public address announcer at various local race tracks, laying the foundation for his career. Squier founded the Motor Racing Network and was a CBS Sports television announcer and host for 25 years. He and partner Fred Rheinstein also founded World Sports Enterprises, the first television production company specializing in motorsports. While Squier’s motorsports activities have been scaled back during recent years, he continues to oversee the day-to-day operations of WDEV and its parent company, Radio Vermont. He also owns two race tracks, Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vt., and Airborne International Raceway in Plattsburgh, N.Y. Previous winners of the Smokey Yunick Award include Bill Simpson, Ralph Moody, Banjo Matthews, Bud Moore, Cotton Owens and Junie Donlavey.(LMS PR)(9-9-2003)

    (9-8-2003)

  • 2004 Templates and a meeting UPDATE spoilers to be cut: NASCAR is putting the finishing touches on Cup templates for 2004 and plans to show them to teams and explain the differences at a September 9 meeting. Ford will have a new nose and tail, and Dodge will have a new tail.(from the Sporting News)(9-1-2003)
    UPDATE: NASCAR will announce Tuesday its body template guidelines for the 2004 cars. A rear spoiler reduction, as requested by some drivers and teams, will be announced either at that time or shortly thereafter, in plenty of time for teams to begin preparing for next season. There likely will not be templates added to the current 32 or 34 required to police NASCAR’s aero-matching policy, which makes the bodies of all four competing makes virtually the same in the air. NASCAR will require tighter tolerances on many of the templates now in use, NASCAR garage chief John Darby said over the weekend at Richmond. The spoiler reduction, from the current 6.25in to 5.5in, will not be accompanied by a mandatory reduction of the front valence, Darby said. That, he believes, will take care of itself as teams work to balance their cars for competition. The changes suggested will apply only at the unrestricted races, 32 of the 36. A different set of regulations will apply to the restricted tracks, Daytona and Talladega. It has been reported, however, that NASCAR will try a slightly taller spoiler and a slightly larger restrictor plate at the Talladega race in three weeks. Exact details were not given.(Speed Channel)(9-8-2003)
  • Vickers to run some Cup races end of 2003: Brian Vickers, who will drive the #25 GMAC Hendrick Motorsports Chevy in Nextel Cup in 2004, says he has learned a lot by racing Cup drivers in the Busch Series. Currently third in the Busch standings, Vickers, 19, says his immediate goal is “to get as much experience as possible and be there at the end of the race.” He will run five Winston Cup races later this season, and Peter Sospenzo will remain his crew chief.(FOX Sports/Sporting News)(9-8-2003)
  • Evernham to one team? Akins to move up with Kahne? There has been speculation on the future of Evernham Motorsports if Bill Elliott retires and Jeremy Mayfield moves on after this season. Mayfield, who had a season-high second-place finish at Richmond, says he does not want to leave and adds that the potential for chemistry is there between him and crew chief Kenny Francis. One scenario that has been suggested is Evernham losing one team and Brad Akins’ #38 Busch Series team changing allegiance from Ford to Dodge. That would allow Dodge to promote that team and its driver, 23-year-old Kasey Kahne, to Winston Cup.(FoxSports), thought Kahne was signed with Ford?(9-8-2003)
  • Changes for Talladega UPDATE: According to NASCAR Winston Cup director John Darby, there will be an adjustment to the speedway formula when the tour arrives at Talladega, Ala., to contest the Sept. 28 EA Sports 500. Darby told TFR the change would come in the throttle response area. “We’re going to increase the plate size and also increase the spoiler so that we can still keep our control on the speeds. We’ll put a taller spoiler on it so we’ve still got a handle on the speeds but essentially it’s a matter of putting a little more drag on the car and a little more horsepower underneath the hood.” The goal, Darby explained, is to keep the drag horsepower ratio the same as it was the last time the Cup cars ran at Talladega, which will keep the speeds from escalating to beyond the comfort level of the sanctioning body. Asked if NASCAR considered again working with the roof blade on the speedway package Darby replied in the negative, “They may be back some day or a different version of it.”(Ford Racing)(9-4-2003)
    UPDATE: When the Winston Cup circuit returns to Talladega Superspeedway for the Sept. 28 EA Sports 500, drivers should feel a little more pep when they step on the gas pedal. That’s because NASCAR is opening the holes in the restrictor plates used on superspeedways from 7/8 inch to 29/32. That allows more fuel to the engine’s combustion chamber and therefore more response when the throttle is opened. To compensate for the increase in power and speed, the rear spoiler, which causes speed-reducing aerodynamic drag, is being raised from 6 1/4 inches high to 6 3/4 inches. Winston Cup director John Darby said the changes were based on results of wind tunnel tests of cars following the Brickyard 400. He said top speeds, which are limited at Daytona and Talladega to keep cars from becoming airborne, shouldn’t change much. “They’ll probably be a little faster, if anything,” Darby said.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(9-5-2003)
    MORE NASCAR released a four-page bulletin to teams at Richmond that included, among other items, changes to the cars for Talladega. All cars’ rear spoilers will now measure 6 3/4 inches high and 57 inches wide, and restrictor plates will open up to 29/32-inch, which should boost the engines by 15 horsepower. “Any time we get more power at a plate track it’s going to be better,” says Sterling Marlin, who has seven poles and five wins at restrictor-plate tracks. Marlin also believes the new configuration will promote more passing.(FOX Sports/Sporting News)(9-8-2003)
  • Rally Driver to NASCAR? UPDATE: Colin McRae is almost resigned to his career as a rally driver being cut short at the end of the season and is contemplating a switch to motor racing. It’s not looking good. There’s a couple of other things I’m looking at,” he said. “Not all the doors are closed in the world championship. If I was five years younger I’d do another year just to be there, but I’m not doing it for nothing, in terms of money or the car. I always said if I stopped rallying I’d like to try something else.” He declined to comment on rumours that he might consider taking up Nascar, North America’s ultra-successful stock car formula, which races on banked ovals at speeds approaching 200mph. However, he has tried something similar, racing a less powerful car at the Rockingham Oval in the Midlands. He has also tested a formula one car, lapping Silverstone in a Jordan two seconds slower than Martin Brundle in 1999, in only 10 laps. But his racing experience is minimal.(much more at Guardian Unlimited)(9-5-2003)
    UPDATE: Colin McRae admitted last night he is considering a move to the megabucks American stock car racing scene. The 35-year-old from Lanark, who saw Dutchman Petter Solberg grab a last-gasp victory in Rally Australia for Subaru, will have talks with officials from NASCAR. The 1995 world champion isn’t guaranteed a top-team competitive seat in the 2004 world rally championship and he said: “If that remains the case I will walk away from rallying. I will not drive for one of the lesser teams. Instead I’m going to look at other forms of motorsport and specifically Nascar.”(UK’s Daily Record)(9-8-2003)
  • More on DEI sponsors UPDATE and #74: DEI is negotiating with Domino’s [Pizza] and Best Western for sponsorship [of the #1], according to team sources.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-6-2003)
    UPDATE: hearing the #74 BACE Motorsports team is also talking to Best Western as a possible sponsor.(9-8-2003)
  • Spencer to run NHIS truck race: Jimmy Spencer, has announced that he will enter the Truck Series New Hampshire 200 on Saturday, September 13, 2003 at New Hampshire International Speedway. The announcement followed Spencer’s fine run in the #2 Ultra Motorsports Team ASE Dodge at Richmond. In the seven NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races held at NHIS, there has yet to be a repeat winner. #29-Terry Cook is the defending race champion. Good seats are still available for the Saturday, September 13 Truck Series New England 200. Tickets may be ordered by calling (603) 783-4931 or by visiting the Speedway’s Web Site at www.nhis.com to purchase tickets online. Tickets for Saturday’s events will also be available at the gate on raceday.(NHIS PR)(9-8-2003)
  • Jeff Green back to Busch? UPDATE: Jeff Green, on the sideline since DEI hired John Andretti, has approached Ed Rensi [#25 Busch team] about a Busch driving job, according to team sources.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-6-2003)
    UPDATE: Reportedly Green and the team were unable to reach an agreement with each other over contractual issues.(BGNRacing)(9-8-2003)

 


 

  • (9-7-2003)

  • Richmond Shorter Now? The SAFER barriers might force NASCAR to re-measure Richmond International Raceway. A track’s distance is measured five feet [actually been told it is 15 feet, not 5, per my Racing FAQ page] from the outside wall and Richmond is advertised to be three-quarters of a mile in distance. The SAFER barriers, however, extend two-and-a-half feet into the turns. That should make Richmond a little shorter in distance.(Augusta Chroncile)(9-7-2003)
  • The King does a nice thing: Richard Petty did a nice thing Saturday. Typically, he didn’t say anything about it, choosing not to draw attention to himself. Petty dispatched his jet to carry a teen-ager and his mother from Charlotte to their home near Minneapolis. The boy was critically injured in an Aug. 30 highway crash that killed his father on I-77 near Charlotte. Jeff and Kyle Erickson had spent the last summer weekend at their vacation home bear Boone, N.C. Jeff was driving Kyle to Douglas Airport, where Kyle would return to start his senior year in high school. Jeff’s wife was flying in for a week with her husband near Boone. Jeff was killed and Kyle badly hurt when an SUV cross the median and hit their rental car. Petty knew the Ericksons through their long-time support of the annual Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America. “Good people, really, really good people,” he said of the father and son. “It’s something I wanted to do for them. The family will be having a hard time with this for a while.”(Daily Press)(9-7-2003)
  • Some Highlights from the TNT coverage: from a TNT/Turner PR for those who may not have seen the broadcast:
    Notes from TNT’s NASCAR Busch Series and Winston Cup Series Racing from Richmond, VA
    TV Booth: Allen Bestwick, Wally Dallenbach and Benny Parsons.
    Pit Reporters: Bill Weber, Marty Snider, Matt Yocum and Dave Burns
    Friday, Sept. 5, NASCAR Busch Series. – Funai 250 – Guest analyst Tony Stewart
    “Grab your seats folks, you are about to get seasick” – TNT guest analyst Tony Stewart on fellow analyst Benny Parsons working one of the cameras on a race re-start.
    “Absolutely. Matt Kenseth thinks he can push me around for some reason….he can’t push me around.” – Johnny Sauter on whether he intentionally knocked Winston Cup points leader Matt Kenseth out of his way to get the victory.
    Saturday, Sept. 6, NASCAR Winston Cup Series – Chevy Rock ‘n Roll 400
    Best Open: TNT opened the Chevy Rock ‘n Roll 400 with a LIVE performance from the band Trapt, interspersing race highlights with the band’s well known song “Head Strong.”
    Best Video: The on-board camera of Jimmy Spencer (#7 Sirius) had a bumper sticker on the dashboard that said “Who wants to sponsor this car in 2004?”
    Benny and the Pits segment focused on the driver of Jeff Burton’s hauler, Joe Weren’t and his wife Christy, who make stops on the road and correspond with mentally disabled children, using the geography of his trips as a teaching tool.
    Best Line: Allen Bestwick after AOL driver Steve Park was involved in a multi-car crash – “Instant messenger message for Steve Park, your racecar is a mess.”
    Dallenbach – “There’s a worm in your system.”
    TNT had the Winston Cup drivers with Warner Brothers’ artist paint schemes introduce their car and who they were representing, similar to NFL players announcing their college affiliations. Winston Cup drivers included Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Staind), Robby Gordon (Trapt), Michael Waltrip (Hootie and the. Blowfish), Kevin Harvick (Sugar Ray) and Joe Nemechek (Uncle Kracker).
    Post-race comments
    Benny Parsons on Kevin Harvick’s team running to his car during a post-race altercation with fellow driver Ricky Rudd – “These Goodwrench guys, they were there to protect Kevin from himself. They aren’t there because of Ricky Rudd.”
    * Kevin Harvick, interviewed by TNT’s Matt Yocum, on the altercation with Ricky Rudd – “Ricky Rudd took a (expletive) cheap shot. He is a cheap shot artists and if he is going to cheap shot me I promise you that I will cheap shot him back.”
    * Ricky Rudd, interviewed by TNT’s Marty Snider, on the altercation with Harvick – “This stuff here, that NASCAR would allow this, I can’t understand it. We have hood damage and we have to race next week…..I couldn’t hear him (Harvick). He has that little yap yap mouth. I couldn’t listen to him.”
    Robby Gordon, interviewed by TNT’s Marty Snider, on being knocked out of the race by Jeff Burton – “Totally immature on his side. I’m disappointed that he has to race like that.”
    Burton, interviewed by TNT’s Dave Burns, on knocking Gordon out of the race – “I messed up. It was 100-percent my fault. Robby didn’t do anything wrong right there. I messed up.”(TNT PR)(9-7-2003)
  • Nadeau back at RIR: Jerry Nadeau spent the past two days in and around Richmond International Raceway shaking hands and rushing to photo ops rather than making laps. He might have felt out of his element, but he still felt like himself four months after surviving a Turn 1 crash that left him in critical condition with a moderate to severe head injury. “I’m the same smart-[aleck] guy as I was before,” he said. “Last week, I took all my guys to a [go-kart track], and we all got kicked off. Probably a month ago, I was afraid to get hit because of my injury. Last week, I was the roughest guy there. I feel like I’m getting better.”(more at the Richmond Times Dispatch)(9-7-2003)
  • Burton and Davis – nothing new: Team owner Bill Davis said he and Ward Burton still haven’t firmed up their plans for 2004. Burton has a year left on his contract to drive the No. 22 Dodge, but he and Davis agreed last month to explore other options.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(9-7-2003)

    (9-6-2003)

  • Newman wins at Richmond: #12-Ryan Newman won the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond, Newman’s 6th win of 2003. #19-Jeremy Mayfield came in 2nd, his first top five of 2003 and first since the May 2002 race in Richmond when he was 5th, 50 races ago. The rest of the top five were #21-Ricky Rudd, #99-Jeff Burton and #2-Rusty Wallace. #29-Kevin Harvick drove onto pit road and bumped into #21-Ricky Rudd, then climbed out of his car and tired to get over to Rudd, but his crew held him back, Harvick did get a walk accross Rudd’s hood, but his wife and crew got him away from the situation. NASCAR has called the whole teams of both the #21 and #29 teams to the NASCAR Trailer. Meanwhile most of Newman’s victory celebration is missed and not covered, we got an interview with Newman, but missed any donuts, burnouts, entering victory lane and him exiting the car.
    Race Re-air: NOTE: Speed Channel has changed their lineup since August – so there will be a one-hour recap [called Fast Forward] of the race on Wednesday, September 10th at 7:00pm/et and again on September 11th at 1:00am/et; a full three-hour race show will re-air at 3:00pm/et on Thursday, September 11th
    See my Chevy Rock and Roll 400 Race Info page for the race rundown, top 10, alp leaders, cautions and narritives, notes on the race…and much more.
    Race Results at
    JAYSKI’s Richmond Race Results
    ThatsRacin.com
    MotorsportsOne
    NASCAR.com.
    See full driver/owners standings at JAYSKI’s Drivers/ Owners Points page.(9-6-2003)
  • Escape Hatch Test: NASCAR expects to conduct a final test this week in preparation for allowing teams the option of installing a roof exit in cars. Winston Cup driver Michael Waltrip will participate in a test at Daytona International Speedway with the roof exit installed to determine if any aerodynamic issues exist with the new hatch, said Gary Nelson, director of NASCAR’s research and development center in Concord, NC. When the roof exit is finalized, teams will be allowed the option of installing it, but it will not be required, Nelson said. “If that test goes well, I already have the (technical) bulletin so the guys can use it,” Nelson said.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-6-2003)
  • Dale Jr still not signed: Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s future with the team that bears his father’s name remains open to interpretation. Asked Friday if he could be 100% certain he’d be driving for Dale Earnhardt Inc. next season, Earnhardt said, “It just depends. I want to be there.” But, he says, “I ain’t going to. .. drive without a contract.” Is this a big deal? “It’s a big deal not to have one,” he said. “I’d like to have one.” Earnhardt set off media speculation last month when he revealed that he has yet to sign a contract with the team for next year. But he attempted to defuse the situation by telling reporters that his mind and heart “are in driving the #8 car and it always has been.” Earlier this season, Earnhardt submitted a contract proposal to DEI that would allow him to do fewer appearances on behalf of his sponsors. The issue went away, but the deal apparently never was signed. As of last month, Earnhardt hadn’t sat down with stepmother Teresa Earnhardt — who inherited ownership of the team after Earnhardt’s fatal crash in Feb. 2001 — to personally discuss his contract. He also said that his team’s sponsor, Budweiser, would wait until he was signed before it agreed to an extension with DEI. “Budweiser of course, in doing the smart thing, is going to wait until our issues are secured until they can sign an extension,” he said. “They want to definitely know that everything is in place. They’re like everyone else, including the press and everybody else out in the public. They don’t know the whole story. And (they) don’t really know my true feelings. If they did, I feel like everybody would just calm down about it.” A move to another team remains unlikely, but Earnhardt acknowledged last month that he has entertained thoughts of driving for other teams. “You always do that,” he said. “You daydream about everything in the sport. But it was never anything I ever thought would be a reality. But on the other side of that, I’m definitely out to get what I feel like I deserve. As sure as everybody can be about me driving the #8 car for as long as I drive, I’m not going to do it for free. I would expect to get paid and get compensated as I would for anywhere else in this business.” Earnhardt Sr.’s former car owner, Richard Childress, was asked last month if he thought Earnhardt Jr. would ever drive for another team. “No, not as long as DEI is going and their doors are open, I think you’ll see him racing for DEI,” Childress said. “I know what Dale (Sr.’s) plans were for DEI and where he wanted to see Junior and (brother) Kerry race.” Childress said he and Junior have never talked “directly” about him racing for RCR. “I hope that if he ever did decide to race somewhere else that he would come and talk to me and would want to drive an RCR car,” Childress said.(USA Today(9-6-2003)
  • #79 May or May Not Attempt Dover: In their third Winston Cup qualifying at-bat on Friday at the Richmond International Raceway, Billy Bigley Jr., team owner Don Arnold and the rest of the crew came up hitless again, failing to make the 43-car field for tonight’s Chevy Rock & Roll 400. The slowest of the 45 cars that made qualifying runs Friday afternoon, the #79 Arnold Development Companies Dodge was one of just two cars that didn’t make the race. The other was Larry Foyt. “Totally unacceptable,” Arnold said of the team’s latest performance. Qualifying attempts at Indianapolis and Bristol, Tenn., in August also proved unsuccessful. Next up on the proposed schedule for the upstart team is the Dover 400 at Dover Downs in Delaware on Sept. 21. But Arnold hinted that a qualifying attempt there will now be re-examined. “I’m not sure about that right now,” he said early Friday evening. “We have to regroup and see why we are not being successful. We don’t really know what went wrong today. We’ll do what we have to do so that we make the next race,” Arnold emphasized.(Naples Daily News)(9-6-2003)
  • #77 ‘Dodge’ at Talladega? hearing the #77 Jasper Motorsports team may run a Dodge instead of a Ford at Talladega at the end of the month. Penske-Jasper builde both Dodge engines [for the #2 and #12] and Ford engines [the #77].(9-6-2003)
  • Hamilton Jr. to attempt Cup race at Kansas: it was mentioned during TNT’s Busch Series race coverage while reporting on the full field that Bobby Hamilton Jr. would be attempting to make the Cup race at Kansas Speedway in Oct.(TNT’s Race coverage of the Busch Series race)(9-6-2003)
  • The King Honored: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) honored champion racecar driver Richard Petty for his support of veterans and VA activities. “VA is honored to recognize Richard Petty, admired by millions as the longtime king of stock car racing, for his support of programs benefiting veterans,” VA Under Secretary for Health Dr. Robert H. Roswell said.. Roswell presented Petty with the Secretary’s Award in recognition of his contributions to VA activities. Petty has allowed the use of his name and likeness in flyers and posters promoting sales events at VA canteens, the stores and food services operating in VA medical centers to serve veteran patients, visitors, volunteers and caregivers.. In addition, Petty will be a special guest at upcoming VA rehabilitation events that promote accomplishments of disabled veterans through sports and the arts. Before he retired as a driver at the end of the 1992 season, Petty earned seven wins in the Daytona 500, seven NASCAR Winston Cup championships and a record 200 career race victories.. He owns Petty Enterprises, which fields two NASCAR Winston Cup teams, and continues an active participation in the sport. While not a veteran himself, he has credited veterans for the freedom that has allowed him to pursue a career in auto racing.. In addition to his support for the VA canteens and special events, he said he hopes to visit VA facilities when possible to boost veterans’ spirits.(Williams Company PR)(9-6-2003)
  • Sadler Sponsor for RIR: Hermie Sadler is running the #02 “Dollar Tree” Chevrolet in the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway [he was to run it in the Busch race but the rain cancelled qualifying and his hopes to run that race]. The race will also be the first major sponsorship in NASCAR for Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., whose.corporate offices are located in nearby Chesapeake, VA. Not sure if this is still in effect as it was for the Busch race but…..In addition to sponsorship, Dollar Tree is also providing Sadler with added incentive to perform.well. Dollar Tree stores have pledged donations for each lap completed. The donation will be made to The Faison School for Autism in Richmond. If he can complete all 250 [was the Busch race length – 400?] laps, that will mean over $30,000.00 for the.Faison School, which is attended by Sadler’s daughter, Halie Dru. “This is going to be a very special weekend for me”, stated Sadler. “I am honored to carry the Dollar Tree colors at Richmond. They are a great company, and what they are doing for the Faison School means a lot to my family.” (in part from the Dollar Tree Stores Busch SeriesPR), see an image of the car on my 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes – Cars #’s 0-23 page.(9-4/6-2003)
  • Biffle signs for 2004 – could add more UPDATE: At Roush Racing, rookie #16-Greg Biffle renegotiated the final year of his contract (2004) and is working to add two more years.(from the Sporting News)(9-1-2003)
    UPDATE: Greg Biffle, who has one year remaining on his contract, said he’s still negotiating with Jack Roush on a contract renewal and hasn’t signed anything yet.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-6-2003)
  • More Darlington TV Stuff: The Mountain Dew Southern 500, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series race held last Sunday at Darlington Raceway and televised by NBC, was the most-watched sporting event of Labor Day weekend, with an average of 7,965,000 viewers. The race’s household viewership of 5,241,000 easily outdistanced the weekend’s second-most watched sporting event “ college football on ABC on Saturday night “ by 40%. Other TV highlights from Labor Day weekend:
    …… The Mountain Dew Southern 500’s viewership was 20% higher than 2002, when the race was broadcast by TNT.
    …… The NASCAR Busch Series’ Winn-Dixie 200 Presented by PepsiCo, held last Saturday at Darlington and also televised by NBC, had an average of 2,292,000 viewers, a 40% increase from 2002’s TNT telecast. The household viewership of 1,803,000 was a 52% increase from 2002.
    …… The Winn-Dixie 200 Presented by PepsiCo was the most-watched NASCAR Busch Series race in the history of Darlington Raceway.(Figures compiled by Nielsen Media Research.)(NASCAR PR)(9-6-2003)
  • Eli Lilly to sponsor a team? Could this be for the #99? Eli Lilly may become the next pharmaceutical company to join NASCAR, according to industry sources, possibly marketing Cialis, a Viagra alternative.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-6-2003)
  • More Kodak: From this weeks Speedway Scene Magazine: There’s little doubt left that Kodak is looking to do something with their struggling investment in NASCAR, the question however is what? There were a number of scenarios painted by industry sources at Darlington last weekend that made it readily apparent that Kodak is in play. The basic premise is that NASCAR is intervening on Kodak’s behalf, which seems to be the only consistent part of the varied stories that were floating around the Darlington garage. What happens with the sponsorship, if they do leave Morgan McClure [#4] at the end of this year that is, seems to run along two thought processes. The first speculative plan called for NASCAR to take the Kodak money for themselves and make it a contingency program of some sort. What we’d heard in this rumored plan was that all cars would be required to carry a Kodak sticker and be paid some sort of incentive for carrying the photography giant’s logo. The other scenario was that NASCAR would place the sponsorship on one of the teams that needs sponsorship. There were varied reasons why NASCAR would act as mediator in the Kodak sponsorship, but soothing a guilty conscience or two maybe playing into this angle.(Speedway Scene Magazine Print – no website)(9-6-2003)
  • Penske and NASCAR: Greg Penske, Roger’s son, could be in line for a top NASCAR job, according to NASCAR sources. Penske is on the ISC board of directors and runs Penske Automotive Group.(Winston Salem Journal), this is back to the Mike Helton leaving rumor, see my NASCAR News page for the past news on this.(9-6-2003)
  • Tire Test at DIS: Goodyear is having a tire test in preparation for the “Great American Race” 46th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 15, 2004. The test will be held on Monday, Sept. 8 and Tuesday, Sept. 9 at Daytona International Speedway with expected drivers being 2003 Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip, driver of the #15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet and 2003 Daytona 500 second-place finisher Kurt Busch, driver of the #97 Rubbermaid Ford for Roush Racing. The test is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand available through DAYTONA USA, the official attraction of NASCAR.(DIS PR)(9-6-2003)
  • Mayfield signed his half? Evernham has not? #19-Jeremy Mayfield has been expected to leave Evernham Motorsports, but he has signed a contract renewal and sent it to Evernham. ‘It’s signed. My half. Let’s see if he’ll sign his half,’ Mayfield said. Mayfield is also figured to be under consideration by Richard Childress. However, complicating the Evernham issue is the possibility Dodge executives could reshuffle their NASCAR sponsorships, cutting some teams back to a single deal. Expected to land a full Dodge deal, however, is car owner Jim Smith — crew chief Tommy Baldwin says he’ll need to know the team’s sponsorship situation within the next 30 days or prepare to move on.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-6-2003)
  • Nextel/NASCAR assignments? Andrew Feit, one of the key men in NASCAR’s New York office, is expected to be assigned full-time to NASCAR’s Nextel account, and Brett Yormark, the head of that office, could be named ‘Marketer of the Year’ for his work in closing the $700 million/10-year deal.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-6-2003)

    (9-5-2003)

  • Sam Bass Guitar Trophy at Richmond: When NASCAR artist Sam Bass pulls into the infield of Richmond International Raceway for Saturday’s Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Winston Cup race, he’ll be carrying the event trophy and a lifetime of memories from his “home track.” The race trophy is a Gibson Les Paul electric guitar with graphics designed by Bass and hot rod-style flames carved directly into the polished wood body. Orange and black dominate the trophy, which features the race logo, small-scale Goodyear race tires for control knobs and the title “2003 Race Winner” along the length of the neck. As has been the case with more than a dozen commemorative guitars – the first being a limited edition featuring Dale Earnhardt in 1998 – Bass worked closely with the craftsmen at Gibson’s Custom Shop to create a truly unique instrument. Designed in Concord, NC, crafted in Nashville, TN, and sponsored by Detroit’s own Chevrolet, this special Gibson is a perfect all-American trophy to be awarded in the one-time capital of the South. The one-off six-string won’t be the only Sam Bass design at the track on Saturday; more than a dozen cars in the starting lineup will display paint schemes created by Bass. Bass’ time in Richmond is always a homecoming of sorts. His boyhood home in Hopewell, Va., was less than 20 minutes away from Richmond’s half-mile Fairgrounds Raceway, which is where the young artist saw his first NASCAR Winston Cup event in 1972. Ten years later, it was Sam Bass the college student who applied for and received his first garage access credential. In 1988 Bass was asked to create a program cover to commemorate the end of the old fairgrounds track and the debut of the three-quarter-mile Richmond International Raceway. That cover was a classic piece of artwork that doubled as a résumé for the artist’s graphic talents. Even though hundreds of covers, logos and car designs have followed, that particular illustration has remained special to Bass. “‘Into The New’ was a split image showing the old track in black and white and the new facility in color,” remembers Bass. “I showed Bobby Allison and Bobby Hillin’s Miller Buicks, which I designed, racing from old to new. Painted on RIR’s solid wall was the new track logo I had created.” Although he moved to Charlotte in the early ’90s, Bass’ artwork has maintained a devoted following in the Richmond area, including an extensive display of his images at Joyner Paint & Frame in nearby Petersburg. Part of any homecoming is spending time talking to old friends and making new ones – an activity Bass plans to enjoy at an autograph session scheduled for the day of the race from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the UAW-GM Motorsports trailer. For more information about Sam Bass’ artwork and guitars, visit www.sambass.com or phone 704/455-6915.(Sam Bass PR)(9-5-2003)
  • Biffle to start his own Busch team? #16-Greg Biffle is considering starting his own Busch Series team, which would begin operation in 2004. “I’m exploring options right now. I think running in the Busch series really helps my Winston Cup program,” Biffle said. “There aren’t a lot of Ford Busch teams, so it’s tough for me to find a decent ride with someone else.” Biffle, who drives the #16 Fords for Roush Racing in Cup, has run several Busch races this season with Evans Motorsports but received some criticism from Ford since Evans uses Chevrolets. “There is such a conflict with Ford and Chevy and we don’t want to give information to other teams, so I’m looking into doing my own program,” he said. “I would entertain the thought of running a partial or full schedule, even.” Biffle said Roush officials have told him they have been trying to put together a Busch program for him. “They’ve been saying for quite some time that they were going to get something together. We were going to run a part-time Busch deal when we were Truck racing; a part-time Cup deal when we were Busch racing; and now a part-time Busch deal when were Cup racing. None of it has materialized,” Biffle said. “If I’m in control of it then I know it’s going to happen.” Biffle doesn’t own a race shop but said the most difficult part would be finding the sponsorship money.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-5-2003)
  • Cup and Busch car to run SPECIAL 9-11 Decals at Richmond: As the second anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks approaches, the memory of those that lost their lives is in the forefront of people’s minds. This is especially true of New York City police officers and firefighters. Believing that something needed to be done to honor his fallen comrades, one Bronx policeman reached out to his beloved sport and asked that it do something in memory of the victims. NASCAR responded with a resounding “Yes!” Police Officer Victor DiPierro is a lifelong resident of the Bronx and NASCAR fan. When he is not on the streets protecting the people of New York, he is at home cheering on Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in the # car. With the second anniversary of the September 11 tragedy weighing on his mind, DiPierro felt he had to do something to honor those that lost their lives – several of whom he knew personally.
    Speaking of how much it moved him to see the pit crews holding American Flags and the armed forces flybys before each race, DiPierro had an idea. “I thought it would be cool to have a sticker on the cars in honor 9-11,” he explained. “Millions of people watch this sport every week. I couldn’t think of a better tribute.” With the idea in his head, the officer approached NASCAR in New York. After hearing what DiPierro had to say, the league asked him to send a sample sticker to see what it looked like and where it could be placed on the cars. The decal that the officer selected pictured the patches worn by the NYPD, FDNY and Port Authority Police Department with the Twin Towers and an American Flag in the background. The simple images were punctuated by the words “Fallen Heroes.” Seeing the sticker was enough to convince NASCAR that it was a fitting tribute. “I was talking to [NASCAR] on the phone and they told me to send them 250 stickers right away,” said DiPierro. “They were willing to put the stickers on the cars.” The simple, yet moving, image affected NASCAR officials enough to order that all the cars running in this weekend’s Funai 250 and Chevy Rock & Roll 400 would not only carry the badge on their bodies, but on their dashboard in view of the on-board cameras. In addition, all of the teams’ haulers would wear the badge. NASCAR spokesman Rob Copelan explained why the organization decided to go forward with the sticker placement. “There’s a deep bond that goes beyond sports,” he said. “It’s about humanity and people and neighbors – about friends helping friends.”
    Copelan said that NASCAR has maintained an office in New York City for over 20 years and that, like everyone in the nation, the events of September 11, 2001 affected it deeply. “NASCAR has not or never will forget the events of 9-11. We’re grateful we could say yes to Officer DiPierro. It’s a small way to remember our fallen heroes and pay our respects to the city workers that responded to the disaster.”
    In order to get the stickers in a timely fashion, DiPierro worked with a local police uniform distributor to order the required number. Even with a friendly discount, DiPierro paid for the stickers out of his own pocket. Copelan said that NASCAR offered to reimburse the officer for his expenses, but the policeman declined. See full story and the decal at the XM144.com site.(9-5-2003)
  • Elliott to decide by end of month: #9-Bill Elliott says he will decide by the end of the month whether he’ll retire at the end of the current Winston Cup season or return for one more year. But the choice isn’t as simple as it seems. He’s struggling to make a decision that is in the best interest of a host of parties, including his car owner Ray Evernham, his crew, NASCAR and his legions of fans. He’s in the last year of his contract with car owner Ray Evernham, but Evernham has said the No. 9 Dodge is Elliott’s for as long as he wants to drive it. Elliott, who is still fully capable of winning, says he won’t leave Evernham unless a top-notch replacement is standing by to take over his car. Complicating matters is the fact that Elliott’s teammate Jeremy Mayfield is struggling, which could mean he might be forced out of the #19 Dodge. If Elliott retired at the end of this year, that could leave Evernham in the difficult position of having a multi-car race team with no drivers in place for the upcoming season. Then there are the top NASCAR officials who are urging Elliott to continue for at least one more season, so his contributions to the sport can be properly recognized. But Elliott, who shuns the spotlight whenever possible, said he wants no part of the type of retirement tour that Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip took in the final season of their careers.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution) and see past news/rumors on my #9 Team News and Links page.(9-5-2003)
  • Skinner wins the pole at Richmond: #01-Mike Skinner won the pole for the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond in the US Army Pontiac in a backup car with a speed of 125.792mph, putting him in the 2004 Budweiser Shootout, it is the 2nd pole for the team, Boris Said won the pole at Sonoma in June. Skinner will have to fall to the rear of the field before the drop of the green flag since he is in a backup. So #6-Mark Martin, who qualified 3rd, will move up to the #1 spot, before the start of the race, the cars move up in the same line as the car dropping back, not over by position [like 2 to 1 etc]. Starting on the outside pole is #16-Greg Biffle, his best career start and the highest starting rookie of the year candidate, with a speed of 125.646.
    Missing the race were #50-Larry Foyt and #79-Billy Bigley Jr. Not sure if the provisionals used were charged, will check into it, if so, #43-Fittipaldi used his last one up until Martinsville, if not, he still has one.
    For speeds, who used provisionals, practice speeds comparisons, provisional rank, other site lineup links and other notes, see Jayski’s Richmond Grid/Qualfying Page – click here.(9-5-2003)
  • Stock Car Fans – Ramblings – Richmond: What a day for the #01 team of Mike Skinner. Hows about wrecking on your first lap in practice? Then, your team busts their butt getting the backup ready and you grab the pole! Then, you wreck in Happy Hour and you’re now waiting for another car to come from the shop in Charlotte. Down, Up, & Down again. And, all this at the track where regular driver Jerry Nadeau had his bad accident in Happy Hour last May. For Skinner, it’s his 6th career Bud Pole….and it will gain him entry (the 14th driver qualified thus far) into next February’s Budweiser Shootout. If they decide to go to the backup car, he’ll have to relinquish that top-spot however. Mike’s last pole was at California Speedway in April of 2000 (back in the RCR #31 era).
    Skinner will be joined on the front-row by #16-Greg Biffle (who ties his career-best starting spot….he was outside the front row at Watkins Glen last month).
    #40-Sterling Marlin (6th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 4th at Daytona in July.
    #99-Jeff Burton (7th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 7th at Las Vegas in March.
    #10-Johnny Benson (9th) had his best qualifying run since he had the outside pole at Rockingham in Febraury.
    #45-Kyle Petty (10th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 8th when we were here in May.
    #54-Todd Bodine (12th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 10th at Darlington in March.
    STREAKIN….Ryan Newman has 6 Top-10 starts in the last 7 races. Mark Martin has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.
    45 cars on hand…two on the Trouble Train. Larry Foyt and Billy Bigley get the early outs.
    Provisionals were taken by: Dale Jarrett (non-charged), Dave Blaney, Steve Park, Jason Leffler, Christian Fittipaldi, Mike Wallace, and Hermie Sadler.
    We had 15 cautions when we were here last (but we did dodge a lot of rain that night), so we should find out once again why they call this place the “Action Track”.(StockCarFans.Com Winston Cup Newsletter)(9-5-2003)
  • Busch Drops Complaint Against Spencer: #97-Kurt Busch dropped his assault complaint against rival #7-Jimmy Spencer, who punched him in the face after a race last month at Michigan International Speedway. A spokesman for Busch called the Sheriff’s Department Wednesday, asking that the case be dropped, sheriff’s Capt. Jack Welsh said Friday. Welsh said the representative told him NASCAR’s penalties against Spencer were satisfactory. Busch was left with a bloody nose and chipped tooth during the Aug. 17 fight between two of the more aggressive drivers in the Winston Cup series. NASCAR barred Spencer from driving in a NASCAR-sanctioned events for a week and fined him $25,000. Busch was fined $10,000. NASCAR placed both men on probation until the end of the year. Spokesmen for Spencer and Busch did not immediately return calls. See past news on my #7 Team News and Links page or my #97 Team News and Links page.(more at ThatsRacin.com/AP)(9-5-2003)
  • Labonte could be the 6th: Should #5-Terry Labonte win the pole position this week, he would join an exclusive group of drivers in the Richmond record book. Since the track began running two Winston Cup races a year in 1959, only six drivers have swept both pole positions in a single season. Ted Musgrave was the last to do it (1994), while Bobby Allison, Ned Jarrett, Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip and the late Alan Kulwicki have also accomplished the feat.(Hendrick Motorsports)(9-5-2003)
  • Stewart on the tube for the Busch race: Benny Parsons to go behind the scenes of the TNT production during NASCAR Busch Series Race. Reigning NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Tony Stewart will join the TNT telecast team and will join TNT play-by-play announcer Allen Bestwick and analyst Wally Dallenbach in the booth at 8:00pm/et to give his insights during TNT’s coverage of the Advil presents NASCAR Busch Series Racing from Richmond. This is the third consecutive season that Stewart has worked behind the microphone for TNT, having most recently made three appearances on the network last year.. Not one to take the night off, fellow NASCAR Winston Cup Series Champion Benny Parsons (1973) will go behind the scenes during Friday’s NASCAR Busch Series race to try his hand as a cameraman, tape operator, a pointer for RF (wireless camera) and catering assistant.(PR)(9-5-2003)
  • #54 BelCar looking for a 2004 sponsor? Travis Carter said #54 BelCar Racing isn’t sure if sponsor Army National Guard will return in 2004 as their sponsor. Carter co-owns the team with Sam Belnavis and hopes to know something this month. Todd Bodine is the driver of the #54 Ford.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(9-4-2003)
  • Changes for Talladega UPDATE: According to NASCAR Winston Cup director John Darby, there will be an adjustment to the speedway formula when the tour arrives at Talladega, Ala., to contest the Sept. 28 EA Sports 500. Darby told TFR the change would come in the throttle response area. “We’re going to increase the plate size and also increase the spoiler so that we can still keep our control on the speeds. We’ll put a taller spoiler on it so we’ve still got a handle on the speeds but essentially it’s a matter of putting a little more drag on the car and a little more horsepower underneath the hood.” The goal, Darby explained, is to keep the drag horsepower ratio the same as it was the last time the Cup cars ran at Talladega, which will keep the speeds from escalating to beyond the comfort level of the sanctioning body. Asked if NASCAR considered again working with the roof blade on the speedway package Darby replied in the negative, “They may be back some day or a different version of it.”(Ford Racing)(9-4-2003)
    UPDATE: When the Winston Cup circuit returns to Talladega Superspeedway for the Sept. 28 EA Sports 500, drivers should feel a little more pep when they step on the gas pedal. That’s because NASCAR is opening the holes in the restrictor plates used on superspeedways from 7/8 inch to 29/32. That allows more fuel to the engine’s combustion chamber and therefore more response when the throttle is opened. To compensate for the increase in power and speed, the rear spoiler, which causes speed-reducing aerodynamic drag, is being raised from 6 1/4 inches high to 6 3/4 inches. Winston Cup director John Darby said the changes were based on results of wind tunnel tests of cars following the Brickyard 400. He said top speeds, which are limited at Daytona and Talladega to keep cars from becoming airborne, shouldn’t change much. “They’ll probably be a little faster, if anything,” Darby said.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(9-5-2003)
  • #66 Closed Up? UPDATE operations suspended: hearing that the #66 Travis Carter team has shut down, due to lack of sponsorship. Guess Hideo Fukuyama couldn’t supply the sponsorship and is looking for a ride.(8-26-2003)
    UPDATE: Travis Carter said the #66 team he fielded on a part-time basis for Hideo Fukuyama has ceased operations as it ran out of money. Carter says Fukuyama stops by the shop almost everyday.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(9-4-2003)
  • Sad News – Mongo Dies: Martha, the perky Jack Russell terrier that won the hearts of fans and drivers at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn this summer, is dead. Winner of the MIS “Where’s Mongo” look-alike contest, Martha was struck by a tow truck Aug. 12 in Brooklyn, N.Y. She died soon after. Mongo is the dog pictured on the hood of Jimmy Spencer’s NASCAR Winston Cup Ultra Motorsports Dodge. Martha and her owners, Joe and Chung Vella, were guests of MIS at the Sirius Satellite 400 race weekend in June, where their little pooch quickly warmed to the burly Spencer. According to Vella, Martha was hit as she chased a vehicle owned by his next-door neighbor. Vella, who recently retired from the New York City police force, said he had passed the news of Martha’s demise on to the Ultra Motorsports team. “In July, Martha was at a Jimmy Spencer golf outing in Berwick, Pa.,” Vella said. “She was a big hit with the Spencer family.” The Vellas have since purchased a dog to replace Martha. “We talked it over and decided to buy a new pup,” Vella said. “She’s three months old and is a Jack Russell, just like Martha. Her name is Maggie and she’s white with a black patch over one eye.” Vella said he thinks often about Martha, who was a birthday gift to his wife last year. “You don’t forget a dog as good as Martha,” he said. “Our trip to Michigan with her was something I’ll always remember.” Later this month, Joe, Chung and Maggie will relocate to Phoenix, where they’ll enjoy the warm weather, while Joe plays a little golf.(Detroit Free Press)(9-5-2003)
  • Atlanta Braves NASCAR Night on Monday with Kyle Petty: On Monday, September 8, the Atlanta Braves will host NASCAR Night at Turner Field, prior to the game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Fans will have the opportunity to see a number of authentic NASCAR stock cars live at Turner Field. The cars scheduled to be on hand are #50 NASCAR on TNT, #20 The Home Depot car, #15 NAPA Auto Parts car, #31 Cingular Wireless car, #8 Budweiser car, #45 Georgia-Pacific car, and the Richard Petty Driving Experience show car. Winston Cup driver Kyle Petty will be the Braves’ honorary team captain for the evening. The Braves are planning a special in-game feature with field drive-arounds during designated innings.(Atlanta Braves Press Release via MotorsportsTV)(9-5-2003)
  • Stewart and Schrader do some dirt trackin’: Tony Stewart and Ken Schrader love to race anything, anytime, anywhere, and this love for turning fast laps brought them to the Sheboygan County Fair Park in Plymouth, WI on Wednesday night. Both racers gave a good show on dirt in the IMCA Modified cars but they were plagued by mechanical problems most of the evening. See more to the story and images of the cars at MotorsportsTV.com.(9-5-2003)
  • Rally Driver to NASCAR? Colin McRae is almost resigned to his career as a rally driver being cut short at the end of the season and is contemplating a switch to motor racing. It’s not looking good. There’s a couple of other things I’m looking at,” he said. “Not all the doors are closed in the world championship. If I was five years younger I’d do another year just to be there, but I’m not doing it for nothing, in terms of money or the car. I always said if I stopped rallying I’d like to try something else.” He declined to comment on rumours that he might consider taking up Nascar, North America’s ultra-successful stock car formula, which races on banked ovals at speeds approaching 200mph. However, he has tried something similar, racing a less powerful car at the Rockingham Oval in the Midlands. He has also tested a formula one car, lapping Silverstone in a Jordan two seconds slower than Martin Brundle in 1999, in only 10 laps. But his racing experience is minimal.(much more at Guardian Unlimited)(9-5-2003)

    (9-4-2003)

  • Fans That Care was designed for fans to participate in the America’s Most Wanted Racing Team and assist them in achieving their goals of assisting in the recovery and education of missing and exploited children nationwide. We have all heard the reports of a child being abducted and every one of us has experienced the emptiness in our stomachs and thought to ourselves I wish I could help. Those are the same thoughts of the America’s Most Wanted Racing Team. How can we use our professional motorsports status to assist in the recovery and education of missing and exploited children? So they designed the AMW Racing Team, and will place a photograph of a missing child in three strategic places on our racecars in each event in the Cup, Busch and the Craftsmen Truck series with a focus on the Busch Series as well as broadcast them throughout live television, in person at events and the worldwide web. More info at the AMW Racing Team SIte – Fans That Care page. These cars have been seen on Fox Sports Nets Totally NASCAR and NASCAR This Morning TV shows.(9-4-2003)
  • Lawsuit to cost NASCAR $1 Billion? SMI’s Bruton Smith and NASCAR’s Bill France are on opposite sides of the biggest and most compelling lawsuit in the 55-year history of NASCAR. As most NASCAR fans have heard, the case of Ferko vs. NASCAR is about Texas Motor Speedway [TMS] not getting a second annual Winston Cup race. Plano resident Francis Ferko is a minority shareholder in Speedway Motorsports Inc. Smith is chairman of SMI, a $1.9 billion operation and the parent company of TMS. The lawsuit accuses NASCAR officials of failing to deliver on a promise to award TMS a second Winston Cup race. It sounds simple. It isn’t. This is major litigation that could rock NASCAR to its foundation. Big-money lawyers are preparing to argue the merits of the case. The suit is scheduled for trial in January 2004 in U.S. District Court in Sherman. Bill France gave his deposition in Daytona Beach three weeks ago. Smith was deposed in June.
    Some of the most prominent attorneys and most prestigious law firms in the country are involved. The TMS side includes Johnnie Cochran, who became famous as the attorney for O.J. Simpson. He has estimated financial damages at upwards of $1 billion, although other attorneys involved say $200 million is more realistic. NASCAR has the firm headed by David Boies, the man who argued for Al Gore in the litigation over the Florida voting process in the 2000 presidential election.(See full story at the Dallas Morning Star) and see past news on my Lawsuit page.(9-4-2003)
  • MBNA bonus at $50,000: The MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award is worth $10,000 to the leader of a race’s halfway point (among teams participating in the MBNA contingency award program). MBNA also pays a $5,000 bonus if the halfway-point leader goes on to win the race. If the bonus isn’t collected, the $5,000 rolls over to the next event. Here’s where we are: the MBNA bonus now stacks up to $50,000. The last time it was collected was at Daytona in July when #15-Michael Waltrip won the Pepsi 400 and an extra $5,000.(NASCAR PR), see the list of all the winners of the award and bonus’ above.(9-4-2003)
  • Different Drivers at RIR: There have been nine different race winners in the last 11 races at Richmond International Raceway. Only Tony Stewart has repeated at Richmond since 1998, winning three times (late-summer 1999, spring 2001 and spring 2002). And in the last eight races at Richmond International Raceway, there have been eight different Bud Pole winners.(NASCAR PR)
  • Totally NASCAR’s number of the day = 2: since the Richmond International Raceway [RIR] was configured between the two races in 1988 there have only been two (2) pole sitters go on to win the race.(FSN’s Totally NASCAR), who were the drivers? Davey Allison in the first race in the current configuration in Sept 1988 and Bill Elliott in the spring of 1992.
  • Rusty is good ar RIR: #2-Rusty Wallace leads active drivers in Richmond victories, with six. Wallace has a 7.7 average finish in 30 races at Richmond, the best of all drivers on the facility’s current .75-mile configuration. #24-Jeff Gordon has 13 top-10 finishes, including two victories, in his 21 Richmond races. Three of #20-Tony Stewart’s 16 NASCAR Winston Cup Series wins have come at Richmond, including his first career victory as a rookie in the 1999 late-summer race. That night, Stewart dominated, leading 333 of 400 laps (83.2 percent).(NASCAR PR) The all time track winner is Richard Petty with 13 followed by Bobby Allison.(9-4-2003)
  • Kyle was the first: #45-Kyle Petty became the first third-generation NASCAR Winston Cup Series race winner when he won his first NASCAR Winston Cup race on Feb. 23, 1986 “the Miller High Life 400 at Richmond. Kyle’s grandfather Lee Petty won the very first Richmond race in 1953.(NASCAR PR), the three Petty’s have 16 wins at the track, 13 by Richard, 2 by Lee and 1 by Kyle – all on the old configurations.(9-4-2003)
  • 2004 All Star Race to stay at Lowe’s Motor Speedway: NASCAR’s annual all-star race will return to Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., next season, ThatsRacin.com has learned. The race, called The Winston since its inception in 1985, will be run on May 22, 2004 – the traditional Saturday night spot on the schedule prior to the track’s first Winston Cup race of the season, the May 30 Coca-Cola 600, sources confirmed Thursday. A formal announcement of the race date will likely come in the next few weeks. The name of the race remains unclear. Track officials would not confirm the race date Thursday. “Nothing can officially be said until NASCAR releases its 2004 schedule,” said track spokesman Jerry Gappens. “Obviously, we feel very positive it will return to its rightful place in 2004.” Lowe’s signed a one-year extension to host the all-star race this [2003] season. Last year, NASCAR suggested it might rotate The Winston to other cities, news that did not go over well with community leaders across the Charlotte region. The race generates $75 million for the track area’s economy, a 1999 UNC Charlotte study found. Since then, The Winston has grown even more popular, and this year attracted a record crowd of 150,000. A nonprofit group organized to promote the race this year raised $650,000 and used the theme, “There’s No Place Like Home.” Most drivers and race teams live in the region, and the track has hosted the race every year since 1987. The departure of series sponsor Winston – announced in June – ensured the race would at least change in name, and possibly in location. Nextel Communications, based in Reston, Va., signed a 10-year agreement to begin sponsoring what is now known at the Winston Cup Series, beginning in 2004. At the time of their announcement, Nextel officials said they would be involved in the all-star race, but said they would leave the location up to NASCAR. There had been a lot of speculation in recent months that the race could end up at some point at Richmond International Raceway, since it is the closest Cup track to Nextel’s headquarters. Last month, Lowe’s officials confirmed they had signed a sanctioning agreement with NASCAR to host a Truck series race on May 21, an indicator that the all-star race would return next season. The track hosted its first Truck race this season on the night before The Winston and it was a success with more than 40,000 in attendance. Speedway officials said then they did not plan to hold a Truck race as a stand-alone event and planned it to once again coincide with the all-star race.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-4-2003)
  • Radio Communication in 2004, changes? As vital as a good motor or good setup is to a race car, so too is communication. With that in mind the teams have though the years tweaked and dialed-in two-way radio systems to fit the unique rigors of racing. Don’t think a radio is an important part of the mix? Just tell that to the driver who is patting the roof or door panel as he tries to tell his crew chief whether his car is loose or tight. And the driver who doesn’t have a working radio is living in a world of chaos and that’s just if his outbound communication has failed. The problem increases 100-fold when the driver’s radio can’t receive a radio signal because he losses not only his crew chief but also his spotter. And with the current cocoon style of driver restraint the driver’s reliance on his spotter easily becomes a safety issue. There are currently two major suppliers for two-way radio gear in NASCAR’s top three series with Racing Radios and Racing Electronics [Jayski sponsor of the Scanner Freq page] handling the majority of installation and service requirements of the industry. With communications vital in the racing game the issue was naturally brought up shortly after Nextel was named the series sponsor of NASCAR’s elite series for 2004. Nextel, with its Direct Connect offering, is obviously in the radio business and this reality led to questions as to whether NASCAR would require the teams to start using Nextel radios, beginning next year. “Well, let’s see now. Currently Racing Radios provides the communications,” NASCAR Chief Operating Officer, George Pyne, hedged at Sears Point several weeks ago. “I think that will all work itself out. Continuing Pyne added, “It’s interesting when you look – you need tires, you need fuel and you need to be able to communicate.” When asked directly if Nextel would replace the teams’ current two-way radio systems Pyne replied, “I think you can expect [Nextel] to be a provider of communication if the technology and service is as good or better than what it is today. We’ll work through that with Racing Radios. “Again, I expect that to be a very positive and seamless situation.” Giving a practical indication of where team communications might head in the near future comes from a job listing for the program manager for the Nextel Motorsports program. The job description lists one of the position’s responsibilities as: “Develop relationship with Nextel engineers, track operators, teams and other third parties to insure smooth transition from 2-way radios to Nextel”.(Ford Racing)(9-4-2003)
  • BACE to Hendrick Motors: BACE announced it will run Hendrick Engines for the remainder of the 2003 season at all Winston Cup events in the #74 BACE Motorsports Chevrolet. Entering this weekend, The #74 Chevy with Tony Raines driving has been powered by Hendrick motors at six events so far during the 2003 season. Out of those six races, The #74 has finished outside of the top-25 only once, coming last week at Darlington after Raines was caught in a multi-car accident on lap six.(BACE MotorsportsPR)(9-4-2003)
  • Biffle Injured? UPDATE no: from The State, a quote Greg Biffle: “Man, my stomach dropped,” Biffle said. “I had about a 4-second lead and the flywheel broke coming off (Turn) 2. ‘.‘.‘. “I think it cracked my ribs, it was shaking so bad inside the car. I was in so much pain the last 70 laps; never felt so much pain in my life.”(The State)(9-1-2003)

    UPDATE: Following last weekend’s Southern 500 Greg Biffle complained that it felt as if he’d broken his ribs from the violent shaking that occurred in the Grainger Ford, after the flywheel exploded. However, according to Roush Racing sources Biffle is just fine and will be ready to go for this weekend’s Richmond International Raceway events. Roush officials said that the report of broken ribs was taken out of context [oops], somewhat, due to the beating that Biffle received in the last 50 laps of the event from the severe vibrations from the broken driveline.(Ford Racing)(9-4-2003)

  • Kerry Earnhardt and RCR: Kerry Earnhardt may race a Looney Tunes RCR Busch car in the Phoenix race. The car will have several of the characters on it. There is no sponsor as of yet. The possible number on the car is #03. Kerry may also field an RCR Winston Cup car at the Atlanta race. This car also does not have a sponsor and will be decorated with The Cat In The Hat characters. The number being considered for this car is also #03.(a notice to some diecast dealers)(9-4-2003)
  • McMurray Again Fastest as Testing Concludes at Lowe’s: For the second consecutive night, #42-Jamie McMurray topped the speed chart Wednesday as NASCAR Winston Cup teams made final preparations for the UAW-GM Quality 500 Saturday night, Oct. 11, at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. With teams focusing on race set-up for the inaugural nighttime running of the 500-mile Fall Classic, McMurray’s #42 Havoline Dodge was clocked on the unofficial stopwatches with a fastest lap of 177.282 mph around the 1.5-mile superspeedway. McMurray, the surprise winner of last year’s UAW-GM Quality 500, ran many consistent laps between 176 and 177 mph. “We are definitely better than we were here in May,” McMurray said. “We’ve gone through a bunch of shocks, basically trying stuff we don’t have time to try during a race weekend. We think we’ve found something and the car is driving really good. I’m looking forward to coming back in October.”
    Jeff Fultz, a former ARCA RE/MAX Series winner here, was second fastest at 177.072 mph in the #55 Ford. Two-time UAW-GM Quality 500 winner Dale Jarrett was third fastest at 175.821 mph in the #88 UPS Ford. Like McMurray, Jarrett made several long runs consistently recording laps in the 175-mph range. Christian Fittipaldi was fourth fastest at 173.482 mph in the #44 Dodge. NASCAR Busch Series point leader Scott Riggs was also on hand, but the #57 CLR team loaded up their Ford prior to sunset. #50-Larry Foyt and #27-Scott Wimmer did not return for the second day of open testing. The six-hour session was run without an on-track incident. Tickets for the UAW-GM Quality 500 on Saturday night, Oct. 11, start at just $19 and are available online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.
    The unofficial speeds:
    #42-Jamie McMurray, 177.282 mph;
    #55-Jeff Fultz, 177.072;
    #88-Dale Jarrett, 175.821;
    #44-Christian Fittipaldi, 173.482;
    #57-Scott Riggs, 173.176.(LMS PR)(9-4-2003)
  • Nadeau to be at Richmond to support #01 Team: Crew chief Ryan Pemberton doesn’t harbor any ill feelings or negative thoughts. Yet, he does feel he has some unfinished business to attend to at Richmond International Raceway, site of Saturday night’s Chevy Rock & Roll 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race. The last time Pemberton was in Richmond, tuning and overseeing the performance of the No. 01 U.S. Army Pontiac, he saw a promising weekend turn to anguish. With Jerry Nadeau behind the wheel of the U.S. Army car at the Richmond spring race, the team posted a solid qualifying effort of 12th and was running in the top three in the ensuing practice session. It was all clicking for Pemberton and Nadeau. But as the practice session went on, misfortune struck the U.S. Army team when Nadeau slammed into the wall driver-side first between the first and second turns. He was airlifted to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond where he was listed in critical condition with head, lung and rib injuries.
    “That was a very difficult time,” said Pemberton. “My best friend and driver was laid up in the hospital and you could sense it wasn’t good. None of us wanted to be at the track, but we had a job to do. We had to get the backup car out and go find a driver. We not only had to find a driver who was willing to fill in, but one who was about the same size as Jerry. Jason Keller (Busch Series driver) agreed and he did a good job for us considering the circumstances.” Pemberton is hoping that he and the team’s current substitute driver, Mike Skinner, will also click with a successful combination for the .75-mile oval. “Frankly, I’d like to duplicate everything in Richmond except Jerry’s last lap,” said Pemberton. “We had had a good qualifying run and Jerry was running real fast in race trim. We never got the chance to really show our hand. Hopefully, we’ll have just as good of a combination for Mike. This will be his fifth race for us and he has done a good job.” Offering support to Pemberton and Skinner in Richmond will be Nadeau, who is recovering from the injuries he sustained on May 2. “I am going to Richmond to thank a lot of people and give my support to the team,” said the 32-year-old Nadeau. “There are so many people that I want to personally thank – the doctors and staff at the hospital, the emergency workers and the medical staff at the infield care center. Regarding the team, I think they’re going to do well in Richmond. We had a fast car in May and I feel it will be just as good this weekend.”(US Army PR)(9-4-2003)
  • SunTrust Bank Joins U.S. Army Racing Again at Richmond: SunTrust Bank, Mid-Atlantic has partnered once again with the MB2 Motorsports NASCAR Winston Cup team for the September 6 Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway. SunTrust will be featured as an associate sponsor on the #01 U.S. Army Pontiac driven by Mike Skinner, who is substituting for the injured Jerry Nadeau. “This is another great opportunity for SunTrust to work with a top-notch group,” said Michael Newbrand, Senior Vice President and SunTrust, Mid-Atlantic’s Marketing Director. œWe are glad to hear that Jerry Nadeau is doing well and are pleased that he will visit the SunTrust client hospitality suite as our guest.” Nadeau was scheduled to meet SunTrust’s officials and guests before their inaugural race together May 3 at Richmond, but a practice accident the day before the event sidelined Nadeau. He continues to recover from those injuries, but is looking forward to visiting both his team and SunTrust representatives this weekend.
    SunTrust will also offer fans the opportunity to enter a “Racing With The Works,” drawing to be selected as an honorary #01 U.S. Army pit crew member. Anyone over the age of 18 can complete an entry form at the SunTrust booth located on the track midway on Friday, Sept. 5 and Saturday, Sept. 6.. This drawing coincides with SunTrust’s “Banking With The Works” promotion which features the Bank’s new line-up of checking account products and low rate equity line products. in addition to these activities at Richmond International Raceway, the #01 U.S. Army show car was displayed at SunTrust’s Fort Lee branch in Fort Lee on Wednesday for military members and their families. SunTrust’s Internet address is www.suntrust.com.(MB2 PR)(9-4-2003)
  • Craven Tests at Milwaukee: #32-Ricky Craven and the PPI Motorsports (PPIM) team spent Wed., Sept. 3, testing at The Milwaukee Mile track in Wisconsin. The team tested with chassis No. 49, the same car it plans to use in the Sept. 14 NASCAR Winston Cup event at New Hampshire International Speedway. PPIM used the last of its five “official” tests at Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier this year, so the team is now testing at tracks that do not host Winston Cup events.(PPIM PR)(9-4-2003)
  • #9 Crew Wins Pit Championship Award for 4th time after being fastest at Darlington: The inaugural McDonald’s Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade has paid out $500,000 to pit crews during the first 25 NASCAR Winston Cup races of the 2003 season. Leading the prize money list is the pit crew for Bill Elliott’s team, which swiped its fourth victory of the season Sunday at the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Elliott’s crew has earned $80,000 ($20,000 for each win) and is the first four-time winner of the championship that recognizes and awards the unsung heroes of the sport. Elliott’s car, which finished fifth in the Darlington race, spent the least amount time on pit road for participating teams. The #9 Dodge was off the track for 469.770 seconds, edging Bobby Labonte’s Interstate Batteries Chevrolet that spent 470.354 seconds on pit road. Third was Elliott Sadler’s Ford at 471.403. “With the level of competition the way it is now you shoot to spend as little time on pit road as possible,” said Elliott’s crew chief Mike Ford. “That’s a combination of your driver, calling the race and your pit stops. Your goal is keeping the car on the racetrack and not in the pits.” Elliott’s over-the-wall crew consists of: Todd Colburn (jackman), Nick Bailey (front tire carrier), Jim Pohlman (front tire changer), Eric Wakeland (rear tire carrier), Joe Kruschek (rear tire changer), Rodney Rhodes (gasman) and Steve Lawrence (catch can). The team’s pit crew coach is Greg Miller. With 11 races remaining, Michael Waltrip’s crew leads the McDonald’s Drive-Thru Pit Championship with 912 points, a 53-point lead over the second-place pit crew for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Elliott’s team, which did not join the program until the fifth race of the season, is ninth with 777 points. The season pit crew champion will receive a $200,000 bonus.
    For the season standings, who has won each week, the top 10 last race, see my Pit Crew Page.(DMF Communications PR)(9-4-2003)
  • DEI to test Atlanta later this month: #15-Michael Waltrip and another DEI team are scheduled to test at Atlanta Motor Speedway on September 29-30th. The test is closed to the public.(AMS PR)(9-4-2003)
  • Stacker 2 cars to carry special decals: The Station #23 program was developed to pay tribute to the fallen firefighters of Station 23 FDNY (Midtown Manhattan), who were performing their jobs of saving lives when tragedy struck on September 11, 2001. The name of their station is “The Lion’s Den.” Through the common grief following September 11th, a special bond was created between Station 23 FDNY and Station 23, Grand Terrace (San Bernardino County FD) in Grand Terrace, California. The two have become “sister stations” and Station 23, Grand Terrace, has since adopted the name “The Lion’s Den” in honor of the fallen firefighters. “The Lion’s Den” decal being placed on the #23 Stacker 2 Busch and Cup cars feature both “sister stations” and will be included on the team cars throughout the month of September.(Bill Davis Racing see the cool decal there)(9-4-2003)

    (9-3-2003)

  • Donohue to be Honored: The Zippo Vintage Grand Prix in Watkins Glen, N.Y., this weekend will pay tribute to the road-racing career of Delaware County’s [PA] Mark Donohue, who died at age 38 after a crash during a Formula One practice run in 1975. Nearly two dozen race cars from Donohue’s collection will either be on parade or compete in races on Saturday and Sunday. The vintage racing event, which features vehicles of the 1940s through the ’70s, is the largest of its kind in the Eastern United States.(Philadelphia Inquirer), more info about the event, links and Donohue on my Mark Donohue Tribute page.(9-3-2003)
  • Artist Looking: The popularity of NASCAR has spread to numerous types of memorabilia, posters, and even paintings. With paintings like Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Junior, Bristol native Bryan Haren has caught the eye of bigwigs at Bristol Motor Speedway and even Teresa Earnhardt. That hobby is now turning into a career with B-M-S using this Haren painting for the speedway’s new Dale Earnhardt terrace. (See full story at the Bristol Herald Courier) and links to other artists, photographers and images on my Images Links Page.(9-3-2003)
  • Mayfield Out? Re-signed? UPDATE 2 going to the #30 car?: Ray Evernham may be in the market for a new driver, if Jeremy Mayfield leaves [the #19 car]. Evernham and other Dodge team owners have been under heavy pressure from Dodge executives to improve performance.(Winston Salem JournalAND being told by source Mayfield will leave the #19 team, no idea where he goes, and who goes into the #19? would imagine a young gun of some caliber.(8-30-2003)
    UPDATE: however, PRN’s Garage Pass reported on Thursday that Mayfield’s option for 2004 was picked up by Evernham Motorsports.(8-31-2003)
    UPDATE 2 – not so fast? PRN’s Garage Pass radio show reported last week car owner Ray Evernham and driver Jeremy Mayfield agreed to a new contract extension, however it appears that hasn’t stopped Mayfield from talking with car owner Richard Childress. Sources tell PRN Mayfield has talked with Childress about the AOL Monte Carlo ride if Childress decides to replace Steve Park. Park, who says he wants to make it hard for Childress to replace him wants to stay with the #30 team. He recently finished 5th at Michigan.(9-3-2003)
  • McMurray speedy at Lowe’s testing: #42-Jamie McMurray, last year’s surprise winner of the. UAW-GM Quality 500, led the speed parade Tuesday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway as seven NASCAR Winston Cup drivers and teams fine tuned their “night moves” in preparation for the inaugural nighttime running of the track’s 500-mile fall classic. McMurray’s pacesetting lap was posted after the sun had set and the track surface cooled, nearly identical conditions teams will face during Bojangles’ Pole Night qualifying on Thursday, Oct. 9. Interestingly, McMurray’s lap came in a different car than the one he drove to victory last year. That #40 Dodge is still part of the stable of cars being wheeled by McMurray’s teammate, Sterling Marlin. Dale Jarrett, a two-time UAW-GM Quality 500 winner, was second fastest on the unofficial watches at 180.566 mph in the #88 UPS Ford. Jeff Fultz, the May 2002 winner of the EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 100 ARCA race, was third fastest at 180.391 mph in the #55 Ford. NASCAR Busch Series point leader Scott Riggs, making his first appearance in the #57 CLR Ford, was fourth fastest at 179.509 mph while Scott Wimmer rounded out the top five at 177.954 in the #27 Chevrolet.
    A brief rain shower shortly before 5 p.m. forced officials to stop the session for just over an hour. The only on-track incident came when Christian Fittipaldi’s #44 Dodge scraped the outside wall in turn four. Testing for the UAW-GM Quality 500 continues Wednesday. NASCAR Winston Cup cars will be on the track from 3:00 to 10:00pm/et and spectators will be admitted free to the main grandstand. Tickets for the UAW-GM Quality 500 on Saturday night, Oct. 11, start at just $19 and can be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.
    The unofficial speeds:
    1. #42-Jamie McMurray, 181.002 mph;
    2. #88-Dale Jarrett, 180.566;
    3. #55-Jeff Fultz, 180.391;
    4. #57-Scott Riggs, 179.509;
    5. #27-Scott Wimmer, 177.954;
    6. #44-Christian Fittipaldi, 176.476;
    7. #50-Larry Foyt, 175.873.(LMS PR)(9-3-2003)
  • Stewart to run Truck race at RIR: Tony Stewart will drive Andy Petree Racing’s Monaco Coaches/Diamond Rio Chevrolet in the Virginia Is For Lovers Truck Series race at Richmond. A year ago, Stewart and Petree won the event. The victory continued a string of strong runs for Petree’s Truck teams, the previous ones coming with Petree himself behind the wheel. Stewart started 25th in the Richmond race a year ago but steadily made his way to the front, taking advantage of his own championship driving talents and the top-notch equipment fielded by Andy Petree Racing. He grabbed the lead from Kevin Harvick 34 laps from the end and never looked back, pulling away to a .259-second victory. Petree is also fielding a car for young up-and-coming driver Paul Menard through an ARCA, Busch and Winston Cup combination program. Menard is driving the Turtle Wax/Menard’s entry in Friday night’s NASCAR Busch Seires race at Richmond as well, and that car will have Monaco as an associate sponsor. Petree will be back behind the wheel of the Monaco Coaches Chevrolet in the Truck Series race at Martinsville in October. Monaco Coach Corporation, a Coburg, Ore., based company has become one of the world’s leading RV manufacturer since it was founded in 1968, and remains one of the fastest-growing in the industry.(Williams Company)(9-3-2003)

    (9-2-2003)

  • Some Provisionals News UPDATEs and CORRECTIONS: Four teams have started every race and not used a provisional in 2003: #9-Bill Elliott; #20-Tony Stewart; #24-Jeff Gordon; #97-Kurt Busch. Six teams are out of provisionals until Martinsville (32nd race, if the team has attempted all 32): #14-Larry Foyt [attempted less then 24]; #37-Derrike Cope [attempted 18 races, will get one on his 24th race attempt]; #4-Morgan McClure;#43-Petty Enterprises; #45-Kyle Petty; #49-Ken Schrader. For more info, rules and standings, see my Provisional Page.
    IMPORTANT: there was a change at Chicago, I didn’t catch: “In the event the number of entrants that are eligible for a provisional starting position for the event is equal to or less then the number of starting positions available [usually 43], as provided by the Official Entry Blank, provisionals assigned to fill starting positions 37 through 43 under those conditions will not count toward the maximum season allotment”. So..I have some adjusting to do on my unofficial provisonal standings. But from quick calculations, #43-Fittipaldi and #45-Petty should now have one left and #37-Cope is back to 3 as none should have been charged at Chicago or Bristol.(9-2-2003)
    UPDATE: looks like I got it UNOFFICIALLY Straightened out. #43-Fittipaldi has one left, #45-Petty has two left and #37-Cope has 3 provisionals left to use. Also added provisionals left to the following teams: #’s 23,54,01,1,89,50,41 and 19. Looks like races where provisionals were not charged after the new rule [starting with Chicago] were: Chicago, Pocono, Michigan and Bristol. This week at Richmond, 47 cars are entered [but the #11 and #37 will not be there, so it is 45], two are entered without provisionals: #4-Johnny Sauter and #49-Ken Schrader, so as it stands provisionals shouldn’t be charged this week.
    See my 2003 Provisonals Used and Provisional/Owners Points Page for the corrected and updated provisionals [unofficially of course](9-2-2003)
  • Nemechek still working on his deal UPDATE Nemechek out/Vickers In the #25 for 2004: [#5, #24, #25, #48, #60] team owner Rick Hendrick is pondering next season’s Winston Cup lineup, and team sources say that either Kyle Busch or Brian Vickers could be promoted to a full-time ride. In fact, an announcement could come Tuesday. Despite his victory at Richmond in May, #25-Joe Nemechek senses that he’s on the hot seat. Terry Labonte is also trying to negotiate a new contract. “‘There is a lot of stuff going on at Hendrick Motorsports, and I don’t know the answers,’ Nemechek said. ‘Rick said in a week or two everything would be decided. It’s a great organization, and I’d love to finish out my career there. But if I can’t, man, I’ve got some great experiences here.”(from the Winston Salem Journal)
    AND Nemechek, 39, hopes his contract will be renewed for next season and is awaiting word from owner Rick Hendrick. Nemechek says the No. 25 Chevrolet is the best car he has driven in his 11 seasons in Cup competition, and he should be a factor in several races down the stretch, including New Hampshire, Charlotte, Atlanta and Rockingham.(from the Sporting News)(9-1-2003)
    UPDATE – Vickers to Cup in 2004 in the #25: Hendrick Motorsports #5 Busch Series driver, Brian Vickers, is getting a bump up to Winston Cup. Vickers, 19, and his Busch Series sponsor, GMAC, will move to Hendrick Motorsports’ #25 Chevy next season, ThatsRacin.com has learned. An official announcement of Vickers’ move could come as soon as Tuesday afternoon. Vickers will replace Joe Nemechek, who has spent over a year in the car and won earlier this season at Richmond, Va. Nemechek is 23rd in points, with a win, one top-five and four top-10 finishes. He has also failed to finish six races. Following his win last weekend, Vickers moved into third in Busch points, just 67 behind leader Scott Riggs. He has won two of the past four races (Indianapolis and Darlington). Vickers’ move to Winston Cup will open his #5 Chevrolet ride in the Busch Series. Hendrick plans to move 18-year-old Kyle Busch into the ride next season, sources said. Busch, brother of Winston Cup standout Kurt Busch, has been running a combination schedule of Automobile Racing Club of America and Busch series races this season. He has two ARCA wins and two poles in five starts and has finished second twice in three Busch starts.(ThatsRacin.com), see the official releases at the Hendrick Motorsports site.(9-2-2003)
  • Burton, Jeff that is, staying put UPDATE: #99-Jeff Burton, though still sponsorless for 2004, just signed a new contract extension with Jack Roush.(from the Winston Salem Journal)(9-1-2003)
    UPDATE – Burton re-ups with the #99 team: Roush Racing announced today that Jeff Burton, driver of the #99 Roush Racing Ford, has been signed to a new multi-year contract to continue driving for Roush Racing in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. “Jeff Burton is and has been an integral contributor to the success of Roush Racing for many years,” said Geoff Smith, Roush Racing president. “Jeff is an outstanding talent and ambassador for Roush Racing and the industry and his renewed commitment allows us to maintain our complete competitive strength.” “Now that Jeff is signed, we will continue to move forward to solidify a primary sponsor for the #99 team for 2004 and beyond,” Smith added. “Jack Roush has done so much for me and my career over the last eight years, I’m truly looking forward to continuing our partnership into the future,” said Burton. “We have a really strong, young team and they all have a tremendous work ethic and a hunger to win which is what Jack Roush and Roush Racing is all about. That combined with Jack’s willingness and ability to provide us with everything we need to be competitive, will enable us to win many races in the future and vie for championships.” Said owner Jack Roush, “The re-signing of Jeff, in addition to our other outstanding drivers, completes our competitive Winston Cup structure and provides us with an unmatched and quite remarkable line up for the next several years.” For sponsorship inquiries please contact John Miller at Roush Racing at 704.720.4600.(Roush Racing PR)(9-2-2003)
  • Early Darlington TV Ratings: NBC’s broadcast of Sunday’s Mountain Dew Southern 500 drew a 4.4 overnight rating from Nielsen Media Research to top all televised sports this weekend, USA Today reports.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter – free)(9-2-2003)
  • Park in the #30 at Talladega NOT Andretti: Steve Park’s official web site [www.steve-park.com see the scroll] reports that Steve Park [the current regular driver] will be in the #30 AOL Chevy and John Andretti will be in a 4th Childress car NOT the #30 Chevy as reported. [See my #1 Team News and Links page for past news on it]. Am hearing it could be #03, no idea on a sponsor….yet.(9-2-2003)
  • 2nd Team for Wells in 2004? UPDATE Riggs? #32-Ricky Craven, whose single-car team has struggled at times in a sport dominated by multi-car operations, may soon get some help. “I believe Cal is well on his way to having a second team, as early as next year,” Craven said this week at Darlington, referring to car owner Cal Wells III. Wells fielded two cars in 2001, but dropped back to one after losing a sponsor.(Charleston Post and Courier)(8-24-2003)
    UPDATE: hearing Busch Series driver Scott Riggs [#10 Nesquik/ppc Racing Ford] could end up in the 2nd PPI Motorsports Ride and the team is close to signing a sponsor.
    However being told that the team has brought in at least two other drivers to talk to in the past week who were not Riggs.(9-2-2003)
  • Stewart Wins ARCA Race: Tony Stewart ran away with his first ever ARCA RE/MAX Series win at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds “We just had a blast today,” said Stewart. “Some people go fishing to relax on their day off; I go racing. Just want to thank all the guys who helped with this. I love this place, and I’m really proud of this victory.” Ken Schrader, in the Federated Auto Parts Pontiac, finished second with ARCA veteran Joe Cooksey third. “Tony (Stewart) was on his own page today,” said Schrader. “There was no way we were going to catch him. Heck I feel good about finishing second.”(see results at ThatsRacin.com)(9-2-2003)
  • Dale Jr spends time at Ganassi’s shop AND more on DEI UPDATE: Friction between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his stepmother Teresa Earnhardt continues to hold up a deal that would legally bind Junior to the organization his father founded. Sources say that Earnhardt Jr., who has never had a formal contract with Dale Earnhardt Incorporated, was ready to ink his deal last week. But after a brief meeting with Teresa he walked away with the contract still unsigned. Most DEI insiders believe that it is all a matter of time before an agreement is reached. However, as long as Earnhardt Jr. is still technically a free agent other teams are trying to seduce the young star — which may explain why Junior spent four hours last week at the Chip Ganassi shop.(from the ESPN site)
    AND: Despite DEI’s on-track success, the Winston Cup garage has been rife with reports of in-house problems, highlighted by Teresa’s inability to sign Dale Earnhardt Jr. to a new contract after months of negotiations, and by reports from the Indy Racing League about DEI’s failure to sign two-time IRL champ Sam Hornish after long talks. Norris denied the IRL report that Theresa vetoed his handshake deal with Hornish for a Winston Cup ride. ‘I told Dale Jr. that Sam was the guy we wanted to drive our Busch car, and I was going to put him in some ARCA races too, and run him in the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 and all the Cup races after the IRL season,’ Norris said. ‘But Dale talked with him and said he didn’t seem that interested, and Sam’s agent said he wasn’t interested in a Busch ride.’ Hornish signed an Indy-car deal last week with Roger Penske, who runs Dodges in NASCAR and Toyotas in the IRL.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. has still not signed his contract, Norris said. ‘He has a couple of issues he wants Teresa to address, and it’s up to those two, but there has been some movement. ‘As far as ‘power struggle,’ I do my job, and Steve Hmiel does his job, and Teresa owns the company and makes the final decisions. Don’t think for one minute just because she’s not sitting on the pit box that she is not fully engaged with what is happening with our teams and our sponsors.’ John Andretti will take over as DEI teammate with Earnhardt and Michael Waltrip next week, but Norris said that 2004 is still up for debate. And team sources said that it could be a while before a decision is made. ‘We have options for that car,’ Norris said. ‘The sponsor knows who those options are, and they’re comfortable. We have two very legitimate potential sponsors, but we’re on their schedule.’ Greg Biffle is reported to be on DEI’s list of potential drivers [Jayski Note: Biffle reupped with Roush – see below]. ‘It’s all open right now,’ Norris said. ‘John ran for us at Indianapolis, and that was a great weekend for us to see how he would interact with our guys. Now we want to see how he does at Richmond, Loudon and Dover. If he has some consistent runs, it will bode well for his career and our sponsor search. ‘The sponsor front is a lot better than it was at the beginning of the summer, when it was a really tough time for everybody. I’ve been talking with other GMs, and they’re all pretty pleased with the sponsor movement. A lot of that has to do with the work by Brett Yormark, Andrew Feit and Chris Brahe in NASCAR’s New York office, because during the entitlement search they got companies excited about NASCAR.’ Kraft, an associate sponsor, won’t be stepping up, Norris said. ‘That’s not in their plans the next three years.'(Winston Salem Journal)
    UPDATE – However been told by the folks at Ganassi Racing that Earnhardt Jr., has NOT been to the shop.(9-2-2003)
  • Driver of the Year: Vote Now for Driver of the Year – Third Quarter 2003 at Speed Channel. Fan voting for 3rd Quarter will take place online from Saturday, August 30 until Friday, September 12th. The winner will be announced Live on Speed News on Saturday September 13th at 7:00pm/et. Scott Pruett (Trans-AM); Helio Castroneves (IRL); Larry Dixon (NHRA); Kevin Harvick (NASCAR); Ryan Newman (NASCAR); Paul Tracy (CART) and J.J. Yeley (USAC).(9-2-2003)

    (9-1-2003)

  • Sad News: Cancer has claimed the life of Bob Dotter, three-time Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) National Stock Car Champion. Dotter, 64, passed away on Monday, September 1. Dotter is the father of part time Truck Series driver and team manager, Bobby Dotter. More information on the Short Track News site along with arrangements for Dotter.(9-1-2003)
  • NASCAR looks at #41 Car: NASCAR officials weren’t sure what they’d found when an accident midway through the Southern 500 tore the side of Casey Mears’ #41 Target Dodge open. But they removed a small yellow “brick” with wires attached from inside the side of the car. After the race, Winston Cup technical director Steve Peterson supervised the dismantling of the dashboard of Mears’ car. After inspecting the back of the car’s gauge package, picking and probing at the wiring, Peterson gave the OK to Ganassi Racing crewmembers to load the car. Later, Winston Cup director John Darby said the device was simply a voltage monitor designed to track the voltage of the car’s battery.(NASCAR.com)(9-1-2003)
  • #16: #5-Terry Labonte became the 16th different winner this season. The series record for different winners in a season [modern era] is 19, set in 1956 and tied in 1958, 1961 and 2001.(as seen on my Stats and Stats Links page)(9-1-2003)
  • Craven’s Store Damaged by Fire UPDATE: An early morning fire has gutted Ricky Craven Motorsports North store along Searsport Avenue. The fire was reported to authorities at 6:30am. The store is owned by Ricky Craven, a Newburgh native who races on NASCAR’s Winston Cup Circuit. Lowell Keene told VillageSoup that he noticed some black smoke coming from the rear of the building but could not see any flames. More info at the Belfast VillageSoup.(8-31-2003)
    UPDATE: A fire gutted a store owned by Winston Cup driver Ricky Craven on Sunday. The state fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause. Waldo County officials learned of the fire around 7 a.m. Sunday when a caller reported smoke inside Ricky Craven Motorsports North. The store was unoccupied at the time and no injuries were reported. The business, which opened in September 2000, sold all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles and racing paraphernalia associated with Craven, a native of nearby Newburgh. Lauri Matheson, Craven’s sister and manager of the store, described the fire as a setback that would not put an end to the business. “We are ready to fight and build a new business,” she said. “It’s life, it does happen. We’re not going anywhere.” Matheson said in addition to merchandise, trophies and other memorabilia were destroyed. “A lot of it’s priceless,” said Matheson, adding that a temporary office was being opened. Craven learned of the fire just before the Southern 500 in Darlington, S.C., his sister said. “Then he went out there and raced a great race,” Matheson added. Craven, who won at Darlington in March, finished eighth Sunday.(Charlotte Observer/AP)(9-1-2003)
  • Newman Treated and more on the Kill switch: #12-Ryan Newman was unavailable after the Southen 500 at Darlington for an interview as he received treatment for excessive heat and some carbon monoxide poisoning.(from ThatsRacin.comAND Newman apologized over the radio for accidentally hitting the engine-kill switch on his steering wheel. A team official said after the race that a water bottle handed to Newman during the pit stop inadvertently turned off the ignition, causing the engine to stop.(Roanoke Times)(9-1-2003)
  • Biffle Injured? from The State, a quote Greg Biffle: “Man, my stomach dropped,” Biffle said. “I had about a 4-second lead and the flywheel broke coming off (Turn) 2. ‘.‘.‘. “I think it cracked my ribs, it was shaking so bad inside the car. I was in so much pain the last 70 laps; never felt so much pain in my life.”(The State)(9-1-2003)
  • Biffle signs for 2004 – could add more: At Roush Racing, rookie #16-Greg Biffle renegotiated the final year of his contract (2004) and is working to add two more years.(from the Sporting News) So that kills off another part of the ‘rumored’ Elliott to retire/Biffle to the #9. See my #9 Team News and Links page for the past stuff on this.(9-1-2003)
  • Gant and DW Inducted: Darrell Waltrip and Harry Gant were inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association in ceremonies held Saturday night at the Darlington Country Club. Waltrip, a three-time Winston Cup champion who won 84 races and now serves as an analyst on Fox Sports’ NASCAR telecasts, remembered seeing Darlington Raceway on television as a boy. “I remember in 1965 when Cale Yarborough went out of the track in Turn 1,” Waltrip said. “I was watching on television and said, ‘Wow, that’s cool.’ And that was before I even knew Cale.” Darlington is also the track where Yarborough hung the nickname “Jaws” on his frequent rival. Waltrip was inducted by his brother, Michael, while Johnny Bruce inducted Gant. Gant had 18 career victories, including four straight in a memorable streak in 1991 in which he won four straight races in the same month to earn the nickname “Mr. September.” Bruce, a long-time associate and friend of Gant’s, remembered the driver’s matter-of-fact approach to things. “Harry’s thing was always, ‘It ain’t no big deal,'” Bruce said. “Harry, this is a big deal.”(from ThatsRacin.com)(9-1-2003)
  • Blaney Back with the #77 in 2004? UPDATE: Dave Blaney, driver of the #77 Jasper Motorports Ford, should know Monday if his owners will renew his contract.(from the Winston Salem Journal)(8-30-2003)
    UPDATE: Jasper Engines’ co-owner Doug Bawel says Dave Blaney will return to drive the No. 77 in 2004. Another year with crew chief Bootie Barker should benefit Blaney and the team.(from the Sporting News)(9-1-2003)
  • Nadeau to get checked out, could test soon: Jerry Nadeau goes back to the doctor next week and if he gets clearance he could be approved for testing at Concord and Kentucky. ‘We’d put him in a late model at Concord, and give him own team and let him go over there any time he wants to,’ general manager Jay Frye says.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-1-2003)
  • No Major Changes in Points System Planned: NASCAR is not likely to make any drastic changes to the championship points system, instead focusing on alterations to the cars. Since NASCAR adopted common templates this year, drivers have complained that passing is nearly impossible and the competition is too even. By fixing that – perhaps by reducing rear spoilers by a half inch next season, thus cutting down on downforce – NASCAR officials said Sunday it would help even out the current points system. NASCAR has been toying with different ways to change the points system, ranging from awarding extra bonuses for victories and poles and changing the way points are given to cars finishing at the back of the pack. But every formula under consideration has been applied to the past 10 years final point standings, and NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said the champion never changed. Plus, talk of making changes is insulting to current points leader Matt Kenseth, who has built a tremendous lead through consistency and just one victory this season. NASCAR is still considering awarding extra points for victories and poles, but Hunter said changes to the way points are given to the back of the field will likely not change.(from the AP/ThatsRacin.com)(9-1-2003)
  • 2004 Templates and a meeting: NASCAR is putting the finishing touches on Cup templates for 2004 and plans to show them to teams and explain the differences at a September 9 meeting. Ford will have a new nose and tail, and Dodge will have a new tail.(from the Sporting News)(9-1-2003)
  • and…more on Kodak: The fate of Kodak’s NASCAR sponsorship is the topic of considerable debate at the moment, and there are reports that Jack Roush and DEI are two teams in the running for a Kodak deal, if the photo giant leaves car owner Larry McClure. However, Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing, insists his company isn’t interested in Kodak. And Ty Norris, general manager at DEI, says he doesn’t want to discuss Kodak at all. While Jeff Burton has a new contract, he still doesn’t have a new sponsor, Smith concedes. ‘We have four companies we’re quite active with, and each is doing due-diligence, because they’re all new to the sport,’ Smith says. ‘Kodak is not one of them. We haven’t not done anything with Kodak. But we would do something with Kodak if they’re not under contract with Larry McClure. But we have heard this week that marketing companies have been contacted by people with that team asking for help looking for sponsorship. But NASCAR would be the one to tell us if that particular sponsorship is available. And we’re like others, waiting to see if it opens up.'(Winston Salem Journal)(9-1-2003)
  • Lead-change report at Darlington: There were 24 lead changes, but only three occurred at speed (eliminating those that occurred due to yellow flags, pit stops and mechanical failures). The percentage of passes at speed to total passes was .125. The low was .077 (1-13, Tropicana 400, Joliet, Ill.). The highest percentage (.818, 9-11) was the season’s first race at Bristol. The season percentage is .389 (176-453).(Gaston Gazette)(9-1-2003)