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Cup News
Atwood still Looking: Casey Atwood sat on a folding chair in the Daytona International Speedway garage yesterday, glumly watching the bustle of activity swirling around him. Three years ago the 22-year-old racer from Nashville was one of the hottest young prospects in NASCAR. Now he is a spectator. When Atwood signed to race in Winston Cup for Ray Evernham, many felt that Evernham would do for Atwood what he had done for Jeff Gordon — mold him into a Winston Cup champion. But the dream ride turned into a nightmare for Atwood, who was dumped by Evernham at the end of last season. Atwood now is not only out of Winston Cup, he doesn't even have a ride in any of NASCAR's lower divisions. ''It's been pretty rough,'' said Atwood, who is a garage guest of some of his former Busch Series associates. ''I guess I've been given a lesson in reality.'' Atwood said he has no immediate driving prospects, ''because by the time Ray officially let me go all the rides were taken. There wasn't anything left. But I'm not giving up. I'll definitely get back in racing at some point.'' Atwood said he doesn't know why he was released. He was showing great progress toward the end of his rookie season in 2001 (''I almost won two of the last five races,'' he said) but was suddenly demoted to a non-competitive third car. He struggled terribly last season and by October Evernham hinted that Atwood would not be back.(Tennessean)(2-13-2003)

Dodge Ads: Dodge NASCAR drivers Bill Elliott, Sterling Marlin and Rusty Wallace, as well as racing legend Richard Petty, take a break from their day jobs to star in a new TV ad for Dodge and its line of SRT performance vehicles. The spot, titled “Race Inspired,” features Elliott, Marlin and Wallace continuing their competition off the track as they jostle to be the first to leave the garage following a race. The pushing and shoving ends with each jumping into one of Dodge’s new SRT vehicles; Wallace into the SRT-4, Marlin into the Ram SRT-10 and Elliott into the Viper SRT-10. Speeding out of the track, they pass Petty, standing next to his 1971 Dodge Charger race car, who says, “Sweet,” expressing his opinion of these new performance machines. The voiceover concludes, “Introducing the new SRT series. Race inspired. Street legal.” The 30-second spot, created by BBDO Detroit, will debut during Fox’s live broadcast of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 16. A 60-second version of the spot, including the single “Velocity Shift” by the group Overseer, will air exclusively on after the race until February 20 on the site’s sports page. On February 17, the spot and the song will be available to viewers on Yahoo’s home page and the sports page.(Dodge Motorsports PR)(2-15-2003)

Mike Ford still in...During Coverage of the Daytona 500 it was said that Mike FOrd is the crew chief for Bill(BMC Motorsports)

Elliott Withdraws UPDATE Vote for the NMPA Most Popular Driver: #9-Bill Elliott is expected to announce today that he's withdrawing his name from the circuit's Most Popular Driver contest. Elliott has won the honor 16 times. So many that the National Motorsports Press Association, which runs the contest that allows fans to pick the winner, already has decided that whenever Elliott retires, the award will be renamed the Bill Elliott Trophy.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
UPDATE: Online voting for this year’s Grands!® Biscuits NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award will officially open on Thurs, Feb 13th with the launch of But the site is missing something. Sixteen-time winner Bill Elliott’s name isn’t on the ballot. With Elliott out and the Web site now available, fans should start voting because the 2003 Most Popular Drive Award is anyone’s race. At a press conference this afternoon, Bill Elliott announced that he is removing his name from the ballot for the 2003 season. Fans have voted Elliott the Most Popular Driver more times than any other driver. Last year, he edged out Dale Earnhardt Jr. to mark his 16th victory. Grands! Biscuits is building on the fan enthusiasm for NASCAR and getting the word out about voting. The Web site,, is available for Internet voting Thursday, Feb, 13th through Monday, Nov. 17, 2003, at 11:59am/ct. Additional voting guidelines are accessible on the Web site. The official Grands! Biscuits NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver of the Year Award trophy will be presented to the winning driver during the NASCAR Winston Cup Awards festivities.(Williams Company PR)(2-12-2003)

Bill's special Shootout scheme: During the Budshoot out Bill ran a special scheme Dodge Days.(BMC Motorsports)

UPDATE 2: Smirnoff Ice Triple Black will sponsor Roush Racing driver Matt Kenseth's #17 Ford in a limited program of 2003 Cup races, beginning with The Winston all-star race in May at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The program includes at least co-primary sponsorship of Kenseth's Ford Taurus, whose five wins in 2002 led the series, for eight races and secondary status for the balance of the season. The partnership includes driver appearances, the use of show cars and image rights, a large hospitality program and an extensive social responsibility agenda. A Smirnoff spokesperson said an advertising program was in the works featuring Kenseth, who said that was one of the "coolest" aspects of the program. Kenseth will drive the Smirnoff Ice car at The Winston, Pepsi 400 at Daytona, Brickyard 400, Southern 500, Richmond (Sept), Talladega (Sept) and Atlanta (Oct). The race at Texas on March 30 is a co-primary event with Dewalt Tools.(

Million Dollar Challenge again UPDATE: DeWalt's is set to launch their Million Dollar Challenge promotion once again giving fans and end-users a chance to compete for one million dollars.(Roush Racing)(1-28-2003)
UPDATE: hearing the #17 Ford will run the Million Dollar Challenge at the Budweiser Shootout and then at Phoenix, supposedly the same scheme as last year, with a few minor decal changes(2-5-2003)

Kenseth Re-ups with Roush? UPDATE: hearing it was reported on Wisconsin's The LTN Hour radio show that Matt Kenseth, driver of the #17 DeWalt Ford with Roush Racing, has signed a four(4) year extention to remain at Roush. His contract was due to run out at the end of the 2004 season.(2-2-2003)
UPDATE: Roush Racing announced today that Matt Kenseth has been signed to new multi-year contract to continue driving for Roush Racing in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. "The renewed commitments that Kurt and Matt have made to the organization, and the reciprocal commitments that Jack Roush has made to them, will help solidify the already strong momentum that Roush Racing has in the industry," said Geoff Smith, Roush Racing president. "All Roush Racing drivers are now signed for long term periods, which will keep 'silly season' disruptions to a minimum this year and allow all of our teams to focus solely on racing and building sponsorship value," Smith continued. Said owner Jack Roush, "The signing of Matt and Kurt, along with the agreements already in place with 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."(

Elliott Dirt Tracking again: Bill Elliott participated in a private practice session at Golden Isles Speedway [in Waynesville, GA] on January 20th as a test session for his dirt car program. Elliott was joined on the 5/8-mile speed plant by dirt late model star, Ray Cook of Murphy, NC and Golden Isles Speedway owner/promoter Arlene Pittman, who aside from here promotional tasks at several South Georgia racetracks is also a competitor in the NASCAR Goody’s Dash Series. Elliott’s laps at the oiled dirt oval came as a part of his continuing enjoyment of some seat time in his dirt late model racecar.(Victory Lane Communications)(1-25-2003)

Kenseth and Smirnoff Ice? hearing #17-Matt Kenseth will race either 8 Cup or 8 BGN races with Smirnoff Ice as the sponsor, the BGN thing makes sense, since he is running 15 races with Bayer/Alka Seltzer, not sure about the Cup part of the rumor.(1-25-2003)(jayski)

Evernham/Atwood Split: Evernham Motorsports and Casey Atwood today announced that Atwood is free to pursue other driving opportunities. "Casey is a good friend and a talented driver," said Ray Evernham, president and CEO of Evernham Motorsports. "We want what's best for him and his career."(Golin Harris PR)(1-8-2003)

Atwood/Evernham still not resolved: Casey Atwood's father has denied Internet reports that his son has been fired as a driver for Evernham Motorsports. Terry Atwood admitted it is highly unlikely that his son will drive again for owner Ray Evernham, but said, ''So far Casey hasn't been told anything. We don't know what's going on. Our lawyers are still talking to Ray's lawyers.'' Atwood is not listed among the drivers scheduled for next week's Daytona test sessions.(Tennessean)(1-2-2003)

Siemens to Evernham: Siemens announced their Associate Sponsorship and Technology Partnership with Evernham Motorsports {#'s 9,19,91). "Evernham Motorsports and DaimlerChrysler are a force in racing and bring Siemens the exposure and platform for further development of technologies within NASCAR", said John Dimmerling, director of Corporate Marketing Communications for Siemens. "Racing sponsorship provides a unique opportunity for a company as diverse as Siemens. In addition to brand exposure, NASCAR has been a great place for us to showcase our broad range of products and services, build relations with our customers and discover new business. We are excited about the opportunity to continue this relationship with NASCAR through Ray and his team." For more information: Harris PR)

Casey not released from Evernham Motorsports YET..A number of NASCAR racing Web sites have reported that Nashville's Casey Atwood was fired by Ray Evernham earlier this week, but Atwood's father yesterday said those reports are incorrect. ''Casey has not been fired,'' Terry Atwood said. ''Casey's lawyers are talking with Evernham's lawyers. Nothing has been decided.'' The holdup in the official announcement might be the remaining year on Atwood's original three-year contract with Evernham Motorsports. That remaining year could be worth a substantial sum to Atwood, 22, if Evernham is forced to buy it out. Other legal issues also could be involved: Evernham shuffled Atwood into a non-competitive third car this season. That car was co-owned by Jim Smith, who replaced Atwood with another driver with two races left in the season. Evernham has refused to discuss the situation. What happens to Atwood if he's fired by Evernham is unclear.(Tennessean)(12-5-2002)

Most Popular Driver is......Bill Elliott: Continuing his dominance of fan popularity, Bill Elliott edged out fellow racer Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win the Grands! Biscuits NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award for 2002. Elliott and Earnhardt Jr. battled for the leader position in recent months as fans across the country placed more online votes than ever before as part of the only fan-based NASCAR award. Elliott, a 27-year racing veteran who drove for Dodge this season, has won the Most Popular Driver Award more times than any other driver - this marks his 16th victory. "Everyone knows that the fans are the real heart of NASCAR. I owe many thanks to them because my fans have stuck by me and kept me going all these years," said Elliott, a Dawsonville, Ga., native. "I am so fortunate to be part of this great sport and be recognized by this award." A record 3.3 million votes were cast by thousands of NASCAR fans, shattering all voting totals posted in previous years. Earnhardt Jr. actually led much of the season with Elliott's votes coming on strong in the final months. A relatively narrow margin of votes separated Elliott from Earnhardt Jr. Jeff Gordon and 2002 Winston Cup winner Tony Stewart were a distant third and fourth respectively. Rounding out the top 10 (in descending order) was Mark Martin, Bobby Labonte, Michael Waltrip, Kyle Petty, Rusty Wallace and Kevin Harvick. More than 40 drivers received fan votes. Elliott, the 1988 Winston Cup champion, has won NASCAR's two biggest races on the circuit, the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400. He was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers of all time and was the first Winston Cup driver on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The Most Popular Driver Award dates back to 1956. It began as a simple poll of the drivers and grew to incorporate all NASCAR Winston Cup competitors. Later, it included all NASCAR members. Today, it's a prestigious award voted on by racing fans nationwide. Through the years, voters' choices have ranged from the obvious to the surprising. The only driver close to matching Elliott's 16 most popular wins is Richard Petty, who's won nine times. Other past winners have included such notables as Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip.(Business Wire via Yahoo),

#17 Crew Changes? hearing that the tire changers [Phil Drye and Dave Smith] for the #17 DeWalt Union 76/Rockingham World Pit Crew Championship title team have left [Smith to the #24 and Drye to the #8 team], supposedly replaced by current #17 Front Tire Carrier Justin Nottestad and Jeremy West [from the #2 Truck team](12-2-2002)

Atwood Released: NASCAR Winston Cup team [#9,#19,#91] owner Ray Evernham has informed driver Casey Atwood he is free to seek other employment options for 2003. An Evernham Motorsports spokesperson Monday said Evernham, who plans to field a two-car Winston Cup team next season for drivers Bill Elliott and Jeremy Mayfield, indicated he would sit down with Atwood after the holidays and discuss the resolution of the final year of Atwood's contract. Atwood, 22, drove Evernham's #19 Dodge in 2001. This season, he drove Jim Smith's #7 Dodge, in which Evernham became a partner to facilitate Atwood's continued development. After Atwood struggled through 34 races, with a best finish of 11th and in 33rd in the driver standings, Smith released him and Evernham and Smith dissolved their partnership. BGN [#27, #37] owner Clarence Brewer, for whom Atwood won twice in 1999 and in 2000 before he went to Evernham Motorsports, has said he would like to rehire Atwood pending the resolution of his deal with Evernham.(

Atwood and Spencer News: Casey Atwoods future in NASCAR remains somewhat muddled and doesnt promise to get much clearer anytime soon. The former cant-miss Busch Series star had two poor years in Ray Evernhams Cup organization. He ended 2002 in an Evernham-owned Dodge while Jason Leffler took his seat in the primary #7 Evernham- Jim Smith Dodge. It’s unclear whether there is a place for Atwood in Cup next year since Evernham seems set with Bill Elliott and Jeremy Mayfield. Jimmy Spencer will join new crew chief Tommy Baldwin in Smiths #7 Dodge.(Autoweek), supposedly Atwood will end up in the #37 Brewco BGN car.(11-28-2002)

Casey in the #49???? Hearing Casey and Bobby Hamilton Sr. are under consideration to drive the #49 BAM Dodge for 2003.(Larry Woody)11-27-2002

Atwood Won't Know for another week or so: Casey Atwood won't learn his fate with Evernham Motorsports until after Thanksgiving, Atwood's father said yesterday. Atwood, 22, has one year left on his three-year contract with Ray Evernham. Atwood drove the #7 Sirius Dodge most of this season under a partnership between Evernham and Jim Smith, but Evernham terminated that partnership after Smith replaced Atwood with Jason Leffler with two races to go. ''Ray told Casey he wanted to wait until after Thanksgiving, then they'll get together,'' Casey's father, Terry Atwood, said yesterday. ''Right now, Casey doesn't know a thing.''(Tennessean)(11-22-2002)

Evernham Drivers Announce for VH1's Video Countdown


Recently, music video station VHI enlisted the announcing skills of some of racings most popular drivers, including Evernham Motorsports' own Bill Elliott and Jeremy Mayfield.

The drivers will appear on VH1's hit program, the Top Twenty Video Countdown. Hosted by Aamer Haleem, the two-hour program counts down the weeks 20 hottest videos.

This special NASCAR version of will premiere on Monday, November 25 at 5 p.m. (EST). Following the premier, the second hour of the program (featuring the top 10 videos) will be aired numerous times throughout the week.(Evernham Motorsports)

MIKE FORD OUT?????? From
"Rumor has it crew chief Mike Ford is on the hot seat and could be gone before the season opener at Daytona. How Elliott could have fallen apart so quickly is a mystery he hopefully will solve by next season." (ESPN) 11-21-2002

Busch News
UPDATE 2: NASCAR Winston Cup team owner Ray Evernham has informed driver Casey Atwood he is free to seek other employment options for 2003. (NOL)(12-02-02) UPDATE 3: Brewco Motorsports Clarence Brewer Jr. wants to sign Atwood but doesn't want to tie him up without a sponsor for the #27. Brewer also needs a driver for the #37 Timber Wolf Pontiac. He hopes to have one of his drivers in place next week. (NOL)(12-03-02) UPDATE 4: Brewco will reportedly transfer the Timber Wolf sponsorship to the #27 team (because it is on the Winners Circle program) and make the #37 team dependant on sponsorship. (12-03-02) UPDATE 5: Hearing David Green will end up with Brewco in either the #27 or #37 Pontiac with Casey Atwood driving the other car. (Jayski)(12-03-02)

CASEY BACK TO BREWCO IN THE #37? Casey Atwood is Brewco's top choice for the #37 Pontiac next season, if and when his situation with Ray Evernham is ironed out. (Winston Cup Scene)(11-21-02)