Craven Focused On
By DAVE MOODY
race is a big race for
on the bullrings of northern
up, I loved the
she clearly holds a special place in Craven’s heart, the “Magic Mile” has
not yet allowed him to claim her ultimate prize. Like a pretty schoolgirl
playing hard-to-get, she has allowed him to visit
the past, I may have gotten too caught-up in the whole `coming home’
business,” he admits. “The week before
going to change this week.”
who once lived just two miles from the speedway in nearby
allegiance I have with
softening is back in the news this week, after Late Model driver Jim Cilley was
suspended for the balance of the 2002 season and all of 2003, the result of
illegal tires detected prior to last Thursday night’s “Times-Argus
Midseason Championship” at Thunder Road. It was Cilley’s second
tire-related suspension in the last three years, as the
ACT officials have not commented on the degree to which Cilley’s tires were
altered, sources say the violation was detected during a pre-race durometer
(hardness) test, and confirmed when Cilley’s tires were physically dismounted
from the wheels, revealing a foreign substance inside. Ordinarily, teams are
required to purchase their tires immediately prior to each week’s race,
eliminating the opportunity to treat them with illegal softening compounds. Last
week’s race, however, marked the first time this season that teams have been
allowed to run used tires; an attempt to trim their inventory and save money.
thought you could run anything you wanted in practice,” said Cilley, claiming
he never intended to run the treated tires in qualifying or the main event.
“We were going to Riverside (NH)
did not dispute that the tires in question had been altered, saying, “We knew
it was there. Hell, everyone
knew it was there. We were flying past everyone in practice. But I’d have to
be some kind of idiot to cheat in my sponsor’s race.
never had any intention to run those tires at
officials, however, said the tires in question had been registered by Cilley as
the tires he intended to race that night, and the track’s hand-written
registration sheets appear to confirm that assertion. In addition, written
notices are posted at a number of locations in the
we sat down at the winter meetings, the big question was how we were going to
police the tire softener ban in the `used tire races,’” said Thunder Road
owner/promoter Tom Curley this week. “We told everyone categorically that we
were not going to allow the stuff on the property. I told them we would check
tires, we’d go into their trailers, we’d look for cans of the stuff in their
cabinets; whatever it took.
Cilley made a very bad decision when he decided to run treated tires at this
said that while he is obviously finished at
his words, “There are other tracks.”
at the Hudson (NH)
ACT President Tom Curley said the
…Former NASCAR Late Model Sportsman champion Morgan
Shepherd has entered Sunday’s “New England 300” Winston Cup race at
Loudon. Shepherd was a regular competitor at
…Winston Cup driver Kevin Harvick will return to the
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this weekend at NHIS, his first appearance on the
series since April, when a skirmish with Coy Gibbs – and the off-track antics
that followed – resulted in him being "parked" by NASCAR for the
next day's Winston Cup race at Martinsville, Va.
…Despite not knowing who will drive his second car
next season, Robert Yates is moving full steam ahead to add a third entry to his
stable. Sources say Yates has completed negotiation with Domino's Pizza to
sponsor the new car, whether or not current driver Ricky Rudd retires or moves
to another team. M&M/Mars – which announced recently that it will not
return to the #36
Dale Jarrett’s UPS-sponsored Ford will remain
unchanged for 2003, leaving Yates with two distinctly different scenarios. If
Rudd retires or moves, the Yates stable will consist of
Jarrett in the #88 UPS Ford, Sadler in the #28 M&Ms Ford, and a
still-unknown driver in the new Domino’s Pizza Ford. If Rudd stays, it’s
Jarrett in the #88, Rudd in the #28, and Sadler in the new car.
that down, there will be a test later.
...Speaking of Schrader, the veteran driver is
reportedly talking to Petty Enterprises about driving their #44 Dodge next
season, the latest in a growing lost of drivers hoping to be penciled into that
…ACT Dodge Tour rookie Ryan Moore finished third
Sunday in the annual “True Value 250” at
…Dale Earnhardt, Inc. announced this week that Michael Waltrip will drive their NAPA-sponsored Chevrolet for at least two more seasons. "Michael Waltrip is living up to what Dale saw in him. He's a tremendous asset to the company, both as a driver and as a part of the company's personality," said team owner Teresa Earnhardt in announcing a two-year extension of Waltrip’s contract.
will move Busch Series driver Greg Biffle to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series,
beginning in 2003. Biffle’s current sponsor, Grainger Industrial Supply, will
remain with the team.
top quote came from Chicagoland Winston Cup winner Kevin Harvick, after
defending series champion Jeff Gordon called his move to take the lead on the
apron of the racetrack 'stupid.' In his words, "Jeff Gordon got second.
Maybe if he'd have been a little braver, he might have won."
…Quote of the
Week II: Robert Yates on the chances of Ricky Rudd returning for 2003; "I'd
say it's slim. I think his best situation would be (to go) somewhere that will
be very competitive and pay very well. That's just not in my deal. My deal is
sign that the apocalypse is upon us? Hermie Sadler as a professional wrestler.
Sadler, who weighs approximately 150 pounds soaking wet, wrestled NWA
“superstar” K-Krush in
have really enjoyed being on the show,” said Sadler. “It is all about
Hermie, it’s about making a doofus of yourself in public.
…It’s another busy week of racing on the local
scene, beginning with tonight’s “Fisher/Federated Auto Parts Fan
Tomorrow, Winston Cup Bud Pole Qualifying takes to the
track at NHIS, while tomorrow night, Canaan (NH)
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series invades NHIS Saturday afternoon for the “New
Hampshire 200,” followed by the “
And finally, Devil’s Bowl Speedway in