Notes of Interest 2002-12-02

NEW YORK (Dec. 2, 2002) - Champion's Week and other news. * What's on tap tomorrow for the champion... Stewart will be in New York City and his Tuesday itinerary will include visits to a Fire Department of New York and a New York City Police ...

NEW YORK (Dec. 2, 2002) - Champion's Week and other news.

* What's on tap tomorrow for the champion... Stewart will be in New York City and his Tuesday itinerary will include visits to a Fire Department of New York and a New York City Police Department precinct, and appearances on Today (NBC), Best Damn Sports Show Period (FOX) and Interview with Greta Van Susteren (CNN).

* Turkey trot... Stewart spent the Thanksgiving break doing what he enjoys most - racing. On Saturday, he won the USAC Midget and Sprint car finales at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Stewart started fifth in the 40-lap Midget event and sixth in the 40-lap Sprint car event. Fans were treated to a special autograph session by Stewart, who sat through intermittent rain for 90 minutes and signed autographs for more than an estimated 1,000 fans. Earlier in the week, Stewart also won the 40-lap Turkey Night Grand Prix sprint car race Thursday night before a sellout crowd of 6,500 at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway. He also competed in the Midget race, but was knocked out of contention when he was hit from behind and caught up in an accident. Also of note: NASCAR Busch Series driver Kasey Kahne finished second in the Midget race; Stewart had NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Terry Cook serve as his crew chief at Irwindale.

* Team USA triumphs... Four-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon and rookie teammate Jimmie Johnson also got their racing fix over the holiday week. Gordon and Johnson teamed with world superbike champion Colin Edwards to power Team USA to the Race of Champions Nations Cup title in Gran Canaria. The format consisted of three racers from each of the nine countries involved with each individual specializing in one of the three disciplines - circuit racing, rally/off-road and motorcycling. Gordon handled the circuit duties, Johnson was the rally/off-road specialist and Edwards took care of the motorcycling. Gordon was key in the semifinals as he defeated Formula 3000 champion Sebastian Bourdais in the final race to lead Team USA to a 3-2 win over France. Team USA posted a 3-1 win over Italy in Saturday's championship as Edwards scored a pair of victories and Gordon earned the other. Gordon defeated European touring car champion Fabrizio Giovanardi by .15 of a second to put Team USA up 2-0 in the final while Edwards closed it out. Johnson was strong in his effort, but fell to World Rally driver Renato Travaglia by 0.65 of a second. "Jimmy probably had the worst record among us and yet he was probably the best driver on our team," Gordon said. "He had a tough draw facing guys who race these type of cars in these types of conditions every weekend. But he was putting up some great lap times and giving those rally drivers all they could handle. I'm glad we participated in this event. It was a lot of fun and it was cool racing for our country."

* NASCAR College Tour hits the road... The NASCAR College Tour presented by the Coca-Cola Company will kick off Tuesday with a visit to North Carolina A&T. The tour, which is designed to build awareness about the motorsports industry and its exciting career opportunities, will visit Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions. Dr. Marcus Tillery, chairman of North Carolina A&T and head of the manufacturing systems department, will serve as host. "The NASCAR College Tour presented by the Coca-Cola Company will allow North Carolina A&T students to meet leading industry representatives and learn more about these careers from an insider's perspective," Tillery said. "We're excited they chose to kick-off the tour here." Tomorrow's panel includes the following NASCAR Diversity Council members: Dora Taylor, NASCAR Senior Manager of Diversity Affairs, NASCAR; Bill Lester, who drives the No. 8 truck in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series; Tinsley Hughes, co-owner of BH Motorsports -an African American owned NASCAR Winston Cup team with the National Guard as their sponsor; Odis Lloyd, Director of Automotive Aftermarket, NASCAR; and Wayne Clapp, Executive Director, Association for Minorities in Motorsports (AFMIM). The NASCAR College Tour presented by the Coca-Cola Company will also be visiting additional schools in 2003. For more information, call Dora Taylor at (386) 681-4210.

-nascar-

Champion's Week - Day One:
Stewart visits with President Bush at White House

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Fabrizio Giovanardi , Jimmie Johnson , Terry Cook , Kasey Kahne , Colin Edwards , Bill Lester