Silly Season Settles In Daytona For Speedweeks 2002

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Nov. 26, 2001) -- When watching all the Speedweeks 2002 activities from the grandstands of Daytona International Speedway, guests might want to keep their Daytona 500 program nearby.

There have been plenty of changes as the NASCAR Winston Cup Series wrapped up its season, which means fans will see a plethora of new sponsors, paint jobs and driver-team combinations as teams prepare for the 44th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 17.

Here's a synopsis of who's going where.

Jimmy Spencer is switching department stores. He leaves the No. 26 Kmart Ford fielded by Travis Carter and takes over the No. 41 Target Dodge (formerly No. 01) of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Meanwhile, Joe Nemechek, a native of Lakeland, Fla., will fill Spencer's seat in the No. 26 Kmart Ford.

Jeremy Mayfield, who parted ways with Penske Racing and the No. 12 Mobil 1 Ford, has joined Ray Evernham's operation driving the No. 19 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid, replacing young Casey Atwood, who'll drive the No. 7 Dodge in a joint effort by Ultra Motorsports and Evernham Motorsports.

Hut Stricklin and Hills Bros. have left the No. 90 Junie Donlavey Racing Ford and joined Bill Davis Racing, replacing Dave Blaney and Amoco. Stricklin will drive the No. 23 Hills Bros. Dodge (formerly the No. 93) while Blaney moves over to the No. 77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford replacing Robert Pressley.

Robby Gordon goes full-time behind the No. 31 Chevrolet of Richard Childress Racing with sponsorship from Cingular Wireless. Gordon replaces Mike Skinner and Cingular Wireless replaces Lowe's Home Improvement.

Skinner landed with the No. 4 Kodak Chevrolet from Morgan-McClure Motorsports, a team that has won the Daytona 500 three times. Lowe's Home Improvement will back Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Chevrolet fielded by Hendrick Motorsports.

Kenny Wallace will continue to fill in for the injured Steve Park in the No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet fielded by Dale Earnhardt Inc. Ryan Newman will contend for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year title in the No. 02 Alltel Ford. Jeff Green will wheel the No. 30 AOL Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing.

With all these moves, there are still more changes to go. The future of the No. 12 Mobil 1 Ford, the No. 33 Chevrolet of Andy Petree Racing and the No. 92 Dodge of Melling Racing remains undecided. Also, a replacement for Ron Hornaday in the No. 14 Conseco Pontiac for A.J. Foyt Racing has yet to be named.

Tickets for Speedweeks 2002 events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.

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