Beating Around the Busch: Chapter four Bristol
By: Thomas Chemris
Pennsylvania's Andy Belmont will attempt to run the O'Reilly 300 at the Texas Motor Speedway. Belmont will run the NO. 91 Southern Plan Services Ford, owned by Stanton Barrett. Belmont and Barrett are corporate teammates as both receive sponsorship from OdoBan. A privately held premier manufacturer and marketer of cleaning products for household, institutional and commercial use worldwide.
Belmont, who is no stranger to Busch competition currently is competing in the ARCA Remax series where is has finished in the top five in points for the past five consecutive seasons.
Also from the Keystone state, Mr. Excitement, Jimmy Spencer, who had planned to run his own team at Bristol, made a deal with Crew Chief Tommy Baldwin to run for Baldwin's team in a one-race deal with Food City as the sponsor. Tommy Baldwin Racing has run part time Busch schedules for the last three years, with Ward Burton, and Wally Dallenbach taking the wheel. Dallenbach, a sports analyst for NBC, broadcasted from the car during several events in 2002.
Spencer will stick with his plans to resurrect Spencer Motor Ventures at Texas.
In preparation for the Texas event, several teams headed to the Lone Star state to test. Included in the testing is third generation driver Stedman Marlin who lapped the 1.5-mile super speedway aboard the Keystone Light Dodge. Marlin tested in race trim during the incident-free day with speeds in the 181 mph range. "This is a big race for our team," said Marlin. "Keystone (Beer) is big in this area. We want to put on a good show for them. The track is a little slower than last year. It seems like it has dropped a half-second (per lap). There isn't nearly as much grip that makes the driver more important. This is one place that I love to race." notes Marlin.
Also testing in Texas are Kerry Earnhardt and Troy Kline,
USA today named Bobby Hamilton Jr's dog Mr. Coco as Best dressed in an article on America's athletes and their pets. Coco made his National appearance in the Craftsman truck series event at Darlington as his owner's dad (Bobby Hamilton) took the checkers in the Craftsman 200.
Lance Norick, who was scheduled to run the No. Twenty-six Dr Pepper entry at Bristol decided to sit out after staying an extra day in Texas to make up a rained out test day. Veteran Kevin Grubb was in the ride for another week. Grubb started sixth, and crashed out on lap 157 to finished twenty- seventh. Carroll Dr. Pepper Racing has indicated it would like to run a multi-car team with both drivers if additional funding can be found.
Team Amick announced it is exploring the possibility of reuniting 2000 Champions Jeff Green and Harold Holly for a part time ride. Indicating that they are exploring sponsorship possibilities, no further plans have been released.
For the second week in a row, Todd Bodine and his Herzog Jackson Motorsports entry are on top of the standings, and fighting not to shut down. Initially, the team announced it would only run the first five races of the season without securing a primary sponsor, however with the success the team is experiencing they have committed to continue through Texas.