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As The Crankshaft Turns, Busch Series Cabela’s 250 , GFS Marketplace 400
AS THE CRANKSHAFT TURNS

WEDNESDAY
GEAR RATIOS WILL BE RESTRICTED IN 2004

NASCAR, in an attempt to help keep costs down and bring more competition to the Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck divisions, they plan to implement a gear rule in 2004. Brian France, CEO of NASCAR said, "We conferred with our team owners at length on our initial ideas and their input. In the end, we had to put individual agendas aside and formulate a rule that was in the best interest of the industry. RPM's have been on a continual rise since the 1970's and the associated costs to gain an edge in that area have escalated substantially during that time as well. We have also noticed a substantial decrease in the number of engine builders over the past several seasons and this new rule should help reverse that trend.”

OK, what this means race fans is this, NASCAR will restrict the teams to what they determine gear ratios will be at each track which will limit the RPM's that all the engines will be able to generate in a race. They hope this will reduce costs in engine research and development for the teams and hope to give all the teams a fair shake in the races. Race official will inspect the teeth on the pinion and number of teeth on the ring gear during the inspection process. They also intend to install in all the competing vehicles with a data logger which will measure the ROM's while on the track and will be located near the ignition system.

The other thing that NASCAR officials have decided on is that they will reduce the rear spoilers in the Nextel Cup Series by an inch at all non-restrictor plate tracks starting in 2004. This is an attempt to reduce aero-push and bring the race pace closer together and help in passing.

I miss the old days!!

WEDNESDAY
MCSWAIN GETS JOB WITH WOOD BROTHERS

Michael "Fatback” McSwain has a new job with the legendary Wood Brothers who own the #21 Ford Taurus driven by veteran Ricky Rudd, according to co-owner Eddie Wood. Ben Leslie has been crew chief for the team will stay on until Bristol's Sharpie 500 and then will go to work for Ford in their Racing Technology Department. This will re-unite Rudd and McSwain who back in 1999 had three wins and four poles when Rudd owned his own team. Then when Rudd sold his team in 2000 to go race with Robert Yates Racing, McSwain followed and the pair won two poles that season. In 2001 they got


their third pole and first win that year at Pocono and later in September they won at Richmond. In 2002 they won at Infineon. At the end of 2002 Rudd went to drive for the Wood Brothers and McSwain went to work as crew chief for Bobby Labonte at Joe Gibbs Racing.

Good luck guys and good to see you together again!! Now win some races!!!

WEDNESDAY
CHANGES IN NASCAR'S UPPER COMMAND

Robin Pemberton, who has been around NASCAR's Nextel Up Series for years as a crew chief for the likes of Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, Kyle Petty and most recent working as Field Manager for Ford Racing. Over the years Pemberton was able to guide drivers to 23 wins and 250 top ten finishes. With the new Nextel Series upon us, Pemberton has been brought back into the mix of the series as Vice President of Competition. He will be the liaison between NASCAR and the three top divisions, Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck. the three directors of the three divisions will report directly to Pemberton who then will report to President of NASCAR, Mike Helton.

Other changes in NASCAR are happening to Gary Nelson, who has been overseeing the Research and Development Center in Concord, North Carolina, has been officially promoted to Vice President of Research and Development. Another big step for NASCAR is moving Steve O'Donnel who handled Director of Business Operations has been moved up to Managing Director of Events and Operations. Brian France, Chairman/CEO of NASCAR said, "These decisions demonstrate our commitment to our competitors and fans. The addition of Robin Pemberton gives us an important new level of leadership in the garage that we thing the teams will embrace. As for Gary Nelson's promotion it is well deserved. He has led our safety imitative efforts and been vital to the establishment of our Research and Development Center. Steve O'Donnel is one of NASCAR's "up and comers” and is a representative of the depth of talented young people at NASCAR working to make our sport better every day.”

Good luck boys in your new positions!!

THURSDAY & FRIDAY
TOM BALDWIN KILLED IN CRASH

Tom Baldwin Sr, father of veteran crew chief Tommy Baldwin was killed in a crash at Thompson International Speedway in Thompson, Connecticut on Thursday night when he was participating in a featherlite modified race. According to witnesses Baldwin Sr was trying to avoid a collision when he was exiting a turn and he went into the infield where he struck three cement blocks that were located near a light post. Then fellow racer Ronald Silk that had gotten out of control and ended up in the infield as well struck his car. The race was originally scheduled for 150 laps but after ten lap race officials postponed the race because of the accident and late hour.

The police and NASCAR officials have agreed to work together in the investigation of the accident and both Baldwin's and Silk's cars have been sent to the police barracks in Danielson, CT for further investigation. As for Tommy Baldwin Jr, crew chief for the #9 Dodge driven by Kasey Kahne, he will be at the race at Michigan on Sunday.

Team owner Ray Everham said on Friday, "Tough day all the way around. Don't know what to say with Tommy's loss. I've known that family for a long time, his dad was a great guy, someone I'll always look up to. Just a tragic loss for the whole sport, and our thoughts and prayers are with Tommy and his family right now.” Everham did have his Competition Direct



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