Random News - August 2002

Chat Session
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (August 28)- - Jeff Gordon participated in an online chat session on NASCAR's website on August 28. The major topic was his victory at Bristol, as well as comparisons to the bump pass he made on Rusty Wallace versus the move that Robby Gordon made on him at Loudon last year. He noted the similarities but also the differences. Gordon also lauded the efforts of Jimmie Johnson and said that Hendrick Motorsports is looking to extend the contracts of Johnson as well as Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse. He discussed his approach to life in general-- just taking things one day at a time as they come rather than focusing too far ahead. One of the more interesting questions asked Gordon whether he had any regrets about his racing career or his life. "No way. How could I have any regrets," Gordon responded. "I have exceeded anything I thought I would accomplish. I can't imagine anything going any better than they have so far."

+Chat Transcript

The Dapper Driver
CUTLER RIDGE, FLA. (August 22)- - Jeff Gordon visited Homestead-Miami Speedway in mid-August to participate in a fashion photo shoot for Ocean Drive Magazine. At the all-day shoot on a humid South Florida day, Gordon wore labels such as Hugo, Hugo Boss, Miu Miu, Donna Karan, Fere, and Dolce & Gabbana. The fashion spread featuring Gordon will appear in the November issue of Ocean Drive Magazine in conjunction with the November 14-17 NASCAR weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Photo: In style

F1 Test On Hold
INDIANAPOLIS, IN. (August 2)- - Jeff Gordon was scheduled to trade cars with BMW Williams driver Juan Montoya on August 12 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Montoya was to drive the #24 Chevrolet while Gordon took a turn around the infield Formula One course in Montoya's BMW Williams. However, a spokesperson for General Motors said the date was good until word of a scheduling conflict for Montoya arose. Thus far the issue has not been resolved. "Let's all keep our fingers crossed," said Gordon who has looked forward to test driving an F1 car. By all accounts, the swap between Gordon and Montoya is just for their own interest (fun) and does not represent a career altering path for either driver.

On August 7, Daily F1 reported the following:
"The test has been delayed because there is concern that the NASCAR race scheduled for this weekend at Watkins Glen, New York will be rescheduled to Monday because rain is forecast for Sunday's event. It is unclear when the 'discipline swap' will go ahead but it is not likely to happen later in the week. Montoya is due back in Europe to race in the Hungarian Grand Prix the following weekend."

New Marketing Director At HMS
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (August 18)- - Hendrick Motorsports has named Patrick Perkins as director of marketing, assuming the duties of longtime company executive Dan Lohwasser, who lost his courageous three-year battle with cancer last month. Perkins, who joined HMS in 1999 as marketing manager and transitioned to director of marketing services in October of 2000, will lead sponsorship acquisition and servicing efforts while overseeing a 15-person department responsible for public relations, merchandising and licensing. After graduating college in 1992, Perkins joined Phoenix International Raceway as marketing manager. In 1995, he became vice president and general manager of Phoenix-based Associated Companies, a group of advertising and promotional agencies specializing in the retail automotive industry, where he stayed until joining HMS in 1999.

Looking Out On Central Park
NEW YORK, N.Y. (August 8)- - Jeff Gordon joined Kelly Ripa to co-host "Live with Regis and Kelly" on Thursday, August 8. It was Gordon's third co-hosting appearance on the popular morning show. He co-hosted with Regis in January 2001 and with Kelly in April 2002. In the opening segment Gordon discussed a recent birthday present that posed a high insurance risk-- an Arlen Ness motorcycle. Later in the show the hosts chatted with actor Vin Diesel, Brickyard 400 winner Bill Elliott, and Colin Cowie whose blender soon rendered "frozen concoctions that help me hang on."
After exiting the TV studio, Gordon joined NASCAR President Mike Helton at a press conference in front of the Engine 23 firehouse where NASCAR donated two motion-based driving simulators for training fire and ambulance drivers to the New York City Fire Department. Gordon tested the simulator which takes a fire truck or an ambulance through the city streets in a variety of conditions-- fog, rain, darkness, or crowded streets. "They're getting experience behind the wheel without going on the streets," Gordon said. "It makes it safer for them." Gordon helped Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta behind the wheel of a demonstration simulator. No word on his lap times around Columbus Circle.

HMS Loses One Of Their Own
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (August 2)- - Dan Lohwasser, the marketing director at Hendrick Motorsports, passed away on July 31 after battling cancer. He was 53. Lohwasser managed sponsorship activities for Hendrick Motorsports, including the acquisition and development of corporate sponsors for each Hendrick team. In addition to sponsor relations, Lohwasser oversaw all marketing and public relations initiatives for Hendrick Motorsports, and served as a chief advisor and assistant to Rick Hendrick, founder and CEO of Hendrick Motorsports, and John Hendrick, President of Hendrick Motorsports. Lohwasser came to HMS from Muhleman Marketing in 1998 where he served as public relations counsel to HMS, among other clients. In his tenure with Muhleman, Lohwasser served as a spokesperson for Rick Hendrick during Hendrick's battle with cancer in the late 90's. Before joining Muhleman in 1986, Lohwasser was a sports reporter for The Charlotte Observer. He also worked at United Press International and The News and Observer following graduation from the University of North Carolina in 1974. During the Vietnam War, Lohwasser served his country as a helicopter pilot.
Condolences to his family and friends, and to his extended family on Papa Joe Hendrick Boulevard.

Gone Shopping
INDIANAPOLIS, IN. (August 2)- - Jeff Gordon appeared on "For Race Fans Only" on the QVC shopping channel on Friday, August 2. The show originated live from the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Gordon discussed his 2002 season, his racing roots in Indiana, and a number of new products for viewers to call-in and order. Among the highlights was the new Sesame Street car to benefit The Jeff Gordon Foundation.

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