Random News - October 2000

Beneath The Banyan Trees
CUTLER RIDGE, FLA. (October 25)- - Jeff Gordon tested at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday in preparation for the Pennzoil 400 on November 12. He'll also drive the Pepsi Chevrolet in his final Busch series race on Saturday, November 11 at Homestead. Gordon tested at the track last year but struggled to a 10th place finish in the inaugural race in Homestead. The long, flat corners at Homestead place a premium on handling. "Itís certainly one of the most unique race tracks," Gordon said. "Itís one thatís really important to test at and get information in the computers. Itís such a tricky race track to get around. Itís hard to find the right combination." Unofficially, Joe Nemechek turned the fastest lap among the 20 Winston Cup teams that tested at the track.

State Of The Rainbow
HARRISBURG, N.C. (October 18)- - Jeff Gordon and crew chief Robbie Loomis recently discussed a variety of topics including the Talladega race, the rest of the 2000 season, testing plans, and the state of the DuPont team as it progresses into 2001. The pair also brought up something that is becoming increasingly rare in Winston Cup racing- time off. Gordon also addressed something that most had been wondering about. "Even if we had made no changes this year and Ray Evernham was still there, it was getting tougher and tougher for us to dominate the way we did," Gordon said. "There are just times when you hit on things. You put a team together and it gels and it comes together and goes extremely well. You try to hold on to it as long as you can. We did that, and now it's time to move on, rebuild and try to get that back and hold on to it as long as we can if we get it back."

+Jeff and Robbie interview

Testing In Kentucky
HARRISBURG, N.C. (October 16)- - Kentucky Speedway, a 1.5-mile oval track located just a few miles south of Cincinnati, has become a hotbed for Winston Cup testing. Kentucky was bypassed by NASCAR for a 2001 Winston Cup date as the organization chose to visit Chicago and Kansas City next year. Teams are only allowed seven test sessions at tracks on the current Winston Cup schedule. However, testing is unlimited at tracks not on the schedule. The track provides a groundwork for handling, engine performance and other functions in preparation for races at Las Vegas, Charlotte, Atlanta, Texas, and tracks of similar dimensions. The cost of renting the track is $5,000 a day, and teams usually rent a day or two with a contingency day for rain. Hendrick Motorsports is scheduled to test on Monday-Wednesday, November 6-8. "Fans can come down if they wish and have a view of Turn 3 behind the Speedway Administration Building and gift shop," Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Cassis said. "We've been told by drivers and teams, 'We'll test no matter how cold it gets as long as the track is dry.'" (Cincinnati Post)

Scenes From A French Restaurant
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (October 14)- - Jeff Gordon fueled up the night before the recent UAW-GM 500 at Patou, a Charlotte-area French restaurant. Patricia Moity, who owns the restaurant with her husband and chef, Thierry, says Brooke Gordon stopped by for lunch on Friday and then brought Jeff back for dinner Saturday night. The NASCAR star very unassumingly asked for a table for two and drank a bottle of Evian during his dinner of spinach salad and pepper steak. His wife had salad and halibut before the couple shared a bread pudding, Moity said. (Business Journal of Charlotte)

A Chat With Rick
HARRISBURG, N.C. (October 12)- - Hendrick Motorsports CEO Rick Hendrick recently sat down for a chat on a number of subjects. He discussed the season's fortunes and misfortunes of his three Winston Cup teams and drivers Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte, and Jerry Nadeau. In addition, he talked about his 20-year-old son Ricky who has been impressive in a limited Busch and Truck series schedule this year. Hendrick also discussed the addition of a fourth Winston Cup team in 2002 for Jimmie Johnson and the expanding NASCAR schedule. But the most important thing he mentioned was his health. "I'm feeling better every day, and my checkups are great," Hendrick said. "I hope by the end of the year I'll be back to full speed. You don't put your body to sleep for three years and on chemo and all that stuff and just bounce right back as soon as you get off. It's been a struggle. One thing I have learned, you get up every day and thank the Good Lord you're here and you've got a chance to do it again."

+Rick Hendrick conversation

Benefit Auction
HARRISBURG, N.C. (October 12)- - The Driver of the Year award program made a $25,000 donation to The Jeff Gordon Foundation following the auctioning of the Jeff Gordon Indian Chief Motorcycle. The Jeff Gordon Foundation centralizes Gordon's charitable efforts toward a variety of charities. Each year, Indian Motorcycle Corp. creates two custom motorcycles for the winner of the driver of the year award. The winner of the award receives one motorcycle, with the other being auctioned through Southeby's Auctions. The proceeds go to the charity of the driver's choice. The Jeff Gordon motorcycle was purchased by the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum located in Birmingham, Alabama. The motorcycle will remain on permanent display at the museum. (

Continuing Problem
SPENCER, IN. (October 7)- - This item underscores the national problem of guns and violence. It is mentioned here because of the item that started the argument that led to the unfortunate outcome. It's a situation that happens all too often these days in the United States.

+Barroom shooting (Hoosier Times)

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