Road Racing Rigs
The circuit got one of its biggest boosts in November 2002 when ESPN 2 broadcast a 30-minute documentary that examined the history of Super Truck Racing in Europe as well as the efforts to create a similar series in North America.
Soon a television deal was reached with the sports programming network, and the race, so to speak, was on.
ArvinMeritor provides the driveline and axle components, Haldex supplies brake systems and Elan Motorsports Technologies Group, based out of Atlanta, will manufacture spec rolling chassis and provide technical support to the series and its teams.
This year the circuit held three races. The first was the Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway in California July 25-27. Next up was the Grand Prix at Mosport, which was held Aug. 15-17 at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario. The last event of 2003 was the Road America 500 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., Aug. 22-24.
In 2004 the Tonka Series will get serious. While the schedule has yet to be finalized, as many as 12 to 18 trucks are expected to converge on road courses across North America for a given event.
Nextel Takes the Wheel
The ‘Winston’ is gone from NASCAR’s ‘Winston Cup’
The legendary Winston Cup, for 31 years the ultimate prize in stock car racing, is headed for the pits.
And in its place comes a brand new prize with the name Nextel on it, as one of America’s giant wireless communication corporations steps in to sponsor NASCAR races.
Meet the Driver
Hometown: Chemung, N.Y.
Drives Hooters-sponsored cars for the race team he owns.
Bodine has raced in Winston Cup since 1986 and scored his only career win in 1990 when he captured a victory at North Wilkesboro. He became a driver/owner in 1996 and has yet to score a top-5 finish since he began pulling double duty.
Bodine is a graduate of the University of New York at Alfred with a degree in mechanical engineering and was inducted into the Waverly (N.Y.) High School Hall of Fame in 2000.
A 10-year, $700 million deal between the Nextel Corporation and NASCAR will mark the end of the line for R.J. Reynolds’ sponsorship of the sanctioning body’s senior circuit.
The announcement that Nextel would be the new title sponsor of NASCAR’s premiere circuit means the communications giant will spend $40 million per year in rights fees and another $30 million annually to promote the sport.
Nextel is the leading provider of wireless communications services on the largest all-digital wireless network in the country.