NASCAR NOTEBOOK From Daytona Beach, Fla.
Crow, Chesney to headline concert: Sheryl Crow and Kenny Chesney are among the four singers who will headline the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert, a charity event being put on by Earnhardt's widow, Teresa. The concert is set for June 28 at Daytona International Speedway and will be the first non-racing event to be held at the facility. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Dale Earnhardt Legacy Program, a charity that will donate money to children's, wildlife and educational programs, "supporting causes Dale championed in his lifetime," Teresa Earnhardt said. Brooks and Dunn and Alabama are the other artists scheduled to perform. Tickets for the general public go on sale March 22. Premium subscribers to the Dale Earnhardt Inc. Web site, which is being launched next week, will be able to purchase tickets beginning, appropriately, on March 03 -- 03-03-03.
Bud shootout: Geoffrey Bodine, who isn't even racing in the Daytona 500, drew the pole position for the Budweiser Shootout, NASCAR's season-opening exhibition race. Bodine had no plans to race at all this season, but wound up in next Saturday night's race when his brother, Brett, entered the car he plans to drive in the Daytona 500. Geoffrey has a guaranteed starting spot in the shootout because of his win in 1992, and Brett wants to use the exhibition race to preview how his car might run next week. "This is what's called brotherly love and I'm happy to be able to help Brett out," said Geoffrey, who finished third in last year's Daytona 500. Jimmie Johnson will start his second season in the No. 2 position. Defending Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart starts 12th in the 19-car field. The race format calls for an initial 20-lap segment. At lap 20, a caution flag will be thrown and teams will come down pit road for a 10-minute break to add fuel, change tires and adjust chassis. Drivers will align themselves in the same way they finished the first segment for a final 50-lap run that will require at least one fuel stop, due to 13.5-gallon fuel cells mandated by NASCAR. Starting in the 19th spot is Dale Earnhardt Jr. "Can't get any worse, I guess," Earnhardt said.
Harvick's frustrations: Kevin Harvick said he almost quit racing last year, after being suspended in April for rough driving. "If I didn't have my wife and some people to help me, I'd be lying on a beach somewhere," he said. "I was just fed up with it." Last year was a rough one for Harvick. His 21st-place finish in the Winston Cup points standings included some bad luck and bad sportsmanship. He said the 2002 season was a night-and-day difference from 2001, when he took over Dale Earnhardt's car and enjoyed immediate success, winning twice and finishing ninth in the standings. Harvick's advice for this year's second-year guys, like Ryan Newman and Jimmie Johnson: "After the first year, you might feel like you're doing well and the next year, you're supposed to be the best. I say just go out and don't listen to all that stuff."
Breathe deep: Dale Jarrett is among drivers taking heavy oxygen treatments after races to decrease the effects of breathing heavy amounts of carbon monoxide during races. Last month, Rick Mast retired because of chronic carbon monoxide poisoning that he left him nauseated, tired and with a constant headache. "That is what I lived with for five and a half weeks, seven days a week," Mast said. Years of working in and around cars can have a cumulative effect. Symptoms often sneak up on drivers because carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas. "You get more susceptible the longer your system is exposed to it," Jarrett said. "But this new system has been unbelievable for me."
-- Associated Press