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Autos briefs

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 24, 2000

NASCAR fines Buschdriver, two crew chiefs

DAYTONA BEACH -- Two Busch series crew chiefs and a driver were penalized by NASCAR on Wednesday for rules violations in Saturday's race.

Ben Holm, crew chief for the No. 81 Chevrolet driven by Blaise Alexander, was fined $22,500 and placed on probation for the rest of the year for unauthorized parts and changes to the car that allowed "additional air to be picked up," NASCAR said.

Todd Berrier, crew chief for driver Kevin Harvick, was fined $3,000 for adding weight to the car. Driver Kevin Grubb was fined $2,000 and placed on probation for the rest of the year for hitting another car on pit road after the NAPAonline 250 in Brooklyn, Mich., ended.

WALLACE CHANGES CAR: Rusty Wallace will drive a new Ford on Saturday in the 500.

"This sport mandates that you keep getting better and better," Wallace said. "You can't stop one minute to rest on your laurels. Everybody is working so hard that they catch up and blow on by. So we felt it was a smart thing to go with a new car."

Wallace has eight victories on the Bristol, Tenn., short track. He also won the Pepsi 400 on Sunday at Michigan Speedway. It was his 52nd career victory, leaving him eighth in Winston Cup series wins.

WAITING ON ANDRETTI: Up to 15 of CART's 25 cars could be in new hands next year, with Michael Andretti the linchpin.

Andretti has two option years left on his contract and Carl Haas, who operates Newman-Haas Racing, was able to guarantee one year.

"I understand Carl's situation," Andretti said. "He just doesn't want to roll the dice. But at this stage of my career, I don't want to do a one-year deal."

But he wants a victory in the Indianapolis 500 -- a race his father, Mario, won in 1969 -- just as much as he covets another series title.

Haas also has no interest in spending the money to race in Indy Racing's Indy 500, as fellow team owner Chip Ganassi did this year.

"Once Michael makes up his mind, everything else will start to fall into place," team owner Derrick Walker said.

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