PAST NEWS AUGUST 10-16, 1998

  • Michigan Pepsi 400: Results, Starting Grid, Qualfiying Results, Practice speeds at NASCAR Online and GoRacing(has 2nd round qualifying results, very good), and Speedworld. Ernie Irvan won the pole with a speed of 183.416mph.(8-16-98)

  • NASCAR Busch Series driver Gary Laton, who was injured on Thursday in a wreck during qualifying at Michigan Speedway, has been moved out of the Intensive Care Unit at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. Laton is being treated for a head injury. He remains in fair condition and continues to show improvement.(GoRacing)(8-16-98)

  • On TNN's Inside NASCAR TV Show there was a segment on Morgan-McClure Motorsports and owner Larry McClure said not to be surprised if they form a 2nd team for 1999. Driver Bobby Hamilton said it was almost a necessity to have two teams with the current testing rules.(TNN)(8-16-98)

  • Several drivers are scheduled for testing in the days leading to the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway with the following drivers scheduled to test:
    Aug 17/18: Dale Jarrett, Tony Raines and Ted Christopher; Aug 24: Jeff Burton, Bobby Labonte, Mike Skinner; Aug 25: Burton, Labonte, Skinner, Lyndon Amick, Jason Keller, Dave Blaney; Aug 26: Amick, Skinner, Burton, Keller; Aug 27: Burton.(That's Racin')(8-16-98)

  • Nine years ago this week, NASCAR Winston Cup driver Tim Richmond died from AIDS. Unlike Winston Cup drivers who died in crashes or in accidents or from diseases that carry with them less of a political stigma, Richmond is seldom eulogized. See the rest of the iRace story at Richmond quickly forgotten by NASCAR by Steve Smith of iRace.(8-16-98)

  • It appears that NASCAR will begin use of another template in the near (maybe very near) future. We hear that a new template, aimed at keeping the roofs centered on the cars will be added to the battery of templates already in use. The new template will most likely measure the location of the rear window to be sure it is centered in the body, thus making it much easier to tell if the roof was "accidentally" shifted to the side that (surprise, surprise) helps aerodynamics when the car is in yaw, say like going around a left hand corner.(Stock Car Racing Magazine Site.(8-16-98)

  • The following is a number that anyone can call to get an update on injured BGN driver Gary Laton, 734-712-3456. When the operator answers, just ask for an update on Gary Laton. It is a recorded message.(Thanks Doug)(8-15-98)

  • 2nd round qualifying is over and the field is set for the Pepsi 400 at Michigan. Fastest 2nd round qualifier was #13 Dennis Setzer with a speed of 180.510mph(28th fastest overall). 7 teams stayed on the qst round times and 15 teams made 2nd round attempts. DW used his 11th Champion Provisional of the year and 3rd in the row with the #35 Tabasco team. Steve Grissom used his 14th prov of the year(the team is out of prov until Darlington). See Jayski's Provisional Page for who used provisionals, how many they have left, where the teams stand and who missed the race(4 teams, including Dave Marcis for the 14th time(he just barely missed being the 36th fastest) and Kenny Wallace).(8-15-98)

  • New NASCAR National Commissioner Charles Strang reviewed and upheld fines and suspensions levied against BGN driver Jeff Purvis for an incident in July at South Boston Speedway. Purvis will be able to return to racing at Richmond. Nathan Buttke drives the #4 Lance Snacks Chevy in place of Purvis this weekend at Michigan.(StockCarRacing Magazine.(8-15-98)

  • RJ Reynolds' Cliff Pennell said that his company(Winston) would be sponsoring the #23 team owned by Travis Carter and driven by Jimmy Spencer again next season, ending any rumors the sponsorship might be moving to another team.(JournalNow)(8-15-98)

  • UPDATE: Jimmy Spencer will be announcing that he'll be taking the next two weekends (Michigan and Bristol) off from driving the #23 Team Winston Ford while he recovers from a concussion received at Indy. Spencer, who has been suffering from headaches since his encounter with Indy's wall, will take the next two weeks off while he recovers. The original plan was to have ARCA star Frank Kimmel on hand this weekend to drive relief for Spencer here at Michigan, but that changed with Spencer's declaration that he was out of commission for the next two weeks.(8-14-98) - There are possible scenarios that could have Ted Musgrave driving the #23, but most hinge on whether he can get Bud Moore's #15 in the show. If he should, it's safe to assume that is the car Musgrave will drive on Sunday.(GoRacing)(8-15-98)

  • Ted Musgrave had trouble during Happy Hour just as the session was ending. The #15 Rescue Ford started trailing smoke and Musgrave limped the Moore-Robinson Motorsports entry back to the garage.(GoRacing)(8-15-98)

  • Congrats to the Bud Moore-David Robinson #15 Rescue Ford team that makes its Cup return at Michigan with Ted Musgrave behind the wheel. The team has been on the sidelines and not made a race since Atlanta in 1996.(8-15-98)

  • Alan Kulwicki, who died in a 1993 plane crash while he was the reigning NASCAR Winston Cup champion, is one of 18 finalists for induction into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. Some other include: Tim Richmond, Red Byron, Harry Hyde, Jack Ingram, Cotton Owens, Wendell Scott and Louise Smith. See the story at Speedworld.(8-15-98)

  • After 1st round qualifying the following seven teams are guaranteed to make the Pepsi 400 at Michigan based on owners points are: #3-Dale Earnhardt(9th in owner points); #23-Frank Kimmel(11); #21-Michael Waltrip(16); #26-Johnny Benson(18); #16-Kevin Lepage(19); #97-Chad Little(20); and #35-Darrell Waltrip(champ prov). Teams in trouble who are deep in owners points and 37th or worse: #96-Hut Stricklin(39); #13-Dennis Setzer; #71- Dave Marcis(44th); #78-Gary Bradberry(46). With 47 cars making an attempt, 4 will go home. Curious about where you driver/team stands in the provisional process? See Jayski's Provisional Page.(8-14-98)

  • Dale Earnhardt scheduled to qualify at the end of the first round, suffered a broken oil pump belt in his #3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevy just as he left pit road and was unable to take his lap. He will have to qualify in the second round.(NASCAR Online)(8-14-98)

  • Driver Gary Laton remains in the Intensive Care Unit at Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital following a serious crash at Michigan Speedway yesterday. His condition, as of 4:30 pm Friday, has been upgraded from serious to fair. According to his wife, Kristy Laton, he is responding to voice commands and is opening his eyes. He is also able to move his arms and legs.(GoRacing)(8-14-98)

  • I hear Ricky Craven is only going to take a Winston Cup offer if the situation is right. Otherwise, he will compete in the BGN series this year and all of next year. Ricky also plans on being in the Bud Shootout even if he has to field his own car.(8-14-98)

  • Six drivers have won four consecutive Winston Cup races in NASCAR's modern era, which began in 1972. No driver has won five straight races. 1976 -- Cale Yarborough; 1981 -- Darrell Waltrip; 1987 -- Dale Earnhardt; 1991 -- Harry Gant; 1992 -- Bill Elliott; 1993 -- Mark Martin.(Richmond Times-Dispatch. Three have won the championship in the same year: Yarborough, Waltrip and Earnhardt.(8-14-98)

  • Ricky Craven listened politely to the offers. Team A wanted the man without work to drive its car for the remaining three months of the Winston Cup season. Team B wanted him in its car. Also some notes on former crew chief Tony Furr. The rest of the story was at the Portland(ME) Press Herald but is now in an archive you must pay for to read the story, so legally I cannot post the whole story. But a reader found the story was on a Maine website, here is the new link: A lesson learned for Craven from the Maine Today website.(Thanks Scott/NASCAR1994 for the heads up and Eric for the new link)(8-13/14-98)

  • UPDATE: Qualifying was delayed for over an hour after Gary Laton smashed the turn two wall here at Michigan Speedway. It took rescue personnel about 15 minutes to extricate Laton due to concerns for Laton's condition. Once Laton was removed from his car medical personnel worked for approximately a half hour before loading the injured driver on to a life-flight helicopter for transport to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Yipsilanti Mi. NASCAR officials took the helmet that Laton was wearing at the time of the accident and his car was removed from the property under NASCAR supervision. Reports from St. Joseph Mercy Hospital indicate that Laton is in critical but stable condition and is being treated for head injury.(GoRacing), Laton is listed in critical condition, but his vital signs are stable. He has undergone a CT scan and X-rays, and doctors have determined he has a head injury and are monitoring the situation very closely.(NASCAR Online)(8-13-98) - Laton has been upgraded from critical to serious condition at St. Joseph Medical Center in Ypsilanti, Mich. Laton's wife, Kristi, released a statement to the media Friday at 11:45am/et "Gary has been upgraded from critical to serious condition," she said. "He responds to voice commands and opens his eyes. He can move his arms and legs well."(NASCAR Online)(8-14-98)

  • UPDATE: Slim Jim Meat Snacks will announce a multi-year BGN sponsorship agreement with Labonte Racing, Inc. Slim Jim Monte Carlos will be entered in all the 1999 BGN races with drivers Terry Labonte, Bobby Labonte, and Justin Labonte.(Thanks Frank)(8-11-98) - Slim Jim Meat Snacks has announced a multi-year BGN sponsorship agreement with Labonte Racing, Inc., that will result in Slim Jim Chevrolets being entered in all the races on the 1999 schedule with brothers Terry Labonte and Bobby Labonte and Terry's son Justin Labonte driving. Terry will do the majority of the driving.(NASCAR Online)(8-13-98)

  • Rick Mast will drive Jimmy Spencer's BGN #12 Zippo Chevy at Michigan on Saturday.(RPM2Nite)(8-13-98)

  • TNN Story: The press release about Ricky Craven's resignation from Hendrick Motorsports had all the soul you'd expect from one delivering such dismal, but not completely unexpected news -- the facts and not much more. There were the typical lines about it being "the best for all parties involved" which I've read all too many times this season. See the rest of the story about Craven and driver changes: It's A Performance Business Deliver Or Change By Glen Grissom.(TNN Motorsports)(8-13-98)

  • UPDATE: Some BGN rumors of note: Andy Michner a former USAC driver(also does some IRL) has a ride with BACE motorsports next year and is bringing sponsorship from Bayer to BACE along with an un-named associate sponsor to go with Bayer. Jason Keller(#57) will receive sponsorship from IGA Supermarkets for the rest of this season and in 1999.(8-11-98) - BACE Motorsports has scheduled a press conference for 9:30am/et on Friday, to announce the addition of a third BGN team. Andy Michner, a USAC driver and part-time IRL driver, will be announced as the driver for the new team.(NASCAR Online)(8-13-98)

  • Richmond Cup testing: Buckshot Jones, #00 Stavola Brothers Chevy, 8-18/20; Kenny Irwin, #28 Texaco Ford, 8-25/27; Dale Jarrett, #88 QC Ford, 8-26/27; Kevin Lepage, #16 Primestar Ford, 9-1/3.(SpeedNet)(8-13-98)

  • Dennis Setzer has been named to drive the #13 FirstPlus Ford for this weekend's Pepsi 400 presented by Devilbiss at the Michigan Speedway. This is a one-race agreement between Setzer and Elliott-Marino Motorsports.(8-12-98)

  • Frank Kimmel will be in Michigan this weekend for the Pepsi 400 presented by DeVilbiss NASCAR race. Kimmel has been asked to be ready to replace Jimmy Spencer during the race. The current plan is for Spencer to start the race and Kimmel would take over the driving duties at some point after the green flag.(Frank Kimmel Racing)(8-12-98)

  • UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt will hold a press conference on Tuesday, Aug. 11 at Morton's Restaurant in Charlotte, NC to announce his endorsement of a new nutritional line and unveiling the product to the media.(8-10-98) - Story on this Press Conference at That's Racin': Earnhardt enters a race with a crowded field.(8-12-98)

  • Ricky Craven has resigned from the #50 Bud Chevy ride. Wally Dallenbach take over the ride at Michigan for the rest of 1998.(RPM2Nite), more info on the story can be found at NASCAR Online or at ESPN SportsZone - Auto Racing an AP story.(8-11-98)

  • With each passing day Lake Speed says he is on the road to recovery after a head-on collision with a tire barrier at Sonoma, CA which forced him to put his racing career on hold. Speed has been in contact with fan club officials his about his recovery and future plans. See the story and news at: The Lake Speed Fanclub Page.(8-11-98)

  • One of America's most popular and well-respected outdoorsman, Hank Parker has formed his own BGN team. Parker is the host of "Hank Parker's Outdoor Magazine" a television show seen weekly on TNN. Hank Parker Jr. will be the driver of the team and plans to compete for BGN rookie of the year honors in 1999. See the rest of the story at TNN's Motorsports site: Hank Parker Forms BGN Team.(

  • Realtree Camouflage announced that they will sponsor the Stavola Brothers entry driven by Buckshot Jones in the upcoming NASCAR Winston Cup Pepsi 400 Presented by DeVilbiss at Michigan Speedway.(GoRacing)(8-10-98)

  • 3rd UPDATE: Hearing rumors that the #35 Tabasco team may go back to Pontiacs after Watkins Glen.(8-4-98) - Per Bill Weber on ESPN2 Bud at the Glen qualifying: expect DW to be driving the Tabasco Pontiac next week at Michigan.(8-7-98) - Confirmed during the racing shows on Sunday morning and the Bud at the Glen race coverage.(8-9-98) - the team will re-evaluate its direction as far as car make was concerned after the season.(NASCAR Online)(8-10-98)

  • Sad News: The Father of NASCAR driver Mark Martin died in a plane crash near the Great Basin National Park, authorities said. TV stations in Little Rock, Ark. reported that Julian Martin, his wife(not Mark's Mother) and a daughter were confirmed dead yesterday by authorities in Nevada.(AP/many sources), my thoughts and prayers go out to Martin and his family.
    UPDATE from GoRacing - Tragedy struck Mark Martin and his family when his father's life was taken in a small aircraft crash this past weekend. Julian Martin, along with Martin's step mother Shelly and step sister Sara were all claimed in the crash that occurred near the Great Basin National Park in Nevada. The incident appears to have happened sometime on Saturday night but authorities unsure of the identities of the parties did not get word to the Arkansas native until after yesterday's Bud at the Glen Winston Cup race. Martin considered his father Julian one of his personal heroes. No details on funeral arrangements are known at this time.(GoRacing)
    From That's Racin' - Julian Martin ran his own trucking business in Arkansas and began teaching his son Mark how to drive even before the boy's legs were long enough to reach the gas and brake pedals. Mark would sit on his father's lap to steer while Julian operated the pedals. When Mark began his racing career as a youngster, Julian and some of his friends from around their hometown of Batesville, Ark., prepared the cars that Mark drove. In lieu of flowers, the Martin family has requested that contributions be made to Motor Racing Outreach, Smith Tower, Suite 405, 5555 Concord Parkway South, Harrisburg, N.C. 28075. The contributions should be marked to the attention of Gwen Howard. Cards can be sent to Mark Martin at: Mark Martin c/o Roush Racing, 122 Knob Hill Road, Mooresville, NC 28115(8-10-98)

  • From Mike Mulhern's column on the JournalNow site: Officials at Hendrick Motorsports had little comment yesterday on the reports that Ricky Craven might soon be replaced as driver of Tony Furr's Chevy. "Ricky is our driver, and those are just rumors," Hendrick's Dan Lohwasser said. Wally Dallenbach and Randy Lajoie both ran the car during Craven's recovery this summer.(JournalNow)(8-10-98)

  • and....If Craven does lose the ride with Hendrick, he is already under consideration for another top ride . . . with Ford's Jack Roush, according to sources close to the situation. Geoff Smith, the head of Roush Racing, insists that there are no plans to try to sign him. Craven is under contract through November, apparently precluding any official negotiations. The Woods plan to re-sign Michael Waltrip and have already signed him to a letter of intent.(JournalNow)(8-10-98)

  • NASCAR's latest thinking about testing rules for 1999: the seven-test limit stands, but teams would be limited to just two cars a test and only six crewmen a car. An informal survey of car owners shows only one in favor of going to each track a day earlier each week and using that extra day as a test day.(JournalNow)(8-10-98)

  • A new official driver website: Randy MacDonald now has a site, Also, Rescue Engine Products, who will sponsor the #15 Bud Moore-David Robinson Ford that Ted Musgrave will drive at Michigan has a site at, Rescue will alos sponsor the car at other events in 1998 and is the fulltime sponsor for Blaise Alexander in the #20 BGN Chevy.(8-10-98)

  • Slim Jim will be leaving the #30 Team 34 BGN team at the end of the 1998 season. Slim Jim is concluding their future BGN plans and will have an announcement in the very near future. Todd Bodine presently drives the #30 Slim Jim Chevy for Team 34.(many sources)(8-10-98)

  • Bobby Labonte was treated with oxygen following the event after he suffered bouts of nausea and headaches due to a hole in the fresh air hose going to his helmet. Despite a destroyed race car, a broken drive shaft, a badly bruised hand and the broken hose over the course of the weekend, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver managed to finished tenth after taking a provisional to make the field and advanced from sixth to fifth in the point standings.(GoRacing)(8-10-98)

  • The inaugural Metro Detroit Ford Dealers’ "Ford Fan Appreciation Day" is set for August 12, 1998 from 4 - 8pm/et, at the Michigan State Fair Grounds. NASCAR Winston Cup drivers Brett Bodine, Dale Jarrett, Bill Elliott, Kenny Irwin Jr., Rick Mast, Dick Trickle, Michael Waltrip, and Rusty Wallace are scheduled to appear at the event. Several NASCAR Craftsman Truck drivers will also be attending. For the rest of the story and info see Ford Motorsports Site: Breaking News.(8-10-98)

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