PAST NEWS AUGUST 17-23, 1998

  • Bristol Goody's 500: Race Results, Starting Grid, Happy Hour results, 1st Round Qualifying Results, 1st and 2nd Practice speeds at NASCAR Online, GoRacing(also has 2nd round), Speedworld and That's Racin'. GoRacing has a real different way of breaking down the points.(8-23-98)

  • From SpeedNet, an interestin RUMOR about Budweiser: There is rumbling that Budweiser, sponsor of Hendrick's 50 car, may be looking for a new situation in the next year or two. That could help explain the team's apparent urgency in dismissing driver Ricky Craven and its ongoing driver search for next season. One rumor had Budweiser taking its sponsorship to Andy Petree's #33 team, with long-time Bud loyalist Ken Schrader. Skoal then would be moved to Petree's new second team, with driver Kenny Wallace. Petree team sources said yesterday, however, that both team sponsors are in place, with Skoal sticking with Schrader and Square D coming aboard with Wallace. Observers say Budweiser may or may not be in play. There is talk, however, that Budweiser may wait out one more year with Hendrick, then make a move on Dale Earnhardt Jr. when the talented youngster moves to Winston Cup (with his dad's team) in 2000.(SpeedNet)(8-23-98)

    More rumors from Mike Mulhern of the JournalNow, some a tad on the wild side:
    1. Kmart officials are studying a possible return to the Winston Cup tour, according to NASCAR sources. One of the men who could land a Kmart sponsorship, Ricky Rudd, presumably for his proposed second team.(I assume this is as a primary sponosr as they are on the #2 and #12 teams in an associate role, also Ricky Rudd, announced at Indy that he would not start a 2nd team)
    2. Michael Waltrip is pulling out all the stops in his search for a new ride, and his name is being mentioned in connection with the Larry Hedrick and Jim Mattei rides. Hedrick's team failed to make last night's race; the Statesville team has had to use provisionals in 14 of the year's first 21 races. Sources close to Waltrip say the Mattei option, which would keep him in a Ford, may be the more likely.(not sure if this means as a replacement for current drivers or as a 2nd team car)
    3. RJR officials are mulling over a proposal to kick off the 2000 Winston Cup season with a Dec. 31 race in Las Vegas, 9 pm until midnight. If that comes off, then the off-season between the last race of the 1999 season, which will apparently be Nov. 21, and the first race of the 2000 season would be all of five weeks.(this seems unlikely, but who knows)
    4. Steve Hmiel is one of the big questions in the garage. Will he stay with Jack Roush or move on? Hmiel is head of Roush's Liberty operation, which fields cars for Johnny Benson and LePage. But Roush-North has been overshadowed this season by Roush-South, where Mark Martin and Jeff Burton work out of. Hmiel is one of the top crews and team managers in the sport. If he moves on, there is speculation he could move to Richard Petty's operation. That's where Hmiel got his start back in the early 1980s. Hmiel still lives in the Petty neighborhood, and a move to Petty Enterprises might make more sense than a move to Charlotte. A few years ago Hmiel took a job with Rick Hendrick, as manager of his three teams, but Hmiel quit after only a few days on the job, saying it didn't feel right.
    5. An unnamed Nashville businessman is a potential new Winston Cup car owner, according to NASCAR sources who say an offer is in the works to purchase a part of Brett Bodine's team.
    6. Indy-car man Chip Gnassi is once again considering a Winston Cup effort, according to sources close to the situation.

  • Brett Bodine suffered from heat exhaustion and dehydration after the blower in his car went out early in the race. He was taken to the care center, where he received oxygen and fluids. He is expected to fully recover and was replaced in the #11 Ford by Kenny Wallace, whose car was wrecked early in the race(actually blew a motor). Wallace brought the #11 car in with a 26th-place finish. (That's Racin'), Ernie Irvan also needed relief when his in car fans gave out and he was taken to the infield care center, Ward Burton drove for Irvan and came home 22nd.(NASCAR Online)(8-23-98)

  • Dale Earnhardt won $19,800 the first time he raced at Bristol Motor Speedway in 1979. Saturday night, he made his 39th start there and went past the $1 million mark for career earnings here. Earnhardt, who has eight Bristol victories, came into the Goody's 500 with $989,136 at this track.(That's Racin')(8-23-98)

  • ARCA and Busch driver Gary Laton, badly injured in a crash at Michigan last week, has been released from St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ypsilanti and will begin rehabilitation. A release said doctors are encouraged by Laton's rapid recovery and have recommended outpatient treatment.(SpeedNet)(8-23-98)

  • Larry McReynolds is unsure of his plans for 1999 with RCR and the #31 team. McReynolds says his contract, which runs through the year 2000, was voided when team owner Richard Childress swapped crew chiefs between the #3 and #31 with McReynolds going to the #31 team and driver Mike Skinner. McReynolds says he is not sure if he will stay with the team after this season. Much depends on the progress he makes with the #31 team and Skinner. He also says the recent success of the #31 improves his chances of staying with the team.(Winston Cup Scene)(8-23-98)

  • I hear Randy Lajoie will drive for James Finch next year with Mark Reno as crew chief, possibly as a teamate to Jeff Purvis in the #4 Lance Snacks Chevy(8-22-98)

  • I hear the new Gordon/Evernham Motorsports 1999 Busch team will be #24 and the sponsor will be Pepsi.(8-22-98)

  • BGN driver, Gary Laton has been released from St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ypsilanti just a week after being seriously injured in a Busch car in Michigan. Laton will continue his recovery at the Charlotte Institute of Rehabilitation.(JournalNow)(8-22-98)

  • Hearing Gary Bradberry will be the driver for a new BGN team being put together in Birmingham, AL. Supposedly plans are to run the full schedule in 1999.(Jpaidfo)(8-22-98)

  • 2nd round qualifying is over: 14 teams stood on their 1st round times, including all drivers from 26th thru 36th place and #50- Wally Dallenbach, #36 Ernie Irvan and Darrell Waltrip in the #35 Pontiac. DW made the race once again on the past champions provisional. Of the eight who made 2nd round attempts none could crack the top 36. Dick Trickle was the fastest 2nd round with a speed of 120.581mph. Steve Grissom, out of provisionals missed the race as well as did Dave Marcis for the 15th time in 1998. To see who used provisionals and missed the race, go to Jayski's Provisional Page.(8-22-98)

  • Saturday morning practice speeds were dramtically slower in the heat of the day. Dick Trickle was fastest at 120.580mph.(36th fastest speed in 1st round was 121.236mph).(8-22-98)

  • Four teams made the top 25 and the race but failed to get a front pit stall and have to pit on the dreaded back pit stretch: #42-Joe Nemechek(22nd); #26-Johnny Benson(23); #16-Kevin Lepage(24) and #77-Robert Pressley(25).(8-22-98)

  • Tony Stewart, driver of the #44 Shell Pontiac, had the wind knocked out of him in the big BGN crash at Brsitol Friday night and was transported to a local hospital after problems with breathing. X-rays were negative and it appeared he just had the wind knocked out of him, minor medically but can feel awful none the less. Doctors released Stewart late Friday.(Stock Car Racing Magazine)(8-22-98)

  • The last time a driver won 5 NASCAR Cup races in a row was 1971 when Richard Petty and Bobby Allison did it. That was before the modern era when they cut back the number of races run. Allison won at Charlotte, Dover, Michigan, Riverside and Houston. Petty won at Malta, NY, Islip, NY, Trenton, NJ, Nashville and Atlanta. The all-time record NASCAR winning streak is Petty's famous 10-race romp in 1967 -- from Bowman Gray Stadium, Columbia, SC, Savannah, GA, Darlington, Hickory, Richmond, Beltsville, MD., Hillsboro, Martinsville, VA., and North Wilkesboro.(JournalNow)(8-22-98)

  • Seven Cup 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.; 1998 -- Jeff Gordon(current streak). What did the drivers do in the following race? Yarborough 2nd; Waltrip 2nd; Earnhardt 4th; Gant 2nd; Elliott 20th; Martin 6th; Gordon 5th (RPM2Nite)(8-19-98)(reposted to go along with the above story)(8-22-98)

  • Race fans who bring three canned goods to one of Kyle Petty's souvenir trailers this weekend at Bristol will receive a free "Race to End Hunger" t-shirt, while supplies last. Fans responded in such numbers that t-shirts ran out during the Food City 500 in March. So, WCYB-TV and Electric 99.3 FM are printing twice as many shirts for the Goody's 500.(NASCAR Online)(8-22-98)

  • UPDATE: Former NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year Ken Bouchard is scheduled to make a return to the series in the Goody's 500 driving a Ford Taurus(#85) owned by Thee and Frances Dixon.(NASCAR Online)(8-20-98) - Bouchard failed to make the race.(8-22-98)

  • Teams that failed to make the field in first round qualifying and are 26th or worse but are guaranteed to make the Goody's 500 based on owners points: #3-Dale Earnhardt(8th in points); #43-John Andretti(11); #4-Bobby Hamilton(13); #36-Ernie Irvan(14); #40-Sterling Marlin(15 and he missed a race); #97-Chad Little(16) and #94-Bill Elliott(champ and 17th). The four teams that would miss the race if things stayed the same: #41-Steve Grissom(no prov's left); #85-Ken Bouchard(no provs); #78-Gary Bradberry(46th in owners points); and #71-Dave Marcis(44)-(FYI-this is not bashing any of these drivers, just stating a fact). The problem for the teams that were 37th or worse is that the track will be hotter during the day, plus after the BGN race, the track will be greasy and slippery. To see where the drivers and teams stack up in the provisional standings check Jayski's Provisional Page.(8-21-98)

  • Another NASCAR Speedpark has broken ground in Sevierville, TN(20 miles SE of Knoxville). Sterling Marlin visited the facility on Thursday(8-20) for the groundbreaking ceremony. They are also building a NASCAR Cafe there. See the story at the Knoxville News-Sentinel(8-21-98)

  • Philips Consumer Communications L.P. has been signed as an Official Marketing Partner for NASCAR's 50th Anniversary celebration, said Clay Zimmerman, vice president of North American Marketing for PCC. As an Official Marketing Partner, PCC will be entitled to use the anniversary logo on packaging and promotions for its corded and cordless telephones and other electronic gadgets. Phikips is also the sponosr on the #7 Mattei owned Ford with Geoff Bodine driving.(SpeedNet)(8-21-98)

  • No driver has ever won at Bristol from 24th or further starting spot.(ESPN2 Qualifying), Dale Earnhardt won from 24th in the 1994 spring/day race. In 75 Winston Cup races at Bristol, 17 have come from the pole, 12 from the outside pole. 66 races have been won from a starting position of 10th or better.(research by me), Earnhardt is the last driver to win the Goody's Headache Powder 500 at Bristol and championship in the same year, in 1987.(8-21-98)

  • 47 cars will attempt to make the Goody's Headache Powders 500 for 43 spots. Info on the Bristol race can be found at my page: Nextrace: Bristol.(8-21-98)

  • Didn't catch this earlier, Elliott Sadler is driving the #92 Trop Artic Diamond Rudge Chevy in the Goody's 500, he didn't make it during first round. But he was 32nd fastest which may be good enough to get him in as 2nd round speeds may be slower because of the heat.(8-21-98)

  • UPDATE: Officials from Morgan-McClure have called a press conference for this afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway. A sponsorship deal could be announced.(not sure if this is for a 2nd team or something to do with the current Kodak team)(see Bristol Herald-Courrier) - Morgan-McClure Motorsport's announcement today was that Landair Transport, Inc. and Forward Air Corporation, both of Greeneville, TN, will be associate sponsors on the Kodak MAX Film Chevrolet beginning this weekend at Bristol. Terms were not disclosed but this is a multi-year deal. The announcement was made by Scott Niswonger, Chairman of both companies, and Larry McClure, President of Morgan-McClure Motorsports. Landair Transport is a high service level truckload carrier, while Forward Air is a high service level contractor to the air cargo industry, providing time-definite service in the U.S. and Canada. The announcement was made to the public around 12:30 p.m. EDT. An announcement was made to the some 200 employees of the two companies this morning in Greeneville and was met with cheers.(Williams Company of America, Inc.)(8-20-98)

  • Ricky Rudd tested the #10 Tide Ford at Greenville-Pickens Speedway on Monday and Tuesday while #11 Brett Bodine, #91 Morgan Shephard, and #9 Jerry Nadeau tested at the Speedway on Wednesday.(MRM)(8-20-98)

  • Kenny Schrader will have a busy weekend: After the Bristol race on Saturday night, he'll fly to Springfield Illinois, where he will run the ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde, Allen Crowe Memorial 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The track is a 1 mile, clay, oval. Schrader will drive the #38 QuicShine 99 Chevrolet for Team 83 owner Ed Rensi as a teammate to ARCA driver Jeff Finley(ARCA Racing Site - thanks Jill)(8-20-98)

  • Dave Marcis was angry about not getting a provisional last weekend at Michigan, and vented his frustration by saying NASCAR doesn't care about helping the people who need help to make races. Marcis is a fine gentleman who has given a lot to the sport, but the sport also has given at lot to him. If NASCAR wanted to tailor its rules to help the people who need help, it should aim at younger drivers who will make the sport's next generation of stars, not a 57-year-old who is just trying to hold on.(David Poole's Random Thoughts at That's Racin')(8-20-98)

  • I hear the #13 FirstPlus team is going through many changes: Team Manager Joe Schnieder was supposedly released on Tuesday(8-18). The team is also being moved to the #94 team shop in Charlotte and about half of the team personnel quit.(8-19-98)

  • Kyle Petty plans to use one of his father's cars in the NAPA AutoCare 500 on Sunday, September 27 at MArtinsville. Kyle Petty tested one of his #44 Hot Wheels Pontiacs and a STP painted Pontiac at Martinsville Speedway. Petty hasn't tested at Martinsville in several years, but believes using one of the Petty Enterprises cars could mean a great finish next month.(SpeedNet)(8-19-98)

  • Geoff Bodine will throw out the first pitch at a NY Yankees game on August 24th when the Yankees play the Anahein Angels. Apparently, Philips is sponsoring the promotional night and will distribute souvenir baseball cards. During the 7th inning stretch, they'll be giving out 7 baseballs autographed by both Don Larsen and David Wells, the last two Yankees to pitch perfect games. The tossing of the ceremonial first pitch will be part of the pre-game activities at about 6:30pm/et(Corning(NY) Leader/Elmira(NY) Star-Gazette - thanks Tim)(8-19-98)

  • Innovative Motorsports and leading BGN Rookie of the Year candidate Andy Santerre announced a new crew chief today. Nicholas Short, a former crew chief for Bobby Hillin, has been hired to replace interim crew chief Butch Enders on the #47 Monro BGN team. Details at North East Racing News.(8-19-98)

  • In part from a story on NASCAR Online about Dale Jarrett testing at Darlington with a fast lap of 167.151mph - Jarrett's Robert Yates Racing team was joined at the test by NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regular Mike Wallace, who was on hand in the David Blair(#27) Motorsports Ford. Wallace's best effort was 163.375 mph. See the story at Jarrett makes "hot lap" in Darlington testing. Wonder if this means we'll see Wallace in the #27 Ford at Darlington?(8-19-98)

  • BGN driver Gary Laton is listed in good condition Wednesday at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital as he continues to recover from injuries he suffered in an accident during Qualifying last Thursday at Michigan Speedway in Brooklyn. Laton was moved to a private room earlier this week. The tracheotomy tube that has been helping Laton breathe normally since the accident is expected to be removed today. A CT scan was negative and doctors have been pleased with Laton's progress. Laton is up and walking around, but is still "battered and bruised" from the accident. The hope is that Laton can return home to North Carolina as early as this weekend.(NASCAR Online)(8-19-98)

  • Steve Grissom will drive Jimmy Spencers #12 Zippo BGN Chevy at Bristol on Friday night.(NASCAR Online)(8-19-98)

  • Winston Cup star Kenny Schrader will run in the BUSCH series race at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend in Andy Petree's #15 Oakwood Homes Monte Carlo. This is the same car they ran at Daytona, then wrecked at Richmond. It has been repaired and converted to a short track "high rail" (raised right side frame rail for increased ground clearance) car and has been traveling around in the hauler as a back-up. (Marketing Performance Group via Stock Car Racing Website)(8-19-98)

  • In part from the JournalNow: The Wood Brothers, who are now part of the Jack Roush camp, with Roush handling sponsor and driver negotiations and marketing, with rookie Matt Kenseth at the wheel that would be based somewhere north of Charlotte. But the 2nd team is a whole different project. So Ted Musgrave, Wood said, is on their list, and possibly Wally Dallenbach. Among the options for Michale Waltip are Bill Elliott's second ride, a Felix Sabates deal(?) or a Bud Moore deal.(JournalNow)(8-19-98)

  • Jimmy Spencer will sit out the Bristol races this weekend. Ted Musgrave will sub for Spencer in the #23 Winston/No Bull Ford.(WC Today)(8-17-98)

  • Jerry Nadeau will once again be at the wheel of the #9 Cartoon Network Ford at Bristol this weekend. Nadeau is on a race-to-race basis right now.(8-19-98)

  • Dennis Setzer will drive the #13 FirstPlus Ford at Bristol and possible at New Hampshire and Darlington.(RPM2Nite)(8-18-98)

  • Official Wood Brothers/Michael Waltrip Press Release about Waltrip leaving the #21 CITGO team at Wood Brothers Official Website, go to Current News.(8-18-98)

  • Earl Sadler and Son Racing announced today that they have signed Bobby Hamilton Jr. as a BGN driver for 1998 and 1999. Bobby Hamilton Jr., son of Winston Cup Driver Bobby Hamilton, will begin racing the #95 Sadler Busch cars next month at Richmond. Bobby will run four Busch Grand National races and two ARCA races with the Sadler Team this fall. Bobby will then run the full 1999 BGN schedule for the Sadler Racing Team. Thanks Chris for the heads up.(

  • UPDATE: A few readers have emailed me saying that per Michael Waltrip on the John Boy and Billy radio show - The Big Show this morning that Waltrip will not be in the #21 Citgo Ford in 1999 and that Waltrip the Wood Brothers decided to tear up there letter of intent he signed a few weeks ago. Supposedly there will be a Press Release this afternoon. - It is now mentioned on NASCAR Online and GoRacing has a story at: Michael Waltrip Will Leave The #21 At Season's End and another story at TNN Motorsports. Waltrip is currently looking at opportunities for next season. In addition the Wood Brothers have not decided on who will drive the CITGO Ford next year.(not to mention the 2nd Wood Bros/Roush car that they will run in 1999, supposedly with Matt Kenseth behind the wheel)(8-18-98)

  • Some Cup stats of interest at GoRacing's Pepsi 400 Presented by DeVilbiss Wrap-Up.(8-18-98)

  • NASCAR Winston Cup driver Joe Nemechek and Team SABCO owner Felix Sabates have reached an agreement which will take them into the new millennium. Originally, Nemechek's contract was valid through the end of the 1999 racing season. However, the new three-year arrangement has the BellSouth driver signed with Team SABCO through the year 2001.(8-18-98)

  • UPDATE: As reported before Buckshot Racing will field a Busch team next year, Buckshot won't drive as he'll be in Cup, but two names being mentioned include Wayne Grubb and Larry Pearson.(8-17-98) - I hear it is Kevin not Wayne up for this ride.(8-18-98)

  • Sterling Marlin will drive the Whitaker Racing entry in the Food City 250 BGN race at Bristol on Aug. 21. Marlin secured a sponsorship deal with Rayovac earlier this year. Whitaker also intends to field a car for Marlin at the All Pro Bumper to Bumper 300 at Charlotte Oct. 3. The season-ending Jiffy Lube Miami 300 at Homestead Motorsports Complex in November is another possibility."(Bristol Herald Courier, thanks Ann)(8-18-98)

  • Elton Sawyer is supposed to run a special paint scheme at Bristol in the #38 Barbasol Ford. It's supposed to celebrate Barbasol's anniversary(not sure which one.(8-18-98)

  • UPDATE: I hear Jeff Gordon has purchased two Chevrolet dealerships in Greenville, SC. Supposedly to be run by the Hendrick Automotive Group but will be owned by Gordon.(8-17-98) - Jeff Gordon did buy a dealership about a month or more ago. It is in Wilmington, NC. It is suppost to be run under the Hendrick Automotive group as well.(Jodi via StockCarFans Newsletter)(8-18-98)

  • Ford's Preston Miller says his company will be presenting a new cylinder head to NASCAR in the next few weeks for approval for the 1999 season. Ford teams have been developing the new cylinder head, which is a little taller than the current head, giving engine men more room to work with inside the engine.(JournalNow)(8-18-98)

  • Marsh Racing & Ted Christopher have announced a new associate sponsor for the #13 BGNN & BGN race team. In a partnership with General Motors, SAFE KIDS BUCKLE UP will be on their cars this season. For more details, see North East Racing News.(8-18-98)

  • Sort of an update on the next story: Ashland Oil is merging with Marathon Oil. Ashland is based in Eastern Kentucky. The company is known as Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC (MAP), formed January 1, 1998, from the downstream operations of its long established parent companies, Marathon Oil Company of the USX-Marathon Group, a 62 percent interest owner and Ashland Inc., a 38 percent interest owner. Many Ashland employees have had to pack up and move to Findlay, Ohio, the new base of operations.(a few readers and the Marathon Ashland Petroleum Website), see ya learn something new everyday(8-18-98)

  • Of particular interest in the NASCAR garage is the current merger mania among oil companies, and Ashland Oil (Valvoline sponsors Martin) is considered the next target of a takeover. With British Petroleum(BP) taking over Amoco, Bill Davis (who has a three-year contract with Amoco for a Busch-Winston Cup deal, with Dave Blaney) and his team are following that situation closely. And Pennzoil, one of racing's top sponsors, with two Winston Cup teams (Earnhardt-Park and Chuck Rider-Derrike Cope) and Indy-car teams too, is acquiring Quaker State (which has been a major Winston Cup sponsor for years, once with a full car, now as a major associate with Rick Hendrick's teams)(JournalNow)(8-18-98)

  • Interesting chart done by Joe Fink the StockCarFans Newsletter/Webpage Trivia Guru comparing Steve Grissom vs. Dave Marcis at: Comparison and the unfairness between Steve Grissom and Dave Marcis.(8-17-98)

  • NASCAR Winston Cup Series team owner(#90 Helig Meyers Ford) WC "Junie" Donlavey has been selected as the second-quarter nominee for the National Motorsports Press Association/Pocono Spirit Award.(NASCAR Online)(8-17-98)

  • An oil-temperature problem forced Ted Musgrave to park the #15 Rescue Engines Formula Ford, owned by Bud Moore-David Robinson, after 136 laps. The team and Musgrave decided to park the car before they broke anything. Musgrave still is under contract to Roush, who is paying him. Moore said he hopes to meet with Roush this week to work out a more settled arrangement. Moore plans to run selected races the rest of this season in preparation for a full year next year.(SpeedNet), Darlington is the next planned race for the team and Moore hopes to have Musgrave in the car there.(8-17-98)

  • As we know, Tracy Leslie will be leaving the #63 Hensley Racing BGN Lysol Chevy(not Pontiac) at the end of the year, one driver being rumored to drive the car in 1999 is former BGN Champ Chuck Bown.(8-17-98)

  • I still hear IGA will become Jason Keller's sponsor on the #57 BGN Chevy for the rest of 1998 and in 1999.(8-17-98)

  • UPDATE 2: Devilbiss, presenting sponsor of this weekend's Pepsi 400, will sponsor Morgan Shepherd's #91 LJ Racing Chevy for the race at Michigan.(NASCAR Online)(8-14-98) - Didn't see any Debiviss decals on the #91 car, not sure what happened there. - Devilbiss was on the #91 car this weekend but in a very small spot on the lower rear Quarter.(8-17-98)

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