• #13 DONE but...: This was reported in the Richmond Times today - A spokesperson at Bill Elliott Racing said the team's second car, the No. 13 Ford Taurus, definitely would be in Daytona in February. A driver and a sponsor will be announced at a later date. FirstPlus, last year's sponsor, is not definitely out, but the company's financial problems could endanger the sponsorship. Although FirstPlus has reduced its workforce by 3,000, sold off its United Kingdom branch and is selling its Consumer Finance Company, the organization is listed as the sponsor of an ARCA race in Daytona(Richmond Times) but sources tell me this team is done and will NOT race at Daytona or at all in 1999(12-11-98) -- but just heard that Dennis Setzer just might attempt the qualifier for the Bud Shootout, since he is eligible. FirstPlus will NOT be part of the deal. It's in the talking stages right now(12-12-98)

  • NASCAR to Washington TODAY: Some of the most powerful and influential people in NASCAR racing have been invited to Washington D.C. in order to make a two hour presentation elaborating on the history, present success, and future goals of the organization responsible for the fastest-growing sport in North America. NASCAR's Night at the Smithsonian will be held at the Lisner Auditorium on the campus of George Washington University on Tuesday, December 15 from 7:30-9:30pm/et. Jeff Gordon will be joined by NASCAR executives Bill and Brian France will be joined by a potent group of past and present NASCAR champions, including Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Ron Hornaday and Kyle Petty. The group will be asked several questions on the past, present and future of their sport by an emcee. The all-star panel will then respond to questions from the audience in an open-house format(Many Sources)(12-12-98)

  • Exxon/Mobil: Penske-Kranefuss Racing says the merger between Exxon and Mobil will not affect the team's sponsorship for the 1999 season(Winston Cup Scene)(12-11-98)

  • Skinner OK: #31 Lowe Chevy driver Mike Skinner underwent a scheduled successful arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday at North Carolina Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem. Skinner underwent the procedure as an outpatient and was in and out of the hospital Tuesday, a Lowe's Chevrolet team spokesman said. Skinner is at home resting and is fine. Skinner's left knee was injured in three areas, including a complete tear in the lateral meniscus, a pad of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between the bones that connect at the knee (the femur and the tibia); a 70 percent tear in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which connects the femur and tibia at the center of the knee; and a partially torn articular cartilage, which covers the ends of the bones and acts as a cushion between the two. Skinner hopes to test at Daytona on the 2nd test date, Jan. 19-21(NASCAR Online)(12-11-98)

  • New RYR Crewchief: From That's Racin' - A source close to the situation said Robert Yates Racing will name Doug Richert as the new crew chief for the #28 Fords driven by Winston Cup 1998 rookie of the year Kenny Irwin. Irwin's former chief, Richard "Slugger" Labbe, was released following the season finale at Atlanta. An official announcement of Richert's hiring is expected by early next week. Richert has been the chief for Joe Falk's #91 Chevrolets since December 1997, also in Thursday's NASCAR Online Banquet Notebook.(12-3-98) -- mentioned on Raceday(TNN), that the announcement would come early this week(12-6-98) -- Officially announced in this weeks Winston Cup Scene(12-11-98)

  • TV Deals: NASCAR is studying whether to consolidate its widespread television contracts to take advantage of the sport's surging popularity. Under the current structure, track owners sell the television rights for their own races, resulting in races during the nine-month season appearing on five broadcast and cable networks. A sixth network, NBC, will join CBS, ABC, ESPN, TNN and TBS next year, and Fox has expressed interest. See the rest of the News and Record Online story at: NASCAR considers bundling TV deals(12-10-98)

  • Gibbs to the NFL? Former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, who also owns two Cup teams and NHRA teams, has joined Phoenix businessman Sam Grossman's bid for the Washington Redskins and their stadium, agreeing to take an ownership stake and supervisory position if Grossman is successful in acquiring the club. Grossman, a shopping center developer, reportedly will allow Gibbs to continue operating his NASCAR racing team and his motivational speaking, his two major pursuits since resigning as Redskins coach in 1993. The Washington Post said Grossman would want Gibbs to be in charge of football operations, setting long-term strategy for the club, having a voice in coaching and player personnel decisions as well as operation of the franchise's Jack Kent Cooke Stadium(The Washington Post), also a story at RaceWire(12-10-98)

  • Cope Crew Chief: Bahari' Racing has hired Dan Glauz as its new crew chief for driver Derrike Cope. Glauz, 39, replaces Doug Hewitt, who left at the end of the 1998 season to become Kyle Petty's crew chief. Glauz was a crew chief for rookie Mark Krogh in the NASCAR Busch Series at the beginning of the 1998 season. He closed out the season as Bobby Hillin's crew chief(Derrike Cope Fan Club Site, more info there)(12-9-98)

  • DW Crew Chief? UPDATE 2 Hearing JT Townsend, who has worked with Harry Gant, Ernie Irvan's Kodak Busch and Cup deal, and has been over the fab shop at Travis Carter for 3 yrs, will be the crew chief for DW and the #66 Kmart Travis Carters team -- hmm...another source says it'll be Pete Petersen(12-8-98) -- Petersen has been hired by Ricky Rudd as the Shop Foreman and will not be the crew chief. I also hear that NO decision has been made on a crew chief for the #66 team at this time(12-9-98)

  • #7 to Chevy's UPDATE 2: I also hear that the #7 Mattei team will buy up some of the chevy's from the SABCO left over from the #46.(11-11-98) -- Jim Mattei, owner of the #7 Winston Cup car for Michael Waltrip in 1999, said the team will switch from Ford to Chevrolet and will form an alliance with Team Sabco next season(That's Racin')(12-8-98) -- #7 team owner Jim Mattei has signed Phillips to another year of sponsorship, but the company will have less signage on the car than it did last season. The team is looking for additional sponsorship. Mattei said the team also is switching from Ford to Chevy. The change was brought on, in part, by a new joint venture with Team SABCO. The Felix Sabates-owned team ran three cars last season but lost a sponsor and plans to run two cars in 1999. Now, Sabates will work with Mattei on engines and chassis. This will allow Mattei the advantages of multicar teams without the expense(Times-Dispatch)(12-9-98)

  • #13 Back? NOPE Done UPDATE 3: I hear that the Elliott/Marino #13 Ford Team may be sponsored again by First Plus with Rick Mast as the driver for the 1999 season -- also from the Times-Dispatch: The Bill Elliott/Dan Marino team is planning an announcement later this week concerning the #13 car. Rick Mast and Service Merchandise reportedly have talked with the owners at various points late in the season. -- UPDATE: Sources tell me that Bill Elliott Racing is officially a ONE CAR team. First Plus could not make a commitment. Ten employees were released today. Future plans call for a two-car team again in 2000(Jayski Note: Got some complaints about the conflicting reports, sorry, put them up as I got/found them, didn't have time to combine them)(12-2-98) -- UPDATE 2: From the #13 to the #94 - Eddie D'Hondt has been named Team Manager and Tire Specialist. #13 Crew Chief Jerry Pitts will be the assistant Crew Chief and R&D Manager. Gary Putnam will be the Car Chief(12-3-98) -- Just saw this on NASCAR Online: A spokesperson for Bill Elliott said the Elliott-Marino Racing team was still waiting for a definite word on the status of FIRSTPLUS Financial's continued sponsorship of its #13 Ford Taurus. The team expects to know something, more than likely by Monday, the spokesperson said(NASCAR Online Thurs Notebook)(12-4-98) -- Nope this team is done, Bill Elliott returns to a one car team in 1999(WC Today Radio)(12-8-98)

  • Bobby Allison BGN Team UPDATE: Bobby signed a 3 year contract to be the team consultant for Bobby Allison-Dave Carroll Motorsports. This team will field cars for the Busch Grand National Series for the 1998 season. The driver - Jimmy Kitchens, is a local Alabama man that Bobby thinks has a lot of potential. This team will be competing on a full schedule.( - thanks Jimmy for the heads up)(12-4-98) -- the team will field Chevy's and be sponsored by Air Jamaica Vacations(NASCAR Online)(12-8-98)

  • Snowball Derby Winner: Rich Bickle won the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola Florida before what observers are saying ws the largest crowd ever. The top five were Rich Bickle, Gary St. Amant, Freddie Query, Bobby Gill, and Ronnie Burkett. Burkett came from 29th starting spot for the fifth place finish. look for results later at Snowball Derby News - Florida Stock Car News(12-7-98)

  • T Wayne award: The late T. Wayne Robertson, former vice president of Sports Marketing Enterprises, the sports marketing and promotions division of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, was honored at a Friday morning breakfast by the National Motorsports Press Association with the 39th annual TOSCO 76/NMPA Myers Brothers Award. See the complete story at: 1998 NMPA Myers Brothers Award(12-7-98)

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