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PAST NEWS JANUARY 1998


(1-31-98)

  • Jeff Gordon and Kenny Mayne will be co-hosts for ESPN’s Daytona coverage on SportsCenter Feb. 12-13 at 6:30pm(et). ESPN will have a half-hour Daytona SportsCenter Special after the Daytona 500 on Feb. 15 at 7pm(et)(SpeedNet)(1-31-98)
  • Check out the image of the #33 Skoal Chevy to be driven in the Bud Shootout next weekend. Pretty much like I described it a few weeks ago. See it at: www.country.com. On the Friday NASCAR Today radio show, Andy Petree said they were going to run SB2 engines at Daytona. I reported last week that he would not – wrong(1-31-98)
  • Looks like those rumors were true: “Bud Moore Engineering has announced that, with driver Tim Steele still recovering from the lingering effects of injuries — including a mild concussion — suffered in a crash during a practice session at Atlanta last November, it will not enter the 1998 Daytona 500. It could be as late as July before Steele will be able to return to action., will also not compete as scheduled in the season-opening ARCA FirstPlus Financial 200″(NASCAR Online)(1-31-98)
  • Tim Flock went home from the hospital today (Friday) around noon. He plans to be in Daytona for Speedweeks.(1-30-98). See the story at Flock vows to be in Daytona. Because he has no medical insurance to offset the costs of the medical
    treatment, the family has been forced to sell some of Tim Flock’s memorabilia gathered during his racing career. The most treasured pieces he plans to sell are his two NASCAR Grand National Division (Winston Cup) trophies. Don Flock said the family hopes to get at least $100,000 apiece for the trophies. Don Flock said any potential buyers can contact him at (704) 593-0690 in Charlotte.(NASCAR Online)(1-31-98)
  • Per NASCAR Online: “Tim Steele, the two-time defending Bondo/May-Hyde Series champion, is entered in ARCA the FirstPlus Financial 200. Steele’s primary concentration in 1998 will be on driving the Bud Moore Engineering’s #15 Fords in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in 1998.”(NASCAR Online), so I assume the rumor about Steele still being injured from the Atlanta crash is False(1-26-98) Wrong see the above confirmed story(1-31-98)
  • BGN ROTY candidate Blaise Alexander who will run the Rescue Engine Formula Chevy in 1998 will also attempt to run the ARCA First Plus 200 in Daytona. He will be driving the Day Motorsports Chevy sponsored by Racecamp and crew chiefed by Grady Humphries(1-31-98)
  • All Pro/Bumper to Bumper, Inc. will be an associate sponsor of Jimmy Spencer’s BGN #20 Zippo Chevy team which plans to compete in 10 events in 1998.(NASCAR Online)(1-31-98)

    (1-30-98)

  • Colony Racing Apparel has announced that SPEED DEMON APPAREL will the primary sponsor on the #10 ARCA Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by Glenn Brewer(brother of Tim Brewer crew chief for Geoff Bodine) in the ARCA First Financial 200 at Daytona International Speedway Feb.4 live on ESPN after the Bud Shootout. SPEED DEMON will also be the associate sponsor on the #12 Chevrolet driven by veteran Dick Tracy. The #10 and # 12 are the only 2 car team in the ARCA series. Colony Racing Apparel is one the largest retailers of NASCAR related merchadise on the internet also the largest NASCAR related store in New Jersey. SPEED DEMON Apparel is a line of apparel geared for racing fans with jump off the shirt graphics and humorous slogans.(1-30-98)

    (1-29-98)

  • “Roger Penske and Michael Kranefuss Cordially Invite You To An Announcement
    Of Motorsports Significance Over 125 Years In The Making. Cocktail Reception and Announcement Wednesday, February 4, 1998 4:00 p.m., The Atrium, Spurance Hall
    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University 600 South Clyde Morris Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL
    (From Speedway, U.S. 92 East to Clyde Morris, turn right; approximately one mile to Embry-Riddle main entrance; turn right onto campus; right at stop sign to Visitors Parking. Spurance Hall on left)”(The Williams Company), about this hint at the Mobil One site they mention they’ve been “changing oil for over 125 years.”(thanks Craig)(1-29-98)
  • I hear the #17 BGN Chevy to be driven by Matt Kenseth will be sponsored by The Family Channel(AOL)(1-29-98)
  • Have heard from many readers saying that “The John Boy and Billy Big Show”, radio comedy show, reported recently that Tabasco is pulling out of NASCAR and sponsorship of the #35 Pontiac to be driven by Todd Bodine. But this morning at the end of
    their show today(1/29), John Boy said that his information regarding the above was totally FALSE! He apologized to Team Tabasco and Todd Bodine on the air. So that puts to rest that rumor. The Tabasco people called to say it was most definitely NOT
    true.(1-29-98)
  • Chad Little driver of the Roush Racing #97 Taurus who did not test at Daytona has joined seven other Ford teams Thursday at Talladega in preparation for Daytona. Other teams include Robert Yates Racing, the Wood Brothers, Cale Yarborough Motorsports, Sadler Racing, Travis Carter Enterprises, Penske-Kranefuss Racing and Elliott Racing.(NASCAR Online)(1-29-98)
  • Richard Childress Racing has promoted head engine builder, James Clendenen to engine manager for the #3 and #31 and engine tuner Danny Lawrence will take over the position of head engine builder for the #3(NASCAR Online)(1-29-98)
  • I hear on NASCAR Today on MRN that Mark Martin just completed a 3 day test at Vegas. Things went well, no speeds, but he backed a car into the wall on the final day.(MRN)(1-29-98)

    (1-28-98)

  • Off track a bit but Gene’s Steak House, the best steak house in Daytona is set to reopen February 7th. they have been closed due to a devastating fire last summer.
    Has been a watering hole for drivers and crew for years.(1-28-98)
  • UPDATE: www.country.com / TNN’s Motorsports Page: Hendrick Motorsports is building a #50 Budweiser Pontiac for Ricky Craven to test, and if it proves competitive, to race at Atlanta in March 1998. They are also building a Pontiac for Jack Sprague to test, and very likely race, at the Las Vegas race on March 1st. So far, there are no immediate plans to put Terry
    Labonte or Jeff Gordon in Pontiacs. To see the rest of the story click on the above link(www.country.com)(1-26-98) – Confirmed on NASCAR Online today(1-28-98)
  • UPDATE: I hear that Kmart will not be back with the #37 Penske-Kranefuss Ford as the primary sponsor. The replacement? Mobil 1. I hear the car will be Blue and white with red trim.(1-25-98) – Heard from good source that K-mart will remain as an associate as well as RC Cola with Mobil 1 as the primary, here is a new twist: I hear the number will be changed to #12 from #37?(1-28-98)
  • Sadler Racing Signs Andy Hillenburg for 1998: Earl H. Sadler & Son Racing, Inc. is pleased to announce Andy Hillenburg as the driver for the No. 95 Chevrolet for the 1998 Winston Cup season. Hillenburg will also compete in the 1998 ARCA series for Sadler Racing. The team will debut in Daytona next week as Hillenburg returns to defend his 1997 ARCA 200 championship. The 1995 ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde series champion, and two time Daytona ARCA 200 champion, will make his Winston Cup debut in the Daytona 500 on Feb. 15. Gravy Train Dog Food will sponsor the No. 95 Chevrolet in the ARCA 200. Shoney’s Inn, a division of ShoLodge, has returned as an associate sponsor for both series this season. The primary Winston Cup sponsorship will be announced in the
    coming weeks as well as a crew chief.(1-28-98)
  • Best Wishes and Get Well Tim Flock: “Two-time NASCAR points champion Tim Flock, hospitalized Sunday in Charlotte after complaining of chest pains, has been diagnosed with cancer. Flock, who won the 1952 and 1955 championships and won 40 races in his colorful career, is scheduled to have more diagnostic procedures performed today at University Hospital in Charlotte. His son, Don, said Tuesday that cancer has been found in his father’s lungs and throat and is also suspected to be affecting Tim Flock’s liver. Tim Flock, 73, had already been active in anniversary events. He attended the annual Winston Cup Preview in Winston-Salem on Jan. 10, signing autographs along with Ned Jarrett and Buddy Baker.”(Charlotte Observer)(1-28-98)
  • From the test at Texas Motor Speedway: Jeff Gordon tested on 1/27 at TMS and he reported speeds at about 8mph lower then the best time in practice last year by Kyle Petty. They were running with the expected changes to the air dam and rear spoiler(Rear spoilers down from 6 to 5 inches, and front valances up from 3 3/4
    to 5 inches), which was designed to slow them down, and with the car not taped up for best speed. Ray Evernham said, they were also testing aero changes for the intermediate tracks. As for the track improvements, they did not happen yet. TMS is hoping the changes are made sometime in February. The machine needed to do the job apparently was not available and according to Eddie Gossage there is only one machine like this so they have to wait until they can get that machine at TMS at the same time there is no activity at the track. They also will have a Firestone IRL test at TMS in February, but did not announce a date.(1-28-98)
  • TNN’s Motorsports Page/www.country.com reports that Washington-Erving Motorsports’ (WEM) plan to only race in 10 races or so in 1998 and will not attempt the Daytona 500 and the first on-track appearance in ’98 could be as late as Charlotte. Rich Bickle is still scheduled to drive the car but will also attempt some BGN and possibly some Truck deals.(TNN)(1-28-98)
  • No Bull: They Want the $1 Million Bonus.(iRace)(1-28-98)
  • Thorn Apple Valley, sponsor of the #98 has a racing page up at: Thorn Apple Valley Premium Meats Racing.(1-28-98)
  • “Bill Elliott received the honor of being inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame on Jan 24, 1998. Others inducted along with Elliott included baseball great Jackie Robinson, Olympic-gold winner Edwin Moses and former professional golfer Lyn Lott. Elliott has collected 40 career victories, 49 career pole positions and earnings of more than $17 million. He was the first driver to win The Winston Million in 1985, a $1 million bonus from R.J. Reynolds for winning three of four major superspeedway races in one season.”(SpeedNet)(1-28-98)
  • The #22 BGN Chevy team, Super Sport Racing was in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show(CES) and announced a new primary sponsor, Redcell Batteries, a new battery company out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The team plans to run 20-22 races(1-28-98)

    (1-27-98)

  • UPDATE: I hear they may open up Daytona Speedway one evening during February Speedweeks for NASCAR practice, and testing of the lighting system for the network TV cameras.(1-26-98) – Dale Earnhardt will make the first laps “under the lights” at the Daytona Speedway on Saturday night 2/7 at 6pm for 20 laps. The public will be admitted free of charge to a section of the grandstands following the completion of Bud Pole Award Qualifying.(NASCAR Online)(1-27-98)
  • “Turn 4 at Texas Motor Speedway, where former NASCAR champion Rusty Wallace whacked the wall during the inaugural Winston Cup race last April 6, is getting a face-lift. An approximate 55-foot-by-300-foot section of the “transition” area of the 24-degree banking is scheduled to be milled and repaved, perhaps as early as next week. The severe dropoff coming out of Turn 4, which is the fastest part of the track, made it hard for drivers to maintain control. The repair will take out the severity of the banking, making it more conducive to maintaining control and perhaps lead to some two-wide racing coming out of Turn 4. Gossage said he hopes all repairs on the 1.5-mile trioval are completed before Jan. 27-28. That is when two-time and reigning Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon is scheduled to test Goodyear Eagle tires on the No. 24 DuPont Automotive Refinishes Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The sessions will be closed to the public, but will give Gordon first crack at an improved TMS.”(Speedworld)(1-27-98)
  • UPDATE: Robby Gordon fans: Rumor has it that Hiro Matsushita will be retiring after the Japan CART race – and Robby Gordon has already been signed to take the seat of the Toyota powered Champcar from Long Beach forward through the end of the season. Still no idea if he’ll race in the Bud Shootout, but it looks doubtful(1-20-98) – Arciero-Wells Championship Auto Racing Team and Precision Preparation, Inc. (PPI) announced today it has signed Robby Gordon as a test and engine development driver and consultant. Gordon, of Orange County Calif., will debut with the team at Championship Auto Racing Team’s (CART) third annual spring training at Metro-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex which will be conducted February 3 through February 5, 1998. Gordon also will compete in selected events in the 1998 FedEx Championship Series with the sponsors for this entry to be announced at a later date.(MCI Racing, thanks Sharon)(1-27-98)
  • Bob Hayden Named Crew Chief for the CAA Performance Group BGN #96 Ford and Stevie Reeves. Hayden was Joe Bessey’s crew chief in 1997(Williams Company of America)(1-27-98)
  • Kenny Irwin Fan Club, PO Box 17166, Indianapolis, Indiana 46217(1-27-98)
  • I hear the #33 Skoal Andy Petree team and Kenny Schrader will not run the new SB2.2 engine at Daytona. Supposedly a number of others may not and that the engine has not been tested enough for reliability and that power advantage is slight.(1-27-98)

    (1-26-98)

  • UPDATE: From TNN Motorsports Page, Kenny Irwin, Jr will run the ARCA race at Daytona on Feb 8th. He will run a 1997 Thunderbird with a Yates engine, David Blair’s crew (from the #27 WC operation) and run either #27 or #88 as #28 is already taken. Sponsorship not named yet(1-22-98). Irwin will drive the #27 David Blair/Robert Yates Thunderbird(NASCAR Online)(1-26-97)
  • I hear former Ricky Craven BGN Crew Chief, Kevin Caldwell is Andy Santares BGN Crew Chief for 1998(1-26-98)
  • Part Two of a story on Bill Elliott’s new operation: BAD SIGN: Taurus is slow in tests; Elliott steps up preparations .(JournalNow)(1-26-98)

    (1-25-98)

  • Kenny Scharder will run as many as 10 BGN races in the Andy Petree prepared #15 Chevy(Raceday)(1-25-98)
  • Part One of a story on Bill Elliott’s new operation: Double-Team –
    Times are changing for Elliott, who has moved shop, expanded operation to include rookie driver Nadeau
    .(JournalNow)(1-25-98)


    (1-24-98)
    My Two Cents – by Ken Willis of the Daytona Beach News-Journal mention’s Jayski.com in an excellent story about Billy Standridge(1-24-98)

  • UPDATE III: I hear NASCAR is discussing expanding the provisional starters allowed in a Winston Cup race from 4 to 6(not sure about the champ prov).(1-18-98), more info: I hear that the provisional system is going to be changed for ’98. They will take 36 from time trials, 6 more from car owner points plus a former champion. And this year, NASCAR plans to make the 43rd spot mandatory if a former W.C. champion DNQs, rather than giving him the option of taking a regular provisional. Expect an announcement within the next week or so(I wonder if they will expand the field eligible for provs from 40), will be updating the prov page soon(1-21-98), It’s OFFICIAL: Provisionals increased to 7, fields increased to 43. The 7th prov is used for a former WC champion if needed otherwise it reverts to be used for the next eligible driver, check out the story by Bob Zeller at: NASCAR Rules Changes Help Full-Time Teams (News & Record Online)(1-22-98), NASCAR Online has an explanation online at NASCAR increases provisionals(1-24-98)
  • The purse for the Daytona 500 has risen to over $7 million. The winner of the race will get $1 million(NASCAR Online)(1-24-98)
  • Rules contemplated to slow cars, see the story at: NASCAR might play `spoiler’ again in 1998.(Charlotte Observer)(1-24-98)
  • “The Washington Erving Motorsports(WEM) Winston Cup Series entry for 1998 isn’t dead yet, but last rites certainly are in order. Without a primary sponsor, the team formed by former football star Joe Washington, basketball great Julius Erving and their partners has fallen woefully behind in preparation for the season, which begins next month. Meetings with potential backers continue, but Rich Bickle, who has a letter of intent to drive for the team, said Thursday that he was trying to put together his own deal to race in any of NASCAR’s top series this season.”(Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel), and WEM still has not signed a sponsor and is working out of Barry Owen’s shop in Lexington, NC. It’s choice of drivers (Rich Bickle) has not signed a contract yet(NASCAR Online)(1-24-98)
  • UPDATE: I hear Hanes has re-signed with the #78 WC team with Gary Bradberry driving(1-22-98): Gary Bradberry was interviewed him on Alabama’s ABC 33/40 in which he says he will have full backing to run every race this year with Pilot Truck Stops as the sponsor.(1-24-98)
  • From the Boy Scout Magazine, Boys Life: BSA Race Car Ready To Roll
    Fasten your seatbelts! A new Boy Scouts Of America car is soaring your way. No, the car is not competing in the Daytona 500, even though it looks like the ones in the NASCAR event. But it is driving the exciting message of Scouting across the country.
    The scout show car, a 1997 Ford Thunderbird with a 700-horsepower,5.8-liter SVO OHV V8 engine, has a top speed of 220 miles per hour. The car will appear at local council events, NASCAR races and other sporting events. The cars sponsor is the Washington Erving Motor Sports Team, a new Winston Cup racing team partly owned by former football pro Joe Washington and basketball great Julius “Dr. J.” Erving. The two former Scouts will make appearances and hold autograph sessions at selected events.
    “WE know the value of being a Scout,” Washington says. “With the car, we hope to bring attention to Scouting and get more kids involved.” Check out these Scout Show Car locations, or find out others by writing to the External Communications Division, BSA National Office, P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079.
    SCOUT SHOW CAR APPEARANCES IN 1998: April 8-12, The Masters Golf Tournament, Augusta, GA.; April 17-18 Scout Show Lexington, KY; April 25 Scout Show & Pinewood Derby races, Columbia,SC; May 2 Scout Show, Dallas, TX; May 9 Scouting on the Mall Show, Washington DC; July 25-Aug. 2, Brickyard 400 NASCAR race, Indianapolis, IN(thanks many readers)(1-24-98)
  • “Casey Atwood, 17 year old racing prodigy from Nashville will be a teammate to Jeff Purvis for 15 races in the 1998 BGN schedule. Plans have it to move them both to full time WC rides in 2000.”(Tennessean via Chuck)(1-24-98)
  • Crew Chief Gene Nead has left Bobby Hillin Racing to return to Phil Parsons BGN Operation where he was the crew chief for the last two season(WC Scene)(1-24-98)

    (1-23-98)

  • Bill Elliott opted to privately test at Talladega twice in January and did not test at Daytona. Talladega doesn’t release test speeds per teams requests, so no speeds are avialable. No idea why Chad Little did not test at Daytona. As for Elliott. his second team with Jerry Nadeau, tested at Daytona, so they can share inforamtion from the test(1-23-98)

    (1-22-98)

  • Check out: Media Day – Stock Car Racing Magazine(1-22-98)
  • Hendrick Motorsports has new associate sponsor for its WC cars. Structure Dynamics Research Corp. (SDRC) will be on the B-pillar and in front of the rear tires along with their software product I-deas. They supply powerful manufacturing modeling software that is Windows NT-based, which allows the design, failure analysis and digitized machine-tool production of products.(www.country.com)(1-22-98)

    (1-21-98)

  • Have heard this from a few sources and not really sure what to think: During the first Ford test at Daytona, Tim Steele experienced dizziness attributed to the Atlanta wreck in Nov 1997. Supposedly his doctor is telling him to take a year off to recover. I can’t seem to flesh out much more than that. As a fan, I just hope he is ok and can continue his dream of racing in Cup(see the above confirmed story)(1-21-98)
  • UPDATE: I hear Hendrick Motorsports General Manager, Jimmy Johnson will leave Hendrick Motorsports and move to Florida to run a boat dealership that Rick Hendrick owns(1-19-98) Jimmy Johnson is stepping down from his post of GM at Hendrick Motorsports. Johnson said Tuesday he will continue to work for Hendrick Motorsports for at least three years, dealing with team sponsorship matters. Johnson will work out of his home in Longboat Key, Fla. Johnson and his family plan to relocate there this summer.(Charlotte Observer)(1-21-98)
  • THE LAST DAY! The testing is complete at Daytona. For speeds see Speedworld or NASCAR Online. Wednesday’s fastest was Kenny Irwin, Jr at 190.609mph in a Taurus. Billy Standridge had a solid day and was 6th at 189.092mph (7th overall for all testing) in the Fans Can Race/FCR/Jayski Thunderbird(1-21-98)
  • G. Clifton “Cliff” Pennell has been named president of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.’s Sports Marketing Enterprises. Pennell succeeds T. Wayne Robertson, who died Jan. 14 in a boating accident in Louisiana. Robertson, who reported to Pennell at the time of his death, had served as head of RJR’s sports marketing department since 1985.(NASCAR Online)(1-21-98)
  • The BGN and ARCA races at Talladega will be shortened from 312 miles (it was a 500k race) to 300 miles or from 117 laps to 113 laps around the 2.66 mile track(NASCAR Online)(1-21-98)
  • The number #37 Kmart Ford driven by Jeremy Mayfield will be black, similar to the Phoenix paint scheme and RC will become an assoc sponosr with KMart having more of a presense on the car(1-21-98)
  • The Jerry Nadeau Fan Club is starting up! Membership dues for individuals are $15, while family memberships for up to four individuals are $20. For more information or to join the Jerry Nadeau Fan Club, please call (704) 455-8180 or write to: P.O. Box 1358, Harrisburg, N.C. 28075-1358.(Racing Rumors & News Newsletter)(sorry folks still no idea on a Kenny Irwin fanclub)(1-21-98)
  • Dead End For Thunder Road, story about Morgan Shepherd and his life by the great Tom Higgins and no one can tell a story like he can(1-21-98)
  • Forgotten in all the testing hype and rarely reported here: Goody’s Dash Series driver Christian Elder had the fastest overall speed during the two day test period last weekend in preparation for the Discount Auto Parts 200 Presented By ACDelco Rapidfire on Friday 2/13. Elders speed was 163.958mph in the #21 David Watson-prepared Pontiac Sunfire.(NASCAR Online), for more Dash Series info see Fast Lane Racing(1-21-98)

    (1-20-98)

  • Bobby Hillin is running his own BGN team in 1998 with #8 Chevy’s. The team is co-owned by five Major League Baseball Players, Gary Gaetti, Danny Sheaffer, Andy Benes, Hal Morris and Pete Schourek and some other businessmen. The team plans to run at Daytona and the rest of the season depends on sponsorship. Another good team looking for sponsorship, they have gotten some help with their rig from BCJ Trucking from Mount Airy, NC, but still need sponsorship help, anyone interested in sponsoring Bobby can email him at HillinRacing@msn.com!!(1-20-98)
  • The 3 SABCO cars will have many different paint schemes: The #40 Coors Chevy will feature 4 different paint schemes this year. A special Coors Light car for hooligan Bud Shootout race and same scheme again at Texas. A non-alcoholic car at Charlotte and will be supported by a $750,000 TV ad campaign to prevent drinking and driving. A Coors Original car developed to run Phoenix and Calif. The #42 BellSouth Chevy Joe Nemechek will drive will have three different paint schemes. Regular BellSouth at most races with a black car for Bud Shootout and a special Yellow Pages car at the spring Talladega, Charlotte May race and final race at Atlanta. The #46 First Union Chevy driven by Wally Dallenbach will have at least 2 paint schemes. The Daytona 500 car will be sponsored by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays the new MLB team in 1998.(1-20-98)
  • Loy Allen will drive the #14 Delco-Remy America Richard Jackson Pontiac at Daytona, this is at the moment a one-race deal(NASCAR Online)(1-20-98)
  • Jeff Gordon will be at Texas Motor Speedway on 1/26 and 1/27 in his #24 DuPont Chevy testing Goodyear tires. This will be a closed test, so I doubt we’ll hear any speeds or much about it at all. TMS is working on turn 4 to repave and remove the ‘bump’ that all the drivers complained about last year. The work will be completed before the test.(1-20-98)
  • UPDATE: NASCAR conducted a test at Atlanta on Monday, 1/19 with one each Ford Taurus, Chevrolet Monte Carlo and Pontiac Grand Prix. They tested various Spoilers and possibly restrictor plates. The Chevy was the #3, the Pontiac was the #43 and the Ford was the #21(1-20-98), see the story at the Charlotte Observer below
  • The #07 Dan Pardus team, planning on attempting to make the Daytona 500. The team plans to test this weekend at Talladega and just got an SB2 motor and picked up 2mph.(1-20-98)
  • Jan. 21, 1973 — Mark Donohue, who later will star in Indy car, CAN-AM and Formula One, gets his only NASCAR Winston Cup victory in the season-opening Winston Western 500 at Riverside (Calif.) International Raceway.(NASCAR Online)(I included this because he was my favorite driver when I was a kid)(1-20-98)
  • On WC Today, Geoff Bodine mentioned that he thinks some of the fast Ford Taurus’s are not running the proper spoiler height(1-20-98)
  • Talladega Testing: Derrike Cope tested the 18-20 in the #30 Gumout Pontiac along with BGN drivers Blaise Alexander and Andy Santerre. Bobby Labonte, Ricky Craven, Ken Schrader and Steve Park are scheduled to test on Jan 21-24. Hut Stricklin is scheduled to test Feb 2-4. At the request of the teams, Talladega doesn’t release test speeds.(NASCAR Online)(1-20-98)

    (1-19-98)

  • At this year’s races at Charlotte and Rockingham, fans bringing canned food or nonperishable items to Kyle Petty’s souvenir truck will get a “Race to End Hunger” T-shirt or a discount on one of Petty’s T-shirts. Food collected at Charlotte will be donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. Food collected at Rockingham will go to the North Carolina Food Bank in Raleigh.(Charlotte Observer)(1-19-98)
  • I hear Nike may be the sponsor for Tim Steele and the #15 Bud Moore Ford(1-19-98)
  • UPDATE: Ken Schrader will run Budweiser decals on his #33 Skoal Chevy in the Bud Shootout at Daytona.(NASCAR Online)(1-16-98) Schrader has a special paint scheme which is black on the hood and roof. Only thing Budweiser on the car will be the “Bud Shootout” decal on the deck lid and smaller decal behind the number in front of the rear wheel well and a small Bud King of Beers decal on both ‘C’ pillars.(1-19-98)
  • Four from NASCAR are first invitees for the 1998 True Value Firebird IROC series.
    Dale Jarrett, Jeff Gordon, and Jeff Burton. Mark Martin gains an automatic bid as 1997 IROC champion. IROC President Jay Signore said another group of drivers will
    be announced next week.(Motorsports News Intl and IROC)(1-19-98)
  • NASCAR revving up for question-filled year, Season Preview by Skip Wood(Times-Dispatch)(1-19-98)
  • Loy Allen will drive the No. 14 Pontiac at Daytona. Allen said the Richard Jackson-owned team believes it will have a sponsor for the 500, and hopes for enough success to pick up backing for the rest of 1998.(Charlotte Observer)(1-19-98)
  • Vic Kangas has been hired as crew chief by Ricky Craven, who will field a car for driver Ron Barfield in 15 Grand National races this season. Kangas was the crew chief when Joe Nemechek won the 1992 series title(Charlotte Observer) and started the 1997 season as the #91 WC crew chief(1-19-98)
  • Noticed: During Ford testing, still no Rich Bickle in the #12 Washington-Erving Ford. I hear they have a few Tbirds purchased from TriStar Motorsports(who ran the #19 Ford in early 1997). I also hear 7up was to be the sponsor but some kind of snag has slowed or killed the deal. During the truck race on Sunday, Dave Despain was talking about Bickle during the race(Bickle ran the #78 truck) and he mentioned that Bickles deal was questionable(?)(1-19-98)

    (1-18-98)

  • Mark Martin has been named to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony is scheduled for sometime in February.(Williams Company)(1-16-98)
  • During an RPM2Nite interview, Ray Evernham, Crew Chief/TM of the #24 DuPont Chevy indicated Hendrick’s Motorsports plans to build a Taurus, and install a Chevy engine. They want to know what the Ford teams have, and will run the car in the wind tunnel. Also quoted was Jimmy Spencer, who is upset the new Taurus is not up to speed, as saying he would like to race a Hudson Hornet.(RPM2Nite)(1-19-98)
  • I hear that NASCAR and USAC will not merge but that IRL founder Tony George has bought USAC(1-18-98), other sources say no way that NASCAR will aquire USAC(1-19-98)
  • “The opening of the 1998 Winston Cup season is just a few weeks away, but stock car team owners are already looking ahead to the 1999 schedule . . . with some dread. The ’98 tour has been expanded to include another West Coast trip, to the new Las Vegas track. The ’99 tour, according to one man in a position to know, may well be stretched past the traditional mid-November finale, to include a Winston Cup race on Thanksgiving Day, in what looks like a classic made-for-television package. The site of that finale would probably be Homestead, Fla., now part of the France family empire.”(JournalNow)(1-18-98)
  • A couple of readers had this correct: Benny Parson’s explained the reason for that Ruttman/Biffle 50/80 number swap. Roush expects veteran Ruttman to qualify easily for every race. Biffle might have some problems making the show as a rookie to the series, so he will have the now #50 team’s points provisionals from last year(when the team was #80) to fall back on to make the races(thanks Matt)(1-18-98)

    (1-17-98)

  • No idea if Robby Gordon will run in the Bud Shootout or if Mike Bliss will run in the Pre Bud Shootout. No one can take their place as it is the driver who gets in, not the car. Barry Dodson, crew chief for Bliss, said on an interview that they would not attempt any WC races in 1998(1-17-98)
  • John Hendrick, 47, Rick’s younger brother, has taken over as president and chief executive officer of Hendrick Motorsports in the wake of his brother’s sentencing.(News & Record/The Depot)(1-17-98)
  • I hear that the Woods Brothers (#21 Citgo Ford) are switching over to Roush Racing Engines in 1998. Danny Glad will stay with them and do R&D on the engines there.(1-17-98)
  • I hear Loy Allen will drive the #14 Richard Jackson Pontiac at Daytona and may continue later in the year should sponsorship be obtained(1-17-98)
  • I hear Derrike Cope’s Paint scheme will change a few times during the year on the #30 Bahari ride with Jiffy Lube and other various Penzoil Products(1-17-98)
  • New Holland will be an associate sponsor on the #35 Hardy Motorsports Ortho Chevy in 1998(NASCAR Online)(1-17-98)
  • Former SABCO and Dave Marcis crew chief Terry Shirley joined the Brewco Motorsports NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team with driver Scot Walters of the #37
    Red Man Chevrolet.(NASCAR Online)(1-17-98)
  • Roush Racing switched numbers on two trucks their drivers will run in 1998. Joe Ruttman will drive the #50 LCI International Ford, while Greg Biffle will wheel the #80 Grainger Ford.(NASCAR Online)(1-17-98)

    (1-16-98)

  • Three-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Darrell Waltrip announced on 1-16 that Speedblock, Inc. and Builders Square home improvement centers have signed a multi-year agreement to sponsor the #17 Chevrolet Winston Cup car fielded by Darrell Waltrip Motorsports. The car will sport a vibrant blue, white and rocket red paint scheme throughout NASCAR’s 50th Anniversary season. Speedblock logos will adorn the rear quarter panels with the combined logo of Builders Square, Hechinger and HQ occupying the hood and the lower panel area in front of the rear wheels. From the Press release follow the link at the bottom to the main page to see an image of the side of the car. See the rest of the announcement on DW.COM(1-16-98)
  • LOST LEADER, a story about T. Wayne Robertson by the JournalNow’s Mike Mulheren(1-16-98)
  • For news on the three day BellSouth Media Tour, hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway see TNN Motorsports with it’s Cybernotes.(1-16-98)
  • Bobby and Donna Labonte are the proud new parents of a little girl, Madison Elizabeth.(1-16-98)
  • Elliott’s team set, now it’s time to win.(1-16-98)
  • Gary Grossenbacher has been named the new crew chief for Wally Dallenbach’s #46 FirstUnion Chevy. Grossenbacher, who most recently spent four years at Motorsports
    Research and Design on testing the Monte Carlo, will also serve as team engineer for all three of Team SABCO’s teams.(David Poole, Charlotte Observer/NASCAR Fans)(1-16-98)
  • Lucent Technologies announced it will be an associate sponsor on the #42 BellSouth Chevy driven by Joe Nemechek(RacingPR Website). Nemechek will also run a black and neon car at the Bud Shootout on the 8th of Feb(1-16-98)
  • Jeff Wilson, who learned his engine building craft at Junior Johnson, and who has been in the Penske South engine shop for two years, has been promoted to head the engine effort for the #2 replacing Mike Ege.(TNN-www.country.com)(1-16-98)
  • Mike Ege has accepted the position of Head of Research and Development at Pro-Motor Engineering Inc., the independent NASCAR Winston Cup engine house in Mooresville, North Carolina. Ege was most recently the head engine builder for Penske South’s Winston Cup entry driven by Rusty Wallace and will concentrate on special projects at PME Engines. Peter Guild, Pro-Motor’s President, is confident that Mike Ege will be a positive addition to his rapidly expanding operation. “I am extremely delighted to have Mike join us to lead a structured, full-time development effort on Winston Cup and Craftsman Truck Series engines. He fits well into our program to
    provide the finest and most competitive racing engines to our customers, both for now and into the future.”(Pro-Motor Press Release – thank Bob, sorry Mike about the misspelling)(1-16-98)
  • Mike McLaughlin, driver of the #34 Chevrolet will be sporting new colors for 1998. Goulds Pumps, a leader in the marker for pumps for home, agriculture, and industry has agreed to sponsor the for the 1998 Busch Grand National season. Goulds Pumps is based out of Senaca Falls, NY, which is near to McLaughlin’s hometown of Waterloo, NY.(FromPitRow)(1-16-98)
  • A day of rain at Daytona cancelled the first day of BGN testing at Daytona scheduled for Jan 15th and 16th. The teams will jam their two-day test into one if the weather cooperates, which will conclude their test.(1-16-98)
  • T. Wayne Robertson’s funeral arrangements are as follows: From 6-9 p.m. on Friday, there will be a viewing at the Hayworth-Miller Funeral Home at 3315 Silas Creek Blvd. in Winston-Salem, NC. On Saturday at 2 pm, the funeral will be held in the chapel at Wake Forest University(It’s large enough to accommodate the huge crowd they anticipate). Burial will be at Westlawn Gardens in Clemmons, NC. His pall-bearers will include Ralph Seagraves, former exec of RJR, Marty Tharpe (owner of SPEVCO – the promotional arm of Winston, and Junior Johnson – among other close family friends. Mr. Robertson is survived by his wife, Dana, and two children, Toby and Kim. The family requests that memorials be sent to the Foundation Fighting Blindness, 11350 McCormick Road, Executive Plaza #1, Suite 800, Hunt Valley, Md. 21031-1014. Robertson was among seven people on a 28-foot boat that collided with a 110-foot oil rig crew boat near the intercostal waterway in Vermilion Parish, La. Only one of those seven survived.(many sources)(1-16-98)
  • While it’s too early to really discuss this: No one has been named yet as T. Wayne Robertson’s successor at RJR, rumor has it that Greg Littell will be tapped. Others wish Jeff Byrd, former, tenured RJR exec, now GM at Bristol Motor Speedway, would come back and take the job.(1-16-98)(false)

    (1-15-98)

  • T. Wayne Robertson, the R.J. Reynolds executive who was in charge of the company’s
    sports programs, including the NASCAR Winston Cup series, died Wednesday after being involved in a boating accident in Louisiana. T. Wayne Robertson, who was 47, was one of six people who died when the 28-foot aluminum boat they were using to go duck hunting in a bayou collided with a 110-foot oil rig crew boat near the intercostal waterway in Vermilion Parish, La. The boats collided at about 6:40 a.m. (EST) Wednesday(1-14). The Mallard capsized and immediately sank in 12 feet of water. There was one survivor who was hospitalized in stable condition. He had jumped from the boat before the collision and suffered a broken leg. Mr. Robertson is survived by his wife, Dana, and two children, Toby and Kim. The family requests that memorials be sent to the Foundation Fighting Blindness, 11350 McCormick Road, Executive Plaza #1, Suite 800, Hunt Valley, Md. 21031-1014.(many sources)(1-15-98)
  • UPDATE: Joe Garone has been named crew chief for Bill Elliott in 1998. Former crew
    chief Mike Beam was promoted to chief operating officer of the organization. Beam had been the crew chief since 1995.(Speedworld)(1-14-98). Garone was Rick Carelli’s crew chief for 6 years in NASCAR’s Southwest and Winston West Series, and in the Truck Series. He was the suspension specialist and front tire changer since 1996 on the Elliott team since 1996.(NASCAR Online)(1-15-98)
  • “The annual Miller Lite Russ Catlin Awards for journalism were awarded Wednesday. The awards, judged by the journalism school at Indiana State University, honor the top members of motorsports media. The awards are named after the late Russ Catlin, the former public relations director at Darlington Raceway. Humpy Wheeler calls Catlin, “the great PR man who ever was.” This year’s winners were: Phil Cavalli, Photo Journalism; Ron Wagner, Print Category; Bob Zeller, Print Category; Charlie Sherman, Local Broadcast Category; Julie Smith, National Broadcast Category.”(NASCAR Online)(1-15-98)
  • Check out the news section for Team Paradigm: 1/11/98 – NEWS RELEASE FROM TP OWNER, W. STEVEN BOLLER, it explains the ‘fans team’ plan and their fight with the FansTeam and Boller’s friendship with Billy Standridge(1-15-98)
  • Chicago native and present Clayton, GA. resident Mike Ciochetti will enter his first Winston Cup race ever at this year’s Daytona 500. Hover Motorsports, Ad-Venture Motorsports, Hughes Supply and Blade Sportswear is proud to be a part of Mike’s first Winston Cup race. Mike raced the Super Speedway ARCA Schedule in 1997 with imagination and creativity on the race track and support from Orlando, FL based Hughes Supply, and Macon, GA based Blade Sportswear. Mike was part of the exciting finish at the last ARCA race of the season back in November at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Mike will be racing a Hover Motorsports Ford and should be testing soon in Daytona. He is aware that his deal came through a little late for the testing he desired, but is grateful for the chance to enter qualifying for this year’s race. He will also race the ARCA race in Daytona as well.(Speedworld)(1-15-98)
  • All of the local New Orleans affiliates are reporting that the body of T.
    Wayne Robertson has been found. 5 of the bodies in this mornings accident have been recovered…Margaret Maddox is still missing. A Coast Guard spokesman was quoted as saying that visibility does not seem to have been a factor in the collision. T. Wayne was a fan, first & foremost. His wit, personality, energy & love of the sport will be sorely missed. He was 47, and leaves behind a wife & 2 children in Winston-Salem, NC.(NASCAR Fans) My thoughts and prayers are with the families involved.(1-15-98)


    (1-14-98)

  • The rumor that CBS will leave Daytona at 4:00 pm if the Daytona 500 is still
    going on is COMPLETELY UNTRUE. There WILL be live flag-to-flag coverage of
    the race, even if it is rained out to Monday. Although CBS Olympic coverage is SCHEDULED for 4:00 pm Sunday, coverage from Nagano will be delayed if racing is still going on in Daytona. If the race runs over its scheduled time slot, expect that some post-race interviews MAY be aired during Olympic coverage, (so keep your VCR running).(1-14-98)
  • Ford teams square off over changes on Taurus.(1-14-98)
  • Smith envisions 2 NASCAR circuits.(1-14-98)
  • Ford Teams Unsure about Taurus.(1-14-98)
  • Mike Stefanik, The 1997 Modified and Busch North champ, will run the John
    Andretti Busch Car for a 4 race deal. (Rockingham, Nashville, Atlanta, and
    Darlington)(Driccit202)(Racing Rumors & News)(1-14-98)
  • Dominic Dobson is leaving his Indy-style car and sports-car roots to participate in one of America’s favorite new racing circuits, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS). Dobson will make his NCTS debut in the second annual Chevy Trucks Challenge
    at Walt Disney World Speedway on Sunday, Jan. 18. Dobson will wheel the No.78 Dodge Ram pickup, prepared by the PacWest Team based in Indianapolis.(NASCAR Humor and More/Racing Rumors & News)(1-14-98)
  • Bill Elliott was one of seven drivers at Talladega Superspeedway Tuesday testing for the upcoming season. Elliott also had Dennis Setzer and David Bonnett helping test
    cars for his 3-day test. Also testing NASCAR Winston Cup cars was Ricky Rudd with assistance from Morgan Shepherd. Hermie Sadler, Elliott Sadler and Bobby Hillin were testing their NASCAR Busch Series cars.(Speedworld)(1-14-98)
  • As rumored here in the past few weeks it was officially announced that Dura-Lube will be Phil Parsons BGN sponsor for 1998 in his #10 Chevy.(NASCAR Online)(1-14-98)
  • UPI Story reports that a New Orleans TV station reports that five bodies have been recovered following the sinking of a 28-foot pleasure craft carrying an exclusive duck-hunting party. WVUE-TV says the bodies were recovered just before dark from Freshwater Bayou, about 100 miles southwest of New Orleans. The station did not identify the victims. Coast Guard officials have named six people listed as missing following a collision between the pleasure boat Mallard and the 110-foot supply boat Geerd Tide. The missing are T. Wayne Robertson of Winston-Salem, N.C., a senior vice president of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco; Dan and Margaret H. Maddox of Nashville, Tenn.; Norman Stelly and his brother, Aladin Stelly, both of Forked Island, La.; and Brian Vincent of Intercostal City, La. Coast Guard Petty Officer James Dillard says one man, Matt Dobson of Franklin, Tenn., was rescued by the crew of the Geerd Tide and is recovering in Abbeville General Hospital from a broken leg and other minor injuries. Dillard says the boats collided at about 5:40 a.m. (CST) today. The Mallard capsized and immediately sank in 12 feet of water.(Speedworld)(1-14-98)

    (1-13-98)

  • I hear the #35 Todd Bodine driven Tabasco Pontiac will have a special paint scheme sometime in 1998 with a green paint scheme saluting the green tabasco sauce which will run at Las Vegas and Atlanta(not sure spring or fall) and the team will also have a black car with the flames (instead of the white) for the Bud Shootout(1-13-98)
  • It’s Official: Jack Roush and Cheerio’s made the formal announcement today,
    that Cheerio’s will sponsor the #26 Ford Taurus featuring Johnny Benson, Jr. driving and and Steve Hmiel was named Benson’s crew chief. The No. 26 car features Cheerios in black print emblazoned on a Cheerios Yellow Ford Taurus. Other General Mills decals like Betty Crocker’s Spoon, Pop Secret Popcorn’s logo and the Hamburger Helper Hand are also featured prominently on the car body.(NASCAR Fans and Phatman/AOL)(1-13-98)


    (1-12-98)

  • New format for the Winston: FIRST SEGMENT: Goes until 30 green-flag laps have been completed. 10-MINUTE BREAK: A wheel with the Nos. 3 through 12 will be spun to
    determine how much of the field will be inverted. If, for example, the wheel stops on seven, the top seven cars will be inverted, with the seventh-place finisher starting first in the second segment, followed by sixth place, fifth and so on. The cars finishing eighth through 20th will restart in the order they finished the opening segment. If you want more in-depth information, look here: NASCAR adds strategy for all-star event and/or THE WINSTON’S NEW FORMAT.(David Poole, Charlotte Observer/NASCAR Fans).(1-12-98)
  • I hear the #78 Jim Wilson/Billy Hagen owned Ford may get sponsorship from Pilot Truck Stops, not much more info on this rumor. I had heard Hanes had re-signed, not sure(1-12-98)
  • Here’s an excerpt from Cindy’s report, concerning some of the driver
    comments during interviews at the Winston Cup Preview. I quote:

    “As the autograph sessions proceed, various local news and Winston Cup reporters interview the drivers, asking them about their previous season, how their off-season is going, and what they expect from the upcoming season. Some of the comments – Dale Earnhardt noted that he was focused on that eighth championship. That going through an entire season without a win really makes the winter longer. Dale Jarrett noted
    that they were still behind in building the Taurus’s. But that Kenny Irwin, Jr. had tested at Daytona and given Robert Yates Racing a lot of helpful info. Mark Martin noted that Roush Racing was scrambling to get the new shop set up in Mooresville (with Jeff Burton). Darrell Waltrip, with a horrible case of laryngitis, said that he’d have a sponsor announcement this Friday for the 1998 and 1999 seasons. That “Man, we’re gonna win some races!” Jeff Gordon noted that Rick Hendrick wanted to thank everyone for the prayers. That he (Jeff) hoped Hendrick Motorsports would capture its fourth consecutive championship.”(thanks Cindy and NASCAR Fans)(1-12-98)

  • UPDATE: Looks like I was incorrect(again) about the Washington-Erving Ford being #12, I hear now that it will be #32 or #60 or just maybe #12, so I give up and lets wait to see. I hear the shop the team and Rich Bickle is in is Bickle / Smith Motorsports new building that Bickle built with his partner. The shop was supposed to house Bickles short track cars, cars for a 10 race Busch schedule, and trucks for a 5 race deal.(1-8-98). I do hear that the team will run out of the David Blair shop until their shop is complete(1-12-98)
  • Per Benny Parson’s on NASCAR Online Chat today: Q: “Do you think that being that Mopar is into the truck series do you think the(y) will get back into the car series?”
    Benny’s answer: “….it doesn’t appear, as long as present management is in place, that they will get back into NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing. The present management seem to have a problem racing what is a front wheel drive vehicle on the street and making a race car out of it, which is all rear wheel drive. It’s a philosophy that they have that they don’t seem to want to get away from.(NASCAR Fans/NASCAR Online)(1-12-98)
  • Long-time Winston Cup driver Dave Marcis was named the 1997 NMPA Spirit Award recipient on Sunday. Marcis, who has struggled and battled for years as an independent owner-driver, beat out fellow quarterly winners Rick Hendrick, Joe Nemechek and Rich Bickle.(SpeedNet)(1-12-98)
  • Jeff Hammond, former Darrell Waltrip WC crew chief is the new crew chief on the #46 Dollar Transportation Ford Truck driven by Andy Michner(Inside NASCAR – TNN, thanks Monica), the truck is listed as #46 on the entry sheets(1-12-98)
  • Record truck entry seen in Orlando, All three former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champions, an Indianapolis 500 veteran and a trio of current NASCAR Winston Cup Series stars top the preliminary entry list for the Jan. 18 Chevy Trucks Challenge at Walt Disney World Speedway near Orlando, Fla. (NASCAR Online)(1-12-98)
  • UPDATE 2: Who is Dan Pardus of Gardner Racing, who tested the #03 Chevy at Daytona? Well I did some hunting and found much info at the Official Dan Pardus Homepage, He is a current ARCA and former Dash series driver who had one of the fastest ARCA car in testing back in Dec!(1-5-98) – Testing went alright for Pardus considering it was a brand new car with a new Laughlin chassis. Plans right now for Pardus are for 12 ARCA races and 8 WC races, Daytona(both), Talladega(both), Texas, Indy, Charlotte(fall) and California. The sponsor is Midwest Trucking(1-7-98). NASCAR has assigned the team the number 07 instead of the 03(1-12-98)
  • Dale Jarrett was named Sunday morning(1-11-98) as winner of the Richard Petty Driver of the Year award, which is voted upon by members of the National Motorsports Press Association. The NMPA held its annual convention here Sunday.(NASCAR Fans/David Poole, Charlotte Observer)(1-12-98)
  • I hear Arby’s has dropped out from sponsoring the #64 Fans Team entry. Not sure what is happening with this team as their page has not been updated in a while(1-12-98)

    (1-11-98)

  • ROOF CAMS ARE BACK! Broadcast Sports Technology and CBS will have a new and improved roofcam on Winston Cup Cars for the CBS telecast of the Daytona 500. The new unit will be smaller and lighter than the aircraft style-pod previously used. NASCAR outlawed roofcams last season because the aerodynamics of the cars carrying the cameras were affected, some makes benefitted, some were slowed by the camera pods. It is expected the new unit will address these concerns satisfactorily.(not sure if ESPN/ABC or TBS will also have them)(1-11-98)
  • Rusty Wallace confirmed Saturday that engine builder Mike Ege has left the Penske South team. Wallace failed to finish 11 races in 1997, and eight of those were caused by engine problems.(Charlotte Observer) Ege has landed a jon with Pro Motors who build engines for the #’s 7,8,9,10,15 and 23 teams(1-11-98)
  • During TNN’s Raceday on 1-11-98, Bud Moore was interviewed about running ARCA Champion Tim Steele in his famous #15 Ford. The team has two Taurus’s being built and expect to announce a sponsor signing within the next week or so(TNN)(1-11-98)
  • About Geoff Bodine’s sponsorship search, John Porter, one of his partners, is involved with a company called WorldCom, and WorldCom was all set to sponsor the team. But WorldCom is merging with MCI, and as long as that merger is pending WorldCom can’t take on new ventures like sponsoring a race team. So Bodine had to go looking again.(Charlotte Observer)(1-11-98)
  • I hear from a reader that went to the BGN Preview on Friday that Phil Parsons said that next week they will announce a sponsor and saw him walking around with a guy wearing a DURALUBE racing jacket, hmmm, maybe the rumors are true(1-11-98)TRUE see above

    (1-10-98)

  • Stories about the Winston Cup Preview, STPRacing’s Winston Cup Commentary and WC and BGN 1998 Preview have stories and news about the WC Preview.(1-10-98)
  • #14 Pontiac owner, Richard Jackson is looking put together a 10 race sponsorship deal with Loy Allen as the driver(WC Scene)(1-10-98)
  • While Tommy Kendall is considering the #27 David Blair ride, nothing has been signed and as Kendall said on last weeks TNN’s Raceday it’s been an on/off type of deal with sponsorship needed before a deal can be done.(1-10-98)
  • Lee Leslie, who was the crew chief of the #95 Sadler Bros Chevy in 1997 has been named the crew chief of the #71 Dave Marcis Realtree Chevy in 1998(WC Scene and NSSN)(1-10-98)

    (1-9-98)

  • UPDATE: John Andretti will be driving the #50 Budweiser Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports in the Bud Shootout at Daytona. Andretti’s present car owner, Richard Petty gave him permission since Andretti is qualified for the race, via winning a pole with Cale Yarborough in the #98, and I am sure NASCAR wanted the “Bud” car in the “Bud Shootout” and with Craven not earning a pole or being a second-round fastest qualifier, this arrangement was worked out(1-6-97), officially announced on the Charlotte Observer site(1-9-98)
  • The Carolina Shoe Co. BGN team with driver Mark McFarland will be #82 Chevy and the car will be shown at Winchester Speedway Racecar Show at Apple Blossom Mall in Winchester, VA on 1/24-25. The team plans to run 5 BGN races in 1998 at Nashville, Nazareth, Richmond (June race), Indianapolis Raceway Park, and Milwaukee.(1-9-98)
  • I hear the Larry Lockamy WC Chevy will attempt a run at the Brickyard.(1-9-98)
  • “It is expected that an official announcement will come on Friday from NASCAR regarding the governing body’s purchase of the U.S. Auto Club.(USAC)(SpeedNet)(1-9-98)(didn’t see the announcement anywhere)
  • Kelloggs USA will offer in 1998 two limited-edition collectors cereal boxes featuring stock car champions. Boxes of Corn Flakes will honor 1996 Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte and 1949 NASCAR champion Red Byron. Also, Frosted Mini-Wheats boxes will honor 1997 Winston Cup champ Jeff Gordon. The boxes will be available nationwide.(SpeedNet)(1-9-98)
  • I hear the Toby Porter Truck deal with the Ozzie Smith group has fallen through. Toby will run the NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series and 5 Craftsman Truck Series races
    with Terminal Trucking Motorsports(RacinRadar)(1-9-98)
  • I hear that aerodynamic wind tunnel testing confirmed that the Taurus has as much as 75 pounds more downforce than the Tbird, and 25 pounds more than the Monte Carlo.(1-9-98)
  • Former WC owner/driver Donald Keith (DK) Ulrich and 3 other people were involved in a plane crash at Allegheny Airport in Pittsburgh, PA. Supposedly, the pilot(Ulrich) was trying to land in thick fog. The plane went off the end of runway and crashed into several mobile homes. Luckily, no one was killed and there were no major injuries. The plane was a small private jet reported to be owned by a company called U.S. Motorsports(owned by DK Ulrich). For more info, see the stories at No deaths reported in trailer park
    plane crash
    and Jet slides off runway into trailer park.(many sources)(1-7-98), see the story at iRACE(1-9-98)
  • NASCAR Online has a story on the new paint schemes of the 1998 WC cars at: New schemes to light up ’98. There are also images of the #’s 8, 40, 42, 46 and 97. (NASCAR Online)(1-9-98)

    (1-8-98)

  • Rusty Wallace will drive the #2 Elvis Miller Lite Ford at the Las Vegas 300 WC race on March 1, 1998. See the story and a picture of the car on NASCAR Online at: Action Performance unveils Elvis tribute. Rusty’s car has a decal of Elvis on the hood, piano keys across the front air dam, guitars on the rear quarter panels, and “Viva Las Vegas” on the rear deck lid.(thanks (1-8-98)
  • Paychex, Inc. a national provider of payroll processing, human resource and
    benefits outsourcing solutions for small to medium-sized businesses will be Brett Bodine and Team Scandia’s new sponsor for the 1998 season. The #11 Paychex Ford will debut at the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup Preview this Saturday, 1/10/98. Paychex was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Rochester, New York, Paychex serves more than
    275,000 clients nationwide. For more information, call 800-322-7292 or visit
    Paychex’ website (www.paychex.com).(thanks GMBLACK and Chaz Hinkle)(1-8-98)
  • iRACE has a good story about Rick Hendrick at Rick Hendrick: The Story Behind the Story.(thanks Jeff)(1-8-98)
  • Here are some more links to pages about Dale Earnhardt and the new 1999 Chevy Monte Carlo Intimidator with photos: Photos 1998 North American Auto Show,
    Chevrolet Goes to the Races and
    NewsCom Photo Browser.(thanks Eric)(1-8-98)
  • “A female motorist sneaked onto the track at Michigan International Speedway Tuesday for a fast lap. The 45-year old woman drove past the guard shack and onto the track about noon, Lenawee County sheriff’s deputies said. She drove a lap at a speed of 100 mph before a worker’s truck blocked her way and stopped her, deputies said. The woman told deputies she drove on the track for thrills and to see how fast her car could go. She was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. No charges have been filed.”(Toledo Blade – thanks Frank)(1-8-98)
  • More news on the Ozzie Smith WC team that was announced months ago: Nothing really is happening with Wizard Racing. The group is having difficulty coming up with a sponsor. Instead they’re hoping to compete in a limited number of WC races in 1998 and try the full 1999 season(1-8-98)
  • Enerjetix Motorsports President, Richard J. Balestrieri, announced that Jeff Andretti will team up with drivers Paul Dallenbach, Johnny Unser, and Danna “Daytona” Dayton for Enerjetix Motorsports in the 1998 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. The team has no sponsorship yet but are currently looking at all interesting offers. Depending on how the partnership program comes together, they intend to run a full schedule for all three drivers commencing with the race in Homestead, Florida. As a bonus for our corporate partners we also intend to field a part-time truck for Danna “Daytona” Dayton in 4-6 short track events. See the complete Press Release that was sent to me at: The Next Generation – Andretti, Dallenbach & Unser – Team Up!.(thanks Greg)(1-8-98)
  • ASA Champ Kevin Cywinski will drive the #11 Curtis Key Ford on a part-time basis. Cywinski said the team plans to run anywhere from six to eight races in 1998, and perhaps more if it can find sponsorship. The team plans to run its first race at Rockingham in February. Nashville, Milwaukee and Indianapolis are other tracks they plan to race at. Ray Kilgore will handle the crew chief duties(NASCAR Online)(1-8-98)
  • I hear that #85 Shane Hall has a 6 BGN race deal with Bama Jellies and a possible limited deal with Dunlop Golf….also for the Vegas Race a Casino from Vegas is supposedly going to sponsor him(RacinRadar)(1-8-98)

    (1-7-98)

  • I hear Mattei Motorsports will be at the second Ford test with 2 brand new Taurus’s, sponsorship is in the works(1-7-98)
  • I hear that it was announced by Andy Santerre this morning on WZON, Bangor, Me. that his two new owners, Innovative Motorsports, have bought Bobby Allison Motorsports. The car will be #47 and sponsored by Monro Mufflers(1-7-98)
  • Here is some updated info I hear about Washington-Erving Motorsports: I hear the
    sponsor contracts are signed but the money hasn’t changed hands so they are not operating as a team as of yet. The colors are Blue/Yellow and the team is located in the new Industrial park in Mooresville, NC. The sponsor is supposedly “a new industry in Nascar. I hear the car will be #12 and the team will run Thunderbirds for the first part of the season. Super-speedway cars were purchased from TriStar Motorsports(#19 in 1997) and engines will be supplied by Larry Wallace(1-7-98)
  • I hear all the legal stuff that happened between DuraLube and Shoemaker Racing(#64 BGN) is straightened out. Schneider Trucking is still sponsoring the car this year but they have not finalized a paint scheme yet. It will probably be orange and ?(1-7-98)
  • UPDATE: Rick Hendrick gets sentenced on Wednesday(12-31) in Asheville, NC. I hear his brother John will take over operations of Hendrick Motorsports. If I recall correctly Rick agreed to a House Arrest deal. Best wishes and get well Rick.(12-30-97) – Car dealer and NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick was sentenced today to one year of home detention, three years of probation and a $250,000 fine for his part in the American Honda Motor Co. bribery and kickback scandal. During the home detention, Hendrick can’t participate in his auto dealership business or his NASCAR operations, U.S. District Court Judge Lacy Thornburg said(Charlotte Observer, Speedworld and NASCAR Fans)(1-6-98). Earlier this week, John Hendrick, Rick’s brother, became President and CEO of Hendrick Motorsports, and now heads the multicar Winston Cup effort and NCTS team that won the ’97 championships in their racing series. John Hendrick had accompanied the Winston Cup teams during the ’97 season as he stood in for his brother at the track, and now will increase his participation in the day-to-day running of the multicar effort. Long-time Hendrick Motorsports Director of Operations, Jimmy Johnson will remain at the group.(www.country.com)(1-7-98)
  • Toby Porter went to Kartweek in Daytona and won. Sat on pole, then it rained out race, so he was given the win(RacinRadar)(1-7-98)
  • Check out the stories about the new (1999)Chevy Monte Carlo Sportscar and Dale Earnhardt at: Chevy wants to intimidate its rivals and Chevy hopes cartoon will draw in buyers.(1-7-98)
  • There is an interesting and touching story on SpeedNet: Many requests too bizarre to consider, but pros try to accommodate, written by Mark Armijo of The Arizona Republic(SpeedNet)(1-7-98)
  • UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing and Mike Skinner are scratching their heads after this test sessions that’s for sure. Childress brought 5 Chevrolets with Mike Skinner as the sole driver to test. NASCAR objected to this and charged the Dale Earnhardt car with a test session. The team apparently didn’t realize only 3 cars per drive is allowable during an open test such as this one.(Speedworld). Childress Racing had Dave Marcis, Mike Skinner, and Mike Dillon all testing cars(NASCAR Fans)(1-6-98) – “The test was charged against the team for several reasons beyond the fact that at least one of the race cars at the test was a GM Goodwrench decal-ed car with tape added to make the number 31. The NASCAR rulebook calls for all chassis to have a VIN number which they in turn make a record of for future checking. Of four criteria – car, crew chief, car owner, and driver, NASCAR felt three of the four were present at Daytona and therefore charged the team with a test.”(NASCAR Fans)(1-7-98)
  • As announced here a few weeks back: “Hank Parker Jr. plans to compete for Grand National rookie of the year honors in 1998, replacing Nathan Buttke as driver of the No. 78 Chevrolet owned by Dan Browder.” (Charlotte Observer)(1-7-98)
  • I did not hear this rumor: “There is nothing to a rumor Jeff Gordon was hurt in a crash at Daytona or in a car wreck in Georgia. Gordon is fine after spending part of the New Year’s holiday in Colorado. Charlotte Motor Speedway’s switchboard received several calls about the rumor Tuesday.”(Charlotte Observer) I was out in Colorado at the same time but Gordon was in Aspen and I was in the Keystone/Silverthorne area(1+ hour away)(1-7-98)
  • I hear that it has been reported on local Michigan TV stations that Steve Hmeil will be Johnny Benson’s crew chief and Cheerios will be the sponsor on the #26 Ford, both rumored here for months now(1-7-98)
  • I hear the Washington-Erving team will be #12 and the team will run Thunderbirds in the first part of the season(1-7-98)

    (1-6-98)

  • According to RPM2Night(1-4) the Chevy’s used 12:1 Motors for their Daytona test, thanks Rob.(1-6-98)
  • Good Story at
    Black NASCAR pioneer remembered
    , about Wendell Scott(1-6-98)
  • John Andretti will be driving the #25 Bud Shootout Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports in the Bud Shootout at Daytona. Andretti’s present car owner, Richard Petty gave him permission since Andretti is qualified for the race, via winning a pole with Cale Yarborough in the #98, and I am sure NASCAR wanted the “Bud” car in the “Bud Shootout” and with Craven not earning a pole or being a second-round fastest qualifier, this arrangement was worked out(1-6-97)
  • Petty Enterprises got a jump start on the competition last weekend, as John Andretti tested the team’s Pontiac at Talladega. Andretti tested last Friday, Saturday and Sunday, preparing for the upcoming Daytona 500 as well as April’s DieHard 500 at Talladega. The #43 STP Pontiac was 4/10th’s of a second off of Andretti’s pole winning speed in May 97(SpeedNet)(1-6-98)
  • Jack Hewitt did not get the Bill Elliott truck ride as rumored here a few weeks ago. Not sure why or what happened or who may get the ride now(1-6-98)
  • Weather forced Bahari Racing to postpone its test at Talladega Superspeedway, the team’s first of the 1998 season with new driver Derrike Cope. Bahari Racing has scheduled a two-day test at the 2.66-mile track, beginning Tuesday. The team plans to test at the facility with several Busch Series teams, which have the track Thursday. Drivers scheduled to test Busch Series cars later this week include Joe Nemechek, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mark Green and Mike Dillon.(SpeedNet)(1-6-98)
  • UPDATE: Officially announced on NASCAR online: I hear World Championship Wrestling will announce their new racing team next Saturday(1-3-98) between 6pm and 8pm(et) on TBS during the broadcast of WCW Saturday Night.(12-28-97). Bill Kiser of iRACE reported over a week ago that “Reportedly backing the Jackson-Hooper effort next season will be World Championship Wrestling (WCW), which sponsored the Shaver Motorsports team in a limited BGN effort with Kyle Petty and Greg Sacks last year.”(12-29-97), update (1-6-98)
  • Speaking of the Chevy engines and the rumored casting problems, I hear that it’s unlikely that GM would spend almost four years developing the SB2 and then have 11th-hour casting problems. One explanation from a GM source I have is that some “pilot” runs of heads went out to the teams (and in retrospect should not have) for initial fitment and mockup and these have been labeled “bad” heads. the final SB2.2
    (second version) head package wasn’t approved until August ’97–and there have been some production “teething” problems, but nothing out of the ordinary for a first re-design. Note also that the SB2 heads were run in ARCA races almost all of last year by as many as four teams. Why didn’t we hear about this casting flaw then? The ARCA runs did expose a valvetrain lifespan problem, which has been corrected, so a major casting difficulty would probably show up then, too. Unless, of course, the factory changed its casting foundry. Will GM teams show up at Daytona running old 18-degree heads and not the SB2s? Lesser funded ones, maybe. But count on them being on Hendrick Motorsports engines, Richard Childress Racing, and Joe Gibbs Racing powerplants. There are teams that haven’t invested in the SB2 and they will run 18-degree engines at Daytona (and beyond); even the majors (Hendrick, Gibbs, Childress) will probably have 18-degree engines at the ready in the unlikely event they are needed.(www.country.com)(1-6-98)
  • UPDATE: I heard that the #90 Helig Meyers team shop was broken into over the past weekend. and 50 or so tires and 5 dash boards were stolen. Could get no confirmation on this(12-30-97). This item appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch Crime Log on 12/31: 5011 block of Old Midlothian Turnpike, Donlavey Racing, between Thursday at 4pm and Friday at 7pm, 70 Goodyear racing tires, four dashboards, and two carburetors valued at about $31,600 stolen by someone who broke into a rear window with a four-foot-long board.(thanks KandTBal and Mike)(1-6-98)
  • NASCAR Fans: Dave reports this information on the Canadian Tire rumor floating around recently: “I work for Canadian Tire here in Brampton, ON and just received the company newsletter. In it they reported with much excitement about Canadian Tire now carrying the Nascar Brand Battery by Exide. I know our company sponsors motorsports here in Canada so who knows. In fact our company is supposed to be trying to break back into the American market again. (they tried twice and failed) But under a different name.”(1-6-98)

    (1-5-98)

  • The #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo DEI team with Steve Park as the driver in 1998 announcemed the crew members who will service the Pennzoil Monte Carlo during pit stops in 1998. The roster includes: rear tire changer/car chief Chad Knause, jackman Walter Smith and front tire carrier Gary Smith who came over from Hendrick Motorsports. The rest of the crew are: front tire changer Travis Block, gas man
    Troy Cole, catch can man Charles Dickey and rear tire carrier Kevin Manion. Block played a key role in the quick pit stops by Kyle Petty last year. Manion, Block and Dickey will also work in the DEI shop as mechanics. Cole is the team’s truck driver.(NASCAR Fans/Pennzoil)(1-5-98)
  • LINE-X, a division of the Burtin Corporation, announced that it will serve as associate sponsor of Mike Skinner’s No. 5 Chevrolet at the Chevy Trucks Challenge
    NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Walt Disney World Speedway on 1/18/98(NASCAR Online)(1-5-98)
  • News on LJ Racing – #91 Chevy: “Joe Falk has purchased a new building located next door to the BGN Detroit Gasket team in the Mooresville Business Park. The Mooresville Business Park (and of course the new home for LJ Racing) is located about 3/4 of a mile from the Irredell Business Park which houses the shops for the Skittles Team, Active Motorsports, and Nemy’s Bell South BGN team. Joe told me LJ Racing and it’s five (whew! that’s small) full-time employees will move from the old shop on Providence Mill Rd. in Maiden, NC after the first Daytona test. It will most probably be the second week of January. No news on a full-time sponsor for LJ; Joe has a crew chief in mind pending full-time sponsorship.”(NASCAR Fans)(1-5-98)
  • Action Performance Companies Inc. announced on 12-30-97 that it has completed the previously announced purchase of the U.S. motorsports die-cast collectibles business of Revell-Monogram Inc., a unit of Binney & Smith Inc. of Easton, Pa., for approximately $15 million in cash, and a formed broad-ranging and long-term strategic alliance with Revell-Monogram.(AP-Phatman)(1-5-98)
  • ASA Driver Brad Loney is racing the first 5 BGN races in the #45 Hunters Specilties Chevy.(ASAFan33)(1-5-98)
  • Stafford Motor Speedway in Central Connecticut has announced that the CARQUEST 150 NASCAR Busch North Series Grand National Division event, originally scheduled for June 5, has been moved to Friday, June 19. The date change came after New Thompson Speedways — located in the northeast corner of the state, decided to give up the date. Thompson maintained its Sept. 13 date on the schedule, which was released recently.(NASCAR Online/Racing PR)(1-5-98)

    (1-1-98)

  • Troy Reed, has been hired by Bill Elliott and Dan Marino to be team manager of the new #13 First Plus Ford to be driven by Jerry Nadeau. Troy has been around racing for all his life, probably mostly, because his dad, Nick, made sure of it. Nick has been spectating and officiating races for 50 years altogether. Troy, himself, has been a
    tech man with USAC for many years.(Don – John Andretti FanPage)(1-1-98)