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PAST NEWS JULY 1997



    (7-31-97)

  • Rick Hendrick, who is ill with leukemia, has begun planning to dismantle
    his mammoth racing operation, according to GM sources. According to one possible plan, Jeff Gordon and crew chief Ray Evernham would be allowed to buy their team, Ricky Craven would be allowed to buy his team, and Terry Labonte and crew chief Gary DeHart would be allowed to buy their team. The engine department, according to one plan, would be spun off into an independent company headed by chief engine man Randy Dorton, and the chassis/car-building department would also be spun off into a business run by head chassis man Eddie Dickerson.(JournalNow). I have heard bit’s and pieces of this from other sources(7-31-97)
  • But….this message was received by SpeedWorld who also reported the above RUMOR:

    We are the public relations counsel to Hendrick Motorsports. The report you are running on the Speedworld web site concerning the planned sale of Hendrick Motorsports is totally inaccurate and based on unfounded rumors. The Winston-Salem Journal ran this report without calling us to verify any of the facts, and will run a retraction tomorrow. Please correct your web page immediately, Thanks, Dan Lohwasser, Muhleman Marketing, Inc., hmmm…interesting(7-31-97)
  • Travis Carter said that he and Jimmy Spencer have signed a new contract, taking Spencer out of contention for rival rides. Spencer had been under consideration for rides with Larry McClure and Richard Petty, according to men close to those teams. Spencer told McClure no last week, according to one report(JournalNow)(7-31-97)
  • According to sources close to the teams, Jimmy Spencer had been courted by Larry McClure (Kodak Chevy #4) and Richard Petty (#43 STP Pontiac). One source said that Jimmy turned down the offer from McClure last week(Jimmy Spencer List)(7-31-97)
  • Andy Petree says he’ll meet next week with a potential sponsor about backing Ernie Irvan in a second team out of his Asherville, NC shop. He says Nike isn’t one of the
    sponsors he’s talking with. Petree had been considering putting Irvan in a Pontiac, but now says if the deal goes through he would run two Monte Carlos(JournalNow), what about the above Irvan rumor, same source??(7-31-97)
  • Jack Roush “wants to get big in the business, really big,” according to one close associate, talking about Roush’s plans to expand his WC operation. According to one GM source, Roush might use the Pontiac card to try to leverage NASCAR to OK body changes for the new Ford Taurus. Unconfirmed reports are that Roush is interested in adding
    both Johnny Benson and Ward Burton to his stable of drivers. Roush is also close to deciding to run his own IRL team next year, according to team sources(JournalNow)&7-31-97)
  • But SpeedWorld reports that …..Bill Davis says he expects Ward Burton to be back in the #22 MBNA Pontiac again next year(7-31-97)
  • Gil Martin, formally crew chief of the #81 Square-D Ford is now the crew chief of the #1 Richard Jackson owned Pontiac(7-31-97)
  • I hear from other sources that Jack Roush may sign Johnny Benson soon for 1998 and the primary sponsor to possibly be a General Mills product to compete with Kellogg’s. I have heard Cheerios and Wheaties. Have heard the Benson rumor a week or so ago with Cheerios from a different source(7-31-97)
  • McDonald’s is also rumored to have extended their contract with Bill Elliott, not sure how long(7-31-97)
  • Shell Oil will sponsor Tony Stewart in the Joe Gibbs owned #44 Shell Pontiac in the BGN series. Stewart made his Gibbs debut at IRP on 8-1. The car number will be 18 in 1998. Stewart plans to drive five BGN events this year and a full schedule in 1998. He also may enter some Winston Cup races later next year. Shell will also continue to be an associate sponsor of Gibbs’ Winston Cup car driven by Bobby Labonte(AP)(7-31-97)
  • Among anticipated announcements this weekend, expect to hear that Kenny Irwin, Jr. will be named to replace Ernie Irvan in the Texaco/Havoline Ford for 1998. However, according to one source close to the situation, Yates might make the surprise announcement that he’s decided to re-sign Irvan, though for a much smaller price tag than Irvan had originally wanted. Terry Labonte says he’s not interested in Yates’ ride(JournalNow)(7-31-97)
  • Texaco contacts at corporate headquarters say there is no truth to the RYR #28 being Wheaties in ’98. It will still be the #28 Texaco Havoline Ford(Taurus)(7-31-97)
  • From NASCAR Online: STP announced that a second “Paint the King’s Car” contest will be held for U.S. high school students in grades 9-12. Last year’s contest was open to anyone and generated more than 6,000 entries from all 50 states and nine foreign countries. The winning entry came from Lars Ericksson, a Swedish NASCAR fan, and his color scheme is being carried this season on the No. 43 STP Petty Enterprises Pontiac driven by Bobby Hamilton. Entry forms and contest information will be available next month and will be sent to instructors of more than
    24,000 high school art classes. The contest will run until October 31 and, as with last year’s contest, the winning entry will be the paint scheme on the No. 43 car for all of next season(7-31-97)


    (7-30-97)

  • The rumors that Ernie Irvan will end up with the Washington-Erving Motorsports team keep getting stronger, should hear something within the next two weeks or so(7-30-97)
  • SURPRISE: The Ford unveiled the Taurus as their 1998 WC Stock Car. There are quite a few pictures on NASCAR now(Please don’t send them to me). It’s pretty sharp looking if you ask me(7-30-97)
  • Rumors I hear about RYR and Wheaties now point toward a possible third team although this seems unlikely(7-30-97)
  • I hear Tommy Kendall may try BGN in 1998 in a Ford with current sponsor All-Sport(7-30-97)
  • Heard Radio Shack may be a primary sponsor on a WC car in 1998, no idea who(7-30-97)
  • The rumor that the #14 Burger King Chevy would be at the Brickyard with Steve Park driving has been proven false. His next scheduled attempt is at Watkins Glen, next week(7-30-97)
  • Wally Dallenbach said on RPM2Nite he will be back with SABCO and First Union in 1998(7-30-97)
  • Geoff Bodine’s announcement has been postponed. Sources say the partners are John Porter and Jim Mattea(SpeedWorld)(7-30-97)


    (7-29-97)

  • iRACE reports that it will be Ernie Irvan who will drive for the new Washington Erving team in 1998(7-29-97)
  • Per the Charlotte Observer: Washington-Erving Racing has decided on the people with which it will fill several key positions for its debut season in 1998. Jimmy Martin, who has managed the business side of the Petty Enterprises racing operation, has been named general manager for the team owned by former NBA star Julius Erving(DrJ) and ex-NFL star Joe Washington. Details on Martin’s role will be announced this week. Jimmy Foster will drive the team’s BGN Fords, and team spokeswoman Kathy Thompson said a decision about a Winston Cup driver is close. Two drivers who now have Winston Cup rides will be made offers, she said. The new team won’t select a crew chief until it picks a driver(7-29-97)
  • I made in error about the #91 and potential sponsor STB They are not going to sponsor the car at Indy, they are going to check it out at Indy and see how things go. If Sacks can get the car in the field and run competitively, STB will sponsor the car for the remainder of the season! As for getting the car in the field, with the SABCO motor, they are turning consistent 51.4 second laps, and are still working at shaving that down to 51.0 to 50.8, they do feel however that the car will be able to qualify!(7-29-97)
  • Here is some info on BGNN driver Andy Santerre from Hal Furrow, the Saturday night announcer at Speedway 95 in Bangor, Maine. Andy Santerre got his start here at this track and was successful in the pro stock ranks here until he moved to the Busch North series. This past saturday night, Andy was here driving in the pro truck series tour(he’s not a regular) and he told me in the garage area that they were moving to charlotte and that they were going to the #36 BGN team. An official announcement should be made within two weeks. Ricky Craven offered him a job to drive the #2 Raybestos car, but Andy figured the Team 34 ride was the best deal. This young man is very fan friendly and with the kind of backing of Stanley Tools can provide combined with his driving skills Andy will be very very competitive, by the way he won the pro truck race on Saturday night(7-29-97)
  • iRACE says Dale Earnhardt, still looking for the magic needed to return to victory lane, has told close associates he’d really (see iRACE) like to retire as a driver but can’t because of his lucrative souvenir businesses(iRACE see link above)(7-29-97)
  • Here is an odd BGN rumor: Randy Lajoie will bring himself and Fina to Team 34 as the third car in a 3-car team?(7-29-97)


    (7-28-97)

  • The Carolina Hurricanes (NHL Team) have become an associate sponsor of Jeff Burton and will display their logo on Burton’s #99 Exide Ford Thunderbird at this weekend’s Brickyard 400. The deal also includes the UAW-GM Quality 500 to be held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on 10-5-97(NandoNet-AP)(7-28-97)
  • Humpy Wheeler is proposing a “peace” venture between Bill France and Bruton Smith, offering the construction expertise of Smith’s Speedway Motorsports operation to help France build the proposed new superspeedway near Kansas City(se the JournalNow for the rest of the story)(7-28-97)
  • I hear Andy Santerre, a BGNN driver said he is about to sign a deal to put him in a ride for the BGN series for 1998. He could not reveal the team, but said that it would be in one of the top three teams currently in the points. Hmmm… my guess is the #36 Stanley Tools #36 Pontiac being vacated by Todd Bodine at the end of the year. Stanley is a northern sponsor(7-28-97)
  • I hear the Matt Kenseth to Roush rumor is not true and that the Roush Busch program is switching to Pontiac? Does this make any sense to anyone else? Why stay Ford in WC and Pontiac in BGN?? R&D?(7-28-97)
  • New drivers for the #1 Richard Jackson owned R&L Carrier sponsored Pontiac: Mike Wallace at Indy and Lance Hooper at Watkins Glen. No news on further plans(7-28-97)
  • It was mentioned on RPM2Night in John Kernans interview with Tony George(Indy owner and IRL founder), that Humpy Wheeler mentioned he’d like to do a IRL/WC double at Texas in October 1998, George said nothing is set with the schedule yet(7-28-97)
  • Bill Elliott had the fastest one lap speed during testing at Indy at 179.219 mph, 2.8mph faster than Jeff Gordon’s one-lap event qualifying record(SpeedNet)(7-28-97)
  • Michael Waltrip(with a Roush engine) beat Kenny Schrader to win the Winston West race in Pikes Peak Raceway in Colorado on Sunday, see the results on the Winston West Page(7-28-97)


    (7-27-97)

  • Thanks to Henry from NASCAR Fansite for the following news: Here are a few of the seldom or sometime competitors who’ve filled out an entry blank for the Brickyard 400:

    #12 Jeff Purvis – Opryland Chevy – Owner Dennis Adcock; #15 TBA – Ford -Bud Moore(no-see below); #26 Rich Bickle – KFC Team Twister Chevy – Owner Darrell Waltrip; #27 Rick Wilson – David Blair Motorsports Ford; #61 Tim Steele – HS Die Ford – Owner Harold Steele; #92 Ron Barfield – New Holland Ford – Owner Bill Elliott(7-26-97), per SpeedNet, the #15 car has not entered the race, there are 51 cars entered(no #14 or #15)(7-27-97)
  • A reader reports that Tim Steele’s Winston Cup car was on display at Michigan Speedway yesterday (7-26) during CART qualifying and the ARCA race. It looks identical to the ARCA car, except that it is #61 and black instead of red(Nope it’s RED)(thanks Rick)(7-27-97)
  • Robby Gordon said he and NASCAR Winston Cup team owner Felix Sabates have set an 8-15 date to decide which direction they will go in 1998. Gordon has the first option to purchase the IRL equipment from Sabates for what the driver called “fair market value.” Saturday he said it all hinged on having a sponsor, which he does not have at the moment. It would not be Coors Light, he said, which is tied to Sabates. Gordon said he has options for next season, including a couple in CART, a couple in Winston Cup and the IRL. He would not reveal those plans, except to say that he and Barry Green “made a mistake” but not signing a CART deal before this season began. They could be united in ’98, Gordon admitted. See the story at SpeedNet(SpeedNet)(7-27-97)
  • Here is a BIG rumor I have heard from a very good source of mine in reference to the Wheaties sponsorship: Wheaties will be the sponsor of the….#28 RYR Ford in 1998!?(7-27-97)
  • I hear Todd Bodine sponsorship with Tabasco is in the $6 million range? Is the market that big for hot sauce? Love those wings! To find out more about Tabasco click here(7-27-97)
  • I hear Andy Petree is having no luck with sponsors for his second team(7-27-97)
  • I hear when the dominoes fall the following may happen: Marlin will be in the 40 car. Jimmy Spencer in the 4 car. Hamilton stays the 43 car(7-27-97)
  • I hear that because the team missed the race at Pocono Steve Park and the #14 Burger King Chevy will show up at Indy(7-27-97)


    (7-26-97)

  • Ricky Craven said on CBS 7-27 that his ride in the BGN #2 Raybestos Chevy will be open for 1998. He wants to be an owner on Saturdays and a driver on Sundays. He said Raybestos will still be primary sponsor on the car and that he’s looking for a driver for the #2(7-26-97)
  • Saw this on RPM2Nite: The IRL Dallara-Olds driven by Greg Ray at Charlotte on 7-26 was a black #31 sponsored by…Dale Earnhardt and Richard Childress, Ray qualified 17th(7-26-97)
  • Per Nando Net & the AP: Charlotte Motor Speedway spent about $400,000 to make a number of improvements to accommodate the IRL cars. The bulk of the cost was to tear out steel guard rails that prevented cars from sliding onto the infield, and replace them with a 26-inch-high concrete wall that stretches more than 5,000 feet. The IRL cars are less likely to be torn up by a smooth concrete surface than by the poles used to support the guard rails. The speedway also replaced the asphalt in the pit stalls with concrete because the IRL cars’ on-board pneumatic jacks simply sank into the old surface. And the speedway created acceleration and deceleration lanes to allow for safer access to the pits(7-26-97)
  • So much for the Truck series #90 NHL Ford truck closing down and converting to Dodge, the team made the show in Topeka, I hear they will run a few more races in 1997 in a Ford(7-26-97)
  • Here is what I hear about the #2 Miller Lite Engine problems at Pocono:They took the engine out of the car, pulled the valve covers and couldn’t find any thing broken. They turned it over by hand and it was free. That’s when they decided to put it on the dyno. It came up to full power. It was a Larry Wallace Engine. – Must have been an electrical problem(7-26-97)


    (7-25-97)

  • Sources tell me that Kenny Irwin, Jr. will be announced within a week as the new driver of the 28 Texaco RYR Ford(7-25-97)
  • I hear General Mills is going Full-time WC racing in 1998. They will have their own car. I am not sure of the team. I do know they have turned down the Petree deal with Ernie Irvan. I hear the deal will be with Wheaties(7-25-97)
  • If Sterling Marlin goes, Jimmy Spencer may land in the seat of Larry McClure’s Chevrolet. McClure has also spoken to Bobby Hamilton, in the midst of a slump with Petty Enterprises(iRACE)(7-25-97)
  • I hear ARCA driver Jimmy Kitchens will make his Winston Cup debut at either Richmond or Atlanta or both. #47. He has also been chosen as on of the five drivers for the Roerig(#19) truck ride test(7-25-97)
  • More iRace news: We hear that Jack Roush, has reached a deal to purchase Mark Rypien Motorsports and will field a fourth Cup team in 1998 with Johnny Benson as the driver and Cheerios as the sponsor, contradicts the story that Benson is under contract(7-25-97)
  • Also iRace rumors have Roush possibly putting together one or two more Busch teams, one of them, perhaps, for Tom Kendall, Roush’s Trans-Am driver(7-25-97)
  • Rumor has it that #4 Engine Builder Runt Pitman is only three years from retirement and will not be leaving the #4 team even if Sterling should leave(7-25-97)
  • From the the Pit Notes section on iRace(in the Bill Elliott story): Felix Sabates is in the process of choosing between Sterling Marlin and Ernie Irvan to replace Robby Gordon next season. Sources tell me it’s Marlin.(hard to believe after the Sadaam comment Felix made). I hear Marlin has already signed the contract(7-25-97)
  • I hear from a reader who heard Eli Gold’s radio show that Bill Ingle was at the Glen during a Monday test session, he was on top of the team transporter, he was then called down and told he was dismissed from the Team Manager job and get this: he was supposedly not even given a ticket for the flight back to NC(7-25-97)
  • Family Channel has re-upped with Jack Roush for three years, meaning Ted Musgrave will likely keep his ride for next season.(iRACE)(7-25-97)
  • Chuck Rider recently denied rumors he is planning to sell his team(#30 Pennzoil Pontiac), and says that he has Benson under contract for next season(iRACE)(7-25-97)
  • Per RPM2Nite and Speedworld: Rick Hendrick’s(owner #’s 5,24,25) trial on bribery charges has been postponed a second time because of the Winston Cup team owner’s failing health. Hendrick is undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia. District Judge Lacy Thornburg, listened to conflicting medical testimony before agreeing to a postponement to 9-22-97. But another delay is unlikely(7-25-97)
  • The ARCA series is not for sale(7-25-97)
  • The news of the #91 LJ Racing Chevy(formally Spam) team’s demise is not true. The team plans to continue on a limited run if not sponsorship is found but…it may be a moot point, as LJ Racing is negotiating with computer parts manufacturer “STB” for sponsoring the car starting at Indy, and through to the end of the year. It was also mentioned that they may be interested in continuing with it for next year!(7-25-97)
  • Update to the earlier story I posted where I said that the #9 Melling Ford would not be sponsored by Pierry Industries anymore in 1997: Pierry Manufacturing and Delta Faucets have both signed associate sponsorship deals with Melling Racing for the upcoming Brickyard 400 to be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, 8-2-97. As of this point, the Melling team is currently working on plans to attend five more Winston Cup races at Indianapolis, Michigan, Charlotte, Phoenix, and Atlanta. And the whole Planet Hollywood rumor as a sponsor is NOT true. Feel free to show your support by contacting Delta Faucet via email at: AGW@deltafaucet.com. And Russ Pierry at: rpierry@pierry.com.(Nate Lane, Lake Speed fan club 7-25-97)
  • Per NASCAR Online: NASCAR has denied #98 crew chief, Tony Furr’s appeal and upheld the recent $50,000 penalty levied by NASCAR officials against Furr for use of illegal carb studs on the #98 Yarborough Motorsports Ford Thunderbird during a pre-race inspection for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona on 7-5-97(7-25-97)
  • The story on the iRACE page today about Jack Roush does not sound like a man that is going to switch makes of cars for the 1998 season. Roush has had a huge hand in developing the Ford Taurus which will of course be introduced to the public next Wednesday(7-25-97)


    (7-24-97)

  • BGN News: Buckshot Jones and the #00 Pontiac BGN team will be sponsored by Bayer Aspirn and Alka-Seltzer in 1998(RPM2Nite) and per a NASCAR online interview: Buckshot Jones plans to run up to 2 WC Cup events in 1997, 5-8 in 1998 and go full-time in 1999(7-24-97)
  • I hear Tony George(Indianapolis Motor Speedway & IRL) is one of the Geoff Bodine buyers???? And the other is Rick Galles(IRL team owner and old rumor)??? An AP story says they are business people, well known in the business community nationwide and worldwide(7-24-97)
  • I hear per the JournalNow that one of the NASCAR body templates for Ford’s new Taurus will be at least eight inches off the production car specs, according to one source familiar with the model, which will be unveiled at Indianapolis next week(7-24-97)


    (7-23-97)

  • Ken from Milwaukee reports that the sale of the #44 Bobby Labonte Busch team to Joe Gibbs is in progress. Tony Stewart (as we already know) will be driving the BGN car and that Bobby Labonte will field a car (as team owner??) in the BGN series in 1998 in the new #18 car. Sponsor unknown. Will run 15 or so BGN races(7-23-97)
  • Reports out of the Corning (NY) Leader said today that several WC and BGN North teams tested at Watkins Glen yesterday. Mark Martin, Bill Elliott, Johnny Benson, Jr., Jeff Green and Steve Park were among the
    notables. Martin and Elliott were testing new cars. Martin was pleased enough with the new chassis to declare his old car (3 Glen wins) retired. Elliott said he and Mike Beam decided to test because Bill had to skip last year’s event as he was still recovering from the Talledega wreck. They also had a poor showing at Sears Point this year. Park didn’t get on the track in his Dale Earnhardt Chevy until late in the day because the car reportedly wasn’t quite finished. Testing resumes today(thanks TJ Spencer)(7-23-97)


    (7-22-97)

  • WC rookie driver Jerry Nadeau has been released by Precision Products Racing(#1 R&L Pontiac) on Tuesday. Word is though that team owner Richard Jackson is trying to convince his sponsor, R&L Carriers to stick with Nadeau, but they won’t and he is looking for a driver for the Brickyard 400(7-22-97)
  • Wes Ward has been appointed director of racing operations for Diamond Ridge Motorsports effective immediately, replacing Bill Ingle. As for Ingle, owner Gary Bechtel says “Bill Ingle worked tenaciously on our racing operation, but we were not producing the expected results. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.” Ward joined Diamond Ridge Motorsports in September 1996, but returned to DAJ Racing when Green moved up to the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit in May of this year. (NASCAR Online/RPM2Nite)(7-22-97)
  • The JournalNow reports that Ted Musgrave just signed a new contract with car owner Jack Roush, no terms mentioned(7-22-97)
  • As reported before: Kenny Wallace and Kenny Wallace Racing will attempt to make the BGN race at Gateway this Saturday in the #12 Graybar/Buss Fuses Ford in Saturday’s race(nascar online)(7-22-97)
  • Slim Jim will be leaving the #57 BGN team after the 1997 season, I hear the sponsorship will go to Mike Cope who will move over to BGN(7-22-97)
  • Michael Waltrip will drive in the Winston West Series event at Pike Peaks in Colorado this Sunday. He will drive the #55 Ford Thunderbird that Joe Ruttman attempted to race in the Winston Open at Charlotte. Waltrip owns the car and will be sponsored by Klaussner Furniture(NASCAR Online). Also Waltrips #21 BGN team has re-signed Band-Aid as sponsor for 1998 to race in 15 BGN races(7-22-97)
  • Here is what I hear about the new Todd Bodine Pontiac team: Will have McIlhenney Co. Tabasco as sponsor and car #35. They will run a Winston Cup car before the year is out. Either Charlotte or/and Atlanta(7-22-97)
  • I hear Bill Ingle may be a candidate for a crew chief job for Ernie Irvan if he gets the second Andy Petree team ride(7-22-97)
  • Sources tell me that an OFFICIAL announcement coming down Wednesday regarding a partnership between ISC and the Homestead Motorsports Complex, I hear ISC will purchase the track(7-22-97)


    (7-21-97)

  • Ernie news/rumors from the JournalNow: Ernie Irvan feels that Andy Petree’s offer is his top choice right now for a 1998 ride and that he would do the deal to become teammates with Kenny Schrader if the sponsor says yes. “The Andy Petree deal, if it could come together, would be a good deal,” Irvan said yesterday. It is not clear who the sponsor might be, but Nike is one company interested in sponsoring a team next season. “We hope to get it done in the next 30 days,” said Petree, who is talking with more than one potential sponsor. “If we do get the sponsor, I want to run Ernie. And Kenny is buying into the program, because he knows it would help both teams.” Irvan confirmed that he has also talked with team owners Julius Erving, Jack Roush, Michael Kranefuss and Don Shavers(NWO) about next season. “But I’m not sure there’s anything open at Jack’s,” he said. “And Michael and I are always talking, but right now he thinks Jeremy (Mayfield) has been doing a great job, that it’s still too soon for him to do a second team until his first team is all dialed in. I’m just interested in whatever deal can help Ernie Irvan win races, whether it’s Andy Petree’s deal or Julius Erving’s deal.”(parts from the JournalNow)(7-21-97)
  • Sources tell me that Robby Gordon will go to the Barry Green/Team Kool Green CART team in 1998, plus iRace reports that Robby has sold his boat and home on Lake Norman(NC) and is currently renting a place in Charlotte until the end of the year(7-21-97)
  • The Wood Brothers have exercised their option to retain Michael Waltrip as their driver for 1998(Philly Daily News)(7-21-97)
  • I HEAR(this means a rumor) that the DrJ car may be #50(7-21-97)
  • Some Geoff Bodine News: From what I am told Bob Glidden is still involved in the motor program but more on the truck side. Pro Motors will be used for the rest of the year. Although Pro Motors did not supply the qualifying motor at Pocono and may not for Indy and/or Watkins Glen. They are getting the race motors right first to see what Geoff Bodine likes then they will start supplying the qualifying motors. Geoff’s team did the qualifying motor at Pocono. I also hear the ownership announcement should be made Thursday July 31, 1997 at Indy. Also to let you know it’s not just one businessman but two businessmen have made the deal with Bodine. That IT IS a done deal. If it hadn’t been they would not have been to NH or Pocono. In this deal Geoff does remain a partner in the team. And they are working on different sponsorship for next year and additional sponsorship for the remainder of this year. This will also allow Berry Bodine(Geoff’s son) to run some more Truck races this year and hope to have him run the full schedule next year. And Tammy Jo Kirk’s future with the team is up in the air right now, they are waiting on getting a sponsorship deal put together for next season(7-21-97)
  • Car owner Richard Childress has been planning a major review of the #31 Lowes team this week, because he has not pleased with the way that operation is progressing(JournalNow)(7-21-97)


    (7-20-97)

  • It was announced that 13 drivers have committed to participate in the second annual NASCAR Suzuka Thunder Special 100 on 11/23/97 in Suzuka City, Japan. The event again will be televised live in the United States by SuperStation TBS(Boo, I don’t get it). Last years race featured 23 NASCAR drivers as well as four Japanese drivers. The series of three NASCAR demonstration races will take place over a three-year period. The list of drivers confirmed to participate in the event to date are as follows: From Winston Cup: Ricky Craven, Wally Dallenbach, Dale Earnhardt, Bill Elliott(Not Going), Jeff Gordon, David Green, Ernie Irvan(?), Dale Jarrett(Not Going), Terry Labonte, Sterling Marlin(Not Going), Mark Martin, Morgan Shepherd(?), Mike Skinner, Rusty Wallace and Michael Waltrip. From the BGN series: Randy LaJoie. From the Craftsman Truck series: Rick Carelli, Kenny Irwin,Jr and Jay Sauter. From the Winston West series: Gary Collins, Kevin Culver, Scott Gaylord, Butch Gilliland, John Kinder, Larry Gunselman, Gary Smith and Sean Woodside. And Japanese drivers: Hideo Fukuyama, Akihiko Naakaya, Keiichi Tsuchiya and Kazuteru Wakida. These are invatations only, the teams and drivers do not have to go and not sure what happens if Ernie Irvan or any other driver loeaves the current team before the Japan race(7-20-97)
  • Tim, a Texaco employee posted the following on the Talk It Over: iRACE Message Boards. Just heard that Kenny Irwin, Jr. is not the likely candidate for the #28 car in ’98. The current candidate is a young guy presently in the top ten in NASCAR Winston Cup points. It is not Gordon!! I’m a Texaco employee that has a contact that will only provide me with limited information. There was no additional information I was provided as to who that “top ten young person” is. Keep in mind it will probably be a current Ford driver(sounds like Mayfield or Burton)(7-20-97)
  • But….saw these two items posted in r.a.s.n. newsgroup: “Oregonian reporter Jerry Boone wrote in his 7/17/97 column that Robert Yates has confirmed that Kenny Irwin Jr. will drive the 28 car next season” and “In last night’s Huntsville Times, there was an article that Irwin has already informed his truck team that he will not be back next year”(7-20-97)
  • BGN News: Louisville, Kentucky native Scot Walters will make his NASCAR Busch Series debut on July 26 at the Gateway International Raceway driving the Brewco Motorsports No. 55 Brewco Collision Repair Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the Gateway 300. Walters, 29, currently drives the Brewco Motorsports No. 37 Red Man Chevrolet NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entry in select events. He made his truck series debut on July 12 at the Louisville Motor Speedway, finishing seventh. Brewco Motorsports also fields the No 37 Timber Wolf Chevrolet full-time for Busch Series driver Mark Green. Both Walters and Green spent July 14 testing at the Gateway International Raceway(rasn)(7-20-97)
  • Reader Bill, pointed me to a good story about the possible Jack Roush/#97 purchase at The Depot @ Greensboro.Com. The story mentions: “This prospect surfaced as rumors swirled this week that Roush had bought a Pontiac team — the No. 97 John Deere Pontiac driven by Chad Little. No, Roush said Friday at Pocono Raceway, he hasn’t bought the team. He’s simply exploring the possibility of building engines for the team and possibly providing other consulting work”. But other sources say he has bought the team, and RPM2Day mentioned both possibilities today and said their would be an announcement at Indy(7-20-97)
  • I hear Dover native Larry Carroll will drive a NIKE 1997 Chevy Monte Carlo in the New Hampshire Busch Grand National North race in September. The deal is so Nike can test the sponsorship waters and try out paint scheme graphics(7-20-97)


    (7-19-97)

  • Ricky Rudd says it was he, not Jeremy Mayfield, who tagged John Andretti on the last lap at Loudon. And Rudd apologized to Mayfield(JournalNow 7-19-97)
  • Reader Matt Demey has gotten much info from the drivers at autograph sessions this week in Pocono, another bit of news for the Harry Gant fan in all of us: Gant will run four truck races this year starting with the Federated Auto Parts 250 at Nashville(7-19-97)
  • Have gotten this quote thru the email about 15 times, so I’ll put it on the page: When asked if he would hire Irvan, Felix Sabates said, “I’d rather have Saddam Hussein drive my car than Ernie Irvan.”, so we can rule out that ride(7-19-97)
  • Update: Just wanted to clarify the comment about KFC being the first to sponsor teams in all three major NASCAR series. While Goodwrench and DuPont did sponsor teams in all three, these teams were related, ie., Childress owned the Truck and Winston Cup while Earnhardt owned the Busch team sponsored by Goodwrench and Hendricks owned the Winston Cup and Truck teams sponsored by DuPont. Craven’s team was the only independent team with DuPont sponsorship. What KFC as done differently is take three separate and independent teams and form a single “team” under one sponsorship package. It maybe a slight distinction as it is unique in it’s design and intent(7-19-97)
  • Chuck Rider says that his Winston Cup team is not for sale, despite persistent rumors. One says sponsor Pennzoil may move on, perhaps to Darrell Waltrip’s team. Another says that Johnny Benson might be driving a Jack Roush car next season. ”There is no truth to any of that,” Rider said. ”We have a contract through 1998, and I just added 7,500 square feet to the shop,” Rider said, indicating he thinks some rivals are trying to snake his sponsor and/or his driver. ”When you have something good, people become jealous.”(JournalNow 7-19-97)
  • The #2 Penske South team will get a new transport driver and gas man as Bob Tracey will join the team. Tracey is from Ellington, Conn. and is a 20-year veteran of short-track racing cut his teeth on the tough late model and modified racing circuits around his hometown(Speednet)(7-19-97)
  • Danny “Chocolate” Myers, the gas man for Dale Earnhardt, will switch gears for a one-race IRL event and become the fuel man for the #17 GM Brasil/Chitwood Motorsports team, with rookie driver Affonso Giaffone during the inaugural VisionAire 500 at Charlotte on 7-26-97 at 8pm(Speednet)(7-19-97)


    (7-18-97)

  • I hear DrJ’s sponsor will be the Boy Scouts of America and be #50. There will be a Boy Scout Jamboree in Virginia the week of July 28 thru August 5. On August 5 or so DrJ will present a replica of the car to President Clinton for presentation. Car has a blue and yellow paint scheme with the number in red(7-18-97)
  • From the Unofficial Terry Labonte Fan Club Newsletter: “For all of you wondering what happened between Terry Labonte and Action Performance Products (makers of diecasts) that caused Terry to withdraw licensing from Action and sign exclusive with Revell…..word is that Action and MAC tools put together a 3 car champs set of diecasts that included Terry’s Suzuka Japan car, a John Force Castrol funny car and a Kenny Bernstein Budweiser top fuel dragster. Terry didn’t and Kellogg’s didn’t want their product packaged with a beer product as they felt it was bad pairing for kids to see (beer and cereal). Well, action went ahead with the release in spite of wishes from Kellogg’s and Terry…..so Kellogg’s and Terry withdrew rights to produce collectibles from Action. At last someone who will not sell out for the dollar and stand up for their products and for kids”(7-18-97)
  • Steve Grissom, on the ankle he injured at Bristol and the surgery he had postponed by the rain out at Talladega, said he will be wearing the boot for a couple of more weeks. At the end of the season, he will get more x-rays and determine if he will need surgery. He also says he hopes to put together a limited BGN schedule for next year(thanks Matt 7-18-97).
  • Ted Musgrave said that Jack Roush is not buying the 97 team. He will do work as team consultant or team manager and build engines for them. Ted denied that the Roush cars are switching to Pontiac and he said the 97 will stay Pontiac. He said they are putting together a limited BGN schedule for him next year, similar to Mark Martin and Jeff Burton’s. The car will be a Roush Pontiac though. He said they are about to sign a sponsor, but could not say what it was. Sure sounds like he will be back with Roush(matt 7-18-97)
  • Gary Bradberry said that Child Support Recovery is gone as sponsor. They are currently working on other sponsors. If another sponsor is not found, they will only be running Indy(matt 7-18-97)
  • Ken Schrader said Andy Petree is not sure if he will have a second team. Ken also said he will not field the 52 team in any Winston Cup races this year(matt 7-18-97)
  • Bobby Allison said he sold off all his cars, but still has the equipment and shop in tact(matt 7-18-97)
  • Regarding the illegal carb on the #98: Yarborough said that it was an “oversight”, and it would provide no more than three or four more horsepower, hardly enough to provide the edge by which Andretti won. “We didn’t think it was an oversight,” said NASCAR spokesman Kevin Triplett. “And we think it was probably worth a little more than three or four more horsepower.” (Autoweek from NASCAR fans 7-18-97)
  • More on the John Deere?Ford/Pontiac/Little/Roush rumor:

    From a John Deere employee: “Ford DOES NOT manufacture any construction equipment or lawn equipment any more. When they sold the Agricultural line to FIAT as part of the New Holland name of farm equipment, the construction line was discontinued as was the lawn equipment. JD BUYS skid steer loaders from FORD and as a past sales branch field traveler the JD sales branches lease FORD’s for the field people to drive. The Pontiac/Ford aspect of this rumor is a mute point. There has been no comments made by JD on Roush, Rypien, or Chad Little. I believe this (Roush) could be the best thing to happen for Chad Little and the team since they entered into the deal with JD”(7-18-97)
  • Another Pontiac rumor has the #77 thinking about switching in 1998(7-18-97)
  • I hear some hotels in Las Vegas are setting aside blocks of rooms for the weekend of March 1, 1998. No conventions are scheduled for that weekend. So could this mean that will be the WC race date in Vegas??(7-18-97)
  • News about the Mercury Cougar from a reader: “This is from the Aug. 97 issue of Car & Driver. On pages 125 and 126, there are rumors of the Cougar returning (it will be built on the Contour/Mystique platform). There is one drawing of the new Cougar (pg. 126 ) and it is a two-door. Maybe another possibility for Ford to use in Nascar?”, Jayski note, I would think the Contour/Mystique platform would be too small for NASCAR(7-18-97)
  • I hear rumors that the #9 Melling Ford and Lake Speed are close to a full-time sponsorship deal, but I hear it is not Planet Hollywood as rumored here before on 6-26, see the special Lake Speed page of rumors link below(7-19-97)
  • Sterling Marlin is to fly to Colorado soon to talk to Coors officials about driving for Felix Sabates next season, according to sources close to the situation. Robby Gordon currently drives Sabates’ Coors-sponsored Chevy. Marlin had little to say about his future yesterday, only that he didn’t plan to make any decision for at least a week. Some in the garage say they wouldn’t be surprised to see engine man Runt Pittman following Marlin to Sabates for what could be a reunion with crew chief Tony Glover(JournalNow 7-19-97)
  • Wally Dallenbach said he has to tell Sabates by Tuesday if he plans to remain with the team next season. ”All I can say is I’ll make a decision on Tuesday. There are a lot of rumors going on, a lot of different stuff going on. I’ve just got some things to think about over the weekend. And then I’ll make my decision. I have talked with Robert (Yates). But I’ve also talked to about three other team owners. I just have some things to think about. I like where I’m at. I love Felix to death, and the guys I have. I just need to make some personal decisions about what Wally is going to be doing for the next few years.”(JournalNow 7-19-97)
  • Ernie Irvan’s future is a hot topic in the garage. He is considering a ride next season with the NWO Busch team that is preparing to step up to the Cup tour, according to some NASCAR sources. Even though the team is apparently willing to pay a sizable amount to land a top driver — anywhere from $1 million to $1.5 million, according to sources close to the situation — that team probably wouldn’t be competitive for a while. Irvan is also being mentioned as a candidate for a second Michael Kranefuss team. Several Ford men say they expect Irvan to wind up driving for the Julius Erving team(JournalNow 7-19-97)
  • Geoff Bodine says he’s ”done the deal” with a new business partner who might buy a majority interest in the former Alan Kulwicki team. Bodine wouldn’t name the new partner, but sources said that it was Jim Matea, the businessman who once owned Danny Sullivan’s Indy-car team(JournalNow 7-19-97)
  • The prospect of a rookie such as Kenny Irwin in a Robert Yates car is drawing a lot of double-takes in the NASCAR garage. But Ford sources say that is Yates’ plan for next year, unless a Terry Labonte or some other top driver makes a move. Jimmy Spencer is another driver who might have a shot at Yates’ ride(JournalNow 7-19-97)
  • #6, #16 and #99 Team Owner Jack Roush might look like the fox guarding the hen house if he and Chad Little run Pontiacs next season. Roush says he is not buying Little’s Pontiac team, though others in the garage say that the deal is more than just an engine deal. One source close to Roush says he is considering switching his two Busch cars, driven by Mark Martin and Burton, to Pontiacs next season(JournalNow 7-19-97)
  • Thought about this after receiving some email: Why would Geoff Bodine switch to Pontiac, GM Lee Morse has a ton of contacts with Ford(7-19-97)
  • Lots of email about this rumor: It’s a HOT rumor: I hear it will be Todd Bodine in a Pontiac with Tabasco as the sponsor, not sure if it’s Roush or what team(7-19-97)


    (7-17-97)

  • Update: Folks watching testing at the Brickyard have noticed Tim Steele in a red #61 Ford of course(not a Chevy) Steele will be running a Ford with Ernie Elliott engines(7-17-97)
  • Per the Winston Cup Scene: Ford Motor Company denied rumors at NHIS that the company would withdraw from the Craftsman Truck Series and reduce it’s support on the Winston Cup circuit in 1998. Ford plans to continue the programs presently in place with no reduction of teams on the WC circuit(bye-bye rumors of Ford supporting only 7 teams in 1998?)(7-17-97)
  • Whoops….As far as the info on the Andretti/Mayfield incident. The tire that Furr rolled was into the car of Buddy Barnes, not Andrews(7-17-97)
  • Update: Terry’s Labonte’s Monster theme car will run at the October Charlotte race and is in conjunction with Kelloggs. It will have Spooky Fruit Loops and Toucan Sam on the side of the car(7-17-97)
  • It seems the candidates to replace Winston if and when they have to leave as title sponsor of NASCAR top series include McDonald’s, Coke and Budweiser(7-17-97)
  • I hear Ford group vice president of sales and marketing sent out announcements today inviting the media to the unveiling of the new NASCAR Ford entry (Taurus) on July 30 at the Indiana Convention Center’s Sygamore Ballroom, Indianapolis, IN(7-17-97)
  • From a few John Deere employees: While the rumor that Roush is buying the 97 team may be true, I would really really doubt you will ever see John Deere sponsorship on a Ford. Ford is a competitor of John Deere in many product segments such as lawn equipment and construction equipment. So if Roush does buy the 97 team, it will be a Pontiac as long as John Deere is on the hood. Chad Little and Deere have signed a contract for next year(thanks guys) makes sense(7-17-97)
  • I hear Ricky Rudd will NOT switch to Pontiac as some sources are speculating and that Geoff Bodine might(7-17-97)


    (7-16-97)

  • The second NASCAR exhibition race in Japan will feature a different qualifying and race format than it did in its inaugural event last November. In Last November’s event, qualifying consisted of timed laps plus a pit stop. The race featured an inverted field at the midpoint of the race. However, this will not be the case this year, as the rules will be much like a regular Winston Cup race. Qualifying will consist of two laps around Suzuka Circuitland’s 1.4-mile road course. The race will consist of 125 laps/175 miles and run just like a regular Winston Cup race, and the field will not be inverted. The Suzuka Thunder Special will be held at Suzuka Circuitland on Sunday, Nov. 23, at 12:30 p.m. Japan Time. The race will be aired live in the U.S. on Saturday, Nov. 22, at 10:30 p.m. EST. on TBS. I will update the list of drivers on the Stats page later(SpeedWorld)(7-16-97)
  • Www.country.com(TNN) reports that Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing have been testing the new SB2 engine. It is available in a Pontiac and Chevrolet version of course, the only difference being the valve covers! They also state that Robert Yates has developed a second generation of cylinder heads. He is awaiting their legalization by NASCAR(Thanks Todd – 7-16-97)
  • Geoff Bodine said on RPM2Nite that he is thinking about a two car team in 1998 and will make an announcement on his new partners and arrangement during the week at Indy before the Brickyard 400, 8-1. Dr. Jerry Punch said that the partnership is already in place and they are well known. Also Dr. Punch said Bodine will be using Pro Motors for the races to ease up the pressure on his own engine shop, they will still supply practice and qualifying motors. So I wonder what is up with the Glidden deal. Bodine also took the blame for spending too much money and said it wasn’t QVC’s fault and said brother Todd would not be part of his possible two car team but would have his own big announcement in the coming weeks(7-16-97)
  • A Truck note: Michael Dokken is out of the Kurt Roehrig owned NCTS Dana Dodge #18 . Tom Huburt (who had a guest shot and did well in the Cup race at Sears Point)
    will drive at Denver this weekend. I hear they will audition drivers for this ride(7-16-97)
  • Here is little follow up on the Mayfield/Andretti/Rudd incident: First off, Mayfield was two cars behind Andretti during the wreck. They were all called into the NASCAR trailer. Andretti and crew chief Tony Furr were all yelling at Mayfield for wrecking him. Mayfield sat there and laughed, then Gary Nelson, NASCAR director, asked Mayfield for his word on the subject. Mayfield said, “Gary, go talk to Ricky (Rudd)”, So Neslon went and got Ricky, who came in to the trailer, and Nelson asked Rudd if he knew anything about the wreck, Rudd said “Yea, I was racing John, and I accidentally got into him, I was racing for position”(an abridged version from a source)(7-16-97)
  • Here are some Paint Scheme news/rumors: I hear the Terry Labonte special car is a Universal Movies deal. The theme is Universal Monsters. The hood has a big Frankenstein on the front. Car will be a purplish and neon green(not sure what race or when). Kelloggs Honey Cruch Corn Flakes will be on the car also. I also hear they also will be doing a special deal for Japan race on Wally Dallenbach’s car – it will be Woody Woodpecker. And lastly, Universal will be doing a special car with Rusty Wallace for 1998 Daytona 500 – it will be the “Blues Mobile” after the Blues Brothers. Paint scheme is like a cop car. I’ll try to find out more info on this(7-16-97)
  • NASCAR Fans reports that the Pennzoil sponsorship is going to Darrell Waltrip for 1998. I also hear, as reported here before that one of the sponsors for the two car team will be a beverage company, and Waltrip hinted some color schemes in the KFC press conference, he mentioned Red and Blue, Red and White, and Yellow. Possible beverages could be Mountain Dew or Snapple(7-16-97)
  • I hear that Johnny Benson will leave the #30 Bahari Pennzoil(?) Pontiac team, rumored to the #4 if Marlin leaves and is in the #28 rumor mill(7-16-97)
  • I also hear Robby Gordon will be gone from his Sabates seat after the season, Gordon basically said on RPM2Nite that it would be a one race deal but that he wasn’t through with WC yet, whether he means he’ll try to find a full-time ride or a part-time deal is still up in the air(7-16-97)
  • I hear Robert Yates is still talking to a great number of drivers about the #28 ride. No word (but plenty of rumors) about favorites. I hear Wally Dallenbach is in the hunt, but he seems to think Felix Sabates is on the right track and might stay unless things change. Bobby Labonte is being thrown around the rumor mill again, but I don’t see him leaving Gibbs(7-16-97)
  • I hear the big Budweiser announcement will be that they are going to expand their racing program, not more team sponsorships but in other ways. Much bigger(7-16-97)
  • I hear Black & Decker/DeWalt may move it’s sponsorship to Winston Cup in 1998 or 1999(7-16-97)


    (7-15-97)

  • The TNN Motorsports page (www.country.com) reports that the Darrell Waltrip owned #26 Monte Carlo Rich Bickle will drive in the Brickyard 400 will be sponsored by Kentucky Fried Chicken Corp(KFC) and their new Chicken Twister menu items. KFC has formed Team Twister to simultaneously race in all three top-level NASCAR series. They are the first company to sponsor(primary) three NASCAR race teams(this part is incorrect as GM Goodwrench in 1996 all #3 chevy’s and Dupont in 1995), and all will be competing in the races surrounding the 1997 Brickyard 400 at Indy. Mike Skinner at Indianapolis Raceway Park in the Craftsman Truck series, Kenny Irwin, Jr at IRP in a BGN car and Rich Bickle in Winston Cup at the Brickyard(7-15-97)
  • Tony Stewart will make his first 1997 BGN start in a Gibbs owned Pontiac(formally a B Labonte car) at Indianapolis Raceway Park, 8-1-97(thanks Matt 7-15-97)
  • While not official Jimmy Foster will drive the DrJ Ford in BGN(7-15-97)
  • Bobby Hillin & Hanes Racing team up on #78 car, Thomasville, NC (July 15, 1997) — Triad Motorsports officials announced here today that Bobby Hillin will be in the #78 Hanes Racing Ford Thunderbird beginning at the Pennsylvania 500 in Pocono, PA this weekend. The deal is for Hillin to drive for Triad Motorsports for at least the next five races, through Bristol(thanks to Steve Lane for the PR 7-15-97)
  • I hear Ernie Irvan will end up with a second Diamond Ridge team or a second Andy Petree team with the DrJ team a distant third(7-15-97)
  • I hear reports that Jack Roush will be buying the #97 John Deere Pontiac team and may switch all FOUR teams to Pontiacs. This is a real rumor! I hear Ford is hustling to keep the Roush teams. Supposedly Roush feels like an outsider with Ford and that most of development goes thru Yates or Penske. I hear he’ll jump to Pontiac like Gibbs did and for the same reasons, if Ford doesn’t right the ship. Either way – The 97 will be a Ford or everybody (6,16,97,99, and Todd) will be in a Pontiac. This sounds like a FIVE car team, wow!!(7-15-97)
  • I hear Budweiser bosses are not happy with Hendrick Motorsports and the rumored big announcement may be that they will leave the #25 and go to the #33. I hear Skoal will leave as part of the Tobacco lawsuit settlement(7-15-97)


    (7-14-97)

  • The new Ford Taurus NASCAR car will debut on Wednesday, July 30 at Indianapolis, in an invitation-only affair(JournalNow)(7-14-97)
  • Standridge Released From Ride: Thomasville, NC (7-13-97)– Triad Motorsports announced Monday that they have released Billy Standridge as the driver for the #78 Hanes Racing Ford Thunderbird. The decision was made after the team failed to qualify for the 300 at Loudon, New Hampshire. “The 1997 season has been a real struggle for the team,” said Jim Wilson, owner of Triad Motorsports. “Despite a major boost from Hanes, our new primary sponsor, we still need to step up our performance. We have been able to put some fast cars on the track, but we have been unable to find the right mix that will allow us to run consistently on Sunday. We go way back with Billy,” said Wilson. “This was a very difficult decision for me and my partners Steve Lane and Billy Hagen. However, it is what we needed to do to move the team forward. Billy is a man of outstanding character and drive, and we wish him the best in his future racing endeavors. New driving responsibilities for Triad/Hanes Racing will be announced as soon as they are finalized. An announcement will be made prior to the Pennsylvania in Pocono, PA(Triad Motorsports Press Release 7-14-97)
  • NASCAR has Ok’d the second generation GM SB2 engine for 1998, according to NASCAR sources. And NASCAR has tentatively OK’d a new Ford cylinder head for use sometime next summer, if the SB2 engine proves to be too much for the competition(JournalNow)(7-14-97)
  • Nope, SPAM is gone from the #91 LJ Racing Chevy effective immediately. The team will run a limited schedule and run Pocono and Indy with Greg Sacks driving. Sacks will also decide soon whether to go back to the #45 BGN ride for the rest of the year(7-14-97)
  • Darrell Waltrip wants to get one thing straight. Just because he is celebrating his 25th year in stock car racing this season, the 50-year-old Winston Cup driver does not want anyone to think his silver anniversary is also his sayonara. Quite the contrary. “This is not a farewell,” said Waltrip. “This is a silver anniversary celebration of 25 years in racing. I never was going to quit or anything, but I didn’t know how much I was going to race next year. I knew I was going to race some and talked about running a limited schedule, but with the way things are going, it looks like I’m going to run all the races next year.” (News-Journal wire services via Nascar fans)(7-14-97)
  • Kenny Wallace news: They have promoted Newt Moore to crew chief internally, and Kenny thinks he will be the permanent replacement. The team is working on possibly having a special paint job for the Busch Clash next year. And Wallace has been offered a 16 to 18 BGN ride for 1998 with “a good team and a good sponsor”, but will only accept it if he improves in the second half of the year and it does not take away from his focus on Winston Cup. He said he felt his BGN racing before was taking away his focus from Winston Cup(7-14-97)
  • Slim Jim meat snacks has renewed sponsorship of the NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series. The 20-race series features American made passenger car production sedans(SpeedNet)(7-14-97)
  • NASCAR racing legend Richard Petty of Level Cross is suing an Illinois company for allegedly using his trademarks improperly and putting them on what the lawsuit calls shoddy merchandise. The suit, which originally filed in Randolph County Superior Court in June, has since been moved to federal court. Petty seeks over $10,000 in damages according to the complaint, It alleges Racing Champions, INC of Illinois
    and Kevin Camp, RCI’s North Carolina based vice president of licensing, improperly used Petty’s name and his racing number 43 to sell several products. (Michelle Hines, The Courier-Tribune (Asheboro,NC)via NASCAR fans)(7-14-97)
  • I hear Budweiser will make a major announcement in August or September about their plans for next year(sorry not a clue, DrJ??)(7-14-97)
  • I hear that Sterling Marlin will not be in the #4 Chevy in 1998 and has three possibilities, all being in a Ford, but I keep hearing Marlin to Sabates w/ Tony Glover as crew chief with Robby Gordon out of Winston Cup, Johnny Benson to the #4 car(7-14-97)
  • I hear that following the on-track dispute between the #98 and #37, NASCAR’s Mike Helton met with Andretti and Mayfield along with their. After hearing each side, Helton told the teams to just drop it! As Paul Andrews (Mayfield’s crew chief) was leaving Tony Furr (Andretti’s crew chief) rolled a tire into the side of his car and hollered a few choice words at him. Andrews parked the car and went to Helton to report the incident. Helton then sent a NASCAR official to pull Tony’s credential, not sure what happened after that and if it was a permanent deal(7-14-97)
  • I hear one of the sponsors of the DrJ team is supposed to be the Boy Scouts of America. Somehow the deal will raise money for the Boy Scouts, I hear this is for the BGN team with Jimmy Foster still rumored for that ride. As for Pepsi being a sponsor, I forgot, DrJ owns a Philly Coke distributor so that won’t happen(7-14-97)
  • Lee Morse says he and Geoff Bodine expect to have an announcement about their team’s future ”sometime between now and Indy (Aug. 2). And it will be some good news.” Andy Evans, owner of the World Sports Car series, successor to IMSA, has expressed an interest in buying part of Bodine’s team, according to sources close to the team. Evans is a business associate of Microsoft’s Bill Gates(JournalNow)(7-14-97)
  • Will Irvan last the season?(with RYR) Robert Yates has said there is a possibility of playing musical chairs before the season is over. If Irvan can find another ride before the season is over, it’s possible somebody else like rookie driver Kenny Irwin, Jr. could be in his car before the season is over. Meanwhile, after Irvan’s impressive run Sunday before a sour engine, Irvan’s stock might just go up. Andy Petree says he’d like to hire Irvan to run for a second team of his, if he can land a new sponsor. Irvan spent three hours looking at Petree’s racing operation last week(Speedworld/JournalNow)(7-14-97)
  • One rumor has Bobby Hillin in the #78 ride, I suggested Loy Allen(7-14-97)
  • As for Sacks, I hear the #45 Hunter’s Specialties BGN team is upset with him and the way he left and broke contract they probably wouldn’t take him back(7-14-97)
  • Here is an interesting rumor: One of the DW teams will be sponsored by Taco Bell in 1998 and will run a special Godzilla theme during the summer to promote the movies release which Taco Bell will sponsor
  • Here is a WILD rumor: Jimmy Spencer moving to RCR and taking the #31 ride from Skinner. Apparently, the RJR sponsorship will go with him to the new ride?? Hmmm…what of Lowes and Skinner?? According to my sources this will not happen, Spencer plans on staying with Travis Carter(7-14-97)


    (7-13-97)

  • The Columbia Herald(TN) reports that Jeff Purvis will attempt the Brickyard 400 a the Larry Lockamy owned Chevy. Lockamy owns the #28 Opryland Chevy Purvis drives in the BGN in which they have 2 top 10’s in 2 races. The Opryland Theme Park sponsorship is supposedly a 4 year deal, I hear Pruvis and the team will attempt a full-time WC deal in 1998(7-13-97)
  • From the Un-Official Matt Kenseth Racing Page who heard it on the LTN hour (The Todd and Eddy show) and fowarded the information to me: Matt Kenseth has been testing with Mark Martin and has just announced publically that he will be driving 5 WC races in 1998 and the full schedule in 1999. No word yet if Roush will have a 4 car team or if Ted Musgrave will be leaving. Kenseth will run the entire Busch series next year with the #17 Robby Reisner owned Kraft Singles Chevy(thanks to Chris Gullikson)(7-13-97)
  • Quote: “I have two or three very good Winston Cup teams that are interested, but nothing is nailed down. Right now, I’m racing trucks.” Kenny Irwin on the CBS telecast of the Louisville truck race(7-13-97)
  • Rumor: Last week Ernie Irvan called Felix Sabates(40) and Michael Kranefuss (37)…neither were interested(7-13-97)


    (7-12-97)

  • Fastest second round qualifier for the Jiffy Lube 300 was Jimmy Spencer, in the #23 Camel Ford, who will start 30th after a lap of 127.636mph. Provisionals went to (11,8,71,40); Missing the Jiffy Lube 300 is the #78 team and Billy Standridge. For all the provisional info see the Provisional Page(7-12-97)
  • I hear from the JournalNow that many of the other teams did not like the way NASCAR handled the #98’s illegal carburetor mounting studs, like why it took so long to announce(3 days) and feels NASCAR isn’t telling the whole story. NASCAR says they wanted time to examine the device before saying anything. In this lawyer driven world, I can’t say I blame them for checking it out completely(7-12-97)
  • More Rick Hendrick News: U.S. District Court Judge Lacy Thornburg on Friday denied a request by Hendrick’s attorneys to delay the trial, saying Hendrick failed to show sufficient reasons for the delay. “While respectful of the gravity of Hendrick’s situation, this federal trial court is under an obligation to the public to bring `those accused of criminal misconduct promptly to account.’ Defendant Hendrick has not demonstrated to the satisfaction of this court that his medical condition should bar his being brought to trial in August,” Thornburg wrote. The trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 11 in Asheville(thanks Mark Poff and the AP 7-12-97)
  • Norick, #90 suspend operations: Ron Norick, co-owner of L&R Motorsports, announced today that effective July 12, 1997, the team will temporarily suspend operations of the National Hockey League-sponsored NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race truck driven by Lance Norick. The NHL has a long-standing partnership with Dodge and due to that relationship it will be necessary to convert the team to Dodge equipment before the end of the season, Norick said. Ed Horne, NHL Group Vice President, Marketing, added his support of the program which was designed to promote the NHL through NASCAR(NASCAR Online 7-12-97)
  • I hear Brett Bodine may be looking to switch to Pontiac’s in 1998(no Ford support?)(7-12-97)
  • McDONALD’S future in the sport isn’t clear, with the shakeup coming within the corporation. The company’s new officials are to review the NASCAR racing proposals next week(JournalNow 7-12-97)
  • This rumor was reported with Geoff Bodine a week or so ago but Todd Bodines new three year deal to drive a Pontiac may be with IRL team owner/driver Eddie Cheever(Dan Marino was mentioned in the Geoff rumor because Marino is a spokesperson for FirstPlus, Cheevers IRL sponsor)(7-12-97)
  • As reported here before, former crew chief, Tim Brewer is making a pitch to Julius Erving(DrJ) to build a new team from scratch for the former NBA star. It’s unclear what Erving’s game plan might be, but a sponsorship announcement is expected within the next
    two weeks, possibly with Pepsi(JournalNow 7-12-97)
  • From Speedworld’s News Bytes section: The deal involving Darrell Waltrip, Rich Bickle and KFC might also include Taco Bell (KFC and Taco Bell are both owned by PepsiCo). The deal might include a joint KFC/Taco Bell sponsorship on the 17 car, with the car sporting either the KFC or Taco Bell colors depending on the market much like Mike McLaughlin ran in the Busch Series with French’s Mustard and Black Flag. Waltrip is trying to put together a deal to put KFC on one car,and Taco Bell other the other. You might remember KFC was an associate sponsor on Waltrip’s car when he drove for Junior Johnson. Right now the sticking point is the sponsorship dollars of supporting two teams, and remember Pepsi also is an associate sponsor on Jeff Gordon’s car(7-12-97)
  • I hear reports that the rumors John Deere will leave the #97 Chad Little Pontiac soon are FALSE(7-12-97)


    (7-11-97)

  • Terry Labonte says he has no plans to leave Hendrick Motorsports and join the Robert Yates Ford team. Labonte’s name surfaced this week as a possible replacement for Ernie Irvan, who will not be returning to Robert Yates Racing in 1998. “I have too good a situation to even consider making a change,” said Labonte(AP)(7-11-97)
  • Doctors have said that Rick Hendrick is responding well enough to the chemotherapy that he can stand trial at the appointed time. In a letter filed this week in federal court, Dr. Zebulon Weaver III said Hendrick’s medical records showed he had been responding well to his chemotherapy, which began in January. Weaver, who examined Hendrick’s medical records, sharply contradicted a sworn statement from Hendrick’s personal physician, who said it was “medically impossible” for Hendrick to attend an August trial(WRAL)(7-11-97)
  • As per today’s Charlotte Observer RJR announced today effective immediately Joe Camel will no longer be used in advertising, though with the bill still needing Congressional and Presidential approval they didn’t need to pull the ads. No report on what effect this will have on Spencer’s team which does not run the Joe Camel character on the car anymore(7-11-97)
  • Larry Pearson will be in the Key Motorsports #11 Speedvision Ford at Myrtle Beach, SC in the place of Jimmy Foster who left the team(7-11-97)
  • Gil Martin and Eddie Jones, formally of the #81 Filmar team are working for the #1 Richard Jackson owned team on a race to race basis as consultants(7-11-97)
  • Another Winston West driver will join the field in the 2nd annual Suzuka exhibition race in Japan, Scott Gaylord will participate(7-11-97)
  • From Autoweek via Nascar fans and Mike Irwin: Here’s the latest from the sanctioning body formerly known as IMSA (now Professional Sports Racing, I think (Mike)): a stock car racing series. But, said PSR race operations vp Doug Robinson, “We’d be silly to make
    any overt attempt to take any shot at NASCAR.” The proposed name of the new series will be “U.S. Road Racing StockCar Championship”, but if NASCAR objects, PSR is willing to find another. PSR hopes the new series will appeal to teams that have raced in GTS-1, Trans-Am, ARCA, or ASA. PSR promises a 10-12 race schedule for 1998, with $2 million in appearance money and at least $50,000 purse per race. A schedule should be ready in August(Autoweek, 7/14/97)(7-11-97)
  • Heard on RPM2Nite that Geoff Bodine is in the process of reorganizing his team and hopes to have an announcement soon. I have also heard that a partner from Texas may buy 50% of the team, I hear the partner owns a bunch of Burger King restaurants(7-11-97)
  • I continue to hear from sources that Sterling Marlin will end up in the SABCO #40 Chevy in 1998(7-11-97)
  • Another Ernie Irvan rumor has him in the Kings #43 ride if Hamilton goes to the #4 if Marlin goes to the #40 as rumored(7-11-97)
  • So much for the rumor that Busch North driver Glenn Brehio would attempt to make the Jiffy Lube 300 in the #67 Chevy owned by Bob Sowa, didn’t see or hear anything about an attempt(7-11-97)
  • I hear that 18 year old Californian Randy Nelson has been hired to drive a NASCAR
    Craftsman Series truck for Core Motorsports, LLC(that’s all I know 7-11-97)


    (7-10-97)

  • Per a Hormel interoffice memo, SPAM is off the #91 as of 7/21/97. It was suppose to be announced 7/4/97. Apparently SPAM had spent all marketing dollars for 1997 on their racing program and was not happy with their return on investment(7-10-97)
  • As for the rumor that #30 Pennzoil Pontiac owner Chuck Rider would be leaving NASCAR: In this weeks WCS Chuck Rider, in Tom Higgins column vehemently denies he is planning on selling his team , and says in fact they already have three chassis finished for the 98 season and just installed a $300,000 CNC machine(7-10-97)
  • Cale Yarborough has filed an official appeal of the $50,000 fine issued on Crew chief Furr for those illegal carb studs , saying the amount is excessive. The purpose of the studs was to align the throttle bores in the base of the carb with the holes in the restrictor plate which would have been legal if they drilled and retapped the manifold at the carb base instead(7-10-97)
  • Per the JournalNow: Junior Johnson & Associates Inc. has sued Brett Bodine, Bodine’s wife and two companies owned by the Bodines, claiming they owe more than $51,000. The two-page lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in Wilkes Superior Court, did not say what the money was for. Johnson’s attorneys, George P. Cunningham and Max F. Ferree, both of Wilkesboro, would not comment yesterday on the suit. Lisa Cadell, the Bodines’ attorney, could not be reached for comment. According to the suit, BDR Motorsports L.L.C. and BDR Land Co. L.L.C. promised on Jan. 8 to pay an unspecified amount of money to Johnson. BDR Motorsports is Bodine’s race team, which he purchased from Johnson two years ago. Bodine and his wife, Diane, ”unconditionally guaranteed” they would pay the money but have not, the suit said. As of Feb. 15, they owed $51,613, the suit said. The suit asks a judge to order the Bodines to pay the $51,613 plus interest. It also seeks attorneys’ fees and court costs equal to 15 percent of the outstanding balance. No court date has been set. Yikes!(7-10-97)
  • Jeff Gordon, in preparation for the New Hampshire race, tested this week at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina. Many drivers choose the speedway due to it’s similarity with New Hampshire. This test will not go against drivers in there regular NASCAR test sessions so it is a popular place to test. No word on speeds or times(NASCAR Fans 7-10-97)
  • I hear KFC(Kentucky Fried Chicken) will be the sponsor of the #26 DW owned chevy Rich Bickle will drive in the Brickyard 400(7-10-97)
  • I hear that the Chevy SB2 engine will be approved for 1998 and 12:1 compression and unleaded race gas will be required for all engines(7-10-97)
  • Two others might well leave NASCAR soon, both car owners. Chuck Rider, winless since 1987, could sell the No. 30 Pennzoil team or perhaps even just close the doors. One of those developments would make driver Johnny Benson Jr. an attractive replacement for several other teams. Another owner who could bail out is Greg Pollex, a partner in
    the No. 97 John Deere Pontiac team with St. Louis Rams quarterback Mark Rypien. Also leaving the sport will be the R.J. Reynolds company, whose sponsorship of NASCAR under its Winston brand helped stock car racing become the success it is today. Winston will leave with much fanfare as the racing community will try to give back some of the support it has received over the years. The likely replacement as title sponsor for
    NASCAR’s highest circuit will be McDonald’s. Maybe the drivers will be racing to win the Big Mac Cup. This is taken from SportsLine by Mark Zeske who covers motorsports for the Dallas Morning News and is editor of Beckett Racing Monthly(thanks DC for the heads up)(7-10-97)


    (7-9-97)

  • Todd Bodines deal is NOT with Team 34(his current BGN team) but a team that has had a lot of success… in Indy car racing. The deal was initially to include Geoff as well and be a two car team…now it appears that it will be Todd only(7-9-97)
  • Wally Dallenbach ran a lap at close to 178.000mph in the #46 First Union Chevy during testing at Indy per RPM2Nite(7-9-97)
  • BGN driver Jimmy Foster has left the #11 Key Motorsports ride to pursue other opportunities, one of which I hear is the DrJ BGN ride(7-9-97)
  • LJ Racing will not enter the #91 Spam Chevy at NHIS this weekend. Joe Falk will meet with Spam officials on 7-10 to discuss the sponsors future with the team(7-9-97)
  • As reported here, Greg Sacks will drive the #91 Spam(?) Chevy at Pocono and Indy(I also reported Loy Allen would be in the car thru July and oops, wrong)(7-9-97)
  • RPM2Nite reports (surprise!) that Kenny Irwin, Jr will take over the #28 Robert Yates Ford ride in 1998 and will run 5 races in 1997 in a Yates car(7-9-97)
  • I hear Terry Labonte will have another special paint job? Some “Universal Studio Special(7-9-97)
  • I hear from a very good source that Ron Barfield will be attempting to qualify the New Holland #92 Thunderbird at the Brickyard 400(7-9-97)


    (7-8-97)

  • As I reported before anyone else and to my dismay:

    Robert Yates dropped the bomb yesterday(7-7) and told the team that he would not re-sign Ernie for the 1998 season. Ernie will finish the 1997 season in the #28 Texaco Ford. This is OFFICIAL! Ernie’s comments include:

    “I will announce my plans for 1998 and beyond in the near future,” said Irvan, who vowed he would continue to strive to win races. “The members of the Texaco/Havoline team, both at the track and in the shop, work diligently to provide me with the best possible equipment each week. My pledge to them is to continue to race as hard as possible for the remainder of the season, to secure as many victories and as high a finish in the Winston Cup point standings as we can.”, he continued, “I want to thank Texaco, Ford, Raybestos, Mac Tools and especially my FANS for their support during the good times, and the bad, over the past four years. I hope that you will continue to support me during the future.”(7-8-97)
  • Yarborough Motorsports Crew Chief Tony Furr was fined $50,000 for have illegal carburetor mounting studs. They were found in the standard pre-race inspection before the Pepsi 400. The carb used in the race was legal and the car was thoroughly inspected after the race with no infractions found(RPM2Nite, Greg told me Monday 7-8-97)
  • The 2nd DW team with Rich Bickle will be number 26 not 27 as earlier reported(and as Rich Bickle announced himself on NASCAR Online chat). Sponsorship will be announced on Tuesday, July 15, 1997(7-8-97)
  • From NASCAR Fans and the Bill Davis Web Site: Ward is pretty “beat up”. He has no concussion but has a black eye, a knot on his left forehead and bruises from his seat restraints. He is very sore from his ordeal. WARD WILL RACE AT NEW HAMPSHIRE. Bill Davis and Jeff Burton went from the infield care center to the Halifax Memorial Hospital in the ambulance with Ward and spent the night. Gail Davis drove Jeff’s wife and Tabitha’s parents over to the hospital. Ward was released to come home today (Sunday). Mark and Arlene Martin came to the hospital as did the executives from MBNA. Mark feels responsible for hitting Ward but most observers believe Mark was pushed into Ward by Dick Trickle. Mark Martin flew Ward and Bill home in his plane today. Jack Roush sent an extra plane back for Jeff Burton(7-8-97)
  • ARCA driver Perry Tripp will run the BGN race at the Gateway International Speedway in St. Louis in the #66 Pizza World Radius Ford for the DeWitt Family and make his BGN debut(7-8-97)
  • As for Redline Oil and Rusty Wallace: Redline is a long-time manufacturer of high-quality synthetic oil and driveling lubricants. They’re more associated with “sporty car” racers, but they have a solid reputation in other racing series. Larry Wallace may have indeed specified its use in his engines; I’d guess that he’s found he can use a lighter viscosity synthetic oil and “free” some horsepower. Typically, synthetic lubricants are also used in the trans and differential for qualifying because of this(thanks Glenn 7-8-97)
  • Rumors of where Ernie Irvan may go include a second Diamond Ridge team(#29), Dale Earnhardt’s #14 Burger King car, a return to the #4(doubtful), other speculations by me also include the fourth Roush team and the DrJ team(7-8-97)
  • Rumors of replacements in the #28 for Ernie Irvan include Kenny Irwin. Jr., Johnny Benson, Jr., Ward Burton, both Labontes, Sterling Marlin and Bobby Hamilton(see above)(7-8-97)
  • RPM2Nite announced that Morgan-McClure may start a second team in 1998 and has sponsorship possibilities and mentioned the rumors of Marlin possibly leaving(7-8-97)
  • I hear Ward Burton had a black eye and a bump on his forehead but no concussion as previously reported here(7-8-97)
  • A good source confirms that Andy Petree and is definitely going to run a 2nd team next year, but had no other news(7-8-97)
  • Another rumor has Todd Bodine to SABCO but what about the three year Pontiac deal announced during the BGN race at Milwaukee?(7-8-97)
  • I hear rumors that Pennzoil may leave the #30 Pontiac team or WC all together(7-8-97)


    (7-7-97)

  • John Andretti was on RPM2Nite and he didn’t sound like a driver who was going to be let go soon from a ride as rumors have stated. He and Cale sounded like the job will be Andretti’s for a while(7-7-97)
  • Wednesday night(7-2) on ESPN2, Kenny Irwin was interviewed. He flatly denied a 98 WC ride with Penske or Roush. As heard before, he said Penske told him he wasn’t starting a second team. As far as Roush, Irwin hadn’t really spoken to him(7-7-97)
  • Mark Martin flew Ward Burton home from Daytona and it was reported on RPM2Nite that Ward has a large lump on his forehead, John Kernen mentioned the fact that Burton does not wear a full-face helmet that could have saved him from getting the bump. They did an MRI that supposedly showed there was no damage to Ward’s neck(7-7-97)
  • I hear Robert Yates called a meeting today and told the team that he was not signing Ernie Irvan for 1998(7-7-97)
  • Here is what I hear about the Hendrick chassis: Actually all three Hendrick teams have their own versions of the new generation chassis. Each team gets a slightly different version of their base chassis with the only real differences being the seat mounting and location of the steering box. They have to move the steering box a little just for packaging due to the positions each driver likes the steering wheel. Other than that the chassis are the same. I hear the new chassis will not be run on the big tracks just yet in favor of a more proven speedway design(7-7-97)
  • I hear that the #2 Miller Lite team had to use Redline oil(instead of Mobil) in the Larry Wallace engine’s they leased at Michigan? Same source says the #24 team did also? What is so special about Redline?(7-7-97)
  • I hear that Sterling Marlin vacationed with Felix Sabates last week and he wants out of the #4 ride and has a contract offer in hand from SABCO(7-7-97)
  • Heard a rumor that Sears will pull out of motorsports all together in 1998, no Diehard 500 or craftsman truck series sponsorship.
  • Have heard that NASCAR Truck driver Lance Norwick, who drove the second Walker Evans Motorsports Team Dodge Ram in 1996, may be returning to the Dodge Ram SuperTruck ranks later this season. In and unprecedented sports-marketing move, Norwick`s L&R
    Motorsports SuperTruck carries primary sponsorship by The National Hockey League (NHL). The NHL sponsorship is expected to transfer with Norwick when he makes the move back into a Dodge(thanks Mike)
  • I heard that in a recent issue of Area Auto Racing News(Trenton, NJ), in Ernie Saxton’s column, he said that Western Auto was leaving Darrell Waltrip’s team, which is not new. But he also says Western Auto wants to stay involved with Darrell in 1998 and beyond possibly with a personal service contract


    (7-6-97)

  • I have confirmed that Todd Bodine will drive a WC Car prepared by his BGN team at Watkins Glen in August. I hear the car will carry the #34 and is the same Chevy that Mike McLaughlin tried to qualify last year at Watkins Glen with Hardinge as a sponsor(7-6-97)
  • Update from the JournalNow: NASCAR’S Bill France says he is in no hurry to turn over the reins of power. “I’m 64, and won’t go on forever. And something will have to be done eventually. But not before the end of the year,” France said, responding to speculation about how much longer he plans to run the sport his father helped create nearly 50 years ago. But turning over the job to son Brian isn’t automatic, France said. “This business is big enough that just having the name France doesn’t ensure anything. And Brian concurs with that.”(7-6-97)
  • On the BGN CBS broadcast on 7-6-97, it was stated that Todd Bodine has signed a three year contract to compete in the WC series in 1998 and beyond and the team would field Pontiacs, and they would attempt Atlanta and maybe Charlotte in the fall of 1997, no other news was reported(7-6-97)
  • Now I hear that Greg Sacks will be offered the #91 car for just the Pocono & Indianapolis races since he sets the cars up very well for flat-tracks. Not sure what this means for Loy Allen and whether the team will have SPAM or any sponsorship(7-6-97)
  • Per Mike Irwin of nascar fans: Penda Corp. will be Ken Schrader’s exclusive sponsor in three Craftsman Truck Series races this year; 7/31 at Indy, 9/4 at Richmond, and 11/9 at Las Vegas(7-6-97)
  • Update: I have confirmed that Todd Bodine will drive a WC Car prepared by his BGN team at Watkins Glen in August. I hear the car will carry the #34 and is the same Chevy that Mike McLaughlin tried to qualify last year at Watkins Glen with Hardinge as a sponsor(7-6-97)
  • A source who was at Daytona talked to a driver and said the rumor about Ford only sponsoring seven teams is untrue. No signs of a racing Taurus at the track.
  • I hear Daytona radio station, WNDB said in their morning race show that there was little chance that Robby Gordon will be back with SABCO next year.
  • JournalNow: Terry Labonte rumored to a Robert Yates’ car for 1998? “I’ve heard the rumor, and I wouldn’t doubt that Robert has talked with Terry,” team manager Jimmy Johnson said. “Anybody would like to have Terry Labonte driving for them. But I’m confident Terry is happy with us.”.
  • JournalNow: Jack Sprague’s truck win at Nazareth, Pa., has sparked speculation about a move up to the Cup tour next season. But Johnson says that Sprague will probably remain in Hendrick’s trucks. “If Rick (Hendrick)hadn’t gotten sick, we would have done a fourth team this season,” Johnson said.
  • A reader and source of info got me thinking(very dangerous), could Mike Wallace be part of the rumored 2nd Andy Petree team with Kenny Schrader as a partner, with Wallace driving in 1998??


    (7-5-97)

  • As reported here months ago Steve Park will start his WC career with an attempt at Pocono on 7-20 in the Dale Earnhardt owned #14 Burger King Chevy(7-5-97)
  • Bill Elliott and the #94 McDonald’s team introduced the new Mac Tonight race car 7-3-94 in Daytona. The commemorative Ford Thunderbird will run at Bristol(8-23), Richmond(9-6), NHIS(9-14), Dover(9-21) and Martinsville(9-28). Mac Tonight is the popular moon-shaped crooner, decked in trendy sunglasses, who has starred in McDonald’s national advertising to promote McDonald’s as the place for dinner. The moon-shaped Mac Tonight character is prominently featured on the car’s midnight blue exterior along with stars cut from reflective decal material. When light hits the car’s unique surface, the stars will appear to “twinkle.” To showcase its “sparkling” appearance, the Mac Tonight car will make its racing debut on August 23 at Goody’s 500 in Bristol(7-5-97)
  • NASCAR has handed out this year’s Japan Handbook, a crew-chief’s guide to packing cars and tools for the Suzuka race. ”We’ve got 65 guys in our shop and we had a team meeting to talk about Suzuka,” Marc Reno, Ernie Irvan’s crew chief, said. ”I asked for volunteers to go to Japan. Only three guys raised their hands.”(JournalNow)
  • Saw this interview last night, think Bodine is unhappy with QVC: Geoff Bodine’s troubles got a little deeper yesterday when he failed to make the field for today’s 400. ”I’ve won here at Daytona, and it just won’t feel right watching a race,” Bodine said. ”The bottom line is my sponsor just didn’t give us enough money to run this race team. We’ve been stretching the money as far as we could, and I guess our performance has shown that. We’ve had problems the last month or so. We started the season really strong, hoping the financial problems were going to get solved. But they didn’t solve that, and now we’ve finally stretched the dollar till it broke.”
  • Ricky Rudd is again being wooed by Pontiac officials, but crew chief Jim Long says he expects Rudd to remain in the Ford camp next season. Rudd is one of five men building models of the new NASCAR Taurus for testing in wind tunnels this month. The new model is now expected to be unveiled next month at Indianapolis(JournalNow)
  • Hmm..think the John Andretti rumors may go away now?(Ernie’s win stopped the rumor’s for about a two whole weeks)(7-5-97)
  • I hear from a good source that Kenny Irwin Jr is going to replace Ernie Irvan in the #28 Texaco Thunderbird in 1998. It is supposed to be hush-hush and nothing can be announced at this time from what I am told(7-5-97)
  • Ford Officials say they are interested in trying to hire Jeff Gordon to run Formula One cars. And Gordon has expressed an interest in testing an F1 machine(JournalNow)
  • Ford’s Jack Roush is negotiating to build Chevrolet motors for Chad Little’s Pontiac team next season, according to team sources(JournalNow)
  • Eli Gold & Mike Joy, two well-known NASCAR men, are under consideration for the anchor spot on CBS’ Daytona 500 coverage, according to NASCAR sources(JournalNow)
  • In the National Speed Sport News(NSSN), Editor and former announcer great, Chris Economaki says in his Notebook: “We suspect NASCAR is scratching its head over the performance of the new Hendrick-built chassis that Jeff Gordon is now using. Though the NASCAR rule book does not deal in any length about a car’s underside other than stipulating right height, word from the garages is that the underside design is such that ground effects is achieved”(from the 6-25-97 issue – 7-5-97)
  • From the SpeedNet Forum a bulletin board type system:
    More Hendrick woes

    This message submitted on 7/3/97 (11:36:56 AM, EST) by ICE MAN FAN,

    Joe_Russell@baynetworks.com

    I am a huge Terry Labonte fan, and I have what I believe to be a great story. I have a buddy who works on WC circuit, (in sales) and he is tight with some of the Bud #25 guys. He was told that Rick Hendrick is concerned about money problems, (and a federal prison term) and is desperately trying to align himself to remain as a WC car owner. He has offered and Jeff Gordon has accepted to become a co-owner of the #24. Ray Evernham will become co-owner of the #25. He will also move over to crew chief the car. The same offer was made to Terry but the “Ice Man” refused. Word is, Labonte may entertain other offers to drive if Hendrick goes down. This had created waves between Hendrick and Labonte(7-5-97)


    (7-4-97)

  • As for the #27 that Rich Bickle says he will drive, I understand it have nothing to do with David Blair motorsports and I can only assume that the number may be on a first come first served basis on the entry blank for the part-time teams. NASCAR owns and assigns the numbers. There must be different rules for the full-time and part-time teams. See the NASCAR Online chat story where he states it will be #27 at Rich Bickle Chat(7-4-97)
  • RJR executives say they plan business as usual through 1998 at least, and next year’s Winston Million and Winston All-Star race at Charlotte are still on schedule(JournalNow)(7-4-97)
  • Bill France is thinking about a made-for-TV legends series, sort of a NASCAR Seniors tour, on short tracks, with veterans such as Cale Yarborough and Richard Petty, in IROC-type cars. North Wilkesboro Speedway would be one possible location. I hear it would be the smaller tracks and depends on if they can find enough willing ‘senior’ drivers(7-4-97)
  • The Bodines, Geoff, Todd and Brett, aren’t having an easy time of it. Geoff says he’s in financial trouble and has been scrambling to sell part of his team; Todd could end up driving for Geoff next year, under one possible scenario. Now Brett, in his second season as car owner, says he is under the financial gun, too. Brett has been looking into moving from his Mooresville shop into Bobby Allison’s old shop behind Charlotte Motor Speedway (JournalNow & NASCAR Fans 7-4-97)
  • Per the JournalNow, BIG NEWS: NASCAR’s Bill France may usher in a new era for the sport of stock-car racing today. In a sudden and surprising move, France is expected to announce today the changing of the guard, the promotion of Brian France, his 35-year-old son, to the NASCAR presidency. The elder France, 64, has ruled the sport since his father turned the reins over to him in 1972(7-4-97)
  • So much for the Ernie Irvan rumors being put to rest:

    Robert Yates said yesterday he still hasn’t signed Ernie Irvan to a new contract, and yesterday Yates again indicated he might make a driver change for 1998. That comes three weeks after Irvan, on the eve of his win at Michigan, said he and Yates had agreed to team again. Yates said he had signed a new contract with Texaco, and that now the issue was up to him alone to decide, whether or not he wants to keep Irvan in the seat. Yates would seem to be reviving the possibility that Sterling Marlin might get the ride. Marlin has been pushing Yates hard to snare the ride, according to team sources. If Marlin does leave Larry McClure, then Bobby Hamilton would be the top choice for McClure’s Chevy. That would leave Richard Petty looking for a new driver(compiled from many JournalNow stories 7-4-97)
  • The latest rumored driver for the possible 4th Roush team is Tommy Kendall, Roush’s championship Trans-Am driver(7-4-97)
  • PPG, CART Indy-car series sponsor, leaving that series and moving to NASCAR, according to NASCAR sources. PPG is a corporate rival of DuPont, which has had such great success marketing Jeff Gordon(JournalNow 7-4-97)
  • Bruton Smith, the racing magnate, who owns a number of car dealerships, including Lone Star Ford, the largest in Texas, might be in the market to buy some of Rick Hendrick’s dealerships, according to business sources(JournalNow & NASCAR Fans 7-4-97)


    (7-3-97)

  • Per Benny Parson’s on the Pepsi 400 Qualifying show: SPAM is leaving the #91 LJ Racing Chevy, he didn’t say when or if SPAM would be moving to another team(7-3-97)
  • The #78 Hanes Ford driven by Billy Standridge will using an R&D engine from the Cale Yarborough team. Not bad he qualified 7th for the Pepsi 400 Saturday(7-3-97)
  • The #5 Hendrick owned Chevy is back to the regular paint scheme with Kelloggs Corn Flakes on the car(7-3-97)
  • The #75 Remington Ford driven by Rick Mast was purple for the Pepsi 400 and has Stren on the hood(Remington also markets fishing lines and accessories under the Stren brand name)(7-3-97)
  • As for the story about the Ditch Witch yesterday, please note that I left the story as it was taken from the Road and Highway magazine and I left the error about the rookie of the year in 1993 in the story. It just goes to show you that Road and Highway should stick to what they know. We all know Jeff Gordon won ROTY not Bobby Labonte(7-3-97)
  • Ricky Craven’s #25 Budweiser Chevrolet had a slightly different paint scheme this weekend at the Pepsi 400. The Budweiser lizards are on the hood and quarter panels(not the frogs as I said in error)(7-3-97)
  • NASCAR has signed a licensing agreement with The Upper Deck Company which allows Upper Deck to use the NASCAR logo on all Upper Deck and MAXX motorsports products. Upper Deck will continue to secure rights with each driver for its trading card sets(NASCAR Online – 7-3-97)
  • The JournalNow reports: Insiders said that Terry Labonte used a variation of the Hendrick “new generation” chassis at Fontana, where he had one of his strongest runs of the year, but Hendrick men denied it(7-3-97)


    (7-2-97)

  • Rich Bickle will run the DW owned #27 at Indy, possibility of Rockingham, Richmond,and Atlanta per NASCAR Online chat(7-2-97)
  • Jeff Fuller will be in the #45 Hunter Specialties Chevy the for at least the next 4 race’s(starting at Milwaukee) and that Greg Sacks is out(7-2-97)
  • As reported here months ago the #29 Cartoon Network will run a new paint scheme on the car starting at Daytona, July 5th. Tom and Jerry are on the hood and the car is silver. See the car on the Paint Schemes page(7-2-97)
  • IMSG(International Motor Sports Group) CEO Andy Evans will start the US Road Racing Stock Car Championship series in 1998 with 10-12 races. He says a front running team should be able to run on a budget of $500,000 or less(per RPM2Nite)(7-2-97)
  • On Monday on ESPN Sportscenter in the fast lane section, Roger Penske said that he wasn’t going to have another team at Penske Racing South(7-2-97)
  • My friend Jim Patterson saw this in Roads and Bridges Magazine of all places. The Pavement community now has a car to cheer for!!!! DITCH WITCH ENTERS RACE. The manufacturer has signed a contract with Joe Gibbs Racing for an associate sponsorship of the Joe Gibbs #18 car for the 1997 NASCAR Winston Cup Series. The car is driven by Bobby
    Labonte who was named 1993 NASCAR Rookie of the Year(it’s old but Thanks Jimboy)(7-2-97)
  • Per Nascar Fans: Lawyers Agree to Delay Trial for Hendrick. Federal prosecutors said they will not oppose a delay in Rick Hendrick’s trial on charges of bribery with his Honda dealership. They do oppose a change of location for the trial from Asheville to
    Charlotte(7-2-97)
  • Andy Houston, 26, the youngest of the sons in the Houston racing family, has been named to drive five races on the NASCAR truck series in a truck owned by Mike Addington, from Ashland, Kentucky. Houston’s dad, former BGN driver Tommy Houston, will be the team
    manager. The team’s first race will be July 31 at Indianapolis Raceway Park(thanks NASCAR fans – 7-2-97)
  • NASCAR Winston West Competitors Kevin Culver & John Kinder will compete in the 1997 NASCAR Suzuka Circuit Thunder in Suzuka City, Japan(7-2-97)
  • Jack Roush says his three-car Winston Cup operation is running so smoothly that he just might expand to a fourth team next season. Adding a fourth team might not sit that well with Roush’s current three teams. But there is speculation that Roush has his eye on Kenny Irwin, the promising young Truck Series racer. Roush won’t name any names, but he says he is thinking about expanding(JournalNow)(7-2-97)
  • Per GoRacing page: Brett Bodine is in financial trouble. Apparently Close Call is not paying all of the bills. Thanks to David Wesolowski for the head’s up(7-2-97)
  • From Terry Labonte’ shop in Trinity, NC, Terry doesn’t know what he is going to do. Right now he is planning on running about the same as this year. But he could change his mind. Right now nothing has been decided(7-2-97)
  • Daytona Rumors from Shep: Richard Petty Driving Experience to set up shop here and offer stock car rides at 180mph+. They are suppose to announce this July 3rd! Daytona may be getting another race date, trucks? or IRL? (how about Andy Evans new Stock/Sports Car Series?), and the latest rumor is that Team Menard will be testing at Daytona in the next
    month(7-2-97)


    (7-1-97)

  • How’s this for being tough: Jeff Burton went more than two weeks walking on a broken left leg before he had an MRI done on the limb, which was injured in a crash during practice for the 6-15 Miller 400 at Michigan Speedway. Burton should be ready to go for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona on 7-5(7-1-97)
  • Mike Wallace will drive Kenny Schrader’s #52 Purolater PureONE Chevy truck in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He will replace Toby Butler in the truck at Milwaukee this weekend(7-1-97)
  • John Munsam has replaced Butch Enders as the crew chief on the BGN #99 team(7-1-97)
  • Jeff Fuller will drive the #45 Hunters Specilaites Chevy at Milwaukee and Myrtle Beach. Not sure if it will turn into a full time ride or not or what happens with Greg Sacks and this ride(7-1-97)
  • The Richmond Times-Dispatch also reports that Kenny Irwin Jr turned down a ride with the IRL team Menard, in favor of a possible future WC ride(7-1-97)
  • Heard a rumor that Terry Labonte is getting ready to announce that he’ll be retiring from the BGN series after this season. Supposedly he’s finishing up on a deal to put another driver in his #5 BGN car next year, to run all the races. He thinks his Busch team is capable of winning the championship in 1998(thanks Jon)(7-1-97)
  • I heard from an excellent source that Alan Bestwick will not be broadcasting the Daytona 500 in 1998 and not taking over for Ken Squire(7-1-97)